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.

08 February 2008

A Proud Moment

The Whore, wait, no, THE FUCKING WHORE, contacted me via myspace. I was a ball of sinew, anxiety, rage, and indecisiveness. Should I talk to her and hear her out, like a big mature man? Should I unleash all the anger and pure black viscous hatred that has built up and congealed over the past two and a half years, tell her everthing I always wanted to? (see: I was hoping you were dead. You should lose your kids. You are a whore and a cunt. If I ever see you again I WILL spit in your face, and if I see your husband I will smash his face into a mass of pulp attached to a neck. You are evil....etc etc etc.)

But what would be the benefit of either exchange really? She wouldn't let me finish a rampage of hate, and I wouldn't be willing to hear a single damn apology she offered. If that makes me a bitter foolish man then so be it, and I feel the better for it. Instead this is the only exchange I allowed (read from bottom to top for correct order, but the first thing you read is the most important anyway):

I guessed as such but wanted to be certain. There are only three things I'm going to address:

1) I hope your kids are healthy and happy.

2) I have absolutely no interest in the well being of you or the rest of your family.

3) I have even less interest in hearing or reading what you have to say.

::The GringO::

31 January 2008

I had movie popcorn with butter and now my hand smells like I finger-banged the Land O' Lakes squaw.


28 January 2008

There is a name to my pain...and it is Bucky

Tell me if you heard this one: a student sits in class, and s/he is bored. The lesson is not challenging; it’s just more of the same rigmarole that s/he has heard time and again. So the student, bright, bored and frustrated, acts out: s/he makes rude comments; the student wanders from his/her seat; s/he challenges the teacher’s authority with verbal jabs and by ignoring the lesson.

Sound familiar? We’ve all seen these kids in our classrooms; hell, some of us were those kids. I know I was.

Now you know that kid? Well, I have that kid’s opposite.

There is a kid, whom I will call Bucky, who is just about as dumb a person as I have met. I pity the dumb as I also envy them; they may not know what’s going on around them, but they seem happy that way and that’s fine, at least for them. Bucky is so dumb that he fucks up spacing out. If they gave out grades for lunch, Bucky would have an incomplete. Bucky is one more piece of proof that intelligence and jaw muscularity are directly proportional. Bucky drives me insane with his inability to think beyond the seven seconds his brain is currently failing to cope with. Bucky is failing P. E. for the third straight year. Bucky is so frustratingly ignorant and rude that I feel that I deserve sainthood for not wearing his blood like sloppily fitted crimson gloves. I find myself hoping, daydreaming, that Bucky tries something violent after school, so I can throw him into a trashcan so that he can begin his work on the rest of his life.

But I can’t do that. I am Bucky’s teacher, and while everyone else has given up on him (I’m not saying they’re wrong for doing so, mind you), I cannot. So I told him to meet with me after school so that we can discuss this day’s outburst and try to find reason and peace in the class. He didn’t show, and that’s a good thing, because then I didn’t have to face a moral quandary.

Had Bucky shown up, I would have tried to tell him that he can still make something of himself, and that high school is the last chance he would have to do so. I would have said that college is still a possibility for him, that he could achieve what he wanted, but only if he put his nose to the grindstone and worked with me and his other teachers; he could graduate with a GPA worth remembering.

Since he didn’t show up, I didn’t have to worry about lying to the little moron. Except for the GPA bit. I doubt anyone would forget a student who could win the James Blutarsky Award for Academic Embarrassment.

I think that what bothers me so much about Bucky is that he is the contradiction to what I am taught about students. What I am taught as a teaching student is that, no matter what, you don’t give up. You keep trying, reaching, and someday you’ll get through once you apply the perfect pedagogy to the student that was nearly custom fit for her/him. What I am seeing is that, once the students give up, it is almost impossible to get them back. There is no real extrinsic motivation; it’s all internal, and it’s all self-generated. I didn’t put out that fire, so I have no idea how to rekindle it.

That, and I have little patience for undeserved arrogance.


15 January 2008

A Grand Bon Mot or Deux

While hanging with The GringO, a little nugget fell out of my mouth that lends yet more support to why we should have a podcast:

Z: What's he singing?
G: "We're only a lifetime away" (in a very ugly falsetto)
Z: Wow. Deep. but not as deep as the asshole those lyrics were farted out of.

"I tell ya, I can't think of a more humiliating and disgusting way to die than to be pierced by an interplanetary shit-sickle."

From whence that issued, many more as witty were spoken and forgotten. Admit it, you want to hear more.


11 January 2008

Closing the Door on '07

Things I saw randomly walking around Chicago last year:

  • A raptor of some kind taking a pigeon in mid-flight;
  • A businessman shitting himself on the corner of Madison and Wacker;
  • A bunch of guys pretending to be Elvis to raise money for cystic fibrosis;
  • One human finger;
  • More than twenty used condoms in the street;
  • A young lady getting finger-banged on a tour boat;
  • The largest pile of dog shit I had ever seen (you could’ve lost a toddler in it);
  • More human excrement than I would ever care to see;
  • Two people trying to push open a pull door immediately after watching someone fail in the attempt;
  • A street performer falling in the middle of his dance routine;
  • A huge stack of AOL Installer disks (I had forgotten those even existed!);
  • A Hipster boy, while trying to rearrange his package in those insanely skinny jeans, tearing a huge hole in the crotch of said ridiculous fashion trend, spilling his fake junk onto the sidewalk (I think it was a pair of socks);
  • A kid suffering splash damage from a horse taking a crap (he cried and cried and I laughed and laughed; seriously, Mom, what are you doing letting your kid get that close to a horse’s browneye?);
  • A woman in a fur coat shouting “I HAVE MACE!” to no one in particular;
  • Three rich white girls arguing about who was more “street;”
  • Burned clothes surrounding the eternal flame in Daley Plaza.
Wow, but I saw a lot of shit last year, often literally.

What did you spot?


09 January 2008

Gayest Death Ever

A Brief (1) Explanation of This Drawing

Having exhausted my supply of DVD’s I was able to stand watching yet again I knew I needed to do something to occupy my mind. Crosswords or Sudoku would require thought and effort to draw upon certain resources of my brain that I just did not feel like tapping. What to do then? Why not a drawing?
Well, OK, a drawing, but what kind? I have made portraits for a long while and though laying out the muscle and skin wrapped around a skull, then altering the arrangement of said elements, is a challenge, after a while it becomes tiresome (2).

Thus, with such thoughts and feelings I decided a figure drawing would be a nice challenge.
I prefer to draw female (3) figures, but as I do not possess a readily available and willing body of the feminine persuasion (4), my own masculine build would have to serve my needs. What kind of pose? How about walking with two objects being carried, one in each hand? (5)

The lighting was easy to arrange, the topless pose easily captured with a digital camera, and viewable as a drawing resource. I laid out the drawing in an outline only form. I stepped away, blinked, made a snarl-like face by raising the left side of my upper lip, thus also altering the position of my left nostril as well, while simultaneously raising my right eyebrow. This is the thought that produced such a facial expression: “Man, that looks gay.”(6)

Though I wanted to create a figure piece I knew this was one I would not want for myself. Then who would want it? Eureka! The CSM (7)! Why, I still owed him a drawing for the T.V. he gave me and a warming gift for his new apartment! This decided I went to work altering the body, making it even more intimidatingly testosterone injected than my own (8). I added a portion of lower body, also nude, complete with tasteful and subtle, yet accurate, genitalia (9). The body shaded in, I needed some type of head. But why make it a normal head?

Then it occurred to me that the end of this month has a holiday commonly called Halloween, an English bastardization of the German Hallowe’en (10). Death! Blood! Pumpkins! Wait, no, just death! How about having a cowl emerge from the shoulder, a throwback to the image of the Grim Reaper who is bedecked in a black robe?
“The Gayest Death Ever” (11) was thus completed. I hope you enjoy it.

Practical Information

Created using charcoal (12) pencil on acid free sketch paper. It is a standard size suitable for cheap framing.

End Notes
  1. This is not very brief actually. Quite long really, quite.
  2. Just as this writing style is tiresome.
  3. A term used to describe the gender of the species that bears children (with the exception of the Sea Horse, in which species the father has the babies).
  4. Keeping someone against their will is apparently a crime.
  5. Allow yourself to contemplate and decide for yourself what the objects are (though given the sexual preference of the intended recipient, I would nudge you toward a type of novelty phallus).
  6. “Gay" is the current slang vernacular used to describe homosexuality. It can be used in several ways in a sentence, be it noun, verb, or adjective. Other forms are possible though not as commonly used as these.
  7. CSM refers to the pseudonym assigned to this friend by Zeepdoggie.
  8. A great Challenge I assure you. I was once assigned “hottest bod” while standing in a group of third graders (13).
  9. Notice some slight indication of a dorsal vein, and pubic hair, the only kind this Death has oddly enough.
  10. Absolutely true.
  11. In light of this title perhaps the method would involve a severe act of sodomy using the tools of his trade (see (5)).
  12. This is a substance commonly found beneath the topsoil of Earth. It is formed by the decomposition and of carbon-based plant life which is then buried and through time becomes compressed and is, atomically speaking, altered. It is worth note that coal is still used as a power source due to its combustibility which produces the energy to move turbines which provide power for electronic devices. The longer it has taken coal to form the cleaner it burns. Thus we find anthracite coal which in appearance and texture is similar to that of volcanic glass, though created in an entirely different process. If coal has been compressed long enough, with enough heat produced as well by said process, diamonds will form. Diamonds are the hardest of all natural minerals, as well as the most valuable (14).
  13. Don’t ask.
  14. If you read all of that, I will laugh at you (15).
  15. See (10)