Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Update Early Edition

Since I was late last week I thought I'd be early this week.

Musical Artists of the Week:
This week we have a tie.

All last week I couldn't stop listening to Jamiroquai "Traveling Without Sound." This late nineties brit funk band never got much respect but they certainly deserve it for this golden album of joy. Songs are funky, danceable, and have a heavy element of outer space feel. I can't wait to be home so I can dance to this with my friends.

Then on Friday I re-bought an album I used to listen to in Australia. I needed some inspirational words that would sink deep into my soul and fill me with love. The album is Michael Franti "Songs From the Front Porch." This short solo album features most of the band but is down beat and more earthy than his other efforts with Spearhead and the lyrics/message takes front stage. I think that every parent in America should buy this album and play it for their kids so that they grow up to be positive informed people of the new world.

Old Person Phrase of the Week: "Bull Pucky" This nonsensical phrase loosely means bullshit. I don't know many folks who still say this one so its up to you to bring it back !

Fitness Update: Some hard workouts, three yoga sessions and a lot of tea and sleep has helped me get back to about 95% health.

Featured Blog of the Week: Stuff White People Like. If you've never read this offensive little blog turned phenomenon you should. It is hilarious, there are over a hundred posts each dedicated to things that white people generally like.

This week at the Post Office...

I received (recently):
---A really cool book on New Zealand Art/Artists and some original New Zealand Art (Thanks KT!)
---Batteries, Junior Mints, M&M's, Butterscotch Chips, TheraFlu and lotsa love in a Care package from mom!
---100% Cod Liver Oil from Nordic Naturals purchased by my Dad (used by Icelandic People in the winter to replace all the Vitamin D being lost from no sunshine...they call it sunshine in a bottle and my dad says it works wonders)
---An amazing surprise care package including two hand crafted mix cds, an absolutely ANCIENT Sigur Ros album I don't have, amazing wonderful red tea, fantastic organic coffee, and a letter. (Thanks Syd!!!)
---My one and only W2 (now I just need Alisha to help me with my taxes)
---An PAST DUE phone bill for 66 bucks...lame.
---My first RELIX magazine from the subscription my bro got me

I Sent:
66 bucks to UUI for the phone.
12 mix cd's for my cd mix of the month club.

Lastly But Not Leastly: I am so overwhelmed with stuff to do. My room is growing messier and messier. I just keep on playing video games, making mix cd's and goofing off instead of taking care of business.

I'm watching Foster the Dog again for my neighbors/colleagues the Barnetts. He is a very nice dog, but he is also a very stupid dog. Every time I get up to get a drink of water, answer the phone or go to the bathroom he thinks its time to go. I do have him trained (now going on over a month's amount of days that I've dog sat him) to not require a leash anymore, which is nice. He is a long haired australian shepard so he gets hair everywhere too.

My music and life project student Ted put his iPod through the washing machine losing everything that I gave him music wise. If he was just another kid I would say 'so what,' but he's kind of like a prodigy/project of mine right now, teaching him how to live life positive and how to manifest your own reality and music/iPod is my foremost form of communication. I wouldn't ever buy a kid something except this kid, I'm trying to figure out how to get him an iPod because him having one actually impacts the entire school (he's pretty cool).

TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS starts this week in PE. We will be playing a four day long tournament in PE. The teams will stay the same all week, and the champions will be crowned on Thursday.
Monday is Ultimate Indoor Frisbee (off the walls and highest score after a half an hour wins)
Tuesday is Indoor Soccer (no goalie, with a penalty box, off the walls, top score after a half an hour wins)
Wednesday is Volleyball (regular rules, all ceiling balls are do overs)
Thursday is Last ditch Mystery Bonus Sport (it will be capture the flag and will be worth two days in case one team is down by two)
The champions will have their names put up on the wall for all to behold their splendor and glory.

And thats about it for the week, now you're updated, have a good one you cheeky monkees.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Overalls Thursday

Yesterday I was walking to the store, I was listening to the song "Alright" on my big headphones by the late 90's brit funk sensation Jamiroquai, and the sun was shining and I was looking at my long shadow down the road from the late afternoon low hanging arctic sun. I was dancing a little just to see my shadow get his boogie down too, and the sunshine and my newfound health of late, and the great day at school all just sort of came together all at once and I was happy, truly momentarily happy. I just haven't seen the sunshine in so long that I forgot what it looked and felt like. It wasn't the kind of deep lasting happiness that defines a month or a season or a year, but rather a short glimpse of joy inside the eye of storm of uncertainty and difficulty.

Tomorrow we have a teacher inservice which means that classes and students will be replaced by some sort of unproductive district office brainchild or some staff meeting from hell. I'm going to make the best of it and try to work on my various procrastinations.

Tonight I'm gonna take it easy, I've been hooked on a couple of things lately though. So here is a list of the little joys in my life:

Ice cold "Mountain Cooler" Capri-Suns (so good late at night and totally helping me kick the soda pop habit)

A&E tv station's freaky show "PARANORMAL STATE" (ghost and spirit investigators go around the North East contacting the dead and recording every frightening bump in the night, I'm absolutely hooked into this show!)

Tiger Woods Golf 2009 on XBox360 (I am the points leader through 10 events on the FedEx Cup Season. You're going down Tiger! and the best part...I HATE GOLF!)

Yoga Yoga Yoga (got three yoga sesions in this week I am sore but I feel amazing! We had a very intense session last night)

Junior Mints (take that coffee breath!)

Jamiriqoquai (I have been waking up to "Drifting Along" every day this whole week. How can one band be so good and not be totally huge?)

Following the possibility of an eruption at Mt. Redoubt volcano on the Kenai Peninsula across the water from Soldatna. (Seismic activity has elevated the status to "orange"/ "watch" and the possibility of an eruption in the next few weeks is very high!) Check the website HERE.

United States of Tara on Showtime (Toni Collette is really good as a mom with 4 personalities, the show is a short half an hour per episode but it deals with some very real high school issues including gothic/emo kids, pregnancy, stereotypes, and dealing with life.)

Big Love on HBO. (The season is starting slow but you can tell its building towards something frantic and dramatic. Cancer scares, accidental pregnancies, a possible fourth wife, a big mormon friendly casino deal with the native american's, attempted assassinations in the compound, old enemies and bribes, FBI crackdowns on polygamy, its pandemonium!)

Basically those are the little nuggets of joy that I can pass along to you today. Hopefully they give you some ideas to spice up your life.

"You can't just think about peace, you have to believe in peace. And you can't just believe in peace you have to work for it."

-Eleanor Roosevelt


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Short Story: "Cabernet Play-doe Vomit Spectacular"

What you're about to read is a truthful account of a real event. Names and specific details of persons identities have been changed to protect those involved in this sad sad story).

The Alaska gate agent berated us via the muffled intercom in gate C-0 of the Anchorage airport warning of the impending doom that lay before us in Seattle airport.

"Wa Wa Wa...If you are traveling to Seattle on tonight's Alaska Airlines Flight 43 you should know that no flights are taking off from Seattle due to snow...Wa wa wa...All the hotel and lodging is filled up...Wa Wa Wa...You have two options, stay in Anchorage for the night or take your chances in Seattle...Wa wa wa..."

This was just a ploy by the agents to get some of the delayed holiday problem passengers down the line so that they could become someone else's frantic pain in the ass. The mass exodus of bush Alaska educators and service workers back to the lower forty-eight for the holidays was in full swing. Throngs of grizzled, overworked, bloodshot, cranky teachers and workers roamed about the terminal with looks of desperation or downright forlornness at their chances of making it home in time for another Christmas.

I was checking and various other weather websites for the real story of my fate. By all accounts wind and visibility seemed fine in both Anchorage and Seattle and I assured a worried looking father of two rambunctious girls and husband of a horse faced cranky pants wife that everything was going to be fine. In fact things would get a whole lot worse before they got better.

"Now Boarding all passengers seats 15 and higher." The intercom lady said finally.

Disregarding order and knowing the over bookedness of the flight I got up and shuffled down the corridor with other exasperated and weary travelers. I've always noticed the general overall change in percentages of types of travelers as you get closer to the lower forty-eight. This particular crowd was mostly filled with scrunchy faced over weight white people and a few native people sprinkled in with a dash of Seattle hipster flair to boot, a drastically different crew than the motley haggard one with whom I rode into Anchorage from Bethel.

As a prologue to the upcoming unfortunate and seriously messed up series of events I will tell you that I always get the isle seat. I pick it purposefully. I hate having to ask people to let me out. When you sit in the isle seat you can come and go as you please and since I usually enjoy my fair share of beverages I often need frequent relief. If you sit at the window you get a great view, but what if the person is sleeping in the isle seat? You have to rudely wake them and then you're screwed. So there I sat in the isle seat D row 19, ukulele safely stowed above, iPod snuggly bopping away some Tegan and Sara in my ears, trying to stay positive about the chances of us making it to Seattle safely.

"Attention passengers, we will be making the trip to Seattle tonight and won't know if we will be landing until we get nearer to the area, we may be diverted to Boise, Idaho as an alternative." The flight attendant announced over the intercom.

Great, Boise. What the hell am I gonna do in Boise. Thats closer than Alaska though.

Just as I was wearing a nice groove in the seat with my ass cheeks, a tentative overweight mid western couple started stowing their over sized luggage above feebly with their elderly arms. I cringed as she smashed her carry on in wondering if my ukulele was cracking under the attack. I waited till they looked ready to sit down and cordially got up and let them settle in. As not to be rude I removed my headphones and put them in my pocket in preparation for the inevitable single serving friend conversation that would follow:

"Hey hows it going. Fine thanks. Hope we make it home. We will think positive! I checked the weather on the internet and its looking fine, they can land these things electronically anyway. Thats a relief. Where you from. Oh you're a teacher too, gee willickers,Blah Blah Blah."

It turns out the couple actually fit into a rather typical Alaska story. They were Bob and Martha Henderson from Washtucna, Washington, and after teaching respectfully and earnestly for twenty plus years in the same small wheat farming town school they attempted retirement and couldn't make ends meet with their meager monthly retribution for a life's dedication to the betterment of good American boys and girls.

So they did what any rational married retired couple would do (not really) they packed up their wholesome Christian values and moved to the great untamed white north to teach in a remote bush native village and "make a difference." Their adventure took them to a hard edged and difficult little village outside of Barrow on the north slope and just like many of us, most of the promises and pictures that the recruiter painted for them didn't really come true. In fact they were so beat down from the cold, stark, hard reality of their first 5 months in the bush that they had fallen into the age old pit of referring to natives as "THESE PEOPLE," a term I tend to judge other people on pretty harshly.

Their complaints were typical first year teacher complaints. Weather was bad, planes were scary, food was expensive, living arrangements were awful, the kids didn't respect anything, they didn't want to learn and these people this, and these people that. These kids. These parents. I started to wander off into my own thoughts of judgment.

I didn't really pick it up at the time but now in retrospect I should have noticed that they were both buzzing pretty hard. I can remember now that Bob's flushed rosy cheeks were flapping away as he rolled complaint after complaint out of his battered face and ego.
"Why back in the day...They really oughtta...I just can't believe these people..." He just kept on.

This little native village had done quite a number on old Bob and Martha. Their great adventure had turned on them, it was now becoming a nightmare, they had strayed too far from the great American heartland they once knew and loved. I could tell that Martha was still clinging to the last strings of her faith as she gripped a copy of some Christian propaganda book entitled something along the lines of "Faith in the Face of Crisis." A Typical bewildered retired couple to a tee, so classic.

I humbly shared my situation in Mekoryuk, after hearing their debacle I made an extra effort to be super positive about the plight of the native population as they struggle towards an evolving existence in the techno-centered society of today. I talked about how great the kids were and how hard we were working and how I am really just hear to learn and do my best. I tooted my own horn a lot and tried to make them feel badly about all the shit talking they just did. But in fact, my situation was probably better than theirs and I am a little bit better equipped to deal with it being young and full of idealistic dreams and goals. Still, ignorant "these people" hypocritical right wingers really didn't make me want to give them solace from their woes, rather, a stiff reality check about how their attitudes contribute to their own horror show.

Meanwhile the flight attendants started to take their seats. We had talked right through the little stage show that informed us of how and what we should do in the small minute possibility that our plane would crash land and not erupt into a ball of flames and just exactly where we were to exit into the icy unknown hell below.

During the conversation Martha started to nod off. A long day indeed for a withered raisin of a lady. She rested her modest farm wife hairdo head on the shoulder of her still bolstering and guffawing husband. He just kept talking though. I had opened a Pandora's Bob box that may never be shut. Glassy eyed bastard.

"We will be taking off shortly, please remain seated with your safety belts fastened," a tall attractive African American flight attendant announced over the speaker from the front (I mention this detail because I imagine the Anchorage-Seattle route on Alaska Airlines must be wear they send the dried out alcoholic hag attendants for punishments, and insight I base on my observations of the previous carcasses they usually staff the flights with).

Just as she said that I noticed Martha shudder and convulse on her husband's shoulder. In the deepest parts of my mind I knew what would happen next. I knew what was taking place, I understood it, accepted it, acknowledged it in my deepest cerebrum, but I didn't want to believe it. I didn't want to believe that the sleeping mid western teacher grandma lady next to me was about to throw up in her sleep, but she did, right before my very eyes.

She awoke just in time to cover her mouth with her hands. Like watching a car accident or a train wreck I just sat eyes agape at the horror show before me, her convulsing body, pulsating next to me, retching and spewing forth in slow motion. Before I could blink or grab some sort of receptacle she let forth the violet demon inside her.

You see, she had pressed her hands so firmly against her face that she created a tight seal around her mouth minus the tiny holes that formed between her pointer fingers and her thumbs. The blast force of the upheaval caused the acidic regurgitated matter to shoot out the side holes of her cupped hands just like play-doe squirts out of those pasta maker type accessories. The color of the matter was in fact very play-do fuschia in color and consistency as well, a deep berry purple pasty creation that bubbled and shot out the sides of her hands down onto the floor and onto the right leg of my green Carhart overalls.

"Oh Jesus!" Slipped out of my mouth with out warning. I started rifling through the flap in front of me frantically searching for the standard complimentary white paper barf bag that usually goes unused. All this and we hadn't even taken off yet. Martha was in trouble.

The tall attractive African American first class flight attendant walked by making her final check before giving the captain the go ahead.

"Um...uh...okay... we have a situation here lady." I blurted out obviously as a result of the seriousness of the situation.

"For Fuck's sake Martha," Bob said gruffly. Apparently he wasn't going to be much of a help in this most dire of circumstances.

"Is she okay? Does she need medical assistance? STOP THE PLANE! We have a medical emergency!" The flight attendant shouted down the isle.

"Oh no," Martha said miserably through her hands.

"Can we get some towels and some club soda?" I asked the flight attendant spastically. I thought in my head that this was the first time outside the movies I'd ever thought to use club soda for a spill, who says you don't learn from TV?

"Ma am are you ok?" The attendant asked seriously, towering above us.

"I think she drank too much wine at THE Chile's," Bob said insensitively.

I tried to console Martha in the heat of the moment,"Its gonna be okay, no one saw, it'll be alright just hang in there."

Martha was crying and cowering and trying to figure out what to do with her hands full of Cabernet and cheese fries throw up. Bob had recoiled and was being of no help. I thought momentarily that this is how you really know if someone loves you, by the way they act when you need them the most, how they care for you when you are at your worst. Then I thought, what if Bob's entire life was dealing with shit like this and maybe he had developed a hard exterior shell to this sort of ordeal, maybe his purple pasta-like vomit shooting wife had pulled this shit before and he just didn't care anymore, in fact this was the last straw and he would divorce her over it. Either way I felt like I was caught in the middle of a hurricane.

The smell was overpowering, cheap wine and starchy appetizers, unmistakable. Selfishly I thought of the fact that I would have to smell this stench the whole ride home. I suddenly became aware of the other passengers in the blast radius. They were all wrinkling their noses up and trying not to stare. The flight attendant came back as I was gathering up napkins from near by people to aide in her plight. Martha started wiping the muck from her face.

"Why don't you go up to 8-C sir. We have an extra seat and that will give her some room to get better, we're bringing club soda and napkins," The tall young attractive attendant said to me with a look that said 'holy shit man did that just happen let's get you outta this mess dude.'

"Don't worry Martha, everything's gonna be fine you'll be okay they're taking care of you," I said as I got up to move. I felt bad leaving her with her assfaced husband. But its Alaska, sometimes you have to make hard decisions as you know, its survival up here.

As I grabbed my bags from the overhead and turned to walk up the isle, the last thing I saw was Martha beginning to wipe the purple mash out of her dyed sandy blond bangs and Bob started to stroke her back. This caused her to convulse again and I just had to walk away from the entire affair.

I plopped down in 8 C next to a sleeping black guy about my age listening to headphones. He could tell something life changing had just happened to me, I must have been wearing the shock on my face.

"Dude you okay?" He asked half assedly.

"Yeah an old lady just threw up wine and cheese fries on me." I said as I pointed to a neat little globule now drying on my knee.

"That's sick bro," he said and then he put his headphones back in nonchalantly and went to sleep.

I tried to get up to go wash off the vomit chunks on my jeans and hand and was promptly yelled at over the intercom by another flight attendant lady (much older and broken looking than the hot one that saved me from the vomit onslaught),


I sat down, degraded, shaken, bewildered and embarrassed. Here I was just trying to get chunk free in two thousand three and getting yelled at for it.

And the plane hadn't even taken off yet.

The story ends rather well though. I got a twenty-five dollar gift certificate for being a "Good Samaritan" and helping Martha through her trials. I also got complimentary beverages the whole way home and the hot knight-ess in shining armor flirted with me a little.

The moral of the story is two fold: ALWAYS sit in the isle and, and this is a big AND, just because you just had the worst five months of your life teaching in bush Alaska doesn't give you the right to get heinously drunk on cheap CabSav at a Chile's, mow down some cheese fries, and barf all over creation... its hard for all of us and that little delay could've cost us Christmas, get your act together okay?

I've been waiting a long time till I had enough time to properly record this very real and very frightening event from December 22nd of 2008.

I'm sorry it was so long and so disgusting but this had to be given proper justice.

Good night.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Update

Well I seemed to have weathered the storm inside of me. I woke up today, albeit weak, with clear sinus', a good tummy and overall feeling a little better (75% as of now). I think yesterday my body just decided to heat up and throw up and get up and out of me whatever it needed to do. I felt a lot better today, even though I was kinda weakly today (especially in PE I ran out of gas so fast!).

So I'm very very sorry that the update was 24 hours late, although somehow I feel like you all will understand.

Musical Artist of the Week: When I sold my first magazines in the school fundraiser at Harbor Ridge Middle School circa 1996 ish I earned enough "points" and was rewarded with one cassette tape (HAHHAHAHAH how lame is that!!!!!) I could pick from various bands that they had available (which mostly sucked) but after careful deliberation I settled on this weeks featured artist.

THE SPIN DOCTORS and their 1991 release "Pocket Full of Kryptonite." Some lyrics surfaced in my brain last week and reminded me of their song "Little miss, little miss, little miss can't be wrong,"a big-ish single off this album. A rush of sounds and memories came flooding in from listening to them in my room on my boombox with Marc Johnson. Then It dawned on me that during the height of the emerging grunge phenomenon which produced bands like Green Day, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, and Smashing Pumpkins one little band was wearing wool hats, playing funky riffs and generally dancing around happily making catchy little grunge ditties that apparently I liked enough to select on cassette. So I did the unthinkable, I went on iTunes and purchased this piece of nostalgic gold. Turns out the band had loads of Heroin problems (who didn't in early 90's music though?) and a pocket full of kryptonite probably was a little bit more sinister than it sounded as a kid. It also turns out that the band is actually pretty good, good in a Flowmotion crossed with the Presidents of The United States of America way, and good enough for me to make dinner to them (a high honor in my life, the making dinner album is very sacred). It also makes sense that I'm listening to the Spin Doctors instead of seeking the care of a real physician, hey, thats me though.

Old Person Phrase of the Week:
"Jumpin' Jahosaphat" ahahahahahahahaahaha. Just say it out loud. Right now, don't be afraid, go all Sammity Sam in your cubicle or desk and just say it with feeeeeeling, I promise you will laugh real hard.

Nunivak Weather: We are totally getting late March-ish snow hand over fist. Everyday I wake up and can't believe how much more snow we have. Deep fluffy snow is making early morning plowers a constant part of my life, it also makes for exciting Indiana Jones style wreckless snow drift truck jumping driving out to the airport. Its warmed up a bit, 24 deg F today, down right tropical.

Art Update: Friday Night I finalized and recorded two songs. The first was a new one called "Anymore" and it is a nice little ditty about certain things that life throws your way. The second one was rerecording of an older song from this year called "Little Life." They both turned out pretty good even with a nasally voice. I'm gonna post them to my music page this week and I'll let you all know when that happens. A peculiar thing too, I opted in to the Independent Artist Company cash stream. For a one time 8 dollar fee, I now get paid a fraction of a cent for every time someone listens to my music online. I've already earned about 9 dollars and this month already has double the listens, so everytime you listen to my tunes on my music page I get a tiny little nugget of commercial retribution. I can officially say I am a paid (albeit nominally) musician! Yeah Baby. In case you forgot here it is.

Kale's Music Page click HERE

Featured Blog of the Week: I didn't ask this person if they wanted the sudden flood of readership that comes with a prestigious Radiate Warmth shout out (yeah right, like I have any sway in the world), but her blog Queen Larbs of Strumpet Valley is so goddamn funny that if you ever wanted to have a great laugh at an awesome woman's fantastic insights on the world you should check it out. I read it promptly after a new post pops up on my blog roll and it always makes me smile. Thanks for your amazing thoughts you wonderful Greek badass, your sense of humor is great and you continually make me jealous of you for living the dream in San Fran.

Lastly but not Leastly:
My brother made it to the UK safe and sound and happy, big relief off my mind. His first day of class was today, GO HAL!!!!!!!

Additionally, I am breathing out of both nostrils simultaneously at this very moment. Its a miracle, sweet baby jesus.

Being sick in bush alaska has not only been lame and annoying but also rather scary. I was so ill yesterday that I was immobile and I thought even if I wanted to get help for my dying carcass I was a long walk to the not open clinic and also a one and a half hour bush plane ride away from competent health care (our aides are nice and slightly trained but they do most of their assessment by phone with a doctor, that is if they're even open, which they're not on sundays). This island is really far away (the clinic in Toksook is good though). This whole sick experience has been really eye opening. I generally consider myself the pillar of health, during the summer months I abuse my body constantly camping and going to festivals and having a good ol time and I never seem to ever feel a twinge of ill effects. But this 3 and a half week battle with the demon inside of em has really made me appreciate how great it is to be healthy. I CAN'T WAIT TO BE BACK...SO CLOSE! I weighed myself after Christmas 170 lbs. Now I'm down to 155 lbs. Holy crap! I lost 15 lbs in a month from sickness (and lack of groceries).

Mega lastly, my hair is growing out a bit and I'm totally working on the beginnings of a wicked sweet comb-over. And by comb over I mean like a little kids hair cut, side part to the right, basically with the scraggly beard I look like a gold miner/prospector that just came out of the hills, got a bath and a trim, and is ready to go to the saloon with his new gold nugget money and play cards. In other words, I'm going for the malnourished prospector look in 2009. Its the hot look I'm telling you.

Have a good week peeps!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend Update ...not.

I came in to update you fine people but on top of being incredibly feverish and painfully plugged up I now think that its possible I might call some dinosaurs as well. You know, say hi to my friend RALPH.

I'll have to catch up with you tomorrow because I seriously can't be here a minute longer. Sorry friends.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Overalls Friday in the nick of time

What a grueling week, long positive hard working days at school with the kids, long after work hours spent organizing matters of the heart after school via frustrating internet communication modes, then long feverish nights filled with stuffy noses, medicated intermittent sleep and tired morning rises.

Somehow I've been used up physically, emotionally and spiritually and I still feel okay. In fact, I feel good, (thanks to some really awesome friends and fam sending me lots of love and support and keeping me going! You know who you are you bad asses!) I feel like I've weathered a storm, I'm tired yes, stuffed up yes, broken up yes, but its all me still standing here.

My creative block finally lifted last night too and I exploded and wrote two new amazing songs one called "All Day Long" and another called "Anymore" but I'm not really ready to share them on my blog yet. I can't record them until my voice returns to normal. Be patient ok? I really want to be healthy again so that I can get back to a steady music recording and practice schedule for my big summer of music (I'm gonna make in the big time momma, you just wait n' see!) I seriously would like to actually start trying to get gigs this year, paid, regular gigs playing my music for more than just my family. Call it a late New Years Resolution.

Now I'm gonna run down to the store, word around the Igloo is that they got them summa dat produce in and I'm hoping to score me some veggies and fruities. I would make plans for the weekend but I won't carry them out, I got stuff to do, lots of "stuff" and I'll probably procrastinate it till a frantic moment in the near future at which case you will all know about it because I will write about it then.

I realized I haven't given you all a nice peak at my shining face in a while so this is what I look like today just so you know I haven't wasted away to some mutant form (depending on your opinion of what mutants look like of course). I hope it make you smile.Have a great weekend, I gotta real humdinger for the musical artist of the week on sunday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

M.O.P.S., Awesome Schoolage, and Beautiful Effortlessness

I got the M.O.P.S. To the lay man that's "Mucosal Over Production Syndrome" (A made up acronym for the fact that I'm plugged up like a drain full of pancake batter). I know you all are probably as sick of hearing about my various ailments as I am of having them. But in the last two days I have literally lost six pounds in snot alone. I am now so good at blowing my nose that I can do little ditties with the honking. Honk Honka Honk Honk...Honk Honk, like a car horn or a knock at the door.

What's even better is that I am even more nasally than I already naturally sound. Its embarrassing. My face is all puffed up and it looks like I just smoked a doobie, bloodshot, squinty. Five people told me I look bad today. You look sick. You don't look so good. "You Look Hooooorrible." Nothing like hearing that all before 10 am.

Luckily that is the only major downside of the day. School is going EFFING spactacular. Health Class is going great, we are doing a really abstract concept for the class. We had the kids make up puppets of imaginary people. Then we had them brainstorm all kinds of "teen issues" and we made a giant list. Today they picked out of a hat their teen issue for the week. Now they have to research it, make a plan to deal with it, and present it in puppet form to the rest of the class. They are totally into it because its a puppet and not them. What an accidental miracle.

Math classes are moving along ahead of necessary pace. I've got a bunch of WORKERS this semester. Way to go ladies!

Earth Science is a little dry (chemistry/physics basics so far so how else would it be?) but the kids are pushing through it and we try to make it fun (Periodic Table Bingo Today was hilarious).

PE class is going UN-believable too. We are now into week two of our work out routine. Yoga on Monday, and Tues/Weds/Thursday we do a ten minute stretch then a work out circuit that includes an abs station, a push up/dips station, a jumping cardio station, a sprints/running station, and an endurance holds station. We learned and played ultimate frisbee last week, and this week it is indoor soccer. They are loving it, participating, competing, playing like teams and NO COMPLAINING. Plus afterward you can tell they all feel better from getting their bodies moving. Plus its hard, so we are growing closer by overcoming something together.


Last year my personal life was awesome and school was a constant struggle. This semester its all flipped around. I guess you can't have everything in life but I sure wish you could. Life, its always gonna have something for you to overcome. Thats why I love those little effortless moments so much. Those moments in the sun when you dance, and play, and just forget about time and meaning and simply exist in the moment. Is that what its all about? The search for easy? I mean their is a satisfaction that comes from accomplishing something against all odds and rationale through grit and sweat and blood, a sort of triumph if you will, but there is also a specific beauty and calmness about things in life that are effortless. Of course climbing a mountain is worth it, but its soooo much fun to ski down you know?

What I'm trying to say is, if you're climbing a mountain, one step at a time baby! And if you're clicking into those boots at the top, enjoy the ride you lucky son of bitch!

Up or down, everything is in its right place.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Big Day

Let me begin by saying that there is nothing like starting a Tuesday off sitting in a cramped room with 20 Eskimo school children watching a live broadcast the first African American president of the USA get sworn in while under a cold medicine induced haze. Truly a one of a kind moment in my life.

Here were my impressions of the whole event:

First: I was struck by how it was so medieval feeling in the beginning with the long horns resounding and the announcing in proclamation a new king was to take the thrown. Here ye, Here ye all come to see the procession to the great hall and phallic monuments as sir Barack of Obamanton takes the silver sword out of the stone.

Second: I love that Dick Cheney hurt his back yesterday moving boxes. Irony you slick bastard.

Third: I love how I get to be reminded of just how religious our country is when we swear in our secular democratically elected president. I've never heard so much praying and mention of "God" in my life. The first white guy preacher dude who went on and on about god this and god that really made me uncomfortable and irritated. I wish I could say something positive about religion but in this sense I can not, while this is a melting pot of a country, it is still obviously a Christian one, and that will always scare me. The African American guy at the end was a little better though, and at least humorous and proud. But seriously I always get reminded of how I truly am not part of the spiritual American conscious that is constantly represented in our policy, politics, media and public image.

In Obama's own words "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers." In fact we are a nation of Buddhist's and Wiccans and Rastafarians also and lazy people and spiritual consumers too and a whole lotta other whacky beliefs as well that won't ever get mentioned. I personally don't fit into any category he mentioned because I don't consider my self a "non believer." Even when my beliefs are acknowledged in a speech they are labeled in contrast to the monotheistic status quo. It should have said we are a nation of Religious People and also of Rational people and logical people, or anything but god damn "non believers". I hate that term, I believe in stuff, my stuff, its SO frustrating to just be lumped into some sort of heartless heathen category.

Fourth: that little frustration aside, I wasn't put off enough by it to make me think that it was anything less that a powerful historic speech. I loved the speech. He called out everyone to wake up and do their part. To get up and dust our selves off from staggering blows to our national confidence that have a been a result of the last 8 years of presidential debacle. He acknowledged the huge shitstorm that America is currently enduring. He prophesied the immense challenges ahead and said, "Yes" we are up to the challenge. Maybe the American's under the Bush Regime wouldn't be up to such a challenge, but this new America that has done the previously unthinkable of electing a minority to the highest office, it might be possible. Maybe in this new America people won't be the uneducated, resource wasting, pop culture blood thirsty, globally compassionless population/land mass of beer drinking, cheeseburger eating, firework exploding idiots that it really is. Maybe in this new America education, sustainability, healthcare, and creativity will be the new norm and focus. Or maybe its all a bunch of talk, either way we have four years to see where its all gonna go. 2012 should be a big year for more than presidential reflection anyway.

Fifth: I love that Obama messed up the repeating of his oath. It makes him human. If I was getting sworn into the presidency I would also be wearing diapers to catch all the mess as I crapped myself.

Sixth: I love Aretha Franklin for never wearing anything normal. Nice hat lady.

Seventh: I thought the poem by that lady Elizabeth Alexander at the end was bad ass. Bad ass. She said a lot of things that needed to be said, mostly about the need for love and praise for song.

Lastly, I am still pretty young. I've lived through a few very historical things in my life. 911, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and now the election of the first Black Prez. Where were you when it all happened? I was here. You were there. It was good...for now.

I can say with all sincerity that Barack probably achieved more good and more positive progress in that one speech than ol' W did in 8 years, and that is a good start.

Monday, January 19, 2009

ASSEC Here I Come

Well the $1032 dollars in debit card charges confirm that I am going to the Alaska Statewide Special Educators Conference (ASSEC) again this year (no matter what). If you've been with me since last year you can remember how instrumental it was last year in reconfirming my dedication to the teaching profession. I experienced a massive creative burst of the mind and I'm looking forward to spending some me time in Anchorage learning and conversing with leaders in the world of teaching.

My brother leaves for England tomorrow. I want to wish him good luck and safe travels, be safe and I love you buddy! Have the time of your life.

Day two of PE class Yoga. Response was much better, all the little yogis stretched and breathed and meditated and it was great. They are doing so good this year, you can just feel the positive attitude improving around a few key students that lead everyone.

Tomorrow is a big day. We are still working really hard trying to figure out how we can stream or show our students the Obama inauguration tomorrow morning. Hopefully we'll get it taken care of because we are going to get to witness a real moment in time. Somehow I feel like it will be lost on everyone except the teachers.

I was watching the "concert" last night because my bourgeois ass has HBO unlike you poor peasant folk with your modest basic cable. (Can you believe they only put it on premium tv?). It was weird. Betty Lavette with Bon Jovi. John Legend with James Taylor. Who thought these teams up? I just looked uncomfortable and awkward. Plus it must have been so hard to play and sing in the cold like that. Then Tom Hanks talked forever and I kept thinking about his speech in Forest Gump from the same spot. Why was it so celebrity centered? I can think of about 100 other speakers I would have liked to have seen instead. Celebrities are such asses. Why couldn't we have heard from a cancer research doctor, or a special education teacher, or inner city social worker, or a Old Folks Home nurse, but no Marrisa Tomei babbles some Reagan quote off a teleprompter. It doesn't seem right.

Where are the REAL people who keep this country together? Thats what I want to see.

Anyways, I just hope tomorrow goes smoothly with no tragedies. Good Luck Obama sir, you gotta big effing mess to clean up.

Have a good week you allstars you.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekend Update

So its that time already where I tell you about another great band, some old school sayings, what I'm doing artistically and physically and some last thoughts on this week in life. Are you up to it? I am.

Musical Artists of the Week: This last week I've been into a sort tandem of female powered tunes. I've been in constant rotation between Tegan and Sara and another girl led band Cat Power. Luckily I'm comfortable enough in the fact I, in fact, am a massive music snob. So if I like something there is a good chance that it is, in fact, very good, thats one of the benefits of being a self absorbed bastard (have you noticed?).

When I saw Tegan and Sara this summer at Sasquatch Music Festival had to admit that I thought they were pretty good (although not admit it too loudly because I was ashamed at the time of my tapping foot), I wasn't in the Tegan and Sara mood particularly at that moment, It was summer, it was nice out, I was overjoyed. They don't really radiate happiness, rather, a constant sort of driving sound steeped in vocal harmony and layering that has a very Northwest emotional vibe. Maybe I just had to wait till the heart of a lonely January in the arctic to really get it, but get it I have. And I do say sirs and madams, they are good. I recommend their 2007 release The Con but all of their albums are heavy doses of double similar female vocal goodness.

Cat power has been a really nice pairing for Tegan and Sara this week because she also really likes to play with harmony and voice layering (as well as just simply sounding beautiful). Her 2003 album You Are Free has been a constantly soothing force in my recovery to health this week. Its just its own flavor.

So there, I'm not ashamed, I like them, so what. I can go from Steve Miller Band, to Hector Lavoe Salsa King, to Tegan and Sara in 3 weeks, because, like I said, your musical tastes are only limited by your imagination, given the right day and time you can identify with almost anything (well not Creed, or Lifehouse, or Incubus or Linkin Park or Maroon 5, those bands will always be crap till the end of time) but within reason people.

Old Person Phrase of the Week: "Sam Hell" Like what in the sam hell is up with this cold I have? Its a soar throat, its a chest thing, its a sinus thing, its a friggin super cold, just when I get one facet taken care of it presents a new challenge.

Personal Art Update: I wrote a song this weekend. Its still rough, but its the first one of 2009 which is exciting. I'll record and post it when I complete it. I'm finding that if I time it out I can do over 45 minutes of music from memory. This is extremely exciting to me because this means that I could possibly do a "show" or at least open for someone. I don't want to be famous but it would be so cool to just play my music on stage for people and if they actually liked it!

Physical Fitness Update: I cancelled Yoga again last week. After a whole day of teaching, Physical Ed class, and a nasty lil cold, I just didn't have the strength to do it after school. Although we did do "Power to the Peaceful" Yoga on Monday in PE last week and most of the kids liked it so maybe a repeat? PE class is going good too, stretching and physical training circuit. I'm just constantly baffled by this multi-dimensional strain of cold I have picked up. I actually yearn for the days when I wasn't constantly head groggy from medications and I could run around in the snow and not offer up a neon green gift to the snow gods.

Lastly But Not Leastly:
I would like to give a shout out to two new blogs that have been gracing my life lately. The Blah Blah Blah blog by my friend Randy is making me piss myself with laughter on frequent basis. And The Traveling Halbury by my brother Hal should prove to be a super cool blog as he starts on his journey to England to student teach PE on a Department of Defense Base. I just want to wish them both luck on their blogging adventure.

So how much did I get done from my weekend goals. I Laid off the Vicks Vapo Rub, thanks to the early morning snow plow I didn't get as much sleep as I had hoped, I did drink 6 apple juices though, I did write a new song, I did Play some Tiger Woods golf on XBox and now my character looks like a fat african american janitor (he's a bad ass), I still haven't planned out my week of class (bleh), my house is actually dirtier instead of cleaner, I just wrote the weekend update now, I haven't waxed my mustache yet, but I did watch a deadly viscious fight last night for the welterweight belt (Berto vs. Collazo) and what a mother! Tonight I can't wait to watch the season premiere of "Big Love" on Sunday on Showtime (Followed by season opener of Flight of the Conchords yay!), I need to order groceries still as I'm officially running out of food, and if I can get enough stuff done today I'll go home and bake a batch of cookies to David Bowie and call my brother.

How did your weekends go out there in the world? Any good music lately? Let me know. Peace friends.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Jesus, is it Overalls Friday Already or what?

Nothing like a STAFF MEETING on "Lesson Planning" protocol to put a shiny gold star on the end of an otherwise great week. Luckily it seems staff meetings are generally frustrating across most industries world wide. (although I've been in cool ones)

In other news, great news actually, I'm gonna go to Anchorage Feb. 13th-22nd for the Alaska Special Educators Conference again this year. SOOOOOO PUMPED! (I hate to think of flying over the Bering Sea on a Friday the 13th though).

Weekend Agenda: Vicks Vapo Rub (lots of it), Sleep (12 hours a night), Drink a buttload of Apple juice, Write a new song, Play some Tiger Woods golf on XBox (my character looks like a wizard), Plan out my week of class, clean my classroom (its a wreck), write the weekend update, wax my luscious mustache, watch the season premiere of "Big Love" on Sunday on Showtime, order groceries (weather pending), and bake a batch of cookies. I'll update you on my achievement of these goals sunday night.

Please please please have a great weekend friendos!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Workin' So Hard For the Money.

Well, it has been a week for the books. Due to well paired classes this semester, missing destructive personalities, and an overall attitude of serenity, school has been hard working, productive, positive and (despite my continually ailing health) not only bearable but actually enjoyable at times. I feel like its a totally different school this semester. Classes are chill, kids are amiable, and with the new improved math classes I'm actually finding that I really enjoy teaching Pre-Algebra to junior high and freshman.

I was afraid this would happen. As soon as I figured out what I wanted to do next, this experience would start to drastically improve. Its a long semester yet though.

In health related news, I've taken a turn for the worse, my cough has moved far down my bronchial tree and the evil goo that is being wrought forth deep from within my soul this morning was so dark and so horrifyingly green that I may consider (consider) discussing my health with a professional. I have another couple days to consider because the weather is so bad in Bethel that it doesn't really matter if my arm got severed off, I'm not going anywhere.

In closing, I learned that the Cup'ig word for phlegm is "Nuak"

So there's a little tidbit for you.

Monday, January 12, 2009

El Cantante

So I am going to share this with you all, some of you know already, but this is going to be hard for me to admit. Okay, are you ready? Brace yourself. On Saturday I sat through an entire two and a half hour ordeal entitled "El Cantante," starring Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. There I said it. But you know what? I'm not ashamed. Despite the god awful acting on Jennifer Lopez's part, the movie was still BAD ASS.

Marc Anthony plays the self destructive character of Hector LaVoe (stage name meaning the Voice). If you don't know who this guy is, he was a Puerto Rican singer who was scouted and paired with a New York jazz brass man named Willie Colon by Fania records in the mid 60's in New York city. The result was a meringue jazz latin folk rock explosion now popularly known as SALSA! When I started to think about the movie afterwards I realized that this sudden burst of creativity normally reserved for San Francisco and the counter culture "hippie movement" was also happening in the latin community in America too. Salsa is part rock, part jam band, part drum solo percussion amazement, often influenced by drug use and all compassion and heart and between Willie Colon's improvisational haunting brass riffs and Hector Lavoe painful heartfelt voice and aching lyrics they created a completely new genre of music that has stood the test of time.

So my next step was to go on to iTunes and that is where I found their 1969 release "Guisando" by Willie Colon canta Hector LaVoe. I picked this one because it was during the height of the sixties and the thought of these amazing performers rocking out a whole city block in the heat of summer in New York just totally blows my mind. Go figure, the album is absolutely deadly good! I mean I don't have any idea what most of the lyrics mean, but you know what, I'm learning them.

Now the movie is steeeeeeeped in heroin, cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana abuse on both the part of Hector and the JLo character his nutty wife of 30 years, and in much of the tradition of "I Walk The Line" or "Ray" or "Blow" it follows a pretty steady plot line of even though the music is legendary genius the creator just can't seem to kick the smack. It all ends very tragically actually when their son accidentally shoots himself and Hector dies of complications due to AIDS. Yeah not all that fun but true.

BUT, and a big BUT it is, this was still worth watching, because in between the awful cocaine induced marital rages and tragedy what nots there were moments of musical glory and splendor that I would have never expected from these two and am truly astonished actually were made. I have to say, Marc Anthony was damn good as a coked up 70's salsa king.

I can't in good conscious tell you to watch the movie, it might not be your kind of digg. But at least check out some Hector Lavoe (pre- 1973 before he left the Fania Allstars with Willie Colon if you want the original thing). The music is good people. I don't doubt that.

Its just that I'm finding that my imagination is the only thing limiting my realm of musical possibilities. Never in my wildest dreams did I know there was psychedelic latin new york 60's music (besides Santana). Now I have a WHOLE new genre to investigate.

Vive Musica! Vive Salsa!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekend Update

I am almost better. My throat has ceased to feel like fire. My voice is back to its old nasally science teacher goodness. Despite this nasty little cough and what not I feel all together much better. I can honestly say though, I've been on cold medication for about 5 days straight up until today and it does feel nice to be clear headed.

Musical Artist of the Week: One good part about cold and flu medication is that when I listened to this week's music gods drip floating tones across the fields of my dreams, I felt like I was living their music as soundtracks in my mind as I drifted in and out of various states of awakedness (not a real word). The band is AIR the French electro/psychedelic/hypnotic everything amazing in the universe wrapped up into one moment stopped in time band. I have 4 out of their 5 major albums (in chronological order) "Moon Safari (1998)" then "10,000 Hz (2001)" then "Talkie Walkie (2004)" and now their most recent "Pocket Symphony (2007)." I don't have the "Virgin Suicides Soundtrack" although I've heard it and it is out of control. There really isn't any way to describe their sound but it always has a pretty sedated feel (much like a TheraFlu fuzzyness) and lots of airy fluffy delayed strings and constant hypnotic drums as well as a slowed down funky bass line and mostly some sort of mantra like lyric bordering on insanity like "Kelly Watch the Stars." Not sound like your cup of tea? Well you need to try some new tea then daaahling. One that tastes like something between Sigur Ros and the Beta Band with a dash of Daft Punk and Massive Attack thrown in for good measure.

Weather On Nunivak:
Its freaking cold, who cares anyways, I was inside the whole time, in fact the thought of being outside is so foreign to me that I may remove this segment of the update all together because its getting boring.

Old Person Phrase of the Week:
"That'll put hair on your chest" I know this is supposed to mean that something is hard, or rough or tough to take and get down your craw or gullet or what not and it will make you a man, but the funny thing is that nothing, save time and a few select hormones can actually do this so its always struck me as hilarious when people say it (usually old cowboys when referring to some bootleg hooch or more recently by people referring to a strong cup of joe).

Personal Art Update:
I tried to draw this weekend, I tried to write song lyrics, I tried to practice the ukulele, the only thing that seemed to make any sense was my blanky and the couch so I can say that I have been blocked creatively a bit. I was hoping all the emotion of being home would really create some good song material but alas, it did not.

Fitness Update: Unfortunately the sickness also meant no yoga this last week. With 4 full days of PE, open gym basketball, and maybe a yoga tossed in there, I'm really hoping to get back on the health train. Luckily eating nothing but cold meds, chicken soup and tea for 6 days effectively removed the cute little buddha belly I had grown over christmas break.

The Future: Scares me first of all, but also has Never has it been so up in the air. My big job opportunity back in Washington is about as unsure as it could be, I'm starting to feel more and more exhausted with teaching in general, and with the big Europe trip and the beautiful endless joy of Washington summer, I'm starting to come around to the idea that it might be ok if I didn't have an "AWESOME" job. There are worse things in life then substitute teaching and working some odd jobs on the side. I don't even know where I'm gonna live, but I do know that I can't wait to go home and just relax my brain for a while.

Lastly But Not Leastly:
I did put comment moderation on my blog last week. I just want to make sure that everything happening on this place is a positive and good thing and there is a lot more I could say on the topic but I'll just leave it at the fact that this is my thing, even though I share it with you, its not a place for anything more than what it is, a place to think and share and express and really to document and record my life. As improbable and amazing as it is that you all have seemed to join me in this endeavor sometimes I forget who and why I do this blog for.

Radiate Warmth is for me. Period. Its where I keep track of my life, and remind myself to be a good person, because unlike some people, I have to work really hard to stay positive sometimes. By sharing life with all of you in this fashion I re affirm the positive qualities of life that keep me sane and keep me whole. Its not to say that this blog is the center of my universe (as we all know it goes away rather quickly when I'm home on breaks) or that I am even a good person, it just simply means that I'm trying and that when the going gets tough I need a healthy way to keep myself on track so that I don't fall into the paths of my personality that will eventually lead me to a cynical, negative, and dark place.

My biggest hope is that if I can somehow stay positive for long enough, and document it, then maybe when I'm long gone I can at least say "HAAAAAAAHA! See! It can be done. You can be happy despite yourself." And thats what will be left. If not, at least I tried.

I do want that for you. I want you to be happy. Thats the whole point right? (if you believe thats our right to be...happy that is). I want everyone to feel good, to be at ease, to relax, to help out and feel loved, to make a difference if you can, to work hard and play too, and all that awesome life stuff, I want that for you, I want you to be here cuz this is it, I think we all want that.

Because this is it!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Overalls Friday

What a weird week. Drifting in and out of various states of medication and sedation, a new schedule, lots of sick missing students, apathetic school atmosphere, parent teacher conference half days with 40% parent attendance, its almost unreal, I feel like nothing happened this week. I feel like it was a pointless week that robbed me of time I could have spent with my friends and family in Washington.

My new schedule is really easy at least, to the point where I feel bad about it.

1st period: Junior High Science with 4 girls (2 7th grade, 2 9th grade)
2nd period: Special Ed Support/Senior Writing Workshop/Elective Web Design with two students
3rd period: Pre-Algebra with 4 high School girls (VTC Algebra assist also)
4th period: Junior High Math Fundementals with two 7th grade girls (VTC assist also)
5th Period Earth Science with 10 High Schoolers
6th Period Planning
7th Period Health Team teach whole high school (14 students)
8th Period Health Team teach whole high school (14 students)

I can officially stop complaining about my workload because its not bad.

I can complain about other things although I think I'll let it rest today.

I've progressed into a new stage of sickness. While I'm learning to live with the constant sore throat, I've started a bit of a cough. I'm still baffled that I've gotten sick again. I can't remember the last time I got sick twice in one year. All the air travel might have had something to do with it maybe.

I really should buckle down and do some work this weekend towards my Alaska certification and other things, although I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to leave my room all weekend. I'm just really hoping that I'll be better by Monday because this illness is getting stupid.

I hope you all have a restful weekend and I'll see you all on Sunday for the update.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Strep by Strep, Day By Day

Last night I drifted in and out of various levels of cold medicine sedation all the while my iHome stereo supplied a psychedelic soundtrack for my dreams with all three Air albums (Moon Safari, Talkie Walkie and 10,000 Hz Legend). Needless to say I awoke wrecked and confused.

So you guys think I go strep huh? Only about 10% of sore throats are caused from the strep bacteria, the rest are viral and just have to run their coarse.

Even if I have strep, I'm gonna wait a couple days before douching my body with unnecessary antibiotics. According to WebMD The strep usually clears itself in 3 to 7 days with or with out antibiotics. Antibiotics speed up the process but at the cost of possibly destroying lots of beneficial bacteria and antibodies in my body.

The Main problem is my painful voice. It is absolutely impossible for me to not talk during the school day. The rest of the treatment for sore throat is just to relieve the pain, thats all I can do. Soup and tea and soft foods and pain relievers, thats about it. Lots of fluids and rest.

So now that it is before 3 and parent teacher conferences are over, I'm going to go home and relax. I think there is a going to be a great football game for the BCS national college football championship on tv tonight between University of Florida Gators and their poster child Tim Tebow and the Under appreciated Oklahoma Sooners and their ridiculous offensive onslaught.

I know I may appear to be a hippie on the surface from time to time, but one big secret about me is that I am crazy nuts about college football (but not any other sports at all really). I just hope the game is good, its been a really boring and poorly matched bowl season this yea r.

Time for some me time, its been a hard, exhausting, stressful week and I really just need to feel better physically so that mentally I can improve my outlook on life. Everyone around me is sick with a different kind of cold (coworkers, students), I just really want to get better and avoid the rest.

Also, Thanks to the Ort Report for introducing me to the musical Artist "Chinese Man" it has been the only thing keeping me alive made this week.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Houston We have a throat problem.

I am feeling really shitty today. All over. I couldn't sleep last night because of the aching pain in my throat. Yet for some idiotic reason I still got up and taught today, Parent/Teacher meetings and all, one painful word after another.

So I'm gonna go to the store, see what they got for the "death throat" as I'm now calling it. (As a side note someone said I sound like Bruce Valanche so there's an added downside to this whole thing).

Shits not good, shits in turmoil, shits tough in this game called life. I'm not sure I can be radiating warmth from my heart when its clearly radiating fire from my neck.

Wish me sweet theraflu induced dreams.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Laryngitis, Teaching, and Rhaspy Isolated Heaven

So last night I went to bed to with a tickley throat. This morning I woke up with a sore one, and I went about my business all morning, making coffee for everyone, getting supplies ready, writing up the school announcement board, blah blah blah, it wasn't until about a half an hour before class was about to begin that I opened my mouth and said something to a co-worker.

"Good morning Alice, hows it going," Is what I thought I was going to say.

But when it came out it sounded like a 75 year old Jewish woman who smokes two packs a day say "Gawd Moinin' Dawhlin Hows it gowen," in a rhaspy, scratchy lady from the bronx sort of way. Believe you me I was just as surprised as Alice our secretary. I said I guess I lost my voice. And sure enough I did, BIG TIME.

The perplexing part is when you look down at your lesson plans for the week and try to re-write them with the condition that you won't really be able to talk. I looked up Laryngitis on the web and I have all the symptoms, and it didn't happen from smoking or drinking, rather, over use of the voice yesterday and the awesome ukulele jam session last night and maybe a little cold, and the only way to cure it is to try not to talk and keep hydrated.

So then I thought, how do you teach math with out talking, or Earth Science, better yet how do you teach PE with out a voice?

But somehow I did it. (Lets just say there was a whistle involved). I did talk though, I talked right through it, and now my voice is worse than it was this morning. Its all deep and rhaspy like a Ray LaMontagne song. What if I keep talking and I never get better, I can't even capitalize on the sweet rhaspy sound because ol Ray LaMontagne has totally completely cornered that musical genre. SO what will I do at the age of 26 sounding like a 75 year old Jewish lady from the bronx who smokes 45 Virginia Slims a day in her apartment of 7 cats? I guess I will have to find a cartoon voice over job for just such a character right?

The biggest lesson of the day is that I talk too much. I just need to shut the fudge up, and so I type now, because it takes no vocal prowess. And Ben Harper's own rhaspy goodness is filling my eardrums, and I'm about to go home and cook and dance and listen to Ben and Ray and wallow in my own Rhaspy isolated heaven. And although I'm alone, and it seems like an eon before I'm home in the bossom of washingtonian splendor and goodness, and I have a ton of useless shit to do, I'm simply gonna say something that was so famously coined by Tom Cruise in the film Risky Business (I've used this before)...

"Some Times You Just Got To Say F**k it" but I would like to add "and love your life anyway."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday versus the Madness

Well first day back in school was a complete shit-nami, I had to haul in the jib so it didn't get covered in shit. Student schedules weren't really finished in the office, 4 out of 15 students were gone, my classroom was in shambles, and I was trying to juggle all sorts of responsibilities and new classes. I finally did what I normally do (oh pity me) and took charge of things not generally under my already ridiculous veil of responsibility. I stole the schedule out of the office, copied them, fixed them, cut them and handed them out. Crisis ended peace and serenity across the land. Madness zero, Kale one.

Amidst the fury I snapped a poor little guy when he snatched at my papers for his schedule. I told him if he did it again he was going to the office and I think I really hurt his feelings, poor little guy, I apologized later and I think we are cool. Madness one, Kale one.

Our Principal, bless his heart, was super sick today, couldn't barely talk, and all his classes were missing a little extra guidance as he was heroically trying to put the school back together again, so I stepped in and slammed a awesome "person centered planning" assignment in their face. Madness one, Kale two.

Then something miraculous happened during 7th period Health. A cell phone went off. Thats right, a freaking cell phone. I was not only shocked but I was also amused that I have influenced the students tastes so much that his ring tone was Jamie Lidell's "Another Day." I have to be honest, I was really really amused and shocked by this little moment. I mean I used to have to deal with this constantly in the lower 48 but you have no idea how surreal it was to have it happen in bush Alaska on an Eskimo island in the Bering Sea. How funny! Madness two, Kale two.

So it ended in a tie, me and the monday...Kinda, there is a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on in my life that may tip the score heavily in favor of Madness but I'm gonna go write a song about it and you can hear that one when its done.

Regardless, it was a good day back, it was good to see my kids too, we are so short handed this week it hardly feels like real school.

I hope your life feels good today and for the rest of the week too!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Weekend Update

I'm back in the cold land of the north, air travel this Christmas was very uneasy and frightening at times, but some how snow, and insane low temps didn't cause me any overall delays. I have a ridiculous amount of crap to get ready for tomorrow so the weekend update might be a little short.

Musical Artist of the Week: Thanks to Erin and Brian I had a buttload of new music to peruse over break, and even though I love new music, it was an oldy and a goody that has been catching my eye lately. Steve Miller Band's "Greatest Hits" is one of the only "greatest hits" albums I have ever truly loved and know that its back in my life I can Ooooooooooooaaaaaaaooooo my way into a better state of mind, his down how psychedelic classic sound is something I've always loved. Check it out and rediscover the magic.

Old Person Phrase of the week:
"Hot Damn" No explanation for this phrase commonly used in moments of surprise or bafflement.

Weather on Nunivak: With our high barometric pressure seated right over the island we are experiencing temps into the -25 deg F or more. My little toes almost froze off on the flight home. Its clear as a bell though and todays sunrise was absolutely unreal.

Art Update: I distributed about ten copies of "Clean Fresh Brand New Start" my latest unsigned album to friends and family over break. I haven't heard any feedback yet but I was personally able to "Car-test" the song while driving around Tacoma and I have to say its not that bad! I'm going to see how the spring goes and I may add on or release a new album. I was also able to party test my barrage of 90's cheesy covers on a few friends and I must say it was not only very fun to play but also very hilarious. I played some originals for family and it was well agreed that I've improved quite a bit this year.

Health Update: I will be restarting yoga this week, I decided to just let go and eat what ever I wanted over break (I have a cute little buddha belly to show for it now). My new years resolutions aren't anything incredible. Just to do yoga more often, and to meditate too. I will be teaching PE also so I'll have a little extra physical activity every day. I'm gonna try to quite a few other bad habits (TheraFlu/Chew/Coffee/Soda Pop etc.) The problem is that in a chemical-less world of bush Alaska these little daily alterations of the mind become routine and its really hard to stop. Wish me luck.

Commercial Goods Acquired: So I did score some sweet goods over break. I can honestly say I was a very bad little consumer, I spent a lot of time in malls unfortunately and I bought a bunch of "stuff." I got two new pairs of shoes, a new pair of jeans, and a very very very expensive green wool army coat by Ben Sherman and some video games. I was gifted an xBox from my mom and dad, some sweet gloves from my brother, and a bunch of other great gifts that I won't go into. If I were a good little bodhisattva then I wouldn't be so concerned with such shallow things but after being stuck in the middle of nowhere for half a year I think I can let my buddha guard down for a moment to acquire some things that I wanted. and accept some heartfelt gifts from those I love.

The Future: The Christmas break had a lot of complex facets. I was assessing future job possibilities (which turned out not to be as solid as I had hoped) I was checking on the health of my grandparents and extended family (which was ok but could be better), I was checking in with friends to see how relationships were holding up (they were amazing I miss you guys already) in order to try and figure out exactly what the hell I am going to do next. While all these things didn't really lend a clear picture of what will happen in May, I do know one thing. I want to be there. So thats where I'll leave it, I want to be there. And after I return from meeting my brother in Europe in May for a month, I don' tplan on going anywhere for a bit, amazing job or not. I want to go home, last summer was too short, this year is too long, break was a blink of an eye and spring will be a marathon. I just want to go home.

Lastly But Not Leastly: That doesn't mean I'm going to stop kicking ass up here, I still plan on working my ass off, I love my students, and its all still so up in the air that I won't have a clear answer for anyone for a long time.

Thanks for reading and look forward to some humorous and new types of blog posts all throughout 2009. I'm gonna try to spice it up a bit.

I love you all, welcome back to Radiate Warmth.

Love Kale-poo-pants-face-bear-skees.

Friday, January 2, 2009 over? Really?

Man I can't believe break is over, I mean I just can't believe it, I knew it was going to be short, but this was just too short. I'm not ready to go back, I'm not. I don't want to, I want to stay here in the messed up world.

Despite my one post that was awful, but momentarily truthful, I had a great break.


Late Night Denny's with Fam night of arrrival and the harrowing car ride home
Christmas shopping with my brother and dad
Christmas Eve Party with the fam (that could come)
Christmas morning with mom, dad, hal, and the grams.
Amazing presents receiveing and giving
Brothers Graduation Party
Tacoma Nights out with Sean and Mike
1:45 am Frisko Freeze
Good Coffee
Magical Sandwich Makers "Gyros"
Gas Prices under a dollar a gallon
Bowling at the "Hi-Joy" in Port Orchard with the gang
The incredible Late night Old School Uke/Guitar Jam with Steve that followed!
Cleaning the house to reggae with Randy like old times
New Years Eve at Randy and Suzye's, syd's cool gifts, and the Rice Fight.
Hanging out the next morning
Falling asleep by the fireplace at my parents house


Getting thrown up on preflight from Anchorage to Seattle by a Colfax farmer lady who had too much red wine and french fries at the Chili's Express Airport Bar (don't worry I will do an entire short story post on this encounter later)
The weather, while mild in Alaska, crippled many facets of life for Washingtonians this winter
My ailing ignition column in the Subaru...I'll fix you when I get back sarge!
Cell Phone Batteries (annooooooying)
Cat Shit enough said
The Mall, my god people are you completely insane
The F***ing Toll Booth on the New Bridge (except the hobbity toll guy he was cool)
Being lonely in a big city

So tomorrow morning at 8 am I fly back to Alaska, back to another world.

I'm totally not ready to teach on Monday, no Idea what I'm gonna teach at all and no idea what the weather is like up there. I don't have any groceries either. And, unfortunately after this little break, no insurance or assurance as to what my next move will be for the future. My prospect for a new position isn't finalized and I won't know until April what is going on with that.

But I have a resolution. To make this next semester as good as possible. No matter what is going on life you can't take it out on the kids, you gotta show up everyday and give them your best because their lives depend on it. I have a feeling that everything will work out one way or another and usually how its supposed to.

So until I return to the land of such little stimuli that I am able to blog daily, have a good new year and I'll be seeing you all from my northern outpost soon (hopefully).

Happy new year,

to view my other blog OUT OF THE CLOSET ATHEIST click HERE