Sunday, March 30, 2008

news to me (3)

I was going to post this last Wednesday. I never quite got to. Was too exhausted juggling wall-to-wall classes and my get-rich-slowly schemes. The messages will be dated. But I'm sure one message will stay relevant for many people over the next few years.

To see it, right-click the image and save it somewhere for your consumption.

Okay, back to work now. Greatness --and hopefully some decent wealth-- awaits.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


My apologies to Ritchie Kotzen for hijacking his song. This isn't an anthem I want looped in my player. But it's pure oil-on-fire slow rock n' roll in the best of traditions. And sometimes, a little tweaked, it's apt. There are better songs from this guy playing in my head.

I am so innocent I swear to God...

Oh, but you pressure me
And I cant help but unwind.
By now you know I'm not the stable kind
But you keep on testing me
Until you make me cry

How long can... I take you?
You should know that... the only way I can deal--

--is to get high, so high
until everything is gone

And I can't say a word

I get high so high
Just to shut you out
so I can keep on working

I know you're lookin' for an end to love
But this thing ain't what you think.
I signed up for endless work

You think I'm crazy and my mind is thick
And that I'm blind to trust
But I can see right through you

How long can ...I take you?
You should know that the only way I can feel--

Is to get high, so high
until everything is gone

And I can't say a word

I get high so high
Just to shut you out
so I don't hear you laughing

When I am away from you my head is strong
When I am near you make sure my mind is gone

The only way to deal with you
is to get high......

I don't want I don't want I don't want to hear a word

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

If you ignore a problem, it'll go away.
You can keep running away from your problems forever.

Why people keep saying that these strategies don't work when they obviously do somehow-- else why would people keep implementing them? There must be some merit in keeping your problems at a polearm's length...

Jeezas H. Jones hijo de gorram patola. ima mada henji-shinai? Nan to iu no ka!?

When will you bleeding realize that I'm your problem?
I'm also your friend. Stop hiding behind your Greek Chorus and confront me.

I ...won't go away.

Friends ...aren't supposed to do that.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

To-Do To-Day

Meet with co-workers.
Meet Strahdeus.
Pick up my granddaughter's print.
Get intel on shirt printing.
Fete my Mader and my Brother.
Pay portion of rent.
Polish drawings for scanning and send relevant info to contact in Laguna.
Have gifts for granddaughter and currently blooming friend framed/set.

Full day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"I was kidnapped by cops and driven to Laguna!"

Er. Well...

That was an exaggeration. Unlike Jun Lozada, I went willingly. My life was nowhere near being threatened. And their careers were on the line if they couldn't pass an English test. (Cue strident brass).

Another day on the job for your friendly neighborhood eigokyoushi.

There was no way we could cram two semesters of English Ed or one full reading of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style in the couple of hours they gave me to unlock the mysteries of English. I've been at it most of my life and I still can't say that book's closed.

So we did the next best thing. I gave em a crash course in "How to Beat a Written English Proficiency Test Without Frying Your Non-Native-English-Speaking Brain." Look for key words and phrases and make the proper associations without thinking too much about grammar.

They were appreciative. But I was dumb. I hadda open my mouth and say "These shortcuts can only be properly used if you practice. Our problem is time..." (music swells in the background) "Tell you what, let's schedule another class and I can come back with mock tests and handouts so you can have that practice you need before your big test day."

I'm a glutton for punishment.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

English and Filipino (or, Why We're Screwed)

...The Filipino's unwillingness to learn something perceived as "difficult" or "unpopular" is what's going to doom us.

The average Filipino laughs at his countrymen who speak English well. He says we're too uppity. We uppity folk learned our English because we had the opportunity and because we found that the language is a good one.

Well, the Filipino is now scrambling to learn English only because it'll potentially earn him big money.

But why we learn something is as important as how. I love English, and that's why I'm damned good at speaking, reading, writing and thinking in it. It's why my Korean students keep asking for my classes.

Trust me, the only time the average Filipino displays his English proficiency is when--

  1. he is watching Baywatch, Friends or porn; or
  2. she is chatting with her Australian/American/Japanese/Dutch online boyfriend while planning how to stab her husband in the back
The average Filipino cannot hide under Rizal's overcoat and accuse us uppity folk of being traitors to nationalism either. If the Filipino really loved his own language he'd actually enjoy reading the Noli, or Mga Ibong Mandaragit. Hell, I have. But he can't even muster enough willpower to do that-- ask any high school kid.

He can't even write proper sentences in Filipino: "Nag-enjoy kmi, sobra!" does not make sense. Kung sobra ang enjoyment mo, hindi ka talaga nag enjoy.

But dangle enough cash in front of him and he will be motivated to learn Filipino too.

Visiting Kenneth Yu's site is becoming a bad habit. His whole site is the epitome of "writing-meta." (He writes about writing.) Most every entry is an invitation to a refreshing exchange of views about stories and how and why we come up with them. The sort-of rant above is an excerpt from a reply --all of them threaten to balloon into full-blown blog entries-- to one of his posts. For the full context, look it up here.

Who's Your Daddy?

Incidentally, this is what happens when your most effective knight returns from exile and you tell him in so many words that his sword's not needed, when oh sweet holy God, it is. You effectively hand him to another liege lord who'll likely pay him better. Consider that your knight would have worked for you for peanuts and the simple pleasure of your collective company.

As ESL Teachers we're usually evaluated towards the end of our teaching contracts with our students. In my current place of employment, we're evaluated with the following criteria:
  • teaching skill
  • whether or not we call our students on time
  • our attendance
  • kindness and empathy
  • the level of background noise we prevent from seeping into our mikes
The second of my evaluations from my students just came in.

Full marks in all relevant areas. And I've never seen that happen before. I don't think it has. And Management knows it. Management hangs our evaluations on the walls so we can die of envy. I'm not dying yet, but management will want to watch me closely.

Because I'm a maverick. Because I can throw the rulebook out the window in the name of helping a student really learn. And because they know it's love that keeps me working here. Love of teaching, love of my students... Management would soooooo love to get their hands on the one person that keeps me tethered here, if they knew who she was.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I'd Like to Get a Print of This

And I think I will.

I took this shot with the cam I won from the Talecraft contest last November. The thing sucks taking pictures in low light conditions, and it has a built in motivation to thwart your attempts at making artsy shots.

Well, nothing a little Photoshop work can't fix. But even then there's only so much you can do...

Context. You're all gonna want context to explain the shot.

That's my grandkid at Art's art exhibit at the Assumption College (Yay!). She looks as if she belongs there. If you think so, you'd be right. My grandkid's an artist too.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Stand

I meant what I said: I could quit all of this-- walk away and not come back. But it's just not the same without your friendship. At least that. Six months of being away from you proved it. I can't force myself on you if you're so determined to be afraid of me. And as I said, in that sense, it's not my problem any more.

I do not have to sit still and take the platitudes and the palliatives being sent my way. The sources mean well, but they watch too much Oprah; read too much Cosmo. They didn't spend half a lifetime really watching people. I did.

I just wish you could look beyond the fear and remember.

My usual analysis of events like this doesn't paint a pretty picture of my hopes of some form of reconciliation. It tells me that you won't. But no matter how jaundiced (or likely, accurate) my view of humanity is, I can't help but keep to the view that someday you might.

I'm not the monster you think I am.

No matter how odious you may find this to be, I will always be your friend.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

notitlrcan;trly thuinknofonerightnpow

my brain's on fire. i'm slated to do work that i haven't properly finished because i can't get this body to do what needs doing. feeling shamed. i got a grandkid who juggles more classes than i ever didand all i can think about is

at least i'm drnkkkkkkkkk
drinking water

at least i've touched the work

looking forward to going
see a friend

maybe stay in the water

see you againmissyounot choerentwill porbly regrget edit later clickpubnlish