Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On Vacation

I will be taking my first extended vacation in two years. My regular Sunday column will resume 8/22.

Until then feel free to stop by weekly and peruse the archives. On the right side of the page I have labels that include baseball, poker, education and emergency room stories. I'm guessing you can find something of interest. Those of you that want to avoid the extras and just read my actual columns can click on the "general" tab. I'm also planning on starting a new feature next month. Stay tuned.

Hasta luego.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bathroom Conundrum

The left side of the stall (right side if you’re already sitting) contained a stainless steel contraption holding the toilet paper and seat covers. The top of it provided a nice little platform just large enough for me to stand the papers I received when I registered in the morning. After using the toilet I picked up both my bags off the floor (they gave me another bag when I registered) and I headed to my 9:00am session.

I chose a table and met two of the 2,200 educators attending this AVID summer institute. Soon after sitting down I realized I left my registration papers in the stall. I immediately headed back to the bathroom. But of course, the first stall, the one I had used earlier, was occupied.

However, I noticed the stack of papers I left stood higher than the top of stall wall.

It would be very possible (and I think fairly easy) to just reach up and grab the papers. He may not even notice.

What am I to do in this situation?

Several possibilities crossed my mind.

None of them that involved speaking to a stranger sitting on the toilet seemed like a good idea.

So I just did it. I reached up, grabbed the stack of papers and...

As I thought the smooth acquisition was occurring I heard something fall to the ground. Oops. I muttered, “Sorry” as I began to walk away. The poor guy on the john said nothing.

On my way out of the bathroom another guy says to me, “That was awkward.” I guess he witnessed the whole thing. He added, “But you got the papers.” At this point I still wasn't sure what had fallen to the ground, but I didn’t feel like staying in the bathroom long enough to figure it out.

Back at my table I realized which paper it was-- the blue cardstock one which had contained my name tag and the day’s agenda. I asked the guy next to me for his blue paper so I could see if there was any pertinent information I would need before continuing my day.

While looking at his paper I realized a couple of things. One: it was clearly smaller in size explaining why it fell when I snagged the others. Two: There was a paper somewhere in the bathroom on the third floor that read, “Welcome Kevin Burrill.”

I headed back to the bathroom for the third time that morning. The bathroom was now empty and my blue cardstock paper was on the floor of the adjacent stall. Maybe it slid right through the air past my silent friend.

I picked it up and took it with me.

Thought of the Week

Nostalgia and hope stand equally in the way of authentic experience.
--Wiggs Dannboy
(character from Tom Robbins' Jitterbug Perfume)

Fail of the Week

"Officer, I am totally sober. Honest."

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Baby Got Binder

He even came out with a new video: "You Can't Study This."

If you want to turn back the clock a little check out Father Guido's Five-Minute University.

Taylor Mali speaks out on What Teacher's Make.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Vacation

The following entry is not meant for the purpose of entertainment, but merely to provide some information about my life. And it doesn’t really even do a great job of that, nor is it particularly interesting.

I would suggest not reading further.

Many people have a blog with the intent to post updates of their lives. They use it as a means of sharing life's mundane details with their friends in a slightly more complete manner than their Facebook updates. I try avoid this, but I am actually considering taking a few weeks off from writing so I feel some sort of obligation to explain myself.

As a teacher I work incredibly hard the entire school year. I’m exhausted and I long for the days where I can fall asleep in my bed without a setting an alarm, relax at home, and not have my normal responsibilities. However, for some reason what I do is I book up my entire summer to prevent these days from actually happening. My calendar is completely full until August 16th. I wonder if I over-plan my vacation time.

Much of my summer plans this year revolved around weddings, and Saturday I will be attending my fourth wedding in as many weeks. Two of the first three were officiated by a close friend. I guess you can just fill out an application on-line, and you can perform weddings; the screening process seems to have even less requirements than substitute teachers. But I like it. Maybe I'll start doing weddings.

I went to St. Louis for Grandma’s funeral, and I stayed several more days to be with my family there. I spent all last week in Southern California with Jonny’s and Brandon’s wedding bookending the vacation. This week I actually work a normal week, and next week I leave for Honduras with Gio. After I get back I have just a couple days to finish my plans for my next vacation at Clearlake.

I’m considering just taking off from my blog until August 22nd, or maybe just write randomly as stuff comes up. Leaving the country should provide me some material.
Basically, I’m not sure when you’ll hear from me again, but in the meantime I plan on having a good time.

Thought of the Week

Being pretty on the inside means you don't hit your brother and you eat all your peas - that's what my grandma taught me.
--Lord Chesterfield

Lot Not Full

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I was just about to say that

The other day I picked up my date from her house. On the way to the restaurant she informed me, “I look lovely this evening.”


*And she did look lovely. Despite my negligence in mentioning this right away, at dinner when I was sitting across from her I renoticed how nice she was looking in her dress and was sure to point it out in a sincere way. I think I mostly recovered.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thought of the Week

Life is too small a container for certain individuals. Some of them huff and puff to try to expand the container. Others seek to pry the lid off and hop out.

--Tom Robbins (in Jitterbug Perfume)

We're not in Kansas

Or 1988 anymore.

Earlier this week Gio and I went to a music store downtown and saw this sign:

I went to investigate what was really on that aisle and it was actually new cassettes. Tapes still wrapped because no one in the last 30 years thought they were worth opening. I don't think this section represents a huge portion of their sales.