Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Knot Gardens: That's Better.

I adore gardens! They are so fabulously quaint, orderly, productive and aesthetically pleasing. I've always taught a gardening unit at the end of my course and I love getting other people into the wonderful world of gardening and beings somewhat self-sustaining!

This year I get the joy of designing the layout for our courtyard inside our school and I am absolutely loving the research of looking through gorgeous gardens for inspiration! I've recently discovered the term for a concept I've been in love with since I can remember, knot gardens.

I just can't get over these beautiful knots! And one day, when I have my own beautiful home and garden I can have a knot to tie it all up with!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Birthday Surprises: That's Better.

I was reading a blog I really like, Jordan Ferney's Oh Happy Day, and saw this amazing idea she had for her husband's birthday! She borrowed a friend's bear costume, another friend's boom box, and hired a break dancer off craigslist to dance for her husband for his birthday! Soo fun! Enjoy!

Circus Dress: That's Better.

Our school is doing an auction/dinner event on Saturday to raise money for the library and they asked each mentor class to donate a basket. Our class decided to do one with the theme 'Little Darlings'. We've got pom poms, body spray, coloring books, a hat, some headbands I've crocheted, and THIS:

Isn't it fabulous?!? I love the colors, it reminds me of the circus, which I know is kind of helter skelter, but it nonetheless intrigues me and inspires movement. :)

America, ENJOY!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Vision: That's Better.

Ahh! Again! It's not even just a little bit later and I've found another love. Can you believe someone actually thought of this as a birthday gift and furthermore, could you imagine yourself being the one to receive?! Love...

(Note: This is NOT a post of mine, but rather one found here.)

Birthday Installation

My friend Aubrey put together this little "installation" for her boyfriend's birthday. The best surprises cost less than $20. Happy Birthday Blake!

Bluebirds: That's Better.

I have been getting more and more into surfing blogs and found this amazing art work I absolutely adore. The poem that inspired this piece reminded me of a distant life I once had where I wrote poetry too. And the fact that someone was inspired and created this necklace, perfect.

There's a Bluebird in my Heart Charm Necklace with Sterling Silver Chain inspired by a Charles Bukowski Poem
There's a Bluebird in my Heart Charm Necklace with Sterling Silver Chain inspired by a Charles Bukowski PoemThere's a Bluebird in my Heart Charm Necklace with Sterling Silver Chain inspired by a Charles Bukowski PoemThere's a Bluebird in my Heart Charm Necklace with Sterling Silver Chain inspired by a Charles Bukowski PoemThere's a Bluebird in my Heart Charm Necklace with Sterling Silver Chain inspired by a Charles Bukowski PoemThere's a Bluebird in my Heart Charm Necklace with Sterling Silver Chain inspired by a Charles Bukowski Poem


There's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do
-Charles Bukowski

You can find the link to this piece here, America. Enjoy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wise Guys: That's Better.

So I teach high school Biology (and Infectious Diseases), in case you haven't gathered that, and I recently assigned an assignment wherein students had to make a collage of different parts of cells. This was one of the analogies one student submitted. He used the word 'affinity', which means an attraction to or liking of something, and although 'affinity' wasn't part of their words list that they could use, I gave him credit because his analogy was..haha.. awesome.

Enjoy, America :) (click on image to see the full picture)

Pushing Your Comfort Zone: That's Better.

So let me teach you a little something about me: I like barking orders. It honestly can make some things EXTREMELY efficient, and perhaps that's part of why I love my job so much right now...I get to bark orders.


When it comes to creative things, like dance or cheerleading, I do MUCH better when being barked at. I, in no way, have a creative mind, so as a second-year head coach of a high school cheerleading squad, I have done an amazingly great job at dodging the choreographing of ANY of our performance dances or routines. Head cheerleaders and the best assistant coach ever have allowed me to dance around this crucial aspect of cheerleading and I have gotten by until now.

I decided that, since this is probably my last time coaching cheerleading for a looong time, I would try and push myself an really give choreographing a shot. SO, I found some great music, locked all the doors in my house, and started dancin'!

We literally JUST finished our first practice with my newly-introduced choreography and I AM STOKED!!! It's just the right difficulty level, it pushes them (AND ME!!) and I'm even moving them into formations...WITH STUNTS!! As soon as I can find my camera charger and put the dang thing on it I'll upload a video for ya'll. 'Till then, America, PUSH YOURSELF out of your comfort zone! I always tell my kids that they can do hard things and they'll feel so good when they accomplish something difficult that they think they couldn't. Well, lesson to the teacher here...I've never felt so accomplished!

Monday, March 8, 2010

SOPHAS: That's Better.

I've been applying for graduate programs since about November and I have come to greatly appreciate the portal that is called SOPHAS. In case you'll ever be interested in going to graduate school to get your Masters in Public Health (MPH) might I recommend to you some of the 43+ brilliant schools who are on top of the ball when it comes to efficiency! 'How might you find these ingenious schools', you might ask? Well, simply go to SOPHAS.ORG and you can begin applying to as many of these schools, including Yale, Texas at Austin, or Harvard, to name a few, as your little heart desires.

Why are they so great? Duh. They make my life easier. They use SOPHAS. You know, well, you will know when you apply to grad school, but every school basically asks for the same thing, so SOPHAS was designed to be a sort of 'main hub' online for all of the basic application pieces that you will include in every one of your applications. You can of course personalize your application essays, which I'd highly recommend, but from there on out you just click 'submit' and all of your worries go away. They send out your applications, letters of recommendation, essays, even your application fees. I LOVE SOPHAS!!

So I've started getting antsy now about my status' and especially with only 10 weeks of instruction left at work really can't wait to hear back about where life's headed in 2010. Ahh! America!! Pray I get my number 1 choice! :) If I do, I'll tell you where it is ;) duh...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Shoe Therapy: That's Better.

I recently acquired these

and think every other woman who does or does not wear heels should, too. Talk about a power walk, America, and they're so incredibly cute!! Yay for summer and shorts to go with them!!

Forgetting: That's Better.

I was driving to Salt Lake Friday night for a friend's birthday party and stopped at my dad's house on the way to get a little help on my taxes. I left his place thinking about how different our lives are now that everyone's out of the house and Mom's gone. I used to think about her a lot every Sunday when I was in church, but lately with vacations and weekend trips and moving and lots of things changing, it's been a good long while since I've had the time to reconnect with her at our usual meeting place of Sundays at 2.

I remember talking to one of Mom's old friends, Jeri Norton, soon after Mom passed away. Jeri lost her mom at a fairly young age as well, so she at least kind of knew what we were going through. She said, "It'll get easier, and then some times, out of the blue, you'll go to call her and forget she's gone. You'll want to ask her for a recipe and then remember she's not there. You'll cry for a bit, but then you remember that she's happy, and that you're happy for her." She was right. It has gotten easier, and it hasn't happened for a while, but as I left my dad's house I started listening to Rascal Flatts' 'Skin' and just remembered her fire and wit, despite surgery and scalpel.

It hurts, of course it does, remembering the last few days. I was only home for 2 days from an international research position before she left us, but seeing the pain she was in and the subsequent pain it was causing me, how could I wish for it to last longer? But good hell, who even knows if it was pain?! It spread down her central nervous system, so how do we know that what she was feeling was worse than what my heart felt?? How could I not want her to stay longer? This is where defense mechanisms kick in and I pretend to forget.


Forget that part and remember the rest. Sometimes it's good, forgetting. Forget that, though, I'll take any memory of her I can find..

Practice: That's Better.

I love playing golf. In middle school I began playing field hockey because it was all the rage, and in high school I started to dabble with golf because the boyfriend was obsessed, and now I simply love golf because it's fun!

I went on vacation last week to sunny Florida where I was able to hit a huge bucket of 175 (yes, they counted) at the range and decided I could go for some putting practice when I got home. As I laid in my bed reading this morning, I remembered back to last summer when my friend Kaitlin and I were out shopping. She ended up finding this green putting turf setup her then-fiance could practice putting with anywhere he wanted, and I suddenly had a stroke (haha) of genius! I could putt inside through the living room and down the hallway! I quickly learned what many young college males do when they're inside and bored... texture plush carpet gives about the same resistance to a golf ball as turf does!

I am definitely looking forward to that day when the sun shines bright enough that I don't have to stay inside and putt on the rugs anymore, but until then, I am definitely getting my practice in and my money's worth on this lease! So, America, next time you're bored on a Sunday morning, take a cue from the college guys and break out the putters. Good times follow.

PS For all you ladies who aren't familiar with anyone related to golf except for le Tigre, let me please share with you MY personal favorite of the sport (and another bonus reason to watch The Masters :) ) Phil...Mickelson... oh baby!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Original Alice: That's Better.

You know those times when people let you down so badly that you have to redo whatever it is they've turned into a snafu? Well this is EXACTLY one of those. Burton, I wish you would have just given it up and let me redo it myself, I would've at least stayed true to the story that 99% of your audience would identify with and recognize. Now, I guess I'll just have to go in and fix it myself, like all the other things I leave to other people thinking they'll do it right.

The original 1951 full-length video adaptation of Charles Dodgson's novel had so much great material to work with, it's a wonder why Tim Burton and Johnny Depp would allow themselves to be mainstreamed so much as to turn any little original detail they could into the already-made storyline behind the Chronicles of Narnia's Prince Caspian. Their artistic styles and tendencies usually bring out their quirks and avant states, yet this piece showed absolutely NO reflection of their unique talents which are generally on point with my preference and taste.


America, don't go waste your money, and that's two hours of my life I will sadly be missing forever.