Banh Mi with Sunny at Pho Ba Luu (really really really good)
I am finding more and more spots to take out of town friends and family thanks to dope people like Sunny helping me find nice cheap places and getting free tickets to classy ballet performances.
So I am refreshed and back at school, reading Halloween books to kindergarten kids that complain that my books aren’t scary enough. I mean, how scary do they my books are going to get? But this one is a crowd pleaser:
Books written and/or illustrated by Bob Shea are HILARIOUS and make me sound hilarious when I read it out loud. If you want a funny and adorable book for Halloween look no further!
Got this cool book about Sandwiches in the library which is part cookbook, part food history, and totally cool looking and fun
It got me thinking about how good sandwiches are in Buffalo and how I haven’t found Italian/Buffalonian style amazing sandwiches in Louisville yet. But I mean, that is a very high bar to set. The best sandwiches in the world are at my Nana’s house, she always has the deli plate ready when I get there!
And then I thought about how the next time I am in New Orleans I will have to don my hipster finest and go to Turkey and the Wolf. Recently named “best restaurant” by Bon Appetit and is rumored to have a killer fried bologna sandwich.
I spent the weekend reconnecting and crafting with dear friends in St. Louis. My friend Emily lives there and my friend Sarah lives in Des Moines and we carved out a weekend to meet up, craft, eat ramen, watch Moana and stay up late telling stories. In fact I am still catching up on my sleep! We had a lot of free reading at school today and I am hoping to go to bed early, falling asleep while I watch old episodes of West Wing.
Also, the Moana soundtrack is amazing! Very late to the game, I know, but I have to say, Jermaine Clement’s Shiny is everything!
We celebrated St. Francis Day at school. Kids love it. It is when they can bring in their pets or pictures of pets, or stuffed animals, or pineapples as a kid did today, to get blessed by local clergy. I am always torn between loving how excited the kids get and a life-long weariness around animals. This year we had some mini ponies and a cow! And a kid brought her chicken to the library. Did I ever think I’d need to say, “put your chicken away” at my job and it not be a three piece? No I did not!
A Chicken in the Library would be a great book title, btw.
Tonight I am going to meet up with my friend for a belated birthday dinner! And then if I have some energy I will try to start a new book that I have been excited about called The First Rule of Punk!
I spent a chunk of my first day back processing some of the library’s new books. This is one of my favorite parts of the job! I love picking out the new books and putting the stickers on them and then cataloging them. I have some of my middle school volunteers sticker the new books these days as well. They say, “oh Ms. Serrano is really weird about where you put the stickers.” I can’t say that they are wrong!
Here are some new books that I am excited about!
Children of Eden by Joey Graceffa. Well I don’t know much about this one but I had a lot of MS students request it. Then I found out it is by a YouTube star. Okay so I have to buy books by internet celebrities now?
All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis. Dystopic fantasy about a world where you have to pay for every word you speak. Perfect for just after banned book week!
Spinning by Tillie Walden. A graphic novel memoir about ballet?? Yes please!
The Perfect Siesta by Pato Mena. This is a really fun read-aloud and great bold and graphic illustrations!
Miles Morales: Spiderman by Jason Reynolds. I will read anything that Jason Reynolds writes. And I am digging this trend of great authors writing superhero books! #gatewaybooks
Forest World by Margarita Engle. I will also read anything by the poet Margarita Engle! Her novels in verse are BEAUTIFUL, and I happen to have a school full of kids who love that genre. So, Win-Win!
Tonight I have to run to my landlord’s house to pay my rent (Why, oh why can’t he get on Venmo?!) and then have some past and watch the rest of Netflix’s American Vandal. Guys of you liked Making a Murderer and Serial you will love this mockumentary. This Spinal Tap for true crime! Also, don’t watch it with kids!
We had a nice long weekend because of my school’s Fall Break. If I didn’t work in a school I might roll my eyes at someone saying that they need a break six weeks into their school year. But you know what? No judgement! The break was filled with reading, snacking and sleeping in. But that was all leading up to an event that I was working towards for some time, the Indy Women’s Half Marathon!
I am very lucky to have meet girls in middle school that I still love as women. Now that I live in the south/midwest we are able to get together way more often, but of course not often enough!
I won’t say much about the half marathon, anything that I write ends up sounding like humble bragging, which is lame. But I will say that I had way more fun than I thought I would training for it and running it. And eating carbs to prepare for the race is always great! Also special shout outs to Keira, who got us started on the whole thing, Trent, who is the best all the time but also taught me how to stretch, Ariana Grande and Luther Vandross for having great songs that clocked in at 145 beats per minute so I could run to them, Coach Ro at school who would check in with me and make sure I was training, and my high school crew who made it a race worth running. I can’t wait till next year!
(enjoy amazing song by L.V. didn’t know it had a video till now!!)
My birthday was on Friday! I am 34 now. I was telling someone at work that when I was a kid I loved having my birthday in September because I had one of the first birthdays of the school year. I really “set the tone” for the birthday parties to come! But now that I work in a school having a September birthday can be a bit of a drag because I am still in my “back to work” zombie state that really doesn’t ease up until after our fall break.
For my birthday, Trent got me some new watercolor sets! I am very excited and have dreams of sitting in the Speed Museum painting classy pictures or in the park when it is not ten million degrees out!
Today in the library I read some very cute books to some very cute preschool students
Tonight I will be having a stir fry and watching more of Ken Burns’ Vietnam War. Guess what?? It is super heartbreaking! But I am learning a lot and have been having a lot of great conversations with people in my life about the war. Last night I talked for a while about it with my Nana, she told me about how afraid she was that my uncles would get drafted. So if anything, this documentary is getting people talking!