Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Has run out of witty title lines.

I'm eating leftovers from yesterday's lunch, and just got off the phone with a guy who I'm a big fan of, a vegetarian and veterinarian's son, basically me with a penis. He did a semester in NOLS during college and was an environmental studies major. He's Jewish. I like those things about him. What I don't like is that he lives in Connecticut, and that is not very close to my corner of New Jersey. It's a great distraction though, and makes me want to clean my house, so those things are great.

I am currently studying from some books to work on my packing skills. I spent my weekend being told that my torso is too short, and packing and re-packing a pack that doesn't fit me that well. Their contents are sprawled all over my house, and I pack- and re-pack and read and re-read the passages that are recommended.

Oh, and I don't "get" business casual. Can anyone help me figure these things out? Why are leggings under a skirt a no-go? Do I have to wear hose? How do other young professionals find the clothes that not only imply their professionalism but also still feel comfortable, like clothes you belong in? More specifically, WHERE do you get this clothing?

One thing after another. NYC is a no-go.

Tag on the side of BofA building near Newark Penn Station via Tom White's post on photography lot.

So, yesterday I was supposed to go into NYC with my supervisor and three of my co-workers to present a demo session of our in-school experiential programming to students at a middle school in uptown Manhattan.

We left Blairstown, New Jersey at about 8, plenty of time to make it to Burnet Street School in Newark by 10 AM. We roll up to Burnet at about 9:30, traffic was a breeze up 80 and Dinah, my supervisor, joins Christine and I after a couple minutes in the Astrovan (work vehicle). This is a burgundy Chevy Astro Van named Carmine. So who is Carmine? The Astrovan! Perfect!

Dinah lets C & I know that Andrea, one of our co's, started up from Camden to Newark and didn't feel well so she went back home, so Christine would be delivering the demo with Stephanie.

I'm driving since it's early and I'm a morning person, and Christine and Dinah are just shooting the breeze regarding a Monday training at the rock climbing wall with our community-based facilitators and some full-value contracts they were working on. I'm applying my makeup sitting in front of Burnet waiting for Stephanie to arrive.

At about 9:45 we get a phone call from Stephanie, who is stranded with a flat tire in Elizabeth, NJ, about 10 minutes away. We're running early, so we head off to meet Steph and see if we can't offer some assistance.

We get out of the Astrovan right next to Stephanie's Saab 90S and she doesn't have the jack for her car. Our Astrovan's jack is too big and won't even fit under the jack point.

I get on the horn with AAA, we're still running early so we could make it to the school in Manhattan by 12 noon.

While AAA is on it's way, the guy from across the street where there's an Airpark Valet Parking service (we're very close to NWK international airport) who drives up and he's got a jack and a pneumatic drill so he changes her spare tire like that!

Stephanie's daughter arrives and since the tire's changed she gets ready to go when...I turn the key in the ignition and Carmine does...nothing.

So, Stephanie's daughter pulls out the jumper cables and we get a little juice but no-go. By the time AAA gets there Stephanie has parked her car with fresh donut, brought our supplies into the Astrovan, her daughter's left after trying to jump the battery and we're all slack-jawed at my ineffective starting of the car. The guy from AAA hops out and is confused that there's no SAAB with a flat but an Astrovan in need of a jump, and he gets to work, trying to jump it a 2nd time.

Keep in mind this whole time my supervisor is just noshing on organic cheese puffs and saying "If we get going in the next 60 seconds...5 minutes...10 minutes, we can still make it!" and laughing and smiling (which definitley helped relieve the stress of the situation!)

Now, in the past two weeks I had a similar problem with the other Astrovan not starting after filling her up with gas, and I had to drip charge the battery of our Big White canoe-trailer-towing van after I left her lights on so I am not having the best of luck with the vehicles lately. I can only think that Dave is going to kill me.

He gets nothing, Carmine, she's dead as a doorknob. So, we put everything into Steph's car (which has a donut on it) and I call AAA for the second time (I only get 4 calls a year, thanks Dad!) about the AstroVan, which will need to be towed.

Clearly, we were not meant to go into NYC.

I stay with Carmine as we get towed to a service station. Dinah, Christine, and Stephanie follow in her Saab. In those three miles, the Saab starts smoking.

Stephanie pops the hood and her radiator hose is completely busted.

George at the service station takes in our fallen Carmine and lends Stephanie a roll of electrical tape so she can make it back from Elizabeth to Newark and then to Stephanie's house in Highland Park.

We go out for some amazing Spanish food outside the Ironbound, and Dinah drops us off at the Rockaway Mall where Afton comes and rescues us, taking us home. We arrive back in Blairstown, sans Carmine, at about 4:45, check in with our supervisor Heather, and peace out of the office, exhausted despite having done no actual work all day sans some driving.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Valentine's Day

I was going to go on a date Sunday, then came to my senses regarding driving down to Baltimore after a date in NYC and Josh and I met up Saturday night (after I picked up new hiking boots at Campmor in Paramus), we went to a bomb Vegetarian restaurant in Greenwich Village called Gobo, then we hit Smalls, which is a live little hole-in-the-wall jazz club for a really lovely set. I had a really amazing time and am looking forward to seeing this guy again soon sometime!

Other than dating, I've been swimming my 550 in preparation for the summer and also I am breaking in my new hiking boots and practicing carrying around a backpack full of stuff for the work expedition that's in a couple of weeks. Did I mention I hate swimming and can't wait until it's over and done with, my lifeguard cert?

I was also blessed enough to go work in Trenton this week, and I was so excited to see them! Yesterday one of the children who came up to PBC with the Donelly Initiative and was in my group for a week earned his shirt at Foundation Academy, meaning that he proved himself to be a part of the school community. This is a student who often finds himself in a yellow shirt and on the bench, who thinks he knows all the answers, but I cannot help but love him, he's so smart and clever and vibrant. It made my week to see Frederick wearing a Foundation Academy shirt.

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