Sunday, October 27, 2013


I went to a baby shower today. Not exactly earth shattering, I know, but definitely more than a little thought provoking.

Here's why:

You know that feeling you get after being hopped up on coffee (or whatever it is you've been hopped up on), once you've come down? Or after going to a concert or some place you really wanted to go, when the thrill has worn off? Well, crazy as it sounds, that's kind of the way I feel now. A little sad, a little depressed, a little let down. 

I realize I'm making it sound like the shower was bad, but that's wrong. The shower was


Here's why:

1. The shower was different because the shower cake depicted a baby's head coming out of a bloody vagina and the mom-to-be wore a t-shirt with baby doll arms protruding from her belly with the words let me out written in faux blood


2. That's not the kind of different I'm talking about


3. The kind of different I'm talking about is an atmospheric kind of different


4. The kind of different I'm talking about is an overwhelming-presence-of-love kind of different


5. The kind of different I'm talking about is a presence-of-light kind of different

Never in my life, that I can recall, have I felt love and light as present as I felt them today.

I know there are people out there who think I'm ridiculous, people who think love and light can't be felt. Those people are wrong. Love and light are both energy, and anybody who wants to argue that energy can't be felt is just dumb. 

I'm not one-hundred percent sure what gave the shower the energy that it possessed, whether it was the people, the guest of honor, or a combination of the two, but if I had to say, I'd say it was the middle one. Renee, she of the bloody baby arms, is kind of amazing. I don't know why, and it's not really something I can explain (in all honesty, I barely even know her); it's just something that I feel.

She is composed, to put it simply, of love and of light.

And she's not the only one.

From my life, I can think of two others. North Star, of course (I know you had to see that one coming), and coincidentally, another woman whom I barely know and whose presence I was in just yesterday. From this other woman, I feel the same feeling I feel when around Renee.

This other woman, too, is composed of love and of light.

And it makes me feel bad.

Here's why:

1. It makes me feel bad for the same reason the shower left me feeling bad


2. I want to baskrevelreside in the love and the light


3. I'm so rarely immersed in the love and the light


4. I firmly believe that the love and the light
   cannot be taught
   cannot be copied
   cannot be faked


5. People composed of love and of light just



6. I am


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Teach Your Children; Well--

It's my belief, and I'm pretty sure everybody else's, that when we have kids, it's our responsibility to teach them right from wrong.

It's our responsibility, as parents, to mold them into good, decent people and to not only preach preach preach from the time they're old enough to understand what we're preaching, but to model exemplary behavior, too.

As a parent, I've often found myself in a situation where I'd really, really like to do one thing, but because my sons are around, I do another thing--the right one.

These right things range from small things, like maybe not calling a kid who made one of my sons cry in preschool or elementary school a stupid motherfucker (at least not while my kids were around), to larger things, like telling a cashier she gave me too much change or forgot to ring me up for an item at the grocery store, to even larger things still, like not saying anything bad about their father in their presence while he and I were separated.

When I'm with my kids, I always try to look at things with an open mind, even when I truly feel they or I have been slighted. It's my opinion that irrationality is not a good lesson to pass down to younger generations.

It's because of my strong belief regarding the roles we have for our children that I'm so baffled when parents demonstrate questionable behavior. As a teacher and a parent, I've witnessed, or been a part of, many situations where parents not only fail to do the right thing, but do the wrongest thing possible.

The soccer field is the first place that comes to mind. In the nine years since Keifer's been playing, I don't even know how many kids have quit the season midyear because insert bullshit excuse here despite the fact that they committed to a season and an entire team relied on their being on the field (we even had a goalie quit, for god's sake. A goalie! How the hell are you supposed to have a soccer team without a goalie?).

The classroom, of course, is the next place that pops into my mind. I seriously couldn't tell you how many times children have tried to get out of teachers' classes--and no, not just mine--because they didn't like the teacher, and their parents have supported them. Or how many times parents have tried to get their child out of a specific teacher's class because the child is doing poorly, and rather than demand that the s/he study or go to tutoring to better understand the work and meet the teacher's expectations, they demand to have the child placed in an easier class. Or how, this year (and this is actually a new one for me), a certain teacher decided to have her daughter bypass my class, a requirement of the program in which she's enrolled, instead placing her in her best friend's much less challenging English class. Or how, when parents have had outright evidence that their child has insert inarguable offense here, they've tag team bullied a teacher, treating her as if she's the one who's wrong and questioning every aspect of what she does.

Readers, to you, I pose this question:

What kind of examples are these people setting for their children?

Take the case of the parent who fights to get his or her child moved from a teacher's class who the child doesn't like. What the fuck kind of lesson is that? If I don't like my boss (but of course I do. All of them. My bosses are gentlemen and scholars, each and every one) or my coworker, do I just quit? Do I call my mommy and tell her to come and fight my battles for me? Do I complain to a higher up that my boss is being mean? Of course not. I suck it up, and I do my job. Because that's how the real world works.

Now take the case of the parent who moves a child because s/he isn't doing well in a teacher's class instead of encouraging studying and learning. What exactly is the lesson there? That when things are difficult, we just give up? That there's always a way out? Well, if you're an adult, you know how useful a lesson that one is.

The teacher whose daughter bypassed my class? That doesn't even deserve discussion. If that's the lesson a teacher wants to teach, I don't even know what to say (actually I do, but I try to keep this blog PG-13).

And, lastly, let's take the case of the kid who commits an inarguable offense, but his parents blindly argue the inarguable. What, I repeat (yes, again and again), is that teaching? That Mommy and Daddy will always hold our hand? That we can do no wrong? That we could hoodwink the 'rents till the cows come home? That, as adults, we can manipulate people if we obstinately refuse to give in?

Yes, yes, yes,



Friday, October 11, 2013

A Strange Pain Inside

I'm not one to post somebody else's writing, even in the way of lyrics, on my own blog, but I think it can't be helped.

About a month or so ago while I was at a show, the band I went to see did a cover of "Joey" by Concrete Blonde. It was the first time I'd heard it in ages. If you don't know it, it goes like this (lyrics-wise, of course; if you don't want to imagine the tune, you're going to have to do some YouTubing):

Joey, baby,
Don't get crazy,
Detours, fences,
I get defensive.

I know you've heard it all before,
So I don't say it anymore,
I just stand by and let you fight your secret war.
And though I used to wonder why,
I used to cry till I was dry,
Still sometimes I get a strange pain inside.

Oh, Joey, if you're hurtin', so am I.

Joey, honey,
I'll save all my money,
All is forgiven,
Listen, listen.

And if I seem to be confused,
I didn't mean to be with you
And when you said I scared you,
Well, I guess you scared me too
But we got lucky once before,
And I don't wanna close the door
And if you're somewhere out there
Passed out on the floor

Oh, Joey, I'm not angry anymore.

And if I seem to be confused,
I didn't mean to be with you.
And when you said I scared you,
Well, I guess you scared me too
But if it's love you're looking for,
Well, I can give a little more
And if you're somewhere drunk and
Passed out on the floor

Oh, Joey, I'm not angry anymore.

Well, the song made me sad. Really sad. And it made me even sadder when I went home and listened to it a few days later. Coupled with thoughts I'd been having (which turned into musings that turned into a small amount of Facebook stalking), it made me realize--really, really realize--that I missed something--someone--I hadn't expected to miss. While not everything in the song applies to my situation, the sentiment does one-hundred percent.

I had a friend. I was angry. I was confused. I'm neither of those things any longer.

What I am is sad. I'm sad that a week ago today, I listened to my newly-deceased cousin's best friend of over fifty years, Richie, talk about her in a way that only a friend of over fifty years could and that my Richie no longer exists.

At least not for me.