Saturday, December 21, 2002

It’s really nice to wake up in the morning from a bad dream about school, suddenly realizing that I basically don’t have to think about it for nearly two weeks. I plan on doing totally frivolous things like using a tanning membership, playing videogames, and reading. I’ll have to schedule those things between all the drinking and carousing with friends, but somehow I’ll do it.

Thursday night I went to our school’s Christmas party. I wore the same thing I always wear, as a pair of jeans and a nice sweater aren’t too difficult to match. I was amazed to see little teacher Phoenixes rising from the ashes, dressed to the nines, nails done, hair elaborately coifed. These are not the same people I teach with every day, I’m certain of it. Then they began to dance and I realized that they were still the same group of people.

I saw my summer principal, the woman who had hired me. She was transferred to another school when I had started in the fall, so it was good to see her. She and I were laughing about some events from the summer session when she admitted something funny. At the job fair, she and the other administrator separated away from me for quite a few minutes. I thought they were deciding whether I was too smarmy, but they were debating whether it was okay to allow an UNDERCOVER NARCOTICS AGENT into their school. They thought I was too good to be true. Awwww….

Monday, December 16, 2002

It was a weekend of visitors and reunions with good friends. This weekend I definitely put the ‘ho’ in host. Sparky introduced me to our houseguest Alex, the Italian Brazilian guy from London, then promptly left for his family holiday celebration. Let’s just say that fun was had in his absence. My friend Third World Kevin Yamami arrived from Uzbekistan, looking like a freshly minted terrorist. I see Kevin on a seasonal basis, and his beard/hair combo is always in a perpetual state of change, yet always funky. This time he has a mammoth goatee/beard stretching up to the rims of his glasses, and a scruffy shaved head. He looks like an intellectual Hell’s Angel.

He has just returned from a year of working in Uzbekistan/Afghanistan. He has changed some. Like me, he has had a severe idealistic battering. After working firsthand in Afghanistan, his distaste for religious and political NGO’s is as evident as my growing disenchantment with teaching. I don’t think either of us could ever be truly cynical, but we definitely feel there is some kind of cosmic joke happening all around us. We’re all just waiting for the punch line, hoping it will have better delivery than most of my bad puns. He was planning on being in the city for a few weeks, but his schedule was reduced to just the weekend. He and I have gone through a lot together, and I really regret not spending more time with him.

We did go shopping down Broadway all the way to Canal Street. I love shopping in NYC. It brings out the poet in me. We dove into the sea of consumers, buffeted by waves of shoppers, black coats and white merchandise foaming around us. People crashed up against the buildings, flowing in and out of the buildings, spending money, creating money. It’s dangerous, it’s inexorable, it’s vibrant.

The party at Rooster’s was quite fun. His first batch of gin gimlets were a big hit. I sampled one, recommended to him that he add more sugar next time. He didn’t believe me, then looked around and discovered that he had added corn starch by mistake. I totally understand, I’ve added rat poison instead of sugar myself so many times, I’ve lost count. It was wonderful to be slowly sipping my glass of wine, watching other friends succumb to the deceptively mild gimlets. The most amusing drunkard example was Beth. She became quite silly, then switched to belligerent, especially when I commented on her music choice. I thought she was going to attack me with the jewel box. Her dramatic finale was a comet imitation, slowly being drawn around the sun of Damien, only to collide spectacularly with the table. Her inebriated impact launched plates, wasabi peas, and olives into the conversational atmosphere, signaling her prompt vomiting and bedtime. Not that I can look too smug. Unlike certain bald teachers I happen to know, she didn’t give full body massages to everyone in the room, nor did she attempt to do chinups on delicate lintels. It’s just nice to have other members in the ‘drunken fools’ club.
I can't wait for May to arrive. I can't wait for May to arrive.
I just wrote a blog entry for forty minutes, attempted to post, and LOST IT ALL. Nothing like going fetal from a typing disaster.