Disclaimer: Some content is inappropriate for readers under 18 years of age or those offended by swear words, references to sexuality, atheism, and libertarianism.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Harry Potter Theme Park at Universal

Call me lame, but I'd go to this. And probably enjoy it too. I would just try not to let the squealing 13 year old girls get to me.

Stop "Honor" Killings.

"Witches" burned, daughters sold, opponent's wives and children raped, female infants murdered, rape victims murdered by their fathers, girl fetuses aborted, and of course the femicide of choice in the Middle East- Stoning. Or if you're from Saudi, you could be drowned in the family pool, or from South East Asia you could be gang raped as punishment for your brother's crime, or from Africa you could be circumcised in a bloody, archaic ritual, or in China left to die from exposure, the list is mortifyingly endless.

It's so good to know you've got the UN and Amnesty International on the case. I fully expect all of this to be wiped out by the time my daughter goes to college and appreciates the fact that her risks pale in comparison to that of her 'sisters' on the other side of the globe. Of course I won't let her live on campus, I got enough sexual harrassment on an American college campus (by students and staff) to figure out we are never really safe, but we do what we can.

Oh boy, she's going to hate me.

Teaching = Alcoholism.

While I'm not really a big drinker at all, I've taken to going for a Friday drinks-and-bitching session after work every Friday when the most I used to drink was one glass of wine every three or four months, so the difference is significant enough to raise my own eyebrows (and glass). It's only fitting that one of my "drinking buddies" in the special ed. department would send me this today (I don't know how accurate it is, but the bit about administrators seems pretty spot-on):

Subject: Teachers and drinking. It is no secret that teachers consume alcohol and sometime in large quantities. Sometimes it is just socializing after the football game or parent-teacher conference, but most of the time it is a way to forget the spoiled kids they deal with for 8 hours a day 185 days a year. Below is how the average subject teacher may drink.

English: Females will drink wine or martinis. Generally is a slow drinker and will only have a few before going, mostly Guinness, Bass, or Stella. Usually English teachers are the last ones to the bar and the first ones to leave.

Fine Arts: Their title says it all. Sophisticated people prefer sophisticated drinks. They often ask for something the bar doesn't have and then settles for a mixed drink or lite beer (in a glass). They often doodle on a napkin which may eventually turn into a lesson plan.

Business: They usually drink mixed cocktails or high end beer. They will engage in conversation usually about something they saw on CNBC or read in the Business section of the Tribune. Also known to drink their fellow teachers under the table after an especially bad day.

Science: Science teachers will vary by field of study, but many of them can tell you the process in which the alcohol they are drinking was created. Some are very simple people and just drink beer and like to have fun while doing so. Some are very sophisticated and will drink high end Martini's or Cosmopolitans. Many drink like they teach: "let's try something, see what happens, then analyze it and maybe repeat the process looking for similar results give or take one standard deviation."

PE/Health/Driver's ED: They drink beer, off the tap, out of a bottle,by the pitcher and it doesn't matter the brand as long as it's cold.They will also be the first to order shots and order plenty. Often times you will find them playing darts, pool, or anything competitive. Generally they are the aggressive ones and will approach many individuals trying to "Score". They are the first ones into the bar and the last ones to leave.

Math: These teachers think they are cool because they know exactly what 15% is of any tab and tip exactly that. The women will drink wine or something mixed with diet soda. The men are beer drinkers but lightweights compared to the PE or Social Studies staff.

Social Studies/History/Govt. etc: These teachers like to play trivia and generally drink beer. Lots and lots of it. They usually relate well with the PE and Business staff and will get to the bar early and will stay late.

Foreign Language: These teachers will order something from their native language and try to look cool. They may engage in conversation other than in English with the bar patrons or staff. They generally arrive late and leave early.

Special Education: Drink to get drunk and they don't care what kind of booze it is. If you had their day you would too. These teachers should have an alcohol per diem written into their contract.

Other Electives (Computers, Shop, Auto, Home Ec): Don't go the bar with these teachers unless you're ready to spend the night. Like the SPECIAL ED crowd, they often have the students that nobody else really wants--not necessarily the college-bound crew. They drink heavily and it doesn't matter what it is, give them a break because you don't want to be them and you don't want to get into it with them when they're drunk, which is often.

ADMINISTRATION: Should buy the 1st round but generally don't. They usually have 1 or 2 drinks and leave early, before they bond TOO much with the staff. Males will have a beer and try to fit in with their teachers. Females will drink something lighter or fancier and will also leave early or just never show up. However, all bets are off if the administrator used to be PE/Health/Driver Ed before going over to the Dark Side. Those will drink you under the table.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Persepolis Movie

I'm excited!


I'd really rather not search my students for weapons... Especially if I had to wear a protective vest. I like how they say that they don't want to have to spend money on getting security guards to do the job. I can't imagine teaching in a public school (by 'public', I mean in American terms...) without security guards around.

I wonder how schools with metal detectors function...? Hmm...

Insert Bad Bone Pun Here.

A series of skeletons by Hyungkoo Lee that may look a little familiar to you... Can you guess which Warner Bros star has been stripped to his bare bones in each one? Traumatise your kids and have them guess too!

Th-Th-Th-That's All Folks

Having had the opportunity to spend an extended weekend with my little 13 month old daughter, I've come to realize how my life often turns into a Warner Bros. cartoon with the late Chuck Jones as the director. Much like the poor sap who is suddenly thrown into babysitting circumstances, I chase after her all day long, catching the proverbial anvil in the head to save her own head, or my absolute favorite... Catching her in mid-air as she falls off of a piece of furniture and her head is barely an inch or two above the ground... I then set her down, and she keeps going without missing a beat. I strongly suspect that she puts this repeated experience down to one fact... She can fly. Never having hit the ground when she falls off of her little chair/train table/sofa/etc, she must have come to the conclusion that her little body defies gravity.

I'm on the look out for the inevitable chasm I'm going to have to lay my body over for her to use me as a bridge.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I don't think I blame the BBC as much as think the family is a little odd in their sense of priority! Would you rather be on some shitty reality show or be by your father's side at his death bed? I guess if they all agreed upon it, it was their decision to make. God knows I can't talk about taking advantage of the time your father has left on this planet, but I didn't know he was dying as this family did.

Do They Serve Drinks in the Handbasket to Hell?

Science teacher: I got cussed out yesterday.

TeacherLady: Really? What happened? Who was it?

ST: Some skinny white kid with a 'fro with a dirty little mustache. Upper classman. Real jerk. He was cussing out the seniors outside my door, so I told him to quiet down and leave, and he starts yelling "Fuck you! Motherfucker!"

TL: Wow. Okay. Bit extreme.

ST: Oh he was going off on everyone. So I'm leaving later on and he's by the buses yelling "Fuck you!" at me again and another teacher calls him by name and says "Don't make it worse" and he said "I'm already getting suspended so I'm getting my money's worth- Suck my dick, bitch!"

Whatever happened to tucking a tail between one's legs when one gets in trouble? I guess this guy didn't have the room what with the colossal balls he seemed to have in the way.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The New Joker.

No... Just... No. Any whimsy that Batman used to have is now forsaken for gore and titillation. I am a fan of Moore, Gaiman, and Ennis so I don't exactly avoid the more GRAPHIC graphic novels, but it would be a shame to see too many comic books move over to the dark side.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sometimes It's Not So Great Having Tits and Ovaries.

The sexism I faced in my homeland doesn't hold a candle to the outright brutality faced by our Iranian sisters (and Egyptian sisters too, but I'll save that for another time). This article and this story make me all the more grateful and guilty at the same time. Being half British made me a bit of an oddity and source of amusement with my fanciful ideas of how women should be allowed to run their own lives and my Western clothing, and so I was basically left to my own devices in the hopes that I would eventually realize the error of my ways and come crying home to marry a nice Arab boy.

I mean absolutely no disrespect to women who wish to wear the veil, marry a nice Muslim boy, follow the tenets of the Qur'an etc. but I have a problem with double standards and people who stand idly by while innocent people are being punished beyond all reason.

Take the case of Zeinab Peyqambarzadeh, the women rights advocate who is currently imprisoned for her participation in student protests. Regardless of what court of law her actions are being weighed by, depriving her of her much needed heart medication is an indicator of the injustice being meted out. Or Zehra's story of an Iranian-Canadian journalist who was brutally raped and beaten to death for taking pictures outside of the notorious Evin prison in which so many political activists have been tortured, raped, and murdered.
I'd be willing to give more credence and respect to the leaders of the Middle East if they didn't always immediately give themselves away to be irrational, bigoted, self-serving boors. Apart from a few countries in the Gulf region, I have yet to see Middle Eastern leaders truly protect their people from themselves, or even put basic human rights above sexist, outdated boy's club, self-preserving misogynist ideals.
Yet again, I'm grateful for the equality I have been afforded here in the States. It may not be perfect, but show me better and I'll give you a Twinkie. No, not really. I'm not a cruel person.

Arab Hotties.

Seeing a picture of Nancy Arjam in this BBC article just gives me a Coke craving. She did a cute Coke commercial a couple of years ago, for those of you who may not be familiar... You can probably find it on Youtube.

I feel a little bad that the changing face of young Arab singers is moving towards a more... Well... Slutty look because it only reinforces what traditional Arabs perceive to be the evil influence of the West.

Why be a Bratz tart...

When you can be a fabulous Fulla?

Actually, it's really hard to find pictures of the non-hijab-wearing Fulla doll, since the media is far more excited about the extremes than a true representation- surprise surprise- but I was pleasantly surprised by the (what I would call) 'modestly' dressed dolls who were classy as opposed to... Whorish.

I shall have to buy one the next time I'm back home so my little girl can throw it away and scream about how she wants a real Bratz doll like all her friends and how she hates me and my fascist attitude towards parenting and if I'm so in love with the ideals of the 'motherland' that I should just go back there and that I'm a hypocrite anyway because I've got my own share of tight little outfits and low cut blouses and GOD why are parents so retarded? They, like, totally forget that they were young once and if I'd only listen to what her boyfriend Seth has to say, I'd realize he's a really sweet guy and stop making fun of his lisp because he can't help it since he got his tongue split, and when am I going to get off her back and let her start taking the pill and get a tattoo like all the other 7th graders?

Oh I'm sorry. I sometimes get flashes of the future and a little part of me dies.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

Mighty Hermaphrodite.

Student 1 just seem to exist merely to provide me with priceless material for my blog, as I have yet to find any other direction for him life.

In science class, which seems to be an apt place to bring up subjects of an anatomical nature (despite not being a biology class), student 1 yet again managed to dredge up a real ice-breaker for parties:

Student 1: What do you call it when you have both the meat and the girl parts?

Science teacher:… A hermaphrodite. (His eyes dart towards me. He knows material for a few teacher-only meetings is coming our way). Why do you ask?

Student 1: How is that possible?

Science teacher: The person is born with both parts, but one usually works better than the other so they… become one sex only. Through surgery.

Student 1: So I might have been like that??

Student 2: Boy, if I had both I’d have sex with myself all day long.

(TeacherLady thinks: And that’s different how…?)

Student 1: Na man, you could get pregnant... Do you think I could grow boobs?

I silently pray these students never get anyone pregnant. Ever.

Utter Shite.

This Rothko painting sold for $72.8m.


You can talk to me until you're Pacific Blue in the face about the talent required for abstract art such as this, but I think too many "appreciators of art" are afraid of really speaking their mind for fear of looking stupid, which they already do in their poncy berets, black turtleneck sweaters, soul patches, and shades indoors (Apparently all art appreciators are beatniks from the 1950s).

It's shit. It's okay to think it's shit. I've seen abstract I do like, and THIS AIN'T IT, sweetcheeks. It's not clever, innovative, or delightfully unsettling and unpredictable to my visual senses and expectations. Even if someone did like it because it matched their awful sofa set, who on Earth would actually believe it's worth $72.8m???

I despise artists who try too hard to be different. They try so hard to defy expectations that they even deny that they're trying. They probably wouldn't want to be classed as "anarchists" because that would imply they belong to a group with shared beliefs.
Exhibit A: The Wikipedia entry:

Mark Rothko born Marcus Rothkowitz (September 25, 1903February 25, 1970) was a Latvian-born American painter and printmaker who is classified as an abstract expressionist, although he rejected not only the label but even being an abstract painter.

Wow. He must be fun at parties.

You can tell I'm not the type of person to put any worth into celebrity discarded garbage either. If I had John Lennon's snot-filled hanky, I'd sell it. I wouldn't frame it, pray to it, make music videos starring it, I'd just make some idiot pay for something that involved no talent at all, as they are wont to do.

At the end of the day, they're only human. Their talent may be worthy of recognition (OR NOT), but at the end of the day... Celebrities eat Hot Pockets, poo (quite soon after the Hot Pockets), scratch their arses, and sing in the shower like the rest of us.

Take a look at Rothko's other pieces, and try your best to convince me otherwise.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Who My Baby Daddy?

Despite my outward appearance of youth, I'm an old fart at the best of times and no one can make me feel older than my students. Each grade that barges through my hallway, year after year, zips its way through fashion trends, obnoxiously yells its way through new slang I can barely keep up with, procreates its way to Waltons-sized proportions, and seems to come to us a few years more immature than the last lot. Obviously, I have to take into consideration the fact that I say farewell to kids who have been here a year and have had the chance to accumilate battle scars of maturity and experience, and I then have to go back to square one with the next bunch of bright-eyed, bushy-taled hooligans.

Today I was asked a question, not for the first time, that makes me feel just that little bit older:

"Are you married to your baby daddy?"

I try to be hip. I'm down with my G's. I ain't no lame-ass punk. I gots my wageezies (or however the hell you spell that). But... Am I married to the father of my child? Seriously? I could only imagine how my teachers would have reacted if I had asked them the same question. My cheek would probably still be hurting to this day.

Instead, I hesitated for a moment and said "Yes, we're married." And she said "oh", as though my case were a delightful departure from the norm, perhaps with the thought that I must be some sort of Super Woman for being able to keep my man to myself. I guess this means I should get back to being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. AGAIN.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Happy Meal? VERY Happy, thank you.

What convenience! A Happy meal that gives you the munchies and food to satisfy them! Giggling like an idiot is a bonus.

You know how when you learn a new word, it seems to crop up time and again soon after? It seems my exposure to the whole concept of ganja is sprouting weed stories all around me.

The Straight Dope and Other True Stories.

As the year is winding up, teachers have to think of ways to keep the students focused on the prize, and in history class the teacher has asked the students to write their own history in the form of a page and a half essay. It's meant to document the important milestones from birth to the present and the students had questions about what they should include that won't get them arrested.

Student 1 (of the infamous Gardening Time incident and unsuccessful drug bust): What if you don't remember anything since 13 years old?

I guess we can thus extrapolate when he started puffing his brain cells away! Drugs are bad, m'kay?

Frankly, I'd be nervous about reading those essays. More than once, you read a kid's biography and you learn something so horrific, you no longer wonder why the kid seems so angry at the world. You'd be surprised at how big and tough they make themselves out to be in the classroom in contrast to the scared, lonely, angry, or depressed child they willingly reveal themselves to be to the one adult they know will always be there for them no matter how shitty they act.

I remember Queen Latifah, or so I nicknamed her for her uncanny resemblance to the songstress, and how hard she acted in front of her peers- boasting about how her dog was put into a dog fight, but the stupid thing had got itself killed.
She mentioned it more than once.
Then, in an essay to me, she wrote about how her father had taken her puppy without her knowledge or permission and put it into that one dog fight that had got it mauled to death and that she missed her puppy very much.

Or the girl whose mother beat her, or the other girl whose father raped her, and the countless others we don't even know about.

Perhaps when my daughter is older, I should have her write essays about me... You never learn so much about the stupidity of adult mankind as when you read the writings of a child.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Al Qaeda Job Application Form!

Oh my freaking God! An Al Qaeda job application form! I think they mistranslated it, though. Here are my corrections:

"Are you willing to travel one way?"

"Were you bullied as a child?"

"Do you suffer from any pre-existing condition? (Like we really care, Red Shirt.)"

"Are you morbidly obese? We need more human shields and the skinny dudes just aren't cutting it."

"Do you have- or would you like us to assign you- a cool nickname by which the press can use when the US is hunting your ass down? You can't take "Dr. Evil", we don't want another copyright infringement mess. You can't take "Osama's Right Hand Man" either. Yet. Once we're down to you, it can be your turn. And you can't take "Harbinger of Death" either, because that's mine and I'm sick of people trying to steal my ideas."

"Do you like kittens? Anyone who says 'no' to this just isn't right in the head and we don't want some fucking loony on the job."

I Do Have a Life, Really!

Having returned to the gaming scene, I was reminded of what I was missing in my days of late stage pregnancy and early stage sleep deprivation soon thereafter.
In the world of gamers, sentences are strung together using combinations of words you would never have dreamed of before...
May I present to you last week's beauty...

"I took a midget to the chest... And almost died!"


"The Demonic Nazi Cow Rustlers of New York? It's all so clear to me now."

I'm glad, at least, that I don't game with anyone as loony as the chaps described in this thread where people share descriptions of the creepiest people they've ever gamed with. Our friends directed me to this website, so if I read any post about a creepy Arab chick, I'm going to feel obligated to stalk all of them and unleash some badass spells on their butts.

Seriously, I'm lame, but not THAT lame. I know my WIS isn't that high... I know because I checked out my real life stats on this page. Their system is flawed, however, because if they think going to college makes you a smarter person, they haven't been to college lately. I'd never seen so many idiots gathered in one place short of a political rally.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Reefer Madness!

Thank you, "anonymous" for recommending Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical! I hadn't heard much about it, but I had heard something that made me lower my expectations of it. That only made it all the more fantastic!

I can see how it wouldn't be to every one's tastes, but it certainly matched mine! I was reminded of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (even in the title, where the transition from stage to screen meant an inclusion of a new word- 'picture' or 'movie'), Little Shop of Horrors in the depiction of the romanticised American youth of yester-year against a B horror movie backdrop with grotesque theatrical lighting, and the tongue-in-cheek overacting of Trey Parker or even Bruce Campbell came to mind too. The larger chorus numbers echoed the sweaty adolescent chanting and tribal dancing of Hair. Mix all these ingredients and you have a whole lot of fun!
The concept is based on a cautionary movie entitled Tell Your Children, which was later changed to Reefer Madness, and while I've never actually smoked marijuana, my guess is that they give a fairly off-the-mark representation of the effects on the drug on the impressionable youth. The media was having far too much fun discovering its power over Joe Public through fear tactics to care about accuracy, I guess. The movie takes the story one step beyond mocking such media provoked frenzy by adding great song and dance routines.

I've always had a strange attraction to the grotesque theatrics of productions such as those, as well as to characters like Joel Grey's Emcee in Cabaret, the overly made-up dancers in Strictly Ballroom or Moulin Rouge. I think it's the underlying lust under a seemingly innocent facade that I find enticingly naughty and exciting!

I heartily add it to my list of movies and my husband and I joke about making it our next submission to the local community theatre group we direct and act with.
Now I just need to find someone who has the soundtrack of the original stage play that is no longer available for less than $50... I guess if I look hard enough, I may find SOMEONE out there, it's just a case of knowing where to look.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Artistry of Ads.

I can admire the talent involved to creating the adverts we so love to hate, but this page had quite an interesting selection.
This site archives the best banned, rejected, and most complained about adverts from across the world.

Does Anyone Speak German?

I'm not quite sure what this German organization does, but it certainly has an interesting website. They advertise themselves with this blurb:

"Munich, 19 April 2007
Dear Mr Noone,
It is with deep sadness that we acknowledge the death of your idea. Beloved ideas are often torn from this world far too soon, and whether these unexpected farewells are at the behest of consultants, creative directors or customers, the pain is always real.
Perhaps your grief will be easier to bear if you know that others share in it -thousands of ideas die each day. Join our large, grieving community at http://www.ideenfriedhof.com/ and commiserate with friends over the grandeur of your idea. To find peace, please use the enclosed memorial park, which will make your desktop a place of solemn reflection.
You’ll realise how good it feels to let go. Wonderful days with beautiful new ideas lie before you. Our online catalogue ‘One Life’ will show you the latest and most important visual trends and will inspire you to fresh, stunning ideas.
With best wishes for your creative future,
Horst Zsifkovits Vice President of Sales Central and Northern Europe "

Wear Your Granny 'Round Your Neck?

I don't quite know how I feel about the process of turning a loved one into a diamond. One of my students suggested the idea of mass murder in order to supply enough carbon to construct a diamond of ridiculous proportions. I didn't quite think of it that way.

I love it when I gain a new perspective through the shining young men and women of tomorrow.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

There ARE Stupid Questions.

I have been asked some astoundingly stupid questions in my short lifetime, and as bad of a mood that I'm in at the moment, I need to reflect on some in the hopes that it will cheer me up and stop me from fantasizing about punching the school psychologist in the face.

"Are you a boy or a girl?" asked of me by a boy who's doubtlessly burdoned with the challenging task of collecting shopping carts from parking lots at this very moment. I had shoulder length hair at the time AND I WAS WEARING A SWIMSUIT. Needless to say, it led to my first attempt to cross-dress and see if I could avoid being sexually harassed by sexually repressed men. Knowing my luck, I would have been hassled by a gay pedophile if I'd been successful.

"Do you celebrate Thanksgiving where you come from?" I've been asked this more than once. Yes, we always celebrate the significant historical events of other countries.
Of course, there are these classics.

Doubtlessly, I'll be able to expand upon this topic as life continues to trundle on.

Why is Boromir Singing?

As cheesy as it may be, I'm rather excited about the idea of seeing the huge production of The Lord of the Rings, the musical which I'd heard about when it initially opened in Canada. Normally, it's enough to add the words "The Musical" after the title of a well-known story to make any well-respected appreciator of art scoff and snort his caviar out his nose, but I'm an open-minded gal, I'm willing to give anything a go once.

These backstage blogs have some nice footage of the talent involved, snippets of music, and a wonderful look at the costumes and acrobatics. I'm not sure when I'll next be in London, but I'd definitely go see this.
This could very easily go either way... It could be another failed attempt to turn a movie into a musical, or it could be the next Les Miserables. One wonders what Spider-Man The Musical will be like... Or what the apparently shelved Batman The Musical, penned by Jim Steinman would have been like, but that's an entirely different kettle of fish.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Grabbing a Colleague's Ass is Sexual Harassment: True or False.

Given that we don’t have enough to do, we teachers are required to take a monthly online class and assessment on different workplace-related issues. The subjects all deal with employee safety, like sexual harassment, fire hazards, carpel tunnel syndrome, etc. and it doesn’t matter how many years you’ve worked here, you have to do the same damn tests every month, every year.

We often joked amongst ourselves as to what would happen if we didn’t do them, and one of us has just found out.

“They put it in my file!”

“Seriously? I always wondered what would happen.”

“They told me I have to do them all. Now. I said ‘I don’t have time for that!’”

“Yeah, the rest of us bums don’t do any work, that’s how we have the time…!”

“I called over and asked them- 'if I do them now, would you take it out of my file?' ”


“She started freaking out and said (in his best falsetto) ‘No, we can’t do that! You should have done them before. Just get them done.’… I’ve worked here for years and done them so many times! I WROTE the one on sexual harassment!”

“So what did you say?”

“I said ‘I just won’t do them then, and by the way, what type of panties are you wearing’ HAHAHAHA!”

The great thing about this guy is that I’m not even sure if he’s joking about the last line or not!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Roses Are Red.

As a high school teacher, I have seen my fair share of bad poetry. Actually, taking into account the Geneva Convention, I've seen MORE than my fair share of bad poetry.
One student in particular fancies himself a bit of a victim of unrequited love and feels the need to pen his woes and share it with the rest of us uncaring philistines. His problem is that he's never loved in return by any of the dozens of girls he falls in love with each week. To say he's theatrical would be an understatement. All he's missing are the tights and the layer of grease paint.
Being the sucker that I am, I'm always willing to read his shite for the sake of his self-confidence, and I do my best not to laugh out loud at some of it. I've had to remind him, more than once that I have absolutely no interest in reading about his obviously unfulfilled sexual fantasies, as he tries to get a little Andrew Marvell once in a while., but one of my favorite lines was this beauty:
"I knew it from the start
You grabbed the joystick of my heart."
I guess I should be grateful he didn't just have her grabbing his joystick. The funny part was that line was his refrain so I had to read it more than once.

They're Not Gonna Take It.

I know this isn't funny or entertaining news, but I am SO glad that the U.A.E. is making a move towards allowing the set up unions for the enormous number of mistreated migrant workers. I'll never be able to express the shame I feel regarding the treatment of Asian workers in the Middle East in general. I'm tired of hearing how much more they're making there than back home in India, because it's not that good and the humiliation they get is just not worth it. You'd think, by their reaction, that you're saving these guys' lives by giving them a 50 cent tip.

These people built countries like the U.A.E., and it's about time they get the respect they deserve. Thank you, for this study, Human Rights Watch.
Also, I really hope that- like me- you've got Twisted Sister's song stuck in your head.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Teen In Me.

I need a second weekend to recover from the first...
My sisters-in-law invited me along to their friend's sleepover party, and not having been to a sleepover since I was a teenager, I joked that we should have a pillow fight in skimpy camis ala John Hughes 80's teen sex comedy.

We did.

For lack of camis, we did it in our bras. And took pictures. May they never see the light of day.

Prior to that, we had decided that the instructions in tampon boxes could be misleading and unclear, and so some of us volunteered to demonstrate correct usage of the sanitary items (we were all fully clothed, so don't be TOO grossed out). I decided that all good teachers utilize non-examples as well, and so as one woman posed with the aforementioned item poised at her ear, one of my sisters-in-law stood next to her waggling her index finger indicating that the usage was incorrect. You can probably guess where else was an inappropriate position for the tampon to be.

It was liberating to be a teenager again, and it's definitely something every woman should do. You don't necessarily have to do the tampon thing per se, but being a teenager without all the stupid hang-ups and laughing for the sake of your sanity is a beautiful thing.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Simple Case of Misunderstanding.

My Little Project is prone to lapsing into moments of distraction such that he misses what is being said... Such a lapse took place in history once on a day I was in another class.
A white student was reading aloud a passage in the book and the word "negro" came up.

MLP was jarred out of his reverie.

MLP: What did you say?
History teacher: Sit down.
MLP: He can't say that...!
History teacher: SIT down, MLP.
MLP (addressing the white kid): It's ON motherfucker. Say it to my goddamn face!
History teacher: Right. Get out. Now.

MLP shouts more profanity on his way past the white kid and out the door. The principal is passing by and he's quickly briefed by the history teacher who is trying to keep his class going. The principal explains MLP's error to him out in the hall.

Moments later, MLP pokes his head in the room and in an almost jovial, but very sincere tone he pipes:


Now if he could only get the real 'n' word out of his own vocabulary, we may be getting somewhere!

Bizarre Crime.

I've heard that crime is pretty bad in South Africa, but I had no idea just how creative these criminals are. I winced at the thought of this poor man being superglued to a bicycle seat... Naked. I also find it an odd detail that the assailants were dressed in suits.

WHAT THE F....???!!

Okay. You should have seen my face as I read this news story about an annual strip-tease competition held in a Danish high school. I squinted, as though that would help the story make more sense to me, but it didn't. It got worse. The teachers are the judges. The administrators are fighting to keep the tradition alive. The prize is the best table in the cafeteria.

Wow. And I thought Bratz dolls would give the girls of today enough of a lesson in whoredom!

Not So Subliminal Disney Porn.

It's true, Disney no longer has to sneak their phallic symbols in "unintentionally"... While it's a bit sad that some poor little five year old boy was stunned to see full-on graphic porn when he was trying to watch his favorite TV show on the Disney channel, I find the comments underneath this article snigger-worthy.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The World Still Loves Sandmonkey!

The Gulf News even mentions him. I just hope he's safe. I wish him happiness but I can't imagine how angry and disappointed he must be.

An interview with Sandmonkey.

Air Conditioners and Abstinence.

My classroom air conditioner is leaking. A small white water river has developed around my desk, so I decided against the three inch heels this morning in favor of sneakers, and have started charging my students for the use of a kayak.

Oh alright. It's not THAT bad, but I'm still charging them for the use of my ferry service for me to get to them every time they have a question. It cuts down on the stupid, lazy questions when they know they have to pay for it.

When I was pregnant, I would always sit back at my desk while my students worked on their various assignments in my room so that any time they had a question, I would make a big show of hauling my vaguely mother-Earth physique over to them, huffing and puffing the whole way. The number of pointless questions dropped dramatically, thanks to the presence of actual empathy and the awareness that asking what a question means before even reading it may not be a justifiable reason to make the lady with the ever widening ass to hyperventilate her way over.

When I think about it, my pregnancy came in handy in other ways too... Rather than being the stick-in-the-mud to be ignored when I said something along the lines of "watch your language", I could instead say "Oh my! Shh.. The baby will hear!" and get a smile out of them as well as an apology.
I also used it as a form of contraception. I actually told some curious female students who gushed with comments like "Oh I can't wait to have a baby!" about the wonders of the episiotomy.
"They cut you... THERE?"
"Yup, if the baby's too big, or you're too small, they make a cut THERE. If they don't, they're a big chance you just RIP. And I've heard the stitches can sting for a while afterwards... And going to the bathroom..? Woohoo!"
I stood back and watched in delight as the girls took their horrified expressions over to their friends and the look spread like wildfire.

I hope I ruined the chances of many teenage sweaty encounters for at least a week. I may be on to something in the area of teaching abstinence to 15 year olds. I'm sure someone could get a hold of enlarged color photographs to act as visual aids...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Follow That Arrow.

Am I the only doofus to not notice the arrow some clever graphic designer snuck into the FedEx logo?? So cool.


Graffiti most certainly can be art, and one of its most well-known proponents is the "guerrilla artist", Banksy. He spray paints his quirky sense of humor (as seen to the left, on the wall in the Wet Bank) or dark perspective of humanity onto anything that may or may not be nailed down. His art can be briefly seen in the background of Children of Men and it's worth checking his stuff out on his website. I just wonder how he managed to maintain his anonymity when coming in to do his thing on the set of the film...?

I'd much rather see his graffiti than the shite I see that's not even legible- the big bubbly lettering that looks vaguely girly but you know it was done by some 16 year old who thinks he's as hard as nails. You're not cool and you're not making a name for yourself when no one can bloody read what you've written!


Tell me the New Order music for this short movie entitled "More" by Mark Osborne doesn't haunt you...
It's one of my favorite short films and it sums up our fears of becoming what we hate- forgetting about the little pleasures we took in life before we "grew up".

We don't have to count ourselves amongst "those" people. We've still got plenty of trees to climb nd games of pretend to play. Like now. I'm pretending I'm going to pick up that pencil and start drawing again. I will. Really. Maybe NEXT weekend.