Thursday, December 16, 2004

And I thought I had problems

Eccentric British rock musician Genesis P-Orridge and his wife and partner, Lady Jaye Breyer, are gradually transforming themselves surgically into gender-neutral human beings ("pandrogynous") resembling each other, so that eventually they will be indistinguishable, to demonstrate how overrated gender is as a point of reference. (For example, he wore a lace dress at their wedding, and she dressed as a biker guy, with moustache, and for Valentine's Day 2003, each got breast implants.) P-Orridge told SF Weekly in October that their goal is to jointly become a third person, distinct from either of them.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

All you need is love

The BIG DAY is over. The months of planning were realized, the weather was perfect - the I Do's emotional and tear-jerking. The guests were charming (even those who went skivvy-dipping in the middle of the night). The resort was impeccable. The mini-honeymoon was too short. The pictures are being developed. Everything is so very perfect!

Now- reality. The marriage part is great - the aftermess atrocious.

Our apartment looks as if it has been hit by a wedding tornado. Scraps of paper, bits of sheer ribbon, gifts, thank-you's, cards, bags and throw-away cameras christen every corner and spare bit of floor space. The delicate ivory silk is crammed in a white plastic garmet bag on the floor of my guest room. That beautiful bouquet chosen oh-so-carefully by my sweet and wonderful husband is currently rotting on the counter of the guest bathroom. I have no idea where the guest book ended up and we haven't even started to send our love and gratitude to those who made the day so special.

No, I have no idea how we are going to get through all we have to do and move into our house at the end of the month. But, as the song goes, all you need is love. I can safely say we have plenty of that...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Rage against the dying of our rights

This is not the United States
From my friend Amy. I just can't write anything myself at this point.

Hi Mich,

I don't understand. I really, truly don't. How can the American public be so stupid as to buy into this culture of fear that Bush has been selling?

Not to mention those lovely ultraconservative senators who were elected (sample positions - no abortions under any circumstances, single mothers shouldn't be teaching our children).

Roe v. Wade is dead.

The environment and ourc ountry's fiscal future is dying.

I told Paul last night I don't want to live in this country anymore, and actually suggested we go toFinland, or maybe Canada. Want to join us?

Love, Amu

Also - check out this site:

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I voted for the lesser of two evils

It is done.

45 minutes in the cold Arizona morning to exercise my rights as a citizen of this fine country. Of course, since Proposition 200 was on the ballot, I was probably voting with non-citizens as well.

Go Kerry!

(In 2008, I'll probably be back to being Republican)

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Counting the hours

It is almost Halloween, it's rainy outside and for the first time since February, I am wearing a sweater. The only thing that would make this day better is if time would magically fast forward to noon.

Today at noon, happiness begins. The students have a half-day today as they are taking their AIMS* (Arizona Instrument to Measure Success) tests, and teachers have the afternoon to make up work and prepare for next week.

However, I will choose to not prepare for next week. I'm not making up work either. I'm going to put my rain clog clad feet up on my desk, make some Starbucks in the school's crappy coffee maker and read Edgar Allen Poe.

*side note - at some point I will have to comment on what I think AIMS really stands for...

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Today is my mom's birthday. She is an amazing woman. She is 2000 miles away, but she is here with me every day.

I'm spending a few minutes in each of my classes to talk to my students about family and love today - and about that wonderful woman who made me care so much about this world. She is the reason I teach. She gave me so much, I want to give something back to her.

This is also the reason why I have "Happy Birthday Mom" written in green ink on my white board today. My students in first hour said that they want to meet her someday.

Love you Mom. Thank you for making a difference.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

My students are watching Michael Moore's persuasive masterpiece in all of my classes. I've now seen the movie 5 times in the past three days.

My students are appalled that Iraq, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia are not the same country! They were tricked! Those sneaky, evil media giants. What were those journalists thinking?

Speaking of journalists...

Today I sing Michael Moore's praises. Don't necessarily like him or approve of all his actions, but I must admit I appreciate his "documentary." My students actually engaged in intelligent discussions about politics! It is amazing that they now know more than what mainstream media feeds their parents.

And, for those of you who are wondering, I did defend Bush and bash Kerry a little as well. Then I pointed to the "Bart Simpson for President"slogan displayed on my gang-tagged, crooked white board and said, for all to hear, "I love my country."

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I learned it by teaching them, alright?

Remember the commercial in the 80's where the father busts into the son's room accusing him of doing drugs? The father is yelling and screaming at his child and asks that oh-so-important question, "Who taught you to do this?! Who taught you to use drugs?!" That boy, hate in his eyes, spits back "You, alright? I learned it by watching you!"

I suppose this proves that the best way to teach is to model behaviour and learn about what is in your environment. If teachers were to learn from their students the same way, I'd have to say I've been privy to an interesting and varied ghetto-cation.

I now know the following:

* It is worse to be a liar than it is to be a murderer.

* You don't get arrested if you walk into a high school carrying two blunts.

* Everyone should have a switchblade that is at least 5" long.

* Coming to class "blazed" isn't an offense at all.

* Teachers are "money-hungry."

* Pink is just the sweetest new color to be adopted by gangs.

* Apathy is the religion of fools.

* Sex causes pregnancy.

* Restraining orders don't keep you from getting knocked up by your ex.

* English isn't a required language to live in the United States.

* You can qualify for foodstamps and still have a phone to text message your friends, a low-rider with a phat sound system and spinning rims, and enough money to sport a 24-karat gold chain with a mini-assault rifle pendant.

* You shouldn't call a student's Probation Officer if she is violating her parole and is in possession of drugs. That's "cold" and makes you a "bitch."

* I won't be a teacher in five years unless I make a hell of a lot more money and put up with a hell of a lot less crap.

Here is my commercial:
Go home. Hug your children. Be glad they don't come to my school.

This has been a public service announcement sponsored by the Bitter Teachers of America.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Who said teachers never get anything back from their students? Aside from the plethora of poorly formed essays, half-hacked homework and confounding quiz answers, I get presents!

Nipple* brought me a wind-up Yu-Gi-Oh! toy which I promptly raced across the front counter during lunch time. And today, Quiet-Boy brought me a can of Pitch Black Mountain Dew because yesterday I said it was like crack (forgetting that most of them have had crack) and I could get addicted to it quite easily.

I may only average $4 an hour, but my life is good...

*Duly named for his neverending piercings...

Sunday, August 29, 2004


My friend in Scotland has launched his band and has a running web-blog about the project.

Go Alasdair!

Friday, August 20, 2004

Want some cheese to go with that cracker?

Today is the last day for one of our fine, fearless teachers. After two weeks with these delinquents, he's called in sick...never to return. For the sake of this story, let's call this brave soul Mr. White.

Flash back - August 9th
Mr. White, dressed smartly in a polo and khakis, arrives smiling. He's oh-so-ready to instruct these attentive young saints. Much to his dismay, they aren't all he expected.

Over the course of the next two weeks, Mr. White is called names and pushed around in his classroom.

The culmination? His new nickname - Forrest Gump look alike mother-fucking cracker.

And to think I was upset because one of my dawgs called me nigga!

Friday, August 13, 2004

Casting Call!

Wanted: 25 bright, energetic, smiling, well-groomed, literate, enterprising young men and women to engage in a fun, challenging and intense Literature curriculum.

Got: Anywhere from 22-29 (depending on the day) half-dead, grimacing, mostly-rank, barely cohesive, lazy rogues whose only enterprising endeavor is to come up with excuses as to why they can't have their butts in seats by 8:00AM.

But, as always, there are flowers amongst the weeds.

School's back in session folks. Hang on for some stories!

Friday, July 30, 2004


When did this nation start celebrating redneck culture?

A few weeks ago I saw a KFC advertisement touting the arrival of the Dale Earnhardt collectable fried chicken bucket. I don't know about you, but the last thing I want as a keepsake for my namesake is a greasy cyllindrical object that at one time housed deep-fried food. I don't give a squirrel's behind that it has a picture of a man who drives his car "real-fast" in circles all day long.

As of late, white trash culture is as prevalent as chiggers in dixie grass. What astounds me is the differentiation between white trash and White Trash. As if the capitals "W" and "T" elevate these bogus-bumpkins to Lord and Lady of the trailer park.

In all honesty, quintessential rednecks don't offend my not-so-delicate sensibilities. There have always been those folks who don white, stringy wife-beaters (purchased at Wally-World in lieu of a toothbrush) to hug their pale, sickly flesh. Let them carry their Marlboro reds, Natty-Light beer and Nascar lighter wherever they may roam.

It's these brash young thangs who are buying $5 chai at Starbucks in their oh-so-sexy rolled "cowboy" hats that make me question the future of the United States. Think about it - these people are idolizing the gap-toothed, hillbilly population who slam Pat Robertson bumper stickers on the back of their prehistoric Ford.

Intellectualizing this disturbing trend has made me irritated with the general American public. My advice is to tuck that CK thong back into those JLo jeans, Sweetcheeks. I have no desire to watch your boobs pop from the top of that retro-rhinestone jean jacket.

I also think I need to eat me a nice little snack. Now, where is that recipe for cooter pie?

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Veil Between Worlds

Human beings are self-absorbed. It seems as if our supreme ego-centricity commands us to believe that we are the only beings in this universe. We know the cycle of birth, death and rebirth by watching our seasons. We do not think about the spaces between life and death and death and rebirth.

Yesterday, I contemplated the psuedo-death of the front lawn. About half of the grass is completely dry and yellow; half of it is green and lush. In between the two patches lies a strip that is half alive.

This predicament isn't a quandary. The explanation of why this is so is very cut and dry, much like east section of the grass. Half of the sprinkler system works, the other half doesn't. The sad little blades of grass had every right to decide to forfeit their will to live.

Obviously, people aren't as easy to explain. My great-grandmother, queen of bathtub gin during prohibition and a righteously hysterical lady, is nearly 101 years old. Somehow, she maintains the will to hang on to her life. She rises and shines and remembers old stories better than she remembers yesterday. She hugs and laughs and occasionally makes off-color jokes. She thinks it's great that I found "such a nice boy to take care of me."

Yesterday she awoke at 3AM convinced that the ceiling was caving. She had conversations with her dead brother Roy as he sat on the new couch. She held court as imaginary people came in and out of the house to visit. One guest apparently proclaimed "see you later, Sweetness" every time my mother left the living room for a moment. Roy had to leave halfway through the day, but he said he'd see my great-gram very soon.

In the afternoon, my great-grandmother told my mom to get a bed ready for my brother as he was coming for a visit. Much to everyone's surprise, my brother arrived shortly thereafter.

Everything that comes from the Earth and nature must return. We are born to start dying. Yet, we rise and shine in the morning, buy our $4.00 latte and grumble about traffic on the way to work. Very rarely, we notice the spaces between the events in our lives. We don't take the time.

It is possible that my wonderful great-gram is hallucinating as she begins the process of dying. But, I also think she is getting the time to notice the space between her life and death. I only hope her transition is easy and happy.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Shiny Happy People Holding Hands

My left hand is shiny and he's happy that he doesn't have to worry about my father taking him for a "drive" in the "woods" a la Tony Soprano.

I've gotten the ring and some new insight. I've come to the conclusion that it really isn't all about the bling.

It is truly about something far more amazing than just a perfect, princess cut stone cresting ten smaller princess cut stones set in a white gold band. It is far more intense than the shimmering, sparkling beacon of our hope faith and love. It is nearly indescribable, as it is an experience like none other I've ever had in my life.

And, I now know, that it is all about the registering for wedding gifts.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Drone On

Drone Launched to Detect Illegal Immigrants Officials Hope to Stem Flow From Mexico Into Arizona

Very interesting article. And I always thought of drones as completely incapable of anything worthwhile... much like George Dub-ya.

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. (June 25) -- The Border Patrol launched an unmanned drone Friday that uses thermal and night-vision equipment to help agents spot illegal immigrants trying to cross the desert into the United States.

The stepped-up surveillance is part of a mission that officials hope will stem the tide of illegal immigrants that have made Arizona the busiest illegal entry point along the 2,000-mile border with Mexico.

The two drones being used in the project can detect movement from 15 miles up, read a license plate, view a vehicle's occupants, and even detect weapons, officials said.

Roger Maier, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, confirmed that one of the remotely piloted Hermes 450 drones started flying Friday morning. It was unclear when the other one would be used.

The drones weigh almost 1,000 pounds, have a 35-foot wingspan and can fly faster than 100 mph. They will patrol at 12,000 to 15,000 feet. They can stay aloft for 20 hours at a time.
The overall cost of the mission is estimated at least $10 million, with the government spending about $4 million on the drones.

Pilots on the ground will remotely control them unless the flight is preprogrammed, with another agent interpreting the images and using global positioning to send agents to respond to what the drones detect.
The aircraft are a key element of the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to achieve ''operational control'' of the border in Arizona. The drones' mission ends Sept. 30, when it will be assessed to determine the future of drones with the Border Patrol.

Border Patrol agents catch hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants trying to cross Arizona's sprawling, cactus-covered deserts each year. The agency had recorded more than 330,000 apprehensions since Oct. 1 in the Border Patrol's Tucson sector, which covers most of the Arizona border.

The Hermes 450s, which Israel uses to patrol its frontiers, join a number of unmanned aerial vehicles being used in the United States.

Remote-controlled planes help gather data for environmental studies and patrol Western skies on wildfire watch. In Alaska, the Coast Guard is also testing a drone this summer for fisheries patrols and other uses.

Drones called Predators have also been successful in U.S. military and CIA operations. Missiles fired from Predators have killed al-Qaida operatives in Afghanistan and Yemen.

Friday, June 18, 2004

It's All About the Bling

My mother says I'm afflicted with shiny object syndrome. In stores, at restaurants - basically any public place you can think of - I've always gravitated toward the things that sparkle. I can't help it. Shiny things are cool.

This is why it has been so difficult to answer that question.

Quite simply put, "I have no idea what my ring looks like as I don't have one as of yet."

He's had it for two months. This wonderful, slightly-infuriating man (who has impeccable taste, mind you) has had that shiny object in a box for two entire months and I've yet to track that puppy down.

Kevin wants to ask my father for his blessing in person.

Mind you, my benevolent father has already sent the deposit to the Wigwam for the ceremony and reception. My well-intentioned dad also churned out advice as Kev and I signed away our lives for our first house. It isn't as if Bob doesn't know his little girl is getting married.

And yet, my beloved still insists on keeping that perfect shiny object hidden until the word has been spoken.

So, here I sit, 2000 miles away from Kevin counting the days until he arrives. I send him cards because I miss him. He sends me roses because he loves me. I'm secretly pining for him because I do miss him terribly (don't tell anyone).

And yet, I can't help but wonder what it looks like.

Friday, June 04, 2004

and the living is easy

The options for the house have been picked.

The dress was bought.

And I'm on my way to Vegas with the girls.

I love summer.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Life is so strange

I don't know quite when it happened. I was driving through life at warp speed, as usual, and a lightening bolt hit my DeLorean (read: Grand AM GT) and catapulted me into my future.

The past, aka "Destination Unknown," never looked like this.

In Destination Unknown, life was unpredictable and chaotic, but made sense nonetheless. When Molly would call to go see David Carter on Thursday nights, I knew we'd be crawling into work the next morning belching the remnants of red-headed sluts (our drink du jour). I'd have to look at pictures to remember our jaunts of the evening prior.

In Destination Unknown, I saw issues of "Wired" and "Tattoo" strewn haphazardly around the floor of my double-story, single-living shag pad. Elvis was the only steady man in my life.

Back to the Future: As I groaned out of bed this morning, on this last week of school, my toes touched perfect pink, bent-cornered glossies of "The Knot," "Brides," and "So-You've-Lost-Your-Mind-And-Decided-To-Have-A-Wedding Quarterly." The "Congratulations on Your New House!" binder rested on top of the stack as if it were an oversized cake-topper.

My sleep-crusted eyes fell the necklace that matches the ring of my intended. In this strangely beautiful future land, I am enjoying the new scenery immensely.

Friday, May 07, 2004

I am. I was.

As part of my lesson today, I had my students write based on the prompt "I am. I was." They were asked to write from their own point of view or from the point of view of someone else. Most of my students chose to write about their own lives and views. These two girls seem to be polar opposites on the outside, but are so alike in so many ways.

from my self-confident, quiet, shy and smart girl who sits in the back of my room:
I am never going to give in to what I strongly oppose. I was not always that firm in my beliefs.
I am leading the way. I was lagging behind you.
I am one to look to. I was frequently overlooked.
I am full of dreams. I was an airhead.
I am oftentimes lazy. I was and still am.
I am not going to be easily influenced. I was often let down.
I am looking forward to the future. I was dreading its coming.
I am thought of as crazy, smart, kind, beautiful and open-minded. I was NEVER thought of that way before.
I am regularly thinking of my loved ones. I was regularly thinking of myself.
I am ready for what is to come. I was usually avoiding it.
I am not afraid to admit it. I was never so courageous.
I am not afraid to love. I was afraid to get involved.
I am. I was.

from my loud, outgoing, sweet, show-stopper girl who is also quite an intellectual:
I am me. This is who I'll always be. I have strived my whole life to set myself out from the crowd. I like to think of myself not as opinionated, just always right. I don't know how my peers view me, but I try to project myself as a very optimistic and outgoing person. I choose to unleash every difference about me to the world around me. If they don't like me, then I don't like them.

"If you do not wish to be forgotten, soon as you are rotten; either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing." This is a quote by Benjamin Franklin that spoke to me when I read it at age 9. I have tried to achieve my goal of originality ever since. When I pass away, I want people to remember me as the person they could laugh with. It makes me happy to think I am actually noticed - that somebody somewhere is letting me rent space in their mind just by thinking about me.

I want people to accept me for who I am. I am 63% gay (according to but it's true and I don't try to hide it. My sexuality has become a part of my personality. Being gay gives me another topic on which to speak my mind. I just don't see what the big deal is and why people ridicule. It means I have options ;).

I am me. I am the most self-conscious person you will ever meet.

I was here.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

My Chicken is my Be-otch

I'm very disturbed.

Go to this website

Is this thing for real?

If so, I really think I need therapy.

Friday, April 30, 2004

The real wedding

Kevin and I are getting married on December 11, 2004. He asked officially this afternoon at Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale, which is where our wedding and reception will also take place.

I never thought I'd do this. I'm just glad that life still surprises me.

Update: Forget Troon. It's all about The Wigwam Resort.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004


I love this man.

I'm marrying this man in December.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Change of Plans

Vegas wedding cancelled, real wedding to be announced (at some point).

I know, I know. You never thought I'd really be writing this post. All those tough girl sentiments spewed forth like last night's vodka created an "I'm never getting married" persona. I confess. I was wrong.

I have found the love of my life. No, I don't have the bling-bling ring, but I'll be sure to let you know when it arrives. In the great words of James Garner, "I'm in love for the last time in my life."

Friday, April 16, 2004

Meth Labs and Bomb Threats

All the lights are on, but nobody is home. It's 1 AM and an eerie glow is climbing over our fence washing the backyard in soft pools of light. I keep expecting to see a face in their backyard, outside our window. But they are all gone.

We watched them on Channel 3 today. They were led away in handcuffs, their slate eyes showing no emotion. Their kids' toys showed traces of PCP, LSD and heroin. Two little boys compromised.

The news showed the line of assault rifles on the front lawn. Bettina and I chat about the clinking sounds we heard every night while sitting under the lemon tree. I wonder what would have happened if the Meth lab exploded.

Or if our school exploded.

The Meth lab bust in the house behind us comes riding the coat-tails of the bomb threat our school received from a deranged student this past Wednesday. He promised to "go Columbine" on us, according to one child. The police were waiting for him.

I think, someday, he will implode.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Currently out of her mind...

I'm taking a quick break from papers, curriculum and producing a school newspaper to say I've officially lost it.

My phone rang just now and I thought it was my friend Lynn from my Masters class. I had just emailed her my cell phone number and told her I wanted to chat about the presentation we have to put together for tonight's class.

I answered the phone and a Lynn-like voice asked to speak with me. My response? "I'm sorry, Michelle is not available as she has completely lost her mind and is going insane."

My IRS tax-advisor responded with, "Well, when she comes back into her mind, could you please tell her that her taxes are ready to be picked up?"

I'll let her know.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

And Now, An Excerpt

With only 6 weeks left to go, I must remember the following words I wrote for an assignment for one of my Masters classes:

Good teachers don’t get their evenings, weekends and summers off. They are constantly exploring new ideas to make their curriculum more interesting. They are developing their own mind, continuing their education, and researching their subject matter. They are observing and becoming active in the community where their school is located to gain a greater understanding of their students. They are observing other teachers, school districts and leaders throughout the community in order to integrate the best ideas on how to teach and present into their own styles. They are working with each other and their administration to provide a cohesive, educational experience for the children who depend on them. And, at the core, they are listening to their students and doing everything in their power to help a child grow.

I adopt these beliefs as my educational philosophy. I choose to teach to be part of a solution to help build a more informed and educated community. My choice is to tell a teenager that I believe in him when no one else does. My choice is to remind my students that every day they have a choice to make about their lives and that they have the knowledge and strength to pursue positive futures.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Quote of the Day

I'm teaching hoaxes, scams and how to catch con-artists to my first hour Technology class. This is part of an internet security unit, but I secretly hope that someday they'll realize I've given them the tools to pull off a grand money making scheme and they'll send me some cash.

To open today's lesson, I asked my students to respond to the following quote: "You can't cheat an honest man." I thought it would garner some interesting responses. Of course, I don't know how I'd respond, because I think the quote is tinged with a little b.s.

Then, someone better than I explained to me that this quote is true. He said that an honest man wouldn't want something for nothing and can see the truth.

Yeah, I still don't understand it. I sometimes wonder why this honest man is with me.

But, my favorite thing out of all this was my student Bonnie's response:

"I think that this quote is bull because you can cheat anyone if they're stupid enough to be cheated. I think that this means that if your honest that no one will cheat you. Thats a lie because of the fact that you need to be around honest people to be totally honest. So I think that the quote is a bunch of crap."

'Nuff said.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Water and Destruction

Nun, the Egyptian God of Water and Chaos, has delivered me from teaching today. I think he and Kali were hanging out last night trying to figure out what gift to give to the world this morning. Luckily, their dastardly deed focused on giving some educators a break. Teachers down every corridor sang hallelujiahs praising the remarkable rupture of the school's water main this morning.

So thank you, water gods, no students for me today. I must go grade papers before getting out of this dark classroom to go enjoy the Glendale Hot Air Balloon Fest!

Sunday, March 21, 2004

My Best Day

For Bell Work the other day, I asked my students to write about their best day. I asked them to describe the sights, sounds, textures, smells and feelings associated with this experience.

My student Jorge, who usually thinks about his assignments and sucks on his pencil for quite some time before digging in, began writing immediately.

As I wound my way around my room, I looked over shoulders and read scrawled lines about birthdays, 8th grade graduation ceremonies, and days when friends came through at tough times. I wanted to see what Jorge was writing since he looked so intent on his purpose.

He didn't even look up when I took a seat next to him. The first few lines of his short paragraph read:

My best day is today. I got up in a good mood this morning. I don't know what is going to happen today, so that is why today is my best day.

I smiled and Jorge looked up. I asked him to describe his feelings about today to me.

"It feels like hope."

If I had done my own assignment, I would have written about the day I graduated from college. I smelled misty rain and tasted palpable joy. I felt fading youth and sensed responsibility like a monsoon on the horizon. I finally knew myself.

In that moment, I exuded hope. Just as Jorge did today. And I believe I like his answer so much more than my own.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Controversies, Clichés and Contrition: pondering public pronouncements

My mother is the picture of grace. She is bright, balanced, giving and wrote the handbook of good manners. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In my case, the cliché is wrong.

I’m not graceful. I speak my mind and air dirty laundry. Most of the time, I’m transcendent enough to direct criticisms and witticisms at my own blunders. But I’ve also watched as others made life choices that completely confounded me. And in response, I relentlessly delivered scathing verdicts like a renegade Supreme Court judge. In the land where cruel and unusual punishment is banned, I enjoyed turning some thumbscrews and pouring salt into open wounds. Who doesn’t enjoy a good public hanging?

In a perfect world, that would be a ridiculous, rhetorical question. But, that cliché my mom first taught me – “the pen is mightier than the sword” – rings true. Read any newspaper for current political slanders. Open a tabloid for fresh gossip. Check the internet for the latest misleading headline.

On a much smaller scale, my mother believes that my “PDA” is misplaced. No, I don’t condone “Public Displays of Affection” as acceptable in polite society. For some reason, media blood courses through my veins and I find joy in “Public Disclosure of the Audacious.”

I’ve done this before and I’ve admitted transgression. My mom is so poised – she has yet to tell me that I’m a complete ass. But my penchant for storytelling has earned me another aptly applied cliché from my astute mom: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Keep writing the slams, keep reaping the snubs.

After all is said and done, commentary is just interpretation and people can’t be pegged by a lone pen. Upon consideration, I think the cliché that is most applicable to a writer’s life is, “If you live by the sword, you die by the sword.” Maybe the real chore lies in figuring out if lugging around four feet of shiny steel for a lifetime is worth the story at the end.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Time Zones

Rarely is the question it too early for beer?

I mean, really. What is the appropriate time to start drinking beer? Back when I owned OnSite Plumbing, ten o'clock in the morning was acceptable. That was a portent of things to come...

But I grew and changed and became more respectable (really). And I found that once one becomes a responsible adult, the question usually becomes, "When is it too early for a martini?"

I know the answer to that question. It's never too early for a martini. In fact, it should be martini time, all the time. Unless it's margarita time, which for those of you who are curious runs between 4:00pm and 9:00pm. After that it is tequila time. This is usually followed by floor time.

Anyway, I've never found an acceptable answer to when it's too early to start imbibing one's daily allowance of carbo-licious goodness. If anyone knows the answer, I'll be by the pool contemplating this question with a Michelob light in my hand.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Roxyland: It's not just for vacation anymore

I'm like Vegas baybee! Or maybe Disneyland - yeah, that's it. But I'm Roxyland.

Located in sunny Arizona, just one step out of reality, Roxyland is the married man’s number one vacation destination. Roxyland is always the perfect temperature. Sick of the cold, wintry mix of your home life? Roxyland is hot and spicy. Conversely, when things are blistering at home, Roxyland cools scorched egos with breezy jokes and cotton-candy kisses.

Roxyland is a place of witty conversations, loud laughter and cold margaritas. Numerous attractions include pirate themed parties; virtual reality trips to Paris and other exciting destinations; and dangerous, looping thrill rides. The fast, curvaceous roller-coaster is the peak of the Roxyland experience. Counseling services and cozy sunset dining are also available at the park.

Occasionally, men like to take the backstage tour and glimpse the inner workings of the park. However, Roxyland has primarily remained the diversion that these men need before returning to their climate-controlled, anti-climactic realities.

Recently, Roxyland underwent major renovations. Although the park is still one of the most fantastic and exciting destinations in the region, the rules at Roxyland have been transformed. The admission price has gotten higher and the steel sign at the front gate now reads “If you want to ride the roller coaster and eat the cotton candy, buy the lifetime pass. Save the day trips for your wife.”

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Happy VD!

Friday hearkened me back to those school days when the girls would giggle and give chocolate and the boys would roll their eyes because their moms had made them bring red-hot hearts and painstakingly printed "Love, Johnny" notes to class. And come high school, couples would kiss in hallways and misfits loathed the day of red sweaters and exclusionary games.

But the other day, as a teacher, I experienced the other side.

I cleaned up on Hallmark holiday numero uno. Pink, heart-shaped boxes exploding with candied sentiments. Red bows. Handmade cards. A white chocolate rose. Even some of those sweet, folded 100-to-a-box "personal" messages. And I watched my flush-faced students dance up to their "closest bests" to bestow upon them love's trinkets.

Now, my high school students know that I don't buy in to this manmade million dollar jubilee. This made it all the more fun when I actually received an actual valentine from another teacher.

The stuffed kangaroo, balloon and flowers arrived in first hour. Rumors spread like World War 2 venereal diseases.

To prove things never change, another guy I work with finds out about the token of affection and decides to try to get in on my love-in. So not only do I work in a high school, I apparently attend one as well.

Being the cynical VD hater that I am, I decided to flee this scene and share my love with my girlfriends in L.A. I was content to start February 14th on Venice Beach after a night of chic-chic dining in Hollywood and drinking on Sunset.

But last night, as I watched the Valentines Day couples stroll down the Santa Monica Pier, I saw that same glow in their faces as I did in the hallways of my high school and I briefly bought into the sweetheart-hype.

Friday, February 13, 2004

As Marna Says, "A Girl Has Gotta Eat"

First and foremost, let me say that I met my January quota for dates. There will be no more this month because I just don't think I can handle it.

Tonight, I went out with "Shaggy" who goes by said name as his first name is Daniel and he hates when people shorten it to Dan or Danny.

I will not bore you with background information except to say that it takes a LOT to get me to go out with someone that I barely know so I thought I was being selective.

Shaggy, aka "Duck Boy" as Jodi calls him (because he wanted to meet at a duck pond), isn't ugly by any stretch and was very timely. He brought yellow roses (actually slightly impressed by that) in a vase (?!?) and chocolate (can we say overkill?).

We chatted at the duck pond for a while and it was slightly awkward so we decided to do dinner at a cute little German restaurant in Old Town Glendale (for you out-of-towners, just picture a cute little antique district with lights in the trees and brick walkways). Of course, since the restaurant is closed on Mondays (DOH!) I chose to stop at the Quiznos in order to minimize my walk time in the nippy Arizona air (yes, it was slightly chilly tonight).

I'm thinking we do a quick dinner and hopefully manage to chat a little. At that point I felt like I had run out of topics of conversation as he wanted to talk about himself and his theories and his past and the fact that he speaks fluent German (did you know that bierfucher is a German insult for a man and literally implies that a man has a small penis and can fit it in the rim of a beer bottle? Good to know. I'll skip the part about the band Rammstein and his theories behind their heavy-industrial metal songs.)

So, because he is such a "mental giant," (yes, that is what he calls himself) we were able to talk about logic and his theories about how
logical arguments are impenatrable no matter who is delivering said arguments. There are flaws with that logic so I bring up a few arguments. But guess what? He realizes he isn't talking about himself so that didn't last long.

We get our food and he wants to say grace - he's Catholic. I'm ok with that. He is also very conservative (politically and fashionably) and starts to talk about his conservative nature. I bring up the point that he has 4 earrings in his left ear and he brings up the point that he has 9 tattoos. 9???

Ok, so you know I gotta see these suckers. He starts to roll up his sleeves. On the left arm is all this bible stuff (no offense) written in Latin. Then he chose other latin words and some sort of cross with Latin symbols (did I mention he said grace in Latin?). He starts for the second sleeve and tells me he doesn't want me to freak out.

I start to think that he has a full bible scene depicted on his forearm with maybe some bible verses and whatnot. Instead, he has a scar in the shape of a cross, a tattoo that says "Vengeance is Mine" (in Latin of course), an interesting clown-like-marilyn-mansonesque doll head tattoo (dripping eyeliner included) and another tattoo (Latin, how did you guess?) that says something to the effect that ignorance doesn't excuse behaviour. The best part? He's a self-cutter. He deliberately cuts slashes into his arm to "feel." Excellent.

He asked if I was freaked out about that, which I wasn't, surprisingly. People do a lot of messed up things. What I'm not kosher with is that fact that after all his postulations, theories, and borderline psychotic-genius thoughts, he really is so juvenile. I'd expect one of my students to cut, not one of my dates.

Better luck in February, huh?

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Stupidly self-centered for over 3 decades!