Burn This!

Here is a back to school gift for you all!

Internet Archive hosts a ton of free downloads including live music. The technology is tested and all you have to do is right click and choose "Save Target As". I have read all the legal blah blah blah and can promise this is legal...enjoy this live mix CD from the Cowboy Junkies and Mutual Admiration Society!

  • Mutual Admiration Society
  1. Political Science (Thirty billion stars for this swell Randy Newman cover!!!)
  2. Taxman
  3. Think About Your Troubles (and yes, that is the one from Nillson's The Point)
  4. Old Cowhand
  • Cowboy Junkies
  1. Blue Moon
  2. Horse Out In The Country
  3. Sweet Jane
  4. Mining For Gold
  5. Misguided Angel

Enjoy! Comment and tell me what you think of the music!

This is the pic that would have accompanied my last post if I could only figure it all out...yeah, I am a smart woman!

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"We're Smart and We Bathe!!"

Credit my friend Paula with the title for today's blog. It was the perfect retort for the student who laughed at us as we squealed over tinted Burt's Bees and talked politics.

Today is the 84th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote. Smart Women Vote sent me an email today with some great resources for encouraging young (and not so young) women to exercize thier right to vote. I might buy up a batch and stir up the teen girls in my life. You should too. Nurture the inner nerd in your local tween or teen. Someday they will thank you!

  • 1000 Flowers has some great emery boards with cute "go and vote" slogans. They are encouraging manicure parties and adopting a salon and registering the women there to vote.
  • Smart Women Vote is the coolest site ever!!! You can download the wallpaper for your desktop and purchase buttons, pencils, stickers and tattoos (!!!!!!!!!) to get the message out.

Remember, I am working to scare up idealism now (see my comment under the last entry, I sort of explain the present state of my head there) and I quote a good teacher friend of mine who says "I don't teach cynicism, they'll learn it soon enough if they haven't already.".

I just did the Jesse Jackson impression for myself. Keep. Hope. Alive!!

Back to Schoo...

I haven't blogged much because you have to be a bit of an idealist to do this job (at least to do it well) and I have spent all spare energy trying to scare that up. I lost my English classes and have had a charming amount of rage over this issue from my colleagues (I just smile and answer, "I am charmed by your outrage, but it seems there is nothing we can do.".).

I really really look forward to the kids coming tomorrow. There will be tales a-coming and I am ready!

Meanwhile, please visit the Studio 575 blog to view poetry inspired by a marathon inservice. Go. Go and comment.

Ramblin' Educat Recommendations

So I just had a great last day of summer wandering aimlessly with a friend and playing all over OKC. I ate at a new restaurant and it led me to a recommendation list. In the spirit of the McCarty Must List, I give you the Ramblin' Educat Recommendations....(I could go on and on but will limit this list)

  1. Irma's Burger Shack---What a joyous afternoon I had today at the Burger Shack! I had the no name burger with mushrooms and swiss and I will just say "delish"! Take my advice and wait to sit on the patio if you can stand the wait. There were folks from all walks, motorcycle types with murals tattooed on their arms, yuppies, even a lone diner who just wanted an afternoon of burgers beers and books. The music is charming, I actually heard not only Buck Owens, but a charming Freddy Fender cover of Secret Love. Ahhhh....just good stuff!
  2. Kamp's Market and Deli---My new happiest place on earth! I love their food, their coffee, and their corner of books waiting for lone diners. This place is packed packed packed with fun food of all types. Peruse the grocery, you will see all kinds of crap you didn't think you could find in the OC. Also of interest is the most aesthetically pleasing counter boy I have seen in all my years. Really, it isn't lust, just appreciation. He has fine boned facial beauty and the flowing locks of a young David Cassidy. He has eluded me every time I have taken Karina, but one day we shall see him. Try the pasta salad and the Leprechaun iced coffee.
  3. Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year by Esme Raji Codell---A friend of mine commented the other day how impressed she was that I read so much non fiction. Trust me, if all non fiction was as pleasing and quick a read as this was, we would all read more non fiction! Esme has helped me through the doldrums of back to school prep work this week. Her chronicle of her first year has her fighting the same power I fight and saying the things I wish I could. She is hilarious and ballsy. Wish I knew more like her.
  4. Martinis and Bikinis, Sam Phillips---I must have bought this album around 1995 and I played it to death back then. It was lost somewhere in the mess of three classrooms, two dwelling places and 4 cars but I was lucky enough to score a copy this summer. Sam Phillips was once "CCM" (man, I hate that term) artist Leslie Phillips. She left Christian music in the late 80's (details of that here, it is an interesting tale), met and married producer T Bone Burnett, and then recorded this album. Hearing "I Need Love" again after so long nearly made me weep this summer, it echoes a lot of my own feelings and took me back to the part of the journey I saw almost 10 years ago (if that doesn't make sense, remember you are reading a personal blog).
  5. Go Write! Self Stick Dry Erase Rolls---Yep, my must list includes office supplies. Nerd nerd, I am a nerd. Found this today at the Office Depot Teacher Jamboree and I am in love! Gone are the woes of my limited white board space for I shall post these on my wall and use and reuse them! It's my answer to my principal's dreaded "big stickies".

Get out and try this stuff, have fun.

Summer Plans That Melted

Har Har Har!!!

So my summer weight loss goal fell flat in the face of medically induced nausea? So what, I say as I read this!!!

I always consider faking a wedding for myself when I come back to school. Frame a pic of an ugly man for my desk, wear a ring and claim to have kept my name...anyone have thoughts on this?

Nasty Back to School Minutiae

This is a hard time of year for me. I am all at once excited for a new school year and the fresh smell of new school supplies and depressed to see summer end.

I love being a teacher in the summer because it allows me lots of time to talk about teaching. I have spent four of my nine summer weeks in some sort of teacher conference/staff development and love love love the scholarly atmosphere without the trouble of actual grading or administration. It's all so free flowing and happy.

So I move now from talking about this job to doing it. I move from scholar to another cow in the herd. Bleugh! Am hoping for a perk up with the arrival of actual children.

Found today that the English classes I thought I had planned for all summer might not be mine. I am on deck for two teeny Communications classes and my one Debate class. Am planning to rattle cages tomorrow. Who knew I would be so sad tonight at Mardel as I looked at the sentence diagramming book I had hoped to use? I thought about the reader's theatre version of "The Congo" I got this summer and groaned out loud at the thought of not using it! Save me from my own nerdness!

Two bright spots: I had a man make sweet scissor love to my hair today. I swear to you he cut each hair individually. I have the hair of my dreams, my hair is all sassy sunshine and rainbows. I also discovered the power of the Jesse Jackson impression to cheer up the downtrodden. I have to do this in person for it to really work. Ask me next time you see me. If I see you soon you can see this swank haircut.

This is the best desktop wallpaper ever.

Oh, and something else!

I thought of you all the other day in the lecture. We were talking about Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone where he asserts that lower election participation might be a result of our failure to engage in community (he looks at church attendance stats, declines in bowling leagues and scouts, stuff like that) and I made the comment (out loud, what a nerd I am)...

" I am more engaged with the people on my blog ring than with my teacher's union."

I am done, and I even like these people. Good to be home.

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I Suppose Anything on a Blog is Irrelevant, But...

Seems silly to blog this now when I am all Constitution-centric, but it's funny.

When checking my stats, I see that the search "Spinster Shower" has led people here three times. Three Times!!! That should tell you that we are a segment of society to be reckoned with. Begin the Spinster Shower! Sell bread by the half loaf!! Acknowledge us!!!

And for God's sake, don't expect us to catch your boquet.

Boston Museum of Fine Arts last night. Really have enjoyed John Singer Sargent (he has a large mural at the Boston Public Library that has recently been restored. My thoughts on Impressionism now: stunning in person, sucks on a poster.

Am having some good good civics lovin', Karina. It did get better.

From The Road...

Pics of my Boston trip are being posted here even as we speak. Thrill to my arm flab at the lobster dinner! I am told they are posting new ones all the time so enjoy.

The Monkey Types Shakespeare from Boston

Am documenting all of the day to day ness of this trip on the 575. Jill are you reading? Go see the haiku. There is one waiting for you about the starchy goodness of waffles.

Meff is deaff (but it can hear you)

Today was meth awareness training at the Bar Assoc. The training was primarily for attorneys and I was the only teacher there. Some really funny stuff that I documented entirely in haiku (how HAS this started!? And can I stop!!?? How often do I find myself counting syllables?). There was a piece of info, however, that defies haiku. I am not sure how it applied (be aware that relevance or speaking skills are not a prerequisite to the practice of law) but this made me swear to go home and google.

This was not, repeat NOT in Oklahoma.

Will I talk with you all before I leave for this on Friday? Not sure, but I will try to blog on the road.

For today's shameless use of my pseudo-platform, I need your help. Constitutional scholar/folk singer Karina has talked for some time of starting a blog. Some of you might know her as 1/3 of the all haiku all the time blog (I'm gonna link to it once more within this post because I really do think it's funny stuff. Please comment there. It need not be in verse.). Zillions of points and a rose rock here to anyone who encourages her to join the blogging masses.

Beware the McAlister Orange

I was feeling sooo up.

I took myself on a road trip today to Noble, America. I leave for Boston this Friday and wanted to pick up some rose rocks as an Okie momento for all my new Yankee friends.

Driving home, my head was spinning with all these analogies of Oklahoma as an optimistic place. How out of our native red clay mixed with the tears of the Native American comes the beautiful rose rock! How OKC is a place where if you drive down Toby Keith Blvd long enough, you will eventually find yourself on Martin Luther King! How people rebuild homes in Moore despite those terrible twisters! Laugh if you must, but the BBC News Hour had failed to catch my ever waning attention today.

So I am full of sunny thoughts, full of possibility, then mimi smartypants links to this.

Crap agnes. I am giving out a bunch of dumb rocks next week.

When The Roll Is Blogged On The Sidebar, I'll Be There

I don't like the roll over action, but placing a blogroll took me so long that it will just remain as is for a time.

Unless you wanna write me a new CSS style sheet.

Visit the good people on my blogroll.

It's De-movie that's De-pressing

First order of business here is to elaborate on a comment I made on the McCarty Blog. We began the briefest of conversations on the Cole Porter biopic "De-Lovely".

In a nutshell, it averages out to an ok. Maybe 2.5 Power Salutes.

No one wants to love this film more than I did. After all, we are mixing Kevin Kline and Cole Porter music with cameos by Elvis freaking Costello and Sheryl dang Crow! Can a movie scream my name louder!? I will share my thoughts on this film in the form of a pro/con list


  • This film is beautiful!! The design and costuming all give such a romantic film that I really did find myself with my hand to chest and grinning at points.
  • Seamless integration of musical numbers. They could really have screwed this up with all the cameos made by the musical artists, but I honestly loved the way they moved into the musical numbers.
  • Casting casting casting.

On the con side:

  • The whole film is tied together with this strange "Hey, Cole, let's put on the show of your life" thread that I find a wee bit cheesey. It gave me bad flashbacks to Shawnee Little Theatre's summer 1992 production of Tilghman. I can think of about 2 of my readership who will get this reference but it will be worth it for them. Let's just leave it to say it is a bit contrived.
  • I was not left with a song and dance feeling. My trusty movie going sidekick Jill felt that the movie glorified homosexuality but I don't think that is quite it. I think it glorified selfishness. Porter has a near perfect love in front of him but his selfishness keeps him from giving himself over to it. I know that this is the way the story happened, so what do you do? I just left sad for the Porters. I guess I am more romantic than I thought.
Prior to seeing the film, my Friday was truly wretched. I blogged it all in haiku (this is really taking over the way I form thoughts, perhaps I should be helped).

Laugh with me that Jill and I were easily the youngest folk in the theatre to see "De-Lovely" and that the pre movie music groove included Morris Day and The Time's "Jungle Love"! Man, we both started dancing in our seats and were surprised at all the lyrics we still knew...but not as surprised as the rest of the movie-goers.

If you are between 28 and 40 I defy you not to sing or dance when you hear "Jungle Love".