Wednesday, June 13, 2007


rogray and i got in the car on saturday and headed north, out of the city and into the wilderness, for some fresh air, hiking and general non-pavement/building oriented activity.

after a quick stop at trader joe's for some snacks we hit the road:

extreme close-up:
in the car

this is a woman ready for wilderness:
ready to go

first we ate our picnic lunch and here is rogray enjoying some of it!
lunch time

fascinating, yes? oh, it isn't fascinating? well, where did you eat lunch on saturday? at home? oh, you had brunch at a cafe? yeah -- we ate lunch out too. . .by a lake suckers!

our picnic spot

after we polished off our chicken salad we hit the trails for some hiking:

the trail

in bloom

the way

we were on the orange trail. . .which led us to this view:

the break

soon after we realized that we had been walking downhill the entire time and that we had no idea how far away we were from the end of the trail so we decided to turn back around for fear that we would have to hike back uphill for two hours -- we wanted to keep the day nice and not have it devolve into me sitting on the side of the trail crying because "why, god, why did you have to make the earth so hilly??"

we went back to the lake and relaxed on a rock looking at this:

a giant swimming hole

don't you feel calmer just looking at that picture!

when we were able to shake off some of our relaxed fog we decided to go look for some pick your own orchards -- we didn't find any.

but we did find this:

ghost train

it's a train -- that is decaying in the grass by the side of the road where, apparently, train tracks once were. there was no sign as to what or why this was but there you have it. weird. and creepy.

the end of the line

after all that driving we were hungry so we found a lovely restaurant and ate lovely italian food -- the single best antipasti platter i've ever had and i didn't take a single photo of it. but i did get a shot of rogray looking at me lovingly:

puppy love

and this is the little lady he loves so much:

stalker love

don't i look like a crazy stalker in that photo? he is one very lucky man.

when were done with dinner we drove back home and slept for 11 hours -- day trips make you sleepy.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I Turn My Camera On

i usually don't talk about what i do on this blog because it doesn't seem like it would be so fascinating to anyone (apparently i believe mundane photo stories about what we made for dinner and how i spent my weekend are endlessly engaging--i think i have everything backwards) -- and what i mean by "what i do" is attempt to direct plays and not temping. because if i ever say "i'm a temp" in response to the question "what do you do?" please hunt me down, tie me up and make me eat my weight in marshmallows while reciting the "pledge of allegiance" for i will have officially surrendered the last bit of hope i have left.

but what i am doing right now is so exciting, different and challenging to me i simply have to write it:

i am making a short documentary.

there. i said it. out loud. on a keyboard.

see that teeny, tiny camera that isn't really up to the task of capturing my genius on film? that's the camera i'm using. see this:

that's the humongous shotgun microphone i'm using that makes my camera look like it was crocheted by nuns.

but shaygo? what are you making a documentary about?

i am so glad you asked fictional person who may be reading this blog!

it's about education. and children. in other words -- our nation's future.

ok, not quite so lofty but it is about children and education and, more specifically, p.s. 29 in brooklyn where koogs teaches 3rd grade.

here's what happened long story short -- koogs' kids were studying africa and got really into it and then one of them brought in this picture

the picture

from the new york times and said "isn't it intense that kids go to school like this?" and all the other kids responded with "yeah. let's do something to help them." and the next thing you know these kids are telling koogs that maybe she should start with UNICEF and getting her in touch with people they know at the U.N. (ok, so one of them has a mom that works there but whatever) and conquering our world's hunger problem and brokering peace deals between israel and hezbollah. 3rd grade has changed my friends.

so what? you're asking -- kids do stuff like this all the time. except that they don't. and i rarely hear of kids motivating entire fundraising projects themselves or turning a unit of study into a classroom obsession.

and you might be tempted to say that it is this class in particular but the whole school has amazing things going on it. teachers who volunteer to teach free e.s.l. classes to the parents of children taking e.s.l. teachers who bring in non-profits such as Border Crossers to work with their class. and they still have time to meet all the state and national requirements and benchmarks put forth by state and national boards of education.

so how does this school do it? well, that's what i'm trying to figure out. the principal hires teachers that she trusts, believes in knows to have a clear and distinct love for education and then she lets them do their thing. it helps that the teachers are motivated enough to begin diversity initiatives and internal think tanks to teach their students how to address taboo topics like homosexuality, race, eating disorders, religious conflict and so on. it helps that the teachers collaborate with their students by remaining flexible enough to let the student's excitement inform their teaching and to talk to the students with respect and empower them to shape their own education. and it helps that kids are kids and respond so successfully when they know that they have a voice.

all of this is to say that i have put in my notice at this temp job so that i can spend the last 2 weeks at the school without interruption and interview other teachers and get as much footage as possible of the kids in koogs' class discussing how roald dahl reinforces gender stereotypes of women as being weak and dependent on men.

no joke. that really happened.

Friday, June 01, 2007

down by the schoolyard

i've been tagged by parabasis!! i've never been tagged before and rogray hipped me to the tagging before i had a chance to see it on the critic's blog (he's not really a critic, he's a director but he is good at the critique). anyway, when rogray told me i had been tagged i was all, "someone hacked into my blog and put graffitti all over it?" and he was all "you're an idiot."

i went to look at parabasis and realized that it was tagged as in "you're it, suckah."

here are the rules of this particular game: you (meaning me) have to post 8 random facts about yourself. then, in the post, you, the tagged, magically tag eight other bloggers and notifies them that they have been tagged.

now the word tagged looks and sounds weird.

ok, here goes:

1. i swear. a lot. like a truck driver.

2. i have very flexible hip joints.

3. i am looking forward to getting glasses because i think that i will look older and people will take me seriously -- also, i like all the gestures you can do with a pair of glasses -- they add drama.

4. i have no problem starting a book and not finishing it if i think it's boring or i don't like it.

5. i have a very difficult time admitting i don't know something.

for the longest time i was convinced that the lyric in the steve miller song "the joker" was "really love your beaches/wanna shake your trees" -- it is actually "really love your peaches/wanna shake your tree" -- i justified this by saying that beaches made sense if they were coconut trees that he was talking about.

7. i grew up in atlanta, ga and used to say y'all all the time -- i've been in New York for the past 10 years (minus that l.a. year) and now if i say y'all it is a surprise and sounds weird coming out of my mouth -- and that makes me a bit sad.

i have a pet stuffed dolphin named hyman shfinklehymer that rogray won for me at a street fair when our relationship was in long distance mode. he's the only jewish-british dolphin in the world.

ok, there they are, 8 random things -- am i not one of the more fascinating specimens on this planet?

who shall i tag? ok, i just realized that i don't know 8 bloggers which makes me some kind of internet loser. . .great -- just like middle school. i'm gonna tag 6 blog people who i don't think will kill me and who probably know 8 blog people themselves.

boys, you're up:

jk, the dude, mr. smith, mr. dan, puntabulous

we'll call these our salad days

i don't mean to brag but. . .i have been making some of the best salads lately!

i love salad. not your iceberg lettuce, carrot, cucumber, bottled vinaigrette salad.

no. luscious, packed, fresh salads with different textures and flavors and delights.

my dad makes a mean caesar which rogray made for one of his 30 meals and it is at the top of my list but we're not talking about my dad. we're talking about me.

the first salad i am really enjoying right now is a simple "mexican" salad. it breaks down like this:

leafy lettuce (like romaine)
fresh, firm juicy tomatoes
raw corn right off the cob
black beans
red onion
shredded cheddar
1 lime
olive oil
salt and pepper

*chop up the lettuce, tomatoes, onion & avocado.
*slice the corn right off the cob -- no need to cook!
*rinse off those beans and dump 'em in th bowl.
*cut up that avocado and shower it with a squeeze from that lime and throw it on top of all that other stuff.
*go ahead -- sprinkle some cheddar on top of that
*give another squeeze of lime juice over the pile and drizzle with a light, citrus-y olive oil, salt & pepper and eat.

and if you want go ahead and serve it with some chips and salsa.

now for my "Company's Coming but I Don't Want to Cook them Anything" salad:

spinach & some mixed greens
persian cucumber (oh they are the most cucumber-y cucumber)
artichoke hearts
fennel (any parts. fronds, bulb, both)
pear (i prefer bosc but i imagine any will do) or apple
walnuts (raw)
dried cranberries
prosciutto -- if you want to get funky

*to make the beets wrap those suckers in foil and bake on 400 for 45 minutes then cool, peel and chop. tip: if you don't have gloves to wear while peeling and chopping and your hands get all lady macbeth on you don't you worry -- wash your hands with salt and that spot will come right off your gorgeous skin! no lie!
*chop everything up and throw it all together
*parmesan tip: use your veggie peeler on the block of cheese and you get nice thick shavings and feel like you are an expert chef ready for your own show on the food network
*dressing: i usually just use fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and salt & pepper but if i'm feeling up to it i throw a dash of sugar in a cup, add some white vinegar and dissolve the sugar in that, add a spoonful of dijon mustard, and finish it off with olive oil, and salt & pepper.

you will not regret these salads especially if it's hotter than jk's house when he's entertaining the ladies. . .hi-yo!!