Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm game LOL

50 ODD Things about you! Now that you are reading - you too have
to fill it out!Learn 50 things about your friends and family, and let
them learn 50 things about you!

1. Do you like blue cheese? Don't like, love!
2. Have you ever smoked heroin? Yes.
3. Do you own a gun? No. I don't .
4. What flavor do you add to your drink
at sonic?
None, I like it straight.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor
No, not even when I had skin cancer.
6. What do you think of hot dogs?
Dodger dogs or Kosher works for me.

7. Favorite Christmas movie?
It's a Wonderful Life. Any of those claymation ones from the 60's! Ok... I like Christmas
Vacation too.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the
Coffee with cream.
9. Can you do pushups? Yes with considerable cheering.

10. Age? I'm in the 45 - 54 age group demographic. Hee Hee
11. What's your favorite piece of
My wedding ring. It means the world to me.

12. Favorite hobby? Writing. Reading. Having my kids call me out:)
13. Favorite Actor? Not many current ones. They tend to suck.
14. Do you have A.D.D.? Nope.
15. What's one trait you hate about
Suspicious, guarded, shy.

16. Middle name? Robert
17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact
The kids are finally slowing down, I got sunburnt, I hope I get laid tonight:)

18. Name 3 things you bought
Lindens and multiple items from Schwans

19. Name three drinks you regularlydrink? Smartwater, Coffee, Diet Coke/Pepsi
20. Current worries? Bills.
Logistics. Will the twins ever sleep in their own beds?
21. Current hate right now? Morons. haters. People who do not respect boundaries.
22. Favorite place to be? There is
no place like home :)
23. How did you bring in the New
With a big RL hoo!
24. Where would you like to go?
Greece or Ireland
25. Name three people who will complete
this ?
Parker, my two alts
26. Do you own slippers? Good lord no, summer baby you go barefoot!!

27. What shirt are you wearing? A t shirt from the ventura Surf Shop.
28. Do you like sleeping on satin
I can sleep on anything at this point of the game.
29. Can you whistle? Yes, from years of playing the outfield during Little league on up :)

30. Favorite color? Blue
31. Would you be a pirate? No, I've read about RL Pirates, very skanky people. However, I would have no objections to playing for the Pittsburg Pirates.
32. What songs do you sing in the
Soft porn soundtrack/background music.

33. Favorite girl's name? Rachel and Kimberly
34. Favorite boy's name? Simon,
Zachary and Noah and Ryan, Russell and Rory.
35. What is in your pocket right
not a darn thing

36. Last thing that made you
The kids
37. Best bed sheets as a child? My Mom made some with a Hawaiian print thing going.

38. Worst injury you've ever had?
Tagging a guy out at home in College, he crashed into my knee, dislocated so my kneecap was turned to the back off my leg. Held onto the ball and we beat USC. God, I hate those guys. Sorry Am.
39. Do you love where you live? If I'm around the fam, it's all good.
40. How many TVs do you have in your
41. Who is your loudest friend? My
5 year old Simon
42. How many dogs do you have? 1
big lug named Feliz
43. Does someone have a crush on
Me. no way....

44. What is your favorite book(s)?
The Kite Runner is great, My fav is The Big Sky by A.B. Guthrie
45. Where were you born? Downey, California

46. What is your favorite candy?
Peanut M and M's
47. Favorite Sports Team? Diamondbacks, Dodgers, LA Rams ( I know....I know)
48. What song(s) do you want played at
your funeral?
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

49. What were you doing at 12AM?
Staring into the Abyss

50. What was the first thing you thought
of when you woke up?
Mr. Yellowhair

OK - Parker and Lizz you are NEXT!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Career Decisions

I've been toying with the idea of getting more consistent SL work. I need something a little more involved to occupy my time in SL. Clubbing is fun and will continue to be, but perhaps its time to change things up just a bit.

Lo and behold, opportunity comes a knocking. Through an acquaintance at a club, she informed me that they are looking for uniformed and undercover security at a free sex island. The blogging opportunities alone boggle the mind. So i have to send a notecard to those responsible indicating my interest. I intend to do just that.

A question to those more experienced with the art of orbiting. Do you just zoom them out or do you have an individualized catch phrase? You know, like those guys at the airport who send jets on their way?

I have been cautioned by a brunette of some distinction, that what kind of quality can there be when the sex is free? You get what you pay for was is one of my Dad's mantras. BTW, I don't think Pops ever went to a free sex island:) We will see and time will tell.

Will I partake? Naw, I highly doubt it. That wouldn't be professional. I'd probably lose all objectivity along with my pants. However, I must admit to you that blogging about sexual spastics might increase my readership. Reflections of a sex cop...... I Like it:)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thank You

I just want to briefly thank all those that swung by yesterday for the rezz day festivities for Kimala and myself. It was a great time and I was touched by your well wishes and your participation. I've met some incredible people in SL. I been through the range of emotions in SL. It's been quite a year.

I would be remiss to not give a major kudo to Kimala. She is alot of things to me in both worlds. She is always there to help me out, which happens quite frequently:). She is the reason for staying in SL to this point. I'd be kidding myself if i didn't acknowledge her presence yesterday as the major draw:)

So again thank you. You all made yesterday a tremendous amount of fun and quite memorable. I hope your upcoming year is filled with love and excitement and maybe some serenity too.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

As my family was visiting my parents and my sister yesterday in Prescott, AZ I had no idea that my 10 year old son would unfold a blog topic on Memorial Day for me. Life can do that for you, give you something from a source that you really don't expect on a topic you hadn't planned on writing about.

My Dad is a member of that rapidly dwindling club, WWII veteran. His piece of hell was on three islands scattered throughout the Pacific. Kwajelin, Pelilu and Okinawa to be exact. He was age 17 - 19. He was and is a Marine. He doesn't brag or fondly remember those days. He will just say he had a job to do and just did it.

Part of the celebration for my twins belated birthday with my folks and my sis was my sister giving the kids poppers. Those confetti spraying devices that contain a small amount of gunpowder and emit a small flash. So the kids were pumped up to say the least, and shooting those things off.

I really didn't think anything out of the ordinary until I looked at my father. he had this peculiar pained expression on his face. Not overt mind you, but something I could read with him being my father. It was the look in his eyes, those same eyes that have meant so many things to me over the years, that really shook me. it was like he was looking back in time. Looking back some 60 odd years.

My father has shared some stories of the hell he and others endured in the Marines. There are quite a few that I intend to put in a book some day. I'll share two with you that somehow seem to capture the essence of Memorial Day for this writer.

He was hung up on a reef during low tide while invading Pelilu. He made jokes to his nervous tank crew, after all he had been through this before and they hadn't. He was a combat veteran. He was 18. They had to wait for the tide to rise for their amphibious tank to lift off that damn reef. All the while the Japanese were shelling and mortaring his tank and two others. At last the tide obliged and the tanks headed towards the shore.

As all three tanks felt solid ground beneath them there was a blinding flash to his right. The tank adjacent to them had taken a direct hit killing all of its occupants. One of the occupants of the tank was a brother to one of my fathers crew members. My dad cradled that young, hysterical man in his arms while his other crew members literally collected what they could of the people that were in that tank. The image of my very young father offering solace to someone also so young and in so much pain who could only keep repeating, "I want my Mom, I want my Mom......", will stay with me today.

Wars build and reinforce hate. It is a by product of such a horrifying event. My last story is not about hate in action but of hate diminishing. My Dad drew, much to his ire, occupation duty as Japan was defeated. He thought he should have been shipped home after his combat experience. His combat experience secured him a spot for occupation duty since it was a big unknown going into Japan. Need less to say, he wasn't in the best of moods.

As they set up their camp, they noticed there were no civilians around. None. He figured they had been told that they would be killed so they were laying low. The next day he saw a small figure near some deserted military installation. He kept an eye throughout the course of the day as the figure drew closer. It was a small boy, perhaps 6 or 7 years of age.

The boy drew closer. He was very slight and solemn. My dad figured this young boy was in charge of finding food for what was left of his family and was determined to do just that. My dad gathered up some extra C rations and walked over to the little boy and kneeled down and gave them to him. The boy took them and walked back the way he had come. This continued for some days.

With the passage of time, the boy became a fixture at their camp. He would often sit on my Dad's lap and eat the chocolate that he would give him.

When you talk about war you also talk about hate. My dad has told me that the hate drained out of his soul as he helped that little boy and his family also survive the aftermath of war.

So this Memorial Day take a brief part of your day and remember those whose lives ended in a blinding flash and otherwise. They gave so much. They gave all of their tomorrows.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thoughts on impending Rezz Day

Being on SL for a year has been a real mixed bag. I've met some fantastic people that I consider to be friends. I've met some people that were/are ruthless opportunists that only serve their own selfish needs. I've seen incredible sights. I've done some good things and a few crappy things. Mostly good though. I can say with a confident degree of certainty that I've never hurt anyone's feelings. That makes me feel pretty good.

SL itself, not the people in any way, is starting to become a bit boring. There are some nights when I think to myself, why did I log on? To quote that trite saying, it's not you it's me. It just isn't like it was at first, nothing ever is after all.

These sentiments could be coming up after the inevitable let down of the school year. Going cold turkey from constant adrenaline high is a bitch. I dunno...

At this juncture, I can't see another year of SL. I don't know if I have another year of coping left in me. Hell, maybe some resolution will come after rest and rezz day...

Close the books, thats 14

Yet another successful close of a school year. Deranged parents 0, me 1. I won again. I still like my job. Look forward to doing it again next August:). Sure, I'll relax a bit before my summer job starts.

I'm going to be mentoring preservice teachers to better prepare them for what lies ahead. Fill their heads with lame theories and impractical requests? Hell no. Just espouse this theory and sit on my ass? Doubtful.

I plan on teaching groups of kids with them watching and then invite them into a dialogue where their voice is equally as important as mine. Me be a sage on the stage? Not in my nature.

They will see the whole gauntlet of what works for me: humor, rapport, genuine interest in the life of teenagers and anything else I can pull out. Hell, I might even go into the world is flat rap that I do! Can I share it with you? I knew you would say yes:). It really works like a charm.

A little background first, whenever I am dealing with an audience that seems to be dissociating from reality and their role in future times I do the following: show them a picture of my 4 kids and say, "I want to show you a picture of four ppl they may be working for in the future." Insert shocked looks here. I relate to them that I got four individuals who are motivated, push themselves and want to give directions rather than take them. I tell them all this stuff about competition is bad is crap because in the global economy they are competing with people in India, China, and all other points on the compass.

Competition is not bad. Making people fearful of competition is horrible. Not giving people the tools to compete is a total disservice to that individual and our society in general. Lack of support for education reference would fit here:).

If you ever enter the realm of parenthood and if you might be there already, I sincerely hope you work your ass off in conjunction with your childs teacher. If you get a teacher that just seem to be going through the motions, future 33% blog here, demand accountability. I don't care if you are tired, if you had a hard day, if going on SL is more appealing: tough shit. Sit at that table or couch with your kid or kids and compete! If you can multi-task, you are a far more evolved being than me. Show them that you value their education and their future. It is not only a worthwhile endeavor it is a responsibility you undertook when you decided/created a new life on this planet!! Just do it!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Running on a Spot

Towards the end of the year, school year it is, strange things happen. People are more appreciative and say and share thnigs that aren't usually forthcoming during the long 9 month grind. This is very true of a segment of my clientile.

Many young men , ages 14 - up, have no dad at home. It is just part of the landscape of contemporary American society. I think by default, in some fashion, I fall heir to this defacto position. Among my "sons" are African-Americans, Chicanos, other sundry Hispanics, Anglos, Asians and blends of all the aforementioned. My "sons" are athletic, musical, depressed, lost, etc. They can walk or they can be confined to a wheelchair.

They desperately need a male figure in their life. They aren't too demanding really. They want to talk about sports, movies, music and even if they feel safe, their feelings. But they just need that contact and that sense that they are ok, and an older male sees value in them. I see value in them.

You can sense anxiety mixed with relief this time of year. Relief that it is all about to end for another year and anxiety that we will not see each other for about 10 weeks. It is not said out loud but we both know it is on the table. I'll tell them to be safe, have fun but don't get crazy. They'll nod and some will shake my hand. Some will even hug me.

Even though it is the close of another school year, I look forward to the start of next year. Not for idealistic, fresh start reasons but just for the simple fact of my "sons" filtering in to say hello and connect once again. Have a safe and sane summer boys.....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Insanity of Helplessness

Last night was a night that as a parent I dread. My youngest was in the grips of asthma hell and I was down a partner. When stuff like this happens, and it does happen in the world of parenting, you become accutely aware of how much of a partnership parenting truly is. The event itself is bad enough but then you have to make that phone call that you know is going to kick up your partners emotions becuase they are away from their baby. Ok, he's 4 almost 5, but the bond between my wife and her kids is a force of love I have not witnessed prior to marraige and parenthood.

The feeling of being helpless in any scenario just sucks. No other words suffice. You look down on your child and want to make them better with a blink of an eye. It doesn't happen that way unfortunately. I rocked him, massaged his back, spoke in soothing tones. I tried everything in my arsenal to no avail.

I left the ER in frustration at being told that it would be a 3 hour wait. They didn't even triage him to check his O2 level. We are doing many haiku in my English class and I wrote this down on a scrap of paper. It was to focus my brain on something else rather than increasing anxiety.

Gasping for air now
Little chest struggles for air
How Spring contains pain

The ER was pure horror show. Our healthcare system in our country is a shambles when it serves as the only venue of healthcare for so many women and their children. Yeah, it was packed. But thats another blog topic. What an environment. I also wrote this Senryu about the ER. I'm sure it is applicable to ER's found everywhere....

Room of no coverage
there is no emergency
just hurt, pain and hope

Well I have an appointment @ 4:00 to get my precious one to. How many people don't have that option, don't have the money for medication and will have to endure all the feelings that I felt on a nightly basis for a indefinate amount of time? I can see light at the end of the tunnel, other parents operate in the pitch black of hopelessness. As I snuggle my soon to be healthy boy and kiss his forehead you're damn right they will be in my prayers...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Life's Rich Pageant

Humans are interesting. We can be majestic, self-sacrificing, alturistic, petty, duplicitious, self-centered, rationalizers without peers, and just downright hateful. One person can even have several good and bad points co-exisiting concurrently. I guess that is the human condition. Its RL and its the other one also.

Lemme lay some RL on you. I teach, do you really? LOL, and have had the pleasure to get to know a person with whom I share some commonalities. This person was our baseball coach this year. Had a very successful year but had the unmitigated gall to suspend, for the remainder of the season, some of his best players because they were involved in some criminal activity. As a result they lost some games and quickly bowed out of the playoff picture. Maybe I'm nuts but I think he did the right thing.

How was this stand supported? A storm of controversy engulfed this man and his family. He was cursed during games, one drunken buffon threatened him physically after a game, and the piece de resistance? His 5 year old son answered the phone and was cursed for being his fathers son. Little guy went up to his dad and said, "Why did some man on the telephone call me*************"?

What goes through people that they dissociate so completely with doing the right thing? He doesn't know if he going to coach again. He loves baseball to his core. He got free college and even represented our country on the Olympic team. He is out there trying to teach kids about baseball and in a lot of ways, life. Yet to these "parents" if you can call them that, the paramount issue is not doing the right thing but doing the winning thing. Getting instant gratification, to hell with the costs.

Through it all, and I told him this, I feel it has been such a privilege to become his friend this year. He told me if he does come back he would take some stands to ensure some sanity. I think those would be good moves. I am so close to telling him that if he does come back to sign me on in whatever capacity he sees fit. I want to have this guys back.

I asked him how he kept his head up throughout this insane ordeal. He said he took a lot of comfort in his little boy and little girls love. His wife was always there for him. Told me there were some nights when he just talked with her from 2 to 5 a.m. I told him that I'm sure that helped a lot. At the worst point of it all, he told me that during his morning shave, he would look into the mirror and ask God, "Am I doing the right thing?" Some days he said the shaving cream would dry up before he shaved but he always came away with a shaved face and the knowledge that he was doing the right thing.

Everything is a metaphor for something else. How's that for vague? Maybe you don't need to shave your face, maybe you should consider it (sorry, couldn't resist), maybe you have a beard, I dunno. As you look into your grey, brown, green, hazel, blue,and any other combination thereof, are you doing the right thing? It's a good question to ask.

I think anything, and I mean anything in life is managable as long as you take responsibility for yourself and don't take on others problems and shortcomings. In the end, you are the beat and the melody and the composer of your lifes song. Make it a good one please. There are so many ears listening.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Time moves on but the memories are eternal

Our oldest son has been home ill the past two days. He is feeling much better now. When he is home alone, because he is a big 12 year old, I come home during my lunch to make sure he and the house is alright. I think this reassures both of us in a way. Reassures me in that he is ok and that he is taking the necessary steps to feel better. Reassures him in that I am always just a few minutes away and he is doing the right things.

As I arrived home, he was fast asleep on the couch. I sat by him on the ottoman and just took it all in. Our little guy has grown so big and is on the cusp of being a teenager. I was struck by how much his face still had that look he had when he was still in the crib and was fast asleep. As I stroked his hair and placed the blanket more snugly around his shoulders, he sighed the same exact sigh of contentment when he had finished nursing with Momma. God, that took me back about 4 light years to a smaller grey house in a beautiful little valley. What a gift life unfolds for us as we age.

As many of you know, I am a teacher. End of the year in my English class is poetry time. I do not consider myself a poet by any stretch of the imagination. I enjoy doing it with the students. We are currently looking at African poetic forms. Specifically African Praise Poetry. Here is a poem I wrote about the big guy who slept on my chest his first night home. As we both age and progress through life, I will look into his eyes, scan his profile and see that little person and her his measured breaths that were in perfect harmony with my own.

We did African Praise Poem today in English. Check out my Zachary poem
I wrote in front of the class to model....

Carried in love by his Mother for 9 months
Caught by his father in a quick minute
Tan and many heritages
12 and tall as hell
Quiet as the breeze whispering
through the tall mountain pines
Lover of Games
Friend of Canines
Loves Music, Mom, and singing
Kind Soul, laughter and learning

he does rock :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Boy am I.....


I am very tired on a lot of levels these days. I have taken some deserved smack talk for not blogging in so long, so this is what you get.

Teaching is a weird way of life. Your body does get in some weird 9 month cycle. Not that everything turns shiny on the last day of school, you just move into another realm of activity.

In my 14, damn thats a career!!, of teaching I have never been this tired at this point of this year. Everyone feels worn out at this stage of the game, that is to be expected. I just feel spent. I feel tired constantly and yearn for lack of contact with people from my chosen profession. Don't say I'm burnt out cause it doesn't feel that way.

The most tiring thing about teaching high school is not the students, its their parents!! OMG, i was reading a report that detailed a students prenatal care when they were in vitro and right there it said, smoked two packs of cigarettes daily throughout the pregnancy! How f'ed up is that? Or the parent that I have had well over 90 plus phone calls, emails since early winter. I feel like I'm this persons therapist. And at no charge. Jeez.....

May 23rd is our last "official day" of this 2007 - 2008 school year. I don't care where you are on 5/23 but listen quietly at 2:20 PST and you will hear me scream with unbridled joy!! Plus I'll write more then :)..