Sunday, November 7, 2010

The City of Brotherly Love

This weekend, AJ and I made a little whirlwind trek up to Philly to see the Cleopatra show at the Franklin Institute (which was ok, but maybe not worth the money) and Erin Coffey, who is always worth it. :-)
In the style common to both Baltimore and Philadelphia, it was something of a "drive-by visit", but we got two museums, awesome Ethiopian food, and to sleep on Erin's absurdly comfy air mattress + plush egg crate. We hypothesized that the Ethiopian food gave us strange dreams, since Erin vacationed on a tropical island with us before going back (late!) to concert band, and I dreamed I was a pirate who came home to find mice, rabbits and pigeons taking over my house. Hooray.
Next weekend, off to spectate at Yale v. Doesn't Matter. Hopefully pictures, assuming that the 80% chance of precipitation and 40 degree high called for in today's forecast do not come true.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Visit to a Hollywood Set...

Chris and I visited an ancient village in rural Anhui called Hongcun. It is famous for its picturesque scenery and young artists. It was also a site for filming "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." The village itself was rather small. We walked around it in about one or two hours. Hello from China!

Btw, I'm coming to New York in just a few days. If anyone's around this next weekend, let me know!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

My parents would be so proud...

Some of y'all may know that, a couple of months ago, I got hired to sub as a Turbo Kick (cardio kickboxing) instructor at my gym.

Well, now I have my own class! Actually, my own two classes! I'm teaching Turbo Kick and then a total body conditioning (aka lifting) class on Wednesdays. I'm a little nervous (a regular class is pressure! If people don't come, it's because they hate you) but also excited! And I'm going to be so buff by the end of the season.

Being a group exercise instructor doesn't pay much (especially when you work less than 2 hours a week), and there was a lot of overhead cost associated with getting certified and paying for music and choreography DVDs. BUT now I get to be on a microphone in front of people and yell at them and tell them what to do. Again!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Better late than never...

Hi everyone!
I just got back from a delicious Labor Day BBQ at Katie's (awesome, spacious) house, where we finally took care of the fact that I had not joined this blog. The next step is me figuring out how to email the 09 list (because when I tried to email the list to ask, it wouldn't let me, duh). Anyway, Marina was there too and we had a great time! Katie made an amazing apricot pork roast, homemade veggie burgers, fruit salsa, homemade baba ganoush (sp?) and much more, and her roommate made some awesome strawberries and cake thing (didn't catch the name of it). It was the best I've eaten in a while- well done, Katie! I guess I should add that I'm in Baltimore doing post-bac pre-med at Hopkins... I'll be here for about 14 months! So far it has been hot, and orgo is hard.
I'm excited to be joining the blogging community- hoping to see you guys at one of the big games!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Road Trip


Botanical gardens in Montreal

AJ and I just returned from a 2200 mile roadtrip, mostly through the province of Quebec.

The car (and AJ) at mile 1002.

I'm not going to turn this into an epic travelogue, but I will tell you that we:
  • met many Canadians who spoke no English
  • ate poutine
  • ate elk, bison and moose
  • saw a moose along the side of the road
  • learned the French word for moose
  • saw three species of whales and grey seals
  • saw the most Canadian sign ever:
We also stopped into Rochester to visit Rosa for a night! Hurray for a mini-management reunion. Rosa made a great ratatouille and we took a sweet field trip to the Mega-Wegmans. Oh man, best grocery store ever. I could live on only the cheese cases (I counted 7, not counting the deli) or the bagged shredded stuff.

Anyway, we're home now and I have to return AJ to New Haven soon, which is good for him but sad for me. Funny to think that oh-lev are seniors now and oh-ten is dispersed. But Baltimore is gaining another YPMB alum in Marina, who's going to be working for a Hopkins lab. One more reason you should totally come visit me.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Where even the earth can't sit still...

Howdy everyone…hope it’s been a good summer! Here’s my update on the never-ending party that is Cali (well that’s what I want you to think anyway…mwahaha). Aside from working like crazy for a few months, I survived my first earthquake!! And my second, and my third, and my 10th, 20th…what can I say? Maybe my coming to this state got the earth all excited. It was kind of amazing that our quake—technically Mexico’s quake—was larger than the one in Haiti, yet only two people were killed. I suppose Mexico’s building codes are a lot better than they appear.

But just as earth-shattering, our state was just graced (alas too briefly) with the presence of Christopher Michael Young. During his 24-hour layover before heading back to China, it was Monica's and my job (with the help and chauffeuring of Monica's bf Jonathan) to sell the Golden State, and give him a sensational sendoff.

This included of course the Cali essentials: In-N-Out, Yogurtland, the beach. But the highlight of this time was the visit to the gay country bar. Yes, you read that right. Thanks to the brilliant suggestion of Kate Kraft (who met us there), we found ourselves plunged into Chris Young heaven. It seems safe to say that the state of California (and possibly a few of its male dancers) seduced him that night.

This is the dance floor, where there was line dancing and couples dancing (with some REALLY good dancers)…

And our 一起 picture (“yiqi”, meaning together)—by the way, that is Monica’s sweet pool in the background:

I would like to note that as far as recent posts are concerned—here is the tally:
California: 2
The rest of the world: 0

Get cracking, world!

PS--The fortune from my Chinese dinner tonight, from a place with a tendency for unusual fortunes:

"Remember three months from this date! Your lucky star is shining."

What happens three months from this date (east coast time), on November 20, 2010? The Chinese are always right. Always*.

*Knock on wood

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Steve came to visit and of course we drove down to Anaheim for some Disney fun! We also met up with two of my coworkers in China, Michael and Zoe...

This is us getting breakfast at La Brea Bakery... (Michael on the left)

For Rita!!!

We went on Star Tours on its very last day!!! It will be closed for a year for renovations, and they're putting in a new Episode 1-3 themed version.

Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin... hilarious shot of Steve. On this ride you can spin your own car.

Tower of Terror!!!!

Sleeping Beauty Castle

And of course, on the drive back up to Morro Bay, we stopped at In-N-Out! mmmmm!!!

Miss you all and hope we can see each other soon! Heading out to Xiuning, China in one week. See ya real soon!


Oh, I almost forgot... we went to San Francisco for a day. Met up with James and Susan, Ben Somers, and other peeps.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Who's going? Where are you staying? I just made an impulse buy of a plane ticket up for graduation, and I cannot wait to see everyone who's coming!


Jae just informed me that we may need tickets for Class Day on Sunday. So, if you want to go see Bill, let me know and I'll let Jae know how many tickets '09 needs. Gracias!

Friday, May 7, 2010

I have not in fact disappeared from the face of the planet.

I've just been in graduate school. Just wanted to let you know that no, I am not dead; b, a life update is coming, probably this weekend, and 3, I'll be in the Have for Commencement weekend.

Stay tuned. Love you all, miss you more.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Baltimore is awesome

So, as some of you know, I just moved from a marginal neighborhood to a nice one. (If you need my new address or phone number let me know!)

I went back to the old place today to collect a few stray items, and while I was there, I caught the latest gossip from the block. Apparently someone living on the block has enemies, because last night, about 4:30 am, someone lit her car on fire. As in, from the gas tank. They were attempting to make it explode, but they failed. Instead, the gas tank lit on fire, and melted the entire back end of the car.

Yes. It is still on the street, mangled and charred and everything. I love this city.

I'll try to update again from Egypt (I leave Sunday).
Love from Charm City!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spring Break! (finally...)

Woo, my spring break is finally here! Now, I need to apologize before I start this post because I know I only talk about school on here, but considering that teaching and taking classes about teaching are pretty much the only things I do nowadays, you'll have to forgive me.

First off, my school has been all over the news, both international and local! That's right, we heard tell of someone seeing this clip, featuring my two principals recruiting in the Iberville Projects next to my school, in Japan:

The second clip comes from the local news. Last week was state testing in Louisiana, which basically meant that K-2 were kicked out of the building all week so as not to risk disturbing the testing environment. Throughout the week we fed exotic animals, visited two colleges (Tulane and Dillard), and completed 10 hours of service learning. The latter is what we made the news for. We had an anti-litter campaign where we teamed up with a local community center and service organization. We picked up trash around the school, placed trashcans in the neighborhood, and on the last day held an anti-litter parade (you know how New Orleans loves its parades) complete with handmade cardboard signs. Here's the clip from the news segment:

Makes me smile :)

Also making me smile is my long awaited spring break! I'm super excited about my plans - I'm going to New York City baby! My principal and a couple other teachers and I are going on an all-expenses paid trip to observe three of the best charter schools in the city. I love doing this sort of thing because I get such great ideas for my classroom. I observed some schools after The Game and ended up bringing back a behavior management plan that has since been implemented school-wide (not to brag or anything). Also, while in New York, my entire suite has decided to use me coming as an excuse for a reunion, so all of us will be converging there next weekend! I could use me some Yale loving, let me tell you.

Well, that's the update from my front. What's happening in your neck of the woods?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Shameless plug

Hey friends! I've been cooking up a storm in Baltimore, in part inspired by the insane winter.
Anyway, if you're starved for ideas, maybe my cooking blog experiment will help you?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Hi '09!
I guess I'm jumping on the bandwagon here-- three posts in 24 hours! The madness!
As you've all seen on the news, or my twitter or facebook, that the mid-Atlantic has gotten more snow in a single storm than it usually sees all year. We've got more snow right now than Rochester (hi, Rosa!). We're about to break through the record for all-time snowiest winter in Baltimore. And, tomorrow is the third consecutive snow day.
Hitler, of course, is not pleased about this:

(Monica and others sent that to me, and it's pretty great.)
The roads here are essentially impassible. There is a solid foot of ice on most minor roads, and all major (and minor) roads are basically one lane, possibly one lane each direction. That is not at all given, though.... I've already spent many hours digging out my car, but my driving adventure today made me wish I hadn't bothered. It's amazing chaos here.

In other news, grad school is hard, and I keep failing my damn German exam. I'm going to be in Egypt most of May, working on the artifacts from my professor's dig at Karnak temple. This is old, but the same expedition. Yale still functions-- I was up there a few weeks ago, and got to see Elliot and Tasia being super cute and got to celebrate AJ and my first anniversary.

Yale/Harvard Hockey

I was in New Haven last weekend to visit Henry/catch a home hockey weekend that included a Yale/Harvard game. New DM Elliott brought the big guns. And a battle axe. The Whale's got some new accoutrements - video screens near the entrances, new flags, fancy lettering on the bathrooms, and ticket scalpers.

I sat in the student section. Actually, first I tried to stand. Then I got bitched out for standing because then the person behind me couldn't see, and if she stood too, then everyone would have to stand, and then - HORRORS! - everyone would be standing at a hockey game.

To be fair, I was the one not playing by the rules, but her dude friend running off to tell on me to the 60+ year old usher, as I was sitting down (while sputtering, "But it's a hockey game!") - not cool. Also I got weird looks for bellowing at the goalie.

On the plus side, there is a student section! And they joined in on the "It's all your fault!"s. Still, sitting at a hockey game was weird. It was hard to yell while sitting down. We left at the first period break to join the band, and the band section's usher recognized me!

Anywho, Yale pulled off a win with Billy in goal. They even managed to turn a 6 on 3 (two penalties and pulling the goalie, which, as I recently learned, is also a euphemism for going off birth control/having unprotected sex) into an empty net goal.

Final score:

California knows how to partay

Hello folks! This blog has been quiet too long. Look, I know that we're all buried in insane amounts of work that make undergrad look like a vacation in the Bahamas, but it's the month of February for goodness sakes! And you know what that means...FEB CLUB!! Hopefully you all are managing to find your way to these shindigs through Day after Tomorrow-like blizzards and such. Somehow I managed to haul my work-beleaguered butt up to LA (while I had no epic snowstorms to contend with, I did have SoCal drivers, a scary enough prospect in itself) to partay like old times with Monica and Co. And PARTAY we did.

First, a note to those attending Feb Clubs: MAKE SURE PEOPLE DON'T SET THE MORY'S CUPS DOWN ON THE TABLE!! Some alumni (or party-crashers) may in fact not be aware of the most sacred rules and traditions of our alma mater. A few of us more recent graduates had to run guard duty to ensure that this travesty was not repeated.

Anyways...this is how it went down. The event was at a chic Beverly Hills hotel where they apparently thought that educated people such as Yale alumni would be able to have a civilized party without breaking glasses or nearly setting themselves on fire by leaning on lit candles. This was, of course, a slight miscalculation. In other words, it was basically like a Yale party, with a slightly older (and in some cases even sketchier) demographic. You might think that the best part of the night would have been

A) The middle-aged man who leans over us on the couch to remind the gentleman in back of us that, in case he didn't notice, his shirt was almost directly in contact with a lit candle, then mutters at us under his breath "I just saved that motherf***ers life"

B) "Dr. Suzy", the 55-year old Yale alumna wearing a witches' hat who has apparently obtained a Ph.D. in the Erotic Arts and Sciences, and was demonstrating her expertise by indiscreetly groping and being groped by a different guy every time I looked in her direction (including at least one member of the class of '09).

But neither of these was the highlight...for after we left this event, we wound up at a house party in Hollywood. Or rather, we entered through a tiny hobbit-sized gate between ten-foot-tall hedges, and found a little paradise therein where the inhabitants were bathed in a haze of medicinally-useful hemp-leaf aromas and '80s and '90s music. As one of our company remarked, it was just like the Shire, if the hobbits had been smoking weed and dancing basically, exactly like the Shire. And all I could think about was the fact that we were in the same neighborhood where the most glamorous celebrations in American pop culture are held--yet maybe these people (whoever they were) are the real Hollywood elite. After all, it was so exclusive the papparazzi couldn't even find the place...

This photo pretty well captures the ambiance of this elite gathering:

and this is of the assembled LA posse:

So it was a good time, all in all, and Monica was a most gracious host. The whole experience may have even been worth being royally screwed by my two midterms today--one given by my crazy math professor who says that we are all "children in need of a spanking". Well, we got spanked today. But that's all for me. Hope to see some posts about your Feb Club experiences as well!

PS--In response to certain inquiries, NO, I do not have a hot surfer girlfriend. Yet. I've had little time in the past few months to entertain anything hot, surfer, or girl in nature. Frankly, I'd settle for one of the three, although I guess with slight preference for the "girl" part. If I do in fact have a hot surfer girlfriend by the time I see y'all next, I owe you all a case's worth of San Diego's finest local brews (little known fact: SD has one of the largest microbrewery industries in the country!).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Yale Recruiting Video

Some of you may have already seen this, but Yale's got a new recruiting video that's totally worth watching:

That's Why I Chose Yale

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This is what happened to me today

In one of my third grade classes, one of my kids asked (out of blue) "Ms. Alway! You ever eaten pigs' feet?"

"No," I responded, "I never have." (I have seen them at the grocery store--giant jars of shockingly pink things that look alarmingly like, well, pigs' feet).

They were SHOCKED by this, and this led to a long discussion of other weird things we've (mostly they've) eaten, culminating in this:

"How about raccoon? Ms. Alway, you ever eat grilled raccoon?"
", no I haven't. What does it taste like?"
(look of incredulity, like he can't believe I'm asking such an idiotic question) "You raccoon."

Well, duh.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Happy New Year, everyone! Anyone else find it odd that it's no longer our graduation year?

Hope you all had excellent NYE's. I was in Vegas amongst the crazy and while fun, I think I can just go ahead and check that off the life list and... never do it again. Maybe a little too much crazy (and definitely too many drunk people who were larger than me in a huge crowd).

And right now, I have the supreme honor of being hostess to a certain Erin E. (W?) Coffey for a few days! We went here today:

(The Getty Villa) and then when watched this at the beach:

(My life is hard.) But tomorrow is back to school for me. Hope this year is a wonderful one for you all!