28 May 2008

Have you seen this idiot? This is just one of his interesting and thought-provoking articles, all about how the stereotypes of romantic comedies and sitcoms are real and how we can avoid them by just doing whatever he says. I decided to send this article to The Professor, along with a response from someone who thinks that men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus, and that we actually have a lot in common, and that stuff like this belongs in the dirt of a cattle ranch. And since I love sharing the personal and trivial with you all, you get a gander! Lucky you!

1) Done.
2) I have grilled, you know. Seriously, there are plans.
3) I am not big on fire in the house.
4) Check!
5) Took care of that bad boy earlier - I hope you got it!
6) Who's picking baby up?
7) No.
8) I do the laundry, and I do believe I have offered to iron your shirts; it's not my fault you like to look all sloppy.
9) If the bathroom is a wreck, it's not because of my stuff.
10) We don't, so check!
11) Not really big on the shared shower thing... Sorry.
12) I just want to point out the "her backrub" to "his backrub" ratio is easily ten to one here.
13) "We're going out tonight, honey, and you're driving!" Our relationship has a different dynamic that doesn't necessarily encourage my solo planning.
14) Our first date was in a bar, so we should go to bars one night a week? Our second date was watching TV at your place, so we're good there! Our third date involved Christmas...what the hell do we do with that?! Could the class you taught and that I took be considered one long date? Should I take a class you're teaching? This is getting impractical...
15) "Hello?"
"Hi, baby!"
"What are you doing?"
"I'm calling in the middle of the day to let you know that I am thinking about you!"
"I'm teaching my class, idiot!"
"Oh... So, I guess I shouldn't mention that I'm touching myself?"

Another little tidbit of note; did you notice on the bottom of the page, the first two articles?
# 10 Fatal Online Dating Errors That Men Make
# 14 Fatal Online Dating Errors That Women Make

First of all, fatal? These mistakes kill people?!? Listen to Douche Wingnut, folks! People are dying!

And notice the numbers. Our sensitive male claims that women make 40% more errors than men. Not that I'm arguing, but I would have expected a complementary list or something from Mr. Surrogate Period...


27 May 2008

From Frankfurters to Fondue

Yeah yeah, I know, I haven’t written in forever; I felt that, since I now have this fancy diploma that I should get a job where I actually have to use it. More on that later. I want to talks about something that I keep telling myself is trivial, but it keeps popping up as not as trivial as I think.

Have you ever heard of ancestry.com? Fun fact: it turns out that the site is run by Mormons (try this for fun, kids: take out the second “m”!), with the purpose of potential converts converting their dead relatives. Apparently, there is a tenet in their religion that allows them to do this. That’s kinda scary. What if you’re there, enjoying oneness with the universe, or you’re in Valhalla fighting the eternal battle and looking forward to this evening’s fornicating with ale wenches, or maybe you’re in the Catholic Heaven with the saints and halos and crap like that, when all of a sudden you get whisked out of there and find yourself in the Mormon Heaven? What if that sucks? I imagine it involves special underwear

Anyhoo, The Professor has the super-whammy-dyne subscription to it, which allows her to look up ancestors in other countries and stuff. So one Sunday, hanging out at her place, I decide to give it a shot. I had been told that my family was German all the way back, after some point emigrating from Denmark. There were all these cool stories that the Zeepcousins and Zeepdaddy told me; my favorite is about how we were involved in the Third Crusades, in a leadership role, not just fodder for the Muslims.

Well, it turns out that they are all wrong. I’m Swiss. There is a direct line, from father to father, going back to the early 1500’s. And it’s most likely correct, since my family tends to pick some pretty oddball first names for sons. I am Swiss.

I am the first person to tell people that I am American; I was born here, I will most likely die here; I was willing to die for her when I served in her Navy, and I have a passport from this country. I always identify with the USA, and I root for our teams in the Olympic and world championships of the various sports. But there is a part of me, which is wholly American, to want to know where I “came from;” not the neighborhood I grew up in, but beyond that. And since Zeepmomma is British (Irish, Welsh and Scottish, so you just know there is some English in there somewhere – I saw Braveheart; I know what prima nocta is!) the side I most readily identified with was the German. It explained my desire for efficiency, my love of beer and sausage, as well as the desire to conquer France and my extreme xenophobia (aHaHaH! That’s a joke, son…).

But now, there’s this feeling that, since I am not German, I have lost a bit of my identity. It’s weird. Instead of being the big, strong belligerent nation, I am now neutral. Instead of a xenophobic invader, I am a welcoming banker. With chocolate in there, somewhere.

In the end, I am still me; still a bit belligerent, still willing to conquer French women, still anal about being efficient and on time - hey! The Swiss make good watches! I guess I have embraced a substance of my new heritage already!


15 April 2008

School's Out!

I am rapidly approaching the end of my student teaching. For fourteen weeks I’ve worked with kids and seen the whole range of adolescence expressed in my kiddy-boos. Yes, it’s been a lot of fun working with them, even Bucky and his crew of idiot misfits that have stayed behind after his transfer.

I’ll miss the students whose grades have improved over 30% from last semester. I’ll miss seventh period and it’s collection of characters. I’ll miss the mouthy little girl in the back row who gave me grief because that’s how she shows she cares. I’ll miss the little fucker who called me a dickhead: the only time he was right in class, not that I’ll tell him that. I’ll miss the kid who didn’t have a response after I asked him just how EXACTLY he was going to make something of himself other than to start buckling down and doing his work. I’ll miss Li’l Bubbly telling the newest troublemaker, “Don’t come in here with your hot mess; we got rid of Bucky, we’ll get rid of you, too!” I’ll miss teaching inner-city black kids about ice hockey, and giving them extra credit for giving me an interesting fact about the ‘Hawks whenever I wore a jersey.

I’ll really miss reading their papers and seeing them reach for something outside their experience, like when Star Shine talked about putting someone on a “pedal stool;” that effort got her an A.

I’ll miss them teaching me about learning.

Some things I’ll take away:
• There is always time to listen to a kid, no matter what;
• A white man calling his girlfriend “my boo” is ALWAYS funny to black folks;
• It’s all about effort;
• It’s really easy to overestimate your students and to underestimate your effect on them;
• Students will dam the Chicago River if you tell them it’s extra credit, but wouldn’t add a thimbleful of water if it’s an assignment;
• As much as I wish it weren’t true, motivation comes from within;
• It might not be a bad idea to rethink the high school set-up so that everybody, from student to janitor to administration, can see the relevance and importance of what is being taught.

For everything that has happened in the last fourteen weeks, I will never be able to thank my students, the best teachers I ever had, enough for what I learned.


31 March 2008

Art Geek Does Sports, Nation Applauds

I'm sitting in the stands, because who the hell stands if there are seats free right in front of them, thinking to myself: "a period is 20 minutes long? Wait, how many are there? Is hockey the one with three innings-sections-parts to it? Yeah, its gotta be.... Should I get a hot dog or an Italian beef?... Why do I know the name Tony Esposito?...Yeah I'll get the Italian beef."

It isn't that I hate hockey or don't like sports necessarily. I'm from Texas so hockey didn't come up as often in conversation as that golden calf we call "football." High school, college, professional, whatever level it was, if it was football, it was discussed. But not by me. I didn't play, didn't want to play, and didn't really care. I asked loudly "who's Tom Landry?" while in a grocery store, and I think about half the men there wanted to kick my ass on principle. I just went a different path in my interests is all. While my peers built up rosters and stats in their memories I pursued the subjects that interested me the most: academics, drawing, self love, reading and playing video games for example.

As I grew up I came to associate sports participants and fans with the moronic sacks of flesh that paraded around the halls of school to the confounding (to me anyways) adoration of the less imaginative. I just didn't get it. Until I moved to Chicago.

Something about this city is just infectious when it comes to sports. My first year here the Sox had their parade for winning the world series. I lived near Wrigley and witnessed the congestion caused by the mobs of blue clad fans. Memories of Michael Jordan commercials resurfaced to my mind. This is just a sports town. Despite my efforts to fight it, I was drawn in. I'll never remember the stats or the the full rosters but I recognize names. I actually knew most of the sports teams when the Hot Wheels (a die hard sports nut) quizzed me by city. I think I'm getting it. There is some kind of pride found in your team making it, some concerned support when they don't, and just the camaraderie of those who agree with you is surprisingly nice.

I've gone to baseball games, more every year. But I'd never, NEVER, been to a hockey game, and I took the chance to finally go to one. It was damn fun. I don't exactly understand why Tony Esposito was there since they retired his jersey in the early 80s, but I chanted with the rest. I may not have been as enthusiastic with the high fives and the ass patting going on around me (no means no Asshole), but any chance to make fun of funny sounding names and boo strangers from a safe distance (no throat slicing for me please) shouldn't be passed up.

CUBS!! Check. Sox. Check. Blackhawks. Check.

Next up: Bulls and Bears with maybe a smack of Fire added.


20 March 2008

Cheap Seats

Last night, The GringO, the World's Biggest Asshole and I went to watch the 'Hawks destroy the Caps 5-0. It was a special night for me, since it was Tony Esposito night, and anyone who knows me knows that I am a goalie at heart; Tony-O, in particular, has a very special place in my life. I got to see him play only once; I was eight and he shut out the Flyers (at the time, my dad's second most-hated team). That game made want to be a goalie so bad. Forget Savvie's two goals and two assists, or Behn Wilson's epic pummeling of Dave Brown; I walked out of there inspired by 28 shots attempted and 28 saves made.

We sat in the cheap seats: SRO all the way! We had a great time; excellent view of the ice, and got to hang out with Berserker Bill, kicker of throats and crusher of uvulae, and the Trouble brothers, Sean and Dave, who TWBA hit in the nuts with his folding chair during the first five minutes of the game. I guess nobody puts baby in the corner...

Cheaps are great. You pay ten bucks and you hang out with great fans who know the game and the team as well as you do; you drink beer and you scream as loud as you can; you hurl obscenities at the opposing team because, in the cheaps, that is what you do. My favorites:

  • "Ovechkin is a poor man's Pavel Bure!"- So spoke Dave and his sore testes.
  • "Ovechkin is Russian for 'foreskin!'" - I'm quite proud of that one!
  • "I don't care what happens on the ice, so long as someone KICKS HIM IN THE THROAT!" - Bill makes his mom proud with that one.
A truly fantastic evening. You should go; we could make asses of ourselves and just ride the wave of drunken, belligerent bliss that is an SRO hockey experience!


12 March 2008

Working in some wrinkles

Thanks to Viagra and Cialis, old folks homes are becoming hotbeds of iniquity. Right now, someone's grandma and grandpa are hoping the kids will just get the hell out of their rooms so that they can get to some righteous boning.

I imagine that doggy-style is the most popular position in the old folks home, what with the old ladies already bent double and everything. The old men must be thinking, “Thank God for osteoporosis!”


03 March 2008

Thank You for Choosing Kite, You Sad Sad Man

Last week I received my tax refund check, much to my delight. Large sums of money showing up in the mail for my personal benefit have a tendency to make me giddy for some strange reason. While throwing wads of cash here and there this past week I was reminded of my first refund check in Chicago. I had even written a journal entry about it, and that is what I'm sharing with you starting....now.


After a night of heavy drinking with Rolling Thunder I went to Hell today. A big boss is coming tomorrow so we had to stay until at least 10:30 recovering. In the midst of closing Irish McDrunky stopped by with Mike, a bartender from O'Neils, to flip me off and indicate through subtle sign language that I should join them for a drink.
What followed was various varieties of spirits. I was somewhat snookered but Irish was gone, as he had been drinking for roughly 8 hours. His stagger was impressive, his speech only half intelligible and restraint practically nonexistent. While walking to the Red Line a homeless man with one eye approached and Irish flatly said "I'm a Republican. I pretend that you don't even exist." I thought this particularly humorous, even if he relived it 5 times afterward.
On the train we sat and chatted a bit, then he got off at Belmont. This girl came in, hands shaking, gaunt faced with a blank wide-eyed expression as she openly looked at me. As we began to move she pulled out a packet of Kite tobacco with rolling papers. She proceeded to roll 5 cigarettes within 4 or 5 stops. I simply stared in amazement as I had never seen someone hand roll anything. She tucked the last one behind her ear as we pulled into her stop, and when she left she left the packet.
I'm trying to quit smoking and haven't bought any cigarettes for around a week and hadn't smoked any for 2 days. Feeling the craving I snatched what I saw as free tobacco on my way out of the train car. When I got home I checked my mail and praise God, my refund check had arrived!
Craving a celebratory portion of substance and not having alcohol I decided to hand roll my first cigarettes. However, on inspecting the pouch I found there were no more papers. What to do? I looked down at the counter and saw an empty package of gum. The empty pack had spewed out some slips of the white paper that is wrapped around the sticks of gum, outside the foil. I determined these white slips were good enough.
Having never rolled joints myself all I had to go on was mimicking the girl on the train and Johnny Depp interviews. I sprinkled some tobacco, folded over one side of the flap and tried to make a cigarette. Due to the paper's thickness and formally folded state the tube had angled sides instead of a clearly cylindrical form. I licked the sided of the remaining flap, trying to glue it down with my saliva, even though there was no adhesive strip on the paper like you would find on actual rolling papers. It barely worked but at least I had something. The sorriest looking cigarette ever.
I went outside to smoke it. I puffed on my hand fashioned monstrosity, noting the flavor of mentholated tobacco...and burning paper with just a hint of sophisticated watermelon (the gum flavor). The aftertaste was bitter and towards the end the smoke burned my throat and mouth.
Just stopping and actually thinking about what I was doing made me realize how sad and pathetic it really was. So I made one more then went to bed.