Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My On Record Introduction to the Shakespeare Institute

I live and teach in a working- and white collar district. I've been teaching for twelve years (ten in the public schools, two as a teaching assistant), although the last few years have been a bit hairy, what with revamped curriculum, new preps and the like. I do journalism and the school newspaper as well.

The only play I've taught consistently is "Macbeth," although I sneak in what I can when I can. Usually, this means reading or doing a film of "Hamlet," the film version of "Henry V" to my seniors, and maybe parts of "Richard III." But it's tough to get away with this these days.

I have all the usual hobbies and interests of an English teacher (reading, writing, etc.) See you all next week.

My Off The Record Introduction to the Shakespeare Institute

I teach in a complete hellhole, where skill and brilliance does take place, but staggering mediocrity and incompetence tend to have their way as well. I've been saddled with new classes almost every year lately and am just about at the end of my rope. Either my students or myself are getting more and more complacent every year that passes, and "teaching Shakespeare" is regarded by administration as an inane luxury these days. If you all don't inspire me and help me start getting the circle of gifts going again, I'm packing it all in next year and taking a job as a Starbucks barrista. I just met one last week who regularly travels the world and looks twenty years younger than he is, which makes me think this whole "professional education" stuff is for the birds.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ring Tone Suggestions for the Special People In My Life

Sandra Bullock's Ex-husband Jesse James: "Don't Trust Me" by 3o3

BP Oil Executive Tony Hayward: "River Runs Red" by Midnight Oil

Former Chicago Police Officer John Burge: "Peace, Love and Understanding," by Elvis Costello

Monday, June 14, 2010

My birthday's coming, bitches!

Only thirty shopping days left. And you don't want to be caught up in a mad rush of shoppers, do you? Of course not. So here's my wish list, none of which should be a surprise--I've been dropping hints on all of this all year now. You're welcome. Go hit the stores.
A Zero Turn Riding Lawn Mower Kawasaki 31 HP Gas Engine, 50 Inch Mid Cut, with Mid Mount Floating Deck, Solid Uni-Body Construction and a 31 HP OHV Kawasaki Durable Engine. Because my lawn deserves the best, most fuel-gobbling, loud and obnoxious monster it can get.

A Colt M4 Carbine 6920 AR15 16", with a direct gas operating system and straight-line construction. Because I'm sick and tired of the Accurized 24" rifle. It always jams and I can't hit enough random targets with it.

A one-year membership to Rooster Heaven Hunt Club , 2900 East 12330, North Forrest, IL 61741. Because the Edwardsville Gun Club threw me out. They said I cried too much.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Passages from my self-published romance novels, available for immediate purchase

Purchase the following titles wherever fine paperbacks are sold.

The Mysteries of Love

Published: 1997, Harcoyrt/Brase, Inc.
"I find myself attracted to you," he said, approaching her slowly and loosening his tie.

She blushed, knowing full well that he only loosened his tie when he found himself attracted to women. She also knew that, when attracted, he tended to make a move.

"I find myself also wanting to make a move on you," he added, removing his glasses and regarding her intently. She squirmed and blushed some more under his intent regarding, and realized that, within moments, what with the tie-loosening, glasses-removing and intent regarding, that there would soon be romance between the two of them...
Love in the Dot-Com Bubble
Published: 1999, Crown-Dundee, Inc.
Jameson leaned back in his office chair and laced his fingers together. "All right, Miss Templeton, in your duty of secretary, I'll be needing you to take appointments for me. Is that a problem?"

"No, Mr. Jameson," Miss Templeton said, clenching a pen between her teeth and making obscene gestures with it. "I think we understand each other quite well."

"I do too, Miss Templeton. In fact, I'll go even further: I want to sandwich in some lovemaking with you between my ten o'clock meeting and my teleconference with Beijing at eleven."

Miss Templeton examined Mr. Jameson's appointment book carefully. "I think we have just enough time, sir. I can push the teleconference ahead, if you think that's going to be necessary for us to finish lovemaking in time."

"I like your confidence, Miss Templeton. Put the teleconference at five after eleven."

"Yes sir, Mr. Jameson."

"And now, if you've done your job and scheduled the time, I will make sweet love to you."

"Yes, sir, Mr. Jameson. You will."
When I Get Passionate (I Also Get Stupid)
Published: 2001, Park Lake, Inc.
George Edison walked into his swank Upper West Side apartment just after six p.m. He slung his jacket in a corner and turned on the television real loud. He made himself a bourbon and water, slamming ice cubes into the glass with maximum force and noise, and made sure to belch loudly several times before shouting, "Jessica! Where's my dinner?"

He heard nothing. Glancing about the apartment, he saw his wife's coat and purse lying on the sofa, next to a pair of man's shoes, a suit coat, pair of pants and silk underwear he didn't remember leaving there. Shrugging, he finished his drink and walked towards the bedroom.

The door was slightly ajar. He went to push it open, then paused.

"Is your husband home?" he heard a male voice asking. "I don't want him to catch us together, making love."

"No, lover," his wife's voice responded. "Don't worry. I locked the door hours ago, and he'll be at work until six."

"Then there's plenty of time for us to finish making love."

"Yes, lover. Plenty of time. For lovemaking."

George frowned again. Something seemed suspicious...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Rejected New Yorker Cartoons

Every issue, the New Yorker hosts their Write a Caption contest, where you get to supply the joke to the already-drawn cartoon. I've entered this contest every damn month my entire life, and they have yet to accept any of my witty, cultured, erudite submissions. If you need further proof of an elitist, pinko bias to the nation's oldest arts and literature magazine, I don't know what else I can show you.

Submission: "If I do this long enough, his penis stands up."

Submission: "If I reach over and grab you, your penis will stand up."

Submission: "My hair is standing up because you're so hot. And if you grab it, my penis will stand up too."

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Rand Paul: Father-in-Chief

As reported in the New York Times on Sunday, Rand Paul parents according to his politics: hands-off, no excessive intrusion, choice-heavy for the child. I did a little more digging into Mr. Paul's Child-Rearing Philosophy as per Tea Party Parenting Guidelines and got some awe-inspiring and soul-stirring answers:
College savings: "This is tantamount to wasteful spending. If the kid wants college badly enough, s/he will work to save up for it firsthand. The last thing American parents want is to enable children leeching off welfare handouts."

Birth Certificate: "In order to qualify for a parent's love and compassion, all children need to be able to provide immediate documentation as proof that they are, in fact, their father's child, and not the result of a one-night stand with the immigrant housecleaner (who coincidentally works for half of the minimum wage)."

Education: "All homework is done with domestic products and is not outsourced in any way that could hurt the American economy. This means working with Texas Instruments calculators rather than Sony, and Drivers Ed must be conducted with Ford and GM products."

Bullying: "Kids getting harassed in the courtyard is healthy competition. Competition breeds excellence. I want my kid excellent. You do the math."

Sex and Sexual Orientation: "Hey, listen kid, I'm not asking, and you're not telling. Got me? Good. Now get outside and work on that curve ball." (wink)

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Commencement Analysis 2010

As hundreds of thousands of graduation ceremonies unfold this weekend, most parents are probably thinking roughly the same thing: “Why the hell didn’t I wear something lighter? It’s hot out here!”

Well, that remains a mystery. However, as of today, approximately 10 million seniors have walked across the stage and received a sheepskin as reward for four years of rigorous high school academics and achievements. In order to better understand the best and the brightest of this lot, the Flannel Diaries has painstakingly transcribed and compiled the highest-frequency words of all high school valedictorian speeches across the country.

The following chart gives a valuable clue as to the new horizons and fresh perspectives the Class of 2010 will be giving to the world, and the legacy they have left behind.
--Average valedictorian speech length: 2 minutes, 30 seconds
--Average word count: 425

Word / Average number of word appearances per speech









American Idol--29