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Be prepared!

May 5, 2010

The Spy family all went in different directions today. AJ headed to school, as usual and somewhat reluctantly. Mr. Spy headed to the train to Chicago to audition for a well known game show. As for me, I grabbed my yoga mat and set out on foot up and over the hill to yoga class. On my way there, I saw a woman I haven’t seen before walking toward my street from another direction. She was tall and thin and muscular with blonde hair and was wearing running shorts. She walked fast and headed down the hill in front of me. You don’t see many pedestrians out on that road at that time of day, so I wondered where she was headed and I was surprised to see, as I came around the edge of the retaining wall, that she was heading into the yoga studio.

It turned out that she lives in my neighborhood and has for many years. I have heard her name many times, but we had never before met. She walked in curious about the kundalini class, but unsure if it was for her. But she talked herself into staying for the class and I think she loved it. It was a wonderful class all round and we all walked out feeling better than when we had come in. After class, I lingered to finish making the arrangements with a friend to split a CSA share. I got home and was feeling good about that too.

When I walked in, there was a message flashing on my machine. It turned out to be from a reporter for the local paper asking me to comment “about the school situation.” I logged onto my computer and checked the news. The teachers voted down the contract negotiation. I think this means that the negotiation is over. It isn’t happening. And our worst case scenario is what we’ve got.

I really don’t understand why the teachers are so unwilling to make any concessions. The board is truly not asking for very much. But there is so much bad blood between the teachers and the administration at this point, that I fear they will never be able to talk to each other. I thought for a while. Did I want to comment on this? In the end, I did call the reporter back and told her that I didn’t feel like I’d heard enough of the teachers’ side of the story to be able to comment adequately, but that obviously I’m distressed about what this means for our kids. I don’t like talking to reporters. I used to want to be one. I’d always planned to be one. But this is exactly why I had a change of plans. This and the fact that I couldn’t figure out how to leave the music in my life behind.

Afterwards, I did some writing (but not enough) and planted some tomato and pepper and basil plants in the garden. After AJ got home from school, I picked up Mr. Spy from the train — he thinks it went well. AJ is already angling for a trip to L.A.

We all converged at the house for a few minutes, then piled in the car and headed to the Little League fields for AJ’s baseball game. Today marked AJ’s first day off the bench and he was excited about it. He pitched the first inning and did very well, although his good friend C., who was on the opposing team, hit a home run off of him, which made him mad. But the whole team played well and they were neck and neck for most of the game, winning it in the bottom of the 6th (the equivalent of the bottom of the ninth in the big leagues) with 2 outs. Phew!

Alas, I missed the exciting finish, as I had to leave to go to a meeting for the upcoming Boy Scout camp out, at which I am likely to be the only female, from our pack anyway. I hope I survive. I also hope it doesn’t rain. The meeting itself was not as tedious as I had expected (I have a low tolerance for meetings), largely because the long lecture on how alcoholic beverages were ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN also included many excellent suggestions for how one might smuggle booze into the camp and not get caught. Among the techniques used in the past: pouring liquor into a chocolate syrup bottle and using it to spike your coffee and submerging a six-pack of beer in a large thermal vat of ice cold lemonade. We were also informed that were were not allowed to have anyone else’s boy in our tent (“Boy Scout policy” we were told. I tried not to snort.), not allowed to bring electronic devices, soda or excess sugar, that we may be forced to perform a fireside skit, and that the tents may be so close together that we might have to share tent stakes. This trip is sounding less fun by the minute. But it should, at least, be excellent blog fodder. Once I finally escape to a land where electronic devices are permitted, that is.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    May 6, 2010 8:05 am

    Excellent clip! I hope you survive that trip, too. I avoid the girl scout camping trips – I have enough nature in my own backyard to suit me AND I get to sleep in my own bed at night.

  2. readersguide permalink
    May 6, 2010 9:53 am

    This reminds me of the school camping trips my kids took in elementary school! There was always a long and serious meeting beforehand at which many strict admonishments were made. I am actually not much of a drinker at all, but I left that meeting feeling a need to drink A LOT, and much of the fun of the trip was arranging covert runs to the grocery store for booze after the kids were (right) asleep. I felt like I was in high school again.

  3. May 6, 2010 11:40 am

    I love Tom Lehrer!

  4. May 17, 2010 12:37 pm

    As a musician who left the promised land (long story) behind for journalism, Iknow how you feel about the two professions. If it’s any consolation, most journalists I know are pretty concerned with getting the facts. I spend many hours each week painstakingly transcribing interviews, etc., but as with any interpretation, some nuance is inevitably lost. Tough gigs, both music/musicology and journalism.

  5. May 17, 2010 12:59 pm

    I’d love to hear more about your career shift, Peti. I have always felt a little torn between music and writing. I’ve spoken with this reporter before and I do think she tries to get her story straight. But she’s young and inexperienced and it doesn’t always come out right. And some of that is probably my fault too. I’m an inexperienced interview subject, and I’m sure things don’t always come out the way I mean them. I’m used to being able to take the time to get them right in writing. But the paper she works for is very biased — in many areas, but especially on this story. So I also worry about the way things can be excerpted — it might be literally what I said, but what if the meaning is different if it’s taken out of context? I’ve done a fair amount of interviewing in both my research and my earlier incarnations as a student journalist. I’ve never really thought about it from this side. I hope it will make me a better interviewer, or at least a more conscientious one.

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