I karate you!


Here's a story, pull up a chair and listen. I currently have three cousins that are pregnant. The first baby is due next month, and the other two are still a long ways off. The cousin having the baby next month was the one I was closest with growing up. We were born almost exactly a year apart, but not quite. Our mothers are twin sisters, etc so you can see there would be a bond.

I won't lie. We argued with each other a lot, and hardly ever saw eye to eye. At any rate, (and Stephanie if you're reading this it's going to sound odd) I've had three dreams about not only her, but her unborn child. The first dream occurred before she was willing to admit she was with child. I had made the assumption when I found out she was getting married, and shortly after I got the first premonition if you will. Then there was a second dream, and last night a third. Each time the child has been a bit older, but never older than the infant stage.

The odd thing about this is that the doctor who did her sonogram claims she's having a little boy. (I think we'd all be willing to admit that it was difficult to determine by the look of the picture, who knows what those little wrinkles were). In all three of my dreams, her child has been a little girl. Last night's dream was the most vivid.

I remember that she and I were walking down a street lined with stores and restaurants (maybe Mt. Dora or Little Italy, who knows). She was walking away and turned to say "It's kicking me again." Then we were zapped to my house in Eustis where we were sitting on the couch. She handed me the baby, which I distinctly remember as being not only her child, but a female, and the same child from the previous dreams. It had big chubby cheeks, and a few strands of blond peach fuzz, but not a full head of hair. I remember that the child was young enough, that it had yet to learn how to hold up it's head.

I'm not claiming to be a psychic. But I wanted to jot down the dream here as proof, just in case that kid turns out to be a blond hair, chubby-cheeked girl, instead of the boy for which they're planning. If it does turn out to be a girl, will I have to wear a funny hat, be called Madame Amy, and answer psychic connection telephone calls?


A Praire Sunset by:Walt Whitman
Shot gold, maroon and violet, dazzling silver, emerald, fawn,
The earth's whole amplitude and Nature's multiform power consign'd
for once to colors;
The light, the general air possess'd by them--colors till now unknown,
No limit, confine--not the Western sky alone--the high meridian--
North, South, all,
Pure luminous color fighting the silent shadows to the last.

This is the view from my apartment's deck tonight. I thought I would share the wonder with you. I've heard sunsets this time of year in NYC are incredible. Apparently, they weren't kidding.


Check it out. Now I'm ready for school! Let the games begin!


Let the homework begin! I received my curriculum book for my grad class in the mail today. It seems that there will be a lot of writing involved in each assignment, which is fine by me I suppose. Don't get me wrong, if I didn't have to do it I wouldn't. I don't mind going the extra distance though if it means creating a new and improved back-up plan for myself. I'm trying to make sure I'm taking care of my own, so that I can take care of my own.

I'll get started on the assignments as soon as my text books arrive via UPS. My guess is sometime this weekend or early next week. I'm thrilled I have my new desk to work on, however. I think signing up for the masters degree program is what kicked me into gear to actually purchase a desk. At least now I have room enough to work (and lets not forget that I needed a place to set my soda while I work).

Another perk of taking the classes is that it will finally kick the monkey (j.o.b.) off my back about getting a masters degree. Apparently you need one to teach in community centers these days (I'm rolling my eyes, if you couldn't tell.) Someone's going to have to start paying me more.

The center just isn't cutting it for me anymore. I love the children, but the work environment is not good. Between lazy, thieving, good for nothing co-workers, and an admin staff that can't tell their left from their right it just doesn't make for a suitable learning/working place. I put in for three weeks vacation at the end of May/beginning of June, so that I can make a trip to Florida to see my sister graduate from high school.

Hopefully they'll approve my vacation, because if they don't then I'm going to quit. I pray that I'll find a music position in public school by September 2004. There's a good chance I can have one set up and waiting by the end of May if the mayor follows through on his word and reinstates the music programs. Then if the current job tells me I can't go see my sister graduate, I'll get to say those six special words for the first time.... "Take this job and shove it!"

Oh, and feel better Zann.... I miss you when you're sick :-)


Well, The Postman was an exceptionally long movie, and strange at times, but very enjoyable. Now I sit with my honeynut cheerioes which were on sale for $3.99, and my marshmallow lovers hot chocolate at precisely the right temperature. Anyone want to play banjo kazooie?

Babies on Xylophones Some give these kids some oreos!


A friend at my computer before the new desk... blah
Well we're movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up
To the east side.
We finally got piece of the pie.

Front view of new desk.. wee!
Fish don't fry in the kitchen;
Beans don't burn on the grill.
Took a whole lotta tryin'
Just to get up that hill.
Now we're up in the big leagues
Gettin' our turn at bat.
As long as we live, it's you and me baby
There ain't nothin wrong with that.

Side view of new desk... hooah!

Well we're movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie.


Southern quote of the day:
"If you run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in a four-wheel drive pickup truck with a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them, just stay out of their way. This is what they live for."

Having lived in the South all my life, I can tell you that this is a true statement. There were many changes I had to make concerning my level of trust when I moved to NYC. One of those included not accepting everything that is said for face value. City-folk will lie through their teeth and smile the entire time they're doing it. I'm not saying southerners don't lie, but at least you can take them for their word.

I suppose being raised in the South, you turn out to be very trusting. Way too trusting if you end up anywhere but your born and bred stomping grounds. Here, if I got my vehicle stuck anywhere and four men arrived in a truck, I'd either lock my doors and pray to God, or I'd just jump out, hand them the keys, and let them strip the car as they intended to do in the first place.

I can tell you right now that I won't raise a child in the city. I want to be able to tell my kids "Go play in the yard". Here, they'd have to play in the street, and there are far too many kids being plowed into by buses for me to feel safe about that. I'd rather have them in my fenced-in back yard, running about with the family dog, digging in the dirt, climbing trees, and breaking their bones as nature intended (by falling out of said trees). The chance of them being shot at is slim to none. Why? Simply because guns aren't to be shot in city limits, and every southerner knows this rule from age 10 (or as soon as you're old enough to understand the rule and it's consequences.)

After teaching in NYC for the last year, I am amazed by the difference between the two sets of children (Southern and Northern). The children here have to grow up way too fast in order to protect themselves from the adults who are in charge of their lives. Children should be able to romp free without a care in the world, and that's difficult to do in this environment... and reprogramming them is not an option. Their loss of childhood was not be choice, but simply for survival purposes. To alter them is to endanger their survival skills, and you cannot do that unless you remove them from the harmful environment. It's a shame really. I wish I could relocate them all, so that they could experience the joys of childhood as they were meant to be.


my sidebar, has mysteriously disappeared today.. it seems that last night when blogger wouldn't publish my entry, it decided to publish only half of my template... which means that the sidebar will have to be redone. Great. Back to the drawing board.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Happy Valentine's Day from Room 228 Brooklyn New York


Sometimes I feel like the unfinished puzzle,
That's sat for months on the bedroom floor.
Covered in dust, pieces scattered wherever,
Nothing seems to fall into it's place.
No longer wishing to be swept under the rug,
Put me together or back in my box.
I was meant to make sense, a display of perfection.
A riddle undone with no purpose I'm not.


Can I tell you that the NYC transit authority has had me running in circles today? Thanks MTA! I spent way too much time backtracking to get where I needed to go today. My quick trip from the G to the L to the store ended up looking like this: G to the L. Find out the L isn't working. Get back on the G four more stops to the E. E to the 6. Ok, so then I wasn't even where I intended to be, but I got a special errand done so I was fine with that. Then I jumped back on the 6 after several hours of waiting, and ended up at KMart which was my initial destination.

I thought I was safe after all that, but no. That would be too easy. On the way home to avoid the L I'll take the A I thought. WRONG ANSWER! How about the 6 to the 4 to the A. But oh, the A at this station isn't running. Go four stops the other direction and catch the A at West 4th. The A is running on the F line. So it was back on the E uptown, to the A, then A via F line to the G and home. Someone's not going to get any cupcakes for this hassle.

But hey, I was in the heart of NYC by myself.. this being only the second time I don't think I did that bad. Not my fault the trains were screwed up. Back to work tomorrow. Valentine's week with the kids should be great fun.


I've been cordially invited to join The Real World... Blogger Style So go check it out, or if you've arrived from that site, then welcome! Feel free to look around, just wipe your feet at the door.

I've decided that I'm going to draw all of the Valentine cards for the kids, so their parents don't have to go out and buy them. I'll just send them home, pre-addressed, and all the kids will have to do is color them, and write their name in the "From" slot. Not as much fun as I had imagined but at least I'm trying over here. I can't wait to make the heart-shaped cupcakes with strawberry frosting! The best part about this recipe is that they're made with marbles! Toys and candy, all in one... you can't beat that.


Ah. Tis the season to make Valentines. I've begun plans this week of a party for my class on the 13th. How terrible is that anyway? To have a Valentine's party of Friday the 13th seems like it could be a bad idea. I don't have any other choice though.

I remember making Valentine's baskets when I was in elementary school. Every child's parent would go out and by those pre-made cards that you just write your classmate's name on, and pop into an envelope. Then we would spend the afternoon passing out our cards (learning and not even knowing it), and eating cupcakes. Those were the days.

I wanted to do something sweet for my kids so I am attempting to come up with a plan to entice the parents to participate in such an event. Up to the point, I've found the major lack of parental participation very discouraging when it comes to these occasions. Many times I just end up asking for a two or three dollar donation, and then going shopping for the kids myself. It upsets me to see children get left out because their parents couldn't/didn't want to spend the few bucks to make their kid's day. This way I know what I have, who doesn't have, and I can even things out a bit.

After talking to my director, however, she says that she thinks the Valentine's cards are asking a bit much. That we all know the parents at the center (except for an elite few) won't go out of their way to feed their kids, much less let them have a little fun. (Take yesterday for instance... throwing together a last minute birthday party when we found out the little girl's parents weren't going to do anything for her on the special day, then watching the mother/father sit on their rears, eat cake, and talk on their cell phones instead of helping to entertain the class.)

At any rate, we spent today making the first of many cute cards. We used hearts to make a caterpillar, and I'll come up with some cute little message to write inside. I've got a recipe for heart shaped cupcakes that I'll be making for all the kids next week, and we'll see what else I can't come up with. I know me, and I know even if I have to make cards for the kids to color/cut/stuff into envelopes, then that's what I'll do. No one should be without a Valentine card on Feb 14th. Especially not my room full of 3 and 4 year olds.


Kozy Shack rocks my world. You should all go out and try their cinnamon raisin rice pudding, if you haven't already. Go! Now! Please.

This week is taking it's dear sweet time to roll by, isn't it? So far I've managed to become completely annoyed at one of my co-workers (you know the one I'm always complaining about who clocks in, but only spends 1 of 4 assigned hours in my room... Where he is the rest of the time, probably off stealing children's coats or something), and then have to throw together a last minute birthday party for a child whose parents don't seem to care enough to take care of her properly. Not on my shift.

The good news is that I got to talk to my friend Greg from Kansas. I met him once, when I was eighteen. It's nice to hear from old friends from time to time. It reminds me that I need to spend more time trying to keep in touch with those people.

Let's all pray Wednesday doesn't take as long to pass as Tuesday did... Three day weekend in T-minus 10 days and counting!


I took this on my way to rescue Banjo-Kazooie