The first week of school is almost over! I hate to actually say this because I'm afraid that I'll jinx myself, but so far my kids are pretty good. I have a couple that I'm sure will get on my nerves, but they are a great group for the most part. I'm very excited that I am teaching Spanish 4 AP this year, but nervous at the same time. I don't have anything funny to report back yet, but you may find it amusing that I have breakfast, I mean lunch at 10:18 am! Here are a few pictures of my classroom:
There are a few movies that I watch every time they are on TV. Hitch and The Devil WearsPrada come to mind. I know them backwards and forwards and have memorized most of the lines. They aren't examples of any particular cinematic achievement, but what can I say? They make me feel good. Watching them makes me happy.
Another one of my "watch it every time HBO airs it" favorites is Prime, starring Uma Thurman, Meryl Streep, and the adorable Bryan Greenberg. If you haven't seen it, Streep plays Lisa Metzger, a therapist and Thurman is her patient, Rafi, who has just gone through a divorce. Rafi eventually starts dating David Bloomberg, played by Greenberg. Aside from the fact that Rafi is 37 and David is 23, their relationship is further complicated by the fact that David turns out to be the therapist's son.
The movie has some funny moments, but I can't decide what I love most about it. The film is set in New York , primarily SoHo, Greenwich Village, and the Upper West Side. It just feels very "New York" to me. Rafi has a very cute wardrobe and gorgeous apartment, which I love seeing. I also love the fabulous soundtrack which includes John Coltrane, Rufus Wainwright, Ray LaMontagne, Notorious B.I.G., and Rachael Yamagata. Oh, and there's also the fact that Bryan Greenberg is pretty damn hot. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend that you do. Who knows, you may end up watching it several dozen times like I have.
I received the newest issue of the J.Crew catalog a couple of days ago and found several cute things that could be great for work. Among them is this fabulous pair of distressed metallic Mary Janes that I just love. I can think of so many things to pair them with!
Something strange is happening. Ever since I moved to the suburbs, all I could think about was how much I missed the city. Granted, Houston is not the most exciting city I've ever experienced, but it has more going on than the suburbs.
I've gone on and on about how there is a nail salon, bank, or church on every corner in Katy, yet there are not enough good restaurants or stores. I've ranted about the homogeny of the people and everything else. I've called it vanilla. I've driven into the city for entertainment nearly every weekend. However, something has shifted in me recently and it is becoming more and more palpable.
Ever since we returned from New York a few weeks ago, I have secretly liked living here a little more. Sure, I love Manhattan and think it's one of the most exciting places in the world, but I'm not sure if I would like living there. Things would be different if I were single and had carved out a different path. If that were the case, I think I would like to give Manhattan living a try, but it's not. When we came home, it was kind of nice being in a slower paced environment. But enough about Manhattan as it is not a fair comparison. It's apples and oranges and we need to compare apples to apples, so Houston and Katy it is.
I've started to put things into perspective and have really started looking at the big picture. The crime in Houston has increased in the past couple of years (there was even a shoot out at a church in the tony West University area last night) and Houston ISD would not be my top choice for my children. Believe me, I would know, as I have taught in Houston ISD. Also, those who are familiar with Houston real estate know that you get a lot more for your money in the suburbs and you don't have to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for a private school education. Katy ISD is among the top rated school districts in Texas. Yes, I've taught there, too.
This weekend, we had an open house at the school where I teach and I met a lot of my new students and their families. I've complained about the lack of diversity in the past, but things are changing. I have students who have moved here from California, Connecticut, Germany, Venezuela, Argentina, and Dubai. If there is one thing I've learned from teaching both in the city and in the suburbs it is that kids are essentially the same everywhere. They may not wear the same clothes or have the same interests, but in the end they only know what is familiar to them. Their worlds generally consist of the fifteen mile radius immediately surrounding their community.
This area is growing very quickly and I am confident that we will eventually have many of the things that I like in Houston. Does that mean that I will stop going to the museum district? No, but I can get there in 20 minutes. Will I stop going into town for my favorite restaurants and stores? Of course not. Will I stop loving the stately mansions of River Oaks, West University, Southampton, and Memorial? Don't be silly.
For now at least, I think that I could be happy living in the suburbs as it would be best for my phantom children. However, we will be a well cultured and open minded family. I will never turn into some of the Stepford Wives I've encountered here and will probably be a little more liberal and progressive than most of my neighbors and I'm okay with that. Maybe I will rub off on them.
We'll see if I keep feeling this way or if it is just the August heat. All I can say is never say never.
While most of the restaurants and stores in my suburb are pretty lame, there is one place that I absolutely love. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema originated in downtown Austin and slowly expanded throughout Texas until it reached us here in Katy.
The best part of this movie theater is the fact that it is 21 and up only, which means no annoying teenagers or crying children. In addition to that, they have a full bar and a great menus. Fabian and I particularly love their gourmet pizzas. The theater and the people who work there would be right at home in the Montrose or River Oaks areas, and almost seem too cool for the suburbs, but it works. I'm not complaining, as it is hands down my favorite place in Katy. What other theater gives you extra leg room, awesome pizza, a few drinks, and a McLovin fake id?
The theater usually sets up some sort of fun activity on the night a movie opens or they give away fun freebies like the McLovin ID I got last night. :) http://www.alamodrafthouse.com/
I got bangs today! As an admitted creature of habit, this was a huge step for me. I have been wanting bangs for a good while now, but have been too much of chicken to go through with it. Luckily, my stylist talked me into it and I'm so glad I listened. I love them. Reese Witherspoon's new look was part of my inspiration.
Anyone who knows me knows of my love for chic boutique hotels. I love the modern design, attention to detail, and smaller size, which allows for more personal service than that of a large chain hotel. I recently came across the Condesa DF Hotel in Mexico City. I love its open, airy design. I have been wanting to visit Mexico City for a while now since there is so much to see, especially for a Spanish teacher. Unfortunately, my husband is afraid of the high crime. I'm hoping we can get a group together sometime or get someone to guide us around the city. If you go before I do, stay at the Condesa and let me know what it's like. http://www.condesadf.com/
One of my guilty television pleasures, The Hills, returns with its third season tonight. I'm excited to see what new drama ensues along with Lauren and Whitney's cute clothes. I am secretly looking forward to hearing more verbal diarrhea from douchebag extraordinaire, Spencer. "Sweet. My answer is get out of my car." Tune in tonight at 9:00 pm/CST.
TLC's A Model Life is quickly shaping up to be one of my favorite shows on TV. It is a huge departure from America's Next Top Model, though they do have one thing in common. They are both hosted by successful models. The first by Petra Nemcova and the latter by Tyra Banks. This is where the similarities end.
A Model Life follows six working models in New York. They have come from as far as Australia, Slovakia, and Brazil, but they have all worked in their native countries. The same cannot be said for most of the girls on ANTM. These girls actually have the potential to be successful models, unlike the ANTM girls, whose greatest claim to fame is being a Brady wife. Plus, this show doesn't have any screaming, over the top drag queens, and I don't mean Miss Jay!
The girls on A Model Life are working towards a contract with the Next Modeling Agency and are mentored by Petra. They do real photo shoots with real clients and go on real go-sees or castings with clients such as Luca Luca and Nicole Miller.
The most surprising thing of all is that the six girls seem to get along quite well. With the exception of Angelika's attitude, they are all sweet girls and seem to be great friends. My current favorites are the gorgeous Lucia from Slovakia (at left) and Valeria from Australia who has been dubbed mini-Petra (above right). The show airs Friday nights at 9 pm central time. Set your TiVo!
I've always wondered what to call my hair color. It's not exactly brown, but not quite blonde either (see for yourself in my profile picture). While on the plane back from New York, I was flipping through the new issue of Glamour when I came across an article that would answer my hair color question. They had an article entitled "Bronde: The Hottest Hair Color" or something along those lines, describing the mixture of brown and blonde strands. I'm sure you can imagine my amusement at this article. Not only had I figured out what my hair color is called, but apparently, my natural hair color is one that many women take great strides to achieve. Bronde is popping up on runways and fall ad campaigns and has been a staple for some celebrities, including Gisele Bundchen, Mischa Barton, and original brondie, Jennifer Aniston .
We're back from our extended weekend in Manhattan. We absolutely love visiting New York and can't wait to go back again. It is such an exciting city and I think part of the reason that I love it so much is because it is the complete opposite of where I live. The excitement in the air is palpable, as is the humidity. Who knew NYC was just as hot and humid as Houston? The city pulses to the sound of traffic, sirens, street performers, locals, and tourists. There is so much to see and do.
Most people are aware that the cost of living in New York is astronomical. Studio apartment for $3,000 a month, anyone? Despite the fact that I was well aware of the high cost of living, I was still surprised to learn from Justin, a New Yorker we chatted with, that some parking spaces cost about $250,000. You can buy a nice 4 bedroom house in several areas of Houston for that! But the thing is, you aren't paying so much for an apartment or a parking space, you're paying for a lifestyle. What people give up in space, they get in culture, shopping, dining, museums, and all that is the fabulous borough of Manhattan. I think I would take that in exchange for my little suburb at this stage in my life.
While in New York this weekend, we had the opportunity to visit The Met and The MoMa. The Met reminded me a lot of The Louvre with its massive collection. We will have to visit again sometime because we only saw a portion of it. It is much too big to see in one day.
The MoMa has made its way to the top of my list of favorite museums. I absolutely love modern art: impressionism, cubism, surrealism, pop art, and this museum has an amazing collection. Fabian, my design buff husband, loved seeing the architecture and design exhibition. It made me so happy to know that he was enjoying a museum as much as I did. The highlight of my visit was seeing one of Frida Kahlo's paintings in person. I am so excited to share this with my students when we do our unit on Latin American artists this fall. I was also able to see a Diego Rivera and a Gustav Klimt in person for the first time.
I realize that I am rambling a bit and that this post doesn't have such a clear focus, but there are so many things fresh in my mind from this past weekend and I haven't had time to organize my thoughts. I just wanted to write this before I forgot something. So, allow me to continue. My absolute favorite neighborhood in Manhattan is Greenwich Village. It is so peaceful compared to the rest of the city. It has so much character and charm, plus it is home to great shopping and dining, and of course the Magnolia Bakery, which I paid another visit to. I could walk through its tree-lined streets and people-watch there all day. If ever there comes a day when we have to move to New York, it is the neighborhood we would want to call home.
Fabian and I are headed to New York for a long weekend. I'm so excited about spending time in Manhattan! I've been to some fabulous cities, but the feeling in New York is so different. It is such an exciting city. I'm looking forward to getting to know the city a bit better, though I know it will take many trips to see everything. Let me know if you have any last minute suggestions for places to see or eat. Have a great weekend!
It's already been two years since my wedding, but I still love the romance, glamour, and beauty of weddings. Style Me Pretty is an amazing wedding-planning blog. They're known for their inspiration boards and are currently having a contest in which people submit their personal wedding boards. I find the different textures, colors, and stories very inspiring.
Lately, Fabian and I have been going for bike rides in the evenings. It's a lot of fun and it's a work out, which is a good thing, considering I have gotten too lazy to go to the gym this past month.
Last night, we found a road, which for whatever reason was never incorporated into the nearest subdivision. It is lined with houses, both new stucco construction and old, one story ranch houses. As we rode along the road, Fabian commented on how it felt like we were out in the country or something. The area is still heavily wooded and the air felt thick. It is seemingly out of place in a suburb where the developers have basically cleared the land to build houses and then planted teeny, tiny saplings to act as "trees". The lack of trees is also the reason for the absence of what I consider to be the quintessential sound of summer: locusts. There is something about the noise they make that takes me back to the summer days of my youth. It makes me think of lemonade, swimming, and fleeting summer love. Anyhow, last night, I heard the locusts along that country road for the first time since we've lived here. It was music to my ears.