Friday, October 5, 2012

Things a Woman Should Do - Part 4

Next round...

  1. Apply for a scholarship to an art, literary, or spiritual retreat that intrigues you. (I have and will go to said retreats, however, I will probably not apply for a scholarship. I will afford to pay my own way and leave the scholarship money for those artists out there that are less fortunate that I.)
  2. Design a picnic around aphrodisiacs - raw oysters, champagne, rose petal jam on chocolate fingers - then whisper in another's ear the sensual images that passing clouds suggest. (Well, if the belly dancing lessons lead to something, this might be a possibility. However, it is unlikely that I would have have some of these foods at a picnic...champagne, yes....but more than likely I would go with some crusty bread and soft cheese and prosciutto with some melon and spiced almonds, or something along those lines.)
  3. Be someone's fairy godmother. Wand optional. (I think I've accomplished this details required.)
  4. Write an unauthorized biography of your family, including embarrassing photos, a tribute to the infamous black sheep, and favorite recipes. (Who says I haven't already started this?!? I just need to give a couple of my relatives a chance to pass on to the happily ever after. I love the idea about adding some of the favorite recipes as so many of our family's lives revolve around meals!!)
  5. Serve something flambe. (Ummm. No. I'm not a big fan of fire and am a challenged cook as it is and do not think combining the two is such a great idea.....Now I can serve something charred and blackened without issue....)
  6. On the hottest day in August donate matinee tickets to a movie in an air-conditioned theater to kids in a homeless shelter. (This is a great idea. I have a year to start saving up for this.)
  7. Develop a substantial cackle big enough to grow into as you age - A cackle is a giggle with seniority. (I am already working on this!! I love the idea of aging with a great laugh!!)
  8. Flirt with a flight attendant just for the hell of it - It's nicer than air rage. (Why would I do this? To me this would just annoy the other flyers as it takes up the flight attendant's time. I would rather just be nice to everyone and not bother with the flirting, innuendos, or double entendres.)
  9. Conquer one fear each year. (This past year I would say I did that with sky diving. Not to say I had an actual fear about that. I guess I need to sit down and figure out what exactly my fears are. I know there is the one about fire, but to be honest who doesn't have a little fear of fire? I have a fear of public speaking, but I conquer that on a regular basis each time I get up and perform training or give a presentation. This one will take some pondering. 
  10. Play the sax or cello or learn at least one aria or gospel song. (These are just getting wackier and more pointless. I already play the flute, or rather I did play the flute. Why single out the sax or the cello? Why would I want to learn an aria? I do not have a pretty singing voice, and I accept that. Now a gospel song, I can get into learning one of those...maybe.)

We are almost halfway there.... I can hardly wait to see what the next batch gives us. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Things a Woman Should Do - Part 3

I've been a bit remiss on keeping up with this string of posts....

Here are the next on the list:
  1. Teach someone, besides a child, to read. (I have actually thought about following up with an Adult Literacy Program and see how I may help.)
  2. Invent a punch that will raise eyebrows and lower inhibitions. (I may not have invented it, but there are a couple of punch and sangria recipes that I have embellished on that have led to some serious moments of lowered inhibitions.)
  3. Don't indulge in one judgmental thought for an entire day. Okay, an hour. (I'm assuming that this should probably occur during waking hours as I rarely have jugemental dreams. I actually am trying really hard to follow this one. I'm really working on creating a positive spirit and part of that would include not judging others. I have to say, though, it is tough.)
  4. Learn a few choice phrases in French or Russian to use when flirting or angry. (Done and done. I may not be saying them correctly, but the French flirting phrases I learned in high school and from Patti Labelle (Lady Marmalade). I know a single Russian phrase that I learned from a co-worker a couple of years back. I have to trust him on what it means but I'm either cussing somebody, sneezing, or asking for some cheese.)
  5. Stay in a convent for a week. (Is this even possible? I may actually look into this. Not that I have any interest in becoming a nun, but to spend a week in quiet contemplation and intentional work sounds intriguing to me.)
  6. Ride a motorcycle alone across the Nevada desert. (Sorry. I really do not have any desire to do this. I'm not a motorcycle gal, although I know some of you out there are and I tip my hat to you. I wouldn't mind driving a convertible across the desert and through the mountains and around the country peace with my self with no real destination and no real time frame in which to make the trip...)
  7. Make wine from dandelions growing in your backyard and send it to the CEO of Greener Chemical Lawns, Inc. (First, I don't have dandelions growing in my backyard. Second, I believe it is illegal to ship liquids without a permit within the United States. Third, I really am not interested in making wine, I think that would require a lot of pots...)
  8. Start a wild rumor that something wonderful will happen later this year. (Okay, now these are just getting a little ridiculous. Nobody ever believes rumors about good things happening, only bad things...)
  9. Squeeze a cute fireman because it's "Public Hero Appreciation Day". (So, I googled Public Hero Appreciation Day, and did not find it, however, it looks like September 11 is often referred to as Hero Appreciation Day, although I don't think it is "official" yet...or it hasn't made my Odd Holidays Calendar. I guess this is actually saying to just go up to a cute fireman any day and claim it to be appreciation day. However, what about the not so cute firemen? Do they not deserve the squeezing and appreciation as well? Or is it just that all firemen are cute because they are heros no matter what they actually look like?)
  10. Learn to belly dance and integrate it into your lovemaking. (I am so going to do this...well, the learn to belly dance part. Maybe if I learn to belly dance, then I'll have the confidence to pursue finding somebody and then start working on the second part of that.)
Stay tuned for the next round coming soon...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ceramics Outcome #1

Well, I finally have something to show you all from my ceramics class. Yes, they look like a small child in kindergarten made them, but they were my first efforts and I'd like to think I'm getting better. Last night I glazed my lantern that I made last week as well as finished off the bowls that I made on the wheel. Next week we will finish up whatever we have been working on and then glaze next week and the following. We will then be done with the hand building techniques. Have I mentioned how much I am loving playing with clay?!?

Red and Blue Small Platter
This platter was the very first thing I made and the first thing
I glazed and it looks like it. I think a 5 year old probably
does better work than I did...
Dark Blue with White Specs and Flower Impression Pinch Pot
I swear it looks a little bit better in person than in the photo. 
Melon Green with Darker Green Specs Pinch Pot
This one definitely looks better in person. 

National Custodial Workers Day

Yesterday was National Custodial Workers Day, according to my calendar of random holidays. This, and the recent actions of my ceramics teacher started me thinking about something my mom taught me.

My taught school for decades, including the years that we lived in Mississippi in a time when racial segregation was still frequently observed. Much of the custodial staff was black and often times overlooked by many of the white teachers and administrators. Mom, however, always spoke with the staff when they would come to sweep her room. She made the effort to get to know them. She let them know that she appreciated the job that they did and they respected her for that. This is when I learned the importance of appreciating all people. Mom never had a problem when something in her room needed to be fixed or moved, as the folks that would perform these menial tasks were willing to go the extra yard to help her out because of the way she treated them.

I recently saw this same attitude in my ceramics teacher. As we were walking to the classroom, we met one of the custodial staff at the school. My instructor introduced herself, made certain that she remembered the person's name, and apologized for the state of her room and thanked the cleaning lady for the work that is done.

I try to do that in the office as well. I try to smile at our custodial staff. I say hello and goodbye to them. I try and stay out of their way when they are in the midst of a task as they have a job to do. I think it is important that we acknowledge all of fellow humans on this earth as we all have worth.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Banned Book Week

The 30th Annual Banned Books Week started yesterday. We all need to remember to be vigilant about protecting our First Amendment Right and fight back against the banning of books from our schools and our libraries. You may make the decision for yourself and your children to not read a particular book, but DO NOT push your choices for literature on me. I will decide for myself.

Just to give you an idea of what books have been banned in the past, here are some of the classics...many of which I'm sure you have read.

  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger
  • The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  • Ulysses, by James Joyce
  • Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  • The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  • 1984, by George Orwell
  • Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
  • Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
  • Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  • Animal Farm, by George Orwell
  • The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
  • As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
  • A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
  • Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

The list goes on. If you would like to find out what other classics have been banned through the years and why, go to the Top 100 Banned and/or Challenged Classics link on the American Library Association website.

Can you imagine how less rich your reading experience would be without these books?!?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Tires

I went and had new tires put on my old CRV yesterday. I made an appointment with Firestone for 7:15 AM and was there right on the dot. They took my baby, put the tires on and after about an hour came out and said, "um, we normally check the alignment of the wheels when we put new tires on as well, free of charge... Would you like to have this done?"

I reply with, "Yes." Internally, I'm saying, "What do you think?!? Why would you even ask me that if it is your normal practice?" I then go back to reading my book (I'm reading Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic, which is totally different than the movie, but that will be another post).

About 30 minutes later, the technician comes out again and says "There is some misalignment. Would you like for us to fix that? It will be $XX.XX." (To be honest, I didn't even listen to the cost.)

I reply with "Yes." Again, internally, I'm saying, "Of course, fix my {bleeping} car. Do you think I want to pay the money to buy new tires and then ruin them by having the car all out of alignment?"

Another 45 minutes go by, and they finally call my name to let me know that my baby is ready. I pay and go get in my baby and leave.

I have to say that she drives great and I'm very happy with the alignment. I probably waited a little too long to get those tires addressed, but I'm very glad that I finally did.