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!