Cyndi Lauper

(no subject)

This is from last weekend, when Andy and I drove down to Monterey. I was feeling overly stresed from my thesis, school work, and all other parts of life. I told him I needed to take a drive somewhere and he said he would come with me.

Last Saturday, he came over late morning and he was extremely happy to see me. We had a great drive down to Monterey - beautiful weather, little traffic. We talked about random things that made me forget about all the work I had left behind.

We got to Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey around 3pm. We walked down the pier and decided on the restaurant I always eat at with my family. I had a crab salad and he had a crab sandwich. We split a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Our table had a lovely view of the water. After lunch, we went for a short stroll around the perimeter of the wharf.

We got back to the car and drove over to Seaside Beach, which was just one exit off Highway 1. We walked down to the beach, and for being close to sundown, it was relatively empty. I stood on the edge of the waves and let the water drown my feet. I liked feeling my heels sink into the sand. We played around a bit more before walking back to the car. We put on our shoes while listening and singing along to Journey's "Dont' Stop Believing."

The soundtrack for the drive home consisted of Corinne Bailey Rae songs and old & new U2. It was a really wonderful day and just what I needed to clear my head and feel sane again. =)
Cyndi Lauper

(no subject)

I have no idea what this video is about. I just know that I like it. =)

And I'm also starting to think that Brandon Flowers is kind of hot.
Cyndi Lauper

(no subject)

I started my volunteering at St. Joseph the Worker School (better known as St. Joe's) again yesterday. We were on hiatus since mid-December since the kids had Christmas break and I was trying to finalize my school schedule.

(If I didn't elaborate on this before, I'm helping to implement and teach a gardening/nutrition curriculum to a class of 5th graders. Last semester, we talked about what our body needs to stay alive and the food pyramid. Not to mention, these kids also tore out two plots of ravenous tomato plants, turned the soil and planted new seeds last December. The rain has been helping all of the new crops grow!)

So, I poked my head in the door of the classroom at 2:00 yesterday, right in the middle of a math game. A lot of students saw me and started waving and whispering, "Hi Cindy!" I waited until the teacher finished up the exercise and then he turned the floor over to me. He told them that they needed to be good or I would never come back to see them again, and then he added a "Just kidding!"

As I prepared my materials, all of the students said, "Hi" to me and I said "I missed you!" A lot of them said "I missed you too!" though not in unison. One little girl said "Happy belated Valentines Day!" and I said "Happy belated Valentines to you too!" She looked around at her classmates like she was extremely pleased. And some of the other kids around her looked on with jealousy. I thought it was really cute.

I love working with these kids because they're so eager to talk and to show off what they know. This is a stark comparison to my NS10 discussions, where everytime I ask them a question, I get blank stares and complete silence. So, when I ask them things like "Who can tell me what our bodies need to survive?" Probably 20 hands will shoot up and I have to decide who to call on first. I love their enthusiasm.

Yesterday's lesson was on exercise. We talked about why it is important to exercise and I had them take their pulse. This took about 10 minutes because half of them couldn't find their pulse, and after I helped them find it, they would lose it again 30 seconds later. The expression on their face after I guide their fingers to their pulse was just priceless, exclaiming "Oooooh!! I feel it!!"

So after everyone had their resting heart rate, I brought in a Tae-Bo video for kids that I had received from the Childhood Obesity conference. They did this for 15 minutes or so. They were embarrassed at first, especially when they had to wiggle their hips, but when I turned it off, everyone said "Aww!!". After that, they found their pulse again and saw how drastically it went up.

Lastly, we went out to the garden and looked at how well the plants were growing. The radishes looked wonderful and a lot of students wanted to eat them. I've never seen a child so excited about radishes before. They were giving me recipes and describing the taste. That makes me really happy. =)

Here are some pictures from last semester:

Picking heirloom tomatoes and squash

Planting radish, cauliflower and peas into the fresh plots

Showing off the goods!
Cyndi Lauper

(no subject)


On Friday, Baron took me to Disneyland! It was great fun - I haven't been there since they implemented the whole FastPass system! That's about 10 years, right?

We arrived around 10:30 and Baron promptly instructed us to get FastPasses for Space Mountain. He says it's one of the longest waits in the park. I've never been on it but I convinced myself I would try a new ride. Remember that I don't like roller coasters. When we finally did get on the ride, I was freaking terrified. I have never been on a ride that fast before! At least they lit up the track this time and played the Red Hot Chili Peppers. If I was thrown around on that ride with no idea where I was going, I would be even more scared. Everything after that felt pretty tame!

These were the rides we went on, in their respective order:
- Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters
- Star Tours
- Indiana Jones
- Pirates of the Carribean
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Space Mountain
- Buzz Light Year's Astro Blasters
- Gadget's Go Coaster
- Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
- Indiana Jones
- Buzz Light Year's Astro Blasters
- Honey I Shrunk The Audience (where we both fell asleep)

I was bummed that It's A Small World was closed. He was bummed that they closed Splash Mountain. Oh well! I wanted to go on the Fantasyland rides too, especially Peter Pan, but the wait was way too long, with way too many strollers parked in the front. I forget that I'm 24(!) now.

But, in addition to our adventure inside the park, we decided to hang out in Downtown Disney for a while and wandered off to Tortilla Jo's where we split a hefty pitcher of strawberry margaritas. The rides definitely felt more fun after we finished! All in all, this was a much needed fun day after a very long conference and a hectic schedule of school and working on my thesis. Thanks, BARON!!

Here's a picture of us looking like dorks on the Buzz Lightyear ride. You may notice that Baron is much more into his aim than I am - hence the different scores. Although, I also have to say that my score improved by 10,000 points each time we played while his score continued to drop. =D

Backing up, I spent the last Wednesday and Thursday at the California Childhood Obesity Conference in Anaheim. There, I met all the movers and shakers in the country who work on this issue. It was really interesting, except that I had heard a lot of the material already in my classes and readings. I skipped the last session to lounge by the pool. Who would've known that the temperature in SoCal was 75 degrees in January!? It was definitely a nice change to the weather in Emeryville.

Wednesday night, Corey and Melissa also came down to see me and we went to Downtown Disney for dinner and shopping. Good times. I'm going to be Melissa's Maid of Honor! I am super-excited, although it definitely will be a challenge to plan anything from hundreds of miles away. She's picked the bridesmaids' dresses but I get to pick the shoes! Details will be coming soon.
Cyndi Lauper

(no subject)

So many things to report!

Item #1 - CONGRATULATIONS to Melissa and Corey! They'll be getting married December 8th, 2007!

Item #2 - I've just finished what could be my very last holiday season with Nordstrom. I was back in my old department for one month and it was so much fun! I had brand new coworkers and they were all a blast to work with. I tried to minimize the damage and was only partially successful. New additions (for just shoes): NYLA Si-Animal in Zebra, JS Ladonna in Black Patent, BP Curtail and Sweetness Boots in Black, and the Fornarina Lotta in Black. In addition, my coworker, Gerardo got me hooked on L.A.M.B.. I have to admit Gwen Stefani's line kicks ass. So cute!!

Item #3 - For the very first time, I called into a radio station and I won something! The week before my birthday, I called into 94.5 KBAY because the DJ had just played The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby, and then asked the question: what was the name of the song from the 80's that featured Bruce Hornsby on the piano and Don Henley on vocals? The answer was The End of the Innocence. I couldn't believe I was the first caller AND that I had won! They gave me 2 tickets to go to Downtown Ice in San Jose. It was so exciting until they played my bit on the radio before the next commercial. I changed the station because I cringed at the thouht of hearing myself on the air. =)

Item #4 - After this, Eric took me to see Jersey Boys in the city. It was so good! Who would've known Joe Pesci helped them to get started? The singing was amazing. I've been listening to the Four Seasons ever since. My faves right now are Rag Doll and My Eyes Adored You.

Item #5 - Back in school again! My last semester of my MPH. This degree went by fast. Classes for this semester include:
PH 145 - Statistical Analysis of Continuous Outcome Data
PH 200D - Applied Public Health: Putting Theory Into Practice
PH 255 - Social Epidemiology
PH 296.42 - The Biology of Eating Behavior
In addition to the regular courseload, I'll be doing my last semester of GSIing for NS 10. This time, I will only have 2 sections and will help to write the exams.

Item #6 - Data collection for my thesis has been slow but I am confident that it will be done soon. I have 47 responses to date. I need at least 100. I will be making countless trips in the next couple weeks to try to finish by mid-February. The sites that are currently participating are: Chinatown YMCA, Richmond YMCA, Donaldina Cameron House, Chinatown Beacon Center, and Chinatown Community Development Center. My contacts at these sites are absolutely amazing - so patient and supportive! I don't think the cookies that I buy them are enough to show how much I appreciate their help.

Okay, those are all the current items to report. Tonight's agenda: Dinner with Cindy at Sushi House, finish coding my surveys, and sleeping early to make it to 8am stats class tomorrow morning!
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
Cyndi Lauper

(no subject)

I have three final projects due in the next two weeks:
- For Nutritional Epi, an article review and presentation.
- For Community Organizing, a service-learning journal that I've supposedly been keeping for the whole semester. (Did I mention I've been teaching nutrition and gardening to 5th graders at St. Joseph the Worker School in Berkeley? It is so fun.)
- For Survey Methods, a portfolio of our survey, and all that goes with it: analysis plan, consent forms, sample, pretest, etc.

On a brighter note, I hung out with Eric again last night for the first time in months! He took me to the Great American Music Hall in SF and we saw The Court and Spark, and MATES OF STATE! Mates of State were awesome. I'm going to buy their CD. I'm digging their new single, Like U Crazy:

As for The Court and Spark, I know they're named after a Joni Mitchell album and they're a well-known local SF band, but I was bored out of my mind. They sounded like a reaaaaally mellowed-out Tom Petty cover band. Oh well. Let this be a lesson learned.
Cyndi Lauper

(no subject)

A few weeks ago, I was added to the "Women's Shoes 422" MySpace page. I almost fell off my chair when I saw it!

About Me:
The workers in the Womens Shoe department are the most courteous people you will ever meet. We work hard and we're good at what we do. You will never meet a group of people with as much patience and care for their customers. We are the mavericks of Nordstroms. Everyone wishes they were us, everyone wishes they were here.

Hustlin' - Rick Ross

And yes, it's all true.
Cyndi Lauper

(no subject)

It's Halloween!

This morning, I walked into my section and noticed that someone had written my agenda on the board for me! Since I am someone who pays a lot of attention to detail, I was touched that my students did too! And they even wrote down the announcements I was planning to make! Maybe that means that I'm predictable but I thought it was too cute.

And... I finally got IRB/ CPHS approval for my thesis study!! After a month and a half of waiting, it's about time!! Actually this is considered pretty fast turn-around so I'm excited. Data collection will start very soon!
Cyndi Lauper

(no subject)

I just went to a screening of Richard Linklater's new film, Fast Food Nation, at Wheeler. Then there was a discussion with Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan from the UCB School of Journalism.

Now, I feel sick. I don't know when I'll be able to eat meat again. Other than that, it was also very dark and political. I'm eager for more people to see this.