Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Random Facts About Me: A Facebook Trend (now blogged)

My number was Six Hundred Thousand and Twenty-two. I repeat, the number that was given to me was 600,022.

I like ice cream

I sleep with my toes covered

I have a very large freckle under my left knee

I prefer Colgate toothpaste

The reason I prefer Colgate is not for the taste, but the highly functional lid on the tube

For several months of my college dorm life, I slept halfway in my closet to save space

I own a very, very short Christmas tree

I am actually Andy Kaufman

I know how to yoyo

I'm currently in a rap feud with Dr. Dre

I know how to spell "definitely"

I have buried over 5 dead animals on a single hill in my backyard

I was rejected from joining the Xmen because they didn't think the power to instantaneously laminate any object was particularly useful

OKK THIS IS HARD. I hope this was interesting for you. I'll try to work on doing the next 600,009 tomorrow or something

Just post if you want your number given

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mowing The Lawn - Corporate and Class Suppression, the conversation

"I hate lawns. I feel like they're just another tool for suppression."

*Laughter* “That’s rich. You’ve really gone off the deep end with this one.”

“Don’t laugh at me, you don’t know my reasoning.”

“Lay it on me.” *Laughs again*

“Who gets paid when you mow the lawn? Lawn mower companies. Retail stores. You have to buy oil and gasoline, gotta remember the Oil Gods, right? Filters for the air compressor. Bags, if you use them. New chains when those break, and they’re bound to because lawn mowers are built to break. You can prove that to yourself by visiting the lawn mower isle at the hardware store. Thousands of stupid parts that should never break. Wheels. Gears. Blades. Pullies. Motors. Then there’s hedge trimmers. Hedge trimmer plastic lines. Don’t forget the yard waste disposal. Yard waste bins. New grass seed. Soil fertilizer. Mole traps. Lots of junk just to have a lawn. So, you have that corporate end, they’re all getting paid. Then, you’ve got the Neighborhood Council pricks sitting up on their thrones deciding what is and what isn’t aesthetically appeasing. Why do they care if your lawn is an inch above their regulated line? I’ll tell you. To keep out people they don’t want. People that can’t afford to pay for all the mowing junk or someone to mow. A single mother working two minimum wage jobs does not have the money or the time to adhere to all the little stupid regulations of the Neighborhood Council. So, she won’t be allowed to live there. And, if somehow she does manage to get a house in a nice neighborhood, her rich prick neighbors are going to have all the fodder they need to harass her to keep up with stupid aesthetic regulations. She might have two crying babies, but her neighbors are still going to report her for having paint chipping off the side of her house. All of that, and a mowed lawn isn’t even that great. I understand not wanting a jungle in front of anyone’s house… snakes and mice sucks and all, but weekly fucking mowing is absolutely ridiculous. But, that’s how they get you. You have to mow every single week, or else it all goes back to the way it was. The upkeep for a lawn is a struggle that is unrelenting until winter hits (then you pay for heating). You could keep out the pests by only mowing monthly, but you won’t keep back the regulations. And many neighborhoods regulate against rock-lawns or yards that are completely covered in gardens just for aesthetic reasons. Well, they claim aesthetics, but I’d call it suppression.”

“I like the look of freshly cut lawns.”

“How nice.”

Saturday, November 2, 2013

No Vom Bre – Geno Cosplay, Halllow-hallow-ween, and David Ortiz

So, I went as Geno from Super Mario RPG for Halloween. Only a handful of people at the party knew who I was, but I had wanted to make this costume since I went to PAX Prime so I’m happy to have made it.

Super Mario… R! P! G! It is the only game just for me!

This was a great Halloween season, in general. I got to decorate the heck outof the yard, I went on hikes, went to three parties, finished editing the seconddraft of my novel, and went on a ghost-story telling tour with an old friend.

Life has been very good, actually. I’ve been enjoying the bachelor lifestyle. Playing video games without guilt. Spending no money whatsoever. Taking hikes. Horror movie marathons. Back in that post I wrote about divorce and stuff, I said I was excited about getting to date again. Well, to update on that, I have lost all excitement. I dated one girl for a while, and then I was done. I forgot how much work it takes to date someone, and, only being divorced a month now, I believe I have a right to enjoy a period of relaxed singledom. I disabled my OKcupid account, lol. I kept getting into conversation with girls that had a lot to offer and seemed to click with me, but I just had no follow-through whatsoever because I think I’m going through my apathetic phase. I just want to play Diablo 3 and have guy-type fun like that. I’m sure I’ll get over this, but… yeah. That’s the update on that account. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Brown Bag Bans?!? The Federal Government is BANNING lunches from home (for preschools) without a doctor's note?

I'm going to do a little response to this article, which has been making the rounds.

At first glance, this seems like a nightmare. Now the government is telling us we can't feed our own children? Yikes!

But, that's what the political spin is. The headlines are misleading; it's like they're trying to scare us all with some sort of crazy conspiracy. The writer of that article says that it's about monetary control, but it's not. The article even mentions Obamacare, which is ridiculous. Even the first quote on the page tries to make you believe that classic American values are all but obliterated.

The reason for a food-from-home ban is much simpler.

But let's start by noting that this is for Federally Operated HeadStart Preschools, not any other level of schooling. Preschools are optional, not forced on anyone. There are plenty of alternative pre-schooling centers. Brown bag lunches are not and will never be banned from public middle or high schools. And also, almost all privately-owned preschools have this same exact policy, and for a very good reason. (The picture are my home-made, Game of Thrones cookies :-))

And the reason why preschools are singled out is simple: Allergies.

Preschools have a range of ages from newly-born through five. Children, as the article points out, LOVE to swap lunches around. As a former toddler teacher, I know that some kids don't even understand that they cannot eat the lunches of children sitting next to them.

Can we expect a five year old to have the mental comprehension mature enough to understand what an allergy is? If Timmy gets a Snickers Bar from Julie, he dies.


Allergies kill kids, and you know what? Children five and younger LOVE sharing. If they get a Snickers Bar, they want to give some to the other kids. How are they supposed to know not to share (when they are told to share all day long)? Even worse, what if little Jackie gets a chicken salad wrap? Jackie doesn't know that there are peanuts in it. She just knows it's chicken.

And peanuts aren't the only problem. There are fish allergies. Wheat allergies. Milk allergies. Meat allergies. Etc. Etc.

Preschool teachers are some of the most overworked people in the world. They don't have time to inspect everyone's lunch every day, especially since Joe started biting others at random, Mark keeps hitting Sally, and Steve just pooped on the carpet. These are all things that really happened to me, commonly even. If you think that a preschool teacher absolutely always has the ability to monitor every single child the entire time, you're mad. From ages one-and-up, SEVEN children are allowed in a classroom with a single teacher. SEVEN!! Imagine trying to control SEVEN toddlers all at the same time.  Imagine the eating table. It's madness as is. Now, imagine that John's mom loves to give him a pack lunch filled with peanuts and if Timmy gets one, even one that gets picked up off the floor, he dies.

It doesn't take but a second for a kid to pop a peanut in their mouth and swallow it.

And parents cannot be expected to cooperate, let's just be honest. You really think you can trust every parent to follow the list of banned-allergy-inducing-child-killing list? Wrong. Even at the Center where I worked, parents STILL tried to bring food in when it was banned. And they STILL brought in peanuts.

The only way for a preschool to function safely is to control what is fed to the kids. This goes for any preschool--from government to privately owned. It's much easier to control meals if they are planned by the school, expected by the teachers, and served without surprises.

I honestly cannot believe that that article was posted without mentioning allergies once. It's obvious that she just had no idea why preschools ban home-food, so I had to respond.

tl;dr: young kids will swap food without knowing that allergies can kill their friends

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Telemarketers always enjoy a call to my house

UPDATE! 3rd call added! - Nov 6 2013!

Somehow, people love it when I’m a jerk to telemarketers. I posted a few of my recent interactions with a few calls, and people on facebook gave me more “likes” than I’ve ever gotten before. Somehow, when a telemarketer calls me, I always go into a character of an old grandma who doesn’t understand half of what is said and asks ridiculous questions. With that in mind, I thought I’d post a few transcripts of these phone interactions on here. These are real, written as soon as I hung up the phone (so they’re fairly word-for-word). Remember, these people called ME! It’s not like I was seeking them out!!

Call 1 (happened on Sep 20th):

Telemarketer: “Hello, I would like to talk to you about a low-interest offer on a credit card.”

Me: “Yes-sa I want a credit for my cat to for her.”

Telemarketer: “You what?”

Me: “I want my cat to have credit card and I spend all money and then I kill cat.”

Telemarketer: “What?”

Me: “You know, kitty meow-meow?”

Telemarketer: “You spent all your money on a cat and then you killed your cat?”

Me: “No, no, no, no. I want to put credit card under my cat’s name and spend all the money and then kill the cat.”

Telemarketer: “You want to put a credit card under your cat’s name and then kill your cat?”

Me: “Yes-sa, that.”

Telemarketer: “What is your cat’s name?”

I started laughing too hard at this point. Maybe she was joking, but she said it like she was actually going to put a credit card under my cat’s name. I hung up.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

How Do We Get Students to Read Rather than Simply Use Spark Notes?

I recently filled out an application for a job asking me what I wish I could improve upon as a teacher. I wrote that I wished I knew how to get students to actually read, rather than just look up book/story summaries on Wikipedia or SparkNotes.

I feel like, with cell phones, the Internet, etc… kids today are all about the immediate. They need to know things now. They want everything to be short and sweet. Even YouTube videos are too long for kids today; they all use Vine, which is a video platform for shorts that can be a maximum of 6 seconds in length. SIX SECONDS! That’s the attention span of kids today.

As a teacher, when I ask my students to read an entire novel, I feel like I only have six short seconds to make them enjoy it before they get bored and quit. How can I ask them to sit down and spend time reading, when almost every work of literature has a summary posted somewhere on the Internet? It only takes about six seconds to look up a summary; it takes hours and hours to read a novel.

I had a very special teacher in high school that saved me from living a life without reading. It was my senior year, my final semester. I hated English class, but I needed one more “literature” credit to graduate. I took one that looked easy, “Appreciation of Literature.” I figured I could SparkNotes all the novels, since I had already been doing that in my other classes. However, at the time, SparkNotes was still new, and it didn’t have the first book that my teacher gave me. It was called 1984, and I had never known that books could be so sickly amazing.

Up until that point, my teachers had given me nothing fun to read. I had spent my entire childhood with works like, The Scarlett Letter, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Frankenstein, Tom Sawyer, and To Kill A Mockingbird. As an adult, I can appreciate these books (although I still think that To Kill A Mockingbird is quite frankly a boring read, regardless of the good message). However, these books are hard to digest as a kid. They are wordy and have dull starts with little action.

I’m not here to hate, but to explain that I understand why, giving those sorts of books, a child might be put off from reading. But, when I first started on 1984, it set me off on an adventure through all sorts of books like that. That teacher got me reading, because she knew what kind of book would turn me into a reader.

However, I probably would have tried to Spark Notes it if I could have. I’m not sure how I’d even get a kid to open a book up today and try it. I guess personal excitement is a start. My energy will feed theirs. I think, also, personalizing the availability of books they actually want could help. Wouldn’t it be nice if the students could actually select what they’re interested in?

I don’t know, this post is only a beginning to that conversation. If you’re a teacher, leave a comment and share your success stories of how you got your students to read. If you’re a student, tell me what would actually get you reading.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thank you, frailty; thank you, consequence

This is a bit of abstract prose I wrote on the subject of natural talent. Consider it a break from my usual; a poem of paragraphs.

One thing that I am thankful for is my lack of natural talent.
 I know many naturally-talented people, and in the past, I used to be insanely jealous of them. It was hard watching so many people kick off the starting line like an ostrich running from a lion, leaving me to pat the dust off my shoulder. It was hard watching others succeed quickly at the abilities I wanted to master.

They were the wonderful; the awe-inspiring. I looked up to them; learned from them.

As for myself… I’ve had to work hard to get my abilities and talents. Everything I’ve ever truly desired has been a desperate struggle against my natural ignorance. I have fought against everything to become myself. I wasn't born a rock star. I wasn't born intelligent or a prodigy.

Now, I see natural talent trickling out all around me; leaving the once-omnipotent omnivores alone and unsure of how to progress. They don’t understand the concept of building character. They want to fly without evolving the required aerodynamic body.

It is clear that natural talent only takes a person so far.

From them, there is nothing that fills my eyes with wonder anymore. I’m learning things far beyond them now. It was sad to see you again, but seeing you affirmed the path that I need to take.

Those who don’t leave must stay. Starting nowhere taugh
t me the climb. The top of the wall taught you to look down. Our necks strain either way.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

The Abstract Late Night Drabble About Love.

I feel like I should type something meaningful into this box tonight. Something about the weirdness of life. The depth of the spiral. I want to say that you can be anything you want; do anything you want, but that isn’t always true. Sometimes you just can’t have your desires unfold. Sometimes you can, always. I suppose it depends upon the desire. This is all so abstract, I know.
Does the person with no desires left have a reason to keep living? I’m not that person, which is why I’m asking. Everyone wants something or another, right? Possessions, relationships, experiences, conceptual achievements, intellectual property. I suppose we could also say legacy. Is a stake in a company like a stake in the soil? I wouldn’t know. I don’t own any sort of either.

  I do have graffiti scratched under desks, dead skin cells stomped into carpets, photographs posted online. What is anyone but eternal these days? Will someone delete my blogs someday? Even Xanga survives, barely. What am I getting at? Something about desire, legacy, dandruff?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Paint and Me

I’ve never taken a painting class. I would probably learn a lot from one, though. I’ve always enjoyed painting. I would say I like it as much as straight up drawing, but I do it less because painting requires more set up and expensive stuff. Drawing is quick and not messy.

This is one of the first paintings I’ve ever done. I was in high school, and I had asked my mother for a set of paints for Christmas. She got me five tubs of house paint. Stuff meant for painting on wood siding outside. Well, I made the best of it. This one is untitled because I never had the notion to title painting at the time. I’ve always liked blending colors, so I made this by scattering paint with my hands until it formed some coherent shapes, at which the story of it took over.

Kind of looks like an arm reaching out for a horse or something. I like to call my style of visual art… organic. I don’t do well with instruction/outlines/predetermined ideas/planning. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Divorce and stuff

I haven’t been updating my blogs lately because of all of this.

I spent a week packing and getting ready to move. It was both lonely and full of friendship. She was off on a business trip, so I’ve had plenty of alone time at the apartment. I also went out frequently with many of my Seattle friends. They kept my spirits up, really helped me when I needed help, went out and had fun with me when I felt most alone.

Alone. Oh, right. That.

I decided very quickly that I wanted to try and handle the end of my marriage with tact. I didn’t want to say mean things publicly on social media. I didn’t want to argue over minor details. I didn’t want to make our mutual friends pick sides and turn against her. I didn’t want to make her life more difficult.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Idea Brainstorm 1: Improving the World's Businesses with Creative Ideas

The goal of this blog post is to simply brainstorm a bunch of random ideas that could be potentially used for actual businesses. I don’t know what I’m going to write here. It’s all just random ideas I come up with while thinking about the world and what the world needs. It’s really just a thought/creativity exercise. Businesses, feel free to use these ideas, free of charge. All I ask is for a credit, somewhere somehow. Alright, here we go:

The inside cardboard ring on blue painter’s tape should contain several “wet paint” easy-peel stickers.

There should be more than 3 starter pokémon to choose from. In fact, there should be hundreds of randomly generated options. I’m getting sick of every player having the same three pokémon on their teams.

Starbucks should make coffee ATMs. Insert card, get coffee and a cakepop.

E-books should scroll smoothly. The concept of “flipping pages” seems to be archaic.

Washing machines should also contain drying hardware inside. Like, they’re both spinning machines, why can’t one device be created that both washes and dries? It would be nice to set the machine to do both and not have to go check it. Also, there should be a sensor that can detect exactly when clothes are dry, so that it can continue drying wet clothes or stop drying dry clothes.

Build-A-Bear should sell pre-stuff Bear Parts—arms, legs, heads, feet—that have strong magnetic inserts to connect them, so that kids can play-construct their bears at home (which would remind them of Build-A-Bear’s fundamental gimmick) and swap out parts (which would make kids want to buy new parts).

The Postal Service should be closed entirely and left to private companies to handle—in replacement, every person with a social security number should get a email address where they can get “mail.” This would save a lot of trees.

Driver’s licenses should be available in app-form for your smartphone.

Stephen King should write a book about his own death—only to be released upon his death. It should explain It all.

We should be cloning endangered species, like, now. Also, all meat should be synthetically made within 20 years—and killing animals for food should be outlawed for human consumption.

Super Smash Brothers should never include random-tripping ever again.
If there are gun-carrying laws, why can’t I carry a sword around? Also, battle armor should be common wear.

Deodorant should have a different color near the end—so that I never have to pick up that last chunk off the floor again. Or, how about just a plastic base that locks at the max length?

Movie Theatres should have feet rest bars for every row of seating.  

There should be a dating website that intentionally sets you up with people who you don’t match with or would normally date. Opposites attract, sort of thing. Get you out of your comfort zone.

Facebook should give users the ability to block all games—all at once.

Wizards of the Coast should make an iPad App that makes calculating Battles, turns, and other crazy ass statistics easy. They should make NFC “data disks” that sync up with this iPad app, that would automatically know what was rolled on top of it with NFC dice. Also, the app should save custom-monster data created by the DM, yet also have randomly generated leveled monsters for in-game ease of play. It could also be programmed to play certain playlists when a battle is begun.

Wifi towers should replace all radio towers within the next ten years—radio should just be through the Internet. Also, the Internet should be free for everyone and completely uncensored.

Real life should have Xbox-like achievements.

YouTube should have in-site music creation programs, so that people can easily create and add music to videos.

There should be dish washers the size of toaster ovens for doing small amounts of dishes right after using them. They could be inexpensive, useful for apartments. Fillable with a thermos-sized tank that pops out so you can hold it under the sink. Easy empty base at the bottom. OR Filled with a small connector attached to the faucet and empties automatically with a tube to your drain.

 Thread should be sold with a magnet on the side for needles.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!