This holiday is very strange to me and I must admit that I have never liked it. Valentine's Day is like the relative that can never be pleased but expects everything just so. I find it interesting that this is a day that celebrates couples rather than love in general and if you don't have an SO grab a stranger, if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend why aren't you engaged, if your married a list of musts seem to be required before the day can be "perfect". My co-worker told me about some wives at a kids sport event complaining how their diamond isn't as big this year. I don't even need to elaborate on this as its shallowness just speaks for itself. Anyone who knows me well is aware that I am big on giving flowers to my friends and loved ones as a sign of my affection, but to feel guilty because you did not on this "special day" is just ridiculous. Plus the prices on roses is $20-30 more than any other day of the year. This price hike reminds me of when I was getting married and the price of everything attached to the word wedding went up 50%. I find this price tag on sentimentality criminal but then we are the consumers that continue to buy into it.
Don't get me wrong I am hearts and flowers all the rest of the year to the point of causing cavities, but it springs forth from a need to tell my loved ones every day how I feel about them and not just once a year. I love to receive flowers and I usually keep them until they are dead husks turning to dust, but I want to know that I received flowers from love not a strange sense of obligation. Love is spending time with someone and being with them in the highs and lows, and not just buying them something random because thats what you are supposed to do. All of these elevated expectations of society are bound to be disappointed, and completely miss the mark on celebrating all the various loves you have in your life in the form of SOs, family, friends, co-workers or anyone who touches your life. I think this must be preaching to the choir as it is basic common sense, but this year I reflect on it standing in a different place than previous years. It is this change that brings a sense of clarity and appreciation for all the love I have in my life as it is without dressing it up in hearts and flowers.
You are The Empress
Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.
The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.
What Tarot Card are You?
I thought this was very cute and the English major in me was pleased with the result. If I did this test with the kids would it make them more connected to grammar?
I should have committed more crimes and travel more. Maybe I will just travel more. I was sorry they didn't have more questions about drawing, painting, performance, athletics, and dance. I would have totally rocked it. This got me thinking about my New Years resolutions. More on those later this week but they involve embracing life.
The Life Experience Test
Overall, you have partaken in 92 out of 169 possible life experiences.
Your average life experience score is therefore 54%.
The average score is 51%, making your experiences more than 57% of the people who have taken this test.
The average for your age group (26-35) is 53%.
Broken down by category:
Art: 6/17 (35%)
Career & Work: 8/13 (62%)
Civics & Technology: 4/7 (57%)
Crime & Disarray: 3/11 (27%)
Education: 12/18 (67%)
Fashion: 5/10 (50%)
Fitness, Health and Sports: 5/7 (71%)
Life in General: 7/14 (50%)
Relationships: 11/14 (79%)
Religion & Politics: 1/4 (25%)
Social: 14/22 (64%)
Travel: 6/20 (30%)
Vices: 10/12 (83%)
Take the test and see how YOU compare
Three years ago this week I had a co-worker and friend taken from us through violence. We were first year teachers together and all we wanted to do was get out there and help people. We both fought hard to get our jobs and were so proud to be doing what we loved. To this day I get so upset when I think of all the people that will never know her charm and kind heart including her two little children. I think about all the kids who will not know her passion to teach math, and make it interesting. However, I know in remembering her and all the things I admired she lives on.
Wherever you are Roslynn: I am thinking of you this season, wishing your family well, and proud to be living a dream we shared.
I remember that today is the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. I try to be mindful of days like today to honor those who died. On NPR today I heard a stunning version of Henry V "Upon St. Crispin's Day" done by Christopher Plummer. I thought it fitting as I always think it captures being a solider. Now I have never been a solider, but I feel I have some understanding on it having been married to an ex-solider and the sister of another and both have seen combat. I think any relative or spouse of a solider grows to know the meaning of days like today. We send them off and watch them walk away from us and do not know which way they will come back to us. They never come back the same, and we mourn with the families who loose everything but their memory.
I know this is heavy for a Sunday night but there are a few days in the year when my mind rolls over these things for a few moments so as to prevent the anniversary from passing unnoticed.
I wanted to wait until I was a bit less emotional to document that I survived my week. Yesterday was my wedding anniversary, and it hit me pretty hard from Sunday to yesterday off and on. I made it through yet another trial of this journey. I think a great deal of the time I kept thinking "Now this is just fucked up" or "no this just is not right". I have come to the conclusion that I would not wish that pain on my worst enemy (if I had one). Here I want to talk about some of the feelings for future reflection and writing and to show myself this fire was walked through.
I knew that this might be tough as it falls only a couple of months after I left, but Sunday crept up on me. I was married on a Sunday and the smell in the air and the blue in the sky was exactly the same. I thought I was pretty safe, but I woke to dreams of that day. The rest was downhill and difficult until yesterday was over. There are few days in your life where you remember the whole day from start to finish, and this was one of them except the memory is a reminder of what is no longer. I have a damn good memory and there were moments I could remember the weight of the dress and the feel of the satin underneath my fingertips. The smell and color of my flowers and the reflection of the setting sun in the floor to ceiling windows. The flickering glow of floating candles in glass bowls and the food set up so prettily with honeydew melons carved into swans. That merely covers a small bit of the memory of my five senses, but does not begin to recount the emotional memory of this day. I was more sure than anything in my life up to that point that the man at the end of the first row was the person I would be with for the rest of my life. Happy is not the right word to describe how I felt, but sublime and magical might start. I had a moment with my dad before I went down the isle that was rare in our relationship but truly and completely loving.
The stark contrast between that day and yesterday made me walk slightly sideways the entire day reaching for firm objects to hold onto so I wouldn't fall down. It was just another day at work with kids laughing and playing everywhere, and a happy work place where I love to wake up and go to every morning, but surreal. The kids are really good at distracting you from your troubles, but you also have the responsibility of not falling to pieces around them either. I did not want to upset them with a sadness they do not understand or reminds them of their parents in hard times. I kept my face in a smile, but the effort was exhausting. My throat and muscles hurt from the work of keeping my emotions in check. After work I went to a play with good friends, and I firmly believe it helps to be with someone who cares for you in times like yesterday. I still walked sideways but I wasn't alone.
Then the day was over and the memories slowly stopped plaguing me. I honored the day and grieved what I have lost as well as recognized my promising tomorrow. I mourned shattered hopes and love as I pray for faith to find new ones. I am exhausted from it all and now I can get back to the everyday ups and downs in this process that is healing. All this might be depressing for me to recount and later re-read in happier times, but I need to remember I survived the ugly, gritty, messy pain of yesterday just as I enjoyed its beautiful opposite on the day I was married.
Tonight on TCM was big band night and all day Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies were playing. My all time favorite Fred and Ginger movie is Top Hat (1935) with my favorite scene where they sing "Heaven" to each other. She wears a lightly colored gown that flows just right and he is of course in his uniform tux. This scene is often sighted in other movies and lives as one of musical comedy top ten. Funny enough that neither Ginger Rogers nor Fred Astaire are my total favorites but when they dance together they are indeed heaven. They compliment each other's style and Astaire and Hermes Pan (poor guy that is a name that gets you made fun of as a kid)did their choreography in perfect understanding of the pair's stronger points. Neither dancer ever displays any extreme height in their jumps nor do they perform anything that show off flexibility. However, they do extremely complicated synchronized movements and make great use of the set around them dancing without mis-step over all manner of chairs,tables, stairs, or whatever. They also do some nice turns both as a couple and separately. I have to give it to Ginger that she always wore the most beautiful dresses and uses them like a prop in her movement plus those high heels could not have been comfortable as most of the dance scenes were filmed in one shot. As critical as I may sound, I stop whatever it is I am doing to watch a Fred and Ginger movie, and watching them dance is a great joy.
Just so you know my favorite dancer of all time is Gene Kelly because he combines tap, ballet, and modern into a powerhouse of movement in a variation of styles and moods. If you ever see a still picture of him next to Frank Sinatra he is always the one twice as high in the air. I lean more towards Cyd Charisse for the same reason and because I have a soft spot for tall dancers that still do lifts and kick as high as their shorter counterparts. Cyd Charisse was a total bombshell in Singing in the Rain "Broadway Melody" and soft and dreamy in Brigadoon:
The Gay Divorcee (1934) *I know I know the title is not the best but they do mean happy*
I had not seen this one before and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The stories are always pretty simple as they are not the main attraction with Ginger Rogers as a young woman trying to trick her husband into divorcing her by pretending to have an affair with a hired actor. There is a wonderful dance number near the end where the chorus dancers are in variations of black and white and all doing some pretty awesome lifts and jumps on a staircase. I don't really see myself launching backwards down a staircase completely into the air with arms stretched outward like I was diving into a pool and hoping my dance partner would catch me in the middle. The songs were alright, but the dancing was intricate with smaller movements that tricked the eye if you weren't watching carefully.
Swing Time (1936)
While this one had a great deal more music such as "The Way You Look Tonight", "I Won't Dance", and "A Fine Romance" with "Pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again" too its not my favorite. One reason its not on my list of must sees is one of the filler numbers towards the end where Fred Astaire does his song and dance in black face. NOT COOL!!!! I know this was a trend from vaudeville but I am astounded that this was thought to be an acceptable form of entertainment even as these movies seemed to value the dance and music that we know as jazz and swing while demeaning the culture from which these emerged. I promise not to go down that road as this will turn into a rant rather than a movie review. Honestly, the plot was a little inane with Fred Astaire's character engaged to someone he does not love and repeatedly not following his heart for silly reasons that were never completely explained. He has a gambling problem that seems to cause quite a bit of trouble, and he cannot be counted on to be present for his dance partner(Ginger Rogers)when required. The dancing was awesome but the movie overall lacked the charm that the others possess.
To be considered for teacher certification (or certifiable if you choose to look at it so)one must pass the GACE tests in the field of study after completion of course work at an accredited university. Today I received my test results and they are both tests PASSED. SWEET!!!!!!!! I didn't think I failed the tests, but there is always the outside possibility that something went wrong. All I have to do now is fill out the application form and run back and forth between my county and GSU. SWEET!!!!!!! Honestly, after spending this much time on being certified I have no problem being a courier of paperwork.
I AM BONA FIDE!!!!!!!
A big Happy Birthday to you my husband. May this year bring you love and joy.