Monday, February 18, 2008

Not a tumblr

I drove back from Phoenix today. It was a decent trip, especially because part of it included a phone conversation with my friend Luke and another part had a phone conversation with my brother. It's always good to talk to either of them. The weekend as a whole was great, mainly consisting of me playing Rock Band with various people. Saturday I played the game with a bunch of great kids that go to SCA. It was fun to be around high school students who like me and are clear about thanking me for the effect I've had on them. Last week was pretty much the opposite of that at school, so it was nice to get that affirmation in Phoenix. Sunday I played the game at Adam's house with a bunch of Adam and Phil's friends who were over for a birthday party. That was nice, too: hanging out with adults that are around my age.

I didn't get anything done for school over the weekend, but I've already gotten some of it done since getting back, and that's good. Sadly, I'm more excited about the end of the school year than I am about anything except maybe Chicago with Luke over spring break. I'm nearly positive that I'll take off after this year. That makes me sad but is also a little relieving.

The other thing I did in Phoenix was watch the NBA All-Star game with other NBA fans. That was fun, especially because of how well Brandon Roy played. I loved seeing him fill up the stat line and help the West come back at the end. My group of Suns-fans/friends had fun with me and how connected I was to Roy's performance. Really, I had no personal investment in it, but I certainly felt and acted as though I did. In addition to watching the game, I got to talk to them about the trades that have been flying around. Seriously, I applaud the Hawks for making the move to get Bibby. I hope that works out for them. And as a Blazer fan I'm glad that the Dallas deal finally looks like it is actually going through. I'm happy to have the window of another Western conference team closing soon, and Kidd closes the window sooner than Harris would have.

Oh, and Kinsey, one of the students from SCA, insisted over the weekend that I should join the ranks of those with a tumblr (her, Luke, and a few other people I like), but I refused and continue to refuse. Hooray for blogger.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines day? Really?

Usually I don't care much about St. Valentine's day. I told many of my students today that they should celebrate it as they celebrate any other saint's day (which of course, for most of them, means to not celebrate at all). But as I've been sitting here outside It's a Grind checking online sorts of things one last time before heading home I saw a girl inside the coffee shop. She's cute. She's in the corner, with her laptop and coffee. And I heard enough tripe today about going out with girlfriends and such that it made me notice her more than I might usually. Of course, I'm not going to do anything about it but post it here. But still...St. Valentine's day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A disgusting habit

I thought of this a while back, but my current circumstance reminded me. I'm considering a smoking habit. To say it better: I'm thinking about developing a smoking habit. I don't mean one of those three-packs-a-day addictions, but something more along the lines of once a month or so. And I'd rotate. This month I'd sit down some evening with a nice cigar and burn away the stress that's been building. Then, in a month, I'd have a couple nice cigarettes. The month after that I would stuff one month's worth of worries in my pipe and smoke it – along with some fine tobacco. No one in my family liked this idea very much when I told them.

My present circumstance made me remember this because I'm sitting outside It's a Grind, reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and partaking first-hand in my current vice – coffee – and second hand in this proposed new vice – tobacco. I'm enjoying the combination immensely.

I put this video up instead of a picture of It's a Grind. The 33 second mark is the part that has to do with the post, but sometimes I feel like I'm part of the whole thing, just from being in California.

Oh, and if there are people who read this because they want to read about sports, which had been my main topic for a long time: my apologies. Maybe I'll write about the Jim Zorn departure from Seattle soon, or spring training for the Braves, but since the Blazers have been down it's hard for me to write about them, and they're my favorite sports subject.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Moleskin (but I'm not Luke)

I bought some cashiers the other day when I was at Barnes and Noble with my parents. So far I've put two things down, but I'll share them here.

Apple stores bring out the worst consumer part of me. I'm all eyes, hands, fingers, envy, greed, and customer. Book stores do that to me too, but it doesn't feel as bad because desiring a book feels infinitely healthier to me than desiring a nifty trendy technological gadget.

I can't wait until next summer, when I have a legitimate summer without school. I don't know what I'll do, but it's going to be fantastic.

Lastly: I got my truck yesterday. It's nice to have a vehicle again. Very nice.

Monday, February 04, 2008

A lot can happen between posts

Since I last posted something here a lot has happened. Last Tuesday I tried to destroy my shoulder during soccer practice. You might wonder how that could happen, since I’m coaching. Well, all of us coaches participate to some extent during practice. At the time we were scrimmaging, and I was playing in goal. One of the girls had a breakaway, so I rushed out of goal to close the angle and try to force the ball out of her possession. She did a good job of taking the shot, and the ball ricocheted off my legs and up. I scrambled to my feet to secure the ball before someone could score off the rebound. But the girls have been learning well, so two of them were right on it as it careened back down. Knowing that I couldn’t get to the ball before a shot, I tried to dive in front and towards the ball, hoping to block the shot. Instead I succeeded at landing on my forehead and my shoulder, arm outstretched. Incredible pain shot through my right arm. Our head coach took a look and decided that the shoulder wasn’t dislocated, and I was able to stand up. But I wasn’t able to rest the arm at a comfortable or even normal angle. My arm was positioned in a grotesque manner, slightly bent in and hanging out in front of me. Then instantly it was different. My arm seemed to have a muscle spasm, or some other involuntary movement, and shook itself out, landing in it’s proper resting place. It still hurt pretty badly, but no where near as badly as it had.

That was Tuesday. My semester grades were due on Thursday morning, and I didn’t have them finished before then. I got up at 4:30 that morning to go to work on finishing them, and got them turned in on time. We have a grade, a citizenship mark, a work habits mark, and a spot for a comment. We are required to put one comment for every student. After we turn in the paper sheet we get a printed packet of everything that we bubbled in order to verify what we put for each student. As I checked the sheet, I was surprised to see the grades missing on the front page of students. Then the next. The grades ended up being absent on every page, while every other mark was there. At least I didn’t have to write everything back in by hand, but it was pretty amazing that only one section didn’t register with the scantron.

The rest of the week went okay, with Thursday night providing a highlight as LOST returned to TV. But then came the Super Bowl. If it turns out that the Patriots really did some of the other things of which they’re now being accused, in addition to the illegal filming that I think is commonplace around the league, then I might turn on them. But otherwise I think they are a pretty good picture of the way a franchise should run, and I think that deserves a trophy. I also enjoy seeing impressive records, and 19-0 would have been the most impressive. Add in my hatred of the Giants and Eli Manning, and I was quite disappointed with the outcome on Sunday night. Quite disappointed.

Oh, and this is most likely the vehicle I'm going to buy soon. (Clicking will download a pdf with the specs for the truck. If you don't want to see that, just look at the picture.)