The human ability to explore the world, educate one's self, stretch one's perception and boundaries of security and comfort should be embraced as well as the emerging visceral feelings and emotions stemming from such experiences.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's Winter Break?!?!

... And none too soon.

As I am sitting here waiting for a parent teacher conference to begin (me being the teacher... I didn't buy a child recently), I am wondering why I picked today to have this little meeting. Due to the fact I was checked out mentally before my students I am slowly constructing what this meeting will look like.

Parent walks in and begins various lines of questioning... Fast forward 30 minutes... "So what do you think Mr. Gell?"

"Homemade fruitcakes get a bad rap."

"Excuse me?"

"I'm sorry. What was it you were asking?"

I am praying that it goes this well. All I can think about right now is what I WON'T be doing over the next two weeks. No lesson planning. No Grading. No reprimanding. No Teaching!

It won't be a white Christmas for me, but maybe it will be a quiet one at least.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Post Game

We effing lost!

Sad but true. I couldn't be prouder of these kids though. They came in as huge underdogs, but played their hardest. Would it have been a different game if we had all of our studs playing? I think so, but we took it to them with the one of the greatest talents at running back I have seen in a high school uniform.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Q

That's what everyone around here calls the stadium at which the Sand Diego Super Chargers play their home games and it's also where the MADISON WARHAWKS will be playing Friday, December 12, 2008.

The Madison football team has so far engineered a perfect season. Never before has a team from this small school reached the CIF finals. Never before had they such a talented squad. Waiting for them at Qualcom is one final test. Can Madison survive the punishment by Valley Center's explosive offense? Will they bring home the 'Ship? Will Andrew Gell be named San Diego's coach of the year? (no) These questions and more to be answered in less than 39 hours.

Stay tuned for a post-game report...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Teaching isn't for everybody

I am so looking forward to some much needed time off from teaching. This year has created some unusual stress in my professional life which has since spilled over into my personal life. I am seriously weighing possibilities for my next career move.

Professional Actor
I have been watching way too much Entourage in the past few months. Every time I watch an episode, the lifestyle just seems more and more attainable to me. I could just drop everything. Pick up my stuff. Move to Hollywood. Find a role in a movie... or make a friend who already has one, and the rest is history. Soon enough I will be living in mansions, flying private jets to various exotic destinations, and doing it all with a few close, emotionally and psychologically bruised friends.

Hired Gun
This one doesn't seem like the safest line of work, but I could probably get away with killing the people determined to create stress in my life. I hear the money is pretty good as well.

Inherit a Load of Money
This does not really seem like a career path at second glance, but it seems to fulfill the needs for which a career provides. This would probably take a lot of research and definitely some creative liberties on my behalf to make this work. I think treasure hunting might fall in the same category actually.

Professional Athlete
I don't really care which one I go pro in. Whichever will take me. I have uncapped athletic potential and I'm just waiting for my break. I could see myself as a third-string QB on a struggling NFL team. I can call in plays from the sideline, and wear a ball cap instead of a helmet. Put me in, Coach!

I'm not thinking I would get rich doing this, but how much fun would this be? Herding cattle, riding horses, repairing barbwire fences, branding various livestock, wearing a cowboy hat, telling my wife she isn't cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the house properly are all things I can do.

The only reason I thought of this is because most people tell me I'm a space cadet. Kind of one of those self-fulfilling prophecy-type deals.

Daycare Owner
I have a garage big enough to cram in about 40-50 of the little ones.

These were just what I thought of off the top of my head. I'm sure there are plenty of great opportunities out there for an educated individual like myself. I just have to keep my nose to the grindstone... or get really really extremely lucky.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back to School... Back to School...

To prove to Dad that I'm not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight. I hope I don't get in a fight. Oh! Back to school. Back to school...

So I am in my third week back here at old Madison High School. This is the first year that I am returning to the same school as a teacher. It's a pretty good feeling. I've finally found a place that I am comfortable with. The faculty is great. I've got some pretty cool kids this year. I am also coaching the football team this fall. We have some of the biggest talent on this team around. If I can post some some video later, I will.

The planning is taking a front seat for the first time in awhile. Down side is that I am at school 12 hours a day, but at least I feel comfortable with my lessons.

I have to plan some crap now. More to come on such an eventful year.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fat people don't run.

I think most people who know me from high school and college would label me as a runner. One of the insane who seemingly tortures himself in order to... well as far as the majority goes they have no idea why we do it. To merely grasp the idea of tempos, track workouts, long runs, and the such in order to be able to just run more is far from their reach. They have nothing to compare it to, and we all look like fools to them.

I don't know where things really changed, but I am finding myself more and more sympathetic towards the Andy of senior year of college. The one burnt out from years of running competitively and rarely compiling the expected results. I have been battling lower back issues for awhile, and these pains usually take over after only a mile of running. The lower portion of my back seizes and it becomes impossible to run. I have recently begun a series of specific abdominal exercises in hopes to alleviate this debilitating pain I have been recently experiencing. Maybe they will help immensely, and I can return to some form of running in the near future, but I'm guessing it will be awhile.

I don't know that I will ever return to the marathon courses as a competitor, but I feel my days labeled as a "runner" are numbered. I tried to run 5-6 miles of the Rock n Roll Marathon here in SD and I couldn't even get past a mile. It's weird to sort of transition in your identity. I thought of myself and was labeled by others as a "runner" for such a long time that it will be interesting to see how I begin to perceive myself in the near future.

Processing this has lead me to consider the importance of labels. I don't think they are very important or necessary, but it is an inevitable part of life. You will label people, be labeled by others, and label yourself in varying ways, and most of the time you probably won't even be aware of it. Do we feel more comfortable having a known identity? Do we feel more comfortable knowing what to expect from others based on how people with similar identities or labels act and react to things? I think it's an interesting facet of human behavior, and the reality is that it's inescapable. You may refuse to label yourself, but you can never keep others from doing it for you.

Friday, May 30, 2008

It's getting closer...

It truly is. The end of the school year is near. The end of a calendar year usually evokes the need for people to reflect on both their successes and failures that made the previous 12 months memorable... even if they want to try to forget much of it.
Truth is that this past school year was a number of things. It was challenging. It was fun. It was boring at times. It was tedious. It was fulfilling. It was frustrating. In the end, it was a success.
I still have yet to sign a contract for next year, yet the school is full steam ahead in planning my schedule for next year. I guess they are pretty confident that I will be able to get my job back for next year. All I'm saying is that I would feel much better if I had a signed contract on file somewhere.

Evidently, one of the ways I could increase my value as a teacher and ultimately retain my current job is to be a three season coach. I coached soccer last year and had a ton of fun and success doing it. Soccer was a sport I grew up playing, so it really wasn't a stretch trying to coach it. In SD, soccer is a winter sport, so I'm trying to get into coaching that. This leaves fall and spring to find a sport to coach. In the spring we have track, and help is always needed there.

The fall is for cross country. This seems like the most logical place for me to step in, but they seem to have a bunch of people helping out there. The AD (also the head football coach) asks me if I want to coach freshman football. Huh? Those who know me know that I have never even played organized football. I know the rules of the game, and I can play pickup games, but coach it? I agreed anyway, and felt in way over my head in the first meeting when the coaches were reviewing formations and zone d. As the feeling was starting to sink in that I might have made a mistake it was time to start a little spring football and meet some of the incoming freshmen for next year. It became evident that my football knowledge was greater than most of these kids'. Starting to feel a little more confident I began to step in as the receiver/DB coach. I now am able to fake it with a bit of confidence... I hope this helps save my job.

By the way, I think I get one day off between the end of school and summer school. Whoo Hoo!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reason #486 as to Why I Hate the Yankees

I was reading an article about Joba Chamberlain's "antics" on the mound. Little did I know that my hatred for the Yankees would be irreparably fueled by this article. Also, little did I know how much I hated Goose Gossage. Pretentious Prick! I don't think I need to say much about the article, but I will post a few quotes by "Boner" Gossage:

"Gossage also told The Bergen Record that Chamberlain needs to remember what uniform he is wearing. According to Gossage, playing for the Yankees carries a different set of rules.
'That's just not the Yankee way, what Joba did. Let everyone else do that stuff, but not a Yankee,' Gossage told The Record on Saturday. "

That's not the Yankee way? Are you kidding me? Being a Yankee has different rules? How can we take the fun out of sports...? I know! Be a Yankee. Gossage pretty much held everyone who has ever worn a Yankee uniform above every other player in baseball. This is exactly the Yankee way. Even if you aren't better than everyone, pretend you are. Let the "degenerates" on other teams do that stuff. Why are these douchebags held in such high esteem?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Heath Benedict

I just read an article on about this football player who passed who seemed to be a true hero to some and a great friend/family member to all. The story was written pretty well. As my eyes watered, as they usually do when reading/viewing these types of inspirational stories, I thought about why we focus on the ridiculous stories in not only sports, but also in other areas of our culture.

Why do we spend days, weeks, months of front page articles and "top story" coverage talking about the steroid abuse, domestic abuse, illicit drug abuse, and other less than praise-worthy acts of these mainstream icons. I get sick of hearing about what ever Vick is up to in jail... unless he is getting butt raped by a large inmate. He had his chance to be famous... let's not make him infamous. Pacman Jones? Somebody please tell me the Cowboys traded for him so that he could clean the locker room and wash jock straps. What about the majority of the Bengals organization? Clemens? Balco? Conseco? Etc, etc...

I'm no fool. I know we as a culture can get locked into the drama. We are a drama loving culture. That will turn into ratings... especially if you can be the first to break a scandalous story. The money/power driven society scares me at times. We are so focused on where our next dollar comes from that we are missing the big picture. "Look at all the people effing up! I feel better about my pathetic existence." I'm being a little melodramatic, but when we are so caught up in comparing ourselves to each other that the slightest bit of drama can help us live with our currents situations, whatever they may be, I feel like we lose touch with some incredible facets of life.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that I am much more interested in the stories that inspire me to better myself rather than the stories that make me feel better about myself. RIP big guy. I'm sure the NFL could have used a guy like you.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another Attack

Right after posting the previous post I went to a site I visit everyday, and I saw an article on the following attack:

A surfer was attacked by what is assumed to be a tiger or grey shark. This attack was in Mexico near Troncones. The surfer was from S.F. and had just arrived for a surf vacation. Similar story. A bite to the leg and he bled out before he could be saved.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

RIP: Dave Martin

Let me first start off by saying that my thought and prayers go out to the Martins and their friends.
San Diego experienced a shark attack this past weekend. Dave Martin was out doing what he did every Friday morning. He met up with the tri-club for an early morning ocean swim as part of their combined efforts in training for various triathlons. I won't go into the gruesome details of what happened next, but I will say it was an unfortunate turn of events involving a 17 foot great white.

I don't know where exactly to start with this story. The news stations and Internet sources have been saturated with images of sharks, surfers, swimmers, and grievers. It was tragic turn of events last Friday, but it has also drummed up a significant amount of debate. This is where I will chime in.

Dave Martin was a man who daily pursued the loves of his life. It seems that, like most of us, his friends an family took priority in his life. After that he was an avid athlete, a fellow waterman, and a retired animal doc. I'm not going to speculate as to his motivation for training for triathlons, but I know that there needs to be some sort of ardor driving your training in order to constantly submit your body to the pain and intensity involved in such a pastime. Therefor I can confidently infer that Mr. Martin passed doing something he truly loved in a place he loved.

We all are going to have to face that day eventually. Many of us would like to prolong our stay on Earth by any reasonable means, but the truth is none of us will physically remain in permanence. I don't want to die today or tomorrow, but I want to think that if my time is up here I can be at peace with moving on. I can't think of many more frightening things than a shark attack, but I can think of a multitude of places and ways to die that are less appealing than going by way of pursuing something you love. If I was a friend or family member of Martin's, I would try to take solace in the fact that he was where he wanted to be last Friday morning. I know it may only give them a temporary reprieve from the sadness that seems to be all but entirely consuming at this point, but one day I hope they embrace what he was doing when he died as the focal point rather than how he died or even that he died.

Shark attacks, like previously alluded to, scare the crap out of me. Not the attacks in general, but just knowing that it is a possibility when you paddle out. But that's just it, it's a possibility. It's also a possibility that you could die from lightning strikes, or being mugged, or gas leaking in your house, or any number of things you may not have ever known anyone to be afflicted by. I know this though; it is much more dangerous to drive your car down the street than to paddle your board out into the surf (or swim as the case may be). With all the people who enjoy the beaches and ocean in this area each year, there are a limited number of attacks and even fewer deaths reported.

The other point is that sharks are predators. They live in our oceans. Once you swim out, you are no longer at the top of the food chain. It's natural for a shark to behave in such a way. It is a risk some are willing to take in order to pursue their love. We have to be careful of demonizing sharks. They can be dangerous creatures, but they have as much right to be in water as we do... maybe even more so. It may be easy to harbor anger towards these animals that can only be fueled by the presence of gripping fear. It follows the pattern that the "right" thing to do is usually the hardest thing to do. I feel we owe it to Martin to get back out there, not to be reckless, but just to do the exact same thing he was doing before his death... enjoying the simple wonders of this planet.

When the news broke of this attack, I wondered how my family might react knowing how much time I spend in the water in SoCal. I only got one message. It was from my mom. It was an email that simply read:

"'Everything is dangerous, my dear fellow. If it wasn't so, life wouldn't be worth living."
OSCAR WILDE, The importance of Being Earnest
'Here’s to living a life fully experienced!!'
MCMOM, The importance of Being Unimportant"

Awesome email. I'm surprised/impressed that I haven't heard from anyone telling me to stay out of the water, or to be careful, or something along those lines. I haven't talked to my dad yet though... I love being in the water. It is my release, my therapy. As dangerous as it may be perceived by others, I will continue to surf so I might live a life worth living. Just know that if I was to die doing something I love, I would hope people would focus on what I was doing and imagine my state of being right up until the end.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It was like a day at the park...

Went to the Padres game last night. My first as a San Diegoanite. It was a great time. Petco Park is a great stadium. It has some nice amenities that you would expect from a newer park, but it also has a nice amount of character for such a young stadium. The fans still suck. There were a ton of empty seats, and since they were playing the Giants there were a bunch of SF fans. I guess I can't say much when the Os are pulling in only 10k to see their second game of the season.

There was a pretty kick-ass whiffleball field in the stadium. It was behind center field. Right next to it, behind right field, there was a grassy knoll where you could sit and see the whole game. Tickets for that are always $5. It's a pretty good idea for a family with kids. The kids, who will probably bore of the game, can run around on the grassy field or even play whiffleball while the adults can sit and watch the game.

There aren't any railings really in the front of most sections. Instead they used reinforced glass (I'm guessing it was reinforced because I know how easy it is to break a window with a multitude of types of balls) so the people in the front row have unobstructed views. It also looked like to luxury boxes were sick. I didn't get a chance to go in them, but they looked pretty rad.

The left field has a building right behind the wall with balconies on each floor containing seats. I don't know the whole story about the place, but I think there are bars and food in the building. The seats looked like they were leather or something. It's like watching the game from your deck at home or something... maybe even better.

There were some cool architectural things. They used wood beams in some parts that gave the place a pretty unique feel. You know it's a new place, but it feels like it's been there for awhile. This was mixed very well with the newer park design.

If you ever get a chance, try to catch a game there. I'm sure you'll pick a day with beautiful weather...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Earth Day in Balboa Park

Nothing like a festival to remind you of the diversity of the population of the city of San Diego. It was a beautiful, sunshiny day yesterday as hoards of families, hippies, stoners, teenagers, college students, freaks, geeks, and dogs flooded the streets of Balboa Park to unify in their belief that they should help save our planet Earth.

The funniest part may have been the amount of traffic, traffic created by air-polluting cars, that packed the highways and main arteries around the park. A whole bunch of people traveling to celebrate a green day and consequently pouring massive amounts of CFCs and such into the air. Sure, there were some people driving their hybrids, but mostly people were flying solo in their SUVs. We managed to all pack it into a smaller vehicle for the trip, so I consider myself one of the lessers in the contribution of greenhouse gas on this day.

The most interesting part of the day revolved around the masses. I don't think that I could really explain to you what were in all the tents at this festival because I spent the majority of the time watching people. There were some of the goofiest people there. Don't get me wrong there were your regular type people (families and such) but there were also the uniques. I don't even know if I can describe all the interesting people I saw, but I think your imagination could do the trick.

I guess if you think about it, it was kind of cool. I have never seen such a large, diverse group of people packed into an area with seemingly no problems. Say what you want about the hippie mentality, but you probably don't ever see fights at these festivals.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rant: I can do it with the best of them

Yesterday I sat down at the computer to just update with a post. That post soon turned into a long tangent laced rant the ended up some where between political boundaries. I fully intended to start talking about a simple observation I had the other day, but I soon found myself identifying certain issues I am uncomfortable with. The heat generated by the eventual conclusions I came to coupled with a stressful day at work created perfect conditions for what ended up as the previous post.

I make no excuses though. It's very therapeutic. Look for more like that in the future.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Going anywhere FAST!

I was sitting at a light today on my way home from school. I was pretty beat, so I was kind of zoning out. I was the first car at the light, and as I was zoning I noticed something. There were a ton of people on the road. It was an average intersection with an above average number of cars. Where was everyone of to? I have no idea, but I'll tell you what: Try getting in their way...

I would put money on it that the majority of the people whose flow you interrupted would have a few choice words for you. I feel like it's so easy to get so caught up in what you are doing, that is whatever the task at hand is, that we ignore the people around us. Forget ignore. Half of us would probably run another over just to stay on the path to success, the path to "enlightenment," the path to an important meeting, or the path to the bank.

What drives us? I'm sure it's different for everyone, but what makes us think that what we are doing is so important. Less and less the answer is passion, desire, or even appreciation for humanity. I would love to live for a month in the 60s. It seemed everyone had an agenda. Most people live their days by some agenda in 2008, but I feel like the 60s agendas were fueled by a passion for something, or maybe more importantly a passion to end or rebel against something.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a slave to most of what mainstream society values. I feel like most of us, even you guys who lived through the 60s, have lost some of the fight for things we believe in. Why is that? I don't know. I might attribute it to constantly being let down by the people who we hire to fight for us. Politicians... are you kidding me? I don't want to make this so political, but how many of you feel depressed watching the "news" that revolves around these people? Maybe another reason is the unique ability we have to settle. What's the point of fighting for something when we can survive comfortably moving with the flow.

Don't expect me to stop showering, and start hugging trees, dropping acid, fighting for my rights, and rebelling against oppression. I am a child of the technology age where information is at my fingertips. I'm too lazy to want to learn or expand my mind. Fighting? That sounds like work. Learning? My teachers can't teach me the way I "need" to learn, and my classes aren't entertaining enough. I could be playing X-Box right now.

We need to wake up. We are conditioning our youth to be mindless and unimaginative. The budget is hurting, so why don't we do away with teaching the arts in school? Are you kidding me? These kids have no chance. We are creating a huge gap between the educated and uneducated. The latter is growing at a rapid pace, which only helps the elite solidify a hold on the power positions in our society. Competition breeds change, and, for God's sake, change is most often necessary. I'm tired of the perverted, emotionally crippled rich whoring themselves out in front of us while we do nothing to change our circumstances.

F*ck it! I'm fighting. Save our schools. 4.19.2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Job Update and The New Year, The New Yoo Hoo

I have a job through the rest of the school year for sure, but still looming over my head is the fact that there may or may not be a job here for me as of next year. People are saying, "You teach math? You're fine. You'll have a job." You know what? I'll be fine when I have something in writing and on file with my signature on it.

I am trying to rededicate myself to fitness and health... or maybe just dedicate. I am trying to do some core work at least every other day. This is an improvement from every previous year of my life outside the years I had a certain UM trainer with a certain panther tattoo ordering me to do abs because usually the only sit-ups I do come after I am just tired of laying down.

I am also thinking about the idea of cutting out fast food from my diet, but I am worried that may lead to starvation. Though fast food is not healthy, dying of starvation seems to be slightly worse. On the other hand, I have seen some skinny anorexics. It's a serious disease. I know. I was just making a point.

Another vital portion of my exercise program includes surfing. Stop rolling your eyes. I saw that! Seriously. I know those of you who do not have access to a beach might be thinking that I am stretching it a bit, but I have to say that surfing is a great workout. Most people change into their wetsuit at their car. It takes a lot of flexing while putting that suit on and while you have it on to hide the "trouble spots." Okay I'm joking about this, but paddle out for a few hours and you will feel it for sure. Don't believe me? Find an out of shape pro surfer. I dare you.

Finally, I am deciding to cut out my alcohol intake. The less beer I drink the less of a beer gut I will have. Right? I don't drink a ton, but I'm looking to really fortify my crusade for a healthier me. In addition, I'm going to increase my cocaine use. It seems that a healthy cocaine habit will not only help me burn some extra calories, but it should also help suppress my appetite. Just kidding, Mom and Dad. I'll probably just keep my normal habit. No, don't worry. I'm kidding about that too. I'll just do some Heroine.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Feeling the wrath of the Terminator

The Governator has governated my job into oblivion. The budget is suffering, and now so is my livelihood. I knew my position would be terminated at the end of the school year, but this week has delivered a bonus surprise! It looks like I might be able to keep my job at least through the week. Evidently I am no longer credentialed in the state of Californication. This means I'm no longer in compliance, and I am going to be sentenced to death if I continue in my ways of educating my students to achieve some of the best grades in town on the benchmark assessments. Yes, that's right. It might not be my passion, but evidently I'm good at what I do.

In related news... An angel works at the BCTR office. I think it's my guardian angel. She hooked it up big time. I spent almost two weeks trying to get someone to do something for me... anything... even just acknowledge me. I finally decided to call her today, and she not only acknowledged me, but she also gave me some answers and got some paperwork processed for me. When compared to the inefficient monkey butts that I had tried to contact previously, she was definitely all-world. Now it's up to SDUSD to pull some strings and make some miracles happen. For now my job is safe, but "toon" in next time for the hilarious misadventures of Mr. Gell in Hell.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Break!

So it came and went. Gone are the days of trips to far off places where mostly underagers gather to string together a week's worth of non-memories. I say non-memories because I feel like their goal is to not remember as many nights in paradise as possible through many means of intoxication.

I never participated in this All-American event really. I had tame Spring Breaks throughout my life, and this year was no different. I had a fun weekend around St. Patty's Day. I hit up a pub or two. The middle of the week I spent trying to relax as much as possible. I took a few trips to the beach (8-10 minutes from my house) to soak up some energizing UV rays. The weather was perfect for bumming around outside.

Last Friday, I cruised down to Mexico to try to catch some waves with a couple friends. I'm still learning how to surf. I just recently moved down to a shorter board. They are harder to surf, but they are fun once you get the hang of it. The other two are fairly seasoned surfers, so I just tried to pretend that I knew what I was doing. All in all it was a good trip... we did have an adventure though.

Mowbs and I started the day off trying to track down our third adventurer. We were supposed to leave at 7am in order to grab some early surf in Mexico. Long story short, Mazza was being held captive in a house in La Jolla with no ride back to his place. We finally got him and were off to the south.

We first stopped at a break known as Baja Malibu. I have never been there, but word is the place can fire when it's on. It really wasn't "on" this past Friday. Mowbs and I took out some chairs and watched the waves roll in hoping that things would shape up while the tide slowly receded. After some deep introspection and finally figuring out the answers to some of life's most pressing and philosophical questions we decided we wouls probably have better luck a little further south.
We cruised a little further south to km38. It looked a little more promising. The wind was much calmer and it looked as though there were a couple breaks shaping up. We hopped out of the car to check the scene. It was Good Friday, so a bunch of the locals were hanging out with their families. We ran to the back of the car, opened the tailgate, and began to gear up. That's when I heard it. (Insert choice expletive here)! We forgot to grab the chairs we took out at the other break. Classic. Fearing that going back would waste some quality waves we headed to paddle out anyway.

The break we wanted to get to was out on a point created by a cliff extending into the water. I say cliff, but it wasn't that dramatic. It was just a drop off. It was going to be a nice paddle out to the break from there, so we decided to climb the cliff and hoof it over to the other side. It was a significant scramble with a board in your hand and no shoes on your feet. We made it up, but we lost five good men due to enemy fire along the way. Huh? At the top we hucked around through a construction site, admired the ENORMOUS statue of Jesus, and cruised down a nice ramp to the beach. We were now further from the break than we were when we started out. Sweet.

Then I heard it again. (Insert choice expletive again)! "I had my key in my hand! Where is it?" Mowbs, aka the driver, had dropped his car key along the route. He believed that he had dropped it on the ascent up the cliff. He chose to take a slightly more difficult approach, but failed to secure his key, and evidently his brain as well. So we picked up the boards and headed back the way we came. After a few minutes of looking from the top of the cliff, Mowbs climbed down for a different perspective. There it was. Pure gold masked in steel and black plastic. It was as though it was hanging on for dear life to the edge of a slippery rock right above the waves crashing beneath it. If it weren't for the strength and courage of that key, we might still be down in Mexico.

Mowbs secured the key and we decided to climb back down and paddle out from pretty much where we first thought about paddling out. We had an inkling that we looked like a bunch of idiots traversing the landscape back and forth, but it was really solidified when a random surfer asked us after we paddled out if we were the ones climbing back and forth on the shore. Glad we could provide the entertainment for the afternoon.

It was fun surfing. Then the wind got on the waves mixing it up a bit. I caught a few waves, and by caught I mean I stood up on some. We decided to head in after a few hours. Tired and hungry, we decided to see if the chairs would actually be where we left them and then find some tacos. We never found tacos up to everyone's liking, but I'll tell you what. Those chairs were there when we got back. Jubilation Homes! I don't know how they survived because it was crowded, but they made it through the abandonment. Too bad Mowbray now has to pay for years of therapy so that the chairs can deal with the issues brought forth by such trauma.

At the border we were waiting in line. Mazza bought a Map of Mexico for real cheap and we debated buying food from various vendors. We were about to the border when this guy ahead of us cut us off and just sat there leaving a ton of room between himself and the car ahead. I don't know what happened, but after a bit of complaining due to rising stress levels compounded by a lengthy stint in bumper to bumper traffic, I felt it. Bang! Whoops. We hit him, or rather Mowbray did. The guy got out and asked what our problem was. Mowbray said he was just trying to get the guy to move up. This struck me as odd because I have never heard that as an excuse to hit someone, and I tried to stifle a laugh. The guy asked if Mowbs had ever heard of a horn. Nick said he had. The situation was resolved because there was no damage. Afterwards I mentioned something about Nick's comment about trying to get the guy to move. Mowbs looked at me and started laughing. "I said that?" He said he didn't realize he said that because during those situations he just reacts and says whatever comes to his mind. "So that's why he asked if I have ever used a horn!"

We made it across and back home for a burger and a beer. Day well spent. The rest of the weekend was spent at the beach. Fun stuff.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day

A day where I talk up the significance of my mother's maiden name more than any other day of the year.

It is also the beginning of my spring break. I think I might head down to the beach for the afternoon and celebrate, with a Guinnes or two, the day an Englishman (Yeah, bet you didn't know it was a Brit that did the deed) drove hoards of snakes out of the motherland. It really brings the best of both worlds together for one day of celebrating. As I believe to be true (correct me if I'm wrong) I descend from mostly the Irish and English people.

The new advertising campaign developed and used by the good people of Guinness evidently have a petition going around to make March 17th a national holiday. I really don't know how I feel about that. As down as I am for a holiday that promotes the consumption of fine Irish malted beverages, I am a bit concerned about the possible ramifications of an entire nation on a paid holiday of this kind. Yeah I know. What about the new year's celebration every year? This is different. This is a holiday that is basically for the Irish. I know. I know. On SPD everyone is supposed to be Irish, but why do you think everyone wants to be Irish on this day? It's the basic idea of exclusion. People want what they are not supposed to have. I think that idea combined with those who choose to drink excessively creates an extremely volatile situation.

Anyway, Happy Irish Day er'body!

Mustache March

So a roommate of mine, Byon "I always have great ideas" Halperin, decided that this March should be "Mustache March." For those of you who either do not really know me or haven't seen me try to grow facial hair, let me paint a picture for you. Imagine, if you can, a young Japanese boy of about 12 years of age... make that 8 years old. Now imagine the hairiest this boy could possibly be. That is much more hair than I can grow.

With that picture freshly painted somewhere on the landscape of your brain, please take a moment to think of the train wreck that would be me participating in such an event as "Mustache March." I took some pictures the other night just to have some proof. I'll post them soon.

Anyway, Bryon called off Mustache March because he felt that his mustache made him look like a pedophile. I wasn't about to let him give up on his own idea. I told him that he looked like one even when he didn't have the mustache. That didn't help my cause. So everyone shaved their lovely lip locks, but I tried to stand firm. I started this, and I wanted to see it through to the end. I might have made it if it weren't for the fact that I have a mirror in my bathroom. I don't like to think of myself as a particularly vain individual, but the amount of filth that was brought to my appearance by the addition of some upper lip fuzz was quite unexpected and difficult to adjust to.

Last night I shaved it off. I feel like I really broke down way too easily. I'm stronger than that. At least now I won't have to deal with a bunch of high schoolers trying to make fun of me. Actually that part was pretty funny. They get so caught up in how I look and what I do on the weekends. Anyway, the dream is over as quickly as it began. No more mustache, and so ends the sweet sweet lifestyle of a mustached man.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Look out Iditarod 2009!

I purchased a longboard awhile ago to cruise around on and carve up the streets. The only thing I didn't plan on was how much my dog would like the board. Now we cruise around together. If I even walk towards the board, Trip jumps up and starts spinning in circles. He loves cruising/pulling me on the board. I feel kind of bad when he does, but it's not like I make him. I want to get a harness though so he doesn't choke himself. I think I need to get some booties for him too. He tore up his feet last time.

Apology: Family

I am so sorry.

I don't believe that I was quite as ignorant when I was in high school as some of my students seem to be, but I know I definitely had my moments. I wouldn't consider myself out of control, but I did some dumb ass things. I wouldn't really consider myself a complete pain in the ass either at that age because I like to think that I had some redeeming qualities. Let's just say you guys don't have to wait until I'm a parent myself in order to sit back and laugh your asses off as I get a "taste of what it's like."

I now know how annoying it is to try to talk sensibly to a teenager who already knows everything. I realize every 4-5 years I look back to my last realization of similar substance and say how dumb I used to be. I look back and wonder how I could think that I had it all figured out... I eventually say to myself, "I'll never do that again!" At least I have finally gotten to that stage where I have everything figured out.

Quick side note: As I am typing this I am listening to a story one of my night school students is telling about her dad choking her boyfriend because he walked in on them... you know...and then he started hitting her or something. It's actually fairly sad... Maybe I should not compare my high school experiences to closely to my students'.

I'm still going to anyway. Where was I? Ah, yes. I'm sorry.

When I reached 21 years of age my mother told me that she was "just happy I made it to 21." I didn't really understand what that meant at the time, but I think it had something to do with the decision making skills (or lack there of) I possessed. These kids say and do things sometimes that leave me speechless. I don't even know how to respond to them.

Each day, as I struggle to figure out whose decision it was to allow me to be an educator, I try to determine if we were this retarded (Yes I said it. All of you PC-want-to-make-a-big-deal-out-of-people's-word-choice-types can kiss my butt. Retarded doesn't always have to refer to the mentally challenged. My students are retarded. Deal with it.) growing up. I like to think that I had some common sense and that it showed every once in awhile.

Come to think of it, I was probably fairly easy to handle on my own. A lot of these retards (oops, I'm sorry I'll at least make an effort for those of you I have offended) I mean students are pretty good kids on their own. I like teaching night school when I have small classes. I love working one on one with kids too. You can actually get an enlightening look into their personalities. As a group though, they feed off each other and if you aren't on top of them (by that I mean threatening their lives at every possible moment... did I mention my contract didn't get renewed fro next year? more to come on that later), they can combust with out warning. Exploding kids is a big problem. The admin tend to look down on your students exploding during class. I guess they actually have people at home that love them and miss them after they explode.

I'm going to end this post before it gets too ridiculous.

I just want to say that I love my family, and wouldn't change them for the world. I just thought I probably owe you guys more than I even realize at this moment. Thank you for allowing me to make to 21 and beyond.

The day I tried to live

I have debated fiercely with mine own soul as to whether I should bare all things Andy related on the inter-web or rather find another platform for my misguided attempts in profundity.

Just kidding. I just didn't really know whether or not I wanted to buy into the blog thing, but seeing as though so many of my loved ones are across the country I feel as though this may be a necessity. Also, I keep forgetting who I have told news to and who I haven't, so people keep feeling like I don't care when the truth of the matter is that I am just all over the place in terms of my thoughts and memory. Hopefully some of you will enjoy the rants on California living, or the accounts of my many fun and exciting days teaching pain in the ass high schoolers (note to family and former high school teachers: Formal apology for my teenage years to come).

Last August I took a fairly big leap. I needed to begin to do some things for myself, and I thought that moving 3,000 miles away from everything I knew would be the best way to start. I had no job, a little bit of money, and at least a place to live (Thanks Jackie for being crazy enough to welcome a complete stranger into your apartment). Anyway, I feel I should catch some people up on my "progress."

There are a bunch of things I want to post about, so hopefully I can get a chance to post a bunch of them in the next couple days or so.