Wednesday, July 30, 2008

my webpage

Check out my AP Webpage! I realize it's not the prettiest, but the web editing my school uses is difficult to work with (to say the least).

Click on some of the links. I have them all formatted with Review Materials, Web Resources, and Labs and Handouts. There's not a lot there yet, but I'm planning on posting review sheets, class notes, labs and other things they might need throughout the year. And some of the web resources I've found are fantastic!

What do you think? Any recomendations? Comments? Praise? (haha)

Where to eat in DC

In Alexandria:
Bombay Curry Company - not really metro-accessible, but they have the best naan I've ever tasted. SO worth the trip.

The Scoop: Homemade ice cream that (from what I hear) is to die for. I've never eaten there myself, but my roommate is always looking for excuses to go to Alexandria just for the ice cream.

At Dupont Circle:
There's a greek restaurant at Dupont Circle (very metro-accessible). I can't remember the name of it, but it's GOOD. If you get off at the Dupont Circle metro stop, it should be the closest Greek restaurant.

In Bethesda: Bethesda is a little ways outside of the city, but you can get there by metro, and they have hundreds of restaurants all within a few blocks. You can easily find whatever it is you're looking for.

Bethesda Crab House - great crabs, just a block from the metro

Faryab Restaurant - it's an Afghan restaurant on Cordell. Small, great service, and the flavors are fantastic. Even the vegeterian dishes were really good.

Brasserie Monte Carlo - I went during Bethesda's restaurant week. You have to try the asparagus soup, and all of the entrees we tried were great. The waiters and chefs are French, so they're a bit on the snobby side.

Moby Dick - I'm pretty sure they have Moby Dick in the city as well. It's an informal, cafe-style kabob house. Perfect stop for lunch or a light dinner.

Guapos - If you're craving Mexican food, this is the best we have to offer. It's not the best Mexican I've ever had, but I haven't found anything else around here that has anything better.

Lebanese Taverna: Don't order the rotisserie chicken - it's dry and not all that flavorful. However, just about everything else on the menu is great.

Penang Malaysian Cuisine: This is a great alternative to the same menu that every asian restaurant seems to have. Order the mango chicken. It's good. But if you aren't in the mood for mango chicken, they have a huge menu, and everything was delicious.

At Eastern Market:

Banana Cafe - seriously, you HAVE to try the calamari. It comes with a mango sauce, which I was skeptical of, but I will go back over and over again just for the calamari. I ordered the stuff plantains (which are ENORMOUS) and my friend ordered the Bistec Encebollado, which is definitely a favorite. The Fritas are also good. They taste more like meat loaf than hamburgers, on little toasted buns.

In Georgetown: There are plenty of restaurants and shopping in Georgetown (and you can walk up the Exorcist stairs).

Zed's - Ethiopian food is not for everybody. It's served on a huge platter and looks a little like mush. You scoop it up with a spongy bread and eat with your hands. I love it. There's another Ethiopian restaurant that I liked better than Zed's, but I can't remember the name and it's in kind of a sketchy part of town (down by Howard University and the 930 Club, if anyone wants to venture down there). Make sure you order the vegetable platter, and be sure to ask the waiter for recommendations. They know what's good.

Other Tips:

The restaurant at the Kennedy Center is supposed to be excllent (although I've never tried it myself.)

If you run into a Vive la France, stop and buy a chocolate croissant. I didn't think I liked chocolate croissants until I tried theirs. The only one I know of is in Potomac, but I'm sure there are others.

If you like hamburgers, you have to eat at Five Guys. Unlike most hamburger joints, they ONLY serve burgers and fries. While the menu is limited, they are probably the best hamburgers I've ever eaten. I crave them. The regular hamburgers have two patties, so if you want only one, you have to order the "junior".

Cosi is one of the better sandwich/lunch places you'll find in the city - their bread is fantastic.

If you are at the national mall and don't want to eat overpriced street vendor food, start walking towards the Metro Center metro stop, and you'll find some restaurants and a food court type place. If it's hot outside (which it definitely will be in the summer) you'll probably want to go inside anyway to cool off.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

high school - revisited

1.Who was your best friend?
2. What kind of car did you drive?
a 1992 Ford Festiva appropriately named Pudge
3. It’s Friday night. Where were you?
If it was my senior year, I was at work at la Madeleine.
4. Were you a party animal?
5.. Were you considered a flirt?'
I still don't know how to flirt.
6. Were you a nerd?
Yup. Probably still am.
7. Were you ever suspended or expelled?
No. I never even got a detention.
8. Can you sing the fight song?
I could. Now all I remember is "So we'll fight fight fight with all of our might, for the mustangs blue and the white, so come on team do your best you can stand the test we're Taylor, Taylor better than the REST!!!"
9. Did you go to the Prom?
10. If you could go back, would you:'
Nobody should ever have to re-live high school. Even those who loved high school. That's why I teach it.
11. What do you remember most about graduation?
My dad forgot to put film in the camera
12. Where were you on Senior Skip Day?'
At school. I skipped a lot of days my senior year, but made sure to show up on Senior Skip day, because it was the one day out of the year they actually checked attendance.
13. Did you have a job your senior year?
la Madeleine
14. Where did you go most often for lunch?
Um, the school cafeteria?
15. Have you gained weight since then?
a little. I prefer "filled out" thank you very much.
16. What did you do after graduation?
I worked that summer and then went to BYU
17. What year did you graduate?
18. Are you going/did you go to your 5/10 year reunion?
Um, no.

Monday, July 28, 2008

dear mom,

Could you send your lemon tart recipe please? I promised I'd make them this week.


ps - I bought you a pair of jeans last week. They were on sale for $8. They're cute.

weekend fun

(Pictures will be added soon...)

Summer school is finally over! Friday was our last day of class, and it couldn't have come soon enough. Friday evening, Rochelle and I went to the asian market and bought food we wanted to try out before our upcoming trip to Hong Kong. The Dragon Fruit was pretty good (very kiwi-esque, but hot pink), although I'm pretty sure the ones in Hong Kong are much better. Then we watched The Dish (about the first walk on the moon) and continued reading The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.

Saturday, we tried to go to the national harbor to celebrate my freedom, but it was nothing more than a dock and lots of construction sites. Turns out the website lied when they said it would be done by now. So we took a few pictures with the Emerging Man statue (coming soon) and headed up to Cleveland Park for dinner at an asian restaurant. The entrees weren't my favorite ever, but the calamari was divine. Then we went down to the Roosevelt Memorial (by far my favorite memorial), the Benjamin Franklin memorial and the WWII memorial, where we ran into an enormous high school tour group.

The best part of the weekend, however, was when I got my class schedule for next year!!! I get to teach all of my favorite students from last year again, and I flipped through this year's yearbook to figure out who some of my new students are. Things are looking good.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

something you don't see every day

Yesterday I met a man who bears a striking resemblance to Jack Black. And is a professional figure skater.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Things I accomplished yesterday:

  • Sat out on the front porch and finished These Is my Words. I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest. This is one of those rare books that effected me emotionally. I woke up feeling really sad this morning.
  • Picked up Peace Like a River again. (Remember how I left it at school one day and decided to start These is my Words instead?)
  • Ate a delicious (lemonade/rock n roll) shaved ice with sweetened condensed milk drizzled on top.
  • Deposited my paycheck for the extra summer sessions I've done.
  • Paid all of my bills.

Things I need to accomplish today:

  • Finish reorganizing my closet so that I can call the donation center to come pick up all of the clothes I don't wear anymore.
  • Write college recommendation letters for my students. I have a feeling I'll be writing a lot in the fall, so I need to get a headstart on the ones I'm already aware of
  • Buy a new pair of running shoes and go for a jog along the trails by my house.
  • Eat another shaved ice
  • Finish writing my AP syllabus to submit to the College Board.
  • Clean my bathroom again. I've realized that I can't count on my roommates to do any cleaning on the bathroom.
  • Order some more books from Amazon. Any recommendations? (I'm thinking Sarah's Quilt and On the Road. Or maybe Me Talk Pretty one Day? But I'm open to suggestions.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dear Bexar,

Let's start a book club.

Peace Like a River will be first. I'm excited.



I have a crush on Captain Jack Elliot. This is only my second book crush of all time (the first was Peekay - how could anyone not love him?) *sigh*

Monday, July 14, 2008

things i learned this weekend

1. Shenendoah is really beautiful.

2. Camping is always fun.

3. I make a mean foil dinner.

4. Most people do not know the proper foil dinner pouch technique. Sad.

5. I really need to do a backpacking trip sometime soon. While the "fluff" camping I did this weekend was a great way to spend time with friends and be outside, I much prefer backpacking.

6. Sleeping next to two people who feel the need to display their love for each other in a ten-man tent equals not much sleep at all.

7. So does sleeping next to someone who snores.

8. So does sleeping in a tent that has not been staked down and therefore falls on you at night.

9. Roasted starbursts are pretty darned good.

10. But you can leave them in a hot car all day and get the same effect.

11. I still enjoy rollerblading.

12. Even in the rain.

Friday, July 11, 2008

finishing the 100(ish) things about me

35. My mom thought it was cool that I made a list of things about myself, so she copied me. (Go over and read hers. They're pretty funny.)
36. She went a little overboard and went to 101.
37. I only made it to 34.
38. this pretty much typifies our personalities
39. I consider it a triumph to not finish a book
40. This is because it means I have better things to do with my time than finish something that turned out to not be of much worth.
41. I will NOT finish a book that I don't think is well-written.
42. I LOVE finishing a really good book.
43. My favorite vacation so far was Costa Rica last summer
44. My long-time dream of going to Asia might come true this winter.
45. If not, it will definitely come true next summer.
46. my roommates are a little bit crazy
47. I still really love living with them
48. I love making ginger bread houses at Christmas time
49. one year we made gingerbread houses and I accidentally sat on one.
50. everybody laughed at me, and I vowed that I would never find it funny
51. snickerdoodles are the best cookies of all time
52. they might be trumped by oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from Great Harvest. maybe
53. I inherited my mother's sweet tooth
54. thanks a lot, mom
55. I hope Bexar saves me a spot in heaven, because she is definitely going.
56. when I'm an old widow, I'm living with my sister so we can be the crazy old ladies together. (right, ashley?)
57. maybe i'll finish this later

Thursday, July 10, 2008

good news, ashley

You might be out of the doghouse. I might no longer be mad at you for bailing on our Christmas trip. Because I might be going to Hong Kong this Christmas with my roommate! Her brother is moving there next month and has invited us to come out to visit.

If I don't go to Hong Kong, I promise I'll go to Mexico, mom. And remember, you're still invited to come visit me out here in DC! (So is everyone else.)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

shaved ice flavor of the week

lemonade/watermelon - the tartness of the lemonade goes great with the milder watermelon.

sad story

So I started reading Peace Like a River on Monday. It's a brilliant book. So I obviously brought the book to school with me in hopes that I could get in some reading while my students were working on their robots. (Who was I kidding?) This isn't the sad part.

I got home yesterday afternoon and head out to the front porch to sit and read when I realized that I had left my book all the way back at school. I cried a little inside. Luckily, I remembered that I also wanted to start These is my Words, which is equally brilliant. If you haven't read either book, buy them now. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

DC traveler's guide

Age: 27

Occupation: HS physics teacher.

I've lived here for: about one year

I live here because: I got a job here. And Georgia was getting boring

My neighborhood: Just north of the district

My favorite restaurant: ooh, this is a tough one. Depends on what you're looking for. Maryland Crab House is good. So is Hollywood East Cafe. And so many others.

If you go to this restaurant, be sure to order: (Hollywood East Cafe) Honey Walnut Shrimp and the Crispy Beef. Or go during lunch for dim sum, and order pork rolls, custard buns, and just about anything else they're offering. It's all delicious.

My favorite museum: Currently, the National Gallery of Art or the Holocaust museum. That might change after I go to the spy museum or the crime and punishment museum

My favorite tourist destination: The Tidal Basin during the Cherryblossom Festival.

Best insider spot: The biking trails that lead from the suburbs down into Georgetown. You'd never know you're in a big city.

My favorite area: The monuments.

Best place to go shopping: Montgomery Mall or Georgetown

When you visit, don’t forget to pack: If you're traveling in the summer, a summer skirt and an umbrella. It rains in the evenings a LOT.

But leave room in your suitcase for: Fresh jam from one of the farmer's markets.

The one local cuisine you should try when you’re in town is: Crabs, from the Maryland Crab House in Bethesda

The best way to get around: The metro. Easy to use and just about everything is within walking distance. If somebody tells you that anything in the city is not metro accessible, don't listen to them. It just means they're lazy and don't want to walk a few blocks.

If I had to describe this city in one word, it would be: busy. There's always something going on, and always people running around.

I tell my friends to stay at: My house. Or a hotel in the suburbs. Staying in the city isn't worth the cost, and hotels have shuttle services to the metro, making it easy to get where you want to go.

The one thing most outsiders don’t know about this city is: The fall is beautiful and much less touristy. Almost every tourist attraction in the city is free.

What do you want to do that you haven't done in your city yet? The Spy Museum

Monday, July 07, 2008


can i just say that Bridge to Terabithia is one of my favorite books of all time. it gets even better when you're older.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

100 (ish) things about me (updated)

no promises that i'll actually make it to 100

1. I will probably live in the DC area for the rest of my life.
2. I am going camping this weekend!!
3. I ate an entire plate of bacon for breakfast yesterday morning (Give me a break, it was the 4th of July)
4. I want to learn to play the cello.
5. I used to want to be short, now i want to be tall.
6. I wear long jeans with heels to make me look taller. It's working.
7. I love reading fiction novels.
8. I love reading books about education.
9. I don't really love reading history books. I've tried.
10. I really like changing my hair color. When I get my next paycheck, I'm going blonde.
11. I love Level 99 jeans.
12. Level 99 jeans are sold for $120, which I refuse to pay.
13. Good thing I'm such a bargain shopper, because I found a pair for $10 and two pairs for $20 each. I am in love with them.
14. I know the lyrics to just about every cheesey love song on the radio.
15. I love traveling.
16. Europe is not my favorite travel destination. There are so many other places that are just as cool (or even better) for much cheaper.
17. I'm going to Japan next summer with my roommate.
18. I am spending my time off this summer building (attempting to build) a hovercraft.
19. My roommate is giving me cooking lessons.
20. I am obsessed with shaved ice.
21. my favorite flavor is strawberry/wedding cake
22. I also love tigers blood
23. my economic stimulus check should be here any day now!
24. I love teaching high school
25. I learned this summer that I most certainly do not love teaching middle school kids
26. I tried yoga for the first time when I was 16.
27. I hated it because I had a huge cast on my arm and thumb. It's hard to do yoga in that condition.
28. I tried yoga for the second time ever on Saturday.
29. I am officially hooked. I have vowed to do yoga every night with my roommate.
30. It is power yoga.
31. Sometimes I check my email while I'm teaching. Only when my students are working on something that doesn't require direct instruction.
32. Sometimes when I'm reading my email during class I don't hear them when they ask me a question. They make fun of me for that.
33. It's okay because I frequently make jokes at their expense.
34. I'm still angry that Ashley is going to England without me this Christmas.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

wedding pictures

no, not mine. but check out my sister's blog to see her wedding pictures. they turned out GREAT!