Saturday, August 30, 2008

Flat out like a Lizard Leapin'

Hey! You have to look very carefully at this picture to see the HUGE tree that fell on our favorite shelter house at the lake during a huge storm we had on Thursday night. It was just way too pretty to spend an afternoon after school cooped up in a shop, so I headed to my friend's house. She came out to the car. "Aren't you going to the shop?" I called her close and whispered in her ear: "Lake. Taco Salads. Sasha." She kinda smiled and decided that, yeah, that sounded just fine. We grabbed her little old Shih tszu (how do you spell that?) Sasha AKA Joan Rivers (see photo), and we were off!

Imagine our shock to discover this old tree had pulverized one corner of the building. We decided to go to a different one, just in case the building wasn't finished with its fall! Taco Bell never disappoints if a person wants to dedicate the 800, yeah 800~ calories to a Taco Salad. We sacrificed. We splurged. We laughed, and we both fought a few little sad thoughts as little Sasha's arthritis keeps her from charging about the place as she used to. What a little jewel that doggie is to my friend. Sasha is a special little dog, as all little pets who become people seem to be. The wonderful owner of the grocery in town saves little pieces of deli meat and gives them to my friend wrapped in brown paper and snipped just right for an old dog's delicate palate. He remarked to me one day when I said that Sasha wanted to come down to my house and bring my friend for supper; "I hope that dog lives forever." Don't we all.

Friday was one of those TGIF days at school. The rise of concern over Internet use has our school installing new checks,filters, and what not to keep kids off websites they don't need. This filter blocks a few sites that aren't on that list, including anything that even mentions the name YOUtube... haha.. So yeah, Oatmeal and Whimsy is banned. A huge, kind of ominous sign appeared when I decided to check it yesterday. "CENSORED. BANNED website. CONTAINS 'objectionable phrases.'" It kind of took me by shock. I must say I didn't feel very American, very ah... simpatico with the new filter. So it went most of the day with sites dedicated to the Jewish nation during the holocaust (banned for content showing corpses in pits of black and white)--- for classes reading NIGHT by Wiesel, my favorite Grammar interactive practice site (foolishly dubbed Grammar Gaming Online).... and thus, I heeded the after-school need for trees, birds, lakeside lapping noises, and a little chat with my dear friend.... I'm not saying the rules are wrong... just sad... I hate the need for control over the human spirit. Words, synonyms, even our past histories of atrocities.. they are a part of our collective soul. As much as we'd like to shelter ourselves from the evils available on the Internet and in the world, we cannot do that any more... Because they have permeated the culture, we have to gently allow them into our spirits and into the spirits of youth --- and oh, so much.... we have to instill alongside that, a spirit that acknowledged the ugly but believes in the good... a soul that joins Anne Frank in saying, "In spite of everything people are really good at heart." That's not to say I don't believe in filters on school Internets. I do understand. I just felt kinda like a Bolshevik revolutionist to see my simple-like Oatmeal and Whimsy banned.... due to a Youtube of the Cactus Cuties singing the Star Spangled Banner.... and a white cockatoo dancing to the Backstreet Boys...

I will let you guys go.. I used to do YouTube Saturdays... I think I just did -----one without all that technology, moving picture baggage! haha..


Lisa said...

Because you are the best in every sense of the word, I have a little award for you too, come visit. Have a nice restful Labor Day. My weekend has just gone entirely too fast already.

Liz said...

Hi Gayla,
Thanks for stopping by my little "Charm School". Your name is in the hopper! Good Luck!

Regarding censorship:
I'm just glad that Night and Diary of Ann Frank are even still read in schools. The whole internet thing is a quandary for sure. I am concerned that our technology is changing faster than our ability to teach virtue.

You have a thought provoking blog and it is clear that you can write. I will bookmark you and be back!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

CIELO said...

Good morning Gayla! Sorry to hear about that tree falling on top of your pretty gazebo.... storms are umpredictable and not a good thing.... but then again, that's nature's umpredictable soul! :)

by the way, the House in the Roses is having a Window Party this Friday, and wish you could participate.... only thing you need to do is show us your favorite window of your home.... it promises to be fun! come see!