Thursday, December 30, 2010

Roses in December

Fasten your seat belts, folks; I think this is going to be a long one!

As you probably know, the very last place to develop Kodachrome film is processing it's very last roll today, and retiring the special Kodachrome machine that uses the special Kodachrome chemicals that give the film it's unique warmth and richness.
Kodak gave the final canister of film ever manufactured to a photographer named Steve McCurry, whom they thought had done an outstanding job of using the film to its best advantage. He is the man who took the iconic photograph "Afghan Girl", of a young green-eyed girl named Gula in a Pakistani refugee camp, for National Geographic. (Thirty years later he found her again and took another photo; she looks like she's had a rough life. Even her once bottomless eyes look faded and colder, like sand worn beach glass instead of tiny, twin planets.)
If you're interested, here are some images of from that ultimate roll:
He's quite the photographer, right?
Anyway, for some reason, the end of Kodachrome really bothered me. I heard about it on CBS Sunday Morning News, and couldn't stop thinking about it all week.
This is the season for reflection, and I am kind of obsessed with memory anyway, because I am always so astonished when reminded of all that I have forgotten. Not remembering distresses me, because, as some famous but completely forgotten person once said, "we are our memories." In a never-ending quest towards self-improvement, I find it imperative to be able to define who I am, in order to figure out who I want to be, and that involves analyzing what the elements of me are, so in addition to being fascinated by all things memory/perception-related, I have a personal stake in the subject. Perhaps that's why I write this blog - to remember what I think. (Here's a paraphrase of a really nice memory quote from J.M. Barrie: "[We have memories] so that we might have roses in December.")
The thing is, often, I am not sure if my memories are my own, or if they are manipulated mutations of memories. In other words, are memories organic, or are they products of external suggestions? The answer, of course, is "Yes." They are both. And many of my favorite memories are in Kodachrome. I can no longer distinguish the moment from the image that captured it, and the intensity or import of those moments is enhanced by the density and dynamism of, as it turns out, a unique developmental process and a slew of chemicals. Which came first: the picture or the memory?
My first camera was a Kodak X-15 Instamatic. I had it for years. I took pictures of my grandfather driving what I will always think of as a Cadillac, whether it was or not. Never much concerned with details like what's in the frame, I have a picture of his legs, from his white leather belt and polyester, maroon pants against the green leather seat, down to his matching white loafers on the pedals. On the floor is an orange golf tee. From the picture comes a cloud of sensation and factoids: the smell of his pipe; the way he ate so slowly, always the last up from the table on Friday nights; the strength of his arms when he let me feel his muscles; the taste of the peaches he grew; the songs that crooned from the radio of that car as it purred down Central Expressway, passed the drive-in that is no longer there, on our way to the now-demolished Luby's, where I could order anything I wanted, so long as I ate everything that I put on my plate. Holding that slightly blurry photo - a word that itself is giving way to the more popular "image"- I am transported to a world in which my grandmother is still living, and I can almost feel her hands in my hair, smell her soup on the stove, hear her whispering to me, as I'm sure she did to all of my cousins, that really, I am her favorite. I see the dress I get to pick out on my first day of third grade and remember how proud I was. I see my sister as a tiny golden sundrop, with a shag hair cut in a little fringed jacket, smiling up at me, posing for the camera, and my mother, beautiful and radiant, and my handsome beatnik father, a perfect family before I knew that families are never perfect. That one picture brings back an entire era that is forever bathed in a certain glow...a Kodak glow. The era is gone forever, as are high school, and leaving home, and my first love, and life-changing travels to astounding locales, and groups of friends that are long dispersed, and people, now, quite a few, who I will only ever see again in the photos in my albums or the snapshots in my head. In those pictures we are smiling and laughing, or walking and talking, sharing holidays and road trips and afternoons on the porch. I miss those people. Part of me is gone with them, and I have phantom pain in the part that remains.

It's not just that.

There are photos of our collective consciousness. I recently saw Paul McCartney on SNL and the again on the Kennedy Center Awards. At the awards, there was a retrospective of his professional life. There were the early black and white Beatles; funny to think that those well-tailored young men were considered radical and threatening. Pictures showed them growing up, growing into a phenomenon, growing apart. Cynthia on John's arm, Yoko on John's arm, Sean in John's arm and then no John at all. Later, there will be no George. At least Ringo is still out there, preaching peace and love.

Back to the show. Paul and Linda. Linda Eastman McCartney, herself a photographer, but not a member of the Eastman-Kodak family, maybe the love of Paul's life. There they are in a flowered, verdant field, on brown and white spotted horses, there they are making wings of their fingers, there she is, blonde curtain of hair obscuring her face as she leans over the piano. The camera at the Kennedy Center pans on Paul, looking a bit wistful and lost, slightly hollow. I am struck by how sad it is that these oft-viewed photos and film clips are all he has left of what must seem like another lifetime. Of course, there are also the memories one carries in the mind, but it is the double-edged blessing and curse that they fade. To me, it seems like McCartney himself is fading, and it is hard to watch.

On the tv, the light has changed. The retrospective has moved from technicolor to video to digital, and then the stage lights come up and instead of McCartney desperately attempting to channel himself when he was more vivid and in-focus, Gwen Stefani, looking bloodless and sounding soulless, minces on 6 inch stilettos through "Hello Goodbye" and "Penny Lane." Then Dave Grohl and Norah Jones, then Steven Tyler. The Beatles, once so powerful and revolutionary, so seminal and inventive, are now represented by others who are like the spark of a Zippo to an inferno. They were the big daddies, the memory makers of a generation, the song of growing up for so many, and in such different ways, from the teenyboppers to the Manson family. As a kid, I was a huge Aerosmith fan, but really, is sell-out Steven Tyler now elder statesman of music that once made a statement? Are grandparents and grandchildren going to dance together to "Big Ten Inch Record" or "A Lick and A Promise" in the same way they do to "All You Need Is Love" or "Let It Be"?
The thing about this is, as our touchstones crumble, we lose ways to communicate with each other. We lose our collective memory.
Ah, the times they are a'changin'. The final gasp of film - it's been dying for a pretty long time now-has left me nostalgic. I understand progress, and that those who can not adapt, and who cling to the obsolete will be left behind. I've always known this, but I am beginning to understand how easily it can happen, and how a person can get stuck in time, swallowed by memories. I myself have a fabulous new camera, a Canon with a lens that goes in and out - fancy!- and I love the fact that I can delete and edit my snapshots at will. Life is too short for a bad picture, especially one of me! But I think that's the heart of my feeling of loss right now. There was a time when thing in life were not so clear, sharp and harsh. There was a time when life itself seemed brighter, deeper, richer, warmer. Then, there was no deleting, no Photoshopping, no taking out the red eye. It's not so much that we saw things how they really were in the past; it's just that then, the imperfections seemed to add to the value, like the patina on an antique. We saw things in washes of color - "the greens of summer" - and comforting generalities - "makes me feel all the world is a sunny day."* I guess the past always seems more innocent, but now at a time in my life when I might enjoy a little delusion, the writing is stark on the wall: People get older, then old, then die, and others mourn, and then forget, and what seemed so important, so pivotal and monumental, is forgotten. I am not immortal, and everything ends.

That was a whole lot of words to tell you something you've already learned and probably remember, huh?

That being said, here are some digital images I have captured with my great camera in the final weeks of 2010.
* These words, of course, were written by Paul Simon, who has a new album coming out in 2011, So Beautiful Or So What.

(You'd think that in 2011, people would be more sensitive than to call those kids slow, right? I believe the correct term is 'Street Traversing Challenged'.)

Are you still here? Good! This is a really interesting story about what people want to be remembered and how they want to remember it:
See you in 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sick TV

Urrgh. I've been sick, and not just allergy sick; I'm talking can-I-make-it-to-the-bathroom sick. I hear it's going around, which only adds to a raging case of misanthropy I've been cultivating. Stupid people with their breath and fluids. One of those disease spreaders recently said that at least I was lucky enough to be on vacation when the dreaded stomach virus hit. It's a well-intentioned comment I know, but really people, THINK! Who wants to be sick on vacation! I would gladly miss school to lay on the couch all day watching bad tv than waste a day of vacation laying around on the couch watching bad tv.
Which, as it turns out, is all I have been doing for the past two days. While I am beginning to feel better in my tum-tum, the low-level, chronic hatred of human-kind that I suffer from is getting much, much worse. I watched the Ladies of The View (Oh, so shrill! Please, ladies, let the stupid-ass guest finish answering the stupid-ass question you just asked!) Maury Povich, Dr. Oz, Regis and Kelly, and Rachael Ray. Twice I woke up to the Today Show; not the part that has the news, but the part that has crazy, drunken Kathie Lee Gifford ("Welcome to the Today Show! It's Booze Tuesday! It's Wine Wednesday!") I also checked out Sesame Street; it's different from back in the day, but still good. I especially enjoyed a riveting segment on "Things that Open and Close," hosted by Elmo.
All parodies of daytime tv are true. It is inane, ridiculous, and actually destroys brain cells and independent thought. I know things now that are clogging my brain like a shellacking, a phrase I swear I hear every time I turn on any Fox station. I feel my synapses shattering, and those are some hard bridges to rebuild, I tell you what. Here are some things I have learned:
1. Erica Kane is still alive. She's still a pretty crappy actress, and still looks exactly the same as she has for the last 30 years. Now there's a shellacking for ya!
2. That guy who plays the Spanish teacher on Community and the crazy gangster guy in The Hangover is really a doctor. An MD. Really. Go figure.
3. Men are dicks and women are bitches. (I learned this on Maury. Hard to believe that show ever went off the air, huh? It was always so healing and uplifting...)
4. Some girl on a teenage mother show on MTV beat the crap out of her big, dough boy baby daddy on an episode and then got arrested for it.
5. Justin Bieber's girlfriend, who is two years older than he is - scandal!- and who is also apparently some kind of star, is no longer wearing her Promise ring, so that means they are doing it!
6. The first manned untethered hot air balloon ride covered 5.5 miles over Paris, France. (Jeopardy is not always as interesting as I remembered it.)
7. There is a big bed bug infestation, it's cold in the winter, and placebos can be effective. (I filed these in an ever-growing mind folder labelled "Things in the News I Thought Everyone Already Knew, But are Reported as if they had Just Been Discovered.")
8. "Blue carpet is killing me." This is from Nate Berkus. I am not sure who Nate Berkus is, but he has a show.
9. I am smarter than a 5th grader. Mostly.
10. Cable is 20,000 channels of crap.

I hope I feel better soon.

P.S. I would be remiss if I didn't mention two really good things that happened during "mah layin'-in spell": My friend sent me a FABULOUS New Year's present that was left on my front step in fancy-pants gift bag, which I found when, huddled up in my flannel pj's, robe, sweater and bedspread, I went outside to dump the water out of a big bucket I had just rinsed. I LOVE gifties, and there is nothing better than a happy surprise! Thank you, E.D.!

Also, my mom made me delicious soup and then came out, in the cold and rain to deliver it. When she got here she called me a "Poor Baby!" about thirty times and told me I was being brave.

Even when I am sick, I remain the Luckiest Girl In the World! Yay, me!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Coming Down

Santaski, the Polish Santas, take the hill. Merry Christmas Eve to all of you ho, ho, hos!
Photo by Joel Page, AP
"The Year Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On Death, Without Exaggeration

On Death, Without Exaggeration

by Wislawa Szymborska

It can't take a joke,
find a star, make a bridge.
It knows nothing about weaving, mining, farming,
building ships, or baking cakes.

In our planning for tomorrow
it has the final word,
which is always beside the point.

It can't even get the things done
that are part of its trade:
dig a grave,
make a coffin,
clean up after itself.

Preoccupied with killing
it does the job awkwardly,
without system or skill.
As though each of us were its very first kill.

Oh, it has its triumphs,
but look at its countless defeats,
missed blows,
and repeat attempts!

Sometimes it isn't strong enough
to swat a fly from the air
Many are the caterpillars
that have outcrawled it.

All those bulbs, pods,
tentacles, fins, tracheae,
nuptial plumage, and winter furs
show that it has fallen behind
with its halfhearted work.

Ill will won't help
and even our lending a hand with wars and coups d'etat
is not so far enough.

Hearts beat inside eggs.
Babies' skeletons grow.
Seeds, hard at work, sprout their first tiny pair of leaves
and sometimes even tall trees fall away.

Whoever claims that it's omnipotent
is himself living proof
that it's not.

There's no life that couldn't be immortal
if only for a moment.
always arrives by that very moment too late.

In vain it tugs at the knob
of the invisible door.
As far as you've come
can't be undone.

Translated from the Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

Monday, December 13, 2010


I moved to the place I live now when I was in the sixth grade. I didn't know anyone, and this plastic city was worlds away from the canopy of trees that framed my view of the forever kid's sky of the place I called home.

I made some new friends in the city. They were my everything, and they whisked me away from turmoil, fear and loneliness on Mongoose bikes, our black concert t-shirts fluttering out behind us as we flew down alleys, asphalt and adolescence.

We were an odd little group. There was a fat kid with glasses and acne, a short smart-ass guy, a scrawny chick, a dork, a tall, skinny brainiac, a nerd-girl, a depressed dude and a cheerleader. We loved each other.

We grew up and became a family. I have never forgotten them, and I will always be indebted to them. They changed me, and will always be part of me. They were my family, and I loved them. I still do.

Today, the leader of our gang died. It was unexpected. It always is. The atheists in our group said, "See, this proves it. There is no God." The believers spoke of how blessed we were to know him. We are all right. He was a great man. He was smart - really smart - and funny and so, so generous. He adopted us all, and brought us together, and even though we drifted from each other, none of us drifted from him.

Now we are all going to gather together again. I can't believe he won't be with us.

I just can't believe it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Brian Has Left the Building

I had to go to a meeting at school the other day, in which my 'learning community', which is our new term for 'department', meets to discuss our 'learning objectives' which means 'test scores', and our 'content objectives', which means 'things on which we are to be evaluated', which means, really, 'word walls and foldables'. You may recall that word walls are a complex intellectual stimulatory tactic, wherein the educator puts words on walls, and foldables prompt cognitive retention sparked when the learner folds things, particularly if said things are very colorful. For a low performing high school like ours, these 'teaching strategies' are non-negotiable, and educators must be constantly reminded of their importance and application. That is why we have staff development training and learning communities; if we all understand how to comply with non-negotiables like these, if we believe, we will achieve, and failure is not an option!

These meetings just kill me. I used to bring a book, but then I felt guilty about being openly rude, even though apparently texting during a meeting, especially if one is an administrator, is considered acceptable etiquette. I have tried to participate in the 'dialogue', but I found out that 'dialogue' really means monologue, and too many questions will get you a room out in the portables, where fire alarms don't ring and metal detectors don't matter. Now I just sit quietly and draw, singing show tunes in my head from musicals featuring transvestites. (I call them my tranny tunes, and I can't tell you how many times they have been the only positive elements in otherwise unbearable situations. I have worked up a very impressive mash-up from Rocky Horror and Hedwig songs, if you want to hear it later.)

As if the actual attending of the meeting wasn't bad enough - I could be more detailed about how totally excruciating they truly are, but I don't want to appear bitter - they start well before school begins, at the crack of dawn. Perhaps you don't know this about me, but I am not so much of a morning person. I wake up like the Blob, morph into Young Crankenstein, and eventually become enraged, like the Incredible Hulk, by the very fact of morning...what I'm trying to say is that waking up, for me, is a monstrous experience. (Like how I did that?) So, because I don't like to be told to get up and go to work (see the last several posts on my you're-not-the-boss-of-me attitude), I am always late, no matter how early I get up, and my clothes are always mismatched, because on meeting days I tend to get dressed in the dark.

When I got to the meeting, they had just finished discussing new innovations in word walls (your rooms can be even more print-rich and stimulating if your word walls are colorful, graphic, and in fun shapes and sizes!), and about how our evaluations would hinge on important teaching strategies like how often we changed or added to our word walls, or if our lesson plans made note of how we were incorporating foldables into our instruction on test taking for success, which is basically all that we teach.

I was happy that I missed that part.

I am then chided for being late, and told that a note will be made of my tardy and it will go into my file for my evaluator. We have to be constantly reminded that our evaluations, on which our future employment in the glorious BSISD depends, can and will be used against us if we don't 'buy into and comply' with the 'data-driven best practices', because it has become clear to our administrators that if left to their own devices, teachers would just do what they thought was effective and meaningful, as opposed to what the district's highly paid consultants decree is effective and meaningful.

As I thought about that, I began to get cranky.

The meeting culminated with our learning community's administrator, a former English teacher who often seems to struggle with subject-verb agreement, sharply reminding us that we had to add more rigor to our lessons about word walls, foldables and test-taking. While we would be asked to defend anything over a 10% failure rate (a good teacher motivates kids to pass and does whatever he/she can to make sure that students are successful in learning! Remember, failure is not an option!), it is imperative that our classes are not easy, blow-off classes. We want our students to have a high degree of 'college-readiness', and according to the data, we have not yet reached that goal. (Last year, 3% of our graduating students were deemed to be college ready in an independent survey conducted by our town's newspaper. This year, our goal is 80%.) The reason we have not reached our goals (or is it 'our objectives'?) is because teachers are not completing the mountains of paperwork we must fill out in order for us to truly know our students and meet their needs, because teachers are not using the best practices the highly paid consultants have been recommending for the past 15 years (I wish I could be highly paid to recommend the exact same stupid strategies year after year!), and because teachers just refuse to make their classes appropriately rigorous, mostly on account of - here, the administrator winked and said, "You all know who you is!" - laziness.

Buttons popped off of my blue and red plaid shirt. My purple (they looked blue in the dark) pants frayed above the knees as my rock-hard calves ripped through the flimsy fabric. I was pissed, David Banner-style, and I needed to kill.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to satiate my blood lust because the bell rang. Today, I was going over the concept of the journey motif, as evidenced by the archetypal epic poem, The Odyssey, and revisited in the movie Cast Away. Today we were discussing how Odysseus had to recognize and overcome hubris, just as Chuck Noland, the hero in the movie, had to give up the need to control, in order to discover what Maslow calls "self-actualization', or what occurs when a human being's highest level of needs are met: morality, creativity, spontaneity, adaptability, a lack of prejudice and an acceptance and understanding of fact. I didn't have time to do a foldable on this stuff, so my students probably weren't learning anything, and the notes I have been desperately trying to teach them to take and use most likely won't add to their college readiness, on account of I forgot to put key words up on the wall. Worse still, I did not make a lesson plan this week, for the fifth year in a row, so it is impossible for me to have any idea of what I am doing and, worse still, if I get evaluated today, my administrator will not be able to see that what I am teaching is what I said I would be teaching - with foldables!- in the weekly lesson plan I am supposed to turn in by 8:00 every Monday. Crap.

At lunch, the Sign Language teacher came into my room, all sweaty and wild eyed. Seems he'd been upset by the rigor talk, and in order to be in compliance, had attempted to make meaningful connections for his students with the real world by focusing on a topic in current events, having his students research and write about it, and then debating the topic in sign language. I had suggested the use of current events to him previously, because, even though I had not seen any data to prove it, I suspected that our students didn't know anything about what was going on in the world. I came to this conclusion by talking to them. Obtaining information in this way is generally frowned upon, for it has many variables and is difficult to standardize and thus measure effectively.

The teacher - I'll call him Fraidy Fraiderton- was worried because he couldn't understand one of his student's opinions as it was stated, and so he didn't know how to grade it, and, even though it was nonsensical to him, he wanted to give it a high grade, because the student "tried so hard." Since I was an English teacher, could I read it and tell him what the student was trying to say, so that he could give the kid 100 points? He already had three students in that period who he had to fail, because they didn't ever come to class, and his passing rate was beginning to look suspicious. Students LIKE to go to GOOD teachers classes, and so they show up. Absence rates go in teacher's evaluations also.

Before you read the kid's paper, let me remind you that I teach in a high school. The topic, the debate over "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," had been discussed for a week in class, and students had 15 minutes to write their opinion. The student is a general education student in the 10th grade, has never failed a class, and is liked by all of her teachers, because she always turns in her work and pays attention. She is by no means the weakest student in the class. What follows is exactly what was written.

I think we should keep Dont ask dont tell, because if you dont ask you cant tell somebody what you want to say Cause all you couldnt do is not saying anything just stare at the person that you were going to talk too. That would be soo boring! but if you cant tell by talking you could always finger spell to the person if not than you could just write it down I mean if we don't do does things than I guess we don't have a Brian. We just can't ask somebody What there talking about cause they might be talking about your friend that you talk too. Don't you agree????

I feel sorry for Mr. Fraiderton. He loves his students. He knows that they have been undereducated for their entire academic careers, because the system that is in charge of educating them is totally and irreparably damaged, and has lost focus of what it means to teach and learn. He understands that many of his students, while perhaps illiterate, are smart, and eager to learn new things. They come from a different world, one in which harmful, hopeless cycles are seldom broken or altered, and where problems are more dire and pressing than those encountered in algebra class. Sometimes, their parents die, or go crazy, or are deported, or locked up. Sometimes they just split, or they stay, and do absolutely everything in their power to give their children any available opportunity or luxury. They look for answers not on word walls, but in the advice of others, and often, that advice is incorrect, poorly thought out, not applicable to their situations, or in a language they can't understand. They cut themselves and sniff air freshener, glue and heroin, join gangs and have sex in alleys behind dumpsters. They have babies. They look for comfort. And they come to school.

The teachers take them in, and do the best that they can. They cajole, joke, scold, suffer abuse, lash out, wheedle, persuade, compromise, give second chances, aim high, and go low in order to meet the students at a common ground. They call CPS and buy pizza for parties they aren't supposed to have. They stay after the bells ring and come early, and buy gifts and coats and binders and books. Sometimes they cheat for the kid, and sometimes they don't and risk being hated and turned upon. They are highly educated or downright stupid. They love the students, and the students follow them around like loyal puppies, sometimes, and other times, the students break the teachers' hearts or steal their wallets. Some kids soar with wings that have had the feathers plucked one by one, and inspire everyone lucky enough to have watched them take off. These kids never give up, and refuse to succumb to the gravity pull of despair or doubt. They are amazing. Some kids never stand a chance, and some just don't care.

Little by little, the daily drama gets to be so much. It's overwhelming. Some teachers like Mr. Fraiderton cave in to the pressures from above and feel like if they just follow the rules, if they just do what they're told, everything will be all right. Some teachers think the data has meaning, and is pure and factual, above manipulation and agendas, and others don't even look at it, but mindlessly copy and paste numbers into columns because that is what they are asked to do.Some take up drinking, or become obese, or get prescription pills, or have nervous breakdowns. Some do become lazy and ineffective, or stubborn and mean-spirited. It does happen. But not that often.

I have started to think that if I teach anything, pretty much anything at all, and if I can connect with a kid, and show them that the world is big and life can be wide and crammed with possibility, I am doing good. Maybe not a good job, but doing good, and that has become the most important thing to me. The lessons don't fit on the plans I no longer make. The "teaching" part is getting harder and more ridiculous. I'm frustrated and beaten down. I am out of sync with the pedagogy of my field, and I am resentful of authority. I want to give up, but something in me keeps me from finding something else. I want to scream and wish I would just shut up. It's been this way for along time now.

TGIF, right?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How do you make a hormone?

I got a lot of very positive response regarding my blog on faith, and by "a lot", I mean "some", but of course not near as much as on my post about how eggs make me queasy. Still and all, this leaves me to believe that you out there in the blogosphere are hungering for an opportunity to take a bite out of a topic you can chew on, something with a little substance, like a Christmas goose (has anyone ever even had a Christmas goose?), or some hefty, Palin-hardy moose jerky. Because of that, because I really listen to what the people want, because I honestly aim to please, here is something else you might like to consider:
I have lived - in sin, cuz I'm real alternative sassy!- with several gentlemen associates. One, in particular, used to cock his head at me quizzically whenever I complained about things like the fact that he just left his dishes piled up in the sink, or never thought to take out the trash , or help with dinner. "Oh," he'd say, a look of beatific epiphany descending over his face, "I get it! Whose time of the month is it? Is your little friend here?"
Of course, that is some infuriating douchebaggery right there! What guy doesn't know the dangers of saying something like that to a woman? Though perhaps hormonally deluged, women are as rationally sound as men at ANY time of the month! We are able to set aside the constant, somewhat traumatic glut of estrogen that flows thickly through are brains and veins and be as quietly calm and logical as any man, right ladies?! Can I get an "Amen!"? He was very tall, so I remember standing on the coffee table to look into his beady little eye and explain to him that, whether the moon was howling in my hoo-hoo or not, it ALWAYS pissed me off when he expected me to come home after working all day and clean up after him as if he was a child, and that his actions made me feel disrespected and taken for granted. I felt like I was always trying to make his load lighter, because that's the way I roll, but that he thought more of himself than he did of me, and that was the basic, irreconcilable difference between us. I felt that way each and every time, but sometimes, perhaps when the moon and my uterus were full, sometimes I wanted to suffocate him in his sleep, or sneak soap under his Fred Flintstone feet when he took a shower, or pepper his stupid, non-nausea causing Sunday breakfast omelet with broken glass and shaved doo doo. I ask you, does that have anything to do with my natural cycle? I think not! Of course not! Anyone would react the same way, right, gentle reader?

I bring this up only in light of a teensy, insignificant happening, one that I am inclined to ignore, but still gives me slight pause. Today I watched an episode of an anti-climactic, dull show called "Strange Days with Bob Saget." That's right, the Full House guy, and I'm not talking about uber-hottie John Stamos. It's bad enough that I recorded it, to watch at my leisure, but here's the thing...I almost cried a little. Just a little, and no tears actually formed, but still...

I checked the calendar. The full moon is right around the corner.

That doesn't mean anything, right? People still take advantage of the perceived weaknesses of others whether I am on my period or not. Reasonable people can go nutso for seemingly no reason, but that doesn't mean there really is no reason, right? And a good man can still be a good man, even if the differences really were irreconcilable; that's just the way that life is. John Lennon, in his recently discovered last interview said, "All you need is love. I believe in it. It's damn hard, but I believe in it absolutely." I agree with him, even though I know that sometimes love doesn't seem like near enough, and sometimes, no matter how much you love another person, things get away from you, they blind you, and suddenly you dream of serving up a deadly Sunday poopelet.

But getting a lump of any kind over Bob Saget? Even I gotta blame that on ol' Aunt Flo. Menstruation is a bitch.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Not just for breakfast - or ever again!

Here is another example of how stubborn I am, and how I hate to be told what to do:

Almost every weekend, I want a big egg breakfast. I like breakfast tacos, migas, Huevos Rancheros, scrambled eggs, an omelet, soft boiled eggs or, if I wake up feeling posh, Eggs Benedict or Florentine. Because this is what I want, this is what I have. The problem is, eggs make me sick. They upset my stomach and make me feel like puking all day. All eggs are devilish, to me, and it's been this way for years. Still, I eat them. This makes me hate myself. I wish it made me hate eggs. I think I only want them more, because every Friday night, I forbid myself to eat eggs on Saturday morning, and every Saturday morning, I ask myself who the hell I think I am, forbidding me to do ANYTHING, let alone telling me what to eat?

I just wish I didn't want them. I need an eggsorcism.

Get it?