1

Staying In and Getting Real Night, Part 7

I haven’t had the inspiration to write much recently (either here or on my dissertation), so I decided to look back, and the last time I did a post like this was exactly one year ago today.

But here I am, once again on February 19th, once again staying in and getting real, albeit in different apartment, in a different zip code. And I still have trouble concentrating on writing when the TV is on and not muted.

Things here have been pretty normal, I guess. But only here.

Ever since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school massacre last week – a Columbine for the 21st century – things have felt as eerie as they did back in the 1990s. Granted, I was only in elementary school and I did not understand its impact on American life as much as someone a few years older than me would have, but even so, the topic came up in my fifth grade classroom. I remember how it opened up an entire conversation of violence in schools. I remember the images from the news; the low-res CCTV camera footage of the shooters walking down the halls in trenchcoats, the still image of the library window, the video on the news of students in sweatshirts and turtlenecks running away from the camera, their hands covering their ears.

Things should have changed then, but obviously, they didn’t. It’s happened so many times since, at all types of schools, most prominently universities, but something of Columbine-like proportions occurring again – in almost the same manner, just at a different school in a different state – just makes a person feel like they live in an illogical, unfeasible, chaotic world, a world where something like this, which shouldn’t happen, happens. It’s interesting to note that once again, most of the deceased and most of the people speaking out are white, but that’s beside the point. At least this time, social media has captured the unseen angles, the perspectives of the students who were there, in clear and concrete photos, videos, and tweets, and it’s actually done some good for once, helping to spread the word of how these teenagers feel. Who knows what will come of this – sadly, probably nothing – but at least the higher level of visibility is keeping the issue afloat for longer, and reaching farther than Columbine did.

Today, at my office, the fire alarm went off. I didn’t pay much attention to it; I was packing up to go home anyway, so I just hustled a little bit to get my things together and get out of the building, but for a split second, I felt this weird fear, the same kind of fear I felt in the first fire drills after Columbine, and 9/11 (the day which, by the way, the electricity shorted out in my high school and the fire alarm set itself off and everyone went crazy for about ten minutes), and I silently wondered what it would have been like if it was something unthinkable. What would I have done? Hiding under the desk wouldn’t have done much good, at least had I not slammed my door shut first, which is locked from the outside, but who knows if I would have even had the time. All I would have had to defend myself would be a backpack full of books and my students’ work, and maybe two chairs if it came down to it. It’s a thought that now, sounds silly and strange. But due last week’s event, that fire alarm kicked in a reminder, if only for a few seconds, that we still live in a world where things like this can happen and do happen.

Say what you will about guns, mental illness, bullying, but point blank – whatever the reason, there is no excuse for mass shootings.

Advertisements
0

Better Names for Jobs

Today, I was driving past the middle school I always pass when I head into town, and I noticed that the crossing guard’s vest said “traffic whisperer.” As I drove away, I thought to myself, that’s interesting. I wonder what other jobs could be like that…

Hearse driver, or Lyft for stiffs?

Boathouse owner, or sea shanty?

Bartender, or cocktail therapist?

Dairy farmer, or moo-keeper?

Rabbi, or Jew-keeper? (sorry, couldn’t resist)

Barista, or caffeine puller?

Front-line soldier, or battle croaker?

TSA agent, or metal wizard?

Drummer, or beater?

Pianist, or ivory tickler?

 

4

Shopping and Snacking

Raise your hand if you snack when you shop.

Anyone? Everyone?

I’ve heard talk of eating a meal before you shop to sate your hunger and control your impulse to buy snacks while shopping, but honestly…it’s not worth it. Just get the snack. Don’t make it too unhealthy, but get the snack or else you’ll regret it. Today, I went to 2 grocery stores, a bookstore, and Walgreens. At the first grocery store, I saw a box of tomato basil crackers on the clearance shelf. Nothing wrong with them, so I bought them and enjoyed them. At the next grocery store, I bought a black cherry soda, and I actually forgot about it, so I had a nice treat when I got home. It will make you happier and feel more like an adult. And look at it this way: the more you shop, the more calories you burn.

Does not apply to shopping online.

0

What’s In My Entourage

Yes, I say what, and not who. You’ll understand by the end of this post.

Hello from Memorial Library, by the way. There’s something about blogging from a desktop that is way more satisfying than a laptop or a phone. I should look into doing this more often.

I usually don’t take too long to get ready to go out. Unless it’s winter, and I need my entourage. Simply put, my entourage is everything that I’d need for the day, and if I’m leaving anytime before noon, I need to make sure I have all of these things with me. Sometimes it requires multiple trips to the car. Most often, I end up not needing the majority of the items, but it’s good knowing that they’re with me, I guess. Here’s the lineup:

Entourage Checklist

  • Wallet
  • Phone
  • Earbuds
  • Keys
  • Sunglasses
  • Backpack (usually the majority of what’s listed below is in the backpack, if it fits)
  • Notebook
  • Journal
  • Hebrew-English dictionary
  • Translation pages
  • Index cards
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Address Labels
  • Scrap paper (to wrap things in)
  • Books for research
  • Books for pleasure reading
  • Books to be finished and swapped
  • Post-it flags
  • Comb
  • Hand cream
  • Tissues
  • Bookmarks
  • Sunscreen (finally removed now that winter has arrived)
  • Change purse
  • Laptop
  • Power cord
  • Phone charger
  • Headphones for laptop
  • Gym bag (usually contains the following items)
    • Shirt
    • Extra shirt
    • Underwear
    • Gym pants
    • Towel
    • Body wash
  • Empty cloth bags for grocery shopping
  • Cloth bag with Latin shoes/extra socks
  • Cloth bag with Standard shoes/extra socks

When I roll, I roll deep.

I might be a pack rat.

 

0

Silver Notes on the Guitar

Yeah, no idea what to write.

I’ve had this weird feeling lately, really ever since my birthday, that something strange is about to happen. I don’t know if it’s political, or personal, or maybe fall in the air, but something is just pushing me in a weird direction. Falling asleep late at night, waking up in the morning, zombie until afternoon, frenetic until late at night, repeat.

At least I’ve been dancing nearly every day of my 30th year so far.

2

Behind A Car Window No One Can Hear You Scream

Now that I’ve gotten that exciting title out of the way…

I had to walk back from dance class tonight in an insane downpour. When I got into my car, it looked like I had one swimming. I was just so done with the day that all I could do was break out into song.

So I sang.

“Party in the USA.”

AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS

while driving.

It felt great.

I managed to get through “Oops! I Did It Again,” “Single Ladies,” and “All I Want for Christmas is You” before I made it home. I was still wet wet wet but at least I got to screw up lyrics and basically scream all the way home, knowing no one could hear my screeches through the wind, the windows, and the rain.

What’s your go-to car sing-a-long song?