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Category: school

11/26/07 02:46 - 42ºF - ID#42286

It Pays to Procrastinate


So, I am taking two graduate history classes this semester. One of them is on US immigration. 1/3 of my grade is based on my participation in a debate on immigration policy and an attending paper defending my position. I should have been working on this since the beginning of the month, but school and I don't roll like that.

So, three days before it is due I start to take a huge crack at it. Unsure about the written component I email the professor who tells me she forgot about it entirly so it is being dropped. Sweet!

The book I am to base this on has two different arguments 1) immigrants are both positive and negative but the net effect is slightly good. 2) immigrants are both positive and negative but the net effect is slightly bad. It isn't material that takes your breath away, so I am ignoring it.

But what do I see when reading my favorite blog on New York state politics? but a report from the Fiscal Policy Institure which says that immigrants bring $299 BILLION dollars in output to the state, about 30% of total output. It is full of wonderful little positive things from there on. Which diffuses the negative portion of both arguments, both cultural and economic. You can read it here.

I am so going to get an A with minimal work. I think this calls for a celebratory drink tonight. Nothing light a slight hang over to mask your smug sense of superiority!
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Permalink: It_Pays_to_Procrastinate.html
Words: 250
Location: Buffalo, NY

11/24/07 03:59 - 35ºF - ID#42271

Family Gathering

I have been at my folks house since Wednesday evening.

I have so much work to do this evening and I haven't had a chance to do much more than read 30 out of 300 pages of a book I need to have a debate about on Tuesday for 30% of my grade.

Living six hours away from family is nice, they seldom bug you and understand when you can't be there every other weekend.

Living six hours away also means you have no opportunity to escape. My old bedroom has been converted into a den of sorts, with my kid brother playing Halo in most of the day. No escape, no escape.

But, when I leave tomorrow and can finally breath my own air I will be glad to have come.

But until then I am going to wish I had a sodering iron to eat.

Hope your holiday is going well.
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Permalink: Family_Gathering.html
Words: 150
Location: Buffalo, NY

11/21/07 11:36 - 45ºF - ID#42220

Breaking the Teaching Cherry


So I did it! Had my first day teaching and man was it fun. It lesson was on the end of WWI and the treaty of Versailes. Here is how it went down.

As kids came into the class I handed one a crumbled piece of paper and whispered "when I say 'the last bullets of the war have been fired' throw this at my head". Most kids looked stunned when I asked. I had a total of five classes that day. Only one kid actually hit my head, the other four missed me entirely. Two kids I had to cue again. As in, I would say the phrase and wait to get hit. Then I would look at them and make a weird face saying 'wake up and throw the damn paper kid'.

They all really enjoyed watching a teacher get pelted with paper, and I related it to the stuff I had to teach. So, it got there attention, got the point across, and was fun for them.

One problem I ran into was how open ended I left some of the thinking. What we had to do was think of appropriate things to do to Germany to make sure there was never a second world war. I gave the parameters of border, technology, military, and economy. What I should have done was tell them what NOT to think about. Some frequent, lame answers I got were

1) kill all the Germans
2) Nuke 'em
3) put them all in jail

Awesome, I got kids thinking genocide and concentration camps are cool!

One kid was absolutely crazy. He drew a picture of a Manhattan on fire with wires connected to a Germany blowing up. He explained something about us taking revenge for the German's blowing up New York by connecting them to Tesla coils.

By class two I had to tell them what was not acceptable and hope they listened. But I still had stuff like "steel all their chickens" or "turn Germany into a swimming pool" or "abduct their president and cut off his hands". Damn.

But, 60% of the kids were always focused and doing good work. All but a few did good work most of the time with just a few kidos off the hook. Thankfully, I run a tight ship and they behaved well enough to not distract everyone else.

It was a fun experience. I learned a lot of great, practical stuff that my dumb uni profs didn't mention.

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Permalink: Breaking_the_Teaching_Cherry.html
Words: 414
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: books

11/19/07 10:22 - 40ºF - ID#42206

Pirates!: an Adventure with Communists!

Winter break is a few short weeks away!

Normally during break I like to make up for the complete lack of learning that took place during the semester (as in, I had to take a class that points out that India is in Asia, or that adolescents tend to dislike their adolescent siblings... seriously!). So, I find delicious academic books I have always wanted to read. This summer ended with disaster as I found out why so many people talk about but so few people actually read Foucault.... the man reads like a phone book with no numbers.

But this break I deserve a treat. I have been a good boy. So I will be reading this


I am so excited I can't stand up without embarrassing myself!

Pirates are alright
and Communists are so lovable!

It isn't a zombie novel, but zombie protagonists are so hard to read. What with all the nonsensical moaning and whatnot.

I just thought I would share. Tomorrow I teach my first class of kidos. It will be exciting.

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Permalink: Pirates_an_Adventure_with_Communists_.html
Words: 181
Location: Buffalo, NY

11/18/07 12:42 - 39ºF - ID#42187

Christmas Sucks

Bah mother fucking humbug,

I worked in retail for years, from the age of 16 to 24. Christmas in retail land is christmas in America. It begins somewhere in October and doesn't end until February when the last of the winter decor prematurely blossoms into pastel spring nightmare. There is something special, magical, and oh so Jesusy holy about people screaming at you because x isn't in stock.

Once, while working in a book store, someone had ordered a book for their husband. They left instructions that when we should call to let them know their book was in, do not tell them what the book was as to keep it a secret. I am fine with that, I didn't ever leave a title incase it was a gift.

Well, I call and someone picks up. I let them know the book that was ordered came in and the guy asks me what the book was. I let him know that I was left instructions not to say. He says, oh, don't worry about that, we need to know, there was a change of plans. Ok, so I let him know, we wish each other a wondrous holiday and hang up.

Twenty minutes later I get a call from an angry woman informing me that I have ruined christmas.

Should I tell her that her husband lied and demanded to know the title; possibly ruining her holiday? I mean, this was a sneaky guy, who knows how many other wives he was sleeping with and lying about?

Or, should I spare her and tell her it was all my fault?

It is that sort of shit that makes me hate Christmas. And let us be honest. We can call it the holiday season but there isn't a Jew for eighty miles around here. There are more Solstice celebrating pagans than Chanukah celebrating Jews around here. We just say 'Happy Holidays' to seem like we are being polite as a culture.

And the music. Nat King Cole, I am going to dig up your grave and put you through a wood chipper. How do you like that white christmas snow fall?

And Manheim Steamroller? I don't believe in a hell, but I want to so bad just so you are your synthesizer orgy can burn.

There is a bright side to Christmas. It may sound cheesy, but it is family. Oh, I am not talking about warm Hallmark togetherness. No, I am talking about the one time a year my mother drinks. She thinks she can drink her sons and husband under the table. But she forgets that we practice all year long. This tradition began when my drink of choice was the Screaming Nazi, but only for its name. six years later we still spend christmas with a bottle of Jagermeister and Rumbplminze and a sugar high straight out of kindergarten.

Let me conclude with John Cale's dark cover of Heartbreak Hotel. You will be glad you watched it.

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Permalink: Christmas_Sucks.html
Words: 503
Location: Buffalo, NY

11/17/07 12:58 - 37ºF - ID#42173

Android Sexual Harassment

Want to check out the first Canadian android?

Want to check out the first Canadian handicapped android with a mysterious hand injury?

Well, then this youtube clip is for you!

Marvel as a creepy man first attempts to hurt his android.

Be amazed as he then cops a feel and gets slapped in the face!

All the while the poor android expresses her torment!

I almost cried when she said "I don't want to do this any more"

She may have been talking about the pain demonstration. But I like to think she was praying to the cyber heavens to release her from this mortal coil.

He makes androids in his basement. This is probably also where he keeps his snuff films.

I can't emphasize this enough kids. Be kind to androids so when they rule the universe they are kind to us.
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Permalink: Android_Sexual_Harassment.html
Words: 151
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: sex

11/15/07 01:02 - 49ºF - ID#42140

Sex so many ways

Well, this was on topic.

With all of these lists going around I feel compelled to join in. But after careful consultation with my legal team we thought it prudent to not. But I don't listen to lawyers. We came up with a compromise. Here it is


It was unreal. If you can imagine this number (which is between 1 and seventy million) then you will most certainly have a number in your mind.

Several paternity cases are going on at the moment. Two of which were brought forth by vacuum cleaners. This is impossible though, as I don't think vacuums even have ovaries. Unless of course they just sucked some up, but even still, they don't have warm, wet sacks and a feeding tube.

Well, I am stuck at work wishing I wasn't and listening to NPR. They were just talking about Norman Mailer who died last weekend. They had on the air an 80 something year old woman who was traveling on the train at age 17. On that train she was courted by a dashing Norman Mailer. Well, tonguey snogging quickly got out of hand and turned into vaginal penetration.

Well, they were scant on details. But this is no longer their fantasy alone. She just said they had sex. How awesome is that? Statutory rape story involving Norman Mailer. That is hot.

Ok, it might not be statutory rape. But the story is so much more amusing in that light.

anyway, I wrote a program to tabulate my sexual conquests over the years. It is organizing it in one of two categories 1)slippery and 2)reprehensible. I will post it as soon as it is done, but it is having a hard time quantifying those categories; leaving my sexual past both mysterious and alluring.

I think my computer is getting hard though.
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Permalink: Sex_so_many_ways.html
Words: 304
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: music

11/14/07 04:06 - 59ºF - ID#42116

Autumn Music


Autumn is my favorite season. It is the season that feels most like we are heading somewhere. The weather is still nice and it has a romantic feel to it, two people sharing something in spite of the winter oblivion ahead.

My voice of winter for music is depressing. Half the Tom Waits discography becomes too chipper to listen to. All jazz and classical music leaves my ears and it seems the only blues music I can stand is written by either blind men or those who sold their souls to the devil.

But autumn is different. It is facing that bleak winter but it is still stoic about it. Almost mystical.

Nick Drake was an Autumnal person. I wish I could post a home recording of him doing Hazy Jane from his first album, Brighter Later. His first two albums had lush, medieval arrangements accompanying Drake's expert fingering and foggy whisper voice. His third and final album had no such accompaniment and is a much finer album for it. Here is one of my favorites from it.

John Cale and Nico are enjoyable all year around. But their collaborations during autumn are especially good. I had wanted to post something from The Marble Index or Desertshore, but couldn't find anything with good sound quality. Nico covering My Funny Valentine did the job nicely. She sounds like Marline Dietrich soaked in heroin.

A song from the Marble Index I was able to find is John Cale covering Frozen Warnings. It was for the documentary Icon - Nico which came out in the 90's a decade after her death. I usually don't like piano covers of songs because it is so easy to make them much more melancholy. Tori Amos has made a career of making rock songs depressing with her fabroge voice and piano. But as John Cale wrote with Nico, did the production and arrangements I think he is allowed to. His cover makes Frozen Warnings a very different song but very much in the Autumn frame of mind

There is more I wanted to share, but I am limited to videos on youtube. So, you will just have to be content with what I gave you vultures.
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Permalink: Autumn_Music.html
Words: 391
Location: Buffalo, NY

11/13/07 09:43 - 43ºF - ID#42107

Never Fuck with a Drag Queen

There are lessons that one must be taught. Oh sure, wouldn't we all like to learn what our passions tell us to learn as Rousseau would have us. But for the sake of survival there are lessons which must be taught at an early age.

Bears will naturally scare us. The dark keeps us away from places we should not be. But how can nature teach us to be wary of the supernatural?

Yes, the religious right might tell us that Drag Queens and homosexuals are unnatural. But why unnatural and not supernatural?

The mind is naturally curious and looks upon the unknown with equal measures of fear and wonder. Well my friends, I dare you to daze into the dark unknown with me and learn the most valuable lesson of all.

Never. Fuck. With. A. Drag Queen!

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Permalink: Never_Fuck_with_a_Drag_Queen.html
Words: 145
Location: Buffalo, NY

11/12/07 11:02 - 48ºF - ID#42093

Speech for my Brother


I was away this weekend with my brother Jordan. He had just become an Eagle Scout and had a ceremony to commemorate it in the basement of a church. There were about 150 people; mostly fellow boy scouts, their parents, a few relatives, and six slimy local politicians . The kid asked me to say a few words about him, and the unfortunate soul got exactly what he asked for. Here it is, the crowd had a good laugh:

Today we gather to celebrate a young man's achievements. That is why we are here right? If you are here for the bar mitzvah you are in the wrong basement.

Now, many of you know Jordan. Or, if you are lucky, are merely related to someone who knows Jordan. If you are fortunate enough to be neither, then you are probably a politician.

Well, Jordan would like to take this opportunity to announce his candidacy for your position. As there are more than one of you, he would also like to announce his candidacy for your position as well. He means no disrespect, but he believes he can do your jobs and still get eight hours of sleep a night. After all, he is Jordan and you are only human.

Jordan goes to school, is a fine soccer goalie, plays a mean AC/DC on his guitar, can blow you up in something called Halo, and still have enough time to create a soul shattering mess in his room that is a cross between Jackson Pollock and Heironimous Bosch.

Now, my brother Matt and I are about ten years older than Jordan. For years we were top dog in the house and in the neighborhood. But then came our mother's pregnancy. Which, when raised by Catholics, is a complete mystery but occasion to feel very guilty about something or another.

Of course, the mystery quickly evaporated when we discovered what it all meant. Oh man, another brother? I already have one of those and he can beat me up! Great. Ten years old and already I need a drink.

I am happy to report that it took Jordan a full two years of life before Jordan beat me up. It was with a Fisher-Price, soft plastic, child safe, non-eye gouging corner, toy hamer. But like mighty Thor against the Fire Giants on Ragnarok he smashed my skull in. That toy is now banned for sure.

Ah, but that class action law suit boat sailed years ago, as did the soft ball sized welt which decorated my forehead like a third eye. Remarkably, horrific pain is not enough to overcome genetic programing which keeps us from, oh, you know, not dismembering a toddler.

Jordan always lived in the shadow of my brother and I. But he never had any trouble stepping out of it and stepping on us. Earning the rank of Eagle Scout it, to put it mildly, a difficult task. A task that is compulsory when your two older brothers managed to do the same. Jordan did not just do the same, he did it better than we did.

Matt, back me up on this one, but I think Jordan ha more merit badges than we ever earned, combined! I don't know about Matt's Eagle Scout service project, but mine has been demolished and converted into a janitor's closet.

Jordan, in these quarters they call pride a deadly sin. But I have no difficulty in saying that I am infinitely proud of your achievements. I am proud of what you are certain to accomplish. But most of all, I am proud to call you my brother.

Well, that was that. There were a few additional amusing events that took place after this that I will talk about in a later post.

Additionally, (e:Janelle) and (e:Drew) are frickin' awesome and brought my a little present from Toronto which I will photo document.

And now! SCHOOL!
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Permalink: Speech_for_my_Brother.html
Words: 655
Location: Buffalo, NY



New Site Wide Comments

joe said to flyingdinosaur
Welcome to (e:strip)!...

paul said to joe
oh Jan Magnussen ;)...

paul said to tinypliny
I miss you too!...

tinypliny said to paul
Oh I see the sheep are there too. Is this the entirety of your flock? :D...