Saturday, February 28, 2015

Day Eleven: My Favorite NFL Players, Part Two

Last night, I posted my favorite retired NFL players.  Tonight, my favorite current NFL players.
#10-Matt Ryan-Quarterback, Atlanta Falcons. Maybe it's his "aw, shucks" personality. Maybe it's the fact that he was Tony Gonzalez's quarterback for five years. I have always liked Matt Ryan. Although I'm not a Falcons fan, I wish Ryan could prove to be the player every one thinks he is. Wish he could have gotten TG that ring though.
#9-Aaron Rodgers-Quarterback, Green Bay Packers. It's because he's cute. At first, it was because I wanted him to prove that he was ready to step out of the enormous Bret Favre shadow, which he did spectacularly. Then, it was those stupid State Farm commercials, and he's cute.  I really need no other reason to watch him.
#8-J.J. Watt-Defensive End, Houston Texans. I just enjoy to watch this guy play. He just seems so excited to take the field every week. He clearly loves the game, and he is a monster on the field.
#7-Clay Matthews-Linebacker, Green Bay Packers. Because he's hot. Sure, he's a great player, but it's because he's hot.
#6-Derrick Johnson-Linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs. Chiefs defense is where it's at. I love watching DJ take down a quarterback.  Can't wait for him to return to the field this year.
#5-Drew Brees-Quarterback, New Orleans Saints.  Enjoyed him as a Charger, and even more as a Saint. It was his generous acts during and after Hurricane Katrina that made me love the guy. Not to mention, Drew Brees is a heckuva quarterback.
#4-Jimmy Graham-Tight End, New Orleans Saints. First, it was his back story, and then, it was his play.  The guy may not be the traditional quarterback, but watching him play in person, he is amazing. Plus, he gives me a cute Tight End to watch now that Tony Gonzalez is on the NFL Today on CBS.
#3-Tamba Hali-Linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs. Liked him before Hard Knocks: the Kansas City Chiefs, loved him after.  Like Derrick Johnson and Derrick Thomas, I just love watching Tamba break an offensive line and destroy a quarterback. One of the leaders of the that Chiefs defense.
#2-Justin Houston-Linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs. This guy is a monster.  A pure monster, and if he stays healthy.  Whooooa, Nelly!  22 sacks this year, and if J.J. Watt hadn't had an uber-great season, he could have easily won Defensive Player of the year. To quote Deion Sanders, "Pay the man!"
#1-Jamaal Charles-Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs. Haven't been this fond of a running back since Marcus Allen to the field for the Chiefs. J. Charles is the best thing about the Chiefs offense, no offense to Alex Smith and the WR corp who can't score.  One of my favorite J. Charles memory happened September 22, 2013.  It was my first time attending an NFL game, and J. Charles scored a TD after a 91 yard run. Scored it right in the end zone where I was sitting. I don't think I have ever heard the Super Dome that quiet. A great memory from a great player.

Until next time, "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."-Vince Lombardi

Day Ten: My Favorite NFL Stars Part One

It is late. I don't know why I wait so late. Yes, I do, because lately I've been just trying to come up with topics.  Forty topics in forty days is rather a leap for me. Normally, I would write once a week and only during football season. So, this has been a bit different.  Anyway...
Tonight, in honor of my favorite players birthday, I am going to do a list of my favorite players.  I'm going to divide it into two parts.  Part one will cover retired players, while part two will cover current NFL players. These are players that I simply loved to watch play every Sunday afternoon.  Some, I just loved to watch, but all helped to make football my favorite sport.

#10-Shawne Merriman-Linebacker, San Diego Chargers.  I didn't want to like Shawne Merriman. He played for the enemy, but 1) he was cute, 2) he had that back story that would make Annie cry, and he would do the most horrible things to quarterbacks. He almost reminded me of Derrick Thomas. I know there are Chiefs fans who will hate me for saying that, but man, when Merriman was at his best he was so dang quick. Seriously, if it hadn't been for that game in Tennessee, and a bad decision to play on a bum wheel, who knows how good he could have been.  Still liked watching him play though, sue me.

#9-Junior Seau-Linebacker, San Diego Chargers.  I originally liked to look at Junior Seau.  Plus, he had an awesome name for a linebacker, SAY-ow!  Seau was a tremendous linebacker with a great smile, a big heart, and a penchant for destroying my Chiefs.  I was bummed that he (like Tony G.) never won a Super Bowl.  It's been almost three years, and I still can't believe the tragic way his life ended. He will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in the Class of 2015.

#8-Steve Young-Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers. I didn't like Young at first.  He was taking Montana's place, and I didn't like it one bit. Young, though, grew on me.  Even though I always rooted for Joe to beat him when they played each other, no one was cheering louder than me when he finally won Super Bowl XXIX.  HOF Class of 2005.

#7-Ronnie Lott-Cornerback/Safety, San Francisco 49ers.  Yes, I'm aware he played for other teams, including a brief stint with the Kansas City Chiefs, but I loved watching him play for the 49ers. This guy was one of the toughest men in the NFL.  He had part of his finger amputated for goodness sakes!  HOF Class of 2000.

#6-Will Shields-Offensive Guard, Kansas City Chiefs.  Will Shields was a part of one of the greatest offensive lines in Kansas City Chiefs history, if not NFL history.  He blocked for Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes, and that guy I'd rather not talk about. 223 consecutive games, an iron man at guard. 12 time Pro Bowler, and now a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

#5-Marcus Allen-Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs.  Yes, I know he had his best years with a team that shall not be named, but when he moved over to the Chiefs, I could legitimately root for him. He was handsome and still better never lost a game to that team while he was a Chief.  Even at the tail-end of his career during his five years with the Chiefs he scored 44 touchdowns, averaged about 740 rushing yards a season, and about 230 receiving yards. HOF Class of 2003.

#4-Jerry Rice-Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers. Remember, this is not a Greatest of all time list. It's my favorite players list. What's not to love?  First, he's from my home state of Mississippi, and he is literally the greatest receiver to ever play the position. Fun was watching Montana to Rice, especially in that 55-10 beatdown on Elway and the Broncos, and later Young to Rice. He still holds practically every record at the position.  Yes, I know he played for other teams.  I just don't acknowledge those years.  My prerogative. HOF Class of 2010.

#3-Derrick Thomas-Linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs.  Derrick Thomas is the reason I became a Kansas City Chiefs fan. While I never have been nor ever will be an Alabama fan, I could not help but fall for this guy's play.  He was every quarterback's nightmare and still holds the single game sack record. He embarrassed more offensive lines than the law would allow, but his time was cut tragically short by an accident that claimed his life.  Hard to believe that has been 15 years. Still miss him.  RIP DT.  HOF Class of 2009.

#2-Joe Montana, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers/Kansas City Chiefs. See what I did there. Most of these players I only acknowledged the teams that I actually would admit they played for. Joe Montana played for my two favorite teams.  He was my first football hero.  You like Tom Brady? Keep him, for me, Joe Montana is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Never lost a Super Bowl, Brady. Never lost a Super Bowl... HOF Class of 2000.

#1-Tony Gonzalez, Tight End, Kansas City Chiefs/Atlanta Falcons. I have followed his entire career, perhaps a little too closely. I didn't think he was going to make it at the start, but I'm glad he is stuck around for another 16 years, and in the process, became the one of the greatest (I say the greatest)tight end of all time. Watching him catch a pass was a thing of beauty, and I was fortunate enough to see him catch his 100th and 101st touchdowns in person. If Derrick Thomas made me a Chiefs fan, Tony G. helped keep me in the Red and Gold.  Although I listed the Falcons, I still haven't forgiven them for that abomination of a last season they awarded him with, and unlike most fans, I didn't feel disrespected in the least when he dunked at Arrowhead.  Alas, he was the last on this list to retire taking his trademark dunk with him.  Happy birthday, Tony Gonzalez, hope to see you with the NFL HOF Class of 2019 or 2020 depending on whether or not he actually filed that pesky paperwork...

That's it. My favorite players. Remember, not a list of the greatest of all time, just mine.

Until next time, "Winners, I am convinced, imagine their dreams first. They want it with all their heart and expect it to come true. There is, I believe, no other way to live."-Joe Montana

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Day Nine: Ahhhh, the internet

I do love Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.  Social media allows us to enjoy the company of others from all over the world without actually having them in my house. There are those moments that bring us all together; and those that tear us apart.  Tonight is one of those nights. The saga of the blue and black or white and gold dress.

Do we have so little going on in the country that this has become a major debate?  I'm all for having a good laugh, but some people are taking this little internet question to the extreme.  It's a dress.  Is it really important what color it is?  Are you truly upset that you didn't see "the right one?" 

What have we learned?  You guys are proving what prosecutors and defense attorneys have been saying for years...your eyes can fool you.  You can have 10 people look at the same thing and each one will see something different based on your own bias, eyes, mind, etc.

So some of us saw a blue and black dress, and some of us saw a white and gold dress.  Does it truly matter?  For the record, I saw it both ways-blue and black on Twitter, and white and gold on Instagram.  Now, I'll go back to watching most evil and watching the debate continue on all the different social media outlets I follow.

Until next time, "There's beauty everywhere. There are amazing things happening everywhere, you just have to be able to open your eyes and witness it. Some days, that's harder than others."~Sarah McLachlan

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Day Eight: Questions

This will be an incredibly short post tonight.  I'm just posing some questions. They may be real concerns, curiosities, or what not...Honestly, I'm too tired to think right now...
  • When will the Kardashians 15 minutes of fame run out?
  • Why did I watch the entire season of American Horror Story: Freakshow, when I clearly did not like it, and it was horrible?
  • Why do the Raiders STILL suck? 
  • Why do so many people like the Dallas Cowboys or the Patriots or the Broncos?
  • What is Troy Roberts thinking when he gives that look to the people he is interviewing? (I'm thinking, "You're lying.")
  • Why was Jack McCoy always so angry on Law & Order?
  • Why can't Michael Irving carry chapstick?
  • Why is ESPN so obsessed with certain teams?
  • Why can't my Chiefs win a Super Bowl during my lifetime?
  • Why can't my Braves win another World Series?
  • Why isn't it spring break already?
  • Why am I addicted to Instagram?
  • What is the fascination with selfies?
  • Why did I loan out a Rihanna cd, and not even care that I didn't get it back?
  • Why is the Sex Box an actual television show?  I need the person who pitched that idea to negotiate teacher pay raises.
  • Why is Flo still doing Progressive commercials?
  • What is Rick Grimes' beard made out of?
  • Why did Glinda the good witch ask Dorothy if she is a good witch or a bad witch, yet she later explains that bad witches were ugly?  Is she casting shade on Dorothy or is she just blind?
  • What exactly was that accent Kathy Bates was going for on American Horror Story: Freakshow?
  • Why can't Hollywood stop making bad remakes?
  • Why can't Hollywood make a good Huckleberry Finn movie?
  • Why was Demi Moore cast as Hester Prynne?
  • Why were there three Hobbit movies?
  • Why can't I finish the Silmarillion?
Maybe I can answer a few of these. Here's hoping for a better post tomorrow.
Until next time, "Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next."-Gilda Radner

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Day Seven: Oscar...

I didn't watch the Oscars this year. Okay, that's not entirely true.  I flipped over to watch Dwayne Johnson give out an award, and I watched John Legend and Common's performance of "Glory." FYI, Common was looking more dapper than usual.  That, ladies is a gorgeous man.  It was The Walking Dead Sunday, so I was all about the Rick Grimes gang opening a can...

Besides, I have more or less stopped caring about the Oscars.  Sure, I could cite reasons like in the 87 years of the Academy Awards only one black woman has won the Best Actress Oscar (only ten nominations), only four black men have won the Best Actor Oscar (only twenty nominations), four black men have won Best Supporting Actor (seventeen nominations, FYI, Denzel Washington accounts for two those eight wins), and only five wins in Best Supporting Actress (nineteen nominations).  87 years, 14 wins for the top four acting categories.  I won't even start with the Director and Picture awards. 

It's not just black people though. There are no Native American or Asian-American nominees either.  People of color are just not represented at the Oscars, but why should they?  I know the argument.  There were no good roles for people of color.  This is true.  This is why you are seeing more movie actors taking the plunge into television-the lack of good movie roles. 

I haven't been to the movies in about two years.  I didn't even go to see any of The Hobbit movies, and I love Tolkien and Peter Jackson.  Although I'm a fan of the novels, I haven't really cared for The Hunger Games movies.  The thing is there really hasn't been much I wanted to see. I have seriously grown tired of comedies.  How many Madea movies can Tyler Perry possibly make?  Do we need another Friday movie?  Yet, these seem to be the movies geared toward African Americans.  I haven't seen Selma yet, because it was barely in town before it was gone.  Why doesn't the movie industry realize that diverse groups can sell tickets.

Look at the show Orange is the New Black, almost every race is represented, and just about every character has been given a back story, and the popularity continues to grow.  One of the most popular characters on The Walking Dead is a black woman, and it hasn't hurt the show one bit.  Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and Empire-if you give us interesting story lines, the people will come.

Most of the movies nominated this year is a smorgasbord of stuff I wouldn't play my hard earned money to go see.  Sorry.  I'm tired of prequels, sequels, remakes...Hollywood, here are some works that you could possibly turn into great movies I would be interested in seeing.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (desperately needs a remake), Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, Jubilee by Margaret Walker Alexander, Sundiata: the Lion King, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (needs a remake), The Epic of Gilgamesh, Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, Kindred by Octavia Butler, and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe...there is a tapestry of stories all over the world that would give actors of all races opportunities.  They just need an opportunity...Not looking for debate, just my opinion...

Until next time, “If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear.”
Gene Roddenberry

Monday, February 23, 2015

Day Six: My Favorite Romantic Short Stories

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”~Edgar Allan Poe

Every year during the fall months, usually around Halloween. I begin teaching my students about the American Romantics. Romantics, however, are not romance writers.  Romanticism was a challenge to neo-classicism.  They explored mythology, folklore, nature, the exotic, faith, mysticism, gothic, and the dark side of human nature. While some have stories about love, these are not the lovey-dovey, "Oh, Edward" tales you see on the shelves at your local book store. Oh, no, no, no...These stories deal with the macbre, the gothic, and...the...well, a little gore. It's my favorite unit of the year!!! Why? Three authors-Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. They are my favorite American Romantic writers. 

Of the three, Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite. One of the reason's I love the work of Poe is his use of the unreliable narrator. You are never really quite sure what to make of his "mad" characters, who will try their best to convince you (and themselves) that they are not mad. Hawthorne takes the reader on journeys that resemble dreams and delve into the darkness of the human heart and psyche. Irving's stories are the type of stories that will make you laugh or send a shiver down your spine on a warm night. Interested?
Here are ten of my favorite Romantic short stories to teach, in no particular order:

"The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe.  A man pays an autumn visit to a friend who may or may not have been driven to the brink of madness in an ancestral house where he lives with a sister who has bizarre illness.  Tale of the psychological effects of isolation.

"The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe.  Let's party like half the country is not dying from a mysterious ailment called the red death.  The Prince Prospero believes he has protected his himself and his friends, but has he?

"The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe. Take one part alcoholic narrator, one part pet black cat, and a rope, and you have the makings of a tale of murder and mayhem.

"The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe. Once again, crazy narrator who commits murder because of his disdain for his bosses weird eye.  Tale of conscience and what it will do to the mind.

"The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe.  Yet another, unstable narrator who exacts revenge upon an unsuspecting man who he feels has wronged the narrator's family.

"Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  Did he or didn't he take that trip?  It's a question you will still ask long after you have finished the story.

"The Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  What is beauty?  Should we sacrifice our natural selves to become that which the world or even our loved one's think we should?

"The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  The town minister appears wearing a black veil upon his face.  What secrets are hidden behind that veil?

"The Specter Bridegroom" by Washington Irving. The family is preparing for the wedding, but is the groom the real thing?  Is he even real?

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving. The story of Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow.

Honorable mention:  "Ligeia" by Poe, "Ethan Brand" by Hawthorne, "The Devil and Tom Walker" by Irving

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Day Five: Live Blogging The Walking Dead

Warning:  This post will contain spoilers...

I'm beginning by rewatching last week's episode.  I usually watch the previous episode every week, but the last two weeks, I've skipped the recap episode, because I'm still not quite ready to relive the deaths of Beth and Tyreese.

7:10-Gabriel is such a tool. Maggie doesn't know him and is in no way ready to confess to him.  I really loved this conversation between Michonne and Sasha, but Sasha really needs to tone down the hot head behavior.

I love Carol and Daryl together, but seriously, it has only been three "show" weeks since Carol was hit by a car. How is she moving about so well?  FYI, Daryl has to have one of the saddest cry faces in the world.

The trip-a-walker attack.  Less muss, less fuss, I always say, but of course, Sasha has to screw things up.  BTW, they are not doing a really great job hiding Sonequa Martin-Green's pregnancy. Her stomach is not that big, but you can still tell she's pregnant.

This Sprint narwhals commercial is terribly annoying.

7:20-Living in the zombie apocalypse is not something I would be good at.  I'm a lot like Tyreese except I would have been bitten during the first season.  I'm not about that walking around funky life. Seriously, you don't have access to pharmacies, and most of these girls are wearing boots.  I can't imagine the swamp foot in those shoes.

I read an article last week about the fact that most of these girls seem to have no body hair while the guys are all growing beards, except Eugene.  I have to admit that I wondered the same thing.  They really should have knarly armpits right about now.  Why hasn't anyone besides Abraham punched Eugene by now.  I just noticed that Rosita found real pants.

Bravo, Sasha for taking out the dogs.  Guess meats back on the menu, boys...that's what I like about Darryl, he doesn't really care where the food comes from just eats.  Noah, there is no sympathy in the I just ate Fido world you guys live in...Maggie still looks like she wants to punch Gabriel in his face as he burns his collar.

7:35-Daryl crying...can't really take that...
Lincoln and Matthew McConaughey, just stop, and Mcconaughey, eat a sandwich...
7:40-Eugene has the saddest little beard. Whereas, Rick's beard looks like a brillo pad.  I just realized the barn walker was covered with spider webs. "Some people can't give up, like us" great line Carol. No one really talks to Noah. Rick's "We tell ourselves, We are the Walking dead" speech ending with Daryl saying, "We ain't them." Perfect.  Even with Daryl looking at him like, "Rick, you just told the worse bedtime story, EVER!"

I cannot be the only person who finds the Little Sweet Diet Dr. Pepper commercial a little creepy.

7:53-Working together to keep out the walkers...the tornado really shish-kabobed  the walkers. This was a nice moment between Maggie and Sasha, right before Mr. L.L. Bean popped up. So, welcome  Aaron.  New episode is about to begin!!!

8:00-Judith says she doesn't trust him.  Did he really roll up with that little pea-shooter? Talk, talk, talk, then..Fist to the face...
Aaron really, REALLY, talks too much...This guy sounds so sketchy.  Seriously, they can't really trust him.  Michonne, "We can handle ourselves." Lori, has messed Rick up. Aaron, just shut up.  Rick, I will put a knife in the base of your skull. I just love Rick Grimes.

Rick still doesn't trust. Michonne is like Rick, you have to take a chance man. Rick is like, I'm going to trust you only as far as I can throw you. Woodbury and Terminus has Rick shook. On the real though, Rick and Michonne just need to go ahead and hook up.  The prison looked good, too.

Uhm...that is uber-nasty.  bloody Cadillac.  Aaron. we have to leave now. This is so messed up. This is why Rick doesn't trust people. Aaron.

Aaron, did you really think you would get away with your hands tied?  I noticed Rick's gun finally ran out of bullets.  Aaron's boyfriend...not that cute, really.

Rick is all out of chill right now.

The Washington Monument is still there.  Dale moment...when the RV breaks down...Rick wants to relax so bad.
This week ended with a glimmer of hope...See ya, next week!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Day Four: My favorite dark writers...

I almost forgot to write my post tonight. I'm was actually getting ready for bed, when I realized...oops. My Saturday has been thrown off schedule by work.  Anyway, I was at a loss for what to write about tonight, so I just decided to list some of my favorite dark writers.  Not in any particular order, but you have to know that Stephen King is #1.

Edgar Allan Poe-the father of the short story, the father of the detective story, and all things creepy.  How many unreliable narrators can one author have?  I fully intend to read all of his short stories and his one novel by the end of the year.  Favorite stories-"The Masque of the Red Death," "The Tell-tale Heart," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Black Cat," and "Hop-Frog."

Flannery O'Connor-I was first introduced to O'Connor in college.  I love her warped sense of humor. She is Southern Gothic literature at it's best.  Her stories always deliver a twist that you are not quite expecting-a jolt that shows all the warts of polite society. She is also on my list of collections to read this year.  Favorite stories-"A Good Man is Hard to Find," "Good Country People," and "Revelation."

Roald Dahl-Mr. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory himself.  Under that children's writing, there are some really dark themes. Besides Charlie is probably my favorite, but his short story "Lamb to the Slaughter" made me interested in his shorter pieces.  He is on the list of collections I want to read this year.

Toni Morrison-Morrison is not a horror writer at all. Morrison just writes works that are so hard for me to read, but she leaves you wanting to make the world better than you found it.  Her themes are not horror based, but the realities that she addresses are just as scary.  Favorite pieces-The Bluest Eye and Beloved.

Anne Rice-Fell in love with her vampires in college. Now, her vampires, I can stomach, Twilight, not so much. Louis, Armand, and of course, Lestat, I read the Vampire chronicles until the covers fell off. I also am a fan of her Mayfair witches.  Reading her novels were almost like taking a class on mythology.  There is so much to learn, and like an eager student, I was right there with my pen and pad.  She creates a universe of characters that you fully believe could exist on the fringes of our society.  The Witching Hour and Interview with the Vampire are still my faves, but I also liked Feast of All Saints and Cry to Heaven.

Stephen King-I have been reading Stephen King since the 6th grade.  My first Stephen King novel was Pet Semetery.  I read at least one Stephen King novel each year.  It is hard to narrow it down to just one or two, favorite novel: It, favorite novella: Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, favorite stories: "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band," "Dolan's Cadillac," and "Suffer the Little Children."

Until next time, just remember, “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.”-Stephen King.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Day Three: Uhmmmmm...yeah...

One thing I have found about this exercise is finding what to write about each night.  Most days I'm not even thinking about writing, because I'm thinking about teaching.  I don't always want to share every thing, because...well, that brings me to TMI, you know, too much information.

I have Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but I don't really share a whole heck of a lot with people.  I throw out an occasional opinion, a witty quote, a sarcastic barb, but that is about it.  I think I have taken a total of 5 selfies in my entire Instagram life.  Mostly, because I don't like taking pictures of myself.  I hate taking pictures in general. In the last two years, I've been to Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, and there are barely photographs to prove that I was actually there. 

I have former students who follow me on most of these social networks, so I'm always a little leery about what I type.  I fully believe in the "think before you hit send."  I have seen the trouble that sending the wrong thing has cause other people.  Facebook is for birthdays and announcements for me.  There is just far too much political and racial animosity for me to spend any great deal of time on Facebook.

I love to talk about all kinds of subjects on Twitter, but during the school year, I always feel late to the party because, unlike many of Twitter faves, I'm not allowed to tweet at work.  As a matter of fact, all social media is blocked, so there is that. I can't even use Goodreads at work.  I get my news through Twitter, because I am so tired of news people.

I never thought, however, that I would ever say this. I'm sick of celebrities.  I mean, the "new" celebrity.  You know of which I speak-the people famous for being famous and their petty grievances. Today, I opened my Google news, and there were no less than three articles popping up about a rapper, his wife, his ex, and his sisters-in-law. Facebook, same thing...and then, Instagram. 

I don't follow any of these people, mostly because hearing them speak makes me wonder about the future of this nation and the people who want to be like them.  They have people really twisted into believing that money is the only means of success. Really? Why do you need to air your dirty laundry?  OH, that's right, the only way that you can stay have made a career off nothing. Turned nothing into a line of clothes no normal person would wear, turned nothing into a cable channel that makes a fortune off your "family antics," turn nothing into millions and millions of dollars that you throw away on frivolous merchandise that has no intrinsic value.  All while you have no values...almighty dollar...

The sad thing is that so many children look up to these people and feel that success means $4500 shoes on your feet, million dollar birthday parties for 2 year olds, and disrespecting not only yourself but everyone around you.  It all plays out as they throw shade at each other through social media. After spending almost 20 years teaching, it is amazing to see the Hollywood popular clique is still in high school trading insults over the internet.  Here is a tip about throwing shade.

And she never had to say a word...

Stay classy, social media world...

Until next time, "Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical."-Sophia Loren

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Day Two: Being a Walking Dead Head

(Warning: if you have not watched the last several episodes of The Walking Dead, this may or may not contain spoilers.  No, I don't regret ruining it for you. It's been a week, get over it.)

Previously on The Walking Dead...

I look forward to hearing those five words every single week. I have watched every episode of The Walking Dead at least twice (except the Beth and Tyreese die episodes, cause too soon).  When the show first premiered, I didn't think I would like it. I mean, I have never been a fan of zombie movies, and although I'm a rabid Stephen King fan, I'm not a fan of horror movies, mostly because I've always found them so very, very cheesy.  Besides, I love Investigation Discovery.  Real life is far more scary than Freddy Krueger or Jason. 

Right away, I bought into it. Loved Rick Grimes from the beginning.  Waking from a coma to the nightmare that is the zombie apocalypse, Rick's sole goal was to get home to his wife and child. Then, you meet Morgan and his son, Duane who are struggling with the day to day life while his wife wanders the streets as a walker.  Hooked I say...

The reunions, the introductions, the Merle...the first season had me on edge every week.  What's next?  Who's going to live?  Who's going to die?  Is that Merle's hand?  The scrapes with the dead, the gore, Rick's emergence as the group's leader, each week had my heart-racing or wrenching, but always back for more. 

My favorites in our central group:  Rick (of course), Glenn, Daryl, Carol, and Michonne.  Glenn-who went from errand boy to a leader, Daryl-who went from a broken man who didn't want to feel to a man sensitive to others, Carol-who went from an abused mom to an all-around BA, and Michonne-she carries a freaking sword for her primary weapon, what's not to like?

There were those characters that I hated (not villains, cause those are necessary): Lori and Andrea. I don't really miss either of the most annoying characters on television.  There was that season on the farm that lasted too long, the time at the prison that lasted too long, the escape from the dentist chair that took too long...I'm still glad Milton bit her, just on principle...Not everything has been peachy. 

There were some deaths that were so sad-Jim, Jacqui, Dale, Sophia, Merle, Hershel, Mika, Bob, Beth, Tyreese...Those that needed to happen-Shane, Lori, Andrea, the Governor, Lizzie (that kid was soooooooooo crazy), those we are waiting for (that's you Gabriel), and those we are dreading, because you know those devious writers have more misery for our future.  I'm not looking for reality; I'm not looking for writing perfection; I'm just looking for my weekly fill of my favorite crazy group of zombie killers.

On that note, dear writers, can our crew catch a break? They have been running for so long, can they have a happy for more than 30 days? I know the walkers are always a threat, I know the crazy people are everywhere, but can we get a moment to breathe?  Some hope? A Bath?  What about Judith?  That is the quietest, starving baby ever...Will Carol and Daryl hook up, or Rick and Michonne?  I need some happy even if for just a moment.  Even if you don't, I'll be there every week.  Just no more back to back group kills, okay...

Oh, those devious Walking Dead writers...I'll see you Sunday night...

Until next week, "We are the Walking Dead." -Rick Grimes

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Day 1: My Fast not Fast Lent

First of all, I can't believe that I have not written a post since September.  I totally spaced out during Football season.  One post.  I think honestly I was still a little traumatized by the fact that Tony Gonzalez actually retired and was not on my tv commenting on football rather than catching one.  Congratulations to Tony for a great season on the NFL Today on CBS--fine replacement for Shannon Sharpe.  One tip though--limit those right theres and right heres...they do get annoying. 

Congratulations to Kansas City Chiefs legend Will Shields on becoming a member of the 2015 NFL Hall of Fame Class.  This is sheer awesomeness that has nothing to do with the fact that I have actually met Will Shields, and he is a totally cool guy.  He worked out with our football players this year, who by the by won State.

Back to Diana Dishes, my poor, neglected blog.  Now, for those of you who don't know, or who have never read a post, I'm a huge Kansas City Chiefs fan, Tony G is my favorite player of all time, Joe Montana is my favorite quarterback, the Atlanta Braves are my favorite baseball team, and I have an unhealthy interest in all things concerning Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Geno Segers.  I'm also a teacher, which brings me to this exercise. 

I celebrate Lent every year, even though I am not Catholic. I teach in a parochial school.  As a role model, I participate in fasting every Lent season to encourage our students to do the same, but I usually give up something like potato chips, one year it was The Lord of the Rings trilogy, one year it was The Green Mile, soda (that one did not last, because I subsist on caffeine, and coffee and tea don't cut it.), or chocolate. 

This year, I decided to do something different than give up social media or the requisite food things.  I decided that I will improve myself.  So, I am "giving up" part of my time every day for writing and exercising.  Neither of these are an easy thing for me to do daily.  I am always, ALWAYS working.  I teach four mostly different subjects daily. I am currently reading count 'em-four works, The Tempest, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Lottery and Other Stories (which I finished today), and Just After Sunset.  Not to mention, grading papers, making tests, quizzes, study guides, wrangling seniors (I'm also a senior advisor).

Exercise is something I really need to do. I'm getting older, and what little metabolism I had is slowly fizzling out. I need to do this for my health. I don't want to be a model or a model size; I just want to be a healthy version of me.  Writing is something I've always wanted to do, but I've only managed to do when I was forced to by a-you guessed it-teacher.  So, I am going to post an article every day on my blog for the next 40 days.  Some may be good, many will be bad, some may be long, but my goal is the magic number of 300 words each day for the next 40 days.  So, follow me on my Lenten writing journey.  You may find a laugh, a cry, or maybe a little of both.

Until tomorrow, "Lent is a time to renew wherever we are in that process that I call the divine therapy. It's a time to look what our instinctual needs are, look at what the dynamics of our unconscious are."~Thomas Keating