Friday, July 31, 2009

the end

Today is the very last day of summer school.

I am never doing this again. Ever. It makes me want to crawl into a hole and hide.

But now that it's done, I have an entire month of freedom! Which means I get to take lots of trips, spend lots of time in the sun, and stay away from school. I can't wait.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Here is the final product. I decided to go with cut #1, so that I could wear it wavy to look like cut #2 when I felt like it. It needs to grow a little before I can do that, but so far I love it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

word verification

as found on blogger's word verification thingy:



Thursday, July 23, 2009


So I think one of my students accidentally put her underwear on this morning thinking they were shorts. How embarrassing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

in case you were wondering

500 Days of Summer is an awesome movie.

Trader Joe's tomato and roasted red pepper soup is delicious.

P90X rocks my world. So much that I don't even care that my family will make fun of me for saying "rocks my world."

My waterproof/shockproof digital camera came in the mail yesterday!! I haven't tried it out underwater yet. For the first time in my life, I am reading the instruction manual just in case there's something special I have to do before putting it underwater.

My books also came today! I am starting with The Magician's Assistant.

Only 7 days left of summer school, and it can't go by fast enough. If I have to listen to one more argument over whose idea it was to name their robot Wall-E first, or another kid who thinks its really clever to name their program "Bob" or "Fred" and then act shocked when every other 12-year-old in the class also named their programs "Bob" and "Fred", I might lose it.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is hilarious. And probably a lot funnier if you were a kid in the 50s.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was pretty good. It's a 9/11 story, which I was worried about, but it took a surprisingly different angle than I was expecting. I hate it when books (or movies) take a tragedy and turn it into an awful made-up love story with a bizarrely happy ending. (Did anyone else see Pearl Harbor? Seriously. )

The Wednesday Wars blew me away. After about the first 40 pages, it was just okay, but after that it gets better with every single sentence. And by the end of the book, you want to go back and read it again. I love Mrs. Baker. (Partly because she's a teacher and partly just because she's secretly awesome.)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is also a good read. I didn't start to love it until the last 3 pages, though, and then it was over. Overall, though, a good story with loveable characters.

dear asher,

You're right, you are the coolest.

Want to play with me in a few weeks? That would be awesome.



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

love, poodle

Dearest Shademaster,

Check the mail. You won't regret it.

Love always,

Dear Bexie,

Start with The Hunger Games. You'll know what I'm talking about in a few days. Just wait.

Your favorite sister,


ps - I'm flying in on August 1.

Dear Caroline,

When I come to see you, will you teach me how to be cool? You have it down.



Dear Mabel,

Want to come have a slumber party with me and Caroline in August? Annie can come too, if she wants, but you're probably more fun at slumber parties.

See you soon,


Dear Annie,

You are the cutest thing I've ever seen. Don't grow up.


all in a day's work

This is what I have been doing all morning while my students are happily building their robots.

I think I need a new hairstyle. I have finally realized that my hair is not thick enough to pull off a long hairdo, and the fact that my hair is now 50% gray (thanks a lot, dad) means that it frizzes. A lot. Especially when it's long.

So I'm thinking of something like this:

Because I could easily make it nice and wavy if I get tired of the straightness. (I don't really like the layer thing with this cut.):

Maybe some swoopy bangs? I am a huge fan of this haircut, but I'm not sure it would work for me:

But I kind of love this cut too:

Although I'm not sure that I would love it when I couldn't put my hair in a ponytail. Or when I'm having a bad hair day. And it could easily turn into a mushroom poof if I don't find a really good stylist.

I'm pretty sure I could never pull off these bangs:

But maybe something like this? With a shorter hair cut (because I can't do the long hair thing anymore.)

(Thanks to the In Style makeover page.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

right now

I have a batch of apple cider sorbet in the ice cream maker. I made up the recipe myself. (I'll let you know how it turns out. It smells like heaven, and I let the apples steep in the cider mixture for several hours before freezing, so I think it's going to be good.)

I am booking hotels for Rome. I found a great one!

I am waiting anxiously for my waterproof/shockproof digital camera to come so I can try it out. I'll probably take about 100 pictures in the kitchen sink. Just to make sure it's actually going to work when we take it to the shark water park.

I am also waiting anxiously for my next batch of books to arrive from Amazon. I bought The Magician's Assistant, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and The Book Thief. Although I will definitely need several more before I leave on my trip.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Last weekend, a group of us drove up to Philadelphia for the weekend. We saw lots of interesting things while we were there. (In addition to exorbitant amounts of PDA)

The Liberty Bell:

Rocky Statue:

A group of people rallying to "love your body." Which apparently equals wearing absurdly inappropriate clothing in public. (Did you notice the denim haltar in there?)

Some dude who stole a horse and was riding it through the park:

The LOVE sculpture:

In the end, we went to Franklin Fountain for some delicious homemade ice cream. I bought the soy variety, (not expecting much) and was blown away. Best soy ice cream ever. See how happy I look? Way happier than the non-vegans.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

the results

Iron Chef July was delicious, as usual.

We had Jana's apple honey goat cheese tarts:

Katelyn's zucchini bread:

Cat's Iron Chef debut was impressive with her honey lime enchiladas:

Laura's honey walnut shrimp almost won her the crown:

And I loved Erica's honey banana walnut concoction.

Wait. Never mind. What I meant to say was that I would have loved Erica's honey banana walnut concoction if she had come. She didn't. We were sad.

But, much to my delight, my grilled peaches won me a second consecutive title. Wahoo!!

PS - The orange honey sherbet was gross. And I made a double batch.

Next month: apples.

Friday, July 10, 2009

iron chef july

Iron Chef July is coming up this Sunday. I'm going for a second crown. Wish me luck.

First up: Grilled peaches with mascarpone and honey

Backup: orange and honey sorbet

Thursday, July 09, 2009


I have finished all of the books I recently bought from Amazon, and need to buy some more. Problem is, I have no idea what to get. I'll probably order 3 books (at least). What do you recommend?

favorite books of all time

A Separate Peace: There's just something about this book that makes me want to read it over and over and over.

Cold Sassy Tree: I loved reading as a kid, but high school English classes had the unique talent of sucking the joy out of almost every book we read. This is the first book I read for a class that I loved.

Jane Eyre: As I was reading this book, I kept thinking "Hey! She's writing about me!"

The Secret Life of Bees: just because of the part about the pepto-bismol pink house.

East of Eden: Remember at the end how Cate talks about being Alice in Wonderland? If you don't, you should re-read the book, because you are missing out.

These is my Words: I am in love with Captain Jack Elliot.

The Power of One: I am also in love with Peekay.

Mindset: This book is simply brilliant.

The Schools our Children Deserve: It completely changed me

Stargirl: It is sad for me to admit that I would probably act just like the boy in this book.

Atlas Shrugged: I read this right after I finished college, and thought it was just brilliant. I started re-reading it a few years ago, and it annoyed me. But it still makes the list, becuase at the time, it was one of my favorite books ever.

My Name is Asher Lev: Made me want to be an artist.

Tale of Two Cities: It's been a long time since I've read this, but it's a beautiful story.

Bridge to Terabithia: Loved it back in 4th grade. Still love it.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


A few weeks ago I went rafting with some friends up in southwest Pennsylvania. It was fun, mostly because everybody fell out of the raft at some point. What made it even more fun was that Jana wore her jellies on the raft, fully expecting them to make it to the end of the river. They did not.

Last weekend, my friend Matt took me to his parents house for the weekend. (Matt is my neighbor whom my sister refers to as tiny dancer, for reasons that would be obvious if you were ever to meet Matt.) Despite the fact that I made it very clear to Matt that this in no way means that we are dating, he was more than happy to let his parents believe that we are. And his brother. And his sisters. And his aunt and uncle. Awkward. That's all I have to say about that.

Now, I know that there's not much more awkard than spending a weekend with a family that thinks you are dating their brother (and who also, by the way, live next door to each other on a road named after their family), but watching your roommate's boyfriend feed her peanuts and milk just might beat it. It's a close race, I know, but I think Laura and Zan take the cake on this one.

But on a brighter note, I am going to Philadelphia this weekend with some friends, and am thoroughly looking forward to some baseball, sightseeing, and good food.

For those of you who were wondering, our trip to Dubai is looking to be one of the best vacations I might ever take. We are going to a waterpark that involves sharks (check it out), learning how to windsurf, riding camels and four-wheeling on our desert safari, going to an ice bar (until I get hypothermia), high tea at Burj al Arab, mall of the emirates (with the indoor ski resort), Burj Dubai water fountains, possibly a day trip to Abu Dhabi, and overall making sure that Troy gets close to zero sleep all week. I'm not sure he knew what he was getting himself into when he invited us. Good thing he's so nice.

Besides, any vacation is bound to be awesome with Jana and her jellies and Phil. (Oh, and Ashley.) And Troy.

And although Dubai is going to be hard to beat, I'm sure going to try. Next summer: maybe Greece?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Dubai/Rome trip

Who is coming:

Troy: He is invited mostly because he lives in Dubai and is letting us stay with him. He's nice. Plus, he knows all the cool stuff to do while we're there.

Jana: She's pretty excited to see Troy. And she is funny.

Phil: We decided it's been too long since we've hung out, so if we're going to get together, we may as well do something cool.

Ashley: She invited herself because she was jealous that I was planning a trip without her. Miraculously, she got the time off of work. And she promised to be nice.

Me: Because it wouldn't be nearly as fun without me.

What we're doing:

Desert Safari: Hopefully, Ashley won't die.

The Palms: pretty, pretty beaches.

Jumeirah Mosque: Sounds cool.

The Mall: Troy promised it's way cooler than it sounds. I'm trusting him on this one.

The waterpark: There are waterslides that shoot you uphill!!

and whatever else sounds cool

in Rome:

Visit the Pantheon, Vatican City, Colosseum, Trevi fountain, eat gelato, etc.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I just bought a plane ticket to Dubai, with a 3-day stop in Rome on the way home. I realize that three days is not enough for Rome, but I'll make do.

I registered to run in the Ragnar Relay in September with team: Dude, Where's My Van? I will be taking a day off of work for the first time EVER. So worth it. (And yes, I know the team name is cheesey. I don't care.)

Last week, I solidified dates for a road trip to Vermont and Maine for some fly fishing, tubing, camping, hiking, and lobster.

I get to see an old college friend next month for the first time in about 4 years!!