Monday, May 31, 2010

still here

We are still in the thick of moving. We got the bed, bed frame, dresser, and couches over. Still have my teaching stuff, knitting (!!!), and a couple of chairs over at my parents' house. Not sure when we'll finally get it all out since it's just my husband and I moving our stuff on our own. My SIL and a friend of hers from work were kind enough to help yesterday. That's how we got a bulk of our stuff here. Tonight we'll be able to sleep in a bed again rather than the air mattress (which isn't that bad but still nice to be able to sleep in a bed again!).

I have a model lesson to prepare for which I will be giving on Wednesday morning. I also need to fax over my diplomas for the preschool position. Then it's just a race against time. Who knows, maybe other jobs will call me! I'm trying not to stress but it's hard especially when we're still in the midst of moving! :P

No knitting. I've had to save my strength for boxes and the like! Good news is everyone is happy in the new place. :) Yay!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

a spark

Amidst all my packing today (and the breakdown of our bedframe while the hubs was out working), I received not one but two phone calls today. One from the school I interviewed with on Tuesday telling me that they'd like for me to come do a demo lesson sometime next week (talk about timing!!) but the asst. head of school would be scheduling that. The other phone call was from the preschool I interviewed with yesterday. Apparently they need copies of all my degrees. The administrative assistant said I did so well at my interview yesterday that they wanted to speed up the process. Yikes. I don't want them to speed it up THAT quickly! We still have moving to do. Not sure how we're going to get our heavy stuff to the new place since both the hubs and I are retired from moving heavy items. His left arm isn't so strong and you all know my right wrist has gotten quite weak with all the knitting! We're just going to do what we can tomorrow then see what happens. We will definitely be sleeping at the new place tomorrow though. I'm charging up the airbed as I type this. :)
Aside from the two good news phone calls, I've also been reliving my life via really old cassettes where I recorded songs. You know the type--the ones where you got a lil embarrassed by whatever it was that ended up being on the cassette. I had a tape with NKOTB written on it and was a bit hopeful but it ended up being other stuff. I was a wee bit disappointed. At least I got to hear the tail end of Tender Roni. lol.
Okay, off to relive my youth and procrastinate. STILL have more packing. I have a few more knitting books than when we first got here. I also have WAY more yarn than when we first got here as well. Oh well. Such is life. 
Oh, so all in all, today has been a great day! It's been a while since I had a great day. The two leads on possible jobs gives me hope. Today, it felt as though, getting out of this house is really going to be a step in the right direction for us.  It's the first step in our new life, a life lacking in all the negativity that we have had to endure for the past 4 months.

life after chicago

Aside from Chicago, I did spend some time in LA. I had been craving a tuna melt from Mick's Cafe so I met my former co-worker and wonderful friend for lunch and somehow I ended up visiting my old school too! I also caught up on some tv. When I came back from Chicago, we stayed in LA for another day. I kind of needed a day off from traveling. We spent some time with my FIL and his wife and we did some laundry!
We ended up not signing our lease and moving in on Monday because of needing to come up with first month's rent (on our own) and while I was away, I received two calls regarding scheduling interviews for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week! The interview on Tuesday was with the charter school I interviewed with before I left for my trip. It was the group interview and I think it went well. They are still in the beginning of their process but would let me know the next steps. The interview on Wednesday was for a preschool position. The funny thing is when I asked where exactly the center was located, I learned that it is right across the street from where we are moving to. The other coincidence is that the monkey might be going to that school! They are going to make their decision in the next two weeks so we'll see. I kind of want an elementary position but who knows what hand I'm going to be dealt. I hope something good comes out of at least one of these interviews. I'm running out of outfits to wear! I don't mind the interview itself though. I think I've done my fair share of interviews by now (since I'm going on year 2 here of teaching interviews!) and I've gotten used to how they work and I walk out feeling whatever 
We will sign our lease and begin moving in tomorrow!!!!! Pictures of the new place to come. I can't wait to have a room for my knitting again! Packing has been a pain. I did a bulk of it last night. I woke up yesterday morning (after having a poor night of sleep) wanting to start packing stuff because I really hadn't. 
As for my knitting, I've moved along with clothilde-just haven't taken a recent shot of her. It's been super ugly here. Hope the lighting is better at the new place. I had a bit of reworking to do with purple haze. I cast on for a new sock on the way down to LA.
I've been trying not to knit since our drive back to our living hell because of all the boxes I'm going to have to carry. I'm trying to keep my right hand strong. Ha! The knitting shall resume once all the heavy boxes are at their new home.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chicago (part 2)

As I mentioned at the end of part 1, somehow last Thursday ended up being our big tourist day. After the Chicago Tribune building,
I saw the Chicago Cultural Center so we went in!
Here is a gorgeous stained glass ceiling we discovered in the building. There was also some art on display while we were there. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take pictures of any of the exhibits. I was so bummed!! But I was able to see this, and take a picture of it since it wasn't part of any of the exhibits.
We made our way to the Millenium Park, and first we encountered this acropolis like structure.
And then we hit the bean!
Here I am, the resident expert of the three of us who knew how to use the bean to my photo-taking advantage. Thanks to all the self-portraits I've had to take of finished projects!
The bean was by far my favorite thing that we saw while in Chicago. My sister thinks I'm obsessed with it because I bought a magnet, postcards, etc.
how can you not love it??
and finally, the art institute of chicago.
Are you as tired as I was when I actually lived through all that walking??? lol. The museum was absolutely amazing. So much to see and so many people to see everything with because Thursday nights from 5pm-8pm admission is FREE. Unfortunately, the new Matisse exhibition was NOT open to non-members.
Here are some highlights..
this by far, was one of my favorites
now this was an awesome display. a spiderweb was projected onto the wall and there was a camera facing away from the wall and anytime, someone moved or what have you, it would create movement in the web. I LOVED it!
this was difficult to capture through my camera. I couldn't even get the colors correct! The medium is wool, something called trevira, rubber and foam.
This was fantastic! At first glance, you can't see anything. It was when I was about to snap a photo of it that I saw the image before you. The medium is acrylic, cotton, and something called rhoplex.

And then I saw this! You can't see it but the bottom portion through the center of this work actually juts out at you. A guy who was looking at it at the same time I was had remarked that he just wanted to stick his head inside the hole!
This artist has always been a favorite.
And this I knew my husband would appreciate it.
We pretty much saw everything you could possibly see in the museum. When we left, it had just started to rain so we hopped into a cab back to the hotel. We dined at the Weber Grill. Scrumptious garlic mashed potatoes (practically the only kind I'll eat) and interesting pretzel rolls.
Friday began with breakfast at Big Bowl. That's right, I said breakfast. (Don't look at me!!). And then we hit the Sears Tower-my sister and friend paid the $16 each to go up to the Skydeck and I hung around near the gift shop making phone calls. (This wasn't the first time I was caught out and about without my knitting!). After the skydeck, we traveled what seemed like a lifetime (in growing Chicago heat mind you) to get to Loopy Yarns. Sigh. Before we even arrived there, I was highly annoyed that we were ye again walking someplace. When we got there, I was greeted by many rooms of yarn and finally some alone time! I perused the yarns in the 3 main rooms on the first floor while complaining to both my hubby and my wonderful friend who's trying to get us to move back to LA. I also hit the section with pattern books and the sale section downstairs while on the phone with them! Unfortunately, no yarn called out to me. I was a bit disappointed. I did end up getting a pattern book though and the lovely Christa signed me for the mailing list and I scored a free bag. :) And then the huge raindrops started falling out of the sky. Glad someone was looking out for my feet..The rain eventually stopped so we were able to head towards Lincoln Park. Originally, we were supposed to go to the zoo in Lincoln Park but since the art institute was considered a zoo to someone in our travel party (because it was free..and the zoo is free as well), we didn't go. Do you know what was near the zoo? A cupcake shop. Do you know what else was nearby? Nina. My sister actually wanted to go to this yarn shop too! We got to go to the cupcake shop. I had a delicious blueberry cobbler cupcake and my sister had a yummy chocolate decadence. We dined at the overpriced Tarascas where the cheapest thing on the menu was $11. Bitter, much? Just a bit. I didn't even go into the AT&T Wireless fiasco that began last Monday.  It has since been resolved but dealing with crap like that whilst out of town is not fun. But for me, it was unavoidable. Also, it didn't help that we ended up not qualifying for the program that would've helped us with our first month's rent so spending money was one of the last things I needed to be doing.
Our final meal was at Potbelly Sandwich Works. lol. Oh and I made sure I boarded the plane with some popcorn from garrett.
At the airport I saw this!

Views from the plane:
Goodbye, Chicago!
Hello, Long Beach.
All in all, it was a good trip. Wish the hubby had been with me but this will not be the last time you find me in Chicago..

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chicago! (part 1)

Where do I even begin?? First of all, we didn't have enough time in Chicago for me to fully enjoy what the city had to offer. Thank goodness my sister was accepted by her school so I will have plenty of chances to visit (and so will the hubby) once things get better in our lives!
Views from the plane..
Now, in California, I have yet to see a toilet like this:
 This is a toilet at O'Hare International Airport.
A cool mural that I saw on our way to the train from the airport.
My favorite decorative element of our hotel.
The exterior to our hotel. 
The reception area. 
Our first meal was  at Portillo's Hot Dogs. While my sister and my friend had hot dogs,  I had a slice of tiramisu. At the start of this trip, my appetite was non-existent! The time change may have affected my appetite (not sure what else would've other than the million of blocks those two had me walking!!) because by Saturday I was starving!
The next day was the day of my sister's interview. We had breakfast at West Egg Cafe and then we grabbed a taxi headed towards my sister's future school! While she went to do her interview, my friend and I did some sightseeing. 
The oogedy boogedy man. :)
a cool bridge 
freddy krueger's fingers (at least three of them) but it was really called moon's bench.
There were so many cool sculptures and displays because we were near the Art Institute.

The Dessert Tree!
I wanted to take a shot while we were in the crosswalk but remembered too late.
We managed to swing by XOCO while we were sightseeing and we told ourselves we'd return but didn't. Definitely next time. What caught my attention was in the window it said something about chocolate and tortas (mexican submarine sandwiches) and I thought that was an interesting combo so we went in. And then we smelled the food! The line wasn't too bad when we were there but we didn't want to eat anything without my sister.
After the interview, the real sightseeing began. We walked towards the Chicago Tribune building, visited the Chicago Cultural Center and then made our way to both Millennium Park and The Art Institute of Chicago. Now mind you, we walked all that way. Fortunately, it started to rain so we had to hop in a taxi to get back to our hotel. Otherwise, I'm sure we would've had to have hobbled home. Now, my friend was in charge of navigating-not just figuring out how to get there by walking but also by public transit. Somehow, the wires got crossed and figured everything out by walking. I could've killed him while we were going through the Art Institute. 

Stay tuned for part 2!

Monday, May 24, 2010

she got in!!!

Well, we just got back into town three hours ago and I have tons of pictures of Chicago that need to be uploaded and blogged about BUT, I had to share! My sister called me on our way out of LA (we were only 30 minutes out) to tell me that that she got the call and they were extending an offer of acceptance to her to the grad program she had applied for!!!!!!!!! I cried tears of joy for that girl. I am SO SO happy for her! Now hubs and I need to figure out how the heck we're going to be making trips out to Chicago to see her once she's there!

P.S. Chicago post is forthcoming. I've gone from one busy week right into another one. Two interviews this week plus the signing of our lease and moving (which we were able to postpone until Friday) so bear with me!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Things that bring me happiness

It has been nearly a month since Rachel of BMore Crafty gifted me with the Happy 101 Award. Thank you so very much, Rachel for making me have to deliberate over what makes me happy. After the last few months, there are so many more things that make me happy than ever before.

1. My husband (of course). I am so so glad that he is really beginning to feel better (that in itself makes me happy). He's been making a point of trying to do more around the house (his finger still isn't completely healed but it's getting quite close) like washing dishes, getting meals ready, making the bed, etc. We live each day a bit differently since he got sick and we are definitely more appreciative of the fact that we have one another.

2. Knitting definitely makes me do cartwheels. lol. I don't know where I'd be without it. It kept me sane that month spent in the hospital that's for sure. Plus I love seeing my recipients faces when they receive their knitted item. :)

3. Books. Another way that I have been able to escape 'real life.'  I've been picking up some good reads lately too. Currently I'm living in France with Julia Child and it's literally almost as if I really am living in the France that she came to love and adore.  Books have always been an escape for me. I'm just glad I was able to rediscover them during my 'sabbatical' from teaching. haha. From the moment I select a book all the way until I finish reading it I'm in a new world. A place that is oftentimes better than what's happening in my real life.

4. The Monkey truly makes life brighter. This last week, we've been spending a lot of time together. I've been trying to be a stable figure in her current turbulent life and she's starting to take notice. She was one of the reasons we wanted to be closer to my family and now (with my own current turbulent life!) she's one of the only reasons my hubby and I are still here.

5.  The blogging universe. I love being able to have a place where I can dump my heart on the ground if I need to and not feel vulnerable to the masses. I also love looking at other people's blogs for inspiration, wisdom, and sometimes comfort. I have made a lot of amazing friends through blogging. I love seeing everyone's finished projects, recipes they've discovered, tutorials on crafty things, etc. How can you not be happy when you have stuff like that to look forward to?

6. Writing and Receiving Letters. I have been pen palling since I was in middle school. It has helped keep me going and it continues to keep me going even now. Pen palling has been another avenue in which I have made many friends all over the world. It has also helped me work through life's little lessons that we often get handed.

7. My sister. I have yet to admit it to her, but she keeps me sane (though I know she's aware of it!) and she's my rock. She is the one person in this godforsaken family that won't judge and won't try to fix things (other than myself). She will just listen and be there as much as she can.

8.  Inner Peace. With the rough year we have had, I am glad that despite everything, I can still hold my head up and not regret a single thing. I have made peace with all that has transpired and though some things have not turned out in ways that I had hoped, I'm okay with it. I can move on and know that all of this is for the best.

9.  Relationships. Right now, I have been hard at work establishing a good, solid relationship with my SIL. We are getting closer with each passing day. That makes me happy. It hurts knowing all that she had to endure before she felt comfortable enough to let her true self shine again. I am glad that we have been there for her during this horrible time and have helped give her the strength to not only get through it all but to see that she can stand on her own.

10. Each day that I'm given to live. After all that I have been through, I can't help but appreciate the fact that I'm alive and have endured (so far!) all that has been thrown at me.

Now to nominate some bloggers that bring me happiness: Knit & Purl Mama, Knittinwolf, Hakucho, MizMiffy, crazyknittingfool, Kim, Leslie, elspeth, Val, and last but definitely not least Carole!

For Me?

I have been nominated by the lovely, Kim! Thank you, Kim. :)

If you receive this award these are the rules:

You must pass this on to 12 or 10 other bloggers you think are fantastic! You must also link bac k to the person who gave it to you. This is also a great way to find new blogs to follow!

So without further ado, here are the bloggers who inspire me, and whose blogs I get behind on frequently!

Knittinwolf, Bmore Crafty, Hakucho, crazyknittingfool, Leslie, Marie, Maiden Jane, Val, MizMiffy, & elspeth!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What A Week!

I realized yesterday that I haven't really posted anything of substance this week and I had all these plans earlier in the week. Life just got in the way with finding out about the apt, follow-up appts. with the organization that may help with at least our first month's rent, and then there was a whole load of crap.
But I digress. Let's start with Mother's Day! I took it upon myself to do some cool Mother's Day crafting with the monkey for her very deserving mother.
A fingerprinted card.
A so super cute pic of the artiste and her beautiful work!
This was just the card. The real gift we failed to get a pic of. I saw it last night at their apt. and at first I thought, "That is really cool!" Then I remembered that hubby and I helped the monkey make it for her mom! lol. Once we've moved I'll attempt to get a picture of it.
Since I had all my crafting stuff out, I decided to do some of my own creative work. So I made some birthday cards. I began a third one but it isn't quite finished yet. I really like how these came out!
 I don't know why I still go out and buy birthday cards!
As of today, purple haze is stitches away from completion. I wanted to be able to block it while I was away. My clothilde that I cast on for over the weekend is ready for some attention!
It's going to be the only project I take with me on my trip. Hopefully it will be enough. Must remember to switch out the needles!
I leave you with this..
Sorry it's blurry. We accompanied the monkey to one of her ballet classes this week. lol. This picture summed up the class for her though (if you ask me!!).
Okay, off to do more packing.