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My Wife Cares Not for My Feelings

14 Feb

Lo, on this day of Valentine
When throngs of lovers overspend on plant-based products from Colombia

Oh, hell no.

Oh, hell no.


Which sadly are not coffee and thus have no real value to humans
I pay homage to my Spouse
But not in the way in which she would prefer
Because she cares not for my feelings
For if she did care one whit for me
She would seek now The Change.
And leave behind public school Teachery.

Oh, the embarrassment of admitting to the world!
That my wife sucks at the government teat in the pretense of educating children
Behold the farce!
What a joke played on the Innocent!
Mend your ways, Selfish Spouse
Give up your large salary and cozy work environment
Say no more to incompetence.
Go teach where real learning occurs
Get thee to a Charter School.

Heed not those who use statistics to show Charters receive less funding
Beware research showing Charter students do no better in The World
Believe the hype
Trust politicians who want to spend less
For their motives are not of the Ulterior Kind
They know more about education than you do
With haste, turn your back on poor teachering
Unite with those who promise excellent learning through Chartering
Transform America’s uneducated masses into learned waifs.

It is your Duty, Dear Spouse
Think of yourself no longer
Think of me and the poor children
You have been doing it wrong
You are a Failure
Charter School Teachering will transform you
And when your students bestow on you
Chocolate of various kinds on this Day of Tine’s Val
Save the candy for me.

 

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NOW: Never before seen iconic photographs

23 Oct

Dear Smithsonian American Art Museum,

You guys are doing a great job there, storing old stuff adults can drag their kids to see. But many young ones don’t care. Imagine the carbon dioxide generated from all the dramatic sighs. If you combine the CO2 buildup contributed by your young visitors with that of the bloviators on Capitol Hill, you could argue Washington D.C. is ground-zero for climate change.

However, it is not only the under-21 set that finds your product a tad dull. I have identified the culprit: your failure to keep pace with the latest photographic trends. These trends provide a certain change in perspective.

Allow me to help. I have captured iconic scenes since before cameras were invented. Though I am not as famous as Ansel Adams or Diane Arbus, I have a certain contemporary sensibility that is lacking in their work. And in your exhibits.

My time has come.

When Dorothea Lange took the famous “Migrant Mother” photograph nearly 80 years ago in California, I was there. After Dottie snapped her pic, I jumped in to take a much better one. My photograph depicts the human effects of migration during the Depression, but includes a soupçon of egocentricity. Asking price: One selfie stick with aircraft-grade aluminum pole and built-in wired shutter.

DepressionSelfie

 

Joe Rosenthal’s 1945 Iwo Jima flag raising pic won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography. But do we know for certain Joe was actually there? Of course not, because he did not include himself in the photo. Major oversight coupled with outdated 20th century thinking. My photo is better, because it documents for posterity my bravery. Asking price: One authentic battle-used World War II helmet I’ll claim to have worn when I single-handedly captured an enemy platoon.

Iwoselfie

 

Because you’re in the picture business, I’m sure you’re envious regarding the purported Billy the Kid tintype that recently came to light. It’s the one experts say is worth five million dollars and is only the second known image of the infamous bandit. However, there is a third photo. I was playing croquet with a few of my pals down in New Mexico when Billy and his gang showed up and asked to join us. I said why not, but I wanted to snap a pic first. Or, as we said in those days, “take a tinny.” Billy didn’t see the harm in it and suggested I be in the frame, too, because otherwise what good would the photo be. Technically, this image does not include Billy, because the sun was quite harsh that day and I wore my big hat. I inadvertently obscured my new chum. Therefore, I offer this photo exclusively to the Smithsonian for half the value of the other one: Just 2.5 million dollars. Also, enough mirrors to cover every wall in my house. By the way, Billy couldn’t hit a croquet peg to save his life.

Billyselfie

 

 

If your interests run older and more colorful, no problem. As I mentioned, I have been at this game a long time. I was strolling through the streets of Milan in the late 1400s, stopping occasionally to paint selfies of myself in front of old buildings, when I came across a guy named Leo painting a restaurant scene on the wall of a cafeteria. I was not impressed, because the scene reminded me of most parties I attended in college. (12 guys to every female.) More important, Leo’s mural lacked an essence of self-absorption that is critical in any modern masterpiece. I re-painted his scene to make it more marketable. I learned later I failed to paint the guy who was picking up the tab for the meal, but that’s secondary to making sure  I was in the picture. Asking price: Photoshop lessons plus an even larger hat to contain my enormous head.

supperselfie2

 

 

Get with the times, Smithsonian. No photo can be any good if the taker is not also in the frame.

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An open letter to my seamstress

10 Jul

Dear Chumkee,

We don’t know each other, but we have a lot in common. I just bought a new shirt at Stein Mart. Because you sew a ton of shirts every day, there’s a chance you made mine. Small world, huh?

All my apparel originates from exotic locales. When I visited a small South American city earlier this year, I had to buy a shirt because I had run out of clean clothes. There’s a saying in parts of America that women glow rather than sweat. Though I am not a woman, I was lit up like a nuclear power plant in full meltdown. I believed it easier and nearly as cheap to buy another shirt rather than launder the one I wore. Though I mistakenly asked in Spanish for a “ladies blouse,” I left the store with a man’s peach-striped short sleeve shirt fabricated from space-age material. The best part was the label, which indicated my new shirt was “Hecho en Colombia.” I bought local.

?

An inexpensive shirt with peach stripes.

LaDoradaBoughtShirt

Great place to buy a cheap shirt when you’re sweating buckets.

However, I cannot always afford to buy my clothing on location. That is why you’re so important to me. Because of children like you, I don’t have to visit the countries where my  apparel is produced. My clothes are shipped directly to the United States. Their final destination before purchase is just minutes from my house. They await me arrayed in colorful displays at Old Navy and TJ Maxx. My clothes are tailored to my exacting standards by masters of their trade, just like you, in far-off lands such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, and a little country called “China.”

Although the cost of everything from housing to food has risen, it is paramount I pay no more for my clothes than I did thirty years ago. When I was in college and could barely afford to pay my monthly rent, I still wanted to look good. I did not realize it took more than nice clothes to accomplish this, but naiveté ain’t always a bad thing. I spent a high percentage of what we Americans call disposable income on clothes. My favorite buy was a pale yellow, 100% cotton pinpoint oxford with a button-down collar. I paid $30 for this versatile garment at the Mister Guy clothing store near campus. That’s where all the preppies shopped. A preppy is someone who dresses like he has a corncob stuck up his backside. I dressed this way in college.

Thirty dollars is a lot of money, am I right? I mean, that’s about half what you make in a month. So, just imagine what it was like way, way back in 1980 for a guy who made $4 an hour spinning Waylon Jennings records at a country bar. Not since I wore a lavender sweater shirt in seventh grade to drive the ladies wild did I so cherish an article of clothing. I looked forward to each laundry day so I could again wear that perfectly fitting beauty.

But the idyllic days of my relationship with that magnificent example of American textile craftsmanship were short-lived. A college roommate, whom I am too classy to identify here, shot off a bottle rocket which landed in my laundry basket. When the gunpowder cloud cleared, I discovered my beloved button-down had been assassinated with extreme prejudice. It had burn holes everywhere. The period for mourning my precious shirt was made worse when my roommate, who never amounted to anything, replaced it with a cheap polyester knockoff. He paid a few dollars for it at a discount department store that is, for good reason, no longer in business. I believe the replacement shirt was designed for a pregnant woman. Its sleeves were too short, and it came with enough belly room to hide a Toyota subcompact. I tried to give away the shirt to Goodwill, but they rejected it because they could not forensically identify the material’s composition.

I know you’re busy sewing belt loops on a pair of skinny jeans, so I’ll get to the point of this letter. I’m writing to thank you. Today, my $30 yellow shirt would cost three times as much if clothing costs followed inflation. But I don’t have to pay $90 for nice shirts in 2015. I mean, if I did, you would probably be paid a lot more, right? That’s crazy talk. Instead, I can still buy a decent shirt for $30 or $40, just like I did 35 years ago. It means so much to me that highly trained artisans like you, some as old as ten or eleven, spend long hours each day making sure I have cheap clothing to wear. To you and all the other seamstresses and seamsters out there, I tip my cap. (A cap you may have sewn, by the way.)

If it were not for you, I would not be able to pay less than the price of a tank of gas for a Polo knit. So, I now honor you for your hard work. And I hereby acknowledge and celebrate all my tailors by location, if not by name, with this quick rundown of shirt labels in my closet:

  • Bangladesh (6 shirts)
  • Sri Lanka (5)
  • China (5)
  • Mauritius (3)
  • Vietnam
  • Philippines
  • Nicaragua
  • Egypt
  • Indonesia
  • Thailand

I appreciate you, Chumkee. When you take your five-minute lunch break at your sewing machine to eat a little chaat, you may wonder who is wearing the shirts you’re paid $68 a month to make. Now you know. You make me look good. And best of all, I still have plenty of money to buy an iced Swiss mocha with skim milk once a week without worrying I will go broke. You are my hero. Now get back to seaming so I can feed my cheap clothing addicition. I would like something in pale yellow.

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My wife is a lazy liar

6 Jun

It’s the last day of school for my lazy, lying wife. She says teachers still have to go to work, but that can’t be right. Teachers only work when the kids are at school. I wish she would come clean and admit she is not really a teacher.  School starts around 9:00 and dismisses at 3:45.  She leaves the house before seven each morning, and it’s only a fifteen or twenty minute drive to the “school” where she “teaches.” She comes home around six or six-thirty in the evening. Sometimes later. What is she doing with all the extra time?

6:57 a.m. and the bag lady leaves the house. Looking for an OTB parlor that opens early.

6:57 a.m. and the bag lady leaves the house. Looking for an OTB parlor that opens early.

When she gets home, I make sure dinner awaits the slacker. It’s a wonder she doesn’t demand I spoon-feed her. After dinner, she works on “lesson plans” and “grades papers.”  The way she describes it, the school district’s grade report system is so convoluted and labyrinthine that it must have been designed by Ernő Rubik. I am not fooled. I believe these “papers” she is working on are actually Racing Forms. I also believe she is a terrible gambler, which explains why we are not rich.

About ten or eleven at night, she comes to bed and pretends to be exhausted. She acts as though teaching 24 kids, some with significant emotional problems, is more challenging than having a real job. Who does she think she’s kidding? If she really is a teacher, how hard can it be to mark second grade homework? Does she have to look up the correct answer to 4 x 5 each time she grades a math assignment?

Hmm. This looks suspiciously like the lazy liar at the race track.

Hmm. This looks suspiciously like the lazy liar at the race track.

Because she’s so lazy, my wife rarely does “school work” on Saturdays, but she always spends part of Sundays pretending to do it. I see through her little act. She doesn’t want to do any real work on Sundays, like taking walks and going on bike rides with her fantastic husband. What a loser. If she likes to play the ponies, she should admit it. I would still love her, more or less.

I work at a real job, and I don’t go to nearly as many “meetings” as my wife does. Many of her meetings, she says, are focused on discussing test results, new testing procedures, testing tests, test testing, tester testing, and test testing testers. Occasionally, she says, these meeting diverge into other topics such as testing evaluations. Some meetings allegedly occur during school hours when my wife should be “teaching.” These meetings are dreamed up by highly-paid, redundant administrators who have clandestine responsibilities no one can figure out. At the end of these meetings, it is determined that “teachers” at my wife’s school are not spending enough time teaching.

This is too illogical to be true. That’s why I know my wife is lying.

My lazy, lying wife can’t get enough of meetings. This is why she is lucky to be a “person of color.”  She is often called on to represent the “school staff” on “committees” that need some “diversity.” As a consequence, she stays late at “school” to discuss issues other than “school work” or tasks directly related to “teaching.” If a person has such an easy job, she should not complain about attending lengthy meetings to discuss the latest tester testing results.

Last night, my wife came home from school after 10:30 p.m. What? Is she teaching night school now?

She should be thankful she does not have a real job. In my job, which is real and has been known to require multiple hours of work on some days, I go into the supply room and load up any time I’m running short of pens and paper. If my company told me to buy my own supplies, I would laugh and tell them to piss off. This is the way it works at a real job. But my wife spends hundreds of dollars each school year buying “supplies.” How many backpacks and calculators does one woman need? She says they are for students who can’t afford them, but really? These students are like her customers. I don’t buy supplies for my customers. That would be silly.

What a liar my wife is.

This summer, the school district that allegedly employs my lying wife is renovating the school building where she claims to teach. The district has required all the “teachers” to pack up everything in their classrooms and store it for the summer. The school district is providing some storage, as long as the contents can survive a couple of months in a container as hot as a vinyl car seat  in Hell’s parking lot. But anything that could become damaged by the heat is the responsibility of the “teachers.” Seriously, what employer would ask its employees to provide their own storage when they renovate work space? I saw a transaction in our bank account for “Storage Facility.” I believe this is the name of a four-year-old gelding that finished out of the money in the seventh race last Thursday at Churchill Downs.

Here’s the final proof that that my lazy wife is a big liar: Despite all the so-called hassles she puts up with at her “school,” my wife talks about her students like they are her own children. A week from now, she will lament how much she misses “her kids” during the summer. Even the ones who “take things without permission,” and the ones who “stretch the truth” despite overwhelming evidence otherwise.

Okay, perhaps my wife is not a lazy liar. Perhaps she is just crazy.

(Teachers: Here’s a parent who appreciates you.)

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P.S. Happy Anniversary to the big liar, who will probably stay at “school” late tonight.