Thursday, January 31, 2008

We All Scream For Ice Cream

A co-worker and I have always said that we should collaborate and write a book together that chronicles the absolute madness that occurs in the fine educational institution we work at. (It shall have to remain un-named.) Neither of us seems to have the time for it though, so instead we started a notebook about 4 years ago where we just quickly jot down the best of the best so that we shall never forget! It is entitled: The Superfreak Experiences of Room 208. Yesterday's entry will definitely make this year's Top 10 List....

My 3rd grade class was lining up at the end of the day.

Student: There seems to be a leak on the floor.

Me: Could someone get some paper towel then and please clean it up because the bell is going to ring.

Student: It's not water. It's orange.

Me: Orange? What do you mean orange? (I move toward the line to investigate and note that several girls are now standing in something that is indeed somewhat orange.)

Students: Ew! Look at *Ari's pants!!!!!

Me: Ari come here. (I'm completely panicked now because not too long ago Ari had asked to go to the bathroom and I said no. Did she crap her pants? She is covered in something of an orange/brown hue.) Ari what is that??

Ari: (Holding her bookbag up in front of her which I note is now oozing something orange.) Oh no, my icecream!

Me: I'm sorry, your WHAT??????????????

Ari: My icecream. I bought it on the way to school today.

Me: (The panic has subsided. She didn't crap her pants, but WTF, this icecream has been in my closet all day!!!) Ari, might you want to now throw it away because it seems to be leaking out of your backpack.

Ari: No, I'll just hold my hand over this spot on my bag so it won't leak anymore. I'm going to take it home.

Me: Okey dokey then...Room 208, pass to the end of the hall.

*Student's name has been changed to protect her lack of intelligence.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

52 New York City Blocks And 5 TV Appearances

January 17, 2008

6:30 a.m.
My friend and I got to The Big Apple two hours ahead of our 8:30 a.m. expected arrival at Martha Stewart's studio. So much for New York traffic....We drove in on 12th Ave./Henry Hudson Pkwy. with maybe eight other cars. Isn't this the city that never sleeps? Where the hell was everyone?? Gave a wave across the Hudson to those in Jersey probably just crawling out of bed. It was still pitch black out and neither of us was too crazy about walking around lower Manhattan in the dark, so we continued down 12th Avenue toward Battery Park. Saw the glow of Lady Liberty's torch, a few boats/ferries and Ground Zero.
7:10 a.m.
The sun is almost up so it's time to park the car! Oh joy...We head down 26th Street and find a garage a block from Martha's studio. It's $16.00 +tax for the whole day, what a bargain! We hand the keys over to the attendant praying to god that the car will still be there when we come back later in the day!
7:22 a.m.
We arrive at Martha's studio! We get the guy at the front desk to buzz us in. Since we are so early he suggests we go around the corner to Dunkin Donuts. Buddy, we're in New York City!! We can go to Dunkin Donuts at home. Point us in the direction of Rockefeller Center please. He chuckles and comments on what a hike that will be, he doubts we would make it back for the 8:30 a.m. line-up outside Martha's studio. My friend and I look at one another and smile. He obviously doesn't know who he's talking to, two all time speed walkers! We bid our new friend adios and assure him we will be back in an hour.

7:25 a.m.
We step back out onto 26th St. and we're off! We walk over two blocks to 5th Ave., and then start the trek up towards 50th St. We plow ahead at full speed.
7:58 a.m.
We arrive quite out of breath at Rockefeller Center and stay long enough to snap a picture. We leave abruptly due to screams from across the street. The Today Show!
8:02 a.m. (1st TV appearance of the day)
Matt, Meredith and Al! We end up on The Today Show as they talk about some upcoming segment with monkeys. When they are done taping they all graciously turn around and talk to the crowd. Unfortunately we don't have time to chat, Martha is waiting! We psych ourselves up for the 2 blocks back over and 24 blocks back down towards lower Manhattan.
8:30 a.m. (on the dot)
We make it back to Martha's despite a little detour through Times Square! We are incredibly winded and each of us has a blister on the back of one of our feet. We find the friendly desk guy from earlier when we get inside the building and tell him of our adventure over the past hour. He doesn't believe us so we have to show him the pictures to prove it!
After having my bag searched, being wanded (What the heck does Martha think her audience is going to smuggle in?), and coat checked we were allowed further into the land of Martha Stewart. Let me tell you it's quite nice. Muffins and juice were served while we waited for her warm-up guy Joey Kola to prep us for the show. He's quite a riot and must regularly visit the Dunkin Donuts previously mentioned because he ran around all day like he was on speed.
10:00 a.m. (2nd TV appearance of the day)
Live on Martha from the front row! We got prime seating because we were chosen to possibly ask a question during the Ask Martha segment. Do you know the difference between flat-leaf and curly-leafed parsley? The studio is beautiful and the crew/staff and producers were all a lot of fun. Martha herself didn't seem quite as friendly. I can see why she has been referred to as the Ice Queen, and it's not just because her studio is oh mylanta FREEZING! It's just not right when your employees have to wear scarfs and mittens while they film you!

11:00 a.m. (3rd TV appearance of the day)
The live show ends and we are asked to stay to tape 2 more segments with Katherine Heigl from Grey's Anatomy that will air on January 24th. I have just a minute to stand up and unlock my frozen knee-caps. Martha and Katherine make some tomato soup together. I'm not a big fan of tomato soup, but by now I am so cold I would have eaten it just to get my blood flowing again!
Katherine Heigl was very bubbly and even danced in between segments! Martha...still a little icy. After the two segments were done she took the microphone to say a very quick "thanks for coming."

11:35 a.m.
Joey Kola, the warm-up guy, announces they have extra tickets for the 1:00 p.m. taping. We get ourselves on that list and head out for a quick lunch. We don't have a lot of time so we run around the corner to a little cafe for some hot soup. (I'm hoping the crew got the tomato soup for lunch.) We sit there for 1/2 hour to defrost and then head back.
12:20 p.m.
We have to submit to being searched and wanded again before we can get in. We are told that Miss Martha has a late afternoon flight to Germany, so we must all move quickly and get to our seats. This time we end up in the last row and get a different perspective of the mechanics of everything. We wait anxiously with this audience for taping to begin.
1:40 p.m.
Still waiting...We are told that Martha is "taking a meeting." I wonder if she expects the plane to Germany to wait for her too? Everyone's teeth are chattering and I am pretty much sitting there asleep with my eyes open. This morning's 52 block walk has caught up with me....
1:55 p.m. (4th TV appearance of the day)
Finally! Taping begins for the 2nd show. It has a mish-mash of topics: cooking duck, going green light bulbs and good animals for pets. She has some people from her Sirius radio station to answer questions about pets. My friend and I appear a lot on this episode. Unfortuately we are so slap happy by this point that we look like goons moving our head back and forth trying to get on camera...

2:50 p.m. (5th TV appearance of the day)
Taping ends and Martha flees the studio, I'm assuming to catch her plane. Joey Kola tells us we need to stay to tape one more extra segment with the Sirius radio people which will air sometime in the future. It's a question and answer segment about animals. It's okay because I'm a frozen block of ice and wouldn't be able to get up and leave anyhow....My friend gets chosen to ask a question about hermit crabs. Do you know what the best environment for them is?
3:20 p.m.
We are done and go to collect our parting gifts for the day. From the live taping in the morning we got a pound of Organic National Wildlife coffee and a package of sponges and soaps from Tarpon Springs, FL. The afternoon taping's gift was a copy of... The Cat Bible. Agh!!!!! Those of you who know me are well aware of the fact that I hate cats. I realize hate is a strong word, but I am deathly afraid of them and will have no use for this bible. I thought about taking a match to it out on 26th St. so that I could warm up before the drive home, but then my friend suggested we each try and return it to Borders along with The Guide to Dogs and Cats book that we also received.
3:30 p.m.
We retrieve the car (yes, it was still there!) and begin the trek home. Now everyone is up and out driving on the streets of New York....It takes us 3 hours to get to my friend's house in CT. Add another hour drive for me to get to my house and I am home by...
7:45 p.m.
I was in my pajamas and under the flannel sheets still trying to warm up after sitting all day in the frigid studio. I instantly fell asleep. Making so many TV appearances in one day can be quite a workout. Two days later I am still trying to recover!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Snow Day

I've been mulling over for days a title for this little adventure. I knew I couldn't start until I had the "perfect" title, because you see....that's just how I am. I wanted it to fit me, and then last night I had the aha! moment. I think what I have chosen is appropriate. I'm happiest when near the ocean and some have questioned whether I perhaps have salt water running through my veins. Who knows, maybe I do.
So I went to bed content that I had the title all worked out, but plagued by the question of what on earth will I write about. Then I woke up this morning to a:
Now don't get me wrong. I enjoy the occasional snow day. You can stay in your pajamas all day, drink hot cocoa and catch up on daytime tv. But do you also know what this means? I am delayed a day in June before I can feel the sand beneath my toes.....