Monday, August 25, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ringtones, Alice, and Conway

The cell phones my husband recently chose for us were the ones with “The Network” (if I turned around and saw all those people following me around, I’d head for the hills). This means that all four of my immediate family members, as well as some other relatives and friends, are able to call and text me “free.” Modern technology is so wonderful! The next step for me was that I had to decide on ringtones for the people who call me frequently. This way, I can tell who is calling before I fall and trip on my way to get the phone I left on a distant piece of furniture, in the car, in my pocket yesterday, etc. Still, the act of choosing a ringtone required quite a bit of thought and character analysis. After all, why just choose any old song when one can choose just the right song that is descriptive or especially appropriate for the person? This is how I do things: I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to decide, and thought and thought and thought about it.

Hubby has always been a Conway Twitty fan, so I chose “Hello, Darlin’.” Most of the time this cell phone thing has not disturbed me too much, since I tend to leave the phone somewhere quite often and because, in my elderly state, I cannot deal with loud, sudden noises. The volume is always set fairly low. Still, when we were in the book store the other day, some old guy grinned at me when Conway began singing “Hello, Darlin’—Nice to see you. It’s been a long time…”from the depths of my purse.

Next, Older Daughter, who is easily my most frequent caller, was difficult to consider in terms of song lyrics. I finally chose Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman”; she and her friends, much to my surprise, did not really know this song. They do now; sometimes, when we are talking on the phone, I say, “But are you strong? Are you invincible?” She IS Woman—except when she needs money, somebody hurts her feelings, or she wants her laundry done for tomorrow. Hear her roar.

Younger daughter rings to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” She does just “wanna” have fun, but she, at the age of eleven, is still much more solemn than I have ever been in my life. I can’t help it.

I thought about my other family members. My little brother (he’s 47) has always been quite a hairy lad. (Once a beauty shop worker was cutting his hair; she had to ask her boss where to stop cutting.) He doesn’t usually call on my cell, but I gave him a ringtone anyway. “Werewolves of London” has always been one of my favorite songs because I get to howl while singing it. (The women in my family are pretty hairy, too, but we won’t discuss that right now.)

My woolly brother’s wife has the happy name of “Joy.” I gave her, “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night, although she never calls me. Bless her heart—I have told her that I can’t help being related to my brother, but she CHOSE him. This information usually doesn’t help with whatever situation is going on.

My mama calls me once a week, usually, or I call her. She rings in to another Three Dog Night classic, “Mama Told Me (Not to Come).” She does usually try to tell me what to do, whether I want her to or not. I’d be amazed if she called me on my cell; she doesn’t really think they should be used unless one’s engine blows up or something.

The default ringtone for everyone else is “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper. That’s the theme song for my life right now. There’s been a miniature Alice Cooper in the back of my brain every May for the last five or six years, singing “School’s out for summer! School’s out forever!” Yep. It is.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bigfoot in North Georgia?

Okay, I would like to say something right now. I grew up in the North Georgia mountains, out in the woods. I played in the woods and wandered around picking huckleberries with two dogs and a cat for company. Let me tell you something—I am going to be very annoyed if there turns out to be a big old family of Bigfeet (well, what is the plural of Bigfoot?) up there, and I NEVER SAW A SINGLE ONE!!!!!!!! Just where were these beasties when I was out in the woods talking to myself and trying to keep our Scottish terrier Miss Peabody from eating the huckleberries right off the bushes? I do have to admit, though, that I am awfully nearsighted. That oak tree just might have been Harry, I guess.

Also, what is up with the DNA samples these guys supposedly took? POSSUM????? Now when I moved to my current residence in the kudzu wilderness between Ruraltown and Nowhereville, my husband and I were feeding our dogs Purina Dog Chow. We didn’t have any kids yet, and we were out to get that Hi Pro Glow or whatever. (Now that we are poor and have two kids, we switched to Ol’ Roy. I haven’t seen any possums eating it, but we have some fifty-pound blue jays out there. They love it.) One night I heard a noise out on the porch, and when I looked out there, I saw the biggest possum in the world. He was humongous. He definitely had that healthy Purina glow about him, all right. I bet he weighed at least thirty pounds, and he was chowing down. He very well might have been a first cousin or something of Bigfoot, now that I think about it.

I can’t wait to find out more about the discovery these two hunters made in North Georgia. I’d really like to know for sure. The next time I visit my mother up there, I’m going to walk around in the woods a little bit and just check things out, wearing my bifocals.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday Quotation

"Right now I'm having
amnesia and deja vu at
the same time. I think
I've forgotten this before."
by Steven Wright

Monday, August 11, 2008

Retirement To Do List

I have a group of friends called the Marigolds--we mostly go out to eat once a month, although once in a while we do something else. We don't wear hats of any particular color or do any good works as a group, but we do talk a lot. They are nurses and social workers, and they are great at their jobs, doing their good works at work. Not a one of them has a retirement plan, so they say they'll just have to work forever. I am not gifted in the area of finance, and I know perfectly well that I would have no retirement plan if the state didn't just automatically put public school teachers into the one we have. Left to my own devices, I'd probably be living in a cardboard box. Anyway, the Marigolds are astonished that one of their number just hangs around all day (they were astonished enough by the summer vacation teachers get every year). These ladies are making plans for me to come clean and cook at their houses, since obviously I have nothing else to do. (Most of them have never been to my abode, and so have little notion of how alien the idea of dusting is to me.) They gave me a pack of retirement cards and some other great stuff for retirement. The cards have jokes on them such as the "to do list" at the right.

I couldn't really see much difference in this list and my real list...I mean, what's funny about that?
You know, it's kind of like those redneck jokes by Jeff Foxworthy; the humor is a little too close to life as I know it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

For the English Department...

Today was the second day of preplanning for the teachers at my school. Yesterday I was on my way to pick up a new wireless router so Older Daughter could use her new laptop. Our journey took us by the high school—yep, there were all of their cars, poor things. Preplanning = hours of meetings and introductions + the fun of seeing everyone again after the summer + going out to lunch. How was that ethics video this year? Is the internet working for you? Has a mindless tech person said,”Opps, we know that the internet isn’t working! Don’t email ME about it!” yet?

Today, I met the English Department for lunch at Cracker Barrel. Here is what I have decided about retirement: it’s the same as summer vacation, except that it goes on and on! So I get the good stuff without the meetings and the mind-numbing inspirational speeches. Hooray!

These teachers watched videos about using more technology in their classes. There’s just a little irony in that. I guess the projector was working today, hmmm.

If I won the lottery, I would give the English Department and the Foreign Language Department (that’s you, J.), a bunch of my money. They wouldn’t have to steal the Gator from the Ag. Department; they could buy their own Gator! Also, they could get all the paper they want without having to beg or sing and dance, hire someone to make all the copies they need on their own copy machine, get ENOUGH books and DVD players, and afford, oh yeah, WINE WITH LUNCH!!!!! Plus fancy coffee for all! AND they could pay Patsy to cater lunch for them, too, if she wants to!

Well, I’ve never actually bought a lottery ticket. I don’t have any deeply moral misgivings about the lottery; I just don’t know how to do it. I need to keep learning new things, though. I’ll get right on it! (Y’all just hang on until I figure it out.)