Thursday, June 28, 2007

Holla!

This picture completely cracked me up. I love me some Dolly Parton, and the juxtaposition of modern ghetto-ese over her Super Star image makes me smile.

So I got through my first lesson last night, despite the fact my learner showed up 30 minutes late. I was literally walking out of the library door as she was walking in.

It went really well though and I am excited about seeing her again Monday night.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tonight I'm Yours ...

Do anything that you want me to
(Don't hurt me, don't hurt me) ...

Wow. This week is flying by and I'm all crazy busy but getting lots of shizz did.

I'm quite nervous, actually, as tonight I meet my tutorial student for the first time. I feel such a huge sense of responsibility to her and hope I will not fail in my efforts to teach her to learn to read. I want to open up the world to her - and words do that for us.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tragedies

I spent a really fun, festive weekend in Atlanta with friends, and, in driving home yesterday afternoon, was stopped in traffic on Interstate 20 in the aftermath of this accident. It was seriously the most gruesome accident scene I'd ever witnessed. I am always just gobsmacked when stuff like this happens as it makes one realize how near-to-death we are each and every day of our lives. It's a reminder to live every moment while you're living.

My heart goes out to the families and friends who have been so deeply affected by this tragedy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Days of Yore ...

Sometimes I like to dig deep into the vault. And when I do, sometimes a good song will present itself. Like this one:

"Physical Attraction"

You say that you need my love
And you're wantin' my body, I don't mind
Baby all I've got is time
And I'm waiting to make you mine

You say you wanna stay the night
But you'll leave me tomorrow, I don't care
All of your moves are right
We can take it anywhere, this

Chorus:

Physical attraction
It's a chemical reaction
Physical attraction
Chemical reaction

Trying hard to get away
But I can't seem to fight the way I feel
Even though you're not for real
Your touch is driving me
Crazy and when you smile
It's just makin' me want you more and more
Baby won't you stay a while
It could be such a fantasy

(chorus)

Maybe we were meant to be together
Even though we never met before
We got to move before the sun is rising
And you'll be walking slowly out the door

Out The Door.....
(chorus)

Spoken:
Your Confusing Me.
Cause I don't know If you want me
But I know that I want you
And that's nothing to be ashamed of
What are you gonna do?

Well....

You say that you need my love
And you're wantin' my body, I don't mind
Baby all I've got is time
And I'm waiting to make you mine

You say you wanna stay the night
But you'll leave me tomorrow, I don't care
All of your moves are right
We can take it anywhere, this

Chorus: (X2)
Sweet Satisfaction..yeah...

Music Break (17 Seconds)

Maybe we were meant to be together
Even though we never met before
We got to move before the sun is rising
And you'll be walking slowly out the door..
Out the Door...

Physical attraction
It's a chemical reaction
Ohh it's a Physical attraction
It's a Chemical reaction
Yeah

Attraction, reaction but so much satisfaction
Attraction, reaction but so much satisfaction
It's a Physical, Physical attraction
Physical attraction
A chemical reaction, A chemical reaction
(x3)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

$36 Million

So, wow. That's about all I can say when I read a story like this. I mean, if you gotz the extra dollaz, then I guess more power to you. However, let me climb up on my liberal soap box here and say, well, I won't say it. I think we can fill in the blanks based on own beliefs and values.

I was a pretty serious art student when I was much younger. I love art, and particularly modern art. Heck, I even love some impressionist art. I understand why art is valued the way that it is but, damn, $36 million?
That's more than most lottery jackpots. It's also enough to feed about 36 million Africans for one day. Maybe even two days.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Word To The Wise

Upon my return from Mobile yesterday, I do what I always do ... take Banzai to the car wash for a squeaky clean experience. Driving through the country tends to bring out the locust swarms and nothing says "eww!" like bug guts all over a black car.

As I was pressure washing the front fender, I noticed what appeared to be two significant scratches. I'd been out on the town with my cousin the night before, so I thought, "Shit. Someone hit my car in the parking lot and now I have to file an insurance claim. That's just freakin' great." Upon closer examination, however, it turned out to be two long strings of stuck-on gum. As I was doing this exam, I still had the pressure washer going and somehow it got directed right onto my hand where, apparently I was lucky in that it only ripped off a few layers of flesh in a small, isolated spot.

Note to file: Never get a pressure washer, especially at the base of the nozzle, anywhere near your skin. It burns.

It was a fun, fun weekend I must recount. We took my father canoeing down the Escatawpa River that runs the Alabama/Mississippi border. It's all sorts of down-home fun, including riding in the back of a pickup once you're collected and taken back to base camp. As we're driving along this Mississippi road, we notice an oncoming white pickup truck full of guys in the back who begin waving a friendly wave at us. We wave back. Then we notice they have on white shirts with green/white striped pants.

Convicts. They were convicts.

The Robby Johnson has now been:

1.) Kicked out of a strip club before he even got in because his friend, who convinced him to go with her as she was seeking out her adulterous husband, punched the stripper girlfriend of said husband in the face before we could even get in the club and;
2.) Mistaken for a convict.

If that is not badass, I don't know what is.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Me and Blondes ...

Did you know a male is "blond" and a female is "blonde?" See, there's a reason you read my blog. And that reason, of course, is your insatiable thirst for knowledge. Knowledge is power! Viva La Emancipacion!

OK, really. I have always had a thing for blondes who like to have a good time. My friends Charley and Simone (their own code names) have entertained me greatly the past two nights.

I have known Simone since I was a chicken - we worked together at my first job out of college so I was, what, 23? She lives in Tennessee now and we share a mutual friend who lives here in TTown. Charley (she of the french braid inspired by Lucy Ewing) had us over to her hacienda last night where we cut up, danced, catwalked, and ate, in no particular order.

Charley and Simone have both gone through significant breakups in the past week, so they had to call in the big guns. And by big guns, I mean me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Overslept


Nothing profound today because I freaking slept until 6 and was all, "Later, I'll get up later." Thank God I just picked up new dry-cleaning and it's Pilates at noon, so maybe I deserved an extra hour of sleep. I stayed up late last night reading a book. It's really good and I highly recommend it.

"In The Company of the Courtesan" by Sarah Dunant.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Literacy Tutor

When I was reading the paper on Sunday I saw a section for volunteer recruiting. One group that was recruiting is the PLUS Tuscaloosa program, a division of the Adult Education Center at Shelton State Community College - they're seeking tutors to help teach reading two hours each week.

I love to read. I love to write. In fact, I cannot imagine my life without the knowledge I have of how words come together singularly, and how they connect as a sentence, and how we use them to express our needs and to communicate with those around us.

I have always wanted to help those who are functionally illiterate. I am empathetic to them as I am quite sure I have dyscalculia, which is the math equivalent of dyslexia. I don't think it's fair to assume a child is just not applying himself, or that he's simply a dumbass, when he fails at certain lessons. I think you just have to come at it from a different angle and determine the best protocol for their learning. I have experienced this with horses and it's taught me valuable lessons. While we start with a standard approach to training, it's best to let the horse dictate how they learn. Otherwise you're just frustrated and your horse is probably scared and unwilling to relax his jaw and offer up his back.

Last night I went to the training course at the public library and am very excited that I could be matched with a learner in as little as a week! I'm somewhat nervous about it because I don't want to fail them as a teacher, so I'll have to study-up on the teacher's guide to the lesson book prior to our first session. They teach from a Laubach System which is apparently an industry leader (Fantasia Barrone is learning to read from this system).

I'm very excited about it and hope I can make a difference. I think everyone should read.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mung Beans

So on Saturday I went to Manna Grocery, our local healthfood store that has all sorts of flossy-flossy health food, including a little cafe in the back. I like to go buy red lentils in bulk because I'm pretty sure that I could live on them as a.) they're so easy to cook and b.) they're so good and c.) you can get like 3 pounds of them for less than $5.

As I am often prone to do, I get visually overstimulated by texture and color and though I've never had a mung bean and, come on, who wants to eat a bean that rhymes with rhinoceros poo?, I had to buy a bag of these too. I am very into food these days and, as it turns out, mung beans are used heavily in ayurvedic recipes. I think this is a sign from Brahma or Buddha that I need to be cleansing my system and getting my chakras in alignment.

Last night I had a dream. I was having lunch with a high school classmate who was getting verklempt over organizing our upcoming 10-year reunion. I kept saying, "We HAVE to have one, come on, I'll organize it, how hard can it be?, we just get on classmates.com and then plan a party! We have to have one, I have been starving for nearly 2 years!" I woke up briefly and was somewhat mortified to determine that we have, in fact, had a 10-year reunion and that was, oh, 1999. I am a little bit wigged out over the fact I've been out of high-school for 18 years.

18 years, 18 years, and on the 18th year he found out ...

1.) Eat healthy.
2.) Get plenty of sleep.
3.) Exercise.
4.) Relax and give yourself time inside your own head.

I promise not to just blog about healthy food. I do actually have a life. It's just very hung-up on preparing myself for the next four years of my 30's. The looming "36" is really forcing some change in me. It's hard to describe, but I guess the best word I can think of is "humbling."

Friday, June 08, 2007

Affirmation ...

Aha! I'm apparently onto something.

Read this article on how to eat healthier on a budget. Although I'm not so sure the bullet points necessarily address eating healthy, just how to shop on a budget, which makes me believe the author was actually watching, like, Project Runway or something last night when she remembered, "Oh shit, I must write that damned article ..." and the rest, as they say, is history.

I was hoping for more:
  • Steam an entire bag of brown rice and bag it down into individual serving sizes which you can freeze. Thaw individual bags for half an hour, then microwave.
  • Cook a bag of black beans until nearly done on the stovetop, then place in a crockpot with fresh corn cut off the cob and a can of unsalted chopped tomatoes. Place half in freezer (once cool) and eat the rest throughout the week. Garnish with fresh cilantro ... it's so good!
  • Each week, buy three sweet potatoes. Bake in the oven and season with Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning spice, or cut into rounds and steam for 25 minutes. I love Paul Newman's Lite Ginger Soy dressing as an accompaniment.
  • Wilt fresh spinach in a pot on the stove and add chopped firm tofu the last 10 minutes. I always eat the whole pot because, hello, 3 big bunches of spinach wilted is like 5 bites for a soldier like me.
Whatever you do, avoid Sam's Club at all costs. It's the motherlode of trans-fatty acids and, really, who needs it?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tattoo You

If you think I didn't get a new tattoo last night, you're wrong! I've had the design for nearly two years, having been inspired to get another tattoo when I suddenly found myself single (after nearly 10 years) two years ago.

Initially, I was full of rage, and wanted the word "Emancipation" tattooed really prominently on my body somewhere - like those big block letters across my stomach - but years of experience have taught me that it's never a good idea to impulse over 1.) flame-wars online and 2.) tattoos.

About 18 months ago I found a guy online who specializes (and guarantees his work) in Japanese kanjii. This is kanjii for a word called "jiyuu," which means "freedom, liberty." I think it's such a nicer way of saying "emancipation."

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hate Crimes

I hope you can read this drivel. (Try clicking on the image and perhaps it will enlarge, if you cannot.)

Worry not, I've already written and sent a response to the paper.

If you're so inclined, you may do the same by emailing a letter - 250 words or less - to ben.windham@tuscaloosanews.com.

Letters like this appear in Tuscaloosa News all of the time, spanning a broad range of fundamental viewpoints on things like medicine, education, waste disposal, lawn sprinkling, etc. It is so difficult to comprehend. I just don't know what else to say.

Oh, except, there is a difference between Hate Speech and a Hate Crime, jackass. Perhaps you should educate yourself before you go spouting off in an editorial. And "witnessing?" Yeah, have you been to an event where there were "Christians" "witnessing?" If by witnessing what you mean is hurling hate speech then, yes, your Cracker ass deserves to get arrested.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

08 Presidential Elections: Volume 1, Part 1

So, I cannot vote for this guy for several reasons, the most of which is that he reminds me of a little beady-eyed Beetlejuice character and, I'm sorry, but we cannot have an ugly president. There, I said it. It's not an elephant in the room anymore.

Secondly, I love Hilary Rodham Clinton but if you think for one second I believe yesterday's puketastic "Faith got me through it ..." statement, you're wrong! I think it's such a transparent ploy to gain the faith-based voter's attention. And let me just clarify by saying that, sure, faith may've gotten her through it, but I don't think it was the "Dear God, please give me back my husband"faith in that most associate with passive women. If anything I would speculate it was more "Dear God, please don't let me filet him in his sleep, and please let this blow over so that I can one day be the president," faith. Sort of like, he's the cross she has to bear.

If that's the case, then I say "rock on" to Hil.

I still like Obama the best.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Farmer's Market

Most everyone knows that I get up with the chickens. It's just the way my biological clock is wound. As soon as it's daylight, I'm up and at 'em. I do, however, require a solid 8 hours of sleep, so that also means I go to roost early too. An ideal night has me in bed at 9 p.m. and up at 5 a.m.

I'm like this on weekends as well, so on Saturday morning at 6:55 a.m. I decided to drive across the river to see if the Tuscaloosa Farmer's Market was up and running and, lo and behold, it was! I was there with all sorts of folks and scored a zucchini, 3 yellow squash, a pound of pole beans, a pound of fresh spinach, a pound of mustard greens, and a bunch of turnips, for $8.50. Madness!

Most of the "Eat To Live" way of eating is based on eating lots of fresh greens, and it's nice to have an option for better quality throughout the summer.

There's also something really nice about going to market. It put me in a great mood and really set my weekend up to be enjoyable. I got a lot of personal organization done at home, managed to hang out by the pool for a few hours, and hung out with some friends on Saturday and Sunday. I shouldn't admit going to TCBY both days but, hey, that's what elliptical machines are for, right?

Friday, June 01, 2007

One Sixty Five

You guys, it's a miracle! I finally weighed 165 this morning. What's next? 160? I have no idea. What I do know is I'm about to hop my hiney on my elliptical machine and will be doing Pilates at lunch. Have a great Friday!