from david soul to john mellencamp: my 80s celebrity crushes

Plinky wants me to name my celebrity crush. I have none because Shepard Smith won’t clean out his inbox.

dude, you're missing out on my witty e-mails!

Instead I’ll list my crushes from the past in chronological order:

sorry dude, I gave up on us

1. David Soul from Starsky & Hutch. Why did I crush on an old guy when I was in third grade? Maybe because he sang a sappy ballad called, “Don’t Give Up on Us Baby.” Sappy ballads were staples in the ’70s. Way too much saccharin. Sorry David, I gave up on you. Because there’s a new 16-year-old sheriff in town…

not leaving too much up to the imagination

2. Shaun Cassidy. Now there ya go, someone more my age. He had a baby face and long hair like a girl. He didn’t button his shirts so that put all transgender conspiracies to rest. After 5 minutes I da-doo-ran-ran to…

which one is jessie's girl?

3. Rick Springfield. He sang AND played guitar with parachute pants, Members Only jacket, and bags under his eyes. Remember fan mail? With an envelope and stamp? I did it up right: colored with rainbows and my heart so my letters stood out. I don’t know what I wrote, I got distracted when a dancer moonwalked into my life…

why I learned to dance

4. Michael Jackson. Back when he had only one or two cosmetic surgeries on the cover of Thriller. I moonwalked, memorized the Thriller and Beat It dances, wore one sparkled glove to school with white socks and penny loafers. Then the Boss knocked me over the head with his butt on the cover of Born in the USA


5. Bruce Springsteen. Finally! A manly man! With muscles! He danced like a white guy with Courteney Cox. He broke my heart when he married Julianne Phillips and again when he broke her heart for his back up singer. If he had two main squeezes so could I. I went pure rock-n-roll with…

look at me! I can be centerfield with a baseball bat!

6. John Fogerty and John Cougar Mellencamp. I bought Centerfield with ten bucks I won in a poetry contest. I saw Mellencamp in concert in Milwaukee when he twisted his ankle early on but kept on going. I knew all the lyrics to all the songs. Then he went all liberal on me. Sigh.  At least he doesn’t hate Sarah Palin with a vengeance.

from scarecrow to endorsing john edwards? why?

I graduated high school then college and married my own guitar-playing artist who serenaded me with Grieg’s “Hall of the Mountain King” on his classical guitar. Crushes be damned.

All images by Flickr.

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the looks on our faces: my favorite picture

Today, Plinky asks to share my favorite photo of myself. I chose this one with my husband.

This photo’s my favorite because Tim was reluctant to have it taken at first, but it became the best photo of us together. It’s not one of those staged shots where you sit thinking, “C’mon! Take the picture!” with a plastic smile posted to your face. This photo reveals the looks we have on our faces most of the time.

We took this photo at my nephew’s wedding–the same nephew who asked all the women to dance at our wedding over 18 years ago. My youngest daughter took his place by running out on the dance floor and boogie-ing with anyone who was out there. I ran out there after her, of course, and danced to every song from Neil Diamond to Lady GaGa.

Tim and my older daughter sat at their table, quiet, playing games and taking pictures with their iPods, just like a typical day in the Jones household.

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you can never learn less

Bucky Fuller biography

My greatest achievement is now, this evening, as I enjoy a Fudgesicle. I helped my older daughter catch up with her homework after a bout of strep throat. I also helped my youngest daughter catch up with her homework since she switched charter schools last week.

I was more than happy to go from homeschooling one day a week to three if it meant my daughter wouldn’t overload her senses from an ever-growing classroom due to increasing California charter school enrollment. To any government head cheese who thinks getting rid of charter schools in California is a good thing, bite me.

My greatest achievement is peace of mind. I know that if one daughter who has a plethora of doctor appointments misses class, she won’t get behind because home school is a part of her learning. I know how to catch her up. I know that if the other daughter who doesn’t do well with so many kids in one room will succeed in a smaller classroom because that option is out there.

This morning when I volunteered in the classroom I heard the teacher tell her students, “We aren’t here to cheat or just write down the answers. We aren’t here to get the work done as fast as possible. You don’t know everything. I’m almost 31 years old and I don’t know everything. You are here to learn.”

It’s like what R. Buckminster Fuller said: “You can never learn less, you can only learn more.”

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the sun, chirping, and the child: 3 songs I never tire of



Here Comes the Sun by George Harrison

My sister played this album a LOT when I was little. Our family lived in a cozy one floor home in Pleasant Prairie, WI. My sister had all the Beatles albums and when I learned to read, I sat enthralled by the huge album covers and notes.

I saw the boys transforming from half shadows on Meet the Beatles to the four squares on Let it Be. “Here Comes the Sun” reminds me of whatever we lose, it eventually comes back just like the sun never-failing to rise.

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep by Mac & Katie Kissoon

Did Quiet Riot rip off the melody of this song for “Cum On Feel the Noize?” Listen closely, they sound alike. This song came out in 1971 which means I was 2 years old when it was on AM radio. I don’t remember much as a toddler but I do remember music.

I read that this song, about a baby bird who lost its mother, is a statement about boys lost in Vietnam. I’m not sure if that’s true but I do know that it’s a bubblegum pop song with a good beat you can dance to (to quote the many teenagers on Dick Clark‘s Rate-a-Record)

O-O-H Child by The Five Stair Steps

This song I listened to after my first daughter was born with a multitude of medical issues. The week after her birth, NICU kept finding something wrong with her as each day went by. First there were gastrointestinal issues, then a single kidney, and finally a hole in her heart.

Although the doctors swarmed around my husband and I and told us exactly what happened and what we needed to do, it still felt like we were drowning. Then I heard these lyrics: “Ooh child, things are gonna get easier. Ooh child, thing’s will get brighter.” And yes, eventually, we walked in the rays of the beautiful sun.

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humor me for a bit: my top ten qualities

Free Public Library, corner of Bent & Macquari...

Image by State Library of New South Wales collection via Flickr

Knowing libraries are still relevant.

Volunteering makes me happy to not get paid.

Through a plethora of doctor appointments for my daughter, God shows me my purpose.

I’m never bored because my brain needs exercise .

My favorite time of the day: reading books to my girls at night.

After all these years, I finally appreciate my parents.

Knowing time and apologies heal all wounds.

I never let a little titanium in my body get the best of me.

I can find poetry in anything.

My siblings rock.

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Twilight isn’t great, but it doesn’t suck

eclipse flyleaf

Image by circulating via Flickr

It’s not that I dislike the book. I’m reading it now and I can’t put it down. I’m probably going to read the entire series. So it befuddled me that a book series I’m investing in leaves me somewhat disappointed. But it does.

The author Stephanie Meyer spends wayyyyyy too much time describing emo vampire Edward Cullen. Yes, I get that Cullen rhymes with “sullen.” There’s only so many words to describe his beauty. The main character Bella has to comment on his eyes every time he speaks. When they have conversations, Edward’s sullenness and actions interrupt dialogue.  I don’t need to know he’s sad. I got that from the beginning.  It’s like, get on with it already.

I’m halfway through the book and nothing really has happened yet. Maybe I made the mistake of watching the movie first, but I think by this time the bad guys might have shown up by now.

In the film, Bella reacts to her realization that Edward is a vampire in a much more believable way. In the book, she simply tells him, “It doesn’t matter.” WHAT? If I was in high school and I find out my boyfriend with the chiseled features is a blood-sucking vampire, I’d ditch my pom poms and run away, my pleated skirt flapping in the breeze.

But I guess it doesn’t matter, I’m going to finish the book and the series because I have to know what happens. In that way, Stephanie Meyer is a genius. And that is never disappointing.

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there is more than heat in the south: viewing faulkner as poetry

mister faulkner

As an English major in college, I had to take a course in American literature. One day, my professor said that a lot of great American literature came from the South. As a wise-cracking young adult in the early ’90s, my hair sprayed with Proforma 5 inches high, I smacked my gum and said, “That’s because there’s nothing else to do down there.”

I was quite naïve. When one thinks about the south, humidity, heat, kids hanging out smoking in the Wal-Mart parking lot might come to mind. Then there’s more humidity, mosquitoes, hanging out on the front porch on Sunday afternoons, more heat, and sun tea. Great literature probably doesn’t pop up in that list.

But William Faulkner breaks that southern stigma, if only we pick up one of his books and read it. Take for instance, this passage from Requiem for a Nun:

“A soar, an apex, the South’s own apotheosis of its destiny and its pride, Mississippi and Yoknapatawpha County not last in this, Mississippi among the first of the eleven to ratify secession.”

When reading Faulkner I discovered that you must first approach his work as poetry and then story. Otherwise you miss out on the vivid imagery and the southern dialect, like this excerpt from As I Lay Dying by the character Darl:

“Pa’s feet are badly splayed, his toes cramped and bent and warped, with no toenail at all on his little toes, from working so hard in the wet in homemade shoes when he was a boy. Beside his chair his brogans sit. They look as though they had been hacked with a blunt axe out of pig-iron.”

As a student I didn’t see Faulkner as much more than an assignment. But now, I can’t wait to read more.

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