Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
The house phone rings almost at noon and I don’t need to look because I know who it is.
“I gave you twelve hours to say it first…” she starts, and I play dumb, until she finally wishes me a happy New Year first.
A silence grows between us.
I am writing, the kids are happily occupied for a brief window.
Standing in the kitchen talking on the phone feels forced. She knows I want to go, so she tells me why she called, “I’m so lonely….”
My heart turns, she has my attention now. “Lonely? What’s THAT like?”
“Awful,” she answers, then sniffs.
I point out, “Lonely? but you have your husband RIGHT there!”
She sighs. “Yes, but he’s just so…. sexual.”
I laugh, not quite pitying her trapped there with him.
Soon enough, we’re off the phone.
The next day, I call her.
She answers sounding breathless, but I pretend not to notice.
“Zack loves the cash cow you sent for Xmas.” Then, because probably she sent so many toys to so many kids, I remind her, “It keeps track of how much money he deposits on a digital readout… and it announces his total every time he adds more.”
She laughs, I continue, happy to distract her.
“So for the past three days he’s been hunting the house of nickels and quarters, then when he gets near his target, he starts begging. ‘Just 34 more pennies and I have $5.00… c’mon there has to be 34 cents in this house. Anyone? Anyone?’ until he breaks me down, then he ups his goal. ‘What is there to even buy with $5.22? Does anyone have a $5 bill? Or 50 quarters…’ and no matter what he keeps upping his goal. I think he passed $37.00 and is heading to an even $40 now...
She doesn’t laugh.
I hear wind and voices behind her.
“Where ARE you?”
“Outside, walking around the block.”
The image of her surrounded by fresh air carries a wave of relief.
“That’s great. Don’t be one of those people who talk on cellphones while they’re exercising, I’ll talk to you later.”
She answers me in a whisper, “I’m out here walking with your father,” she continues, “I’m trying to tire him out!”
Friday, January 1, 2010
“The Zimmerman Telegram was supposedly sent to New Mexico by Soviets about planning a 3 front war with Germany, Japan and New Mexico.”
File Under: "Secret History of the Cold War" and "No Wonder We Bombed Alamogordo"
“This slide is tyrranists we supported. We helped Batista take power in Mexico, but he wouldn’t do what we asked, also he burned one of our cities. He bailed.”
File Under: “Secret History of Mexicuba”
“This image is Pancho de Villo. Because of him the US put a block on the Gulf of Mexico.”
File Under: “Random Acts of Imperialism”
Student describes picture of Hooverville as “villas where Veterans live.”
File Under: “History Under the Tuscan Sun”
Another student describes the same slide of Hooverville as “in this slide we see a picture of the suburbs.”
File Under: “Not from My Lecture”
“This picture was of the Japanese people wanting the American soldiers to return. When the American soldiers returned, we were supposed to help them financially. This was around the time of WWI.”
File Under: “Unpredictable Asian Immigrants”
“Hussane was president of Iraq had a lot to say about what was going on with the War. He didn’t understand why America wanted to attack his country because of bin Laden. America was in search of bin Laden and called around to find where he could possibly be, only to find out that Hussane and bin Laden were allies.”
File Under: “Sadamarama” and “Osamarama”
“During Operation Desert Storm ½ million troops were sent to push Saddam Hussein out of Saudi Arabia. Surprisingly, we attacked from the boarder.”
File Under: “Sadamarama” and “Yes, Spelling Does Matter”
“Saddam had weapons of mass destruction left over from his war in Afghanistan. He used this to attack the curds. After Sept 11, 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom was sent and our objective was to help Iraq civilians.”
File Under: “Sadamarama” and “A New History of the Middle East”
“The Tet Offensive was when Japan attacked the US during WW2 34 times at all US transportation spots unexpectedly. Johnson thought that the Japanese would be quiet for the one day of the Chinese New Year. He was wrong.”
File Under: “Tet Harbor” and “A New History of the Pacific Rim”
“And so the US sent troops to look for weapons and for Saddam. We spent way too much time and money over there.”
File Under: “Editorials, Unsolicited”
“The I Love Lucy picture on the slide is about the Volstead Act, which prohibited the transportation, manufacturing and sale of beverages with more than .5% alcohol.”
File Under: “Go Easier on the Vetamitavegamin”
“Victory Mail was written and sent to soldiers fighting in Europe at least every hour. They were motivation for soldiers to come home.”
File Under: “Why We Really Needed So Many Boats and Planes in WW2"
“Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the 911 attack, was found alive in a grave.”
File Under: “Osamarama”
“The Bataan Death march is when American soldiers had to march over 25 miles with no food, same clothes. The Vice President was in the area at that time and left out men stranded.”
File Under: “Who Advises these Vice Presidents?”
“Hoovervilles as shown are towns run down and named after Hoover. One bathroom at the time was named after the President because no one at the time liked him.”
File Under: “Not from My Lecture”
“Guam of South Korea had problems with North Korea’s Ho Chi.”
File Under: “Secret History of the Cold War” and “A New History of the Pacific Rim”
“This slide shows immigrants and also the Bonus Army. The Spanish flu had come and all these immigrants came to America. Hooverville was a town that the Army Veterans made. They needed money to pay for their homes and not file for bankruptcy, I think that’s what this picture is showing here.”
File Under: “It can’t be this interesting to grade Multiple Choice Exams” and “Random Association”