Welcome back to Part II of “How The Threat of Horrible Pain Can Make You Skinny” -- or, how I have finally discovered the answer to fast, effective weight loss -- which I learned because I was in desperate need of avoiding the potentially horrendous pain of a knee replacement. I know you probably think I’m just a ridiculous, wussified weakling because this potentially horrendous pain scares me so much, and you think I just need to get over it and woman-up, grit my teeth and take it, and you know what? I don’t care.
Those of you who have wandered with me over the years through every diet plan, opinion, advice, success, failure, misery and raison d’etre (that’s right, I am waxing lyrical, mostly because I’m hungry) will be thrilled (or skeptical, or possibly bored) to know that I have finally found my answer. No, it will not be the answer for all of you -- not the vegetarians or vegans or fruitarians, and especially not those who don’t need to lose weight because they “have the metabolism of a hummingbird and can eat just anything I want and it NEVER affects me (giggle)!” And, to that last group, I would say firmly: Turn the page, close the computer, go out into the world and spread your joy -- we will never be friends.
I went to the mountains with friends last weekend, since we had three days off, and got there just in time to see their snow! Ten frickin’ inches of it, slammin’ down like angry BBs, defying the fairly warm ground not to let it accumulate. HAH, said the snow, absorb THIS!
And, with the wind blowing as well, it was like walking through a sandstorm -- snow in every nook and cranny you own, I mean nooks and crannies you didn’t even KNOW you owned. And, I absolutely loved it.
Tonight is one of the holiest ones of the basketball season: UNC is playing Duke. If you didn’t know that, or don’t care about it, just put the paper down now. You wouldn’t understand how UNC Royaholics feel today, or often this season. You just wouldn’t “get” our agonizing over the bewildering losses, the repeated miscalculations -- and the frickin’ inability to make a frickin’ foul shot - that have overwhelmed our hero … oh, and the boys, too … this season.
Five more days till Valentine’s Day, and gentlemen, I’m sure you’re as ready as the ladies are. Even ready-er. Super Ready! You’ve planned, researched and organized every little thing to make this V-day a perfect, soupy, sappy, nauseating, romantic bender, am I right? No, don’t look at your feet, look at me -- am I right?
It snowed last night! At my house in country, it was about 1 to 2 inches. Naturally, traffic came to a stop, businesses were shut down, schools were closed, and there was panic in the streets.
Personally, I do the dance of joy when we have a snow day, not just because I’m a teacher.
So, it’s 10 o’clock at night, and, unusually late for me, I’m getting ready for bed. (Mostly, I’m asleep by 10, not because I’m old and exhausted from teaching children all day, but because ... well ... fine, I’m old and exhausted from teaching children all day. But last Friday night I tried desperately to pretend I’m young and have the energy of, say, a 50-year-old, so I stayed up all the way to 10 o’clock!)
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
What an amazingly wonderful sentence, not to mention an aspiration, a goal, a dream. I wish I could have met the man who wrote that sentence, and that whole speech. I wish I could have gotten to know him, to sit down with him and talk for hours, to probe the intellect and innate wisdom of the man who could put himself out there, in danger, on the front lines of a fight that had to be fought, just as the Revolution, the Civil War and our World Wars had to be fought.
So, the world’s going in the tank, apparently. Well, not the whole world, just our particular country. And particularly my specific corner of our country, I’m sure, because that’s just typical ... not that your corner is automatically better, but I’ll bet it is, simply because it’s not MY corner.
I’d like to wish everyone near and far a Happy New Year! I am so excited to begin 2014, which is going to be a banner year for me. How do I know? Because at the beginning of 2013 -- and every year before that since I was around 4 -- I made numerous New Year’s resolutions. And by the end of January -- every year since I was around 4 -- those resolutions were toast.
Well, it’s finally over. The holiday chaos …the Christmas rush … the wrapping and unwrapping, the ooohing over the hideous sweater, the aaahing over Aunt Betty’s inedible gelatin salad (and, can I just ask -- jello, or salad? MAKE UP YOUR MIND!) The cookies are gone, the tree is a shadow of its former self, and you’re wishing Jimmy Stewart would just go ahead and jump off the bridge already. (And, of course, you’ve gained a little holiday weight and are now the size of a Toyota Highlander.)
I may have mentioned that the days between Halloween and New Year’s are my favorite time of year, especially this little stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas. However, speaking as a parent, I am betting that if your home contains any children under the age of 20, life around now is just a big bowl of chaos. And, as the 25th approaches, the havoc will rise until you are spending Christmas Day hiding under your computer desk, chugging Jack Daniels-spiked eggnog, behind a big frozen turkey you forgot to defrost ... not that I ever did that.
I love being a teacher. Well, not every second of every day, but mostly I love being a teacher, especially the week before Christmas break. This week, in any school, is just such a trip. All of a sudden, there is spasmodic giggling and unrest in the classroom, whining in the office, and a general who-gives-a-partridge-in-a-pear-tree attitude toward work of any kind ... and the students are almost as bad.
On Black Friday, I went with my daughter to take the children to see Santa, who was appearing at a shopping “village” near her home in Huntersville, with a central courtyard, a giant tree, some singing bears, and a warm little hut where Santa sits on his throne.
So, there I was, huddled with eight to 10 other poor souls on the stone front veranda of the courthouse in Hillsborough on a below-freezing morning, until a bailiff with a heart opened the front door and let us in. We all had to go through an airport-like security station, where I had to cover up the book club book I’d brought, with the unfortunate-in-a-courtroom name of “Necessary Lies.”