Monday, February 27, 2006

Ski bunny!

Ohmygoodness, I love skiing! We went to Camelback in Pennsylvania, and not counting the one time I went for a few hours at a crappy ski place in Wisconsin seven years ago, this weekend was my first real time skiing. So. Much. Fun. I feel like I learned pretty quickly--thanks to my expert and supportive companions, Brian, Sus, and Josh--and although some tumbles are inevitable, I avoided any gigantic wipeouts and achieved high speeds on some decidedly non-beginner runs. I was very proud of myself. I'm already trying to finagle a trip to an even more intense ski destination sometime in the near future...

I think I looked the part, n'est pas?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I heart the Olympics.

I love everything about them, winter and summer, from the endless colorful flags to the theme music to the teensy weensy gymnasts and the ripped skiiers, the outfits, the surprises, the scandals (speaking of, isn't Bode Miller an ass?), even the heartwarming TV profiles of the medal favorites, complete with shots of ever-supportive family members and training montages set to trendy music. Love it.

Zack asked me last night what even I would compete in if I had the chance to do any in the winter Olympics. I expressed interest in the obvious figure skating, and he said he'd always wanted to learn luge, but we both agreed that in the end, you really can't argue with short track speed skating. It's just so intense.

Back to my weekend o' work.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Sad? Depressed?

Just not yourself? Need a lift? Why not look at some weird pictures of baby animals?

Click on the picture. Come on, try it. You know you want to.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Aaaaand...there goes my morning.

Ummm...I don't really have anything much to say. I'm too distracted by GoogleChat at the moment. One more reason for an unproductive day? Check.

What are our thoughts about this new GoogleChat feature? Not that I haven't enjoyed the few tentative conversations I've had with fellow gmail-using friends, but it also seems sort of strange that it was unveiled so suddenly by Google, who just seemed to decide that it's one of those features that everyone wanted, like auto-forward or the ability to create email groups. Then again, I'm sure they do focus groups on this kind of thing all the time, right? Either way, it seems like a good way to get people to never not be connected to Google. As my dear friend ATF (who I'm chatting with at this very moment) said, and I quote, "for a company whose motto is Don't Be Evil, Google sure found a good way to make sure people can't do their jobs." Good thing I don't have a desk job now. My question is, where was this feature over the last two years, when I literally spun around in my desk chair to pass time at work?

Oh, and I won't go through a lengthy description of my Chicago weekend, but it was absolutely lovely. Brian outdid himself again, and I *almost* got to stay an extra day because of this "noreaster" (why the hell do they call it that?) that dumped snow all over New York. The weekend was full of fun surprises and seeing much so that we ended up cancelling all plans on Sunday and instead watched many many episodes of "Entourage." Perfect.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

And I already think my job is awesome!

Today was the best day of work ever. Like, seriously. The first graders I worked with, who are already pretty much my favorite, reached new levels of brilliance, complexity, and cooperation in all of our dramatic activities, several of which I did in my most recent graduate level course. A few actually giggled with delight while doing their extended work with partners. Extended. Work. With. Partners.


Then--and this is the crazy part--the middle schoolers, all of whom I wanted to fling off of the stage headfirst last week, spent an entire hour engaged, having fun, encouraging each other, and doing some of the best improv I've seen in a while. And they were nice.


And of course, a potential employer just called.

I just had a cavity filled for the first time in my life. (oh, the shame!) Halfway through the procedure they had to give me an extra injection because I'm such a wimp when it comes to mouth pain. Now I'm sitting in a lounge at school, compulsively biting my numb lower lip, poking my cheek, and wondering if anyone can actually see the right side of my face drooping, because that's what it feels like.

And I desperately want a cup of coffee, but I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to keep it from dribbling down my face. This sucks.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Coming soon to theaters near you.

Today I had one very fun and energetic experience in a gymnasium, and one that made me very anxious and hoarse. The fun experience was our 3-on-3 game tonight, which I look forward to every week. Team Friendship, unfortunately, only won one of our four games this time around, but we had a small group and we played pretty hard. (On an unrelated but interesting note: tonight we played at a very small and poorly-lit gym at a public school in Midtown near Times Square. The gym is on the 5th floor, and on the way up we passed a person who looked like a janitor, arranging bags of garbage, while wearing a very visible, large handgun in a holster on his belt. Now I know this is New York City and all that, but a janitor who's packing? Meh?)

The other gymnasium experience I had today involved a very large and psychotic group of children, ages four to nine. Some context: I run various activies at a wonderful after school program in Brooklyn. On Thursdays, we have something called "Clubs," wherein each child signs up for a club--such as Cooking, Dance, or Photography--and they stick with that club every week for four weeks. It's great. Since almost all of my activities are arts-based and I wasn't exactly full of club ideas this month, I decided to volunteer for the "Fitness" club for the youngest group of kids. I had high hopes; I was working with two great co-workers, and I just knew that it was going to be different, more meaningful than all of the silly gym activities these kids do every day. If all went well, I might have the little ones doing Down Dog and Warrior pose by the end. I soon realized how misguided I was. Do you know how children act in gyms? I knew, I really did, yet somehow I thought it couldn't possibly be that way with my awesome club. Even today, on day two, we struggled to get them to follow our supercool warm-up stations and after half an hour managed to get them into formations that could be called lines for relay races, as I muttered "I hate Fitness club...I hate Fitness club" under my breath over and over. By the end, however, we had managed several successful races, and I let them play one fun game of "Cleaning Up Your Backyard," wherein teams attempt to throw all balls and beanbags from their side of the gym into the other team's area. I allowed myself a sigh of relief as kids enthusiastically helped put the balls back into the bag I was holding. Then I got hit in the head with a beanbag. Sigh.

So it wasn't the greatest hour in the world. But fortunately, the next hour I got to spend time with my MovieMaking club, otherwise known as The Best Club There Ever Was, Ever. It's a small group of creative, considerate, committed fifth graders (who else though that kind of phrase was an oxymoron?), who are totally into planning and writing our upcoming film, "The Case of the Missing Staff." We produced a whole storyboard today, people! I felt like I was in the writing room for a big-budget film. I love my job.