TESL Course Continues

Today we listened to Louis Armstrong sing "What a Wonderful World." I get choked up everytime I hear that song. It's one of the best ever written. I think one of my classmates could tell I dug the song. He reached up to his eye and pretended to joke-sniffle, but I could tell there was real passion behind his sarcasm. He even qualified it for me, by offering the entire class a Cliff Clavin about the song's history.

It was 1968," he paused, getting into radio announcer timbre. "Armstrong knew it would be his last time recording. He was in his old age and had wanted to see one more hit top the Billboard charts. The song was released in 1968 and made a bigger splash in Asia and elsewhere than it did in America. It wasn't until the 1987 film Good Morning, Vietnam featured the tune as part of its soundtrack that the song topped the charts once again."

"Yeah, we liked that song," another classmate agreed. "We used to listen to it a lot in Vietnam."

"Why is that?" our teacher asked. "I always imagined you'd listen to heavier stuff."

"Sometimes we listened to tough songs, but there were times when we listened to peaceful stuff. We liked listening to it. I don't know. I think it was good to have something calm and nice, when we were in a place that was so opposite that."

I am amazed at the lives of the human beings who surround me. There are so many incredible people on this planet.

Tonight I spoke to Lotus Blossom 75, a nice, North Cali girl who I've been asked to communicate with in robotic bips and whistles, much like R2D2 of Star Wars glory. Always a robot to please, I mustered a good-intentioned C3PO, and sat back with utter enjoyment, to make heads and tails of her half Southern California lilt and Japanese "O's" like "W's".

"So/w/ te/r/ me about /ch/oo?"


"What about you?"

"Me? What do you want to know?"

"You say you have brother?"

"Yeah, one lives with me. He's 20. Good guy."

"And you have another?"

"Yes. He's 26."

"So you have a lot going on?"

"What do yo mean?"

"A lot of brother."

That got me laughing. It was also when I knew I was in trouble. You don't want to make me laugh. It gets me fired up. Really, it does. In the world of turn-ons, I would say laughing is the biggest for me. If you can make me laugh, you got my heart. Put that in combination with an accent from a sexy women, and I'm ready to keel over and float in the clouds like an angel on Sunday. Especially when Lotus Blossom 75 uses words that are completely outdated in the English language like "squished" or asks me if "everything's alright?" when she doesn't have to. Those are definitely winners for me. But what took the cake was when she told me her roommates cats love HER more than him:

"They just like ME better," she says. "But I can't sleep with all 3 of them on the bed. They are too big. I get squished."

"That makes sense. They're big cats."

"Yes," she giggles. "Fatty is a big cat."

"Sounds like it."

"Yes," she laughs. "His name isn't really Fatty. I just call him Fatty."

"I know. I like that about you. You have a cat named Fatty."

She laughs for a bit, then composes herself. (I envision alien love.)

"So you say you work a lot of job?"

"It's actually a world record. I've had 32," I tell her.

"32!!!" she yelps. "Oh my, Gawd!"

"Yeah, it's a lot.'

"Why, so many?"

"I don't know...It ended up that way."

"So many-"

"Would you like to hear them?"

"Not all of them. Maybe, one or two."

"How about you guess? I've done them all."

"Okay...Porn star?!"

"Well, I do have a story about that one..."

We are supposed to meet for coffee sometime this week. I think it'll be fun. Especially meeting in Long Beach. I don't think I've ever been down there. I've just kept to Hollywood for the most part, since I moved to Cali. Call me Sheltered.

Tonight "Life Is Beautiful" was on television. I couldn't go to bed. I had to see the whole "Bonjourno Princepessa" plot to its end. It's one of the most brilliant 'falling in love' sequences I've seen at the movies. It might even be better than "It's a Wonderful Life." Or rival it, at least.

Anyway, I got to get to bed. I have nothing to do tomorrow. That takes energy.

Well, hold on, I'm so tired I almost forgot that I was going to talk about the first time I saw "Life Is Beautiful." I was in Philly. It was some theater right off 95 near South Street. I had just broken up with this person I was seeing, and feeling sad on love. Kind of lonely too. I went into this bar across the street, and ordered 3 martinis. By the time I showed up for movie time, I was completey blitzed. It took me the previews, the first fifteen minutes, and an espresso to finally get zoned in. Then Roberto Benigni took over. I laughed through the whole movie. Then I cried.

Later that month, I fell in love with the Ex-wife, and I took her to see the film.

Today I actually spoke to Mrs. X. She slighted me for not being the bread winner while we were together. Well, for clarity purposes, lets paint this picture to the tee.

"So how come you're not with me? What? You get tired of trying to save money with me?"

"Well, I had that one on my own," she grumbles.

This was where the conversation got real quiet. I wasn't upset or anything. I was just taken aback that she was still so angry with me. I figured a a couple years would wind down the heat. I also wondered why I didn't notice the anger while we were still puppies and kittens. You'd think a person could tell when someone's mad at them. Who knows? Maybe, this is a new side of the coin with her. Whatever it was, I didn't know it as what Mrs. X was when I was with her. Then again, I could just be a year older and wiser as Mickey G says.

Now I'm over and out.


*Bobbie Hawkins once critiqued me heavily for using the word "squished in a story. She called it "disgusting."**

**Bobbie also refused to allow the word "placed" in any of my stories. " 'Put' is so much better," she told me. 'Placed" is just awful." That made m laugh, but I listened. And you know what? I think she's right."

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