Friday, December 28, 2012

Allende Occupato

If there was one thing I need not have worried about, it was whether my comments in the classroom were too revolutionary. Instead of being afraid of indoctrinating my students into becoming little peace protestors, I should  have realized that that's what they already are.

Almost an entire week of classwork has been missed because students at Allende/Custodi decided to occupy the school. Students slept inside the school, funds were raised for food and other supplies, and the mayhem generally associated with an occupation process was set into motion. Why, you ask? Criticize the reasons as you may, but here is what I've garnered from my discussions with students:

  • against the lack of toilet paper in the bathrooms
  • against the increase of teaching hours for the same wage
  • against the money being unequally taken from public school education as opposed to private school funds-and just generally any money being taken at all, seeing as how there is already so little
  • for better/more consistent heating in the schools
  • more freedom in the school environment
  • the desire to be heard, have opinions acknowledged

Naturally every single class I've taught coming out of this protest has now in some way or other revolved around the Occupy Wall Street movement, as it serves as a recent example of an occupational movement in the U.S. However, now that I think about it, I could take it back to the sit-ins during the Civil Rights movement. There are so many reasons to occupy a space, and it's a fabulous concept that just by being in a certain place at a certain time you can send the message that something has to change, and that you are ready to make sacrifices in order to see that change happen. Glorious really.

I will say one thing. Though I'm really happy that the students gave me a standing ovation when they finally let the teachers into the school building (I shamelessly toot my own horn here. Yup.), they still had all of us secluded  into one room, Aula la Rosa, so that teachers would not be able to circulate and, in the words of the students, sabotage the occupation. Apparently two years ago when the students had attempted an occupation that is what happened. It would seem that the pattern repeated itself. Once teachers were free to roam, after an hour of judicious grumbling about being sequestered away in such a disrespectful manner, they talked the students out of continuing the protest.

While it was not perfectly organized (as if anything could be...) I applaud the students for doing something to try to change the sorry state of public school education in Italy. It makes me wonder what I did with myself during my high school years (gosh that phrase makes me feel old!).

Here are some pics.


This post serves in a way as a follow up to the post on Social Justice Education. I think it's safe to say I was struggling with some sort of existential issues in that one.

Life happens so strangely sometimes.
So, as I was thinking and thinking some more, I realized I was going through one of my life doses of disillusionment. What I was being disillusioned of I'm not quite sure. Maybe of my hope for humanity, my belief that not everyone is out there simply "to get mine". I think I was hoping to find an experience that was less individualistic than what I had in the United States.

Unfortunately, Italy's culture can be just as individualistic. However, the longer I've been here the more I notice how loving and giving so many people here are. Yes, there are some parts of living that suck. There always will be. Still, that's no reason to write the whole thing off.

So, the rose colored glasses are gone, but the harshness of their removal is tempered somewhat by a decision of the attitude to take toward life. I read somewhere that life is 10% what happens and 90% how you choose to react to it. So, it goes to follow that if I choose to maintain a positive outlook on things (admittedly sometimes very difficult to do) then I'll be just fine.

Yup. Just fine.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Political Musings pt 3- Social Justice Education

(I think I was feeling a little gloomy when I wrote this post but I'll share it anyway. None of us are one mood robots, eh?)

So, being a product of a liberal arts education and more or less a supporter of Freire, I consider myself a proponent of social justice education. The thing is, for me it gets personal. I don't have conversations about social and systemic injustice in a way that is vague and more theoretical than not. So, the question I've begun to ask myself is, "Just how much of myself and my personal interests am I to let into the classroom?" Do I even have the option or the capacity to make such a decision?

I've had a few classes now covering President Obama's acceptance speech, and also the speech Bruce Springsteen gave the day before elections.
When I tell my students flat out that the American Dream is a lie, is that going a bit too far? I felt it might have been. When I tell them to be aware that I have a particular U.S. experience that comes with its own set of biases I want them to be critical of the information I present to them. But if I'm honest with myself I want them to be critical of it in the way that I am. Since Italy is almost completely pro Obama I haven't had much push back, but I still get this impression that I'm trying to indoctrinate a new generation of freedom fighters.

But it's just so personal! I just can't believe in a dream that says that many of the people I grew up with in the Boston "hood" of Dorchester, or in the lower 9th ward of New Orleans just didn't try hard enough to succeed. I can't believe in a dream that blames someone for not being able to overcome generations of ingrained societal hierarchies and prejudices that we pretend don't exist any more. Kinda like that Sicilian I met at Lago d'Iseo who swears to me and anyone else who will listen that the mafia no longer exists in Sicily.
But I digress.

I've also been working with a teacher on movies such as Apocalypse Now (based on Conrad's Heart of Darkness) and Last of the Mohicans, and that got me to thinking about the colonial aspects of education, the power of culture and language in the classroom, and the ways in which I don't realize I assume a particular type of Italian culture or experience of my students. Only recently has it really stuck with me that some of my students aren't actually Italian citizens. Even some of the ones who were born here. I realize that in my classes I make blanket questions about Italian culture without stopping to ask about the other cultures students come from or other experiences they can compare this one too.

So once again I've come to this crisis of identity: The acknowledgement of my own acts of oppression despite often viewing myself as the oppressed. The difficulty and downright annoyingness of acknowledging that time and time again could be why I never seem to remember the lesson.
The thing is that I know my education gives me power and access I can't deny. So does living in Europe, having an ipod, a Mac, and a guitar that I can play.  No matter how old and dilapidated these items are, and no matter what struggles I face here in Milan, all of these are still symbols of wealth and status, of certain approved of life experiences. But you know, I think status is invisible. Or at least somehow deeper than the surface level of how many places you can pin on your facebook map,  the name brands on your back and the electronic devices in your pocket or on your desktop. No matter how much I learn or acquire I don't think I'll ever feel any different from a poor Afro-Latina who will always be sensitive about how people judge her by her cover.

Political Musings part 2

For those of you who read the previous post on politics, you'll know that at the end of the post I resolved to stay awake. I am pleased to inform you that I did indeed stay awake, and that I, a few other Americans, and countless Italians cheered like crazy when Obama was elected president for the second time. It was 6:30 in the morning, and I don't know how any of us were still on our feet after having partaken liberally from the open bar all night. Well, I should speak for myself...

And somehow I also managed to make it through five hours of teaching at school and then two more hours of conversation classes before finally making it home and sleeping for the next 14 hours.

Well since a picture is worth 1000 words I'll let them do the rest of the talking (mostly).

We were clearly the envy of everyone at the election event. I mean, we had Nutella! And we were playing American cards. There were a few really awkward camera-man moments. He kept coming back to film us. It didn't help that we were the first people to cop out and sit on the floor, since there weren't enough chairs to go around.


It was a lovely night, and I'm happy the tears shed were tears of joy :).

Thursday, November 15, 2012

On Dante and Immigration

Surely, had Dante been born just a few years later, he would have included Italy's immigration process as one of the punishments in Hell. Maybe it would be the hell for control freaks, so they could be reminded every waking moment (and of course every moment would be since it's hell...) that no matter how well they prepared or how early they planned to arrive, there would always be a problem and they would always be late.

Every day you would have to endure surly staff. Every day you would have to face the fear of irritation due to the lack of toilet paper in the smelly bathroom that had the toilet positioned next to a street level window with no curtain. Every day you would have to deal with children who, while are cute enough, quickly become tiring when it's noon and you've been waiting around since 7:30 for your 8:24 appointment because you had to arrive before the public transportation went on strike that day.

While you wait outside to actually get into the immigration office so you can keep on waiting some more, you would have to endure the horrible cloud of cigarette smoke that never went away. And of course, you can't move for fear of losing your space in line. And trust me, since the line goes down the street and around the corner, you don't want to lose a before-the-corner spot.

Yes, I daresay Dante would have had himself a good time with this. Maybe it could be an antechamber kind of punishment, to emphasize the peripheral nature of those of us not yet quite fully legally in the country.

Well, I thank the muse (currently unnamed, since I haven't found someone to stalkerishly fantasize over and connect to anything numerically significant) who guided me into the purgatory that was the second immigration meeting of the day (still suffering, but here at least I had hope it would end soon), and then who led me to the paradise that was the train ride back. 

Though it may have felt like an eternity, it most certainly was not. Yes, I thank my unnamed muse that it was just one day.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bathroom Blues

So I was debating which topic to focus this post on but I figured I could put the bathroom and the update on romance together. It's a dud. So you see it's fitting, because it just gets flushed down the toilet anyway... (Feel free to imagine a soft sigh here) What is cool about this situation is that I knew it would be a dud before I got the message from the middle-woman going between us. I had a dream last night and I felt like it was saying dude has some serious baggage with someone in his past. Then today the friend tells me he's got some problems with his ex and isn't ready to start anything yet. The thrilling feeling of "I knew it!" and "This is so cool!" trumped the despair of dashed romantic hopes.
I exaggerate a bit. I'm young yet and there's always hope ;).

So, on to the next part. For those of my friends who do not share my sense of humor regarding bathrooms and bodily functions, you can stop reading now. (Jilli-bean, this message is especially for you. Especially if you're eating.)

Now then. One has many memorable first moments when going to a country for the first time. Other than the memory of underarm odor on the ride over to my host family's house, I remember the increasingly pressing urge to go pee. It was bad. So my first footsteps on non-airport Italian land was the shopping center parking lot where we pulled over so I could do my business. I figured out that the toilets flush by stepping on a button on the floor, and I contemplated the feelings of increased manual cleanliness this left me with as I washed my hands at the sink.

We arrived home with little fuss after that. However, later that day a need of another kind arose. Now, the toilets in this house are designed so that they're really deep, so anything dropped in has a ways to go and gives off this loud splashing sound. The bathroom is right across from the host brother and sister's bedroom, so I feel like I have to creep around and go when no one's in the room or too close to the bathroom door. Anyway, this first day I go in peace, but then I realize there's no foot flush. I'm filled with dread. I couldn't very well ask my host sister how to flush the toilet considering what I had just done. I stood around really awkwardly, and then it hit me! In Vienna the toilet flushes were in the wall behind the toilet! I look up in hope, since all this time I had been staring at the ground and feeling rather panicky, and there it was: a little white button in the wall, poking out like a beacon of hope. I reached up, pushed the button, the toilet flushed, and I felt the relief which had hitherto been denied me. Yaaaay. I washed my hands.

While I still creep around like a bandit when I have to do number two, I'm pleased to say that after more than a full month here I am getting the hang of the toilets. My only other complaint is the fact that I keep finding the host brother's pee on the toilet seat. This should not be a recurring problem, or a problem at all. Kid's old enough to know how to aim and or clean up after himself. ugh. Let's just say me, the sponge, and the cleaning spray are very well acquainted.

Well, that's all folks! More posts of my adventures in Italy coming up. You'll have teaching experiences, and when I finally develop a decent social life, all kinds of other things to hear about in the near future as well!
Ciao ciao for now.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Alright folks. I had all these grand ideas about how when I got to Milan I would have all of these fabulous blog and vlog posts about my teaching experience and all the fabulous places in the city I've been. And eventually, all the fabulous places I've been in Milan and all of Europe and then the world.

While I still plan to make it to Morocco, the U.K., Ireland, Bulgaria, France, and any other place I can get to on Ryan Air, I've been in Milan for almost a month now and this is my first blog post. I've had a month of observing the goings on of my host family, my students, the teachers I work with, the inhabitants of this city, and I've been itching to write it all down in some pithy manner, or to at least blabber it out on youtube.

I'll summarize most of what's happened so far, but some things still deserve their own blog post.
Wait, let me introduce the host family to you. I am unsure of how honest I should be here, but whatevs. Here they are!

Father- Dennis Merlini: a rather self absorbed but well-intentioned man (who is sitting across from me now singing his heart out with X-factor karaoke.) he adores theatre and music etc.
Mother- Diana Cicconi: a soft spoken woman, until she gets pissed off, and then the whole city can hear her. A lovely cook, a lovely person, and possibly my only kindred spirit in the household. I consider myself lucky to have found even one. She plays a little piano.
Son- Nicolas Merlini, 13: previously thought of as demon child, but on closer consideration I have decided to peg him as rebel with a slight cause, and as perhaps a bit spoiled. Incredibly intelligent.
Daughter- Hilary Merlini, 15: an artistic marvel, a fabulously creative mind complete with artsy moodiness. I admit I locked myself in my room today to avoid the moody vibes. Also slightly spoiled (and more than slightly vain, but hey, she's a cute kid), a cute soft spot for her little brother, a fairly good cook, a fabulous baker.

On the ride from the airport the first thing I noticed was the conspicuous lack of deodorant in the vicinity. I was saddened to note this was not an anomaly. Walking into classrooms full of non-deodorized hormonal teens all day can be a real treat. Yup.

I have been to see the Museo Novecento, the Castello Sforzesco, the Duomo, a theatre I don't remember the name of, Iseo Lake (by far my favorite of all the trips), an architecture museum, the church of San Maurizio, one wine bar, and one super chic night club (Just Cavalli) where I met a possible romantic interest (friend of the colleague who invited me). Trust that should this possible romance go well or not go well, I'll want to write about it.

I even got to hear a Stradivarius played live at a free concert at the Duomo, and on November 23rd I will play my first ever gig in Milan! Not paid of course, but beggars can't be choosers. The drinks are free and mama is thirsty, so I'll get my money's worth out of the night ;).
As you can see, I'm working up a reserve of stories for my grandchildren. I envision myself as the hip, slightly eccentric afro-artsy-grandmother type.

During this month I've likely found every way to do something without paying for it. Free museum hours, no cover charges, and careful usage of the trams has allowed me to survive for weeks on 1 euro and 31 euro cents, which I am safeguarding for possible emergency expenditures. Naturally I've lost a bit of weight and gained an appreciation for sucking up my pride and begging my mother for help.

Final bit and I'll wrap this post up. For those of you who are wondering what I'm actually doing in Milan, I am taking part in the SITE Program supported by ITS Pacioli. I give supplementary lessons in English classes and teach afternoon conversation classes. I also tutor to earn some side cash. For reasons all too obvious to me I have been pegged as the perfect person to lead a Gospel Choir. I occasionally teach step dance to those classes that are interested.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Political Musings

One night during my freshman year of college I went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning the first African-American president of the United States had been elected into office. Something that I could not even bear to watch, that I hadn't even dared to hope for, had come true.

I remember when I first learned not to hope for things beyond my color. I was 10 years old. My mother, my aunt, and I were standing together in the living room, pausing in our conversation about something or other to watch a wrestling commercial in which "The Rock" strutted and flexed his sweaty muscles. Unlike my mother and her sister I had not yet learned to appreciate his particular physique. Instead, I was contemplating what bet my mother and I would make over who would win when we watched wrestling in the evening. It came as a surprise to me then, when my aunt suddenly asked me why "The Rock" would never be president.

I gave the question serious thought, nervous but also secretly pleased at the attention being given me as my mother and aunt awaited my answer. "...Uuumm." I stalled some more before finally saying, "Because he's not qualified?"
My aunt sucked her teeth. She was dissapointed. I could see.
I did not like dissapointing adults but surely my answer was the right one. "The Rock " was a wrestler. He couldn't be the president because he was not a politician! Simple, right?
"Wrong! It's because he's Black!" My eyes widened. This did not occur to me. I had already internalized the ideology that lighter-skinned Black people could do more and were liked better. I figured "The Rock" was light, so therefore the only thing stopping him was proper training.

Though my mother had not spoken during this exchange I could tell that she agreed with my aunt. When she finally did speak it felt as if she was ashamedly defending my naiveté on the matter. "You can't expect her to know that. She's too young." "Yeah, well she should know."
I should know.

I do know that three women, along with countless others, saw something happen that should not have been considered amazing or a milestone. That sentiment alone is enough to suggest that our journey toward equality is far from over.
This time, as the winds of change sweep over the United States, I want to be ready to meet them. I have decided to stay awake.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summary of the Past Few Weeks

Heeeeeey there reader!

So it's been awhile since my last blog update and naturally much has happened. I'd like to say my tardiness on this matter is because I'm super busy being super cool and awesome, but really I've been super busy avoiding life and playing video games in between watching the Olympics and feeling sorry for myself. (Those Nike commercials work wonders on the bruised ego of an overweight non-Olympian. I now believe greatness is in me too!)
However, despite my concerted effort to not do anything, I'll have to cut down the last few weeks to five musically memorable occasions.

Here we go!

5. I wrote a song! 
7/16 I finally wrote a song. The one before that was 6/13 and the one before that 5/22. Given this pattern I can expect to write one in a few days. I'm used to writing much more than this so hopefully the one song a month curse will be broken soon.

4. Mother and I remember our roots (Honduras). 
My mom and I have recently started watching "Por ella Soy Eva", a novella about a man who is framed for fraud and decides to become a woman to regain his honor while he hides out from the law, which thinks he's dead because a hobo stole his ID etc and then got blown up in his car while digging through it for more loot. I can go on for days with this one...
Well anyway, we made it through one episode valiantly, quite pleased with ourselves that our Spanish was good enough to actually know what was going on. The next episode we used subtitles though, since it's infinitely easier to read Spanish than it is to make out another country's accent while they speed through their lines.

On that note (and this is where the music comes in), I had the best time talking to this guy in the subways in Spanish after he asked if I could sing anything in Spanish for him. I only know worship songs but he didn't mind. Anyway, I had to tell him three billion times that my family was from Honduras before it sank in.
One time at Harvard a guy from El Salvador flat out told me: "You're the blackest Honduran I've ever seen!" He must not see many Hondurans...

3. The repeat offender
So a week or so ago I let this kid sing the ABCs on my mic. He seems to now think he has some rights to it because a week or two later he and his mother were passing by and he grabs my mic in the middle of song and says goodbye to everyone since the train was coming soon. He sang a bit more, la la di da... This time it wasn't cute.

2. God is good
So I decided to play outside again after spending the morning with a friend who was visiting. I only had a salad for lunch, just plain greens and balsamic vinegar dressing, and I was despairing over how I was going to find the energy to go into the subways and put a few hours in there. As I'm packed up this guy comes up to me and offers to make me a PB&J sandwich. Yaaaaaaaay! It turns out he and the group of high schoolers he was working with were from a summer missions program and were finding a way to help out some of the homeless in the area. Because it was their contribution for enjoying my music, I fought the shame of eating a sandwich a homeless person could have eaten. It didn't take us long to realize that in college we both participated in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, since I had done something similar in a summer program through them. I spent another hour outside before hitting the subways having conversations with the homeless in the Boston Commons and it was a wonderful time.

1. Bieber is back!
At this point I might as well proclaim myself a Belieber. Some of the most fun I have in the subways is singing "Baby" with the little ones (though chillin' with homeless people is a really close second). The most recent group of kids sang along with me, and before I knew it, all the kids in the subway were joining in. Excellent times.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Requests and Duets

Today was one of those really fun days, and it was all because of the requests and a duet.
When a really cute little girl asks you to play a song during your "there are too many trains right now and I'm tired" break, you get up and you play. And when she asks you to play Nicki Minaj, well you figure out the chorus to "Super Bass" on the fly. Well, at least I do. And even though you are most decidedly not a fan of pop music, when she asks you to, you even sing "Baby" by Justin Bieber (of which you ashamedly know almost the entire 1st verse and chorus).

This is an important lesson for me and any aspiring buskers out there: if the song is popular, even if you don't exactly like it or think it suits your style, it's helpful to know at least the 1st verse and chorus. Hey, "Baby" even got me a dollar. ;)
(And if you're a black female, especially if you have locks, just go ahead and learn some Tracy Chapman. I suggest "Fast Car".)

Now, on to duets. Sometimes you'll get really cool people who ask to join you. This handsome fellow pictured below was one of those types. We did a wonderfully harmonized rendition of "Landslide" (1st verse and chorus) before his train came and I had to finish the song solo, sans harmony. I can't remember his name, but it was a nice one.

Busking is really great fun because you get to meet so many different people and you stretch and grow as an artist and musician every day. Basically, if you can work up the nerve to prop yourself up in front of dozens of strangers in a non-venue setting, then I highly recommend it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Busker Face

There may come a time in the life of the busker when he or she may have to employ the "busker face". Essentially, this is the poker face of busking.

Example One: You are just getting into the groove of a song when you feel a piercing sting. You look around you. You have a choice to make. Stop and slap the offending bloodsucker of a mosquito that is attempting to drain you dry (once is never enough for them...), or employ your busker face, muscle through it, and tell yourself the dollars you make are worth it.
(My favorite bug moment was a couple Mondays ago when a cockroach decided to take center stage with me. I thought for sure I'd get a buck for not shrieking like a maniac when it paused by my mic stand...)

Example Two: Any time little kids or teenagers do something that isn't cute. Clearly the only option here is the busker face. No one actually wants to see you go off on some snot nosed little brat. They'll be much more impressed with and more likely to reward your saint-like restraint.

Now, one's busker face is unique to each person. It happens when you're trying to sell a CD to someone on the fence, or when you're fending off the occasional drunkard. It's in the smile you send the unsuspecting passerby who then feels obligated to tip you. It's in the moment you pretend you don't notice people staring at you and creepily taking pictures of you before sneaking off, and many other times. It grows, is shaped and then shaped again, and it is quite essential.

So if you're thinking of going down under, or even street performing, hone the craft of looking like all is easy-peasy even when you'd give anything to just go home but you haven't met your quota yet. :D

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Outdoor Entertainment

So usually I busk down in the subways but this Friday it was so stifling down there! I was getting a headache, I was thirsty and running out of water, and pretty soon I would have to go pee anyway. A busker's dilemma. So when a fellow busker came by and offered to show me a good spot to busk outside I decided to give it a shot. 

When I got set up I was so nervous. This was the first time I had ever done outside performing in Boston. One song in, and the guy in the picture below comes up to me, scratching and burping, asking if he could sing. (He didn't look too happy about the pic so I left out his face.) Clearly I'm way too nice. Here I am trying to make an honest living and this guy is trying to talk to me while I'm singing, fully expecting me to stop what I'm doing and listen to him. This happens a lot, so be prepared for it if you want to start busking. I say yes, let him get his minute of busking fame and then deny his request for money. This also happens a lot. If someone asks to sing or play with you they either expect to share whatever someone puts in the case, or they expect you to give them something regardless. Uhhhh no. Not this time. There's a reason I'm singing my wiles on the street.

Well he left, slightly sad looking since his bid for extorting money out of me flopped. (I find I'm more inclined to give people a dollar if they just honestly ask for one and don't waste my time.) Then this guy came along, loudly touting about how I was the next Tracy Chapman. (I love these types... This was my second or maybe third Chapman reference of the day. I imagine every singing guitar-playing Black girl with locks has to deal with this.) He knows music, he says, and he's been around for awhile, having seen Chapman and others doing what I'm doing now. He says for sure I'll make it. While I appreciate them and sincerely hope the people who wish me well in this manner are spot on, I was hoping he'd extend his bid of confidence in me far enough to give me one of the dollars lining his dog's collar. I mean, this dog is bling-ed out. No such luck, but at least the dog is super cute, even if a little ostentatious. Check it.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Solefull Soiree

Hey There! So Friday the 8th I played at the Solefull Soiree (@solefull_lounge), a lovely event full of artsy hipster fashionistas/fashionistos. Can't say I'm terribly broken up over the fact that I stuck out like a sore thumb. But they gave me a shirt so now I'll be all nice and fashionable :). They really have nice designs.

There was live art going on for the entire event, with people painting, and the house band played really well.

I really like this piece, mostly because of the vibrancy of the colors. I really liked what she chose to work with.

I also really liked this guy's work. It was very strong, and you could almost feel the energy of the figures he presented, it seemed.

  This artist was really nice. What stood out to me about her work here is the way she played with light and layering, using a really simple palette to bring out a really beautiful idea. The piece was themed around the intersections between dreams/hopes and the unknown/darkness. She also wanted to express the importance of the beauty and transformation that happens in the midst of uncertainty. Basically I loved it.

Here I am singing. All around jolly good time.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


This post is all about how many puns, phrases, innuendos etc. I can write using the word "green" while giving an update on my life as I currently see it.* Prepare to be made green with envy(1). Obvious opener, I know...

So, times are hard in the Label/Dilbert/Fletcher household (me my mom and her boyfriend all have different last names) and so we're a little short on the green(2). Since my mom and aforementioned boyfriend aren't the green(3) types, there isn't any recycling or separation of anything, not even to help out the people in our area who do go through the trash to cash in on empty bottles. About the only thing green about them is the boyfriend's thumb(4), evidenced by the plethora of plants competing with us for living room and balcony space.

Clearly the inflow of green stuff(same as 2) must be augmented, because here in the U.S.A. you have to have cable, internet, at least two gaming platforms and corresponding games, a flat screen HD tv, a smartphone with a data plan, and any other number of "necessary" items. My current master plan to make moolah and thus furnish the acquisition and retention of such items is singing in the subways, where I employ all four years of my hard-earned college degree to bolster up my ego as people glance at me pityingly or condescendingly. (The real purpose of the moolah is to fend off the collectors of my college loans...) Occasionally I'll get some nice smiley types. It's the only temp job so far that my mother has given me the green light(5) on, since there's the possibility of my being discovered, becoming famous and filthy rich, and thereby solving all of our problems forever, without anyone else having to do anything. Hopefully I'll have the rub of the green(6) soon. (I looked up that last one up. Apparently it's British.)

At any rate, many of these posts will cover the joy that is being a subway performer. And trust me, it's a joy. Oh, and do bear with me. I'm green(7) at this whole blogging thing.

*Some green references have been left out because they don't fit, I don't want my mom to read them and get mad at me, or I didn't know about them. :)