A disgruntled librarian packs it up and leaves fabulous New York City behind,
going on random global adventures,
while simultaneously promoting literacy
and spreading the love of the written word.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

the tefl sheffle OR where is my mind?

you might be asking yourself, "self, what are miss dewey d and her beloved bolshevik possibly going to do to support themselves while in argentina?"  well, it is our plan to get jobs teaching english.  i do love language and the written word, as you know, so it all seems fitting.  for the past few months the bolshevik and i have been doing an online course to become TEFL certified (teaching english as a foreign language).  now, i went to library school for two years and received a masters in library science.  i am no stranger to boring course work.  but this is by far the most boring tedious thing i have ever had to do in my life.  urgh.

so at first, before the bolshevik ran off to the motherland, we would do the assignments together.  typically we would read a chapter while drinking a cocktail the bolshevik created which is a refreshing combination of bailey's irish creme and vanilla vodka (the bolshevik is an irish citizen of course, so this is a fine combination of his two cultural influences) ... needless to say our rate of homework completion was slow going at best.

even when we aren't intoxicated, we still slack off a lot.  like the one time we wound up taking a 3 hour nap between reading the chapter and answering the chapter questions (too many tefl cocktails!).  then there was the time when we spent a large chunk of time coming up with a tefl homework "theme song".  we decided that the pixies "where is my mind," suited us best.  our version goes like this, and should be sung whenever you are feeling bored or frustrated (the frustration is typically due to immense boredom)  ...

with your feet in the air and your head on the ground
TEF-FULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! (shouted loudly like you're in agony)
where is my mind?  where is my mind? 
(repeat as needed)

and now that the bolshevik is in russia, we divide up the homework, each of us doing different tasks and then combining them together to make one completed assignment.  we are SO close to being done.  we have about 2.5 units left to complete.

you may be wondering, "why is miss dewey decimal telling us all this?"  the answer dear blog readers is simple ... because i am currently slacking off instead of reading chapter 20.

TEFL!  where is my mind?  where is my mind?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

it's good to be a quitter

you may be asking yourself, "self, i wonder what is going on with miss dewey decimal's job?  is she going away 'on leave?'  will they allow her back?"  the answer is ... no!  i am high-tailing it out of here,  and my last day is quickly approaching!

it's not easy to quit your job and run off on south american adventures.  not at all.  people will try to tell you that you're lucky to have a job and blah blah blah the job market is terrible.  and what will you do about health insurance?  and what if you don't find a job in south america?  and what if you're attacked by banditos?  and how will you possibly find work when you come back?  it's all rather dizzying to deal with.

but i tell you it's good to be a quitter!  first off, everything that happens in the library is now "not my problem."  the teachers from the local school want the Summer Reading Program information even though it's not even April yet.  not my problem.   people want the april calendar even though we don't know who will be replacing me and whether or not they can help with the programs listed on said calendar.  not my problem.  see how that works?

and i'll let you in on a little secret ... the kids are cuter now.  yup, knowing that i will soon be departing has turned the children from an overwhelming burden into cuteness again.  sometimes i can actually just relax and enjoy working with them, knowing that my days are numbered.

now ... i don't want to get ahead of myself.  BUT i heard a rumor, and by rumor i mean i received an official staff email, that we might be getting another retroactive "living wage" type pay increase.  now it's only for people in certain titles and i'm sure there are all sorts of rules, but i am pretty sure i qualify.  which means, that i will be getting a small raise retroactively from a year ago, possibly two years ago, which i will receive in a lump sum before my last day.  oh, i hope it's true!  miss dewey decimal needs a new pair of shoes!  (actually two, i need a new pair of boots since they discontinued my favorite Nine West boots, and i need a new pair of sneakers since i have flattened my sneakers due to excessive jump roping)

tomorrow is pay day, cross your fingers for me!

not for stabbing

phew, that's a relief!  but it leads me to wonder ... if i do need to stab someone, which knives should i use?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

my grandfather clock was too large for the shelf so it stood 90 years on the floor

this week on Spare Room: miss dewey decimal pretends to be miss fifi and lives it up in greenpoint!

that's right, miss fifi and her man have run off to elope in south america (apparently, running off to south america is the thing to do these days) and left little old me in charge of the homefront.  yay, i'm back in my hood!

in exchange for a free awesome place to stay for two weeks, i have agreed to take care of miss fifi's kitty, CG aka curious george.  miss fifi left me about 5 pages of written instruction on kitty care, how to use the mini dish washer, list of fire exits & emergency numbers, etc.  AND she left a "gift bag" of two bottles of wine, fancy expensive conditioner, two unlimited metrocards, and a little "emergency" money.  say what?  this is a dream come true for any traveling nomad.

then when i went into the bedroom where i will be sleeping i found that she has left behind some furry handcuffs, a paddle, and some twilight-inspired candies?  um, okay.  too bad my beloved bolshevik is off in russia exploring the motherland.

so things were looking pretty sweet, right?  no dusty dust mites, i'm close to subways and buses, the wifi works well, i dvr-ed my stories on the tv, i'm back in my old stomping ground, and i'm a short walk to the Y so i can get my exercise groove on ... until 12 am hit.

needless to say i had never spent too much time in miss fifi's bedroom before ... so imagine my surprise when all of a sudden i hear a loud clanging sound outside.  what was it you ask?  it was fucking church bells!  yes, there is a church across the street and they ring their bells every hour!  how is this legal?  i want to call 311.

but, it reminds me of a funny little story ... over the summer my friend and i went to the All Points West concert in new jersey.  afterwards we stayed at a friend's parents' house .  so we are all cozy tucking ourselves into the couches in the living room when all of a sudden a loud grandfather clock starts chiming.  and it wasn't just chimes, this thing chimed a bunch of times then played a little tune.  my friend and i look at each other in horrific despair.  "you don't think it will do that every hour, do you?"  oh no, not every hour.  not to fear ... this thing chimed every fifteen minutes!  somehow i was able to pass out and ignore the clock until about 6 am when i awoke feeling rather hungover and ill-rested.  then for some reason, my ability to not hear the clock was gone and i was awoken every 15 minutes.  then when we re-convened with the friend's parents and politely laughed about the Grandfather Clock Incident, they were all "oh, we forgot about the clock.  you should've unplugged it!"

needless to say, i cannot unplug a church.  sad but true.  how the world might be a better place if i could.  tonight's mission . . . . find ear plugs.

miss dewey d

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the trouble with bolsheviks

the trouble with bolsheviks is that they are always running off to visit other countries. bah! 

so after helping me move the contents of my apartment to various parental homes on long island, the bolshevik absconded to eastern europe to tour russia and the surrounding areas (as bolsheviks are known to do). 

you might be asking yourself, "self, i wonder when the bolshevik will return?  i mean, he and miss dewey d are moving to another continent."  well dear blog readers, the bolshevik will be returning home in mid-april, leaving only TWO WEEKS until we run off into the sunset to south america.

somehow, nomadic life isn't quite as fun without my partner in crime.  he's been gone over three weeks now and i'm starting to miss his zany antics.  only a couple more weeks until his return.   ahhhhh, bolshevik.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

as cute as howard hughes

i may have mentioned my paranoia regarding dust mites.  let me tell you a little something about dust mites ... they are microscopic organisms that feed on dead human skin.  they typically live in bedding and i am highly allergic to them.  gross.  totally gross.

so i come back from my week's vacation in brooklyn, and after just two nights of sleeping in what i neurotically assume is a bed invested with dust mites (i have washed all the bedding, including the pillow, and i have placed two sheets in the mattress in hopes that they create a barrier between me and the dust mites) i develop a bad sore throat and get all congested.  so then i stay home from work because i am feeling very yucky, but then i worry .... will i only get worse, staying in this dusty dust mite environment?

and that is when i decided that since there is no one else living here to witness my craziness, i shall wear a surgical mask to protect myself from inhaling dust and dust mites.  yup.  that's right.  i am one step closer to being howard hughes.  but to be perfectly honest, i think that it's working. 

maybe south america will have some sort of fabulous magical environment that is void of things that i am allergic to.

massapequa: land of plenty

couldn't help myself

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

chillaxin' in the pequas (part 2: invasion of the lumberjacks)

this morning i ordered a tea with milk and shuggah ... i must be back on long island.

This Week On Spare Room: A storm hits and there's a full house in Massapequa.

apparently while i was hanging out with my boys in sunset park there was a big storm out here and lots of trees fell down.  so i come back for week two on strong island and my ex-step-aunt (don't you just love it when i talk about my family?) is staying at the house because the power has been out at her place for several days.  so she's staying in what used to be her old bedroom, and my ex-step-father is staying in the master bedroom. 

one of my college friends was in from out of town, and he and i were supposed to go out.  i had this vision of us going out to one of the many depressing drinking holes in the neighborhood, places with names like sidekicks and gossip.  he calls me and tells me he can't find a hotel room anywhere because all these lumberjacks are in town to deal with the fallen trees.  yes, you heard me ... lumberjacks.  he said his typical hotel was filled with lots of burly men in red plaid and knit hats. don't we have local people that know how to do this?  we have to import people from washington state?  anyway.

so i'm sitting on one of the two twin beds in my bedroom and i'm telling my ex-step-father how it's too bad that all the bedrooms are taken because my friend could've stayed at the house instead of spending the night driving around in hopes of finding a hotel sans lumberjacks.

then my ex-step-father looks at the twin bed next to me, which i have been using to hold piles of clothes and books and assorted crap, and says "well why don't you just move all your stuff and let him sleep there."  he's so smart,  my ex-step-father.

so instead of a night out on the town where i run into people from my high school who have all gotten fat, my friend came over with beer and snacks and we all had a fun little sleepover.  just a typical day in the suburbs i guess.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

this week on Spare Room

my friend joe k. and i have an ongoing joke in which we discuss a fictitious reality tv show that we are going to create called Spare Room.  Spare Room is based on the spare bedroom(s) in my ex-step-father's house that have been inhabited by various people over the years, all with their own drama: people keeping the heat up so high that the bills increased by hundreds of dollars, people who ordered lots of on-demand movies on the TV without paying for them, people who somehow got into my ex-step-father's netflix account and increased the number of movies he could have out at once (without telling him of course).  etc, etc.  so far my only crime was an incident with pillows in the washing machine after a dust mite paranoia freak out.  but i digress ... it would all make for such great television!

so this week on Spare Room, miss dewey decimal decides she needs a break from long island living and travels to southern brooklyn to stay with two gay men!  what crazy hijinks will happen next?

Monday, March 8, 2010

chillaxin' in the pequas (part 1)

many of you fine people may be asking yourself, "self, where is miss dewey decimal living now that she gave up her apartment?"  the answer is ... massapequa!  oh yes, home of joey buttafuoco and such great cultural hubs as the sunrise mall.  it's all been very exciting.  i ride an LIRR train with commuters and i drive a car to and from the station!  just like a real suburbanite!

needless to say, i have been trying to spend as little time in massapequa as possible.  aside from sleeping, i have yet to spend any great lengths of time in the -qua.  one of the problems is that the house is very very spooky.  have i mentioned that i'm actually quite the scaredy cat when it comes to stuff like The Dark and being alone?  well i am. it's kinda sad.

so the house where i am residing belongs to my ex-step-father (please read: a who was once married to my mother but is not actually my father).  this house used to belong to his parents, and let's just say that they weren't big on modern decor.  so room by room my step-father has been refurbishing the house, pulling up fuscia carpeting, taking down metallic (motorized!) blinds, removing wood paneling, etc. 

right now he is remodeling the kitchen.  so when you walk into the house there are huge plastic sheets covering the entranceways to the living room, dining room and kitchen in order to protect the rest of the house from dust and debris and whatnot.  these plastic sheets are CREEPY!  and since my ex-step-father doesn't live in the house full time, more often than not i am coming home to a scary empty house.

if this were a horror movie everyone would be like "no, miss dewey decimal!  don't walk near the plastic sheet!  the killer is hiding behind it and he is going to stab you and your blood will stain the brand new kitchen tiles!" 

unbeknownst to my ex-step-father, i have gotten into the habit of leaving ALL the lights on when i leave the house so that when i return (hours later) i will be less freaked out to walk around.

i have also noticed that the house makes weird noises.  not just creaking noises, noises like there are people inside, walking around noises, things moving noises.  and then the other night ... i could've sworn i heard whispering.  granted, i was supposed to watch the latest episode of Lost that night (it was The Others!), but i am pretty sure it was not "just my imagination."

this may be a long six weeks.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

retired kicks

i do love new york city life.  looking back, there are two things i've always wanted to do.
1.  as a child, i always wanted to play in an opened fire hydrant.  i think i first saw this on sesame street, a bunch of kids running around through water being sprayed on the street.  i have since become adamantly opposed to this practice once i learned how much water is wasted when this is done (thousands of gallons of water!)  also, they used to do this on the street outside The Paradise, and they would flood the whole street since no one seemed to know how to shut the fire hydrant off, so it would be left on for HOURS.  i eventually got into the habit of calling 311 on them, and one time i even wrote in to Time Out NY after they irresponsibly published directions on how to illegally open a fire hydrant.  i now realize that the suburban alternative of playing in a sprinkler is much more eco-friendly, but sadly not as cool.

2.  i've always wanted to "retire" my sneakers on a phone line.  i find this practice fascinating.   and so, when i moved out of The Paradise to seek adventure in south america (but first a 6 week nomadic adventure between long island and brooklyn), i decided to retire my kangaroos out by the corner in front of the projects.  it seemed appropriate.  but let me tell you something dear blog readers, it is NOT easy to get your kicks up there!  i had to throw them several times, and then of course all the guys hanging outside the bodega had a nice laugh, giving me all sorts of advice on how best to throw my sneakers up in the air.   here's a helpful tip: you need to situate yourself directly under the wire.  then, holding one sneaker in each hand (sneaker laces must be tied together), throw the sneakers underhand with great force so that the laces will hit into the wire and then wrap themselves around it.  it's harder than it looks folks, i could barely throw them high enough, and when i got to the right height they typically were no where near the wire.  ultimately, it was the bolshevik who retired my kicks for me, but not for lack of trying on my part.

Friday, March 5, 2010

you may find yourself in another part of the world. and you may ask yourself, well, how did i get here?

i guess it all started with my beloved bolshevik losing his job, and deciding to travel the world instead of finding a new job.  but really it started on september 22, 2009.

it was the night of our one year anniversary, and i had my novel writing class until 10.  the bolshvik met me outside and tried to whisk me away to a late-night outdoor milkshake shop.  this didn't work out.  so i led us to a fancy hotel with a bar on the roof.  we got overpriced cocktails and reclined on a trendy bed-like couch.  we looked out at the skyline, and realizing we were out of our price range for another round, we went to veselka for pierogies and blintzes.

the next day i had off from work so we spent the day in the bronx zoo, walking around and looking at animals and being silly.  then we took a bus to city island and went to a restaurant with big windows overlooking the harbor.  we ate seafood and drank wine and cocktails.  and that dear blog readers is when it happened.

no he did not propose to me.  c'mon now.

the bolshevik looked at me with earnest eyes and said that he loved me, and that as much as he loved traveling, he hated being in amazing exotic far off places without me (hated may not be the word he chose to use).  it was no fun, he said.

and then he looked into my eyes and asked, "will you run away with me?"

and let me tell you dear blog readers, when bolsheviks ask you to run away with them the answer is yes.  the answer is always yes.

me and my man ... like two red pandas in a tree