i have a question...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Room by Emma Donoghue
Bossypants by Tina Fey
A Game Plan for Life by John Wooden
Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman
I am embarrassed that I haven't read a good book since that last one. Maybe the fact that my aunt gifted me her old Kindle(!) will change that! Eep.

Black Swan
Blue Valentine
The King’s Speech
Mother and Child
Only When I Dance
Mary and Max
Planet B-Boy
See What I’m Saying
Crazy, Stupid Love
Martha Marcy May Marlene

“Grenade” by Bruno Mars
“Raise Your Glass” and “F*ckin Perfect” from P!nk’s Greatest Hits…So Far!
21 by ADELE, especially Someone Like You
“Edge of Glory” from Born This Way by Lady Gaga
The Archandroid by Janelle Monae, especially ”Cold War”
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons
4 by Beyonce
“Tighten Up” from Brother by The Black Keys
“Dark Side” from Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
Ceremonials by Florence + the Machine

Psy at Arts Emerson
Porgy and Bess at A.R.T.
I need more theater in my life, dammit!

Thank you, as always for reading! My blog turns 5 in 10 days, so look for a big celebratory post then, if not before.

I have no idea what 2012 will bring, but hopefully, it's not the end of the world.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Kids are the Funniest!!

I literally just got home after my trip to LA, where I did MANY MANY fun things with my family including, but not limited to:
Celebrating Christmas AND Hanukkah,
Eating LOTS of tasty food,
Seeing Mario Lopez in person, who is shorter than he seems on TV,
Seeing The Muppets, which I almost cried twice at,
Riding two rollercoasters and a drop ride (the latter for the first time),
Drinking tasty wine and reconnecting with my cousins,
Playing imagination games with their 5-year-old son,
Squeezing their eight-month-old son,
Collecting the following quotes.

CGW, age 5: When I am a dad and I have kids, I will only wash my body on Mondays.

CGW's mom: Mommy loves CGW and Mommy loves DGW and Mommy loves Annie and Mommy loves Momma!
CGW: And Mommy loves butt and Mommy loves penis.

CGW: I don't want you to be the guy for this game because one of the guy's name is Woody but the OTHER guy's name is STINKY PETE!

CGW: I love you more than Pluto.

CGW: You can take this paper home. And maybe EWE (his cousin) will come to your house and draw.

CGW: Knock knock!
Me: Who's there?
CGW: Alligator!
Me: Alligator who?
(this repeats several times)
CGW: Knock knock!
Me: Who's there?
CGW: Monkey!
Me: Monkey who?
CGW: Monkey is swinging on your hair!
(In his defense, he explained that hair is like vines. Pretty amazing, if you think about it that way.)

CGW's mom: H, can I see your boots?
CGW: Can I see your BOOBS??

Friday, December 23, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XXIX


That was a crazy week/month/year of work.

Yes, it is true. When we all return to work in JANUARY(!), it will have been a whole year that I have been there.

My brain is fried, my body is thrashed, my sinuses are clogged, my chest is burning, and I am HOPING that I do not end up feeling sicker with my vacation mere hours away.

And, now, for the last time in 2011:

"You can't eat in here."--me, to a kid, while eating a pear. WHOOPS!

"I want some facial hair. That's all I want for Christmas."--a 15-year-old, and may all his Christmas wishes come true.

Same 15-year-old: Where can I find more tape?
Me: Upstairs in the copy room.
[minutes later, he returns with tape.]
Me: See? I told you you'd find some in there!
Him: You didn't help me at all. I had to ask Wendy!
Me: What do you mean? I said, it would be in the copy room!
Him: But you didn't tell me where!
Me: You mean, you walked into the room and didn't see tape? So you asked someone else? You expected to see, like, a pile of tape in the corner?

"Santa's creepy."--a 10-year-old during our holiday party

"WHERE'S SANTA?!?! SHOW YOURSELF!!!!"--Lateral Lisp Kid

"How come last year Santa was white and this year he's black?"--8-year-old
"Maybe there's a team of Santas!"--Me
"Maybe he got a dark tan!"--8-year-old

I am taking a wee blogging break this week, as I'm traveling to LA to be with family.

Depending on how eventful that is, you might not hear from me until the very end of the year.

Happy holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XXVIII

I do not understand time.

How is it possible for a week to seem endless and SUPERSHORT at the same time?

This week, I:
Had my last two rehearsals for the work event I led Thursday,
Led a work event Thursday that included the FIRST-EVER play presentation,
Had super crazy anxiety about getting the stomach virus that is floating around,
Walked around the building, herding the kids, for about 5 1/2 hours today.

I am beat.

An 11-year-old processing through his homework assignment to find the correct word to fill in the blank: Dislogical? Unlogical? Fartlogical?

A 9-year-old, commenting on how she'd be able to play a game where you improvise ways to "please the queen" if a boy was sitting in as "King": How do you make a boy happy?
I laughed and told her I HAD NO IDEA!

Another 9-year-old's offerings to said "King": I will give you Beyonce, Shakira, and belly dancers.

Me to a 12-year-old: I need you to be in the next play!
Him: I think I already get enough publicity.

Colleague: I wish I was a soccer ball so I could hit kids in the face and not get in trouble.
I promise, she loves her job.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XXVII


Where is the month going? Two more weeks of work left and then I'm on my first vacation in months AND looking ahead to my YEAR ANNIVERSARY of starting my job.


11-year-old girl improvising ice cream flavors for a scene: Raspberry, strawberry, coconut, pumpkin, ..., sedimentary rock...

12-year-old: You're dumb nice.
Teen: What?
12-year-old: It means mad nice!

9-year-old girl singing (to the tune of "It's Raining Men"): Thank God it's Friday! Hallelujah, thank God it's Friday!

While playing a story-telling game prompted by images on cards, the first card revealed a woman in a car. The girl playing started the story, "A woman sat in traffic." The second card revealed movie seats and a screen that said "The End."
And, thus, the game ended.

P.S. This is my 600th post. [insert victory music here]

Friday, December 2, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XXVI

Well, THIS week flew by! By the time it was Wednesday, I was so thrown off that I thought it was still Tuesday. I am very happy it's the weekend, but I have a feeling the rest of this year is going to go by in a flash.

"Swongdong. It means pickled brain in Chinese."--11-year-old boy. Except I'm pretty sure that word doesn't mean anything in Chinese.

Later that afternoon, the same kid asked outloud, "Where's my bag?" and when he noticed it next to him, he said, "There you are, you little scamp!"

Me [helping a kid with his homework]: I don't know the answer.
9-year-old boy: Me neither! Oh my god! It's like we're sisters!

"My dad lives in a single-family home, but he acts very, very homeless."--a 12-year-old girl, after explaining that we didn't want to know where her father had found her beanie.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XXV

A short week means not as many quotes. So THANKFUL for a few days' break!

"Tinsel would be a good safety word."--a co-worker's random inappropriateness at a staff check-in.

"I'm ELMO! Minus the L. I'm EMO!"--8-year-old, showing his cleverness AND spelling skills.

"He helped me once and I got the whole paper wrong."--a 12-year-old describing the risks of having a teenager help her.

"Is there chorus today?"--an 8-year-old, inquiring about drama class. They never seem to remember what it is actually called.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XXIV

I swear there was something in the air this week. Maybe it's the days leading up to a holiday break or the holidays in general or the weather changing or the fact that yesterday two people were out and, today, three people were.


As I have said only a handful of times since being hired, these were some "double shot of vodka on ice at the end of the day" days.

8-year-old brat: Is that your phone?
Me: Yep.
8-year-old brat(regarding it): You know. I have a better phone than you. And it's $400.

10-year-old girl, attempting to help her friend with her homework: Usually a sad story means someone dies at the end.

I was talking to a senior in HS about how I was about to swear because I was so frustrated, and that I was in fact, a potty mouth. When he couldn't fathom it, I reminded him I was from New York, and he said: "Mother Annie turns into New York Pirate."

Me to a teen getting some data entry done at a desk near mine: You can turn on the iTunes radio, since you'll be here for a while.
Him: I could just sing slave songs instead.

Other highlights of the week included:
Spontaneously performing a slow-motion hug with an 8-year-old upon her arrival;
My new mentee calling me a "freak." But, like. In a good way.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XXIII

This is an abbreviated post because I spent Wednesday at home sick in bed and Thursday and Friday at a community arts educators conference which finishes up tomorrow afternoon...

"Can you tell Nicholas to stop chasing us? He's trying to hump us!"--an unexpected plea from an 8-year-old boy.

Me to our intern: Do you listen to music while you work?
Him: Not usually.
Me: Nothing lyric-heavy...
Him: Like jazz?
Me: Yeah, or Enya.
Him: Oh, that's in the movie Gladiator, right?
Me: [laughing] I was about to tell you I did my math teacher to that music.

"I bet you looked like Chips and Poncho!"--my colleague, imagining our art teacher blowing his hair out. I died. She meant Ponch.

"Grinding is nothing new."--a guest hip-hop artist, after his amazing keynote speech about teenagers, answering a question from the audience of community educators, "What is grinding all about anyway?"

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XXII

During scenework on bullying, in which a girl is teased for the food she's eating, a 7th grader asked, "What if she's eating, like, a nose?"

"The chicks dig it."--a HS senior, about his teeny tiny phone.

Me: So, what's new?
Sophomore boy: I'm pregnant.
Me: Wow! That really would be news! Are you a lady?
Sophomore boy: Sometimes.

12-year-old Chinese girl, working on her Civics HW, for which she had to write 10 facts she knew about USA: In New York, they have that thing. [puts her hand up]
Me: I have no idea.
Girl: The woman. In the ocean.
Me: Oh! The Statue of Liberty!

Co-worker A: [clenching his teeth before the kids arrived] Grant me the serenity!

Co-worker B: When I was little, I used to think Bill Clinton was Jesus. He would come on the TV and my mom would get really excited, and I was like, "Is that Jesus?"

Girl A: I need to go ask him something.
Me: [letting her in to the closed Ed Center and keeping her friends out]
Girl B: Annie!
Me: She had a question!
Girl B: But I'm with her all the time!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I am a Pop Culture Genius, vol. XVII: a Very Special Music Video Edition

For your information, this is all Netflix's fault.

I discovered that Felicity is on Instant Watch.

This is a show that I wasn't only devoted to while it was actually airing (it was really a one-two punch with Dawson's Creek) but that I became obsessed with again during the summer before I moved to New York, when S and I would watch it at her parents' house every afternoon.

So, yesterday, I watched a couple episodes, and then did some research on Keri Russell.

Turns out, she was in the Bon Jovi music video for their song "Always," which was a little factoid I did not recall.

Let's investigate.



I do not remember that video being like that at all.

Keri Russell, Carla Gugino, that guy with the feminine jawline and broken nose, AND Colin from 90210??

So, let me get this straight.

The video opens in Mexico(?) where Girly Jawline is mooning over a photo. He fondly remembers taking dirty pictures and videos of his GF Carla Gugino, which her roommate, Felicity, discovers. Then, he makes bedroom eyes at FELICITY and Carla discovers them making their own homemade porn. (And, you KNOW that Felicity is wearing a green push-up bra because that girl's boobies are TINY in real life.)

Carla is discovered, crying, in an alley by Colin, who whisks her away to his artist's loft and paints her shirtless.

But the painting only makes Carla miss Girly Jawline, so she CALLS him and invites him over to Colin's house, shows him the painting of her, and he throws audio-visual equipment around and stabs the painting to shreds, at which point, Carla is DUNZO!

She exits, crying, in her red lacy nighty and black bra.

And Girly Jawline BLOWS UP THE JOINT and is deported to Mexico?

But, wait! Is Carla THERE?

Alas, no, it is just Girly Jawline's fantasy.

Meanwhile, Jon Bon Jovi sings his little heart out showing off some SERIOUS heavage.

I bet all those actors are mortified that this exists (except for the jawline guy and Colin--they haven't been doing much of note lately), but I think it exemplifies precisely everything that is important to understand about 1994.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XXI

During acting class, in which the kids were tasked with presenting "as ifs" for established scenes, the girls were acting out a scene on an airplane during which a customer needs peanuts and tea from her British flight attendant: "Now, do the scene as if you are at a circus party with hot dudes with no shirts."

The rest of the quotes came last night, during our Halloween Family Night.

This is what I was wearing: Old Chuck Taylor sneakers, two pairs of striped socks scrunched down, bright blue tights, a denim skirt and turquoise belt, a stretchy black long sleeve shirt tucked into my skirt (a la bodysuits), a bright red poncho, ONE blue circle earring, and my hair in a sideways ponytail with a gold scrunchy.

Exactly two young people figured out I was from the 80s.

Here were the other guesses:
Three votes for "schoolgirl,"
Two votes for Punky Brewster,
Two votes for Red Riding Hood,
One vote for Exercise Barbie,
and one vote for a Smurf.

Also, one kid just straight up asked what I would say if she said I looked ugly.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I am a Pop Culture Genius, vol. XVI

I don't really recall watching The Wonder Years when it was airing, although now that I kill time once in a while by watching it on Netflix, every episode seems familiar.

I don't know if that's because it's so ingrained in my generation's pop culture knowledge or because I actually watched the show from when I was 5 until I was 10 and I just don't have any super clear memories of those times.

In either case, it's a brand new experience to watch these episodes now. With my own experiences of puberty and struggles with my parents and figuring out dating. And my vague understanding of the 60's and 70's.

And my brain just exploded because, in one episode, Karen's boyfriend, Louis, is played by him.

IMDB informs me that this was only his second credit AND that, on the show, he is credited as "Jack Corbett."


Dude has made a long career out of kissing woman on the small screen.

And what lucky women they are.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XX

Girl: Annie, your face is pink.
Me: Like I'm allergic? Am I hot?
Girl: No, it's nice. Like Santa Claus.--an exchange over homework with one of my favorite 11-year-olds. I proceeded to utterly fail at helping her with her math homework.

Me: Do you ladies go to dance class?
Girl: No, they go to gymnastics. I stay home, being lonely.

Girl: I just want you to know that I don't celebrate Halloween.
Me: That's OK.
Girl: Halloween is the Devil's holiday, and God hates it his whole life.
...errrr, OK...

Senior in HS: I like poetry.
This was after I helped him analyze ancient Chinese poems for an hour. Before the hour started, he said something along the lines of, "I hate this, this doesn't make any sense." The next day, he wrote incredibly poetic aphorisms and even taught me what aphorisms are.

"Get your funny on!"--an 11-year-old's encouraging words to his classmates in the 6th grade drama class I observed this week.

"Stupid and retarded/Oops, I farted."--a 12-year-old's HILARIOUS and inappropriate couplet, I heard just as I was leaving work yesterday.

Kids are so funny.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I am a Pop Culture Genius: vol. XV

I find Michael C. Hall strangely sexy, despite his Cro-Magnon brow.

He is a super awesome song-and-dance man, for those of you who didn't know.

And on Dexter he wears the hell out of both pastel polos and Henleys.


I got into Dexter during my unemployment and have been watching fairly loyally since then.

I knew the big shocker at the end of season 4 before I watched it. Was as bored as everyone else with Julia Stiles' performance last season. And, so far, am satisfied with this season.

Last night's episode featured Tobey from Dawson's Creek.

On Dawson's Creek, he played Jack McPhee's abrasive boyfriend. The one he shared network television kisses with.

On Dexter, he played the random victim of creepy Colin Hanks and creepier Edward James Olmos's Doomsday Killers, whose (SPOILER) head gets chopped off and put on mannequin bodies sent through the city on horses.

I suppose a man's got to pay the bills.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XIX

This is my attempt to get back in the groove.

My job is still SUPER AWESOME, but let's just say the honeymoon is over.

Sometimes it's draining and frustrating and hard.

And then funny things happen and I realize I'm getting paid to help kids with homework and play Mancala.

"She may be small! But she's got a big brain!"--a 9-year-old girl about a friend she was doing homework with.

Me: Are you being rude?
Kid: No. What?
Me: I hear a disrespectful tone. You're all attitude-y.
Kid: I always sound like that.

Late yesterday, my lateral lisp kid stopped me on the stairs because he wanted to be interviewed to be a Peer Leader. Our Peer Leaders are teens who get hired as Junior Staff to help around the building. He is eight. But I agreed to help my colleague give him an interview. It went something like this. (Keep in mind that all his s's are sh's):

Us: Tell us about yourself.
Him: I like swimming, ship rides, and snowboarding. I'm a video gamer.
Us: What are your strengths?
Him: Technology. Confidence and strength.
Us: What would you like to be better at?
Him: Technology. I don't know everything.
Us: When is a time you have had to solve a problem?
Him: My baby cousin raised my hand once and my teacher yelled at me.
Us: What did you learn from that?
Him: Discipline.
Us: Where would you like to work?
Him: In the tech lab, gamesroom, or music room.
Us: What do you think it would be like to work with older kids?
Him: I think it would be great for me.
Us: Why?
Him: Meeting new people is fun.

I'd totally hire him. That was honestly a better, more thoughtful interview than some of the teen ones.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011




1. I GOT THE FLU and




I will try to be better about posting regularly. I think it keeps me sane.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

To My Cousin's Baby, on Her First Birthday

Dear E.W.E.,

It was exactly a year ago that your mom’s water broke while she was sitting next to me on the couch and your folks rushed to the hospital.

I held you when you were 12 hours old. And I cried the whole time.

I couldn’t believe you were here. That you were mewing and that I could comfort you so you’d stop.

I couldn’t believe when you stopped being kind of blobby, when you could hold your head up, and began to grab for things.

Or when you started reaching for me because you knew who I was.

I couldn’t believe it when you started really smiling and laughing.

Or when you started eating real food.

Or when your red hair started coming in. Or your long, striking eye lashes.

I couldn’t believe it when you started making lots of noise, which turned into words. When you clearly said “ball” or learned to say “bubble.”

I couldn’t believe it when you started to wave and blow kisses and push with strength and shrug.

I cannot believe what an amazing dancer you are.

Or how fast you learn.

I can’t believe how fast a year has gone. How much my life has changed since you were born. How fast you have grown. How MUCH you have grown.

I can’t wait until you start calling me by name. And when you start hugging me back.

I can’t wait to have conversations with you about your doggy and your mommy and your favorite book and your homework and boys and college and your career.

You are JUST about to start walking and talking.

Which means you are about to take over the world.

It is yours.

I love you.

Happy birthday.

Auntie Pretzel

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It was just another Tuesday.

It was the beginning of my first semester as a freshman at UC Berkeley.

I had an 8 AM class, so I got up early, got ready, ate breakfast, and walked the four or five blocks to campus.

I did notice it was eerily quiet out but chalked that up to it being early.

I passed a young woman talking on her cell phone, saying something like, “I can’t believe they flew into the buildings!” And I thought, “Wow, that sounds serious.”

My class that morning was in a relatively large lecture hall, and everyone was chattering, though I don’t think it was a full class.

I stayed fairly blissfully ignorant, getting my books and notes out, until my professor, an older Japanese man, came into the hall.

He told us that planes had hit the World Trade Center and that he had been unable to reach anyone in New York City. In fact, he said there weren’t even busy signals on the other end when he called.

I thought I was going to pass out, picturing a large gaping hole where the city that had been the only home I knew used to be.

At that point, my father, stepmother, and two cousins all lived there.

As far as I knew, the city had gone down in an explosion and my family had gone with it.

I quickly exited the classroom and returned to my dorm room, determined to find out what had happened to my family members in New York.

I reached my cousins first, who were living in Brooklyn and could not see across the street for all the ash that was floating from across the water.

I found my dad online. He had decided in the early morning that day not to go do to a meeting downtown.

My aunt in Oakland called me, reminding me that her husband, my dad’s brother, was in New York for a gig with his band. Staying at the WTC Marriott.

She couldn’t reach him, he had left her a message saying that something had happened to the hotel and she’d “probably hear about it on the news.” She told me that she was OK but that if she was too freaked out, she would come and get me to be with her.

I got off the phone and sobbed so hard people could hear me downstairs.

I stayed on the internet with my dad most of the day, checking in, hearing updates about the city, wondering where my uncle was.

Feeling like this place that had been my home for most of my life was a place I didn’t know anymore. Was a place I might never know again.

I missed it.

I felt more like a New Yorker and less like a New Yorker than I had ever felt.

Late in the afternoon, I got a message from my dad that my uncle had just walked in to his apartment.

He had evacuated the hotel and spent the day walking all the way from downtown to West 82nd and Central Park.

I cannot tell my uncle’s story of that, of course, though I have asked him many things and he has told me many things that I find unfathomable.

I called my aunt immediately and was the one who told her her husband was OK.

I lived in New York City again several years later, and I gained an adult perspective of the city, late in its healing phase.

The train creaking past and never stopping at Cortlandt Street station, the barricades around Ground Zero, the phantom lights that went up every year, in tribute.

Of my twenty-eight years, I have spent seventeen of them as a New Yorker.

It is absolutely my hometown, a part of my identity I cannot deny, a part I cherish, even.

I love it and I hate it.

But I do miss it.

And I will never forget how far away and how intensely close I felt to it on September 11, 2001.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Good thing we crack ourselves up.

C: did you listen to those songs

me: yes

C: nothing?

me: eh

C: I'm going through an R&B phase

me: i bought the beyonce album
speaking of r&b

C: no
I mean good R&B
hey ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh

me: HA
it's pop
but it's also interesting
this album's all african and shit

C: like you

me: LOL

C: Africannie

me: ooh
i like it
africannie: the new musical by the makers of ANNIE and THE LION KING

C: hahahahaha
lolzy mclolz

me: ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh zi BEN YA baba deeee seee babaaaaaaa
sitty boooom wen ya baaaaa wen ya baaaaaaa

C: I just searched the internet for an image of a black Annie Warbucks

Friday, August 26, 2011

Things That Have Happened Since I Posted Last

1. I survived a particularly exhausting week of work right before an awesome vacation.

2. I traveled across the country where I
a. ate tasty taco truck food at 2 AM (5 AM my time) after a 9-hour day and 6-hour flight
b. had a super tasty picnic in the park by Lake Merritt where geese began to encircle us like a Hitchcock film
c. helped the bride with important last minute tasks like seating lists and copies of directions
d. saw friends I've known for 10 years, drank wine, and giggled late into the night
e. got an updo that took 2 hours to make
f. donned a superfabulous purple one-shouldered dress
g. literally hiked through the woods to get to the stunning redwood photo site
h. read part of a poem in one of the most beautiful weddings at one of the most beautiful locales on one of the most beautiful days of weather ever
i. made a speech that made the bride and party cry and laugh at the just the right times
j. did NOT get drunk and danced for about 3 1/2 hours until late into the evening (seriously, first on the dance floor)
k. traveled to Los Angeles where I played for three days with a 5 year old, his 4 month old brother, and his two amazing mommies.

3. I returned to work after my vacation and began a serious search for a new visual art instructor, which has required several 1/2 hour phone interviews and, so far, three over-two-hour long interviews and demos.

4. At the same time, I put up the first play ever to be performed at work, with 10 weeks of sporadic attendance from the kids and three hours in this last week of rehearsal/costume making/set dressing.

5. I survived our end-of-summer event, which involved running a Spelling Bee activity in the morning, organizing the afternoon, two showings of the play, a flash mob dance to this song, and the summer award winners throwing pies of whipped cream into staff members' faces (not mine).

Now I am bracing myself for Hurricane Irene, which really means I am going to sleep early with no plans of leaving my bed this weekend except to play games with my cousin and maybe do my laundry.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Emma Stone and Christina Hendricks aren't natural redheads either.


Even the expression says, "Something is afoot here. I hope it isn't lice."


3 1/2 hours later, I am a new woman.

And newly addicted to getting my hair professionally dyed.

Because I'm worth it!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XVIII


Five weeks into summer and I am so tired and ready for my vacation next week.

Some days, it literally feels like the walls of the place are going to come crumbling down.

Good thing these kids are so fucking funny.

It means I can leave on a Friday night, after a rough week, and remember exactly how much I love my job.

"I have hard thingies."--a nine-year-old boy, referring to the resilience of his testicles, as his friend shot Bay Blades(?) at them.

"I'm bringing Sesame Street swag back."--a fourteen-year-old peer leader, commenting on his trendsetting Elmo shirt.

"You look ugly without your glasses!"--an eight-year-old boy, being brutally honest as I rubbed my eyes one day. When I protested, he said, "I'm sorry. I just had to say that!"

"She called me stinks!"--a peer leader, pouting after I told her she stunk at Hangman.

"What's your favorite thing to draw?"--an eight-year-old girl to an eight-year old boy, who was uninspired in Creative Writing and Drawing.
"Nothing...GUNS!"--his response.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I am a Pop Culture Genius: vol. XIV

You'd think I have a lot of time on my hands, what with the insistent Netflix watching. Part of it is that it's summer, and I'm really not watching a ton of network television.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I watched most of the first season of Gene Simmons's Family Jewels last weekend.

I was looking for another mindless half-hour reality show to watch but happened upon Ally McBeal this weekend.

Remember Season 4? When Robert Downey, Jr. starred in his most delicious role ever, as Larry Paul? Remember how he was a season regular but then got fired mid-season because he got arrested? Yeah.

It's funny to be watching a show that I forgot is totally based in Boston, now that I live in Boston.

Also, interesting to be watching Portia de Rossi on the show, now that I know she was really suffering from anorexia at the time. (I totally ordered her book last night, after watching a few episodes.)

Now, it's the part of the season when Peter MacNichol's silly little character, John Cage, is dating the Anne Heche character that has Tourette's. I remember (10 years ago, gulp!) watching these episodes with my folks.

But now, during a scene that happens at the school Heche's character works at, I recognize a little boy and immediately know him as Shane from Weeds. He was probably 6 at the time of filming, but the big eyes totally gave him away.

By the way, I intend on only watching the rest of the episodes in the season with Downey, Jr. in them.

This show's kind of annoying aside from him.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Litany of Insecurities This Outbreak Hath Wrought

1. My hair is so gray!

I used to dye my hair to rebel. It was the one thing my mom OK'd when I was in middle school, and when she told me it was OK to dye my hair, I went a little further than I imagined she was comfortable with: bright red, blonde, pink! At about 20, I stopped. And then, at 25, started again because, dude, there were so many grays. Before the Incident That Shall Not Be Named last week, I was planning on cutting and dyeing it (many months overdue) with several days to go before the big wedding in August, to let the hair shock subside. Now, almost a week later, I have been forced to stare at my locks in dismay and realize, if I stop dyeing my hair now, my whole head will be dark brown with a large side of gray.

2. I feel like an oily adolescent.

Full disclosure, I have oily skin and hair to begin with. I'm one of those, if I don't wash my hair within two to three days, it looks like I've been sweating, or that I've just stepped out of a brief rainshower. Except grosser. The women who treated me recommended that EVERYONE only wash their hair about twice a week. I feel like I would have to do some serious updo research before being able to do that without looking like I'm just dirty.

On top of that, part of my aftercare treatment is oiling my scalp (to suffocate any microscopic eggs (gag!)) and, because of my schedule, I've been showering, shampooing, conditioning, and oiling every night, which means a good 24 hours of an oily scalp on an already oily scalp. (Not to mention that, even though my scalp is still sore, I'm pulling my hair back to sleep at night because the oil from my hair will make my back break out.)

It has taken me four days of this to perfect the oily-scalp hairdo: tight bun with a clip to hold the bangs back. Otherwise, by the time I get to work, I'm already feeling hideous. And then, of course, I work with brutally honest kids who ask me questions like, "Why is your hair wet?" as I walk in the door.


3. I am not as over my obsessive compulsive disorder as I might have liked.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays nights, I barely slept. I could not turn my brain off: how much laundry did I have to do? What had my hair touched? Which things did I have to boil versus dry? How many staff shirts do I have that aren't contaminated? When can I put the laundry I've hung to dry back in my drawers? When can I start using my hamper again? When can I use the dryer? What time do I need to get home to have time to do all of this? How long will my shower routine take me?

Happy to have tomorrow completely off, even though I still have probably three loads of laundry and my hair routine to perform.

I'll be done with aftercare on Thursday.

Maybe then, I'll feel like myself again.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Do I have a story for you!

It all started when I sauntered into my hair salon, aching and ready for a haircut. I haven't gotten one since probably March, and my bangs are no longer bangs and my ends are FRIED. Not to mention that my hair is way past my shoulders.

I was tended to about 20 minutes after my appointment time, chatted up the woman who washed my dirty hair, and sat in the chair, ready for sweepy, sexy bangs I can rock at the wedding I'm in in August.

My stylist combed my hair and suddenly leaned down next to me.

"You work with kids, right?" she asked.

"Yep!" I responded, proudly. She looked closely at my hair. "Why? Because I have so much gray hair?"

"No," she said. "Don't freak out."

"Uh oh."

"Don't freak out. You have lice."

My heart dropped, mostly out of embarrassment. Panic set in, and I apologized profusely as my stylist gave me advice on shampooing my head and calling a nitpicker (gag). She explained that she couldn't cut my hair, as she left me with my limp, wet, infested locks and shuffled me out the door. But she assured me that after I called a nitpicker (gag!), I'd be able to return to get sexy, sweepy bangs.

I threw my hair up into a tight, wet bun and nearly ran to CVS, feeling dirty, embarrassed, and annoyed.

I spent the rest of Saturday hiding, trying to figure out how to tell everyone I needed to tell, and researching lice.

I know that they actually love clean, dry hair. That they can't cling to African American hair because the hair shaft is different. That they have three stages of life and go through them every 10-40 days.

I felt like I had just seen blood coming from a cut I didn't even know was there and now was throbbing in pain.

I slept in infested sheets for two days, paralyzed by not knowing what to do first.

Everything I read on the internet assured me that the pesticide shampoos don't work anymore, so I didn't do one.

I called several nitpicking services, hoping to get things handled as soon as possible, but the fastest they could get me someone was a tentative evening slot on Sunday.

By Sunday morning, the embarrassment had subsided and I was just kind of pissed and feeling gross. I realized my job couldn't be mad at me since I definitely got it there. I didn't know how bad my case was, and I didn't really want to know. Ignorance felt like itchy, scabby bliss.

Now that I sort of knew what I was looking for, I began to see the small nits when I scratched and even saw a live louse or two. (Gag.)

I spent most of Sunday watching Gene Simmons' Family Jewels (gag) on Netflix and feeling dirty. Counting down the minutes until the technicians would come to take care of me. Told my bosses who were both awesome about it and tried to forget my state, scratching all the while.

4 PM and 5 PM came and went, and I got a call from the owner of the treatment center who told me that the woman who was coming to take care of me had had car trouble and wouldn't be able to make it. The soonest they'd be able to send someone would be 3 PM Monday.

Today, I got a call at 10 to 3 saying they'd make it by 4. It crossed my mind a couple times that the whole company was a hoax, but a little after 4, two women came armed with a magnifying light, special shampoos, clips, baking soda, conditioners, and oils.

Here's how the process went:

1. I sat in my chair as they inspected me and deciphered that I had probably had lice for weeks. They oohed and aahed over the amount of nits at the base of my head.

2. They dosed my head with lice treatment shampoo that smelled like peppermint and soothed my itchy scalp, and I kept it on for 30 minutes, while I offered the women take-out menus because they had not eaten all day, having come straight from a screening at a camp in Weston.

3. Got my shampoo rinsed and then was doused with a concoction of baking soda and conditioner, which they combed through my head 1/8-inch sections at a time, removing tons of eggs and many lice in various stages of life. I was both horrified and fascinated. This process started at 5:30 PM and ended at 9:30 PM. (This proves not only their thoroughness but also that I had a fairly bad case.) By 8:45, I was starving and ready to burst into tears, my scalp screaming from the constant pulling on it. After downing a PB&J, I got my second wind and made it through the last 1/4 of my head. We spent the four hours watching Food Network and VH1. Highlights included most of the Mary J. Blige: Behind the Music and a couple episodes of Sex and the City.

4. The baking soda and conditioner were thoroughly rinsed and they took another inspection of my head, exclaiming at the way my scalp shined.

5. The final step was the application of some oil treatment to the scalp, to suffocate any microscopic eggs.

6. They were out of the house by 10 PM, at which point, I sprayed down my mattress, couch, and rugs, swept my house, scrubbed my desk and tables, took all the trash out, and stripped and remade my bed.

I have a 10-day aftercare program, which will still give me a full week to get a haircut before I go to California in August.

I cannot imagine dealing with this alone. Nitpickers are the only way to go these days, it seems.

I am thoroughly physically and emotionally exhausted and vow to keep my hair up and to keep my hugs from being too tight at work.

Who gets lice these days?

Serves me right for loving my job so much.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XVII


It was over 80 degrees before 8:00 AM today and, now, after 7:30 PM, it's still 100 degrees out. (And 86 degrees in my house.)

"Wow. I've never seen a grown woman do a cartwheel."--an 8-year-old, after I proved I've still got it.

Me, to a teen: How's the internship going?
Teen: Good.
Me: Working hard?
Teen: Yes!
Me: When I did administrative work, my hands used to be covered in papercuts.
Teen: Oh. Well, I'm not working THAT hard!

"Prepare to DIE!"--an 8-year-old, playing Hospital Tag, where you have to tag people on each arm and leg before they "die" and are out.

"You have the feet of a goddess."--my peer leader, to the 8-year-old boy who was walking on his back.

"I'm related to him."--with weary disappointment, a 10-year-old girl, in response to her 8-year-old brother completely ignoring my greeting.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XVI

ZOMG, it's been SO LONG since my last "Overheard" post!

We are two weeks into our summer program. I am teaching three hours each morning with the (sporadic) assistance of a 14-year-old peer leader who was assigned to me slightly begrudgingly. I do everything from Boalian Image Theatre with 11-year-old girls to playing tag games for over an hour with 9-year-old boys and lots of things in between. In the afternoons, I monitor the building and try to get administrative work done...I feel like I've been at work pretty much non-stop since the 4th of July.


"I'm tired of seeing the same water bottle since 1964!"--a teen, noting and putting down my sweet water bottle that I am never without.

[While playing Categories, a teen kept blathering and commenting and refusing to listen and gloating. I suggested the final category.]
Me: OK, the category is states!
Teen: Canada!

[As I patted my peer leader affectionately on the arm]
PL: Patting me on the back makes me fart!
Me: I'm not patting you on the back!
PL: Yeah, but it's still going to make me fart.
[As I crossed the room away from him, he let a big one rip.]

Sunday, July 10, 2011

8th Annual "Birthday Extravaganza"

S and I have been celebrating our birthdays together since 2004, when we threw a three-day 21st birthday bash that broke records in alcohol consumption and sleep deprivation. When I was apartment hunting between my sophomore and junior years in college, I sent out probably 12 Craigslist inquiries. The only person who responded was S, whom I had met several times because she was involved in the student-theatre group I worked with.

I guess you could say Craigslist brought us together.

We've celebrated together every June 21-23 since.

This year, however, with my work schedule and her moving mid-June, we couldn't be together on our birthdays proper.

I had the idea that, since we were both so busy and couldn't venture either North or South, to be together, that we should figure out the geographical midway point.

Turns out, it's basically Hartford, CT.

So, we agreed to meet there for the day. We'd have a boozy lunch, spend some time in a park, and see some sights, then head back to our respective homes.

I woke up around 7:30 to make some breakfast and head to South Station for my 9:30 bus ride. Peter Pan to Hartford on a random Saturday in July is totally the way to travel. There were probably 15 people on my bus, both ways, and everything ran exactly on time to the minute.

I got there a few minutes before S and went searching for a restroom in Union Station. I followed a long line of men to a corner and figured the women's room was somewhere else, so I entered the lobby:

Empty. No benches.

I was confused but headed back to the bus terminal and finally found the bathroom.

When S got off her bus, I showed her how odd the lobby was and then we stood on a corner to figure out our destination for lunch.

Agave Grill ended up being a pretty OK spot. Tasty if too-sweet drinks, OK salad, and actually really good nachos.

Full of drink and food, we headed toward Bushnell Park, where we sat here for about 2 1/2 hours:

That's the State Capitol, fyi.

It was perfect weather for sitting under a tree and we chatted and laughed off our drunkenness until it was time to try to track down some more food before our buses departed.

The walk was eerie. We couldn't figure out why the park wasn't packed. It was a gorgeous day, the grass was bright green and soft, there was a playground and pretty statues and historical buildings to look at:

It was like something from I Am Legend, and it just kept getting weirder.

As we walked further into downtown, we were confronted by groups of people in strange costumes and wigs. They were mixed with lots of crazy, street people, who called out to us as we wandered, hoping to find another spot to have a drink or some food.

Nothing was open.


This is the food court in State House Square:

The only place open in the food court was Szechuan Express, randomly.

We turned a corner and found a crappy restaurant where S had a beer and I had a homemade rootbeer but we refused to order anything on the sticky menu.

Finally, we happened upon a small market where we got some snacks and parted once again at the bus station.

When I got back to Boston, I was unnerved by how many stands at the food court were open in South Station.

It was probably the strangest place we've ever been together, and that list includes a place called Hunk-o-Mania AND the Las Vegas Strip in June.

Also, this is what they eat in Worcester, one of my stops on the way home:

America is weird.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It is My Birthday for One More Hour

I am 28.

I really like the sound of it.

This has been one of the best birthday celebrations I've had in a long while.

It started with a super chill, lovely, alcohol-filled Saturday night with some close friends (complete with devil's food and peanut butter butter creme cupcakes) and continued through the weekend with a boozy brunch and then a long evening of sushi and sake with a super close friend.

Tuesday, I was treated to dinner at my cousin's house and even got time with the baby.

I collected birthday cards from my kiddoes all week, intent on keeping them sealed until today. I also wore a dress and tiara to work because I could. When I got to work, I opened all of the cards and put them on display. There were more than this by the end of the day, plus a couple paintings.

Most touching message: Thank you Annie for all youve done. Love you!
Funniest message: Happy birthday annie write below whatever you want

My job is the best place ever to work if you're celebrating a birthday, except when the kids started telling me I was older than their mothers. Hrmm.

My coworkers got me a card and baked me cupcakes, and one of my art teachers made me this. I almost sobbed.

(I just realized you can see my tiara in this pic!)

Tonight, my friend took me out to dinner, and I came home to hundreds of email and Facebook messages.

This is the first birthday in a long time that I feel like I'm celebrating at home. I've dragged weeks-worth of luggage to New York City before heading to New Haven for the summer for what feels like years (really, it was only 2). But before that, for years and years, I was either unhappy or away from home.

Celebrating in Boston has been really nice, and I have a feeling my 28th year is going to be pretty amazing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A List of Things I am Distracted By Even Though (or Maybe Because) I'm Exhausted

1. My schedule this week.

(Which really isn't all that different except it FEELS different because I have a couple early meetings and extra things and Friday is a school holiday, which means I have a super early day.)

2. My birthday party.

(Which really isn't all that stressful because I have literally invited my closest friends and we are literally going to meet down my street AND I've already figured out what I'm wearing AND how I'm wearing my hair. I do still have to get a pedicure and call the places to tell them to expect me and my party. But really.)

3. The need to clean my room.

(I was so scattered today at work that I spent the last 45 minutes of my day cleaning my desk. I haven't really had a spare moment to do the same thing in my room, though I know it would make me feel better.)

4. Summer wardrobe.

(I spent two Sundays in a row shopping and made a few excellent purchases, but I still need summery things to wear below the waist. I have not, for the life of me, been able to find shorts or capris that don't make me look like either a sausage or a whore.)

5. The wedding I'll be in in August.

(One of my best friends is getting married this summer. Hers will be the first wedding I've been to of my friends, the first wedding I'll be IN since I was a three-year-old flower girl. And it is distracting me because I need shoes and jewelry to go with the hot purple dress I bought and I need to figure out where I'm staying when I'm in California for it and I need to write an amazing, hilarious, and touching speech befitting what I'm sure will be a ridiculously magical day.)

6. The fact that June is already almost over.

(I know it's only the 13th, but this is also the second-to-last week of afterschool programming for the year at work. Every afternoon, 350 kids show up, squirrely as fuck and ready to tear the walls down because they are so done with school. They never have homework these days and they are just as ready for a vacation as I am. The summer program starts the first week of July and we are all ready.

Not to mention that, as noted above, June ending means I am about to have a birthday. Which brings me to my last point...)

7. Turning 28.

(I learned a long time ago that the body completely regenerates every seven years. When I learned that, I looked back at my life in multiples of 7:

At 7, my mother met my stepfather. An incredibly significant moment in all of our lives. To say the least.

At 14, we moved from Brooklyn to Cambria, CA. Yet another earth-shattering, life-altering moment.

At 21, I spent the craziest, most transformative, heart-wrenching, and eye-opening summer of my life with friends in college.

All this to say, 28 is bound to be...something.)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tips on Throwing a Successful Bachelorette Weekend in Atlantic City

1. Do not take Jet Blue to New York City. There is a 100% chance your flight will be delayed.

2. On the Greyhound bus to Atlantic City with your friends, do not make eye contact with the older lady in black basketball shorts. She may eat tuna out of a can with her hands and get dangerously close to touching you with them. She may spill soda near or on you. She may come back to the seat you are sharing with her with a long trail of toilet paper in her shorts.

3. Do not underestimate the utter importance of and satisfaction provided by an ocean view from a 12th floor hotel room. Or a swiveling television set.

4. While your bachelorette friend is showering, decorate the room with streamers and caution tape that you smuggled on the bus without her noticing. Be sure not to make too much noise or she may suspect that you're up to something.

5. Drink Jameson and ginger ale out of penis straws while listening to Bachelorette playlists.

6. Wear your bridesmaid and bride-to-be tiaras all weekend, including at the beach. Be prepared for half the people who see you to wish your bachelorette a happy birthday.

7. If you plan on seeing a strip show at Hunkomania, be prepared for some crazy shit. Shit that will make you cringe and confused. Shit that may even offend you. The Flying Wallenda move is pretty impressive though.

8. Plan to go dancing at the Casbah, but make your friend do her bachelorette party scavenger hunt there. If she tells people she's about to get married, they will eagerly do everything from fake walk her down the aisle, to handing over their condoms, to escorting her into the men's room.

9. Eat brunch at My Friends Diner, just because the name is so cute.

10. Be sure to take a walk on the boardwalk and take a couple rides at the carnival. The beach stroll from the pier to Caesars is also lovely. Drinks at Continental are highly recommended, followed by hotdogs at Nathan's and salt water taffy and fudge at Fralinger's.

11. Don't forget to surprise the bachelorette with a rousing game of Pin the Macho on the Man, preferably while drinking champagne and vodka. (Note: do not spin after each sip.)

12. The Believe drag show at Resorts is amazing. Liza and Patti LaBelle are the standouts.

13. Enjoy a three-hour-long late dinner at Buddakan.

14. Don't forget to wear your tiaras on the bus ride home.

15. End the weekend at a gay-friendly establishment like Vynl in New York City, where the waiters will announce that you're "getting married in the mornin'" and may even give you free shots at lunch.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XV

Dude. Sorry.

I was really busy, getting through several weekends of intense work events.

And I'm writing TODAY because I'm going to Atlantic City with mah girlz this weekend for the first bachelorette party I have ever been to.

Yes, let the insanity ensue.

12-year-old asking for peppermints from me: One more?
Me: NO!
12-year-old, noting the packaging: Why? It's only 99 cents!

Me, providing clues as to what character I was playing, during a Hot Seat activity: I live on a street with lots of other characters just like me!
Kids: HOBO!
Me: I have two names!
Kid: Poopy Boy!

As we put up paintings in the gallery, we were instructed by one of my supervisors to put two T pins at the bottom of each piece, to avoid curling.
Colleague A: Two in the bottom?
Me: That sounds crowded!
Supervisor: Are you sure you don't need a hammer?
Colleague A: Two in the bottom!
Supervisor: I just didn't know you could use your thumbs that way!
Colleague A: Using my thumbs to get two in the bottom!

8-year-old: Are you a teenager, Annie?
Me: No! I'm much older than that!
8-year-old: You look like a teenager.
Me: Thanks!
8-year-old: You have pimples.

Talking to a kid about how he needs to manage his own money because his mother doesn't use the money he makes to pay his bills on time.
Me: Put it under your mattress.
Kid: I'm not a drug dealer. Or an old Jewish lady.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XIV

Sometimes, my job requires me to wake up before 8 AM on a Saturday, put on fancy clothes, and take a band of kids to perform at a recital hall at the Berklee College of Music, where the bassist from Aerosmith is in the audience and gives the band a standing ovation.


"I've got a brain for smartness."--an 8-year-old with a shit-eating grin.

Colleague A, while we were putting things away in storage that was once a women's locker room: What is THAT? (pointing to the feminine products dispenser, on the side with the female symbol)
Me: A PAD!
Colleague A: OH! I thought it was like a Prince album or something!

Colleagues B and C are discussing books they like.
Colleague B: You like sci-fi?
Colleague C: I'm a HUGE fantasy dork!
Colleague B: Sea Dork? What's that?

While the band discussed that they should have all grown beards for the performance and that none of them COULD actually grow beards, the 17-year-old guitarist said, proudly, "I could grow a really thick fuzz!"

Friday, May 6, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XIII



So, it's really odd to be going through a similar experience at the end of this school year as I did every year I actually was IN school, but the next seven weeks are going to be very intense, and I keep thinking, "Oh, after May 21, when the music showcase and the big work fundraiser are over, I'll feel so relaxed," but I neglect to remember that I will then be committed to working every Saturday in June for RM AND apartment-hunting with all the spare time I have on the weekends.


I am so tired.

But I did just see my name on the walls of the Museum of Fine Arts, so maybe I shouldn't complain too much.

"Crystal Oceanista."--the name of a kid's stuffed seal. "She's a fashionista."

Me to a work study student on his last day: I know you'll miss ME! You'll miss the shot of estrogen I bring to this room.
17-year-old: Isn't estrogen illegal?
Kid: Estrogen is the female hormone.
17-year-old: Oh!
Kid: THIS is a high school senior.

Peer leader, referring to the rather inappropriate abbreviation "DTF": In hip-hop, it would be wrong. But in life, it would be right.

Me, to a very tall and lanky 14-year-old who had just knocked over some chairs in the art room: You are SUCH a clumsy kid!
Kid (with true exasperation): I'm just SO BIG!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Holy F, See You in June

This week at work was insane. I can't even really tell you how, except that I went from grantor site visits to partnership meetings to covering core areas to finding out I'd have to cover field trips in two days that felt like ten.

We are gearing up for our annual event, and I am still working Saturdays.

All to say that I'll pretty much be zooming through the next eight weeks until the end of June, when I'll stop working my Saturday job, have gotten through the event, and will be able to breathe with a 9:30 to 5:30 schedule over the summer.

Not to mention that my roommates and I are trying to find an apartment for August.

I covered a field trip today that was actually kind of fun and easy, and I have some quotes at work from the week, but my favorite came today, courtesy of a very unique 17-year-old boy.

Kid: I am so excited to have bunk beds next year!
Me: You are EXCITED to have BUNK BEDS?
Kid: Yes, there will be so much room for activities!
Kid: [without missing a beat] Like karate! And board games!

I died.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XII

I decided, while watching the 100th episode of 30 Rock this week, that my job is kind of like an episode of the show: so many hilarious and absurd things happen in such a short amount of time that, by the end of the day, it's really hard to distinguish any of them...

"Excuse me! Can I get a guitar in my size?"--a 10-year-old girl beginning a week of diva-like demands. No, we do not have small guitars just for you.

"You're a Celebrity Incarceration Expert!"--a teen, after I got all 24 questions right in the "Celebrity Mugshot" on sporcle.com. (You're welcome.)

"You made Skittles juice."--a 12-year-old, after looking through my phone photos. Yes, kid, that is exactly what that is.

Kid A: Which church do you go to? What kind of music did they play? Do you know this song? [Plays a blues riff on the keyboard]
Kid B: No, it was more like Kumbaya.

"You have to connect to your vagina."--a co-worker's friend diagnosing how we could all dance like another co-worker's friend, who seemed to disconnect her hips from her body, but in an amazing way. This is the best dance advice I've ever gotten.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bi-Monthly Update?

Sorry for the radio...er...blog silence.

Here is what's been going on the last two weeks:

1. Day of previous post being just the beginning of the shittiest week I've had at work yet.

2. Boston spring taking its sweet time to get here. Today, it is 43 degrees out.

3. Me coming down with a bad cold that is STILL lingering.

4. My cousin having a baby boy on the same day that my mother celebrated her 60th birthday.

5. This past week at work being taken over by the annual singing competition we have with the kids, which went off yesterday with only a few catastrophes mid-show:

a. 12-year-old dropped out at the last minute, despite my best youth development convincing that she deserved to compete and would do great.

b. Grandmother of 10-year-old girl (whom we had cut in the 2nd round) sneak attacked me mid-show to complain that her granddaughter was a good singer and we only had 8 competitors anyway--could she perform?

c. Friends of 12-year-old girl in section A bumrushed the stage while I was making announcements, declaring that she was ready to sing now but only if she could sing with all of them. No.

6. Having a fancy dinner with an old friend while he was here on business and reminiscing about how things have changed and stayed the same.

7. An epic evening making Skittles vodka with the roommates, which we will be consuming tonight.

(Update: It is so tasty and strong. And looks really pretty in a glass mixed with 7-Up.)

I've barely had time at my desk to write quotes down, even though I'm amused by my kids and coworkers every day.

Also, there's a long, rambling, witty nostalgic post brewing in me and I just need to figure out time and space to write it.

Thanks for your patience!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Texts After a Shitty Monday

SGN: You'll have time to let out a big sigh of relief soon.

me: June??

SGN: Yes. What's the worst thing that can happen. You'll go thru exhaustion, get hospitalized, take some percoset? And try again. Lather, rinse, repeat, yo.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. XI

[At the staff meeting, as we discuss the staff fitness challenge and our personal goals.]
Colleague A: My personal goal is to lose 2 pounds.
Colleague B: I lose 5 pounds when I go to the bathroom!

Colleague 1: You told me I had the best computer here!
Colleague 2: You DID, until you downloaded all that porn!
1: That is MY personal business!

"You guys need to go to Dr. Phil!"--a teen's assessment of his friends' bickering relationship.

"Soccer and women."--a 12-year-old's assertion of what his priorities will be this year.

"I smiled so hard, I couldn't see my page."--a student in the leadership program, after she finished delivering her persuasive speech. I want some of whatever she's having.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mr. Miyagi would be so proud.

So, we all know that I'm a fan of TV.

Lately, I've been rewatching the entire series of Scrubs and it's seriously reigniting my Zach Braff crush.

I'm also a fan of reality TV but not a ridiculous, obsessive fan.

Like, I don't watch Jersey Shore, for example.

I have, however, become newly fascinated by the horrible schlock show Celebrity Apprentice but mostly because Marlee Matlin's on it and I am totally in love with her. Also, I didn't know who Lil Jon or Nene Leakes were before the show, and now I love them both.

And Dionne Warwick is a horrible person who thinks that teaching 4- and 5-year-olds about deaf people is bringing them too much diversity.

Anyway, I like to be kept informed about the other significant reality phenomena around me. So I read and occasionally watch clips of this season's Dancing with the Stars.

And it features Ralph Macchio.

You know, this guy!

Except, today, he looks like this.


Like, it is freaky.

And he does this:

But, my absolute favorite part of that clip is that he named his son--WAIT FOR IT!--Daniel.

As in, Daniel-san.


Monday, March 28, 2011


I had a dream on Sunday night about two guys I once had crushes on. In my dream, they knew each other, were fighting over me, even.

It took me gradually waking up to remember that they've never met, had, in fact, been parts of entirely different eras of my life, though only a couple years apart, one at the end of middle school and one my last two years of high school.

As I remembered this, I was suddenly wide awake, trying to figure out if I was doing the math right and that it has really been ten whole years since I graduated from high school.

I still can't really believe it.

But 2011 minus 10 is, in fact, 2001, the year I graduated from high school.

I thought about this most of Sunday morning, trying to figure out where the time had gone.

Yes, I spent four years in college and two years in graduate school, but that only accounts for six years.

The other years, I sometimes feel like I lost. Mostly, I was busy being unhappy or trying to figure out where to find happiness and actively pursuing it.

So, in honor of these ten years that have passed, the last few of which have revealed certain happiness to me, I am reposting something I wrote five years ago.

I always hear that time flies even faster as we get older. If I'm already so disoriented by this passing of time, I'll be 90 before I know it!

September 2006

For some reason, I’m thinking a lot about my childhood these days. About a childhood that I sometimes look back on with regret because it was overshadowed by adult matters that left me self-reliant at an early age. I remember high school as the epitome of this contradiction. A time when I was supposed to be experimenting with booze and boys, cutting classes, rebelling against my parents but which, in reality, was a time when I took school too seriously because I knew that would be my way to escape.

I didn’t really smoke anything or drink until I was 19 and 21, respectively. In high school, I never crammed and I never cut class. I was mortified to find out that I had gotten a B in an art class once because I thought that meant I’d have no chance at getting to be the valedictorian and I felt that made my entire four years at high school a 1460 day long waste of time. I had entered high school as the “smart girl from New York,” the one who left high school with the same reading and writing skills as she had when she had entered. I knew at the end of my freshman year that I could make it to valedictorian and that B was the one chink in my academic armor. (I ended up making valedictorian, after taking one more honors class than the person who was salutatorian.)

The point is, when my mother and step-father moved us from Brooklyn, NY to Cambria, CA and I left a school of 1100 to attend a school of 400, I knew the first few days that I needed to get out as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Once I had graduated and finally moved away from Cambria, I knew I was off the hook, and I stopped being so rigid with myself. I took classes I wanted to take, and ended up deciding to major in theater, which was the first “rebellious,” independent decision I had ever made. I lived with a male roommate (we shared one room, two beds); I started smoking cigarettes, pot, and drinking (all recreationally, of course). I partied. A lot. Hosted costume balls and spontaneous dance parties in my apartment. Sometimes even sacrificed my homework for a night out with friends. And even cut classes now and then, to catch up on sleep. Or homework that hadn’t gotten done the nights before. It was a time of intense self-awareness and transformation.

Five years after graduating from high school, I try to look back at those years without too much regret. I had to make the best of it at the time because, otherwise, I probably would have killed myself. Or gotten pregnant and really been stuck there. Who knows what might have been if I had actually fallen victim to the closed mindedness of the tiny, white-washed town? But I do know that the way I saw it, as a gateway to what ended up being the most wonderful times of my life, helped me get through each day and not resent four years of my life. I can chalk it up as just a long, torturous transition. And maybe that is actually what high school means to everyone.

But Cambria has a way of swallowing people up. I always called it a black hole, and I knew that if I caved in college at some point and crawled back to Cambria with my tail between my legs, as I saw and heard many of my high school classmates do, I might never leave. And some of those kids still haven’t.

I’m not sure if it was because it was their hometown. Or because the town itself seemed to breed a certain type of non-thinking and unmoving young person. But there seems to be a particular phenomenon of people I knew moving back, after various times at colleges or not, and subsequently never leaving.

I can understand if your hometown is a big city, like San Francisco or New York, that you might move back after college. Or even go to college in the city. And maybe that’s because I did grew up in a big city, and even though I was never really an adult in New York until a year and half ago, I knew that a rural town was not where I belonged. I just don’t understand what opportunities exist for young people in a town of 6000, a town with one streetlight (actually, the second got installed my last year in college), a town where not only do you never pass anyone on the street who isn’t white but you probably know the names of everyone of those white people. And their kids.

Sometimes I imagine the scene at my ten-year high school reunion. I know some of the people there will be fatter and that those who aren’t are the ones who got some plastic surgery, and a lot of people will be married and even more will have kids (since they started in high school or right after). I even know of one of my high school classmates who has come out of the closet. (I somehow doubt she’ll make an appearance at the reunion.) I imagine sitting and drinking with the one or two people I still keep in contact with and judging all the others while I stuff my face with buffet food and congratulate myself on the 10th anniversary of my escape.

Monday, March 21, 2011

This is My Story. What's Yours?

Created on youtube.com/search stories

Made even funnier/truer/sadder by the fact that even Google maps thinks Silvertone is a good place for first dates.

Also, the related videos at the end of mine include "Gay Speed Dating in Boston" and "Depression--Cooking for One."


Friday, March 18, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. X

Technically, this is two weeks' worth of quotes. What I'm finding is that my day passes so quickly and I see so many kids that, by the end of the week, or even the day, I don't remember what ANYONE said.

I keep threatening to keep a tally of how many people I talk to in a day of work.

I swear it would be at least 100.

"Look at you in your skinny jeans!"--my colleague
"They're JEGGINGS!"--her 10-year-old mentee

Colleague A: You want to eat this for me?
Colleague B: What? Yes!

Colleague B is also the one who suggested "Cake. Or a big hunk of cheese" as incentive for our staff fitness challenge winners.

"What's a Nate Dogg?"--our HR person, showing her age.
(May he rest.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Brother is a Support System Unto Himself

me: i reported to the board of directors tonight
it was kinder scary

C: was it like the council in superman

me: um

C: oh
it's on netflix
you should watch it

me: it was like
i'm new


me: these are my goals for the programs i'm managing
k bye

C: phantom zone!
how many programs do you manage?
what are they called?

me: music, art, dance, drama
eventually 5 people, including me

C: whoaaaaaaaaaaa
that's huge
each of those categories had its own god in ancient greece
that's serious

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Carrie Got Dumped on a Post-It, But...

That's just fiction.

In reality, getting rejected via email doesn't sting any less.

I could spin a funny, witty, cutting yarn about my recent foray into online dating.

It involves contacting someone on the stupid site, right after my PREVIOUS rejection, emailing him for less than a week, being impressed with his wit via email, meeting him at one of my favorite restaurants (his pick), being pleasantly surprised by what he looked like, feeling very awkward at paying for my own food and drink on our first meeting, spending almost 4 hours with him that night, having him walk me to my train station (out of his way), assessing the date as a solid B, while being concerned at his apparent lack of warmth, worrying about hearing from him for two days, hearing from him, making a second date, shaving and dressing up for it, deciding that I actually liked him while spending another almost 5 hours with him, walking in the rain, being totally impressed with his candor, getting kissed good night, thinking about making plans this week, sending him a text because I knew he knows people in Japan, and, basically, having him write me back that he didn't want to see me anymore.

It's not actually a funny story.

And, while I'm totally sitting here, shocked and confused, trying to make sense of whatever is going on his head, and, at the same time, understanding that I WILL NEVER KNOW, I'm also thinking...

Dude. That was a big mistake.

You are missing out.

Because I am fucking amazing.

Good luck finding whatever it is you're looking for...*cough* at 32 and after six years of online dating *cough*

In this case, I know, it's not me.

It's you.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Work, vol. X

So, I collected exactly two quotes this week.

Partly, that is because I spent a fair amount of Wednesday and Thursday not really with kids. I'm running interviews, calling references, giving tours, meeting funders, and generally getting thrown to the proverbial wolves (but in a good way).

Doing lots of extra things around the Club.

Because I can.

As my job gets crazier and busier, I will collect quotes until I get a fair amount. THEN, I will share them.

I hope you don't mind.

Also, I survived my first day at this job hungover.

So there's that.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. IX

Lots of great things happening at work. I am finally settling into what my day-to-day really looks like; I have been given a couple more responsibilities; I am feeling good about my management; I am happy about how my programming is going.

My 90-day evaluation is coming up at the beginning of April. I am both terrified and confident about it. HA!

It was a very, very busy week, so quotes are scarcer.

"They allowed me to a beer bar."--an eight-year-old announced this to me, in a whisper. She followed that with, "I didn't drink or anything. I'm not an alcoholic!"

Discussing my colleague's affinity for Justin Bieber, an eight-year-old said: "You're obsessed!" Then he urged her, "Don't be so picky!" I don't remember why, but his emphasis was hilarious. Later that day, he very confidently asked me, "Can I have a 20?"

"Maback Obama"--an eight-year-old's total mispronunciation of our President's name.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Um. Yeah, So That Happened.

We should all come to terms with the fact that this will be an odd, weepy post.

I traveled to and from Raleigh, North Carolina and slept about 10 hours in the last 30. I am tired and anticipate the task of staying up to watch the Oscars telecast to be difficult this year.

This means, I’ll probably cry every few minutes.

Shit, I saw a clip of Kate Winslet’s acceptance speech in a promo for the Oscars on the plane and could hardly contain my sobs.

Last year, I got teary twelve times. Let’s see if we can top that.

And Franco and Hathaway, y’all better bring it. And by that, I mean that Anne Hathaway has to somehow convince me that she is NOT, in fact, totally overexposed these days. And she better not sing too much.

(Frankly, I’m not confident either of these will occur.)

Without further ado, some highlights and lowlights of the night, IMHO.

Classiest Pre-Show Moment:
Mark Wahlberg giving his costars and colleagues in The Fighter their due credit. What a guy!

Best Pre-Show Red Carpet Moment(s):
Natalie Portman, a vision in that incredible purple, actually made me teary. And, damn, Justin Timberlake looks good in a tux.
Hailee Steinfeld might be my best dressed of the night, though. Marisa Tomei is up there too.

Best Host Moment(s):
Franco: “You’re looking very beautiful and hip.”
Hathaway: “Thank you! You look very appealing to a younger demographic as well.”
Franco, dressed as Marilyn Monroe, saying he’d gotten a text from Charlie Sheen. BURN!
Winter’s Bone. Rabbit Hole…How to Train Your Dragon; that’s disgusting.”

Worst Host Moment(s):
Annie, honey, remember you’re miked. No hollering at your actor friends.
Also, girl’s got fake-itude. As in, she comes across as totally disingenuous.
The bags under Franco’s eyes. That man needs a vacation.
No, really. Stop hollering.

Best Presenter Moment(s):
Kirk Douglas keeping the Supporting Actress nominees on their toes.
Justin Timberlake announcing he is Banksy.
Russell Brand and Helen Mirren. Favorites.
Cate Blanchett: “That’s gross.”
Billy Crystal. I missed him tonight, frankly. BRING. BILLY. BACK.
I love Sandra Bullock: “Javier. Hola…Jeff! Dude!”

Least Surprising Moment(s):
Aaron Sorkin winning for Adapted Screenplay of The Social Network (and what a classy, eloquent speech!)
All of the sound/effects awards Inception won.
Colin Firth as Best Actor in The King’s Speech.

Least Likely to Have Been Predicted in 1994:
Trent Reznor, winning for Best Score of The Social Network.

Most Surprising Moment(s):
No applause during the In Memoriam montage. It did always seem like a popularity contest.
Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) winning over David Fincher (The Social Network) for Best Director.

Best Speech(es):
David Seidler, the 74-year-old winner of the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay of The King's Speech: “My father always said I would be a late bloomer.”
Academy Award winner Christian Bale(!) of The Fighter shouting out Dicky Eklund’s website. And then choking up for his wife and daughter. We knew you could do it back when you were just a Newsie.
Tom Hooper: “The moral of the story is…listen to your mother.”
Natalie Portman, winning Best Actress for Black Swan, is the most incredibly eloquent young woman. I am seriously honored to be in the same generation as her. Oof.

These are the moments that made me teary: Pretty much any time any actors watched their clips and then reacted like they couldn’t believe they where they were (probably upwards of 6); Kirk Douglas’s standing ovation; David Seidler’s shout-out to stutterers; the Score medley; ummm, Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore singing (shhhh); the commercials for Secret Millionaires (all of them); Kathryn Bigelow’s appearance (don’t ask me why; I’m tired); the clip of Francis Ford Coppola saying he was proud of “the generation that did so much”; anything Natalie Portman did or said; the finale (duh). That’s a whopping 15.

Overall? Zzzzzzzz.


Overheard at Work, vol. VIII

"I poo! I pee!"--lateral lisp kid, making some serious announcements.

"Why did the chicken die in the frying pan?"--mostly, I was amused because the girl telling this joke was singing it woefully.

"Behave, please!"--Art Teacher
"Shut up!"--12-year-old, clearly heeding his words.

"If a skeleton needs a drink, what do you need?...A mop!"--a 9-year-old's pretty clever joke, IMHO.

"I eat cookies and milk every night before bed."--the teen coordinator's confession to the office. Enlightening.

Colleague #1: Can I jump on that computer real fast?
Colleague #2: (in jest) No!
#1: Whatever, cuz I'm gonna do it anyway.

"It looks like I jizzed myself!"--a 12-year-old's description of himself after walking to the club in the rain. I was totally shocked and called him out on it, when he asserted he had meant the synonym for "peed." Sigh.

"It was in my way!"--a 14-year-old's assertion of why he tends to knock things over.

"Tommy! Play the drums!"--an 8-year-old, banned from the music room because he's too young, standing just outside it, directing his older brother to use the room to its fullest. Funniest thing I'd seen all week.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just So's You Know

I'll be traveling to Chapel Hill, North Carolina for the weekend, primarily to see my friend Jeff play Louis in Angels in America(!).

I'm leaving straight from work on Friday and getting home Sunday afternoon, when I will throw my clothes in the laundry, wait for groceries for the week to arrive, and write my Overheard post.

Also, expect my impressions of the Oscars that night.

I'm fighting some nasty strain of kid-spread disease, so I'm sure I'll be pretty exhausted when I get home, but you'll hear from me then, regardless.

I'll try to type through the snot I will inevitably be dripping on my keyboard.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

You Know What's Hard? Dating.

I got an email from someone on [the site that rhymes with Schmoe Schmay Schmupid] early last week, saying that there was a good chance we'd get along and asking if I wanted to get a drink that week.

In the interest of pursuing one of my New Year's resolutions, I decided to be a little impulsive, checked out his profile, asserting that our profiles actually looked an awful lot alike, and told him my schedule.

(My previous MO on this site has been to email until the spark between us fizzles, before we even meet. I thought I'd try something new.)

I had a very full week, as they all are these days, and found out late in the week that I'd have a late day on Friday. Changed plans with the (very flexible) aforementioned date and, eventually, found myself waiting for a train at 8:30 on a Friday night in the hurricane that had spontaneously hit Boston.

Then, the B line only took me four stops because of a previous accident, and I ended up stranded in Packard's Corner, talking to the guy on the phone, and trying to figure out where the hell I was and how I was going to get downtown.

The wind broke my umbrella, and I sloshed through melted snow to hail a cab.

The first one I flagged down pulled over, and my Jamaican cabbie asked me what I was up to that night. What I drank. Whiskey? When I needed to be picked up. And told me I was beautiful about four times.

I figured the evening had taken a turn for the better and went into the bar frazzled but optimistic, which didn't change when I sat down, told the dude the tale of my journey and ordered a glass of white wine.

Still, first dates are awkward, especially in circumstances like ours.

I tried to have a sense of humor about the whole thing but could sense I wasn't making the best first impression.

However, I left the date having made the decision that I liked him enough to want to hang out again, told him to call me and was home by 11 PM.

(His story was that he had plans to see his friends' band and had to leave my 1030. Likely.)

I woke up yesterday and, again, unlike me, emailed him to apologize for my frazzledness and to assert that I would totally hang out again.

He emailed me mere hours later to tell me that, in the interest of being straightforward, he didn't feel a connection strong enough to warrant another meeting...

I know at some point I'll appreciate his candor.

But, in the moment, it stung.

I've talked to a lot of my friends about my foray into online dating.

Most of the ones who know me the best don't think it's a good idea.

They think I'm looking for something more serious than this site will provide.

I even write in my online profile that online dating makes me a little uneasy.

Maybe I just need an attitude adjustment.

But, these guys should take the time to get to know me before they decide they don't like me!

I'd be totally fine with that.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. VII

Kid with lateral lisp, during a theatre game, where he was playing "confused": I don't get it.
Me: What don't you get?
Kid (thinking off the top of his head, and admirably, at that): Why do people wear socks on V Day?

"He's a cute little Guinea!"--our Director of Support Services, being a (slightly racist) old-town girl about the man who shovels our parking lot. He's Italian.

"Men are better."--the Music Coordinator, assuring a teen that he need not worry about getting into a relationship. And, no, he's not gay.

Drummer Kid: I'm starvin' Marvin.
Music Coordinator: Are you also single and ready to mingle?
Kid: Yeah.
MC: Do you find yourself in a perpetual state of singlehood?
Me: What's wrong with that? I find myself in a perpetual state of singlehood.
MC: No, that's the way to go. Why would you bring chicken to the buffet?

"I know how to make decisions! Chicken or fried rice?! Chicken!"--an 11-year-old, asserting her ability to vote.

"Don't go crazy this weekend! You look like you go crazy on the weekends."--the Fitness Program Assistant, giving me advice, as I left tonight. I thought it was the funniest thing.

Little does he know I'll spend tomorrow in my bed, watching Bones on Netflix and doing my laundry.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

To the Dark Side...

When I was in college, I spent one very scary night walking from Rockridge BART station in Oakland in the exact opposite direction of the Berkeley campus.

I was with my friend Bonnie and, ultimately, we had the wherewithal to jump in a cab and have him take us safely back to our dorms.

It was 2001, and the only cellphone I'd ever seen was about the size of a small clutch and had a huge, plastic antenna. My family kept it plugged into a wall socket at home, unless we were in the car.

After the night of walking through Oakland, I decided getting a cellphone was probably a good idea.

My first cell phone had a bright green screen and black text. It was far heavier than it needed to be, and I kept it off when I wasn't home, insistent that phone etiquette meant I didn't answer it unless I was available. I would only use it for emergencies.

I am pretty technologically easy to please.

I'm not a gadget-centric person.

When I got a cell phone with a colored background, I was thrilled. When I finally got one that flipped open, I thought I'd made it. Next was getting a phone with a camera (this was only a couple years ago).

Finally, this year I upgraded to a phone with a full keyboard.

But again, I decided I didn't want the data plan, just the texting capabilities. T9 had gotten cumbersome and annoying.

Why would I need to be connected 24/7? I'm too available as it is, what with succumbing to Facebook (also only a couple years ago) and my blog, I'm pretty exposed and visible.

Then, I got a job that is more then 50 minutes away, by commute, either on two buses, a train and a bus, or two trains.

Last Friday, it took me 93 minutes to get to work. And 103 minutes to get home, on a Friday night, after a very long week. I waited for a bus for 40 minutes...

I can justify the extra $15 a month for the data plan I just signed up for in minutes sliced off my commute.

I'm sure it will totally be worth it.

But the ability to update my Facebook status by text message is just an added bonus.

(What have I become?)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Overheard at Work, vol. VI

First full week of work since I started, I think = lots of quotes.

"She needs Jesus."--my coworker's word vomit about a teen.

"Farts Director."--a volunteer/donor's suggestion of my title, assuming I'd heard it before. Surprisingly, I hadn't.

"He's on acid. He probably thought it was a demon and didn't answer."--a teen's justification for why the work study candidate hadn't answered the music coordinator's call saying he'd been hired to teach drums. Apparently, there are lots of pictures on the internet of him in a dashiki.

"How about that? I want that."--a 10-year-old, who had received a $25 gift card to Amazon who was told that she could order anything she wanted. She tasted my trail mix from Trader Joe's and promptly wanted to buy some for herself.

"My claps are too thunderous."--a teen's justification for why he couldn't hear the metronome while working on a rhythm exercise.

"When you pick your butt, do you do it in public?"--a 10-year-old girl, who also wondered aloud, "Is it normal for a 10-year-old to have hair under her armpits?"
Ah, youth!

"I'm dead cereal!"--a 9-year-old girl's exclamation, making a joke she didn't realize she was making.

Me: Did you do your homework?
Kid with lateral lisp: Yep.
Me: How did that go?
Kid: (world-weary sigh) Not so great.

"My birthday's coming in three months! I expect a present!"--an 8-year-old boy's exclamation as he left the office. I love kids' concepts of time.

"When you are here with me, I fell the hugs and kisses from you. Happ Happy Valinteis Day."--my first Valentine of the year, given to me by a hilarious 8-year-old. I told my coworker who told me I shouldn't tell anyone in Child Services.

"You look like a mom!"--a tween's assessment of me. I figured it's because of the glasses.

But maybe it's the wrinkles and gray hair.