September 27, 2003
I dunno if this is some instinctual thing kicking in, but today I:
1. Replaced the light fixture in the closet.
2. Installed a new disposal for the kitchen sink.
3. Installed a new smoke detector in the kitchen.
4. Recaulked the master bedroom shower and cleaned the doors.
5. Cleaned and vacuumed the pool.
6. Sprayed insulation around the outside faucets.
7. Installed a photosensitive switch on the front porch light.
Denise says I'm nesting in preparation for Bun, the baby, but I think it was the steak I had last night that stimulated some manly genes.
September 25, 2003
If he's so damn popular, why does he need so much money to get re-elected?
September 22, 2003
The other day, I had to buy my own stamps to mail parents of failing students. The school encourages us to call and doesn't supply stamps or a postage machine, but it would take too much time to call 20 sets of parents. I spent $7.40 for a book of stamps to save myself probably three hours on the phone.
Oh, and my budget for supplies for the entire year is $20. And we were encouraged to buy our own paper for the printers in our room. And we don't have a budget to replace the $400 toner cartridges. "Just shake 'em."
And teachers can buy reserved parking spaces in the teacher parking lot for $25.
And teachers got United Way payroll deduction forms in the mailboxes today.
I just wanted you all to know how bad it is.
September 21, 2003
I've set up new forum software to experiment with. Maybe those of us who come to this site (me?) can waste some time talking via public groups. Linky
Let me know what you think.
September 16, 2003
Your absence of tax dollars at work
Schools are always short of cash. Unfortunately, the schools feed on themselves to generate needed funds.
Case in point: my high school, like hundreds of others, has entered into contracts with candy and drink suppliers for a cut of the take of what students buy. So it's in the school's financial interest to give the kids every opportunity to buy, buy, buy. However, caffeine and sugar highs are not conducive for sustained focus and concentration for teenagers. Put enough sugar into teenagers, and they start bouncing off the walls; put enough sugar into enough ADD kids last period, and you'll have a mosh pit. After 30-45 minutes, however, the sugar high is gone and Morpheus escorts them into the Land of Dreams. Little learning is going on because the teacher is either trying to focus twitchy students or wake up snoozers.
So, instead of encouraging a diet that would better prepare them for learning, which would include proteins and complex carbohydrates, the schools are forced to provide a captive audience for Sugar Merchants at the long-term expense of learning, discipline, and, ultimately, an educated generation.
It's sad that we're willing to sell out our own children for the sake of lower taxes.
More crazy sophomore sentences using vocab words:
C3-P0 was adroit.
This is an adulterated film.
The man had an acrid amount of papers on his desk, he knew he would be there all night.
There was a large adroit pimple on Sheala's face.
The mineral found two-thousand feet underground was adamant.
The boy in the car accident was getting checked for a severe acrid.
September 11, 2003
I miss my country
Before 9/11, I was content to be mildly active in politics: writing letters, organizing teachers around me in a union, sarcastically criticizing our "leaders." You know, comfortable, middle-class, angst-ridden white person stuff.
But now, I've realized that Orwell was indeed an optimist. I take seriously many of the extreme right-wing and despotic "-isms" I dismissed as ever even being possible in the U.S.: fascism, McCarthyism, jingoism. I've personally witnessed a period of history that will long be examined for its insanity and irrationality as we now study the Salem Witch Trials, the Inquisition, Stalin's reign, and late Roman Emperors. But how to explain the last two years?
The analogy that comes to mind is that of confronting a lifelong drunk. Deep inside, the drunk knows he's a drunk and hates himself for it, but when he is confronted with the truth by those who care, he denies it to them and even to himself. The hangover is less painful than admitting the truth and dealing with the reality, so the drunk continues to lie to himself and drink, drink, drink.
That's where we are as a country. We're still drinking. But slowly, we're waking up to the fact that these terrorist guys don't "hate our freedoms" as Bush has said, but rather hate our culture of capitalism and hypocrisy that drains the soul and resources from nations and replaces it with plastic and Cheetos. We've become an international economic machine whose consumer culture is seen as enveloping everything it touches, and we Americans justify it by confusing freedom and democracy with markets and capitalism.
But no more. The hypocrisy of destroying a country in the name of patriotism only to pay your buddies billions to rebuild it creates a mental schism in the minds of even the most staunch Bush proponent, and hypocrisy at that scale, like the Inquisition and Stalin's empire, cannot stand for long. Our two-year denial binge is ending, and the truth about ourselves is being accepted.
September 09, 2003
What is REAL?
Rage Against the Machine (now Audioslave) is real. Or is it? I can easily see through the bias of network news or the latest Britney Spears publicity stunt or Bush's latest lies, but what do I not see through?
Do I love RATM because they're for REAL, or because they are just another corporate package that happens to be targeted at me and I'm unable to see the packaging? Do they really believe anything they say, or are they crafted with a message guaranteed to appeal to a leftist, over-educated, angry white guy? Can you distribute your real message to your fans through a corporation, or does the corporation simply craft the REAL according to the target audience, who are unable to see through it?
In the movie "Y Tu Mama, Tambien," there's a great line that says, "The truth is cool, but unattainable." It's funny, but true, ironically. Does it really matter if RATM believes their message? Does it really matter if it's true to them if it's real to me? Am I getting a quality experience of REAL from them anyway? And is that all that matters, a personal issuance of truth?
Sartre felt we were all ultimately alone, which precludes any hope of consensus and relegates us to a permanent state of dynamic truth-creation. Acceptance of that has been a long struggle for me, but now, at the end, the thought of anything being static and solid in its own integrity erodes, and I'm left with a peaceful sense that we, as billions of individuals making trillions of decisions over our collective lifetimes, create the REAL every day.
September 08, 2003
Dump Rush on ESPN
Don't know about you, but seeing Rush's big, fat, pompous ass on ESPN got my blood boiling. Go here to complain:
This is what I wrote:
I've enjoyed ESPN for many, many years now because it is the finest in sports programming bar none.
But your addition of Limbaugh to your NFL lineup has me cringing at his every appearance on my TV. While I appreciate his not pontificating politically to viewers, his mere presence is a political statement itself that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Your fine station could do without him.
To me, sports is an escape from the factious political environment, but Rush to me represents all things politically malevolent. All I can think when I hear his pompous, boorish statements is "SHUT UP!"
Dump Rush as soon as possible, please.
September 05, 2003
More Student Funnies
Student are very, ah, inventive in their use of my vocabulary words. Here's the latest sampling of their range:
They shall abridge your legs for this crime against the King.
The paper towel absolved the juice.
The workers built abridge.
Why do people abstinent on others?
The women was abhor to the man.
The man knew he wasn't going to be able abdicate the size of the fence like he did the first time.
The cat was abstinent to the dogs.