Monday, January 29, 2007

Checking In...

The dust is settling. The new life is starting to fall into a rhythm. It's good. Still a little too overloaded, but good.

This past weekend there was a chance to enjoy the collision of the old Japanese life with the new New York existence. Ellen who-also-taught-in-Japan came to town and through her I briefly saw Derrick who-also-taught-in-Japan who had just come from seeing Chris and Todd who-also-taught-in-Japan. Emily Lupita who-also-taught-in-Japan will be here in less than a month....

Six degrees of Miyazaki.

It was great to catch up with Ellen. Every week it seems like there has been a chance to see someone who is pass ing through the city. Andrea was here the week before. I lived with Andrea longer than with any other person who isn't a blood relative and we hadn't seen each other in seven years. Too long. Mark and Bethan were here before that. It's been wonderful to meet up with old New York friends who don't live here anymore. Now it's time to start meeting up with the old friends who still do.

The dust is settling. I'm ready to play.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Request

I would like to read a book in which nobody dies.

This whole week I've been trying to claw my way out from under a pile of reading. So many textbook chapers, so much children's fiction... and when the reading is done there are math problems. My first formal math problem in 17 years. Oh lordy.

The books for my children's literature class are actually making me look forward to the peace and stability of the math problems. In the selected readings, the body count is so high. In the first book it was a mother and a best friend who died. In the second book, a mother and adoptive mother died plus a bunch of other family memebers who were once swept away in a mudslide. In the book I finished this morning, the novel started and ended with funerals. There was a father, a village woman, a baby, a baby brother, a whole family, several goats, a peddler, a donkey, and then an adoptive sister and baby brother who all died.


Something happy please. Something appropriate for 3-8 graders in which nobody dies please.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Hangover

I don't feel like getting out of bed today. It's the end-of-the-football-dream hangover. The one Abita beer consumed yesterday has nothing to do with this.

The overcast gloom coming in through the window is not helping either.

Oh well. Time to cheer for Peyton Manning of the Indiana Colts. He's a New Orleans boy and it's nice for his poppa to have a Superbowl Son.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Thank you Chanel 4!

Finally available on-line... it's the "Bless You Boys" song. Hallelujah...

Ready for the Game

It's been a busy week. Again. Classes... two are fantastic. One is mediocre. Two more to attend on Monday and then I'll have officially started all five courses.

But who can think about graduate school at a time like this? The Saints are playing tomorrow. In a championship game. If they win, they are going to the Superbowl.

Last week I had an asthma attack when Deuce scored his last touchdown for the Saints, I was so overwhelmed. Ms. Nola said she was going to look up the local emergency room number before our football party kicks into gear because she knows that things might get crazy and someone amongst the 15-20 people crowded into the living room tomorrow might have need of some medical assistance before the game is over.

I don't even know how to explain how much this game means to the city and it's natives. It's the one happy thing. It's the one thing we've managed to do well. We still have horrible schools, corrupt politicians, destroyed houses and lives, and uncertainty about the future. But we've never had a good football team, until now. If the Saints can turn around transform from a scorned group to one that is admired and respected, it gives us hope that it may be possible to improve everything else.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Today? Tomorrow? It starts.

Classes start today. Or maybe it's tomorrow. Technically, it's "today" because the current time is past midnight, but I haven't gone to bed yet so it feels like "tomorrow" is more appropriate.

Regardless, I'm excited.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Football Fever


Exhausted from the screaming and hootin' and hollerin'... one hand slightly injured from some overly enthusiastic clapping...

The Saints won! THE SAINTS WON!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

All Smiles

I'm happy.

Today I went to register for classes and got into all of them. Made friends with the woman who works at the pottery cafe around the corner. Found a beautiful carved mirror for my room. Ate vegetarian Jamaican patties at the shop not far from home... all is good.

I've been so busy working on projects around the apartment that I haven't really explored the neighborhood much or taken photos. Every block is a visual feast. An auditory one too. My favorite thing is listening to the church bells every hour. At noon everyday, there is a symphony of bells. Today there was a funeral and one bell repeatedly tolled a mournful note. It was still beautiful.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Mess

Ta da! Room photo. It's a bit messy.

The wallhangings are all over the floor instead of on the walls. There is a screwdriver hanging out next to the Buddha. My clothes are in a cardboard box. There is a cheese grater that is probably just out of view. I'm supposed to sleep on this floor tonight. Hmmm. There's no space to do that.

There will be another photo once the space becomes more respectable.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I finished painting today. It's been four days straight of prepping, painting, and touching up. My whole body hurts, but the room looks nice.

Too tired to post a photo tonight. Maybe tomorrow if I get some things hung up on the walls.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Lesson to Self


Don't try to come home on the subway after having a few drinks when you (A) don't know the name of your subway stop, (B) don't know the names of any of the streets in your neighborhood except the street you live on, (C) your pocket subway map only covers Manhattan, (D) it's one o'clock in the morning on a weeknight.

I got home fine, just wandered a bit, and took 3 or 4 trains more than necessary.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Smells Like Chicken

I'm home. The new home.

It's easy to smell what neighbors on other floors are cooking up for dinner. Last night it was baked chicken and biscuits.

The roommates are all nice and my 7' x 11' foot room doesn't feel too small. It's lovely.

Here are the "before" pictures. It will be interesting to see what it turns into as the room evolves into "after".

Imagine a few feet of wood floor in between.

I owe prodigious number of emails and plan to get back to people in the next couple of days. Promise.