Sunday, September 18, 2011

work, play, all the rest

Work:  very hectic.  Classes started this past Monday; suddenly everyone's around, and there's always something for me to do.  Lots. The fall intern I'd hired during the summer punked out on me at the last minute, so I didn't have one before the start of the term.  We weren't getting much yield from, so I had the idea of e-mailing half-a-dozen psychology departments at good local colleges  I got around 50 applications, and I believe it has only been circulated in two schools so far (Hunter and Baruch). 

Then I cleared the decks and interviewed four on Thursday and three yesterday and I have one more on Monday morning.  I'm looking for two.  There's one I'm absolutely going to ask.  The problem is that two other really good ones have the exact same times available, and I'm trying to split it up a little because three people in my tiny office is a lot; there are only two computers, and there isn't necessarily non-computer work every day.  There's one prospect who does have opposite days available, but I don't want to choose him just for that.  There's someone I like a couple of notches better.  I just have to decide if the guy with the good schedule is really who I want. The more coverage I have, the more other stuff I can do. 

I'm going to a couple of workshops on fundraising topics, which are both half-day affairs, and I'd like to at least have a warm body in the office.  I'm sometimes away from my desk to attend a meeting; I take minutes for the Board and the Executive Committee, and Fundraising has been asking me to attend their meetings.  I'm not sure why I keep having ideas they love; I've really never been involved with fundraising or development.  I think it's a mix of my education administration experience and my publicity experience, with a little writing skill thrown in.  I recently made a suggestion that we call our graduates "alumni" instead, which has a connotation of continued connection rather than here-and-gone.  Everyone went crazy for it.  A few months ago, I mentioned scholarships.  Who at a school hasn't thought of scholarships?

Play:  not much play, but I have a little time to kick back this weekend.  I just got paid on Thursday and I'm already stressed about money, but I'm putting it somewhat aside.  There's just not that much that can be done.  So I've been doing some of the things I like.  I have a lot of things I enjoy online:  my blog reader (I subscribe to quite a few blogs), a few games at, watching Netflix.  Facebook.  Tonight I ended up spending a couple of hours on YouTube; I was looking at something Barry had linked to from Facebook, and before I knew it, I was deep into My Favorites and also finding some new stuff.  I've posted quite a few of My Favorites here.  Some of them I love to watch over and over.  I actually posted three to Facebook, or I tried...Facebook sometimes eats my posts.  I know that one got up there:  Joe Flood singing "Miss Fabulous."  What?  you don't remember that one?  Well, then here it is again:

I was feeling very acoustic tonight.  Kind of mellow, although the Joe Flood song does totally rock, even on fiddle and bass.  Found a couple of new videos I liked a lot, although my favorite one wouldn't do anything for anyone who isn't crazy about old-timey/bluegrass music and familiar with the late lamented Wretched Refuse String Band.  It had one of their old recordings with a photo montage in tribute to the late lamented Richie Shulberg (aka Citzen Kafka), and some of the old band photos included one of my old sweethearts, who played with the band in the 70s.  Big sigh.

I'm not sure I really have that much to say tonight, but I wanted to slap something up here.  I hate to go too long without posting.  No earworms lately, no earthshattering events, nothing too outrageous. 

There was recently some serious flooding, in the wake of the pseudo-hurricane, in my old stomping ground of Binghamton, NY, which is unlucky enough to be at the conjunction of two rivers (Chenango and Susquehanna).  Apparently the nearby town of Owego was particularly hard hit, and I know someone who lived there.  I haven't been in touch with him for about eleven years, and I called and left a voice mail about a week ago.  Haven't heard from him yet, which is a little worrying, but I imagine it's very hectic all around there.  I'd just like to know that he and his family are all right.

I may have mentioned that I'm back in therapy.  Actually, I guess you'd call it analysis.  Back in the day, when I worked at another analytic clinic, it wasn't considered analysis unless you went three times a week.  Now, our students are required to do part of their analysis at twice a week, part at once.  So even though I'm going only once, I'm seeing someone analytic and I'm on the couch, so there you go.  I guess I'm about a month in now, and it feels good.  It's good to be able to spill things out and have someone look at them with me.  I guess when it gets hard, it's less pleasant, although I've already done a fair share of crying. 

I talked some about V., about the fact that I still do think of him and miss his friendship, or the illusion of friendship. My analyst thought it was not out of line not to be over it yet.  Three years, I guess, isn't that long to get over someone who was in your life for over 30 years.  Also, there was a time where I was hugely wrapped up and intertwined with his friends, family, fans...I was connected to a lot of people through and around him.  I'm only in touch with a few of them anymore.  There was something unpleasantly obsessive about the whole thing at times, but sometimes I enjoyed the large "family" that extended out to the west coast and back.

NOW I remember what I wanted to write about:  a certain prejudice.  I'm one of those violently liberal people who can't stand prejudice, based on race and especially based on religion.  I think I disappointed a close friend by refusing to hate all Palestinians and all Muslims.  I eye people very closely when I hear anything that smacks of bigotry.  But I realized today that I do have a problem with one particular group of people, and that's the Russians who live in the US, particularly here in Brooklyn.

We lived in Brighton Beach for about seven months, and when we moved there, I was really excited to move to the big beautiful apartment, to be so close to the boardwalk and ocean, and to have the opportunity to be around a different culture; I even thought that perhaps I would learn some Russian.  Uh-uh.  I cannot describe how insular the Russians who live there are, and how extremely rude and unpleasant they are to non-Russians.  I did not encounter a single person of whom that was not true.  I don't even remember being able to have any conversation at all with any Russian person there, not a chat in a grocery store or subway station, nothing.  In fact, in the stores, we could not get waited on until every single Russian person was waited on, even the ones who came in after we did.  It was as if we were living in a different country, and were entirely unwelcome.  And last summer, I suffered a very bad haircut at the hands of a Russian haircutter who was very brusque and curt and who did not give me what I asked for.

It came to mind today because Barry and I went to an an optometrist today to get po' people glasses (we can each get a free pair of glasses through Medicaid, which we only have until the end of the month), and it was very crowded, we had to wait an hour past our appointment time to be seen, and I believe that every other person there, customer, staff, and medical, were Russian.  No one was nasty to us, but just spending over two hours listening to Russian and English with heavy Russian accents really affected me.  I got cranky and didn't know why.  I guess I have to say, honestly, that I do not like Russians.

Then again, a friend of a friend was saying, a few months ago, how much she hates Canadians.  Canadians?  It seems her job requires her to deal with a lot of Canadians, a lot of her company's clients are based there, and she found all of them rude and conceited.  I guess, as much as you may not want to have that kind of opinion of a large group of people, your experience informs that kind of thing.  I actually rather liked Russian people before moving to Brighton; there were quite a few living in the apartment building where we'd lived in Midwood, and some of them were really nice.  Even the ones who didn't speak much or any English smiled and were friendly.  I guess Brighton just ruined it for me.

There's a new reality show on called Russian Dolls:  half a dozen rich tacky Russian girls in Brighton.  I laugh my ass off.  They're about as stupid and obnoxious as the Jersey Housewives, except they dress and groom in even worse taste.  THIS IS WHAT IT'S LIKE.  There's also a DirecTV commercial with a nouveau riche Russian guy that I find fairly hilarious -- although I also think it's kind of stereotyped and in bad taste. Go fig:

I'm a fool for that tiny giraffe, too.  

Well, I think it's time to watch a movie I downloaded today.  It's not, ahem, generally available for home viewing yet (if you get my drift), and I hope it's a good copy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment