I have a big, big crush . . . and not on a boy!

Shelly posted this dress on facebook the other day (she works at Anthropologie and she bought it!), and since then, I've been a woman obsessed.  It's pretty much perfect.  I'm trying to brainstorm all the essentials from which I can abstain in order to buy this dress:

My cousin's getting married in Georgia in July--great excuse, right??

And how ridiculous is it that I've already spent half an hour looking for the perfect wedges for this dress that I don't even own yet?  I might need to focus on something more productive.  Happy Saturday!

Sorry but I'm not in love.

It's Friday and I'm grateful that it's Friday but other than that, not in love!  Mostly because of the atrocity that happened on American Idol last night.  Lord knows I get too invested in these things, but WTF is wrong with the American public?  Casey Abrams has more talent in his pinky finger than any of those fools combined.  He is musically brilliant--knows music history, technique, and can play multiple instruments.  He chooses quality songs and does magical things with his voice.  I'm pissed at all the voting tweens!

Maybe I won't miss you as much as the girl on the right will, but I sure am sad!

Poor Jessie had to endure my late-night foul-mouth texts after Casey got kicked off.  Not sure I got them all out.  There may be more coming.

*Also annoyed that my rent's going up $100/month.
*Also annoyed about the monster headache that has invaded my dome.
*Also annoyed that I'm trying to do the 30 Day Shred daily, but yesterday I worked ALL DANG DAY and was gone from 7:20 am till 11 pm and ladies & gents, it just didn't happen.
*Also annoyed that I'm in this mood and bein' all !@#%!y because I like my usual cheerful self better.

Sooooooo . . . cheer me up?  Tell me a joke?  Send me a picture of a cute celebrity baby or a smokin' hot athlete?  I'm just sayin, it might help. ;)

USA: Treasuries buy - Achats de bons du trésor

Compelling is an Understatement

Some of my good traits:  warm, friendly, passionate, brave, empathetic, loyal, giving.

Some of my bad traits:  prideful, vain, overly sensitive, dramatic, anxious, judgmental, and preachy.

Try to forgive me for being preachy cause I'm about to talk about another incredible documentary I just saw that has to do with prison injustice.

Yoav Potash's Crime after Crime is one of those films that will make you feel like you've done something important and powerful with your day.  My students and I were lucky enough to see an advance screening today, as well as have a Q&A session afterwards with Yoav and some of the major players in the film.

Debbie Peagler flanked by her two pro bono attorneys

In a nutshell: Deborah Peagler was abused by her boyfriend, Oliver, from the time she was 15.  He was extremely violent toward her, forced her into prostitution, and sexually abused her daughter.  When she finally escaped with their daughters, he and his cronies came to her door with guns blazing (and issuing death threats).  Feeling like there was no way to escape, Deborah asked two of her friends to rough him up a bit.  Unbeknownst to her, they killed Oliver.  Deborah was charged with first degree murder and given a sentence of 25 to life.  

About 26 years into her incarceration, Deborah was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.  Her two attorneys, Joshua Safran and Nadia Costa, had been working (for free!) for years toward her release.  Watch the film to see what happens--it's a gut-wrenching, inspiring, unbelievable story that leaves you astounded, among other feelings, that the fate of people's lives lies in the hands of folks like, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  

This story hit a serious chord with me, as it reminded me so much of a story I heard first-hand last summer.  

Did you know that over 80% of women in prison are there for a crime directly related to their abuse?  It is astounding.  As is the lack of empathy among so many court officials.  What exactly would they do if their lives, and those of their children, were being abused and threatened daily?  

Check out this woman's story.  The filmmakers need all the support they can get so that this documentary gets into the hands of lawyers, judges, and the general public (and not just the advocates for prison reform and social justice who seek out films like this).  If you're in the Bay Area, you can catch it at the SF International Film Festival now, the website is here, it's on facebook and twitter, and the film will be out this summer (in theaters, on Netflix, at festivals, etc.).

What inspiring stories have you heard lately?

Gold Reserves per person - Réserves d'or par person

San Francisco's Battle over Foreskin

We've voted on some awesome/strange things during my tenure as a San Franciscan.  Ultimately, I love the idea of voting on individual propositions, because it empowers voters to make direct decisions, rather than just voting for people who may or may not uphold their promises.

This one just may be the wackiest I've seen, however:

Proponents of a "circumcision ban" in San Francisco have gathered over 12,000 signatures in order to have this issue placed on the ballot (they'll find out in a month whether it will appear).  They argue that "To cut any body part off somebody who can't consent to me is just madness. You wouldn't cut off an ear or a finger or a nose."

This ban, if voter-approved, would outlaw circumcision for any male under the age of 18.  

Being female and never having had a male child, I haven't given a whole lot of thought to circumcision.  Guess I might have to, soon!  :)

Read the whole article here.

p.s. Take that, Trump.  And I hope you're not serious about running for president.

Julia Saner || Sunday Times Style

Elite Girls & Damon Baker || Backstage

Last week we went behind the scenes on a shoot with Elite favourite Damon Baker and of course a posse of our beautiful girls. Damon is well known for creating shoots that little bit different and going that extra mile to realise his vision, so we can't say we were shocked when he unveiled his latest concept.  Nyasha, Therese, Maddie, Jessica and Tasha emerged from hair & make-up like distressed damsels escaping from a raging fire...exactly the look Mr Baker wanted to achieve. The styling was industrial to say the least and suited the mood perfectly, keep your eyes peeled for the final edit of the shoot, Elite has had an exclusive peek and we think you'll all be very excited to see it!

USA: House sales - Ventes de maisons

Is this guy real?

I don't know much about this guy--all I know is that I saw a commercial for some show he's in and had to google him (via the show, Undercovers) immediately.  I'm not sure I've seen anyone this hot since I dirty danced with some Spaniard named Enrique at a club in Cancun on Spring break my senior year of high school.  I present to you

Boris Kodjoe:

(all pics from google image)

I mean, WHAT?  There's a person on God's green earth who looks like that?  How come we don't come across people like him in day to day life?

So--are you with me on this one?  I think the vote was split on Enrique.  Link up with Leeann to showcase your favorite hunk!

p.s. OMG!

The Holiday Blues

Every year I go home to Georgia for Christmas, but the other holidays can be hard.  I always call my mama's house on Easter, where the entire family has gathered, and she passes the phone around so I can say hi to everyone.  I love getting to talk to them, but it inevitably leaves me feeling a little depressed that they're all together and I'm thousands of miles away.  Would that I could just wiggle my nose and transport myself home for every occasion.

My auntie Pat posted these picture of our family's Easter celebration yesterday:

my sisters
(Jennifer--on the left--is my cousin, but we grew up like sisters.  Lil sis Kate on the right)

sweet Nana on the left and my mama on the right
this year Nana will be 80, Mama will be 50, and I will be 30!

Uncle Mike & pretty cousins with spread of food

Uncle Ted on left, brother-in-law Andy on right
love the twin crossed legs, boys

Jennifer's son, Ethan, and our Auntie Pat

Ethan hunting for eggs in Mama's back yard

I would have loved to be there with them.  I miss everyone exponentially on holidays.  But although it was sad that I couldn't be with my family on Easter, I did the next best thing and headed up to the Freitags to watch Milo and Jude hunt for eggs:

the Freitags on Easter + the view from their backyard

Milo furiously hunting eggs

me and my little love

JJ and Judebug, both sporting seersucker

Thank goodness for the Freitags aka my home away from home!  It was a gorgeous day outside, and those boys always put me in a better mood.  Plus, after the uncles and aunts and cousins went home, Cari and I did something very Easterly: we watched a very intense, violent movie about post-Apartheid South Africa.  ;)

Notice anything about the cast?  Particularly the guy standing in the middle?  Yes, ladies & gentlemen, it's Tim Riggins.  And despite the fact that he had to lose 30 pounds to portray strung out combat photographer, Kevin Carter, he was just as fine as ever in this movie.

All hotness aside, it was a great movie, although devastating.  The story centers around four photographers who are trying to take the best pictures of the violence going on around them.  Kevin Carter (played by Taylor Kitsch--it's a true story) eventually took the following photo of a starving child in Sudan being stalked by a vulture:

Although Carter won the Pulitzer Prize for this photo (taken in southern Sudan in 1993), it was obviously surrounded by controversy.  The public questioned him: did you just leave that girl to die?  What did you do after you took the picture?  Unable to face these questions and the ethics of his job in general, Carter kills himself.  And while it was tough to watch Tim Riggins go through all that . . . it was worth it.  

Sorry for the downer.  Probably should have ended with Jude toddling around in his seersucker suit clutching plastic eggs.  What did y'all do for Easter?

Friday I'm in Love . . . sorta

1. Azim Khamisa
I'm teaching about forgiveness and restorative justice in class right now, and Azim Khamisa embodies the principles of empathy and forgiveness.  His 20 year old son, Tariq, a pizza delivery guy, was shot and killed by an angry 14 year old when he was held up for the pizza.  Instead of seeking revenge, Azim Khamisa has established the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, the philosophy of which is that there are "victims at both ends of the gun."  He works closely with the grandfather of his son's killer, traveling around speaking to young people about violence prevention and forgiveness.  If you have the chance to see the short film "From Murder to Forgiveness," do it.

One of my heroes, that man.  But what I'm not in love with?  The fact that I can't attend this conference.  

2. Earth Day
Everything in my sister's etsy shop, Very Fine House, is now HALF OFF with the code . . . HALFOFF. ;)

3. Ruffly Swimsuits

These and pretty much all others from Anthropologie.  Gotta hop on the Shred bandwagon before I start trying on swimsuits, though, geez.  And speaking of swimsuits, would you check out this wackness from Urban Outfitters?  WTF?  

Okay, I'm off to finish the school day and then jet off to find a delicious bottle of red wine to bring to my friends' house for dinner tonight.  Ah, adult beverages and conversation.  You heal me.

**Link up with Summer and tell us what you're loving this Friday:

Ratio SP500 / Silver in dollar (1991 - 2011)

Ratio SP500 / Silver in dollar (1792 - 2011)

Middle East: Oil and unemployment - Moyen Orient: petrole et chomage

Work Hard, Play Hard

That's been my motto of late (although seems I'm working harder than playing).  Today, for instance, after babysitting twin toddlers, I met up with my friend Diana for our bi-weekly poetry & dinner meeting.  She suggested the Saturn Cafe in downtown Berkeley, which is a sparkly, retro, space age vegetarian diner.  That's right.  And I had a salad and a milkshake--how's that for juxtaposition?

And speaking of juxtaposition:

WORK: California standardized testing this week at the high school.  Schedule all outta whack.

PLAY:  Dinner and beers with friends Saturday night included Heather's baby Rowan, who has developed an impressive pair of cheeks:

hi, I'm 3 months and I'm lookin' like my mama here

WORK:  Trying to create a powerpoint on Restorative Justice for my students.  Don't really understand powerpoint.

PLAY:  Planning for three back to back visits from far-away friends starting in late May.  Beaches, coastal hiking trails, Burmese food, rooftop cocktails, Napa wineries, Mission burritos--here we come!

Tomorrow morning it's back to the grind: teach teach teach, babysit babysit babysit.  But somewhere in between all that chaos, I will inevitably find time for my latest obsession:

I've got it bad.  I can't put this game down.  In fact, I've been neglecting my Words with Friends friends because I've been spending every waking iPhone hour with Tiny Wings.

Gonna call it a night, given that this post is already as erratic as they come.  Fingers & toes are crossed for a return to normalcy and deep breathing soon.  At least I've got prom to look forward to. ;)

Hi Sushi Camden

Working all day on a shoot can be super tiring, so everyone involved has to keep their energy up all day...what better for this than some delish sushi? We were lucky enough to munch our way through some amazing treats from Hi Sushi in Camden, to get us through the day at today's shoot with Damon Baker. As you can see by the looks on their faces our Elite girls were more than happy with the surprise treats. Massive thank-you to Hi Sushi!