22 January 2008

Modern Design + Affordable Art = Love

Check out this sweet page on Etsy by local Tampa artist (didn't know there were any? think again), Jen Renninger.  I bought the Eames lounger print for Chip for Christmas and met Jen, who is as lovely as her art, to pick up the print.  Needless to say, he LOVED it.  I'm currently coveting the Eames rocker and the Saarinen chair... for $25 a pop, it's certainly more doable than the real thing.  

21 January 2008

A template post today

Ten years ago: 16, junior in high school.  Had just gone to Israel over Winter Break, which was incredible.  Things coming up that semester were Gasparilla, college trip for Spring Break (including first trip to Wake), taking the AP US History exam (which seemed like the biggest deal in the world then so I had to include it), Beach Week at Indian Rocks (a bit of a bust, which made us determined to make it amazing the next year... and we did).  

Five years ago: 21, living on the Grand Canal in Venice during my second stint in Casa Artom, this time as an employee.  Had been there for 2-3 weeks, still settling in and getting to know everyone.  The next two and a half months were some of the most fun times of my life.  

One year ago: Had just made it through my first semester of teaching, was feeling more settled and comfortable with my subjects and my students.  Had just started with two new Sociology classes and a new Psychology class.  I almost gave the Psych class up because I didn't want another prep, but it's a good thing I didn't because it ended up being my favorite group of kids so far.  Getting ready for Gasparilla coming up and trying to figure out a strategy for how to not see all my students there.

Yesterday: Slept a lot, making up for staying out laaate Friday for Shannon's wedding and meeting Nancy out at New World after.  All four teachers went as each others' dates and we had SUCH a fun night, as you can see from the pictures...

Right now: Enjoying my day off by being a lazy bum.  Trying to motivate to go to the gym, the dry cleaners, and the grocery store, but none of that has happened yet.  So I'm procrastinating by blogging instead... :-)

19 January 2008

The Monster in my Livingroom

I inherited a TV this week from a coworker whose husband had just gotten a fancy new HD one.  I took it sight unseen, hearing that it was a 36" flatscreen.  Let me be careful in how I phrase this,  because the TV is actually really great.  However, the box itself is about 2 1/2 feet deep and about 3 feet wide, including the side speakers.  I'm sure I'll get used to it, but so far I feel like it kind of takes over my living room (I keep my TV on a credenza, not in an armoire).  I can't decide if it's because of the placement, so I'm considering rearranging so it's against a bigger wall that will make it look a little smaller.  But for now, it just seems kind of monstrous... 

15 January 2008

I Didn't Get It

Sherlyn, Esther, and I saw Atonement this past weekend at the Tampa Theatre.  I have seen some great movies lately - Juno, Charlie Wilson's War, and Enchanted (ok, I'll clarify: Juno was amazing, Charlie Wilson's War was good but a little fluffier than I thought it should have been, and Enchanted was cute, but I got sick of Amy Adams by the end).  Anyway, I can't say that Atonement fits anywhere near the great category.  And yet, the night after I saw it, it won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama.  I think the biggest problem I had with the movie is that I just didn't care about the characters - I just knew that I didn't like one of them (won't give away which one).  I also didn't understand the depth of the relationship between Keira Knightley and James McAvoy.  All of that made it really hard to follow and really care about.  But as if that wasn't bad enough, I could not for the life of me understand what the actors were saying to each other.  The British accents were part of it, but the real problem (and this pains me to say it because I love the Tampa Theatre so much) was that the sound was absolutely awful.  Sherlyn and Esther said the same thing as we were leaving the theater, and as we talked, it occurred to me that I think every movie I've seen there either a) I've seen before or b) was a foreign film (so it had subtitles).  So I wonder if that's why I've never noticed it before.  Anyway, I still think the movie sucked, but the sound issue sure didn't help.  

13 January 2008

She's Crafty...

Who's crafty, you ask?  My mom, that's who.  A few months ago I bought some Porch/Tomato Branchberry fabric on sale (and it still is!) from Maine Cottage (here's a link to their fabrics, I couldn't get one directly to the one I bought).  It was cute and inexpensive, but it was essentially an impulse buy - I knew it would go well with my couch, but actually executing a design was another story.  Enter my mom, sewer extraordinaire, with her Bernina.  She figured out a pattern, I picked out a contrasting navy to use for the cording, and we were off (and I even did some of the sewing!).  

A few hours later, I went from this...

To this...

And here's a pillow up close*

*side note: does anyone know how to rotate a picture in blogger?  I have it saved vertically (when I open it, it automatically opens vertically), but it keeps getting put into blogger as a horizontal picture :-(

10 January 2008

Is Keeping a Blog Vain?

This semester, I have 5 new classes - 3 American Government and 2 Sociology (in addition to my 1 year-long American History course).  At the start of the semester, I always have my kids write me a letter telling me a little about themselves, what they like and don't like about school, what they hope to learn in the class, etc.  The group of kids I have this semester wrote me probably the most interesting, personal letters I've ever gotten.  I wish I could share some here, but I'm afraid they'd be too identifiable (you know, in case the 2-3 of you who read this happen to know those kids).  But one I can share is from a girl wrote this:
"I really like to write.  I don't keep a journal, or a blog or anything (because that's so vain), I just write stuff down when I feel like it."

Of course strains of Carly Simon popped into my head at Starbucks as I was reading the letter, and I couldn't help but laugh as I considered the irony of the fact that I'd just started to blog again.  :-)

09 January 2008

Awkward, hilarious, and... rather clever

It would seem to me that all of those separations in the mattress would actually be uncomfortable, but apparently "The Love Mattress" is actually quite comfortable... and it's winning design awards, to boot.   My only beef with it: even though the website says you can put a "bed linen" (have we gotten to cool for the word "sheets"? seriously) on it, I'm a little skeptical of how that might work... which begs the question, how do you clean it???  But all of that aside, you have to admit the concept is pretty clever.

08 January 2008

New Year, New Blog

When I got my Mac, Jill said it would be just a matter of time before I started blogging again... it's been 4 months since I've gotten it, and it looks like she's right (as usual).  :-)

I'm way too tired for a full update right now, but I'll do my best...

I haven't been the best at keeping in touch with people the past couple of years (or updating a blog - I can't believe how long it's been!), so here's an introduction, or reintroduction as the case may be.  

I'm still teaching... still loving it, albeit with eyes a bit less starry.  I have 101 stories about the funny or amazing things my kids have done and probably only 5 about the things that have really let me down, so I feel like that's a pretty good ratio.

I'm still living in Tampa, in a lovely garage apartment ("carriage house," if I feel like sounding fancy :-)) down the street from my family (yes, the same street).  I've been in this apartment since April 07, and I absolutely love it, though it's still a work in progress.  I'll post pictures someday.  

I'm still single, and more at peace with that status that I have been maybe ever.  I laugh with my kids (students) when they tell me I better get married before I get too old, instead of going home and fretting about it - which I would have done not so long ago.  Just because a lot of my friends are getting married (and having babies - yikes!), doesn't mean that's what I'm supposed to be doing right now.  

Friends have come in and out of my immediate vicinity, and the leaving part is never fun or easy, but it's happened enough in the past 5 years that I'm realizing that they don't leave my life... unless I get lazy, which is a really lame reason.  So I'm trying to be better about that.

2007 was a year of some great highs (especially trips... to Connecticut, NYC, DC a few times, Toronto, Niagara Falls, the Maryland Shore, Northern Virginia and Charlottesville, all over NC, Charleston, Savannah, and last but not least, Italy), some tough lows (loved ones passing away, dear friends moving away, other dear friends hurting), and just some blahs after a pretty great 2006.  I'm hoping 2008 will be a year of rejuvenation, of looking forward, and of celebration (6 weddings and 2 births on the calendar... and counting).  Cheers!