I called in sick today…

…for the first time in almost 20 years.

Honestly: to my recollection, I have NEVER in my life as a teacher called in sick. And the fact is that I could have worked today.

Which means that I should take away my smart crack about lawyers and NASA engineers.

Teaching is obviously an easy profession.

OhOhOh…if any teachers were to stumble across this blog, they would be outraged. So I must qualify my comment further: being a teacher in the field of Adult Education is an easy profession. Those dealing with 15 year-olds work in a war zone. I know. I did a seven month long stint substituting for a sick teacher at a vocational school here in Germany. War. Zone.

But Adult Education (and here I include college, which I also taught for five years) is easy. Let’s be honest: shitting your pants would be embarassing in any profession.

The big difference with Adult Education and other jobs is: you don’t really have to work hard.

Oh, I do. Sometimes. Maybe even usually. But IF you are sick you can still show up, hand out a few exercises, and go home. Yes, you can put your heart into a soul-stirring, mind-challenging, life-changing lecture. But you can also show up and talk about your dog for 90 minutes. Anyone who has ever been to college can tell you this.

(I remember sitting in a lecture from a BIG NAME professor who was talking about Faulkner. He was supposedly lecturing on “the Bear” from Go Down Moses. In fact he talked about how he disliked Ronald Reagan’s “bear policy” for 90 minutes. Does George Bush have a “bear policy”?)

So I take back my comments about lawyers and NASA employees. They don’t want to shit their pants any more than anyone else. And when they work, they probably can’t get away with talking about Grizzlies for 90 minutes.

Or maybe they can. What do I know? I haven’t had a real job since 1990.

jj

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The worst civil aviation disaster in history…

…occurred thirty years ago today.

Funny, I have no recollection of it.  Which is very sad.  It didn’t happen in America.  And a fourteen year-old boy in America doesn’t seem very aware of things outside America, unless they have to do with America.

Anyway, you can read about it (if you aren’t spooked by thinking about plane crashes) here:  Tenerife .  The English isn’t too good, but it’s the best account I’ve read today.

Why have I read several accounts?

jj

I’m Sick…

…and I want the whole world to feel sorry for me.

1)  I am RARELY sick (drunken collapses in Gettysburg don’t count as sickness).

2)  My wife and son are out of town, because my son has time off from school (Easter vacation) and I don’t.  So no one is here to nurse me.

3)  I have to work.  O, you people with the cushy I’ve-got-so-many-sick-days-per-year jobs, you can kiss my hard-working ass.  What do you know about work?  Work is not what you like doing and get paid for.  Work is talking about grammar for about twenty bucks an hour when your throat is burning and you have a headache and you almost shit your drawers while farting while pissing but since you were at the urinal you could just pinch your package to cut off the flow and dive into the stall and clean yourself up before the runny stuff hit your underwear or God forbid your jeans…your jeans… and Holy Lord thank you! Jesus because what could you do if you actually shit your drawers would you go back to your class and say “class dismissed and don’t look at my jeans” or what would you do because you’re a working man who gets paid by the hour and you can’t just say “class dismissed I just shit my pants” like you can if you’re a lawyer or work for NASA or something no you can just thank God you were standing at the urinal when you farted.

That’s work, dear readers.  Everything else is plying the time to get a paycheck.

jj

To the Bone

My sister comments that I am losing my readers because I haven’t been writing. Well, I only have three or four readers, so I’m not really worried.

As to why I haven’t been writing:

Not only did I make a mistake and take on too much work; I took on even more for April.

It’s like this: my habit is to accept all offers. Some school calls me and says, “we need someone to teach a six-week long course on writing business letters in English”, and I say yes. Always yes.

Right now, in March, I am working in three different towns teaching four different courses and giving individual lessons to a few others.

I also agreed to supervise seven students who are in the preliminary stages of their master’s theses—only for the month of April.

I also agreed to start teaching an English course at a local, private Business college.

So I’m working my fingers to the bone, and when I get home I don’t write anything. I DO read a few blogs and look at pictures of a few naked women, and I DO watch a movie and eat a pizza and work on my Faro shuffle. And I DO keep adding to a list of topics which I will write on when I have time and desire.

For those other than my sisters, I guess this means a loss of readers. So be it. Most of the people who read this blog are those stopping by through search engines. Yes, I still get traffic from people who want pictures of people who got messed up during that drug trial last year. Those people are sick, anyway. Who wants them as readers.

For my sisters and friends and whoever else stops by once a week or so, stay tuned. I’m not becoming more hinged with time, and I’m not likely to lose my loving tone while viewing the world, so when I get back to it I’m likely to still be the man you love and oh so admire. Or worse.

jj

Britney is NOT the Antichrist!

About a week ago I wrote:

Or consider the younger victims of this distortion, like Britney Spears. Is her fame anything other than a personal tragedy?

And now reports are flooding the world about erotic erratic behavior involving suicidal use of bedsheets and writing 666 on her BALD forehead.

Now, I don’t know shit about Britney Spears. Nothing. Nada. So the first thing that occurs to me is: where the hell are her parents? If I were her father, I would take her home with me and tell her, “You are not the Antichrist; have a chocolate chip cookie.”  Is her father dead or something? I guess I could google this, but on principle I’m NOT gonna google. Britney needs a father and a mother.

Okay, she’s in her twenties and has two children of her own. Jesus—what the hell does that mean? That she needs the entire world watching her to decide how she’s doing as a mother?

Do I feel sorry for her? Terribly.

Would I want to have sex with her? No.

Is she the Antichrist? No.

What is her problem? I don’t know.

But I DO know that fame has not suited her well.

But what do I know?

jj

The N Word

WARNING. If vulgar and racist language or reminiscences on the OJ case is NSFW, perhaps you should click away from this post and read it when you get home.

I woke up this morning to read this: New York bans N word. I’m all for symbolic gestures and such, I suppose. I don’t feel strongly one way or the other about hip hoppers and gangstas calling each other nigga. To each their own.

(The only thing I DO feel strongly about with regard to hip hop is that it is obviously violent, sexist, and violently sexist. Not to mention obscene and vulgar. How any decent Americans can allow their 14 and 15 year-old kids to go to a school dance and listen to violently sexist music and perform dances which involve girls bending over and letting boys grind their pelvic area into theirs in some kind of wild monkey sex roll playing game is…well…strange to me. It makes the Baptists seem right about dancing. Of course, I may just be jealous….)

However, New York doesn’t want hip hoppers saying, “nigga”, so they did the obvious and passed a law. Because, after all, the word is

considered by most Americans to be the most offensive in the English language

Whoooaaaaaaa, Tonto! Did you hear that? Put that bottle of firewater down and listen to what I just read to your skinny red-skinned ass. Hey, you too, Geronimo. Take your thunderstick out of miss Wahoo’s injun cunt and get over here and listen to me.

For that matter, all you micks and kikes and dikes and chinks and spics and gooks should also listen up. And I want both the wops AND the degos to quit buttfucking each other like faggots and pay attention.

Are you listening? Here it goes again. The word Nigger is

considered by most Americans to be the most offensive in the English language.

Got it?

This reminds me of Chris Darden during the OJ trial:

MR. DARDEN: You understand that that word is the most vile word in the English language?
MS. MCKINNY: I think it is one of the most vile words in the English language, yes.
MR. DARDEN: You think there are worse?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes, I certainly do. Why are we having this adversarial relationship? I don’t understand that. It is a vile word. Why do I have to define it more so than it is? *

Obviously I and Ms. Mckinny have a similar opinion.

This is perhaps the most bizarre exchange in the history of American jurisprudence. Remember that they are speaking of Mark Fuhrman, a prosecution witness. Why Chris Darden—a prosecutor—wanted to hammer home how vile a word is that one of his witnesses has used has somehow escaped me in the dozen years since then. Of course, everything in that case was overkill. Take the so-called “impeachment” of Fuhrman’s testimony. What EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN AMERICA knew is that Fuhrman had lied when he said he had never said the word nigger. EVERY SINGLE PERSON would include both the prosecutors, the defense, the judge and the jury. Why beat the dead horse?

I’ll tell you why: because it was NOT RELEVANT TO THE CASE. I don’t know if they teach it in law school, but it certainly is a time-tested rhetorical device: repetition implies relevance. Thus the defense wanted to bring it up as often as possible. Chris Darden’s own foray into the waters of the N word could only help imply relevance—and it was NOT RELEVANT TO THE CASE. Mr. Darden was effectively lending credence to a bizarre and incredible conspiracy theory. People somehow remember that Chris Darden got “baited” by the defense to get OJ to try on the glove. They don’t remember that Chris Darden got “baited” to spend an enormous amount of time—every single second of which was harmful to the prosecution—eliciting testimony about the N word.

People, I could have done a better job than Chris Darden, and I didn’t even go to law school. All the prosecution should have done is made one statement during final argument:

Dear Jury, the defense would like you to believe that since Mark Fuhrman lied when he said that he had never used the word nigger, he therefore framed OJ Simpson.

Then I would laugh hysterically until Judge Ito threatened me with contempt.

Okay, I’m not a lawyer and this probably would be shitty lawyering. But I didn’t say I would be good—I just said I would have done a better job on this subject than Chris Darden.

I also think I would do a better job than the New York City Council.

I’m positively SURE I would do a better job of reporting this story than Daniel Trotta.

jj

*The Mckinny testimony is here: Mckinny

Breaking the fast…part 2

Breaking my alcohol fast was a disappointment.  I got the slightest buzz in the first 30 minutes, but it went away and that was that.

My mistake was waiting until going to a bar at 8 PM.  One must start earlier.  It ain’t called happy hour for nothing, folks.

jj