Je te déteste :P

Well, pretty much the only thing going on (of which I can makes sense, that is) in my head is the somewhat constant loop of this song the kids played in class today.

We were working on self-introductions, and, as usual, the kids were asking for additional phrases to throw into the practice conversations they were having with each added question I gave them to ask and answer.

(For example, on the first day of class, one kid asked for, “Can I have your number?”, and, as I gave him the French for it, the kids learned that they really could learn to say in French everything they want to say…, and now, they bring up the number question just about every other class meeting, as can be expected of teenage boys.)

When we brought up the question and answer for “What do you like (to do)?”, there was the natural question of, “What is I love you in French?”

And so I said and wrote Je t’aime on the board.

Then a similar phrase they requested.

And then there was, “How do you say, ‘I hate you’?”

**Do note that the kids are asking all of these things in French, with only the unknown phrase being said in English, and I only speak French with them… and this is only their third week of French ever.**

I laugh, and then write Je te déteste on the board, and I help them say it properly.

Immediately, I recall a beautiful bit of music I’d been shown a few years ago (by a student), and I explain to them that there is a song called “Je te déteste”, and it is sung by an artist called Vianney, and that they should look it up.

They asked if they could play the song now, and I told one of them to go ahead and pull it up on the desktop and projector, so we could all listen to it and watch the music video.

In shock for only a moment, the boy jumped into action – seemingly before I changed my mind or rescinded (is that right?) the unexpected offer.

He found the song, and played it for the final minutes of class, and I showed them how Vianney spells out déteste in the song, and, frankly, they kind of jammed out.

It was adorable.

And so, now, hours later, I have the middle of the song playing on loop in my head…

Je crie de tout mon être

Sur un morceau de bois

Plutôt que dans tes oreilles

Qui n’écoutent que toi

D E T E S TE te déteste

D E T E S T E….

So good, but so loop-inducing 😛

Je te déteste by Vianney… you’re welcome 😛

Post-a-day 2019

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Football

I had never been to one of my school’s football games without being in the band.

Tonight, I simply attended a game as a guest/patron (for free, of course, since I work there).

I didn’t know where to sit (or do they all just stand?).

So, I went and sat with the band. 😂

Although, I technically sat next to it while it was there, because that was where the orchestra director, whom I knew, was hanging out, and he invited me to join, once I found him.

But, when the band went down for half-time, I sat in the band section with him to help keep other people out of it.

Nevertheless, I basically sat with the band.

It was a good enough evening, I suppose, though in large part due to the conversation I had with someone about modeling and high fashion and photography – we’re going to do some photos together, and we’re both excited about them. 🙂

I did somewhat miss being in the band, though.

However, I enjoyed it lots in high school, because I sat next to a bunch of older, handsome boys, so the dorky, skinny, boys, combined with the required dance movements of the band tonight really had me not want to be a part of it… it mostly just made me miss my old band days and people a little more than usual.

P.S. I have had a headache and a sense of nausea nearly the entire day today (and night thus far)…. ugh!!!

Post-a-day 2019

Life and Language

No, I don’t watch television.

Do you watch Netflix, Hulu…?’

I don’t have Internet, wifi at home.

“Your life is boring,” he declares, matter-of-factly.

The other kids begin to panic, eyes wide at his blatant statement of potential rudeness to the teacher.

I laugh heartily, tell them how to say it all in French, and then mention how I’m actually really busy a lot of the time, and that my life is actually rather interesting – a fact which even takes me a bit by surprise in the moment.

I laugh and smile some more while they recover.

Later in the day, I am told…..

Actually, I am so tired, the memory I was intending for the past few hours to share has decided to go on vacation for a while…

I guess we’ll find out later, if it ends up coming back… 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Story-time

Staring at the ceiling, slumped backward over the sofa cushion that had been knocked onto the floor at some unknown time in the evening, Ch—- inhales sharply, and releases in a heavy sigh…, “Man…, I wanna do something!” he declares.

“Like what?” responds C—, only half interested in his little brother’s response.

“I don’ know…. just something….”

M—- chuckles from his spot in a chair across the room, resuming his tossing of a Hacky Sack into the air over and over again with the same hand, having abandoned actually standing and kicking it around in the air half an hour earlier… Ch—- always says this.

“It’s not like we can actually go anywhere, anyway, Ch—,” M— reminds him, “seeing as how it’s already nine o’clock and all, and your parents have gone to bed.”

Ch—- is silent for a moment, reflecting, ignoring M—‘s comment.

“I wanna go swimming,” Ch—- says, “That’s what I wanna do: go swimming.

Let’s go swimming, you guys!”

“In which pool exactly?… None are open and, in case you forgot, we don’t have a pool,” C— calmly reminds him.

Silence.

M— speaks up, “Swimming actually would be pretty nice right now.. zI could totally go for a swim.”

Baffled, C— regards him, eyebrows scrunched together, raised.

What?” asks M—, defensively, “I’m just saying I’m not against the idea.”

“Again, where would we be doing this swimming? Nowhere is open.”

“Too bad we don’t live near the ocean – the beach is always open!” Ch— chimes in, somewhat passively.

Silence…

C— turns to look at M—, then slowly tilts his head to one side, eyebrows raised…

M— regards C—, questioning at first, and then raises his eyebrows in recognition, drops the sides of his lips, and raises a shoulder, as if to say, ‘Why not?’

“Whadda you say?” asks C— to M—.

Ch— sits up suddenly, looking back and forth between the two older boys, jaw dropping in disbelief.

M—- smiles.

“Let’s do this,” declares C—-.

The three jump up, and each rushes to grab a few items, including the keys, use a bathroom, eat a quick snack before moving silently and stealthily toward the minivan that is parked in the driveway – their mother’s minivan and the only vehicle C— has started driving since getting his license recently.

An hour later, the trio find themselves on the Galveston beach, Ch— frolicking gaily in the sand at the water’s edge, while the other two take another hit on their unsophisticated and uncaring palates.

Ch— and M— share a drink or two, but they forbid C— from drinking – he is still driving them home later, and even the stupidity of the youth has its limits when dealing with genuinely smart and somewhat self-aware teenage boys.

By three a.m., they are careening back toward Houston, searching for a gas station with a vacuum to clean out C— and Ch—‘s mom’s minivan – it is filled with sand, though no one quite remembers when or how it all got in there – the haze of the fun was kind of in the way for them.

Eventually, they find it, and somehow manage to clean the minivan up really well, returning it to its nighttime place in the driveway.

Finally back home, the boys head silently into the back of the house, and lapse into total unconsciousness in the form of sleep.

It is five a.m.

At seven, their mom wakes up, and heads off to work, leaving the boys to their usual sleeping in routine, unconcerned.

When, after a week, no parent has mentioned anything, the boys begin to believe fully that they actually away with it.

And, somehow, they did

Post-a-day 2019

Yearbooks

***Update on the ant bite: My bicep still rocks, but the bite swelled and split open this morning, only to close up, turn green in the middle again, and start swelling again… we’ll see how it looks in the morning, now! (And the coach’s bites did not turn green, he said, but one was hurting a lot.)***

We now return to regular programming.

There is a guy working with me who graduated high school with my youngest brother.

I pulled out the yearbook from their senior year today, and had a brief look through the senior photos.

I enjoyed how much hair this guy and my brother both had in their photos, and how they both have almost none now, and both keep their heads shaved (though my brother uses a razor, and the other guy only seems to buzz it as short as possible).

One thing I noted was that their service work locations seemed almost stereotypical for each of them…. interesting, perhaps.

Something bigger, however, was the other people I found in the yearbook.

I crossed names of people whose faces I knew not, but whose names I knew well from my brother – how fun to put faces to the names, even almost two decades after the fact.

And then I realized that I finally had the opportunity to look up and remember my brother’s best friend’s full name – I forgot his middle name a few years back, and haven’t recalled it since…. I just always thought it was fascinating, because he was the fourth with the name, so he had a “, IV” at the end of his legal name.

And I use the past tense here, because he died at the start of their sophomore year of college.

It was drinking and a bit of drugs at a party, and everyone thought he’d simply fallen asleep, but, of course, he hadn’t… I’ve always remembered most that my brother was invited to that same party, but chose to work on his absurd amount of homework, instead (thank you, UT Architecture program [not for the first time]).

And so J—– died at the party, and my brother spoke at the funeral, at the request of J—-‘s family, and he did a wonderful job.

My mom and I also attended the funeral, along with a lot of people.

After the funeral, since J—- had always said that he wanted to go out with pinwheels and fireworks, we (a handful of select people that happened to include my mom and me) went to an open land area across from a movie theatre, and set off a bunch of little rockets and a few big shebang fireworks (the pinwheels had decorated the casket) – it was a true party and celebration to send off J—- and to say goodbye together.

When I came across his name today, I was delighted – I finally have it(!).

And then I gave his photo a good look.

And it was almost terrifying as an experience, though terrifying just is not quite the right word…

It suddenly occurred to me that this was the first time I’d seen a photo of J— since around the time of the funeral – I’d only had mental visions of him since then.

It was weird to think that, u like my brother and that other guy, J— had not aged from this photo… maybe two years’ worth of aging, but that was little different from the boy who sat in the frame that is in front of me now.

These were posed senior portraits for the yearbook, and so they each are looking directly at the camera…, directly at the viewer of the photograph… J—- was no exception…

And it was spooky, knowing that those eyes, so true and almost penetrating in this photo, were no longer here, no longer existed.

And then, it had me wonder how many people in this book, this yearbook are no longer around?

And that was perhaps even spookier…

I had to move on to other things then, both in terms of productivity and in terms of an emotional desire to step away from the increasing discomfort and potential sadness of what sat before me, visually and mentally, at that moment, and so I closed the book, put it back in its place, and walked away.

I soon had tears in my eyes, and the feeling of hollowness just behind the bottom of my ribs was growing.

Now, hours later and many tasks and conversations later, I feel less afraid, and more aware of the fleeting aspect of life, the circumstances that allow us a promise of a chance at everything, and at a chance of it all going away at any moment, in a moment’s time…

On my way up to the house where I am housesitting tonight, I passed their church, where J—-‘s funeral had been… I think of him every time I pass it (though that doesn’t happen too often), because it’s the only thing I’ve ever attended there…

……

I don’t have anything insightful about this… I just wanted to share…

Post-a-day 2019

Photo boss

Okay, maybe “photo boss” is a bit much, but it sure sounds intense, and in the right kind of way… ;P

Anyway, so I did the senior portraits for someone the other week – remember that?

(Maybe not, but let’s continue as though you do.)

Using the money from that, I invested in a new lens I’d wanted for a while (which has a high likelihood of earning me menu for a certain kind of photography rather soon, consistently), and in a second memory card that will be extremely useful as I do more and more photo sessions, and in an external hard drive exclusively for photos (since they take up loads of space, now that I’m doing the RAW files and all).

And – possibly the best part – I still have a bit of the money to spare, even after buying myself a huge tank of gas for the truck (the vehicle a family friend has lent me, so that I can go longer distances reliably, instead of only short distances, and unreliable so).

Isn’t that great?

Oh(!).

Of course, the photos turned out totally awesome – I’m super proud!

So, yeah… I’m really happy about these steps I’m taking.

It really makes a difference to declare that I am doing this. 🙂

Post-a-day 2019

Gullible

Back in high school, there was, as is likely often the case with high schoolers, a phase of everyone telling each other that “‘gullible’ is written on the ceiling.”

In the middle of that phase of adolescence, I was hanging out one day with a couple or few friends, just outside the school theatre.

Outside the entry doors to the theatre, the building’s roof continues to the sides, creating a large concrete-based overhang/roof over the walkway immediately surrounding the theatre.

We were hanging out in this area, stage left of the entry doors.

Being my usual self, I was browsing my surroundings, including the ceiling above me.

Curiosity struck me, when I came across something unique.

“What does ‘gullible’ mean?” I asked those with me.

They paused to look at me and scoff, or something of the sort.

Having received no useful answer, I explained the reason for my question.

Pointing at the ceiling, I told them, “It’s written up there, on the ceiling.”

The irony of the event and my statement finally struck me, when I learned the definition of the word later on, but I was met with little interest in looking to where I was pointing at the time – no one trusted or believed me.

I eventually – not sure if it was almost immediately or weeks or months later – started telling people about this incident, always chuckling at the whole affair, and was usually met with disbelief and distrust – only on occasion did someone believe me and share in the hilarity of the story and situation with me.

I worked usually in vain to explain how someone could go find the very word himself or herself, always wondering if it even was still there.

Today, more than a decade later, I went back to that same area, and dropped my head back to scan the ceiling…

Over to the side, just as I remembered it, in its pencil-lead-looking ink and terrible handwriting that was likely snuck up there in a huge hurry while teachers were out of sight, was this:

(And a slightly zoomed-in version:)

Snazzy, huh? ;P

Post-a-day 2019