Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I hope that the coming year is one filled with prosperity and joy. I think that this country is taking a turn in the right direction and I am excited to witness that. More than that, I am excited to be part of that.

I have hopes, you could even say borderline resolutions for 2009. Mine are:

1. Be more organized :)

2. In some ways, not give a fuck.

3. In some ways, care more.

4. Look for the best in people despite my own misgivings.

So thats it. Short and sweet. What are yours? Happy New year once again...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Reflection Inspection




You Feel Humbled By Your Family



You are very quick to forgive your family for wrongdoings. You don't expect them to be perfect, and you try to help them out whenever it's possible.



You believe that your family is truly happy, even if there are minor disagreements and squabbles.



You've improved your family relationships through introspection. You always look at your own behavior first, and you've made changes to how you act.



You are honest and very outspoken with your family. You sometimes hurt feelings by saying things they don't want to hear.



Thats pretty spot on. I do need to shut it and zip my lip more often. That could be a New Years Resolution baby.

The next one.....




You Spread a Lot of Holiday Cheer



During the holidays, you represent the true spirit of Christmas.

You give freely, and you enjoy this special time of the year.



There's a good chance that you spread cheer every time of the year... not just during the holidays.

You're kind, upbeat, and generous. Anyone who crosses your path is lucky.



This one I like. You have to teach the value of being charitable. Whenever we are together and see a red kettle, I give them the money to put in themselves. My folks did that with me and it has stuck. You got to look out for those less fortunate. You just have to.

Christmas was fab. I think after all these years in the kid business, we have figured out the path is less is more. Everyone did so well. I will always cherish the 2008 holiday season:)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Everyone deserves a bit.......

Of Beach time!! Wish we could all celebrate it together at the beach. One of my fondest Christmas memories does not involve snow, presents or any of that stuff. Waking up before dawn, getting the beach prior to sunrise and being out in the surf as the sun rose on a Christmas morning always connected with me. Of course, if the waves were good, there is your present!!

Merry Christmas to you all. You've already given me so many presents this past year. Thanks!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

So Long

End of the semester are times of transitions. You get used to one group of students in a class and poof, they are gone. I was/am so fortunate in the kids I see and the two guys I team-teach with. Like I've said, I really like my job. Mr. D and I collaborated, of course, on the following letter to our 10th grade World History class. Good kids, I'll miss them.

Friday, December 19, 2008… our last “World History class” but an ending is really only the beginning of something new. However, before we go our separate ways, there are a few things I would like to share. Although, this is Mr. D's my third year as a teacher, and Mr. F's 15th … watching you learn, helping you find pieces of yourself, watching your world expanding before my vary eyes .. And still we are filled with awe.

As it was in the beginning, at the end of the school year we write for our students. It is a time to reflect on where we have been and where we are headed next. As we reflect on our semester with you, We really realized that we truly belong in this practice. Reflecting through writing is a powerful experience that changes both the writer and those who read the words. And now, from us to you, here are a few rambling thoughts …

This is what we want to share with you now --- in these final moments together --- the power each of us has to influence other and the world. Remember this, “you are a shaker, a mover and a builder of society” all you must do is be engaged. Do not stand in the side lines of life. We think about the last few weeks and what we hope you have learned and experienced, that you have gained something of value by the time we have “used” on each other.

Here are a few secrets we can share: (a). There is no substitute for hard work and if you will commit yourself to doing whatever is necessary, regardless of whether you receive a momentary payment or even a positive recognition, then you will do what’s right. (b). Know that the joy is in the doing, in the getting there, in the process. Everything is a process – learning, doing, living … it is all a process. (c) Embrace the in-betweens, the unknowns, the letting go, and good fortune will guide you through those moments of darkness. Listen within and you will find your way and know what to do next. Be personal. Be true to yourself.

It is time for you to move on. This piece of excerpts summarizes what I, Mr. D, feels about my role in your education and the role I have played in your lives:

The teacher said, “Come to the edge.”
The students replied, “We are afraid.”
The teacher said, “Come to the edge.”
The students replied, “But we are afraid.”
The teacher said, “Come to the edge.”
They came. He pushed them, And they flew.

You are my little eagles. It is time for you to fly and you are ready to take the next step. Be fearless and embrace life – everything is possible. And remember, take nothing for granted and know in your hearts that you once had a teacher who cared about you, who wanted the best for you, who believed in you, who was proud of you, and who respected you.

Enjoy life.
Laugh often.

So that was it. It took about 3 minutes. Some parts of the farewell message were his and some were mine. Part of their final was a reflective essay on what they had learned in World History. Many of the kids wrote the nicest things. Not fluffy things like you are my fav teacher but cool things that they learned this and they looked at things differently know that they knew this.

Like I said, I really like my job.....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still well kept...

I hear some people
been talkin' me down,
Bring up my name,
pass it 'round.
They don't mention
happy times
They do their thing,
I'll do mine.
Ooh baby,
that's hard to change
I can't tell them
how to feel.
Some get stoned,
some get strange,
But sooner or later
it all gets real.
Walk on, walk on,
Walk on, walk on.
I remember
the good old days,
Stayed up all night
gettin' crazed.
Then the money
was not so good,
But we still did
the best we could.
Ooh baby,
that's hard to change
I can't tell them
how to feel.
Some get stoned,
some get strange,
But sooner or later
it all gets real.
Walk on, walk on,
Walk on, walk on.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Cycle

Probably one of the more painful, albeit interesting, things to witness in SL is the cycle. By that I mean when someone comes to the point where they realize that very few people are their friends and that very few people have their back.

No, I'm not talking about myself. In both worlds, I'm a person that dispenses friendship, true, enduring friendship in small measures. The few I have mean the world to me and thats that. It's just a dynamic I grew up with and has been reenforced occasionally in my life.

So whats the better way? To give of yourself freely and without hesitation or playing it very measured? I think the answer is both and as individual as the person is. I got to be the way I am and other people are the way they are. It's all good!

It's hard to see someone struggle inworld. During the conversation it dawned on me that the ever present silver lining was in effect. I told my friend, "be grateful that you know them in this context rather than RL." Frankly, I don't know if that statement was of any comfort, but some how it made sense to me.

People can be such shits. I know I can. I have always attempted to be upfront with people. If I do something harsh, I'll tell you why. If I fuck up, I'll cop to it. One thing I will not do is play both sides and the middle at the same time. That's just way too messed up.

Big changes are on the horizon. I think the Bistro's toast. It's sad but then again, its the cycle. While its true than some stops on the cycle are more challenging than others, they all have something to offer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Roots.....Just Beautiful

Love this place....may be gone soon

Time for a grab bag

Ok you know the drill! An odd assortment of news stories, mayhem and strange bits of nonsense. Here we go....

Randall Webb, 42, of Hobe Sound, Florida, and his girlfriend had a dispute with two men from whom they purchaed twenty dollars' worth of crack cocaine. In the course of the altercation, Mr. Webb was shot in the right thigh. He proceeded to drive home, where he removed the bullet with a box cutter. He then smoked the crack. (Mr. Webb is available for ammo-removal by appointment only.)

The girlfriend. Where was the gf?

On October 9, 1562, the esteemed Italian anatomist and physician Gabrielo Fallopio died at the age of only 39. He is the namesake of the fallopian tubes--the two tubes leading from the ovaries to the uterus -- which he first identified. The aquaeductus Fallopi, the canal through which the facial nerve passes after leaving the auditory nerve, is also named after him. Fallopi, a professor of anatomy at Ferrara, Pisa, and University of Padua, inagurated many anatomical terms, naming the cochlea, the placenta, the vagina, and the clitoris.

This guy needs a holiday in his honor. Come on now....

Regarding the topic of body size, I think of SL. In an article "Distorting Reality for Children: Body Size Porportions of Barbie and Ken Dolls," two researches used hip measurements as a constant to calculate changes necessary for a young, healthy, adult woman and man to attain the same body proportions as Barbie and Ken. The woman would have to gain 24 inches in height, 5 inches in the chest, and 3.2 inches in neck length, while losing 6 inches in the waist. Ken wannabes would have to gain 20 inches in height, 11 inches in the chest, and 7.9 inches in neck circumference. If Barbie were a real female, she would be 7'2" with a 22" inch waist and a neck that could barley support her head. Ken would be 7'8" with a 43" inch waist. A little unrealistic, no?

I know them!! I am them!!

"Das ist absurd! Das ist absurd!"
(Translation: This is absurd! This is absurd!")

Last Words of Sigmund Freud...... I wonder what he saw :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

I advance masked....

I have been trying to blog this week. It hasn't been easy. At first I contemplated writing about my newest peeve. That would be the Tom Cruise picture where he plays Count Von Stauffenberg who tried, and failed, to assassinate Hitler in July 1944.

This topic is so absurd I couldn't squeeze out a blog about it. Nazi hero? Irregardless of the fact that Von Stauffenberg whole heartedly supported Hitler's desire for "living space" in Eastern Europe. This character only wanted to keep the German Army intact by negotiating a settlement with the western powers during WW II. Hero? Tom Cruise is just whacked.....

So........ I figured I would relate the feeling that I'm becoming a bit of a recluse in SL. I just don't reach out like I used to. I should feel bad about it, but I don't. I do indeed suck.

2008 has been a tough one. In both worlds really. Not a bad one but challenging as all hell. Sometimes the langour of sadness of our times is unbearable. I don't get paralyzed by it, I try to help more, scrape a few bucks together for the Salvation Army kettle and stuff like that.

In my corner of the world people seemed to have slowed down a bit. Toned it down a tad really. I don't mind that at all. I just want things to get better for us this coming year. Will they? I hope so.

This has to be one of the lousiest blogs I have ever posted but its right here, right now.

I have a ton of things that I continue to be grateful about. I never lose sight of that. Perhaps that what is required of all us these days. Find an area of gratitude and use that for an anchor during these anxious and turbulent times. Maybe what we all need to do is find our safe harbors and bring in others that could use a place to weather a storm.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's in the air.....

Something hasbecome readily apparent to me these past few days. Everybody is looking to make a buck, no matter what the circumstances, or ethics involved, off everyone else. Now I'm aware of the dynamics of the free enterprise system at work, but is there any breaking mechanism?

Let me provide an example. There is a special funding source that was created by our glorious state legislature to ensure continued quality teaching practices in our state. I guess other locales and regions call it "merit pay". Basically you are being rewarded for being an effective teacher. 1,500 bucks in your check prior to the holidays. Again I say nice, huh? Well our district has fiddled around with a way to make a buck of off our merit pay. Rather than us receiving a tidy sum to buy presents with and pay bills it has been altered that we will be receiving the aforementioned amount over 10 pay periods!!

Now please don't think I'm being another ungrateful teacher. I love my job and I'm blessed to have a job in these troubled economic times. But come on! You don't pay me enough, you mandate but do not fund, I try my damndest to always to what you ask of me.

Now you want to make a buck of the interest in my merit pay. I was looking forward to having my bills caught up to start the New Year and you even took that from me. This just sucks and is so beyond the pale.

The ultimate challenge is not become one of the faceless others that have an attitude of "you do that to me I do this to you"! Thats just pointless. It helps nuture that attitude of greed and avarice.

The only thing that comes to mind is a snippet from a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, "Lunatics on pogo sticks". Some how that makes sense to me.

Give to those less fortunate this Holiday Season! It's more important than ever.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What a Life.....

This past thursday I got a phone call at 5:38 a.m. My parents are older and when I get that adrenaline rush of being awoken by a phone call that early.....it sends ya.

Well, it was my Mom who told me that they wouldn't be coming to Thanksgiving at Kim's folks. Mom said she wasn't feeling that well and she was sorry.... Of course I was disappointed at not seeing them but relieved that nobody was in a bad way.

One of the many reasons I love my wife is that she instantly thought that I should drive up to my folks place and bring them some turkey dinner. My two oldest told me they wanted to go also. So after our meal was concluded and sufficient playground time was enjoyed by the twins, we drove home and then the boys and I went up to Prescott.

It was a nice, fall drive. Lots of lightning! The boys and I laughed about a bunch of different things. It was nice.

We got to my folks house. They were glad to see us and I was glad to see them. I gave them their containered Thanksgiving meal. It was about 8 p.m., so they opted to have it for lunch the following day. We spent the night there.

I had an interesting conversation with my Dad. He is not the tall guy with the jet black hair and the big, strong hands that would swallow mine up when he held my hand, but he is, and will always be my Dad. But when he hugs me, his generation have gotten a lot more comfortable affection wise it seems, I can still sense the same essence that I have always felt.

He is really sad and frustrated with the condition of our country. He volunteers at the VA in Prescott and comes into contact with vets from WWII up through the Iraq War. He says this sentiment is pretty pervasive. What frustrates these men the most? Not what you may think.

One thing the military ingrains in you is the number 1 rule: you look out for the other guy. My Dad is a living personification of this pedagogy. He threw his back out raking up leaves for the ladies across the street. Oh by the way, Dad is 83. Its that way with him.

It just seems to him that our country and society is just lousy with me firsters. My Dad feels that I "hit the jackpot" when I met and married Kim. And it's not only Kim's looks. It's what is inside of her, the sense of wanting to help and consideration of other people at all times.

I still try to make my Dad proud of me. He thinks being a teacher is great. As he puts it, "not selling my soul for a buck". But its hard, my pay lags, especially in this state. My folks are always there to help. Kim's folks are always there to help. They look out for us. We do our best to look out for them.

So this anxious holiday season, if you are wracking your brain over finances or what to buy someone, here's an idea. Look out for the other guy. Throw a couple of limited supply bucks into a Salvation Army kettle, buy a sandwich for a homeless person, whatever comes to mind.

I've already received so many gifts. Let me tell you about one. Kim puts lunch money into our oldest sons school lunch account. It seemed like he was blowing through this cash rapidly. He's growing so fast these days, we thought he was doubling up on lunches. Well, he was.

A friend of his, their family is having hard times and could not put send him to school with money or food. Lunch became optional. Not in my sons eyes. He started buying this kid lunch until his family could start providing lunch for him. I can honestly say that that was my first Christmas gift of 2008. Its a wonderful gift. One of the best I have ever gotten.

I told my Dad about Zach's act. He was quiet and his eyes got watery. He slapped me on my knee and said,'the boy gets it." Yes he does.

This holiday season expand your shopping list to include everyone. Look out for the other guy.......

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What the heck?

Is going on? There seems to be a general malaise that is prevading so many today. I'm speaking of SL. This isn't fun, I feel this way, I've hit the wall....

It goes on. Have I felt those things? Yes!! Is it normal? I'm pretty sure it is.

I was talking to Yamis a day or so ago. We shared these feelings with each other. She said that she noticed I haven't been on much anymore. She told me that she likewise hasn't been on much.

I used to feel guilty and me not being on used to be a bone of contention in times past with others. But I got to do what I feel. When I'm not feeling it, I'm not online. Many times, to be honest, it's a relief....

I start feeling restless. I feel like I'm just down the same path again and again. Like I'm reading some script or something. "Oh, here's the part where I should make this sarcastic comment...." I hate that feeling. I know its all me. I should be more engaging, etc. Teaching and having four kids makes me focus on the immediate and not the ephemeral.

I guess it should suffice to say that when I'm in world, I'm thinking of RL and when I'm not inworld I'm enjoying/dealing with RL.

Maybe for me this represents the beginning of the end. Worse things could happen :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Roots




I'm very thankful that I can share these photos with you guys. I haven't lived in California in a long time, but the following places and stories are part of my inner fabric. The above photo is the main place weould surf usually. The slough flowing out to Sands would flow hard in a rainy winter and create sand bars that would create some nice wave set ups. A very fun place. In some ways, I grew up along this shore.


If you walk down the beach and go around the point, you would come to another surf spot. Coal Oil Point, or Devereaux's was another fun spot. You would walk along the cliffs until you came to the jailhouse, which you can barely see in the background, and take the trail down to the beach itself. There were some great parties at that jailhouse in high school years :).



The shot above and the one that follow are of a Beach called Haskells. A really nice, fun place that you had to be a Goleta local to partake of. Used to go there alot with the Kulper brothers. The environment of the beach has been savaged by some obscene down south developer who created a poorly constructed monstrosity on the bluffs. Thankful I was around when it was pristine.



As a 8 or 9 year old, I used to get rides to the beach, when my parents couldn't give me a ride, by some neighborhood girls. Barb and Sue were pioneers of a sort, females who looked good and surfed good. They were nice and used to look out for me at the beach. I think they smelled pretty good too! Barb lives on Kauai and Sue survived ovarian cancer and lives in New Zealand. You go girls...

Up north of town, along the Gaviota Coast, sounds like the name of a blog, doesn't it? There were/are some nice reef set ups. They would only work during the winter West and Northwest swells. But once they did, the difficult memories of the summer lulls would wash away with your first bottom turn. The world was right again.



All in all, an incredible stretch of coastline. People have been trying for years to get it declared a National Seashore. Ahhh politics..... Really one of the last remaining stretches of coastline south of Point Concepcion that hasn't been Californicated over. Hopefully it can stay that way but life does unfold in a myriad of ways.

A trippy shot that expresses a lot of what is unique surfing in the Santa Barbara area. The ever present oil rigs with their Christmas light set up. Had friends and parents of friends that worked the rigs. Made good money and raised their families as a result of those labors. Life is a series of trade offs really. You got to give to get and vice versa. Hope you enjoyed these brief photos and some captionage. It is all part of who I am. It's all part of my thankfulness package....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A piece of paper

Life is an amazing journey for us all isn't it? As I awoke this morning, I did my morning ritual of plurk, facebook, google.com analytics, gmail, etc.

Our house is a sea of small pieces of paper. With 3 kids in elementary school, we get notices, flyers, newsletters, and other bits of communication. Ads I sat at the computer waiting for the coffee pot to finish its task, I looked at the floor at yet another piece of paper that made its way to the floor. It was the familiar pink strip variation.

I picked it up, flipped it over and read the following: On Friday, November 21st, we will be having HAT DAY at school! For a donation of $1 or more, the students and staff will be allowed to wear a hat to school. Proceeds will benefit the Miller Family....Kim Miller, 29, mom to two wonderful children at Palm Valley Elementary, is battling Stage 4 Colon Cancer! Thank you in advance for your support! PTO Then there was some contact information.

Of course our kids will take donations irregardless if they wear hats or not. Before I read this piece of pink paper, I thought about how much I have to do today. No longer. I am grateful to this small piece of pink paper for focusing me on how little I have to do.

Today is our oldest 13th birthday. Our family is healthy. We love each other. I love my job. Life is good. We will help this family.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Lull

Is it just me or does there seem to be a general lull in the blogging world, or at least that little corner I inhabit? Even those diligent bloggers have hunkered down and their output is somewhat diminished.

So what can it be? The impending holiday season? People stretched and stressed to the max? Well yes, yes and yes.

A lot of people I encounter, even myself have a sense of uncertainty about them. Not rudeness or detachment but a sense of "I dunno". Times are tough, that can not be denied. Our kids friends are losing their jobs. Everything seems have a stamp of transition about it.

I read a book long ago called The Fourth Turning. Can't remember the author(s)right now. I'm sure you could google it. The basic premise is that history and society evolve in four primary cycles. Even the art of parenting is governed by these four premises. Interesting stuff.

The point is that we are evolving. The young ones today are going to fill a role that their grandparents or great grandparents served. They will be looked upon as one of America's greatest generations. It's interesting to think of the dynamics at play.

They will smile when they think of their parents generation obsession with materialistic concerns. We are a self-obsessed banal lot overall. They will live the creed of MLK's vision of America being a nation concerned with people rather than things.

I can't wait to watch it unfold. It fills me with hope to see a generation start to get it right. Hopefully it does you too. Have a great Monday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Information is power people !!!! LOL

Got to love my students. They delight in showing me some of the oddest websites. School appropriate always, of course.

Here's how to look tough in a rough neighborhood...

Sometimes it is the illusion of strength that can get you out of a
tight spot. Looking scary in a rough neighborhood may save you a lot of
unwanted attention and keep you safe. If you look scarier than potential
perpetrators, chances are people will leave you alone.


Step1
Consider wearing a hooded sweatshirt or hooded coat with the hood
pulled over your head. When people can't really see your face, they are
more wary of approaching you. With your hood up and your head down, you
become an unknown quantity on the streets.

Step2
Look people in the eye if they approach you. Looking away is
always viewed as a sign of weakness. Feeling safe is a matter of
displaying confidence.

Step3
Talk to yourself as you walk. When people think that you are
mentally unstable, they have a tendency to leave you alone. This may
sound silly, but making people nervous before you allow them to make you
nervous is a valuable weapon when you have no other defense.

Step4
Walk confidently and determinedly without smiling. Walk tall with
your shoulders back and chest out, exuding confidence that you may not
feel. Even if you are lost, look and walk like you know where you are
and where you are going. Confidence is the most intimidating thing that
you possess under these circumstances.

Jeez...all these years I thought I was some kinda badass. Amazing what step 3 can do for ya :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tell us

Ok, I guess its time for another getting to know you type of blogging activity. Five questions, you only tag three other people. Lets go shall we :)

What's your favorite saying?
What part of your personality do you wish not to pass on to your child?
While driving, what's your biggest pet peeve?
If you could change your name, what would it be?
What's the best excuse you've ever heard?


Ok, I tag Kimala and Bradley and Parker...love you guys

My favorite saying would have to be: I'm sorry. I use this one a lot. The longer you are married the more it comes into play. Only took me many years to figure that one out.

The personality trait I do not under any circumstances want to pass on to any of my progeny is being judgemental. It's a horrible character flaw and one I battle with almost daily. It's unfair and it just flat out sucks.

Driving does not contain any petpeeves for me. I enjoy yelling and it is cathartic. I especially enjoy yelling at people that are in cars, even those people walking around. It's not always negative either. Kim taught me that when someone just does something horrible to you, you just bless them and move on. Some days I'm a blessing machine.

If I could change my name..... Seriously, it would have to be Brute Force. With the emphasis on the ce on the last name. Like For say. Don't know why, but that's what it would be. Beef Jerky might roll in at second place also :)

The best excuse I've ever heard was a delicioius scam perpetrated by my college roommate Tim. He had this scam running on the Student Health Office where he would break down because his gf had broken up with him. He said he couldn't sleep, eat or concentrate on his studies. Said that his gf had cheated on him. This is where the complexity comes in. The caring professional says that college is a time for experiementation, etc. You know the speil. Tim states that his gf has cheated on him with another female. Ok, this piques the interest of the healthcare professional, a male of course, who tells Tim that sexual orientation is as individual as each person. Tim keeps playing along and says he understands but he still has trouble coming to terms with the fact that it is his sister. Game, set and match. Tim waltzes out with a perscription for 100 high mg Xanax. Clever boy that Tim. BTW, Tim eventually works for the Environmental Defense Fund!

Lets see what you guys got :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Start anew....

Just about 45 years ago, there was a fork in the road. Our country took a trip in one of the two directions. It was a hard, draining journey. In some sense, the path led people to become saddened beyond consoling. It seemed like the best and brightest were disregarded and tossed aside. A lot of people's hopes were put in the ground along with President John F. Kennedy on the late November day so long ago in 1963.

But for some, the struggle to make America was incredibly renewed through the actions of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. They represented hope, change and the inherent goodness that is America. But 1968, 5 short years since that horrible day in Dallas, two men who challenged and supported America to become a better place were struck down.

The years went on with our national nightmares of Viet Nam, Watergate and other events that made you question what the hell was happening. Where were the leaders that put our people first? Where was the leader that could create jobs, help business but wouldn't forget a single mother raising two kids in the southwest? We seemed to be lost, drifting, reacting instead of being proactive.

Last night I talked to my two oldest about what was right with America. I told them that they have a very special time in History when they will see America become a more inclusive place. A place not secretly desired for only her material abundance but a place that says to the world, "In this place, all things are truly possible." I told then that they will have to work harder than they ever imagined they could, but that is what their country needs, and that is what their country deserves.

45 years represents a generation in terms of human timeframes. It has been a hard 45 years with so many people feeling hopeless and demoralized. Division has been an agenda to keep people from seeing the goodness that dwells in so many of us Americans. Those days will take time to heal. But it will heal with time.

I am very excited by our countries future. I am hopeful that she will once again assume her rightful role in the world as a beacon for what is right and good in the heart of people. As I looked at my sons faces last night as I spoke to them, their looks of serenity and strength assured me that we are on the right path once again.

God bless our country and all that call her home....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Damn tagged.....

I've been tagged by Crighton. Seems like an interesting writing thing to do.....

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share 6 non-important/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag 6 random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up



1. I love doing laundry. It gives me a sense of accomplishment that seems to be lacking in day to day struggles in our lives. I don't even mind seperating out clothes that have been placed in the wrong pile. Furthermore, I don't even mind pulling out the kids choners from the shorts wad they deposit in the wrong pile. Yeah, I'm pretty friggin' wild.

2. I am musically stunted. I still just love a rocking bass, guitars, and drums. I can listen to jazz and neo big band stuff but it seems like I'm listening to my parents music pretending to be adult and sophisticated. I'm really neither. HAHA.

3. I hardly ever watch sports on TV. I can fake it talking to the guys at school, but I just use the internet to stay current and hold a semi-intelligent conversation. Yeah, I'm a big fat sports phony. I like sports, other things are just far more important at this phase of the game.

4. I've almost drowned twice. Once in CA. and the other in HA. Initially terrifying, duh, but once I relaxed, it was incredibly peaceful. Oh, btw, I survived.

5. There are only 8 people in this life I am comfortable hugging. Never been a real touchy feely kinda guy. Just not happening for me. Doesn't mean I don't care about people, I just got this 3 foot bubble around me for people that don't have the same last name as me.

6. I met Jerry Garcia once in Ventura, CA during a 3 day Dead show. We had backstage passes and my friend just walked up to him and introduced us to him. He was very cool and thought it was hilarious that we took breaks and listened to the band while surfing out at the point. A very nice, sincere person...

God....I tag Yamis, Borday, Jessa, Mikki, Aeryn, Alber

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Peace Out guys LOL

Dear Red States:

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss. We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms. Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq , and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines, 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT. With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia. We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the war, the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Peace out,
Blue States

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Today was a good day

Man, my blog productivity is at a standstill. I have been concentrating on ripping my CD's to a hardrive so that they are all accessible. Kim got me a headset which will theoretically have a noise damper on it. We'll keep you posted on that one btw.

When I have a task like the one I'm currently engaged in, it makes me aware of the preferences I have in music. It's almost a snapshot of your life in someways. I am most definately not the person I was when I was 17, 27 or even 37. These musical tastes serve as a type of reminder of eras gone past and friends associated with each era.

So what has stayed constant? A lot really, in many ways I am who I am, throughout the ages. I still like rock as much as I ever have. It's just who I am. I remember this idiotic interlude in my past when I was like 23. I figured I had graduated from college and that it was time for me to stop dressing like a kid. I figured I would wear shirts with collars on them.

That lasted about a week before it dawned on me, "Who the fuck was I kidding?" I mean seriously.... Well, be that as it may, I'm looking forward to DJ'ing. I want to practice a lot before I go. I do not like the feeling of being ill-prepared.

Once I'm up and running, I'll post my url so that you can listen if you would like. You won't even need to be inworld. See you soon.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Survival Skills

A colleague at work asked how I seemed so non-plussed when crazy work crap was going down. It surprised me that this comment came from someone who I only had a couple of passing conversations with previously.

Being a true professional, I engaged in some deep and thoughful reflection. After thinking on the subject, I came up with my pausible explanation.......

DAYDREAMING.....


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Interesting I think

Today at school we held a mock presidential election between Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain. I'd say about 85% of the "voters" in my hallway casted votes. This is an increase from times past when "voter" input would only be about 35 - 40%. I thought that was good, more kids are invested in the election process. That in itself is a reason for hope, less deadasses just sitting around and bitching about stuff.

The results? I counted 101 ballots, so hardly a scientific measure, and Obama got 66votes and McCain 35. A cause for optimism, guarded optimism at best. Oh yeah, I'm voting for Obama. Do I agree with ebverything he says, uh.....no. It's just time for an end of the old white guy stranglehold on the office. They haven't got it right since, on all fronts, since FDR. Its been a long time.

What scares me is the potential for the Bradley effect. Ever heard of it? LA had a very good mayor in the 1980's who was A - A. He enjoyed a good lead right up to the time of votes being casted for gubernatorial race in the Great State of California. What happened was this: people had every intention of casting their vote for Bradley until they got into the voting booth.

Once in there, it dawned on many voters, that despite their intentions, they could not bring themselves to cast the actual vote for an A - A. God, I hope we have grown somewhat in 20+ years. So I'm keeping high hopes and positive thoughts to election day and beyond.

If you have read this blog and are anti.....cool! Get off your ass and cancel my vote out. Rememeber: if ya don't vote, you can't bitch about things.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How in God's name.....

Man....I was awoken, gratefully so, by the alarm clock at 4:45 am. It rescued me from a wicked ass nightmare I was having. One of those dreams that you know was just a dream but nonetheless just shakes you. Yech....

Even in the brief seconds I was in that dream I wondered how people in RL deal with the loss of a child? Talk about a shattering experience. I'm sure we all know someone who had dealt with that horror. I can't even imagine. Those poor people.

It doesn't matter what age the child is because they will forever be your child. That precious little person you fell in love with before they were even born. When I was a little guy walking home from school one day, so long ago, this neighborhood nice lady just scooped me up and held on to me. Not a freaky abduction hug but just held me tight.

Turns out that she had been visited about an hour previously by some people from the military who had informed here that her son had died in combat. I guess seeing me walk home brought back those memories of when her little boy would walk home from school on that same street.

My Mom and Mrs. Daumiller helped Mrs. Schoepke back into her house. I walked home and asked my Mom why Mrs. Schoepke did that. My Mom told me that Mrs. Schoepke just missed her son very, very much.

So......today I'm gonna say some prayers for ppl that have lost a child. I know that one day they will be reunited with those that have been missed so much. Thats what I am going to,

Friday, October 10, 2008

Election blog

As we draw close to the Presidential election my mind is filled with a lot of things. Hope, opportunity, fear, stupidity and sadness. I've been really thinking of the long view of things. I guess it is an occupational hazard of being a History teacher.

This country needs to go from a hopeless paradigm to a hopeful one. Every segment of our society needs to know that America needs them, America wants them. The exclusionary practices that have been entrenched in this country for the past 45 years must come to an end. America's future and its renewed vitality depend on this. Not every kid has to have the dream of that one day they can become President, but they need to know that the President will always be willing to listen to them whether they come from a prep school or the boulevard.

There needs to exist an opportunity for our country to remain strong. Politicians of both parties love to wave the flag to prove their patriotism. They all do it. Damn them for making our flag a self-serving prop for their ambition. A lot of fine people have sacrificed the precious gift of life being real patriots. This has been going on since 1775 in this country. It goes on this very day. They never wanted to be elected, they wanted to serve their country.

The best way to keep our country strong is to revamp our school system. Years ago the mantra for Clinton to be elected was," It's the economy stupid." Well, if you look around the world these days, our major competitors are the ones that place a huge emphasis on education. Perhaps the mantra for 2008 and beyond should be, "It's all about education stupid." I do not relish any of our children sitting in the drivers seat for a declining America.

I teach with a gentlemen, an American citizen mind you, who was raised in the Phillipines. His big fear, which I understand, is that a sizable majority of the American public will be so turned off by the antics of our two major political parties that option C may come into play. Option C? A person who shares the frustration all of us feel at the self-serving inertia of the political parties and delivers the promise of action, strength and power. Know where I'm going? If you don't, look at Germany in the early 1930's. An educated society beset with economic ills with a sense of hopelessness. Scares the hell out of me.

The stupidity of the continued finger pointing literally sickens me. They did this, they did that. It's done. I want to hear about solutions, plans and sincere collaboration. I need to hear that collaboration to do what is best for America and its citizens is the guiding determinant.

I'm sad about where we are as a country. But it is not a premanent situation. My four children will see a return of a America that represents so many good things to people of the entire world. An America that offers a helping hand to those in need, an America that does not turn its back on our legacy of being for all of its citizens irregardless of their circumstance or background.

24 days till the election. One final word: If you don't vote, don't bitch. God bless America and all that live here....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hauling ass

Somedays are just like waiting to get into those spinning cups at a amusement park. This is one of those days. Lets see what we got on tap: we are getting flu shots in about 90 minutes, we got to clean the house for my sister-in-law and two sons to come over, I'm sure we will have to catch some bugs with rach at some point. Thank god Kim has the next two days off, otherwise I'd probably be hiding with a blanket over my head somewhere:)

Should I run the two boys up to my parents house about 100 miles from here. they live at 5000 ft. So it would be like a taste of some real fall as opposed to 95 degree fallish weather. What an oxy moron, 95 degree fall.

just a few balls in the air without mentioning some things I should do at school but have blown off. tsk tsk....

Maybe I'll get it going by listening to this EC song:) Have a great one!



Sunday, October 5, 2008

10 things that make me happy Fall 2008

Ok Kimala, I'll bite. I liked your list and encourage my blog readers to do likewise. Never a bad time to have an attitude of gratitude.

#10 Showers can be warm again. Intentionally. It may be hot here in Phoenix, but we go months without turning on the hot water. Lifes full of tradeoffs you know.

#9 Sweatshirts! You can actually wear them outside for a couple of weeks. LOL. I love me a nice hoodie.

#8 Kids outside. I feel an affinity for ppl in Fargo, ND during those brutal northern midwest winters. With out brutal long, hot summers we have a lot in common. Stir crazy anyone?

#7 Passing coldfronts. Man they can scour the Valley of the Sun. The sky is so blue it hurts your eyes!! Love that shade of blue.

#6 The rare yet much appreciated rainy fall night. There is just something about the sound of rain falling as you drift off into sleep or do something else. Hee Hee.

#5 Still wearing shorts! Now I know this makes us unique. Been shorts throughout the fall plenty of years running. Love that!

#4 In conjunction with #5 is going swimming in the pool on Thanksgiving. I don't know what else there is to say about that:)

#3 Not entering your car and instantly feel like you have descended into the depths of Hades. 140 upon entry is just flat out wicked.

#2 Driving with your windows down. Good for ventilation and for yelling.....LOL

#1 Seeing my wife in a fall sweater. She'll kill me if I go into detail.

Happy Fall you all :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

One cool dude

I have been lax to mention how I felt the impact of Paul Newman's passing. Kim told me as we were doing shopping last week. It was like, " Wow. He did? Damn..."

Growing up, well he was always cool. Memorable roles, great lines, what a great actor. As I grew up, I learned to respect him for different reasons. His humanity, his charities, his very loving marriage with his wife.

Allow me to share one of my favorite scenes of this man in a classic movie:)



I laugh every time I see that. Isn't that a great legacy? That people don't cry or feel horrible when they think of you passing but openly have a good laugh at something you wanted them to laugh at.

Heres to you Paul. Heaven just got a lot more funny. Thank you for sharing your many talents and most of all, your sense of humanity with us.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nat Random Pt. III

The last thing people need to do these days is get all serious on you. We are immersed in a swirling sea of somber seriousness. It all gets overwhelming. People are freaking out hardcore.. The media fuels it, they know they can make money out of people's insecurities and their terror of the unknown.

I'm a pretty centrist, with a little lean to the left kind of guy. I loathe the media more than the Repubs. Way more. Shit! I started getting serious. Forgive me...

Ok, lets take it down a notch, shall we?

Naming isn't destiny: A New York City father named one son Winner and another Loser. Winner lane went on to compile a massive criminal record. His brother Loser, meanwhile, became a detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department.

Malaysia recently forbade parents from naming their children with "unsuitable" words, including names taken from animals, insects, fruit, vegetables, colors, or numbers.

The most common name among the nearly 400 death-row prisoners in Texas is Robert and its variations with 18. Next are William and its variations with 17. Michael/Mike
(14). Anthony/Tony (8) and Steven/Stephen/Steve (6). Whew...no Daves :)

And finally...

Yourhighness Morgan, a standout high-school athlete in Florida, has a younger brother named Handsome and cousins named Prince and Gorgeous.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

No Mistakes.......

Life is not random. Everything happens for a purpose. Doubt that and you spit in the face of love, logic and reason. I found this gem in the place behind ours in BL. Check it!!

Where does your heart dwell?
Does it pop from a toaster, or float in a cup?
Does it steam from a teapot, get packed in a box?

Where does your heart dwell?
Does it rise every morning, and sleep in a bed?
Does it itch when you scratch it, play games with your head?

Where does your heart dwell?
Does it live in a cage of bone, and pump time to a beat?
Does it waltz with one who is not there, who waltzes all the same?

Where does your heart dwell?
Flip the coin, where does it land?
Enter the panda and see...

©2008 SAWiltse All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Being there

No, I'm not going to talk about that Peter Sellers movie...

Yesterday something horrible and heartbreaking happened. Something so RL that SL became an extension of it. I wanted to be there for Kimala.....

Kimala called me at work yesterday and told me that several ppl at her workplace were being laid off that afternoon. No warning, bam! These ppl went into work and by 1:30 they were being escorted out of the building. They hadn't done anything wrong, the economy had done them in. Kimala, of course was very upset. Not fearful of her own position but just feeling bad for those ppl. She asked me to pray for them. I did.

We had early release yesterday at my school. We did Professional Development while the students had vacated. It was mostly typical, with the most negative being the most vocal. Typical educational teacher mob mentality bullshit.

I'm thinking to myself. What some assholes these ppl are! They have jobs, they have the knowledge that no one is going to show up with a box to escort them off school grounds. Geesh, some people.

Kimala upon her arrival home yesterday evening dissolved into tears at the doorstep. I held her and hugged her as tight as I could. She cried and our little 5year old son joined us in a comforting embrace.

I am so fortunate to have met, married and have a family with this woman. She has so many good qualities in her. Most of all, she cares. Deeply. For people that lose their jobs, for people that lose their homes, for people that are hurting. This personality carries over into SL also. If you know her, she does care. The people that she hangs with in SL are real and important to her. She tries so hard to do the right thing by them but sometimes ppl being ppl things happen. It hurts her.

God, I love her so.

One last example. An opportunity came my way yesterday. I may be able to work with homeless kids and children who are in battered family sancturaries on a part time basis. No hesitation at all was involved, "Yes, you should do that!" Its like that, always reaching out to serve the greater good.

Perhaps in times like these, that is more imperative than ever! Have a great Thursday.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It happened!!

OK, you guys have put up with my whining about our blowdryer weather here in Phoenix. Well.....I go out this morning to say hi to our dog and get the trash out to the street. It was .....pleasant. Not the slightest hint of heat. I was very happy.

I picked up Feliz's two front paws and we had an impromptu dance in the back. She is way too big to pick up for a full embrace. Kinda wiggly too. Talk about your day getting off to a good start! I am so grateful for this.

Now comes the time to enjoy our desert home. No bone chilling cold snaps. Possibility of wearing shorts during the holidays and riding the mountain bike with the wife and kids. Just lovely.

It will still be blazing this afternoon. Like 98 I think. But the morning creep has begun. It will not be denied. /HOO. Have a great Monday everyone:)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

When in doubt....rock out

Bad times swirl around us.....It seems relentless. Sometimes you just have to listen to some rcok. Its good for you. Lou Reed kicks ass!!


Jenny said when she was just five years old
you know there's nothing happening at all
Every time she puts on the radio
There was nothing goin' down at all
Then one fine mornin' she puts on a New York station
She couldn't believe what she heard at all
She started dancin' to that fine fine music
You know her life was saved by Rock 'n' Roll
Despite all the amputations
You could just dance to a rock 'n' roll station
Jenny said when she was just five years old
My parents are gonna be the death of us all
Two TV sets and two Cadillac cars--
Ain't gonna help us at all
Then one fine mornin' she puts on a New York station
She don't believe what she heard at all
She started dancin' to that fine fine music
You know her life was saved by Rock 'n' Roll
Despite all the computations
You could just dance to a rock 'n ' roll station
and it was alright.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ok....Now I'm concerned

Watching the morning news with my 10 year old at 5:48 this am I finally got pissed. Before I was disheartened, but now I'm pissed.

I remember when W was inagurated so long ago, a person had a sign making a reference to the village idiot being in charge. The media should track that person down and interview them. Talk about a prophet.....

Left wing or Right wing? I don't like either. Its just a continuation of the same old cluster fuck thats been dogging this country for years. I want the middle. Extremes are bullshit and limiting. I like my politics like I like my chinese food, some of each.

As we watch our economy plummet into God knows what, its easy to point the finger at people. Politicians love doing that. They oughta to keep that finger fully extended and shove it up their ass. Yeah, I'm just a touch pissed.

I got 4 kids. What kind of effing mess are we leaving them? Not only them but their kids and their kids. The mind spins with revulsion. I remember hearing all my life that baby boomers were going to make the world so much better than thier parents had. What a crock!

Perhaps Thomas Jefferson was right. Maybe we need to overhaul the system every 50 years or so. The founding fathers were brilliant, diverse and TOLERANT! What we have had are occasional flashes of brilliance against a backdrop of timeserving bumblebutt bureaucrats.

Concerned? Your gd right I am.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A tremendous departure

I like the idea of being unexpected. In a good way mind you:)

Our twins have a reading log that needs to be filled out with 40 books. Thats 40 X 2 mind you. Of course we are going to do it. We are teachers and we do our homework without fail. as for myself, its usually a last minute thing. I have deluded myself for years in thinking I work well under pressure and I'm sticking with it.

So last night we had a semi-read-a-thon. I read 5 books to both Simon and Rach. I thought it was funny and cute how Noah moved on in too to listen to me read. That is one thing I have noticed even with my students, they love being read too. I can have a class with some badass barrio kids and if I start reading they are transported to a time of sitting on the story rug once again and not concerned with representing the 'hood. Its really amazing to me.

One book last night really warmed my heart. The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater is a must read. I kid you not! It's about a heroic man named Mr. Plumbean who battles conformity with color and caring. I don't want to give it away so I will stop with any other details. Check it out!




"My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams."


Have a great day everyone.

Friday, September 12, 2008

In my pics and in my heart

I've occasionally been asked about the women that are in my are in my profile pics. Some people have joked about me being some playah with all these women contained therein. Me a playah? Most days I couldn't find the field.

The women that are my picks are very dear to me for alot of reasons. I feel like I have the type of relationship with them that if I knew them in RL, and they asked to help them move on a hot, humid day, hesitation wouldn't enter my mind.

Ok, one of them is my wife so that might be a no brainer in your opinion. Oddly though, she is first and foremost a friend. I like hearing about her day and get excited about the cool stuff she does in her job. I'm lucky, lucky, lucky:). Anybody that can put up with my unique brand of bs deserves more words of praise and appreciation that all the blogs in the world could possibly contain.

Now the other ladies are outstanding in there own right. They are Blissie, Joonie and Parker. This triumvirate of grace, humor, intelligence, beauty, and uniqueness have come to mean a lot to me. They have picked me up when I was down, they have made me be more reflective about my actions and more cognizant about what comes out of my fingers and are just a joy to include on my friends list.

I'm not only honored to have them in my profile pics, let me tell you about the story behind each profile pic. I'll go in alphabetical order with no connotation of favoritism. Blissie: of the triumvirate, I've known her the longest. She is funny and I can't tell how many IM's she has shot to me that have just made me laugh and smile. Plus she is my own personal beautiful attack dog! Sample interchange: "is she bothering you? I'll get rid of her...." Thats my Bliss, baked goods and bodyguard service rolled into one. I'm honored that she considers me a friend and never fails to check in with me. I love that Bliss.

Joonie is this combination of beauty and brain. She is a deep thinker who I'm not sure I can keep up with sometimes. She has an incredible sweet heart and is one of the kindest individuals I have met in SL. I can't put into words how much her support meant to me recently when an RL friend passed. She was there and it was as real as someone sitting in the room talking to me. What a treasure you are Joonie.

Parker reminds me of someone who would have been in Gone from The Wind. She is so genteel and mannerly that just being around her can change your outlook and your perspective on the day. Did I tell you that she doesn't mind when I tease her? She just laughs and tells me I'm nuts. She didn't even get upset when I put in a pic of her holding one of Liss's twins and made some remark about health insurance. What a sport you are Parker and what a sweet soul:)

So these four ladies are and will be in my pics as long as I come inworld. It wouldn't be the same place without any of them. I need them there and hopefully they need me in some way. I hope you have a great day and a fantastic weekend and I hope you tell those you hold near and dear to you that they are just that....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day to remember.....a day to think

Today we have been mandated to talk about 9/11 in all classes. Its a rare chance to exercise some freedom of choice and be creative in your instruction. Teaching social studies lends itself to several approaches.

I'm lucky in that I teach with a diverse group of people. We put our heads together and have come up with the following: we are going to concentrate on how people twist religion to advance a political agenda. Seems pretty topical to us.

Have you ever delved into the Koran? It is so beautiful and peaceful. Its an extremely tolerant work.

So our question to the young people is how can this be manipulated, be perverted to represent this (cue footage of the 9/11 attacks). I got to tell you that its days like this that stoke my passion about teaching. It's going to be a good day.

On the human side, when I think of that September of seven years ago, I visualize a stone being thrown into a still pond. The ripple that radiates outward makes me think of all the lives that were impacted by each victims passing. That is the true tragedy of that day. The fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandsons, granddaughters, grandparents, friends and lovers who never got another chance to feel the embrace of a loved one again.

I believe in an afterlife for all of us. I can only take solace that the above people instantly were held in an embrace of pure love. When they thought of those that had been left behind, the embrace got a little tighter, a little more loving. The word whispered into their ear was, "soon.........."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My 100th post!!!

I have hit the century mark. I didn't know what to blog about when I noticed that I had reached this milestone. I am somewhat glad that I have managed to maintain some sort of consistency. I'm really grateful that Kim got me into blogging, so thanks for that hun.

Prior to the fab four, when there was only the wonderous one. Kim and I used to write quite a bit. We used to take fantastic creative writing class with Mary Sojourner who used to give us these fantatsticv writing prompts that you could just take off on.

I always wanted to write. I think the first time I considered this a life long journey was when I had a writing assignment in early elemenary grades and wrote something and brought it home after I got an A on it. I gave it for my Mom to read and I watched her as she read it and laughed. Exactly the response I was going for. That felt really good and it was probably the first time I thought to myself that I could entertain people via the written word. Its been a feeling that I continue to go for and still provides that sense of......I really don't know how to put it in words. Too funny......

When I was in college, I remember telling people, o.k. mostly girls, that I wanted to be a writer some day. It served as some barometer for me in some respects. If the response was negative and provoked a comment on how was I going to survive, I figured that I had information that a more in-depth conversation was probably not warranted. On the other hand, if the response was wow....thats great....what kind of stuff do you write?...or....hey, I like to write too, I figured wow this person seems interesting, cool. Probably superficial and shallow, I know but when you are young, ya get my drift.

Watching my kids develop as writers is interesting also. Nice to see them shoot for something and see the joy they get when they can elicit the response they are going for.

It really outrages me that education has become so politicized. Now it is all standards based with heavy emphasis on the 5 + 1 traits. I can understand that in terms of employability. What makes me sad is the fact that they no longer offer Creative Writing as a course selection. What a shame! That was the coolest learning environment where you would write along with your students and all would share their finished pieces together. Talk about a learning community. It was a fab class to teach also. Damn I miss that environment.

So, in a sense, I guess blogging connects me to that feeling that happened so long ago. I don't say well this is what I want to do when...... I say this is what I'm doing now that I am......

Thanks for being along the journey with me. I write for something inside of me but you guys are the frosting on this cupcake:)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Some stuff and goodbye...

After getting up early to take care of some stuff, I just sat around and thought. I thought about The Gift story I shared with you guys back in January. Gordo and Ron were the other characters in that besides Kemp and myself. I don't know why I got up as early as I did, almost felt like I had to.

Gordo will be put to rest today. Not a church ceremony but a simple ceremony where people will paddle out at sunrise and form a circle. I don't know if there will be many or few. Once the circle is formed all those out there will slap the water with their flat hands five times. I really don't know what this signifies. At that point, someone will open the urn and scatter his ashes back into the ocean.

Gordo always kept the faith. Unlike Ron, Doug and myself he never moved inland. Never made the decision not to have the ocean in his everyday life. Never moved to Arkansas, Arizona or Vermont. He kept surfing breaks of size and with a certain degree of danger. Cold water, fog and the occasional Great White drive by. As far as we know we never heard about him getting married although there was mention of some scheme in marrying for money. Don't know how that played out... LOL

So this sunrise, about one hour from now as I write this, Gordo will go out for his last session. I will look out my window at the breaking morning sky think of that beach in Central California where my friend will exit, at least ceremonially. I'll see my vision get all blurry at the thought of him and feel the tears well up in my eyes. Aloha bro, thanks for the times and the stories......

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Synchronicity

Interesting thing happened today. This young lady in my World History class was jamming on her iPhone prior to class. The song sounded familiar, I knew I had heard it before. But when? I asked her if I could listen in.Back. How far back? Away back! My friend used to play it in his car. He loved Leon Russell. Mistake, coincidence? I say not:)

How many days has it been since I was born
How many days until I die
Do I know any ways that I can make you laugh
Or do I only know how to make you cry
When the baby looks around him
It's such a sight to see
He shares a simple secret with the wise man
He's a stranger in a strange land (Do you feel that way sometime?)
Just a stranger in a strange land
Tell me why he's a stranger in a strange land
Just a stranger in a strange land

How many miles will it take to see the sun
And how many years until it's done
Kiss my confusion away in the night
Lay by my side when the morning comes
And the baby looks around him
And shares his bed of hay
With the burrow in the palace of the king
He's a stranger in a strange land
Tell me why, hes a stranger in a strange land (you know what I'm talking about?)
Just a stranger in a strange land
Just a stranger in a strange land
Well, I don't exactly know what's going on in the world today
Don't know what there is to say
About the way the people are treating each other
Not like brothers
Leaders take us far away
From ecology
With mythology
And astrology
Has got some words to say about the way we live today
Why can't we learn to love each other
It's time to learn a new faith
To the whole world wide human race
Stop the money chase and
Lay back Relax
Get back on the human track
Stop racing toward oblivion
Oh, such a sad, sad state we're in and that's a thing
Do you recognize the bells of truth when you hear them ring
Won't you stop and listen to the children sing
Wont you sing it children
Won't you come on and sing it children
(He's a stranger in a strange land)
Whoa, sing it one more time,
I didn't hear ya
(Just a stranger in a strange land) (He's a stranger in a strange land)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Passages

The past 24 hours have been so ...........different. I got a real upclose glimpse of the periodic hell Kim endures when Mr. Migrane comes a calling. Oh my. I promise to rub her shoulders, rub her feet, whatever it takes to alleviate that hell.

It was just a twinge earlier before its full blooming. But bloom it did. It felt like the side of my head was going to blow out in an earthshattering explosion. I was sent to bed with an ice pack. During this time period I took something like 8 sundry pills before the blend and an ice pack let me slip into the void. My oldest gets these interludes also.

I'm lucky in that it rarely strikes me. Mostly sinus headaches. I don't drink like in days of yore, that hangover thing is fading into obscurity. Thank God.

The second oddity was the news of someone passing. As a kid and into early adulthood, Gordo was a friend of mine. We both started surfing at the same time and became friends through our love of the ocean and surfing. We were initially just nodding acquaintences who admired each others surfing skills until junior high.

Mr. Caldwell's English class changed that. I think we were reading some Shakespeare, when one of our classmates mangled a pronunciation of some key term in Romeo and Juliet. Mr. Caldwell passionately loved this work of the Bard of Avon and was utterly appalled that we could not share this appreciation. He literaly worked himself into a frothy condition. His passion came forth verbally in words of profound wisdom, along with some saliva.

On and on he went, relating to us the tragedy that was about to unfold before and how most certainly our lives would be forever changed. As this was occuring, I looked at Gordo's desk and he had neatly drawn a Bullseye and was tracking the aim of the Shakespeare fueled saliva. Upon seeing this, I lost it. God, I was like 12:) Gordo and I were asked to sit outside the rest of the class period and we bonded.

We were surfing buddies. We prowled the coast. We ditched class. We lied to each other about girls. We got drunk together the first time, smoked weed together the first time, took acid together the first time. A lot of firsts were undertaken. I remember talking to Gordo after the mind and body shattering experience of losing ones virginity. I said I thought I had changed, how everything was and would be different.... He heard me out and offered this well needed reality check, "You know Dave,you're still the same asshole." Well put and oh so true.

One of my oddest memories of Gordo was when we hit the party circuit on a Friday night along Del Playa. He drank some wine out of a jug that had some real dosage of acid in it. He wouldn't talk for a week. Freaked us out. He was scarce when the swell came up. I called his house and his Mom said he wasn't there and oh could I please stop by and talk to her because Gordon has been quite odd lately and she doesn't know what to think.... I said I would and grabbed the board and the wetsuit and headed to Sands Rivermouth.

The faces of people in the cars heading the opposite direction were sunburnt and stoked. All thumbs up was the sign. Some quite emphatically so.

Walking down to the break I saw him. Gordo. He was destroying the place. Big, fluid cutbacks, spraying rooster tails from the back of his board as he carved up the waves face. Gordo was good but this was something else. Instead of rushing into my wetsuit and heading out, I just lay my stuff down and and sat down. God he was on. Along with the aforementioned wave lacerations, when the opportunity offered itself, he would tuck himself into a spinning cylinder of a wave and emerge after some curtain time. Another running buddy of ours Ron, stood by me and said,"I don't know what was in that jug, but I should have drank some. "This snapped me out of it, I laughed and went out. Somehow, some way Gordo had reconnected the synapses and was back among us. When I heard the news, I flashed back to the way his face looked when I paddled up to him that winter's day long ago.

I heard from a mutual friend this morning that Gordo had died changing a flat tire for a stranger along the highway going into Morro Bay last weekend. He was hit by another motorist who was probably driving too fast during the twilight hours. As I get older, and I am, I know I will get more and more news of someone vacating this plane. It's sad but its not the end. Basic science tells us that energy can not be destroyed only altered.

I know if there are the amount of good things out there that there are in here, this isn't the final story. Perhaps when you pass you go on a series of journies, the path of connection and reflection. I hope I paddle out to the Rivermouth one last time and see Gordo turn around and drop in on a piece of peeling perfection and shout,"I see you"!

I saw you too Gordo, I saw you too.....

Aloha Gordo

Monday, September 1, 2008

Nat random Pt. II

It's hodge podge time! Stay seated and keep your arms in the car at all times....

Lets start with the absurd shall we?

Suitably ripe euphemisms for flatulence include:

Cutting the cheese
Sneezing in one's pants
Floating an air biscuit
Doody burping
Sphincter whistling
Killing the canary
Colon bowlin'
The scented scream

Ok, some are just gross, but a couple made me laugh. I wonder which ones? ;)

In the History file.......

"I'm bored with it all." last words of Sir Winston Churchill before slipping into a coma and dying nine years later.
Well, the guy did have one hell of a life. If you are ever immobilized for a spell, God forbid, read his eight volume, !, autobiography. Good stuff.

And to the ever present financial news......

People often say one thing and do another. This gap represents the difference between what economists call a "declared preference" (what you say you'lll do) and an "expressed preference" (what you actually do).

And....

In the lobby of a Hyatt hotel, a one -day pass for a wireless Internet connection costs $10.95. Not cheap, but standard for nice hotels. In the hotel's ballroom, however -- where corporate conferences are typically held --- a one-day pass costs $300. Economists refer to such a scenario as price discrimination. Maybe there is a little justice out there anyway, ha ha. Wait! Both institutions pass their costs on to the customer. Slaps self on the forehead. Doh...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another good one and some occasional oddness

Well....yet another great Bistro event. Tauri was great, Cat's art is so wonderful. Nice people and a very nice time. The good part of SL was in full effect. The good part of life in general was in full effect.

The more time I spend in this place, the closer the distance comes between this world and that world. They are really interchangeable at times. Mega times.

I'm so ready for a three day weekend in both places. Time to take care of stuff and just kick it. I like college football so that is a plus.. Go Cal Bears! Still waiting for that magic first morning when a sense a change.

Ok, thiis post is a hodge podge. I'm claiming it. today, in one of the worlds, I was at an inservice. It was good, cool people, kinda fun. A few, guys actually, broke off and went to Chipolte. The conversation was typical guy faire, you know sports, politics, kids, teaching :). The conversation took a turn for the odd when a participant declared," I love my wife but......."

So we go around the table and each guy presents his laundry list: shes jealous, shes self-absorbed, shes let herself go, she is boring. Made me sad but I dunno, but I imagine these women could generate some lists of their own y'know?

So the next topic, and btw I passed on go round #1, was I should have married,,,,, Answers included: A Hispanic girl, A Asian girl (thats a wide swath). Reason of answer: they know how to treat a man. The conversation didn't make me mad just created this feeling of silent sadness. So they look at me and I just say,"I got nothing man." They smile and make a joke, quasi respectfully of me being married so long I'm desensetized. Whatever dudes.

What really slapped me across my face was the bagging of someone publically. How bush is that? Theoretically they love this person, at least the ring on their finger should signify that. Why in the world would you say that, hey I think I screwed up and allow me to introduce exhibit A, B, C and D.

This just struck me with a matter of fact sadness that I just can't shake. Why do we treat each other without civility? Not only strangers, acquaintences and friends, but even those we have made a huge committment to.

Sure, its human to feel the occasional resentment and wonder about what if. But leave it at that. Don't make it a topic of conversation. Have some respect for the other person. Fuck, have some respect for yourself and the committment you made in the past. See you in some kind of world soon....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sometimes.......I tell ya

Sometimes I feel like just chuckin' SL. My actions aren't quick enough, I put people in bad positions, I don't focus enough, I think I'm better than other people. And this is fun in what way? I've learned stuff about myself in SL that I do not like, first and foremost. I have had a hand in some bad situations.

But I'm me. Warts and all. My name is Dave, I have four kids that are a source of love and frustration. I love my wife but I drive her nuts and she can drive me nuts at times. We live in a real house with a real mortgage that is real high. MB20 wasn't lying when they told us life is hard.

When is enough SL enough? When it is just another layer of complexity that is thrown onto pre-existing ones? Kim likes to use the wheelbarrow analogy: the wheelbarrow is full and you are throwing more bricks into it? I have a strong back, a real strong back. My avis name isn't some lameass sexual reference. bigd. I'm tall, and I like being able to bring it if I have to.

You ever felt like you are painted into a corner? What a shitty feeling that is. Doesn't matter who applied the paint job, it just flat out sucks. If you are reading this and saying to yourself, "he must really dislike someone." WRONG!! I'm tired of having my actions put under a microscope and then the entire microscope put under another larger microscope. Dang....

I've only encountered one avi in my entire time in SL who was flat out not right. They are long gone. I like you guys. I love some of you. I'm tired. I'm bruised and I'm battered. I'm just me and human......

Monday, August 25, 2008

heres to a wonderful morning mmmmmmmm...huh?

Some mornings just get off to a good start because you have this song in your head. Yes, even at 5:11 a.m. Get loose Jimbo!


Don't ya love her madly
Don't ya need her badly
Don't ya love her ways
Tell me what you say
Don't ya love her madly
Wanna be her daddy
Don't ya love her face
Don't ya love her as she's walkin' out the door
Like she did one thousand times before
Don't ya love her ways
Tell me what you say
Don't ya love her as she's walkin' out the door
All your love
All your love
All your love
All your love
All your love is gone
So sing a lonely song
Of a deep blue dream
Seven horses seem to be on the mark
Yeah, don't you love her
Don't you love her as she's walkin' out the door
All your love
All your love
All your love
Yeah, all your love is gone
So sing a lonely song
Of a deep blue dream
Seven horses seem to be on the mark
Well, don't ya love her madly
Don't ya love her madly
Don't ya love her madly

Sunday, August 24, 2008

a thought or eight....

While talking to a friend, we were both struck at the amount of sadness there seems to be on SL (TM) these days. I don't know if you can pinpoint its cause to anything more than the fact that there are real people behind these avis.

I seem to enjoy playing the fool in some ways. I relish the absurd. Control is an illusion that is so many grains of sand slipping through your fingers. Castles made of sand and all that..

I can laugh, I can love and I can hurt. They all a part of the whole. About the only thing I can try, emphasize try, to control is myself and my surroundings. If someone is a constant source of bad feelings, be done with them, if you keep going around to a place that makes you sad, don't go there. Simple really isn't it?

No solution is as simple as I paint it. The beauty is in the fact that the first step is followed by the second, the third and so forth. I love going for walks. If I'm in world, lets walk together.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I stand corrected by my peers..

This is in response to the bitch slap Bliss issued LOL............

The Soul Cages
The boy child is locked in the fisherman's yard
There's a bloodless moon where the oceans die
A shoal of nightstars hang fire in the nets
And the chaos of cages where the crayfish lie
Where is the fisherman, where is the goat?
Where is the keeper in his carrion coat?
Eclipse on the moon when the dark bird flies
Where is the child with his father's eyes?
These are the soul cages
These are the soul cages
He's the king of the ninth world
The twisted son of the fog bells toll
In each and every lobster cage
A tortured human soul
These are the souls of the broken factories
The subject slaves of the broken crown
The dead accounting of old guilty promises
These are the souls of the broken town
These are the soul cages
These are the soul cages
These are the soul cages
These are the soul cages
'I have a wager' the brave child spoke
The fisherman laughed, though disturbed at the joke.
'You will drink what I drink but you must equal me
And if the drink leaves me standing, A soul shall go free'
'I have here a cask of most magical wine
A vintage that blessed every ship in the line
It's wrung from the blood of the sailors who died
Young white body adrift in the tide'
'And what's in it for me my pretty young thing?
Why should I whistle, when the caged bird sings?
If you lose a wager with the king of the sea
You'll spend the rest of forever in the cage with me'
These are the soul cages
These are the soul cages
These are the soul cages
These are the soul cages
A body lies open in the fisherman's yard
Like the side of a ship where the iceberg rips
One less soul in the soul cages
One last curse on the fisherman's lips
These are the soul cages
These are the soul cages
These are the soul cages
These are the soul cages
Swim to the light Swim to the light
He dreamed of the ship on the sea
It would carry his father and he
To a place they could never be found
To a place far away from this town
A Newcastle ship without coals
They would sail to the island of souls

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Forgotten tune

Driving around with my two oldest yesterday evening, I asked them to pop a CD in. Hadn't heard this song in a long time. Had forgotten how beautiful it is. Good choice Noah;)

You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in the fields of gold
So she took her love
For to gaze awhile
Upon the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold
Will you stay with me, will you be my love
Among the fields of barley
We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we lie in the fields of gold
See the west wind move like a lover so
Upon the fields of barley
Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth
Among the fields of gold
I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I've broken
But I swear in the days still left
We'll walk in the fields of gold
We'll walk in the fields of gold
Many years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
Among the fields of gold
You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in the fields of gold
When we walked in the fields of gold
When we walked in the fields of gold

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Instant Karma! Sort of.....

Those that know our family are aware that we have 5 year old twins that have just started kindergarten. The female part of the program is doing beyond great:), the little dude is well.....a little dude, and 1/2 of my genetic hodgepodge.

As a child, I was free spirited.....maybe.........marched to a different drummer......uh huh........goofy......getting closer........wild.....thats it! I can distinctly remember as a 5 year old hiding behind a short wall and laughing as it got dark as my Mom became more frustrated at calling me in. I had that stuff going on. I do not know why I laughed at somethings that raised the ire of my folks, mostly my mom actually.

They talk about Ali having lightning quick hands. Take away about a foot in height and 100 lbs in weight and you got Moms. The woman could give a corrective jab like no ones business. Let me clarify: I didn't grow up in an abusive house (thank God) but the parenting game was different then.

So our five year old boy is well......my son. I love him like crazy. He belongs in the sweet boy snuggling hall of fame. My Dad would tell me, "Someday you might have a son." Then he would just smile. Well, we have have had three excellent ones. Right now as I write this I'm doing the genetic chart in my head that we all did in HS. Recessive here, dominant there.

He's going to be fine. Kindergarten, wearing new glasses, being separated in a different class from his sister. Its a boatload of changes for a 5 year old. Life can be tough no matter the age. What makes it manageable is the love that surrounds you on a daily basis. Here's to everyone having that 24/7 backup spelled L O V E.....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Next please!!

Some weeks are tiring, some weeks are odd, some weeks are endless and frankly my readers, some weeks are hard to put in words. But I'm gonna try with some help. We all lead ultra challenging lives. I wonder how future historians will look at our era in terms of the insane pressure we seem to put on ourselves and ultimately one another.

Maybe this represents just the beginning. Two hundred years from now will the demands that people have placed on them just cause them to seize up and go into vapor lock mode? It's kinda of scary to think about.

I just think this past week was atypical in a lot of ways. It had everything. I mean everything people! Insane dark depths, soothing warm tones, vibrant blossoms of real friendship and crystal clear definitions of caring and support for someone else.

It was like that classic Clint Eastwood spaghetti western plus one. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and my addition, The Important. I love that movie so bear with me:) Pretty much there is some good in everybody with the exception of Angel Eyes. They will have different names, and be different things, but we have knowledge of an Angel Eyes in our lives or that will be present at some point. Just deal with them, it ain't no big thing. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that these "Angel Eyes" are both internal and external

On a far more enjoyable topic, how beautiful is a friendship when it starts to blossom? It's like watching a flower slowly open to reveal the wonder that is in inside. Such a pleasure to learn about someone, when they become real to you and you don't plug in the gaps with your own conjectures. Perhaps that is one of the most human of traits, we abhor lack of information, so we compose information ourselves to fill in said gaps. We are knowledge driven aren't we?

Some things or events just cause you to scratch your head and wonder why? They grind everything to a halt and you ask yourself,"What can I do to help this person?" Not a grinding to a halt and just stopping dead, but an instant reaction of "OK, I can do this and say this...." Perhaps that, in and of itself, was one of the biggest gifts that culminated this week.

Occasions that let you know what is important, what is real and the knowledge that in helping others, caring for others, we do serve a higher purpose. I'm all for that. Those that need my help will be in my thoughts and prayers as I daydream in our collective few spare moments this coming week.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

And this just in.......

Another one of my news type entries highlighting the deranged and just plain disturbing.....

Among the many forms of customer sabotage, one of the most prevalent occurs in bookstores, where customers hide books by certain authors (Ann Coulter and Michael Moore, for instance) out of political protest. Some stores have even eliminated garbage cans, since too many partisan books were ending up in the trash.

Right wing or Left wing, you pull this stuff you are an ignorant moron. Let me flip through the Bill of Rights here a sec.......

In entertainment news.......

Although supposedly illegal for Americans, online poker and sports betting constitute a huge business. At any given time, as many as 100,000 people are playing poker at one of the large sites--- more than half of them Americans.

On that note, let it ride.........../hoo!!!