MerryHappyHolidaze.

I remember one especially sensitive group years ago saying that we should say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”  Just one group.  Since then, social networks and my email has blown up with all sorts of communiques about how saying “Happy Holidays” makes me an anti-American, communist, gun hating, PC bitch and maybe if I loved freedom more, I wouldn’t be such a jerkwad.

That being said…not once…not a single time have I ever wished someone a Merry Christmas and been shut down.  Not once have I said, “Merry Christmas” and someone informed me they were insulted.  Is it possible that the entire thing about people hating it when you tell them “Merry Christmas” is made up? 

Let’s just ignore the absolute inanity of getting upset when someone wishes us well in the “wrong way.”  Let’s concentrate on the hypocrisy of negatively responding to someone telling people how to wish people a good holiday season by telling people…uh…how to wish people a good holiday season.

Don’t we have better things to worry about?  Ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper, “Happy Holidays” from me, meant I hope you had a good time during the part of the year with multiple holidays.  It still means that to me and yet I get shut down now when I tell people “Happy Holidays.” 

Me:  “Happy Holidays!”

Them:  “Happy Holidays!?!  Noooo, nooo, noo…it’s ‘Merry Christmas,’ bro!” 

Me:  “Okay, Merry Christmas and I hope your dog vomits on your carpet, you get diagnosed with cancer of the face, and your wife leaves you for a Quiet Riot cover band roadie on New Year’s….but your Christmas…yeah…have a good one of those”

Grumpy-Cat---Wish-You-A-Merry-Christmas

 

It kind of makes me want to take off my pointy little elf shoes and beat people about the face and ears with them.  I have never experienced someone getting pissy when I tell them “Merry Christmas.”  I have experienced people getting in my face for saying “Happy Holidays.”  So…I ask you…who is PC?  Who are the sensitive ones?  Who are the ones really being Christmas penises about this whole thing?

Happy Holidays!  I suggest we all just chill out a little bit.

Of Spring Breaks and Failed Goals

Of Spring Break and Failed GoalsAnother Spring Break has come and gone.  I had high hopes to accomplish a lot of catch up cleaning, working out and taking photos.  As it is, I didn’t accomplish any of those goals.  Now here is where I consistently mind-fuck myself.  I did more cleaning, more working out, and more photography than I would have if I hadn’t set those goals for myself prior to the break, but I did not fully hit any single goal I internally set for myself.  So I should feel a little good, right?  That’s a partial success after all…isn’t it?   I mean I should feel like I am not a total loss as a human being.  I should just reload, and try harder the next time.  That would be normal.  Instead, all I feel is that I should have done more cleaning.  I should have spent more time with the kid.  I should have worked out more than I did, but since I didn’t do as much of any single one of those things as I think I should have, I feel I failed on all fronts.

It’s not like attempting those meager goals were the only good things I did.  I played some board games with the kid.  Played more fetch with the dog to help him try to work off his winter weight.  By the way, anyone want to do that for me?  Just come to my house and throw a frisbee for me 30-50 times and make me go get it.  Maybe that will help me shed the extra human’s worth of weight I carry these days.  I also made sure to have hot meals ready for my wife when she got home from work.  Even got up in the a.m. to make her a hot breakfast before she left a couple times.  The house was at least marginally cleaner every day when she came home than it was when she left.  The kid and I went for some good walks and spent some good one on one time together.  Met my mom for brunch one day which wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been on break.  I was partially successful in cutting back on my alcohol intake.  I was near completely successful in not spending any money that didn’t go directly towards bills save a $10 splurge on a video game.  …and none of those things makes me feel better.  I should have done more.  I should have been better.  A better husband.  A better father.  A better dog owner.  A better athlete.  A better son.

Actual photo of me over Spring Break

Does anyone else deal with this?   I probably need to work on something, but I’m not sure what.  The wife suggested I go perhaps do some short term cycle of an anti-depressant just to get through a rough patch and see where that takes me.  I’m not sure that’s the right thing. Never been much of a pill guy.

Feeling pretty insulated from the world lately.  Almost completely disengaged from the horrors of politics and the attacks on personal freedom our last two presidents seem to think is what they were put on this earth to accomplish.  Those things made me want to get up and fight the last couple years.  They made me want to talk to other people and get them outraged, too.  Now, I don’t care.  Call it fatalism, pessimism, apathy… call it whatever you want, but I don’t think anything is changing in this country until Civil War II and that is simply too big a horror for me to contemplate…and so I don’t.  I don’t contemplate it at all.  I pretend it isn’t happening.  Sounds healthy, I know.

 I did not have anywhere near as much fun throwing the frisbee as this guy apparently had.

In all my soul searching, in all my meandering, in all my internal whining, in all my quest to find some kind of meaning to something…I am finding nothing.  That in itself isn’t even really the problem.  The problem, I realize in writing this, is I don’t care enough to find it anymore.  There is one thing, ONE, I do know.   I know lots of crappier humans than me that I treat far better than I treat myself.

Sooner or later, I have to fight my way out of this.  I will.  I know I will.  This funk just feels a little deeper and a whole lot longer than almost all of my previous lows and I am known for being one of those high and low kinda fellas.  If you could chart my biorhythms throughout my life I’m pretty sure it would look like this:

I specialize in obvious analogies.

I don’t ever post to whine.  I am not expecting or calling for sympathy.  Pretty much every bit of this mental dreck is what I’ve pulled in on myself.  Just sometimes when I admit what is going on to myself and write it down, it is a first step in ….um….taking a first step.  It might move me microns in the right direction.  I’ve always tried to be honest on this blog.  *chuckle* only been partially successful in that, too.  Darn me all to heck.  Despite where I’m at in my head, feel free to respond with whatever “wedge is such a wussy” jokes you have.  They would probably make me smile.  Plus, I kinda deserve it.

Ways to entertain yourself in an elevator.

1.       Hum, America the Beautiful.  Encourage others to join in.
2.       Wear a bulky, well used Army fatigue jacket.  Act nervous.  Ask other passengers if they know how to turn a detonator off. 
3.       Hit the emergency stop button.  Yell, “Nobody move!” and act like you just lost a contact lens.  Do not let them re-start the elevator until you have found it.
4.       Wear a dark suit and dark glasses.  Talk into your sleeve like a secret service agent.  Loudly claim you have spotted the suspect and go on to physically describe one of the passengers on the elevator.  Verify the sniper is in position for when the elevator doors open.
5.       Wear a track suit.  Jog in place the entire time.  If someone asks, tell them you are preparing for the Stationary Olympics.
6.       Bring in a realistic doll in a baby carriage.  When the elevator doors open, push the baby carriage out.  You stay on and continue to ride the elevator.   This works well with escalators as well.
7.       Set up a popcorn machine in the back corner.  Sell snacks.
8.       Stand outside the doors with a scale and a clip board.  Weigh people as they get in.  Nod concernedly.   Shrug your shoulders.  Tell them good luck as they get in. This helps if you have some sort of safety inspector or maintenance type outfit.
9.       Set a portable camping toilet inside the elevator.  Pull down your pants and sit on it while reading a newspaper.  When the doors open, yell at the people that you would like some privacy.
10.   Flash a badge to all incoming passengers.  Claim to be the Elevator Marshall.  Proceed to question them about their destination, business, and if they have anything to declare. 
11.   Ask each passenger individually, “You smell that?”
12.   When the elevator is fully loaded, say to everyone, “I suppose you’re wondering why I called you all here…”
13.   Wear a t-shirt with the words “Professional Pocket Pool Player” screen printed on it.  Put your hands in your pockets.  Go to town.  If someone interrupts you, explain you are practicing for League night.


Two Random Bits of Brain Cud.

What?  You think I will be yammering on about the Pistorious case or something equally compelling like Octomom’s ascent into porn?  Oh, noooooo.

I could give two shits about Alec Baldwin.  I really could, but after watching this video, I do know I could never be a celebrity.  Check out this link and come back to me.

Alec Baldwin trying to walk to the bagel shop.

Apparently ol’ Alec may have uttered some very unkind things and verbally threatened to strangle a reporter or two on his way to his local bagel shop.  C’mon…who hasn’t done this at one time or another?   For the rest of this rant, I will need you to imagine air quotes around the word “reporter(s)” every time I use it.  I do not know where the air quotes on my keyboard are yet.  You will have to muddle through until I do find them.

I don’t know if Alec really did say what those reporters claimed he said and I don’t care.  If someone was all over me like these people were in this video they better be ready to defend themselves.  I like how the video opens on Alec at the :12 mark pushing a reporter away after right after the lead in reporter commented on how touchy Baldwin appeared to be.  You have to listen carefully, but Alec says, “You have to back up.  You’re hitting me with the micropho….” at which point he is cut off by said reporter telling Baldwin not to touch him.  Immediately after Alec pushes the reporter away, the intrepid newsman takes that as an invitation to play the famous “I’m not touching you!  I’m not touching you!” game that we all used to play in the backseat of the car during long family trips precisely to drive our friends/brothers/sisters ay-fucking nuts.

 

Actual photo of gaggle of reporters awaiting Baldwin’s appearance outside his apartment.
By the time we get to the :35 second mark of that video, keep in mind Baldwin didn’t even show up in the video until about the :12 second mark, I see Baldwin adjust his gait and the direction he walks while being touched by reporters no less than five times.  At what point is this harassment?  Isn’t there some sort of law about respecting someone’s personal space and the right to not be touched by other people?  When does he get to defend himself?  At the end of the video Baldwin is literally running away from the reporter who is running alongside Baldwin and STILL hitting him with that microphone.  I don’t really care about celebrities and I’m not even sure why I watched this link, but I do know that someone in this video needs a good oral fist enema and it isn’t Baldwin.
Kind of a cute cop in that above picture.  A cute cop who took racy photos of herself wearing her Tucson Police T-shirt and sent them to her boyfriend, who showed them to his buddies.  I have no idea if the t-shirt was an official part of the uniform or whatnot, but it still seems like um…oh….about as smart as building a kite out of porcelain.  Far be it from me to try to discourage women from disseminating self-made porn, but just  how stupid can you be and still make the rank of lieutenant in that Tucson Police shop?

I’m glad she didn’t lose her job.  She did get demoted from lieutenant back down to sergeant.  I am also assuming that the boyfriend who couldn’t keep her pics for his own private fap fodder has now been reduced to the rank of single.  I also hope he applies for a transfer so she isn’t still his boss.

Lastly, I would like to wrap up with an excellent rendition of Poe’s “The Raven” because I can:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLSmhpwLdEQ

 

I haven’t blogged in a year!

Well, consider this another re-set.

Here is what has been happening in my life since I last appeared here:

Hello fat…we meet again.  Heavier than ever.  Don’t know why I do this roller coaster.  Probably some kind of mental impairment.  Either that, or the slowest suicide technique ever.   Time to get my crap together.  No worries.  This blog will never consist of a daily workout routine update.  I do that other places.

Politics…I spent a considerable amount of time trying to stay informed about the candidates in the last Presidential election.  Way too much time.  Couldn’t help it.  I think the last election was a big one.  I felt it necessary to keep informed and to inform others whenever assorted lies were posted.  I was like an unofficial Obama campaign worker. Moreso because I thought the way of Romney lie madness and less because I really, really like Obama.

Kid…has passed from the “kid” stage to the “girl” stage and constantly has stuff going on.  Quick warning to boys:  Even though I am out of shape I am still capable of making you taste your own colon by reaching into your yap and turning you inside out.  Alanis’ first tat will read, “Date At Your Own Risk.”  That shit isn’t gonna be some temporary henna crap either.  It’s going to be big and bold and permanent…kinda like your headstone.

Summer illness…If you haven’t figured it out, I’m a teacher and I spent almost the entirety of my ten weeks away from school being sick.  Big problems with my C-PAP machine and even bigger problems with idiot doctors.

Summer heat…  If you want to see a cranky S.O.B. keep the summer heat cranked up past 80 and humidity hanging right around 85%….all summer long.  I did not function well in heat before I got put on thyroid meds and I function even worse in the heat since I got put on it.  Not whining.  Just fact.  At that humidity level I can begin to smell my own balls through my shorts about fifteen minutes after my last shower. In the winter, that takes at least a couple hours.  The entire summer was like a pocketful of hell for me.  My cure?  Vodka.  Lots of it.  It didn’t help, but if I drank enough of it, I would at least forget how miserable yesterday had been.

House…still some repairs needing to be made…all of which will have to wait until after our bankruptcy is over in a couple years.  I think I’ve blogged about that before.  So somewhere in there I just decided I had to keep our crappy broken down house cleaner to try to cover up the fact that everything is broken/ugly/stained up.  I have actually been mostly successful in this.  Still not Better Homes and Gardens stuff, but the dust only piles up to a quarter inch before I take care of it which is at least 3/8 of an inch improvement. The major casualty of this has been the basement which I’m pretty sure is going to call Hoarders itself in another month or two.

Cooking…Got into cooking kinda big time again.  It’s probably my biggest hobby at this point. I’m not sure why.  There must be something in there that makes it worth my while, but I really haven’t figured out what it is.  Probably because there is some mild positive feedback when I do it.

Work…due to many factors my work has taken up a ton more time this year.  I have six…six unique academic preps per day now and no study halls and no TA’s.  I hear about teachers elsewhere who have 2 preps per day, 2 prep periods, and 4 TA’s to help with correcting papers.  In my milder moments I am just proud that I am handling the load the best I can.  In my more bitter moments I kind of wish a death via festering boils for those teachers.  I’m not perfect.  I can get a tad cranky sometimes.  Like many others, my salary has declined quite considereably which just adds more to that whole bankruptcy stressball of “I’m two paychecks away from losing my home feeling” and that doesn’t make me feel like writing or being creative much, but that’s probably something I will have to deal with as I don’t see the situation changing in the near future. Dear  Governor Snyder:  If you could just keep your mitts out of the once solvent education fund and try not giving that money to every other program that was fucked up due to no fault of the education system…well that would be great…you ass.

Family…I don’t know.  My hermit tendencies are winning most of the time.  From what I gather, my mom looks great and is doing fine.  My sister and brother are working like crazy and no one has died recently.  At least some of those things are considered a “win.”  Wife hasn’t smothered me in my sleep.  Definitely a win on that one.

There you go.  2012 in a nutshell.  Hope to see more of you in 2013.

This is what will end up killing me.

Here is a picture of my garbage can from a couple weeks ago.  Yes, the top of my garbage can is dirty.  Keeping my garbage can lid clean enough to eat from is not a priority in my life.  If this disturbs you, feel free not to drop by any time soon.  Beyond all that, however, I’m not sure how or who decided that the appropriate place to store a folding chair was to lean it against the garbage can so that use of requisite garbage can necessitates moving the chair.

I could have taken five seconds and put the chair back where it belonged.  Yep, I coulda.  In addition to making my blood pressure elevate to levels where stepping on seal babies seems like an appropriate course of action, shit like this often makes me curious.  Mostly I wanted to know just how long I could leave that chair leaning on that garbage can, before someone else looked at it and realized that, “Oh crap! I forgot I left that there.  I will put it back now.”

Yeah, that would have been a cool experiment, except I could only put up with it for three days.  Yes, apparently I was the only person in my house to throw anything away for three days.  Ahem *cough* bullshit* cough, cough.  For three days,  I would move the chair, throw something away, and then put the chair back on the garbage can.  So, not only am I dumbassed enough to do that to myself…to make the multiple incidents of trash disposal an exercise in patience and ridiculousness…but I also let something that would have taken seconds to fix and be done with, become the nucleus of near fusion levels of white hot anger over and over again for a span of about 72 hours.  Maybe it would have been different if the first time I discovered the chair there, I didn’t have two handfuls of eggshells and yolks in my hands.  Maybe.

I had to end the experiment after three days when it became apparent that my leaving of the chair on top of the garbage can was not having it’s intended result and it was also reducing my lifespan by weeks every time I let the situation raise my ire.  Mostly I just wanted whoever put that there to fix it.  To me folding chairs on top of garbage cans ranks right up there with storing your banana peel collection on the top step of the basement stairs.  Yep, I need to relax and not let stuff like this get to me.

Don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t about whoever left the chair there.  It’s about how I react to certain minutiae in my life and how I let it fire me up.

Recall petition

The following is a letter I intend to read at the next board meeting.  I haven’t been prolific on my blog for a while now and other things have demanded too much of my attention.  I am posting it here to the blog even though I know this is something only my local community is interested in, just as a way to get it out to the public that may not be at Monday’s board meeting.

Update 06/27/2011:  In true English teacher fashion, I read and re-read this to realize how much the first draft was messed up.  What is now posted below is what I read at the board meeting tonight.  Just had to clean it up.

:::::::::::::

06/24/11


To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Dale Harris. I have been a teacher at Carney for fifteen years. From year one I told myself I hope I am lucky enough to retire from this place because after subbing in many different districts for years, I knew Carney was something special and I wanted to be a part of it.

I have known Linda and Cindy from the very beginning of my Carney teaching. I would like to say we have always agreed on everything, but that is not the case nor should it ever be the case. When you have passionate people who feel passionate about what they do, then disagreements are inevitable.

I have agreed and disagreed with Linda and Cindy more often than you might think over the years, but I have always respected them. Despite the fact that we didn’t always see eye to eye, they always let me talk and say my piece and never made me feel like what I had to say was unimportant. In the end, we always worked out our differences as adults and moved on to continue doing our duties the best that we knew how.

That is how it is supposed to work. Adults…with differences…working things out. I never in fifteen years ever felt that either of them has ever lied to me. In recent years, my respect for them has grown even more. I know I, for one, never realized how difficult a job the school board has and I would like to thank all on the school board for their efforts to make Carney-Nadeau Public School a better place. Linda and Cindy should be applauded for their efforts and I feel this recall petition is a travesty of justice on the highest level. If there is duplicity afoot in any of this, it is not on their part.

Dan, I have not had the privilege of knowing for very long. However what I do know impresses me. Who else moves into a new community and runs for the school board almost immediately after relocating? Does that sound like someone who is operating from a selfish standpoint?
To me it sounds like someone who cares about his community enough to try to make a difference. I count it a privilege to call Dan a friend and I think his recall, as with Linda’s and Cindy’s amounts to nothing more than sour grapes and political machinations emanating from the lowest common denominators.

These board members are to be commended for standing with their convictions. They know that the right thing to do is not always the easy thing. They are suffering publicly for doing what they in their hearts know is best…not for themselves, but for this community. They should be admired for doing the right thing in the face of public adversity. At the very least, they should be left alone to do the job the electorate asked them to do. They have done nothing wrong and I want to voice my support for them. They have earned that respect over years of service and I for one give it to them.

Sincerely,


Dale Harris
Secondary English/Health
Carney-Nadeau Public School