Thursday, March 31, 2011

Don't you know what's out there in the world

I work with this amazing group of teens.  Truly amazing.  They are intelligent, well-mannered, fun loving...and they have decided that I am their go-to non-parental adult.  I get to share in their excitement of their first kisses and first heartaches.  When they have a fight with a parent, I am the person they come to seeking comfort and knowledge that their parents will forgive them.  And when their energy is high and they are in full teen mode, I get a glimpse of remembrance of what it was like to be at that age.

This group of kids has decided that they want to write a play on bullying.  I can see you shaking your head, everyone is jumping on the bully bandwagon, enough already you are saying.  Every tv show you turn on is showing those NC girls fighting it out.  Every talk show is talking about cyber-bullying and what to do about it, surely it can't be that bad.  But not only is it that bad, it is so much worse.

The stories my kids have been sharing with me scare me.  They talk of guns being taken away at school from students who are tormented every day for being different; fights involving large gang members pummeling smaller, weaker students, fights that are occurring in front of teachers who themselves are too scared to stop them.  Packs of girls that roam the halls looking for victims just because they have decided a certain girl didn't have the right look.  They are afraid everyday that today is going to be the day that someone snaps and does the unthinkable.  Only it's not unthinkable.

As we were talking yesterday I asked them what they do to stand up to the bullys.  Almost all of them answered, "Ignore it,"  or "Nothing," because that's what the adults in their lives have told them to do, to which I responded, "Do you know you are being trained to accept bullying when you do that?  The bullying now is so much worse than when I was your age, what's going to happen to your kids?"  They all fell silent.  I asked them if anyone had ever gone to a teacher or guidance counselor to report a bully.  One girl laughed and said yes, she had, and the teacher gave her a pamphlet on bullying.  She received a piece of paper in place of help.  And her response was, "What am I supposed to do, use it as a shield?"  What is she supposed to do with it?

Everyone is talking about bullying right now, but is anybody taking the time to stop and listen?  Stop and ask your child what he or she sees going on in school right now...and after you ask, don't say a word...just listen.

If we don't protect our children, who will?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sick Day

I am staying home again from my preschool job because even though I am on my third day of antibiotics, I am still sick.  My strep throat is getting better, but I think I also had some nasty chest cold that was being masked by it.  I have never taken this much time off, not even when I had pneumonia.  But I don't want to get pneumonia again, so I am taking time off.  Vicious circle.

I haven't been able to sleep at night.  I try, but the congestion is killing me and keeping Hubby awake.  My house is so small I can't go into the living room and watch tv because it will wake E and I can't stay in bed because it keeps Hubby from sleeping, so I have been going into our tiny office, closing the doors and surfing the net.  Have you ever surfed the net at 3:00 AM?

First, I have found, no one is on FB at 3:00 AM.  I suppose that's good.  But it is so addictive, I would keep checking just in case.  Then I would stalk people and look at their photos and info pages.  Finally, I searched through ALL the friends it recommended I friend and decided to play 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon with my potential FB friends.  First you have to check through all the recommendations and find the celebrities.  But it can't be their public page, it has to be their personal page or it ruins the fun.  I think everyone has a friend who has a friend who knows someone.

In my case FB recommended I friend Andrea Bendewald (courtesy of Chrysalis who really is her friend).  I went to this site and entered her name.  Shazaam!  She was in Picture Perfect with him so I won.  Next I tried Nathan Fillion (damn Stoney Westmoreland) and again, shazaam, they were in Super.  Again I won.  But then I was sad.  I typed in Celia Rivenbark.  I know she is a writer but I thought maybe, just maybe her tv appearances would link her.  Alas, I lost.  Sadly I lost one more time when I tried Dan Knechtges.  He was the Tony award winning choreographer I went to school with.  Again, no match.  But may I say, of all the people in the world I went to school with, he is NOT the person I thought would make it.  He was an awkward little guy, kind of socially backwards and a little shy.  Look at him now, who knew?

Anywho, then I started watching 80's music videos.  I watched all of the Alarm videos!  I loved Mike Peters.  I also watched some Nik Kershaw, Limahl and very young U2 at Red Rocks.  Oh the hair!  I also watched snippets of Moonlighting.  Now that I am older and more worldly I see just how much that show stole from famous writers.  They pull scenes directly out of Neil Simon plays and pay homage to Danny Kaye's Court Jester.  But it still stands the test of time.  I loved Bruce Willis then (not so much now).

Lastly I stared at those encrypted notes the FBI put out yesterday.  I stared at them for a long time but I got nothing.  Nothing!  By this time it was time for E to get up.  I waited until she went to school and then I went back to bed.  I should also mention that I have been watching Doors documentaries.  When I finally got to sleep I had all of these weird dreams.  One had a voice in my head saying, "This is your life" as I saw glass doors opening and then saw an old Super 8 film of things I had seen in "When You are Strange."  Bizarre.  (although I would highly recommend the movie Sliding Doors/Glass Doors? with Gwyneth Paltrow.)

I am sure this is all more than you wanted to know, but I am bored and lonely and decided to blog today.  Lucky you!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just a blurb

I was watching an old x-file episode today and it was about a southern loch ness monster.  There were two kids who were driving through the country in a pop-up VW van sitting by the lake.  Seeing that van brought back memories.

We had not one but two VW campers while I was growing up.  The first one was that godawful 70's orange color.  It had a back seat that pulled flat into a bed just big enough for two adults.  It also had the pop up top that contained a foam pad where two kids could sleep.  There was no bathroom, but it did have a little stove, small fridge and the front passenger seat turned around to face the back seat.  It even had a hammock for toddlers to sleep in.  There was a hole in the floor that allowed you to put up a small table where the family could eat.  I loved it.  It had no air conditioning and the windows had roll things to open, but I saw a lot of Texas in that van.  My family and I would drive it down to Galveston and spend the night on the beach. 

After we moved back to Columbus when I was a teenager, my dad bought another camper.  This one was cream colored and HAD air-conditioning.  Unfortunately my dad never opened the fridge before he bought it.  We got it home and as I was exploring I opened the fridge door only to be hit by the worst stink ever.  I can still smell it to this day.  The previous owner had left some sort of raw meat in the fridge and forgotten about it.  The fridge was crawling with maggots.  We cleaned it out and bleached it, but we never could get the smell out.

The cream van held a lot of my teenage angst in it.  My friends would come over and we would just sit in the van and talk for hours.  I remember having long discussions with Chrysalis and our friend Pete about the movie "When Harry Met Sally" (it had just come out).  Could a man and a woman just be friends?  If I am not mistaken, although we were both just friends with Pete, we weren't just friends with Pete, if you get my drift.  I know I at least fooled around with him in that van.

I only drove the van once.  When I was 16 or 17 I flew back to Houston to visit Jenn.  My dad had business in Houston but wanted a road trip so he drove up with the intention of me driving back with him.  Only I was young and stupid.  Jenn and I went to the beach that weekend in her Javelin (or did you have your Nissan by then?)  For some idiotic reason I refused to wear sunscreen, even though we were out in the sun for 5 or 6 hours.  I was SO sick.  I never went to the ER although I probably should have.  I had blisters upon blister, I shook for hours with chills and wished that I would die, all the while Jenn's mom was yelling at me about how my parents were going to be so mad at her that she let me get sun poisoning!  I think she even told me I better not have sunstroke or she might kill me. 

When my dad came to pick me up I thought he was going to kill me.  We got on the road and started to head back to Ohio.  Somewhere along I-40 you go through the mountains and the road is really windy and curvy-maybe Nashville?  It was then my dad decided to punish me by making me drive.  VW campers had giant steering wheels and the seats were this tweedy material.  I was fairly new to driving so I had to manhandle the bus to keep it on the road.  Every movement was a new experiment in pain.  Trust me, I am the world's largest proponent for sunscreen now (and yes, I get a skin check every year!)

When I was in college my dad finally decided to get rid of the bus.  I was so sad, but it had a lot of miles on it and was starting to cost us money.  I asked around at school and my friend Mel said he wanted it.  Mel was the greatest guy in the world.  He had long blond hair, played all sorts of sports and was just a total surfer dude.  He never met a person he didn't like and he just made you feel like you were the most important person in the world even if he was surrounded by people (which he always was!)  I warned him the van was in bad shape but he didn't care.  He brought his father and his French girlfriend over to our house with a $1,000 check and bought the van right then and there.  My dad still talks about how his girlfriend said, "And I will make you crepes for breakfast every morning."

Mel took that van another 50,000 miles.  He drove to Mexico that summer (deep into Mexico, not just the border), around through California and back to Ohio.  The next year he drove it to Florida and parked it in a tow away zone.   That was the end of the van.  It got towed away and he never had the money to get it out.  He and his girlfriend hitchhiked home and he was still getting bills and notices on it by the time I graduated college and left him behind forever.  I hope they auctioned it off and someone else got to spend a few more years bumming around in it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Good to Know

I always wondered if I was hallucinating when I saw "things."  I always thought that maybe there is a glitch or a loose wire in my brain that creates this sense of images of the paranormal.  I have never actually hallucinated before, so I had nothing to judge.

But I am incredibly ill.  Whatever this sudden flu is, it has me in a bear hold.  But at least I know now what a hallucination is.  I looked out my back door and saw a large yellow monkey climbing up the gum ball tree.  (Not real chewy gum balls, the seed pod gum balls).  But the monkey was real.  Or at least, my brain saw it as real.  I know there is no such thing as yellow monkeys running wild in the...oops, almost typed my location.  But it sure did look like I could send the raptor out to chase it. So it has to be a hallucination.  Definitely a different sensation entirely.

Rule number 1, one should not Facebook when feverish.  Rule number 2, one should not blog when feverish.

I'm going to go back to the couch now.

Friday, March 25, 2011

102.3

I am invincible!!!  I developed a 102.3 degree fever and still stage managed tonight for a show that just had it's final dress rehearsal tonight.  Ha HA!!

Everybody sing with me:

I've got the flu, flu, flu, flu,
down in my gut (WHERE?)
down in my gut (WHERE?)
down in my gut!

I've got the flu, flu, flu, flu
down in my gut
down in my gut today.

I have heebie jeebies
Oh heebies jeebies,
Heebie jeebies and little
green men.

They're very creepy,
I'm so so sleepy
Let's hope my fever doesn't
rise again! (okay, so rhythmically that doesn't work...but I have a friggin high fever, what do you expect?)

Thank you...thank you very much!  I'll be performing here all week!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dear Hubby

I promise if you don't divorce me I will try to never PMS again during the biggest full moon in 18 years.  You have the patience of Job.

And no..your mere existence is no longer repellent to me.

Love,

Wife

If you think my blog makes me sound mean and irritable, imagine what Hubby must have gone through these past two days.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Demon-be-gone

Oh Lord. 

You are never going to believe what happened to me the other day.

Hubby is on this council of local ministers.  There are about 12 ministers of various denominations and color who get together once a month to see how they can work together to better the community.

Sometimes they do really good things, like raise money to donate to the local schools, organize volunteers for local non-profits, etc.  But several weeks ago someone got a thought in their head and I ended up in the hot seat.  They decided they wanted to have a Unity service and get local representatives of the arts, health, law enforcement, schools and one other thing I can't remember to be at the service to be prayed over.  They mapped out the service and asked a local "Bishop" to preach a sermon.  The service was expected to be one hour long with the sermon being 15 minutes of that time.

Now, the group wanted my boss to come and represent the local arts community since he is the executive director of the local arts council.  My boss had a few problems with doing that.  First, he is very busy as this is prime grant writing season.  But second, he is an openly gay man living with a long time lover.  Not the kind of relationship most area churches approve of.  So, since I am the director of the local kids' theater and my Hubby was helping to organize this, he asked me to go in his place.

I should have said no.  But I have this little problem in that I love my Hubby and try to support him.  But I should have said no.  I knew better, too.  Any time you get a group of pastors together, they feel like they have to out-do each other.  In other words, this service was doomed to fail from the outset.

Now, it started out okay, with a really good musical group performing two very long songs.  They were a little on the holy roller side and the lead singer was proselytizing a little too much , but they sang well and so I was okay with that.  But then the representatives were asked to come forward one at a time to have a preacher chosen just for them pray over them.  My "preacher" was a parent of one of my theater kids, so I thought I was safe.  The prayers started, only they weren't just prayers.  Each pastor needed to have his moment in the spotlight so they were more like homilies (mini-sermons).  Each pastor was spending about 7 minutes praying over their person.  Remember, this service was supposed to be one hour.

So my turn came and I reluctantly stood up front and the preacher/parent came forward.  He is of a Protestant faith, so I really thought I was safe.  Really!!!  Oh, I was so wrong.  He started out by reading a passage from the Bible, but then went on to rant against artists who sin against God.  He prayed that God would forgive us for our wicked ways and turn us back towards Him so that our art might glorify Him only.  Um...yeah....I may not do religious theater, but I can tell you, none of my theater kids are out there doing Equus.  I was furious and felt singled out.  If Hubby had not been on the spot, I would have left right then and there.

So by now we are 55 minutes into the service.  It is time for the "Bishop" to preach.  Only before he preaches, 3 of his 10 sons come onstage (and that's what it was, a stage, not a pulpit) and sang some song.  It too was very good, especially since it was all a capella and in perfect pitch, but they took 10 minutes to sing the same damn line.  Over and over and over!  AND...the woman seated beside me started to speak in tongues.  I have never truly been to a Charismatic church and as she babbled, I was going through my head trying to remember if I had ever learned the proper protocol to follow when one "falls out" with the spirit.

But we only had the sermon and one hymn to go and this nightmare of a night would be over.  The sermon was going to be 15 minutes.  The "Bishop" opened his sermon acknowledging that his wife was his time keeper and he would be brief.  ONE HOUR AND 15 MINUTES LATER HE WAS STILL TALKING!!!!  He posed and preened onstage, licking his lips and sticking both his butt and his tongue out.  He seemed almost serpentine to me, but the crowd seemed to love him.  ME?  Not so much.

So after 2 hours and 30 minutes I was finally able to take my sinner artist self and escape.  But as God is my witness, I will never be prayed over again!