All and Sundry

September 30, 2008

I was away this past weekend because Saturday was Family Day at Leigh’s school.  There were lots of activities, including the Community Harvest Festival and Snakes Alive.

Here’s a shot of Leigh with a boa constrictor.

And here she is holding an alligator.

In the evening, we enjoyed a magic show, followed by a comedy show that was actually funny.    What a pleasant surprise.

It was nice to get away.  Work has been pretty grueling.  For the past several years, I have been given permission (based on a doctor’s recommendation) to work straight through eight periods, take ninth period as my lunch, and go home.  This arrangement helps me to cope with my pain, and improves the quality of my life.  It really does make a tremendous difference.

I submitted my request (along with the accompanying doctor’s recommendation) for this year on September 5th.   There was no response until yesterday.  The Principal came into my room for a piece of tape, and while she was there, she mentioned that she wasn’t ignoring my request; she was waiting to hear back from the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.  This is something new.  In the past, the building Principal made the decision.  Once when we had an interim Principal, approval was given by the Superintendent.

Regardless of who is making the decision, it shouldn’t take this long to get a response.  I checked the Job Accommodation Network website (in reference to Fibromyalgia and the Americans with Disabilities Act), and found that a flexible schedule is considered a “reasonable accommodation.”   During my online research, I also discovered that failure to respond to a request for accommodations can be considered discrimination, and I could initiate a lawsuit…  How about that?

Song of the Day:  I Smell a Lawsuit by Dolour

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Not Just For Chicks Flicks

September 20, 2008

I saw this movie meme over at LA’s place, and thought I’d do it, too.  Like LA, I don’t do tags.  The other requirement I can’t satisfy is “List when you saw it for the first time.”   Sadly, my memory isn’t what it used to be…

The rules of the road are:

You must post ten, yes, TEN favorite films, and don’t include any that are sequels we’ll just assume you liked those as well.

List when you saw it the first time.

You must post the list in your diary, not my comments and no tag backs.

Don’t include anything older than your birth year. (Everyone has great older movies that they enjoy, and honestly there are a number of fantastic older movies, but every smart person in the world can see those for the brilliance that they are… share something different).

They don’t have to be in any particular order. Some come and go, or become less important over time, so your list can be fluid, #1 doesn’t have to be your most favorite.

Then, you get to tag five people!

For the record, this list of mine is subject to change.  Like my favorite songs, my favorite movies change according to my mood.  Anywhere, here goes.

1. Fiddler on the Roof – I have loved this movie ever since I first saw it at the age of 16 or 17.  My sisters and I used to sing songs from this musical while we washed the dishes after dinner.  In later years, I was very pleased when my daughter, Leigh, became a fan of this movie.  She and I would jump to our feet, raise our arms high, and do the “Tevye stomp” as we sang along to “If I Were a Rich Man.” Good times!

Perchik: Money is the world’s curse.
Tevye: May the Lord smite me with it. And may I never recover.

2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail – I first saw this movie when it came out in 1975, and have since watched it at least 20 times.  My cousin, my sister, Michele, and I went to a drive-in theater to see the film. The occasion was so momentous I commemorated it by snapping a photo of my movie mates standing in front of the marquee.  Now I am tickled pink that my daughters share my adoration for this flick.

King Arthur: I am your king.
Woman: Well I didn’t vote for you.
King Arthur: You don’t vote for kings.
Woman: Well how’d you become king then?
King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.
Dennis: Listen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

3. Rocky Horror Picture Show – I don’t remember when I first saw this movie, but I do remember going to the midnight show week after week for a while there back in the day.  It was so much fun, even though I must admit to being a bit envious of  how good Tim Curry looked in a corset.   It makes me happy that this, too, is a movie my daughters are crazy about.   Be forewarned that it is my intention to someday dress up as Riff Raff.  I already have the wig.

Frankenfurter:  I see you shiver with antici………………………………………….pation.

4. Bye Bye Birdie – I was 9 years old when I first saw this movie, and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since.  Bobby Rydell (as Hugo Peabody) was my very first celebrity crush.  It was a great source of delight in later years when my daughters fell in love with the movie (and Bobby Rydell).  I can still picture them singing  “You Gotta Be Sincere” and pretending to swoon with the ladies of Sweet Apple, Ohio.

Hugo Peabody: This town is awfully square for a cat like me.

5. To Kill a Mockingbird – I don’t know when I first saw this movie (I was 8 years old when it was released), but I do know that I love it as much as I love the book, which is a whole lot.  Atticus Finch and Boo Radley are two of my favorite characters ever.

Atticus Finch:  “They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions,” said Atticus, “but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself.  The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

6. My Dinner With Andre – This movie is based on actual conversations between Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn as they dine in a restaurant in NYC.  At first, I wondered how I could stand to sit and watch two men do nothing more than talk (and eat) for 110 minutes.  I was afraid I’d be bored to tears.  Instead, I was enthralled.

Andre: Remember that moment when Marlon Brando sent the Indian woman to accept the Oscar, and everything went haywire? Things just very rarely go haywire now. If you’re just operating by habit, then you’re not really living.

7. The Godfather – I have a particular fascination for mobster movies – A Bronx Tale,  Goodfellas, Casino, etc.  Perhaps my Italian heritage has something to do with that… The Godfather is the cream of that crop.

Peter Clemenza: Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

8. The Way We Were – This movie breaks my heart every time I watch it.  And Robert Redford sure was easy to look at.

Hubbell Gardner: People are more important than their principles.
Katie Morosky Gardner: People ARE their principles.

9. Once – This Irish film about struggling musicians enchanted me, and I was so bewitched by the music, I had to buy the soundtrack.

Girl: How come you don’t play during daytime? I see you here everyday.
Guy: During the daytime people would want to hear songs that they know, just songs that they recognize. I play these song at night or I wouldn’t make any money. People wouldn’t listen.
Girl: I listen.

10. Shirley Valentine – I adore this movie about a middle aged housewife who talks to the wall.

Shirley Valentine: Hiya Wall.
[to the camera]
Shirley Valentine: Well what’s wrong with that? There’s a woman three doors down talks to her microwave. Talking to a microwave! Wall, what’s the world coming to ?

In other news, yesterday was “Dress up as a literary character” day.  Some of you will remember that I dressed up as Harry Potter’s Hagrid last year.   This year, in honor of The Big Read and The Great Gatsby, I wore a flapper costume.  (There were no prizes this year, darn it.)

Thank goodness that’s over with.

I’d also like to mention that my foot is still causing me pain.  I saw a podiatrist on Thursday, and he said it would have been better if the toe was broken.  Soft tissue damage takes a lot longer to heal.  I am so looking forward to being able to wear a shoe on that foot again.

By the way, I’m not the person who is faced with an inequitable situation on the job.  I am a salaried employee, and get paid according to the terms of my contract.  Still, I am grateful for your input.  Thanks for all the terrific responses.

Song of the Day:  That’s Why God Made the Movies by Paul Simon

What Would You Do

September 9, 2008

The scenario:  You are the senior employee in an office (and, in fact, manage that office).  You discover that a more recently hired secretary with fewer responsibilities (not to mention far less initiative and ability) is being paid three dollars an hour more than you.

The question:  Would you approach your employer with this information?

Song of the Day:  It’s Not Fair by Kate Havnevik

Living Vicariously

September 1, 2008

According to Gloria Steinem, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”  Unfortunately, it is too late (for me, anyway) to have the experience of living in a college dorm.  I’ll just have to hope that my daughter will make the best of this adventure.  Good luck, Leigh!

Although I won’t be living in a dorm, I will be going back to school tomorrow.   Author, educator and activist, Jonathan Kozol, best known for his books on education in the United States, such as Savage Inequalities, is the scheduled speaker.  That should be interesting.

I’m really not looking forward to going back to work at all.  I still can’t get a shoe on my sprained foot, and my chest wall is very tender.  I experience sharp pain with every step and breath I take.

There has to be a better way – not just to make a living, but to live life.

Song of the Day:  Vicarious by Tool