goal for 2008: raise little wise ass political rebels of my very own

so right now, i have to admit that i am a little bitchy, thanks to my back and the fact that i have to wrap my torso in order to not fall into a heap. damn spine... back pain sucks, and it makes me feel old and rickety; i don't feel like my usual spry self. i HATE that. but to more important subjects...

i suppose that i wear my political heart on my sleeve, in that i'm fairly vocal about my utter disdain for the establishment (or, more correctly, the establishment of the past 8 years). oh well. but, in the classroom, i try to at least avoid revealing my true political colors because, really, it's a setting meant to focus on the students and not on the teacher. at the same time, i think it's vitally important that my kids be aware of the candidates, the issues, the election, and the whole effect it has on our nation and their lives. maybe that's a tall, idealistic, and unrealistic order when it comes to twelve year olds, but that never stops me from trying.

anyway... as our warm-ups in English class, i've had them think of what could happen if nobody voted, what like might be like without the right to vote, and what they might do if elected president. as it turns out, they had Really Good answers, and the responses were surprisingly left-leaning. you have to understand--essex and the surrounding area are quite conservative and right-wing, and there was a good deal of outcry when o'malley defeated ehrlich in the MD gubernatorial race. they were suggesting that taxes be lowered for the middle class, the troops be brought home, standardized testing be dropped because it hurts schools, and (this one surprised me the most, in that they were even aware of it) improve access to healthcare for the poor and the elderly. !!! that's impressive. there will be cynics that say that my kids are just being parrots after hearing their parents talk, but even if that is true, it's a win-win situation. if they are simply repeating things, that means it's being discussed at home, and the kids are exposed to and being a part of it. and if not, that means the views are theirs, which is pretty damn incredible.

even more fun after all of that--the kids starting asking a lot of quesitons about how the government works, and then somehow we ended up talking about richard nixon and impeachment and gerald ford. i'm lucky they never moved on to bill clinton... the fact that they're even curious and have a million questions excites me to no end, and it places me in a very... what's the word... in a situation where i have to be very mindful of what i say because, as the teacher, i can heavily influence the discussion. i don't want them to register a certain way, vote party line, etc., etc. all i want is for them to be curious, to ask the questions, to search for answers, to form their own opinions, and to be active in the process. and, at least for 48 minutes a day, they are. and that makes me happy.


i'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack......

i'm switching back to blogger so that people who can't read myspace can keep up with me here. downside--no email notifications, but oh well. nothing interesting so far today, but keep checking. i'll be around eventually.



apparently, my esotericism is my undoing.


mine muse doth provoketh me...eth.

i now have a muse. self-appointed, but thoughtful and enlightened nonetheless.

once again, this evening, Muse and i ventured into philosophical territories and found ourselves involved in a discourse on the profundities of knowledge of others. this doesn't mean, "ooh, ooh, i know kevin bacon!" what we were exploring was a foundational understanding of who a person is at his or her core. this conversation was going well, and then Muse posed the view that it is unimportant that another person knows every piece and every facet of oneself. if the self has the details, what else does the self need? (i hope that i correctly represented Muse's point of view... if i'm inaccurate, i'll personally resign from my position in the government of the small latin american country that Muse rules during leisure hours)

anyway, upon reflection, i realized that not only am i unsatisfied with that supposition, but i am also displeased with my initial response. here is my second offering, which i hope to be more enlightening and intellectually annoying:

to get to the relational core of the issue, it's edifying to look at the subject in the context of love. (yes, here i go again. deal with it.) of course, we're wielding the very weighty connotations and the more elusive denotations of "love" and "knowledge" in this conversation, and we're also assuming that we can enact this emotion or state of being or what have you with as complete an understanding as we can. we have to remind ourselves of the fluidity of these consuming concepts as we put forth our arguments. but i digress.

is it not an essential piece of love, to know the beloved on such an elevated plane of intimacy? isn't it part of love's nature to continuously evolve in the knowledge of every aspect of the beloved's being? what is the nature of this knowledge? what form does it take? isn't a manifestation and in fact the lifeblood of knowledge the communication of itself, thus feeding and growing the connection[s] between the lover and the beloved? it's an endless investigation, and in love, there is the inherent desire to be known. the withholding of knowledge, and indeed the lack of interest in it, is often seen as a breach of the bond of love itself.

thus, my ultimate question:

if another's such knowledge is deemed unimportant and nonessential for oneself, is it at all possible to genuinely participate in something so intrinsically communal as love?


mileage (pt. 1) + nature

despite last night's insomnia, i was able to do a good little run on the NCR trail. note to self: don't run at 1PM when the heat index is over 90-some degrees. the shade was a god-send. anyway, i had a little issue with cramping and breathing due to the humidity, but i did an easy 20 minutes. i have no clue how far i went, as i didn't pay attention to the markers, but whatever. my L leg is still annoying me, but it wasn't so bad that i had to stop; i just slowed down until i was comfortable. now's time for an ice bath. yee haw!

i took plenty of time after running to stretch and relax in the shade, and while i was doing so, a sizeable black and yellow butterfly fluttered by and landed on a bush right next to me. then a female cardinal flew back and forth between the trees nearby. plenty of other birds, as well as a number of insects, were chiming in, and a breeze was blowing small leaves across the tops of the high grasses. even though this was very close to Paper Mill Rd, you really wouldn't notice it because it was serene and quiet. this is one reason why i love running: the unending nurturing of appreciation for the life and beauty around you.

mileage and insomnia

this has been a poor week, mileage-wise. i'd overdone it with that wicked biking/running on sunday, so consequently i took monday and tuesday off to rest my very sore legs. then, wednesday, i got hit with a fever, which didn't break until thursday night. thus, i didn't get to train again until today. initially, it was a bit aggravating, but, thanks to brendan [h], i stopped worrying and just relaxed. sure enough, today's was a great workout. i just did 20 laps (1000m-0.6 miles) in the pool without stopping. sure, i won't have walls for push-off in the river (duh), but i'm still glad that i could manage it. i'm also very pleased because i figured out one reason why i'd been having trouble with freestyle; my breathing rhythm was off. it was much better once i fixed it, and even though it's still not very strong, it could still help me come race morning.

which, by the way, is only FIFTEEN DAYS AWAY. yikes. but yikes in a very good way. and funny thing--not only has laurie offered her good bike for me to borrow, but the shop was in fact able to fix my bike. from a dearth to a plethora. weird how that works.

and i can't sleep. it's weird. i haven't slept soundly this entire week, and tonight is the worst. i went to bed pretty tired at 10-ish and woke up at 12:30AM. i've been awake ever since. it's not all bad. haven't had warm milk to drink in awhile, and that's pretty yum. okay, that's weird, but whatever. i also have had time to relax and think about a few things like priorities and goals. i'm also creating something new: a life list of races/places to run. so far, i have the valley of fire [half] marathon*, the empire state building run-up, the army 10, the celtic solstice (here in dru hill park), the village of mata-solana (spain), and, by far the coolest on the list yet, THE GREAT WALL MARATHON. yes, that great wall. like i said, this is a life list, and it's bound to grow and shrink as the years go by. but i'm determined to enjoy life as much as possible, and adventure running is one of the best ways to do that!

*i'm bagging valley of fire for this year due to $$$ and the fact that i'll never be given the extra day off that i need. suck.

oh, and brendan [c] wants me to add the Death Valley marathon. that boy is insane. but if he dares me, i'll probably do it. i'm dumb that way.



iPod game, modified

so here's the idea. i'll post some lyrics from songs that are shuffling on my iPod right now. if you can guess ALL ten songs and the artists correctly, you'll get a prize. a gold star or something. or points. we'll see how good your answers are. here it goes:

1. Shine through times with rhymes bright like yellow
Taste and swallow, lead and never follow,
Break it like a bottle

2. I was the pirate, she was the queen
Sir Francis and Elizabeth, the best there's ever been
Then she strolled past my table and stopped at the stairs
Then sent me a smile as she reached for Flaubert

3. hard one--Love of two is one
Here but now they're gone (hint: *cow bell*)

4. Well, I'm standing on a corner
In Winslow, Arizona
And such a fine sight to see (i've actually been to Winslow, AZ)

5. You run your finger round the rim of his glass
You run your fingers through his hair
They scratch across his back

6. give source of the dialogue & the name of the song after it:
I love you, Pumpkin... I love you, Honey Bunny.
Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!
Any of you fucking pricks move,
And I'll execute every mother-fucking last one of you!

7. We're blessed with the force and the sight of electronics
With the bass, and the treble, the horns and our vocals

8. I think of us someplace
High on a mountain
Smoke clears
Fog lifts
Little by little
We'll rebuild again

9. If you're alive at thirty-three
And you're turning tricks
With your crucifix.
You're a star, oh child.

10. Strange what desire will make foolish people do
I never dreamed I'd love somebody like you

there you go. you'll get extra points and gold stars and possibly the prize behind Door 3 if you can make a conjecture about my personality based on the songs above.

***i was told that this (as originally posted on my myspace blog) was ridiculously hard. in deference to the individual who castigated me, i'll list in random order the artists so that you can match things up.

U2, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles, Pulp Fiction, Jurassic 5, Chris Isaak(s?), Rage Against the Machine, Wallflowers, Blue Oyster Cult, Dire Straits

the exhortation to decipher a piece of my personality still stands. now have at it!


excessive mileage, for which brendan [H] must be punished

i love the hanraman. but my ass has officially put a hit out on him. see, brendan has been the most wonderful and helpful unofficial coach that i could have ever asked for, and he has provided me with hints, tips and workouts that will really help me go the distance.

that said, my legs now want to destroy him. here's the workout:

5 miles bike, 1 mile run.
do three times.

seriously, it's harder than it sounds. it took me ~2 hours to do the whole damn thing. and i just got out of a 20 minute ice bath and am parked on this recliner because i'm too tired and/or sore to move.

brendan had better hope i survive this stupid triathlon...