i have a question...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Overheard at Work, vol. XXXVII

I survived the infamous February vacation week. When the kids are on vacation, we are open all day, which means kids are in the building from the minute I arrive until the minute I leave. It's an entirely different experience from our normal schedule and it means that very little work gets done. It also means that silly things like scavenger hunts and Charades and Mad Libs activities can take place...so it's really a trade-off.

I mean, I won a game of musical chairs this week!

"Everybody always expects me to a have a white boyfriend."--an 11-year-old (white) girl, a propos of nothing.

"I like that Annie the best. She's the most fun."--a 9-year-old, pointing at me to end the discussion of which film version of Annie was the best.

"Let me pick one because you're going to end up giving them Sasquatch or something."--a peer leader, taking the game of Who Am I? into his own hands, so I wouldn't stump the little kids.

As I discussed lipgloss with some 9 year olds and one of my male co-workers,
Me: He's not a girl.
9-year-old girl: Yeah, he's a man...person.

Later in the discussion, she asked if we could play "Capture the Flab."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mostly? We Sang Karaoke.

I ran away to Portland, Maine this weekend with my friend and co-worker, R.

Driving from Allston yesterday afternoon, we belted Broadway songs, figuring out harmonies of songs we've been meaning to sing together for MONTHS.

We arrived at our cozy hotel in Scarborough around 4 PM, where there was a small kiosk of junk food calling to me and a front dining room ready for serving breakfast the next morning. We inquired at the front desk about how far we were from Portland. The front desk manager was very obliging, even overly so, giving us a coupon for a taxi service and then randomly talking to us about driving through Pennsylvania and seeing deer carcasses on the road.

We settled into the room, sitting around and chatting until our hunger overcame us and we ordered a small Papa John's pizza as a snack, looking up places of interest in Portland that we'd venture to later.

After showering and dressing and manned with several options for nightlife, we met our taxi out front. Our driver yammered to us about his 4 kids, while we chatted about what we did in Boston and what our plans were for the night. Dave, too, was overly nice, and gave us his personal cell phone so he could pick us up later in the evening.

We ate dinner at a local highly-rated Japanese restaurant (it was aight) and asked where the karaoke joint we had searched for and found was located. Another cab was called (this time not Dave) and we drove to what seemed like an entirely different state, to a place called Ginzatown, coincidentally connected to a Papa John's (never a good sign).

The place was empty except for a large table of Vietnamese people. We asked about when karaoke started and realized we'd be the only people singing. This, I took as a bad sign, as well. I would so much rather sing in front of a huge group of people who have all bought into the evening's activity of high-belting songs you can't really sing than sit at a table, leaf through a binder, pick over 10 songs, and sing them all in a row.

But that's what we did.

Here is a complete list of the songs we shared with that captive audience, after just one glass of wine each:
The Sign--Ace of Base(solid)
Something to Talk About--Bonnie Raitt (my standard)
Someday--Mariah Carey (surprisingly a success)
My Guy (waddup, Sister Act?)
The Shoop Shoop Song--Cher (more difficult than I expected)
9 to 5--Dolly Parton (played at about 1/2 time, it was our version of Hell)
Eternal Flame--Bangles (a mistake)
Emotions--Mariah Carey (another mistake)
Summer Nights--Grease (duet, sung with a dude who was sitting behind us and chatted us up until we left)
Save the Best for Last--Vanessa Williams (we submitted for Saving All My Love for You, so, a disappointment)
Always Be My Baby--Mariah Carey (our grand finale)

Since no one cared, I decided to sing songs that I would never sing in an actual karaoke situation.

I'm positive our singing kept patrons out.

Nearing 11:30, we decided to call our trusty cabbie Dave and head back downtown to meet another colleague who was also in Portland for the weekend.

The Irish pub, RiRas, could not have been a more opposite experience. Super crowded, all-white group, mostly men, and a band of 40-something white men singing Rihanna hits on the platform. One more drink in and R and I couldn't stay off the dance floor, but when the band played "No Diggity" followed shortly after by "Shake that Ass" by Eminem, we couldn't take it anymore.

Portland is very white.

When we mentioned that to Dave, on the drive back to our hotel, he cavalierly said, "Isn't it better that way?"

I didn't like him so much after that. And besides, he only gave us 20% off of one of the three rides we got from him that night.

Woke this morning in time for the full breakfast, where I inhaled toast with butter and jam, potatoes, eggs, and an excellent cup of tea.

Drove through downtown Portland, mostly searching for a parking lot, so we could get Starbucks.

Listened to Christina Aguilera's schizophrenic album, Bionic the entire way home. (Seriously, have you guys heard that album? It is INSANE.)

Hotel room in Scarborough: $100
4 cab rides around Portland: $100
Glass of Pinot Grigio at Ginzatown: $7
Dancing the jazz square to "No Diggity" because the version playing is So. White.: Priceless

Friday, February 17, 2012

Overheard at Work, vol. XXXVI

I honestly can't figure out why these weeks have been so long and have been wearing me out so much. More than once this week, I realized all I needed was a drink and it was...ahem...before 3 PM.


10 year old girl: Who knows beaches?
Me: Like, the movie?
[Blank stares]
10 year old girl: Beatriz.

9 year old boy, walking through halls: RATED MATURE! BAD LANGUAGE CAUSES BIG VIOLENCE!

12 year old girl, as we discussed how long it would take her to digest the gum she threatened to swallow: Some people say it's 7 years. I've heard 8 and 6...I think this gum myth has...gone awry.

9 year old girl: Annie, are you married?
Me: Nope.
Girl: [gasp]

Texts received from 12 year old mentee:
Tell me if this sounds like a date: I was thinking as friends to go to the movies and see project x me u and someone else

11 year old, in the heat of a game: Call 991!

Little kid #1: Eenie meenie miney moe.
Little kid #2: Catch it by the tiger oh.

And, as we played hangman, and I explained that I had helped him figure out what clue he wanted to play and there were no other players, a 7 year old said, "Oh yeah, I gotta get a friend."

Too cute.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Overheard at Work, vol. XXXV

This was a super fast, productive week. I survived a minor cold and the first dentist appointment I've had in *mumble mumble* years. I thought it was Thursday most of Wednesday and woke up today and thought it was already Saturday. Needless to say, SUPER GLAD IT'S FRIDAY!!

"Annie, what is your favorite thing? Would you say it's scissors, or a water bottle, or a trash can?"--a 10 year old, doing her homework, which I can only assume had something to do with every day items...?

Part of my job involves wandering the halls in the afternoon, ensuring that kids are coming or going to a program area and not just lingering. This means that I'm often asking kids why they're where they are at a certain moment and I often here terrible excuses. This was not one of those times:
Me: Why are you up here?
Tiny 7 year old girl: I needed some water.
Me: There are water fountains in the gamesroom!
Tiny 7 year old girl: They are too tall for me!

My colleague and I are running a program for middle school girls and spent a few weeks concentrating on the issue of bullying. Last week, the girls worked on putting a puzzle together and we dovetailed the success of that activity into a discussion about how bullying and solving bullying are easier in groups. We started the discussion by asking "What activities are easier with more than one person?"
12 year old: Having a conversation.
(So true.)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Overheard at Work, vol. XXXIV

Colleague: Let me know if you need me to get anything from [our partner].
Me: Oh, I'm in pretty constant touch with her.
Colleague: Whoa, Annie. Keep it in your pants.

Colleague: You should go to Strip T's (a restaurant)!
Boss: I have activity in my life. I don't need a strip tease!

Kid: Can I go to the bathroom?
Colleague: I'll need $5 fee!
Kid: I don't have any money, but I can give you booty!
Colleague: What?
Kid: I can rip off my booty and give it to you!

Colleague: I organized my under areas. Wait, that's not right!

Friday, February 3, 2012

LAWYERED! (That's from the show.)

In response to my point against Barney's transformation, My Brother the Lawyer noted the following:

"Perhaps Barney, after a lifetime of denying his true nature and his brother's influence, gave into it. The catalyst being his true love smooching with the embodiment of everything he'd denied within himself."

Can't argue with an Assistant District Attorney...and he doesn't even watch!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How I Met Your Mother used to be a really good show.

I have to tell you, before anyone gets upset, that I watch this show pretty devotedly now. Even though it's been weeks and weeks since there was any HINT of mother around the plot. And they're all old and paunchy now (well, not all of them, but I'll get to that).

The comedy DRAGS in recent episodes, when once it was a clever, moving show that was really about friends and being a 20-something in NYC. Now it's about slightly boring settled and unsettled 30-somethings, who we don't really care about anymore...

And how many years does it take this guy to MEET THEIR MOTHER??

Still, I've started watching episodes from the beginning on Netflix Instant Watch and I'm liking it so much more than what I've seen on air in the last three or four years.

Here are some reasons why and why not (only including episodes in seasons 1 and 2 so far)!

I'm looking at you Cobie Smulders and Jason Segel. It's a shame, too, because you were both super cute in 2005.

Seasons 1 and 2 included appearances by
Bryan Cranston, of Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad fame, as Ted's terrible boss,
Joe Manganiello, Alcide on True Blood, as Marshall's law school classmate,
Jayma Mays, Ms. Pillsbury on Glee, in a cameo as a coat check girl, and
David Burtka, Neil Patrick Harris's real-life partner, as Lily's high school boyfriend, Scooter.

(Fun fact about David Burtka and NPH: My old college classmate Joe was in a musical based on the movie The Opposite of Sex (see how far that show went?) when it was tried out in San Francisco. David Burtka was also in the cast, and the night we saw it, NPH was in the audience! He was so not famous (again) yet, but I flipped out when Doogie Howser was standing in the same theater lobby as me.)

Also, Megan Mullaly is TOTALLY the voice of Barney's mom (who is eventually played by Frances Conroy).

Are you still with me?

So. There is an entire episode devoted to Barney having his heart broken really badly and then turning to the dark side. You know, the episode where NPH dons the ratty blond wig, works happily making lattes, and sings love songs to his barista girlfriend, among other hippie-ish things?

And then one day, a customer in a slick suit and spouting sexist credo comes in and notices Barney's gf. Barney is about to leave to go to the Peace Corps, or something, and runs back to the cafe, one day, to say goodbye, or something...yadda yadda yadda...he catches her making out with slick suit guy.

This all leads up to Barney transforming into the womanizing, suit-wearing character we all have come to know and love. (The transformation sequence even heavily references Anakin turning into Darth Vader.)

BUT THEN, episodes later, Wayne Brady's character, James (Barney's brother), is introduced, and he is presented as being exactly the same as Barney: suit-wearing, on the prowl, a party animal.

Barney didn't learn about the ways of his world from his brother. He turned into the Darth Vader of dating after suffering a broken heart. This does not compute.

Also, Barney would totally not ever wear big, baggy boxers like the ones he wears in the episode where he commissions Lily to paint a nude portrait of him. That is a character who would wear boxer briefs, if I've ever seen one. (Probably can't wear boxer briefs on CBS.)

You totally stole the idea where Jim and Pam get married on a boat at Niagara Falls before their actual wedding from this show, in which everything that could go wrong for Marshall and Lily on their wedding day does and they ultimately get married (SPOILER ALERT) outside with just their friends, accompanied by acoustic guitar, as they always dreamed.

Stay tuned for impressions from Seasons 3 and/or 4-7...