graceaplenty

Grace should be my middle name.

Name:
Location: United States

Monday, January 31, 2005

Yuck

Have you ever had that feeling in your hands where you know what you're touching is most definitely going to make you sick? Like you can just FEEL the germs on the tips of your fingers...

Yeah, that's what I go through on a daily basis. And last week, that knowledge of the disgusting bacteria my hands come in contact with, materialized itself into sneezin, fever and cough.

Maybe like the 100th kid you see picking his nose and eating it, that you try to ignore and not gasp outloud in the middle of teaching, means you're going to get sick. I'm not sure how it works. It could be like the 50th kid you hear/see come out of the bathroom with a big flush and no sound of the sink following the flush means you're going to get sick. Maybe it's a combo.

Are you grossed out yet? I am. But I'm on the recovery now. I keep hoping that if the gatorade will wash that one swollen gland away. What's up, flu season? It's been about a year, I'd wondered where you'd gone.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

All the Kings Men

Warning: This post may be boring.

In response to Al's questions on my favorite of favorite books, I have to say that she actually is a pretty good reader for a physics nerd. J/k. I actually already knew that.

Because I love Al, and All the Kings Men so much, I dusted off my old copy to answer her questions. My first reaction about Anne sleeping with Willie, I honestly couldn't quite remember. I had a few ideas, but I wasn't positive. But the question about The Great Twitch, I thought immediately that Al got it right.

The Great Twitch:

Jack's character is sort of a remora of the active and acting characters in the book. He reports about stuff and thinks about stuff, but he doesn't do much. He really doesn't do much of anything. And he admits it. He finds some action, something interesting, and latches on to it.

At one point, Anne even tells him, "You know I love you and I'll live in a shack and eat red beans if you've got to live that way because what you want to do doesn't make any money." But the fact is that at the point of that conversation, Jack didn't want to do anything. No drive. No desire. No plans. Anne would have eaten red beans and lived in a shack if the thing he wanted to do most on earth was shovel rocks for a living. She didn't care. She just wanted him to WANT something. But he didn't. And some years later, he created the idea of The Great Twitch.

The Great Twitch is Jack's idea that no one has any responsibility for anything and that there is no god, but The Great Twitch, which pushes people into their place in life without plan, rhyme or reason.

Why Anne Sleeps With Willie:

Now, this I'm not positive about, but I think it has to do with The Great Twitch Mentality. If Jack was a remora, Willie was his shark. Willie took action. Anne wanted action. Willie made things happen. He was the people's politician. Anne was mesmerized by this action, fervor and life - as was Jack, but obviously in different ways.

The Ends and The Means:

While Willie was a man of action, a political icon, and a man of the people, he obviously was no saint. He built hospitals, schools and fixed up interstates. He made life better for a lot of people. He used his power for many good things. But he used it in some very evil ways. He ruined people. He tore them down. He was unfaithful, sneaky and deceitful. Anything to increase his power. Anything. He had no remorse, no guilt.

Willie also understood people. He understood that we're all imperfect. "Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. There is always something," he says. He uses this truth for his power and his ego. It's ugly. It's also very effective.

Without giving away any of the book, I will just say that Willie does not win and live happily ever after. And Jack does not remain unchanged. But the idea that the means is as important as the ends rings true. How you get to where you want to go IS important. Perhaps, even MORE important. We're all waiting to get somewhere, or waiting for something to happen. It's what we do while we're waiting that counts. And also who we're waiting with. Two things, which Willie never grasped.

Final Thoughts:

Al was right when she said that it's the sort of book you read and get caught up in and almost forget that there's a lot more going on than you innitially realize. So many themes. So much content. So profound.

It's a book I have revisited at least once every year since I read it first in high school and I find the understanding of human nature and of the world is absolutely beautiful.

But the part I always come back to when my world gets a little crazy. When I don't know up from down. When I'm gladder than glad. And when I'm looking inside. That part is Jack's reflection on how love changes us. He says:

"When you get in love you are made all over again. The person who loves you has picked you out of the great mass of uncreated clay which is humanity to make something out of, and the poor lumpish clay which is you wants to find out what it has been made into. But at the same time, you, in the act of loving somebody, become real, cease to be a part of the continuum of the uncreated clay and get the breath of life in you and rise up."

"So you create yourself by creating another person, who, however, has also created you, picked up the you-chunk of clay out of the mass. So there are two you's, the one you yourself create by loving and the one the beloved creates by loving you. The farther those two you's are apart the more the world grinds and grudges on its axis. But if you loved and were loved perfectly then there wouldn't be any difference between the two you's or any distance between them. They would coincide perfectly, there would be a perfect focus, as when a stereoscope gets the twin images on the card into perfect alignment."

Deep thoughts for a Tuesday night, I know. But it's something most people figure out at some point. Often the hard way. And there is nothing worse than that grinding of the axis. Let's hope finding out the good way, the coinciding way, is in the cards for all of us.

Monday, January 24, 2005

54 Days

This morning, during my daily weather channel routine, I found out that there's 54 days until spring. Now, this isn't to complain about the weather necessarily. It's simply anticipating that spring-like-feeling-in-the-air. And being that I work in a school, I'm thinking that feeling, combined with the anticipation of summer will be fantastic.

Testing will be over. Classes will be winding down. Spring break will be happening. But for now, the chill is still hanging in the air and the weeks on the calendar just look like they're going to keep coming endlessly. Not that I'm complaining. I just notice those things on my calendar.

In case anyone noticed, it had been a while since I blogged. It had also been a while since I did online banking, IMed and read anyone else's blogs. You know the charger for your lap top? Well, I don't suggest dropping it. Unless you have $80 to throw around, or something. Who knew those ran at a cool $80? I didn't. I thought 15, maybe 20, maybe even 30. Underestimations.

So, to catch you up on news, in short:

1. My little sister plays in a basketball league organized by a First Baptist Church. I went to see her play a game and during half time, there was a sermon by a young preacher in shorts, t-shirt and sneakers. I asked my dad if they always minister to the crowd at games. He said, "Of course, they're Baptists." The whole thing made a pretty big impression on me. Especially the fact that when discussing the whole thing with my sister, she was shocked and embarassed to find out that Baptists don't do the sign of the cross during their "devotion time". "I kept wondering why I was the only ONE!"

2. Big MVP awards go out to all the pees reading All the Kings Men. I know that Beatrix started it a while back, but is studying for the Bar big time, which is totally a good reason for not being finished. Al is half way through and reading it for her "book club" where she virtually demanded that they read it. And probably some far off day in a few years when law school is over, Earnest will read it, even though it probably is the most important book in his state's cultural. El gets a big award too for having already read it before even meeting me. Way to be, El.

3. Two thumbs down to my nose that won't stop sneezing and consequently makes me exhasted and tired and annoyed. But, thumbs up for 12-Hour Sudafed, naps afterwork, and chicken noodle soup for helping me make it through the day.

4. I have a sister who has had like 2 chances to be on TV in the past week at major national events. Did she make it for a close up? NO. Was I looking? Oh yes. Better luck next time, dude.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Why is it so Difficult...

to tell people (young and old) that this is abso-freaking-lutely AMAZING?

http://www.nga.gov/feature/rothko/rothkosplash.html

Sunday, January 09, 2005

My Weekend

My weekend started off with chicken dinner with my father and 3 octigenarians, which was followed by a sex talk I attended with my dad. When I told El that we didn't know it was a sex talk when we went, she just kept saying, "You went to a sex talk with your DAD?!"

I also washed, vacuumed and "jerry curl-ed" my car (as Earnest would say) and it is beautiful. I paid my bills and feel that I have an excess of money left over. I cleaned my apartment. I made my debut at Rock-a-Bowl and took advantage of $.25 drafts. That $8 in quarters I brought is gone. Yikes!

And I spent today drinking frozen margaritas and sitting by the pool in my bathing suit.

Please try not to hate me!

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Best Of 2004

This is a bit late, but here we go:

Best Movie: Garden State

Best Month: Hmm...I'm going to go with all months following June.

Best Book: George Weigel's "Letter's to a Young Catholic" - yeah, big nerdo

Best Moment: Well, it's sort of a toss up between Al dancing with a pirate in Key West, getting a dream job, realizing that a loser who makes me cry is not worth even discussing, and a student telling me, "Wow, we learned so much more in art this year than I ever have before!"

Best CD: Garden State Soundtrack

Best Hobby: Blogging

Worst Hobby: Back to back episodes of Will and Grace daily and Laguna Beach

Best Idea: Making my goal this year simply to be the best teacher I possibly can and not worry about the rest.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Nothing Says Welcome Home Like...

...a rabbit who got out of his cage, spent all weekend bouncing around my apartment and leaving one corner of my kitchen filled with rabbit urine.

On the upside, what could be better than calling people on your friend's phone on New Years and leaving messages like, "I want to ravage your sexy monkey"?

Here's to you, 2005. I have to say, I am pretty glad to see you. 04 was a doosie, man. Things started out Ok, took some major turns toward horrible throughout March, April and May. But by June, you were on the upswing and, I must say, have not failed to disappoint in the least. It's always nice to end the year out a hell of a lot better than you began it. Let's hope 05 can make that happen.

Meanwhile, I'm going to work out at least 3 times a week, finish my pope book that I have been reading for 2 (count them) 2 years, spend less time on the internet, and not let shows like Laguna Beach keep me up past my bedtime.