January 8


Encountered my arch nemesis before 8am this morning and it is throwing off my whole groove already. Very cranky on the way to work because NYC Public Schools has this horrible thing called quality review where all schools get evaluated and bad schools get shut down.

Which, to be fair, doesn’t sound bad. We probably should be reviewing our schools for quality, no? But you’re not a teacher, are you? For us, it means principals breathing down our necks and us never getting it exactly right. Anyway, today is just a dry run before the real thing, which is in March. We’re all pretending it is real, at any rate. I was up until the wee hours lesson planning and making anchor charts.

So I was on the subway on the way to work, already in a mood, when I come across my arch nemesis. Doesn’t it always happen this way? When I am at my most stressed with spilled coffee on my pants I see significant exes and frenemies and all manner of unpleasant people. I am Murphy’s Law personified.

This chick is the worst. She goes to graduate school with Sam and Roomie and I so I have to see her all the time. And we simply loathe each other.

I started up with Sam in the Summer of 2013. About a month after we became “something” (in the style of the early 20s) it emerges one day at grad school that they live in the same building. What a hilarious coincidence. Give it three more weeks and Sam stops texting me back and I suppose he and she become some sort of an item. Neither her nor Sam nor any of our mutual friends mention this to me. This resulted in a horrible showdown at a grad school party where we were all sort of drunk and she prisses up to me and is all, “Oh Sam and I are SEEING each other, we thought you knew.” I run out. Tears. Drama. Both of them are Persona Non Grata for the rest of the summer.

Whatever, their very strong relationship lasted about one week after Sam moved in the fall and they were no longer in the same building. It was a matter of convenience, we all always said. Sam and I started up again a few weeks later (Oh, I went so wrong there. So many warning signs). We dated until October of 2014,  when, ten months later, he decides he is “not ready for a relationship” and dumps me. What he thinks ten months was if not a relationship is beyond me.

Takes about a week for that news to get around that we are broken up before this girl is sniffing around again. And the absolute worst bit? She teaches in the same building as me (different school, same building, welcome to New York) so I have to see her all the time.

She is the Kryptonite to my Superman.

Actually, Roomie and I call her the Green Goblin (I, obviously, am Spider-man). She’s very short, very manipulative, and is fanatical about the environment. Fine, love the environment, but put on some deodorant and do not jump all over me the one time you see me with a plastic water bottle. Also, the GG is a superfeminist of the type who spells it “womyn” and posts articles from Jezebel on Facebook every thirty seconds. This makes me sound like I do not like the environment and feminists. Now, this may come as a surprise (especially to the GG) but I’m environmentally conscious and a feminist myself. Some people simply take it to a whole new level.

As part of my New Year’s purge of my Facebook, I unfriended her. And then I thought she would notice, so I blocked her for good measure. Which she definitely noticed. And saw her for the first time this year today when we rode the subway together. I had to pretend to be asleep so we wouldn’t have to pretend to like each other.

In the words of the wise Miranda Lambert, “everybody says you gotta know your enemies, even if they only weigh a hundred pounds and stand five foot three.”


Quality Review test run was alright. All male teachers wore ties and all teachers regardless of gender used bribes to ensure well behaved children.

In the first five minutes of my third period four very important people came into my room to evaluate me. They questioned my kids and went through my papers and typed on their iPads for a half hour. I think I did alright. Tomorrow (Friday) I have a Big Scary Meeting to find out for sure.

Anyway, somehow, someway, after all this trauma, I made it to the gym for the first time of the new year. It’s January 8. Not too bad, on balance, could be worse. Some people don’t go at all.

And I paid $20 dollars for a monthly locker rental so I’ll feel guilty if I don’t go. And I discovered a machine (that probably has a real name that is not The Buttcruncher, which I call it) that I am convinced will create the booty of my dreams in just one short month.


The Cat continues to scratch my door frame despite presence of new $40 dollar scratching post. Sweet.

January 6


Well. I spent hours and hours giving feedback rough drafts of papers for my students, handed them back on Monday, and today the little rascals merrily handed in a heaping stack of final drafts to be graded. It never ends.

All that can be said for today is that other than going to the bathroom, riding the subway to and from work, and eating, I worked from the moment I woke up until the moment I laid down. Grading. Lesson planning. Calling parents to try to gently break the news that their children are failing. It eats away at a person’s life.

I am trying to cut down on pre-bedtime snacking because I have a tendency to consume two-thirds of my calories after 8pm which is supposedly terrible for your metabolism but after all of this i’m simply too cranky not to have a snack before bed, Miami beach body be damned.

Must keep strength up during these troubling times. Will stick to healthy snack like an avocado wedge and two walnuts.

Or, rather, pop-tarts.

Gym visits thus far this year: 0


January 5


First day back at work after vacation. Teaching middle school is somehow even more exhausting when I am supposedly well rested from a two week vacation.

I spent most of my planning periods daydreaming about my upcoming trip to South Beach. I was supposed to go to Costa Rica with Sam in February, but then when we broke up of course I had to plan some stellar vacation that same week to show him that I don’t need him and all that jazz. Whatever. Going to the beach with my best girl friends will be way better. I can drink margaritas and hit on cute boys with reckless abandon.

The fact that he’s not going to Costa Rica anymore doesn’t hurt either. Have fun sitting in freezing New York in February, loser.

After work today my work husband asked me the age-old question “Nap or Gym?” (At least it is age-old when you have been work spouses as long as we have). Having turned over a new leaf of not napping (did I include that leaf in the original resolutions? Should have done) I told him I wasn’t going to do either. It’s my first work day of the new year. No gym. I’m pacing myself. Besides, I spent at least 20 minutes trying to corral Alberto into his homeroom, and that’s some pretty intense cardio.

Must go tomorrow. Will go tomorrow.

Must also find a way to get cat to stop scratching the shit out of my door frame when I’m at work.



One unfortunate thing about me is I cannot cook a thing without having some sort of kitchen disaster. Isn’t there a saying about people who can’t even boil an egg? It sounds vaguely familiar, but maybe that is just because a few weeks ago I tried to hard boil a dozen eggs. I put them on the stove, promptly forgot, and was reminded about them an hour later when all the water had boiled away and the eggs were exploding all over the inside of the pan.

As a result of this, my hilarious Roomie got me some sort of idiot-proof egg cooker for Christmas.

The blue one!

The blue one!

I am about to attempt to boil eggs. She is safely away getting her nails done but I am carefully reading the entire instruction booklet nonetheless. I have to puncture each of the eggs with a sharp spike and place them in the cooker with the required amount of water. There are all sorts of accessories.




Eggs are bubbling merrily away inside my little pot of “impossible to fuck up” and The Cat is gazing reproachfully at the steam coming out of the hole. I should mention that the egg cooker is on the floor of my bedroom because we only have two outlets in our tiny NYC kitchen and they were both in use.

That’s a somewhat odd smell. Is it supposed to smell like this?

I don’t even have to turn this thing off. It has a SENSOR.



New lows: I have just realized I am using an egg cooker to get out of grading my students’ unit exams.



Eggs appear to be fine. No explosions, at any rate, but one very startled cat. I’ll chalk it up as a win.

January 4


Well, last night was interesting. I had a boy over. The first since Sam in October. Once you’ve caught your breath, we can move on.

After Roomie got back, we went out to meet one of our friends, who was hanging out with her big brother for the night. He was nice and hilariously funny and spoke Swedish (I should say I’m a total sucker for the whole blonde haired blue eyed Nordic thing). We started out by drinking Aquavit, which is some strange Scandinavian grain liquor, and it spiraled downhill from there for everyone but this guy and I, who stayed mostly sober. I didn’t want to flirt with him because I know Roomie has had a baby crush on him for a while, nothing serious, but she’s my best friend and I didn’t want to step on any toes. She told me to go for it, though. She says she’s known him too long.

Anyway, we all went out and he was flirting and we were dancing and one thing led to another and we went back to my apartment. Now, I was NOT planning on doing any such thing tonight. By this I mean my room was disgusting and my legs were not that recently shaved and our apartment smelled like cat.

I have not had a boy over since The Cat came to live with us. She immediately sensed that her side of the bed was threatened and went into panic mode and started pacing outside my bedroom door and yowling. She finally broke in, don’t ask me how, and began to pace around the bed. Seriously, top notch yelling. Then, mid-event, she jumps up on the bed and starts staring at this poor guy, who was like “Okay, I love cats, I just can’t deal with The Cat right now.” Over the next hour it becomes apparent that The Cat has two modes: Sleeping RIGHT next to this guy with her tail draped over his stomach and her butt all up in his business or pacing around the apartment yowling inconsolably. Over the next several hours while we try to get some sleep I am continually getting up to try to chase the cat away.

Thankfully, this guy was really nice about the whole thing.

It was a good night, though. He said I was pretty and he was an expert snuggler. Then this morning we slept in and he brought me breakfast in bed and it was just… nice. I knew it wouldn’t mean anything in the long term because he’s just visiting his sister from the other side of the country but it made me feel better. I still got SOME game, even if I am a crazy cat lady with a psychotic feline. I have to get The Cat under control.

And you know what’s weird? In one night he did a million little things that Sam never managed to do in seven months, and that wake up call was a nice added bonus.

Spent 5 hours grading those essays today. Ugh. Back to work tomorrow.

January 3


Official first day of following resolutions, as all day yesterday was spent on an airplane back from home and did not count. And nobody ever counts the first. In the words of Bridget Jones, everyone is too hungover and cranky.

When alarm went off at 9:30am, hit snooze until 11:30am, when I was awakened by my cat poking my face with her paw and wondering why I was still comatose.

I was supposed to go to the gym today. That’s alright, probably best to ease into these things. Besides, it’s good to get some really high-quality sleep on the weekends. I’m back at work on Monday and I will have plenty of time to go to the gym after that. I will not, however, have time to sleep till 11:30am when I have to be coherent in front of a classroom of children at 8:00am.

Things to accomplish today:

  1. Unpack suitcase from vacation. Do not live out of suitcase like bag lady until February.
  2. Grade 90 five paragraph essays submitted to me by my middle schoolers for evaluation over Winter Break. Plan of doing ten per day for nine days over break failed miserably so therefore must be wildly productive and get through them all today. Oh, also, there are 120 unit exams. Those should be done too.
  3. Clean temper tantrum cat hairballs off of everything while trying not to dwell on the fact that your cat is punishing you for having to suffer the indignity of an excellent cat sitter who cost $17 per day.

Best get going.


Well, I did not grade the scary stack of student work that I promised myself I would look at today. Which means that all of tomorrow will be spent in a state of frenzied, coffee-fueled grading. Things to look forward to.

I did, however, unpack my suitcase, which is a big accomplishment for me, as I usually do not do this for several weeks following my trip. In fact, over the course of these few weeks, I usually shove MORE things into my packed suitcase off the floor when I am “cleaning,” which makes the final unpacking event much more… involved. I was surprised at how well it went when I did not encounter a layer of random receipts, hairbrushes, batteries, cat toys, and other debris before getting to the main event. Clothes are now hanging nicely in the closet and I’m feeling very proud of myself.

Currently waiting on roommate to get back to apartment from her Christmas on Long Island and enduring malevolent stares from The Cat. She tends to forget that I rescued her from certain euthanasia in September, when I chose her half-blind, toothless, yowling, 7-year-old self over dozens of frolicking kittens at the shelter. Even the adoption ladies were all, “This is not an easy cat. This is a SPECIAL cat.” But, because I am a sucker for a sob story and they told me all about her previous abusive homes, here she is. She tolerates me, and I think sometimes we might be approaching love.

I have been idly browsing OkCupid but I am thinking I might delete it. I’m noticing that everybody has one big flaw that you cannot see when you look at their profile, but becomes immediately apparent as soon as you decide to meet them in person. They’re usually dealbreakers for me. Thus far, I have encountered…

  • A good looking, well-educated engineer with a voice like Minnie Mouse
  • An Ivy-League educated banker who SAID he was 6’2″ but was actually more like 5’2″ (and I towered over him let me tell you)
  • A guitarist for a band who must have photoshopped his pictures so as not to include his cystic acne
  • An actor with glorious sculpted eight-pack abs who turned out to be a pretentious womanizer

All of this makes me wonder if I have some huge dealbreaking flaw as well that I am blissfully unaware of. Do they meet me and be like, oh man, what a freak that one is? Since I stopped texting them all back I guess I’ll never know.