Look what my student teacher got me! She didn’t know I use Sprinkles as my carrot (deadlines are the stick), but she “knows people” at Sprinkles so she got me a Gluten-free Red Velvet cupcake. Great minds think alike! Methinks I must be a fabulous master with a very quick apprentice 😉


The 21-Day Myth

Yesterday I missed posting a blog entry for the first time in 2011. 😦 At first I was really bummed that I’d broken my streak because this is one habit I really resolved to practice diligently. Then I investigated the foundation of some of my unrealistically high standards for myself. It turns out that the notion that one has broken an old habit or formed a new one by not doing it/doing it for 21-days is actually a bit of a myth. At its best it oversimplifies psychology research on habits. At its worst, it insinuates itself into the perfectionistic thinking of people like me. As with many things in life, the real story is more complex: breaking/forming habits involves many variables, not just how consistently one practices the habit but also how difficult it is. Bottom line: I’m forgiving myself for missing a day in posting because I was frakkin busy grading and planning. I also failed to take a new photo, so the one above is an old one, the street art banner we bought as a fundraiser for our Oceanside condo.


Chocolate is the Best Medicine

And THIS is the best chocolate ever! At $8 a bar, it had better be. It is exactly the cure for what currently ails me (essays, essays, essays, and stress over final grades). Seriously, this is my new favorite thing, a sublime blend of salty and sweet, silky and solid. I’m hoping to make it last until next Thursday morning, when grades are due. *fingers crossed*

Teppanyaki Brain

Tonight DH and I hit our Friday Sushi place a day early, after attending a seminar on managing retirement income. We saw some friends at the seminar whose kids are the same age as ours (the mom and I were Girl Scout leaders together) and commiserated about our new stage in life. Anyway, this entree is Seafood Teppanyaki, a delicious mishmash of fresh veggies and seafood, mostly shrimp, brought out on a sizzling, cast iron dish. It’s actually shaped like a volcano, so there isn’t as much food as appears to be mounded on the plate.

This entree is a perfect metaphor for my brain of late, a jumble of thoughts in unrelated genres (veggies vs seafood), all tossed together and sizzling under extreme heat. I can’t wait to finish powering through these essays and exams to turn in grades next week. At the same time I’m supposed to be planning for the new semester, which includes taking on a additional 38 new students since two of my classes were compressed into one, allowing me to take on a new class. I could vent here, but I won’t. Use your imagination….

Fast Food

I wish I’d thought to take a picture when this was full of hot and salty and delicious French fries. But I didn’t, so this is all you get. I had onion rings, too, for a writing lesson I presented to a group of UCI Writing Project Fellows on expository reading and writing. The topic was the relationship between fast food and obesity. Happily, despite my lack of sleep and stress over finals, it went well.

Ironically, the lesson following mine on opinion writing in 1st-3rd grade featured some paragraphs on the best restaurant. Some of them extolled the virtues of hot and salty fries from Jack in the Box and McDonald’s. Perhaps we DO need a nanny state to regulate access to food that’s so bad for us. Or maybe people just need to take responsibility for their own healthy choices.

When Bribery is Good

I have LOADS of work ahead of me as the semester ends and the new one begins after just a weekend. So to keep myself going (for tonight, at least), I am bribing myself with Sprinkles cupcakes. I’m blessed (and cursed) with living within impulse buying distance of a Sprinkles store. The G denotes a gluten-free Red Velvet cupcake and the other is the new German Chocolate flavor, probably chock full of gluten, but I don’t care.

Knitting content: yeah, right ….

Whoniverse Cred

My TARDIS USB hub! Every time I plug in my iPhone (the white connector) or any other accessory, I’m regaled with the distinctive “The Doctor is coming/going!” sound. I’m posting this in case there’s any doubt I have sufficient Doctor Who cred to appreciate the upcoming Gallifrey One convention in LA in February. I expect to wander the booths and attend some panels with fellow aficionados, including a geek gal pal who’s flying out all the way from Kansas. I can’t wait!