Saturday, March 14, 2009

Let's try this one more time...Menu of the Day

Menu of the Day:

Music: Counting Crows "Los Angeles".

Good Book: Revolutionary Road. It's about a sad and angry marriage in the 1950's. But even thought it's of that era it still feel real to anyone who has been divorced. At least i think it would.

I am so pissed: I just posted a whole new blog post. Got it all proofed and everything. It took nearly an hour and when i went to post it a big old blogger error came on and all was lost. So i'm afraid it will happen again, but i'll do my best to recreate it.
Barb, you are a genius! Thank you. I forgot to look into the Dashboard under DRAFT! They were both there.

What i did today: Is better described by what i DIDN'T do, which is i didn't do my taxes. Instead i watched four episodes in Season Four of The West Wing. And in watching the episode called "Red Haven is Burning" i wrote down this scene between Toby Zieger and Sam Seaborn. Sam Seaborn is played wonderfully by Rob Lowe. His character is an altruistic and honorable idealist who has left his job as White House Deputy Communications Director of the White House to run for Congress in California. Toby Ziegler plays his principled curmudgeon of a boss (I LOVE Toby's character too!) who has come out to take over the campaign. I had to keep rewinding the DVD to get this down, but i did. Here's the scene which brought me to tears. So much of what The West Wing is about is loyalty, friendship, and standing up for what you believe that it often brings me to tears and like i always say, "I'm no cryin' woman". In this scene they are in a bar and Sam is getting ready to give a speech that he doesn't believe will do anything to help his campaign. (It took me awhile, but i actually found the photo that went with this episode.)

Sam: "You have me preaching to the choir."

Toby: "Yeah."

Sam: "Why?"

Toby: "Because that's how you get them to sing."

Sam: "The story will be it's over." (meaning the campaign.)

Toby: "No the story will be that you had the guts to stick up for what you believe and that you didn't cut and run. And people are going to remember that. I'm going to make sure of it."

Sam: "I'm gonna lose."

Toby: "Yeah."

Sam: 'There's no chance of miracle."

Toby: "No."

Sam: "Then why are you here?"

Toby: "You're gonna lose. And you're gonna lose huge. They're gonna throw rocks at you next week and I wanted to be standing next to you when they did."

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: I tutor math on Fridays to three 4th graders at one of the poorest schools in our district. I was alittle bit late yesterday and could see through the window that the lights were off and the kids were on the floor. I slipped in quietly and assumed the same position on the floor they were in: yoga position, eyes closed, legs crossed and their elbows loosely propped on their knees with index and thumb in a meditating position. A woman in the center was speaking softly to them about sunlight coming out of their fingers and toes and colors. I kept one eye open to watch the kids. I was amazed that they were so into this and well behaved (I found out later it was their first experience with meditation in the classroom) and except for just a couple of kids quietly giggling, they were actually doing it! I could see my kids Jesus and Jodeleine across the room totally concentrating. But Valerie was sitting directly next to me and so she and i kept sneaking smiles at each other. When the instructor was done and asked if any of the students wanted to share, nearly half of their hands shot up in the air. Their big testing is next week and she explained if they did this meditation in the morning when they woke up it might take some of the stress away from them.

I am so impressed when i go into the schools and i also get so pissed off that we mostly don't hear the good stuff going on. And there is a lot of good stuff. Just get out there and you'll see for yourself. It's not all bad.

We are working on double multiplication tables. Stuff like 47 x 56, that sort of thing. And they have trouble sometimes mulitplying in the right order and when they do that i draw little tears on the white board next to the "forgotten" number. They LOVE it.

What i wish: That i could be a teacher of a class size of three. But even so, i think i still want $70,000 a year. I don't know how teachers do what they do.

What else i wish: That Nick from "What Not to Wear" could cut and style my hair.

OK, what's on YOUR Menu of the Day?


susieatl said...

Music: Don't laugh...Andy Gibb singing Shadow Dancing. I loved him when I was 17. Lord, that 30 years ago~

Good Book: Just finished Duma Key by Stephen King. I loved it because it was set in Florida and had some very cool characters in it. It wasn't as scary as some of his books but that is fine by me.

I am so pissed: Glad you found your's frustrating to lose something you put so much work into.

I'm pissed at AIG and that the feds are letting them get away with it. Satan works for them in IT. He isn't paid that much and he has been working all the time because so many hackers are trying to get to their financials.

What i did today: A lot of nothing. Cruised the net..cleaned a little. Need to go to the grocery store but it is cold and rainy and I'm trying to convince myself to live on cereal for the rest of the week. ...Oh, I did watch Religulous and The Duchess last night. I got about half way through Milk but couldn't stay awake..will finish when I get back.

I have to rent West Wing from Netflix because Blockbuster does not carry.

What i wish: That I'd win the lottery. I guess I need to play to win...

What else i wish: That Tim Geitner could fix all this with his fairy wand..but he's not and I'm not sure he's even doing what he should be doing and I'm getting mad..

IslandPearl said...

Music - nothing. Bud's still asleep and I'm actually enjoying the stillness of the early morning.

Good Book - Outliers by Malcom Gladwell (also wrote Blink and Tipping Point). It's about extraordinary achievers and how they got to be that way.

I am so pissed - my SIL is totally ignoring me. I've sent her a couple of emails that she's totally ignored, and most recently, at her daughter's request, "friended" her on FaceBook - which she has also ignored. I hate it when you legitimately try to reach out to someone and they pointedly ignore you.

What I did today - it's only 7:45, so right now the answer is woke up and made coffee. What I have planned is church, brunch, make my annual corned beef brisket, fix my pearl ring (applauded too hard at the play last night - "Curtains" - and knocked one of the pearls out...fortunately eagle-eye Bud found it!) and maybe make some jewelry. Note: none of these things will appear in my FaceBook status. I can't believe some of the absolute meaningless trivia people put in their status. Which means that I totally do NOT get Twitter. Probably never will.

Best thing that happened this week - pretty ordinary week as weeks go. That's a good thing all by itself. Met Bud for dinner at the fancy place Friday night. Food was pretty average, but the view - as always - was spectacular. We are very lucky.

I wish - that the greedy bastards responsible for much of this mess would truly get what they deserve...which is abject poverty. And that everyone would take a lesson in spending within our means (starting from the top down and the bottom up.) Credit needs to be for the big ticket stuff, like cars and houses. Not just the everyday "ohhh isn't that's mine!" The expectation that we should be able to have whatever we want whenever we want it without consequences needs to stop. But I realize that breaking that spiral is really hard. I've done it, so Iknow that it's possible. It just takes a painful amount of discipline.

I read an article recently about whether business schools are teaching the right stuff, since many of these these recently minted MBAs are in the thick of this mess. It made me a little proud that what they suggested should drive the curriculum is exactly the way I lead my management strategy and business policy classes. I move the ethics chapter (which is #10 of 13 in the text we use) up to the second week of class, and then we touch back to it each week with each new topic. And, as you might expect, I load in a healthy amount of common sense along with it.

Jo -- I love that your students are using meditation. That is such a cool idea. I wish that was more in use than the go-to method of child wrangling of drugging them. I wonder how much long-term damage is being done to today's kids by the mis/over use of drugs to manage behavior. Scary prospect.

Off to Mass now. Glad you finally got this beast to work. Copying this response myself, just in case.

equeyaya said...

jojo, you are one of my heroes in real life for how devoted you are to those kids. you rock!

My menu...

Music: Train - Meet Virginia

Good book: It's slow-going, but I'm enjoying Women in Love. Very philosophical and interesting points of view.

I am so pissed: I was there with you with Blogger last week. I couldn't get in to even see my blog. That's when I started on wordpress. It's fun to work with and I'm trying to learn all the tools. And I was able to import my whole blogger blog, so it's backed up. At least I'm empowered now to fire blogger if it tries to screw with me again.

What I did today: filed my federal taxes, and my daughters'. Waiting to pay until the deadline, though. We owe $436 fed, $17 state. Mel has a $121 fed refund, but owes $47 state. Grace owes no fed and a little state. I also filed a financial form for Mel's college online. Then I cleaned the kitchen. I was going to experiment with tofu tonight, but Chris is going to take the night off, so he'll make dinner. Still need to groom the dog...

Best thing that happened this week: Melanie was accepted to the creative writing program at Susquehanna University!!! The Writers Institute Director even wrote a personal note on the acceptance letter: "Congratulations! Very strong portfolio!"

What I wish: That this week's "rally" on Wall Street is a positive sign.

What else I wish: Selfishly, that I can go on a riding trip this fall, in addition to Japan with Grace and sending Melanie to college.

jojo cucina cucina said...

eque... i forgot to tell you (because i think i read the news while at work) that i'm excited for Melanie. She's got courage to follow that writing dream.

I did our taxes today finally.I was relieved it was only $1600 that we have to pay (this is in addition to the extra we have coming out of our paychecks so we don't get hit too hard) but i was thinking it could be much worse, so i feel pretty good. I still don't get why we don't have an extra million dollars lying around since we don't have kids and a huge mortgage.

Susieatl, i am so laughing at Andy Gibb. OMG, he's like one an American Idol-y kind of singer that i hate the most! 30 years ago i was 22 and i loved Cat Stevens, just as i did when i was in junior high. I also remember loving Jackson Browne and Al Stewart. (Anyone remember Al Stewart?)

pearl, i am impressed you make brisket! I can't believe your are so lucky to find your pearl. Speaking of you making jewelry: have i told you how much i love the pearl earrings you made me? I wear them often and i think of you every time. They are so classic and elegant can can be worn dressy or professional, just like i love jewelry to be.

After i wrote about the meditation of the kids i thought some folks might think what does this have to do with education? But when i saw these kids get really into this and totally settle down after recess and then saw them ask questions (one of them being would she return to do the full meditation exercise with them) i thought this is cool. I think kids today are more stressed out than we used to be because the world is and i don't see how this can hurt.

meditation, massage, any kind of calming therapy seems like such a better answer than any drug on the market.

Once again, Barbara, thank you for telling me where to look to find my post. I was so mad last night when i lost them both!

jojo cucina cucina said...

OH pearl, i meant to ask. I saw that book by the Blink author. Is it really as good as Blink? (I loved that book.) I passed it up because it's never been part of my agenda to be extraordinary nor my goal. But i think it would be interesting to find out how people do it.

IslandPearl said...

I'm only about a third way into it, but so far it's more about how things that we really have no control over actually position some for greatness.

I love it that you enjoy wearing the earrings. I noticed that you had them on when we had dinner last time and that made me feel really good.

I feel sometimes feel like much of the stuff that I've made for people just winds up in the bottom of a jewelry drawer. And I don't mass produce - each thing is made for the person. I put a lot of thought and care into it. So thank you.

grits said...

I absolutely love the idea of meditation for kids and I totally get how it would help with education! I'm gonna look into it because mine gets so befuddled and over-anxious when we do homework and it's really stressful for both of us!

I love my kid's teacher this year - she rocks big time!!

And I think you rock too, Jo for volunteering with the tutoring. It's not something I could do and I admire you for doing it and being able to do it. Your kids sound so cool!

My daughter has a reading specialist and a reading tutor at her school and I appreciate them so much! She is reading finally and even liking it most of the time. One of her A's this month was in reading and I tell you, it was like winning the lottery!!!

Lynnie said...

I can't write much now, but I have to ask Barb before I forget: did you ever read "The Rainbow" by D.H.L.? It's the prequel (is that a word?) to "Women in Love." It follows three generations of the Brangwen family, concentrating on Ursula and Gudrun when they were younger. I had to read it in college and really loved it. But I've never read "Women in Love." Now you've inspired me to do so, but I think that I'll re-read "The Rainbow" first.

IslandPearl said...

Feeling less dissed - SIL accepted my FB invite. It's the little things... ;-)

jojo cucina cucina said...

Oh good, pearl. I wouldn't mind being dissed by some folks, but not if i was reaching out to family. It makes me second guess myself and i hate that.

I have never tried reading Women in Love. I'm bad with the classics cause i tend to keep re-reading to understand it. I finished Revolutionary Road. Whew. Unlikeable characters but i still had to read it. I do want to rent the DVD when it comes out.

Now i'm reading The Reader. One Kate Winslet book to another.

Grits, that's great that your daughter has a tutor too. I can't replace a teacher as a tutor, because i'm no teacher, but what i think i can do to some extent is add to helping the kids get more inspired to want to do better at math and maybe to like it more too.

equeyaya said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Lynnie! I'll check it out.

Glad you weren't dissed, pearl! I have to remind myself that some people don't check their online stuff everyday.

jo, you tutoring is another example of why it's good that everyone doesn't have their own children. And that also applies to not teaching. There are so many roles to play in a child's life, and you making yourself available to fill that one makes a huge difference for them. I especially love the fact that you choose low income areas, because you can have such an impact there. I'll bet they appreciate it even more, too.

jojo cucina cucina said...

Thank you Barbara for saying that, but in truth i think i get more out of it than the kids. Just knowing that they really like me makes me feel better about myself because sometimes outside of tutoring, i don't always have the nicest reputation from members and some folks around the union office (since i tend to be so intolerant of whiney, lazy attitudes and vent out loud).

So this makes me feel like i'm more appreciated. It would be more noble of me, i think if i didn't get this out of that... AND if i didn't like these kids so much. I know their teacher pretty well and she always chooses the nicest kids for me. Teachers don't have the luxury of only choosing only the good and kind and sweet kids.

I am excited about this Friday's tutor because i went out and bought them all their own little white board and markers and also flash cards so they can practice at home. (We had been working on a conference room board where we're not allowed to erase some stuff so we have to write in between.) I am also trying to think of a way to enter Rummikube tiles into the mix of all that we do.

I have to tell on myself too. Sometimes i catch myself going, oh i hope i got this right! For example they told me they were studying angles and knew what right angles were. But i had to get into describing the difference between an acute angle and an obtuse angle off the top of my head and i was pretty sure but not 100%. (When's the last time i thought of angles?)

Anyway i told them they could remember an 'acute' angle was smaller than a 90 degree angle because we always think of small things as 'cute'. And an 'obtuse' angle is bigger than a right angle because the letter 'O' is FAT.

Then i went home and Googled it and breathed a sigh of relief! lol.

Anyway, it's always the best part of my week and i love that i do it on Fridays now.

grits said...

You are a smart gal, Jo. I was always awful at math!

equeyaya said...

jo said, "I have to tell on myself too. Sometimes i catch myself going, oh i hope i got this right! For example they told me they were studying angles and knew what right angles were. But i had to get into describing the difference between an acute angle and an obtuse angle off the top of my head and i was pretty sure but not 100%. (When's the last time i thought of angles?)"

And this is why I can never be a tutor! lol!!

Even with my "strong" subject, english, which I supposedly was going to teach - I snuck a peak at one of Mel's graded papers and was blown away by the teacher's comments and corrections. Usually I kind of know if something isn't right, but I can't give the scholarly explanation for it, lol!

How about LOST!!!!!!!

Lynnie said...

"Lost" ~~~ YIKES! Elsewhere, I asked about the two islands ~~~ thank you, Pearl, for answering.

It appears that if I had just waited for this last episode, all of my questions about the two islands would have been answered.

But now I'm wondering: were those answers there for me all along and I just didn't see them, or did I start being concerned about the two islands right before there were addressed? Or does it even matter?

Maybe I should apply to be an "extra" for the next season . . . *grin*

My sweet husband is becoming concerned: I haven't developed such an interest in a show since "Twin Peaks" . . . and then the "X-Files."

Changing subjects: In the meantime, today was my last day to bowl on Friday morning. I am getting better. My average is low: but these days, I am bowling well over my average. However, because it is so late in the season, I can only advance a pin or two . . .

Tuesday morning's league will go until the middle of April. And then I will bowl on Wednesday afternoons all Summer.

Tonight I went to hear Steve play guitar at a blues jam. He goes nearly every Friday night. I usually stay home, but tonight I went ~~~ because next week is the last week at Martin's. And next week I'll be going to a 'batchelorette party.' (I'm sure that I spelled that wrong. Sorry.)

Jo, I am so impressed by your commitment to those kids. It makes me feel like I should be doing something more than puttering around on the internet and bowling . . .

Now, the serious stuff: I have had so many head injuries in my life. After Natasha Richardson's death, I'm wondering how I can still be alive; especially after that incident when my car dragged me down my driveway a couple of years ago. My head was slammed on the concrete driveway, and then I was dragged (with my head being slammed over and over again) all of the way to the street. Three broken ribs, a tire running over my thigh, and yet ~~~ I can still type my thoughts.

My heart is breaking for Vanessa, Liam, and that whole family. And it makes me scared for what I've survived . . . Does it sound odd for me to say that both my heart and my head aches for Natasha?

IslandPearl said...

Jo -- I loved your mnemonic for the angles! That's how I always remember them to this day (although I can't tell you how many times I've stopped short of saying 'obese angle'...and I taught geometry!!

It's so cool that you are tutoring math. I've always enjoyed that. It's such an elegant discipline. I like a subject where each question has a unique correct answer. None of that grey area.

Until you start getting into statistics, where people use the numbers to create the grey area.

Lynnie -- good luck on that 'extra' role. I've been on "the list" for 6 months with no luck. LOL

As re Natasha Richardson -- yet another reminder that we 'know not the day, nor the hour'. Live each moment -- they're gifts.

jojo cucina cucina said...

Hey y'all. I just posted on Lost on eque's blog. Lynnie, i used to be totally addicted to Twin Peaks and that was back in the day before i had a VCR and DVR did not even exist so it was a difficult show to keep up with. West Wing's first three seasons was also an addiction. ER for awhile too. I was more addicted to Lost the first two seasons. I know because i would never have missed an episode the night of. And now i might go a whole week before i watch the DVR of it.

I hear you about Natasha's death. I have never hit my head hard that i remember. (Kind of hard to injure myself when i'm scared of doing most things that involve speed or too much activity - other than running... My activities consisted mostly of reading when I was growing up). But it is a serious reminder to be sure to get checked out immediately after a knock to the head. It also makes me glad that my husband no longer skis as he used to.

pearl, "obese" angle. LOLOL. And you're right. I think i've always loved math because it's black and white with no grey areas. And yeah, statistics can always be manipulated in too many ways.

The students loved having their very own white boards. I told them i would give them to them at the end of school when we are all done. It's so easy to please these kids from this school that it's almost heartbreaking.

Lynnie said...

Jojo, just a tiny bit of a "Twin Peaks" brag from long ago. I just KNEW that the killer was Leland Palmer as soon as I saw him jump on Laura's coffin at the burial site ~~~ and I turned out to be right. The Bob character scared the livin' daylights out of me: it was obvious that he was the killer, but I guessed that Bob and Leland were somehow one-and-the-same long before it was revealed. I was very proud of myself!

I'm not having nearly as much luck in figuring out "Lost" however. There is so much more to figure out . . .

Lynnie said...

On the subject of mathematics, here is an article that fascinated me:

"They Tried to Outsmart Wall Street"

From the article:

"They are known as “quants” because they do quantitative finance. Seduced by a vision of mathematical elegance underlying some of the messiest of human activities, they apply skills they once hoped to use to untangle string theory or the nervous system to making money."