Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Photos

Thanksgiving mother made a turkey, stuffing and a pumpkin pie, and my father made mashed potatoes. I made the green bean casserole, cresent rolls and opened the can of cranberry sauce. It was all so yummy!

T and I scratched lottery tickets while the food was cooking. The state lottery is always part of the Copeland Thanksgiving tradition.

Seamus ate and ate, but once he discovered cranberry sauce nothing else compared. I think he may have eaten half a can of the stuff before we took it away.

Even Georgia got in on the Thanksgiving action, begging Grandpa for turkey constantly (and later tearing through the trashcan for gizzards).

The next day, we met my uncle Mike and aunt Janet in the City for dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner, a 50s themed dinner in which the waitstaff sing and perform Broadway tunes. Many fine actors have had their start in this very diner. We had a blast. Seamus enjoyed the singing and the toy train that cirlced the room. He ate an entire plate of chicken and fries!

Afterwards, we took Seamus to FAO Schwartz, where he tore through the place trying out the pianos and kick balls and petting all the stuffed animals.

On Saturday, T and I left Mr. S in the care of my parents and had a day date in the city. We ate at the Big Bowl of Noodles in Midtown:

Then walked around Bryant Park, watching ice skaters and purusing shops.

Afterwards, we visited the NY public library, where we met Peter Rabbit and each of us had typical public library bathroom experiences...mine involved a homeless woman washing her hair in the sink.

Then we went to the MOMA and saw Rothkos and Lichtensteins, Picassos and Braques, Ensors and Warhols. But, after viewing sculptures of banana splits and ice cream cones, we left the MOMA and headed downtown for some Baskin-Robbins.

Then, we boarded the train back home for Pompeii Pizza with my parents.

Wish it could have been a longer vacation. We had such fun spending time with my parents and eachother.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

This has been a crazy week, and I’ve been keeping a mental list of the items I want to blog about if I ever have the time. Doesn’t look as though I’ll have the time any day soon. So, today I present a list of interesting events from the past couple of weeks, the items of which I will probably never have time to write about in detail:

I wanted to write about an audio-piece I heard on This American Life in which Studs Terkle interviews survivors of the Great Depression, and how I listened to the interviews at work and had to bite my lip to keep from crying while hearing stories of pregnant women hitch-hiking with husbands, sleeping in barns and beating rugs in exchange for milk. And how afterward I hopped on the elevator with the typical rude, rich kids that attend the New School and listened to them go on and on about parties and sample sales. These kids carry handbags that cost more than the combined total of all three cars I sold to move up here. And they all smell like Doritos and expensive leather. Anyway, I probably would have written about how appropriate it is to read and think about the Great Depression right now, and about the weird juxtaposition of listening to an hour of poverty stories and then immediately jumping back into the world of the super-wealthy students at my workplace.

I wanted to write about the poor elevator etiquette at the New School, mostly that of the students, rarely that of the professors.

I wanted to tell you that one of my bosses is a former member of Men Without Hats. Yep, The Safety Dance.

Also, Thomas has been working himself into oblivion, and I have become essentially a single parent. But only for the past couple of weeks. Hopefully, we’ll get to see each other again for Thanksgiving.

Also, Seamus received a horrible haircut for which I paid $15! I should have known better when the hairdresser said, he’s a boy, so you want a buzz cut right? I declined the buzz cut, but it probably would have looked better than what he ended up with.

Also, Seamus has his first best friend at school. His name is Tyler, but Seamus calls him Ty Ty and talks about him endlessly. When I pick him up from school, Seamus always hugs Tyler goodbye and says, bye-bye Ty Ty.

I wanted to write about writing and how I’m doing a lot of it. Eight of my stories found homes this month.

Still no hope for a job in January. Although I have applied for a few adjunct and faculty teaching positions at various schools around the city.

There’s a crazy man on my evening commuter train. We always end up in the same car. We get off on the same stop, and we walk the same path through Bayonne. He seems nervous and intense. Every time the train stops for any length of time, or the engineer lingers at a stop too long, this man will stand up from his seat and glare at the conductor until we start moving again.

There are roses and popcorn at Hoboken Terminal. Every time I climb the stairs from the PATH Station into the terminal I’m hit with those two smells one right after the other, and it’s the most amazing thing. Someday when I have money, I’m going to buy a sampling of both.

My parents are here for Thanksgiving. They’ll be staying with us for about four days. I’m writing this on my lunch hour and will get to see them for the first time since August in about four hours. I can’t wait to catch up. I’ll post pictures.

Happy T-Day everyone. Now go listen to Iron Maiden’s Run to the Hills.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November elimae

The November issue of elimae is live with my story Drummers. Be sure to also check out Kim Chinquee while you're there.

I also just received word that the Menda City Review will be publishing one of my flash pieces around December.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yesterday morning I catalogued a file of old course reserves, entitled Skin of Your Face: the Anatomy of Horror Film. The articles all had titles like When Bodies Splatter or The Monstrous-Feminine (this one was about movies like the Exorcist--which terrifies me). I’m not a huge fan of horror films, but I do like to be scared every once in awhile. I wanted to take these readings with me and read them on the train. When my new boss came across the folder, she had the same desire.

My new boss is really nice and fun to talk to. She’s a beautiful red-head with long eyelashes and blue eyes. She has just moved to New York from Ohio (although she’s originally from Indiana). We’re about the same age, and we share a lot of the same political beliefs. She used to be a union representative and a registered socialist. She just graduated from library science school, and prior to becoming a librarian she worked as a welder and a middle school teacher. She knows A LOT about music, and despite being a self-proclaimed Dead Head, actually has pretty good taste in bands. I enjoy coming to work a lot more now that I see another human on a regular basis.

There’s a nasty rumor going around that most of the schools in New York (and most businesses in general) are under a hiring freeze. Parents are pulling their kids out of college because they can no longer afford it in this economy. My new boss tells me she’d applied for over 100 jobs, and the New School was the only one to call her back. This scares me to no end since I’ll be without a job come January. I feel like I’m doing good work and getting a lot done with e-reserves, but if there are to be no new hires then surely my temporary contract will not be made permanent. Lately I’ve been working late hours because Seamus got sick on election day and I had to leave early to pick him up from day care. Since I have no sick leave and can’t afford to take half a day without pay, I’ve been working from 8:30 until about 6:30 or 7:00 most of this week. This puts me getting home right after Seamus’s bedtime. It’s dark when I leave on these late days, which is beautiful and scary.

The nighttime view from my workplace window:

Nighttime view of the NYC skyline from Hoboken Terminal:

This morning I caught an earlier train and had some time to snap a morning view from Hoboken Terminal. This is what I see every weekday morning when I get off the Light Rail:

You can’t see it so well here, but nearly every morning there is a thick fog over the city, just hovering over the tops of the buildings. Usually by the time I get to work it’s dissipated.

I keep meaning to post about day care and Seamus’s pure enjoyment of it. He no longer cries when I drop him off. This is because he’s made lots of new friends, and they have catching up to do each morning. He’s been Mr. Popularity ever since he arrived to school Halloween day dressed as a dinosaur. All the boys thought he was so cool, and now there’s a certain respect from his class when he walks in the room. I’m not joking. It’s palpable. The last few weeks have also been a language explosion for Mr. S, who will try to say anything. He says thank you and you’re welcome a lot now, as well as I love you and probably a couple hundred other every day words like wall, door, stroller, chair. Earlier today he said trampouline and screwdriver. He knows ALL of his colors and can say them as well. This is definitely day care’s doing. And he’s started singing a lot and having long gibberish conversations with himself. Last week I called the director of his day care to discuss hours and such, and he went on and on about how well-adjusted Mr. S is. He said socially Seamus behaves like a 3 ½ year old, that he’s very affectionate to his teachers and the other children and always smiling. He went on for quite some time about how special my little man is and how he’s the teachers’ favorite. Now I understand why he’s always being held or in a teacher’s lap when I pick him up in the evenings. My worry over day care possibly being detrimental has completely subsided. I really think Seamus is getting a lot of “school” and it’s making him a more giving child. I just wish I could spend way more time with him than I do.

This morning’s commute play list: David Byrne --Like Humans Do, Lots of Talking Heads, The Buzzcocks--Lipstick and Ever Fallen In-Love, The Pretenders--Back on the Chain Gang, Cyndi Lauper--Time After Time.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Special Deliveries

There was a special delivery this past week that I forgot to mention. Grandie sent Mr. S a whole box of long-sleeved shirts, warm pants, hats, mittens, Levis jeans and a little gentleman's outfit that came complete with an argyle sweater vest. Also, in the box were coloring books, another Curious George book (quickly becoming Seamus's favorite new book), crayons, Starbucks coffee and loads of trail mix and chocolate for me and T. Yum! I had just been thinking of trail mix earlier in the day and how it would be the perfect snack for work. I do most of my eating on the go now, and needed something with protein and nutrition. As usual, my mother read my mind. Also, did I forget to mention the lovely package T's mom sent up a few days ago? It contained the warmest, fleece pajamas for Mr. S., Halloween candies and stickers and, best of all, homemade apple butter (made the old fashioned way by T's family).

It's Sunday already. How can this be? And tomorrow the new Reserves Manager starts her first day of work. She will be my new boss, or at least the boss directly over me. I have a couple of bosses. Her position fills the giant need in our department to have someone with more legal expertise since we're dealing with fair use in nearly every aspect of our work. I'm happy to have another woman in the office, though I have been enjoying talking to one of the female student workers, who is a fashion design major and is just learning to knit. I still wouldn't say I've made a great deal of friends here yet, but it is nice speaking to other adults on a daily basis.

Yesterday it was 67 degrees in Bayonne, and so Mr. S and I took to the park...

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