Monday, February 27, 2017

To the moon, Alice! To the moon!

(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Ralph Cramden or Jackie Gleason
Do you remember “The Jackie Gleason Show” and "The Honeymooners"? My parents watched it regularly, which meant I watched it as well. Pretty young, but I noticed some elements that have given me pause.

Oh, the June Taylor dancers were amazing.  Being so young, the precision was clear with “How did they do that?”

Related image
Over head camera shot

But, the show itself disturbed me.  Art Carney was great; he had comedic sense, Ed Norton,and somehow put up with Jackie Gleason who was Ralph Cramden . But, Jane Meadows? I loved her.  She was so dry, didn’t burst out in laughter, seemed to stay married with Jackie, never intimidated, and put up living in that dismal apartment.


Gleason’s And-away-we-go must have seemed funny, and How-sweet-it-is, but why? My parents understood the innuendos, but to me, seven-year old me, I watched Gleason's face. Somehow it frightened me.

And then there’s his fist, rage-filled face “To the moon, Alice! To the moon!” She never blinked an eye or flinched.


A peek into the lives of the Cramdens, YouTube


What is funny about a bully? Is Ralph a bully? You would have to check Gleason's history, his fame, where he started, and where he ended. Then you would have to make a decision yourself.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

To hover, or not to hover

The Princess Margaret and the Princess Anne (pictured) are the largest hovercraft in history. They are as long as the wingspan of a jumbo jet, and can each hold more than 400 people and 60 cars
Largest hovercraft built so far
It is a matter of hovering that bothers me. 

Throughout parents’ lives, we watch our babies become children, then children becoming teenager (God help us), and teenagers moving onto different stages of life.  Then they complete a circle, which is repeated for millennia.

I have been and still am a hoverer.  Children, etc., grandchildren, and my husband.  He resents my hovering, but there it is.

As a teacher, one can see hoverers all over the classroom.  I can understand certain issues that need a hoverer.  But there are other issues that prevent a student from being able to grow as a student.  Oh, well.  That was in the past.

How I hovered over him!

See this lilac plant, hopefully growing to be a bush?  I have hovered over him for nine months.  Planted in bad soil.  Desert heat.  Lack of water.  Replanted in good soil.  Cold winter winds. 
And now?  He just might make it.

 
See this geranium?  When we moved here in August, this was dying, with stems drying.  Lots of hovering to bring her from the brink of death.

Now, my adult kids are hovering over me.  I hate it.  But I can understand why they are the hoverers. 


It’s a circle of life thing.

Image result for drones
Lost dog?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dream Large


In our California community like all other communities, houses were built in sub-divisions with usually three house designs.  Unless residents are permitted by the homeowners association to individualize home by paint color, they all look alike.

Anyone with an imagination can/will/might struggle with blandness. People may even find themselves numbed by repetitive sameness. 

A few options below might spark oppressed creativity:


This house may have difficulties with FedEx deliveries, but none with neighbors.
Little hut on a teeny tiny island - just look at that water!:
source



I like this one
In Bethesda, MD

This one is probably a fixer-upper.
Image result for tree growing through buildings pinterest
I could live in this!
Out of focus, but it is around a tree, and how cool is that!
Design would keep house temperature even, winter or summer.
Real house, yes, really
Clicking on the site shown beneath the photos will allow to dream large, but only dream.  These houses are for the rich, not a retired elementary school teacher such as my self.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Slice of Time Line


Sonny and Cher's Comedy Hour always started with one of their songs.  For some reason this one has special meaning to me.




The Beat Goes On, about 4 minutes.



Sad that time goes on and on.  Sonny died in a skiing accident. Cher is still around, but her face has turned into a mask.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Where the Sun Don't Shine



Had this watering can forty years. it was old when I found it.

Still works like it was new.

Does a touch up for dry plants. 

Lilac bush still surviving. Didn’t think it could do that.

Other two dried to crackling. Nearly broke my heart.

This geranium has had a long run, and made it. Nearly dead when we got here. 

Food and water. Food and water. All it needed.

Sneaky things are weeds.  There, trying to hide like it’s one of geraniums. 

Who’d it think it could fool?

Grabbed it, pulled, gave a little, then broke off above the ground.

Silly weed.  Don’t it know a weed-killing old woman sees it?

Gotta pull a weed out until white and straggling hair roots see light. 

Then weed’s over and done with.




I am not a vicious person by nature, but weeds affect me in a strange way.

On the Run

Are people standing in line to buy from you?
source

The struggle to find an equitable and humane resolution regarding immigrants, vetting, legality, and on and on is a wildfire raging through America.  Do you have any idea of anything near a solution?  Nothing is simple, nothing can be easy.

In my teaching days when about 70% of our school were Hispanic, no questions were asked.  Our students were there to be taught, loved, encouraged, and see growth in their languages.

Even so, given our goals, we still found so many reasons to worry: The parents were afraid.

One mother came for parent conferences, and between us, we had enough language to communicate.  The problem, and it is a mighty big problem, was that this mother was here illegally, but her husband had a green card.  He held the threat of turning her in IF she disobeyed him.  He had a job, brought in money, which he drank away with his buddies, giving her a minute amount to care for her family.

He beat her, threatened her, and told her that if she reported this abuse, he would call authorities, who would take her away from her children. AND sadly this was true.

What to do?  I escorted her to our bilingual assistant, who handled these type of cases.  What happened? I'll never know.

Another case involved sexual molestation. In illegal immigrants, there is always a family member who knows a cousin who can vouch for the this person.  In this case, a man "Red", with rare red hair for Mexicans, claimed to be a relative of someone's brother-in-law.  He would move from place to place.  Why?

He wasn't known by anyone, sadly, and this was where evil existed. Red sexually molested boys, eight years old and under.  About the time this was discovered, Red had run to another community.  One of those boys was in my class, along with others in our school.

This hit me in my chest, full force.  Why had I missed the signs?  Why had the family not seen it?  In a one-bedroom apartment filled with twenty people, parents held two jobs or more.  Someone had to watch the kids, and Red was an obvious choice.  

This precious boy didn't show up for school from that time to the end of school.  Where did he go?  What happened?  The fact that authorities were on his trail
meant that Red's capture was imminent.

I shared this with teachers in the lounge, some of whom were from Mexico, shared my dismay of his escape.  They looked at each other, and one said, "Oh, he won't escape.  Communities like this are connected through friends and relatives.  Once he stops and tries to do this again, men will take him out to desert mountains.  They will beat the crap out of him, and then each father of those boys he abused will take machetes to finish the job." 

What could be said, just a silent nod of agreement. I would do this too. Justice meted out by those hurt solved Red's problems.

Dear Father in Heaven, what would have happened if all this information had been available?  Would he have been vetted and caught?  And what about this poor woman under an abusive husband's control?  What will happen now?

I will never know.  Wish I did.  What could be done?  What would be done? Will rioting in the streets and breaking windows of small businesses effect change?

All I can do is shake my head now.  Back then I did what I could.

Broken Heart DP For Whatsapp 12
obvious


Monday, February 13, 2017

When the Sun Shines


My old watering can

Had this watering can forty years. it was old when I found it.

Still works like it was new.

Does a touch up for dry plants. 

Lilac bush still surviving. Didn’t think it could do that.

Other two dried to crackling. Nearly broke my heart.

This geranium has had a long run, and made it. Nearly dead when we got here. 

Food and water. Food and water. All it needed.

Sneaky things are weeds.  There, trying to hide like it’s one of geraniums. 

Who’d it think it could fool?

Grabbed it, pulled, gave a little, then broke off above the ground.

Silly weed.  Don’t it know a weed-killing old woman sees it?

Gotta pull a weed out until white and straggling hair roots see light. 

Then weed’s over and done with.



I will get you.  No doubt about it.

I am not a vicious person by nature, but weeds affect me in a strange way.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sagas Still Continue


Drama as it never was. YouTube, 18 seconds

Back in soap opera days, my mother had a sacred hour after mid-day dinner, in which she banned all children from our house, sent us out to do whatever we pleased.  That was when she turned on television, held a cup of coffee, and watched “her” soap operas.

As the World Turns was her favorite with promiscuous Lisa, who was married to Dr. Bob, who had an on-going battle with Dr. John, who maneuvered and manipulated politics in the hospital, often foiled by Dr. Tim…who ultimately died from a blood clot following a broken leg.  She and we all cried that day.

Great sagas like this cannot be matched, until I was grappled and then hooked by Game of Thrones.


Opening theme, 1 min. 41 seconds

Yes, say what you will and I agree.  It is one bloody series, seriously bloody and violent. Betrayal, love and love discarded, torture, massive battles, dark magic, dragons with their dragon Queen, castles with their lords battling for control over the seven kingdoms, and much more exist in this world.

Evil, massive evil plays out here.  Honor and loyalty redeem characters. Oh, I could ramble on, drawing lines (red lines) from one to another.

We have watched the existing six seasons, each with about six ten episodes each.  We have eaten them all up, discussed the characters, etc.  Now we are in a desert. Season seven will not be released until mid-summer.

I guess I will have to find the tome written by George R.R. Martin, who had written Song of Fire and Ice, and then took off from that to create Game of Thrones.

I will do it.  I will read this massive book, just to find out how the Dragon Queen is faring.

Dr. Bob and Dr. John will just have to battle on their own, with Lisa grabbing another lover.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Nobility Stands

hand holding the american flag with soldiers standing at attention in the background.
source
Gail Williams from "atthefarm" sent this to me.  Our family, new friends, and my husband and I watched the Super Bowl yesterday and we moved to tears by the military as the National Anthem was played. So young, so proud.  Some of the players stood at attention as well, hand over heart.

When the Music Stopped
For those who are unaware:  Since before the 1960s, at all military base theaters all over the world, the National Anthem is played before a movie begins:

I recently attended a showing of “Superman 3” here at LSA Ananconda.  We have a large auditorium that is used for movies as well as memorial services and other large gathering.

As is the custom at all military bases, we stood at attention when the National Anthem began before the movie began.

All was going well until three-quarters of the way through the National Anthem, the music stopped.

Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-to-22-year-olds back in the States?  I imagine that there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and yell for the movie to begin. Of course, that is, only if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.

Here in Iraq, these 1,000 soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward.  The music started again, and the soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention, Again, though, at the same point, the music stopped.  What would you expect 1,000 soldiers standing at attention to do?

Frankly, I expected some laughter, and everyone would eventually sit down and wait for the movie to start.

No!!  You could have heard a pin drop while every soldier continued to stand at attention.

Suddenly, there was a lone voice from the front of the auditorium, then a dozen voices, and soon the whole room was filled with voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off:

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

It was the most inspiring moment I have had in Iraq, and I wanted you to know what kind of U.S. Soldiers are serving you/us. Remember them as they fight for us

Written by Chaplain Jim Higgins, LSA Anaconda at the Ballad Airport in Iraq, north of Baghdad.


National Anthem performed by Luke Bryan