What a Rush!

At age 14 I lived in the last house on the left (the literal one, not the movie one). The tree-shaded, dead-end street played home to three main residences, but so many more of us lived there. My grandmother and great grandmother resided across the street. My current computer guru lived in a tiny cottage out back making stuff on his Mac for the Oklahoma Film Society or something cooler than whatever I was supposed to know about Algebra. Various people moved into and out of our basement. There were others.

Our House was a very very very spooky house. I foolishly didn’t want to live in Norman. Midwest City was much less pretentious and much more edgy. Big bro and I used to sneak out to find an oasis from the land of upturned Polo collars, of which I totally would have been a citizen if I owned more than one Polo. We would catch the midnight show of Rocky Horror or run around the cemetery or see who was at Café Royal. We didn’t have to sneak out. My folks were way lenient about that sort of thing, but sneaking out made it all the more fun. Once we returned home about 2 a.m. running down our little street in spite of the fact that our dad was standing in the middle of the road smoking a cigarette under the full moon. He just hung his head. It made no sense to him at all that we would sneak out but neglect to sneak back in. I don’t recall that we got in all that much trouble, however, the shame of our dumbassary clouded the next couple of days.

It was about this time that my taste for Alternative Music, whatever that was, hit my radar. Big Bro was listening to “88 Lines about 44 Women” by The Nails (mental note, put that on the iTunes list). He picked it up at the used record (vinyl, I said it) store on Campus Corner before Harold’s bought the whole damn place up. I also caught my dad singing Dead Milkmen. Or was it Dead Kennedys? Eeww. Dad had to tell me that he knew a thing or two about hep — a fact I seriously doubted and yet totally believed.

Soon after, Dad’s friend Rush (pictured above and ripped off the LA Times) arrived for a visit. I had met Rush by a different name, but he was the same impossibly cool. He said things like, “Better dead than mellow” and “Bury Dali in Lichtenstein.” I used that latter line to end a Blue Book essay on First Amendment Law in college when it was clear I would run out of time without a conclusion. It won big points. I asked Rush why he thought Dali should be buried in Lichtenstein. “Why not?” he said. And he was right. After all, isn’t The Lizard King buried in Paris? He also played a song for me that he’d been working on. The lyrics were as follows:

I’m sick of everything.
So sick of everything.
I’m sick of everything.
I’m sick of you,
And people like you!
I’m sick of your sh*t,
And I’m not going to take it!

Ah, the beauty. It was my anthem.

Rush is famous.


These are the days, my friends…

I should start at the top of the morning. The 9-YO boy debuted his mad skillz as a photojournalist. He’s got reporting in his blood from Gramp-A-Long and a fair amount of language ability from both Gigi and Grammanina. Also, as he reported to KOLD, his mom is always at school and I guess his boredom with that or my insistence that he entertain himself inspired him. The story was written one morning after a Borton Community Garden meeting and during the time I take the girl’s class into the garden. Use the link since my scanned copy, well you can see the problem with it.

Then the Friday routine hit with the BELL coffee cart (donations welcome), frequent readers help (the 6-YO made a book mark and earned two books to reward her, er, frequent reading), work for pay, then help the newly single mechanic watch himself and his kid on television (Did you hear that girls? I have a single male friend who can fix stuff AND be daddy about school). Around lunch, I came home to find gently used shorts for the boy and these freshly picked goodies.

These oranges are HUGEMONGOUS! That’s one of the largest bowls we have and you can see the oranges dwarf it. I need a new descriptor for my friends because they are beyond “awesome” and “generous” to the degree of “intergalactic” and “magnanimous” or something like that. OH! I needn’t neglect reporting the glorious package from the artiste in Oklahoma with 50 YO heirloom 4 o’clock and lemon basil seeds, pet rocks, a pep talk, a totem for the chicks, and an indication that my pal also loves credit unions.

Oh, but that’s not the end of the day. The librarian sent to the planet to make my life wonderful set up a little RR viewing on the big screen. Robyn, point out to your mother that one of her hand sewn dresses made it onto national television. If you look carefully, I’m person in the crowd 1, person in the crowd 2, person in the crowd 3 ….

Hawt Mz was mas bella tan siempre (I’m trying to learn Spanish again), if a bit touchy at being the center of the universe for all of 3 minutes. HM, I know you love math, so how about this equation? 15-3= 12 more minutes of fame to account for. What’s next?

I hope it never ends.

Incognito on Rachael Ray

The episode of Rachael Ray featuring the hard work of Hawt Mz. Molly and crew will be aired on March 6th. If you follow the link, there are two pictures of yours truly in a flash format, so I couldn’t easily steal them. Now do you think that’s fair? Neither do I, so I learned how to poach images. BTW, I’m not saying Ultimate taught me how to do that photo stealing trick, but you know, if you need some computer work done he knows his shiznit. If they threaten me, I’ll tear the photos down asap (or as soon as possible, Brett, whichever comes first) so look quickly.

Photo 1. ‘Member my pal who teaches me how to fix my car? ‘Member the guy who taught me how to use power tools? Well, he and I totally built this farm stand. By “he and I” I mean he did the work while preventing me from circular sawing off my oppositional thumb (it’s like the rest of me). I am not clearly in this photo, but my work is. Unclearly, I am in the back ground in the jeans and whiteish shirt next to my pal Lori who didn’t sign a release and loudly cursed while proclaiming her judgeship. She did sign a release later, but she claimed it was bullshit. Judges get to talk like that.

Photo 2. I’m way more clearly in this photo. See me? Behind the kale? I cropped (oh, an unintentional, but awesome garden pun) out the rest of the photo, but you can follow the link to see the whole thing.

If this is going to be the most highly rated Rachael Ray show of all time, you need to tune in on March 6th and watch it. If for some reason, they air me not in obscurity, there is an antidote. Rubbing sand in your eyes will rid you of this vision.

Fun with Google: Part 1?

To get my job, now that it’s legit, I gots ta update the resume. Time to hit the Googles. Citizen’s League, check. Language Arts, check. But wait! There’s more!

You may or may not know that I got skills. Yup. I sure do. Perhaps you can’t think of a single one, but I did recently earn honorable mention in a photography competition that was judged by impartial professional photographers. It’s true. Here’s the evidence.

Why is the hubster smelling his fingers? Beyond the mystery, there’s not much else to recommend this photo. I presumed I was offering it up for a beginning of the year slide show for his department and didn’t realize that there was a judicial process involved. Mine was the first honorable mention. Of course I have a beginning of the alphabet sort of name and so far as I know every entrant won at least an honorable mention. Whatever. I’m totally putting it on my resume.

Once, I had an article published. Yup. I sure did. In it I provided basic information featuring the Canada goose. I bet you thought it was Canadian, but that’s not the case. Here’s the proof.

Let me just say, the article is well and heavily edited. I don’t know anything about the Canada goose. The publication resulted from me begging Outdoor Oklahoma for a writing gig. My dream of running away to NYC to work on a high-gloss magazine was just beginning to fade. Just as well because as surely as video killed the radio star, Internet killed the printing press. Regardless, I’m going to put this on my resume too.

My favorite Google result is the following:
Rebecca Ballenger’s, Martha Stein’s and Mary Sweeney’s vaginal images are seductively soft, yet menacing creatures with a life of their own (especially …

If only I had the log-in. On first read, it seems that our vaginae are soft and menacing as revealed by images. Then it can also read as though we captured images of other soft and menacing vaginae. Oh, if only either one was true, then perhaps I could retire and avoid putting a resume together at all.

Because It’s All About Me

I should have worn my Bali bra with modesty petals.

As it was, I chose a lumpy dumpy message t-shirt over anything fashionable.

The result was less cute college co-ed and more public school mommy volunteer out in the cold January rain.

I imagined Denise Richards, but all things considered I should give up the Tom Cruise samurai hair don’t. Imagine this hooker hair only less Rodeo Drive and more Main Street.

I was reminded on the way out the door at 4:30 a.m. that last time I was on television, I was made to remove my glasses (video unavailable). Not being able to see, I looked like an oggling goggler. So I put my contacts in and revealed my partially inherited, partially earned under-eye baggage.

Finally, though I’m already bloated from my premenstrual Eve’s apple thing, a mike pack was hidden under my shirt at my waistline.

And if I were to make it on to a national television show, that is how I would present myself. Of course, the media were only interested in the phenomenal teacher who made it all happen, so this is total vanity.

Yesterday’s schedule:
4:30-7 a.m. local news
7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. – film crew contracted by Rachael Ray
10 a.m. – TUSD Focus reporters
1 p.m. – different local news
8 p.m. – crash

Of course I can’t find the live coverage from the local news, but their edited piece is online and my kids are in it!

More to come – if I feel like it.

Election Results In

Obama in a landslide!

Twenty-eight ballots were cast in the 8 YO Boy’s classroom. We voted on three candidate races and three propositions. Here are the results*:

  • Presidential Electors: Obama – 23, McCain – 2, Barr – 1, and no vote recorded – 2
  • Prop 105: No – 18, Yes – 8, and no vote recorded – 2
  • Prop 300: Yes – 15, No – 12, and no vote recorded – 1
  • Prop 403: No – 15, Yes – 10, and no vote recorded – 3

We had no reports of voter fraud or intimidation at the polling place. Voter turnout was high with only one absence among Ms. P’s “Big Wigs”. To background these results, a sizeable number of children from this class went trick-or-treating together. It was their experience that upon arriving at a house with an Obama sign, they were greated with laughter and “good” candy. Four houses later they came upon a house with a McCain sign out front. The lights were on, but no one was home. A basket on the porch had two solitary (not packages but individual) LifeSavers in it. This isn’t typical for all of Tucson as reports from the foothills residents on the 8 YO Boy’s soccer team indicate that the trick-or-treaters supporting Obama were asked to redistribute their candy – an idea on which they weren’t too keen.

I had a great deal of anxiety about real-world voting. I don’t do well with parking lots, people, waiting. I heard all these frightening stories about bringing the correct identification and wearing the appropriate clothing. I’ve had bad luck in the past with being turned away from the polls (never successfully) and I am tired of the fight. I just want to vote. Please? Can’t a sister vote without turmoil? Isn’t this why so many women have rocked the vote since 1920?

So I put on my big-girl panties and went to my local precinct polling place. I walked right in, stepped right up. I was the first in line and I threw down THREE different pieces of identification. Hither thither and yon for signing in, slips of paper that trade in for actual ballots, and a nosy black box operator later, I was finished. My number was 168 (I think) at 11 a.m. No need for all the fear and loathing.

I voted for my presidential electors and at least 10 Democrats, 4 Republicans, and 1 Green candidate plus some others who aren’t identified by party for local governing boards. I chose to retain or not retain 21 judges and I voted NO on 7 propositions and YES on two. I have no clue if I made good choices, but they were at least partially informed ones.

Tonight the fam, which includes Todd-o, will be eating hot dogs with yellow mustard and watching the returns. We are going to party like the Sooners won the National Title! I mean, we are going to honor what a freaking awesome country this is where we get a say in the political process regardless of whether or not everyone goes against my better judgement to select boneheads for offices and can’t figure out a proposition from a wide stance.

If you haven’t already, please go VOTE!

* Corporation Commissioner and TUSD Governing Board results were not tallied. The expectation is that the children will take their ballots and electoral maps home and follow the returns.

School Houses Rock!

Get past the Border Patrol Ad, okay?

This was my son’s teacher last year! This was her! Teachers are so way cool. Molly is so way cool. Molly can teach AND double dutch. And guess what, she’s going to have a community garden WITH CHICKENS at the school. I miss Molly.

I’ve been concerned about my son’s teacher this year. She’s more traditional and worksheet oriented. As it turns out, she is also empathetic and her students like her. She also lets us parents come in and knock around whenever we want. She’s letting me teach the students about current events. This week the 3rd graders READ THE CONSTITUTION as it pertains to the presidency. Can you imagine? All that language? But they did it and they know what qualifies a candidate for the presidency and what the duties are. Of course they were mostly interested in the part about forgiving their buddies and throwing parties for foreign dignitaries. Toward the end of the lesson, we touched on the electoral collage (S + R = E, did you know that? The presidency is not just a history/civics thang, it’s also math/geography). Next week are going to go into campaigns and eventually we will look at the current candidates. I’ll keep you posted, because I’m sure you are on the edge of your seats to know what the kids are saying.

On Friday, another parent is coming in with her bassoon to help the kids with their sound studies. Yet another parent has made tons of homemade playdough to help the students better conceptualize city, state, country, etc. And yet another parent is bringing in tons of related texts and may start an art project. So, it’s still cool this year, though it’s hard to top Molly. I wish every child could experience a classroom where the teacher and a large number of parents frequently indulge in active learning and engaging children.

One thing I should learn is how to post a video that doesn’t immediately start playing every time the website opens. Sorry about that. I hope next time you visit, you won’t mind hitting the pause button.