Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fun With Jenners-The Inspiration for the Pharoahs and Tragedy In the Suburbs

Fun with Jenners is something I truly enjoy and get into. Check out her tale of woe at her site.

Louie Louie, The Untold Tale (Author's note: Don't drink and write)

Richard Berry in 1955 was at a crossroad in his career. After splitting up with the Flair's over artistic differences, Berry freelanced writing for others, even starting a new group called the 'Pharoahs' but nothing really hit home with America. He knew that he was drastically in need of something big to get his name out there, but what?

His agent had quit soliciting gigs and time seemed to be against him. He was in a funk, personally, professionally, and spiritually. He needed something divine to occur. Frankly, he needed a minor miracle to revive his career. So, he did what all do when miracles are needed.

He went to the bar.

Yep, Richard decided to hit a dive in Chicago, since he was a black man in the US a lot of the nicer bars wouldn't let him in the front door. He had accepted this fate reluctantly, but this was not a night to fight for civil rights. His mind was on music, plain and simple.

As he walked in, he noticed few patrons were loitering around on the stools. Three to be exact. He gave a thought to stepping outside and heading up the street for a little more crowded atmosphere, but he disregarded that thought at once. Solitude and alcohol seemed like a pretty good idea. He passed by to the end of the bar and waited patiently for the mustached white man to notice him. Eventually, he came by and took Richard's order. The bartender got a bottle of bourbon so cheap that Richard had never heard of it. But, he held it back as Richard dug into his pocket for some change. Four bits was put on the bar, and Mr. Mustache gave him a the bottle of bourbon, a glass, and walked down the bar to clean a spot. Richard poured a shot, downed it, then shook. "Damn, that's awful," he thought as he was already mechanically pouring another shot.

Before drinking another glass of rotgut, he decided to take in his surroundings. At the other end of the bar, a sad sack black man was drinking slowly, but with purpose. He had abandoned the shot glass and was downing the beverage from the actual bottle. Two guys set beside each other in the middle. One was shakily downing a beer as his companion looked to be passed out on the bar. Richard could see the drool coming out of the man's mouth as he snored away. Richard turned his attention to his glass as he downed another shot. God, he needed a miracle. But, he just couldn't expect a hit song to just come down in his lap from the heavens, could he?

"Hey, John!" One of the pair was getting the bartender's attention. "What's the time?"

The bartender looked at his watch and said, "A quarter after 1:00." Richard noticed the non sleepy member of the two some went pale. "Shit, I said I'd be home at 11. Dammit, we gotta go!!"

He turned to his sleeping buddy and started shaking him.

"Louie!! Louie!! We gotta go!! Come on!!!"

Louie, sort of snorted and sleepily replied, "Say what?"

"Damn it, I said, Louie!!! Louie!!! We have gotta go!!!"

"We do?" asked Louie.

"Yeah yeah yeah" said his partner exasperately. So, the two slowly walked out with a bunch of weaving out into the night. Richard grinned wolfishly. It seemed a song had dropped into his lap. He left the bottle on the bar and followed Louie and his buddy out into the darkness. While they went to parts unknown, Richard took another path...into history.


Goodnight Moon (Authors Note: More than a little depressing)

(Video of the song is here)

Another night ended with Blake Reynolds reading to his three year old boy, Jake. This was something the youngest Reynolds dearly looked forward to. During the day, Blake was at work pretty much all day. Jake would sit with his mom watching Veggie Tales or maybe Loony Toons and wait for the time his Dad's key would hit the door. He would run and throw his arms around his Dad and the abbreviated night together would be full of fun and laughter. Then, his Dad would read 'Goodnight Moon' or something of the like to him as he fell asleep.

Blake was finishing it up, "Goodnight kittens, goodnight mittens. Goodnight.."


Blake looked at him and said, "Son, it doesn't say anything about cars."

"It need to say cars. We say goodnight to cats, why not cars?"

Blake laughed and said, "You're right. Anything else, Jake?"

Jake laughed and settled in as Blake continued and finished off the rest of the book. He gave his boy a headbutt and a kiss. The lights went out and Jake drifted off to dream again. Blake walked out of the room and found his wife sitting in a lounge chair. She looked at him quizzically, and Blake nodded.

"Yep, he's down."

"Awesome." She looked down and frowned. She had told herself that she wouldn't cry, but tears mutinously were threatening as she said, "Blake, does it have to be tomorrow?"

Blake knew that this was coming. His dear wife, Katie, was not one to let something big like this go without an arguement. "Honey," he began. But he was interrupted as Katie sputtered.

"You feel great, you look great, maybe it's gone...maybe we should try another round of chemo..."

Blake sighed, as she went on. His decision had been made. Months ago, he had found out that he had cancer in the marrow of his bones. He was labeled terminal. Three doctors had seen him and the best he had was seven months. Occasionally, he felt he had hope that everything would be fine. But, as the pressure in his back mounted he knew that his time was coming to a close. Soon, he would be laying in a bed praying for death. His son would only know of him as this wrecked body.

"Honey, maybe we should go to bed, now." His tone was matter of a fact, but there was something in it that made Katie stop. The tears flowed as he held her tightly.

The next morning he awoke. He quietly slipped out of bed as he layed the note he had written yesterday on her pillow. He stepped back. Blake realized of everything he would miss, she would be number one. She always had been number one ever since they had met in college. He used to joke that she ruined him for other women anyway, so they might as well get married. Katie was his soul mate.

He quietly showered and got dressed. Getting dressed and undressed was getting harder and harder, he thought wryly. Blake winced as he put the towel down, "God, this hurts" He stole another glance at his wife then quietly shut the door. He then looked in at Jake. Tears actually came to his eyes as all of the things rushed to him that he wouldn't be there for. Jake's wedding, grandkids, hell, even teaching him to ride a bike and shoot a gun. He shut his eyes as he closed Jake's door.

Blake went out into the street and got into his car. He knew that Katie would call and try to dissuade him again, so his phone was 'left' at home. Blake tried to get home and family out his mind. He would make sure they were taken care of now. $200,000 wasn't a lot of a legacy to leave, but it would be better than him wasting away and taking all of their life savings away.

No sir, he would not allow them to go through that hell. He would end it before it ended him. His mind was made up.

It would be his call.

But, how? Killing yourself and making it look like an accident is tough to do when you have stage four cancer. But, Blake had felt like he had given himself a decent chance for success. Even if they didn't get the money, he reasoned, they wouldn't be in debt and he would be in charge of this most important part of life. A busy street and 'accidental bump' into oncoming traffic and his time would end. Blake checked his wallet, yep, the money to pay one of the bums in the area by his work was there. Blake sighed and put his car into gear as he drove to meet eternity.


Jake awoke to something he had heard to almost dailey for most of his life. He stumbled into the kitchen in his PJ's and a book in his hand to see his mother crying again. However, with her was two police officers. He thought men in uniform was very neat. He came to his mom and smiled at the men in uniforms. He looked up at his mom. His smile faded and he became worried. Every day before his mom usually stopped crying when he came in. But, this time she kept going. This confused, Jake. "Mommy, do you want to read me a book? That will make you feel better." She cried softer as she looked at the cover of the book.

Goodnight Moon.

"Daddy and I put cars in the book."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

First 5 Friday-All Quiet On the Set

Comedy is tough enough to do with the ability to speak. Precise timing is needed to convey a message that will get us laughing so hard that we break wind without knowing it. (Or is that just me?) Imagine the difficulty in conveying a message totally without words. Now imagine the actor is two dimensional.

Pretty impressive accomplishment, right?

First 5 Mute Cartoon Characters

5. Wilie E. Coyote, Loony Toons. A furry example of Murphy's Law. What can go wrong will go wrong especially when your trying to get you some 'fast food'. I imagine with the money he spent at ACME it could've put a huge dent in the deficit. His character is somewhat a paradox. As a kid, I was torn. I didn't want him to eat the roadrunner, but I did feel sorry for him. Not so sorry that I stopped laughing when he held up the sign saying "YIKES!!" before falling a country mile. (Anyone else wonder where he kept all of those signs?)

4. Maggie Simpson, The Simpsons. The eternal toddler. Watching my kids grow up, I tend to identify more with Maggie. The challenge of walking without falling on her face and trying to get anyone at all to understand her really hits home in my house. Not necessarily with my kids, but with me. Seriously though, this is Super Toddler. Who shot Mr. Burns? Maggie. Who in another episode saved Homer? Maggie. Who, of the three Simpson kids, one that has a chance to be normal if the writers let her age? Maggie.

3. Pink Panther, The Pink Panther. Coolness, suave, debonair, ....Pink. He made Pink cool and his moves were probably copied by many others wanting to be a 'cool cat.' He was an opportunist and sometimes a little over his head. However, he was always lucky.

2. Perry the Platypus, Phineas and Ferb. A new character t
hat I truly adore. He is a mild mannered platypus who, when the need arises, turns into a secret agent. Secret Agent P, for short. He has a quiet competence and total loyalty to his front family, the prodigies Phineas and Ferb. Plus, his little growl cracks me up...check it out if you've never heard it.

1. Snoopy, Peanuts. Poor Charlie Brown. Even in a show where he is supposedly the star, the dog steals the lime light. Whether he's winning a christmas yard show, playing tennis, or defeating the Red Baron in his Sopwith Camel, Snoopy is the show. All the rest of the show is filler until Snoopy does his thing. Canine coolness, Snoopy...or Joe the dog everyone would love to have. Watch as Snoopy saves the day over France during WWI.

Well, I hoped you enjoyed the silent but funny toons and I am wishing your last weekend of May turns into a good one.

A Humble Thank You For the Wishes and Writer's Workshop

FIRST OF ALL, Thank you everyone for my birthday brought a tear to an old man's eye.

I gotta tell you, I love this time of the week. Where I get show my mad writing skills (such as they are) and think creative thoughts. Oh yeah, and I get to list stuff this week too!! Awesome!! Hit Mama Katt's blog to play along.

1.) What is your life's anthem? You know...that song that is ALWAYS in your head. The one you'd go to sing first if someone told you to sing a song right NOW. What is it and what does it mean to you?
(inspired by Tattooed Minivan Mom)

First song that comes to mind is "The Ballad of the Alamo" by Marty Robbins. Not sure it is my life's anthem, but I find myself singing it quite often. (I guess because I'm a history teacher.)

2.) We love telemarketers don't we!?! Describe a memorable experience you had with one.
(inspired by Literal Dan

My favorite story is a friend of mine. He has once just layed down the phone without hanging up and about an hour later hung it up. I wonder how long the guy talked before he realized no one was listening.

3.) How much does focusing on weight affect your daily life?
(inspired by Musings Of A Blond Mom)

It is a huge part of my day. I mean, it takes skill to rationalize not working out. But, I do love to do curls...with a Shiner in my hand. But, after that , my workout time tends to interfere with my laying around time too much. I only run if I'm being chased by someone bigger or in pursuit of a ball of some sort. Running just to run, just seems pointless. Plus, if I were to do a pushup, I would get the Nacho Cheese Dorito stain that covers my fingers on the floor.

4.) Describe in what ways you expect too much from your significant other. Do they deserve an apology?
(inspired by Carty Party Of Three)

Apparently not, she exceeds mine every day. I'm sure I owe her an apology, but it's not for expecting more than she can deliver.

5.) List ten things that make you HAPPY.
(inspired by our irritation at our own complaining from last weeks "Sick Of" posts.)

10. Driving in a light's very relaxing.

9. Having a beer at a Rangers/Astros game. Nothing is better than a cold drink with the beauty of the ballpark.

8. Watching a good movie at the theatre with large coke and popcorn so buttered that you actually can feel your life shortening by a couple of minutes with every bite.

7. Making lists like tomorrow's First 5 List will be GREAT MUTE cartoon characters.

6. A Robert Earl Keen concert...the man, the myth, the legend...there is no better (for my money anyway)

5. When a child gets what I'm trying to teach. It is the main perk of my sure as hell ain't the pay.

4. Winning a large poker tournament.

3. Time with Friends. It is very unusual that I get this privilege, but I do enjoy catching up.

2. My girls laughter when they're acting "silly" Two girls running around screaming with joy is such a wonderful noise. Maybe someday I'll write a sonnet about it, but for now I'll enjoy this moment that flees so quickly into adolescence.

1. Sharing a laugh with Jill. Fortunately this moment happens a lot. I was fortunate to marry a girl with a great sense of humor and she 'gets' me. (I mean what other girl would stay up until midnight watching a Phineas and Ferb marathon.)

6.) Ok I was going to end it with five, but Laina just got out of bed as I was finishing this post and I SWEAR she is sleep walking. It's creepy. I keep asking her what she is doing and she's staring at me...but not directly at me...kind of just a centimeter to the left of my head. I KNEW she was a sleep walker. I just knew it. SO! Share a sleep walking story of your own!!
(inspired by my scary four year old)

I did have a 'fight' with invisible people in college in my room. My buddy said later that it seemed like I was in 'a fight to the death.' Of course, he stayed in his bed with his covers over his head hoping whoever was beating me up wouldn't look for him. Brave of him wasn't it? By the way, I won the fight against 'Those who do not exist'. By the way, you need to read Sneaky Momma's fight against sleep walking.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lane!!!

While Lane is busy making a difference in the lives of young adolescents, the girls and I (Jill, his wife) decided to sneak onto his blog to wish him a Happy Birthday. :)

"Daddy, put candles on your cake and take them off. He plays games with me, with the blue ones and the red ones and the green ones, too. He reads me books about the animals. I like it when Daddy gives me hugs. I love you, Daddy!" Love, Addsy

"Cake! Pringles! Wanna watch da puppy dog! Pnut cat! Wiggles clock! Cake! Cats! Wub You!" Love, Itty Bitty

"Happy Birthday, Hon. Thank you for all you do to make my day, every day. You are such an amazing person. I am so blessed that I get to share the rest of my life with you. I hope you have a wonderful day today. I love you!" Love, Jill

It would be awesome if you would leave him a birthday message, too. The more, the merrier!

Friday, May 22, 2009

First 5 Friday-The Best Things About the Final Day

Those were the days. The end of May, the beginning of summer. The last day of school opened forth ten weeks of possibilities. It is where all were optimists. This week I will take a closer look at the freedom that is the last day of school.

First 5 Greatest Things About the Last Day of School

5. No Homework. This is the one day out of the year that it was guaranteed that homework was not going to be assigned. Some hardasses would actually have homework the first day of school...but the last day....NO WAY!!

4. Nicer Teachers. Oh yes, you still have some that are trying to wade through the waves of indifference, but most are in a very good mood. It took until the time I was a teacher before I realized it was because they REALLY loved summer...even more than we did. As they smiled and shook our hands as we were leaving, I know they were secretly thinking of beaches far away from books and ignorant children....that didn't have their last name.

3. Movies. Actual movies. You know, movies that actually spent time in a theatre, not on the history channel or given by a book company. Movies that are to entertain rather than enlighten....but, mainly to force quiet in the classroom as the teachers try to deal with the hangover caused by the faculty party the night before.

2. Shortened Day. The greatest day of the year is also the shortest day as most schools closed at 1:30ish. You gotta love the fact that pretty much right after you eat lunch you're out. It's just the perfect end to any year.

1. Lack of Structure. Wanna go outside? No problem....want to wander the halls? Sure, knock yourself out. Want to throw water balloons or shoot water pistols at people your age and younger? Fine. Teachers just want to survive the day without anyone hurt, no fights, and everyone happily...and this is the important part....LEAVING. But, with this, the single greatest moment of any school year is the release bell. It rings and the screams and celebrations echo from the halls of learning so loud that it is heard downtown.

It's good to be a kid.

Hope you enjoyed a First 5 look at the final day of school, hope you and yours survive it and thrive after it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Writer's Workshop-Things I'm Sick Of

It is time for my favorite blog part of the week....the Writer's Workshop....head on out to Mama Katt's site and try your hand, or hands if you don't have to hunt and peck, at the inspiring prompts below:

1.) Share a love letter.

I don't know...I guess I love the letter J the most. It looks the coolest and it is the first name of my lady. Of course, S is pretty cool too.

2.) Memorial Day Weekend plans?? Do share!

Hmm....Phineas and Ferb marathon, popcorn, and beer (it's birthday week so that means SHINER BLONDE). Fun for the whole family.

3.) List ten things you are currently sick of.

(inspired by Jenny)

See Below.

4.) Put an outfit together using pictures you found online and show us what you'd LIKE to be wearing today.

(inspired by Lace)

I don't 'do' fashion.

5.) What have you been too busy to pay attention to?

(inspired by Chris)

Hogan's Heroes reruns. I really miss 'em during the school year, but no fear summer is almost here. "I know nothing!!"


Ten things that I'm sick of..

10. The NBA. How is it that a player NEVER fouls in that league? Every time a whistle blows there is the look like, "Your kidding right? I didn't even touch him." I am sick of Mark Cuban and pretty much every one of the Denver Nuggets (with the exception of Billups). Thuggery is so 1990, Denver. I'm going to throw the Lakers in too...I'm just sick of them for the normal reasons. I'm kind of glad my Spurs and Mavs are I can't quit holding back my spew at these ten year olds in adult bodies playing basketball.

9. The Bachelor/Bachelorrette. Sorry, Mama Katt and all of you Bachelor and Bachelorrette fans. I think this thing has played out its string as far as it can. The idea of these folks finding true love while the 'object of their affection' is making out and worse with others right under there nose is ridiculous.

8. Brett Favre. Next time you retire....just go play golf and leave the NFL alone. They should have a 'boxer's rule' in the NFL. When you retire the second time your done. "Go play in Canada but leave us the f alone." By the way, on a relate note, I wish TO would go play with him for like the Toronto Stampeders and get off of my television screen.

7. Middle Schoolers. Sorry, it's so close to the end of the year and they are truly pissing me off with their faux coolness. If you here of a teacher blowing blood vessel down in Texas, don't worry. It was me.

6. The New York Yankees. General Principle.

5. The TAKS test. Our standardized test which lets us know how good a job we did this year. It's where the state of Texas says 'Hey, you guys need to teach everyone differently, but we're going to test 'em all the same way.' Moronic.

4. Players that choose to waste their talent. Adam Jones. Why? What do you mean you gotta keep it real, Adam? If that's the case, go work at Denny's. That's what real people do when they have to piece together plan B because plan A didn't work. They don't make it rain. They make me a hot apple pie. They don't fight bodyguards, they fight boredom in a dead end job where they hope they can maneuver into their dream job. When told that they will receive more than a million dollars to play a sport if they keep their nose clean, guess what real people do? They keep their friggin' nose clean. You're too stupid, man. Simply too stupid. But, don't worry, you have a host of others that were too stupid too, like Rae Carruth, Art Schleister, Pete Rose, etc.

3.The Ultra Right Wing and The Ultra Left Wing. I have an opinion, Folks, and I ain't afraid to use it. Rush Limbaugh, it is perfectly okay to hope that our country rights itself regardless of the party in power. You can give the Democrats some credit and still be on the other side. Sheesh, right now he is truly rooting for the Depression of 2009 that way he can say, "See, I told you so." What a tool.
Hey, I used to be a ditto head at one point, but when his message is division just for division's sake, it doesn't sound right.

Just like nameless left wing fanatic. I am unenlightened, bigoted, and barbaric if I think abortion is wrong, guns and cars don't kill people...people kill people, and you can do some things in this society that should cost you your life. Instead of giving us valid arguments to their beliefs they use the tired old saying, "I didn't expect you to understand anyway."

2. Sagging jeans. Guys, it ain't cool. It NEVER was cool. Did Fonzie's pants sag? No. Did James Dean's? Frank Sinatra? Sammy Davis, Jr.'s? Denzel Washington's? Nope. I mean seriously, do you think that your underwear showing means your hip? Nope, all it shows is your know the part of your hip the doctor gives a shot in on occasion. Don't tell me it's all about the hip hop culture. I like country music too, but I don't drink to excess, cheat, and go to 'honky tonks'. You're allowed to like the music without dressing like a clown. By the way, while your at it, your car has an AC, so roll up your damn windows. I am sick of your tunes drowning out my ESPN radio and Ranger games.

1. Wear and tear on my old body. I got hurt a couple of weeks ago getting out of bed. I tweaked my back and was listed as Day to Day for a couple of weeks. Sure there was some perks, I didn't have to mow the lawn and Sneaky Momma let me sit around for a couple of days. But, as a football player who never missed a game in six years due to injury (but did miss some time due to incompetence) this is a hard pill to swallow.

Tune in tomorrow when we head back to yesteryear and I rate the First 5 greatest things about the last day of school.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

First 5 Friday-Jill Speaks

Sneaky Momma is the love of my life. She is kind, funny, beautiful, and smart. I hang on every word she says (unless there is a close game or a rerun of Scrubs on) and I don't think I could ever imagine a better mother for my kids. However, one of the best things is the 'Jillisms' over the years.

She has said some things over the years that have been hilarious and head scratching all at the same time. So, in honor of my beloved...

First 5 Friday Jillisms.

5. "Um, you know...yeah." The first year of our blessed relationship would start with that as she would decided that what she was thinking wasn't important.

4. "Good Cow" At first I just thought this was an elementary way (she used to teach that age) to say "Holy Shit!" But, she was truly the first one I ever heard say it. As I grew to know her I found that it was a saying her grandmother used to say.

3. "I was thinking..." I am lazy by nature. Of all of the seven deadly sins, the one that hits me the most is sloth. So, as I am sitting in my comfy recliner and I hear those three words, I know that whatever comes next is going to cause me to work. My hon is a great idea lady. She can find every way there is to skin a cat. As her mind works like a finally tuned sports car, my mind is run by hamster on a wheel.....I call him Roy. He also is inclined to laziness. By the way, she has tried to trick me by changing her beginning to "Let me throw this out at you.."

2. "I'm just kidding....not really." Our conversations were splattered with this gem. She would say it with a smile and I never was for sure if she was kidding or not. So, I just grinned quizzacly usually. I found out as I began to know her better...nope, she really wasn't kidding.

1 Wow, that is a beautiful field of Indian Paint brushes." This beauty was only said once as it is definitely a situational comment. We had spent a long hard three days in the Hill Country where I had been hooked in the finger while catching a bass and my lovely city girl had spent more time away from easy driving distance of Target than she ever had before. We were tired and slightly bummed as she, always trying to find the silver lining was commenting on the beauty of the land.

As I looked over in the direction of the Indian Paint brushes I noticed something about them. "Honey," I said, "that's not flowers...that's a field of dirt."

We laughed the rest of the trip.

She has always fit my ideal woman. I have always asked God for a person who I could spend my life laughing with...and boy, did he deliver. I hoped you enjoyed this personal First 5.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Writer's Workshop-Remembering When

Another week and another Writer's Workshop...these were the prompts. Be sure to run by Mama Katt's place and play along with the group.

1.) Define anger using pictures you've taken.

2.) Tomorrow I will do it differently. Here's how...

Wake up on time...snooze five minutes less.

3.)Describe a 'sound' from your childhood. What was it? When did you hear it? What does it bring to mind?

The sound is a paddle striking my butt. It brings pain. That is all.

4.) I remember when...

See Below.

5.) Right now is the best time to start. What's your first step?

To the Fridge to get a beer. I'll start tomorrow.

I remember when we had recess. I remember compulsory nap time and when the biggest responsibility I had involved homework. I remember spankings and hugs. I remember being taught (with extreme prejudice) that men held doors open for women, to look both ways before crossing the street, that guns are tools that can kill, and that cars are similar to guns. I was taught that life is not a video game. That what I do does matter to the people around me. I remember when I drove to school with two rifles on my gun rack and nothing was ever mentioned about it. I remember a time before Columbine.

I remember when sports was more innocent. The heroes or villains came to life on the TV. The Babe could hit a baseball to the moon and we didn't hear how he could drink an ocean of bourbon. The nicknames were almost comic book like in their sound..Captain America and Broadway Joe to give a couple of examples. That controversy in sports was limited to 'Should we have the Designated Hitter?' or 'Should instant replay be used?' Steroids was something used only for medical reasons and dog fighting was only done in 3rd world countries.

I remember when adults were treated with a bit more respect. As an educator, I have no idea how it happened that a kid has more power in the school district than any employee. I remember when we were punished 'for our own good.' I also remember that few days went by without licks being given. I remember when Americans were more interested in teaching their children to survive in this world. How parents taught their children that life isn't always fair and that to be a man (or a woman) living in this world, you had best understand it. I remember when folks looked at their situations and thought 'How can I better myself?' not 'What does this country owe me because ___________'.

I remember when America was the trendsetter. Before 1776 no other country had a plan like the one we were proposing. In 1787 when things were going badly in America, we had the balls to rip the whole thing up and start all over. I remember a time when the rest of the world looked to us to solve problems. Whether it be World War II or the response to Communism we were always the leader. I remember when we didn't fear risk or pissing a few people off. Sure, I also remember the failings of this attitude...slavery and the Trail of Tears....but I also remember the great successes of this stance....D-Day and the Declaration of Independence. I remember when socialism was a dirty word in this country and where people would laugh out loud at the very thought of emulating any other country in anything. (Like health care or education)

Oh, yeah, I
Remember the Alamo.

I remember learning that life is fleeting. From the works of Shakespeare to the westerns of Clint Eastwood, I learned that death awaits just around the corner. I remember that this is what makes human beings special. This foreknowledge of our fate us to live life to its fullest. The 'gift' of knowing our mortality separates us from the other creatures...well, that and opposable thumbs and a driver's license. I remember the people who have left before me. I remember my grandparents who showed me that dignity and honor in life is greater than gold. I remember my best friend who in the midst of disease that was slowly and painfully killing him before his thirtieth birthday, never asked 'Why me?' and gave me an example of Christianity that will never leave me. I remember a brother in law who was killed as his wife was pregnant with his new son. I remember it every day.

Finally, I remember that the true gift of this life is love. It is the most valuable commodity we have. Wealth can be spent and health can fade away, but true love is the most enduring thing in this life. This is somethiing God has seen to bless me with and it is something that I am everyday thankful for. When I look at Jill I see understanding and something that is deeper than I sometimes can comprehend.

On days that drift into negativity it's a good think that I can remember.

Shameless promo....First 5 Friday will deal with the one the only SNEAKY MOMMA and her eccentricities. So, tune in Friday for 'em.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Finale First 5

Don't worry, there should be a First 5 Friday next week, but the topic of this week is series finales (In honor of Scrubs going off into the sunset). They are touching, poetic, and sometimes bizarre. I will not bore you with the Newheart finale (seriously, it was all a dream?) or the big fight with Will and Grace (Least favorite finale, by the way) I will also be totally honest with you, I have not seen all the series ever created and so this list will be slightly limited in that regard. But, I hope that my subtractions don't take away from the way these five series ended. It's almost worth looking for them on TV Land or WGN just to see them again.

First 5 Friday-Greatest Series Finales

5. Star Trek the Next Generation-The title of it was 'All Good Things' In this the Captain is sent through time by a godlike character, 'Q'. The captain sees how things will be like in the future and gets to remember life in the past as Captain of the Enterprise. This episode allows charatcers that had left to show up again and does a VERY good job of allowing closure to the characters. Jordi can see with his 'new' eyes. Worf and Riker make up after the death. To be perfectly honest, this was the slickest finale I ever saw..pure action...with a taste of reunion with it. By the way, in my humble opinion, this by FAR was the best Star Trek series ever.

4. Frasier-It had the usual over board behavior as the Crane boys planned out their Dad's wedding (chinese acrobats?). But, I guess what made this one the best was Frasier finally going out on a limb and going to Chicago, to start a new life. This time with a lady love. Daphne and Niles had their baby and Martin got Married. Especially in TV Land, where change is the rule, all of the Cranes had tremendous life changes. It was a good time to begin again...or in our case...end with Frasier again.

3. Friends-Could've been better. For what my expectations going into the show, I thought it was going to be the best one ever. But, to show you the its depth it was still an amazing finale, considering it disappointed. The Bings move out of the apartment and all of the keys line up on the counter was very cool. The Ross and Rachel thing was finally solved...happily. It was a decent end to a great show, that's why it's high on my list..

2. Scrubs-Sure maybe it was because it just happened, this finale was amazing. It had the usual humor as JD goes through his last day at Sacred Heart. But, it looked like it sought for the audience to have closure and understand that all was going to be just fine with the characters they loved. The last scene as JD goes through and basically has almost all the memorable patients, staff (not the major ones), and other random people based in the show line up as he gets nods and little pieces of their character thrown at him. (i.e. "I didn't kill her." and "Good Bye Five!! From the Big Dog!!") Maybe one of the more memorable moments in any series finale ever.

1. MASH-Every major character had his/her own storyline in this episode. From Father Mulcahy to Major Winchester's homemade POW band all getting killed in a random bombing, it tugged at your heartstrings. Watching the final shot as Hawkeye is taking off in a helicopter, the words 'goodbye' are plastered on the ground for Hawkeye and for the audience. Cheesy, yes. But, pure greatness. In my mind this ended the greatest series ever created.

Hope you enjoyed this weeks First 5 Friday!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fun and Games With Jenners-Mixed Up Genres

I hope you guys all decide to have a little fun at Jenner's place and play her new game. Here are my attempts at trainwrecks.

Interview With A Muppet
By Anne Rice and Jim Hinson

"So, what makes you think that you're not a real frog?", the boy asked.

His visitor stayed in the shadows and replied in a surprisingly non croakish way, " I am told that you collect stories."

"Yes," the boy said not looking at his visitor as he sorted through old cassette tapes, "as long as they are good."

"Well, then, whenever you are ready."

The boy popped the cassette in and said, "So, when did you first learn that you were not a frog like the rest?"

The green visitor held his ....well whatever up and stopped the boy.

"No, that is not how I want to begin."

"How would you like to proceed then?" The boy asked.

"I think I would like to tell it from the beginning." The boy leaned back and listened as the visitor continued. "My name is Kermit the Frog. It was 1979 when I noticed something amiss. While other frogs were jumping in the water and had smooth skin, I was different. First of all, my skin was not coarse...but felt. Secondly, I had a hand up my ass."

Get A Lawyer Charlie Brown
by Charles Shultz and Edgar Allen Poe

The barren waste of my my mind retched as the teacher went on blissfully unaware of what I planned. Yes, it would happen soon...very soon. Murder I planned...cruel, sweet, delightful murder.

"Hey, Chuck."

That detestable Peppermint Patty always seemed to place herself in the way of my thoughts. I sighed and looked around.

"Did you guys win any baseball games, Chuck? You guys were really bad, weren't you?"

Confound it!! Was she really this stupid? The world would be well rid of this closeted wench of a child, but no the true target of my wrath was my best friend's sister. Lucy. She would pay. How she had mocked me? The number of times she had played on my unwitting trust only to pull the ball from me! She would pay. But, with Patty, I had to be smart..I had to cunning. I could not allow her any inkling of what I planned.

"We'll be better next year, I know it." I said convincingly. If she only knew that my efforts would be directed into different directions she would be shocked. They all would be...

"Wah wah wah wah wahhhwaah."

"Yes, Ma'am. I'm sorry, we won't talk without permission again." Easy, Charlie, do not allow anyone foreknowledge of your plans. Lucy will be no more as long as you keep your mind on your task.
The Menace of Christmas
by Louis Lamour and Dr. Seuss

Alcohol cut a wide swath in heart, just like a creek after a hard rain . He had spent many days out here wondering what life really had to offer. Once a man of stature, he had drunk himself into a stupor that only brief moments of sobriety shone through the clouds of inebriation. Now, he had nothing to show, but the discoloration of his skin.

He had, like others of his ilk, had decided to live on the fringes. The others, down below his simple dwelling, lived for laughter. But the laughter died in his heart when the alcohol entered it. He lived for vengeance, not for any disservice any man had done him, but for the cruelest measure of hatred his maker had placed upon him. For being born. The name Grinch was to be his handle.

So, as the Who's in Whoville decided to begin their celebration, Grinch, made his own preparations. Hell, was going to hit Whoville and with it so was the Grinch...and Max.
>The Good the Bad and The Ugly
by Dr. Seuss

See the man, the man has no name.
The man has hair of gold, so Blondie is how he's known.
See the other man. Tuco is his name. He plays a game.
The game is with a gun..and he isn't the only one.

The blonde man and Tuco with the fun gun ride out.
They are looking for a man in black. It is he they want to attack.
He has a gun, it is no fun. All wish to have fun with the gun and attack the man in black.

All of them are bold as the search for gold, under a stone all alone lies the gold to be given to the bold, who play with guns only for fun as Tuco and Blondie attack the man in Black.
Harry Potter and The Precious Prince
by Danielle Steel

Eighteen is a hard time to be a man. For Harry Potter, this was doubly true. He had fought the greatest evil of all time, Lord Voldemort. He was held in the highest regard of all the wizards in the free world. Yet, there was something missing.

He had left things unspoken with Ginny Weasley, his best friend's sister. He had broken up with her as he set out on the quest to rid the world of Lord Voldemort, but now the awkwardness of this set his limbs abuzz with goosebumps. The stolen moments in the common room of Hogwartz and the brief pass of love in the stark home of the Weasleys had made this awkwardness almost a constant companion. The chill of his bones over this only got colder as he apparated just outside the burrow.

Harry took a deep breath as he knocked on the door.

A witch opened it, just not the one he expected.

"Hello, Harry."

Hermoine Granger was the smartest one in his class and the girlfriend of his best friend Ron Weasley. Apparently, this meeting with Ginny would have spectators. Harry nodded and walked in.

As he sat down, he noticed the burrow slightly less crowded as the place where Fred Weasley sat was vacant. He winced at the thought of Fred, dead on the floor back at Hogwartz. A noise of someone walking down the stairs shook him out of his trance. It was Ginny.

Her red hair flowing, her smile was smoldering, as Harry, too bewitched to move, allowed her to pass. As she went by him, her touch blazed fire on his hand.

"'Ello, Harry." She spoke softly, but with a hint of something to come, as she sat down beside him.

The two wizards in their own world looked upon each other as if for the first time. Wands forgotten, words forgotten, all that mattered were their eyes and the silent messages that was being sent forth. They leaned in simultaneously as their lips searched for the others....

Gosh, that was fun!! Give it a shot yourself at Jenners!!