Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Burn out and Babies

I'm so burned out this spring, burning the candles at both ends. I can't WAIT til mid-April when my life really slows down.

And I get a chance to play with Bennie. I have a little specialty backpack I bought last spring if you remember that I put Bennie in, and off we go on my bike down the trail.

I actually read online that teaching has a high rate of burn-out. This, for whatever reason, was shocking to me.

But I think the key to anything is moderation. I took on a lot this winter so I could have some money come this summer and sock away all the rest. The root canal of 2008 dug a giant hole in my "summertime savings account."

I just gotta keep on, keeping on and keep my eye on the prize, which is many summer dates with this little guy!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ghost Towns and lost Americana

Ever wonder what's left after a community dies? A ghost town. I found the best ghost town ever in South Dakota (in the middle of nowhere). A "townie" from a local pub told me about it. I say "townie" because the population of the town the local was from was maybe less than 300.

It took a while to get here but was worth it. I ran into an older rancher out here who lived along the edge of this, and he told me the town fell apart during the Dust Bowl, that the last resident, the "Train Boss" whose house this belonged to, moved out in 1944. At least a dozen buildings survive, the bank, the creamery.

It's sad to see small town America die. Urbanization, mega-corporation/monopolies and the squeezing out of the American farmer and pop-n-pop business, I presume are the culprits.

I would rather have lived back then, to have had to work harder, with less appliances than we have now, few electronics (just a radio, electricity) a simpler time, yes. Harder, but in a strange way simpler.

Bet I'd not have troubles sleeping at night. And what kind of world was it back then that you could leave your doors unlocked, or leave your kids to play outside unattended?

Friday, March 18, 2011

No2 Cents for Public Radio? Seriously?

Listening to my unbiased, commercial-free, intelligent, community news source (NPR), I heard yet another stupid thing to come out of one our Republican representatives, Kristi Noem, from SD (whom, of course, I never voted for). Guess what's next on her hit-list of new pick-on, slam-campaign, falling even further into Draconian-style politics?

Kristi Noem said she doesn't think a dime of government money should be wasted on Public Television or Radio. That it should be privatized, like say FOX (good one, Kristi). After I practically coughed up coffee out my nose, I was so mad, I started a letter writing campaign.

Really, Kristi? Too much money, eh? $1.25 is what the average taxpayer pays each year for millions of Americans to use PBS, 365 days a year, yet that's TOO MUCH?

Check this out to support PBS:

Feel free to use part/all of my letter and send it to your representative/congressman/governor:

Here's a link for SD if you prefer to do this e-mail. If you're out-of-state, find out who your representative is.

Dear Rep. Noem,

Today I heard on SD Public Radio that you voted to cancel funding to PBS. I was disappointed to hear this but even more disappointed to hear that you thought S. Dakotans/the general public can get their news in many different ways which make public radio/television unnecessary for the tiny amount of government funding that it currently gets.

This couldn't be farther from the truth if you're working class.

I'm an educator and teach students from varying backgrounds. Many of the students I teach are from either remote areas of SD/WY or from working class families where things such as cable TV, high speed internet or even $70 newspaper subscriptions are just too expensive for working-families (to get their news as you implied in your interview). Depending ONLY upon commercial-for-profit news coverage is not acceptable, is non-educational and biased at best.

Many teachers and families also rely upon the educational programming benefits public radio and television offer.

Yanking away the tiny amount of funding for a highly necessary educational tool for South Dakotans cannot be the answer. Maybe we should look at reducing internal-bureaucratic wasteful spending as a better solution, rather than punish working class families.

We beg you to re-think this and hope you will do the right thing.

Thank you,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Books, What Else?

Well, lets's see. How'd happy hour go? It went great last Friday. Yes, Paulie and I saw Magnum P.I. at the bar. You know what? He really loves his moustache and 1980's leather jacket god bless him.

Top Signs You Really Don't Care about the Opposite Sex Anymore:
1. The thrill of walking into the public library and seeing what new good books are on the shelves beats any thrill of seeing a good-looking guy.

2. You plan your weekend around documentaries and recipes and you look forward to it all week long.

3. You start talking to your dog like he can actually understand you. "Bennie, did I ever tell you about the date with the dude who talked about his weiner? Well, once upon a time there was this beautiful princess, and this toad comes up to her and . . ."

4. You get wildly excited when the grocery store marks down your favorite wine.
and finally,

5. You contemplate which one of your single friends will still be single when you're in your 60's, and which one you could be likely to live with in sort of a Golden Girls fantasy. You also find yourself daydreaming which character you'll most likely be, Betty White or Bea Arthur.

Going back to number one and books. I've been reading a TON lately and digging it immensely. I just finished a great autobiography from Tony Curtis, whom I've always considered the cutest guy in Hollywood. It was moving. Apparently, one of my idols, Mae West, made a horrible film when she was well into her 80's called Sextet, and Tony Curtis was desperate for money so he played her lover, even though he was 30 years her junior. Well, apparently old Mae couldn't seem to remember her lines, so they put an ear piece on her, then would read her lines to her as they filmed when all of a sudden Mae reads her line: "Pile up on 38. Squads cars en route." Everyone stared at her, and she read her line that way again. Tony figured it out and walked off the stage laughing. Apparently, Mae's ear piece was picking up the police station's radio waves, but she thought those were her lines. LOL.

American Prince. I recommend it. It gives you some behind the scenes takes on Marilyn Monroe, Jack Kennedy, Frank Sinatra as well as Tony's complicated life.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The "End" of Cactus Man

I forgot to update everyone on some major news last week. Cactus Man, in one of his infinite moments of jackassery, apparently tried to call me on the phone. I say "apparently" because as you'll remember, I have had him on "block" through Verizon for almost a year now.

This allegedly, for some rather ironic reason, made him furious. He emailed me saying that I had blocked him and he found this "ridiculous." I ignored it, which apparently fueled his fury because then he sent me this, which I actually had to edit and censor because it was so vile and filthy:

"Considering your claims that we had a one-sided relationship, your failure to ever respond to me, the fake Facebook girlie thing, and now I have discovered you blocked my phone number, I suppose it's time to put the final nail in our coffin. Go fuck yourself. Thanks for the fair . . . (sexual reference), even if I never did get to experienced your famous (sexual reference).

Ter and Jennie thought the "Peace" thing comical. Did I ever tell you that he once told me that he thought telling someone to go fuck off was the biggest insult you could hurl someone?

I know what you're thinking. His brilliance there is stunning, isn't it? Ter drafted a GREAT comeback for me.


Since you have never known anyone in South Dakota, and I don't really exist unless you're between girlfriends, then what is "ridiculous" is that you'd call.

Sorry it didn't work out with the last chic, but this chic has moved on.

All the best.


I never sent it. Not that I didn't want to, but some people are just so TOXIC that you cannot reply to them, just cut them out of your life entirely. The only sad thing, besides the fact that he lost the best thing that ever step foot in his life, is that I can't really do any more comics about him.

Oh well.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Uggs and Sweats, right on!

Tomorrow is happy hour and the start of Spring Break.
Whooo-eee, party!

Paulie and I are going to celebrate and go to Minerva's for happy hour and indulge in a shrimp with white garlic sauce pizza. She said to me on the phone, "Let's look good, Nats. Don't forget to get dolled up and wear your hair extentions." I sighed and agreed to give up my leggings and my Uggs.

Have I mentioned that Paulie is also single but is 8 years younger than me and more hopeful about the dating scene?

I say, "Why waste good lipstick?" Why not go out in my sweats and Uggs?

I read on some blog where a guy was chastising the whole Uggs boot thing, banning them, saying they were ugly on women. I wanted to chirp in, "Let me guess, we should all be wearing corsets and stillettos, right" "F. You."

I miss the comfortable clothing of the 90's. Remember that? Padded shoulders that were figure-friendly? Stretchy leggings, comfortable jeans that didn't give you plumber's crack, over-sized comfy clothes.

I LOVE IT that women are wearing comfortable, practical boots nowadays. But bring back baggy clothes! Bring back the grunge look.


There will be no good looking man-candy, just the regulars like ol' Magnum P.I. sitting at the bar, leering hungrily at Paulie and me (eweeeeeeee). Maybe I'll take pics and post them here?

Guess why I call him Magnum P.I.? Heh, heh. I'll keep ya'll posted.