Thursday, March 31, 2011

Supper Club and the Week That Was.

We went to Supper Club on Wednesday night, a much smaller group of just Kate, Jill D., Aimee and I at EatBar. But I think it may have been my favorite place we've been with the club. It was cozy, and the four of us sat in the little sofa booth that's in the bottom left hand corner. And we ordered a sampling of the menu. It was all really really good, and I came home raving about it. I'd like to go back again soon for the risotto fritters and the banana split dessert that was served on a waffle with nutella.

I told Rachel and Sol I would watch Finn so they could try to squeeze in a date and go to EatBar before baby #2 arrived. We're still waiting on that baby, but as Rachel says, we just have to get through Finley's two-year-old birthday on Saturday, and then we'll be all set. Can't wait to have another little guy in the house! It's like we've been waiting months for his arrival. (I plan on forcing her on long walks and making her eat spicy Mexican.)

At my day job, my students took a test, and they passed. All of them except like two kids. This is a MAJOR improvement from recent weeks. I think the material - economic basics - is a little bit easier, but I also think we all worked our rears off with the information. Kids love to talk about money.

Also exciting news from the world of eighth grade, last Friday I took my kids to the courthouse. Twenty students applied and were selected to go, and they came all dressed up in their finest. Boys in suits even! The trip was awesome. I cried when my little babies stood up to ask the judge questions and said, "Your honor..." before they asked their questions. When did they grow up? And why are they so naughty at school? We got to see motions in a civil trial and a little bit of a criminal case. My students were twelve feet away from someone who was accused of murder. They have never been so excited. They argued all the way back to school about his innoncence.

If you haven't update your spring break countdown lately, we're still two weeks away. The third quarter is over Friday, and we have blessed teacher workday on Monday. I return to Kansas for spring break two weeks from Saturday.

Finally, on a television note... because Cougar Town is on hiatus for just a little while longer, I'll remind you to watch my other favorite under appreciated gem. Parks & Recreation. It's fantastic. Wonderful. And really really laugh out loud funny.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Saturday Morning at the Brooklyn Flea.

Friday night I arrived in New York a little later than anticipated. I missed my bus out of Rosslyn, VA and had to scramble to get into DC to catch a different bus. It was stressful. There were tears, obviously, and a stressed phone call to my mother who rescued me. As always.

Andrea met my bus, and we went out to Brooklyn to grab dinner with some of her friends. We ate at Calexico, a food truck with a storefront location now too. Oh it was so good and entirely worth the hour wait. Grilled corn on the cob and tacos that were so so good. Next time I go, I want to try the enchiladas. They looked incredible!

Saturday morning we got up and headed to the Brooklyn Flea. It's outdoors during the summer months, but during winter it's indoors at a gorgeous old bank. It's like Etsy because it is a combination little shops with handcrafted delights, flea market stands but with BONUS fantastic food options. I got some sweet things at a few of the little places - including candy and salsa!

How much do you love my new yellow coat? $70 from JCrew. Final sale. And it is a tall! The bubble tea just happens to match my outfit.

We also ate while we were there. Sort of breakfast and lunch. I had a piece of bread smothered with banana and butter from *Scratch. For lunch Andrea had a lobster roll stuffed with only the good stuff, and I had a breakfast sandwich from Milk Truck, a grilled cheese food truck.

I loved the Brooklyn Flea and would totally go again! It would be neat to see the outdoors one and try more of the food truck vendors. I would tell you in detail about all the things I bought but so many of them things were sweet surprises, so you'll have to wait until after they're delivered.

From the Brooklyn Flea we went into the city to the New Museum to see this bizarre-o exhibit and take pictures on the Observation Deck. We had a snack of Crack Pie and walked up through the city a bit before we took the train home to Brooklyn for a nap before dinner. We were tired from all that walking! Dinner was at Sea, a Thai place I've been before with Andy and requested to go to again. It was on Sex and the City as "Raw," the place where Samantha discovers Smith.

We finished the night at "Dance for Japan" which was too crowded to dance. But I got to meet some of Andrea's friends and drank $3 Miller High Lifes because you can take the girl out of Kansas, but you can't take the Kansas out of the girl.

Are you surprised we slept in until 10:30 the next day? Busy day = tired besties.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Back from NY and a Winner!

Spent the weekend in New York with Andrea. Whenever she introduces me to someone in Brooklyn, she describes me as her best friend from seventh grade.

Which is shockingly true.

When Andrea noticed me walking to middle school in my yellow ducky raincoat, she didn't judge. She thought we could be friends. And we were. Complete with matching Eddie Bauer polo dresses and jellies. Thank goodness we grew up.

I heart this picture from the top of the New Museum with lower Manhattan behind us. Life goes full circle - we're not wearing matching outfits anymore, but I sure am wearing another yellow coat.

I've got a few more posts about the things we saw and did around Brooklyn, and especially the food. But first a winner from my little giveaway.

#21 is Kate: Edifying. Ah, Kate. You would win using this word.

My best friends know me well and all of our inside jokes are loaded throughout the comments. I HATE the word edifying because of a particular ex-boyfriend who thought K-State football wasn't edifying and neither was Pat Green. He preferred to spend his time doing edifying things of a classical nature. And I preferred Texas Country and my family & friends. So my girlfriends like to joke about edifying.

Regardless, Kate, you win. We'll pick out your prize together, and I'll bring it when I come to hang out with your cute little boy. We'll discuss books and movies and it probably will be edifying, but we won't call it that. We'll just enjoy sweet baby James.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back to Bill.

Photo from Manhattan, KS in November 2009 - The LAST time I was at a game. Can't wait to get back!

I forgot to write down something really important. Two weeks ago, Anne & Ashley, Erica & Jon, Kenneth and I bought season football tickets. After two long years away, I'm headed back to "Bill Snyder Family Stadium" with my family and friends. We are stinking excited.

I had season tickets all *five* years I was an undergraduate (thank you student teaching!), and I went with my mom on a regular basis after college. But buying my very own ticket with my friends feels super significant and grown-up. We're going to be sitting right near Kenneth's family, another huge bonus.

This is one of the things I'm most looking forward to about the move home. Don't judge. Being a Wildcat is in my blood and game day in Manhattan is awesome. Family, friends, my alma mater, and football. I love it all.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The List of Food.

Andrea and I have been working on our list of "to-dos" for the weekend that is mostly a list of food. It's also dominated right now by SWEETS, so we may have to add in some sushi for some lean protein to keep us from sugar crashing. There are just so many good things we want to eat in the Big Apple this weekend!

My own list of food I want to try in DC isn't getting any shorter either. I don't feel the pressure of the move to Kansas in July yet, but there are so many places I want to try before I am back in the Midwest. Sunday morning I tried to knock one off the list with Sarra and Jon, but the wait at "Ted's Bulletin" was too long. But I can't get that hour wait out of my head. It's really just a sign that I need to get back and try it. It MUST be good, right?

Before we walked down to Eastern Market to brunch at the faithfully good Tunnicliff's, we got four homemade pop tarts to go. In two varieties - frosted cherry and brown sugar - they were fantastic. I had the brown sugar, and it tasted like a much improved and awesome version of the real deal.

Eastern Market was lovely as usual, just a bit chilly on Sunday morning. It was so fun to take my Mortar Board bestie Sarra and her boyfriend Jon. I'm keeping Ted's Bulletin on my list of restaurants to try for brunch. Plus Acadiana and the cartoon brunch at EatBar. Also, maybe the brunch at Rustico. Supper club was SO good there. Good thing more visitors are headed my way this spring to cross some restaurants off my list.

And seriously. Enter the blog giveaway. Everyone else is and it's for your own good.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Grover's in Buffalo.

Did you enter the giveaway on this little blog-a-roo? I hope you will because the answers are downright silly, and the prize is super sweet.

I'm going out of town again this weekend, so I need to wrap-up one more post from my last trip. When we were visiting Kat and Tim in Buffalo, Tim was so super excited to take us to Grover's Bar and Grill. Another site visited by Guy from "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," the burgers are HUGE and legendary. We put our name on the chalkboard and had the same beer as the locals - classic Labatt Brew Light.

Buffalo is home to Grover Cleveland, and the bar and grill was located in his old hunting lodge. I don't know much about Grover Cleveland. But Rachel does. It's part of the wealth of presidential knowledge she possesses, including a catchy song. I am making it her sing it right now. Highlight: "Then Cleveland came back again!"

They were great burgers and approximately the size of your face! The onion rings and french fries were also solid. I'm so glad Tim took us!

"Then Cleveland came back again."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

500th Post and a Giveaway.

This is my 500th blog post. Where did the time go?

I certainly went somewhere. From Kansas to Virginia and a few other places around the world. And soon enough, I'm headed back to Kansas. I'm really glad that I wrote it all down to remember. And also thankful that so many of you have read what I wrote.

That was sure nice of you.

So in honor of this very auspicious day (I checked with Rachel, and she said I was using auspicious correctly), I'm going to give something away.

Specifically a set of towels from girls can tell. They don't actually know who I am, but I've been a fan of theirs for a long time, so I'll get the winner the tea towels of their choice.

Leave a comment below to enter. All you have to do is leave your name and a word you love to say. I think auspicious is nice. Or maybe a word you love to hear. I'm obsessed with Finley saying my name, "Tori, Tori, Tori, Tori." It's the sweetest.

This giveaway will be open until Friday evening. Simple to enter - just write down your favorite words. And as always, thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Well, Hello Weekend.

Yesterday the temperature was almost 80 degrees here in the DC area. I had a catchy little tune stuck in my head and ate Mexican food on a patio with Vicki. And because I was utterly exhausted from the week, I fell asleep before 9:40. Way to live it up on Friday night, Victoria. But this week was exhausting...

Every Thursday I meet with the other civics teachers to plan, reflect on data and share strategies. This week we looked at test scores from the last two tests, and my kiddos were far below my coworkers. To the point that I was embarrassed. Data conversations are tough because they are rarely about the type of students in a classroom - 50% ESOL in 6th period - but about how did you teach it. What are you doing to help your students? Everyone has low students, but I'm still feeling new to my content area and can't predict where my kids are struggling. I'm not afraid to ask for help, but it was overwhelming to me this week. I felt like I had little to add to the data conversation. Why would anyone want to listen to how I taught something? Look at my scores.

This is my fifth year teaching a different content, though I was part time Civics last year, and I'm well aware that next year I will have another new subject in Kansas City to prepare for with my students. I don't mind the lesson planning because coming up with ways to teach new ideas is fun, and I still like the challenge. But I'm increasingly frustrated that I don't have data that backs up my ideas. After sleeping nine hours last night, I'm not feeling as fatalistic about my problems as a teacher. I'm probably not the world's worst teacher. But I definitely still have areas of growth.

So I was really ready for that Corona last night. I would argue that I deserved it even. Besides grad school today and brunch tomorrow, I'm just planning on being rested and prepared for the week. And watching K-State win tonight. Go State!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Don't worry Mom, I'm wearing my lucky St. Patrick's Day t-shirt. Read the whole story behind the luck here...

If I can make it through this crazy school day (students won't stop pinching each other), I plan to have one of these tonight while watching the Cats play.

And if you want to feel really Irish, you should go back and read all about my trip to Dublin last November. It was pretty much the best time ever.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I think I'm going to go have another piece of Irish soda bread.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Churchkey and an Art Show Opening.

On Tuesday afternoon, I pretended I wasn't a school teacher in Northern Virginia. I didn't talk about test scores or how to discipline rowdy eighth grade boys. Instead, I went to happy hour in the District, chatted about the Secretary of State and Serbia, and attended the opening of an art show. I wore a dress and drank good beer. The day-to-day of reminders to turn in homework and keep your hands to yourself seemed like far away concerns.

Vicki and I stopped at Churchkey for happy hour. A place this trendy doesn't need specials because they can get people to come without them. Lucky for us, they brought us the wrong flatbread pizza (buffalo chicken instead of Tennessee barbeque) and promptly apologized and brought us another pizza for free. We ended up liking the one we didn't order better, and it was like getting two for the price of one. Happy hour special indeed.

The view from our window table on the second floor was perfect. While we tried our fancy beers, a porter and a hefeweizen, we and watched people going home from work. It got crowded while we were there, but it was also cozy enough for good conversation.

After we finished, we went to the opening of the DCist Exposed show a few blocks away. I follow DCist pretty regularly to get news about DC, places to eat, and the going-ons of the big city. Over the year photographers submit photos to their Flickr feed, and they featured some of the past year's best in the exhibit.

The nice thing about photography is that I know something about it. I love to learn about new art, but I'm also super comfortable around photos. I know what makes pretty good composition and love to practice myself. So it was fun to see what people were shooting around town and be in the city for the night.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Road to Giacomo's.

Way back in February, we went to Boston. Back before Buffalo and writing state assessments and the beginning of spring, we spent a very cold weekend in Boston. Then I got busy and didn't tell you about the best Italian food in the United States at Giacomo's Ristorante. Kind of rude considering how many times I mentioned it before we went!

On Sunday afternoon, we walked the Freedom Trail from the beginning near the capitol. It was a chilly walk, but we followed the red bricks by some of Boston's most famous landmarks. We tried to get Giacomo's to beat the line, but we were just a tad too late. It was probably all the photos we stopped to take along the way.

So we waited a very cold 50 minutes for our table. While we stood in line, we discussed the menu. Rachel gave insider tips on what to order, including all the variations on their famous sauces. People around us speculated if the specials would be the same (they always are). We talked about splitting a bottle of wine for only $16. We stood and glared silently at the patrons at the tables and silently willed them to drink their wine a little faster.

But eventually we made it inside to a little table by the door. Can you see the people watching us eat? That was us, just thirty minutes earlier. Besides that cheap bottle of wine, we split calamari and butternut squash ravioli for starters. We all ordered variations of the "special" with tons of lobster and shrimp. It was so good that we soaked up all the sauce on our plates when we finished all the noodles and seafood.

But we weren't done yet. After Giacomo's, we always stop for cannolis at Mike's Pastry. They are the most perfect cannolis ever. EVER.

We took our cannolis to go, ate them while watching a cheesy rom-com back in our room, and moaned about how full we were. It was the good and perfect kind of full where you are happy, satisfied and wish you had room for one more cannoli and a little more calamari.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Pi Day!

You celebrate Pi Day, don't you? March 14? 3.14? It's totally normal and a really good excuse to eat lots of good food with your friends. We celebrated last night; this is our second celebration of Pi Day at our house. You could say it is becoming an annual tradition.

Everything must have a PI connection. First course, homemade pizza PI. I used Pioneer Woman's recipe, and it was pretty awesome. I loaded it with italian turkey sausage, mushrooms, and parts with homemade pesto from last summer's basil crop.

We also snacked on some PIneapple. It goes nicely with wine, especially my unoaked Chardonnay. It would have been better in circular rings.

Emily and Ryan brought a beautiful chicken pot PI. Stuffed full of chicken and vegetables, it was delicious and our second course.

Vicki made a homemade apple PI. It tasted as good as it looks! I was super impressed, especially because many of her baking tools are in storage! Perfect dessert for Pi Day.

We took nine different photos, but since it is my blog, I get to pick my favorite one of my friends. So thankful to see my friends, get stuffed on PI and enjoy a little March sunshine. Happy Pi Day!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tori and Other Notes.

Friday night, our friends Riley, Julia and Olivia (above) came to visit from Baltimore. The plan was to watch the K-State game, but someone forgot to tell Jacob Pullen, and they were out of the Big 12 Tournament Thursday afternoon. ESPN's current bracketology predicts a debut in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday in Washington, D.C. CBS's experts disagree, so we'll have to wait until Sunday night for sure.

I'm taking a test this morning so that I can be a reading teacher. I have studied minimally but looked at the cut scores enough to think my chances are decent at passing the first time. I'd still like to teach social studies mostly but having two certifications is a big asset for future employment. And I think I'd like to be employed in Kansas City.

Finley is calling me Tori without prompting or bribery. Last week he commandeered Rachel's phone, found the photo that identified my number and called me. Before I could say hello, I heard his little voice saying "Hi Tori, hi Tori, hi Tori." It's quite possibly the best thing ever. EVER.

Also, I don't field inquires/requests/concerns about Finley's hair. For all things baby haircut debate related, please stop over at Rachel's blog to leave your comments. However, I did suggest we go to Cartoon Cuts because it's located by Pinkberry, the recipient of all our frozen yogurt loving.

Baby #2's arrival is still several weeks away, but its never too soon to start practicing for if Rachel goes into labor. Rach has promised we can do some "drills" so I can be ready in case of baby emergency. I like to think that I would run upstairs and stay with Finn if they had to rush off to the hospital in the middle of the night.

I also think it would be thrilling to drive my bestie to the hospital because traffic was bad and Sol couldn't make it home. Can't you picture her in the seat next to me, as we count out her deep breaths during contractions?! I could be her coach!

However, all of these options are unrealistic because we live 0.5 miles from the hospital and 0.9 miles from Sol's work. Most likely my assistance will be planned far in advance, and I'll just sit on the couch with Finley eating goldfish while they go in to the hospital because she'll probably just get induced. Lame.

That's what is happening here. You are entirely up-to-date.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pre-Spring Break Slump.

While in Buffalo, we ate brunch at Aroma. It was delicious. There was brunch food, some blueberry pancakes, house stretched mozzarella, buttermilk biscuits, truffle fries and a pastry bar included with our meal.

But instead of spending an entire post blogging about our delicious food, I'm going to blog about teaching and just put photos of food and people I love in the post instead.

Yes, it's Wednesday and my brain is mushy.

If I taught in Kansas City, next week would be spring break. Because I teach in Virginia, spring break is about 5.5 weeks away. Not that I'm counting or anything. This week our students are taking the eighth grade writing assessment which means countless hours of students bubbling and writing a five paragraph essay.

Last week I finished teaching about the judicial branch and the justice system. I thought that I taught and reviewed with my students so that they would do great. Instead, the results were disheartening and frustrating. In my terrible sixth period, the average score was a 60%. Over half the class scored less than a 65%, including many 7/20 and 8/20s.

My honors kids blew it out of the water, but that doesn't feel like a victory when so many of my students really struggled.

I want to take it really personal, but I have to back up and look at the big picture. There are a variety of factors contributing to their test performance including a combination of language barriers, a few learning disabilities, low reading ability, missing test taking skills and their less than awesome classroom behavior.

And, as one of the instructional coaches pointed out today, my kids are feeling the pre-spring break slump too. Some of them probably took four tests last Thursday/Friday, and I know they're working hard to be ready for the writing SOLs.

I don't write any of this as an excuse. It kills me that they're not where I want them to be, so I keep planning and trying different new things to help cement these civic ideas.

Finally, on a slightly political note, pundits and politicians who think teachers are overpaid for an easy job and deserve less in terms of salary and benefits are welcome to come to my classroom anytime. In fact, if you'd like to give teaching a try, my sixth period is yours. All yours. I'll give you the standards for economic basics and no textbook, and let's see what you can pull together. We'll assess at the end of the week. And then I'll ask if you still think I am overpaid.

PS. Doesn't brunch look the best? It was classy. I had a Bellini.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The "Eh" Team.

Canadians talk funny. But that's fine with me.

They like to say "eh?" And "process" and "about" are pronounced entirely incorrectly. It made me giggle.

That or the 13 delicious samples of wine contributed to the giggling.

When Tim suggested wineries, I had no idea how awesome of a suggestion it was. Canadians take their wine pretty seriously. They use a numbering scale to demonstrate how sweet or dry a wine is. For example, I like my wine drier, so if it is less than a 5, I'm pretty happy. They also have a special seal on each bottle that tells you that the grapes are from the region. That's legit.

Winery #1: Kat and Tim bought enough to warrant a partial case. (They're stocking up for their move to Goodland, Kansas.) Tara bought a Shiraz. I bought a Riesling. Totally unlike me. The man pouring the wine answered Tara's excessive questions about pest control and had a Johnny Depp haircut.

Winery #2: We got slightly tricked here because even though we were paying for the tastings, they cut us off at 4. None of us tried anything red. Kat and Tim bought something. Tara did not. I bought a Sauvignon Blanc (also not like me). But it was really good. The service was snobbiest here, but they had a beautiful building.

Winery #3: The man who helped us was adorb. He was a classy older gentleman and witty. I loved the banter. Details are a little hazy here, but Kat and Tim maybe bought something. Tara cleaned up on ice wine. I bought a Meritage (we're not allowed to call it a Bordeaux in the United States) and a blended wine that combined wine from British Columbia and the Ontario regions of Canada. Oh, and a small bottle of ice wine.

Ice wine is this crazy Canadian thing that is super expensive and kind of awesome. It's really sweet and strong because the grapes are picked when it's REALLY cold. Get it, ice wine? I brought a small bottle so my mom could try it because I knew she would think it was cool. Puns abound.

I did not buy a single bottle of Chardonnay. Apparently, I do not like Canadian Chardonnay.

I also am eternally grateful to Tara who carried all this wine back to Kansas for me. In her suitcase. It all made it home safely and TSA didn't drink any.

Monday, March 7, 2011

In Canada at Niagara Falls.

The whole trip to Buffalo and the Niagara area was fantastic. We had a WONDERFUL time with Kat and Tim. After I arrived on Friday, the four of us went to dinner at Romeo and Juliet's. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, and we stuffed ourselves with pizza, lasagna, pastries, and wine.

Saturday morning Tim made us pancakes, and we departed for our "day o' canada." There are good things about going to Niagara Falls in the winter - it is less crowded and the tourists aren't overwhelming.

There are also bad things about going to Niagara Falls in the winter - the cold and wind and cold.

My camera could barely focus when I took pictures of Horseshoe Falls because the mist was surging constantly. Katherine had to hold my umbrella with two hands so it wouldn't fly away while I grabbed these shots.

This is looking back at the American side of the falls. When there is not ice down below, the famous Maid of the Mist tours the falls. I saw it on "The Office."

Now I will cross "Niagara Falls" off my list of things to see before I die. Actually, I don't have such a list, but IF I did, I could cross Niagara Falls off. I feel like the last American to see the Falls, but I'm glad that I did it on the Canada side. Especially because after the Falls, we got to the wineries.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hello from Buffalo, New York!

Tara and I plotted for a couple months to pull off this surprise trip to Buffalo to visit Katherine. Her husband, Tim, was the best at helping us plan our trip. Tara arrived on Thursday morning, and I landed Friday night. I was able to get a great flight out of Reagan National after school, and Buffalo is just a short flight away.

It's my first trip to the city, and I'm hopeful to eat some wings and see Niagara Falls. And to stay up way too late talking to two of my best friends. The last time we were all together in Virginia, we drank too much wine and had the best time. Here in Buffalo till Sunday and away from the blog, but I'll be back very soon with a new city to show you!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Waiting in Line for Brunch at the Paramount.

Waiting in line for forty-five minutes for a meal is really no different than waiting in the foyer of a restaurant. But it is SO much better. First, you can see how long you'll have to wait. Second, it's so active. You move forward every couple minutes, burning calories that are about to be replaced with copious amounts of food. Finally, it usually means the food is really good and worth waiting for. We waited over 2.5 hours in line for food while we were in Boston. That means we ate really well!

Sunday morning we met two of Rachel's Boston friends, Alex and Heidi, for brunch in Beacon Hill. I'd never been to that part of Boston before, and it was lovely. It sort of felt like Notting Hill in London. It's also where all the famous Bostonians like Tom Brady live. Chic.

Brunch was worth waiting for at the Paramount. As we watched, they whipped up our pancakes, bacon, omelet - even slicing the banana right in front of us. We got the only table built for six at the front of the restaurant and stuffed ourselves on our delicious food.

I love brunch and waiting in line for food (first one is normal and the second is not).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Two Books of February.

Remember when you were so impressed that I read seven books in January? Yeah, that didn't happen in February. I have three excuses for this downturn in production.
  1. The month has three less days.
  2. I had way more grad school to do. Like way more. Like it might be piling up around me. Gulp.
  3. My kindle broke.
I got a kindle right at the end of 2010 using Christmas cash from my dad & Tracy, Mom, and Rach & Sol. It was one of my favorite presents, and I love it. Everyone always asks, do you miss the feel of a book? Books are so great, they smell so nice and new, I love the library, and so on.

Yes, everyone asks these questions until they have their own Kindle. And then they're addicted too. It was a sad day when mine refused to turn on or reboot. Totally fluke too - Amazon was appalled. I was disappointed because it happened to me while standing in the terminal at National Airport getting ready to fly to Boston, and I had a book I wanted to finish. Customer service was great and there was a new one waiting when I returned from Boston two days later.

I did finish two books this month - Rich Boy and Running Out of Time. I won't rave about either of them. Rich Boy was good, but in a sort of devastating way for a whole lot of chapters. I like the history elements of it - Vietnam protests, Wall Street in the 1980s. And I liked the geography - Boston, Philly, New York City. My KC book club friends discussed it last night, so I'm interested to hear what more people thought.

Running Out of Time is one of the books from our school's "Battle of the Books." I've meant to read more, but this is only my second book from the list. I read during school when our kids do silent sustained reading, so I'll squeeze some more in before the competition in June. It was a fun mystery/historical fiction novel, and my students are typically crazy for Margaret Peterson Haddix's work. She's a solid young adult author.

I'll be hosting our KC book club in April when I'm home, so if you've got a suggestion for my pick, leave it in the comments. So excited to be a residential member of the club later this year!