Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Birthers May Be on to Something

Today I was thinking about the birthers (those who think Obama was born in Kenya). Of course, there are many who think that the Birther movement is completely absurd due to Obama having provided more documentation of the circumstances of his birth than any other presidential candidate in history. However, the more I think about it, the more it becomes clear to me that we really can't "know" the circumstances of Obama's birth. As any faithful viewer of "Days of Our Lives" will tell you, almost no one was born under the circumstances that they and their loved ones believe. For example, take one of my wife's favorite characters on the show. He was believed by his mother to have been conceived when Elvis Presley visited her in the hospital and impregnated her. However, it turned out that it wasn't Elvis at all, but Stefano Dimera in disguise. When one considers this irrefutable evidence, it seems extremely unlikely that President Obama is the product of a union between an eighteen-year-old white woman from Kansas and a Kenyan college student. I consider it much more likely that he is, in fact, the son of Elvis Presley and an African-American woman from Georgia by the name of Gertrude Jones. Elvis, of course, engineered Obama's false upbringing, having anticipated that in the monarchy-averse United States, people would be reluctant to vote for the only male heir to The King. As such, president Obama's true identity has remained a mystery, but I believe it will all be revealed after his presidency in the best selling book, Dreams from my Father II: I Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog by Barack Hussein Presley.

Friday, July 2, 2010

I'm Published

Okay, published is a strong word. The outdoor clothing company Patagonia has a blog called “The Cleanest Line”. For Father’s day, they asked for submissions about outdoor experiences their readers had had with their dads. I submitted a story and they accepted it. It can be seen here.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Livin' the Twilife

I apologize in advance for beating this dead horse some more, but I can't resist.

A friend won tickets to this early showing of Eclipse and invited me to come along with a couple of other friends. These are folks I like, so I figured, what the heck? I'll go. I considered wearing the Twilight shirt Deb gave me, but I couldn't quite bring myself to do it. Apparently, I have a problem with pride that I should work on. All y'all might think I couldn't keep my opinions to myself, but amid all the Edward and Jacob paraphernalia, I mostly held my tongue. I sensed the danger. Though when the guy came out and, in an attempt at humor, welcomed us to the special showing of Toy Story 3, I couldn't resist saying, "You mean we get to see a good movie?" Luckily I suppose, not too many folks heard me, and I think those who did were confused. Anyway, before the movie started, there were some prize giveaways, and I got to watch people attempt to catch black shirts emblazoned with muscular werewolf chests and sensuous vampire stares. I didn't manage to catch one, nor did I win a replica of Bella's special ring or bracelet in the raffle, but I'm dealing with the disappointment admirably. After the fruitless round of prize giveaways, I enjoyed some previews before being plunged into the world of sparkling vampires and lovesick werewolves. I will not say I wasn't entertained. In fact, this may be a movie I'd give "better than the book" status. Mainly because there were real people playing the roles and that was enough to infuse these mostly blank characters with at least some semblance of personality. Okay, not all of them, but I kinda liked Charlie. Also, there were some lovely forest and snow shots. But then there were these ridiculously computer graphic looking werewolves running around, and when a completely fake looking werewolf Jacob came up to be scratched behind the ears by Bella, I was not the only one who couldn't repress a snigger. Then there were vampires breaking like ice, and it appeared their bodies were solid. Where do they keep the sperm? And Carlisle just looked weird. Jasper looked almost cool, except with that milky white skin, those ruby red lips, and those shiny, curly locks, I found myself wanting to put him in a blue petticoat dress and a straw hat with a big bow on it and stick a shepherd's crook in his hand. Somehow I just couldn't get into the drama of Bella's choice to become a vampire when I knew she wouldn't actually have to give up her humanity (such as it is), bearing children or hanging out with her parents. And every time the tortured Jacob laid his heart before Bella's clumsy feet, I just wanted to shout, "It's not her; it's just one of her eggs you're after!" Then there was the co-dependency of Bella and Edward, portrayed just as nauseatingly as one could hope. Honestly, when I get a hankering for over-the-top melodrama with a hefty dose of sexual tension, I watch "Days of our Lives" or listen to Air Supply. I prefer my cheesy melodrama straightforward and unpretentious. I find it less insulting. All in all, I can say this movie lived up to my expectations with flying colors.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Rant, A Tooth, and Some Birthdays

Can you believe that school district in Rhode Island firing all the teachers at a failing high school? Nice job narrowing down the problem to . . . every single teacher at that school sucking. Hmmm . . . sounds plausible. Probably had nothing to do with the low socioeconomic area, the lack of parental support, or the administration. Maybe the superintendent of that district, Gallo, should consider firing herself. But then, she's a politician. Good job not pointing the finger at yourself or your cronies or the parents or the students, Gallo. Stick it to those lousy teachers who actually spend some time with the students and might have a clue what's really going on. Of course, the teachers are to keep their jobs for the rest of this school year. They should walk without warning tomorrow and let the superintendent deal with it. The only reason this thing is feasible is this bad economy in which people are taking what they can get. Still, I wonder how easy it will be to replace the teachers. And I wonder how well it will go next year with a new staff of teachers having no experience with the students, who will most likely be clueless or desperate if they're willing to take a difficult teaching job at a failing school under an unsupportive superintendent and school board. That school will not improve next year. If it looks like it has, you can bet it's been jerry-rigged to look that way by teachers who are afraid and an administration trying to keep from looking bad for a poor decision that increased the unemployment rate and did no good. It's also possible that this is just a scare tactic to get the teachers to accept, with little compensation, the extra demands the district wants to place on them. Either way, it's a raw deal. Here are a couple of things that might actually do something to improve public schools in this country: smaller class sizes and alternatives, such as trade schools, for kids who don't want to receive the education being offered (surprisingly, these things aren't on the Secretary of Education's plan for improvement---as expected, he's got some garbage that sounds good but won't actually help). To fund smaller classes and alternatives, we might have to cut administrative costs. Big loss, because those guys at the district offices work so hard and have so much to do with the students, right? Oh, we might have to cut some teacher training costs too. Again, big loss. The teachers might have to use the time they would have been "training" to make lesson plans, read up on their subjects, grade papers. Forgive me the rant. I'll be getting my sappy on shortly.

Anyway, Bennett finally lost a tooth. You might have heard the trumpets sounding in proclamation of this monumental, long awaited event.

PICTURES FROM VALENTINE'S DAY (with descriptive titles):

Valentine's Day Finery
The Good Valentine Man Strikes Again!
I Gotta Tap Into My Inner Steve Tyler Here. I've Already Got Three Pieces of Chocolate in My Mouth. Jonathan Keeping These Two from Getting Us Thrown Out of the Preschool Party.
You are so good natured. So cuddly. So forgiving. So patient. I love to watch you running with excitement. I love the way you bring me my shoes and yours when you think it's time to go somewhere. I love that you screamed when Grandma Moore walked out the door, until I called her back so that you could tell her "Bye, Gamma!" and then shut the door with satisfaction. I love to listen to your language emerging, even though your favorite word is "no." I love to listen to you say "Hi!" to everyone we pass at the store. I love to wake up to "Hi, Mommy!" (Well, I love the "Hi, Mommy!" but sometimes the waking up is painful.) I love it when you answer my "I love you" with your "Yawyoo!" I love your face.I love it when you're so happy to be with a pal (that is, when you're not trying to take away whatever toy said pal happens to have). I love how you exclaim, "Yay!" and dance around with your treat when I give you something you think is yummy.
I love to find you in this chair. Doing this. And it happens all the time.
I love that even though you're only two, it seems like you've always been here.
Though it can be painful when you start windmill legging me and shrieking at the top of you lungs, I love your feistiness and your pouts. I love that even though you're feisty, you ask for hugs and kisses, and they really do make things better for you and for me. I love to hear you humming in your room. I love those moments you realize that you love Jasper and I hear you telling him, "Come on, Jasper" and then I hear you teaching him how to make believe. Even though I often try to get you to wear pants more often, I love that you only want to wear dresses. I love your big brown eyes.
I love it when I find something like this when I go to clean up your room.
I love that you and Cole danced to "Puff the Magic Dragon" again and again and that the story makes you sad but you love it anyway.
I love to see moments like this one.
I love that you wanted Dan to wear this bowtie to church on your birthday.

I love this.

Friday, February 12, 2010

If You Need Help Parenting, I Know a Guy

Me: Bennett, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have gotten so mad.

Bennett: Well, I teach a Good Parent class, and I don't have any students, so you can come to my class.

On the review blog: 40 Years of Sunny Days

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fa-la la la la-la la-la la (Yeah, I know , it was a month ago, but I'm helping you keep Christmas with you all through the year.)

Today I've fished a tea set out of the trash, and I've fished trash out of the toilet twice. Once it had been thrown in along with Laraine's unflushed #2, so that was extra pleasant. Still, I thank you, Jasper, for not flushing the trash, at least I hope you haven't. I don't have a good segue, but pictures from the past month follow.

Here are the kids and our little tree. This way, Jasper had a harder time reaching it to destroy it. Also, it was cold and rainy and I just wanted to cut one down and go home.
It snowed. Jasper was confused.

Bennett was ecstatic.
Laraine thought it was pretty cool too. Okay, this isn't a picture of her on the snowy day, but she pretty much looked like this. Only with snow around.
Christmas! It was a grand time, and I disagree with all y'all and your "we shouldn't load kids with presents, three presents were good enough for Jesus" (one WAS gold and the other two were also pretty pricey, by the way) ideas. I remember Christmas being magic and exciting and waiting for a slew of toys such as was never seen on any other day, and I don't think it diminished the spiritual nature of it for me either. My dad was a teacher with five kids, but Mom and Dad, thanks for managing those magical Christmases. That being said, all y'all are probably right, and I spent more than I had on Christmas presents this year, so maybe you've got a good point, but what can I say? I'm materialistic.

New Years Eve. 11:45 p.m.

On the review blog: My Little Pony

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dan was sitting with the kids in the lobby at church. A stout gent came out of a classroom and walked up to Dan and the kids. He looked at Laraine and expressed his admiration for her beauty, how he'd been enjoying her beaming smile as he sat in class. Laraine looked at the man, pointed at Dan's belly and said, "My daddy's fat too."

A couple other endearing (less insulting) lines from Laraine in the past little while:
"Sometimes I look in the mirror and my face is sad."
"At night, the airplanes are stars."

On Dangie Reviews: Sherlock Holmes (2009 film) and Avatar (2009 film)