Thursday, April 23, 2009

Water for Elephants

Did I mention that I joined a book club a month ago? An old high school acquaintance and I met on Facebook last year, and a month ago she decided to see if any of her Facebook friends would be interested in starting a book club. A few of us responded positively, and the book club was born. None of us had been in a book club before, and nobody had suggestions for a first book to read. She did some research and found "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. Apparently a lot of book clubs have read and discussed this book, which rationally made it a good decision for us to read.

We plan to meet at her house on Sunday afternoon for drinks and to discuss the book, and I can't wait. Tonight I plopped into bed around 9:30pm, ready to read a few chapters and have a good night's sleep before teaching tomorrow. Two and a half hours, or ten chapters, later I'm wide awake and finished with the story. I have no idea how Sara Gruen spun that story, but it is amazing.

I've only stayed up late to finish books two other times in my life. The first was as a freshman in college, reading "The Hobbit" for the first time. The second was a few years ago days after receiving "Teacher Man" from my sister for Xmas. Every time I stay up hours later than I intend to, to finish a book, I get completely spellbound by the story. I was never much of a reader, so maybe this experience is common, but I love it.

Reading a good story inspires me to write or tell stories of my own. I really want to be the old guy who has endless stories to tell, and nobody can tell where the truth meets fiction in those stories, like in "Big Fish". The fact that "Water for Elephants" has a crotchety old man in it has no bearing on that desire. None at all.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chatting it up at $0.05/$0.10 PLO8

j: lucky @@#&$
A: fa sho
j: you are a moron, I hope you get in a car accident
and get your head cut off you homo
A: i wish you all the best
b: kind of like the movie, premonition
j: yeah and I hope you get raped by a gay fag, get
aids and die a slow and horrible death
G: happy chat ban
A: ty grass
j: yeah right
A: i put my money in just like the rest of them
A: why u get mad is beyond me
j: because you bet with nothing but a drawer and get
b: maybe it is underlying anger management issues
A: lol
j: have a nice wait on every hand now
G: latent passive aggressive
A: lolz
b: pnwed
G: oops
A: j is my hero

Question: Which is waffles?


Monday, April 13, 2009

Polar Bears

"maybe if she didn't look like a big mac the bears wouldn't have wanted to eat her."

Classy? No. But I couldn't stop laughing.

*edit, first video got removed, trying a different link now*

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

R.I.P. Rose (2004-2009)

I got a call from the school librarian yesterday at noon. She informed me that my mentor teacher's daughter, Rose, passed away in her sleep Friday night. She had special needs and was in kindergarten at the school. She did not talk and often had seizures. I saw her on Friday and she was loving life, wearing a huge smile on her face as she trotted down the hall. I couldn't believe it when the librarian gave me the bad news.

I haven't made up my mind about death. For a lot of reasons death sucks, death of a child is probably the harshest thing imaginable. Erin and I talked about it yesterday, and there are a lot of things I wouldn't think twice about doing to protect my child, including killing and giving my own life--things that I would not do for just about any other reason.

On the other hand, death is good because it breaks us out of living life with blinders on. Death is life-changing for more than the one obvious person. Death can be a boon to awareness of a cause, safety, or even just being aware how important each and every day is, and spending those days with people you care about.

This week is going to be intense at school. My placement has been a breeze so far, but now I feel like I've been tossed in the deep end. In a way, I look forward to the challenge. MT won't be there to help me, and I've got an amazingly touchy subject to deal with, something that might create strong bonds between myself and my MT, the students, parents and faculty. I have a feeling like the students will cry, and that will start me crying, which isn't something I have done for years. I'm due.

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Lake Cavanaugh

Tyler's father-in-law's cabin is amazing. The above picture shows about half of the cabin, it is huge. Pool table, ping pong table, hot tub, giant living room... and it is a zip-line or extreme rope-swing away from the lake. I jumped in on Saturday, and it was not warm. Knowing the hot tub was fired up at 104 degrees helped!

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Spring Break 2009

What I envisioned as being a very boring and lame spring break, without any plans, has turned into an action-packed thrill ride! Four out of the last five days I've been up at Stevens Pass, and today was possibly the best day of the year snow-wise, with a foot of fresh powder on top of the ever-growing annual base depth high (low?). I wish I had brought my camera today, I was almost completely submerged in the powder on the backside after a fall, and there were also some really cool images I could have taken showing the snow height. Six foot packs of snow on top of buildings, and snow piled up to the roofs of buildings.

Tomorrow I get to visit a friend's lake house cabin for two nights, which sounds like a perfect ending to this unexpectedly nice week! Apparently there will be about a dozen folks up there, and all of the meals have already been planned!

A few updates...

Days skied: 21
Pushups count: 11749
Situps count: 10132
Frog Squats count: 5630
Weeks until summer: 11
Weeks until good weather: 18
My guess for Dr. Chako's table position: 5 (because I know him way better than The Wife does)