Sunday, February 19, 2017

Book Review: Almost Interesting by David Spade

Ah, this book was a welcomed change after January's book. Whew. I trudged my way through that one but there were many large, confusing words and some heavy material.

Now on to February's the introduction alone, I found myself laughing out loud multiple times. A literal, "el-oh-el." David Spade is at the top of my "funniest people in the world" list with his dry wit. He reminds me of my very dear friend, Jonathan, who passed away about 6 months ago. Reading this memoir has helped me feel a connection to Jonathan though the pages of sarcasm and witty charm.

Spade has such a way with these subtle jokes. For instance...referring to his '83 hatchback Honda Accord, as his"pimp sled." Or when he talked about finally having the chance to write a piece for SNL with Tom Hanks. He goes on to say how excited he was to have the writers list the piece as written by HANKS/SPADE in the top corner and "if I had a camera phone back then, I certainly would've snapped a sneaky pic and posted it on Instabrag."

Interesting tidbit: David's brother Andy and his friend Katy, worked in a clothing store where Andy ran the men's side and Katy ran the women's. Later they started dating and created KATE SPADE handbags and became rich and famous.

I found out where Chris Farley's "LAY OFF ME I'M STARVING" line came from. Spade says "it was inspired by the fact that Chris always ate the fries off my plate whenever we were in a restaurant together."

Spade on being high-maintenance during filming : "I'm only good for one thing and that's throwing away jokes in a movie like Tommy Boy. So, the plan was to shove some Vicodins in my pocket and a protein bar down by throat, then say some funny shit you little clown."

Describing one of my favorite scenes from Tommy Boy: "One of my script ideas was the scene when Chris and I are driving along after a long day of sales. We are both burned and tired and this really fruity song comes on the radio. I pitched the idea to Fred that the song should be one by The Carpenters (This comes from my REAL LIFE because I had The Best of the Carpenters CD in my car, and once a girl got in and turned on the radio to find that disc blaring "Rainy Days and Mondays." I played it off like, 'What is this shit?' and then acted like I didn't even know it was in there. I may have even tried to blame it on her.)"

More on behind the scenes with Tommy Boy: "Props can also help a scene. I love that exchange when Chris tells me he's wearing a clip on and I go, 'Are you sure?' Throw away jokes like that are important. They don't get huge laughs but they're nice texture and they carry the style of your humor across."

On of my favorite parts of the book is David's response when he thinks he is talking to a model on twitter. He is so excited and can barely contain himself, but he tries to play it cool. It goes like this: "The day of the event she messaged me again and asked,  'So are you definitely coming tonight?' And I was like, 'RELAX babe, don't be so thirsty. F*cking Needy Gonzalez. Take it easy, I might pop in.' I didn't really say that [but it was pretty ridiculous how excited I was about the party.]" Turns out he was being catfished and he was in reality NOT talking to a model- but his cool cat response was the best part of the story.

On marriage: "I heard a quote once that has been attributed to George Clooney but I'm not sure he said it. Supposedly when someone asked him, 'Why aren't you married? Aren't you afraid of being lonely?' He replied, 'The loneliest I've ever been was when I was married.' Its a great quote whether GC said it or not, and probably hits home with a lot of married men and women out there. I'm not totally against a trip down the aisle, but I don't think I've found a situation where I could nail it perfectly. I've dated great girls. Especially in the last few years so its more my problem. I'm not anti-marriage. I'm anti-bad-marriage."

What a great, easy read. I had a dream last night that I met David Spade and he was just as cool as I thought he would be. So sad to see this book end! It lived up to all my expectations.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Book Review: Teaching with Purpose by James D. Kirylo

My 2017 goal is to read one book per month, more if possible, but bare bones- 12 books this year. I am going to keep my notes and musings here instead of in a paper journal this time. Save some space.

This was my first book of the year,  a Christmas present from Josh. Here are my notes...

"Humility means staying close to the ground (humus), to people, to everyday life, to what is happening with all its down-to-earthnesss. It is the virtue that opens our eyes for the presence of God on earth."- Nouwen (1983)

"First, when teachers begin to embrace the concept, 'I can't save them all," they are opening the proverbial crack in the door toward pedagogical shut-down, which only adds to the intensity of the conflict, simply because this view point offers no direction, no movement toward solutions." (p. 22)

"Awareness leads to revelation, which leads to deeper examination, which leads to action, leading to change." (p.56)

"As leadership guru John C. Maxwell succinctly puts it, ultimately, "leadership is influence- nothing more, nothing less." (p. 145)

"In hierarchical school systems or top-down management school organizational schemes, the connection between 'leader' and 'teacher' is not a concept that has been historically linked or necessarily even encouraged. At the state level, this type of structure generally moves spirally downward beginning with a state board of education, to a state superintendent of education, to the local school board of education, to the local superintendent, to central office coordinators, to local school principals, and finally to teachers at the school.
     In this paradigm, while teachers may be tacitly acknowledged as leaders within their classroom practice, their authority and influence outside the classroom when it comes to policy- state, system, and school-wide decisions, have been shortchanged, perpetuating a system that maintains the subordinate or dependent nature of the role of the teacher. 
    This kind of system troublingly cultivates an, 'I am JUST a teacher,' attitude among many teachers themselves, and disturbingly fosters a patronizing, 'You are JUST a teacher,' (ie: know your place) unsaid viewpoint... which disempowers teachers from being involved, speaking out, or challenging questionable policy decisions." (p. 146)

"Moreover, in such hierarchical systems, if individual teachers desire to 'move up' into a leadership position, they must move out of the classroom. The implication of such language as 'moving up' or actions that necessitate one to move out of the classroom to assume a leadership position suggests that teachers are, in fact, down and must understand their place as underlings." (p. 147)

"Teaching is a flat profession. In most professions, as the practitioner gains experience, he or she has the opportunity to exercise greater responsibility and assume more significant challenges. This is not true of teaching. The 20 year veteran's responsibilities are essentially the same as those of the newly licensed novice. In many settings, the only way for a teacher to extend his or her influence is to become and administrator. Many teachers recognize that this is not the right avenue for them. The job of an administrator entails work that does not interest them, but they still have to urge to exercise wider influence in their schools and in the profession." -Danielson (p. 147)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

ET Phone Home

Due to Hurricane Matthew, I lost power along with the rest of Savannah. Thankfully mine is now back on now, but in the mean time Josh had to unhook the lock on the garage so that we could manually open and close it.

This afternoon as I was attempting to manually shut the door from the outside, without thinking I pulled down in between a slat rather than using the handle. Next thing I knew, my right middle finger and ring finger quickly became pancakes in the door as it straightened out to close. I screamed, assessed the damage, and immediately became somewhat delirious.

My neighbor Sarah was walking over as all this happened and I knew that I needed to get inside quickly to lie down before my knees buckled. Apparently I turned bitch-mode and yelled at josh to open the door so I could lie down and for him to go talk to Sarah. I remember being on the couch asking Sarah why my ears were ringing so loud. She calmly said, "well that's because you're just had some trauma." Josh was saying ice would be a good thing, so he went to the kitchen. There is a vague memory of him saying " we don't have ice yet.....were are the ziplock bags?" I guess Sarah went to help him because she commented that he should know where things are around the house. I was trying to help so I got up to point them in the right direction and next thing I know, Josh was kneeling over me, panicked, yelling....Caroline! Caroline? You just passed out!"

Immediately after I "came to" I asked, " What? What are you doing?" I was not understanding why he was yelling at me. Sarah instructed him to put my feet in the air and then she ran to her house for gatorade and ice. When she returned, she told me to drink up because my face was pale and my lips were gray. I think Josh's face looked about the same and he told me..." I've never seen anyone pass out before!"

Thank goodness he turned around saw me wobbling & was there to ease me down, because I was super close to collapsing right into the corner of the dining room table....or maybe through the glass door.

Now that we can laugh about it he has not been shy about reenacting my fainting spell. He said when he first turned around and saw me, he and Sarah both said, "What are you doing??" because I was wobbling around "like a drunk, homeless man," in Josh's most eloquent words. Then when he saw my face he let Sarah know that, " something's not right!..." and ran to catch me.

What a day. Now Sarah is going to come over and help me bandage up my finger before bedtime and I will probably go get it checked out tomorrow. For now, I look like ET Phone Home!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Tribute to The Saucemkr

All the problems at school today seemed so small when I heard the news that you aren't here anymore. It feels really weird knowing that I can't send you a stupid Facebook message anytime I want and that we won't be having any more battles of the wit. That was my number one favorite thing about you....your wittiness. I couldn't help but laugh with you. We could always pick up right where we left off...always.  Things that I will always remember about you:

-When we were introduced at Hesse many years ago, you said your name was "Jonathan 'no habla espanol'"
-Japanese food
-reading the book "Tweak" out loud together
-WTF is Juice? (Kat Williams)
-Your love for Chac & Bowdy, the baddogs
-Your tender heart
-the "okay"hand sign
-amber alert
- Lady Gaga "Pokerface" was your ring tone
-Going to Midtown Deli with you
 -the sweet relationship you have always had with your mom
- Sskkk ssskkkk ssskkk,
-Taking Bowdy to puppy training at PetSmart
-"wp" "twss" "irl""nbd" "fml"
-your laugh
-me dog sitting while you went on one of your poker trips and Bowden drinking too much water, too fast, and throwing up an unimaginable amount all over your couch & there was nothing to clean it up with, except some dirty clothes I think.
-Role Models
- eating real Lebanese food at your dad's house
- riding around in your truck listening to Travis Porter ("girl I like yo' jeans")
- sending me pictures of your new haircuts/sunglasses/etc that you were so proud of

I met you at Hesse, and tomorrow I will go back there with you on my mind. I know I will think of one million more memories as soon as I end this, but I can tell you that this week I will be listening to all the rap CD's you made me, drinking out of the cat mug you got me one Christmas that says "Catnip for Me," & displaying my crazy-leg crab at school. I can't wait to see you again on the other side. I know you're there. I wish you could tell me how wonderful it is there...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Move '16

I honestly don't think I have ever had so much fun helping someone MOVE. My friend, Mirek, is moving back to New York (yet again). He reached out for a little assistance and being the kind person that I am...I decided to lend a helping hand.

What started as me coming over to load up a few boxes turned into two solid days of excitement: a few lessons on hoarding, delicious lunches in historic Bluffton, sweating through many sets of clothing, countless water breaks, weeding through Realtors, finding naughty magazines that had been stashed away in boxes (the roommates'...not his), losing the keys to the Penske truck, his Hyundai sounding like a Lamborghini due to the faulty muffler, a popcorn ceiling gone bad, extreme laughter, trouble backing the Penske -with the car attached- into the driveway, giving up on backing into the driveway, and multiple trips to the dump where the "cardboard only" section gained some glass...among other non-cardboard items.

The difference in this experience compared to other moves I've made was Mirek's attitude. Instead of complaining about packing all of his belongings into a stifling hot truck in the 98 degree blazing sun and making multiple trips to the dump, he told me, "Its not everyday you get to drive a Penske truck & unload trash at the dump." He even made me take the Penske for a spin, just for the hell of it.

He repaid me with lunches and miscellaneous items from his garage, but in reality he paid me with the gift of not taking your days for granted. He reminded me that each day is what you make it. Thanks for being such a refreshing soul amidst the needless negativity in the world.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Coffee Shop Musings

I came to Starbucks to play on the computer and I ended up doing something that Josh fusses at me for all the time: eavesdropping. I know how terrible that sounds, but really I'm just curious. I intend no harm! I can people watch or people "listen" (in this case), all day.

Anyway, my entry into Starbucks was interesting. Before I made it in the door, I had a guy who claimed to be a chef at the Pink House stop me and tell me that he ran out of gas and needs a couple dollars. He also claimed that he had his son in the car. As I kept walking up to Starbucks, I told him I was money.  Of course, he seemed a little put-out with me. On the off chance that he was actually telling the truth, I do feel bad about it, but I'm a a parking myself. Had to keep my distance.

Once I made it in safely, I witnessed the poor new cashier getting mildly reamed by her boss for making someone else's drink before taking my order. I always feel sorry for people in training who are getting corrected in front of the customer. In the boss' defense, I know its annoying to have to train someone. It just sucks all the way around. The new lady slapped a smile on her face, apologized to her boss, and took my order. Good for her. I probably would've had tears in my eyes. **super-sensitive**

One of my favorite things to do when I have extra time (ex: summertime) is to chillax at a coffee shop & chat with friends. I feel like some of the best conversations are born here. Tonight, I decided to come here solo, which is also fine by me. As I mentioned before, its a people watching mecca. Besides, the music here is my favorite. I had a gift card to Starbucks from one of my students and I decided tonight would be a good time to use it. Grande S'mores Frappucino. Yes, please. I can see myself coming back here doing much of the same thing until my gift card runs dry.

Until next time!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

And So It Begins....Summertime

This is weird. How is it that I already miss my students? Who misses hormonal pre-teens with horrible attitudes? I suppose they aren't like that all the time. I'm going to miss watching them Whip and Nae-Nae, Dab, and sponge their hair into twists. I am going to miss all their sayings... such as in the note below.

Shoes are a big, big deal. I've learned this year that "turnt" means you're having a good time, for lack of a better way to put it. Or they can "turn up" on the weekend, aka, get rowdy. All the boys call each other Lil Bro and they are learning to have their own gangster lean when they walk. They love to "try" (cut/diss) each other about their tapelines (a straight hairline). Needless to say- I sound so white right now. They've taught me lots.

I'm going to miss them asking me about my boyfriend and hearing their love life drama. Every now and then there are tears of innocence. They still cry when they have a tummy ache or because their feelings get hurt. Its that weird in between age when they're figuring everything out. An age that I don't ever want to go back to, but I'm glad I got to experience it with them.

For now, time for rejuvenation. I will be happy to see their faces next year and I hope they aren't too cool to come give me a hug or at least acknowledge my existence :)