Monday, February 28, 2011

Ice, Ireland and Illness

Was off to Ireland on  Monday. Tickets purchased 6 months ago. The day finally arrived to fly away to my favorite place to see friends' new babies and grandbabies and to tap my toes to the Miko Russell music fest craic.  The morning was covered by three inches of ice. Airport closed. Couldn't get out for a week and well, had to be back before then. Got all my money back, or most of it, after haggling for nearly said week.

The day my trip was cancelled, I learned my father has a terminal kidney 10 that night. Strangely I had a dream the night before about being in a hospital, seeing cancer cells that were these strange black bugs eating away at cells under a microscope. So I knew...somehow. I always have these kinds of visions before these things happen. Wrote a poem about my brother's death a month before he died. First line, I wish it was someone I didn't know outside of a newspaper report. Last line: But it's my brother.

So, will be going to see my dad. I won't have much time with him because of well, better not even go there.

But I will be able to hug him and maybe play our favorite claw game where you try to pick up stuffed toys from a rigged machine. I have the top game, having picked up three toys in one lift once. it's just something my dad and I do. And we also play Backgammon and use the doubling cube and gamble. I taught him to play and even if he only has a million to one chance of winning, he will accept the cube. Thus, I usually win some big extra cash and get a lot of giggles out of it.  He calls me a lucky shit. I am. I have my dad still.

It's been a bit of a tough go. But I did get a DVD of He Died with a Felafel in his Hand and will watch it soon on my first 43 inch flatscreen TV purchased with saved money from canceled trip. And I will laugh, I am certain. It's a big flippin tv, I'll say that. Go big and then go home!

Anyways, i was a bit down about not getting to go to Ireland and then I was reminded about what really, really matters. The people you love most....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

shoot the geek squad...

Ok, so there's a lot of folks who own computers but are clueless as to how to fix them or get free shareware and thus pay out the nose for such people as Best Buy's Geeker Squad who simply rob and steal from unknowing people. I hate that kind of lowlife corporate bottom feeding. And I need a t-shirt that says, "No, I will not fix your computer, nor save you from whatever plagues you in your life, or any of it." But I do.

My friend just got laid off her job of 25 years from Pfizer. Because she was so good at what she did, is a leader, had worked her way up, had streamlined processes and got herself too much pay and so, hurrah for America, canned. Not to mention she is raising her grandchildren toddlers now because her kid makes babies but is not man enough to care for them. Children having children. I'd like to cut some of their nuts or put a permanent condom on them, or worse than that.

Anyway, friend is trying like hell to get another job before financial crisis hits that looms quickly. Computer is only a year old and "geek squad" tells her she needs to spend $200 for this's and that's to fix it. Get real. She could nearly buy a new laptop for that. So I went and fixed it and installed free viralware and got her Office and Word open shareware and so on.

"How'd you do that?" Common question and it takes too long to show and explain. I used to be a teacher. I no longer have as much patience as I used to. It wasn't real high in the first place. I don't particularly like fixing computers but it gives me satisfaction to thwart the geeks who steal from unknowing innocents and also keeps me from going ballistic and opening fire in some corporate fkn store....

End rant...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Some days you just gotta laugh...

Really though, that should be everyday, but it doesn't always feel that way or happen so easily. Today I went and got paint for my kitchen cabinets. It's wicked cold and so, one does indoor projects. Seemed a fine idea. Old oak cabinets..add some color to the center makeover. Get home and start painting and it's bright mint green, like chocolate chip mint ice cream, instead of kelly green which would match the stained glass window. So, I just think, maybe when it dries? Nope. It's still mint. I can't help but laugh. I cannot even go down there without cringing. It could make me frustrated or mad. It just makes me laugh.

Then my pup ate another pair of my cowgirl boots. Yet another. She knows better. They were old but not a good thing. I cannot afford new boots which is why I have old boots. But they are just boots. Of course she found out quickly, again, that this is a very bad thing to do.

But I wasn't upset. Just a part of my day.

Some days I can roll with whatever comes.
Others it isn't so easy.
Not sure what defines that or makes it so.
But glad I could laugh today and will take that for what it is.

It's simple. No reason to get your shorts in a knot over everyday "stuff". I mean, really.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Books I Want to Write...

I've had a few books in my head for some time. One is a compilation of the teacher articles I wrote for Billings Gazette here on my blog in 2009. They are one page lesson plans which could last a day or a week or a month. They would be good grouped into sections with tear outs for subs or for teachers who needed a lesson plan that keeps kids' attention. They are fun and students respond well to them. I used them enough times to know.  Title: Teaching Ideas for a Dull or Rainy Day, perhaps.

Another I'm considering is a commentary on online communications, Facebook in particular. I think it could be a much better forum design. I notice and observe how people use it and communicate. And my PhD surrounded this topic so could draw some from that. Facebook, Smacebook. 

Another would be a novel based loosely on life events of mine. I flew on my own the first time at age 8. I traveled to Europe at 13. I attended military school and private girls' schools with kids like Christy Pabst of the Beer family, and Dorothy Lay of the potato chips, and The Cover Girl, who was fat.. I have been a wanderer and teacher and writer and adventurer for all my life. I was locked away in a ward in Chicago at own private version that closely parallels Girl Interrupted or Cuckoo's or a combination. I taught overseas. I ride horses and climb mountains and do just about anything adventurous. I just don't have the thread of it all in my head it unfolds. Life is messy. It's like trying to make a snowman out of snow that won't stick together.

I like to write. I write for myself right now. I would like to write and have a goal of making something from it.

I have also co-written poetic dramas with my students in the past and that was some of the most powerful writing. That's another possibility. Screenplay. I can visualize those...clearly.

So, of course, I'll continue to think on it some more and then one day, I will do it.
Or so I believe.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

From Pillar to Post...

Some days in winter reflect and are a direct and natural extension of the endless grey and cold. One becomes inert, reads books, watches films, sleeps, doesn't want to get out of bed in the dark of dawn's brisk awakening. If on the next day the sun rises and the sky is clear ice blue, one propels forward, feeling pressed and guilty for the lackadaisical loss of the day before, or days.

Floors get cleaned of salt and water marks. Waxing on hands and knees, wiping away the slush of winter creeping in the doorways on pup's paws and snowy boots. Lots of shoveling until there becomes nowhere to put it anymore and the trash bin is in the street past the piles too high to see over. The dog disappears in it, bouncing and happy and I am just cold trying to keep her from running across the street or off into the woods herding deer. Also tire of being shut in by the oppression of the coldest winter since 1917 and this is only month 2 of 5.

I teach a 3 year old to build his first snowman. He comes in with visible breaths, drinks hot chocolate and falls asleep.

I fix mom's computer and another friend's on the way, which ends up taking 3 hours but hey, I get to visit and assist..and get homemade veggie soup..and I'm outta the house.

Get paint samples. Buy toys that are light, inexpensive, educational and fun for Irish kids I will meet and hug for the first time when I travel soon across the Big Pond. Ah Eire..I have missed you. And there will be a music fest and good craic and good times for all of us friends who have been apart too long. And the crashing sea...

So it goes.

I'd like it to be more level..less harried some days; less inert on others.

But attitude, happenstance, grey or blue skies, health of friends, family and self, dogs and doctors appointments disallow one to choose..and surprises are always thrown in, just for interest..of course.

It's a good ride.
Even if it's not always on my horses.