Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Summer Flowers

I've been mostly consumed with clouds lately (see the two posts below for pictures), but these also caught my eye. There aren't many flowers in bloom in the yard since it's been so hot lately, but there are a few. Here are two pictures of one flower. They could be better, but I decided to share anyway...

There are some flowers that were in bloom out front that I wanted to shoot, but I didn't have time. Now they're gone! This is the second time it's happened:/ I'll have to grab the camera right away next time they're in bloom.

Don't You Love Those Summer Storms?

Here are some photos of the cloudy sky after a summer thunderstorm here in San Diego. I had such a hard time choosing which to post, so I just decided not to decide LOL. The first is a picture of the sky with some of the yard in it. I also have a couple flower pics that I'm going to post separately.

Cloudy Day in Claremont

It seems I've had an obsession with clouds the last few days, so I have a lot of pictures to post. If I had followed my instincts and brought my camera with me to school Monday evening, I'd have even more photos to post. Drat me and my not following my instincts.

Many of the photos I've taken are similar, but I can't decide which to post, so I'm going to post quite a few. I'll start with those I took in Claremont last week as the title of this post indicates. More to come in a later post:)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Pictures of Ron

I wandered out into the backyard to check on the cats one day last week and Ron followed me out to the back bench. It was getting a bit dark, and with Ron being a black cat who never sits still for long, it is difficult to get photos of him. He was a bit more cooperative this time, but it was pretty dark, so I used photoshop to lighten these pictures so you can actually see Ron. You may notice in these pictures that Ron has an extra toe on each of his paws. You really notice it when you pick him up and those extra claws sink into your arm or leg LOL.

I am also including a picture of just the bench. It's been there for almost as many years as I've been alive. We don't really sit on it anymore because I'm not sure how sturdy it is. That and I don't want to get a splinter in a delicate area LOL.

More pictures to come after Monday...

Saturday, June 24, 2006


So, of course after posting about the lack of inspiring sunsets in June, I should have known there'd be a good one tonight. I was on my way to Borders to see Patrick McKeone perform and I noticed some great cloud formations on my way out the door, so of course I grabbed my camera. I took quite a few photos of the clouds in the sky from just outside.

The bad thing is it made me a bit late (thanks to a bit of traffic). And I wasn't able to get the actual sunset because of obstacles in the way. It really stinks when the sun sets over a hill that is full of towers and electrical poles and crap. Oh well. I'll try to post some of those pics soon, but it may be after Monday as I have a busy weekend.

So I was running late to see Patrick who I loooooved when I heard/saw him at the Borders in Montclair. His voice called to me as I was browsing the books and I ended up being at Borders for over 3 hours to hear most of his set.

I had to go a bit farther to a different Borders tonight (Rancho Cucamonga), but it was worth it. He's a fabulous musician as well hilarious and a total sweetheart. I even went up to say "Hi" after the show tonight (a miracle for me as I'm kinda shy in person). I hadn't planned on being there the entire time because as I mentioned above, I am super busy not to mention exhausted.

I was worried about being late, because I wanted to hear "I am Me" and he sang that one first last time. Luckily, I got there just in time to hear it (I wasn't really all that late).

I hadn't eaten dinner but a hot chocolate sustained me til after the show. I decided to go by Domino's afterwards to get some breadsticks and was a bit alarmed. I realized after hanging up that I hadn't given them my name, phone number or anything. I've not given them this info in the past either as I don't really order from Domino's. Anyway, when I went to pick them up, there was my full name and phone number on the sticker on the box. What the heck?! Does caller ID give first AND last name? How else do they get this info? If Domino's has this info, who the heck else has it? OY!

Anyway, I may post some Ron pictures in a bit, but I'm tired so I may not. Hope you all have a good weekend!

Friday, June 23, 2006

June Sunsets...

The sunsets in June don't seem to be quite as inspiring as those in other months. I'm not sure why; maybe because we haven't had any storms and I just love the sunsets through the clouds after a storm! I'm posting one picture (above) I took where the clouds were interesting (but hard to capture) one night recently.

Last week, I cursed myself for not owning a tripod and bigger zoom lens for my digital camera because there were a couple of nights when the moon was simply AMAZING. Words can't even describe how beautiful it was. Sigh. I have some photos of Ron to go through, so I may post more later...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

In a Break From Class...

I took some photos of some bougainvillea that caught my eye. I saw a lot of bougainvillea around town the last time I was down here that I wanted to photograph, but I didn't get a chance as I wasn't feeling well. Most of it is pretty blah by now, but this one was still in pretty good shape. You can see from the first photo that it has lost a lot of petals, though.

I posted more pictures earlier (below) but made this a separate post as blogger wouldn't let me post so many photos at once.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Around Town...

I've taken some photos around Bonita this week and wanted to share. There are quite a few since I haven't taken photos in a while:) Blogger won't let me post all the photos in this one post, so I'll be posting a few more in a separate post.

I've been driving by this interesting plant and finally stopped to take some photos:

I came upon this as I was walking to and from the plant above. While I never thought of photographing them driving by, they caught my interest when on foot...

I saw these bushes with the red hibiscus flowers when driving by another location here in town and got out to take some photos. As you can see from the progression, I became intrigued by the pistil and stamens. I looked it up on the net and found I am not the only one to be intrigued LOL! The bushes were cut back pretty far and the flowers were a bit wilty, but I still took some photos. I caught some ants on the flowers as well as you may or may not notice...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

My Love Affair With Eric Benet...His Music, That Is!

(Sorry about the spacing. Blogger is being wonky again.)

Surrounded by everything I want
But nothing that I need
I was blinded by the absurdities
Losing all identity
Sometimes what you fear the most
Is what you need
To find that road
Right around that curve
A lesson learned
Now that I have the eyes to see

Sometimes I cried
But tears wouldn't fall
And sometimes I tried
To break those walls
And feel your love
But I came alive inside
When I finally found my way
(from Hurricane)
Some say that love's just a myth
It's a wonderful dream but it doesn't exist
But to look at you you're such a precious gift
That I know, I know
(from I Know)
It's so very hard to know
Which way to go
A lie can be the gospel truth
If eloquently told

Some people live their whole life
And they'll never see
The only way to find true happiness
Is to thine own self be
(from True to Myself)

I seem to blog in spurts these days and I am definitely having an "on" spurt lately. As I was driving home, I was listening Eric Benet's most recent CD, Hurricane and the song lyrics to the title track reminded me of my quotes posting from earlier today. I've posted those lyrics (along with some others) above, but now I'm going to ramble on a bit, well a lot actually LOL!

I remember exactly when my love affair with Eric Benet's music began. I was on a road trip with my dad and sister on December 30, 1997. We were headed from San Diego to the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona because Syracuse (my sister's alma matter) was playing and my sister got free tickets from some football players she knew.

It was an insane trip because after the Fiesta Bowl on December 31st, we woke up before dawn on January 1, 1998 to drive to the Rose Bowl back in Pasadena. Michigan, my dad's alma matter, was playing and had a shot at the National Championship. I could go on about that, but I am getting far from my original point.

As you can see from my rambling above, we were on the road a lot in just a few days. My dad usually drives on road trips, but in the middle of the desert on the way to Tempe, he let my sister drive for a while. To keep herself entertained, she popped in a tape: Eric Benet's first album, True to Myself. That's when my love affair with Eric Benet's music began.

It took me a while after that first night, though, to realize it was love. One song stuck in my head that night and when I went back up to school and no longer had access to Nicole's tape, I broke down and bought the CD. It's still one of my favorite CDs.

When I was working, I bought CDs like crazy (including Eric Benet's second album, A Day in the Life, which is a bit more mainstream). Since leaving work to pursue my graduate degree in math, I can count on one hand the number of CDs I've bought. Mostly because I was on a tight budget, but partly because of the new downloading craze. I am usually more song oriented, so I pay per song to download most of the time these days. Well, actually I haven't paid to download in quite a while thanks to MP Free which gives me free music downloads (at for signing up for email newsletters and such. But yet again, I digress!

Eric Benet's latest release, Hurricane, is one of the few CDs I've purchased in the last two years. It was well worth the money and the 5 year wait. Yes, it took FIVE YEARS to get from A Day in the Life to Hurricane. It released on my sister's birthday last year. Guess what she got for her birthday, LOL!

Anyway, if you haven't checked out Eric Benet, I urge you to do so. His music is not only catchy and full of soul, it contains some thought provoking lyrics as you may have noticed above. If you want to hear some of his music click here, here, and/or here. His official MySpace page is here, but isn't a music page, though you can see one of his videos there. I'm not too keen on the remixes, but the originals on those pages are great!

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Today, I thought I would offer some quotes on random (what else? LOL) topics from my collection along with a couple pictures I took in Hawaii when I went in 2000. The pictures were taken when I was about half way to the top of Diamond Head (before the infamous stairs). Now, on to the quotes...

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.”
--Helen Keller

"The only people that you should get even with are those who have helped you."

"Your love is like a chunk of gold: hard to get and hard to hold. Like a rose that's soft to touch, love has thorns that hurt so much."
--Bill Withers in The Same Love That Made Me Laugh

"No one can fill those of your needs that you won't let show."
--Bill Withers in Lean on Me

"We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly."
--Sam Keen

"Nothing can make you feel inferior without your consent."
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, June 16, 2006

Poetry My Way

Ok, since I haven't blogged much lately, I'm going to post again! Though the date is different, it's really just a couple hours since the last post. Blame it on sleep deprivation (I've had about 3 hours in the last 24 hours), but I've decided to share some "poems" I've written at different stages in my life...

Now remember, I am not a writer. I feel I have to remind my writer friends of that fact. Also, I am not a poet and boy do I know it. Ok, I must be tired because I can't believe I just typed that. *rolls eyes* The main reason that I am not a good poet is that I'm too caught up in the whole rhyming thing. It just doesn't feel like poetry to me if it doesn't rhyme. Plus, it's not all that profound. Why am I posting it again? LOL

Anyway, one is a math poem (I can hear you all groaning already LOL!) It was part of a Real Analysis assignment from Fall 2004. I actually wrote two poems, but stupid me turned in my only copy and promptly forgot the second poem. They were posted on the "Math Poetry Wall" so I never got it back...

One is from my poetry project that brought me to tears back in Mr. Fickett's 7th grade English class. I suppose I should give some credit to my mom for that one. She helped me come up with ideas for my poems when I broke down crying LOL.

And the others are from a time in my life I was having, ahem, issues. I'm sure you can guess which poems are which. I'm also posting a few photos that I took a while back but didn't post before because I thought the background was too distracting or it wasn't my best shot. Maybe it will distract you from my 'poetry' LOL.
Oh, and sorry if the spacing is wonky. Blogger is being a POSPITA!!!
The flowers dance about
On this first day of spring
Happy to be free
From the cold winter air
They call to the bees
And wave to the trees
Visiting with each other
Within the garden walls
Gaily greeting their garden visitors
While lying in the sun
Proudly wearing their new spring colors
They find is lots of fun
If you can’t contain the urge
To prove a sequence does converge
Draw a ball around the limit
And show there are infinite points within it
Why is it
All I wanna do is cry?
Just give up
and let myself die?
Is living life
worth all this pain?
Will I ever
Be happy again?
I am tired of the lies
I have finally opened my eyes
Stuck a knife right through my heart
And then you ripped it all apart
Can't you see the tears falling from my eyes?
Don't you know the pain I feel inside?
Why do I feel the way I do?
How can my heart to you be true?
Why do you keep haunting me so?
Why can't I just let you go? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Go See Cars!

I wasn't really looking forward to Cars when I first heard about it. After seeing the recent commercials and previews, I did a complete 180 and couldn't wait to see it. I went last night and even with my high expectations (which sometimes lead to disappointment), I loved it!

It had me laughing out loud quite a bit. I have so many favorite lines, I can't begin to list them. I even go around saying them out loud and laughing. Good thing I have yet to do that where others can hear me or people might have sent the men in white coats to get me:) One that isn't quite so obvious is from a scene when there were multiple bumper stickers flashed on to the screen. One that caught my eye was "I Auto Be in Pictures!" Oh and keep an eye out for those "bugs" in the movie...

I want to see it again to catch some of those little things that I missed. I'm not sure I can wait for the DVD though! I don't think it will beat out Monster's Inc. (which I saw in theaters 5 times LOL!) as I have budget issues, but I may see it once more in theaters.

And if you go and see it, I definitely recommend that you wait until the very end of the credits before leaving. Only 3 of us stayed til the very end and the others missed some great stuff! As with most Disney/Pixar movies, it goes right up until the end. They even have a salute to previous Pixar films. It had me cracking up!

And that actually brings me to why I decided to blog about seeing Cars. Aside from the entertainment, seeing the movie reminded me of something that seems to come up in a lot of the animated movies lately. I suppose I'm dating myself, but I love the original Disney animated movies like Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella and the like. They're great!

Why do I bring them up? Because back then I didn't know the actors "behind" the characters. Now I find my mind wandering in the movie, trying to place the voice behind the animated character. It doesn't ruin my enjoyment of the movie, but I kinda liked it better when I didn't know who the heck it was doing the voices. Cinderella is just Cinderella whereas Lightning McQueen is forever linked to Owen Wilson in my mind.

Now I don't always know who's voicing the characters before seeing the movie, but I always seem to recognize a voice and I spend half my mental power trying to place the voice. This happened multiple times with Cars (especially with Tony Shaloub because he sounded like Antonio from Wings but how was I to be sure?)

I can't figure it out. Is it just me and my constantly on, always analyzing stuff, crazy brain? Or is it because I'm getting older and am just more aware of actors than I was when I saw Cinderella? Do any of you do this?

As I said it doesn't make me dislike the movie, but it definitely distracts me. It didn't happen so much with Monster's Inc for some reason. Oh well. I suppose I'm just weird. That's nothing new really.

I still loooooved Cars and highly recommend it. I also really liked the music in the movie. It fit really well and had me bopping in my seat. Okay, I think I've written enough about Cars. If I ramble any more, it will take longer to read this than to see the movie (which was actually longer than I expected)...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What a Week!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I haven't been feeling well this week. Even when I thought of things to blog about, I didn't have the energy to sit down and write it out. I didn't even really have the energy to take photos, though I did see quite a few things that inspired me. I'm hoping to get some photos this week, but that may be difficult as I'm still pretty busy.

As of right now, I am starting my teaching internship with observations (I started last week but am back in Claremont for this week), possibly starting the part-time summer statistics job, applying to jobs, and preparing for my first time teaching solo in the fall (if one of the full-time gigs doesn't happen, I already have a part-time class). It's really scary thinking about teaching in the fall. I've already been thinking of all the things I want to do with my students. I'm most worried about being over ambitious, especially as it is my first time teaching!

Anyway, I just wanted to post an update and such. I'm hoping to be able to post more this week even if the posts are short and rambling (like this one). I did have one topic that I thought of last week that I may post about. Not tonight though.

I'll leave you with a shot of the backyard that I got this week on one of the rare sunny afternoons (we've been in total June Gloom mode most of the week). The last shot I posted was on one of those overcast days, so I thought I'd post one of the yard on a sunny day (well part of a day) in San Diego...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Do You Know What I Did Last Summer?

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather and have been sleeping A LOT. On to the topic of the day…

Last summer I had planned to take a couple math education type classes to prepare me for teaching and work around my class schedule part time just doing whatever I could find. When my statistics professor mentioned summer research grants in class, I didn’t really pay much attention; research has never really been my “thing.”

A few weeks later, she asked me why I hadn’t applied for the grant. I explained my summer plans and that I didn’t have a research topic or advisor. She reminded me of the StatGames project (which is trying to make statistics ) co-sponsored by UC Riverside and said if I was interested, I could work with this year’s group. All I had to do was fill out the application and turn it into her assistant. She even let me turn it in after the deadline.
I thought the project, who's mission is to make statistics an attractive career choice and is targeted towards high school students, was really interesting and not typical “research,” so I decided to give it a try! The result was a crazy, sleep-deprived summer; a summer when I learned a lot and had a blast!

I was originally listed as the “graphics specialist” on the team, which I thought was interesting since I had no graphics experience whatsoever. The funny thing is, by the end of the summer, I was the “graphics expert” on the team, though I use the term “expert” very loosely. I also worked on the statistics side of the game.

The result of our labor of love is Streaky Baseball , a web-based game showing a few of the ways statistics is related to baseball! Now, it’s not comparable to most of those high tech games that kids play, but it’s our effort to try to make statistics fun, or show how statistics can be related to many things that people consider “fun.” I’m including some screen shots of the finished game, below.

We had another interesting experience as our project was winding down last summer. The Kansas City Royals were in the midst of one of the longest losing streaks in baseball history. Many thought they may break some records. Though they ended up not breaking the record (losing only 19 games in a row), a reporter for the Kansas City Star came across our website while doing some research and contacted us via email. The end result was a front-page article in the Kansas City Star! Though he didn’t mention my name, he did mention some of my other teammates. It was kinda cool!

We went on to present our project at the Fall Kickoff Meeting of the Southern California Chapter of the American Statistical Association and at the UC Riverside Statistics Colloquium Series.

And now it seems I may be working on this year’s project part-time! It may be a wild and crazy summer yet again…

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Out 'N About!

I was going to post another blog entry tonight. It's something I've been planning to blog about all week, but it's not gonna happen tonight. Maybe tomorrow (well, later on today really...) I just got home from running an errand. Yes, an errand at 1:51 am:P

I needed to go to the post office to mail something. I've become very fond of the APC (Automated Postal Center.) I have only one complaint. When it has "Open 24 Hours" emblazoned across it, I expect it to be available to me 24 Hours a day. I don't mean powered up for 24 hours, I mean available for me to use. I can handle periodic downtime and machines breaking down. Such is life.

Tonight, however, I had to go to the next town over tonight to use the APC. Why? Because while the machine was in working order, the door to the PO lobby here in Claremont was locked! I was two feet from the APC smugly proclaiming it was "Open 24 hours" yet couldn't get to it. GRRRRR.

Now, I've gone on late night runs to the APC before and never run into this problem. I guess someone must come by to lock the door around midnight because that's the latest I've gone before tonight. To keep out all those people who want to steal the Priority & Express Mail envelopes, I suppose. Or mail thieves who, of course, won't come at 11pm!

Oh well, at least I don't have to worry about it tomorrow. It didn't really bother me all that much. I just hopped into the car and drove to the next PO. That's one good thing I've kept up after reading Choices (I mention that book a lot don't I?) If you can't change it, why waste all that energy getting upset about it? Figure out a solution and move on. I just figured I would warn you all in case you ever get to urge to make an APC run in the wee hours like I did LOL!

And I did get to drive past one of the places that always makes me smile on the way home: The Sherwood Florist. It's my favorite florist name ever!

Now, I'm off to dreamland. See ya tomorrow sometime, Blogosphere!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Renewed Resolve!

Wow, I haven't posted since Tuesday? Of course, keeping my days straight has been a challenge this week since I've been mostly sleeping during the middle of the day. Of course that means I am up all night! Anyway, I'm off to San Diego again this weekend through the beginning of the week. Hopefully I can get some nice pictures while I'm there. Now, on to the topic of the moment...

Something happened at work today that renewed my resolve to be a math teacher. During a break in my regularly scheduled class, my boss, Rodney*, asked if I had a minute to help with another student, David's* math problem. After looking at the problem and explaining (verifying really) how to do it, I thought I would be on my way to the loo to do my business. As I turned to walk out of the room, I heard Rodney ask David if he "got that."

I'm thinking, "Of course, not! That was the abridged version for those of us who know what we're doing. Not the version for those just learning!" And what a surprise, David looks at Rodney blankly and says, "Huh?"

So does Rodney go over and explain the problem at the level the student can understand? Nope. He just yells at the 11-year old David and says, "No wonder you're failing! I've had it with you. Go ahead and fail!"

Sure, it might have been somewhat helpful if David was paying attention to my explanation, but there were others in the room distracting him and I'm sure he didn't realize he needed to pay attention at that point! Sure, he gives me trouble from time to time (I have him on Thursdays), but what 11-year old boy doesn't?! If I realized this would happen, I would have explained directly to David, which is what I ended up doing.

I felt so horrible for the kid. I know he isn't trying to fail. He just needs someone to take some time, be patient and walk him through each step. It wasn't an easy problem, as Rodney mentioned loudly and repeatedly; at least not for his level. Sure it was easy for me, but I'm not an 11-year old seeing this for the first time!

As I sat down next to David to help him with the problem, I could see he was doing his best not to cry. His eyes were red and I could see he was feeling overwhelmed. I patiently went through the problem with him (twice) and reassured him that he could do it, he just needed to take it one step at a time.

Even after spending 15 minutes with him, I could see he was still feeling overwhelmed (he admitted as much to me when I asked). I tried my best to repair the damage done by Rodney's words, but I'm not sure how well I did. I hope David's not scarred for life. After seeing this incident, it's no wonder so many students hate math! UGH!

*I changed the names of the people involved to protect their identities.