i carry your heart with me

One of my favorite all-time poets is ee cummings. It's almost ironic that I would love him so much, as he used no capitalization and barely any punctuation in his writing, whereas I am the (self-proclaimed) Queen-Bee of Grammar. But love him I do, and I wanted to share three of my favorite poems of his with you. Personally, I feel they are some of the most romantic poems ever written. Bar none.

[And Scriptor, if you're reading this, where does the expression "bar none" come from???]

"i carry your heart with me(i carry it in"

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


"somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond" *

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands


"it may not always be so;and i say"

it may not always be so;and i say
that if your lips,which i have loved,should touch
another's,and your dear strong fingers clutch
his heart,as mine in time not far away;
if on another's face your sweet hair lay
in such a silence as i know,or such
great writhing words as,uttering overmuch,
stand helplessly before the spirit at bay;

if this should be,i say if this should be-
you of my heart,send me a little word;
that i may go unto him,and take his hands,
saying,Accept all happiness from me.
Then shall i turn my face,and hear one bird
sing terribly afar in the lost lands.

*A note about the second poem - it appeared as part of the wedding vows in an episode of the original Beverly Hills 90210. (I think) it was when Kelly and Brandon were getting married. (Or was it Dylan?!) Reader, I just about cried, and not from happiness, when I saw this. Because that was always my most favorite wish -- to have my future groom recite it as part of our wedding vows, and then friggin' 90210 had to go and ruin it for me. Woe.

A Wolf at My Door

In case you haven't noticed, I've not been my usual bloggy self lately. My grandmother was hospitalized with what seemed like pneumonia at first but wound up being an aggressive bout of bronchitis. She's doing much better now, thankfully, but she had me worried for a bit this past weekend.

I'm on a heavy antibiotic regimen myself to get rid of this cold that has had me enslaved for what feels like centuries. So far, it seems to be working, as the coughing has subsided and I've been sleeping ... a lot. But the side-effects are kicking my butt. I'm drowsy and out of it all the time now. The worst part is that I have to take the medicine for 30 days. Woe.

As a result of my out-of-it-ness, the posts haven't been coming as fast and furiously as they normally do. My apologies. Now that I'm feeling a bit better, I will probably post more. But first I have to play "catch-up" at work. I haven't been grading that much these past few days, and Mount Everest (AKA the mound of ungraded papers) has grown considerably.

In addition, I need to register to take my certification exams like, yesterday, as my temporary educator's certification expires in June. So I'll need to study for those exams. I'll probably take them in mid-March.

On top of all that, I need to finish writing my thesis before summer since my lead professor is retiring.

Yes, saying I'm overwhelmed at the present is a bit of an understatement. I can't escape the feeling that there's a wolf at my door. And he's hungry. (Gulp.)

No Reservations: Disappearing Manhattan

Happy Monday! :-) Yes, I know, that is practically a contradiction in terms, but still. And hey, at least we have something to be happy about on a Monday -- a new episode of "No Reservations!"

Tonight, Anthony Bourdain goes back to his roots: New York City, Manhattan. This is where he grew up as a teenager, and the purpose of his trip back home is to revisit some old haunts, a few of which are no longer open and some of which, as Ingrid puts it, hanging on "by a thread."

Ingrid also had this to say about tonight's show:
In this episode titled DISAPPEARING MANHATTAN, Tony and some notable guests visit some of the oldest, most classic, and undoubtedly-NY restaurants. These cherished landmarks, such as Katz's Deli, Russ & Daughters, Hop Kee, and Sammy's Romanian, have become the heart and soul of this great city and its proud and honorable culinary history rich with cultural and ethnic diversity. Unfortunately, due to the changing times, these establishments are in danger of disappearing off the NYC cultural map. Tony refers to this beautiful episode as his love song to the great city of New York.
This episode strikes a personal chord with me because I keep seeing all these great local restaurants and businesses closing shop for good, victims of our flagging economy. It makes me sad. Even businesses that have been around since I could remember aren't surviving, like the electronics store near my house, Circuit City.

Tonight's episode makes me want to revisit some of my own haunts. Perhaps I'll do my own version, and call it "Disappearing Miami."

Be sure to watch Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Disappearing Manhattan tonight, February 23 at 10pm EST on the Travel Channel.

Bourdain wrote a brilliant blog post on this trip here, and you can view a sneak peak of tonight's episode below.

LOLcat Picture of the Week

Of course I had to post this LOLcat, not just because of my love for all things "Hello Kitty," but also because it's just damn funny. :p

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Matters of the Heart

Happy Friday!

It's been a very productive week for me thus far, work-wise. I'm almost up-to-date with the grading in my English IV classes, and I plan to finish grading my two AP English Language classes this weekend. Their work always takes longer to grade since it's mostly essays, and I like to take my time with them, since I tend to write helpful comments in the margins -- which takes time!

I am still coughing up a storm, but when I visited my doctor on Wednesday for a check-up, he prescribed a cough suppressant and an antibiotic, so hopefully I'll kick this cold to the curb real soon.

The doctor gave me a (mostly) clean bill of health. I have high blood pressure, which is regulated with medication, and they did an echo cardiogram (sp?) on me Wednesday since my cardiologist thought one of my heart valves might have atrophied. I almost started crying when they told me that! The nurse assured me that it was reversible, but still.

Well, thankfully the results came back negative for that. When I fearfully asked how my heart looked after they finished the test, the technician told me it was "beautiful." PHEW!

I know I should exercise, and I know I need to lose weight. This good news has given me the impetus to do this. I have a history of heart disease in my family -- my mom had to have open-heart surgery a few years ago, and my dad suffers from tachycardia. I want to be healthy so that my children won't have to endure the heartache I did when I was worried I would lose my mother.

45 Things About Me

One of the funner memes to come my way on Facebook...

1. Do you like blue cheese?
I love cheese so much, I think I'd take it any color. ;-)

2. Have you ever smoked heroin?

3. Do you own a gun?
No -- guns terrify me.

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Starbucks?
Any kind of chocolate.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
White Coat Syndrome, I haz it.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
Eh, I have to be in the right mood for them.

7. Favorite Christmas movie?
"A Christmas Story."

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Chocolate milk. And yes, I AM eight, thank you for asking.

9. Can you do push ups?
Yeah, but not so much willingly.

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
These adorable chandelier earrings I just bought from Etsy.

11. Favorite hobby?
Does sleep count as a hobby? If not, then I guess I'll have to go with reading.

12. Do you have A.D.D?
What was the question again?

13. What's one trait you hate about yourself?

14. Middle name?

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
I miss the boyf.
My stomach hurts, ouch.
I need new shoes.

16. Name 3 things you bought yesterday?
Starbucks, muffin, water.

17. Name 3 things you drink daily...
Water, water, water.

18. Current worry?
The friggin' thesis.

19. Current Dislike?
This headache that came on just now.

20. How did you bring in the New Year?
With some friends at the boyf's apartment. Very low-key but fun.

21. Where would you like to go?
Back to Japan!

22. Name three people who will complete this?
No idea.

23. Do you own slippers?
Yip, and they're cat slippers. :-D

24. What shirt are you wearing?
Blue sweatshirt.

26. Favorite color?
Depends on the day. Right now, it's purple.

27. Could you be a pirate?

28. What songs do you sing in the shower?
Whatever I just heard, lately it's been a lot of Inara George.

29. Favorite food?

30. What's in your pocket right now?
No pockets.

31. Last thing that made you laugh?
My cat having one of his night-fits.

32. Favorite sheets?
These white linen sheets I own that are deliciously smooth.

33. Worst injury you have ever had?
Glass door fell on me and tore open my left leg. I have a neat scar in the shape of a guitar now, though.

34. Do you love where you live?
Um, it's a love-hate relationship.

35. How many TVs do you have in your house?

36. Who is your loudest friend?
Huh... probably Joanna.

37. How many dogs do you have?
None. :(

38. Does someone have a crush on you?
Jeez, I hope not, unless it's the boyf.

39. What is your favorite book(s) ?
The Time Traveler's Wife.

40. What is your favorite candy?
Reeses Pieces Buttercup

41. Favorite Sports Team?
Miami Heat.

42. What songs do you want sung at your funeral?
"In My Life" by the Beatles.

43. What were you doing 12 AM last night?
Fighting (and losing to) insomnia.

44. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke this morning?
Five ... more ... minutes.

45. Favorite place to be?
Wherever the boyf is. (Awww... OK I'm done.)

to sleep, perchance to dream

I came home bone-tired and decided to take what I thought was just a cat-nap, but wound up becoming something akin to the prelude to hibernation.

Meh, I still feel tired, somehow. This has taught me that sometimes a nap can actually leave you feeling worse. It's all in the timing -- you can't overdo it.

At least I woke up to good news -- the boyf was out scouring the liquidation sales at Circuit City and found "Rock Band 2" on sale for 40% off. Yay! It has "PDA" by Interpol and other awesomely awesome songs I can't wait to "perform."

*Yawn.* Ironically, although I slept too much, I am feeling sleepy again now. As soon as I finish up here, I think I'm going to wash my face and climb back in bed.

I'm half-hopeful I'll have the bird dream again. I'm not someone who normally remembers her dreams, as sleep is a nebulous limbo-world for me and I'm an incredibly deep sleeper, but this afternoon I dreamed a wonderful dream -- I was standing in a field with waving green grass swaying in the wind, and in the shimmering distance of the evening sky I could see a flock of birds flying into the blaze of the setting sun, their shapes stark black V's against the canvas of sky.

It was a very simple dream -- that was all there was to it. But I want that dream again so bad, it almost hurts, because it gave me such a feeling of well-being and contentment. I think I may have even woke up smiling.

C'est la vie.

Today I woke up feeling deliciously human again, with just a touch of the sniffling and coughing that has plagued me these past few days. I know I must be feeling better, because I woke up at 9:30 AM despite the fact that I went to bed late last night grading papers.

It's been a nice Valentine's weekend for me. I hope yours was, too. My only regret? I had mentioned to Ricky earlier in the week that I had wanted to get some champagne like we did some years ago, but we forgot and the weekend passed and I didn't remember I'd forgotten until this morning.

Oh well. C'est la vie. Though who's to say we need to wait until next February 14th to get some champagne? ;)

I am so deliriously happy I don't have to go in to work until tomorrow! It's so awesome to stretch my toes and just relax. I've been rather lazy today, just staying in bed with my cat and re-reading "Breaking Dawn." I'm going through the "Twilight" series again, and no, I won't say how many times it's been, hee. I think it's so interesting that the books change for me every time I read them again. That's the power of reading -- each time you pick up a book again, its experience is influenced by what you're thinking, feeling, living at the moment. And it becomes, in essence, a brand-new book.

(Pretty picture courtesy of The Vintage Moth.)

LOLcat Picture of the Week

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Where does the phrase "under the weather" come from, anyways?!

So last night was very relaxing. Ricky and I stayed indoors, ordering in from Outback (seems I got my steak after all :D) and watching a film, "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow." Originally, I'd brought over "Pride & Prejudice" to watch, figuring it was perfect for Valentine's Day, but I'm glad we saw "Sky Captain" instead. It's a throw-back to the films of the silver-screen era, with several homages to "King Kong" and other films from that time period. A silly, little fluff-piece of a film, but tons of fun all the same.

I was so worried over whether the boyf would like my mixtape or not, but he did, he did! :-) Oh, happy day. He gifted me with a sweet-sweet card and beautiful tulips, pink and red. Tulips are my favorite flower, so this just about made my month.

I'm so happy I don't have to go to work tomorrow. I'm still feeling a bit under the weather and looking forward to sleeping in again tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who wished me to get well soon in the comments! :-)

In closing, I want to share something I wrote on Protagonize yesterday. It's a brief little snippet of a Valentine's Day verse that came out of the blue. Let me know how you like it. :-)

Pas de deux
Halfway between memorizing the topography of your skin --
This hillock of knee, those winding roads of your arms,
The raised veins like rivers at the confluence of your wrist,
I feel my heart flutter, like a white flag waving
Over the battlements of my last doubts.

So this is what happens when the mirage takes hold,
And the phantom fantasy comes to life;
When the whole of love opens wide:
I enter with eyes closed and heart open,
Ready for the thrill and kill of desire

But these hands are whispering promises
I am half-afraid to keep.
Your hand slides over mine in a clumsy pas de deux
And I open my eyes again and smile,
Watching the lightning flash of awareness
Catch fire in your eyes.

No Reservations: Philippines

In this week's episode of "No Reservations", Anthony Bourdain ventures to the Philippines. As Ingrid writes about this show, "We get to see a sensitive side of Tony. He recognizes his large Filipino audience and that the Philippines is a country and food culture that he really wants 'to do right by.'"

His host for this episode is someone you might recognize from the "Fan-atic" show which aired last season. Dozens of viewers sent in their videos in the hopes of being chosen to host an episode of "No Reservations." Augusto was a runner-up who made such an impression on Bourdain, they decided to let him host this episode in his home country.

Ingrid also had this to say about tomorrow night's show:
[Bourdain] also delves deep into what exactly it means to be Filipino by exploring their history and the many prominent cultures of the islands. He travels to Manila, Pampanga, and Cebu, visiting a dampa and dining on adobo shrimp, sisig, crab (keep a look out for the stuffed crab – I almost booked a ticket immediately!), goat heads soup, ox tail and of course, lechon.

I know I say this every time, but don't watch hungry!

I always wind up hungry at the end of his show, even if I've already eaten. :p

Here is a sneak peak of tomorrow' night's episode, which you can catch on The Travel Channel at 10 PM EST. Bourdain is sure to blog about his experience in the Philippines, so check his blog today and tomorrow for that.

of mixCD's & valentines...

So last night, we celebrated Valentine's Day, my valentine and I. Originally, the boyf said he was going to take me to an Argentinian steakhouse called "Beefeater." Reader, I squeed on the inside when I first heard the name. And not in a good way. But I had faith, because I know my boyf has good taste (hello - he picked me - just kidding! - kinda...), so I went in with full faith.

Then while I was in the salon yesterday afternoon with a friend from work, the two of us getting prettified, I got a text from the boyf saying he'd made reservations for 8:30 PM at a surprise restaurant.


He refused to tell me where, breaking down only later and confessing it was an Italian restaurant.

"But you don't like Italian!" I protested, to which he replied, "But you do."

Oh my dear, sweet boyf... His selflessness still amazes me every day more and more.

The restaurant was this pretty little Italian "ristorante" named Mama Mia. You can view its website and see pictures of it here. Yes, I took my camera with me and was full prepared to take pictures, but since I am currently suffering from the plague (i.e., the flu), and had dissolved into a sneezing, coughing mess as the night wore on, I didn't bother taking any pictures, because I would've looked like this:

Not pretty, I know. So instead, I will grace your eyes with the loveliness that is my boyf instead:

Ah, that's better.

Unfortunately, my sickness prevents us from spending our weekend together at the beach like we wanted to. Ricky was still thinking we should go, but I don't want him getting sick, too, as I'm feeling pretty wretched. So I slept in my own bed last night, sleeping 14 hours (!). And today we will probably just hang out together at his place and maybe catch a nice, relaxing dinner somewhere we don't have to wait 5 hours for - hence why we chose to celebrate V-Day last night.

For Valentine's this year, we decided not to buy each other anything and make home-spun gifts instead. Cheaper + Thoughtful = FTW.

I kinda sorta cheated in that I bought him a card, but I figure that's not a big deal as it cost only a few bucks. In addition, I made him a mixCD as per my earlier plan. It's made up of songs that chronicle our time together, songs that mean something to us. And by the way, the number of songs happened in a great, kismet kind of way. I needed to choose enough songs to fill up an hour's worth, and when I finally reached the exact number of time I needed, I noticed how many tracks were on the CD and just had to laugh.

The CD has 14 tracks. :-)

Here are the songs:

1. "Hit" by The Sugarcubes
2. "Kelly Watch the Stars" by Air
3. "The First Taste" by Fiona Apple
4. "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)" by Talking Heads
5. "A Waltz for a Night" by Julie Delpy
6. "This Is Love" by PJ Harvey
7. "City of Blinding Lights" by U2
8. "Chicago" by Sufjan Stevens
9. "This Strange Effect" by Hooverphonic
10. "Locket Love" by The Ramones
11. "En Tus Pupilas" by Shakira
12. "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" by Radiohead
13. "Amazing Life" by Jem
14. "Our Song" by Shinichi Osawa

I ♥ U ... Srsly!

funny pictures of cats with captions

I just had to post that picture, what with Valentine's Day so close to us. I love that cat not just for how cute he/she is, but because he/she reminds me of my own little kitty-cat, Tigger. He's white with black spots like this cat is, only he doesn't have that awesome heart-shaped spot.

What are you doing for Valentine's Day? The boyf and I always try to celebrate it the day before, that way we get the restaurant of our choice without having to wait a gazillion hours, and then on the actual day, we just hang out together and whisper sweet nothings to each other ... and play video games and just relax.

Tonight, he's planning on taking me to this Argentinian steak restaurant called Beefeater. It's got a frightening name, but I'm assured it's a classy place. (Gulp.) But seriously, I've been in a carnivorous mood all week, so I'm looking forward to it!

The rest of the weekend, we plan on spending at his parents' apartment on the beach, just us two. I'll probably take some papers to grade, as progress reports are due next week to the students, and he will probably take his PS3. I will try to convince him to take my new-favorite obsession, "Rock Band." I love that friggin' game. It's turned me into a rockstar-diva (-wanna-be :p). I'm the vocals, Ricky's the guitars.

We probably won't be exchanging actual gifts for Valentine's, since times are tough this year. My dad just got laid off this week from the furniture store where he worked and had to apply for unemployment benefits. Thankfully, he recently filed for retirement, so he'll be receiving additional funds from the government. But still... times are tough.

So Ricky will be getting a hand-crafted gift from me. I have no idea what to expect from him... I always ask him the same thing, a love letter. I've yet to receive one from him.

Speaking of love letters, my dear friend, Ann Marie, wrote an insightful post on love letters and why our men can't seem to bring themselves to write us one these days. I plan on writing one to the boyf this year in the hopes of inspiring him to create his own!

In closing, I want to share with you my favorite love letter of all time, from Beethoven to his mysterious lover, his "Immortal Beloved." Here's what LoveLettersCentral.com has to say about this letter:

This is the last of the three love letters written by Beethoven and were only found after his death. No-one knows who Beethoven actually wrote these romantic love letters although some guesses have been made. We will be adding some thoughts to our pages shortly to help you identify the secret love of Ludwig Beethoven and who he could have written these three love letters to. However even though they were written and he says he is going to put them on the mail coach they is no proof these romantic love letters were ever posted to the secret love of his life.
It is my favorite of the most famous love letters. I hope you like it, too, and will share some of your favorite love letters with me.

Good morning, on July 7

Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us -

I can live only wholly with you or not at all -

Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits -

Yes, unhappily it must be so -

You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never -

Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves.

And yet my life in V is now a wretched life -

Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men -

At my age I need a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection?

My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day - therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once -

Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together -

Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell.

Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.

ever thine

ever mine

ever ours

If you can make a girl laugh...

"If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything..."
- Marilyn Monroe


Some people say that good looks gets the girl, others charm. Still others may think that it's money that will win a girl's heart, but for me, it's a sense of humor.

IMHO, my boyf is handsome, charming, and funny. Being human and a girl with reasonably good eyesight, I was first attracted to him for his looks. His charm taught me that he knew enough to say the right thing at the right time. But it was his most awesome sense of humor that taught me this was a boy worth keeping.

My favorite types of movies tend to have some comedic aspect to them. Romantic comedies are the best. I think "When Harry Met Sally" is classic. (If you have not seen this movie, run, do not walk, to the nearest video rental store and get it. Heck, you should just buy it -- you won't regret it!)

I also like watching stand-up comedy, something I've never done in person. (Puts that on bucket list.) My current favorite comedian is Demetri Martin. He just tickles my funny bone like nobody else in the comedy scene. Demetri Martin's got a new show on Comedy Central called "Important Things" that premiers tonight at 10:30. I worry that the switch from stand-up comedy to sketch comedy won't go well for him, but at least the previews I saw on Comedy Central's website didn't look so bad. We shall see.

Here is an audio clip with some of my personal favorite jokes of his. Let me know how you like it. :)

So what is it about the opposite (or same) sex that draws you in? Are you like me, and appreciate a good sense of humor, or is there something else that captures your heart?

Basic Blogging Etiquette

A big Thank-You to Ann Marie who led me to Cherie's Tips on Blogging Etiquette, and much gratitude goes Cherie's way for being so gracious in allowing me to re-post this. :-) This is truly a must-read for every blogger.

- Basic Blogging Etiquette -
There are some "rules" to this blogging thing that make it a whole lot more fun for yourself and everyone out there.

1. Comment, Comment, Comment. I wrote a post awhile back on comments that was very popular. We all love them. When you get a comment it is like receiving a "Blog hug" and who doesn't need a hug on a regular basis. Make new friends, don't just lurk, comment and make someone's day and validate what they wrote.

2. The pictures and words on someone's blog are their property. If you are going to use a picture or you like what someone wrote and want to use it on your blog - first, ask permission. There is nothing worse than seeing your pictures or your words show up somewhere and the person who borrowed them didn't leave a comment or ask permission. It is usually just courtesy to link back to whoever's blog the idea, etc... comes from. If you look at my Valentines Goodies post below you will see how I have linked each person's blog to the craft I talked about so that they would get blog traffic and also get credit for their craft. Likewise with pictures - tell where you got it if you did not take the photo yourself.

3. Respond to people who comment on your blog. I have made many great friends and am still making friends through great comments and blog dialog. It lets people know you appreciate their comments, and that you want them to visit again.
If you are not receiving many comments on your blog and you want more, you need to look at how often you are commenting on other peoples blogs. From what I can tell the more comments you give the more you receive. Likewise if I comment on someones blog for awhile and they never respond I will probably quit commenting - it's a 2 way street.

4. My pet peeve - Don't use small pictures on your blog. OK this is just my own personal thing but for heaven's sake if you are going to go through the trouble of posting a picture do it large so we can see it! (In another post I will have a tutorial on not allowing your pictures to be enlarged to screen size if this is what worries you - no one will really see those wrinkles around your eyes - haha). Also, if you decide to make your blog into a book in the future, if you use small pictures the quality will not be as good.

5. Some people write a lot like me, others have short posts. If you write a long post make sure you put breaks or pictures between your paragraphs. Looking at a page full of words can put some people off. They might not want to tackle reading it. If it is broken up it is easier on the eyes.

6. Music. The majority of people out there say "Get rid of your music". There is nothing worse than clicking onto someone's blog and having their music blare out at you, especially if it is late at night or early in the morning. We know you love your music so do keep it on your blog, but don't have it on auto play. Leave it at the top where people can press play if they wish to hear it.
Other problems with an automatic music player is that if you put a video on your blog then the person has to go find your music player to shut off your music so they can hear the video. Annoying.
The last problem is that people who are sight impaired often use a machine to help them vocally "read" your blog. If you have a music player going they will never find it to shut it off.

Wm. Shakespeare's Five and Twenty Random Things Abovt Me

ETA: As much as I'd like to take the credit for the following meme, I did not in fact create it. The credit goes here: boingboing.net. Also, this contains language that you might find unsuitable, despite the fact that it's written in (kinda) Old English.

Wm. Shakespeare's Five and Twenty Random Things

1 Sometimes I Feele so trapp’d by iambic pentameter... Does that make me a Freake?

2 I haue been Knowne to cry at Bear-baiting.

3 I am not uery ticklish. I am Not. So prithee, do not euen try. Waste. Of. Time.

4 I cannot keep Lice, and know not why.

5 Sometimes I thinke plays are all Talke, Talke Talke, and wish for a cart-chase scene. I tried one in The Merry Wives, but it looked like Shitte, so I cut it. The men playing the horses were so Pissed at me.

6 I once threw vp on a man's head, from a high Windowe. I was so fvcking Sicke that Daye.

7 I hate to wear a Ruff, for I haue such a pleasing Necke.

8 As a player, I am painful-slow to learn my part. Once whilst playing Edward I, I used the prompter so ouermuch that a groundling yell’d ~Stop interrupting, Will! And it was my Dadde. (Kydding!)

9 Sometimes when I am Stvck for a rhyme, I new-mint a Worde because I jvst want to get the Damned script ovt the fvcking doore.

10 I play the Flute yet poorly, but I can make any crumhorn beg for Mercy.

11 When I am happy I call Anne my Kicky-wicky. When I am cross I call her “Olde Fun Killer Hag-Ass.”

12 I keepe my Stashe hidden in our seconde best bedde. Shhh. Don’t tell the Fyve-Oh.

13 The people that loue my Wordes the best are always the most disappointed vpon meeting me. Is thisse List ouer yet?

14 On the topic of dating, my daughter Susanna loues to remind me: ~Jvliet was only thirteen! And I remind her that i) she was Italian, an impulsive race ii), she was actually played by a middle-aged Eunuch named Ned, and iii) she died. That always shvts her right vp.

15 I deteste it when the Low-Comedians improuise the scenes I writ them… becavse they always make them so mvch fvnnier.

16 I haue, on occasion, thovght abovt hiring a Boy to fixe my Latin.

17 When I was sixe, my Goode-Friend Charles brovght to Schoole a wood-cut of his mother, qvite naked. After that we called him Charles Nudie-Mummy, whiche did make him Crye.

18 I take my eggs ouer-medium. If I get them O’er-Easily, I tell my Porter, ~You may thinke this is what I ordered, but it’s snot. I thinke that one is a real Slap-A-Th’Knee.

19 I work ovt my calues thrice weekly, usvally three pyramid sets of Calf-Rises whilst holding a flagon of Meade. I knowe I should stretch afterwards, but it Bores me so I do it not.

20 As a boy in my Bed, I would shriek i’the night that Witches wovld come to eat me. My Mother (bless her) wovld smooth my Hair and whispr ~ Be not afear’d, the Witches onlie eat the Jews.

21 Whitsuntide has become so commercial.

22 Nobody euer forgets where they were the moment they heard that Thomas Kyd died. I was shopping for codpieces in West Cheape. I came ovt of the Change-room and the proprietress was i’tears. I said ~What is it, now?~Kyd is dead. There was a melancholy qviet, and then she said ~And that Piece is a mite too small on ye.

23 Euery time we do the Taming of the Shrew, some pvnter wants his Money backe, because we don’t actually show a shrew getting tamed.

24 I do not vnderstand all the Fvss over Currants. Sure, they are both sweet and Small, but must they bee added to EUERY FVCKING MEAL these days? Yestermonth, found I currants in a Tarte of Spinnedge. I meane come on, People. Seriovsly.

25 When I am feeling Melancholic, I console myselfe with the Knowledge that, aboue all else, I will be remembered for my Musick.

Source: boingboing.net

My students take on "The Crucible"

So my AP English 3 students read The Crucible some time ago and I had them act out a scene from the play. I was able to record it. It's not stunning quality, as it was filmed with a digital camera, but it will suffice, and you get to see what my students (and my classroom!) look like.

Keep an eye out for "John Proctor" losing his faux mustache. It's for the lulz.

Part One

Part Two

What's in a Name?

I woke up with my right eye throbbing, so I decided to forgo eyeshadow and mascara and wear glasses today instead of contact lenses. (I hope I'm not getting a stye!)

Little did I know the uproar this would cause in my students.

"Ohmigod, Miss, you got glasses?!"

"Wow, hot for teacher!"

"Ohmigod, Miss, you wear glasses?!"

These are a few of the choice statements I got from my classes today. And here's an informal survey: Did you call your teacher "Miss" when you were in school? I've never heard of this phenomenon before. I always called my teachers by their full, respectful name. It was always Mr. Lesperance, never "Mister." Always "Miss Flutie," never "Miss."

Maybe it's a generational thing. I don't know. All I know is I try to make my students call me by my full name. It's only fair -- they've only got 8 teachers while I teach 168 students. If I can remember their names, then they can remember mine.

Ow, my eye hurts. At least I have a planning period now in last block and don't have to hear "Ohmigod, Miss!" again until tomorrow.

LOLcat Picture of the Week

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Dueling Pianos and Bachelorettes

I had a lot of fun last night at Sheri's bachelorette party! We hung out in the West Palm Beach area, catching dinner at City Cellar, then hitting up some bars in the downtown area. My favorite part of the night was the last bar we went to, Roxy's, that featured a dueling piano show upstairs. I'd never been to a dueling piano show! It's a lot of fun, and I was very happy when one of the "duelers" played my request, "Brown-eyed Girl" by Van Morrison.

Even though I missed hanging out with the boyf, I did have a lot of fun. Girl-bonding is necessary every now and again. :)

If you're my friend on Facebook, you can check out my photos from last night here. Here's one of the pictures we took early in the night, showing off our "bachelorette" goodies.

Guess which one is the blushing bride? ;)

No Reservations: When Food Goes Bad (as in naughty...)

This week's No Reservations has a most, um, interesting title: "Food Porn." (I didn't write the full title in the header for this post because I didn't want to attract the wrong kind of reader!) Here's what Ingrid has to say about this episode:
Get ready for a treat this week with Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Food Porn. Tony is joined by some of the world's most renowned chefs, such as Eric Ripert, Alan Wong, Martin Picard and more. This episode is for hardcore viewers only!

Bourdain is well aware of the body's similar chemical and physical responses to food and sex. After traveling across the globe for years, and sampling some of the world's greatest gastronomic pleasures, he is ready to share some of his favorite examples of what he likes to call…food porn. In this special episode, Tony presents a XXX selection of all that's lip-smacking and luscious in the food world.

Dishes featured on the show range from crispy pork skin tacos, steaming pho, hot, drippy cheese based dishes, serious chocolate and of course, a pig feast. As Tony says, it's 'just filthy'. Just as in porn, not everything in food is glamorous or appetizing. Be it still-squirming octopus tentacles, the dirty 'business end' of a warthog, codfish sperm, or the bitterly juicy eyeball of a freshly-killed seal, there are some dishes around the world that provide disgust for some, yet immense gratification for others. But whatever it is that tickles your fancy, it can't be denied that food and pleasure go hand-in-hand.

Bourdain also updated his blog last night with a post on this episode entitled "The Money." Here's a snippet of that:

FOOD PORN is a revenge of sorts -- for everything that ever ended up on the cutting room floor. The filthiest, nastiest hour of television we could get away with. And yet -- utterly wholesome! We ain't doing nothin' that Giada, Rachael and Sandra ain't been doin' for years, officer!

It's also, honestly, a chronicle of the most outrageously over-the-top dishes we've ever seen or tasted. For the tiny fragment of our audience who are concerned with such details, look for ZPZ graphics genius Adam Lupsha playing the Boogie Nights-style horny soundman and executive producer Chris Collins as infamous director, "Tad Chanko." Maybe you know him from such films as "Butt Masters 7," "Lumberjack Facials 2" and "Norwegian Wood?" Okay. Maybe not.

Tune in Monday, February 9th at 10pm EST for Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Food Porn.

Here's a sneak peek. Warning: not for the faint of heart. ;)

Girls' Night Out

Last Saturday, the boyf went out to a bachelor party to celebrate our friend T's upcoming wedding. I had a good time puttering around the house in my pajamas with my cat, watching TV, writing, doing nothing at all.

But tonight, it's the girls' turn! I'm going to the bachelorette party for S. We will have drinks and dinner while our boys stay at T's house playing video games and drinking beer, or whatever it is boys do when left behind.

I have no idea what to wear, though... I'm going to go rummage in my closet now in the hopes that I find something.

Last night, the boyf and I went to see "Coraline." It was breathtaking, just beautiful and perfectly adapted from the book. We had the choice of seeing it 3-D or not, and we opted for the former. It was so worth it!!! Even though the plastic glasses left a funny mark on the bridge of my nose that lasted an hour, it was worth it.

Enjoy your weekend! :)

(Picture by Marguerite Sauvage)

These are a few of my (current) favorite things...

crème brulée
If you've never had this dish, you don't know what you're missing! It's my very favorite dessert despite the fact that it has absolutely no chocolate in it, which is saying something because I am a Class-A Chocoholic. It's a custard topped with a layer of burnt sugar that is ever-so-fun to crack with your spoon, as portrayed in the French film Amelie. Every time I go to my favorite restaurant, Les Halles, I order it. Try it, you won't be disappointed. Trust me.

A Fine Frenzy

I discovered this singer on Amazon, thanks to the recommendations they do on that website now. I was looking for a song by another artist and when they suggested I give A Fine Frenzy a listen, I said all right.

I wound up buying the album that same day! Her voice is honey-dripping sweet and her lyrics are profound. Here's my favorite song of hers:

Come On, Come Out - A Fine Frenzy

The Bird and the Bee
Yet another musical act I recently discovered (what can I say, it's been a musical month thus far). I first heard about this band from the crazy, crazy show "Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job." No, I'm not making that name up. It plays on Adult Swim, and it's the most bizarre, disgusting, hilarious show I've ever seen.

As for the band, they are really trippy and sound like they just stepped out of the sixties. I love their beats and this band really knows how to harmonize. If you like Radiohead and Imogen Heap, you'll like The Bird and the Bee. This song is one of their best:

Polite Dance Song - the bird and the bee

I have to wash my hair at least every two days, as it gets quite greasy and I wind up resembling a drowned rat if I don't. Not pretty. Unfortunately, my hair is not of the wash-and-go variety. If I don't style it, I wind up looking like an electrified poodle, which is waaaaaaay scarier-looking than a drowned rat, believe you me. So I go through the blow-dry and straightening iron ritual at least twice a week. Quite a work-out! As a result, the ends of my hair can get a wee bit scraggly and prone to knots. This deep conditioning treatment by Ojon is a must for girls with "artificially straight" hair. It leaves your hair silky smooth, and ever since I started using it once a month, I've noticed that my hair no longer frizzes as much. A must-buy!

Do you twitter? I do. It's heaps of fun. I don't know what makes it so addictive, but I love finding out what my friends are up to and letting them know what I am up to. Plus, you can find the twitter feeds of famous people if you look hard enough, like Neil Gaiman and Kristen Stewart and countless others. I'm not nearly as famous or cool as those two, but you can follow me, if you like. :)


I cannot wait for the following movies to come out...

That's cold ... Ice cold.

So I wake up today and guess what, guess what? It's 30 degrees.

When I left the house at 7 AM, the temperature went up a measly 2 degrees. Believe me when I say, you couldn't tell the difference.

The funny thing is, while my body recognizes it's cold and shivers appropriately, I still remember the cold I felt in Tokyo last April. It was much colder then. I still remember that cold in my bones and know that even this chill doesn't come close.

Speaking of cold, celebrities have recently felt the need to vent their frustrations in a very, um, non-polite way:

I'm surprised about Stephen King going there, but not really that surprised about Christian Bale. He's been sipping the krazy kool-aid for a while now.

In other news, my brand-spanking-new laptop arrived yesterday! It's a Toshiba satellite something-or-other (a bunch of numbers-gibberish that basically mean it pwns my old computer). If you want to see it, go here. I ordered it from Amazon and was pleased to find that it was much cheaper than if I bought it, say, in Best Buy, plus it shipped really quickly, too.

Of course, it cost more than half of one of my teacher paychecks, but hey, at least it's pretty and pretty damn fast. ;)

Circadian Confusion

This is how I feel today...

funny pictures of cats with captions

I am sleeeeeeeeeepy. And the funny thing is, this week is the first week in a long time that I've been keeping regular hours, sleep-wise. On Sunday night, I fell asleep at 11-something (which is early for me!), but woke up at 6 AM feeling like utter merde. Monday night, I only slept 6 hours, and woke up feeling fine, refreshed, even. Last night, I fell asleep at 11-something again, and again I wake up feeling crappy.


Have I so accustomed my body to barely getting any sleep that by the time I am able to clock in some good sleep time, my body rebels? Is my circadian rhythm that messed up?!

And I used to be the girl who would happily sleep 15 hours if you'd let me. In fact, I even slept through the horrible Hurricane Andrew the summer before I began 8th grade, and this was a hurricane that ripped roofs off and had my cousin crying hysterically in a corner.

I'm such a deep sleeper normally that not even my alarm wakes me. True story: my alarm goes off at 5:30 every weekday, wakes up my dad across the hall in his own bedroom, and then he has to come and forcibly shake me awake. Otherwise I don't get up. He asked me the other day what I was going to do when I finally moved out, to which I replied with a sunny smile: "Ricky will wake me up." Thank God Ricky is a light sleeper.

I suspect I could sleep through a bomb.

Well, damnit, I'd better start waking up soon. I have a planning period now, so no students, but there is plenty to grade. Blarg. I need a nap.

Why I can't wait for Friday

Friday is going to be awesome for many reasons:

1. No school for students, as it is a "Professional Development Day," with meetings for teachers lasting from 9-10:30 AM.

2. I do not have to wake up at 5:30 AM. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

3. I can take my leisurely time going to work, maybe even passing by my dealer on the way.

4. Teachers are free to "plan" after 10:30 (we all know what "plan" means ... right?).

5. Ricky has the day free and can spend it with me.

6. The weather is forecast to be de-lovely, with temperatures hovering in the 60's - 70's.

7. And the #7 reason, the reason why I really, really, really can't wait for Friday? It's because this comes out! Squee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've been TAGGED...

I have been tagged by Indyeah. I guess this means I have to tag some people back. If you've been tagged by me (and you will be, just wait), you need to follow these rules:.

Answer the following questions using pictures (just type in your answer in google using image search and pick the prettiest picture :p). Use as few words as possible.The picture should be able to do the explaining for you. When you're done, return the favor and tag some friends!

1.Your age on your next birthday
2. A place you’d like to travel to
3. Your favorite place
4. Your favorite food/drink
5. Your favorite pet
6. Your favorite color combination
7. Your favorite piece of clothing
8. Your all time favorite song
9. Your favorite TV show
10. Full name of your significant other
11. The town in which you live
12. Your screen name/nickname
13. Your first job
14. Your dream job
15. Bad habit you have
16. Your worst fear
17. The one thing you would like to do before you die
18. The first thing you’ll buy if you get $1,000,000
19.Your favorite credo in life
20. Now tag at least 3 people (using name or pictures)

1. my age on my next birthday


2. a place I'd like to travel to

So much history and beauty together in one place. Hmm, possible honeymoon location?

3. my favorite place

I am a sad woman... a sad over-caffeinated woman...

4. my favorite food/drink

I love chocolate in all its forms, solid or liquid. I suspect I would take it intravenously if I could!

5. my favorite pet

I find cats endlessly fascinating. They make great pets, too -- despite the assembly. ;)

6. my favorite color combination

I think brown + light blue is adorable. A close runner-up is hot pink, white and black.

7. my favorite piece of clothing

What's that you say? It's not clothing? Well... :P

8. my all-time favorite song

Anything by this band.

9. my favorite TV show

Oh my beloved "Gilmore Girls," how I miss you...

10. full name of my significant other

the boyf ;)

11. town in which I live

12. my screen name/nickname

13. my first job

Yes, Reader, I was a copy girl at the tender age of 17.

14. my dream job

If I could get paid to stay home in my pajamas and write, I would be the happiest woman alive.

15. my bad habit

16. my worst fear

Although I believe in God, I'm not 100% about the whole after-life thing, and as a consequence I fear both losing those I love and losing my own life.

17. the one thing I would like to do before I die

This one was an eye-opener for me. I thought I was going to give my old standard as my response, "publish a book," but when I really thought about it, I realized I want to have children more. O-O

18. The first thing I'll buy if I get $1,000,000

A big fancy schmancy house by the beach (as big and fancy schmancy as $1,000,000 will get me).

19. my favorite credo in life

If you see your picture below, you have been tagged. So go forth and conquer.