It has finally arrived. The new Lord of the Rings - Return of the King trailer has been released for public viewing. It's about time!

Upon speaking with my mother this evening, I learned that one of my two favorite little boys, the oldest of the pair, decided this afternoon that he was going to climb on top of our kitchen counter in Florida and see what was to be seen from a new height (maybe he was feeling adventurous after watching the LOTR trailer).

My mother, distracted by the baby of the two who needed help in the bathroom (which could have been the boys' plan in the first place) heard a loud thump and a screaming Trent originating from the kitchen. Yep, the daring young three, soon to be four-year-old had fallen off of the kitchen counter and onto the floor, but not before his head ricocheted off of the countertops on the way down.

After many tears, fears, worries, and a trip to the emergency room later, the diagnosis: a slight concussion. He was so lucky he didn't break his nose or his neck or his head or Lord only knows what else. I'm hoping this will teach both boys to stay off of the counter, but I know better. He'll probably try to be right back up there tomorrow morning.

Having raised three children of her own, not to mention several neighborhood children who she always takes under her wing, my mother knows that accidents happen. Especially when you're dealing with little boys who believe they're invincible. How do you help prevent this sort of thing? You can't, really. But I know she's going to give it her best shot, even if that means removing all of the "footholds" or handles from the drawers in the front cabinets. It could also mean putting large, heavy, immovable-by-a-three-year-old, objects on the counter so that if they do manage to scale the handle-less cabinets, there will be no landing on which they can stand once they get to the top.

And I want two boys and a little girl when I grow up. Heaven help me.


Look at all the fun and exciting buttons I added. Let's not forget the comments either. Enjoy, whoever you may be.

It's only the fourth day of autumn, and I've already managed to catch a cold of some sort. This is a watery eyes, runny nose, makes it impossible to breath if you're a nose-breather kind of cold. Great.

I am going to request that my school no longer serve boiled eggs to the children once a week. It looks very nasty when regurgitate by a three year old. Not to mention it's a pain the neck to peel 30 hard boiled eggs in ten minutes when the children can't do it themselves.

The weather here is also beginning to dip down into the 40's and 50's at night. I am not amused. It's not even October yet and it's already getting cold. Then again it snowed on Halloween last year.

I'm full of complaints tonight. I'm allowed. It's Monday.

On a side note, I'm attempting to set up a counter on my page, just so that I may confirm my assumption that only Zann reads the blog anyway. I suppose if I should have any fan, it would be her.


Three cheers for a relatively simple weekend. Little shopping, no trips to the city, several video games, and a very clean room makes for a happy me. How I wish tomorrow could be Friday at 5pm all over again. One endless weekend. I need a vacation.


Ok. I've had way too many capri sun juice pouches today. I think I've had about five of them, and that's far too many. It's a terrible thing when the grocery store sells them 3 boxes for $5. I bought Strawberry, Mountain Cooler, and Pacific Cooler, the latter being the best tasting by far. Maybe if I freeze them I won't be as inclined to suck them all down in the next 24 hours. Blah.


It's time for the Muppet Show! Yaaaaaaaaaay!
Happy Birthday Jim!

I am on a roll today, let me tell you. It all began last night when I, having one of those graceful moments, tripped on the phone cord in my room. The result. I ripped the phone from the wall. Way to go Grace!

I called Verizon, who told me that they would charge me $91.00 for the first HALF HOUR and $45.00 every half hour after that. Yeah, no thanks. So then the woman at Verizon told me to call up the order department, have insurance put on my line, and in five to seven days when the order went through they would come out and fix my phone. This route would only cost me $3.95 a month. Blah.

So I showed my roommate and the house's Mr. Fix-it what happened, and he told me to go to Radio Shack, buy a new outlet, and that he'd put it in later tonight. Screw Verizon. After work, I trudged over to Radio Shack on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Ave. and picked up the goods.

When I got home and there was no Mr. Fix-it to be found, I decided to install it myself. After a quick cell phone call to my father the electrician in Florida, I had everything up and running again. I'm good.

Also, my Lord of the Rings shirt arrived in the mail today, and it fits like a glove. Now only if my duster would arrive everything would be right with the world of UPS.

I had a child in my class vomit three times today because he was throwing a tantrum after his mother left. I've never seen a kid so angry. It was frightening. The little angel speaks very little English as it is, so when he gets mad he hurls Spanish my direction at about 90mph. I, unfortunately, do not speak Spanish (at least not past what I learned on Sesame Street).

It's quite possible I don't want to know what he's saying, because I'm the one that tells his mother she must leave each morning, as opposed to hanging around the class for 30 minutes making situations worse. Yeah.. I'm glad his head didn't start spinning around. I would have called it quits right then and there.


When all else fails...

I have a child in my class who is... very trying. There are different levels of misbehaver and I would have to say that this child ranks about an 8 out of 10. He throws fits, cries at the drop of a dime, refuses to do as he's told, rolls about on the floor, bites other children, is constantly fighting. You name it, he's done it. He seems to have a knack for frustrating both his teachers and his parents.

The majority of the boy's problems are his parents, mind you. I know that I was never given the chance, but had I been given the opportunity to tell my mother to shut up I would have be realigning my face and searching for a cushioned place to sit down for days. (And today I thank my parents for raising me with such discipline to know better.) My assistant seems to think that by forcing the boy to sit out during all the fun activities during the day, he'll eventually learn that he has to behave. That's a great idea, but the child is content to sit out and do nothing, and happily entertains himself during these all day "time out" sessions.

The woman I work with has much more experience in this profession than myself, and is much older than I am at the same time. This situation makes me feel obligated to ask before I act when disciplining the children. I also have a very passive approach to adults and children alike, which works both to my advantage and disadvantage. My assistant is very aggressive and enjoys speaking before she thinks. If I'm not careful, I get mowed over in almost every situation.

Lucky for me she was absent from work last Friday, so I decided to start some intervention with my favorite little troublemaker. Needless to say, everything seemed to be going well. Hey, I'm not talking a complete turn around, but progress is being made. The kid sat still for 45 minutes this morning. Do you know how difficult that is to do when you're 4?

When my coworker arrived this morning at our daily trip to the park, she was aghast to find the child playing. I put my foot down, though, and explained that he had behaved very well that morning and that he had earned his play. I'm sure she muttered a few things under her breath and will leave me a note in the morning informing me that Little "N" must sit at the park again, but hopefully the talk I had with my boy before I left for the day will prevent that note from being written.

I also find that certain children agitate specific adults more than others. For some reason or another, this child can't look sideways at the woman without her jumping down his back. I just believe there's a better way to go about the situation, whether it's mine or not. I hope she realizes that behavior modification takes more than one day to occur. Sitting for an hour and a half watching your friends have fun everyday of the week isn't going to lead to prevention, it's going to lead to one angry child, and eventually a furious adult.

I saw it, and had to buy it, no questions asked. Found at www.NewLineShop.com or www.theshireshop.com


On a side note: part of that dream may also have been my subconscious telling me that I need to get off my lazy arse and practice my horn. Wince.

Dreams are very strange and wonderful aspects of life. I heard once that dreams help us to work out details and complications that we can't seem to deal with while we're awake. I believe that the statement isn't far from the truth.

Lately my dreams have been compensating for that which is missing in my life. Take last night for example (or early this morning as you'll have it.) I had a dream that I was back at college. It seemed as though I was returning from living in New York. I remember seeing Dr. Adams from across campus, and being thrilled to death to be back. I was in charge of his office again, and playing in the band. Thoughts of him as of late may have spurred his appearance, but that's besides the point.

Later in the dream, I was at some sort of music competition. I remember specifically that I was to play a piece called "Allegro" although I know not by whom. I had a clear feeling of worry and dread because although I knew the piece, I hadn't practiced it in several weeks, and had never practiced with the pianist.

My best friend from high school was also in the dream. Although he was out of place chronologically, he was there to listen to my piece at the competition. Next to my mother, he was my number one fan in high school. We acted as though we were siblings, and he always made me smile.

So, from this I have deduced that I need to regain the level of safety and stability that my musical background and friendship gave me not so long ago. There was a wonderful comfort in the environment in my dream. I found a real sense of belonging.

When I think about it, truthfully, the only place I ever really seemed to belong was at college. Even then I only had two or three friends (who were also saxophone players). The circumstances actually forced us to be friends, for we were grouped together in every task at school, be it quartet, practice time, band, jazz band, pep band, classes, you name it, we did it together. As for the friend from high school, he and I grew up together. Sure, we got on each others nerves often, but we had common bonds and goals, and that was safe and encouraging.

I've always done things on my own, which gets very lonely, and have had difficulty making friends quickly. Look at tonight for instance, sitting here writing as opposed to being out with a loved one, or even in the presence of a friend. I have no friends here, none of my own at any rate. The friends I have are mutual friends who treat me like a kid sister, as opposed to a friend. I don't regret that in the least, but I yearn for something more. I need to be me, in a place where being me is acceptable. No one to impress, unconditional love, where my worrying won't go unnoticed or uncared for by those I love. I wonder if there's a Cheers around here?


La Valse. This is by far my favorite Ravel work. I actually played this piece in college with Dr. Adams (see picture at left; the best professor in the world) and even though we sat and cursed having to try and read Joe Kreines's manuscript music, we loved every minute of the process. Oh the memories come flooding back. At one point we decided it would be best to write into the music where to turn whichever of the 12 pages we were on at the time and who needed to turn them. A phrase didn't go by without someone leaning over and asking "Is that a flat, a sharp, or an ink blot?" To which the reply was always, "I have no idea just keep playing. He'll let us know if it's wrong." And Kreines always did let us know.

Picture it! Symphonic band rehearsal, Monday night. Dr. Adams most often passing back and forth on the risers, making faces at all the imperfections he heard. Kreines stood on the podium, waving his arms frantically and jumping up and down. The band, sitting just so, playing so hard, just trying to keep up. The cue, good ol' Joe clapping his hands together loudly once or twice, was given to stop. Kreines (see picture at right) would point to a specific person and yell "Second trumpet! Measure 592, on the and of 3! Does your part say B, or Bb? I heard B and I want to make sure it's not a mistake in the part. It's Bb? That's what I thought. Your mistake, not mine!" And off we'd go again, swirling through thousands upon thousands of notes. Melodies. Counter-melodies.

Now this wouldn't seem too difficult if you didn't know that the band had over 100 players. Knowing exactly which person played the wrong note is insanely difficult to pinpoint. Impossible in fact, unless you're Kreines. Dr. Adams was so fun to watch during those rehearsals. He knew what the band was capable of, and what we weren't capable of for that matter. He always made this "yuck" face, all wrinkly and puckered, when he heard a wrong note. He'd throw his hand up in the air in frustration when the lines didn't fit together as they were intended. And then there was the smile. Dr. Adams always has a wink ready if you catch his eye and the music gains his stamp of approval.

It's times and memories like these that make me think I'd give up a lot to go back to that place, to experience that thrill, one more time.


Odd are the things I find myself saying when I've had less than 6 hours of sleep. My thoughts are quite random this evening. I've spent most of the last two hours "window shopping" online. Last year (my first winter up north) I didn't have the funds to purchase a fall wardrobe. This year I have a little more wiggle room, but having never bought clothes any warmer than what is required for the two weeks in Florida when it gets chilly, I'm having difficulty deciding what I want. There are so many choices, and so little money.

My new student's name is Omoniyi. Bet you can't say that five times fast. Too many vowels, not enough consonants. Lets try it phonetically. Oh-mow-knee-yee. Hey, at least I can spell it after the first day. He may have to be called "boy" if I have to call out his name quickly for some reason. I'm not sure I can spit out his actual name if I have to stop him from harming himself or another child. "Omonini... Omoyini... Monyonimi.. Yomonini! BOY! Be careful!"


Well. After much searching, I came across a store that had what appears to be the exact sweater duster I was hoping to find. Thank goodness. Now, if it gets here and actually fits I’ll be in good shape. It cost a little more than I was hoping to spend, but it was on sale, and I guess for someone who has purchased no more than 5 sweaters her entire life, I did a fairly decent job bargain hunting.

Here you go. The model doesn't look anything like me, but hey, that doesn't matter. Or does it? All I can say is that I hope I pull the look off as well as the model, else I just wasted $40.

This Monday went by without a hitch. Hopefully the rest of the week will flow this smoothly. Summer has come to an end, and today was the day I officially started teaching my new recruits. Today we worked on cutting and pasting. I know that was always a favorite activity of mine when I was in Kindergarten. The assignment worked like this. I gave the children a sheet of paper that had various animals and a little girl on the front. The children were told to cut out the pictures of things that fly, and then paste them on a second sheet.

I discovered that I have three children who have no idea how to cut using scissors. One child even reverted to ripping the pictures off the page as opposed to using the proper tool. The other children's motor skills are average level for their age group. Before I began the exercise I could pinpoint the children who were going to have trouble (the same children who can't hold a pencil or trace a shape), but the activity gives me hard proof to show parents. This way when I say your child needs to work on X,Y, and Z, and they say "Well, my little Johnny doesn't have trouble with that at all!" I can show them the wonderful work (or disastrous as the case may be) that little Johnny has produced, and go from there.

Working with parents is almost as difficult as working with children at times. These days, a lot of parents are still children themselves, but that's a whole different post. Tomorrow is another day. I am in charge of preparing the leaders of the future, and that is not a job to be taken lightly.


Well it's happened. No longer can I say the phrase "When pigs fly!" because today, I saw a pig flying high in the sky. A fluffy white pig. Ok. So it was a cloud shaped as a pig but I think that's as close as I'm going to get, unless a miracle of modern science cooks up a pig with wings in the near future. Oink! It was gone as quickly as it appeared, but it was there, in my child’s mind, for a few short seconds.

This weekend has been uneventful in an eventful sort of way. I spent Friday night watching Amelie which I recommend you all see (so long as you aren't opposed to subtitles). The chili I made was also a hit, which makes me happy.

Saturday I found myself wandering about my favorite spot in NYC, shopping for odds and ends. I ended up coming home with a new sweatshirt, some fun Pilates workout bands, a new toothbrush (it's blue!), and two videos. I watched the first of the two movies I bought, A Walk in the Clouds, a good romantic comedy, and left the other video, Seven, for tonight. I'm hoping that I won't be scared senseless and have to sleep with all the lights on after watching Mr. Pitt in the suspense thriller. Only time will tell.

Today was spent walking around Brooklyn, through the Fulton Mall, and down to Barnes and Nobles on Court Street. I managed not to spend any money today, which is both a good and bad thing. I was searching for the seemingly rare "duster", also termed a "sweater coat" by some. I ended up walking about 6 or so miles and that was after I had run 3 miles in the morning. Having no sweater to show for after over three hours of shopping, I had had enough for one day and returned home empty handed.

There have been several thoughts running through my head lately. I'm sure this is not how life is supposed to flow. To simply exist, go through the same routine everyday, yearning for the weekend to come swiftly. As the precious time slips through my fingers and I'm presented with yet another routine, just on a different day, I realize that the profession I have chosen will be a great one to fit my lifestyle. I will have summers off to do as I please, and lets not forget the weeks of time off during the school year for random holidays. I'd like to travel, visit friends who have been away far too long, be an ever-present daughter and big sister, start my own family, and get to know this world as much as I can. Routines are wonderful plans that help keep us sane, but with no deviation life becomes quite boring. Even a Virgo needs to get out of her box once in a while.



While reading my birthday festivities post, I noticed I left out a nasty little tidbit that happened on the return trip through the city. During the traffic jam, a girl jumped out of a cab, dropped her pants, and peed on the Manhattan Bridge. Hey. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go. Yuck. I know. I can hear you now. "Some things are better left unsaid." Maybe you're right. Now she's famous, and has joined the club of Manhattan Bridge Pee-ers. (This may be a small club seeing as you’re not allowed to stop on the bridge, unless forced to by such circumstances as those we were experiencing.)

Changing subjects, my mission for the day was to register for a class at the neighboring college. By doing this, I hoped to appease the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Services (my employers) who requires teachers to have a masters degree in early childhood education in order to keep their job. Yes, a masters degree, so that I can continue to work for hardly no pay. Don't ask me.

Upon arriving at work and checking in with my boss, she informed me that because the college accessible to me at this point and time is only an undergraduate school, it would be pointless for me to enroll in a class at St. Joseph's. I already have a bachelor’s degree in Music Ed, why would I want to take a class that wouldn't earn any credits towards my masters? Isn't it funny when everyone else comes to understand what you've been trying to explain for eight months? At any rate, I won't be enrolling in the class, and I won't be in jeopardy of losing my job.

This means that I have six more months to find a job in the public schools somewhere before I lose my mind and take a lot of people with me. Six months is a good amount of time. I pray I'll be able to find something before the sand slips through the hourglass.

Double-edged sword. Due to the fact that I won't be in school this semester, I'll have to begin repaying my student loans. Groan. I guess you can't win them all.


September 6, 1979; 8:43pm. About half an hour from now, I will make my first appearance in the world as a 24 year old.

Birthdays seem to have taken on a new meaning for me, although I'm not quite sure how to define it yet. Do you remember when you were a kid, when your birthday was the most exciting day of the year (next to Christmas)?

There was so much anticipation behind this day it wasn't funny. Weeks upon weeks of buildup occurred because people were constantly reminding you by saying, "Someone's having a birthday soon!" or "What do you want for your birthday?!?" or "How old are you going to be? Wow! Such a big girl now! Not a baby anymore!" the sayings go on and on.

The day finally arrives, and I felt like I was emanating this blue light from the moment the clock struck midnight. The blue birthday light. Here I am! Today's my day! I even remember hoping my birthday was during the week, just so I could go to school and say "Here I am world! A whole year older!" (ok, a day older if you want to be picky, but you know what I meant). So many classmates to celebrate with while mom arranged the cupcakes on the long rectangular classroom table. Elementary school was great. I wish I could go back there some days. The best part was that the principal would announce each day's birthdays over the intercom, and those children would go to the office and ceremonially be glued to a red, yellow, and blue sticker with balloons that read "I'm (fill in the blank) years old today!" Oh those were the days.

I'm currently at the age where most 24 year olds go out drinking on their birthday, have a big party with their friends, go wild and crazy, and wake up the next day hung over and miserable, but knowing that their birthday was great the day before. Since I don't partake in the drink, and have very limited friends (most of who live no where near NYC) that option doesn't appeal to me.

The one person here who I want to spend my birthday with can't be with me. You see, 10 year high school reunions are just as important as girlfriend birthdays, especially when the latter slips the mind until it's too late. I suppose he remembered, and that's what matters most. He's promised to make an appearance, although when I've not been told.

I've decided to compensate by birthday shopping for myself. And I suppose that will have great advantages. No birthday presents you don't need, want, or know what to do with at all. No returning gifts that don't fit. No grinning and thanking people for coming to my party. Yeah, who needs it?

Wouldn't mind having my family around though. Where would I be without them at any rate?


The job search has not been going very well, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm getting very discouraged. School begins on Monday in NYC, and here I am with no music teaching position, stuck in a dead-end job at a daycare center, forced to make decisions and plans that are not going to benefit my career in the long run.

You see if I can't find a job by the time Sept 9th rolls around, I must register to take a college course so that I can keep my menial job at the daycare. They require all "group teachers" (that's me) to have or be working towards earning their Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. Problem! My degree is under music education. When the center hired me it was under the condition that I would work towards getting an early childhood education degree. Ugh. My year is up. I must return to college if I haven't been swept under the wing of the NYC Board of Education. Time is running out.

I can't honestly see myself working at the center for another year. We get almost no vacation days. Only 2 days off for Christmas. They throw a tantrum (like only a 3 year old knows how) if you call out sick or ask for vacation. They don't allow you to actually teach the children either, which is a huge concern. I've been told that I'm not to teach these four and five year olds how to hold a pencil, write their name, or learn to spell words. Unless, of course, I can do so through finger-painting, drawing letters in the sandbox, or putting on puppet shows. Well I have news for them. If I stay there another year, my class is going to learn something, even if that means breaking their stupid rules. They're only hurting the children anyway.

My life is in such an uproar right now. I look back on my parents lives when I was young, and I don't ever remember them having to deal with so much drama. They may well have been great at hiding the trials and tribulations, but they always seemed happy for the most part. I, on the other hand, am living in a swirling haze of nothingness. I'm not teaching music like I was supposed to be doing, no husband or children to speak of, not even a puppy to love. Discouraged Virgos are very dangerous. And prone to ulcers.

I feel as though looking for a job isn't good enough. At the end of the day when I sit down and say to myself "I've called fifteen schools, and they all responded 'position filled' or 'no position available' " I feel like I've failed. Yeah, I know I haven't. I have a job. I have friends. I have a great family. All counting on me, supporting me, (well except for the current job) and I don't want to let them, or myself, down. Being turned away from school after school gives you that... let down feeling.

When was it that we all were brainwashed with the concept that a person's worth or successfulness is determined by career status and annual income, as opposed to whether they were happy in life, was raising a family, had good friends, was trustworthy, etc?

I need to go back to that time.