Saturday, May 31, 2014

I'm Consistent

There are all kinds of creative people in the world.  There are better writers, artists and photographers than me. Some people are more experienced at these things.  They have more raw talent, more education, more uninterrupted time, and different skill sets than I do.

I am not saying any of this to malign myself. I know I have something special to bring to the table.

At the same time, there are people out there with MFAs in writing. People who write for a living. People with their own well-appointed photo studios, people who paint dreamy landscapes and do not use glue stick as a major element in their art.

There are people who do not write on the subway because they have a grant to go to a writer’s colony. There are people who do not make art on the dining room table. There are people who apologize when they take a picture with an iPhone because it isn't a real camera.

There are people who do not post photographs on Facebook because they have galleries and other venues to sell their work. Their art is in such demand that they are worried that other people will steal it.

Some of these people have blogs and these blogs can be pretty amazing. I am not saying this because I don't love my own blog. I love my own blog. I've made the kind of blog I want to follow. That's saying something.

I was not an early adopter when it came to blogging.  If you started blogging before me, then clearly your blog is in a different place. I am at peace with that. You got here first.

My blog has fans. If you are a fan of my blog, then thank you for your support. My blogging started because I wanted to share my writing and art and do the kind of writing and art that I like to read and look at. If you like it too, then I am happy.

People who like my blog will use words like creative, funny, different and new to describe it.

Those who dislike my blog may use words like amateur, dabbler or hobbyist. They may wish for the days when gatekeepers kept people like me from sharing their writing and art. They wish the Internet weren't so damned democratic.

No one has left a hateful comment on my blog. I do not have enough followers to have trolls. I believe that any Haters I have are of the Silent Hating variety. Even people with thousands of followers, and have many people who post absolutely mean comments on their blogs have Silent Haters.

It is hard to prove the phenomenon of Silent Haters, but to an intuitive like myself it feels like a barely perceptible sound or the softest breeze.

There is one quality though that fans and Haters can agree on about me. It is an asset that is both professional and beyond reproach. I am going to ask you, once again, to excuse my language.

I am fucking consistent.

I started my blog in February with a goal of posting content once a week. I posted content once a week then upped the ante to twice a week. The content has ranged from crappy to excellent. But my consistency is always great. I said I was going to post twice a week. I post twice a week.

When it comes to posting photography on Facebook, I have a very tight schedule. I have many series that I am sharing at this time. I am posting Beautiful Trash, Dumpsters, I Heart 168th street, Williamsburg, Hardscrabble Plants, Mid-Century Modern, Flyers on Lamp Posts and Other Surfaces, Spring, Meditate with Me, Swatch Book, Farmer's Market, Craft-Like, What I see when I go to the Country and This is Inwood on a weekly morning and afternoon schedule.

No one is better at being consistently consistent than me.

Whether you think my series of photographs that depict the glories of spring are that of an excellent craftsperson or a total dilettante, you will have to admit that they are there for the viewing each and every Thursday evening.

In terms of consistency, my blog and my Beautiful Trash Series have more in common with The Young and the Restless, the summer solstice, Church on Sundays and undying unconditional love than they do with Baseball Games, flashes of inspiration, Summer romance or sleeping late on weekends.

If you are already a professional, have an exquisite trained eye or creative voice, then take a page from my amateur book. A great idea unrealized and unpublished is only half an idea. Be humble enough to share what is not always transcendent, not always finished, not always commissioned. The best part of it may be that it is new. That is enough.

If you want to be a better photographer, then you should be shooting all of the time. Photography is now cheap. If you want to shoot photographs, then shoot photographs. There are no excuses. Same with writing. That was always something you could do for free.

If there is no garret, no studio, no workshop, that's okay. The waiting room, post office line and the kitchen table are beckoning.

If you are a beginner at something, crappy at something, have desire but no talent, take the professional part of what I do and steal it. Try a schedule for a while. Stick with it long enough and gradually things will look less crappy. You'll look like you've been at it for a while because by then you will have been at it for a while.

As for me, I'm going to keep on being consistent. Eventually, I'll get really good at all of this. People will want to move over and make space for me at the big table. And then I'll do the same for you. There's more than enough room for everyone.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014



At first, I'm just like everyone else.
Eyes glued to the concert, the commencement speaker, the officiant.
Soon though, I'm in another place.
Those same eyes and ears that did what they were supposed to do
Are doing what they want instead.

What must it be like?
To be so enraptured by the chamber orchestra?
We all paid our money to get in here, after all.
But I'm watching the sound mixers and the lighting guys.
The regular people quietly working.
I wonder what it's like to be them.

Once upon a time I listened intently as the principal whispered to the student teacher.
This quiet exchange, this non-event
Eclipsed Mrs. Nelson, the overhead projector, Christopher Columbus and the Indians.
Until it was time to make the diorama
Then I was back in the fold.

You might be interested to know that your patterned dress
With its crimson, orange and touches of turquoise
The complementary colors vibrating ever so slightly
The back of you was front and center
You didn't mean to upstage the bride.
It's not you, it's me.

I've been the subtle audience
To the stolen look, the shaking hands in need of a cigarette
The flowery water stains in the ceiling, the fluttering blinds
Your patchouli is taking me back to my friend's dorm room.

I've been the single witness to the nail polish that matches the pamphlet.
That bleach stain on your upper right shoulder
That makes a perfect pink heart.

Some days, I'd rather be like everybody else.
Encore! You all yell, wanting more.
The rock stars play three more songs before the lights go on, bright and unmistakable, meaning it's finally over.

As painful as it was, I'm glad I stayed.
The way the back of the seat met your nubby sweater, the smell of your spilled beer
The way the faded chandeliers will look on the way out and the pattern on pattern of the aged, scuffed rugs
That will be worth the price of admission.

For most of you, it's Bob Dylan, the valedictorian, the expert, the soloist, the Bar Mitzvah Boy.
For me it's that, for a time.
Right before it becomes the pebbles between the broken tiles or the tarnish on the oboe
I've already tried changing, so don't bother.
If it weren't for my eyes, no one would notice the fraying, the sidelong glance, the shadow.
I hear the click of your broken high heel, I smell the impending rain.
Somebody has to and it might as well be me.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Crappy Collage

If you happen to be reading my blog for the first time, let me share something with you. Every time I write a blog post, I make a collage to go with it. For me, blogging and collaging just go together. If you have read my blog before, you already know this about me.

One day recently I wrote a blog post. Naturally, I began making a collage. It was coming together a bit more slowly than usual. I wasn't enjoying the process as much as I normally do. I didn't think much about it. Some days are just like that.

At one point, I considered this collage finished. I didn't want to overwork it. I took it over to my usual photography spot, on top of the flat part of our treadmill. The natural light is really good over there.

I left to run some errands, and pick up Noah at school. While I was out, I was aware of an uncomfortable feeling. I got out my iPhone and looked at the photograph of the collage. I kept putting the iPhone camera away, then getting it out again to look at it.  Finally, after doing this several times, I came to a bit of a difficult realization.

I had made a crappy collage.

This was a very annoying revelation. It was inconvenient. I had set aside a certain amount of time to do two collages. I had been counting on this one being in the can so I could start on the next one. I didn't have all day.

I quickly overcame any resistance I was feeling, and entered the acceptance phase. My thinking changed from whether or not this was a crappy collage or just how crappy it was, to what to do about the crappy collage.

Previously, there would be only one choice for me regarding this crappy collage. I would have to scrap it and start all over again. Anything worth doing right was worth doing perfectly.

I used to be a perfectionist. I didn't think this was such a bad thing, until I wasn't a perfectionist anymore. Once I'd had a massive paradigm shift and this way of dealing with things became a thing of the past, I realized that the previous perfectionism was keeping me from doing anything in a lot of situations. It kept me hostage. It could be paralyzing.

Things feel liberating now that I'm in a different place. If I were to explain how I came to the place of being less of a perfectionist, there would be a short version and a long version of that story.

The short version is extremely short. I could probably confine myself to one word. For the longer version, it could take a good twenty minutes of history and detailing. I am not inclined to tell you either the short or long version now.

I don't rule out a future blog post titled How One Person Broke Through The Self-Imposed Prison Of Perfectionism or Not Perfect And Lovin’ It. If you would like to see a post like that someday, just keep on reading my blog.

Getting back to the crappy collage. Besides rejecting the art work altogether, I considered two other options. One of them was to simply post the crappy collage. This would free me up to move on with collage #2 as planned.

I seriously considered this because I am experimenting with the idea that sharing a crappy collage, crappy writing, a crappy photograph, or even engaging in occasional tiny bits of crappy parenting is not the end of the world. There is much to be said for just getting something done and out there.

The third option was to take an in between approach. I wouldn't just post the crappy collage. I wouldn't start all over again and throw it away. I would work on it some more, without becoming totally obsessed. I started to really warm up to this idea.

I considered just what was making this collage crappy. The main problem was that it was static and boring. I'd had a pre-conceived notion of what I wanted to do in this collage. I had achieved what I set out to do. However, the results were flat and less than exciting.

What this collage needed was a little well considered dissonance. I did some brainstorming on the subway. When I got home, I quickly cut out some elements from magazines that added some color and surprise, while still making sense for the overall concept. I also found some stuff on the Internet.

The process of finishing it took about twenty minutes. I then got started with collage #2 and that one came together rapidly. I got into a pleasant flow state, which is what usually happens when I make a collage.

Then I took them both over to the treadmill and photographed them.

In case you're wondering which collage was the formerly crappy one, I'm not saying at this time. Since it turned out well, it is all water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned.

If you're thinking that all of my collages are crappy anyway, I have considered that possibility.  I might like them all now, but think they are crappy in the future after I become better and better at making collages.

I have chosen not to dwell on this. I will cross that bridge when I come to it.
I'm not going to worry about something that might never happen, like my changing my mind about all of my collages.

I’m also not going to worry about who likes which collage, who thinks they are all crappy, who doesn’t like anyone’s collages no matter what, who thinks that my collages are wonderful, but that my writing is crappy. I'm going to just keep making collages, and see what happens.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Photography Rules I Had Last Winter

No more lichen
The ice belongs to Tom
Moss never looks as good as I think it will

Proceed carefully with the salt on the sidewalks
The crystalline lawn is uncharted territory
Go with that

If getting close isn't in the cards
Don't waste time with the zoom
The textured brick, the weathered sign, the old wood grain will have to wait for tomorrow
The iPhone camera doesn't like the dark

Yes to the snowdrifts at dusk, the footprint, the muddy bike spokes
Skip the old leaves, the pile of sticks, the overturned pot
That frozen puddle is so last year

There are days so cold
That no majestic evergreen, shorn branches or virgin snowfall
Is worth the fumbling, stiff fingers, the hot breath in the frigid air

Come February there will be a fork in the road
The scavengers will alight on the pinecones or the Spartan grass
Go ahead and change directions
There's always more where that came from

Saturday, May 17, 2014

One Of These Psychoanalysts Cannot Be Wrong

I made my way from Park Slope Brooklyn to the Upper West Side of Manhattan for my therapy appointment. As I settled into the comfortable chair facing my therapist, I got started on my topic for the day. Jeremy and I were seriously contemplating a move from Park Slope to the Inwood section of upper Manhattan.

After a bit of one-sided discourse, my therapist cleared his throat. I don't usually like to do this, he said. But I feel I would be remiss if I didn't say something. I think it could be a mistake for you to move to Inwood.

This definitely got my attention. The therapist was psychoanalytically trained, and for a young guy, rather orthodox. I was not used to receiving direct, immediately implementable advice from him. Our work together was more amorphous and long range.

Because of the rarity of the situation, I decided to strike while the iron was hot. I was aware that this was a potentially exciting development because the therapist was going off script. Naturally, I asked him to elaborate.

He went into several reasons why he was more comfortable with Park Slope than Inwood. He was also more comfortable with many neighborhoods that were not Park Slope and also not Inwood. He listed some of these neighborhoods.

I just think Inwood could be dangerous, I remember him saying.

As I left my session for the day, I put his thinking into the hopper. I wasn't going to rule out a move to Inwood based on what he said. I also wasn't going to dig in my heels and not listen to him. I was going to think about it some more.

Not far from where I was on the Upper West Side, Jeremy was also meeting with his therapist. This guy was also psychoanalytically trained. He was in fact recommended to Jeremy by my therapist.

If you compared the two of them, Jeremy's therapist was somewhat looser than mine. He could be a bit more direct. However, he was still not fond of outright telling Jeremy what to do. The general idea was for him and Jeremy to talk and then for Jeremy to generate good ideas on his own.

At dinner that night, I told Jeremy what happened at therapy that day. Jeremy found this very interesting because of what happened at therapy with him.

I don't like to tell you what to do, Jeremy's therapist said. But I think that if you don't take this opportunity to move to Inwood, it could be a big mistake. He went into all kinds of reasons why he thought that moving to Inwood was the best option.

During the conversation, Jeremy shared that he would miss riding his bike in Prospect Park if we moved to Inwood. At that point, his therapist became even more opinionated. I don't want to see you pass up what is clearly a great opportunity over bike riding, he said.

Jeremy and I discussed it further over the next several days. We talked it over a bit more with our therapists. We each told our own therapist what the other one said. Both of them found this very interesting. Even my rather serious therapist had to admit that the whole thing was funny.

We also consulted with family members and got more information. Jeremy's mom was especially helpful. Once we ultimately decided to move to Inwood, she coached us through the bidding process on the apartment.

It's been 16 years since moving to Inwood. If this decision were like most things in life, I would say that moving to Inwood has been good, but not perfect, and that each therapist was correct in their own way.

But it appears that this decision did not turn out like most. Moving to Inwood was not a mixed bag. Moving to Inwood was clearly a great idea. It has only gotten better the longer we've lived here.

So in this one case, Jeremy's therapist turned out to be right and my therapist was wrong. It turns out that my therapist was more helpful when it came to how to live, but not necessarily about where to live.

The title of this blog piece pays homage to the song One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong by Leonard Cohen. It is one of my all time favorite songs.

Monday, May 12, 2014

If Not Here, Where?

I was sitting in a beautiful spot in my neighborhood called Darling Coffee with Noah. We have a little tradition most Saturdays where I take him to a pizza place for lunch and then for dessert at Darling. I get coffee or tea and a little dessert. A favorite of mine are the lemon poppy seed shortbread cookies. Noah always gets the No-Nut Brownies, unless they've sold out. In that case he will settle for a Campfire Cookie.

Darling was packed. Noah and I scored a spot on a bench. People filled all of the tables, window seats and stools. A long line of people waiting to order snaked almost to the door.

People were eating and socializing, relaxing, reading. A significant number of people seemed settled in for the duration, sipping coffee and staring intently at laptop screens.

The scene unfolding before me is a small business success story. A full house of delighted looking customers. A happy buzz that happens when a place has become a community gathering place. Just what our neighborhood needed.

Maybe because this is still a new business, maybe for entirely different reasons, maybe for no reason at all, I started thinking about all of the people that were at Darling Coffee on this given day at this exact time.

First, I considered the mass of people as a group. Then I began to study individual people. Finally, I included Noah and myself in my thinking.

If these people were not at Darling Coffee at this time, where would they be?

I wondered if this person or that, clearly designating this space as a workplace, would be sitting with their laptops at the Starbucks that opened several blocks away on Dyckman Street. Would the people enjoying lunch simply be eating at a different establishment?

How many people would just be at home?

When I turned the question to myself, I found it difficult to answer. Did the little ritual that Noah and I developed come about because Darling Coffee opened? Did that trigger it? Or was there something going on where no matter what, a Saturday tradition was ripe to happen?

In asking myself the question, I realized that it might be impossible for most people to answer it with any certitude. This would almost always remain in the realm of speculation. It would be a permanent maybe.

I thought of a study I could do where I would ask people to think about the question and speculate about where they might be. Knowing that it might be ultimately unanswerable for many would force people to ask themselves questions and imagine an entirely different scenario for themselves on a small scale.

The project might be called If not here, where? I would take some very lovely photographs of my subjects. I would photograph them at Darling and then again at the place they might be if Darling didn't exist. The place they would be if it never opened.

I saw myself gently approaching people with beautifully designed cards describing my project. It would be like a calling card. It would invite them to participate.

Noah jolted me out of the reverie. He interrupted my thinking before I could flesh out the idea or think of the caveats.

We left Darling to take a hike in Inwood Hill Park. The questions I asked myself, and the idea I had, remained suspended and brand new.  I chatted amiably with Noah.  During the lulls in conversation, I photographed the rocks, bark and plants that peppered the trails. That is where we were, and that is what we did. That much is certain.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Other People's Blogs

Beautiful, practical and down to earth. Here are three useful blogs I love. They give me the advice I need in a lovely package. I couldn't ask for more.

Apartment Therapy

I'm raising a family in a small apartment.  This is the price we pay for living in NYC. I wouldn't trade my little dwelling for the world. I really like it here. That said, it can be trying.

God Bless Apartment Therapy. They've done a lot to singlehandedly make living is a teeny place seem cool - even desirable. There are absolutely brilliant ideas here for making the most of any space - big or small. Besides that, although the site is cleanly and beautifully designed, the photographs look like real places to live. The rooms featured are not over styled or inaccessible. They look like your cool friend's apartment.

We are planning an apartment renovation and this has been my bible. It would be a good fit for bigger project than ours (like a gut reno) or smaller (organizing your shoes).

Dinner: A Love Story 

The basic premise of this blog is to make eating dinner together as a family easy and enjoyable for busy parents. But that description is limiting, so I'll say a bit more.

This blog takes the everyday concept of kids, meals, parenting and running a household and elevates it. There's no sense of drudgery here. The photographs are homey and cozy while infused with sophistication. I would say the same things about the recipes. They really are easy, and they are easy to adapt to individual tastes. A lot of them take comfort food somewhere new, interesting and delicious.

And here's a little secret for people who don't have kids, people whose kids have flown the coop, or people who have one child who won't eat anything from this website either (ahem): check out this blog. The food is that good, the visuals are that lovely. This is not kiddie food. Make it for you and your adult friends.

They also have cookbooks that embody the same sensibilities.

Moomah: the Magazine

This blog is primarily focused on parents of young children. But I am here to say that as a mother of teens, I'm still finding it relevant and inspiring. Here's why.

To say this blog has an artistic sensibility is an understatement. You will find crafting projects, little kid fashion layouts, articles to read the little ones about animals - but it almost doesn't matter. The website is just incredibly beautiful. Check it out whether you have small kids or not. It's a visual feast.

The art projects, travel ideas and cooking inspiration are applicable to families with wee ones and teens, and dare I say some of it will draw in non-parents too.

This blog does not take itself too seriously. Nor is it overly precious. That said, I have been known to enjoy the extremely precious blogs too. They're a guilty pleasure.

The blog is constantly evolving. The focus is increasingly on a mission they call Make Nice. This is about helping your kids look beyond themselves in order to help others. As a mother, artist and volunteer for organizations very close to my heart, I can say that I love this new direction. I'm engaged in reaching out to my community to help kids with childhood cancer and their mission dovetails beautifully with that.

At the same time, their past issues are readily accessible if I'm looking for a mother/daughter holiday craft project. This blog is the best of many worlds.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

On Polygamy

Jeremy and I enjoyed watching Big Love on TV. Occasionally, I've been known to watch Sister Wives. This has given me the opportunity to think about the kind of arrangement where a man may have more than one wife.

Because Jeremy and I come from a tradition where you are allowed only one wife at a time, naturally the guy on Big Love having three at once brought up some questions. Which one do you think is the prettiest? I asked Jeremy. If you could pick only one of these wives which one would it be?

He chose wife #1, the dark haired beauty with high cheekbones. She also seemed to be the most stable and reasonable of the three.

My own choice, if I were a dude from this religion, would be wife #2. The chick was seriously high maintenance and very emotional. However, in my opinion she was the most gorgeous and interesting. I know it would end badly and I would regret it later. But what fireworks while it lasted!

One of the main advantages to having sister wives, is the social aspect of it. I imagine there would be a lot of hanging out. Because there would be two or more other women there, you'd have a live-in captive audience for whatever was bothering you.

There are things that interest women more than they interest men. For instance, I feel like the sister wives would be really interested and supportive if I received an email that really hurt my feelings. I could discuss the hurtful email all I wanted without their eyes glazing over, then Jeremy would be free to pursue what interests him. This is a good example of the kind of camaraderie I could expect from other wives.

However, this advantage could quickly turn into a problem. Since I am Jeremy's only wife, in order to socialize with other women, I either have to text one and ask them to lunch, or do laundry in our building's laundry room when friends are down there. The friends aren't just in my apartment at all hours.

While having the other wives around all the time might prove fun at first, all of the conversation, wine drinking, reality TV viewing, discussing meals, venting about the kids and reassuring other wives that they aren't fat, would eat into productivity and individual goals. I've come to the conclusion that being the only wife here is good in terms of getting anything done.

Another situation that comes with some pros and cons would be the sharing. I really would be fine sharing some clothes with my sister wives. In fact, there is a potential there for having many more clothes to choose from than I do now. There's a chance that the fat sister wife might feel left out of the closet shopping and clothes swapping. What fat sister wife? Come on. You know there would be one.

I'm a little more leery of sharing makeup. This is what I would say to my sister wives. You can borrow my makeup if you ask. And then it depends on which thing you want to borrow. Bronzer yes, lipstick, no. And make sure you clean my brushes when you're finished.

The biggest problem with the sister wife thing is the part where I would have to share Jeremy with them. I'm sorry, but that doesn't float my boat. I'm possessive. Whenever Jeremy goes on a business trip, I remind him no hanky panky.

Even if I could get my mind around sharing Jeremy, I know I'd be really secretly competitive with the other wives. I would be all nice and we're all in this relationship together on the outside. But on the inside it would be a different story. It would bring out my worst qualities.

I'd be on the treadmill working out, keeping myself all tight and fit. I'd look over at my lazy sister wives, sitting on their asses eating Ferrero Rocher and reading magazines and feel really superior. I'm ashamed to admit this, but it's true. I would be committing the sin of pride.

I would do all sorts of things to try to be the most pleasing sister wife. Some of them would be the same things I do now because face it, I want to remain vivacious and interesting. But if the competition were in my house, day in day out, I'd have to seriously up my game. I'd have to buy a blow dryer and learn to use it. I might feel obligated to get a Brazilian.

As I look around my very nice but small apartment, some practical matters come to mind. Where would we put everyone? It's not just the wives. Naturally, if Jeremy and I were polygamous, the other wives would want to have children with Jeremy. I couldn't very well insist that he only have children with me. That wouldn't be fair.

I can tell you right now, Jeremy and I would not want to move to a McMansion in the suburbs. Or a creepy compound.

The one thing I could see working, if I had to be in such a relationship, would be a large loft space in an up and coming neighborhood. Presumably, at least some of the wives would have lucrative careers and maybe then we could all live somewhere really hip.

There would be the corporate sister wife making the big bucks. Maybe there would be another DIY crafty, urban homesteading  type and she could raise chickens in the tiny yard outside of the loft and sew clothes for everyone. If it weren't for me being such a jealous type, this scenario could work. It isn't half bad.

But there's another issue. I'm a feminist. This patriarchal bullshit would bug me. I also feel that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. So if I'm going to have to share with other wives, then there needs to be brother husbands, or at least some boyfriends.

Which reminds me of something that happened way back when, at my kids' nursery school. I'd picked up Noah from the nursery school class and was strapping him into his stroller. At the same time, I was handing my sister in law's phone number to one of the dads who was there to collect his kid.

The reason I was doing this was that the dad was kindergarten shopping for his son, and was strongly considering a school that my niece and nephew were attending at the time. My sister in law said she would be happy to talk to the dad about this school.

So I'm getting ready to leave, and I notice one of the teaching assistants give me a look. What? I say to her.

She just keeps giving me this significant look. Then I figure it out. She thinks I'm giving my phone number to this dad so we could hook up later. I can tell by the look on her face, that is what she is thinking. What a dirty mind on that woman!

Listen. I say to her. Don't give me that look. I'm not even giving him my phone number. It's someone else's.

I continued. I already have one husband. And let me tell you, one man is more than enough for me. And with these kids and my job and this husband I am more than busy. I am too busy and too tired from this husband and these kids to have any kind of affair.

I could have left it at that. But one thing I have to mention is that although this dad is very nice he was not my type. I felt a little bad that the teacher's assistant thought I'd give out my phone number and plan a hook up with him, when there were other dads there that I would easily choose over him.

I wasn't choosing them, because of being more than satisfied with Jeremy and also too exhausted to think of such a thing. Also Jeremy is much more handsome than any of the dads. I'm just saying.

So I added one more thing. And if I did want to have an affair with someone, it wouldn't be him.

By this time, the teaching assistant was lying down on the classroom rug, near the dress up corner laughing hysterically. She was basically incapacitated. That's what she gets for getting up in my business I thought. I handed Noah some Pirate’s Booty and wheeled him out of there.