Monday, June 30, 2008

And the lie is....

Number 4!

Kudos to Nicki and Christina, who smoked me out.

I have never broken any bones. My youngest sister, however, DID break her arm in 3 places when she was five, and she was in traction for 6 days. The rest of the story was a whopper.

As for the rest:

1. To the best of my knowledge, I really did sit next to Ja*ck Nic*klaus on a flight when I was 16, and I really did ask him if he golfed, for a living. (I suppose it's possible that the person was pulling my leg, but, considering I didn't have a clue who he was, at the time, that doesn't really make sense. Also, the guy LOOKED like Ja*ck Nic*klaus (believe me, I was shown pictures by my father and grandfather later when I told them the story.)

2. It's also true that I almost ran off and married a guy who became a Catholic Priest. (Our plan to run off and get married was spawned by his parents insane hatred of me, who they had only met one time for 10 minutes, and they threatened T~ with all kinds of crazy punishments for continuing to be with me. They were nuts. ) I was a freshman in college and T~ was a senior, we attended a small, incredibly conservative liberal arts college, which I left after my freshman year, for a variety of reasons, but, mostly because my heart was broken. Ten years to the day after the last time I saw T~, I found out about the priesthood. (I was strangely relieved to know that there was an actual REASON (aside from being Swedish) for his parents vitriolic hatred of me, even if the knowledge was ten years in coming. At least I could see that there wasn't something intrinsically wrong with ME - anyone who stood in the way of priesthood was wicked to them. Does it make sense that I find that comforting?) (I am not sure if becoming a priest was something that T~ really wanted or only what his parents wanted for him. If it wasn't what he wanted, I feel sad for him, but, honestly, happy for me. Things worked out well for me, as I'm quite sure if I had married T~ at 19, we would have been divorced by the time I was 25.)

3. Yes, Husband and I really did spend the six weeks immediately following our wedding working as camp counselors on a Boy Scout Ranch. We did this because we had been hired by the AEON*Amity Intercultural Corporation to work in Hitachi, Japan, and we were supposed to arrive in Japan at the end of August/beginning of September. We had left our apartment in Tucson at the end of May, and so our options were limited. We needed to make some money (we would only be paid once a month in Japan, so, we needed some money to live off of for about 3 weeks in a foreign country, and we needed to pay for our plane tickets to Japan (the company did eventually reimburse us for those, but, we had to pay for them upfront.) So, our solution was to return to the Ranch/Camp where we had worked the previous summer. We had a place to live, no expenses to speak of, and at the end of the summer, we had earned the money (just barely) that we needed to get to Japan. (It was stressful and not ideal, and, we did take an actual honeymoon about 18 months later.)


Thursday, June 26, 2008

3 Truths and a Lie

Husband is home and feeling better. (Knock on a giant, giant piece of wood.) He has been very tired (I think he slept almost 10 hours last night, which is really weird for him), but, I think he just really needs rest after the whole ordeal.

So, to lighten the mood, I bring you, 3 truths and a lie. Everyone else is doing it. (Okay, by everyone else, I mean, Nicki ( and Nicole (, whose blogs I finally had time to read today for the first time in, I don't know, weeks.) So, the idea is, I list four "facts" about myself, and then you try to guess which one is the lie.

Let's play, okay?

1. When I was 16 years old, I once sat next to a very famous golfer on a very tiny plane, which was flying from Lyon, France to Nice, France. Anyway, the tiny plane was full, and the plane was so small there was no first class. I was very young and naive, and when this very famous golfer asked me, conversationally, what I was doing in France, I told him. And then I asked him what HE did, and he said he was a golfer. I looked at him incredulously and I said, "You GOLF? For a LIVING?" And he laughed and said "yes." Then I said, "my dad likes to golf," and he said, "well, tell your dad you sat next to J*ck Nickl*aus on your flight." And that is how I totally insulted a man that the golf world evidently thinks is a god.

2. I almost married a man (at the stupidly tender age of 19) who broke off our plans and left me to become a Catholic Priest. (I wouldn't know that was the reason until a decade later. I spent ten years believing he didn't marry me because his over-bearing and controlling mother didn't want him to marry a Swedish girl. No I'm not kidding, that's what he told me.) (His parents were Irish-American. Do you suppose there is some Irish-Swedish feud that has been quietly raging in Northern Europe for decades?) In retrospect, and with hindsight 20/20, I can say, with a good deal of humor, "Thank God I didn't marry him!"

3. Husband and I spent our honeymoon (well, the six weeks immediately following our wedding) working as camp counselors at a Boy Scout Ranch. It was a working ranch with horses and long horn steer, and it was filled with 7-9 year old boys. (We have consistently stated that this is why we waited to have children until we had been married for 5 years.) When we first arrived at the Ranch, the AirStream trailer the Boy Scouts of America was providing to us as "married staff housing" was full of mice and had no running water. We spent the first week of our marriage sleeping on separate sofas in the First Aid cabin. On one occasion I was blockaded in the cabin by one of the long horn steer that had gotten loose. A long horn steer is very, very large. And extremely intimidating.

4. When I was 8 years old, I broke my arm in 3 places and spent 6 days in the hospital in traction. My siblings and I were playing "Superman" in the basement, which involved standing on top of a toy refrigarator and leaping forward, to land on our stomachs on an old mattress. Being a clutz, I missed the mattress and landed on my arm (and my face.) I told my mother that I fell on the steps going down into the basement, and I never told her the truth until I was almost 25 years old (and she was still ticked!). The only thing that didn't suck about being in traction (because pretty much EVERYTHING totally sucked about that) was that it was my right arm that I broke, and I am right handed. During the time I had my arm hanging above my head, attached to a traction pole, I learned to use my left hand, and out of necessity continued to use it for many things until the case came off weeks and weeks later. To this day, I am able to do most things with my left hand, except write.

Okay, so, take a guess? Which one is the lie?


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

He's Home from the Hospital

He's feeling 'mostly better'. He had not asked for any pain relief in about 48 hours, and the last scope (the super-fun scope of the lower intestine) came back 'clear'. So, he's home. If the pain comes back there are some other tests they can do - but, as of right now, they are diagnosing this a "viral". (Complicated by the start of two ulcers which they are now treating with Prilosec and will treat with antibiotics if the biopsy of the ulcers comes back as positive for something called H. Pillori (sp?). They have also diagnosed him with IBS, but, I guess they think there was something viral involved to make this awful pain last for two weeks and be so severe.)

I am so very relieved that the tests for many of the very, very awful things came back as negative. We are actually still waiting on a test for e.coli and a test for something called Acute Intermittent Prophyia, which I found on the Internet by googling "acute abdominal pain" and "nausea" and "hot bath". (Husband kept saying the only place he felt better was in a really hot bath, which, if you know Husband, you know is CRAZY TALK for him. That's why I googled it.) Evidently, they are only testing because I asked about it (well, and the GI doc said "it's not an insane idea, only extremely unlikely.") But, basically, they are only testing because I asked about it, I suspect that there are probably notes all over his file that say, "wife is insane and paranoid and a LAWYER." Doctors hate a paranoid attorney, right?)

I am just hoping and praying that he is getting over what ever awful thing this was. He was so sick, and it was very, very scary.

Nothing in my life has felt normal for two weeks. There are so many things I don't know how to take care of - the pool, the lawn, myself (I think I put food in my mouth mostly only if my mom or aunt or grandmother put it in front of me and said, "eat this.") (I did, at my mother's direction, drive to the Thai takeout place and pickup Pad Thai for us, but, it was under her marching orders, you know?). I couldn't even figure out how to make coffee in the coffee pot I bought Husband for Father's Day LAST YEAR. (The man has made coffee for me every morning for 13 years...and the absence of that bit of normalcy really hit me hard, and deeply. I don't know why, but, with so many things not feeling right or normal, the fact that I didn't have coffee, not just coffee, but, HUSBAND'S coffee, made by HIM, for US, made me despondent. Does that make sense?)

Anyway, Husband is home, the kids are back (my brothers and sisters took them camping in Indiana, thank you very very much, life-saving brothers and sisters), and I'm hoping for an uneventful week.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

I am damaged at best*

Husband is still in the hospital. He looks (knock on wood) considerably better than he did when I took him there on Thursday afternoon. (Which was, bad. Really, really bad. He could not walk, could not stand up, I had to get a wheelchair to get him into the ER. It was scary.) He was able to eat real food (well, hospital food) all day yesterday without being wracked by excruciating pain a few hours later, which is a first in the last 2 weeks, so, maybe that's a good sign.

We still do not have an answer for what has made him so sick. They have scoped his stomach (where they found 'irritation' and 'swelling' and 'two small areas of erosion' that were 'insufficient to have caused' his current situation), scanned his gallbladder, xrayed. etc. His arms are bruised from all the blood they've taken. (And this is a man who gives religiously to the Red Cross, so, getting blood out of him is usually not a big deal.)

I have been told by the doctor that there is no way this is e.coli0157 or salmonella poisoning, but, they also don't have the test results back from those tests yet, so, I guess I'll believe it when I see a negative test result...

Tomorrow they are scoping his intestines.


*some song by Lifehouse, title I cannot remember right now, but, the lyrics are a pretty good fit for my current state of mind

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Not Better

Husband is back in the hospital.

I feel kind of numb right now.

Still no clue what is wrong. A specialist is seeing him in the morning.

Thank you for all of the good thought. If you're the praying sort...please keep on doing that. And that you to the person who emailed me about the HIDA test of the gallbladder. I have requested that they do that, but, it has to be requested by the specialist.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

End of Rope, Meet Lawmommy

I have just had to page the doctor for the fourth time in less than 10 days.

My husband is not better. Right now, he is feeling worse. Nobody seems to have a f**king clue what might be wrong with him. Every test is "fine".

Except that he is a man who runs 5 miles, five to six times a week, who eats massive amounts of fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and who cannot, at this moment, get out of bed because of the pain in his abdomen. And that, frankly, is NOT F**KING FINE.

So, the doctor has told me to give him two Percocet and a Zofran and some gatorade, and to come in to the doctor's office in the morning. Except that I am supposed to be in court at 10:00 and again at 2:00, so, I'm calling my mom for help, and I really need to go and have a good long cry now.

So this is me, at the end of my rope. Just needed to get that off my chest.


We'll get a table near the street, In our old familiar place*

Thirteen years ago today, on a scorchingly hot day, Husband and I got married in a small United Methodist Church, that had no air conditioning.

We had a formal tea in the Church's fellowship hall immediately afterwards, with a gorgeous wedding cake, and hors d'oeuvres and canapes, and pianist for ambiance...and it was very, very, very hot. And later that evening, we had our wedding reception at a small reception hall, with dinner and dancing and a groom's cake and another small wedding cake, and the air conditioning broke halfway through the reception, and it was - well, it was hot.

That's mostly what people remember. The cloying, dizzying heat of that day. ( I am guessing that if you were to ask Family4Peace or JDEgirl or Mommy of One, if they remember anything about our wedding day, they would say, "It was hot.")

We should have known better. My younger sister had gotten married the same weekend, the year before (her anniversary is therefore one day after mine), and it had been just as hot the day SHE got married. (Our youngest sister learned from this, and when she got married, two years later, she could have gotten married on the 15th of June - but she said, "and get hit with the heat that YOU TWO had? No way." And she got married in October. Smart girl.)

And while I do remember the weather, I also remember standing at the back of the church, in my 1920's-vintage-style wedding gown, with my floor length veil, and looking at Husband-to-be, and thinking that I had never been more sure of anything, ever, in my life, than the fact that I wanted to marry him.

Our wedding was far from perfect. There was an unwanted guest at our wedding, who is now serving 25 years in prison for a crime he committed the week after we got married. My wedding pictures of our immediate family would soon become outdated when there were two divorces within a year of the photos being taken. (My father actually went so far as to have his second wife airbrushed from his copies of my wedding photos!) And the weather, well, I think we've covered that.

But, I also remember my grandfather's sweet voice, singing O Promise Me, and that all of the people who meant the most to us in the world, were there with us. And at the end of the day (at which time we filled our honeymoon suite's jacuzzi with VERY COLD WATER and crawled in to keep from melting), he was my Husband and I was his Wife, and that was all that really mattered. The cake was delicious (pistachio-chocolate with dark chocolate ganache filling, it was sinful, really), and the groomsmen were handsome, and the bridesmaids were lovely, and it was my Wedding Day, and I will never forget it.

(This has been a rough week for Husband. And me. He was in the hospital over the weekend, and I was very, very worried. And we still don't know what made him sick, but we are hopeful that he is one the mend, because I would surely be lost without him, because he is my everything.)


*Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, Billy Joel. (This is the song that brought Husband and I together, and a crisp, chilly November night, in 1992, when we were both 20-years-old.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Under Pressure

So. I'm a bit stressed. In fact, yesterday, I sent an email to two of my Girlfriends announcing, "I am a ball of freaky stress." And that about sums up my state of mind.

Husband has been sick. Really, really, sick. Go to the ER at 3:00 in the morning sick. Again to the doctor the next afternoon sick. Doubled over, stomach cramping, can't keep anything in him, sick, sick, sick.

And before you ask, yes, he ate tomatoes.

But, the doctor doesn't think it's salmonella. The doctor doesn't know WHAT it is, and the cultures they ran on him at the ER won't have results until Monday.

They told us lots of scary sounding things it WASN'T. (Because they took a bunch of blood and xrays and said his "organs are working fine and his bloodwork is fine." It's also not his gall bladder, or kidney stones...)

This, coupled with Gabriel's recent stomach making me very nervous/stressed/freaked out about my family's health.

At the moment, Husband is floating in percocet/Zofran induced stupor, in an attempt to stop the stomach spasming which is evidently the source of the godawful pain. And I guess a narcotic/anti-nausea coma is, you know, preferable to writhing in pain and reaching for a barf bag...

There are many things I'd like to blog about, like, for example meeting the lovely E. from Looking For George, for lunch (when she happened to be in my neck of the woods the other day), which involved 7 balloons and 7 children between us, and Lana telling E. that she was, in fact, not from Vietnam, but "from NOWHERE.". (Yeah, possibly there is whole lifetime's worth of therapy to be had from the one sentence alone. Oy.)

Other blog worthy topics...the boyscout camp tornado in Iowa (oh my Lord, so scary, so sad)...the endless cycle of rain-heat-rain that seems to have befallen us here in the midwest (can you say STICKY??) Family 4 Peace is an awesome friend who my kids adore, but, how she also tried to kill me with a 5-lb hula Charlaine Harris has a new Sookie Stackhouse book good the show LIFE is on NBC, and how did I miss this great story, and how happy it has made me that NBC has made season 1 available on-line...see, many, many blog worthy things.

But, right now, I'm mostly just feeling worried. And wet. And sticky. And worried.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I was an Ebay virgin

Until 10 days ago, I was an ebay virgin.

Yep, you read that right. I had never bought anything on ebay. Ever. I would occasionally look at things on ebay, and wonder, "hmm, how does this work?"

But, I never cared enough to find out until I couldn't find something that I wanted.

And the thing that I wanted but could not find was...

Orchids, made out of jade.

I know, it's obscure, right?

See, Lana's name, in Vietnamese, means "jade orchid". And I wanted to give her pre-school teachers, well, jade orchids. So they would always have something unique to remember her by.

And I found an ebay shop that had many, many pendants, made of jade, carved in the shape of orchids. They were perfect. They were EXACTLY what I wanted.

And I couldn't figure out how to order them!

So frustrating.

Anyway, I schlepped myself over to my sister's house, who helped me buy the items on ebay. And it wasn't hard, so, I'm not sure why I thought it would be difficult. (This was a "buy it now" situation, as opposed to an auction.)

And the necklaces arrived today, and they are GORGEOUS.

The ones I bought were in a medium price-range, but, they have stuff from very very inexpensive to kind of pricey.

So, if you are looking for jade jewelry, I am very happy with this place: - I wasn't sure if I would be able to find orchid made out of jade, and they had just exactly what I wanted.

I hope her teachers love them.


Oh, A Meme, why not? Everyone else is!

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?

Crunching Department of Labor Statistics numbers for a large research company, recently moved into Husband and my first house, celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary.

2. What 5 things are on your to-do list for today?

Go to hearing at 10:00 AM.

Go to hearing at 11:00 AM.

Go to hearing at 1:30 PM.

Draft [document] for X client.

Draft [document] for Y client.

3. List some snacks you enjoy.

Ice Cream
Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?

Pay off my house. Buy a condo in Montreal. And a condo someplace warm. Create trust funds for my kids. Build a domestic violence shelter. Give a lot of money to charities doing direct humanitarian work in Vietnam. Travel to interesting but expensive far away places and stay in obscure but luxurious accommodations.

5. List the places you have lived.

Tuscon, Arizona
Custer, South Dakota
Cannes, France

Hitachi, Japan
Great Lakes/Midwest region of the US

6. List the jobs you have had.

*Legal secretary

*Pizza maker/Ice Cream Scooper/Gift Shop attendant (all in one)

*Mr. Grassy Head Sales Person (I worked at a cart in the Tucson mall, selling Mr. Grassy Head, a novelty product for people living in the desert who were starved for grass. He was an indoor plant shaped like a man's face, with grass growing on his head.)

*Fake designer hand bag sales person (this was yet another cart in the Tuscon mall, where I started working after Mr. Grassy Head went belly up. I sold knock-off handbags. It was eventually shut down by the Chanel corporation. Somewhere in Arizona, a man named Ari owes me three days pay, for the three days leading up to the scandalous Chanel shut down. Please note that I was 22 years old at the time, going to grad school in sociology, and I was just trying to make enough money to eat. I didn't realize it was technically illegal, and my classmates were selling their plasma and dancing naked on poles to get by.) (Okay, only one of my classmates was dancing naked on a pole. Er, near a pole. Poles were involved in the dancing, is all I know. So, what I'm saying is, I may have been selling fake handbags, but, at least I wasn't a topless dancer. And let's face it, I just don't have the rhythm to be a topless dancer, or the stomach to sell my own plasma, so, what choice did I have?)

*Hotel Concierge (this was the job I got after I got burned by the knock-off designer handbag cart. It was a much better gig, and the Hilton corporation never shorted me any pay.)

*English Teacher



Okay. That wasn't so bad. Your turn.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Last Day

One summer weekend, when I was eleven years old, my father and I were stuck with nothing to do at my grandparents "cottage" on Big Wolf Lake in Michigan. (It was not so much a cottage as a house-trailer with a large sun-porch attached. The important thing was its proximity to the lake, and, presumably, its distance from my father and grandfather's law practice.)

On that particular weekend, it was raining. It rained and rained for two days straight. There was no television at the cottage, and no other children to play with. My grandmother and I probably played several rounds of gin rummy, but, other than that, all there was to do was read. (Although reading was and is a past-time to which all members of my family are quite devoted.) I soon finished the book I had brought with me, and clamored for something else to read.

Somewhere in the trailer, my dad found a battered copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I think he said something like, 'here, you might like this, it's about a little girl in Brooklyn."

I tore into the book with the enthusiasm that only a little girl with a passion for reading can muster for a new reading adventure. I was quickly transported, from my rainy Michigan lake weekend, to turn of the century Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the world of Francie Nolan. I could not put the book down. For two days I buried myself in those battered pages.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I read that book twenty times over the following decade. It was my go-to comfort book. When I was frustrated, angry, sad, or melancholy, I lost myself in Ms. Smith's masterpiece.

There is a quote from the book that has always stayed with me. The quote comes from a section of the book, towards the end, wherein Francie is leaving her job and her family in Brooklyn, because she has won a scholarship to go to college at the University of Michigan.

The quote is this:

The last time of anything has the poignancy of death itself. This that I see now, she thought, to see no more this way. Oh, the last time how clearly you see everything; as though a magnifying light had been turned on it. And you grieve because you hadn't held it tighter when you had it every day. What had Granma Mary Rommely said? 'To look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.'

This is the quote I was thinking about as I walked away from Lana's pre-school after dropping her off for the last time, this morning, that I was seeing the school with an amazing clarity, and thinking that there should be so many MORE schools like this.

My children have attended this daycare-center/pre-school since Gabriel was 11-weeks old. It was the second week of May, 2000, when I brought Gabriel to the school for the first time, and today I took my daughter there for the last time.

I was distraught when Gabriel "graduated" from the school's kindergarten program in 2006, but, at that time, I felt certain that our family would be back at the school, soon enough, with our daughter.

But, this morning, as I walked out, I knew it was the end. The last day. The last time I would drop off a child of mine at this place that has become so very special to me, the place and the people who helped to shape Gabe into the interesting little boy he is, the place and the people that have helped Lana to blossom in amazing and indescribable ways in the last 15 months.

As I walked down the school hallway this morning, I felt like the words, "the last time, the last time, the last time" were ringing in my ears. I ran into a teacher in the parking lot, a teacher who spent 3 years with Gabe and most of the last 15 months with Lana. She was walking in as I was walking out, and I saw her and just started crying. I spoke to her briefly, about how Lana has come so far in such a short time, how the scared, angry little girl we had brought there in February of 2007 had become such a joyful, mischievous little minx. I gave her a hug and I got in my car and I cried all the way to work.

I tried to get the mascara and eyeliner cleaned up, but, I have to think that the divorce client I met with at 10:00 AM must have thought it was assuredly odd that his divorce lawyer had clearly spent a good part of the morning crying her eyes out.

Lana will spend the summer at home with her dad and her brother. She may spend two mornings a week in a "growing minds" program to keep her English and socialization skills improving. And at summer's end, she will begin kindergarten at the public school.

I only wish that I my kids could have continued their elementary education in the kind of environment provided by their progressive pre-school. We have an excellent public school, but, I am quoting another parent, when comparing our elementary school options to the preschool that served all children so well, "the public school is nice, but, it is not joyful."

And I think that pretty much says everything, doesn't it?

I'm grateful for this school, and what it has done for my children. But it was so hard, this very last day, to walk away.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

And there WAS joy in MoTown

And rejoicing in my living room, courtesy of Husband and Gabe.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Fun Times at the ER


Gabe woke up at 2:20 AM this morning and did not go back to sleep. He was moaning in pain and complaining of a stomach ache.

I gave him so Coke. I gave him some milk. I gave him some Children's Pepto.

At 5:00AM I was so tired and so frustrated and so at the end of my rope I accused him of faking it to get out of going to school today. (He usually likes school, so, I'm not sure where that came from, except, you know, from the end of my rope.)

Husband stayed home with him today, and he basically refused to eat, and the stomach pains continued to come and go in waves. At 3:30 he was crying from the pain again, and our doctor's office couldn't see him until tomorrow.

At 4:30 Husband called me at work to say Gabe was writhing on the floor in pain.

I called my mom and asked her to pick up Lana from school and I told Husband to meet me at the Children's Hospital ER.

We spent 2.5 hours at the ER, where we were treated by a staff that clearly deals with kids much more regularly than the staff at the ER by our house. (So, I'm saying, it was totally worth the 15 extra minutes of drive time to get to Children's.)

And after a small amount of concern about appendicitis, as it turns out, my son is full of sh*t.

(Sorry, I couldn't help myself.)

The boy is, er, bound-up, so to speak.

Evidently, his banana and swiss cheese obsession of late is doing bad things to his intestinal track.

I'm relieved it's not more serious, but, my poor little guy is in bad shape. We're hoping he'll be feeling more like himself in about 24 hours...but, I'm afraid we are in for another rough night. :-(


Monday, June 02, 2008

I Don't Want a Pickle, Just Want to Ride on My Motorcycle*

Lana came in the house yesterday after jogging at the park with Husband.

(For Lana, jogging at the park involves sitting in the babyjogger and yelling, "go faster, Daddy, go faster" while Husband runs, pushing the babyjogger in front of him. Husband indicates that other joggers find this hilarious.) (I tend to think that Husband WOULD find it hilarious, except that it is also very hard work to run and push a babyjogger faster and faster. So I'm told. I wouldn't know.)

As they walked in the house, Husband asked me, "Is today the 1st of June?" (This was apropos of, what? I don't know, because we never got any further into that conversation.)

Lana piped up, "In June, I'm gettin' a MOTORCYCLE!"

Husband and I, together, "What?"

"In June, I'm gettin' a MOTORCYCLE. Gonna go FAST."

Yeah, hold the phone and put on the brakes, baby girl. Not. Gonna. Happen.

"Where are you getting the motorcycle from?" I ask her, curious.

"Don't know," she said happily. "Just gonna get one."

I am in so. much. trouble.


*Arlo Guthrie, "The Motorcycle Song", from the album Alice's Restaurant

Sunday, June 01, 2008

"The movie Casablanca is okay, but needs a lot work", or "Stuff It, Sam"

In addition to teaching high school science, Husband also teaches a class about classic film. The students watch the films, and write essays about them.

I usually avoid reading my husband's student's essays, but, today he was reading over their essays about Casablanca.


Yes, Casablanca. A beloved, classic film. A film that won three Oscars. (For the record, Best Picture, Best Screen Play, and Best Director.) (Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively, but lost out to Paul Lukas and Charles Coburn.) (I had to look that up, I mean, the part about who Bogart and Rains lost out to. Show of hands of everybody whose even HEARD of Paul Lukas and/or Charles Coburn??? Yeah, I didn't so.) (Incidentally, Ingrid Bergman was nominated for Best Actress that year for her roll in For Whom The Bell Tolls, which may explain why she didn't get the nod for her roll as Ilsa in Casablanca.) (Also worthy of note, there was talk of re-shooting some of the scenes between Bogart and Bergman to incorporate a song other than "As Time Goes By". They weren't able to re-shoot because Bergman had cut her hair for the filming of For Whom The Bell Tolls. Imagine what they might have done to the film if they had heard of hair extensions in 1942. Imagine this scene without "As Time Goes By"!!!)

Anyway, Husband, feeling a certain amount of frustration, handed me the paper of a student who shall remain nameless. (Because hopefully, someday, he or she will grow up and see the error of their thinking and I would hate for her/him to have it immortalized on the Internet that he/she ever wrote a paper the likes of which I read this morning.)

I think that my blood pressure rose to dangerously high levels just reading the student's paper. Suffice it to say that the student was unimpressed with Casablanca. The paper was full of implications that the film was boring and poorly acted and poorly written.

I think I showed amazing restraint, when, coming to the last sentence of the paper, "The movie Casablanca is okay, but needs a lot of work" - I did not write "What the frap are you smoking?" at the bottom of the page. Casablanca? NEEDS WORK? Go find Bogart and deliver THAT message...

Some days I fear for our future...


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