Friday, September 30, 2005
Stuff. And gas. The fuel kind. IN, not OUT. And parties.Is anybody else's blogroll acting weird today? According to mine, nobody has updated at any time today, and I just KNOW that's not right.
Do you think this could really be true? That's a lot of extra miles.
So far, today has been a really good day. I pulled into the driveway tonight on fumes (no money for gas!!!) but I made it all the way to the house. Classes went well. My sweet MIL took us to Rusty's for supper. (BBQ ribs on the weekends, yummy!)
Genuine Bash later tonight. Those are always fun; so many nice people. And Genuine himself is a genuinely great guy. I know this to be true, for I've been hugged by him, and I've seen him snoozing in his big chair with my own eyes. He rocks. He is truly cool. And Mrs. G is just as awesome. And so are all those precious children.
Speaking of 'awesome, ' HULA! I found the card that was supposed to go inside your book! It was on the kitchen table. I just moved a pile of bills and a bag of potato chips, and there it was. I'll drop it in the mail tomorrow afternoon.
I am drinking raw lemon juice. Want some? I know my sister does. I have no Magic Bullet like hers, but what I do have does the trick. Smirky smirk smirk.
I haven't taken my blood sugar count yet tonight but I have a feeling that it's not as high as it has been. How do I know this? I don't. I just feel better. I'll take it after while.
My fingertips are so pricked and sensitive, I think I could pick a lock.
This also makes drinking lemon juice a sport. Ouch.
I think I'll rev up the juicer and make some more. Mine isn't magic like Di's. It's a little more manual. Some people might think that's more fun.
Well, I do.
Don't walk over there, either. RUN.Another night, another day. And one important question looms largely in my stressed-out mind:
Is there such a thing as "great Kareoke?"
Talk amongst yourselves.
And then run over to Kim's blog and tell her how glad you are that this precious child has been returned. That's far more important than any personal drivel I have today. Kim is a dear, wonderful friend, and she's been through hell, and now it's over and she could use some friendly smiles and thoughts. Please go there and give her some. And if you haven't visited her before, stay and catch up; you'll be glad you did. Kim absolutely rocks. Really, she does. Add her to your blogroll and read her every day. You'll be a better person for it.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
I'll show you mine if you show me yours.Yvonne, who is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful women in the world, is poking good-natured fun at her wedding hair and dress. . . . I think I could top her with mine. And I will, if everybody else posts theirs, too.
Just now? 50.
I feel like somebody is dribbling my insides. But I think it also means I can have some white seedless grapes.
And now I'm off (my rocker) to the shower, and to go to school like the good girl that I am.
P.S. I was wearing glasses so big, they looked like insect eyes. Or a racoon face. Or maybe Underdog's mask. But boy, was I in style!
Speed of lightning, roar of thunder, fighting all who rob and plunder. . . . .
P.P.S. A few weeks before my wedding, I was wearing little wire-rim glasses so tiny and hippie-ish that I could barely see through them. It was easier to look over them. They looked like. . . . oh SCHEISS. . . some old lady's reading glasses!!! GAGAMAGGOT, I never realized that till right this second. And I wore them whenever my contacts started hurting, which was a lot since they were hard plastic. Ouch.
Excuse me while I go chow down on a few white seedless grapes. Everybody needs a bad habit.
Mmm. . . SEEDLESS.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Bite me Amadeus. . . .=======Latest Carnival of Education is up over at EducationWonks. Click HERE and go there now. You'll be glad you did. You can't whine if you don't know. ====================
Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Charles Dance, Dave Matheson, and Cary Grant.
This morning: 98
No spitwads today. Naughty student forty minutes tardy; missed quiz. Class laughed, you laugh, I laugh.
Really, really, really tired.
Highlight of the day: Wes. Thank you, dear friend. Your timing was perfect.
Zappa is sick - killer migraine and pre-flu thanks to sniffly sister. Stopped at Marsh to buy illness food, ie orange juice and popsicles. Ended up spending fifty-eight bucks on food for him. Went to his apartment after school and rubbed his feet, arms, and head for three hours. Took him to school. Came home. Made sloppy joes for Hub. Served it up on plate with cottage cheese. Elegance, minus the rose. Ate one myself. Gourmet delight for dinner tonight. Again.
After sloppy joe: 304
Sense of grammar gone. Enough sense left to notice.
I am in the mood for a party. Going, not giving. I have no desire to clear enough space from floor to run sweeper.
Kids were here recently. Enough dirty glassware on furniture to fill dishwasher. So many water rings on coffee table, we've been asked if it was a birdseye. Under layers of veneer, might very well be.
Time to lean back for a while.
Man, it's hot in here. Don't these people believe in air-conditioning? Oh, really? Well, it must be me, then.
After six months, street leading directly to college has been repaired. Still taking detour from force of habit.
Badly in need of nap. Wish now I hadn't stripped bed this morning. Can't take nap till clean sheets put back on bed. Sofa looking pretty good.
(Grumpily removes kids' stuff from sofa cushions.) You shoulda seen this place when they lived here.
Listening to Mozart. Resenting his talent. Jealous of it.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Genuine commands, and Mamacita complies.Genuine requests that we all post our dream, um, "dates." Here are mine, and bear in mind that this list is subject to change without notice, for it rises and falls according to the tides of my moods.
Yes, I am aware that some of my choices are unconventional. So what. Maybe the lines will be shorter.
And so, in no particular order, here are the men of this week's dreams. I'm a sucker for mysterious heartbroken rebound romantic musical men. Throw in an accent of some kind, and you'll eventually have to use me for a doorstop because I'll probably pass out from an acute case of the swoons and no six of you together could lift me.
Three of my choices are known to you all, of course; but I wonder how many of you can name the other two? They are not all that well known except in certain circles, but they represent talent and cool and hunka hunka burnin' love to me like nobody else can. I might even kill to meet them, but don't tell anyone lest I end up on the suspect list at most major airports, which could really louse up any escape plans I might have cherished.
Oh baby. I'm listening to a solo album as we speak, and he likes women who play the guitar. And that chin dimple, and those beseeching eyes. . . . help meeeeeee. . . . . . . those black leather pants. . .. . . that fumbly British declaration of love via The Partridge Family. . . . .sophistication with just the right amount of humor. . . .
Ahem. You were saying? Yes, I'm quite old and far beyond any such thoughts. I was distracted by the little birds outside my window.
I'm sure at least one of the five could use a doorstop.
Okay, G, now what?
Big numbers make me wonky.For the past several days, and especially yesterday and last night, I was just not myself. I was disoriented, and weird, and I could sense that but I didn't know why. I went off like a rocket over spitballs. I misplaced my flash drive and drawer key and I still haven't found them. I taught yesterday, and I'm about to do so today, off the cuff. I've been winging it. This isn't like me. (I mean, who WOULDN'T be upset without a drawer key? Insert innuendo here.)
I've had one of those blood sugar lancet kits for a long time, but I've never used it. I'm not exactly afraid of needles, but the thought of sticking one into myself just wasn't appealing. Oh, icky-poo, not for me. Besides, I'm not sick. How silly.
My rheumatologist took enough blood to sink a ship every month, anyway. Why bother at home?
Last night I bothered. It was 297.
At my age, I really thought the sweats, etc, were pre-menopausal. Who wouldn't? I knew I was "a little bit" diabetic, but I think I have bypassed "a little bit" and graduated into "full blown."
297. That's a bigger number than 60, which is normal.
I guess I'll head to Marsh and buy a few heads of lettuce. Sigh.
As for what I said to that student yesterday. . . . . I'd tell you but I'm still so ashamed, I just can't. Maybe later, but not yet.
I always surprise myself, as much as I surprise the 'victim,' when I get lashy. I'm such a pathetic wuss most of the time, that people don't expect it from me. So when it does happen, it's spectacular. I am mostly calm about things, or I find humor in them and laugh, or I just keep my feelings to myself and let them out on paper later, so when I turn vicious, it scares me. I have a feeling the other students in the room were a little scared, too. I really don't think that idiot student who did it, was. But I was. At myself.
The room was full of adults, but I was supposed to be THE adult.
Monday, September 26, 2005
I can't believe I said it. I'm so ashamed.I am still spitting fire, and I pity anyone who had to put up with me this afternoon. My apologies, seriously; I know it wasn't pleasant.
Back at the middle school, I seldom had discipline problems. Oh, there were a few, but for the most part, my kids were pretty well-behaved. Piddling issues that some teachers might have made a big deal out of were largely ignored by me, therefore disappearing after a few futile tries, and I never paid any attention to gum-chewing at all. (My desks were the only ones WITHOUT gum stuck to the bottoms, by the way. . . .) I saved my ire for the big things, and really, there aren't very many.
Standards at the college level are even higher. Even when students don't show up, turn anything in, or fail, they are expected to behave as adults, and up until today, most of them did so without exception.
Today, however, I had, in my second class, a very large man who threw paper wads.
An adult, who threw paper wads in class. You know, like sixth graders do? Only this was an adult. A college student. A very tall, very large man.
An adult who has only been to class three times this year (out of 11 sessions) and who begged for a second chance to make up his missed work so like a fool I gave him the stack and a deadline, and who then proceeded to disrupt the class for an hour and fifteen minutes with his stupid juvenile assholian antics, and who came up to me after class, pointed to himself and laughingly said, "Yo, that was me all that time!"
I am angry all out of proportion. But honestly, I think maybe I am madder at myself than at him. Because the shock of someone at this level acting so ignorant caused me to lose my mind for a moment and say something truly horrible.
I want to apologize to the world at large for saying what I said to him.
Granted, it WAS momentarily satisfying, but only momentarily.
No seriously, I apologize.
Of course, extreme political incorrectness CAN put a spotlight on stupidness like nothing else can. Even so. . . . I was wrong to say what I said and I'm truly sorry.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Is it still an accomplishment if it was done in the dead of night?What idiot would put on her shoes, double-check to make sure she was wearing pants, and drive to Foods Plus at one in the morning to buy fruit?
One who looks a lot like me.
Belle is to be the maid of honor at her friend's wedding, and had, weeks ago, volunteered to bring fruit salad to the shower this afternoon.
Belle had no money this week. She could not buy fruit. Plus, she's sick.
She asked me what she should do, in a voice tinged with the kind of desperation associated with young people who think having no money for wedding shower fruit is actually something awful.
So I drove to town in the wee sma's and bought fruit. And this morning, I got up early and cut it up and arranged it in layers in a big container.
When she stopped by to get it at ten, she was most properly grateful, even though her voice is so hoarse and gravelly she sounded like the love child that Carol Channing and Gilbert Gottfried accidentally left out in the cold rain one stormy night. Poor sick baby. Have fun giving your 'maid of honor' speech.
I'm not making fun of you, Belle dear. I'm just. . . . .well, okay, I'm making fun of you. But just a little bit.
The point is, I love her so much, I'll wear shoes and pants, and drive all the way to town at one in the morning to buy fruit for her, and get up early on a weekend to cut it up.
It's probably good that nobody else in the house was anywhere near me as I wielded that sharp knife at that hour of the morning, though. Nobody was near me because they were all still IN BED SLEEPING. Not me, though. I was standing at the sink in my sexy red knit nightie; you know, the faded one that only has one button left, and it's hanging by a thread, much like a baby tooth displayed at the dinner table when there's company? The one that looks like the moths have been feasting? The one that's shot full of holes because it's so old and has been through the wringer so many times?
Stop smirking; that means it's been laundered a lot.
Don't mess with me. That sharp knife is still in the sink, and I know how to use it.
Oh, and while I was out last night I may have stopped by WalMart. I mean, I was already THERE, and it's open 24 hours, and, and, and. . . . . .
WalMart, Hula. I went to WalMart. Next step: WalMart during normal hours.
Once I put two eggs in the crock pot to keep them from rolling off the table, and I forgot where I put them. I found them weeks later. Pew.I read a lot of spam because someone I love takes the time to send it to me, but I read my cousin Mitzi's forwards for other reasons as well.
1. I love her.
2. She's usually the first one to pass something along to me.
3. She only sends the good stuff.
Actually, none of the southern Indiana cousins knows her all that well. She's one of the northern cousins, and until we all grew up, there wasn't very much visiting back and forth. She's a social worker, and from just knowing her a little bit, I know she's a very good one.
Here is her latest spam. You don't have to love her to know it's a good one, even if you've seen it a dozen or more times already.
Who's Old ?
I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.
--- Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: "And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" the reporter asked. She simply replied, "No peer pressure."
--- The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs.
-- Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, "How old was your husband?" "98," she replied. "Two years older than me." "So you're 96," the undertaker commented. She responded, "Hardly worth going home, isn't it!
-- I've sure gotten old. I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license. (This one isn't that funny. There are too many of those types still on the streets.)
-- A 97-year-old man goes into his doctor's office and says, "Doc, I want my sex drive lowered." "Sir," replied the doctor, "you're 97 Don't you think your sex drive is all in your head?" "You're damned right it is!" replied the old man. "That's why I want it lowered!"
-- An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart. "Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed. "Why Wal-Mart?" "Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week."
-- (I'm going out to hide some eggs.)
... Any woman can have the body of a 21-year-old, as long as she buys him a few drinks first.
--My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
-- Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.
--I've still got it, but nobody wants to see it.
--I'm getting into swing dancing. Not on purpose. Some parts of my body are just prone to swinging.
--It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker.
-- People our age can still enjoy an active, passionate sex life! (Provided we get cable or that dish thing. )
--The good news is that even as we get older, guys still look at our boobs. The bad news is they have to squat down first.
--These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief."
--I've tried to find a suitable exercise video for women my age, but they haven't made one called "Buns of Putty."
--Don't think of it as getting hot flashes. Think of it as your inner child playing with matches.
--Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back up.
-- Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop laughing.
THE SENILITY PRAYER: Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
Now, I think you're supposed to send this to 5 or 6, maybe 10. . . Oh heck, send it to a bunch of your friends if you can remember who they are!
(Item: don't turn a good spam into a stupid chain letter.)
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Who could argue with success?
Bring your small children on over; I'll take real good care of them.
Nutritious lunches and snacks included.
(Feel better, Genuine?)
This picture is 26 years old and it still makes me giggle.
Surprisingly, she doesn't care much for candy now.
In other words, it WORKED! Bwahahahahahahahaha. . . . . . . .
More for me. MEEEEE. Lots more for me.
Friday, September 23, 2005
. . . and it smells great, too.
In yesterday's post I mentioned that I had planted chrysanthemums in the crotch garden. Several people asked what that might mean, and I suspect they were giggling.
We are people of such great culture and sophistication here, that we call the flower garden in the front of the house our 'crotch garden.' Perhaps this expertly-drawn diagram will explain why.
If you still have questions, please feel free to ask.
When the blossoms start to really bush out, I'll take a picture and post it. In the meantime, let the innuendoes flow freely. I have a crotch garden, and I can deal with them.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
I have a green thumb, but I think it's some kind of infection.1. Planted all of my fifty-cent chrysanthemums. So far, they're all still alive, healthy, lush, and blooming. However, as I have touched them, be ready to read all about their deaths soon.
2. Planted purple, white, and gold crocuses all over the bare yard where the septic tank was uncovered and drained a few days ago. I expect the crocus crop to be pretty good this spring. Erma Bombeck would know why.
3. Opened kitchen cupboard to get clean glass and found it bare. Emptied dishwasher, loaded cabinet, emptied sinks, filled dishwasher. I sense that I have done this before.
4. Burned "Chess" to cd so I can listen in the car on my way to school tonight. I may have burned it the other day to send to someone else, too, but I've slept since then, and I'm real old, and I'm forgetful, and lots of other stuff to make me not tell who's getting it till he/she gets it.
5. I do not actually play chess. I know how, but I do not have the patience. Or the skill, if the truth be known However, I do like to play "Chess." And sing along.
6. There are few Broadway-type shows that I do NOT love to sing along with. This is best done in my car, windows sealed, no passengers, to avoid harming anyone's sensibilities. Besides, in a hermetically sealed vessel, the acoustics are good. Well, not in a REALLY hermetically sealed vessel, but in my car I sound good. Not to anyone else, mind you. . . . .
7. Just because a person loves to sing along, that doesn't mean they should do so when others are present. It stifles conversation and aesthetics. Unless EVERYBODY is singing along, in which case, open the windows and serenade the countryside!!!
8. We're have a test tonight over present and past participle usage, past and present progressive tenses, and fixed-form helping verbs. Don't you wish you could come with me? You may use your notes if you took any. You may not, however, borrow or in any way use the notes of someone else. And yes, someone will tell me that's 'not fair.' They can bite me.
9. I'm meeting Frau for supper, so the evening will start out wonderfully.
10. The end.
P.S. Essay title of the week: "Education Is Really Make An Deference Fro Me." So. Are you SURE you can't come with me? Honestly, one of these days I'm going to lose it and start singing to them and THEN they'll all be sorry. . . . .
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
It's not all about me. Actually, it seldom is.I admit that my cart was pretty full. Zappa was with me, and I was buying food for him, as well as for Hub and me. Bear in mind that a cart full of food will last about three days in Zappa's apartment, as he can devour his way through an entire butcher's inventory in about fifteen minutes. Marsh was also having an awesome 'Buy one, get one free" sale, of which we took full advantage.
(According to my receipt, I saved $57.67 by spending $159.34.) (I also got a coupon for fifteen cents off a gallon of gas, up to ten gallons.) (At a gas station that is not in my town.)
So there we were in line to pay. In front of us was a frazzled woman with a cart piled even higher than ours. As the cashier scanned her last item, she suddenly remembered that she'd forgotten some things, and she LEFT THE REGISTER TO GO GET THEM!!!! This might be permissible when there's no line, but with a line behind her, it was not acceptable. It might have been good for her if she'd been able to hear people mumbling about her; on the other hand, she probably wouldn't have cared. She finally came back with her forgotten items, the cashier scanned them, and then. . . . this woman remembered that she'd left her purse in her car. So she left to GO GET IT.
The poor little cashier had to stand there and apologize profusely for the rudeness and general inconsideration of her customer. Heck, it wasn't HER fault. But I've been in her shoes and I know how awful it is when a customer is a rude dimbulb who inconveniences other customers.
Am I being too hardnosed? I really don't think I am. I bend over backwards (a sight to see, I might add) to be sure I am not in anyone's way wherever I go and whatever I do, probably to an obsessive psychotic degree. (I have this thing about not wishing to inconvenience anyone, ever.) When I realize that I've forgotten something after the cashier has begun to ring up my purchases, I let her finish, pay, and THEN I go back, get what I've forgotten, and stand in line again. How is any other way even passably polite?
Sure, it was a pain, especially when the kids were small, but it was a pain caused by me, all by myself, and therefore should not involve anyone else in any inconvenient way.
When my kids were tiny, and I was RIFFED from teaching for a year here, and a year there, and was actually a SAHM, I wouldn't even take them to town for lunch, etc, until the main lunch times for working people had passed. Why should I, with leisure time to spare, take up seats that a person on a strict schedule and not much time should rightly have first? I'm still that way on vacations and summers. I just refuse to inconvenience someone else if I can help it at all. And I've done my share of waiting for a table in a crowded restaurant at prime lunchtime, with less than a half hour in which to eat, while table after table was taken up by SAHM's and their kids, leisurely kicking back and visiting, eating slowly, playing with the toys, not in any hurry, and apparently not aware of all the people with very little time for lunch, some of whom would be returning to their jobs still hungry because there just weren't any tables during their only break time of the day. I'll probably really hear it for saying that, but I've been on both sides, and I say, the people with time to spare should not use very much of that time when others with NO time to spare need it.
So anyway, back to Marsh. Zappa and I loaded the groceries into the back seat of my car (the trunk is full of Belle's stereo and has been for about four months now. . . . .), drove to his apartment, and spent about ten minutes going through the sacks, putting his things together. He left with all but three small bags.
Yes. I spent over $150 and three small bags of it were mine. I love you, Zappa. Try to make it last more than a day, please.
We now have cottage cheese, some strawberry yogurt, a loaf of bread, some Karo syrup, four huge pork tenderloins (buy one, get one free) and a bottle of poppy seed dressing.
The tenderloins are in the freezer, and I hope we don't get pulled over after we eat the poppy seed dressing. It makes you test positive for drugs, you know.
And after I got home and put all that away, Hub called and wanted to know if I wanted to eat at Grecco's for supper. Duh. Best pizza in the universe? Darn right.
So we met my sweet MIL there and had some awesome pizza. On the way home, we stopped at WalMart for 'just a minute.' The chrysanthemums were marked down to fifty cents so I bought twelve to fill up the planters in the crotch garden where everything else had been allowed to dry up, turn to dust, and be overcome by tall weeds. Tomorrow before I leave for class, I'll pull out the weeds and plant the new flowers.
Haha, did you believe that? I'll probably do it on Saturday afternoon. After I get up. Around two.
My student who went back to the Gulf Coast to find his friend? He found her. She's safe.
Ramble ramble ramble.
And now, what did you learn today? I can act all mean, but I am really so wussy that I have no life until everybody else has had theirs.
Also that I really wanted to slap that woman silly, but I didn't. And I won't. But I wanted to.
P.S. I hope you are all enjoying the last day of summer!
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Pandora's WebpageI've just discovered this, and I think I'm in love with it.
Of course, all of you have no doubt known about it for years and I'm just now getting there, but I'm used to that. I just love discovering things, even if I'm the last person on earth to find them.
And I usually am.
Wow. Totally in love with this site.
People who make these things are so smart.
In about an hour, I'm off to get more cortisone under my kneecaps. I'd describe this process to you, but you might be eating or having a good day and I don't want to spoil either of those for you.
Oh, and Shylah and Tammy need to be watching the mail!!!!
Monday, September 19, 2005
Talk Like A Pirate DayDon't most classy movie pirates talk like educated English gentlemen? With maybe an occasional 'Avast' or 'Arrrgh?'
Even Captain Hook used good grammar. He could even sing.
In the movies, the cool pirates were eloquent and sensitive. The better-spoken a pirate was, the more likely it was that he would end up in command. The scrufty slangy uneducated pirates seemed to end up swabbing the deck or falling off the mast to be eaten by sharks, or taking a cannonball in the stomach, or starting chains of fast-food restaurants featuring a lot of lard and breading.
Not that there's any shame in any of those positions.
But give me Johnny Depp with his sweet sassy scheiss-filled smile, his maestro-like gestures, his flamboyant movements, and his Max Factored eyes any time.
He could even be naked. I'm not at all picky about his clothing. Really, tell him not to go to any trouble for me.
I feel a little faint. Is it hot in here or am I just getting old?
Sunday, September 18, 2005
I do love a good Lay.I am a potato chip snob. An elitist, if you will.
If I open a bag of potato chips and find more than just a few burned chips, or chips made with potatoes that have that little rot-spot in the middle with rays coming out like a Russian sun, or chips lined with neon green, I never buy that brand again. I understand that any bag of chips will have its share of deformities and discolorations, because potatoes are not perfect; but a handful or more is not acceptable.
That's why I only buy Lay's Potato Chips. You can eat them in the dark and not worry about what you're getting. Obviously, they buy better potatoes, and hire somebody to inspect them so the gross discolored ones aren't included in the bag.
Other chips must be eaten in the light of day, lest you ingest something horrible. But Lay's Potato Chips have been my friend for many years and unless the CEO decides to cut the potato budget or otherwise go cheapass on me, I will be eating my favorite potato chips till I die. Hopefully with all my own teeth.
Do you think they would buy my motto? Lay's Potato Chips: You can eat them in the dark.
I could use the money.
(I bet you all thought you were going to read about something else, didn't you.)
Saturday, September 17, 2005
My brother is in a band, too; but I'll brag about him another time.My sister and BIL sure put on a heck of a show this afternoon at the Celtic Fest in Indianapolis. There may have been a few other musicians performing today, possibly in the same band and on the stage at the same time, but none of them could so much as touch my beautiful sis and her equally beautiful husband. Such talent. And so selfish of them to hog it all and not disperse it among the other sisters. The Irish Airs were the highlight of the day.
Belle drove my car, with me and two of her friends. We met my sister and a dear friend inside the gates, and proceeded to the stage area. There weren't many seats left (word gets out!) but we found some and settled in.
(As I walked into the area, my BIL looked up from his sound system and keyboard, etc, and called out "Here's Jane" which made me an instant temporary celebrity too. All eyes were on me for maybe thirty seconds, after which I became one of the many fans, sitting in the audience. Nobody asked me for an autograph afterwards, either. I was shocked.)
Of today's Irish Airs program, my three favorites were: "I'll Tell Me Ma," "She Moved Through The Fair," and the Celticization of Bob Dylan's "Girl From The North Country."
My BIL's band was much better than either of the featured bands. I won't mention their names, lest they find out what I said and become devastated.
Now, if only they book Great Big Sea for next year, a modicum of perfection might be dangled before me, to give me hope for the future. It would be a nice change.
Great Big Sea. Way to go, Murray!!!! Yes, I love your brown shirt and your sexy bum and your very, very, very long (but sweet) face.
And whatever happened to the album that was supposed to be titled 'Way To Go Murray?' Was it nothing but a brash claim? I'm devasted by its non-appearance.
Why does every band I fall in love with ALWAYS
I swear, my approval is like the kiss of death. And this also works for restaurants. I've shut down more restaurants and broken up more bands than anyone else in the universe, just with my patronage and repeat business.
My, my, my, this post is full of obscure references. I wonder who can make sense of them. . . .
Friday, September 16, 2005
I am a schlumpy-shouldered camel.Last night during the students' break I did something I could never have done back in the middle school. I walked out of the classroom and took a little break, myself.
It was when I looked at my reflection in the mirror of the brightly-lit restroom that I realized that just because a person is wearing a lavendar sweater, that DOESN'T mean that the person's blue-and-gold bra isn't going to be shining through the fabric, giving the person a look not unlike a hippo wearing a Victoria's Secret knock-off bikini top.
I spent the rest of the evening, yes, even afterwards at Steak and Shake, even more slumpy-shouldered than usual, trying to lessen the effect.
Come to think of it, in 26 years of middle school teaching, I never once left my students unattended in my classroom. Not one single time.
Some of that dedication was because after five straight classes with no break, I had to 'go' so badly that I was afraid to move at all, but even so.
I'm spoiled now, because at this job, I can go to the bathroom any time I want. Old habit dies hard, and I scarcely ever do until my class is over, but I COULD any time I want.
To be able to go to the bathroom ANY TIME. It's like a teacher's dream come true.
One of the minor dreams, but a dream nevertheless. They don't tell you about that in college, you know. "By the way, once you're in the classroom, you won't be able to pee for five or six hours straight." Say what? Well, okay.
Because you don't have any choice. Public school teachers are responsible for everything that goes on in their classroom, whether they're in there or not, and it's best to be in there if you really care.
On a vastly more important note, my student who spent Labor Day Weekend helping out down south is returning to the area tomorrow and plans to stay all of next week. He has a friend down there who's been missing since day one of the disaster and he is going to stay until he finds her, one way or another. I'm letting him make up all of his missed work, even though I am usually very hardnosed about missed work. This, however, is different. This is important. He's headed back down to a disaster area to pitch in and help people, and to search for a missing person.
Darn right he can make up all the missed work.
You, on the other hand, kid who 'wuz having some issues with my girlfriend and her roommate who wuz, like, you know, all hung over and shit and wanted rent money from me and I ain't got none so I been arguing with them for two weeks' can fugettaboutit.
Favoritism. I know. Bite me.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Patriside is the boss of me.UPDATE!!
I got my MixMania cd's in the mail and they are WONDERFUL! Thank you so very much, Hank. I love them!
Patriside tells me it's time to post my MixMania playlist. I always obey Jim implicitly, whatever he tells me to do, so here's my playlist. And yes, I'd probably jump off a bridge if he told me to.
By my way of thinking, a good Road Trip song must be good to sing along with. Loudly!!!!! Sing, and beat time on the dashboard with a shoe, a la Kruschev.
I bet most of you don't understand THAT reference. Sigh.
Most of these songs were burned for a road trip that Belle and I took last summer. Plus a few that I love but she doesn't.
Road Trip Disc 1
Stick Shifts and Bucket Seats – Cake ( I LOVE Cake. And I love the band, too. A few years ago, my 8th graders were singing this one all up and down the halls.)
King of Spain – Moxy Fruvous (The best road trip sing-a-long EVER.)
Wolverine’s Theme – Jewel (He heals very quickly.)
Psycho Killer – Moxy Fruvous (Fantastic cover, and I like it better than the original. Better run run run run run run run away. . . .)
Are You Lonesome Tonight (Laughing Version) – Elvis Presley (Hilarious) (Sing it, baby!)
Hotel Yorba – White Stripes (So much fun to sing along with!) (All they got inside is vacancy.)
You Will Go To The Moon – Moxy Fruvous (On Thursday, August 14, 1997, the Shuttle Discovery crew was graced with this song for their morning wake-up call.
I Am The Highway – Audioslave (Road trip. Highway.)
Istanbul – Moxy Fruvous (I never get tired of singing along with them. Never, ever, ever.)
Ghost Riders in the Sky – Johnny Cash (Yup.)
The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Rockapella (It isn't possible to just listen, you HAVE to sing along!)
Born to be Wild – Steppenwolf (The best road trip song ever.)
What’s Going On – 4 Non Blondes (Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, I said HEY. . . .)
TNT – ACDC (Oi, oi, oi, oi, see me ride out to the sunset. . . .)
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous – Good Charlotte (Because you keep passing fabulous homes and because you hate Robin Leach, you sing this one instead.)
Take On Me – A Ha (Always good for any kind of mix.)
Don’t Be Cruel – Cheap Trick (It just reminds me of a road trip. )
One More Minute – Authority Zero (Belle and Momy, riding along. . . .)
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (Does this one really need an explanation?)
Canyonero – from The Simpsons (12 yards long, 2 lanes wide, 65 tons of American Pride! )
Air Force Ones – Nelly (Big boys stompin'. . . .)
Goodbye – The New Amsterdams (Wait up for me, you're where I want to be)
Road Trip Disc 2
A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton (A good road trip is a thousand miles, you know.)
I Believe in a Thing Called Love – The Darkness (It's just fun to sing along with.)
Seven Nation Army – White Stripes (I'm going to Wichita, far from this opera forevermore)
Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr. (Who you gonna call?)
Puttin’ on the Ritz – Taco (So fun to sing along with) (Spending every dime, for a wonderful time)
50 Ways To Leave Your Lover – Paul Simon (Yes indeedy.) (Just slip out the back, Jack.)
Blue – Eiffel 65 (. . . like my Corvette!) (No, not mine)
El Paso – Old 97’s (All of their songs are good for a road trip)
Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin (One of my favorites for traveling)
Drowning – Ours (It's unbelievable)
Float On – Modest Mouse (It's just so much fun) (And we'll all float on, okay)
Break My Stride – Matthew Wilder (No explanation needed, right?) (Ain't nothing gonna slow me down)
Dead Skunk – Louden Wainwright (Stinking to high heaven. . . .)
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper (And we do, riding along on a road trip.)
Little Old Lady from Pasadena – Jan and Dean (That would be me. Except for the Pasadena thing. And the speed.)
Yellow Submarine – Beatles (Can't be listened to in silence. )
Tubthumper – Chumbawumba (Lyrics must be shouted in car with open windows.)
We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel (Some people's daughters have this memorized)
Tire Tracks and Broken Hearts – Bonnie Tyler (Nobody likes this song but me. Hmph.)
Jump Jive and Wail – Brian Setzer Orchestra (Because it's fun. )
Oh, and while we're on the subject of awesome funky music. . . .
See this picture? That's Belle and her best friend Bess. And Dr. Demento.
Yes. THAT Dr. Demento.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Carnival of EducationThe Carnival of Education is up, and Ms. Frizzle did an excellent job. Run over there and read up on the latest education news. We can't change things if we don't know what things need changing! And if we don't keep up, how will we know?
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
You're getting an F. How's that self-esteem this week?. . . still grading essays. It's discouraging.
I'm sure I don't know why. Because, as one student so aptly phrases it, we are “. . . steping firly in the brinkmire to be invalid in my county,” why, then, we should all sit back and relax in the comforting knowledge that our nation will soon be in the hands of people who don't know how to spell "you" and are masters of acronyms unless they are important.
Oh dudes, I am so ROFLMAO at ur faces!
Hey, the brinkmire is scary!
Random playlist, etc.Tonight's random playlist:
1. Ridley Bent - Fruitpicker (In Dubious Battle)
2. Simon Collins - Time For Truth
3. Raised By Swans - There Is No Escape
4. Old 97's - Valentine the Destroyer
5. South Park - La Resistance Medley
6. Sarah McLachlan - Elsewhere
7. Louis Armstrong - That Old Black Magic
8. Mandy Patinkin - Brother, Can You Spare A Dime
9. The Clash - Lover's Rock
10. ELO - Don't Walk Away
11. Colin James - Why'd You Lie
12. Great Big Sea - Helmethead
13. Foo Fighters - Best Of You
14. Nine Inch Nails - The Hand That Feeds
15. Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve In Sarajevo
16. En Vogue - Love You Crazy
17. Moxy Fruvous - C. Traugott
18. Kanye West - Gold Digger
19. Red Elvises - I Wanna See You Bellydance
20. Dierdre Harrison - Good Night Sweetheart
As usual, it's a weird mix. I like weird mixes.
We had dinner at Long John Silver's tonight. I love eating there, but I can only do it about once a year. One plate full of shredded cabbage and crunchy lard really goes a long way.
Speaking of weird mixes, the playlist at the restaurant was a strange one. Someone had apparently made a mix cd of Tom Jones and Brenda Lee, interspersed with the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice," played after every two or three songs. My guess is, the boss wasn't there tonight. My second guess is that he WAS, and that he has really strange taste.
I can deal with a funky mix. I generally like them. What I CAN'T deal with is a bad cover. I'm really glad that my dentist is such a cool person; her music isn't piped, it's coming through the speakers from a player in her office. She has great taste. If she ever started playing Boston Pops Plays The Greatest Hits of Blondie, I would have to run screaming from the building, trailing cotton balls and little mirrors on sticks behind me in the parking lot. And she would probably be right behind me.
I love a good cover, but a bad cover is a personal insult. Both to anyone listening, and to the original band. And to the universe in general.
If you insult the universe in general with a terrible cover, your chances of ever hitting the big time with anything else is pretty grim. As it should be.
Unless, of course, you don a jumpsuit and become captain of the Enterprise.
Lucy. In the sky. With diamonds.
And has anyone else heard his duets with Ben Folds? Why did they DO that? They're not funny enough to be comedy, and they're too awful to be music.
Ben Folds, you were one of my favorites. Did you need rent money that badly? I don't have any money to loan you but you can crash on my sofa for a few nights if you need a place to stay.
Ohhhhh yes. You may definitely do that.
Please don't end up in the Priceline ads with Shatner and Nimoy. I beg you. It's not necessary. Move in with me.
Oh, I know, I know. But you don't need money to window-shop.
How to deal with all that annoying junk mail.Do you suppose this would really work?
Monday, September 12, 2005
Do a little dance, make a little rum, Italian Ice! Italian Ice!Groggy mondegreens are one of my specialties. So is practically living on Diet Coke. But that's okay, because, in the words of Credence Clearwater Revival: There's a bathroom on the right.
You know how you always think you can drive well even though you're almost comatose? Yeah, key word "think." I actually frightened myself driving home this afternoon. I never really dozed off, but several times I caught myself wondering how in the world I got wherever I was when I became aware of where I was. Not good. Not good at all. The music blasting out of the cd player at mega-decibels helped. And the groggy versions of lyrics are always a hoot. I wasn't so sleepy that I couldn't appreciate the inadvertant humor; and my singing voice is always good for a laugh.
Hold me closer, Tony Danza. . . Count the head lice on the highway. Elton John keeps me alert.
I have no cycle of sleeping. I have no established sleep patterns. Mom tells me that even as a baby I was up all night and slept all day, WHEN I slept. She tried her best to make me conform to a typical baby schedule but it didn't take. I have one sister and a brother who are just like me in that respect. Another sister is more the conforming type and goes to bed early.
People who go to bed early miss so much. . . .
Like going to work bleary and disoriented, for one thing. It wears off once I'm out of the house (or so they tell me) but if I carry it to extremes it backfires on me. Kind of like today.
When I was younger I could carry it off every time, but now that I'm no spring chicken, it's harder to bounce back.
Does this mean I should try to be more conforming and go to bed early? And wear house slippers and robes, and stop thinking cold pizza is a good nutritious breakfast? And buy a raincoat? And start watching shows like
I'll love and care and nurture you till the cows come home, but you'll have to watch "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" and "MASH" and maybe a few Adult Swim's, and eat pizza and cheeseburgers and listen to some pretty good music, and watch movies at 3 a.m. . WHEN I'm in the mood to watch tv, which isn't very often because most of it annoys me. And just plain stinks. Also, the tv is downstairs in the family room and I'm lazy. We'll watch the movies in the kitchen, while we make Rice Krispie Treats (don't forget the peanut butter) and No-Bake cookies.
Oh, I can act grownup if I have to, and of course for much of the day I have to. But I dun like it noway.
At what age are we supposed to start thinking Spencer Gifts is stupid and start hanging out at Sears? Because, it hasn't happened yet and I'm not looking forward to it.
I've been waiting for an awfully long time for the elegance and maturity, wit and style, and all the accouterments of adulthood to become important to me. I'm still waiting. I have a horrible suspicion that they're not coming, that they've all seen me and are hiding in terror behind a light pole in the parking lot of Cheeseburgers In Paradise, lest I accost them and take them home.
I am not really interested in most of the accouterments of adulthood. They seem so boring. And isn't that where the word 'coot' comes from? As in "Check out the old coot with all those cootish accouterments?"
I refuse to become an old coot, even though I'm already one. Not me.
I'm blotto and bravado/I'm a scarecrow and a Beatle. I'm not a coot. Such Nirvana.
Well, maybe sometimes.
I might go to bed tonight. Possibly even before midnight. Because, you know, the old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be.
Blinded by the light. Wrapped up like a douche another rumor 'bout the night.
Sweet dreams, Manfred.
The fellow rolled down his window and yelled for me to hear, "Hey Buddy, how do I get this car out of second gear?" Beep beep, beep beep.Dear Other Drivers,
Use your turn signals. Wait your turn. Don't stick the nose of that huge gas-guzzler so far out into my lane that I have to stop or swerve. Turn on your lights when the sun starts to go down. No, not the brights. If you have those ultra-bright halogen lights in addition to your headlights, you are still not cool. The middle lane is there for a reason. No, not that reason. It's for turning. Don't drive in it; it's for turning. TURNING. Not driving. And no, you are not an exception. Stop honking your horn at me; I'm not going until the light turns green. If you choose to go 80 in a 55 zone, don't act surprised when you're pulled over. Choices bring consequences. And unless someone is giving birth in your back seat, there really isn't any legitimate reason to go that fast unless you just want to impress chicks. And guess what: chicks aren't impressed. Well, maybe THOSE chicks are, but not the ones who'd be your first choice. When all's said and done, wouldn't you really rather have one with teeth? Hang up the phone and watch the road, you nincompoop. And oh, maybe you should know that if you put your makeup on or shave while driving, everyone can usually tell. Get up ten minutes earlier, Tammy Faye. And strap that kid down in a car seat. I hope the police pull you over for that one. Kid doesn't LIKE the car seat? Well, isn't that too bad. Strap the kid down anyway. And if he raises a stink, go through the drive-through at Jiffy Treat and buy everyone in the car an ice cream cone except the Hissy Highness, and eat them slowly in front of his hysterical screaming spoiled arse. Don't forget to say things like "if you'd been good, you could have had one too." Maybe next time he'll behave.
You all think I'm kidding, don't you.
And don't any of you share with him, either.
(It's 1:41 a.m. and I still have over forty essays to grade. Wanna come over?)
(Update: it's after 3:30 a.m. and I'm still grading. Are you sure you can't come over?)
(Update: it's after 7:00 a.m. and I've finally finished two sections of essays. That's enough for today. I'll finish the others tonight.)
(And today I have to turn in a student for plagiarism. Did she really think I wouldn't know?)
(I hate doing that.)
(I REALLY hate doing that. . . .)
(I'm not really crying over it.)
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Remember.I've blogged about this before, so if it seems familiar, you're not crazy. Well, not on this issue anyway.
The morning began like any other; we stood for the Pledge of Allegiance, and sat back down to watch Channel One News, which had been taped at 3:00 that morning in the school library, thanks to the timer.
Channel One News didn't come on. Instead, the secretary's voice, over the intercom, told the teachers to "please check your email immediately."
We did. And we found out what had happened.
I scrolled down the monitor and read the end of the message. The superintendent had ordered all teachers to be absolutely mum all day about the tragedy. We were not to answer any questions from students, and we were especially not to offer any information to them.
The day went by in a blur. Many parents drove to the school, took their kids out, and brought them home. Between classes, frightened groups of students gathered in front of their lockers and whispered, gossiped, and cried, and begged us for information. By that time, the superintendent's order had been seconded by the principals, and we were unable to give these terrified kids any information. In the computer labs, the MSN screens told the 8th graders the truth, but they, too, were instructed NOT to talk about it to the other students. Right, like THAT happened. The biggest problem was, the story was being repeated by 8th graders, and it was being told bloody-killing-deathtrap-you're next-video-game-style.
At noon, many of the students were picked up by parents and taken home or out for lunch. Those few who returned had a big tale to tell. The problem was, the tale was being told by children and few if any of the facts were straight. The tale was being told scary-style, and the atmosphere in the building got more and more strained.
Reasonable questions were answered with silence, or the statement: "You'll find out when you get home."
This, added to all the rumors and gossip spread by children, turned my little sixth graders into terrified toddlers.
As teachers, we were furious and disgusted with the superintendent's edict. We wanted to call all the students into the gym and calmly tell them the truth in words and ways that would be age-appropriate. We wanted to hug them and assure them that it was far away and they were safe.
We hadn't been allowed to hug them for years, of course, so that wouldn't happen. And even after several calls to the administration office, he stood firm that no information whatsoever was to be given out.
By the end of the day, the children were as brittle as Jolly Rancher Watermelon Sticks. A few minutes before the bell rang to send them home, a little girl raised her hand and in a trembling voice that I will never forget, asked me a question.
"Please, is it true that our parents are dead and our houses are burned down?"
That was it. I gathered my students close and in a calm voice explained to them exactly what had happened. I told them their parents were alive and safe, and that they all still had homes to go to.
The relief was incredible. I could feel it cascading all through the room.
I was, of course, written up for insubordination the next day, but I didn't care. My phone had rung off the hook that night with parents thanking me for being honest with their children. That was far more important than a piece of paper that said I'd defied a stupid inappropriate order.
The next day at school, in my room, we listened to some of the music that had been 'specially made about the tragedy. I still have those cd's I burned and I've shared them with many people over the past few years. Yes, kids cried, but it was good to cry. It was an appropriate time to cry. We didn't do spelling or grammar that day. There are times when the "business as usual" mindset simply is not appropriate.
I wish administrators would realize that kids are a lot tougher than we might think. Kids are also a lot more sensitive that we might realize. It's an odd combination, and we as educators must try our best to bring the two ends of the emotional spectrum together and help these kids learn to deal with horrible happenings and still manage to get through the day as well as possible.
Ignoring an issue will not help. Morbidly focusing on an issue will not help.
How can we expect our children to learn to find a happy medium if we don't show them ourselves, when opportunities arise?
September 11, 2001 - September 11, 2005. God bless us, every one.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Actually, no. Some children SHOULD be left behind.I'm not sure what category my blog would be put in, because it depends on my mood and what I'm focused on at the moment.
My blog doesn't really fit into any one category; it has as many as my mind has tangents. And as many people already know, I tend to go off on tangents.
But seriously, most people learn more and better things on the tangents than they did with the carefully prepared lesson. Tangents show us how to connect our thoughts to various topics, and to connect one topic to another, and isn't much of education about connections? I think it is.
Often it is an education blog. That's what I do, after all. That's what all teachers do. We influence.
You thought I was going to say "We teach" didn't you. No. We influence. By influencing, a person can be more of a real teacher than a person who sits behind a desk and spouts knowledge for students to write down in a notebook, or who specializes, sometimes unknowingly, in showing kids all the things they don't know and can't do instead of focusing on what they DO know and Can do and enlarging upon those. Everyone influences for good or for bad, and we are all teachers in that respect. Teachers who are boring are, to their shame, sometimes the most influential of all, for they turn the mind off and don't always show us how to turn it back on.
On Comedy Central, a person has his turn on stage, says his/her piece, gets applause, and exits so another person can have his/her turn. A standup routine might last fifteen minutes. If it's a tour gig, maybe two hours. He/she gets paid whether the audience likes the routine or not. If enough audiences don't like the routine, the standup doesn't get any more gigs until he/she greatly improves the routine. Which is exactly as it should be.
A teacher is on stage all day. A teacher does five, six, seven, even eight routines daily. The audience is sometimes hostile. Standup isn't easy, and it takes stamina. A person without that stamina and that ability to influence for good and that talent for holding a person's interest, is the worst kind of influential. I firmly believe in tenure, but I also firmly believe that if enough consistent tales are passed around about a teacher, then something needs to be done and done quickly.
Most people who have the most power have never been in a classroom on the other side of the desk. Most people who have power don't know anything at all about the audiences we strive to influence. Some of the influencers in charge haven't had a workable sentient thought about who they are influencing and why in YEARS. The only difference they have made is that they have made many things more difficult, many things more unattainable, and many things ridiculous.
And while it is true that many things about young people are silly, they should never be made ridiculous.
(The young people who idolize Paris Hilton and Britney Spears are an exception to the above.)
Teachers don't have very many good things to say about NCLB, and many of them are too frightened of losing their jobs to speak out. Teachers who tended to go the extra mile, to go out of their way to help a kid, to be that person who can be depended on in an undependable world, to take a few risks if it meant helping a child. . . . those teachers don't last long. It's far safer to sit behind a desk all day and spout knowledge so a child can write it down. IF the child can write. Administrators far prefer the knowledge-spouting types, because they have no comprehension of the other kind. Sigh. Oh believe me, I know this to be true.
No Child Left Behind is one of the most negative influences that has come 'round the Blarney Circuit for a long, long time. I'm sure it looked good on paper to some rich old white man somewhere who lives in a gilded cage and hasn't picked up a pencil in fifty years, but to those of us who have dedicated our lives to influencing kids in positive ways, NCLB is nothing but a big unfunny joke that is ruining the lives of students everywhere.
And nobody says it better than this guy. I found this link over at The Endless Faculty Meeting, which is one of the better edblogs out there in the 'sphere.
I swear to you, this article tells it like it is, and how it should be everywhere, far better than any article I've ever read about this subject. Finally, someone has the courage to speak up and tell us right to our faces that SOME CHILDREN SHOULD BE LEFT BEHIND. There. I've said it. Some children should be left behind.
Run, don't walk, over to this article. It's one of the best pieces of writing I've read in a long time. A reaaaaaallllly long time.
A really, really long time.
Barbie goes to an interview.Once upon a time there was a 22-year-old recent college graduate who was actively seeking a teaching job. She had done some serious studying-up about interview protocol, because she really wanted to make a good and lasting impression on the Personnel Manager who had total control over the job market in this school system.
The college graduate carefully selected appropriate clothing (size 5) for the world of education she hoped to soon be a part of. She removed all the long dangling hippie jewelry and replaced it with
When she got to the Administration Building, she wasn't surprised to find the waiting room packed full of others who would be vying for this one position. She contemplated yelling "Fire" and then locking the door after them when they ran out, but decided such tactics would be immature and unfair. She knew that demeanor and seriousness would be the deciding factors for this job. She really wanted this job.
One by one, the applicants were called into the office. None ever returned. It was kind of creepy. Apparently we'd all been to the same "how to walk into the boss's office" seminar, too. Clone after clone got up, walked gracefully and professionally to the door, waited to be invited inside, and entered to find out his/her fate. I was last.
Oh, man, I really wanted this job.
My name was finally called and I stood up to face my future. I stood in the doorway of His Office and paused, waiting for him to tell me to enter. He did. I took one step.
I tripped over the doorsill, somersaulted across his floor, bounced off his desk and finally came to a dead stop, sitting down, skirt around my waist, legs sprawled like a doll at a picnic, my hair escaping from the pins and cascading down my back, one shoe on and the other shoe finally coming to rest behind his desk, and the contents of my purse strewn across his desktop, mingling with his office supplies. My comb was in his coffee cup.
We stared slack-jawed at each other for a few minutes, and finally I said, "Now that I've got your attention. . . . ." and we both started laughing hysterically. He asked me just a few questions, we gathered up all my scattered debris, and I was dismissed.
I cried all the way home, because who would hire me after that entrance?
The next day he called and said that out of all the applicants, I was the only one who had done or said anything at all that he could remember, and that the job was mine if I wanted it. He also told me that my comb would be in my new school mailbox.
I thanked him in the dignified Oscar-winner way, and we laughed some more.
When I cleaned out that purse and transferred the contents to a more dignified teacher-type purse, I found his stapler and a memo to his secretary asking her to buy better coffee at the bottom.
I sent the stapler, and a little jar of good coffee, to him through the school mail.
He was later removed from that position because he was caught in flagrante delicto with that same secretary. Now he sells real estate.
A sense of humor is absolutely vital to any position in any occupation. I include morticians in this opinionated assertation. You gots no sense of humor, you ain't worth beans.
People in positions of power, who have no sense of humor, are more harmful than anyone could ever imagine.
In no way whatsoever do I condone his having an affair. He definitely screwed up with that. (affair. screwed. there i go again, cracking myself up.)
But I will always remember how his laughter helped that young woman who was trying so desperately to be mature and professional, and who was thwarted by a strip of metal, the law of gravity, and her own inability to be dignified.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Gravity. It's the law.Now that some of you out there have actually met me, and know me far too well to ever fall for my "graceful ballerina" persona, I guess I should just admit that I'm the clumsiest person in the world and turn it into a brag.
I am the clumsiest person in the world, and you're not. Nyah nyah nyah!
I am so clumsy I should get an award.
I've fallen down in some of the best places.
I've fallen down in front of crowds of strangers, and in front of crowds of people who knew me.
I've fallen down in a classroom full of seventh graders and a student teacher. I was supposed to be her mentor. I hope she doesn't think SHE has to trip and fall down in front of seventh graders too. Yeah, well, whatever it takes to get their attention. . . .
I've fallen down in the parking lot of Pizza Hut. And a farm implement store. (That one was one of my best; I broke my foot, sprained the other ankle, wrenched my wrist, and got to teach in a wheelchair during the week the elevator was out of order.)
The week of the wheelchair was also when I discovered that even though the restroom stall door was legally handicapable, the door to the restroom itself was WAYYYY too narrow to admit the chair. That's when I invented a new dance. I'd show it to you but fortunately for you, you can't see me. And please don't try to use your imagination here; your mind's eye will go blind.
Note to wheelchair-bound teachers: NEVER allow a student to wheel you down the hall during NASCAR season. The temptation is just too much.
I've fallen in the parking lots of restaurants.
I've fallen down the stone steps outside the gymnasium, been carried to the gym by the janitor, and proceeded to sell tickets while waiting for a ride to the hospital. Darn stupid wet leaf.
I've fallen down the stairs in this house several times. Fortunately, the cabinet against the wall at the bottom of the stairs generally breaks my fall.
I've fallen down on the playground. I've fallen down in the parking lot of my old school. I haven't initiated the parking lot of my new college yet but it's only a matter of time.
I've used Workmen's Comp in the emergency room, because of a fall.
Last night I was sitting in a kitchen chair. I dropped a green seedless grape on the floor. I leaned over in the chair to pick it up and the whole chair went over. Sideways. I have bruises on both wrists and a big black spot on one knee. And it wasn't even up to my usual spectacular par, for a fall. But, you know, it was a GREEN SEEDLESS GRAPE! And the floor was sort of clean, and the cat hadn't been inside for a few days. . . .
I haven't fallen off the deck yet, but I fell off Hula's. Fortunately, I did not crush her son.
Not only do I fall all the time, I also break my toes all the time. That's because I hate shoes and I shed them the moment I enter the house. Which means, of course, that there are shoes all over the house, under tables, under the sofa, behind things, etc, and when I am getting dressed in the morning, I have to crawl around on my hands and knees looking for shoes. Sometimes it takes so long, I run out of time and have to grab the first two matching shoes I can find. Good thing I've never been anybody's definition of "style." And since we are notoriously cluttery, there is always something to catch one of my toes and snap it. I learned how to tape those little piggies up years ago.
I also take my earrings off all over the house. There are little earring piles everywhere.
Before I knew I was one of Jerry's Kids, I just thought I was clumsier than the norm. Now, I know that not only am I clumsier than the norm, I have a disease. One that attracts Jerry.
Hide me, please? Please. Hide me?
I mean, what IS it with that guy? I don't do 'shrieking' all that well. When I was a child I was scared to death of him. Cinderfella my foot. One of these days on that telethon, he's going to shriek at some kid and send that wheelchair rolling to the restroom for shelter. And the outer door is going to be too narrow, and we're all going to see someone else do the 'frantic dance' for a change.
Because, you know, those cameras will be rolling like craaazy.
To sum up: Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Buttercup is marry' Humperdinck in a little less than half an hour. So all we have to do is get in, break up the wedding, steal the princess, make our escape... after I kill Count Rugen.
No, wait. Wrong summary.
I am clumsy. I fall a lot. My knees are shot and will probably have to be replaced eventually. I can't wait. Mamacita, instructor. A blogger barely alive. Readers, we can rebuild her. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic blogger. Mamacita will be that blogger. Better than she was before. Better, stronger, faster.
The KING. OF. SPAIN!!! (Riverdance version.)
Whoops, wrong again.
Excuse me now, while I limp to the bathroom. In my house, all the doors are very, very wide. There are several reasons for that.
We are very, very fat. We've had wheelchairs in this house. We are not graceful. And when we do the 'frantic dance,' flowers wither and baby animals cry.
Come on over. You might want to stay behind me when we go down the stairs, though.
Want some grapes?
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Quitcher bitchin' and do some pitchin'.Yesterday afternoon my students, during a few minutes of 'free time,' ie teacher uncaps her second diet coke and waits for the foam to die down, were discussing what could best be described as the college equivalent of "How I Spent My Labor Day Weekend Vacation."
The winner, hands down, was the man who spent his long weekend helping people down on the gulf shore.
Many of the things he descibed I have not heard or read about anywhere else. Terrible things being done by neighbors to neighbors, and by hordes of vicious strangers to groups of survivors who had been managing fairly well while waiting for help. Repulsive sub-human entities helping themselves to the carefully managed resources of intelligent survivors. He also spoke of something else, though, and I wish these things would get some publicity along with the other things. The three good doctor's link right HERE comes closest, though.
My student, a naturalized Chinese-American citizen, told me that for the first time in his life, he really understands the fable of "The Grasshopper and the Ant." So do I, for that matter.
I used to feel sorry for the poor grasshopper. Now, I don't. Well, maybe a little, but. . . . no, actually, I don't. I would still help him, but I would resent his getting things that the hardworking ant WORKED for. I have this quirk in me about people EARNING things. Which things? Um, everything. Gifts are rewards for being nice. Basics, you earn by working. And if you're not nice, you deserve no gifts. And if you don't work. . . . you get the general idea.
Yes, some people can't work. But many who could, won't. But this is another subject altogether and I don't want to be some old rambling woman who skips from one subject to another like Granny Cornpone on the nursing home porch, rocking back and forth, back and forth. . . .
Whoops, it might already be too late, huh.
Anyway. Back to the rant at hand:
Most of the publicity has been about the negative things, and perhaps, since this is the aspect that has the most immediate and dire needs, that is appropriate. But wouldn't it be nice to balance the news a little more, with stories about positive things happening down there? Not to divert the public attention from the terrible needs, but maybe to keep us all (them AND us) from flinging up our hands in despair and becoming so negative and political that we can no longer see the good things even though they're as much "right there" as the bad things?
I do not mean focusing only on attempts at normality and laughter INSTEAD of focusing on devastation and heartbreak and despair; I only mean, acknowledging that there actually are people down there who have the ability and intestinal fortitude to stand up, look around, say "Well shit, I've lost it all," and then take the family and any other people he/she can round up and find them something to eat and a place to sit and realize that as long as they still have each other, they've only lost 'stuff.'
"Stuff" can be replaced, eventually. People can not.
It does no good to try to place blame on something that's HAPPENED ALREADY. The time has come to put aside politics and lend a hand. It shouldn't matter who's standing beside you as long as you both are trying to help instead of standing there all aghast and pissed and righteously indignant, pointing a finger at someone because he/she/it/they/hello kitty didn't act fast enough or do something the way YOU think it shoudl have been done. It happened. That part is over. Shut the hell up now unless you can say something helpful.
What's important now is helping people. The ones who know how to be positive in the midst of mud and filth and the turds of strangers and the crying of children are the ones who will come out of this stronger. Those who have the ability to buck up, stand tall, sigh, and keep trying are the ones who will come out of this stronger. Placing blame is useless. Name-calling is easy.
It's the getting up off your ass and DOING SOMETHING POSITIVE that requires effort. How many of the name-callers and blame-placers are actually actively doing something positive to HELP PEOPLE?
That many? Well, at least I won't have to take off my shoes to count them then.
Racist? Shut up. People of all races are down there trying to help. My student told the class that occasionally a rabble-rouser would show up and try to rant about how only the rich white people were getting any help. Never once did the rabble-rouser offer to actually DO anything, he just wanted to stir people up and make them angrier and support his own personal belief system. Sure, there are people down there who think this wouldn't have happened to them if they were white and rich.
All the forces of nature respect people because of things like that, you know.
Here in Indiana, for example, the frequent tornadoes
See what I mean? It's all strictly political. When Mother Nature strikes, she has politics on her mind and nothing else.
I rant all the time, but I try to DO things as well.
People who do nothing but rant and point and blame and bicker kind of, you know, make me sick. At heart, which is the very worst kind.
Thank you, dear student-who-spent-his-vacation-helping-others. You opened my eyes and my mind to something the media doesn't seem to be interested in.
They should be. Shame on them.
Shame on anyone who doesn't do anything except whine and blame and make a big deal out of how things SHOULD have been done. We can't live backwards, people. We can only live forwards.
Pitch in. Donate. Send water. Pray.
Those are positive things to do. Those things will help. Placing blame and whining about the past are negative things. Those things are of no help at all, and will actually delay the REAL help.
If you are one of those people whose very lifeblood is made of politics, then try to focus those politics on the future, not the past. Remember the past and let it guide the future, but don't dwell on the past to the point that you devolve into one of those sad pastel-suit-wearing finger-pointers of the Fallwell School of Political Rhetoric, who answer every question and highlight every issue by listing mistakes of the past without bothering to enlighten us with how you intend to use those mistakes to make the future better.
Complainers are of no use, to themselves or to others. Only those who can see what went wrong and then try not to make those same mistakes again, are of use to the world.
But don't think for a minute that either political party could ever solve this or any other issue perfectly. Nothing that deals with people will ever be perfect. Deal with that. You can't change it. Just do your best and hope.
Did I mention about how much I despise petty politics? I did? Okay, I won't have to say it again then.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
It's time to call out the Aisle Police, and to give them the POWER.Isn't it a rule of etiquette that people in the grocery store should treat the aisles like streets, and stay on the right side? Did I just dream that rule?
Because people who slowwwwwly meander down the middle, and then stop abruptly and leave their cart right smack in the middle of the aisle so they can reach both shelves equi-distantly really tick me off. They're always slow as pondwater and they completely block the aisles so polite people who are obey the traffic rules can't get by.
People who go the wrong way down the aisle also annoy me. As do canoodling couples who have to walk side-by-side, thus blocking both sides of the aisle. And people who decide to have a personal conversation right smack in the middle of an aisle, blocking all access by others. Finish shopping and go have coffee somewhere, or at least block some aisle that's less traveled. Yeah, go over there and block the Bufferin aisle or something. Just get away from the milk, ok?
Don't even get me started about parents who walk away from a cart with a child in it, "just for a moment." Because, you know, that bottle of Heinz Ketchup you forgot to grab, back there on aisle 3, is IMPORTANT, dammit. Oh wait, I've already ranted about this subject. Sorry.
I like Heinz Ketchup too, but I don't like it more than a child's safety. Priorities, people.
And what about people who don't stop at the end of an aisle and look to see if anybody's coming before pulling out and turning into the next aisle? Hello, you're not the only shopper in the store, Grandma. Look both ways. Aisles are little streets. Carts are little cars.
Do we need to install traffic lights at the end of every aisle? Paint a yellow line down the middle? Well, do we? Maybe we do, sheesh, because heaven knows people aren't using their common sense. Give them a cart and a handful of coupons and a trip to the store becomes some kind of race, and good manners are checked at the door. Every man for himself.
Step away from the Hostess cupcakes, kid. Step away and nobody will get hurt. Go back to your parent; why are you running wild through the store anyway? It's not nice to run wild in a public place. Especially a crowded public place full of people who have easy access to frozen pork tenderloins that can be used as weapons. Don't think it hasn't occurred to people.
Even in a crowded store, people in a hurry and people NOT in a hurry could both be accommodated and happy if everybody would just obey the traffic rules.
Yes. I think a Grocery Aisle Police Force is in order. I want one.
Monday, September 05, 2005
I'm back. It was a blast.I vowed that this post would NOT be gushy in any way. I vowed that I would relate the events of my weekend logically and factually. I will NOT gush and be all emotional. I won't, I won't, I WON'T.
I had a WONDERFUL time, and these people are so cool and so nice, you just wouldn't believe it.
I knew Hula the moment I saw her, standing in the crowd of people at the airport. There was just nobody else that lovely woman with the beautiful friendly smile could be! I KNEW it was her, I just knew it, and I was right. We hugged like old friends meeting after a long separation, which was pretty much exactly the way it was; we'd been friends for a long time online, and now we were actually MEETING! We also giggled and squealed like little girls but I'm not telling about that; you might think we acted immaturely. Not us, nope. Not even once.
Hula Hubby had left orders that Hula was to give me a piece of his Belgian chocolate as soon as I got to their house. So she did, and I forced myself to eat it. Oh, all right, I inhaled that delicious delicacy with the discretion generally associated with hungry coyotes. I understand that there are some people who take little bites of a big piece of chocolate; I've never met one of them personally and I am of the opinion that such stories are urban legends. I had that big piece of candy swallowed and digested before Hula could put the box back in her kitchen.
From moment one, we behaved ourselves like the mature women we really are. No matter where we went, our conduct was perfect. We did not disgrace ourselves in any way, nor did we behave in any way that might have drawn attention to us.
Nobody noticed when we posed for this picture. Our demeanor was so calm and mature that anyone who even MIGHT have noticed us here would only have been impressed at our cool, businesslike manners.
No matter what you might be thinking, Hula and Hula Girl were NOT trying to drown the mother and daughter in the other boat. It was not a race of any kind, and Hula and Hula Girl have way too much class to try and show any of the other six boaters who was the boss of this watershow. They might have bumped the other boat a little, and muttered threats under their breath, but really, mature women and elegant princess-like young girls do NOT threaten violence. Besides, it's kind of hard to be dominant when you're trying not to puke.
We played, and talked, and laughed till we nearly wet our pants, and then we started the cycle all over again. I felt like I'd found a soul sister. I think I felt that way because. . . I DID find a soul sister.
In fact, the only thing we didn't absolutely agree upon was James Bond, and the details of that disagreement I shall keep to myself so you will all think it was more sinister than it really was. We even have the same opinion about farts. And salsa. And chocolate shakes. And, and, and, and. . . . lots of other things!
Guess who got to hold and snuggle the brand-new Genuine Baby?
This boy is a sucker for the footie-massage. Hula and I had just that afternoon been talking about how people really do forget, after just a little while, how it feels to hold a tiny baby. Well, that night I learned how fast a person will remember exactly how to not only hold a tiny baby, but how to soothe and snuggle him as well. Not that I took advantage of the situation and held him all night so nobody else had a chance. I mean, that wouldn't have been fair. Who would DO such a thing.
Okay, I did put him down long enough to feast on Genuine's brisket. I'd read before, on his blog, that he liked to smoke a brisket for company, but never did I ever imagine that I would be the company. I felt like I was in the presence of royalty. What an awesome friendly guy he is! I'd seen Michelle on the webcam before and I thought she was a truly beautiful woman, but now that I've seen her in person, I know that she is even more beautiful than that. Together, the Genuines were gracious and generous hosts, and it was a fantastic evening.
I worried, before I went to Colorado, that people would be disappointed when they met me. I've never considered myself all that interesting or cool, and I really and truly feared that once the Hulas and the Genuines really met me, they'd think man, what a boring woman!
But I'm really quite interesting, and people fight exhaustion and win, just to keep listening to me and my fascinating comments.
See? See how entertaining I must be?
Seriously, he'd been up for hours and hours getting ready for company and he just couldn't hold his eyes open for another second.
Even sound asleep, Genuine is one of the most interesting people I've ever met. His niceness, and Michelle's sweetness, just shine out of them to make everyone else in the room feel welcome and comfortable.
Heck, they even let me borrow the baby for the evening.
Yes, I just sat there on their sofa, holding that precious baby, while people worked in the kitchen and waited on me hand and foot. I got the best job, hands down. And I can honestly say that the Genuines are genuinely awesome. I love them.
Just a few hours ago, Hula and I were standing right next to THIS phenomenon. And it had brothers and sisters scattered all around it.
I had been to Colorado once before, on a family vacation when I was about fourteen or so. I remembered the mountains, but I had never seen anything like this.
Hula drove me all around Denver and its surroundings and showed me all kinds of incredible sights. If I had gawked any more, my eyes would have started to spin like a cartoon character's! She filled me in on history and origins and music till I felt quite smart about Colorado. Till we rounded the bend in the road and saw something ELSE that was gorgeous and native to the area. My head was spinning with the beauty of the area.
She showed me dinosaur footprints. I think maybe that was the coolest of all.
I honestly can't remember ever having a better time with someone. Hula is just simply the best hostess, and one of the best friends, any person could ever hope to have. I love her.
Hula and I got all dressed up and hit the nightlife scene at the Chart House on Saturday night.
I don't think we have caviar on the salad bar in Indiana. At least, not in any place I've ever been.
But in Colorado? Caviar on the salad bar. Wow. And when it got dark and the city lights came on it was better than the Fourth of July.
The cheesecake, at the Cheesecake Factory an hour later, was equally good. Strawberry cheesecake. Don't you all wish you'd been there too? Of course you do.
You would have had to order your own, though, because neither of us was sharing. Yes, it was that good.
Oh, my trip was wonderful and fun and everything I thought it would be. The Hulas are generous lovely people, and the Genuines are generous lovely people, and even their pets were great.
As for the Hula and Genuine children. . . . I've been around a lot of kids in my time (LOTS of time but we won't go there) but I really don't think I've ever encountered kids quite like these. All six of them (including the baby) have beautiful manners. They are obedient, lively, playful, creative, well-disciplined, talented, and it is obvious even to a semi-stranger like me that they adore their parents and aunts and uncles. I saw awesome and inspiring and beautiful examples of love this weekend, and I shall never forget them. I could have sat on the floor and had these children playing all over and around me for hours and not tired of it. I wish I'd taken more pictures, but I was too busy enjoying it all.
Thank you, sweet wonderful Hula family, for inviting me to visit you, and thank you, sweet wonderful Genuine family, for inviting me to dine with you. Meeting you all was better than Christmas morning for me. Really, it was. You have no idea.
I'm not going to tell you all how I fell off Hula's deck because then you'd know how clumsy I am. At least I didn't crush Hula Boy, and I think the dog appreciated the spillage. And Hula only laughed at me a
When I stepped off the plane tonight, Hub was there waiting for me. He took me out for pizza at the Bloomington Pizzaria (established 1953) and we made total pigs of ourselves over double cheese and a few mushrooms.
And now I am home again. In a few minutes I will go into the kitchen and make a nice lunch for Hub to take to school tomorrow, and then I shall go to bed.
And I promise not to rub it in to him that he has to work tomorrow and I don't.
I have eight thousand (a loose approximation) quizzes and essays to grade tomorrow but I don't have to get up early for that.
Neener neener, Hub dear. I'll set the clock for ya.
Good night, dear Hulas. Good night, dear Genuines. Thank you both a thousands times over.
And the boring old woman is home now.
My family in Gulfport is safe! No other details, just that they are all alive and safe. What a relief.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Colorado, here I come!I hope everyone has a great weekend. I certainly intend to!
Just a few hours now, and I'll be hugging all over some of the nicest people in the world.
Embarassingly, this will be the first time in my life that I have flown by myself.
No pilots, no passengers, no servers. . . . just me.
Seriously though. How could a person get to be my age and not have any travel experience? It's ridiculous.
But after this weekend, that little fact will have changed. Yay!
There are so many nice people in this world. Honestly, there are. I think I love them all.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
I try to be nice but I know major suckage when I see it.I hope that I am a nice person, really I do. I try to be helpful, and considerate, and kind, and understanding. I go way overboard trying to help people sometimes, but that is just how I am, so forget about trying to reform me, I ain't gonna change now. I'm helping you and that's that.
Why then do I feel so incredibly hard-nosed about the people who are emptying out the stores and abandoned homes down on the gulf coast? Shouldn't I be pitying them and understanding that times are hard (understatement!) and making soothing noises about milk and bread and diapers and formula? Well, shouldn't I?
Because, you see, I'm not.
When I see these videos and read these articles, what I see are thieves, taking advantage of the chaos, and helping themselves to the property of others.
Jean Valjean stole a loaf of bread because he wanted to try and save the life of a starving child. He didn't grab a large-screen TV, some dvd players, a case of cigarettes, a dozen or so cd's, and a shopping cart full of beer and pop. One loaf of bread for a good cause is one thing; two dozen loaves and the entire contents of the Pepsi display are quite another.
When I look at the videos and pictures, and read the articles, what I see are cheap punky thieves. Graceless "humans" who are cheating, stealing, hurting, and otherwise making a horrible situation that much more horrible, adding themselves to the long list of horrors that the good people must deal with in the midst of this mess.
Yes, they are desperate. Yes, they were poor before and are poorer now and are taking advantage of the situation to get some 'stuff' while the getting is good. Yes, they feel justified. Yes, many of them are smirking into the cameras, floating a bag of someone else's belongings and waving to the media. Yes, a few have enough humanity left to feel ashamed of what they are doing, yet they do it anyway and try to hide their faces from the camera's accusing lens. Yes, they are laughing as they kick in the door and help themselves to the livelihood of some poor storekeeper or homeowner who actually worked for a living. Yes, some of them are white, and some of them are black. Some of them might be plaid or polka-dotted, I don't care. It makes no difference. All of them are thieves.
All my life, people have teased me about my bleeding heart. Believe me, my heart is bleeding all over the place over this tragedy.
Not for the thieves, though. For the decent people who are being devastated twice: once by Katrina and again by their fellow man.
No, my heart is not bleeding for the thieves.
The thieves are scum.