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3.5 year hiatus over? April 20, 2012

Posted by Administrator in Personal.
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For numerous reasons, I may be getting back into this, due to the need to write, and to write in a forum that isn’t automatically public. Musings on Facebook and Twitter may be forthcoming, including one fascinating rant I received from an ex-student, whose hostility was surprising and upsetting.


Levels of Bibliophilia October 14, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Personal, Polls.
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What Kind of Reader Are You?

Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm



You’re probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people’s grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader



Literate Good Citizen



Book Snob






Fad Reader



What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Heh. No surprise, I guess.

Mondays. . . October 8, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Idiots, Personal.
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. . .so I am walking this morning, balancing my iPod on a pile of clothes to be loaded into my backpack this AM, and naturally, JUST as I am at the stair banister, the iPod -along with the not-even-two-week-old, top-of-the-line headphones-slips off the pile, towards the banister, and over the edge, down 12 feet to crash onto the wood floor.

Headphones rendered toast.

I LOATHE Mondays.

Musings on my marriage September 23, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Family, Personal.

. . .he wondered if this was simply how marriage was supposed to be, calm and respectful. But no. No. There had to be a melody line that grabbed you, not just harmony and chorus.

– Character Larry Starcek musing on his marriage in Scott Turow’s Reversible Errors

Turow is one of my favorite authors, and as far as I am concerned is the master of telling stories about the law. Part of his mastery stems from the fact that he personalizes his characters so well, and they all have feet of clay, just like the rest of us.

Some themes repeat themselves in the work: the crippled loved one (Reversible Errors and Personal Injuries (Arthur’s schizophrenic sister Susan in RE, Robbie Feaver’s ALS-stricken wife in PI); the tough, grimly realistic cop (Larry in RE, Lip in Presumed Innocent); and most notably, the marriages damned by infidelity, disinterest or hidden secrets, such as Talmadge and Muriel’s marriage in RE, Rusty and his wife in Presumed Innocent, Sandy and Clara Stern [as well as their neighbors and brother] in The Burden of Proof, as well as Robbie Feaver in Personal Injuries.

The quote above gives a typical illustration of how Turow depicts marriage in his novels; the spouses are rarely in love (he is still one of my favorite authors in spite of, rather than because of, this). If they are, such as the Sterns or the Feavers, something fundamental has crippled the marriage; in Feaver’s case, his wife’s terminal illness; in Stern’s case, Clara’s suicide brought about from the shame emanating from her lone infidelity. Turow consistently paints marriage in very bleak terms. And sorry to say, I get the impression that many marriages in America are along the unhappy -or worse, just tolerable- lines.

But they’re not all that way. Mine certainly isn’t.

Turow and others keep suggesting that the patina of love in a marriage dies away early on. That has not been the case with Nina and I.

We both work at our local Catholic high school. I am there all day, she comes in during the afternoons. She arrived as I was monitoring lunch (which I can do from a table in the cafeteria). To this day, she still whips MY head around, as well as some of the younger males in the room.

Granted, being on the downside of 40, she cannot present that sort of “fresh” beauty that is often exhibited by the girls 25 years her junior she teaches, but she looks very good. Better than any other woman within 15-20 years of her age. And if you factor in the reality that she has had seven children, you would say she is impossibly beautiful.

“Hot” is the current adolescent label. That’s Nina.

And where does she sit? Right across from me. And what do we do, in that cafeteria loaded with adolescence?

We flirt with each other. Look, tease, pass innuendo. What fun it all is. And is it helpful for the marriage? You bet.

I tell you this; none of Turow’s characters are sufficiently enamored with their respective spouses that they flirt in a public diner. Anytime Turow’s characters flirt, you may be sure that they are either in some ways being unfaithful, or they are unattached and “on the prowl.”

We’re married, and we flirt. And I tell you this; there is no one else on this earth I would sooner flirt with; not even any of those fresh-faced high school girls. They won’t look near as good as Nina 20 years down the road, and none of them have her heart and brain.

Besides, she’s my best friend, on top of it all.


Ooo. you make me live
whatever this world can give to me
It’s you, you’re all I see
Ooo, you make me live now honey
Ooo, you make me live
You’re the best friend
that I ever had
I’ve been with you such a long time
You’re my sunshine
And I want you to know
That my feelings are true
I really love you
You’re my best friend


Right now, my wife is off in Connecticut, tending to her ridiculous mother (that may or may not be the subject of another post. The woman has pissed me off more than anyone else has in probably 10 years or more. Just being a self absorbed idiot, and if she does not make it right, my intention is to confront her and deliberately humiliate her. She’s worn out her welcome, and that’s all for now on that) and our three oldest kids at the wedding of Nina’s niece, followed by a short sojourn in NYC to see the sites. I am missing Nina terribly, can’t sleep at night, bored silly during the day.

I need my wife back. My lover. My partner. My best friend. I can’t see how marriages collapse. Yes, we have had to work to get here, but haven’t you ever worked in some task, and despite the sweat and the aches and the time involved, you found yourself enjoying the work, particularly if you’re working WITH someone?

That’s marriage, a genuine labor of love.

School has started. . . August 27, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Blogging, Education, Personal.
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. . .and consequently, so has the weariness factor.

Coupled with the fact that my work computer went belly-up two days before school started, swallowing four years of collected work on its way down into the depths AND eliminating my access to student grade and info databases -thereby giving me a TON of additional work just to get back to square one- there won’t be a whole lotta blogging going on, at least not until I get this ancient laptop up to speed and get my stamina back.

All I want to do now when I get home is go to sleep.

And the homework hasn’t even really started yet.

At least my students are pleasant, for the most part. I kinda have to be nasty with my son’s class. . .he has some world-class knotheads in there, resulting in my being a lot less fun and a lot more cranky in the classroom. Oh well. Such is the teaching life.

And the hard-disk data WAS retrieved, thanks for asking.  My four years of work is back in a safe area of cyberspace.

Wiped. . . May 18, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Idiots, Personal.
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. . .exhausted, burnt out.

Rough tally of events:

Thursday:  5:30, roll out of bed.

6:00 Hit road for Spokane.

9:30:  Arrive Spokane, watch kids in music competition.  COrrect papers during few dull moments.

1:00:  Hit road for home, at very high speed.

3:15:  Arrive 15 minutes late to conduct job interview.

4:30.  Fall onto bed for 15 minute nap.

4:45: Pile kids into car, pick up dinner, back to work to help set up and  judge “talent show”, requiring me to be on stage and ad-libbing for almost 3 straight hours.

9:30 PM.  Arrive home, fall into coma.


5:30: Roll out of bed.

6:30: Arrive at work, find three solid hours of backed-up work waiting for me.

9:30-2:00: Teach classes, pretty much non-stop.

3:30:  Must leave work, and bike at top speed to an arts show that I am “volunteering” my time at to run the sound.

Oh yes, and that show:  We open TONIGHT, having NEVER RUN A TECH REHEARSAL YET.  This is a combination earthquake, tornado and train wreck scheduled to happen all at once.  And the women running it -one in particular- are utter shrikes.  I am in this only because my wife -whom these shrikes have been treating little better than a much-loathed indentured servant- begged me to help her out.

The students today wonder why I have bloodshot eyes and why I’m not smiling at ANYONE.

I can handle single 16 hour days on occasion.  Two in a row, especially with one that has the shite associated with it like today, tends to render me a wee bit cranky.  There is a limit to the amount of stress and grouchy disregard for my wife and I that I can take, and I am pushing right up against it just now.

The Battle of the Bulge. . . April 30, 2007

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. . .gets increasingly discouraging.

I’m past the grim cusp of 40, and the days of being able to snarf down 4000 calories fo whatever looked good with impunity are long, long gone. Yet the habits and desires remain.

Fortunately, there is the Specialized HardRock:

This is a picture of the 2007 model; I drive a 2002. 11 miles most everyday. God only knows what I’d look like if I wasn’t doing this.

Road Rage, Mk III March 26, 2007

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As I say below:

So, my question becomes, when is this shit going to end?????

The answer is, now, because none of the f*cking cars work now.

Yep. Now the Toyota is no longer road worthy. Just today (of COURSE it’s today, in fact, now two hours ago) its panel lights and -more importantly- its brake lights just went tits up. People behind us now have no idea that we are trying to stop.

So, let’s recap.

Four cars:

  1. Mercury POS. Dead water pump, dead head gasket. Toast. Drive 10 miles and watch the pistons burn out. I sure don’t know how to fix these things.
  2. Big Ford van. Leaky gas tank. Can you say “BOOM”?
  3. Crown Victoria. Destroyed front suspension. Can’t drive 3 inches without tearing up pavement. Towed.
  4. Toyota Corolla. Mashed driver’s door. No brake lights. A rear-end accident waiting to happen. Cops are just lining up to give me a ticket for driving a dangerous vehicle. I’ve messed with the fuses. The fault burns out 15 amp fuses. It stands up to 30 amps, but won’t operate with the larger fuse. So, it’s the shop for the Toyota as well.

And that’s all, folks. Four vehicles, none of them drivable. No money to fix them. I’m gonna buy me a f*cking rickshaw and use that to drive the family around.

I want to know what I did do get God so pissed off with me.

(YES, I know that is faulty theology. I’m being angrily ironic here.)

Upon reflection. . . March 26, 2007

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. . .the post below needs some clarification.

  1. This failure of the front suspension on the Crown Vic was cataclysmic. If it had happened on the freeway, a very serious accident could have occured. Fortunately,
  2. I had decided at the last minute to drive this morning, in our Toyota. Meaning that my son wasn’t driving this car, and if it had failed on the freeway, he could have gotten severely hurt.
  3. My wife, who was driving the thing, was almost entirely parked and not moving, when the front end went PLONK on the ground.

So, there is the gratitude that comes from having one’s health and that of the loved ones intact.

Still, it’d be nice to have these cars stop blowing up on me.

WTF is going ON here???????????????????? March 26, 2007

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My house no longer resembles a used car lot.

It now resembles a frickin’ JUNKYARD!

As of January 1, I had four functioning vehicles, all of them working just fine. Since then:

  1. The POS Mercury Sable has blown a water pump AND a head gasket. It is toast. Unfixable. I am writing it off.
  2. The Toyota Corolla has had a faulty alternator, AND the driver’s door got rear-ended, so it has a HUGE dent in it. At least it drives. But it looks terrible. And to get it repaired earlier, I had to rely on the charity of others (at least that charity was unlooked-for).
  3. The big Ford van has now developed a leak in the gas tank. Bad news.
  4. And finally, now the Crown Victoria, the only real thing I inherited from my dad, which had previously been running like a champ, has apparently dropped its entire front suspension onto the ground in front of my kids’ school. So it sits, apparently sitting as though the front end resembles a swaybacked horse. God alone knows how much that might cost to fix.

So, my question becomes, when is this shit going to end????? I need frickin’ cars to make this family work. I CANNOT afford new cars; at this point, I can’t really afford even a halfway decent used one, and every damned car I own is in some way falling apart or being rendered unusable.

God, how about a little break here, hmmm? How about providing for decent running stock, and I’ll keep striving to feed the kids you’ve blessed me?

How’s that sound?


Y’know, this whole “God will visit penances upon you during Lent” is a monstrous PAIN IN THE ASS when liberally applied.   I’ve had enough of it already.