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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Holy insomnia, Batman!

Okay, it's four in the morning, and I just cannot seem to fall asleep. Perhaps it's my non-recommended new bedtime routine -- melting a bar of dark chocolate into a hot mug of Mountain Dew (saw that on the Colbert Report, and I'll be using that a lot). But whatever the reason, I saw no more point to just lying in bed.

So I started surfing around the web, and I came across this "Which superhero are you?" site. Of course I had to take the test immediately. And as you will see, the results came out with nothing unexpected. I tied for two superheroes, so I basically am an amalgam of Supes and Spidey. My only question is, who nominated Robin as a superhero??

Your results:
You are Superman

The Flash
Green Lantern
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

The only thing I would recommend for future superhero tests is to include Captain America. That way, everyone can say they have a little Captain in 'em.

And of course, we can't have the superheroes without the villains. So here are the results of my "Which villain are you?" test.

Your results:
You are Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom
The Joker
Mr. Freeze
Lex Luthor
Dark Phoenix
Green Goblin
Poison Ivy
Blessed with smarts and power but burdened by vanity.

Click here to take the "Which Super Villain are you?" quiz...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Last chance

Hey everybody, 2 more days until 2007! That means if you haven't signed my guestbook yet, now is the time to do it! And at the risk of sounding like Big Brother, let me just say that I can tell by using my stat tracker program WHERE in the world people are visiting from, but it's nice to have names and occupations as well. I've seen visitors from Spain, the Czech Republic, and France (and Florida as well), but these people have not signed in.

Come on people! What's it going to take? Do I need to promise you each $10 million? Well, what about ten million pounds? If so, have I got a deal for you! Check it out here!

For the rest of you, have a very Happy New Year!!! I will blog at you in 2007!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Here goes nothing

Okay, I have finally done it. At much urging from my friends and family, I have finally sent a copy of Learn Me Good to Oprah Winfrey.

Sure, I realize that most likely, nothing will ever come of this. But even if my chances are only one in a quadrajagillion -- that's still a chance.

Plus, it gives me the chance try out this nifty little toy underneath my Google search box.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Multiplications Greatest Hits

I’m baaaaaack…

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas. I had a very nice visit with the family, and Movie Night went well. It actually ended pretty early for once – 2:30AM-- but my uncle and I stayed up and watched Serenity. Not a Christmas movie, I know, but it was one I hadn't seen yet.

My aunt and uncle and cousins were in town from Minnesota, and it's always nice to see the girls, as we don't get to see them very often. The older one is in the fourth grade, and the younger one is three years old. So while the three-year-old ran wild around the house with my two-year-old nephew, my older cousin brought me a pad and pencil and wanted me to show her some math problems. Now THAT'S my kind of kid!

I showed her a few tricks for multiplication (she knew the finger trick for 9's, but not the counting up and down trick), and then she shared with me a song that she uses to remember one tricky fact.

“8 times 8 went to the store,
To buy a Nintendo 64."

Pretty cute, eh? At my school, we have songs that go through the entire times table of a particular number, but perhaps we need songs for individual facts. So that got me thinking of some possibilities:

"7 times 8 liked Stevie Nicks,
That girl looks like she's 56."

"4 times 6 loved brave Jack Bauer,
And watched his show all 24 hours."

"5 times 4 could sure see plenty,
His vision checked out 20/20."

If anybody thinks up any new ones, please let me know.

And please continue to sign the guestbook. I LOVE the response it's been getting so far! My goal is to have at least one signature from every continent. That's right -- all 9 of them!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

What time is midnight Mass???

Well, I am off to join my family for our movie night, and the normal Christmas proceedings. I hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas, and that you get everything you want this year -- whether it be TIVO, sports cars, fast cars, hybrids, ethernet cable, portable air-conditioning, stock loans, remote desktop, viaticals, or even cash for annuity payment, so that you can sell annuity.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

(And please continue to sign the guestbook on the previous post!)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Project Guestbook

As we approach the end of the year, I thought it would be a neat idea to ask for EVERYONE who reads this blog to leave a comment! Nothing major, I'm just asking you to take the time to post where you are coming from. Also, put your occupation on there as well. And your hat size while you're at it. Also, your greatest fear.

Nah, let's not make this too complicated. Just take 10 seconds to click on the "witty rejoinders" link, then leave your name and location.

Do this within the next five minutes, and you will meet the love of your life, you will win the global lottery, and you will discover how to turn silly putty into gold. If you choose to ignore this, your pet iguana will die, your thumbs will fall off, and everyone will call you, "Snotty McDingles" for the rest of your life.

Just to be fair, I'll even post the first comment. (I sure hope my OTHER thumb doesn't fall off)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's a bit nippley out

My family has a tradition. Every Christmas Eve Eve (that's the 23rd, for you non-gentiles), we have our Teacher Family Christmas Movie Marathon™. We invite all of our family and friends over to our parents’ house, and we watch as many Christmas-themed movies as we can fit into one night.

We usually start around 5 or 6, with It's a Wonderful Life playing in the background (since we all know all of the words anyway), and at the night doesn't end until around 4 or 5 in the morning. Usually, by around 1 A.M., most everyone is dozing on the floor, so my brother and I put up Die Hard -- hey, it's a Christmas movie!

Each year, there are new movies that get added to the viewing rotation, and others that cycle out. But one that remains constant since its inception is the Chevy Chase vehicle -- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. This is one of our all-time favorite Christmas movies, and it just gets funnier and funnier with each viewing.

So here's the interactive feature for the day. I'm taking a page from A Shrewdness Of Apes, but reversing it. She posts quotes and asks for the movie; I am already telling you what the movie is, and asking for your favorite quotes.
Here are a few to get the ball rolling:

"Where do you think you're going to put a tree that big?"
"Bend over, and I'll show you!"

"He's just yakkin’ on a bone."

"Dad, that tree wouldn't fit in our backyard!"
"It's not going in our backyard, Russ; it's going in our living room."

"That's pretty low, mister. If I had a rubber hose, I would beat you..."

"Thanks, Dad. You taught me everything I know about exterior illumination."

"If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-a$$, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey sh!t he is! Hallelujah! Holy sh!t! Where's the Tylenol?”

Now it's your turn. Please try to keep it clean. Especially when discussing Randy Quaid emptying a chemical toilet...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Another silly list

I found this little exercise over at Ms. Teacher. It's pretty pointless, but I'm sort of bored, so here goes:

Wanna play? It's simple. Copy, paste and if you've done it, bold it.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said I love you and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an expert
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Dated a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own novel
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

Her Royal Money Giver

Well, I got another very interesting e-mail over the weekend. I have yet to see those millions of dollars from the guy in Nigeria, but now this nice old lady in England wants to send me all of her money.

I don't know if she's a fan of my blog, or if she got ahold of a few of my specially-designed heat pumps back from when I was an engineer, or if she just threw a dart at a phone book -- but for what ever reason, she has decided to bequeath her family fortune to me.

Don't believe me? Check out the e-mail for yourself, O Doubting Mufasa...

From: Madam Joan Taylor.
4 Old Church Street, Chelsea, SW3, England.
Good Day,
Here writes Madam Joan Taylor, suffering from Cancerous ailment.
I am married to Engineer Silas Hines an Englishman who is dead. My husband was into private practice all his life before his death. Our life together as man and wife lasted for three decades without child. My husband died after a protracted illness. My husband and I made a vow to uplift the down-trodden and the less-privileged individuals as he had passion for persons who can not help themselves due to physical disability or financial predicament. I can adduce this to the fact that he needed a Child from this relationship, which never came.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of 10 Million
Pounds (Ten Million Great Britain Pounds Sterling) which were derived from his vast estates and investment in capital market with his bank here in UK. Presently, this money is still with the Bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that I have limited days to live due to the (LUCAMEA) cancerous problems I am suffering from. Though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition to the cancer. With this hard reality that has befallen my family and me, I have decided to donate this fund to you and want you to use this gift which comes from my husbands effort to fund the upkeep of widows, widowers, orphans, destitute, the down-trodden, physically challenged children, barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially.
It is often said that blessed is the hand that giveth.
I took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are bourgeois and very wealthy persons and I do not want my husband’s hard earned money to be misused or invested into ill perceived ventures. I do not want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner, hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be with the Almighty when I eventually pass on. The Almighty will fight my case and I shall hold my peace. I do not need any telephone communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health and because of the presence of my husband’s relatives around me, because I do not want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible.
As soon as I receive your reply through this my confidential email Address: I shall give you the contact of the bank in UK. I will also issue you a Letter of Authority that will empower you as the original beneficiary of this fund. My happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein. Hope to hear from you very soon and God bless you and members of your family.
Yours sincerely
Mrs. Joan Taylor.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's an honor just to be nominated

I hardly have words to express my feelings. I am overcome with amazement, appreciation, and -- I'll be honest -- a small feeling of unworthiness.

I am of course speaking of Time Magazine's selection of me as Person of the Year. This came as a complete surprise to me, as I am not involved in politics of any sort, I have not created any miracle cures lately, and while my novel, Learn Me Good, IS pretty darn funny if I may say so myself, it can hardly be held responsible for any peace that might break out around the world.

So when I read in the paper this morning that I had been selected for this immense honor, I felt overwhelmed with pride, and just a bit dizzy.

Of course, I should mention that if you are reading this blog post, then YOU TOO have been selected as Time Magazine's Person of the Year. In what could possibly be seen as a "give up" move, the magazine has named anyone who uses the Web to their top honor. Maybe they felt that too many people had had their feelings hurt over the past 50 or so years by not being selected. Or maybe it was just a simple case of procrastination, and all of the good folks had already been named Person of the Year by other magazines.

So I say congratulations to all of us! Let's wear this mantle with pride! I'll end things here, so I can go wait by my mailbox for my trophy and my check.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Grades, Schmades

I saw a link to this story over on Dave Barry's blog. This shining example of educatorhood apparently decided to teach his students about pyramids in a unique way -- by way of pyramid scheme.

With a small payment, students could convince Elvin "Get Rich Quick, or Die Teaching" Escano to break into official school records and change certain grades. In fact, Escano accepted other forms of currency as well as cash. While $500 might change an F to an A, a 12 pack of Michelob Light could raise a C- to a C+.

Makes me wonder what sort of grade change could be bought for a Big Mac and fries.

A shameless plug, for pugs

I saw a friend last night that I used to work with, and whom I had not seen in a while. She still teaches, but she has also started an internet business on the side.

Pawsitive Perfection (Impawsible not to smile at that) caters to those who like to pamper their pets. The company provides a line of products specifically tailored for cats and dogs. I told her that I would add a link to my blog and try to send some interested parties her way.

Good for her, I say! She's giving it a go. This gives me inspiration to think about possibly one day starting my own side business -- providing custom-made cowls and capes for superhero wannabes...

Friday, December 15, 2006

The 10 days of Christmas, Finale

Final day, folks. Hope you enjoyed it. No more school for me until January 3rd!!!!!

On the tenth day of Christmas, my students gave to me:

10 Splitting Migraines
9 Kids a-Cheating
8 Torn up Textbooks
7 "I don't wanna"s
6 Tattlers Tattling
5 Broken Things...
4 Dirty Words
3 Smug Smirks
2 Middle Fingers
And a Fart Ripped in a Hurry.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The 10 days of Christmas, Day 9

On the ninth day of Christmas, my students gave to me:

9 Kids a-Cheating
8 Torn up Textbooks
7 "I don't wanna"s
6 Tattlers Tattling
5 Broken Things...
4 Dirty Words
3 Smug Smirks
2 Middle Fingers
And a Fart Ripped in a Hurry.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The 10 days of Christmas, Day 8

On the eighth day of Christmas, my students gave to me:

8 Torn up Textbooks
7 "I don't wanna"s
6 Tattlers Tattling
5 Broken Things...
4 Dirty Words
3 Smug Smirks
2 Middle Fingers
And a Fart Ripped in a Hurry.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The 10 days of Christmas, Day 7

On the seventh day of Christmas, my students gave to me:

7 "I don't wanna"s
6 Tattlers Tattling
5 Broken Things...
4 Dirty Words
3 Smug Smirks
2 Middle Fingers
And a Fart Ripped in a Hurry.

Excuse me, I think I misheard you

Two of my third grade team members told me a story today after the kids had been dismissed, and I just had to put it down in writing.

They had taken their kids down to the library after lunch where the librarian read a story to them. This story involved a grandmother taking care of her granddaughter out on a farm. At a moment of conflict in the story, the gentle folk are threatened by a rattlesnake. The grandmother tells the girl that she is going to get a hoe to fend off the snake.

No sooner had she read that line than a little boy in the class got wide-eyed and yelled out, "She sinned!!"

The librarian tried to explain, "No, the grandmother is just trying to protect the little girl."

But the little boy insisted, "SHE'S A SINNER!!!!”

Apparently he was not aware of an alternate meaning (and spelling) of the critical word that he had heard. Garden implement, my friend; NOT lady of ill repute.

I can't WAIT till the kids hear about The Scarlet Pimp-ernel.

Come and see the 80 year old giant!

Yesterday morning, I revealed my age to my homeroom. I believe it was because I was trying to show the kids why the answer to one word problem did not make sense. The question was something along the lines of, "Herbert is 15 years old. His sister is 18 years old. How much older is his sister than Herbert?"

Several of my kids had added the two numbers and gotten 33 as their answer. Of course, if the sister was ONLY 18 years old, she could not possibly be 33 years OLDER than anyone else. As a living example, I said to the kids, "I am 33 years old. The only person I am 33 years OLDER than..."

At this point, I was interrupted by one of my students raising her hand and blurting out, "ME??”

I continued, "is someone who was just born today. You might ACT like you were just born today, but we all know that's not really true."

As usual, the revealing of a teacher's age discussion than the latest Nicole Richie hunger strike. "You're 33?!??” “I thought you were 20 something!” “I thought you were 100!”

And the one that really struck my fancy-- "You look taller than 33.”

You know, if height and age were directly related, then I would be almost 13 feet tall by the time I was 70 years old.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The 10 days of Christmas, Day 6

On the sixth day of Christmas, my students gave to me:

6 Tattlers Tattling
5 Broken Things...
4 Dirty Words
3 Smug Smirks
2 Middle Fingers
And a Fart Ripped in a Hurry.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The 10 days of Christmas, Day 5

On the fifth day of Christmas, my students gave to me:

5 Broken Things...
4 Dirty Words
3 Smug Smirks
2 Middle Fingers
And a Fart Ripped in a Hurry.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The 10 days of Christmas, Day 4

On the fourth day of Christmas, my students gave to me:

4 dirty words
3 smug smirks
2 middle fingers
And a fart ripped in a hurry.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The 10 days of Christmas, Day 3

On the third day of Christmas, my students gave to me:

3 smug smirks
2 middle fingers
And a fart ripped in a hurry.

My Secret Santa is a genius

We are doing a secret Santa program at my school, and the gift exchanges began today. I won't find out who MY secret Santa is until next Monday afternoon, but I am already looking forward to finding out. Today, I got possibly the greatest secret Santa gift ever.

I was in a fifth-grade classroom this morning, monitoring their social studies benchmark test. Do to an infinitesimal percentage of teachers cheating on the TAKS test, none of us are allowed to administer important tests to our own students anymore. So the fifth-grade teachers were in our rooms, and vice versa. This in itself is the subject for a rant at another time.

So there I was, standing sternly at the back of this classroom, when one of our substitute office personnel walked by and motioned me out into the hallway. She asked if I was Mister Teacher, which of course, I was. She handed me a bulging US Post Office express mail package. It was addressed to me in, allegedly having been sent from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. Originally being from DC myself, I was a bit suspicious that the ZIP code did not look correct, but other than that, it looked very official. So of course, I was wondering what the heck was going on.

I waited until the test was over and I had gotten back to my classroom before opening the package. There were three things inside. One was a small note. A second item was a small baggy containing three lottery tickets. The third item was shrouded in a large piece of brown paper.

I read the note. It said, "Mister Teacher, this is the best we could part with from Julius Caesar. Hope it will fit with your collection. Thanks."

As far as secret Santa gifts go, this was shaping up to be a most bizarre example. It was soon to get even stranger. I unwrapped the large bulky item, and I found a large bone with a few shreds of meat still hanging determinedly from it. For about 10 seconds, my mind cycled through all of the possible third words for the phrase, "What the--?”

Then I remembered. This was exactly what I had asked for. Every year, before we select each other and find who we will be giving gifts to, we fill out a short questionnaire. Favorite color, food, music, etc. Needless to say, I very rarely take that questionnaire seriously. My answers are almost always of the facetious variety. So this year, when asked for hobbies, my response was, "Collecting the bones of ancient Roman emperors."

Can I just say one more time -- my secret Santa is a freakin’ GENIUS!!!

Now I feel kind of bad for the person I have. I just got them a lousy iPod…

Oh, I should also mention that I think I won $10 off of one of the lottery cards...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The 10 days of Christmas, part two

Continuing our melody:

On the second day of Christmas, my students gave to me:

2 middle fingers
And a fart ripped in a hurry.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The 10 days of Christmas

In the spirit of holiday cheer, and seeing as how the last day of school before Christmas vacation (I really don't care what they call it in the schools -- it IS Christmas vacation) is December 15, I thought I would dole out my own blend of Yuletide joy.

Beginning today, I present my take on the Christmas classic, The 12 Days of Christmas. However, I am not counting weekends, so that takes us down to The 10 Days of Christmas. Each day I will add a verse, so that on the 10th day, the carol will be complete. So without any further ado, here we go.

On the first day of Christmas, my students gave to me:

A fart ripped in a hurry.

Movie Math-ness??

I've been meaning to mention this for a while now, but I'd like to give a shout out to Ms. Cornelius over at A Shrewdness of Apes. Every Monday, she posts a movie challenge where she puts up several movie quotes, and you have to prove your knowledge of the movie by providing more quotes.
Head on over and test your movie skills. And tell Ms. Cornelius that she's crazy. Crazy like an ape.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This one goes to 11

Sunday night, as I write this post, my stat counter sits at 10,988. I feel safe in saying that by the time I check again tomorrow, this blog will have surpassed the 11K mark. 11,000 visitors -- and it hasn't even been up for a full year yet! Not too shabby for a poor, deformed, dismembered goat herder from Lithuania, eh? And pretty decent for a guy like myself as well!

Thanks to all of my visitors, both regulars and irregulars. Keep on reading, and don't forget to click the Google Ads when you visit. Also, be sure to floss, look both ways when you cross the street, and always use the buddy system when you spelunk.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Houston, we have a word problem

The other math teachers and I had a brilliant idea last week. We figured that a great way to help the kids get even better with math problems AND to save ourselves the effort of searching through books for good homework was to have the kids to ALL of the work. So their "test" yesterday was to write their own word problems. They were allowed to write as many as they wanted, but they had to write at least one problem that required addition and at least one problem that required subtraction.

And no matter how frustrated I get with these kids sometimes, I always find myself very pleasantly surprised when I ask them to get creative. Some of the problems that I received were outstandingly written, and some were endearingly hilarious. However, it was quite clear that all of my kids put their best effort forward yesterday.

Today, I will share with you some of the problems that will most likely be appearing on next week's homework and/or test, and some of the problems that just weren't quite up to snuff, but which are very fun to read.

First, a few of the best:

"J has 24 suckers and he gave K 10 of them. How many suckers did he have left?"
-- this might not seem so special, but it came from one of my absolute lowest students.

"B's mom baked her a cake because it was her birthday. B invited two friends, D and A. D ate 10 pieces. A ate three more pieces than D. How many pieces did A eat?"
-- good use of extra information here, as well as numbers in word form.

"On Friday, I had a test of addition and there were 12 problems. I only finished 5 of them. How many more did I need to do?"
-- a great subtraction problem that doesn't involved anything being given or taken away.

And now a few I found pretty funny:

"J and G went to school. J did the Pledge of Allegiance 20 times. The next day, G did the Pledge of Allegiance 50 times. How many times did they do it all together?"
-- I'm telling you, I make them recite it until they get it right, doggone it!

"T had 5 sisters. 2 of them went to college. How many sisters does he have now?"
-- well, still 5 I think. Unless of course, they went to Carolina, in which case it would stand to reason that they are dead to him.

"Yesterday, the temperature was 34° F. What will be the change in temperature during the night?"
-- more a question for our meteorologists than our third-graders.

"Mister Teacher has 99 markers. He received 900 more markers. Mister Teacher has a nice haircut. How many markers does Mister Teacher have in all?"
-- interesting choice of random extra information...

And finally, a question from one of my little girls who just doesn't understand the concept...

"D had $22 in his account. He spent $32 for his lunch. How many more money does he have left?"

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A snowball's chance

Last night, when I got home from school, it was almost 80° outside. This afternoon, at 3:30 out in the school parking lot, I threw a snowball at our wacky, bowtie-wearing art teacher (excessively adjectived because I know he'll read this).

Yes, the temperature dropped that far in less than 24 hours. While it didn't start snowing until around 11 o'clock, it was 34° on my drive in to the school. And for that half an hour that I had to stand out in front of the school on crosswalk duty -- yeah, it didn't get any warmer. I had on my ski cap, gloves, scarf, and I was still miserable. My crosswalk partner was bundled up like a Tusken Raider from Star Wars -- with better conversational skills, of course.

After the morning announcements and after I had regained feeling in my extremities around 8:30, the principal came on the speaker again and asked for a head count so that the cafeteria would know how many lunches to have ready. As acting grade chair (I say acting, because it is no longer a paying position), I sent a few kids out to collect up numbers from the other third-grade teachers, and the results came back looking like Mike Vanderjagt’s field-goal record as a Dallas cowboy. 10/17, 14/17, 18/25, etc.

I had 3 kids missing out of 18, but Mrs. Educator only had 11 out of her 17 present. So in the afternoon, after we had switched classes -- and after two parents had come to pick up their children -- I had a ridiculously small class. It was actually quite pleasant.

Two of the boys in the class had caused a lot of trouble yesterday for the substitute teacher while I was at a training. So today, I had both of them sitting at their seats repeatedly copying the phrase, "I will not misbehave and act like a fool." It would be SO very nice if that message would stick!

At 2:30, two of the kids went to their resource class, and one more child was picked up by her mother. I started to feel like I was stuck in an Agatha Christie novel -- And Then There Were Six.

I'm pretty sure this is the first time in my teaching career (an extensive 4 years) that I have had less than 10 kids at the end of the day. Even on the last day of school, I've never had this few.

It will be very interesting to see how tomorrow goes. The forecast calls for highs in the mid-40s, and as far as I know, there are no plans to close the schools. However, it is supposed to be in the 20s tomorrow MORNING, and seeing as how that is when parents decide whether or not to send their kids out the door, I would not be surprised to have only a handful of kids again. Unfortunately, I can almost guarantee that the misbehaving fools will be first in line at my doorway.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Parking is free

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for the weekly Carnival of Education! This week marks the 95th incarnation, and it's being posted over at A History Teacher's blog. Float on over there, check out all of the midway attractions, ogle the sideshow denizens, and have whatever the latest fried edible is.
Just tell 'em Darth Grader sent you.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas in November??! BRILLIANT!!!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Or, excuse me, I should say it's beginning to look a lot like Holiday Season. I've never particularly been one for euphemisms (despite the cruel joke my parents played on me by giving me the middle name, "Euphemism"), and that one especially chaps my hide. Why isn't February the "Holiday Season?" I mean, you've got Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day, Groundhog Day, MY birthday... talk about a holiday bonanza!

But no, we can't officially talk about Christmas in school anymore -- Heaven forbid! (Wait, can I say the word heaven?) During the morning announcements today, my principal capped things off with, "And remember, there are only 15 school days left until Chri-- Winter Break!"
I could practically hear her larynx split down the middle as it attempted to do a 180 and avoid say the C-word.

But no matter what you call it, there are already decorations galore in anticipation of it. Thanksgiving apparently couldn't end fast enough for some people, as lights, signs, and lawn displays seemed to go up overnight. Now this will be the first year that I am even THINKING about putting up lights on my house, and if I do in fact get around to that, it definitely will not be before this weekend. However, I just got back from a walk around my neighborhood, and I already feel that my house will be the domicile equivalent of Charley Brown's Christmas tree.

I saw plenty of lights and displays, and even a few with a Texas twist. "Merry Christmas, y'all," inside an illuminated outline of the state of Texas -- adjacent to Santa on a Harley. Several Christmas cacti. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Longhorn (okay, I didn't really see that one -- but it might be kind of cool).

And a lot of people have gone to those inflatable front yard displays. Which apparently only get inflated in the evening. I passed by one or two empty Santa husks, lying face down in the grass. I'd love to see the housewives out there inflating them sometime. I'm picturing Julie Hagerty and the autopilot from Airplane.

Oh, and while we're on the subject, I have an excellent gift request. I would really love for someone to give me a little box with a button on it that would say one word whenever the button was pressed. That one word would be the catchphrase of the black and white animated professors from the Guinness Genuine Stout commercials.

That way, whenever I'm in class, and one of my kids tells me that it must be lunchtime because the clock says 5:83 -- I can just push the button.

When one of my students tells me that there are 10 boxes of crayons, with 5 crayons in each box, so there are 15 crayons total -- I can just push the button.

When one of my little cherubs informs me that he is about to wet himself because he chose NOT to use the facilities during our class bathroom break (which we returned from 10 minutes prior) -- I can just push the button.

When one of my future rocket scientists says to me, "Mister Teacher, I didn't bring my homework because I put it in my backpack, but then my little brother was playing with my dog, and I saw their heads inside my bag, but now my pencil is there, but my brother was sick last night, and so I didn't sleep, and now I have my homework, but it's not done,” -- well, I might need TWO buttons on that box, so I can push THIS one.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Things I am thankful for

In the spirit of the season, I thought I would write a post listing some things that I am thankful for. So here goes:

10) I am thankful that despite what my kids say, when the temperature goes from 55ºF to 50ºF, it does NOT in fact represent a 105 degree swing.

9) I am thankful for mandatory weekly staff meetings, every Monday. Without them, I don't know how I would spend that extra hour after school.

8) I am thankful that my kids are finally starting to understand fractions. We are done with 1/2 of the school year, with 2/3 left to go, and my kids are about 12/9 prepared.

7) I am thankful that the Turducken is finally getting its due. Can the emergence of the Tacsagnchilada be far behind?

6) I am thankful for the sheer genius that went into deciding NOT to order a particularly helpful workbook for our kids, but instead purchasing an online license so we can print off our own copies -- without stopping to consider that we can only make about four copies a week.

5) I am thankful that it is finally college basketball season once again! GO DUKE!!

4) I am thankful that only THREE kids in my class have peed in their pants so far this year. FOUR by Thanksgiving is the mark you never want to hit.

3) I am thankful for a class full of polite, well-behaved, respectful children who always put forth their best effort. Well, I'm thankful that I had a dream last night about such a class.

2) I am thankful for the fact that Absolut Vodka looks exactly like water when placed in a used Evian bottle.

1) I am thankful for a full week of no tattling!! Except of course for when my sister-in-law will be tattling on my brother for eating too much turkey and taters.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and have a great, relaxing break!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Do we get to raid the fridge, too?

I got this email from a friend this week, comparing teacher salaries to babysitters' wages (and we all know the reponsibilities are very similar). I thought it was Superfantastic. So I bring it to you, the loyal reader...

"I, for one, am sick and tired of those highly paid teachers. Their hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year! Its time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do, baby sit! We can get that for less than minimum wage. That's right! I would give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked, not any silly planning time. That would be $15.00 a day. Each parent should pay $15.00 a day for these teachers to baby-sit theirchildren.

Now, how many do they teach in a day? maybe 25. Then that's 15 x 25 = $375.00 a day.But remember they only work 200 days a year! I'm not going to pay them for any vacations. Let's see? That's 375 x 200 = $75,000.00. (Hold on, my calculator must need batteries!)

What about those Leading Teachers or the ones with Masters Degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage just to be that fair. Let's round it off to $6.00 an hour. That would be $6.00 times five hours times 25 children times 200 days = $150,000.00 per year. Wait a minute, there is something wrong here! THERE SURE IS, HUH?"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

School me good!

Hey, I just saw that I've been featured over on the L.A.Times blog -- School Me!

Thanks for the pub, guys! Keep up the good work!

The last straw for O.J.

Yesterday, I wrote a post about how I am feeling sick. Today, I write a post about being sickened.

O.J. Simpson has written a book called, "If I Did It, Here's How It Happened." Apparently, some big publishing house felt the need to pay him $3.5 million (or thereabouts) to make up a completely theoretical, entirely hypothetical, undoubtedly purely make-believe, what-if type story to detail how he would have murdered Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.

If I did it… yeah, that's kind of like Hitler saying, “Hey, you know I didn't really kill all those Jews, but if I did, here's how I would've done it."

This is completely and utterly disgusting to me. I guess that I can believe that there are lots of people in this world who would get some pleasure out of reading this book or watching the interview that Simpson is going to do at some point, but I can guarantee you that I will not be part of that audience.

I'll actually be working hard on my own book, "I didn't eat that last slice of pizza, but if I did, here's how it happened."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Welcome to the petri dish

Well, I suppose I should have known that I couldn't outrun it for long...

You know that song that goes, "come on, come on, get down with the sickness?" Well, consider me officially… down with the sickness.

Me getting sick at around this time of year is not the odd thing. Actually, it's sort of a moral victory that I've lasted this long into the school year without catching anything. What IS odd, however, is that almost all of the third-grade teachers have gotten sick at the same time. So I am not alone in my misery.

Usually, the colds that I catch at the school last longer than Paris Hilton boyfriends. My first year, I basically was sick from Thanksgiving until spring break. But then, I learned that it was not a good idea to rub my eyes, pick my nose, or put my mouth right on top of the water fountain, and things got slightly better.

If there are any doctors out there, maybe you can help me figure out exactly what I have this time around. At first, I was thinking maybe it was just a touch of the ebolla, or perhaps some over-achieving strain of Dutch elm disease, but take a look at these symptoms and see what you think.

Runny nose
Stuffed up nose
Leaky brake fluid
Sore throat
The ability to control and command small groups of ants (maximum 30) for limited tasks
Phlegm out the wazoo
Severe menstrual cramping

Any ideas? Please get back to me. In the meantime, I'm going to climb into bed and enjoy my 12 hours of sleep before the alarm rings at 5:30.

Monday, November 13, 2006

What's eating you?

For the past couple of weeks in science, the topic of discussion has been producers, consumers, and food chains. Not to be confused with FAST food chains, the regular run-of-the-mill type of food chains are those fun little paths that lead from producer to consumer -- from plant to animal.

Actually, that's been a very difficult point to get across -- the fact that animals cannot make their own food. Whenever I bring this up and tell the kids that as animals, they cannot make their own food, I always get a chorus of arguments.

"I can TOO make my own food! I can make a turkey sandwich, and sometimes my mommy lets me make macaroni and cheese!"

Maybe we should start watching the Food Network in class, to determine the difference between MAKING your food and PREPARING your food.

Anyway, over the weekend, I gave an extra credit homework assignment which was to illustrate your own food chain. I got some very interesting submissions. Here are a few of the proposed chains that we will probably not be seeing in nature anytime soon:

Corn --> Lion --> Shark

Beans --> Birds --> Fish --> Shark --> Whale

Plant --> Person --> Tiger

Strawberry --> Ferret --> Fox --> Alligator

These were all pretty amusing, but none of my kids this year included dinosaurs, as in years past. And I think that my favorite of all time, just because it was so strange to receive such an entry from one of my smarter kids:

Strawberry --> Squirrel --> Snake --> Chinese Person

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Second Hand Road Rage

This year, my before-school duty is monitoring the crosswalk out in front of the school. I get to make sure that the kids don't get run over before they can enter our halls of higher learning. This is a relatively easy and pleasant morning job. I get to say good morning to a lot of children, talk to some of the parents, and smile and wave at most of the teachers as they pull into the parking lot (ironically, the one teacher who never waves is someone on my grade level).

But after being out there for even only a couple of minutes, I have to wonder if some of these people got their driver's license from the bottom of a box of Count Chocula.

Don't get me wrong, for the most part, the parent who drop their kids off are definitely excellent drivers, following all of the standard laws of traffic and vehicle operation. However, there are those select few who seem to be auditioning for a role in Mad Max Road Warrior Part 2.

I'm not a traffic cop; I'm not supposed to even act like a traffic cop, I'm just supposed to help kids get across the street. So oftentimes, all I can do is watch as someone drives maniacally, and hope that I don't witness any fender benders or worse.

If I carried a radar gun with me, I am certain that I would be able to track some people going upwards of 40 mph.

It is routine for people to pull up to the curb, turn off the car’s engine, get out of the car, and help their kids out of the backseat. Unfortunately, it is almost just as common for people to do these things WITHOUT having pulled to the curb first. They just stop right in the middle of the street.

Some people don't seem to understand that the broken yellow line in the middle of the street indicates traffic flowing in TWO directions. Instead, they merely see it as another lane that they can pull into to pass a slower moving vehicle. I have even seen one or two of the school bus drivers do this!

My favorite was the lady who pulled up to the curb to drop her kids off, but who did so while facing oncoming traffic. In other words, all of the drop-offs HAD been passing me from left to right, but this lady pulled in from right to left. BRILLIANT!

Even though it is quite easy to complete a full circuit around my school in order to drive back out the way you came in, some people insist on showing off their driving skills, I guess. Completely oblivious of all other cars, these people will perform a 3-point turn in order to turn around. While my partner sometimes goes the "Paula" route and says, "wow, that was a perfectly executed maneuver!" I am often more tempted to play “Simon” with, "I always wondered what it would be like to see Ray Charles driving..."

I'm thinking about possibly carrying around some certificates in the morning. You've heard of the Darwin Awards? I'll have to start passing out some Learn Me Good awards.

And heck, while I'm ranting, I may as well express my dismay with one particular white Mazda sports car. The great thing about this car, which passes by my school almost every morning, is the totally hot babe that it contains. The bad thing about this car was that this morning, the babe was sitting in the passenger seat…

Monday, November 06, 2006

Reader's Digestion

Back around the beginning of October, I made my book, Learn Me Good, available as a free electronic download -- and several people took me up on my offer. One of the stipulations though was that they agreed to post a review on Barnes & Noble's web site and
So far, only one person has posted a review (Thanks Ruth!)
Which leads me to one of the following conclusions regarding the other copies I sent out:

1) the e-book got lost in the cyber mail and somehow got posted mistakenly on the "Bring back Simon and Simon" message board.

2) after reading three pages, the recipient keeled over onto his/her keyboard, subject to a massive heart attack, stroke, and really nasty hang nail (what we in the medical business term the trifecta).

3) the recipient attempted to post a review, but received an error message from stating, "we done be all fulled up. Try next door."

4) the recipient just has not had time to read Learn Me Good yet, as he/she has been too busy dealing with troubled youths, wild animals, or impending alien invasions.

Whatever the reason, I would still definitely appreciate some feedback whenever the chance presents itself.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Nightmare after Halloween

Last week, on the day after Halloween, one of my kids raised his hand with an urgency implying he had something really important to tell me. When I called on him, he told me the following:

"Last night, after trick-or-treating, we went home, and my mom was real tired, and she fell asleep on the couch, and she didn't cook us dinner, and I was hungry, and so I had no choice but to eat all of my candy. It was good!"

I do so love the fact that the kids apparently think they DO have a choice -- not to do their nightly homework -- yet they have NO choice on whether or not to stuff themselves full of sugar before they go to bed...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Call me Mister Logan

Happy Halloween from all of us here at Learn Me Good!

Since last year, at the last minute, they suggested that the teachers at my school dress up for Halloween, I figured there was a good chance we would be dressing up again this year. However, we were informed yesterday that there is one child who practices a religion (the administration was uncertain of which) that cannot tolerate costumes. Therefore, no one was allowed to dress up today during the school day.

However, at the staff meeting yesterday, we were told that in March, we would be having a day to dress up as our favorite book character. Now please don't ask me to explain how dressing up for Halloween violates a person's theological beliefs, but dressing up in early March does not. I guess it's probably the same reason that some people think that Harry Potter books indoctrinate kids into the Wiccan religion. Yeah, and reading Superman comic books will teach kids how to fly...

So anyway, I decided to come home and dress up anyway; now that I have a house I actually have trick-or-treaters.

And I just now turned off the porch light. All out of individually wrapped slices of processed cheese, kids! Just kidding, I had good stuff. And let me just say that now I completely understand the looks my friends and I used to get from people when we trick- or-treated -- as seniors in high school. I felt like I ought to put a sign up that says, "Management reserves the right to discriminate, based on lack of costume." I had to bite my tongue a couple of times not to shout out, "EFF for effort!"

For the most part, my X-Men costume went over well. But one girl called me "that guy from the Matrix" -- the Matrix?!? Did that guy from the Matrix wear pencils on his hands? Come on people!

As for the favorite book character, I'm open to suggestions. I should mention that I'm 6 foot four, and even though I do have a lightning bolt-shaped vein on one temple, I am way too large to be Harry Potter, and ditto for Frodo Baggins or Stuart Little.

Right now, I think I'm leaning towards Pennywise the clown...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tattle me this, Batman

In case I haven't mentioned it, my class this year is extremely immature. I've never had so many kids that still suck their thumbs, display a total lack of listening skills, and repeatedly do the same things over and over and over again, despite being told not to.

And we can't forget to add tattling to that list. Sure, tattling in grade school is like the kilt in Scotland -- ever present, but never welcome -- but I have one little girl this year that takes things to the extreme.

This little girl is constantly tattling about someone or something. And apparently, to anyone who will listen. A few weeks ago, her class was entering the cafeteria for lunch, and I exited through the other cafeteria door, behind her class, so she was not aware that I was standing there. I actually witnessed her tattle on one of her classmates to some random woman walking down the hall. Probably some poor second-grader's mother, just minding her own business, suddenly accosted by a little girl claiming, "Excuse me, Miss, he just hit me!" Of course, this random woman was able to do what I always wish I COULD do. She kept her eyes straight ahead, and just kept on walking.

Now if I could just convince her to tattle to inanimate objects, such as the water fountain or the eraser on her pencil, then maybe I could save all of us a lot of grief.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

D.A.R.E--Drugs Affect Recent Eyesight

Today was certainly somewhat of a beating of a day. Here I am, all set and prepared to give my students the gift that is the knowledge of perimeter and area, but the schedule got upset by interruptions.

Nevermind the fact that it rained all day long, so there was no outdoor recess. I can live with that. Sure, the kids get cabin fever and act like they don't know right from left, up from down, or isotropic from anisotropic. But then I lost about an hour of class time due to two requests.

Yesterday, one of the school counselors told me that she needed to do a counseling session with my class, and oh, and it needed to be on Wednesday. I love it when they give me lead time. So Mrs. Educator and I put both of our classes together in her room so that the counselor could talk to them about drugs. Let me tell you, if you've never heard a woman with an Indian accent so strong it makes Gandhi sound Texan, reading a book called The House That Crack Built -- well neighbor, you just ain't lived.

It was pretty amusing to hear the responses that the counselor got when she asked the kids to name some illegal drugs. Among those listed were beer, wine, cocaine, spinach, and weed. Good to know that these kids know the technical terms. As for spinach, I think the kid has been watching too much Popeye. You KNOW they would never allow Popeye to play Major-League Baseball -- too much of that illegal substance, spinach.

The truly unexpected interruption today came in the form of vision and hearing tests. I had to take my class to the room where they were performing these tests, and it took about half an hour. Very interesting how the kids can hear the little beep that tells them to raise their hand, and yet somehow they don't hear me when I tell them to get their books out...

And so, thanks to a vision chart and The House That Crack Built, we only covered perimeter today and did not get around to area. Maybe tomorrow we'll try to figure out the square footage of a Schlitz.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Put your head between your knees...

Monday Monday, just can't trust that day. Aside from the fact that we can always trust it to come bearing another lengthy staff meeting.

Our principal has decided this year that instead of one monthly staff meeting, we would have a staff meeting every single week. Hey, why not? If one meeting can bring so much joy to the faculty, think how much four (and sometimes five!) could produce!

At last week's meeting, we were all given a document roughly the size of the Greater Chicago phone directory and told to memorize it. Actually, we weren't tasked with committing it to memory, but we are responsible for knowing the details. It is the latest version of the Campus Crisis Plan. So at today's meeting, we reviewed it.

The crisis plan is supposed to tell us what to do in case a crazed gunman or some bomb-toting maniac wanders into the school. Basically, we lock the doors, pull the blinds, and cower beneath our desks. Oh, and we are also supposed to slide a green laminated sign under our door into the hallway, telling everyone that we are A-OK. Not surprisingly, many of us were wondering just who was going to see that sign, if we were all locked in our rooms. Are we putting out the sign for the benefit of the maniac stocking the halls? If so, should it really be the green sign, or the red "all is NOT OK" laminated sign? Or do we just slide out the green one, and then once the maniac starts trying to break down our door, slide out the red one -- real subtle-like?

In order to test our new knowledge, we played a mock version of Jeopardy. Hopefully, I am not the only one who sees the irony in this.

The real downer of the story is that I now have to slog through 6 1/2 more days until the next rapturous staff meeting...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Time's up

Well, the two-week Learn Me Good giveaway has come to a close. Thanks to everyone who expressed an interest, and thank you especially to Ruth from Great Britain, who has already posted her review on
I look forward to reading the reviews from everyone else who received a copy!

Have a super fantastic week!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Learn Me Good, for free!

For the next 2 weeks (Oct. 9-Oct 23), I am making my debut novel, Learn Me Good, available for FREE as an electronic download in order to get it out to more people and spread the word.

If you would like a free copy of Learn Me Good, just send me an email at requesting your copy. I will then email it to you. In return, I only ask that you read it and post a review on and (you could cut and paste the same review). And of course, recommend it to friends if you like it!

To read more about it, go to

Friday, October 06, 2006

A few of my favorite numbers

Ahh, let's start with 3, as in 3-Day Weekend, which is what I am enjoying right now. Today is Fair Day, so we have no school--can't beat that!
As for the rest of my topic, i'm talking the boob tube. No, not Numb3rs, I really don't think much of that show (Terrorists are attacking the local Taco Bell? Let's apply Chalupa Maximization Theory to devise a plan to foil them!) But 3 shows are starting this week that I have been looking forward to all summer.
The first, of course, is Lost, with its magical numbers 4 8 15 16 23 42 (and of course 108). We had the 3rd season premiere on Wednesday, and it was great! An awesome opening full of promise, and full of Kate, which makes it that much better! Now if they would just bring back the science teacher who blowed up...
Secondly, the series premiere of The Nine, also by JJ Abrams, who does Lost. This was a very cool show, and has a lot of potential. Can't wait to see how it develops.
And finally, the last number on my list is Number Six, the ultra-hot humanoid Cylon on Battlestar Galactica, which opens the third season tonight on Sci Fi. Thye jumped forward in time about 2-4 years at the end of last season (hopefully NOT jumping any sharks along the way), and it should be very interesting to see how things pick up.
So if you need me over the weekend, I'll be propped up in front of the TV, enjoying all the math going on!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

GOOOOOOOOOOOOD Morning, Dallas!!!

It’s my class’s turn to do the morning announcements, starting tomorrow. I have to send two kids – one to do a short announcement about the word of the week, and the other to read something about the character trait of the week. Of course, these are announcements that I write myself then have the kids read.

The word of the week is “Inferno.” I was tempted to write this as the initial announcement:

“Hello, my name is Generic Student from Mister Teacher’s class. The word of the week is inferno. In the literary classic, Dante’s Inferno, the 9th circle of Hell was reserved for slacker teachers who don’t get to wear blue jeans on Fridays. Thank you.”

But, I decided against that. I just wrote something simple, though I am going to have the boy finish with the statement, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”

I was also discussing with Mrs. Educator the potential for humor vs. potential for punishment ratio if I were to have one of my kids approach the public address system and say,

“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

Most of the kids would probably not get it, but I’ll bet the teachers would get a laugh…

Sunday, October 01, 2006

No more Speedos

In the Dallas ISD, summer dress code has officially come to an end. Starting tomorrow, we will no longer be allowed to wear polos or golf shirts. From now on, men must wear panty hose, women must wear neckties.

I MIGHT have that backwards...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Is his name Yao Ming?

Mrs. Educator passed along a good story today. Fed up with the zombie-like, rote, wooden nature of the kids’ Pledge of Allegiance recital in the mornings, she had them all write out the Pledge on paper. In addition to a myriad of misspellings, one thing really stood out to her.

One of our kids had written (and I guess has been saying), “One Asian, under God…”

And I’m proud to be an American…

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Denim Nazi


This was the imperative I was left with (I’m paraphrasing) after our staff meeting yesterday. We were told at the beginning of the year that if we had perfect attendance for the first 6 weeks, we would be allowed to wear blue jeans on Fridays for the next 6 week period. So when the first 6 weeks ended last Friday, I was very happy to see that none of the third grade teachers had missed a single day of school. Blue jean Fridays for us all!! Could Margerita Mondays be far behind?

Alas, then came the cold, cruel reality, like a slap in the face from a recently thawed caveman. At the meeting yesterday, our principal said she hoped that the blue jeans list would be out early this week. Mrs. Educator, sitting in front of me, yelled out, “Third grade was perfect!” To which our principal replied, “No, I know that Mister Teacher missed a day at the beginning of the year. You know, it doesn’t just include the school days.”

Yeah, the week before school started, during the pre-school teacher prep period, my grandmother passed away, and I went to the funeral that Friday. So I missed out on a few extra hours of decorating my classroom, an extra table being moved into my room, and apparently, 6 weeks of denim Fridays.

I just feel like such a fool. How ludicrously stupid of me to assume that “the first 6 weeks” meant 6 weeks’ worth of educational days!!

Here are some other foolish assumptions I have made recently:
The Sun will rise in the East each morning.
Oklahoma will remain land-locked.
7th Heaven will continue to defy cancellation.

I can already see the discussion I’ll be having with my students this Friday.
“Mister Teacher, how come you’re the only third grade teacher not wearing blue jeans?”
“Because I was absent one day.”
“But you’ve been here every day we were here!”
“Exactly, my children. Exactly.”

One of my students brought me a gift this morning. She said it was for being such a great teacher. It was an egg. A raw, unpackaged chicken egg.

I may not have been up to muster for perfect attendance, but by golly, I have the “juevos” to prove what a great teacher I am! Who’s the yolk on now???

Sunday, September 24, 2006

USA Yesterday

I just was surfing some other blogs, and came across this article from USA Today that featured several teacher blogs. Congratulations to History is Elementary, A Shrewdness of Apes, Get Lost Mr. Chips, and a few others that I enjoy reading.
A notable absence was Learn Me Good, but then I suppose it's my own fault for not replying to any of the 200 emails and phone callas I received asking for an interview. For some reason, I thought the dude kept saying "You must pay today," so I kept hanging up on him. Um, plus I never learned to read, so I thought "USA Today" meant "You must pay today." Yeah, that's the ticket.
Anyway, it's an interesting article. Check it out. Then go learn yourself to read betterer.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tales of a 3rd grade hypochondriac

One of my kids this year, B, is always complaining about some mysterious malady. And as a result, I am always biting back (or letting out) some snide response to his complaints.
A month ago, I heard, “I have a little bump on my head.”
Two weeks ago, it was, “My knee is hurting.”
Last week, he told me, “My eyes are watering.”
Sometimes, I just reply with a quick, “Sorry.” Other times, I try to express solidarity with the lad, by telling him about my own pains. “Oooh yeah, and my hands are kind of hurting today, B.”
But today, he turned around to tell me, “I have cramps.”
Let me tell you, I had to fight SO hard the urge to respond, “Maybe you’re pregnant.”

Reminds me of a hilarious quote from the movie Raising Arizona. Click here to listen.

Of course, B could have worse things to complain about. I had a little girl last year, N, one of the few white kids at our school, who had the most smothering southern accent you can imagine. N came back from a doctor’s appointment with a new way to express her problems. She would tell me, “I’m having girl problems down there.” As she pointed not-so-subtly at her crotch.
Despite the “girl problems” and the fact that she fell asleep in class EVERY DAY, N’s most memorable moment was on Career Day, when she asked a guest speaker, a local supermarket manager, “Is cherries good for you?”

Well, my angina and my sciatica are starting to act up, and I think I feel a bit of the gout coming on. I had better wrap this up!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Break out those library cards!

Hey there,
I am going to put out this request to everybody who stops by my blog--it's a request for help that won't cost you a dime.

Now that my novel, Learn Me Good, is available through retail, for example, online at, this means that stores and libraries can order it directly, if they so choose. This means that if you are someone who has wanted to buy a copy, but you don't feel safe ordering things over the Internet, you can call up your local Borders or Barnes and Noble and ask if they can stock the item. In fact, you could help me out a great deal by making this request of your local stores even if you do NOT plan on buying a copy. Usually, the store will purchase a copy and put it on hold for you to come in and check it out, with no obligation to buy. This way, you get to check Learn Me Good out, risk-free!

The other way to help out would be to request that your local library order a copy or two. I have already had some friends have success with this, as I have been informed that the Fairfax County Library (Virginia) as well as the George Mason University library have copies on hand.

I really do appreciate any and all help you folks can give me, and as a self-published author, I rely heavily on word-of-mouth. So the more exposure I can get, the better results I will see!
Thanks again!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gutten tag, mon frere

I have signed up for a Spanish as a Second Language at my church, and it starts tomorrow night. I took Spanish in school when I was a kid (1st grade through 8th grade), but that was eons ago, and I have forgotten most of it. I do remember several food items and articles of clothing (corbatta, camisa, jelado, leche, etc), but I am hoping to learn and/or refresh my memory on verbs, conventions, etc.
Pretty soon I will be watching Sabado Gigante on Univision and translating as homework!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Do you like the My Space?

My former teaching partner suggested that I check out My Space earlier this year, as a way of having yet another link to this blog. To be honest, I don't really go there much, but I did set up an account, and I have even connected with an old high school friend or two. But I constantly get these requests for friends from random people that I don't even know. I'll check out their profile and it says something like, "Check me out on my webcam, and we can have some fun!"

This is especially disturbing when it's a dude...

Anyway, if anyone else out there needs another My Space friend, and you're not just a "pornbot," feel free to swing by
Tell them Spanky McFartnuts sent you.

Wednesday update:
Seriously, if you do want to make a friend request, send me a note saying Spanky sent you. Otherwise, I might just dismiss you as another random webcam, get-rich-quick, increase my twig and berries, scammer...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Weird Science

Several years ago, I realized that my little third graders just can’t handle free response questions on a science test. So I decided to write my own tests for them, with multiple choice answers—similar to what they would be seeing on benchmarks and TAKS.

In the style of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? there are often a few “silly” answers; choices that I thought nobody would possibly pick. I have used these tests for three years now, and I am continually amazed at my initial cluelessness.

I gave the first such test to my kids this past Friday. The topic was plants and photosynthesis, and the second question was:

Where do plants get the energy to make their own food?
A) Fruit
B) The Sun
C) Gasoline
D) Mister Teacher

Many of the kids, when they saw my name up there, snickered and pointed. But four kids (out of 37) CHOSE ME!!!! And one of them is in the Talented and Gifted program!! Yeah, like I go around the world endowing plants with life force, gently whispering, “Grow…Grow little seedlings!!”

One boy did choose gasoline. Maybe he was thinking of those new John Deere roses…

There are only 5 questions on the test, so some kids finish quickly, while others are more ponderous. So in order not to have a bunch of kids getting into trouble while their classmates finished, I told them that when they finished the test, they could write on the back. Write something they had learned, or write a little story about the topic we had studied. Only a few kids did this, but they were very interesting submissions.

One little girl wrote this:
“Dear piece of paper,
Today we took a sience test and a math test to. This test is very important to me and I do not want to fail so Lord plese help me pass.”

Another girl wove all of the silly answers into a story:
“Ther was a monkey calld Mr. Teacher that like lime juice that he eat a kind of seed then he got sik.”

They blinded me! With… well, whatever the opposite of Science is….

Friday, September 08, 2006

E Pluribus Unum -- Latin for "Don't drop the soap??"

Our topic for the week has been counting and adding money. The kids have to identify a coin and its value from a picture, and then give a total amount.
Today, we were going over the homework, and I noticed that one of the problems had coins that were all showing a tail side. There was a quarter, a dime, and a nickel. I pointed this out to the kids, and advised that they would need to be able to recognize the tail images as well as the heads to get money questions right. We agreed that the quarter has an image of an eagle, and the dime shows a picture of a torch. Then I asked what the image on the back of the nickel was. Most of the kids shouted out, “The White House!” but in my afternoon class, a little boy named H shouted out, “That’s the big jail house!”

Sadly, no. A nickel might be hourly wage for someone living in the big jail house, but it does not display such an image.

H had another hilarious insight today in a comment he made to my partner, Mrs. Educator. Mrs. E was wearing a horizontally striped black and white long-sleeve shirt. H told her, “You look like one of those guys who goes…” And here he proceeded to pretend he was pushing on an invisible wall.

Marcel Marceau, the third grader…

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Google Gourmet

If you use a stat counter site like, as I do, then you are able to see who is visiting your blog, as well as where they came from.
I don't mean that you get a report that says "Richard Fredrick from 123 Evergreen Terrace visited today at 3:45!"
But you do get a city, country, and ISP address, as well as the link that the person clicked to get there. For instance, if someone followed the link to this blog from the page where my book is being sold, it lists the referring link as If they clicked on a link from Mike in Texas' blog, it gets listed as
If someone surfs over to Learn Me Good as a result of a Google search, or a search from any directory, I get to see the search parameters that led them to me. And here's where my interest (concern?) is piqued.

I have noticed a LOT of hits that relate to two posts I have put up in the past few months. The first one dealt with the email that I received advising me that I could receive millions of dollars if I jus sent this guy a few pieces of personal information. The name of the guy who supposedly made me this offer is Dr. Nicholas Chile (go ahead, look back in the archives and confirm). There have been an unusual number of hits made from a search of "Nicholas Chile," and most of them are outside of the US! I guess this guy is wanted in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Bengal, etc, because they're all searching for him!

The other query of interest is more disturbing. I put up a post over the summer about kids abusing their bathroom privileges, and I titled it "Doing the pee-pee dance." There have been an alarming number of visitors to my site that have arrived there by way of search strings like "students cannot hold their bladder," or "students go pee pee." Sounds like a fetish, if you ask me.

One thing this definitey proves though is that the search engines ARE crawling my blog. So, in the interest of attracting a few more random visitors, I'm going to just throw out a few hot key words and sit back and watch the traffic roll in:

Pinch hitter
Atkins diet
Suri Cruise
The Lost Continent of Atlantis
Oprah's Book Club
Basalmic vinegar
Intercourse, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Man Show?

There was an editorial in The Dallas Morning News last week titled “Men in the Classroom.” Despite the way it sounds, this was NOT just some poorly imagined sequel to Men in Black, or a spin-off from rock super sensation Men without Hats.

The editorial cites the National Education Association as saying that the prototypical male in the public school classroom has become “a dwindling breed,” and that in some schools, “all the male teachers on staff could car pool in a Corvette.”

First of all, when I hear the phrase “dwindling breed,” I think of screech owls or sea manatees, NOT the hairier side of homo erectus. And at MY school, there are quite a few male teachers, so we cannot in fact all pile into a Corvette – trust me, we’ve tried. We decided we would need to car pool in a stretch Hummer, and even then, we would need to be accompanied by some clown music to really feel the moment.

Some nitwit wrote a letter to the editor a few days ago on the subject, where he suggested that a whole generation of men entered the teaching profession almost 40 years ago in order to escape the US military draft. He stated that this group is now reaching retirement age, and THAT is why there are so few men in the classroom. He even went so far as to say that the US should reinstitute a draft, and THAT would drive men back into teaching.

Did I call this guy a nitwit? I was being far too generous. I try to keep this blog family-friendly, so I won’t write any other names for him here, but here’s a hint. It rhymes with plum-guts.

Yeah, that’s certainly the reason that I personally became a teacher. To avoid being drafted into the military. Actually, I did it to avoid being drafted into the local Applebee’s dish-washing staff. THAT was a close call!!

In closing, I am going to post a couple of groan-inspiring wordplay one-liners that I received from my sister-in-law today.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Pimp My Blog

You may or may not have noticed, but I have received my first endorsement deal! Check out the top of the sidebar on the right hand side, and you will see a link to Hotel Ninja, my new primary sponsor! (And on the topic--please continue to click those Google ads and use that Google search bar!)
The guy who runs Hotel Ninja (a site that allows web-users to find inexpensive and accomodating hotel arrangements--not just in Dallas) sent me an email saying he'd pay me in exchange for a link up on the site. I said, Mmmm, OK! So go and check it out, especially if you are doing any travelling.
And this opens the door for more corporate sponsors! So feel free to contact me with your best offers, Coca-Cola, Nike, and Pizza Hut! Heck, I'd even throw up a link for K-Swiss if you greased my palm enough! But no ads for Red Bull. I mean, I DO have standards, you know.

On a graver note, Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter died this weekend. The guy was nuts, but he was a lot of fun to watch, and he will be missed. Let's all raise a glass and have a solemn "Crikey" in his honor...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Embracing your inner vegetable

Earlier this week, one of my kids gave me a drawing of Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales fame. Which was really sweet of him. He’s a good kid.
I did think it a bit inappropriate that Larry was wearing a thong in the picture, though.
No, I’m just kidding. Actually, he was dressed as Sherlock Holmes. I’ve never seen him in this attire; it must be from a movie that my nephew does not have. Larry the Cable Cucumber Guy, perhaps?

I witnessed an unusual exchange between the boy who drew the picture and another boy in my class today. Apparently, at lunch time, they had both told each other (through a third party) that they did not want to be each other’s friend, and they had both broken into tears upon hearing the news. When I pulled them out into the hallway after recess to find out what had happened, I got the story, and I gave them the typical “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” speech. I told them that if neither of them had said anything, neither of them would have had a cry. Little J (the artist), on the verge of tears again, said to C (“What number comes after R?”) “I’m sorry. Can you ever forgive me?” C responded by throwing his arms around J in a full-on bear hug, complete with back thumping. It was a moment worthy of John Belushi himself, though very sweet. And totally hilarious.

Have a great Labor Day weekend, and be sure to wear white on Tuesday!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Alas poor Pluto, we knew you well

My Very Energetic Mother Served Us Nine…

And then there were eight. Pluto, long-time resident of the low end of the heavenly totem pole, has officially been stripped of its planet status.

Said Pluto, when reached for comment at his summer cottage, “Somebody gonna pay for this. Did Neptune do this? I’ma kill that sucka.”

Pluto has always been derided by its space-mates, as is clear through folklore:

“All of the other planets
Used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Pluto
Play in any planet games.”

According to initial reports, the Solar System was considering adding 3 other orbiting space objects to the established 9, thus forming a “Super Conference,” much like the ACC (Atlantic coast Conference) did back in 2004. This wreaked havoc with the basketball schedule, but it really brought in the football revenue and opened the door to new Bowl games.
However, those plans have been ditched, and now Pluto and its largest moon Charon, along with large rocks Ceres and Xena (sure to be a hit with the interplanetary lesbian crowd) will be given token status as “dwarf planets.” This will undoubtedly raise the ire of several political correctness groups, and my guess is within a year we will be referring to them as “planets of reduced diameter.”

I guess we will have to teach our students a new mnemonic. I hereby suggest the following:

Most Valuable Eight Maintain Status, Unleash Ninth.

According to some early reports, Mel Gibson’s father has already begun to promote the word that there have always only been eight planets.

Ironically enough, Uranus is still considered worthy of planetary status.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Come one, come all!

Hey everyone,
My book signing is one week from today -- August 26 at 2 p.m. at the Borders in Old Town. If you are in the area, or know anyone who is, please come on out, or ask them to come on out! I will be reading several chapters from Learn Me Good, signing copies, and generally trying not to look completely foolish.
Plus, there will be free bookmarks! How's THAT for an incentive!!

In the beginning...

Wow, what a week! I hope that everyone has had a great first week! Especially if you work in Texas, where the afternoon temperature hasn't dipped below 100 degrees!
Here are some of the highlights from the third grade at MY school:

  • One kid was suspended. (Already!!)
  • One kid went home with a bloody head.
  • One kid fell into a sink hole.

Can't wait to see what happens next!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Did I say 13??

No worries, my bliss was not to last long. My class expanded to 20 today. I now have by far the biggest 3rd grade class at the school.

And we have our work cut out for us. I asked one little boy today to start with 1, and write the numbers in order on his paper, as high as he could count. He called me over a few minutes later to ask, "What comes after 'R'?"

Ooooooooh boy.

Monday, August 14, 2006

What would Mister Windu do?

Thank you all very much for the kind words and compliments. Hopefully I will be able to post from time to time--like right now!

I hope that everyone in the state of Texas (and anyone else who has already started school) had a great first day! Mine was pretty good--only 13 kids in my homeroom! I'll probably be up to 22 in a couple of weeks, but today was nice.

I just have to wonder how long it will take some of us to start paraphrasing Samuel L. Jackson from Snakes on a Plane. I can almost already hear the cries of...

"I've had it with these @#!**%#@! kids in this @#!**%#@! Classroom!!"

Monday, August 07, 2006

All good things...

I hate to do this. Believe me—I REALLY hate to do this. But I’ve put a lot of thought into it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I just really don’t have much choice.
The throat problem does not seem to be resolving itself. Nor does the carpal tunnel syndrome. Since speaking and typing were my two means of updating this blog on a somewhat regular basis, it makes it difficult and/or painful to continue.
Not to mention the fact that with the school year starting up, I will need my voice and my wrists for many things other than humor blogging.
So until someone discovers a way to input data with their knees (at which, no doubt, I would promptly develop bursitis or tendonitis or something), I must regrettably put this blog on hold.
I don’t want to say I’ll never do it again, because I’ve really enjoyed it. But as of now, as Mister Teacher, I have to go on indefinite leave.
I may still swing by some of the other blogs in the edusphere and drop a comment from time to time, but posts on Learn Me Good will be few and far between.
In the meantime, please see the picture below, as this will be my attire-of-choice for next Monday, our first day of classes.
Thanks for reading, and good luck to everyone with their new students!!


Mister Teacher

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The North Texas Diet

I just got back from spending about one and a half hours at the grocery store, exploring sections I had never in my life visited.
I’ve still been suffering from my non-cold sore throat, so yesterday I went to a nutritionist/chiropractor recommended by some people my mom knows from church. I had already been to my own doctor, and he had discovered nothing, so I figured why not give something new a shot?
The visit was very interesting. I of course had my neck and back cracked—I think that’s just standard practice for a chiropractor—but I also underwent some new and unusual muscle tests and analysis. The guy was very knowledgeable and friendly, but I’m getting to the bad part.
I’ve been put on a very strict diet for the next two weeks. Actually, I was given a list of things that I CAN eat, and a list of things I CANNOT eat during these two weeks. You can guess which list all of the good food is on.
This is supposed to be the initial step in testing for food allergies. But it makes it incredibly difficult to find something I can eat!! For instance, milk and wheat are on the list of things not to eat. This means I cannot have favorites such as ice cream, cheese, or bread of any kind. But what I discovered at the store today is that it is next to impossible to find ANYTHING that doesn’t have milk or wheat in it!!!
I have never ever in my life stood in the grocery store aisles and perused the ingredients charts. But I did today. And easily 2/3 of what I picked up to examine went right back on the shelf.
Here are some other things that I cannot consume:
Orange juice
Beer or malt beverages
Soft drinks (this will be like Lent come early)
Peanuts—which I LOVE!!
Beef, pork, and shellfish
And here’s the kicker. The one thing I will strive to avoid for 2 weeks, but which I will absolutely NOT be willing or able to give up for the rest of my life…

I’m sorry, but as Meatloaf once crooned—“But I won’t do that.” Come to think of it, meatloaf is on the non-no list as well. Coincidence??
And while I’m quoting celebrities, let me throw my hat in with one of my fellow Virginians, Patrick Henry, who said, Give me Ketchup, or give me death!” Actually, he used the word “Liberty,” but what most folks don’t realize is that Liberty was the Colonial version of Heinz.

Here are a few things that I CAN eat:
Turkey, chicken, and fish
Rice milk and coconut milk
Wild game is also listed under Meats. I guess this means I can enjoy a nice zebra burger or rhino nuggets. Maybe on a bed of oats?
I’ll just have to be creative, that’s all. Maybe simulate a nice juicy cheeseburger by using a turkey-burger patty, slapped between two rice cakes, with a thin slice of tofu on top?

Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go enjoy a nice tall glass of cool, crisp rice milk.
Bon apetit!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's all about the Kruegerands, baby

I may just be able to quit my low-paying teaching job soon, if the email I got today is true. I know that the gentleman said to keep it under wraps, but I just had to share it with all of you. I can't wait to be rich!!!
Check this out-I am posting the email exactly as I received it.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Finally-a new post!!

Hey everyone! I'm back! Thanks for all of the kind words and comments while I was gone -- saw a lot of new names posting!
Let me just respond to "Anonymous" by saying I appreciate the support, dude. I can only hope that you use lowercase letters and spell check when corresponding with your steel buyers, though. And I think you've forgotten the lesson Coach S -- The Guam Bomb -- used to promote... Don't do drug.
So what did my buddy, Dr. Cheese, and I do this week? Let's see... We had many drinks of the non-Kool-Aid variety, we admired many fine Texan women, and we enjoyed the fine delicacy that is Freebirds. If you've never eaten at Freebirds, you're really missing out!
We also had a bad movie night. The theme was, "Hot chicks, lousy flicks." We rented Catwoman and Elektra. Needless to say, these movies both lived down to expectations, with Catwoman largely overachieving. But then, what do you expect from a movie directed by a guy named "Pitof?" I ask you, in a scene involving two people having a conversation, do we really need 10 different camera angles within 30 seconds?? And the movie was just plain awful. Halle Berry’s dignity went down faster than the vodka at my place.
Of much more interest and entertainment value was one of the bonus features which chronicled Catwoman through the years. Unfortunately, it was narrated by Eartha Kitt, who informed us that producers chose her because she has a "unique voice." Yeah, so does Gilbert Gottfried. Maybe her unique voice is responsible for scoring her that Old Navy gig several years back as well, I don't know.
Elektra was much better by comparison. Of course, I have a feeling Battlefield Earth would have looked like Gone With the Wind after Catwoman (and after multiple beverages). The directors were wise to delete a scene in which Ben Affleck appears, asking her to come back to him. I thought it odd that he was addressing his dialogue to a potted plant in the corner, but I guess his blind-radar was on the fritz that day.
Dr. Cheese and I visited a couple of spots in Dallas but none so more informative than The Conspiracy Museum. Did you know that John Wilkes Boothe lived thirty-some years after killing Abraham Lincoln? Did you know that Woody Harrelson’s dad was in the area of Dealy Plaza on November 22, 1963? Did you know you can charge someone nine bucks to watch a tiny clip of Kevin Costner in JFK?
We are both resigned to the fact that we probably have our pictures hanging in some government “Agitators Alert” headquarters now. At least now we know the truth. But I still want to know what those numbers mean on Lost.

Hey, some of you have ordered a copy of Learn Me Good and should have received it by now. I’d love to have your feedback! Please put a review on Lulu, B&N, or Amazon!