Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TMI Tuesday again!

1. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?
I really don't like most Thanksgiving foods and have been known to grill a steak for myself to avoid the turkey to the envy of many at the table. I guess my favorite would be really good stuffing or sweet potatoes (No marshmallows, please!)

2. You can flip a switch that will wipe any band or musical artist out of existence. Which one will it be?
I really would have so many choices,,,The Spice Girls, Mariah Carey (just because you have that 7 octave range you don't have to use it on every song or screech to reach them), Neil Diamond ("He sings like your Daddy should!" one female friend said...No he sings like my Daddy DID!), Black Oak Arkansas...

3. You seem to be having an excellent day because you just came across a hundred-dollar bill on the sidewalk. Holy crap, a hundred bucks! How are you gonna spend it?
It seems like this might be a good time to buy low and get some deals in the stock market... really

4. What is your favorite curse word?
Nothing can replace a long drawn out sheeet or a fast and low Fuck!

5. Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anytime in the PAST. What time are you traveling to and what are you going to do when you get there?
I'd love to have seen so many eras for so many reasons, The American Revolution, Ancient Greece, the Antebellum South, Berlin in the 20s and again in the 30s, etc. But I
would have loved to have spent time with Eleanor Roosevelt as I think she was so inspirational as someone who came into her own despite the naysayers beating down on her.

Bonus You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what's even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What's it gonna be?
I really have to admit I stole this from a few other blogs I read but...

I want that Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi hand wave

**I should be bumped up to First Class!**

You should be bumped up to First Class!

**You really don't want me in the standard room!'

I don't want you in a standard room. I'lI have to upgrade you to the Imperial Suite!

Friday, November 21, 2008


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I mentioned before the power of music in the last blog. It can move us to tears or laughter. It can conjure up our greatest moments of pain or joy.

One song that my students wanted to sign was 'Imagine'. It would have been great because the words are simple, the tempo is slow and the meaning is positive. However, when that song was chosen overwhelmingly by the kids and me, it was vetoed by the principal. Why? Because of this one lyric. -

And no religion too.

So, today I was reading the paper and there was an article about a billboard in Rancho Cucamonga. The city asked the billboard company to take it down because they'd received complaints. This is the billboard:

Is their faith in God so shaky and limited and unsure that a simple message must be removed? What if it made someone ask a question? Isn't exploration of our beliefs the best way to confirm them and make them stronger? I guess that is only if they are firmly established in our being.

I found it ironic that this happened on the same day I read that the Vatican had finally forgiven John Lennon. When you're playing catch up to the Catholic Church in forgiving people who have offended your beliefs (Copernicus, Galileio, John Lennon, Dame Edna, etc), you are really backward. Even God must be rolling his eyes in disbelief at the fragility of their beliefs!

**Note: I first read about this offense on the Freedom of Speech this morning. Then, I planned how to make it blog worthy. THEN as I signed on tonight, I read what my bro Chris blogged over at Max's Dad. Great minds, bro....Great minds!

The Power of Music...

I started my career teaching the deaf. If you saw Children of a Lesser God, that is what I did only with Pre-school - Fifth grade kids. I moved to California and taught hearing kids. After an unfortunate year at one school I transferred to a school that was predominantly Air Force officer's families. Life was good. Those kids behaved!

Each year when I was teaching Kinder or First Grade, I taught the kids how to sign a song. We usually did a simple Ella Fitzgerald song. My favorite was her slow jazzy 'White Christmas'. The kids would not sing. They would sign only. During the instrumental bridge, the kids would whip out some Ray Ban Wayfarers and snap their fingers to the music, doing their best to look cool. Just as Ella started to sign again they would fall back into an orderly group and finish their silent sign language interpretation.

I promised them their moms would cry! The kids were beside themselves thinking they could make their moms cry. As they sang, I could see they were gleefully waiting for their moms to cry. It always happened! The kids were thrilled, the mothers thought I was the most wonderful teacher in the world and I'd get my hands kissed by some overwrought mother. All was good with the world.

In 1991, when I had the great opportunity to teach 5th grade to the same group of kids I had taught 1st grade to, we approached it differently. They were all excited about learning a different song. So we planned on doing a song at the Winter Festivals. However, my school had a major review by the state planned and we would perform at the weekly flag ceremony the week the review team visited. Manipulative, huh? I told the kids they could pick the song. So early in the year, probably September, they started to pick songs. It had to have a positive meaning, be pretty repetitive and have simple lyrics. They had a few choices and I was torn. We finally chose "From a Distance". It was great. We were to perform it on January 25.

The First Gulf War started January 16, 1991. By then, most of the fathers and some of the mothers were fighting. I had not only the mothers in the audience, but the principal, the other teachers and the entire review team from the State in tears. My kids, overwhelmed at the sobbing, almost lost it.

I'll never forget the serendipitous choice of songs that the kids made. I returned later for these kids' high school graduation and they all still recalled the entire experience. The power of music is amazing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I loved this joke so much

Thank you, Lea!

Koala was sitting in a gum tree smoking a joint.

When a little lizard walked past, looked up and said,

'Hey Koala! What are you doing?'

The koala said,
'Smoking a joint; come up and have some.'

So the little lizard climbed up and sat next to the koala and shared the joint with Koala.

After a while the little lizard said that his mouth was dry and that he was going to get a drink from the river.

But, the little lizard was so stoned that he leaned too far over and fell into the river.

A crocodile saw this, swam over to the little lizard, and helped him to the side. Then he asked the little lizard,

'What's the matter with you?'

The little lizard explained to the crocodile that he got too stoned, and then fell into the river while taking a drink.

The crocodile said that he had to check this out, walked into the rain forest, and
found the tree where the koala was sitting finishing the joint. The crocodile looked up and said
"Hey you!"

So the koala looked down at him and said,
'Shit, dude.....How much water did you drink?!!'

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Dad was cool...

My dad was cool. No, not because he purchased a used monstrosity of 1970 GM design like you see above.

Chris over at "As Seen from Up Here..." wrote about his experience with a slutty Chevrolet Chevette when he was in high school. Lea came out of a long hibernation to confirm the Chevette's slutty behavior in a comment, too! (Welcome back, Lea!) I think it was something in the Chevies of the 1970s. It certainly wasn't any of us.

My experience was driving a dark green 1970 Chevrolet Station Wagon through high school. I don't think I have ever shared this story with my family so fasten your blogosphere seatbelts...

I went to a high school in a well-to-do community. Not only did most of the kids seem to drive presentable cars, but a good sized group of them actually drove cars I'd still only be able to lust after in my heart. There were Camaros and Mustangs, Trans Ams and Celicas! There was also a smattering of more exotic cars... a Porsche 911, an MGB, a Triumph, a Citroen SM and a Lotus Eclat...One dad was a car collector.

So, you'd imagine that I was really mortified driving this big station wagon. Well, no...

The problem with those desirable cars was the same problem Chris had with the Chevette. No Room!! However, the wagon could easily accommodate a friend, his girlfriend and most anything they'd need to make themselves comfortable.

Friends can help friends in a number of ways. Here's the way it worked.

Around 8, I'd meet a friend and his girlfriend at a predetermined location, usually (and stupidly) close to the high school 6 blocks east of my home. We'd swap keys and determine a time to meet back up. I'd have the evening cruising the streets of Omaha in a nice Mustang or a really cool Lotus. Of course, I have no idea what they did.

So, what's all this got to do with my dad and his coolness factor?

One evening, 2 blocks into my evening of fancy car cruising,
I stopped at the light at 90th and Pacific just a few blocks from home. I think I was driving Mike's Porsche 911. My head was swimming with ideas of where I'd drive, who I might take along or something. I heard a honk and turned my head to see what fool I'd be leaving in my exhaust fumes when the light changed.

The orange Toyota beside me was no match for the Porsche. I had it made! When I met the aggressive gaze of the other driver, my Dad just nodded and turned his eyes back to the road.

I believe I chose to turn right. So clever I was!

Since there were no cell phones to frantically call Mike, I met up with him at the appointed time and spedt home. I made it in the door and crept halfway down the stairs to my basement bedroom when the door to the upstairs opened.

"I don't know why you were driving that car. I don't know where our car was. I do know you won't be able to drive any car ever again if that happens again."
And, I swear, he snickered.

Needless to say that was the end of my exotic car cruising.

My Dad was cool.

Oh, yeah...Bro? Never, ever sleep on the mattress on that fold out bed Mom has in the basement, okay?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

File under "Texting Discretion"

An anonymous friend might be a bit chagrined that he forgot one of the

Communication Rules for the 21st Century
#271 Remember that you don't know who may be holding the phone when it receives your text message!
Luckily, I am too discreet to mention the identity of my friend or to say how kind it would be of you to call this anonymous friend (if you knew his identity!) and inquire about his condition!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I've been quiet...

But I have been so torn up waiting for yesterday to happen. I was sure that the election was going to be rigged again against my side and we'd have 4 more years of the Bush years. I was sure the hatred and lies spewed by the Yes on 8 supporters would win out and discrimination was going to be written into our state constitution. Well, I was only half disappointed. However, no one can ignore the change in the way things feel with President-elect Obama's election. It's a real gift to our country, a chance to reclaim our reputation as a leader of the free world and a beacon of hope for the world. Let's hope we don't blow it.

I'm eager for the continued fight to gain my full rights as an American citizen and have Prop 8 taken down. There has been not one single argument that makes any sense at all if you know what this phrase means: All men are created equal....

Now to my election story:

I went to my polling place as identified on my election guide, waited in line for 45 minutes, got redirected to the correct polling place, walked two blocks, waited in the longer line for a bit under an hour and got to vote! Yippee!

While I was there an elderly woman (EW) came in being pushed in a wheelchair by a cute young female attendant (CYFA). The woman behind me (WBM) in line leaned down to her and started the most amusing conversation. (I kept thinking Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton bumping into each other on a street having a very similar conversation)

WBM in that "She's old so I will talk to her like she's a 5 year old" tone:

"Don't you look pretty today!"

EW with a very wry look in her eye:
" I try to look my best everyday when I get out but..."

CYFA interrupted a little too fast which made me start listening
"She's 101 and is as sharp as a tack!"

WBM still with that tone:
"You must have lived right and done all the right things to have lived that long!"

EW, less wry looking, more pissed off looking:
"I did whatever I wanted to do or whatever I thought was the right thing to do and that's how I made it to 101. Mother Teresa didn't make it to 101!"

CYFA looking a little amused and like there was a parade about to start:
"I've learned not to get into it with her. She's always got something to say!"

EW, now less pissed and more matter of fact, she turned her face toward the room of election workers and people in their booths and said in a slightly louder voice:
"I have something to say! Don't vote for that idiot John McCain. He is an idiot!"

LBM was speechless and I stifled a giggle as EW was wheeled up to the registration desk.

I loved listening to this polite, well spoken, opinionated woman not be condescended to. She reminded me of my own grandmother with her double-entendre jokes and naughty side comments she'd make to me when she knew only I could hear her.

It also reminded me of Mother Dexter from the TV show Phyllis...