The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Letter to Future Self

Dear Sioux,

       I know that right now you're obsessed with not fitting in.  You're not an athlete---definitely not---and you aren't willing to kiss any butt, so you're not part of the "in" crowd.  Your fondness of wearing overalls and baggy shirts makes you the object of ridicule.  Get used to it.  You won't fit in as an adult, either, and when you're 40 or 50, people will still make fun of you, although it will probably then be done behind your back...snarky, unsaid comments about your fondness (now) for Crocs, and the baggy, sloppy shirts are still hanging around.

      At this age--15--you are crazy about a boy.  Your very existence ebbs and flows with the ties between the two of you.  So much angst and anguish!  You will find, in the next three or four decades, that a 15-year old boy is about as trainable as the 45-year old version.   Resign yourself to the fact that it is impossible to beat them into becoming civilized creatures.  Enjoy them when possible,  ignore their clumsy blunderings, and count yourself fortunate that your gender doesn't feel it necessary to constantly scratch and readjust...

      As a teenager, your sarcastic sense of humor gets you into trouble.  By the time you are in your 50's, your size 11 feet will fit into your mouth quite nicely. Figure that barbed remarks and self-denigrating comments are a permanent part of your DNA. 

      I'm hoping that this note will make these rough teenaged years a bit easier to survive.  Relax--as much as possible--and realize that your youth is something to be savored.  Now, you can eat a whole bowl of ice cream right before you flop into bed, and your ribs are still visible.  By the time you enter the 21st century, all you have to do is contemplate ice cream, and your cellulite starts mating with your wrinkles. Maybe you should slow down now and try to get rid of that chocolate monkey on your back? 

photo by TammyLynnPhotography

      And as a final note...You're a terror now. A wild child. You are the reason your mother has to dye her hair and why your father is losing his hair.  As crazy as it sounds, your parents will have the last laugh.  Because someday, you will have a daughter and a son.  And the havoc they wreak will increase exponentially...


Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Handicapper General

         My post about Rick Reilly got me on a dodgeball tangent, which led to a comment from a fellow blogger about a school that--she swears it's true---discontinued recognizing honor roll students because the certificates might make the other students feel bad about themselves.

      That got me thinking about a Kurt Vonnegut short story that had a tremendous impact on me when I was 13.  (Yeah, I know...a 13-year old probably should not have been reading Vonnegut.  Perhaps he is the reason why I'm so wacky now?) It was about our country, after the 213th amendment had been added onto our Constitution, when everyone was equal in every way.  If a person was superior intellectually, they had to wear a device that made an obnoxious sound in their ear every few minutes, to ensure the genius did not have time to form a complex thought.  If a person was physically attractive, they were forced to augment the face or body so they appeared disfigured.  If a person was graceful, they had to lug around large bags of sand.  There is a handicapper general who makes sure everyone is equal.

      And as close to a "boy meets girl" story as Vonnegut could get to, a gorgeous, strapping hunk of a man meets a beautiful, lithe ballerina, and they...(You have to read the story or watch the movie to find out what happens.) 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rick Reilly's Retro World

           Rick Reilly has always managed to do the unthinkable for me. He makes sports interesting to me. A writer, he used to write a column for Sports Illustrated and even wrote a whole book on golf which I read (okay, some of the stories I passed on, but most of them I read and throroughly enjoyed).  Anyone who can write about sports in a way that my eyes are kept open and the snoring is suspended has performed an incredible feat.

          You can find some of his pieces archived on the internet, and there are several books you can check out as well.

Rick Reilly column on becoming the new baseball commissioner
Rick Reilly's column on "tattletexting" at games
Rick Reilly on Ron Elway
Rick Reilly--a behind-the-scenes look at the half-time show at the Super Bowl

         One (of many) of his columns that is memorable is about kids' games.  Now that dodgeball and Red Rover are no longer allowed in schools, he proposed new "politically correct" games, games where everyone would feel like a weiner winner.

        I'm sorry, but what's going on?

        In life, are we going to always be surrounded by people who make us feel all warm and fuzzy?  At the end of the day, no matter how mediocre--or substandard--our performance is, will it be proclaimed as marvelous?  Do we live in a world where we automatically win every competition?  

       I think not.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness (or Evil with a Twist of Good)

        In our building, we are doing "Secret Santa."  You know the routine: you draw a name, hopefully some information about their likes/dislikes is included, and you buy little gifts for them for a week or two.  Sometimes you get a person you're not particularly fond of, but I won't go any further with that...

      Some people are participating. Some are not, so a few of us got together and have masterminded a fun scheme.

       We choose--randomly--a person every day or so, and one of us gives them an extra gift.  We are not their Secret Santa. Since some of the people we choose are not even participating in the gift-giving, they're really thrown for a loop. It creates a funny bit of confusion, because the Secret Santa will see a 2nd gift for their giftee, and they're puzzled. They know they didn't wrap that gift and put that gift tag on it...Who could it be?

       It's always fun to mess with people's minds...

        On a side note, if anyone is not already collecting Boxtops for Education, and would not mind cutting them off boxes/packages and sending them my way, I would appreciate it.  Our school uses them to get extra materials for our kids.  You could send them to:

Sioux Roslawski
Griffith Elementary School
200 Day Drive
Ferguson, MO. 63135


Do They ALWAYS Have to Be Mentioned?

         My husband only likes my funny posts.  I think he started reading my blog because I am never home--working too long into the evening--and he wants to know what is going on with me, hence he occasionally checks in on my page. 

       Unfortunately, I cannot always be funny.  Some of my kids nudge me into feeling the tragedy and sadness of their everyday life...Some people are so petty, they drive me crazy and I have to vent.  And sometimes I don't see much humor in my existence.

       Anyway, he liked the one about my fantasy wish list, thought it was funny, but asked, "Do your breasts have to be a part of everything you write?"

photo by autumnsensation

        I don't know...

  • What did I wish for more than anything else when I was 12 and Donna Milburn was also 12, but my chest looked like a wall and her chest made her look like she was 32?
  • What did I buy "training bras" for, in the hopes of encouraging some growth?
  • What, when they did surface, made wearing a blouse fun?  (Is there any gaping open going on?  Do I need to put safety pins in in-between the buttons?)
  • What brought the tips in, when I was a waitress?  ('Uh, sir...My eyes are up here.')
  • When I become the "anti-stripper" after losing my job, because kids all across the state are failing at the state test,what will bring me in piles of cash?  ("Please, lady.  Cover those UP and I will give you a dollar.")
  • What do I wish I did not have, now that gravity is working its magic?    

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

       I just read that Oprah has chosen two of Dickens' books---Great Expectations  and A Tale of Two Cities---for her next book club.  I am thrilled that hordes of people will run out and buy these classics.  Sadly, it took a talk show host to make it happen...

       When I was in junior high, I had a marvelous teacher named Mr. Greg Gates.  He saw in me a hunger for fine books, he saw that I dabbled in anarchy, and he saw that I was extremely self-motivated (at least when it came to reading and writing).  The rest of the class read Great Expectations; for some reason, I looked disdainfully down my nose at Pip and the old lady (Mrs. Haversham?) and got to read A Tale of two Cities instead.  It has been one of my favorites ever since.

        That school year, I embarked on a journey of independent study.  Mr. Gates allowed me to choose the books I read, and I kept track of my observations and meanderings in a journal.  (I imagine the journal entries were quite entertaining to my teacher--full of angst and puffed-up self importance, probably.)  I fell in love with J.R.R. Tolkien, Alan Paton, and Let Us Now Praise Famous Men as I finished up junior high.

        I was listening to Oprah as I typed this, and she admitted she had never read anything by Dickens.  That is sad as well...