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.

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.