May 31, 2011

The Case of the disappearing ice cream scoop

@ The Old Spaghetti Factory in Newport Beach

Cozy table by the staircase has the best view by far!

Friend takes this picture of the icecream scoop

My dinner was a triple S threat: Sweet tea, Salad, Spaghetti

Donde estas ?
Now satisfy the left brain with my Yelp Yelp Yelp Yelp review here!

May 30, 2011

Animals. (period)

zoo vs work. zoo vs work. Zoo Vs Work. ZOO VS. WORK.

I want to say that zoo comes before work but naturally, I decided on the less important one.

Why do I always find myself stuck in these conflicting events?

I can hear the car engine rumble... THEY ARE LEAVING TO GO TO THE ZOO... without me!

A reassurance is that I'm not missing out on any giraffes or zebras.

Although seeing the Golden Headed Lion Tamarian will be nice, even though I don't know what it is.

Is it a tamarian with a "lion like" golden head  or is it a "lion tamarian" with a golden head? What's a tamarian anyway? This is important.

A search of the word "tamarian" on google leads me to the following page.

"Tamarian Carpets :: Hand Woven Tibetan Rugs from Nepal"

Er.... no.

A click of the google image's button yields several more bizarre and equally ambiguous results.

Ok. I am thoroughly confused.

Fine, I'll type out the whole word.

My final search results in total disappointment.   Lion IS an adjective after all.

Why do these 'animal name-ers' confuse us by using animal names as adjectives within the animal name? Why are animal names so cryptic? How many times did the word "animal" appear in the last two sentences?

Along the topic of confusing names, (to disney creators)  was I really that ignorant to assume that Dumbo is about a baby elephant that was constantly teased about his naiveness?  On second thought, that probably was preposterous considering Dumbo is a so called "classic".

Oh well. but I digress.

Ok last glance at the list.

Why do they have domestic chicken, goose and turkey at the zoo?  They surely don't belong as one is for viewing and one is for ea----. Perhaps I'm being prejudice in defining their distinction from the rest of animal race.  PETA, please don't hunt me down for my deprecation.

A glance at the clock tells me its time to get ready for my necessary errands. so rant OVER.

sigh. I wish I had gone to the zoo.

May 26, 2011

Let's do the hotdog dance! as quoted by dear audrey.

Jukebox: Swedish House Mafia - Save The World

Can it be?
Am  I really writing a journal entry right after work?

It must have been months since I been able to muster enough energy after each 6.5-7 hour day to do so.

I've really forgotten how much easier substituting in high school is... less noise, less strength needed, less tempers tested.

but is this necessarily better then elementary?  Nahh, definitely not.

I was fortunate this year to have found a job after graduation allowing for a short duration of stay time... even luckier to have landed a long-term subbing assignment just a few months in.

Regular subbing has its perks and pits. It's definitely great to be able to pick up assignments at my own convenience while allowing me a crash course in all grade levels. However it's essentially a lone man's journey. No connections, no 'home campus', and no drama.  :P

 Can you guess which signs I made?!

When I accepted the Long-Term subbing assignment, I was looking forward to making connections with a static group of students and rest of staff. Little did I know that witnessing the impressive growth of kids would be surpass my anticipation of the "connection" factor.

Four months may seem like nothing, but it's definitely long enough to see social and academic growth working with 3-5 years old in their special ed programs. (Their's not mine :X) With peer role models and gentle but consistent discipline progress is usually seen. Autistic kids,  including high functioning ones all need to be dealt with in their own special way. Once you find their "switch', a gentle nudging at appropriate times can help them blossom.

Two of our kids... made sure to hide their face from the pic ;)

Take one kid for example.

He may seem like he has a hard time interacting with adults and children, but just by turning on any sort of multimedia, he will begin to engage, singalong and also talk with all of us in intelligible sentences.  We take this opportunity to converse, praise and make eyecontact with him. Connections when his mind is "open" can help reassure him of our friendship and foster his social skills in the long run.

Bet you didn't know he's the only four year old in our class that can read too!

Each step we see is a celebration.  I had forgotten how hard it is to learn how to handle scissors.  Something so second-natured (to us now) such as holding the scissors, cutting along a line or curve needs to be worked on tediously in our youth.   It was really impossible to comprehend until I re-witnessed the process.

My experiences in this long term substitute position has allowed me to appreciate the fertilizer to the seeds our future orchards. primary school teachers! Class time is only a minute percentage of a teacher's job. The prep and cleanup is excessive.

Usually after the first half of the day, I'd physically feel like I'd been working for a full day already, but it is definitely worth it. Time passes very quickly because you are constantly on your toes in a clamorous room...

and of course the flowers helped too.
My first flowers everrrr =)

From the kids during teacher appreciation week!

I was never a flower person, but it's a pretty gratifying experience to have kids bring you flowers.  Please borrow your friend's babies, nieces or nephews and try it yourself.

Can figure out which child wrote me that card :)
pretty good writing for a 4 year old!

Adorable handmade clipboard the PTA gave each of us that week

Kids say the funniest things too... quotes perfect for blog titles ;).

Tuesday was my last day long term subbing. The IBI and two other teachers in my room surprised me with a mini send-off party!

Venue: Extravagant preschool classroom. A circle time table adorned with an assortment of chairs ranging from the infamous red 'time-out seat' to the (highly sought after) 'teacher's swively'.

Garnish: a bouquet! all for meeeeee :D

Topic of convo: kids.

I can now go on forever talking about my experiences through this long term assignment... but that would be soporific... so  rejoyce... because here is a mini concluding collage.

Towards the end of my term I spoke with the principal who had a permanent position lined up that I can possibly begin the following day.  However, it would require a summer and following fall commitment. Not wanting to keep others hanging with personal future plans, I reluctantly turned down the opportunity.

Ta Ta! So back to being itinerate with my regular subbing...

Easter Egg Hunt from earlier this year.

ok no more sappiness about little kids.

Lol because I just got notice that I'll be subbing as a child development center teacher tomorrow.

Little kids here I come again!

May 21, 2011

Un-Rapture & GOOD reviews.... not

Just received a text from my dear sister stating:

"I'm Alive :D"

Gave me the jeebees because she's currently out in Irvine

I wasn't sure what had happened so I googled "earthquake irvine" and went to to check any recent happenings in that city which would have prompted her text.

Turns out it was rapture 2011, Universal Doomsday "supposedly" at 6PM

*looks at clock*

ooops... I guess I had missed out muchos.  Hadn't known of this news at all until after the designated date.


In other news,   I've always been an avid review reader whether it be of cosmetics, accessories or electronics.

Since I've been on the hunt lately for a functional snazzy new cellphone, CNET has been my constant go-to sidekick.  I'll usually gauge my final opinion of the product based on a combination of the editor's and general userreviews, but when I come across reviews like the following.... it makes me cringe big time.

I've taken the liberty to underline all the original adjectives.... as well as insert my sour commentaries.

Perhaps I'm just being extremely critical today but if you read the summary sentence by sentence, it is really quite ridiculous. I'm surprised there's no (negative) rating on the helpfulness.

(or maybe I'm just bitter that the user has owned 12 phones before.  ... ....nah)

May 19, 2011

La Bayadare

Earlier this evening I watched the ballet performance of La Bayadare. Like most ballets, not a word was spoken throughout the whole performance, yet the transcending performance revealed a tragic love story.

Such is the power of art.

After the ballet, I went starbucks to enjoyed a nice vente cup of Tazo Green Tea Zen.

I sat there letting the warm steam of the tea wash over me and drifted in and out of daydream.

A throat clearing abruptly awoken me from my thoughts.

Before me stood a friendly man in his seventies.

His eyes twinkled with amusement as he pointed to my program book that I had placed on my table.

"I just came from La Baladare too. My granddaughter was dancing there."

The world is pretty small.

Sometimes all it takes is a cup of tea to make a connection.

May 16, 2011

Photography: Boston..Sixty five degrees warm.

Jukebox: Uncharted- Sara Bareilles

I woke up unexpectedly last night at 3AM. This is fairly unusual. Usually I'm quite the un-insomniac. With my senses alerted I decided to turn on my computer, and found myself scanning though the pictures I took in Boston. Before I realized it, I was on photoshop fiddling and tweaking them around. Better late then never. Enjoy!

St. Charles... your river is gorgeous ;) beautiful that buildings that surround you blush out of sheer whimsy.

.....and joggers run along side you to enjoy the naturalistic aura.
The porta potties totally ruined this picture.... and why is one sideways?

Sidewalk sales... infinite literary treasures to widen your mind.

Pictures like these make me wish I had a wider layout.

"I said.. Young man... pick yourself off the ground!"
 ( you can fly, hop, or superman soar over the merciless traffic jams)

First day: my view from inside the shuttle.

Alas...I'll get chummy with this building soon!

This was when I realized two decades of American education hasn't taught me that cherry blossoms exist outside of Asia. (I'm quite embarrassed) Perhaps this is due to my own (vegetation-related) ignorance.

Let's give these gorgeous blossoms one more go

and the streets...

ta ta! My attempt at blending in.

And here are some portraits pre-photoshopping.

Oh gosh, I apologize for the slight sarcasms littered above.  11:49PM doesn't do "my writing well" with my current granny sleep schedule. =P

May 10, 2011

I'm Watching You.

I had a fun little photoshoot with my besties several weeks ago! Setting: semi-bare classy double-decker apartment and the streets of LA. Equipment: Canon 95 and our happy spirits.

Here are some thumbnails for the sake of art and record keeping. But I'm keepin' the face small so the people aren't identifiable since I may get bagged. (is this oki m? ;P)

For the sake of a photography entry though, here is a big one!

I forgot to mention a boring one too. My invisible speech bubble says "YO."

May 05, 2011

Early Morning Salsa Magic.

Nothing beats being up at 5:30 AM, dicing away...while watching the sunrise through my teary eyes. (onion fume induced). Salsa por mi trabajo's potluck.

Cinco De Mayo  and Spanglish...

for the win.

[later edit]

Presenting the cheerful reminants of my salsa carnage.

...hopefully all digesting now in the happy tummies of little kiddies.

on the topic of children, today in class we had them make cute maracaasss. shake shake shake.

Made with 20% kid innovation, 75% adult aid, and 5% chance. A poor child started crying because all the Thomas stickers were taken.

It's an amazing feeling watching little strudents bob to the hat dance, cheering along with them... all the while worrying in the back of my mind whether these shakers were taped firmly enough.

Luckily, the vacuum continued its indefinite slumber as no rice escaped from their tubular chambers.  After... they made little Mexican flags, played "Simone dice" (toca la cabeza por favor!) and made/tasted mini tacos.  At the end of class, all the five year olds unanimously exclaimed "I LOVE MEXICO!". 

This indeed my favorite Cinco de Mayo yet.

May 03, 2011

A pointless post about fries

Human nature has it so our visuals highly influence our judgement.

BS you say. First impressions aren't everything. Can't our ideals be changed slowly after more interactions (with a person.. persay)??  Maybe, but this usually isn't the case in our relationships.......with food.

If something looks delicious, it most likely will be delectable.

If something looks disgusting.... chances are, it will taste disgusting as well.

For me, I hate soggy fries. It looks unappealing.. and perhaps that's why I think it tastes extremely gross.
Looks soggy.. tastes gross. Nay.

This is a problem.... because sweet potato fries holds a prominent position in my "fave food" lists, yet it also a stubborn bugger to maintain crisp.

Luckily, I had a baking epiphany the other day resulting from an accident.

I forgot to set oven timer, and ended up making my best batch of sweet potato fries yet.

The way to make your potato fries nice and crispy is to simply over-bake it a tad bit. Preheat 450 keep fries at least 0.5 cm apart on pan, and bake for around 18 min. (mainly until smaller pieces are a bit browned at the edges).

Sweet mother look at the grease. yay.
That's it! No need to blanch, soak or do anything else random  that baking sites suggest.