The ins and outs of a young library media specialist's life. Rock, rock on.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

We Don't Need No Thought Control

Despite a rocky start at 5:30 a.m., getting back into the library has been a reassuring experience; it reminded me that I do, in fact, love my job. I had a mostly sleepless night, as was expected, my mind running amok with crazy thought trails, but in the end I pulled out a fantastic start to the school year as expected. Woot. Now we just need some students.

I have a few meetings to attend tomorrow, then I am off for one final hurrah weekend in the Rochester area. Highlights to include the Flaming Lips and Ween concert, the milk bar at the Great New York State Fair, seeing The Boy and the Rochester posse, and hopefully one last trip to the Public Market... for at least the next few months.

And now, time to wind down from frisbee with a little Dirty Dancing and a mug of chocolate mate tea. Yum! 'Till the morrow- NPW, out.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Ah, the first day of school. There's nothing else that signifies the passage of another year quite like the very first day back in school after a long and lazy summer. New Year's Day has got no play in comparison. New notebooks, new pens, new clothes and shoes, new people to meet. It's the opportunity to start your work fresh every single year. What other career has that option? It's like, just when you're so sick of the 8th graders you could vomit on the next one you see, there's a whole new group of them just waiting for you to get sick of them, too!

Saying "I can't believe summer is already over!" sounds so pathetic, since I did just have a little more than 2 months off, but seriously. I can't believe summer is already over. Wasn't it just yesterday that I was stuck in the Central Leatherstocking Region trying to get out to Rochester?

So I was looking over my calendar year and realized that not a month goes by in which I don't have some sort of day off to look forward to. The stretch from September to Thanksgiving break will fly by, then there's the week-long winter break, then February break, then April break. That stretch between Feb. and April break is a killer, but once April break comes it's smooth sailing into the summer months. It really goes by so quickly.

Anyway, the start of a new school year always gives me the jitters, but this year is already promising greatness. The next few weeks will be crazy busy, but in a good way. The Boy is moving out here, which is pretty much my favorite thing ever. No more two - three week stretches of missing him, only to cram in the occasional long weekend... hooray! Also, the fall is the bestest of all seasons. Hooray for leaf peeping and pumpkins! Hooray for fall! Hooray for me!

Oops. I got a bit carried away there. Back to the first day of school: it is tomorrow. I must wake up early. I have a faculty meeting. I have my planner and my pens and the latest issue of School Library Journal ready. School is in session, kids. Get ready for some edumacation.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Tiredness

I've been kicking myself all week for being so lazy, but I've just been so content to lay about, watch movies, and go for a run now and then. I just haven't pulled it together as much as I should have. So today I kicked it into high gear- I cleaned, ran around doing errands, stopped in at my library for the first time this summer, sorted through piles of crap, fixed some technology problem for my principal, looked like a genius, and then headed to my parents so they can take me out to dinner and I can watch stuff on TiVo.
I always work better under pressure, anyway.
But now I'm sitting in NH, my dad is eating pistachios on the couch and watching some black and white movie on AMC that he's probably seen 50 times, and it's cold and dreary. Even the prospect of a nap on my old twin bed is sounding appealing... and after all, I did earn it by getting so much accomplished, right?
Have a good weekend, people. I'll catch you next week.
PS- I wanted to add an addendum to yesterday's post. This was the first mean person I have ever encountered in Boston, which was why it made me sad. On the whole, the homeless of Beantown are pleasant and often surprisingly witty. Just in case you were wondering.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Today I gave a homeless man all the change I had in my pocket, probably a little more than a dollar. He looked at it, looked at me, said "Fuck you", and put it in his styrofoam cup. I was sad. The end.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Zoo Keeper

You probably didn't know this, but I actually live in a wildlife sanctuary. In fact, I myself did not realize this until very recently; that is, until last night.

I was laying in bed, happily propped up against a bunch of pillows, playing Mario Kart on wi-fi. Awesome, yes? Until my concentration was rudely interrupted by a ticking noise that sounded alarmingly close to my ear. My mind quickly ran through all the probable causes: a clock? No, my digital alarm clock didn't tick. The breeze blowing the rod from the blinds around? Uh-uh. My watch? Nope, silent as a good Swiss-made eco-drive watch should be. So what the hell was tickticktickticktickticking in my ear?!

Turns out there is some new species of bug invading the area that just flies around ticking. It is attracted to light, i.e. my bedroom window and my glowing bright MK game. I tried desperately to ignore the sound of a time bomb at my window, eventually giving up when I placed 3rd at Mario Kart (out of 4) and shutting out my light to get some sleep.

Cut to today: I am standing in my kitchen washing some dishes when I hear a sinister barking sound right outside my window. Maybe a cross between a coyote, a feral cat, and a middle school girl, and annoying as hell. I looked out the window, fully expecting to see some genetically engineered, mutated hybrid animal, and see nothing but a squirrel. Weird, I thought, but returned my attention to the dishes. Until I heard the noise again and I looked up to see the squirrel staring straight at me, about 3 feet from the window, making that noise so deep in its throat so that I can see its fur moving. What the eff? Freaked out, I squirted my sink sprayer at it and it ran down the tree, looked up at me, growled menacingly, and ran off.

Now, I read the news. And don't think I missed the story about the woman attacked by a squirrel outside of Tiffany's the other day. (She's suing, btw, since they didn't post anything about the dangers of attack squirrels outside of Tiffany's. Good for her.) Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah. My point: squirrels attack. And I know for a fact that this is the squirrel I saw a few months ago eating a buffalo chicken wing on a tree stump in my neighbor's yard, so it's definitely carnivorous. And the squirrels in this neighborhood eat everything from marshmallow peeps (once again, neighbor's fault) to bird seed, so I wouldn't doubt that they are some type of super-strain squirrels that could easily tear my thumbs off and have themselves a little snack.

Between the tickers and the growlers, I find myself trapped in a bizarre city zoo. I'm buying myself a can of mace and a bug swatter, ASAP.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Blogger, Heal Thyself

Friends, I am in a cranky mood today. Why? Well I don't think there is one specific cause, really. It could be that I woke up before 8 a.m. today in an effort to start preparing myself for the return to school hours. Or it could be the pile of stuff I have to do before September rolls in, which I have avoided today by taking shelter at the parents house in NH. Or it might even have something to do with being the teensiest bit lonely with The Boy now once again six hours away.

Zombie Letters from

Whatever the source of this random perturbedness, I'm going to try a little experiment in catharthic blogging today and write about all the reasons I should not be cranky, ok? Some people can talk themselves out of anything, we're going to see if I can write myself into a better mood. Like shiatsu of the mind, if you will. Working out the kinks. Without the searing pain to my limbs.
Right. Here we go:

First, the weather is gorgeous, too bright and pretty to sustain any crankiness for long. For a real crank run I would need drizzly cold rain or humid jungle heat, something to really add to the misery. This sunny, clear, and cool shizzy can only improve my mood. Second, I walked to Harvard Square this morning and I had my first feeling that it was really good to be back. Third, I got myself a bean and cheese burrito that was sublime. Sublime, I tell you. Fourth, I am going to go for a canoe ride with my Padre on a pretty lake by their house. Fifth, I am finally going to see my sister's new little kittens (hopefully they're not full-grown cats by now), and also going to see my little man Aidan. Sixth, all the friends that were missing me while I was away are coming out of the woodwork to hang out; it feels pretty good to know I was missed. Seventh, I played Guitar Hero this morning and rocked Iron Man pretty hardcore. Eighth, my all-time favorite event is coming up. Ninth, I found a new phone charger at the junk store in Davis for $4.99. So what if it looks like it fell off the back of a truck? And finally (tenth, if you're counting), I know it won't be long before things get settled in and all the moving will be done, which is way exciting.

Hmm... I think I do actually feel a little better! Damn, I'm good.
P.S.- This helped a bit, too.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sound the Trumpets

Is it sad that I don't even know what day it is anymore? I vaguely recall that it's Monday, but only because other people had to work. There also seems to be some part of my brain telling me that very soon I will be waking up at the dawn of the day to join the ranks of the worker bees; so far I've managed to ignore that part of my brain with a moderate amount of success. It's only a matter of time before that willful ignorance catches up with me.

In any case, I am now back in Boston- pretty much for good (unless I decide to make the trek for the NY State Fair, one of my all-time favorite events). And besides school starting back up, there is much excitement on the horizon. But for now, I just wanted to give you a little update on my Awesomeness Status:

  1. Saw Snakes on a Plane. 'Twas awesome, of course, though far more gory than I imagined. Who knew venomous snakes went for the jugular so often? Or the genitals, for that matter? Apparently all those hours of Animal Planet have taught me nothing.
  2. Saw Little Miss Sunshine. Loved it. I think I may have to give it the status of NPW's Favorite Movie of Summer 2006. A prestigious award, indeed.
  3. Bought a copy of an old PS2 game: Parappa the Rapper. How much do I love it? Enough to willingly induce a seizure by staring into its crazy 2D lights for way too long and listening to crazy rap music about french fries for hours on end.
  4. Returned my copy of Brain Age for the Nintendo DS. I was down to age 26 the second time I played it... considering I am 27, that would mean I am already too smart for my own good.
  5. Have a laundry list a mile long. I need to get my hair did, make a stop at Ikea, stock up at Target and Trader Joe's, clean, and put a whole lot of crap away. I am going to permit myself just one rhetorical question here: exactly how did I end up with so many pairs of shoes? They've taken over my life. I'm donating some of those bitches to the Salvation Army. Shoe slave, no longer.
That's going to have to wrap it up for me today. Be cool, stay in school.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Where My Snakes At?

You've got to wonder what all those people are thinking today. You know, the ones who dissed Snakes on a Plane as being too ridiculous for words? The people who claimed they would never want to watch a movie so idiotic that the directors didn't even feel the need to show any advance screenings to the media? The ones that said they just couldn't understand the movie's cultish following months before the release of the movie? I'll tell you what they must be thinking: I am dumb. Yep, they must be feeling pretty sheepish now that the reviews are in and it's pretty much unanimous: motherfuckin' awesome.

I have watched a lot of movies this summer; most of which sucked, some of which were amusing. But SoaP will be the highlight, the crowning glory of summer movies, a sendoff to the fall movie months of dreary dramas and weepy romances. Let's do a little rundown of the most recent movies I've seen (or at least the ones I can remember):
  • Superman: even in 3-D at the IMAX, this movie blew. Big time. Oh, Parker Posey, why didn't you stick to the Christopher Guest genre?
  • DaVinci Code: very disappointing. Confirmed my distaste for anything Tom Hanks (minus Big, of course).
  • Pirates of the Caribbean II: awesome. Love Johnny Depp. Long live the Kracken!
  • X-Men III: Possibly the worst movie I've seen this summer. Whoa. Amend that. Definitely the worst movie I've seen this summer.
  • Clerks II: hilarious, even if you are not a die hard Kevin Smith fan. "One ring to rule them all..."
  • Old Boy: disturbing, haunting, eerie, but amazing. Even with the subtitles. The American remake won't be half as good, I'm sure.
  • The Devil Wears Prada: perfect movie for a girly day. Made me want to revisit Paris and be able to afford couture clothing instead of my Gap jeans and B. Republic t-shirts.
  • Poseidon: worth exactly the $1 I paid to see it. And actually, I didn't even pay, so it was doubly worth it (despite the horrible dialogue).
So you see, Snakes on a Plane will be the pinnacle of my summertime movie watching. I haven't looked forward to a movie this much since that night last summer, the night that was a young adult librarian's dream: both the midnight release of the new Harry Potter and the opening night of the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Samuel L., I know you won't let me down.

Now where did I put that anti-venom?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Where the Hell Have I Been?

Ok, so it's been a while since I rapped at ya. You're just gonna have to deal; summer is almost over and then I will once again become a posting fiend. I've also been crazy busy lately, today is the first day I've felt like I honestly had nothing to do when I woke up. Since last Wednesday, I have been from Rochester to Boston, NYC, and back to Rochester. Yes. Ridiculous, I know. But it had to be done.

So Wednesday night we got back into Boston late and we were so tired we pretty much just fell into bed. Thursday we enjoyed a leisurely stroll to Anna's Taqueria for our favorite lunch of carnitas burritos. Unfortunately, I decided to stray from my usual and ordered a veggie burrito. I spent the rest of that half hour regretting my decision and eyeing Chris's lunch jealously. We then headed up to NH for some tax free shopping. And by shopping, I mean buying twin Nintendo DS Lites. With Super Mario Kart and Advance Wars. Yeeeah. Went up to my parents for some dindin and a chance for my 18 lb cat to gouge my foot up while trying to jump from one couch to another.

What's that? Oh, I have to wear dress shoes for a wedding in two days? Why yes, I would like a giant cat claw mark running down my foot.

Despite that, dinner was delicious and we headed back down to my 'hood for some beers with the roomies. By 11 we were once again exhausted and conked out.

Friday morning I sat in a parking lot in Burlington for three hours while Chris had his interview. I'm not complaining, since it went well and also, I had my DS with me, but damn, parking lots are boring. When we got back to town, I suddenly realized- I don't actually have shoes for the wedding! We hopped on the T to Downtown Crossing for some DSW action. I was sweating bullets trying to pick something out quickly, since we had to be back to my place to get picked up for the Red Sox game. Found some shoes, ran back to the T, held on for dear life as it ripped through the tunnels at warp commuter speed. L picked us up at 5 so we could do dinner in Brighton with her and her new boy and then T it to the game. We had a delicious dinner and fancy expensive beers at the Publick House, then on to Fenway Park for Chris's very first Red Sox game. The game pretty much rocked, as Fenway always does, but it was made even sweeter by us kicking Baltimore's ass and the abundance of Budweiser flowing through our veins. I got the very last round of beers during the 7th inning stretch and the beer ladies denied the guy in line behind me. He actually offered me $50 for 2 cups of Bud and I didn't even say yes. I'm either brilliant for procuring the last beer available at Fenway, or the biggest idiot on Earth for saying no to a crisp $50 bill. Regardless, the beers were good. The afterparty headed out to An Tua Nua, a club that I hadn't been to since my college days. I reminisced over a beer and then was coerced into heading to the Golden Temple for more drinking mixed with Chinese food and disco lights. I'm blaming this entire night on the beer and the influence of L and her boy M. Anyway, 3 a.m. rolled around and we had to cab it back to S-ville.

Annnd.... wake up early so we could drive down to New York for my cousin's wedding. I won't go into the details of the drive down there, but we'll just say that there was enough turning around and traffic and getting lost going on that we missed 80% of the rehearsal we were supposed to make it to and ended up just catching the end. Shrugged it off and drove over to Dave & Buster's for the rehearsal dinner and some video game time. All very fun. Chris even won me some bling (a giant NY Yankees medallion) but it was immediately appropriated by my cousin as he is a New Yorker and I am a New Englander.

The next morning we wandered around the giant Palisades Shopping Center and then went back to the hotel to get ready.... errm... I mean, play Mario Kart on DS. And then get ready! We headed out to the church, all prettied up, and sat through a very warm service. I did my thang with the reading, and then my part was over. The reception that followed was one of the most swank events I've been to in my lifetime. The View on the Hudson was gorgeous, the day was gorgeous. What more could we ask for? Oh, how about open bar and an entire roasted pig and people stopping by your table with champagne and raspberries and food trays? In addition to all the traditional things like the father/daughter dance and the cake cutting, there was a belly dancer and some Filipino traditions of coins and such. My mother only cried like 8 times, which is probably some kind of record for her as the sentimental tears are usually one steady flow at events like this.

Oh, and did I mention that every girl at the wedding got a real freshwater pearl bracelet from the Philippines? Yes, it was definitely an event to remember. Gabe and Renna looked amazing, everything was perfect for them. It was also really nice to see my family all together like that, and to finally meet Renna's family. Very sweet.

The next morning I wake up in a blur and head down to the lobby for some coffee where my entire extended family is breakfasting. And then my cousin Nahil springs a question on me: would I consider being Aidan's godmother?

Would I?! I'd take the cherub baby as my own if she'd let me! My mother cried a bit more (silly, sentimental woman!), and I agreed.

Then everyone got packed and ready and headed out. We waved goodbye to Nyack. But even the long drive back to Rochester was made tolerable by a grueling game of Advance Wars and a stop at the Geneva Outlets.

So that's where I've been, people. The rest of the summer is short and I've got things to do, people to see. I'm here in Roch-star until Sunday night, then it's back to Boston so I can start getting used to my daily routine again. Good thing the Fall has lots of things to look forward to!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Land of the Free. Or At Least, The Land of the Cheap.

Rochester must be the cheapest city to live in ever, ever. Seriously, I don't know how all you Rochestarians aren't millionaires by now- it seems like if you have a decent paying job and barring any serious gambling addictions, you could pretty much pay all your bills with one week's worth of work, and have the other three weeks to spend at will or tuck away for some tidy interest. I will illustrate this with a short list:

1. Pat's Coffee Mug
For $1.95 we just had two eggs, two pieces of toast, homefries, and coffee that was so abundant we couldn't even finish it all. So it's a little gentrified over there- for $1.95 I can put up with a booming bass blasting some Snoop from a beat up old Celica. I can turn a blind eye to the shoeless, dirty children splashing in the sewer puddles. The South Wedge is just keeping it real.

2. Cinemark
Can you scrape together a couple quarters and dimes? Maybe hiding under your car seat or pillow cushions? Because if you can rummage up one measly dollar, you can march yourself straight over to the Cinemark for hours of entertainment at a $1 movie.

No, I'm not kidding.

No, seriously.

I didn't even realize dollar theaters still existed; their myth was as distant to me as Loch Ness and the Abominable Snowman, some fable out of the 1950's. We definitely do not have dollar theaters anywhere in New England, and if we did they would be showing movies like this.

3. Public Market
Yes, we have farm stands and farmer's markets on every street corner in New England. But apparently out here in Rochester, farmer's can just give their shizznit away. People were buying full palettes of strawberries for two bucks. How are these hardworking farm people making a living? How many times do they need to procreate in order to have a large enough slave labor force for 10 hour days of strawberry picking? It's like a sad math equation. All I know is there are still 4 jars of strawberry jam in the freezer, a month later.

4. Living Arrangements
When you hear people complaining about one bedroom apartments that are $450 a month, don't you just want to strangle them a little bit? Yes, you do. Because for $450 a month in Boston, you couldn't find a one bedroom in Chinatown, even if you split the rent 5 ways with a Chinese family. People on welfare, living in Section 8 housing projects, don't even have rent that cheap.

And let's not even get started on buying houses out here. The last time I saw a house listed for under $100,000 in New England I was in middle school and the house was actually a trailer that had no indoor plumbing was still attached to a 1972 Ford pickup with no engine.

Of course, there are some tradeoffs. Like, there are no jobs here. And not much of a young crowd. And people get paid way less. And the closest "cities" are Buffalo and Syracuse. But what you do have, Rochester, is goddamn cheap. Now I must return to the land of $10 movies and half-million dollar houses that I will never buy. So long, land of 1,000 Dollar General Stores. I salute you.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Forecast Calls For Fall

The weather was beautiful today. Sunny and cloudless with a cool breeze, just a hint of a burgeoning autumn. None of the trees have started changing yet. I still wore a skirt and short sleeves and sandals. School's not back in for at least three or four more weeks. But I can feel it coming now; it's not far off.

Fall in New England is amazing. I've lived there for 27 years and it can still take my breath away. A golden lit apple orchard. Crunching through leaves on a dirt path through the woods. Carved jack o' lanterns on brick doorsteps. Gray, drisly days under the covers with a book. The first night you close your window against a crystalline frost. The first morning you realize you need a sweater to ward off the chill. Corduroy skirts and denim jackets and riding boots. The crush of people at the state fair, apple cider and plumes of warm breath. So many stars you feel lucky to even be seeing them at all.

I don't want summer to be over... but if it has to end, Fall is the way to do it.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I drink a lot of coffee. And tea. And while I don't smoke, I've probably inhaled enough second-hand to somehow affect my poor teeth. And just to refresh your memory, I have to read some Bible piece about love at my cousin's wedding in front of hundreds of people in little more than a week.

My point: after years of stubborn refusal, I've given in to the teeth whitening strips. As a matter of fact I have them stuccoed to my teeth this very moment, as I sit here typing. I tried to get my dentist to just cap them all in gold; unfortunately, he claims that insurance would consider that cosmetic rather than necessary. (I calmly explained that it certainly was necessary, and if all my chompers were a solid 24k he'd never have to do work on them again. And still my teeth remain goldless.)

So my box of "Age Defying Strips" makes a bold claim: removes up to 20 years of stains off your smile. Just remember that when you see me and say, "Damn, that girl has the bright smile of a 7 year old! Wonder how she did it?"

I hope there are black lights at this wedding. My teeth are going to light it up.

Summer: Too Much Time To Ponder

I've been thinking a lot the past few weeks; not having to work provides me ample time to ruminate on both my situation and the lives of others as well. And lately I've been thinking about how having friends and family and relationships and a general sense of connectedness with other people is what makes life both amazingly interesting and very difficult.

I've always maintained that trying hard to make yourself and the people you love happy is what life is all about, and I still believe that wholeheartedly. In fact, that might be the closest thing to religion, or faith, that I've got. But what about those times when there's simply nothing you can do to improve someone else's situation? Is it enough to just be sympathetic? Having empathy does not necessarily make you a better person, does it? I've been wondering how to rid myself of this feeling of disconnect between how much I feel for people and my actual ability to make them feel any better or alleviate their stress.

Quite a few people I know have hit rough patches lately. Tension seems to be mounting all around me, real things at stake. And intellectually, I know that I care and that I do what I can to help. I guess sometimes it just doesn't seem like enough.

I don't want summer to end, I'm not ready to go back to school yet... but damn, at least I won't have so much time to think.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Testament to My Gullibility: SoaP Style

This morning I received a phone call from none other than Samuel L. Jackson, inviting me to go see his cult-hit movie, Snakes on a Plane. Here is the conversation:

Samuel L. Jackson: "NPW! This is Samuel L. Jackson."
NPW: "Oh... yes?"
SLJ: "You need to get in that piece of junk car of yours and come see some snakes on a plane."
NPW: "Oh. Uh huh..."
SLJ: "You know you want to bring that boy of yours, Chris, and come see this movie."
NPW: Finally realizing it's a recording, laughter ensues.

For real though, it took me that long to realize Samuel L. Jackson was not calling my cell phone? I think these lazy Rochester days are making me dumber. Either that or I might want to consider starting my drinking after 10 a.m.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Things We Do To Avoid The Heat

After 27 years of life, battered by the tempestuous and sometimes severe New England weather, one would think that I would be prepared for just about anything Mother Nature could throw my way. But never, never do I remember feeling as hot and sweaty as I have felt this summer. Maybe it's just always like this in Rochester? I wouldn't know. Or this heat could be some more karmic retribution for all my complaining of the rain and cold back in June. The most likely answer, however, is that it's the result of 20 years worth of AquaNet hairspray depleting our ozone layer. I mean, I know my grandfather alone probably made a hole the size of Massachusetts just trying to aerosol spray his comb-over into place.

In any case, we're fortunate that there are many ways to "beat the heat", as the weatherpeople are so fond of saying. In fact, this morning's news had a whole piece on tips for staying cool. (Of course, I'm thinking that if you're too dumb to think up ways to not be sitting directly under the noonday sun when it's 100 degrees, you probably should die of heat stroke. Or at least suffer some severe heat exhaustion, to teach you a lesson. You know, survival of the fittest and such.)

Anyway, back to our main source of heat relief: air conditioning, of course! Three cheers for the blowers of cold air! There is really nothing better than opening your door and feeling the caress of blessedly cool air wash over your sweatiness. It's gratifying to live in an age when we can defy the elements a bit, and retreat into the comforts of your own home. But what about when you tire of sitting in your arctic rooms with nothing but the TV and the internet and Playstation and books and the people you love to keep you company? What happens when you've seen every new movie out there and visited every mall in the upstate NY area? Well, that's when you resort to this:

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B-I-N-G-O! You got it! Five bucks and you, too, could be yukking it up among the dregs of Rochester society. I found myself concentrating hard on finding my numbers while the woman across from sounded like a caged and angry rhino, her breath rattling as though she were breathing underwater, swearing audibly at her cards when she didn't have a number and cackling wildly to herself when she did.

There was one other woman across from us, wizened and ancient. I taunted her before each game: "I can feel it. I've got this one. I am so getting bingo this round! What do I need, Indian Star? Two rows? Layered cake? I'm totally getting that." She just nodded gravely. "I hope you do," was her simple reply.

Umm, hello? What kind of bingo competitors are up in this piece, anyway? I didn't come for well-wishing, ma'am. You better be ready for some serious girl fights if you win.

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In the end, we left $5 lighter and with fond memories of air conditioning, the smell of egg salad sandwiches and cigarette smoke, and crazy old people. And that, my friends, is the real way to beat the heat.

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