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

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Yeesh.

It's not been that great a week. First, my parents-in-law had to put down one of their beloved dogs, then my father-in-law collaped and had to have a pacemaker put in, and now one of our own dog's goes and has what I can only presume is a stroke.
A short while ago, I had read a horrifying account of someone whose dog rapidly deteriorated neurologically to the point that he could do nothing but walk in circles incessently until she finally conceded to have the poor thing put down. Seeing our old dog inexplicably walk backwards in the most odd way then fall wildly over my daughter's empty bouncy chair before he collapsed onto his side was a terrifying reminder of that article. Would he be similarly compelled to move in an unnatural way until we would finally set aside our selfishness to let him go?

Did I really have to finally accept that our old dog, the dog my husband and step-son had before I joined the family, is really on his way out? His many grey muzzle hairs and gradually slowing gait when hobbling up the stairs to our room at night are painful reminders of his advancing age, and I've said many times that I knew his time must be coming soon, but saying the words and actually being prepared for it are two entirely different things. I thought if I said it enough, I'd actually be prepared. If I was so damn prepared for the inevitable, why are my eyes brimming with tears every time I look over at him to make sure his belly is still rising and falling?

My father-in-law recovered beautifully from his operation, thankfully, so the news isn't all bad. I suppose being so sheltered thus far in my life has lead me to dwell on the few instances of hardship more than I should. I think of my own father. He died alone. He was in bed, so I pray death came to him in his sleep, but he was alone, damn it.

My uncle's partner was luckier, I suppose. He died with my uncle, his ex-wife with whom he still had an amicable relationship, and his son, all there by his side. He was surrounded by people who loved him very much, and I think he knew it. I had just arrived in the country the day before he died, so I wasn't there for him either.

I guess it's the death of one and the reminder of mortality in two others over the past week has given me some reason to feel a little crappy. I wish I believed in an afterlife. If I really believed in heaven, I'd cry so few tears for the people I lose in this life... I wonder why people who say they believe in the afterlife cry so much when they lose a loved one? I'm assuming they don't fear the said loved one is headed for hell, but if they really believed they were headed for all the milk and honey of some deity's garden, where no pain or suffering is known, why not rejoice? That would surely overrule any feelings of simply missing the person until they are to be reuinted, wouldn't it? I don't mean to insult believers, I've just always wondered that.

I'm afraid to laugh or smile, as though I'm tempting some sort of bad karma upon the ones I love. Ironic, I know.

I think I'll re-read a moving letter I got from a student to remind myself I do actually have some power to do good in this world.

Man, I'm such a downer. Sorry.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Song That Make Me Melancholy

Those Were the Days- Mary Hopkin


You've got to see this version too! Leningrad Cowboys rock.


Two Little Boys- Rolf Harris


Sinead does a touching a capella version too...


Zombie- The Cranberries


One Tin Soldier- The Original Caste


Runaway Train- Soul Asylum


Hazard- Richard Marx (embedding not permitted for the actual music video, so it's one of those annoying youtube montages...)


Theme from Dot and the Kangaroo (STILL makes me tear up)


99 Red Balloons- Nena


Screaming at the Wailing Wall- Flogging Molly


Rainbow Connection- Jim Henson


Fast Car- Tracy Chapman (and this isn't even the song she wrote about a guy beating his woman to death...)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Songs that Make me BEAM

And I don't just mean crack a small smile, I mean smile like I not only find global poverty, child abuse, wars, and famine have all come to an end but I've also got another Lion chocolate bar on my snack shelf.

Mr. Blue Sky- E.L.O.


Pure Imagination- Gene Wilder


Wake Up Boo!- Boo Radleys



Everybody Needs Somebody- The Blues Brothers. (Actually, just about the whole soundtrack of that movie delights me. Dan Ackroyd was so damn cute.)


Blue Skies- Betty Hutton (Ella's version is amazing too. Oh yeah, Brent Spiner too...)


Everybody Wants to be a Cat- Scatman Crothers & Phil Harris.


I Wanna Be Like You- Louis Prima


Bare Necessities- Phil Harris


Come on Eileen- Dexy's Midnight Runners


Disco 2000- Pulp (sorry, better copies were not embeddable...)

Still Here. Sort Of.

Taking another online M. Ed. class online. Work started. Pets need feeding. So do I. Really want to get into that hot tub we've got. Talking. In. Short. Shatner. Sentences.

I shall attempt to return with a little more regularity at some point. In the mean time, here's a story to inform my fellow educators of how NOT to handle delicate circumstances involving children... This story is for you, my favorite hot blue-eyed science teacher who I promised I wouldn't do posts like this, but I lied. This story is set in the past, so I'm willing to forgive if such instances STAY in the past and are never repeated again. Ever.

RatherLoudScienceTeacher: (marches into special ed. classroom. A few students are working silently with their special ed. teachers nearby.) Well, I can tell you right now who's going to fail. THAT one, THAT one, and DEFINITELY HER. I know, I know... She was raped an' all, but she's just not making any effort in my class."

Yes. You read that last line correctly. Yes, this teacher did say all this loud enough for all the students and adults in the room to hear. No, it is not based on some sort of "tough love" educational philosophy espoused by Ruby Payne.

I may tease my students, I may make fun of some of the silly things they say, but I LOVE my students. I respect my students' strengths and needs. I may not always understand them, but I sure as hell want to be there for them and do the best I can to help them be successful. I may not always be the best adult for them, and so I honor any adult they can interact with better than they can with me. I so hope this teacher proves to have grown since that incident. I think growth goes a long way towards making up for something like that.