Saturday, April 30, 2016


Today was the last day of the semester. I taught my final two classes. Only one student showed up to the final class. I came home and started grading. I kept grading until my brains turned to pudding. Then I finished Spaced. The awesome of the latter outweighs the less-than-awesome of everything else.

Sometimes you can find imbalances like that which work in your favor. Tomorrow, for instance, my wife and kid are leaving to visit relatives. Me? I'm staying here to grade. Wee. But I also have band practice, and that should outweigh everything else.

Monday, April 11, 2016

no fear

I have clinical depression. I've had kidney stones. I've had some of the most disturbing surgery recovery one can imagine. I've failed at my chosen career. I've had any variety of shocks to the system, and I'm here to tell you all that there is a bright side. Nothing scares me anymore. Or, as Berke Breathed says:

they come running just as fast as they can

One of the reasons (I like to tell people when they ask...not that they really take that much of an interest) I do the job I do is because there's no dress code. I don't like formal I do my best to not wear them if possible. Where I work? Dressing up doesn't help me. In fact, the one semester I experimented with a blazer, it actually hurt my classes, as the students thought I was way too formal and wouldn't talk at all.

 Most people assume this is because I am incapable of effectively dressing up. That is not true at all. I actually own a very nice suit. Moreover, on the rare occasions I do dress up, I've also been told I accessorize and color match quite well. In other words, if I wanna, I can look good.

The issue? Most times, I just don't wanna. I dislike formalism. I dislike the idea that I have to put on a "hey, I'm an adult" uniform. I don't like artifice when it comes to identity. Moreover, I don't like having anything tight around my neck, so I hate ties. This also leads me to not like turtlenecks, but that more influences my ability to dress business casual/preppy than anything else.

Today, though, I found a suit I would dearly love to own. I like it so much, I would dearly love to change careers so I could wear said suit with greater frequency. What is this marvelous outfit? Why, it's the pictured Pac-Man suit. Tell me that ain't just awesomely cool. It would, however, have a fairly big drawback. Where would you actually wear it? I'm betting the bosses who would approve it as professional wear are few and far between. It's probably out for most weddings. Funerals? Also a no-go, I bet.

However, I make you this promise right now, as we speak. If any of you decide to buy this for me, I promise to invent situations to wear it.

Message me for my suit size, please.

Friday, April 08, 2016


I like coffee. I mean, really like. Coffee is holy. I have reworked a number of classic quotes to be about coffee. "Black blood of the earth." "You mean coffee?" "I mean black blood of the earth." That one is my favorite, but I also enjoy "no pleasure, no sin, no exquisite rapture greater than coffee." So it is with great that I, as a result of both a decreased ability to process caffeine and on advice of my urologist that limit myself to a maximum of two cups a day. That make every single speck of coffee that much more special.

So you can imagine my feelings when, while doing dishes Monday, I accidentally broke my French Press. There was, for the record, much weeping and rending of garments. I thought I might try to go without coffee the next day, but within minutes of leaving the house, I found myself in the drive-through of a Tim Hortons. Of course, it took seven minutes to work through the refunding of my accidental overcharge before I could get on my way to work. Top this with my four year old in the back seat complaining that she "is gonna be late for class," and you can see why the day least to more anxiety than normal instead of gentle stimulation.

My AeroPress came in the next day. I've never used one of these before, so I poured over the instructions. Then I recalled hearing of the annual AeroPress recipe championships, so I looked them up online. Later that night I decided to check YouTube for tutorials. Next thing I know, an hour and a half of my mother, my father, and I watching coffee making videos and critiquing them had passed. It was stimulating I'm a completely unexpected way.

Not, however, as stimulating as the coffee the next morn.