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Showing posts from April, 2010

I found this, posted in my Livejournal five years ago

From the movie Waking Life (emphasis is mine):

"The reason why I refuse to take existentialism as just another French fashion or historical curiosity is that I think it has something very important to offer us for the new century. I'm afraid we're losing the real virtues of living life passionately, a sense of taking responsibility for who you are, the ability to make something of yourself and feeling good about life.

Existentialism is often discussed as if it's a philosophy of despair. But I think the truth is just the opposite. Sartre once interviewed said he never really felt a day of despair in his life. But one thing that comes out from reading these guys is not a sense of anguish about life so much as a real kind of exuberance of feeling on top of it. It's like your life is yours to create.

I've read the postmodernists with some interest, even admiration. But when I read them, I always have this awful nagging feeling that something absolutel…

DBAJ - it's that simple.

I'm considering making this into a banner for my classroom. (I'll edit my list, of course.) I need someone with fancy graphic design/lettering skills to make it look professional.

The single most important rule of Ms. Ngo's classroom is DON'T BE A JERK.
Examples of jerkiness include (but are not limited to):
Making racist, sexist, homophobic (or in any other way discriminatory and prejudiced) comments. Making comments as described above and then trying to ARGUE with me that it's acceptable language (true story, by the way)Bullying another studentBeing disrespectful when there's a sub Talking when other people are talkingTalking when other people are trying to concentrate (ie, during a quiz)Talking during a movie (this applies even when you're out seeing a movie in a theater) Coming in late when we've already started class and making a LOUD entranceStealing my pens, pencils, markers, or any other classroom supplies (that I paid for with my own money!) Cheat…

*Cue theme song from "Psycho"*

Run 5:00, Walk 1:00
30:00
2.16mi

It was hard, but probably harder than it needed to be because I was still pissed off because of something at work today, so I was running on angry. I did not feel in control of myself while I was running - my limbs felt a little full of flail, I was getting a side stitch, my stride didn't feel smooth.

I did start to feel better towards the end, and then I felt like I could keep going for another half hour. (I didn't though.) My run today felt like it went by SO fast. Like, all of a sudden, I only had one rep left. That MUST be a good sign.

Review: Urban Decay's Surreal Skin Cream to Powder Foundation

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It took me a while to warm up to this product! Considering how excited I was about it and how much I wanted to love it, it actually took a long time (and many trips to Sephora) before I finally decided to buy it, and then many more weeks of swatching it on my jawline occasionally and not being particularly impressed with it.

Part of it has to do with the shade - I wear Hallucination in their other foundations, as well as their concealer, so I automatically chose the same for this one. And... it was just a little bit off. The shade was a wee bit darker than the other Hallucination foundations, and the undertones are kind of... different. The Surreal Skin mineral makeup matches me perfectly, but this one does not. So that has been my major gripe. (I could, of course, try a different shade, but at $34 a pop, that's not a great idea for me.

But as far as the application goes, it's quite lovely. It comes with its own brush (cruelty-free!) in a compartment underneath the pan, and it…

Procrastinating

I would rather ____________ than grade these essays!!!!!!!

- eat a huge bowl of salad greens with no dressing
- get tattooed for four hours
- scrub dog pee out of the carpet
- watch a Drew Barrymore movie
- watch the Giants lose because they got shut out by the opposing team's pitcher
- walk 26.2 miles
- run on the treadmill next to someone wearing too much scent
- listen to the Backstreet Boys greatest hits
- listen to pretentious indie bands ruining songs I love by covering them
- count all the push pin holes in my wall
- take apart everything I've ever knit and wind all the yarn into balls by hand
- do the dishes
- watch every single episode of I Love the 80's, including the revamped new ones, with all NEW annoying, self-important pop culture commentators
- get yelled at by Jillian Michaels
- be in active labor without an epidural in the WAITING ROOM at the hospital for two hours....... oh wait...

I really should get back to my grading, I guess.

Think before you speak.

woooeeee!

Run 4:00, Walk 1:00
30:00
2.14mi

Today felt much easier than yesterday! That must be a sign of progress, right? I wasn't even nauseous afterwards! I did feel my legs getting tight at times, and I was getting a side stitch towards the end, but I worked through it (strategic breathing and some massaging during my walk break), and I made it through. And I was NOT dying!

Also, my world has just been turned upside-down, because... I realized I've been tying my shoes incorrectly! Well, not incorrectly, but the way you cross over the laces and loops when you tie your shoes creates either a granny knot (which will loosen) or a balanced knot (which will hold because of a greater amount of friction).

You see, I've been having a problem with my laces coming loose even just after my warm-up, and as a result, when I start running, my leg starts hurting - the shoe is loose, so it feels like it will fall off, so that changes the way I hold my foot when I run, and that causes my leg pain.

A calling - teaching tolerance

Every year, I teach The Laramie Project to my freshmen. I teach it in conjunction with Elie Wiesel's Night - the main theme I try to establish is that bad things happen when perfectly good people do nothing. And when I introduce The Laramie Project, I like to start off by giving a crash course on gender and sexual orientation - what does it mean to be gay or straight (or anything in between)? What are some myths and misconceptions about the queer community? And - more to the point - how might you be furthering the ignorance, hatred, and intolerance without even knowing it, and how can you stop?

It never fails to amaze me how much kids DON'T know. At their age, even though I had no formal knowledge to speak of, it already bothered me when kids said "That's gay!" or when someone would say, "Isn't being a gay man the same as being a woman?" (and it was obviously in a pejorative way, as if to say that being a woman automatically made you lesser). When I…

Note to self: I need one of those 80's-style terrycloth headbands

Run 4:00, Walk 1:00
2.14mi
30:00

It was hard, but I wasn't dying. In fact, I finished strong (though, I had to employ visualization and pep-talking to get through the last two minutes).

I can't believe I'm up to 4:00 now. That's awesome.

Squee!

Look, Ma! No vomit!!!

Run 3:00, Walk 1:00
30:00
2.11mi

Considering how the last time I attempted the 3:00 run interval, I threw up in my mouth a little, I think that I have definitely improved, and that slowing down my training program was vital. I felt strong, nothing hurt, was breathing a little hard, but not much harder than when I was doing the 2:00 interval. So I am HAPPY!

Sylvi, in progress

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Check it out!
I've been working on Sylvi by Mari Muinonen since May of last year, and FINALLY I have all the main parts done, and it's all seamed together! I just need to do the hood and the flower petals - but it's not like those are going to go quickly either (especially the petals!)

Still, it's the most beautiful thing I've ever made, and the most ambitious, technique-wise. And, surprisingly, error-free (*knock on wood!*). I'm definitely proud of this thing, and I hope I will get a chance to wear it before the weather gets too warm - I would love to show this thing off in person :)

Onwards and upwards!

This weather sucks for running

Run 2:00, Walk 1:00
30:00
2.02mi

No, I didn't run outside. I had to walk to the weight room. I know, I'm such a whiner.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

It's not a new realization, but one I've been thinking about a lot lately - I'm very different from most people. I don't like the same things that most people like. I don't laugh at the same things most people laugh at.  I'm just different.

I'm not TRYING to be a contrarian. True, hearing something being totally hyped automatically makes me raise my eyebrows and approach it with skepticism, but I do ultimately make my own decisions about what I like (please refer to "The Twilight Saga," which is extremely popular, and I enjoy it anyway, despite the knowledge that I will be looked at as a weirdo or a teenybopper). I'm not one of those angsty goth chicks who automatically hates everything that is mainstream and popular just for the sake of being alternative. I just follow where my eyes, ears, and heart tell me to go, and they usually go somewhere... else.

There is no ultimate wrong or right in this situation, but it does get really frustrating w…

Slow and Steady finishes the race, not Shin Splints Obtained From Pushing Too Hard

Run 2:00, Walk 1:00
30:00
2.02mi

Suitably challenging, comfortably hard. A little dizzy because I didn't have much to eat today, because of a dentist appointment.

Ugh. What a day.

I don't like complaining about work too much on public parts of the internet, so I won't go into too much detail, but yesterday was one of the longest days ever, and there were issues with students and staff all day.

First of all, it's the day before spring break, and the first week of standardized testing. Therefore, kids are basically unhinged because it's been a really unusual week schedule-wise, and they are ALL ready for a vacation. We all are (teachers too) because we haven't had a break since February.

Second of all, it's junior prom day, and for whatever reason, we can't make it through any major event of the year without some huge mix-up happening, or making people incredibly angry with us, or other people making us angry at them. And I'm a lot more emotional than Lisa or Michael, so I get upset REALLY easily, and when I get really upset, I have trouble shaking it off.

So, it was a day of frustrations and angry emails and students misbehaving, …

Bombshell Prom

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Let it be known that I hate dances. I hated them in high school, and I especially hate them now as a high school teacher, because we're supposed to bust kids for inappropriate dancing, and that is just NOT fun. It's kind of squicky and gross, and no teacher wants to go near that.

But, I'll be damned if I don't take this opportunity to get all dolled up!


 This is not how I looked for my own junior prom, by the way. Here's me at my junior prom TEN YEARS AGO:

 (Same necklace, though!)

I wasn't cool enough to know how to put it together. As a kid, your prom options are very generically satin and glittery, because that's all the big stores sell. (Even now, as I discovered when I went dress shopping. I ordered mine online.) But as an adult with my own vision and sense of style, this was totally fun to dress up for.

So, onto the part you really want to know about... my make up:

On my face:
- Stila One-Step - since I usually put on my makeup after showering (washing…

Has anyone seen my lunch? I lost it about two miles back.

Run 3:00, Walk 1:00
Time: 30:00
Distance: 2.1mi

I feel queasy. The 2min interval was suitably challenging, but the extra minute, for mental and physical reasons, was HARD. I barely recovered in between. I mean, I survived it, and ran every interval, but I was NOT comfortable. I wasn't sprinting, but I was definitely approaching a wall there.

I've got some thinking to do, about whether I either want to increase my walk interval (because the running is only going to get harder from here), or to slow down the rate at which I'm increasing my run interval. From here on out, I pretty much am adding one minute (at least!) with each workout, and that might be too much for me to handle. I'm not sure I am ready to run a 4min interval tomorrow. And my marathon training program has its longest run interval at 5mins, and that doesn't come up until the second half, so... do I really need to be able to run a 30min stretch in the next two months?

If I increase every other workout …

Victory is mine.

I lost four pounds this week. *pats self on back* Going by my starting weight in November, I've lost a total of 17 pounds (that includes all the skating-but-not-WWing that I did, and now I'm now WWing-but-not-skating-but-am-running). All things considered, I haven't been this weight for a few years. It's a nice feeling.

Must go running now! I am so tired today, I was starting to fall asleep during the Weight Watchers meeting. (Okay, it was a little boring and hokey too, and that didn't help.) I need some treadmill to get  me going.

A downer day, and it's only 10am

A few of the girls from my bootcamp class have announced on FB that they're official SVRG league members now. And while I am thrilled for them, I am finding myself thoroughly depressed. They are where I hoped to be, where I wanted to be so badly, but I'm not there, nowhere near it. It's really depressing me.

The truth is, I haven't skated since the end of bootcamp because I just can't bring myself to. It hurts a lot (and I'm not talking about muscles). I'm not angry or bitter towards anyone - I love those girls! - but skating has become touchy for me because I'm so goddamn depressed about it. I'm sad that I didn't pass, and I'm sad that I would've been a derby girl by now if I had passed, and even though I still love the sport, right now I just can't jump back on the horse because it still makes me sad. I don't want to get too in-depth right now, because I'm typing this from a location where I don't have the luxury of cry…

woo-eee!

Run 2:00, Walk 1:00
30:00 - 2.03mi

Holy geez, that was quite tough. I was started to breathe a little heavy by the last rep, but I survived it, and I managed to recover well enough on the one minute walk interval, so I'm pretty pleased with how I did :)

So far, so good

I decided last week to re-join Weight Watchers, and so far, so good. It's not as hard as I remember it being, and I think it's just because I've got motivation on my side, and I'm more settled in to my routine. (Before, I was trying to do Weight Watchers, and derby, AND go back to work from maternity leave at the same time. Something had to give.) I also ran four times last week, which is awesome. I can't remember the last time I was so motivated to run - I'm feeling good, and I'm feeling strong, and I'm excited for my workout every time.

Congratulations, self!

You've officially completed your first full week of running!

Interval: R1, W1
30:00
1.9miles

Felt great! Even though it was a morning run (which I haven't done in a while). Legs did not get tight or heavy. Was strong all the way through.

Review: Urban Decay's Urban Defense Tinted Moisturizer

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At last!
I've been waiting for UD to release a tinted moisturizer! I liked their Surreal Skin mineral powder, and their liquid surreal skin was just okay. I don't even actually need that much coverage, and even though I have numerous other face products/moisturizers that I love, I was really excited, because UD is my favorite brand, and I wanted to see how theirs would be.

It's not yet available at our UD counter, so I had to order mine. I normally wear Hallucination in UD's foundations/concealers, but... that's not an option for these TMs. From what I could tell of the "swatches" on the site, I was probably right in between Bulletproof (medium) and Bodyguard (medium light), but I wasn't sure. I decided to go a little darker, just because I know that summer's coming up, and I know I will be out running a lot, so I will definitely tan.

And I was right - Bulletproof is exactly my skin tone, but a shade tanner. Not so tan that I looked weird, but I th…

More Picnik fun

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Today's workout

Run 1:00, Walk 1:00 - alternate for 30:00

Total distance: 1.9 miles

I was worried about how I'd adjust from walking 2:00 to walking 1:00 - getting half as much rest for each interval. But I must be in better shape than I thought, because it wasn't bad at all. I don't remember making this transition easily the previous times I've tried this program.

Today's workout

Same as last time: Run 1:00, Walk 2:00 for 30 minutes. Same mileage and whatnot.

My knees felt better this time. And I was recovering faster. I was watching the clock during my walk breaks to see how soon I felt "ready," and I think I was recovering in a minute. Which is good, because starting tomorrow, my walk breaks are only 1 minute. Yeeps.

Official Weight Watchers weigh in (Wednesday is my day): 192.4 pounds. On the downside, I've lost less than a pound since my last trip to the doctor's last month (and I know it's my fault). On the upside, I've hit my 5% weight goal that was set the first time I joined WW. So, I'm lighter in general, even if at a slower rate. Hooray!

Messing with Picnik

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I've been pretty interested in pictures lately, and a big part of pictures (sometimes) is "post-production," as they call it in the film world - the effects you add AFTER you're done shooting. I just found out about Picnik.com, a web-based photo editing site, and it's everything I've ever wanted to learn on Photoshop, but totally easier, and cheaper (free!!! and even the premium account is cheaper than Photoshop!)

So, here are some examples. I'll give the original and then the edited version.

A photo from my beauty blog:
I can't remember what all the changes were - I did some softening, I raised the highlight level, I did the "vignette" effect, which does the blurry black edges. I upped the saturation level a little bit too, I think. Or I might have done none of those things, and completely forgotten :) I was just messing around.

One of my knitting projects:

I wanted to make my photo look kind of old and vintage, so I did a 60's effect, a…

Oh, forgot to log last night's workout

It's the most important one: Workout #1! The first step is the hardest.

Treadmill set to 1% - will stay at this elevation for a while - will only note if it changes
Ran at 4.6mph (13:02 pace), walked at 3.0 (20:00 pace) - will stay at this pace for the whole time - will only note if it changes

Workout:
(Run 1:00, Walk 2:00) for 30:00

Logged (does not include warm-up and cool-down):
1.75 miles in 30:00

An Open Letter

Dear Weight Watchers:

When I click on Points Tracker, I expect you to take me to my Points Tracker. I am sick to death of being taken to your "What's New" page. "What's New" has ceased to be new to me. I'm tired of seeing how excited you are about your iPhone app. I may be one of five people in the world who don't have an iPhone, but I'm a paying customer nonetheless. Fix your goddamn website.

Sincerely, Your Back-On-The-Wagon Client Who Already Hates Having To Track Points But You're Just Making It Worse By Having A Buggy Website.

So, I've decided to re-join Weight Watchers.

I admit it. I need diet help. I suck at monitoring my diet.

I hated doing the points monitoring, because it meant that I had to spend SO much time thinking about food, but... maybe that's the way to go. Maybe I HAVE to think about food ahead of time, because mindless eating is what gets me overweight - all the crazy pigging out and stuff.

There are so many things to think about... I'm not good at all this stuff. Right now, I'm going to try to meet my points totals and when I get better at this, I will start trying to figure out how to hit every food group.

I plan to go to the Wednesday night meetings to weigh in. I have no idea what I am now. Wish me luck!

Keep swimming or die

Apparently I'm like a shark: When I had derby, and Trojan Olympics, and whatever else I was doing, I could do it all. Now that I have nothing going on... I completely crash. I work, I go home, I hold my baby, I feed her, and then I conk out on the couch for a couple hours. Even on the weekends, when I could sleep and wake as early or late as I wanted to, I would hit the mid-afternoon drag and I just wouldn't be able to keep my eyes open.

What's happening to me? Is it a form of depression? Is it my body just trying to catch up after months of running around frantically? Is it my sudden lack of exercise (and resulting lack of endorphins)? All I know is, before I was doing LOTS, and now, I feel like I can't do anything. (Except buy lots of makeup, apparently.)

I've got to start running soon, in order to be in some sort of decent shape for marathon training. But how do I get my butt to the gym when I can't even stay awake by 4pm? You know, when I was doing derby, a…

Duping in reverse

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Okay, normally when you're looking for a dupe, it means that you're trying to find a cheaper, more easily available version of something that is (obviously) expensive or hard to find. But today I'm duping in reverse:

Yesterday being Easter, there was nothing open except for my local Walgreen's, so that's where I decided to pass some time (I need to pick up some baby items), so of course I spend a lengthy amount of time browsing the makeup section.

I've seen the following palette many times, but this time I was actually considering getting it. I've seen lots of "brown eyes" palettes, and I've even tried Almay's before - they have lots of purple palettes, and then THIS one, which is very not purple:

I decided against getting it, because I was sure I had those colors already: a salmon-y peach, a dark brown, and a cream color, all shimmery. And low and behold, I did, in my Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows:

So here's what I used on my eyes…

Happy Easter!

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Today's look: Easter Candy Pink

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I don't actually celebrate Easter, but I do love chocolate... and eggs...

Here's how to get your pastel groove on...

Products I used:

Urban Decay Book of Shadows II, Ink for Eyes, and my MAC triumvirate of pink lips. Also, Maybelline's The Colossal (the new one with "diamonds," whatever that means. Whatever, I saw no diamonds!)

The eyes:
Sphynx, all over my lid - this color looks like what would happen if cotton candy and bubblegum got into a fight and bled all over the place.

A touch of Twice Baked, blended into the crease with a crease brush. This color is like a chocolate brownie with flecks of gold glitter in it. (Tiny glitter, not chunky glitter.)

Ink for Eyes in Demolition, which is literally a plain dark brown. Urban Decay NEVER has plain anything (except for Zero, their black), so this is the first brown with no glitter, no green, no gold, no plum, nothing else. Just brown. And I love it.

And then topped with some mascara, and voila! Give me some Easter candy!

O…

Jolie's first playdate

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I was so busy posting pictures on Facebook yesterday that I didn't blog anything :)

So, Jolie had her first playdate with baby Mai. Mai is the daughter of my friend Le from high school, who is in town visiting from New York. They are three months apart, but are pretty much the same size because Jolie was a little small (preemie, remember?) and Mai was a little big. (In fact, as far as birthweight goes, I think Mai was twice Jolie's weight - 8 pounds vs. 4 pounds.)

Le and I had been in communication CONSTANTLY since she found out she was pregnant - since we weren't far apart in terms of due date, it was like having a pregnancy buddy, and we've been following each other's babies since they were born, so it was really great to finally have them meet. We hope that, despite being on two different coasts (I'm in California, Le's in New York), they could grow up to be friends.

Here are some photos from yesterday's playdate:





All in all, they really seemed to lik…

New camera, new photos of Jolie!

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Tax return = I can buy myself something I can't normally afford. In this case, it's the Canon Powershot SX120 IS.

I'm trying to learn more about the specifics of photography. I found a good site that illustrates the ideas of ISO, aperture priority, and shutter speed, and while my new camera is not even a DSLR and doesn't have nearly the same range that those cameras do, I have to say that the new pictures I'm taking are already better, just because this one is so much better than my previous camera in terms of its features. And it's totally easy once you figure out the vocabulary.

So without further ado, here are some new photos I took of Jolie, just hanging around:





New at Sephora: Tokidoki!

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Tokidoki is a Japanese-inspired line by Italian artist Simone Legno. Just like another Japanese-inspired line (Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers comes to mind), it's cute and colorful, and has just enough of a touch of badass to keep it from being totally Sanrio. The line includes apparel, accessories, handbags, and... makeup.

Sephora has JUST started carrying Tokidoki cosmetics (literally, a couple days ago), and I have to admit, I was drawn in by the packaging - the single eyeshadow pans are shaped like a heart and crossbones! The colors are cool! If UD is edgy and glam, then Tokidoki is edgy and cutesy.

I hauled myself to my local Sephora to check things out, and decided on their Cromatico eyeshadow palette in Diamante, and their eyeliner pen in Sabochan (black).


So, first up: the Sabochan eyeliner pen:

I have to say, this is my new favorite liquid liner. I'm not exactly steady-handed, so true liquid-liner brushes can sometimes be sloppy for me. So, I have tried to find some f…