Ones and twos

Alan Wake

I really wanted to post a blog on 12-12-12. I think the day would be quite nifty to commemorate with a scribble or two. It just didn’t work out.

At 12:12 on 12-12-12 I found myself in a Mexican restaurant with 18 crazed teenagers. But I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be. I love working with my students, and this mini field trip was a way to thank them for doing such a good job this semester, producing three issues despite the predictable unpredictable obstacles that always come our way.

There’s a feeling in the air that something ominous will occur 12-21-12. I’m not saying it will. I’m just saying that the feeling, like an aura, hovers about our people. That’s why I wanted 12-12-12 to be special. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could make a wish on such a special day and that wish were to come true?

There is no need to worry about 12-21-12 because whatever happens will be according to God’s plan. And wishes aren’t magical. They don’t always come true, except maybe for writers who can make anything happen in their books.

My wish, of course, has been for the last few years to be published. Oh, the ironies of life.

Last week I received an email that said I had a publicist who would set up book signings for my tiny little Christmas story in a Chicken Soup book. On the same day I received a rejection letter from the New York agent I met in Dallas.

Regardless of whether I am published, I am a writer. I can thank God for giving me that gift. I don’t doubt my abilities, even if I haven’t signed a contract yet. I do doubt whether I’m deserving. That’s up to God. Deserving may not have anything to do with publication. Purpose is what matters. Does my writing serve God’s purpose?

All I can do is keep plugging along.

The winter solstice is coming, the darkest day of the year—12-21-12.

We don’t know when the final day will come; nor are we supposed to know. It doesn’t matter.

We have our bucket lists, things we’d like to do before our final day here. But we probably won’t be able to do everything. Life lets us down. People let us down.

I like to write. I like to play music, but those things really don’t matter. God made me who I am. My one desire when it comes to goals is that I don’t lose the one gift God gave me that really matters. I do a pretty good job of loving people.

I guess that’s why I teach, although I don’t always like the profession of teaching in a public school.

When I care, I give my whole heart.

But people, the world, don’t always take what you offer. So it is with professions like teaching, nursing, counseling, etc. People and circumstances tear at our capacity to offer love.

I hope that I can keep my heart intact and not be overcome with bitterness and anger that shadow hurt and disappointment. I’ve always been a little childish, or childlike, one of the two. I like that about me. I love like a child, people and life. Most of the time I look in the mirror, and I see something I really don’t like, my body, my hair, my teeth, etc. But I’ve always liked my heart.

I’m not making an early New Year’s resolution. I’m making an “on the way to the end” resolution. Time is running out. Even if the sun rises again on 12-22-12, time is running out, if not for me, for someone else.

So my “on the way to the end” resolution, is to do the best job of expressing love that I can, through teaching, writing, playing guitar, or just living.

It’s all about purpose.

Ode to my fairy godmother, by proxy

Have you ever contemplated jail time?

I mean just how bad does the offense have to be before they send you to the Big House?

I’m not planning anything a jewelry heist or embezzlement. I’m not even sure my dirty deed is criminal. But my motto has always been if the opportunity presents itself, then, by George, don’t sit there, man. Do something about it!

I want to meet Steven Tyler, and my opportunities are limited. I think my only option is to rush the concert stage when Aerosmith plays Atlanta.

Surely, I would get off with a plea of temporary insanity. Sane middle-aged school teachers don’t normally risk a record for a photo op with a singing sensation. But then again I’m not normal, and this is no ordinary singing sensation. We’re talking Steven Tyler.

Now let’s get this straight. I am not obsessed with Steven Tyler. I don’t hide the fact that I really, really like his hair and its charms, braids, and feathers. But I do not in any way, shape, or form endorse his beliefs or code of morality, whatever it may be. I do like his bluesy voice. I like his voice a lot. Almost as much as I like his hair.

Steven Tyler is an icon to me, not an idol. I do not worship him. I do admire his talent. I do not want to stalk him. I simply want to mark off one more “to do” on my bucket list. And that, my friend, is meeting him and getting a photo to document the occasion.

I know that it’s standard procedure for authorities to take said mug shot at the station when they haul in the perpetrator, but I was hoping, should I be arrested for rushing the stage, that said authorities might be kind enough to snap my mug shot WITH Steven Tyler before I’m taken to the precinct. Mission accomplished. That’s the plan. Bail can’t be that much. Can it?

I embarrass my children talking like this. Yet, they are just as quirky as I am. Both of them. They’ll understand someday when their opportunities for adventure grow limited, when they have to either deal with their own quirkiticity or lose any creativity they ever had.

I guess it’s a good thing I’m a teacher. I never really have to grow up. Except for a short departure to the Boro, I’ve never really graduated from Central High.

I’ve accepted the fact that my destiny is to be one of “them,” the crazy teachers the students all whisper about between classes. I hear them talking.

 “Did you hear about Mrs. L? Yeah, she’s on that Tyler kick again.”

“Aw, man. I was just getting into our discussion of the futility of the American dream in Death of a Salesman. Now all we’re going to talk about is American Idol. Again.”

But the good thing about being a teacher is that I work with adolescents who have not yet embraced the mature adult state of mind that prohibits quirkiticity and embraces stoic etiquette.

I just found out Steven Tyler is hosting a Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp in LA. The thought of spending any time in a Playboy mansion disgusts me. But here we have one more very real opportunity to get a shot with the man.

And that is ALL I want. I do not lust after Steven Tyler. I do not desire his fame, his fortune. Well, maybe I DO covet his hair…and his clothing. My son Michael says we can go shopping together. He’s right.

My family members have been calling the radio station trying to help me win the contest that will send me to said fantasy camp. I’m sure they relish the idea of me just getting this notion out of my system so that I can go on to the next item on my list. Or they just want to get rid of me.

Fantasy camp is probably a no go. Oh, I clicked on the web site and filled out the online application—except the part where I had to enter my credit card number. The digits came close to $9000. I did not click enter.

So maybe the camp’s out of reach, but the concert is in the bag. Literally. I have my ticket in my school satchel. Notice I said ticket. My family won’t even go with me for fear I’ll embarrass them all, ruin their reputations. Get caught on camera by CNN.

I just don’t get it. I would never do anything lewd or immoral. I just want a picture. Is that too much to ask?

Well, and maybe one of his scarves. A scarf would be nice.

This is MY bucket list. And again, I do not endorse Steven Tyler’s beliefs, his morals, his lyrics.. My pursuit is just a manifestation of my quirkiticity. And I think he does a great job of helping the American Idol kids pursue their dreams.

I don’t want to go to jail. But a girl has to do what a girl has to do. My major concern is that this blog is evidence of premeditation.

But doesn’t premeditation just apply to murder and really bad crimes? I’m really not committing any crime. Not really.

I’m not even stalking the man. I just want a picture. (And maybe a scarf.) Is that too much to ask? I’m an aged, soft-spoken little woman. Do I look like a criminal? Surely, someone will take pity upon me.

I believe in the six degrees of separation.

Perhaps one of you bloggers out there knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows Steven Tyler. How hard would it be for one of Steven’s people to send a simple meet and greet pass to a simple school teacher who has given the majority of her life to help build America’s future?

I know how the music industry works. It’s all about who you know. And right now I don’t know Jack Squat.

If only I had a fairy godmother to grant me a wish. But, hey, I believe in serendipity. Perhaps the right person has stumbled onto this blog by accident. Maybe you could make a few calls, and bring a short little woman in a Tennessee hick town great happiness by sending her a meet and greet pass for a little concert in Atlanta,

I’ll let you know how it works out. Otherwise, look for me on CNN.

Half over or half yet begun?

So exactly half the year is over. What ten things do you want to do before the calendar reads 2012? (Thanks, Plinky.com, for the prompt idea.)

Honestly, to start out, I’d just like to know where I’m going so I can try to get there. I’m an extremely driven person. I’m sitting in a parking garage right now with no place to go. I don’t like that. I want a destination and a road map.

But on a lighter note, here’s my list of The Top Ten Things I Want to Do Before 2011 is over–sans writing. I’ll leave that up to what God says. We’re still talking.

1. Read for pleasure. I want to read ten books before school starts. I never get to read when school is in session.

2. Put lights up on my patio. If I could bring a beach to my backyard, I’d add that too. Nothing says relaxation better than lights reflecting off the water with music playing in the background. Ahhhh.

3. Find a nice rich person to invest in my dream of opening a music venue on the square in Manchester. We already have a nice coffee shop and some restaurants. Now all we need is song. Hey, it’s a long shot, but I can dream. Can’t I?

4. Trade automobiles. Fat chance. But if I’m dreaming, I’ll take a Dodge Challenger, black with pin stripes. Wait a minute—I’m dreaming. Make it a 69 Camaro SS black with pin stripes. That’s better.

5. Go on an adventure with my camera. I think I’d like to shoot in black and white, preferably in Memphis, maybe in New Orleans.

6. Paint on canvas. (If only I could paint like Debra Hurd!)

7. Find the place where we’re supposed to serve.

8. Go to Memphis and eat ribs at the Rendevous.

9. Eat ribs at The Shed Barbeque and Blues Joint.

10. Write 20 songs. (Already in progress, ty teach.)

And because it’s my Plinky 11, I’ll add one more:

11. Perform at least one of them. Yeah, right.

What do YOU want to do with your last half of 2011?