Sunday, December 09, 2007

And after all that tooting...

... I caught a cold. A nasty cold that has been bugging me for way too long for my taste. Nothing to do really but weather it out, or starve it. As my paternal grandmother would say: "Starve a cold, feed a fever" like my father reminded me. No choice in the matter really, I have absolutely no taste buds left, and for anyone that enjoys food like I do, what's the point of eating if you can't taste or smell what you're intaking? I've cooked (by some miracle it was OK) but could not get myself to eat more than what is absolutely necessary for this damn machine called my body to function.
My hearing? hubby thinks that I've gone deaf (he's persuaded that by choice). Everything is muffled, but I've almost mastered the art of reading lips. Give me a couple more days of this crap and I'll be an expert. The only positive thing is that I can't hear the constant background noise of the city. I'm thinking of getting close caption though for the TV, the neighbors must be tired of hearing what I'm watching.
Ah, good times. I got the bug everyone is talking about. I feel like one of the King's musketeers: "all (bugs) for one, and one (bug) for all"; But I will suffer like all my fellow mankind, because I'm unselfish like that... ahem, cough cough, sneeze.

Tooting one's Horn; Part Deux

In the spirit of continuing the patting on the back, I will add that I got an A+. Yes, the bestest (shush, that's a word, I'm a teacher remember?) of the best.
I went to observe one of my peers the following day who had presented before me, and she told me that I made her look bad. I apologized but must admit that it made my ego fly to the moon. I mean, this is someone who has been teaching for a while and is really good, what better compliment can I get?
OK I'll admit, the best compliment was the professor telling me, the week after, that I was ready, that she wanted me in a classroom...
And this is where reality confronts idealism. Teaching, as we all know, is the worst paid profession in the world. Although we count on them to form our future citizens, we do not appreciate them as such.
Paying for school, living in NYC and at the same time attempting to have a glimpse of life from time to time is definitely not possible while being a teacher, convoluted but true.
So I'll have to wait until I'm almost finished with my masters, simply because I refuse to go into debt so as to pay for college.
In the meantime I'll continue to hone in on my calling, working at it, making it better (yeah yeah, I'm still not perfect), and maintaining the idealism I have so far. Here's to hoping that I never loose it...

Tooting one's horn; Part Uno

'Tis been a while so we'll do this in little parts m'kay? Don't want to overwhelm y'all and make you run the other way while screaming "make her stop, make her stop!" OK, now that that's out of the way let's get down to business.

People, I'm going to toot my horn as Kirk kindly suggested and my progenitor told me to do cause, well, I listen to the voices of reason.
I kicked some serious ass if I may say so myself. Yup I was good, hell I was pretty darn good! I was shaking, my ears were red, my voice trembled but apparently nobody noticed (well apart from the ears which made a couple of people put on sunglasses so as not to be blinded by them).
I was supposed to give a 15 minutes presentation which went well over 45. People kept participating and asking questions, the professor kept smiling and I kept going. My peers, who are teachers as I mentioned, were impressed. The best accolades I received after it was finished were "you looked like a veteran", someone else said "why aren't you teaching in a classroom?" or "can I have your lesson plan? I want to use it in my classroom" and yet another "wow, if you got us motivated you will most definitely motivate children" Shall I go on or is it already too much self-congratulating?

I feel very good about the whole experience. My adrenaline was pumping, my heart was beating fast, and I felt like I was on top of the world.
I am a teacher people. I am a teacher.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ayayayay

So tomorrow I have a *ahem* huuuuge presentation. Well it's not so much a presentation as a lesson taught to... ta da... teachers! Yup, I will be teaching tomorrow, to teachers, math, geography and general culture through the use of recipes (because we all know how much I love food) as if they were9 year olds. I can't wait to make a fool of myself.
Lesson plan? check. Graphs and charts? check. Cards with recipes? check. Nervous wreck? double check.

I know that at the end it'll be fine, but I also know that I'm probably going to blush and stammer. You see I've taught in the past as a college assistant, but that was different, the poor devils thought that I was a genius and swallowed everything I said. Now I'm confronting people that actually do this for a living! Oh good grief. The lesson is pretty solid, but it's the presentation of it that has me worried. You'd think that I was blasé with all the talking, intervening and general comment-making that I do while in class, but nope, I'm freaking.

I've been preparing this for over a month (and still married by some kind of miracle) and tomorrow is D day.
I'll let y'all know how it went. Tonight? I don't think that I'll be sleeping much...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

On a lighter note

I took two days off from work. Add those to the weekend and the day we have for Columbus day and I have 5 whoooole days for myself. I'm so happy. What are we doing? Who knows but we're doing something, after I mastered the CD player that refuses to cooperate with me. Mr. N touches it and it does what it supposed to do; Me? Nothing, it doesn't budge... oh technology, how I loath thee.

Friday, October 05, 2007

May I please?

How many times have you heard on the subway, the street, the T.V. people asking for you to donate something? There's the guilt trip: "with just 10 cents a day this little girl can go to school", the stab to the heart: "won't you help this child have something to eat today?", the constant reminder that you have more than some others do.

It's real though, we are all surrounded by people that have less, suffer more and are in dire need of basic needs. It is a reality of our society and as soon as you live in what many would consider comfort you think of it. The problem is that most of us who feel like we could do something, realize that our little something will not even move a grain of sand in this desert of misery. Why? because most of what we give or might give goes to some big organization that is overlooking the distribution of it all. Not really their fault, after all we live in a capitalistic society.

But there is - and shoot me for being, yet again, an education advocate - one that goes to the core of things: the education of children.
www.donorschoose.org is done by teachers that need materials for their classrooms. They'll state exactly what they need, exactly what project they needed it for. You'll see something like "crayons", "pens", etc... it is actually heartbreaking some of the things they list as their "needs".
Give people. This is our future we're investing in...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's September already?

Yeah I'm a bit far behind, it's the middle of September! That means several things: 1) gardening is coming to a close, 2) the semester has started and 3) it's September damn it! my most dreaded month.
For those of you who know me you know that turning yet another year is not something I look forward to. I've mentioned this is the past, it's genetic. I had a great aunt who would stay in her apartment with all the curtains drawn and kept away from the world. We didn't even know what day exactly was her birthday because we were forbidden to call her. I'm not that bad, but let's just say that I do not enjoy it.
Now this one is a big one, the big 40. I've been told that 40 is the new 30, whatever, if there's a zero in it, it's usually worse than the others. Mr. N, knowing his wife full well, has in the past years come up with things that would trump the dreaded day. 3 years ago he gave me a diamond and proposed over a pint of beer (we're romantic like that) after eons of being together, didn't expect it. After thinking that we would spend the rest of our lives engaged a year later he told me, in September, that we should get married that year, which we did 2 months later, in jeans, at city hall, with a good friend that kept cracking up as our witness. It was great.
This year we've been preoccupied with other things so somehow it has lost its sparkle or lack thereof. Mr. N keeps asking me what do I want to do for "the day" and frankly I have no idea. One day I think that it would be nice to have friends over, the next not so much... isn't indecision a proof of lack of maturity? I must be regressing then. In any case I will not beat myself up, I will play it by ear and see what I want to do when I want to do it, because damn it, it is MY birthday after all! I will not succumb to pressure, not even from me.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The lazy post

OK, so the last post was one of the laziest posts I've written. Copy and paste? oh yeah easy, coming up with something to say? not so much.
There are lots to say, but sometimes you feel the need to keep it to yourself, a sort of inner secret that makes you feel like the moment is special, you know?
And so I've had a couple of those, inner moments I mean, moments that I want to keep all to myself and not share with the world at large. Hell,not even with those close to me.

These past weeks I've been doing nothing but keeping to myself and being, well, lazy. This weekend was the best example of it. The garden? saw it once; The pool? didn't even get near it. Instead I read, laid around and contemplated my belly-button, lovely weekend if I may say so myself. It was a weekend of contemplation and relaxation. But nothing came out of it besides me being extremely well rested and restless... Although relaxation is key I always feel somewhat guilty of not doing a thing, must be a NY thing.
In any case, I'm starting classes soon enough and so I figured that allowing a weekend of nothingness was not that bad after all.

So here it is, a post about nothing really, but a reason why I haven't posted.I'm sure y'all understand right? Right.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A little taste of nothing

So although I should follow Kirk's example - who not only proved to all that he is not a procrastinator but also that he can keep his blog while 1) renovating an apartment, 2) moving and all the while 3) having a root canal - and write more, I will not do it just now.
But I had to show my face quickly to tell you y'all about a site that if you have nothing to do you should visit. It's a personality test... yeah yeah yeah I know, waste of time. Well today I was precisely in the mood to waste time: too hot and humid to do any gardening, too lazy to do any house work, and so I surf as an excuse not to do laundry.
As I was reading another blog, the author mentioned the site and of course, looking for excuses not to get up I went right to it. I took the test, and I have to say that the profile they gave me was, well pretty accurate, so much so that the result is that I'm recommending it if you have time to waste or are looking for an excuse not to get off the computer.
Here's my profile:

You are a Benevolent Inventor.
About you - You are an Inventor
- Your imagination, self-reliance, openness to new things, and appreciation for utility combine to make you an INVENTOR.
- You have the confidence to make your visions into reality, and you are willing to consider many alternatives to get that done.
- The full spectrum of possibilities in the world intrigues you—you're not limited by pre-conceived notions of how things should be.
- Problem-solving is a specialty of yours, owing to your persistence, curiosity, and understanding of how things work.
- Your vision allows you to identify what's missing from a given situation, and your creativity allows you to fill in the gaps.
- Your awareness of how things function gives you the ability to come up with new uses for common objects.
- It is more interesting for you to pursue excitement than it is to get caught up in a routine.
- Although understanding details is not difficult for you, you specialize in seeing the bigger picture and don't get caught up in specifics.
- You tend to more proactive than reactive—you don't just wait for things to come to you.
- Your independent streak allows you to make decisions efficiently and to trust your instincts
- You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well.
- Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

If you want to be different:
Try applying your creativity to more artistic arenas, and letting your imagination take less practical forms.

How you relate to others - You are Benevolent
- You are a great person to interact with—understanding, giving, and trusting—in a word, benevolent.
- You don't mind being in social situations, as you feel comfortable enough with people to be yourself.
- Your caring nature goes beyond a basic concern: you take the time to understand the nuances of people's situations before passing any sort of judgment.
- You're a good listener, and even better at offering advice.
- You're concerned with others at both an individual and societal level—you sympathize with the plights of troubled groups, and you can care about people you've never met.
- Considering many different perspectives is something at which you excel, and you appreciate that quality in others.
- Other people's feelings are important to you, and you're good at mediating disputes.
- Because of your understanding and patience, you tend to bring out the best in people.

If you want to be different:
You spend a lot of time taking care of others, but don't forget to take care of yourself!
Sometimes you can get over-committed, and when you sacrifice spending time with those close to you, it can make them feel unimportant.

Cool uh?
Want to do it? Go to http://www.personaldna.com/ and have fun.

OK now to find something else to waste my time in.
Back later.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

No reptillian weekend here

I'm not a reptile. What do I mean by that? I mean that I don't need to lay in the sun in order to warm my blood and so I don't.
Contrary to what appearances may show, I'm not one of those that spends her time laying in the sun, putting on lotion, with a timer in her hand so as to know when to flip around and doing nothing of her weekend but concentrate on tanning lines. Not so. I am lucky to have a pool available but incapable of spending time laying by it, even with a good book in my hands. I tried, really, once so far. It lasted about 1/2 hour (not counting the time when I was actually IN the pool, that I can deal with). The only reason why I attempted to go against my nature was precisely those damn lines, or more like patches in my case.
You see, we are also lucky to have a garden in the building, and that's what Mr. N and I do during our weekends, we garden. The result is that Mr. N looks like he has a white t-shirt on even when he takes it off, and me, being the smart girl that I am, have tank-top marks. It looks like I'm all over tanned, but no. If I wear a skirt (which we now know I don't) or capris, you will see a definite difference between my back and my legs; it's like two different entities walking as one. It is a bit weird and so I thought I could try and even it out. 1/2 hour did not do it, nor do I care.
And here is the reason why, I much rather be here, than doing nothing but hear brats frolicking in the water...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A NY moment

I hardly ever wear dresses. Why you say? because I am the ultimate clutz. I am the person you see stumbling over a piece of dust on the sidewalk and immediately turning around to look for the mountain that had surely suddenly risen up.
I am the one that cannot drink coffee in the subway and manage to read her book while trying to keep a resemblance of balance. I will be the one always saying "sorry about that" while she bumps into you when there was absolutely no reason to be bumping into anyone.
I know I am a clutsz so I don't wear dresses just in case I fall I don't, on top of making a fool of myself, flash the entire world. I also don't wear white pants for the same reason. If I wear anything light I know that I'll be the one seating in the only seat where a 2 year old brat dropped his or her cranberry juice. But... but, I broke my rule a few days ago and wore white pants, and what had to happen happened, I fell.
As I was making my hurriedly way to the subway, climbing up the stairs in as a nonchalant way as I could muster, all the while cursing myself for having sat and knowing that I most likely was wearing someone's breakfast on my butt, I stumbled and fell.
First thought: "Do not put your knees down woman! you're wearing white!" so I probably looked like I was doing a downward dog in a very yogi fashion so as to avoid the sure stain. Of course when you have about a hundred people behind you it fails to look athletic and just looks pathetic.
I tried to follow the flow of the fall, and just grabbed my book that had flown from my hands as I was picking myself up, just so that it didn't look that evident, but didn't quite manage. My hair fell on my eyes so that I was blinded for a second, my sunglasses dropped on the floor and my most feminine attitude went out the window. I had to turn around and apologize to the line that had formed behind me patiently waiting for me to get it together.
We all missed the subway.
The white pants are in the closet and will gather dust. I am not to wear them again nor will I attempt to wear a dress, unless it's down to my ankles and I'm wearing shorts underneath it... better safe than sorry....

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Life is a bitter mystery

"Life is a bitter mystery" was an expression used by one of my old coworkers way back then, and it's one of those expressions I often refer to. It's true, you never know what you'll get in life, although I'm still debating about the bitter part. Lately though I've gone through a quite mind-boggling experience that would tend to assert that quandary yet I've somehow managed to keep a stiff upper lip, if you know what I mean.
I found out a few months ago that although mentally I'm still a young chick (yes, maturity is not a lifetime goal), my body has decided to prove that it's not that infallible.; more precisely the lady-ovaries decided to act beyond their age and stopped producing as many ovules as they should. The result? No little jr. Ns about to come. And so Mr. N and I went to an ovary specialist, better known as a fertility doctor.
Many probings and sticking with needles later, 4 (yes read four) embryos were transplanted. Needless to say that I was in a state of panic. Four? The hell? one seems impossible enough, but 4? No worries, none of them decided to stick around, and this is where I recalled my coworker's expression. You see I panicked at the idea of having four, but having none was even harder. And so now I find myself thinking that next time around if I'm asked whether it's OK to transplant 11 embryos I'll just have to think of what name to give to the football team, because people, life is a bitter mystery, and out of the eleven I'll hope that one decides to call itself my kid... and hey, if they all decide to stick around, we'll need a goal keeper!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Just a little something

I'm writing because I said I would, but I'm so tired that I'm going to collapse any second now so I'm keeping it short.
What has happened since last I wrote? Semester is over, got good grades. Garden has been planted. My cooking mojo is back. Trying to quit smoking so not drinking while cooking, maybe that changed it?
Anyway, I've officially joined my grandmother's ranks: I am now in bed by 10:30 and getting up (without alarm mind you) by 6:30. I say it's the summer, sounds better than age.
I am not inspired tonight and can't stop yawning, so I'll leave y'all until tomorrow.
I'll try and be a bit more awake, although I can't promise anything.
Signing off.

Oh my!

It's been over a month!! Such laziness.
I'll write tonight, really, I will.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Too much?

Yesterday the professor told me in front of everyone in the class that I am extremely analytical. I didn't quite know how to take it and so I waited until the end of class to ask her if that was such a bad thing. Her answer was that no, that it meant that I was really thinking about the subject.
But it got me thinking, and doubting of course, whether I sometimes push too far. I am well aware of the fact that I tend to look for what is not said, what is not implied and what sometimes is not even thought of. I often want to go beyond what is obvious and look deeper into things.
I've been known to dig in so deep that whatever I was digging for is no longer an issue. It sometimes has come to point of annoyance, an although I have that little voice on my shoulder telling me to stop I don't know how to.
I question everything, absolutely everything. But, shouldn't there be a point of just accepting things for what they are?
What marks the difference between a quizzical mind and a provocateur?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mojo

I've lost my cooking mojo. No the pleasure I get out of cooking mind you, it's more like the cooking that comes out of that pleasure... null!

I've had the bright ideas:
Stuffed zucchinis and tomatoes with ground meat that has simmered in onions, herbs and a little wine, topped with Parmesan. All accompanied with rice and a salad of cut-up lettuce and chunks of avocados. Sounds great doesn't it? The zucchinis and tomatoes were dry! I didn't make the damn tomato sauce to top it all off with and the vinaigrette on the salad was well, too vinegary.
The following day, not letting past fiascoes get the best of me, I embarked on yet another culinary dare: Crepes filled with shrimps and crab meat, topped with a spicy Bearnaise sauce, and an endive salad. I wasn't holding my breath on this one. I mean, how bad can I mess it up, right?... famous last words.
Although I did cook the flour for the Bearnaise enough, (good thing too because if not hubby and I would have to most definitely sleep in separate quarters lest we want to suffocate each other, anyone that has ever eaten uncooked flour in butter knows what I mean) the end product was, well, not appealing. Oh it tasted alright, but the crepes disintegrated and so we had a blob on our plates, a shapeless, unidentifiable-to-the eye blob.
Today I decided to cook some of the vegetables we have left: Japanese eggplants, mushrooms, a tomato, the inside of the zucchinis I had set aside when I did the afore mentioned stuffing fiasco, some garlic, onions and for color chopped up the leaves of some green onions.
Garlic,onions and veggies? can't go wrong... or so I hope. Watch them be over or under cooked and have no flavor whatsoever.

So I'm trying here people, although somehow the days of putting together a meal with no worries are gone. But I won't give up... I will find the damn mojo, whatever it takes, even if in the process hubby begs me to stop while holding his stomach in pain. I will get it back!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Kawabonga! (and now what?)

I've been trying to finish this post for about a week now and I'll be damn if I don't finish it today!
A few things are no longer current or accurate, but I feel like being bipolar so I will add a 'second voice' to the damn thing, just for kicks.

Spring break! yeay! (spring? what spring? I'm freezing my butt off here!) OK so for this girl the only thing that it meant was that I wasn't going to class for a week and a half, but still... yeay! not getting up early this Saturday is plenty for me at this point (not yeay, not even close to ye, I still got up early for no reason whatsoever, didn't even enjoy it).
Mr N and I decided to hit the farmers markets that are close by (would have been nice IF THEY HAD BEEN OPENED! yeah I'm organized like that... pfff), OK not thrilling but a change of pace. Seriously, I'm just enjoying being able to not have any obligations (besides cleaning, doing laundry, food shopping...). Period .
Mr. N has been in a spring cleaning mode that leaves me thrilled. The bedroom has a whole new look, the walls have been washed, furniture moved... I'm in heaven! In this household we move furniture ever so often and it gives the apartment a fresh new look that we love... for about 4 months and then we move stuff around again (and still moving, there's clutter everywhere).

And this is where I left off. Full of optimism for a week packed with exciting things to come, and what happened? Nada, not a damn thing besides the usual day in and day out. Serves me right for 1) not looking at the weather forecast, where I would have learned that we were going back to winter-like temperatures, 2) being a wimp when it comes to having to wear layers to go out and 3) thinking that one week off after months of getting up early would make ANY difference. Like if.

So the week has come and gone and I've done nothing to take advantage of it. We're promised warmer (read above freezing) temperatures for next week, whoopity doo! couldn't have been while I was off... noooo.
So I guess I'll have to wait until summer to actually get a life. At least I won't have the weather as an excuse for not having one!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Nerd?

I've been called a nerd. Hell, I even called myself one in a self-depreciating way but now I'm pondering about the true meaning behind the word.
Speaking from my own experience I do not see it as a derogatory or insulting term; it is just a word that means that you have your nose in your books any moment you can so as to quench your thirst for knowledge. OK, very romanticized, but you get my drift.
I got a very good grade in my exam, and I guess this is where all of this is coming from. I study every day, every time I get (when the neurons are awake), and so I deserved it. Not a perfect score because I made stupid mistakes, but who doesn't.
The whole point is that I wasted a big chunk of my life in just getting by, and now that I've found what I want to do I am investing as much as I can in it. Sue me, so a nerd I am.
I will continue, and will laugh with those that think I make too much of it, all the while patting myself in the back as I remember that I am doing this for me and no one else. And the rewards I get? They will be well deserved.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

And I like this... why?

I have an exam tomorrow. I'm freaking out. Why? because I always freak out when I have exams. I've always been a poor exam-taker: I hyperventilate, get sweaty palms, stomachache, headache, I convince myself that I'm getting a brain aneurysm; in other words I fall apart. And the more I study the worse it gets. Papers? I have no problems. Give me a 20-page paper anytime and even if I moan I'll get through it. I know that once I control my breathing when I'm taking the exam all goes well, but it's the building up to it that kills me.
So this is me, a Sunday night panicky person after a weekend of studying non-stop and 2 weeks of reviewing the material. I must be insane, why am I doing this again? Oh yeah, I love what I'm studying, but I could really do without exams though. Some kind of educator I'm going to be...

There's some other stuff going on, but right now I'm up to my ears in Native Language Acquisition to even consider writing any of it, so you'll have to wait until after the exam for me to go back to being my usual blabbering self. Until then, repeat after me:
"You'll do fine, you'll do fine. Breathe, breathe."

Friday, March 09, 2007

What the...?

As time passes I realize more and more that there are many wisdoms we were never told of when we were young. Yeah we get the birds and the bees speech, the one day you'll understand one, and the all time favorite you'll see when you have kids of your own. I don't know personally about the kids part, but I wish I had been told - among many other things- of the effects gravity would have on my body after turning a certain age.

Gravity should be a recurring theme brought-up alongside brush your teeth or they'll rot. We should be warned about its relentless pull, how parts that you did not know could sag would eventually start taking on a whole new shape, more oval, aiming towards the southern hemisphere. Did you know that the skin on your ribs gets tired of sticking to them and decides to part ways after you're late in your thirties? I bet you didn't, now you do. Love handles? Nah-ha, they have moved on and become alien entities that just want to run for their lives... away from you, towards the south were it's most likely warmer.
And the hair. Remember when you used to make fun of older men because they had hair sticking from their ears? Well think again, it's not from the ears in women, it's on the chin! and a rebellious one here and there on the throat. Why? because we never had to endure the shaving rituals on a daily basis (hopefully) and so it's a way of getting back at us.

Which makes me think, there is some balance in this world after all. Women go through yeeeears of GYN probing and then men get it right back when they are in their 50's and get the glove with Vaseline as they're told to relax. On the other hand men have to deal with facial hair throughout their lives, and we get it as we give up our youthfulness.
It's those little-know things that creep up and should be imparted on our youth: Things fall where they shouldn't and grow where we never thought imaginable they would. And those, more than the birds and the bees, are the facts of life. Now why were we never told??? Revenge I bet.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Damn winter

I hate winter. No we haven't had such a terrible one: no nasty snow storms, no blizzards or major puddles to walk through, but still, the weeks of hellish cold weather we had just wore me down. As we near the end of a few days of spring-tease (the damn cold is starting again next week) I realize how much I hate being cold and having to layer-on clothes. That and the bare trees. There's nothing more depressing than bare trees. Not only because they look dead, but also they do not cover the grime and the dirt. At least when they're full you can't really see how dirty the buildings are. So it's a fact, I hate winter.

But today was nice. After barely keeping awake in class my walk home turned out to be enjoyable as I was accompanied by a nice springy breeze that made me happy. As usual I took my time walking (I refuse, refuse, to rush during the weekend) and looked at everything that came across my path. I can tell you that there's a pigeon under the bridge I pass by that has digestive problems (for such little animals... damn!), a new car that parks on the street I walk on, plants that didn't make it through the freeze that we had, and last but not least a humongous amount of dog poop on the sidewalks. What's up with that?? Were they buried under the ice and have been kept for all eternity?
New York was the example to be followed by all when it came to dog poop. You have a dog, you automatically become a scooper. If you don't scoop you get whammed with a $100 fine. Well apparently scooping poop is like alternate parking: bad weather? no need to move your car or pick-up your dog's crap. Granted, they weren't in the middle of the sidewalk, but because I'm a klutz (clumsy for all you non-Yiddish speakers) I look very carefully where I put my feet and so I could see them everywhere. I wonder if the non-scoopers thought it would fertilize the trees... that are bare.

Once I got home the fun started: studying. I'm still following my I'm-so-happy-to-have-a-second-to-spare schedule and getting things done for school. I feel like I've been writing papers forever and so saying "crap" and "poop" is feeling pretty good right about now.
After finishing up Monday's assignment I decided that I was entitled to a beer, just 'cause. And off I went to breathe-in the last vestiges of Spring we will have for weeks to come and beer I got. I met my neighbors accompanied by Luca (or was it Luca accompanying my neighbors?) on the way back. Can someone explain to me how kids grow so fast? the little shrimp that he was is now almost my size! OK, not really, but I'm short so it almost seems like it. Luca smiled and cooed at the ladies that passed by and complimented him all the while looking at me like I was an alien from another planet. Call it school-stuff or other, but I wonder what's going on in that little head of his. His father forbid me to use Luca as a guinea-pig though so I can't even attempt to probe....

And so my day went, trying to perceive a Lunar eclipse without moving from the house (I'm lazy at this hour), feeling like it's been a month rather than a week, getting ready to do some brainless activities (TV), and rest so that I can, tomorrow, start all over again doing homework, studying, cleaning the house, all under a rainy day wishing for balmy weather and turquoise seas.
Aahhh, at least I have my imagination.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Too many thougths

The problem about not having time is, well, not having time. The reason why I started this blog was so that I could write my thoughts, feelings, anything that came to mind. An on-line journal that was read by me and those that wanted to know what was up in my life. The problem, as stated above, is not having time to write and having such an accumulation that the posts become unbearably long. Get to it instead of rambling on you say? OK.

First, I love what I'm doing. I know that I've said it before, more than once if I recall, but I want to say it again: I love the course my studies are taking. Granted, as I've done in the past I can tell you that I had my doubts at the beginning of the semester. The classes seemed to have no shape, no purpose to the overall concept of what I want to do. But being the trouper that I am I stuck to it, following mechanically the process of reading, doing papers, etc... And although I still don't see the whole picture I'm getting glimpses of it, and I like what I see. Mainly I keep asking myself questions, and that in itself is proof that all is right. I am being challenged and made to think which is for me what education is all about. I only wish I had more time to dedicate to it.
The funny thing is that now I see a relationship to what I want to do everywhere. It's like when you start thinking that you can't do without a certain coat and all of a sudden you see that coat everywhere, whereas you never noticed before that everyone was wearing it. Well now I can't read, hear a conversation, watch a movie without thinking about what I've learned so far.
I'm not sure of what it means, it might be a sure sign of obsession but it doesn't bother me and I'm not driving everyone crazy with it either. I'm just observing and digesting, we'll see where it takes me.

The other amazing piece of news is that I'm calm. I haven't felt this calm, free of anxieties, stress or worries in a long time. Yeah I have gotten annoyed and uptight since I last wrote, but it's not affecting me. I don't know what that is all about either, but I'm enjoying the feeling.

So this has become a boring entry about me, me, me. There's a lot going on, but tonight I feel like I'm wading in a pool, listening to smooth music while watching the stars. I'm going with it all the while forgetting that it's below zero out there. The warmth of my home and the quietness of my mind is keeping me sane.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Eureka!

People, I've seen the light. It took me a while but I think that I've finally figured out how to best manage my time this semester. Phew!

I've been worried sick that I was going to fall behind in classes and would not have time to do all the work that needs to be done. Contrary to the past two semesters, I am now taking 2 classes like I've mentioned before, and with working full time I saw it a tad complicated.
Let's just say that when I come home from work I am so drained, that anything that requires an inkling of mental effort can't even be contemplated.
Beyond reading in the subway, which I've mastered quite well in all these years, I really could no see when I would actually be able to study, write papers and such. Well, this weekend it all came to light.

Yesterday I had my first Saturday class. It starts at 9:30 and so I wake up as if I were going to work, which is the blah part. But getting out at 11:45 leaves me the WHOLE day to write, review, read, you name it. And so I came home yesterday, re-wrote my notes (yes, I'm one of those), read the chapters I needed to read for next week, wrote my journal entries (and yes, I'm in grad school and I have to do journal entries, hey, it's a developmental reading class) and had time to make dinner.
I was so tired that by 11:00 I was in bed and sleeping like a baby. The result? I got up this morning refreshed and in full form, just what I needed to attack the 4-page paper due... in 3 weeks! And it's finished! Yay!
My calendar is updated, all the due dates are in and I'm already organizing the next paper... with time to spare to write in here.

So, although I will not be able to leisure-write as much as I had promised myself at the beginning of the year, I will have a window of opportunity on a weekly basis to indulge in it. I'll try and not write too much about school, but you'll have to forgive me if I do, it doesn't look like I'll have much of a life before this summer.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

It's alive?

Barely breathing. Very busy. These coming months are looking quite heavy duty. I'll post about this past week soon. Nothing exciting mind you, just not enough time to write about it.
Signing off for now...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Never mind

I changed the look of the picture again. I hated the other one actually. So back to same ol' same ol' until I find something better.
Re-signing off.

Blah

I'm home. Still not feeling 100% and the weather is lousy. I have to go out and get some milk and stuff and I'm really not up to it.
I've been sleeping like a baby though! So I guess eventually that will take care of whatever bug I have.
I must say that I have great neighbors. One of them sent me an e-mail yesterday to see if I was up to going out and after telling her that I was sick she immediately asked if she could get me anything I needed from the store. The word got out since then and I've received a couple of calls offering soup, shopping for groceries, anything I needed. Very nice, and I should have thought of the milk (although up to this morning that was the last thing on my mind) but I didn't, and now that I feel slightly better I have to go out, agh!

I got a phone call from hubby this morning, all is going great. He sounds a little tired (too much partying, hehe) but in very good spirits. I miss him though, and not only for having someone to go get milk when I'm feeling sick.

Damn bug, making me feel all mushy and stuff. Bah, off to bed again. Maybe I'll go out later.
Signing off.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

So much for the weekend

I had plans. I was going to clean the house, give myself a facial, manicure and pedicure, buy some flowers, cook a great meal for one, have a glass of wine and veg-out in front of the TV watching the Law and Order marathon.
Besides the TV part none of it happened. I spent the weekend visiting often my great friend the Porcelain God, feeling absolutely miserable and not being able to even phantom any kind of solid food. I've been hit by that damn bug everyone is getting. I felt it for a couple of days, run down, tired, cranky, but thought that it was the Little Creepers that were playing tricks on me. No such luck.
No amounts of Pepto helped, nor did the litters of chamomile tea I drank. I just crawled under the covers, turned on the TV and hoped for the best.
Today I'm a bit better, but the lingering nausea is driving me crazy. Toasts went down fine, but I can't even smell the coffee without gagging. Good thing I love tea.

So I have nothing to say, but wallow in self pity for getting sick on MY weekend. Hubby called and told me that they're having great weather and that he was going to have lunch (gag) with a friend of ours. I don't like him right now, I should be also out there having lunch (double gag) instead of hoping that the damn toast stays down. Oh well, at least one of us is enjoying this. I'll get my turn, as soon as I'm not closely attached to the bathroom.

Off to watch some more mindless marathons.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

So there.

Well, I sort of changed it, the look of the picture I mean. They now have a more artsy feeling to it. Whatever, indulge me.

This is my second night in what I'll call the bachelorette pad (only for a week until hubby comes back) and I realize that nothing really is different. Yeah a bit more quiet, but I'm not running around in my underwear doing pirouettes or anything of the sort. The only thing is that it took me about 2 hours of being alone to go back to my old habits: moving stuff around and cleaning at night.
Yesterday, at 11:00PM I started doing the windows because one of them had a smudge... by the time I had moved on to the second window I realized what I was doing and stopped dead on my tracks. I've been known for doing such crazy things and I guess that having Mr. N around sort of keeps me in check. Not last night, boy was I at it. Dust bunnies? Hell no! A couple of fluffed pillows later I decided to really indulge and watch dumb TV (Mr. N is a Dicovery, PBS kind of guy). So I surfed the channels and found... nothing.
I proceeded to go to bed and be bold: I laid in the middle of our king-size bed (yeay! all to myself) and slept like a baby.

So wild times as a single gal? Nope, not happening in this pad. My wildest moment will most likely be when I decide to give myself a facial and walk around the apartment with green gook on my face without fear of giving anyone a heart-attack.

I must be getting old.

Monday, January 15, 2007

New Look?

I learned through reading other blogs that last week was National DeLurking Week, go figure. Apparently it was the week to come out of hiding and post something to those you stalk . Well, as much as it is nice to have comments (somewhat validating your writing I guess?) I do respect the fact that you might just want to take a look and have absolutely nothing to say. I know because I do exactly the same thing.
But I'm thinking about the look of this blog, and although it's starting to look somewhat mine, the fact that you are greeted by 5 huge pictures of me, well, seems a bit narcissistic doesn't it?
I actually love those pictures, they were taken by my cousin as a series of black and whites, but, do you think they they're a bit much?
Let me know what you think of the template as well (if you so wish to).
I'm a big girl, I can take it ;)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Hummus!

I've been wanting to make hummus for ages now, and so today I decided hummus or bust. So hummus it was.
I can't believe that I never made it before: Tahini, chickpeas, garlic, salt, food processor and voila! Added roasted peppers and some olive oil and I'm in heaven. It was blended to the consistency that I wanted (a bit crunchy) and it's ready to be devoured by N and yours truly.

Why did it take me so long to make it? That is one of those questions that has no logical answer. I think that the tahini was the culprit, I didn't quite know where to get it from (I know, I know, I'm in NYC so I could have looked anywhere, I never looked, shoot me). So N suggested I go to this little Palestinian store in our neighborhood. Well, big mistake. I had been in the store once before and couldn't think why I had never gone back. The moment I stepped inside I remembered: I love that store! As soon as you walk-in the smell of spices greets you and lures to buy everything. You look at what they have on the shelves and even if you do not understand what is written, it looks so appealing that you want to get it and eat it right there on the spot.

They have all kinds of couscous, semolina, rice, you name it, in little plastic bags that still have the look they were put together by hand. You want pita? I've never seen such a variety of it, and fresh! I passed by their desert display shutting my eyes because just the smell of honey and pistachios was making my mouth water.

I strolled through the isles all the while mumbling in an almost frenetic way "tahini, tahini" so as to remind myself that I had come for one, and only one condiment. I walked out with the tahini, roasted red peppers and Markouk bread, and quite proud of myself for not buying the entire store.

I keep forgetting that besides the local, generic supermarket there are an infinite amount of small stores that carry amazing food and are kept by amazing people. The local Turkish store that is on my way home has one of my favorite snacks: Turkish pizza (or Lahmacun as I've learned it's called). If you've never tried it you have to; It's light, it's healthy, and it's soooo good. The small supermarket a couple of blocks away is mainly Korean and among many delicious things, has huge jars of Korean pickled cabbage (for like, nothing), the kind of thing that I would eat every day if it didn't kill my stomach. Curry? I am so close to Jackson Heights (or little India as it has been called) that I might as well be in New Delhi. The local Colombian restaurant makes for $5.99 one of the best roasted chickens I've had. There are a couple of Mexican stores that carry everything I need when I feel nostalgic.

And the people? The manager of the small supermarket that is right by my subway station went as far as to call his mother to ask her for a good hummus recipe for me. The man from the Turkish deli greets me every morning, as does the Jewish old man that has a shoe-repair store. The cashier at the pharmacy sends me notes when it's hubby doing the shopping and the elder that is always standing by his building wishes me every morning a good day.

I love my neighborhood. As much as I often feel that it's too far, or that I hate the subway ride, the fact that I can breathe when I leave Manhattan and feel like there are other human beings surrounding me makes it a special place to come back to.

I've got the food, I've got the people. Doesn't get any much better than that now, does it?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Can someone please?

Hit me over the head and tell me that it IS winter and it IS 2007. Whatever happened to the hype of a new year? It feels old already... I need to go back to school. 7 Days into the year and it feels like the same old story.
So yes, I expected to have a brand new shiny year, like a car that smells good and all. But no, same ol' same ol'. It's still Sunday and I still have to go to work tomorrow... And you all know how much I loooove Sundays. Yuk.

Quiet weekend, no news. Maybe something will happen tomorrow that will be worth me mentioning it? Dunno.
But anyway, happy b-day to Jen, welcome back to the blogosphere Sam, and way to go on the homemade pasta Lena (I'm so jealous I might even get me one of those contraptions and let hubby do the work).

Signing off.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Out of sync

Those who know me know that I dread the cold temperatures of winter, but this weather is ridiculous! New York City on January 6 is NOT supposed to be 70F (21C for 3/4 of the world).
And so keeping with the tradition of completely being confused as to what to wear throughout these months, I was again fooled by mother nature. Hubby and I went for a walk and I thought that I was going to suffer from heat-stroke after only one block.

Even though I was aware that it was unseasonably warm out there, my brain could only process that it is winter after all, and so although I didn't put my mittens and hat on I did don a heavy sweater. N took one look at me and in his ever-so-wise way said "don't you think it's a little too much?", to which I replied "It's January!" and off we went (His Wiseness doesn't argue with his wife when she makes no sense).
Weeeelllll, not smart. I came back to the house ready to put on a swimming suit and jump into any body of water (but the bathtub, it's too small to be "jumping" into unless I want to break something). So out the sweater came and t-shirt it was.

Dinner? well, since it's warm: chicken with rosemary... yup, summery kind of dinner.
I finally used the rosemary that I had so dutifully put into ice-cube trays when I did my urban harvest. I can vouch that the whole freezing in ice-cubes works, the house smells great!

In another piece of useless blabbering (which by the way I've seen spelled as blabbing which is not quite the same thing – Blabbing: To reveal (secret matters) especially through indiscreet or unreserved talk; Blabber: To chatter – I'm not indiscreet and so this is not blabbing but blabbering).
So where was I? Oh yes, useless chattering. I was thinking about being lazy and not sticking to my resolution of writing more. Which led me to think about being lazy in general and all the little forms it takes, which in turn took on the form of a list: The Height of Laziness. And here it is for your enjoyment, feel free to add your "proud" moments.

The Height of Laziness
1) Leaving the toilet paper resting ON TOP of the empty roll instead of just changing it (mea culpa, can't even blame hubby for that one).
2) Walking around in circles looking for the remote control (because actually changing the channel, song, etc by hand is unheard of).
3) Eating on the kitchen counter (place settings, plates and cutlery for two? so passé).
4) Seeing dust bunnies procreating and multiplying and constantly repeating "next week I'm definitely taking care of them" (and months pass until the only choice left is to either do it or move to a new place).
5) Considering the option of going out with wet hair even if it's 10F outside (because the 5 minutes it takes to blow-dry your hair is waaaay too long - not styling, just drying).
6) Not shaving until you can't distinguish between your husband's legs and your own (hair cannot grow that much in one day, or two or three, can it?).
7) Serving yourself yesterday's left-over coffee and nuking it (throwing it out, getting the coffee out of the refrigerator, pouring water and turning the machine on? too many steps).
8) Waiting until a bikini bottom is the last piece of clean underwear you have before doing laundry (and no, it's not a fashion statement, I despise doing laundry).
9) Making sure that whatever clothes you buy are wrinkle free (I have an iron somewhere, it scares me, I bet it's the dust-bunnies' pimp).
10) Making a list instead of doing all the afore mentioned.

Rest assured, the house is clean, but far from perfect. Then again, perfection can be so boring. Right? Right.

Update: The bunnies have moved on to a better place (the vacuum cleaner). May they rest in peace. I'm still working on the rest of it, including the toilet paper...

Monday, January 01, 2007

Newbie

I've been in a semi-comatose state the whole day. You would think that it was because of the *ahem* small meal that we had tackled last night, but no, must've been something else since we almost didn't eat.
As usual, when hubby and I get ready for a "degustatory" feast we end up not eating over half of it. I guess it happens to all cooks: after a day of being in the kitchen with the smells and (most likely) tasting everything you make, by the time dinner comes you are no longer hungry.
So we have an incredible amount of left-overs that I have been, slowly but surely, going to visit on a regular basis today.

Last night, after munching on some prosciutto, jamon serrano, nuts and smoked salmon, we proceeded to have the goat cheese clafouti (I do have pictures of how great everything looked though... besides the clafouti who didn't have enough time to cool down before we inhaled it). Needless to say that we couldn't even look at the rest of the meal after that. The shrimps, scallops, lamb and fresh pasta with mushrooms were abandoned without a second glance. We wobbled unto the living room at about 8:30, not from alcohol consumption mind you, but from utter exhaustion. After having the oven on for over 4 hours the house felt like a Turkish bath and we were ready to take a nap. I couldn't even drink the champagne! (which, if you know me, is a big deal).

Although we tried to stay put, we both fell deeply asleep (snoring and all) each on our respective couches in front of the TV. I have to say, as much as I hate doing that, I could not keep my eyes open and so I welcomed the godforsaken act with a sigh of relief.

I woke up at 11:50PM and proceeded to shake hubby up so that we could at least share a new year kiss, which he dutifully obliged to. Put the food away and off to bed we went.
Today I woke up at 7:30 (hate to say it, but I'm starting to follow my grandparents schedule here), cleaned some more and... started surfing... Hi, my name is Nath and I'm an internet addict...

Aaaanyway, I started attacking the left overs at around 8:30 - I must say, smoked salmon for breakfast? oh yeah!-. By 12:30 I had a mimosa, cheese, a piece of lamb and some dried fruits.
No wonder I felt sluggish the whole day.

Well, the year started, if not with a bang, at least with a slight tap on the door; Loud enough for me to hear, soft enough that it didn't make me run the other way. And that in my book, is a good start.