Holy flying monkeys batman! I played hookey from work today and showed a few members of my family who were visiting around town. (And might I add that I was so thrilled to have them here. I hope they come visit again soon! Thanks Aunt Rita, Robin, and Wendy!) I'm considering quitting my teaching job, to become a tour guide. Here's how the day played out.

705am: Call out sick to work. ::coughwheezemoan::
725am: Take three different trains to Grand Central Station to meet the family
835am: Gather family and begin tour of town
905am: First stop, Starbucks for a variety of beverages
930am: Wander around Time Square pointing out various buildings
1000am: Walk past Rockefeller Center and around Radio City Music Hall
1015am: Walk into the Time Square everyone sees on t.v. and point out buildings
1040am: Jump on train to Herald Square where we see Madison Square Garden, the Hotel Pennsylvania, the Empire State Building, and Penn Station
1140am: Hail a taxi cab and drive to/spend time at Ground Zero
1235pm: Hail another taxi cab and drive to South Ferry
100pm: Wait for Liberty boat to arrive to take a tour of Liberty Island
130pm: Arrive at Liberty Island and tour the Statue of Liberty
330pm: After touring the Liberty Island Gift Shop we head back to the boat, make a quick stop at Ellis Island and then back to New York City
400pm: Back to the subway on the Q line to visit my apartment in Brooklyn
430pm: Arrive at my apartment via the bus, show off the apartment, and relax for a few minutes
500pm: Run out to Farmer in the Deli for the best hero sandwiches in the world
530pm: Eat dinner, chat with the family
600pm: Call a car service and send the family back to Grand Central Station so that they could catch their Metro North train back to Connecticut

Grand Total:

Buildings seen/visited: Macy's, Sac's 5th Ave, Toys R Us (Time Square), MTV Building, Nasdaq, Good Morning America, Virgin Megastore, Starbucks, FOX tv station, NBC Studio's Rainbow Room, The Blarney Stone Pub, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, Pennsylvania Hotel, Radio City Music Hall, Penn Station

Areas visited: Time Square, Herald Square, Ground Zero, Liberty Island, Clinton Hill Brooklyn

Modes of Transportation: NYC taxi, NYC bus, NYC subway, Liberty Island Ferry, MetroNorth, our own two feet

Money Needed: (this is not including the souvenirs purchased)$10 for the Ferry, $7 day pass metro card

Number of times I got us lost: ZERO! I'm that good.


Little demons.

It should be mandatory that four-year-old children visit an exorcist at least once before they reach their fifth year of life. I'm telling you, it might do some good.

Today I tried the last thing I knew to do after trying with no success to keep them semi-calm and myself semi-sane. I wore them out.

After they had their afternoon snack, I lined them all up across the room in rows, and we did stretching, and jumping jacks, and dancing, and singing, and clapping, and hopping, and spinning, and crawling, and whistling, and you name it. After an hour and several "I'm tired Ms. Smith!" comments, I sat down with them, broke them up into small groups, and set them at their work. One table got to color on very long strips of paper that I taped to the desk. Another group got building blocks, while yet another group got puzzles. I even had two children on the computer.

When I left at 4:30 by God they were quiet, and I was tired. Was it worth it? I'll ask my teaching assistant how they were this evening when I get to work tomorrow. It may have helped slightly, but I'm sure they got their second wind. I just hope it arrived in the car on their way home from school.


The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens is in full bloom during June and I decided to take a trip out there and capture some of the beautiful plants they have to offer, mainly the roses.

I even bought a Venus Fly Trap at the gift shop. Mission accomplished.


Well, I warned you it would happen. Unfortunately, it happened to my students today. My clumsiness wore off on some of them.

At the park this morning, one student tried to catch a Frisbee and missed, and caught it with his lip, which is now fat. Another little boy wasn't watching where he was walking in the line when we were leaving the park. I had turned around to make sure all the children were following, and all of a sudden I heard him let out a scream. The hurt cry. He had run slam into the water fountain, eyes wide open, and ended up with a scratched nose. And then we almost..... alomst! made it back to the school, when one of the little girls tripped over nothing on the sidewalk, and scrapped up her knees.

I should have DANGER tattooed on my forehead.



Today I have been tripping, dropping things, running into walls, you name it. I've run into the refrigerator, banged my shin on a chair, cracks in the sidewalk. I've dropped soda bottles, and mason jars on the floor. I've cut myself shaving. I nearly dropped my dinner on the floor. And I've managed to bang my left elbow into a variety of objects four times in the last two days.

It is dangerous for you to even be viewing this site. Just reading this post may cause you to fall out of your chair, knock over your glass of tea. In your frantic effort to save your keyboard from the flowing liquid, you'll pull your computer monitor off it's shelf, knocking a hole in the floor, through which your dog would plummet, landing on the cat.

Yeah. It's just one of those days. Way to go Grace.


Well folks, I've accomplished all the goals I set at the beginning of this five day weekend.

I finished the two papers I needed to do and turned them in to the teacher. I also went to the teacher recruitment meeting that went something like this:

Recruiter: How are you today?
Me: I'm good, yourself?
Recruiter: I'm fine. So, what's your degree in?
Me: Music Education.
Recruiter: Oy. You poor sap. Have you been to any job fairs?
Me: Yes sir, I've been to five fairs, and have yet to see an elementary music position.
Recruiter: Ah, yes they're hard to come by. With the push towards academics, music programs aren't getting the attention they used to receive because we can't figure out how banging a drum can aid students in learning math, science, and language arts skills.
Me: Apparently. Do you have any suggestions for me?
Recruiter: No chance in hell, kid.Just keep looking.
Me: That's what I thought you might say. Thanks for your time.
Recruiter: Where's my lunch? Anytime! Good luck!

Yeah, so the meeting went just as I expected. You'd think for a city claiming to need 7000 certified teachers for the 2004-05 school year, that they'd jump at the chance to hire on a young, certified, experienced teacher. I should have stuck with the performance degree.

In other news, I still can't beat the final coin challenge in the N64 Diddy Kong racing game. Repetition, repetition, repetition.


"C'mon babe, why don't we paint the town? And all that jazz.
I'm gonna rouge my knees, and roll my stockings down, and all that jazz.
Start the car, I know a whoopee spot, where the gin is cold, but the piano's hot.
It's just a noisy hall, where there's a nightly brawl, and all that jazz!"

It is such a beautiful day here in Brooklyn. The skies are blue, the grass is green, the weather is not too hot, but not too cold. I just came in from spending two hours outside and it still calls to me. Come! Frolic! It is spring time! Now all I need is some twitterpation, and all will be right with the world.

I watched Troy last night. The highlights from my viewing are as followed: (If you haven't watched, you might not want to read this next part!)

-Hector saying "He is my brother" in the most dedicated way and running Menelaus through with his sword after Menelaus ripped Paris a new one.
-Achilles crying over the corpse of Hector after being made to see the error of his ways by Priam. (I love watching Brad Pitt cry.. among other things.)
-Achilles relationship with Briseis was one not to be missed. A pleasant addition to the story. My favorite line is when Achilles says something to the effect of "I am the only Trojan you will not have to fear on this day."
-I particularly enjoyed the way Achilles used his shield, spinning it every which way.
-Lets not forget Paris and his ability to mount a horse in a single bound after being beaten within an inch of his life. (Did anyone else notice he didn't use reins to lead the horse, but his legs. Long live Legolas!)

I could go on. But I'll let those of you who haven't seen it yet discover some surprises for yourself.


For those of you who were unaware, my union (DC1707) has been on strike for the last two days. This means that poor me has had to find other means to occupy my time, and without receiving pay for those deeds.

Lets rundown the list of things accomplished thus far, shall we?

-Room rearrangement (this was done in an effort to dig my AC out from behind the computer desk and adjust the extension cords in this one-outlet room so that I might use my electronic equipment at is fullest functionality without melting due to the heat)
-Cleaned entire room after destroying it. I am now utilizing approximately 30% more space that with prior arrangement
-Made an appointment to see a NYC public school recruiter (Friday at noon) in hopes that I will have a new employer sooner rather than later
-Swept all landings and stairs from the third floor to the ground floor in this dusty old brownstone
-Worked out on the stair climber for an hour
-Located my transcripts for the meeting with the recruiter
-Wrote a five page paper for my masters class
-Spent two hours on the phone with my mother
-Took approximately 3.8 showers (moving furniture is hard work)
-Updated this site

Did I forget anything?

EDIT- Apparently I did forget something, as Zann has pointed out. We discussed the passing of President Reagan, the man who played the character of "Mark" on the tv show Roseanne, the man who played the character of "Wilson" on the tv show Home Improvement, as well as Ray Charles.


Tonight, along with many other twenty-year-olds across the nation, I witnessed my first Presidential funeral procession. The whole ordeal had quite a sobering effect. The last procession occurred in 1973, six years before I was born.

My mother called and told me to turn on the television. I wasn't sure what she wanted me to see, but she insisted so I obeyed. "This is something all my children need to watch," she said. "History is unfolding before your eyes." My mother sometimes doesn't understand the impact that she has on her children. Often she isn't given the credit she is due, simply for teaching us the most important lessons of life. This was a history lesson I will never forget. The event unfolded just as she said it would.

The caravan to the caisson, the riderless horse, the F10 planes and their missing man formation, the trip up the steps to the Rotunda, where the fragile yet strong hand of Nancy Reagan reached out to touch her husband one last time. I have never seen so many service men and women in one location. I imagine it could be both the safest and most dangerous place to be at that moment in time.

Everything was just so, everyone in the proper place. Each movement timed with the perfection only a soldier can learn. I could not seem to take my eyes away as the men made precise movements to secure the coffin bearing the burden and the joy of our world draped upon it's shoulders. The skittish horse that seemed hesitant to venture down the path of glory one last time, boots placed in the stirrups backwards for one final ride.

Yet one thing was out of place the entire time. Where was our fearless President Bush? Far away in Georgia at his G8 summit, of course. Would it have been so difficult for him to return to the White House for such short a time as to escort Nancy Reagan to the Rotunda? I can't imagine it would take more than an hour on that fancy plane of his, and I'm sure the world leaders at his little powwow would have understood the situation whole-heartedly. Am I the only one who ended up embarrassed that leaders from across the globe found their way to pay respect, yet our own Commander-in-Chief couldn't find the time to step away from his duties for a moment?

I think often we lose sight of what it is to be a great leader, or a great person for that matter. Compassion, caring, kindness, honor, and respect are qualities that made President Reagan the incredible man we remember him to be. Mr. President, if the sides were reversed, there is no doubt in my mind that President Reagan would have had your wife on his arm, with you lying peacefully at his side. He would have done so not out of obligation or duty, but because it is common human decency. He might have stood there with tears in his eyes, truly touched by a single soul as so few people can experience.

Your absence spoke volumes to the American people this evening, for I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed. If there was ever a reason for you to gain my vote, it has been lost tonight for sure.