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T"what's it to you" N.

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Experience: Clothing & Fashion, Computers & Technology, Entertainment

Member since December 2008

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About Me

I'm an educator on hiatus.

How I Can Help

I've been on SiteJabber for years!


a little bit of everything: music, film, books, art, technology, fashion, kittens, etc.

268 Reviews by T

I'm sure that most ebook reader owners already know about this site - thousands and thousands of free ebooks that can be downloaded in Epub, Kindle, HTML and text formats for pretty much any ebook reader.

The site could be prettier, but hey, these guys work off of volunteers' sweat and a love of $#*!ens and Twain. We can trade aesthetics for scholar.
I just came across this and felt like I needed to write this review now, that's how excited I was about this website. This is like a wiki for all skills that are now obsolete. This includes: eating from a trencher, dueling with swords, riding a rope tow, playing marbles, FORTRAN programming (though the logic is still good, it says), etc.

Each entry includes: the field under which the skill falls, the time the skill went obsolete (some are in the future, for example, driving a car is predicted to become obsolete in about 50 years time), what replaced it, knowledge assumed and when it was useful.

Seriously, this could take up the next 6 hours of my life. I hope the internet doesn't become obsolete for at least another 60 years. I mean, this is kind of brilliant.
I wouldn't say that MGMT is one of my top 25 favorite bands, but a lot of their stuff makes me happy. A couple of space oddities, these guys revel in creating a fantasy world of characters and plots involving praying mantises and other frisky little creatures. Their songs just happen to be the background music for those worlds. On this official website you can see all of the videos over and over again, or just have them on as background music, which is my preference. The rest of the website - eh - too much noise in general, but if you love MGMT, I'm sure you'd love their site.
UPDATE: Within hours of this review, PageOnce contacted me to remove my email from their mailing lists. I wish I could give them something between a Meh and a Cool, but without ever having used them, I can't actually give a Cool rating. It appears that SiteJabber may be more effective than emailing / calling a business directly!


I have no idea what PageOnce is or what it does, but I get emails from them once a week about some accounts that I don't have. I've checked my credit reports, and nothing funny is going on. I figured that perhaps someone registered my email address - who knows. I sent PageOnce an email asking them to check this account and also to remove me from the mailing since I am not a customer. I sent an email on the 28th, and an hour ago I received a response:

Dear User,

Thank you for your email. Please note, due to hundreds of emails we receive daily, our reply to you is delayed. Please accept our apologies.

It took them 2 weeks? Based on a Google search I can't find anything related to a scam (well, I only looked at the first page). Other people seem to really like whatever services this place provides (it looks like Mint-type services).

In any case, I'm terribly irritated by this company, whether it's real or not.
A few years back, in one of my classrooms, I had students ranging in ability from doing math at the 2nd grade level to math at the 10th grade level. I had an hour a day to do math with all 4 groups (and these are guys with neurobehavioral disabilities so the one-on-one, immediate feedback time is important) so I needed to be creative and differentiate instruction using what websites were available back then in addition to a high school teacher's videos that I'd obtained somehow.

I WISH I had a website like Khan Academy available to me when I was teaching. Khan has tons of engaging lessons that I'm sure my boys with Aspergers would LOVE - much more so than hearing me everyday. The man behind this is pretty darn smart, and I think I'll watch some of his videos now rather than finishing an awful little history of the world book I have on my Kindle.

Forget tutoring websites, it's all here for free.

Here Salman Khan is on TED:
I go through phases in which I try to immerse myself in whatever theme, food or activity is of interest. I once ate sushi everyday for a summer. I watched as many heist flicks as I could in one week. During one phase I was into geography - my boyfriend at the time and I were obsessed with the Odyssey globe game and with this game - Geosense. A simple game with a web 2.0 feel to it, Geosense tests your knowledge of where cities around the world are generally located. The game gives you a location and you click on where you think it approximately might be (within 10 seconds). Then it tells you how far from the target you ended up being. You can play solo or with a stranger. Everything about this game is easy...except for the game itself sometimes - especially when you're given a city in Russia (that isn't Moscow or St. Petersburg) because there's a lot of surface area to choose from...
Chartporn is a website devoted to people who love infographics, an ever-popular growing trend of the 2010s, it looks like. No organization or institute is respectable if it doesn't include an infographic in its repertoire once in a while. And no infographic is respectable if Chartporn doesn't sit up and take notice.

For the economically serious:

For the jocular:
I wrote a review for this and then accidentally deleted it. Here's the shorter version:

This is the third of a trio of food blogs I use to refer to for my Asian cooking needs. This particular one I came across when searching for a good spare rib soup (http://norecipes.com/blog/2010/10/28/bak-kut-teh-recipe-sparerib-soup/). No Recipes, a blog maintained by Marc Matsumoto is a tidy little food blog covering foods from around the world. The title No Recipes is less about irony (as the site is dedicated to recipes and ingredients) and more about encouraging experimentation, which is what I appreciate most about Matsumoto's blogging style / recipes. I don't feel like I need to follow the recipes to a tee (though I almost never do, unless it's baking). Unlike Wandering Chopsticks, No Recipes feels cleaner and simpler; the author certainly seems to be humbler and more accessible. Be fair warned that he does go for some of the more upscale stuff, but I skip over that stuff. I'm not making my own pate.
People who haven't been to Houston or who don't know much about it would assume that we don't have great art. But we do! We really do! The Menil Collection is one of my favorite places to go to when I come home to Houston. In a beautiful building designed by Renzo Piano and situated in the middle of a quiet little Houston neighborhood, the Menil Collection is a haven for art lovers in Houston. It includes some incredible pieces of Byzantine, African and modern / contemporary art. I've visited the Menil over a dozen times and can't seem to tire from the pieces by Warhol, Picasso, Basquiat, Yves Klein, Barnett Newman, Rauschenberg, Matisse, Pollock, Koonig, Jasper Johns - the list goes on and on. While it's not a huge collection, the way the museum is curated in a building that uses natural lighting in the most divine way really maximizes the value of each piece.

The Menil website is ehh, so-so, could be better, but just for the Collection itself, I have to give it the most love I can.

As a note: Within blocks of the Menil are the Rothko Chapel, the Byzantine Fresco Chapel and the Cy Twombly building (but the Twombly is a whole other story that I'll write another day).
Wandering Chopsticks is a blog about food, predominantly Vietnamese foods (but it includes recipes of all kinds of foods), written by someone who thinks a lot of him/herself. I haven't read it long enough to know anything about this person, and based on the FAQ, the person doesn't want you to know much about him/her. This is fine because I don't read food blogs to get to know people.

Wandering Chopsticks has quite a collection of recipes, reviews and write-ups of all kinds of foods from American to European to Asian. The Vietnamese section is that to which I refer and probably the specialty of the blog. Mind you, the recipes have a bit of a California spin to it. We don't make things that way in Houston - so just replace particularly healthy parts with MSG and voila - Vietnamese food the way they make it in Vietnam!
When I needed a recipe for good Vietnamese-style pork ribs, Chubby Hubby was there for me. With the tagline "Whining, Dining and Marriage", Chubby Hubby is an entertaining little food / life blog (because the foodies say "food IS life", right? *barf*). However, I'll admit that I don't read the life bits at all and only use Chubby Hubby for its recipes. The recipes are fantastic, and my pork ribs turned out better than ever.
I love convenience - I eat conveniently accessible foods, I read conveniently easy books, I date convenient men. All these things to maximize my screentime - my morning routine shouldn't keep me away from my laptop too long, so the right make-up is a necessity. I'm not the kind of girl who likes to put a lot of time and effort into my hair or face (and it probably shows), and it seems that Origins knows that. Well I know they know that because the last time I walked into the store, the salesman said, "You look like you like to keep it natural...I have something for you!" I wasn't sure what to make of that comment but I'm glad he noticed because I wouldn't have walked out with Vitazing then - Vitazing is an SPF15 moisturizer that doubles for me as a foundation. The mangosteen ingredient adapts to my skin color and provides a light coverage that I can't feel. It doesn't cover up all the spots, but who really cares about that. At my age, there's no hiding that stuff.

Origins.com is easy to use; the products come on time and with little free samples that are great to take on trips.
I have this thing about proving people wrong (though I don't have a problem being wrong). So this morning after my friend and I argued about the correct pronunciation for the mysterious Middle Eastern mixture of meats shawerma / shawarma, naturally I googled "shawerma pronunciation". According to my friend, it was "shwarma", but I thought "shuh-where-muh". Forvo.com to the rescue. The sound feature helps me prove easily that my way is clearly more accurate (not totally accurate but MORE accurate) since my friend can't read phonetic spelling very well either.
As a serious creature of habit, I've owned the same style of gray New Balance shoes for nearly a decade now. And when it gets worn, I get another pair. Thank GOD New Balance never discontinues that style, so I can keep on keepin' on. I only wish New Balance made better RUNNING shoes. Compared to Asics, NB shoes perform pretty poorly in gravel terrain.
AVG is one of the first things I install when I set up computers for the classroom or for myself. Without needing to pay for programs like Norton or McAfee, AVG takes care of my computer's anti-virus needs. Installation is easy, the interface is self-explanatory / easy to use, and the program can actually get rid of those pesky Trojan horses. AVG recently put out their 2011 free edition, which CNET gives 4.5 out of 5 stars. Not bad for a free anti-virus program that rivals their costly counterparts.
The Education Trust, an organization that advocates for students, developed this useful tool to compare different statistics across all the colleges and universities in the United States. You can find the graduation and retention rates, tuition rates, median SAT / ACT scores, demographics, etc. If you're looking at one school, you can find similar schools, and for those trying to decide between schools, a comparison tool is available. Similar tools like this are available through sites like U.S. News and World Report, but I don't find to be as exhaustive.
Everyone talks about Shazam, but I find it pretty overrated (other than the name, which is a good one - it can pose as a noun or a verb...). SoundHound, on the other hand, is pretty underrated. I got both for my iPhone and find that SoundHound can identify all of the songs that Shazam couldn't. So say I'm in a clothing store and a catchy tune comes on. Shazam has no idea what it is, can't find a match. SoundHound? Bam, it's got it.
I recently returned from nearly 4 years of living abroad and was excited to have access to updated music again. A friend of mine told me about Shazam as a tool to use for identifying music I hear in public. Oftentimes I find myself hearing a good song in a sushi bar or hipster clothing store and trying to remember the lyrics to go home and google - so this seemed like a good solution since I now own modern technology - a phone.

Shazam is okay, but it's not as useful as SoundHound, which can identify all the songs that Shazam can't. Out of the last 10 songs I've wanted to identify, Shazam could only do 6 of them, while Soundhound picked up the rest of the work. I'll probably just do away with Shazam and stick to Soundhound.
Working with children with special needs requires that I think about the adjustments that need to be made for each student. For students who feel overwhelmed when I put a worksheet with too many problem sets or exercises on one page (unless I fold the page, which is one simple accommodation), there are sites like handwritingworksheets.com. Here you can create custom-made handwriting worksheets. You dictate the content, type and size of lettering, etc. without needing to log in or do anything besides create the worksheet.
John Elder Robison is the older brother of author Augusten Burroughs. Having been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (under the umbrella of autism) at the age of 39, Robison wrote a memoir about his life entitled Look Me In The Eye a few years back and is on the way to publishing another. I'll admit that I have a fondness for Robison because he has given time to an organization with which I'm affiliated. Robison has made great efforts to correspond and talk with students at The Monarch School in Houston, Texas in order to share more with them about his experiences with Asperger Syndrome. Any person willing to do that is pretty special. Robison's website provides great resources and information for parents and educators. He even teamed up with Monarch School faculty and students to develop a teaching guide for Look Me In The Eye.

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