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« What We Focus On, We Become | Main | And They Called It Grandpappy Lu-u-u-uvvv »

Monday, April 23, 2007


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When you qualify for "Obscure friends you met on Linda Sharp's website" week on Wheel, call me! :-)

Thank you, I thought I was missing one ;-) Guess I had songs of U2, Madonna, Prince, and the guys from the movies from the 80's (Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, Sixteen Candles, St. Elmo's fire... etc) AND all the cute guys in my high school running in my teen head instead of paying attention in class.

Audrey - I didn't want to be TOOOO braggy but Wheel of Fortune-puzzle-solving is another one of my useless skills. I like to blurt out the answer with just 3 or 4 letters in, thus ruining it for everyone! It is actually our nightly fixing dinner/eating routine. My husband loves it when they hit Bankrupt and my daughter tries to beat me but she has years to go...It is fun to amaze her once in a while - you know that look...Wow, how'd you know THAT? Maybe you're not as dumb as I thought!" :) And our Jeopardy viewing consists of me answering most answers, my husband breaking his arm off patting himself on the back if he beats me on a question and my daughter joining in when possible. The baby just watches us all and wonders how he got stuck with such weirdos for a family. My husband's fave? Daily Doubles, where he tells the contestant to "Bet it all and Lose it, ya big geeky, bastard!" Nothing like that green-eyed monster rearing it's ugly head! :)

Marlo, you forgot MO :o)

A man and a woman had a little baby, yes they did! There were Threeeeee in their family! Ha!
Three six nine, twelve fifteen eighteen, twenty-one twenty-four twenty-seven, THUUUUURRRRTTEEEE! You guys crack me up! I not only know obscure JEOPARDY! facts, I am the QUEEN of Wheel of Fortune! The only problem is, by the time I qualify to get on the show, I won't know who the current stars are, or titles of movies made after 1990.

I STILL sing the Preamble!!! I can't help it. And my British husband knows it, too. I also still have Conjunction Junction memorized. And Figure Eight (the ice-skating one). Oh, and Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here. I was a HUGE Schoolhouse Rock geek!!!

My personal favorite:

I'm just a bill, yes, I'm only a bill, and I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it's a long long journey to the capital city. It's a long long wait while I'm sitting in committee, but I know I'll be a law some day. At least I hope and pray that I will...
But today I am still just a bill.

Being a teacher, I always try to get people to understand that we do not decide how and what we teach. I wish we could, it might be more meaningful. Every year, some "brilliant" individual comes up with some new teaching method or name for what we teach. Usually, this person has never set foot in a classroom but has so much formal education they just don't know what to do with it. No practical experience, just lots of degrees and a passion for making us work harder than we already do. I totally understand the "useless" knowledge deal, though. I have a hard time convincing kids the value of some of the things they must learn when, sometimes, I don't see the value either. I have an absolute arsenal of useless facts and statistics. Song lyrics from the last 20 years also are my specialty. My son asked in the car one day if there were any songs I didn't know. I asked why and he told me cause he was going to make sure to buy those cd's for long car rides. I think I might be offended at that.

And don't forget...

I took a train, took a train to another state...
The flora and the fauna that I saw were really great.
When I saw some bandits chasin' the train.
I was wishin' I was back home again.
I took a train, took a train to another state.


Interjections (Well!) show excitement (Oh!) or emotion (Hey!).
They're generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point,
Or by a comma when the feeling's not as strong.

So when you're happy (Hurray!) or sad (Aw!)
Or frightened (Eeeeeek!) or mad (Rats!)
Or excited (Wow!) or glad (Hey!)
An interjection starts a sentence right.

and lest you forget...

Now, I have a friend named Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla,
And I could say that Rufus found a kangaroo
That followed Rufus home
And now that kangaroo belongs
To Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla.
Whew! I could say that, but I don't have to,
'Cause I got pronouns,
I can say, "HE found a kangaroo that followed HIM home and now IT is HIS"

Ahhhh, good times...speaking of which...

Good Times.
Any time you meet a payment.
Good Times.
Any time you need a friend.
Good Times.
Any time you're out from under.

Not getting hastled, not getting hustled.
Keepin' your head above water,
Making a wave when you can.

Temporary lay offs.
Good Times.
Easy credit rip offs.
Good Times.
Scratchin' and surviving.
Good Times.
Hangin in a chow line
Good Times.
Ain't we lucky we got 'em
Good Times.

I seriously need to do some mental housecleaning...

Truly the most genius television ever put out for kids...sing with me ...

We the people, in order to form a more perfect union,
establish justice, insure domestic tranquility-hee.

Pro-vide for the common defense,
Promote the general welfare a-and
Secure the blessings of li-ber-ty
To ourselves and our posterity

Do ordain and esta-a-ablish this con-sti-tu-tionnnn
For-or the United States o-o-of America-a
The United States of America!

Schoolhouse Rock is genius! They need to put it back into rotation and produce some new ones. "I'm just a Bill, yes I'm only a bill! And I'm sittin' here on Capital Hill..."Conjunction Junction, what's your function?" Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your adverbs here!

Audrey - Maybe we ARE long-lost twins. I LOVE Jeopardy. I am the resident champion here at my house, having won more money than Ken Jennings over the years! What is "You can't go shopping with pretend Game Show winnings?" Alex? :)

Okay, this is really weird. Just about a week ago, I heard Nights in White Satin on the radio (one of my all time favorite songs!) and my husband turned the channel when he THOUGHT the song was over. I turned the channel back and screamed at him "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? ARE YOU CRAZY???" The song wasn't over. "...breathe deep...the gathering doom..." I precisely recited out loud. He admitted to me that he had never heard the ending of that song before. I was flabbergasted. I guess he is just an impatient person and never waited to listen to the ending. Always changed the channel first. Whatever. He just has no appreciation for classic rock music.

Amazing, my husband and I were trying to remember the states that start with "M" (MA, MN, MT, ME, and MS) and which abbreviation goes with which state. While I was in high school (about 16 years ago) I knew all the words to all the songs- while my father couldn't understand 'why my brain could store such useless information- but couldn't seen to bring my grades up'. Hey I was a TEENAGER- I didn't need school ;-) (I did graduate in 1991) I agree- why in school did we have to learn how to disect a worm or a frog?? Knowing this, does not get me more of a raise at work?? But I guess they (teachers) figured in the long run we would store it in our minds- and use it in our adulthood. I can still proudly recite all the words and songs to 'Grease' ;-). But all in all- we have the memories of Highschool- whether good or bad in our brains ;-)

One of the first songs my kids learned was the Schoolhouse Rock preamble to the Constitution. I figured if it had been stuck in my head all these years with no ill effects, it couldn't hurt them to know it. I also know scads of song lyrics. I wonder if there's some connection between people who have the same sense of humor as those who frequent this site and people who store useless info such as: be am is are was were do does did have has had may can might must could would should shall will (the helping verbs)?

You guys are lucky.
We are doing 7th grade homework here -
digestive tracts of clams and oysters etc.
We got to study the
meaning of a 'one way' system - eeeeuuuw.
Why do we need to know this? I guess to be thankful that I am two way animal...
Also thinking those pearls made from sand and mucus arent so glamorous anymore...
And now onto circulatory systems of earthworms.

Brilliant column, once again. I'm envious that you know the "Nights In White Satin" spoken words, though. I always end up reciting Dr. Seuss' "Sam, I Am" when that part comes. By the way, I still sit on a inflatable doughnut because of my rhomboids, and my octagons have upped and left. I, too, am a Master at Useless trivia, but in my advanced age (40+) and with the onset of Alzheimer's, I barely remember my OWN phone number, much less anyone else's. My memory bank resembles an old U-STORE-IT where the boxes have crumbled from the weight and the papers have yellowed and faded. I count on my emails (which never get deleted) and post-its placed everywhere and anywhere, like office wallpaper. That being said, I can still tell you every Oscar- winning picture, actor and actress (supporting also)from 1927 on, the entire starting line-up of every Mets team since 1962, some with batting averages, every Super Bowl winner, and the names of almost every woman I've come to "know".

Come to think of it, maybe it's not so useless. I just don't remember their numbers...


The answer to your dilemma has to be that x is equal to 1!

Basically due to the commutative property of multiplication, A*B*C*D = B*C*D*A=C*D*A*B= etc. Basically the order in which you multiply the factors does not change the product of those factors. The only number x for which that expression would work is x=1.

See if this is the right answer.

OK, I am a reasonably intelligent person with a near-photographic memory, but why, oh why, must I retain all these useless phone numbers in the "address book" section of my brain? Even after all these years of being married, my husband still is amazed when I can cough up the number of some carpet cleaning company we called two weeks ago.

It's not all roses, however. Why can't I remember, as I'm staring down the baking goods aisle at the market, that I need salt? My dad used to tell me that I had a "convenient memory" when I was a kid (Oh, was I grounded today?), but I'd surely lose the phone book if I could.

A P.S. to you, Linda: has a link to the French idol's version of "Like a Virgin" that you posted a while back. Is someone at People reading your blog? :-)

As we can all see; Linda IS smarter than a fifth grader!!
BTW, are all these kids homeless or what? They have NEVER changed their clothes. OK, the fifth grade boys I can understand, those girls must be pulling down some sort of scratch and wanting some new kicks or something!

I thinkthat every so often, math teachers think they have to reinvent the wheel, so they change up the WAY math is done. I just received (i before e except after c) a letter from my second grader's teacher, asking me NOT to teach her to "carry" her numbers. She has decided that method is confusing. You should've seen what instructions were sent in its place! You may as well have asked me to recite pi to the 15 thousandth! I think I may need a metric ruler, protractor and compass to help her!

Sandy, I believe you are my long lost TWIN!! Ha! My kids are always amazed when I can sing the lyrics to any song recorded in the 20th century! Can't help it-my dad (who happened to be a health teacher) forced us to listen to soft rock AND talk radio throughout the seventies--now I LOVE talk radio and wax nostalgic whenever I listen to an oldies station. And I have the answer as to WHAT we do with all that abstract information collecting dust in our mental "boxes"---we answer(in question form, no less) all the wierd, abstract answers on JEOPARDY!

Right now I wish I had a brain built by IBM and I could press the delete button. When so many things are lying stagnant in my mind, not just from recent events, but from years ago...that delete button would come in pretty handy. From the day I saw the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I knew that was exactly what I needed to be able to move on and forget. Of course, there is no such thing.
As for math and science and other "facts", those are easy. Facts don't change, they are constant. You either remember them or you don't. No big deal. I just open up my daughter's book and try to make sense of it all. Fortunately, she rarely needs my help with HW!
As for the other stuff that I want to forget, I can't.


I personally like it when my I-think-I-know-everything-10-year-old questions me when I correct her homework. OK, so maybe ONCE or TWICE I may have miscalculated on the math (damn tiny calculator buttons!) But I like to remind her that not only have I been through 5th grade already, but I also managed to graduate high school and college so my brain does have enough power to handle her homework - little turd.

Oh, and in addition to many, if not all of the factoids and forced lessons stored in your brain, Linda, mine contains lyrics - years and years and verses and verses and lines and lines of song lyrics. I don't think they'll help me with 5th-grade homework but I can sing along to almost any song on the radio and embarrass my child in front of her friends, instead. Sounds like the perfect trade-off to me!

Linda: Just wait, it only gets better. My son thought I knew it all, but what happened is, they change the name. He said he had to write a "reader's response" and when I asked his what that was, he said in shock, "you don't KNOW?!" Uh, no, I don't. And the science terms? Forget-about-it. There words I NEVER knew, ever. Then they threw in something called "Sunshine Math." If you can figure this out, I bow to your expertize - what number (we'll call x) times ABCD equals DCBA? And you have to not only find x, but ABCD and DCBA. p.s. We never did figure it out.

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