Sunday, February 1, 2009

Happy Ground Hog Day 2009!

Houston's cloudy forecast means the Ground Hog will emerge from his burrow with no threat of being frightened by his shadow. An early spring! My friends in northern climates would welcome such a forecast in light of their long brutal winter. Myths aside, spring WILL come when Mother Nature deems us ready. Regardless, I like to use this occasion to reflect on the insight I've gained during the past 4 seasons. Hope your year was as bountiful!
(Rather than write an epic saga, this is an abbreviated account of the year. Greater detail will be shared upon request! You may click on photos to enlarge.)

My personal insight gained since last Ground Hog day:
  • Western Boots are unsafe footwear for bike riding.
  • Emergency Room staff act suspicious when you break your wrist falling off a bike, at 10 at night.
  • An artist friend can turn a cast into a fashion accessory.

  • When you put a petticoat on it is like Pixie Dust... women can't help but have fun!
  • When it comes to Mother's Day, "being there" trumps a card or a gift (destination Alabama!).
  • When the economy is slow, education is a good occupation to fall back on.
  • High School kids aren't as scary as they look.
  • Remembering how to knit comes back to you just like riding a bike.... except it is safer.
  • Roux is a great travel dog, but never close a screen door between her and I.
  • The Northwoods of Wisconsin is still my favorite spot on earth; Bill & Carrie are consummate tour guides.
  • They still brew Hamm's and Schlitz beer!
  • Everyone in the Northwoods has a bar in their basement.
  • Our worst hurricane experience was encountered in Missouri (during Gustav) when our Tom Tom led us towards a river where the bridge was out.
  • Our best hurricane experience was having Travis home for a visit (during Ike).
  • After 28 years of going to Rockport, I finally got the fishing bug!
Kerry's insights:

  • If exploring different microbrews is fun, then brewing your own will be even more fun!
  • A wine aerator is the secret to cheap wine.
  • Even a small part in The Texas Independence relay run from Gonzalez to San Jacinto is a lot of work.

Ceci's Insights:

  • Dallas sucks. The OKT is where the cool kids live.
  • If you dress up like a Puma at Astros games, you will make Sports Center and Baseball Tonight.
  • I am the world's best fisherman.
  • No one reads my blog.
  • Hurricanes suck. Hurricane Parties, however, are awesome.
  • I have the world's cutest puppy. People read her blog.

Roger Creager is stalking me.

Travis' insights:
  • There is ample seating on inbound flights during Hurricane Evacuations
  • Hiking to the top of a 14,000 peak gets you high on life!
  • If you visit Houston during a hurricane, your friends can get time off work to party with you!
  • Beagle Molly & Aussie Hannah have not met their new cousin, but we think Auggie is a mix of Australian Shepherd and Beagle.
  • Having an artist friend has unique benefits!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

List of Lists

Guest list
Wish list
Black list
Shit list
Top Ten list
Forbes list
Shopping List
Blackwell's list
Mailing list
Hit list
Earl's List
Grocery List
Craig's List
Annal List
Book List
Schindler's List
And the dreaded.... To-do List

I'm procrastinating starting the latter.... I need to concentrate and jot down all the activities and projects that require my attention. But I know what will happen. I'll lose it, or disregard it, or purposely write down things I've already done so I can scratch through them and feel a sense of accomplishment. I'm too scattered to follow a list... but can I learn? Can I succeed without one?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sex in the classroom

How does a Sub get a bunch of disinterested, struggling, high school Sophmores interested in reading????

Everything in modern teaching leans toward ownership. If you want kids to invest into delving into literature, you allow them to choose the novel. So, when I suggested Animal Farm, and the remedial class groaned in misery. I retorted with "what would YOU like to read?"

One girl responded quickly with "The Notebook". Really? Like the movie with James Garner? My memory was of a movie that focused on an elderly man with an incredible passion for the love he lost to a wife with Alzheimer Disease. Could 16 year old kids want this book? Is it the same?

The student assures me, yes... the book from that movie. Her sister is reading it and thinks it is awesome. Now, the surprise. Two of the guys in the class add their enthusiastic assent. Another girl joins the wave.

I ask the teachers whether we have the book.... yes, but only four. Order more, they suggest. To my surprise it is relatively easy. Five days later the district owns a "class set" of The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. I decide to create a "Study guide" to help the students keep track of details as they read.

LORD HAVE MERCY!!!! There is SEX in this love story!!! I read, and the subject of premarital sex recurs... and then there's a four page scene of a lustful reunion. I have not read the fineprint of the district's policy... but I'm concerned I might be crossing some lines. But it is a class with 8 students, the district already had the book on it's shelves, and they are excited to read. Okay, excited may be a foreshadowing term... but they have no idea what they are in for. Not wanting to be a spoiler, I introduced the book today and warned them there would be sex. But it is a tale of a true love, an epic romance, a deep passion. I told them that this is what they should hope for, an experience as meaningful as this.

Wish me luck. We crept through the first chapter today. The challenge is still ahead of me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Indecision 1008

Ever have something mean SO much to you, that addressing it with anything less than 100% feels like sacrilege?
And so, here I am, the naked voter, home from the polls, yet still uneasy about my decision.

I am abashed at my ignorance; despite an innate sense of responsibility and a reasonable amount of god-given common sense... I feel inadequate when it comes to politics. I blame most of the problem on my lack of trust in the press and the politicians. I know the candidates dwell on pandering and lies. I know the press reports with bias. I am horrified by the ease with which good friends fall for the fear campaign and accept lies.

I am not an expert on Economics, yet I value the ability to run the country as a business as the most important role of our president. I feel ill-prepared to decide which policies serve our nation best. Hell, folks with degrees and oodles of experience with economy disagree on major economic policies.

Next on my agenda is the importance of separation between church and state. Palin scares the shit out of me. I let that be the deciding factor in my ballot. I voted against the running mate.

This indecisive attitude is an indicator that I loathe neither candidate to the extreme. I suspect others find this shocking. My belief is that regardless the outcome, our daily lives' will not shift. It is what it is.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bread Crumbs in cyberspace

Pesky child'o'mine is pestering me to BLOG.
So I have a blog!
Now what do I do?
Pontificate? Mitch and Boan? Solve the problems of the universe?
Will I ever find this spot on the internet again???? Do I need to drop bread crumbs?