Monday, October 27, 2008

Naughty But Funny

As most of you know, I LOVE Nathan Fillion. Thanks to his IMDB page, I came across this short webisode. It's got all the acting talent of an adult film with none of the nekkid-ness. So funny!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Giganto Status Report

As expected, the transition to teaching middle school in the South Bronx has been a little crazy. Instead of teaching one class in all subjects, I teach science and health to 7 classes, so I have several preps for each day. The population of kids is so different from any I've ever worked with. I've worked with low income kids and troubled kids before, but I've never seen a culture that is so violent. Not only do the kids fight at the drop of a hat, the way they play is to fight with each other. They are always touching each other and knocking into each other. They are also very loud. They literally can't tell the difference between talking and shouting. The classrooms are open-concept, so there are only 2 walls in each room and the walls end about a foot below the ceiling. The noise in each room spreads to all the neighbors, kids can throw objects over the walls, and access the the rooms can't really be controlled. I don't have my own room, instead I float among several rooms, which really is good because I don't have to worry about all my things getting destroyed or stolen. I leave anything valuable at home, and lock all my things in my office. Pretty much anything that is not nailed down is up for grabs. These kids will take anything they can find, just in case they need it later. There are a lot of good kids at my school, and I like almost all of them, but they live in a violent, opportunistic, morally grey world that requires them to have a completely different set of priorities and skills.

I'm still living with Laura and the baby in Queens. He is growing so much!! Jensen just had his 1st birthday, and he is running all over the place. He is almost talking. I keep hoping "Aunt Amy" will be some of the words he learns early, but we'll see. My guess is Cheecho (Cheerio) or kitty will be first since those are the things he's always reaching for. :) We went upstate a few weekends ago to visit Laura's aunt and had a great time. The foliage was incredible, and we picked apples at an orchard. Thanks to his new teeth, the baby chomped on apples too. It was so fun!

My commute is still pretty long. I take the bus to the subway, take the subway to the commuter train, and take the commuter train to school. The whole process is about 2 hours. Thank God for iTunes! I get up at 5 each morning, so I go to bed about 9. I miss all my TV shows, but thanks to my iPhone, which I LOVE, I can download them and watch them on the train. The best part of my commute, by far, is that I change from the subway to the commuter train in Grand Central Station. I get to walk through the breathtaking main terminal each day, and it never fails to impress me.

I've been to see a few apartments, but haven't found anything yet. Rent is so outrageously expensive here, and the market is pretty tight right now, especially with all the Wall Street drama. Luckily everyone at Laura's is getting along really well, so if I have to stay here a while longer it'll all be good. I'm actually applying to move into a short term women's hotel like the Webster or the Brandon. They're in a good locations, and are so much closer to work. Hopefully I'll be accepted and able to move in January. Then I can live there for a few months while deciding where to move next.

At this point, I think my stay in NYC will be fairly short, maybe a year or two. I love a lot of things about the city, but it's really expensive and I miss Austin. Who knows what will happen, though. I have to keep reminding myself that my main purpose in coming up here wasn't for teaching, but for the cultural opportunities in the city and for exposure to the TV and film industries here. I've seen several plays since I've been here. Legally Blonde (which was so fun! It's closed on Broadway, but is on tour, and I highly recommend it.) , In the Heights, Spring Awakening, and Equus with Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) and Richard Griffiths. Equus was a little odd, but the performances were outstanding. Young Mr. Radcliffe is completely in the buff for a few minutes at the end, in a scene that is painful and dramatic, and I give him kudos for his courage in tackling such a troubled character. I've been keeping a list of shows to see while I'm here, and I think the next one will be Fault Lines, directed by David Schwimmer and starring Josh Lucas. I've been to the Met and the American Museum of Natural History a few times, and I'd like to go to the Tenement Museum soon. They have an Irish family tenement now, and I'd like to see that. When my family came from England and Ireland, I think they emigrated to Pennsylvania and Texas fairly quickly, but I'm sure their daily lives were pretty similar to those in the museum exhibit. I've been working on my feature length script, and I hope to be able to take a screenwriting class in the spring. I'll also be visiting Washington, DC, in a couple of weeks to visit my friend Lisa and her family. I've never been, so I'm looking forward to it.

Even though I see in the papers that celebs are here all the time, so far I haven't spotted any. Well, I did see one. I saw Kassie DePaiva, who plays Blair on One Life to Live, crossing the street with her son one day. She looked great, and she and her son seemed to be having a great day. They were laughing and teasing each other. Another time I was in a restaurant with one of the NY Yankees, but I didn't know who he was until after he's left.

I bought my plane ticket for Christmas the other day. I'll be home from the morning of Christmas Eve to the afternoon of Jan. 2. I hope to see all my friends and monkeys while I'm home. I also can't wait for some good Mexican food and catching a few flicks at the Drafthouse. Until then, eat some queso for me!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11 in the City

This morning, the city was eerily quiet. The sun rose later than usual, casting a blue shadow over my trip to work. It was also cooler than it has been, with a sharpness in the air. No one spoke to each other on the bus, in the corner store, on the train, on the street.... It was as if everyone was listening - for a bang or a cry or a siren. As they day wore on, the city began to buzz again, but a certain stillness still lingers.

Each year on September 11 I choose on organization to support. My intent is to mark the anniversary of an act of pure hatred by responding with love. This year I am making a donation to Invisible Children, an organization that helps child soldiers in Uganda who've been ripped from their homes, abused for the entertainment of others, and forced to commit endless acts of rape and murder.

I challenge you to choose an organization you believe in and send them some financial love today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quick Update

I promise I will write a super-mega update this weekend. All is well. School is hectic, but fine. The commute is hell, so I'm hoping to find a studio in the next few weeks on the Upper East Side. Most importantly, please sponsor me as I walk this year's NYC Race for the Cure!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Job Placement

I finally know where I'll be teaching! I'll be teaching 5th and 6th grade science in a middle school in the Bronx, just north of Yankee Stadium. I start with prepping for the new school year on Monday, so wish me luck!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Uber-Update Deux

On the job front, I am still looking for a school placement. I've had a few interviews and went to a job fair, but nothing yet. I have three more interviews this week, so hopefully something will get nailed down soon.

On the fun front, In the Heights was really good. The performers were incredible, and I liked the Spanish vibe of the show. I also went with Laura to see Spring Awakening. It was innovative and interesting, but the ending was way too convenient and abrupt for my taste. The performers were outstanding. Hunter Parrish, who plays Silas Botwin on Weeds, was one of the leads, and he was excellent. I still have a long list of shows I want to see, but they will have to wait until some paychecks start rolling in.

On the food front, after Spring Awakening, we wandered around Chinatown and had incredible Chinese food at Wo Hop 17. I highly recommend it to anyone who visits. We also had rice pudding at Rice to Riches. I've never really been a rice pudding fan, but this stuff is manna. I've been craving more since we left the store. :)

I'm loving living with Laura and getting to see the baby every day. I'm also loving having lots of kitties to love on, but I do miss my Austin friends and my monkeys. (My monkeys are my friends' kids - not actual monkeys. That would be silly.) I'll be back though, in November to get Punk and ship my things, and in March to go to SXSW.

Until then, I'll just keep happily exploring the big city. :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008


OK, kids, let's start back at the beginning.

Monday, I arrived safe and sound in the Big Apple, ran errands with Laura and Jensen (my godson, who is unbelievably beautiful!), and settled in a bit.

Tuesday I had my interview with a school in Manhattan. In the interest of not being late, not getting lost, and not arriving covered in sweat I hired a car to take me into the city. The school was great, and the interview went really well. I took the train back home and Laura picked me up at the train station in Flushing.

Wednesday I took the train into Brooklyn to go to the Dept. of Ed. and get fingerprinted. As long as they don't count that time on the beach in Mexico, I'll be fine. :)

Thursday I stayed home, played with the baby, rested a bit, and settled in a bit more.

Friday was an awesome day! I took the bus by myself from home and took the train into the city. I went to Times Square and stood on line at TKTS to see if I could get discount tickets for Legally Blonde. They were on the board when I got in line, but sold out by the time I got to the window. I went over to the box office to see if they had any tickets left, and I got one in the 5th row! I was so excited! (I know that Legally Blonde isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I love the energy and enthusiasm of the show and the message of reaching for your dreams.) I also met a very nice woman and her son who were from Bryan, TX while I was in line.

Since I had a few hours, I took a cab to the Met, where I saw the Superhero exhibit, visited the Lehman Gallery (which I had never seen before!) and admired this painting of a woman in a blue dress (the color is amazingly rich, and the detail of the lace she is wearing is extraordinary), and went upstairs to say hello to Johannes Vermeer. I became a member so I can visit for free all year long. There is still SO much to explore there.

I took a cab back to the theater, where I had an elegant dinner of a cheeseburger and apple slices at the McDonald's next door. So chic! When I found my seat for the show, I was surprised to see Susan and Ethan, the mother and son from Bryan that I'd met earlier. They said they heard me order one ticket and asked if there were any seats near mine. So nice! They also said that they were part of a group that was visiting and that if they have any extra tickets during the week they'll give me a call! So, SO nice!

The show was even better than I had expected! The new lead, chosen by an MTV reality show, wasn't my favorite of the potential Elles, but she actually did a great job. Christian Borle, who plays Emmett, was adorable on the TV broadcast and even more wonderful in person. Kate Shindle, a former Miss America, was also outstanding. It was a very happy, pink experience. :)

As I walked back to the subway from the theater, I had one of my first New York moments. It was so crowded with people walking slowly and looking around, I couldn't help but think, "Argh! Tourists!" Then I laughed at myself for acclimating so quickly. :)

Today, I went with Laura and Jensen to The Little Gym, where Jensen took a few steps all on his own!! Then, after grocery shopping, I got a call from Susan who has an extra ticket to In the Heights for tonight. Yea!!

So, overall my move has been pretty seamless. Many thanks to Laura for helping me make the transition!! I have an interview in the Bronx on Tuesday, and I'll be visiting lots of schools next week. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Safe Passage

I'm here!! I made it to NYC safe and sound. I'll post more soon. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On Foot

I am now officially a pedestrian. Thanks to Craig's List, I posted and sold my car in less than three days. I'm borrowing my dad's truck until Monday.

I can't believe I'm moving on Monday!!! Everything is working out really well, and I feel great about the move, I'm just excited and freaked all at the same time.

Maybe once I'm finished packing I'll be calmer. Then again, maybe not. :)