Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Apartment good. Health bad.

I'm enjoying my new apartment. I'm getting into the swing of things. There's a better range of grocery stores than my old neighborhood: there's one bourgeois grocery store, one organic grocery store, one ghetto grocery store (aka a bodega), and one grocery store that's in-between the others. I haven't found a good laundromat (the one I used was really expensive and I ended up hand-washing a bunch of it because it didn't even come clean. Grr.) but I'm on the lookout for a better one.

I love being so near the parks, and I've found a bus that magically has a bendy route that starts a block from my apartment and drops me a block from my church. This weekend in the church choir we sang some glorious Handel. Love, love, love. Work is going fine.

On the negative side, I'm sick! I didn't quite feel right last week. Wednesday night I was dizzy and short of breath, but I thought it was just an asthma/allergies thing. Friday night, my ear hurt so much I kept grabbing it. Saturday night the hearing in my left ear kept getting all muffled. Monday on the way to work I had an asthma attack and my hearing was cutting out again. I also had a headache, though I hadn't really noticed it until the doctor asked during my appointment on Monday. But it turns out, the headache was the crucial point in the diagnosis.

Apparently, I have an upper respiratory infection which spread to the middle ear. The doctor says if I'm not really careful about recovering, I could have hearing loss. Great. So now I'm being a good girl, lying in bed and drinking lots of fluids while waiting for my fever to break. Must go nap now. Love you all!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Belated blogging

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. The internet at the new apartment is on the fritz. (I'm currently using a computer at my hated alma mater, Fordham, the university that doesn't seem to care about anything but getting the most cash possible out of my pockets, and customer service be damned-- see picture at left.)

I'm not sure how much time I would have had to blog, anyway, as I simultaneously moved and started the new school year. (The mover was unbelievable. He had this method of strapping six medium sized boxes onto his back, and them walking them down the five flights of stairs. It was unreal. I'm still in shock.) I'm really enjoying the apartment. Well, I have a few complaints (He said we had cable, but we really only get 8 channels total. I don't have a key to the mail box, and he's always out of town so it takes several days to get my mail. The e-mail is on the fritz. Where is the neighborhood grocery store? There has to be one, right?) But on the whole, I really like the place, and Rick is kind of fun. He loves to sing along to Beyonce. Hee. Gotta love a guy who's not afraid of singing falsetto.

School is great so far (knock on wood!) I finally got a top-ranked class, and they're such good little students. I don't have a homeroom, so no more gathering them up at the end of the day or at lunch to take them downstairs (my least favorite thing about teaching). Also, my classes are smaller, which rocks! Well, it's also kind of scary, because sometimes the district will see a school with small classes and another school with a few big classes and shift some kids. The other school sends the kids they want to get rid of, so not only are they coming in late, unaware of the existing rules and procedures, but they often have behavioral or learning difficulties. So nobody tell about my small classes, okay? It's sort of a once-in-a-lifetime deal.

All in all this year, teaching is more fun. It's not perfect. I still have one class full of pains-in-the-neck because they failed the seventh grade, yet magically got to test into eighth grade. As such, they believe they don't have to do my work to go to high school. We'll see about that. But by and large, I'm just having more fun with the kids. Here's hoping it continues!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Ever since the VMAs aired, I've been flipping back and forth to MTV. I had no interest in watching the MTV Video Music Awards except for one thing: OK, Go's live performance of "Here it goes again." Yes, this plucky little group's rise to fame was fueled by homemade music video that they uploaded to a web site called YouTube. It featured a choreographed dance routine performed on eight treadmills. Hee. Hee-hee. HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! It never fails to make me laugh. It is pure, unadulterated fun.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Lately, I've had this quote stuck in my head, one that had to do with hearts being like glass: "Even the way they break is beautiful."

Why was this quote about heartbreak going around and around in my head? I didn't know. Then, when I first got back to New York, I met Jenny for drinks and Auction House. We talked for hours, and somehow we got to talking about ex-boyfriends. I hadn't really known her when Mr. B and I were together, and when I explained why we broke up, she was shocked...almost as shocked as I was when I heard these words escape my mouth: "He broke my heart."

I was about to take it back. I hadn't been in love with him...had I? Could someone you weren't in love with break your heart? In that moment, I realized someone really could. I finally understood why people link romance to an organ, the heart. I understood why the end of romance was called heartbreak: because sometimes that's actually how it feels.

When Mr. B accused me of lying, it felt like an actual knife slitting open my heart, which then turned inside out. I remember clutching my chest from the pain, and tears springing from my eyes. It was instant. Normally, there is a progression for tears (your throat gets a lump in it, your face feels hot and tears well up in your eyes), but not this time. They were instant. I was speechless, crying, fighting just to breathe. It sounds really dramatic, but that's just how it was. My heart broke.

I blocked it out, though, or talked myself out of it. I wasn't in love with him, right? And even if I had been, it was over. What good could it do to dwell on it? On the other hand, can you fix something by ignoring it? When I decided to have sex with Mr.B, I did it in part because I suspected keeping myself separate physically was a way to keep myself apart emotionally. I was putting my heart on the line, trying to make myself open to love. When Mr. B responded so callously, it was my worst fear come true.

Thursday I had to see Mr. B again for the first time in months. It was hard. When I saw him, I was simultaneously angry and attracted. I tried to act indifferent, but he was just so friendly that I tried to be friendly, too. We have to work together, and treating him unkindly won't help me heal. I don't think I'm sorry I chose him, either. It's a part of my life now, and I love my life.

Today I went online to figure out the exact quote was and where it was from. It turned out to be from Everwood (Season 2, Episode 18, "Last Looks). I'm not sure it applies to me, exactly, but I can certainly see why it's been stuck in my head. Two characters broke up, and as the episode ended, Irv the narrator summed it up perfectly:

"A heart is a fragile thing. That's why we protect them so vigorously, give them away so rarely, and why it means so much when we do. Some hearts are more fragile than others, purer somehow, like crystal in a world of glass. Even the way they shatter is beautiful."

Friday, September 01, 2006

I won't be homeless!

To all of you who have been supportive during this challenging time, thank you! After hours and hours and hours online (searching Craig's List and e-mailing potential roomies), about a dozen apartment viewings, a lot of stress and some tears, I have finally found an apartment.

I'll be moving to the other side of Central Park. My new apartment is at 112 and 8th (Also know as Central Park West...also known as Frederick Douglas Boulevard.Yeah, New York can be a confusing place).

Now I had been hoping to move in with someone young and cool...someone I would have a lot in common with. That's not what's happened. My new roomie is a Dominican flight attendant named Rick. He's tidy. He's always away working, visiting the Dominican Republic or hanging out with his mom. In other words, he's the male version of my current roomie, Clara. He even has similar taste in decorating. It's not ideal, but I can definitely deal with it.

The Negatives:

Location- I would have preferred the East Side, as I know it better. I know where all the restaurants and stores are. It's closer to my church, bank, doctor and dentist. Also, Morningside/Harlem seems to be more single adults and fewer families than Spanish Harlem (or as Lex calls it, "SpaHa"). I like the warmth of Spanish Harlem, and I think I'll miss it. I'll also miss the murals in the neighborhood and the garden behind my building.

The apartment- I think the room I'm moving into is smaller than the one I have now, but I don't think it will feel like it because of the closet space and lack of giant, ugly armoire. I'm also going to get bed risers so I can store things under my bed. The worst thing is that my room only has one small window and it looks out on an airshaft. It provides no view and very little light. Also, Rick is only a moderately better decorator than Clara.

The Positives:

Location- I'm one block from Morning Side Park and two blocks from Central Park (both of which I love!) I'm about 4 blocks from one of my favorite restaurants in the city, Mills Korean. I'm two blocks from a cross-town bus, making it simple for me to get to the East Side whenever I need to. I had feared I would have to move out of Manhattan. I'm so glad I don't have to now. I'm close to the 2 subway train, which shortens my commute to work! Also the Morning Side area of Harlem is really hot, and improving all the time.

The apartment- It's on the second floor, as opposed to the fifth floor. I won't have to climb as much (though I won't burn as many calories). My room comes with a big closet (which is rare in Manhattan), an air conditioning unit and a huge chest of drawers. It also comes with a full bed (luxurous after the twin I've been using for two years). It's so pretty and fresh-looking. It'll be really nice once I decorate it.

The bathroom is big for a NYC bathroom. All utilities are included in the rent, even wireless internet and cable. There's no divider between the kitchen and the living room, so I can cook while I watch TV. Rick says I can use his treadmill. I'll often have the place to myself.

In Conclusion:

It's not perfect, but I'm sure it'll be fine. To be honest, I wasn't sure about this place when I moved in, and now I'm sad to leave it. I'm sure it will be the same with this new apartment.