Saturday, November 5, 2011

ромкие звуки заставляют меня чувствовать себя прекрасным

The ONE morning Luke runs out of time to put his Right Guard on and spray himself with Axe Excite, his math teacher rants the above, verbatim, which Luke decided to artistically interpret during class. Math is right after recess, and it was a mild day outside, so the kids (obviously) got a little sweated up. I understand the math teacher's dilemma, for a gaggle of stinky pre-teens would likely make me want to wretch myself, but she could've made it a more teachable moment about personal hygiene than just outwardly complaining that the kids reeked like a horse's ass.

The best part? His homeroom/lead teacher watched him draw it during class and told me she just had to chuckle. No, he didn't get in trouble. That's MY boy. Had that been me in 2011, I'd have written a poem about it behind the teacher's back, most likely, then "accidentally" have left it somewhere obvious in the classroom after school. And I would've gotten busted, like I did with Patti in 7th grade when we wrote (sans our names on it, naturally) a "Diagram of a Dick" illustration on some note paper that Mr. Piel found and used to mortally embarrass us.

I think he asked us if we had questions about sex we wanted to discuss with a female teacher or something, which we totally didn't, and we were probably relegated to the punishment of sitting in the hallway and writing sentences like "I will not draw diagrams of male genitalia and use street vernacular to describe it and leave it sitting around the classroom like a fucking dope" 100 times whilst on our knees. If we wanted to learn about sex, we asked Erin's mom, who was a pediatrician and told us no fluffy lies. Either that, or we'd enhance our learning experience by attempting to watch scrambled porn on OnTv late at night. Or we'd ask the one girl in class who, by 6th or 7th grade, had already gotten laid.

(Sexual education at St. Paul when we were kids. Holy crapoly. In 5th grade, they told us that all it took to make a baby was for a Christian husband and wife to love each other very, very much, and they would reproduce, which always made me think that since there were only 2 children in my family, my parents must not have loved one another at all, certainly not in the last 10 or so years since I'd been born.)

Whomever decided to put Patti and I next to one another in class was completely naive. We were best pals. We made an envelope out of notebook paper, taped it together and stuck it in between our desks, filled with nibble-sized pieces of paper on which we could pass notes to one another without talking. During tests, we had to put folders up in between us to discourage one another from cheating and looking at your classmate's paper. Great idea, Dear Educators. The pockets in the folders were incredibly handy in which to hide cheat sheets. The best part of that? We had to take the Illinois State Constitution test in 7th grade. Patti was having trouble with the test. She slipped her test (which was either scan-tron or multiple choice, so handwriting wasn't an issue) to me and I took hers for her, and if memory serves, we both got A's.

At some point in some grade, Mr. Heinze was our social studies teacher. Walking around the room unaware, he missed the fact that I was working on my test with my textbook in my lap. Great move, Annie, right?

(Ok. Maybe I *wasn't* the "smart one" of Patti and I, and she was the cool, stylish one that the boys liked. But I sure as hell as the more pragmatic of the two of us. Academic honesty and integrity weren't my strong suit when I was in grammar school, though I doubt highly that it'll impede my future study towards my doctorate.) And while not the bastion of a good example for Luke, luckily he's a helluva lot smarter than I was as his age, and has no reason to cheat on his work.)

My ma got on my case today about how much I use foul language on Facebook. One of the downsides of having your parents as your Facebook friends, I suppose. I posted a status challenging my friends, asking them what they'd do if I succeeded at not swearing on Facebook for an entire week. One friend commented thus far, citing "It just wouldn't be the same." My cousin Paul left a biting remark earlier in the day that indicated that he thought I was tiresome, vulgar and childish, but hey, that's just how I roll. Foul language is an ingrained part of my typical vernacular. I referred to someone as a "mofo" to my Pastor last night at the Praise Band meeting, and he didn't ex-communicate me from the Lutheran Church. He's one ok guy.

The band meeting last night was productive and emotionally charged. We decided on the future direction of the band, put some thought into fundraising to purchase monitors for us as well as a digital recorder to record ourselves practicing, to get a better feel for how WE play songs as opposed to the professional versions we hear on the CD's we're given on which to learn new songs. One of our vocalists is coming back after a 2 month high-school football season sabbatical, and we all vocalized our desire for there to be more preparation and working on material rather than Mary, our mama bear, having to run after and console a sobbing, hormone-drenched teenage singer when things go awry at every practice. Pastor Dave said that comparatively, our band is tighter and has it more together than a lot of praise bands he's heard, his former church included, which was surprising to hear, given we all feel like we've been operating on fumes the last few months. We were handed commitment agreements to fill out and sign with regard to being involved with the band. I have no problem with that. I've been a dedicated member of the band for almost 6 years now, twice a month, every month. They've been more than flexible during my multiple hospitalizations and illnesses by reverting back to Dr. Rhythm, the awful drum machine that takes my place in my absence.

I tried explaining my approach to learning new songs with the band, that the rest of the band thinks we should have nailed down by the time the actual practice takes place. But I can't do that. I literally listen to the songs dozens of times, get the timing down, though I'm not a technical professional and improvisation, as I've said, isn't my strong suit, so my method of learning a new song is to come up with my parts while my band plays them for the first time. And certainly, I can't replicate what professional drummers play on the CD's we're given featuring the new songs. I can't read music, nor do I have a piece of sheet music in front of me telling me what to play when, like the rest of the musicians do. I write myself notes on the chord sheets I'm given to by the guitarist so that I an at least follow along to the songs. That's about it. The rest I have to make up as I go along. Yes, it takes more practice time, but too bad. The band wanted a live drummer. I volunteered, though I'd never played in front of people before. Had never been in a band before. I never touted myself as being a professional, and it's obvious I'm not, but I can keep time (usually, except when I set a tempo that's way too fast, which is, frankly, my SOP) and I'm getting more expansive with my fills. Anyway, we got all of our ego shit and other shit out in public at our meeting and are a united family once again. Mazel tov!

My cousin Jackie still lie dying in the University of Madison (WI) neurological ICU and it's not looking good. She had another angioplasty on her brain on Friday, and her blood is clotting and bleeding out simultaneously. My ma and her sister, my cousin's mom, had a difficult visit up there Thurs/Fri, and all of Jackie's 5 kids were present. I continue to keep them all in my prayers. The doctors are saying that even IF she recovers, she'll never be the same. That makes me infinitely sad. If her brain doesn't start healing soon, her children will have to make the insanely difficult decision whether or not to let her go. I would ask those of you who pray to keep Jackie and the rest of our family in mind.

TOC and I were talking the other night about the difference between the Catholic church and my Lutheran church. His church, specifically his men's group, seems focused on socially getting together and thinking about fundraisers so they can have more meat-a-thons, rather than on spirituality, The Bible and God's grace and mercy. I hate to start a row with him about the denomination in which he's lived his whole life, but the Catholic church these days seems way for "works based" than "worship based." It's like mass is something you have to attend when you can, as long as you're praying your rosary and saying your Hail Marys, going to confession. Ceremonial praise. The Lutheran church is very different. We're far more Bible-based (it is fundamentalist, as I've previously mentioned) and worship-concentrated than the Catholics are. I respect his choice of religious outlet, but it just seems that God Himself is rather far removed from the epicenter of his church, which is a shame. I gave him a book for his birthday, a year-long devotional book that would literally take him 5 minutes a day to read, 5 minutes surrendered to God each day, and to date, he still hasn't started the book. Talk about irking. Here I am, trying to strengthen his faith walk with God, and he's neglecting what should be an important part of his spiritual life, out of what logic I'm not certain. I'll have to remember to ask him if he has read any of it again on Monday. Giving him that book was me showing him the Agape love I feel for him, when I could've given him 100 different gifts. Ah well.

Enjoy your extra hour of sleep tonight. Have to get up early as Luke's choir is singing in church tomorrow.

"Loud sounds make me feel fine."

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