Sunday, November 30, 2008

The End

This is it! The last day of NaBloPoMo. I did not manage to post everyday, but I also didn't give up when I blew the chance at a perfect record and that must count for something.

The nice thing about posting everyday every November is being able to look back and get a snapshot of what life was like at the same time every year. November is always a hectic, crazy month, so the snapshots are always a little hectic and crazy, but tempered by other things that are going on.

For instance, from tonight, I want to be able to remember that despite having a ton of chapters left unread, a mission statement left unwritten, and a lot of other things for tomorrow left undone, tonight there were a lot of belly laughs. Laughing long-distance about possums and purloined pecan logs till my face ached.

It was an excellent way to end November.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Last night there were tiny little star shaped snowflakes sprinkling down from the sky.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The List

I think one thing I would add to the list of requirements for places to live is access to falafel sandwiches.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Tofurkey Day!

I have been craving Tofurkey for several weeks now. I thought about bringing one on the plane to cook up at my grandparent's house but then wasn't sure if it would make it through security at the airport. I think when I get back to Brooklyn, I'm firing up the oven and throwing in the mock bird. It's so yummy.

There has been a lot of shouting about pie the past 24 hours. High decibels caused by guests being too stuffed to eat pie and hosts refusing to eat their slices without guests joining in. I've been in the doghouse for not eating my apple pie last night for dessert nor this morning for breakfast. I ate half a slice for an afternoon snack and a rather large piece of pumpkin pie for dinner. There's still that niggling leftover half-piece of apple that proves I am not doing my gastromonic duty.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Preemptive Post

I think I would forget to post this later today and so I'm writing now, just before heading out to begin the day of planes, trains, and automobiles.

My one goal for the Thanksgiving holiday is to finally watch the two Netflix movies I've had since September. Dream big.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Almost Packed

Tomorrow I'm flying out to Western Pennsylvania to meet up with my parents for the drive up to grandma and grandpa's house. It's going to be three days of good eating, rummy cubes, and absolutely no school work.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Last week I learned a new word - "shmying." Rhymes with like eyeing. It's Yiddish for "strolling aimlessly about." I'd like to have more time for shmying. I realize it's one of my guilty pleasures. Any time I have an excuse to go to Target for something, I just wander around and visit all the departments. Not shopping, just feasting the eyes and shmying a half an hour away.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Almost Forgot

Going to bed. It's been a long weekend full of work. The next two days are going to be 6 am to 10 pm days as well. Can't wait for Thanksgiving vacation to start on Wednesday and not have to think or plan anything for 72 blissful hours.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Tonight I feel awful. Exhausted. Chilled. Irritated. Wanting to sleep. Guess who is having a party directly below our apartment?

I'm beginning to understand why people go postal.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pigs Are Flying! II

The check really was in the mail!

Today I finally got payment from the department of education that I did for them the first week of June.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pigs Are Flying!

I just voted absentee for a Republican who seems kind of awesome.
Attorney and east New Orleans activist Anh “Joseph” Quang Cao, 40, announces his candidacy for House of Representatives, District 103, saying he will work to promote Category 5 Hurricane Protection, strong anti-crime initiatives and environmentally-sound growth policies as leader for this area which crosses Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes.

~ Newshorn Wiki

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy to Come Home

This evening while leaving the apartment to go to a meeting, I noticed a note taped up on the my downstair hipster neighbor's door.

"Hi, this is your neighbor from the apartment next door. I introduced myself before. Tonight we have been smelling gas from your apartment. You should check it out when you get home, just don't flip the light switch on."

I'm happy to report the note was gone when I got home a couple of hours later, and neither of our apartments was blown to bits.

Track Record

So I forgot to post yesterday. That makes twice already this month. The last two years of NaBloPoMo I did manage to post every day in November. I'm not really sure what the problem is this year.

Maybe because I managed to do it twice before, the same sense of challenge no longer exists.

At a two hour lecture last night on museum exhibition labels (sounds exciting, right?), I learned that one reason people are able to walk on hot coals is that they get nervous and sweat. The perspiration on the soles of their feet helps prevent them from getting burned. The more nervous a coal-walker is, the more protected he or she is from injury. Coal-walkers who become complacent about the ability to walk across burning coals no longer sweat and are in real danger of burning the bottoms of their feet off.

Guess I've singed myself twice this month. Wonder if I can start sweating again between now and when December 1st rolls around.

Monday, November 17, 2008


There is a lovely little three year old in my life. I get to see her every so often and today I picked her up from school. On the way to catch the subway home we pass an there is an Obama/Biden poster in a storefront's window. Every time we see it I say, "Look, there's Obama!"

"Yobama! I love Yobama!"

The first time we saw the sign together she told me about eating a Yobama cookie from a nearby bakery. It was yummy.

This afternoon she looked me in the eye and made a serious and weighty observation, "Jennifer, sometimes I say, 'YAY YOBAMA!' And sometimes I say, 'YAY BARACK YOBAMA!'"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Almost Forgot

I was in bed with the lights out. And then I remembered... to post.

Good night.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weaving a Food Web

Teaching kiddies wore me out today. I didn't realize how tired I was from the day until I was almost asleep on the subway back home. At 4:30 in the afternoon.

We started worm composting less than a month ago and already we have a tremendous amount of soil. This afternoon we pulled the worm bin out to show the kids and they were cheering about the soil accumulation. One of them said, "The worms made all that? That's all worm poop?!?"

Yep, lots of rich, fertile wondrous worm poop.

I brought a really disgusting book with me today, What's Eating You?: Parasites - The Inside Story. It's got the greatest cartoon illustrations. After perusing one or two pages my entire body begins to itch. I had hoped to use it in conjunction with our exploration of food webs. But we ran out of time. Too bad because they would have loved it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I wanna be...

... a cowboy.

This song brings back very vivid memories of 7th grade.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What to do?

I'm not much for confrontation.

That's why I'm tempted to stomp on the floor to get the indie rock hipster who moved in downstairs to turn down his vibration causing music.

The grown-up thing to do would probably be to go down and knock on his door and talk to him face-to-face. I'd like to do this and have a civil conversation, but I'm afraid if he opened the door I might rush past him, throw open the window and toss his stereo off the fire escape.

At the moment, that seems like a happy ending to me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Toy

Today I indulged in a special purchase. I've been thinking about it for a couple of years, not because it was really expensive (because it wasn't) but because of space issues. My previous room was too small and there was no where to store anything.

Oh yeah, that reminds me to mention that I moved. A few months ago.

So today I went to an art supply store and bought a mat cutter. I'm going to be a framing fool. Can't wait to get my hands on the Obama letterpress poster that is sitting at my parent's house. When it gets her eto Brooklyn, it's going in a place of honor, right at eye level across from where I sit to work.

Now I just need to watch the instructional DVD that came with the big thing and I'll be ready to take assorted friends' mat cutting special orders. In these times of economic downturn, it's good to have some bartering capital.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One Step Forward, One Step Back

Today I registered to graduate in May.

I also decided that I am no longer going to do my almost finished thesis.

Monday, November 10, 2008

When the temperature drops...

Strange people start riding the subway when the weather gets cold. People who often need help of one sort or another.

Tonight there was a lady who was not coping well with the presence of other passengers. She was yelling at all of us. Her part of the car cleared out pretty well.

"Don't you trample on me! I want you DEAD. I want you DEAD! I'm 60 years old. Nobody can bother me anymore... I'm going to beat you all with a belt! Don't you give me any sh**!"

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Nov. 4, 2008

On election night, my friend and I went to Times Square to watch the election returns rolls in with thousands of other people. Even though the area was packed with people watching the giant screens of ABC (people were ignoring the giant FOX screens), traffic was rolling through and everyone had to keep clear of the cars, buses, and semi-trucks.

The excitement in the crowd built every time the number of projected electoral votes for Obama grew. The rise was quick in the beginning, and then as McCain's numbers started to grow as well, people got quiet. There was a long time where we stood and watched nervously, swiveling around 360 degrees to try to see all the giant screens at once. It was probably the worst way to try to take in new information - "overstimulating" is an understatement.

Excitement started rippling through the crowd again when Virginia and Ohio got called for Obama. When the number was at 207 for Obama for what seemed like forever, I found a woman with a coloring book map who was filling in red and blue as each state was called. Her map had the electoral college numbers for each state. We knew California was going to Obama later in the night. 207 plus... plus... 55 = 262. Hawaii was also a sure thing, 268. Oregon and Washington also supposed to go to Obama... ooooh, 270+.

But still, officially, he was still at 207.

About 10:50, the FOX count for Obama clicked over to 297. No one celebrated. It was FOX News and the distrust in the crowd for that network apparently ran so deep that no one was going to believe what they said. Good news or not.

At 11:00 pm, Rebecca and I were desperate to see another big map of the country. Which states had polls closing? Then all the screens changed. The crowd started roaring. I was seeing pictures of Obama but no numbers and it took me a few seconds to figure out what the scrolling words were telling us.

President-elect Obama!

Rebecca and I started screaming and hugging and jumping and shouting. All at the same time. I really thought we were going to knock over the Reuters' camera guy and his equipment that was next to us.

So many people shouting and screaming and taking photos and talking on cell phones... It was weirdly joyous and yet isolating. I thought everybody would be talking to each other and hugging each other. There was a little of that, but many more people seemed to be talking via electronics to people far far away.

Rebecca and I went down into the subway not long after McCain appeared to make his concession speech. We hoped to get home before Obama's address. Waiting underground at 42nd St. we heard a wave of shouting and cheering. We couldn't hear the trucks and buses rolling overhead, but we could hear people's jubilation. We guessed that Obama had arrived on stage and was about to speak.

The ride back to Brooklyn was calm. I had hoped it would be a party train, but mostly it was the regular scene of tired people heading home after a night of work.

My neighborhood was more rambunctious. People were honking and crowds shouted in happy response. "WWhhhhhhhaaaaaa! Obama! Obama! Whhhhhhaaaaaa! We did it!!!!!!!!!!" That went on till at least 2am. I went to bed after that.

Oh my, I can't wait to go to the inauguration.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Phoning it in

Taught all day. It was great.

Going over to a friend's to help her settle into her new home. And eat pizza. Not sure if I'm going to make it back in time to post for the day so, apologies, but for words, this is all I got.

Friday, November 07, 2008


I screwed up yesterday. Came home from class and went to sleep. Without blogging.

This is the first NaBloPoMo where I have failed to do my duty. :(

It's a quarter to midnight now and I almost forgot again. I got so caught up in watching Obama's acceptance speech online that all thoughts of posting went right out of my head. Almost all thoughts.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Reaching Beyond Where We Are

I came across this passage two days ago in the readings for one of my education classes. Its words capture some of the hope, and joy, and inspiration I've been feeling as Obama becomes the leader of the United States. A leader, and I think a teacher too.
We are all in process, we who are teachers along with those we teach. And in a pluralist world, with newcomers every day, we somehow have to realize that no one of them is fixed forever, identified forever by a culture, a religion, a class, an ethnic identity. Like ourselves, they may be aware of their roots, of their beginnings, but like ourselves, they need to use their imaginations "to light the slow fuse of possibility." Feeling our own new beginnings, we have been learning here - as the seasons give way to new seasons, as things change and change again - what it means to break with anchorage, what it means to move with others, to care for others, to reach beyond where we are.

~ Maxine Greene

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hope, Progress, Change

(thanks Eric)

Monday, November 03, 2008


It started with a crash. Glass smashing somewhere in the apartment.

I went to see what had happened, thinking something in my room had tipped over and knocked over a glass. Nope. Nothing broken in my room. Nothing broken in the living room.

Then I noticed a squirrel in the bathroom. He seemed to have slid in the top of the cracked open window and knocked the glass candle holder into the tub, causing the shattering noise.

I squealed and shut the door. Went around to the fire escape and opened the window so the squirrel could get out.

But he didn't want to go out.

The super came up and tried to get it out with a broom. Based on his behavior I'd say he's a sadistic man. He laughed and stabbed the frightened squirrel with the end of the broom. The squirrel screamed. I screamed too and made the super get out of the apartment.

The city agencies I talked to said they wouldn't come out on squirrel calls.

My roommate came home and said the bucket I'd set up as a pee station was not going to cut it and started making more phone calls to city agencies.

How many police officers does it take to capture a squirrel in a bathroom? Two in the bathtub, one in front of the toilet (behind which the squirrel has wedged itself), and one officer in the hallway as backup.

They emerged triumphant with the squirrel in the have-a-heart humane trap I'd run out to get at the hardware store. They said they'd take the squirrel to some rehab people and let them decide if its injuries from the super could be treated.

The bathroom was a disaster with broken glass, fur, and water everywhere. The toilet was leaking a steady stream of water. It's almost midnight and now things are finally back to normal. It's been a very very long six hours.

Poor squirrel.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Remembering Jeff

Last night I stayed up late, making an altar for Día de los Muertos.

Some of you know this and some of you don't. It's something I don't talk about often.

Two years ago my brother disappeared after sending my family a goodbye letter. It's been a long, long process for all the people who loved him to try to find some peace with what happened.

This past July we got news, news it wasn't easy to hear.

For Day of the Dead, it's believed that if you light candles, put out pan de muerto, and decorate with marigold flowers, the spirits of loved ones will find the way back from the other world to visit.

I miss my little brother. Last night it was good to at least have him back in spirit.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A little worn out

Today a group of kids walked all of Central Park, top to bottom. I had a pedometer. We took more than 14,000 steps with very few complaints. Amazing.