Sunday, June 18, 2006

That's a wrap

Updated July 22, 2006 1:48 a.m. New information is at the bottom of this post.

If all goes well, I may finally be getting rid of a 14-karat gold and diamond albatross that's been hanging around my neck for more than two years.

I found out last week that someone has made an offer on the ring I have been trying to sell on consignment. The ring is a ring that I bought as an engagement ring in December 2003. The ring was given back to me two years ago this month. It took quite a while to decide what to do with it. I didn't admit it to myself at the time, but I'm pretty sure I held onto it for as long as I did in some sort of false hope that the woman I had given it to would want it back. Want me back. I finally decided to sell it when I knew with all my being that I didn't want her back. That, and I needed cash. I was broke.

Well, I still haven't got any cash out of the deal, and the offer on the ring, which isn't officially finalized yet, is less than I was asking and far, far less than I paid for the ring initially. And I'm still broke and really want to be done with the whole affair and put it all behind me -- lock, stock and facet.

When I found out about the offer, I knew I would make a blog post about it, about the closing of that chapter of my life. But I quickly came to learn something else. I got this overwhelmingly strong feeling that it would be my last blog post here.

Back when Digital Fishwrap was launched in December 2004, I wrote in the
first post that "I can't say there will be a theme to this blog, or even a cohesive thread running through it. ...
I merely seek a little better understanding of life and a better way to live it."

But there has been a theme running through this blog and that is of a man who lost love and is trying to learn how to live again. The better understanding I sought was how to move on.

I mentioned the former fiancee and the ring in the first post too, detailing how I had the theme music for "
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly," as my ringtone for her on my cell phone. I wrote, "Perhaps that's a story for another post: How the symbol of our relationship went from a diamond ring to 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.' " Well, the ringtone is still in the phone, but her number is long gone and mine has changed.

Sure, there have been posts on here about a lot of other topics. Early on that was probably as much to convince myself that I was moving on as anything else. Later, I actually found other things I was compelled to write about. My daughter and the relationship I have, or am working to try to have, with her has probably been a pretty visible subplot.

Somewhere along the line I found a voice -- tone deaf and off pitch as it may may be -- and I had fun with the site. It got me writing again at a time when I wasn't writing much. Now, I'm writing more outside this space and the writing here has grown infrequent, tired and forced.

The time has come to turn my attention to new things, to different things. Perhaps I may resurface in the blogosphere again, with a new site and a new theme. But not this one.

I hate goodbyes, as perhaps the whole "theme" of this site has illustrated in documenting a two-year journey to say goodbye to a life I no longer have and a person I no longer am. So I really hate to say goodbye to the loyal dozen or so folks who have regularly checked in on this site, from locations near and far, including some old, dear friends and some new ones made through reading each other's blog posts.

I did consider coming out of the blogging closet as it were, revealing the man behind the G-man, and maybe taking this blog in a new direction. But that just didn't feel right. If I've learned nothing else in the last couple of years, with the end of the most emotionally serious relationship and a change in jobs and a major relocation, I have learned that sometimes we have to say goodbye to something before we can move on to the next thing.

I also thought about deleting this blog site completely. Just disappearing and being all mysterious. But I think I'll leave it up, at least for a while. There are some posts here I actually was quite proud of, typos and all, even though I never did compile a "favorite posts" list like I considered at one time. Maybe I'll back up a few of them onto a disk somewhere to read what a miserable schmuck I was back when.

But mostly I need to leave it up so all the people searching for "
heart-shaped nipples," "nocturnal nose bleeds," "Barry Manilow," "Apollonia's tits," and "naked pool boys" can stumble on the site and wonder what the fuck this wacky site is all about.

I hope along the way something you've read here made you smile or laugh, even if you were laughing at me.

Thanks for the comments, for sharing part of my journey and for being part of my therapy. I am appreciative and grateful.

Well, except for you people who only came for the heart-shaped nipples.

Perverts! (E-mail me. We'll talk.)

Update: It has been well over a month since I wrote this post, and guess what? I still haven't got the money from the fucking ring. I swear that fucking thing will never go away.

I have been trying for weeks to get in touch with the people at the jewelry story that is supposed to be selling the ring. I called one day a few weeks ago on a Friday afternoon and the woman I've been dealing with in this saga wasn't there. Apparently the store was closing, or already closed. Obviously the reason the place hasn't been able to sell that damn ring is they are never open! Maybe the store is a hobby or something, because they seem to have limited hours and limited days of the week when anyone is even there. Obviously, I didn't notice that when I was living in that town, because I was working a swingshift, so I could pop in there at midday and transact my business before heading to work. Of course anyone who actually has anything approaching a normal job is not a customer there.

Anyway, The woman I talked to suggested I call back the following Monday. The problem is, I work during the week, during those few limited hours the store is open (life from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or something). And I would always forget to call over lunch. I would remember that I had not called when I got home from work each day and was walking to my mailbox and realized there was no check in there.

Finally, one day this week, I remembered to call during the middle of the day, and got the woman I've been dealing with. But apparently the woman who writes the checks has been out on some sort of family emergency. She was supposed to be back by end of this week or next. So the jewelry shop lady tells me that the check should go out next week and she will call me when it does.

So, we'll see if she calls and if the check actually comes. If she had not told me the check was coming, I was determined to have them just ship the ring to me so I could sell it myself, or toss it in the Willamette River, or something. Maybe I could take it to bars, toss it up on the bar and tell any woman who asked about it a sob story to see if they would take pity on the "broken" man with an expensive ring, and no finger to put it on.

Frankly I'd rather have the cash. Besides, there's another woman in my life who already knows the real sob story, and it's looking like maybe, just maybe, if I haven't so offended God that he pushes me further, she may be moving quite a bit closer to my current home. And maybe we might actually get to spend some time together. I don't want to jinx it. But I'm optimistic. And I don't think she would care for a slightly used piece of jewelry, no matter how well things go between us and how understanding she may be.

So my attempt to wrap up the Fishwrap, not to mention the whole failed engagement saga, in a nice little bow didn't quite work out the way I had planned. But then again, life rarely works out the way we think it will, does it? And that's part of what makes it exciting and interesting. The end of every chapter, every story every blog post isn't really an end. It's just the beginning of something else, the epilogue. The story beyond and behind the story.

Sometimes when we read someone else's story, we are left to wonder what happened after the final chapter. And we are left to write our own epilogue to the story penned by someone else. So, if you bother to write an epilogue to this saga, do me a favor. Make it a happy ending.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Am I who I think I am?

So, I log on to make a post today and now I have to use word verification on my own blog posts. Not the comments, but to make a post to my own blog.

The little message that comes with this verification thingy tells me that my blog has characteristics of a spam blog.

Can someone tell me what about this blog, seems like a spam blog? I don't think I've ever submitted posts about erectile disfunction or ways to make your penis larger, which seems to be characteristics of ever other e-mail floating through cyberspace.

I don't think I'm happy about that. No, I know I'm not happy about this.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Time to take the training wheels off

As I was walking toward my apartment I was passed by two children riding their bicycles. The first, a girl, was followed by a younger boy, who I imagined was her little brother. The boy was riding a smaller bike, equipped with training wheels and we was pedaling like the devil trying to keep up with his sister.

For some reason that fleeting encounter, that little image of a boy riding his bicycle on training wheels took me back to that time in my childhood when I was learning to ride a bike.

I imagine most kids learn those things from their parents. Aren't dads supposed to be the ones who teach us things like that, especially teaching sons things like that?

Well, my dad didn't teach me how to ride a bike. We didn't play catch in the yard. There was just never time for such things. The seasons when the weather was nicest for outdoor activities were my dad's busiest times of year with his work. He was up and gone long before I got out of bed, and he often didn't get home until well after sundown.

My first encounter learning to ride a bike happened when I was probably 8 or 9. We were at a friend's house in town and the boys in that family, even those younger than me, all knew how to ride bikes. They decided to become my tutors. So I climbed up on a bike, put my feet on the pedals, and they pushed me a long. I was terrified. Telling them not to let go, over and over. Being bratty boys, they swore they wouldn't let go and did anyway, for a brief period of time, only telling me afterward.

So I got braver and they let go for longer. There was the inevitable crash, but no major injuries. And I was hooked on the thrill of riding a bike. So, I started bugging my dad to get me one.

And he did. But I was not along to help pick out my new (used) two-wheeler. The one he picked out was purple, with a banana seat and, appropriately, training wheels. But it was also a girl's bike. It even came with a white basket on the front of it adorned with flowers. I was mortified then and every time I had occasion to ride my bike with friends from then on.

How could my dad get me a girl's bike?

Fortunately, the basket was removed, but there was no mistaking the fact that the bar -- I don't know what the technical description of it would be, but we used to call the bar across the top of a bike's frame the nut-cracker bar -- was missing. Well, it wasn't missing exactly, but it was curved low so it was just above the lower part of the frame. It was more of an ankle-cracker bar.

My dad's logic was that it would be easier for me to learn to ride a bike like that. Easier to get on and off. Never mind the emotional scars that my fragile gender identity would endure.

I was determined to learn to ride the shit out of that bike and outgrow it as quickly as possible. But we didn't have a ton of money and I had to make due with that bike for a long time. Fortunately, we lived out in the country so most of my friend from school never had to see me pedal past their house on my girlie bike.

When I did finally get a new bike, and pass my old one down to my brother, I got the most butch bike I could find, long before I knew what butch meant. It was all black, BMX style, with knobby tires and a funky shock absorber thingy on the front forks. This was a boy's bike. A bike for taking over jumps. Of course the thing was heavy as shit, and you had to make sure to hank up hard on the handlebars at just the right moment when flying off a ramp, or risk landing nose-first into the ground.

But seeing that little boy on his bike reminded me of that first bike and learning to ride. I suppose it would be easy to resent my father for getting me that bike, which I hated. But now I realize, his heart was in the right place, as it usually was. He just wanted to make learning to ride easier. Maybe, as the youngest of seven kids, he learned to ride on a bike that had belonged to one of his older sisters. I don't know. I just know that easier isn't always better.

It isn't always easier either.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Should I have stayed in bed?

Hello? Is everyone still out there?

I just wanted to check in and make sure the rapture didn't happen while I was sleeping. No?

My 91-year-old grandmother has been predicting it "any day now" for as long as I can remember. But then again Christ's disciples were sure it would happen in their lifetimes too.

So far, so good I guess.

Happy 6/6/06 everyone.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Monsters in the dark

In years past I would often have trouble falling a sleep at night because I couldn't shut my mind off. The minute I would go to bed I'd start thinking about all the things I needed to do the next day. And if I was stressed out about work, it was worse. Those are the times when I noticed the sleeplessness patterns the most.

But now it's different. For some reason I just dread going to bed. It's not like I hate my room, or my mattress or my bedding. I just hate going to bed.

I think the thing is that I hate going to bed alone.

You'd think I would be used to it by now. It's been two apartments, two different mattresses and two years since I've shared a bed with anyone. The funny thing is I've been sleeping alone again now for longer than my last relationship itself lasted.

I think I've put all the other baggage of that particular failed relationship behind me. The grieving for the person and the relationship itself has run its course. But I miss having someone to snuggle up with at night. Even on nights I had trouble falling asleep I would just lie there and listen to the person beside me breathing. Watching her sleep and listening to her breathing, slow was soothing, felt warm. Relaxing. In spite of myself, at some point, I would fall asleep.

We think of sex as intimacy, but it's always struck me as much more intimate, more a sign of trust, to be able to sleep -- literally sleep with someone. To expose ourselves at our most vulnerable to another. When we are asleep. To let someone see us at our gape-mouthed, snoring, drooling, hair-tousled, talking-in-our-sleep most vulnerable is a sign of trust.

I miss that. I miss having someone to snuggle up with. I miss having that special someone to wrap my arms around to make them feel protected with the truth is they are keeping my heart safe and warm. Even at those times where you want a little space like those nights it's too warm and skin on skin contacts is just to hot and uncomfortable to sleep. It's still reassuring to know someone is there, a few inches away, an easy reach when things turn too chilly or too dark. Sometimes we all need someone to chase away the monsters. The really scary monsters only come out at night, when the world is quiet.

It's pretty comical in retrospect. I used to dread sharing a bed with someone. Does she hog the covers? Do I? Will my snoring keep her awake? But mostly I like having room to spread out.

I remember one girlfriend years ago used to be a real snuggler and it drove me nuts. I needed a little space in order to sleep. Room to stretch and roll and toss and turn. I had been used to sprawling out all over the bed in my single days. But with her, there was no chance of that.

She had one of those old-fashioned waterbeds, with the padded siderails that surrounded a sloshing, bad of water that sent tidal wives across the mattress every time someone moved. It was a big bed, and we'd start out on our respective sides of the bed, but throughout the night she kept up the invasion of my territory and I would execute a tactical retreat. By morning I would end up sleeping half on the siderail and half down in the gap between the rail and the so-called mattress. Another person, or two, could have fit on the open mattress on the other side of that fucking, miserable bed.

Back then, I used to dread it when my girlfriend would tell me it was time to go to bed. What? Were we attached at the hip? Did we have to go to bed at the exact same time every night? The truth of the matter was I wanted some alone time. I wanted out of the relationship actually, I just hadn't worked up the nerve to tell her yet, or maybe even to admit it to myself.

And there were times in my last relationship I must admit I resented the whole going to bed at the same time thing. I was a night person and my ex was not. She could fall asleep literally as soon as her head hit the pillow. I used to think that was just an expression, but apparently some people have that gift. And I did see it as a gift. I was often jealous of her ability to just turn everything off and fall sound asleep so quickly. I've never been able to do that, not even as a child. Not unless I drive myself to the very brink of exhaustion. Anyway, I'd lay with her for a while and she'd fall asleep sometimes in the middle of a conversation. I'd watch TV, or watch her sleep, or both, resisting the urge to get back up and do something. Somehow my breathing would synchronize with hers. I would relax. And then, somewhere in the quiet, I'd fall asleep.

Maybe I can just get one of those baby monitors and find a woman who lives in range who will let me listen to her sleep. They even make the things with little cameras now, so I could even watch her sleep.

Or would that be just be a little too creepy?

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Who's backing down now, Dixie Chickies?

I was flipping through the radio dial and paused on my favorite country music station when the refrain of the Dixie Chicks' latest single, "Not Ready to Make Nice," came through the speakers. I didn't think much about it, but I soon learned it was just a snippet of a song as part of a commercial for Chicks' concert tickets going on sale.

It struck me as odd because of all the reported bad blood between the Chicks and country radio (I wrote about the controversy in this post, if you haven't been following it). I don't know if KWJJ, The Wolf-FM, has been playing anything off the Dixie Chicks new album, but station executives apparently didn't have any qualms about taking money for a commercial promoting the concert.

I really like the station, but I just haven't been in much of a country phase, so I haven't had The Wolf tuned in much of late. Thus I have no clue if they've been playing the new Chicks album or not. The station does have a survey on their Web site asking if they should play the new CD, which leads me to believe they haven't been playing it, but are thinking about it. Maybe the fact that the album, "Taking the Long Way," is No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Billboard Country Album charts after its first week of release has the station ready to reconsider. If you're curious, response to the poll is leaning 53 percent to 47 percent in favor of playing the CD. The station does list the Dixie Chicks on its artist list on its Web site.

Anyway, like I said, I've been listening to this other station lately, KYCH Charlie FM. (By the way, what's the deal with all these cutesy radio stations names that barely have any relation whatsoever to their station call letters? How do you get The Wolf out of KWJJ or Charlie out of KYCH?) The station plays an interesting mix of music. They call it random. And it's sort of like listening to an iPod, liberally loaded with music from from a wide range of popular styles and time periods, but not stuff you hear much on radio these days. Sort of like mix to the max. A sample from the stations playlist this evening includes: "The Sweetest Thing" by U2, "Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright, "I Hate Myself for Loving" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, "Wanna be Startin' Somethin'" by Michael Jackson and "I Want to Know" by Foreigner.

But lately I've been getting bored with that too, so I've been flipping around the dial.

This afternoon, on my way home from work, I was flipping around the dial again and landed on The Wolf again, and the afternoon drivetime DJ Scot Simon had a call-in contest where the winner could choice between Dixie Chicks concert tickets or movie tickets to see "The Break-Up," the new Vince Vaughn-Jennifer Anniston flick and tickets to the Woodburn Dragstrip. Ah, the drag races, now that's some redneck heaven for ya! Simon said since he didn't know how people were feeling about this whole Dixie Chick thing, he wanted to offer callers a choice of prizes.

You win the contest and you take the concert tickets, right? I tried calling in, because I knew the answer to his little trivia question, but couldn't get through. The woman who did and won the contest -- you guessed it -- took the movie tickets.

Tickets for the Dixie Chicks concert go on sale tomorrow morning. Why they are going on sale June 3 for a November 9 concert? Who knows. Maybe the group, and or their concert promoter, want to know early whether this tour is even gonna fly. Who the hell knows what might come up on my personal agenda between now and November? And if I buy tickets now, do I set up a date now for that concert? Hell, I could be three for four women down the relationship road by November (never mind the fact that I haven't dated in two years. Well, I did take one woman to another concert last fall, and we did end up in bed together, but that's a whole 'nother story).

I still haven't made up my mind if I'll buy tickets for the Dixie Chicks concert. Not because of the whole who-do-I-ask debate, but finances are a little tight right now. So, I might have to pass. And I think if I don't buy now it will be too late. I bet the show sells out.

Country radio and the larger country music industry machine may not have made up its mind yet whether to allow the Dixie Chicks back into the fold. And the Dixie Chicks are sure making noises like they don't really want back. But the fact of the matter is, the group has a country-based sound. It is what it is and they are what they are, whether industry execs wearing ties, or radio programmers wearing whatever the fuck they wear, or hicks with W bumper stickers on the bumper of the pickup trucks choose to accept it. In the great tradition of the U.S. economy, the market will decide who buys what. That's free enterprise at work. And that's a concept any self-respecting Republican has got to love.

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I lost her in a dream

The alarm clock is set to go off shortly, but it doesn't matter. I'm already awake. I woke up from an unsettling dream shortly before 5 a.m., after not getting to bed until late, and couldn't go back to sleep.

The dream wasn't bad, or what I would classify as a nightmare, but it was unsettling for some strange reason.

I was in a large room in London, participating in a panel discussion that was being either broadcast online or recorded for online distribution. I was on the panel with a couple of podcasters, some other dude who resembled a high school classmate, and me. We were all gathered around a large, rectangular table.

I kept trying to interject into the discussion, but couldn't get a word in edgewise. I kept stuttering and stammering. "But, but," but no one would yield. They just kept talking over me.

Loitering in the background was a woman. She was slender with blondish hair. She was someone I knew well for a long time and have a fond affection for. The time expired for the panel discussion, without me being able to make a single point to the panel or the wider audience and I was frustrated. As the panelist, including me, were getting ready to leave, I walked up to the woman and talked to her.

I was saying goodbye and knew it would be a long time before we would see each other again. I gave her a big hug and started to get choked up. I made some reference to parting ways again. Obviously we had been separated before and were about to be torn apart again.

As I am making my way out the door with the other panelists, the discussion continues, and finally I am able to interject a sentence or two into the conversation, but still keep getting interrupted, unable to complete a thought.

That's when I woke up. One of the ear buds for my iPod was still in my ear and iPod was still playing one of the Podcasts I subscribe too, Top of the Pods, which is based in England. I fell asleep listening to one podcast earlier in the night and slept through several others before waking from my dream.

Even in my groggy, sleep deprived state I realized the topic being discussed on the podcast was the very discussion I had been dreaming about.

I put the iPod on the nightstand, plugged it into the charger and tried to go back to sleep. My mind involuntarily started reviewing the dream.

I realized then that I didn't know who the woman in my dream was. I knew who she was when I was dreaming. Or at least I thought I did. But for the life of me I couldn't place her when I was awake. Her name was on the tip of my tongue. I could just about call her face to mind. But then the imagery and the name got even hazier, fading and withdrawing from my conscious mind. I realized it was lost, forever.

And I couldn't go back to sleep. I was left with this vaguely unsettled feeling, frustrated and disappointed by the lost friend (or was she a lover?) and the lost sleep. So, now here I sit at my computer realizing that my alarm clock will start to buzz at any moment.

It's going to be one of those days.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Grump Day -- Rainbow Roll

Back in October I had a this brilliant idea. I would start a periodic but regular feature here the the Fishwrap, the Rainbow Roll. Every so often I would do blog posts on a variety of topics, sort of like a sushi roll with a variety of fish all in one roll. It was such a brilliant idea, that I haven't made a single Rainbow Roll post since the Oct. 3, 2005, debut.

So, it's time to rectify that oversight with installment No. 2 of the Digital Fishwrap Rainbow Roll.


I don't remember when I first heard it, but somewhere along the line, probably when I was a teen, I learned that Wednesday was Hump Day.

I don't know who first came up with this concept, but it was fucking brilliant. Much more brilliant than the Rainbow Roll blog post idea. Hump day is memorable, because everyone from school kids to working stiffs can related to getting over the "hump" and being well on the way to the weekend. Whoever came up with it was probably just looking for a reason to go out drinking on a Wednesday night after work. But the other thing Hump day has going for it is the obvious euphemism for sex. So maybe the creator was looking for a reason to get laid in the middle of the week. Who knows, but the phrase has stuck, thanks to tittering youngsters, horny individuals and sackers everywhere.

But for me, the meaning of Wednesday is changing. it has evolved from Hump Day to Grump Day, because I am becoming a short-fused grouchy fuck on Wednesdays.

Wednesday may not be the worse day of my week, but it is certainly my grumpiest day of the week. Perhaps it's because I reach a certain critical mass of of sleep-deprivation due to insomnia which doesn't mesh well with my current schedule. Yesterday was no different.


I drive through several school zones on my way to work. And if I have the misfortune of leaving for work at the wrong time, I end up having to wait for a school bus at an intersection down the street from where I live. The bus loads up with about 4 billion small children from the apartment complex adjacent to the bus stop and the nearby neighborhood. Of course, grade school children take their sweet time boarding the bus. God help me if I'm in a hurry.

When that happens, I have to make up time en route, which means dodging crossing guards and more small children on the way to work. And of course the later I am the more likely I am to hit every red light, encounter a long line at Mickey D's making it an ordeal to get my Egg McMuffin and coffee, find the crossing guards escorting children through crosswalks and when the deities are really pissed off at me, there is unfailingly a train slowly traversing the railroad crossing that intersects my route.

Days I couldn't give a shit what time I get to work, the whole commute routine takes maybe 10 minutes counting McMuffin munching. On the bad days, the commute seems to take an eternity.
How many points would I get for taking out a crossing guard? Is there a bonus for snagging a rugrat by the backpack on my bumper?


I also regularly pass through another school zone on my normal route to lunch. Part of the reason I opted to name Wednesday "Grump Day" was due to something that happened on my way to lunch yesterday.

I was late going to lunch yesterday, a sign that all was not well with my day, putting me in a bit of a sour mood as it was. I was in a hurry, of course, but slowed to the requisite 20 mph through the school zone, which is normally devote of pedestrians during my lunch run. But on this day, I was shocked to find school children all over the fricking place, heading home.

It was 1:45 p.m.

What the fuck? Since when do kids get out of school, elementary school kids, get out of school at 1:45? And this was no early kindergarten class letting out. These kids looked to be from a rage of ages.

No child left behind, my ass. How are these little fuckers, mean treasures, supposed to learn a fucking thing if they are only in school about a minute and a half a day? Keep the brats in the classroom! Teach 'em somethin' for fuck sake! Worried about juvenile delinquency? No fucking wonder if the kids have three or four hours to find trouble in the afternoon before their parents can get home from work. Instead of giving kids 2-3 hours of homework a night, I have a novel idea. Why not keep them in school for a full day and let them do some work in class!?!? Shit-almighty! I'm using exclamation points and I hate fucking exclamation points!!

I can hear my teacher friends who read this blog screaming bloody murder right now. They can't wait to corner me to tell me how full of shit I am and how long their days are already and many hours they have to spend after the kids leave doing this thing and that thing and the other thing. Well, fuck that! Keep the kids in class. Grade papers while the kids are working on other papers or taking tests. Keep school children in school, keep school work in school and do your work in school and maybe our youth will learn something beyond all the sex, drugs, violence and swearing references in the latest rap song and how to cheat at their new Playstation or Xbox game.

When I was in school we were in class every day until 3:15 p.m. And we didn't have all these days off and half-days off for in-service. What the hell is in-service anyway? It's probably just a private party circle jerk for teachers.


God help me, I'm starting to sound like my father. I can tell already I'm going to be a grumpy, grouchy old fuck!

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