Sunday, October 19, 2008


hi everyone!

my cousin, charlene (charlie) music, is a budding documentary director out of harvard university and now working in conjunction with stanford university. she just finished her latest short film and it has made it to the final three in an online competition against two other shorts. whoever gets the most votes airs on PBS!

the film's name is ROZ (AND JOSHUA) . . .

without wanting you to simply vote for charlie because she's my family . . . i just ask that if you have a bit of time (15 or so minutes), you check out the three films and vote. if that vote happens to be for her, then awesome!


voting ends soon!

on behalf of charlie, thank you so much for your support!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


*UPDATE 10/13/08: ari is undergoing brain surgery again tonight in order to remove a blood clot.

please keep her in your prayers.

as for the count for saturday's car wash, it faaaaaaaaar exceeded anyone's hopes or dreams: over SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS! almost $1K an hour!!!


last friday, one of our students, a 15 year old sophomore named arianna, was struck head-on by a hit-and-run driver at our homecoming game.

paramedics rushed her to the uci trauma center, where she underwent brain surgery and remains in critical condition.

while the rest of the student body laughed and cheered and enjoyed the evening's festivities, arianna fought for her life inside a speeding ambulance.

. . . police have still been unable to find the driver.

though i have yet to meet arianna, her friends, many of whom have been my students, tell me she is bright, happy, intelligent, beautiful, kind, generous, honest, and everything that's good and wonderful in the world.

so, last monday, when these same students approached me about assisting them in putting on a car wash fundraiser at our local bowling alley i was only too happy to help in whatever way possible.

several days of preparation later, we had THE SINGLE MOST SUCCESSFUL car wash we've ever had. the community support yesterday was overwhelming. we easily had 30+ cars per hour the entire time we were there! in fact, we had to keep open an extra hour just to accommodate everyone.

at 4am, i got up, got ready, and by 5am i was at school to pick up posters we'd made earlier in the week, as well as soap, cloths, buckets, hoses, and everything else we'd need throughout the day. i was sure i'd be doing it alone, that the kids would never manage to get up before the sun (god only knows they never make it to my english class on time), but imagine my surprise when i found all of their bright faces in front of the school ready to work (there were at least 100 kids helping. and that's not even counting all of the family, parents, and community members who showed up to work side-by-side with the kids. a special thanks to the gentleman--whose name presently escapes me--who brought in his power washing equipment to expedite the process . . . THANK YOU!)!

by 6am, everything and everyone was in place. then, about a quarter to 7am, cars began streaming in . . . a caravan of cars was lined up the major thoroughfare the ENTIRE day.

there were no breaks, no lunch, just LOTS of hard work (and admittedly, lots of laughs . . . ok, AND a little bit of yelling and whip-cracking on my part) for almost 9 hours.

i am soooooooooooooooo proud of our kids. wow. what an amazing group of students we have. we are so blessed to have such a fabulous, giving, caring school-community.

i still don't know how much money we raised (we charged $5 per car, but many generous people gave twice as much, and in some cases, twenty times the cost). i'm guessing several thousand ($2K at least), though not nearly enough to pay for what it's costing to keep ari in the hospital (hey, great to live in a country where there's no universal healthcare! yeah, arianna's mom is single and doesn't have health insurance, so everything is out of pocket).

still, we hope it's enough to let arianna and her family know that we support them, love them, and pray for them with all our hearts and might.

"be determined." --ari

(all photos 2008: whittier, ca.)

this is the face of complete and utter (yet smiley) exhaustion. up at 4am, finished at 1pm . . . what's that? nine hours (plus or minus 2 hours for setting up?) of car washing? yeah, and you see those nice, red cheeks? uh huh, someone forgot to wear sunblock. sweet.

BUT, it was sooooooooooooooo worth it.

get better soon, arianna!!! everyone misses you and me, well, i can't wait to meet you!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


(2008: whittier, ca. thank you, mr. wonderful, for all of YOUR amazing, tireless, loving work with the OASIS program and our students. you're a tremendous inspiration to everyone around you.)

(2008: whittier, ca. woot woot!!!)

guess who got "teacher of the month" for our school's at-risk intervention program called OASIS (Organized Academic Support in School) yesterday?


i got a huge hug from my students who are in the program and a very cool t-shirt, which you can see me wearing!

isn't that sweet?

thank you so much! i'm flattered and honored.

but, it has to be said, it's the kids in the program who deserve the congratulations as they strive to overcome a myriad of very, very, very trying situations.

much, much, MUCH love . . .


here's why i was so tired:

the freshman homecoming float 2008! (by the way, we took third place!!! sure, it's out of four places, but fuck, it beats coming in last, no? we took out the juniors . . . seniors came in first and sophomores second.)

what's homecoming, you ask? well, for those of you across the pond, "homecoming" is when the school's alumni come home (get it?) to reconnect with the new generations (read: donate money). there's a dance, and a football game (of course!), and week-long festivities that culminate in what you see below . . .

(all photos 2008: whittier, ca.)

preparing . . .

i can't even tell you how many hours went into this. and i know it doesn't even look like it, but trust me, that's TWENTY-FOUR feet o' love and hard work, y'all. we had a fog machine, a bubble machine, spot lights, ambiance lighting, you name it. (a special thanks to mr. amazing, who busted his ass for us . . . not that he even knows this exists.)

captain hook looks ready . . . aaaaargh!

we be rollin' . . . (here i was in the bleachers praying to jeebus no-one would fall off and crack their head open. nobody did. that was nice.)

still rollin'. them thar blurs on the back be the lost kids. they were throwing hard candy at the crowd . . . who knew they'd act as projectile missiles, rather than treats? (note to self: buy chocolates next time. they hurt less when being hurled at 20 miles per hour.)

the sophomore class float. they got robbed. their float was the best, by far. but, we all know that the seniors always win, no matter what . . . sorry guys!

dude, cool background, i'll admit, but what happened to the rest of the float?!?! no props? hmmm . . .

very, very cool. plus, i LOVE "alice in wonderland". what's not to love? magic mushrooms . . . yeah, I KNOW WHY seniors chose this story . . . i mean, wow, they're soooooooo subtle, these kids.

oh, and just for shits and giggles, here's our class shirt. it sort of sucks . . .:

we sold out in just 3 days! awesome, given it's . . . er, simplicity.

Monday, October 6, 2008


(2008: la habra, ca.)

(2008: la habra, ca.)

me, yesterday afternoon, after an exhausting week and an even more exhausting weekend. no make-up, no glitter, no glam . . . just passed out on the couch, with bags under my eyes.


don't ask me why, but i signed up to be freshman class adviser.

doesn't sound like a big deal, right? i mean, it ONLY entails:
1) organizing and building the class of 2012 homecoming float (pictures coming) for the next 4 years.
2) organizing 3 club food day sales per year for the next 4 years.
3) creating and selling class of 2012 t-shirts (picture coming) to the 600 class of 2012 students, for the next 4 years.
4) putting on the junior prom in 2 more years.

and generally catering to whatever else you can think 600 teenagers might need/want in the next 4 years.

oh, and, umm, fronting the dough ($$$) for all of the accoutrements involved in the aforementioned activities, FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS.

ja, i know, i'm an idiot. (although, thank jeebus that another idiot was willing to follow suit and co-advise with me . . . you're the best ms. freud!)

this, on top of teaching 5 english classes AND volunteering to teach the journalism production class for free because there wasn't enough funding to run the class--as you know, california, like the rest of the us (and now, global economy), is in a serious fucking financial crisis--so, it was either i volunteer, or the school newspaper goes the way of the dodo.

i hate politicians.

a lot.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


i know we live in a disgustingly consumerist society . . . and i try, i really try to stay away from all of that bullshit, but last week, when my other phone died, i caved in and bought an lg dare AND jawbone II bluetooth headset.

now, i don't know if this is possible . . . doctors out there might want to comment as to whether or not the human body is capable of this (or not. shouldn't y'all be out there curing something?) . . . but i seriously had my first eargasm, totally unrelated to classical music (i didn't even know it was possible--imagine my surprise).

no shit, the dare/jawbone combination actually sent my ear (the right one, if you're curious. though, i suspect that my left ear would also climax if i used it in that one) into earstasy.

i was earstatic with how incredibly eariffic these two products work.

so, listen, if you're in the market, check these two out . . . they're earabulous.


Saturday, October 4, 2008


my dad died 20 years ago today.

i can't believe it.

two decades have passed since i last heard his deep, rich laugh,
since i last cradled myself in his arms with his large, rough, loving hands,
since i last smelled his clean, fresh scent, as he left to go to work,
since i last saw him tango gracefully across the kitchen floor with my mother,
since i last sat across from him at the dinner table, while he asked about all of our days' toils and triumphs.

twenty years of missed memories . . .

he never saw me
attend my first camp,
move from brownie to girl scout,
play the flute, or the cello,
celebrate my quinceanera,
date my first boyfriend,
earn my black belt,
graduate high school, or college, or grad school,
buy my first car,
change my own flat tires (he'd have been proud),
get my first apartment,
or become a professional.

and he'll never see me
walk down the aisle,
buy my first house,
have my first child, or second, and, possibly, my third.

. . .

but where god takes away, he also gives back.

today is not only the 20th anniversary of my father's death, but also my niece's birthday.

happy birthday, jennifer leigh! i love you.

. . .

i love you both.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


people are weird.

i mean, i'm weird too, but somehow i don't seem THAT weird to myself.

make sense?

no, of course not, it's ME talking.

anyhow, i keep getting hits from google, which is fine; great, even. what i find amusing, though, is HOW people stumble upon my little corner of the net . . .

for example, in the last week, i've had about 50 hits for "bbw latina teacher".

yeah, my thoughts exactly.

wow, if i would have fucking known that there was a market out there for rubenesque, latina teachers, i would NOT have signed up for a gym membership!

why the hell am i sweating my ass off, when clearly there are men out there who'd prefer for me to keep it ON?

now, where are those chocolate bon-bons?