Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Life is only Jeffrey Now

I can't help it.
I am fascinated by Jeffrey, introduced here.
"I'm so itchy because I'm allergic," he tells me.
"What are you allergic to?"
There must be more to it.
"What kind of flowers?" I ask him.
"Have you ever heard of daffodils?"

He comes in wearing a shirt from Margaritaville in the Cayman Islands.
"Where did you get your shirt, Jeffrey?"
Since many of the students shop at second hand stores or dress from donation boxes, it is always reasonable to assume they have not been to places that their T-shirts promote.
"Macarenaville. Have you ever heard of Macarenaville? It's so nice in Florida."
He tells me again how allergic he is to flowers.

As we get into the car, Jeffrey makes a disgusted face.
"Do you smell that?" he asks me.
"What does it smell like?"
"It's my cologne," he declares, pronouncing it "ka-wone".
"I put on lots of kawone every morning . I put it on my chest. It wakes me up, helps my brain to focus."
"Are you sure you don't mean coffee?" I offer, but he only stares at me blankly.
I feel like I am playing straight man to some unhinged stand-up comedian.

We drive along in relative silence, which is always awkward for me, so I tell Jeffrey we should sing a song.
"Its too hot in this car to warm up my singing groove", he grumbles. He says groove with a 'w' instead of an 'r'.
After a little while, he asks me what time it is.
"I can't read my watch right now," he explains, "it fell asleep on me."
"How do you wake it up?"
"Yell at it." He proceeds to demonstrate by very hesitantly telling his watch to wake up. After a few seconds of staring down at his wrist, he sighs and goes back to looking out the window.
"We're a team, right?" Jeffrey asks. "Yeah, a secret mission agent team. Have you ever heard of a secret agent team? I have. I will." He laughs softly to himself.
My sense that Jeffrey is leading me into a subversion of time and logic only deepens as the day goes on.

I ask him to put something away and he refuses, then abruptly complies.
"I was just trying to be crow," he says. "I mean cool. Like Joe cool. Do you know Joe?"
He points to the sign on the door of the men's bathroom.
"See right there? That's ladies. This is how I know things."

Eventually I need a break from the surreal mudslide that is daily life with Jeffrey, and another staff person takes him on a walk to the park.
He returns, bearing me a gift.
"A flower? I thought you were allergic to flowers, Jeffrey."
"No," he rebukes me, as if I am the only idiot in the conversation, "not flowers."
"He told me he was picking that for his mom," says the other staff member.

The Jeffrey Flower, with standard size California raisin for reference.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Say Something Else

During summer school, you get students you normally would not have.
This can be good or bad, depending; the diaper you know to the diaper you don't know kind of thing.
One fellow I have this summer, let us call him Jeffrey, might prove to be very interesting. He is one of those special education students that have no visual 'tell' to them; if you passed Jeffrey on the street, you would just see a twenty-something guy in business casual wear sporting a giant picture identification dangling around his neck.
However, I would like to call your attention to some of the exchanges I had with Jeffrey today.

Jeffrey turns on the radio.
I ask him what kind of music he likes.
"Have you heard of rap music?" he skillfully parries my question with one of his own.
Jeffrey tunes in some static and begins to bob his head, then switches the dial again, settling on Journey.
"Oh this is what I was looking for."

As we walk into the baby section of the thrift store, I hear Jeffrey remark in quiet wonder: "It's like a dream room". Then quickly he shushed himself, let out a small giggle, and said "I shouldn't have said that."

I asked Jeffrey to hold a basket of groceries and he confidently replied, "I can handle anything you give me because I have a girlfriend now. Well, I did."
"What was her name?"
"I don't know what it was right now. But she used to be my girlfriend all the time. Or she will be."
I wondered to myself if Jeffrey might be outside of time in some very small way.

During the afternoon downtime, Jeffrey asked if he could look at an Oprah magazine. He ponders a page of advertisements and says to no one in particular, "I wonder what they're laughing at so wildly."

As the day nears its end, Jeffrey gets the attention of one of the staff: "I can't stop thinking of something...can I do artists later?" It turns out that this meant he wanted to color a page from our Princess and the Frog giant-sized  coloring book.

I have a good feeling about Jeffrey.

Monday, June 27, 2011

This is import game

I am working on a new career as a video game designer.
This is what I have so far.

The premise of the game is pretty sophisticated, and it is hard for me to dumb it down in a way that can be explained in any traditional sense. I have a few screenshots of the gameplay, but keep in mind I do not have all the stuff done that you need to do to make a game yet. As for which system you will be able to play it on, I am thinking something like the Texas Instruments Little Professor.

In this scenario, the player must clean the bathroom with spray while the Forces For Make Sad Day, FFMSD, continually soil things with peepee.

This intense sequence tasks the player with making eggs while the FFMSD continually asks to crack the eggs, tries to crack the eggs, tries to stir the eggs, or complains about the eggs.

 This level occurs towards the end of the game; the player has to try to read, type, draw, or do any other task that requires even a sliver of focus while the FFMSD do every thing in their power to get you to stop what you are doing and play with them. This could be fighting with each other, finding ways to fight with you, pulling at the item you are trying to focus on, getting between you and the item, etc. 

I am not sure yet, but this game, if I ever finish it, might suck pretty bad.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Product Review #10: Richard Simmon's Reach

I recently found something that is very important for a person in my position to come across. This is Richard Simmon's album he put out in the early 80s. It is called Reach. 

Richard with the glow of the Holy Spirit lighting the rim of his afro (from album cover).

The lyrics are printed on the inside. Some of them should probably be mentioned here, because they are pretty good. 

Cause every morning's the key
It's either coffee or me

"Don't feed me lies
'bout all the times
you've tried to change your life
when you sneak downstairs
for that one eclair 
in the middle of the night".

"Don't cook for two
when there's only you"

"Throw out the pills and plastic pants
This is your chance!"

A young Donald Sutherland, early devotee of Richard.

The record comes with an exercise book, but I am bothered by Richard's expression during the pelvic squeeze:

I am really disappointed. I do not have a record player. I want to hear Richard tell me to "wake up my thighs".
Then I remember! Product Review #9, the B/O Display Turntable for Model!
I just have to move my prized Bibleman action figure from his place of honor.

Now I have to rig up some kind of needle....
I hope when this starts playing I am overcome with the same ecstasy everyone on the cover of the record has.
There are lots of things I don't know about record players.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dumb With Crayons

This is me.

I should mention here that I am stunningly blind without my contact lenses. My eye doctor recently let out a slight whistle when I could not read the big 'E' on the vision chart. 

The various brown marks are discolorations from pretending I am not bald and neglecting sunscreen or wide-brimmed hats. The red is blood from frequent shaving cuts. 'God' could be substituted with 'bird' or 'man on ladder'.

This picture is in reference to my paragraph about my terrible vision (see above).

Something about this picture bothers me.

This picture took a long time because all that writing.

Friday, June 17, 2011

You not going anywhere

School's out-for summah!
School's out-foh evah!
Last day of school.
In special education, there is lots and lots of summer school.
So there never is a last day of school.
Its kind of like a terrible dream.

A terrible dream where everybody says "becept" and "expesially" and doesn't smell too good.
Where every Wednesday, on in to infinity, is pizza day.
1 slice per student, the note tells me; 1 cup of diced pinapple per student, one scoop of mixed green salad (which is usually the shredded iceberg left over from taco Tuesday) per student. One minute of my life lost per student.

But things are not so bad.
When I took the GRE, you had to copy out a paragraph in cursive before you could start the test.
I don't remember cursive too good, and it took me a long, painful time. The old woman moderating the test frowned down upon me all the while, and under the heat of her scrutiny, I felt my 'e' and 'r' getting confused, my lowercase 'g's plummeting off the page. I wished for a big sheet of lined paper and pencil so I could show that old lady I knew how to do it right.
But there was only one tiny space. It filled up so quickly with my unhinged marriage of toddler-cursive and 'hey! a spirograph!" style of handwriting.
When I was finished, I held it up to her proudly.
One gray eye appraised me with deep suspicion, the other stared off at some invisible point far to my left.
She let out a sigh that contained every unkind judgment you could levy against a  human person, signed the paper, and pointed me in the direction of my testing cubicle.

I always think of that when I need inspiration to overcome adversity.
That nice old lady with a lazy eye made it as a GRE moderator; we can all be anything.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Let's Conclusion

I have noticed something very important.
When my son does what he calls a "bun dance", wherein he very stiffly sways his bottom back and forth like a nudist metronome, my wife thinks it is cute:
When I do it, a little part of her dies inside:
This has lead me to a very important conclusion.
When something is small, it is cute. When something is big, it is not cute.
Example: Bonsai Tree
Red Wood tree:
Empire State Building:
 The Shire:

I could go on, so I will.
small stuffed bear = cute.
giant stuffed bear = inconvenient, trying too hard, I am still not taking him back that cheating bastard

small foot = precious, let's make cement casts of it
big foot = I hope he is not real because I am alone in the woods right now

beanie hat = cute and old-fashioned
helicopter = loud and crashes frequently

beanie hat on small head = cute and hilarious
beanie hat on large head = impaired, keep polite distance from person

Send me your own discoveries about the small/big:cute/not cute principal and we will make some theories together.

The Day After

My houseguests are gone.
When they first arrived, there was going to be an hour's length of time when I would be alone with them.
For someone suffering from crippling social anxiety, this hour would be hell.
But I had a plan.
I had the lawnmower gassed up and ready to go.
When they got there, I would have one foot out the door, and I had my line all ready:
"Sorry to be a bad host, but I thought I would try to catch up on the mowing".
It all went according to plan, until about three minutes after starting the mower I ran into twenty feet of thick rope that instantly wound itself around the mower blade and caused the whole thing to come to a sudden and terribly loud stop.
I sat for awhile and let the mosquitoes drink their fill.
Then I went in the house.
My guests were seated in the living room, eating sandwiches.
"Um, anyone want to help fix the mower?"
My genius plan had collapsed.
Instead of blissful social isolation, I had to sweat and strain alongside another human person, and make small talk at the same time.
Since I know nothing about mechanical workings or toolish things, I instantly became a small eager child.
"Do you have any open face wrenches?" asked my guest.
"Ok!" I declared, and ran in the house to gather any tools even remotely wrench shaped (this included several sets of pliers) and brought them urgently back to my new dad, proudly laying them out for him.
His hand hovered over each one, then fell slightly, disappointed.
"Maybe this one I guess..." He picked up a rusty wrench and banged around beneath the mower.
"Not enough torque." He muttered.
From his pocket he produced some sort of multi-tool and flipped out a knife blade. He began to hack at the rope.
"What we need is a better knife, something with a good point on it."
The fat little son that I now was scurried back into the house, and returned triumphantly with a slightly bent steak knife which my Ladyfriend assured me she did not care about.
"It doesn't have a point but it is serrated," I said that last word with extra emphasis, hoping to impress. See, new dad, I have man tools and sharp toothy knives for doing man work.
I babbled on about toys and stuff while he slashed away at the rope.
Eventually I felt so tense and awkward that I encouraged him to take a break.
After he was safely inside, I flipped the mower over, spilling gas every where, and tore at the rope like a frenzied ape.
It came loose at last.
I had beaten machine, but I had spent all my energy in the effort.
Too tired now to mow, I hung my head and shuffled back into the house, steeling myself for an unbearable twenty straight minutes of small talk.

Friday, June 10, 2011


As I mentioned here, I have houseguests coming today.
I have a dilemma though.
The primary vehicle I have to shuttle them around in is the one pictured here, the one that a student decided was a good receptacle for defecation.
They don't read this blog, but if they ever did, I wonder if they would be mad at me for not mentioning the incident, and then they would try to remember what pants or shorts they were wearing at that time, and then try to burn those items of clothing. If they could not quite recall the specific ones, they might then have to burn all the pants and shorts they brought on their visit, and if they could not recall even which ones those were, they might have to burn all their clothing.
I really want to prevent this from happening, but in truth the car was kind of gross before the defacle spectacle and will remain gross long after.
I transport a large variety of students, all of which bring their own particular brand of detritus to the mix.
One young man I consider the "Grinder", because whenever he hears music in the car he starts to grind his bottom deeply into the cushion of the seat.
I do not listen to music in the car; I listen to the news. But NPR still squeezes in bits of music between stories and this prompts a brief but thorough session of butt grinding.
This leaves a distinctive funk hanging in the air long after my passenger has departed.
I have had several students start an ineffectively contained monthly visitor in my car.
The outcome of that is really not good.
There has been a lot of bad breath dispersed throughout the confines of that car as well, and though invisible, I feel that a certain discoloration has taken place as a result.
My houseguests probably deserve to know all of this, but I cannot bring myself to tell them and I cannot afford to rent a car.
If you have a suggestion, let me know.
In the grand scheme of things, and with all the tragic events going on in the world, I know you might think this is not important; however, you are wrong.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Work so hard

Today is special Ed graduation.I am supposed to be working but I found this mobile device and I thought of something very important I need to say.
I am not used to this interface so typing every word is painful and laborious so you know how important this is.
If you could shoot any comic strip character,who would you shoot?
I would shoot marmaduke because he is not a trainable animal and ruins many things.
Born loser,because he wants to die anyway and he would be easier to hit than marmaduke.
Mark trail,because he is a smug know it all.
Keep in mind, I am not a violent person.I don't really want to shoot them.
If I met mark trail in real life,I would probably ask him lots of questions and have awkward man talk.
If I met marmaduke in real life I would make a big show of pretending to like him even though I don't really like dogs.I would do this because I've noticed people with dogs like it when you like their dogs,and if I wanted something from those people I need them to like me.
If I met the born loser in real life,I would realize he was me in five years and I would shoot
Myself because my wife was going to become a very tall brunette who is always mean to me and gratified by my failures.
This mobile typing is so hard,I can see why today's kids are so smart.

Blog of Note Review

I got Blog of Note! is what I would be saying here if I got Blog of Note.
In case you are not familiar, Blog of Note is handed out by Google/Blogger daily to blogs they think are especially worthwhile, witty, or other 'w' words.
It translates into more followers, sometimes, and in my case that would be good because I need more material for my groundbreaking series "Profile of a Follower".

The formula Blogger (I keep typing 'Blooger' by mistake) uses to determine Blog of Note is inscrutable, but in the interests of science, I thought a review of several Blogs of Note would reveal a pattern or system at work that could then be exploited for various types of gain.

The most recent Blog of Note is Irish Gumbo.
Its interesting that Irish Gumbo describes himself as a Raconteur; I wonder if he is especially good at it?
My only experience raconteuring was at summer camp, and I swear my compass was faulty because I got completely lost in the woods and other campers had to find me.
I like it that Irish Gumbo has taken Max Headroom for his profile picture:
 Max Headroom was one of those shows we were Not Allowed To Watch.
Another one was Miami Vice:
My parents were kind of conservative, and thus uncomfortable with the homosexual lifestyle exemplified by Crockett and Tubbs. I did sneak and watch Miami Vice at a friend's house once; it just seemed like a lot of slow motion and Phil Collins music; nothing overtly gay happened that I can recall.

I can see why parents do not want kids to sneak and watch; like if a young boy sneaked and watched Sex and the City he might think all women care about is dresses and wieners.
Or I sneaked and watched the Tiffany video for I Think We're Alone Now and I wanted to be the giant Gumby she hugs so fiercely.
I never had to sneak and watch Gumby but I did think that show was awesome.
Especially the Blockheads:
We were not allowed to watch Dallas, but I was never tempted to sneak and watch that one.

Some episodes of some shows maybe should have been Not Allowed to Watch ones, and their dubious quality or uncomfortable subject matter would maybe have made them not sneak and watch worthy.
Like the child molester episode of Different Strokes, or when the Dukes of Hazard found the alien and tried to keep it from Boss Hogg:

 Let me know what you used to sneak and watch, too, and together we will laugh hard and curse our short attention spans that make Blogs of Note like Irish Gumbo so hard to read.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No Bottom

I received a complaint that my blog has been having too many pictures of bottoms lately, and worse, that the hair drawn on the bottoms is too similar from bottom to bottom to be believable.

The multitude of bottoms is attributable mostly to my lack of intellectual density; because of my immaturity, I draw bottoms frequently.

The lack of realistic variety is inexcusable, however.
It does short service to the natural variation hard-coded into our genetic make-up.
I assure the concerned reader that the uniform bottom hair is only for the sake of simplicity, and is not intended, in any way, to disparage the uniqueness of the human person.

This conversation makes an excellent opportunity to return to my theory, still in its infancy, of the Unified Theory of Proximal Awkwardness.

Since the proximal line is an arbitrary measure of distance, as seen in plate A,  my own life has supplied me with a more finite proximal measurement of space.
I have houseguests coming this weekend.
The boundary of my house makes a concrete and relatable boundary, shown in B.

The theory could now be adjusted to state the more someone is in your house, the more awkward you will feel. Refer to C.
And in D, we see the inevitable surge in awks, halting at the prestablished maximum of 64.
However, notice in E, as I leave the house, expanding the proxemics, the level of awks begins to diminish.
What conclusions can we draw?
The more someone is in your house, the more awkward it is; but the more you are not in your house while they are there, the less awkward it is.

I would keep going, but as I was drawing that last chart, I was suddenly struck with a deep and secret fear that my work on this subject is lacking in value.
That I am wasting my time.

This crack in my confidence was stressed even further after I emailed Flora Lichtman. Flora works for National Public Radio's Science Friday program and has recently co-authored the book Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us. I assumed she would appreciate hearing from a colleague, and that she would naturally be interested in the field of awkwardness, as it is similar to the field of annoyance.
I even gave her permission to use my research (complete with tables) without the need to credit me.
She never responded.
If Flora Lichtman and the Science Friday team sees no value in my research, than I fear for the future of the field.
If anyone knows if Bill Nye is still alive, please email me.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Thoughts are so Deep

I realized that I misspoke.
I am not having trouble thinking of ideas, I am having trouble expressing all the depths of who I really am.
 The dimensions of my personality, of my aspirations, are boundless.
This diamond has so many facets:

Fashion Gweenbrick
Science Gweenbrick

Spiritual Gweenbrick

I can't finish this post.
Here I was, trying to express myself earnestly, and yet it seems I can take nothing seriously.
I am a joke even to myself.
Not one of these dimensions of my personality I tried to illustrate came out right; they are just silly, and worse, inaccurate.

I hate fashion.
I am terrible at science.

And I can't fit into my union suit anymore.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sale on Ideas

I am having a little trouble coming up with ideas.
The problem is I am trying to look at this blog as a job, if only to escape my job.
So that means I have to make myself do something on here. 
Here are some very brief ideas:
I can tell I have gained weight when I am driving and I look down at myself, only to see this:

I got more traffic when I drew a picture of my Ladyfriend, so here is another picture:

At least, that is how my son draws her.

A student pooped in my car the other day. This was the scene:

On an unrelated note, my car is for sale if  anyone is interested.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Stool for Therapy

In many special education classrooms, you will see this:

This is called a therapy stool. Low to the ground, loosely wheeled; the perfect seat for those moments when you have to put a diaper on a grown person. 

In our classroom, the rule is no students on the therapy stools. If you do not sit squarely on the center of the stool, your chances of slipping off and crashing to the floor are about 90%. 

Our students tend to be poor estimators of where their bottoms will eventually settle when they begin the process of sitting down.

Occasionally, however, a student will decide to demonstrate anger by defiantly plopping themselves down on one of the stools. 
The results of this rebellion are often times real good:

Product Review #9: B/O Display Turntable for Model

 I feel like anything you put on the B/O Display Turntable for Model is going to automatically look better. It just really seems likely.

  It seemed too good to be true that all this cool stuff came with the B/O Display, but I was hopeful.


Initial impression is not too good.

Its full of stars.

I have a three year old son who has been scared of everything lately. I thought I could use the B/O Display Turntable for Model as kind of a night light. I jazzed it up a bit with a toy I had laying around, and I am pretty confident it will soothe him to sleep.