Mickey Redmond Drinking Game

I believe this came from the “Abel to Yzerman” blog from KuklasKorner.com a year or two ago.  Everyone sorta chipped in with ideas on the Mickey Redmond Drinking game.  I am reposting a version of it here.
Next Red Wing game, take a drink every time you hear Mickey Redmond use one of these phrases.  I know one of them isn’t a Redmond-ism, but I think you’ll figure it out.
“Happy” Hudler
Wait ‘til you see this replay!
Holy Jumpin’
Hey Gang!
Holy Mackerel!
That was a bang-bang play
Hold it right there, gang!
That’s the way it’s done boys and girls!
You be the judge.
Katie, bar the door
Datsyukian
There it is!
Lookout!
Oooohh, geez!”
Oh-my-goodness
Taking liberties
Well that’s the new NHL for ya.
He barely touched’em!
In the old days…
He never had a chance on that play.
Bingo Bango
Every time you hear Mick chuckle
Larry Murphy starts a sentence and fails to finish it coherently
Oh Boy
Mick says anything about composite sticks
You could’ve thrown a blanket over ‘em!
Chintzy
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UPWP

A few summers ago I was lucky enough to be accepted into the U.P. writing project.  I learned a lot and loved the experience.  The main thing I learned was that writing begets more writing.  Just like anything else, if one doesn’t write, it gets harder to write.  If you don’t use it, you lose it.  I’m full of trite adages. I could keep going, but for your sake I won’t.

At any rate, I got to spend several weeks concentrating on writing and I wrote amongst a group of peers.  A group of peers who also fancied themselves amateur writers.   What was good about that is that I think I held my own with them.  At least if I didn’t, they didn’t tell me.  Either way, same effect.  I gained a little confidence.

Then came the culminating night.  The final UPWP retreat.  We all had to write one more piece for the retreat, share it in a small group to know what did or didn’t work about it and do with it what we amateur writers do.  Sometimes at that point we let the idea go away or sometimes we realize the idea needs to steep in the back of our brains until it is ready for consumption.

I had often gotten some raised eyebrows for the types of things I wrote.  Apparently stories about cute cuddly woodland creatures getting their comeuppance  ( http://wedgesnotebook.blogspot.com /search?q=children%27s+story ) were mildly amusing to some, but no one really wanted to admit it.  I remember always being startled at how shocked some were by what I penned.  I mean had these people never read Poe?  Never picked up a Stephen King novel?  Alfred Hitchcock?  What I had been doing…to call it a pale comparison would be an injustice to any of them.  My stuff wasn’t good enough nor lethal enough to deserve being called a pale comparison.

So I eventually tried to keep my writing as ….what’s the opposite of off-color?….I kept my writing as on-color as possible which mystified me a little bit.  I mean the one thing I have always wanted to accomplish is to write what I want to write.  The UPWP was my first chance to write for adults and not have to fear admonition from a college professor.

So for the final writing, I decided, to let it go a little.  I wrote a true recounting of a night at a strip club in the middle of nowhere.  The strippers’ bus had apparently broken down and the club was stripper free that night.  Or I should say the club was professional stripper free.  Hilarity ensued, culminating in varied attempts to earn free drinks by dancing ourselves, a frostbitten ball sack (not mine for which I thank the sweet baby Jesus), and an afterbar party where a random four year old walked into a room with porn playing on the television and apparently the only people horrified by that were me and my buddy.

So there were definitely events there that were story worthy, but I knew I had totally missed the mark in writing it.    Far and away it was the worst piece I had written for UPWP.  I knew my story was very one dimensional and I was trying to figure out why my voice hadn’t come through and why the story didn’t work.  At all.  I mean, not a whit.  When I read the story out loud at UPWP, I didn’t get any help.

No one told me that perhaps there were two short stories there.  No one said I should perhaps write from a different point of view.  No one said that the horror of the afterbar porn scenario was just too dark to go hand in hand with all the preceding Animal House type events up to that point of the story…nothing.  They were just appalled that I had put these things on paper.

By the end of the evening I was hearing whispers of people being worried that I may have lost my sanity.   I hadn’t even known my sanity’s leash had been so frayed that people were worried about it becoming lost. Between you and me, I have never lost my sanity.  I’ve just misplaced it from time to time.  I almost always find it again right away.  Usually under the couch cushion. 

What were they all so bothered by?  Not every genre is everyone’s cup of tea.  Were they worried my lost sanity was going to run amok through the retreat?  Were they worried it was going to trample over all the other stories brought to the retreat?  All those pretty little stories about crunchy autumn leaves and poems about their grandmother’s penchant for crosstitch, and touching stories of their daughter’s first lost tooth and all of them, all of them, all of them at the mercy of an adult writing for other adults.  Infecting everyone with the idea that not all stories are happy.  Spreading adult thoughts like rabies throughout every page of every participant?  

I was so horrified about adults being so politically-correctly-crippled that either they were either horrified that I had engaged in such hedonistic behavior or they felt that in order to fit in, they had to pretend to be horrified by it.  I found the whole gig so unsettling in that I realized I had totally underestimated how people willingly limit their points of view.  I had vastly missed the mark in guessing just how much of a wall people had built between their honest selves and society in an effort to convince the world they don’t have dark, dirty, inane, shameful, naughty, violent thoughts.   They had covered everything that was interesting about themselves in a hypoallergenic plastic sheen like the covers your weird aunt puts on all her furniture.  I knew then it was the time for the UPWP and myself to part ways. 

I thank them for their help, but I knew I could no longer be part of it.  Perhaps someday again, I can find a writing group to be a part of.  A place where if I want to write a story that is a cross between David Sedaris and David Lynch I can do so without being suspected of being Charles Manson with a word processor. 

Sometimes, just for fun, I imagine what would have happened if I had introduced myself to the UPWP as a writer of equine erotica.  In my mind’s eye I see them calling the men in the white coats and having me hauled away so that they could finish their pinots respectfully.  They could finish their conversations about the weather; maybe swap a recipe or two and at the end they could all get in their Subarus and drive back home and forget I had ever existed.

Scatterings

I’m not sure where I’m going with this one.  Buckle in.  This could be a bumpy ride on the tilt-a-wedge today.

Cross your fingers for me.  I found a rotten log in my cabin the other day.  None of the other logs around it are compromised so to me it is something that happened that wasn’t the fault of poor maintenance.  From what little (oh so little) I do understand, it’s not too often that an insurance company will cover  a rotten log, but since I am only about $4,990 away from being able to afford a $5,000 repair, any well wishes would help.

Returning the loaner car today and picking up my loaner pick-up from a friend.  Man, am I gonna drive the shit out of that truck.  I won’t take a curve, corner, or jump any slower than 35 mph before I return that sonuvabitch.  Actually, I will treat the truck rather well.  I respect other people’s stuff.  I just wanted to show people that my sarcasm is equal opportunity and I do it to friends and strangers alike.  If I never make fun of you at all, then I probably don’t respect you, or I believe the force in you is not strong enough to handle my dark side jibes.

Tonight is the first camp night in several years.  I am looking forward to it.  Tomorrow I will feel like I swallowed a carcass and probably feel and smell like one, too.  It’s not often I get together with that crew though and it’s one of those nights I don’t have to worry about driving home nor worry about how late to stay because my designated driver might want to go home.  It’s win-win for everyone except for whoever owns the camp because there is a 50/50 shot of at least some of my bodily fluids getting into some part of the camp they aren’t supposed to.  Nature of the beast.  I apologize in advance.

That’s all the brain squeezings I’ve got for you today.  Have a good weekend, kids.

So, how has your week been?

Let me just start with this picture:

That was this past Thursday.  We live on top of a hill and the river lives on the bottom of the hill.  Apparently the parking brake decided to quit or go into retirement without telling us and this is what happened.  Thankfully this pic was taken after my wife got into the car and tried to back it up onto land.  Otherwise it would be a little further out into the wet still.  It is now the following Wednesday and the insurance company  just called to let us know that the car will be considered totaled.  Apparently water and all the electronicky gadgets get along like Crisco and rock climbers so it is the insurance company’s practice to put floater cars out to pasture.  
I would have liked to take pictures of the tow truck taking it out of the river, but I had to chip in and get into the driver’s side and steer it as they hauled it out.  This just in: river water is cold in October.  I could hardly tell which way the tow guys were telling me to turn the wheel because they were laughing so hard.
So now I am caught in limbo.  Begging rides home from work from my coworkers who only just two weeks ago stopped bringing me home after my truck was being repaired.  I have to wait to coordinate several factors before I lay money down on a new vehicle because I recently went through a pretty rough patch of life that left me in bankruptcy.  Whee.  No pity.  My choices.  I did it.  No shame.  It’s just going to add about twenty-leven more steps to the car buying process which was already a process that I thought was akin to having an impacted molar removed through my ear canal.
On Friday, I found a dry rotted log in my log cabin.  I was hoping to use my coaching check this coming Spring to rebuild my porch, but instead I will use it to try to keep my house from falling over.  What’s another year with a cinder block porch anyways?   Nobody likes them fancy folk with them there wood porches.
Onto Monday and my daughter insisted on becoming sick…again.  Rotten kid.  Sure she knows her times tables and thinks I’m the greatest dad who ever owned a Ford Focus-raft, but I had to stay home from work last Mon and Tues to tend to her after taking the previous Thursday off to tend to wet wheels.  Kid’s cough sounds like someone giving Godzilla the Heimlich.  It’s downright painful to listen to.   Kim took over kid duty for me on Wednesday and we are going to split Thursday so we can both still get some work done while also tending to our spawn.  Basically between the kid’s two illnesses, and the car thing, I will have burned up almost half my sick days before winter has even set in.  Not really what one would call a best-case-scenario.
Now is when it is therapeutic for me to think of a list of my blessings:
The Focus Kneivel did miss wiping out my dog who was chained in the area right through which the car caught about four feet of air before splashing down.
Kid made it to the doctor’s today so hopefully she will be back at school by Friday.  At least she better or I’m gonna have to punch her in the belly.  I mean, hey…if the kid won’t get better, it’s time to give her some extra motivation.  I mean look at her:  
That’s not even her posing.  That’s just what she looks like if I don’t feed her on time.
Hmmm…where was I?  Oh yeah…positives…
Just got word that the payout for the totaled S.S. Focus was higher than I anticipated so that is good.
Um…only two students got caught cheating during the days I was away from school.  *sigh*
I did get a partial workout in today which I haven’t done in ten days.  
Somehow this isn’t cheering me up.  Perhaps a good night’s sleep will do the trick?  
Check in with you later folks.  

The best defense against an anonymous detractor? ….blogging

This post is a direct follow up to my last post.  This here free bloggity thingy also lets my facebook friends know when I create a new blog post.  I am fortunate enough that some of my past students wrote some unbelievable things about me.  Most days I try to do my best and most days I’m pretty happy if I can go to bed and say to myself, “Ha, I fooled them again and no one found out I don’t really know what the hell I am doing.”  Apparently, by hook or by crook I’m not a total failure.  I re-post these comments from facebook not to brag, but in direct defense of my teaching practices which were called into question and prompted my preceding post.  All of these have come from past students. All of them were unsolicited and I did get permission from each before posting.

Aside from trying to prove a point to some naysayers within the community, I really honestly give each of these folks a heartfelt thank you.  I never really had a teacher in high school I ever thought enough of to say things like this about.  I should be humbled every day already by the idea that parents are trusting me with their children and… these comments…well they serve as a reminder that I should never take my job for granted.

Amber Lynn Spehar 

and when/if that person does try to contact you, please give them my name. So I can explain to them why your former students would and do want to remain friends with you after gratuation. So that one of your former students can talk about the first time they sat in your class room and actually had her mind opened up to a thought process she could have never conceived of before having an open and honest discussion with you. You say that you hope you can reach your students and touch their lives, well YES SIR, YES SIR YOU HAVE. I’m sure that there are many other students that would agree with me, I’m sure they have had a different experience with you that had a very similar outcome. You Sir, are a rare and dying breed of Teachers. *starting applause*

*******************************************

Adam Damaschke 

A large part of the reason I continued with the early versions of my novel was because you made us write entries in our journals every week in preparation for our Senior paper. It made me write, it gave me a deadline, and your comments, and teachings, helped me develop my story and intimacy with my characters. I don’t think even I know exactly how big a part you were in me finishing my first novel and will be as I continue to work on my trilogy and whatever else in the future.

And to whoever complained, get a life. Please. Your children are in capable hands.

*******************************************

Kaitlyn Kirby 

Loved the blog, dale. First of all, being able to free-write at any given moment has been a key part of my success at the university level. If I ever had to force my self to sit down and write while hastily pulling things out of my head, I wouldn’t have received the scholarships, achievements, or grades that I have thus far. Writing is a critical skill that I don’t feel many other teachers have emphasized. So, bravo for seeing the bigger picture and motivating students to attain that finesse. That shows you aren’t just pushing students through the system. Second of all, touching on the level of respect, your students,former and current, do hold you in the highest regards. Not many other teachers are willing to give that level of respect to students and allow them the privilege of being treated like adults. I think that plays a large role in the transition of child to adult. I know I personally responded better to that method than other teachers who expected me to never make mistakes. I think the fact that students still like to keep in contact with you speaks VOLUMES of your character. The student-teacher relationships that continue past graduation is what makes Carney so different from other public schools.

*******************************************


Jon Damaschke But in all seriousness, your classes were great. One of my favorite things about them were the journals you assigned us to write in. (I don’t remember if it was one class or more than one.) There is nothing better for an antisocial kid, especially in the weird-est time in his life. The opportunity of opening up without the fear of judgement and/or embarrassment made my life a little easier.

Now the only thing left for me to do is say the secret word and watch as my secretly brainwashed Carney grads all rise up in legion to burn and pillage in my name and fetch for me all the neighborhood cats.  *sinisterly rubbing hands together*

Muuuuhahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa*cough**hack**ahem*haaaahaaahaahaahahahahahaa!


Ok…where do I start?

Here’s the deal. One of the first things you learn as a teacher of readin’ and writin’ is to be a good model. Hence when it’s readin’ time…if the story isn’t going to be read aloud in class, a good thing for a teacher to do is read. When it’s writin’ time, a good thing for a teacher to do is write.
Everyone with me on that one?
Good.
Let’s move on.
Every fifth hour M, T, R, F…the first fifteen minutes of seminar are meant for sustained, silent, writing. That means the kids don’t talk. They write. For fifteen minutes. They write about something, they write about nothing…but they write. What they write is their business. This is their one opportunity to write without the almighty red pen swooping down on their stuff and criticizing what they write. They can write in slang, morse code, Swahili or Pig Latin and their content is just that…THEIR content.
The whole idea is that, eventually, maybe some of them will get the idea, “Y’know…that writing stuff isn’t so bad.” Plus, the more you write…the better you tend to get at it. Once a week my students and I get together and share some of the stuff we wrote by reading it aloud. Of course the kids are told, that if they happened to write some thoughts down that are not school appropriate, then be sure to keep that log entry to themselves and do not pick that one to read aloud.
So, I do what a good teacher is supposed to do and model what I want the kids to do at the same time I ask the kids to do it. Even though I often want to check papers, clean my desk, get something ready for later…I put all that aside for 15 minutes and I write….just like I ask my kids to do.
Long ago I quit trying to write with a pencil. My pencil just doesn’t move fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. I compose on a keyboard these days. This year instead of composing on a word document, I have been composing on this here lovely free blog site. The idea being when I don’t write, I tend to stagnate creatively and what better motivation/learning experience to keep writing then to put my writing out there for the public to approve or disprove of. When I am done writing, I click post. Then a little pop-up window asks me if I want to let my facebook friends know I just created a blog post and I click “approve” then I go back to my work life as normal.
Well since my writings tend to be time stamped when they go online, apparently some community members felt the need to complain that some of the things I wrote appeared during school time and that some of it is school inappropriate. I did not post the items to a school related site. I did not tell the kids where they could find my school inappropriate stuff. In admittance of guilt, I have to say I did indeed have those thoughts I wrote about and I had them on school time. Damn me all to hell.
Here’s some facts for whoever is concerned:
1) I do not read the school inappropriate posts aloud in school with my students. Just like many of their thoughts get to stay private in their writing logs, I get to choose which audience gets to see my more PG 13 posts. A school setting is not the appropriate time and place to share those with students.
2) I am a grown ass man. I cuss. I drink. Neither do I make a habit of engaging in while I am at work. Did you think that part of becoming a teacher is that someone took a hot poker and burned out the parts of my brain that had school inappropriate thoughts? For the record, most upper high school students curse more than I do. That’s a fact.
3) I do not friend students on facebook nor on any other social networking site until after they have graduated for many reasons. Society considers them adults at that time and so I feel free to friend them from graduation on and even then, I only do it when they request it. Believe it or not, not all my ex-students want to be my friend on facebook. Go figure.
4) Once I post my thoughts on the internet, if you don’t want your kids to see the content…then it’s up to you to keep them from trying to find my content. By the way, if you think that my blog is the worst place your kid has ever found on the internet, then it is time for you to take a reality check. I am not spouting racist slurs, nor advocating suicide solutions. Last I checked, I am allowed to be funny and provocative on the internet and still be a teacher.
I am aware that some folks might be more comfortable with the idea that I come into school and present for their children the idea that I am a perfect human being. That I do no wrong inside school, nor outside school. That every time a student fucks up, I talk to them from my arrogant place on high and pretend that I have never lied, never messed up, and never made an ass of myself.
Yeah, that doesn’t work for me. I am imperfect and I don’t ever pretend to be anything other than who I am. Of course I take care to be professional at work, but I don’t ever try to put myself on a pedestal higher than the student. Make no doubt, I am in charge and I get the final say, but I think one of the reasons I have so few discipline problems with my students is because I do what I say and I don’t pretend to be who I am not. As some of the kids might say, I try to “be real.”
As a student there was nothing I hated more than a teacher who tried to be holier-than-thou M-F from 8:30-3:30…then I would see him trashed out of his mind night after night and cheating on his wife. From that point on, I didn’t believe a thing that teacher ever told me.
So basically, I tell kids outright that I behave differently in different environments as do we all, but I am still pretty much me. I don’t tell deer camp jokes at funerals and I don’t always say excuse me when I fart in my easy chair when I’m alone in my living room, but I’m still the same guy. I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not, because it’s pretty easy to figure out when someone is full of shit in that department, and once kids figure out you are full of shit…good luck getting them to ever listen to you again.
So I guess, what I am saying is I try to be a good example to kids in and out of school because I like kids and my desire for my pupil-kids is the same as my desire for my biological daughter. If I have an impact on your life, I want it to be a positive one and heaven help me…I want you to have a better life than I have had.
Pretty simple stuff.
I also realize that some folks believe that 8:19-3:25 should always be solely devoted to teaching duties. I agree for the most part, but let it be known that I spend no less than half of my “duty free” lunch periods every week taking care of things for my kids at school. My average time of arrival at school is 7:30 a.m. in the first semester and 7:00 in the second semester. So if folks really want to split hairs about how I spend my time, I guess we can do that.
Maybe from now on I can get to school at 8:15 every morning and leave at 3:35 which is allowable according to my contract. Then I can lock my door at noon hour and ignore everything happening in the building until my “duty hours” begin again.
But I won’t do that. Why? Because I like kids. It means I’m going to show up tomorrow (Saturday) morning to help with the cross country meet. It means I’m going to teach students to the best of my ability even if it means reading “classic” literature over again during summer months. It means if a student wants to make up his test during noon hour or after school, or just wants to chat with me that’s okay, too. It means I will spend fourteen hours here in a single day during the track fundraiser. It means I will go to continuing education classes/meetings/seminars/conferences every year. I will be here for anything Paul asks me to be here for. I will be here for Halloween carnivals, blood drives, and tailgates. I will be behind the counter at basketball games keeping clock and all of it on my own time.
So, to conclude an entry that is far too long and far too boring for most of the regular visitors to my blog, whoever complained to my boss should have come to talk to me first. My email and contact number are on the school website and I do know it’s the taxpayers who butter my bread. If you would have spoken to me first, I could have straightened everything out and explained exactly what my philosophies are about and how I do things. We more than likely could have resolved everything amicably. We may have agreed to disagree or we may have become friends. We’ll never know, now. Instead, whoever it was decided just to complain to my boss without knowing his or her butt from a hole in the ground on the matter.
Hey, thanks for making my day a little bit shittier. Have a good weekend.
P.S. I am currently at home after using some comp hours while an installer works on my house. I hope it’s okay with you that I am posting this on my blog during school hours even though I am at home. I have an idea for you. Try to look for something good our staff does instead of trying to nitpick. It’s a lot easier to catch them doing good things if you are willing to look for it. On the other hand…hey..thanks for reading and keeping up to date on my blog!

Forests and Trees

Every so often I have to remind myself of what is and isn’t important in my life.  I did some whining last week about running around like a madman trying to make my house look like something humans lived in before my in-laws arrived.  I was partially successful except I never did get that fresh sawdust put down in my sleeping pen.   A friend of mine sent me a snippet of poem which I have been unable to find in its full version.  In brief, it said, your kids are only young once so quit worrying about cleaning so much and spend time with them because soon they will move out, but the dust will always be there.

It was a nice reminder that I sometimes keep losing sight of what is important in life. Sometimes I get so focused on the jobs at hand, that I get nearsighted and forget to enjoy my time with my family.  I get so upset and guilty over all the little things I am not accomplishing that I forget to appreciate when  I do have a moment on the couch with my wife and daughter.  Or better yet, how about I quit worrying about some of those minor jobs and make more time for my family?   How about I quit worrying about the dust bunnies…actually they have been there long enough that they have probably mutated into some sort of monstrous fanged dustensteins by now…doh!  See there I go again…punishing myself…stop it.  Bad, wedge.  Bad.

So, I am going to try my best for the rest of this day to stop seeing only the obstacles and try instead to see the path around them…right after I change the sheets on Alanis’ bed…no…wait…before that…wait…no, I won’t change them at all and instead read a book with her…after she does her homework…which won’t be until after cheer practice…then she has to take a shower tonight…and we have to pack our lunches for school tomorrow…and that puts us at about 8:45 p.m….

*sigh*  This is going to be even harder than I thought.