Friday, March 09, 2007

Other fun and crazy things

We went along to a basketball game in New Jersey to watch the Nets play the Kings. Whenever I have to ride a bus for any real sort of distance, I realize how much I dislike public transport - with coughers and snorters all around me I was wishing I didn't need to breathe for about half an hour! At least on the subway you can escape to another car, and you're never really on the subway for too long anyway.

The game was exciting, and we had hot-dogs to complete the whole experience! My favourite part was one of the motivating songs they play in the background throughout the game. It says "Everybody clap your hands-" and EVERYBODY CLAPS THEIR HANDS!!!!! John says they should try "Everybody buy some Coke" and see what the result is! It had me in stitches every time the song came on.
When the frozen snow started to soften it was a lot of fun to play with. We threw snowballs both at and to the dog. Hilarious! Many hours were spent on such simple fun!
I found an old fashioned milk bar/diner near our place. It had antique coke stuff in the window and the old interior. It reminded me of the scene from Back to The Future, when Marty goes into a milk bar in the 50s. It's been there for ages - since the 20s or something. It ended up being very expensive (a disappointment we often face at the end of a fun meal) but the milkshakes (malts) were sooooooooooooooooo yummy. And now we've done it, we won't have to wonder about it every time we go by. Union square is a pretty cool place to hang out. There is a great book store there that has rare books as well as just about any other book you can think to look for. (Yes Sal, it's the one you went to). We spent an hour or so there with a couple of friends and John picked up a giant old dictionary. We went out with them for coffee in a nice little cafe afterward. This photo was taken before they arrived. It is in the same location as the swimming pool art that we put in a blog a little while ago. I went by the other day and now they have a life-saver ring and something else hanging on it too! All for fun. If I wasn't so worried about being arrested, I reckon I would have enjoyed the view from up there!

I got pink eye (conjunctivitis) last week which bought me a couple of days off school. It was so difficult to figure out how to see a doctor that I almost gave up! The ones I spoke to couldn't see me for a week. Finally I got an appointment with an eye specialist! They did the whole letter chart and everything - most unnecessary. I can't afford to be sick here because not only is it difficult to get to the doctor, but they don't really replace me properly at work, so whoever has my kids has a tough time of it - no real assistance. At least I have health insurance so it isn't too costly - $15 for a normal (?) doctor and $25 for a specialist.

The buttons have popped off my jacket (NOT due to putting on weight) and I've been having trouble finding somewhere to get replacement buttons. There's no Lincraft here! I'm going to explore my options tomorrow.

Every Friday the kids at our school have to have lunch in the classroom because the church needs to use the room we use as our playroom. Today I let my kids build a cubby house. They had a great time despite how squishy it must have been for them. We also had a speech meet earlier this week. The children memorized poems and stories for the meet and presented them without prompts. It was pretty amazing and they did very well.

I think John has mentioned my frozen hair before, but here it is in real life! No wonder I'm finding it hard to shake my sickness.

Down near Chinatown we found some people playing this game of bike polo. They ride their bikes around and try to score goals by hitting a ball with their polo-like sticks. We decided the sticks were home-made using some other sport stick with a bit of pipe on the end. The ball was like the sort kids play hockey or cricket with at schools in Australia - bright coloured and plastic. There are no goalies. Each team has three people. If you put your foot down you have to ride over to the side and tap a cone before joining back in. It was interesting to watch and drew participants from all walks of life.

A couple more of my paintings.

Chinese New Year

The past few weeks have been part of the Chinese New Year Festival. We headed down to Chinatown to join in some of the festivities. We saw the fireworks and also a parade with dragons, lions etc. I love that part of town so it was all good fun for me.

We got really close to the fireworks - much closer than you ever can in Australia. Being a Chinese event, they had some pretty cool fireworks. They had flashy ones close to the ground, the swishy cartwheeling ones, noisy ones, high up ones, and loads of colours. I also got to have lots of bubble tea. I'm onto another asian delicacy too now - green tea ice-cream. Yum!
We also went to the Peking Duck House where we got a Peking Duck to share for $40 or so. It was very tasty and we left feeling very satisfied.
I've been doing a lot of painting lately too. I'm developing my style and at the moment I am experimenting with painting people. I got some charcoal and I think I'll try to sketch some landscapes as well. Painting landscapes doesn't seem so effective for me. It's also hard to get the detail into it due to brush thickness.

Just for fun I'm doing a couple of courses this weekend - decoupage and weaving! All the creative outlets are great because the schoolwork is so structured.

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day was a big thing in school here. I needed to dedicate the first half-hour or so of the day to distributing Valentines. My class mom made us all gift bags with our names on them. We put these on our desks and then went around the classroom distributing our notes, cards and sweets to each other. It was very cute. Mean Mrs. Ryder wouldn't let the children eat their candies at school but made them take them home instead! Of course, I could eat mine!

At some point during the day it started to snow. It was the most snow that we've had this winter. It was pretty nice looking, but the snow got fairly deep so we had to wear boots to walk around the streets. John and I went out to a restaurant for dinner - in our boots! They really took care of us at the restaurant and I even walked out with a long stemmed red rose.

The snow hung around for ages on the streets. The weather got really cold so it froze solid and the grot from the streets clung to it. Within a couple of days the snow was really ugly grey slush. It was nice when the sun finally came out enough to melt it and then when it rained. Nice to freshen up.

We've had snow again since, but nothing that has lasted long.