?

Log in

Do I wake or sleep? [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Goddess

[ website | My Website ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

End of An Era [Jul. 18th, 2016|01:48 am]
Goddess
[Tags|]

So--last week was bad. Tatia has been declining ever since last December, although she was doing so well for awhile that both my mom and Ryan were thoroughly confused. 'Sick cats don't eat like that." Months ago I concluded that Tatia had found some way to fake the whole thing, including the bloodwork, for treats and cuddles. That would be just like her :) 

She has been getting noticeably weaker the last couple of weeks--her hinds legs in particular. And her appetite has been getting worse--weirdly, she seemed to want to eat but wouldn't eat anything I have her (and I offered her everything). So last week was difficult--she still had some energy and was giving me "feed me!" looks but wouldn't eat and, heartbreakingly, couldn't climb onto my bed without help.  And there was a horrifying episode when I heard her howling, looked behind me, and saw that Tibby had literally LANDED on her (she was splayed out flat on the floor), EXTREMELY upset). So Friday (10 days ago) I called the vet and they told me to bring her in. Thankfully my Friday boss at L***** was cool with letting me go home early so I was able to bring her in.

So I did and the vet examined her--the initial exam was inconclusive but then then she asked for an X-ray and then discussed the results with me. Apparently my precious Tatia had fairly severe anemia, and fluid on the lungs and heart, as well as the beginning stages of some kind of cancer,

And the vet said at this point we need to discuss euthanasia. And I was DEVASTATED. I could not stop crying.

We talked about it at length. And to be honest, I've been prepared for it for awhile.  Certainly since she was diagnosed with the kidney disease in December. But I knew even before then my lamb's days were numbered--I mean, she was certainly not a young kitty, I've had her for 18.5 years. I was so upset, the vet said that if I wanted to take her home for the night to prepare myself, that she could give Tatia some kind of injection/transfusion to help her, but I would have to bring her back first thing in the morning.

At that, I made the extremely difficult decision that it was probably best to let her go now. If she was so sick she needed a transfusion just to go home, she was obviously in very bad shape. And I couldn't risk another incident where Tibby jumped on her--what if he broke a bone? My precious one would've been in agony. So we went into a side room while the vet examined another patient and I just petted her and hugged her and told her how good she was, what a sweet kitty she was, how pretty she was.

How much I love her.

I told her she would be seeing Bunny (my mother's cat--the only other cat Tatia ever really bonded with) and Edno Mo (my brother's cat who lived with us for 5 months) when she crossed over. And I told her "feel free to visit us when you get settled..."--because I am pretty sure Edna Mo visited Anya and me a few times afterward. (I remember one night after I'd gone to bed, Tatia was sleeping on my head, and Tibby was next to me. And I KNOW something jumped onto the foot of the bed and lay at my feet.) The vet and the assistant came in and were very kind and loving. And my Tatia went to sleep in my arms, surrounded by love and loving words and softness and good smells (I'd brought my pillowcase to help comfort her in her cat carrier).

Rest in peace, my sweet Tatia--I miss you so very, very much.
link4 comments|post comment

Memorial Day [May. 30th, 2016|06:26 pm]
Goddess
[Tags|, , , , , ]

Since this is the first day off that I've had at least a couple of months, I was hoping I could go to the beach, but in fact today it is cloudy and rainy so no go :( I had actually had tentative plans with my neighbor Maria to go to Brighton Beach–– she is Russian and I thought I could've practiced my Russian down there. (I love that about BB, that I can actually read the signs по русски and practice.) Maria is pretty cool--I met her and her mother when we all moved into the building 3 years ago, and there was a big meet-and-greet on the terrace in August. We hung out for drinks with her brother (who also lives in the building) two weeks ago--she asked me to meet her up at her apartment which she said was 1004. I go up there and knock, several times, and there's no answer. I text her "где ты? я здесь в 1004." [Where are you? I am here at 1004.) She gave me the wrong number--she lives the floor above. But look me at, texting full sentences and question in Cyrillic!!!!!

The heat came on this past week bigtime, which means another summer like that year. When you work outside, global warming becomes very personal--last summer was really, really hard on me. From July through to the end of August--every day I worked outside, drinking as much water as I could, and trudging home to try to cool down before trudging off again to my evenning job. I couldn't WAIT for September, and December's very warm spell was terrifying to me. I really, really hope the conservative shitheads in Congress who are reflexively blocking any kind of measure on climate change just to say fuck you to Obama live by the water, so their houses will be the first to wash into the ocean when the waters rise. I am honestly terrified at the change.

And speaking of politics, some of these Bernie fans need to step away from the Kool-Aid. Look, I have no problem with Bernie Sanders (although he isn't my choice) and if he got the nomination, of course I would vote for him. What the fuck is wrong with so many of his supporters (NOT ALL, many of perfectly reasonable, please do not NOT ALL MEN my post) that they would rather burn the whole building down than vote for a viable candidate who is LEAPS AND BOUNDS better than the Republican clown? I look at them and they all seem to be white, straight, cisgenerdered men--who really have little to fear from a Trump administration. They can afford to be pie-in-the-sky about politics. Rachel posted somehting a few days ago that brought out the Bernie nuts, and one of them actually said ""If we can't win, at least we can make the re-election an impassible road for whomever wins!" Like, WHAT THE FUCK. What a completely stupid, stupid, self-absorbed, dumbass thing to say. It's as though this is some sort of freshman year class in political theory. Four years of living under Trump policy and rhetoric would actually affect some people's lives, you fucking toddler.

In better news, my Sunday classes are growing by leaps and bounds. They addedme to these classes 6 weeks ago--3 in a row in Hell's Kitchen. At first each class had literally one kid each and then they started growing. I thought little of it until one of the mothers buttonholed me after a lesson, saying "your company is new to this neighborhood, right?" I said I didn't know but these were my first classes here in Hell's Kitchen. She said you don't advertise here--I never see fliers or anything like that but all your business is growing by word-of-mouth. All of us parents go home and tell the parents of our children's friends that they should sign up. (Which obviously means they like my classes!*) She said you should advertise more--you only have one competitor (she named the company, I didn't recognize it but I could tell by the name they didn't specialize in soccer) and this neighborhood is filling up with families.

Now, I used to live in Hell's Kitchen and know and love the area quite well. I said I would pass this on to the head of marketing who was THRILLED to read all this.

And then yesterday one of the kids gave me the cutest offering. I called him a little rosencavalier (but seriously, what kind of flower is that? It's not a rose). Isn't that adorbs?



*Also on this day, one of my kids' grandparents were there to drop off/pick up the kid, and they stayed and watched. Afterward they were just aglow--the grandmother was marveling at how good I was with the kids and I said well, it's a good job for me because I like kids, I like soccer and I like to perform. And the grandfather shook his head and said "they're lucky to have you." What a nice compliment! That was a good day :)
link1 comment|post comment

Update [Dec. 25th, 2015|09:46 pm]
Goddess
[Tags|, , ]

 So, Tatia seeeeems to be doing much better. She is active (relatively), she is eating and drinking, she hisses at her brother (she’s gotten quite feisty actually) and she cuddles on Mommy’s lap like it’s her day job. The vets are still reserved about her long-term chances—they say her kidney numbers aren’t that good (or at least as high as they’d like) and they want to run some more blood work on her next week. But they did say how she does at home is a stronger indicator of her health than the numbers...so we shall see. I am optimistic that my fuzzy precious one will be with us for a little while longer.
 
Also—saw the new Star Wars movie! It was EPIC. I absolutely loved it! I think the new characters are great and I loved the grandeur and, well, pictures. It was wonderful to see all the old favorites again--I (along with the audience) cheered whenever Han and Chewie, or C-3PO, or Leia came into view. The Falcon! So great to see everyone again. And I loved the new characters as well--Rey and Ren were great, loved Finn and BB-8.  Love it, love it, love it.
 
Also—money. The vet bills are pretty big, almost $3,000 (it’s worth it to have Tatia but still—ouch). But the good news is that my parents gave me a decent amount of cash for my birthday and for Christmas, and then I also got decent bonuses from the bankers for whom I work. Plus charging so much on my card does at least generate 1% cash back. So all of this adds up to a nice chunk of change and in fact nearly half the bill so far. Which is obviously incredibly relieving. I doubt I’ll be able to go to Oslo this spring as I’d planned but it’s not because of the money, it’s because Tatia needs nightly medication and fluids. I just don’t feel right about having someone else do that right now (although it’s possible I could change my mind if she remains stable). I certainly don’t want to miss out on Oslo but my precious Lady Stompalot is more important.
linkpost comment

(no subject) [Dec. 12th, 2015|05:39 pm]
Goddess
[Tags|, ]

Oh, this week from hell just gets better and better and better. Tatia has been in the hospital for several days and they thought it would be best if she came home tonight--the clinic is closed for over 12 hours on Saturday and Sunday nights and they didn't want her to be alone that long. So I'm walking to the clinic, big L.L. Bean bag on one arm, my cat carrier on the other and as soon as I turn onto Park Avenue I noticed there is a kid nearby walking in the same direction. No older than 12, and he seems to be walking about my pace, I noticed that he never got ahead of me. So, annoyed, I slow down and noticed that he slowed down as well. I speed up, noticed he sped up as well. There was really nothing I could do other than stop I suppose, you can't exactly turn around and tell a total stranger stop walking near me.

Then a few blocks later I feel something. This nasty little fucking shit stain had the temerity to grab my butt. I turned around and absolutely roared at him and he looked terrified. I chased him for most of the block absolutely screaming at him YOU ARE A COWARD I WILL FIND YOU IF YOU TRY THAT AGAIN I WILL KICK YOUR ASS LITTLE BOY IF YOU EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN I WILL KICK YOUR ASS LITTLE BOY

Just--ewww. What the fuck is wrong with you! 12 years old and you're grabbing strange women? Stalking them for five blocks? What the fuck is wrong with you, you nasty little shit?

What a fucking birthday week, man. Scammed on Saturday for $100, my cat nearly dies and goes into the hospital costing me thousands of dollars and then some little nasty piece of shit acts like a nasty entitled piece of shit.

Updated to add: Just filed a police report. I doubt they'll catch the shitstain but if when he does it again, it will have established a pattern.
linkpost comment

Weekend From Hell [Dec. 7th, 2015|08:49 pm]
Goddess
[Tags|, , , ]

 Have had an utterly shit weekend, all things considered—and the gift just keeps on giving today.
 
It started with my corporate game Friday night. None of the guys on the team responded or came so I had to dig up a bunch of subs just so we could have a game. One of my friends, who monitors a soccer email group, sent out an email for me saying I needed subs and a goalie. Several guys responded, including one guy who was the first to get to the field house. He was an older player and I could tell right off the bat he wasn’t very good (just generally not very coordinated, kind of awkward and flail-y). Angela (my friend) was also asking guys at the field house if they wanted to play and quite a few said yes. So we had a team and lots of subs, which was obviously good. Older Guy asks me “do you actually need subs?” I thought he was asking if I needed HIM, like if we didn’t really need him, he could leave or do something else or whatever. I shrugged and said “well, we did—we are pretty full right now though” and he starts yelling at me, saying “why did you send out that email then? I thought you needed players, I came a long way for this!” Like, back the fuck UP. I don’t care how far away you came, that’s on you.  I said “Angela sent out the email and a lot of people responded but they didn’t show up until just before the game and she knew I was still worried, so she recruited even more players.” He’s like “well, do you need me or not?” I said “what do YOU want to do? Do you want to play? THEN PLAY. No one’s kicking you out! And get off my case!” I really wanted to say “you are not good enough to cop this kind of attitude and the pickup community is small—you <b>will</b> be remembered if you act obnoxiously.” It really upset me at the beginning of the game—dude, I don’t even know you, calm down. I absolutely detest it when older men act like that. After the game (he wasn’t terrible but he was far and away the weakest and slowest player out there) he tried to make nice with me but man, never again. If he responds to another mass email seeking subs, I’m ignoring it.
 
So then Saturday after my classes, I was walking through Harlem on my way back to my apartment, and going up Frederick Douglass Boulevard. FDB was really blossomed in the past 5 years or so—tons of great new restaurants and lounges, all different types. I text Ryan “hey, it’s a gorgeous day—wanna meet for lunch?” So we decide to meet at 116 and FDB. I get there and Ryan comes up to me—he says he was waiting for me and a guy came up to him, coming on to him, and was asking him to get a drink. Ryan said he was waiting for a friend and the guy said bring your friend, I’ll buy them a drink as well. Said he was in town for a wedding and he hated to drink alone. Ryan said to me we don’t have to if you’d rather not but I thought, why not? We all sit down together and the guy was staring at me, absolutely hung on my every word. But he said he was gay and I thought he was trying to impress Ryan and pick him up. The guy orders another round of drinks and then Ryan and I decide why not, we’ll eat here. It seemed like a good conversation. Then the guy goes over to the waitress and when he comes back, he’s slipping a receipt into his pocket—trying to look like he was being discreet but I sensed he wanted me to notice. Then the food arrives and a few minutes later he wants to go out front for a cigarette and asks Ryan to join him.
 
I wait FOREVER for them to come back—at least 15-20 minutes. Finally Ryan comes back—alone. He says the guy told him he had paid for the bill with his “corporate card” but he had to meet his “weed dealer” and asked Ryan to pay for our portions, in cash. He asked for $70 and Ryan immediately balked. Ryan said oh no, you ordered those rounds of drinks, not us. We’ll pay for our food and that’s it. Ryan said he would give him $40 but he didn’t have cash—the guy said there’s an ATM machine a few blocks away. (This, I think, is when I might have figured it out [I say might because someone tried to scam me like this once and as soon as they mentioned the phrase ”ATM machine” something clicked and it felt wrong somehow. Like, you should not be directing me to an ATM]. But Ryan had a lot of information to process, I don’t blame him for not picking up on this.) The guy was talkingtalkingtalking the entire way, Ryan gets him $40 and the guy says he’ll be right back.
 
I sat there, processing this, and said “What do we do now?” Ryan said he’ll be back and I thought about it. I said “Ryan, I don’t think he’s going to come back—that’s a pretty egregious etiquette breach, asking for cash like that, even if he did foot the bill. I think he might be embarrassed.” Then it occurred to me if he doesn’t come back, he might’ve stiffed the waitress so I call her over and ask if he tipped her. She looks startled and says: he didn’t pay the bill at all.
 
Ryan and I sit there, stunned. The waitress is very concerned and asks us what’s the deal, and we explain to her what happened. She goes to get the manager and I tell Ryan the fairest thing would be for them to take off his portion and we just pay for our meals, but we shouldn’t count on that. Manager comes, we tell her everything and she decides to take off one round of drinks and his meal. The bill comes to $70-something and I put on a whopping tip (on the original amount, not the adjusted total) which the waitress had to clarify “are you sure?” I said you’ve been so helpful and I’m not going to stiff you on the service you provided to him, even if he is a thief, that’s not your fault. We went to police to file a report but the guy to whom we spoke was utterly unhelpful (if polite) and was very discouraging, saying the guy hadn’t used force, it wasn’t a crime, a judge wouldn’t do anything. I said who cares about a judge? We know we’re not going to see Ryan’s money again—but what about informing the community that a scammer is running around? The cop was saying to Ryan, well you gave him that money, he didn’t actually rob you. I said--then why did you go after the squeegee guys in the '90s? Why do you go after the costumed people in Times Square? It’s not a crime to ask for a tip—why would you come down hard on them but you don’t care about scammers who actually lie? It's a quality of life issue, which is exactly what the broken windows theory is designed to address--that little crimes turn into bigger ones. In the end the cop refused to do anything so as we walked out I loudly remarked about how he didn’t want to do his job, even though crime is so low they have nothing else to do except escort 12 year old boys in handcuffs (which we saw when we first entered). Hey, I might as well use white privilege (I knew the cop wouldn’t come down on me for that remark) for good.
 
Then yesterday. Here’s the context: I went away for Thanksgiving and as usual, Michael fed the babies. When I came back I noticed Tatia was hardly moving—for two days (Monday and Tuesday) she literally barely stirred from my pillow. I had to shove food under her nose to get her to eat anything. Very concerned, I made an appointment at the vet for her. My current vet is on Lex and 94th—they’re great but they’re expensive, $97 per visit. I first took the babies there in fall of ’13 and it was obviously a bit of a hit, especially because they were recommending blood tests for Tatia ($200+) and tooth extraction (much more $$$). At that time I flat-out could not afford that, whatsoever. (I'm doing better now but this is still ending up to be quite a lot for me.)

So since then I haven’t taken them back for a checkup, thinking hey, they’re indoor cats, it’s not like they’ll get hit by a car.  So anyway, as this past week progressed, Tatia was doing better—moving around, climbing into my lap. But I kept the appointment, which was yesterday.  They did a regular checkup and then recommended blood work and a fluid injection (she was dehydrated). I nixed the fluid injection (the least important thing—she wasn't terribly dehydrated) but okayed the blood work, so the bill was $327 (checkup, bloodwork, plus 2 cans of AD, a special super-fattening and irresistible wet food for cats who have gone off their food).
 
The vet called today. Lambkin has kidney disease and a bladder infection, so I have to bring her in tomorrow for an antibiotic. Plus they wanted to “do a culture” on her to make sure they were getting her the right antibiotic (the one tomorrow is a general one—she needs one pretty badly). The culture is $160, plus $50 for the first antibiotic. I thought about it and decided to go ahead and get the culture (that was optional--the doctor was very respectful of my financial concerns--but recommended). In for a penny, in for a metric fuckton, right?
 
The kicker is—I have insurance for them. But it’s contingent upon their receiving a yearly checkup, so they have a baseline of health for the animal. Which I skipped last year, because I couldn’t afford it. (And I’d forgotten about that insurance requirement.) My options are not good—I can either ask the vet to back me up if I say I took Tatia for her annual exam which they might refuse (and which they would be entirely in the right to do so.  That’s a lot to ask). Or I throw myself on the mercy of my insurance company, and I don’t expect them to give in. (Although if they do I’ll just go ahead and cancel her policy—not out of spite but I might as well save myself that monthly expense.)  $500+ in one week for Tatia. Plus the restaurant thing. Jesus.
 
WHAT YE FUCK, UNIVERSE?!

But at least Lambkin is doing better. She's eating, she's moving around, she's cuddling, and she's doing one of my favorite stunts--when I'm in bed but awake (like when I first wake up, or first lie down), she loves to walk over to the pillow and stand with front and back paws on opposite sides of my face, essentially straddling my face. What kills me is how she pulls this off--she kind of looks around, like she's considering something, like hmm, what to do, what to do, decisions, decisions. Meanwhile her BELLY FULL OF FUR is hanging right in my face, smothering me. And Tatia just pretends she doesn't even notice.  This sadistic game of hers is how I know she's doing a little better. When your elderly cat stops trying to kill you, that's when you know they're in trouble.
link2 comments|post comment

Friday [Nov. 18th, 2015|12:30 am]
Goddess
[Tags|]

 So, the rest of the weekend. I had two soccer games on Friday. The first game was for my corporate team--we were playing the last place team so we should've won easily. Except that a couple of people who were supposed to show up, who were confirmed to show up, did not so we ended up playing the entire game with just five players––i.e., no subs. I have been in this situation before and it is infuriating and depressing. You literally feel abandoned by your teammates. This was the last place team and we should've been crushing them but we were down by one or two goals at halftime, at which point I sent off a blistering email to everybody on the email distribution list plaintively asking where the hell are you guys?! I get that the analysts on our team are constantly called in at the last minute to do work but the big guy who bailed on us was not an analyst, he's an associate--he should've been there. On the other hand, perhaps it's better he wasn't there. He has an annoying way of trying to take on every single person on the other team and score like that and he never, ever, ever, ever seems to see me for any other player waiting on the sidelines by the goal, available to score. He just wants to score all the goals himself. 

At any rate we ended up winning 10-7, And I scored five of our 10 goals. I don't know, I seemed to get a groove Friday night--even the other team was commenting on it. So as I said before, after the game I grabbed my phone and was checking up on what happened in the last hour in Paris and was asked if I could step in to play as a female since our league dictates that two women must be on the field entire game. I said sure, I'm happy to get more playing time. This is a very very good team, better than ours quite frankly. They had a lot of set pieces and obviously have worked together a lot and finally they started feeding the ball to me. The first few times I was messing up––my touches are not always that great–– but eventually I started putting the ball in the goal and they started noticing. And I could see the looks of growing respect on their faces after every goal. I ended up being the high score in that game as well, which was certainly gratifying.

I remember having a conversation with one of the guys on our team who was complimenting me and I said you know, my form is not that great and there're a lot of things I can't do on the field but when I <iu>can</u> do is convert. I am ALWAYS looking for a shot, always trying to score and I never let the galie relax. One goal of which I am MOST proud was when a bunch of us were clustered around the goal and the goalie grabbed the ball. We all started to jog back and I snuck a glance over my shoulder--I am not sure how but somehow he let go of the ball and dribbled out of his hand so I pounced on it and to shot which on in. I was very proud of that.
linkpost comment

Paris [Nov. 16th, 2015|09:57 pm]
Goddess
[Tags|, , , ]

 So Friday. Along with the rest of the world I was obviously horrified and sickened and saddened by the news I started picking up online around five o'clock.  I went over to the woman for whom I work on Fridays and said "have you seen the news? Do you know what's going on in Paris?" We both started monitoring news web sites. I remember when just 66 dead (CNN) seemed like a ridiculous exaggeration. Absolutely horrifying. My brother's in-laws (he is married to a Parisienne) are all safe, thank God. 

Friday was a little crazy for me. I was struggling with my reaction to this horrific news situation but I also had a soccer game with my corporate team. I was actually really immersed into that and was grateful for the escape from the sadness. After the game I remembered again what had happened in Paris and immediately grabbed my phone to see what (new) news there was. Then I was asked to join another game which went really well (in both games I was the lead scorer). Again, I was very grateful for the escape.  I'll talk more about that later but it was a strange juxtaposition of feeling like a citizen of the world, compelled to partake of the world's tragedies, and feeling like a very privileged American, who can forget about stuff like this with frivolous activities.
 
The next day I had classes in the morning and then I had to hop on the bus to get home for a very brief trip so I could partake of my high school reunion. (Again, more about that later but it was a lot of fun.) But on the bus ride home I noticed two things--first, a lot of people were changing their profile picture on Facebook to add the tricouleur overlay. (Which I also wanted to do but was unable to manage via cell phone.) The other thing was that a lot of posts coming out about additional attacks that had happened in other locations by ISIS (i.e., Daesh), in Kenya and in Beirut. And it is obviously very important to point out this as well--for whatever reason the media didn't seem to push these stories as hard so I was unaware of them. That is absolutely worth discussing.

But there was also a lot of finger-pointing and a lot of pretty harsh statements (I saw one really offputting article on HuffPo today) about how racist people must be if they cared more about Paris than about these other attacks. I don't really take it personally because I know that these things are meant as a response to a trend and not to me personally but for the record I will say--I speak French. I have extended French family. I have a lot of French ancestry on my mother's side, and I was raised to be proud of that. And perhaps most importantly and most obviously: I have been to Paris. I daresay a decent number of Americans have. I have never been to Beirut, nor to Kenya. If I had visited those place, the attacks would've been much more on my radar and I would've had a response to them. If somebody had attacked Tangiers or Casablanca, two cities where I visited--in Tangiers's case I've been there many, many times –– I would've been just as horrified. I think it's a little ridiculous to beancount and micromanage people's heartfelt reactions to tragedy. Yes, if this were a perfect world we would always respond the same way to tragedies near and tragedies far, but right now that's not the way the human heart works. We tend to respond to those tragedies which are closest to us or to which we have some kind of personal connection. Again, along with everything else, I have visited Paris. It's a beautiful city--lots of history, gorgeous architecture, the world's most popular musical takes place there. *Shrug* I feel that that accounts for the reaction on Saturday and I'm not sure there's anything to be gained by trying to shame people into reacting to something else. It honestly strikes me as a weird version of the Oppression Olympics. Just let people react honestly and stop trying to police their grief unless it's overtly problematic.
 
I was also disappointed to read an article today that included a long series of comments about how stupid and silly people were to, say, add the tricouleur overlay to their FB profile pics. The way I saw it was--after 9-11, I was devastated, like everyone else in NYC, DC and the rest of the country. Shortly thereafter, people started forwarding the emails (remember our lives before social media?) showing how the rest of the world responded. I saw pictures of candlelight vigils from people all over Europe. And the Middle East--including Palestinians (that did quite a lot to me, after seeing that horrible video of Palestinians dancing around and handing out candy after hearing about 9-11). Country after country, culture after culture were standing up, saying we stand with you. We reject this. Nous sommes tous Americains. That mattered to me. That made me feel better. It comforted me, standing in my apartment, wailing to the ceiling, asking God how could you do this? What is the point of all that death? I wanted to send the same message back to our French friends. This is wrong. We stand with you. We are your friends. What is the harm? If someone wants to post a picture of themselves in front of the Tour Eiffel, why is that a problem? If someone mis-translates a statement of solidarity, who cares? You know what they meant. I just don't get the need to sneer at any effort that isn't perfect.

Aujour'dhui, nous sommes tous francais. Nous sommes avec vous. Nous vous aimons. Nous sommes vos amis. Nous marchons avec vous. Nous surmonterons.
linkpost comment

An Afternoon in Washington Square Park [Nov. 4th, 2015|11:39 pm]
Goddess
[Tags|, ]

So I had an interesting afternoon.

I had a two-hour window between classes so I got lunch and went to hang out in Washington Square Park, which was packed with people and lovely. I'm sitting on the grass there in my stocking feet (shoe issues, podiatrist visit tomorrow) and noticed a couple of possibly-homeless guys maybe 50 feet away, talking loudly, swaying back and forth, the usual.  I'm working on a couple of classes and look up to see one of the PHG getting in the face (literally) of an older guy (60s?), who had a dog on a leash nearby by. This was right near me, maybe 10 feet. PHG is yelling at Older Guy, "your DOG bit me in the FACE, what the fuck are you gonna do about it?" I see he does indeed have a small wound on his nose that's bleeding. OG is backing away, not saying much and PHG hauls off and SOCKS OG in the face, knocking him to the ground. OG is trying to stand back up and stumbles back down again. PHG is still yelling at him, "WHAT are you gonna DO about it?" I jump up, pepper spray in hand, and jump between them, asking OG "are you okay? Should I call 911?" PHG is lunging forward and I stuck out a hand, saying "leave him alone!" (Like--CRINGE, Clara. "Leave him alone"? Couldn't I have said something more authoritative like keep your distance? Oy.) OG said to me "no, I'm not okay..." and I whipped out my phone. The best part was when PHG moved backwards at one point and came within range of the doggie who was still on the leash attached to a fence post. Dog went to TOWN on PHG's ankle. Doggie saw PHG attacking his human and he was having none of it. (I was very proud of him--good doggie! Don't come near me but good doggie!) 

OG take doggie and stumbles out of the park. PHG is lurching after him, and now he's really bellowing. He's screaming at people on the bench in front of me and I'm on the phone with 911, giving a description of PHG (I'm sure they could hear him on the phone), telling them exactly where in the park we were. The dispatcher asked me "what does he look like--is he black or Hispanic?" "Uh, actually he's white!" She said they'd send out a call (or whatever they said) but as it turned out there were already cops in the park, pretty close by, who kind of strolled over. Good timing, guys! Would've been nice if you'd stepped in earlier. A few other spectators and I spoke to the cops and eventually PHG showed up, cops in tow, handcuffed.  The cops asked me where the victim had gone and I pointed--they thought he'd disappeared because of the dog, because the dog had bitten someone. The other spectators and I were discussing this--I was saying that anyone with a lick of sense doesn't just shove their head toward a strange dog. You ask the owner if you can pet the dog, you ask if it's friendly. And then you slowly extend your hand to the dog so it can smell you. Don't ever put your face near a strange dog. Dogs are not humans, they are subject to their instincts, they will react unpredictably. That's the risk you take when you put yourself into their space. I would've had no sympathy for him even before he attacked OG and was screaming at him.

The kicker was that 30 minutes later PHG is strolling around, free. The cops didn't book him. I get that the victim vanished but you had at least 30 witnesses and he ATTACKED the guy. He'll undoubtedly do it again. I guess they didn't want the administrative hassle. Only in New York!

link1 comment|post comment

History and Soccer [Oct. 23rd, 2015|01:58 pm]
Goddess
[Tags|, , ]

 So Wednesday I was assisting a coach in a class of 2-3 year olds. This coach is older, from Italy, and we have some awesome discussions. And he knows I’m a huge history nerd. So he was teaching the kids, and as the lesson progressed we ended up with a floor of big cones with smaller cones on top of them, and he wants the kids to knock them down. So he says “thees is lahk Rome and…”—looks questioningly at me—“…the Phoenicians?” I laughed and said “the Carthaginians, actually, although they spoke Phoenician.” So then I start getting into it and I’m encouraging the kids to “sack Carthage, we have to sack Carthage! Make sure they never invade our peninsula again!” Now I’m trying to figure out how I can come up with a lesson that incorporates Roman history—I have two kids (not even related!) in my Saturday class of 4-5 years olds whose names are Cassius and Livia and I love to call her Empress. My Saturday classes are outdoors and there’s a slope nearby—I can possibly recreate Hannibal’s passage through the Alps. The sack of soccer balls could be the elephants…
 
 
 
link5 comments|post comment

(no subject) [Aug. 24th, 2015|11:35 pm]
Goddess
[Tags|]

So I've been having fun lately coming up with all sorts of awesome and exciting exercises for my kids. I have been so, so upset about the murder of Cecil the Lion and it occurred to me that I actually have a kind of platform with my classes so I came up with a lesson involving various exotic animals from Africa. At first they were going to be in the zoo but I was talking with a fellow coach about the lesson and he is a very passionate and committed animal rights activist. I am not where he is and perhaps never will be as far as veganism and vegetarianism but I have great respect for his views. At any rate he took me out for vegan ice cream cones a couple of weeks ago and I was telling him about this lesson--originally it was going to be a zoo theme but he gently suggested that zoos were exploitative. I'm not sure I agree entirely with that--I think there's a conservation purpose with zoos--but at any rate he suggested sanctuaries as an alternative to zoos. At the same time my lessons are for very young kids--2, 3, 4-5 years old. Eventually I decided I could talk to the kids about the African veldt--they wouldn't get the whole idea but they would pick up the salient points--the grassy fields, all the different kinds of beautiful animals, it's far away and awesome, etc.. So that's what I did--a lesson where I separated the four nets and they would feed various foods to the animals--the lions were fed "lion cookies" (the small cones), the rhinoceri (and I taught them that word, along with veldt) "rhinoceros ice cream cones," the zebras "zebra scones" (the small black-and-white squishy balls) and the elephants "elephant cakes (the regular-size silver soccer balls). For our main drill, we have to add pressure of some kind--either through obstacles or by shortening the time somehow and I said "the poacher is trying to steal the elephant cakes from the elephants!" and I had the assistant stand in front of the nets so the kids would "feed" the elephants by kicking their balls between his legs. It's a small thing but maybe that will contribute to some good in the world.

But I also came up with a fun warm-up exercise for this. Warm-up exercises are supposed to be free and easy for the kids, just something to get them on their feet. So I told them: you are gazelles--gazelles are kind of like deer--and you are hanging out on the veldt. So you're walking around with your soccer ball and you're going to the watering hole and you're high-hooving each other with your big thick hooves but here's the deal– the lion is in the middle of you guys and the lion is sleeping because that's what lions do it sometime. (Which is true--lions sleep a ridiculous amount of the day. I actually did a lot of research for this lesson!) Lions and gazelles are not exactly friends (I left out that lions actually eat gazelles!) so when the lion starts to wake up and ROAR you have to be absolutely still. (I also went over with them how to stop the ball--put your foot on top.)   So then I, as the lion, pretended to sleep as my kids dribbled the ball around me...and then I'd stir and say "oh, the lion is waking up now" and then I'd ROAR. And then I'd walk around as my kids would freeze, with the most hilarious expressions--I'd get right up in their face and say "man, I can't see any gazelles here today. Guess I'll go back to sleep." The kids LOVED it. I actually had kids this week requesting to play that again. 3-4 year olds LOVE to be scared. So much fun!
link5 comments|post comment

navigation
[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]