Mystery Men: Smash Mouth, “Allstar”

It’s finals weekend, which means I’m trapped in the kitchen baking goodies for the kids who survived Bradpocalypse Spring 2010. It’s the least I can do.

It’s also movie weekend. I treated myself to this forgotten gem (with Janeane Garafalo, on whom I have a little crush left over from when she used to be more funny and less serious).


On Showing Up, Language, Being Offensive + Contrarian (90 in 90)

This long path has come to an end for me.

91 days ago, I challenged some of my students to write 90 posts in 90 days. To get up every day and write. Write when they didn’t have anything to say. Write when they did. Write when they were sick and couldn’t think. Write when they were excited to sit in front of the keyboard.

Showing up is 90 percent of the battle in life. When you don’t want to. When you think you can’t. When everything inside you is telling you to run away. If you can find a way to show up, you’ve oftentimes won already.


Too often we don’t show up. We keep our mouths shut. We allow the common, collective knowledge and wisdom to go un-challenged. We say nothing when we know we should. When we are un-comfortable.

It’s part of the Social Contract, after all.

For the most part, I try to avoid such thinking. Because of that, I have been described with many adjectives – contrarian, argumentative, just to name a few of the more polite ones.

I’m okay with that. Mostly. Although I certainly wish people saw it for what I mean it to be instead of what they perceive it to be.

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Sick (89 of 90)

It’s the last day of the 90 in 90 challenge and I’m a day behind. As I have been for the last few weeks. Although I have an actual excuse this time: I’m sick.

I don’t fight that feeling in the way that I used to. In my younger days, I would ignore the onset of the sore throat, the fever, the chills, the aches. I lived my life by words of Jesse “The Body” in Predator: I ain’t got time to bleed.

Those days are behind me now. My stubborn-ness about my body is behind me. Sobering up will do that although I suspect getting older also will do that.

When the breakdown begins these days, I submit to it immediately. So last night I curled up on the coach, turned the heat way up, slipped on three layers of clothes and faded in and out of sleep for 14 hours.

This does not make for an exciting penultimate post, but I am not overly concerned about that now. Tonight’s post is the important one.

Now, I’m going to drink some orange juice.

Running…(88 of 90)

If I’m not careful with myself, I loop.

My mind works in an odd way, one that I’ve written about here and there before. It’s not anything crippling or debilitating, but it’s certainly a thing. The world in my head works in a very specific way. There’s no getting around that.

Still, it’s not entirely a lost cause when I’m paying attention to it. Which I don’t do enough.

But I’m trying to change that in my Year of Change. My Year of Health.

In the year before I came to Muncie, as I sat in the offices of doctors who tried to figure out what was wrong with my heart, I knew that whatever it was – whatever it was – it could be traced back to me. The smoking. The drinking. The decadence and indulgence of my life.

There comes a time when the body simply can’t handle the weight of it all anymore.

My doctor told me that my mind works the same way. I can push it, prod it, ignore it and run it around. But only for so long. Before the crash.


I’m one week into my serious training after six weeks of warm-ups.

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. . . (87 of 90)

The use of ellipsis can either mislead or insult, and the reader must rely on the good intentions of the writer who uses them. – Ellipsis in Writing

The running and the not smoking and the not drinking and the empty nights and the end of school and the coming travels have me…itchy.

It’s a common theme, I know, one that’s starting to bore me. I am forced to, when this happens, try to bring myself back into the moment. Where I am now. Where I must continue to get work finished. After all, the work needs to get finished so I can leave with a conscious that is mostly clear.

It is a ritualistic caring though. Not an actual one.

I have come to grips with this as part of my personality. I trust that people can rely upon the good intentions of the writer in this case.


Given the context, this could be anything from an admission of guilt or an expression of being dumbfounded as a result of something that another person has just said or done. – Ellipsis in Japanese manga

Year two of my sobriety has been interesting, inter-personally speaking.

They tell you in The Program that you shouldn’t date your first year, a rule I mistakenly discarded because – well, as the rest of the addicts can attest – we look for the easier, softer way. When I crossed the magic threshold, though, I assumed life would get much better in that regard.

I didn’t.

The best – and worst – came with the ending of a part of my life that was never fully realized the way it was supposed to. The Muse is gone from my life now, a decision we made seven months ago. We spoke once, very briefly, after that. It didn’t go well. As should be expected.

She trickles into my mind now and then. Or her ghost does. I wonder now how much I really knew her. We spent a year re-knowing each other as friends, but there were always walls.

The damage I inflicted – and the damage she came with – was just too deep for us.

I am guilty and dumbfounded.



The latter formula means the sum of all natural numbers from 1 to 100. However, it is not a formally defined mathematical symbol. – Ellipsis in Mathematics

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Happenings (86 of 90)

The last week is upon us.

Strange things happen to people during the run-up to the end of the year. Some prepare to scatter. Some prepare to hunker down. Some are leaving forever. Some will never leave.

Add to that mix the relentless stress, sleepless nights and looming deadlines and inter-personal relationships tend to get pushed to the extreme. It’s almost impossible, I would say, to form lasting bonds within this primordial soup. There are those, of course, who handle the pressure better than others, but nobody, I would suggest, who is immune to the happening.

And it’s specific to academia. Or in my experience it’s specific to academia because of the calendar schedule and the churn of people involved. We are always turning over 25 percent of our population and bringing in a new 25 percent to replace them. Not to mention the odd academic salary structure: many full-time professors have 9 or 10 month contracts, which means they are — from the time they come — looking for their next job.

It’s like the House of Representatives around here.


I am not much into stress these days. Or I’m less able to handle it. I retreat from it as quickly as possible.

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The Axis of Awesome

My pal Glenn Platt posted this link on Facebook and I had to share for one reason: people get offended when I tell them I have little room for music in my life. I have tried to explain that I’m extremely fond of talented musicians, but most music doesn’t fall into that category.

And I have almost no time in my life for those who passively consume media as an identity. I prefer creators. So…here is a musical explanation of that.

Of course, I immediately set about finding more from this Australian group. This was the first thing that came up. Apparently, they have set my life philosophy to music. Which, of course, I can dig.


Words (85 of 90)

I’ve been contemplating the nature of words, particularly the ineffectiveness in terms of conveying information in a real way.

This came up, as it always comes up, after a conversation from a different time and place. One that I hadn’t expected to have. That I’d intentionally set about not having.

Because words – these precious things that I make my living with – betray me every time in these settings. They are incomplete and ugly and broken when I used them. So I find myself retreating into simply platitudes that are wholly untrue insomuch as they don’t convey the grey-ness of it all.

I walk away from these types of conversations – and this conversation specifically – unsatisfied because the emotions and the feelings and the expressions and the words never meld together to say the things that need to be said.


I think we all expect the angsty-ness of youth to fade with age. I have not found that to be the case.

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I’ve Now Lived Long Enough (83 of 90)

There’s a change that comes with middle age, one that surprises me as I am sure it has surprised every other person to reach this age.

I see the random-ness and repetitions of life, circling around and around again. I see patterns in my students, ones that started years ago when I walked into my first classroom. Of course, these are not patterns to my students. They think, as I surely thought and as every other student has surely thought, that they – I, we – are different.

And like each of us, we are different. Our collective experiences are something that makes us, if I can use this word: unique.

Yet we are not. We recycle thoughts and ideas and motions.

We just don’t know it until we’ve reached a certain altitude.


I find myself drifting through the world more and more. Waking dreams as I move from moment to moment. I’ve been told I become detached in these times, existing but not.

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The Last Days (82 of 90)

Time is slipping away. Quickly. As that’s how time slips.

I am bad at endings, something I’ve been told throughout much of my adult life. I don’t like change. I don’t like new routines. I don’t like re-starting.

I am comfortable being comfortable.

Some people are not. These people make me itchy, although I recognize this is a problem on my end and not theirs. And that means time, by it’s nature, makes me itchy.

Because it brings change. Always. Relentless.


There are 8 days left in this semester. Eight days until some of my newly minted favorites disappear into the world, moving along their continuum. I’m happy for them, but saddened that I will return to a school that is 25 percent new for me next year.

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