Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'll Put A Spell On You

I am not at some wild and crazy Halloween celebration tonight, nor accompanying any little trick-or-treaters out and about. I decided this year, after doing the Harry Potter thing at school yesterday, to be a curmudgeon by staying at Mom and Dad's house. They live in a retirement community, which means no trick-or-treaters, no temptation to gorge on candy--just the three of us, catching up on Grey's Anatomy and having steak for dinner.

It's a good thing I decided on this course--because I have a cold. Yuck! It's the stuffed-nose, icky-throat, sneezy variety, and to add insult to injury, I have a cold sore on my lower lip, just where it meets my top lip when I close my mouth.

Fortunately, the wonders of science have given us Anbesol (for the sore), NyQuil (so I can SLEEP and not be wheezing all night), and Ibuprofen (for the pain). I'm quite drugged up, but at least I'm not uncomfortable.

So enjoy your parties and candy and stuff. I'm going to toddle off to bed soon and read the trashy romance I bought today, snuggled up under a quilt, with Millie and Harley cuddling nearby, and a dose of NyQuil working its magic.

Don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight!

Friday, October 30, 2009


I'm going to Mom and Dad's for the weekend, so last night I took stock of the refrigerator. I do the bulk of my grocery shopping on the weekends, so by Thursday/Friday, I'm usually down to the bare minimum. Whatever is left over, I try to incorporate into the weekend meals.

I looked and found I had a head of broccoli, a package of sliced mushrooms, a plastic container with some leftover chicken and rice, and one hot dog. The chicken and rice and half of the broccoli made a fine dinner.

The hot dog, mushrooms (sauteed last night in cooking wine and garlic) and other half of the broccoli made a fine, if unconventional, breakfast this morning. Lunch is a for-emergencies-only Weight Watchers frozen meal and the last apple in the fruit bowl.

Guess what I'll be doing Sunday evening?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Harriet Potter

Sometimes working at an elementary school comes with big perks--excellent vacation time, decent job satisfaction, and all that good stuff. But even BETTER is that I have an excuse to wear a Halloween costume each year. The cuter, the better.

Last year, I was Minnie Mouse. This year, I've got my Gryffindor gear ready to go: a t-shirt that I wore to see Half-Blood Prince in July, a scarf, a wand, and round spectacles. I'm going to draw a lightning scar on my forhead with eyeliner.

Pictures will, of course, be taken. Stay tuned.

Oink, Oink

I'm not an alarmist (usually). I might freak out over certain things, but when the term "swine flu" started getting thrown around, I didn't panic, I didn't freak out. I'm still not panicking. But I really want that H1N1 vaccine, and I can't get it yet.

I went to Kaiser today, and marched up to the flu clinic to ask about getting the shot. The lady informed me that at this point, they're only giving the vaccine to people who are 25-64 years of age with a chronic condition such as diabetes, asthma, kidney or liver disease, etc.

"High blood pressure?" I inquired hopefully.

"Sorry, no," she replied.

"Do you know when a teacher might be able to get it?"

"I wish I could give it to you now--I think teachers should be on the list right now." She was very kind, and I was understanding--she didn't make up the rules, but she does have to follow them.

I understand, too, that supplies are limited, and production is behind. But I want that shot, because I do NOT want to get H1N1.

Again, I'm not being an alarmist. But I know that my chances of getting H1N1 are high, because I work with children. Children who don't always remember to wash their hands, or cover their coughs. There's only so much hand-washing and Oust-spraying I can do. Sooner or later, I will be exposed to H1N1, and I really want that vaccine before I am.

If my chances of getting H1N1 are high, my chances of having complications are low. I don't think it's going to kill us all--but from what I hear about it, it makes you want to die. A fellow Chorale singer is coming off of a bout of H1N1, and from what he said, it was a miserable experience. Apparently it takes several days to come back from it, and as a teacher, I can't afford those days. Sure, I have the sick days on the books--that's not a problem--but the thought of being out for a week or more, and the sub plans and craziness that would ensue because I am assigned to two school sites makes my head spin. I just don't want to deal with it.

The nurse gave me the number for Kaiser's flu hotline, and I'll keep up with it. As soon as that vaccine is available to me, I will be there, with my arm bared. I already got my regular flu shot, and I want to cover all of my bases.

In the meantime, I will wash my hands a lot, tell my kids to cover their mouths when coughing, and Oust the hell out of my classroom at every opportunity.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Today was 80s Day at school. I present these pictures without comment.

Crack the Shutters

I have a new appreciation for Snow Patrol since seeing them in concert a couple of weeks ago. They are so much more than "Chasing Cars" and "Run."

I highlighted "Just Say Yes" recently--it's an AWESOME song, and their newest single. But I also discovered a past single, "Crack the Shutters." It has got to be the sexiest song I've heard in a long time. When I really listened to the lyrics for the first time, I about swooned. Coupled with Gary Lightbody's sexy (Northern) Irish voice and, well, his looks...

You cool your bedwarm hands down
On the broken radiator
When you lay them freezing on me
I mumble can you wake me later

But I don't really want you to stop
And you know it so it doesn't stop you
You run your hands from my neck
To my chest

Crack the shutters open wide
I want to bathe you in the light of day
And just watch you as the rays
Tangle up around your face and body

I could sit here for hours
Finding new ways to be awed each minute
'Cause the daylight seems to want you
Just as much as I want you

Its been minutes Its been days,
I remember all I will remember
Happy lost in your hair
And the cold side of the pillow

Your hills and valleys
Are mapped by my intrepid fingers
And in a naked slumber
I dream all this again

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Music: Keane

I think it's about time I feature my favorite British blokes...the one, the only KEANE. These guys are still rocking my world, in a big way.

This is "Black Burning Heart," off of their third album, Perfect Symmetry. Might be my favorite track from that particular's hard to decide, really.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Strawberry Rub-bub Pie

As a child, I had a propensity to mispronounce things. I had a decent vocabulary, and knew how to use words--just not how they were supposed to be pronounced. My parents had frequent and hearty laughs at my expense, which taught me, when in doubt, ask someone how to say the damned word.

A first blunder was "de-zaust." I couldn't say "exhaust." Apparently this was adorable. Later, that was replaced in the Hilarity Files by "Little Keezer's." Hey, pizza sounded good, and we were looking for a place to have dinner.

By far, however, the best of my blunders came at Raley's. I must have been nine or ten years old. Mom and I were walking through the bakery section, and I saw some gorgeous pies. I read the sign, and called out, "Hey, look, Mom: strawberry rub-bub pie!"

Mom lost it. She laughed so hard, she probably cried. I can't be sure if she cried, because I tend to block out painful memories.

The story was taken home and passed around, laughed over, and then, like a chain email, sent out in the universe. It reappears every once in a while, making my parents laugh. My weak defense is that, until that point, I had never even heard of a rhubarb, and I still maintain that someone misspelled the damned sign.


A few weeks ago, my friend Dani posted a couple of Mika's videos on Facebook. I had heard of him, but I didn't know a lot, so I clicked on the links out of curiosity and found some really fun music by a kid with a terrific voice. I checked him out on YouTube, then ran to iTunes and bought a few songs.

I quickly became addicted to Happy Ending. In my searches to find out more about Mika, I found that he would be in Oakland soon--just one week after I was to drive out there to see Snow Patrol.

I looked at my calendar and realized that this would be a pretty crazy weekend. I had a Chorale concert on Friday night, and there is another one this afternoon. But I figured I could recover from a late, late Saturday night in Oakland with Mika, so I bought my ticket and prepared to go.

Turns out, there is no way I could have possibly been prepared for the awesomeness that is Mika live.

Before the show, I walked over to a pizza place for an enormous piece of greasy, wonderful cheese pizza. On the way back, I got some pretty pictures.

The opening act was Gary Go. I had never heard of him, so I did some Googling and YouTubing, and found that he looked quite promising--British, talented, some good tunes (like Wonderful and an AWESOME and funny cover of Lady Gaga's Just Dance).

He didn't have full use of the stage because Mika's set-up is crazy--the curtain was closed, and Gary and his guitarist/right hand man just used the very front of the stage, in front of the proscenium.

He was okay live--a little bit mumbly and hard to understand (didn't help that quite a few of the diehard Mika fans gave him little attention and just stood around chatting through his set) and a little bit shouty live. Aside from the two songs I mentioned above, I didn't hear anything that makes me want to rush over to iTunes and buy more.

When he was done, the crowd started getting a little more restless. People were crowding onto the floor. I was on the first tier, about a foot above the main floor part, right at the railing where I had an excellent view of the stage, and protection from the masses that were trying to get closer to the stage. The venue was packed.

The curtains remained closed, and I was texting Dani when suddenly, two stagehands brought out a sofa.

A sofa?

Then a lamp.


I was intrigued. Finally, a large-screen TV came out.

The crowd was getting huge, and a tall guy positioned himself right in front of me. He was very tall--because I was standing at least a foot higher than he was, making me about 6'2" to where he was standing. And his big ole head still blocked my view.

Finally, the lights dimmed, everyone screamed, and people started coming out on the stage and sitting on the couch. The TV came on and we watched old news footage of a NASA take-off. The people on stage were Mika's band. The curtain came up, they took their places, and out came a dude in a space suit and helmet--the man himself. He took off the helmet, revealing his curly hair. Girls squealed. The (many) gay men in attendence squealed. I giggled. Then he ripped off the space suit (conveniently, it was Velcro), revealing white pants and no shirt.

The crowd went BANANAS.

My crappy camera didn't get a decent shot of shirtless Mika. Sorry, Dani.

Mika proceeded to launch into a high-energy show. The crowd was having a blast. He was hyperactive, energetic, and having a blast up on stage.

Then he said, "Tonight's show is brought to you by good old fashioned American prescription painkillers." That's when I noticed he was limping, and had a boot on his left foot. Turns out he tore a couple of tendons on Friday, doing a show. He didn't let it slow him down. This kid has got to be hurting, but he didn't let down his audience.

His band had the same energy. His backup singer was jumping and running all over the place--in HEELS! I could never do all that in heels. I'd be asking for my workout shoes.

The show was loud, colorful, comical, cartoonish, and very well-done. It was a blast. The crowd was on fire all evening, singing along, cheering, stomping, jumping, dancing. Mika was all smiles and high-energy. He would hop around on his right foot to give the injured left foot a break. His band (with a lady drummer--AWESOME!) was the same. There was a real sense of love up on that stage--I got the feeling that they love backing him, and that he must be a ton of fun to perform with.

When he finished his set, the crowd started stomping and chanting his name for an encore. He didn't let us down, coming back out and doing four more songs. They must have been exhausted, but the band gave us more incredible energy. That is what we paid for!

After the show, I managed to get to the ladies before the crowds (no line!), and then to the merchandise table. My luck ran out when it came to meeting Mika, however. I played fangirl for about 45 minutes, standing outside the back gate with a bunch of teenaged girls and their doting mothers, chatting with the guy guarding the gate and hoping I could get an autograph for Dani. Sorry, girl, he didn't come out to sign. Some diehards stayed on, but it was 11:45 and I had an hour-long drive back to Stockton.

I got home around 1:00. Needless to say, I'm tired this morning, but it was so worth it. What a fun show!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cooper Loops

Growing up Cooper was never boring.

For starters, we were an Air Force family for my first eight years, so we moved around a fair bit (which explains why the Anglophile California Girl was born in, of all places, Nebraska). All of this early nomadic activity gave us a certain strength and closeness. No matter where we went, we could entertain ourselves.

We settled in Folsom when I was nine, in a nice house on Randall Court. Randall Court was, essentially, a steep hill. My friends who came to visit after school marvelled that I walked up that hill every day from my bus stop. It wasn't so bad, really.

Our house was on a cul-de-sac, and contained five houses. It was the perfect venue for Cooper Loops.

A Cooper Loop, in case you are among the unenlightened, is simple: instead of pulling into the driveway of our house--the second one in from the corner, Dad would loop around the cul-de-sac and approach our driveway from the opposite direction, usually at a just-fast-enough pace to make our stomachs move around a little. It was, for some reason, hugely entertaining and funny.

There came a point where Aaron got over the hilarity of Cooper Loops, and instead showed a certain teenaged embarassment at being seen in the family minivan, looping around the cul-de-sac while his parents and little sister laughed uproariously. Once, he even threatened to open the back door and jump out. Mom gasped, Dad snapped, "Shut the door!" and Bratty Little Sister probably laughed even harder and said something along the lines of, "Get over yourself, Aar-head!" That's how little sisters roll.

It's been years since the four Coopers have done a Cooper Loop. I left for college, Aaron moved out on his own. We left the Randall Court house in 1998, and then the city of Folsom, in 2004. Mom and Dad live in yet another cul-de-sac, but this one doesn't lend itself to Cooper Loops like Randall Court did. Plus, the magic is gone.

Or...maybe it isn't. On a recent visit to Idaho, Mom and Dad went out to dinner with Aaron, his wife Susanne, and their two children. As they returned to Aaron and Susanne's house, Susanne executed a quick Cooper Loop in their looped driveway. Tyson and Echo laughed. Mom and Dad smiled and reminisced.

Aaron groaned and rolled his eyes.

Big Brother

Family is funny. I love that old joke, "God gives you friends to make up for your family." I happen to have a pretty awesome family. Mom and Dad were damned good parents, and now that I'm an adult, they've become two of my best friends.

I don't blog about Aaron a lot. Some of you who don't know me well might be surprised to find that I have a brother at all. It's not like he is some crazy we hide in the closet and only take out at Christmas. Aaron is just his own person, with his own life.

Aaron is seven years older than me. Due to circumstances out of her control, Mom had a very long wait between us, so it was never going to be easy for us to be close. But in my young years, we had some good times, nonetheless. It was "Air-wa" who introduced me to the joys of Legos, skateboards and, most importantly, Snoopy. He collected Peanuts comic books, and becasue I idolized him, I soon became quite the little Snoopy fan myself. This, obviously, has lasted.

What we lacked in common hobbies, we made up for in creative games. A particular favorite was "Cross." This was played first in the above-ground pool at our Rancho Cordova home, and later in our fancier in-ground pool in Folsom. The whole point of the game was to start at opposite sides of the pool and cross over or under each other without bumping. It was best played with a third person, so you could have some on the top, someone in the middle, someone at the bottom. Before going underwater, we'd all yell where we intended to swim, take a deep gulp of air, and then push off from the wall with our feet, emerging triumphantly at the other side of the pool.

It sounds so...boring. And yet we spent hours playing "Cross." Sometimes I rather think that if given the chance, I'd glady while away a lazy summer afternoon playing this silly game with Aaron, if only to keep those fond memories fresh in my mind.

When people ask about my brother, I find myself challenged to explain him. "Aaron is...Aaron..." I usually reply, rather weakly. And indeed, he is. Aaron, like anyone else on this big blue planet, is a combination of good, bad, love, issues, and mysteries. The fact that he is a mystery to me more often than not makes me sad.

Being so far apart in age, there was bound to be a time when my life and interests took a drastic turn from Aaron's. It was also inevitable because while we have the same parents, we are about as opposite as two siblings can be, in looks and personality.

Aaron is tall--a little over six feet--with dark hair and blue-grey eyes. He has the somewhat large, masculine nose of our father, but Mom's coloring. Then you have me: 5'2", and very nearly a carbon copy of my dad (except for the nose).

And our interests? Aside from a mutual love of the band Chicago, the old show "Mama's Family," and cats, there's not a whole hell of a lot of common ground for Aaron and I. Most of our conversations these days revolve around our cats (he has six or seven--I've lost count--and I, obviously, have the two), family memories, and how his kids are doing. We avoid politics, religion and education. Especially education.

Aaron didn't finish college. He has always struggled with a learning disability, and also a stubborn streak the size of the Grand Canyon (in that respect, perhaps we are more alike that it seems). He didn't get the help he needed at school, and eventually left to join the workforce. He's tried again a few times since, but never finished his degree. It's caused some discord.

I earned my degree in 2001, a week after Aaron married his wife. Things were said at the time--it doesn't really need to be rehashed, but suffice it to say that there were harsh words from him and tears from me. It was hard for me to hear my brother be so rude, so mean--partly because it hurt me, and partly because I knew it tore him up inside to see his "kid" sister graduate from college before him.

We got through it. I know he is, in his way, proud of me. He doesn't say it; I don't need to hear it from him. He's a good man, living with his wife and kids in Idaho. Sometimes I think it's best that they live in another state. He and I are so different.

It's easy to let time go by and suddenly realize that I haven't spoken to him in months. But somehow, we never miss each others' birthdays, and the major holidays. We have our lives--so different, so busy, and yet, tied together because we are the only two children of Doug and Sue Cooper.

There have been times I've been so frustrated by Aaron. Why can't he be less stubborn? Oh my God, did he really just make that remark? Jesus, just once I'd like to go out to dinner with him and not hear him make a snotty remark about the service or something! Damn, Aaron, it's MY birthday, and I want Mexican food. Quitcherbitchin!

And just when I think, "That's it! I'm declaring myself an only child!" I remember the boy who put up with an annoying, hero-worshiping little sister. The one who spent his allowance to buy me the My Little Pony nursery. He didn't have to help Mom and Dad maintain the Santa myth for so long, or share his Legos, or read to me. He changed my diapers when I was a baby--that ought to count for something right?

But most of all, I can't escape the simplest fact of all--despite our differences, despite the frustrations of getting along we sometimes face--I love him.

He ain't heavy--he's my brother.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I am just saying "YES!!" (as in, "WOOOHOOO!!!) that "Just Say Yes" was released on iTunes USA today. I thought I had two more weeks of obsessively replaying it on YouTube, but then I saw on Facebook that they released it early for the Americans. Big hugs and kisses to Snow Patrol for easing my anticipation.

Now I can upload it to my iPod and listen to it over and over again on the way to Oakland tomorrow, along with my collection of Mika songs (as that is who I am going to see).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Online Dating


I'm back into the online dating world, and I really don't know what possessed me to go through this torture again.

I signed up a few days ago, and I've received two messages so far, even though about 50 men have looked at my profile. (Was it something I said? Ha.) The first message was from a nice-enough seeming guy. I read his profile and realized we weren't exactly a great match on paper, but hey, who am I to judge by a profile? I was all set to hit "reply" when I noticed one little, teenie-weenie factoid that might pose a problem.

Dude lives in North Carolina.


I logged on tonight, after a long, exhausting dress rehearsal, to find I have a new email. Mr. Loquacious simply wrote, "HELLO, BEAUTIFUL." Uh-oh, someone didn't get the memo that all-caps typing is the Internet equivalent of yelling! But I can handle that. It's his profile that cracked me up:


Head, meet desk. BAM.

I'm Famous!

Can you see me? This was in the Stockton Record today.

If you don't know where to look, I'm the person farthest to the left of the picture, in the background. The short one in jeans and a hoodie, mouth wide open, with music in hand. Feet spread apart (because that's how I'm comfortable standing when I sing).

Barbecued Bologna

It's been years since I've eaten balogna. There came a point in my life where suddenly, it just seemed like the most disgusting thing ever created (aside from salmon, or canned tuna) and I never wanted anything to do with it again.

But in my younger years, I ate balogna on a somewhat regular basis--fresh off of Grandpa's barbecue.

Grandma and Grandpa had a two-bedroom house in Sacramento, near Hiram Johnson high school, a couple of run-down old Little League fields, and just close enough to some train tracks that I could watch the trains go by from the large living room window. This was, of course, before someone bought the parcel of land across the street and put in apartments. But I remember perching on the sofa, facing backwards to look out the window at trains going by in the distance.

Aaron and I spent a lot of time at Grandma and Grandpa's house. When Mom brought us back from Spain, we stayed there for a while until buying a home in Rancho Cordova. It was at Grandma and Grandpa's house that I slammed my left middle finger in the sliding glass door. It was the first of four broken bones I've had in my life.

Grandma kept crayons in the dining room, and her coaster set made for perfect forts for my Little People. Her fireplace was perfect for toasting feet. The kitchen had yellow gingham curtains. It's been so long since I've been in that house--Grandma and Grandpa have been gone for 15 and 17 years, respectively--but I still have images in my head. And impressions--wonderful, warm impressions of love and family. Fighting with my brother one minute, and then harmoniously dumping his box of Legos all over the living room floor the next. Grandma and Grandpa's place was much like home--but with that added bit of special, because we always got to pick what we wanted for dinner, and stay up late watching Dukes of Hazard.

Grandpa had made one room into an enclosed outdoor barbecue room. There was a pool table in the middle, and a huge brick grill at one end. Grandpa knew his meat. His brother, Al, had owned a cattle ranch in Rio Linda. Barbecuing was an art. You never just slammed some meat on the grill and hoped for the best. I learned at a young age to appreciate a good steak, a good marinade, and to know how I wanted my meat cooked (medium-well. A little pink is okay, but please, make sure it's not mooing).

Grandpa always fired up the grill when Aaron and I came to stay. Sometimes we had steak, sometimes chicken. But it seems like we always had barbecue. Grandma would fix some vegetables, and noodles with butter (Aaron's favorite). And Aaron and I would grab the bologna from the fridge and run outside to the barbecue room. Grandpa would put the balogna on the grill and keep an eye on it, flipping it over at the right time. When it was ready, he'd serve it to us on a napkin. There were always perfect black stripes across the meat, and we'd munch on that with Grandma's voice saying, "don't spoil your dinner!" ringing in our ears.

The more of my life that goes on since Grandma and Grandpa's deaths, the more the images and stories fade and blend in my head. But I'll never forget barbecued balogna, and how special it was. How Grandpa must have loved it, each time Aaron and I came flying in with balogna in our hands. I know I did.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Song of the Day

Okay, this song is so sad and yet haunting and beautiful. It's "You Could Be Happy" by Snow Patrol. I'm posting a video someone made of the lyrics.

The last line, especially, gets me:

"More than anything I want to see you go take a glorious bite out of the whole world."


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Today, in my daily call to Mom and Dad, I got talking to Dad about a few memories of Grandma and Grandpa Bean.

They were, obviously, Mom's parents. They lived in Sacramento all of my life, in the same house on Redding Avenue. Aaron and I used to visit them all the time, often spending the night. Grandma used to pretend that my ratty old Snoopy doll could talk to her.

Anyway, Dad suggested that I start writing my memories down. He has been thinking he ought to write a book called Green Street, about growing up on Green Street in the greater Salt Lake City area. I thought about it, and realized I have the perfect venue for writing down my family memories. You're reading it.

So every once in a while, I am going to make a point of sharing family memories, and maybe some pictures, as I get them scanned into my computer.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kill the Wabbit!

What's Opera, Doc? is an absolute cartoon classic. I remember it from my childhood days, and it is the reason I ever got to know Wagner at all. Thanks to Elmer Fudd, I'll always think of "Ride of the Valkyries" as the "kill the wabbit" song.

Anyway, on Thursday I bought a 2-DVD set of classic Loony Tunes shorts. It's not something I would normally buy, but I had an idea. An idea that I tried today, with awesome results.

I started my lesson off by making the kids listen to a few minutes of "Ride of the Valkyries," explaining that it is from a very old, very long opera. They immediately got that "Oh, here she goes with the dead white guy music again" look on their faces, but they shut up and listened.

But eyes lit up when the music started. "Hey, I've heard some movie!" I just smiled my Mona Lisa smile and replied, "Or a cartoon?"

When it was finished, I read a short blurb about the basic plot of The Ring of the Nibelung (the long ole opera that "Ride of the Valkyries" comes from).

"Where have you seen this story before?"

"Lord of the Rings!"

"Mmhmm..." See, my kidlets, everything old is new again.

By now, they were showing a little more interest in this opera stuff. I changed gears a little bit, asking if they knew what the word "parody" means. No one did, so I wrote the definition on the board and explained it. We talked about parodies they know of--Scary Movie, Dance Flick, Epic Movie, and others like those. They started getting it--a parody is making a spoof or farce out of an already-exsisting book, movie or piece of music.

I pulled out my big surprise finale. "We're going to watch a parody of the music we just heard." I turned on the DVD player and watched their faces light up as the familiar Warner Brothers logo popped up on the screen.

And I showed "What's Opera, Doc?" to my very happy students. When it was done, we talked about ways the short parodied the opera, music, and even ballet.

It was awesome.

Monday Music: Doves

In my mad Summer of British Music (my life has been ruled since May by Keane, Coldplay, Muse, and other British bands), I discovered Doves (I'm pretty sure their band name doesn't not contain the word "the"). They are, obviously, British, and they're pretty damned good.

This is "There Goes the Fear."

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Here's how it works in my brain:

You take a man of average attractiveness, add a guitar and an accent from the British Isles (in this case, Northern Ireland), and wham! I find him hot.

And it's not set in stone. You can substitute drums and make the guy be from Sussex. Add gorgeous blue eyes, a couple of cats and WALLOP! I'm in total lust.

The fact that both of these men can actually sing? Icing on the cake.

How I Really Feel

Just a few things I've been thinking about.

Balloon Boy

It was a hoax! Color me surprised! Yes, that is total sarcasm.

I was not one of the millions gathered around a TV or my computer monitor while the nationed prayed for the safety of six-year-old Falcon Heene, who everyone believed was on a wild balloon ride over Colorado. When I'm at work, I don't hear anything about what's going on in the wider world. Unless there is a terrorist attack, it's not going to interrupt teaching time.

That said, I came home to find out that there had been this huge drama all day, and, thankfully, the little boy was safe (just who names their child Falcon, anyway? People--stop giving your kids "unique" names. It's not cool, it's not clever, it's DUMB and MEAN.).

Anyway, the more I've read about this family, the more I want to pound my head against my desk until I bleed. What is wrong with America that we have such blatant, narcissistic fame-whores? Why are we still glued to the crazy reality TV shows like "Wife Swap" and its ilk? It's voyeuristic and gross.

I do watch America's Next Top Model--but that's a little bit different. The women in the show are actually trying to make a career out of modelling. Yes, there are moments of absurdity and immaturity (think about it--the contestants are all 25 and younger), but they are not whoring out their children for 15 minutes of fame. Which leads me to...

The Gosselins

Christ on a cracker. I have never watched one episode of John and Kate Plus 8, or whatever they are calling it these days. I have never given one good goddamn about these people or their sextuplets and twins. But I cannot even begin to escape them. They are EVERYWHERE. And John is an ASS.

Kate isn't much better. Look, I know that raising 8 children has got to be expensive. But sticking said children in front of a camera, and then proceeding to have the ugliest, most public divorce since Eminem and Kim Mathers has got to be the most damaging thing ever for these children.

And watching Daddy take all the money so he can entertain a parade of women who think he's their ticket to God-knows-what has to be really, really good for them, too.


This guy says he is.

Yeah, right. My foot.

So a white JOP in Louisiana denies an interracial couple a marriage license because he thinks their future kids will suffer?

News flash, dude: It's 2009, not 1959.

And denying this couple a marriage license is not necessarily going to prevent them from having kids, anyway.


And that's enough griping for now.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Need to Watch More Foreign Films

I finally got around to watching Amelie tonight--the famous French movie about an introverted, highly imaginative young woman in Paris. Audrey Tatou is gorgeous--very Audrey Hepburn. And Mathieu Kassovitz is lovely in the role of her equally quirky and lonely love interest.

It was a cute movie--very strange, but filled with wonderful images. I can see why it was so popular when it first came out.

More importantly, it reminded me that I'm woefully behind in my foreign films. I'll watch just about anything that comes out of England, but aside from "Life is Beautiful," I've pretty much ignored the rest of Europe. I'll have to rectify this.

My Week in Pictures

I haven't done one of these in a while. I don't have many, but there are some good ones.

Falling For Fall

I started putting my fall decorations out. Which reminds me, I need to get my fall wreath down. Even Millie is in the spirit.


I made chicken and cheese enchiladas, and from-scratch guacamole. They were pretty damned good.

Oh. Em. Gee.

I bought the MOST ADORABLE baby gift EVER for a colleague. Old Navy rocks. And yes, there's a Snoopy doll. Every baby needs a Snoopy doll.

(P.S. Yes, it's obviously a girl--Millicent Jane, to be called Millie. Which, of course, I love.)


In an attempt to cover up the massive damage Harley has done to my poor sofa, I bought a slipcover this week. I like it--though I need to go through and tuck some parts in a little better. This was the result of several minutes of wrestling with the sofa before thinking, "Eh, good enough for now" and settling in to watch Grey's Anatomy.

The 'Hood.

I stopped for gas after work yesterday, at the intersection of Filbert and Fremont, very near where one of my schools is. This is the intersection.

There's not much to it, but I was bored waiting for the tank to fill.