Monthly Archives: January 2009

For the Boys

I am fortunate to have many wonderful men in my life — not only in “realtime” (the Thriller, my beautiful sons, Jakey, and various great friends), but also here in Finkville. You know how it’s standard fare for a man to say, “I just love beautiful women”? Well, I just love smart men. And I am surrounded by them, both in Ohio and online. That makes me happy. Therefore, today is a toast-post, in honor of the boys who comment at RtB.

So what is my toast to you? A gift!

No, no, Poppet…it’s not a 72-inch TV or power tools or a new PlayStation or Wii or a year’s subscription to watch the wrestle guys on pay-per-view. Rather, I’ve matched each of you to a design for your fall wardrobe — straight out of the recently-concluded Paris Fashion Week. WOW!

Aw. No need to thank me. :-)

OK, wait for it…

Wait for it…

Wait for it…


Son Lars could definitely rock this outfit. 'Specially the kilt.

Ross - you could peek your head around the door and say you were just leaving for work.

This is Adam. Adam hates you.

RD finds his inner nutjob.

Michael - would the other guys in the band think you were exceptionally weird? Nah. *All* drummers are weird.

Stein - next band concert. Triple-dog dare ya.

Kody - Ms. Stoneham is spraying coffee all over her monitor at this moment.

That's right, TRO. Tan they hides. Make 'em pay.

This is totally Charles. Thing is...he would wear it. Seriously.

Meppy/Franklin - forget the delicious puffiness; you know you want the headgear.

Sam! No need to shop for a prom tux, pal. Fink's got you covered.

This. Is. Greg.

Boom-Boom loves to ski.

And so it goes in the world of the fashion-savvy. There you are, my boys. Go forth and shop.

Seriously, though…a commenter on one of the sites said it best, telling this year’s designers to “PUT DOWN THE CRACK PIPE.”


Happy Saturday.


PS – Coming soon: a tribute to the Finkville Femmes. :-)

Photo credits: Reuters, LA Times

Courage II

I am forever awed by stories of selfless bravery fueled by the love of one’s country, and incredible tales of survival in the face of impossible odds or the direst situations. That kind of courage/will/patriotism is somewhat rare nowadays, agreed? I like to write about those people. (If you’re curious and have the time, here’s Courage I.)

Do you know of anyone who would have entered Auschwitz – the largest and most inhumane of all the large and inhumane death camps of World War II – voluntarily? As I found out last night, there was just such a man.

Witold Pilecki, an officer in the Polish army, willingly infiltrated Auschwitz, posing as a prisoner, in order to gather intelligence on the Nazis and to organize an uprising to free everyone from the camp. The SS had other plans, unfortunately.

His story is incredible — and sad. The tale can be read in many different places on the web, but a good composite location for the salient points is at a blog belonging to this Polish Canadian, who provides information gained from his own research of anecdotes and archived documents.

Auschwitz was bad enough for Pilecki, but he met his end, in a cruel twist of fate, at the hands of the Communists of his own country, who accused him of conspiracy. Quoting from the blog:

Witold Pilecki escaped from Auschwitz on the Easter Monday 1943, he also survived the Warsaw Uprising an[d] the German POW camp in Germany.

He returned to Poland after the war and started organizing resistance
against the communists. When he learnt that the Allies would not help to liberate Poland from the Soviets he started demobilizing the military underground organization.

It was then, that the communists arrested him.

He was interrogated and tortured for many months. His finger nails were pulled out and his collarbones broken and he could hardly walk. He never “talked.”

After his process, which was a simple farce, he was sentenced to death by a firing squad. There was no firing squad though. The executioners dragged him [to] the basement of the Security Headquarters building, into the boiler room. He was gagged and could not walk.

They shot him with a single slug into the back of his head. He was buried somewhere on the rubbish tip (landfill) next to the Powazki Cemetery. His body was never found.

I wonder why this guy isn’t ranked up there with Oskar Schindler, and people like these, who daily risked their own lives to save others — or for that matter, anyone who ever served in the military, and either stayed the course and lived to tell the tale, or died trying. When you read about guys who deserted the US Army and are now livin’ it up in Germany, it really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

Fink, enjoying the quiet, the coffee, and the 2-hour delay

Hollywood Hag II

Yep, I’m haggin’ it again. It was time.

jsI am disgusted by some of the comments on various blog sites regarding Jessica Simpson’s recent weight gain. Words like “obese” and “pig” were slung about.

You know what? Shut up.

Like her new look or not, Jessica Simpson is far from “obese.” Calling her that is ridiculous and stupid. What is she, a size 8 now? Ten, maybe? What on earth is wrong with that? Are we so sick in this country with regard to female physical identity that now size 8 is “plus size?” I know…don’t answer that.

But here’s where Jessica falls off the wagon. (Either she fell off, or her wardrobe consultant did. Regardless, somebody needs to be slapped.) I refer to a longstanding observation of mine — yes, I’m quoting myself here:

Too many girls think that wearing shirts and jeans that are two sizes too small will actually make them look two sizes smaller.

So what’s wrong with the picture of Jessica? Simply: she is not fat, but what she’s wearing makes her look much heavier than she is. What’s up with the skin-tight tank top tucked into the painted-on jeans with a big belt to draw everyone’s attention to her problem area? Add to it the bare arms which should be covered, and hunny, you’re a mess, and you’re askin’ for it from the idiots of the world, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’m not talking about wearing a muumuu, here. I mean, honestly. There are cute, smart ensembles that heavier girls can wear to complement their figures wonderfully. When I weighed 50 more pounds than I do right now, I did it. Worked in a band that played every weekend, and I always had nice, trendy evening wear *without* looking like I’d been run through a sausage casing machine to get into it.

I’m just saying that a skewed concept of physical beauty doesn’t only come from onlookers; it can come from a janked self-image as well. In other words, if you’re looking to exploit your … um … amplitude of curves, then rock on. That’s one thing. However, if you’re wearing skimpy, tight clothes because you think they’ll make you look thinner…ain’t happenin’.

At any rate, lay off Jessica. She doesn’t necessarily need to get back down to a size zero; she just needs a lesson in fashion subterfuge.

All right, “Hairy” Connick. I never noticed that he wore a hairpiece. I’m pretty sure that’s what it is. (And I know about hairpieces. Don’t ask me how I know; I just do.) Couple of giveaway hints:

Perfect ringlets with highlighting; the poofy thing at the part.

Maybe I’m mental and it’s all real. And maybe not. But again…if he wants to cover up his receding hair line, you know what I (and John Lennon) say. Whatever gets you through the night…

Hearing some awful bad things about Harry’s new movie, however. Of course, that could mean that I would really like it. And oh, my…what a smooth voice he have. Love to hear that boy sing.


Photo credits: Bad Hair Day Blog at; Associated Press, Chris Gordon/WireImage

Fun gig

Ridiculous driving conditions on the way home couldn’t ruin it (hugs to #1 Son for trading cars with us because we wouldn’t have made it home otherwise). Nor can the fact that schools are closed today — which means I’ll likely cancel yet another rehearsal because I won’t be able to get the Ranger out of my driveway — ruin it. Nope, it was fun.

For those of you who may not know, my vocal jazz ensemble sang the national anthem at the Cleveland Cavs game last night. Now, if you’re a teacher, you know that scheduling “field trips” can be a complete and utter nightmare. You’re worried about accidents, behavior problems, venue issues, missing paperwork…it can all combine to make you pretty miserable.

Not so with these people. They’re the Anti-Stress Bunch (well, with a couple of exceptions now and then). I always feel relaxed and confident with them. No worries about what they’ll say or do, or if they might behave in a way that would embarrass the district, or me, or themselves.

I also know that not one of them would ever consider, oh, skipping school, text-messaging from inside a jacket pocket, driving like a maniac, or thinking that the teacher is utterly clueless…heh. Gotta love it.

Still, to go to an arena with 20,000+ other people, and stand on the event floor having a conversation while 14 teenagers mill around freely — and not worry for one minute what anyone’s up to — is a blessing indeed.

All right, enough drippy sugar already. Story time.

So the Thriller and I get to Cleveland, right? We’re not any too early. I told the kids and their parents that we’d meet up at 5:30, and it was 5:25 when we got in line to pull into the parking garage. Before we left home, I said, “Did you get cash for parking?” He said, “Well, I have a ten in my billfold.” I said, “Cool – I have a five that I stuck in my blouse pocket; let’s go.” I figured anything extra we wanted to eat or buy could be bought with the debit card, so off we went.

We drive up to turn into the parking garage, where it’s fifteen bucks to get in, and T gets out his $10 bill. I reach in my pocket…nothing. Gone. The $5 bill I did have was sitting on my dresser, where I’d put it when I changed my sweater. And, of course, the garages only accept cash. It’s now 5:31 and I’m sitting in the Beast, having a meltdown.

So we drive. We find an outdoor parking lot — one of those small ones where they cram as many cars in as they can, and charge you $15 for the pleasure. I pull in and ask the guy, “Could you please let me wait here while my husband finds an ATM so we can pay you?” Fortunately, he says “sure,” and points us towards a downtown bank. T gets out and beats feet to the ATM and comes back to pay the guy his $15, and the man says, “Oh, yeah. An SUV is $20.” An SUV is $20. In a self-parking lot with spaces all the same size. Explain this to me. (Actually, don’t bother. I get it.) Whatever. We’re off and (literally) running.

After a minor issue with our tickets at will-call (they couldn’t find mine, but they were right there all along), and making sure the Thriller could locate the smoking porch, we were all set. Met the kids and our super-nice Cavs reps, went down to the event level, and all was good.

Little inconveniences aside, it was indeed a great gig, and they sang beautifully.

Now, off to get more coffee and start reading my next quantitative article. Real life is a gas.

Fink out.

Well this is just great.

And tonight, of course, 14 of my students are scheduled to perform the national anthem at the Cavaliers game. The Thriller and I have to leave town tonight around 4 p.m. to meet everyone at the Q to check in and warm up before we go on at 7.

We should be OK, though. As much as I love the Mighty Ford Ranger, it is murder in the snow — pretty much like you’re driving a feather. So, thanks to #1 Son, we’re trading cars and driving his beast with 4-wheel drive and a lot more weight to it. Should get us through just fine.

Unless, of course, there’s ice. But hey, life’s an adventure, right?

I have threatened my singers within an inch of their lives: Do NOT arrive late to school on Wednesday. They will likely get home after midnight tonight from the game, and they have explicit instructions to suck it up and get to school on time tomorrow. But…with 4-6 inches of snow on the way, it might not matter. (I can hear the wanton rejoicing from here.)