Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bodega Boys

Another blog so soon? Lucky you! haha

Well, for those who don't know (because I didn't when I first cam here...)

bodega [boh-dey-guh]
1. (esp. among Spanish-speaking Americans) a grocery store.

Now, this definition is misleading. It leaves out the delicious cheap sandwiches, the interesting environment, and the wonderful workers who really give me my "neighborhood feel".

I have loved many a bodega in my short time here, but the one I love most of all is the one caddy corner to my school. I went there twice during training, and didn't return until a few weeks later at which point both the sandwich man and the checkout man said "Hey mami! We haven't seen you in - whats it been - 2.5, 3 weeks? Where you been? Vacation?" haha I was amazed they even remembered me!

One day it was raining and I didn't have an umbrella. I said "Oh no! I'll just run." One of them was so concerned that running with heels on would be disaster - I'd slip - I'd fall - my sandwich would get ruined. "No, no, mami - you gotta take the umbrella for today. You can bring back tomorrow" "Eh - she's a big girl - she knows what she's doing, don't you mami?" haha

And Yesterday: "Hey, mami - come here - I want you to meet someone - this is my sister and my brother-in-law!" (you know you're in when you get introduced to the family haha and only after a handful of sandwiches!)

And they always leave me with "Have a gorgeous day... even if the weather 'aint so nice"

I love those bodega boys. They brighten my lunch time.

And PS... because I also didn't know why they kept calling me "mami"
Mami is "an endearing term for a lady from a man"... or "is Spanish slang for baby or sexy" - courtesy of urban dictionary

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Read, Baby, Read

Well, since my apartment is not ready for its reveal yet, I shall blog about books. But fear not, next weekend is a three day weekend, so I'll have more time to figure out apartment details. (Its crazy trying to move in and everything!)

You gotta read, baby, read! (say what?)
You gotta read, baby, read.
The more I read,
The more I know.
The more I know,
The smarter I grow.
The smarter I grow,
The stronger my voice,
While speaking my mind,
or making my choice!
You gotta read baby, read!
(a little chant we sing in reading in my class haha)

So the subway is this wonderful opportunity to read! So far I have read three books and am on my fourth! Now, this may not seem like a lot, but considering I usually read about 2-3 leisure books in an entire year, I feel like I read a lot! And its great!

David Sedaris, you are one funny, funny man. Haha This books made me laugh. Out loud. And made strangers look at me thinking "why is that woman laughing at her book?" To which I would have replied "Because he is such a funny, funny man!" I loved this book - lighthearted, short stories that make you want to keep reading. Additionally, it will encourage you to think of how very funny little things in life are. Highly recommended.

Catcher in the Rye. Classic tale, right? Well, I am really glad I decided to re-read this, because you know what?! Somehow I had it in my mind that he went so crazy that he committed suicide in the end... and that is definitely not how the book ends! haha I really enjoyed re-reading this book - I love the conversational flow of the words. I love that I feel like he was a person I knew... rather than a person I read about in a book this one time. Again, highly recommended.

"Life changes in the instant.
You sit down for dinner and life as you know it ends."

For those of you who don't know, Joan Didion is a noteworthy American journalist/author. This book examines her life for the year following the death of her husband. In general, it was a powerful description of the delicacy of life, the power of grief, and optimism and hope which never really fail. I would recommend this book, but to someone who's looking for an "inquisitive read".

I saw the previews for this movie and I thought it would be a movie I would just love - I mean who doesn't love a middle-class drama? Well, as I was piddling around B&N I saw this book. So I decided to read it and then watch the movie. Well... middle-class drama indeed. I'm 100 pages in (this book is definitely not one that's 'hard to put down' haha) and all I've really gathered from it is that there are two characters who more or less hate their life but don't do anything about it except continue to live their life as they are supposed to, rather than how they want to. And 100 pages in, I'm still not sure of the author's style - often times I'm confused about what I'm reading and why. haha. Recommend? Maybe see the movie first... haha

What book shall I read next? Looking for recommendations please :)

Oh. and having internet in your home makes life soooo much better! hahaha Oh, this modern life of ours. haha

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

its about time...

I can’t wait to finally cross “blog” off my to-do list! Its been hard to blog with no internet and living on a sofa and during my first week of teaching… haha but now is the time to play catch up. I am making an agreement with myself and putting it in my flexi-friend (...flexi-friend deserves a post in itself!) that I will blog at least once a week! So no more waiting, dear friends :)

Random people make me happy :) This morning when I got to the subway before 6am and you're not supposed to enter that gate until 6:10 but my train was going to be there in any minute I was a little distressed... until the MTA employee brightened my day!! She said "oh, come on in here - lets get you inside already" and took me over to one of the gates and opened it. After she told me to just swipe my MetroCard at any thing and it was giving me trouble, she said "oh, honey, don't worry about it - its you're birthday - happy birthday - now go on and get to work." :) It was a great way to start off the day.

So what's new in my life...

Living on a couch.
Two of my good friends Heather and Alison let me crash at their place while I was in transition from our sublet to my new apartment. I must say, couch surfing without internet during your first week of teaching sounds pretty terrible... but it was actually fun! I'll miss living with them!

That is the name of my group of friends who gets together on a weekly basis! Why is that our name?... long story about really bad food. haha Its wonderful and as Heather says, "Monglorious keeps me going." I feel so lucky to have found those friends and to be able to continue to see them each week!
We most recently ate out in Little Italy (sooo precious!) I love exploring the city!

Can you believe I live in NYC?!
I still can't believe it. Its pretty amazing! I'm looking forward to when I'm settled down, all moved in, and in a routine so that I can enjoy living here even more!

In the Heights!!
Alison's best friend Ella was visitng in town and on Sunday afternoon we went to see In the Heights! (isn't that amazing that Sunday morning we can just say "would you like to see a Broadway show today?!!") It was sooooo good! I just love Broadway soo much! :)

It was especially neat because the show takes place literally where our sublet was! So there were all these references that were even cooler because I lived there for a month! :) The dancing was great! The culture was great! And it had a really nice message about overcoming obstacles, living your dream, and all that jazz. I really enjoyed it! :) Thanks for the invite Al/Ella! :)

Don't worry... you will be taking a video tour of my new apartment on my next blog - I want to finish setting up all my furniture so you get a better idea of what it will look like! But let me tell you something... I love it!! And its so cute - I was walking around today and ran into a coworker! A lot of my coworkers/some of my friends live in the area so it makes it feel pretty neighborhood-y! And its right by the Trader Joes, American Apparel (Kirsten!), Urban Outfitters (Tracy and Megan), and the Promenade which provides a beautiful view of Manhattan! :)

Plus, you have no idea how wonderful it feels to finally be settling in and starting to not live in bags... after 2.5 months haha. :)

I love my job so far - my coteacher's name is Nisah and I think we will grow into a great working relationship together and have a great time! I have a great bunch of 1st graders and I enjoy getting to know them more every day. Each lesson, each day, each week I am learning and growing so much as an educator and I enjoy working towards providing my students with the best education they can possibly get - the level of education that they deserve! I also just feel so lucky to be working with such a supportive administration... who also loves happy hours and social time too! :)

Well that's all for now... look forward to the tour of my apartment and eventually my classroom!
And I need to take more pictures... look forward to more pictures too! :)

I'll leave you with some favorite quotes from recent subway performers...

"It don't matter if you're Latino, Black, or White...
Tonight we gotta get hyped!"
- dancers getting the subway excited for a Saturday night

"I play for smiles... we live to love... but stress gets in the way now don't it... thats why we gotta smile... love... and live your life with happiness. I play for smiles ladies and gentleman."
- drummers (who got people in the subway to get up and dance!)

Countdown: 31 days 'till Norman! :)