Thursday, January 19, 2006

Slander a la Leab (01/19/06)

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday.
Tomorrow brings the second sweetest day of the week: Friday.
Friday, of course, comes from the Latin word Fridas, which means freedom.*
So, seeing as it's Thursday, I bet you want slander? Do you? Huh? Huh?
Ok, I guess I can help you.
Let's get to tonight's SLANDERAMA.
An Interview with William Shatner:
(Author's Note: Any quote followed by a # is an ACTUAL quote from Mr. Shatner and can be found at this site.)

Captain Kirk. T.J. Hooker. Denny Crane. All of these names are the alter egos of one man:
William Shatner. Beloved by many nerds, this vituoso of acting, writing, and singing (two albums. How many do you have Nimoy?) was recently in town to promote his show: Boston Legal. We had the chance to catch up with Mr. Shatner.

Ironic Teachings: Thank you for agreeing to meet with us Mr. Shatner. I'm a big fan.
William Shatner: Oh for God's sake....Get a life, will you? #
IT: Fair enough. What are you doing in town?
WS: show, Boston Legal is...looking for extras in the Twin Cities. Plus, we're...not really being watched here, so we want to increase viewership.
IT: That's great. Still, my readers want to get to know the REAL William Shatner. Let's start with your...trademark way of acting.
WS: Look, first of all, Captain Kirk never burped out his lines, nor did he simply SPEAK! as IF! Every! Other! SYLlable! WAS! of DIRE! ImPORTance! # I don't DO that.
When I started out, I actually was do SHAKESPEARE. McGill (University in Toronto) still has a picture of me as Hamlet. I can still feel it now....
"TO be or NOT to be. the question. WheTHER it is NOBLER...." Oh those were the days.
IT: Was it the famous Twilight Zone episode that got you noticed by Gene (Roddenberry)?
WS: I hate flying, flat out hate its guts. # I was able to use that hate and create the most realistic looking fear of flying ever seen on SCREEN!
IT: Please, Mr. Shatner, refrain from jumping up on your chair.
WS: Sorry. The old days get me so excited.
IT: You were on Star Trek as most people's favorite captain: James Kirk. What was that like?
WS: One of the advantages of being a captain is being able to ask for advice without necessarily
having to take it.# But the best part about Kirk? That's easy. We were basically one and the same, although Jim was just about perfect, and, of course, I am perfect.# I was able to take a poorly written character, no thanks to Gene, and make him into a superstar. Not everyone knows Kirk or my other characters....
IT: Like Hooker?
WS: Right, like Hooker, but EVERYONE knows William SHATNER! Look:
I am not a Starfleet commander, or T.J. Hooker. I don't live on Starship NCC-170...or own a phaser. And I don't know anybody named Bones, Sulu, or Spock. And no, I've never had green alien sex, though I'm sure it would be quite an evening. I speak English and French, not Klingon! I drink Labatt's, not Romulan ale! And when someone says to me 'Live long and prosper', I seriously mean it when I say, 'Get a life'. My doctor's name is not McCoy, it's Ginsberg. And tribbles were puppets, not real animals. PUPPETS! And when I speak, I never, ever talk like every. Word. Is. Its. Own. Sentence. I live in California, but I was raised in Montreal. And yes, I've gone where no man has gone before, but I was in Mexico and her father gave me permission! My name is William Shatner, and I am Canadian!”#
IT: You like being a Canadian?
WS: It's ok.
IT: What makes you so loved by people?
WS: Are you asking me how do I stay so healthy and boyishly handsome? It's simple. I drink the blood of young runaways.#
IT: I see. Do you have any mantras or thoughts on life you'd like to share with the people?
WS: Sure.
1. Stop and smell the garlic! That's all you have to do.#
2. Remember-you can't beam through a force field. So, don't try it.#
3. Don't just shove food into your mouth. Taste the flavor exploding in your mouth. Appreciate the texture. Honor your food with the time you take.#
4. Babies have big heads and big eyes, and tiny little bodies with tiny little arms and legs. So did the aliens at Roswell! I rest my case.#
I think that will cover most of it.
IT: Tell me about the singing.
WS: I love singing. I am actually preparing for my third album right now.
IT: Have you ever had a hit?
WS: One. In the world that we inhabit, having one hit is a lot better than having no hits.#
IT: Um, you never had a hit song. You had a hit show, and a hit movie, but no songs.
WS: What about "Mr. Tambourine Man"?
IT: Peaked at 90, sir.
IT: Mr. Shatner, stop that please!
WS: I'm............................sorry. I lost my head there for a second.
IT: You mentioned a third album?
WS: Yes, I wanted to cross over. I've done rock, rap, country, and even techno. So what do you think is left?

IT: I don't know. What?
WS: Show tunes. I want to do a whole album of Sondheim.
IT: I have no response to that, sir.
WS: It'll be great. I could be like a male Streisand.
IT: All right, let's shift gears here. You just sold your Kidney Stone for $25,000. Why?
WS: The money goes to charity. My stone is forever enshrined at a casino for EVERYONE to see.
IT: I see. Well Mr. Shatner, I'd like to thank you for your time and wish you continued luck in your career.

WS: Thank you...whatever your name is.
Well, that's your slander for this week. Hopefully the Shatner fans out there won't come after me with guns blazing.
Have a good night, folks.
*Of course this is a lie. Did you really even need to check here?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Story Time with Uncle Leab: Furry Children

You get two posts today, folks. Joy.
During my sophomore year of college, I was with my Ex (I never use her name, I just refer to her as, "my Ex.") walking around the neighborhood we both lived in (I was at 6652, she was at 6625). As we stroll around the neighborhood, we find this cat all alone with no tags. Now, I know better than my Ex, but she doesn't listen to me.
"Honey, it belongs to someone. Let it go home."
"No," she says, "It's a lost cat. We can take care of it. It can be OURS."
"But it IS someone else's cat."

We start walking away, but this cat, a beautiful Chartreux, follows us.
"See?" she says.
"It's just wanting attention. Keep moving."
We do, but the cat follows us ALL the way back to her apartment. So, we take the cat in for the night. However, we need to go get a litter box and cat food I am told. So we do, and the cat stays with us for that night. The next morning, as I leave for class, the cat comes outside with me and bolts across the way to another apartment complex. I watch as this cat climbs the fire escape and scratches at a window. My Ex and I had been played. The cat was just looking for a free meal.
I relayed this information to my Ex that evening.
"I want a kitten."
"I'm sorry," I say. "Could you repeat that?"
"I WANT a KITTEN," she tells me forcefully.
"Uh-huh. Is it going to stay with you?"
"No," she tells me. "Libby (her roommate, but not her real name) is allergic. I thought it could stay at your place."
Obviously my Ex could tell I was not really in favor, so she started telling me about how I had more space then she did in my apartment (I was in a whopping 500 square foot apartment, she and Libby were in a three bedroom 1,200 square foot apartment). I was young, stupid, and in love. I made a poor decision.
"All right. We'll go tomorrow and get a kitten."
I had never owned an animal by myself before. While other kids had a turtle, or fish, or whatever, I shared a dog with my other family members. Usually my mother took care of the pets. She was used to them. We have bad luck in my family when it comes to dogs. Over the course of my life, my family has owned nine dogs. They were unlucky. A few run over, some cancer here and there, and one that my mother hated so much she put a concrete slab over where he was buried. This dog was the only dog I have ever seen walk up to my father and pee on him. Funny, but also dangerous.
When it came to cats, however, there were only ever two. Cats are incredibly easy to take care of and very independent. Still, I had never really had a pet that was just mine.
The next morning, I read in the paper about an animal shelter that was bringing cats for adoption to a pet store. Armed with this knowledge, we headed to that store in the afternoon. It was surprisingly empty. Most people did not want to adopt a cat (no, they wanted puppies).
I head to the back with my Ex and look at the place where these kittens are supposed to be.
Inside of a glass case with three levels is a small grey and white kitten and an orange tabby kitten.
"LOOK AT THE ORANGE ONE!!!!" My Ex screams so loud a child turns and looks at us.
"He's cute, but I like the other one. He seems playful."
It's at this point the Humane Society member, who has been lurking, sweeps in to me.
"You know," the gal says, "if you get both, they can play with each other instead of the furniture. They'll take care of each other, which means you won't have to worry."
"That sounds great," my Ex says.
I was not sure, however. The gal from the Humane Society could tell I was wavering.
"Look," she says. "You adopt these two cats, and I'll do this: This cat (the grey one) full adoption price. This one will be halved."
I don't want two cats. "I'm still not sure."
My Ex could tell what the problem was. "Look, graduation is only a few months away. I'll take the orange one with me when I go, and you can keep the grey one."
That sounded good, but I wanted more from the Humane Society (yeah, I'm going to Hell).
"Ok," I said. "Throw in two bowls, some food, and a litter box, and you got a deal."
"Great!" she says.
The gal opens the case and hands the tabby to my Ex, who squeals with delight. Then she takes out the grey one. As he leaving, a little black head appears and mews at me.
"I didn't see this one," I say.
"Oh. These three came in together," the gal tells me.
Immediately, I am wracked with emotion (it sucks, let me tell you).
I don't want three cats. I don't really even want two, but I get this feeling I cannot split them up.
The black cat mews again. My heart rips itself into pieces at that sound and then comes together again.
"What about the black one?" I ask.
"Weeeelll," the gal starts. "How about this? You pay full adoption fees on the grey one, half on the orange one, none on the black one, aannnnnd you get a free food bowl, but you have to pay for litter, litter box, and food. I will, however, pay for your first vet visit."
I mull it over.
My Ex is giddy at this point and squeezing my hand so hard it might break.
It's at this moment, on October 10th, 1997, I become a pet owner.
The first few months would be difficult but very fun. All three cats stayed with me at my little apartment.
It wasn't long before hair was on my clothes, and people who dropped by would lift their noses to the air and say, "You have cats, don't you?"
My father was worried sick about it. "He's a theatre major who owns cats? That's not good."
It was amazingly fun watching this little beings with giant heads scurrying around my apartment. They would all cuddle with me in the bed and would lie all over each other all the time.
Their names were hard to come by. My Ex and I argued, and I was able to strike a compromise: I would name two of them, she would name the one she was to take with her (the orange cat). She had her name right away. The orange cat became Oscar, named after her uncle.
I named the grey cat Ulysses (yes, I am a bibliophile).
The black cat was given the name Sam Spade (still a bibliophile).
I even came up with ways to remember their names.
Oscar the Orange was a mighty viking.
Sam Spade wore a black trenchcoat.
Ulysses S. Grant fought the Grey Coats.
Yes, I am a nerd.
The plan stopped working when my Ex graduated. Instead of taking Oscar, she looked at me and said, "I only liked him when he was a kitten. Now, he's not pretty anymore."
Thus I was left with three cats.
Many of my friends would joke we were like The Brady Bunch.
This is the story of a man named Leab
Who was bringing up three boys on his own.
All of them were really hairy, like their father.
The youngest one was grey.
I heard it a great deal. It was funny, but slightly annoying the six hundredth time.
I have now had my cats for almost nine years. My wife graciously accepted the fact I had cats. When we started dating, she had lovebirds, but she gave them up for the cats. They love her as much I do. In fact, Ulysses cares for her more than me.
They say cats cannot think, but survive on instinct alone. I disagree. I have seen my cats work up plans.
I once was so drunk that my cats talked to me about life and what I was doing wrong.
Let me introduce you to them:
The unquestioned alpha cat. He is now totally my wife's cat. She calls, he runs.
My wife likes to say he is the most human of the three. He's done the following:
1. Learned how to open doors. It's creepy, but he can reach up and turn a handle.
2. Tries to use silverware. We had fish the other night. He really wanted some, so he started pawing at my wife's fork in order to try and use it. It's still the damnedest thing I have ever seen.
3. Gets in the shower. This is a cat. Cats usually hate water. He's not super keen on it, but he'll try to shower with me most mornings. I think he just wants the attention.
4. He goes limp like a baby when you pick him up. He loves being held by my wife.
The greatest Ulysses story deals with when he tried to catch a bird. My wife and I were living in a second floor apartment in Brooklyn Center and used to let our cats out on the balcony. A bird lands on the railing, and Ulysses REALLY wants it. SO he jumps...and misses. He plunges down to the ground. My wife sees this and freaks out. She bolts out the door and runs to the front of the building. Ulysses is fine. He's just obviously mad at missing the bird. She brings him in the building, where another tenant brings out her dog, he freaks out and bolts up the steps. The owner pulls the dog outside. Ulysses, still panicked, runs away from my wife's loving arms and bolts back down the steps to try and get back outside. One problem: it's a glass door. Though I wasn't there, my wife tells me it was the ultimate accordian cat. He crumpled up and then expanded again. Still, he wasn't willing to show he was in pain, so he tried to play it off. That's this cat.

This is the trickster cat and the beautiful one. My nickname for him is The EVIL Cat! If it's Saturday, and I'm trying to sleep, he'll be there to wake me up.
If I'm, oh let's say, typing, he has to get into my lap. This cat has to be whereever I am. As I sit at my computer right now, he is the chair next to me sleeping. Should I leave to do anything, he'll follow.
When I wake up in the morning and go to shower, he is already sitting on the sink. He drinks from the faucet for a few seconds and then takes off (usually when Ulysses comes in to hop in the shower).
Oscar is the cat my Ex was supposed to take and, indeed, when I first got him, he was with her all the time. He slept on her side of the bed and would always want her to feed him.
Now, he's mine. It's kind of ironic.
Oscar is also the troublemaker. He doesn't want fighting, but when it starts, he jumps in and makes things worse. He likes to pick on Sam a great deal, which is unfortunate.
And finally,
He is the most cat-like of the three cats. I know, that sounds odd, but Sam is afraid of new people, lies around all day on the bed, and pretty much avoids the other cats. He also, unlike the other two, is desperate to be outside all the time. Even when it's raining, snowing, or freezing, he finds a way to walk around outside. The others will hang back, but he blazes the trail.
Sam is the biggest of the three cats. (He's a whopping 20 pounds, but seems to be all muscle, which kinda frightens me at times.) However, he is the only cat that can go anywhere near my neighbors' cats. Again, I don't know why, but he can approach them. The other cats get hissed at and occasionally swatted.

I knew Sam was special the moment he attacked a Doberman Pincher. I know what you're thinking. "Oh my God, Leab, that's awful." It's not what you think.
When I lived in St. Louis, the guy across the alley from me owned a Doberman. This dog was mean. Well, one night while the cats were in my yard, the guy's dog gets away and comes right at my cats. While Oscar and Ulysses bolt for the house, Sam just stands there. The dog approaches, and Sam whacks him. It's almost like Cat-Fu. He just hits this dog full force in the nose, and the dog stops. I am finally able to pick up Sam at this point. The dog (his name was Brute, pronounced Bruteh) is still standing there feeling his nose.
Like I said before, I'm coming up on nine years of owning these cats. I love them. They take care of me, and I of them. If I've had a horrible day, they're there for me when I walk in the door.
I used to be a dog person, but now, I'm not sure I'll ever own a dog. I didn't want these cats when I first saw them.
Now, I'm not sure I can really be happy without them.
So it goes.

Acting Out

It's the hardest feeling to deal with at any given time.
We may not understand love, but the feeling of love makes us elated. Anger can fuel us to do amazing things (like build an entire set in a night).
Frustration, however, weighs on us. It invades every pore of our being and pulls us down to the ground. I feel like Gulliver lashed to the land.
(Incidentally, the picture...makes me think of Tom with his computer at work.) So why am I frustrated?
It started out as anger, but it became frustration due to reponse. Let me explain:
I'm the Tech Theatre guy at my school. My college degree is in lighting, I have a grasp of sound, and I can design and build a set (though non-warped wood would be nice...I'm just saying). When a show comes up, I am expected to be on call. Fine. Currently, there are two shows running at once. This means two different sound setups, two different lighting setups, and two different stage setups. So today, I had to run back and forth between the booth and backstage to get everything for show 1 ready. Between that, and coverage, dealing with a fellow faculty member who was talking my ear off, and a person unwilling to work with me, I started feeling that tug on the back of my brain. Frustration was waking up in my head and stretching out.
When setup 2 came, it got worse. With only a few minutes to put that show together, only a few students actually listened or even moved. As I'm jumping off the tops of ladders trying to move quickly and help them, I see students just standing there. I ask them to help me, and they just look at me as I'm talking to them in Russian. Fine. I get it done, but frustration is now awake in my brain and having coffee. Before the show starts, I explain, "No one leave afterward, we need to put everything back."
With no one to run the opening, I have to bolt back up to the booth and get the lights ready and going. I'm lucky at this point because there is one person who ends taking over the board for a few minutes, but still: my knee is throbbing, my back is killing me, and not a single person has talked to me other than to say, "We have to get the set up." or, "Make sure you hit the blackout at...."
So, show 2 ends, and I ask for help in getting the stage back to setup 1. Not much is needed for this, just clearing the stage. So, I end up watching as almost everyone leaves. Frustration now sticks out it's arms and grabs my spine slowly working toward my stomach. There are only a few students left now. A couple actually help me, but most just sit there and watch. Even after asking for help, they just sit there. Frustration starts to fill my stomach and make it feel like lead. My entire body is now slumping because of the new weight. Two students and myself are doing all the work.
In an attempt to calm myself down and remove the feelings I was having, I ducked into the scene shop. We call it a scene shop, but realistically, it's nothing more than a closet. Now, when I
was in high school, I was part of a crew (of three) that made sure to go to the shop at our school and clean it up once a week. Tools were put in their proper place, paint check, trash taken care of, and floors cleaned. It would like this picture. We took pride in it, and we made sure it was always easy to get into and get what we needed.
As I walked into the shop today, I was mortified. Tools strewn about the floor, trash EVERYWHERE, and, worst of all, things were missing. Last year, I bought several hundred dollars worth of tools for the department. I made a clear edict: when not in use, the tools go in their cases and are stored. This has not been happening. What's worse? All the drills I got are now missing. I presume stolen as the shop has been left unlocked several times, unbeknowst to me. Having seen this, the feeling of frustration took over almost all my body, but I kept fighting against it. What finally put me over the edge was the most simple thing: I did not get a single thank you for the amount of work I did. Nothing. I gave up my prep period for one show. Nothing. I gave up my lunch for the other. Nothing. So, realizing this, frustration took over my whole body, and I snapped. Did I yell at the students? No. I would prefer not to do that. I know they haven't taken care of the theatre, but I'm just as guilty for not pushing them to do so. No, I just told them to leave. I kicked them out of the theatre so I could clean up without them around and then search for my missing tools. I never found them, though I was tipped on where to look (and need to talk to a few people tomorrow).
I eventually overcame my frustration by breathing and, honestly, by teaching the fourth hour class. Concluding Cloud Nine allowed me to turn my frustration into sarcasm then into humor. Laughing is always the best way to overcome and negative emotion. We take in more air which then makes us feel better. It sounds strange, but for some reason it works.
I know they mean well, but damn. When you do favors or bust your ass for someone, all you ask is for two words. I didn't say anything when I bought tools for them. I didn't say anything when I stayed late and skipped classes to build them sets. I didn't even say anything when I called in sick in order to spend a full day painting or building or whatever. I'm saying something now, because I watched almost a full class of students twiddle their thumbs while a few people did all the work. Then they gave me grief.
Maybe I'm off base. I don't know. I just know that my freshman, who sometimes act like idiots, thank me for working with them.
Then again, what do I know? I'm just some schmuck teacher, folks. I could be wrong.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ramblings for the Evening (1/17/06)

Oy vey everybody.
Long weekends are REALLY hard to bounce back from in schools. Students sometimes haven't seen each other or talked to each other so they talk and talk and talk. My first hour was insane trying to keep them quiet and work on multi-paragraph essays.
Still, fourth hour today...very odd. I'll get to that. There's so much fun stuff going on in the world.
So, without further ado: A COW...ONSTAGE?!
Axing Reporters:
Now, I'm not one for going after reporters (I mean, one of my most loyal readers is a local reporter), but after seeing
this story, I don't think I would blame the guy for grabbing a chair and administering a beatdown. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Now, this leads to my next question: What the worst thing you've ever seen a reporter do? Let me clarify: on air. I don't want to hear about Geraldo and hookers. Old news. What do I mean? Well, here's an example:
I went to college in St. Louis. Now, Fox 2 in St. Louis had a reporter out in University City (actually down the street from where I lived at the time) doing a story about the aftermath of an ice storm. The reporter is walking down the sidewalk to show how bad the ice is. This is live. Think DeRusha in November at that Best Buy. I wish I could remember the name of the reporter, but it was a guy. He's walking LIVE on the nightly news and loses his footing. His hand shoots out to try and catch something. Instead, he punches threw a car window, thereby breaking his hand and setting off a car alarm. What made it better was the fact that the lights around him shot on as concerned college students thought it was THEIR cars being broken into by some maniac. The camera guy cuts the feed, and the audience is left seeing the two anchors who look shellshocked. The male anchor says, "Oh jeez, I sure hope he's ok." The female anchor, however, is desperately trying not to burst out laughing. They moved to the next story with the male anchor doing all the work. The female anchor suddenly disappeared. Gotta love Missouri.
Another one I remember which is similar to the Leaning Tower story (again click on the link and thanks to Rick for that), was a guy in New York setting up dominoes for charity. A reporter stepped in the wrong place and started them going. Now, they were lucky the guy who set up the dominoes had in fact put in protective dividers. Still, when it was done, the reporter looked at Domino Man (his given title for this job) and DM said, "You need to leave right now." Classic.
Anyone seen something similar?
We the Jury Find the Defendant...NOOOOOOO:

Ok, so I couldn't think of a better title for
this. In essence, a TWO year old was brought in for jury duty. Now a few things bother me about this:
1. The reason she was summoned was because the census information about her was incorrect. It had July 4, 1776 as her birthday. That would make her 230 YEARS OLD! Would you really want that person on your jury? If I had a 230 year old coming in, that person would be a teacher. Ok, ignore the census for a second then and let's move on to....
2. She gets a 16 year reprieve (insert fake laughter here). I get hatemail about my humor and this judge gets a laugh on the news? Fine. Moving on....
3. Would this girl really be any worse than typical juror? Seriously:
A. Free daycare for mom and dad. SCORE!
B. Other jurors usually act like two-year olds. She has an excuse.
C. It might expedite the process. "Your Honor. We have a verdict."
"You only met for a few minutes. How?"
"Well Your Honor, we couldn't take all the 'NOOOOOO' from Juror 8. We decided to give into her...oh and she needs a change and a nap."
Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't that be a great way to punish kids? No detention, you get jury duty. Enjoy! Or is that too mean?
Shatner's Stoned:
Ok, William Shatner sold his kidney stone to (I'm not linking to them. Just type it in, Lazy) for $25,000. Let me think about that for a second.......I'm sorry, my brain just died a little. This is a kidney stone, ladies and gentlemen. For all intents and purposes, it's substances that break off from urine and crystalize in the kidney. Yes, they hurt. Kidney stones and gall stones are apparently the closest in terms of pain a man can get to actually understanding the pain of birth (so swears my doctor). There are two different aspects of trouble here. So let's hit them one at a time:
1. William Shatner: Oh, Captain Kirk. You won an Emmy recently. You did put out two albums ("Mr....Tambourine....Man.......Playasongforme! KHAN!"), and you are an accomplished writer.
Still, selling your kidney stone? I applaud that MOST of the money is going to charity, but still, sir, you're supposed to be better than this. What's next? Will Captain Kirk sell his sperm like Vincent Gallo? (Don't even get me started on Gallo...Bastard. Brown Bunny was basically a giant excuse for him to get a blowjob from Chloe Sevigny, and his demands to "buy" his sperm are ridiculous. Don't believe me?
Check it out. Bottom of the page.) You wanted $100,000 for the damn thing. You probably would have gotten it from some rich Star Trek fan, but you decided to sell to the Golden Palace instead. Nice work. Now...
2. Golden Palace: You're a real piece of work. Let's review:
You bought a cane that was supposedly haunted by its former owner.
You bought a cheese sandwich which supposedly had the Virgin Mary in it. (And I'm sorry, but I see Rita Hayworth. Is that wrong?)
You paid a woman to have your logo TATOOED to her forhead.
You have paid SEVERAL women and men to streak sporting events in your name.
You bought a species of monkey...ok then.
And, my personal favorite:
bought a woman's baby's name. Yes, you did pay her $15,000, but now this kid is forever named I sense therapy in the future. (Oh, and I haven't forgotten about you, Melissa. You tell people to call her Goldie. I can't wait to see the marriage invite....)
Have we become so desperate for money that we will let companies like Golden Palace buy our bodies, minds, and souls?
And finally....
Cloud Nine (Or where the boys are women, and the women are men...yeah:

Two years in a row I have taught the play Cloud Nine to the Theatre IB class. Both classes LOVED the play. Honestly, part of me is shocked, and part of me isn't.
For those of you who don't know the play, here's a quick summary:
The play starts in 1879 in Imperial Africa. We have men playing men, men playing women, and women playing boys. Oh, and a white man playing a black servant (I love Theatre of the Absurd...look it up). Now, as the characters go through the ideas of colonialism and gender roles (and their inequality), many sexcapades ensue. Married people cheat, boys play with dolls and love their "uncles". As one students explained it today (or maybe it was me, I don't remember) this has everything but "Man on Goat" action. (Cue walk a chicken.)
Now, in the second act, everything changes. The play jumps forward a hundred years to 1979, but, the characters only age...25 years.
While things have gotten "looser" than the Victorian era, Caryl Churchill (the playwright) suggests that things haven't changed as much as people think. While women and homosexuals have gained more favor, men still rule the world.
Now, I like some of Churchill's work, because she influenced by Bertolt Brecht (look it up. I can't do it all for you). This means her work is off-kilter. The whole "Butter scene" in Vinegar Tom is poignant, hysterical, disgusting all at once.
So why do the students like this play? It's outrageous. It's full of sex and swearing. It also does something that Shakespeare (at this point) has stopped doing: the play challenges them. Instead of nice neat package, the students are given a Rubic's Cube of a play. Several students commented to me about how they want to do Cloud Nine for their Spring play. While I'm all for it (I love challenging material), I somehow cannot see the district or even the school giving us the go. It's too bad.
Check out the play. Seriously. Go and get some culture. It's a real thinker.
That's all I got for tonight.
Ok, ok. Here's a kitten, you gluttons.

Ok, I just wanted to see if I could make you laugh.
Here's a real kitten:

Monday, January 16, 2006

Mail Mondays (01/16/06)

Ok, so we came back early.
The weather sucks, and, with the Wild down and both of us out of it, we left early. I've only walked out of one game before tonight. The St. Louis Blues gave up six goals in the first period. It was over.
I've also only ever walked out of one film. Go ahead and try and guess it (send you ideas to
So, how about some mail?
You really aren't funny. I bet you're the kind of guy who tells a joke and then laughs at it.
I bet you think you're really funny, don't you funny guy?
Is that why you started copying Slanderous Minneapolis?
You're not funny.
A New Reader

Dear New Reader,
Nope. I make fun of myself a great deal. Much of my humor is self-deprication. Why? It's funny because it's true.
I started doing the slander on Thursdays, because I miss Slanderous Minneapolis. To me, it's one of the funniest sites I have ever read. Very smart, yet bitchy.
The whole "You're not funny" thing. I'm an acquired taste like (insert your food item here). Ask the students I work with on a daily basis. I make some of them laugh hysterically, but not right off the bat. At first, I was "really weird." Later on, it was "tee hee, you're sorta funny." Now they can laugh.
Sorry if you don't like it. Don't come back then. Think of my blog as a restaurant. Don't like the service? Not a fan of the food? Hate the decor? Don't return then. Put it in the "Oh God, never again" pile.
Don't come back over and over and then bitch. That's just silly.
Are your three cats named after authors?
I mean, you ARE an English teacher.
Jumpin' Jiminy

Nope. Good guess though.
You'll have to wait.
Are you aware that the mouse story was fake?
Frankie V.

Yeah, it saddens me that this gentleman would make up such a great story just to cover the fact he may have burned down his own house.
I just loved the idea of a kamikazee mouse taking this man's house as revenge.
Oh well.
Red or white?

Uh, I am assuming you mean wine. Otherwise...uh...I have no idea what it could be. I prefer white. Not because I'm a snob, not because red makes me feel sick. I just like the tas
te of white better.
Granted if I'm going to eat red meat, it's red wine (I'm not a heathen, you know). However, if I'm going to have wine for the sake of wine, I would open a bottle of Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc. It's buttery, but has a hint of fruit taste to it. Very nice. Otherwise it's Toasted Head Chardonnay. Ah, Toasted Head. It's a wine I originally picked up for it's label. I mean a flaming spitting bear? That's freaking awesome. I know that's not really a reason to pick up a wine (I'm expecting the guys at Winecast to continue banning me as spam because of what I just said), but I got lucky. It ended up being an affordable wine that was quite tasty. Try it and let me know what you think. (
If you want ideas of wines for pairings, let me know. Always happy to help.
That's it for this week.
Tomorrow, Ramblings about things such as the two year old jurist and Wednesday brings a story about my cats.
Hope you like it. Otherwise I may jump off a cliff *
*An empty threat...or is it? It is...isn't it? it is.

Monday, Monday

Sorry, boys and girls.
It's monday, so we should have Mail Mondays, buuuut I'm tired, going to a hockey game, and really busy prepping for second semester.
So here's a puppy.
Have a nice night.