Saturday, January 02, 2016

selfie Saturday................

the first Sat of 2016!! ...................

all last weekend and beginning of last week I was binge watching some things on Netflix that really got me thinking.... first it was all episodes of "Chef''s Table" telling the story of ten different chefs aroud the world who had one of the the top 50 restaurants and then I'm up to episode 10 of "The Mind of a Chef" season one following David Chang from Momofuku around the kitchen and various countries talking to chef friends and the search for something new from the very basic of ingredients. All that talk of creative thinking plays in my mind, not as an artist but I think for anyone thinking of ways to improve whatever your interests are.  For me I kept thinking about what different ways I might apply it to the way I teach.  A few different quotes made me think, one was a chef saying that creativity is not always done by people who just seek creating new things and always want to be creative, yet he made the point that sometimes creativity comes from necessity.  I think that really speaks to people who write themselves off as non artistic and therefore non creative. SOmetimes it's necessity that demands one be creative and gain whatever kind of success they seek.  Another quote I liked applying to my work was David Chang saying something about how when you are challenge, you are living. If there is no challenge and no seeking challenges, you are dying.  that was motivating somewhat for me.  I suppose it encourages me to apply for that job I'm underqualified for without a PHD. In fact, I heard an ad for a PHD program at UCO in Edmond via Swansea University in Wales which sounded interesting and I think I'm going to attend an informational meeting on it next week.  I can't imagine what sort of prospectus I'd have to write about the subject I'd research or study to add something new to the world. whew! (It'd have to be something I thought interesting or that would directly apply to my job, for example the effect of technology on how students write etc...),but I will pursue and move forward accordingly...
Ending the new year happened way up in the panhandle of Oklahoma.  I drove up there Wednesday and surprised me sister and hubby and 4 kids.... it's about a 4 hour drive up through Watonga and then Woodward and then up north and west west west on a highway that seems to go nowhere. ha long drive. I arrived while my sister was getting a hair cut with the nieces at home, and without seeing my truck outside, she walked in though the door from the garage to see me at the kitchen table. ha! I was eating my lunch I brought with me on the trip.  we hung out the rest of the day and then I took the whole family to see Star Wars! It's something they wouldn't normally do with 4 kids, much less get the 3D tickets, so I was thrilled to see it again with them.  Plus I think it's a good memory for kids to see it at the theater, and sure enough they all thought it was pretty great.
Thursday mornign I made scones for the family, and I helped my sister recover all her kitchen table chairs with new fabric she'd had for a while. after lunch we watched some tv and she drove me around the small city to show me the school they worked at and attended and other landmarks in town including the tiny little grocery store. watched the OU game all day and other games, had home made pizza for dinner and then games all night with the kids, banana grams and something called apple apple. I drove home yesterday after breakfast and helping sis take down the tree and packing up all my stuff.  I brought back home with me a rug I had made for my sister while in AFghanistan. She's never used it because it's this sort fo strange orange color, so I"m going to trade it out for one she likes, for example I have 3 or 4 multicolored ones that she might prefer to use. I'll include a photo of the rug I had made for her, it was supposed to be green with a sort of straw golden color from a photo of a rug I saw in a magazine and gave to a student to have made.  It turned out nice looking with chrysanthemums and all but a strange melon orange sort of shade. I'll use it my house come February.
I drove home all afternoon. I stopped in Seiling Oklahoma and this fantastic new convenience has station there. it's HUGE and has everything, Express 66, car fueling on north side and trucks on the south. There is a SOnic on the East side of the building and a "cafe bistro" eating place on the west, there's also everything you'd want sort of like a small grocery store inside including a barber shop. the men's room had a flatscreen tv playing sports above every urinal. Oh, and the whole place had FREE WIFI! ha... I got a chicken parm sandwich with their homemade potato chips and it was YUM.
Before coming home I stopped off at the outlet mall.  Ever since I got this orange and navy flannel shirt in NYC at the Levi's store, I wanted to check the Levi's at the outlet mall. I stopped in after arriving back to OKC around 4pm. shoped Levis and got some pants for $10 to wear in the yard next summer and another blue black plaid flannel that fits just like the other one although it's a lesser outlet quality.  I also went the bookstore there where a former student of mine works. bought a few marked down graphic novels, one about how the author grew up loving the band Queen, and another all about the life of the author's great grandfather Long Tack Sam, (which apparently was also a doc film I'll have to search out after reading about him).
relaxed last night and this morning getting a little bit done like unpacking and place cleaned up.  I have a college friend coming to stay over Tuesday night and Friday night next week on his way from Kansas to Austin and back. He's a speaker at some function there I guess. We're both English profs so I look forward to catching up.  He's the same guy I saw in Manhattan Kansas last summer if anyone remembers such.  I'll do my usual pizza lunch today and I think tonight my buddy S has some plans of getting a meal either ordered in or going out and then playing cards. His bf's best friend Jn is in town with his bf Jo. and another couple D and G might be coming or not.
I must try to do less trivial spending this year, really hope to spend more wisely. one thing I want to do is get this old school clock telling time again. It's something I took from the last high school job I had, they were cleaning up the shop classroom which had tons of junk all over the place stored by a teacher who worked there for years and years and then died that year. the new guy was all about getting it cleaned OUT!  I'm also considering getting another print by Michael Menchaca to go with the one I bought last year and had framed for my office. it's sort of out there but unique enough it fits my taste. :P not sure which one is the better compliment..

Happy New Year all! I don't really make new year goals but I like to have a focus. This year it is "respect"  the last two years my focus was about generosity and the coupe years before that was wisdom.  anyway I also like to just reassess things, especially on long drives, so I'm happy where I am, moving forward with getting money saved to do home improvement and upkeep, also pursue career goals, improve my methods of teaching, attempt to get to Iceland this year maybe?, definitely back to NYC in Feb, also we're over the hump of winter which means I can start counting down to spring?? :) cheers for checking out the blog.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Luke has the force.............

end of the year...............

boy, what a holiday! Did everyone survive the whole family get together business?  My family gets together between 3 and 5 pm at my folks' place for a dinner of casual sandwich with lunch meat and snacks and treats etc buffet, with just a few tables set up and others just sit where they'd like in the sunroom or tv room...... it was a great time.  Christmas Eve night I stayed home watching "It's a Wonderful Life" and crying a little as usual. ha
and then Christmas day I slept in so late, so cloudy and dark every morning... ahhhh, got up and piddled around, put on comfy clothes for the day and some music on. I was on the computer for a while and around 11 decided I'd better start making the cookies I said I'd bring to dinner.  made those and had lunch and wrapped some gifts. then gathered a few things to bring over with me and left for my parents' place by 3pm... (I made gingerbread whooppie pies! yummy).
When I got over there, I helped mom and dad roll out wrapping paper and tape it onto the tables (as a table cloth) then set out items in the kitchen according to my mom's planned diagram for everything. little by little the family started showing up by 5:30 about all were there, dad was saying a prayer and all 27 of us began to line up and dig in. :)  got to visit with some of my niece and nephews. One niece had her boyfriend there for the first time who I'd taught with many years ago at the school I worked at before leaving overseas.  Talked about the Star Wars movie to those who've seen it, talked about everything else, and some people not much at all, as is the way with large family gatherings.  I helped clean up after gifts and as people left around 9pm I stayed to rest with mom and dad and discuss the kerfuffle that happened between my sisters and nieces ( My sister wanted a photo of my parents with all 10 great grandkids, and my niece with the 3 wk newborn commented on "how is that going to work?" because she and her husband are germaphobes and my mom unfortunately mentioned having a cough a few days before. My sister unfortunately made a comment about that being "weird" but also saying just kidding (she's known my niece's husband since he was a kid from church with her boys) but anyway my niece apparently got really offended sort of sticking up for her husband.  Well my dad held the baby and they all took the pic, but right after my niece, husband, and two kids were in the car and gone! and then my other niece, her sister, followed also taking offense in support. and then their mom, my other sister, agreed it was kind of rude, which then my super sensitive sister got quiet and felt down and quietly began cleaning up the kitchen blah blah. anyway, so eventually when everyone left, I got the whole story from my mom since I was oblivious to the whole thing. ha I agreed that yes my sister could have been more careful with words, but that also my niece could have been a little less indulgent in their ocd germaphobe ways, or if taken offense, suck it up and write a letter later etc without just up and leaving. but I dont' really care, I had a great time. :P)
I remember clearly realizing I would never go with friend Am to NYC again when twice I recall her saying something like "that's weird" after I'd said something or pointed out something or shopped for something in New York, something obviously wonderful and fabulous and creative, but to her "weird". no thank you! ( she emailed a nice Merry Christmas email including that she was looking forward to NYC 2016. ha! nope I'll put a brakes on that one!!).
well yesterday Saturday was a late morning sleeping in again. super chill all morning, I think I had on Lifetime movies in the background as I cleaned up the kitchen from the day before. laundry, trying to clean up the place more than I mess it up.... I had been contacted a week before via email from a reader of the blog, Dv,  who lived out east and was going to be in OKC for the holidays and wished to meet.  Well Saturday was our agreed free time.  he had emailed that he had plans before lunch and then would be free. Then my power went out for a couple hours around 10:45am... hmmm grey quiet morning....I began to deconstruct the tree and sort out of Christmas ornaments I had in large vases with battery string lighting.  I got dressed in real clothes and while waiting to see if power would come on, I wondered how would I communicate back with Dv about when and where we could meet up. luckily lights came back on around 1pm so I checked email and saw he was in the city and had given me his text number.  I texted that I was going for pizza and to either join me or meet afterwards.. heard nothing back after about 20 minutes so I went for Pizza with a New Yorker and Outside magazine in hand. came back after 2 and checked my phone again (I dont' get a cellular signal on my phone so I rely on wireless at home or work). He was in my area and we agreed to meet at the Barnes and Noble on my side of the city.
Well we pretty much talked nonstop for a couple hours. it was awesome. a really great guy, great looking and in shape, sexy beard.  I tried not to over talk like I am prone to do and give some wait time and listen and ask questions. but it came naturally.  The thing is when someone has already my story here, where I sort of put it all out there, I figure I need to ask him some questions to get his side of the story. ha  He had an impressive one, living out west, then out east in CT and now MD. He seemed to know NYC very well and we compared experiences. we agreed with my perception of how sometimes at a bar , why can't I just meet someone for a little make out and some heavy petting and call it a night?! ha ha that cracked us up.  we could both relate to being raised in a church and dealing with dating not women but possibly men etc etc. familiar story I'm sure! :P  we were both smiling and laughing so that's a plus. I may have mentioned before I can make a terrible first impression and sometimes I walk away feeling like an idiot, but yesterday I left feeling like I'd made a new friend. We hadn't realized the time and he had to get back to his folks' place for dinner. I look forward to seeing him next time in OKC for sure.
Dv was so nicely dressed in a great plaid shirt and jeans, black jacket, black soft looking beard. I'd worn a new plaid flannelshirt sort of dark blue and burnt orange, with some doc marten boots and jeans and a navy puffy vest. Good thing since I got a text from buddy Sc saying to come over so we could all go to dinner. The book store was just a mile south of his place and since I was already dressed up, I went on over. sat with his bf and kid while we waited for my buddy Sc' brother to drop by. he was coming by on the way up from houston to get some hunting gear.  The idea was that he'd get it and leave so we could all go to dinner, but somehow he ended up coming along with us. Ha now that was weird because Scott is not out to his family and none of us are really sure who he think the bf is or what about the fabulous Christmas tree and decorations all over the house. ha ha. plus we met two of our gay friend J and his friend at dinner. very very interesting time. But I will say his brother is super cool and as kind and nice and well raised as my buddy S.  Surely my bud's family has the idea, right? I mean come on, but it's still strange when it's not right out there.  I still get suggestions from my family about finding a wife, I mean come on REALLY?!? ha ha
that reminds me, I took some cake over to my friend B's house Thursday and while we were eating it and sitting at the kitchen table she asked me "I know it's none of my business but how come a girl hasn't snatched you up?" ha ha. she's so sweet.  She was cracking me up with a story about how her husband had cheated on her once and how this many years later that same woman's daughter move in two house down a few years ago.  She was just like "of all the places in the world!" ha ha and how she's seen that lady come and go a few times while outside in the yard. can you imagine at 87 having to deal with all that still? oh man, later we were looking at an old album sitting in the back room, and she showed me one photo of her back from the 70's where she had a big smile. she said" that's a photo I had especially made for [husband] to put on his desk at work".. "that's how you fight!" she said. awe!
today church was cancelled, sleet and rain and freezing cold temps. I just stayed in all day long. I've been watching some of Chef's Table episodes on Netflix. and deconstructing my Christmas tree. I get a kick out of having all evidence gone and while I''m at it, I'll switch out a rug and a few things on the wall. leftover lasagna for dinner tonight. yum! and maybe some more netflix movies. Enjoy the weekend all!