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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hater's Club: Know-It-All

One of my students got a job with a local landscaping company. She clashed with the owner in the first week. I don't know the details. Personality conflict, maybe. New kid on the block. Maybe someone spit in her oatmeal. Who knows.

"Oh, yeah. The owner hates you, too," my student tells me.

"Me? What the hell did I do?"

"You're a know-it-all with your column in the paper. Says you don't know shit."

I know it all.

My high school teachers would find that hiiiiiiilarious.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Southern Dust Storm

Southern pine pollen has everything smothered in yellow dust. It's not considered much of an allergen. Just a pain in the ass.

Don't bother washing the car until it's over.

Open the windows and everything gets it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

You're not Welcome, Kotter

My students never heard of Mr. Kotter.

What the hell. They're in their 20s. Okay, I get that. But still, we're talking Mr. Kottaaaaaair. The show ran in the 70s, when there was only 3 channels to watch. Four, if you count PBS. Which we didn't.

When I was 10, watching the opening scene, the guy riding the unicycle through Brooklyn and listening to Weeelcome Back, everything felt just perfect. I mean, Brooklyn was a safe place, the Sweathogs were just a bunch of fun-loving guys, and everyone was happy at the end of the day.

The reality.

None of those Sweathogs are coming to school, and if they do they're knocking the shit out of Kotter. At the very least, Woodman.

But nevermind. Fonzy can start the jukebox by punching it. No one ever got sick on Gilligan's Island. And the world is a safe place, and lions don't eat sheep and crazy assholes don't exist AND THE CLEAVERS ARE NOT DYSFUNCTIONAL.

Hallelujah and pass the clicker.

My daughter sees the same thing. Hannah Montana, iCarly, whatever. Problems solved in 22 minutes or less. The purple dinosaur loves you. The end.

This is the 80s.

The other day, she says to me, after watching an Adam Sandler movie, the 80s looked like fun. She wishes she could grow up in the 80s like I did. I told her, it's not much different. Really, it's not. The movies, they sanitize the past. I wore the same goofy clothes, but I had the same problems as you. Not much different.

Just be here, darling. It's the only place we got.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Damn near lost an eyeball.

Well, I thought. Sawdust scratched it. Didn't seem like a big deal, at first, but then it wouldn't stop watering. That night, it got worse. Got swollen, red. Felt like a grain of sand trapped under my eyelid. I couldn't sleep. It was worse when I closed my eyes.

Ever try to stop moving your eye?

So I made plans for a glass eye. Maybe get one a different color. All black, or yellow. What about laser beam red. Or maybe one like Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York, the glass eye with the bald eagle. The one he taps with the tip of a knife.

Or maybe do an eye patch. Snake Plissken was badass in a patch. I'd just look like a douche.

Just thoughts. All these.

That's the thing. It's hard to separate from thoughts. Hard to just be here. Just be present. Why do we cling to them so desperately?

Reality, lost.

My eye was fine by lunch.