Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ramblings for the Weekend (11/4/2006)

I know. It's been a week. I've been busy with life and such. You know...a four month old and all.
So, without further ado: GRIM!
Doogie Yowser:
Neil Patrick Harris announced this week that he is gay. In other news: humans breathe, and the sky is blue. Maybe it was just me, but some of us knew for a really long time. Like Rock Hudson.
And No Flexing Either:
A man in upstate New York was booted for grunting at a gym.
Expulsion. Now I understand the reason why they have these rules, and good for the Planet Fitness gyms, but this is a little much. Cops had to escort the man out? That's a big deal.
Grunting seems to be a big problem lately.
First there's this guy who was escorted out.
Next, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has been receiving complaints about one of its members: Maria Sharpova. Apparently her "extremely loud" grunt is throwing off the other players. Wimbeldon (the premeire tennis venue) may place a ban on grunting all together...on all the players.
Have you watched tennis lately? One of the fun aspects of the modern matches is to listen to who can grunt louder and with more purpose. I will admit, however, that Sharapova sometimes sounds like a rhino in heat...and that's saying something.
I feel bad for grunters. Can you imagine a no grunting policy at UPS around Christmas time? Many workers would be fired.
It's a strange world we live in nowadays.
Political Moment:
You all know how I feel about politics, so the fact that I'm writing something speaks to how huge this is.
My lovely wife announced to me tonight that she will not be voting in the upcoming election. After the beef stew in my mouth fell to the bowl below with a soft splat, I asked her why not.
And I quote:
"What's the point? All of the candidates suck. The people we can vote for (we live in Robbinsdale, so some races have nothing to do with us) couldn't care less about us, and it doesn't matter which of these three guys becomes governor, they all stink."
Many rebuttals ran through my head.
"But we have to vote. We have the right to do it, so we have to do it."
"Then choose who the least evil person is and vote for them."
"Vote for the Communists!!!!"
On and on it went. Luckily my brain was kicked back into reality by my sleeping son shifting to find a comfortable sleeping position on my lap.
"Honey," I started, "We have to vote. We have the luck to be able to do it."
"But there's no good candidate," she responded.
"Think of our son," I tried. "Who's going to help him the most?"
A small "harumph" came across the room. "Not a single one of them," she said.
I bring this up because I'm not sure she's wrong. This year Minnesota's candidates are...well...pathetic. They're bland. They're mostly white. They're not really for us (in my humble opinion).
I'm just going to
vote for Tom. Sadly, I didn't realize this was a real deal until I started reading all of the links. Now I really hope Tom wins. We may not agree on everything, but the man sure is eloquent.
As for the upcoming elections? Hell, I'll take my lucky quarter in with me.
and finally:
(Warning: A very unprofessional and angry section ahead.)
Regardless of what recent readers have said, I'm going to talk about the event that really angered me last week. The IT woman at my school was told she was going to be bumped last week. Bumping, for the unfamiliar, is when someone with more seniority (and tenure) decides to take your job (is there more to it? Yes, but this is the short version). Our gal was told that someone would be taking her job. There are a few problems here:
1. The gentleman who is to replace her is not versed in Macs. Why is this a problem? Most of the school's computers are Macs.
2. The IT gal and I have an idea to simplify many of the technical issues the teachers have: create a manual. That's right, an honest to goodness manual that explains the FAQs from most teachers. If she goes, how can we finish?
3. I work very well with the current IT gal. That, in my book, counts for something.
It's the nature of the game of teaching. Again, these are the things you rarely hear about (we never talked about it in grad school), but bumping occurs. Hell, my job is nowhere near safe. I might be bumped at the end of the year. It just means that I go somewhere else to get a job.
That's why I've been trying to get everything organized. If I'm going to go, it's not going to be like a bomb going off. I want the school, the students, the faculty, and such to function well even without me.
Am I planning to leave? No. But it happens. I've talked about John Glenn before, but how about a refresher course?
John Glenn did the most dangerous thing a person could do in the 1960s. He placed himself inside of what was basically a gas can with a rocket on it and shot himself into space. He circled the Earth after being told he may not survive, and when told he may not survive the landing, he landed safely in the ocean. He had completed the most dangerous task at the time.
After a ticker-tape parade and such, he wakes up one morning and goes to the shower, a mundane task that most people do everyday (or every other day). What happens? He slips and hurts his back and was laid up for a while.
The point? Much like the characters in Slaughterhouse Five, so it goes. If I'm around, then I will work my ass off. If I'm bumped, then I go somewhere else.
Of course what do I know? I'm the Jesus Christ of my highschool. Could you pass me my nails? I could be wrong.

The Taming of the Roo: Part II

Morning Sickness. It sucks...or so I've been told.
As Little Leab was growing, he was making my wife ill. The first real major bouts of morning sickness came at the perfect time: my birthday.
There is one rule I have for my birthday: MHD. For those of you unaware of those letters, MHD stands for Mental Health Day. Every year, as a gift to myself, I take a day off from work.

One year I went to the zoo. Just me and the monkeys....
Most of the time, however, I go to the movies. I spend all day there by myself, which is nice. With my wife sick, however, my birthday was spent holding her hair. I knew she was really sick, because she didn't go to work. Mrs. Leab is a workaholic. There's almost no way she would miss work. If Jesus himself showed up and told her not to go to work, she'd smile at him and say, "Sorry, duty calls."
So with her praying to the Porcelain God, I knew she wasn't going anywhere.

There's a moment when you're holding someone's hair that you realize, "Damn...I'm having an 'adult' moment here." Damn kid's not even born yet and my life is changing.
Mrs. Leab's morning sickness would continue a little longer. It became a great excuse, however.
"You want us to see your play? It's six hours long...and about how your dad molested you dog? Yeah...the ole morning sickness is flaring up....Not sure we'll make it.
And, of course, my wife's sickness meant she couldn't help me set up the house. She could point and tell me where to put things, but the onus was on me.

The baby's room was covered in wall paper that would need to be taken down.
Here's a tip for you: score the walls...and steam the hell out of them. Worked very well.
It was difficult at first as I knew that I would have to give up my book room. Much like my father, I had a room dedicated to my books where I could store and read my books. Made life easier for school as well. I need a text? To the book room. Now I have a storage space where I have to rifle through boxes. Would I trade Poozer for a book room back? No, of course not, but it was still hard to pack up everything (and to be the one to do it).
The other difficult decision came when it was time to paint the room.
Yellow. Mrs. Leab wanted yellow. Just like my father, my lovely wife liked the color yellow.
We made a pact that we would not find out the sex ahead of time (that would be blown away by a talkative doctor), so the colors of pink and blue were pretty much out. I wanted a light green, but she wasn't having it. When I showed her a sample and she vomited on my shoes, I knew it was over. I could hear the bell ringing and fight being called. It worked out well.
Next: Classes...and appointments.