Sprouts Stash

Today I visited a new-to-me grocery store, Sprouts Farmer’s Market. What a great selection of organic and gluten-free and dairy-free foods! They also carry other products such as hair and skin care as well as supplements. This photo is of my experimental stash in my continuing quest for good-tasting gluten and (mostly) dairy-free foods. The brownies will have to wait until after Lent is over, but I’m probably bringing the pretzels to school tomorrow as my desk drawer snack.

Crystal Cove Breakfast

This morning DH, DS and I ventured to Crystal Cove State Park for a wonderful breakfast at the Beachcomber Cafe. It’s literally on the sand. And since the ocean breeze can be nippy for sedentary diners, the restaurant supplies its own branded fleece lap blankets at every seat.

I wrapped mine around my legs for the novelty of it, but, as this photo shows, it was clear, cloudless, and marvelously mild today. A few brave souls were even frolicking in the water sans wetsuits.

The food was better than average, but not outstanding. The view and ambiance, though, are incomparable. Next time we come, we’ll try the coffee and basket of beignets. It sounds like perfect “lounging on a Sunday morning at the beach” food.

Proposal for Comic-Con?

This morning I attended a training on expository writing instruction where I got a free copy of the new edition of one of my favorite teaching books, They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. In essence the book preaches using templates (filling in the blanks) as a tool for teaching academic writing. Think “Mad Libs” for scholarly ideas. Teacher friends: the new edition supports templates for writing in the sciences and social sciences, too!

Below is a model from the book and in red type italics is my tongue-in-cheek variation. I’m quite proud of it. The instructor said it would make a great conference paper proposal for Comic-Con. 😉

Original model for an expository paper intro, with template language in bold: (See Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2010.):

The term “vegetarian” tends to be synonymous with “tree-hugger” in many people’s minds. They see vegetarianism as a cult that brainwashes its followers into eliminating an essential part of their daily diets for an abstract goal of “animal welfare.” However, few vegetarians choose their lifestyle just to follow the crows. On the contrary, many of these supposedly brainwashed people are actually independent thinkers, concerned citizens, and compassionate human beings. For the truth is that there are many very good reasons for giving up meat. Perhaps the best reasons are to improve the environment, to encourage humane treatment of livestock, or to enhance one’s own health, In this essay, then, closely examining a vegetarian diet as compared to a meat-eater’s diet will show that vegetarianism is clearly the better option for sustaining the Earth and all its inhabitants.

My intro for a “paper” on geekiness with my words in italics:

The term “geek” tends to be synonymous with “antisocial nerd” in many people’s minds. They see geekiness as a condition of being unhealthily obsessed with an obscure interest, such as the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who. However, few geeks behave unhealthily or dangerously. On the contrary, many of these supposedly antisocial or unintelligent people are actually independent thinkers, successful businesspeople, fascinating communicators, and creative spirits who socialize at a high level of intellectual inquiry with others who share their mostly harmless interests. For the truth is that there are many very good reasons for indulging in geekiness. Perhaps the best reasons are to socialize with like-minded fans online and at conferences, to think critically and creatively about alternative storylines via fan fiction, or to reflect upon and practice the values that the scifi world promotes. In this essay, then, closely examining a geek’s commitment to Doctor Who as compared to a regular viewer’s passive consumption of mainstream TV content will show that geekiness is clearly the better option for promoting communication, critical thinking, and creativity in our society.


Today’s picture is part of my never-ending quest for tasty, low calorie, gluten-free snacks. Little flavored rice crackers have promise. I couldn’t bear spending over 50% more for a brand name, so I have high hopes for the Albertson’s store brand.

Just opened it: not awful. Now I’m thinking the brand name might be worth it 😦 The quest continues.


What a lovely way to start my work week! As a fundraiser we sold Hershey’s Kisses Grams at the Faculty Follies for people to send to the performers. I got one from DH (of course!) and another from a lovely student who sent them to at least 4 other teachers. Then this morning I found two more in my school mailbox that I hadn’t seen on Closing Night. They were from two of my sweetest, shyest students. I felt quite special. So that’s my 365 Project picture for the day. And I have to save the Kisses for Sunday (Lent is almost over!).

Closing Night

This is (almost) the entire cast and crew. DH took this picture on Opening Night, but I’m too pooped to post pix I actually took from today. Suffice it to say that it was a fun and energetic time. Some numbers were better tonight than before and some were a little rougher, but it was all good! I’m really happy my sister and brother-in-law got to see it tonight. One teacher’s spouse filmed almost the entire performance and we got to watch it together at the cast party. I had NO idea of some of the antics out there while I was doing a quick change or hanging out in the green room. I can’t wait for the professionally produced video.

All in all, it was a fabulous experience and I’m REALLY glad it’s over. I expect it will take me at least three good washings to get all the goop out of my big hair. Good night, all….

Update: for the sake of posterity and the 365 Project, here are two photos I actually took today. They are of the first 4 kids in line for seats at 6 p.m. for a 7 p.m. show and three of the laboring oars in our green room.

Big Hair

Today’s picture is of my big hair. As I mentioned previously, it requires washing, moussing, braiding into 8 braids close to my head, sleeping on it, drying in the morning, unbraiding, taming with a claw clip while at work, then blowdrying as big as possible right before call time, spraying 90 bazillion layers of hair spray throughout, scrunching with my hands, then getting creative with photo angles in the the bathroom mirror. Whew! I can handle this for 3 days every 3 years, but that’s it.

Tonight we were warned against the “Second Night Blues” where the show’s energy is likely to drop after the euphoria of Opening Night. However, except for some drama that involved another teacher in some of my numbers, it actually went quite smoothly and the audience went wild. They actually started clapping in rhythm AND waving their iPhones with lighters during “Imagine”! Students are awesome!

I’m breaking my gluten-free diet for a Pepperidge Farms Apple Turnover. Happy Weekend to all!