Sunday, May 16, 2010

Under the Sea for E&A, Part 2

Part Two

El Deonte flipped on his belly and went down, down, down, deep into the water, past the AFL, past the NFL, past majors and minors, 20,000 leagues under the sea. He stopped to snatch a snack from the octopus's garden and paid a call on his friend Nessie, who was very shy and refused to let herself be seen. El Deonte took them to a pineapple under the sea where we all had a sponge bath and felt very refreshed. We met creatures and crustaceans, anemone and abalone, sharks and sashimi. We swam through tunnels and through caves, over underwater volcanoes and under overwater...well overwater nothings, because we were trying to get to the bottom of the ocean. It was a lot of fun, but HOOOEEEE, were we tired. I was just about to give up, and I think Finn was, too. He had taken to singing nothing but Louie Prima songs and counting to 100 by fives, which can be fun, but after awhile it gets really annoying.
Finally, just beneath us, we saw it, glowing gently from the light of a thousand electric eels: The ocean floor! It was beautiful!

Grasses swayed. Corals reefed. Bright, unexpected colors emerged and then blended together, swirling and changing. There were hills and valleys, an endless landscape of enchanted beauty. Finn and I were so impressed that we couldn't speak, until finally he sighed, "Awesome," and for the first time, I thought I understood what that word really meant.
"Well, see ya!" El Deonte did a dorsal dance and with that, he was gone. Just like that.
Finn and I looked at each other and then out over the ocean floor. It was so still, so quiet. I have to tell you, I got a bit frightened, and I felt very lonely. Finn looked like he had seen a ghost.

Slowly our eyes adjusted to this strange, new world. As we became able to focus, and grew more familiar, we began to see all kinds of marine life, camouflaged, and hiding in plain sight! Finn threw back his head, which is to say he did a backflip, as he has no real body to speak of, and took off after a catfish. I hopped on a friendly seahorse and followed. Oh the fantastic sights we saw!
We whisked over a beach where the sand was so white it looked like sugar and saw Scarlett Poyntz, superstar, catching a few rays - gamma rays, I think they were.

We saw a fish who said that if we followed him and did whatever said, he would hang out with us forever. I thought he was a sucker, and so we moved on.We saw cheerleader fish with pompoms on their noses...

There were model fish in bright designer dresses, running away from phishtographers ...

There were crazy, vibrant colors and whooshes of sound and sparkle. We saw things I couldn't name and could never have imagined.
I saw a pointy spine fish....

Albino amphibians playing leapfrog...
...and cavorting crawfish, creeping and crawling.
The bottom of the ocean was AMAZING!
But what about the oil spill? Could it cover our deep-sea paradise like a cloud of black smoke?
Would fish of the future have to mutate and evolve in strange, scary ways?Or perhaps, will fish have to find smaller, new places to live?Finn doesn't believe any of that will ever happen. I'm going to agree with him. After all, how many talking dogfish heads do you know? He is as wise as he is strange. Still, I'll never forget this journey. My memories will always make me laugh and wonder at the beauty and diversity of nature. Finn and I are going to take care of our earth and figure out ways to make sure that it is safe and protected. Stay tuned for our next adventure!
P.S. for E.: POOP! I think you are groovy!
P.S. for A.: Almost time for a ride around the lake! I can't wait!

I'd like to be...

Under the Sea - A Story for A&E
One night I had an awful nightmare. I dreamed that there would be a horrible, toxic oil spill, and it would rage on and on for weeks and weeks, poisoning the ocean with its noxious black clouds. Upon waking up, I calmed myself, rocking in my bed and muttering, "It's only a dream, it's only a dream," but I couldn't shake the feeling of dread, so, together with my trusty swimming doghead, Finn, I decided to go to the bottom of the ocean and have a look-see (a look-sea!) for myself, to make sure everything was ok.
Finn is probably a Labrador-tuna mix; Labs are known as water dogs, and tuna have been called "the chicken of the sea", but that doesn't mean much to this story, and Finn is very brave.
We took a big boat the middle of the ocean. I was so excited, I hardly remember the ride...
Finn and I swam and dove, dove and swam, until we reached a band of water that had a different, special quality to it; it was warmer, and it felt like it was swimming around us as much as we were swimming through it. It seemed almost magical...
So we took a left and got out of there. Magic water is scary. Finn thought maybe Poseidon took a pee in the pool.
For awhile we swam peacefully. It was as if time stopped, and the water was so blue it almost seemed as if we were in the sky instead of in the ocean. We floated on currents and laughed when jets of bubbles tickled our feet and underarms. Everything was quiet, except for the sounds of the deep and Finn singing a song called "Horse with No Name." He loves that song. This is the version that he plays in his head. He likes it better than the original. I like any song that talks about "a fly with no buzz." That's just crazy. Unless the fly is dead. Talk about a buzz-kill!

Suddenly, there was a whoosh of motion and color, as if we'd been caught up in an orange and gold tornado. Fish were everywhere, shouting and laughing, mixing and mingling, talking on their I-Phones, riding bikes, making was insane! "Hey," I said to a coy looking boy koi, "Can you tell us how to get to the bottom of the sea? It seems like we've been swimming around in circles for days!"
"You've been swimming for days? Big deal! Cry me a river, why dont'cha?! I've been swimming my whole life, and worse still, every hour of every day it's the same old thing - I'm always in school! I never get recess, I never get vacation and I never graduate! Everywhere I go, I'm always in this school, and I am sick of it," carped the carp. (A koi is a type of carp. Carp is used to make gefilte fish. "Gefilte" is a Yiddish word, and "to carp" is to kvetch, which is also Yiddish, but people do it in every language. Look it up if you don't believe me.)
"I guess since you spend so much time in school, you must be pretty smart, huh?" I asked. I find that when dealing with irritated aquatic life, it's best to be both polite and complimentary.
"Yeah, I am," said the koi, and not too modestly. "But if you want to know something really important or difficult, you'll have to ask El Deonte, the smartest kid in school."
"El who?"
"He's over there. Oh man! I gotta go! Man-ta-ray, school sucks!"
Koi boy darted into the fish cyclone and was gone. Like so many in an enormous, over-populated and over-burdened school system, the little fish become lost. They're just tiny flashes and flecks of gold in a big chaotic cloud.
I looked for El Deonte. All I knew about him was that he was the smartest fish in school. How would I recognize him?
As it turns out, it wasn't all that difficult.
"Are you El Deonte?" I asked
"Fo' shizzle, my guppy!" He laughed. "Hey! You're not from around here, are you?"
"No," I said. "I'm from Arizona."
"Got any papers to prove that?" El Deonte asked suspiciously. "Oh well, never mind - I guess it doesn't really matter where you're from, now that you are here. What can I do for you?"
"Umm, I wanted to ask you if you could help me find my way to the bottom of the ocean, but now that I see you, can I ask you another question?"
"Of course you can, my Pisces brother! Dive on in!"
"Is that your brain, El Deonte? Are you so smart that your head couldn't hold all of your thoughts and so your mind popped out of your skull?" I whispered.
El Deonte laughed until his gills hurt. "No, you foolish fleshy fish! That's my fishfro! My fish 'do, if you will!"
At this point, Finn started cracking up, because El Deonte said "fish doo." Finn is like that. He thinks poop is hilarious.
"What are you laughing at? Are you laughing at my style, my flavor, my flow? Do you think my head looks like a butt?"
I had no idea what El Deonte was talking about, but I quickly tried to make things right.
"No, sir! You are one FINE looking fish! I think you are fabulous!" I cried. Finn just kept on laughing. He thinks the word "butt" is pretty funny, too, especially if it's used around the word "head".
"Well, I wasn't fishing for a compliment, but fine, whatever. Bygones. So, you want me to take you to the bottom of the ocean?"
"Yes, please," Finn and I sang in unison.
And that is exactly what he did.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Say-ruh Hay-ruh

This guy is a shit head.

Monday morning, bell rings. Only half way through my coffee. Put on a happy face.
Student comes in, looking at me skeptically. Kids are always suspicious on a Monday morning, as if they expect the possibility of work to be assigned at any moment.
"Miss! What's up with your hair? Yo Hay-ruh? What up? Every day your hairs are all over your head. Like an animal. A wild animal. With rabies. And on crack. Crack and meth. That's how your hair is! But not today. Today it's flat dead. Dead on your head! That's how your hair is. Shot dead, stuffed and hanging on your head, like a moose over the fire place. Dead, Sarah Palin style! Say-ruh hay-ruh! What's happenin' to yo hay-ruh, Miss?! was your weekend?"
School will be over in five short weeks.


Here are some scenes from one of the 116 marches that took place in cities across the US in reaction to Arizona's SB1070 law, and for immigration reform.