making the grade

It was a good thing I did my Bible study on Saturday because Sunday was a cavalcade of grading. My photo students turned in their picture stories last Monday and Sunday I graded all of them, except for the one that was denied service by Blogger. Not really sure what that's about — the student did her story about the new calf at a dairy farm and it couldn't have been more wince-inducing than the South American shemales I once stumbled upon by pressing the “next blog” button (yeah, I don't do that anymore. Besides, every single one of them was prettier than me.). Today it's off to actually teach. It's the last teaching day for me before final exams. Guess I need to write a couple of final exams this week, huh?

I did also manage to crank out a few pages on my new play. It's called “The Association” and it's a one-act comedy about hunger and foreclosure. Good times!

letter to the Gov of CA

Please copy, paste, add your name, and use four stamps to send the below to the following folks.


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

State Capitol Building

Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

This morning I read a story online in the San Francisco Chronicle about a seven-year-old first grader whose skull was fractured by a bullying fifth grader (“Oakland: When school bullies get out of hand,” Nanette Asimov, April 24, 2008).

I learned through the article that both students attend Piedmont Avenue Elementary, which is in the Oakland Unified School District.

Last year, 344 students were enrolled at Piedmont Ave. Elementary. Ninety-seven of them were suspended for violent acts. That’s more than 28 percent of the student body!

This boy has been bullied before, which resulted in four lost teeth. Principal Angela Haick did nothing to keep it from happening again.

This level of anarchy and hooliganism is disgusting. Worse yet, this violence-plagued school district (Preparatory Literary Academy, of the same district, had 106 violence-related suspensions) does not even have a permanent superintendent. If the district cannot afford to have people supervising the students before and after school, then call out the National Guard.

How many more first graders need to be sent to the ICU before action is taken?

Sincerely yours,

(your name here)


Vincent Matthews

Interim State Administrator

Oakland Unified School District

1025 Second Ave.

Oakland, CA 94606

Jack O’Connell


CA Department of Ed.

1430 N Street

Sacramento, CA 95814

Angela Haick


Piedmont Ave. Elementary

4314 Piedmont Ave.

Oakland, CA 94611-4716

fool's errand

So my new friend Emily has decided to run for state assembly on the Republican ticket. Which is great, because she's a mom of four who cans and knits, and darned if *every* state assembly doesn't need more Republicans like that. So I took some ballot petitions for her, to help her acquire some of the 300 signatures she needs in order to get on the primary ballot.

Stood in front of the post office for an HOUR and got one signature. And I don't think that one's even valid because the woman was a total dingbat.

Someone had to elect Mitt Romney governor, right? Well, whoever it was, didn't visit the Easthampton post office today. Maybe we'll have better luck at the park on Friday. Cross your fingers.

“Young at Heart”

So here in the little town of Mytown there's a chorus of oldsters and they got themselves a movie made about them that's now in national release. I haven't seen it yet but here's the trailer. Frankly I'm most excited because my electric-guitar teacher is in the chorus band and on account of his last name starting with an “A” he's listed first in the cast list for the movie. As the kids around here used to say, it's wicked cool. But I don't think anybody really says that anymore.

only Tuesday?

It feels like Thursday. *Next* Thursday. Last week was pretty long and I think I'm still feeling the after-effects.

My teaching is starting to wrap up. I give the final exams on May 5th (happy Cinco de Mayo, y'all). I'm thinking the next week I might debut a new one-act at the Mytown Playwrights' Lab. All I gotta do is write it, first. Oh yeah, that. Working title is “The Association,” and it's a comedy about hunger and foreclosure. And though no celebrities are featured, I did get the idea during church last Sunday, so it's in keeping with my last one-act, “Bible Study.” Can't believe I haven't written anything since then!

Oh, but enough about me. How are you doing? How's the fam?

haven't laughed this hard in WEEKS

OK, first read this blog post by BeckyJSacto.

Then, read this blog post by BeckyJSacto.

I've been laughing from the time I read the second post, through the time it took me to send her an e-mail, and even as I type these very words. Peanut must think his (HIS!) mother is a nutjob. OK, a beanjob.

(Even funnier is, when you blow up the picture on the second post, it appears that the bamboo stalks are already in little water capsules, de-necessitating the water in the vase in the first place.)

Incidentially, here's what Amy Sedaris has to say about hostess gifts: “Don't you dare show up with bamboo! You might as well show up with a turtle. … Now that you've lurned all the rules of guest etiquette, relax and have fun, but remember: NO BAMBOO, TURTLES, OR SUNFLOWERS!” — p. 24-25, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence

Also incidentially, Monstro's commentary on the above can be found here. The title alone sent me into further paroxysms.