Dildos, Guns, Periods, Yosemite, and Facebook Liars

I generally don't watch a lot of videos online, but there have been some great ones in the past few days that I thought I'd share:

Gun safety and dildos:

Don't lie about your period:

Yosemite is the best place in the world:

Facebook posts are lies: 

Books on Your Back- Getting Handy

Out of Print recently introduced their sci-fi line and while I don't read a lot in this genre, this one of course caught my eye:


Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

[see #10; too bad the 91 freeway is on the other side]

Link up below!

1. Have you read this article about pediatricians recommending reading time to parents from now on? I think it's a bit of a given, but I love that it's official. I try to read to Sawyer everyday, although I am getting a bit tired of our small collection of children's books. One can only read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom so many times...

2. I just completed the fifth run in the C25K (Couch to 5k) program and am loving it so far. The workouts go by super fast and I can already feel myself improving. 

3. Whenever I see my friends slacking on their Fit Bit steps I'm immediately concerned that they're sick or that they've lost their precious little piece of technological accountability. By the way, I think everyone I should know should have one so that we can compete and I can work hard to be the best. 

4. I finished The Book Thief- good, but maybe not life-changing great. The last two hundred pages did pick up a bit, though.

5. While talking to my husband about what sort of things I do and do not like about history we came to the conclusion that, in his words, I "like criminals." See also: Che Guevera, the mafia, communism, Castro, Watergate, Black Panthers, Prohibition, and Mussolini. I prefer the term "revolutionaries." Si se puede. Fight the power. Down with The Man.

6. I'm currently reading How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Amid and am loving it so far.

7. I'm sorry, but I don't care about the Mockingjay trailer. I love Jennifer Lawrence but still could care less.

8. My mom and sister are coming into town this weekend and I couldn't be more excited. My mom is so great with the baby and I think we're all heading to the beach on Monday. Sawyer is trying to decide between stand-up paddle boarding and surfing.

9. I'm off to get frozen yogurt with two of my favorite students, so that's it for now. Apparently I'm best friends with an eighteen year old now. Totally normal.

10. We went to a big park twenty minutes away last Friday and the baby fell asleep. I, on the other hand, loved it. We will be doing this once a week for the rest of the summer! 


Things I Refuse to Feel Guilty About

[Nope. Not going to either]

1. Honking at people. The asshole deserved it. 

2. Occasionally shelling out $20 on Smashbox lipgloss

3. Wanting what other people have. Land Rovers. Awesome patio furniture. Nice feet. Inner peace. 

4. Deeply caring about how much I weigh. I've weighed myself almost daily since college, not that I necessarily do anything about it. I'm a stats-driven person.

5. Desperately wanting a housekeeper to come just once, to deep clean. Just once, that's all.

6. Giving my baby a few ounces of formula throughout the day. He's primarily breast milk-fed but sometimes needs a little more. I refuse to let him starve, he's on the smaller side anyway.

7. Drinking, and loving, Diet Coke.

8. Thinking that Patrick Stewart is hot.

9. Throwing clothes in the dryer with a damn towel rather that ironing. Truth be told, I suck balls at it. 

10. Supporting various welfare programs but thinking drug testing should be required. I know it's very Republican of me (shudder), but I think it should happen. Those that use, especially parents, should receive assistance with rehab, though.

11. Generally not changing grades. You have to earn it. And no, crying won't help. 

12. Refusing to partake in organized religion but praying when necessary. Yes, I'm one of those people. I guess I use God.

13. Not baptizing Sawyer. Speaking of religion... My mom's family is quite Catholic, so I've been asked about this a few times. 

14. Liking Facebook. Educated, cultured grown-ups aren't supposed to support such a ridiculous habit, but I don't care. It helps me get in touch with people and is entertaining.

15. De-friending or blocking people on Facebook. If I wouldn't wish you happy birthday I'm cutting you out. If you're a family member that's annoying as shit but would notice if I de-friended you and would ask my mom I'm blocking you.

16. Liking Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

17. Not being impressed with popular books. Even those that are liked by the literate crowd. 

18.  Not allowing things to get in the way of enjoying my time off with my baby. 

19. Caring and worrying about money. And wanting more of it, please.

20. Still listening to The Backstreet Boys, Sir-Mix-a-Lot, and Britney when I exercise. And possibly when I drive too... 

What about you?

Scrabble Loving

My love of word games goes back to childhood when I'd watch, and soon join, my grandparents play Upwords (think Scrabble but with the option to build up) every night either before, or after, dinner. They lived six hours away from us so it was only during visits that I experienced this, but boy is it one of those engraved childhood memories. My grandma kept score and would annotate each game with a happy or sad face, depending on how she did. My grandpa would slyly help us when we were stumped when we were super young, and the dictionary they lugged around in their camper trailer was massive. They never turned us down when we wanted to play, which was probably as young as six (although I'm sure they purposefully started lots of games when they knew we were busy, not that I can blame them). As I entered high school I was a definite contender and actually started winning games, which felt pretty great after losing for years. Unfortunately, after decades of playing together my grandparents are unable to still do so, due to my grandma's worsening dementia (which is sadly ironic, given the fact that word games are supposed to help combat  cognitive deterioration).

Over the years I've coerced people into playing Upwords and Scrabble with me, but I haven't been able to play nearly as much as I would like to. I recently downloaded the Scrabble app on my phone to play while feeding the baby and I have to say that it's required significant effort to not become addicted. In the past I've played lots of other word games, but nothing beats the simplicity of Scrabble. The only thing missing from the word game itself are the little wooden tiles that I for some reason adore. So much so that I've spent some time perusing the Internet for various things you can buy... here's a look:

[source- etsy]
[source- etsy]
[source- Apartment Therapy]
[source- Walls and Floors]
[source- Liz's Paper Loft]
[source- Kid's Space Stuff]
[source- O Sew Many Rags]
[source- Society 6]
[source- The Little House in the City via Color Me Katie]
Favorite word game? Board game?

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

It's that time again! Link up below and thanks for playing (and asking your readers to too):

1. I've seen this coffee mug has been sitting there for the past three mornings on our daily walks:

2. Chomsky is warming up to him:

3. The sweetest little ten-year-old boy came to our door the other day advertising his lawn service. I'm seriously considering hiring him to come water some browning spots on our lawn. So cute. He (and his partners) probably want money to do things this summer and their parents told them to get a job. Kids that earn their money have my respect.

4.This video by the Los Angeles County Library is sort of lame but I love the fact that these librarians are really trying to have fun. It seems like one of those videos that are probably hilarious to the people that actually know them.

5. I recently learned that there's a nudist resort ten or so miles up the freeway from us. They have a bookstore! I sort of absolutely LOVE this and maybe five years ago I would have thought for a teeny tiny minute that it would be a little entertaining to go check it out (hey, I was running a lot and was pretty tan). Now, not so much. I do feel like this would make an excellent blog post story, though. An interview with the nudist bookstore clerk... hmm....


6. I'm excited about all the cool places I can drag Sawyer to as he gets older. Realistic places include a dude ranch (but more like a glamping one, as opposed to one that forces me to like clean up horse shit), Yellowstone, the Smithsonian, the top of the Space Needle, and the train museum in Sacramento that I for some reason remember fondly from elementary school. Unrealistic places include Giraffe Manor in Kenya (check out their site... it looks so awesome):


7. Do you remember the Scholastic book fairs from elementary school? Those were my favorite days a a kid. I would save my allowance for weeks and buy whatever I could get my hands on. The fair was usually there for a week, so I'd beg my mom for an advance on Friday morning so I could hit it up one more time before it drove off into the sunset. I was thinking that they should have adult versions that go to office buildings, but then I remembered adults can get in their cars and drive to the bookstore (although I would be all over it).


8. I made monkey bread yesterday for the first time ever (I've had it before, but have never actually made it). So delicious.

9. I'm about half way through The Book Thief and while it's decent I'm not sure if it's living up to the hype I had let it get to. I'm sure this is a classic case of unrealistic expectations, and while I still have a ways to go, I'm just not quite as in love as some of you are. 

10. Sawyer has been sleeping in his car seat for over two hours- this is a record. We went on a walk this morning for a half an hour and he conked out (currently snoring). It's amazing what you can do in an hour and a half when you know your baby might wake up at any moment (laundry, dust, clean baseboards, wash bottles, straighten up a closet, and write a blog post, for those interested).

Top Ten Tuesday- Summer TBR

This week The Broke and the Bookish ask us what we're reading this summer. I don't do a good job sticking to these lists usually, but I might actually this time since I'm being pretty selective about what I choose to read time wise. I read mostly when I feed Sawyer and then occasionally when he naps or is content hanging out on his play mat (who am I? Play mat?). Anyway, before the damn kid wakes up, here's my list:

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusack- Currently reading

2. 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley- To get me back in the mood for work

3. Interventions by Richard Russo- His short stories will be perfect for shorter incremments

4. Home by Toni Morrison

5. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood- I read Oryx and Crake recently and loved it. I'm also excited to hear that it's being turned into a show (or miniseries?) for HBO.

6. Pride and Prejudice Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith- This book looks incredibly stupid, but I've had it from way before the zombie thing was cool.

7. Lexicon by Max Berry- I have this to review right now.

8. Goldfinch by Donna Tartt- We reading this for book club and I know I'll need awhile.

9. The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

10. Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon- I love Zafon and his books are usually relatively easy (but well-written!) reads.

What's on your list?

Summer Goals/I'm An Old Lady

[this is basically me now]

I'm the type of person that needs goals- I need a plan, a direction, a purpose in order to feel fulfilled. This summer is different than any other with the baby and I don't want to look back on it and feel like I accomplished nothing. I know that infant-wrangling is an accomplishment in and of itself, but there's more to me than just that. Yes, I know, mother-of-the-year! So, this summer I'd like to do a few things:

1. Read ten books. This really won't be that hard if I start better utilizing the time I spend feeding Sawyer.

2. Be able to do run/walk intervals for four miles.

3. Walk (or swim) the dogs four days a week. This used to be six or seven, but I'm being realistic. I need my husband to go with us or watch the baby, which doesn't always work with what he has planned. I'm thinking I could take one dog at a time using the stroller or Ergo, so I need to start trying those options out (two thirty-minute dog walks a day would mean an extra hour of walking for me!).

4. Lose five of the ten pounds of baby weight I have left. This is purely a vanity-driven desire, but I'm being honest. I need my work clothes to fit when I return in August.

5. Get out and do something either social or different than the norm every week, whether it's meeting a friend for lunch or taking the baby to the park or beach to walk. I have to have things to look forward to.

6. Finish some sort of sewing project.

7. Put in the equivalent to thirty minutes a day on the writing project I was working on before and stopped because... life.

8. Blog an average of three times a week.

9. Work with Sawyer to get on some sort of schedule that will coincide with what the daycare provider will want him to be on.

10. Catch up on my Mixbook for this year.

Holy shit I sound so fucking old. And boring. Remember when I used to go skydiving and book readings and find new resaurants? 

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Link up below!

1. I'm back! Last week's post was horrible, as was last Wednesday-Friday, as I was trying to get everything graded and completed to end the school year. Now that it's all over I'm so relieved, although it does feel weird with it ending but not being there. 

2. One of the best quick meals ever is a pita slathered in mushed up avocado and topped with a fried egg. Just thought you should know.


3. We're reading Goldfinch by Donna Tartt for book club. I have all summer to get through it, but I need to make sure to start it plenty early, since things don't always go according to schedule now. My husband read it earlier this year and basically liked it, so I'm excited to be able to talk about it with him.

4. I'm really trying to work with Sawyer on napping right now, specifically napping while not being held. He has made it 32 minutes in his crib right now, with me sitting in the rocker on the other side of the room blogging. Fingers crossed he makes it five more hours... or fifteen minutes.

5. We're watching the new Orange is the New Black season and my husband blew my mind by pointing out that Red is Janeway from Star Trek. Whoa. Someone let herself go a tad. And I still love Crazy Eyes. 


6. My good friend, quite the reader herself, found herself in the mood to buy books the other day and asked me for ten recommendations. It was ridiculous how happy it made me.

7. I'm just starting The Book Thief. Read it? Loved? Hated?

8. I loved this article about a school that also included a student's service dog in their yearbook.


9. It's weird not getting five million emails from my students every day. I sort of miss it.

We All Need to Laugh

I don't know about you, but I need a good laugh today. Like NEED. Not want, need. You get the picture. 

A few things that made me chuckle: 

1. The Fault in Our Stars made $48.2 million dollars last weekend. I find this ridiculously amusing. If the melodrama is anything compared to the book, then whoa.

2. I'm not sure if you knew it or not, but Rebels: City of Indra: The Story of Lex and Livia "by" Kendell and Kylie Jenner has been out for a week. It's a dystopia, so you know it's a really smartly written book, plus it's a series! There will be more! Obviously they didn't write it, but a tiny part of me would love to read it just for complete mocking purposes. 

Side note: Awesome book club idea- just read shitty celebrity books and tear them apart while getting drunk every week. Doesn't Lauren Conrad have one?

3. This:

4. John Oliver's explanation of net neutrality was really informative and hilarious (it's long, but worth it):

5. Lil Kim named her baby Royal Reign. No explanation needed. 

Top Ten Tuesday- Thus Far

This week The Broke and the Bookish ask us for the top ten book we've read so far this year. Considering I've only read a little over twice that many I don't feel like I have a ton to choose from, but I'll go with it:

1. The Selected Works of TS Spivet by Reif Larsen- A rare reread about a young cartographer that travels across the country to accept a prize from the Smithsonian (they think he's an adult).

2. Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilgunas- A memoir about working to pay off student loan debt and not selling out.

3. The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne- A memoir about a Mormon man with turetts and how he becomes a librarian. 

4. Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink- An account of the horrors that happened in the five days following Hurricane Katrina. It raises some serious ethical questions!

5. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe- Implications of colonialism in Africa.

6. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood- A science fiction novel set in the near future (book one of a trilogy).

7. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey- A couple relocates to Alaska to escape their troubles and ends up developing a bond with a mysterious young girl who comes to visit from the Alaskan forest.

8. The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got There by Amanda Ripley- Ripley studies education in other parts of the world in comparison to the United States.

9. Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw- Aw weaves together five narratives of people in China as they try to make it professionally and personally.

10. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain- Classic!

How about you? 

Running Update #1

My first half! Pigtails FTW.
Once upon a time I considered myself a runner (or maybe an enthusiastic jogger), and would occasionally write about it here. As I find my way heading back to that hobby I thought I'd share a few of my thoughts as I start out, once again. This is more for me, I have to admit, since I know this is really the content people visit this blog for. I'll be back with something bookish tonight!

1. I don't want to make the same mistakes this time that I made last time. I quit running almost cold turkey a few years ago because we were trying, and not succeeding, it getting pregnant, but mostly because I was terribly burnt out after running twelve halves in like a year and a half or something like that. I was running to maintain endurance, not for improvement. Between the bad foot (an extra bone in one of my ankles), the mileage, and the discouragement I decided five miles into the Surf City Half that I was done. This time I need to train smart and limit my races to one or two a year.

2. Yesterday I got in my first actual run, since the doctor said I could get back to doing whatever I wanted (I'm not sure why I really waited, since I felt fine). Not to brag but I was actually did better than I thought I would. Actually, fuck it, I am bragging. I'm proud of how active I stayed while pregnant and I think I'm reaping the rewards now. I'm keeping to run/walk intervals for now (forever?) and thought I'd be able to only run for a minute or two. I can actually do five or six minutes at a time without getting winded at all. I'm guessing I could do a 5k, or maybe even a super slow 10k, right now. I was able to go for twenty-five minutes before Sawyer had enough of watching me from his bouncer

3. Speaking of Sawyer, I'm working on getting him on a better "schedule" this week so that I can start doing things, including working out, during his naps. Right now he sits in his bouncer when I hop on the treadmill, but I know I can only get thirty minutes, max, until he gets bored. I'm a little nervous, considering eventually I'll need two hour blocks once a week to get in long runs, but that's pretty far down the road. 

4. I have no desire whatsoever to run with him in the stroller,not that he's old enough right now anyway. We have a jogging stroller (not a BOB, just a Graco sport one), but my main intention of getting that was so that I could do a lot of walking with him. We live in a really hilly neighborhood and the idea of pushing 40+ pounds up a hill while running makes me want to shoot myself. I know it would be awesome training, but still not worth it. 

5. I'm debating about whether or not to follow a plan right now. I was going to download C25k (Couch to 5K) or C210K but am hesitant because I'm more than capable of doing intervals on my own... if I stick to it. Sometimes I get overzealous and run too much in the beginning and tank out at the end. Having something tell me what to do might be advantageous. There are also various plans in the Hal Higdon book, but I feel like I need to improve my endurance right now.

6. Speed is not a priority for this training cycle. I'd love to surprise myself with a PR, but it's not going to happen. I need to focus on endurance and just being able to finish 13.1 less than year after having a baby.

7. I've been debating about what half to come back to. Originally I planned on Surf City in Huntington in February, but then last week I heard that RunDisney is doing a Star Wars themed one in January (Darth Vader cheering me on? Please!). My main issue is price- races are pretty expensive and the Disney one, naturally, is twice as much. I love the idea of it (I hate Disneyland, but their races are so great) but I think the extra hundred bucks, and one less month to train, will probably leave me with Surf City. 

8. I don't really like running, although I don't hate it. Why do it? I like the challenge- I like the fact that when I was in seventh grade I couldn't even run a mile straight and now as an adult I can bust out 13.1 (even though this one will be partially walked, as have some of the ones I've done in the past). Honestly, I also love that in terms of calories it's one of the best deals and that I can do it in my house on my treadmill.

9. I plan on run 3 or 4 days a week and then get in a bike ride (on the indoor trainer for now) and maybe yoga at some point (I miss it so, so, so much). 

We'll see how it goes! 

A Letter to My Seniors

I'm going to take the lazy way out and instead of creating a whole new sappy post commemorating my senior class I thought I'd just post the letter I gave them-

Dear Seniors,
            I was hoping to do this in person, but someone had other plans. Hell, who am I kidding- I was planning on a letter the whole time so I didn’t sit up in the front of my classroom and cry hysterically and only be able to squeak out “I love you guys, don’t leave meeeeeeee.” I’m much more articulate in writing, anyway.
            So, where do I begin? The last two/three years with you guys have hands down been the best of my teaching career and I’m not sure if they will ever be topped (although I’m not sure if you had much competition… just kidding). Teaching the IB curriculum and being around you guys every day made me truly happy. Sure, I hate waking up before the sun every morning, but as soon as my students trudged into my classroom every day I felt awake and happy with my decision to be a teacher. Over the last few years I’ve had a fair amount of crap happen outside of school (haven’t we all?) and coming to school and being around you guys has been distracting in the best possible way. You’re smart, inquisitive, funny, sarcastic, and just plain fun.
            Besides distracting me and keeping me on my toes, you guys have made me a much better teacher. I’ve worked harder the last few years than I ever have and am a better professional because of it. Sure, it takes me awhile to grade things, but in terms of preparing you for the IB test I’ve worked as hard as I’ve been able to on my end. I’m hoping we all see the results of our efforts in a month or two.
            Not only have you made me a better teacher, you’ve made me a better person. Collectively, you’ve made me more patient (a trait I’m thankful for as I stare down into the wide awake eyes of my kid at three in the morning),  flexible, and empathetic.  And for that I thank you.
            I also have to add how proud I am of you guys. I’ve seen you guys grow so much during the last few years, academically and in terms of maturity. Some of you have improved more than I’ve ever thought imaginable. I’m so impressed with your college acceptances, your scholarships, and just your overall tenacity. You guys have fought hard for your futures and I can’t wait to hear the success stories that will undoubtedly emerge from your group over the years. I see doctors, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, artists, and a whole other slew of professions (please, though, keep it legal…).
            So, I guess that’s it. I know I’m just another teacher to a lot of you, and I totally get that (in fact, being special to all of you would just be too much pressure). But to me your class has been incredibly special and I will remember you guys for forever. Thank you so much for a great few years and please, please, please keep in touch. You can email me at my school email or drop by whenever you need anything (if I disappear just ask M- how to get in touch, haha), big or small, but not limited to letters of recs, a shoulder to cry on, advice giver, rant listener, or essay helper. Thanks for your patience and understanding this year as I was pregnant and out on leave- some days were a bit tiring, but just know, even if I didn’t seem like it, I was still listening, working, and thinking about your classes. I know I’m forgetting to say something, but for now just now that I love you all. And I’m not just saying that.
                                                            With Love and Gratitude,
                                                                        Mrs. S.

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

My only thoughts concern finishing grades. Starting at aprx 1 pm tomorrow I'll be done with the school year and able to get on here more!

For those wanting to link up here it is (sorry it's so late!):