Friday, July 29, 2011

Roll and play in my knowledge fountain

Someone I know just had a baby, their first.
I feel that I should impart some new parent advice, particularly to the daddy.
These are treasures from the vault I wished my father had opened for me.

1. The diaper is the first wipe.
When baby makes a stinky, you must remember to have all your supplies at hand before you attempt to remove the diaper. Make a mental checklist: changing cloth, diaper wipes, new diaper, plastic bag to throw all fecal-related objects into immediately. It helps to have a basket or bucket which you store all these things in, so you know where they are at all times. You might want to label the basket; I have provided you with a sample label you can copy and tape to your basket if you want:


Okay, when you are ready, lay the child on the changing mat, and slowly open the diaper. I cannot emphasize enough how slowly you should open the bundle. You do not know what is in there, what might project, ooze, or splatter on nearby surfaces or people. 


But before you reach for a wipe, use the best tool you have at hand.

The front flap of the diaper is quite absorbent, far-reaching, and makes a wonderful barrier between the hands of the father and the unpredictable stool of the child.

Used correctly, the diaper can be the entirety of your offense, with the diaper wipes only coming in late to the game to snipe off the last flecks of boo-boo. 

And the best part of the diaper? It can be re-closed and re-velcroed into a convenient little package, its treasure safe and warm inside. Toss it into the plastic bag and you are done; you can put your hand back into the bowl of Doritos without washing it because you know the diaper protected you.


However, life does have its little lemons, and sometimes the front flap of the diaper is not sufficient.

I refer you then to my rule #2: If you have to use wipes, don't half-ass it.

I have seen grandma's deftly maneuver one single wipe around a bottom, expertly whisking away all the unpleasantness with that one wipe and never reaching for another.

Do not try this! I cannot say it enough.

For you, for me, that one wipe is the same as wiping with your bare hand.

Why? Because it is small, your fingers will inevitable slip around it and you will find yourself frozen, staring down at a hand you wish was no longer yours, as a substance not meant for hands has appeared upon it and left you with a dilemma: scream and run to the sink and the bleach, or finish the baby.

This is not a position you want to be in.

One wipe can tear easily as well, leading to the same scenario as outlined above.

No, no, no, we are not grandmas, so do this: wipes come in a brick-like shape; I would say use about half a brick per fecal scenario.

Slap that brick on there and hold it, than shuffle it around a little. Quickly, without looking at it, toss it into the plastic bag. Then tie up the bag, throw it into the outside trash, wash your hands for five minutes with scalding water, and then return to your beloved baby and pretend none of it ever happened.

If you follow these two rules I laid out for you, I think you will probably be a good father.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I so happy I cry

You know what is the best? 

When, on a sweltering hot summer day, you treat yourself to an impossibly large iced coffee, using money earmarked for anything other than coffee, and you carry your delicious tower of a beverage back to your minivan. The minivan has no air conditioning and the windows are broken, so no fresh breeze, but you don't care, you have your indulgence in the drink holder, and you are ready for anything.

You pick up your Dollar Store mp3 player and hold the power button down for five minutes. Soon, soon now, you will have music to go with your coffee.

Untangle the cord for your cassette adaptor and plug it into the headphone jack, then slide in the magic black tape that brings your van's audio system into the year 2011.

You feel so right inside, so ordered and whole, as you shift your van into reverse. It does not even bother you that the dashboard indicators have long ago gone dead, and you have to find that reverse by feel; sometimes you go forward a little, or just sit stupidly in neutral, but on days like today, you effortlessly find your way and in no time are backing out of the parking space.

Every road is an adventure; every intersection a temporary stop on the way to new and exciting destinies.

You pick up your mp3 player to begin the long process of switching to the next song (many, many presses of a picture that is sometimes a button), and you fail to notice the tape adaptor cord swing into your iced coffee, from which you have sipped exactly one time, and unseat it from its comfy home in the cup holder.

It falls slowly, almost beautifully.

Your hands, long known to be more spastic jellyfish than useful tools for manipulating objects or catching footballs, seizure forward and expertly separate the lid from the cup, altering the course of the fall just enough to send an icy river of coffee down your leg, into your sock, and beyond into the confines of your shoe.

It is like you dipped your foot into the cold and clear beginnings of Lake Michigan.

You no longer feel hot and sweaty; from the right knee down you are on vacation somewhere temperate and well-caffeinated.

Your coffee is gone. Parts of it on you, parts on the steering wheel, but the majority of it rapidly finding a home in the floor mats.

How wonderful summer is, how grossly fat with moments.

You squish your foot around in your personal lake and sing out, "Oh happy day!"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Whom gods despise


I was doing some manual labor today, and whenever I put my body through that type of ordeal, I think back to the days when I had muscles instead of hairy blubber, fitness instead of flappy man wings.
I think back to girlfriends I have loved.
I think back to a blue tank-top I used to wear; it opened far down the side, like to my hips, and had a picture of the beach on it.

I was wearing that tank-top a day after a short, beautiful 8th grade relationship ended. On a long walk, my giant portable tape player by my side, the ragged heart ache of Bryan Adams on the Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves soundtrack in my ears-it was our song, our movie-I made my way to a nearby playground to swing slowly and sadly on a swing. 



Emotion had so overcome me, that I failed to notice a troupe of pretty girls come on to the playground. 
I only became aware of their presence when one of them was leaning into my face, studying it carefully. I slipped off my headphones in time to hear her bark, "No, it's not!" to one of the other girls.
"Um....hello?" I mumbled.
She glanced back at me, and smiled through her long brown bangs.
"Oh, sorry. My sister thought you had a good body and she wanted to know if your face was cute." She looked again in the direction of her sister and solemnly shook her head.


They wandered off, leaving me to my Bryan Adams, my swinging, and my homely visage.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Here I sit, broken hearted

Everyone went to a water park today, except me and a few students who can't swim for various reasons.

For the last half hour or so, a girl has been explaining to me what a song called "Booty booty booty" is about.

Sometimes, to amuse myself, I pretend to be completely ignorant. Sometimes to the point where the person talking to me gets a little frustrated.

Like sometimes when we are walking around the city, I like to pretend that I don't know where I am going, and the students get mad at me and shout all kinds of interesting directions.

Anyways, she has spent a good five minutes telling me how gross guys at clubs only go out to look at butts, and I keep not knowing what she means. She spent an especially long time on the distinction between "booty" and "butt", but I'm not sure I understood very well. 

Then she tries to tell me that the song "Get Low" by Little Jonathan and the EastSide Friends is about a basketball game.
When I try to tell her it might not be, she dismisses me as too old.

While she was talking and getting mad at me, I drew this graphic novel:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

#3 From the Desk of Jeffrey

I notice Jeffrey has his hand in his pocket and seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time moving it around in there. 
"Hey, get your hand out," I tell him.
He mumbles to himself, "If you keep playing with your calculator, you'll be in trouble." Then he laughs in his very quiet, almost half-hearted but most certainly maniacal way.
I decide to pursue this one.
"You have a calculator in your pocket?"
"Yes I do." He produces a black, Dollar Store quality calculator from his pocket and displays it for me with pride.


Throughout the day, Jeffrey constantly types on the calculator, mumbles to himself, laughs a little, and then types some more.
I ask him what he is doing.
"The calculator tells me stuff."
"Like what?"
"What am I going to do tonight?"
"It tells you what to do?"
"Yep." He just stares at me for a minute. "It says go home and exercise and get some energy in my legs."
Then he feverishly types some more and begins to laugh.
"Now what did it say?"
"It told me a joke riddle. Just a naughty joke. Just a clean joke."
"What is the joke?"
"I can't say it, I don't want to get in trouble."
I assure him he will not get in trouble. 
"Why did the chicken cross the road?"
"The calculator said that?" I ask.
"Yep. Why did the chicken cross the road?" He is already giggling and I worry he will not get the punchline out. But he manages.
"To get to the other side and get the eggs of course!" 
He immediately stops laughing.

Now I have to ask:
"What does the calculator's voice sound like?"
His face gets very tight and serious.
"Like a microphone....inside of a calculator."

Jeffrey types some more on his calculator, and stares for awhile at its little LCD rectangle display.
"Look at that," he whispers, a note of awe in his voice.
That was yesterday.

This morning, the calculator is back.
"I'm keeping this in my pocket today so I don't get in trouble," Jeffrey says.
"Did the calculator tell you any more jokes?" I ask him.
"Yep. It said, 'Why did I go to bed last night? Because I wanted to!"
He does not laugh, and neither do I.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Profession of Professional

Why is it easier to draw pictures of Alan the monkey than it is to write a cover letter and a curriculum vitae for a job opening at an academic research library?

Should I even be applying for a job that requires a curriculum vitae, when I had to look up on the Googlenet what a curriculum vitae even is?

Do I put my brief fling as a night stocker at a grocery store on my vitae?

I looked up some sample librarian vitaes; one was over twenty-eight pages in length.


Mine is one page, double spaced, with lots of good cushioning around my bullet points.

This is what happens when you try to change careers mid-stream, you end up putting  "wipe adult ass real good" under special skills, and then qualifying that in parentheses with the comment,

"Not in a sexy way, if that is a thing that happens. Not sure, try to avoid fetish based books or audio-visual materials, but if your library has that type of material I would not try to stop people from checking it out or anything; or I would, depending on how you want me to answer that question, because basically I will tell you whatever you want to hear if it gets me this job. 

Though, to be honest, the job does not interest me all that much, more the salary and the good benefits. My last job had good benefits at first, but then they cut them. 

Do you think you will be cutting benefits any time soon? Because that might determine whether or not I want to work for you. 

Of course beggars can't be choosers, right? I mean, anything beats wiping people after they make bowel movements and yelling at them when they eat their school nachos so fast it makes them throw up. 

That's a common discussion in this line of work; would you rather clean up barf or poop? Interestingly enough, I have noticed that women tend to say "poop" and men tend to say "neither" in a jokey way they hope will get the women to laugh. It sometimes works, when everyone in the room is in their mid-fifties and also say things like "That'll leave a mark" or "Cha-Ching!" 

At your library, do you think the librarians have to clean up poop and stuff? 

Because if they do, it kind of seems like the job I already have, but worse hours, and in that case I am not sure how interested I am. 

But I will reserve judgement until I meet you in person; first impressions are everything, so try not to give me one of those limpy librarian handshakes, because I can almost guarantee I will laugh at you inside my mouth. Look forward to the interview!"


I am so going to get this job.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tattle tale

Boredom Smells like Work

The Truth will make you cry

I like to look at my blog stats from time to time, or minute to minute. You can see what people searched for that lead them to your site. 
Someone did an image search for the phrase "monkey eating a pop-tart" and Google gave them this picture:
Which, in case you don't know, is an image I drew of myself eating a pop-tart back in this post.
This is pretty much a dead-on reproduction of what I look like.....
...sniff....sniff....I'm not a monkey. 
Stupid Google.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Pleasant Day at the Park

Today we walked to the park.
Halfway there, Jeffrey begins to sweat.
"I need to find a spot in the sun to sit. I need to cool down.I sit in the sun, thats the perfect way I get a tan."
He sits at a nearby picnic table directly in the glare of the hot sun.
"Ahh...this is a nice seat in the shade."
I suggest the base of a tree as a better shady spot.
We sit down, and Jeffrey studies the dirt in front of him.
He picks up a little sliver of broken plastic, something that might have come from a lawnmower running over a child's toy.
"Look at this baby rock, " he says. "If you don't mind, I'll put this in my rock collection."
He puts the plastic in his pocket.


I watch my purple girl, my 400-pound friend with the baby doll voice, laboriously make her way to one of the swings. 
I am not sure if she should sit in it, but I take a wait and see approach.
Amazingly, she fits.
The metal bar holding up the swings lets out a groan as she pumps her feet.
The swing moves about an inch, and she says "Wheee" in a voice completely devoid of enthusiasm or inflection.
 Another student announces that there is a used condom by the slide.
I go over to investigate.
She is right.


Flies begin buzzing all around us.
"Jeffrey, what time is it?" I ask.
"I can't see my watch until I wash my hands."


I decide it is too hot, even in the shade, and we walk back to school.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mine Enemy

I have a nemesis.
I often think of myself as a likable person, but over the years, I know I have rubbed a few people the wrong way. More annoying or incompatible than anything else.
But this is different.
She is out there, waiting in the dark.

She has a name, but I probably should not use it, so I will call her Crayfish instead.
Crayfish knows of me, and I of her.
Oh yes, I knows her very well.

You see, financial strappedness has forced me to be one of those entities despised by many an attendee of garage sales and thrift shops: The Ebay Dealer.

I hustle daily to find anything of value I can flip on ebay in time to pay my electric bill.


I sell Legos to get gas.


I sell Nintendos for grocery money.


I convince your nice granny to let me into her yard sale "a little early", just to pilfer her Liddle Kiddles she should have been saving for you. Then I sell those creepy little midgets for razors, so my head can stay smooth and beautiful.

I hate what I have become.

I long for the days when I could drive past a garage sale sign and not even register what it said in its giant looping script; those words so full of promise, and yet so infuriating when the actual address is written in tiny lettering, and you practically run it over trying to read it.

 I long for the days when I did not have to go to the same three thrift shops every day, five days a week. Each one has its smell; one always smells like skunk, because the former landlord used to grow medical marijuana on the premises. 
Another just smells like cigarette smoke. 
The third is more interesting; when you first walk in, you think you have walked into the rubber sole of someone's sandal on a hot summer day, but as you walk to the back, its just mildew.

But I have no choice. For now, as a Master of Libraries is most often destined to do, I have to sell things on ebay.

And that brings me back to Crayfish.
 I met her early in my career. Both of us were first in line at an estate sale. 
We were the only ones in line actually, because the sale did not start for another hour. The sun had just come up. That is how pathetic the life of a dealer can be.


We spoke for awhile, and I learned that Crayfish was not just any old dealer, but a master of the dark art.

She was pushy and aggressive; knocking on doors, waking people up, sleeping in their driveways, anything she needed to do to get the treasure first. When people around here think of ebay dealers, they think of asshole early birds, and Crayfish was the Queen Asshole of early birds.
 I had much to learn from her.

At first our exchanges were pleasant enough; I would question her about the value of this or that, ask her about her business model and other types of chitchat that dealers make.

But each subsequent sale we saw each other at, it became clear that we were searching for the same kinds of things. She did toys, I did toys. We were no longer parallel lines with pleasantries between us; we were perpendicular rhombuses of competition and dislike.
I remember one Saturday in particular. I had chosen a random neighborhood sale as a starting off point. 

Just as I climbed out of my car, Crayfish roared up, left her car running right in front of the first driveway, bolted up to the sale, looked it over with eyes like bar code readers, mentally logging the potential resale price on everything around her, and then was gone, back into the car, and driving three feet to sprint to the next sale. She worked the whole neighborhood like this.

I tried skipping several houses ahead of her, but Crayfish was always there, breathing down my back. We saw each other and only nodded stiffly.

I abandoned that whole subdivision and struck out for a completely random garage sale across town. Crayfish was just pulling away as I pulled up.

Knowing the answer already, I still lamely asked the people, "Are you guys selling any legos?"
Three arms pointed in unison, off in the direction Crayfish was driving.
"That lady just bought all we had."

 It went on like this, endlessly, sale after sale.


One day there was a mammoth estate sale, advertised as having a sizable vintage toy collection. I got there forty-five minutes early and there was already a line of fifty or so people. 

At the very front was Crayfish, yucking it up with some of her dealer cronies, booksellers and antiquers, no one that would muscle in on her turf.

I knew the sale was a wash, but needing money, I lingered, hoping to find a sellable trinket or two amidst Crayfish's scraps.


In the room with all the toys, she hefted her garbage bags full of stuff and gave one last sweep. I had only gotten in the house and she was all ready to leave. 

I tried to strike up a conversation with her, but she must have been giddy from her success, as she cracked a few jokes at my expense, and then gave me one of her beady eyed glares.


It was all over.


Crayfish was officially my nemesis.


A strange and supernatural pattern has emerged: I find something rare and go to sell it on ebay; when I check Crayfish's auctions, she has a similar item already up for sale, but it is in much better condition, or even rarer but from the same series.

I find a vintage lego set in a ziploc bag and put it up for auction; the same week, she lists the same lego set in its original box, in immaculate condition. 

This has happened a creepy amount of times.


My Ladyfriend kindly asked that I stop checking Crayfish auctions, because the effect on my emotional well-being was so detrimental.

So I do not obsess about her as much as I did, but I know she is still out there.


I know she is selling what I'm selling, only better.


I know she has come and gone from a garage sale long before I roll up with two screaming kids, take five minutes to get those kids out of their car seats, another three to cross the street, and wearily ask the nice family taking down their signs if they had had any legos to sell when they had first opened their sale.

Inevitably, they point down the hot, dusty street, "a lady, she come and take them already. She come in the night. She take the legos and she go. You no follow her, not with your little ones. You stay here and drink this lemonade. You safe here."

They spit on the ground and make the sign against evil.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

#2 From the Desk of Jeffrey

I am alone in the kitchen, preparing a birthday cake for one of the students, and in comes Jeffrey.
"I was thinking about you and I brought you this." He presents me with a advertisement mailer for Chili's Grill and Bar Restuarant.
"Yeah, I was thinking about you," he continues on. Jeffrey starts making a muscle; his fingers roll repeatedly over his flexed bicep.
"I was thinking about you so I brought you this Chili's paper. Have you ever..." He trails off, still feeling his muscle and staring vacantly out the window.
"I'm just lifting these weights today, last night."
He leaves the room.
I hear him mumble to himself, "Come on, Jeffrey, think of something."
Ummm....

Monday, July 11, 2011

#1 From the Desk of Jeffrey

Jeffrey sniffs the air.
"Mmmm....something smells good-it's probably me."

"Take a look at that brad boy!"
Shoves a ten dollar bill in my face. Yes, 'brad'.


"Have you ever heard of toast? It's delicious."
He proceeds to explain to me how you make toast, and then shows me the oozing burn on his forearm from when he had tried to make toast the night before.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thomas Makes a Wish



One night, Thomas was sleeping.
His fairy godmother appeared. 
"Make a wish,Thomas," she whispered.
Thomas wished for a real Mommy and Daddy.
She said okay and rode off on her steed.
Thomas's Mommy and Daddy were even better than he imagined.
They snuggled in bed with him.
They shielded him from dragons.
 One night, a different fairy godmother brought Thomas's parents a real baby.
And the happy family forgot all about Thomas.

The End.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Product Review #11 Some Flea Market Treasures

If you are like me, and I will gladly assume that everyone on the internet is, then you benchmark a good week by how many items of Godzilla crap you find at a church flea market.
Though I was especially excited by this fellow:
It is essentially a rubbery Godzilla face on a plastic plaque with a button that says "Push".
I wish I had the nerve to describe myself as what I just wrote on a job application.
Anyways, I realized some important things about this item.

One, he is squishy, and squishyness is hard to convey through a photograph.
I piled some things on him to show how squishy he was, but he proved to be more resilient than I had anticipated.


Then I prodded him with my golden smoosher and the squish became evident:
I could not imagine what wonderful things might happen when I pushed that red button.
But then I didn't need to try and imagine it, because I pushed the button, and nothing happened.
There were dead exploded batteries in the battery compartment.
That was the other important thing I had noticed.


However, after some serious research, I made a remarkable discovery.
Not only had this toy originally come in a box, but the box actually told you, in fine detail, what the toy did!
(picture credit: sassysatellite, via ebay)
Not only does it tell you what it does, it lays out for you the exact approach you should take to fully experience Godzilla's face.
"Push the button.
Listen to his sound.
Watch his eyes light up.
See his face change."


But then, that command at the top: "Get even at work."
Can you imagine?
Your coworkers have humiliated you for the last time.
Those smug jerks have brought this on themselves.
You chase them through the halls with your Godzilla face, pushing the button over and over again.
They scream as you bear down on them, your voice ringing out: "Push the button! Listen to his sound! Watch his eyes light up! See his face change!"

Anyways, I was feeling pretty good about my purchase until I saw the next picture sassysatellite had taken.

No.
No, you rotten lying church ladies.
You ripped me off.
This isn't Godzilla at all.
Its...its...Mr.Chops the Nagging Dragon.
A wave of disgust washes over me.

But still, some small part of me wonders: does Mr.Chops talk? What does he nag about? Does he nag in English or Taiwanese?
If it was in Taiwanese and I translated it, would the nag hold up?
Would it still be applicable to our western culture?


My quest for answers lead me to YouTube, home of all that is right and true in our lives.

How disappointing.
The second time phoenixnl1 pushed the button, I was really hoping a nag would come out, because toys often do different stuff the second time you push the button.


Confused and strangely saddened by Mr.Chops, I turned my attention to this frightening incarnation of the radioactive giant lizard.
This is one of those remote controlled toys that have the controller attached directly to the toy via a black plastic wire. It is like the toymakers are saying, 'Careful now, have fun, but don't go crazy."


Great graphic on the remote there.
After the bitter pill that was Mr.Chops, I rested all my hopes on this one, that he would be the embodiment of Godzilla's rage and destructive power that the Nagging Dragon had utterly failed to be.
Craptastic church ladies and their crappy crap flea market of lies. I want my quarter back.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The first circle of manliness

I have never been a man's man.
Let me draw a graph:
The Man Planet is supposed to portray essential manliness, but as you can see, I have failed to even draw men, or at least men's hats. 
Anyways, the point is made.
This lack of intrinsic man-ness has plagued me throughout my life. 
For example, I went to a small, private middle school where boys had to wear these:

Or at least this:
And if you messed up bad, this happened:
This school was very small, so things tended to stick out. Things like early bloomers.

For those first few blessed years of school, I was one of the tallest kids in my class (I also had a downy lip, I believe a "Guido stache" in the vernacular of the day). 

There was one other kid my equal in height; let us call him Big T.

Big T was one of those kids who just excel at every sport they try, they walk at four months, they dunk when they are three, that kind of thing.

I was one of those kids who had a homemade basketball pole that was eleven feet high, and if you airballed, your one and only basketball disappeared into the poison ivy depths of the pine trees that rimmed your gravel court. 

You shrugged off the loss and retreated to the house to pretend you were not still playing with your Transformers, only posing them.

Big T had body parts the rest of us didn't have yet. He was all muscle.
Whatever physical fitness I had was earned from running around the neighbor in camouflage and wildly pointing my toy machine gun at passing traffic.

Let me graph the difference between Big T and I:

Because we were the same height, students and staff could not help but pit us against each other, constantly.

In flag football, I was a competent lineman until the coach put Big T across from me, even though he was the quarterback, just to see if I could stop him. I couldn't. 

I was doing okay at intramural wrestling, basically flinging around another sweaty nerd boy like me, so the coach decided to bring in Big T to wrestle me. I was down immediately.

On the day of the one and only wrestling meet we had, Big T pinned me instantly, right in front of the girl I had a crush on. 
When he helped me up, he said, "Don't worry about it, I have been wrestling with my dad since I was little". 
Yeah, so have I, but my dad lifting up my shirt and tickling my belly with his beard has not given me the skills to kick someone's ass.

I was so thrown off by that lightening fast defeat that I lost to the next guy I wrestled too.

I could not remember how to wrestle anymore, and whatever I tried to do to the other guy prompted the coach to say "What the hell was that move?"
When he counted me out, I slammed the mat, swore loudly, and ran out of the gym.
It was a real highlight for me.
 
Arm-wrestling, running, dodge-ball, trying to touch the rim; all these traditional feats of strength and athleticism staged daily on middle school playgrounds and during school lunch hours were seen as venues for Big T and I, two titans of muscle and puberty, to fling ourselves into the blood fever of our ongoing rivalry.

Except I just wanted to run the other way.

If I was about to enter the classroom and heard arm-wrestling begin, I would quickly duck and hide until class had started.

If I went in, Big T would only have eyes for me.

I remember the one time we did arm wrestle. I had managed to dodge it for four years, but the time had come at last. A crowd of my classmates surged around us, calling for blood. We faced each other across a school desk. Big T was smiling. I think I was trying to hide behind my Guido stache.

We linked hands like lovers; I almost whispered "We don't have to do this" but all that came out was my ever present nervous giggle. I felt sick.

The match began, and it was all strain, neither arm budging. Big T turned red.
My arm was on fire, but to my disbelief, his began to give out. It actually began to do go down. All I could hear was the cracked and squeezed frenzy of prepubescent boys yelling their lungs out.
I was winning.
But as I got Big T's arm close to that pristine desk surface, he began to smile.
Impossibly, he started pushing me back up to the starting position. My arm was numb, I had no sensation of strength left, and yet we were right back where we had started.
I had no muscle to use; I could only tell my brain to make my arm bend the way I wanted it to and hope for the best.
Again Big T went down. Again so close to the desk.
But that smile again, and he fought off defeat till we were again in the starting position.
This had to happen a few more times before I realized that Big T was just playing with me. His smile grew broader, and with a slight grunt, he toppled my arm over and it was done.

I had lost.

Beyond the shame of such a public defeat, there was also a sense of relief. 

See you bastard coaches, you idiot classmates? Just because two people are the same height, doesn't mean they are fated to always be at odds. Especially when one of those people is a marshmallow that reads Xanth books while listening to the Ghostbusters soundtrack.

I forgot what this post was supposed to be about so I will write more about Man Planets later.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The dignity of the human body

I wish I could create something beautiful-a film, a painting, a piece of music.
Something that is actually moving to someone, without being cliched, melodramatic, without manipulating the emotions of easily teary pregnant ladies.
Maybe with this blog, I have, I will (Jeffrey has taught me transcendental verb tense, and let me tell you, it is liberating)
I think maybe this post, even, might encapsulate all that is good and beautiful in this world.


You see, I like potty training my children more than I like potty training special education students.
With special ed students, I had to do something called the Peanut Butter exercise.
You put a healthy dollop of peanut butter on a paper plate, have them hold the plate behind their bottoms, give them a square of toilet paper, and let them wipe away until the there is no more peanut butter on the plate.
It's works really well, especially when the students get the peanut butter on their fingers and lick it off. Do you explain the difference or do you let it go, and hope for the best?


But with my own children I have not had to do the Peanut Butter exercise.
We have this great system worked out where they sprint naked from the toilet, find you where ever you are in the house or yard, and bend themselves double in order to give you the best possible view of the...opening...whereupon there is some variation in the system, as the five year-old gleefully asks "Is there any poop on my bottom?" and the three year-old just begs you to "wife" him.


It is entirely possible in this household to find yourself followed by two backwards-walking naked bottoms, each demanding in high, shrill voices that you attend to their individual fecal scenarios.


But now I must reveal a terrible truth, a secret, shameful memory. By typing the following words I will probably disqualify myself from ever holding public office.
When I was a little boy, I too asked for advice when it came to successful wiping.
But not from my mother or father, or at least, not that I can remember.
No, I subjected my poor little best friend in the neighborhood to the awful ritual.
I would poop at his house, then do the bend over maneuver now so familiar to me.
"Is there any left?" I would prompt him.
All I can remember is his voice, a little shy, a little sad, saying "umm there's some right there...oh..yep you got it."


Sometimes in the night, when I cannot sleep, the idea torments me. The idea that if I remember this happening, than so must he.
The embarassment burns over me and I cry a little bit.
My Ladyfriend rolls over in bed, grumbling, barely awake, "What it is it now?'
"I think I had my friend check my bottom for poop."
"Recently?"
"sniffle...sniffle...no."
"Than shut up and go to sleep."
"Ok."
I get a tissue and wife my tears.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Profile of a Follower #3 Emma Moros

This time I have proof that Emma Moros is a girl.
Let's assume that there is only one Emma Moros on the Internet.
That means it is the Emma Moros seen in this video.
Apparently she was a newscaster in Vermont, so that is like being a celebrity.
However, in the video she has blonde frizzy hair and in her follower picture she has dark hair, so maybe she is into stuff like changing hair color.
I just wish she had plugged www.gweenbrick.com before she started interviewing that Egyptian girl.


There are two things even more interesting about Emma Moros, though.
One, if you click on her picture, you can see that she belongs to two blogs, this one and one called "Wait a minute jean" or something.
If you try to go to stopitjean it says you are not invited.
That is kind of hurtful and I have to admit that I felt kind of mad at Emma for locking me out of that blog. I wondered about it all, who jean was, why no one can come to her party, and things of that nature that people who are prone to useless wonderings sometimes find themselves unable to stop wondering about.
I especially wondered if Emma Moros was mean and snobby, and maybe should be taken down a peg.


That was when I came upon interesting thing number two.
In 2003, when she was in the 9th grade, Emma Moros ran 1000 meters in  4 minutes and 35 seconds.
Now I am not a sporty guy, but I am willing to bet I can run 1000 meters faster than that.


As a side note, when I was in 9th grade, I played flag football. One time I drew a foul by clipping another player, and I kept asking my coach if I should apologize to the offended party. Eventually my coach asked me what the hell was wrong with me.
Anyways, I should look up how far 1000 meters is so I can be even more confident.
Googling...Googling....Googling...Googling
(That is what librarians think in their heads when they do professional quality internet searches)
Half a mile? What the hell? I'm not running that.
Is what I would say, if I hadn't discovered that 1000 meters = 100000 centimeters.
Centimeters are tiny. I can run centimeters with my eyes closed. Though as the amount of centimeters rose I would probably crack my eyes a little, and than more, and than eventually wide open because any fool knows the more centimeters you run with your eyes closed the more likely you are to get hurt.
But that is neither here nor there, because now it is so on. Which is something that people of the sports like to say. It feels good to say it too. It especially feels good to italisicze it. But it doesn't feel good to try and remember how to spell italisize.
Googling...Googling....Googling....Googling
I like it how when you Google "How do you spell hightailitsize" Google kindly suggests how feeble you are by saying what you meant to search for.
Italicize.
Its an unusual word actually.
I bet Emma could have spelled it right, dammit.
But laugh it up, Speedy McAwesome Speller, you are about to go down.
People of the sports say that too.


Before Emma and I race however, there are a few understandings I would like to make known.


Understand that I was a smoker for many years, and still would be if someone knocked on my door right now and offered me one. Consequently my cardiovascular health can be described as the sound of lungs crying out in pain when asked to provide oxygen for the effort required to successfully shut a car door.


Understand that I weigh more than Emma does, and therefore require a headstart to be able to throw off the foggy headed-ness brought on by the transition from potential to kinetic energy. This is because the heavier you are, the more potential you have to do something, because you are always telling yourself how you are going to do things like lose weight and befriend people of the sports and stuff.
Runny people like Emma are disgustingly kinetic.


With that out of the way, I challenge you Emma Moros to the 1000 meter dash (for you) and 100000 centimeter in your face (for me).


One more thing: lets just ride the elephant in the room here (sports talk again maybe) and say, yeah I am bald, less wind resistance, I know, not fair. Quit whining, Emma. I will figure out something to wear to even the odds.