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Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Coming To America" Meets "I Love Lucy"

Sometimes when different cultures meet there is clash.
Sometimes when different cultures meet there is a spark.
Sometimes when different cultures meet there is a new family created.

Last night I became the Godmother of a beautiful little boy who came into this world to two of the sweetest people I know.
Their love story is one made of Hollywood  movies.
Last Sunday, sitting in the hospital room it was very apparent how much these two people loved each other. I have never seen love "so loud" without a word being said.

Last night, I got to be a part of their family and their traditons at their new son's naming ceremony.
The naming ceremony is a Nigerian tradition where no one but the parents know their child's name until the day of the ceremony. The parents pray on the decision of what to name their child and it's meaning. Tradition was abundant last night and even a little familiar.

With prayers being said in English and Nigerian, songs were sung that we all know like "Amazing Grace". 
Amens flooded the hearts and mouths of all of us.
The clothing worn by family and friends were carefully thought out and detailed with colors and stitching. 
It was a beautiful ceremony with family and friends, even the grandparents who came to town had friends, from their own childhood, visiting.
It was one of the most joyous occasions I have ever witnessed. 

However, the evening was not without a "LiLu Moment".
You see when I get nervous I try to crack jokes to cover up my nervous laugh. It's not that I was nervous, but while sitting in my chair trying to figure out what I was eating at one point, which was delicious, it was suddenly obvious (to me) that I was sitting next to the maternal grandfather, a very stoic, straight posture man with broken English.

Now I can not explain what made me do it, but I started cracking jokes to him.
...Not a smile...
...Not a wink...
...Not even a turn of the head...
Grandfather sat staring straight ahead eating with out even looking at his plate.

I suddenly felt like Lucy without an Ethel.
I shrugged my shoulders, stood up, and went for some more fish at the buffet.
I don't know this for a fact, but I am pretty sure he gave my seat away immediately.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's My Soap Box and I'll Whine If I Want To.

Who benefits from standardized testing is our theme today, players. (audience oooohhs and aaaaahhs)

Alex, I'll take "Stupid States" for $500

           Answer: Texas
Question: Which state's level of education is near bottom in the U.S.?

Alex Trebek host of case you don't know.

Alex, I'll take "Seriously, We Can Do Better" for $800

Answer: Texas should hire educators and administrators who are truly qualified to put kids first            and know what they are teaching as well as create effective programs that have meaningful learning to          all economical statuses and families.

Question: If Texas cuts standardized testing, what could they possibly due with the $160 million dollars they currently pay Pearson Inc?

I think he played a "handy man" in a seedy 70's movie...or it's just the same hair and 'stache.

Alex, I'll take "What A Waste" for $250

Answer: Pearson Inc is the company the state of Texas pays $160 million dollars to for a five year contract who are responsible for creating test, creating publications (which they get more money from these sales to the public), creating remedial programs for those kids bound to fail.  Some politicians use the money for campaign purposes if they make a side deal with such companies.

Question: Who gets all the money?

This Alex Trebek is better than the real Alex Trebek.

Alex, I'll take "The Obvious" for $1,000

Answer: End of the year exams created by a committee of educators by each district that meet requirements for the curriculum taught. Learning will actually become meaningful and students will know they have to keep working until the end of the year.

Question: How will students be held accountable for learning if standardized testing is gone?

Alex, I'll take "I Dare You To Be A Teacher" for Priceless

Answer: Teachers are held accountable for every minute of every day from maintaining class attendance, to continuously reviewing manners and social skills, to lesson planning and improving their own education every school year with professional development.

Question: How will teachers be held accountable for teaching standardized testing is gone?

Okay. Okay. I'm finished with my soap box.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's A Plane. It's A Bird. It's AVID Man?

Super Heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Today's super hero came in the form of a boy.

He is just 14 years old but he is some one's hero.

"You might just have saved her life." said one counselor.

He chose not to be a bystander.

He chose to help a damsel in distress.

So all you high school boys who think you can throw girls around and beat them up in your school parking lot.


There are super heroes lurking around...

You can call him...AVID Man!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bippity Boppity GaGa?

Cinderella had a godmother.
She turned out pretty good.

I have a godmother.
She always told me to act like a lady.
And you know... I never heard her curse until after she had her 5 kids.
Who knew a gentle soul with an Arkansas accent could drop F bombs?!?

Last week, a friend of mine asked me to be the godmother of his soon to arrive son.
I can't explain how honored I was by this.
I was telling people as if I were the parent.
You see we have different backgrounds, but his wife and him see something in me for the role and for that I am very grateful.
Hmmm... I wonder what the new bambino will call me???

Ellen DeGeneres said, "I'm a godmother, that's a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me God for short, that's cute, I taught her that.” luck I will be called GaGa rather than God.

Easy peezy...I can rock that name too.

Monday, April 16, 2012


The very first birthday I remember celebrating was at Peppermint Park in Houston.
Goofy thrill-less rides that screamed the 1970's.

I'm pretty sure my mother sewed this same pantsuit for me.

Then there was my 7th birthday, and I had the most beautiful Cinderella cake with delicious purple icing.
We will skip over the beating I got that night...thank you, father of the year (sarcasm).
Cinderella Carriage Birthday Cake

Then there was my 13th birthday when my mother took me and a friend to Galveston and we were determined to lay out.  Ignoring the water spout over the water, we coated up with Coppertone and laid on our towels...within 5 minutes we literally looked like glazed cinnamon sugar covered donuts courtesy of water spouts, wild winds, sand, and Coppertone.coppertone girl

Then there was my 16th birthday, where I received my first dozen of roses...again thank you, Mommie Dearest and a cake in the shape of a foot accompanied with brown coconut for toe hairs, thanks to the BFF.
P.S. (I hate feet).
I couldn't bare to put a foot cake photo up here.

Then there was my 30th  birthday, where I danced on a table at Joe's Crab Shack, followed by a night of dancing at Polyesters where I met the Canadian Snow Angels, their version of our Blue Angels and a beautiful guy who looked like George Clooney when he smiled, and who I ended up dating for the Summer. I broke up with him in a Shakespeare poem.
HEY! Don't judge me, it was my first year as an English teacher.
Pilots and Shakespeare Geeks Rule!

Then along came the 40th birthday, I spent it laying next to my grandmother in her hospital bed while she talked about random things, not really sure if she knew it was my birthday, but in my heart I knew it would be the last one I would get to spend with her.
I soaked it up and still cherish every minute of that night with her.

Then today I turned 43. I have survived the past 11 months with severe depression after a breakup with sociopath, lost my home involving a flood during a drought, attempted to get pregnant for almost a year and still not a parent (yet), gained almost 50 lbs, returned to apartment life, and am now looking to change careers.

And you know what? I think this is one of the best birthdays ever.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thank you, Buca di Beppo For Your Decor!

So what's so great about being an Italian woman? Well for one...we wear our fruit well.

What's so great about being an Italian man? They see pickles as if they were zucchini.

What's so great about being a religious italian? You may be mean as hell, but you are cute when you are old.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Part Duh... I Mean Deux Of Course

I know the suspense is too much to wait to see the other half of my "wanna post on Facebook" opinions.

1. When your employees are unhappy change things...if you can pull yourself from your computer of course and you know any of their names.
2. My dog is just down right hysterical. No really. We have great laughing moments together...I'm sure of it.
3. Oh that Adam Levine...he is such a hot lil' rascal.
4. I have a brand new opinion and level of admiration for Lady GaGa.
5. Oh My Dog! I am freaking out about the ex-husband on 'Mob Wives' that turned to the
Feds, and I have no one I can admit this to.
6. Migraine headaches suck!
7. I do believe you can possibly go insane from boredom...(i.e. watching students take a test)
8. I am so freaking nice...I can't believe I have to remind people of this.
9. Oh stop kidding yourself, eat the whole pizza.
10. Call me crazy, but I think jalapenos help get rid of headaches.
11. "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh**." - High School Counselor
12. Insecure men make for a very poor leader/boss/father.
13. Sometimes you just have to be honest, stand strong, and be prepared to take the punches that come after it.
14. Is it me or does anyone else think the transgender Miss Universe contestant looks A LOT like Donald Trump's daughter?!? (insert raised eyebrow)
15. I think young mothers who are raising their children without their own mother being alive are a strong and unique breed of women.
16. I miss my "Mommie Dearest".
17. Sometimes you have to give up what you love to go after what you want to love.
18. I prefer a Facebook Free life.
19. Beach, family, and laughter...there is a savior.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Today's Menu: Not Chicken Salad

Recently, a high school counselor told me, "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh**." I believe this is my new mantra for life. Not only do I love this line it would have been one my own grandmother would probably want on a t-shirt.

No need to stress about a relationship, just look at the scenario and say, "Well, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh**." 

Instead of trying to figure out how to get people to think like you or persuade them to do as you want, look at them, smile, and think to your self, "Well, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh**."

Rather than walking around paranoid about your future when you work in an unstable environment, shrug your shoulders, and say "Well, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh**."