12.08.2008

wow, just wow.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2008/12/08/2008-12-08_failing_brooklyn_ps_to_be_shut_will_neve.html

yeah, i got out just in time.



ps: i'm moving. drop a line if you want to know where.

10.15.2008

i am so sick


of this smarmy motherfucker
yanking his own dick
and talking about all the whoopdy doo fucking things he says he's done over his many many too many years, fucking retire already and move to one of your too many houses, unless you forgot where it is.
and i'm so fucking sick
of hearing his asinine retorts about what obama hasn't done or has stood up for
instead of what his own plan is
to fix this broken
fucked up
fuck this we're not 'entering a recession'
we're neck fucking deep in a national
depression.

the stock market is down
my friends are getting laid off
everything is getting more expensive
budgets everywhere are being cut

and i dont trust that face
to repair it.

10.13.2008

a week in pictures

we harvested the rest of the tomatoes we'd planted at d's parent's house in bergen beach.










i volunteered at two different adoption events, one in white plains, and the other here in the slope. in two days we found homes for 10 dogs and 7 cats. and 4 birds. this is butta bean, a 5 year old american bulldog, who no joke, proudly wore these sunglasses all day long.



and this is the newest addition to our four-legged black and white family. world, meet joan jett:


10.06.2008

grad school, part 2

my first go-around at grad school was primarily an exercise in cramming as much education as i could into two solid years of life. from 2004-2006 i somehow managed to plan lessons, write papers, complete lab reports, create activities, grade papers, teach classes, meet with mentors, design my own curriculum, teach an after school program, attend classes, study for exams, and occasionally get together with friends to get massively wasted and forget why i was doing all this. but oh yes, the free (well somewhat free) masters degree. my degree was subsidized through the new york city teaching fellows, which meant the city paid for half of my degree, the rest came out of my paycheck over two years, and i devoted myself to teaching in an inner city school for at least two years. the degree, which was not terribly difficult, more tedious, to earn, has not proven to be especially helpful towards what i specifically do. the teaching fellows generally seek high-need area teachers, including elementary, special ed, esl, bilingual, ela, math, and sciences. technology is not considered a high need area, though enough schools are seriously lacking an expert to manage and implement their equipment effectively.

and so, 150 lesson plans, a dozen ten page essays, 18 lab reports, 4 running records, 80 personal reflections, 25 journal entries, and a bout with shingles later, i graduated with this degree in childhood education, certifying me to legally teach a kindergarten through 6th grade class anywhere in new york state, and many other states who have reciprocal teaching license with new york, massachusetts excluded.

in the last 5 years i've never actually taught within my license area, except on the rare occasion that i've subbed for 5th grade classes when their teachers are in meetings. i've always taught 5th-8th grade technology, and while according to the laws of new york city, i can legally teach 1 year out of my license area, 2 is not legit, making this year a fuzzy area for me to be in, teaching 7 8th grade classes.

the michigan program i was accepted into is a pretty cool opportunity for me to become a legit tech teacher, and also expand my horizons at the same time. it's a 15 month, 36 credit masters in ed with a concentration in educational technology. it would start this may, with an online course, then a 3 week residency in geneva, another 4 courses online in the fall and spring, then back to geneva to graduate in july of 2010.

i'm not entirely sure what doors it will open for me in terms of career, but it sounds like the right direction to go in. i'm also pretty psyched to see geneva, though from what it seems like there isn't much time for sightseeing, mostly learning new apps, coding, and building websites.

i'm hugely nervous for the loans, but really excited for the content. and to meet other teacherly geeks like me.

and so no, i'm not relocating to flint, much to michael moore's possible dismay. i'll never even have to visit the campus as long as all goes according to plan. it may not be as glamorous as stanford or columbia teacher's college, but i think it's the right program for me.

i hope i get an early reading list. i've been craving some good educational literature.

10.04.2008

michigan

i got in :D

10.01.2008

when wednesday night feels like sunday

the procrastinating i did this past weekend was futile, in part because the hopes i had of making up the work on this sweet and fine new year were completely irrational. i've never been the kid to finish all my homework the first night of vacation so i have the whole week worry free. i'd rather give myself anxiety about it all week and do a shoddy job on the sunday night before we go back to school.

and so, my 7th graders have nothing to do tomorrow so we'll practice what we started monday, a hands on approach to determining the best search engine for the job.

this is the first year i'm feeling like my teaching years may be dwindling. i'm exhausted of the constant management. i enjoy the content, i enjoy the age bracket of my kids, but i do not enjoy the few problem children who make my job unpleasant. sure, there are tips and tricks to reel them back in and get them to participate and absorb. i just don't feel prepared to spend the energy on that part of my job this year. the summer built me up with hopes of pleasant, intrinsically motivated, well behaved kids. and i got a slightly rowdier than expected bunch. every day i check the mail, i wonder what will happen with michigan. it's become this lighthouse in dark waters, luring me to greener pastures. complete with little dad on my shoulder, whispering, "summers off, 8 and a quarter fixed rate, only 24 more years till retirement." and usually something happens in school the next day to dissuade me from staying. monday, it was fernando, intentionally but possibly unknowingly (he's just that type of kid) putting gum inside the cd rom drive, causing it to eject and close, eject and close, eject and close continuously, until i call to have the damn thing repaired. he denied any affiliation with the broken drive when asked, but when i compared the gum sample found in the drive with the gum sample he spit in my hand while i was questioning him, i found it to be the exact same flavor, the latter a bit more chewed. and it was surprisingly suspicious that the broken drive occurred at the workstation at which he was sitting the previous period. not to worry, apparently his mother will be in at 8am tomorrow morning. though from what i hear, it's been like pulling teeth to get her to come in to pick up his report cards at the end of each marking period. so i'm sure i'll be at school bright an early for nothing, but that's how it goes.

i'll be watching the debates tomorrow night, for better or worse. i won't run a line by line this time, but i'll probably participate in rachel's drinking game. that may be the only way to survive it. after a grueling email exchange with a particularly conservative family member, i think i may have had my fill of political banter for the week. i'm considering tomorrow night's debates a mood lightener, a comedy hour if you will.

i'm kind of feeling sick. it might be allergies though.

9.26.2008

my notes from dee baits.

opening - 2 mins

obama
giving $ to get $ back
support the shrinking middle class

mccain
you might loose your house
this is the end of the beginning of the way to solve this financial problem.
huh?

q - do you favor the national financial plan?

o
how did we get here?
2 yrs ago o believed that the sub prime lending mess would lead to these problems
wrote to sect of treasure to make sure it was understood and dealt with
must solve short term
govt must intervene
how were so many regs shredded?

m
will vote for the plan but...
worries about frannie and freddie, and of course, saw this coming
(though as of last week believed the economy was fine!)
talked a bunch of bs about the war at normandy, tried to draw parallels about holding people responsible accountable and rewarding the successes.


o
yes, we need more responsibility, but not just when there's a crisis
not what's good for wall street, but what's good for main street
what are the real factors that have caused this economic downturn
"john, 10 days ago YOU said the foundation of the economy is sound.
the TEACHERS are having to take out extra debt to make their financial ends meet.
thanks o

m
yeah, we gotta fix this problem
main street is paying a penalty for the greed in DC and wall street
WTF!
i have a fundamental belief in the american worker


q - are there fundamental differences btw what m would do vs o

m
get control of DC's spending
we republicans came to power to change govt and govt changed us
former members of congress in prison b/c of evils of earmarking and pork barrel spending
3 mill taxpayers $ spent and congressmen in jail for it
will VETO every spending bill that comes across desk
o has asked for 9mill$ for projects
not the way to reign in spending in DC

o
earmarks process is abused
has denied any spending for illinois
earmarks account for 18bill in last year's budget
m is proposing 300 bill in tax cuts to wealthy and corps
grow econ from bottom up
tax cuts for 95% of working fams
better recipe for economic growth than bush and m

m
o suspended pork barrel requests after running for prez
m has fought against pork barrel spending
o is proposing 8bill in new spending
m wants to cut spending, keep taxes low
worst thing to do is raise tax3es

o
closes corporate loopholes
stop shipping jobs overseas
make sure we have a healthcare system
to provide everyone with healthcare
nobody is denying that 18bgill is important
o will go line by line to make sure we arent spenidng money unecesarily
get middle class back on track
m is neglecting people who are struggling right now

m on taxes
o finds business tax objectionable
m wants to cut business tax
to create jobs
us senate will
this is where mccain starts garbling about o's definition of what is rich

o
95% will get a tax cut
if you make less than 250k/year you wont get an increase
loopholes cause businesses to pay lowest taxes
m wants to add tax cuts over the loopholes
m's 5000$ health increase but it's taxed so you have to pay your own health

m
i voted against an energy bill and o has voted for it
o voted to increase taxes for ppl who earn 42k a year

o
under m's plan oil companies will receive tax breaks
if we give breaks to oil companies, there are those who won't get them


Q- as prez, as a result of whatever financial rescue plan comes about, what are you going to have to givie up in terms of priorities to pay for the financial rescue plan

o
delay hard to anticipate what the budget will look like
has to be done - energy independence. 10 years time, no middle eastern dependence on oil. fix our energy at home, fix our healthcare system. avg deductible up 30%. make sure we're competing in education. invest in science and technology. make sure our kids are competing. make college affordable. rebuild our infrastructure. roads, electricity grid, broadband lines. eliminate programs that don't work.

m
cut spending. examine every agency in govt. eliminate ethanol subsidies. do away with cost plus contracts. do away with defense contracts. fixed cost contracts. defense spending is vital but has to be cost under control. find out which got agenc ies are not doing their job and get rid of them.

nobody is suggesting any major changes as a result of the financial bailout

o
i want to make sure that we are investing in energy to free ourselves from dependence on oil.
list every dollar of federal spending to see who is promoting some spending projects.

one of you will be prez in jan, in the middle of a huge financial crisis. how will this effect you in major ways int he approach you will take towards the presidency

m
a spending freeze, except for veterans issues, and defense

o
increase early childhood education. bring the war to a close.

m
offshore drilling and nuclear power to end the war ?
we can create jobs by making nuclear power!
we can eliminate our dependence on foreign oil by opening 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030.

are you willing to accept that this financial crisis will change the way you run the country

o
it will affect our budgets
even if we get all 700bill back, we may not see it for a while. as prez i will make tough decisions, but we need to know what our values and priorities are. no tax cuts, and without leaving out health care. this would be bad.

m
don't want to hand the health care sys over to federal govt
want families to make decisions btw themselves and their doctors
obviously cut spending.
adjust spending, including taking care of our veterans
healthy economy without raising taxes is best way to recover economy.
major reason for difficulty today is spending out of control.
has fought against spending for entire career.

o
john voted for all spendings.
you cant say you're going to control spending, it's hard to swallow.

m
i have not been elected ms. congeniality in the senate
i have a long record
the american people know me well
i'm a maverick, so is my partner


much has been said about the lessons of vietnam. what are the lessons of iraq

m
very clear, you can not have a fail strategy that will cause you to nearly lose a conflict
we went into baghdad and everyone celebrated, then the war was mishandled
i said we need to change strategy and fought for it
came up with a great general and a successful strategy and we are winning
will come home with victory and honor.
we will see a stable ally in iraq.

o
should we have gone in in the first place
6 yrs ago i opposed this war
we didnt know how much it would cost, how we would exit, and whether our intelligence was sound, but we hadn't finished the job in afghanistan. hadn't captured bin laden, or al qaida. we've spent over 600bill, 4000 lives, 30,000 wounded, al quaida is resurging stronger than before. we took our eye off the ball, and we're still spending 10 bill a month. iraq has a 79 bill surplus. borrowing overseas to finance the war. we should never use military force unwisely.

m
next prez will have to decide how and when we leave.

o
issues of afghanistan do not go through my committee.
m is right that the volume has been reduced . this was a tactic designed to reduce the impact of the previous 4 years of the war. the war did not start in 07, but 03. the war has not been 'quick and easy' we didnt know where the weapons of md were. we were not greeted as heroes. who is best equipped as next prez to determine who will make good decisions about how we will use our military.

m
peace is happening in iraq and we'll do the same in afghanistan

o
troop funding- m opposed funding for troops in legislation that had a timetable.
i opposed funding without a timetable.
prez needs to ask, was this wise. we have seen afghanistan worsen. we need more resources there. m said we were successful there. nobody is a threat there. bin laden is still out. they are still a threat. must give iraq back it's country. end this war responsibility. in 16 months we can reduce our combat troops, provide releief to military families. commanders in iraq have acknowledged that we don't have enoguh troops in afghanistan.

m
this is dangerous
iraq is the central battleground. if we set a date for withdrawal it will make things more complicated.

Q - do you think more US troops should be sent to afghanistan

o
yes, more troops in afghanistan as quickly as posible. situation is getting worse there. highest fatalities there since 02. terrorists crossing border and attacking our troops. can not separate. send 2-3 brigades to afghanistan. press afghani govt to make sure they are working for their people. deal with growing poppy trade that hs exploded. must bust out taliban and al quaida and stop funding them.

m
i wont repeat my old mistakes
if you're gonna aim a gun at someone, you better be prepated to pull a trigger. i'm not prepared to cut off aid to pakistan. i'm not prpeared to strike pakistan. we have to help pakistanis get allegiance of al qaida. the terrorists dont want to cooperate with us. general petreas

o
i'm not attacking pakistan
if pakistan has terrorists, and is not willing to take them out, then we should not provide aid.
for 10 years we coddled the govt, alienated the people, lost legitamacy in pakistan, and now al qaida is more powerful than before

m
it was a failed state in pakistan when mushad came to power

omg i cant listen anymore.



in summation:

m is idiot, has no concept of sticking to facts

o is smart, needs to dumb it down so the average american can understand and relate

jl is old.

that is all.

9.24.2008

things lil bush said tonight:

1. the poor economy is the fault of overseas business
2. optimism in housing values is a miraculous innovation of the past decade
3. a mortgage SHOULD be secure. you should not have reason to believe when you borrow money from a bank, that the bank will collapse. but sometimes, the bank collapses.
4. our entire economy is based in real estate. who knew?
5. we should be afraid. we should have less confidence in our economy.
6. our community banks may fail.
7. "more americans could lose their jobs"
8. "our country could experience a long and painful recession
9. 700 BILLION taxpayer dollars ON THE LINE to bail out mortgage based securities. it's risky, but if it works, we'll "flow it back to the treasury"


things lil bush did not say tonight:
1. this war costs us over $1000 each SECOND. so far we've spent 557 billion on the war in iraq.

2. has any effort been made to improve our economy from within? there's a huge green push to buy local and support your local businesses. has this helped?
3. consumer confidence is nonexistent. how did it get this bad, and why now, and only now is it being addressed. this has been a problem since before 9/11.


i'm stopping here.
i made a promise to myself that i wouldn't watch until palin gets popped by a yeti.

i can't bear to watch the monkey wear rouge anymore.

9.23.2008

teachable

every child can learn.

every child can be taught.

we've hired a trainer.

he's coming on sunday.

and he doesn't believe in fear-inspired domination.

he owns 7 very large dogs of his own.

i trust he'll be able to help.

9.20.2008

why chemicals are bad

we usually buy land-o-lakes cage-free eggs, as d is wisely encouraging me to support larger corporate business who produce greener products, and the eggs are quite tasty. we use them in all sorts of recipes, and go through almost a dozen a week.

that said, we ran short while d was baking my favorite cookie of all time, the fudge drop, designed to be like a brownie top, complete with crackly surface. so delicious.

we have a convenience store across the street, the wonders of living in brooklyn bring you that, and d ran across and was able to procure a single egg from the owner. unfortunately the egg was neither cage free, nor organic, as we could tell when cracked. see if you can spot the outsider:


i get some culture

every now and again i go and see a performance.

it's usually not the type of performance my parents would deem 'marvelous' 'spectacular' or 'a must see.' but sometimes i drag them along, hoping that they'll jump on my little outsider bandwagon and wake up and smell the nonsense.

last sunday, and again yesterday, i went to see circus amok, a self described fearless, funky, funny fundamentally subversive political circus. i completely get off on these types of things, free shows in the park, completely queer, completely smart, completely home-spun, not to mention created by the awesomely magical jennifer miller, another secret crush of mine.

my pictures, taken from several human-rows back at the prospect park performance last friday do not at all do the show justice. i would say that the sunset park performance was much better, drawing a much less yuppified, much more diverse crowd (read, hispanic families, artsy folks, and a whole slew of queer couples). my my, i love this type of thing. it reminds me of burningman, but with a point.









9.15.2008

my name is appple, and my dog bites.

as anyone who adopts a stray can attest to, you never quite know the background details of your dog. rarely do you find out how or why it became a stray. your world becomes a conundrum of speculation. did he run away? did his owners put him out? was he sick and they couldn't afford the vet bills? did he bite? how long was he on the streets for? where did he sleep? did he run in a pack of other dogs? what kinds of habits did he learn? where does his domestication begin and instincts end? how was he treated as a puppy? how old is he?

these are just a few of the questions i ask myself every day, every time i learn something new about eddie.

we've pieced together that he can't go to the park before dinner. he has a tendency to leave the park when he's hungry. he's small so he slips out the through the fence. last time he did it, he went into a gated playground and barked at some children. that's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

we've learned that he can't be off his leash, especially in an open park, especially at night. he is afraid of loud noises, including sirens and motorcycles, and will chase after them if he feels threatened. he's afraid of runners and bicycles and will lunge at them too. we've put him on a choke chain. it's helping in the moment, but i'm not sure it's impacting his overall understanding of what's ok and what's not.

he often lunges at random people. one day it's a man in a suit. the next, a sanitation worker. the next, a tiny little girl. there seems to be no rhyme or reason. perhaps eye contact? most of the time he couldn't care less about the people who walk past.

he doesn't bark at the door to go out. we have him on a pretty regimented schedule for that, but he still has his accidents. only i'm not sure they're accidents as much as territorial pissings. (miss you kurt)

he doesn't like being reprimanded. or not getting his food in the exact moment he wants it. when either of these things happen, he snarls and bears his teeth like a gremlin after midnight. the coin can does not deter this weird face. i'm not sure what will. he does not like to be held by his collar and reprimanded. he's bitten me three times now, twice on my left hand, enough to break skin and make me bleed. maybe i'm the one who needs to learn. i'm trying to establish dominance. i'm not sure it's working. he hasn't bitten d.

i've read a lot about training, obedience, consistency, submission, pack mentality, alpha territorial behavior, and the like. he exhibits some alpha behaviors, but not complete lists.

i didn't think owning a dog would be like this. i never expected to be responsible for an aggressive dog. i'm not sure what to do to train this out of him.

and so, as my hand numbed in rigidity from tonight's bite, i found myself saying out loud, this is not what i wanted, this is not what i want, i can not have a dog who bites. and when you say something out loud, it becomes real. and when something becomes real, you must deal with it.

and so now i have to deal with a dog who i'm angry at. a problem, the only solution to which seems returning him to where he came from. and this is not an option.

9.11.2008

dear universe,

some people say if you want something you must ask the universe.

here goes:

please let sarah palin go away. let her be taken off the gop ticket. let john mccain do something very silly and/or embarrassing, such as choking on a pretzel in china, or something equally stupid.

please let bristol palin's pregnancy truly be a farce. please pull the wool off the american people's eyes, so they can stop being so blinded by downs syndrome babies, teenage pregnancy, and a oil loving, gun toting, small town mayor.

please let the dems get some control back. i really don't think that this stupid palin debacle should have caused so much poll rift. i know the dems aren't ones to play dirty, but since we know the gop will, maybe we can outsmart them. use the harvard and syracuse law degrees for something more than good speeches and good feelings. i know we don't want to stoop, but universe, can't we find a way to outwit without sinking to their level?

please universe, let the united states of america get a leader that citizens can be proud of, that the rest of the world won't laugh at, that might try to give us better health care, better air quality, better educations, social justice, and equal freedoms.

universe, i don't have the resources right now to leave for canada, which, if i weren't in a lease until february of 2010, i would be making arrangements to relocate to, though i don't particularly want to leave my urban homeland, my amazing girlfriend, and my life. i'm not opposed to the idea, but maybe you can help with this one.

i can't bear to watch anymore, since i saw mccain a point or two ahead the other day i want to crawl under a rock and die, or go campaigning. for now, i'm squeezing my eyes shut until after november 4 on the issue, hoping that you'll hear my plea and help me out.

thanks, i'd really appreciate it.

<3

appple

9.06.2008

apple for the teacher

new classroom, new kids, new schedule, new school. so much has changed and yet so much feels exactly the same as it did 3 years ago when i was in my first school. as of yesterday afternoon i've met every one of my new students. i've probably learned about 10% of their names. seeing them for 42 minutes 2x a week doesn't leave enough time for icebreakers and get to know yous. i'm of the belief that they must be kept busy, extremely busy, as idle hands make much chatter. and chatter they have, through the first day of surveys and contact forms, name cards and overviews.

and they all want to know about my tattoos. what's that, an apple miss? why do you have a tattoo of an apple, miss? miss, did you get an apple tattoo because you like apples? and my favorite, my name is brandon, but you can call me stallion. not about tattoos but unique.

i have a ton of dianas, including one dayhana, a bunch of stevens, a chiken, and big handful (at least 5) of chubby franciscos. the inside schools profile is pretty much spot on. what the school lacks in diversity, it makes up for in structure. kids who get in trouble throughout the day have to attend community service in the afternoon with the dean, where they pick up all of the paper recycling bins and sort the paper for pickup. each class carries a section sheet so the teacher can take notes on overall or individual issues or greatness. the homeroom teacher is a defense line to shape kids up, and anything that can't be handled there goes over to the dean. it's a nice tight little ship. no advisory period, but what good does that do anyway? the academics are tough, many kids attended summer school.

my lab is enormous, emacs and ibook g4s. i haven't had a chance to run all the updates and customize them to how i want them yet but i'm getting there, fighting printers and permissions all the way. i'm learning a ton about mac osx, which was the goal all along. i'm learning about parental controls, which, while cumbersome, are better than windows vague lockdown, though still pretty concise.

nobody's cursed me out, nobody's cursed at all in my classroom. i heard a student say shut up to someone else, but i let them know that kind of language doesn't fly. a few of them already have gmail, blogs, and most know their way around office. they're all obsessed with myspace.

overall, i'm happy. at least 4 staff members swung by my room around 3:15 yesterday to make sure i was coming to happy hour. things are going so well for d, that she even came and met me with eddie! imagine, d, willingly volunteering to WALK TO A BAR on a friday afternoon AND COME IN! it's like hell has frozen over.

d's school is across the street from where we live. the proximity really helps her anxiety. her kids are angels, self motivated, from good families, etc. the school is tight, no nonsense, and they don't have any because the kids are so well behaved. d is another person this year. comes home from work happy and relaxed. doesn't just want to crawl into bed. i couldn't be happier for her, and for me. i knew she'd love teaching. (she's been doing [un]glorified crowd control for the past 5 years) and so far it seems her kids really like her. nobody's called her a fucking dyke, then apologized for calling her out like that. nobody's tried to throw anything at her, and when she puts a do-now on the board, her kids actually do it. she says she feels like a real teacher. it makes me so happy to know she's in such a better place. it's good for us.

eddie's been dealing with the schedule change just fine. no accidents, just a little excitement in the evenings. jack is starting to get more bold with him, hiding under the chaise and sneak attacking when eddie isn't looking. which, of course, sends eddie into a frenzy where he starts screeching about the monster under the couch. jack giggles to himself and slinks away.

i'm cutting my hair again tomorrow. i'm going to keep it this way for a while. there's a good amount of gay teachers on staff and the kids don't seem to hate, so i figure the school community is bit more open and tolerant than my old school, where fear ruled the projects and you had to justify your existence there daily.

thanks for everyone's support. i think it's going to be a good year.

9.01.2008

what i know

1) school starts tomorrow and i am nervous
2) hp inkjet printer cartridges yield approx 150 pages
3) i will have 8 classes this year, 1 7th grade and 7 8th grades, 2 ctt classes and 1 12-1-1 = approx 230 kids, 3 xeroxes each = not enough ink.
4) i've been off the lexapro for 5 weeks and i feel anxious and sad
5) i could be feeling anxious and sad because tomorrow i start a new job and summer vacation is over
6) i chopped off my shoulder length curls in early july
7) ever since i have this cool new do', i think i'm supposed to look a little more butch, and right now very few of my clothes feel right.
8) every time i go out to a restaurant or bar i can't eat b/c my throat closes up
9) i am not allergic to beer (living room unibroue ephemere currant proved that)
10) i am going to need more pants and button down shirts for my new job
11) my dog punctured my hand with his teeth today, causing me to bleed, swell, and cry in public (not a very butch thing to do), all for the sake of 3 tiny scared girls who walked single file on the opposite side of the sidewalk past him. the smell of fear must have sent him into a frenzy.
12) my dog now has a choke collar
13) my tits have been getting bigger (weight gain) and i want to chop them off (again).
14) i need a butch friend or two to tell me if i'm doing this right.

8.27.2008

back to school....

an early year, this 2008-09 school year.

up until 3 years ago we reported back to school after labor day, for 2 professional training days before the kids came back.

now, thanks to randi and her lame reign as uft prez, we report back two days before labor day weekend. and now, the kids come tuesday, starting the school year off with a 4 day week.

we will survive.


i've spent most of monday and tuesday morning and afternoon in my new classroom. i'm really looking forward to being just a teacher, instead of a coordinator, which, at my old school was really just a glorified teacher position with no advantages because of the overall disorganization of the school.

my new classroom is HUGE! i could fit 3 of my former middle/high school labs inside it. i have 6 beautiful clean windows that look northeast towards sunset park and park slope. i can see lots of green from the greenwood cemetery, being on the 4th floor. it's by far the nicest view i've ever had from a classroom. tough to beat the ground level, concrete courtyard, glimpse the gowanus expressway (and smell its glorious fumes) from my old room.

i spent my time rearranging furniture, putting up fresh bulletin boards, cleaning, and putting my boxes of stuff away. today, the former tech teacher, who had a baby 2 weeks ago, came in to give me keys and show me some of her organization tactics, which i'd picked up on. she gave me passwords to the lab and carts and now i feel pretty ready to begin.

the staff seems cool, i don't think i'll ever get a staff like my former school again, that was some kind of once in a lifetime experience. i mean, i met d at my interview there, and intent to maintain contact with many of the friends i made there. i'm hearing what i expected to hear, that the kids are really quiet and nice. even if they're nightmarish hellspawn, i can handle it. i'm looking forward to meeting them.

to all the teachers out there, i hope your two professional days are easy and productive, and i hope your principals let you leave early. i'll probably be freaking out friday afternoon and will stick around until 8, setting up surveys for parents and kids and assignments and homework and lesson plans and all that stuff. i kind of want to do it right this year.

8.25.2008

tell me it's alright to have two dogs

because i am so in love with a tripod.

8.23.2008

the great worm escape of 2008

picture it, sicily, 1932 ~~-~~

yesterday i looked at the worm bin and noticed it contained no bedding and was entirely comprised of castings with a small amount of eggshells, avacado skins, and a few chunks of carrot. d and i sifted through the finished compost and pulled out all the worms. we left the compost out on the balcony covered with a screen to dry out, as it was pretty wet. the worms, about 500 of them, were placed in a sealed tupperware. it's really interesting to watch them form a giant wormball and wiggle and burrow under one another. they're highly sensitive to light and temperature so it's best for them to be on the bottom of the pile.

today was a really interesting day. i feel like sharing:

3am * couldn't sleep even though i had to wake up at 8 to do a nerd job in the city
7am * walking the dog, giving him breakfast, eating some blueberries
8am * opening the wormball tupperware to give it some air. closing it back up tight.
9am * leaving the house, battery tunnel bound
10am * arriving at k's for some serious geekery
12pm * breaking ie 7 with java update, decimating outlook web access with hotfixes
2pm * lunch break
3pm * picasa tutorial
4pm * itunes tutorial
6pm * breaking itunes
7pm * repairing itunes and getting paid an obscene amount of money considering how much i broke
8pm * arriving home to pick d up and take her out to dinner
830pm * opening the wormball tupperware to give it some air. closing it back up.
9pm * cafe steinhoff for some bavarian treats
915pm * either a food allergy or panic attack causes me to be unable to swallow food
10pm * arrive home, pee
1002pm * notice dozens of worms all over the dining room table, chairs, under the table, on the rug and floor - yes, worms, dozens of them, like 75 to 100 worms, out, in my living room, uncontained, wriggling around
1004pm * freak out on couch and cry a little with toes in full retraction
1005pm * eat xanax and set up fresh bedding for worm bin
1030pm * sample ben and jerry's creme brule ice cream
1145pm * decide to blog about the great worm escape of 2008


as of today i think i might like the idea of the worms more than i like the actual worms.

procreation

is this really bad?

i think kids suck. i think the idea of having kids sucks. i think the idea of raising them and dealing with them sucks. this i feel personally, in regards to my own life, and luckily for me, d agrees, though we have discussed briefly adopting a pre-teen or teenager at some point when we're old, financially well-off, and/or actually into dealing with a kid outside of our jobs. while it's inevitable that we'll someday be old, it's unlikely that we'll ever be financially well-to-do, being teachers and all, we've conceded to be terminally somewhere between meager and comfortable.

the part that i think might be really bad is my overt judgment of people who choose to procreate. based on solid statistical data, which i should link, but don't feel like digging up right now, and may insert later, and can probably provide a list if you want, the world population is growing so fucking rapidly that by 2050 there will be 9 fucking billion people in the world. can we just consider the issues we're having with the 6.5 billion that are already here? energy needs, food supply, basic survival requirements, and fucking space! hello? why would we want to cram MORE people into urban areas? why do we want to create more of a burden on the ecosystem of the earth? why do we want to deplete even more natural resources? why do we want to pump money into corporations that exist to clothe, feed and educate humans? and when i ask we, i am asking the global population. i understand that some people don't look at making a baby as a burden on the global ecosystem or global economy. i consider it though.

ok, so the part that burns me, the part that makes me an evil cruel person who is going straight to hell when i die, is the part that does not understand, agree with, or respect people's choice to have fertility treatments when they could adopt. it's like nature saying, hello, your ovaries are busted, your sperms don't swim, how bout taking this kid, his parent don't want him. i know, adoption is really, really hard. i know, it's a dirty process filled with money exchange, extortion, kidnapping, reluctant mothers, foreign crookedness. something needs to change with that process. i hear so often about homeless kids, kids in foster homes, wards of the state, orphans, abused children, abandoned children, children living in conditions that go beyond squalor, this, that. why can't the process for getting these kids into safe, loving homes be easier, partially because, well, they're a kid who needs a loving home, and partially because why should a family have to mortgage their home to get a petri dish embryo implanted in a uterus which may or may not take, and may or may not result in the mother giving birth to quadruplets which they may or may not want or be able to afford? yes, everything comes back to money (thanks dad).

i understand the desire to create blood children. but i don't understand fighting the signs. i understand the advancement of medical technology. i don't understand the justification of the cost compared with the desire to nurture a child. why is a needy child not as good as one that does not exist yet?

i am biased - i have absolutely no desire to push a child out from my loins (omg i said loins, ew). but ugg, why can't people take responsibility for this planet! there are so many ways to do it, this is only one.

and why does this make me so mad? i must be like passionate about it or something.

/rant


ps: if there is anyone who reads who has adopted, or knows people who have adopted, thank you, and thank them. they deserve it because they've done something selfless, helpful, and amazingly beautiful.

update: i do recognize that not everybody's worldview is as grim as mine, and i do understand the inherent nature of humans to maintain, continue (and hopefully advance) the species. i appreciate the thought that future generations may contribute towards solving our global crises, as our knowledge base grows deeper, our technology stronger and more advanced, and our capability of global cleanup grows and becomes more essential to survival of the species. perhaps there is a critical mass which needs to be reached before a turnaround in our collective thinking takes place. the 'go green' phenomenon is definitely catching on, but is it enough in its infant phases? that's a post for a whole other time.

i also realize that i label myself as a huge contradiction, claiming i have no interest in children, yet spending my days teaching them. to clarify, i have absolutely no interest in raising them. educating them, preparing them to exist as highly functioning, productive members of society, is another story. i guess somehow i feel this is my role in global overhaul. for now at least.

8.22.2008

update

ok - so the us women's volleyball team is so beyond lame, misty-may treanor actually BENT OVER so dubbya could spank her, (though somehow his pea-brain make him think better of the idea so that he only brushed his hand across her lower back).

i added the video to the post below of walsh and treanor excitedly thanking bushey for his inspiration. LAME!

sorry that the video is all layout-sucky and excessively long. skip ahead to about a minute and 15 seconds to witness the girls stick their tongues so far up his crack they embarrass for the whole country.





xox
w

8.21.2008

good news, and bad news

the bad first:

women's volleyball, hot, sweaty, sandy, toned women running around barefoot and in sporty bikinis on a faux beach, swatting a ball around a net and embracing each other each time they score a point. what's so bad? the embarrassing speech kerri walsh gave immediately following her and misty may-treanor's win over china just a few minutes ago. i'll post video as soon as it's available, but she said, and i paraphrase:

this is for you mr. president, thank you for your words of inspiration

ummm, really? seriously? in those two phrases i lost all respect for her and she became another bimbo on a fake beach to me.



and now the good news:

congratulations rachel! ms. maddow has been named the newest face of msnbc prime time political commentary! bravo!

video

8.19.2008

the year to come

i've taken a very childish attitude regarding the remaining 6 days of summer vacation. when someone mentions the end of august i snap, 'shut up'.
when someone complains about the summer flying by i stick my fingers in my ears and sing liz phair songs.
when someone tries to ask me when i have to be back at work i change the subject to cheese. i ate a grilled manchego with tomato today. tasty.

i've been muddling my way through alan november's book, web literacy for educators. a great book, that i'm just barely getting into, not for lack of content interest, but more for lack of ability to recognize that within 3 weeks i'm going to need to be full steam ahead with learning.

i dig alan november a lot. he's an incredibly smart and sarcastic man. he's basically disgusted with the state of public education in our country and while he's profiting off seminars and book sales that are supposed to help, he's not impacting the problem enough to bring about the changes we need. he's a revolutionary thinker but doesn't seem much of a fighter. he must believe his supporters will create the revolution in his stead.

november has given me a seed of an idea. his schtick is real learning happens while using technology for a meaningful purpose, and talking to real people about it. the seed is this: imagine a middle school, say 8th grade class learning about the american revolutionary war. maybe they're into it, maybe they're tired of it, but either way, they have content they've learned and notes they've taken, and maybe a quiz or test or essay along the way. what i'd like to do, thanks to alan, is get that class into my computer lab for a few sessions. first session we talk about the revolutonary war. we answer some simple questions. how did it start? who were the key players and why them and not others? what exactly was the reason for the war? how do you think the different sides felt about the war? on and on. we spend another session talking about podcasts. i intro garage band, or if i'm lucky, i partner the kids in groups of 2 and hand out the ipods and audio recording adapters i will win on a grant in time for the project through donor's choose, expect a link once they've approved my proposal. we learn how to create a podcast, how the software works, and how to upload it to itunes. boom, bang, done.

we put together podcasts answering the questions answered in the first session, and push them up to the itunes store so someone else can download and listen to them.

we find a cooperating class in england, preferably, who wants to participate. the british class downloads the podcasts, listens to them, reacts, and sends back their own, which my kids receive, listen to, and react. it could go on forever. a real, international substantive debate amongst middle school kids on topic of the american revolutionary war.

and how cool would it be to end the unit in a videoconferencing party where kids in new york and kids in england have some snacks, maybe pizzas, maybe fish and chips, and some sodas, and they can get on a laptop and see and talk to the person in real time who they've been listening to the podcasts of. they can talk about the project or they can ask questions about life in england but either way they're making a social connection with someone far away and likely quite different from them, but possibly a lot the same. it would be a very very exciting thing to watch.

does anyone who reads here, and i know there are a number of you, know any teachers or know anyone who might know a teacher in the UK, england, great britain, the other side of the pond. i have some feelers out to find the class i'll work with, but no good leads yet.

this project is going to be my baby this year. like the student newspaper and photography exhibit was last year. damn, i still need to post some pics of that.

so i guess i'm back on the schoolbus.

wish me well this year.

i might actually be dealing with children who understand that when they come to school, they will spend much of their time there learning.

i'm optimistic.

xoxo
w

8.15.2008

my not-so-secret crush

i've been totally hot for rachel maddow for like, going on 5 years now. i know, just because she's making humongous media headlines right now i had to jump on the bandwagon. she's even making waves out there on the lesbo pop culture blog! but really i do crush so hard on this smart, funny, hot, really smart lady, d is starting to get sick of my constant need to jump in the car at 6pm every weeknight, and then scream fuck, fuck, why the fuck? NOOOO! just because she's filling in for keith olbermann on msnbc and won't be doing her nightly radio show.

my first two years of teaching, she was my morning commute companion. she brought me news, she brought me interesting factoids about cocktails, and she taught me that it's fun to poke a sharp stick at the soft white underbelly of the right wing. she schooled me on the politics i craved but couldn't find the right sensei for. she became my pre-d dream woman.

i love her history, i love that she met her girlfriend while working as a repairguy in northampton, even though she didn't know how to repair anything. i love that she's a rhodes scholar. i love that she never thought she'd be doing any of what she does now 10 years ago.

and have i mentioned how deliciously sexy she is? i love her diverse nerdy/gussied up styles. the lady is where it's at.




8.14.2008

in the sleepy west of the wooded east

monday, while a thunder cell loomed over the east river making the sky look like something out of armageddon, d and i hauled some essentials, plus eddie, plus crate, out to my recently repaired 9 year old jeep and headed north.

4 hours later, we arrived in northampton, a trip which d claims she's done in 2.5, but i've never done in under 3, so i think she's mistaken. we checked into our hotel and headed directly into town. cha cha cha had turned into a bueno y sanyo, a burrito not to be missed, so i left d and eddie on a bench and went in to order.

when i came out of the burrito shop, d informed me that she'd just run into a person she'd formerly dated, person being the word which threw me for a loop. d dated t briefly, several years back, not exclusively, not seriously, but i'd heard her name mentioned enough times to make me curious. and so, now t is male-identified, though t made no verbal mention of a transition to d during their run in, d felt that the display of facial hair and deepened voice was enough evidence to identify t as male-identified. and after d's initial shock subsided, and she was able to tell me how she could barely speak to t and kept gesturing towards the burrito shop, saying my girlfriend, as if i was, an actual burrito shop, and after my initial shock of jealousy wore off and i was able to ask if he looked hot, and what he's doing here now, and what his girlfriend is studying, and how she identifies herself, and all the rest of the questions i wonder about when in such close proximity to someone trans. i don't know why i'm so enamored with trans folks, the courage, the commitment to identity, the breaking of traditional roles, all of the above. it's an obsession i've always had, a curiosity, an enchantment. it's stuff for another post.

we spent tuesday morning and afternoon hiking the small trail through puffer's pond and a teensy weensy portion of the 35 mile robert frost trail. my good pal and photoblogger, pattyb, inspired me to take some pics of some of the lovely fungi that was in bloom. does fungi bloom?












yes, it appears that fungi do bloom.

we spent the rest of the trip eating delicious things, sandwiches from the black sheep, amazing foccacia grilled cheese and cuban rice/bean/banana dishes from the haymarket, ice cream from herrells. d loved faces and essentials, the wool store and the dog treat shop i lived above. i loved the reminiscing, i love not living there anymore, i love the fresh smell and odd sounds at night, i love the friendly eyes you see from strangers just walking down the block, definitely exaggerated when you have a dog. and eddie, he did pretty well there. enjoyed himself mostly.


what am i doing here?

i think i need to update my 'about me' section.

i keep reading all these other blogs that seem to have a direct purpose, which itches my inadequacy triggers and makes me feel purposeless out here.

and then i remember that it is summer, and i am a teacher, and we do have summers off so this lull in geekteacherly episodes is to be expected during the months of july and august. on that front, i've been muddling my way through some books that should help for the fall, coming up with some entertaining ideas, and formulating a welcome/survey/checklist

or maybe it's that i'm not ready to publicly display all of the things i'd like to out here. for the last 10 years i've been a bit of an internet nomad, and as in reality, i enjoy feeling like i'm settling down a bit, so i'm hesitant to up and move somewhere to establish some type of new anonymity. i'm going to try to embrace this one for a while longer and then make a decision.

8.05.2008

a ride that kicked my ass

prospect park southwest humbled me today.

twice i've ridden up this hill without so much as breaking a sweat.

but today, after bringing my car back to the pros to figure out the check engine light mystery, colonel mustard and i broke down mere minutes from home.

i'm somewhere between disabled and dying right now.

and the dog wants a walk.

and i don't think i can.

8.02.2008

sleeplessly updating

august is here, which means summer vacation is mostly over.
that's a bummer.

but we do have 25 days until we need to be back in the school buildings, and about 30 until kids arrive. i'm looking forward to meeting my new kids. i'm hoping that their internal filters, sense of decency and morality, and self motivation levels are all set a few notches higher than at my last school. hopefully they'll happily surprise me.

i've been brainstorming some ideas for the upcoming school year. anybody know any middle school teachers in the UK? i'm not sure what they call middle school over there, but it would be in the realm of 11 to 14 year olds. drop me a line if you do, i've got a podcasting/american revolutionary war/global classroom project in mind.

d and i are taking our first vacation ever together. it's only taken me 2 years to get her to agree, but i'm really glad she did. we're headed to my old stomping grounds of western mass next monday and tuesday. i'm pretty psyched to have the opportunity to show her northampton and amherst, the farms of hadley, the back roads of sunderland and belchertown, and maybe head up to deerfield or greenfield for a hike. eddie is accompanying us...poor little guy has an eye infection which we're treating with an antibiotic ointment that he'd prefer we not smear in his eye twice daily. i'm going to check into a multivitamin for him. maybe he needs a little immunebooster.

my car has been doing this finicky occasional refusal to start. it began over the winter and i thought it was cold-related, but it continued into the warm weather. i suspected it had something to do with dampness and/or humidity getting under the hood and causing a disconnect from the battery, or that the battery had some type of leak, or the electrical system was improperly grounded and something was draining it. turns out with my model jeep, the battery terminals are located directly on top of the battery, exposing them to all the air flow that enters through the grill. this causes the terminals to corrode more quickly than most cars. as long as i clean them off every few months the car should start and i can avoid this ridiculous problem that's plagued me since november. baking soda, coca cola, or a wire brush should do the trick. that's my latest installment of cartalk.

so while it's nearing 2am, and i'm wide awake despite having taken xanax earlier, i can likely attribute this to the 3 hour nap that d and i had following some really exhausting gettin it on time. the fatigue from the lex withdrawal is SO worth the fading away of the sexual side effects which have been source of frustration for me. i'll admit that part of my decision to stop taking the lex revolved around curiosity regarding sensitivity, stamina, libido, and getting turned on.

i set up a googlereader today. i often find out about these cool new technologies and procrastinate about using them until it's way too late. but i'm really trying now to stay more up to date so i can show my new students cool tricks this year without having to hear them yawn and say, god ms. a, that's so last year. and stuff. i added all my favorite subscriptions to the reader and now i can read all my blogs in one place. convenient. it even recommends other blogs that i might enjoy. one of them was spot on - nyc educator. hysterical.

my sis is in town for the weekend. i should be seeing her sometime tomorrow or tomorrow night with her boy. she might even be spending the night. my first overnight guests! now - to find a drinking establishment we can all agree upon. the criteria are: must serve a variety of unusual beers. candidates meeting the prefered criteria will receive extra attention: indoor and outdoor space, serves food, casual, walking distance of the slope, not overly crowded, gay friendly, and dog friendly. suggestions are welcome.

time to bond with the neglected cat.

xoxo
w

8.01.2008

blacking out the friction

i'm settling into this groove, alternating nights fighting this awakedness.

and so it goes.

and i certainly hope it subsides by the end of the month, when my body will require a more consistent sleeping schedule.

the drawback to being a teacher - lack of a yearly sleep pattern.

since i began teaching, summer has been my experiment, 04 brought a return to family and the beach, 05 found me relapsing into old emotional shit, and eventually in black rock city of all places, 06 was the summer of secretly lusting after d while she pretended not to lust after me, 07 saw a mental breakdown, and now 08 is my own early renaissance. i'm starting to feel like myself again, and i recognize this person who stays up late into the night and morning, and i like her.

a few days ago eddie and i had a brief trip to the end of valentino pier where a small, darkened, triple masted schooner sailed silently by me. i watched for a few seconds, appreciating its simplicity and darkness on the water before the pirate urge began its tickle. a number of years ago i was making preparations to learn the art of sailing by doing. i planned to board a vessel and not get off until i could sail it. i wanted to be a crew member, a deckhand, a part of something that left little to nothing in its wake. i wanted to flee.

for as long as i can remember, when life gets unbearable, i prepare to flee.

"i think that it's brainless to assume that making changes to your window's view will give a new perspective. "

i envy people who are able to spend the majority of their headspace in the present. i've never been a live for the moment person, more like a harp on the past or agonize over the future type. how many times have i wished i could just jump 3 months, 1 year, 10 years into the future just to catch a glimpse of where i might end up.

the reality is that i'm not surprised, i'm not disappointed, i'm just thankful to be where i am. i like my little corner of brooklyn. i love my life with d. i love having a dog. i like teaching and working with technology. i'm glad to have these things to enjoy. it makes me feel like all those years of expecting the worst but hoping for the best might not have been the worst philosophy.


leo asked me if my queer identity might have anything to do with my teens being so disgustingly difficult, and vice versa. if it did, i wasn't yet aware. i knew i valued the closeness i could feel with girls way more than what i could have with boys. but i also knew i was expected to be interested in boys, and obliged that expectation. i banked on the assumption that i just hadn't found a good guy yet. i generalized that all guys were assholes, stupid, only interested in sex, drugs, and video games. in high school i had a definite type of guy i was interested in. long hair, delicate features, rail thin, offbeat characters. think dave pirner or a very young robert plant. boys who looked like girls. but i wasn't thinking about it that way back then. i just knew what i liked. which probably led me to identify as bi for so long in college. i felt i was trying out different boys. seeking that connection that never came. it wasn't until i fell in love with my best friend that i put it together, girls were what made sense for me. and still, i continued to act promiscuously with boys, because it was just so fucking hard to meet girls. my dating strategies left a lot to be desired.

i met d after i'd been completely single for 6 years. my last hetero relationship had fallen apart, my entire life needed rebuilding, and i'd spent those 6 years reinstituting me. 6 years is a long time. i had been on the verge of giving up. something in her sparkled and challenged me. something in her tugged at me and i couldn't ignore it. she asked me to have a date with her and i declined. two months later i made my move. it was the smartest one i made in years.

7.30.2008

like i said

the lowdown:
day 3 of no lex, feeling good, and aside from the fatigue which i'm certain is brought on by the insomnia, no brain zaps (yet), and no anxiety or moodiness.

i rerereactivated my fb account for about 12 hours today, upon hearing that someone i once knew was lurking around, but they didn't find me, so i busted out again. another someone i once knew well became engaged, and finding that out made me smile a lot. i always think it's really interesting to live the reality of a situation that i thought once might upset me. m was my first many things, first boyfriend, first kiss, first love really, a relationship way ahead of its time, and too adult for a 13 and 14 year old to consider practical. i mourned the ending, though for less time than i thought i would, but always wondered how i'd feel knowing how his future would play out without me. and i'm happy for him, which is a rare feeling when finding out about anyone's decision to formally celebrate their lives together. i guess when it comes to engagements and weddings and shit like that i really don't care, probably because it doesn't hold the same meaning for my relationship, and partially because it's only a tradition, and one that isn't holy and sanctimonious any longer (thanks, modern society).

i mentioned how i hated my high school years. who doesnt? but i'd venture to say most everyone has a pleasant memory or several dozen of the excruciating time of their lives lived between the ages of 13 and 17. even i have a few. but mostly it was really, really hard.

here's why:

i went to a high school in long island. a big high school, my graduating class was nearly 400, which i know doesn't compare to some urban and even suburban high schools with a thousand kids in each grade, but it was big to me. i should have gone to a smaller college...i blogress. my high school was filled with middle and upper class privileged white kids, with a smattering of a few other racial and socioeconomic minorities here and there. the neighborhoods we all came from ranged from modest to posh, with pockets of extreme money and pockets of poverty. we were a mixed bunch, which is good, but a fairly separated bunch. and the cliques. oh, the cliques.

the summer before i started high school, subsequently, the summer i started dating m, he told me that his grade had broken social barriers and united in a way. the groups formed in middle school melted into a truly friendly, synonymous with utopian grade. i tried to imagine my grade moving in that direction. i could not envision it. i don't think it ever happened, for me at least.

at the ripe old age of 13, i considered myself an introvert. it wasn't until my second myers briggs (yes, a highly reliable source) at the age of 24, that i even considered that i might be a social being. back then, i preferred quiet activities, small groups or even just 1 on 1 interactions. i avoided big gatherings, loud places, and people who claimed to have to buy more than one package of invitations when planning their birthday parties. i soon found myself feeling this new overwhelming sense of loneliness, pretty frequently. especially on weekends and during vacations.

i was lucky (does this qualify as luck?) enough to run with a group of girls during my high school years. i recall there being as many as 13 of us at one of many counts. the thing i always thought different about my group, though now i realize was probably parallel to most other social groups, was the way the group split from within. at any given time, a&b might not be getting along with c&d while e&f were off doing their own thing and not inviting anyone else including g,h,i, or j along for the ride. i floated amongst the group, having my own favorites, never feeling even for one second that i was anyone else's favorite, finding myself floating outside of the group for weeks at a time, floating back in, but never firmly making a decision to stay or go. high school didn't work like that. you are who you associate with. i felt like a nothing, so what did it matter? a continuous flow of ambiguity, muddled with a continuous flow of girldrama, gossip, twofacedness (one of my favorite terms), hormonal imbalance and social climbing.

i was never entirely comfortable with myself in those angstful early teenage years. how could i expect anyone to be comfortable with me? i grew angry at the conformity. i lashed out in my suburban middle class ways. i stopped washing my jeans, i traveled to the city to get away from the island, i hacked off my hair, i shopped only in secondhand stores, i pierced parts of my face, i went after boys who treated me badly and turned them into jokes in my head. i withdrew. i felt hated and grew hate for others. i ached for a best friend, someone who could understand me, who would not betray me for someone else, someone who valued the same things i did. i was seeking validation for who i was. nobody was going to give it to me, but me.

i remember very little from those 4 years. i remember arguments that seemed to go on forever, not understanding what i had done wrong, not knowing when it would blow over, not knowing what i was supposed to do to repair things. i remember being told with relative frequency from my group of girls that so and so hated me, and so and so just didn't like me. for as many individuals i saw every day that i 'hated' or 'just didn't like' it seemed there were just as many, if not more, that were openly advertising their dislike for me. it wore on my ego. it made me question my humanness. i'd always known i could fall into a depression, but around sophomore year, depression was less of a pms related, infrequent affliction we all suffered vocally, and more of a private function. i'd always been able to talk myself out of these tiny pits of despair, but around that time i stopped trying to. i accepted that this was just me, and i attempted to be alright with that. i started looking forward to having my license. i wanted to be able to take long drives, alone, with company, i just wanted to flee.

i'm going to end here for now, in the attempts of getting to actually sleep tonight. if i can't, i'll be sure to continue.

and there is much more to be said - i'm not quite sure how to say it yet. it's hard, reliving these times. it makes me appreciate my life now, what i've got and who i have in it. more to come.

in sawm knee ack

it is very strange
that once a week
(and hopefully not more)
i find i can not sleep
until it is daylight out.

7.29.2008

the drugs like me

around a year ago, i'd spent a month barely sleeping
barely eating
and barely functioning moment to moment.

around a year ago, my anxiety was up
my self confidence down
and my sense of stability was all shook up.

around a year ago, i was searching for friends
searching for myself
and keeping my calendar as full as possible so i didnt have to stop to think.

around a year ago, i started taking lexapro
5mg a day (i know, nbd)
and it slowed my head down and made me feel normal.

and now, a little more than a year later
i feel ready to stop taking it
and every doctor i know says don't do it
but i did it
2 days ago
and so far i feel fine.

7.22.2008

onagain - offagain

i'm off facebook for the time being.

not that it matters but i'm assuming that if you found this blog, you found it because i linked to it over there.

i can't handle being washed in memories of high school, a highly unpleasant time in my life.

unlike most people i know, i'd never want to relive those days and am so thankful that they're in the past.

more on that to come.

7.20.2008

eddie waits, for the first time

so today,
after some seriously overdue gettin' it on
d and i agree that it is suspiciously quiet in the hallway
so i open the door to see what's up.

eddie had pooped in the hallway, which he's never done before,
but that's not the worst of it.

d had brought back this brick o'fudge from vermont, which she was saving for a special occasion
or perhaps a serious chocolate fix.

eddie has pawed his way into the package o'fudge
completely eaten the entire thing.
my little 13 pound pup.
ate half a pound of chocolate fudge.

thinking back to the time the needle popped off my sealant adhesive at the dentist's office when i was 9
immediately i grabbed eddie, shoved my finger to the back of his tongue and throat, and tried to induce vomiting.

apparently dogs have gag reflexes but because they gag does not mean they'll hurl.


puppy poison control asked that we feed him some hydrogen peroxide and see if that would get him heaving.
which, after a trip to the beauty supply store, it did.

after the first dose of h2o2 mixed with milk, eddie was not wont to ingest more
and so when d came at him with an eyedropper of the stuff
he started this intense snarfle, complete with bared teeth.

after the first round of vomit
there was another round.
then another
and another
and then one last one
which contained some blood.

we'd determined that enough of the fudge had come back up that he wasn't in immediate danger of poisoning himself, but the blood worried me and so we went to the 24 hour vet in cobble hill.

eddie received a charcoal elixir, (lord knows how they managed to get him to drink that stuff) an injection of fluids under his skin in his neck, giving us reason to call him eddimodo, and something to take the edge off the nausea. all for the low low price of $200.

i think the fudge ran d around $11.

he's ok.

hopefully he'll think twice the next time he decides to tear open a box of treats that don't belong to him.

but probably not.

7.16.2008

if asked of the state of my heart

sinclair asked and i respond:

more stable than ever
and yet surprisingly fragile at the moment
the perfection of love
versus the torment of hormonal imbalance

7.15.2008

insomniac

i'm not really an insomniac

i just need to stop taking 4 hour naps at 1pm.

but when the breeze is right

and the dog wants to cuddle

it's an offer i can't refuse.


d will be back friday

thursday if i'm lucky

i miss her a whole lot more than i thought i would.


this time apart has been affirming and great for us, like we've needed it for months.

i miss her and can't wait till she's home.

7.10.2008

dogs and cats

yesterday
jack and eddie
sat on the same bed
eating the same treats
both patiently waiting for more

upon being put on the floor

eddie jumped back on the bed
causing jack to jump back in defensive terror
causing eddie to jump closer
causing jack to bat his arm, claws exposed
causing eddie to take defense stance
causing jack to fat tail and hiss
causing eddie to bark
causing jack to run slink under the dining room table
causing eddie to follow
causing me to intervene.

i'm trying to see if jack can establish dominance without eddie getting hurt.

but these encounters so remind me of my relationship with my sister.

i don't know if i'm the cat and she's the dog, or i'm the dog and she's the cat, but i know our peace doesn't last long and is fragile at best.

i'm probably the dog, lumbering about, making brusque statements, being completely insensitive to anything other than myself.

eddie's always the one to approach jack, though jack's been showing his face a tiny bit more this week than last.

mom always said someday we'd be friends.


boy those chicken treats taste good.

7.08.2008

5 mile days

i've made some type of vow that every day of summer vacation i will walk at least 5 miles. my cell phone has a pedometer in it, though i'm not banking on accuracy, and today we hit 9,857 steps, which is roughly equivalent to 4.8 miles. i was talking on the phone for a bit while walking, so i'm going to say that i met today's goal.

eddie seems not to mind 5 mile days, though today he lies down mid-sidewalk, sweetly looking up at me. donkey dog, let's go. he actually asked if i'd carry him. since i had a free arm i didn't mind for a block. that seemed to satisfy him, and we continued our walk home at a slowed pace, so as not to wind puppyface.

d left for vermont today. i'm home alone until next friday. if you want to pass the time with me, i have air conditioning, iced tea, and nintendo.

6.29.2008

more eddie

i don't want this blog to become completely overrun with pictures of my dog, but he's still less than a week old (to me) and he's going to get some airtime. without further ado, world, meet the beginning of eddie:


eddie meets nikko and takes over big bone duty




eddie celebrates pride weekend with the prideball




eddie snoozes with his mootoy



<3

6.28.2008

cha-cha-changes part deux


oh my lord, eddie is amazing. he's the cutest little dog i've ever known. i'm still in a dream every time i see him sitting at the foot of the bed, and find myself thinking, is he really here? he sits, he's working on lay down, he (hasn't yet) gone bathroom inside (though jack has, spitefully or fearfully), and he's just delicious. he has absolutely no interest in other dogs, it seems he got those rocks off at the shelter and is just chillin being the solo pup for a while. he tolerates bigger pups sniffing at him, but skits behind me when they get too close. he seems a bit intimidated by men, specifically large, dark haired men. not sure the rationale behind it, could have something to do with past experiences or his current homelife, living with 2 mommies. he's a dreamchild. at the moment, he's curled up next to me, under the covers, snoozing, as he's had a long day of vet visits (checked out fine, could stand to gain a few pounds), a bath, a nap, another long walk by d while i was out of the house*, a trip to the grandparent's house, a meeting with nikko, another long walk to the park for free concert, a trip to abby's house for a party, and now home. our first full day together - perfect. i can't believe i haven't had a dog until yesterday. i feel like i'm meant to have dogs.

*out of the house because i was called in to interview at a highly rated 6-8 middle school nearby. the interview went phenomenally well, the AP being the former tech teacher at my school, and having left for many the same reasons i'm trying to leave. i was offered the job on the spot and accepted. arrived home to find an email from the other school, telling me to hold out a few more weeks and the budget will be solidified, and another one this evening telling me that the budget it clear and we can move forward. i've already accepted the job at prep, but it is just so...prestigious. and i'm not one for prestige. nor am i one to run from a challenge. but is it really a worthy challenge to deal with nosy annoying parents who may or may not question my every lesson? i have to find out if she wants me teaching social studies as we'd originally discussed or if it's strictly a tech position, which it is at prep. and i've still not told p. i'm sort of avoiding that. it's wrong to do it by email but i probably will - to avoid the confrontation. i don't need the guilt trip she's going to give me.

in summation:

dog ✓
job ✓
sell car - pending advertisment
buy car - pending sell car
grad app - pending personal statement

and these children that you spit on
as they try to change their worlds
are immune to your consultations
theyre quite aware of what theyre going through


xoxo

6.25.2008

cha-cha-changes

as flip flop season begins, flip flop mindset sets in.

everything is up for negotiation.

in no special order, this week's list of news, changes, and updates:

1. we are getting a dog. tomorrow. eddie is 3, he's a rescue pup who has been living at sean casey's animal rescue shelter since may. he was found on the street in queens and brought to animal control who initially labeled him 'aggressive' and named him frisbee, not necessarily in that order. but if my name was frisbee, i too would find reason to be aggressive. sean casey took him in, and when his vet (who'll become our vet) checked frisbee out, he found that frisbee had pneumonia. he was treated, chipped, neutered, and cleaned up, and is now a happy little guy, who i can't wait to bring home. we decided to call him eddie, short for edison, and his middle name is magellan because i like it. each time i look at him i wish he could tell me his story. we've gone to visit him every day since meeting him last tuesday. he's learned to sit really quickly, and next we're going to work on some other commands. on our first walk to the park today, we met a woman named zinulia (or something like that) and her manchester, reggie. sean casey has frisbee/eddie labeled as chihuahua/manchester mix on his site, but after meeting reggie, i don't think eddie is manchester at all. apparently you can pay $200 and send a nail clipping to some type of doggie dna which will provide you a printout of your dog's exact dna specifics. no thanks.

2. tomorrow is the last day of the 2007-2008 school year. YIPfuckingIEE! i can't believe how fast and slow this year went by. it's been a year of change - that much is certain.

3. i still have not heard back from the lovely school in my neighborhood about whether i will be able to have full time employment in september. the p wrote me an email basically stating, 'i want you, i need you, i fear i'm going to lose you to another school, just give me another day to work this out.' it's been 3. and now i know how those boys felt in high school when i wasn't sure i was interested, but wasn't ready to formally decline their advances. dicked around. yeah - that's how i feel.

4. i'm attending my first nyc dykemarch on saturday. d has no mind for this type of stuff, she got all her pride partying out when she was 19, so i'm working on being ok doing these things with friends. i'll be on the lookout for leo maccool who will be back on this side of the pond for a while.

5. it's time to ditch my jeep. don't get me wrong, i love my jeep. i just can't justify spending $75 to fill up, and then only make it about 150 miles before having to do so again. my gas milege is wack, the thing is only getting harder and harder to sell. and my sense of eco-pride is stomped every time i pass a gas station or see another notch gone down my fuel gauge. it's time to put an end to the madness. i'm looking at a 07 yaris or a late model civic. they're both in high demand and tough to find. car dealerships suck. i'm counting on summertime perseverance and a bit of help from dad (to rattle the sellers) to make this happen. i'm scared of driving a small car but i think the cost benefit speaks for itself.

pix of eddie to come...