Saturday, June 28, 2008


When I logged in today, I discovered that this would be my 300th post since I began the blog, rather idly, in 2003. So, I'm borrowing this idea from Violet's blog:

Last year at this time, I was taking a class on "Improving Writing Instruction Using Stuff You Should Have Already Learned In Grad School (Desperate for Professional Development Points edition)". I also discovered that you can wreck a perfectly good pizza by putting truffle oil on it. Oh and Mr. Scoop and I were about 6 months into homeownership. It did not (and still does not) suck.

Two years ago, I'd just returned from Philadelphia. I learned that being drunk in a room full of the dead (or nearly so) is preferable to not being so (but still not that great actually). And I still own the 1992 Geo Prism mentioned in that post. Please. Send money. I swear I'm not a Nigerian.

Three years ago, then pitcher for the Red Sox Bronson Arroyo released an album of cover tunes while doctors in Pittsburgh learned how to reanimate dead dogs. Coincidence? I think not. Meanwhile, I ended the school year on a lovely note when the majority of my kids demonstrated that they could actually employ the strategies I made them use to complete fairly lengthy essays for their finals! Yay!

Five years ago, I had finally finished my master's degree in Education. I'd also managed to secure "professional status" (that's tenure to the rest of you) at my high school and was enjoying the sweet satisfaction of job security for the first time in years. In contrast, Mr. Scoop had begun to work for the radio industry.

Ten years ago, I was between jobs. Things were a bit chaotic. I began to write some material that would morph into my first open mike at The Comedy Studio. Though teaching would eventually win out over comedy as my vocational path, I still miss it (although regular paychecks are a good thing. And I can still tell dick jokes. When I'm not around children. Stupid "laws".)

Today, I am taking a break from classes and working as a tutor this summer to just relax. Although I'm going to do a little curriculum work here and there, I'm looking forward to having the summer to mostly do what I want. Having the summer off is supposed to be one of those perks that most people think is a benefit to being a teacher. It's so rarely true. This afternoon, Mr. Scoop and I are going to visit Lance and his wife and child. Maybe I'll tell a dick joke. I'm like that.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dirty White Boy

"We're going to go to prison. And I haven't even done anything yet", sighed Mr. Scoop.

It was still fairly early on a warm (pre)summer evening. Mr. Scoop and I were hanging out with his buddy, Radio Guy. Radio Guy still works in radio. Mr. Scoop has moved on to security software. While security software doesn't necessarily allow for the opportunity to hangout backstage at concerts with a VIP pass or introduce the next flavor of the month at a station sponsored concert to 15,000 people and getting them to scream enthusiastically for you when you ask them if they're drunk yet, he still gets to meet colorful individuals who may or may not at one time or another have been members of the not so secret Soviet police and others who bring fascinating items from their homelands back with them when they return to the States from vacation. Especially on Bring Your Bottle To Work Day, which is Friday at Penetrode, Inc. (for those of you who remember Lance, Mr. Scoop now works with him. Note to HR - be afraid. Very afraid.)

Above, you can see pictured the bee whiskey that appeared after a coworker's sojourn to Vietnam. Drinking at Penetrode begins mandatorily at 4pm on Friday by order of management.

It was now 8pm.

Despite the perks of Mr. Scoop's current engagement, Radio Guy still gets to do all the cool things that Mr. Scoop used to. As an added bonus, he also gets to hear first hand about how the industry is treating those of them that are still holding on in this era of radio corporatization (instead of having to read about it later on like the rest of us.). He gets to hear about hirings and firings. It always sucks when you hear that a really talented jock gets let go because management has informed them that the station has decided that they wanted to be "more music oriented and less personality driven". But, when the person in question is a member of management that only served to turn what had been a flagship station in a major market, once well know for discovering and breaking artists who went on to great things, into a soulless shell of its former self - when that person is in turn fired by the very corporation whose agenda he furthered - well, that's just a reason for going out for a tasty beverage or several. Even if Mr. Scoop had already started his weekend on his company's dime at 4.

So, we found a bar down the street from us that we've always noticed was mostly empty. There were a couple pool tables in the back that seemed to get occasional use, but otherwise the place was empty.

Steeped in a healthy amount of schadenfreude, Radio Guy and Mr. Scoop, who had both left the station because of the manager in question, and me, because there would be beer involved, bellied up to the deserted bar after grabbing pizza and a couple of maintenance beverages on the way. I felt as though I needed to catch up. I ordered a shot and a beer while the guys took their beers over to the cd jukebox in the back. Currently, Styx's "I'm Sailing Away" was wafting over the speakers. The only other noise that could be heard in the place was the three guys in the back hitting pool balls around, wordless and intent. At least one of them had a fairly hardcore cue holder strapped to his back. Radio Guy had made note of him as he entered in case he got drunk enough that he might want to hustle him later. We suspected the pool players were responsible for the current play selections.

I sipped at my shot while I waited for the guys to come back. I watched the tv overhead. The Red Sox were losing to the Reds. I prayed for a rain out. It was futile. I gave up and just downed the shot. I took my beer with me over to the jukebox. The guys watched me approach, looking sheepish. "What did you do, Ray", I inquired suspiciously when I got there.

"Nothing", they both said as they pulled me by the elbows back to the bar. "What", I said. "What did you pick?"

"Oh, you know, some stuff", said Mr. Scoop. "You wanted Meatloaf, Squeeze and the Black Crowes, so we found some of that. Then I picked out Foreigner - " I cut him off, "Not 'I Want To Know What Love Is', right?" "No, no 'Dirty White Boy' and then Radio Guy..." I whirled on my stool towards him. "What did you do?" I said. He grinned. "I picked out some Metallica." "What Metallica?" "So What?" And then he proceeded to describe the graphic lyrics of the song. "This. This is why you're not music director", I said shaking my head. That was when a large group of seemingly Hispanic young men with what could be described as matching "gang colors" marched in to the now completely empty except for us and the bartender establishment. They seemed perturbed that their watering hole was not completely empty.

That was when the jukebox kicked over to "Dirty White Boy".

We ordered J├Ąger shots. We continued to be eyeballed angrily.

"We're going to go to prison. And I haven't even done anything yet", sighed Mr. Scoop.