October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Some student artwork on my whiteboard

Madame Defarge knits her students names into the list for the guillotine. (Madame Defarge's shroud is coming along nicely--it should appear in another post as a finished item.)

October 30, 2008

A Final Election Post

If I lived in Colorado about 120 years ago, today would probably be the latest I would be getting any election news before I sent my husband to the polls on his horse. (Remember, I couldn't go, just send the breadwinner with exhortations.) So, I'm closing out my political series for a while. I decided to close with the lyrics to one of my favorite Jackson Browne songs (if you don't listen to him, start now. He still rocks.) When I was singing along with this song on my walk yesterday, I realized that it contains all I have left to say about this election. Perhaps, if we could all sing this song, this time of year would be a lot easier.

And the river opens for the righteous (5 times)
I was walking with my brother
And he wondered what's on my mind
I said what I believe in my soul
Ain't what I see with my eyes
And we can't turn our backs this time

I am a patriot
And I love my county
Because my country is all I know
I want to be with my family
People who understand me
I've got nowhere else to go
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous

And I was talking with my sister
She looked so fine
I said, "Baby, what's on your mind?"
She said, "I want to run like the lion
Released from the cages
Released from the rages
Burning in my heart tonight"

And I ain't no communist
And I ain't no capitalist
And I ain't no socialist
And I ain't no imperialist
And I ain't no democrat
So I ain't no republican
I only know one party
And it is freedom

I am, I am, I am
I am a patriot
And I love my country
Because my country is all I know
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous

And the river opens for the righteous...(repeats)
I want to run like the lion,
Released from the cages
Released from the rages
I said what I believe in my soul
It ain't what I see with my eyes
Someday (repeats)

October 29, 2008

Sweetie, I've Got Bad News

This is old news, but I'm pretty sure you don't know--Fox cancelled New Amsterdam. Oh--and CW cancelled Aliens in America. I was just checking, because I hadn't seen any ads. I thought I'd let you know. Bummer.

Please post any remembrances of TV shows you loved that were cancelled way too soon.

October 28, 2008

Standing up for Sarah

I found this interesting article, concerning how some feminists who disagree with Sarah Palin are still trying to stand up for her. I found it interesting, as I too have been disheartened at the treatment she has received with a lack of media outcry. Specifically, when I heard Larry Flynt was crafting a porn film about her, without any sort of outcry, I felt a loss of hope for the position of women in our society. Perhaps if more people think like those in the article, there is some hope.

October 24, 2008

Color Me Surprised

Just for fun . . .
you are lightcyan

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

TAMP: Mr. Cool's America

The following occurred between the hours of 0600 and 1700 (which is 5pm for those who haven’t mastered the whole subtracting 12 from another two-digit number). The activities prove that (A) I am more American than apple pie and (B) I am less American and Captain America himself.

1) I cleaned a gun while watching the definitive liberal political drama series (West Wing).
2) I saw a celebrity: Tony Scheffler (TE for the Denver Football Broncos), then I saw an even bigger celebrity – Tony the Tiger of Frosted Flakes Fame. One is obviously better than the other, but they’re both GRRREAT!!!
3) I ate a hot dog for lunch. A Nathan’s dog as big as a small child’s leg (Sam’s Club is the cheapest lunch ever - $1.50 for a dog and a soda; and since I have no shame as an American, I stopped my wandering of bulk packaging twice more to partake of the free refills (96oz. of pure bladder bulging bliss)).
4) I wore cowboy boots all day, and yes, that cow poop is authentic.
5) I purchased 700 rounds of pistol ammunition before the sun rose, and will shoot them all by the week’s end.
6) I exercised my 2nd Amendment right of awesomeness (as mentioned above), but also explored my 1st Amendment right by reading a book about concepts I don’t necessarily agree with, by a guy who’s morally opposed to moral absolutes – all without issuing a Fatwah, declaring a jihad, or calling Limbaugh or Franken to complain.
7) I listened to National Public Radio, during a pledge drive no less. I could listen to dulcet tones of Nina Totenberg and Kai Ryssdal read the phonebook.
8) I, like any good American, made purchases on credit, using a flag motif card.
9) I watched PBS. I still don’t know why “America’s Test Kitchen” hasn’t won a day time Emmy – the ricotta cheese from today’s lasagna has more character than Days, Passions, and General Hospital’s combined.
10) I voted early. I voted for my guy, then using Tony the Tiger’s ID, I got back in line and voted again – thanks ACORN!
11) Seriously though, as is my custom, I confused the nice lady trying to record my vote. Only after my successful casting did I learned they were out of “I Voted Today” stickers. Upon hear this disastrous news, I asked the patriotic volunteer straight faced “how will I know not to vote again without my sticker?” She stared back at me blankly, either scared that I was serious or too afraid of my obvious mental instability to flag down the driver of my short yellow bus.

Yes, definitely more American then apple pie, but Captain American stands tall among our fallen Patriots. May he rest in peace…

October 23, 2008

Evil Wil Wheaton

I've talked about how I'm a geek, right? Well, luckily, people I've watched on TV and movies forever are also geeks. Although, sometimes they show up on TV police procedurals as evil serial killers. I'm not always down with that. If you know who Wil Wheaton is, and like to read a former TNG-er's thoughts on life, head on over to his great blog. It's a blog I like to save up, and then read a chunk of posts at one time.

October 20, 2008

Fiction for the Election

The best short story about politics, elections, and the presidency I've ever read: 2066 Election Day by Michael Shaara. I do believe I've found it full text on the fabulous interwebs. Please enjoy!

October 18, 2008

I have died of dysentery and gone to heaven

If, like me, you did a significant portion of growing up in the 1980s/90s, please read this article.

Then, if you follow its links, you can join me here.

October 17, 2008

Obama & The Godfather

While checking out our presidential candidates pop culture favorites, I learned that Obama's two favorite movies are The Godfather, Parts I and II. In fact, I saw him talk about this on TV, citing the fact that the first movie begins with the line, "I believe in America."

I'm not going to fault him for this, as I too love The Godfather, both book and film, but I would like to clarify what he's talking about. This will involve a trip down memory lane, so be prepared.

When I took European Immigrant Literature in college, I was fulfilling a credit requirement for my English Education degree. Luckily, I loved the class, and never more than when we were reading The Godfather. What an assignment! I loved every second of it, and when we watched the movie (Part I), it blew me away. I know most people think of this as a "guy" film, but it's fantastic. Powerful, mesmerizing--the acting is insanely good. (You should, of course, know who's in the film--Brando, Pacino, Duvall.) I've seen it many more times since then, although I've never managed to force Mr. Cool to join me.

So I totally understand why Obama loves this movie. I respect him for making the choice to say he loves a gangster film over, say, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but his choice of singling out that first line rings false. Oh, sure, it's the first line of the movie, but it's said by Amerigo Bonasera, who has come to the Godfather for help. He has always believed in America, so when his daughter was brutally attacked by WASP boys, he trusted the American justice system to punish them. It failed him--they were released with just probation. Bonasera, though, wants more. He has always believed in America, but it has let him down. It has not given him the justice he desires--so he has come to ask the Godfather to kill the two young men. The Godfather refuses, and chastises Bonasera for not coming to him earlier. If he truly believes in America, he should accept the justice it provided. In the end, the Godfather does send some thugs to properly beat up the young men.

The idea throughout The Godfather is that while America is a land of prosperity, opportunity, and justice, if you are an Italian immigrant, you will be better served by the Family. There you can truly find prosperity, opportunity, and justice. Perhaps that is true for all of us--perhaps only in family can we find true fulfillment. Patriotism might only lead to disappointment.

October 14, 2008

Fantasy Campaign Ad #4

Destined to be the leader . . .

Supported by a strong, intelligent wife . . .

Victorious in battle . . .

A gracious host to the previous rulers . . .

Seeks advice from different channels . . .

Doesn't this sound like a man you want in charge?

I'm Macbeth, and I supporteth this message, and I desperately wanteth to be King! Even tho', tis but a sound and fury, signifying nothing, this ad wast paid for by my dear Lady Macbeth, who almost more desperately wanteth me to thine King!

The Pick-up Artist

A student just offered two pick-up lines to me:

"Miss, are you a parking ticket, because you have 'fine' written all over you."

"Miss, if I could rearrange the alphabet, I'd put U and I together."

I told him I'd put him and work together.

The Teaching Depths

Last week, parent/teacher conferences. Two nights of four extra hours of work, discussing grades and behavior with parents. I saw good kids, I saw bad kids. I met happy parents, I met strict parents, I met cranky parents.
I was tired.

This week, the first quarter ends. Four more days of dealing with students sudden realization that turning work in would help their grade, and their frantic pleas to accept late work. Which, being a softy, I always do. Four more days of grading late work, entering grades, answering frequent pestering to "tell me what my grade is now!"

If I can just make it to next Monday, maybe I can climb out of the depths, and back into the heights of teaching.

October 09, 2008

Fantasy Campaign Ad #3

Do you need a reason, puny human?

Vote Zeus!

This message paid for by Hephaestus, Lightning Bolt Crafter and organizer of the Keep Zeus in Power Fund.

October 04, 2008

Spirit Week, in Haiku

Underroos on top
of jeans--too wild and wacky?
Does Ironman care?

My blast from the past
Looked back to my senior year
Is ten years the past?

Empowerment is
tons of teenage guys in pink--
maybe we can change.

Spray can hair color--
Blondes turn green, purple, orange--
I should have bought stock.

Be true to your school--
paint your face blue, red, white--
I can hear pores cry.

October 03, 2008

The VP Debate

Well, not too bad, I think. No moments of, "Senator, I knew Jack Kennedy, and you are no Jack Kennedy." No candidates declaring, "Who am I? Why am I here?"

Although, to be fair, I sort've zoned out and started surfing the internet after a half hour, as I can only take so many talking points before I get grumpy. I relish the fact that we are only about a month away from the end of the campaign, as it truly feels like it has been going on since I was a wee voter.

I think I have only about one political, election-related blog post left in me. Then we will return to our normal teaching, reading, knitting schedule. So, today I leave you with an interesting commentary on the debate from Peggy Noonan. It was nice to read a moderate, conservative, positive spin.

October 01, 2008

Sarah Palin, Take 2

I've been hearing a lot of negative stuff about Sarah Palin, but as I was prepping myself for the debate tomorrow by reading upon various things, I watched another interview with Katie Couric. I found it quite interesting, both in that she did well and shares several of my beliefs, but also that this time Ms. Couric felt a bit more hounding. Look, Katie, I'm not going to tell you all the magazines and newspapers I read either, because I'm not here to give out free advertising. Anyway, if you're still watching and enjoying aspects of the campaign, take a watch.

My video wasn't working, so I've replaced it with a plain and simple link to the interview.

Blue Jeans

Without a doubt, blue jeans are my favorite piece of clothing. (This might break my mother's heart.) I feel like I look better in a great pair of jeans, that all my t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, vests, and blazers look better with my jeans, and that I am much more comfortable in my jeans.

This is a deep, life-long love affair, although according to pictures, my childhood in the 1980s led to some pretty bad pairs of jeans. I've also never quite recovered from Levi's decision to stop making ladies' 565s, which were my favorite style.

So, this week is my favorite week of school. Why? It's Spirit Week, which means as long as we are dressing up/participating in the fun days, I can wear jeans. It's fabulous--as a comfortable person, I'm a better teacher, I have more fun with the kids, and I'm quicker to the right discipline move.

Sigh. If only I could be draped in denim every day. (I love you, Mama Cool, and I do wear dresses and skirts sometimes, really!)