Wednesday, June 28

Someone told me it's all happening at the zoo.

I do beleive it! I do beleive it's true! MMMmmmmm mmm Wo wo whoa, whoa who whooaahhh! Mmmmm Oh it's a light and tumble journey, from the East side to the park but blah blah blah blah.

I get out of the subway today, and see a crowd of people on the sidewalk watching a stopped car in the middle of the street. It was a black Mercedes, and there were two men being arrested by undercover cops. One of the cops was emptying a snub-nosed pistol of its bullets onto the street, and both the men were cursing. So I kept walking home, and immediately on the corner about 8 cop cars suddenly filled themselves with officers and squealed off south down Nostrand, the long avenue next to my street. I walked down the block to my house, and there were cop cars everywhere--cops walking around staring at the roofs of buildings, walking into basement doors. Seems like there was a bust of some kind. I don't know. I asked a cop what was going on, and he told me they were chasing somebody. I'm sure I'll hear more about that in the news. Made me think about what kind of neighborhoods these really are, because so far I’ve kind of had an idealistic view (Idealism? Me? Who would have thunk it?). Even right now there's the sound of a helicopter circling very closely, and a megaphone with a woman's voice on it saying something. My landlady told me they’re chasing a man with a gun through people’s backyards…but that's not a bad thing, its just Brooklyn! Right? Oh, how sweet it is!

UPDATE: My landlady came in just now, said they had closed off the block recently looking for a man with a gun running through people's back yards. I don't know why. Maybe he stole pizza, maybe he was selling crack, maybe he caught all 151 pokemon.

Other than that, long day. Classes today, got a special presentation on Special Ed students and why inclusion classes (where they are attending normal classes with aides or not) are important--we saw a report by 1970s Geraldo Rivera on tape. It was about the Willowbrook school, which used to be on Staten Island. Over 5,000 retarded men, women and children stayed there just sitting around, because there was an absurdly small number of aides to take care of them. The problem was not only that they were sitting around but being treated like animals--they were fed for three minutes each meal, allowed to run around unsupervised and create an unsanitary situation for themselves, smearing feces on everything. I think they said that about 1 in 4 people there contracted Hepititus within six months of arriving at the institution. So. I'm okay with Special Ed kids.

After classes I went to the city-wide job fair, which was a bust. There weren't many schools there and there were long lines to interview, which was the only thing that people were doing. I waited on the wrong line for a while, then went and interviewed at a middle school. The woman said she thought I was a strong candidate but that they had probably already found who they were looking for. Not a terrible peice of news, I'd say, but I still need to keep looking! I'll call more people tomorrow. I did find out that Region 6 has also been opened up to fellows like me due to a lack of Region 5 jobs, however. Which is fabulous news, because that's where I LIVE. Yay!

Tomorrow I'm doing my in-class poetry demo lesson for Professor Shweky, the man who leads my School and the Community class, which is really the only class I take right now (although it's 7.5 hours of it per day). I'm going to be presenting a poem by James Stephens which I rather like. I think the lesson I'll be doing will be about how Stephenson characterizes Tom and God in the poem by using syntax and different grammarial styles. But more on that tomorrow!

My second cat, the last one one I grew up with, has a tumor in his stomach. My parents are going to put him to sleep. His name is Moses Braunstein, and he is a very excellent (and Jewish) cat. I am going to miss the way he mumbles his meows with his mouth closed when you say his name, and how he pulls himself across the carpet by his front claws while laying down. I think I'm going to try and get home this weekend to say goodbye to him, feed him some cheese. He'd do it for me, I think. I love you, Mo-mo.

Pictures: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
The words are from a Simon and Garfunkel song.

Monday, June 26

God for president 2008

So I saw "An Inconvenient Truth" tonight with Mary. Finally. It was basically Al Gore giving a presentation on global warming, and it was depressing, but it was an important movie as far as I'm concerned, for two reasons:
  1. It's Al Gore propoganda, which is not a bad thing necessarily. He needs to be seen as a president, and it paints him as hard hitting/media-savvy. I think we need the kind of president who realizes that you can make a movie about something like global warming, let people who care about global warming go see it, and then appear as someone else completely to other people who care about different issues. Does he care about global warming? Probably. I don't know that someone can say the things he did on film, plus spend thirty years of his life travelling the country giving this presentation, and not beleive it.
  2. He's probably right about everything he says, and everyone needs to know what's going on with the world. I say probably, because I'm always suspicious of people who want my vote. MY vote, goddamnit! My mother gave birth to me in America, and I have a responsibility to vote responsibly.
The highlight of the movie was a swimming CGI polar bear with big, cute eyes. Unfortunately, they were talking about how they have been finding drowned polar bears recently. They drown because there are fewer/thinner icebergs.

So, basically, I've come to the conclusion that the world is in for 20 feet of flooding, all around. We need to see that happen to us before people realize that it's time to clean up our act. Looks like New York City teaching for 30 years is out. ;)


Walking home at 2AM tonight. Nostrand Ave was empty, like a weird, dark golf course. Wish I had my camera.

I finished my T-shirt stencilling project! Yay!

Tomorrow, back to class.

I made a budget for myself, and i'm actually living UNDER the means I am able to live under, even with saving 33% of my annual revenue. AND, I have a surplus of 4K! I don't know what to do! Yay. I love you, mom and dad.

Sunday, June 25

So post-modern it hurts.

I finally saw Van Gogh's Starry Night yesterday! It was pretty. But I was bored quickly.

Fight Club = Breakfast at Tiffany's = The New York Times last Sunday = The wood pattern on my desk = The lines on my hand = The Watchmen = The banjo = The cowbell = Final Fantasy VI = My NYCTF teacher's guidebook = Scrambling an egg, as a performance peice.

God, some days, you know?

Sunday, June 11

All kinds of gas tanks.

<----Bet you didn't know they did THAT, did you? Turns out there's also a reconstituted White Castle Hamburgers joint that's now called Veggie Castle. They kept all the original decorations. I am THERE. SO. Some things happened. Here's the roster: I went on a road trip! I saw my grandmother's batmitzvah! It was amazing, I'd never heard her sing before, I don't think. Did you know that from my house you have to take a left on Broadway to get to Boca Raton, Fl? The GPS did.

I'm having surgery this weekend (Probably)! Here's a nice, neutral way of presenting you with the facts without being graphic--there's a whole site dedicated to it. Choose your own level of involvement :).

I had my first day of training for the NYCTF today! I'm not quite sure where I'm working, but I'm looking into a region 5 high school assignment. So far my top three choices are William Douglass IVV HS, Teacher's prep HS, and Thomas Jefferson HS. I begin operations tomorrow! Tonight I work like the Dickens. Basically my life has been thrown into high gear, and I'm in that summer mode where every second counts. Training was from 8:30 to 7 today, with a one hour break for lunch. Tomorrow's the same, only I'm going to visit a high school on coney island to do observations for the first half of the day.

Basically I'm taking a graduate class in one week--and I'll get three credits for it. What what whaaaat? I was super sad, since I had to cancel going to a veggie dinner and seeing the Al Gore movie with Mary today in order to stay on top of all this. I have about 10 working hours over the next two days to write ten pages and read a whole lot more. With all these classes going on, too.

The banjo continues to haunt my fantasies of stardom. Whatever that means. My first lesson is on thursday.

Jen from Georgia arrived in NYC with Mary and I after the Road trip, and we did all sortsa great things! We went to go see Rent for starters, and I really enjoyed it.

I went to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with my grandparents! It was a great little show.

Harry Antonio, legend of my high school days and one of my best friends who I have not seen for four and a half years and his friend Anna visited me.

I switched banks! HOOOOAAHHHH for Washington Mutual. I'm my own man now.

I wish Katherine would call me.

I saw the movie Zathura. It was pretty cool. Like a cracked out science fiction in space version of Jumanji. I have to say, Arrested Development Season One was better, though. So Mary, get off mah spahne.


Here are some baby pictures of me! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight (There's an "I" in "blog", did you know that?). The first one's my barmitzvah and my whole family, the last one is my mom's favorite little-kid picture of me. Some of them have my maternal grandmother, Anne Simon, in them. She was a great woman, and seeing these pictures makes me think of happy times. Ask me about her sometime, there are some good stories involving vodka, toy kitchens, and shag carpet. MYSTERY, NO?

Red Stripes cost 2.50 a bottle in Brooklyn! You guys have to come check it out, it's AMAZING. I'd love to have a casual chat over Jamaica's finest with you. Or whatever you drink.


There are pictures of many things in a folder on the internet, but I don't have time to do all the nice little linkage today. The kid with the red hair is Harry, Anna is the girl in the pictures with him, there's a picture of my bank, one of Jen trapped in some glass, a bug we saw on the trip, a comic that Jen made while she was here, fantastic art from around my neighborhood, and some other stuff!

Simon, you are a

Social Liberal
(70% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(30% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test

Just so you know, you can always ask me about anything on the blog. I want to talk about it. For serious.

I'M RUNNING: A bit, and I need more.

The Dummies' guide to being a teacher (not the real name of the book), Alan Moore's The Watchmen, and either the Satanic Verses or Atlas Shrugged. Depends on what the Book Club chooses.

I'M HEARING: Isis, by Bob Dylan.

I'M WRITING: Poems again. Not many comics lately, not much time. I'm going to organize a poetry group, one of these days. Here's the lastest, I fixed it up just for you.


hey, remember
the low stone walls
at home?


a kitten face
with orange stripes
fueling flowers.


an engine at the bottom of the garden.
sticky candy in the gym
hardwood spooning.

Now then

a memory with
missing walls
remote control wrecking balls

the view from the old couch
cat calls from the old couch
I know this arrangement
of furniture.


someone special passes
a random event
and the cement

ALSO: The first journal entry for my teaching fellows classes, about my day in class. I wrote it, maybe you want to read it. Eh?

Teaching Fellows Journal: Professor Schweky.

Tuesday, June 20th 2006:

Class today was a little scary. The people down at Teaching Fellows sure want you to know how easy it is to overestimate yourself. I think I must have heard the word “challenge” and wondered if my ego has really “gone too far this time” about every twenty minutes. Despite the constant reminders of the difficulty of this job and what I’ll be undertaking, I found both Asha and Alan to be incredibly inspiring. At NYU none of the education professors were really fantastic teachers themselves, and I think it was because they were so divorced from the high school classroom. Professor Schweky was intentionally being rather intense, I think. I thought that was a really good way to establish himself as a role model teacher, which he certainly is for me. I’d like to see his lesson plans.

Over all, I’m really glad to be involved. Maybe I’m masochistic, but I have this thought that it’s a great thing to endure a challenge, especially when you know you’ll have to get strong enough along the way. The other people in my class are also really anxious, and it feels good to be on the same boat with a lot of impressive people, all of who are interested in making a difference.

I noticed some things about the way I speak in public today—especially in the half hour after I introduced myself to the class. I was nervous when I first stepped up in front of the class, although I was not scared. I’ve never been afraid of public speaking—although I was confident I could speak about myself, I had all this nervous energy that made me fidgety in the way I was handling the questions asked. I don’t feel I really addressed the questions in an organized matter, and I think looking back on the experience now, my need for eccentric metaphors while speaking made it difficult for me to communicate in the most effective manner. I think I have to learn to slow down and focus, but I’m not sure how to do that yet. Probably something that will go away quickly, since it wasn’t an issue when I was in

I continue to worry about what kind of work my placement at a high school in Region five will entail, and after talking to Asha about what I’ve got to do, I feel a lot better. I’m going to visit and get to know a little more about the three schools I’m most interested in.

Can’t wait to go visit the Brooklyn College Academy tomorrow, down on Coney Island. When I was there just last week, I was wondering what it would be like to go to a school in such a touristy, plastic area (or at least that’s the way it seems to me). Grease and carnival rides all over the place. I guess I’m about to find out.

Tonight I cancelled a date to do work for the Teaching Fellows, and I feel good about that—because I want to prove something to myself about dedication. I feel as though I’ve forgotten what it means to achieve a goal and be conscious of how far away it is—usually I just sleep through accomplishing big goals, I think. It gets done, but I’m not always engaged. It’s a useful tactic in some ways, but it also keeps me from valuing what I do in the long run.

Surgery will go down this weekend. I hope I can survive boot camp without any booty.

Thursday, June 1

Planes on a Gabe!

So Mary, Gabe and I are totally rockstarring it at the Doubletree Suites in Boca Raton, FL! I have seen:
  • Kittens
  • Islands in North Carolina
  • Myself as a yank
  • Waffle Houses
  • Surly waitresses
  • The Jamestown museum shop.
  • Other things.

More to come, with dozens of pictures!