Monday, June 29, 2009

It's all part of my Rock & Roll Fantasy

Here come the jesters, one, two, three.
It's all part of my fantasy,
I love the music and I love to see the crowd,
Dancing in the aisles and singing out loud,
Its all part of my rock 'n' roll fantasy,
Its all part of my rock 'n' roll dream, yeah.
-Bad Company

Over the weekend I went upstate to the Catskills to see Bad Company at Bethel Woods, and they were fantastic. (Thank you Cheryl and Dara!)

Bethel Woods is the place in upstate NY where Woodstock happened. And it felt exactly like Woodstock must have felt and smelled a lot like Woodstock must have smelled, because everyone around me was smoking some weed. I don't know if I just really loved the show or if I just had a contact high. Ironically and quite appropriately the Doobie Brothers were there too, touring with Bad Company. See how it all fits together? Everyone around me smoking doobies listening to the Doobies.

Now I'm back from the country. Doing all this mundane, yet necessary stuff on my day off, like going to the DMV, and to the laundromat, and to the Dentist. I've also been picking up side-gigs on the weekends. I don't know if you guys remember, but I do Liquor and other Promotions on the side. (See blog archives from December). Unfortunately the liquor promos have been few and far between lately, so I've resorted to doing sampling at Costco in Queens for Vaseline lotion. Squirting a dab of Vaseline into consumer's hands and convincing them how wonderful and non-greasy it feels. It's so gentle on the skin. And the fragrance is so light and fresh. (Am I convincing you yet?)

Let me tell you how much of a freak show Costco in Queens is. It is pure entertainment to do these demos and to watch the people who shop at these sorts of places. First of all, a little dab'll do ya! A DAB! There are crazy folks who love free things, so they roll up their sleeves and their pants and spread that Vaseline all over their bodies. You would think they were entering a mud wrestling contest, except instead of mud, they use Vaseline lotion. It is quite comical.

And then we've got the Over-Zealous door guard. I was given a tshirt to wear for the promotion, and as I was walking out to the bathroom to put it on, she came chasing after me, banging on the stall wanting to see the receipt for the shirt. Ummm....lady, I wouldn't pay to wear this shirt, they are paying ME to put on this ridiculous thing and squirt lotion into people's hands.

Then there's the Nutso Manager who couldn't figure out where my Vaseline cart should be, so he kept moving me around and finally he settled for putting me next to Men's shirts.

A great place for a Vaseline demonstration, if I do say so myself. The day after that the Men's shirts were mysteriously gone, so I strategically placed myself in the same spot, which now had Charcoal. The Manager did *not* like the Vaseline demo next to the Charcoal so I get moved.....moved next to the Diapers and Baby Wipes. Of COURSE! Why wouldn't I be there?

Costco also has this's a combination of soggy cardboard and oranges. It is kind of nostalgic for me, because I used to work at the Giant Eagle in high school and every grocery store has that smell. But for Costco you have to mix in the smell of electronics with that. Where else can you buy some tires, a bulk 6 pack of 2 gallons of mik, some Vaseline, a 42 inch flat screen, and some charcoal? I think if you look hard enough, they even sell parakeets there. But most of all it smells like damp cardboard and oranges.

Standing there in the cardboard/citrus scented aisles next to charcoal and diapers, I get bored after six hours of squirting Vaseline. So I create little games for myself. I tally the number of pregnant women, the number of Vaseline sold, and the number of people who sneeze. Costco is a haven for pregnant women, but usually the Vaseline tallies win.

What an absolutely entertaining life I lead.

So I've created some fantasies of where I want to be. These include owning a home with a terrace and a grill, traveling around the world (oh wait- been there, done that), and meeting the man of my dreams, like James Bond or Superman.


My fantasies are becoming so real.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

4th Floor Walk-Up

Actually I live on the 5th floor, because the ground floor is the ground floor and the 1st floor is one flight up. I like all the stairs though. Saves me money on joining an ultra-posh gym over-crowded with sweaty smelly people waiting on a long line to get onto a elliptical machine. I am settling in to my new apartment and the steps don't bother me a bit. (Ask me again when we start to have 95 degree days in the city.....) For now I'm doing just fine on top, thank you very much. In fact, I like to call in the penthouse up here.

When the gangway of the ship was on Deck 5, that was the equivalent of a 5th floor walk-up as well. And I walked up those very stairs once again this past weekend.

It was weird. I think it was too soon to go back to the ship. (Not too soon to see my friends, but too soon to see the ship again- a ship full of strangers, a new person in *my* cabin, a wall full of passport photos with unfamiliar faces, replacing our own, etc.)

There was a rowdy bunch on board. Young alumnae jumping into the pool in their clothing with wine glasses in their hands! I bet the crew was on-edge the entire night. Glass in a swimming pool is a dangerous thing. I am soooooo grateful our students did not behave in such a way on my voyage. It felt like the rowdy bunch should be disembarking and we should be staying on, and sailing on to Halifax, which is where the summer voyage is going next to pick up the students.

On another note, I heard a rumor. A rumor that a few people were missing my blog. I can definitely continue to write, but I'm uncertain this blog will be filled with exciting stories like I had in foreign ports of call. But I'll try my best. I did meet the mother of Will, one of my students, who hugged me and told me how much she loved reading my blogs. She told me she also lived as a single girl in NYC for many years, so we've got some common ground. I was so humbled and flattered to meet her! She is a great mother, as Will and his friend Walsh were two of the best students we had.

So I will do my best to keep the blogs coming.

In the meantime, here are some photos from the ship:

......Actually....that's not entirely true....this first one was in Cambridge. Linus, Bama, Jason and I took a field trip to the Harvard campus. It really felt like we were docked in another port, soon we would go back for "on-ship time" and meet all our friends who were on different trips through the field program. But alas....we really just got back into Linus's car and drove back to NYC.....except for Jason who was on the ship until Halifax, since he was facilitating part of the training for the new faculty/staff.

Julie, Me, and Berge at the "No Name Restaurant" on the Boston Harbor:
Deck 6 Aft:

When can I sail away again?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Topsy Turvey

First of all, my friend from high school, Jen has a blog: which I frequently visit. Her kids are scrumptiously cute and I love reading about their adventures. Jen is so articulate and writes so eloquently, so I was pleased to find that I was her 10,000th visitor today.

On the note of milestones, I've been back in New York for one whole month now. I am finally all moved into my apartment. And this past week has been spent hanging valances and blinds; arranging furniture; unpacking; and making my house a home. Here is a fuzzy picture of the blinds and valances I mounted.

Kitty has settled in quite well also. He enjoys watching the pigeons on the fire escape.

I am considering growing a window-box garden out there, but now I'm worried that the birds may eat any herbs or vegetables I plant. Anyone have any tips for a fire-escape garden? My friend Melissa suggested something called a "Topsy Turvey" which grows tomatoes upside-down. But I think the Topsy-Turvey might be a little too large for my fire escape, even though it does sound like fun. My friend Mary suggested a wrought-iron planter thingy from Crate & Barrel with a variety of kitchen herbs, which sounds more practical. Is it even legal to have a garden on my fire escape? I mean, I've seen people do it before, but what if there's a fire? Will the NYFD have to cut through tomato plants with a Swiss Army knife to get to me and Kitty? Or will I have to eat through strawberry planters to break free from flames? Or better yet- will I just be extra cautious and not leave candles lit, stoves on, and curling irons plugged into the wall? I've got to admit, I am a little bit nervous, because my smoke detector is hanging crookedly (topsy turvey!) from the ceiling by a wire. I told the Super, so now I guess I should probably follow up.

So far I'm enjoying my new neighborhood and my shorter commute to work. The 6 train has certainly been interesting. Last night on the way home from work I noticed:
* one guy sketching me (he blushed when I saw his notebook). Wonder how he finished it, since my stop was before his?
* one guy grilling me about the art of Soduko and asking me about my career. I told him I work at an art school and he told me I seemed creative. (Guess you gotta have some creative solutions to deal with some of these students!) As it turned out, he was a Firefighter- so I made sure NOT to mention the idea I've got for my fire escape, nor the smoke alarm dangling from a string.....
* one Asian guy screaming that he was God.

All reasons why I love New York.

And I love Boston, which is where I will be on Friday- back on the ship! The ship will be docked there for a few days before the Summer Voyage, so they are having a reception for alumni. Stay tuned for more photos and pictures as I reunite with Semester at Sea.