Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - 2009


- successfully renewed my sense of accomplishment with a very difficult class
- celebrated my first wedding anniversary (wow!)
- saw NYC for the first time
- went to Big Bear, San Diego, and Hawaii
- saw Tony Bennett, Carrie Underwood, Sara Bareilles

This year wasn't as exciting or significant as in past year's, but it was definitely a year of some small challenges and questioning. I guess it was a pretty introspective year in that I questioned a lot about relationships, career choices, faith, etc. A lot of things have changed in the past year, some beyond my control, but the good thing is, I am completely 100% happy with where I stand today.

And, just for kicks, this is a list of resolutions from December 2005, last updated January 2007, and STILL not completed in January 2009. Perhaps it's time to change my resolutions? :\

1. Secure a good job at a good school upon completion of my degree.
2. Be financially independent from my parents by December of '06. [Finally did it, albeit late.]
3. Start a paper-pen journal and really reflect on my life.
4. Read a chapter of a book every day - recreational reading, not for school. [About 50% accomplished.]
5. Actually be really and truly organized, and not just pretend to be. [This is a big one for next year.]
6. Dedicate more quality weekend time to Damon -- not just running errands with him.
7. Try and be more helpful around the house.
8. Be a better mommy to Charlie.
9. Try harder to be healthy -- not just to lose weight, but to really be healthy....which leads to: [Still must work on this.]
10. trying to develop a genuine liking for exercise. [Might be impossible.]
11. Develop at least two new skills within the year.
12. Learn to cook more dishes.
13. Learn enough Cantonese to have an actual conversation with Damon's grandma.
14. Save money.
15. Actually get an oil change every 4 months.
16. Lose weight and fit into my old clothes again.[REALLY must work on this.]
17. Donate blood more frequently.[Still must work on this.]

This year, we'll be ringing in the new year with some of our best friends in the entire world here at the house. They say the people you're with at midnight are the people you will be spending your year with, and that the attitude of those people reflect the coming year. That makes me very hopeful for 2009.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thinking about 2009...

What is it about January 1st that suddenly makes it a great time to make changes in life? It could start tomorrow, or even now, but for some reason everyone puts such a big emphasis on the first. I'm one of them, of course :)

I mostly just want to keep up with what I've been trying to do all my life -- just making things better, all-around. But I think I have a renewed sense of priorities. So here's what I've been thinking so far...

1. Organize.
Physical organization, as in, organizing ALL MY CRAP. I already started this but still have a long way to go before I am really happy with it. I always want to keep my LIFE organized -- I tend to be a flake because I don't right things down, and I need to get into that habit.

2. Be a smart spender.
The one thing I really regret having not done since getting my full time "grown up" job, is really settling into some kind of system with money management. This year is my year to get that straightened out. I need to get my 403b, set a household budget, and start aggressively saving.

3. Get healthy.
Yeah, I know. How long has this been going on? I have terrible willpower. And I love food, hate exercise. Bad combination. But here's what I'm thinking -- increase water intake, decrease junk food. With Damon, so we can hold each other accountable. And increase (ick) exercise. And then just see what happens.

Crossing my fingers that this will work...

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Congrats to L & D!!!!! =D

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

I'm finally, almost done with this year's Christmas baking-venture. I am seriously going to have to rethink this "tradition" for next year -- it's getting to be too much time to be worth it. :P

Best wishes to you and your family for a blessed Christmas. I hope everyone will be spending time with their families and loved ones today and feeling the spirit of the season. :)

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace,

good will toward men.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Come on, LAUSD!

Perhaps I need to change my blog to "Complaints about my District." Geez. Here's another story that just baffles me --

L.A.'s new arts school an expensive social experiment

So here is what looks to me a recipe for disaster. LAUSD has poured tons of money into this AWESOME arts school -- and honestly, I think it's such a gift for our district and for its future students. But no concrete plans for admitting students/a strong curriculum to accompany its stellar physical foundation/an out-of-this world staff that students deserve? What gives? If you're going to do something incredible, make sure its incredible before you feed a large portion of our budget into it.

If they could show that this school is going to be the gold star of the district, I'd be all for it. But when I read news like this, where I see money being spent without any accountability, it pains me. Because that money could've been used to get my kids pencils, or glue sticks, or construction paper. Or to get our staff the newest books instead of using a curriculum that is nearly 10 years old. Or, dare I say it? Save our jobs for next year.

Ok, so the money came from bonds for school construction, so it couldn't have been used for supplies or salary. My bad. BUT -- couldn't it have been used to get rid of the asbestos in my classroom? Or to get the lead out of all the water pipes that feed directly to water fountains?

/end rant. I will step off my soapbox now. (But just for the moment)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Baking

I'll have to post the details later on the cooking blog, but my sister posted up pictures of the gingerbread house we completed last night. She says it's epic. I don't know about epic, but it IS pretty cool and we're really psyched about our success. :)

Check her facebook album for more.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Love is...

You know what else love is? When your husband finds you spray painting pots in the garage and doesn't kill you for getting paint on his car.



Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Oh my goodness it is so cold! Okay, not quite as cold as the picture, but pretty close. They said on TV today that NYC was actually warmer than it was in Socal today. Crazy, huh? :)

I am having fun making hot cocoa and sipping hot cider, though. It's nice and cozy. The only thing we're still missing is our tree! We've been going all over the place lately so unfortunately we didn't get the chance to buy one until this week, and now it's the rain that's keeping our tree from getting to the house. So sad :( It's almost Christmas and yet a major piece of the holiday isn't here yet!

I've finished most of my gift purchases, sent out my cards a while ago, and am working on some other holiday stuff. Lately it's just been cleaning, organizing, and decorating that's been on my list of to-do's. My sister and I have been hanging out lots lately, which I'm so happy about -- it's nice to have somebody to run day-to-day errands with, and just sit and talk to and hang out with. We're even going to attempt a gingerbread house this week! =X

Can't wait for the holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Weekend

Went up to Big Bear with Damon and a bunch of his buddies this weekend. We stayed up in a house (?) near the snowboarding madness. I did not partake (after my Mt. Charleston experience a few years ago I refuse to engage in winter sports ever again) but I think everyone else had fun plowing through snow on a narrow board. :P

I had fun hanging out with M and her sweet baby boy. He seriously tugs at my heart strings. One day I hope Damon and I have a baby that sweet and affectionate. And cute. And happy. And easy-going.

The Taboo marathon and Scattergories game-playing were also super fun. But the best part was going outside after what I thought was a light snow-fall and finding my car with a good amount of soft, powdery snow on it! I've only seen snow fall once, when I was about 3 or 4 in Japan. But to actually see it STICK was so amazing. Now that we're back home it finally feels like winter, and like Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dear Santa

You've never really failed me. You got me the My First Barbie that I wanted so badly oh, a gazillion years ago.

This year, what I'd love more than anything, is my job. Pretty pretty please, just let me keep my job. I'm devastated by having to leave my school, but at this point, I realize beggars can't be choosers. I suppose I'd be willing to go just about anywhere -- I just want to keep my job. I hate that I've put in 3 years that count for nothing. I need to keep my job so that I can pay my bills. And maybe one day have a house. I promise I've been (pretty) good this year.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Boss Makes Me Sick

Seriously. What is WRONG with people???

$517,500-plus buyout OK'd for L.A. Schools Chief David Brewer

Monday, December 08, 2008

So unnecessary.

Looks like Brewer may be leaving after all.

Seriously, though? We have to buy out his contract? That's more than I would make in 10 YEARS. TEN. As a third year teacher with a master's degree.

Someone needs to explain to me why I can't have paper to make copies, why I buy construction paper and glue in bulk at Costco, and wonder if my next pay check will even come through -- when this guy gets over $300,000 a year in salary and benefits and doesn't do a darn thing.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

An Important Read

If I had stayed in print journalism, Steve Lopez would've been my idol. He writes really well, but what I'm most impressed with is the topics he writes about. He brings to the LA Times issues that most people don't even know exist, that others dismiss.

Today was not the first time that his words brought me to tears, but it was the first time that I felt such a huge connection to his work. It is frustrating to work in my district, and yet I know that I've been blessed with so many opportunities that I wouldn't have found elsewhere. As much as I love what I do, it's becoming more and more apparent that the over-arching climate of my work is a huge tangle of problems.

This economy is in such a shambles, and I'm starting to feel its weight on my shoulders with the possibilities that I may have to face in my career. Such a scary time.

Please read his words. It's such an important issue and no one seems to notice.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Really, Governor?

You're taking 2.2 BILLION dollars from K-12 education to calm the California deficit? You expect TWENTY FIVE PERCENT of the state deficit to be taken out from US??? Insane. Inane. I am flabbergasted at the way this state consistently puts education on the back burner. There has GOT to be a better way.

@ The Chopping Block

The moment Damon proposed back in September '06, I started the process of growing my hair out. I was determined to have long hair for our wedding. Fast forward to December '07, and it had gotten pretty long. Fast forward to December '08...

and it was UBER long. I can't believe I let it go so long without a haircut! It was starting to get unmanageable, though -- I spent half my time pulling it out of desk drawers, hoodies, and bowls of soup. Washing it took forever, and drying it even longer. So it was time for the post-marriage chop.

Uh...excuse the toilet paper in the shot. -___- It's actually not too short, but it feels like it, after that long hair I was toting around for so long! My sister took me to The Cao Institute in Alhambra after having her hair cut there a few months back. They did an awesome job, and although it takes a while to let the students do their job, the price can't be beat! :)

And I brought back the evidence with me, too:

This is the third or fourth time that I've donated my hair to Locks of Love, and I'm so glad that I do! It's just so easy for me to hang on to my hair a while longer, enough to make a long ponytail for someone else. Easiest act of kindness I can do.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


...and he still brings me flowers the next day.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Love is an extra shallot.

Last night, as much as I hate to admit it, I was disappointed. Except for the card that Damon had picked up a few days ago and the extra kiss in the morning before he left, there was no mention of our anniversary from him -- no big sign, no love letter on my pillow, no rose hidden behind his back when he came home. It was really just like any other day. I was trying to cook a special dinner (surf and turf -- a disaster, let me tell you) but was having trouble with no new groceries and all the veggies having molded during our weekend away. Bummer. I called him to pick up what I needed on his way home and I knew I had pissed him off - he hates having to go anywhere extra on his way home, but I knew he swallowed his annoyance because it was our anniversary.

Needless to say, we were pretty quiet yesterday, both swallowing what we didn't want to bring to the table on our celebratory day. And now, a day later, I realize something -- Damon did bring something home yesterday. He went to not one, but two supermarkets, to hunt down a shallot. Even though he was annoyed by my negligence and probably cursing my existence, he went the extra effort for me. And that shallot, and all the other little every-day things that he does, remind me why I love him and how much he takes care of me. Because underneath roses and presents and all the hoopla of special occasions, in the end he's just always there, always ready, always willing.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Happy Anniversary.

A year ago today, we were getting married:

One year has gone by so quickly! I can definitely say that December 1st last year was the day I loved him the least -- I love him more and more every day and am so grateful for what we have together. I am so lucky to have a husband who is loving, respectful, encouraging, and supportive. And I'm so excited to find out what the rest of our journey will be together.

....And now that I have successfully grossed you out with my lovey dovey anniversary talk, wish us luck because tonight we're going to be cutting into a ONE YEAR OLD cake!! -___-