Now this IS a great state...or...what??

I never bought into that mentality of complaining loudly about Oklahoma. After all, I am still here. The main thing that throws me into a green with envy jag is when I hear about cool radio stations. Did you know that there are people who find their new music on the radio? They don't have to buy albums after hearing a snip of a song somewhere and hoping.



It's true.



Today, totally by chance, I stumbled on AccuRadio and I am as corny as Kansas in August!!! Their Twang option has both alt and classic country (Hank Williams Sr, not Toby Keith) and the alt 80's station had me singing like a Jr High girl to the tunes of my youth. Best of all: my school doesn't block it...yet.



Remember the old "Catch Phrases of the 90's"? I very suddenly remembered two yesterday.



-"They pelted us with rocks and garbage."

-"I do and do and do for you kids and this is the thanks I get."

God Bless America, and God Bless South Oklahoma City

Tonight's bonus entry title is a quote from OKC Ward Five councilman Jerry Foshee. He ends all his public speaking gigs this way. End this with your own punchline, I am too tired and yours might be funnier than mine.



A floor move tonight at the Bath and Body showed me two eccentricities of my native land (South OKC).



1. The Easter Bunny is on the first floor being harassed by teenagers looking down from the second floor. I walk by just in time to see him (her? Anyone have a gender ID on the Bunny?) stand up and wave his/her bunny arms at the teenagers. I captioned his gestures to myself "If you feelin froggy, jump, fool!".



2. Twenty feet down the mall, a pregnant teenager walks by wearing a tube dress.



I stay here for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is easy to feel like Grace Kelly while you work at Crossroads.

The glass is half full of evian spelled backwards

Have you ever watched a story on the news about a mass murderer, meth lab mastermind, or perpetrator of animal cruelty where someone associated with said criminal to say something like "He was such a nice guy". Betcha did. Furthermore, I betcha you laughed. I used to laugh too. Until I became that woman.

What keeps me in teaching is that despite a belief in original sin, I actually like to believe the best in people. Yep, that means teenagers. I am a sucker for politeness and if I see something good in someone, I desperately want to apply that quality to then universally. Is this good or bad for a teacher? I vote both.

The good: I found myself telling a strange story to another teacher in my district this week. There is much talk about the changing population of our school district. My school has felt the changes the most and some teachers have had a hard time adapting (note here my gift of understatement). When talking about a more culturally and economically diverse school, I was shocked to find the first thought I had was that it is good to see students reaching across the boundaries (is this making sense?). I was even more shocked that when my new teacher friend answered "Well, you know what they say about the kids at your school..." that she told me how everyone sees that our kids are the nicest! What more does a post-Columbine teacher need to hear! We may not make our govt mandated 6% increase this year, but we are nice.

The bad is that I get naive. I just deleted a paragraph with too much backstory for anyone to handle about how one of my kids has a goon looking for him at school with a crowbar and when I wig out and ask "Is Baccardi making some bad choices?!", I get a look from a "crazy old white lady" look from a student and get the answer "Baccardi took care of things.". I am needing to find a mental parking spot somewhere between naive and jaded.

"You look good, principessa!"

or

-------"Bon giorno, bitch!"--------



Yeah, I am launching into today's entry with extreme language but 1. It is kind of quoted material and B. I am that upset about something. I know the gentleman passing me as I got out of my car at 89th and Western this evening is not a reader of this blog, but indulge me please.



I was all silly in my mind this evening, driving barefoot with the sunroof daydreaming about a trip some friends and I are planning---Italy in 2007, take 30 students and we go free! I am picturing wandering around in a big floppy hat a la Sophia Loren and I get out of my car to hear "Hey baby!!!". I turn out of reflex (which proves I am daydreaming because I never do that) and I get another earful of this guy's crap.



Ok, guy, I am unimpressed. Yelling at me from your moving car does not make me love you. It does not make me lustful for you. It makes me want to go away from you. Furthermore, you have ruined my Italy trip daydreams. If you want to impress me, read a book and make me laugh. You are not cute to me when you shout from a moving car.



This is not even the entry I wanted to write tonight. I am giving up most of my original plan. What follows are the bits I could salvage after the trauma of a man leering at me.



Evidently, the Blogger ads have been a blessing in some small way. Read what Greg wrote after clicking on one of these ads.



We are doing some reading from The Inferno in Humanities tomorrow. It should take me back to the Dante readings of old. Good stuff.



In Which The Teacher Finds Comic Solace In Basic Cable

In the alternative universe where I can be a high school teacher and a stand up comic, I would be like Kathy Griffin. In fact, I wonder if she is stealing my stuff. Am presently watching The D List on Bravo and let me just say you should thank your lucky starts that Bravo never plays anything less than 50 times (do yourself a favor and check the listings).



This was going to be a paragraph about which of my stuff Kathy Griffin has stolen, but I could only think of a couple and one of those (the superfluous article) is actually my dad's. The only thing worth mentioning is that like Kathy Griffin, I would also shamelessly do Hollywood Squares or Celebrity Mole and it would be so compelling that even LeAnn would watch.



For my cable-less brethren and sistern, please, let me be your eyes. I shall tape it.



Several quick news items, Keaton is stealing my stuff for today's daily update features the phrase "Crap Agnes", Karyn ran across an Orrin Hatch CD (this will be the only thing the Blogger Ad Gnome will pick up) in a Salt Lake City thrift store and she tells me it is on the way. Lastly, Nancy, you may be out of the building tomorrow, but who missed faculty meeting today!?!?

Painted Toenails and Our Motto

Anyone who is any kind of familiar with my school life will be aware of a theme that has emerged in my classes this year. It started (as do most things) as a joke one day when I felt like I was doing a bit too much poking and prodding to accomplish. I wrote on the board in desperation the words "Our Motto: Care!". It stuck. Anyone in my classes this year when asked "What's the motto?' knows the answer. What's funny is that when I ask that question, the answer usually gets an answer of morose teenagers droning the word only to placate me.

Today I went deeper with the theme with my Humanities class. After witnessing the crash and burn death of a discussion of cynicism in the Late Middle Ages (and yes, that irony is available to me), I launched into a description of a group I called the "People of the Worksheet". The problem is that after a 2 min extended description of this not so mythical society, one of the kids said in a voice too sweet to mean disrespect, "Ummm, Ms Educat, I think today we just are people of the worksheet.".

Quote of the Day honors go to Nancy today who said something like "Spring is here, there is no turning back, I have painted my toenails." The problem is that I have too. The problem is that 48 hours ago I was walking around Paseo looking at art, laughing and smelling like patchouli and now I have to exist in my windowless classroom and care about the Late Middle Ages for myself and 30 dazed teenagers. This will all shake off but these patches are the hardest to navigate. It reminds me of college and having rehearsal every night when everyone else was at the lake, playing outside, or something else fun (they probably were studying and having no more fun than I was, but this is my memory and I am going with it).

I am writing the motto back on the board, just as soon as I get that worksheet graded.

This is not a Translesbian entry and there are no assigned seats

Today in church brought a twist in the whole idea of singleness and women keeping silent in the church (I wavered on calling this an all new or the same old twist on this topic. I could argue for either. Let's just say it's a twist.)



Visited with Jill and her family today. Have long admired the stories of deep Sunday School talk she enjoys and was looking to cash in on some of this for myself. Although it was a good and interesting talk, I found myself in the same old quandary, the inner battle of "boy, I really want to say this, but no one else is talking". This takes on a whole new thread when you are a single woman in a co-ed class. You can imagine what's going through my head. These people seem to be smart and even if they aren't, I don't have to see them again. I spoke up in near contradiction of what the teacher was saying, it was well received and at the end of class, Jill echoed my thoughts in a way more eloquent than anything rattling around in my head (I had to swallow the instinct to cry out "And that is why you are my bosom friend!").



The service brought the single-ness question. I join the my friends on the family pew (and dude, Jill, you are right about having to get a larger one when the babies move into the service) in time to hear Jill's 8 year old son asking to sit with his buddy. Jill makes the point that church should be family time and in the course of conversation with Jill and the fam it is came up that Mommy had a friend with her today. I did make the joke that I could sit with my family (in any of three different services in two distant areas of the metro) but that I would graciously submit to Chuck's small-l-lordship today for an hour or so and sit with them.



There is no person to rant against here. I was not wronged and didn't feel it, but how weird! I am all for family-ness but it makes me wonder about the structure of the whole situation. The church should strengthen the family and it should strengthen me as an individual but what does that do to the seating chart? Reminds me of a Good Friday service years ago when the men were asked to lay hands on their families and pray as the High Priest of the home. Poor Dave, I looked at him and snarled something like, "Thank you, but I believe in the Preisthood of the Believer". A friend of mine still plugging away at the "singles" Sunday School scene asked me last night if I thought the marrieds even wanted us to hang out with them and I think they (or at least the kind of people I want to be with) don't care. My, this is a loopy train of thought.



So, I again advertise for a loveless marriage for the purpose of Sunday School only. Be warned, I am a lippy broad but can kick butt on donut duty and sing a mean alto.



Man.

Homage to Nipsey Russell

"What," you say, "this is crazy, that Curt cat makes one comment and all of the sudden this witty and insightful commentary I have come to know on this blog goes they way of Nipsy Russell?" My answer to you, dear reader, is yes. What say you comment daily and give the new design a Four Bagel Rating guess then I might be taking requests from you?!



I remember watching game shows as a kid in the 70's with my sister and great grandmother. It was our only together time when she would babysit us as the afternoon brought time for "her stories" and I would go outside to read a book and my sister would...wreck something (she is really a charming woman now but she had this "boy my parents never had" stage).



We would answer questions along with her and she would marvel at our brains. "Someday" she would promise "I am going to take you girls to Hollywood and we will go on those game shows and make a million dollars because you girls are so smart!' I knew enough about long car trips at age 8 to know that this would truly be a nightmare but my sister recently shared that she actually believed Grandmother.



This brings me to Nipsey Russell. The website for Mr. Russell's talent agency refers to him as "The Poet Laureate of Television" and I remember with fondness the poems he would write on Match Game '76.



Ok, sorry, that is really all I have on Nipsey Russell without more research and, frankly, I have historical research on Black Like Me to have ready for Monday. Tonight with Jill promises more real screenplay work. I also plan to put the screws to her regarding her guest blog.



Blogger Ad Gnome, are you listening??

New Blog-ness

This is it for a while, kids. I have settled on a template and slaved over a hot laptop to cook up html code for these titles. Keaton, we are still on opposite sides of a paradigm but it just shrunk by 1/2 an inch.



Nothing really new. I have noticed that the ads on my blog change according to the content of my entries (Curt noticed this on his site long ago, read about that here). So now, enjoy my List Of Words Intended To Confuse The Blogger Ad Gnome.



-Translesbian

-Evangelical atheist

-Box of Rocks

-Siberian

-Nipsy Russell

-Quarterback

-Fatuity



Don't know how many crazy words it takes, but it's worth the experiment.

Ok, Edge Play the Blues!

Happy St Patrick's Day! I usually basically ignore this day except for eating a potato, but this morning's Yahoo! Entertainment news features an article on Bono. He is scheduled to give the commencement address at The University of Pennsylvania. Wow, I just had the President of New Orleans Seminary.



This goes a step further to prove my point that no one under 30 (maybe I could push this back a bit but I would say 25 for sure) gets Bono and that they should. Do you hear that, kids? Is your Brittany Spears giving a commencement address? How about Marilyn Manson? Nope, it's Bono and he doesn't mean to...bug ya.



Which brings me to another blog I have been reading. Check out U2 sermons. I wish I could email this to the youth minister who ragged me on mission trip when I was a kid by calling U2 lukewarm. Lukewarm? I think not and furthermore, anyone hear of Stryper lately?



My other plans for today include a haircut, finding The Commitments for rent on DVD (don't get me started quoting there...Oh my!), Survivor on a special night and coffee with Keaton tonight. Yep, the sick cat has left my apartment!

Get to know Ray Sanders!

Ok, I really try to take only a lightly political slant here as I really do respect the considered opinions of others. However, I am forced to raise my fist in defiance over an article in today's Oklahoman (I presume it is front page given the placement of the article online). I will simply paste the part of the article here for fear of misrepresenting it.



Ray Sanders, spokesman for the Baptist General Convention, said Baptists tend to be independent and rarely vote as a block.



"Certainly the governor is a Baptist, but we don't agree with the governor on this issue or others, nor do I know of anybody of faith that agrees with him," Sanders said. "It's an interesting situation. We supported the policies of Governor Keating more than we do Governor Henry."




Ray Sanders knows no one of faith who agrees with our Governor? Unfortunately, Mr. Sanders can no longer make such a claim as I have just emailed him introducing myself. If you would like to introduce yourself to Mr. Sanders, please feel free! I am gonna get this out and get it out good. God doesn't vote. You saw the movie, he isn't even American (contrary to the speech I was forced to judge at a pageant once, but that is another rollicking story). Please vote. Vote your socks off and disagree with me. I respect it! Just please don't tell me God told you how I should vote. I have checked in really really often for the 14 years I have been a voter and He's ok with what I'm doing.



By the way, most of today's posts happened in the hazy time between sleep and more surfing. I claim healing over this stinking cold/flu jazz tomorrow and will spend far less time online.

Do you have what it takes?

This is a question I believe we should all just answer with no. Like a reflex. Anytime you hear it answer with an expletive and no. Case in point:



My love of bad television is well documented, but I think Showtime's The American Candidate goes too far. America chooses its next fake president via a Showtime series?? Lookit, I work in a High School and a mall and I think that qualifies me to say that I know the mass of humanity that is our nation. This will confuse the public! They will go to their polling places in November and try to vote for Ruben Stoddard or Johnny Fairplay or some WWE type. I know, people can't even vote properly for a stinking classroom teacher association election and those voters all had college degrees!!



I have very very little of what THAT takes, thank you.

You...will...be...managed!

This evening's thoughts are scattered, I will work in chronological order



My car is finally fully repaired and home. I have spent the last two months with my fist raised in defiance at the insurance company and (sorry for the bad Henny Youngman reference) boy are my arms tired. My father, well meaning man that he is offered to call the insurance company. "I just want to talk to them", he says, sounding not unlike Hank Hill ready to ask just how big an ol boy Frank the insurance adjuster is.



Now, here is where I am conflicted. I am plenty old, articulate, and angry enough to handle this (and I have handled it) but my dad possesses the age old secret to handling these things...a male voice.



I hate that. I really, really hate that.



I let him call, and that embarrasses me. I called Jill on the way home looking for some agreement. Am I a weak little daddy's girl who just wants to let other people handle her stuff? Nope, she says, recounting the story of her kid's dentist and wanting her husband to finally go in and explain just how much they did not want extra dental appliances. We decide together that it isn't that we cannot manage our stuff or these men, it's that some men refuse to be managed by women.



This led us to another conversation about Jill's idea to open a restaurant that would be the exact opposite of Hooter's---and no no no, I am not referring to objectifying men or any anatomical references---This would be a place that would make women feel better about themselves by employing waitresses dressed in bathrobes with curlers and cigarettes (although, Jill, I don't think we can do that with all the smoking laws...we need to work this bug out) and telling women, "Honey, you just get dessert, Lord knows you have earned it". These waitresses would be slightly dismissive to the male customers. Jill's fantasy involves a man shaking a tea glass and the waitress saying, "Now hon, are your legs broken?".



The truth is, I want to live in this perfect world where I am respected without regard to gender, we just don't get to. The end of this story is I managed ol Frank just fine. I picked up my car and came out Even Steven but please gentlemen of the service industry, I might be a woman, but I know the blinker fluid joke.

We all gone die.

This look is temporary until I can fix archives, titles, and postitioning of comments.

Who would have thought that one stinking short story could pull my class into such a vortex of weird? Ray Bradbury's The Pedestrian is (like a lot of his stuff) is a commentary on the future where the protagonist is arrested for taking a walk one evening (this is a one sentence summary, not meant to substitute for actually reading). I started to ask questions trying to get at some deeper meaning...and when asked to listen, let's do!

Me: So, what is the author trying to say about the future?

Kid 1: That we'll all be couch potatos

Me: Bradbury is talking about 2053, that is within your lifetime...

Kid 2: How you know that's in my lifetime?

Me: Well, although you might not all...

Kid 2: They say 50% of us gone die by the time we 45

Me: Ok, whether or not you are actually there, it is much closer to the present, so are there any ways this story might be coming true?

Kid 3: We fat (note the absence of the ph, we are referring to obeseity).

Kid 4: Yeah, and Bush gone outlaw supersizing

Me (excited for the teachable moment and that the kids actually watched the news): Now, can the President actually do that? Does the government have a say in what McDonald's sells?

Kid 2: See, that why we all gone die!

Me (giving up one battle to switch gears): How is this story different from the essay we read? Remember the kid who described his experience with virtual reality?

Kid 2: That stuff ain't real

Me: Well, no, it isn't, but the idea is that the mind is tricked into...

Kid 2: Can't trick me.

This went on to an attempted conversation on the nature of reality and whether or not we have knowledge of reality based on anything other than our senses...note I said attempted.

I am off to a shift at the Bath and Body, hope I can better explain lotion.

The Farmer and the Ebony and Ivory Can Be Friends

I was shocked and appalled to hear that Jill had not been a regular reader of my blog since I had, in her words, "just posted a picture of Mohammed Atta" and left the poor page to rot. Yes, Jill, I am back and this is for someone who thinks she hasn't seen anything good today.



Jill and I talked today about how sad it is that the world is so polarized. You are part of the vast right wing conspiracy or a left wing kook. Why is there no middle ground? Is there a mental place for people to gather that isn't reactionary to something else? I listened to a sermon recently on the whole theme of "good guys vs. bad guys". We huddle together sharing mainly disdain for another group and we call that a relationship.



I don't have a solution for this...it's not a "Jesus and Seven" Sunday School answer, but I do know that it gives me immeasurable satisfaction to connect with someone different than myself or to find a friend on the basis of something positive.



Along those lines, did you know that Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy are good friends? It's true, a friend of mine was part of a summer institute in DC and the two of them spoke about their relationship. I found after some research that Orrin wrote and recorded a song for Kennedy and his wife (not that I would call a song from Orrin Hatch a gift...). From what they said in this lecture, they even vacation together...I am sure that Orrin drives the car.



All that to say, I have invited Jill to guest blog here soon. She doesn't blog herself because she tells me if she did she would do nothing else. On paper, she is my photo negative but I am thinking about writing an album of Mormon hymns and I have already cooked up one for her and a man called Chuck.

Viva Martin Luther!

Jill and I have an ongoing fantasy story telling chain involving the 95 Theses. It involves going to the door of those with whom we are peeved and nailing a document on the door expressing our peeved-ness. Past entries include "95 Reasons Why You Need to Finally Mow Your Lawn" and "95 Menu Items I Would Like To See At This Establishment". Perhaps I may explore this art form more deeply at a later time, but for now let's just use a list of Theses I would like to nail on various doors.



-Fellow Teachers in my Building, beware the "95 Reasons You Should Read The Emails I Send On Behalf Of The ACT.". I have a sent file and I know if you delete without reading. You are the ones folding the ballots I clearly directed you not to fold and Lo, my anger shall descend upon you.

-For my school district as a whole I offer "95 Websites You Have No Earthly Reason To Block". NPR??? Why can my students not listen to The NPR???



Now, I am aware that the world at present is subject to the ferociousness of my mood swings. My Lenten Coca Cola jones has been hitting me hard for the last couple of days and since I try to be a "glass half full" kind of gal, let's go with some happy Theses.



-"95 Reasons That It Moves Me When Ed The Coffee Guy Starts Pouring When He Sees My Car In The Parking Lot".

-"95 Times That A Stuco Kid Running Errands Has Come Into My Room In The Hot Dog Suit And Made Me Laugh". (A local church unloads a Hotdog suit and we all benefit. An entry on Church drama may follow soon...why did a Church ever own a hotdog suit?)

-"95 Reasons I Am Glad I No Longer Teach Drama", a favorite on the week of the big ol' musical.



Later entries promise to include accounts of our pithy word games. Please comment with your own fantasy Thesis. You don't have to list all 95 (in fact, that might be boring), but the titles alone of such lists never cease to amuse me.



What do Meg Ryan and I have in common? Find out here and post your results!

I'll take potpourri for $200

Messing with the HTML code here has become a sporadic obsession (Anyone who hints at too much time on my hands is itchin for a fight. I prefer the title "Life Long Learner"). Expect changes, I still want to fix and mess with some stuff.



Hey, look, I have comments on the site! Use 'em if you please.



Continuing stories, returned movie to the GFF without major episode (I was a bit scared at the sight of no less than three people over the age of 12 running through the store...didn't seem to be a crime scene). After an 8 week wait, my car is now in the shop and I am in a rental. I await the return of my fully working two door car.