Saturday, January 30, 2010

Booooooooooooooooooooooks...

A serious book blogger would have noted the passing of author J.D. Salinger.

But here's the thing.

I was never really that in to Salinger.

In fact, in that long list of books that people assume writers and lit heads have read but they have not, Catcher in the Rye is one of mine.

What did catch my interest though was a recent piece in The Telegraph about rumors that there might still be an unpublished Salinger novel tucked away.

Maybe instead of trying to continue writing fiction I should just start a rumor that I have written, in the words of that Telegraph writer, "an oeuvre of vast, unreadable proportions..." that I have simply stashed away.

Hmmm (1).

1. Pssst. Did you hear that Artboy wrote a book of vast, unreadable proportions? Pass it on.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

iFold


I have a confession to make.

I actually think the new iTablet (1) is kind of cool.

I know, I know...how many times have I leapt up and knocked over my butter churn while railing against the Kindle and e-readers in general.

Granted, the iTablet isn't just an e-reader.

It seems to be the mouthwash/floor polish/little-black-dress-in-a-bottle of technology. But it just looks so darn cool.

It also looks like something I would scratch and mangle within moments of taking it out of the box.

Because that's what I do to pretty little gadgets.

iDamage.

1. I'm sorry...I can't bring myself to use the real name yet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Damned if Glinda wasn't right.


Talking to Leopold tonight I got a little choked up as I realized that this week marks another transition for me.

To this point my time at school and my time at BIG have been equal partners. I leave one place early in the afternoon to head to the other.

But next week that changes and the majority of my time will be spent at BIG. This is a wholly economic choice and, most certainly, the fact that I have the job at all puts me well ahead of a lot of folks.

But it's still a bummer.

While they can drive me up the wall sometimes I work with some of the greatest kids on the planet. They're funny and interesting and kind to the point where it's almost unbelievable.

Don't get me wrong. They are still teenagers. They aren't saints. It's not a one room schoolhouse in Mayberry, RFD.

But they're good kids.

And my coworkers are amazing. I don't think that I have ever laughed so hard so frequently anywhere else that I have worked. Even when we're frustrated. Even when we're ready to barricade the faculty room door and break out the muskets. We laugh.

Like the kids my coworkers are smart, funny and some of the kindest most welcoming people I've ever met.

But here's the great thing that the last six months have taught me. The thing that my leap of faith has thrown my way.

I can turn the tide of all this. Maybe not today and maybe not for next term.

But it's in my power to find a way to make BIG a little littler. Or maybe find a way to trade BIG for something else...something that lets me spend more time at school and more time teaching - the thing I've finally found that I love to do.

Now I just need to figure out how to swap that Ke$ha song for something else.

I hear singing...


Back when I worked at DWI (1) I had a medical issue that recurred with disappointing frequency.

I was horribly prone to the acquisition of ear worms.

Or, one ear worm in particular.

I would go for days with the theme song to Disney's Hannah Montana show stuck in my head.

This is not an exaggeration. We're talking days thinking how Hannah had her "limo out front" and the "latest shoes in every style, every color."

That's not happened in a while.

Or, my Hannah-specific disorder has not returned.

Unfortunately, she's been replaced. It seems Rolling Stone was right and Ke$ha's album Animal really is "obnoxious, repulsive and ridiculously catchy."

The last several mornings I have turned to Finkelstein and informed her that I "wake up every morning feelin' like P. Diddy" and that, "before I leave I brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack 'cause when I head out for the night I ain't comin' back."

It's only a matter of time before I have to start calling her Finkel$tein.

1. Dysfunctional Workplace, Inc.

Monday, January 25, 2010

You're right. I don't understand.


A bit ago I wrote about the things that cause my students to see the gap between our generations.

The last several days I've been feeling one of my own.

And it's hit me right where I live.

Words.

I've battled against use of the word "retarded" to mean stupid. "Fag" as a random slander. Profanity tucked carefully into sentences that in no way require profanity...especially by those students trying to prove they belong.

I've even grown slightly used to though no less irritated by the tiresome use of "your mom".

But the one that drives me out of my tree? The use of the word "rape".

As in, "I totally raped that test." Or, "Dude, we raped them in that game last night."

If you're wondering, yes, it's been discussed.

And yes, some of the female students have voiced an objection for the failure of some to understand that violence of what it is that's being said. But it clings like something distasteful to the bottom of someone's shoe.

This is the part where some would say they fear for the next generation. I really don't.

I just want them to learn the language.