Monday, July 23, 2007


I'm at the public library in Charters Towers, Queensland (the Sunshine State!), the first opportunity I've had to grab some internet time. So far Australia is fantastic and I love it. The first two days in Sydney were awesome and now we're in the Outback! The people are great and the scenery is really interesting. I'm taking photos and working on postcards. Can't wait to share more here when I get back!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Heading Down Under

Get it? Upside down? Australia? Get it?? Ha!

And this is me *before* jet lag. Sigh.

I need to leave my apartment in 2 1/2 hours, so naturally my first step after a shower was my self-portrait, and then uploading it. But now I'm going to go finish packing, I promise.

I shall do my best to keep up the self-portraits on my trip, but no promises, I guess. And I'll bring my cable, so I might be able to upload while I'm away. I"m pretty sure there will be some time for quick blogging and mass emailing. Otherwise, see you all in three weeks! Take care and look for postcards!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Update and Stuff

Okay folks, I need to leave my apartment in 23 hours, and I'm so not done.

Things I got done so far? Contacts, table, charge iPod. AND I found the adaptor plug I was looking for! It was 'hiding' on my floor in almost clear sight. Still no luck on finding the official journal, however. I have begun packing, and have most of the stuff taken care of--toiletries, vitamins, wallet stuff. Clothes, not so much. I've pulled two pairs of trousers and a couple shirts and one dress out of the closet, but I need to decide for sure and then make sure everything will fit in my not-very-big suitcase.

Things I will almost surely do today: eyebrows, library, read HP6 (halfway through now), freak out

Things that will most likely fall by the wayside: all cleaning and tidying

Sunday, July 15, 2007

There is *nothing*...

...cuter than a handful of baby kitties playing and exploring and scampering.


Saturday, July 14, 2007


"You are cautioned that any changes or modifications not expressly approved in this manual could void your authority to operate this equipment."

--'operating instructions' pamphlet for Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo

I think I need to adapt this sign for use in my classroom.

Lists and Worries

I leave on Tuesday afternoon to go to Australia for three weeks.

List of things to do, not involving packing:

  • Return library books
  • Finish Harry Potter #6
  • Get eyebrows done
  • Pick up contacts
  • Get table out of car and put together
  • Find official trip journal (hopefully it's in the car!)
  • Find the other plug for my adaptor (I had it three months ago! It's gotta be here, somewhere!)
  • Finish packing list
  • Try not to freak out
  • Start actually packing
  • Take out trash
  • Clean out fridge so it doesn't smell later
  • Tidy my apartment so I can come home feeling happy
  • Make some playlists on the iPod
  • Charge the phone and iPod
  • Laundry

Things I'm worried about:

  • jet lag! We fly to LA first, which is five hours, and then go to Sydney, which is SEVENTEEN HOURS
  • eating enough
  • being a mature, responsible adult for three weeks straight while surrounded by middle schoolers (ie, not being immature, whiny, or too teacherish)
  • getting enough rest
  • packing just right (I usually tend toward underpacking, because I'm all about easy and comfortable, but three weeks is three times longer than the trips I usually take and pack for)
  • taking pictures (I have a spare battery and two 4GB memory cards, but I'm terrified I'll forget/lose/run of space or something)
  • keeping iPod charged
  • finding interesting souvenirs for friends and family (kind of silly, I know, but still, there you go)
  • not spending much money, because money is already a bit tight this summer (but come on, when will I be back in Australia? I don't want to deny myself something interesting because I'm too damn frugal for my own good)
  • possibly not being able to email or update blog/flickr
  • still taking self-portraits for three weeks, without uploading
  • having to hand-write a journal, which I'm so out of practice with
  • seeming like a nice, normal American in front of the awesome Aussies
  • trying not to pick up the accent
  • reading time
  • not getting spoiled for HP #7

PS--Seriously? I have come back and edited these lists AT LEAST ten times already. I'll probably do more later, too, as I think of things.

PPS--Who wants a postcard?? You know you do. Email me your address and I'll send you one from Down Under! (Does that get capitalized? Hm.)

Friday, July 13, 2007

teacher gathering!

This Friday, July 13th, meet us at 6pm, on the Great Lawn, closest to the Delacorte Theatre. Enter the park at 5th and 79th or 81st and CPW. Bring a snack.

See you there! (We'll make a sign or something so you can find us on the lawn.)


Emerald Inn
205 Columbus Ave Apt 4B
(between 69th St & 70th St)

(this will stay up top til Friday)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mystery Drink

From Wednesday through Saturday, Boyfriend and I went on a road trip to visit Maryland and Virginia. In Maryland, we visited Perry Point and Havre de Grace to relive and reflect on some five-year-old AmeriCorps memories. One of the places I did not revisit on this trip was the Rendez-Vous Inn, a local bar within walking distance of the Point (meaning we could walk there!).
Last time I was in the area was three summers ago, 2004, with some friends from another team, and we did go to the Vous. That time, I finally got a recipe (or at least ingredients) for my favorite drink that apparently someone there made up. And for the last week, I canNOT for the life of me remember what it was called. But here are my notes for what's in it, so I have a record:

splash of cran

Doesn't that sound yummy? Does ANYONE remember the freaking name of this drink?! I hate getting old!

These notes were in a wee notebook I used to carry around. It's a little book I bought at the Louvre, a picture of Nike (winged victory, not a shoe) on the front, with a matching pen that fits in. I kept all kinds of notes in this book, and it's funny to look at them years later, wondering about some of it. I used to keep track of gas mileage; books that I found in stores that looked interesting yet that I could not afford; random notes to myself' lists of games, movies, people, groceries; directions to all kinds of places, like job interviews and friends' houses; people's phone numbers; a random note in Latin (in someone else's handwriting; I don't know Latin); Boggle games; expenses. Here's a couple pages where I tried to list all 50 states and capitals. And then, in different color to prove I wasn't cheating, I noted which ones I had to fix. Nerd alert.

Oh, and the notebook held several bits of paper as well. A few receipts that have completely faded, a notepaper with some dream fragments, a map of QC, an old employee card from the Bon from the 2002 holiday season, a business card from a Bridgeport Habitat staffperson.

I do still keep a wee notebook in my bag at all times. This one is also from Paris, it's like 4x6 inches and is made of graph paper. In the current one, I have many of the same kinds of things: tons of Boggle games; directions; names and phone numbers; book lists; gift lists; packing lists. In this one, I've (we've) kept track of the places we've visited to eat. First it started with nacho ratings, but now I'll include any good spot. That way we have a record of good places to go, what we liked or didn't like, and usually where they're located. Quite handy, actually. The only thing that this notebook holds, so far, is a business card from an art gallery in New Orleans that someone recommended. Something about black lights that change the paintings. I never ended up visiting the gallery, but I still keep the card. I think it's apparent by now that I'm a bit of a packrat.

Monday, July 02, 2007


How the heck is it July already?!

I have to say that summer break is freaking awesome. I've been watching lots of tv and doing some reading. I stay up really late, just because I can, and I can sleep in every day if I want.

Since it's not even been a week yet, I'm not bored. But I will be, because I tend to just sit at home. So I'd like to go into the city and take some dance classes, and visit new places, and I'll have to shop for my upcoming trip (holy crap, two weeks from tomorrow!).

School's out; More time for memes!

Ms M has tagged me for a meme, like more than a week ago, and now I'm finally going to finish it!

Here it is, and I shall tag these 8 bloggers in return: (this is exciting because I might actually know of eight bloggers who also know of me! woo!)
Nancy at Se Hace Camino El Andar
Kelly at Ogretmen [oops, she's traveling. for later, then. :)]
other Ms M at NY Teacher
Ms X at Unaccountable Talk
Miss B at In Pursuit of Happily Ever After
Jen at Quarter Life Crisis
Sam at Clean up on Aisle Life
Mr Lawrence at Get Lost, Mr Chips

The rules are 1. Let others know who tagged you. 2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves. 3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts. 4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

And here are the 8 random facts. Some of them are in response to other people's facts, and some of them you may already know. Are they supposed to be eight things you don't already know? Meh, whatever. Hope it's not too boring....

1. I am a lefty. My hand stays upright, and the whole side of my hand gets inky and messy. Especially when writing on the overhead. Using manual can openers is really difficult if I think too much. I believe that I use them upside down or inside out or something. And good god, remember those scissors in elementary school? The green lefty ones never, EVER worked. So I suppose out of survival instinct, I quickly learned to cut right-handed. I can cut well with either hand now, but the detail work does require left-hand power. Oh, and I play baseball right-handed.

2. I have never smoked a cigarette, or anything else, for that matter. Not even once, not even to try it. Never wanted to, either.

3. I once saw a blue frog. We were canoeing on a peaceful little river in...Michigan perhaps? Not sure. We all saw this little blue and white froggy sitting on a rock, and figured it was a toy or something. But then it hopped away and we were all, wow! a blue frog!

No one has ever believed about it, which is frustrating.

4. I'm adopted. I'm quite sure I've mentioned it here before, but just in case you didn't know, now you do. :) My family tree is rather complicated, not only with birthparents and half-siblings, but also with stepparents and that. I don't call anyone my "real" parents; that really bugs me. Since I've been lucky enough to have met my birthmom when I was seven, I have sort of compartmentalized everyone and their title, so to speak. So my mom and dad are my mom and dad, and my birthparents are birthmom and birthdad (I met him when I was fifteen). Nobody's "real" or "fake." And add me to the ranks of people who are irritated when the media always mentions someone's "adopted son or daughter," rather than just "son or daughter." Like, that really doesn't have anything to do with anything. Nobody on either side of that relationship thinks it's fake, so the media shouldn't harp on that either.

5. My first road trip was to Yellowstone, with my dad and brother, when I was around eight or nine. My first trip out of the country was to Vancouver, BC around the age of ten. I lost all three of my rings that I wore at the time. My first trip to a non-English speaking country was to Mexico (Mazatlan) in eighth grade. Later that year, I left the continent for the first time and went to France and England for three weeks. I've been hooked on travel ever since. In two weeks, I'll be (cross your fingers) visiting a new country *and* a new continent! Very exciting. If I could travel all the time, I would.

6. My favorite class or subject in school was always science. In elementary school, I'm sure that part of the appeal was that we didn't do science very often and it always involved hands-on activities and fun experiments. For example, I remember one very clearly in either third grade or fifth grade: we had a light bulb, a battery, a wire, and a big blob of blue clay. We had to complete the circuit using the clay (although I would not have called it completing the circuit, just 'making the light go on'). I don't remember if mine worked, but I do remember having a great time with it.

In high school, I was lucky to have fantastic teachers for biology, chemistry and physics. I worked harder for those classes than I did in any other class in school, and though my grades were solid Bs or B+s, I was most proud of myself for them. I aced the stoichiometry test in chem, where you have to figure out the numbers of molecules in reaction equations. (This is possibly ironic because I've never liked math in regular math classes. Science math, however, is totally different and acceptable. Sorry, math teachers. :)) Then in physics, which was a *very* tough class, two girls and I made the awesomest lab report. We were given this long problem about a pulley and a bucket of nails and two nincompoops. The task was probably to figure out the velocity of all the different times it went up and down. Anyway, we had such fun with it--we created a comic strip! We gave them names and made the one hit the other one, and gave them an ambulance at the end. I was endlessly amused. Sadly, we never made copies of it, so I never saw it again after we turned it in.

In college, I had two quarters of first-year chem with a very dull prof, but the last quarter of that and the first quarter of organic chem were much better. Organic chem really kicked my ass. That class was one of the few that I visited the prof during office hours for help. And then, after studying really hard and getting some help/reassurance from the prof, I earned an A on a test! I was really proud. In the class, I might have somehow pulled a B, probably a low one, but I decided to let it go after the one quarter. A week into the second quarter of o-chem, I dropped the course and took no more science after that.

7. I've been an English teacher for three years, but I hating writing in school. It was a pain in the butt and I never felt like I did a good job. It wasn't until college, when I had to write many papers for every class my last two years, that I realized I enjoyed the process of writing and producing a good piece of writing. My favorite part is to get a draft done and then rip it apart in revision and editing. Something about fixing is so satisfying! With all that practice, I became quite a good writer, though you wouldn't really know it from reading this silly blog. :)

8. I'm an extremely picky eater. I call myself a vegetarian, because I don't eat meat (no, not fish either--that's dead animal and therefore meat), but there are plenty of vegetarian things I don't eat either. And it's not a moral issue, it's just dislike or unwillingness. Meat grosses me out, although I would never ever lecture anyone else about eating it. More power to you, really. There are a whole lot of things I don't eat (notice I'm not just saying I don't like them; I really will not eat them), but the things I do eat, I eat a lot. I don't starve by any means. I eat a lot of salad, potatoes, edamame, cereal, cheese, yogurt, and of course I heart dessert (except cheesecake, yuck), especially if it's chocolate.