Tuesday, March 31, 2015

And So Chitunga Has To Say Good-Bye To Jen, His First Car Purchased From Hard Work and Determination. #WalkMyWorld

Over a year ago, I taught Chitunga to drive. He was a quick study and within two weeks he scheduled his driver's test. He had a bit of a shake-up during his last lesson when a woman in a Beatle came charging down her driveway and almost hit us. He reacted quick and she missed us by a hair. It startled him, and I thought it would impact his test...

...but it didn't. That's when I learned he purchased a car on the streets of Bridgeport...Jen...and it was his answer to finding more work and creating an identity for himself as a young man.

Well, Jen actually is what bonded us together, because Jen had her issues: a battery that would die out, a backdoor that never shut and had to be kept tight through seatbelt and bungie chords, and a breakline that could have killed him if he wasn't such a cautious, intuitive drive. He wasn't living with me at the time, but it was through these mishaps that the mentorship grew stronger. He moved in soon after, redirecting his life towards college, better employment, and a greater focus.

Still, Jen was a miserable set of wheels. He dumped more of his savings into her, but after this winter, he knew she only had a few weeks left. He stashed away cash for some time and was able to make a better purchase (we hope). It was sad, however, that the junkyard came to sweep Jen away. A boy's first car. A sense of pride. An impulsive testimony to adolescence.

But now my driveway is free from Jen's leaks, aches, and discontent. She's moved on to rustier pastures, but it was still a sad day for the kid. He sent this photo with an emoticon, a not-so-happy face with a tear.

I totally understood.

Monday, March 30, 2015

That Moment When He Does The Unthinkable - He Eats and Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich #WalkMyWorld @2015

As I walk my world this month (okay, I'm not walking)...As I sit in my world this month (more like lying down), I've regressed from the awesome eating habits I established last semester.

A few weeks ago, I cut out all carbohydrates, including bread, and was eating a purely fruit, vegetable, and meat diet.

This, alas, subsided when I resorted to quick and easy meals between moving and unpacking. Then, yesterday, I did the unthinkable. I saw Chitunga had left two slides of bread and I remembered I bought him jelly and I had an ol' container of peanut butter.

I am an ol' fashioned P, B, & J.

I really wish I could say that is was outrageously delicious, but it wasn't. It was simply average and a quick lunch before U of L threw in the towel in the NCAA tournament to Michigan. I'm not sure what depressed me more...their loss of the sandwich.

The good news is that I know how great it feels to be on a good eating routine and I promise myself it will return when I can get back to the pavement, my Sauconys, and my daily routine. In the meantime, I'm not with too much remorse that I am weak in my current state. I am an emotional eater and have no will-power when distressed.

So, I am cutting myself a break, singing Peanut butter Jelly time in my downfall.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Throwback to 2000 #WalkMyWorld Trip, 2015 - Cambridge University, Amy, Driving the British Isles and The Last Hoorah

From a writer's notebook (2000)

A hypothesis: 
  We're just birds...
   fluttering about with bags, dreams, and style,
     in sights the elder poets loved for a while,
           shoving this scene or that,
           getting fatter on beer, wine, and 
                        intellectual chat - 
                        in the British smiles of loneliness
                        i find so hard to record,
                              yet horde away
                              to the younger days,
when i found the way to spark a life
      less lived
              back home.....

So, this summer,
      i roamed, my travelers and me,
         free to see,
            reality, 
               spontaneity,
                    curiosity,
                        karmic compatability...
                   in the view of an English landscape
                   that skips across my heart...

so, where do you think i should start?

I was 28 and I traveled with Amy. I woke up this morning singing Evan Dando's Frying Pan and remembered the summer she and I sojourned to Europe, through Denmark, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, until we ended up in our flats in Cambridge during a summer of Shakespeare scholarship.

I recorded everything in a poem from that summer, capturing a hoorah before we both stepped into adulthood and would leave some of our zestful youth behind (she, a singer with King Kong, the Louisville rock band formed in 1989 - me, a wanna-be writer obsessed with emptying the ocean with a fork).

This is the first time I've ever seen a video to go with Dando's song. Rather, Amy and I both made each other travel music for our journey (remember cassette tapes?) and we played them non-stop as we drove by sheep, oceans, rocks, landmarks, pubs, and history. Fifteen years later, I am having this flashback (I could spend the next year reflecting on this once-in-a-lifetime experience).

It was the first time I shaved my head, too. My international driving license says it all.

Another.

Dear Shakespeare,

i've been kissing the years, so long ago, goodbye,
    that have lied within me, in the heart,
       hoping to start all over again.

because my memories did not end at that time,
   but unraveled within me, like a primrose
        upon the that hill...
        ...and being here again
           gave me that chill not just from the English frost....

Simply. Whoa. Where does it all go?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cards in Cuse, Calling For Snow Today, and Ice In The Crotch - The March Saga Continues and It is Total Madness #WalkMyWorld

I'll be honest. I've not been my usual nutty self this year when it comes to basketball, tournaments, and frenzied neuroticism. Part of me knows it was because of the move and another part realizes it is because I'm filling in for colleagues at the University covering territory I normally don't.

It is March. Trust me, I'm mad, but I'm nowhere near the fanatic I usually am. Rather, I am in pain and today they are calling for more snow.

Yes, for real. More snow.

With that noted, I was thankful to see Kentucky blow out Virginia on Friday night and for Louisville to prevent NC State from advancing in the Dome --- both teams giving me a reason to look forward to tomorrow. Of course, as long as Duke is still in, it is always fun to cheer on any team they are playing in hopes they will be knocked out. I simply can't stand that school --- no reason why (well, I have my reasons).

And I successfully had a low-key day. I wrote a book chapter and an op-ed I hope will make it to print next week. I didn't go to my office, which is very unusual for me as I'm a bit compulsive about routines and obligations.

But this month I'm walking my world and this includes special attention to brackets, upsets, predictions, and sport. Then, when it ends, the focus become barbecue, 5Ks, and summer programming. That is, of course, upon post-surgery recovery.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Walking My World, I Found Myself Here - a poem to celebrate the #WalkMyWorld Movement 2015 (While Laid Up)

Typing from my bed, while walking in my head, pre-surgery and taking it easy as the doctor said i should do. 9 months is gestation. 9 stanzas give birth to where i've been.

i.

i took first steps near Utica,
chasing Big Bird dreams with
imaginary friends, monsters,
and cookies...
  ... a pirate ship and matchbox cars,
      playdough, and puzzles.

a world for me to walk,
as i learned to talk
putting one step
in front of the other.

ii.

they taught me to hopscotch in Cicero,
run the bases and throw the ball.
spring across Duncowing with footballs
while whizzing wiffleballs against a fence...
such mesmerizing movement
until Mr. Finster in crutches and wheel chair
taught me to move with my mind.

i learned to walk with words.

iii.

he told me one day my mouth would get
me into trouble.

adolescents run fast
before they falleth

and whiskey wouldn't help either.

i walked a world in mischief and curiosity,
too dumb to understand complexity and
too young to enjoy the simplicity in it all.

but i walked and learned,
having to pick myself up from the ground first.

iv.

they walked into my mind. writers and poets,
thinkers and philosophers.

we became another generation of artists.
walking to create our worlds.

Binghamton.
London.
New York City.
Bars,
clubs,
libraries,
and first homes.

the real world debuted on MTV.

v.

i ran with horses, bluegrass and fireworks,
a thesis and portfolios, discovering
the pastiche of brown.

i walked with Sue, a friend, who mentored
most of what i currently do and will be with me
until the end, as i learned to
listen to youth for the worlds they wanted me to know.

we stepped on beaches in St. Augustine, stepped onto
rafts in Beargrass Creek, and let wind of Danish
Fjords sail alongside our growing perspectives.

and they wrote. i wrote. Our worlds mattered.

vi.

they relocated, historical feats,
from refugee camps in Africa
into classrooms of American schools.

they taught me that soccer is everything,
and everything is the opportunity they
once didn't know existed.

i walked beside them while recording their words,
rationalized post-colonial politics in a
nation of super stores, minivans, and plastic surgery,
making peace with research,
preferring the mind of a poet.

vii.

i need an urban world, i told them,
where i can walk with youth
too often forgotten on the tracks and roads
most know.

i need teachers, a project for writers,
and hope to do good work despite the
institutions that turn our legs into concrete.

from a car window driving along the Sound,
i saw the checkerboard of privilege and poverty,
the chasm and gaps of a hypocrisy,
and realized i was walking into my future.

viii.

he walked into my English course
ready to play football.

he spread his wings
and told me he wanted to fly.

i promised my support
if he continued to try,
which he did.

an eagle in search of a home.
now, through mentorship,
the two of us roam
towards meaning and understanding
of a complicated world,
somehow swirled and twirled with one another's guidance.

ix.

and i find myself here.
immoble.
still noble.
ready to
move another foot
in front of the other
while lying still
for the first time in my life.

next week a knife,
recovery, but soon more walking
and discovery
as everything evolves at exactly the right time.






Thursday, March 26, 2015

#WalkMyWorld (in Clown Shoes) - Celebrating Online Communities Through Blogging and Cracking Up, 2015

For the next month, my 'walking' will be limited thanks to Henry, the post-hibernal hernia caused from moving into a new house. Even so, I hope to let my fingertips do the tapping, sprinting, leaping, and walking as I participate in the #WalkMyWorld challenge!

I imagine that my life will be laid up over the next ten weeks, especially after Henry is sealed up and removed, but that won't stop me from using my mind to narrate the world I would be walking if I could! I will miss my daily runs, the trips to the gym, the easy ways of climbing up and down stairs, and my manic movement of accomplishing this or that task. Even so, this is a great opportunity to keep my mind alive (and laughing) in the tradition I've set for myself this year.

Curious about the task at hand?

The following was written by W. Ian O'Byrne, a colleague in literacy, media, and digital communication, who posts the following:

COME JOIN US FOR THE 2015 VERSION OF THE #WALKMYWORLD PROJECT

We’d like to invite you to join us for the 2015 version of the #WalkMyWorld Project. The project is a social media experiment in which we connect, collaborate, and share online.

So what does this all mean?

Over the next ten weeks, we would like you all to share (once a week) with us a “walk” in your “world.” There really are no rules to this challenge. The only real “rule” to this challenge is that we ask that you share this publicly on Twitter, and include the hashtag (#WalkMyWorld) in your post. Each week we’ll share a prompt and some collection of text to help guide us. The prompts will all be shared here on the project website.

Who is this for?

You. Are you interested in learning how to use Twitter? Are you interested in connecting and learning with others online? Are you interested in having fun? Thinking about how to build up your digital identity? For all that and more…come join us. Lurkers also welcome. :)

Be thoughtful in your posts

Please keep in mind that in this work you are openly posting information to the Internet. I believe that it is important that we educate, empower, and advocate for the use of digital texts and tools as a literacy. I also believe that teachers and students should think critically about how they create and curate their online brand. That being said…I want you all be thoughtful, and careful as you select what to share online about yourself. Please do not post or share anything that you feel does not represent you in the best light.

Play…and then share

In this challenge, you are playing with, creating, and sharing digital content in online spaces. The key element here is to have fun, connect, and experiment with the digital texts and tools. Be sure be thoughtful and protect yourself as you share online. Be sure to include the #WalkMyWorld hashtag in your posts. Include yourself on the #WalkMyWorld Map by pinning yourself to the map.
Please visit the #WalkMyWorld project site to learn everything and anything you want about the project.
This first week is our “slow start.” This is meant to get everyone on to Twitter and sharing. Create a Twitter account and come follow me, and others in the project. We’ll get rolling next week!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

And It's Not a Tracing, But I Do Have a Diagnosis. I Was Right. Henry is Scheduled To Be Fixed.

I'm not supposed to laugh, but the doctor illustrated what actually occurred. My type of hernia is the result of a period of time when sex organs descend, leaving a weak area in which intestines sometimes pull through. She asked if I recently lost weight and I said I had, and she said this can weaken the area (which I thought was interesting). It didn't help that I moved during three snow storms, shoveled like a madman, and succeeded in the transition in a week.

The doctor was a runner, so she totally got the whole, "I need to get back in a pair of sneakers" thing. She did say that it would be six weeks after the procedure, but she might grant me permission to speed walk after the fourth week.

Now, the doctor did the drawing in pen, so I used Sharpie to darken the lines so I could send them to my mom and sisters. The Sharpie bled through, however, and I stained my desk. I had a moment of panic that it would be there permanently, but rubbing alcohol saved the day.

What I wasn't prepared for was the interruption while sitting at my desk with ice healing Henry. The door was shut except for a tiny crack and I had a guest! Lucky for me, everything was under the desk and I was leaning in such a way that nothing looked unordinary. I was statuesque, however, hoping I wouldn't move and embarrass us both. From now on, the door gets closed all the way.

Pam wondered if the doctor did a tracing and I replied, "No. The drawing looks like a single cow udder."

I wonder what the doctor thought, however, when I asked if I could keep her drawing. I did tell her I write daily and I needed the drawing for a scrapbook. She consented. But told me I'm not to lift anything over 10 pounds. How much does a beer or glass of wine weight? Exactly. I think I'm good.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Looking for The Perfect Cartoon For Visiting The Doctor Today. Knowing I'm An Uncle.

"It's nice to meet you! I'm what your uncle has."

Okay, it's not official yet, but I'm 99.9% I self diagnosed correctly and Henry, the pain and lump in my pelvis, is truly what's going on. I went to an emergency care and they found nothing. A week later, this has to be the 'case' that they gave me.

And it's painful. It's awkward. It's annoying. And it's not going away.

At 11 a.m., I hope to know what is actually going on and what the medical world can do about it.

I've realized from the last two weeks how much exercise, movement, physical routine, and energy mean to me. In some ways, it is synonymous of the person I am, and now that the pace has totally been thrown a monkey wrench, I feel like my universe is inside out and backwards. I can't think straight. I'm confused about what needs to get done and how. I have new angst and anxiety. And I'm stressing in ways I've never know possible.

All because of Henry. So, nieces and nephews. This is what your uncle has (he thinks). By the end of the day I hope to know more about this guy and what we can do to put him back in his place.

I'm hoping, too, that a procedure can be scheduled right away. Washington was cancelled. Toronto was cancelled. I really don't want to cancel classes or to fall behind in my work.

Existential crisis? It is true. We are only as strong as our bodies and when they shut down, everything we know about ourselves as human beings shifts. I'm unsure who I can be when I'm not 110% hyperactive.

This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass.

It's Not That His Eyes Are On The Sparrow, But That All These Sparrow Eyes Are Watching Me When I Wake Up

I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free, 
His eye is on the sparrow
and I know he watches...
   ...he watches me. (Lauryn Hill)

While living in Syracuse, the Northstars performed to the song, "His Eye Is On the Sparrow," a faith-oriented hymn borrowed from many renditions of a Christian song that reminds human beings of the miracles of life and how complex mother nature is in relation to the vast Great Whatever out there. A colleague at Syracuse University sang the song to me one day in my truck and she explained how special the song was to her church. She grew up in the Baptist south and the way she sang it gave me chills. 

So, when I moved into the new house and woke up the first day with several sparrows looking down at me from the great windows (I've never owned a home where I slept on the second floor), I was a little impressed. Hello, little guys. Glad to see you today. Do you like my new home?

But then my neighbor came over and said, "The first thing you'll need to do in that house is get rid of the sparrows. They think they own that home because no one has lived there for several years."

Um, okay.

That's when I noticed that it wasn't a few sparrows, but flocks of sparrows that use my house as an airport. Yesterday, with the sunshine, too, I also recognized how horny the sparrows were. They were mating on my car, roof, telephone wires, porch, snowbanks, and driveway. They were definitely in the mood (tweet tweet). They also began making nests in my gutter.

I thought, "Great. Not only are the Eyes watching me, but they are turning my home into aviary bird porn. It's like a XXX theater of feathers and beaks." Their eyes are on me because they think my house is their tree, their Ibiza, their Vegas, and their honeymoon suite. They want me GONE!

I went online to Google and asked, "how do I get rid of sparrows?" I started laughing because there are all sorts of ways to get rid of such birds (Google it) and many of the suggestions are sick, demented, and out of their minds. I don't want to get rid of them. I simply want to co-locate with them or have them move towards the woods where they belong. I can go with the fake owls, but I don't think I will work with sonic noises, poison, electric wiring, sticky tape, zappers, or cats. 

Battling sparrows is battling God him or herself. That is not my intention. I'd rather groove with the way The Great Whatever jives. If it must be sparrows, so be it.

And with that, I admit, it's nice to have them watching me when I wake up, singing their slight cheer to welcome spring. It's all good. Something will work its way out.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Without a Doubt, This Never Happened Last Night. I'm Afraid to Admit that I Was An Old Fart.

Remember the days when you looked at the clock and it was 9 p.m. and you thought to yourself, "Hmm. I need to shower and get ready to go out?"

Last night, 9 p.m., I looked at the clock and thought, "Shit. I'm ready to hit the pillow."

True story, that.

I watched Fairfield University lacrosse beat Villanova (which was awesome) and followed it up with NCAA basketball tournament time. I prepped for classes, ate another round of spaghetti (my meatballs are awesome), and did a lot of reading. Earlier in the day, I helped Chitunga bring reconciliation to the engine light that came on in his new car and also watched several YouTube videos to help me think through the ways to push the sump pump release of underground water away from the house...it was minor hernia pressure.  I even had a sip of American Honey whisky, but when I saw it was 9 p.m. I said, "Jeez. I think it's time for bed."

Gone are the days of bar-hopping. Absent are clubs, parties, midnight adventures, and whacky experiences. These moments are replaced with, "This rocks. I can go to bed and attempt to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Woot Woot."

Chitunga worked a double, so he was gone from 9 a.m. until 1 a.m. (and I remember those days, too). The house is quiet. I'm rather trapped by what I can do physically, and so a bath and early bedtime it was.

Guilt? Of course. Missing the old days. Sometimes. But I'm perfectly fine with an opportunity to chill out.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

In The Sick and (Intestine) Twisted Mind of Crandall After The First Day of Spring. Yup.

Truth #1 - I have spent the last two weeks reading voraciously about groin injuries and hernias. I've become obsessed, and after a doctor informed me he didn't see anything wrong, I took that as a sign to go for a 9 mile run. The next day, I learned his clearing was not so good. The pain returned.

Truth #2 - The pain has become worse. I am now very aware of the way I walk. I feel like a man riding a horse. The spurs dig into both thighs, and cattle-prod electric shocks down my leg.

Truth #3 - There is more than 4 inches of snow that fell on the first day of Spring from this storm - one that cancelled afternoon activities all over southern Connecticut. I didn't shovel, however, because I can't. Chitunga shoveled and I am very thankful for him and his support. The fact that I didn't shovel is an indicator of how I really am taking care of myself.

Truth #4 - Chitunga's car died. He got a new car, however, to replace it - one he's been saving his money to get. Within two minutes of having it in the driveway, the check engine light came on. Connecticut does have lemon laws, though.

Truth #5 - The real writing I want to do on a blog post I can't because of my professional obligations to the university. Writing about my intestines is safer than sharing the truth about what goes on in the academic and professional world and what faculty members, teachers, and workers actually endure and experience. Being zip-lipped is easier. A hernia is kind.

Truth #6 - Because of the snow, I thought it would be smart to make meatballs to go with my lifetime supply of tomato sauce. I am good at making meatballs and channel Butch and Sue in CNY. I put hot sausage in with the beef, and it is fun squeezing the pork out of the intestinal wraps that hold it all together. I learned this from them.

Truth #7 - Anyone who has ever paid attention to Crandall (this would be my mom, my two sisters, and sometimes my dad), knows how much I despise/hate/detest/ and avoid medical facilities. It is much easier to take care of my own business and move on than visit a doctor.

Truth #8 - It is probably not a good idea to reenact what a hernia looks like when one has a self-diagnosed hernia. Simply put, pushing meat out of the intestinal pork-bind is exactly what, I imagine, is going on inside my pelvic area. While making meatballs, I had a brief stint with, "Oh, I just might pass out. This is sick." But then I started cracking up. It made me laugh.

Truth #9 - There are two things doctors suggest not doing at home until a hernia is treated: (1) coughing and (2) laughing. Making meatballs with hot sausage and thinking about my own body as packaged links made me laugh. It made it worse.

Truth #10 - I have a doctor's appointment Tuesday, the earliest I could get. I have backed out of my DC trip on Wednesday, submitting to the fact that I am human, that I actually DO have to take care of me, and that now is a better time than ever before to get help. There will be no door to door legislative knocking for Crandall in Washington this year. My crotch can't handle it.

And with that, I am blossoming like a field of crocuses and daffodils. I am submitting to a weekend of ice packs, bed, couches, books, baths, and a hope I can make it to Tuesday. I am not loving the sedentary life and feeling more lethargic and fat by the second.

I've also learned that my colleagues are referring to me in terms of, "Does anyone know how Bryan's little hump is doing?"

Little hump.

This goes well with alliteration because I already named the Hernia, Henry. Henry the hernia hump. I therefore think I will have one helluva post-Henry the hernia hump house-warming party when the time is just right.

Friday, March 20, 2015

And In the Middle of the Book of Job, An Air Brusher Comes To Town With Banners

Because the Fairfield University Stags Lacrosse Team is getting a state-of-the-art stadium (and are in position to have a tremendous season), air brush artists were on campus to make banners for free. In between meetings (and groin pain), I decided to check it all out. The dudes made me these - one for me, of course, and the other for Chitunga's room. The third, which they did by surprise, is on my door in the office. It's a caricature of me, my hair, my glasses, and my plaid shirt.

I'm hoping that today is a better day than yesterday (although I was happy to get graffiti for my wall). Let's just say work is at an all time high level of stress, I need to get on top of this moving-in injury, and the grey cloud that follows sometimes chose to hover a little to closely for my liking.

I'm an optimist, though, and expect the best.

With that noted, I already forewarned colleagues I am to meet in DC that if I can't get in to see a doctor until next week, I need to set that as a precedence over my national work. That's not my style, but I will be no good for the work to come if I don't have legs to use and a brain that isn't squirming from the sharp pangs of a potential hernia (I am not trying to think about it because it really is a gross occurrence).

I am looking up to the Great Whatever with all my might that it can rustle up the galaxy for more positive energy.

This, too, shall pass. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Corny Beef and Cabbage Crandall - Celebrating St. Patty's A Day Late and With a Bit of Reluctance

The Ripley part of me hopes to tap the Irish-ness of my ancestry, but I must admit, I am not a tremendous fan.

Now, I love my potatoes and I am somewhat okay with the beef - I do love Sheppard's Pie, but the whole corned beef and cabbage celebration of the St. Patty's Day tradition has me a little apprehensive. Still, Pam does the Irish right with her Italian ancestry and I couldn't resist an Irish meal in Monroe last night.

Guiness. Check. Smitwicks. Check. Jameson. Check. But the food part, I'm a little cautious.

Still, last night's meal did right by me and the one tiny glass of Bailey's cream hit the spot. Yet, the famine seems to be favorable for Irish delicacy eater. I did my part, however, and endured and I'm a better man because of it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Thinking About Humanitarianism In Relation to The Government's Role In Schools: Just a Couple of Thoughts.

I am channeling Quartez Smith, a student from the Brown School, who spent his senior year researching altruism as he tried to come up with an answer of whether or not looking out for others is ever a sincere act or a selfish deed. He drew from his lived experience and many who helped him to put into question whether their intentions always had his best interests in mind. He concluded, in the end, it was up to him as an individual to make the decisions to save himself and to do right by him. All humanitarian work is actually a selfish act, he decided. The performance and kindness of others were a guiding path in his life, but to reach human excellence, he had to pave the road himself. Of course, as an American-born young man, he was afforded privileges, even when he faced obstacles that many will never know.

Maybe this is why reading Empire of Humanity:  A History of Humanitarianism had me thinking last night. Michael Barrett accounts for 200 years of Humanitarian work and wrestles with what it means to do right by human beings. Most well-intended action occurs because of the financing of affluent, and powerful, institutions.

This made me think about about the recent Common Core State Standards, the SBAC, and state of testing-frenzy in American schools. In theory, holding kids to high standards, excellence and academic integrity is smart, ambitious, and necessary. The trick to this becomes, sadly, that the very institution that causes the tremendous achievement gaps in the U.S. are also behind the decisions that are putting forth the tests that haunt American public classrooms.

The very monster testing schools is actually the same monster that causes the huge academic disparities. Their monstrosity is a part of the problem, and although they are working to fix inequities, their nature also causes these inequalities. It's terrible, but the truth.

This puts into question whether or not government, as a guiding institution, is ever capable to do what is right by the needs of the people, especially when large dollar signs can be accrued by doing such work (and the greedy are quick to respond). Rather than really helping the teachers and students who need the most investment of curriculum, financing, and better instruction, those with a means (and eye) to make money become the very people who step in and sell their wares to politicians and, eventually, schools (read charters, TFA, and textbook companies).

Barrett shows a number of examples when well-intended humanitarians have swallowed their tongues because the hands who allow them to do the work that they do often have political reasons for doing as they do. This results in a lack of criticisms and the inability to speak up when speaking up in needed. Souls are sold to the devil and, WOLA! harm is created (as evidence, look at Bridgeport Public Schools state-mandated leadership through Paul Vallas).

I am thinking of teacher unions in Connecticut, too,  who recently put their endorsement behind a governor whose platform has been to undermine the public education system as it exists (most recently - this week - through Bridgeport's announcement of another Steve Perry charter school. Seriously. In the name of doing good for poor communities, the poor communities are undermined).

None of it makes sense. The impoverished individual at the end of receiving 'aid' and 'assistance' is the one who is detrimentally impacted in the end. And this is where my thinking is while reading humanitarianism on the larger scale. Does such work - tied with bureaucratic underpinnings (with pockets also interested in sustaining their own capitol and funding) ever do right by the very human beings who are in need of assistance most?

At this point, I'm unsure.

And I'm cynical. I'd laugh, but it is infuriating.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It Was 1995. I Was 23. A Long-Haired Hippie Finishing My Teaching Certification and Putting Together A Portfolio

Last night with graduate students, I outlined the portfolio process that is their semester - that is, the collection of their student-teaching experience and ability to meet the required assignments set by the State of Connecticut and Fairfield University. As I was preparing the presentation, I couldn't help but recollect that I, too, had a portfolio.

Sure, 'nuff, it was right behind me on one of my shelves...from 1995. I used comic sans font. My thinking was vague. Most of my entries were vague, but the creativity was oozing from every page. I was 23 and full of life (in fact, while student teaching I also wrote a novel, Yucca, based on my imagination and an albino squirrel from the University of Louisville's campus).

And then I found the VHS. Similar to the requirement of my student teachers, I had to document 60 minutes and reflection of my own teaching. It was a VHS, so I knew I wouldn't be able to view it, but leave it to a Jesuit, parochial university to still have chalk and VCRs in every room. I couldn't help but pop in the tape.

Um, no. Not a good idea. My hair was all the way down my back and my voice was even squeakier and more immature than I remember. I was trying so hard to look like I knew what I was doing and it was obvious I was performing for the camera. In other words, it was torture to view. I lasted 10 seconds and shut it off. I now want to find the courage to watch the whole thing.

I'm not from the video generation like my niece, Nikki, who has video footage from every milestone of her life. I think that is why it is so weird to suddenly see a variation of who you once were suddenly appear before your eyes. I wish I could say I cracked up. Rather, I tucked deep within my shell and murmured to myself, "pathetic."

Yes, it is torture to mandate video and video reflections of student teachers. I hated it then, and I feel bad assigning it now. It's just gross...necessary, but gross.

Monday, March 16, 2015

I Love @NikkiIsgar, and Wish I Could Have Been in CNY to Support her Mini-Performance/Fundraiser for the Brigadiers!

video
My sister sent me this video of my niece from their Sunday fundraiser in Syracuse where members of the Brigadiers winter guard (destined for a successful season) performed solo, three-minute routines to entertain their parental and familial audiences. I was fortunate to see her perform with the rest of her crew a couple of weeks ago, and if I can get on top of my game, I hope to lend my support at the northeast regional next Sunday.

It is amazing to me to see her growth, dedication, commitment, and hard work as she completes her college freshmen courses and tries to find a way for herself in the world. I know that her carrying forth of the Northstar, now Brigadier, tradition has made my sister, my brother-in-law, my parents and myself proud. We love Nickerdoodles - always have and always will.

My own memories of being her age are clear, crisp, and on the radar. I think as an 'aging fart' it is rather miraculous to know that she's on the road to find out as we were at that age. We wish her the best and have nothing but pride for who she is becoming and is meant to be.

Keep up the excellence, Nikki. If nothing else, you bring tears to Papi Butch's eyes and that is worth its weight in gold. You are the golden niece of the Crandall/Isgar/Barnwell class. All love, everyday and for always.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pumpin' the Melting Snow is Sump'ting Else. There Must Be a Metaphor In There Somewhere. Gush. Wash. Swish.

The house is large. I admit that. My neighborhood is up on a hill and away from watersheds, rivers, and beachfront property. Still, I am hearing the gushing of water on the side of my house and read online it is because the sump pump is doing its thing and draining out the water that is trickling below the surface of the foundation.

Now, I know I have a sump pump, but I am surprised that there's that much water that trickles below the ground. I guess with all the snow of this season, it is par for the course (as my neighbor's houses are doing the same thing). I am thankful that the machine is working, although I can't imagine that water goes that much below the surface. The basement is desert dry. I guess this is why people have such devices in their homes.

At first I was like, "Does this house not have drainage to the town lines?" The gushing was that loud. Then I read up and learned what was actually going on. Now I'm wishing that I could get a sump pump for my brain to drain out all the excess liquids that plague my imagination, worries, and manic tendencies. How cool would it be to have all the excess garbage removed from the noggin', especially after a long winter of being cooped up inside?

I'm writing from the second floor of my house and haven't had a bedroom above ground level in any of the homes I've owned. Now I am mesmerized by home construction and how someone had the foresight to place a pump underneath the surface of what I can see (man...wish I had that at the Eastman property as that is what did me in when I moved to Connecticut).

We always think of the damage that comes from ice and storms, but not what happens when everything melts. It's a lot of water and the Weather Channel reports water can be the most dangerous natural element there is, especially when it moves with great force (e.g., a tsunami).

Yet, when I hear the gush of water being poured out from underneath I am thinking that this home is floating on a moat. I'm not sure I've ever had such a thing in any of my other properties.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

It Was 40 Degrees! Of Course, I Had To Kick Out My BBQ For Some Grub (and a little birthday party)

On Friday of my spring break "vacation" I opted to work out of my house to get some writing done and to finish putting rods up on all the windows. I got a run in (pain included) and chose to pull out the grill (which needed to be cleaned, rewired, and coerced to work), but I roasted vegetables and steak/sausage for the week (well, a day or two with Chitunga in the house).

I definitely have a BBQ-type house and that is what I hope will be the spring/summer on Mt. Pleasant.

I also attended Daniel Trust's 25th birthday party and made the connection that he and his classmates were the class of 2008 (It's '08, A'ight). I left Louisville in 2007, so the juniors kept behind for their senior year were not under my watch (which is a regret to this day, because I loved these kids). I felt sort of redeemed, however, meeting with Trust and his classmates knowing they, too, were a part of that magical year.

It is interesting to me to know that Daniel Trust would have been a junior entering his senior year when I left the bluegrass state. Of course, he was a Rwanda genocide survivor relocated to Bridgeport, Connecticut - a man who would commit his efforts to providing opportunities to young people like himself who wanted to find a better life through higher education.

Attending his party reminded me of my 25th year in Louisville, as I was finishing my student teaching and about to embark on a second Masters from the Kentucky Institute of Education and Allied Professions. I hated my 20s, as so much of the self-definition was in a flux of who I thought I was going to be and who it was I was actually becoming. Heck, it took until my 30s to realize my role as a classroom educator with a drive to do the work it is that I do. Even at 37, when I began my doctorate, I was still on the road to find out what it is, actually, I am meant to do.

Shoot, I'm still trying to figure that out.

And so, this morning I will transition myself back to teaching and preparing work for the annual spring meeting for the National Writing Project in DC. I think home ownership, once again, has me in a bit of a quandary about being an adult and investing my income into permanence and sustainability.

I will not worry, though. If I did, I wouldn't be where I am today (with the decades of memories behind me). Happy Saturday. It's March madness. There must be a game on somewhere.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Peggy Cracks Me Up. She Does My Taxes and She Has the Best One Liners and Sarcasm In The World.

When I moved to Connecticut I met Peggy at H&R block down the road from where I lived and I've always loved working with her.

"Oh, no," she says when I arrive. "Not you again. Mr. Smarty Pants, Try to Save Me Money, Crandall."

Seriously, she has too much funk and spunk and totally cracks me up. I forgot my W2s in my office but had copies on a thumb drive. She says, "Really? I can barely do these tax forms and you want me to stick some strange device in my machine. I will need to get my manager."

She needed the manager to help her use a thumb drive. "You young kids are too much for me," she continues. I'm lucky I know what day it is and even to put on a bra in the morning."

Peggy was a philosophy major in college and loves to talk to me about Kant, Descartes, Plato, and Kierkegaard. She hates numbers, capitalism, and taxes, but H&R pays her bills. She's a total hoot and smart as a whip. I love working with her.

"Oh, great," she tells me. "We don't have a receptionist and now I will have to check you out. Your W2s were easy. Now let me screw up the computers when we finish the entire transaction."

I would keep Peggy as a roommate should she ever need somewhere to live. She reminds me of George Burns and I think I will bring her a cigar to thank her. Her humor is old skool and totally appreciated.

"Crandall," she finishes. "I hate when you come see me. You're an easy man to work with, which means that when you leave, 24 jerks and imbeciles will follow. It's the way it is every year."

I'm not getting much this year, but am already hopeful for next year after the purchase of this home.

And it's not even April!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

And a Spectacular Day Thanks to #LRNG, @robertgalinsky @mrsherzogSHS @megelizabi and @innovates_ed

Last summer, two teachers had a vision for advancing the use of TedTalks in their classrooms. The two of them partnered during the Invitational Summer Institute and created a demonstration that modeled what they were doing in the classroom while seeking additional ways to advance their innovative instruction for the 2014-2015 school year.

For these reasons, Megan Zabilansky and Kim Herzog were logical fits for applying to the LRNG Innovation Challenge Award that is funded by the National Writing Project, the John Legend Show Me Campaign, and the MacArthur Foundation. They represent two of the schools who part of the larger project, and several teachers who are re-imagining learning in the 21st century.

Yesterday, Herzog and Zabilansky combined forces to bring Robert Galinsky to Joel Barlow High School for their seniors (and a couple of juniors). Students heard from the entertainer, actor, and TedTeen coach about his beliefs on writing and performing to catch the eyes and ears of a live audience. During the event, Galinsky provided workshops for individual groups, as well as hosted a whole group performance (while jumping rope on stage), while sharing his expertise on the speech-writing/Ted-Talk genre.

The entertainer offered much intelligence worthy of teachers, especially during a time of Common Core State Standards for Public Speaking. In addition to reflecting on "Belief and Technique for Modern Prose" written by Jack Kerouac, Galinsky provided eight insights for giving a powerful speech or presentation:
  1. Have a Confidence and Relaxation Builder Before You Go On Stage,
  2. Know the Top and Bottom of What You Have To Say, Inside and Out,
  3. The Audience is Your Friend and They Want You To Succeed,
  4. Always Be You and Only You,
  5. Be Conscientious of Your 'Tech Touches,' and Don't Let Them Bog You Down,
  6. Take Big, Firm Steps With the Beginning of the Speech,
  7. Allow For the Audience To React At the Ending/Closing Of the Speech, and
  8. Activate the Audience to DO Something!
In May, students from these workshops will arrive to Fairfield University for a Writing Our Lives - Digital Ubuntu conference where they will have an opportunity to showcase their insight from the project and present to other students at other schools who are involved in the LRNG Innovation Challenge Award. Robert Galinsky will return to the event and provide more insight.

Galinsky's visit was a great investment and demonstration of one way that public school educators are re-thinking the learning that occurs in their classrooms through expanding the notion of  time and space. Megan Zabilansky and Kim Herzog are proud of their students.

#We2RCT

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tapping My Inner Buddha In Anticipation of a Spectacular Day At Joel Barlow High School #LRNG #NWP

You know you're on spring break when, SURPRISE, you're really not on spring break because you're still at work! That is the way of a Director for a National Writing Project site.
Actually, this is a wonderful job to have and there's never a dull moment.

Today, I pick up Robert Galinsky at the train station and he leads several activities with seniors from Joel Barlow and Staples High Schools in their preparation of TedX talks - part of the LRNG Innovation Challenge award we received as a CWP-Fairfield team. The events scheduled for today are from the vision of Megan Zabilansky and Kim Herzog, two up and coming English teachers stepping up their leadership and pro-student instruction.

I'm waiting to post more on the event on Thursday, but wanted to kick off this morning with a teaser. Actually, this morning I looked up at my shrine (Pam calls it that, and said I needed a particular Buddha in the crevice that is placed oddly in the strange room off the living room. And I adhered her advice and placed the guy right where she said I should. Now I have a Sudanese Cow Project, Brown School tree, post-doctorate, Rooster and Frog shrine that greets my vision whenever I look up from where I type). I am bowing to it this morning in anticipation of the day ahead.

And with that noted, I am thinking I might take Friday as a holiday, only to say that I had one day off for spring break. I'm not sure what the weather will be like, but I'm hoping it is spring-like and I can get a tan to tell everyone, "Oh, I was away for the break. Where'd you go?"

So, TedX talks, huh? I can't wait to learn more!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

And I Met My (Cough Cough) Co-Pay. My Groin Is Thankful That It Isn't Worse (Cough Cough). Phew!

I don't like going to the doctors, but I let them do this to me yesterday. This is an X-ray of what I look like inside. I took it while sitting in the cold room to be checked out for the abdominal pain that has caused me trouble the last few days after moving heavy furniture.

Long story short (turn to the left, cough), the doctor didn't see anything out of the ordinary. In fact, everything checked out really well and he said whatever I've been doing to nurture the pain (and bulging) must have worked because he saw no indication of a hernia.

I saw the diagnosis as permission to purchase more blinds (of course, I forgot the measurements and got all the wrong sizes). Chitunga and I returned the wrong ones and got new ones and, as any home project typically goes, it took us twice as long as it usually does to finish the task. Then, one of the blind sets didn't come with the mechanisms to attach it to the wall, so now that has to be returned. That is so frustrating.

The trouble with Crandall is I want everything done two weeks ago and I'm ready to be back in a routine of not prepping a house, but living in a house. Yesterday's blast of warm air had me longing for a run and to get outside and move. But, I know I had to slow down a little just in case I caused more damage to the groin muscle.

I am a huge baby when it comes to illness. I don't do it well and, actually, I quite suck at it. And with that, bring on Tuesday. I'm ready for you.

Monday, March 9, 2015

And When He Finds Buddha Frog Mats, He Knows Everything Will Be Okay. Relax and Unwind.

Take it easy. Slow down. Don't be in such a rush. Relax. You deserve a break. Breathe.

These are words I've heard my entire life when others have tried to keep my pace. And I admit, I do like to unwind and be calm at every cache I can get - the trouble is, I also like to live life to its fullest.

That's why this strained groin area has me in a tizzy. I felt awful, but then good, and then awful, and then good - I just can't sit on my arse all day long. It drives me bonkers.

So, Pam came by to add estrogen to the bachelor pad and we did Ocean State Job Lot and Christmas Tree Shop. I think we did well, but it wasn't until I found the meditating frog that I knew it was worth putting myself at risk (torn muscle? hernia?) just so I could find the amphibian door mats. I bought two. Now I am thinking I should have bought more as back up. I want these to be present whenever someone enters my house.

Then, I also learned the artistry of window dressing. What a pain to put all that up, but when it's done, it will all be worth it. The house is coming together and I'm really proud of myself for having a carb-lunch with Pam, too, at Chip's. I actually ate pancakes! Yes, and I loved every bite of them.

Now, back to the pain. What am I supposed to do if I can't go to the gym and/or run on a daily basis? That will slay me. I am believing in ice, ibuprofen, and prayers. This, too, must pass. I really want to relax and unwind, but I can't do that if I can't go for a 4 mile sprint everyday.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

With a Loss of an Hour, I Am Going To Simply Settle Into the Fact That I am Enjoying My Living Room

The trouble with this move, I fear, is that I may have lifted too many boxes inappropriately. Today, as I put up a new shower curtain and failed at getting the proper window rods, I decided that it was warm enough to go for a run. It was wonderful. I loved it.

When I finished, I showered, and then headed to Bridgeport for the Attallah performance of Gordan Skinner's Society Fuct. It was, as expected, incredible and I enjoy seeing everyone together in one spot.

That's when the pelvis pain began. Actually, I've had a few bouts with it throughout the day, but I thought maybe it was my imagination. But after the performance, it felt like someone kicked me in the groin. I was in so much pain and when I took a step I thought I was going to pass out. I had to sit down and drink water. I kept thinking, "Oh, no. Is this what a hernia feels like? If it is a hernia, what do I do next?"

And I'm blaming that table that is directly ahead in this picture. It is the last thing I moved and when shifting this I felt the pain. Later in the evening that pain worsened.

So, I decided to return home at nine and lay feet up on the couch. I'm technically supposed to ice it, but it's too cold to put an ice pack on my intestines. I'll freeze...but it may be worth it.

I'm hopin when I wake up, losing an hour of sleep, that the pay will have subsided and it was all in my head. I don't have time to have medical issues in my world. I absolutely hate, HATE everything to do with doctors and being laid up.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Son of a Butch, part two. I Attempted a Fish Fry in Your Honor and Also a Post, but the Black Cloud Followed Me.

I wrote this entry and then the Internet ate it. So, this is my second attempt.

So, mom says my father needs cataract surgery, but we got you Cee-Lo Green glasses at Christmas, so you should be good to go. Why would you need surgery, when we purchased you corrective lenses?

Seriously, I am always sad when I can't be in Syracuse to celebrate special occasions with the family and yesterday's celebration of my father's birthday was sadly missed. In his honor, I went for a fish fry - knowing that he was doing the same in upstate New York. I stopped on my way home and before heading into the garage to unpack more boxes, I sat in the kitchen to eat the greasy food. Alas, they screwed up my order and I had to go back and finagle the actual order. I wanted to give up on the day, but persevered.

Although the DAY OF YOU was yesterday, I'm posting the celebration today. I learned from you, my father, that there's nothing a man can do in life but give his best and keep on keeping on - you got to work and you have to stay committed. No matter how much the lawn grows or the snow falls, you have to tackle it with dedication, labor, and the desire to do what is right.

This, of course, is written in hopes that there will be no more store. I'm done for this season...I don't know about everyone else.

Here's hoping there was a beer or two in front of my father on his special day and that he found joy with the anarch that is family. Ideally, I would have loved to be there, too, but I'm five hours away and settling into another phase of my life.

I love you, Dad. You'll be happy should you visit - the television is hooked up and it's ready for March Madness...although the news of Syracuse's infractions, named on your birthday of all days, has made those of us with a flair for CNY sports a little distraught. Still, this too shall pass.

Another year older. It continues to be amazing and I'm thankful for everything my father has done for me.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Point About The Point Is That There Is No Point. "He's Got a Point Here." Unpacking an Oldie But Goodie

Sometime after 2001, Meredith Alexander, A.C. Sprite and Brown School original, sent me the script and the story of Oblio, the boy born with a round-noggin in a land of sharp-edged pointy characters. The laws of the land, however, state that everyone must have a 'pointed' head, so Oblio is a total misfit. He and his sidekick, Arrow, venture throughout the animated film throughout the Pointless Forest where they discover giant bees and a pointed man who claims,
"A point in every direction is the same as no point at all."
There's also a man made of rock, the prancing fat sisters, the leaf-man, and the epiphany, there's a point to all of us. We simply must find it.

Written by American songwriter and musician Harry Nilsson, the story quickly was a favorite of a few Brown School students who chose the quirky life over the predicable one.

Yesterday, I debated whether or not to unpack all my cds as students at Brown made me mixes every year - I have hundreds of them and each represents the unique personalities they had. I decided that it's okay to keep and horde such music because each tells a story of a time that once was. I am thinking, too, that it just might be my point in life - to hold onto stories simply because they crack me up. And with that noted, I leave a link to the movie, narrated by Ringo Starr, here.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

This Too Shall Pass - Madman Emptying The Ocean With a Fork, AKA Crandall the Lunatic of Feburary/March

As of last night, one more horrific shoveling experience at Nichols Avenue on the driveway from hell, I can claim, "All my things are officially out of home A and at home B. I wanted home B because it had an attached garage but the truth is, my garage is now a chaotic mess of stored crap still needing to be brought inside.

I have hustled so much in seven days to get everything relocated and didn't pay attention to the logic or order of what went into the garage or where. The result? It will take me a while to unravel, and I am in no rush. I am still trying to stay sane within my insanity.

I've often been told I'm crazy for the pace I keep and the way I roll out my world. This, however, has been more maddening than anything I've ever attempted to accomplish before. I packed up a house, moved it, and began anew all in 7 days (meanwhile, I am working full time, overseeing grants, and trying to stay afloat of advising, meetings, and writing responsibilities.

Oh, have I mentioned that we've had three storms during this entire process and I went to Jersey to see my niece perform (a wonderful hiatus from the insanity, except the Field of View group who performed the insane asylum that has been my life this month).

Now, another storm tonight. Let's hope I can shovel the driveway and rearrange the garage to make the official move in more seamless and logical. Spring break is upon us, but there is no spring in southern Connecticut.

Yet, I have spring in my step and pep in my stride. That's the only way to be (he says, cracking up the entire way).

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Maybe It's a Bad Idea, But For a Moment It Seemed Logical and Rather Practical. I Mean, It's Pavlov.

I've heard from many pet owners that one way they condition their animals is by squirting them with a water bottle to curb unwanted behaviors - that is, jumping on furniture, scratching inappropriate objects, peeing inside.

Yesterday, discussing behavior of students and individuals at work, in our families, and at home, we tried to find a professional solution to best redirect behaviors that we don't like to be around. I suggested we carry water bottles with us.

Drink milk from the container. One squirt to the face. Interrupt someone while they're talking, two squirts. Arrive late to class, three squirts. It seemed logical at the moment, and then the reality hit me that I was actually serious. That's when I started laughing. If only it was this easy.

Imagine the world if we had the freedom to condition one another in the way we do our cats and dogs. Well, simply put, we'd all be wet.

"Butch, would you please remember to put the seat down after you use the toilet," my mother could say to my father. Then she could give him five squirts with the water bottle.

Life would be beautiful if we were allowed to be this innovative.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It's The Small Moments In Life That Fulfill Meaning, Purpose, And What We Contribute To The World. Yup.

Note to self: There's never a good time to move.

Another note to self: With this noted, it probably isn't best to move into a new home during the winter and with a full load of teaching responsibilities.

A third note to self: With the above said, it wasn't logical to upgrade your I-Photo library while getting ready for classes tomorrow night and right before bed and posting this blog entry.

A final note: But this is the way Crandall rolls...

...and this happened today. My colleagues and I were collaborating with all our graduate students when I noticed a pair of glasses left on the floor from the previous class. I picked them up, put them on the dry erase board, drew a head and did a thought bubble: Someone left their glasses. Mind if I borrow them?

I'm not sure if the participants in the room were amused by my doodle, but it was a slight spot in a tremendously stressful day, week, month, and life that made me laugh at myself, the pace I keep, and the way I cope with the stress.

It's these little things, I tell you. Actions like this keep me sane.

Monday, March 2, 2015

It's Official: Crandall Has Had It With This Winter and He's Ready For the Big Thaw Already. Seriously.

1 to 3 inches they said. A dusting.

So, I decided yesterday would be great day to bring the rest of the items from Nichols to Mt. Pleasant. I began at 10 a.m. when I returned from New Brunswick. The first four trips were successful, but the second four were a little ridiculous with the "light snow".

That. Didn't. Stop. Falling. All Day.

I shoveled once. I shoveled twice. I shoveled a third time (all at the new home - forget the old one). And I accomplished my goal of getting everything but a few things out from location one and into location two (the garage).

And it continued to snow. But I was determined to accomplished my goals and I did. Then, I settled around 10 p.m. to drink a beer when the phone rings. Chitunga missed the train stop and needed a ride from Milford. So, out I go again in the 10 m.p.h. traffic to get the kid, bring him to his car at the Stratford train station (which was buried in snow and he couldn't get it out).

Home again. Get the shovel. Shovel the driveway to get out of the driveway, and back to the train station to rescue his geriatric Nellie. Success.

And then I could settle.

I think there must be 8 inches that fell today and now I'm wondering how tomorrow will go. It is still snowing.

I've decided that the weather people are tired of the drama, too, so they downplayed this storm.

Um, they missed the accuracy on this one (and looking at the forecast, more snow on Tuesday and Thursday? Seriously?).

I've had it. Connecticut's had it. We give in. Bring on the daffodils and rain showers. Enough with the ice and white stuff. It's official. I'm done with it. It's no longer beautiful. It's a pain in the A$$!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Roads In Jersey Are Some Bull Schnozzle, But Running Into David Byrnes Made the Traffic Worth It

I took Saturday off to see my niece perform in New Brunswick and who was there to see the show? David Byrnes of Talking Heads who is putting together a concert later this year in which Nikki and the Brigadiers will be performing. Lucky for us, Cynde was in her Brigadiers shirt so his people walked up to her in the cafeteria and I asked (they looked somewhat official), "By any chance are you the David Byrnes people?"

They were and he was right behind me. I was able to get this photo of my mother and the lead singer before we reentered the gym.

Yep, same as it ever was.

I had flashbacks all day of my high school years and how much I loved his quirkiness and music. What a great opportunity to run into the icon in a high school cafeteria. Here I was taking a one-day sabbatical from unpacking and WOLA! we meet this guy! Go figure!