Tonight, I'm proud to announce, was a great success! We split the kids into groups and had them decorate their nametags. It's always slightly hilarious to watch how determined they are to spell their own names and precisely decorate--one little girl came in late and didn't recognize her name in block letters, then slowly and deliberately drew "hearts" on the back of her nametag. (They weren't really hearts, but she sure was working hard.)
Then, we introduced the kids to Rock N Roll, starting by teaching them dance moves: the jerk, the monkey, the swim and backstroke, the twist, the bird, and the mashed potato. They LOVED it, all writhing and shaking to "Rock Around the Clock." I took a few minutes to go over some of the history of the genre, as quickly and painlessly as possible. I dare say, I think they may have even enjoyed the lesson.
Finally, they were broken into groups to adapt, sing, and/or dance to "Great Balls of Fire" or "Rock Around the Clock," and the night culminated with performances that were judged by me and the two Henry Street employees, a la American Idol. These performances ranged from inappropriate pelvic thrusts and muttered "Goodness gracious, great balls on fire," to one girl who'd memorized the verse, to a version of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" set to "Great Balls of Fire." We even picked a winner--the group who performed with the greatest gusto.
It's amazing how quickly things can change in one day. I was extremely sad that next week is my last session with the kids. I've learned so much, had so much fun, and this is sort of the first of many endings to come. It's certainly bittersweet.
This is one of those rare but poignant days when I hate New York. When I try to take up as little space on the subway but still get sat on. When it's cold and everyone's all elbows and loud voices and too close. When I'm hungry but can't eat again until after brownies get delivered. When it doesn't matter that I'm seeing my kids later because first I have to worry about buying my boss goodies she can eat, even though the balance in my account reads 2-digits. When I just found out UT Austin requires I write one more essay. When the stagehands' strike means I might not see a show I've been planning to for months. When I'd so much rather just be not here and asleep.
This apartment abuts The Flea Theater, which doesn't really mean anything to me, except that there are sometimes crowds coming in and out. Tonight, however, I saw a package downstairs addressed to one Marisa Tomei c/o The Flea Theater.
This apartment is lovely: spacious, full of DVDs and hundreds of cable channels, a stocked fridge, kitties to keep me company, a welcoming bathtub. Still, I found myself determined to get out today and thought I'd go out for some shopping. I figured everyone would be at Macy's, not down here.
First of all, I was wrong. It wasn't particularly any worse than normal down here, but the weather was definitely too many people out.
Secondly, shopping alone isn't fun. Why would anyone want to wait on the line at a fitting room by him or herself? That just sounded sad and boring to me.
Whenever I try to venture out to shop by myself, I end up at a bookstore or a Starbucks, sipping a Chai Tea Latte. I suppose one can never be lonely with a great book.
I did, however, manage to buy an iPod case, which I've needed for more than a year. It was under $10. I suppose after-Thanksgiving sales are good for something.
I'm happy enough to be back inside anyway--it's COLD out there. Besides, there are hundreds of cable channels and kitties to keep me occupied.
I woke up about an hour ago, in my empty apartment, mostly fine with that--I'm heading out soon to housesit at the most beautiful apartment I've ever seen in Manhattan, and figured I'd check out the Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. It's sort of a self-inflicted tradition; I'm always curious to see which Broadway shows are represented and how.
But this may be the first year that I noticed just how badly everyone lip-synchs.
It's a little bit like learning Santa doesn't exist.
It's really bad when I discover TV marathons on my days off because that inevitably translates into me doing something like sitting on the couch watching the entire Season 2 of Project Runway in one sitting.
I'm always curious to peek at what people are reading and listening to on public transportation. The woman next to me on the crosstown bus was listening to her iPod, so naturally, I snuck a look at her console: Redeemer--Various Artists--The Great Praise and Worship Classics IV.
I didn't realize there were Praise and Worship Classics, let alone enough to fill four (IV) CDs.
S: SO BORED me: ME TOO even though i'm explaining stuff to [my replacement]. which is kind of fun S: this is how you sharpen your pencil, this is where you make the copies this is where the light switch is
Part of my job every month is to consolidate American Express receipts, justify the charges, and allocate them to grants we get money from. It's not a time-consuming task so much as potentially tedious and just not that fun.
I keep starting these posts with sentences like..."Today I was a stresscase" and "tonight was hard," but...Tonight was tough. We keep getting large, antsy groups of kids and hoping against all hope that they'll get something from our frenzied lessons. The fact is, we're really good at being flexible, and tonight we basically threw our plan out the window.
We started with a craft--making headbands with 3 feathers, on which they had to write 3 things they were thankful for. This was pretty much the only part of the night that went swimmingly. The kids were eager and creative and were thankful for a varied range of things: from Mom and Auntie to baseball and chicken nuggets.
I was hoping to have them master my notorious Cup Game. (Many of you have played it with me.) I think with a small group, we would have been able to conquer it, but they couldn't get the rhythm down, even though they all REALLY loved making noise together.
Then, we attempted to introduce them to Rounds and all sang Row, Row, Row Your Boat...with the intention of also teaching them Frere Jacques (in French and English) and then breaking them into groups to perform their own versions of the rounds as a final project. Of course, somehow that turned into WHO CAN SCREAM THIS SONG THE LOUDEST?! We got them to do a round as a group at least.
Then we got up and let them dance. I think they just needed to not be sitting for so long.
At the end of the evening, we always provide the kids with a snack. I bought them cider, in honor of the season and because it had been a hit one time before. One boy took a sip, then went "Blehhhhh. It tastes like mop!"
I was, at once, irritated by his rudeness and impressed with his creativity.
Should I be more embarrassed that I am so familiar with the formula of The Bachelor that I knew I wasn't going to miss anything by not watching next week because it's the "Women Tell All" episode and not the finale?