A Rainbow Connection

A few weeks ago my grandmother during one of our Sunday brunches admitted that The Muppets proved one of the worst films of 2012 for her: “Absolutel A profound wave of sadness and horror washed over me afterwards, as if I was twelve again watching the long-eared stars of Watership Down spray animated viscera on the big screen.  After she had left, well fed on eggs and the joys of childhood, I stumbled over to the piano and played ‘Rainbow Connection’ until the whole house was singing.  Throughout the rest of the day — amid homework, chores, and a chicken pot pie — we immersed ourselves in Muppet Treasure Island and The Muppet Caper until little by little, we felt the hope return to the world.

And just because it’s awesome . . .

Love’s Labors Lost

The latest edition of ABC’s Bachelor will choose his bride/soul mate/future tabloid scandal next week.   Mom and Katie are all a twitter, forcing me to hurl this question out into the void:

Assuming of course that the young man’s intentions is that of ‘true love’ and the hopes of the young ladies likewise lies in martial bliss and not just winning a TV game show,  which for all intensive purposes the show operates as; and assuming that all the buzz words concerning ‘chemistry’ and ‘connection’ and ‘marriage’ and ‘life-long partner’ contain a fraction of what these words represent . . .

If twenty or so girls (or men, The Bachelorette is equally guilty) profess their love/attraction to one guy (girl), how — when all the unsuitable contestants or prudes are removed from contention — can you honestly believe the affections of one or two?   In short, if all these girls fall for one guy with little to no knowledge of his hopes, dreams, fears, religion, favorite bands, or least favorite vegetable apart from his looks and his wallet, how can you trust any of them?  How can the affections of one be more trustworthy, authentic if the affections of many are so freely given?  Moreover, how can watching said program edify your faith in Love itself?

Admittedly the show sells itself as a train wreck, but with so much carnage, it makes one rather apprehensive to travel at all.  The single life keeps getting better and better.

Back to School Night

My lesson on Native Americans allowed us to make ceremonial masks.

“. . . and now I would like to introduce our newest teacher, Mr. Murph . . .”

Dr. T pauses to laugh.  A few amused smiles dance across the faces of my fellow teachers.  I politely offer a grin, grateful for a few extra minutes to map out my introduction.

“Actually, our second Mr. Murph . . . as you can see we’ve hired not only another Jess, but another Murph as well this year.  As many of you know, we already have a Mr. Murph teaching gym,” she gestured toward the grizzled man in grey sweats, two seats down; Mr Murph nodded.  “For the sake of the kids, we probably won’t change his name.  So we’ll have to think of another nickname for you, Murph.  Have you thought up anything yet?  Mr. Murphey, maybe?”

“Um . . .” I momentarily falter.  “Well, the kids have dubbed me MK . . . uh, using my first and last initials.”

“Ooo . . . I like that . . . Mr. MK,” Ms P, the drama teacher, interjected with a deep British accent.  “Kinda rolls off the tongue.”

A frown lingers on Dr. T’s face for a second or two, yet just as quickly, she returns to her sales-pitch, all smiles and gratitude.  Two weeks into my teaching post at Unity, and I still felt rather guarded toward the school principal. Though impressions varied among the staff, I treated my employer with polite respect and mild indifference. Continue reading

Fools and Mortals

“So I understand why Murph is here . . .” Bree sighed, irritated that someone had plied her body away from both couch and television.

“Why am I here?” I ask curiously.

“Because you’re gay for Shakespeare and Renaissance crap.”

“Okay, continue,” I nod. This is true.

“. . . but I don’t see why you’re here, Ryan,” Bree asks. Last Sunday, the siblings and I piled into Mom’s Excursion (it has Sirius Radio) and drove off to Clarksville, MD to visit the autumn Renaissance Festival. All of us (well mostly) had anticipated the visit for some time, eager to don silly hats, hurl knives, and consume enormous portions of period foods (i.e. ye olde cheesecake-on-a-stick). For the majority of my family including Brigid, this encompasses the whole of their interest in the Ren Faire, since everything else is ‘useless history and culture stuff.’ Continue reading