Friday, June 30, 2006
A Perfect Post, June 2006I've nominated Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred's wonderful post "Of Eyes and Hearts." It made me cry, and it made me smile, and it made me appreciate life and love in general and loved ones in particular. The Three Good Doctors have been a favorite read of mine for quite a while now; they always manage to hit the nail right on the head. They are highly intelligent, well-read, snarky, masters of sarcastic wit, and have a sweet sentimental streak that shows up occasionally. I've never seen a picture, but I know they're extraordinarily good-looking, as well. Oh, and SC&A have WONDERFUL taste in women.
Blogrolls that have Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred on them, are vastly superior to those who don't.
Thank you, dear MommaK, for letting me participate. This is my first attempt, and I hope I did it right.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
The Shroud of Turin-mobile
Yesterday, my awesome Cousin C and I hung out all day, did nothing in particular except shop and walk around and eat and talk, and we had a great time and I can't wait to do it again.
But look what was parked right next to us at the Steak and Shake!!!
We looked at all the people eating inside the restaurant and tried to stereotype the one who would drive a Shroud of Turin Exhibit truck around the country, but we couldn't figure it out. Everybody looked fairly normal, as normal as a Steak and Shake crowd will ever look, in a college town.
Hah. Those people who claim nothing exciting ever happens around here are. . . . pretty much correct. I mean, how exciting is a Shroud of Turin Exhibit truck, and how pathetic is it that it was the most exciting thing that's happened around here lately, and I've blogged about both the truck and the ennui.
What's next? The Shards of Ark Exhibit? The Traveling Manger?
I belong to the "Christians with a Brain and a Sense of Humor Society", so such things do not offend me. They make me giggle, and they make me wonder about some people's credulity level, but I do not worry about it. God Himself has a marvelous sense of humor. If you don't believe that, take a good long look at some of his creations, including you. And me.
There's a reason why I was always the last one chosen to be on a team at recess.
Before I get started on tonight's rant, I want to tell you that THE NEW CARNIVAL OF EDUCATION is up, and you must click over to read it all immediately. Go now. I'll wait.
La la la la la
Oh, you're back? Sweet.
See this cartoon?
I was forced to do stuff like this for over twenty years and I hated every second of it.
Do you hear me? Every. second. of. it.
I stood outside in the pouring rain and the falling snow and the freezing toe-numbing cold and the blistering heat, taking tickets and selling popcorn and saying things like "Go!" and "Jump!" and "
Oh shit golly whillikers, was I supposed to start the clock before they started doing that?" I was given a score sheet with no instructions. I was given chalk with no instructions. I was given measuring tapes but I wasn't told what to measure. I was given large sheets of paper and big magic markers with no instructions. I was given a stopwatch; what was it for? I was given remote controls that had something to do with big electric neon things with numbers that made the crowd yell at me, with no instructions. I was put in charge of outdoor things involving stupid costumes uniforms and weird shoes and rules that I didn't know. I was put in CHARGE of these things.
I wasn't asked to help out. I was ordered to be there. I had no choice.
Nobody told me how these little games were played. Nobody told me where to stand, or what to write down, or who's on first. I only knew about "I don't know." And I wasn't sure where third base was.
Something I do know is that a lot of teachers quit the profession because of this kind of thing.
Funny, isn't it, that we were all required to 'do our part' in areas such as this, but if a teacher asked for some help at a concert or play or dance, that teacher got a lot of blank stares and no office backup whatsoever. Sometimes, people laughed.
During those last few years at the public school, teachers were no longer required to do all the athletic gruntwork; what a reeee-leeef.
Did I mention that I hated every microsecond of it? Did I mention that I'm still bitter? Did I mention that the very thought of some of those 'coaches' and parents makes me want to scream and yell and throw things?
I will admit that I was forced to run the clock at a basketball game only once. I was so terrible at it, after fifteen minutes NOBODY knew what the score was. We narrowly avoided a riot, in fact.
It would have helped if I'd known the rules, and what all those strange noises and gestures meant. I mean, what did they expect? I avoided gymnasiums like the plague, normally. I don't even like the way they smell.
So yeah, I messed that game up, royally.
If I'd only known that was how to get out of it, I wouldn't have tried so hard at all the other sports things they forced me to help out at.
I didn't go to university for a million years just to stand outside in the cold and sell M&M's, or to measure how far a kid jumped in sand that had been pooped in by every cat in the county.
Let their parents do that. They're the ones who cared about it, anyway. I didn't. Let them yell at each other, instead of me.
All of my heart and soul and attention and life was directed at those same kids; it was just aimed elsewhere.
But you know, I wouldn't have minded as much if the joy had been equitable. As in, "You help me with this concert, and I'll help you with your little outdoor game."
Since it wasn't set up that way, I agree with the cats: poop on it all.
Mamacita, Scheiss Weekly
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
The Post Where I Tell You How I've Turned Into Violet Beauregarde. With Spots.We picked blueberries yesterday afternoon and they are absolutely delicious. I fully intend to bake/make/preserve/freeze something eventually but right now. . . . they are absolutely delicious.
We spent sixteen dollars, and at $1.65/lb, that's a lot of blueberries. There are still some left, for baking/making/preserving/freezing. I'm going to do that, really I am. Maybe later tonight, after class, around eleven, when it's cooler. Yes.
Until that time, they are absolutely delicious.
They're good for you, too, unless you're diabetic in which case a sensible person would back off a little and save some for baking/making/preserving/freezing.
Last night's blood sugar level: 368.
Oh, all right, maybe I SHOULD save some for baking/making/preserving/freezing.
The following paragraph contains far too much information. Proceed carefully.
My prediction that I would come home from the blueberry fields covered with chiggers? Unfortunately, quite correct. I look like the children in "Nanny McFee" after they covered themselves with fake measles. Huge red horribly itchy spots, in places you really don't want to know about. Thank goodness for Rhuli-Gel, or whatever it's called now that Bactine bought it. That stuff bites hard, but it works. And I know you're not supposed to use it where the sun don't shine, but it works there, too. Just to let you know, and my apologies for making you barf on the tops of those nice summer sandals.
Belle and her friends came down last night to save the last remaining kitten from the coyotes, or Beelzebub, or whoever it was that is responsible for the disappearance of the other four. They lured it into the carrier with a piece of ham, and Belle's friend Monte (the cat whisperer) who can move like the Flash, dashed out onto the deck and closed the door. The original plan was to take it to the Pound, but after spending the night in Belle's bathroom, the kitten is re-thinking the whole 'feral lifestyle' thing and is contemplating behaving himself forevermore because the perks in Belle's apartment for a well-behaved cat are incredible.
It's one of the little yellow ones, and it really is adorable.
Eh, well, I fed my daughter and her friends, and honestly tried not to scratch in front of them. I also
Yeah, you raise 'em right and they mind you even when they're adults. And kitten poop is going to be her worst life-problem. Uh huh.
Last night it was, though.
And now I'm going out to the kitchen to do something about those blueberries. While they last.
Seriously, they are sooooo good.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Knowledge and Blueberries
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Wayback Machine, Number One
Mamacita, Scheiss Weekly
Happy Birthday To My Awesome Son.Blogger is being persnickety about posting pictures again tonight. Darn.
June is a busy month here, as both of my beautiful children have June birthdays. Last week was my daughter's birthday, and today is my son's birthday.
I remember so well the night he was born. Well, every parent remembers details, but his are unique. He was almost born in the car, because of the railroad track that goes right smack through the center of downtown. As we pulled up to the track, we heard the train. But let me start at the beginning.
I've posted this before, but it's especially poignant today.
I woke up already in labor. When I tell you that I am a comatose sleeper, I am not exaggerating. It's bizarre, really: alarms and radios and doorbells and conversation and labor? I'm unconscious. But let a child turn over in his/her bed, barely making a sound, and I'm wide awake and alert. Go figure.
We packed up the newly two-year-old Belle and ran for the car. Thankfully, it started.
Remember, we live way out in the country and the hospital is on the opposite side of the county. We had a ways to drive.
And when we got to town, we heard the train. Hub stopped, of course, and looked carefully at the approaching bright light.
"What do you think?" he asked.
"Gun it." I replied.
So we did.
We pulled up in front of my parents' house, where Mom was waiting on the sidewalk. We literally tossed Belle out the window and raced towards the Medical Center.
Hub dropped me off at the emergency entrance and went to park the car.
When he came back a few minutes later, the doctor and I were standing out in the hallway admiring the baby.
Truthfully, I've had, um, "constipational disorders" that were worse than my son's birth. He weighed a little over eight pounds and the whole evening had an aura of unreality to it, because it was so easy. The worst part of it was my whiny crybaby roommate.
Yes, my son's birth was a cinch. The whole thing (after I woke up) lasted about twenty minutes. No problems, no sweat. He later made up for lost time but I digress.
His bright red hair shone like the red planet among stars in the hospital nursery. Visitors would comment about it.
"Hey, lookit the one with the red hair, did you ever see anything like that before?"
And of course, nobody ever had. And he was MINE.
My little son, who has brought joy and laughter to my life. My precious and beautiful boy-child, whose glowing red hair is now shoulder-length (he cut it last year because it was just TOO long). My freckle-faced smiley boy whose arms and legs and heaven knows what else are covered with tattoos.
My tiny loving little boy, who cried over sad stories and poems, who knows how to play Pan pipes and bagpipes and bassoons, and who would win a philosophical debate with anyone on the planet.
My nearly-seven-feet-tall son, almost ready to graduate from college, living in a bachelor pad on the top floor of an old apartment complex, who hates to drive and takes the bus or walks wherever he goes. Well, sometimes young women drive him around, you know how it is. Young women with excellent taste, I might add.
His birth was easy. His journey to adulthood contained some serious trials, but he is now a cool and intelligent young man, and if you send me your resume and pass my rather lengthy interview process, I will consider introducing you.
And, of course, if you do marry my son, you will have ME as your mother in law. Talk about PERFECTION, right?
Friday, June 23, 2006
Monsters. Monsters in the Woodpile. Pumas. Pumas in the Crevices.
Welcome to my nightmare.
Did this ever happen to you? It didn't?
Of course, if you substitute "Jack, older boy of my dreams" for "Andy," "Jane" for "Holly," and "somewhat memorable clumsy ungraceful bellyflop" for "gorgeous dive," it may have happened to me.
If it did, I've totally forgotten all about it. I never think about it. I never relive it in a dream and wake up in a cold sweat of horror and humiliation and realization that Jack, older boy of my dreams, would now never look at me through the eyes of love and lust.
That's harsh reality for an eighth-grade girl, you know, realizing that a cute boy wasn't interested even after viewing my chest, which, at that age, was not unlike the chest of a nine-year-old boy. Nobody even applauded. Heck, they probably thought I WAS a nine-year-old boy.
Stupid two-piece swimsuit. Stupid law of physics that forced the top half up my Twiggy-like body over my head and into the wild blue yonder when I hit the water.
On second thought, it's probably just as well that I hit the water feet first and lost my top. If I'd actually DIVED, arms outspread and head first, I might have lost. . . . oh holy scheisse.
No, I never think about that any more. Haven't for years. Not thinking about it now, either.
People's problems differ, don't they. They actually make swimsuits in my size, even though they shouldn't, but my problem with it now would be getting it ON, not worrying about losing it later. No law of physics or force of gravity would be able to remove it now. Colin Firth could, but he wouldn't want to.
I read somewhere once, probably Erma Bombeck or the like, that trying to put a swimsuit on a fat woman was not unlike trying to put sheets on a waterbed. And that a fat chick in a two-piece was not unlike two rubber bands on an egg.
It's been many years since I read both those descriptions and I still haven't been able to get those horrible images out of my head. And now, neither will you.
Welcome to my world. Bwahahahahahahahaha. . . .
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Silent Summer Solstice
Click, please.Please click over to Pastor Jeff's blog and wish him and his lovely wife a happy anniversary. They're off somewhere south of here at a Bed and Breakfast, I've had their three fabulous kids since Sunday night, and I just know that Jeff and Tammi have spent all that time tryng to figure out what to do with all that rare free private uninterrupted time together. I guess they'll think of something. Oh, well, they've got a bagful of DVD's, so they won't be TOO bored.
After you've read his blog and wished him a happy anniversary, bookmark or blogroll him and read him every day. He's awesome.
Oh, and tell him to take his time coming back for the kids. I've decided to keep them forever.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Trojan. No, not THAT kind.
Friday, June 16, 2006
One of the biggest.
What do the words "school system" make me think of?
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Carnivals and BirthdaysClick on over to the latest Carnival of Education. Remember, if you don't keep up, you won't know, and if you don't know, you can't whine. Don't let this stuff take you by surprise, when it's too late to do anything about it. Keep current.
And while you're clicking, today is my daughter's birthday. Those of you who know which blog is hers, go wish her a Happy Birthday, would you please?
Five hours of labor and a hemorrhoid that still hasn't quit, and what have I got to show for it?
A beautiful, talented, creative, funky, out-of-the-box daughter who likes to dye her golden hair red. A kind and compassionate and hard-working daughter who writes fanfiction and fantasy novels and goes to Renaissance Fairs in full costume. A brilliant and dependable and fun daughter who has a car with a back seat that looks like a dumpster. A fantastic, hilarious, "who cares what other people think" daughter who once went on an archaeological dig in Italy. A talented, musical, singing daughter who can give you a perfect Christine, a perfect a cappella soprano, a perfect Eponine, a perfect "any character in any musical," a perfect Comedian Harmonist, a perfect "any anime character in any song or any show," a perfect "any Animaniacs song ever written," and perfect pitch.
Am I somewhat biased here? Not at all. Everybody thinks so. You would, too.
Except when she's pissy, of course.
Happy Birthday, my little daughter. You grew up awfully fast, and you did a good job of it, too.
You'll get a cake when I get around to it, okay?
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
It's Flag Day.
My country, 'tis of Thee,
Sweet Land of Liberty
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountain side
Let Freedom ring.
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills,
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet Freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.
Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
To thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With Freedom's holy light,
Protect us by thy might
Great God, our King.
Our glorious Land to-day,
'Neath Education's sway,
Soars upward still.
Its hills of learning fair,
Whose bounties all may share,
Behold them everywhere
On vale and hill!
Thy safeguard, Liberty,
The school shall ever be,
Our Nation's pride!
No tyrant hand shall smite,
While with encircling might
All here are taught the Right
With Truth allied.
Beneath Heaven's gracious will
The stars of progress still
Our course do sway;
In unity sublime
To broader heights we climb,
Triumphant over Time,
God speeds our way!
Grand birthright of our sires,
Our altars and our fires
Keep we still pure!
Our starry flag unfurled,
The hope of all the world,
In peace and light impearled,
God hold secure!
--by Samuel F. Smith
My Kind Of Flick
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
ALL KINDS of Graph Paper
Not For The Faint-Stomached
Monday, June 12, 2006
A Confusing Mish-Mash of Rants, Vents, and Opinions
Sunday, June 11, 2006
There are GERMS on the soles of feet; let's not share them, ok?
Saturday, June 10, 2006
. . .you're always running here and there; you feel you're not wanted anywhere. . . .
Friday, June 09, 2006
It Might Just Be Me.I'm reading this book, and it's really good. All of Phyllis Whitney's mysteries are good. She's one of my favorite mystery writers, in fact. I recommend her to all of you, highly. Her surprise endings are like no other; I can never see it coming and I'm shocked every time. She's wonderful. WONDERFUL.
This is one of her older books. It's fantastic.
However, this post is not about the story.
It's about the picture on the front cover.
Is it just me, or does that woman look exactly like Richard Chamberlain?
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Yet Another Post Wherein I Piss And Moan About Stuff.In a delightful (as always) email conversation with the wonderful Bonnie, something occurred to me. I think it was always in my mind but I'd never put it in words before until inspired to do so by this lovely friend.
On my Flickr page, there is a picture of my Tumorless Sister, holding a dulcimer. Bonnie commented about the dulcimer, and the conversation and the idea took off.
Back in the day, all middle school/junior high students had to take shop and home ec. They entered high school, and life, knowing how to use a hammer and nails, how to put together a simple meal, how to sew a straight seam, how to take a few simple tools and create something new or improved with them. These are life skills, not frills.
There are all kinds of creation, and an essay or mathematical equation or scientific proof are only some of them, and not necessarily the most important ones, either.
Back in the day, all elementary students were taught about basic musical and artistic base-line skills. Students were taught to read music, and to mix colors together to make new colors. Students were taught the lyrics to hundreds of songs, and how to sing harmony, and they were also taught how to recognize different artists by their personal styles and quirky signatures.
Schools used to require the students to memorize poems, and stories, and to write original ones, too.
Students entered high school knowing the rules for games, and about sportsmanship.
Cheaters were the lowest of the low, the scum of the earth.
They still are, but public opinion has changed quite a lot, and sometimes cheaters are exalted. This must cease. (insert smirk here, for who is going to stop it? Those with the power to do so are the same ones who often exalt it. Those with the power are sometimes the cheaters.) (Principal who insisted that plagiarists retain valedictory position, for example.)
Cheaters are the lowest of the low, the scum of the earth. They may have achieved a victory now, but the wheel of life keeps turning, and the fly on the top will be the fly on the bottom eventually. And vice versa.
Doing away with woodshop and home ec and music and art, to make room for more and more practice sessions of ISTEP and review sessions for those subject areas that are covered in the mandated standardized tests, has done nothing but remove a few areas wherein some students found success, and replaced them with more areas wherein these students will certainly fail.
Not everybody is a rocket scientist or a writer or a mathematician. Some people are musicians and artists and craftsmen and carpenters and chefs.
And what is a rocket scientist's or a writer's or a mathematician's life without music and art and furniture and food?
I firmly believe that every student should be exposed to as much and as many diverse areas of curriculum as is humanly possible according to the limiting laws of physics. Every person should know how to cook, and sew, and use simple tools, and recognize good music from bad, and look at a piece of art and see beyond the lines and borders.
Why are our schools casting the artistic and hands-on students aside in full favor of the academic students? Yes, schools ARE academic, but schools are also the institution that is supposed to prepare our students for the future, and the future depends on people who can read, write, do the math, understand basic scientific functions. . . . and feed themselves and others, and create beautiful objects for practical and impractical use, and nourish the soul and heart as well as the brain.
Only the finite can be 'tested;' therefore, only the finite is stressed and even allowed in our schools, these sad, sad days.
Maybe this is why so many of our young people drop out; the schools are offering nothing for them, only for those whose talents lie within the very limited boundaries of the ISTEP test.
Maybe this is why so many of our young people vandalize; they were taught nothing about what real art is, or even respect for it.
Maybe this is why so many of our young people listen to music that isn't really music; they've never heard real music. It's a fact that when the schools dropped music as a required subject, the recording industry took up the slack, and which of these has our kids' loyalty now, hmmm?
Maybe this is why so many of our young people associate a song with a video; they've never experienced the joy and wonder of learning a song within a group and having it branded on the memory like a wonderful dream, and associating it with an experience rather than a television program..
Maybe this is why so many of our young people disrespect those who make their living with their hands; the school wherein they sat for years and years never emphasized it or showed them the importance of it. On Honor Day, the prizes for those who did well in 'those' kinds of classes were smaller and less shiny than the big trophies for "Most Improved Math Student," or the many "Way To Show Up, Kid" self-esteem awards.
Maybe this is why so many of our young people are anorexic and bulemic and obese and existing on lard and salt and cholesterol; they were never taught the essentials of human nutrition and how to create it themselves.
Maybe I'm being too judgemental; it wouldn't be the first time. Maybe I'm being too simplistic; well, of course I am. But even in a judgemental and overly simplistic mindset, I still think maybe I'm on to something here.
This dulcimer (Blogger won't let me post a picture, again) was created for me by a student named Rusty, who was pretty much nothing but a big illiterate hood, by academic and behavioral standards. He failed everything but woodshop, but in the woodshop he shone like a star. Put a pencil in his hand and he could do nothing but break it in two and throw the pieces at someone. Put a piece of paper in front of him and he would probably wad it up and spit it across the room. Ask him to spell a word and he would stare helplessly. But put him in a room full of hammers and nails and glue and pliers and saws and complicated directions, and he became a genius, a maestro wielding a screwdriver, and making beauty out of a piece of raw wood.
Our shop kids used to make dulcimers; it was their big project. Beautiful musical instruments, fashioned by the hoody crud of the student body. The kids were then taught to play them, and taken around to nursing homes and business clubs to perform.
No more, of course. The woodshop has been closed and locked for many years now. There just isn't time for it any more, what with computer tech and ISTEP prep. Besides, all field trips have been done away with. (Except for athletics, of course. You really don't want to get me started on THAT one. . . .)
Students like Rusty, who shone at nothing but hands-on, now shine at nothing. This isn't right.
In our schools, we have fantastic musicians and artists. Back in the day, we cherished and nurtured these incredible talents. Now, we brush them aside and pull these kids from the studios and make them study only academics, because the arts aren't tested. And if a subject isn't on the test, it won't be offered; at the very least, it won't be taken seriously.
There are six or seven periods in the school day. Three or four subjects are 'tested.' The State has mandated "Advisor/Advisee" time, daily; that means our kids will get some serious counseling by some seriously untrained non-counselors. Some students will have as many as three study halls every day. This is inexcusable.
Of course, to do it all up properly would require the hiring of a few more teachers. We can't DO that; those athletic buses and the athletic director's five full-time assistants and the superintendent's company car and $100,000+ salary take a lot of money.
And in many schools, the 'special' teachers (art, music, etc) are shared by several buildings. Ask my Tumorless Sister about her schedule this year, why don'tcha. It's a moral disgrace. As parents, and as citizens, we should make our outrage at this misuse of talent known, with our voices and our votes.
Our children are more than a piece of paper with a few numbers on it.
Mamacita, Scheiss Weekly
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
That Old Lady Commands, and This Old Lady Obeys.Naomi, the Old Lady of the Hills, has challenged me to make a list of ten things, pertinent to my life, that begin with the letter “M.” Naomi is one of the many bosses of me, so here is my list.
1. Music. Without it, life would have no color. Music is so much a part of me, talentless as I am, that I can not even imagine a silent life. It would be very horrifyingly quiet and dull without something wonderful to sing along with in the car, in the kitchen, wherever one might be. I played music when my students took tests or had quiet study time. I figured, if cows produced more milk when the barn was full of music, then students might produce more and better work. They did, too. Better quality work, and faster, too. Music makes us more civilized, and less afraid to be uncivilized at times. It brings out the best in us, and the worst. We show our true personalities to the world when we allow others to listen to our music. That’s one of many cool things about Patriside’s Mixmania.
2. M*A*S*H. I confess, I am addicted. This is the last television program I ever watched faithfully, and it is the only television program I watch on DVD up in my kitchen. (I do go into ecstacies over certain Adult Swim DVD’s that my son brings home to watch with me, but I don’t count those among my absolute visual obsessions.) There has never been another program like M*A*S*H. The casting was perfection itself, and it never, ever jumped the shark.
3. Moon. The symbol of the night. I’ve been fascinated by the moon since I was a child, and used to lie on top of the family car and look at the night sky with my pink plastic toy binoculars. The moon is the subject of so many legends, and stories; the moon features heavily in art and music. The many words for ‘moon’ have infiltrated our daily language, as all of us lunatics well know. It remains a beautiful silvery glowing mysterious icon of the night. And night is what I’m all about. (Blogger wouldn't let me put the moon picture on here. It really was a picture of the moon, not of anyone mooning. But since I couldn't put any kind of picture here, you'll have to take my word for it, won't you.)
4. Mom. My mother is a person I’ve tried to imitate and NOT imitate all my adult life. I do many things now in peculiar ways, just because Mom did it that way, or did NOT do it that way. I know; it makes no sense. I have spent much of my adult life trying not to be like her, and just as much trying to do certain things just the way she always did them. Holidays, mostly. It all comes down to the fact that Mom is fantastic, and I love her with a fierce protective love that is unequaled in anything or anyone else I love. It doesn’t keep me from laughing at the Momisms, though.
And we must not forget that there are many aspects of Mom.
5. Men. Need I say more?
6. Moxy Fruvous. These four guys have been my favorite band since the mid-nineties. A sensible ordinary person would have gotten over it by now and moved on but I have never been sensible or ordinary, and I just like them better as the years go by. I do love me some expert a cappella singing. Of course, like every band, restaurant, store, etc, I have ever loved in all my life, they are now defunct. Oh, they SAY they’re on hiatus, but I know better. I love them; therefore, they’re gone. I have all their solo cd’s, and they’re great, but it’s just not the same. Guys, PLEASE come back. In twelve years, nobody has ever taken your place.
7. Musicals. Dear heaven, I LOVE a good live musical. The first one I ever saw, live, was ‘Oklahoma,’ and it’s only gotten better since. I’m glad we took the kids and all their friends and all my students to so many in years past, since we certainly can’t go to any now or probably ever again (sob) but we saw our fair share and more back when we could. Whenever I look at our old white van, I see it packed full of teenagers, dressed to the hilt, and excited about going to Indianapolis or Louisville or even just Bloomington to see Phantom, or Les Miz, or Sweeney Todd, or Into the Woods, or Evita, or Godspell. . . . . . and dozens more. And of course a good original soundtrack in the car, with the volume up to eleven (snicker) makes a road trip that much greater.
8. (Les) Miserables. I’m probably cheating, calling this an ‘m,’ but I love it so much I couldn’t combine it with the other musicals, and it was impossible to leave it out. When I taught sixth grade, we were fortunate enough to have Beverly Cleary’s “The Platoon System” in our anthology. This was a chapter from her delightful autobiography “A Girl From Yamhill County,” and this chapter told of an innovative teacher who, one day, put the boring textbook away, folded her hands on top of her desk, and proceeded to tell her students the story of Jean Valjean. At the end of the semester, she hadn’t finished, and her students were frantic. But the teacher promised that when school started up again, so would the story, and she kept her word. Of course, a few of the “less intelligent” parents protested that such an adult story was being presented to children, but the principal did not cave, at least, not much. He asked the teacher to tell the story only once a week, in the auditorium, instead of daily, and to teach her required health lessons on the other days. That these students, who were the same age as my sixth graders, could love and OBSESS about a story this much fascinated my own students, and one day I folded my hands on top of my desk and began to tell them this same story. It worked in real life, too. Later that year, I was able to take a vanload of students to see the student version of this show, and it was a rousing success.
When Hub and I took our own kids and a few of their friends to see this show, we got a wonderful surprise. Our seats were in the nosebleed section, far stage right, but when we climbed up there that night, our seats were full of speakers and sound equipment. We were escorted back downstairs and given seats in row five, center. It was absolutely fantastic.
Les Miserables teaches us that no matter how hard our lives may be, however cruel some people may be, or however impossible some goals may seem, there is always hope, and it is always worthwhile to keep on trying.
It has become one of my life’s themes.
9. More Cowbell. Everyone needs more cowbell in his/her life, in every aspect and in every way. There’s just never enough cowbell.
10. Memories. The older I get, the more precious these become. I try, every day, to put the bad ones behind me and to focus on the good ones, and the making of more good ones. I have not yet succeeded but I am still trying.
11. Mamacita. This blog has changed and improved and given such wonderment and happiness to my life. . . . it may have even saved my life. I would never be able to thank you all enough for making Mamacita part of your lives, too. It's getting more and more difficult to even remember life before I was Mamacita. Things happen, and my first thoughts now are "Can I blog that?"
I chose the name 'Mamacita' hurriedly, and on a whim. A friend (Hi, Wes) had encouraged me to start a Blogger journal, and I needed to call it something. My husband and my daughter both speak German, so I knew what 'scheiss' was (heh), and this journal started life as a repository for anecdotes that happened at school, and schools, as we all know, are full of scheiss. I tried to register "Scheiss Daily" but somebody already had it, so I went with 'weekly.' As for my identity, I wanted something 'parentish' but the word 'Mommy' in all its possible incarnations was already being used by several people. At that time, I didn't know of anyone else blogging as "Mamacita" so I grabbed it. I've since learned that there are many others, and I have recently put my favorite other Mamacita on my blogroll. She actually had the name first, but I didn't know that when I chose it. We arm-wrestled for the name and tied, so we're both using it. Check out the other Mamacita some time; she's awesome.
Is that more than ten? Whoops. I was never very good at math.
We Build A Planter Around A Catalpa Stump.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
667: Neighbor of the BeastIt's 6/6/06, and time to post our Evil Mix for Patriside's Mixmania. Mine is, as usual, odd. Some of the songs on my mix are obviously evil, but others? They are only 'evil' to me, because they remind me of someone or something or some time that, to me, was, well, evil. Maybe it was playing in the background when someone broke up with me when I was in high school. Maybe it was the first song I heard after I read a frightening story, or newspaper article. Maybe it was a song that played as I danced with a friend and spotted someone else dancing across the room, with someone else. Maybe it was playing on the radio as I drove to a funeral. Maybe it was the last song I heard before a parent-teacher conference with a truly dreadful parent. Or maybe it played as I steeled myself for a conference wherein I was sitting on the parent's side of the table. Maybe it's a song that just simply makes me think evil thoughts. It might be from a show, a song that made me sit in the audience and try not to cry. Some songs just send shivers of fear down my back for no logical reason. Or maybe it's a song that sums up my own thoughts so well that only some kind of 'entity' could possibly have known what I was thinking.
Most of my songs are either old, quirky, or 'different.' There's a reason for that.
I'm old, quirky, and 'different.'
Evil Mix: The Dark Recesses of my Mind
1. Mephistopheles – Beethoven’s Last Night - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
2. Mephistopheles’ Return – Beethoven’s Last Night - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
3. – Beethoven’s Last Night - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
4. What Good This Deafness – Beethoven’s Last Night - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
5. Something Wicked This Way Comes – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
6. In The End – Linkin Park
7. Psycho Killer – Moxy Fruvous
8. Phantom’s Theme (Beauty and the Beast) (from The Phantom of the Paradise) – Paul Williams
9. Three Little Pigs – Green Jelly
10. Ultraviolence (A Clockwork
11. Evil Angel – Rufus Wainwright
12. Early One Morning – The King’s Singers (I can barely even think about this song without falling apart. Long story.)
13. Someone Else’s Story – from Chess
14. The Closest Thing To Crazy – Katie Melua
15. Crossroads – Bone Thugs In Harmony
16. A Prayer – Madeleine Peyroux
17. Mad World – from Donnie Darko
18. Golliwog’s Cakewalk – Tomita
19. I’m A Monster – Ours
20. Hurt – Johnny Cash
21. Creep (acoustic) – Radiohead
22. Endlessly – Muse
23. Fractured Fairy Tales – Theme
1. Suicide Is Painless – from MASH
2. Can Can – Bad Manners
3. Unsettled Scores – Michael Ball (me too, Michael.) (p.s: you're cute.)
4. Letting Go – Sozzi
5. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart – Bee Gees
6. Drowned – Ours
7. Against All Odds – Phil Collins
8. Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf
9. Voices Carry – Til Tuesday
10. Walk in the Rain – Steve Conte
11. Love Minus Zero – Rod Stewart ( I know he sounds exactly like Winnie the Pooh, but I love this song, even though it makes me remember something. . . .)
12. Don’t Cry Out Loud – Diana DeGarmo (try not to picture that scene in "Drop Dead Gorgeous")
13. Stay – Shakespeare’s Sister
14. Porcelain – Red Hot Chili Peppers
15. Misery – The Moffatts
16. Caoineadh Cu Chulainn – from Riverdance (I loved that electric violin, but there is something about this scene that scares me to death.)
17. Everybody Hurts – REM
18. You Stole The Sun From My Heart – Manic Street Preachers (the more my son makes fun of this song, the creepier it gets. I have no explanation.)
19. Love Hurts –
20. Butterfly - Weezer
I hope the person who got my mix enjoyed it.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Nice people ask permission first.
Love Means Never Having To Take Your Right Foot And Whop You On That Side Of Your Face.
"Her brain has been damaged by the heathen devil weed, marijuana!"
"You won't have to."
"I said shoot her".
Cindy: Oh, really?
Cindy: Is that supposed to mean something?
Bernard: Around these parts, you hear the name Posner quite a bit.
Cindy: That's very interesting. You know, you hear my name quite a bit, and not just around here either.
Bernard: No foolin'? What's your name?
Bernard: Up? Huh-huh, that's an odd name. What's your last name?
Cindy: Yours. Up yours!
Friday, June 02, 2006
Nothing else need be said.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Babe on a PlaneMy daughter is in California. She flew all the way out there, all by herself. She's done this a lot; it's nothing new.
My daughter is grown up. She's older than some of YOU. She's a competent traveler. She loves to travel, in fact.
She's called several times. She got there without a hitch. She's having a great time. She'll be home tomorrow. She's been gone nine days.
I knew all along it would be fine; it always is. I'm not worried, no, not a bit. I often write in short, choppy sentences; it has nothing to do with concern.
My daughter is an adult.
So how come I am picturing these faces, on a plane, alone?