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Friday, June 30, 2006

Now in store(s)!

There is definitely a reason that I am not in sales. I've spent the past couple of days calling and visiting local bookstores to see if I can get my book, Learn Me Good, on the shelves. For some reason, if you're not associated with Random House, it's mighty hard to get your foot in the door!
But I can report that I have made a tiny bit of progress. Learn Me Good IS on the shelves at one store in Dallas!! The store is called Paperbacks Plus, and the guy agreed to take three copies on consignment. Basically that means I gave them to him for free, and if someone buys them, then I get paid. If no one buys them, I take them back.
On an even more promising note, though uncertain as of now, I left one copy of the book at a teacher's supply store very close to my own school campus that is heavily trafficked. The owner is going to look it over and decide if she wants to accept a few copies on consignment. I mean, it's basically a win-win situation for the store owner, as it doesn't cost them a sense unless the copies sell, in which case they're making a profit.
I can also now claim to have a copy of my book in the Dallas library system. Of course, it's only at one branch, and it's a donated copy, but hey -- the possibility of a library patron coming across my book and reading it has jumped from 0% to almost 15%!!
In terms of online progress, Learn Me Good should be available on, Barnes &, and several other online retailers before the end of July.
I'm excited!

Saturday evening update:
Someone alerted me to this site that I was not even aware of. It has a mini-review of Learn Me Good, and it was placed there completely independently of any effort on MY part! How cool is that?
On the COMPLETELY opposite end of the spectrum, I happened across this site, which seems to have been written from Bizarro World. This is an incredibly twisted version of my press release, which just goes to show the dangers of using a thesaurus without adult supervision...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It's Carnival Time!

If it's Wednesday, it must be time for the Carnival of Education! This week's Carnival is being hosted over at The Lilting House, and it looks to have some very click-worthy entries for all to see.
Head on over, and tell them Jim McMahon sent you. No wait, that was an old promotion for Taco Bell or Jack in the Box. Tell them Mister Teacher sent you.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Harry Potter and the Unnamed Expendables

The news has recently been released that in the seventh and final installment of the wildly successful Harry Potter series, two of the main characters will perish.
Now, if you're like me, then you absolutely love the Harry Potter series. So much so, that I even bought an "unauthorized parody" called Barry Trotter last year -- it was decent, for what it was. If you're not like me, then you probably aren't reading this far, and you may even be going so far as to throw your computer monitor onto a raging bonfire.
But back to those of us who enjoy the books. I have been a fan since the very first book came out. JK Rowling's stories are fun, exciting, and full of wonderful imagination and colorful characters. I could do an in-depth discussion of all six of the already-published stories, but that's really not what this blog is all about. Suffice it to say, that the third book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, stands out as my favorite in the series so far. Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed each one of them immeasurably. But Prisoner is my favorite. (And though hardly more than a bit player, I still laugh every time I read about Sir Cadogan -- "Stand fast, you dirty curs!")
So on to the dire news of book the seventh. Rowling is quoted as saying, "A price has to be paid. We are dealing with pure evil here. They don't target extras do they? They go for the main characters. Well, I do."
Of course, it should be remembered that Rowling gave a similar spoiler about a year before book 4, The Goblet of Fire, was released. She revealed that someone near and dear to Harry would not make it through the story alive. If you have read this book, and then you know it was hardly someone "near and dear to Harry." In fact, it's kind of ironic that in telling his henchmen to kill this character, Lord Voldemort actually said, "Kill the spare."
Similar revelations were made before the release of books 5 and 6, and these proved to be much more accurate. Someone that was truly near and dear to Harry was eliminated in book 5, and a HUGE character died in book 6. (Or DID he??)
So when Rowling says that two "main" characters are going to die in this final book, I think we have to assume that at least one truly is going to be a major character. In other words, she's not just letting us know that Crabbe and Goyle are going to meet untimely ends, or that the assistant to the Minister of Magic and his brother-in-law will kick the bucket.
Personally, I've felt all along that Ron Weasley is a marked man. I hate to say that, because he's one of my favorite characters, and I would love to see him and Hermione live happily ever after, but he has always given off those "doomed to die the heroic death of a sidekick" vibes. Also, it would not surprise me at all if Professor Snape bought the farm. I think that he too might die a heroic death, to the surprise of everyone around him, who no doubt view him as a traitor (though I still think he's good).
So there's my two cents. If you haven't read any of these books, now is as good a time as any to get started. For the rest of us, we're still waiting (impatiently) for the last book to be published. Just so long as it is not titled Harry Potter and the Chocolate Schwetty Balls...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Aren't parents fun?

I don't really have anything new to talk about today, so I thought I'd post another sample chapter from my novel, Learn Me Good. This chapter talks about my very first parent-teacher conference night, and what a joy it was. If you're a teacher, like me, then I'm sure you just can't wait to start the next school year so that you can have all those wonderful interactions with concerned parents like the one in this chapter...

Date: Thursday, October 16, 2003
To: Fred Bommerson
From: Jack Woodson
Subject: I gots mad parenting skillz

Hey dude,
Just FYI, certain visitors to the classroom are acceptable – students’ parents, visiting administrators, weird ladies hawking sensuous spectacles – and some are definitely NOT welcome. Tell Larry that he may not drop by and sleep off a hangover in the La-Z-Boy at the back of my room. That’s what the space under his desk is for!
Speaking of sleep, I am ready to crash. Not due to alcohol, though. Today was one of the longest days ever! I had morning duty (watching over the kids on the playground before school starts) and then we had parent-teacher conferences tonight, so I was at the school from 7:00 AM until 8:30 PM!!
From what I’ve heard from other teachers, conference night usually follows a pattern – the parents that you really want (or need!) to talk to DON’T show up, while the good kids’ folks DO show up. And our night lived up to that for the most part. As partners, Mrs. Swanson and I conferenced together, and we had scheduled conferences with the parents of Esteban, Sa’tun, Nathan, and Jessica, none of whom showed up. It was certainly nice to see Ariel, Christy, and Juan and their parents (all 3 unscheduled), but Kelly and I really have no issues with those kids, they are great. We had plenty of nice things to say about them. We also spoke with Sandra’s mom and Sofia’s mother, mainly emphasizing the importance of reading whenever they can for practice. They are both struggling academically, but both are good kids and pose no behavior problems.
Speaking of behavior problems, Marvin’s mom DID show up, and that was good. Kelly and I had a nice long chat with her. I showed her Marvin’s forged signature from last week and, as was expected, she confirmed that she had never seen that paper. She is very supportive, but kind of at her wit’s end over what to do with Marvin. I know the feeling. Marvin is supposedly on medication for the ADHD, but I don’t remember what his mom said he is taking. Whatever it is – Adderall, Ritalin, Percocet, Cheez-wiz, or Pepto Bismol – it ain’t workin’!
The highlight of the night, however, was when Chassity’s mother arrived. Chassity is a new student to 3E, she joined the class about two weeks ago. She’s not really bad, but she doesn’t put much effort into class work, and already her grades are really poor, especially in reading.
When her mom first walked into my portable, my initial thought was that she was a student. She couldn’t have been five feet tall, kind of squat like a fire-plug, and she was wearing a navy sweater and a plaid skirt –it looked like a school uniform.
We started the conference by telling her that we were concerned about Chassity because her reading level is way behind, she rarely does her homework, and she plays in class. Immediately, it became obvious that this lady was not really paying attention to what we were saying; everything she told us was designed to impress us with her parenting skills. She started telling us how important reading is to her and how she has always tried to instill that value in her children. At one point, she made this statement, and I quote: “I reads all the time! I reads while I drives!” Yeah, that’s not really something I needed to know, thank you kindly! I can just picture her driving down I-75, Herman Melville in one hand, steering wheel in the other (hopefully!), yelling “Calls me Ishmaels!!”
Before she left, she made one other mind-numbing proclamation. Earlier that day, in Mrs. Swanson’s class, Chassity had been caught writing a note to one of the other girls. The gist of the note was basically “You’re a witch. Who’s a witch? You are, you witch.” And on, and on. Only she didn’t use the word “witch,” instead preferring a more socially unacceptable rhyming word. Kelly and I had joked about the fact that nearly all of the words in the note were misspelled EXCEPT for that one word.
Well, when her mother saw the note tonight, she stared at it for a few moments before finally declaring, “Oh, so she wants to be cussing now. Well, I can tell you one thing. If she wants to be using this word, I will make darn sure she knows how to SPELL this word. I’ll have her write this word over and over till she gets sick of it.”
And the whole rest of the conference with Chassity’s mother is a blur. I just couldn’t concentrate due to one overwhelming question that kept running through my mind – Lady, how exactly do YOU spell the B-word???’
Fargin Icehole

Friday, June 23, 2006

One meeelion dollars

A religious ministry in Denton, TX is not feeling so much like a million bucks any more. According to a story in today's Dallas Morning News, The Great News Network had a whole mess of pamphlets printed up, designed to look like a piece of currency. Apparently, these tracts resembled American money a bit TOO closely.
The Secret Service (which anyone who has ever watched The Untouchables knows is an arm of the US Treasury Department) has confiscated these pamphlets, after becoming concerned when some nitwit in North Carolina tried to deposit one of them into his bank account.
"Good morning, sir, what can I do for you today?"
"Um, I just need to make a deposit. This check for $11.50, two rolls of nickels, and uh... this one million-dollar bill."
As you can see from the picture, the pamphlet looks relatively authentic, insomuch as the coloration, the location and size of the presidential portrait, the text and fonts, etc. According to the article, the back of the bill looks more like the back of a twenty, except that things are written around the borders, such as warnings against impure thoughts. One can only assume that the creators forgot to include, "Not intended for deposit."
So the lesson to be learned here, boys and girls, is that anything that resembles currency too much is not approved of by the United States government. This actually makes me worry about a few items in my own classroom. For one thing, I have a whole plastic tub filled to the brim with manipulative coins that, aside from being plastic, VERY closely resemble the real thing. Even more worrisome, I have given out pencils and erasers that have images of $100 bills on them. I suppose I should be expecting Elliot Ness and his men to knock on my door any day now...
One last interesting thing. The article states that Grover Cleveland's picture, which is featured prominently on the religious pamphlets, ACTUALLY appears on the $1000 bill. Did anyone else know that such a thing exists?? Does anyone actually spend $1000 bills?!? Well, I may not have anything like that, but I know I'm special because somewhere around here, I have a two dollar bill...
Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Cleveland!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Save Our Screech

From the "Trying their darndest to stave off obscurity" files comes this story about someone who always annoyed the heck out of me.
Remember the TV show Saved by the Bell? Of course you do. Girls liked it for two of the three main male stars -- Mark Paul something or other (who, despite persistent rumors, is NOT dead from an auto accident), and Mario López (whose career basically IS dead, as he's currently doing some lame show on the Animal Planet network). Guys of course liked it for young Miss Kelly Kapowski, who gave us that same feeling of climbing the rope in gym class.
(Yes, I realize there are certain individuals out there who perhaps appreciated the show for its other characters. But frankly, the so-called "Beldingphiles" scare me...)
ANYWAY, back to the original purpose of this post. I saw something in the paper yesterday that does not concern any of the actors or actresses that I have mentioned so far. Instead, this is a story about Screech. Yes, that Screech. It would seem that the vocally-impaired, curly-top goofball is selling autographed T-shirts of himself in order to raise enough money to stop foreclosure on his house. My guess is that "the Bell" just wasn't enough to save him, in the long run. Now, he's relying on his legions upon legions of fans to shell out their hard earned dough.
Can't say that I'll be giving to the cause, but if anyone else is interested, here is the address to help out poor old Screech.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I'm running away to join the Carnival...

The 72nd Carnival of Education is up and running over at Why Homeschool, even as we speak (or type, as the case may be). This is Learn Me Good's first foray into the carnival atmosphere, and I am hoping that the overpowering aroma of cotton candy, sawdust, and vomit will not be too disruptive.
I am making my debut as part of the freak show, I believe. Sort of a "Jo Jo The Dog Faced Boy meets Chinchilla Man of the Grotesquely Long Fingernails." I share an act with the bearded yak lady. She's ugly as sin, but she's a great cook. (And yes, that last line IS from a movie -- do you recognize it?)
If you need some interesting reading material, or subject for debate, head on over to the Carnival. Just take it easy on the deep-fried Twinkies...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Doing the pee-pee dance

Saw an article in the Washington Post today about high school kids getting extra credit toward their grades if they can hold their bladder and not need to use the bathroom during class. This strikes me as being a bit extreme. I mean, we all know that there are some kids in every school that ask to use the restroom for the sole purpose of causing trouble (and often property damage). But to actually give a lower grade to somebody whose eyes are turning yellow and whose back teeth are floating??
Maybe it's just because I teach in the lower grades, but I have never heard that system even proposed. I have had kids actually use the bathroom on themselves in my classroom, so now I am always leary about what basically comes down to a game of "bathroom chicken."
Student X: I gotta use it!
Me: We just took a class bathroom break 20 minutes ago.
Student X: It's an emergency!!
Me: Oh, come on, you just went, you don't need to go again.
Student X: Oh yeah, watch this!
Student's face starts turning red, grunting sounds began emanating, etc.

I have found two tricks that usually work pretty well. The first is to give the child a choice in the matter. "OK, you can go to the restroom now, but you'll have to sit out for 10 minutes of recess." It's amazing how often that statement will provide relief for the kid's bladder and make a trip down the hall not so necessary anymore.
The second, when I'm pretty sure that they really do need to go, and when it's a child I have trust issues with, is to time them. I usually give the boys one minute and the girls two minutes, and I tell them if they're not sitting back at their desks again when that time is up, they'll miss 10 minutes of recess (or 15, or 22, or whatever strikes my fancy at the time).
Of course there are some kids who just couldn't care less about whether they have recess or not. These are usually the same kids that consistently do not do their homework or bring back required signatures from their parents. But for the most part, those two tricks work pretty well for the majority of my kids.
And really, can you imagine if that extra credit policy was implemented for teachers? Teachers who go all day long without using the bathroom get some kind of incentive pay? I think I would've forfeited that ten times over by the end of the first week. There have definitely been times when I have had to practically run down the hall to take care of business. And then come back and hope that the kids are still working, and that my class troublemaker isn't standing up on my desk, doing the truffle shuffle.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Top 5 Things* I Am Not Missing This Summer

I have been rolling this list around in my mind for several weeks now, so I thought it was finally time to put it into print. It should be noted that there is an ASTERISK. These are the Top 5 things -- non-kid-related -- that I am not missing. If I were to get started on things that the kids do, this could easily turn into a top 500 list...
And so, without any further ado (or skidoo), here we go.

5) Having to replace the lightbulb in my overhead machine --
I rely on my overhead the way Horatio Sanz relies on deep dish pizza; it's a must-have! This might earn me the scorn of some veteran teachers out there, but what can I say, I need it to do my job efficiently. And sometimes it seems as if my machine is trying to provide proof for chaos theory -- if a butterfly flaps its wings in China... my overhead bulb burns out. Last year, I must have had to replace that thing seven or eight times. I've owned my house for close to a year now, and I have yet to replace a lightbulb.

4) As Rob Schneider used to say... "Makin' copies!" --
I never minded so much when I was making my own copies. But this year, the school really cracked down hard on numbers -- so much so that us teachers were actually prohibited from making our own copies. They hired someone to make all of the copies for the entire school. This was, needless to say, a rough transition, and for a while there, 8.5x11 paper was a hotter commodity than gold or even gasoline! At least I won't have to worry about copies for another couple of months.

3) The tendency of my electric pencil sharpener to sharpen the wood rather than the lead --
As a teacher, I feel like I sharpen about 200 pencils a day because my kids are constantly breaking them. (Ah, but this list isn't about the kids, right?) So it is incredibly frustrating when I pull the ol' number 2 out, and instead of a usable writing implement, I have what basically amounts to a stake. Hey, maybe if I lived in California and had to fend off vampires, then I wouldn't mind as much. But here in Texas, I never have vampires in class, just the occasional zombie, and an improperly sharpened pencil just won't work against them.

2) Burrito day in the cafeteria --
'Nuff said!

1) Our professional dress code --
I know that some teachers get to wear jeans, T-shirts, and casual clothes all year long, but not us. For most of the year, I am required to wear a button-down shirt and tie. For me, this means a long-sleeve shirt because I've just never been into the Dilbert look. This attire is not always so pleasant, especially when the temperature is in the 90s. Sure, we have the "summer dress code," when we can wear golf shirts, but this year, they didn't allow that until early May, with less than a month of school left. Now I'm not saying we should have teachers walking around in halter tops and banana hammocks, but it would certainly be nice to at least have a regular casual Friday.

And that, my friends, is the list. As always, please feel free to share your own opinions and items.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Manifest Destiny

I know that I'm not alone when it comes to having the desire to increase blog readership and Web traffic. Part of that is wanting more people to read and enjoy my book, but a large part of it is also that I am really having fun blogging (a self-professed newbie, I've only been blogging since the end of January, this year) and sharing my thoughts with people. As a result, I have been on the lookout for ways to improve my blog, promote it, and get more visitors. I suspect that some of you who read my blog regularly and maintain your own postings are probably interested in the same thing.
So I thought that I would post a few of the resources that I have found online. I have tried to follow most of the advice in these articles, and slowly but surely, I think that they truly are producing results. Maybe someone else can add to this list of resources, if you see fit.
The first article I read on the subject was this one by Greg White on Ezine. This is where I learned all about pinging to get my blog noticed. I also subscribe to a few of these services that he lists, though I don't really think I've gotten too many hits off of them so far.
A couple of days ago, I came across this fantastic article by Paul Stamatiou, a student at Georgia Tech (an ACC comrade!). Per his recommendations, I have now subscribed to technorati and feedburner. If you read this article, be sure to scroll down through the comments as well -- there is some useful information there, too!
I am working my way through the list at Robin Good' s site. But as it has been recommended, I'm going to plow through it as well.
I hope that this helps my fellow bloggers out there who are in the same situation as I am -- having fun, but hoping to increase readership. Like I said, if you have any other sources of information, please don't hesitate to post them here!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Miami vise

After a spectacular beginning, the Dallas Mavericks have lost the last two games in a row to the Miami Heat. Now while I'm not a huge fan of pro basketball -- in fact I got turned off to the pro version at around the same time I got infatuated with college ball -- I will follow the home team, especially when they are in the finals. But after the past two games, I'm wondering if maybe Dirk, Josh, and the rest of the team might need to show up at one of my Tuesday after-school enrichment program shoot-arounds.
The series is now tied at 2-2, with one game left to go in Miami. The Mavericks really need to win that last game in Miami to return home to Dallas with momentum.
In other news, I'm supposed to see Nacho Libre tomorrow. It looks VERY funny. I'll be sure to let you know what I think of it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

We Are the World

I would just like to take a moment to say hello and welcome to all of my international readers! I have noticed in recent months that visitors are coming from all over this great globe of ours, for example:
the United Kingdom

So if you have just taken a wrong turn on the information superhighway and stumbled upon this site, feel free to come back anytime. But if you have become a regular reader of Learn Me Good, then you have my heartfelt gratitude, and please feel free to tell your friends in neighboring countries.

And how about a few comments from our international neighbors? Let's hear what's going on in your part of the world!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Off the job training

So does anyone else out there continuing education classes over the summer? Here in Texas, or at least in Dallas, we are required to take 21 hours. Normally, this is broken down into three day-long classes, but this year, I have to take FOUR classes. Thankfully though, two of them are half-day, so it's really just three days that I have to spend in the classroom.
I took one of the classes already, last week. It was a class about teaching reading strategies to struggling students, especially ELL kids. ELL means English Language Learners. Since I work in Dallas, I like to add a D to the beginning of that and tell my fellow teachers, "Dude, you're getting a DELL!"
Tomorrow, I am taking a class called "Delivering Quality Math Instruction to ELL and Struggling Learners." Yes, it's basically the math version of what I took last week. Then on Thursday, I have a half-day science class and a half-day social studies class. Of course, I don't even teach social studies, but oh well, it's not like I'm doing anything else this summer...
So how about it? What else (if anything) are other teachers around the country taking or doing over the summer?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

What's next, Thumb Wars?

There was an article in today's Dallas Morning News about a federal judge in Tampa, Florida who decided to use a time-honored, yet somewhat antiquated method of solving a dispute. Apparently, the two opposing attorneys before him could not settle on the location of a witness deposition, so he forced their hand -- literally. He ordered them to settle this dispute by engaging in a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Now like I said, this was only to settle the LOCATION of the proceedings, not to settle any sort of guilty/not guilty conclusion. But can you imagine if it was?

Mr. Foreman of the Jury, have you reached a decision?
Yes, Your Honor, we have. In the issue of Snodgrass vs. Dewey, Paper covered Rock, and so we find the defendant GUILTY of five counts of murder...

This might be something interesting to try in the classroom next year though. Maybe I can convince the kids that, instead of running to me to tattle on their classmates, they can peacefully settle their disputes with an invigorating round of this classic battle of wits.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Flying through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy!

I saw this fun little distraction the other day over at Trixie's trailer Park.
If you are a Star Wars fan, as I am, then you should enjoy this. If you can't stand Star Wars, then may a hundred Ewoks descend upon you and pound you into Bantha fodder.

how jedi are you?
:: by lawrie malen

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

London Fridge is falling down

I read a story in the Dallas Morning News earlier this week that has horrifying repercussions for the future. The article talked about how some school districts are either outright prohibiting the use of refrigerators in classrooms or charging teachers for their usage.
For the past three years, I have had a refrigerator in my classroom. This is the same mini-fridge that I had throughout my undergraduate days. It's small, it's dingy, but it keeps my cool stuff cool. And really, that's what I need in my classroom, something to keep my water/Gatorade/Hot Pockets from burning up. Not to mention the fact that it makes for nice extra shelf space.
What's even more worrying is the slippery slope that this puts us all on. First, my refrigerator. But then what? My microwave oven? My crockpot? My large-capacity deep freezer? My matching washer/dryer??? WHERE DOES IT END?!?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rated X

I saw a really entertaining movie this weekend. It really appealed to the teacher in me, because it was all about a very special school. I recognized a lot of the characteristics from my own students displayed by the students at the school in this film. The same problems, the same attitudes, in some cases, the same freak mutant abilities. That's right, the school I am referring to is Xavier's Institute for Gifted Youngsters, and the movie I am talking about is X-Men 3.
I am a huge fan of comic book movies. I grew up reading Spiderman, The Avengers, Batman, The Fantastic Four, and even occasionally the X-Men. Over the past couple of years, I have been very impressed with both Spiderman movies, and both of the first two X-Men movies. So part three, in my mind, had a lot to live up to. And while not quite on the same level as the first two in the franchise, it was definitely enjoyable. Many of the characters that I really like in the comics didn't get quite as much of a chance to show their skills as I would've liked, but the action was good, the plot was fun, the special effects were great, and lots of stuff done gone boom!
Noticeably absent was one of my favorite mutants of all time -- Nightcrawler -- along with his smelly BAMF clouds. But two thirds of the Blue Man Group was represented, in Mystique and Beast (whom I kept expecting to say, "Go ahead, mutants, I'm listening...")

If you have not seen this movie yet, and you are wary of spoilers, then I would advise you not to read any further on this post...

A stunning and controversial plot point revolts around a chemical analysis of Leonardo da Vinci's painting, the Last Supper. When a layer of paint is removed, the apostle John is revealed to be wearing a large, bulky pair of ruby quartz sunglasses. In addition, Simon the zealot appears to be levitating the silverware on the table. These revelations promote global awareness of a massive conspiracy and cover-up that has been going on for centuries...

We learned that a "cure" for mutanthood has been discovered, and is being used in weaponized form by the United States government. Upon its first use, it turns its target into a hot, naked woman! Now that's my kind of weaponized mutant cure!!

One newly introduced, and poorly underused character is the winged Angel. To the dismay of Buffy the Vampire fans everywhere, the character is not in fact played by David Boreanas.

Another new character, this one evil, remained unnamed for most of the movie, but I'm assuming "its" name is Andro, seeing as how "its" power appeared to be the ability to remain gender uncertain in other people's perceptions. I couldn't tell for one minute whether that was a guy or a girl! And I didn't help that that character was always hanging around with this guy who could make little quills stick out of his body. He also remained unnamed, though I'm sure his friends call him "Prick."

The subtitle of the film, The Last Stand, refers to one mutant's quest to open a restaurant, and finally put behind him the humility of selling food by the side of the road. This mutant, known as The Sombrero (mutant ability: able to wear large hats without looking ridiculous), ends the movie by realizing his dream and founding a very successful chain of X-Mex restaurants. (Catchphrase -- Colossus-size me!)

Please, please, PLEASE! If you see this movie, be sure to sit all the way through the credits so that you won't miss the special bonus scene at the very end. It is a very candid look at Wolverine, singing in the shower, with his hair pushed up into a shampoo Mohawk. When he realizes he's being filmed, he looks directly into the camera and says, "You're still here? It's over! Go home!"

Thursday, June 01, 2006

4 8 15 16 23 42

Yesterday, as I was puttering around the house, I started hearing this loud, intermittent beeping, coming from my bedroom. I looked up at the ceiling, almost expecting to see a countdown clock with under four minutes on it. (Hopefully, this reference is not "Lost" on you...)
But no, the beeping was not coming from some mysterious, electromagnetic-containing microprocessor located in an underground bunker, but rather from a fire detector indicating low battery. So I got out my baseball bat from underneath my bed, and I started swinging at the detector like it was a piñata. Just kidding. I got up on a chair and disconnected it and got the battery replaced. After doing this, all I can say is Bob Villa better watch out. You can't stop me, you can only hope to contain me...

On another note, my brother, Phineas, who is a regular on this board, is in the hospital right now having his appendix removed. I would ask everyone to please keep him in your prayers for a safe and speedy recovery. I told him that it was okay to have his appendix removed, and maybe even his index, but that nobody had better lay a hand on his glossary...