Monthly Archives: October 2013

Thought for Thursday

I think I may be a sucker.

Someone drops political bait, and I can be pretty much counted upon to bite.  It happened last week when one of my students called the President a “pinhead” (gee, I wonder where he got THAT witty label) and again when someone responded idiotically to a question about the Koch brothers’ obsession with making sure that young people opt out of buying health insurance that I posted on Alan Greyson’s facebook page.  It happened again when a friend posted an intellectually dishonest (and factually incorrect) post about someone losing her healthcare coverage.

I bit.

I probably should know better.  I mean, really; how many times can I beat myself bloody against the brick walls of people who refuse to even ENTERTAIN the idea that there might be a different way of understanding something?  My problem, though, is that I’m a teacher, so my very EXISTENCE is predicated on the idea that people CAN learn, that evidence thoughtfully and respectfully presented deserves to be thoughtfully and respectfully considered, and that, when evidence disproves a position, that position should be abandoned.

Silly, SILLY Chili!

I was going to transcribe the conversation for you, but it appears that most of it has been removed from the post.  I guess that tells me everything I need to know about the quality of that discussion, huh?

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Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Every year for about three now, Bean and her friends have done the trick or treat thing in our neighborhood.  They go out, they have a blast, then they come back to our place where they dump all their loot on the floor in a giant pile and redistribute the candy according to each girl’s preferences.

I have raised a true communist.  It’s awesome.

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Ten Things Tuesday

Halloween Edition!  We’re not really a horror movie family; we tend to prefer films that are more suspense and much less gore, but there are films in our catalog that are just right for screening this time of year.  Here are ten Halloween-appropriate films that can be found in the Chili Family Film Collection:

1.  The Addams Family.  We only own the first of the two films, but I think it was the best of them.  I have a particular affection for Morticia Addams, and Raul Julia is one of the actors who’s passed whom I actively miss.

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2.  Beetlejuice.  We just watched this the other day.  Mr. Chili was cruising through channels and stopped on the film on ABC Family.  We watched to the first commercial and then popped the DVD in.  Michael Keaton’s rant about his qualifications cracks me up every time.

3.  Warm Bodies.  We saw this in the theatres when it was released; the preview made it look like an adorable film, and it was exactly that.  I went out and bought it on DVD as soon as it came out.

4.  The Sixth Sense.  This is one of my two favorite ghost stories.  I love the feel of the film, the way it builds, and the fact that there are a million little clues to watch for.  I sometimes regret never being able to see this film again for the first time, but despite knowing the payoff, it still consistently delights me.

5. The Others is my other favorite ghost story. The build up is fantastic, Nicole Kidman strikes the perfect balance as the mother who refuses to see what she knows must be true, and I LOVE the twist at the end.

6. Interview with the Vampire. I’ve taught this story as both a novel and a film. I’ve heard that Anne Rice (the author of the novel) HATED the idea of Tom Cruise as her vampire Lestat, but that she grew to love the film after a short while. I have to admit that I felt the same as she did (and that I still don’t love Cruise’s Lestat as much as I love Brad Pitt’s Louis).

7. Something Wicked This Way Comes. This is an adaptation of the Ray Bradbury novel of the same name. The film is good for what it is (Bradbury wrote a very difficult novel to render visually). Sadly, the film isn’t nearly as creepy and dread-inducing as the book (the library scene gets me every time).

8. Frankenstein. I HAVE the theatrical film with Kenneth Branagh and Robert DeNiro, but I MUCH prefer the more obscure Hallmark production; it’s more faithful to the themes of the novel (which is one of my favorite stories; as the adult survivor of child abuse, I identify with Shelley’s story on an almost visceral level).

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9. I am Legend. This was panned pretty widely (mostly, I think, because fans of Richard Matheson’s novel didn’t think it was a faithful adaptation), but I really like it – so much so that I taught it whenever I could. All vampire stories are stories about humanity, but this one brings up questions about hubris and responsibility and an individual’s commitment to right a wrong, and I dig that.

10. Sleepy Hollow. This is a Tim Burton film that was inspired by the Washington Irving story. Being a Tim Burton film, it has a particular look and feel to it, and film isn’t really very faithful to Irving’s story, but it’s a fun little film, nevertheless.

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Monday Meme

20 random questions:

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Not that I’m aware of.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
I haven’t had a good cry for a while.  I welled up a little at this (DAMN YOU, CHEERIOS!) but I wouldn’t qualify it as a cry.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
I don’t mind my handwriting, though it starts out acceptable and quickly goes downhill from there, especially if I’m in a hurry.  I prefer to type (I think much faster than I can hand write, but only a little faster than I can type).

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
I’m not really a huge fan of lunch meat, though if I had to choose, I’d probably say roast beef.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Three girls; two of whom I have a biological connection to and one who just sort of moved into my heart.  I’m not discounting the possibility that there may be more, either.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I would be, without question.  I subscribe to the idea that you have to like yourself first; that if you can’t be alone with yourself, then you’re really not fit to be with anyone else.

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7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Who, me?  Nope; never.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
I do.  I also still have my appendix, but my wisdom teeth came out a while ago.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Um… no.  Why on earth would I do something like that?

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
That depends entirely on my mood.  I’ve managed to get myself back into the breakfast habit with Kellogg’s Special K, but sometimes I just HAVE to have a bowl of Lucky Charms (though never for breakfast; I usually save that for mid-afternoon snacks or, sometimes, dessert).  I’m also fond of chocolate cereal (Rice Krispies, chocolate bombs, chocolate Cheerios, that sort of thing, though again, only for snacks), and I also really like oatmeal and Cream of Wheat (which are eaten for breakfast in winters and, sometimes, for light suppers).

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Depends on the shoes.  My workout sneakers need to be untied or I can’t GET them off.  My casual, kicking around shoes are all slip-ons, and my pretty shoes’ laces are decorative.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Yes; very.  I’m much stronger physically than I was a year ago (I sometimes surprise myself with what I can do in yoga classes lately), and I’ve always been emotionally and mentally strong (and good thing, too, or I literally wouldn’t have been able to survive my childhood).

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Generally something wickedly chocolate, but my choice of ice cream depends on where I am.  The shop in Quaint Coastal City has a forbidden chocolate that I love (it’s nearly black).  My grocery store makes a chocolate peanut butter flavor that I really like.  If it’s Ben and Jerry’s, it’s Phish Food.  Completely out of character, though, is the fact that my favorite ice cream at our local shack is a watermelon sherbet.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Strangely, whether or not they’re wearing wedding rings, generally.  After that, I notice energy; if someone “feels” approachable or not.

15. RED OR PINK?
Neither.  I’m a green, brown, or dark blue girl, myself, though lately I’ve branched out into some of the deeper shades of purple.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
I have a tendency to procrastinate that I could really do without.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
Living: Gerry, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Not living: my mother and my grandmother.  I was struck with the most overwhelming urge to talk to them both the other day and ask their advice on how I can best help my father-in-law through his journey.

18. WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?
I’m trying to get a handle on the aforementioned procrastination (she says as she’s answering stupid questions instead of grading papers…sheesh).  I’m also trying to get a couple of yoga poses down; I want to be able to do a full straddle split and a handstand (and it would be cool if I could go from one to the other).

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
I’m not wearing shoes right now; we don’t wear shoes inside Chez Chili.  When I put shoes on, though, they’ll be white sneakers; after I pick the girls up from school, I’m going to the gym.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Mr. Chili took me to lunch at a dining hall at L.U. (isn’t he romantic?!).  I had shredded chicken on rice and noodles with sweet and sour sauce and a bunch of veggies, a couple of chicken fingers, and a cookie.
Happy Monday, All!

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Six Word Saturday

SO many papers to read.  Sigh…

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Friday F*ck You

So, I bit – again.

I TRIED having a conversation with a facebook stranger about the ACA.  She brought up the talking points, and I refuted them (with citations).  I asked her to back up HER claims with evidence from credible sources, and I got crickets.

It was THIS bit, though, her parting shot, that really got me:

No thank you, I don’t get off on looking up & “backing up”! I have a FB friend (lib) who has just worn me out with stuff like that. I’ve been around a long time, been interested in politics since high school, read a lot & based on lots of things, believe what I believe. Nothing productive will come of back & forth quotes which neither side will pay any attention to anyway.
Just got back from a Ted Cruz rally where both he & his dad spoke. It/They were wonderful. I’m feeling very enthusiastic & upbeat right now. We’re just getting warmed up. If you don’t think so, believe it at your own peril. Don’t believe the lamestream media who say otherwise!

That should tells me all I need to know, shouldn’t it?  She doesn’t “get off” on backing up her assertions; she’s going to believe what she believes, regardless of the evidence in front of her.  What’s more; she’s freely willing to proclaim her refusal to learn and grow out loud and in public.

Sadly, she is so NOT the only one I’ve encountered who behaves like this.  I’m doing my best at trying to be as respectful and dispassionate about addressing the issues as I can be, but after a while, this kind of willfully ignorant bullshit wears me down.

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Thought for Thursday

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by | October 24, 2013 · 12:08 pm