Category Archives: education

ALCOHOLIC AMNESIA.

*this post is a video transcript.

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alcoholic amnesia.

that’s really at the crux of any argument that could win the case for amber heard, in my opinion, and I am not an attorney.

the video she captured of his behavior in the kitchen, slamming the cupboards around and drinking a lot of wine while he was already drunk in the morning, is enough evidence for anyone who has been in a relationship with somebody who is an active alcoholic. and, anyone who has been in a relationship with an active alcoholic knows that the potential for violence is always there.

many have actually seen aggressive behavior perpetrated toward inanimate objects, and have come very close to either being struck or being restrained or moved harshly -shoved – whatever; the potential is always there, and I would say it’s a matter of random luck of the draw who gets struck and who does not. because, when an alcoholic is in a binge drunk in the surly phase all bets are off as to whether or not that person can a) control what they do physically, or b) remember it.

it’s about whether they even remember it.

so, that’s the real issue. because, in a court of law, when you’re asked if you did or did not do something, as an active alcoholic how can you testify truthfully to something you cannot recall?

and, how can you defend it, if someone else has seen you do it?

that’s at the crux of this.

apparently, they both drank — we have enough evidence that Amber drank as well as Johnny — and, maybe all her wine consumption provoked her to slap back and and do the things that she did physically. maybe they both have alcoholic amnesia (although, her patterns seemed to be more about continuous drip, rather than black out) but, I don’t know how you enter alcoholic amnesia into a courtroom and assess it and measure it for its value. I think that should be considered because, obviously, it’s at the heart of this case.

alcoholics don’t remember what they say and do when they’re in the surly phase or in the pre-comatose phase, and if they have a habit and a behavior pattern of binging then they have a whole lifestyle of long episodes that they cannot retrieve – and, to them, don’t exist.

that side of the person as demonstrated

can’t be defended

nor can it be testified.

the alcoholic doesn’t realize or believe, in large part, that they’re capable of that kind of behavior.

now, some may remember some aspects of what they say and do. they may remember how they felt, perhaps, during the phase; but, they don’t remember what they did or said.

and, they may acknowledge evidence if they see it on film — ( they have to; they can’t deny that kind of evidence) — but, do they palpably, viscerally, tactiley, kinesthetically remember with their bodies and their minds?

that’s the issue, in my opinion. and, that’s just my opinion.

God bless the jurors, and Johnny and Amber – still vulnerable, both to each other and to themselves.

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Previously presented on YouTube @ Ruth Ann Scanzillo’s Music & Musings. Verbatim, until the end.

5/31/22.

Guns: Lapel Pin of the Powerful Elite.

I have a brass lapel pin in the shape of a cello.

In earlier years, the sterling silver eighth note or Treble clef populated these accessories, bestowed by the aspiring or devoted student, and my jewelry box is peppered with several.

( However, I can’t say whether I have ever actually worn any of them. As a working professional, I guess the doing always trumped the wearing; after all, musicians don’t generally feel the need to bear labels. They just show up and play. )

What we pin to our chest is a moniker. It tells the world of affiliation pride. From the American flag to the Masonic cross, so many associations and clubs require them of each member. But, what of such symbolism, and its affect on the subconscious?

Those who “pack” don’t wear theirs on the lapel. But, they might as well.

Because to these, the weapon is a mark.

They are part of the collectors’ culture. Some do use their rifles, to kill game in sport. Others place value on the history of the guncraft, its material detail and design, much as that of the fine wristwatch or other outmoded accoutrement.

To such afficionadi, history is what drives their interest. But, the lines blur here. Historian > politician……….many a retired general, on a visit to the officers’ club, might discuss his latest acquisition with those from whose social circle he or she seeks acknowledgement. Unfortunately, these are those whose power over legislation holds sway, and which has brought us to the scrutiny of the world stage.

Why? Because another “club” has arisen in our society, born and bred in its underbelly, populated by the disenfranchised, remotely located, and easily alienated. The anarchy of assault weapon acquisition is a burgeoning subculture, and poses a palpable threat to our social stability.

In fact, there are more assault weapons available in the United States per capita than anywhere else on earth. And, every time a lone shooter has massacred innocents, from Parkland to Uvalde, the assault weapon has been chosen to accomplish the deed.

The disparity between the culture of the elite collector and that of the stockpiling insurgent must be vanquished. Laws governing ownership are antiquated, and serve only the former while emboldening the latter. Those in leadership must recognize to which group they might belong, and legislate accordingly. And, the time to do so waits for no man, woman, or child.

My cello pin has a tiny, engraved bridge, set of strings, and protruding post known as the endpin. My real cello’s endpin is, when fully extended, almost two feet of sharpened steel, a weapon in itself. I know the difference.

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Copyright 5/29/22 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. No copying in whole or part, including translation; sharing permitted via direct blog link, exclusively. No RSSING. Thank you for respecting authenticity.

littlebarefeetblog.com

The Women Who Share The Shoe.

“There was an old woman, who lived in a shoe; she had so many children, she knew not what to do….”

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Playing with Barbie, Ken, and Skipper was my first experience with dolls. I think I had a drink and wet baby sometime before that, but it wasn’t the Chatty Cathy like Bonnie had and I never saw any point in holding or cuddling a hard chunk of sculpted plastic with blank, glass eyes. For me, since mum was a seamstress, it was just about changing their clothes, whole outfits she would wrap or tuck into the Christmas stocking after hours of arduous toil handsewing tiny hooks, snaps, and lace trim. In spite of her loving and expert efforts, I think the shoes captivated me most – on Barbie, especially the backless dress slippers.

I don’t remember a baby, in our house, though Paul was just two years behind me. The playpen was my home inside ours, me with my crayons and my favorite, the record player, whose 45s I could place on the turntable for singing along. If Paul was to be held and cuddled, it wasn’t his big sister allowed to do any of that. Instead, after first throwing the Fisher Price percolator at my head and drawing streaming blood, he would become my playmate, even my roommate, us talking together in the dark each in our twin beds in the one downstairs bedroom big enough for the two of us.

So, girls with any affinity for baby raising populated a world outside of mine. But, I can remember when they’d be born of the ladies at the Assembly Hall on Sunday morning – wrapped, held, cooing and inevitably crying during what was intended to be a solid hour of quiet meditation interrupted only by a hymn sung or a prayer, stood to be given solo by the occasional man. Most of these cherubs were out of my close up view, being a toddler knee high to their mothers who gathered between Morning Meeting and Sunday School out on the sidewalk or clustered in the gravel parking lot. And, once every summer for a week, they’d pepper the evening humidity at Crawford Hall Auditorium in Grove City during Gospel Meeting at the Eastern Bible Conference as, one by one, their mothers would make the ritual trip up the aisle to the lobby carrying their crying cargo. As I grew, I remember wondering how many of these young women waited all year for their turn to be part of the display.

When I became a teen, there were neighborhood girls who expanded our ranks and who seemed completely enraptured by each new addition born to the fellowship. They would take turns holding the babies. I might have as well, once or twice but, always feeling a bit clumsy, preferring to just look as closely as I could whenever they were nearby. Newborns seemed especially strange, with no ability to keep their heads from wobbling or their faces from forming odd expressions. Yet, the ladies made sounds of adoration, all smiles, talking about not much of anything with each other until I walked away to see if the piano was free.

My cousins Kathy and Cheryl, the former the last of my generation and the latter the first of hers, were the first of the real babies to enter my family scene. Kathy’s family lived in Ohio and the story was that she needed a heart valve surgery in the months after her birth, so I don’t remember seeing her until she could talk. But, Cheryl came with her parents to our large family gatherings regularly hosted by mum’s eldest sister, her parents driving all the way from the Detroit suburbs to present her. Cheryl was nearly perfect, and she wore a tiny pink silk bow attached to the top of her head with clear plastic tape. I remember her mother, Bev, holding Cheryl who sat on her mother’s lap already for the endless pictures being taken by everyone.

Beyond all this, babies really never entered my sphere of fantasy. I don’t remember any desire to have one of my own and, once I found out how they came into the world, even less. Looking back, I suspect the cause was hormone levels slightly out of balance, a lifetime of low progesterone. I didn’t much care for children either, and my first baby sitting job was a night shift where I only had to check on the one sleeping in the crib and spend the rest of the time watching late movies on the Tv we didn’t have in our house. Though naturally messy, I found myself cleaning up after the mother of these much as my own mum might have.

Even the epiphany, which came decades later while driving home from Fredonia ( when I realized I could return there to college and train to become an elementary music teacher) did not draw me to the children themselves; rather, I’d decided that working with the youngest would mean I wouldn’t have to produce conducted concerts.

And, even learning to become that teacher never focused on children or their needs; I was preoccupied becoming their most effective leader and instructor. It was all about me.

Four years after my first teaching placement in the high school, on advice of a colleague I bid down into the elementary system – 34 years old, engaged to be married, and happier than I’d ever been.

Preparing that summer for the first day of school, I enjoyed a surge of creative energy – making large, colorful props, and devising costumes, planning the opening presentation like a Disney producer. The kids took to it like birds in a nest. I had them, transfixed, and would for the next five years solid. They became my willing audience. All the painful years growing up the weird kid at school with few friends dissolved, in the realm which had now become mine. In my insular mind, I was their creative hero.

But, something else also happened. I began to experience the thrill of a child running up and clasping me by the knees. Their cheers in the cafeteria rushed through my body. Their hilarious spontaneity, their endlessly creative questions, their crowing a song together….I fell in love. I fell in love, with children – by the dozens, by the hundreds, by the thousands. It was me and the kids, singing at the tops of our lungs, playing violins and brass, wind, and percussion en masse, dancing (dancing!) and filling the stage for, yes, bi-annual concerts of the entire student enrollment plus ten years of fully staged musicals.

I was the old lady who lived in the shoe and, by last count, had tried to help raise probably four thousand or more. Many of these grew to become my lifelong friends, bearing their own babies, faces I now view with a grandmother’s adoration as they appear in the social feed. I couldn’t love them all equally; that was impossible. But, my best efforts were made, hopefully weaknesses smoothed over by a genuine heart for their creative spirits. I pray, likely as most mothers do, that these were never irreparably broken by anything I said or did.

We teachers are a mixed breed. Many are mothers, themselves. Some have managed to cover hundreds of students per week like I did and still make dinner for their brood and help with homework. My private music students who have come to the house for 34 years, with their parents, have in so many cases felt like the nieces and nephews I never see. Their parents have allowed me to be a part of their lives, like the sprinter who takes the race in short, intense spurts, many of these for nearly a decade at a time. I could not ask for a better gift, after having missed motherhood.

Happy Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day, to those who bore the children of each generation, and to all those who raised them. I’ll be here, in the shoe, with the rest of the women who live in it, doing what I learned to do from you, if and when you need me, baby.

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© 5/8/22 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose story it is and whose name appears above this line. Sharing permitted by direct blog link, exclusively – no RSSING. Thank you for respecting the writers from the village.

littlebarefeetblog.com