Monday, October 22, 2007

Down With The Ship!

No, it's not a reference to pirates. "Down with the ship" is what I say when I have a particular interest that is deemed lame by those around me. Or by society in general. Some may call them "guilty pleasures," but the difference is that the five items listed here, I take great pride in loving. This list comes on the heels of Cousin Pete's recent blog entry, in which he listed his own Top Five Lame Obsessions. Pete was proud enough to list his, so now it's my turn.

Finding Other Uses For Certain Used Items
The more things that I re-use, the more I am deemed a "pack rat" by my loved ones. And, being an artist, I can always find a use for something. Just today, I used an old wine bottle to fight off a group of unrulies at Fairfax. Lisa is still none too happy about the old hollowed-out television set that we used for Audrey's bassinet when she was an infant.

Counting Crows
In 1994, I bought the Counting Crows debut, August & Everything After. To this day, I still consider it a "perfect album." The boys never quite achieved cult status or that legendary hoopla, but I still like to play it about once a year just to remind me of my place in the universe. They've never recorded anything nearly as good, but I always make it a point to keep listening. Their new record drops before year's end and I'll be picking it up.

Wendy's And, Once Upon A Time, Eating Salt Off A Table
Nothing says "comfort" like a Wendy's Double Cheeseburger, large fries and a Frosty. I remember being four years old and going to this fine restaurant with my family. There was something about pouring salt on the table and then licking it off while waiting for my parents to return with our order. This was a precursor to the magnificent sandwich that would come afterward. A large Frosty soon followed. As I grew older, I couldn't wait to reach adulthood so that I could eat at Wendy's every single night. And during that window of time between moving out of my folks' house and hooking up with Lisa, that dream became a reality. Someday very soon, we'll be taking Audrey up to the Wendy's here in Mission. But we'll have to keep an eye on that salt shaker.

To Catch A Predator
Chris Hanson's ongoing news series does not appear to be running out of steam anytime soon. And why should it? As long as there are creepy old men with the world wide web at their feet, Mr. Hanson will have a job. I don't know what it is about this show. I guess it's my fascination at seeing such stupid and sick people doing such stupid and sick things. Like Road House or Tango & Cash, it's just another example of my dropping whatever I'm doing to watch the same piece of crap, again and again, each time I see that it's on television. There's gotta be about twenty installments, but I'm willing to bet I've seen the same guys get busted at least a hundred times.

Sitting On The Toilet, Reading A Pitch
An oldie-but-goodie. My time in the john is valuable to me. Not only do I get a moment to reflect on my day, but it gives me a chance to do some reading. My favorite is The Pitch. There have been times where I've seen one of their newstands from my moving vehicle and stopped to snatch one up. I do this with the anticipation of going home and having a sit down session with it. And it's not the greatest newspaper in the world. I can honestly say that if our house did not have a bathroom, I would never pick up a Pitch.

Now who's next? Jeff? Matt? Brandon? Terry? Curt? Mom?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Buck Rogers And Me

This past Saturday night was a special one. I finally got a chance to catch Jim Tharp's band, Buck Rogers. Jim, who is the boyfriend of Renee Fish (my oldest friend, to those of you who may be unfamiliar), has been an avid supporter of this very blog since it's conception a little over a year ago. Buck Rogers--Jim's high school band--reformed around that same time. Lisa and I had been wanting to go check out a performance, but have never really had the opportunity due to issues with Audrey.

Lisa and Audrey headed out to St. Louis this past weekend. I had to stay behind because of a Saturday training for work. So when I received an invite from Renee on Friday night, I had to jump on the opportunity. I rallied up the usual gang of rockers and we headed out to Barley's Brewhouse on I-435 and Midland.

When I arrived, a smiling Jim approached me, offered his hand and said one thing: "Love the blog."

After two solid hours of rocking, I can only reply one way: touche.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


My apologies for being M.I.A. for the past few weeks. One of my biggest frustrations is when I follow a blog on a regular basis, only to have the writer not be where they should be when I feel the need to play catchup. When I started this a little over a year ago, I promised myself I wouldn't be one of these people. How easy it is to make a promise like this when there's so much free time in your life at the moment you make it. I have a hundred stories to share, but they seem to keep stacking up the longer I wait to report them.

Thank God for the much needed day off I'm taking from the classroom today. A major perk of being the parent to a two-year-old is when said-parent is forced to stay home for the day because of daycare complications. Chad and Laura had a funeral to attend out-of-state (my condolences) and, because of it, Lisa stayed home yesterday with Audrey. Today is my turn. The privilege of getting to do this is a double edged sword. While I could use the day off, I cringe at the thought of what might be happening in my Art room as I sit and write this. When I'm given enough notice to get ready for a substitute, I'm able to lock things away and get the room ready. I tell the sub to give the students "open studio" time with the paper, pens and pencils that I leave out for them. At around 10:00 last night, it occurred to me that I left paint sitting out on the counter next to the sink. I emailed Susie, the social worker, asking if she'd go to the room and lock the paints up. Then I remembered she never remembers to check her email, which means she probably won't get the message until later on today. Oh well. I'm sure things will be fine.

The drawing posted here is from one of my high school students, Michail. Throughout the year, the students have been telling me that I need a "new look." That I don't dress appropriately. In case you, the reader, have not watched BET lately, the "proper attire" is a 3XL white T-shirt, with baggy pants, white tennis shoes and at least one ear ring. One day, Michail took the liberty of drawing me the way I should look.

For the record, Michail is a quiet student who loves art. I never had a problem with him until yesterday when he threatened to kick my ass because I wouldn't give him free time on the computer, thus earning him a three day suspension.

My day off couldn't have come soon enough.