Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Media of the Week - Miracles

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I’ve spent the past nine months cleaning up my music collection.

I’m still not quite finished.

It’s amazing to me some of the stuff you find nestled away; the hidden gems and great tunes you either forgot you had, or had never knew were there in the first place.

Recently I discovered a band that only had one single.

Happy Endings – Miracle.

Who was this group? I wondered. I checked my collection and found nothing else in my music arsenal. I decided to turn to the World Wide Web for answers.

In the interest of time I won’t take you through the entire process, suffice it to say that it took some digging…quite a bit, actually, to find out who these guys were and what happened to them; however, I wanted to know more. How could a group with such a great song just vanish? Were they simply a one hit wonder? Perhaps something like the Oneders in that Tom Hanks movie from a dozen or so years ago?

Well, there’s no need for you to wonder either…

In a nutshell: Happy Endings was a Springfield-based group that performed for a total of about nine years. They toured, shared bills with such bands like The All-American Rejects and Sum 41, had a bit of a following around 2005-ish, had the workings for a record deal, and then they suddenly vanished.


I did a little more digging and discovered that the band had changed their name around 2006 to The Whitest Light after some type of dispute with their record label. At this point they decided to rework the songs on their planned album, Losing Generation, and possibly release an EP of acoustic tracks. The name change was to help them get a fresh start and not have any type of negativity following them.

And so...they changed it.

It was shortly thereafter that they did end up releasing a five song EP, but it seems that they didn’t go much further than that.

The Whitest Noise seems to have died.

I searched a little more and found stagnant MySpace and Facebook pages. And then I found a message from the band, dated back to October 2008:

The 4 of us have decided to put an end to the band you know as happyendings/The Whitest Light—it is bittersweet for all of us- but the time has come-

The music industry has been good to us at times- yet more inherently bad- we have had ups and downs- the ups were sky high and the downs were way down in the pit- 
we have all grown through these times in our lives, music, and relationships. Us as a band have come to an agreement that there is no light at the end of the tunnel for our band - the music industry is not based on commitment, quality of music, and hard work anymore- and through this we have chosen to stop sacrificing our time and families and relationships to peruse a once awesome endeavor called happyendings.


So, just why did I share all of this with you today?

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure.

I guess I wanted you to be aware that behind this song there used to be a band, a band that tried to make it but that was swallowed up after 9 or so years in the industry.

Their song, “Miracle,” however, does live on even now after the group is finished. And this one, my friends is a gem, it’s keeper. This song is amazingly awesome and one I’m glad I found in my cleaning…I guess you could say, the simple fact that I found it was nothing short of a miracle.

*If you’d like to get the original of “Miracle” by Happy Endings, you may do so here. If you’d like to listen to any songs off of their EP as The Whitest Light (including an acoustic version of “Miracle,”) you can find those here and download them as well.

You’re welcome.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekly Kodachrome - Central Park

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We walked through the full autumn splendor of Central Park. The sounds of the crowds around us were a potpourri of awesome as we strolled past sketch artists, street vendors, and people enjoying the warmish, lazy, autumn afternoon. I tried to drink it all in, knowing it was my last day in New York.

There’s something about that place that the movies just don’t do justice…

I miss it already.

Adventures & Misadventures of Daily Living
Did you take a photo in the past seven days that made you smile? If so, feel free to include it in the linky below. 

Remember, by adding your photo into the Weekly Kodachrome meme you are agreeing to do one of the following: display the linky or button to your post, or link back to this post so that everyone gets a little more exposure for the image they’ve uploaded. Those who don’t help to ’share the love’ will have their links removed. You can find the code for the linky HERE.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Facebook Etiquette: The Friend Request

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I’ve recently been faced with a dilemma which all of you on Facebook have found yourself confronting at one time or another…if not before, then it will one day undoubtedly happen.

The decision of whether or not to accept that notorious ‘friend request’.

Something important to know about Facebook before we go any further is that it is a social network; more importantly your social network. It is a place where you go, where you post what you’re doing in your life. Often people will post photos of their families and important events; Facebook is a place to keep the people you care about updated on what and how you’re doing.

However, with any great technology comes the downside. There are times when an acquaintance you know finds you on Facebook through the comment you left on someone else’s status, while browsing through their friends, or even through the “Friends Suggestion” application. Whatever means they used to find you doesn’t matter—it just matters that they did. They click excitedly over to your profile only to get the message which says: “_______ only shares certain information with everyone. To learn more about _________, add them as a friend.”

Upon seeing that message they click on the link and get the ‘friend request’ popup message: “_________ will have to confirm that you are friends.”

Poor, unsuspecting you logs into Facebook at some clandestine later time to discover that the social friendship ball has been knocked into your court; unfortunately this other person is often bound and determined to get you added in to their collection of social friends and vice-versa.

This is where many people start to waver. They start to wonder if they should just accept the request…after all, they hit ignore twice already and the person has since repeated the request. I have a friend who denied a request over six times from one person—sometimes, others just can’t take a hint.

I love what “Dear Ken” from Socialsama had to say on the matter to a woman who wrote in about this very thing. His response to her was this:

Are you a Facebook ho and accept all friend requests, or do you want to set up a friend criteria? Sooner or later you will have to choose the latter. I had a great conversation from a “mom” perspective with my wife and her cousin about this. Cousin Madge put it in simple terms, “I befriend them on Facebook if I feel comfortable enough with showing my kids’ pics to them.”

I love the simplicity of the response. The first thing you should ask yourself is: are you comfortable in having this person added as your friend? If not, your answer is already loud and clear.

Now, by having a lot of contacts, I’m in no way implying that you are seeking friends on Facebook as a social badge of honor—but let’s be candid here, there are people out there who do. They feel that if they have a slew of ‘friends’ on their list, it makes them important and gives them some kind of cyberspacular popularity.

Is that what you want; five hundred ‘friends’ whom you could care less about, or thirty you really like? Now, maybe you really do have five hundred people whom you love and they all love you back; and maybe I’m incredibly jealous because of it… perhaps you also found the secret way to get into Narnia AND Hogwarts. If so, add me as your friend, too.

I would have to suggest that you need to ask yourself a few questions about your Facebook Friend Request…Would you feel comfortable in inviting this person over to dinner? Hanging out with them for an evening? Sitting with them at a social gathering for longer than twenty minutes? Sending them a friendly email? Calling them on the phone just to say hello? Waving at them as you pass by them on the street?

If you can’t answer to yes to any of the above questions, I’d be hesitant to accept that friend request. In fact, I’d be hesitant if I could only answer yes to only one or two of them.

It was Gavin Morgan at Loose Gravel who came up with a simple ‘test’ to see whether or not you should really accept that Facebook request.

How long ago in months has it been since you last spoke to this person?
  1. >24
  2. 2 - 24
  3. 0 - 2
*if you can't remember, then the answer is #1

How would you rate the quality of interaction you have/had with this person? If you just met the person, what is your guess about the quality of interaction you will have?
  1. Nauseating to just okay
  2. Pretty good
  3. Exceptional

If you went the rest of your life never hearing from this person ever again, how noticeable would it be? Again, if you recently met the person, take your best guess.
  1. Noticeably awesome to Would never notice
  2. Occasionally noticeable
  3. Extremely noticeable
If your score is 6-9, friend them; if your score is 3-5, feel free to ignore that request.

Still not convinced of what to do?

Well, if you still can’t make up your mind you could always just hit accept for now and change their settings to restricted - this way, there are limitations as to what they can view on your page and what updates the’ll have access to. You could add them to a certain group so that their updates are not shown in your usual stream, or you could even add them for now and then go in and delete them as a friend in a month or two. Since Facebook doesn’t notify people when their friendship status has been revoked, you could always just blame it on a fault in the program if the ‘revoking’ was ever discovered.

For now, it might be enough to keep the wolves off your back.

Whatever the route you choose to take, just remember that this is YOUR social network. Think of why you have it and the people you want to be a part of it. There will come a point when you have to make a decision of just who you’re willing to accept. One semi-drastic measure you could always take if you're worried about offending anyone (or are just sick of the huge list you already have) is to simply delete everyone in your friends list and start over again from scratch. I did that once and it was quite the liberating feeling; the really great thing is that nobody could say that I deleted them and only them...not when I told them that I deleted my parents, too.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

So, Just What do You Give A Teacher for Christmas?

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With Thanksgiving finally over and Christmas allowed its full reign of supremacy (or during the onset of that dratted “Teacher Appreciation Week”), many parents find themselves struggling with the age old question...yeah, you know the one: What in the world can I get for that teacher who is educating my child?

Well, perhaps, after throwing up your hands in frustration (figuratively, not literally) and racking your brain for ideas you finally decided to turn to the Internet in hopes to find something - anything - that will help you as you try to find the perfect gift. Well, I’m here to yell you that you’ve come to the right place for the answer. But before we begin, please remember that most teachers don’t expect lavish gifts from their students—a hand drawn picture or a sincere ‘thanks’ as they exit the classroom can be the most valuable and cherished gifts your child can give, and these will most certainly be treasured by the teacher than many others simply grabbed off a shelf at the local Walmart and thrown into a shopping cart.

In a word or eight: gifts are nice, but they really aren’t expected.

With that being said, let us move on to what I call The Needed 9—I would have called it the Terrific 10, but 9 was all I was able to come up with for now…what can I say? It’s late and I’m tired.

Rule 1: If you wouldn’t like this gift, then there’s a good chance the teacher wouldn’t like it either.

Most people tend to forget that teachers are real people. They have interests, lives, and even things that they do outside of school. There are only so many paperweights and green neckties with 2 Teach is 2 Touch a Life 4 Ever emblazoned upon them that one can stomach. Sometimes, what a teacher wants is something that doesn’t have anything to do with school, but rather with them as a person.


Rule 2: Candy is a big no.

Candy is probably the WORST gift you could ever give. Many teachers are finding it difficult to stay in shape when trapped in a classroom all day—couple this with the fact that they sit, correct papers, and enter grades long after the students are gone. When they’re given boxes of Hershey’s Treasures for Christmas and four our five chocolate oranges you’re not doing them any favors; plus the fact that these things are, quite simply, about the most disgusting things on the planet.

I take that back, that title is reserved solely for Peeps.

However, if you do choose to get your teacher something in regards to sweets, remember that quality has much more value than quantity after you’ve reached a certain age…Heck, I remember being a kid and when given a choice between a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or a full gallon of Snow Star (the Safeway generic, flat, nasty ice cream) I’d have taken the Snow Star every time. When I was a kid the formula was simple:

More = Better.

This type of logic only works until puberty hits—or perhaps young-adulthood. The point is that somewhere along the lines one starts to develop taste and the cheap and nasty just won’t cut it any longer.

If you are planning on getting your teacher something along the sweet lines, try for something they like. Do a little digging, do they like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or caramel-dipped apples rolled in Skor and Butterfinger? By finding out just what it is that the teacher likes through a little covert research, you will more likely give a gift that is remembered and valued. This is a much better alternative to those items dropped into the trash on the teacher’s way out of the classroom, or given freely to nieces and nephews who’ll eat just about anything provided that there’s sugar in it.

Rule 3: Knickknacks are a waste of everybody’s time, shelf space, and money.

Look around a teacher’s classroom. There are often little hints as to things that they like. Don’t go straight for the ‘knickknack paddy crap’ shelf where they’re displaying all of the porcelain dogs and Garfield mugs that have accumulated over the years—and are now gathering a layer of very thick dust. These are only there because the teacher didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. They’re worried that Joey will come back after fifteen years and not see the shot glass he picked up at a roadside truck stop in Nebraska, and feel crushed that his teacher didn’t save it for all these years.

Can I just start now saying that I, as a teacher, don’t appreciate stuffed animals and toys? Things that tend to clutter shelves are not really my forte – and most of the other teachers I know don’t like having shelves teeming with this that and the other—a smorgasbord of the strange and dollar store.

As a friend of mine once was eloquently observed, it never looks attractive when it appears that “the Knickknack Fairy threw up all over the shelves.”

So remember, if you ever walk into a teacher’s domain and think, “Wow, they have a lot of crap in here.” don’t be a contributor to the problem and pawn off more stuff they’ll have to display in the future. Believe me, they’ll thank you.

Rule 4: Mugs and ties = Lame sauce.

The mug with the teddy bear on the side sporting messages like, “Teachers bear the love of others.’ Just about make me puke. They don’t end up in my home, but usually wind up as proceeds in the box that makes it’s way to the local thrift industries store at least once a year.

I know; I’m crazy.

Just a quick rule of thumb, if it has a cutesy run-of-the-mill saying stamped on it, it’s probably lame.

(See again Rule 1).

Rule 5: Ask about the obvious.

One good thing to remember is that you can nearly always drop subtle questions and get the teacher to talking about their interests in books, music, or even the type of beverages they enjoy; doing this can ensure that you pick something they will most certainly love…a CD they’ve been wanting to listen to, or a book they just haven’t had the time to run out and get.

One teacher I know got a case of Diet Coke with lime for Christmas one year. She went on to say that it completely made her day…it was a gift she said she’d never forget.

Rule 6: Handmade is always appreciated.

What’s something that you can’t seem to go wrong with? Well, for me, it’s often something my students have made with their parents. I just can’t tell you just how much a pair of wooden bookends mean to me fashioned into the letter “Z.” Not only are these useful, they mean a lot because the boy who made them put in the effort. He even wrote a message on the bottom that I would find myself reading from time to time and remembering his quirky mannerisms and the good times when he was my student.

Other memorable gifts have been a pair of knitted gloves with open fingers for photo shoots when it’s cold, homemade magnets of the letter Z, a stuffed ‘Hobbes’ a student copied onto graph paper and then changed the measurements to create a more ‘real world’ sized version. These are just a few of the items that have withstood the test of time and have found a place of permanent residence in my classroom.

Rule 7: Gift Certificates are nearly always winners.

Even if you don’t want to take the time to figure out what a particular teacher likes, you can never really go wrong with a gift certificate to the movies, a restaurant they like, or an online venue like iTunes or Amazon. With these a teacher can pick what they’d like, or what suits their taste. However, getting a gift certificate to Jason’s Deli with no balance on it is probably not the best option.

It does send quite the clear message though…

Rule 8: Purchase something for the classroom itself.

One great item that you can always give that has lasting longevity is something useful for the classroom. For example, take a look at the teacher’s set of guided reading books and find a few titles that are starting to show signs that they aren’t going to last much longer...books being handled by students over the span of years - no matter how carefully they treat them - tend to wear out. Replacing a few books saves a teacher quite a bit of money and gives your child a gift they can use as well.

Another great way to get your child involved is to have your son or daughter select a few of their favorite books for the classroom library (provided your teacher has one), and then have them write a message inside the front cover (one they wouldn’t mind other students reading). The great thing about this type of gift is that it provides new book titles your child and their peers are currently reading - those the teacher may not yet be aware of. Also, it will be a present enjoyed by many others and not just another knickknack to sit uselessly on a shelf. (See Rule #3).

Rule 9: If in doubt, don’t.

Some people get that feeling inside right before they give a gift. It’s that little Jiminy Cricket voice which seems to whisper, “You really shouldn’t give this as a gift.”

That, my friends, is intuition. I say we should listen to this voice far more often than we really do. If you question whether or not a particular gift will be liked, just say no. Trust me, it seems that 9 times out of 10, that little voice knows exactly what it’s talking about.

Well, that’s about all for the moment…the Needed 9 that will (hopefully) help you in your quest to show that educator how much you appreciate them. But never forget, though gifts are nice, the best way to show your teacher you care about them is to tell them.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go dust and sort my porcelain unicorn collection…

P.S. Just for the record, one of my all-time favorite gifts from a student, I’ll call him Joey, was this.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

New York - Day 4

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New York - Day 3.5

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It’s been raining—and cloudy—quite a bit.

Not conducive to photo opportunities when one doesn’t want to get their equipment wet.

I’ve been keeping to Queens mostly, haven’t ventured into the city or subways as of yet.

Been visiting with my sister-in-law, working on projects, and making time for this:

My favorite moment of New York thus far…

Thanks for snagging my camera, Leah.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New York - Day 1

Pin It The plane touched down at John Kennedy Airport somewhere in the wee hours before the sun split the skies to officially begin a new day. Outside the large, plate-glass windows, darkness still reigned supreme.

I walked groggily through the terminal with my laptop bag and camera. My legs beneath me felt like jelly after not being used for so many hours, and I was exhausted from the few brief sojourns into slumber as the plane had flown through the night skies. At one point in the journey I’d even asked for a vomit bag—the bouts of turbulence, coupled with the fact that I was wearing several layers of clothing in order to save space in my small suitcase, seemed to not agree with whatever it was that I’d had for dinner earlier that night.

Yeah, I felt sick.

I retrieved my luggage and made my way to the airtrain. The breath of cool, early-morning air was welcomed as I watched the sky slowly change to a shade of darkest indigo on the skyline. With somewhat blurry eyes I exited the airtrain and bought a ticket on the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) bound for Queens and barely caught it. The skies outside my windows continued to change—softening to tint the clouds overhead with pinks and peaches—as I exited at Woodside Station and began the walk toward my brother’s flat.

Gangs of leaves huddled together in the gutters and along the curbs as I walked...dried and crispy although plenty of the trees around me were still arrayed in their autumn splendor. The skies reflected a melancholy feeling with the ripple of clouds overhead, spread like a layer of peanut butter on an extra-thick slice of bread...just the way I liked it.

Within minutes I arrived at the building and texted my brother.

He buzzed me into the building and within a minute or two I entered their flat, greeted with a barrage of hugs.

We all talked for an hour or two over a breakfast of cereal as the sky continued to brighten. We laughed, reminisced, and made haphazard plans for the next few days as the sun arose and the day officially began…

and then I went to sleep.

This view is from my brother and sister-in-law’s apartment. If you look off on the left top side, you can see the Empire State Building…which is lit up various colors every night.

Weekly Kodachrome - River Sunset

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I stood at the edge of the river as the sounds of running water filled my ears with a cadence like no other. The sun glistened off its many-faceted surface and flowed over the sandstone boulders that broke its surface here and there. I raised my camera as the dappled shadows from the clouds overhead littered the landscape like players on a chessboard.

The chilled wind tugged at my jacket, reminding me that autumn is well on its way to be over and winter—as ever—is waiting to take its place.

*Oh, and if you were interested in knowing, this image is actually eleven photos stitched together…just for the record.

Adventures & Misadventures of Daily Living
Did you take a photo in the past seven days that made you smile? If so, feel free to include it in the linky below. 

Remember, by adding your photo into the Weekly Kodachrome meme you are agreeing to do one of the following: display the linky or button to your post, or link back to this post so that everyone gets a little more exposure for the image they’ve uploaded. Those who don’t help to ’share the love’ will have their links removed. You can find the code for the linky here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Where Everybody Knows My Name

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The same thing always seems to happen.

A voyage approaches with the tick tocking of the clock high up on the wall—ever coming nearer; it waits in the wings for its cue to take center stage.

I sit alone in my classroom; I’ve been here getting ready for the substitute for both Monday and Tuesday for quite a few hours.

My lessons plans finally reached page six before I decided that enough was enough—planning for every possible scenario was no longer an option at this point. I slumped back in my plastic swivel chair, listening to the well-known music that outlines my little world, and the familiarity it affords…the commonalty it brings to me and the little niche I’ve managed to carve into this place over the past few decades while on this spinning world is comforting.

I organized all of the assignments and items for my students into piles, and breathed out a heavy sigh. I rubbed my eyes and remembered that I really should look up the directions my brother sent me last year to reach his flat in New York—as well as print my flight itinerary and boarding pass.

As I read over the directions in the email from a year ago, I felt recoil in my guts which seemed to signify the arrival of something new and foreign to my little world. Something strange to the place I have come to know and find comfort.

I thought of the bustling streets of New York, the chaos and rushing of thousands of people to whom I did not know, and those who did not know me. All too soon I’d be lost amidst a sea of faces—nothing more than a face in the crowd.

I looked around my classroom, at my students’ desks—some crammed with their varied jumble of this, that, and the other—small extensions of themselves while they’re not here.

Man, but I’m going to miss them.

I’m going to miss this little place where, like what’s said the theme song of Cheers, “Everybody knows my name.”

The clock still ticks from its place on the wall, reminding me that there is still a lot to do, and sitting here is no longer a luxury I can afford. Time still trudges onward.

My thoughts turn to my brother, my sister-in-law, and my nephew all waiting for me in New York. When I do, I feel the flicker of excitement rising.

The red-eye will taxi from the runway tonight, and when it does, I will be in it bound for a week in the Big Apple.

Should you find yourself in this grand city in the next seven days, I’d love the chance to meet you…but if you’re there and you’d rather not, that’s okay, too…for now we’ll just see each other as faces in the crowd, but I’ll tell you what…

I’ll smile.

P.S. If so, drop an email to teachinfourth@yahoo

And yes, I left the .com off on purpose…I didn’t want spamming.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Moments with Joey - Guys & Boys

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SCENE 1, INTERIOR. MORNING, HALLWAY. The students are taking a three-minute drink and restroom break. As they finish, they group in two lines near the drinking fountain. The teacher stands at the head of the lines, making sure that the kids are not goofing off. One of the fifth grade boys in line is gazing intently at a poster on a nearby wall of different U.S. Landmarks, he turns to face his teacher.

JOEY: Mr. Z, where do geysers come from?

TEACHER: Geysers?

[The teacher’s eyes flick to the poster where an image of Old Faithful can clearly be seen near the bottom right corner].

JOEY: Yeah, how do they start?

TEACHER: Well, geysers first start off as little boy-sers, and then they slowly develop to one day become fully-grown guy-sers…

[The kids standing in line erupt into fits of hysterical laughter. There is a short pause from the boy before his face splits into a huge grin].

JOEY: And when they get old they become ‘geezers’ and get stinky, like my grandpa, right?

[The teacher smiles back].

TEACHER: Yep. [Pause] And that’s something for you to look forward to one day.

[Fade to black]

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekly Kodachrome - Sticks, Boys, & Imagination

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The power of a stick in a boy’s hand – coupled with the power of imagination – can go far beyond that of a simple piece of wood...or so it did for me as a child. That seemingly paltry branch magically transforms itself into a wand capable of the most potent spells, a sword able to defeat the fiercest of dragons, or a broomstick on which one is able to escape the craftiest of enemies.

Clearly, the only limits ascribed to such a fabulous plaything would be that of one’s own imagination…

My friends and I traversed the roadway in two vehicles down to the bottoms of the Green River, where the sandy beach greeted us bathed in the golden light of evening sun. A chilly breeze rippled over the swiftly sweeping river as each of the boys—all four—picked up and discarded various branches and twigs until they’d each found the perfect one.

Some things never seem to change…I smiled.

Adventures & Misadventures of Daily Living
Did you take a photo in the past seven days that made you smile? If so, feel free to include it in the linky below. 

Remember, by adding your photo into the Weekly Kodachrome meme you are agreeing to do one of the following: display the linky or button to your post, or link back to this post so that everyone gets a little more exposure for the image they’ve uploaded. Those who don’t help to ’share the love’ will have their links removed. You can find the code for the linky here.

Riding Off into Winter

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The falling leaves make me think of A Charlie Brown Halloween. They make me want to rake a big pile of them before the snow hits and jump into them before autumn rides off into the sunset, much like Linus in the first few minutes of the movie...

…minus the sucker.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Photoshoot - UtahTib

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A little shoot of the family of The Shark. Yes, we became friends through the medium of Blogging and her 100% beauty challenge...truly, what a wonderful world this is.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekly Kodachrome - Drive this Road

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I took a little day trip to get away from the regularity of life around me. I paused at the place where the road before me stretched off into the lonely desert…a thoroughfare of potential where the clouds overhead painted a picture of possibility.

And into it I drove.

Adventures & Misadventures of Daily Living
Did you take a photo in the past seven days that made you smile? If so, feel free to include it in the linky below. 

Remember, by adding your photo into the Weekly Kodachrome meme you are agreeing to do one of the following: display the linky or button to your post, or link back to this post so that everyone gets a little more exposure for the image they’ve uploaded. Those who don’t help to ’share the love’ will have their links removed. You can find the code for the linky here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rites of Passage. AKA: The WoMAN Voice

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I finally did it—even after years of careful listening—I mistook my friend’s 11 year-old son for his mother.

I firmly believe that a milestone in life has been reached when a pubescent boy experiences a stretching of limbs, facial features, and vocal chords—making him sound akin to a grown-up woman—not too dissimilar to an adult Michael Jackson.

“Hey *Becky, how’s it going?”

“This isn’t Becky, this is her son, *Joey.”

Verbal Faux pas.

I felt instantaneously terrible for what I’d done; I quickly began to backpedal, talking about how I couldn’t hear properly because the stereo was up far too loud, my windows were down, passing traffic was flying by in the opposite lane, a sonic boom had just thundered down from the heavens, the air-raid sirens had suddenly started blaring signifying a nuclear fallout, and aliens had stolen my eardrums and replaced them with cotton swabs.

As I apologized I though back to the days of my own mom-voiceness, and the numerous callers that would mistake me for my mom. This started to happen so frequently that there came a point where I either wouldn’t answer the phone, or would intentionally lower my voice several octaves so that there would be no way on heaven or Earth that I could be mistaken for her.

It usually didn’t work.

In fact, I can remember one day when I was so sick and tired of saying, “This isn’t her; this is her son,” that I decided to simply roll with it. I carried on a complete conversation with a salesman who was trying to get us to switch our life insurance playing the part of my mother.

I was amazing.

Luckily, this awkward period quickly passed, and I was never mistaken as my mother again.

I arrived back at the present.

“So anyhow, that’s how come I couldn’t tell it was you.”

“Oh, that’s okay…” he responded with a trailed off voice.

I just couldn’t bear to tell him that he did sound like a woman on the phone.

However, maybe I should have. After all, it is a rite of passage…

*These are not their real names; I wanted to protect the identity of both Stephanie and Tanner.

I originally 'aired' this post at Four Perspectives.

Photo shamelessly pilfered from here: http://www.topnotchparents.com
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