Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Of Sake and Public Restrooms...

To begin with, I don't normally advocate taking photographs in public restrooms. It's frowned upon. Mr. Scoop bandied about terms like "perverted" and "reprehensible" and "felony". But I had to share with you this interesting advance in technology that I've found. The nice people at the Asian restaurant we ate at tonight decided to make their bathroom hermetically sealled for my pleasure.. Or at least my convenience.

You press a button and an automatic seat cover whirs into life, pulling a Saran-like plastic cover into a taut, waiting throne for my ass. Press it again and it shreds the previous cover and replaces it with a new one. My God, if this device had an integrated bidet I might never have left the bathroom.

The only problem with this system was that I was drunk. Very drunk. Lots of sake. The last time I had this much sake I was at a graduate class and tried to discuss the viability of putting a girl's brain into a chimp body. The topic of the day's class was about the educational benefits of scrapbooking. I only ended up with an A- for the class. That's a lot of sake.

When you're drunk, you have to try and read the sign that explains how to use it:

That's just not fair. I may not notice it until I'm actually done peeing. Or, I might decide that it's kind of weird and feel the need to whip out my camera and take pictures of it while I'm in the public restroom.

And, apparently, that's wrong. It upsets the other patrons that are using the bathroom who hear the sudden noise of a camera shutter in unexpected close quarters. And they tell management. According to the nice people who led me forcibly out of the restaurant.

Friday, December 23, 2005

At Last

"Like the scene outside of The Last Chopper Out Of Saigon".   That's how Mr. Scoop would describe the scene around school.  It is the last day before the holiday break and there are about 20 minutes until the end of the day.  The last period is barely half over and we can hardly keep the kids contained in our classrooms.  You'd think the school would be generous enough to spring for electric fences to supplement the wooden doors.  They work well enough keeping dogs from leaving the lawn and chasing the UPS truck.
My kids are playing Uno right now.  They are squabbling.  Nobody wants to shuffle.  Somebody seems to be palming cards.  Another kid would rather play games on his cell phone, even though they aren't allowed in school.  "It's so hot in this room!" one kid exclaims, "Can I go outside for two seconds?"  "Only if you clap my erasers", I reply.  Fifteen minutes until the bell.  They have become sick of Uno.  Can I hope that they'll stay in their chairs until they're dismissed?  Two of the larger, louder members of the crew have resumed Uno with a couple others watching intently.  One kid continues to bop around the room.  He is half of a set of fraternal twins.  You can tell them apart because he's the little one.  The really little one - like his brother got hungry and ate part of him in the womb little one.  He finally settles into a chair, but feels compelled to sing "Holly Jolly Christmas" at the top of his lungs.  I could say something, but why bother?  Ten minutes until the end of the school day.  The lone Christmas caroler becomes uncomfortable in his seat and decides to drape himself across two of the desks.
The Uno game comes to an end.  An ambitious neatnik chiquita decides to try to put all the desks back where they belong with all the kids still in them.  I am reminded of Sisyphus in Tartarus.  Another student becomes fascinated with the texture of the fake fur that trims a girl's jacket.  He keeps playing with it with quiet intensity.  As far as I know, he's not on Ecstasy.  Then he snaps out of it and explains that the desk is shaped, in fact, like a trapezoid and not a rectangle.  The kid sitting next to him nods appreciatively.
With one minute to go, several other teachers on the floor give up and let their students go.  My kids see this and begin to clamor for release.  "Sit down in your chairs and be quiet", I respond, "Or I'll make you late for winter break".  They all dive for the closest empty seat like it's a game of musical chairs. 
Finally, the bell rings.  They lunge for the door shouting good-byes and holiday greetings.  The silence that fills the room in their absence is almost deafening.  Desks and papers are strewn about, flotsam and jetsam in the students' wake. 
Now I can go home.
Happy Holidays, kids.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Comes Early To Chez Scoop

All Hail Our Lord Who Can Pause Live TV! So, I've been gifted already for Christmas. Mr. Scoop has bestowed upon me the great and glorious TiVo. I've already been playing with it. Pausing live tv, just because I Have The Technology. I set up a bunch of "season passes" this evening. Mostly stuff late night on Comedy Central ("The Daily Show") or on the Food Network (can you say "Iron Chef"? Good. I knew you could.). Sure I should be doing schoolwork, but I have TiVo. I can Rewind Time.

This is very exciting.

Mr. Scoop rules.

I would post about what I got him for Christmas, but then he'd read about it and that would spoil his surprise.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Because Monkeys Are Funny...

I'm very sorry things have been kind of quiet between posts. Things are a bit hectic between work and the holidays. I know it's not a great excuse, but there it is.

Oh, and tomorrow is my birthday (*shameless plug for birthday wishes*).

Anyway, here's a little story. With pictures.

Once upon a time, Mr. Scoop had a monkey named Squinty:

And this time, put some booze in it you cheap bastard!

Squinty was a great monkey. Unfortunately, heartbroken over a woman and several questionable stock market decisions, he ran away to Tijuana with a crate of banana liquor, 2 cartons of cigarettes, and a crack whore named LaDonna. Neither of them has been seen since.

So, my mom bought Mr. Scoop a new monkey:

Gimme all the Oxy!

This is Mojo. Mojo was intended to represent the "monkey on Mr. Scoop's back". But, he's kind of taken on a life of his own. We constantly have to shoo him out of the liquor cabinet and he frequently demands cigarettes from Mr. Scoop. Lately, he's been suggesting that amyl nitrate would make a nice stocking stuffer. This makes my mom very sad.

Mr. Scoop also purchased a monkey for me:

Fly meeeeeeeeeeeeee to the moooooooooooon.......

Crash was created to raise money for a "Toys For Tots" drive. He has stretchy arms made of rubber tubing:

Children love me. And junkies want to tap this.

That tubing would tie off a vein nicely. Somewhere, a junkie isn't getting his fix because Crash exists. But, that's ok. It's for the kids, you know.

Crash can be fired like a sling shot across the room. There's a voice box inside him that makes him scream as he flys. You can fire him at a wall and he'll scream as he goes, making a satisfying thud as he hits the wall. It's great fun.

I've become concerned recently, though. I've found Crash seeking out Mojo for advice. From what I caught, Mojo seemed to be saying "Look, sometimes, in the night, the big ones roll over on us. Just take it man. Just take it." Sweet, but creepy. What else are they talking about when I'm not here? Are they fomenting revolution? Should I worry about what might happen in the night?

Perhaps I will be buying Mojo some amyl for Christmas afterall.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Monday Memo

To: The Assholes Who Like To Play "Cutsies" Into The Exit Lane At Routes 3 and 93 From The Passing Lane And Gak Up All The Traffic When I'm Trying To Go The Fuck Home

From: Me

Re: You And I Need To Have Words

Date: 12/12/05

Dearest Fucking Tools:

The exit lane is for exiting the highway. Perhaps to go to another highway. Perhaps to fuck off and die. As far as you are concerned, I don't really give a shit which - just use the damn exit lane to do it. Do not stop your car in the middle of the passing lane 100 yards from the actual exit off the highway and put your blinker on waiting for someone to let you in because you can't be bothered to "wait in line" like the chumps who began planning for their exit five miles ago. Some of us are actually trying to use the travel lanes to, well, travel and you zipping over from the high speed lane at the last second isn't helping any. This is not the high school lunch line. Stop living in the past and hoping for "cutsies", Assmunch.

The fact of the matter is, it has only recently come to my attention that while I'm stuck behind you for 20 minutes at a time apparently. I am not allowed to get out of my car and suggest that you consider getting off at the next exit. While carrying a tire iron. Apparently that's actionable under "Road Rage" laws. Cock knocker. It has also come to my attention that, when I am a passenger, I'm not allowed to "flip you the bird" when we finally manage to squeeze by your wide Hummer ass. Mr. Scoop is concerned that he will have to punch you while defending my honor, as he feels you certainly would come after him rather than me - although I've assured him repeatedly that I would be more than happy to take point in the punching. I've seen your smug, soft, sweaty, round face up there in your air-conditioned Escalade driver's seat. You have a very punchable face.

In conclusion, if you could keep me from getting trouble because you are choosing to be an unrelenting douchebag, I'd appreciate it.



Friday, December 09, 2005

Snow Day

The day began with a hangover at 5 am.

I had stayed up entirely too late drinking Chardonnay that I quite enjoyed, but for which I shouldn't be forking over the dough. I should be saving money to buy presents. Oh, what the hell, Merry Christmas to me! My drinking companion was the Weather Channel's storm coverage, followed by the 10 pm news storm coverage, and then, the 11 pm storm coverage.

It wasn't snowing here yet, but a bevy of well manicured, powdered and coiffed meterologists were assuring me that the storm was coming and would coincide with the morning commute.

My morning commute. Which begins at 6:15 am.

Although I puzzled over the fact that the Weather Channel apparently didn't pay well enough for its weather chickies to get Botox, I was more concerned with the ability of my elderly car to handle the impending crap road conditions. My school rarely grants snow days and I'd taken enough "sick days for my car" the previous school year to attract attention. The fact of the matter was that I was going to have to drive in even if it meant I would risk wrapping the car around a tree. So I did what any reasonable individual would do under the circumstances. I stayed up and drank.

At 5:35 am the phone rang to let me know that school, against all odds, had been called off on account of snow. I would have answered it, but I had gone back to sleep. Instead, Mr. Scoop woke me with the joyful news about five minutes later. He'd heard the announcement on the radio.

Normally, I'd go back to sleep, but I decided to make a long lazy day of it. I did crawl back into bed and watch the coverage of the storm: "It's 5:50 here in Worcester, Bob. The snow is falling lightly. We expect it'll get heavier anytime now. Back to you at the currently snow free studios in Boston." Along the bottom of the screen crawled the names of schools that were closed for the day. I taunted the ones that didn't make the list, "Hah! Sucks to be you, Podunk!"

As I type this, I'm eating Godiva truffles and drinking hot chocolate. I am positively giddy from the rush of sugar. I will probably try to channel this into some productive use of my X-box. I see some rounds of Outlaw Golf 2 in my future. I will beat my caddy senseless because the game lets me do so. And then I will make my golfer wear assless chaps. Because I can.

The snow day! Excellent perk in the world of teaching. Of course if my school year drags into July, I'll probably look back somewhat less fondly on this day.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What Have We Learned Tonight?

To begin with, I learned that TLC has learned that brains suck and titties sell.

Have you seen Faking It (American version)?

This is the summary from tonight's episode

Harvard graduate Manhattanite Lesley is a self-confessed geek who would rather spend her time with books than people. When she was at high school she was bullied by the popular cheerleaders. Will she transform with the help of NFL cheerleaders?

This was followed by the next episode:

Super Shy to Super Fly

Timid Texas librarian Haley Holmes has to let her hair down and kick up her heels as the newest barmaid at the hottest bar in the county, Coyote Ugly. In New Orleans she learns to pour drinks, dance and take every guy's last dollar.

Both these women subjected themselves to makeovers and lessons on how to behave in ways that would make men drool over them more. Haircuts and coloring. Make-up lessons. Flexibility training.

Lessons on how to demand a kamikaze from unsuspecting bar patrons.

Ok, fine. Here's the thing...

If The Learning Channel has given up on actual, well, learning, couldn't they at least do an interesting "fish out of water" story.

Vivacious Vicki, 34 F, 24, 32 (IQ 85), loves shopping, clubbing and Double Stuffed Oreos. When she's not whoring it up on the porn circuit, she enjoys puppies, Pilates, and guys she calls Daddy. Can she fake it enough to fit in with the crew at a hardcore propulsion physics lab? More importantly, do we care?

It'd be worth it just for the inevitable "Diary Cam" entries:

Mentor Bob from the Lab: " took a long time to get Vicki to understand that the 'E' in E=mc2 wasn't Ecstasy. A long time. And a cattle prod. She seemed to understand the cattle prod."

Vicki: "It was going ok. There were a lot of big words, but I've got my mouth around a lot before. But then they said they were going to take my implants out and dye my hair brown! And I was all like, 'Oh no, you're not touching the girls!' and they were all like, 'Oh yes we are! You signed a contract!' and I was like, "But I can't write!' and then they showed me this 'x'...

...I hurt a lot today."

I just want my TV to be all that it can be...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Happy Holidays!

The camera that my phone comes equipped with isn't the greatest, but I thought I'd share a couple shots of the park in the town I live in.

The town does a great job lighting the place up. I really enjoy walking through it at night. It's festive and.. keeps away muggers.

They'll keep the lights up until the end of January. After that, we're just stuck in winter cold, with no cheery lighting and somewhat more risk of being relieved of one's wallet on an evening's stroll through the park.

I think I'd like a tazer for Christmas.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Pandora's Box

At 10:20 in the evening, Mr. Scoop announced that he wants to kill a guy.

I'm not sure who the guy is. I'm not sure that Mr. Scoop knows either.

He announced this, apropos of nothing, in his sleep.

Mr. Scoop was a bit taken aback when I'd told him he'd done this, but not entirely surprised. Afterall, the next whiskey blackout is "just another opportunity to open up Pandora's Box. You just never know what's going to happen. And I've got a lot of time I can't account for."

Then he spent some time assuring me he didn't know any strippers named Pandora.


Speaking of things Pandora, have you checked out this website:


It's a website put together by the "Music Genome Project". You register with the site (it's free). Then it will ask you to pick an artist or song. Once you've done that it will create a streaming radio station with songs that are grouped thematically around the muscial elements of that band or song. Mr. Scoop has one set up around the song "Blue on Black" by Kenny Wayne Shepherd. I set one up around the band Calexico. Their song "Minas de Cobre (for better metal)" always makes me think of Latigo Flint.

Anyway, it's pretty cool and it's free so I say check it out.