Monday, April 27, 2009

Gym Rat


At a time in my life when I thought I'd be gaining lots and lots of poundage, eating for two, and spending all my energy creating a little life inside me...instead, I'm doing the exact opposite: I'm working super duper hard to take off the poundage, eating less and less and spending all my energy on creating my own life. I've become a wee bit gym obsessed. I can't believe it myself. I've never believed in working out. Didn't do it. Didn't want to do it.

Now, I can't wait to get there.

I go to the gayest gym in the world and I love it. I am completely invisible. I can look at them all I want, they don't look back. It's awesome.

I'd tried going to gyms in the past--okay, maybe a try-out day at one and a membership-but-never -attended at another--but always felt like meatloaf. Granted, they were 'straight' gyms and so everyone was checking each other out and sizing each other up and hooking up....and....and...yes, waaait aaaa minute, that happens at the gym I'm at now! Big time! Well, it just so happens, now I'm at a restaurant but I'm not on the menu! Finally! I can totally relax, sit-back and find out what this working out thing is all about.

Now, this wasn't always the case, me being okay with being ignored by the boys. As I was cruising along on the eliptical today, I remembered a time when I would go out with E. and we'd hit up the gay bars in n.y. and I cried to him,

E! None of these guys WANT me!

and, with a dead serious look on his face, he said with complete earnest,

No, Maaary, but all of these guys want to BE you! And, isn't that enough?


Well, now, I want to be them. They work out like monsters. I see the same guys no matter what day or time I go. I'm starting to feel like we're a little pack of people who are determined to keep their totally ripped arms and abs. Or, in my case, a smaller pack of people who actually want totally ripped arms and abs.

These days, I'm changing my clothes at work before going to the gym and I was walking down the hallway in a classic gym outfit and I saw a few of my first graders...one of my very favorites called out to me,

S: miss molly? miss molly? where are you going? why are you dressed like that?

me: um, well, i'm going to the gym.

S: oh, um, well you look....you look, um...

ohgod, please don't say weird, or fat, or blobby, or funny. Really, this gym thing is so new, I think a little kid's opinion at this point could make me pack it all in.

S: well, you look, really strong, miss molly.


Huge sigh. Oh, man, okay, I'm taking that one and running with it.
All the way to the gym.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

my beautiful laundrette

I haven't had a real washer and dryer in my various homes in almost 20 years.

We've lived in this particular apartment now for five years. When we first moved in, one of the crowning glories was a tiny, little all-in-one washer/dryer. You hooked the hose up to the kitchen sink and it washed with hot water and then dried with hot steam. Or, at least, that was the premise. In reality, it sorta washed and sorta damp-steamed and the whole thing took about a total of four hours for one load of laundry.

It never actually worked. Well...it worked a few times in it's first year.
Then, it broke.
It's been a scrap metal cutting board for the last four years.

Laundry is a huge thing in our life. A huge, overwhelming, over-grown, looming, bane-of-existence thing in our life. We generate a large amount of it in any given week and neither of us particularly like going to the laundry mat. It might not be so bad if there were machines somewhere in the building. Or, if the mat was across the street. Hell, even down the block! Sheesh, gimme one block away!
But, no, our laundry mat is quite the distance from us. And it's pure torture reving up to go: Organize the soap, the spray, the bounce, separate the clothes (because we don't like shaking out our dirty laundry in front of everyone else), get enough quarters, bring something to read, -to do, -to listen to, stack the laundry bags high up, drag it downstairs, put it in the wheelie cart and start pushing...up hill, down hill, across train tracks. It sucks.

So, imagine our delight when the downstairs neighbors unexpectedly (and with police escort, apparently) moved out, leaving a beautiful, brand-new washer/dryer set in the apartment. No, it wasn't exactly advertised for use... in fact, it was just one daring night that our good-friend- and-neighbor decided to turn the handle to the apartment and WOOSH, the door flew open! It was unlocked! We walked in, called out, looked around. Definitely empty. The washer and dryer just sitting there, almost asking to be used. We gave each other a knowing glance and tiptoed out the same way we came in.

About a week or two went past and, while I'd thought of it and how great it could be, I hadn't actually done anything about it. Until I had coffee with said good-friend-and-neighbor, I hadn't actually thought it was possible. He revealed to me, once he'd gotten over the nervous first step, he'd been washing & drying loads every night for the past week! He gave me the run down: don't do the wash until after hours (6pm might be cutting it close, but 7pm onward, no one is coming in), it takes no time at all, and you can put in your last load before you go to bed and pick it up in the morning (before 8am, of course). He'd been wearing things once and then washing them, just for the joy of a nearby machine. I could feel the excitement rising... and, that night, I did four loads into the late hours. It was fantastic.

I turned another of our neighbors onto the machines, as well. She came by the our apartment the other night to drop off a little 'thank you' gift. "Those machines are a godsend", she said and told me she had a load of towels in as we spoke. "My pleasure", I replied. We were having a right little giggle about all our luck, talking about how we hoped this could go on for months, when our other neighbors stopped on their way out to say hello (we live in a really friendly building--not without it's sheer volume of weirdos, for those of us who've stuck it out it's a really great building) . We all started talking about the apartment downstairs and they told us how they didn't think it was going to last forever because they're showing the apartment.
"When?!", we both asked.
"Right now", they looked at us strangely, "why?"

Oh shit. We'd been caught. They were showing the empty apartment. Empty... except for the fact that there was a load of laundry running in the kitchen. Yeah, we were dead.

But, it turns out, we hadn't...and we weren't. Nothing happened. That was a few weeks ago. I've done six loads since then. I can't even count how many my other neighbors have done. It's actually gone from good natured, we-should-get-a-sign-up-sheet-going-fare to um-yeah-uh-well-I- was gonna-do-it-tonight-annoyance. I was even cleaning out the lint filter the other night wondering why my neighbors didn't take as much care with our new machine as I did?!

Ohmygod, it's a washing machine. Well, yes, and a dryer, too.
Two common appliances.
Two flights away.
It's hard to stay level-headed about it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

who's ready to write?


Postage goes up next month. May 11th to be exact. It's going up another .02 cents. It'll be nearly .50 cents to send a little note to someone!

"Every year now!" the postman told me. I don't know why I was so shocked. I guess because I feel the cost of postage is in my line of business. I wanted to tell him how worried this made me. Worried that people will stop mailing things--simple things, like cards. Of course, no amount of complaining about it is gonna stop it.

Besides, people just don't mail like they used to. I have a collection of letters from a boy to his mother. Written during WWII, he wrote her a letter a week for one whole year while he was in the service. She numbered each envelope. Postage was about .03 cents and he didn't have to pay for it most times--the army did. Even still, if we didn't have to pay for postage, I'm afraid letter writing is a dying art. That's really sad to me. Especially since I spent this past weekend making a new card line...

I'd love to propose a sort of mail project. To anyone that promises to send out four letters before May 11th. If you email me your address (curious8m@gmail.com), I'll immediately send you four random cards from 8mm Ideas.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

my moon, my man





Looking into the sky makes me feel pretty small,
but in an enveloped, fabulous way.

These images made me think: wouldn't it be great if the moon came to visit? If you could talk to it, tell it all your issues.

I bet it makes a soft humming noise.




images courtesy of one of my faves

Monday, April 13, 2009

THAT guy


Little 6-year-old Q. is an excruciatingly slow eater. So, while the other kids shovel food in their mouths, barely swallow and run to the playground, Q. takes his time. And he doesn't mind that everyone else has left the tables and it's just me and him. In fact, I think he actually prefers those moments, when it's just me and him and we can talk about the real stuff.

Today, I asked him if he ever thinks about what he wants to be when he grows up and he kinda surprised me by answering quickly, with his mouth full of sandwich,

Q: oh yeah, yeah, I know...

Me: you do? well, what is it?

Q: two things, there's two things i want to be...

Me: okay, lay it on me...

Q: i want to be an au pair, orrrrr... that guy at the grocery store that pushes that button?
the button that makes the food move.

Me: you mean the guy that pushes the buttons on the cash register?...as he pulls the food forward? that guy?

Q: no, no, no, you know the guy that pushes the button? that button? that makes the food move forward? on that long thing that moves?

Me: you mean the guy at the end of the aisle? the guy that bags your groceries?

Q: yeah, that guy! and with a huge smile on his face, he says, that job seems SO easy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

hold on to me

Back to work on Monday.
Though, for just a moment, I've got to give it up for Spring Break. What a much, much needed break we get here at the beginning of the end. Whether I relaxed, or worked, or didn't do either, it has suddenly become very clear to me that I just took a week-long break from the day in, day out of my little job.

We have some ridiculous short amount of days left of school: 42, maybe? It seems so strange to think of it that way. It would appear as if this countdown is to keep teacher's sanity, and it sorta sounds like an addicts road to recovery: 'we've gone through 113 days of school and have 42 days left' , but it's treated more like a math problem, 'okay, we've moved 100 straws into this pocket, so that leaves us with how many straws left? Yup! that's how many days of school we've got left!'

Strange to me. A new way of looking at work, or life, really. I don't know many people that have a timeline on their work. Our job is literally year to year. Every year is different. Different kids, different parents, different issues, different teachers, different study plans, different personal fulfillments... all of it, next year, will be totally different.

I'm laughing to myself right now because I just realized I typed into google: what takes 42 days? So says google: it takes 42 days to unlearn a habit or learn a new one; a suspected "terrorist" can be held for 42 days without charge; after your blood is drawn, the red blood cells must be used in 42 days.

Life, liberty and happiness--in the reverse order there.

For now, I'm just going back to work.


image

Friday, April 10, 2009

Apartmentally

We're revamping every nook and cranny of our apartment. We've pulled out items from every drawer, closet and shoebox and lumped them all into the center of the living room. Now that everything is out of the open, no more hiding all these little collections or random books, unworn shoes, or pounds of paper goods...well, we must deal with them. Almost everything that has come out, must go back in. I say almost everything because I'm hoping that much, much, much of it will be donated to good ole Community Thrift.

When a friend of ours came over the other day, I showed him around the house and whined that RK doesn't want to get rid of as much stuff as I do, and he very kindly pointed out the obvious, "Um, well, don't you have a lot more stuff than RK does?!" ohhhhh, yeah.

Anyway, this is all say that I've become slightly obsessed with how this place will eventually look. I'd always been quite confident of my ability to style out a living space, but, when I get on the interweb, my confidence in choices tends to go the way of the selby. Every time I see a photo of a place I love, I'm on the download patrol. I now have tons and tons of photos of other people's places.


I want to paint the walls dark, shocking colors and put up a huge chalkboard where paintings might go. I want to cover the walls with all the wacky art that has been sitting in our closet for five years. I want to dump the metal filing cabinet and file things in an old flat file. I want to have book shelves covering every inch of the wall and fill it to the brim with books. I want to hang lots of lamps in the kitchen, not just one. I want to use seemingly useful pieces of furniture as purely decorative art pieces. I want to stack things in corners and not have them collect any dust...


and I want it all to be finished....NOW.




I'm not sure this is helping anything.


images from here, and here, and here
.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

let's go back to the beginning

Oh, Mr. CK, you and I would have a really fantastic, really long, looooooong conversation about all of this. I have this same, exact feeling every day!

And then, I must say, every once in awhile, I'm going along, and I think, 'why yes, this should work the way my techie RK said it would work...and why isn't it working? and why is it taking so long? and what the heck? why did i buy into this technology in the first place?!'

But, mostly, I agree with Mr. CK. You're totally right, Sir, "everything's amazing and nobody's happy."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

it's your day, too











Deb, at Bon Bon, always has great links and posts and all sorts of other inspiration.
I was especially moved by her latest "assignment", lifted & gifted from another great lifeline.



I plan on making one of my own.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

SALUTE



May happiness
pursue you,

catch you
often, and,

should it
lose you,

be waiting
ahead, making

a clearing
for you.


A.R. Ammons

Monday, April 6, 2009

what's in a number?

translation: happy birthday molly. we all love you. we think you write very very good.

Age is a funny thing. In particular, I don't feel like the one assigned to me today AT ALL!

On Friday, we early-celebrated my birthday at school. Little kids are the best to celebrate with 'cuz every single thing is exciting. The fact that it's your birthday, the fact that it's a Friday, the fact that the chocolate cake is real, true chocolate and not a substitute because the one kid with allergies is absent that day, the fact that there's lemonade and apple juice, the fact that there will be "seconds", the fact that they get to sing 'happy birthday' for the third time that day and no one is stopping them from singing it loud and proud.

And it was a total coincidence that Q. happened to wear his hat that day. It was his 'everyday' hat that he'd made the night before, without being cognizant of my b'day. So, imagine the excitement when it turned out his hat ("miss molly, miss molly, miss molly! it could be a friday-hat, it could be a fun-hat, it could be a springtime-hat, it could even be your birthday hat today!...") was perfect timing for miss molly's big day.
Another great surprise when N. finished his language arts work early and I told him to write me a joke. This is what he came up with (i love how he's labeled it 'Riddle', so you know what you're getting into):
how can you make a tissue dance?


you put a little boogie in it.


While I was cracking up at N.'s joke, one of the other little boys, T. (that seems to be in constant competition with N.), came up to me and asked what the joke was. I told him and he looked at me, totally deadpan, and said, "i think i told him that joke."
Which made the joke even better.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

if it ain't one thing


some days
just suck more

out of you
than other days

Friday, April 3, 2009

in the spirit of all things good



i'm way behind on this one, but am so glad i have a roaringtastic friend that keeps me in the loop while laughing and crying all at the same time. i don't know how many times i've watched this video now, but i know it makes me cry every single time.
and i know i can't watch it before i go to bed or i wake up with puffy, red eyes.
so, i like to watch it just a bit earlier...maybe start off my day with it.
or if i need a little pick me up.
or to relax with before i go to bed.
it's that juicy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

nostalgia






Every one of these images makes me thrill. Sure, they're old school, but that's the beauty of NYC: while so much changes, so much stays the same. I used to ride into Grand Central Station every day when I lived in Nyack. I once went into one of those secret side rooms where the secret detectives are, to report a theft on the train, and had a wild ride that made me feel like I was in an old timey movie!

And I used to work right near the Flatiron building, which never ceased to amaze me, as I did my daily walk to the local deli for a huge slice of baklava.

Every one of these street names holds some memory.

RK and I are planning an apartment swap this summer with some friends in Park Slope and I'm just counting down the days...here we come new york, here we come....

And I'm seriously looking forward to utilizing my highly missed subway.