Spring Sprung

These photos are from last week.  I broke my shopping ban in Toronto over spring break and picked up a second pair of Blundies.  Seriously, I need another pair of Blundstones like I need a hole in my head.  But these are black, and the pair I already have are brown. That is my thought process here, I’m not even kidding. But ALSO, they were cheaper because I was in Canada, another Commonwealth country, and I have more buying power with the current exchange rate. Justification of a ridiculous purchase! All jokes aside though, these boots will last me literally forever. One woman I know has had her Blundies since college, and I’m pretty sure she’s at least a little bit older than me.  This means my Blundies will last untill I’m dead. Just like this dress from 2012, this sweater from 2015, and this scarf from 2013.

On the school front, there are only 4 (or 5, depending on the positivity of the person) weeks till school is out!  Our kids have been testing these past 2 weeks, and the teachers have been feeling the testing fatigue. Testing at our school means 100 min blocks, all day every day for 2 weeks. I love my kids, but these blocks have felt extra long these days. I have also been planning these class blocks packed with super relaxing and chill activities such as annotating scientific texts, structured discussions/debates, argumentative writing, and synthesis.

It’s funny – every year I think I’m sooooo done, I’m just going to show movies for the rest of the year! But then a super interesting topic comes around and bam, I spend heaps of time really working to develop their thinking skills.  This year, they will be studying the potential future US/Mexico border wall, but through the lens of the ecological impacts a large physical barrier would create. These past 2 weeks I’ve been busy working on the build up – not even the juicy part! We’re still just working on learning ecological relationships (trophic levels, disruptions in food webs, etc), and I got evaluated this past Tuesday.  Ugh.  My lesson was pretty good – I had spent hours working on it myself and elicited the eyes of no less than 4 other people, which means it was “effective”. Evaluations really have a way of feeling punitive as opposed to a learning experience. It’s to the point where I have been trained to just be thankful that I’m “effective”. SAD!

THLT blundstones

THLT blundstones4

THLT blundstones5

THLT blundstones3

THLT blundstones2

glasses: warby parker – scarf: topman – cardigan: madewell – dress: gap – leggings: target – boots: blundstone 510

No really, what is this?

What the hell.  Seriously.  I knew I was in for winter weather, and I’ve been in winter weather –> snowboarding in Tahoe for the past decade-plus.  I’ve been in slush conditions so wet that boarding down the mountain it felt like the snow was grabbing onto my snowboard, sucking it down.  None of this has prepared me for my first nor’easter storm, hot on the heels of Hurricane Sandy.  What is up with this rain snow sleet wet-gloppy-masses-of-half-frozen-snow pelting me on my 20 min walk to the subway (thanks to Sandy cutting the D train short).  I swear, there was no direction you could head in where the snow-rain-slush was not coming at you head-on, sticking to every surface, drenching you underneath the new mounds of snow collecting on your half frozen body.  When I finally got in the door of the apartment, B ushered me to the bathroom to stand and drip while I peeled the layers off.  

Before all this I was at school, hugging my space heater, cozy as heck in my super warm sweater dress, wearing my “wtf” face.

jacket and boots: last year’s h&m – sweater dress: 3 years ago’s gap – tights: uniqlo – rain/snow/sleet/slush boots: hunter, on sale from nordstrom rack – rain coat: last year’s anthropologie, also here and here

3 Mile Dim Sum

Today is Halloween.  Some people are crazy about Halloween — I am not one of them.  I haven’t dressed up for it in years, unless you count this as an old man of the sea costume.  Is it really a costume though if it’s your usual look?  Nothing here is new…just the same old stuff out of my closet.

hat and jeans: f21 – jacket and belt: hella old gap – shirt: levis (last seen here) – tank: alternative apparel – bag: freitag – boots: boutique 9 cooper ankle boot

Today is also the third day we’ve been out of school because of Hurricane Sandy.  Now it’s looking like classes will not resume until Monday.  I’m on an extended staycation now.  I’m lucky…others in Manhattan, Jersey and Staten Island are dealing with toxic flood waters and sustained power outages.  With nothing better to do, we walked all the way down to Sunset Park (Brooklyn’s Chinatown) for lunch.  The subways are still down so from Park Slope it was a 58 block walk (3.5 miles).  Dim Sum at Bamboo Garden was mediocre at best.  There are three more large dim sum houses in that area though, so I’ll eventually get around to trying all of them to find my favorite.

Nelson was obliging enough to let me test out my camera settings on him.  Thanks, bud.

home work = домашняя работа

I have a good number of Eastern European/Cental Asian students this year, coming from countires such as Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Tajikistan.  Many of them speak limited/survival English at best, but they all speak Russian.  So it’s been a struggle teaching them biology…in English.  I rely on using pictures to illustrate concepts, using vocabulary charts and other students to fill in the blanks.  Today, I learned a new Russian word, which I have been using probably all too often to describe everything.  домашняя работа (domashnyaya rabota), which means homework, as in “Unless you can tell me right now what the ‘Z-scheme’ is in photosynthesis, I can tell you straight copied your domashnyaya rabota from the internet.”  That’s right.  Do your domashnyaya rabota!!

This corduroy pea coat has been a staple in my closet for the past 6 years at least.  I got it ages and ages ago from the Gap, way back when my old roommate Lori worked there.  Its the best cut ever – boxy in the body but slim in the arms.  So you have room to move and layer underneath, but you don’t end up looking like Popeye the Sailor Man with huge arms.

coat: hella old gap – cardigan: hella old therapydress: gap – tights: uniqlo – high socks: asos – booties: steven by steve madden

Smocks of Michelle

There’s no way to start this post without sounding stalker-ish so here goes:  I’m so semi-obsessed (oxymoron, I know) with Michelle Williams, I feel the need to emulate her style as a neighbor of her neighborhood.  I mean, who doesn’t want to copy this?

On a less stalker-ish note, I’ve also been semi-obsessed with finding the perfect summer smock dress.  I’ve always loved smock dresses.  To me they exude comfort, style, simplicity and minimalism, all while being sexy in a very subversive way.  Great examples here, here and here.

B on the other hand, strongly disagrees with me on the subtly sexy bit.  I brought this dress home the other day, and he instantly called it the B.W.G.D. — “big white grandma dress”.  He likens it to a large shapeless sack-ish grandma’s nightgown, the type his grandmother in Minnesota wears.  He thinks Grandma, I think Michelle – grandma shoes and everything.  thoughts?

dress: gap – sandals: worishofer – bag: target – glasses: warby parker – lips: nars heat wave

Furlough Friday

It was a furlough friday.  So Aimee, Anne and I went for a stroll around Aimee’s hood.  Right off of 21st street, there is this amazing mural.  Totally worth checking out if you happen to be near by, which is exactly what we did.  I needed to get a picture with the bambi deer thing.  I was picturing it trying to take a bite out of my butt, which is what Bambi tries to do sometimes (poor thing is just too short).

The ‘weekend’ called for the weekend uniform.  jeans, v-neck, a hoodie and my Freitag bag.  This bag is probably the oldest thing I own that I still love and use regularly.  I bought it in Switzerland back in 2001.  It’s so awesome and so well made it’s lasted this long even with hardcore proper use (just about every day for more than 5 years).  Check out Freitag, they make the best bags ever.  seriously.
rx sunnies: bonlook – jacket: old urban outfitters – hoodie: american apparel – t shirt: threads for thought via nordstrom rack – belt: old gap – jeans: current elliot – my most favorite old old booties ever: BP by nordstrom – bag: freitag – necklace: family heirloom

My mom helped me braid my hair this morning.  I saw it here a few days ago and wanted it.  And since I know people get curious and I field this question all the time (more than you can imagine): Yes, it did hurt.  No it does not hurt anymore.  I’ve had these for years (since 2004 I think).  Yes, I still like them.  

P.S.  I’m not mad, this is just how my face is.  People always ask me that too.

nude at school

sunnies: borrowed from aimee – shirt: gap – cardigan and belt: j.crew – wallet: UO – booties: dolce vita

Today was a minimum day at school, the day before spring break.  SPRING BREAK!!  At my school, we celebrate the beginning of spring with a festival where all the clubs set up tables and sell food to fund raise.  I made like a good teacher and bought myself a snack from every table.  No complaints from my belly yet!  I should have planned accordingly though…my outfit was not very springy at all, just very neutral.  Thanks to Aimee for letting me borrow her shades!  And to my student A, who informed me today that it bugs her when her mom shops at F21, and so therefore, I should stop shopping at teen places also. Is she right?  While I muse over that friendly comment from A, here are some other photos from Spring Fest, along with a cute one of my co-worker Nicole (english teacher) and her daughter Kira.  Student faces are blurred out, so they look a little weird.

sunny sundays

It’s a sunny sunday, with hella cold wind whipping around.  B and I met a couple friends for brunch at Bar Tartine earlier.  We wanted to chill out at Dolores Park for a bit after, but the San Francisco weather today is prohibitively cold.  So instead, like any good little SF techie/teacher, we are both now sitting inside, staring at our laptops.  I blame my bad back. Last friday, my back decided it was time to sieze up on me, like it does at least once a year. It hurts. a lot.  And, as well as wincing in pain with every step, I was stuck at a 45 degree angle for the past two days. Today I’m more at a 80 degree angle from horizontal.  I stuck on a happy face so that B could snap some photos in front of my neighbor’s garage.

I wore this dress last time to a girl’s night out here.  Not much of a mix up this time, but the cold weather called for leggings, boots and my beat up but loved 6 year old pea coat. What’s hidden underneath it all is one of those grandpa style back braces that employees of Home Depot wear. It’s seriously un-sexy.

sunnies: f21 – coat: hella old Gap – dress: madewell – leggings: target – boots: frye – tote: Marc by Marc Jacobs (gift from my sis), last seen here – necklace and bracelet: old family heirlooms
P.S. check out how Rachel from That’s Chic wears my same dress here. I love this dress!