Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Oh How the Tides of Shit May Turn

Oh how the tides of shit may turn and the winds of shit may blow. A once riding high and free and positive Kale with his new laptop, new full time job and big first Band Gig on the Horizon has been ever so defeated. Where to start?

Oh lets try the job. My job as Title 1 Math/Reading support teacher has degraded quickly into something unintelligible and dissatisfying and primarily impossible. Instead of teaching study skills, life lessons, math remediation and homework help, my daily job has turned into a moment to moment triage and adjacent battle with behavior problems, teacher difficulties, and systematic failure of a broken school/district educational effort. My job unfortunately never really had a definition and still doesn't. I originally thought that this freedom would be refreshing and exciting but have since changed my mind. When you have no real direction as to what it is you are exactly being asked to do you also don't know if you are meeting said undefined expectations. The thought of remaining in this position till the end of may is not only horrifying but also a little sickening. All I do all day is run around from over stretched classroom to over worked teacher to over sympathized student trying to put out behavior problems, collect missing work assignments and failing progress reports. I have lost 6 plus pounds from simply walking around all day and stress. I tell students not to call another student a "fag" or "gay" or "homo" or "retard" or last week "Homo-gay-fagtard" at least 20 times a day, get asked to go to the bathroom 50 times a day, provide penciless students with pencils more than I can count, and pick up endless shredded paper balls and eraser/pen parts. Furthermore my position and purpose was put together amidst three different agencies of school, administration, counselors, and teachers, making my overseeing authority a murky and undefined mass of faculty with little inter-department communication or set goal.

Then today I find out that my grandma has been sick and had to go to the hospital prompting fear of losing a loved one to rise up all day along with feelings of resentment that the idea of assisted living was even raised as an option. Hold in their Grandma I'm not ready for you to go yet.

On top of that, the booking manager of the bar my roomate and I are supposed to play on March 19th, called and left a message stating that they double booked our night and we are out. No big first gig after all. We have been practicing day and night to get ready I guess we can take a day off now.

I hate this part of the life frequency. Life can get so awesome so quickly and then dip back down into shitsville the next moment. The excitement of the new house has worn off a little and now chores and obligations are starting to mount. At least we finally got the racoons out of the attic...literally.

Tutoring has become a huge pain in my ass as well. Its not enough that I have to work my ass off all day getting kids to attempt to grasp the importance of being an 8th grader, but to then have to do it once again after school is just mind boggling exhausting.

Oh I blew my hip out last weekend during shenanigans at Sound Tribe Sector Nine in seattle (which was a shining star in a galaxy of poo-holes. I have been sleeping uncomfortably and limping around all week.

Even if my leg was healthy I never would have time to go skiing anyway because I work all the time.

Basically I sit here writing this listening to BoysIIMen sing "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday" on 92.5 Movin FM radio because I left my iPod at school thinking that this is a lame lame lame lame lame lame feeling, the feeling you get when nothing turned out like you planned (and a also feeling stupid for planning yet again despite plans never working out).

The only redeeming thing that happened to me all day was that I went to dinner with my mom and watched 12 horrible boys/mens American idol episode (realizing I love watching AI with mom and that the people on there aren't that good).

oh and this amazing puff daddy song that just came on the radio...yeah...blue ribbon day here in kale world, and a blue ribbon day deserves a blue ribbon...or two.

Whatever.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Return of the Mac, Return of the Mac, Oooooooo Yeaaaaaaah

Well its been a long time coming but I finally had to do it. Last night whilst me be a watching True Blood my 5+ year old $500 dollar used computer was infected with a simple yet effective virus that shut the old beast down.

So I decided to put my new tax return to use. Ever since I left Alaska I have been without my MacBook and I friiiiiiggggin hate PC's. So I just went for it and bought a MacBook Pro instead of paying someone to operate on a Dinosaur (that should be left to Micheal Crichton novels anyway). So at this very moment I am on my wifi USB modem typing to you from an undisclosed location at last. Finally me and Mac are BACK!

Here's what a Mac is going to do for the blog.

Fast easy and more frequent blogging
More pictures of my beautiful face for you to see now that I have Photobooth as well as other graphically pleasing content.
New music recorded and uploaded to the site (I think we are all sick of the old songs)
New videos and content about Bison Hunter and the new house.

Basically Mac's are amazing. Very little virus problems, intuitive updating, and music/creative content friendly, and just plain cool, the initial set up even had a bangin soundtrack and graphics! Not to mention how nice it is not to have to use the down arrows or mouse to scroll up and down.

I'm SO HAPPY! No buyers remorse at all.

In other news...two days into my official new job and I can seriously say this job isn't going to be easy. The kids (and more so) teacher I work with are a never ending succession of bafflement and challenges. My room is getting cooler, my students are very difficult for the most part but progress is being made. More than anything I'm really excited that everyone seems to be really pleased and grateful of my efforts and presence.

well thats all for you little beans tonight.

peace
I don't want to spill the beans or say its 100% but I am almost certain that I nailed a job for next year too. This is incredibly relieving knowing that I just (once again it seems) need to survive another spendy summery of fun till I once again am a person with a salary, benefits and place in the world.

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Life

Well many things to report. Let's just get it out of the way that my life is starting to come together a bit. The new house is getting comfy and starting to feel like home. My roomate/bandmate/friend is awesome and our new band is taking off. Taking off so much so that I got us a show in little over a month!

We will be playing O'Malley's on 6th Ave, Tacoma March 19th and I will do an hour set, Kyle will do an hour, then our band "Bison Hunter" will finish off for who knows how long. As for now its not a paying gig but they did say that the more people we bring the more they will pay us so I'm hoping that we can actually stir up some fans and rock the joint on a friday night!

The band is a weird one at that. I am on keyboard (a very very old keyboard) and vocals and drum and synthesizer machine that runs through a mixing board and then through a looping station. Kyle is on multiple effects pedals for his vocals and acoustic guitar and also running through looping stations. Together we build the music from scratch and try to create something exciting, funny, interesting and psychedelic. So far we have about 5 songs in 1 week. One song is an original I wrote called "Till the Morning Sun." Another original that Kyle sings is called "Part of the Whole." We then have two songs so far in which we make dance beats and quote Back to the Future and another on The Neverending Story. Our list of covers should include Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now," Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise," the Door's "People Are Strange," Van Morrison's "Baby Please Don't Go," Radioheads "Creep" and Bob Marley's "The Sun is Shining" and probably a few more as we don't actually play the whole songs just use parts of them. Basically like a good welterweight boxer we're trying to come at you from every angle possible.

I guess that moves me onto the job. Last week I spent most of my time in other teachers classrooms getting to know the kids and the problems that they seem to have with all aspects of school. Tomorrow I will continue supporting teachers and pulling kids out for small group help as well as teaching my own two classes each day. I went to target today and dropped about 75$ on school supplies for my room and have been lesson planning all afternoon which effectively wiped out my plans to go skiing. The staff already seems to be appreciating my efforts and I'm hopefully not being looked at like the enemy by the kids. Hopefully if I pull off my plan I can become a mentor for how they can avoid getting in trouble while in the meantime mentoring teachers on why they are pissing these kids off all the time. I know this job is only till the end of May but I feel like I'm part of the school and that is nice.

Yesterday my dad and I spent the afternoon turning the 23.5 pounds of berries I picked this summer into wine. The recipe included all natural organic sugar, Invasive Blackberries, Wild Mountain Black Berries, Salmon Berries, Salal Berries, Red Huckleberries, Regular Huckleberries, Blue Huckleberries, and a few Black Caps. We decided not to add any chemicals to the mix and are hoping that no wild yeast emerges so that we can keep the batch all natural. It was really cool learning how the process works and getting to spend time with my Dad.

So I guess thats it for now. I have a long week ahead and hopefully everything will go smoothly.

Alright Alright!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sir Good of Things

(trumpets sounding resiliently in the magnificent castle towers)

A green felt and gold embroidered Castle Scribe comes out onto the Kings balcony as 10,000 rose petals are released from the church belfry trickling down to the large mass of gatherers below in the castle courtyard.

(the trumpets blast their last crescendo triumphantly)

The scribe bellows, "HERE YE, HERE YE, The Great and Mighty Sir Good of Things has an announcement that I shall read unto ye henceforth..."

The crowd hushes, babies stop crying, birds stop chirping, lepers stop...um...lepping.

"After many moons of misfortune and great over all ma laze the Great and Mighty Sir Good of Things has contacted the great sky lords of all that is CLEAR WIRELESS INTERNET and through a small monthly sacrifice of has retained once again the services of WIFI-Home internet service."

The crowd erupts into a frenzy of cheering, leaping, old men and young women kiss, old women and young men kiss, neither have cabbage breath, children and babies are thrown high into the air and hopefully caught again, amputee victims regrow limbs and all the people with athletes foot find relief.

After long long long months of torturous disconnection from the sky gods circling the atmosphere that provide unlimited access to all the known knowledge of the collective human race (at least those with internet access) Sir Good of Things had returned and for his people and readers it would surely be...

A Good Thing.

Oh and my new job is awesome. But you'll have to wait for that nugget. Not long probably because if you can't decipher this story I got internet at home today, so lots and lots of content will once again visit this space.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Got A Job

Sorry I've been busy because I'VE BEEN WORKING at my new job. I'm teaching Title 1 Remedial Math, Reading and Study/Behavior Skills at a Middle School and although working my ass off loving being back in a school staff making a difference already.

I'll fill y'all in more later about such topics as:

The new band "Bison Hunter"

The new full time position opportunity for next year.

Settling into the new house.


Hope all is well and once again sorry for the delay.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

All moved In Finally (sort of)

I just finished cleaning the bathroom at my old place. Last chore. So much fun. Then moments later I was at my new place hanging Chinese lanterns across the front porch. My new place is so BADASS. It is cute first, big second, huge yard full of gardening opportunity third, great roomate and soon to be new bandmate fourth (we've almost settled on "Bison Hunter" for a name), and within walking distance of everything fun fifth, and lastly but so not leastly, came with two matching fat bottom 70's cruiser bikes complete with child seats, baskets, and luggage racks (definitely gonna get used all summer).

My head is swimming with possibilities of my new life. If only I could land a real job I would be almost complete. In other news I'm fucking exhausted. I mean really tired. I got a sore throat and decided singing songs on the old ukulele with my new roomie last night would be a great idea leaving me sounding like an old jewish woman who smokes virginia slims all day or Bruce Valanche I can't make up my mind.

I subbed a half day today at ________ High School. This particular high school is the exact opposite of the _______ High School I subbed at earlier last week. It is in rich tacoma in a giant castle where "10 Things I Hate About You" may or may not have been filmed. The classroom was so well equipped, the students were so polite, well dressed, well spoken, on time, and grown up looking. I can't believe how diverse of an experience high school can be in Tacoma based on where you live. The next thing I'm going to say hopefully will not come off as racist, I say it only to point out how I'm not so sure segregation is really over in America. I sub all over the district and sometimes I simply can't figure out phonetically how to say a students name when I take attendance. This is a challenge that I love to tackle, I pride myself as a full time sub at pronouncing difficult names correctly. But today at richy rich academy for the light skinned and economically sound I had not one challenging name. In fact the day was so easy that I was bored and found the hours tolled by leaving me to one conclusion. I think, no I know, that I like to work in the rough part of town, the kids are so real and up front. While your day might be much harder it actually feels like an accomplishment when things go well and those kiddie lightbulbs start firing off. Today though, I felt a little over matched, as if they would and could learn in spite of whether or not I was any good. Weird to think I guess.

So this weekend approaches. A whopper if I do say so myself. Thursday night an Indi band that has been on hiatus for a while "Trip The Light Fantastic" is playing in Tacoma. I've always wanted to check them out for simply the reason that they have a bad ass name. How cool that its happening in my own town. Then Saturday night I get the great pleasure of attending ELTON JOHN VS. BILLY JOEL face to face piano death match at Key Arena with my mother and her friend. So even before I go to see BASSNECTAR best DJ ever with my friends I get to spend a solid evening with my mom and her friend and 30,000 screaming middle aged women drunk on merlot and chardonnay, could you plan a whackier evening if you tried?

Anywho, crazy good music coming up. Sound Tribe Sector Nine is playing two nights in seattle at the end of the month as well as A.L.O (Animal Liberation Orchestra) opening for Galactic! Jesus! And if my wallet or my gut can stand it Modeski Martin and Wood is playing the next night! Also I recently found out, one of my heroes, Devendra Banhart is coming to town next month. Awesome Awesome Awesome.

I'll leave you with these:

Good Thing of the Day: Thumbtacks. These little guys have many many many more uses than you would ever believe. Yes they hold things up on a wall but did you know they make a great tooth pick and fingernail cleaner (separate thumbtacks of course).

Good Thought of the Day: Being able to one day become great friends with an "ex" is something that is rare and good. Its sad that so many times break ups mean that you never speak again. Thank you goes out to my far away good friend.

Today's Good Quote: "As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers" - Robert G. Ingersoll

Cheers to all the teachers out there.

Today's Good Band: Blitzen Trapper. I don't know much about these radical dudes. They look awesome obviously but they are divers as their wigs with songs ranging from borderline hair metal to downtempo western balads and all sorts of in between. They have been on constant rotation during the move and if I ever figure out what they do to make their voices sound so cool I will steal it.

Alright folks and friends that's another good post in the books as I promised I'd try to do more often. How's life out there?

My heart goes out to all the people in Mekoryuk, Alaska and I'm sorry for your loss this week. Be strong and call me if you need a person to talk to.
to view my other blog OUT OF THE CLOSET ATHEIST click HERE