My Master Plan to Shun Society and Become a Shaker in Maine

It's that time of year again! That blessed time of year when my little students turn into little petri dishes of DISEASE and their parents still insist upon sending them to school (teachers, am I RIGHT??). This is all a fancy way of telling you that I am sick yet AGAIN. I spent my recovery time watching documentaries about the Civil War and the Shakers. Damn, Shakers are awesome. Totally the best of all the slightly wackadoo utopian movements of the 18th/19th centuries (although I will accept arguments for the Oneidans and their tea kettles and FREE LOVE PARTIES... WHOOOOOOOO). Shakers had it all figured out- gender equality, acceptance of all others, communal sharing of property that WORKED... hell, if it wasn't for the whole celibacy thing, I could have gotten down with the Shakers. I like music, Jesus and diligent-bordering-on-obsessive attention to detail.
The best/worst thing about the Shaker documentary was this auction that they featured towards the end of the film of an 18th century Shaker chair that eventually sold for a grand. Those Shakers would be brandishing their fists angrily at those commodity loving capitalists if they weren't so peace loving. And dead.
Anyway, I highly recommend Ken Burns documentary on Shakers if you are the type of person who would be interested in watching a documentary about Shakers. I imagine it's a very specific subset. I think the main appeal for me lies in their orderliness and obsession with perfection. While I make no claims to orderliness, I admire people who have everything together (this is also why I'm obsessed with that store that only sells containers. You know, the CONTAINER STORE!). As for their obsessiveness, I have a couple of bizarre OCD like tendencies that I deal with on a semi daily basis, so I can relate. Nothing out of control like my brother (for whom leaving the room used to be a ten minute ritual), just bizarre little routines that for the most part go on entirely inside my head.
For example, at any given moment I am usually obsessing over a particular word or phrase. It will repeat mantra-like over and over in my mind unless something requires my full attention. Today that phrase was 'unsullied cargo pants.'
Unsullied cargo pants
Unsullied cargo pants
Unsullied cargo pants
It's a phrase of great beauty and dignity that was born out of opening a package that contained brand new gray cargo pants (the old ones were destroyed by the wax casing of a baby bell cheese that may or may not have somehow worked its way into the wash...). When I opened the package I yelled, "Hooray, unsullied cargo pants!!!" and a new mantra was born.
Anyway, I was hoping that by relating this story I could get the phrase out of my head, so we shall see, my friends. WE SHALL SEE.

PS: In addition to their mad dancing skills and their tremendous contributions to American architecture, Shakers invented the circular saw and the clothes pin amongst other things. THANK YOU, SHAKERS.
PPS: There are like 9 Shakers left (again, the whole celibacy thing... really a draw back, Shakers) and they're all living in MAINE. Bonus for those of us thinking of leaving it all behind for the Shaker life!!
PPPS: Can you imagine if I DID that?? If I became a SHAKER?? They are apparently on the internet so I could theoretically stay in touch with you guys if I decided to go in that direction.
  • Current Mood
    bouncy Shakery

Quick thoughts

Society will never progress till:

* Manufacturers stop referring to their products as 'flavor blasted'
* People stop referring to the Cubs as the 'cubbies'
* Women stop referring to their boyfriends as 'the boy'
* We all agree that 'the wave' represents the nadir of all that mankind is capable of

I will never progress till:
* I can complete projects in a timely fashion
* I can figure out the system by which my normally sweet, intelligent, eager to learn students use to decide which days shall be Anarchy Days in Pre-K. Seriously!! Is there some preschool social networking site that I don't know about? Because it's never just one kid it's ALL OF THEM.
* I can get over my love of true life murder stories on tv. If it's got the word grisly in it, COUNT ME IN. ...And then cuddle me for two hours while I obsessively check that the door is locked.
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    cold cold

Won't someone please think of the fish???

Things that excite me:

* The impending arrival of Halloween.

* The fact that there is a TV show entitled, "I Was Bitten." Try saying it out loud, it is a real treat! I WAS BITTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* This sentence I recently read: Edward II was murdered in 1327, allegedly “with a hoote brooche through the secret place posteriale.”

* Going to fancy, grown up restaurants every once in awhile. Last night, I dropped an embarrassing amount of money on dinner for two at a fancy-pants restaurant (THAT'S RIGHT, SUCKAS. I AM A MODERN WOMAN AND I PICK UP THE TAB SOMETIMES). This is a rare event, but damn is it worth it. It's easy to forget that food can be complex and subtle on my typical diet of ham sandwiches, corn flakes and pirate booty...

* My date for said dinner. The couple next to us were clearly on a very awkward first date, so after eavesdropping for awhile, we started one of our own. He, an assassin for hire, I, the ambassador to Zaire (I can't bear to call it the DRC). It was a much better first date than our neighbors were having.

* The menacing way in which my boss informed me that she owned the fish I bought for my class after I handed her a receipt for them. Lady, I was not going to fight you for them, but it's nice to know where we stand in case we break up. This eradicates the need for an awkward conversation about who gets custody of Yoda and Tickety Tock (actual names, picked by the children) when I leave my school.
  • Current Music
    Laughing With by Regina Spektor

It totally takes a village

Heyhey livejournal users!
I already posted this to facebook but I thought it couldn't hurt to post this here.
The new school year is coming hard upon us and I am trying to restock my classroom. Like most teachers, I am quickly going broke supplying my classroom! To that end, I am asking anyone who is so inclined to please consider donating an item or two to my preschoolers. I can't speak for these children, but if they are anything like my last class, they will be a bright, inquisitive bunch who deserve nothing but the best. In return for your help, I can offer you a heartfelt thank you and (eventually) a picture of the kids enjoying whatever item you donated. Thanks for reading!

Miss JuLIa
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    hopeful hopeful

Return to livejournal, Part 2: The Julia-ing

Well, well, well, look who's come crawling back to LiveJournal.
I haven't written on this in ages, but I am going to make an earnest effort to get back into it. I'm fairly certain that most people have abandoned their lj's for the greener pastures of facebook, but I am getting lazy with my writing and my hope is that this will whip me back into some kind of shape (or at least stave off pre-k brain for a little while longer).
So the big news is that Steve and I just came back from a quick vacation to Maine. It was so, so lovely. I wish I had words to describe everything to you. Even the parts of the state that aren't capitalizing on THE MAJESTY OF NATURE(tm) are breathtaking. Little towns (Bath), big cities (Portland)- they're all uniformly beautiful. In my part of New Jersey, it's easy to take everything for granted- houses are close together, highways are always five minutes away, you can't take two friggin steps without tripping over a mall, etc... There is beauty to found in Jersey to be sure, but you have to go out of your way to look for it sometimes. In Maine, beauty is constantly slapping you in the face with a stick.
For example, our first day we trekked out to Acadia National Park- quite definitely the most beautiful place I have ever been to. We visited a freezing cold beach surrounded by forests (damn, Maine, why are you so awesome?), climbed rocky cliffs overlooking the sea
AND took a really freaking cool hike at night which enabled me to combine my love of bats with my propensity for falling.
Bailey Island (a little sea town right next to the place where Steve grew up) was also gorgeous. We spent a lazy afternoon eating lunch on the rocks by the water, scrambling over the cliffs and getting attacked by a hugemongous seagull:
seen here
and of course here

So yes, Maine. I highly recommend it!

Also, I got to go on a pilgrimage to the home of my hero, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.

PPS: Also, there was beer.

Lots of beer:


and Julia
  • Current Music
    Bring Me Little wtaer, Silvie by the Wailin Jennys

Name That Emotionally Scarring Film!

Friends, I have a question about your childhoods and for obvious reasons, only you can answer it.
My question begins with a story. The other night, my father and I found ourselves stuck at LaGuardia for several hours while waiting for my brother's flight to arrive. The conversation turned to my childhood and a certain movie that I would watch over and over again: The Return to Oz. This movie scared the ever living crap out of me- so naturally, I watched it obsessively.
There are these gaunt, hyena laughing, freaky mask wearing men with WHEELS AT THE ENDS OF THEIR FREAKISHLY LONG ARMS that tell Dororthy they are going to 'tear [her] to bits.' There is an evil woman with like thirty severed heads that she changes as the mood strikes her who tries to imprison Dorothy so she can HARVEST HER HEAD when she comes of age. And probably worst of all, there is the fact that in the beginning of the movie, Aunt Em is taking Dorothy to a mother fucking INSANE ASYLUM because she won't stop talking about Oz. And this isn't a nice insane asylum either. It's a horrible place where inmates can be heard moaning in the basement and where they are going to use electro-shock therapy to zap all memories of Oz away forever.
Just Kidding.
Anyway, after my dad alienated most of the airport by doing a scene for scene reenactment of the most disturbing elements of the plot (oh, dad...), he admitted that Return to Oz freaked him out, too, and that in hindsight, it was probably not the most appropriate movie that a child of my age could have watched.
But while it undoubtedly WAS way too intense for a five year old, I'm GLAD I saw it then. In a weird way, I feel like that movie was an integral part of my childhood. It scared me enough so that my thoughts turned to it obsessively. I mean, hey, it's 20 odd years later and I'm STILL thinking about it

So how bout it? What inappropriate movie from your childhood still haunts YOUR dreams? What film (intentionally scary or not) scarred you for life/shaped you as a human being?

PS: Watch this clip from Return to Oz and try to tell me that it is not completely disturbing.

PS: Love what I do, hate where I work. AFSJSAKFHKADSHFSKA!
  • Current Mood
    stressed stressed
CB Wall

The Year in Review: Picture Edition



MARCH: History




MAY: Pride

JUNE: Children!

JULY: Learning experieces

AUGUST: Friends






Unfathomable mysteries/unfathomable fun

DECEMBER: Happiness
  • Current Music
    A Christmas Carol with Albert Finney

"Adventures... in... JULIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Can't Talk, Have to Kill Julia
Setup: So Wednesday evening was Steve's Christmas concert. Because I ran after care that day till 6 and the concert was at 7, I really had to book it. Now ordinarily I would have gone in my pre-k clothes, but Wednesday I got puked on for the first time by one of my students (joy!). Anyway, much to my embarrassment, I was late. I missed the first song and slunk in during the applause, making sure to turn my phone on silent as I did so.
JUST as the applause stopped, my cell phone went off. Apparently, I had miss-set my alarm for 7:15 PM instead of AM. Apparently, alarms still ring when your phone's on silent. Apparently, I am the world's biggest idiot.
And what's WORSE is that when it happened, I was so mortified that I just took my purse and ran out of the room. Until I realized that the phone was in my COAT, still making noise, forcing me to run back in and get that, too.
So recapping what happened at this concert: smelled like puke, came in late, disrupted the evening with a cell phone and ran out of the room. Twice.
PS: I also wore mismatching shoes.

Heck Yes, I Want Some Free Sangria!!!
Oh man oh man oh man. Right near the Greatest Cupcake Place in the World is a Peruvian restaurant. I have been trying to get people to go with me for awhile, but so far, no one has been up for the challenge ("don't they eat guinea pigs?"). So when Greg and I were looking for something to do Thursday night, I suggested the Peru place.
Holy Crow.
Food was amazing, portions were huuuuge AND they serve free pitchers of sangria Wednesdays and Thursdays. And it's not just free, it's DELICIOUS. Anyway, I highly recommend it (unless you have a sensitive tummy, I guess. Sorry Tor!!).
PS: No guinea pigs on the menu. Disappointing.

"Why Do You Doubt Your Senses?" "Be-because You're Carrying a Hello Kitty Lunch Box."
While doing my annual review of different version of A Christmas Carol (WHICH, fyi, in order of awesomeness are: Alistair Sim's version, Muppet's Christmas Carol, Scrooge! the musical with Albert Finney, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol and Reginald Owen's version. Don't trifle me with Patrick Stewart's, Kelsey Grammar's, Patton's or Mickey's takes on it. They don't even deserve to be ranked), I came up with a random memory that I thought would amuse you.
When I was in 3rd grade, I dressed up as Jacob Marley for Halloween. I painted my face white, wore a huge white blouse with a little black mourning coat, rolled up black pants to be knickers, and carried around some chains and money boxes. So that's pretty cute/disturbing depending on how you look at it. But the kicker is, I definitely carried around my pink hello kitty change bank as an accessory. That amuses me to no end. "OH NO! A dickensian ghost has come from beyond the grave to scare the crap out of me in the hopes that I will repent for my evil ways! I better do what he... wait. Is that... Hello Kitty on that change box? AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!"

HeyHey, from miss JuLIa

Hejjo Hejjo!!
Since I have been noticeably absent from the LJ community I thought I’d check in (also maybe because I'm avoiding making lesson plans and doing grad work...).

Work is still the best ever- I honestly have the best time there. I love my students. I love their bizarre interpretations of events, I love how serious they are about really dumb stuff, I love how they all have to scream "SAAAAAAAAAAAME!!! It's the SAAAAAAAAAAAAAME!" if two students have the same lunch/shirt/new haricut (which is basically like every day... moms like the yogurt and goldfish crackers), I love how some of them like to narrate their day (and how I can sometimes head off trouble before it happens because of it!), I love how they adore singing. I love when Eric does the monkey dance, I love when Sofia says, "yikes!", I love it when Audrey has a totally random melt down (like yesterday, I was drawing her Jasmine from Aladdin and she freaked out because I didn't include Jasmin's tail... wtf, woman?!?! Jasmine does not have a tail!).
Best. Job. Ever.

Why Yes, I DID Pay Entirely Too Much for This Haircut!
Prepare yourselves: I am about to say something very girly and un-Julia like. I am getting a fancy haircut tomorrow and I can't wait!!!!!! I usually go to a cheap place in Ridgefield (because honestly? My hair is up in a pony tail most times anyway), but not this time, suckers!! My favorite lady left and the rest of the stylists there are weird. As in, the men will hit on you. It's extremely uncomfortable. Anyway, I can't wait to pull a John Edwards and pay way too much for a haircut. I'll take pictures and you can tell me how not worth it it was! I can't afford to go to the dentist, but I can get my hair done for Steve's semi-formal thing (teehee... semi formal. I feel like I'm in highschool!)...

I am a Candy Whore
So yesterday I learned something very important about me: I will flirt with you for candy. There is this little convenience store near the school I work at and they have Sour Patch Kid Cherries. The BEST CANDY EVER if you are a Julia. Anyway, I am clearly the only person who buys them and they were running out. So I mentioned this to the guy at the counter and he promised to order them for me so that he would keep seeing my pretty face in the store. Normally, I'd freak out about a comment like that (ask Kyle about the time that a gas station attendant called me 'baby'), but this time, CANDY was involved so I smiled and thanked him. I am a candy WHORE.

The Return of the OCD Compulsions
Okay, so many of you know that I have some borderline crazy compulsions. My most notable one (well, for me at least because I have to live with me) is this bizarre thing where one word or phrase will play in my brain on an endless loop for hours for no reason.
Here are some words/phrases that I have been obsessing over lately:
* vituperation
* "couple in the coma"
* "kind of inclined"
* tubal ligation
* august (the word, not the month)
* perpendicular
* "Mid-Day Taco Date"
* vivisect

"When the Children Are Asleep" is Not as Sexy a Song as You'd Imagine...
Didja miss Carousel? Here are some nifty videos that just came in!

* "Mister Snow" = cutesiness overload. It will make you want to puke. It's long, so if you want, you can take a shortcut and start from 3:05. But then you'll miss Megan singing and she's ridiculously good.

* "When the Children Are Asleep." I don't really do anything notable in this till halfway through the song (except be sassy as HELL, suckas!), but it's super cute anyway. Plus, this guy is my idol. Best partner ever.
When the Children Are Asleep

* There's more on the various sites I just linked to. And those of you who know Steve may be able to spot him in some things. He joined the show after casting was over, so he's in the chorus, but if you hear someone singing with an amazing tenor, that's Steve!!
  • Current Music
    Star of the County Down

complacency = death

I went for my family.
I went for my friends.
I went for my god.
I went so I can look my future children in the eye and tell them I stood up to bigotry and inequality.
I went because I felt it was the right thing to do.

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Because MY god doesn't discriminate. Because MY god is a god of love.
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    tired tired