Monday, March 31, 2014

"You Don't Want to Look Outside."

That's how Jeff greeted me when I got up this morning.

I said, "What, is it snowing? It can't be; they said it was too warm."

Alas, it was snowing. Last week "we dodged a bullet" according to weather forecasters. A big storm turned east and went offshore. I thought that was the end of snow threats.

Until this morning. It didn't last long and didn't amount to much, but it was depressing. This winter's been too cold, too snowy and too long. And it's now actually spring.

Today was the Mets Opening Day. Maybe the snow was a bad omen. The Mets lost, unlike previous years.  Let's hope that both the weather and the Mets rebound.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What's Today's Schedule?

I have to be flexible with my tutoring students. A small group tutorial has set meeting and testing times. Individual tutoring sessions are more fluid. Most of the kids I tutor are heavily scheduled. Figuring out when they can meet with me can be difficult.

Luckily for me, I like flexibility and variety, but it does get confusing. I often check my calendars  multiple times each day just to make sure I end up at the right time, right place.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy 12th Anniversary to Spike!

Here are two pictures of Spike. The first is from Shea Stadium on a Bark in the Park day. I'm not sure of the year, but I'll guess 2005. The second picture is from a small beach in Long Island in 2008 (I think.) We were exploring the North Fork, Orient specifically, saw a van full of dogs and followed it and found this wonderful beach.

These pictures capture only two of the many happy memories we've had with Spike. It's been a wonderful 12 years.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Happy Hour

Last night I met my friend Elaine for a drink. We were originally planning to go out for lunch, but I had a new tutoring student home from boarding school and Elaine had open houses so we couldn't make it for lunch.
I can't remember the last time I went out for happy hour--it was probably when I worked a "9 to 5" corporate job (quotes because most jobs are now 8 to 5, at least.) Elaine and I had fun; it was a good chance to get together, talk and catch-up.

I haven't gone out much lately. It's not just the cold winter--I think Jeff and I are happy keeping to ourselves (and Spike.) But spring is coming--warm weather and longer days will help to make us more outgoing.

That's what I want. I want to be more involved with the outside world.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy Naw-Ruz

Naw-Ruz is the Persian Bahai New Year.  For those of us whose new years have not been up to par, there's something comforting in starting over.

 Maybe things will be better going forward.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring is finally here!

It's officially spring as of 12:57 PM today. Appropriately, temperatures warmed up this afternoon.

It's true that this winter lasted only as long as it normally does. But it felt like a Game of Thrones winter; they can last for years.

Unfortunately, this winter refuses to go quietly.We only get a few of the warmer days before the cold returns; the highs revert to the thirties. My mother-in-law even heard predictions of one more snowfall. (No!)

Although much of the snow on the lawns and along the streets has dissipated, huge piles of snow remain, including one outside my bedroom window. Plows stacked up snow wherever they could to clear roads and open up parking spaces.

I speak for many when I say that I just want this winter to be over.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Today I wore a green blouse and socks, a Celtic cross pin and Book of Kell earrings in honor of Saint Patrick's Day. Here's the wiki entry on the holiday. And here's an awesome Google logo.

It seems that in the US, all holidays have concentrated on consumerism. Today is about alcohol (as is New Year's Eve.) I can't say I'm against drinking. We had Guinness beef stew with salad for dinner, along with a Guinness to drink. Now, we're drinking a Black Bush. On Easter, we'll eat chocolate (though I'll draw the line at marshmallow chicks.)  At least, I'm self-aware.

March 17th is also Jeff's and my half-way day. We've been married 25 1/2 years. Another reason to celebrate.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Veronica Mars Re-Watch: Season Two Episode Fifteen

The Quick and the Wed

Another unmemorable mystery of the week: Veronica is helping Wallace's girlfriend Jane. Her sister is missing after her bachelorette party.

Hannah's father agrees to change his testimony if Logan leaves Hannah alone.

Keith tells Lamb about the explosives and detonators in Terence Cook's hangar, but has second thoughts about Cook's guilt.

Cliff and Vinny are in this episode, along with Kendall, Beaver and Aaron Echolls.

"Jurors love convicting smug rich boys," a great line from Cliff to Logan.

Veronica Mars Re-Watch: Season Two Episode Fourteen

Versatile Toppings

This is an unmemorable episode. My strongest memory is that Bradford Anderson guested; he later joined General Hospital. I didn't watch GH then, but he got a lot of press.

The mystery of the week involves a blackmailer who is targeting gay students at Neptune High via a chat room run by Ryan (Anderson.) There have also been a rash of muggings of pizza delivery guys.

Logan is dating Hannah Griffith; her father (the witness against Logan) is not happy. Hannah finds that Logan is right--her father is a drug user involved with the Fitzpatricks.

Keith is working to clear Terence Cook. His gut tells him Cook is innocent. But why does he have explosives and detonators?

This episode includes the great line of Dick's that Veronica is rich dude's Kryptonite.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Poem-of Sorts

an evening walk with Spike, as a spring tease continues

dark branches splayed across a deepening evening blue sky        

 punctuated by a full moon

Friday, March 14, 2014

It's Pi Day!

Jeff and I celebrated by having fruit of the forest pie for dessert tonight. Here are some other ideas.

Today is also Albert Einstein's birthday. I've been kind of obsessed with him lately. I recently re-read this book. Einstein has also come up in ACT passages that I've been reviewing with students.

Happy Birthday Albert and thanks.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Trying to Catch Catching Fire

We had wanted to watch Catching Fire on the big screen, but didn't quite get it together. So I was psyched when I saw that we could watch it on demand. We sat down early Saturday night and decided we had plenty of time to re-watch The Hunger Games before Catching Fire. We even had popcorn.

It didn't quite work as planned. We did watch The Hunger Games. Then, about an hour into Catching Fire, we paused it (probably to walk Spike) and it got stuck. We tried to advance it, but it bounced back to a scene about a half hour into the film.

We re-watched the middle of the film, but I dozed off before we got to our original stopping point.

Finally on Sunday night, we were able to see the rest of the film.

It was good.

I liked Hunger Games more than Catching Fire. I think that's because I didn't read The Hunger Games first. Most of the time, I prefer the book to the film version. (My notable exceptions: Dolores Claiborne and The Dead Zone. Is it a coincidence that they're both books by Stephen King? That could be another blog post.)

Although I liked this film a lot, I didn't get a good idea of the players and strategies involved in the 75th Hunger Games. As Jeff mentioned, we didn't even get to see all the players.

Still, a good movie. I wish Mockingjay could be one movie, but I'll gladly watch two.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spring is in the Air

It hit 50 degrees today, and felt wonderful. For the first time in weeks, I didn't have to wear my winter coat or gloves on my morning walk with Spike; I found myself smiling. Later this afternoon, Jeff, Spike and I visited Taylor Farm dog park. It was in bad shape--puddled and muddy--but at least we made it. It was my first visit in 2014.

I've been off my game lately. One of my last posts described frustration. That frustration has lingered, continuing into this week. I've done what I had to do--prepared for and made all my teaching and tutoring appointments, done the laundry, shopped for food and other necessities, made meals. But, I couldn't seem to manage any more.

This relentless winter has affected me more than I realized. Even today, as I enjoyed the sunlight, I saw baseball fields covered in snow, and mounds of dirt, ice and dirt along the roads.

Tonight we spring forward... with hope for a new season.