Archive for March, 2009

Obama’s World Tour..Will It Be A Home Run or Strike Out?

What’s your opinion of the 5 country world tour that President and Mrs. Obama began today and his participation in the G-20 summit?  Will it be a huge success, seen as a failure, or somewhere in between?

What do you think of his 500+ person entourage?

 

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Let Me Be Clear…As Mud

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“Let me be clear, the government has no interest in running GM or the car industry. The government has no intention of running GM.”

Translation:  Well, other than firing the CEO, telling them what to cars to make, mandating a merger with an overseas company, having government backed warranties and withholding any more funds if you don’t do everything we tell you to do, the way we tell you to do it…we won’t be running the car industry.  Of course none of that would fall into the category of full oversight of the company, does it?

As a country, we have been edging down a slippery slope for weeks now.  The pace is picking up and we are now starting a full blown slide down said slope and straight to hell in a handbasket.  The question many of us are starting to have is, where will it all end?  Will it end at all or is this just beginning of a fundamental change in our country and of the constitution set up to define it.  We are approaching or already in very dangerous territory and not even pretending to tread lightly anymore.

The firing (okay, technically if we use the administration’s current wordplay game of semantics, the “strong suggestion that he should step aside”) of GM CEO Rick Wagoner today signals a shot across the bow to American companies, both private and public.  If you accept or are forced into taking government funds, your job security is now dependant on the whim of those in Washington.  We are putting CEO’s and boards of companies, private and public alike, on notice.  If the powers that be don’t agree with the way you run your business, with the products you produce or in your plans to restructure the company, all bets are off.  You can now be taken over by the federal government.

There is a lot of blame/credit to go around on every side.  This is not a partisan issue.   In the car industry and large financial firms especially, the rousing battle cry of a company being “too big to fail” is what caused a lot of the chaos we have gone through and have yet to experience.  That premise has proven to be a fallacy in thinking.  In the case of GM and AIG in particular, after sinking billions upon billions of dollars into the death stars of these corporations, the only option for GM still may be to declare bankruptcy and restructure as they should have months ago.  AIGwas the poster child for public outcry last week as Congress on both sides of the aisle, whipped up outrage and mob mentality as a means of diversion over bonuses that were paid.  The only problem was, many of those so outraged in the Administration, Congress and the Treasury Department, knew of the bonuses to come ahead of time and tacitly signed off on them weeks before they were given out.   When the constituency was paying attention and started an outcry, then the backpedaling and un-constitutional passage of a tax bill by the House occurred.  Bus tours were arranged by an offshoot of ACORN to intimidate executives scared for their families to give back money that everyone in power knew they were going to receive.

Over the past 2 to 3 decades, we have all experienced and enjoyed the times of excess run amok in our society.  Many of us learned to live above our means rather than to stay within our attainable financial boundaries.  We became spoiled and used to having all we needed or being able to attain it through credit lines that freely flowed.  We had a false sense of security and thought our lives would never change.

Corporations in America and around the world were no different.  As long as the profits were flowing in, everyone prospered and took full advantage of the times.  The fat cats lived high on the hog and every angle was worked to it’s full advantage even by the most casual investor.  We were told that the Stock Market was golden and the only way to go in saving for retirement was through our 401 K’s.

Then things ground to a halt.  The market started the plummet to half it’s former glory.  Credit dried up.  Everyone panicked.  The world markets also started to show the cracks that had been hidden for years.  Jobs were slashed at an alarming rate even in industries that had been considered untouchable in the past.  Spending, by necessity, also had to be curtailed as we all learned our lives as we had been living them, had changed.

As in any situation, as we are finding out, if you put a harsh light on a problem, it’s many imperfections and flaws start to show.  Many of the companies that for years appeared to be bastions of stability, have been revealed to have been concealing many fissures and fatal flaws that were allowed to get worse over many years.  Any  house of cards, when it gets high enough, will tumble to the ground if the underlying structure is not sound.  Tumble we did and we are still in free fall.

So with today’s actions, not only was free enterprise and capitalism put on notice in America, we as citizens were too.  If we are smart, we will sit up and take notice and continue to pay attention to each little bit of control being given over to the government.  The bits and pieces of what are seemingly small things right now, will start to add up.  Left unchecked, we will surely look back in a few years and wonder where our country and freedoms went.

 

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”  Lord Acton, 1887

A Stupid Person’s Guide to Online Flirting 101

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A Stupid Person’s Guide to Online Flirting 101

 

(Disclaimer: Not meant for the Habitual Collector of Conquests…Players Are On Their Own When It Comes To Making Total Fools of Yourself and Others)

 

Flirting has apparently become a lost art. While it’s true that some still appreciate and know how to employ the subtle nuances and intricate dance of approaching someone in a flattering and intriguing manner, of knowing that less is indeed more…it appears more and more as I look around, that flirting is quickly approaching being added to the endangered relationship quality control list. Admittedly..flirting, if done correctly, is a little more difficult. It takes time and thought to actually summon up some imagination, rather than to act like a lounge lizard or truck stop Sally in heat sweet talking as many potential play buddies as you can at one time in the hopes that possibly ONE of them might swallow your lines.

This applies to both women and men. While it’s true, a lot of men would be receptive to a woman offering themselves to them, the old adage is also true. Men do indeed love to date fast women, but when it comes to taking them seriously for anything long term, most will still pick someone that can be a tiger in the bedroom, but one that can be a lady when needed in public. Many women seem to equate a man’s interest in sleeping with them as true love.

I’m sorry to burst your passion bubble, and this really applies to men and women both as well, but having sex with someone and expecting them to fall madly in love with you simply BECAUSE you’ve shared your body with them, is doing the whole relationship thingy backwards and is totally unrealistic. While I’m sure some of you ladies can indeed suck the chrome off a trailer hitch or that you gentlemen are literal non-stop jackhammers of passion, after the sex is over, there has to be more there. You might ACTUALLY have to talk to the other person or deal with life issues.

So, here are a few suggestions at online flirting do’s and don’ts…in no particular order.  There are also a few embedded comments in bold that I’ve actually received over time from those that are under the illusion that they might be Don Juan reincarnated.  Suffice it to say, none of them elicited more than an eye roll.  Trust me, some of this I couldn’t make up if I tried.

 

1. The first key to successful flirting is not an ability to show off and impress, but the knack of conveying that you like someone. If your ‘target’ knows that you find him or her interesting and attractive, he or she will be more inclined to like you. The wrong way to do this is to send a message such as “you so hot love to poor warm fudge all over you yum I like to add you to my friends list so we can chat.” Now while the warm fudge sounds appealing if you’re offering to buy me ice cream..coming from a total stranger, it will just make most roll their eyes or laugh outloud. 

 

2. Effective flirting really is a skill that requires you to be confident without being over the top. If you overstep your boundaries, it’s very likely that the lady will think that you are “slimy”. If you hold back, it’s probable that she’ll find you “wimpy”. Ladies, the line that you’re walking should be somewhere between “slutty” and “nun like”. Aim for the middle ground. Do not begin contact with someone new by sending them a lovely picture of your meat mallet or love pillows and expect anyone that isn’t pay-by-the-hour, ripe for sexually transmitted diseases, or looking for the affection (insert potential stalker here) they were denied as a child to respond in a serious manner. Do not get offended if there are those that instead of ignoring you, point out your shortcomings or sag-ability factor. You asked for it.

 

3. Ooze confidence (and no other bodily fluids). Successful flirts have a positive outlook on life. You need to transmit that “feel good” factor. No one wants to pay attention if you’re always screaming that the sky is falling or that someone peed on your parade.

 

4. Don’t be rude. Flirting does not give you the right to be sexually explicit nor does it mean that you should take offense if your target doesn’t respond favorably to you. If they isn’t interested in your particular way of wooing, save yourself the trouble and move on to your next prospect. If you find that you’re receiving many rejections, you will want to reconsider your approach. Bottom line is, if you wouldn’t say it in real life to someone of the opposite sex, it’s not appropriate or appealing online simply because you’re pulling out your male whore or female slut side and letting it rule and you think it doesn’t count because you’ll probably never see them face to face. Or if you do end up bumping uglies, that you’d never have to see them again.

 

5. Sincerely compliment something that interests you about them. If you are truly interested in someone, there will be something nice that you can find to say and mean it without using empty words. This is an example of one such approach that starts out okay (for the most part), but then crashes and burns in a spectacular. “My name is Clint. I’m not sure how to say this but Ill just do what I always do, speak my mind.. I think you are a very sensual and sexual Lady. I don’tmean to be vulgar or offend you in any way but d*mn babe I would so love to taste you. Have a great day.

 

Take note…apologizing before or after an inappropriate comment is like closing the barn door after the horse has already been knocked up…not worth much. An apology for saying something you already know is wrong is just stupid and shows that you have no concept of what is appealing or not to the opposite sex.

While we’re on the subject, it’s probably also not a good idea to mention your spouse (wife or husband) in a complimentary message to someone you want to impress. For example…”i wish my wife had a body like you let me say you have a fit body i think you exercise every day.” *rolling my eyes* (See “being a sleeze” above)

 

 

6. When you decide to flirt or flat out present yourself to someone new as one that might be interesting or of worth, find a spell-checker or get someone that has a passing relationship with grammar to proof-read it for you. Nothing is less appealing than appearing to be ignorant, whether you really are or not. An example…”Eyes closed:-$,heart beating fast8-}…..arms trightly held around ur body pressed mine…>:D<….slowly gently ur sweet lips brush with mine:-*:x:x“.

Bonus tip: Try to actually spell out words without using chat abbreviations and remember if you’re not talking on messenger, those “cute” little emoticon things just look ridiculous if typed out in a message…especially coming from a total stranger.

 

 

7. While I know it’s tempting and fairly easy, especially online, to find one babe/hunk you like and then go through their entire list  of friends, putting the same smarmy comment on every hot person’s page you see and begging them to add you because THEY are the one…the epitome of everything you find attractive in a potential conquest…it’s just not very smart and makes you look lazy and/or insincere! *gasp!!* I know, I know…it’s hard to believe that ANYONE online wouldn’t be totally sincere with each and every syllable typed, but yes, I hear it does happen. Not that I’VE personally ever seen it, maybe it’s an urban legend, right along with the fact that pigs don’t fly and that sarcasm isn’t a form of communication and conveys true feelings. If you must go through lists, mining for your targets, at least be original when you post comments. I know it’s hard to believe, but your victim, “might” actually notice a pattern.

 

 

8. Humor IS sexy. Not just the forwarding of jokes, but things that show you have a personality or the ability to laugh at yourself. Humor and flirting go hand in hand, just like peanut butter and jelly. You can’t have one without the other. If you’re too intense all the time, that’s a red flag, not a sign of your devotion.

I, of course, am the exception to this rule. After I had to put to rest that NASTY online rumor that I was FUN or that I had a sense of humor (can you imagine someone saying such things about me??) a few weeks back, I can’t afford to have that misconception get started again!! I mean imagine, me?? Fun??? Just ask the Yankee. *wink*

 

 

9. Don’t try so hard. There are times when hard is a good thing *wink*..but when you’re flirting, that’s not it. Men or women, when trying to crawl over each other to outslut each other with comments or pictures, just shows that you must be lacking in one or more areas of your life. While I know the reasons some give on here for using fake pictures, none of them hold water. I don’t care if you are worried about someone stealing your picture, put one up of your face that’s not anything you’d be ashamed of someone you know seeing, then if someone uses it, so the hell what? The world will still be spinning tomorrow. It’s just not that big of a deal unless you make it a big deal. Of course, some want the attention of crying foul and getting sympathy.

If you’re butt ugly, but speaking as if you’re God’s Gift to the opposite sex, that’s just false advertising. If you’re that ashamed of yourself, then retreat back into real life and quit leading people on.

The “I have an important job and/or don’t want to take the chance of compromising myself” or “I’ll send it privately because I don’t want anyone to see me” excuse is just pathetic. First of all, you’re just not that important. Secondly, the FBI may indeed wander through here, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll catch their eye unless you’re a 10 most wanted, in which case, your picture is already displayed at the Post Office. I hear these excuses and automatically think…married or hiding from something/someone or a coward.

Obviously I don’t think that tasteful sexy pictures are a bad thing or a bad way of flirting, just remember the basic guidelines…less is more..always leave ’em wanting more, discretion is a good thing, and imagination is always more sexy than the in your face plopping of the boob=age or sausage up front like the blue plate special of the day. That leaves no room for building anticipation and you may just find that first sight is more than enough to make someone positive you’re NOT the “one” from the unattractive appearance of your pride and joy(s).  Oh, it might be wise to remember that it’s possible your boss, parents, children, or neighbors just might end up seeing more of you than you’d intended.

 

 

10. You only get one chance to make a first impression..make it a good one. Ask questions to show your interest that don’t include wanting to know the size of their ummmmmm…hands or feet…or how many midgets could fit in their bra. (trying to guess cup size for a prize, does not count as a good question).

Use respect and manners. If you wouldn’t approach a total stranger face to face and ask or say something, assume it’s probably not going to get you laid or make you into an instant sex symbol here either unless you find someone that is willing to play you as well. In that case, as long as there is full disclosure on both sides of the intention to bat each other around like mice in heat, by all means…proceed with my blessing. Use each other until someone easier comes along.

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all. Contrary to popular belief, insulting someone to get their attention is probably not the best form of foreplay. I could be wrong though, there are many kinky things that appeal to the masses these days that I’m obviously not privy to, nor do I want to be.

 

 

I was going to stop at 10, but here’s one Bonus…

11. When attempting to flirt…do not…I repeat, DO NOT, bug the sh*t out of someone with a million messages. If they reply politely to one with a nice “no thank you”, then don’t continue to pursue them. It makes you look like a stalker and just isn’t very flirty. There isn’t much in this life worse than a pest. This will start to fall into the annoying category if continued. In that case, the “stalkee” has every right to abandon all manners and let you have it with both barrels rather than with what you’re asking for. Persistence in the face of some expression of interest, is okay. Sometimes people don’t pay attention right away. When persistence turns to obsession, then it’s pretty much a turn off. (or a felony) While one message is good, 50 is NOT more better. (yes, I DID write it that way on purpose, for effect…geez)

 

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Flirting is what makes love or the possibility of love/lust/friendship exciting…whether you’re married and flirting with a spouse, harmlessly flirting with a friend or single and looking. The ability to flirt is the single most important love life skill that every person needs to master. When you are a true Flirt at heart, you can have the love life of your dreams for the rest of your life.   Or you may simply get to experience some smiles and enjoy the inner workings of someone else’s personality and thought processes. To some flirting comes naturally. To others, it’s a bit more work and effort to pull it off. The rewards are worth it. Slow down and TRY to use a little common sense and imagination.

~Kath~

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~All really great lovers are articulate, and verbal seduction is the surest road to actual seduction.~ Marya Mannes

Viagra, When it absolutely, positively has to be there tonight.

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On this day in history, the little blue wonder pill, more commonly known as Viagra, finally got was was cumming to it!!  On March 27, 1998, amid a rising swell of popularity, the US Food and Drug Administration approved it’s use in the United States.  It burst onto the scene and has continued to expand it’s popularity time after time.

Sildenafil, the active drug in Viagra, was originally designed to lower blood pressure.  Why simply lower blood pressure when you can raise the bar and produce a firm result in other areas of interest as well? The cheap magic manhood pills offered and available anonymously online immediately served as the ultimate turn on for spam filters worldwide when a sudden explosion of emails started to appear.

Up until it’s approval, the drug market had been limp and listless in the treatment of ED, struggling hard to stay on top of the situation.  Viagra and it’s uplifting side effects were discovered quite by accident when those experiencing a new surge in their libido refused to return the medicine.  While at first extremely HARD to get, it soon became clear it had massive staying power and would have a firm hold on consumers. 

Rigid requirements at first made it hard to get your hands on.  Through masterful manipulation of the media, however, a solid groundswell of popularity forced it to be thrust more quickly into production.  That resulted in deep satisfaction among it’s many recipients.

So, it’s with GREAT pleasure and deep satisfaction we all take time and with a stroke or two of the pen, to send our most potent birthday wishes to the quicker, picker upper we have now grown to know as Viagra on it’s 11th birthday.  May it always rise to the top among the stiff competition it faces.

Thursday’s Typically Tawdry, Tacky & Tempting Tidbits

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Totally random thoughts from my Thursday…a few news stories worthy of mention (and ridicule).  My mind tends to see the world a little differently at times.  And away we go…the best of today’s wacky and bizarre…

 

At last!! Men everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief with bathing suit season fast approaching!! Remember that episode of Seinfeld when George Costanza is changing out of his swimsuit, and a girl he’s interested in accidentally walks in and laughs, because he’s suffered a little post-pool shriveling? “Shrinkage”…the age old problem where guys worry about their manhood looking less than impressive after taking a swim might finally be solved. Enter the “Rooster Booster”…a $25 Lycra bathing suit with a pocket in the crotch where a guy inserts a breathable foam padding. The manufacturer claims it not only guards against shrinkage, it also keeps a man warm in a spot where he never wants to feel ice cold. It did not say whether or not it solved the age old question of “does this suit make my butt look big?”. 

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Teachers want to be allowed to carry guns in school?? Ummmm, HELLO!!…half of us are PMS’ing at the same time and most of the time should have a Valium salt lick in the teacher’s lounge just to get through the day and now some teachers want to pack heat? (btw, I prefer to cause heat, not pack heat) Does anyone else see a problem with this? It WOULD however, put a whole new spin on time out or 5 minutes on the fence. Parents get pissed off if we take recess away, imagine what they’d do if we started shooting up the school. Why, we might REALLY get fussed at then!! *rolling my eyes* Not to mention that most of us can’t see straight without our reading glasses, we’d be shooting each other or our own foot!

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As the mother of a teenaged daughter who is, of course, immersed in the “Twilight” hoopla, I found this little tidbit to be funny.  After stories spread that vampires were strolling the campus of Boston Latin School, the headmaster of the prestigious college-prep school put a stake in the rumors. Lynne Mooney Teta sent a notice out Thursday to faculty, students, and parents denying the presence of bloodsuckers. She declined, however, to offer details about the rumors.  Boston Police spokesman Eddy Chrispin said police were called to the school Wednesday after hearing of the vampire tales. Chrispin said he didn’t know if the alleged vampires were among the student body or hiding in old corners of the building.

The school was founded in 1635, and its students have included Ben Franklin, Sam Adams, Louis Farrakhan, and Sumner Redstone.  Hmmmm…Louis Farrakhan AND Ben Franklin??  Maybe given that Farrakhan attended the school, perhaps they mistook vampires for little green men.  I do find it hilarious that the police actually investigated the allegations..probably to appease anxious parents that didn’t want all that private school tuition to go to waste!

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In a new survey released recently, it has been discovered that those over 50 are more likely to have sex on the first date than those under 40. We needed a survey to tell us this?? It further went on to say that half of the older age group rated lust and passion as MORE important than marriage. Nearly 40 per cent of over-50s would sleep with a partner on a first meeting compared with just 18 per cent of under 40s. The under 30s may feel they invented sexual liberation, but it was the baby-boomer generation that staged the first summer of love..more than 40 years ago. Let the good times roll! Could this be one reason “use it or lose it” cums to mind? *wink*

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Scientists now say a crappy marriage can be bad for your heart. Personally, I think it’s pretty bad for your libido, penis or tunnel of love as well. Could explain some of the results of the over 50 sex on the first date thingy too, don’t ‘cha think??

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Children, especially girls, may be more likely to have sex before the age of 14 if they have been verbally abused by teachers, a new study suggests. Researchers found children at elementary school who were shouted at, harshly criticized or embarrassed by teachers in the classroom had an increased risk of early sexual intercourse. (Tell me again, why we pay for all these “valuable” studies??) Okay, so it now appears that there is yet one more thing you can blame on teachers. If your daughter (or on occasion, a son) turns out to be a slut..it’s the TEACHER’S fault..it certainly couldn’t be attributed your bad parenting or lack of attention to your child. Next they will want us to pay child support if their little darlin’s end up getting pregnant as teens. Lord knows, teachers should be the ones building up their self-esteem, not their actual parents. To hell with learning…instead, let’s cut all that silly stuff out in favor of taking tests that induce only stress and don’t really measure learning, coddling their egos and raising the kids everyone else has. THAT’S what going to college for those education degrees was really for..becoming pseudo parents and babysitters!

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Do you know there is an actual official National Mistress Day?  It’s the day that straying husbands and boyfriends set aside for the ‘other woman’.  Aptly, it falls on February 13th, the day before the national Hallmark conceived day of romance, Valentine’s Day.  SO, it seems the mistresses get ahead (so to speak 😉 ) of the wives once again and sneak in first for a little romance.  Learn something new every day!  I wonder if there’s a special greeting or thank you card especially for the occasion?

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A minor league baseball team is going to offer a 4,800 calorie hamburger as part of it’s stadium fare this season.  The pot belly behemoth extravaganza weights a whooping 4 pounds and consists of:  5 beef patties, 5 slices of cheese, a cup of chili, salsa, and corn chips slathered on an eight inch sesame seed bun.  This wonderful example of gluttony gone amok will cost the bargain price of $20.  If you have the courage (or stupidity) to try and down this big boy all by yourself in one sitting, you receive a special t-shirt…One that you can wear in the ambulance as you are stroking out and on the way to the hospital!!

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The news was released earlier this week during the launch of the Space Shuttle, that the first Japanese astronaut to live aboard the International Space Station will be doing an important scientific experiment, the likes of which have never been imagined before.  Koichi Wakata will be testing a new brand of stink free underwear!!  Let’s hope for the sake of everyone aboard the station, that this experiment is a success or phew wee!!  Just think of the implications gentlemen!  All that silly stuff about doing your laundry or doing the “sniff test” on things to find out how many more days you can get out of your unmentionables…you’ll always be as fresh as a daisy!  Now, if they can just do something about that little skid mark problem that men tend to have and overlook as they grunt and pound their chests.

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And to almost end up my mental ramblings of the bizarre day…it seems that ovulating strippers receive larger tips. It appears that women subtly signal when they are most fertile, although just how they do it is not clear. In the case of lap dancers, I’m guessing the extra “umph” in their gyrations just might trigger the bigger tips..along with triggering other things.  

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Last, but certainly not least…A man police caught performing a sex act with a car wash vacuum has been sentenced to 90 days in prison. With a car wash vacuum?  Seriously???  Good heavens, I don’t think I can use them to clean out my car again without pulling on rubber gloves.  Safe sex indeed.   Jason Leroy Savage must also submit to drug testing. (oh really, ya think?)  The 29-year-old from Michigan, was sentenced Wednesday at Saginaw County Circuit Court.  Savage pleaded no contest to indecent exposure last month.  Police say Savage was arrested after a resident called officers early on Oct. 16 to report suspicious activity (I’d say having your love sword stuck in a vacuum hose just might be a TAD suspicious) at a car wash in Thomas Township, about 90 miles northwest of Detroit.  I’m guessing that the 90 days in prison might bring a different kind of gratification for Mr. Savage.  

 

 

Okay..I’m done for now. Feel free to carry on with whatever you were doing. If this had been a real emergency of an over-abundance of stupidity taking over the world (yet), you would have been directed where to go and what to do. *grin*

 

Personally, I think we need to be doing the “Here’s your sign” a bit more often.  There seems to be an increasing lack of common sense amongst us.  The inmates are taking over the asylum. 

Through The Eyes Of A Child

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One of my careers is that of being a school teacher. While I no longer teach full time with a single class for the entire year, I get to interact now instead with many more children each and every school year. Instead of teaching a single class the entire year with only 25-30 children, I now get to know 1200+, most of them by name. I see them grow from fresh faced kindergartners to 5th graders that think they are on top of the world and full of attitude when headed for middle school. In doing this, I receive a benefit that is more precious than any other that could be offered…I get to see the world through their eyes that aren’t clouded yet with all the weight of the world. Those eyes have seen things at young ages and have worries these days that children just shouldn’t have to cope with or even know about, yet they are still full of hope.

Over the years, I’ve written about a few of my special students. While I genuinely enjoy the majority of the kids, there are some that manage to get closer to me than others and will sneak right into your heart. I have one child as a student who is the son of a pilot I fly with. Ben is cute as a button and has had a crush on me since he was five. His face literally lights up when he sees me in his classroom or in the hall. He never fails to run up and squeeze me in a bear hug with a huge smile on his face. It always brightens my day. He’s one of many that I have a special relationship with throughout the school.

As I walk down the hall and constantly hear someone telling me hello, giving me a hug or a wave, I never fail to smile. They want to tell me their latest news or ask me a question. They make me laugh and at times my heart breaks for them when they are hurting or sad. It never fails to amaze me when I get to the end of a long day and feel like I have fussed all day at some of the same students, when they still go out of the door hugging me or with a smile on their face.

Children respect consistency. They know who loves them.  They know who wants to be there and who doesn’t, even when you’ve had to give them extra work or time out of recess. They also know they need boundaries. While they don’t always like the rules they must follow, they are glad those rules are there. Most grown-ups could take some lessons from their kids in that regard.

There are the kids in the EIP classes (early intervention), that have varying degrees of challenges in learning. These children have a huge span of personalities and abilities. They are not physically challenged, but have home situations or learning delays that make it trying for them to sit in school and process information as some others do. These kids will worm their way into your heart and while you hope like holy heck they will be successes in life, you know that some have the odds stacked against them. Regardless of that fact, you have to realize that you are affecting this part of their life and hope it has some impact, even if it’s a small one. These kids are usually charmers and sweet and usually precocious. They also are brutally honest and will make you feel like Superwoman when they share their thoughts or emotions with you.

There are also many kids that are physically challenged as well as being learning delayed. These children are generally bright, always have a smile on their faces and try their best to learn and behave. With inclusion becoming more and more the norm, these kids are looked upon by the other students as just one more friend in their class.  Most of the time their disability becomes something that is not even noticed.

Now, FINALLY the reason for writing today. (I can get a bit wordy when it’s about something I’m passionate about…teaching and children are near or at the top of the list) I was in a 1st grade EIP class today, one of my favorite classes. There is a student in this particular class that I have spent a lot of time with over the past 2 years. His name is Ade. He’s a precious little boy that last year came in shy and bewildered and pretty much stayed that way all year. This year has seen him begin to come out of his shell. He smiles much more. He’s finally “getting it” in the classroom, his work has improved more than I can tell you…it’s starting to click for him. He talked my ear off today, something he never would have done last year beyond random words here and there.

Ade is moving to Illinois tomorrow. The move came unexpectedly and for some reason, finding out yesterday that this would be his last day here in our school made me sad. While I was glad to get to teach and spend his last day with him…when his mom and brothers came to pick him up, it hit me harder than most. Children move in and out of the school with increasing frequency in our current fluid society, but this one got through to me and I’m not sure I even realized it until I knew he was leaving. I do have his phone # and address in Illinois to keep in touch with him, and will.

While I was losing one student today, I met a brand new one that transferred into the school last week. Jamal is in the same class. He’s a bright kid and has a huge smile. He whizzed through his work ahead of everyone else and I had to wonder why he had been placed in the EIPclass. I soon found out. Everyone was working. Jamal had finished and had asked to write a story on the back of his paper while everyone else finished. I told him that would be great. I watched as he wrote for about 10 minutes, his face intense with concentration. He came up to me in the back of the room wanting to read his masterpiece to me. He started to read the words expressing how much he missed his mother. The sentences told of the special things mom did for him and how he wishes she were here.

Not yet knowing his history, I thought perhaps mom might travel or that he had a family that had experienced divorce. I wasn’t going to ask Jamal, but when he finished reading, he looked up at me and more words starting spilling out. He was very matter of fact, but you knew those words had been bottled up for a while. He told me of a sibling that had died, I didn’t ask how. He told me that “they” had taken his sister and him out of their home and away from their mom to keep them safe. He paused, waiting for my response. Quite frankly, for someone that is rarely at a loss for words, I had to stop and think. I tried to reassure him that things would work out as they should. I told him how very glad I am that he’s with us now and how glad I am that he and his sister are indeed safe. I felt like I was bumbling through my rambling words, but he was listening. As I finished all I could say, a smile burst out on his face and he hugged me. This child just met me today and already he gave ME a gift.

I’m very aware of the problems with education. In fact, if you crossed my path, you’d hear me regularly giving my opinion of what we’re doing to our kids in the name of “progress” both from a teacher stand point and  as a parent. That isn’t something I can change right now, it requires time and legislation and common sense that I’m not sure some powers that be even have. Regardless of this though, I can make a difference and try to do just that in my little corner of the world with the children I have the privilege of interacting with.

So, I do what I can.

I try to show up each day I’m at school excited to be there. I give the children parts of myself.  I tell them stories about my kids and my life and make myself a little more human. I let them know about teachers I had that changed my life or gave me little tricks to make learning easier that have stayed with me. I smile and outright laugh often and easily. I make a fool of myself in assemblies or at dances…I don’t take myself so seriously and it breaks through to them. I wear funky outfits or jewelry that gives them something to talk about and smile.

I listen when they are excited or upset, knowing that sometimes no one else in their life takes the time. I always hug anyone back that gives me one. My classes are loud and interactive and they LEARN and remember. I thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing, I’m good at it and it’s my niche. When you find something that makes you happy, it shows…whether professionally or personally. I’m not the perfect teacher, I have many faults, but one of them will never be that I don’t care and give them my best even when I’m tired. My Connecticut Yankee would tell you that my face absolutely lights up when I talk about “my” kids.

What those kids give to me however, is absolutely priceless…and they do it without even trying..just by being themselves.

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?

time

 

Time…such a funny thing when you stop to think about it…

It can march on or stand still. You can squander it or take your sweet time getting things done.

Time is money, but money doesn’t give you more time.

Time flies, but at the same time can crawl.

We always need more of it, then complain when we have too much time in situations that make us uncomfortable.

You can’t buy time, but you can make time with someone.

We save time AND waste it. We take time for granted, then complain mightily about it’s loss…

Life can be the best of times, or the worst of times in the same sentence…

We can’t save time in a bottle for when it’s more convenient for us to pull it out and experience it or have it back when we want it.

I’ve been thinking a good bit about time in the past few months. As I watch the kids grow up and they are increasingly on the go, I sit and wonder where the time and years have gone. Now don’t get me wrong, there were and are STILL days that seem to go on forever! You know the ones…where everyone is in a pissy mood or thing after thing seems as if Murphy is sitting in your house writing his next installment of laws and you look up and actually mutter the words that you can’t wait until the day is over or until the kids are grown and gone.

Then poof, one day you look up and get your wish. Not only are the kids starting to turn into adults, but you’re a bit farther along in the adult process than you ever imagined yourself being. You still FEEL like a teenager with your thoughts or in the way you play your music.  Then one look in the mirror and you start to wonder where in the hell did those wrinkles come from? You’re slowly turning into your parents…and if you’re lucky enough to still have your parents here…you look at them and wonder how they suddenly got so old without you noticing.

That’s when it hits you (or should). WHAT are you doing with your life? I’m not talking about career or keeping up with the Jones…or even getting ready for retirement. Are you ready for the changes that are coming at light speed? Are you really using and appreciating all the little things in your life RIGHT now that might be overlooked in favor of letting the challenges over-shadow the good things that happen each and every day?

Are you courageous enough to reach out and not let things or people slip through your fingers that you hadn’t anticipated, to not let go even when it all might scare you with the feelings or implications involved? Can you give yourself permission to reach out for something, with no guarantees? Can you trust that whatever happens, it’s important not to take something special for granted and enjoy it to the fullest?  Can you trust yourself enough to let it happen and see what might happen, even if it wasn’t in your plans or ever anticipated?

Time isn’t an unlimited commodity to be traded like a stock. Life changes as we go along, as does our direction, no matter how much we try to keep to the path we had imagined for ourselves, and that’s okay.  The passage of time works things out for the best, even when we take detours we hadn’t planned. Do not take things for granted or throw them away.  Make time for simple pleasures and relax…trust that things are happening by a grand design that we aren’t always privy to.

I’m definitely not a polly-anna type of person. Anyone that knows me or that I let see that part of myself, knows I approach life with a realistic, cynical, sarcastic view of a lot of things. I’m opinionated and outspoken, and these days can be a full strength, un-diluted ME with those I trust. This alone makes me happy when I feel free enough to be myself. (I’m not sure about everyone around me gets the same warm fuzzies from my unfettered views as I do *grin*) What I do make sure that I accomplish each day, even on the days that would make Barney the Purple Dinosaur break down and cry, is to find SOMETHING in the day that was good or to smile over. Many times the things to smile over in today’s society might be minuscule, but there is always something to cause a grin if one looks for it.  Some days there is full bodied laughter and joy.  You have to take the time to enjoy the subtle nuances and ebb and flow of life in unexpected ways and places.

I enjoy life. Period.

Whether it’s challenging or exciting or ho-hum, I enjoy the simple fact that I’m breathing each and every day.  That fact alone leaves me with endless possibilities in front of me and another chance to make a change or a difference.

The challenges, the colors, the tastes, the smells, the experiences that let me know I’m living life and not just wandering blindly through life, all are precious.  Missing most of the flavors of life or making those around me miserable would be such a waste of the time granted to each of us since it is all too important to ever take for granted. 

We all start out each day with 24 hours. The same 60 minutes in each of those hours. The same 60 seconds in each minute. It’s time that can never be reclaimed once it passes.  You cannot bank it for later when you have the “time” to experience it. You can’t turn back the clock.

Will all things in life be pleasant or good? Heck no!!  I do know one thing though…you better live while you’ve got the chance. Life truly is TOO short to waste too many seconds of it. You should never look back and have to wonder “what if”.  Take a chance.

What matters most in life is what we do with our time here and if we make sure that at least PART of each day has something in it that you find to smile over. I don’t care if it’s as simple as the fact that your dog didn’t crap in the neighbor’s yard for once, that a cloud had an interesting shape or if you DIDN’T hear from that pain in the butt friend who makes you crazy. There is something in those 24 hours, EACH AND EVERY DAY, that can be smiled over. It may be something little, find it anyway and make the conscience decision to realize that it happened.

Life is truly how you face it and what you make of it. If you want to be miserable and make those around you feel the same way, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. You’ll wake up one day and wonder what happened to your life, why no one comes to see you, why you’re so lonely, so alone.

Don’t blame anyone else, fix yourself and get happy with yourself FIRST…don’t wait on someone else to do it for you. Accept what life hands you and find a way to make it work for you or to improve the areas where its needed. You’ll find when you are comfortable with yourself, others will be as well and will want to be around you.

Now, as often happens when I start typing…this didn’t start out to be a general pep talk about life. I was looking at old pictures and at the kids sitting around the house one night with their friends, and my mind wandered to time and it’s value. I’m making memories still and will always. I’m also savoring the memories already made and making sure to pass them along to future generations or friends so that they are never forgotten.

I’m also looking forward to finding many things for myself in the coming years. I’m not speaking of material possessions, although those are nice, but of the things that I’ve learned that are truly important to life and happiness. The things that I truly need or want for myself on other levels will not be neglected or taken for granted. None of us has a crystal ball to predict what those things will be or where we’ll be a year from now or with whom. TIME will tell, we can’t totally script our lives and be happy.

The past year has been a bit of a roller coaster, full of the highest highs and a couple of lows I hadn’t expected or foreseen amongst the good things happening to me. I’ve had relationship challenges and a family health scare, but over “time” and by sharing with someone special, everything works out…perhaps not perfectly, but in ways that have amazed me and have given me joy in the way those things are progressing.

It takes hard work, communication and at times blind faith in something or someone. Living your life takes courage and realizing there are some things that just are.  Situations unexplainable by logic or reason.  The things that are inexplicably and unexpectedly wonderful. Experiences that are needed to continue to grow, whether we planned them or not. Enjoy each one thoroughly and cherish each day.

Time, such a funny wonderful thing. It’s the ultimate gamble in life. We know we have a finite amount and yet we take a chance on how much time has been dealt us. It’s a question not one of us can answer with any certainty…don’t let your time pass you by.

 

 

~Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff that life is made of.~ Benjamin Franklin