Sunday, December 28, 2008
I have a loud family.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Craig: Do you know what college is?
Craig: What is it?
Josh: It is a place where you have sleepovers and lots of parties.
Craig: (pauses) Wow.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I wrote the article about the Oscar Woa book. I only have one copy, people. I can't loan it to all of you at once. Leave me alone. It is still being sold in stores.
I keep having editors wanting me to write a humor column for their papers. Just recently I've had three newspapers and one magazine contact me. I had to tell them, "I'm a teacher. I just write the blog for fun." If these offers keep coming in like this I may have to accept one at some point.
I posted a driving survey midweek and so many of you must have responded there was a system overload. As of this morning only four people have responded since it started over. So if you were one of the many that voted early you may have to cast your vote again.
I don't have a site tracker. I just have to go by the buzz I hear in the media. I'm estimating my site gets about 120 hits a day and almost five times that on Mondays. So if my estimations are correct only about 1/2 of 1% of you are leaving comments. Feel free to leave more comments. That is how blog writers get feedback. (Yes, you may also respond by e-mail.)
Don't worry. I still respond to all of my e-mails personally. I haven't let the success of the blog affect my personable character. You, the readers, are still the most important thing.
I know what many of your are thinking. The weekly column. The fail pic of the week. Could this get much better? Yes. Beginning in 2009 I will be adding "tip of the week." Indeed. Life tips from yours truly.
Merry Christmas! Have a wonderful holiday. Be sure to stop by again next week for the final column of 2008.
(And if anyone wants to borrow Diaz's book just let me know; I've finished reading it.)
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Daughter: I was at home.
Me: Where you sick?
Mom: Go ahead. Tell him why you weren't at school.
Daughter: My dad said that I don't do anything at school anyway, so I might as well just stay home.
(Mom, who sees her daughter every other weekend, wasn't real happy about this.)
Me: Well, your dad makes a good point."
Mom was pretty disturbed by my response. However, I have to give her a lot of credit. She reacted very calmly and pleasantly as I continued to explain. (I did add that that would not have been my suggested solution, but I recognized his frustration.) It ended up being a very good conversation.
I've been in this business long enough that I'm not naive enough to think that my lecture is going to magically straighten this girl out. However, I've been doing this a short enough time I still think it might.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Switching narrators without preface, writing in Spanish and English, jumping around to different parts of the story, to tell you it in the order he wants to--not necessarily the order you want or expect, until the entire picture is painted and you can put the pieces together to understand the past, and doing all this, with excellent writing, phenomenal story-telling, superb grasp of the English language, and the occasional sentence that goes on way too long. For those of you that know me you can guess why I appreciated the book.
Oscar goes through a lifetime of tumultuous events ranging from depressing to horrific. Toward the end, just weeks after the most terrifying event of his life, he stops by a friend's house to ask a favor.
"Jesus, Oscar, I said. Come up, come up. I waited for him in the hall and when he stepped out of the elevator I put the mitts on him. How are you, bro? I'm copacetic, he said. We sat down and I broke up a dutch while he filled me in."
"I'm copacetic." Yeah, me too.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
The following is an example of myspace bulletin one of my student's wrote about her dream from the previous night. Below I translated it to English.
Ahaha okai wel javona shewan deja again ha cintha ma mom taylor n ma kuzns n bro were n it n mo.....alrite so shewan n javona were ku buh dai reali didnt lyke me haha n so md n javona got n a fite n she left lyk heka bite marks on me lik she kudnt fite dnt ask y it waz a dream n so we jus kept fiten n den me n shewan waz ku....n den cintha n deja kme n outa no were haha....n den it chngd lyke tha hle dream did n taylor waz at ma house wit ma mom kuzn n bro....o n mikey waz n it again omg so waz dat 1 mexican dude n ma apts shewan deja n um shanel no who im tlkn bou o n so i waz jus txtn mikey n um hym n it waz funi ha kuz mikey waz sayn stuf bou how he guna beat me up ha n omg justin b. Waz n it chris g.I tink hoopy n otha ppl buh it waz stupid buh ya if u wana no mo 2 it hit up ma phne maspace or sku
Translation to English:
Haha. Okay. Well... Javon, Shewan, Deja (again ha), Cynthia, Taylor, my mom, my cousins, and my brother were in it and other people as well. Alright. So Shewan and Javona were cool, but they really didn't like me. Haha. And so Javona and I got in a fight and she left hecka bite marks on me like she couldn't fight. (Don't ask why; it was a dream.) So we just kept fighting and then me and Shewan were cool. Then Cynthia and Deja came in out of nowhere. Haha. Then the whole dream changed, and Taylor was at my house with my mom, cousin and brother. Oh, and Mikey was in it again. Oh my God, so was that one Mexican dude in my apartments (Shewan, Deja and Shanel know who I'm talking about). So I was just texting Mikey and... um... Him being in the dream was funny because Mikey was sayin' stuff about how he was going to beat me up. Ha. And Justin B and Chris G. were in it also. I think Hoopy and other people too, but it was stupid. But if you want to know more too, then hit me up on my phone, myspace, or at school.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
"Hello, this is Kevin."
"This is Sacramento."
"This is Sacramento. Am I speaking to Rhode Island?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"I got a call from this number..."
A few minutes later I was contemplating the oddity of this phone and realized what I could have said:
"Yeah, this is Rhode Island."
"Let's talk about the details."
"How much is it going to cost? What is included?"
"Okay... this isn't really Rhode Island. My friends call me Cincinnati, or they often just use my given name."
Where was my quick wit then? If I could have pulled that off, that would really make for a good story. Also, if I could have pulled that off I might have had someone call back threatening my life.
But they probably don't know where I live.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
My question is really this: Where do they go at the beginning of the "window." Have you ever had someone scheduled to come between noon and 4pm, and the guy knocks on your door at 12:01?
"I decided to make this my first stop."
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Still feeling dizzy and nauseous the next day I called in for a substitute. However, after a couple hours and one load of laundry, I found myself unable to sleep so I drove to work. I explained to the office manager I suffered a mild concussion the night before in my game, but didn't think it was likely I would pass out while teaching (I had myself at 200 to 1 against). Soon I found myself on the phone with an advice nurse, and explaining to the school counselor that I did not want to go into the doctor. Eventually, I had her yelling at me "you men are all the same," while the principal insisted that I could not return to my job. Then the track coach (I don't know how he got involved) was playing the role of mediator. He determined that I could keep my 4:00pm appointment, but as a compromise would rest in the nurse's office until that time. I refused mediation and replied, "if that's the case then just take me now." The principal (also a woman) replied, "Good. Go now then." The spiral of over-reaction led to me being driven to the hospital against my will, leaving my car at work.
I checked myself into the ER. I wouldn't exactly call myself a regular there, but this was my second visit in the last six months. This time I got a bed and a room. They even put some plastic suction cups on my chest and hooked me up to one of those machines to make sure I didn't die. It was just like the movies. As the nurse set me up she apologized in advance for the hair that was going to be ripped off my chest upon removal. I told I had considered waxing it. She replied stoically, "hair on the chest for males is normal." Oh, thank you for that enlightenment. While your grabbing me a blanket in the hall feel free to look for a personality. My doctor was young, female, personable, and fairly attractive. She confirmed my self-diagnosis of a mild concussion and told me she would give me some meds. She offered oral medication or intravenous. I checked the time and figured I had at least an hour and half till someone from work could come get me so I opted for the IV (that is after first confirming that there was no additional charge for it).
I asked to use the bathroom and a new nurse came to my aid. He looked at the computer and said, "No urine test was ordered, but just in case..." Let me tell you peeing in a cup is not very satisfying. I let some out in the cup, but then finished my release in the toilet as I had planned. As he hooked up my IV he says, "No blood test was ordered, but just in case..." Clearly precautions were taken. Before he pumped the first drug into me he asked, "Have you ever had blahblahblahcose before?" No. I was at the bar the other day and was going to ask for some, but I went ahead just got a gin and tonic. He then explained that one in a hundred people become anxious from the medication. He pumped in a second drug and then left with the IV attached and flowing.
Within minutes I was freaking out. My heart was racing; I couldn't sit still. The lines on the computer were waving and it was beeping just like in the movies. Except, unlike the movies, nobody rushed in to check on me. I hit the button for the nurse. I said, "I don't want to be hooked up to anything anymore. I want to go home now." He got the doctor. She told me I couldn't just go walk around, but she would get some drug to calm me down. It did. She sent me home with two prescriptions, some literature about concussions, her home phone number, and told me I couldn't play contact sports for two weeks. I inquired as to what constituted a contact sport and she told me I was a big boy and could make that determination on my own. Which is a good thing, cause I got a game on Wednesday (I'll take it easy).
With the influx of response coming in I haven't been able to respond to everyone. I got e-mails, phone calls, text messages, and one letter brought by Pony Express all wondering the whereabouts of Sunday's column. Let me assure I did not just neglect my readers. Although, I am a big proponent of taking personal responsibility the situation was out of my control. Don't blame me. Blame Comcast. I wrote the column Sunday, but there is a problem with my modem and I haven't had internet.
Don't worry. I will the regular scheduled article, and the fail blog of the week, posted by midnight tonight.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
This true story leads to the following question:
Who have I become?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I had a stomach flu with a fever and was sick for four straight days. During the week I had called the advice nurse multiple times, and was becoming very accustomed to the automated system, and the standard advice nurse questions. (No, I’m not crapping blood). I called the last morning and scheduled an appointment with the doctor, but I decided going in might just be a hassle and canceled the appointment within minutes of setting it up. Finally, I just agreed to see a doctor. However, it was getting late in the day so said she just called me back on the phone. She chastised me for not coming in sooner, and then told me to come in to the lab for tests. They wanted a blood sample, and a stool sample. Despite feeling awful, and being a little disgusted by the idea of that, I drove myself to the hospital.
I arrived to discover the lab was closed. Quite disturbed I hobbled to the emergency room. I drove all the way here maybe I could at least get an IV before I go home. I waited in a short line and asked the guy at the counter the most important question, “How much is it going to cost me for my visit?”
“Your copay will be $35.”
“Go ahead and sign me up.”
I couldn’t believe how quickly my name was called. Less than fifteen minutes from my arrival I had blood drawn, and a plastic tube hanging out my arm ready to receive the IV. $35 well spent. Unfortunately, it was over an hour until I was in a bed, in the hallway, talking to a doctor. Eventually, the nurse came and hooked up my IV so I was on my way to being hydrated, the main goal of my visit. The nurse also gave me a little white pill to swallow, and a plastic jar for the stool sample. The jar looked very similar to the jars used for a urine sample. Holding the jar I looked at him and said, “you have to have pretty good aim I guess.” He laughed and then pondered a solution. He returned with a big plastic tub so I could poop in that and then scoop it into the jar. Um… yeah, that didn’t seem to make the activity seem any more pleasant.
I never completed the sample, because that little white pill worked too well. I thought Imodium AD was strong, not compared to this thing. I won’t go into any more details on that subject.
Once the old man left the adjacent room (you can read about him under the label “initial blog”) a firefighter rolled in a shirtless, drunk Mexican guy covered in blood. I looked over to see this poor guy with blood all over his face, and chest, and listened to the paramedic verbally berating him as he took him into the room.
“Did you have some fun today? Good party?”
The incoherent drunk did not respond to the harassment, but he did provide me some entertainment before I left the hospital.
It turned out he had not suffered a major injury, but after excessive drinking his blood thinned, and he was suffering from a severe bloody nose. All that blood had come from his nose. Wow. I listened as the white people tried to talk to him in Spanish. The whole exchange was funny, but I’ll give you a couple of highlights.
During the first interrogation the nurse yelled, “cuantos cervezas?” He answered, “un dia.” I thought this was hilarious. It was probably true. From the looks of it he was probably drinking for an entire day. Then later they brought in someone else and asked him the same question, “cuantos cervezas?” This time he answered, “cuatro.” Four? Maybe four cases. He continue to mumble in broken Spanish. Very little he said was intelligible. Another firefighter stopped by and recognized him, and even alluded to a tattoo he had on his arm. I guess our drunk nose-bleeder was an emergency room regular. Later he was shouting for help and no one was around. I looked in and saw more blood dripping off his body. We made eye contact and he said, “Amigo. Ayudame.” So I rolled my IV down the hall and called nurse over for him.
At this point I didn’t really feel much better. I asked the nurse if he could speed up the IV going into me. It just works on gravity so he raised the height of it. Once the majority of it was gone I went home. I missed the Lakers/Celtics game, but I left hydrated. I went in to work the next day at lunch so I could teach my last two classes, but I left the arm band on my wrist from the ER to validate my morning absence.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I finally passed a few people while going up the steep hill, but I think they passed me right back when we returned to flat ground. Then after three miles I had a cramp so bad in my right side I took a break to walk. I wondered, "Where were the bands, the music, and the people chearing me on?" I searched for motivation within, as two more guys pushing strollers ran by me.
I turned the corner and saw the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge. A 7,000-foot bridge should not be one's destination. When I can see the finish I want to know that the end is near. That thing is visible from a pretty good distance.
I knew at some point the race would split and particpants would choose the 12 kilometer option or the 7 kilometer option. They need to make that decision come sooner. After three miles is not the best time to present a struggling particpant the following options: Continue straight and jog a few hundred more yards and stroll on into a relaxing finish, or turn right and continue to endure over four more miles of pain. Choose wisely, and choose now. I turned right.
I said earlier this week, "Once I get through the first two miles the rest is easy." Not true today. I eventually hit the four-mile mark, which was my toughest mile of the day. I'm still trying to figure out how many miles it was from the four-mile marker to the five-mile marker.
This was my first time running the Bridge to Bridge. I had heard of the race years ago, but never participated. I didn't even know that "Bridge to Bridge" was actually just the short name of the race. The colloquial shortcut consistantly used by particpants because nobody wants to say the race's entire name, "The Bridge to Bridge and then make a U-turn and keep running, haha." See, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.
Actually, the U-turn at the Golden Gate was inspiring. My body was feeling better and I even picked up the pace (slightly). Now, I was headed back toward the finish. It was comforting seeing a slew of people that were still behind me, and some of them even looked like they were struggling more than me.
Now my right foot was hurting, but I kept on running. I finished strong. I made it.
After the race we went out for lunch and my brother-in-law asked me if I wanted to run a half-marathon with him.
"Why not? That was easy."
Long Beach, Santa Barbara (2), San Luis Obispo (4), Reno, Sacramento (4), Thousand Oaks (2), and San Jose.
With that kind of mobility one may asks: what constitutes "living" somewhere. I came up with the following parameters: I paid rent, and received at least one piece of mail at the address. My longest tenure was 12 months, and a few places were merely two or three months. I lived with some incredible people along the way, and have many stories I could share about each place. However, I won't do that here, but feel free to ask.
With that kind of history it is pretty obvious why I didn't call my bank and change my address every time I moved somewhere. It would have been a hassle. Despite having 15 other addresses since 1998 the address on my credit cards have always remained the same. Yesterday that changed.
I called the bank and said, "I would like to change my address." I gave her a new address in Sacramento, California. She entered it, and asked which accounts I wanted changed. I replied, "All of them." That was it. The woman on the phone acted like it was no big deal. Just typed it in. She didn't even say anything like, "Wow, after all these years, and all the moves, you're finally moving on from your parents' address?" All she said was, "Is that all you called for today?"
For her it was completely unceramonious.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
My goal is to have my blog make it big time, and by that I mean I am hoping to one day surpass 40 readers (including some people that don't know me, but just like the blog). So please if you enjoy my work pass it on. I mean if you tell a friend, and that person tells a friend, and that person tells a friend, by next week I'll have... at least four people reading my blog. (I'm sure you could see potential growth from there).
Any of you know if that subscribe link works?
(I just added it to the bottom of my page again.)
Also, I wanted to know if there was a way to make a post and have it immediately archived. I would like to write some poker blogs, but don't want to subject peole to those posts against their will. So I would like to label them and archive them. (The only way I know how to do this now is to create a second blog, but I'm not sure I'm ready for that.)
I think I had a couple other blog questions, but can't think of them at this time.
Upcoming posts in 2008 will include: my lists of things I like and don't like, and the continuation of my ER visit. Stay tuned.
Be sure to comment and let me know what you think of the Sunday blogging idea.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
When I was apartment hunting I viewed one place that was cluttered with the previous tenant's stuff. Jessica Miller. One day she just left. No notice, no rent, no good-bye, and no moving out. The place was a complete mess. Despite the condition of the apartment I liked the unit and the location and now currently live there. (I was going to leave her anonymous, but her name is Jessica Miller. Chances are you know at least one or two anyway. Maybe she ran off with Ryan Johnson. Look her up on google for me and let me know what she looks like.)
I told you that story so I could tell you this one:
Thursday night I was lying in bed half awake because of my insomnia, and I heard a loud, pounding knock on my door. I glanced at the clock. 3:15am. I thought surely I must be hearing things, so I took no immediate action. Then I heard the knock again. I made my way out of bed, fumbled around to find my glasses and opened the front door. The guy asks, "Is Jess here?"I searched for some words and finally mumbled, "She took off." As I'm responding he points to my neighbor's and continues, "I must have the wrong apartment. Is it the next one?" Great idea. Why don't you just knock on everybody's door until you find her? I tried to clarify, but it was 3:00 in the morning.
"You have the right apartment; she took off."
"She's not home right now?"
"What's her last name?"
"Miller. Jess Miller."
"She hasn't lived her in several months. When was the last time you saw her?"
"I dunno, about six months ago. I'm really really sorry."
Seriously? Who does that? What if I was her boyfriend, and she waited in bed while I answerd the door? I would just respond, "Oh yeah. She's in bed; let me get her for you." Six months. You haven't talked to the girl in six months, so you choose 3:00am to drop by and say hi.
She went by "Jess." Good to know.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Each morning I get to choose between option A: slightly more than dripping or option B: water pressure so hard it only hurts a little. I haven't even came up with a consistent selection. I rotate depending on my mood. This morning I even started with the drip mode and later switched to attack of the water pressure.
Also, my bathroom tile is still pink.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Of the few commercials I saw there was one I particularly enjoyed. Two youth soccer teams competed for the championship. They showed the winners celebrating with trophies and elation, while the losing team was left defeated and deflated. Then a parent on the losing team brought all the kids McDonalds and the emotions of the boys trade places. Also, in the spirit of the games, I liked the Visa commercials with Morgan Freeman.
I fast forwarded many of the preliminary events, and all of the medal ceremonies, until the last day during the gold medal ceremony for the Men’s Volleyball Team. I guess I got a little sentimental with the Olympics nearing the end, and I watched that one.
During one of the diving events a participant failed to do his best dive and the female commentator said, “They may need to add more water to the pool after that entry.”
One night I found myself watching women run a marathon.
Clearly, this is not a made for TV event.
I would have preferred to just see the highlights. It reminded me of other things that go on too long to enjoy watching them in their entirety like: golf, the closing ceremonies, and the Sex in the City Movie.
I got to go. I may be hallucinating. I think I just saw Jackie Chan sing a solo during the closing ceremonies.
Friday, August 22, 2008
• Lifelong Learner- Always seek to gain further understanding in all areas of life
• Perseverance- Sometimes things are tough, but we still have to get through them
• Integrity- "Doing the right thing even when no one else is looking." (I got that definition from one of my students during a class discussion)
• Problem-Solving Capacity- Increased ability to think and reason
• Expression- Ability to express oneself with words
• Appropriate Conduct- The knowledge and understanding of the appropriate way to act depending on the situation
• Consideration/Selflessness- There are other people in this world besides you; act like it.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
So I picked up another bottle of it; The one in my shower had just ran out so I needed more.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I thought of a more efficient way to design that sign.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I finally got a bed in the hallway. I asked the attendant if I was simply going to be shoved on a bed in the open hall why I had to wait so long. I don’t think she appreciated my question. There was no T.V., but the adjacent room proved to be more entertaining. There was a disgruntled older gentleman there with his wife and daughter. Despite his condition he was insisting he did not want to be there. The conversation went about like this.
“I’m going home.”
”I’m sorry sir, but you’re not able to walk right now, and you need to stay here.”
“I’m going home.”
“What is the problem?”
“I have a phantom doctor that I never see, and I’m not comfortable here.”
“Is there anything I can get for you?”
Throughout life I witness things. Peculiar behavior. Unusual events. Odd societal or cultural procedures. Things that make me think, reflect, and most importantly laugh. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and finally decided to start “I seen that” so I could chronicle those events. This way I can share my thoughts and experiences publicly for all to read. And I hope both of you enjoy it. Welcome to my blog.
Despite the nurses’ insistence the older gentleman in the ER was discharged. Sometime I’ll continue the story so you can hear about the next guy to occupy the room, and why when speaking to a drunk Mexican in broken Spanish white people think they will gain increased understating if they yell all phrases.