can’t you see the sunshine?

Did you feel the earthquake yesterday? My 101-year-old building did. There have been earthquakes in New York City before. In fact, we usually experience one or two a year. The fascinating thing about yesterday’s earthquake is that the epicenter was in Virginia, yet my building shook so hard I could have sworn the epicenter was the Upper East Side. Actually, I didn’t realize it was an earthquake. I was working and my chair started shaking and the floor was moving and it even sounded like my building was creaking the way it sometimes does in a strong wind. I just assumed a big truck had rumbled by or something.

I didn’t check Twitter. I didn’t check Google. I just looked out the window and went back to work. It wasn’t until I went to Zumba and started talking to people that I found out it wasn’t a big truck. Really, I should have known. Ten years ago when we had a strong earthquake here (when the epicenter was the Upper East Side), my whole bed shook. The shaking woke me up because I’m such a light sleeper that even my neighbor sneezing can wake me up. But most of my students slept through it. The whole experience was an excellent example to use when we got to the geology unit.

It’s times like these that I miss teaching Earth Science. The public school system here has a set curriculum for Earth Science, which consists of three sciences: astronomy, meteorology, and geology. Astronomy has been my passion ever since I was little (which was a big reason The Little Prince instantly became my favorite book) and most of my students loved astronomy, so I always started the year with that. I had lots of cool stuff to share about my years of observations and working at NASA, plus a bunch of sweet demos. But when we got to geology…there just wasn’t a whole lot of fun stuff to share. Other than my slammin’ rocks and minerals collection, of course. Yesterday’s earthquake would have been an awesome example for everyone to connect with.

And I would totally be using the whole 2nd Avenue subway line to teach about bedrock. They’ve been digging the 2nd Avenue subway for years. You’re basically screwed if you live east of 3rd Avenue. There aren’t any subway lines that far over. But they keep promising progress on the 2nd Avenue line, excavating about 50 feet per day. The bedrock in that area of Manhattan mainly consists of schist. Schist was one of the fun words I used in class as a substitute. You couldn’t say, “I beat the s#*% out of him at Pac-Man.” But you could say, “That Pac-Man Trapper Keeper is the schist.” Oh yes, schist was a fave in my class. Foci was also popular, as in, “You seriously think My So-Called Life is lame? Get the foci out of here, freak!” Oh, and gneiss (pronounced “nice”). That one was mainly just so I could geek out all like, “Gneiiiiiss!” when someone gave a brilliant answer.

But none of this is the point. Here’s what I wanted to tell you: Matt Flamhaff’s door has been painted.

Jenna Rink, Matty Flamhaff, and Razzles

There’s really no limit to how many times I can watch 13 Going on 30. You know the scene where Jenna goes to find Matt’s place? That building is in my neighborhood and every time I walk by Matt’s door, I smile. And then I crave Razzles. His door was blue for the longest time. But when I walked by a few days ago? I was dismayed to discover it’s been painted! Matt Flamhaff’s door is now teal, in case you were wondering. You also might be wondering how I know his address. Yeah, that’s from obsessing over every location in the film so much that I had to go and track everything down. So if you happen to be walking by 303 West 4th Street, have some Razzles in honor of Matt. He probably won’t be home, though.

It’s been so freaking gorgeous this week. I’ve walked past lots of blue doors to make up for Matt’s. My friend Derrick and I realized that the Village has tons of blue doors a while ago, and ever since I’ve been noticing them everywhere. If only the whole summer could be this beautiful. It’s perfect James Taylor weather. My summertime playlist has lots of JT songs. Many of them begin with “C” – “Copperline,” “Carolina in My Mind,” “Country Road.” His music just sounds like summer to me.

Hope you’re mellowing out with some sweet summer sounds, too. They’re the schist.


10 thoughts on “can’t you see the sunshine?

  1. Oh hi! Been reading your blog for a while after picking up a bunch of your books from the library. Love love love! (fellow YA contemp writer/lover here….)

    But your 13 Going on 30 reference made me HAVE to comment… What IS it about that movie that it NEVER. GETS. OLD. Same with Clueless… some movies you can just watch over and over. Father of the Bride is another one of mine!

  2. Yesterday must have been the day for earthquakes because there was one last night in San Francisco. Fortunately, it wasn’t too big. Even though I’ve lived here most my life, it’s still unnerving when the ground shakes like that.

    13 Going on 30 is a good movie. You have good taste. I wish I’d had a science teacher in high school who wrote young adult novels and was into the same movies and TV shows as I was. Most of them were older dudes, and I’m not sure what they were into (besides science), but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t FNL, Freaks and Geeks, My So-Called Life, etc.

    Check out this Clueless-related picture. They look so cute together. Both have aged nicely.,,20521980_21044435,00.html

    • Awww, they’re so cute! I adore Paul Rudd. He’s been on my husband list forever.

      Most of my science teachers were older dudes, too. It was really hard for me to picture them as actual people in the world. I’d much rather be a teacher my kids can relate to!

  3. I was surprised about it being in VA too- I’m about an hour or so from the epicenter of it. My roomie and I had no idea what was going on because we’ve never experienced an earthquake before. It was crazy. Luckily, nothing really happened except for an aluminum foil box falling in the pantry.

    • Good to hear you’re safe! It’s fascinating to hear how different people’s experiences were in the same city. Like I could feel my building move, but David Letterman said he didn’t feel anything. Or how tornadoes can rip through a town destroying one family’s entire house, while the house across the street remains intact. Wild.

  4. 13 Going on 30 makes me cry. Every single time.
    Being a light sleeper is definitely more of a curse than a blessing in my life. Especially when neighbors can be loud, or the cat starts yowling, or you know, someone next door blasts their TV so loud it can be heard across buildings. Blah. Sometimes, it makes me want to move to the country. Except the scent of skunk spray wakes me up as well.

    • I totally hear you. If I wasn’t such a light sleeper and didn’t get bothered by neighbors banging/stomping/slamming around so much, I’d be way happier. People who don’t even hear those things make me jealous. But I’ve always been like this. On the positive side, I most likely will not die in a fire. Or a skunk attack.


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