Clareified

Where does the good go

Archive for May, 2006

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE…

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006 by Dawn Summers

Black and Hispanic students see school as a more rowdy, disrespectful and dangerous place than their white classmates do, a poll says.

The findings suggest that many minority kids are struggling in the equivalent of a hostile work environment, according to Public Agenda, a nonpartisan opinion research group that tracks education trends.

Minority children in public middle and high schools are more likely than white children to describe profanity, truancy, fighting, weapons and drug abuse as “very serious” problems.

The more they stay the same.

Life Tutor Needed

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006 by Dawn Summers

When I was a kid, I got into fights all the time.
One head butt to the chest, the other kid would be on the floor and I would be on top, punching the hell out of him. Or her.
My quarterly report cards always said the same thing “Dawn is a bright child with a creative imagination and an inquisitive mind. However,” and now this part was underlined in red, “her self-control needs improvement.”
I am loathe to blame it on public school, however, and yes, imagine this underlined in red, that’s just how things were settled in my school.
Someone called you names, skipped you in line, whatever —you were scrapping in the yard. And if you told? Well, you were scrapping in the yard anyway, now, you were just scrapping with your whole class.
In seventh grade, when Shantell thought I told the Vice Principal that she had been smoking in the girls bathroom – she threatened me with a knife. I didn’t go tell the homeroom teacher on her. I grabbed the knife, blade first and took it from her. Then I wiped off the blood with her face.
So I guess you could say I was never was really a touchy feely kinda gal.
Of course, when I got a scholarship to go to a fancy schmancy private school in Brooklyn, I was warned over and over that “punch first, punch later” behavior would not be tolerated.
So, I learned to fight with words.
Angry, nasty, mean words.
(Not that I still didn’t occasionally punch people in the face when they had it coming.)
“Dawn, if you keep taking things so seriously, you are going to die very, very young,” my eighth grade English teacher said to me one day during my fortieth detention for “inappropriate language.”
But I took her words to heart.
I couldn’t keep fighting all the time. Well, I could, but one day I was going to come face to face with someone who could beat me. And that’d suck.
So it was, that somewhere in the middle of ninth grade, I decided to become funny instead of angry.
No more insults when teasing would suffice.
I embraced the funny. Just as I was kidding around with others, I also assumed that they were kidding around with me.
Fat jokes no longer resulted in Dawn’s fist in your face, but for sure, you had an ugly/stupid joke coming your way.
It was so stark a transformation, that a guy who knew me in the sixth grade and ended up being a few years senior to me at college, said he couldn’t believe how much I had grown up.
I literally went from being offended by everything, to be offended by nothing.
Until today.
Well, not today specifically, but literally in the last month I’ve come to realize that life is becoming complicated again.
Recently, it seems everyone and my mother has got something or another deep and important to say to me. And while I smile and accept their comments with good humor, that’s suddenly not enough. No, no, they’ve got to make sure that I “understand what they’re saying,” and they want to know “what I think.”
Evidently, these people do not realize that the alternative to happy go lucky Dawn, is punch you in the face Dawn.
On the one hand, I still never feel the need to utter the words “we’ve got to talk.” Nor am I ever inclined to pen a Martha Stewart like “Dear so& so you really upset me today when.” I am more than happy to express my discontent with a well placed middle finger or the sound of me not talking to the offensive party.
I don’t need to talk it out.
Of course, my sense of justice and fair play dictates that if I am going to be subjected to people’s critiques of me, then I too will have to start doling out citiques of my own, — which will just result in more wrist slitting “we have to talk” conversations.
Rock meet hard place.

ME TOO

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006 by Dawn Summers
Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 6633657

CSI BLOGGING

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006 by Dawn Summers

CSI BLOGGING

What the hell was Grissom wearing in that last scene? Really. WHAT. Talk about a crime scene.

DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006 by Dawn Summers

Jolie’s decision to have the baby in Namibia has been hailed as a tourism coup that should help boost interest in a country mostly famed for its massive sand dunes.

“It is great … they have honored Namibia with their presence,” Namibia’s Prime Minister Nahas Angula said, adding that the child was entitled to Namibian citizenship.

“We hope that this young Namibian that was born here when she gets older she will take Namibia as her homeland.”

He might check to see if Apple is looking for a new homeland though.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006 by Dawn Summers

If you think keeping fit is merely mind over matter, Lester Clancy has an invention for you – a cordless jump-rope. That’s right, a jump-rope minus the rope. All that’s left is two handles, so you jump over the pretend rope. Or if you are truly lazy, you can pretend to jump over the pretend rope.

Whew, all the pretendericizing has got me winded. I’m treating myself to some Coldstone.

THE GRILL LIFE

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006 by Dawn Summers

THE GRILL LIFE

Man, I don’t really remember what I did with my weekends before I got a grill.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Monday, May 29th, 2006 by Dawn Summers

Here’s to hoping the Heat pull a “Yankees” and choke on their series lead.

I Spent A Month In Queens…

Sunday, May 28th, 2006 by Dawn Summers

I thought that headline was going to be about getting lost in New Jersey Friday night.
I stood in the middle of the Path platform waiting for a train. One arrow, pointing to Track 1 said “to WTC and 33rd Street,” the other arrow, pointing to Track 2, said “To Newark.”
So, crazy me, wanting to go to New York, figured I’d get on the Track 1 train to the World Trade Center or 33rd Street.
But this is Jersey, so instead, that train stopped at somewhere called Journal Plaza. Conductor announced it was the last stop and everyone got off.
I immediately searched for an authority figure to ask my standard “I’m lost in Jersey” question.
“Excuse me. Umm..how do I get to New York?”
“Where do you want to go?”
“New. York.”
“33rd? World Trade…? Where in New York? ”
Look lady. It’s 1:30 a.m. If the look on my face says anything other than I want to get the hell out of the this state and anywhere into mine, including —heaven help me—Staten freaking Island, then I’m doing something wrong.
“Uh…anywhere is good.” AS LONG AS IT’S NOT JERSEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Ok, stay on this train. We’re going back.”
Terrif.
I got back on the train, went all the way back to Jersey City, then took a detour to Ho-freaking-boken, until finally the train crawled into the Christopher Street station.
I had won about $250 at a game that night, so I decided I could treat myself to a cab from the West Village.
At last I was safe in the bosom of my city.
And so it was, that when I accepted Tim’s invite to a Czech bohemian beer festival in Queens, I thought “no problem.” At least, it ain’t Joisey.
Mmmmm.
Indeed, Queens is not Jersey. No, Sir. Queens is Oklahoma. Or Kansas. Or…Poland.
Seriously.
The streets are lined with white picket-fenced houses, with little old ladies sitting out front. American flags jut out from every second floor. I cannot tell you the depths of creepiness reached when one gets onto a NYC subway car and gets off in Kansas.
I checked my blackberry to look up the address that Tim had sent: “It’s at 21-19 24th Avenue in Astoria, Queens and is really quite simple to get to (take the N train to the second to last stop in Queens.”
I loved the “the toast is done one minute before it burns” stop getting out instructions.
I looked at the map in the subway and noticed there was no 24th avenue, so I asked a black guy in a hospital workers uniform where I needed to go to get there.
“24th avenue? 24th and what?”
I checked Tim’s directions again.
Umm…I don’t know. It’s an Bohemian Beer garden.”
Black guy gives me the “beer what now?” look.
“Umm..thanks. I’ll go ask over at the gas station.”
The gas station attendant tells me to walk 12 blocks south, make a right and go three avenues East.
I start my trek in my very summery, but non practical for walking, flip flops.
Boy, that Tim has a very odd definition of “simple.”
I walk and stare, mesmerized by the borough that time and geography forgot. Unlike busstops in Brooklyn and Manhattan –which are usually encased in glass structures, with timetables and directional maps – Queens stops just have a blue pole sticking out of the ground. I stopped into Papa Johns to get a slice.
Yeah, they don’t sell slices.
I reached 23rd avenue, and was eager to cross over to 24th. I was parched, my feet hurt and the heebeegeebeees were strong.
Of course, I cross the street, walk another two hours and nothing resembling a 24th avenue materializes.
After circumnavigating Astoria park and crossing a crazy Triborough bridge highway, four times. I stop a group of hippie looking people to ask for directions.
For sure, they will know when the Bohemian Beer Garden will be.
“Whoa. That is also far from here.”
“What?”
“Oh, we just got stopped by someone else asking for directions to somewhere that was really far away.”
Damn Queens Twilight Zone vortex.
“So…how far is far?”
“Umm…look, all I can tell you is to go that way. You need Astoria boulevard.”
Her finger pointed back toward the Papa Johns I had passed.
I saw a bus coming and ran to the nearest blue pole.
The driver opened the door. Oh.MY.GOD.
The bus seats were GREEN.
And metal. Yet further evidence that I had stepped through some portal to another universe and I had no hope of getting out.
The bus driver let me out on Astoria Blvd., and again, I looked for someone to ask. I was still far from the subway, starving, thirsty, tired and ready to quit.
Eh, I don’t like beer anyway.
I found a hotel type thing and gave it one more shot.
“Hey, do you know where the Bohemian Beer Garden is?”
“yeah…it’s on the other side of the bridge,” he says pointing back toward the place I was when the group of hippies sent me back here.
Well, that’s it. I’m going home.
The nice hotel guy hailed a cab for me –an actual yellow, not green, cab.
I checked my cellphone and there was a text message from Kaz. One of her daily “this is where I am” messages.
She was at the beer garden. Turns out, I had the wrong address. I tried to tell the cabdriver the address, but he totally didn’t understand—Queens addresses have like a 15 digit minimum. 293-314 on 24th avenue between 31st and 32nd
What???
I hand him my Treo and he reads Kaz’s message.
Oh, ok.
Finally, I get to the Beer Garden. A renaissance style arena encapsulated by a huge stone wall—picture Monty Python throwing a cow over kinda wall. A line snaked around the outside.
I was tempted to scale the wall.
What a fitting end to my marathon wandering through the Queens desert.
But, I choose to wait.
When I get inside, it’s a whole different kind of pandemonium. Row after row of picnic tables, surrounded by vendors and bars and two stages and a dance floor. I circumnavigate the “room” (park?) twice before finally running into Tim, who is on line for food.
“Hey!”
“Hi.”
“Did you just get here?”
“Why, yes. Yes. I did.”
I tell him my whole sorted story and he sympathetically says:
“Funny. You’re the only one who had that problem.”
“Well, yeah. Black people are dumb.”
“Oh my God. That is soooo true.”
I promptly inform him that Al Sharpton will be boycotting his place of business first thing Tuesday morning.
“Well, if you guys can find it.”
Turns out the food line is longer than the wall scaling line.
I am not quite catatonic, but the smelling of food without the eating of food, is starting to get to me.
Tim says he’s having a Kielbasa. I decided I was too. But then I realized I was confusing that with a shish kabob.
“Whoa. Kielbasas are huuuuge. I can’t possibly eat one of those.”
Except. By the time we had reached the front of the line I was thinking one wouldn’t be enough.
At the table I met up with Kaz and F-train, a bunch of F-train’s college buddies, Tim’s friend Tito and his brother…well…Jermaine, Tim’s long lost exchange student brother from high school—Yoshi and Yoshi’s platonic friend Chia. Like the pet.
Oh, what a merry band we were.
Chia talked about the key to good sushi (making friends with the chef.)
I made my usual mature face of tolerance for that which I do not understand.
“Have you ever even had sushi, Dawn,” F-train asks.
“California rolls.”
“That’s not sushi.”
“Well, I think food should be cooked.”
“You at least have to try the food before you can not like it.”
“Not true. I believe that food must be cooked, that which is uncooked, is not food. It is ingredients for food.”
But this is a bohemian beer garden, after all, and our merry banter would turn to sloppy drunk before the night’s end.
F-train’s friend Seth was introduced to me in the best way possible “Hey, Dawn. He’s a fan of your blog.”
I love blog fans!
He was such a nice guy, one could not help but wonder how on earth he’s friends with F-train.
Must be that whole opposites attract thing that makes me friends with F-train.
Speaking of attraction (did you see how I did that…it’s called “segue.” Kids, do not try this at home.) F-train set his sights on Chia.
“What are my chances with the forty-year-old Japanese woman,” he asked me.
“Umm…forty? And single? I’d say good!”
“Yeah, but that’s more a product of her patheticness than my positive attributes.”
“Dude. Umm…yes. And it’s time you embraced that lot in life.”
“Fuck you, Dawn. When’s the last time you had a date.”
Touche, F-train, touché.
With that pearl of encouragement he was off for an evening full of swapping spit with Chia, multiple looks down her shirt and her head on his shoulder – I think twice – but who remembers.
Seth played wingman, keeping Yoshi occupied with mindless chatter while F-train macked it up with Chia. (“I told my wife I was playing wingman for F-train and she said. Yes, that’s good. You talk to the middle aged Japanese business man, not the hot Asian chick.”)
Unfortunately, Seth ran out of material around 8 and Yoshi and Chia prepared to leave. F-train sealed the deal with the very smooth “here’s my card. Hope to hear from you again.”
“So what are the odds I’ll hear from her again?” he whispers to me.
“Two to one!”
“I’ll take those odds!”
She stood up from the table and said her goodbyes.
“Nice to meet you, Dawn, Tito, Jermaine, Seth, F-train”
“Oh, no. I’m Seth. He’s F-train.”
“Ok, three to one,” F-train and I recalculate simulataneously.
After my trek through Queens, I decided I was done with any activity that required standing for the rest of the week. So, I ended up talking poker with Seth and Jermaine. I also had a conversation with one of F-train’s college friends which either ended with the phrase “well, you probably don’t worry about making partner because you probably want to get married and have kids” or “well, you probably don’t worry about making partner because you can just marry someone who does.”
Kaz, on the other hand, was playing social butterfly with some friends from college she randomly ended up sitting next to, and three tables of Tim’s friends. She played wingwoman for F-train’s friend Sonar, by finding him a dance partner.
“I just asked her if she would dance with you because you were a really good dancer, but I was messing you all up because I am a terrible dancer,” she said triumphantly after Sonar returned from dancing with the girl, “but of course, that is a BIG lie. I am an AWESOME dancer, but I was playing a ROLE,” she reassured us.
And indeed, she did spin and spin around the dance floor — of course, she could have just been avoiding dealing with the now plastered F-train.
At this point in my story, F-train is now sprawled across our picnic table attempting to cut his wrists with a plastic knife.
“I can’t believe I didn’t get her number. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY”
“Because you’re an idiot?” Sonar helpfully offers.
“Did you see? She put her head on my shoulder. Twice.”
“Yes, you mentioned that.” When F-train is drunk, he repeats himself. A lot. We’ll call this personality the F-F-F-F-train.
“Look, if you’re going to use a plastic knife, you are going to have to press harder than that,” I offered even more helpfully than Sonar.
F-train promptly gives me the finger in rapid succession to the oompapa beat of the Czech band.
Impressive for one so drunk.
“God. I can’t believe I didn’t get her number. She put her head on my shoulder!”
“What? No way! How many times.”
“I’m going to hit you Dawn. I swear.”
“No you’re not. Cause then I will kill you, leave your body in Queens, Kaz will move into the big bedroom and put your stupid cat in the street.”
“Kaz wouldn’t leave my cat homeless.”
“Well, sure, she’d give the cat a couple of days to make other arrangements, but by week’s end, it’ll be out on the side of the road with its kitty litter, scratching post and squeeze toys.”
“Arrangements? So, my cat’ll be typing away on craig’s list ‘meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow…bitch meow, meow, meow.’?”
“HA! Exactly.”
He balled up his “fist,” I mean seriously, more bone than fist. I call it grist!
“You’re going to put someone’s eye out with that,” I said taking custody of his left arm and leg (both of which, by the way, I could firmly grip without straining the range on either of my hands.)
When he flailed. I beat him with his own grist. When he kicked, I kicked him with his own leg.
It was…a sight to be seen.
So, really, no one could be too surprised when a Kaz ended up coming down with a migraine.
We were heading back to Brooklyn on the subway and F-train and Sonar were both making such spectacles of themselves that the Goth couple wearing black leather pants, heavy black mascara, with tattooes across half their face and arms, with interlocking nose rings, were staring at us like we were the freaks.
“Daaaaawwwwwn, has a coke nail!!!”
“Coke nail. Coke nail.”
“I wanna see Dawn’s coke nail.”
Yes, someone is a smite overdue for a manicure.
“Shhhh…let’s play a game. Who can be quiet the loooongest,” I said as Kaz collapsed into a ball of writhing brain pain in the seats across from us.
“Fine. I LOSE!” Sonar exclaimed.
“Yeah, yeah!! I LOSE TOO,” F-train, his two-year-old brother joined in.
“Let’s see the coke nail,” he said grabbing my hand and refusing to let go.
One…Two…Let go, F-train…Fine.
“Ow! She bit me!”
He screamed, finally releasing my hand after I may or may not have bitten him.
“I’m taking a picture,” F-train said grabbing his camera phone.
“Dawn bit me.”
“Well, to be fair, I have pictures on my phone of you trying to hit her as proof that you had it coming,” Seth replied. Have I mentioned how awesome and great Seth is? No? cause he is.
By now, the entire half of our subway car was staring at us.
Can’t.Imagine.Why.
But one woman, in particular, was riveted. And unfortunately, F-train noticed.
“Why is that woman staring at us? That one right there in the green shirt.”
Then he goes into his Christopher Walken impression. Which, since F-train will never do his Walken impression when I ask him–which is pretty much whenever I see him, this is the only redemptive quality of the F-F-F-F-train. He’ll just casually do Christopher Walken at the drop of a hat.
The woman stares more.
“Well, we’re probably teaching her some English,” Sonar says.
I cover my face with my hands, which is pretty much what Kaz is now doing – but for non-embarrassed my F-train reasons. I think.
“Wow. That lady looks real concerned about Kaz,” F-train loudly observes.
“Yes, this is all your fault.”
“No, it’s not.”
Tito, the only thing approaching an adult in our group, went to get Kaz water.
That seemed to do the trick, and F-F-F-F-train took the opportunity to tattle.
“Kaz, Kaz look what Dawn did,” he said showing her the camera phone picture of his bite.
“What is that?”
“Dawn bit my hand.”
“Then, why don’t you just show me your hand?”
“Cause it’s gone now.”
“I don’t know, F-train. That doesn’t really prove anything. You could have bit yourself,” Tito suggests.
Which, now that I think on it, is exactly what happened. I was on the train minding my own business, when F-train shouted, “why didn’t I get her number???” and then bit himself.
As we waited on the platform for the F-train –not the drunken man-child—but the actual train to arrive.
I noticed a woman with a baby stroller. But inside the baby stroller was a small, yippee dog.
She walked away to look at the map and the dog started yelping.
“God dammit. You are like a child,” she said stomping over to the DOG in a STROLLER.
Yah. Can’t imagine how the dog got the impression that it was child.
She wheeled the dog over to the large subway map and started having a hissy fit.
“Carmen, come here. This train doesn’t go there,” she hissed to the Latina chick a foot away.
It was then we noticed the other woman who was holding like seven bags from the finest stores in midtown and pushing a shopping cart with yet another dog inside.
The woman quickly came over to the dog stroller woman and started apologizing and explaining something.
“Man, I fricking HATE rich people,” I say glaring at stroller dog lady chewing out Carmen.
“Uh, Dawn. You are rich,” the newly unmigraned Kaz says.
“Nu uh. I am working class…I work…and…I um…went to class.”
Kaz, still watching the two women interact, mutters “classy” at something dog stroller woman did.
“Ooh. Yes! That’s what I should have said. Ok, do over. Nu uh. I am working class. I work and I have class.”
Damn, I’m so clever.
Seats open up on a bench a few feet away, so we walk over there.
F-train crouches against the garbage can next to me.
“Oh my God!!! THAT’S NOT A BABY!!! That lady has a dog in the stroller,” he says loudly enough for the entire platform to hear.
Kaz and I laugh and laugh.
“Yes, dude. We’ve been talking about her for the past five hours.”
Finally, the train came and we were on our way home. When the train pulled into their stop, F-train said “now, you’ll be all alone!”
“Oh, thank GOD!”
I put on my ipod and settled back into my usual train ride of obscurity. What a crazy night.
My word.
The last time I bit a boy was the fifth grade and we ended up going out for a week until he let Tamara sit at our table at lunch and I punched him twice in the stomach.
Hmm, come to think of it, that was also the last time I had a date.

SUCK IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 28th, 2006 by Dawn Summers

SUCK IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bonds breaks Ruth’s record.

Don’t hate the playa, suckas.