100 Things To Live By

1. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs is not one of them.

2. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.

3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

4. If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.

5. Always use ‘we’ when referring to your home team or your government.

6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

7. Don’t underestimate free throws in a game of ‘horse’.

8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

9. Don’t dumb it down.

10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.

11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.

12. Never park in front of a bar.

13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.

14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car, and first boy/girlfriend.

15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.

16. A suntan is earned, not bought.

17. Never lie to your doctor.

18. All guns are loaded.

19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.

20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.

21. Take a vacation of your cell phone, internet, and TV once a year.

22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good.

23. A handshake beats an autograph.

24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.

25. If you choose to go in drag, don’t sell yourself short.

26. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.

27. Never get your hair cut the day of a special event.

28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires, and sheets.

29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.

30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.

31. Eat lunch with the new kids.

32. When traveling, keep your wits about you.

33. It’s never too late for an apology.

34. Don’t pose with booze.

35. If you have the right of way, take it.

36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.

37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.

38. Never push someone off a dock.

39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she’s pregnant.

40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry; live up to it.

41. Don’t make a scene.

42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is best.

43. Know when to ignore the camera.

44. Never gloat.

45. Invest in good luggage.

46. Make time for your mom on your birthday. It’s her special day, too.

47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.

48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.

49. Give credit. Take blame.

50. Suck it up every now and again.

51. Never be the last one in the pool.

52. Don’t stare.

53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.

54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.

55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.

56. Admit it when you’re wrong.

57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.

58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.

59. Thank the bus driver.

60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.

61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

62. Know at least one good joke.

63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.

64. Know how to cook one good meal.

65. Learn to drive a stick shift.

66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.

67. It’s okay to go to the movies by yourself.

68. Dance with your mother/father.

69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.

70. Always thank the host.

71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.

72. Know the size of your boy/girlfriend’s clothes.

73. There is nothing wrong with a plain t-shirt.

74. Be a good listener. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk.

75. Keep your word.

76. In college, always sit in the front. You’ll stand out immediately.

77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for nine months.

78. Be patient with airport security. They’re just doing their jobs.

79. Don’t be the talker in a movie.

80. The opposite sex likes people who shower.

81. You are what you do, not what you say.

82. Learn to change a tire.

83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.

84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent. Ask for advice when you need it.

85. Don’t litter.

86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.

87. You won’t always be the strongest or the fastest. But you can be the toughest.

88. Never call someone before 9am or after 9pm.

89. Buy the orange properties in Monopoly.

90. Make the little things count.

91. Always wear a bra at work.

92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it.

93. You’re never too old to need your mom.

94. Ladies, if you make the decision to wear heels on the first date, commit to keeping them on and keeping your trap shut about how much your feet are killing you.

95. Know the words to your national anthem.

96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun then sitting on the bench alone.

97. Smile at strangers.

98. Make goals.

99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.

100. If you have to fight, punch first and punch hard.

~ A high school teacher’s list of 100 wisest words.

Not Everything Is Lost

Via Wil Wheaton:

After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.

Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
Did this.

I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?

The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.

She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,

Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.

Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.

Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.

To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.

And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.

And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,

With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.

Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.

They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.

Not everything is lost.

~Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.”

Rebel Alliance

From Fearsome Beard:

Mayors stand up for what is right, yes this is a link…go ahead click it…you know you want to. 

Not just mayors but governors. Good politicians with a moral compass who wish to pass a viable planet on to their children stand up.

The message that made me post a link to that article is that this is not a time to get bitter. Now is the time to lead. Lead by example. Lead with good honest morals. Lead by taking steps to not only meet the standards set for us by the Paris Agreement, but exceed those standards. Lead by taking these steps in each of our daily lives and in our communities, cities and states.

Say “Fuck You” to the weaklings who put personal gain and personal comfort over the love of their fellow man, the planet, the animals, the unborn descendants of us all. Those assholes aren’t leaders, those assholes are spineless greedy selfish cowards.

Don’t let such short sided dimwits make you angry & bitter, that’s what they want. Follow the lead of these courageous Mayors and Governors. Follow their lead starting with your personal choices and follow them with your support. Together we can out do any mess and any harm that those that are misguided ignorant narcissistic demagogues dish out.

8 Things Only Teacher Spouses Will Understand

6, 7, and especially 8!

What It’s Like Being Married to a Professional Educator

Being married to a teacher is great. Nobody works harder. Nobody is more motivated. Nobody is more ready and willing to correct your poor grammar. Nevertheless, there are a few things you should know about being married to a professional educator.

1. Your dinner dates will constantly be interrupted.

Think Friday night means it’s time to kick back, relax, and enjoy the company of your significant other at that new restaurant that just opened up? Maybe. Chances are you’ll make it to dinner. But chances are higher that, just as the waiter is bringing your herb-crusted, non-GMO, something-or-other to the table, your beloved will get a call from her principal outlining the new school strategy for standardized testing. Or she’ll see an email from little Johnny’s father lambasting the fact that he only got a 98 on the last pop-quiz. And you’ll sip your wine in solitude and check your Twitter feed while your wife performs educational triage in the parking lot.

2. It’s easy to take conversations with adults for granted.

I go to the office every morning. And talk to adults. And work with adults. But my wife doesn’t. She goes for hours at a time every day without conversing with anyone over the age of 13. When we’re both home, sometimes I catch her staring at me with an odd look, hanging on my every word while I talk about some mundane conversation I had at the office. She’ll interrupt me: “You mean NOBODY in your office had horrible BO? Or cried because their girlfriend broke up with them? Or inexplicably fell out of their chair while you were talking to them?  You’re so lucky!”  Lucky indeed.

3. Your spouse will always be a better parent than you.

I’ve been a dad for almost six years and I like to think that I have this parenthood thing down pat. But I have nothing on my wife. Her daily focus is getting the best out of dozens of kids. Making them do things they don’t want to do and providing a hundred types of support in a thousand different ways. Every time I think I’ve had some type of amazing breakthrough with my kids (got all of our kindergarten sight words on the first try!) I quickly realize it’s because she’s already laid the groundwork (reading with them since they were 6 weeks old!). Sometimes it’s easy to forget how great a teacher she is. But then I look at what she’s done with our children and I remember.

4. Halloween demands constant vigilance.

We live very close to my wife’s school. All her students know where we live. I see how low the egg inventory gets at the grocery store the last week of October. You better believe I spend Halloween on my front porch with a raised eyebrow, a flashlight, and a grimace.

5. Nobody multitasks like a teacher.

Until I married my wife, I had never seen someone who could simultaneously cook, soothe a crying baby, talk on the phone, and make lesson plans. But then I realized her day is full of doing a thousand things at the same time. She reads, teaches, conducts parent conferences, referees, participates in faculty meetings, plans summer school, coaches the flag football team, and finds some way to squeeze in bathroom breaks, all while managing a hoard of hormonal preteens. And I thought mowing the lawn while holding a beer was a big deal.

6. You will never EVER win an argument about work.

Me: “Man, I had a rough day at work. My morning meeting didn’t go well, I have a big project due tomorrow, and our yearly reviews are coming up.”

Her: “A kid in my first period class farted so much I had to teach in the gym for the rest of the day.”

7. Your spouse will never be the only teacher in your life.

Teachers flock to other teachers. It’s a scientific fact. Any party we go to, my wife unconsciously seeks the other teachers there. It’s like her ears are tuned to the word “pre-planning.”  And then she spends the evening in deep conversation with someone she’s never met while I hover by the punch bowl and blink at the wall. The number of adults in my life who are educators is obscene. On the bright side, I appreciate a fully-functioning photocopier more than I ever thought possible.

8. Your spouse is a hero who saves the world every single day.

I could never be a teacher. And I know I’m not in the minority. Many people don’t realize it, but being a teacher is challenging, and tedious and about as unglamorous as a profession can be. But my wife doesn’t care. She does it in spite of little recognition, low pay, and long hours. (Three months off in the summer isn’t a thing, ok? My wife has maybe three weeks completely disconnected from school in July and she spends those planning for the coming year.) She knows it’s more than a job. It’s a calling. A way to make the word a better place at a fundamental, actionable level. And I feel lucky to see it happen on a daily basis.


Quote of the Day

Forget about the Presidency for a moment. Trump’s behavior would get him fired from Applebee’s.” ~ Andy Borowitz

Goodbye and FUCK YOU, 2016!

In case you’ve forgotten…

  • Natalie Cole, R&B singer and daughter of music legend Nat “King” Cole, died New Year’s Eve at age 65 from heart failure caused by lung disease.
  • Craig Strickland, rising country singer and frontman for Backroad Anthem, was found dead at 29 years old on Jan. 4 after going missing during a duck hunting trip in extreme weather.
  • Angus Scrimm, best known for playing the Tall Man villain in Phantasm and its horror sequels, died Jan. 9 at 89.
  • David Bowie died Jan. 10, two days after his 69th birthday, after an 18-month secret battle with cancer. The music legend was well-known for his fashion, movie roles, Ziggy Stardust and hit songs like “Space Oddity,” “Fame” and “Let’s Dance.”
  • Alan Rickman, Harry Potter actor and Die Hard villain, died of cancer at 69 on Jan. 14.
  • Dan Haggerty, Grizzly Adams actor and ’70s star best-known for his beard and rugged looks, died of cancer at 74 on Jan. 15.
  • Glenn Frey, The Eagles guitarist and co-founder, died at 67 on Jan. 18. Frey co-wrote hits like “Hotel California” with Don Henley.
  • Jimmy Bain, former Dio and Rainbow bassist, died at 68 over the weekend of Jan. 22-24.
  • Abe Vigoda, character actor in The Godfather and Barney Miller, died at 94 on Jan. 26.
  • Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane co-founder and guitarist, died at 74 on Jan. 28.
  • Maurice White, a founding member of disco-funk group Earth, Wind & Fire, died Feb. 3 at 74.
  • Vanity, an ’80s singer-actress and Prince protege also known as Denise Katrina Matthews, died Feb. 15 at 57.
  • Harper Lee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of To Kill a Mockingbird, died Feb. 19 at age 89.
  • Sonny James, country singer behind hits like “Young Love,” died Feb. 22 at age 87.
  • George Kennedy, tough-guy character actor best known for Cool Hand Luke and the Naked Gun movies, died Feb. 28 at 91.
  • Keith Emerson, co-founder and keyboardist of the progressive-rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, died March 11 at 71.
  • Frank Sinatra Jr., singer and son of Ol’ Blue Eyes, died March 16 of cardiac arrest at 72.
  • Steve Young, outlaw country singer best known for “Seven Bridges Road,” died March 17 at 73.
  • Joe Garagiola, former baseball broadcaster and Today show host, died March 23 at 90.
  • Garry Shandling, comedian and The Larry Sanders Show star, died March 24 at 66.
  • Earl Hamner Jr., The Waltons creator and Twilight Zone writer, died March 24 at 92.
  • Patty Duke, Oscar and Emmy-winning actress, former child star and mother of Lord of the Rings actor Sean Astin, died March 29 of sepsis from a ruptured intestine at 69.
  • Gato Barbieri, Grammy-winning Latin jazz musician and “Last Tango in Paris” composer, died April 2 at 83.
  • Leon Haywood, ’70s soul singer best known for “I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You” (sampled by Dr. Dre for “Nothin’ But a G Thang”), died April 5 at 74.
  • Merle Haggard, country music legend who had more than 30 No. 1 hits, died April 6 on his 79th birthday.
  • David Gest, a producer, Michael Jackson collaborator, reality TV star and ex-husband of Liza Minelli, died April 12 at 62.
  • Doris Roberts, Emmy-winning actress on Everybody Loves Raymond, died April 18 at 90.
  • Prince, music legend behind hits “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry,” “Batdance,” “1999,” “Kiss” and others, died April 21 at 57.
  • William Schallert, Patty Duke’s TV dad and actors’ union leader died May 8 at 93.
  • Morley Safer, CBS News correspondent, died at 84 on May 19, days after retiring from “60 Minutes.”
  • Muhammad Ali, the boxing legend born Cassius Clay, died June 3 at 74 after a long battle with Parksinson’s disease.
  • Janet Waldo, who voiced Judy Jetson on The Jetsons and Josie on Josie and the Pussycats, died June 12 at 96.
  • Ann Morgan Guilbert, The Nanny and The Dick Van Dyke Show actress who also appeared on Seinfeld and Life in Pieces, died June 14 at 87.
  • Garry Marshall, legendary writer, director and actor whose credits include Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Pretty Woman, died July 19 at 81.
  • Miss Cleo, the famed TV psychic born Youree Harris, died July 26 at age 54 after a cancer battle.
  • Jerry Doyle, Babylon 5 actor best known for playing Chief Warrant Officer Michael Garibaldi, died July 27 at 60.
  • Kenny Baker, Star Wars actor who played R2-D2, died Aug. 13 at 81.
  • John McLaughlin, political commentator and host of The McLaughlin Group, died Aug. 16 at 89.
  • Arthur Hiller, director of Love Story, The Out-of-Towners and See No Evil Hear No Evil, died Aug. 17 at 92.
  • Gene Wilder, comedy legend who starred in classic movies like Young Frankenstein and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, died Aug. 28 at age 83.
  • Alexis Arquette, transgender activist and The Wedding Singer actress, died Sept. 11 at 47.
  • Edward Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? playwright, died Sept. 16 at 88.
  • Arnold Palmer, golf legend known as “The King,” died Sept. 25 at 87.
  • Neville Marriner, British conductor behind Oscar-winning Amadeus soundtrack, died Oct. 2 at 92.
  • Pete Burns, Dead Or Alive singer best known for 1985 hit “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record),” died Oct. 23 after a massive cardiac arrest at 57.
  • Bobby Vee, ’60s teen idol who replaced Buddy Holly and helped Bob Dylan get his start, died Oct. 24 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease at 73.
  • Michael Massee, 24 and Se7en actor best known for accidentally killing The Crow co-star Brandon Lee when a prop gun was improperly loaded, died Oct. 26 at 61.
  • Janet Reno, first woman to serve as U.S. attorney general, died Nov. 7 at 78 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Leonard Cohen, singer-songwriter behind ‘Hallelujah,’ died Nov. 7 at 82.
  • Robert Vaughn, Oscar-nominated actor who starred on TV’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E., died Nov. 11 at 83.
  • Leon Russell, influential singer-songwriter and all-star collaborator, died Nov. 13 at 74.
  • David Mancuso, DJ and New York nightlife pioneer who popularized breaking new music in clubs via a “record pool,” died Nov. 14 at 72.
  • Gwen Ifill, PBS NewsHour anchor and vice presidential debate moderator, died Nov. 14 at 61 after a battle with cancer.
  • Sharon Jones, Grammy-nominated soul singer with The Dap-Kings, died Nov. 18 at 60 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
  • Florence Henderson, beloved Brady Bunch mom, died Nov. 24 at 82.
  • Greg Lake, co-founder of progressive rock bands Emerson, Lake & Palmer and King Crimson, died Dec. 7 at 69.
  • John Glenn, last surviving Mercury 7 astronaut, senator, and old-fashioned America hero, died Dec. 8 at 95.
  • Alan Thicke, actor best known for his starring role in Growing Pains, died Dec. 13 at 69.
  • Bernard Fox, Welsh actor remembered for his portrayal of Doctor Bombay on TV’s Bewitched, died Dec. 14 at 89.
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hungarian-American actress and socialite of many husbands, died Dec. 18 at 99.
  • George Michael, singer-songwriter and founding member of the group Wham, died Dec. 25 at 53.
  • Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, died Dec. 24 at 96.
  • Carrie Fisher, forever known the around the world as Princess Leia from Star Wars, died from cardiac arrest Dec. 27 at 60.
  • Debbie Reynolds, actress and mother to Carrie Fisher, died after suffering a third stroke, Dec. 28 at 84.
  • William Christopher, actor best known for his portrayal of Father Murphy on MASH, died Dec. 31 at 84.

And lastly…

  • American Democracy. Not dead yet, but was removed from life-support on Dec. 19 after having been dealt a life-threatening blow Nov. 8th.

And yet Trump, Pence, his smarmy cacophony of Deplorables, Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson and countless other “christian” douches live on, proving beyond all doubt there is no god.