The Umbrella


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cc licensed ( ) flickr photo shared by Nantucket Historical…

Last week, I was down in San Diego. My brother had the day off and my sister-in-law was back from NYC, so we decided that it would be fun to go to the beach. We headed out to Silver Strand, the state beach between Imperial Beach and Coronado. We set up and the kids took off to splash in the surf. We were sitting around talking and eating lunch and my brother, Dennis, looks over at another family and says, “Hey, you know, we had a beach umbrella like that one over there.”

My sisters and I just look and acknowledge his comment and he goes on.

“Ate, remember when mom asked for the WD40?”

I reply, “You mean, the 3 D 4?” laughing then nodded “yes.”

My mom, no matter how many times you correct her, will always call “WD40” “3D4.” I have no idea why but it’s what she does and you just have to be able to translate it to English.

Dennis proceeded to relay the story of how my mom used the beach umbrella as a table umbrella for a kids picnic table that they have in their backyard. That makes sense right? Then he tells us that the joint where the top half of the umbrella and the bottom extending piece is slicked with WD40. Instead of putting the piece in correctly, my mom saturated the joint with WD40 and jammed the pieces together and it was impossible to take it apart.

We all head home and just have a good laugh about it because, hey, it’s our mom.

The next morning, my sister and I head out in search of the best donuts in San Diego. Yes, we drove 25 minutes to Santee but that’s another story for another blog. We call up our sister-in-law and tell her we are heading over with donuts.

We are there for about 30 minutes before my mom is back returning from her daily church service. We are sitting around eating and talking and then suddenly, my mom says, “Anak, did I break the umbrella?”

We tell her “yes” and probably repeat what my brother already told her.

10 minutes go by and my mom quietly says, “So, if it doesn’t fit, it’s wrong.”

We all look at her in silence..

Then we all burst into laughter and my mom is there looking at us with this expression of “what.” And we just starting laughing even more.

“If it doesn’t fit, it’s wrong.”



Waking up this morning to the sounds of birds chirping and the sun slowly creeping up, I thought and hoped that the news I heard last night was not true.
But, I knew it was true…
I checked my email and there it was…the letter from our boss confirming what I heard last night…
We had lost another bright light in our community. Another one.
Being the cynical person I am, I always read that phrase, “a bright light,” and think it is a little cliché. However, for this kid, he really truly is a bright shining beautiful light that we no longer have in this world. He was not my formal student but he was my student. I think, as a teacher, we have so many of those kids, who we grow to admire and love, even if they were not sitting in our classes. He was one of those kids…
I remember him in seventh grade, always smiling, positive, helpful, engaged. Some times, that personality fades with each passing year, however, for this kid, it was never the case. Up until 9th grade, he was still that amazing bright force that would come in through the library doors with a shining smile and some entertaining news.
I remember walking across the campus with a basket full of magazine or my arms loaded with mal and he would say, “What’s the news, Ms. Martino?” Which became our little code for what was new in People Magazine :) We would stop and go over the gossip pages for a few moments and that was it. A few laughs and back to work. Off he would go to sing or rehearse for the school musical or off to help take visitors on a tour or visit with other teachers or spend time with his friends. He always was off doing something wonderful, bringing some sunshine into someone’s day.
And just like we do with so many of our students, he went to the other campus…but he was still at our campus. Visiting, supporting, and being a real part of our community. Still lovely and bright even with all the challenges that comes with being at that campus.,,
I can’t believe it…
I don’t want to believe it…
And I am so horribly sad and heartbroken over the loss of this incredible person…

Memory? What memory?


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Lynda Barry 4 Minute Diary

I have been doing this 4 minutes diary that Lynda Barry suggested her students do with her for her course on Doodling and Neuroscience. It’s actually a really good exercise and I have come to realize that I don’t have much of a memory. It is reminding me that I need to pay more attention to things.

The remembering section was a lot easier for me than the seeing section. I thought, it would be the other way around but I think, I am so buried with whatever it is I’m doing that I have not taken the time to stop, walk around and just see what’s happening around me.  I get so caught up in the business of the day that I am not noticing the things I used to notice.

I do notice animals a lot though. Especially dogs. They stick out in my seeing section for my journal.

Well, the journey continues.

Saved by the tree cutter

Little Beggers

Originally uploaded by Miss Martini (AnnaLynn M.)

I’ve been dog and house sitting for the last couple of days at my coworkers house. This is the first time I’ve taken care of these dogs and, honestly, though my coworker is nice, he scares the crap out of me!
Anyway, so today, was the last day of dog/house sitting. The cleaning lady came and I took the dogs on a walk and everything was peachy. Who would have thought that anything exciting would happen, right?
I get back to the house and the cleaning lady is still working. I see, the gardener from next door knocking on the door. I really didn’t think it was a big deal so I park and head to the house. He starts saying something about the dogs in Spanish and I’m like “excuse me?” This is after I had talk to Alena, the cleaning lady, about how I was telling Tiffany that I need to learn Spanish. So, I made out something about the dogs. Then he repeats it in English, that one of the dogs fell into the pool and can’t get out.
My heart jumped out of my mouth! I ran inside and Alena had already made it out to the backyard and was taking the dog out of the pool.
WTF? How does this happen? These dogs are used to being around the pool so it was weird that the boy dog had fallen in. So, I was toweling him off and then we noticed there was a trail of blood on the floor.
Again, WTF?????
So, of course, he’s all nervous and freaked out so he’s just running around leaving little puddles of blood. The other dog is just wondering what’s happening. I called the owner and then had to take boy dog to the vet. We thought he had ripped his nails out trying to climb out of the pool but it wasn’t that bad. Thank goodness!
That was all the excitement I needed today.
I can’t imagine what would have happened if the cleaning lady wasn’t there and if I hadn’t gotten back from my errands. I could have just left but I wanted to take them on another walk. It could have been so bad because there is no way out of that part of the pool (it’s an attached jacuzzi).
That puppy was so lucky.

It’s Happening : Crazy Cat Lady


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Crazy Cat Lady from the SimpsonsLast night I had the strangest dreams. I started reading Julia Wertz’s book, The Infinite Wait and Other Storiesand I think, that totally made me have weird dreams. Or it could’ve been the healthified cobb salad my housemate made. Either or.

I can’t remember how the dream began except it got weird. I was asked on a date by a coworker, which always skeeves me out a bit because really? no. I think, that made me uncomfortable and want to puke a little in my sleep. Than I was on the phone with someone and I kept hearing these noises like frying fish. I kept thinking, “why are you frying fish and talking on the phone?!?!?!” At the time, it just seemed dangerous and also annoying. I’m sure that stems from the fact that I cannot talk on the phone and do other things. This whole inability to multitask came from this article in NPR, Think You’re Multitasking? Think Again. The whole frying popping noise and disturbing dream about dating woke me up.

I realized that the popping noise was actually the rain that was pouring non-stop last night. So, of course, that just made me want to pee, so I had to get up. I am blinder than a bat, I need glasses to see anything at all. But being that it was the middle of night, pitch black in my room, and I was too lazy to find my glasses (which happen to be right next to my head in my bed), I decided to take the dangerous trek across my room, dodging furniture and piles of clothes and bags, to the bathroom. I was also 1/2 at one point, I looked down and saw something blurry and possibly orange. I thought it was Polly.


I don’t let the cats upstairs at all so I kept thinking it was weird that Polly was upstairs. Also, Polly hates me so she wouldn’t ever be upstairs anyway.

Then I realized, “that’s not Polly!” It was my frickin’ bag!!!

OY! I told my housemate and he just laughed at me. Because, you know, I’m actually turning into a crazy cat lady, without the cats!!! Once you start hallucinating about cats, I don’t know. Is there any other way to go? At least it was cats and now other things, I guess. At least it wasn’t the monster from MAMA. Also, cat hallucinations don’t include the actually cats or their cat mess. So, there’s that…

Ah, the bright side. Hey! It’s also my Friday on Thursday!!! Hurray semester break!



More insect friends: Spiders


Jumping Spider

Well, I had another insect visitor. Last night, it was spider. Not this particular one but I did see and free one of these are work the other week.

Last night, I was practicing yoga and as I was lying in shavasana, I looked over and a spider was scuttling under my futon. I was kind of big. Definitely, not a daddy long leg, which are the spiders I usually see around the house. So, what does a spider signify? It seems they help weave a balance in life and awaken creativity. It also symbolizes infinity and connection.

I have been thinking a lot about my future here at the school. There will be a lot of changes in the next few years and I am not sure where I fit in. Maybe I need to think about what my next journey will be whether it is here or somewhere else….

Cricket visitors


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Yesterday, @swerlspice, @swirlspice and @sibbotery, and I were tweeting about spirit animals. Sorry, to all those people, who’s streams I bombarded with talk about spirit animals. Also, this seems to be in my universe lately because during the Thanksgiving break, I was talking to @headphonerecord and @felicious about animal spirits as well. The universe might be trying to tell me to pay attention. We also talked about journaling about our encounters… so here it goes.



The last couple of evenings, I’ve seen a cricket hanging around. I finally caught it the other night and set it free outside. Then I decided to look up what seeing a cricket could mean. I don’t see them often…

This is what I found:

Cricket will attune to new vibrations and will aid in heightening intuition, sensitivity and awareness. Crickets can teach effective communication techniques and subconsciousness communication cues to obtain what is needed or wanted. Crickets are about resurrection and transformation from stages as in the molting process. Is it time to shed old ideas to make way for the new? Expect changes and new developments that will bring growth through reflection and patience as the sensitivity to mental, emotional and physical challenges are coming your way. Are you singing your song to be heard at this time? Is it time to rest in contemplation or jump toward your intended target whether it be at work, in relationships, or personal goal and dream? Cricket will help in finding the right balance of action using intuition and subtle awareness.

I am in the process of thinking about what I need to do career wise because I am not sure how long they will need me here at the school. I want to get into programming and I would like to go to Hack Academy in San Francisco. That is my goal. I would like to teach programming here and at least gain a better grasp of concepts that I do not have learning on my own. So, changes and transformation.

“life like a steam engine”



I’ve been listening to a lot Peggy Lee the last couple of days. Sometimes, she just makes me happy. Just heard her song, “Bless You” off of the Gangster Squad soundtrack. :) It’s a pretty good soundtrack. Just learned about Hoagie Carmichael off of it and it has a track by Kitty, Daisy, & Lewis. Definitely, worth giving it a listen.

I just remembered that I forgot to call my friend, who was here for the winter break. I was so sick, then school started. I am so bad at keeping in touch like that. I know, this is a lame excuse, but I really do not like talking on the phone. And I cannot seem to break out of that habit. I try every year. But when I call people, it just seems awkward, and I know, it’s because I’m just uncomfortable. I guess, I will try again this year because I like to torture my self like that…

I am taking class this semester. It’s about assessment in online courses, so far, not so good. I can’t access things I need to access and it’s frustrating me. Plus it does not help that I get a little obsessive about trying to access that online wiki, like all of a sudden, it’s magically going to work. NOT! I had to just stop and do something else. I just wanted to get through this week already. Now, I just feel like I’m behind. If I can’t access it tomorrow I am going to drop. It’s not my fault but why should I stick with it when it’s taken this long and the problem is still unresolved.

Also, I tried to do some yoga but I just was not in it. Bad yoga day. I think my body just wanted to stay in child’s pose for an hour and a half. So instead I ordered dinner for my self and the housemates. Yoga or veggie burger? Yoga or veggie burger? Yoga 0 Veggie Burger 1.

Well, I’m going to listen to some Kitty, Daisy, & Lewis and start reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I didn’t watch the movie so I am not really sure what to expect. It did get almost 5 stars on good reads.

“Life is like a steam engine. It moves forward and back…” I’m moving forward with this evening…

Have a good one!

Me and my neck

Today, I started an online class. It’s only day on and I am already irritated. This is not a good sign. I think I might drop it. I am just not that enthused about the class.

Also, today, I seem to have stressed out my neck and also the two days of running is affecting my ankle. I guess, I just need to power through in order to get all that scar tissue broken down…

I feel like just venting today. I am in pain, which makes me cranky. My new class is dumb, which makes me cranky. I am tired, which makes me cranky. I just can’t deal today. Has anyone every had a day like today? Anyway, this just means I need to get off line.

Happy Tuesday.

10 pm already?!?


Another day. I was thinking about when I should write here versus my “professional” blog. I was thinking I should do that one once a week and this will be my daily one. Too bad, I’m not really doing much…

Trying to cook more and focus..again.

I can’t believe it’s already 10 pm. I got home, watched some Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and other crap. I think, tv viewing wise, I’m just waiting for The Game of Thrones. I started A Dance With Dragons today. I can’t wait to read more about John Snow and Daenerys. I did complete a few things I had on my list – like going for a run and then practicing some yoga, then making dinner. I always forget that it takes twice as much to do things. So now I’m just exhausted…


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