Category: Uncategorized (page 2 of 4)

Musings on Misheard Lyrics and Friendships

I have lived with my roommate Sarah for seven years. We are the type of roommates who like spending time together. Lucky for us because we spend A LOT of time together. Sarah and I work together, cook meals together, play on two soccer teams and after all that, actually like traveling together. After a while you would think there wouldn’t be anything to say, being that we see a lot of the same people all day. Sometimes we can finish each other’s sentences or give just a look and we know. There are always things to say but sometimes it can be predictable. Sometimes though,  we surprise one another.

While cooking dinner (beef and baby bok choy stir fry with a ginger glaze) we had a conversation about ninetys t.v. shows. We ticked off a list: Saved by The Bell, ALF, Full House.

“Don’t forget Fresh Prince! (I begin to sing) Now, this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down. And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there. I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air…. In WestVillanovia”.

Sarah stops me. “Wait, what?”

“In West Villanovia, born and raised,” I said.

“I’m sorry. Did you just tell me Will Smith grew up in West VILLA-NO-VIA? Where exactly is that?”

“The East Coast where, you know, where he spent most of his days.”

“It is West Philadephia.”

“Are you sure?” I say, not wanting to admit defeat.

“Yeah.” She puts her hands on her hips, convinced I’m wrong.

“No. It’s West Villanovia where he was, um, chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool.” I begin to grin.

“Can you find that for me on a map?” At this point we are both in tears from laughing.

“Sure. It’s out on the East coast where he grew up playing b-ball.”

Sometimes it’s the little things that surprise you. I’m thankful for the silly conversations only best friends can have.

The Fresh Prince Theme Song




To Be Free, To Fly

Today in class my students were asked to free write. Students usually write 2-3 times a week. I write with them, modeling the thoughts, struggles and frustrations of a writer. Students may pick any topic that they wish. If they are stuck, two topics are put on the board for them to investigate. Today’s topics:

Favorite flavor of ice cream or superpower. I like the latter choice:


I stare out on the moonlight city, assessing the tiny cars and lights illuminating the buildings. This is where I am happiest, away from the noise of everyday life, apart from others, at a distance but still assessing the situation. It’s like looking through a display window. I perceive that others are close but I cannot come into contact with them.

Silence falls upon the cityscape like a fresh coat of newly falling snow. Off in the distance I perceive a problem. My senses heighten and I zoom in on the cries of someone in distress.

Donned in a red cape and clad from head to toe in black I crouch down about ready to leap out into the night and towards trouble, towards adventure.

My toes grip the ledge and my arms spread out wide. “One, two.” I jump on three leaping into the abyss. My cape opens and turns into a parachute. I glide down, down, down. “Beeep, beep, beep.”

I open one eye, then the other. My alarm pulls me out of my dreams. “Awww man. It was all a dream.”

If only I could fly.




Missed Connections


“I need you to call me. You can’t just text. And what is with all those selfies? I don’t know how to respond when you send me a picture of you at work.” She drummed the fingers of her right hand on the table every now and then, revealing some nervousness, a slight insecurity or doubt. Her torso leaned in towards him yet her arms were crossed.

“Okay I’ll call you.” He said in a flat, even tone.

“I don’t need to be called everyday. Just once in a while. It’s more personal, more human.” She shifted in her seat.

“Okay I’ll call,” he repeated.

“I mean I’m not saying it has to be a long conversation. Just call me.” Her eyes darted towards his lips, his smile.

“Okay,” he said in a steady tone.


“Okay,” he repeated.

She sighed deeply, sightly more reassured but still not convinced.


Text: “I miss you. When will I see you again?”

Text: “Wednesday?”

Text:”Wednesday is perfect.”


Text:”Sorry, I have a thing with work. I have to leave for L.A. for a few days. I can’t see you Wednesday.”

Text:”Okay. Let’s talk tomorrow. I miss you.”

Text: “I miss you too.”


She picked up her phone and looked at the missed call and saw there was a voice message. “Hi. You told me to call and I am leaving a message. I hope you are well. If you get this call me. I will be at the gym and then out to dinner but we can try again tomorrow.”

She looked at the clock and knew she would soon be fast asleep. They would miss each other again. Another day lost. Another missed opportunity to connect.



The Multiple Roles in Everyday Life

In preparation for writing about my slice of life today, I read a great post about who we are as writers

Jennie wrote about reading old blog posts and finding out who we are in different aspects of our lives. This made me think of who I am as a writer. Here is what I came up with:


Open one eye, then the other. Crawl out of bed, get ready for school. Step into the role of educator of 9 years. Dress responsibly. Check. Be early. Check.

Carpool home with roommate. On the way home sing the end of each line of the song on the radio a bit too loudly, knowing that kind of bugs her. Step into the role of a carefree friend.

At home, don an apron, put my roommate on sous chef duty and start chopping leeks, and carrots for a scallop dinner. Yell out “behind” every time I need to get a dish out of the cupboard. (In my mind, I am competing on Chopped) Judge the presentation and flavor outloud (mostly to myself) about how to add depth to the meal with butter and an acid. (You always need an acid). Master chef role accomplished.

Throw on my soccer uniform, race to the game and cheer on my team loudly. Get between the offense and the goal. Throw my weight around. Act tough. Be aggressive.

Get home, curl up on the couch and stare at the blank cursor. Wonder what to type. “Who am I as a writer? What role of I take on?” Sometimes as writers it can be intimidating to know where to begin because we are so complex. What do we believe? What part of ourselves do we want to highlight? Minimize? Are we superheroes or villains? Both?

I look forward to the slice of life writing for the month of March, about defining and redefining my role as writer, thinker, dreamer.

Rain: A Time for Reflection

The rain this weekend was so welcome. Being perpetually in a drought, rain is always something wonderful in California. The rain makes me contemplative. It gives me time to get quiet, something I don’t make much time for in my life. Recently a friend posted about mindfulness and the fact that our lives are so filled with motion and noise. She wrote about the idea that we are always rushing off to some next activity or place. I often feel like racing throughout the day with no end to the marathon.

This weekend was a welcome break from all the activity. I finished I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, a beautiful and tragic story about love, mental illness and loss. I did laundry from start to finish and all the clothes actually ended up in drawers, rather than in the dryer from which I take one piece of clothing out to wear as needed. I called my cousin and we talked for an hour.

The rain helped bring some mindfulness to my life. I felt comforted and insulated at home. This weekend I focused on the little things. I was thankful for the home I am so blessed to live in and the food I am able to cook from the bounty in our fridge.

I hope there are a few more rainy days in San Diego’s future. It helps me to be present, to be in the moment.

Shared Memories

Tomorrow my grandpa turns 89. In honor of his birthday, we had a family celebration with cake and presents. At the end of the event, he and I were standing in the kitchen saying our goodbyes. During a lull in the conversation he pointed out some photos on the fridge of himself. In one he was copilot on an old plane. The other photo showed him at a war memorial commemorating the last bullet fired in World War II. He was part of that infantry. The picture showed him standing at the memorial. I could tell he was proud of this moment.

I had never heard either story of his recent flight or of the war. What other untold stories have I not heard before? In that moment I felt happy for t11454297503_e27946e4ff_hhe moments we spent together and hopeful to spend many more with him.


Have you ever noticed how yawns are contagious? Why is it that you yawn and other people yawn too? People don’t sneeze when you sneeze or cough when you cough. Researchers investigated this topic and found out more about who copies yawns. Family members are most likely to copy a yawn. When someone yawns in a group of friends, however, less people copy the yawner. In a workplace, even less people mimic the yawn. This means that the more close you are to the yawner, the more likely you are to copy their yawn. The time gap between yawn one and yawn two is significant. If your partner begins to returns your yawns less quickly each time, this might indicate a lack of closeness between the two of you. According to the article, that might mean trouble.

I told this information to my roommate on the way to dinner followed up by the comment that she didn’t copy my yawn when we were at home earlier.

“It guess it’s not meant to be,” (meaning our friendship).

“It’s sad that it has to end this way.”


Later she yawned and then I yawned five minutes later.

“That’s it! You waited too long to return my yawn. You might as well pack your bags.”

“Yep. I need a new roommate. Things are definitely going downhill.”

Joy Is…

Joy is

watching students cheer and dance on a rainy Tuesday

Joy is

a student greeting me every morning

Joy is

a warm coffee and a hot scone

Joy is

a student’s excitement about a book

Joy is in the little moments.

I am so glad to have so many little moments.

The Art of Losing

There is a special art to losing. I know. I am an expert.

My soccer team has been losing, for two seasons, almost every week, almost every game.

Why you ask, am I on a losing team? It is a number of factors: Some players are new to the game; others have never played indoor soccer. Some weeks our roster is overflowing with players and other weeks we barely have four to start the game. Why keep playing? I like the exercise and my friends are on the team. We didn’t always lose all the time.

This week there was no art in losing. We were down 6-0. The other team decided to play a man down to “help us out”.  When on offense, they would often stop when coming near the ball and wait. Just wait. That is pretty insulting when the other team just stops mid play and watches you. On top of that, the other team booted the ball off the field on purpose because they thought the ball was too hard.

Apparently our coach forgot about the art of losing because he called the game right there. In the middle of the second half with 15 minutes to go, he quit, threw in the towel. Many walked off the team complaining about the other team. Today we lost our composure; we didn’t act with dignity. There was no art in this game.


A List of Bad Ideas

Bad Idea #1:

Using baking soda instead of cornstarch when making stir fry.

Bad Idea #2:

Practicing for the three legged race by tying shoe laces together. The knots are really hard to undo!

Bad Idea #3:

Baking while unfocused-the result: three cakes instead of one.

Bad Idea #4:

Tasting pipping hot cake batter. The result: a burnt mouth.

Bad Idea #5:

Drinking coffee after 5 p.m.-no sleep for me!


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