Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Oh, To Be One Again...

This was the scene this morning while babysitting:

1. M. sees 2 quarters sticking out from under her chair.

2. M. picks up the 2 quarters from underneath her chair.

3. M. "hides" the quarters again under her chair.

4. M. "finds" the 2 quarters underneath her chair.

5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 for 15 minutes.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Go Bears!

Not like I need a reason to root against the Colts this weekend, but apparently Indy coach Tony Dungy is being honored at a dinner event by none other than the Indiana Family Institute, the state's most prominant anti-gay-rights group.

And not only that, but the damn invitations include a photo of him dressed entirely in Colts gear. Now I don't know what stance the Colts or the NFL take on gay rights, but the invitation certainly implies to someone like me who doesn't know such things that the Colts and the NFL support the IFI's negative stance on gay rights, doesn't it?

I'd post the invite here, but it makes me feel icky just to look at it (Ick - anti-gay agenda! Ick - the Colts!), so instead I'll let you click on the links above for the invite photo and other info about this ridiculousness (and though you are all free to Google the Indiana Family Institute, they'll never get a link from me).

Friday, January 26, 2007

Odds 'n Ends

It was the first nose-hair-freezing day of the season today. For those of you who have never experienced such a day, you know it when you step outside for the first time, breathe in through your nose, and get the sensation that all your nose hairs just froze together in clumps. Yeah. New England is great.

Speaking of cold, I got home and it was 47 degrees (F) in my room. For those of you not up to speed on my living conditions for the past few years, apparently, I have something against myself, and choose to live in apartments without heat (to be fair, my apartment in SF had heat, but it would smoke up the place and cause the smoke detector to go off, and my apartment now has heat - just not in my room). I always think it won't be that bad, but then a really cold day like today comes along, and I find myself sitting on my bed wearing socks, pants, shirt, sweater, bathrobe, and scarf, wondering when I will finally admit to myself that I'm too old for these adventures.

Looks like my bedroom feels (but not actually my bedroom).

For those of you following the Isaiah Washington scandal, there was a wonderful article written for Entertainment Weekly that I think everyone should read. No matter what side of the issue you're on, it will make you think.

I'm working on perfecting my resume to start sending out for Year 2 internships. I'm looking to be in a hospital setting where I can work with children and their families - hopefully in oncology and maybe also in emergency. All well and good, but now I've got to find a hospital with a social worker willing to supervise me and let me live my dream. If anyone knows anyone, let me know. Otherwise, stay tuned...

Smart Friend

Ok, so the truth is that I have many smart friends - too many to count, really, and most smarter than I. But this particular smart friend wrote an article that is worth sharing, and so in an effort to share his insight with the world, I am posting it here for you:

Perils of striving for elite colleges

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Good Peeps - Part II

As of tonight, I have officially had one week of classes, and so far, so good. One of our professors told us that we would have to work hard to fail the class, so I figure that's the sign of a good semester right there. :-)

School and school people have gotten me thinking a lot about the friendships I have in other realms of my life. Though I have met some wonderful people in my program, overall I have been rather disappointed with the lack of connection I have felt with my fellow students. Being nervous about moving here from across the country, I consoled myself with the knowledge that I had many friends in Boston already, and also that I'd be meeting lots of new people in my program.

Though it is indeed still true that I have many friends in Boston, the fact of the matter is that our schedules don't often match up in a way that allows us to see each other. I didn't mind it so much last semester, because I enjoyed throwing myself into school and babysitting and settling into my new life here on the East Coast, but now that I'm gearing up for another semester (and after spending a lot of quality time with friends from all over during my break), I'm realizing that I won't get through my next year and a half of school without the strong social support that has gotten me through so many other times in life.

I've been thinking about this a lot since returning from my trip to SF - how lucky I was there to have such a strong group of friends who got along like siblings (hugs and fights and everything in between) and saw each other fairly regularly. Now that I am in a situation where Survivor nights and impromptu gatherings at Zeitgeist or Cancun aren't the norm, I see what an incredible gift we all gave each other just by hanging out as often as we did. And I miss that.

And that makes me so grateful for my friends outside of Boston, and equally grateful for the friends I have here who have opened their homes and hearts and lives to me and invited me to dinner, and to playdates with kiddos, and to crash on their couches, and who have checked in with me just to make sure I'm alive when I go silent on a paper-writing binge.

Last night, I was wandering through the internet, and came across the website of Robert Fulghum, one of my favorite writers of all time. And in reading through his online journal, I came across the story of a blessing. I'll let you read the full story, but I copy and paste the blessing below, as a message of gratitude to all of you with whom I've shared a meal at any point in our lives together. I am blessed to know you all.

This blessing does not require that you close your eyes or bow your heads.
I ask that you keep your eyes open, your head up.


The finest blessing a meal can have is great companionship.

Look around this room. Take notice of those who sit with you.

Look around you. Look at these men and women.

Consider who they are, what they have done, and what they stand for.

Consider that you are not alone on your Way in the world.

Consider that you have the honor to break bread with such as these.


And know that this meal and each of us is abundantly blessed.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Sweet Friday

It seems impossible that a good friend of mine could be going to the school next door to me and also be in her first year of an MSW program, and somehow it still took us 5 months to see each other and catch up, but that is indeed the case.

Tonight, after 5 months of phone tag and nerdy-ness that kept us from having social lives, we managed to get together and do dinner AND dessert.

All I have to say is DAMN, Finale has some seriously yummy sweets. Seriously expensive, but seriously yummy.

If anyone wants to take me out sometime, that's where I'll be waiting.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Why I Love 4-Year-Olds

So today at my internship, I was meeting with a little 4-year-old boy who has recently started being more physically aggressive with the other kids. I was trying to teach him how to pretend to blow bubbles as a way to do some deep breathing and relax when he gets upset (obviously he wouldn't know to do this on his own, so I planned on telling his teachers what I had told him so that they could help remind him). The interaction went something like this:

Me: "So, J - I've heard that you're having some trouble sharing with your friends, and that you get angry with your friends and take their toys from them."

J: "Yeah. (pause) That's not very nice."

Me: "You're right - that's not very nice. I'm going to teach you something to do when you're feeling angry to help you feel better... You're going to pretend to dip your bubble wand in the special water, and then hold it in front of you and blow out all the bubbles."

We practice.

Me: "I'm going to tell your teachers about this, so they can help you to remember this trick when you're feeling angry, ok?"

J: "Ok."

Me: "So when you get angry, the teacher will say to you 'J - Bubbles!' and what will you do?"

J: "Get angry."

Me: "Well, yes, you'll already be angry, and the teacher will see that and will remind you to blow your bubbles, and then what will you do?"

J: "Get upset."

I love kids.

Ok, So I'm Obsessed...

This Jelly Donut thing is out of control. Media coverage of this strange and awesome event is spreading like wildfire. It's even made it to Yahoo news and is supposed to be on TRL as well. There is also a YouTube video that details the night in question.

I've never been more proud of a pastry in my life.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Jelly D! Jelly D!

So I was checking the self-proclaimed "Hollywood's Most-Hated Web Site" and browsing the headlines when I came across a most interesting post that made me grin with pride.

You see, the jelly donut mentioned in the posting is none other than my good friend from high school who performs as "Jelly D" the freestyle rapping donut. Alas, Lady Sovereign was too scared to battle him, but perhaps with the pressure that will inevitably come from the press, she'll change her mind?

** Update: If you want to hear the donut's version of how things went down, click here to check out the "Jelly D vs. SOV" posting in his own words.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The 06-07 Switch

I hadn't intended to write blog entries on my trip, but the amount of relaxation time I have, coupled with the amount of fun I'm having has inspired me to share my adventures.

After spending some quality time at the Reibel residence on Thursday and Friday last week, I picked up J & T from SFO in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday am. Not long after that, I went with J back to SFO to pick up I (rhymes with "broccoli"). Half a burrito and some stellar salsa later, we rolled back into Berkeley for a chill evening at home.

Day 2 of I's visit included a trip to The Cheeseboard, a walk around UC-Berkeley campus, a phenomenal spread of food created by T, and then a trip into SF where we went on a wild goose chase to find an open taqueria (oh, Cancun, how could you close on us!? I mean, we KNOW it's New Year's Eve and all, but...). Open taqueria found, we reconnected with a few more friends and then headed to our New Year's Eve party.

Phoebe rings in the New Year with 1/2 of Bob's face.

2007 began better than any year in recent memory: beautiful warm day, hike in Marin, and OYSTERS!!! (and you all know how I feel about oysters)

We awoke to sunshine and a cloudless sky, and determined that the New Year should be properly celebrated with a trek up to Marin County. We got up to Marin and wandered through some hills with cows, then met up with some other friends to eat oysters and picnic.

Jme makes friends with a baby cow.

In keeping with our tradition from the night before, our quest to find oysters (like our quest to find burritos) was not an easy one. We went to two oyster places posting signs that said "Sold Out" before finding a store that could sell us the 50 oysters we so craved. We snagged a picnic table as the sun began to lower in the sky and set about shucking and bbq-ing our oysters. In all, a very satisfying way to begin the new year.