Soundtrack to your life: 2

Going out into the world.

Lets move to 1997. I’m nominally an adult and for the first time I travel “alone”, i.e. without my parents or teachers. To make it even more exciting, it’s literally the first time I travel by plane and leave Europe to participate in a festival in Cuba. As you can imagine this was an extremely exciting occasion and it gets 2 songs.

1: Ricky Martin: María

María was censored or banned in many Latin American countries, because it was thought to promote drugs. With lyrics claiming that she’s “white as the day” “the hot cold” “like poison” and that you would want her ” even if you were going to die” that idea isn’t exactly far fetched.

Anyway, it sounded up and down the streets of Havana and Pinar del Río and I fell in love with Cuba, and the Spanish language. Thanks, Ricky.

The second one is Meredith Brooks: Bitch

For some reason, the plane had a 45 minutes playlist for a 10 hours flight and one of the songs was this one. To me, it’s still an anthem. Back then I was of course progressive and pro women, but I was also 18 and had that “women can be everything” idea many young women have before reality hits them. But Meredith said it, I’m a Bitch and that’s ok and if you can’t take it that’s your problem.

Soundtrack to your life: 1

Browsing through some music it struck me how certain songs are just the defining songs for certain times in our lives. You listen to them and they take you a to a place and time, they can evoke a certain mood like nothing else can, so I decided to share some of my “personal soundtrack” with you. Feel free to reply with your soundtrack in the comments.

Growing up and not knowing who you want to be: Innuendo by Queen

This was actually the first CD ever which I got together with the CD player. My English wasn’t quite good enough at that time to quite understand the lyrics, but the music just said enough. Just keep on trying, eh? Later I sat down and translated many of the songs, a much better exercise than anything we ever did in class and to this day some words are automatically said in Freddy’s voice in my head.

It was a time in my teenage years when I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be and what I actually liked.

Freddy died not much later and I was devastated, cut lose again after I thought I had found a place. Queen stayed with me through all these years. Although I like a great variety of music, I became a rock chick back then and have always stayed one at heart.

 

Remember Montreal

As chigau pointed out, it’s been 29 years since the École polytechnique massacre in Montreal, yet the story is all too common almost 30 years later. A white man who thought the world owed him a certain place went out to kill women, because he thought they were taking what was rightfully his, denying him his due.

While the event shocked not only the Canadian public, the ideology that led to it is far from eradicated. From Elliot Rogers over the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High to Alek Minassian killing women in Toronto, the pattern of entitlement and violence continues. And these are only the cases that make headlines, the cases where the victims were more or less randomly chosen. It doesn#t even get into the thousands of cases where men kill their (ex) partners or just a woman they hardly knew for turning them down.

And whenever these cases happen, the discussion is the same: mental illness is blamed*, women themselves are blamed. It’s a well practised dance around the violent misogynist mass murderer in the room.

This is why on this day of all, I have no moment of silence, but loud anger. For all of our sisters who have died and who will still die at the hands of men who think they are owed the world, and at the words of those who always have more empathy for the murderer than his victim.

 

*Before somebody feels the need to mention that X, Y, and Z had a history of mental illness, spare yourselves the time, I’ve got none for that discussion. While mental illness may make it easier for those men to turn to more extreme actions, it didn’t instil a hateful ideology into them and no mental illness ever forged a gun.

Wednesday Wings

David sends these wonderful images of pelicans.  Plus a bonus cormorant, I think.

I don’t think there can ever be too many Pelicans, so here is a bunch
roosting on a submerged tree, Murray River, Loxton, South Australia.

pelicans

©David Brindley, all rights reserved

pelicans

©David Brindley, all rights reserved

pelicans

©David Brindley, all rights reserved

I got Mail: Treasures from Across the Sea

Dear voyager sent me a parcel full of wonders and I’m going to share at least the images with you.

various goodies

All the wonderful things in one place, except for the lavender, which was stolen ba my kid.

chocolates

First of all, chocolate. I’m only going to eat this once my cold has gone completely.

magnets

Unicorn magnets. If the kids behave I will share. I’ll probably put some into their advent calendar.

maps

Postcards and a roadmap from voyager’s summer residence. Now I can check where Jack walked.

bone

A bone disk, I think. It says “fill me with resin and make me a pendant.” I think I need to work on an idea here.

beach findings

Sea urchins, snails and a sanddollar. How did voyager know I was working on an underwater landscape?

leaves

The wildlife guide is full of leaves from Jack’s walks. I have a pretty good idea as to what to do with them, but I won’t say anything yet. As I expected, #1 was very interested in the wildlife guide as such…

Seaglass and seashell fossils(?) I have an idea here, too…

Not pictured: a little matrioshka keyring that went directly to my keys…

Thanks you so much, voyager. Receiving your lovely gift was better than Christmas.

Teacher’s Corner: Things I don’t have to worry about

As you might know by now, being a teacher can be “exciting”.  From wrestling out of control teenagers over having misogynistic slurs hurled at me to a mother and adult brother trying to beat us up (fortunately I was in another parent-teacher talk). Still with that level of violence, there’s some things I don’t have to worry about. A big one is guns. While there have been some school shootings or massacres in Germany, the number is low, and actually yes, we’ve tightened gun laws after the first big one in 2002. The one in 2009 could only happen because the father of the shooter had disobeyed those and was subsequently convicted of manslaughter by negligence. Never say never, but  absolutely don’t worry about somebody shooting up my classroom with a military style assault weapon (and no, I’m not interested in the discussion of technicalities. You all know what weapons I mean).

I am worried about knives. They’re easy to get, easy to carry and can be deadly. But my chair is a very good defensive weapon against a knife. There’s a good chance I can get my students out of the room when somebody draws a knife while I try to calm that person. There’s a good chance that I will survive the extreme case of being hurt by a knife, which gets me to another thing I don#t have to worry about:

Healthcare cost. Should I or my students get hurt , we wouldn’t have to worry about who is paying our bills. I wouldn’t need to worry about losing my job for being sick or not getting paid because I used up my “sick days”. And I wouldn’t much need to worry about people blaming me for not having had a gun and killing somebody first.

 

Wednesday Wings: The Story of the Kinglet

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Click for full size

In German, a wren or kinglet is known as a “Zaunkönig”, the king of the hedges, and this is how he got his name.

One day, the birds decided to crown a king. They wanted the strongest bird to be their king so he could protect them, and they decided to hold a competition. They would all fly towards the sun, and the bird who could fly the highest would be their king. They all flew as high as they could. First, the small birds needed to return to earth. Then the geese and swans. the falcon flew very high, but finally he had to give up. The eagle flew higher and higher until the sun burned his light plumage to a dark brown. Finally, he was at the end of his tether and turned around. But the small king of hedges, who was still called by a different name back then, had hidden himself between the feathers of the mighty eagle. He had waited for just that moment, and when the eagle turned around, he came out, flew a bit higher and sang his triumphant song, declaring himself king.

The eagle was very angry at the cheating little bird and swore to kill him. The little king of hedges flew into the thick hedges to hide from the eagle, who was named king by the other birds. He keeps hiding there to this very day, but he still sings his song about beating the eagle in a flying competition.

La Luna

Rq just posted some wonderful shots of the moon and the skies, and coincidentally, I’ve got some waiting as well.

full moon

©Giliell, all rights reserved, click for full size

full moon.

©Giliell, all rights reserved, click for full size
Of course I could either get the trees in focus, or the moon…

full moon behind trees

©Giliell, all rights reserved, click for full size
The last two are a bit older

full moon

©Giliell, all rights reserved, click for full size

 

 

As for the musical interlude:

Hijo de la Luna

What a very 90s video. For those who don’t speak Spanish: A woman prays to the Moon for help, who wants her firstborn child in return. The child is born pale as the Moon, as the swarthy father kills the woman for feeling betrayed. The Moon now has the child and she makes a cradle when it cries.