knitting up a frenzy
After coming home from our honeymoon (honeymoon blog to come shortly), I was so inspired by all the homemade knits @ Spitalfields Market in London that I decided (finally!) to put my grandmother's knitting supplies to good use. My grandmother had shown me how to knit years ago, and of course, I remembered nothing. So I checked out a few sites...the easiest to follow by far was @ the Yarn Company's site (yarnco.com), a local store based out of NYC. The more I investigated knitting, the more I realized that there's a growing knitting community out there, and it's not just America's heartland stitching up the stereotypical throws and tea cozys--there's a contingent of knitting stores in Manhattan who appeal to the urban chick a-la Carrie Bradshaw.
Speaking of my beloved Carrie, tonight marks the beginning of the end of Sex & the City. Despite the fact that I just got married & am much in love, I so don't want her to wind up married off. She's just the prototypical happy-to-be-single gal. If it ends in some big wedding, that would just be so depressing!
Wish me luck with the knitting stuff--so far I'm off & going, but I still want to take a class. The best classes look like the ones @ Knit NY, but they're also the most expensive--$175. But it's 3 meetings, with supplies, all meeting 2 & a half hours long. So maybe it's the best deal for the moola...
So after _finally_ deciding to give my blog a very well-deserved update (it's been over 2 years now), I read the last post I made and it was eerie. I complained about the bridesmaid dress & that I hated big weddings, and it's now almost time for my own. I am keeping it really small (16 people including ourselves and 3 children) b/c I just want the focus to be on us and what is really important. None of the fanfare or worries about the dress or the DJ or the video guy...wish me luck!
We got engaged later that year (2001) and we're getting married December 20th. Yes, a December wedding as I had written about before, AND I am not wearing that dress I described, but I am wearing a (faux) fur muff. No real fur for me, thanks.
So much has happened in these past 2 years +...September 11th comes to mind right away. Here I was, writing innocently in the summer of 2001, and who was I to know that the infamous 9/11 was right around the corner. I was pretty close (5 blocks) and I actually just participated in the World Trade Center study about health & stuff. I was close enough to qualify, so I guess that makes me one of those people they might consider the most affected. And I'll tell you, I didn't need no expose to find out that the Bush Administration lied to us about the air quality down there (though, for a sense of personal vindication, it was pretty nice).
It's funny...I just set up a blog site for work too, and that doesn't seem as authentic, because, well, it's not. I'm like this shadow self, writing about what happens at Teachers Network.
I'm not a teacher anymore, I'm an employee of an education non-profit, the aforementioned Teachers Network. The people who work with me are all really nice...minimal attitude, but kind of vanilla. Everyone's very straight-laced. Maybe everyone hides their zany side really well, but I feel like I am about to burst. I miss being able to be who I really am, but I felt that way when I was teaching also. But not as bad. My students knew who I really was (after a time) and it was all good.
I miss teaching. I miss it being me + my students in the classroom...but I'm not sure I'd be too happy teaching this year anyway. I would NOT do well with one of those prescribed curriculums and it bugs the hell out of me that they exist. What bothers me the MOST are other teachers who support and even WANT them. It's fucking ridiculous! I enjoyed creating lessons, using my creativity and my personality to see it through. I worked as a teacher, and it felt good. I'm not sure I'm doing something as important these days.
We are getting into professional development, which is something that I really want to get more into myself, so that's pretty cool. And the people I work with are nice as hell and appreciate me. And I am making a lot of connections and making presentations (NYU offered me a class to teach, but it didn't work out time-wise). So who am I to bitch?
So today I had that pleasant experience of getting fitted for a bridesmaid's dress. For those of you who haven't been there, having a stranger poking and prodding and commenting on the pluses and minuses of your figure ("You have nice big boobs for this dress!" OR "We might have to take it out a little here [punctuated by a slap on the hip/ass region}" can be hard to take, even for those of us with gallons of self-esteem.
At least the dress is nice. It's simple, a good color, no ruffles, bows, lace, or poofs--it is pretty. Although I'll still never be able to wear it. Know what I mean ladies, no matter how hard you try to dress it up, change it, alter it...you can always tell it's a "bridesmaid's dress." (Sort of like nuns that way...you can dress 'em up in normal clothes, but you still know they're nuns.)
The one other time I was in a wedding party, however, was more along the lines of the bridesmaid's dress from hell. Although, "dress" might not be the operative word here. First of all, the color and fabric: cranberry velvet. No not red, no not maroon, not even a scarlet...CRANBERRY! (which doesn't always conjure up the most enticing thoughts for us ladies) Anyway...back to cranberry...there was a skirt which was simple enough--your normal long, straight-cut variety. However...it was topped by a jacket whose shoulders would have made Grace Jones's shoulder pads from hell look understated. And to accentuate them even MORE...there was this extra material draped over the shoulders, rising up dangerously close to your earlobes...as if somehow, Mr. Softee came along and put two huge dollops of cranberry velvet ice cream on either shoulder. And then, to top it all off (literally) there was a hat. In none other than cranberry velvet, draped over one eye, with...netting! Do you now have a picture of what this monstrosity may have looked like? My then boyfriend said it best: I looked like a whore from the Wild West.
So comparatively speaking, this experience is a dream. But the whole idea of a big wedding so disgusts me, especially after going to a million of them. With the same rituals, the same protocol, the same ugly dresses, the same songs...all the SAME! Ugh.
However, I'd be lying if I didn't admit to checking out a few of the bridal gowns while I was there. I found one that I loved: a cap sleeve number trimmed in fur. Yes, fur (for the animal-minded, don't worry: not real fur)! I pictured myself wearing this lovely number walking down the aisle in December (my b'day & my boyfriends are both in this month) carrying not a typical bouquet, but a fur muff to match. Now I tell you, THAT would be a wedding to remember!
I'm a high school English teacher in Manhattan. Yes, it's difficult. No, it's not dangerous. Yes, the kids can sometimes be a pain, but mostly, they're great. And yes, I really do love my job. True, teachers are not respected, they're underpaid and undervalued. The "great hours" are mostly a lie: you work much harder and longer than those 6 hours a day that you're in school. But this is the best job I can imagine having. I look at all my friends working and they're mostly miserable. Even friends of mine who have jobs considered to be "cool": publishing, television, design, technology...(I used to be in that line of work myself) they are all MISERABLE. Maybe one day I'll get burnt out, and I'll deal with that when it happens, but how many people can honestly say they really, truly enjoy what they do? Well, I can honestly say "yes" and no paper-pushing $80,000 a year job is worth that damn good feeling of knowing you do something good with your days on this earth.
Yes, I am a city girl through and through. Sometimes I'm a little embarrassed by my lack of desire to either run barefoot through the woods or wake up early to see the sun rise, but most of all, I'm proud to be a New Yorker. The irony here is that I've been living in Hoboken, NJ for six years. For those of you not from round these parts, Hoboken is insanely close to Manhattan, is just a 10 minute train ride away from the Village, and is much more like a city neighborhood than a Jersey one. Plus, it's nice, safe, and my rent is cheap...what more can I ask for?
Like most city gals, I do have a Sex & the City fetish, and I do love the show, but why must TV make women so pathetically dumb? Even supposedly sophisticated types? Look at everyone from the cast of Friends to Ally Mc Beal to Grace of Will & Grace...and even my beloved Carrie from Sex & the City. These women are stupid, stupid, stupid. They are in their 30s (me too) and don't seem to have it together...in fact they really don't have it together at all. Everyone's entitled to a momentary lapse of reason, but these chicks are on a permanent intellectual vacation. I guess the question I ask is: why do dumb women make good television???