New Year Blues again

Woke up this morning... which is how many a good blues song starts. Its a good introduction because, if you ain't woke up this mornin', you ain't making no blues song now, are you? You done been fixin' to die (a good reason to sing the blues) and you done went and did it. Ain't no blues, just a shallow grave next to Big Sadie and Boxcar Bill in the wanderin' section of the old blues cemetary.

I'm getting a little energy back now. It has been a while since I have felt like doing much of anything. Charles Bukowski once said "Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead." He was an excellent poet (I kinda put him in with the Beats, but he is a force of nature in his own right.) He also had his demons which he seemed comfortable with himself. That being said about crazy, I wouldn't mind a good dose of that for a little while with the energy to channel it into something like art.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't mean the slobbering crazy that makes you wander around screaming "They hanged him in France" to any question posed or any conversation commenced, I mean the little bit of manic that pushes you off of your duff and that flash of insight that people think is the Universe opening up for a second to show you what is possible. I had that for a bit but in the past 2 years, I have been trailing behind me a deep furrow in the ground, a sure sign that I am walking too heavily. I haven't been passionate, I've been irritated. I want to be in love with something and excited about an idea, excited enough that it takes shape and wants to manifest on paper or .. well .. somewhere.

I got back to here from a comment left top a prior post (there havent been many of them) that was pretty much a non sequiter. Art really doesn't have to make sense if it is provocative enough and takes the viewer somewhere with it. Even if that place is a blind alley, its still a journey.

Ok. Back to trying to craft a something. I'll publish it here first if it shows up. In the meantime, Love you all
  • Current Music
    "Tennessee Jed" Grateful Dead

NEW New new year

It is, isn't it? A brand new year. I'm sorting through the general resolutions that I made last year and this year to make a judgement as to whether I succeded or not. I don't think I did too badly.

This was a clean up and streamline sort of year so leaving the year with more stuff, physical and metaphysical, would have been a sign that I didnt follow through. I guess I did get a Kindle so most of my books are now on one platform and not strewn around the house, though I still have hundreds of books to get rid of. I'm having a bit of peace and quiet at home, so The Bride is either otherwise occupied or I am not generating the problems. Don't know which, but quieter is good. I'm dumping a lot more stuff that I have a sentamental attachment to, which either means I am more at peace or depressed. Henry David Thoreau, my third favorite American Philosopher said "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone". He also said "Simplify, simplify". I dont want to make the pretense of living a hermits life, but moving in the direction of "Less is more" seems to suit me. On "Housecleaning" I will give myself a C.

I wanted top do something with creativity this year. I was pretty much a failure at writing. I need a muse and noone was up for the job in 2010. That's not their fault. I wanted to do a lot more with poetry and set the goal and just shut down. Same with the book for National Write a Book Month. Just didnt. On the other hand, I did make progress on the guitar and I have been cooking a lot. I got a recipe for a "Blitztorte" and worked with someone who knew what they were doing to make one before the year was out. That and some other things and I am on the road to being an amatuer chef eventually. On the guitar, I have been iffy. I would guess I am 1/4 to where I want to be. Not bad but not very disciplined either. Creativity I would give a D+ to.

Health. This isnt really good. I have dental problems, heart problems, eye problems and hearing problems. Some need surgery. About June, I got fed up. No more Doctors until the end of the year. I know, stuff doesnt always get better until you do something about it, but I had had it. I guess 2011 is a good year to get fixed up. F for taking care of myself .. except that I lost 20 pounds so.. D-.

Sociability. I made a decision to start taking advantage of all of the cultural activities in the area. I do live in Washington D.C. after all. We have lots of good local and National theater, We are a Jazz Mecca and there is more free stuff to do here than pretty much anywhere. I got to see Dave Brubeck and a number of other artists, 4 or 5 plays (Great version of Oklahoma which got rave reviews for the high school Junior who played Ado Annie) Tons of music and lots of getting out. "A" on the "Get your butt out the door and do some neat things". Also reconnected with my brother (now he has lung cancer .. sigh)

Not a great achievement but progress is progress. 2011 is here so the next installment is upon me. I think the theme will be "Get a little discipline and get things moving". This time next year, I hope to write about a little more art, a little more beauty, a little more activity and maybe a new job.

2010 wasnt bad. Hi 2011. How are you? Lets have fun together this year!

Love you all
  • Current Music
    Auld Lang Syne

A new record

I made it through the week and one is left to go before the holidays. Had a girl this week who a lot of 8th graders wanted to jump. I refered it to the administrator who yelled at me and told me to call all of the parents. "I will need their numbers then, they arent my kids." "Hummph. Well you teachers need to do something!" she said. I just shrugged my shoulders and smacked my head. I thought we were supposed to teach.

I have all of my shopping done. Not much this year with fewer family members to buy for. Found out that my brother Danny has cancer, so he will be leaving sometime soon (though maybe he can stick around if prayers are said and cancles lit.) Funny about having reached the age when my best years are behind me (and I didnt do much with them) and my kid is mostly raised. I had the thought "all of my family is going and I am left here." The thought of staying here 20 or 30 more years just isnt much to look forward to.
  • Current Music
    Cee Lo Green "Ef You"

Snow Days

I keep it vanilla on Facebook... but there are some things about work..
The English teacher on my team just got assigned to be a library aid instead of a teacher. I guess 12 kids transferred out of his class and several bizzarre incidents just didnt go well with the administration. That helps the kids know that the world isnt a stable place... SOOOOOOOOO good for 12 year olds. (dont let the sarcasm drip on you.
Speaking of 12 year olds, one of my little ones from last year got caught behind the temps (in full view of the major road, but hidden from the school) "skipping class" with a little boy. Last year a little girl was doing the same thing and called it "just kissing a boy". I wonder if I am behind the times? When I was skipping or kissing in school at 12, it didnt involve having the girl work on her gag reflex and my pants (as a boy) never had to be around my ankles. My my times change.
I had a girl yesterday who was overly clingy. I do give hugs (the three pat kind, only if they come to give me a hug first.. Im not gonna try to be fired as a pervert) but she was glued to my hip. I asked around and found some 8th graders wanted to jump her. Big ugly ones too. They came to my class at the end of the day to fight her. Good thing I'm bigger and uglier. Anyway, I called the administrator and was almost yelled at for trying to prevent a problem. The AVP finally called for the girl and took ownership, but I guess they expect me to do every job in the building. (I already clean my room to keep the janitor happy).
Anyway, its Christmas time and the kids are wagging like a puppy. Even the Muslim kid who wants to wear his skullcap (me to dad on phone:I know that Xa told me yoru family converted to Islam, and I have tried to include more of that in lessons on Culture, but he has to either wear the hat all the time or not at all. Dad:Muslims? We're Catholics! What hat?) Oh right. Found out it is a gang thing. Now I'm teaching young Xa the 5 pillars of sit down and do your work.
How is yoru work progressing? Hope you have a happy holiday!
Love you all.
  • Current Music
    Niel Young "Cowgirl in the Sand"

Been a long time

Ive been haunting Facebook (I tell my kids it's "My Face" and they figure that I am too old to know anything and dont look me up) and so I havent had a chance to put down more than a few charecters. Mark Twain once wrote to a friend "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter" so it may not be a bad thing for my craft.

How am I? I'm being a good sort lately, away from all of the temptations. I'm trying to be a good teacher but the kids are so hung up in their own drama that they arent even mildly interested in lessons. I had a boy today that a little girl in the class had "gone with" and dropped and he was crying, the girl was laughing and 3 other girls wanted to fight her. What can you do to compete with that?

I seem to have dropped poetry for cooking lately though I know I have to hop back on my muse. We will see where it leads, but in the meantime, Livejournal friends, I have you.

Love you all

Its a new project

I asked someone to be a muse not long ago and that didn't work. You can't buy a muse, they have to come out of the unexpected. Anyway, writers write and if I want to give myself the title of journeyman poet, I guess I have to write something. I started thinking about portraits of strangers.. random encounters that leave an impression. I have two in my pocket but today I saw a guy that made me say "I really wonder what the story is behind this". Tell me what you think

I Know He’s Only an Old Man

On the Metro
I’m minding mine and a friends but no one else’s
He got on
He is only an old man after all
I see him
It would be impolite to catch his eye, a stranger’s eye
I just observe
Why do I care to take down the impressions of a stranger
Just an old man

He has a skullcap
Odd, one doesn’t see that in these modern days
Not religious
He doesn’t seem to wear piety on his head as well
Maybe the wardrobe?
It’s an old set of clothes but not out of place at all
Ah, in his hand
5 light yellow roses, a small bunch held most delicately
Beautiful flowers

Maybe the color
He is grays and whites and blacks from his cap down
They, creamy yellow
They stand out in their way the way he blends into the seat
Looking happy
He tries to keep his face a cipher, yet there is a shimmer
Maybe contentment
He leaves at the next stop, betraying little of his story
I hope its love
  • Current Music

Fourth Quarter

I've made it another "Most of a Year" and now it's time to wind down. The Transfer Faire is on Thursday and it is there that I will slip my request in to move to High School. Wish me luck. 8 years in the middle is plenty enough, even if it is cleaning my Karma.
  • Current Music
    "Green Onions" Booker T and the MGs

Pup Pup Dog

It looks like we are getting a Dog. She is a Black Lab Mix (a mix of some pointy type of dog) very pretty and very well mannered. We will fix that I am certain.

I have a very rich fantasy life, I have come to find out. The pup's current name is Starbright, but that will change. All of our cats are Piewacket and all of our dog's names start with a C. Crosby, Cerbe and now Cassiopeia. Well it is a bright star, or many of them, and we will probably just call her Star as we spoil animals unmercifully.

Part of the rich fantasy life is the Dog mythology of the household. Our first pup came with us to our current house and we have a lot next to our yard that we call the "Third Acre Wood" (I am partial to Pooh don't you know). To make Crosby feel more at home, I declared that the wood was forever after a Queendom for Pups, and as such, gave the dog a royal monicur (pun intended). She was succeeded by Cerbe I and then, after poor Cerbe, the sweetest pup ever, passed from a heart attack, the land has been under the regency of a cat. Now Starbright, after a short but appropriate waiting period will be crowned Cassiopeia, Queen of the Third Acre Wood, with all rights including treeing the squirrels and pooping wherever she wishes. Last fall we had 3 deer living there, so I suppose she will be responsible for them too. It may be a lot to ask of a pup, but, times being what they are, she should be lucky to have such a high prestige job.

Star is 3 and has had a couple of homes. Her current family has a daughter who loves the pup but is very allergic. I am afraid that I may have mild allergies but, it is only for the next 14 or so years so I can survive. Besides, the land needs a new queen.

Love you all
  • Current Music
    James Brown "It's a Man;'s World"


My Mom passed away a year ago Thursday. I still miss her. I was feeling a bit guilty about missing the anniversary. I thought about her every day this week except Thursday. Maybe it's appropriate. She decided to go at a moments notice, even though she waited 6 months to get there. It's hard to explain. It was her way of doing things. I suppose I thought about her every day for 6 months up until that time. I really do miss her. I would love to go upstairs and see her at the kitchen table and just drink some coffee and have a talk.

I'm stuck at the start of phase 2 of "Get Jeffy back on track". I've cleaned out everything toxic that doesn't need major surgery to get rid of, I've set concrete goals, I've got things in place to change jobs (still teaching but at the High School level, and still in the ghetto) and I have been pushing at starting the phase 2 goals (physical health, mental health and talents) but so far, except for more aggressive reading and cultural things, I haven't turned any of the other activities into habits. Soon. Maybe the snow will melt and I can dive into some things with a vengeance.

A friend of mine wrote on her blog about reconnecting with her spiritual side in a concrete way. I didn't think this was needful on my part but it set me thinking. Then again, I don't need more unfulfilled ambitions at the moment, but maybe...

Anyway, that's what is going on in my noggin. Hope yours is as clean as my bank account.
Love you all
  • Current Music
    "It Sucks to be Me" (from "Avenue Q")