New Music

I've been ruminating the acquisition of two new CD's. Have heard great reviews. Have heard good live performances. The final say was when I walked into Borders last night and the wanted-CD-#1 was playing. Got to listen to a large portion of the songs on said CD. The joy settled, however, when the wanted-CD-#2 followed it. Both CD's have been downloaded and now I'm recommending.

Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

EmmyLou Harris & Mark Knopfler - All The Roadrunning

Both are outstanding projects by such seasoned musicians. Both fall into the folk/country category. But if you enjoy good American roots music, both CD's will deliver.


In The Belly Of The Green Bird

Heard a good interview today on "Here and Now" (I'm an NPR junkie, remember) with a young journalist, Nir Rosen, in reference to the current racial and political occurrences in Iraq. American born, but of middle eastern descent, this man has some current knowledge and insight we are unable to gain not living in Iraq. The interview's not long, so please take a few minutes to listen to it today. The interview with the journalist is at the front end of the program and only about 15 min.

Below is just the blurb NPR has on their site re: the journalist's book, "In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq"

"President Bush says the United States has entered a new chapter in its relationship with Iraq. Speaking today in Chicago, the president said Saturday's inauguration of Iraq's new unity government is a victory for the cause of freedom in the Middle East.

Nonetheless, renewed violence in Iraq claimed seventeen lives today. Yet, President Bush and administration officials have expressed confidence in the past that a new government would help stop the growing number of killings and kidnappings in Iraq.

But, journalist Nir Rosen is not so optimistic after spending months gaining access to Sunni and Shi'a militia members, an experience which he describes in his new book, "In the Belly of the Green Bird, the Triumph of Martyrs in Iraq." Nir believes that Iraq is already in the middle of civil war."

I think when it comes to being more aware of what is happening in our world, event by event, the news media is helpful on a minor scale. People's first hand stories, those from a broad experience base, are one of, if not the, best source of information.

Would also love to hear your thoughts.


Habitat Restore

I just made my umpteenth visit to our local Habitat for Humanity's Restore. We are friends. I make nearly weekly visits as a recent addition to the homeowner's club. I can find tons of things there as it relates to renovation, fixing, improvements, etc., while I'm helping local business, supporting Habitat for Humanity and keeping tons of junk out of landfills. These are all very good things. In addition, you can find some really beautiful pieces from old houses: doors, railings, windows. Tons of tile usually. Always paint for super cheap. Countertops. It's amazing.

I totally sound like an add. This bit will top it off... "to find a Habitat Restore Store near you, click here".

Hey Bethany, they even have them in Ottawa!
Juli, you guys have two!


This is why...

...I like this season's finalists of American Idol... because this years peeps are not pop singers. They've got style. They're not generic. They're not boring. I would actually purchase their CD. They are not pop singers and I am thrilled about that. They've got real talent. It makes me wonder what they're going to do about the last song that the winner sings because it is not the genre that any of them do well. They're beyond that. I'm so glad to see this at the end of this competition. This is what has actually made me watch it this year... these three finalists have had my attention. Unfortunately Elliot's going to go home. But I will buy his CD, and Taylor's and Katharines... if they get companies that don't try to make them pop singers. That would suck. They're better than that.


Birthday's this week in my world.

May 8 - Brennan Brave Hampton - my dearest friend Cyndi's boy. He is now 1 year old.
May 9 - Jessica Lee Bowman - my dearest friend from Rochester, she is 27.
May 10 - Brennan's mom, my dearest friend Cynthia Lisabeth Hampton, she is 24.
May 11 - Maxwell Anderson - my dearest friend Darci's little boy. He will be five and he would like a hat that has tubes for which to drink your drink from and a place to put your chocolate milk attached to the sides.
May 11 - Jennifer Lane Swift's birthday. I will be 30 y'all!

I have a lot of dearest friends and man, what a busy week.


Things said

I was hanging out with a group of peeps tonight and got talking about "things said to students". One chica taught Spanish for a season and had a girl in her class that was "ditzy" and she said/did something mindless one day in class and my friend (after this being the most recent offense in a long line of "ditzy" episodes) responsed, in an ungaurded moment, "You make me want to douse myself with gasoline and set myself on fire." - she later apologized. This was a freshman I believe.

I had a student - a kindergarten student - my first year of teaching, who was working on his handwriting. I was circling the room overseeing this task. I came to this young child (I was in, not only, my first year, but my first few weeks of a job I walked into mid-year and had never been trained for - yes, kindergarten. really. I was the teacher) and I offered some suggestions as to how to make this activity perhaps go a bit smoother for him. I offered these suggestions because, I said, "this looks like crap" - and gasp as the words left my mouth. I tried to move on quickly, hoping to more get to the point rather than focus on the problem. It was a bad moment.

I didn't get a phone call. Nor did my friend who wanted to set herself on fire.

Perhaps i should practice kinder words.


Doin what I can to keep it all together

I'm so all over that.

I was at the bank today. I needed it to be a quick trip, so obviously that's not how it was going to go.

It was really busy in the drive-though lanes. I waited back in the single feeder lane to see which one opened up first. I thought I was good when I moved ahead. This should've been an omen. I chose the worst lane. Remember the scene in "Office Space" where Peter's on the way to work and the lane he squeezes into stops. The lane next to him starts moving. He switches lanes and the reverse happens. I chose the worst lane. I watch the two cars that were behind me get through their respective lanes in no time. Again, this should've been an omen.

I finally get to my space age high efficiency vacuum tube that will take my money to the nice people behind the bullet-proof glass. I take the cartridge out. I put my mullah in. I try to set the carrier back into the tube... it flies out of my hand (as many things do) and lands in the next lane over and rolls under the mini-van next to me. I'm in shock. This doesn't happen... well, clearly it does, it did, but it shouldn't.

Of course I can't get out of my car because I have done such a fine job of getting right up close to my vacuum tube that I am trapped. I must move up. At that moment the "I hope no one saw that" idea changes to "crap, I hope the person behind me saw that or else when I move up they will too and then I have to wait in line again.. and I've lost my money." Seems they did. I moved, they didn't.

I get out of my car and after some random hand motions that probably looked as thought I were attempting to land a plane, the nice lady in the mini-van one lane over backs up just enough for me to see my yellow cartridge that is holding my money hostage. Well, I've interrupted her transaction, she can't back up any more and yet, I can't quite get to my cartridge. I had to get down on the ground and I felt like I was playing Twister. "Right hand, oil spot. Left foot, grime pile" But I got the container.

I rush back to my vacuum, throw the cartridge in, hit "send carrier", get in my car, back up, breathe. This was ridiculous. I can't believe I did this.

This is the story people were telling around the dinner table tonight.