My First Life Lesson: Nanna Nanna Boo Boo

This is a long story, but it’s a good one, especially for those of you with any kind of soft spot for small children.

I’m in Kindergarten. Yep – my first life lesson goes way back. It’s time for us to graduate. You know what that means:   end of the year recital/play/musical/photo-op extravaganza. The teacher chose the song, “If I Were a Butterfly”. Here are the lyrics (with proper credit) of which you have to read (namely the animal verses) to follow my story:

Words and Music by Brian Howard

If I were a butterfly, I’d thank you Lord for giving me wings
If I were a robin in a tree, I’d thank you Lord that I could sing
If I were a fish in the sea, I’d wiggle my tail and I’d giggle with glee

But I just thank you father for making me, me
For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus and you made me your child
And I just thank you Father for making me, me

If I were an elephant, I’d thank you Lord by raising my trunk
If I were a kangaroo, You know I’d hop right up to you
If I were an octopus, I’d thank you Lord for my fine looks

But I just thank you Father for making me, me
For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus and you made me your child
And I just thank you Father for making me, me

If I were a wiggly worm, I’d thank you Lord that I could squirm
If I were a fuzzy wuzzy bear, I’d thank you Lord for my fuzzy, wuzzy hair
If I were a crocodile, I’d thank you Lord for my great smile

But I just thank you Father for making me, me
For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus and you made me your child
And I just thank you Father for making me, me!

So that’s the song.  And as you see, my Kindergarten was faith-based. It was a Mom’s Day Out kind of thing. Only back then they didn’t call it ‘Mom’s Day Out’, they just said, “Yes, you can drop your kid off at 9:00a, but you better come back to get her at 1:00p.”

My Mama, with all her God-given intuition, recognized that I was awkward around people. Well, awkward around everyone except her, so she enrolled me in this school in an effort to help alleviate my dependency on her and my social awkwardness.  Really smart, that Mama.

Unfortunately, all the progress my young teacher made with me (and my social skills) were challenged the last week of school. Take note of the animals depicted in The Butterfly Song. There’s a butterfly, a robin, a kangaroo…It was no surprise I was chosen to play the butterfly in the recital.  I could, afterall, color in the lines, cut a square with round-edged scissors – I didn’t even eat my glue!

I would don a giant purple and pink winged masterpiece made of cardboard, with two handles in the back for my tiny little hands to hold it, and all its glory, in front of the oval cut-out for my face. For I would depict the most beautiful creature of them all – the butterfly!  Ta-da!

Only, when the time comes for Mama to pick up my “costume” she didn’t come home with the beautiful pink and purple butterfly. She came home with, you guessed it — the wiggly worm. What the…? The brown and slimy, why-would-anyone-on-earth-ever-subject a-5-year-old-girl-to, the wiggly worm!

“But Mama, I’m supposed to be the butterfly,” I cried. And cried. And cried. “That’s how we practiced it! “I don’t want to be the wiggly worm. Worms are for boys..and, and, and…they’re yucky!”

Mama told me that crying wasn’t going to do any good; that I was going to be the wiggly worm and that’s that. “It is, what it is,” she said. She did tell me if it would make me feel better, she would dress it up to look more like a girl worm.

I cried myself to sleep that night.  Meanwhile, Mama dusted off her acrylic paints and  dressed up that ‘yucky’ wiggly worm. In the history of cardboard cut-out worms, I would be THE FIRST to wear a hot pink, glittered bow!

Mama’s plan worked.  I got more positive feedback for being “The Wiggly Worm with the Hot Pink Bow” than I would have ever gotten by being the same ‘ol tired butterfly the school had been using year after year.  I was some kinda proud!

Though Mama and I have laughed, even cried a few times, rehashing this story, I’ve never asked: “Why the costume change so late in the game?” I sit here as an adult realizing there was most definitely a kid in my class that didn’t have the same Mama I had. That they probably pitched a fit at the thought of being The Wiggly Worm so their mama marched down to the school and demanded a last minute costume change.  “Nobody makes MY baby dress up like a worm,” she probably said.

I wonder where that kid is now? What trials has she been unable to overcome by simply pitching a fit? I wonder what the saying, “When life hands you lemons…” means to her? How old was she when she realized, “It is, what it is.”?

I stop myself from digging up old photos to see who ultimately wore that butterfly costume.  Instead, I find myself wanting to sing to her:  “If I were a wiggly worm, I’d thank the Lord that…I know how to make the best of a yucky situation.”  Nanna-nanna-boo-boo.


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Who Am I?

I know I need to go to bed.  But I want to see the Anthony Davis interview on the eve of the NBA draft!  Besides, I need to finish my bourbon.



Filed under Basketball, drinks, This Chapter

Rage: The Road Kind

I’ve developed a trait of which I am not very proud:  Road Rage

I experienced my worse fit last week when, Incredible Hulk style, I morphed into the person that lays on their horn for a good solid minute as a result of being cut off in traffic moving 0.08 mph.  When I returned to my normal self I slowly removed my palms (both of them) from the steering wheel, looked around, and came to the uncomfortable realization that I was the person that laid on her horn for a good solid minute while in traffic moving 0.08 mph…with  So as punishment, I was forced to sit in shame amidst my fellow travelers for another 30 minutes.  Fail.

Yes, this episode took place during those three oh-so delicate days of the month when I’m, umm, not quite myself, but there’s more to it than that.  We spend a notable amount of alone time in our cars.   We listen to talk radio, we eat, we apply make-up, we sing.  Our cars are a bubble of solitude where we are cut off from the worries of the world.  In this bubble, we make all the rules.  We listen to what we want, we drive as fast as we want, we even say and do… whatever…we…want.  Up to and including shouting expletives (and blowing horns) at complete strangers.

As embarrassed as I was to realize I was that girl, I must admit it felt kinda good.  The years and years of effort I’ve placed toward putting on a happy face and biting my tongue, of not saying how I felt in any given moment.  All of the times I’ve never had the courage to say, “This isn’t right.”  “I don’t want to do that.” “That hurts.”  “You can’t say that to me.” “Go fuck yourself” has now manifested into this fit of rage toward complete strangers.

So the next time someone gives you the finger for driving slow in the fast lane or mouths curse words at you for not turning right on red, take pride in knowing you just gave a complete stranger a complimentary therapy session.  Thanks for paying it forward!

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We’ve all had that moment when we realize we’re getting older.  It usually stems from the “kids today aren’t like they use to be” conversation.
The other day I was talking to a friend about how kids won’t/don’t know anything about vinyl records, 8 tracks, the telegram, typewriters, etc.
Turns out, I might be wrong about their knowledge of typewriters:
Kudos to this teacher in Phoenix for exposing his class to the joys of using a typewriter (as I type on a laptop).  Trouble is, I’m not sure if I’m charmed or concerned.

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“Oui, oui, Senorita.”

I dined at a local sushi restaurant after work tonight.  The hostess cheerfully greeted me by saying, “How many in your party?”.  Umm.  It’s just me.  “Take out?” she asked.  No, I’d like to stay for a bit.  Sake’ in a styrofoam cup is just as bad as beer in a styrofoam cup — a fact of which she was unaware.  My contribution to making the world a little better place.

Anyway, my adventures in dining alone is not the theme of tonight’s blog.  Rather, it’s sex with someone of Asian decent.  (No holding back, remember.)    I dated a guy that had an Asian fetish.  He could spot a hot Asian woman a mile away! Sometimes they were hot; sometimes… not so much.  So in listening to the waitress communicate with the sushi chefs, it got me to thinkin’:  What does it sound like when Asian people talk dirty?  Notice I said, ‘sound’.  I am not curious about what they say.  Rather, how does it sound?  Think about it… Now compare it to the love scene featuring a Frenchman, or a Spaniard.  

Oui, oui, Senorita.”  

So why aren’t Asian men ever cast in the sweep-me-off-my-feet-and-rock-me-all-night-long roles?  Or even the make-sweet-sweet-love-t0-me-role?  And what about Indian men?  I’m not asking about Pacific Islanders or Scandinavians.  There are a lot of Asian and Indian men in this country!  Aren’t white (yes, I said white) women equal opportunity pleasers?  Aren’t we sleeping around with everyone?  Why haven’t I heard the juicy details?!

Just curious…thinking of Googling it.  If only I had an audience that could give me real feedback.  (Gonna work on that.)

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A Soliloquy

I’m gonna give this whole blogging thing a whirl…again.  Only this time, I have a few disclaimers and confessions.  Back then, I only wrote on two different occasions:  When I felt like someone was looking over my shoulder (Who’s gonna read it?  What will they think?  Are they checking my grammar?) and when I was tipsey.  My favorite posts were those I wrote while intoxicated, I believe, because I was writing without reservations.   It’s easy to say how you feel when you have Tom Collins by your side.

I once had three followers.  If any of you are reading this, I’ve got a favor to ask:  please don’t post comments.  I know that you care, but this go ’round I’m going to make an effort to not hold anything back, and your comments won’t help.  It will remind me that someone that I will soon see again, in person, is paying attention and I am afraid I’ll start editing my thoughts.   The feeling of being on a stage, blinded by a spotlight so as not to be able to see into the crowd will help keep me honest.

So in keeping with the goal of layin’ it all out there, I’m fighting off a bout of depression.   In addition to feeling it in my gut, I just came dangerously close to paying a stranger halfway around the world almost $175 only to get the ‘permission’ to write how I feel, a password to enter some private chat room and the privilege to post pictures to a Flickr account.  What the fuck? you ask.  I know, I know.  So I gotta do something, other than drink, or spend $175 on ocean front property in Oklahoma, to self medicate.  I am thirsty for something to get excited about and I use to get excited about this little ‘ol blog called Monkey Hill.

So to the three original followers, please keep you seat, fight the urge to say something and enjoy the show.

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Filed under Bluesville, The Other Chapter

The Holy Spirit of Mardi Gras

(This post brought to you by anw  overgenerous flight attendant.)

The holy spirit of Mardi Gras has descended upon me.  I wear it like the headress of a Zulu chieftain.  

I pity the poor souls in my new country that intend to celebrate Mardi Gras at TGI Fridays where they’ll pretend they’re having a good time, however, instinctively they’ll dknow there’s something missing.  

Such as…

Reunions with dear friends
Cocktails, just because
A chance of plastic showers (a’la GB)
Dance girls and bass lines
Sweet Feet and the Mohawk Drummer
Brisk air filled with the sounds and smells of…happy
The Gator, performed on the Civic Center floor
The Masked Observer
King Cake and extra cheesy broiled Doritos
Hangovers cured by the hangover inducer
The wherewithall to do it again the next day, with…
Swollen feet, that feel so good.

Damn, life is good.  I just hope The Boy can keep up.

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