Too Cool for School


Back in Black

You missed it. I just threw a wall-eyed fit. The kind of fit that had me kicking my rhinestone flip flops across the room, jumping up and down, and making hissy-sounds. Why? Because I never took a class at ACU that taught me how to design webpages and write HTML, but stubbornly, I REFUSED to give up. I just succeeded in getting this template I downloaded to work, and now can I eat lunch. (Whew) I know for a fact this is why I never got a tatoo. I can't handle looking at the same thing all the time. That's why I changed my template. This was one of those downloadables that didn't come with the images already written in the HTML. The template designer carefully typed up directions for getting the template to work, and afterward, he put, "Easy, huh?" Yeah! Maybe for him it was easy. For me it was like quantum physics for dummies. Still, I learned a thing or two from this experience and am now a step closer to knowing what most 10th graders know about computers. '

You may notice some changes in my profile, too. I changed a few of my favorite musicians, plus, I deleted the line about liking "any sport in which the Texas Longhorns are getting beat". I don't want to be a hater! Yes, Texas is my least favorite team. I'm called to love all people, even those that I might not otherwise want to be friends with. Like Longhorn fans, people who write annoying car commercials, and the like. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go get myself some lunch. Throwing a hissy fit really worked up my appetite.

Don't be a hater!


Pas de deux

Hey all...friends and anonymous readers. I've got a new laptop. Hooray! But as I've discovered, new laptops that don't come with Microsoft Office are disappointing. Should've gotten a Mac! They don't come with Office software and they aren't ashamed to admit it. Is it considered piracy if you borrow the setup discs from a friend? I already know the answer to that question. Right now I'm trying to decide if I like Gnarls Barkley or not. A lot of people seem to, seeing as how the song "Crazy" is the #1 download on Itunes. I think it's definitely a cool sound but do I like it? Ehh. I don't know yet. Gnarls Barkley may be an aquired taste like pomengranate juice. Or cheap whiskey mixed with cough syrup.

Have I told you that I'm taking ballet this summer? Who haven't I told? it's a course that I'm taking so that I can get certified to teach dance in schools. Even though I taught it last year at Alvarado, I wasn't certified, so my students couldn't get a P.E. credit. Hard to explain, but if you really want to know you can read up on the No Child Left Behind Act. Anyway, I love this class. My teacher is a British woman who has used to dance with the Royal Ballet company. She's been teaching in the states for 24 years. We have class 3 hours a day everyday for a month. It feels great to finally get ample exercise. To say that I've improved a lot is a gross understatement. At this time last year, I was completely new to ballet, joining the class at mid-semester and feeling like the biggest loser in ballet history. At any minute I expected one of the better dancers to turn to me and say, "Who let you in?" It was so bad that on several occasions I would leave class early so that I could run to the restroom and cry. Forget asking the teacher for help, because I was so lost I didn't even know which moves to ask for help on. Ballet is also a lovely vocabulary of hard-to-pronounce french words. By the end of the class, I'd learned two things:

1. "When in Doubt, turn out!" (The answer to any ballet question)
and 2. Just because you're good at gymnastics doesn't mean you'll be good at ballet.

I'd also like to mention that I took a hip-hop class right after ballet every day. That class was fun, and made me detest ballet even more. What right did ballet have to be the root of all dance, demanding perfection from all body parts? The truth is there are two kinds of dance in the world: ballet, and everything else. Jazz, modern, tap, and other dances are just formed by breaking the rules of ballet.

A year later, I'd consider myself one of the better dancers in my ballet class. It happened because I got a year of classes and crazy french vocabulary under my belt. I no longer cry in stall #3 or hide in the back of the room. And yesterday I noticed something else, something a little troubling. In class, I don't talk to anyone. Could be because ballet is so serious and takes a lot of concentration. Here we are, buns in our hair, noses held high enough to drown in the rain. But buns aside, honestly, I wonder what happened to the old me, the me that had to give myself a pep-talk before every class, the me that felt proud when I learned even one skill. The old me has been replaced with a more confident me. That's good. What's bad is that I can't remember what it felt like to be lost, so I am hardly an encouragement to the girls in my class who are lost. I've admitted that I wasn't such a hot dancer last year, but I wonder if they believe me. Last week, I was at the front of the class as we worked on our new routine. At one point, I messed up really bad, and everyone behind me messed up, too. They'd been following me...ME! Didn't they know that I hadn't been dancing long enough to lead? How could they be following my steps? I think that sometimes people will follow anyone who has confidence enough to stand at the front of the class. And they trust that person because it means they don't have to know the routine for themselves. I know this because I usually stand at the back of the class, my eyes concentrated on the feet of a better dancer.

Wow, another metaphor. It's amazing how everything can have spiritual implications. I apologize for always making metaphors. It's a theatre thing; you learn in directing class that every play has a metaphor and that's how you tell the story.

And now I'd like to clarify a few things about ballet: We don't wear tutus all the time. Tutus are only for big, Nutcrackeresque performances. Thank goodness.

It's also not cool to wear your leotard over your tights, as I learned last year. (That's so 1992. ) Instead you wear your tights over your leotard and a pair of ballet shorts (much like volleyball shorts) over that. Leg warmers are very fashionable, but nobody's really sure if/when to wear them since it's Texas and 100 degrees all the time. During the summer you can wear whatever ballet clothes you want, but in the school year it's black leotard, pink tights, pink ballet shoes. And by pink, I mean, "pale peach", which is a color that is only used in ballet because every other person in the world realizes that it is the most bland, unflattering shade of pink possible. It's a pink that is frequently used in bridesmaid's dresses and hospital lobby wallpaper. The color of the font is the best I could come up with.

Thank you for reading. I hope this has been as much fun for you as it has for me.


Bloggin' Blues

Lately, I'm the lonliest blogger in town. I visit blogs only to find them neglected, abandoned, like ghost towns on an endless cyber prairie. My friend Elasha has converted to Myspace. We no longer have a very agreeable alternative! Now, with the approaching one-year anniversary of the last time Josue updated his blog, I'm beginning to wonder: Did blogging go out of style with jorts?


Me, myself, and God

It's a dirty word. Of course, I value your "self" and should value everyone's "self", including my own, but the last thing I want to do is spoil my "self" and let it rule over me. Hard to do. This morning I lay there in bed and my "self" said, "I don't care if I never wake up!" In the morning, I have no rationale, only inate impulses: hunger, sleepiness, grumpiness. It's been like that everyday this week. This same lack of common sense seems to hit me when I'm shopping, arguing with my Mom, or contemplating dessert foods. In those moments, I'll even cry out to God to help me think straight, remember what I really want, which is to do the right thing.
The thing to do would be to disengage for a moment, walk away. Exit The Gap before I have a chance to try on that cute sundress. I'm not a rampant shopper, mind you. This is just the scary feeling that sometimes takes hold of me, and I want it to stop.
I would love to send my flesh to an obedience school and have it come back perfectly trained. Problem is, wherever it is, so go my heart, soul, and mind. I'm attached to it, so whatever discipline I subject my flesh to, the rest of me has to endure as well.I'm not talking about spiritually or physically beating oneself up. I've read about Christians who would beat themselves, carry a cross all over town, and tie themselves on it (in a non-deadly way) around Easter every year in order to suffer with Christ. Granted, self-crucifixion is a little severe. But have you ever observed Lent? What about tithing to church? In certain cases, self-sacrifice is not only beneficial, it's necessary for us to be in obedience with Christ. Think of exercising. Since no one has successfully created a "Magic Muscle Pill", we all have to do what's necessary to get stronger. That means hours in the gym, week after week, year after year. And boy, does it make us sore--especially when we first begin it. I can't tell you how many times I've decided I was going to go running and quit after a few days. My sister, an avid runner, says if a person can just continue the routine for six weeks, then he or she will have a desire to run. Until then, it means dragging oneself out of bed with great reluctance.
Last night I was in Burleson to see one of my students perform in the first-ever Burleson Community Theatre musical. Before I went to the show, I'd had dinner with Britney Owens, and dropped her off at Chris & Heidi's house. We saw the Lower half of Chris's body hanging out of a silver Honda I didn't recognize. I asked Chris if it was his new car. He said that it was Rachel & Steve's car, and that they'd traded cars with Rachel because her air conditioning didn't work. Rachel and Steve have a tiny baby boy, Ian, who is about four months old. I was so stunned. On the way home I thought, that's exactly what we're supposed to do for each other. Consider others more highly than ourselves. I know it will probably embarrass Chris, Rachel, and Steve, but I wanted to tell that story because it's so great. Only God can give us eyes to see beyond our own needs and realize someone else's.
Have you heard this MercyMe song? Check it out. It's fitting.


Do You Sport Jorts?

Our convenient (and now working) high-speed internet connection makes a lot of things possible, like researching used cars, and writing frivolous posts like this one: An expose on Jorts-wearing in Middle America.

"What are jorts?"

Go ahead. Google the word. Here's a fraction of what you'll come up with.

Texas Travesty, a comedy website, claims Jorts are the hottest fashion trend.

Don't let their sarcasm lead you astray. Jorts are not cool, I found out last Friday night. I was eating dinner with Kim, our friend Lauren, and her husband Jordan. Jordan sharply criticizes wearers of jorts, claiming that they ought to make a choice between shorts and jeans, not try to combine them. I have to concede that Jordan has a point. Combining two pleasing things does not always equal the superior product. Think of Cherry-Vanilla Dr. Pepper; Fed-Ex Kinkos, and the similar combination of shorts and a skirt, "skorts". Who do you see wearing skorts these days? Only five-year-old girls who don't know how to wear skirts properly. Hybrid products are not always bred in wisdom.

But if Jorts are a crime, then nearly everybody is guilty of fashion faux pas. According to Jordan, Jorts are not just cutoff jeans, but any jean that does not reach at least mid-calf. Thus, anything other than capri pants and standard blue jeans are offending parties. If we all gave up our jorts, the landfills would be overflowing. If we gave them to Goodwill, who would buy them? Kids whose parents didn't know better and dressed them in jorts would be ridculed and rejected by their peers. Jorts may be wrong, but if I'm wrong, baby, I don't want to be right.

If you haven't googled it yet, I suggest you do. There's nothing worse than an uninformed jorts-wearer. And if you do choose to wear jorts, make sure you know how to use them. Unlike athletic shorts, jorts have flies that have to be zipped.


I Got a Job!

Guess what I'm teaching?

I actually applied, interviewed, and accepted this position. If you remember me saying that I didn't want to teach middle school, then have a good laugh. But here are the benefits:
1. I only have to teach one subject: theatre.
2. I get to go home at 4 o'clock most days instead of being in rehearsal until 6 or 7 everynight.
3. I might have time to do some acting and take night classes in dance or something like that.
4. The students won't be the same age as me, or twice my size.
5. Junior high kids might laugh at my corny jokes (Might).
And, last but not least, I think God really changed my heart. I have nothing but great expectations.


Life in OK

Once a year, I go back to my hometown in Oklahoma for a family reunion. My Mom's side of the family is an interesting crowd. Here's a rundown of the events that took place at the yearly Tucker Family Reunion.
Monday: The Day Before
11:30 am: We drive out to Finley, a town almost wholly populated with my Mom's relatives. It has a gas station, a post office and a few churches. We see my cousin John is still building the house he started working on three years ago. John marveled us all by throwing some fish food in the pond out back and about 20 catfish came out and ate.

1 pm: We drive down the road to my cousin Stella's and see if our Alabama relatives have arrived yet. They haven't, so we take Stella and her husband Bob to the town of Snow (population 30-ish) to get Barbeque. While we're there, I see my high school drum major, Kristin. When we were in school, Kristin got her teeth kicked out by a mule. She looks great now.

5pm: We go back to Aunt Marie's house and look at some of her paintings of deer and other wildlife. We read the Homecoming edition of the Antlers American newspaper, and find that my brother's old friend Billy Sam was arrested on drug charges.

Tuesday: The day of the reunion
9 am: Despite my pleading, my Mom and Aunt Marie insist on going to the family reunion early to get their salads ready. Aunt Marie picks up my Aunt Alma from the nursing home. We are the first ones there.
10 am: My Dad gives my cousin Garrett an OU hat, bringing ugliness from all sides of the room. This is because my Mom's relatives are OSU alum, and they all think that my Dad is a city boy because he's from Antlers (population 2,500) instead of Finley (population 350?).
11:30 am: Little by little, the family starts trickling in. People bring homemade food, and we run out of room on the buffet table. The crisis is that we have too much chicken spaghetti! I find out that I have about six new baby cousins since last year. People begin to ask why I'm not married yet.
3:30: The kids leave and go to cousin Robert's pool to swim. All the moms start making homemade ice cream.
6:00: We eat whatever food is leftover from lunch and play bingo.
9:00 pm: The rest of the clan goes out to a bridge on Bug Tussle road. We light firecrackers on this bridge, knowing that people only drive across this bridge about once a day. My adult cousins, John and Steven, almost set themselves on fire several times. Cousin Garrett is burned in the leg when little Tucker, age seven, lights a satellite dish that goes flying into the crowd. Cousin Freda says it's never a good thing to see rednecks running toward you with flaming sticks.
Just wanted to give you a little taste of life with my family. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that I'm related to them, but maybe someday I'll move back there and raise cattle or horses. Quotes