A Sad Goodbye

Last night my husband and I made the decision to put down our thirteen-year-old Golden Cordie. She was diagnosed with leukemia three months ago and we didn't pursue chemo because of her age, so this day was inevitable. Over the weekend she couldn't keep down food or liquid, so by Sunday night we knew that she needed to get in to see a vet. I waited for several hours at the emergency clinic so she could be rehydrated and get some meds for a crazy high fever she had. Everything worked for a few hours and allowed her some sleep and a little pep in her step, but soon she was right back where she had been. When we went to her regular vet last night we anticipated the worst and our fears were confirmed. 

She was such a good dog. Anxious, neurotic, and stubborn, for sure, but she was sweet and trustworthy around our son and belongings. She loved banana muffins, hot dogs, swimming, and her family. She was a trooper until the very last second. 

She was loved immensely and will be missed terribly.  

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Hi friends! Link up in the comments if you play along!

1. Is it like totally lazy and ridiculous to really, really want to pay someone to come redo the shelving paper in my pantry and cupboards. I've never done it before but it seems incredibly annoying.

2. Monday when I got to work I noticed that Sawyer had put several of his coloring pages from the weekend in my bag for me to put up in my classroom. He has come a few times lately on Friday nights while I get some things done and he was really, really proud that his art was on my walls. 

3. Passive aggressive rant warning: I hate it when people take credit on social media for doing something (like buy a house, car, pay off student loans, etc...) when I know damn well that their parents helped them. It shouldn't bother me, but as someone who as paved her own way, proudly and with so much exhaustion and stress, it does. 

4. If you have kiddos, or know kiddos, the Dan Santat books are so good. We just read After the Fall and The Adventures of Beekle the Unimaginary Friend at dinner and I was reminded how great the stories and illustrations are.

5. I just finished listening to How to Party with and Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings and was pretty underwhelmed. I just downloaded The Recovering by Leslie Jamison, though, and I have pretty high hopes considering all of the buzz (no pun intended).

6. I have been working on making things more manageable in my life, and this week already feels better. I have been running 25 minutes a day, instead of longer chunks on just a few days. I try to do one chore a day to make the weekends easier. I grade a few papers whenever I have spare time, since a little is always better than nothing. I just constantly have to remind myself that forward movement is better than stagnancy and that as long as I'm making progress in whatever the area is things are better than before. 

7. I have many, many thoughts on the Junot Diaz scandal that I will hopefully get out on here tomorrow. 

8. I watched the first episode of The Handmaid's Tale last week and it was really, really good. It's obviously completely strayed from the book, but I still hear Atwood's voice and feel like her vision is being respected. 

Out and About: Disneyland, LA Times Festival of Books, and The King Tut Exhibit

In a perfect world I'd have time to write separate reviews on our trip to Disneyland, my time at the LA Times Festival of Books, and the California Science Center's King Tut Exhibit, but we're going to go ahead and smoooooosh them all together here instead!

Two weeks ago my husband and I took Sawyer on a surprise early visit to Disneyland and California Adventure for his fourth birthday. We live less than an hour away but have purposefully waited until now to take him, since we wanted him to be able to spend the day without napping, remember the trip, and have a good idea who the characters were. He was totally surprised and so excited! We were able to do a ton of rides the first day, and since we had park-hopper tickets we stayed the night in a hotel around the corner and went back the next morning. It was pretty crowded, especially since the new Pixar Celebration has started, but we had a great time. I am not in any hurry to go back, so we're thinking maybe every two or so years (I personally am going back in a few weeks, but as a chaperone).

I was also fortunate enough to go to the LA Times Festival of Books, as well, and saw Patton Oswald, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Dave Eggars. I went with two friends from work, also English teachers, so this was right up our alley! I am still bitter about the fact that they moved it to USC from UCLA (Go Bruins!) a few years ago, but it wasn't terribly crowded and the weather wasn't as hot as it has been in the past. As always, it's just such a treat to be around literary people and to hear writers speak. 

Yesterday Sawyer and I went to the California Science Center in LA to see the Imax Panda movie but to also see the King Tut Exhibit, which had 150 items from Tut's tomb. This is the last time Egypt is going to let these items travel, since their permanent museum is ready for them, so it was neat seeing something so old and special when it really will be the last time. It was really crowded, but we still had a great time. We popped into visit the space shuttle and walked around a few of the exhibits in between all of our ticket times. 

May Intentions

[college acceptance letters! I am so proud and excited]

Only six days into the month... not bad... or good... Anyway, if you're new around here, every month I (try to) write out a list of intentions for the month and revisit if I followed through with the previous ones.


1. Grade like a crazy person- Yes I really, really did. Sadly, I am not caught up and my students have been turning in things faster than I can grade them. #Englishteacherproblems

2. Celebrate Sawyer's birthday- Yup! We had a great time and really made it special. 

3. Stop dwelling on the opinions of others- Nope! What was I thinking? This is just a character flaw.

4. See friends- Yup! I have seen lots of friends lately and have plans for even more outings.


1. Enjoy the last month with my seniors: I have all these kids for two school years, some three, and some I even had when they were in fourth grade. They are a really special group and I am so proud of what they've done and what they will do.

2. Start planning for summer: Of course I have things in the works, but I want to be a bit more organized about it. There are some things set in stone, but I want to generate a list of local fun things for Sawyer and I that we haven't done yet.

3. Yoga: While no where near lofty, I want to make sure to get in at least one yoga session a week. It's good for my joints, muscles, and sanity.

April Reviews

This month brought quite the variety of reads. Let's hop to it:

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
343 pages
Four siblings visit a gypsy and learn the dates of their deaths when they are children, each choosing whether or not to believe their supposed fates. The book is divided into four parts, one for each, in which the reader sees them live their lives, some long and some very short. The siblings all undertake incredibly different paths that are still connected, in various ways at various times (it's hard to talk about this book without risking spoilers).  

Verdict: I really, really enjoyed this book. I read the bulk of it in Yosemite while Sawyer was napping and it was the perfect semi-serious mountain read (is that a thing? No? Now it is). Every time one character's section would end I'd be temporarily angry and wish there was more time with him or her, but was quickly equally captivated with the next sibling. I loved the question of fate versus free will, as well as the exploration of family bonds. 

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
260 pages
Eileen is a young woman in the nineteen-fifties who works at a boy's prison by day and takes care of her alcoholic father by night. She's incredibly insecure, a prude, angry, smart, and a little mean, too. More than anything she wants to be ignored while still getting attention and to finally leave her town and live in the big city. The book takes place over the span of just a few days, while Eileen's anger reaches a boiling point at home. At work she becomes a little obsessed with a new female employee, who ends up involving her in quite the side plot that unexpectedly becomes a major focus (you gotta read it!).

Verdict: This book was sad, hilarious, smart, and quirky. Eileen was fairly unlikable, but I was sympathetic, considering her upbringing. I really think that Moshfegh is going to really break out this year, considering her summer release is already getting some buzz.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
77 pages
I just taught this book for the third time and read it for the fourth. I really don't like it at all, and am so glad that we're done I'm not going to waste time recounting it here. 

Make Trouble by Cecile Richards
260 pages
Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, details her childhood with liberal, activist/political parents and her rise to leadership in this memoir. She discusses what it was like being the daughter of the famous Texan Governor Ann Richards and how going to college on the East Coast was at first a tough transition. We learn about her involvement in union organizing, life as a busy mother, and how she came to be the head of one of the most important organizations in our country.

Verdict: I am a proud supporter of Planned Parenthood and have carefully watched what the group has gone through over the last few years. I new Richards was a strong, positive leader, and I was excited to read this as soon as it came out- it did not disappoint. I do feel like she did hold back a bit- it was very, very polished. Maybe we'll get a new one when she retires one day. 

940 pages