Sunday, November 27, 2005

back to the grind

Well, Thanksgiving was wonderful, fabulous, enjoyable, and quite filling, but now it's Sunday afternoon, which means it's back to the daily grind. And we're not talking coffee.

In my innate inability to keep track of dates, I forgot about several things that are happening the week of my first concert:

  • a half-day of school, and thus shortened rehearsals that day
  • a day where the entire middle school chorus will miss class because they'll be on a field trip
  • parent conferences from 1-8 pm on the half-day of school

Fun. Plus I just got myself another cold (do all teachers go through this perma-plague the first year?) and so I don't feel so hot. Good news is that I have a doc's appointment on Wednesday that will get me my long-overdue girly exam, a flu shot, and a general physical/meds recheck. And that way I'll get more of the magic stomach pills too.

Now, to stop complaining, because I have many a good thing to talk about too. In keeping with the Thanksgiving cliché, here are the things for which I am thankful:

  • JJ coming up to visit. It was wonderful to see her again, and to hug her and physically feel that she's alive and well.
  • Dad's fabulously amazing cooking. He outdoes himself every time he gets near the stove.
  • Good friends and funny games. (Ever play Dirty Minds? It's a hoot.)
  • going on a small shopping excursion with my mom and JJ on Black Friday. We had a good, girly day. (Home Depot + Tom's + Bad Breath and Beyond = fun shopping!)
  • Mama Giuseppa's and the dinners they serve there (That was Saturday.)
  • The new Harry Potter movie
  • Barnes and Noble

Soon I hope to have pictures of the aftermath of our Black-Friday dinner of Dad's famous potroast, but I have to wait until he finishes messing with the photos.

So. For now, that is all. I'm off to buy necessities at ye olde Targete, and then I'm off to relax for a few hours before heading back home.

Monday, November 21, 2005

happy birthday me.

So far, a good day.

One more class to teach.

After that, I'm going home and drinking wine as much as I want, and lounging in my pj pants, and being blissfully sloth-like.

Being the stay-inside person that I am, this is perfect birthday celebration for me. Some may choose to party, but I choose to stay home and snuggle and do whatever the heck I want.

Tomorrow is chamber choir and show choir and kindergarten and first grade, and then it is Thanksgiving break.

Thanksgiving break brings JJ and Uncle Pat and brother to me, and hours of vegetation, surrounded by family.

This is my favorite week of the year.

Now, if only it would get good and cold and start snowing, but not while people are trying to travel.

Then it would be perfect.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

wake-up call

Last night something terrible happened to JJ.

You can read about it here.

She is so strong, and so put-together about it. I would never be this rational after the fact.

These are her reflections about the ordeal.

I think it's important that people read her blogs about this.

And I think it's important that people buy DeBecker's book The Gift of Fear.

Here's the book.

Please protect yourself and be aware.

My best friend just became a statistic and a survivor.

This is important.

Get away from my site and onto hers.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

first poem in ages

Tonight the stars were so clear
thrown across the sky
breathtakingly precise in their randomness
and brightly sparkling
against the deepest dark

i thought about taking a picture of them
as i stood there staring
thinking of us hand-in-hand
under the nightness
sharing Polaris and Orion

i wish i could send you the stars.

c. 2005, EMB

Sunday, November 13, 2005

piano music

So I know this guy Malcolm, who's a composer-pianist-music director at a church. He has some published music out there(click here) that's really quite fantastic.

I had his email address a while back, and I just sent him an email that waxed rhapsodic about how much I loved his music. It just bounced back, which tells me that his email address is definitely different.

I have to get it off my chest somewhere.

So, Malcolm,

it's been a while. I know it's been a while. When I left Rotterdam/Schenectady with all my vows to stay in touch with such wonderful people, I never thought life would come up behind me, whack me upside the head, and land me in the situations I'm in lately.

But they're mostly good... even though they're still my excuse for disappearing.

The catalyst for my writing to you: a senior-citizen's luncheon on Thursday at 1:10 pm in the Hancock Central School cafeteria. (I'm the choral director/peon/musical slave there.) I'm supposed to provide about 10 minutes of music for the cute little old ladies (and perhaps old men). So I'm having my chamber choir sing their concert program, and I thought that since I don't have any classes in the afternoon, I'll just sit and play a few carols on ye olde piano(e) and make 'em smile into their gravy... even though it's a bit premature for Christmas music, that's what they want for music.

Of course I thought of you and your Piano Reflections. So I dug 'em out of my file cabinet, started playing, and had a grand time. "Away in a Manger" is beautiful, poignant, peaceful... everything it should be. "What Child is This" is still my father's favorite Christmas carol because of you.

and then there's "Silent Night."

I know from you telling me that you simplified it for publication for piano-morons like me (and trust me, it's plenty difficult simplified - I bow reverently in awe of your ability to play this and think it up!), but I'm almost glad you did simplify it, because

it is perfect.

You outdid yourself. Every time I fumble through it, I'm just amazed at its... organic wholeness (to borrow a term from aesthetics class).

I'm obsessed with it. It's wonderful. I'm in awe (I think I said that already, but I am).

THANK YOU for writing it.
Thank you even more for publishing it!!!!!!!!!!!

Amazing, amazing, amazing.

Go buy Malcolm's music. Especially his piano arrangements of Christmas carols.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


If you want to see a dog that looks and acts EXACTLY like my mom's dachshund, there's a petsmart commercial that does it. And it's so darn funny.

Watch the commercial on this page (upper right corner)

It's the cutest thing.

It cracks me up.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

How far?

It appears that the middle-schoolers here are having a bad week. It has been crazy. Normally if I keep them busy, they stay under control. Now it's getting out of hand. I'd swear that yesterday was cursed. And I'm not the only teacher noticing this.


I met with my principal yesterday about a previous observation, and we talked good things, bad things, in-between things... and classroom management. He gave me something to think about:

How far does a student have to go to get in trouble? Where's my line? How does one cross that line?

I thought this would be an easy question to answer, and I'm finding that it's not.

I don't know where my line is. I just know when it's crossed.

Guess I'd better find it.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

meme, stolen from Alex

In your life, have you ever...

crashed a friend's car: no
stolen a car: no
been in love: yes
been dumped : yes
shoplifted: sort of. I stole a piece of gum when I was 8 but then had to give it back.
been fired: no
been in a fist fight: no
snuck out of your parent's house: yes
had feelings for someone who didn't have themback: yes
been arrested : no
gone on a blind date : yes
lied to a friend: yes
skipped school: not high school, but a couple times in college.
seen someone die: no
had a crush on one of your internet friends: no
been to Canada: yes. Oh, Canada...
been to Europe: yes
been to Mexico: only the new one.
been on a plane: many times.
purposely set a part of yourself on fire: no!
eaten sushi : no. ewwww.
been skiing : no. :( I could have when I was young, but my parents took it away because I was bad.
met someone from the internet: yes
been at a concert : tons of em, all classical.
taken painkillers: yes
love someone or miss someone right now: yes
lain on your back and watched cloud shapes go by: yes
made a snow angel: just one??
had a tea party: yes
flown a kite: yes
built a sand castle: yes. My dad makes crazy ones.
gone puddle jumping: yay!
played dress up: I do every day I go to work. ha ha.
jumped into a pile of leaves: yes. ahchoo!
gone sledding: I live in upstate NY. What the hell do you think? (the answer is, yes, of course.)
cheated while playing a game: I was a dishonest little prick as a child.
been lonely: every day.
fallen asleep at work/school: school only.
used a fake ID: not really, unless you count using my former college ID to get a discount at the movies.
watched the sun set: yes
felt an earthquake: the morning of my senior recital!
slept beneath the stars: sorta. in a tent.
been tickled: grrrrrrr.
been robbed: of my dignity. Temple University.
been misunderstood: yeah. why the hell don't my students know how to read my mind? ha ha.
pet a reindeer/goat/kangaroo: yes to all.
won a contest: many.
run a red light/stop sign: that's how I got into my first car accident.
been suspended from school: nope.
been in a car crash: two.
had braces: two years of hell.
felt like an outcast/third person: every day.
eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night: no way. barf!
had deja vu: all over again.
danced in the moonlight: sort of. just not outside.
like the way you look: at times.
witnessed a crime: no
questioned your heart: yes
been obsessed with post-it notes: when I was little, I thought they were way cool.
squished barefoot through the mud: not after I learned about hookworm.
been lost: many times.
been on the opposite side of the country: yup.
swam in the ocean: yup.
felt like dying: last week, during a migraine.
cried yourself to sleep: I had to as a baby, because I wouldn't go to sleep in my crib without crying.
played cops and robbers: no.
recently colored with crayons: not recently enough.
sung karaoke: yup.
paid for a meal with only coins: if you count vending-machine meals.
done something you told yourself you wouldn't: yup
made prank phone calls: only to my friends, but then confessed.
laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose: whole milk. disgusting.
caught a snowflake on your tongue: many times.
danced in the rain: in New York and Paris.
written a letter to Santa Claus: yeah. I told him not to give my brother any presents.
been kissed under the mistletoe: not by anyone that I wanted to kiss me...
watched the sun rise with someone you care about: no
blown bubbles: yup.
made a bonfire on the beach: no
crashed a party: no
gone roller-skating: yes, many times.
had a wish come true: yup.
jumped off a bridge: no
ate dog/cat food: no way, I'd barf.
told a complete stranger you loved them: yeah, in joking.
kissed a mirror: ick no! do you know how many germs are on those things?
sung in the shower: yup, but not much anymore.
had a dream that you married someone: yup. scary.
glued your hand to something: sort of, but only with Elmer's, so it came off.
kissed a fish: not the live kind.
sat on a roof top: yup.
screamed at the top of your lungs: of course. how else do you quiet my high school chorus down?
done a one-handed cartwheel: I'm not coordinated enough.
talked on the phone for more than 5 hours: heh, I got you beat. 24.
stayed up all night: several times.
picked and ate an apple right off the tree: no
climbed a tree: yes.
had a tree house: yes, but not in a tree.
dared to watch a scary movie alone: I don't watch scary movies at all.
believe in ghosts: to be a musician, you have to believe in ghosts, according to Topolewski.
have more than 30 pairs of shoes: not at any one time.
worn a really ugly outfit to school: I went to Catholic school for 9 years. nuff said.
gone streaking: no.
gone doorbell ditching: my parents would have killed me.
gone toliet papering: why waste good TP?
been pushed into a pool/hot tub with all your clothes on: no, but if anyone ever does it to me, I'll drag him/her in with me.
told you're hot by a complete stranger: once, but he was gross.
broken a bone: no
been easily amused: every day.
caught a fish then ate it: I couldn't.
caught a butterfly: I could never.
laughed so hard you cried: of course.
cried so hard you laughed: no.
cheated on a test : hehe, no one will ever know...
forgotten someone's name: nearly every day.
french braided someone's hair: sort of.
gone skinny dipping in a pool/hot tub: no, but I want to, but only with a high fence.
been threatened to be kicked out of your houseor been kicked out of your house: no
loved someone so much you would gladly die for them: yes
talked to yourself: every day.

That was long. sorry.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Tomorrow is a big day.

It's Friday, and the busiest day on my schedule.

There's a performance by the kindergarteners at 1 pm, and I play guitar while they sing "Home on the Range" and then they do a little line dance to "Achy Breaky Heart." It'll be cute and pathetic and sweet, and oh, so childish.

After school, some of the teachers and I will go to Lydia's and drink our drinks of choice. I usually get some onion rings, because by the time after-school hits, I'm famished. We'll drink and laugh and be merry, and then Karley (English teacher) and I will go to Carmella's (another English teacher) house and be merry.

At 7 pm, the middle schoolers put on Circus Gigantus! They've been working with two real-live circus performers all week, and have since learned how to juggle, spin plates, walk on stilts, stand on a big ball, etc. It will be cute and funny.

After that, I believe Karley and I are going to Carmella's again and being silly and crazy. It works for me.

Whatever tomorrow has in store, I'm ready for it. I'll be bodaciously, rebelliously sexy for no one particular in my black Thai silk shirt and my jeans that bring out the shape of my butt. I'll be wearing Blue perfume on my wrists and a ring on my hand, thus proclaiming just who I am sexy for. I will have Sudafed flowing freely through my system to counteract the cold I've been fighting all week.

And I will laugh and socialize and be merry.

Saturday I will go to my parents and rest again until Sunday, when I come back here and do it all over for a week.

My windows are open right now in an effort to get the heat out of my place. Big old charming houses are nice until they get overheated from the too-many radiators in too small a space. So I have all the radiators turned off and the windows open, and now it's almost down to room temperature.

Almost. Never mind that at this precise moment in time, it's 55 outside and is supposed to go down to 40. My windows will be open, and if I get cold, I'll have a blanket on, dammit.

Bring on the winter. It's too late in coming.