Monthly Archives: August 2009

One Adam-12, see the woman…

Here we go, fiends. I’m runnin’ like a fink on fire. The Great Race begins today and ends (temporarily) on 16 December. That’s the next time I will breathe.

Mark me, though. Weekends are reserved for family and fun stuff with friends. OK, most weekends will be reserved for those things. But the schedule doesn’t look bad for September. October, however — well….

RNF for today: While making tea this morning, I found myself quietly singing the chorus to Beyoncé’s “Put a Ring On It,” which was played at the wedding on Saturday during the bride’s bouquet toss. I remember thinking that night, and again this morning: that tradition is probably ready for the wrecking ball. I mean, can you remember a wedding reception in the last 20 or so years where the “single ladies” made a mad dash for the dance floor in order to catch those flowers so they’ll be “next,” or where the DJ or bridesmaids weren’t out in the crowd, bodily dragging girls out of their chairs?

I played sporadically with a band years ago in a neighboring city. The leader, a loud-talking, bigger-than-life, lounge-lizard type in a cheesy tuxedo, would announce the bouquet toss with an infuriating “you know you want to do it” smirk in his voice. When the bride would throw the flowers, he’d shout, “Dive! Dive! Dive!” into the microphone. I always wanted to walk up behind him, take that mic stand, and…well, you know. It was humiliating to the girls on the floor. You could tell they hated it, but were taking one for the bride & groom.

So no wonder every single girl beats feet to the ladies’ room when she senses the impending bouquet cookie toss. Who wouldn’t want to avoid it? “OK,  ladies and gentlemen, we now feature the girls who can’t get husbands, or are still in middle school.” I have worked wedding receptions for 30 years and have never once seen a group of girls who enjoyed it, or at least didn’t stand with their arms behind their backs.

Now, a bride throwing her bouquet over a stairwell or in the parking lot just before leaving — that’s cute. Everyone is gathered around — we’re not hauling single women out to the center of the ring like the next round of cattle at the auction.

All right, I must fly, my darlings. My mind does wander.


Lost weekend

Nah, not that kind of lost weekend. Rather, the weekend’s almost over and I don’t know where the time went. Haven’t stopped since school started on Friday morning. I mean, if I miss an RtB post, you know I’ve been out of it.

And this weekend once again drove home the undeniable truth that we have toddlers in our twenties for a reason.

Still, the time with Jake was spectaculous; fabular. He was a delight, and so was Justin. The wedding was beautiful, and the reception wore out Super J sooner than we would have liked. Grandma Jane took him home last night to her house. Although hooking him into his car seat caused quite the dramatic protest, I’ll bet he was asleep before she drove two miles.

All this got me thinking about time this morning. You know what I’m going to say next. Time positively rules our lives (most, anyway), and the US seems to be the leader of the pack, in that we’re a nation of overstressed, overhurried, overworried, overworked (and in many cases, underpaid) crazies. And we seemingly like it that way. Either that, or it’s become such a ubiquitous element of our cultural wiring, it’s all we know.

Years ago, a friend from Iran observed, “Americans are always in a hurry. In a hurry to do what? Die?” We laughed about it at the time, but he really had a point. Although there are exceptions (and maybe you are one of those), we just go 90 to nothin to get one task done and go on to the next — even though many of the tasks will be repeated tomorrow and tomorrow. Not that there’s anything wrong with repeated tasks; I mean, work has to be done. But the elevated stress about it, the frenzied, anxious attitudes with which we attack our work…it all suggests living too hard and dying too soon. That, and, you know, this:

In other countries, dinner time is an event. Two, maybe three hours are spent just relaxing, talking, eating and unwinding. What about dinner at your house? I’m sure there are exceptions, but I’d be willing to bet that on many nights, it’s everyone for themselves, or dinner is take-out or hastily thrown together, or eaten while working, watching the news, or even while driving to the next “thing.” The Thriller and I are guilty of this. I suppose it’s easier because we have no children in the house, but as I remember, when my boys were in high school, they were both so busy (as were their parents), we rarely had dinner together on the weeknights. It’s a shame.

If you had a mom like I did, you always reported to the table for dinner immediately when summoned, hands washed and ready to behave. It’s not that my parents were militant about table decorum, but dinner time was usually designed for Dad’s comfort. He wanted to unwind from his day at the office, and we were to facilitate that. So Mother saw that dinner was a relatively quiet event. I don’t remember a *whole* lot of sparkling conversation at dinner, other than the standard, “How was school today?” After the meal, Dad would get up and go into the living room to his recliner, read the newspaper and watch the news. We didn’t bug him; that was his time. After that, he was open for business. But his aim was to relax.

And that’s the thing: relaxing is rarely my aim. My goal is to get one job done so I can hurry up and get to the next one. That ain’t right. I mean, here it is, Sunday, and I have a mile-long list of stuff to get done. I might even have to go into school. Now what, I ask you, would happen to the universe if I didn’t tackle the list? If the 12 jobs went ignored? What if I didn’t look at each weekend as just another opportunity to do more stuff?

My family will back me up on that fact that I am always saying, “Life is too short,” meaning that we need to concentrate on the healthy and good things in life and let the minor mishaps pass. Hmm. Perhaps I should take my own sage advice.

Or maybe I just can’t accept the fact that the world has moved on.

But hey. All that is for another day. I have work to do.


B & W photo credit: The Family Dinner: A Celebration of Love, Laughter and Leftovers, by Linda Sunshine and Mary Tiegreen.

Could it be?

Could it really be Finkday, finally? I think so.

Jake arrives tonight for a weekend with Grammie & Grandpa Thriller. Taking this child to a wedding will be fun; he positively loves to dance, so here we go.

Last week, the textbook arrived for the Very Last Graduate Course I Will Ever Take in My Long-Legged Life. On 13 December, it’s all over. Par. Tee. Time. But it fills me with a bit of angst, you know? It’s been awhile since I balanced the whole “teach all day, rehearse till 8 p.m., then come home and start working” thing. I mean, I’m fifty now…the university (and indeed, the universe) should cut me a break. Give me extra time. Stuff like that.

So what are your weekend plans? Football games? Gigs at Chamberlain’s in Dallas (I really wish I could be there)? Playing a club in Florida? Having family over? Chained to homework? Share. I covet your articulate and compendious thoughts.

But for now, I am late for the shower and the Mighty Ford Ranger. Off into the rainy morning I go.


Here’s what I think.

Not that you asked, but here it is.

  1. I think Milton Bradley needs to embrace the whole “ya makes yer choices and ya lives with the consequences” paradigm. RD, you follow the Cubs – what’s his problem with the fans? He was totally not a troublemaker when he was with the Indians. (Of course, that was his rookie season, or close to it.)
  2. PK sent me an e-card for my birthday (thanks PK!) that featured a memory test to see if my advanced age was affecting my recall. It had 7 slides with photographs; after a few seconds of viewing the picture, you had to answer a quiz question about a specific detail (stuff like, “What color was the lady’s hat?’ and “What was the number on the license plate?”). I think you should look at my score. :-)
  3. A kid I know (no kid, he’s 24-25 now) is serving a full 12-year prison sentence for selling two friends some Xanax, after which, tragically, they crashed their car and died. Yet, Leonard Little and Donté Stallworth get 90 days and 30 days, respectively, for actually driving drunk themselves and causing the death of other people. I think I do not understand this. I know, there are mitigating/aggravating circumstances, but sheesh, come on, now.
  4. I think everyone should experience a Fluffernutter at least once in their lives. I miss them. *sniff*
  5. Even if you’re not a fan of his politics or what he did in his personal life (sadly, he would never live down Chappaquiddick), Ted Kennedy was a giant to his family and his causes. If only everyone were as committed and passionate about their jobs…

It’s Thursday; can you see Finkday from here? That is good news (unless you’re a high school band director).


Act I, Scene 2

So yesterday was fantastic, even though it was the first (insane) day of school.

Stein and I spent most of the morning getting 5th and 6th grade band/choir schedules straight (Bando, I **ALMOST** did it all by myself!! OK, it was mostly Stein because I needed a left brain in on the process, but I did the final pretty chart.) Then before I knew it, I’d seen all my other classes and wondered where the day went. Didn’t sit down until 2:00, when I finally wolfed down the lunch.

Even so, I had the grooviest, neet-o birthday. Emails, texts, in-person wishes, Facebook posts, cards, and the awsmic gifts from colleagues and friends were so nice. Topped it off with a delightful dinner with Simone and Jon, and a visit from BFFs Kay and Bob. Next week, we’re having a family get-together. It’s so rare that I get them all in one place at one time — I’m looking forward to that as well.

One of my gifts from the Thriller was this nifty car kit for my Storm that fits in the cup holder of the Mighty Ford Ranger. It’s the neatest.


And speaking of the MFR…again, I must jet. I left my music bag at school yesterday, and it contains my makeup kit. Yikes. Gotta get there early so as not to leave permanent scars on anyone’s childhood.

Fink out.

Rat Fink logo: Sphinx Productions