Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Apologies

Well, I already failed at one of my goals: to read a book every month.  I am currently working on this one:

But, with school starting and life getting crazy, I'm still only about halfway through it.  However, I'm going home this weekend, and I usually tend to get a lot of reading done then, so we'll see.  And I know I'll accomplish the goal for October (with at least one, perhaps several more books) because I have a hugely long road trip smack-dab in the middle.

I'm sorry I didn't blog last night.  I swear I wasn't slacking...  You'll understand in a minute.

First, I woke up and had a Green Monster:

In the mix: half a cup of UVAB, a huge handful of spinach, part of a banana, a few raspberries, a drizzle of honey, and a scoop of protein powder.  It was as delicious as it looks.

Although yesterday was Wednesday and therefore an early-dismissal at school, it still seemed like a very long day.  My team and I got a lot accomplished during our "free" 90 minutes, and then I had a short staff meeting followed by a presentation-planning meeting.  I very much enjoy (and am honored by the fact) being a teacher-leader in my building, but holy moly: it's a lot of work.  I have another one tomorrow before I can leave for Omaha!

After all of the school stuff was finished, I high-tailed it to yoga (and was, as usual, a few minutes late).  It was a great workout, but I was so tired that I kind of slacked a little.  In fact, I was so tired that I almost fell asleep during extended child's pose and then again during the meditation at the end.  Oops!

Yoga finished, and I went home to cook dinner: a Cooking Light recipe for Linguine with a Garlic-Clam-Pea sauce.  Yum.

The recipe called for a cup of dry white wine, so I had to open a bottle and (obviously) have a glass:

Then I got started on the sauce:

It was a lot runnier than I had anticipated, but I'm wondering if that's because I messed it up...  I misread the recipe and added the clams with all of the liquid ingredients.  I was supposed to simmer just the liquid for about five minutes to reduce it, so I think had I done that without the "solids," perhaps it would've turned out a bit better.  Regardless, it tasted delish, and I had it for dinner last night, lunch today, and will have it again for lunch tomorrow:

I served it with a Thin Bun topped with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray, garlic salt, and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.  It was too salty for my taste, but that can be easily fixed!

With dinner in hand, I settled in front of my computer to watch Glee on Hulu.  I had such trouble staying awake during it but managed to, and then I tried watching Law & Order: SVU (with Jennifer Love Hewitt), but I 8:05!  I was out like a light - didn't hear my phone ring or anything.  I was bummed because I really wanted to watch SVU and stay awake for the new L&O series, but fate had other plans!  I think I am coming down with a cold or something because I felt absolutely horrible last night (hence the falling asleep), drank approximately a liter of water throughout the middle of the night, and am not feeling so hot now.  Hopefully it's just a quick bug - or allergies.

This morning I woke up well-rested (duh!) and made some delicious oatmeal, topped with banana and raspberries:


It was another long day at school.  First, I was dealing with an issue almost the entire day regarding a student with whom I've really made a connection.  The open-enrollment policy for my district has been tightened this year, and because this student is moving out of our boundaries, he is going to be forced into a different district.  This is absolutely horrible, as we have made great strides with him in many regards, and I fear he will be completely lost at the other school.  I spent a great deal of time today trying to convince some very important people that it is in my kid's best interest to stay.  Please cross your fingers that it works.

While my student teacher taught the entire day, I was reading journals, which takes a great deal of time and energy.  Some of the things the kids write in those things is so emotionally taxing.  I absolutely love my kids with all my heart and cannot believe they have had to experience half of what they have.  It's so sad.

The day seemed so long, too, because I stayed until around 4:45 working with students on their exam corrections.  Usually when I offer a chance to redeem points, students dismiss it; this time, however, the room was packed after school.  It was great, and I am so pleased, but it was a lot of work!  Thankfully, I had my student teacher for much of it, and when she left, one of the students who really grasped the concepts went around and helped his peers as well.  I was very proud of him!

Finally, I came home for approximately 20 minutes, hit up Walgreen's for some orthotics, and headed to the soccer field for my game.  The first half was quite rough, as my feet were absolutely killing me.  (I really need to get on this appointment-making...)  However, I found the remedy: taking approximately 8,000 grams of Advil.

Or 800.  Whatever.

While it really helped the pain, I am hesitant to take too much because I am allergic (or at least have adverse reactions) to mass quantities of Ibuprofen.

Another remedy: injuring another part of your body so that the pain transfers from your feet elsewhere.  As a midfielder I was up against a big guy on the opposing team.  At one point he forcefully elbowed me in the chest and arm, and it really hurt.  So the next time we went head-to-head, I tried really hard to attack him.  It worked (kind of), but in the process, I hit the ground.  My stomach and palms were a bit scraped, my jaw hit the ground and was feeling kind of funny for awhile, and my knees and quads are bruised quite nicely.  I hope the bruises get even "sweeter" overnight so that I can take a picture and show y'all tomorrow.  :)

Of course, my team lost.

Oh well.

After that fine performance, it was time for this amazing one:

Oh, how I love Thursdays...  And Pauly D.  :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crazy Cat Lady

This blog is going to be a little difficult to type because I have not one but two kitties curled up on my lap, much like this:

Today started off late as usual - I just have not been able to get out of bed the past several days!  I finally rolled out at 6:30, a full 55 minutes after my first alarm went off.  Obviously, I wasn't going to have much time for breakfast, so I grabbed what I needed to prepare something quickly and hit the road.  Once at school I taught half a class (a "skinny") and then devoured breakfast:

A cantaloupe bowl!  I took the halved cantaloupe that I bought on a whim yesterday, filled it with strawberry-banana Chobani, and topped it off with a few Honey Nut Cheerios.  There's just something about requiring crunch in every meal that I eat...

In this time period, I also met with my new insurance agent.  I am so excited that I switched because for the exact same policy (and better deductibles), I am now saving approximately $250 a year.  The monthly savings are significant, people - significant!

A mere two hours later, and it was already time for lunch!  I brought leftover wild rice & chicken salad atop a bed of fresh spinach.  It was just as yummy today as it was yesterday.

The afternoon went okay, nothing too eventful.  However, I did forget to tell you one thing - that is kind of related to something that happened today.  So...every day that students are in my class, they journal.

They can write about whatever they want, or they can write about the prompt I give them.  I do not grade students on what they write or how they write it; I only grade that they WRITE.  I read through their journals every now and again and make comments, write back and forth with them, etc.  Here are a couple of stories regarding these:

  • Yesterday, I was reading through one of my male student's journals and noticed that he (or someone at his table) had written in the very bottom corner of one of the pages in very small print, "Ms. B is sooooooooo hot!"  Yes, I'm Ms. B.  Let's talk about awkward.
  • Today, I was reading through one of my female student's journals and read that she thought a little differently about me, calling me every name in the book.  While it was a fun entry to read with passion to my colleagues, I was not so sure how to deal with it.  I didn't respond to the student, and then when she came to class today to write in her journal again, she apologized.  We'll see how long the apology lasts.  :)
After school was over today, I met with PROUD students again - brand new students who just joined yesterday due to my power of persuasion - to paint the sidewalk outside of the school in honor of Homecoming week.  While I would have loved to have taken photos of my amazing kids, I thought that might not be so great to broadcast over the Internet.  So, here's what we have:

The outline in chalk...
Starting to paint...  I like that you can see the students all working together on this!  They compiled two separate sketches to create one really beautiful piece of art.
I helped, too: I can just stand around and watch painting happen without getting my hands dirty (literally!), too.
As you can see, it was a great afternoon.  We were there until nearly 5:00 working on our square.  It's a really great concept that these kids created: the light bulb is illuminating the world, filling it with knowledge.  However, the wire is frayed and the light bulb is cracked because knowledge isn't always perfect.  Part of the world is still covered in darkness, and that is where PEACE (what's written below in tag font) and PROUD come in.  Our purpose is to bring the light of awareness to the part of the world that is still in the dark.  As an English teacher, I was very pleased with the symbolism these boys used!  :)

I had about a 20-minute break between street painting and soccer practice.  Yet again, I shouldn't have gone.  My feet are absolutely killing me, and I hardly did anything!  I'm sure my team is thinking why did we let this girl on our team?!  She just stands there!  What a lazy bum!  I haven't told them how much pain I am in - I sound like a total wuss.  I'll call tomorrow for an appointment with an orthopedic person, and I'll take it easy at my game on Thursday.  Oh, and I'll keep popping pills like Advil's going out of style.  :)

It's Tuesday, so I headed to trivia shortly after soccer.  I packed along the last of the wild rice and chicken salad, and a toasted/spray-buttered Thin Bun.  I devoured it - and got many compliments as to how delicious it looked.  While I brought celery and peanut butter to keep me full later in the evening, I ended up eating a few grapes, chunks of cheese, candy corns, and popcorn that other team members provided.  Oops.  Oh well.

But since it's Trivia Tuesday, you get a fun fact all about ME!

Today's fun fact:  I still sleep with my bunny and blankies - Flopsea and White & Green Blankie.  I have a very hard time falling asleep if I don't have my blankies under my head, kind of serving as easily moldable pillows.  Through the years they have acquired some damages - bigger holes, primarily - but they're still beautiful.  Flopsea kind of just hangs out on my bed, but I love having here there.  She used to be fluffy and white with a blue satin ribbon, but over the years she has become skinny with all of her stuffing going to her booty, slobbery from the dog carrying her around, burned from a Jello incident with Nana, and gray; she is absolutely beautiful.  These three "things" (I hate that word because they are so much more than that!) are my most treasured and valuable possessions; other than my kitties, these are the items I would grab in a fire.  They've been with me through childhood, college, several relationships, wisdom teeth surgery, sob sessions, various vacations, etc.  I'm sure they'll be with me at my wedding, at the birth of my children, etc.

Today's second fun fact, much related to the fun fact above:  I am crazy.

And also, I am absolutely pooped.  I am a little cranky, and I think a night of sleep is just the cure!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just Another Manic Monday

Not so shockingly, I hit snooze three times before finally rolling out of bed at 6:15 to a delicious bowl of overnight oats.

Not so shockingly, I forgot to take a picture.  I don't know what has come over me and the lack of photos lately!

School this morning went well - I hurriedly finished grading a stack of essays (I was such a slacker yesterday) while my amazing student teacher taught.  Thankfully, I finished them prior to the students leaving my class.  Phew.

I was nervous for lunch today, as I realized this morning that I had no food in my refrigerator.  I had one wedge of a leftover quesadilla, one apple, and two expired string cheeses.  So, I brought all three items to school for lunch today, and after eating a SOYJOY at 10:45 and the quesadilla wedge at noon, I was a "just perfect" full.

But again, no picture.  Oops.

After school we had our PROUD meeting.  Like I said last Monday, I am so excited for this year to get underway.  The kids are just phenomenal.  I recruited one of my Freedom Writer students as well as two of my ninth graders to come check it out, and all three of them LOVED it and expressed how excited they are for next week.  We've been talking about the community service projects we're interested in, the fundraising ideas we have, and the possible opportunities regarding travel and education that await.  I am pumped.

Following school was a trip to the grocery store.  I learned my lesson this morning!  However, one lesson I somehow have yet to learn: do not go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, because this is what you will bring home: entire box of meringues.  At least they are low-calorie, and if this is the one unhealthy item I escape with, I guess we can call it success.

Okay, this might not look so weird to most of you, but here's a fun fact: I am not a fan of cantaloupe.  I am also not a fan of purchasing pre-cut fruit and veggies because I know the prices are jacked.  However, for some reason this looked really good - probably because I was famished.

After my trip to the store, I prepped dinner (explanation to follow) and then hit up the gym.  I went to the killer abs/back class again, but I was not as impressed as I was last time.  I'm sure I'll be dying tomorrow - hurting to laugh, sneeze, etc. - but it didn't seem as difficult today.  Maybe that's a good thing?  As it was only a 30-minute class, I decided to do some cardio after; however, when I got upstairs, I saw that the gym was not broadcasting Dancing with the Stars, and since I feared I was going to miss the magnificent Situation, I headed home instead.  If that's not dedication, I don't know what is.  :)

For dinner tonight I cooked based on my student teacher's recommendation: wild rice and chicken salad:

OMG.  It was amazing, and I kind of want to eat more now.  :)  I chopped up three carrots (I think) and three celery stalks (I think), prepared one cup of wild/brown rice, and dumped all of that along with one package of salad-ready grilled chicken and half a cup of low-fat plain yogurt into a huge bowl and mixed it up.  And sampled, natch.  Then I toasted a thin bun and coated it with I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter spray and pretty much devoured it.  It was SO GOOD.  I think tomorrow for lunch I'll do the same thing but throw it over a bed of lettuce so that I get even more veggies.  While I didn't count the calories, et. al. for this meal, I am guessing it is pretty darn healthy.

But I'm guessing I should've stuck to one instead of 80 meringues.  :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Long Time No Blog!

Wow.  I don't even know what to say.  Not only did I not blog this weekend, but I have not blogged since Tuesday!  That is a full four days without blogging!  Yikes.

If you look back to the end of the last post, though, you'll see why: I was stressed.  Oh, and I've been busy.  :)

Let's back-track, shall we?  Wednesday was perhaps the most stressful work-day yet.  It was an early-out, as usual, followed by a professional development meeting, a department meeting, and a leadership meeting.  After several overwhelming meetings, I went to yoga.  You know it's been a stressful day when, during what is supposed to be mind-calming yoga, all you can think about is how much you want a glass of wine and a gyro.

And then?

I had a date.  The life of a single lady, I tell ya!

Date and I met out at Dos Rios, one of our favorite bars/restaurants in Des Moines, for drinks.  We sat around talking for nearly three hours - it was great!  He's really nice, and we had really good conversation, laughs, and fun.  I'm crossing my fingers he asks me out again.  :)

Thursday was another busy day: after school I worked at our study club until around 3:45, had a wonderful conversation with my ex's mom (weird, I know, but I love her!), and then met some colleagues out at Johnny's downtown.  Normally I don't set foot in Johnny's; after all, I don't own any Affliction attire.  However, Thursdays are apparently "Hot for Teacher" night: first drink is free for educators!  Nice.  I stayed for two drinks - I felt bad only ordering a free one :) - and then headed home for dinner with the BFF and another friend.

We hadn't cooked for awhile, and I hate to break it to you, but I FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE.  I can't believe it - it's so unlike me!  Despite the lack of photographic evidence, I can tell you that we had steak with a fresh parsley gremolata, roasted cherry tomatoes and asparagus, and garlic bread.  It was amazing.  And of course we watched our favorite - Jersey Shore.  It was beautiful.

Friday: another super busy day.  I'm telling you: I don't know when I sleep.  :)  We didn't have students on Friday and instead had meetings all day; yours truly gave a presentation that went fairly well, I think.  After the meetings ended, ME and I were social justice superheroes and rallied for the DREAM Act on the pedestrian bridge:

Look at what a great job we did:

It was my first act of "activism" - it was a lot of fun, and we didn't get arrested!  :)

I was certain that after a busy day of meetings and saving the world, I was going to go home and grade papers.  That certainty lasted all of two minutes until ME was able to "twist my arm" to go to Dos Rios for happy hour.  That happy hour lasted on those couches for five-and-a-half hours!  We were joined by ME's husband, our friend P, BFF, and Ami.  It was great people-watching, as Oktoberfest was going on as well.

I mean, just look at that patio!  How can you blame us for staying there so long?!

And if that wasn't enough, BFF and I decided to finish off the night at two of our other favorite establishments.  We met some new friends (i.e. guys) out, and I officially scared them off at the end of the night - far later than the scaring off should have occurred.  Without going into details, it was wonderful that things "didn't work out," but it was quite a blow to the self-image in the way things went down.

But regardless of boys' idiocy, my plans to go home and do nothing finally happened at approximately 2:30 a.m.  Oops.

Good thing the soccer game Saturday was canceled.

But the torrential downpour was a major bummer, as one of my best friends (who I have known for a super long time, we realized) had planned an outdoor wedding reception.  It didn't even seem to matter, though, as the wedding ceremony was absolutely beautiful, and the reception was loads of fun.  I am so happy for my friends as they start this chapter of their life together - they are so freakin' adorable:

They are turning back around after the kiss because the officiant told them to do it again.  :)

Like I said, the ceremony was absolutely beautiful - full of love and happiness, as it should be.  They got married in the Smith Chapel on the Simpson campus in Indianola.  It was a gorgeous church: huge pipe organ, beautiful stained glass, and a glowing cross.

And the reception?!  SO MUCH FUN.  Like I said, it was supposed to be outside on the rooftop of the Historical Building in the East Village.  However, someone up there had a different plan and...a downpour ensued.  Regardless, the reception was gorgeous and tons of fun.  Here are a few snapshots:

Such creative centerpieces: flowers in non-matching vases/bowls, childhood photos of the bride and groom.
The oldest guests.
Apps from Baratta's.
Dinner from Baratta's.
I may have spilled some wine...  It was my first glass, I swear!
BFF, the beautiful bride, and me.
Such a happy day.

Today was wonderful as well: my mama and my sister came to Des Moines for lunch and an afternoon of shopping.  We ate at one of our favorite restaurants, Bravo!  I decided to not branch-out at all and selected my favorite stand-by, the eggplant parmesan:

Perhaps it was because I did not eat breakfast and instead inhaled three pieces of pre-meal bread, but I was hardly hungry at all for my main course...  I had about five bites, packed up the rest, and finished it about two hours ago for dinner.  :)

It was so nice to see my mom!  I love shopping with the girls in my family.

What was not-so-nice?  Spending money on new tires for the car that I'm about to sell.  Awesome.  What's also not-so-nice?  Having the mechanics break one of your hubcaps and attempting to roll down your broken driver-side window.  I am now driving around with one hubcap (yes, ONE hubcap) and a window that is rolled down just enough for an annoying squeal of air to enter.  Oh, Corolla: how I am ready to be done with thee.

I'm going to wrap up the longest blog post ever by saying farewell, dear reader(s).  'Til tomorrow, good night!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trivia Tuesday

Today is Tuesday, and that can only mean one thing: Trivia Tuesday!  Team Booze Clues did not do so great this week, but I thought I might start a new tradition on The Swallow Flies: Tuesday Trivia - all related to me, of course.  :)

Today's fun fact: I cannot fall asleep if my closet door is open, even a crack.  Regardless of how warm and cozy I am in bed, regardless of how absolutely exhausted or icky I feel, I will crawl out of bed to close the door.

The day started out just the same as it always does: pressed snooze through several alarms, hurried to get ready, and grabbed the easiest thing imaginable for breakfast.  Today, that involved a Chobani yogurt (honey) mixed with some Honey Nut Cheerios.  It was yummy.

Because I had approximately a bazillion spring rolls leftover from last night, I brought them to school and shared with some friends.  Naturally, everyone loved them, and I now have my spring roll fix!

While running an after-school study session with some of my colleagues, I munched on the baby carrots I bought before school yesterday.  I'm pretty sure those are my favorite veggie - and they are such a good snack food.  I think I really just like the noise - the crisp snap - they make.

It had been a few days since I had worked out (um, lazy much?), so I headed straight to the weight room after the study session ended.  It was fairly full with students, and I was awfully tired, so I did a circuit of arm weights and then called it good.  Really, I was in there for maybe 30 minutes tops, but I feel like I did a decent job with the weights.  Obviously I could've gotten some cardio in, but...

I'm not really sure what I should be doing with my foot.  Sometimes it hurts so bad that I can hardly gimp around, let alone walk, and other times it doesn't hurt all that bad.  While it always hurts horribly after overuse (i.e. my soccer games and neighborhood runs), it sometimes hurts when I'm doing nothing. I don't know...what kind of exercising do you think I should be doing?

I finally got home around 4:45 or so and rested for awhile before doing the T part of the routine and then meeting BFF out for dinner.  We were contemplating cooking tonight but then decided that if we go somewhere cheap for dinner, it'd cost just as much (if not less than) cooking, and we'd both get to relax a bit.  Star Bar called our names!  I ordered the vegetable and goat cheese panini with French fries - but didn't eat 'em all!  And I had a glass of red wine because, you know, it's good for you.  :)

And then we lost at trivia.  Wah, wah, wah.

Sorry for the lack of pictures this evening - and the lack of the grand total.  I am just so freakin' exhausted.  Anyone have a solution to that?!  I keep looking ahead for a respite, but I can't seem to find one.  I have a wedding this weekend, an out-of-town wedding the following weekend, one weekend free, and then a weekend in North Dakota.  On my weekend off as well as every week night in the foreseeable future, I will be working on a grant application for work, grading papers, and planning lessons.  I really want to get caught up on Glee and Grey's Anatomy, but I just don't think that's going to happen - I mean, I can prioritize...sometimes.

I am very, very stressed.

Good night.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Quite the Situation

Okay, okay...  I kind of lied with the title.  I didn't get myself into any sort of situation.  I just love The Situation.  I mean, come on.  Just look at him:

You've just gotta love him - especially now that he's not so cocky on Dancing with the Stars.  Yes, I may have skipped my workout so that I could watch the season premier.  I am horrible.  Don't judge.

I started off this morning with a ginger snap Larabar - but totally forgot to take a picture.  Oops.  It's totally my favorite flavor, though, so if you haven't tried it yet, do it now.

Also, I forgot to take a picture of my lunch.  Double oops.  I was so preoccupied with work that I just straight-up spaced it off!  But, I finished up my vegetarian enchilada and mango rice from Dos Rios - it was so good and definitely what I'm ordering next time!

Today's lesson was pretty fun.  After doing the requisite journaling, vocab, and grammar activities (differentiated, of course), we did a Freedom Writers activity to review for our quiz on Wednesday: Froot Loop Bingo.  I stopped at the store before work this morning and picked up three huge boxes of cereal - as well as two honey crisp apples and a bag of baby carrots for snacking.  :)

The kids were diligently creating their own Bingo cards - so excited to learn.  :)

We had our PROUD meeting after school today, and it went fabulously.  We have a couple of new members who will be tremendous assets to the group.  One of them is a leader in the NAACP and has excellent contacts and ideas for PROUD.  I can't wait for it to get more underway.

I didn't get home until around 5:30 today because I first had to try and finish up the project from this weekend - doesn't look like it's going to happen before the "due date" - and then I went to the grocery store.  It must've been awhile because I was totally out of food!  I was very proud of myself because I was only two cents over my guess-timated total - first time ever!  :)

I had all intentions of going to the Y this evening for another kick-butt abs/back class followed by yoga, but I just couldn't do it.  I was absolutely wiped from the day, I hadn't cooked dinner, and I just didn't have two hours to kill.  So...I stayed home and made spring rolls, all the while watching Dancing with the Stars.

I started by chopping the veggies and the tofu, picking basil leaves from my pretty window plant, and arranging everything neatly on the plate:

Doesn't it just look so fresh and pretty?!  After all of that was done, I put out all of the supplies for my assembly line:

There are a couple of bad things about making spring rolls: first, it takes forever, and second, it dirties a lot of dishes.  If you don't already know, I'm not a fan of dish-washing.  Before I started this process, my sink was empty save for my Tupperware from lunch, but now it's jam-packed full of spring roll stuff.  Bummer.

Notice that it looks suspiciously like a dining room table under the assembly line...  That's is! I moved my "cooking" to the dining room so that I could watch the two-hour season premier.  And it was fabulous.

All done prepping, and this is what I'm left with:

Enough spring rolls to last me awhile!  Surprisingly, I only ate three for dinner - and this was after waiting until 8:30 to eat.  Usually I eat at least four!  I really wasn't hungry today, I guess.  Oh well - now I have plenty for lunch tomorrow, enough to share, and probably still some left over for dinner at Tuesday Team Trivia!  Yum.

Thank you for the great memoir suggestions - unfortunately, I can't do Tuesdays with Morrie, as that is a tenth-grade book, and the social studies teacher is already using The Last Lecture with his classes...  I'm not a huge David Sedaris fan (I know, I know), but maybe I'll check into some of his stuff regardless.

Also, no "Today's Grand Total" tonight...  Aside from the Larabar, I'm not sure the totals of anything I ate.  I'm guessing the veggie enchilada was not the best for me, despite not having too much cheese, but I'm sure the spring rolls weren't too bad.  I guess they cancel each other out.  :)

G'night, y'all!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I can't believe the weekend is over already.  Honestly.  I need another day.

Here was my Friday breakfast, eaten on the drab gray of my school desk.  I tell ya: chocolate peanut butter is to. die. for.

And here was my Friday lunch:

After work on Friday, I headed home and crashed on the couch for about an hour and a half.  However, that was all the beauty sleep I was going to get: I had plans to meet up with a co-worker's wife for a night o' fun!  We started off at Wellman's Rooftop in West Glen.  While I generally don't travel west of 42nd Street for nightlife adventures, I really like this bar.  Because we got there at 6:30, it wasn't douche-y at all; in fact, that didn't happen until about 11:00 or so.  And yes, we were still there - we were still there at 1:00.  It was kind of a late night, but it was oh-so-fun!  A-Dub and I were joined halfway through our evening by Ami, one of my new friends and teammates; he is really, really fun, and I'm glad I met him.  Also joining us later in the evening were some friends from a couple weekends ago.  It was such a nice, fun group!

However, I probably should've eaten more for dinner than the Taco Bell I had at 1:30 in the morning.

Let's just say that 7:00 Saturday came way too soon.  But, let's also say that playing an entire soccer game is a good cure for a hangover.  :)

After losing our game, I returned to Des Moines from Ames and proceeded to sleep away the afternoon. It was glorious.  Then BFF and I headed to Dos Rios, one of our favorite establishments, for dinner.  It was delish:

We always start off dinner with a half order of table-side guacamole, medium spiciness, chunky.  It is sooooo good, and it is served with deliciously spiced tortilla chips.  I forgot to take a picture of my dinner, but I had the vegetarian enchiladas, served with mango rice.  As you can imagine, it was amazing.  I was so full from the guac, though, that I could only eat half of one of the enchiladas!  Expect pics for lunch tomorrow!

A couple of Sangrias later (it was Sangria Saturday, after all), BFF and I went to the Lift, a nice martini bar, for my little sister's 22nd birthday.  It was very chill and a lot of fun, but because we're old, BFF and I left after one drink to go home and crash.  It had been a long day!

This morning, I woke up early and went with BFF (surprise surprise) downtown for breakfast before embarking on a photo hunt - I can't tell you about that quite yet...  Wait with baited breath until next weekend.  :)  Instead of our usual Waveland Cafe brunch, we opted for the classy Centro - and wow, was there a difference!

My meal was the friend egg sandwich with Centro fries.  Basically, I ate the two eggs, two slices of bacon, fried egg, half the ciabatta roll, the tomato, and the roasted potatoes and peppers.  It was unbelievable.  I also downed approximately 8,000 cups of coffee because it was so freakin' tasty - chocolate-y and cinnamon-y.  Wow.

BFF ordered the crab cake benedict with scrambled rather than poached eggs:

(She was also quite a snot-face and put her cutlery in front of the food for the picture.  What a B.)

After nearly two hours of wandering around in the drizzle and cold temperature, we went to Caribou to work on our project some more.  I was even able to be somewhat productive regarding work stuff, so that's a bonus.

Then - it was time for a date.  Yes, a date with someone new.  We went out for sushi (quite possibly my favorite food), and had a nice time.  It was a tad bit awkward, and I'm crossing my fingers it was just because he's shy.  After all, he's seemingly normal, nice, and cute.  Eh...

Okay, now it's time for a few last minute school things.  I need to skim some memoirs - written by males - to use in my classroom this week.  Anyone have any ideas?  Here are the books I have pulled so far:

  • The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie
  • They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky - Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak
  • Always Running - Luis J. Rodriguez
  • Not So Funny When It Happened - Tim Cahill (editor)
  • Operation Homecoming - Andrew Carroll (editor)
  • The Circuit - Francisco Jimenez
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers
  • Another Bullshit Night in Suck City - Nick Flynn
  • Electroboy - Andy Behrman
  • A Million Little Pieces - James Frey
Unfortunately, y'all don't get "today's grand total" from the last three days.  After all, it was the weekend, and you all know what that means!  But, I do have a new Sunday Night Feature for y'all:

The Weekly Loss

Every Sunday night, instead of writing the total calories/fat/carbs/protein, I will note the number of pounds I've lost since the previous Sunday.  Hopefully it's always a negative, never a positive.  And please note, this is just starting this week, not the overall pounds lost.

The Weekly Loss: 1.4 pounds

G'night, y'all!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kung Pao This!

I cannot even tell you how excited I am for the weekend.  For some reason I am absolutely exhausted today!  It was a rough one!

Like yesterday, it was a late start to the morning; I brought a peanut butter chocolate chip Larabar for breakfast and ate it around 10:30.  Oops.  It was delicious, though - probably because I was starving!

It was quite the start to the school day, though - not a whole lot of time to eat.  Similar to the Freedom Writers but on a much smaller scale, a lot of drama that has been happening in our city transferred into the classroom.  I'm just hoping it'll calm down soon.  After that commotion, a few somewhat scary medical issues arose in my classroom, so dealing with that always makes teaching not-so-easy.  Oh well - c'est la vie.

I brought my leftover Kung Pao shrimp for lunch today - and remembered to take a picture!  Lucky you!

Okay, so maybe it's not the best picture, but it was pretty darn delicious.  And spicy!  My mouth was totally on fire!  As you can see, the dish was loaded with veggies, cashews, and some shrimp - I thought there could've been more, but...

I finished up the school day and went home for a total of one hour - and ate a yummy snack:

I toasted a thin bun and smothered on a bit of chocolate peanut butter - it was amazing and very, very filling.  I topped off my afternoon snack with a refreshing drink:

Yes, it may say, "Alcohol! The cause of and solution to all of life's problems," but it's my favorite mug.  It was my 21st birthday gift from my little brother - and I use it all the freakin' time.  Today's beverage of choice?  Cherry Kool-Aid.  YUM.

Work wasn't finished, though: after I finished my snack, I headed to Subway to pick up the grub for Family Night.  I pulled up in my little Corolla, and the guy was like, "Are you planning on fitting all of this food in that car?"  Um...duh.  I understood what he was saying, though, when he brought all the food out:

That is looking in the passenger-side door...

And there's the trunk.  LOTS of food - and we only had one box left at the end of the night and had to go out and buy more chips and cookies.  We had a great turn-out.

I'm guessing you can probably figure out what was for dinner tonight...  A turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread - I was shocked at how healthy that is for being fast food.

But, after a 13-hour day, I'm wiped.  Ab-so-lute-ly wiped.  So, I'm headed to bed!  G'night, y'all!

Today's grand total:

Calories: 1,460
Fat: 69.5 grams
Carbs: 124 grams
Protein: 97 grams

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Empty Plate Club?

Today was quite the busy day - like usual.  :)

I slept in a little this morning because I showered last night and just straight-up didn't so much care what I looked like.  After all, I work with 14-year-olds.  When I got to school, I realized it was picture day.  Awesome.  My no-shower, hot-mess look will forever be immortalized in the yearbook.

I woke up so late that I had to bring breakfast to school with me - and I didn't even get a chance to eat it until our advisory period - 9:00 or so.

Not long after breakfast was lunch!  My student teacher may have made fun of me while I was taking pictures of my food.  Then I reminded her of who wrote her evaluation and letter of recommendation.  :)

I enjoyed a delicious Flatout wrap, stuffed with turkey, Laughing Cow cheese (French Onion flavor), and a 100-calories packet of guacamole.  For a side dish, I brought along a Mango/Honey Stonyfield yogurt.  Holy moly, was that delicious, or what?!

Every Wednesday this year is an early-out for students so that teachers can collaborate and improve upon their professional development.  It is a nice mid-week break, too, because while we are crazy-busy working non-stop, we are also able to talk to other grown-ups and figure out what's working best for all of us.  It's great.

After school, I went straight to the doctor's office.  I tried to get in with an ortho specialist, but they couldn't see me for at least another ten days.  This is perhaps the most irritating aspect of my job: making appointments.  Other professionals do not understand that teachers do not have flexible schedules.  I cannot leave at 10:15 just because that is the appointment time you are giving me; I have 30 students to be teaching, and then five minutes after I'm done educating them, another 30 walk through my door.  Ugh.  So, I went to my general practitioner - who sent me to the new physician's assistant.  I had an x-ray that showed no broken bones, but she wasn't able to explain what was wrong or really how to fix it.  She tried wrapping it with an ACE bandage, admitted to not really knowing how to do it, and then advised RICE - rest, ice, compression, elevate.  I was already doing three of the four - I'm not super excited about the "rest" component.  I guess I'll give it a week or so and then call a specialist.

Here's a picture of my beautiful feet that I took while bored in the doctor's office:

(I swear I really don't have cankles - it's the angle of the camera...)  Admittedly, it doesn't look very swollen - can you even tell which one is injured?  (Hint: it's the left one.)  But let me tell you - and this isn't just me whining, which I've been known to do on occasion - it freakin' kills.  Like, KILLS.

I finally got home around 5:30 or so and then made an impromptu trip to the bustling metropolis of Knoxville, Iowa, to take my sister out to dinner for her birthday.  We went to a delicious Chinese restaurant:

Upon arrival, we were both utterly famished, so naturally inhaled everything in sight, including:

Crab Rangoon - two each - oops
And about a fourth serving of my Kung Pao Shrimp with white rice (I wish they had brown).  And as I'm browsing through my pictures, I see that I apparently thought the empty plate was a lot more important than the food...  Um, what?!

At least the plate is pretty...
After dinner, we took a short trip through Knoxville, stopping at the Kum & Go (yes, the real name of a gas station) for fuel and air for the flat tire, and then we went to Dairy Queen, where Sister had an Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard, and I had about half of a French Silk Pie Blizzard, sans whipped cream.  I was sooooooo full.

It was delicious and a great time with my little sis.  Plus, I have oodles of leftover Chinese food!  I'll try really hard to remember to take a picture tomorrow!

Today's grand total:

Calories: 1,591
Fat: 69.5 grams
Carbs: 156 grams
Protein: 85 grams

Not the best day nutritionally overall, but it wasn't as bad as it could've been for a birthday celebration!

Peace out, girl scouts.