Saturday, June 28, 2008


Craigslist strikes once again and my baby "Salsa"is sold. The first (and probably the only) new car I ever owned. My present to myself for getting tenure.

On the one hand, I will miss it, I have had a car since I was 16, never been without one. On the other hand, I have had a car since I was 16 and am looking forward to living some place that allows me not to have to rely on my own vehicle.

My Pontiac Vibe, rated #6 by Economist magazine for top "green" cars sold in the US. I had the best gas mileage of anyone (accept the few with electric or bio-diesel ) I know and I only worked 6 miles from home. So... although I have relied on my own vehicle I have also been careful and aware to the best of my ability.

Mass transit from here on in baby, that and a bicycle are on my list of things to do in Valencia... there are other things on, my list that are far more exciting than that, but I am a firm believer in "the little things in life are what keep us going. :))

Holy guacamole!! I don't have a car or a job!!! Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

(Well I kinda have a job, I just don't have to go there for another 14 months.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Last Dayz

School's out....
The last day of school. Good-byes, good hugs, lots of love.
It feels good to be finished. It feels good to be surrounded by people who, although complain about it, love their job. We do amazing work and I am proud to be a part of that team.

Also, I am happy and grateful to get the hell away from there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

My friends will always be my friends no matter how near or far, I love them dearly.

I'm guessing I have listened to this song pretty much every year since I was in about the 4th grade... a tradition if you will.
Now playing: Alice Cooper - Schools Out For The Summer
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

To bring or not to bring??

After all the packing I have done, the downsizing of stuff in the last year, I sit here looking again. What to stay, what to store and what to simply get rid of? The "stuff" part was the easiest... almost everything went. Very few things have been stored as far as chachkas or knick knacks or what have you. Now it's all coming down to the final cut... the wardrobe, the clothes, the shoes, belts, hats, scarves, all of it... some of it??? Not to even mention art supplies, toiletries, educational materials, books, etc. This is the tough part. I tend to over pack as it is, "just in case" kinda thinking... Now I have to be very deliberate. Luckily it's summer, clothes are lighter and I can fit more into a suitcase... ok two suitcases, but one is really small.

Summer shoes are easier to pack than winter shoes, I shouldn't have to part with my favorite
s, right? I constantly remind myself that they have killer shoes in Spain... I mean I 'm sure I'll come home with more shoes than I left with, but how many should I leave with? I was pretty secure with 5 pairs, but then I had forgotten about this pair and that pair and what about the red ones and the little black ones??? Sneakers, something to hike in, something for interviews, dancing, going out, comfortable walking, whoaaaaa!!!

Is 8 pair too many??? ... I promise to try for less, but there are no guarantees with this particular issue.

Seriously though, it is strange where we focus our energy sometimes, I know this, yet I can't seem to help myself.

Almost everything is out of my room now. It's stark and the walls are bare. My dresser is all but empty and there are only a few items hanging in my closet. For at least the rest of today and tomorrow I can focus on having a good time and sayings, "see ya's" to my friends. It's kind of a lonely feeling, but not in a bad way... more like an alone feeling. There is still a lot to be done before I go, but everything is going as planned so far. My dear Reagan reminds me that it is all luxury problems or issues that I have to deal with, nothing I can't handle and nothing I shouldn't be grateful for.

The truth is I remain grateful for everything I have experienced this year, I am not sure I would have changed anything even if I could have.

Great song... And perfect for the occasion.

Now playing: Kirsty Maccoll - kirsty maccoll - in these shoes
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Notes to self....

My alarm clock broke the other day, I don't want to buy a new one here. Shouldn't that mean I don't have to wake up early anymore?
Two more days until school is over... one week until I leave. :)

I got two replies to the CV's (resumes)I sent out this weekend. One from a guy in Valencia who is from Buffalo and went to SUNY Albany.:)

Last night I was laying awake in bed for what seemed like forever. As I lay there I could smell the faint scent of perfume and couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Had someone been in my room, my bed? There has been no one here but me as far as I know. I decided to study some more Spanish since I wasn't sleeping anyway. When I opened my folder the smell got stronger and I still couldn't figure out why. Suddenly I realized it was from the envelope el hombre de Barcelona gave me.... I held it in my hand wondering, but didn't open it. Instead I wrapped a rubber band around it to remind myself not to be tempted. One more week until I can see what's in there. I'm intrigued.

Today was the last day I had to proctor Regents exams... no kids for me at all tomorrow or Thursday. Grades are in, paperwork notarized, all work related assignments completed and handed in... just a bit more cleaning and then... home free!!

Still though there is so much to do at home. Slowly, it seems, I complete each task. Poco a Poco; little by little I finish what needs to be and with each step there is a sense of relief. If only my car would sell... Craigslist don't fail me now!!

I am managing to stay pretty sane most of the time and writing more than ever, which feels really good. I look forward to a time when I can write more than a few words here and there in español... maybe someday even a whole entry with a link to babelfish for those who might like a translation... exciting.

I almost forgot the most exciting part... I got the address of the apartment I am renting for the summer in Valencia and the address of my school!!! I looked it up on google maps and they are only 3 km (<2 miles) from one another. It looks like the beach is only a little farther than that, but to the west instead of north/south. The coolest part was looking at the satellite and seeing places I recognized.

On a sadder note, I am already missing my friends. :-(

My comic hero

The end of an era!!! George Carlin, perhaps one of the most intelligent and hysterically funny men ever to walk the planet is gone. He is gone, but his humor will live on for generations to come... once they hit an age that you can let them hear his dirty mouth. Go ahead, click on the link... but make sure there are no kids around!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

¿Seré tan lo que?

I will be so what?

This past weekend:

After a dinner with my dad, my brothers and some friends Friday night at café española that was muy delicioso, we head to club to listen to some music. We were hanging out and dancing a bit when in walks this gentleman dressed to the "T" holding a guitar. I couldn't help but notice him and I had a hunch, so I asked, "Pardona Señor, may I ask where you are from?". He smiles wide and tells me Barcelona. I return the smile and say, "Really? I am going to be living in Valencia starting in two weeks!". Before I knew it, his arms were around me and I was getting a great, big, bear hug. "Momma" he says, ""You will be so happy, you will love it so much !!" He asks who I am with so I introduce him to my family and friends as he hugs each one with equal enthusiasm. I am beaming with glee and my whole family is looking at me like I am the nutty one. He speaks a few words to my "Papá" as he says and then goes over to his guitar case and pulls out some papers and puts them in a beautiful handmade paper envelope. The envelope in handed to Papá with clear instructions for me not to open it until I am on the plane. Papá accepts the envelope and hands it to me later.

I have it. I have not opened it, my dad checked it out, but didn't read it. I'm curious, but will wait. They say the best things in life are worth waiting for. I think I can hang in there a couple more weeks. Chau to the senñor in the club.

Next night, party in Kingston. I am reintroduced to a woman from the Basque country (northern Spain). Her name is Raquel and she is beautiful. A thousand hugs from Raquel who also spent a year of her life in Valencia. She gives me lists of places to go in and around the city We speak for hours. Dozens of times she says to me with extreme fervor, "You are going to love it so much, you will be so happy, you will die!!" Finally Reags chimes in, "Stop telling her that!!" Raquel somehow changes the subject to the Spaniards love for Oak trees and expresses more love for these tress than I have ever heard anyone express about anything in my life!! In her defense, it might have been the wine doing 'some' of her talking.

I love the passion, I love how it feels like no one is afraid to feel or to show it. Once again a weekend for which to be grateful.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Missing home.

I just noticed this post in my drafts and got a giggle out of it so I decided to post it even though it seems like it's from ages ago.

Two weeks until I leave my home and everyone I know to cross the ocean and experience something new. Something new? Well, lots of 'somethings' new I think. A friend asked me recently if I will be able to live without the American lifestyle things I am used to, or I guess for how long really. It made me think.

My first response would be, "Sure, no problem." The truth is I do not know, mostly because I don't know what I will miss. I won't miss typical American things like Walmart or McDonalds, I never go to those places anyway plus I can't stand that they even exist. I won't miss the crazy consumerism which no matter how hard I try and resist, I am still somehow a part of. Though, in my defense, I don't shop nearly as much as many of my fellow Americans and I don't shop on credit. What I buy, I pay for with cash. I might miss my car sometimes, but I feel so good about not buying gas and further polluting the world that I don't mind not having a car at all. It'll be nice to be a part of a world that doesn't depend on their own vehicle to get them places. So what American things will I miss I wonder.

Well of course there are my friends and family. My true friends will remain true whether an ocean divides us, or merely a neighborhood. My family will stick by me through thick and thin and we are so scattered these days anyway, it's rare that I get to see them at all. Though since I planned this trip I have seen all but one or two cousins in the past few months, not to mention my brothers, father and mother too (oh yes and my one and only aunt). Still though, I will miss them, it's true... most especially my girlfriends.

Everyone keeps saying to me don't worry you will meet some hot Spanish guy and you'll have a man in no time, as if this is all I am searching for. What I think I will long for the most is friendships, like the kind I have now only different because everything will be different. So how does a girl like me meet a girlfriend when she can barely speak the language? That remains to be seen. People who have known me a long time tend not to believe me when I say I can be shy, but the truth is I become shy in new situations when I care about the outcome. I tend to close up and over think things a bit... well, ok, maybe more than a bit.

Long before my separation, I have been trying to simplify my life. Selling things, giving them away, storing them in boxes in the basement that eventually were either sold or given away. I became so tired of shopping for something to do, though seriously, I was never as bad as most. My biggest downfall is clothes and shoes and I know women with far larger closets than I (though I have always had some envy of that). Even that has slimmed down drastically.

My job? Will I miss my job? My first response would be no way, but it is June and so I am burnt on the kids, the politics and the bull shit that goes along with the work that I do. I am very ready for a change there. I imagine, after sometime, I might get to a point that I miss it, but I am not totally convinced of that either.

The truth is only time will tell what I will miss, or not miss. The nice thing is, home will always be here because here is where I know I am loved.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My boys...

Throughout life there are so many changes, in love, in environment, in friends, jobs, attitudes, desires, dreams and more. One thing that will always remain true in my life is that these are my boys! May we always be there for each other.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I survived yet another fun-filled, hippie-dippy, freak-show,weekend... Ahhhh the memories!
Mountain Jam, Hunter Mountain, NY.

I considered paying for this costly event as there were a few bands I wanted to see, but luckily my friends were working a booth and invited me with them. Free tickets for camping and music for hanging out and selling beautiful Tibetan items, no problem.

The bands were good. Some better than others, but good. I finally got to see Michael Franti & Spearhead play. I have been listening to them for about a year or so, but more so the past few months. Their music is good, but their lyrics are great and that is what really moves me with this band (ok, that and Franti is so hot!!!). Franti speaks out about the war and the lying... he talks about truth and injustice. He motivates people to be aware, and God knows we need to be. When he did the song, "Time to Go Home" I felt like I was yelling for my younger brother and sisters to come back from their hell hole. I think of the students in my class and wonder how many of them will end up in Iraq if this chaos doesn't end soon. I teach them not to fight, to be aware, to question "the man". What if the man sends them away and undoes all that we have taught them? Use your head, not your fists... use more intelligent language than "Bush is a fucking dumb-ass"...(even if it is true)... these are the messages we try to send... what a contradiction to what they learn outside the classroom..

Anyway, I digress, I would personally like to thank Michael Franti & Spearhead for speaking up and helping people become aware and find a voice. While I wish there were more doing the same, I am grateful for those who are.

My countdown is on... less than a month before I leave :-O

Now playing: Michael Franti - Time to Go Home
via FoxyTunes