Monday, April 22, 2002

YAY! While I was looking online for the proper spelling of the Jewish celebration dance- the Hora (at least as it appears on several web sites, forgive me if it's spelled wrong; I really tried!)- I found this funny web site that lists tinny, computerized sound bites of all the tunes of traditional Jewish songs. So, fellow Glazer Passover-goers Who Missed This Year Because Someone Went to Ireland, (Mwah! Just kidding!) you can go get your fill of Had Gadya and Dayenu in a tinny,computerized way. :) Enjoy!
OKay, Alissa, here it is- :)

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Wow.... I just got back from a very nice weekend. I went to my friend Andrea's wedding. It was really great. The ceremony was lovely, elegant, free from mishaps, etc. All in all, everything fell together beautifully.

Andrea is a documentary film-maker, and she definitely approaches life with a keen aesthetic sense and directorial calm, a combination that resulted in an extremely well-organized and fun day. She was absolutely radiant. Her husband is also very, very nice, and I know she made the right decision in marrying him... Anyway, her family was very funny, very happy. We all danced the tarantella, and as Alissa said, there was no chicken dance, no electric slide, no Macarena, no Hot, Hot, Hot conga line, no Hokey Pokey, no Grease medley, no break-ups songs (Why would people want to play "Respect" at their wedding reception? It's a BREAK-UP song. That's like playing "Another One Bites the Dust" at someone's funeral, which, actually, isn't' a terribly un-funny idea....), no annoying dance songs of any kind. It was just very fun, upbeat music. And now, she's off to Jamaica and a new life!

I also ran around a certain Swedish furniture store looking for furniture for the Imaginary Life. The Great Imaginary Apartment Search will (hopefully) conclude at the end of this week! Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Okay, so... Looking for an apartment a thousand miles away without the help of a Fancy Schmancy Relocation Department or a Relocation Bonus is practically a full-time job in itself. I have been monopolizing Jason's computer night after night researching apartments (Total Time: 6 hours), getting tips on renting for three or four months only with a dog and without a guaranteed fullltime job/W4 form (2 hours), creating renters' resume and pet resume to demonstrate super-reliability and Supreme Prospective Tenant Status to future landlords (4 hours), booking a flight (Two and a half hours! TWO AND A HALF HOURS!), renting a car (Two attempts: 1 hour), putting addresses of potential apartments and the address of Future Place of Employment into Mapquest to determine most ideally located apartment complex (2 hours), emailing sister's college roommate to determine best area of Miami in which to live with least likelihood of being mugged, shot or raped, (30 minutes), time spent buying maps at Border's (45 minutes: 5 spent buying maps, 40 spent being distracted by magazines), putting in addresses of car rental place, airport, hotel and every single respective potential apartment complexes so we'll have some sense of how to get around once Alissa and I get down there because I can't waste time being lost as I have to find an apartment in 48 hours or less (3 hours)........ (pant pant)........ AND THEN, I still have to make appointments at each apartment complex, make 8 copies of renters'/pet resume folder info (such as references, letters of recommendation from vet/neighbors/etc, proof of employment with salary) and let's not forget the Four. Hour. Layover.... IN MISSOURI.. so that I can take advantage of frequent flier miles and get a free flight.


Ah, but I guess the punch line is something along the lines of.... Getting to live out Imaginary Life in gorgeous safe apartment where one can have adorable dog and dream internship in fascinating new city and pre-job vacation with oldest friend (except for sister :) complete with adventure in American Midwest... PRICELESS. :) I hope, I hope.

Oh, and you know that thing I have been waiting three months, five tests and a trip to the doctor for? :) :) :) (Singing) "I love you hmm-hmm... Do you love me question mark... Please please exclamation point!... I want to hold you (in parentheses)..." Yup. Finally here. And it only took the alignment of five planets to do it. :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

I am a new level of sleepy and lazy. I just ordered Papajohn's Pizza online, because I couldn't be bothered to a.) find a place that will deliver me a meatball sub here in Colonial Park b.) drive down to the very populated, busy road that would probably have a place that would sell me one, including a Subway that I know of. Yep. I am staying riiiiiight here, in the air-conditioned apartment.

I taught photo today at HHS. Sigh... That place... It scares me because I feel at home there again. I even feel good about eating in the faculty dining room. Scary, scary... Tomorrow I am back there again, teaching in the Resource Room. It's all about giving out candy.

The photography teacher I fill in for also teaches Tech Ed- the scary 9th grade class that replaced Typing with Mr. Fink (Da na na na, na na, na na... Boiled Chicken!). Today, the 9th graders were working with these "Baby Think it Over" Robots. I say "robots" because they are sooooo much more than dolls. They have any number of different needs- feeding, diaper change, burping, cuddling. There are ways to figure out what they "need." They record how long it takes you to calm them, inappropriate handling, if they go unattended.. They are so sensitive, they can tell whether you are just rocking them, or rocking and walking at the same time. It's like Big Brother, in doll form. We've sure progressed since the days that people had to decorate bags of sugar, and Kelly and I would have to "baby-sit" them during band practice for Colorguard, way back in... Oh, Goddess....1992...?!?!?! Was that really ten years ago?

What else do I want to talk about? Oh, yes. I am preparing to go to Miami to find an apartment. (Alissa! Alissa! Full of candy and full of toys! :) I am preparing a Tenant Resume for myself and Bella. I know, a resume for Bella. Tt's the latest thing to do for dogs when you want to move into an apartment with them, according to the Humane Society. Go figure. Bella's resume says things like, "When Bella isn't napping in the sunshine, she enjoys playing with her toys, gazing out the window and meeting other dogs at legally sanctioned dog parks..." Dorky, I know.

Yummy! Pizza's here!

Sunday, April 14, 2002

I... am lonely. This is not good. I have a great roommate, a lovely dog companion and an adorable step-dog.:) I talk to my best friends and boyfriend all the time. Like, multiple times a days for some.

I had a great time on Saturday night eating Isaac's food and watching a Trading Spaces marathon with Gwen, and ended my evening talking to her very warm, funny family who solmenly took on the challenge of, in their words, "Jewish mother-ing" me into not driving back to my apartment in the fog. :) Today I slept late, went shopping, played with and walked the dogs, laid around and read the newspaper, read a book, blown bubbles, made dinner. My schedule is so relaxing right now. I am going to be Stupid Busy once I start my internship. Why am I taking this time for granted?

If I am lonely living with one of my oldest friends, a hop, skip and a jump from my family, what am I going to do in Miami?

I am going to work a lot. Shoot a lot. Sleep. Lay on the beach. Make a lot of long distance phone calls. Add to the colorful, funny Cast Of Characters of Friends that always seem to find me.

I haven't been shooting as much as I would like to. What if I get to Miami and I can't do it anymore? I go through phases like this. I should just take the camera out and go shoot wet tree buds bursting open. It's beautiful, spring is spring up everywhere. I always feel lonely in the spring. This happens every April. I always felt this way, even with prom around the corner, rehearsing for the spring play, laying on the quad, barbeques with college friends, going to the state park and Skaneatlas Lake with Stephen.

Stephen. I really miss him. I haven't seen him in a month. It's been a hell of a month, though. I think I am going to see him around my birthday. And if I miss him this much now, what is this going to feel like in five weeks when I move 1, 000 miles further away from him? Three months. I am only guaranteed to be there for three months. Who knows what will happen after that. I am scared I wont get hired. I think if I don't get hired after the internship, I am going to go to Boston. I don't know.

Why am I sad? There really is just no reason for it.

Friday, April 12, 2002

I got a googlewhack! Somnambulist rutabaga!
My day began yesterday with my being late to school. (it's so weird to say that and not say "late to class" or "late to work.") As I was taking Bella on her morning walk, I saw a loose, collared, and tagged, but bedraggled dog. My neighbor, also a dog-owner, was trying to catch it by tempting the dog with food. Apparently, the dog belongs to another neighbor who only just adopted him three days ago. The dog, "Toby," got away on the first day and people have been looking for him ever since. I tied Bella to a lamppost, and joined the capture operation.

Ten minutes and two near misses with cars later, we get pretty close to the dog. The first time we met, I told the Helpful Neighbor about how I found Bella in the rose bushes, and how I finally got her to be calm enough to let me near her and pick her up by saying, "cellar door" over and over again, which Stephen maintains is the most soothing combination of words in the English language. After 15 minutes of repeating, "Here, puppy.... good dog... it's okay, sweetie," my neighbor was like, "What was that prase you said to Bella?" So I tried it. Three "cellar doors" later, and I was able to get Toby's collar.

His owner was thrilled to se him, as she had just said a lot of money for him three days ago. When we returned him, she happened to mention that she had also lost a second dog in the meantime and asked us to keep an eye for him. I think she meant well; (these are purebred dogs, I think), she really tried to find them, and I think it was just an accident, but sheesh. By the way, Bella the Chatterbox, unused to being tied to a lamppost during her morning walk, cheerfully took it upon herself to personally wake up everyone in the surrounding apartments. Grrrrr....


Yesterday, I taught one of the most challenging classes I have yet encountered (although not as bad as the team of 7th graders who threw milk at me). They have not seen their regular teacher since mid-October. They have blown threw substitute teachers like toilet paper at White Castle. They now have a long term sub, who seems like he's doing fine, but he has been out for two weeks getting married and going on his honeymoon. They have had a different sub, for the most part, every day that he has been gone. There is a faint sense of organization still lingering in the classroom, the way the smell of wet wool, chalk, and eraser dust clings to your clothes at the end of the day, but basically, it's complete anarchy.

They told me, the first second I was in that room, without question, that I would hate them, that they were the dumbest class in the school, that everyone hates them. Honestly, there were moments that I did feel so frustrated with them that I wanted to scream, but I didn't hate them. They hate themselves.

The girls are really into cliques, and the cliques are nasty to each other. That's normal for 6th graders- I remember it like it was yesterday- but it's like watching packs of wild dogs battle for territory. And they (the whole class, not just the cliques) are mercilessly cruel. They all pick on one girl in particular. It is absolutely relentless. She is not an innocent victim in this; she definitely instigates things. She got into a fight with another girl, who definitely has issues, and I tried to sit them down and mediate and talk about making a fresh start and about handling things like the Young Women they are. I doubt it will last long.

The schools all have these buzz words- tests are "assessments," homework is "independent practice;" candy is a "motivational reward." They all have Zero Tolerance policies about bullying and weapons, etc. So a child with a set of nail clippers is suspended, shop classes- Excuse me, "technology education"- are no longer allowed to make screwdrivers, but I hear someone called a "fag/queer/gay" in, literally, no exaggeration, the first five minutes of every class period, every day, in every school district, in every grade level above 5th grade. So homophobia is silently sanctioned, don't even get me started on racism- ahem, social studies textbooks, anyone?- and children think it's okay to taunt one child constantly about having lice, being dirty, smelling bad, when she is perfectly fine as far as I can tell- shiny hair, clean clothes, no noticable B.O.- which frankly, is NOT the case for some of the aggressors. Sigh....

It makes me sad. It makes me want to home-school my children, or start my own non-patriarchal, egalitarian, "realistic about this country's past" school someday. Sigh....

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Sorry Sorry Sorry! I can't believe that it's been ten days since I have written anything here. I keep thinking of things I want to write, but I never seem to get around to it! Arg.

Anyway, Happy belated birthday to Jillian! (only belated on the weblog, mind you, as I was convinced her birthday was the fourth, not the seventh, so I actually got her present and birthday card and phone call there waaaaaaay before her actual birthday. Go me. :)

Oh, and my mom found my claddagh! Hooray!

I have some new Adventures in Substitute Teaching to report. Apparently, the fact that I accidentally said "f*ck" to an 8th grade French class weeks ago has elevated me to "the coolest sub ever" status at a certain school district. :) It's really quite an ego boost, actually. I walk into the building and people gasp and say, "ohmygod-who-are-you-here-for-today-please-let-it-be-for-French-again-I-hate-that-class" in a breathless high school rush. I actually had a class applaud today when I walked in the room. Weird.

Although, today, I experienced the Grossest Thing Ever. This definitely tops those 7th grade boys asking me to "smell their hands" after they rubbed some kind of Liquid Smoke Gel Crap on them. Today, however, there was a kid in my 10th grade History class today, college prep level, who apparently has had some gum stuck to the bottom of his shoe for quite some time. Today, after lunch, he apparently got some food smashed to the gum while he was in the cafeteria and- oh god, this is SO gross- and when they got back to class (They ate during the equivalent of Hempfield "B" lunch, although this wasn't HHS) he picked the gum and smashed food off his shoe and ATE IT. He. ate. it. He actually swallowed it. Anyone familar with the Famous Angie Gag Reflex (The Great Beavis and Butthead Incident of 1994, anyone?) can imagine how close I was to a meltdown. It makes me shudder just thinking about it. New topic, new topic.

Actually, I have been talking about the prom a lot in high school classes, just to break the ice. I told the guys today to never, ever get a girl a corsage with carnations, and not to question it when girls go to the bathroom in groups. And, Nick, I thought of you- a guy asked me if it's okay to wear a top hat to the prom. I said yes, that you did it and it was pretty cool, but only if his tux has tails, and if he has the personality to pull it off. The girls in the class assured me that this particular guy does, in fact, have that kind of personality. Then I told them how Barney, your monkey, bit me when I first met your mom. They thought that was pretty funny. :) So I thought of you a lot today. :)

Had an awesome time this weekend in D.C. seeing the Lovely and Talented Jo in a production of Prometheus this past weekend. I was very glad to have Gwennie with me, because Experimental Post-Modern Greek Tragedies are an experience to be shared. Somehow, we ended up quite literally next to the stage- not good when you know someone in the cast REALLY WELL, even though I thought I ordered seats in the back center section- which is a much more.... intimate... experience with theater. I know how important it is for stage actors to have good diction and enunciation and whatnot, but there was SO MUCH SPITTING that one does not usually see from the mezzanine. And- the guy who played Zeus had really disgusting toenails. It took quite a bit of self-control for me not to crawl on the stage and try and clip them during the second act. Seriously. But Jo was really great. :)

I am reading an awesome book called the Nanny Diaries. I heard a review of it on NPR, and they were so right. I can't put it down.I get so absorbed in the characters' lives that I forget where I am when I am reading it. There's a link in the sidebar column. Love it love it love it. Gonna go read it. :)

Monday, April 01, 2002

Happy April Fools' Day. I am thrilled to say that I did not have to substitue teach on April Fools' Day. That would be like going scuba diving in shark-infested waters while bleeding profusely. :) I can't help but think about my old friend Jon who used to love April Fools' Day. He and his brother Zach always got such a kick out of planning hijinks for weeks. I need to get in touch with him. I haven't talked to him or Heather since mid-January. It occured to me right after their wedding that Brad Steinbacher wasn't at there. I really though he would have been at the wedding, as he and Jon were best friends for years. Huh.

Speaking of wedings, I just bought something online for my friend Andrea, who is getting married in the end of April. Online bridal registry shopping is very easy, surpisingly. Much better than running around the store with a print-out trying to figure out if the list is referring to *these* salt-and-pepper shakers, or *those* salt and pepper shakers. I am really excited for her. She and Don are great together, but this will be an interesting wedding, if only because she has a very strange relationship with one of her guy friends from college who is a wonderful person (He helped me buy my first real camera) but he may just jump up and protest during the "Forever Hold Your Peace" part. We shall see....

Over the weekend, my sister introduced me to the incredible procrastination game of "Googlewhacking." Googlewhacking is this thing where you enter only two words into a google search and try and get one and only hit. The words have to be more than four letters long, spelled correctly, not appear on online "word lists" for games like Boggle, etc. and be verfied by This is not as easy as it sounds. Once you find a "googlewhack" you go to and register your googlewhack to the Whack Stack (trust me, this is addictive and fun). However, once a googlewhack is registered, it is no longer a googlewhack, as that same search will call up two hits- the original site and where you registered it. There is also a point system associated with this: one point for getting a googlewhack on the first try, one point if you actually get one on any number of tries, one if you learn something, even if you didn't get a googlewhack. Alissa and I spent an hour (a precious hour that she should have been working on her dissertation proposal and I should have been "Mach Schnell"- ing her) entering things like "cerulean endometriosis"and other obscure combinations of words. Alissa finally got one with "drongo sharpener." I have to say, "drongo"- a bird, Australian slang for "idiot," and a sandwich at Isaac's- was my suggestion, if only because Amanda and I were having some close calls with that word earlier in the day. :) So yeah. Googlewhacking is fun. I just got 89 hits for pterodactyl clarinet. Go figure.

By the way, Bella is no longer a Blast-Ended Skrewt, for those Harry Potter fans out there who are aware of her "issues" last week. Still a little touch and go, but she is much, much better. We are sending out Healthy Pet vibes to Alissa's friend Becca's cat Cage, who is not doing so well. Get well, Cage!