March 2011


So even if you aren’t a big nightly news watcher (like me, shame shame), it’s pretty hard to miss the crap-tastic crappiness that is going on in our state of Wisconsin because of our pinhead governor.  I won’t get political on you in this blog (although you could be fairly certain of my feelings on his budget bill by my use of crap-tastic language seen above), but with all the hoopla surrounding the bill and what it means for our education system and teachers, it reminded me how incredibly influential teachers can be in shaping little minds.

I had a teacher like this.  A teacher who paved the foundation for my love of writing. 

It was my 2nd grade teacher.  Her first year teaching.  I had already been writing all kinds of little stories since kindergarten (cue the overachiever eyeroll).  Lots involving an impressive introduction of, like, eighteen characters, followed by a fuzzy plot and then, Tah-Dah!  You’ve reached the end of my story where all eighteen characters live happily ever after!  Balloons!  Butterflies!  Unicorn farts for everyone!

(Look for my famous novel, “The Witch and the Bear,” which made the 1991 New York Times Best Seller list.  Critics call the story lacking in any conflict whatsoever, but I prefer to focus on the deep emotional struggle the bear went through when the witch turned him into a fish.  1st grade wasn’t exactly a prime time to draw from any extreme emotional experiences, I guess.)

Anyhow, this teacher, who we’ll call Mrs. K, recognized my love to put pencil to paper.  (And my ability to come up with such thrilling work as described above, obviously.)  So she made me my very own “Writing Folder.”  I remember like it was yesterday.  It was a plain blue folder, on which she had written “Katie’s Writing Folder” in big letters across the front.  More than the actual memory, though, I remember the way I felt at the exact moment she pulled me aside after class to give the folder to me.  It was indescribable.

After a rough 1st grade with a teacher who didn’t have the patience to put up with my stubborn, do-my-own-thing attitude, here was a teacher who recognized my interests and was encouraging me to fill that folder.  By the end of that year, you couldn’t close it.  The confidence she gave me had a lasting toll and accompanied me to writing workshops, competitions and finally to college where I decided to throw all “practical major” nonsense out the window and follow my heart with the English major.  I was the kid in that 2nd grade class that suddenly beamed with excitement when we’d seperate into little groups for a story competition.   

So to all the Mrs. K’s out there who handed their students a folder or a telescope.  Or encouraged their kids to pick up the wiggly worm or showed them the perfect form for a layup.  You deserve much more credit than our society often gives you.  You’ve paved millions of little paths in this world.

Everyone has a teacher who has changed his or her world for the better.  Who was yours?

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Know what I love more than high heels, a pair of jeans that make my ass look fantastic and mint chocolate chip icecream?  Give up? 

Michael Jackson. 

Duh.

I am a nut for MJ.  A true, unapologetic nut.  Just ask all the dive bars in the area that ‘conveniently’ shut off their jukeboxes when I come strolling in.  They know what’s about to be all up in their eardrums.  They’ve learned the hard way.  Smooth Criminal, ya’ll.

My favorite song is “P.Y.T.”  Not one that’s as well known, but in my circle, it’s known as my song.  And really.  Who hasn’t always dreamed of a song to call their own?

Why am I professing my undying love for Michael Jackson?  I mean, I knooow the man had a chimp named Bubbles.  And there was that whole Thing.  In the courts, Thing.  And pajamas.  And rollercoasters.  And yeah.  He’s creepy, whatevs.

But the man still made insane music, and even came up with cooler dance moves.  Which brings me to the point of this blog post, a little (way) past the point where my opening thesis sentence should have been.  I call it the “cliffhanger” method.  Hey, I don’t tell you how to write, people!

Oh, yeah, the point.  The point is…I am now a proud owner of the Michael Jackson Experience on Wii.  Where I can follow along to Wacko Jacko’s every moonwalk and crotch grab.  And lemme tell you…there’s a whole lotta’ crotch grabbing…  So you’ve been warned.  So you can, you know…warm up those muscles or something….

Just the same, I’m having so much fun with this Wii game.  Nevermind that I feel like a complete and utter failure at following choreography.  And dancing.  And maybe life as a whole when I’m the loser dancing in front of the TV at 1 in the morning on a Saturday night.  I promise I have friends!

I’m excited to give this game a good test drive after a glass or two of wine.  It should make it even more fun.  Or more dangerous as Tony’s best friend Matt might attest after I almost hit him in the crotch with a Wii remote.  So the moral is…stand away from each other.

And because I’m about to go play another round, I’m having trouble figuring out how to end this post.  So in the words of the late, great MJ….SHAMONA! A-HEE-HEE!

Oh my bebes.  I’ve been such a neglectful blogger.  It’s been forever since my last post, and for that I apologize.  But rest assured, I have not forgotten about you.  I’ll be back.  Sometime when I stop the cycle of work, gym, sleep, repeat.  How many years ’til retirement?

I’ve been getting out a little bit more lately, which is a good thing since around this time of the year you’d be hard-pressed to identify where the couch ends and my big ole’ butt begins.  It’s like mitosis.  There’s your science lesson of the day.  And you can’t say I’m lazy when I’m being intellectual.

It’s also been nice getting out because I’ve gotten a chance to hang out with my girlfriends more.  I recently went out and  grabbed a beer with my dear friend Maggie who just had a beautiful, beautiful baby and is feeling a little couped up like I am.  I also went to the art museum tonight with my bbff Allie-boo.  We looked at “art.”  And I say “art” because the majority of it was like the piece we saw that had silver trash cans and tea kettles on a shelf and was accompanied by a mumbo jumbo explanation about how it challenged the viewer’s psychological feelings about consumer goods.  Wait…what? 

When we walked over a few tiles that weren’t glued down we commented on how it must be representative of how life is unstable and can change at any minute.  Although, my interpretation was more like – “whoa, this artist is into plate tectonics!”  Again with the science.  Sorry.

Anyway, it was nice seeing my girls, because as a newlywed in the winter I’ve been pretty much either holed up in the house with my husband (who I’m starting to treat more and more like a girlfriend when I ask him if my hips look wide in these jeans…) or hanging out with his guy friends and laughing at dirty jokes.

Tough decision, I know…

Although I am partial to dirty jokes.

Anyway, I’ll be around more, I promise.  As soon as I have more to report on than what’s up with the creepy guy contestants on American Idol.