Thursday, January 29, 2009

Caves and Things

I caved today. 
I went to bed in the wee hours of the morning, woke up late, and did not pack a lunch. 

I ate elementary cafeteria food for the first time since beginning my student teaching. Probably on the worst day possible. 

Note to self:

Do NOT eat formed, amoeba-shaped hamburgers. 
Cafeteria fries are NOT as good as they look and smell. 

But speaking of burgers, I'm pretty sure this will be my Halloween costume next year. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bubbles of Meat

I had my nightly seminar class tonight and treated myself to a gyro from Longhorn Poboys. 
Now I am not at all an expert on Gyros, and only a couple of years ago learned how to properly pronounce the thangs. I don't think I even tasted one until college. 

But this version I had tonight hit the spot. 
The meat was a lamb and beef mixture, which I like because lamb alone is usually a little too, errrrr, lamby for me. 

This post isn't really to talk about my gyro experience, but rather the experience I had throughout my class and into the night after eating this delicious lil' meal.....

the gyro burp. 

I can't get enough of it! 
Usually burping up the flavours of past meals can be gross, unappetizing, and even bring on the urge to vomit or brush my teeth. But this burp is only bringing back good memories of a yummy sandwich and making me feel hungry for more.  I don't even want to brush my teeth for fear of my sweet, meaty burp getting tainted!

I think I also like that the burp is a strong enough flavor to overpower my medicine-drenched, cough drop mouth and phlegm reminints that have been accumulating all day. 

Isn't this a pleasant post? 

I thought so!

Happy eating and burping and hacking! (but never smacking!)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Teaching perks

A conversation today between Mykayla, a third-grader, and myself. 

M: Mrs. Blount, do you have kids?

Me: No

M: Do you want kids?

Me: When I am older

M: How old are you? 20?

Me: 23 (Am I supposed to give away my age to students? dunno)

M: Mrs. Blount, you look pregnant to me. 

Me: uhhhh, that's not very nice to say to someone 

Kids say the darnedest things. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Ummm, why have I never tried Paella?
Why am I blogging past my bedtime?
I'll tell you why. 
Johnny evil-doer Flapper treated me to belated birthday boos. 
Seeing as all teachers are basically blooming alcoholics (kidding, mom.... kind of..) I couldn't turn him down. 
I have to make distractions in my life, right?

Yesterday I was treated to some Brazilian food at Sampaio's with quite the fooodie. I listended to Seu Jorge on my way to the restaurant (settin' the mood), we ate disgustingly good brie, and I topped it off with Paella, a dish I have never had in my lil' life. 
I've decided I need more of this. 
Much, much more. 

Sorry about the crappy photo... 
And sorry about the lack of description. 
All you need to know is go there. Eat, Eat, Eat.....The food is deeeelish. 

The only other Brazilian food I've ever had was Sao Paulo's, which is also deeelish. 

So eat, drink and be merry. 

And hopefully you don't have to wake up at 6am and teach a bunch of Kindergartners how to make coil bowls. 


Friday, January 16, 2009

First Week

Sometimes kiddos really do say and do the darndest things. 

Sometimes I think to myself, "Maybe someday I'll have one of my own after-all."


From my first week of school being a full time student teacher... 

Note to self:

Do NOT wear Banana Republic wool sweaters to class on painting days. Little boys will walk their painting in to your arm. And when you look at them and say "Did you get paint on my elbow?" They will stare at you wide-eyed and shake their head 'NO'. 

A second grade girl who speaks very little english kept calling me "Mister."
I said, "Hunny, I'm a girl."
She looked at me and smiled. I'm pretty sure she didn't uderstand me. 

Two teachers meet me and my cooperating teacher in the art room every day for lunch. It is advised NOT to eat in the teacher's lounge- where all the whining teachers sit and complain about kids and this and that. Today one of the awesome teachers who has been  teaching over 30 years told us this story about her first year teaching:

A boy in her class said, "F%^k  you  Ni$%er" (she is black, and big, and full of soul, sass, and awesomeness)
She walked up to the boy, picked him up off the ground by his shoulders and started shaking him. 
She shook him until he peed his pants, and then dropped him. 
She then walked to the office and said, "I resign, I'm not putting up with this!" or something of the sorts.... and the people in the office all cheered her on for putting the boy in his place. 

I don't think I could get away with that. 
I don't think I could lift a boy- don't have the muscle. 

Birch Trees the 3-5th graders are making now. 

A poem written by Zack S. in crayons, posted on the wall. 

Perfect beginning
Terrible in the Middle
Then the pain is gone soon
The art heals all of the wounds
the beginning comes again. 

I'm tired, but happy. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Teachers have fun too?

My Birthday in the shell of a nut:

My lovely cat Emma pooped in the floor and puked on my window. Yes, it even fell on to the wall below it and the floor. Thanks Emma.  (Just be lucky you get the photo version, you don't have to clean it up)

I treated myself to coffee and a bagel sandwich with yummy chipotle corn pesto from Clementine.

School all day. The students wished me "Happy Birthday."

A drink from Elephant Room

I can't NOT make faces. I am part alien. 

Kyoto Happy Hour in the fun traditional seating. Hooray for fake sushi longhorn rolls! mmmm!

Evelyn slipped the waiter a note on our sushi order saying it was my big day. They gave me a birthday orange with a candle and umbrella in it. 

So cute! and healthy :(.

Birthday spanking from Marny and mostly Evelyn on the way back to the car. 
Paaaaaainful! If somebody drove by they probably would have called the cops- I was laughing/screaming and trying to cover my arse from her amazingly strong hand. 
It was fun. 

Sleep at 8:30. 

Today: delivery from Sarah. Cupcakes, yay!  not healthy:) !!

This is the face of a student teacher who is not used to waking up early everyday. 


Thanks to all my pals who made me feel special, even if I did call it a day several hours early. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bouncing round the room

Card from my marmy- It included paper dolls with a runway and fashion accessories! yay!

I received two boxes in the mail from my folks... It is my birthday tomorrow, after all. 

My daddy gave me a ton of Harry and David moose candy goodies. My favorite animal is a moose, and I do like my chocolate and caramel covered popcorn.. Yumyum! He also gave me a much appreciated (and needed) birthday check. Groceries for Jennifer! yay!

Today my mom sent me this awesome surprise: Weeee! Juicy perfume, lotion and sugary body scrub!

I always stole hers when going home to Odessa. And now I have my own. I think I inherited my perfume collecting from my mother. A gal just can't have too many??

My favorite perfumes to date are:

Juicy Couture
Jo Malone White Jasmine and Mint (next on my wish list)
Ralph Lauren Blue
Miss Dior Cherie

I realize a lot of people might be rolling their eyes right now. This is akin to posting my favorite designer shoes. Sorry to let you folks down, I may live an often eclectic lifestyle, but I refuse to smell like body odor and patchouli. 
So there. 

It's my birthday! (practically)

Happy days!
Thanks so much mommy y daddy!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cheers, Darlin

I'm serious about food. Seriously. 

Paggi House. 

I stopped by last night for happy hour and would encourage all of you to make a reservation pronto..... Feed yer lil' heart with warmth and happiness that is oozing from this relatively new Austin eatery. Treat yerself to an exceptional food  and wait staff experience... in an environment that is equally warm and comfortable. 
Granted, the cold front was blowing in and I was wearing my vintage yellow coctail dress at the outdoor bar- not so warm- but after sipping on a French 75 Sparkler (ingeniously designed by my pal Cavason) and stuffing myself with bread and butter- I was comfortably warm inside and out. 

The main food I went for, something I haven't had the pleasure of inserting in to my mouth hole in my 22 (Almost 23!) years of existence, was Beef Carpaccio. (sorry my photos do not give these beauties justice)

Everyone I do know who has tried this dish is a fan. I wanted to give it a shot but didn't really know what to expect. I wasn't expecting it to Moo as it entered my mouth or anything. All I know is I wasn't expecting it to disappoint- and it sure as hell didn't. 
"Arugula, Parmesan Reggiano and Red Onion Relish" was the description on the menu. I couldn't bring myself to leave one speck of cheese or drop of olive oil on my plate- it was all amazing. The cow and it's friends were having a dance party in my mouth. Seriously. 

The overall experience was kinda like bare feet in cool grass. Hoola-hoops on Mars. Cheeks full of marshmallows..... You get the idea. Now if I could have had more of their pastry chef's bread pudding I would have become a sparkly, rainbow explosion right then and there. That stuff remains my favorite food on earth. 

I feel like I cheated myself- showing up to this place and only trying two things. I left completely happy with all tried and every person I encountered while there (and the amazing bathroom), but already was and am hungry for more. 
All I know is this... I need to quickly befriend somebody with the money to take me to a full meal at this establishment. *nudge nudge, wink wink*
(My birthday is this Tuesday?!?!!)
I'm sure we would both benefit from the experience, if not from eachother's company... our bellies will at least be happy. 

It's a wonder I can think at all...

Tomorrow I begin my semester of student teaching. 
Jordan Elementary and Canyon Vista Middle school here I come. 
I'm scared. 
Not sure if I'm scared because our every move around these students is going to be watched, scrutinized, and graded.... Or maybe I'm just scared of having such a responsible, real world routine that I am going to be thrown in to. Waking up at 6. Getting to school at 730 and staying until 3-4 every day of the week. Packing lunches. Brewing coffee. Not getting paid. Having a night seminar class and assignments to do on top of it. 
Evelyn and I are also going to be leading two or three "English Corners" as part of some tutoring experience we need for Peace Corps. This means I will be meeting with 4-5 ESL students from UT two-three times every week and leading them in activities- helping with their english. 
Did I mention I am still trying to do yoga everyday? (I missed three days recently from sickness. But I am determined to keep challenging myself)
I also have to make 50,000 doctors appointments to complete my medical portion of the PC application that I just received in the mail..... yarg. 

I won't be busy at all...... Here's to my sanity. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sore Ticker.

My heart is sore. And it's not my murmur. 
Luckily, I have two awesome friends to cheer me up, even if it causes motion sickness. 

Yesterday we all went out swinging. Yes, swinging. In Shipe Park. Because it's beautiful out. (NOT January)

There was a man playing guitar, and not too shabily. 

The sun was setting. We swang. Laughed. Took off our shoes and my heart was instantly tingly and warm again. 

Thanks Evelyn and Marny. 

Today I went with Evelyn to two dog parks. As I put in an earlier post, Goose occasionally knocks me down when he walks in between my legs. 
Today was one of those days. 
I have a scrape on my elbow and a cut on my finger to show for it. But I gave some people at the lake (and Evelyn) a good laugh.

Thanks Goose. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Green Adventures

Today was beautiful. Is it really January?? Rather than sit in bed and watch Battle Star Galactica (Marny gave me the entire series so I can join the other BSG nerdy birds of the world), I decided to call up Emmanuel and ask him to take me to Greenbelt, as I have never been there in my 5 years as an Austinite. 

We bought some sustenance at the store and were off! 
I was pumped!

And that is how I spent my afternoon, hiking the belt. I was pretty clumbsy at first, and I could tell the thought of having to haul a broken-legged Jennifer out of the place crossed Em's mind several times. 
I climbed up to a hole in the side of some rocks to peer inside, something Emmanuel later told me he was surprised I did. (with the possibility of critters and such)

We looked at rock sculptures and I added to one of them. 

We walked over a waterfall!

We climbed the dreadful Hill of Life, something people would be insane to try and mountain bike up or down... but they do. 

The beginning of the hill of misery. We had a snack break at the top.

Going for an "N'Sync pose"

We tried to find poison ivy, and Emmanuel got the bright idea to rub the leaves of these plants on both of our arms so we could experience poison ivy firsthand....I probably shouldn't tell anybody we did that. Is all respect lost? It was his idea. :)  Thank god the plants we thought might be poisonous really weren't.... I managed to stay relatively itch free the entire 3ish hours of hiking. 

I am convinced that if I hadn't been doing yoga my legs would not have survived. 
But they did. And it was fun. I can't wait to go again when the weather is warm and there is plenty of water for swimming. 

Hooray for Greenbelt!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Buon appetite! (il mio italiano è orribile.)

I think risotto will be my food of 2009. The food I crave, the food that will cure my pain, bring a smile to my face and warmth into my heart. No, really!

My love of this dish began pretty late in my life. Two winters ago, my mom took me on a birthday trip to Hershey Pennsylvania and to Hyde Park, New York where I toured the Culinary Institute of America. We ate at two of the school's restaurants and I remember ordering risotto dishes twice. Both were perfect as far as I was concerned. Rich. Perfectly cooked. A meal within itself. I should hope so- it IS the CIA. 

I did not eat any risotto while in Italy as it was not a food of Tuscany. 

Fast forward to 2009. 

This is Cavason.  (the human)
Congratulations Cavason, you have made it on to my list of all time favorite foods!!

Cavason whipped me up some artichoke risotto with salmon (maybe?) Obviously the fish wasn't that important (although it was good).... my mind, taste buds, and stummy were melting away with the risotto. 

Next day. 

I not-so-subtly hinted at being hungry *cough* risotto leftovers *cough*. 
Cavason worked his magic again- making the risotto dish that deserves a spot on my list. It had chicken. and the artichoke heart risotto from before. and cheese grated on top. I'm not sure what other magic was in it, but I felt completely warm inside eating it. Like everything was alright in the world. As far as I'm concerned,  a good comfort food should do that. If I hadn't made myself an absurdly rich cup of hot cocoa before eating this creamy concoction, I could have eaten my weight in the stuff. And then promptly explode. But I'd be a happy explosion. 

And that brings us to Today:

I found red pepper leek BOXED risotto at Target of all places. Their lovely Archer Farms brand. Apparently the four cheese variety was recalled a while back. This doesn't concern me. 
So today as I was craving the chickeny cheesey goodness that was Cavason's risotto, and since it was not available I decided to give this boxed version a shot. 
I added the suggested butter.. Maaaaybe a little extra. And grated some of that three milk cheese from the Wheatesville (which I can not think of the name and it's driving me mad) on top. And I must say it was sooooooo good. Two giant-sized thumbs way up. As far as boxed meals go, and risotto at that, I would take this to making my own any day. (Shhhh, don't tell)
But given the choice, I still prefer the chicken homemade variety I had the pleasure of enjoying the other night.  Big thanks to the chef... you can make it for me any time you'd like. 

My belly is smiling. Make yours smile too!

Ruff Love

I miss my baby. She lives with my marmy in Odessa. 

I do have Goose though. Goose loves Red Bud Isle. Goose loves to swim. Goose loves to roll in the dirt while playing with other dogs. Goose loves to run his 100+ pound body between my legs making me muddy and wet and sometimes knock me over in to the dirt. 

I love dogs. They never let me down. unlike Emma, who hasn't learned to properly poo in her litter box and likes to eat until she barfs, occasionally on my computer desk and mouse. 
Thanks Emma. 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pickled Freckles

Poor people, named Jennifer, make creative Christmas gifts. 

Ceramic bowls. check. 

Paintings of family pets. check. 

Metal pans/mixers/silverware turned wind chime. check. 

Flower pots decoupaged with seeds and seed packets. check. 

Homemade PICKLES. check. check. and check. 

I've been saying that I was going to pickle for some time, seeing as I am obsessed with the thangs and can't get enough of them. And after finding pickle ornaments, I knew that I had give my family an ornament along with a jar of pickles. 
This also gave me an excuse to explore Ace Mart for the first time, and buy a big ole metal pot- so now I can make stews til' I turn blue! Yar!
Apparently I wasn't supposed to use metal, as it can react with the vinegar and turn it cloudy... But my green things didn't have a problem with it. 

Whole Foods: No pickling cucumbers.."they are out of season" says the produce man.. Fiesta and HEB: hell yeah! Take that!

After reading some basic pickling guidelines online, it turned out to be pretty simple. All jars were (hopefully) sterile and sealed successfully. However, I wasn't sure how they would taste and I didn't get to try any before giving them away. 

So basically I told everyone who received a lil' jar-o-love, "I am not responsible if you get sick. I do not know how they will taste. This is the first time I've done this......Enjoy!!"

I finally got to try a pickle of mine (I gave one jar to Emmanuel) after returning to Austin and I must say.... not too shabby. A bit on the cinnamony, clovey side. A bit of a bite to them (I added extra pepper flakes to the pot of love. But they were definitely crunchy, the way I like pickles. 

I'm certain I will try this again. 
But when I don't have time, I will head on over to Starlite, the restaurant serving my favorite (also homemade) pickles in town.