Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekend Update

Boil Boil Trouble and Toil, contracts have come out, and now there is water in the oil. Thats right, things are going to get a little strained and murky in the water out here in mekoryuk as there are 5 employees for 3 positions. Its a multi-angled affair with different sides all having their own wants, desires and agendas. And then there is me, right in the middle...I HATE baby mama drama! If they only read my blog once in a while they would know where I stood on my future right!

MUSICAL ARTIST OF THE WEEK: brett dennen "hope for the hopeless" With great pain and frustration I share this artist with you today. A couple of years ago when I was an aspiring neophyte musician I had dreams of being a one man band and using looping station to create entire improvisational songs live and all by myself. Well when I saw Xavier Rudd and Keller Williams (not the artists of the week) for the first times I realized that someone had already filled that niche in the music world and that I would never be able to be that amazing. Then I saw Brett Dennen on Conan O'brien a couple of weeks ago. Dennen's red floppy hairdo and pale skin and bare feet immediately illicited a subtle judgment on my part. I thought he looked like a tool. Then I saw MatisYahu on stage with him, MatisYahu the Hacidic Jew Rapper, and I thought okay, he must be pretty cool. Then he started playing the sparkley "Make You Crazy" all about the injustices and atrocities going on in the world and how its enough to make you go crazy and how surprised he hadn't yet. It was a great song and performance. So I bought the album "Hope For the Hopeless." After I listened to this 2008 album I once again realized that someone out there is doing what I am hoping to do better than I'll ever do it. The heartfelt, change the world, explain the world, reflect on relationships and share the love, all from the perspective of a twenty something trying to figure it all out niche is fully and rightfully filled by Brett Dennen. He does it better, he does it shinier, he does it skillfully and it pisses me off how good he is because now I have to try something else. Anyways here are the lyrics to this amazing song.

You Know, It`s hard to be Yourself,
Free Yourself, To see Yourself,
When all around You there are Lies just to get You,
Spies just to get You, To Buy so they can get You?

There are Cameras in the sky, Lasers in our Living rooms,

There are Wolves watching wearing Sheep`s Costumes?

It`s Enough to make You go crazy (woah)
It`s Enough to make You Mad?
It`s Enough to make You go crazy (woah)
And, I`m amazed I Haven`t yet?

Isn`t It, A Shame The way We cheat Each other, Treat Each other, Beat Each other??
It`s, A Shame The way We use One other, Abuse One another?
And, Screw One another, It`s true.
They will Lock You up in Prison, But They won`t call it slavery, There are stolen Children raised and Trained in Armies?

It`s Enough to make You go crazy (woah)
It`s Enough to make You Mad?
It`s Enough to make You go crazy (woah)
And I`m amazed I haven`t yet?

Don`t hesitate to speak Your Mind? (speak Your Mind)

Never hesitate to speak Your Heart? (speak Your Heart)
They`ll call You crazy, When You speak Your Mind? (When You speak Your Mind)
So never, Never hesitate? (never hesitate)

`cause It`s Enough to make You go crazy? (woah)
It`s Enough to make You Mad?
It`s Enough to make You go crazy (woah)
And, I`m amazed I haven`t yet?


OLD PERSON PHRASE OF THE WEEK: "Chaps My Hide" or "Chaps my ass" You see when people get old their skin loses its ability to stay moist and thus their hind quarters often get chapped and apparently this is such a painfully annoying phenomenon that whenever something pisses and oldy off they often liken the experience to their very own demoisturized gluteus maximus.

WEATHER ON NUNIVAK ISLAND: After two weeks of intense wind and snow we are now a fluffy, hilly, snow drift laden town of mounds and holes and seemingly insurmountable treks. I have fallen on my ass several times on this particularly treacherous snowdrift outside my house.

PERSONAL ART UPDATE: If you've been wondering (which you probably weren't because the one thing no one ever asks me about is my music therefore leaving me to believe that it really isn't any good) I have been writing some new songs. I keep practicing every other day and I'm still moving forward with several ideas. I might have a chance to play at our school/community dance coming up in a few weeks (and I'm DJing hells yeah). But what I really need to tell you about is the knitting bug I have. I have been knitting up a storm lately. Of course I'm cheating because I have the knitting wheel but I have made three really cool hats so far. I have some pretty unique ideas for some hats. I have lots of yarn but I have been taking apart old hats that I don't like anymore and using their yarn for new hats.

BULLSHIT OF THE WEEK: I was involuntarily volunteered to play five on five basketball to help raise money for student council activities. Let me just say that I HATE BASKETBALL. It is a stupid sport. I can't stand watching it on tv. I can't stand playing it. I can't stand that its the only sport that the people on this island will ever play. Why can't we have an indoor soccer tournament? Or a Volleyball tournament? But no, basketball. So there I am, of my sacred free time (and I had to actually pay 10 dollars to play), and what happens? I get molested and assaulted up and down the court. Imagine if you can being in an entire gym full of Eskimo people, old elders, little kids, students, aunties and uncles and parents, all watching you one of the whities try to play a sport you hate playing while you get hacked by everyone and no one calls the fouls on you. I actually got really mad and even shoved someone when they came up and frontally raped me. I would be ashamed of myself except that the whole frustrating debacle was complete bullshit. I didn't even want to be there and then to get violated publicly really added insult to injury. I left right after the game and didn't go back. Thanks for nothing.

LASTLY BUT NOT LEASTLY: I'm going to enjoy this last short week of no responsibilities. We have Thurs/Friday off and an inservice on monday. I'm going to use this mini-pseudo-spring break to get a whole bunch of chores and tasks completed. Here's whats on the agenda.

Taxes, bleh!
Alaska Certification Class Assignments, bleh!
Resume, cover letter, reference letters to Tacoma Public School District, bleh!
Pack up some boxes and things I don't need, bleh!
Plan my new Geology Earth Science Unit, bleh!

That should be enough, if I can break myself away from the knitting and ukulele.


IF YOU HAVEN'T YET: Read the post below, it was a particularly good one!

Have a great week.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Snow Day and Free Thoughts

Well we got bitchslapped with another storm this morning making it rather dangerous for our littlest students to brave the frozen sideways sleet trek to school. We tried to delay but it never let up. So here I am with a half day to myself and I thought...You know what? I haven't just written for the sake of writing in a long time.

When I start to write for no reason, specifically because I have no reason, something usually happens. On the Phish "IT" DVD Mike Gordon and Page McConnell say that when Phish is on stage playing and they push a song to 9, 10, 14 even 19 minutes long a song and the moment is created that may have never been made if they hadn't persevered through the first 18 minutes, a special moment that will never happen again. Writing is the same way, sometimes if you just keep going you hit that moment where if you hadn't of continued you never would have gotten to that moment.

So here we are at the beginning of the song, the guitar is establishing the melody, the drum beat is steady, the bass and keys are pretty uniform and the song is recognizable, its another Radiate Warmth moment opening up right before your eyes.

You see, I feel like life is so much like a wavelength of light or sound. We specifically head in a direction with calculable speed and frequency. Our wave-life slices and up and down through space and time until it hits some immovable object and is ricocheted in a new direction. And depending on your own specific frequency, you have highs and lows in life. Some people have big sweeping waves of massive everest cresting highs and also deep deep ocean trench lows. Some people are even keel and their frequency is small and varies very little. Unlike a light wave I think we have the ability to manipulate and change our frequency size.

Andy Goldsworthy is a natural artist who uses nature to temporarily make pieces of art that will return to the nature from which they were made eventually. But in his DVD "Rivers and Tides" he is obsessed with these natural sweeping back and forth snaking lines that are found in all nature in rivers and water. So I think that Life is frequencies like this, yes, a frequency of highs and lows yes, but it is also a crazy varying wave that just follows the natural curves of the earth that we live one.

SO if life varies up and down indefinitely at a frequency that changes and in ways we might never really comprehend fully then how are we supposed to make it through this crazy thing called life? I think the best thing about waves is that they keep going, or rather coming too, but they are continual and if every time they come down they go back up then that is something you can bank on.

This is why I have such a spiritual connection to the ocean. The constant, never ending roll of waves is a truth of nature that you can see right before your eyes. You don't need god to explain why the ocean is so amazing, everyone feels it inside. Even on the smallest beach on the calmest of seas there are tiny waves.

The entire plight of life can be summarized in a wave. Even though it has been a long time in the making before it crashes on the shore and terminates it doesn't really die, it just becomes part of the whole of water that it was already a part of. We are just waves and even when we die we still remain a part of the greater thing that we were really just an extension of anyway.

Additionally, we can ride waves, we can harness nature and accelerate and enhance the experience. As much as I hate to use a surfing reference, I think I have to. Many surfers explain surfing as a spiritual practice not a sport and unless you've been out there and actually done it you'll never really get it. I've tried surfing, I got my ass kicked. Some dreadlocked Canadian in Byron Bay Australia told me that if I really wanted to get "Surfing" I needed to move somewhere with steady waves and just "surf" all day every day for a month, and that by the end of that month I would get it. I can't say I'm a ocean surfer.

But I'm a life wave surfer. Scratch that, I'm Big WAVE Life surfer. Somethings I've grown mature about and somethings I'll be infinitely immature. But one thing that I have been able to tune into as I've grown older and start listening better to is the natural frequencies and waves of my life. And when there is a big dip I know that its gonna rise again, I let myself sink down enough to really feel that low but not too far, its gonna get high again, because nature shows me it will everytime, that I have faith in, that I have seen with my eyes. No preacher need tell me about sin and right and wrong. No Guru need say the truths of the universe because they are right before our eyes. People have been making up ridiculous stories since the beginning of time to try and explain the same essential, eternal, THING that we all can simply see if we looked and we all FEEL it everyday.
SO when A Gigantic High Kick Ass Amazing Cresting Life WAVE comes towards me I turn my body around and start kicking and paddling into that big 'ol son of a bitch and body surf it till it hurdles me up on to the beach and I lay there exhausted, laughing and alive.

All this metaphor to explain the moments in life when you know something big is about to happen and you are ready for it. Thats me, thats where I'm at right now.

I know something big is happening I can feel it coming because I am a part of the whole universe and I can feel the wave coming. I am ready to be home. I am ready to be happy. I am ready to love my life and make music and art and grow my own food and dance in the grass and dirt and be with my family and friends in the sunshine and most importantly I am ready for love. And its a big wave yes, but I'm not scared for some reason. I feel like my whole life has been preparing me for the next couple of years of my life.

Laugh if you want. But 2012 is coming. Do you have your ducks in a row if everything you ever comprehended as possible in your life changes indefinitely? Are you ready for that moment? Are you with the people you want to be with if it goes down? Are you afraid of this moment? Or are you hopeful and willing? Do you inherently believe that humanity is good and in the end our existence here on this planet is for the better? I do, but I also recognize that my own belief in the goodness of humanity might be woven into my very own genetic fabric as a mechanism for me to not lose hope and keep on surviving. Belief in something better, in meaning, in love, its what makes us human. It is our greatest adaptation.

We exist and will keep on existing not because of our camouflaged fur or our razor sharp claws, but because we BELIEVE that we should. Just rest on that a minute.

So the question becomes if I am going to keep on existing because thats what we do as humans then how am I gonna live?

I don't know what other people want, but I want the things that make me feel good without hurting anyone. I like feeling good.

THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT MAKE ME FEEL GOOD:
Hugs from my brother
When my parents are happy
Falling in Love with a good woman
Dancing Barefoot with my friends
Swimming in the Ocean, a Lake, or River
Walking through the woods
Witnessing inspirational, positive, improvisational live music outdoors
Playing Music For People
Sitting on porches watching the world go by
Laying on roofs staring at the stars
Teaching people new things they never knew before (because someone taught you and you just wanna pass it along)
The smell of mountains
Creating something new and un-redo-able and never before seen
Watching Sunrises and Sunsets
Hugging Big Old Trees
Gathering berries
Eating Fruits and Vegetables
Talking with Strangers
and a good Kiss

So we've reached that moment in this song where I pushed through and got somewhere I never thought I would get when this post began, I made it to a beautiful place where I once again declared to the universe what I want. CAN YOU HEAR ME UNIVERSE? I want this list. I want these things in my life always and forever.

What do you want? What makes you feel good?

I love you friends. Ride that wave next time around for me ok?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

MY TRIP TO ANCHORAGE!!!

So it started when I barely got off the island due to high winds and freezing ice rain/fog.
But I made it! And I woke up the next day high up in one of them big buildings they talk about on the tv set!
After the conference was over I could have some fun. I went to Alyeska Ski Mountain in the tiny town of Girdwood, the sunrise drive along the water was breathtaking, albeit scary with my no studs front wheel drive chrysler sebring.
When I finally Started skiing I just couldn't believe how big the mountains were for only being 3500 feet high or so. And they just fell into the water it seemed.
I mean just look at it, it looks like you could ski right off the edge!
Later that night I stayed at the luxurious Captain Cook Hotel. What an amazing view of the sunset glinting off the buildings and the amazing sea beyond.
I got weathered in at Bethel and stayed at Julian and Molly's house. This little eskimo princess was my best friend all evening and was absolutely cute as hell.
And that was my Trip in picture form. I had a great time and of course there are a lot of things I left out, but you can't photograph everything.

Pretty cool huh!?!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

HOLY CRAP WIND BATMAN WE'RE GETTING BLOWN AWAY

Last NIGHT:
65 mph wind are punishing our island, absolutely punishing it. I will have to dig myself out of my house tomorrow. When I walked the 50 yards to my house after school I could not see 5 feet in front of my face and had a pang of fear that I might get lost. Complete white out. The entire structure of our building is totally vibrating. Outside it looks like a white hurricane.

This MORNING:
So didn't have to dig myself out much. But we did have to dig our way into the school. Totally blown in. We delayed school an hour and a half while we dug into the school and got it accessible. This is so nice because It means I can chill out and drink coffee all morning and blog you my lovelies.

I will definitely write more tonight. But gotta go for now!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Homeostasis Returned

Last night I got home and after some rather frustrating answering machine messages from certain people I can't really stand dealing with, overwhelming emotions built up like all of my unfinished responsibilities, and a rough phone call home I officially had a break down. Its been so long since I had a good old fashioned freak out. And when I freak out I mean that pretty much lost it. SO MUCH shit was seemingly raining down upon me that I felt the need to pace around my apartment rubbing my head and talking to myself out loud. Follow that up with a shower that may or may not have involved crying and a night full of tormented sickening nightmare dreams and I woke up today feeling like I had survived a massacre.

Its the storm thats building that I don't like, the rippling stretch of water before the waterfall. I don't like the time before the change, because speculation is at an all time high, unexpected scenarios fill your mind, worrysome thoughts and could be's and shoulda been's, and the not knowing what is going to happen in your life despite your best of plans. I know that I make choices every day, but sometimes it feels like we aren't really in control of anything. Not to say that "something" is in control of me because that is equally ludicrous to me, if this is some beings idea of how life should be than that being is a sicko. I truly feel that we aren't in control of much but the more we try to the more we freak out.

But, I like the time of change itself, the moments of transition between the now and the future that has been in the works for months, because time and acceleration and plans get lost in the locomotion of life hurdling along until the rapids are over and you can breathe easy and rest in the smooth currents of time, all settled into the next phase of life.

Its at times like these that I really wish I could talk about everything in my life to this blog. Because of my job, and my career, and some of my choices in the past I can't really tell you all about the real parts of me that keep me going in life, that way me down, that drive me crazy and redeem me from sadness.

Today I'm ok though, it can't get worse than yesterday, and I did have some very timely help from a very positive person over the phone after I calmed down. You know who you are and you know how much your rule. Thanks for saving my ass last night and restoring me!

Yes people can ruin your day, or like last night they can save it too. There are good things going on out there. I just need to tap back into the flow of the good things.

Find the Good Things.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Heartfelt Return, Immediate Frustration

I made it back this morning landing on sunny beautiful Mekoryuk. Ralph the maintenance man picked me up on the snowmachine due to heavy snow over the weekend covering the road. I was smiling and feeling warm and happy inside as we scooted across the vast tundra toward the tiny blips of houses on the horizon. It all seemed so surreal and wonderful and I was jumpy with anticipation of my return home. I always feel so good when I am on a snowmachine its a shame I don't own one.

As I walked through the school everyone seemed so generally over joyed to have me back. When I walked into my class my two junior high girls were working independently and very very hard. I didn't even notice the train wreck of the room. I was so proud of them. I ate lunch with the kids and they all were laughing and making light of my return. It was so nice. I felt like I was truly home...

But that lasted all of 45 minutes. Then they came crashing and hurdling into class after lunch. I tried to show them all the cool things I got them over break, tell them about some of the things I did, I had them do a short write explaining reflecting on how/what they did while I was gone, we self graded all the work they did in my absence and checked out some websites that we had neglected. They were going crazy, fidgeting, antsy, googley, some sleeping and all pretty frustrating, at one point a 19 year old student took out a marker and wrote on a freshman girls forehead. It was all fun and games because hey I just got back no big deal right?

So then I sent them off to Cup'ig for a period while I frantically tried to put my room back together. The kids absolutely tore it apart and completely ignored my personal/private teacher area. I keep finding more and more evidence of their intrusions. I scooted to the post office in time to get all my awesome valentines packages, some tax info and a very very cool valentines postcard. I was instantly cheered up for about 5 minutes until health class started.

We do yoga for health class on mondays. Apparently last week went so badly that the kids were totally blowing it off today. No one was focusing, everyone was laying around and goofing off. I was pissed off big time, not exactly the type of emotions that yoga is supposed to create I know.

Then in PE the kids were slightly better but by this time I was so frustrated and pissed by the craziness of my kids and the state of my class room that I couldn't calm down. I have been cleaning the room for an hour and a half and finally it resembles how I left it.

Every time I start to feel guilty about what could happen next year if I leave, I have a moment just like this where I also feel like just walking away. For kids that missed me so much as they said they certainly didn't act like it.

So here I am, travel weary, 13 lab notebooks to grade, lesson plans to be made, clothes to wash, taxes to do, online classes to finish, and special gifts to mail, Europe trips to plan, and I'm totally effing stressed as shit and I can't shake this feeling that the world is crashing down around me.

Its getting to the point where I can't neglect some of these things any longer. I need a vacation from myself. So I don't really know what I'm gonna do. I could go home and work on all these projects and really start to get my life on track

or

I could go home and make some of Sydney's special vanilla red tea she sent me, play some xBox 360, play some ukulele, and fall asleep watching the netflix I got in the mail while knitting and smelling my new superhit Nag Champa incense.

Hmmmm...WWMHD? what would my heroes do?

Bob Marley would rip a fatty J and play a show. (How about a cup of TheraFlu and solitary Ukulele jam for me maybe?)
Jim Morrison would take his shirt off and dance in a circle like a raven. (Shirt off yes, dance yes, folding clothes yes also)
Ken Kesey would drink some silly orange juice and paint his entire living room to resemble the moment the universe was born (I can't really come close on this one but sometimes thats how a shower feels after a long trip).
Jack Kerouac would drink a jug of port and spew intellectual bullshit to the stars before falling asleep, lips purple and alone. (No port, but I'm spewing enough bullshit on my blog to check this one off and I have chapped lips).
Michael Franti would probably do some yoga, inspire a nation of youth to change for the better and then have a vegan dinner. (Yoga check, inspiring youth check minus, vegan dinner not exactly sure what veggies made it through my vacay).
Xavier Rudd would take a walk through some wilderness and save a baby animal from certain peril. (I'm gonna walk fifty yards to my house and try not to kill anything in between).

Welcome Home I guess. Sheesh.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend Update Lite

I'm stuck in Bethel due to bad winds on the island. My friend Julian put me up and I spent a very nice very happy quiet evening with his amazing family. Molly made halibut, red beans and rice, reindeer fat snow eskimo ice cream and oatmeal cookies with real milk. We watched movies, played with the kids, and even though I've been homeless for officially 9 days it was really nice to just spend a sunday with someone.

Musical Artist of the Week: As I drifted in and out of sleep on the plane from anchorage to bethel, the sweet sounds of the newish Wilco album "Sky Blue Sky" absolutely rocked my world. The deep sense of confusion and melancholy that seems to surround my recent internal laments was so perfectly expressed through these songs in a way that also said "Yes life is kind of skrewed up but that doesn't mean we can't have a rippin' guitar solo." Wilco, you saved me today.

Old Person Phrase of the Week: "Horse Shit" I wanted to go home today, well la de freakin da looks like that plan is absolute horse shit.

Weather On Nunivak Island: With freezing rain and winds gusting to 40 knots I don't think it would have been good to fly today. Hopefully the weather will hold tomorrow morning because I hear another storm is coming in and I am pretty tired of the transient lifestyle, I'm on my last clean pair of undies.

Movies I Saw this Week:
Slumdog Millionaire: Finally got around to this critically acclaimed movie and although my trendiest of friends poo pood it, I thought it was exciting, shocking in a poverty sort of way, and really really beautiful.
The International: This movie was tolerable. I liked the Clive Owen character being a desheveled no gun or karate skills sort of hero and I thought the shoot out scene at the Gougenhem was very incredible but I just have come to expect so much from the directer Thomas Tykwer who did Run Lola Run, The Princess and the Warrior, and Perfume. Kind of a let down for me.
He's Just Not That Into You: And I just wasn't that into this movie. Don't get me wrong, it has tons of funny parts, Scarlet Johansen is beautiful and the Macintosh guy is pretty funny. But the movie went on for ever. The thing I love about chick flicks is that they are short, have predictable endings, and you get a nice 86 min chunk of your life taken care of without feeling too jipped. This movie felt like 2 hours long. Oddly enough though, it does have some very sobering information for guys and girls out there on just exactly might be going through the minds of those people we hate to love or love to hate...the opposite sex.

Lastly but not Leastly: Sorry for the short weekend update but I'm tired and transient and sore as hell from skiing on friday (pics still to come!). Today was a great sunday though because I spent it with people instead of alone in my apartment in Mekoryuk like usual. Tomorrow I will either spend the day trying to get back to mekoryuk in Grant Aviation (free wifi though) or at the District Office trying to avoid the ever present ominance that is a day stuck in bethel working at the DO. If I get stuck again I'll just have to visit some more friends tomorrow.

Still kickin though. Stay Classy Out there.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Anchorage For One More Day

After hearing some weather reports from my principal I decided to change my tickets so I could come back on Sunday. As you know being stuck in Anchorage is way more interesting and enjoyable than being stuck in Bethel.

I am so unbelievably sore from my solo ski adventure to Alyeska yesterday. I'll post pics when I return but holy crap what an amazing sight to see, the mountains were so huge.

Right now I'm staying at the Captain Cook and it is so much more kick ass than the snobby Sheraton with their extra fees!

I saw Slumdog Millionaire on thursday and it was pretty good. I'm going to go see Gran Turino in an hour or so.

I let you all know what is up

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Consumer Time

Today I was a total consumer.

It started very early. I got up at about 10 packed up and checked out of the Sheraton and got into my 2008 Silver Chrysler Sebring. Now if you could pick the most ridiculous ride for me in the world you could not pick anything worse than this car. Not only is it front wheel drive but said front wheel driving wheels have no studs. My trip to Alyeska tomorrow to go skiiing should be a arduous journey to say the least...but I digress.

So then I went down town to the Giant Atwood Building to give the Alaska Permanent Fund people a copy of my passport so that maybe I'll get some PFD cash this year.

With the thought of over 3,000 smackers hopefully on the way I went on a spending spree. I then drove out to Dimond Center and proceeded to walk directly into a very large very boxy very horrible place that I promised myself I'd never go.

There I was able to find many things I needed. A large plastic bat w/ whiffle ball, ping pong paddles, net and balls, knitting yarn (5 colors) and wheels because I'm gonna be a knitter now, 6 colors of duct tape, post its, scissors, coffee, a tote box, Fifa Soccer 2009 for my xBox360, assorted juices and coffees, laundry detergent and believe me this list could go on. Needless to say I went in for Ping Pong stuff and came out 236 dollars later. Damn Yous big box mart.

But my need to purchase wasn't quenched. I went to the Dimond Center Mall, a dirty, outdated mall with an ice rink in the middle. I like to go to the mall to check in with the status of middle class America. Stores like the Gap and Zumiez allow a clear view of where American youth is and where they are going. Today I noticed that the flourescent 80's FAD is in full swing and might in fact be wearing down. Once a new fashion becomes completely accessible for everyone then it usually dies off. We went from the 70's revival when I was in high school/college to the 80's up through now. Yep, you guessed it, The nineties are on the horizon, grunge era flannels and bowl cuts, as well as gold, silver, and Hammer pants, its gonna be ugly.

I walked around, bought and orange julias, got a hat at Pacific Sunwear, and Afro Samurai the Video Game at Gamespot. Then I went to this sweet hippie bead store and bought hemp yarn and Nag Champa.

So between today and the little spree yesterday where I bought a jacket and tea and incense I am looking at a ton of consumer goods. Things that I don't necessarily need but that I wanted because I'm a selfish mindless American too sometimes. I thought that since I had already committed the nastiest sacrilege of all hippiedome today I should also eat at McDonald's to really seal the deal. But as I sat parked outside of it I just couldn't pull the trigger, I couldn't do it. I hate McDonalds's too much.

I also managed to go into REI and not buy anything which was extremely hard for me emotionally.

So I have limits. Big Box Mart once a year, standard mall 3 times a year, McDonald's NEVER!

So as I sit in Kaladi Brothers Fine Fine Fine coffee shop, drinking and Americano, typing on my intranet thing a ma jig, talking on my cell phone and checking my myspace, I'm including you in this very real moment not because I'm proud but to remind myself and anyone who reads this that I'm not perfect.

But I do love coffee.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sharks and Antelopes

So today I'm gonna talk about sharks and antelopes. All around this conference I see sharks. Now it may be hard for you to believe this, but people have actually found a way to make a buttload of money off of people trying to help special educated kids. In case you didn't know, being able to read (or especially not being able to read) is a disability that supports a multi-million dollar business. Since reading affects not only reading books, but the internet, math problems, social studies/biology/discipline texts, it basically is the crux of the entire achievement problem. Being able to read academic english is pretty much the only way to succeed in traditional american schooling.

The sharks know this. They work for companies that know this. And like any company, they design, modify, and market their product. Then they search the murky waters of educational conferences picking up the scent of blood in the water. A wounded fish perhaps, too many breakout sessions has got the fish weary and scared. The sharks separate the fish as she's leaving the keynote address in the morning and coax her by the cheesy propane fireplace in the lobby to review the "product."

BAM! Two hour long sales presentation ensues, the shark wins, other sharks start circling, regional managers, other reading programs..."Get away from my FISH." RAAAAAAR (if sharks could growl underwater). This shark had a cheesy power suit on, Days of our Lives Hair, and bleached white teeth. Her victim was a small fish, a special ed teacher. But then just as the sharks were about to sink their bleached white teeth into the little fish, after all that talking and all that the oohing and aawing the little fish teacher said "Well I'll have to check with my Special Education Director she's the one with the money." Dun Dun DUUUUUUN little fish gets away! Muhahahahahaha

In other news this is my last day at the hotel. I'll be staying with a friend of the family tonight and some friends from LKSD in for Technology Conference this weekend. I'm really tired for some reason. Oh yeah, mental bludgeoning. The weather has been incredible bad in Bethel so hopefully I won't have any troubles when I get back on Saturday.

Today I'm going shopping! On the list of necessary items is good coffee, a large whiffle ball bat with whiffle balls, ping pong net and balls, and xbox 360 video games. A peculiar list I know but all particularly interesting!

Have a good one!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Grassroots Iverson

I am on a high again. This conference is amazing that way. Last year here my mind was swimming so furiously with energy and ideas that I couldn't even bottle it up inside.

This year they are not just ideas. I did them. Yesterday I presented to a panel of my peers how I did these ideas and showed them how they worked (and didn't work) and what I learned and how they could do it too, how I was changing lives even though I never set out to (and how I could be doing better also), and I inspired them to consider the possibility of the power that each one of us has inside of us to change peoples lives. I could tell by the way their eyes glowed that I was filling them with the sparks of the same energy and power that I had so that they could make a change in their own lives. It was electric.

And its all about grassroots. You! One person can make a change. I never believed that when people would tell me to start small, that I could actually make a change bigger than myself by only doing little things everyday. But as the Special Education director of my entire district coincidentally sat in front of me yesterday, really listening to me speak, hearing my youthful passions and insights, seeing it and listening to just me, I knew that by changing her mind just a little bit I was actually affecting more people than just the little class of 12 in my village school of 29 on my island of 170 in my tiny district in the bush, in my state far far away with the population of a mid sized city, and that this was an opportunity that would never have come about if I hadn't have started small and led by example everyday by myself, little positive things and ideas can change the world.

I can make a difference. The problem is can I? Think about that for a second. You can make a difference. I have been able to see it today. I see it everday in how far my kids have come in a year, how much my school has changed, and how the attitudes of those around me have been affected by this dorky thing called radiate warmth. Even when I'm sad even when I'm down even when I'm sick and running on empty it prevails if you want it to.

Today I saw the actual sequence of events in my life leading up to today and in my future life that could actually happen in reality that would result in massive change taking place for the better in the lives of others, many many people, primarily through how I live my life and examples and connections I set for people around me.

I'm sorry I never believed it before. That was stupid. But I just never thought that being a simple biology teacher would lead to this possibility. And now that I can actually see the reality of my possible effect and influence I can't decide if I am ready for this kind of responsibility. I really COULD make a difference but WILL I?

You CAN make a difference with all your powers. But CAN you? And its more than just education. If you are a pizza delivery driver, or an engineer, or a salesman at Macy's or an "anything" it doesn't matter, you can be amazing at it, you can change everything about it, you can be a visionary, lead by example, people will notice your positivity and they will be attracted to you. And you can help them, and they can help you. Now you just double your powers to change. And now the two of you can make influence 2 more and so on. I know it seems elementary and maybe so much so that you don't even want to think about it more. But I'm telling you right now, that this feeling I have right now is infectious. Its like a natural high knowing how powerful you are no matter who you are and what you do. And I'm not talking about power to be recognized, or wealthy or get what you want, but power to make other people's lives better. The most selfish thing I could do right now is keeping trying to help people.

It certainly complicates my future that is for sure.

I have so much more to say, so much more to get out of me, so much more to pump through my fingers into this computer and out into the world to you that I can't even seem to find the words to simply say that I am so thankful that you are even there right now reading this. I am not perfect, I make big mistakes, but right now I know I'm doing a good thing by being at this conference, listening to these presenters, networking and sharing these ideas and connecting with this infinite energy source. I'm sorry if this all sounds so pompous and infomercial-ish but its real. And if you're reading it right now, maybe you're supposed to be, right now, maybe I'm feeling this way so that I can write this from my heart for specifically you, so that on this particular tuesday for no apparent reason you awoke out of this winter february slumber to realize that you are going to look life right in the face and start making the world better however you think you can, one day at a time, one act at a time, one person at a time.

Passion, meaning, grassroots love everyday if you possibly can. LIFE!

GO GET SOME!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

HEY HEY I MADE IT

I made it into anchor town last night with out a hitch. Jamie gave me a ride to the hotel without a hitch. Met Julian and got the room with out a hitch. It was a hitchless night.

I went to the conference all day long today talking and mixing it up with special educators and statewide mentors. GOD! I am so refreshed to be around passionate like minded people. It has been great so far and tomorrow will be even better.

I am presenting tomorrow at 1:30 on "Self Determination: One Year Later." It will basically be a case study of what I have been able to do in only one short year having never heard of this amazing learning process before last years conference. It is also a call to arms to people in the conference to show them how passion and grass roots tactics really can change a school and even a district...(More on these exciting details later).

Tonight its off to the "Sleeping Lady" for some food and comradery and then early to bed hopefully so I can be fresh to save the world tomorrow.

I also want to wish all of you a very happy fabricated commercial Hallmark holiday and may cupid kick you squarely in your arse.

I have my cell phone so if you want to call me like a normal person its 253 651 9092

Love! Love! Love!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Blowout!

Whoooooo HOOOOOOOooooo. Old mother nature just blew her nose hard across the Kuskokwim delta, winds reached over 65mph last night. As I walked home last night at 6:35 I was getting hit so hard with wind and snow that I kept falling over. This was extremely funny to me and caused me to laugh out loud. I also couldn't see more than a foot in front of me. So there I am walking through a blizzard (50 yards) laughing my ass off blindly sinking through the snow and falling over when bam! I stepped off a snow drift and tumbled down on my ass laughing histerically.

As I lay in the snow I looked up and stared straight into the world being torn apart above me. A smile swept across my face and I picked my ass up and walked the remaining 10 yards to the safety of my little apartment now completely soaked with wet wet snow.

This morning however was beautiful. A waning moon gleaming in the sky and giant snow drifts hard packed all around. I will attempt to make it to Anchorage today for my ASSEC special education conference and two day vacation. Yes flying across the Bering Sea on friday the 13th has crossed my mind. All I really want is to make it there, after a week and a half of a reduced staff and of carrying the high school wing on my back has really instilled a sense of purpose in this very very very earned respite.

I can't wait to be around restaurants, and shops, and receive text messages on my cell phone, and basically feel normal for a week. These things that will all annoy me after much longer than a week but after a month in the barren January/February arctic isolation I need to be there. I'm going to try and go skiing on thursday or friday at Alyeska in Girdwood, a place I've been wanting to visit for a while as I hear there are hippies to be found. And Friday night I'm meeting some friends to go see HELL's BELLES an all chick ACDC cover band. I've seen them once before on a new years eve and they were awesome.

So if mr. winter would only cooperate once more I could get the heck outta here and give it a whirl.

Here's to safe travels!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darwin's Birthday Breakdown


200 years ago on this very day both Charles Darwin and Abe Lincoln were born. Of course I don't want to discount Mr. Lincoln's achievements, its just that I am a scientist not a historian, and I have more of a connection with the former birthday boy.

When you say "Darwin" people, depending on lots of ridiculous moral and religious factors, either defend or denounce him with a high degree of passion. I think with a little perspective we can all admit that in the early-mid 1900's he was ahead of his time out there measuring finch beak bills on a far away island and trying to speculate how the life on this earth got so amazingly diverse. Its not about if he was right or if Genesis/Bible is right, its about two fairly different ways of thinking about the world. Things are the way they are just because thats what I believe in my heart, or things are the way they are because thats how they've become because of what we can figure out on our own.

I am always so flabbergasted when people Challenge Darwin's theories of evolution and natural selection so passionately simply because his work was done almost 200 years ago! Think about it, he couldn't wipe his ass with toilet paper, use a lightbulb, or fly on an airplane, or look up something in a medical journal online, he had to take a ship around the world to make his discoveries on pen and paper. Science has come so far since then, its redefined, tuned, tested, experimented upon and improved the theory of evolution 100 fold since then, the problem is that most normal everyday Americans will never get to the level of education where they can see scientists performing at this level of work or sophistication, or talk to educators/professors about these theoretical intricacies. They will just have a simplified version of "evolution."

Most people just think "Darwin...um...evolution...um...humans didn't come from monkeys...um thats stupid...Darwin was stupid...um me want mountain dew?"

There is a very comprehensive study that surveyed people's attitudes toward evolutionary theory and compared it to their level of education. The graph showed a strong relationship. The lower the level education the higher the negative attitude toward evolution. The higher the education the more acceptance and neutral/positive attitude toward evolution. You don't see people with a 6th grade education walking around defending the random evolution of all living things.

In reality, the theory has come so far that scientists in the rain forests of south america are observing the specific rate at which evolution is actually happening before their eyes. Even 5 years ago in my Graduate Evolutionary Theory Discussion panel we were reading studies about the rates of evolutionary genetic drift of guppie's scale coloring due to population separation by sudden waterfalls in the Amazon river. Selection by predation would favor one color type over another depending on which side of the waterfall the guppies wound up on and in a matter of months the entire population had changed its colors to reflect those with a genetic and phenotypic advantage of hiding from predators while the population in the absence of a predator below the waterfall would change color towards enhanced mating intense colors. Evolution in months!

Furthermore, they can track your Mitochondrial DNA back through your mothers lineage and find exactly how many generations separate you from any living person on earth. And from all their surveying they can only trace all of our DNA back to seven mothers in Africa. Doesn't really sound like the ol' Adam and Eve now does it? (or the good book certainly paints a different description of the two) I think about how frightening it must be for some redneck to have to understand that they actually descended from the very dark skinned relatives they oppress and think are so inferior. It took mankind 40,000 years to change from black to white skin and back again, we really are all related in the end, something I take comfort and fear in.

"Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits. "
-Darwin

Its not "if" evolution is real. It is real, it is happening, right now, whether you accept it or not, you are part of it, you wear lipstick and blush because lips turn red during sex, you wear tight jeans because the butt muscles are the main thrusting muscles of sex, and I think we can all understand male affinity for cleavage in the face of all the nutrition mammary glands can provide to young. Evolution is going on with out your approval, the only problem is that some people seem to think that if they accept that evolution is taking place their spiritual savior will cast them to eternal damnation for believing it (minus a select group of kick ass people that seem to have made peace with both sides which is noble and enlightened). I mean what kind of God would smite you for studying the wonder of the world?

The two are completely separate for me. Separate and the same. The same wonder/appreciation that I get out of seeing and trying to understand nature and how everything fits together and turned out the way it did is probably the same wonder that drives someone to believe/worship that an omniscient being floating in space created this infinitely complex world out of their god-brain in spite of the fundamental evidence to the contrary (although I've never believed in God so I really can't put myself in someone who does' shoes). The more I understand evolution the more I become certain and "faithful" that no creator could or would make this earth that we live on today.

"I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars. " -Darwin

If you are unconvinced and think you might want to see just how far evolution has really come since ol Charly Darwin thought up this blasphemous idea I suggest you check out the books from Richard Dawkins. "The Selfish Gene" "The Blind Watchmaker" and "The Extended Phenotype" to see how far we've come. They are all so amazing and ahead of our time, if you have the cajones to endure the verbage (although its written really nicely).

Also, I always take comfort in knowing that Religion itself may be an evolutionary adaptation of the human race. Conversely we are so awestruck by our own ability to create things that we also must "BELIEVE" that someone created us. Religion ties people together, gives them values, bands groups together for combat and defense of property, religion is the driving force between humans that ultimately decides who is the fittest of all. I love that. I also think that its incredibly sad. Additionally, I love how the texts of religion have themselves evolved leaving only the most favorable and fit gospels to survive the test of time. I love how the gospel of Judas was never put in the canon (yes Judas' account of Jesus was found and it tells things a little differently). So if religion is a product of evolution and is itself evolving isn't that absolutely hilarious to anyone but me?

On top of that, everyone accept the moons orbit around the earth and the planets and stars yet they can not accept something as small as how a zebra got its stripes.

"We can allow satellites planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universes, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act. "
-Darwin

So today I celebrate Darwin, not for his imperfect theory that is continually evolving itself, but for how it set in motion an entire train of thought that looks at the world the way it is and uses evidence to attempt to work backward and figure out the pieces so that we can explain the now.

Here are some Charles Darwin Quotes about the plight of man that I think are interesting and also very concerning considering he said them so long ago:

"At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races throughout the world. "

...actually native people worldwide are doing quite well right now...psych we're killing them and its gotta stop.

"Man tends to increase at a greater rate than his means of subsistence. "

...ah hem...climate change much? Much too much.

"We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities... still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin. "

...Hey you! yeah you with the tail bone there you're sittin on, yes you monkey boy. Pull your head out of your ass and eat a banana already.

In closing...thank you Mr. Darwin for starting a raging snowball. I wonder what he would think about the fact that 200 years later people would have to be protected by the constitution of the united states to teach evolved derivatives of his ideas to children, children who by the very tenets of their own organismal evolution will destroy the only planet they are capable of inhabiting.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday + Tuesday = Muesday from hell.

So today myself and another colleague covered 3 absent teacher's classes ALL DAY and taught the whole school combined together into two rooms. Let me tell you some of the realizations I had.

Changing schedules on kids F**KS with their heads. We put them through routines every day, all day, we get them into grooves and don't you ever go changing it on them or its the end of the world as they know it.

I had always thought that I want to teach elementary again someday...I might rethink that after today. What a bunch of friggin BABIES! I mean seriously all I asked you to do was fold a paper hamburger style dude, get it together, its not worth a tantrum at the wise old age of 10.

I loved asking a high school student who constantly has focus and attention problems to help keep a little kid on task who was all over the place and not working. He was like "How am I gonna do that?" I said "I don't know buddy, welcome to my world." He instantly got it, wow.

I love how confronting it is for "hard" "manly" "alpha-male" personalities to be forced to help little kids, there is something so wonderful about the power of little doe eyed youngsters have on breaking down teen agers fronts. I'm gonna keep that in mind for a long time.

I'm about to fall over from exhaustion (and dealing with frustrating Europe trip ticket problems). I'll be at home totally glued to my couch because I'm gonna need my rest in preparation for this crazy week ahead. Lots of tea and Tiger tonight.

Oh also, It is confirmed, I am presenting on "What Self Determination Means In the Rural Alaska" on Sunday at the ASSEC pre-conference this weekend. So excited/nervous to be presenting to a group of my peers, its been a while.

Also, I guess there is a name for this perpetual phlegm/cold/sickness that many of us Bush folks have gotten, one friend referred to it as the "Bethel Crud." Its such a perfect name. I was fine until I got out of Bethel on my way home, besides, I blame Bethel for everything. But apparently lots of people just get this nagging sickness that sticks around all winter until they leave. I hope mine goes away before that because my malnourished body needs some meat on the bones or I'm gonna start looking worrysome. Our secretary was gone all last week and when I saw here today she said "YOU LOOK THIN ARE YOU LOSING WEIGHT?" I was like sheesh I really need to eat a can of lard I guess because I'm at like 159 now which means I've lost like 16 + lbs since Christmas. Yikes.

I feel good today though. And I hope you do to.

Monday, February 9, 2009

One Year of Radiate Warmth

Its been just over a year and a half since I started this blog. I started the ClustrMap site visitor tracker (on the toolbar to the right) this exact day a year ago (when I saw it on Alisha's Blog) and since then the site has received over 9,600 visits and hits. And While over 8000 of those visits have come from our very own US of A, the remaining 1600 have come from all over the world (partly because of my awesome worldly friends but also because of many many new fans and readers). Check out the list below and see just how many zany countries there are out there and how much this little web log has grown. Personally I get a real deep sense of wonder when I read the numbers below. I just can't think why anyone from so far away would be interested! Thanks LISH for the good ideas over the years and for letting me directly steal this post idea from you.

THANK YOU SO MUCH READERS! I love you and am constantly amazed by your hearts and interests.

NOW COMMENT SOMETHING!

United States (US)8,090
United Kingdom (GB)200
Canada (CA)134
New Zealand (NZ)130
Australia (AU)116
Germany (DE)100
Japan (JP)74
Italy (IT)45
Romania (RO)45
Poland (PL)39
France (FR)34
Netherlands (NL)33
Brazil (BR)29
India (IN)29
Turkey (TR)28
Spain (ES)21
Norway (NO)19
Hungary (HU)18
Sweden (SE)18
Denmark (DK)17
Europe (EU)17
Austria (AT)16
Czech Republic (CZ)16
Philippines (PH)15
Mexico (MX)14
Belgium (BE)13
Greece (GR)12
Taiwan (TW)11
South Africa (ZA)11
Russian Federation (RU)11
China (CN)10
Switzerland (CH)10
Chile (CL)9
Ireland (IE)9
Indonesia (ID)8
Finland (FI)8
Egypt (EG)8
Bulgaria (BG)7
Portugal (PT)7
Ukraine (UA)7
Singapore (SG)7
Colombia (CO)7
Croatia (HR)7
Slovakia (SK)6
Estonia (EE)6
Lithuania (LT)6
Slovenia (SI)6
Serbia (RS)6
Israel (IL)6
Malaysia (MY)6
Korea, Republic of (KR)5
Thailand (TH)5
Peru (PE)5
Cote D'Ivoire (CI)4
Hong Kong (HK)4
United Arab Emirates (AE)4
Bahrain (BH)4
Algeria (DZ)4
Argentina (AR)4
Mongolia (MN)3
Saudi Arabia (SA)3
Vietnam (VN)3
Iran, Islamic Republic of (IR)3
Tunisia (TN)3
Georgia (GE)3
Jamaica (JM)3
Pakistan (PK)3
Latvia (LV)3
Kenya (KE)2
Uruguay (UY)2
Costa Rica (CR)2
Guatemala (GT)2
Dominican Republic (DO)2
Malta (MT)2
Ecuador (EC)1
Nepal (NP)1
Qatar (QA)1
Iraq (IQ)1
Lebanon (LB)1
Iceland (IS)1
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (LY)1
Palestinian Territory (PS)1
Bolivia (BO)1
Macedonia (MK)1
Oman (OM)1
Bangladesh (BD)1
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA)1
Yemen (YE)1
Virgin Islands, U.S. (VI)1
Guam (GU)1
Kazakstan (KZ)1
Venezuela (VE)1
Nicaragua (NI)1
Burkina Faso (BF)1
Aruba (AW)1
Puerto Rico (PR)1

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Weekend Update

OVER-WHELMED with so much to do and also so much love for my friends and family.

Musical Artist of the Week: I may be very late in discovering this band for myself and very "sell out" for recommending them but I saw them record three songs on the Sundance Channel's "Live From Abbey Road" and they were farking good. This indi turn techno savvy psychedelic rock band is called MGMT (pronounced Management) and their recent album "Oracular Spectacular" is a poppy and clicky euphoric trip through thoughts that seem to have their finger intimately pressed on the pulse of our youth. I have listened to this album on repeat for about 7 days straight and I highly suggest that you give them a try. Some songs like "Time to Pretend" and "Kids" are the more recognizable ones from the album but my favorite is "Electric Feel" with lyrics like "shock me like an electric eel" it is pure glorious gold.

Old Person Phrase of the Week: "ever lovin" This is a nice little additive to any sentence. You must be out yer ever lovin mind!

Whacky Nunivacky Weather: We've been fluctuating sometimes up to 40 degrees lately. February has been dependably variable and has made grocery getting and flight arrivals at the airport very sporadic. Hopefully I'll get off on Friday for my Anchorage trip. Giant snow drifts are all around and this morning I awoke to the house shaking from the wind. We are picking up 5 min and 9 seconds of light a day and the moon looks gigantic as it grows towards fullness over the horizon. Today is absolutely stunning with a piercing cold and sparkling sun that made me sneeze when I went to throw Foster the frisbee.

Featured Blog of the Week:
This is the best sunday read in all the land. The Post Secret Blog is a weekly installment of postcards that get sent to this person as part of a project/book they make where people anonymously divulge their secrets just to communicate them to the world. When you read it, you feel like you're not as messed up as some people and you also feel very included into the real problems of people that are just like you.

This week in the Mail:
Had some very special packages arrive this week.

Incoming:
A care package from Chris, Jen, Alex and Maddisen that included some games, postcards from a first grade class and lots and lots of smiles. THANKS YOU GUYS!
A relief Package from my friend Koop. Reeses, rolos, beef jerky, Corn Nuts, WSU Evergreen School Newspapers, a Mad Magazine, a Sudoku book, handmade mazes and other awesome items provided me with lots of time killing implements and enjoyment. Thanks Koop, you are a badass!

Outgoing:
More bills bleh!
Burned Cd's and letter to Sydney in response to her awesome package last week.
Resume, Reference Letters and other articles to TPSD.

Lastly but Not Leastly: I'm at one of these points in life where the amount of shit so drastically outweighs my time and motivation to do it that I am constantly finding non productive activities to fill my time instead of taking care of things that I should. I've experienced this phenomenon in college and it usually ends with me having to stay up all night at some point to take care of things. Here are some of my favorite activities lately that are completely counter to what I am supposed to be doing. I have ranked them in order from most amount of time spent doing activity to least.

#1 Tiger Woods Golf 2009 on xBox360. I already won a season FedEx Tour Cup Championship (like 40 18 hole courses) and I've upped the difficulty and started a new season...I'm pathetic.
#2 Practicing to be a famous rock star on my ukulele. I've written a few new songs and recovered some old ones "I Love You" and "Pick It Up" as well as a Old Crow Medicine Show cover song. I love playing my songs and melting them into one another and finding out the best set list order of my future gigs.
#3 HBO, Showtime, and the Sundance Premium Channels. Be it shitty movies, Big Love, Flight of the Conchords, United States of Tara, Secret Diaries of a Call Girl, Championship Boxing, Iconoclasts, or Live from Abbey Road, I am seriously addicted to premium programs (mainly because I like my tv with swearing, sex, drugs and rock and roll).
# 4 Making Mix CD's and letters for people. I spend a lot of time on a Mix CD, just like High Fidelity I craft them and put my whole personality into them.
#5 Fruit Chef. Since I saw a "No Reservations" with Anthony Bourdain where they used the inside of tomatoes like caviar I have been getting really creative with fruit. I finally got $239 worth of groceries and most of it was fruits and vegetables. Did you know that if you don't eat fruit for like 2 months when you finally do it tastes like jesus' love in a bottle? Well I was making a fruit salad and had all th fruit cut up on the counter in front of me...and I just snapped. I started wolfing down huge chunks of bananas and grapefruit, apples and oranges, tundra berries. I had fruit dripping down my beard like a lion feasting on an antelope carcass and I was so happy. Then like a vampire who had filled his bloodlust I staggered away sedated by all the vitamins and nutrients I had just eaten. SO FUNNY!

And with that very special image I'll leave you for today. Full moon tomorrow so watch out for Zombies or werewolves or weird people ok? I wouldn't wanna lose ya!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Overalls Friday Poem

I wrote this late last night as I lay awake thinking about all the struggling kids trying to get by out there. This one is for you.

"Its what ya been made for"

Hey kid it ain’t that easy.
Nobody gonna give it to ya.
They won’t let you have it
Just like that.
Its all there for ya and
Ya just gotta reach out
Take a chance on it.
Put ya’self out there.
Stretch right for it.
And don’t forget to breathe.

Ya know,
It ain’t easy for the old ones?
They were young ones too,
And now they tryin
To let ya know.
The ticking time crept up
And got them. So
Believe it sonny boy.
It’ll get ya soon enough.
Ya’are a time virgin.
So go on ahead tenderfoot.
It’ll come for ya anyway.
Gotta open up though,
And let in what it is.
In that big old world
That has few plain secrets
And infinite
Spectacular truths,
It will return what ya give,
And what have ya done.
Where will ya go?
Are ya facing the sun?
Are ya heading on home?

Hey kid wake up!
Its all goin on around ya.
Ya missing the show.
Ya been given them arms.
Ya been given that heart.
Ya been given that mind.
Ya been given that start.
What ya gonna do
With all a that soul?
Cry pound stray?
Hide and run away?
You can dance,
You can pray,
You may go
And Take a stand,
Or ya can stay.
Whatever ya do though,
Do it right.


Always give it all ya got.
Ya know they say
Nothin’s better’n that?
How can ya not see
All this prospect,
And potential energy?
Ya so immaculate,
Perfect just the way ya is.
Uncharted world before ya,
And the butterflies
Mean it’s just about time
Ya set forth and get on
And live life.
It’s the only one
They gave ya.

Ya father made ya.
Ya mother molded ya.
And if they left ya nothin’
Then ya gotta give em
That one.
They was just tryin
Themselves.
If they stayed,
Then you gotta let em
Keep on tryin.
Ya go on now.
Be a wise old owl.
Be wobbled doe.
Be the marathon runner
Of ya own show.
It won’t get easier.
It won’t stay hard.
It’ll just keep goin on
Till there ain’t no more.

How ya wanna be then?
Lookin back over ya shoulder
At a long crooked road?
Arm in arm?
Or all alone?
It’s your call.
It’s all ya’ll ever know.
It’s all around ya.
Where’d ya go?
How’d ya make it?
When it mattered most
Did ya make the choice
Or forget to glow?
Bring up ya’self!
Give up ya’self !
Love all else,
Or don’t.


But we out here,
The livin’ ones.
And we’re gonna get ya,
If ya don’t get ya’self first.
We’ll swoop ya up.
We’ll rock ya sideways,
Back and forth.
And if that don’t work,
We’ll shake ya up.
Break down them walls
That holdin ya down.
Snap them chains
That strappin ya low.
We see the light.
We see the wonder.
And we want ya
On our team you know?
We want ya
To put that black away.
We here to make a change.
We gonna love ya
Any way.
We gonna keep on.
That’s what we do.
The living roots
Of the biggest tree.
The downy feathers
Of the mother goose.
The patch on ya jeans.
We can do it too.

Come on kid!
Join us!
Ya want to.
What ya afraid of?
Ya got the power
To be anything.
Ya can be a beacon.
Ya can be a tower.
Ya can be a shelter.
Ya can be a flower.
Ya can be something.
But ya gotta want it.
It ain’t easy.
Ya know that don’t ya.
We know that.
We all know that.
Ya can do it.
So lift up ya’self.
Look around
And do it!
It’s the only right thing.
It’s the only thing.
Its what ya been made for

Thursday, February 5, 2009

With Great Power...

Comes Great Responsibility. Since the other high school teacher is gone, our principle is leaving tonight and all our discipline stuff happens on the high school end I am officially the SITE ADMINISTRATOR (principal) tomorrow.

MUHAHAHAHAHHAHA.

Everyone will be suspended by noon.

No homework? SUSPENDED.
Frowny Face? SUSPENDED
Tardy? SUSPENDED
Listening to crappy rap music? SUSPENDED!
Don't want to watch Karate Kid? SUSPENDED!
Peed your pants? SUSPENDED!

hahahahahaha

No no no. I'm juss jokin me friends. No suspensions hopefully.

In fact we are going to start something very very very exciting next week. Positivity Club (name is subject to change). But Basically we are going to gather a few select students together each week and work on making the school more pleasant, positive and beautiful looking. We are going to put up positive quotes and decorations, do nice things for people, and try to recognize people doing a good job. I'm SO excited. Its like Student Council minus the government part, Student Art Society minus the chaos, and youthgroup minus jesus. Its going to be rad.

I'll let you all know how it goes.

PEACE !

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Values test

Today as part of the "Career Exploration" VTC/Polycom (via tv internet with Bethel) class that I monitor during my planning period the two senior boys took a values survey. Basically you answer like 100 questions and then add up specific ones and compare them on a graph (not unlike a survey in Cosmo actually). So I decided to take the survey with the guys and see where I stood with my "values" in life.

Each score is from 1-100 (100 being something that you care about greatly)

Below the average score:
Fame: 57
Money: 53
Religion: 62
Health: 34

At or above Average:
Power: 60
Humanitarianism: 81
Family: 80
Social Contact: 80

Well above Average:
Aesthetics: 88
Creativity: 92

Analysis: I'm happy that apparently I don't care about fame and money or my health(although I want to be a musician someday). The health score was really low because I used to smoke and I haven't been to the doctor in a while (although a couple questions about yoga could have helped me). I think my religion score was low because the questions were Christian-like and I'm more "spiritual" than religious.

It doesn't surprise me that humanitarianism, family and social contact were high because those are all things that I really care about. But they were high for the average person too.

But the thing that I was pumped about is the aesthetics and creativity scores being 35-40 points above the average. I do believe that I appreciate beauty in lots of things, especially art, music, literature, films and most importantly Nature. And I spend a lot of time creating everyday. Not just blogging or writing music. It takes a lot of creativity and especially improvisational creativity to be an effective teacher.

I know its a corny little test but I'm glad that it confirms some things that I unknowingly believed in. Family, friends, compassion, creativity and appreciating beauty in life. Not bad values for anyone to have right?

If I could give you this survey I would (but its in PDF and totally from the 80's). But If you were gonna take a test on those specific values what do you think you would score out of a hundred?

I'd be really interested in how you would rate these values for your own life.

Fame (recognition)
Money (wealth)
Power (muhahaha)
Religion (spirituality)
Humanitarianism (help a brother out)
Social Contact (little help from my friends)
Aesthetics (the beauty in life)
Creativity (letting your soulshine!)
Health (keeping your temple clean)

Let me know, peace homies.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cranky Pants McGee's

Not much to report today. The kids were so cranky and sleepy and totally pissing me off. I tried to figure out if it was me. Then I realized that every level of kid, junior high, high school, boys, girls, they all were pretty much (excluding a few of my all-star kids) lazy, cranky, and sometimes really rude and hurtful.

PE SPORTS REPORT: The Native Tigers slaughtered the favored Mean Machine 10-4 in the second Day of the Tournament of Champions. Over all hustle, defense, and teamwork led the Tigers to the Indoor Soccer Match upset win although the two goals in the first 30 seconds didn't hurt. Once again several members of the Mean Machine gave up too early and thus gave away their pride freely. Even with an extra player as a sub and a power play opportunity they just seemed to lack that essential quality that makes a championship caliber Junior Eskimo Indoor Soccer Club. The competition remained fierce and several soccer balls to the face caused tensions to flair. The game ended without incident.

In GOOD news. They just announced the line up for the 8th Annual Northwest String Summit July 17-19 this summer! I'm so pumped that Del McCoury is gonna be there along with Yonder, so awesome! I hope Keller Williams signs on again as well as some of the Leftover Salmon Crew that was great. I'll keep you posted.

And thats about it. Oh I played 4 games to 15 at adult open gym basketball last night, and boy, am I sore. I played pretty good though for not having played in two months. I'm not much of a baller if you know what I mean. I have no outside shot, I can only dribble with my right, and I get winded easily. I am pretty good at stealing the ball, passing, defense and especially fast breaks.

...what a boring post. Sorry.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What do Punxsatawny Phil, Abe Lincoln, Sea Slugs, My brother, and Random Acts of Kindness All Have in Common?

FEBRUARY!!!!!!!

February is a quirky little month. Its a short month, only 28 days on account of our completely fictionally derived uneven division of the months, which means ol' Feb has to work harder. Plus it is spelled weird. Feb RU ary. If you are a hick then you say Febry or Feb-berry.

In the tundra it means that we are picking up 5 minutes 5 seconds of sunlight a day. By this time next week our day will be 35 and a half minutes longer.

Saturday Was the Reindeer Slaughter. I was left out of this annual even last year when my principal forgot to give me a ride out to see the show. This year they announced it on the VHF radio (of which I have none) and I again was left out of this truly important cultural subsistence activity. It just goes to show how I have no friends. It really pissed me off because all those poor animal's carcasses are going to waste (eaten by overpopulated foxes) and I could have salvaged some of their organs for science class dissection. No one ever thinks of science man.

Yesterday was the SuperBowl. I apparently cared so little about it that I completely forgot to watch it and instead worked at school. Who won? Oh thats right I don't give a flying rats ass. I really don't care about the NFL. I wish I could have seen the Boss perform at half time though...was that good? Were there any good commercials. I don't really feel that bad about missing it thoLinkugh.



Today is Groundhogs Day. Punxsatawny Phil Indeed had some sobering news for us today:

Phil's official forecast as read February 2nd, 2009 at sunrise at Gobbler's Knob:

Hear Ye Hear Ye
On Gobbler's Knob this glorious Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2009
Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators
Awoke to the call of President Bill Cooper
And greeted his handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths
After casting a joyful eye towards thousands of his faithful followers,
Phil proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were World Champions one more time
And a bright sky above me
Showed my shadow beside me.
So 6 more weeks of winter it will be.

Rats I was hoping it would be shorter rather than longer, thanks for nothing PHIL!

Tomorrow is Alisha's Birthday. You go girl, go on with your bad self!

February 2nd-6th is the first annual Nuniwarmiut School PE Tournament of Champions Competition. The "Native Tigers" defeated their opponents the "Mean Machine" in a half an hour (three 10 min periods with water breaks) Ultimate Indoor Frisbee DEATH MATCH. It was all tied up going into the 3rd period when the Mean Machine finally broke down from exhaustion and lost 13-11. Luckily tomorrow they are favored in the Indoor Soccer Match with newly instituted "Penalty Box" rules creating power play opportunities. Post Game analysis tomorrow.

February 3rd is my cousin Maddie's Birthday. Sorry I won't be there to celebrate in person, but we'll make up the time this summer. Happy Birthday!

February 12th is Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln's Birthday (born the same year too). One man founded the fundamental idea that would change how scientist looked at the living world and the other man stood up and changed the way Americans looked at each other. Two men, born on the same day, evolution and equity, how cool.

February 13-20th is "Random Acts of Kindness Week" across the world. Since I'll be in Anchorage that week for the Alaska Special Educators Conference we are going to do it a week early here at Nuniwarmiut School. The kids are really excited to do little "nice things" for people anonymously.

February 14th is Valentines Day, one of my least favorite Holidays of all time. A completely fabricated commercial holiday where you are supposed to have someone to give chocolate, roses and a colorful sentimental card to (or be horribly lonely and ashamed if you don't have someone to do that for). In college we used to hold "F**K Valentines Day" Parties where only single people who hated the day could come.

February 15th is the anniversary of my Grandpa and Grandma Wicks. Even though they've both passed on, they live in my heart and actions everyday.

February 17th is my brother's birthday. He will be turning 23 (not 22 as I had previously said, he is 22 now was what I was thinking) all by his lonesome in the UK. God I wish I was 22 again. One of his birthday's long ago our family dog died, that was a sad one. I will tell some essential Hal stories on this particular day.

February 26th is Syd's Birthday. Woop woop!

Now that I've added a bunch of things you all need to relax if I forgot something. You've effectively scared me off from doing this ever again!

February is a bizarre month. It starts with a rodent prophet and ends abruptly sometimes with a giant leap.

In honor of mr. darwin her is some interesting evolutionary science news recently published this month. Although many/most of his theories have been tweaked, improved, discredited and or analyzed they still provided the basis for a sort of drive to understand just how the living world got so weird. Thanks buddy:

Texas A&M scientist may have discovered the first photosynthesizing animal, Elysia chlorotica, a sea slug that possesses at least one gene necessary for photosynthesis and can use chlorplast organelles from algae it ingests to photosynthesize itself for months on end. This is really interesting because it opens a lot of doors for the possibilities of using the sunlight to create food for us animal folks.

The University of Munich has analyzed the the genes of over 147 species of Gourds and suggested that they originated in Asia and floated to the rest of the world through the ocean multiple times recolonizing S. America, Australia, Madagascar (Africa), as many as 13 times over the last 60 million years. GO GOURDS!


Hope you enjoyed this little synopsis of February. I'll try to make one each month if I can remember.
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