Saturday, May 27, 2006

Duck Bill Butt Boy

Friday night was another great example of why I love living in my town. It was a girls' night out. After a dinner of BBQ and potato salad with wasabi mustard and no dill pickle, Refreshing Sunshine and I went to see a local band playing in the Plaza. The handbill said that the band played folk music, so Peter, Paul, Mary and Joan, here we come ready to find answers in the wind and give peace a chance. It turned out that the folk songs were actually from around the world with a strong Swedish and Brazilian slant. And there was quite a bit of mumbling banter that would end with something like, " I thought I'd write a song about it."

The thing I like best about doing local shin-digs with Refreshing Sunshine is that we both love people watching, and our town can get very Stars Hollow-ish in that there is an eclectic congregation of people being themselves. The most outstanding person of the evening was Pink Sari Woman. She was an older, Caucasian lady dressed to the nines in a bright pink sari. This woman had massive surges of energy and would dart about the entire plaza like she is trying to catch up with a friend she feared hadn't seen her. But she never caught up with these phantom friends. And the thing that cinched the image in a wonderfully contrasting way was that half the time she had a cell phone glued to her ear.

However, the stars of the evening were a ragtag troupe of munchkins getting their groove on. One little toddler was bee-bopping his behind off. And his behind was quite prominent because he had around his waist a visor headband, turned around so it looked like a bright blue duck bill just above his backside. Then there was the 8 year old Choreographer who was running around positioning the other little girls. There was even a point where, I kid you not, she turned to the band and tried to tell them what to play - "Something in three fourths time, and let's pick up the tempo a bit." And finally there was a mass of children who probably started playing Farmer In The Dell, and when the cheese stood alone they all thought it would be fun to stay in a blob and shuffle around the dance stage, with other children globing on even though they did not know why.

As we were beginning to tucker out, we decided to drive home. On the way we saw a line snaking around the movie theater. It only took us a few moments to realize that the Town Geeks were out in force to see the premier of X-men.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

They Stole My Name

Mon O'Boy am I pissed! Someone has stolen the name I was going to use! Penn Jillett, of Penn and Teller comedy magic team, has just named his baby boy Zoltan Penn Jillett. It is a good, common, Hungarian name that means "chieftain". Now I am not saying that I would name my child this - I would have to shell out a lot for the poor boy's therapy once he hits junior high. No, no, no, I have always wanted to name my dogs Zsolt and Zoltan. They sound like the names of Norse warrior gods. You know, the kinds that throw lightening bolts and rip seams when they flex their bulging biceps. Dobermans and Rottweilers would deserve these kinds of names. Now My Sweet wants to have two big dogs as well, but being the lovable geek that he is, he wants to name them Chewie and Indiana. Maybe if one of them is blond and shaggy, maybe. But that is a big maybe.

Since I am on a roll with irritating things, since when have we, in our common day language stopped using the word healthy and substituted it with healthful? It seems like I woke up one day a few years ago and the word healthy ceased to exist. We now have healthful diets and swimming is a healthful exercise. I am not all that fixated on health per say, but it seems like discarding a perfectly good word.

And while I am at it, I want to know who decided that dandelions are evil weeds that need to be exterminated? Come on, they are cheery, bright yellow flowers that make dandy teas and wines (get it, dandy/dandelions). And you get the delightful pleasure of blowing the puffy white seeds. "Now just a darn minute," you may say, "Dandelions are incredibly invasive plants that will take over your entire yard if you let it." This is true, but can Morning-glories and mint plants, and you don't see commercials with Mr. T selling you mint extermination chemicals, now do you?

Any way these are just a few of my musings.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Being Human

Sorry that it has taken me so long to write. I have been working on half a dozen speeches for this week’s graduation. I get to stand up in front of a crowd and express how these, shall we say fine young men and women, yeah let's say that, are ready for the next chapter. By the time I get home I am on total computer composition burn out. Below is a blog that I started a few days ago.

Maybe it is the fact that school will be out in 9 class days. (Now it is 7) Not that I am counting down the minutes or anything. I find myself really relishing things that help me be a person before I am a teacher. So if several of my entries seem to go along these lines, sorry but that is where my mind is going. I gotta remember who I am beyond my titles. Here we go, sit back and enjoy.

Last Saturday was another art walk in the nearby Capitol, and My Sweet and I decided to go. We didn't stay long because our favorite local artists were gone. So on the way back to our town, My Sweet reminded me that in the main park they were showing Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This was the original; sorry Johnny Depp, I have truly loved watching you develop ever since 21 Jump Street, but you are no Gene Wilder. Gene's portrayal was a wonderfully snide remarks about it social ills. I wonder what good ol' Roald Dahl (or Rollie-kins as we close friends like to call him) would put if he wrote the story today. Cell phone etiquette, smoking vs. non-smoking, or doing sweet nunchuks moves.

Well, I still have 3 more speeches to go, so I will sign off for now. But if you click on only one link in this entry, make sure it is this one. I went to a game night and my dear friend did a wonderfully hilarious blow by blow. So check it out.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's day

It has been a wonderfully busy weekend. Started with Friday evening going with my Wonderful Neighbor to a small town art walk. This was also at the same time as a near-by festival of caring for the earth and wearing a lot of tie-dye. I was hoping to be able to observe pretentious sub-urbanites mingling with the granola crowd. Unfortunately there were not many people out and about in the galleries, but in the plaza there was a local girl band playing doo-wap and Santana. They were truly fun, giving out glow in the dark toys to people with enough free spiritedness to get up and dance. Several of these prizes were probably taken by the musicians' grandkids. Yes, these people in the girl band were well into their time of enjoying life. And they dressed more like biker chicks than the suited up doo-wap groups they were covering. In the audience people, yuppies and granolas, enjoying themselves. What a great way to enjoy the evening.

Another thing this weekend was the finish of the Julie/Julia book. Now, did I read this book because I could relate to a woman stressed in her job and struggling to do something significant? No, well sort of, but primarily no. I want see what someone went through to get their blog made into an honest-to-god published book. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment of reading or watching movies about people who excel at something I want to do. Last year, as a new teacher in an at risk school, I had to let go of the idea that they are going to make a movie about me - how a lively young-ish teacher comes in and totally changes the lives of her students by inspiring them beyond their wildest dreams. Yes, Michelle Pfeiffer will never play me. Maybe I will become a world renowned writer, revered by millions, and maybe even a tincy bit worshiped by a small group of out of the box intellectuals. Maybe I will have Pfeiffer play me after all , or maybe Rosie O'Donnell, or even better Rosie Perez.

And of course Sunday was a day spent with My Dear Sweet Mother. My Sweet and I got a slow start - weariness is contagious. Fortunately my sister, who is now a mother of three wonderfully unique kids, was even later. True to my redneck home town fashion, we went to the buffet at the Indian casino. It was classic to see a bunch of grannies who were bussed in to celebrate the day by playing the slots. Couldn't tell if they were hunched over to protect their buckets of quarters, or osteoporosis. If only we could have come a few weeks later to see Cosby or Heart. (Yes Mom, I know when you read this that you are going to explain away all the reasons why we went there. They are very good reasons, and it was a great time. It was just funny to walk through the smoke filled room, past the 3 non-smoking slot machines and seeing all the old women there on mother's day.) It was a great day to visit the family.

Monday, May 08, 2006

My Celebration of Time

Just recently my birth month passed. Now I do not actually celebrate my birthday all month long, but I used some of my gifts this weekend, so this opening seemed like a decent segue into this topic. Actually it woudl be a leade into the the topic, not a segue. Anyway, I was very blessed with three very different and wonderful celebrations this year.

Celebration 1: THE FAMILY
Just before my birthday my family came from a tri-county area to take me out for a great dinner. My sweet mother got me a fabulous leather jacket. And true to her form, as I tried it she went into detail about what a beyond amazing deal she got on it. (A $200 value for less than a hard cover book - way to go Mom!) My very Talented Sister has made me something, which should be finished soon. If not it will make a very lovely Labor Day gift. But one of the best gifts was to see one of my students working his tail off at the resturant, being the responsible and respectable guy that he can be.

Celebration 2: THE TRUE BLUES
Every 2nd Saturday My Sweet and I go on a city wide art walk and even have a few favorite artists we talk to each time. (Check out Lora Watts and Dianne Poinski) I got to wear my very hip and metropolitan leather jacket when my true blue friends went with me this time and humored me as we went to several different galleries and admired the art, marveled at the pretentiousness, or mocked those pieces where you say, "Oh my gosh, what was the artist thinking? Was this made by a Muppet on crack?" Then we went to dinner and I got more presents: a huge and fully loaded crochet basket from Wildly Creative Woman, a set of water color supplies from Refreshing Sunshine, and a gorgeous hippy artist's style bag from Fellow Fanilow. This weekend I nearly finished making my shawl from Creative Woman's basket, and did some just for fun watercolors.

Celebration 3: MY SWEET
Just a bit later My Sweet took me to our well loved spots in my favorite city of San Francisco. With my new bag I looked very much the hippy chick. We enjoyed good weather, sights and food. We also spent too much money at the greatest used record store in the universe.

All in all it was a very great way to spend time celebrating life, friendship, family, creativity, and of course a fabulous bargain.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

New Things

Yes, spring is here so of course everyone and everything is just oozing the symbolism of new things (hence the snappy name of this posting). Plants are sprouting in our garden, just starting to peek out of the ground. The sun is actually up and cheery when I take off at 6:30 AM for school. And we as a school are gearing up for a move to a new cite and revamping for a new way of doing EVERYTHING next year. Of course we are doing this as we are winding down this year.

Speaking of school, I have another great former student story. (Check my Sunshine post to remind yourself of how a student made me cry, but in a good way.) These stories can be few and far between, so I am going to milk them as much as possible. Today after school Another Student came by because his girlfriend is getting ready for graduation. We stood outside for a bit and I asked him how his plans for culinary school were going. He told me that he was working and putting away money each month for school. Instead of working in the fields or construction like many of my students do, he is employed at a mental health facility working "with people who talk to themselves all the time, or cut themselves" as he put it. He really enjoys what he does, feeling like he is helping others. He also said he has a deeper understanding about what we teachers do, and all the crap we have to put up with.

My dear friend is starting a new chapter of her life. For twelve years she has had a feline companion at her side. He was there through crappy family stuff, moves, college, and healthy break throughs. But now he is gone and she wrapping up one chapter in her life and getting ready for a new one. She is handling it incredibly well, but it is hard because we friends want to just gobble up the pain and spit it into the ocean. But we can't, we can just let her know she is not alone.

Just an FYI, this same friend is helping me figure out some of the fine-tuning of the blogging world. Have you noticed that I can now do links? Stay tuned for more changes in the future.

Well, that is all for now. It is late, and I need to be sure to get a hot bath and a full night's rest before facing my students again. Tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!!!!!