songbird's crazy world

life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Another This and That

So Drew got his class schedule. He'll be teaching several sections of Global History (self-contained special ed) as well as Earth Science (inclusion). Not exactly the program he would have chosen for himself, but considering he's now in the final countdown to his retirement, he's not complaining too loudly.

Jen is loving the new job.  At her old job, in our school district,  she was a "paraprofessional" assigned to work one-on-one with a single special needs student.  She was initially assigned to her student when he was in 5th grade, at the elementary school, and  moved up to the middle school with him.  Her new title is "teaching assistant".  She's in the district's middle school, working with one teacher, in a self-contained special ed environment.

Yesterday she got caught in another hellish LIRR commute.  I can sympathize, I've had a few bad commutes over the years.  But she's moving into her apartment at the end of the month, so her LIRR commuting days are numbered.

Marvin gave us another bad scare, he wound up in the hospital again.  This time it was pneumonia.    Who knows what it'll be next time?

Sometimes I really love my Timehop app.  Yesterday it gave me photos of Duchess on September 2, 2013, the day Drew adopted her from the animal shelter.  She was such a tiny kitten!  But so full of energy.  She ran around the entire house that day, making it her own.  She's still quite a handful -- the other day she stood on top of the refrigerator and scolded Drew  for some imagined offense. 

Tonight is our last Ducks game of the season -- the tickets Drew won at the game a couple of weeks ago.  I've really enjoyed our trips to the ballpark.

But our baseball days aren't over yet.  We have tickets to see the Mets play the Yankees at Citi Field on the 20th.  It was originally scheduled as a Sunday afternoon game.  But since the Mets and Yankees are both playoff contenders, the game has been moved to Sunday night so that it can be broadcast on ESPN as the game of the week. Should be fun.

In the meantime, it's Labor Day weekend, and Drew's annual barbecue on Sunday. Should be an interesting time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bring It On, Fall

So even though I said I want to hold onto summer ...

I drove past Schmitt's Farm tonight and couldn't help but think of the apples coming in a couple of weeks, and the pumpkins that will soon follow.

And "Witchy Woman" came on the radio, and I started to think about haunted houses and Halloween.

And when I got home, there were the catalogues ... Sweaters and flannel shirts and jackets in rich autumn colors. Clogs and loafers and booties. Comfy p.j.'s and slippers.

Ok, Fall, I'm ready ...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September NaBloPoMo

September's NaBloPoMo theme is "lessons". And the writing prompts are all about going back school. Interesting theme, considering. I loved being a student, but I never had any aspirations of becoming a teacher. However, I am surrounded by educators. My father is a retired school administrator. He started out as an English teacher, became an assistant principal. (He eventful got his principal's license but was never appointed to a position.) My mother's career path...She taught Social Studies. Quit teaching to be a stay at home mom. Tried to go back to teaching when we were all a bit older, but couldn't find a suitable position and eventually made a career change. Drew is about to start his final year as a Special Ed teacher, he'll be retiring in June. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, where my life won't be tied to the school calendar. And Jen just got a new job as a teaching assistant in a neighboring school district. Pays a lot better than what she earned in our district as a paraprofessional. She will be working with Special Ed students. I'm hoping the new job will inspire her to go back to school, get her Master's and get a teaching license. I'm sure I'll find some inspiration from the NaBloPoMo prompts this month. Happy September!

Monday, August 31, 2015

And so it goes...

Another month gone, and summer coming to a close.  Labor Day is just a week away.  One more baseball game, one more barbecue, and then we move towards autumn.

Notice I didn't say into autumn.  September is sort of a transitional month, isn't it?  At  least around here.  Summer is over, but it's still warm and sunny.  The weather doesn't really change until October, it's just our social calendars that have moved into the next phase.

I'm not quite ready for fall.  I still want to hold on to summer.  I guess September gives me a chance to hold on to a piece of summer for just awhile longer.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Monkees redux

I may need to correct something I said in yesterday's blog. I really don't remember it, but Drew says he and I saw The Monkees at Jones Beach in 1986. That was the 20th anniversary tour, and all four members of the band performed.

I do remember seeing Davy, Mickey and Peter. And then, later, seeing Mickey, Peter and Mike. I don't remember the Jones Beach show.

Last night, of course, was just Mickey and Peter.

The first half of the show was all about The Monkees, they sang hits while video of the old TV show played. One of the best clips from the show -- Mike pretending to be an inept folk singer, totally wrecking "A Different Drum", a song made popular by Linda Ronstadt. Inside joke -- Mike wrote that song.

But the second half ...showed off their talents in a different way. Alternate arrangements of Monkees songs. An interesting, jazzy version of "Sugar, Sugar", a song which they turned down before it was recorded by The Archies. A folk song performed with backup singer Coco Dolenz (Mickey's sister) --the three had performed as a folk trio (Dolenz, Dolenz and Tork) in the 70's.

Of course there was the audience sing-along of "Daydream Believer", a memorial to Davy Jones. One audience member performed Davy's entire dance sequence in the aisle. And they finished with "Pleasant Valley Sunday" and "I'm A Believer".

The Monkees often get dismissed as a "made for TV" band. As Mickey reminded us last night, all they provided to the first two albums was the vocals -- the music was all written for them, and performed by studio musicians. But they fought for the right to create their own music (all four wrote songs for the band), and what they created...well, the music lasts the test of time. Overall, a fun evening.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hey, Hey We're the Monkees -- or are we?

It was 1966, and a new sitcom was on TV.  It was about four young men, musicians in a struggling rock band.  Slapstick comedy mixed with groovy clothes and, most importantly, the music.  The four young men in this TV-created band were supposed to be an American response to the Beatles.  And did I mention that one of them even had a British accent?

Everyone knew Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork.

The shows were fun, the music stands the test of time; after all, some of the best songwriters of the day wrote  Monkees hits -- Boyce and Hart, Carol King, Neil Diamond all contributed material.  Tork wrote for the band, and  Nesmith turned out to be a prolific songwriter as well.

The Monkees exceeded their TV origins to become one of the most popular bands of the era.  The band broke up in 1971, but the band revived when MTV ran a marathon of the shows in 1986.   The format of the TV shows ultimately led to the creation of the music video, after all.

Dolenz, Jones and Tork toured together frequently in the 1990's and 2000's, with Nesmith joining the others on rare occasions.

Drew and I saw the Monkees in concert several times, but never with all four  performers.  Mickey, Peter and Davy would talk about Mike, of course, but he was off pursuing other interests and was not performing with the band.  Still, we loved to see the concerts. 

And then came that day, 3 1/2 years ago, when I heard the terrible news that Davy Jones had died.

And then came the next tour, with Mickey, Peter and Mike.  Yes, Mike.  So exciting.  We saw them at the Beacon Theater.  Very different show, with much more emphasis on the songs Mike wrote and/or performed, songs I hadn't heard in awhile. It was almost like watching a different band.  Of course, they acknowledged Davy Jones -- even had a sing-along with the audience for "Daydream Believer".

We're going to a concert tonight, were seeing "The Monkees".  But it's only Mickey and Peter.  I'm not sure what they'll do, what they'll sing.  I'm sure it will be a fun evening, but...I'm not sure they can really call themselves "The Monkees".  Maybe "the Half Monkees"?

Friday, August 28, 2015

three bean salad

Think I found what I want to make for next week's barbecue.


1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15 ounce) can green beans, drained and rinsed

4 green onions, chopped

1 stalk celery, sliced

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)

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