Saturday, December 13, 2008

Trivial Pursuit

Did you know that I'm full of useless information? Yes, it's true. And I pass the savings on to you, folks. Of course, you may think "Wow, we should get her on our team to play Trivial Pursuit". Nope. I'm pretty bad at that, mostly because I do this: "What IS that called? I know the answer, I just can't THINK of it." And then my teammates say, "What good are you?" And then my feelings get hurt and then I REALLY can't remember my useless information. So don't ask me to play Trivial Pursuit. But on my own, and in conversations with people, I'm chock full of info that you don't really need to know. You may be asking, "Why Kim, how did you acquire such useless information?" Folks, let me tell you, it just happens. My brain attracts it, I decide it is interesting, and then when there is a lull in the conversation (don't like lulls), I spring something like, "Did you know that Japan's Santa is called Santa Kurousu?" And people are amazed (ish). My information benefits you. Remember and be the lull-stopper.

In Japan, celebrating Christmas is very similar to the way that Americans celebrate Valentine's Day. There is no day off for Christmas (with less than 1% of the country being Christian, it's really just not a big deal) and it's particularly important for single women to have a date. Single woman need to have a date with their sweetheart on Christmas Eve and the gift they receive is very significant of the way their sweetheart sees their future together. Store-bought Christmas cakes are purchased by every family (ordered weeks in advance) to be consumed on Christmas day, and the leftover Christmas cakes are compared to single women who couldn't get a date on Christmas Eve. Nobody wants a Christmas cake on Christmas day. It's a big joke. Doesn't it sound like a nice joke? Women who are 25 and older (and not married) are also compared to old, unsold Christmas cakes.

I've wondered since I was a little girl what the song "I saw three ships" was about. If you've never heard of it, it's a Christmas song that states:

I saw three ships come sailing in
on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
I saw three ships come sailing in
on Christmas Day, in the morning.

There are other verses, including a reference to "and all the bells on earth shall ring on Christmas Day". This song is an old Christmas carol from England. In days of olde, before there were telephones and such, the only way an island like England could receive news was from the ships that sailed in. If there was news, then they would ring the bells on top of the ship many times, so that people could rush to the harbor to hear of whatever news there was to be heard. On Christmas, the ships that would sail in would ring their bells because it was Christmas. Yes, very interesting.

The word "ujima" (oo-ji-ma) means "work together". It's an African word. Use it in a sentence today. I know I will.

Other important things I've learned this week from working at a public school:

1. Periodically check hallways for stragglers who have somehow escaped the classline and have chosen to stay in the hallway to play with the fire extinguisher.

2. Jewish dance for a song called "Joyous Chanukah". I've performed and taught this dance at least 24 times this week.

3. I've learned how to play the "Dreidl" game. Any takers?

4. Getting out at a half day because of bad weather is an absolute nightmare. Some children (because parents either cannot be reached or do not care) are left at school anyway. And somehow, Jackson, MS escaped all snow, even though there was 2-5 inches of snow within 30 minutes of us. But we DID get PLENTY of freezing rain.

Off to a fun-filled day of grown-up time. So exciting! The kids are visiting Grandma at the "Ponderosa" (as we affectionately call it) while Daddy hunts (him kill big deer- provide meat for winter). I'm going to turn on Pandora and clean (ooo, big fun) and then go shopping. By. My. Self. Well, with my friend Diane, but by myself means without kids. Have a great Saturday!


Virginia said...

I love the picture of the ships... I've always loved that song but didn't know what the origin was. How cool.

Missy said...

I love useless info! Thanks, I will use it tonight at a Christmas party.
You should look at the pictures I just put on FB from the Rockettes. I also added lots of useless info to it. You will like it and it will make you happy.
Happy with yourself.

Anonymous said...

What a fun post. Trivial Pursuit is the most useless game ever. All you do is sit around and wait for your turn so you can say "yeah, I don't know."

Japanese culture is a very interesting thing. Brian and I took Japanese in high school and he works with lots of Japanese associates. They are pretty sexist bunch. But whatever. They like to do kareoke and go to Hooters on weekends while they are here in the states.

care-in said...

You wouldn't want me on your trivial pursuit game either.

Early dismissal b/c of weather is horrible. Teachers end up staying till normal time waiting for all of "those" parents.

Peyton said...

i like this post. i laughed. which is healthy ya know.

heather said...

I love Trivial Pursuit. And yes I would give you a hard time if I played. And I am really only good at the one we have I have played it a lot and know all the answers. It makes me seem smart anyway.

Kristi said...

I am amazed and concerned. See you next week!! Can't wait!!