Monthly Archives: January 2012

Dang, Dudes

It’s been quite a hectic week back in the saddle.  Teaching 1st grade is akin to herding cats, but they are coming along.  We are re-learning our schedule and focusing our work.  Our big goal this week and next is nailing our SSR time – this is self-selected reading.  It is challenging to do as we don’t really have the most robust library.  It’s also challenging with the books we have to have the kids read for sustained times.  Right now, we are working on a weekly-book-shop system.  It’s hard since ideally, not each group (there are five) would shop the same days.  But the ‘book nook’ is tiny when books are in baskets.

Finally, though, I do have a decent Book Log form for checking in with students as they read.  The kids are doing better at reading silently – it is a real challenge for 1st graders.

What I want to do is find some two-gallon zip top bags so each student can have a book bag.  The books get pummeled in desks if they aren’t protected.  Someday, I hope to have chair pockets – but that’s far in the future.

This weekend is a book sale at the library, and I am hopeful I can get a mess of books there to beef up the library.  In addition, the milk crates have really helped it look nicer.  I would like some sort of table, still, and need a board of some sort.  There’s a table there now that isn’t too nice.  Pillows.  Those are good, too.

Next, work on the writing starts.  Writing is really hard because we are supposed to do the 4 blocks program, and we have good material within Reading Street I think contributes well to it – but we have these assigned units-of-study which (I think) aren’t necessarily developmentally appropriate for the kids.  It’s too much at a level we haven’t built to.  I have kids who don’t understand how time works (it goes forward!) yet need to write about a “special event!”  I think they can write quite well, but am dubious as to the specificity of their memories when they ask me constantly if it is lunch time yet (they do this in the afternoon).

Kids.  What can you do?  I have some swell kids, though.  One is frustrating as he has some real behavior problems which I am trying to work with, but I don’t know.  Reading.  That’s what it’s all about.

Four in A Row Beats 2011 Already (Also Top Chef)

Okay Dudes, here is the deal:  January 4th.  Two pounds gone.  Four days in a row of:  blog posts, working out, and letters to Sam.  Today – I also discovered the ease with which my phone’s voice recorder works.  This may be mundane to some – it is epic to me.  I can “write” in the car now.

Thanks be to Brianne for her milk crates.

I wanted to link to http://wildpointer.org/ as well.  It’s an old college friend’s blog and its ONLY ABOUT PROGRAMMING.  For reals, I don’t understand a lick – but it’s incredibly impressive as blogs go because its very focused.  My blog.  Not focused.

Yes, after three days of whatnot and nonsense, I’m going to watch Top Chef and blog about it.

We started late because of cable box issues – but it looks like – yes, Molecular Gastronomy!  I dig a little MG.  Crazy stuff, I’d love to try it.  I’d love to read Modernist Cuisine – which is not really Molecular Gastronomy I don’t believe.  What are they doing?  Listen, I think Wylie Dufrense, gastronomist he is, could cook a regular meal better than most without any silly tricks.

Okay, it’s Modernist.  Silly business.  WHAT THEY ARE EATING BUGS LATER?  THIS IS THE GREATEST TOP CHEF OF ALL.

Shoot, a commercial.  Bleah.  Okay – I will now disclose that I am fully on Team Beverly.  Am I alone?  Doubtful.  I also like the dude with the fu manchu action.  Sam thinks he talks funny, but I don’t mind.  Dude is crazy – what’s his name?  Oh well.

Alton Brown shilling grapes again.  I am not a fan of grape juice, Alton, so stop trying.  Also, I love you, Alton, but you use too much salt in everything.  He’s a salty old dude I spose.

Okay, while these commercials roll I will make up a story.  Once, there was a couch salesman and he sold couches to everyone – the rich, the poor – he was an equal opportunity couch salesman.  Couch salesman are a scientific and brave bunch.  They must sell to grouchy old men and hip young ladies.

Well, the problem was that he could sell everyone a couch – but could not find his own!

Oooooh, back on.  Beverly is squirting foam and she is socially awkward.  Feel your pain, Bev, feelin’ it.

What is raviolo, and who eats raw egg yolk?  I would eat salmon belly.  ED!  That’s the guy Sam hates.  Baby duty PAUSE

In time for the quickfire winner – it is young-Sam-Elliot-look-alike Ty-Lor who has an interesting name.

I don’t think BBQ when I hear Texas.  I think chili.  BBQ is not this regional magic thing, foolish earthlings – the best BBQ I’ve had was in Michigan.  It was brisket.  The meat?  Whatever heaven grows, no doubt.  Angelcows?  I don’t know.  Anyway, I also wouldn’t be excited to eat at a place called “The Salt Lick.”  Ew.

These chefs think two meats and three sides is crazy?  Pfh.  That’s light BBQ.  I like three meats and a potluck of sides.  I will tell you now, if you want to give me ‘Q, here is the menu:  Brisket (sliced), baby-backs, chopped pork, maybe St Louis ribs with sides.  Creamy coleslaw (vinegar slaw has no place with Q), baked beans, grilled corn with some old Bay, and grilled everything.  Also, several sauces but spicy is great.

This shopping trip is furshlugginer rad.  I am so very much trying to eat healthy, but meat and potatoes taste sooo good.  (I fattened up  on McRibs the last quarter of 2011)

Another commercial!  So, the couch salesman’s dream was to find the perfect couch for…himself.  Everyone who came to him found the couch of their dreams!  The couch, of course, would have to be built by hand… by his own hand.

Where would the materials come from?  How does one build the greatest couch in the world?  Archibald the couch salesman filled out the appropriate forms and bought a cloak and began his travels.  His mission?  The finest wood.  The greatest stuffing.  The svelte-ist fabric.

Oh, Archibald!  The bards would sing of you!  If you hadn’t been eaten by a rhinocerous.

BBQ rhinocerous?  I don’t know.

Ty-Lor and I are soul-cousins, I am sure of it.  That’s a lot of sausage.  It’s a veritable sausage party.  What a sauce mop.  What a pit!  That’s definitely the kind of thing I want when I move out of my parents’ basement (the new nickname for the apartment – except my parents’ basement has a washing machine, so it’s better)  Love cooking with wood, too.  Camp style.

Whoa?  Are they driving Toyota Venzas?  Hey!  They are driving Toyota Venzas!

This is the standard Top Chef “open fire” challenge where they make some chefs look like nerds who’ve never seen a real fire before.

Whoa – how much innuendo can one hot, meaty, moist, slow challenge handle?  Ha!  Ty-Lor is “pushing” himself to redeem his “beef” business.  He’s putting the steak behind him!

I don’t know if I would trust Beverly.  She lit bourbon on fire in a pot and set in dry grass?  Beverly, I might change teams!  Team Ed!  Team Chris!  I think this season they should really throw us off and Tom Colichio should be the winner.  Whoa, someone is taking a risk! Drink!

Meat has been lost and found again!  This meat should be lamb.  Get it?  It’s biblical.  All this smoking is setting a bad example.  These chefs look terrible.  Exhausted.  What kind of contest is this?

Beer can chicken is delicious and lends itself to songs.  Did you dudes watch this?  If you are reading this and do not watch Top Chef, this post is going to be INSANE.

“Have you ever seen beer can chicken?” you ask Tom Collichio.  Nope.  He’s more a Diet Coke Can chicken kind of guy.  See what I did there?  Dude drinks Diet Coke.  I drink Dr. Pepper and Ginger Ale because, deep down?  I am an old man.  This is my favorite part, when Tom walks around.  I wish he would do facetime with the camera like Johnny Iuzzini did last season.  (Top Chef – why is everyone’s name so hard to spell?)

These chefs are dirty.  And exhausted.  And future rich.

Chris Crary’s got the life.  In a sleeveless shirt.  Eating salty ribs.  Alton Brown ribs.  I tell you.

The sun has become an enemy.  That which my son calls “friend” is liken to Lucifer to these chefs.  And there is fire.  I will defend this Sarah lady – heat exhaustion is the pits.  That is an unintended pun.

I want to tell you now:  Diet Dr. Pepper does not taste like regular Dr. Pepper.  Diet soda is the sugar-free urine of the devil himself.

WATER BREAK!

Top Chef commercials are the pits.  That’s why we DVR.

Hey, we can take this time to talk about SHERLOCK – the BBC series that is amazing.  Wait, TC is back.

(Ed is super mad Sarah is gone, dude looks blazing hot, too)  EVERYTHING TY-LOR SAYS IS LADEN WITH SEX.

Ed looks like I do typically when I sweat.

Grayson is selling that Asian chow.

I feel like I should like top-knot man, but I just find him annoying.

HOMEMADE PICKLES!  That’s thing I would eat.  Also, there is blues.  Okay, I love winter, but I’m ready for summer as of this sentence. At least the smoky meats and blues and eating and beer.

Team Misfits has my favorite looking plate (team white).  Too bad the judges don’t seem to care for it.

The heatstroke team looks good, too.  Man, this episode is torture.

Look, you guys can finish watching on your own – I won’t spoil it.  I just discovered New England style hot dog buns.  True story – when we were in Connecticut, I thought they were slices of bread!

Woof, what a post.

The First Day Back

Today I returned to my post as 1st grade teacher.  What news transpired?  Well, district has a new interim superintendent.  Will this help the insane red tape I seem to encounter at every turn?  I hope so.

(Now, as I generally feel I need to disclaim – my school is really nice, and I enjoy my co-workers and supervisors and all that – but life is not perfect, no!)

Well, I have a lot to do in this classroom of mine.  It is always a challenge to plan the day properly and to get things set for the day – even when I arrive early.  People who have been teachers or are teachers know this – there is never enough time!  Right now, I am trying to get a decent log together for my SSR time, in addition to figuring out a good way for kids to pick good books for SSR, as well as organizing my library (which is relatively tiny – but still formidable when it is being “lexiled”).  And with all this!

Still no work on Space Pirates.  And that is really upsetting.  Work, home life, the kids – it’s all crazy!  Anyway, I refuse to give up on my working out and writing in the blog goals.  I just must remember – it doesn’t matter what I right, it is the habit that is important.  So… Here is a blog post for today!

Working out is pretty hilarious, to be true.  I haven’t had time to go to the Y (and I need to, since we decided to stay) so I use the WiiFit stuff, but Zachary desperately wants to play and ends up confusing the balance board as I do Aerobic step.  Sam thinks I look funny.  I will tell you that I greatly enjoy working out in the front room with my family.  It’s a lot more fun than working out on my own, so I kind of hope I only make it to the Y for the pool with Zach.

Lucy continues whiny and needing holding and the apartment continues messy.  Sam is trying valiantly to clean, but it is quite impossible with Lucy.  I recall this when I stayed home with Zach in his baby-hood.  It is really furshlugginer hard to get anything done with a baby being watched.  Sam couldn’t shower until very late in the day.  I recall having trouble using the restroom.  Babies.  Whatevs.

Anyway, I am feeling much better and happier with this working out business and general agreement with myself to be a happier person.  Today was pretty good.  My kids were overly well behaved, though our room is still pretty awful.  I’m hoping to get some plants and to really get the Book Nook area looking nice.  A good friend (as I said) is giving me a bunch of crates to help, and some boards and pillows should help as well.

The students moved seats today and there were some terrible choices on my end.  I feel for one of my poor girls who is typically well-mannered but is sitting by a not-so-well-mannered person.  We will see.

And as I sit, I am tired at the end of the day – which is how one should feel.  But it is after ten, and that is my target bedtime.  Closer today than yesterday.  If I could get up early a few days in a row – things would go well!  I could get the workout in before I go to work.  Now, that refutes my love of working out with the fam – but we do what we have to.

There’s a lot happening this weekend.  Joann fabrics is having a sale, there’s a book sale, Sam’s office party is going on (she has to work the next morning).  I don’t know about partying.  I’m trying to keep off the spirits until my weight goes down.  It’ll be pretty slick at the end of the year after working out 366 days in a row – I’ll be svelte, I bet.

Man, if I was in shape, things would be different.  Because, I could do a backflip.  No one messes with you if you can do a backflip.  You know who can do a backflip?  Batman.

I dare you to mess with Batman.

(You didn’t, right?)

This bloggin’ is a good warm-up for writin’ – but I only have time for the warm-up!  Now I’m wanting to keep going so I can get some Space Pirate adventures going, or my other book, or the other one, or the screenplay.

I left my notebooks at my mother in laws.  That’s pretty lame.

Day Two

What has Day Two brought?  Well, another late-ish night.  The day runs away from us so fast.  It’s terribly hard to get anything done with the kiddos – but we like ’em anyway.  Poor Zachary is completely off his schedule, but ready to return to pre-school.  Lucy needs to learn she cannot be held constantly.  We will see how that goes.

There’s two posts I was thinking of doing, but now I just want to go to bed.  The first was a review of my favorite webcomic which is called “Bad Machinery,” but is a spinoff of “Scary-go-round” (which was spun off from “Bobbins) and so I always go to scarygoround.com which works quite well.  Anyway, it is a terribly good webcomic to the degree it is one of the few I would seriously consider buying the books of, if books were ever a thing I could buy again.  (Times are lean)

The other is thoughts on “Least I Could Do” which is NSFW or anything, and used to be fairly humorous.  I’ve either outgrown the humor or it’s gotten pretty bad.  Today’s joke was about flying cars, which really isn’t very unique I suppose.  But that can wait another day – it’s all SofC today.

Sam took down the ornaments today and the tree sits on the porch – tomorrow it will finish the voyage to the dumpster.  This will be a sneaky pitch.  Tell no one.

I also still haven’t gotten milk crates from my friend Bri (this is not what I call her in person, and this is a terrible pseudonym, but perhaps she doesn’t want to be known as the milk crate lady in real life).  Anyway, this is entirely my fault but I will get them from her so I can have some sort of book storage in my classroom.

Which is going to be rough.  I’m pretty happy its a four day week, because I am pretty stressed about returning to work tomorrow.  There is so much to be done!  I have reading block forms to re-copy, words to write, it’s a new month and year.  That’s a lot of stuff to get done!  But done it must be – it’s one of my new personal commandments (I learned this from The Happiness Project).  Do what needs doing.  These things are tricky.

I hate driving.  And we had to drive back from Sam’s Mom’s house today and that was not very fun because we are trapped in our apartment once more.  At least it feels like being trapped.  Surrounded on all sides!  Doors that shut automatically!  Little natural light!  THE HUMANITY!  Surely, these are first world problems.  I will now practice being emo about it – it is an exercise in which I realize how foolish I am being.

This apartment is terrible and smells like feet.  here is a poem i wrote (i don’t capitalize anymore – don’t  put me in a box!);

Apartment.
Pale, dank
feety.
Mildew lurks in my
soul within
windows streaky
with the feces
of hope.
Splash.

That was pretty terrible.  I will now wipe of my black mascara and tell you that I worked out today.  Which is a resolution, so that’s two days in a row.  I only have 364 days to go.  Wisdom flew out the window on this one – it is a leap year so I have an extra day I need to work out.  Lesser men would consider this a day off, but I learned to be a man from pictures of Teddy Roosevelt.

I wish I could grow a mustache.

COST CUTTING MEASURES:  Sam and I are trying to save money, so we can buy a house, and so we are going to stop eating out and cancel cable TV and have a budget.  There are bills we just found out we have, so that’s not good – but we will do what we can.  I am considering making all of our clothes from cardboard fiber which will not be durable, but will save us on laundry soap.  Cardboard can be obtained free at the supermarket.  The only problem is figuring out the perceived value via cost per hour.

I don’t care.  It will be fashionable.

Work is still stalled on Space Pirates, and will no doubt continue to be so until my resolutions take full hold of my psyche.  The working out is good.  This blog is updated – though somewhat turgid and repetitive.  But I did say quality was less of a concern whilst the habit was formed.  I need only aid my wife in the intricate cleansing of our live-space and we should be good to go.

Resolved

It is January 1st, though it is almost the 2nd, and I am at my mother-in-law’s house.  Here we sit in an old farmhouse with the kids aslumber.  In two days I begin work again teaching 1st grade.  This is an admirable job, but they children – they are so little!  I like teaching reading far more than how to read, but I do my best and like my students.

But, what about the writing?   Ugh.  I am very tired of thinking on it and being so introspective and whatnot – but I cannot help it!  Pensiveness reigns my life.  Thoughts.  Life.  Hold.

I posted to my blog 10 times in 2011.  That is terrible.  10 times?  What is that?  That’s not even an attempt – it’s a menace.  I have drafts I didn’t post because I read them and second guessed and there will be less of that because…

RESOLVED:  Post to blog every day.  What’s a good minimum word count?  I don’t really know, but I think at least 250, though I would prefer 1000.  I don’t have the time, though, with work and whatnot.  So, it will be lots of stream of consciousness.

RESOLVED:  Work out EVERY DAY.  This is inspired by this website here.  And that is that.

RESOLVED:  Start the food blog with Jesse.  Jesse K. and I are going to inspire the shite out of you guys and gals when we debut our food blog.  You will love it like a beautiful opposite-gendered person.

RESOLVED:  Write more.  I think it will be easy to write more since I barely wrote in 2011.  Too much procrastination.  So.  Write MORE.

RESOLVED:  Be happier and, in general, upbeat.  Life got away from me, but I enjoy being happy and so I will be happy this year.  I make a greater effort to sing, dance, play, draw, and be an artist – so more drawing and writing and creating which is what I love.

And that is that.  My blog here, which I have efforted (my made up word) to be a focussed writing blog, then a writing repository, then – what?  Will be my blog for everything.  And if people aren’t interested in everything, well, that is far too bad for them.  And the word count will help.

RESOLVED:  To finish things.  I want to finish at least one of the umpteen books I have first chapters for, but especially my Space Pirates epic, humor sci-fi thing and I will work to write more – which I have said.  And to be positive.

And to love more.  That is for my wife.  Samantha may read this, you know, and I want her to know that I am mean to her sometimes and do not mean to be, but she gets caught in my grump-cross-wind and that is not fair.  So, I will be a lovinger husband to my wife whom I adore and whom, without, I would certainly have perished.  Or not been as happy.  I wish I could show her my love more often.

And that is a post for today, which brings my count for 2012 up to 1.  And that’s already 10% of 2012.