Thursday, September 29, 2011


Guys!  Is it me, or is EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD CHANGING.  All kinds of changes!  Here are some things that I can't believe are changing, all at the same time.
  1. WEBSITES.  All my favorite places decided to update their look simultaneously*!  The Google suite is lookin' fine (sorry Justin).  Groupon adapted itself to be more visually appealing.  I'm JUST NOW noticing Pandora's change (sorry P, I got hooked on ITunes' Genius mixes for a while!  SORRY), which is gorgeous.  Yes, the new newsfeed on FB is a tad excessive, but may I say I am totally psyched for Timeline.  It's going to be clutch.  Also mad props to PGCPS for finally hiring some sort of marketing/communication/PR/social media/website facelift team!  You guys did an amazing job!  Our new look is completely svelte and sexy without that incredibly goofy foam finger-esque KIDS ARE #1 or whatever.  And good old Citibank!  I know we've had our differences, but your website is finally leaving 1999 territory!  Good for you!!!  
  2. MY JOB COMPARED TO PREVIOUS YEARS.  Holy smokes.  Every day when I leave school, I feel like I just got there.  I spend my days coordinating meetings, having meetings, dealing with emergencies, fixing other people's mistakes, and every once in a while, making and fixing my own.  I don't mind the work!  I quite enjoy it!  But I can't do that AND teach children.  Days go by where I didn't go into a single classroom at all.  When people say they need more hours in the day, I think they mean it a little differently than I do.  I don't mind doing the (not-as-urgent) emails, logs, notes, and plans at home (for now); I need the working hours to be longer.  I need children and staff in the building for more hours!  I need everyone all together, available for longer.  Sigh.  It's like I'm the foreman, but I also have to do some of the construction myself alongside everyone else.  Also, you know how all I want to do is manage the fun and success of students?  And how I compulsively volunteer for things when no one else does?  Put those together and imagine how much I want to volunteer to be the still-unfilled chairperson for awards ceremonies, or of something called character education!  IMAGINE HOW MUCH.  The answer is SO MUCH.  But I am not letting myself!  Because that would officially be biting off more than I can proverbially chew.  And I am SO SAD.  Next year, I reassure myself!  Next year I'll have a handle and literally max out the emoluments I can get at one instructional leadership role and two clubs/committees.  One fine day!
  3. THE WEATHER.  I think I'll start fasting now to make room for all the apple pies I'm going to make Justin make me.
  4. CONFIDENCE.  Gosh.  I've gotten so much more confident in the last year or so, and it's accelerating again!  I am officially not terrified of the Jam Cellar anymore!  I am honing my 'management' skills to be pleasant, helpful, thorough, yet firm and maintain high expectations.  I'm starting to buy more real clothes instead of convincing myself I should stick with that awkward polyester blouse that was a hand-me-down from a stranger via a 50-year-old former housemate.  Not sure how I can verbalize how that ties in with confidence, but trust me, it does.  Relatedly, one of my goals for this school year is to always feel like I look good.  Isn't that odd?  Shouldn't that be a given?  Alas!  I've left the house more often than I care to admit feeling really uncomfortable with what I was wearing, like a middle schooler trying hard to believe she looked okay and not completely stupid.  And then I'd get to school and pass myself in a window or mirror and be like UGH WHY DID I WEAR THIS and it would make me mad all day long.  Well, NO MORE
  5. TASTE IN MUSIC.  Fortunately, this isn't 'change' so much as 'expand' which is obviously still change but not one in place of another.  I've started to love jazz outside of swing dancing!  Here's a track I've had on repeat for so long, I finally broke and made a Pandora station out of it.  Oh man.
  6. And finally FINISHING TOUCHES.  You'd think I'd be one of those people who made sure everything had an adorable, perfect finishing touch, right?  Every little thing in place?  Ironically, you'd be half wrong!  For my insanely awesome school projects I did up to and including age 18: totally.  For my wedding: yes, absolutely.  In decorating the office at school: not so much!  Crazy and unlike me, huh!  I'm in the process of making sure that everything I do has details to match.  The devil, they say, is in them.  So like the clothes thing above (the devil is in the ... accessories?), or when it comes to home decor, etc.  No more settling for 'good enough'!  There is time and reason to make it shine.
So, here's to changes.  Sometimes, the more things change, the more things... change.

* JUST BARELY did not make the cut to be included in 'simultaneously.'  But they still get a shout-out for joining the 21st century layout a few months ago!  Nice work!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

On marriage

"Every day.  I care about your [stuff] every day."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New leadership

Those of you playing along at home will remember that last year I was determined to repair the broken glass on the greenhouse at school and thereby skyrocket our children into happiness and success.  Those of you playing along at home will also remember that in a hundred different ways, my efforts were crushed.  Well.  Our students' test scores had been declining the last several years, and the powers that be switched our principal with another principal whose students' test scores had, in fact, been skyrocketing the last several years.

Let me list for you some of the things this new principal has independently declared we as a school are going to do. 
  1. Go to New York
  2. Go to Canada
  3. Be healthy
  4. Have a garden in the courtyard
  5. Have skating parties for students who score Advanced
  6. Have rewards for kids who improve 
  7. Dress up and go to the Kennedy Center
  8. Go to museums in DC
  9. Stay overnight in Colonial Williamsburg
  10. Have clubs
  11. Have a weekly student-run broadcast news show
Can you even imagine my joy?  I don't think you can.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Guys, my pride knows no bounds.  I read cooking blogs like there's no tomorrow, but I don't venture out on my own!  But then I did!  And it was outstanding!  With too many radish leaves to compost and a beckoning butternut squash, I googled soup recipes.  Well, first I just googled those two foods together, but got several sites for what to feed your bunny rabbit.  When I added 'soup' to the terms, I got several for radish leaves and several for butternut squash, but none I liked that combined the two!   So I went with the radish leaves one (from Epicurious, from Bon Apetit) and pretended the butternut squash was four russet potatoes and a few other swaps like that.  Here goes, for your cooking pleasure and for my ease of finding again.

Butternut Squash and Radish Leaves Soup

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and 1-inch-cubed
bunch of radish leaves, well washed (mine were all the leaves from about 8 radishes)
3 cups chicken stock
1 T butter
1 onion, chopped
2/3 c milk, room temperature
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Melt butter in large saucepan, add onions and sautee until soft, about five minutes.
  2. Add radish leaves and heat until wilted, about two minutes.
  3. Pour in chicken stock and add squash, simmer until tender.
  4. Puree squash and leaves in blender in batches, and temporarily store the puree in a different bowl or pot for a second.  You'll be left with the stock and maybe some onions still simmering in the main pot.
  5. Once everything is pureed, add it back in to the main pot; add milk and stir until smooth.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve, or serve with dollops of soft cheese, like that triangle cow Swiss cheese, because life is awesome.
Someday I'll have a real camera and take preposterously good pictures and then my recipe posts will be as sexy as everyone else's.  Until then, IMAGINE WHAT THIS FOOD LOOKS LIKE

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's that time of year! Plus, NRM update!

So the calendar says summer is over, the weather is about to agree (high of 72 is in the ten-day!), and we will finally have a five-day week of school (barring, of course, tornadoes, volcanoes or the black death).  You know what that means!  I love fall as much as anyone else who says her favorite season is fall, but I AM PUMPED FOR CHRISTMAS.  Getting excited too early is par for the course, but it is kicked up a notch this year because it's our first Christmas with a house!  And real neighbors!  And our own appliances!  I am going to combine these three awesome things into one by baking tins of delicious treats for our very welcoming neighbors.  We're going to have a tree!  And real stockings!  AND A DOG OMG

But it isn't even Halloween yet, so I'm going to try to chill my gills over here.  Speaking of which, I literally realized The Greatest Halloween Costumes for Justin and me last year on NOVEMBER 1 (I'm sure you can imagine how mad I was at myself for such horrible timing, but it was a pretty sweet Halloween anyway), so we're just hanging out waiting for the Halloween party invites to come pouring in.  Any day now, that non-water-proof mailbox of ours will be bursting with them, I know it. 

For those of you keeping track at home, we are currently 11 days into another No Restaurant Month.  But!  We like to be neither insane nor lonely, so we make exceptions when we're eating out with friends, like I did with my birthday friend Kathryne the other night at everyone's favorite birthday restaurant, Guardado's!  I could eat their tapas every day and be happy about it.  In fact, I decided to recreate one of them at home, so Justin and I hit up the cheese shop in Wegman's, and, well, we may have spent some money on some cheese.  And!  Justin's been sick this past week, so sick that one day he bought a breakfast sandwich in some kind of woozy haze, completely oblivious to NRM.  Haha, oh well!  AND we're going out with MORE friends on Thursday, so this NRM is a little more lax than last year.  But for just the two of us, we're doing great!  We've had picnics with friends and packed lunches when we knew we'd be out all day, how adorable is that.  I just made this and I'm about to combine these two recipes, who even am I!  Wish us continued luck!

PS - I meant to introduce There Should Be last time.  Sometimes we have good ideas that we're pretty sure don't exist yet.  If they do exist, please let one of us know.  If they don't exist, but you can invent it, PLEASE DO SO.  Here are some more!

You know what there should be?  There should be an app that uses GPSes so precise and so powerful that they can guide you to available street parking.  Can you even imagine driving in DC or any other over-trafficked city?  It would be SO MUCH BETTER.  There should also be a function on cars where your wheels turn 90 degrees and drive perfectly sideways, and those people who are terrified to parallel park need fear no more.  There should also be an app where you take a picture of a dog, and it spits out its breed(s).  Bonus for what percentage of what breeds it is.

See what I mean?  SUCH GOOD IDEAS THAT WE ARE INCAPABLE OF INVENTING :'(  I feel like we should team up with that commercial about getting your idea patented, with the caveman and the guy who invented an off-brand slip-n-slide.