Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
There are some wonderful, and not so wonderful, aspects to making love while bearing a bun in the so-called oven. Here are a few tips that randomly come to mind that I feel like inflicting upon you all (well, though of you who have not run screaming yet).
1) Rest Assured: Unless your lover is the result of a genetic experiment in which he holds the genes of both John Holmes and Ron Jeremy, you needn't fear poking your progeny with his pecker. Your man may flatter himself that he's quite the stallion, but it just won't happen.
2) Enjoy the differences: Having huge sensitive boobs and increased blood flow to your nether regions can be very enjoyable. Carpe Diem and enjoy the hell out of those differences.
3) Comfort: Find a position that won't leave you weeping in agony or frustration. And if you are in an awkward position, laugh it off and shift yourself. Lying on your side, doing the good old-fashioned pose of the canine variety, or even on top are all possibilities, though I tend not to want to do the "on top" thing when I'm likely to be really distracted by my huge belly. I just feel like an enormous bouncing beach ball under those circumstances and would probably terrify my poor husband beneath me.
4) Get a-head: This is purely my own preference... I'm not a big fan of receiving oral sex when I worry about my husband's forehead smacking against my gut. Not a turn on for me. You're a better woman than I if that doesn't bug you. But giving is just as fun as it always was.
5) Post-orgasm weirdness: Little did we know when we were not pregnant, but the uterus goes rock hard after we've finished having our scream-down-the-house, make-the-neighbors-jealous orgasms. This becomes increasingly obvious when your uterus is now the size of a very small planet. This may be odd but the great thing about this is, should your baby be awake, you won't know it. So you needn't worry about getting creeped out at the reminder that your child was just present, and most likely heard you tell your man just how hard you wanted it, how big he is, and how hot it makes you when he calls you his naughty little Arab wench. Just in case, you can always just start up a therapy fund along with that college one.
I've got a few mothers and mother-to-be who read this blog, feel free to add your own thoughts (anonymously, if you so wish!) I'll add more as they come to me. No pun intended.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I can't wait to give all my pressies to my family in a bit. Besides access to this fantastic body, I've given my husband a really cool gift. Will update later.
Oh and my cats crack me up... They're all seated beneath our realistically rotating Christmas tree (it helps me get decorations on all sides, what can I say?) and one of them is so dim, he was just sitting there as a huge ornament was making its way around and we waited expectantly as it smacked him in the back of the head. He was startled, but continued to sit there. I laughed my ass off and waited for the next round of assault on my less than Mensa material kitty. He moved before I came to the realisation that I really should have filmed it to share with bored friends, family, and colleagues for days to come.
I'm so lame. Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 22, 2008
I really do have this fantasy. All I need is a beautiful space with a stage and dance floor, cabaret style seating with circular tables and booths on two levels, a kick-ass chef, a band that can play anything from the 30s to the late 50s in jazz, big band, and rock 'n' roll, and a shit load of money... Anyone want to invest?
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Looking at how horrifying some of these guys are, you wonder who on earth thought they'd make great Santas... I full expected to see a cross on one of their foreheads indicating Charlie had been a good boy this year and was finally let out on probation...
Note the death grip being practiced by the above Santa as the little boy attempts to make his escape and leave his little sister to her festive fate.
Here we have the classic "Suicidal Santa" pose. This man's wife clearly left him a few Christmases ago, he lost his job at Chuck E Cheese for smacking a boy celebrating his 8th birthday on the back of the head for calling him a "loser of epic proportions, even Uwe Boll would be jealous", and he now has to make a living as a Santa at Christmas time to break up the monotony of being the bathroom attendant at he local ballpark the rest of the year.
I just enjoyed the look of sheer terror on this girl's face, despite the almost Normal Rockwell look of this guy.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Student: Woo, it's hot in here... It's making my nipples hard!
Teacher: Er. Did you really just say that..?
Student: For real... I'm gonna have to rub them to get them down.
Teacher: Stop talking. And stop doing that. Please.
The same student was making her presence known in another class the very same day.
Student (to a male student nearby): Boy, you gotta pull those pants down so I can see what you got...
Second Horrified Teacher: Excuse me?
Student: You didn't hear anything, I didn't say anything, why you teachers always gettin' on me?
Second Horrified Teacher: Just leave.
Okay. There's a lot going on here. The student obviously has learned these behaviors from somewhere. Could it be sexual abuse? Could it be neglect driving her to seek attention elsewhere? Either way, how horribly sad. And here's another thing... It was "hot" so her nipples got "hard"? Um. Don't know about the rest of you ladies, but it takes a chilly breeze to do that for me, not heat... And if I wanted them to stand at ease instead of at full attention, the last thing I'd do is rub them in circular motions with my fingertips as she proceeded to do. Even if that did bring them down, I sure as hell wouldn't do that in front of my peers and TEACHER. What kind of upbringing are these kids experiencing and how can we possibly help them overcome the obvious limitations that come along with a teenager who thinks this is normal, acceptable behavior?
I try not to do it, but I often imagine these kids trying to hold down a job. At the end of the day, that's what's going to carry them through life, not a high school diploma and the reading level of a middle school student (I have no idea how a kid without special needs manages to accomplish this, but they do). So not only are they cheated out of a life that could have expected more of them, but the cycle will undoubtedly continue with the next generation which is often already in the making before they even reach their senior year.
Okay, I shouldn't depress myself. All I want for these kids is SOME chance at happiness, but in one incident involving erect nipples and another involving the attempt to see a boy's penis in life skills class (boy, does she need that class), I sadly foresee quite a damper on this girl's opportunities as well as those of her kids and her kids' kids. Boy, is MY glass half empty today.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
For the purists, here's the original complete with drunken slurring and the fantastic Kristy McColl (I love it when she joins in!)
5 Things I Was Doing Ten Years Ago
1) Graduating 13th grade.
2) Setting off for life in the States.
3) Officially giving up my dream to study puppeteering and puppet making to be a special ed. teacher (it was the next logical choice). I had theoretically made that decision at 14 when I began to do volunteer with with handicapped children, but the small voice was still there until the very last moment.
4) Learning to drive on American roads where I didn't have to pray for survival every second of the way.
5) Beginning my new life with the Yank who would later become my darling, patient, loving husband.
5 Things on My To-Do List Today
1) Shower. I'm feeling gross.
2) Clean the guest bathroom of all the stray bits of kitty litter those bastards kick up every time.
3) Read a bit more of Laughing Without an Accent.
4) Play more with my daughter once she wakes form her nap.
5) Tidy up because our D&D buddies are coming over tonight.
5 Snacks I love
2) Cockles in vinegar.
3) Salt 'n' vinegar crisps/chips.
4) Varieties of cheeses.
5) Anything new and slightly scary looking.
5 Things I'd Do if I Were a Millionaire
1) Refit the master bathroom to have a tub. Or else just buy another house that has one.
2) Pay back my mum for college.
3) Add a library to my house.
4) Save for my kids' college fees.
5) Hire a personal chef.
5 Places I Have Lived
1) United Kingdom.
2) United Arab Emirates.
3) United States.
Nowhere else, unless I spot another country that starts with "United", I guess.
5 Jobs I Have Had
1) Tester for other college students.
2) Helping foreign students develop their English language conversation skills. (I got paid for that! Seriously! What fun!)
3) Middle school special ed. teacher.
4) High school special ed. teacher.
5) Being a hot momma.
I haven't had too many jobs because I couldn't have gotten one when I lived back home, and I wasn't permitted to work off campus with a student visa when I first got here, so my experiences are limited.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The fact is that the UAE has helped create that sort of image of mindnumbingly ridiculous over-indulgence that would make Marie-Antoinette look like a coupon clipping Dollar Store junkie... So that aspect didn't offend me. Gambling with Arafat? That might offend some Palestinians, but I wouldn't take that one literally.. Busta's probably playing off of the fact that a lot of people think all Arabs look like the late Arafat, and it was probably the only rhyme he could come up with (with the word 'act'... I don't know how rappers get away with such shitty rhymes, honestly).
I can definitely see how using Islamic verse would really piss off a number of people, and that was just thoughtless on Mr. "Rhymes'" part (though honestly, it sounded so garbled to me, I wasn't even sure what I was hearing).
The only thing that really offended me was his inability to keep up with the beat and possibly the worst choreography I have ever seen outside of a "Twinkle Toes Toddler Tap" performance. I would rather slam my hand in a car door while watching all episodes of "AfterMASH" than have to endure a whole concert of his if he insists on lagging so far behind the beat he may as well be rapping with his fingers plugged in his ears.
What I found most shocking of all was that the UAE actually has it's own rap star: Narcisyst! (Below: His response track Real Arab Money)
My apologies to any others I didn't know about. I'm not exactly hip with the whole hiphop and/or rap scene. He seems like a nice enough chap, but a little contradictory:
"...I never assumed Busta Rhymes was an ignorant man, I assumed he just didn’t really know about us. "
Er. Isn't that ignorance by definition? Ah well, he's trying to be nice. As was Busta, in his own clumsy way.
I think it'll all end very happily with the breaking of bread, the smearing of caviar, and the spending of more money than I could ever dream of having.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
You've probably already seen this before, but just in case you haven't... Yet another reason I love Mel Blanc. And the puerile part of me that loves to see cartoons and puppets say naughty words. What can I say? I teach high schoolers, so I understand my audience.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
It was an awfully long drive to Connecticut but it was made a lot more pleasant by the kindness of my husband (he drove) and the relative chilled-out-ness of my two and a half year old daughter. When we finally got to the beautiful Goodspeed Theater, I was half brain-dead but not enough to ignore the appropriateness of the setting. A little footbridge carried the audience from the parking lot over to the charming little building set against a small lake (or large pond!) with a fantastic looking pub nearby. It could easily have been a setting snatched right out of the story itself.
We got there a little early and so enjoyed the luscious décor of the theater as best we could and finally plopped ourselves outside the unisex bathrooms. An elderly gentleman came in and I am fairly certain my eyes grew twice their size when I recognized him as the great Jerry Nelson, “father” of Floyd Pepper, Kermit’s nephew Robin, Gobo Fraggle, Count von Count, Dr. Strangepork, and of course the original Emmet Otter. He had an small oxygen tank with him and I’m fairly certain he met my wide eyed expression with a touch of “oh crap, I’ve only just got here and I’ve already got some half-crazed Muppet fan on my hands.” He asked if the bathroom was free and I said it was so he went in. When he emerged, I took my chances and asked if he was Mr. Nelson. He said he was and asked if he could sit down to sign the autograph I asked for. I immediately felt like ten different types of shit. The poor guy had oxygen with him, he seemed to struggle a little to breathe comfortably, his hands trembled a little, and he’d only just come out of the john. I hated myself so much right that, and I’m still mad at myself now. Anyway, he kindly autographed the copy of It’s Not Easy Being Green and I just sat there and tried to take in all the history behind one man, all that he had done, seen, and experienced. I felt even more pathetic that I honored all of that with one feeble request for an autograph.
We shuffled our way up to the theater and my husband pointed out Brian Henson standing a few meters away. I squinted at him to make sure it was him before embarrassing myself, and it was. His hair has changed many times, but when he smiled and turned in profile, I was sure it was him. I worked my way towards him and asked for an autograph too. This time, I felt like shit because I felt like I was a bit of an intrusion. He didn’t smile or say much beyond asking my name and then commenting when I had said it was wonderful to be able to meet both him and Jerry Nelson all in one evening. I stood there and was horrified at the realization that nothing I could saw in a few seconds would sum up how I felt about Henson and all that Henson has done. So I said nothing. I didn’t want to be a bother, so I clammed up, thanked him for his time and took my little growing collection of autographs to my seat.
The show started rather abruptly and the hanging map of Frogtown Hollow fell away to reveal a teenager girl’s bedroom. Hello. This is new, I thought. And a bit cheesy. God I hope it’s not too cheesy. The girl is Jane (Kate Wetherhead), it’s Christmas Eve, and she’s in the midst of a cell phone conversation with a friend before moving on to recording an “Xmas” song on her laptop. They’re trying to be hip, I thought. Oh dear. Well, I guess they feared not being able to connect with today’s youth who have been raised on TV shows starring hip, cynical, sarcastic characters as opposed to genuinely nice, sweet people. No one’s nice and sweet anymore, are they?
Jane’s father (Alan Campbell) came in and waxed nostalgic about Christmases past when his daughter delighted in making glittery Christmas ornaments as opposed to wallowing in the material side of the season. He brings up her once favorite book, Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas. This leads into her permitting him to read her just the start of the story, before she goes to hang out with her friends. The scene then shifts to the river, where Emmet (Daniel Reichard) and Ma Otter (Cass Morgan) sing “The One Bathing Suit”. This stirred the audience beautifully. There were utterances of recognition, nostalgia, and delight all breathed simultaneously. It was like the whole hall turned into children again.
The boat rolled along, and the effect was added to by the puppets that were shown whizzing by both up and down-stage. The huge problem for us, being in the orchestra and not in the front row, was that the downstage puppets were barely visible at all, so I lost a LOT of the visual humor whenever they had puppets down there. Anyway, the ones that I could see speeding by were very funny. And then Wendel (perfectly recreated by Robb Sapp, everyone loved you, Mr. Sapp!) went by and the audience stirred again. You’d think they’d just seen an old friend who always made them laugh in years past.
A new exposition song, “Waterville” was added introducing the audience to Frogtown Hollow’s town, describing their pride in actually having electricity and indoor plumbing and generally giving an opportunity for the lovely cast to come out and show off their whimsical costumes. The humanoid animal costumes were perfect (well done, Mr. Gregg Barnes!), casting my memory back to stage productions of both Beatrix Potter stories and the Wind in the Willows. The make-up (no credit given to make-up artist in the program?) reminded me more of past productions of The Wind in the Willows, where small prostheses were added along with face paint as opposed to full masks covering the whole head as in the Beatrix Potter ballet. It was perfect too. Set against a warm, detailed set of the bedroom, the trees on either side of the stage, the riverbank, the town, and then the addition of a red curtain to imply the talent show towards the end, and the interior and exterior of the Otter’s cabin were all absolutely delightful and fluid. Anna Louizos (set design) and Brian MacDevitt (lighting design) brought to life a setting we all know so well. Mr. MacDevitt even went so far as to make sure he included that fantastic sunset you may recall from the movie as Ma and Emmet continue to row off out of sight and a single wading bird stands in the water, silhouetted against the orange and red sky. When that bird appeared downstage and stretched it’s long neck up towards the sky, I felt strangely like that was a symbol of the cast and crew’s respect and tribute to Jim Henson himself. The audience ooh-ed and laughed with appreciation of the attention paid to recreating and reimagining an image they knew so well.
The best thing about the whole show was the audience response to things. They anticipated jokes they remembered, delighted in new ones added, and practically squealed with joy at the sight of the Riverbottom Nightmare Band! The snake and catfish remained puppets throughout, while the rest were played by actors. They were later depicted as puppets in their car for both the tribute to the TV movie and to be able to have the car visible on stage at all.
Before making their entrance, the music store owner had her own little added exposition song, “At the Music Store”, to later contrast with her bawdy number Paul Williams had originally written a portion of but didn’t use when the movie was being made. The actress (Madeleine Doherty) was cute, and I could see her struggling to get to the instruments in time to mime the little notes that were actually played by the fantastic band, but working in community theater makes me all too ready to forgive little things like that. It was a cute little song, but I had a hard time catching all the lyrics because my daughter was getting antsy at a scene she didn’t recognize from the movie. The voice she chose to give the character was also laying the groundwork for an amusing contrast with her much deeper, throatier, sexier singing voice later on during the talent contest when she sings “Born in a Trunk”, but it meant that I had to strain a little to get all of her words with the squeaky, high pitched voice she started off with.
In Act II, a song was added to flesh out the loss Ma Otter still feels for her deceased husband. His spirit literally appears at her side and serenades her with his guitar, encouraging her to hold onto hope even though it appears that she has arrived too late to participate in the talent contest. “Alice Keep Dreaming” is followed by the talent show which was also given more depth by having the Old Lady Possum character (puppeteered by Anney McKilligan) not only playing accompaniment on the piano but also commenting on the acts. The infamous George and Melissa kicking and jumping act was funny enough as it was, but was actually enhanced by Old Lady Possum’s annoyance with them for having stolen some of her carrots recently, so she plays their music double time (and faster!) to exhaust them. The rabbits and acrobatic squirrels were all puppeteered by performers in black, camouflaged against the black backdrop. I’ve always thought that I would really enjoy the opportunity to do that kind of puppeteering… It incorporates a little more dance into the operation of the puppets, I feel…
Thankfully, Paul Williams’ beautiful song “When the River Meets the Sea” was reprised at the end. I always thought that was such a good song that it was a waste to have it sung only once in the movie. It stung my eyes a little to hear it live for the first time. It made me think of Jerry Nelson starting it off at Jim Henson’s memorial. Cass Morgan has a beautiful voice and it held all the maternal charm of the original Marilyn Sokol with her own individual, personal warmth added to the role. I also have to give mention to Kevin Covert who played the slightly cynical Mayor Fox really well. His relationship with his wife was given a little more color by having him forced to remove his badly disguised wife from the competition. I was delighted to see Tyler Bunch was one of the principle puppeteers too. My daughter absolutely adores him as Grampu in Oobi and I thought he was great in Puppet Up Uncensored!
Overall, I was GREATLY impressed by how the director and playwright, Christopher Gattelli and playwright Timothy A. McDonald played the dangerous game of “how do I breathe new life into a show without upsetting the dedicated fan base?” They managed to add in totally new funny lines and scenes as well as developing original jokes and plot lines. How they managed to do this so well, I have no idea. While I’m still not totally sure how I feel about Jane and her dad (not the actors, they were fine, just the addition of the characters), I can see how the authors may have worried about trying to connect a new, young audience to a show unlike anything else they’ll have ever seen in this age of cell phones, Internet, and sarcastic cynicism.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
I'm hoping my munchkin will sit still long enough to enjoy the show that she has already grown to enjoy in DVD form. I'm also hoping that our OTHER munchkin sits still and doesn't decide to use my bladder like a punching bag the way he/she did on a particularly long drive home the other day.
I've tried not to pack like an Arab (come on, my Middle Eastern homies, you know you pack like Armageddon is around the corner) but seeing as I now have to wear tent sized winter outfits, that's not leaving a lot of room for all the silly little optional stuff like diapers and sippy cups. The problem is that we have one of those huge, spacious mini-vans (complete with DVD player for the little one THANK DODGE FOR THAT) and I have a tendency to allow my crap to expand to fill the space provided. You give me more space, I hog that too. I'm like a gelatinous cube of space absorption. (A little nod to my D&D buds).
Anyway, I'd best make sure I have skipped over any essentials and clear some space on the DVR.
By the way... When I heard Pushing Daisies got canceled, I shouted "sonofabitch". Every time the thought crops up in my mind again and again, I repeat myself "sonofabitch" (emphasis on the last syllable.) Dammit. I really enjoy that show. ABC, you're a bunch of sonsofbitches. No longer will I get to enjoy Chi McBride's wry humor, gaze at Lee Pace's charming Jim Dale-ish appearance, and ogle Kristen Chenoweth's generous... Tracts of land. I'm disappointed. Never was witty dialogue and great bosom accentuating costumes so well put together in one show. ABC, once the last few episodes have been aired, I'm going to go back to watching absolutely NO SHOWS on your stupid channel. Sonofabitch.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I may be a critical, whiny, cynical little bint, but I'm still proud of the good ol' UAE. "3eeshy bilaaaady, 3ash itihaaad Imaaaraatinaaaa...!"
I suck at writing Arabic using English characters. Take my word for it, I sang it really well just now. My cats are staring at me. Again.
I never thought I'd buy a pregnancy test for a 14 year old and then help her read the results. It came out negative. That time. I know I shouldn't have been the one to do that, but I've grown accustomed to other people who should do it passing the buck or simply refusing to do it, and her mother would have killed her, so I simply said "Don't ever do anything that will give you this scare again." I bet she was inspired by my words and went on to live a life of chastity. And then went on to cure cancer too. I live in hope.
I never considered planning on where I'd most likely survive by hiding during a school shooting. (The closet behind my desk.)
I never thought I'd lower my standards to the point that I'm simply grateful if a student shows up/doesn't fall asleep/doesn't fight/doesn't cuss out their teachers. Of course that doesn't apply to all my kids, just the REALLY special ones.
I never thought I'd be asked if I'd ever stripped on the side for extra money because teaching doesn't pay that well.
I never thought I'd be capable of lying the way I have done: "Oh you were absent yesterday... I missed you!" I figure making them feel valued is worth the lie, even though I'd rather stub my bare foot on a heavy piece of Chippendale furniture than see the kid. Repeatedly. Then walk on glass.
I never thought I'd smell fecal matter on a teenager again since the last time I did volunteer work with the severely handicapped back home.
I never thought I'd come across students who didn't have special needs who read on the third grade level, can't add single digit numbers, recite their times tables, and/or read clocks. How the hell do they get to the 9th grade?!
I never knew I'd have to try to explain a minimum of sixteen times that the Greek myths we read are NOT based on factual historical events. I thus have to endure "how can THAT happen?", "this isn't true, is it?", "this is bull" and "is Zeus Jesus?" over and over until that unit is over. It breaks my heart that so many of them don't get to appreciate the fantastic, imaginative elements of the tales because they're so caught up in only what is real and credible. The only thing they seem to get out of the whole unit is that "Zeus was a pimp!" Sigh. At least they enjoyed Of Mice and Men...
I never thought my job would consist mainly of being a substitute mother, police officer, parole officer, nurse, drug dog, and counselor with a teensy bit of teaching thrown in on a VERY good day. Boy was I naive!
I can't really imagine doing anything else... Unless an opening comes up at Henson, that is, in which case I'd have the opportunity to help educate millions of kids and not just dozens a year. And with puppets. And less of a fear of being hit, or pushed down stairs. But seeing as that is about as possible as my giving birth to the messiah in April, I'll stick to public school special ed. for now.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
I'll hopefully post a little more frequently once my college class is over next week, though my next two classes will be starting after Christmas break and the fun will begin again.