Monthly Archives: October 2009

Failure to yield.

I don’t have anything clever to say.  I just feel things.  I want to feel that terrible, wonderful disorientation that comes from a well thrown clenched fist.  I want a good reason to destroy.

Today would be a good day to get in my way.  But if you hit that switch, pray.

I know what awaits me on the ‘morrow.

And that pain will test me again.  My chest will pulse, and flutter, and I will sit and wonder,

What will they say, if it’s too much, and I pass away?

I wish I would stop doing this to myself.

I know that this is going to be hell.

close your eyes and when they never open it all means nothing.

July 5th, 2006
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Quake in your shoes son,

Shake in your boots,

Piss yourself once or twice,

This is life,

Not what you expected,

Not at all what you thought,

And what were you thinking?

Break it down,

One life, one wife,

One way to be,

One boy, and then another,

What a joy to see,

One house for all to live,

One man with all to give,

Take it, and take it, and leave me nothing,

Lose yourself, lose your soul,

Lose your mind,

Make your hole,

Dive in,

Dive in,

The water is fine,

Black and cold, dignity sold,

By the minute, growing old,

Look at my eyes, look inside,

That fear that lingers,

My only prize,

Some bags you also left behind,

From nights and nights of sleepless eyes,

What you see is hardly real,

With half a heart I still appeal,

Witness, watch me,

Pure chaos,

Catch me,

Swirling doom is what awaits,

Awake, awake,

All is done for their sake,

Awake, awake,

I burn in hell of my own make.

And the dream, it comes

Creeping hands slowly reaching,

Slowly up the bed covers,

Underneath,

You don’t belong!

Throat is frozen tight,

I cannot scream, but I still try,

I can feel you still, but I cannot see you there,

And you climb on top,

To smother me, and all I can do is scream,

And scream,

And scream,

No one hears me,

No one ever hears me scream,

Am I awake?

I feel awake, but I cannot move,

And you have your way with me,

Help me, let me go,

Anyone, I am so scared, anyone,

Do you hear me?

Suddenly I come alive,

I move,

I shake in fear and anger, at nothing,

How dare you, how dare you,

And it dawns on me,

The futility of my puny life,

The folly of my self importance,

And just who do you think you are?

One mis-step away from oblivion,

One missed beat, one forgotten breath,

And it will all be over,

A sleep that you know will feel like slippery numbness,

The hands have shown you the terrible end,

And you do not fear the feeling,

You fear the loss.

Hi random AIM person!

Well, facebook sure opens up a world of fun and enjoyment doesn’t it?  I hardly think I would have had the pleasure of indulging this healthy being without my renewed participation.  Enjoy!

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Xaxrsis is available (5:20:25 PM)
Xaxrsis (5:19:03 PM): Alas, from the void a glistening star arises out of nothingness, then all was as before… Vast nothingness for eternity.
Xaxrsis is available (5:20:25 PM)
Xaxrsis (5:19:35 PM): To consume all that dare breathe a sigh for all that was, and shall would have been as testament.
Tobas of T (5:21:01 PM): captain kirk?
Xaxrsis (5:22:00 PM): But then how does one cope with such knowledge? A catastrophe in the making hidden in the minds of those blood bound to keep such things unbeknownst to common man?
Tobas of T (5:22:21 PM): this is simple
Tobas of T (5:23:52 PM): once amongst the stars, engage warp drive, and bid adieu to those nasty klingons once and for all, afterwards, several pan galactic gargle mindblasters should serve to strengthen coping skills immeasurably
Xaxrsis (5:26:50 PM): I should have anticpated such things cometh from the mind of one so unenlightened. I am finished with you. To alter causality is to play God; You are simply unaware of the fate that has befallen you. We shall meet face to face in the coming days. Until then. adieu.
Tobas of T (5:27:41 PM): yup. nigga got galactic. say word.

QoTW

It’s that time again…QoTW time!

This comes from Rebecca, who hails from Louisiana.  Not only was this a fantastic conversation, I also discovered the term, ‘textual’, which I have now adopted into my everyday vocabulary.

(eg. “at their place of employment, it was considered a very serious matter to be accused of textual harassment”)

But this frank assessment of romance took the prize,

“I love people. I love being in love…I just have a hard time with the in-between stuff”

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That makes two of us gorgeous.

Bored of Ed.

Imagine for a moment, you have just been handed two shiny orchestra seat tickets to the hottest show on Broadway.  A delightful musical called “We Can Be Pansies Too!” starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig.

So you wait for the escort service girl to arrive, call a cab, and arrive just in time to see the curtain rise.  Jackman and Craig immediately start a scene, but you notice something odd.  The lines, the songs, all of it, are delivered in a dull, almost monotone way.  It sounds more like a lecture than a play, and although you are getting all the information needed to follow along, you find that you can hardly keep your eyes on the stage for more than thirty seconds at a time.  If someone asked you the plot an hour later, chances are, you could only give a vague and mostly inaccurate synopsis.  The worst part is, it seemed like a great story, it was just SO boring.

That’s a pretty shitty scenario huh?

Well ladies and gentlemen, that scenario is precisely what every single child thrust into our educational system is subjected to, day in, and day out.

Argument 1.

“Tobas, last time I checked, school wasn’t a play, the point is to learn things, not to be wowed by the theatrics of talented homosexuals.”

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Yes, this is very true, and thank goodness.  However, let’s take a trip back in time quickly, that way perhaps we may be able to glean some information on how humans have traditionally passed crucial knowledge along generations.

Ah, here we are.  A medieval tavern.

Huh?  A tavern?

Yup.  First of all, time travel makes me thirsty, and as all good nerds know, beer also helps your body combat the nauseating effects of inter-dimensional travel.  Anyway.

Do you hear that lute in the background?  It’s that guy in he corner, see him?  His name is Hugh Von Halen, and he’s telling us all a nifty story about King such and such, who went to war against the nefarious King such and such, because of a dispute over cow dung.

Why does ANY of this matter?

Because this is how we learned, to learn.  By telling stories to each other.  Since the dawn of mankind we have sat around fires, listening to our twenty-five year old ‘elders’ tell us about the great hunt for the woolly blubbery thing that could kick your ass.  See, not only were these stories the only real form of entertainment available, but they served to impart wisdom to the other members of the group.  Because you can be damn sure Goruk, boy hunter, will make sure to steer himself clear of those mammoth tusks, and try to put that spear somewhere where it will have effect, once he hears how Tirkuk, lackadaisical hunter, caught four feet of ivory in the jewels.

It wasn’t enough to simply ‘know’ things.  You had to understand it, because you also had to APPLY it.  This brings me to the number one question I hear from people when they speak of learning.

“Yeah, whotever, when da hell am I eva gonna use dis shit anyway?  Like, who da hell is gonna ask me, ‘Ey Greg, whots da fuckin Pythagorean fuckin theorem, huh?’

Greg has a point.  It is quite likely no one will ever ask him what the Pythagorean theorem is, or any other educational question for that matter.  Sadly, this is a fact for most Americans.  But here is the point that Greg, and the rest of our cookie dough loving nation is missing.  We use basic principles like the Pythagorean theorem, all of the time.

Our brains calculate information at a phenomenal rate.  Even Greg’s.  We are mostly unaware of these minute mathematical miracles, but they are the reason we open doors wide enough to enter places, make those right turns without inflicting casualties, and plug shiny green ducks from two hundred yards with a spray of buckshot.  That old Greek son of a bitch came up with this THOUSANDS of years ago, and no matter how you twist it, the idea remains solid.  It is simply truth, and whether or not we care to know it, our brains understand it to be so.

Alright, so how does this help us when it comes to teaching today??

I think the answer is fairly obvious if you paid attention at the outset.  We need to teach our teachers differently.

It is not enough to simply know a great deal of information, organize it into manageable chunks, and then decide which chunks are the most crucial based on what the standardized test is going to look like at years end.  This approach turns students into disinterested databases who, if motivated enough, will try and cram as much information in their memories as possible.  All the while, never actually ‘knowing’ a damn thing.  Oh sure, the motivated ones could spout a Jeopardy-like torrent of facts, but so could this laptop, given the correct software.

Story-telling should be mandatory.  Yes, I said mandatory.  Story-telling, theatre, drama, whatever the hell you want to call it.  Those who teach our children shouldn’t just learn what they need to teach, but they should learn how to teach it as well.  Currently, the system is designed somewhat like a driving school that passes students solely based on how well they did on a written exam.

Argument 2.

” Alright, fine Mr. ‘I don’t even have my bachelors but I want to tell people how they should be taught’, what about Math, and Science?  Hm?  What do you want them to do, make up a love story between sine and cosine?  Or maybe describe the nucleus of an atom as a ‘glorious particle filled egg, ready to birth energy at any moment?’ “

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See?  You’re getting good at this already.

Well no, of course that would be ridiculous, and not to mention completely condescending.  Lucky for educators, math and science contain an enormous array of compelling stories surrounding the information they wish to pass on.  Don’t believe me, alright then, sit back and hear a little about Gottfried Leibniz.

Gottfried Leibniz was a German Mathematician born in 1646.  He was a brilliant man, who not only made important contributions in mathematics, but in the fields of biology and physics as well.  His invention of the binary system is the very reason anyone is able to read this at all, since it is the core language of every computer, ever.  His list of accomplishments stretches far and wide.  However, ask the average Joe “the Plumber” (barf..) if they know who Gottfried Leibniz is.

“Ya got fried whaa?  Gimmie some a dat shit, I’m hungry.”

Now, ask that same Cro-Magnon if they have ever heard of ‘Sir’ Issac Newton.

“Uh, did’n dat dude get an apple chucked at his head or somethin’?”

Not quite.  However, chances are much greater you will hear something in the affirmative.  Most likely the same old regurgitated, ‘apple falling on his head’ legend.  Leibniz, and Newton happened to both be brilliant and groundbreaking thinkers, and also, contemporaries.

That’s right, these two mega-eggheads lived at the same time, pounding out idea after idea.  Then along came Calculus.

You see, Leibniz actually published his paper outlining the discovery of calculus first.  However, Newton is always credited with discovering it.  This is because our buddy Leibniz ‘allegedly’ got a peek at Newtons unpublished papers on it, WAY before he put it all together.  According to Newtons supporters however, that was all he needed.  His nifty noggin was able to fill in the blanks to make it complete.  At the time, and even now, this was a controversy fit for the cover of US weekly.  Leibniz was hounded by bad press, and claims of forgery, which Newton himself put forth on many occasions.  It was all out nerd on nerd gang fights in hallowed halls of learning everywhere.

Newton won that battle, and to this day, Leibniz is but a footnote in all but the most comprehensive math courses.

Discovery, betrayal, intrigue.  Properly executed, this story alone, along with the necessary information thrown in at key points in order to illustrate what was at stake, would go a long way towards doing two things.

One, making a math class fun (god forbid!), and two, helping students retain information by inserting it into a familiar and compelling setting (a story).

Science is even easier.  There are so many interesting characters and stories surrounding the information most classes try to teach, I would imagine the real difficulty would lie in which to use, as opposed to finding one ‘juicy’ enough to keep adolescents riveted.

Argument 3.

“Okay, I’m reading a lot of claptrap about cavemen, and nerds, and beer, but what the hell makes you think what you propose would work ANY better than the system we have in place now?  Which basically is, memorize a bunch of crap and then spew it onto a regents exam.”

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This wont take very long.  As a matter of fact, I will not even attempt to counter this argument.

I simply ask this.

Find your little brothersisternephew etc.  Ask them how school is going.  Ask them what they have learned.  And then ask them how they could use it, and what it actually means.

When that is finished, then ask them about Harry Potter.  Or Hannah Montana.  Or Twilight.

This could go on a very long time, so I’m going to assume you get the gist.

I am willing to bet the entire gross national product of Chile, those kids could tell you every single fucking detail of the characters and stories mentioned above.  Not only that, they could likely compare and contrast them, describe relationships, and also give you a brief synopsis on how the physical and biological rules have been adjusted to allow for awesome.

Need I say more?

No, but of course I will.

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The American public has their heads in the proverbial sand.  Inside that sand hole is a fifty-two inch screen plasma television with Friends and Seinfeld on an infinite loop.

Meanwhile, the papers are riddled with headlines such as,

“Another company outsourcing!”, or, “More jobs lost as Dell moves it’s entire business to India!”

We aren’t losing to India.  Or China, or Japan.  We are allowing our kids to become drooling idiots because we in turn, have allowed OURSELVES to become drooling idiots.  That’s right.  Because every minute junior spends zapping virtual bugs, is another minute you get to watch that episode of sex in the city you have had on your digital recorder since last week.  And no young boy needs to see Kim Catrall naked ever again, outside of Porky’s of course.

Our future looks bleak people, and it has little to do with global warming or impending nuclear holocaust.

It was a terrible film, but the vision is sound.  Go check out Idiocracy for a glimpse of what’s coming.

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Until everyone just accepts the fact that it works and leaves Pi the fuck alone,

Live it, Love it (edumacate it),

~T

QoTW

Haven’t had a quote of the week in a hot minute, so I’ve decided to include a bonus quote which would certainly have garnered QoTW had I decided to leave my obnoxious switch in the ‘off’ position this weekend.

Also, in a first for the QoTW, the quote is credited to yours truly.

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Like almost all previous quotes, this one requires a setup to establish context.

A few months back, my best-est pal text messaged me with a hell of a proposal.  Us two, ten nubile city living women, and two hours to romp around a spooky art museum trying to solve a murder mystery.  My head swam with visions of Scooby-Doo, except this time Daphne was gonna be trying to solve the mystery of the pants zipper.

The setting, the ratio, the plan to go out and get wasted after, all of it, was absolutely perfect.  Fish in a barrel.

It didn’t take very long for the ‘girls gone wild at the met’ video playing in my mind to come to a screeching, blue-ball inducing halt.  The ones that didn’t have boyfriendshusbands, acted like they did.  It wasn’t as if any of them stepped off the pages of maxim.  Not unattractive, but nothing to beat off to in the bathroom by greco-roman sculpture either.

So we ran back and forth across this museum like the Griswolds, trying to find answers to mostly silly clues.  I participated more or less enthusiastically, all the while wishing I were piss drunk.

Finally, after two very LONG hours, we converged at the Hall of Deneb to compile our answers and identify the ‘killer’ and the motive.  The winning team was decided by a point system based on how many clue answers were correct, the correct identity of the killer, and the correct motive.  Out of the 8 or so teams of six that participated, ours came in a tie for second.

The winners were the six others in the twelve of our original group.  Six happy, smug, and utterly boring women clapped their hands and smiled dull smiles at each other, likely already beginning to think about the exciting fall television line-up in the work week ahead.

Bonus points were awarded for the team with the most clever name.  Our wallpaper-like guide cheerfully announced,

“I also awarded the bonus points to our winners, the, Detective Divas!”

More polite laughing and dainty golf claps echoed softly through the hall.

Then something in my brain did a little back flip.  Except it landed like afro-ninja in that now legendary youtube video.

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“Hey,… hey, ha-ha, wait, wait, you guys were the only team that had all girls on it, right?”

My friend looked sharply in my direction.  I pretended to not notice this.  Meanwhile, I was ignored.

Me again, louder this time:  “Hey guys, that was awesome, aren’t you the only all-female squad too?”

Finally, one girl who I did know prior to the event answered, “uh, yeah”.

My friends eyes widened and he silently shook his head, I believe he may have mouthed a silent “NO” as well.

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And the coup de grace,

“You know, a great name for you guys would have been, ‘The Scavenger Cunts!’….”

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“Cunts” echoed through the Hall of Deneb loud enough for Osiris himself to utter, ‘dammmmn homie’, from the banks of the river Styx.

The response was marked and universal.  I was treated as an amazonian tribal facing judgment from the elders.  Six comfortably clothed female backs turned in my direction as one, like some sort of dull and offended vertical blind.

Meanwhile, my friend gaped, and I struggled mightily to contain my laughter.  Outside of Great Britain, the word ‘cunt’ used in any place where english is primarily spoken is the equivalent of a verbal shotgun blast.  In other words, it’s amazing.

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On to quote numero dos.

At a wine tasting partybirthday I was at yesterday, I overhead this,

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“Hey, did I ever tell you guys about the time I lit my dick on fire?”

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‘Nuff said.