Saturday, August 30, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
So, we'll all be scrambling around trying to figure out how to grade things without using a grade...It's mostly just a resume bullet point for our leader. It is hard to jump into such a big project when you don't have any enthusiasm for it. Ooh, listen to her whine...
Once the students show up, I'm sure I'll feel better. As long as I still enjoy the company of nine year kids, I'll be fine doing this job. I don't know what else I'd do, anyway, since I didn't win the million dollars, after all.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
He's doing regular kid-like things, like trying to climb up in her lap while she was sitting at the computer, but tipped back in her chair, talking to me. She shoved him away, and in a loud, angry voice said his name, "***** GET OFF! I TOLD YOU I'M WORKING! GO AWAY!" ooh. All of it could have been said in a neutral voice, or a kind voice, and it would have had the same effect: tell the child that climbing in mom's lap right now is not desirable.
You know how whiny kids get at the end of the day? And they might even hang on your arm? Of course, he's a regular kid, and he does these things frequently at the end of our school day, when he comes on down to his mom's room to meet up. She is consistently harsh and, frankly, almost as whiny. It's almost the way you'd talk to your younger sibling to get them to knock it off.
It is quite striking to witness on the regular basis that I do. I probably can't do anything to affect it, because I realize that this attitude of negativity is an integral part of her personality. But I wonder, if I did find a way to point out that speaking in a neutral or kindly voice to her little son would be good for both of them, if she'd be able to hear me? Or would I just put myself into a place where I don't belong? Probably, huh?
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I vaguely remember this happening. It occured in April, about six weeks before my wedding, plus the whole country was completely engrossed in the Watergate scandal. Just four months later, Nixon resigned.
Watching this movie was a delight. One strong impression I had was that this was the definition of obsession. The young man in the film had seen an article about the trade center towers before construction had even begun, and from then on, had this need to walk between them. Another thing that intrigued me was his ability to engage, or almost entrap, others to help him pull off his exploits. He's climbed and walked a number of places where he wasn't invited.
Go see this movie. It's almost a documentary, not quite--some things are reenacted. It's black and white, it has some interviews with people who aren't fluent in English so there are subtitles here and there. Just describing it, it sounds weird. And it is, a little. Oh, and the music is excellent! But, you'll love it! It's not like anything else I've seen. It's very entertaining and odd.
Friday, August 15, 2008
The watermelon had been overcome by gravity and had rolled under my car. I couldn't reach it from either side. And it was 107 degrees, so I couldn't exactly lay down on the parking lot and kick at it or push it with a stick. So, I backed up my car a little diagonally, hoping that it would make the melon more reachable.
Except that the watermelon was now jammed under the oil pan and so was being dragged across the pavement as I attempted to free it from being wedged in. A lady came out to get in her truck next to my car. She laughed in that uncomfortable little way we do when we fear the stranger speaking to us from the car now sitting akimbo in the parking lot with the door open, the motor running, and the sun shade still up in the front window. But she couldn't go anywhere till I could get the watermelon unstuck.
Luckily, a really nice man was talking on a cell phone by his truck, apparently calling for someone to help him with his engine (the hood was up). He came over and offered, in heavily accented English, to help me. He was wearing work clothes (I had on white pants, no less) and was willing to get down on the parking on one knee, reach under my car, and tug at the net bag until the watermelon came free. By now it was quite streaked with grease, so he got it all over his hands. Sorry. But GRACIAS, GRACIAS. Sheesh.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
This is one of the babies riding with her grandma. Mom and Dad were at the county fair, competing on their horses in some events. This little cowgirl was six months old on that day. She rode a 4-wheeler up the hill and a horse back down. She's a real Wyoming girl, huh?
This is the path of the avalanche. It broke off the ridge, scooped up all the trees in the "V" area and filled the meadow below and splashed up the opposite side. Ten acres, ten feet deep. There are trees lying in the debris field that are eight feet in diameter that were snapped off like you'd break off a cattail. (Looking east)
For the first time in my life, I saw what was on the other side of the mountains that I've looked at all my life while standing in my mom's yard. Fifty-five years of wondering, fulfilled. When I was quite small, I thought that New York City was there--it was east, after all, and I knew that over the mountains, to the east, was NYC. Hmmm...a little further east however, it turned out. (This is looking west)
This is looking north. You can see why he felt like this was a sacred spot each time he visited. It is serene, awe-inspiring, and completely spectacular. Very few of us can spend our last moment on earth in an spot that soothes our soul and makes us acutely conscious of the reality of a loving God. It just happened too soon for those he left behind.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Notice that the pant legs must scrunch down over the heels, and a little mud on the hem is okay.
Next: the jeans. There is a correct cowboy jean, it must be snug fitting, not slouching off your fanny, but up around the natural waistline, and accessorized with the right kind of belt.
Ideally, this belt will be fastened with a big, oval buckle declaring your prowess in a rodeo event.
Finally, the ensemble is completed with the right kind of hat. Because it is summer, this hat is straw. If it was a cold weather event, then a felt hat would be appropriate. The hat is not soiled, nor is the rim twisted up, ala Britney or a dozen other celebs.
This is the proper attire for the stock sale at a county fair in the West. Of course, your shirt will be button-up (or snaps) and it will have a collar, and be tucked into your pants.
Isn't it interesting that no matter where you go, an unspoken dress code is in effect? Despite being dressed as a tourist from Las Vegas, I wasn't shunned by the other attendees, probably because many of them were friends and relatives who were surprised to see me there at all. It's nice to be the person others are happy to see.
Monday, August 04, 2008
In other words, even though I won a whole bunch of money, and got to be on TV, Real Life is still here, and nothing really changed while I was away, except the condition of some left-overs in the refrigerator---eeewww.
I'll just keep going along like I always have, but I know that in three months, I'll be able to remodel my closet!! Yea!!
Friday, August 01, 2008
- The check arrives thirty days after the air date of the program in which you appear. They gave me the fake check that Meredith shows on the air in the amount of money I ultimately won. It's cool to look at!!!
- Yes, you have to pay taxes on it. But, it isn't taxed extra because you won it. It is just taxable income. So, a smart person will get the check, bank the money needed for the taxes, and earn interest on it until she needs to hand it over to the Feds. And since she won the money by knowing weird stuff...then she'll do the smart thing, huh? Yes.
- However, you also have to remember that if you won enough it could put you into a new tax bracket, so read up on it!
I find it amusing that, even though I live in Vegas, Baby, I wouldn't dream of playing blackjack, poker or even putting even one quarter in a slot machine. But I love being on gameshows. It's different, isn't it? I mean, at least I get the fun of being on TV; most of the people I see at the casinoes aren't even smiling.