Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Texture is Soft

My girlfriend and I now have a new couch. The thing was quite a steal. We bought it from a musician person in the Upper East Side, which is a very nice neighborhood, indeed! That means the couch must be perfect and couldn't possibly contain a demon. (I've seen Paranormal Activity; I know what demons are capable of. I also know that demons are cowards.) I'll punch a demon in the throat.

Raise your hand if you've ever seen a demon. That's what I thought.

So this new couch is really something special. It feels very soft. The texture, I mean. The texture is soft. The cushioning is soft, too, but not too soft, if you know what I mean. I don't like couches that are too soft, because they can be uncomfortable. A little bit of firmness is nice.

My girlfriend and I traveled to the top of the Empire State Building. It was stellar. I suggest going at midnight, then you avoid the extreme crowds and insufferable line. At peak times, that line will kill a man. We're talking a three hour wait, at least. Go at midnight; you'll wait 30 minutes, max. And get the "Audio Tour." It gives you all types of interesting trivia. For instance, I learned that that slanted Citigroup building was originally supposed to have solar panels on the slanted roof, but then they never put the solar panels on there. Pretty cool, eh?

On your way to the top of the Empire State Building, they force you to pose for a picture. We posed. Then I decided to buy the picture, on our way out, for approximately $23. Total rip-off, but now I have a sweet magnet frame, with a cool picture inside of it, that can always remind me of my journey to the top of the Empire State Building with my sweetpea.

I was riding my bicycle through the Bronx on Saturday (I had taken this CPR course at my school), and I rode past those Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ guys. I have mentioned them before in this blog. They hate white people a lot. As I rode my bike closer to the guys, I heard them explaining how white people are dogs and how we smell and look like hell. I rode my bike past him, and this little kid ran in front of me in the crosswalk. I thought about how bad the timing would have been if I had struck the kid with my bike. The Israelite Church of God guy would have been like, "You see! I told you! The devil!!" Luckily, I didn't hit the kid with my bicycle, at all.

I have a comedy show coming up on Thursday, July 1st. I'm excited. I haven't performed for a real crowd for so long. I plan to blow the roof off that place. Kapow!

Office Space is a hilarious movie. I like when they beat up the fax machine. Haha. That movie just keeps getting better and better for me. I like when movies or songs improve with age.

What age are you? Mull that one over for a second. Grow a mullet for a second.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sun-tired on the Sluiceway

I certainly went to Six Flags. Now I'm sun-tired. And I have sun burn. The sun burned me from really far away, because it's extremely powerful.

It turns out that I could not really handle the G-forces of many of the bigger rides at Six Flags. I didn't even try to go on the bigger ones. I was maxed out after Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train, the first ride I went on. It's one of those small, "family-style" roller coasters. It was supposed to be my warm-up ride, but it actually turned out to be quite challenging for me, and I was dizzy and slightly ill afterward. I basically sat the bench for the rest of the day's rides, lest I make myself even more sick with a larger roller coaster. I did get on the Saw Mill Log Flume, toward the end of the afternoon. That ride is so classic. It hasn't changed a bit since I was a youngster. My students kept putting their hands in the water, while we were moving, so they could splash each other. I admonished them: "Get your hands outta the water before you get your fingers chopped off!" I'm surprised more people don't get their fingers completely chopped off on the Saw Mill Log Flume. I'm surprised I didn't see more fleshy phalanges floating around in that sluice.

Freakin' sluice. Sluiceway.

Oh yeah: I won a plush toy in that watergun squirt game. I am going to give it to my girlfriend as a present.

I didn't ride on Kingda Ka, but I looked at it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ronnie's Freaking Skull

Here's me, sitting at my desk, at home, missing out on Sunday, because I need to grade papers. Blammo. I don't even want to talk about it.

I did some laundry. I was able to squeeze that into my schedule. We have a nice laundry machine set-up in the basement of our building, so I took advantage of it and put my dirty laundry inside the machines and let them do what they were built to do.

I can't believe people can build certain types of stuff. Like laundry machines. That's impressive. I could never build a laundry machine that actually works. I could build one out of cardboard that's just for show, but I couldn't build one that actually performs a function. Some people are so smart. Probably because of MIT. MIT gives people the ability to be brilliant and make stuff.

I used to work at MIT. (Temp job status, nothing permanent or full time.) It was a fun place to work. I attended a couple of lectures, if I do say so myself. I know stuff that you might not know, because of those lectures. Did you know that MIT is famous for having a lot of food trucks around campus that sell inexpensive meals? I didn't learn that from a lecture. I learned it from walking around the campus. They used to send me on little missions, where I had to drop off documents at different buildings.

My favorite place to go was this one department where this guy Ronnie worked. Ronnie had had a lobotomy a few years back, so he had an interesting disposition, and a bad wig. He was like Phineas Gage, but the opposite. Instead of being angry and bilious, he was unusually affable and sedate. He seemed really medicated. He worked at the front desk in this particular building, and he had all these knick-knacks that were perfectly arranged in his workspace. I would enter his department and we would say hello to one another, and then he would walk me to whomever I needed to deliver the document(s) to.

One time, as we spoke, face to face, a ball of lint flew out of his left nostril. It was funny, because the lint, coupled with the vacant look in his eye, made it seem as though he were rotting from the inside out. Then, a spider crawled out of his wig and walked across his face while he was speaking to me. He was unaware of the spider, and I didn't know how to tell him it was there, so I just listened to him while the thing traversed his visage. He eventually felt the spider and wiped it off his face, but I don't think he knew he was wiping a spider off his face. I think he thought it was a gnat or a stray hair, or something. Ronnie's head was like a haunted house. Ronnie was a gentle man with an empty attic of a skull.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Spelling Challenges and Six Flags Are Exciting

Very well, then.

I did the Woodshed open-mic today in Brooklyn. I have never done a Saturday open-mic before. There were 38 comics signed up for it, so they had to cut the time and give each comic only 2 1/2 minutes. I was fine with that. I was feeling unprepared, anyway. My set went poorly, and my timing was all messed up because I got the light so early. What can you do? There were some funny comedians there, tonight, though the crowd was pretty tough. It was one of those open-mic situations where the crowd is sort of excited at first, and then, after a couple of people bomb, the audience never gets its juice back.

I am stressing out over these leftover essays I need to grade. It's pretty painful to be grading these puppies right now. I am just forcing it out, like a turd. I should be done by midday tomorrow. I just double-checked the spelling of midday. I got it right. Yes!!!!! Yes!! I like spelling and spelling challenges. I don't know how I feel about spelling bees, though. I like being able to write down a challenging spelling word and squint at it to see if it looks right. That's part of the fun for me, and that part of the fun is not honored or accommodated at spelling bees.

I rode my bicycle today. It felt great. Nice day out there. This summer thing is really working out so far. I haven't ridden my bike for a while. She's a good vessel.

On Monday, we have a big field trip to Six Flags. I am predicting fun and excitement. Possibly, also, there will be fried dough. So flavorful. I might go on a roller coaster. Who knows? I haven't been on a roller coaster for ages. I am thinking of going on one that goes upside down in a loopty-loop. I have never experienced such a thing before. I suppose I'm ready for the G-forces. I want to play the throw-the-dart-at-the-balloon game and win. I feel like that's my event, though I regularly underperform in it. Possibly, on Monday, I will shine and win a cheap plush toy.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bear No-show

Boo-yes. I went to the Bronx Zoo yesterday. It was superb. The sea lions are the best part. They bark a lot and jump up on the edge of the pool, ten feet away from the spectators, and bark some more, fiercely. It startles the crowd.

I saw tons of lemurs. They were okay. The bear didn't show. The hyenas were cool, but I only saw them from afar. They looked sinister. The gorilla kept his back to us the whole time. He was pretty far away, too. At one point, a guy walked into the gorilla observation zone, grabbed the telescope thing from one of my students, and said, while peering intensely through it, "I got this! I'm an ex-marine." Then, of course, the kids asked him a bunch of questions about his time in the service, and he told them that you need a lot of math skills in the marines, and that they need to stick with the math. Too bad I'm their English teacher. Now I just have a bunch of students that hate my class and are good with a scope.

It's amazing how a trip to the zoo will bring out the best in your students. When we were looking at the snake exhibit, Troy, who has had a tough year in school, seemed to be glowing with inspiration. It was clear that the natural world had moved him in some way, and he opened his mouth to speak. "If you poop in your dream you poop for real," he said. Then, a reprise, this time while sauntering away: "If you poop in your dream you poop for real." Just in case no one heard him the first time. It was profound. That's the thing about teaching: You can't save all the kids, but if you can just get that one kid to explain the dream-to-reality poop crossover in public, unprovoked, you're a success. Thanks Troy.

I ate waffles and fried chicken at Sylvia's Soul Food Restaurant, in Harlem. It was tasty. I also ate coconut shrimp. Big first for me. I felt slightly ill afterward.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Cat Can't Do Keg-stands

My cat just sits around the house, looking like a real a-hole. He probably has no idea what's going on in the world around him. Shouldn't he be all happy, since he's all ignorant 'n' stuff? What the hell? Instead, he's just a cantankerous curmudgeon. There is no curmudgeon I want to bludgeon more than my cat, sometimes. Look at him, just sitting there, with his fur. I want to give him kisses, but he jilts my affections. Yesterday, he swiped at me for no reason and snagged the skin of my forearm with his claw. Two days ago, he bit into the meat of my tricep. He seemed to do this with malice. Or was it pleasure? Who can really know? He definitely has some emotional problems, but he's pretty cool, otherwise. I guess I'll stay friends with him.

Tomorrow, we are taking the students on a visit to Fordham University, in the Bronx. I feel like everyone tries to make college seem like it's so hard, when really it's easier and more fun than secondary school. I plan to drive this point home to my students, tomorrow. I want to encourage them and get them excited about college, not scare them. I hate when grumpy people try to teach kids about how life sucks more and more as you get older. True. Many people become unhappy as adults, but life doesn't need to be like that, and it shouldn't be like that. It should get better as you grow older. Once those kids get a couple of keggers under their belts, they'll know what I'm talkin' about, eh? Eh? You know what I'm sayin'. The keggers. I was all about the keggers in college. Just ask my college buddies. Nuts. Case race, dude. Friggin' case race.

Beer pong, even? Probably.

My cat wouldn't know the first thing about college. He hasn't the foggiest idea what the word college even begins to mean. He only understands kitty prattle. What a dunce-wad. He's cute, though. He looks like Falcor, from The Neverending Story.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Philbert Takes a Shower

They changed the baked beans at my favorite diner, so now my Cowboy Burger is not quite as delicious as it used to be. What can you do?

It's a hot one out there tonight. Not too hot, though. I like it. It reminds me of summertime. Speaking of summer, it's almost summer, and I'm psyched. I like what summer's all about. Summer is much better than winter, and that's that. Everything's easier in the summer. For instance, dressing. It is easier to dress and undress in the summer, because less clothing is involved. I hate dressing and undressing. I'm sick of it. I've done it so many times.

I hate fine clothing that's not durable. What the hell? Useless. I hate stuff that's dry clean only. Thanks for making laundry more complicated than it already is.

My girlfriend just called me Philbert. She has a bath towel on her head, because she just took a shower. I need to take one of those. I'm bored of showers just like I'm bored of laundry and dressing and undressing.

I'm not bored of chocolate chip cookies, and I never will be.

Be a winner.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tom Cruise 'n' Crenshaw Boulevard (Ice-T's a Pimp)

Not that I told you or anything, but Tom Cruise is totally cool and radical. How could you not like that guy, as an actor? He can't be stopped. I can't think of one movie with him in it that I don't like. He's dreamy. He's a charmer. He really is. I want to see that new Tom Cruise movie.

Speaking of movies, my girlfriend and I watched a movie last night called Something New. It's about the rigors of interracial love. There's this beautiful, business-minded black woman named Kenya, who is having trouble finding a man, and she ends up dating her white landscaper who has a golden retriever and likes nature and plant life. It's good. The best part is when he asks her to take her weave out. She gets really upset and kicks him out of the bedroom. What's funny is that, when she does get her weave removed, her new hairstyle just looks like another weave (or, if it's her hair, it's the type of hair that would make her not want a weave in the first place).

I want to cruise down Crenshaw Boulevard in a stripped-down Jeep with a golden retriever and my black girlfriend. That would be something.

I don't know anything about Crenshaw, except what I've seen in the movies. I know that I love the movie, Boyz N the Hood. Cuba Gooding Junior. That guy's great. Ice Cube. Ice Cuba Gooding Junior.

It turns out that Darryl Strawberry is from Crenshaw. I love it. Just love it. I love the 1990's Yankees. That was baseball's golden period for me. That's back when I used to go to Yankees games every once in a while. Totally fun. I used to have a baseball that was signed by Darryl Strawberry and Dave Winfield 'n' stuff.

Then I moved to Boston, where everyone hates the Yankees, because they're drunk.

Jeter swallows. V-Tek's a beast.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Baby Thighs

I have been feeling infirm for the last couple of weeks. I have this head cold that has been just sticking around. It's been stickin' to my ribs. It's gross. The weather has been nice, too, which makes it worse, because I wish I could have been outside more these last two weeks.

I got rained on, on Wednesday. That didn't help my condition. My girlfriend and I went to the baby store to buy stuff for my friend's baby shower, and it was raining like hell, so we got all wet. I hadn't brought my umbrella, and I refused to buy one of those street umbrellas, and my girlfriend's umbrella was too small to share, so I just tried to take the rain. I just let it hit me. It was fine at first, but then the temperature dropped, and I became extraordinarily uncomfortable. It was pretty nasty. I hated it. The worst part was that we stopped at one of our favorite diners, and my meal didn't astonish me. Usually, when we go to that diner, my meal astonishes me with its toothsomeness, but not this time. It's because I got the waffle. I am sticking with the french toast from now on. Their french toast is amazing. And they have a great fish tank. It's this place in Chelsea.

Chelsea, Massachusetts is a lot different than Chelsea, Manhattan. You should visit both and compare. Actually, don't visit Chelsea, Massachusetts.

There is a parade outside, right now. I'm missing it! I'm missing it! Oh wait, it's some church parade. No biggie.

I'm going to a baby shower, today. I'm looking forward to it. There should be some great food there. I like baby thighs. Not as a food, just in general. I think they're great. They're all squishy. How big is a baby's knee cap? Is it approximately the size of a dime? That's my guess. Dime-sized. Baby skeletons are cool-looking.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jake Jillenbush

I had a pretty nice little open mic, tonight. When I was walking to the place, I bumped into my friend, Jon, on Bleecker Street. It was something else. He looks like Jake Gyllenhaal. Every time I go to say "Jake Gyllenhaal," I want to say "Jake Jillenbush," but then I remind myself that that's not the actor's name. It's because my friend Jeff always calls him "Jake Jillenbush." But my friend Jeff wasn't on Bleecker Street tonight, Jon was, and I commented that he looks like Jake Gyllenhaal, and he explained that he gets that about once a week. So Jon decided to come watch me and the other comics at the open mic. He was a good audience member.

I have to sing in front of 8th graders, tomorrow, at 8am. I am singing that song from the tournament montage in The Karate Kid. I am still trying to memorize the words. You're the best in town (FIGHT!). I love that movie.

I keep playing with my beard and falling asleep. Okay, goodnight.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Neville! Neville!!

Be careful when you use a swingset, because you might not be in good enough shape to handle it. You need to warm up to it. Work at it a little bit each day, and then go for those super-high swings.

I swingset-swung today for the first time in at least ten years. I was not physically prepared, and now I am paying the price, with my life. Or, at least, an aspect of my life has been exchanged for swingset-swinging: my physical comfort.

Let me explain. My girlfriend and I took a bike adventure out to Governor's Island. We used the ferry and everything. After we debarked, we walked our little bicycles over to a big map of the island, where a nice young man, who worked for the Park Service, helped us figure out where in the devil to go for a couple of freakin' hot dogs or maybe a cheeseburg. The guy gave us all sorts of information about the historical military buildings on the island: Fort Jay; Castle Williams; The Barracks. He also told us about how the garrison that was garrisoned on the island helped keep the enemy away from New York City, back in the day (the War of 1812?). But there was something strange about the map. There was one whole part of it, in the middle, which was completely grayed-out, like there was something secret in there, or something ignominious. So I asked, "Hey, what's that big gray area?" And he responded, "Oh, that's just some baseball fields that are rented out to little league teams 'n' stuff." Then I said, "Oh. Huh," but I knew something was amiss. What were they concealing? All I knew was that these people, with their lies, needed to be stopped, and I was going to be the one to stop them.

We went to Fort Jay first. The lawns were nicely mowed, and there are probably ghosts in that place. I fear ghosts, especially demons. We capered through the fort for a spell, then we went to the castle.

The castle sucks. You can't even go inside of it, and it doesn't even look cool. The most pathetic part about the castle is that it took four years to build. The sign says, "Commenced 1807, Compleated 1811." C'mon. You can't come up with a better castle than that after four years? The Empire State Building was constructed in just over a year, and that thing is world famous. I don't understand the logistics of building a castle during the early nineteenth century, but I know they could have done better. There aren't even any towers. How do you build a castle with no towers? There was one mini lookout tower, but it looked like it was just for decoration. Bunch of crap. "Wait, this is a castle? Where's the portcullis? Oh yeah, I forgot, this castle sucks!" Try building that castle in Wales, pal. Ha! It'll be the laughing stock. That castle stinks. I should have peed on it. Then at least it would have had a moat.

So then we went to the concession stand. We got hot dogs and cheeseburgs that were wrapped in foil paper. We people-watched (great people-watching on that island, by the way). We disposed of our trash.

Then we left the "Historical District." I was excited to uncover the mystery of the gray area. As we pedaled along on the bike path, I suddenly felt as if I were in rural North Carolina, not because carports were being sold straight off the lot for $699.99. No. 'Twas because we had entered the land of the forgotten. Run down, defunct, overgrown military housing was everywhere. It looked like a long-abandoned college campus. Tons of broken down apartment buildings and housing developments occupy about 45% of the land on the island. Actually, no. They occupy less land than that, but it seems like that, because they are all that you see for half the time. There is even one part of an apartment complex that has been blackened and blown-out by fire. The informational sign says that the abandoned apartments were used to test new fire equipment. New fire equipment, indeed! We all know that something strange and scandalous happened on that island in the 1960's. We all know about the zombies, perhaps?

In all honesty, I love the fact that Governor's Island has a post-apocalyptic theme. I think it looks cool. It totally makes up for the disgrace that is Castle Williams. I don't know why they highlight Castle Williams on the map and obscure the I Am Legend part. It should be the other way around. "Oh. Yeah. Up there, in the gray, is Castle Williams. It sucks and doesn't even have a drawbridge. But, see here in this big red area that takes up 45% of the map? That, my friends, will make you feel like you're in a zombie movie."

Anywho, let me get back to the swingset. We Mad-Maxed ourselves through the wasteland on our dusty, matte black bicycles, and eventually arrived at the picnic area, which is totally sweet. They did such a nice job with the picnic area. It's impressive. Picnic tables. Comfy chairs. Hammocks. Freakin' pristine. And then, Pow! A huge swingset zone that faces the water and the Freedom Statue. We swung and laughed and our heads got dizzy and we felt nauseated, but it was fun and we did it for a while. Now, at 1:50 AM, I still feel nasty from that damn swingset session, combined with the cheeseburg. Next time I'm stretching first.

By the way, Governor's Island is shaped like an ice cream cone that's holding a melting scoop of ice cream. Good thing flight wasn't invented yet, during the war of 1812. That would have been embarrassing. You know what was invented, though? Dungeons and trap doors. Two things Castle Williams doesn't have, for some reason. That castle is stupid.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Too Much Freakin' Pizza (Stratego Rules!)

What do you get when you gobble down treats? Hmm?

Treats, indeed. I certainly have eaten too much pizza this week. I am a hateful pizza abomination. I'm surfeited with dough. Dough and sauce and cheese. Ughhh. I've had too much. Too much, altogether.

I am glad tomorrow is Friday. I will be TGIF-ing myself all over the place tomorrow night. Watch out for me, with my 9:30 PM cut-off. It's tough for me to party past 9:30 or 10:00 on Fridees. I just don't have it in me.

I haven't ridden my bike all week. It sucks. It doesn't feel good. I've been sick, though, so I guess I am stuck on the train. The train isn't so bad, but it makes me bleary-eyed and fatigued.

Stratego Club was awesome, today. I love watching my students get all excited about Stratego. This one kid, Ronald, was sitting there, playing Stratego, wearing prescription basketball spectacles (the ones that are shock proof and have a strap that goes around your head). I guess his normal glasses are broken right now. It was a hilarious sight. He's a cool kid. I pretty much think that all my Stratego players are the shit.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hellmaster G

Well, June has certainly been my kind of month so far. Nice and hot. Sunny. A brief rain blast. I'll take it.

I watched the spring music concert at my school, tonight. Very nice. Some kids played the shortest pieces ever on the piano. It was funny. It was like this:

"Now, we have Jon Mendez performing Larry Schnitzelman's 'Blah Blah Concierto in C Minor'":

Honky tonk, tink tonk, tinkle dee tonk, tinkle winkle smear, klonk, tonk, blonky tinkly blonk! Blonk!

Then we clapped.

There were a few short ones like that. One kid did a sweet rendition of "Paparazzi." That one was a bit longer, and I enjoyed it.

On my way to the train station tonight, I encountered those crazy, sociopathic Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ guys who believe the white man is the devil. It was awesome. I was in the periphery of a conversation with my colleague and some students and their parents, and the head crazy guy accosted us with his minions and started ranting at my coworker. Then he cast aspersions upon me and gave me the hairy eyeball. I stared at him, simpering, and said nothing. It would have been pointless to argue. It's weird how, in his life story, I play the role of "the devil." That's flattering. I'm a dark prince. I didn't know I was that important. In my life story, I'm just some basic white dude walking around. I'll take the promotion.

Phil Collins rules.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nantucket Diarrhea Discus

Wowzers! So many basic topics to be discussed in life. For tonight, let's discuss the discus. Did you know that the discus used to be used as a weapon, but now it is just used by high school students that go to a school that can afford to have such bizarre equipment? It's true. I was on the track team in 8th grade, when I was a full-on, skinny dweebstick. I was totally frail, yet I chose the following events to compete in: discus; shot put; long jump. Big wow. Long jump might seem reasonable to someone who doesn't know just how bony and knock-kneed my legs were, but no. I sucked at it. I was never very swift on my feet. I had big feet attached to spindly legs. In 6th grade, my friends used to yell, "Run, Will, run!" just to incite me to run, so that they could laugh at my pathetic, gangly strides. The first time I did it, I thought they thought I was cool, but then I realized they were laughing at me and how I looked like a doofmaestro. It cut my insides asunder to know that I was being gibed in such a manner. Where be your gibes, now, guys? Huh? Now look at my legs and thighs and stuff. So nice and everything. I still lack running prowess, though.

One time my sister got diarrhea in Nantucket. She went to Nantucket and received a stomach bug. I was there. It was very embarrassing for her. She was approximately twelve years old.

I remember waking up in Nantucket one night, and I was stuck in the weirdest, most frightening half-asleep nightmare state, ever. I still remember the images. I thought there were all these beach bugs in my bed, and I was tearing at the covers like a damn wildman, and I kept seeing the beach and knowing that the beach bugs were out there, teeming and clicking and digging away at the grainy shore. It was something. I always liked going on family trips to Nantucket, because I got to feel like a hip, knowledgeable mainlander. Actually, I may have only felt that way once I reached my angsty life phase. Before that phase, I sort of just liked going there and riding my bicycle while wearing fluorescent sunglasses with a croakie. The croakie had dinosaurs on it and went great with my mullet.

Chances are very high that I will be eating a TimTam tonight. I love those things. I'll have a TimTam or two. I'll take a tally of the TimTams I eat tonight and tell you tomorrow.

My girlfriend looks pretty doofy on the dumb couch right now. I want to spit a dead monkey at her, like that part in Anaconda. Good film. Good use of primitive computer graphics. I think they used an abacus to animate that snake. I wish I were the first person to make an abacus joke; then that joke would be a real zinger!

Floss tonight? 50% chance, as usual.

Poop cat turds.