THE List

April 23, 2013

And yes, I wanted to make this clear that this isn’t just any list; it’s THE List.

This list will include items that I’m planning on adding to the docket for this summer. (That’s the 8 blissful weeks that I will not be working and hopefully making a full recovery from the school year.)

I shall also use this opportunity to explain my scheduling methodology with all of you. Feel free to use it.

It’s called … Pencil and Ink.

When things are penciled in it means they are scheduled to occur, but if something else comes up they can be shuffled into another time slot to fit my need. This means they have a 50% chance of occurring at their scheduled time, a 40% chance of happening at another time, a 9% chance of not happening at all, and a 1% of becoming the basis for me hurting myself in some embarrassing accident.

In no particular order:

1. Play video games. Urgency: Pencil

In particular I would like to purchase Bioshock Infinite and just spend a day exploring that world and probably getting frustrated/terrified. I would also like to find a day where I could get the largest number of people together to have a good old fashioned Halo LAN party. (If you’re in Florida, feel free to offer your Xbox/T.V./original copy of Halo)

2. Read. Urgency: Ink

That’s all. Just read. Hopefully lots. But reading is a must. It’s just got to happen. Hopefully every night before bed.

3. Sleep in. Urgency: Inky Ink.

I don’t even really have to plan this. It’s a certainty. You can bet the farm on this one.

4. Writing. Urgency: Ink from a permanent marker that was left in your pocket that you accidentally left in the wash. (You’ve been there)

It’s gots to happen Cap’n. Word? (Obviously I need to get back into the habit of writing in clearly written English as opposed to my life-on-the-streets manner.) But I would like to write (besides this blog) for at least an hour every day. Heck, I might even follow through with a promise I made to myself earlier in the year and actually do that summer version of NaNoWriMo. *But remember yesterday’s post about lies…*

5. Guitar Urgency: Ink from a squid

I recently purchased my first electric guitar and it is a dream come true. I’ll post some bragging photos of it soon enough. I should also mention that this purchase has helped me write my second song ever. That’s right, played gitfiddle for over 10 years now…and have only just written my second song. Sad? Yes. But we’re all weird in our own ways.

6. Magic: the Gathering. Urgency: Number 2 Pencil

This could happen just once over the summer and I’d be thrilled with it. It’s like brain food for me.

7. Board game night. Urgency: Golf Pencil

Because who doesn’t like board games?

8. Decide if I’m going to buy a house or rent for another year. Urgency: Still don’t know but I suppose it has to be Ink.

Put this hear almost as a reminder to myself for a later date.

9. Buy new music. Urgency: Pencil (likely not sharpened enough)

It’ll happen when it happens. But every summer has a distinct sound for me. Some albums help to define what that year will be remembered as. Maybe I’ll write another time that will tell you what each season is represented by in my car’s CD player.

10 Spend one whole day in my underwear. Urgency: Pencil

Why? Because I’ve never done it before. It’s a personal challenge to myself to make me think I could actually pull this off. Stop judging me…you know you want to do the same.

11. Make some silly videos. Urgency: Pencil but underlined in ink.

This is just too much fun for me and I’m sure me and some friends will end up doing it at some point. Just hope they will have the same amount of free time as I will.

12. Apply for a passport. Urgency: Ink (but possibly the erasable kind)

It’s something I should have done long ago. I’m not sure how I’ll end up traveling all around the world without one. Especially when I’m going to be hired as the new personal assistant to the Secretary of State. I’m positive he wouldn’t mind if I spent a whole day in my underwear either.

13. Move some more marbles. Urgency: Pencil (but could be a colored pencil)

I’ll try trumping them up here soon enough. (But seriously, if you live in a country outside the U.S. I might be interested to mail you a marble for the sake of mailing you a marble.)

14. Exacting my revenge. Urgency: Ink

This is already happening. To whom is a non-issue for you. Unless, of course, you are the person in which the vengeance e will be coming to. In which case I highly advise that you get to cover and start praying. Oh…if you only knew of my plans.

15. Preparing for next school year. Urgency: Disappearing Ink

This is a must in the summer. I need to prepare better. If not I will likely drown by November.

16. Take my Pops out to the movies. Urgency: Ink

People should be nice to their parents more often, right?

Annnnnd….that will probably be my entire summer.

So what are you penciling in or inking in this summer?

D.A.

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I Feel

October 16, 2012

I’ve been so busy lately I’ve been getting very frustrated.

Imagine a buffalo in a suit and tie driving a compact rental car. He’s stuck in rush hour traffic just wanting to go home.

That’s how I feel.

Why a buffalo?

Don’t ask me. I’m just the guy who writes things from time to time.

D.A.

Didn’t that one guy used to blog on occasion?

Yeah…he did…he did… It was even almost entertaining at times.

Sad times.

But that will be fixed up here soon enough. As of Friday evening I will be seated on the football stadium field while I watch many seniors I have never met graduate. It will be hot, boring, and will most certainly test my bladder’s ability to survive the two hour long ordeal.

Then the weekend will come.

Then Monday is a short day. Tuesday and Wednesday are exam days (so they’re even shorter), and then it’s teacher work days Thursday and Friday.

Then…freedom. Summer starts.

It’s like the weekend, but longer.

I’m so excited.

(I may stop wearing pants.)

Sorry, you didn’t want to know that. But realistically I will be free of a creative burden for some weeks. That means I will likely end up expressing more of my mindless droll toward you rather than my students. This will be good for all of us.

I also have some plans-a-cookin’ this summer. Interested?

Possible ideas for the summer:

  1. Read. A lot.
  2. Write. A lot.
  3. Stare into the sun. Very little.
  4. Do some conferences for school. (I will not be using my brain for those activities)
  5. ROAD TRIP! (I’m particularly excited about this, more details will follow)
  6. Buy a DSLR camera.
  7. Reconsider my position on the pants topic.
  8. Move out of the house.

Woah…

That’s…quite a bit of stuff there big guy. Moving out? B-but…That means…

Yes. I will grow up a little more. Expand my maturity levels. Becomes more than what I am now.

Seriously, that’s pretty crazy for you. What ever made you think you could pull of something like this out of the blue? You haven’t blogged for over a week and now you’re talking all crazy. Are you ill?

No, I’m completely fine. Well, not totally fine. I’ve got this rash on my-

NO! Stop typing. We don’t want to hear that. 

Who are you anyway? What is happening here? Am I having a conversation with myself? You’re just me but in a different color. 

See? That’s another reason why I suspect that you’re not well. You’re talking to yourself via a blog. That’s a sure sign of crazy in my book.

Alright Fake Me, you shut it up. I’m through talking to you. This is getting too weird.

As for the rest of you, more blogging will resume shortly. Just allow me to find my head in the final stretch of the school year. After that I should be back to my normal self. Maybe.

D.A.

Into The Fire

April 24, 2012

Occasionally, the world seems to crash down around you. Other times it seems to put itself on your shoulders like an ugly sweater made of lead. And sometimes the world just keeping poking you until you yelp out in pain, then it keeps poking.

Different people deal with stress relief differently. Some people have to surround themselves with friends. Sometimes people need to be alone.

Most of the time, I’m the person that needs to be alone.

Even if I got in an argument with somebody or I had to make a very heavy decision, I would need to chill out.

Actually, I would need to look into the fire.

I mean this both literally and metaphorically.

Literally, starting into fire is a comforting thing to do. Almost any fire will work but most of the time it should be a campfire. A fireplace would suffice as well. As long as it has an orange flicker and wiggles as it destroys something it’ll work.

Why fire? Well, it’s pretty simple. Men like myself have always stared at fire. Way back in the day when humans were wearing loin cloths and banging rocks together men still stared into the fire. It’s a beautiful thing. The flames seem to draw you in. It’s relaxing.

It also means I can focus on the fire. I can let it cook my thoughts away. Not permanently however, only for a short period of time. As soon as that flame goes out, I focus back on the situation that put me there.

But at least I was able to take my brain off the topic for that little bit.

Metaphorically, looking into the fire could be a way of refining or cleansing my mind. It burns away all the underbrush so it will prevent a much larger fire from starting. Inside of just being a small fire in a confined area, it would spread to the entire forest. This is like a little disturbance messing with my head but later spreading to insert itself into my heart and personality.

We all need to let things burn away every now and again.

If some of these thoughts made you say something like “Wow, this guy’s really saying something here.” then you probably need to stop. I’m not really saying it. It sort of stolen from this couple who writes books for couples and relationships. The book I’m referencing is called Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Read Maps. The people who wrote it are Barbara and Allan Pease.

No, I didn’t read this book, only heard some people today talk about the subject of it. And it sort of makes sense to me right now.

Sometimes I just want to get away from everything, not just people, but from my brain as well. And just like a child being distracted by shiny keys I get distracted by fire.

Of course this doesn’t HAVE to be fire. It could be working out in a wood shop or just browsing the clearance section at Books-A-Million. Either way, I don’t have to talk to anybody, I can just focus on the pretty colors of the covers and move on to the next.

I think this explains my weekly ritual of going to the comic shop every Friday after work.  I unwind by just looking at the same comics that were on the wall last week. I don’t call anybody after work and ask them if they want to take the 25 mile drive just to got buy 8 bucks worth of comics.

And nobody in the store really questions why I’m there. They know I’ll talk when I’m ready.

It’s good to know what my fire is.

D.A.

 

Quaint Dream and Reading

April 23, 2012

Yesterday I awoke with the strangest memory of the strangest dream. I’m going to relay every detail to you. Maybe there is a special meaning behind it. Maybe it’s just random firing of synapses in my cerebral cortex while I enter R.E.M stages of sleep. Maybe it’s not really a dream but a memory from some very odd sleep walking.

In my dream I wake up. I’m in my bed and everything seems normal. Bed sheets are green, lights are off, and fan is on.

I drudge myself out from under the covers and stumble toward my shorts that are laying on the ground. The shorts are the same shorts that I had worn the day previously and had taken them off before I went to bed. As I shakily place one leg into the opening I manage to lose my balance more than usual. I step through and feel constrained. I try the other leg and can’t quite reach through the other side.

My shorts have magically become pants.

And then I woke up. For real wake up.

Weird…I know. But that was the entire thing.

I should take this opportunity to mention that I’ve been reading a lot lately. This feels really good because I haven’t read anything of substance for a long time.

But this sword is double bladed. While I’m reading more, I’m writing less. I know this shouldn’t be true. The experts (whoever they are) always say, “writers read.” I’ll be honest, I know I should read more, but if I were to do that, my brain would be more preoccupied with reading than writing. I just feel so engrossed in a good story that I really don’t want to put it down. (Also, I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I read very slowly.)

What exactly have I been reading?

I’m so glad you asked.

  • The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  • Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
  • The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
  • Thud! by Terry Pratchett (currently reading)
No, I’m not really into reviewing books but here’s a statement that works for all of them.
They’re all good.
Those of you who have followed my blog for a while may be quick to notice this isn’t the first time I’ve posted updates to my reading list. Those of you with impeccable memory will also notice that none of these books are on that list.
:::Gives self the finger of shame:::
I’m terrible at sticking to reading plans.
Yeah, well, so what? What about your reading list, huh? How you read anything that’s actually on it? I have my doubts…
D.A.

This certainly is a strange mix of novels. But

 

 

Late but still counts

March 9, 2012

I’m a little concerned for my health. This is due to the fact that yesterday (Thursday and the day of my open house) I didn’t panic about anything when I probably should have been panicking about something.

Yesterday was strange day.

I wake up in the morning in a strange state. As soon as I opened my eyes I was wide awake and ready for the day. This is strange because I don’t usually become fully alert until around 2nd period. This didn’t worry me at all. I was actually pretty happy to be able to feel so awake so early in the day. (This still didn’t prevent me from laying in bed relaxing until I had to wake up.)

At work I realize that I have to plan and set up an entire “cell size” lab and create an instruction sheet for it. I also have to write up some notes in a presentation so the kids can learn some actual material as well. I also have to turn in some paper work and actually plan what I’m going to do for the entire day. Good thing I’m all alert today, right?

In any other circumstance I would have been panicking right about now. “Oh no, I’ve got an hour to plan a real and effective lesson for these kids today.” But not today. Today I was a man that didn’t fear anything no matter how big the event.

Cutting it to the last second (including working on the powerpoint in homeroom) I was successful in my little goal there.

While helping some kids in the lab in 3rd period I ended up teaching by a non-example. This means I was telling the kids that there are proper and improper ways to hold and use a knife for cutting items in a laboratory. The non-example part is when I cut a nice little hole in my index finger. (The things I do for these kids.)

I should have been concerned here as well but I was too busy being a stoic today. I just cut my finger with an old dirty knife. (You should note that the last thing the knife was used for was cutting calf livers. They probably weren’t that clean after that lab either.)

I simply washed it off, put on a bandage, and kept on truckin’.

Then the end of my workday finally arrives. Since I’m starving, I need to pick up a late lunch from somewhere and get home real quick so I can take care of some other business. (That other business will be a post for another day.) On my way home something happens to me that I should have been very concerned about.

I was in a car accident.

I’m fine. All parties were fine. Just a little old lady ran into my bumper going 35 mph.

We both climbed out of our cars and checked the damage. My car was totally fine and the scratches buffed out. Her car took some damage but it was all good as well.

I climbed back in my car and went on my merry way.

I didn’t care that I was just in a car accident. I was more upset that I got a stain on my tie courtesy of the accident. (I had late lunch in my lap in the car.)

I went home. Finished my food. Took car of business. Went back to work. Did an open house for 2 hours. Came back and promptly forgot about most of what happened.

If you knew anything about me you would know this: I have a special talent for worrying about things. I’m good at it. I try not to feed it, but I just end up worrying about a lot of things. (This is one of the reasons why I’m never late anywhere.)

But I went through that entire day without panicking at all. My heart rate didn’t even go up that much.

So I think I may have a hormone imbalance. It’s the only way I can make sense of all of these strange behaviors I’ve been experiencing lately.

D.A.

Sanguine Saturday

March 3, 2012

I just got off work…

It’s Saturday.

Maybe you don’t see the significance of these words. They may seem unremarkable but they really are. This is a common occurrence all around the world. Many people work on Saturdays, why should I feel so special?

I’m a teacher. And I had to come in and work on Saturday.

From 11 – 1 I had to teach a “Biology Refresher Class”.

2 kids showed up.

Two. That’s not many.

I will do this again next week. I will be in my classroom from 11 to 1.

And the next Saturday. And the next…

I asked these kids if they planned on showing up next week. They replied “I don’t know.”

This means they will not.

I don’t expect any more to show up other than these two.

Do you want to take a guess on what that means?

That means I will be getting paid to grade papers over the next few weekends.

Now, that doesn’t sound too bad at all.

D.A.

P.S. – 6 days in a row…can he keep it up for day 7? We shall see.

Groundhog Day

February 2, 2012

Just some things. IN LIST FORM!

1. Today was Groundhog Day. You know what I did?

Watched the movie Groundhog Day. I don’t think you can find any fault in me for that.

I think I love this movie more than somebody should. I actually enjoy every aspect of it. It’s just funny. It’s serious. It’s romantic. And it’s kind of depressing in parts.

All around it’s a pretty solid movie.

2. I’m a lazy blogger. I’m an ever lazier writer. I think I’ve made plans to write something near 3 stories that I’ve never gotten around to doing.

I make no apologies. This is my nature. I am a procrastinator.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t like that word all that much. “Procrastinator” seems like a bad word. I’m going to use another phrase. I would like to define myself as a “pusher”.

I push things off. It doesn’t mean I’m never going to do them. I just gently push them out of the way in order to make room for other things.

Like lamps. I love them. I really want to build that steampunk lamp (still in progress by the way). But it has been “pushed” off to the side so I can work on other things.

Mostly work, comics, and wasting time on Reddit.

And I think I’m okay with this for right now. I’m usually pretty worn out by the end of the day. Sometimes I need to make sure that I can take that deep breath so I’m ready for the next day.

I have been “pushing” this blog. And that’s okay. This blog is for me and I’m not trying to prove anything.

Wait a second….

Aren’t I?

Am I not supposed to be working toward becoming a writer? This blog was created so I could write. And I’m not doing it!

Holy Crap!

What have I become?

I am a wretch! I am a fiend! I am despair incarnate.

Sorry… That”s a little heavier than the truth. Still, I should be more committed.

3. That last number was pretty long… This one is pretty short.

4. I think I’m going to be pretty happy with my bunch of kids for this term.

I’ve had them for about two weeks. So far, my class average is up and it seems more like they are really paying attention than my last group.

I actually have a little bit of a conspiracy running through my head because of this sudden group of “behaved” children entering my doors. But that is another post for another day.

5. I now have a retirement plan…

This is a strange thought for me. I am planning for the day when I will no longer work. I have only worked for a few months.

Seems poetic in a way.

Seems mature in a way.

Seems like a lot of money that I may never see again.

6. Today I was in one of those moods that makes you feel like you are just about getting business done.

I woke up late and had a reaaaaallllly slow start, but let me tell you this. When I started going, I didn’t stop. I kept chugging.

This same chugging motion is was is motivating me to write this whole thing out tonight.

I’ve even gotten some stuff done for next week.

These days are rare for me. So I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit.

7. I just ordered a lot of golf pencils. What of it?

8. In my last post I used the word “tinnitus”. This is apparently the code word for crazy spam-bots to bombard my blog with adcomments. It think it’s rather funny. So this is what I’ll do. I’ll use another medical condition here in my blog and see what pops up.

I’m going to use an ailment that seems common to the elderly.

Gout. 

Yes. The trap is set.

Now it’s your job to predict how many searches/spam messages/views I will receive due to my usage of this word.

Winner will win a one way paid trip to the middle of a car lot in east New Jersey. A grade total price of nearly $6.75 (cost of bus ride from airport to car lot).

The ball is in your court now

D.A.

Safety Net

January 4, 2012

This post was made in the event that I didn’t wake up after I got home from work today. 

Assume I am still alive and that I still have a job. Also assume I will not become Rip Van Winkle. Though I wish I would become Rob Van Winkle… even if for a day.

(If you don’t know who this is, do a quick Google search to discover this person’s identify. Prepare to be surprised. Then prepare to agree with me. You know you wish you were him, if even for a day. Especially in 1992.)

So this safety net post will draw attention to something that I found a little surprising.

If you post here on WordPress, you will have noticed some of the nice little things that they have done for the holiday season. You may have also noticed the change in the “challenges” you get after you post new content. They set goals for you to post so many times and then you reach a goal.

I’m not opposed to the gesture. It gives the idea of putting out new posts a little bit of a competitive edge. And I’m sure that could be useful in motivating you (or myself) in putting up good stuff now and then.

But I have one qualm.

If you challenge me, I demand rewards. I want my page to become golden dipped for a whole day if I have a streak of 20 posts with no days missing. Yes, that would suit me.

I also want badges. Achievements that would allow me to unlock new fonts and symbols. Maybe even a ranking among all the others in this blogosphere. Yes….

Oh no, I realized I am proposing something stupid.

I want Call of Duty to team up with WordPress.

Maybe it’ll be called Call of Duty: Blogpocalypse. Or Call of Duty: Type, Type, Boom!. Possibly Call of Duty: Social Media War.

Okay, maybe it’s not THAT bad of an idea…

D.A.

List of Things I Did Today

December 7, 2011

I have had a busy day. Here’s a very brief description on what I did today.

  1. Got to work.
  2. Read email.
  3. Panicked about emails not answered.
  4. Proofread test I made on the previous day.
  5. Printed test.
  6. Ran to library to print test.
  7. Signed in.
  8. Almost killed a person as I ran toward front office.
  9. Ran back to classroom.
  10. Stapled tests together.
  11. Filled out a report form on student.
  12. Talked to kids about playing guitar and how they shouldn’t quit trying.
  13. Started class.
  14. Almost forgot to do attendance.
  15. Proctored a test.
  16. Wrote another test for my 4th period class.
  17. Found out that I never filled out an accident report from Monday.
  18. Filled out a very desperate accident report.
  19. Told a student about the global political environment surrounding most of the major wars of the 20th century. (lasted about 25 minutes.)
  20. Learned how to get student report data so I could fill out my long overdue IPDP.
  21. Filled out IPDP.
  22. Finished Test.
  23. Skipped lunch to print copies of test.
  24. Asked a kid if he wanted to fight me in the hallway. (He said no)
  25. Proctored 2 more tests.
  26. Found out I have no faculty meeting.
  27. Graded over 75 tests.
  28. Entered grades.
  29. Forgot everything else. ( I can’t actually remember… anything)
  30. Left work.

This may not seem like a whole lot to you. But to me it was terrible. That’s because it felt like it happened in a period of 32 minutes.

Oh, and part of me thinks it’s Tuesday and the other thinks it’s Thursday.

I could be going crazy.

I feel like doing this: (╯°□°)╯︵ ʞɹoʍ

D.A.