Day 92

It's a good life

I was watching and listening to the producers’ and actors’ commentary of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen yesterday when one of the commentators, an actor I believe, while talking about Peta Wilson, said he had never seen her in anything before this movie. That surprised me because, while she hasn’t been in a huge number of things, she did star in the TV version of La Femme Nikita. While it wasn’t on a major network, it did last four or five seasons. Cindy and I both enjoyed the show.

I believe tha and was the highest rated drama on cable. It was one of the first shows I watched on the USA network. Now I spend a lot of time watching shows like Psych, Burn Notice,  and Royal Pains on USA.

There is so much “reality” TV on the major networks that I turn to the cable networks more and more. Tonight I’ll be watching Eureka on Syfy. Unfortunately that show is being cancelled. It shows in some of the writing this year. I have heard it was cancelled, not because of low ratings, but because the ratings did not go higher last season. If that is true, it is sad.

I went with Cindy to her follow-up appointment on her shoulder. The Dr. said she looks very good and that her progress is great. He wants her to start physical therapy now. That is all good news. I am glad she is healing so quickly. Soon she will be able to whip up on people physically as well as verbally. Life will return to normal.

It is hard for me to believe that I have been working on this blog for almost four months now. It is probably a good thing that I don’t try to stick to one topic. I doubt if I could write about  just one thing every day. I could do a lot on my relationship with music, but if I had tried that, I would probably have given up by now. No. This is better for me.

Day 91

The morning after the recital

I took this shot this morning before I left to pick up doughnuts. I started buying doughnuts for the grandkids when they stay over back when Macey was little. I think they taught each other that I do it, so now it is expected…no matter what their age. So I buy them, even though I no longer eat them. Macey will eat just about anything with sprinkles on it; Mason will eat any kind, but prefers chocolate filled; and Maely wants chocolate frosted with sprinkles. I don’t buy any for Marlon even though he is from the cocker spaniel branch of the Gaskin family.

Cindy and I were finally able to watch Young At Heart which is a documentary film about a senior citizen chorus that performs rock ‘n roll songs. Mary Kirts loaned it to us a couple of weeks ago, but today was the first time we were able to sit and watch it together. It was enjoyable despite the fact that two of the chorus members died during the filming and a third dies after the filming. Poignant is the term that comes to mind. The problem I have watching this type of film is that it brings my mortality to mind. That can be a good thing, but on a gloomy Sunday afternoon it isn’t so hot. When another member of the chorus started reciting the eulogy he had written for himself, I knew my thoughts would fixate for a while on preparing for my ending. I usually spend some thought time on that after a funeral or memorial service. I want to plan my own rather than have someone else impose their ideas on it.

Let me tell you (Cindy and Trina) I will have my own way in this one thing. I don’t want a funeral, but if it will make you happy you can have a memorial service, without the body, at our home.  There will be no burial; either cremate me or give my decrepit body to a medical college. If I don’t give it to you before hand, you will find after my demise, a cd of music I want played. Oh, and I may write a few lines for someone to read. If you know I don’t like someone, don’t let them speak.

I think those are simple instructions. Let it be so.

One last thing, Republicans may attend.

Day 90

Another beautiful house in Lafayette

I treat myself on Saturday mornings. Cindy would probably tell you that I treat myself every morning, afternoon, evening, and late night. Perhaps. That is one of the benefits of being retired.

Anyway, every Saturday morning I treat myself to watching an episode of The West Wing, which was the best written television show I have ever watched. Week in and week out there was a television show worth watching. The fact that the political statements they made went along with my way of thinking did not detract from the show, but I truly believe I would have watched for the quality of the writing even if I abhorred the content. It was just that good. The combination of serious subject matter and humor is just wonderful. So, I am now watching DVDs of the show, one episode each Saturday morning, in order. Cindy doesn’t interrupt me because she is always still asleep while I watch. I saw the 14th episode from season 1 this morning.

Before I started episodes of The West Wing on Saturdays, I watched an episode of Kung Fu each week. Again, it was one episode each week, in order. I was a fan of the show while it was on, and I saw many of the shows again in reruns years later. But, while I was watching the DVDs I realized that somehow I missed most of the second season. There must have been something on another network opposite Kung Fu that caught my attention. Oh, well. I’m caught up now. It did seem strange watching episodes that had people like Jodie Foster, Dean Jagger, Harrison Ford, and Leslie Nielsen as guest stars.

I won’t be watching as many movies tonight as I normally do. Maely will be performing in a dance recital that we will be attending. It was fun last year, and will be again this year. I thought it was strange last year that the teachers took part in the recital as well as the students. I have never seen that happen before. I guess they like the celebrity aspect of performance as much as the credit for being good teachers.

Maybe I can squeeze a movie or two in this morning and afternoon.

Day 89

In need of a paint job and more

I have to tell you that I am not in a good mood today. I don’t want to throw or smash anything, but I do feel like complaining. Some might describe my mood as bitchy. I would not disagree. Little things are causing me to seethe, and make me want to whine. I don’t like it when other people whine, but I am occasionally self-indulgent. I’m thinking today, “What good is a blog if you can’t whine once in a while?” Where shall I start?

My trip to the grocery store to buy coffee can offer irritations that seldom are allowed rise to the surface. People who push their shopping cart to their car, empty it, and then leave it in a parking spot get my goat. I think it is the height of laziness to just leave the cart sitting, blocking a potential parking spot. Do these people wonder why cart corrals are set up in the parking lot? They obviously don’t care about other people, it is all about them. I know that in a few cases there is probably a good reason they can’t push the cart a few yards to the nearest corral and leave it there…I’m trying to think of an example…perhaps they have trouble walking and need to use the cart like a walker. But then, how did they make it into the store? Did they use a cart that someone else had left in the lot? Did they drive around looking for an abandoned cart? Also, how many people are there like that? I ask because there are many of the carts sitting around the lot.

You may well be wondering why I haven’t gone off on the people who park their cars in the fire lanes. I have no respect for those people. Surprisingly, there were no cars parked there today. They probably were parked in the handicapped spaces.

I am not the only person who is not in a good mood today. While I like the service we get from Comcast, I have one complaint. We receive a lot of email that is not meant for us. I’m not sure why that is true, but it is. Today we received an email, in error, from a woman who is very upset. I won’t identify her, but here is what it says (Oh, if you know Irene, please tell her that her email didn’t get to the intended person…unless you are that person):


Day 88

Our first Iris this spring

Based on the number of buds we have on all of the Iris’, there will be a large number of blooms this year. The purple seems deeper this year as well. I love the plants not just because the flower is beautiful, but also because there is so little work involved with growing it. Anything that is easy to grow is my kind of plant. I should learn to make dandelion wine so that I have an excuse to not weed them out. As is I need an excuse.

This morning on Morning Joe Professor Michael Sandel from Harvard was hawking his most recent book What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. I must say, they had an interesting conversation. I may be purchasing the book, because the topic interests me. While money is not high on my most wanted list, I do like to have enough on hand to pay our bills and cover emergencies. More than that amount is a luxury I don’t need.

People who have acquired wealth seem to be admired by others. Why is that? I honestly don’t know. The media seem to think that we need to pay attention to wealthy people. Why? Unless they give large amounts of their wealth to charity, or to make sure people have jobs, why should I care? If they are a “celebrity” it is even worse. Why else would we even know about Paris Hilton or others like her? Has she, or anyone like her, ever done anything that rates a mention on national television or radio? I can’t think of anything. Dare I ask if she is a job creator?

Well, it is obvious that I am not writing a carefully thought out posting today. It is more of a disjointed diatribe. Sorry.

Day 87

Another beautiful house

This town is full of beautiful houses. Ours isn’t bad, in fact I love the interior, but it is lacking in curbside appeal. Maybe some day.

I haven’t made up my mind what to write about today. I thought of putting down my interaction with Flo, my mother-in-law, from yesterday, but…no. When I told Cindy about it, she didn’t see the humor, and without the humor it is just sad. The blog needs something more positive today, something either humorous or uplifting or both. What to write…what to write.

Let me go back to yesterday’s topic. I’ll write a bit more about the time I taught at the New Prairie Junior HIgh. As I said, I was teaching 8th grade English. English encompassed literature, writing, spelling, and speech. One of my students, Mark, was the son of a social studies teacher in that school. Mark’s grades in English were a solid D when I took over the class. The first thing I noticed was that his spelling skills were poor. He had a low self-esteem in the classroom. He once told me he wasn’t expected to do well in the class. I don’t know who told him that, but he was doing his best to live up to that opinion. We read The Pearl by Steinbeck in class. I assigned an essay on the story to find out if anyone understood more than the plot. Most did not, but Mark got it. He saw the greater themes and was able to write about it, though his spelling was atrocious. I gave him a B+ on the writing assignment. I think that was the best grade he had ever received in English. Later, on a test, he showed that he had a firm grasp on literature. I graded him accordingly. His father was so proud of him that he thanked me for giving his son a chance to excel.

Day 86

Another beautiful old home

Is this house Victorian? I think it is, but any architectural knowledge I have, was come by second-hand. Is that last sentence grammatical? I should know, but I couldn’t say with any more than 85% certitude. It has been a long time since I taught grammar. It’s getting close to four decades ago. That happened after I was released from the army and before I went to work for the state. It was a brief but memorable time.

When I was released by the military in 1971, I decided that I would go back to college and finish my degree in education. I got out a week after classes started for the fall semester at IU, so I found a job while I waited for the next semester. I first tried to draw unemployment, but the veteran’s rep. at the La Porte Local Office told me that I was not qualified to draw. He was wrong, but I found a job before any benefits would have started. I applied for a material handler job at Easy Heat Wirekraft in Rolling Prairie, just up the road from where I lived.

I was called in for an interview with the plant manager. He looked at my application, saw that I was close to finishing my degree, and that I had been in the military. He offered me a job as the cost accountant at the plant. I said, “No. I have no accounting background, and I want to be a teacher.” He told me that the company, would send me to classes for the job and would pay for everything. I said, No. I want to be a teacher.” So he hired me as a material handler working for the minimum wage. And for that, I had to join the Teamsters.

A few days later I was talking to my friend Warby on the telephone and I told him that experience. Warby worked for Osco Drugs, going around the country opening new stores. He made a handsome salary and the company paid all his travel expenses. Warby offered to get me on doing the same work. I said, “No. I am going to be teacher.”

To make a long story short, I finished work on my BS in Ed.; got my teaching license in Indiana; and could not find a job. So, that being the case, as well as the fact that at that time in Indiana you had to get a Master’s within five years to continue teaching, and the my veteran’s benefits would pay for a large part of it, I got my MS in Ed. While I was working on my MS, an English teacher at New Prairie Junior High had to take time off work for surgery. I was hired on a temporary contract to teach 8th grade English. I taught there for six or seven weeks and decided I did not want to be a teacher.