Saturday, October 18, 2014

Today's Flowers: Fading Fern

Today's Flowers

White Heron

This morning I came upon a white heron who would have been happy to not have been come upon.  Off the beautiful bird went to the other side of the pond.  A beautiful bird, a beautiful moment.  I was lucky.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

About that Bullet on the Stair

            Sometime today, a security officer at my daughter’s school found a bullet on the stairs to the cafeteria.
            A bullet on the stairs to the cafeteria.
            So the principal sent an email to teachers and made an announcement that they should check their email and business continued as usual.  Students had early dismissal, and they went home at the appointed hour.
            And the principal sent an email letting parents know a bullet was found on the stairs to the cafeteria but everything was fine.  Business as usual.  This is America.
            Later that night, while I waited for my daughter’s concert to begin, my father emailed me to find out what happened at school.  I work in an urban school, so my first move was to google my school to find out what happened.  Nothing.  Of course—and I knew that .  Urban kids don’t get up to the completely fucked up psychological bullshit that rich suburban kids with shrinks can get up to.  Down in the city, we’re about hot meals and the peace of a classroom.  But the suburbs are different.
   I googled Nonnewaug and found out a security officer found a bullet on a stair leading to the cafeteria.  The principal sent an email to parents saying it was all good. 

            I read the email while I was waiting for my daughter’s concert to begin, and I thought, “Fuck you, buddy.  It’s not OK that someone found a bullet on a stair in my daughter’s school.”
            Because the little hunters who attend this agricultural high school should be told to leave their deer-killing ammo home when they show up to learn about history and science and literature.  Not 
one of these disciplines requires a bullet to be understood.

            So how safe is my daughter at this school?

            I’m scared out of my mind.  Last year, when the crazy French teacher who showed every sign of being a pedophile harassed my daughter, I took on the school to get rid of this woman.  She’s gone.  But what a fight to get the principal to get the point.

            How to get the principal to understand that if there is a bullet on the stair to the cafeteria, there is a gun-shooting individual on campus who does not have the sense to leave his deadly toys at home and—a big and, so this is a dramatic pause—is therefore a threat to every student on campus?

            Andy’s not that bright.  He requires multiple episodes of re-teaching.  He’s the kind of guy who takes personal calls from his needy wife while he’s having a meeting with the angry parent of an honors student.  The guy has no idea what is important or even when he should turn his phone off.

            Little boys and or girls are dropping their ammo on the stairs of a public high school in a well-heeled community in a blue state.

            Mr. O’Brien, I promise you this:  If you don’t keep my daughter safe in your school—Nonnewaug High School—the bullet that got past you today will be the least of your problems.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Our World Tuesday: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

We trooped out to Sleepy Hollow, New York, on Friday for a lantern-lit walk through the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.  The light onf the lanterns gave the family a suitably ghoulish glow.
We had a nice little walk around Sleepy Hollow before the tour.  Actually, we were looking for a public restroom, but none of the business people in Sleepy Hollow were big fans of creating a hospitable feeling by sharing their potties with us.  Not even the guy in the gift shop.  It was a tough half hour before we made our way to the cemetery, where there was a public restroom.  Why didn't we think to check in with the dead first?  Silly us.
The bathroom was in the building.  (Remember this in case you ever go there.)

These were some of our lanterns.  The image is blurry because my phone didn't want to be a camera after hours on a Friday.  Anyway, they had real kerosene in them, but nobody burned down the garden cemetery.
Here in the receiving vault was some vampire paraphernalia.  Some vampire movie had been filmed in this building, but I can't think of the name of it.  In case you're wondering, a receiveing vault receives dead bodies and holds onto them until the grave can be dug.  There were about three dozen niches for bodies, so from that you can imagine how busy this 90-acre garden cemetery was in the days before power equipment could tear through frozen ground.
This guy named Lister who made a fortune in fertilizer had this little monument put together for himself. He never married, so maybe he appreciated having this grieving beauty at his knee for all times.

Ours was a great evening that ended at a diner just across the Connecticut line where the cook knows what to do with a few eggs.   Halloween is a beautiful time.  I am glad it began early for us.

Our World Tuesday

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Today's Flowers: Roses in October

We had some heavy rain Saturday.  Before it came, I brought in the three roses that had bloomed during the week.  The rain was less than was promised but just what we needed.  These were fragile little cast-of plants when I brought them home from K-Mart in the late spring.  These double-discount deals sure did endure!

Today's Flowers