Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No wonder the arts in the public schools are suffering...

So I go SMAPA on Monday night to take my usual super-awesome jazz class with super-awesome Taylor. On this particular night, there were 2 brand-newbies who obviously were friends and had come together. The first brand-newbie, we'll call her Willing, was, well, how do I put this nicely, a touch on the not-so-skinny side. The other, we'll call her Lazy Bitch, had more of a 'dancer's body' but definitely didn't just walk out of some company rehearsal or anything. Or even a different class. The point being -- these women LOOKED like newbies, not like dancers. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The class is, after all, a "open" level adult class. And yay for Sharon that she's getting new faces to her studio which, sitting as it does above one of the more sought after shopping areas in town, must fetch a crazy penny in rent.

But whatev...

There we are with the 2 brand-newbies. Taylor runs us through the warm-up (easy), on through stretches (super-easy) and then into the combination. Which he went over so many times I lost count. The whole thing was maybe 8 counts of 8. Which is NOTHING. And considering some of the other numbers he's choreographed for us, this was pretty low on the skill scale too. Anyway, after a couple of run-throughs with music as a class, we break into smaller groups so we can really 'dance' the piece. And of course, Taylor makes sure a 'regular' is in each group so the newer folks have someone to follow.

I ended up in Group 3, Willing in Group 1 and Lazy Bitch in Group 2. Which was cool, cause I wanted to see what these chicks looked like on the floor. I was actually surprised by how well Willing did -- she struggled some, sure, but she muscled through and her attitude was great and performance quality decent. I wouldn't say I was impressed, exactly, but I wasn't horrified. And then it was time for Lazy Bitch's group to go. I wondered if Willing's somewhat smaller compatriot would do as well. But! instead of trying the routine, Lazy Bitch took a seat on the window ledge. I though Taylor was going to lose his shit.

But wait, it gets better.

When asked why she was sitting and not getting ready to dance, Lazy Bitch responded in a tone of voice dripping with disdain, "We're dance teachers. And I learn best by watching. It's what I teach my kids."

Dance teachers? FUCKING DANCE TEACHERS? That has to be a joke, right? These two brand-newbies got paid to teach dance? Really? I was astounded. Not to mention the fact that no dancer worth their toe shoes would ever say they learned best by watching. Dance is something you learn best by doing you stupid cow. It's why on SYTYCD people re-do the steps for the choreography session over and over and over again. It's called muscle memory, and that shit works.

But anyway -- the show must go on, so to speak, so we kept running the number, all the while Lazy Bitch sat on her lazy ass. After a few run throughs, class finished, as it always does, with some across the floor work. Again, with Lazy Bitch sitting on her lazy ass with her holier than thou attitude, basically giving up on the whole class after Taylor tried once again to get her back on the floor.
(Willing, on the other hand, proved that while she may not have a dancer's body, she sure as hell has a dancer's spirit cause she worked it across the floor -- maybe she wasn't technically gifted, but she had the right attitude at least).

And then, just as I was putting on my shoes and feeling those awesome endorphins and that super stretched sweaty wonderfulness, my post-class bliss was shattered. Decimated. Because that's when I learned that Lazy Bitch isn't just a dance teacher in some shithole studio somewhere, like I'd been telling myself since her first mention of it earlier in class. Oh no no no. NO. Instead, I learned that fucking Lazy Bitch is actually a dance teacher in a NJ public elementary school. And that's when I threw up a little in my mouth.

Because I could dance circles around this bitch and
would possibly consider killing someone for that job. How the hell did she get it? I mean, seriously? I've been dancing all my life, hold 2 degrees, and even I don't qualify for a job teaching dance in the public schools.

And those poor fucking kids. Come. On. They're being introduced to dance by someone who can't dance and who thinks you learn by watching. Someone who basically gives up when challenged by a teacher. Hel. lo. Nice fucking life lesson whore. Next why don't you teach them that reading is overrated and college doesn't matter? It makes me sick still to even think about it.

And it makes me wonder if there will be any arts left in the public school by the time I can manage to get my license to teach there. If Lazy Bitch is any indication of the direction things are headed, I'm guessing no. And that sucks even worse.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In case I haven't mentioned...

I'm a HUGE NY Giant's fan. I'm talking major crazy, out-of-my-mind, scream-your-face-off, rabid fan. I even own season tickets (well not exactly "own", yet, but that's a long story that its just too late to tell) and I'm laying out a sick amount of cash for the right to keep those tickets when the new stadium opens. Plus, in March, we went on the "Cruise with the Champions" -- which was just a regular cruise to the Bahamas with the addition of some Giants' players and some private events where you get to meet said players (it rocked!!!! except for the motion sickness part -- that was so not cool).

So, there we are, enjoying a cruise to the Bahamas while our friends are freezing back home and who should we meet, and save from what appeared to be an overzealous fan trapping him in a corner so he, the psycho fan, could drone on and on about this game or that game or whateverthefuck he was rambling about? Well. . . we met all the guys on the trip (including possible Hall of Famer Otis Anderson), but the one in the pic (for you non-fans out there) is none other than Lawrence Tynes, the kicker for Big Blue. Who once again proved his worth tonight when he kicked not one, but TWO, field goals in the last few seconds of the game for the WIN!!!!! Over those America's-team-my-ass, Dallas Cowgirlsboys.

Now, this is the only picture of me with any of the players -- although I did technically meet them all. Like I said, I'm rabid, but I'm not a hanger-on or stalker so much. The DH, however, who is usually pretty quiet, well, he out of nowhere gained some amazing fame-whoring skills on this trip. I think we have pictures of him with every single player and ex-player there. It was remarkable. We even ended up bowling with OA and one night, after I'd gone to bed, he actually caught up with Steve Smith & Domenick Hixon in one of the bars on the ship and ended up doing tequila shots half the night. I couldn't believe it. Here's a guy who doesn't even like to call to order take out, chit chattin with the pros. And, excuse me, but WTF -- he couldn't wake my ass up to do tequila shots with the pros? I like pros. I can handle tequila (usually). I mean, sure, I'd have been pissed at first, but as soon as he said "shots with the players", I'd have been up outta bed, dressed and ready to go in minutes.

Anyway -- Shit. I guess I forgot my initial point. Then again, maybe there never was one. I did have quite a few Redbridges while watching the game. And there was much screaming and jumping around so I'm pretty beat. I guess I'll just leave it with this...


P.S. I should add that I came really close to scrapping this post because the picture of me is just terrible (can you say double chin?), but I like to think I'm bigger than caring-about-outside-appearances bullshit (and for the most part I am, with people other than myself that is) so I let it ride. Plus, HEL. LO. It's not like anyone would believe me if I said I met Tynes and didn't have a picture to back it up. That and this picture was taken 6 months and about 16 pounds ago, so there's that.

P.P.S. Note to the hanger-on we saved Tynes from -- the Giants players are not going to be your best buds now simply because you were on the same ship and saw each other in your swim trunks. They aren't even going to remember your name, just like I'm sure they don't remember mine. Although it's possible Smith & Hixon remember the night of tequila shots with the guy from Jersey. But you'd have to ask them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TEN QUESTION INTERVIEW . . . consider yourself tagged.

1. Who Is The Hottest Movie Star? If I have to pick just one...Brad Pitt. Hands down. But there's also George Clooney. And Ryan Reynolds (especially playing the "bad boy" in adventureland). And Matthew Fox (of Lost & Party of Five fame). And Denzel. And Taye Diggs. And back in the day, Patrick Swayze (R.I.P.) I could go on and on... All different kinds of hot. All equally yummy.

Apart From Your House and Your Car, What's the Most Expensive Item You've Ever Bought? A couple of years ago, we bought a cabin -- an investment/vacation property -- in a lake community in the Poconos. But since that's technically a house, I'm not counting it. I'm only bringing it up because it was that purchase that led to my biggest non-real estate/non-automobile purchase... namely a bright, shiny red Old Town canoe.

What's Your Most Treasured Memory? My memory's for shit, but there are a few choice moments...such as my baby sister's kindergarten graduation. And my own, from law school, some 15 years later.

What Was the Best Gift You Ever Received As a Child? To be honest, I don't really remember. But I do remember being crazy excited when my mom got me a pair of Asiacs Tiger gymnastics shoes.

What's the Biggest Mistake You've Ever Made? There are very few things I've done in my life that I consider "mistakes"; I'm much more likely to see mistakes in, and have regrets about, the things I haven't done. That said, there is one thing I did, back in early 90s, which I realized almost immediately afterward was a huge fucking mistake. Basically, I did something very very stupid, while very very drunk. Which I'd rather not retell for all the world to read about (not to worry, it wasn't drunk driving and no one was hurt, at least not physically).

Four Words to Describe Yourself. Intelligent. Easy-going. Fun-loving. Liberal.

What Was Your Highlight or Lowlight of 2008? Last year passed in a bit of a blur, but the best thing by far was my trip to Greece. 17 days, whirlwind trip. When it was time to go home, I wished I'd had another 17 days.

Favorite Film? This is a tough one -- I've got a lot of "favorites." Two of them are Garden State...

and The Breakfast Club.

Tell Me One Thing I Don't Know About You. I used to be a competitive gymnast.

If You Were a Comicbook/Strip or Cartoon Character, Who Would You Be? I've never been a big follower of comics, but when I was a little girl I was dying to be Wonder Woman.

Thanks to 42andstillbreathing for the tag! Now it's your turn -- just link back your answers to jerseygirlesq. Tag you're it!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sleepless on Satur/Sunday

  • Am I sharing too much if I tell you I want what Kelli O got?
  • I have a new book idea. That last one, while a good one, is, if I'm being honest, just a pipe dream. This new one is a little, umm, err, sexier, so to speak, and I won't be writing it so much as editing it, but, I think the research is going to be a lot of fun. It's actually a damn good idea if I do say so myself. And I've even got a title -- which I will post here as soon as its copyrighted.
  • I also have an idea for a reality/competition tv show. Don't suppose anyone out there in blogger land knows anyone in tv?
  • I'm not a Yankee hater per se, but I fucking love it when this happens.
  • Taking hypocrites to task never looked so fun. (Via JMG.)
  • Not sure how I feel about this. Don't get me wrong -- I love the woman and it could be fun. But it could also be a train wreck. Guess I'll have to watch and find out. My husband will be so happy.
  • I know every one knows this already (or at least the non-crazies get it), but Joe Wilson is a dick.
  • I can't help but wonder what the real Susan B. Anthony would think.
  • Goddess I fucking hate that bitch. Shut the hell up already would ya?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And now for something on the lighter side

So I was catching up on bloglines and came across this from LSL:

"Oh man, I love this (not for the faint of heart.) Christians, the Apocolypse wants you to lose it's number. Srsly. (Via JMG.)"

And although today (technically yesterday) was somewhat somber, I peed my pants a little I laughed so hard. And I've only had one glass of wine. So thank you LSL and thank you to whoever came up with the letter in the first place too. Srsly.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering September 11

Exactly 8 years ago today, at almost this very same minute, I was sitting in a class at law school. I was 10 weeks pregnant and doing my best to pay attention to the professor despite my utter exhaustion and a touch of nausea.

My classmate, we'll call her Jen, sitting next to me, was doing an even worse job of paying attention than I was. She had her laptop with her that day and had apparently paid the school for the coveted wireless internet access (being a broke-ass student and since hard-wired service was free throughout the school, except in the classrooms, I had not opted for the service although I did have the required laptop). So there Jen sat, checking the news and whatever else. Occasionally, I would glance at her screen and it was during one of these glances I saw a picture of what appeared to be a plane sticking out of the upper floors of one of the Twin Towers. Having grown up in Jersey I could spot those buildings anywhere. My first thought was of an accident, a pilot with a heart attack perhaps, or some other unfortunate twist of fate.

Within moments a murmur arose in the classroom - Jen wasn't the only one goofing off on the internet it seemed. And moments after that I grabbed my stuff and excused myself. My brother worked in those Towers, although I couldn't remember which one, and I needed to get home and call NJ to see if there was any word (a cell phone was another 'luxury' I did without back in those days). I learned later that classes for the day were cancelled just shortly after I had left the building.

I lived less than a half-mile away and as soon as I walked in the door I turned on the TV and picked up the phone. While dialing my brother's home number, I watched as the second plane hit the second Tower. Time stopped as the phone hit the living room floor. I knew then, immediately, that this was no accident, no unfortunate twist of fate. This was a vicious act of terror and destruction. And as the tears welled in my eyes, and the off the hook tone rang through my tiny basement apartment, I hoped against hope that my little brother wasn't at work that day.

I woke my husband, who was sleeping in on his day off, and the two of us sat there blindly staring at the television, steaming cups of coffee going undrunk on the coffee table, as we tried again and again, unsuccessfully, to get through to someone, anyone, who could tell us my brother was alright. I knew phone service had been knocked out for much of the tri-state region during the last attack on the Towers several years earlier, but I had to try.

The rest of that day passed in a blur. At some point we went over to my mom's, who lived on the other side of town, having moved to VA a decade earlier from NJ, met there by my aunt, my sister, and my other brother. I don't remember where I was when the Towers fell, but I remember seeing it all on the TV and thinking that I had lost my brother for sure.

Several hours later a wave of relief washed over us all when we received a call from my sister-in-law telling us that my brother had made it out alive. It took him another 6 hours or so to get home to his family, but he was not in the buildings when they fell. He was alive. Witness to horrors many of us can scarcely imagine, but alive. And on his way home.

That day, my brother was spared. My family was spared. His sons would grow up with a father, my mother would not have to face the loss of a child, and I would not have to learn what it was like to lose a sibling. I remember feeling as though I had been touched by grace. Three months later, however, I had to live through a different loss. One that shook me to my core and, I think, changed the course of my very existence. But that, perhaps, is a story best left for another day.

Because today I remember September 11. I remember how lucky I am to still have my brother. I remember all those families that weren't as lucky as mine. I remember the bravery of the men and women who rushed into the Towers that day against all odds to save what lives they could at risk to their own. I remember the people who worked on the pile in the days and months following, many of whom today suffer terribly today as a result of that experience. And I remember that life is fleeting and so every day we should give thanks and cherish one another. I remember.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Looking Back at Summer 2009

It's Labor Day today, which means just one thing -- the summer is officially OVER. O-fucking-ver. And that just sucks. I'm so not ready to say goodbye to flip-flops and sarongs just yet (not like I've had much opportunity to wear the latter). But the worst part is that it feels like summer only just began. So in the hopes of making myself think I had a longer summer than it seems, I thought I'd look back at the season and what it held. So here, in a nutshell, it is...

Memorial Day weekend: the annual "Screw the Parkway" BBQ (named in honor of the highway in our backyard and the ridiculous traffic visible on this start of the season weekend). This was our 5th year doing it, and each year it gets easier, and yet, miraculously, more elaborate. Each year we learn new tricks, notice areas for improvement (like for example, having a two-tiered start time starting next year so that the kids get the run of the place during the day, and the adults get the night) -- basically, we figure by the time we're on year 10 we'll need a bigger yard - and another bathroom. Which wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't for this fucking shitty real estate market.

-- Bon Jovi! at the Corzine rally: I'm not a huge Corzine supporter but there is nothing I won't deal with to get to see NJ's homegrown hottie. Of course, he only did a few songs, and the rest of the rally sucked (i mean seriously -- if you are trying to engender support, perhaps you should include speakers who don't sound like mindless morons. You want me to vote for you and yet you pick as your local campaign director some chick who can barely string 2 sentences together? Here's a hint, Mr. Corzine -- in the future you should really pre-approve ALL speeches).
-- Party for P&H: celebrating a whole bunch of major milestones (20 years together, 10 years married and 40 years on this earth for each of them). Even the rain couldn't spoil the fun on this day!
-- Weekend trip to Phili to see my cuz & my new "nephew". Since L&J have the new baby, not to mention a very rambunctious 2 y.o. little girl, it was a pretty chill weekend, but it wasn't home, so that's cool.
-- Virginia Beach with the fam: highlights include getting to see my 65 year old mom boogie boarding, the raging tan I came home with & of course, the Sun City Carnival tour (oh how I luv me some Kenny Chesney). The whole trip only lasted a few days, though, so that kinda sucked.

-- concerts, concerts & more concerts. Lynyrd Skynyrd & Kidd Rock; Nickelback (and whoever the hell opened for them); and concluding with day 2 at the All Points West festival (which, blessedly, was rain free! albeit still mud-soaked: next year, I'm wearing wellies for sure).
-- my 20th high school reunion! At the same hotel where we had our senior prom. Cheesy, yes. But still a ton of fun. Coolest thing about it? Learning that a certain popular girl who seemed like such a snob in high school was actually totally shy and worried that everyone would think she was snob because she was so focused on her sport that she didn't really hang out much.
-- wish I had more to add here, but what can I say, July sucked. (mostly thanks to the shitty hours I had to put in at work).

-- Weekend in Seaside: this was supposed to include a half-day at "surf camp" but thanks to having to work late coupled with shitty traffic, I didn't get to the beach until almost 11PM and then ended up oversleeping the next morning. We probably should have gone right to bed after I arrived, but what kind of fun is that? The DH was able to get a Seaside Tony, though, and we stopped for steamers on the way home so the whole weekend wasn't a bust.
-- The Great Urban Race NYC: on the hottest day the City had seen all fucking summer long. Perhaps wearing all black was a mistake. But damn it was fun!!! So much so, that we're heading to Phili in September to do it again.
-- Recruiting trip to UVA: had to miss my nephew's first ever Giants game (preseason) for this, but I figured I could use the brownie points at work. Besides, I got to hang out with the fam on the firm's tab.
-- S&J's in the rain: A BBQ 2 years in the making, S&J have decided to host a BBQ whenever there is a drought because every time they decide to host one it fucking rains anyway. Even with the rain, though, it was a fun party with great food (including my own GF coconut cupcakes which were gone in like 5 minutes -- and no one even knew they were GF) and great friends. Plus, I learned that I was going to be an auntie again (congrats J&T)!!
-- hiking & canoeing in Ithaca: I actually was supposed to be in Ithaca over this weekend and through mid-week; HOWEVER, thanks to my shitty ass job, I had to change the plans and travel to the region last week. It is a really pretty part of NY state, and if you like hiking at all, or like waterfalls, then I highly recommend it. But don't waste your time going to Moosewood -- maybe we just had a bad experience, but after bad service and mediocre food, the uber-famous vegetarian restaurant (and purveyor of fine cook books) now has the title of most over-rated restaurant I've ever had the displeasure of eating at.

That's it -- the whole shebang. And the one glaring problem (to me anyway)? Not nearly enough beach days. Especially considering that the beach is only an hour from my house. Gonna have to do something about that next summer. At least I'll be seeing quite a bit of it over the winter...

Now bring on the fall, and all the awesome shoes & boots that come along with it. ;)