Tuesday, August 31, 2010



Soooo, it's been a busy, stressful, special kinda crazy couple of weeks. Some of it was good-busy -- my brother came to visit as part of his two weeks leave from Afghanistan, and there are not words to describe how good it felt to hug him and talk to him face-to-face after so many months of electronic communication. There were family dinners galore and a baseball game, and except for the part where he got on a plane to go back to Vermont and then Afghanistan, it was all wonderful.

 {Thanks to Mike's lovely girlfriend Erin for this picture}

There have been less fun things like finding a new apartment keeping me busy too, but the end result is that I don't seem to have much time for things like photography and blogs. The end result is that I have been feeling guilty about neglecting my blog; then I feel stupid for feeling guilty since my loyal readership is comprised almost solely of my immediate family who know very well what is going on in my life and will likely not feel too out of the loop if I don't provide regular written updates.


Plus, I've now gone so long without posting anything that writing about everything that has happened in the interim seems daunting... You know when you haven't talked to a good friend in a while and you have a lot to catch up on so you feel the need to block off a significant amount of time for the phone call, but then you never seem to have that amount of free time to actually make the call; meanwhile, more time passes and the list of things that you have to catch up on just grows and grows, so really you should have just taken the five minute window and made the damn phone call? It's like that. Anyway, I had that five minute window and thought I'd just check in.


The radio silence probably also has something to do with the fact that screwing up the picture-a-day thing really took the wind out of my sails. That and...I've just been feeling lackluster as of late. No big thang - I'm looking forward to filling my sails and getting my luster back this weekend when I reunite with my best girls. There is nothing like a champagne-fueled dance party and hours of coffee chat to bring the sparkle back.

{8.11.10_2/365 (Boooo!)}

In the meantime...a preview of another item crossed off the list.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Up and Away

As I was saying...it was early. The sun and the balloons were rising. Watching the whole process was pretty interesting, and the So Cal Balloons team was lovely.

We walked around inside of the balloon as the crew pumped them full of air with the fans.

Once the balloons were full, the crew got after it with a blow torch.

And then...physics happened...hot air rises...something, something.

Then we were off. We being me, Tom, four other couples, and Captain Sergio...

{One spendy couple sprung for the private ride}

{In the movie version of my life, Captain Sergio will be played by Javier Bardem}

After an hour or so, we bounced down. Unfortunately, we bounced down in the middle of the road. Tom and a couple of other gentlemen hopped out, and we started hovering again.

Then the crew and Captain Sergio orchestrated a very awkward and haphazard process of bouncing us to a more suitable landing zone.

Once we were back on the ground, we were presented with mimosas and our official "First Flight" certificates.

Hot air ballooning? Check and check.



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Success! ...and Failure.

On Saturday, I crossed two (two!) things off my 30x30 list. On Tuesday, it became official - the list is an epic fail.  Happily, the successes were very well documented, like over 400 shots well documented. I have been editing them down for two hours, and I'm still not finished. So...here's part one.

Watch the sun rise with Tom. Check.

Thanks to a Groupon offered back in June, I was able to snag a great deal on a morning hot air balloon ride in San Diego's version of wine country. Since this particular bargain required that we rise at the unnatural hour of four o'clock in the morning, it seemed only fair that this little adventure count for two list items - riding in a hot air balloon (duh) and watching the sun rise.. While checking out the sunrise closer to home would have allowed for more shut eye, dawn in Temecula was lovely.

We met the crew and our fellow balloon enthusiasts at a vineyard.

Next we piled into a giant van and drove to a big, empty field where the crew unhitched the baskets, unrolled the balloons, and started filling them up...with fans.

{giant van}
{big, empty field}
{balloon fan at work}

It was freezing (that's about 53 degrees in my world), but the brightly colored balloons and the quickly lightening sky were beautiful.

And just to prove that my night owl, sleep-loving husband did in fact rise before the sun to join my little adventure...

Now the bad news - on Monday, I forgot to take a picture. After 245 consecutive days of taking a picture, I forgot. I can't believe that I forgot. There have been several nights where I have jumped out of bed  just before sleep because I realized that I hadn't yet taken the photo of the day. For some reason, that alarm wasn't triggered on Monday night, and thus the streak was broken. Fail. Boo.

Oh well, moving on and starting over. On day one, take two of my photo-a-day challenge, I documented my very colorful homemade pesto pizza...

More fun with hot air balloons tomorrow...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back to School

The past three weeks have been a blur of back-to-school busyness fueled by Thai takeout and punctuated with a fabulous anniversary celebration, family dinners, and more list reduction.

 {my home away from home}

{I have also been spending an obscene amount of time and money here. Then again, the promise of yearly back-to-school shopping is at least 25% of the reason I became a teacher-see colored pens below..}

{Sra. Cusimano lays down the law.}

 {After ten to twelve hours on campus, making dinner is not in the cards. Saffron has been the beneficiary.}

 {In addition to setting up the room, writing lessons, and getting to know students, my work at school has included waging war on the legions of ants that have invaded.}

{It wasn't all work and ant warfare-we celebrated two years of husband and wifedom with the last bottle of wine from the wedding and an incredibly indulgent plate of lobster and crab legs.}

 {a little preview of the latest list accomplishment}

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

I just found the following written in a notebook that I briefly used as a journal last fall.

   "Confession: Sometimes I crank the heat up because I know the fourteen-year-old hussy who's shooting  daggers at me from the second row can't take her hoodie off without being sent to the assistant principal's office again for the hoochie mama top she's wearing."

Happily, this year is off to a much better start than last year, so I have not yet found it necessary to passive aggressively torture my students with the thermostat. Fingers crossed.