Sunday, July 21, 2013

This Was The Week That Was: Norms Social Notes

It's been a busy week at the ole homestead. So, given my disappearing
Mighty Max: 7 weeks old
memory, I'm doing a day by day chronicle of the last week so I don't do the same things this upcoming week where the only thing on the agenda is going to see Dirty Wars Monday and the MORE summer series: UFT leadership, Friend or Foe on Thurs. (Come on down -- $3 happy hour beers -- I may have a few BEFORE the meeting.

Saturday July 13
Brother, sister love
Brother in law birthday. Go to Jersey, the Highlands, for party. Hot. Hit lots of traffic in SI and on Garden State. Eat lots of hot dogs (one was fat free), cheeseburgers, drink lots of beer. Play Boce on lawn with 29 year old cousin Dan as partner while bro-in-law gets stuck with my wife who throws ball sideways-- see pic for reaction. I'm not bad and have a Boce future.

See niece's daughters (28 months and 5) get more interesting with every visit -- they lobby parents for another child, 5 year old complaining what hard work it is to be a big sister -- she has to do all the work. Wife ends up alone with them taking care for about 15 minutes. Nothing like watching her chase a 2 year old around.

See benefits of being only child as my wife and her brother do a love pose.

Sunday, July 14
Celebrate future testing opt-outer Jack Cavanagh's first birthday with Julie and Glen - and about 50 others. Jack has had quite a year, attending DAs, MORE meetings, etc -- if this kid becomes a teacher I will be shocked. Looked like great food -- but  still full from all the crap from Sat so miss out and eat little -- which I regret an hour later when I get home and am starving.  Mollie and Darren are there and we get to meet 6-week old Max for first time. (I gotta find some of the great Max --- another future opt-outer.) And how great to see Lisa Donlan who I don't see often enough. The whole Real Reform crew was there except for Brian. Making the Inconvenient Truth Behind WFS was one of the richest experiences of my life and the team will be bonded forever. Now let's get all those kids grown up so we can do another one.

Monday, July 15
Stay home and stare at garden of the future while smoking a pipe and reading "Dirty Wars" (looking for drones from Bill Gates) while doing no work. Too bad you can't dream a garden into life. I have all these grandiose plans to build, build, build but so far all I do is cut vines, brush - my inner George Bush -- and take down old trellises. At night I don't even watch the home run hitting event, which bores me to hell. So I sit on deck and smoke and read.

Tuesday, July 16
Ditto Monday (with a visit to gym) until leave for Change the Stakes steering comm meeting at 4:30 followed by regular meeting at 6. My fave group of people -- maybe because most are parents and not teachers. Screw the all-star game though I do get home to watch some of it. Snore.

Wednesday, July 17
College pal Dan and Australian wife Robyn do insane thing. Took a bus from Washington DC where they now live to Manhattan where they took the Jitney to East
Hampton for a few days. That entire process takes almost 8-10 hours and they get in Monday night. (Love this week's NY Jitney cover.)

So we do a more insane thing. Rather than go to our beach 3 blocks away, we drive 2 and a half hours to the Hamptons to go to the beach there -- which frankly didn't impress me much. We manage to eat lunch before the beach and dinner later (no missing meals in my wife's world), though we choked on the outrageously expensive food and surly service for dinner. Still a great view of sunset followed by another 2.5 hour trip home in the dark - can't they afford lights in EastHampton? No baseball to miss tonight so all is good. Love that XM radio.

Thursday, July 18
Julie comes to beach with 2 pals and no kids. I never go to the beach unless people come. So I head over to meet them in 95 degrees at noon. Surprisingly there is a nice breeze and it feels pretty good. Get 2 hour harangue about what a sexist I am -- I need to send her pics of my junk in my underwear and then ask for rehabilitation  -- hey, it worked for some people. It was fun to chat given how busy Julie has been and also get over to the beach and see the progress in repairing the wall.

Get home at 2:30 and head for deck to smoke and read more "Dirty Wars" while looking up for incoming drone from the AFT while checking back fence for signs of CIA assassination teams. At 4 wife says, "Hey, want to go to the beach?" So off we go for another 2 hours. More beach time over last 2 days than I've had in a year. My face is RED!

David, Gloria, Liza, Lisa, Moi, Pat
Still no baseball so stay up for Letterman and Craig Ferguson.

Friday, July 19
The big MORE air-it-out meeting where we get to bitch about the good, the bad and the ugly. Sorry, can't speak about it without worrying about a MORE drone. But kudos to Seku and Jia, 2 of the emerging leaders of MORE for doing a spectacular job.
Aside: Too bad people think of a caucus only in terms of elections. Most important: 30 people care enough give up a hot Friday afternoon (if people weren't away it would have been 60) to shlep into the city for what could have turned out to be a difficult meeting and to have 2 relatively new people a) be trusted to handle this and b) to have that trust reinforced beyond conception is what makes this work so rewarding.

Liza can make anyone feel happy- even me
Then it was party time as some of us headed over to a bar in Williamsburg for Liza and Vanessa's bachelorette party. I've never been to a bachelorette party before. "Don't worry," Gloria told me. "No one thinks of you as a guy." Gee thanks. David came along with Pat to make sure I wasn't the only guy.
Vanessa and Liza

The official wedding is in Maine next week which we can't attend. Turns out they got married officially on Friday so this was a very special evening for us all. Those who know Liza's awesome history of activism in GEM, NYCORE and the early stages of MORE miss her terribly since she and Vanessa moved to Seattle, where Liza has jumped into the test resistance movement.

Saturday, July 20
Last day of heat wave. So instead of going to the beach we head into Brooklyn to our friends' daughter and hubby's new apartment they moved into yesterday in Fort Greene near Washington Av and Greene St. Nice place in a gentrifying neighborhood. I can't get my head around an
at the ice cream stand minutes before downpour
apartment that costs 7 times what I paid for my house 34 years ago. (You can get an entire house in Rockaway for the price of an apt in Bklyn now). Then we walk over to a nice little restaurant a few blocks away, followed by a walk over to Dekalb near Vanderbilt for some ice cream. Where we get caught in a massive downpour and my wife has the only umbrella. While waiting it out under an overhang we meet a British/Scottish couple with a 4 month old and a dog. We all make friends very quickly before heading off into the rain, trying to walk between the drops.
Stay up till 2 watching Bourne something or other followed by The Newsroom.

Sunday, July 21
Gym and a day of just hanging out -maybe a movie and afternoon nap---


  1. So glad to read Julie's getting some down time.

    Schoolgal :)

  2. PLEEZE!!! Since you are now approving comments, can you get rid of that extra step where we have to put in numbers and crazy shaped letters. Half the time I get them wrong. I noticed other bloggers who also do approval are getting rid of that step.


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