Archive for March, 2010

Back in the early sixties, my dad was a student at Westmoor High School in Daly City. One evening during the school year, my dad and his friend, Piggy, were attending a dance in the gym. Taking a break from doing the Hully Gully and the Mashed Potato, the two friends were hanging out in the foyer of the gym, near a makeshift table composed of a pair of sawhorses and a long piece of plywood. The rickety contraption provided a surface for several dozen paper cups filled with various carbonated beverages. Piggy and my dad noticed that someone had gotten sick and barfed on the floor near the table. Before these two upstanding citizens could get the opportunity to alert a chaperone of the party foul, they spied a classmate of theirs walking quickly towards the table. As he approached the plywood tabletop, he held his hand up in the air, index finger extended skyward, and began to utter the words, “Two cokes”. Those words quickly transformed themselves into “Two cooooooooooooooooooookes” as the unsuspecting student slipped on the vomit on the ground which, in turn, caused him to lose his footing and balance. His out of control body violently collided with the table, sending the now-airborn cups of liquid refreshment to redecorate the foyer floor and to soil the clothes of those people unfortunate enough to be in the immediate vicinity.

Every time my dad tells that story, and if you know my family, that’s a lot of times, my mom and I laugh as hard as we did the first time we heard it. And they aren’t those wimpy, pity laughs, either. No, I’m talking about tears streaming down the side of your face, full-on belly laughs. Just ask Fehmeen.

Thanks for all the laughs, Dad.


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Room 36 Revisited

Every so often I miss being in the classroom. Besides the obvious — the kids, the lessons, the grading (seriously), and the rush of it all — I find myself longing for the more creative aspects that a career as an educator afforded me the opportunity to engage in.

While I wouldn’t say that all of my lessons on fractions, decimals, and percents were as creative as they could have been, I did take great pride in creating a classroom calendar each and every month of my eight year teaching career.

Here are some samples.

I was going for the old eye test combined with an eye in the peephole sort of vibe here.

My attempt to be thematically correct monthswise. A rare occurence for sure.

This was supposed to be a pirate -- notice the ARRRR sound effect at the bottom. Thank God my sixth and seventh graders weren't familiar with Zig-Zag products at the time.

Mm, mm, soup is good food. That was the idea, at least.

Concept > Execution

What else would you do with a dozen decks of 51?

So continues my obsession with BART and Spare the Air Days.

I would ask my students to autogrqph my June calendars...

... and then I would laminate it and hang it on my back wall with all the previous June calendars from years before.

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Defenestration has been on my personal pop culture radar ever since I saw a bit involving flung objects from the NBC studio rooftop on the Letterman show way back in the mid-eighties.

Several years later I discovered the existence of the Defenestration building in San Francisco. I even snapped these pics on the way to Wondercon a few years ago.

Then just this past Friday, I came across this article in the SF Chronicle. Any takers to accompany me to the gallery before it closes on April 2nd, holla at me.

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Caught the Counting Crows on Paladia in HD the other night. They performed their newest album track by track.  Funny thing was that it sounded better live on tv than it does on the actual record through my headphones.

I’ll never forget the time when my friend Diane (aka Numbnuts) and I saw them in concert at the Warfield in San Francisco. The Wallflowers opened up the show. Counting Crows vocalist Adam Duritz even wore a Cal t-shirt — Dicey was out of her mind. Both bands got together to jam on an encore of Cecilia.

The prevailing memory from that evening was the drive home. Twenty miles per hour on parts of 280 thanks to a major rainstorm. Odd feeling of post-show euphoria and white-knuckle slow-speed driving. I was never so happy to finally get home.

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The Watched Pot


Test-drove Eye Gaze a few weeks ago.


I abso-freaking-lutely loved it.


Took to it like Tiger to a driving range (or a pancake house).

……..bubble, bubble………….

Words will soon form on the screen of a Dynavox V-Max with as much effort as it takes for me to Stare and Blink.


E-mail, web browsing, blog entries,  memoir writing, and the ability to truly communicate, all from Staring and Blinking.

……….bubble. …………………..bubble, bubble…………..

The powers that be have deemed me a worthy candidate to receive this gift.

Bubble, bubble, bubble……………..bubble, bubble……………..

All that is left to do is wait.

………….bubble, bubble……………bubble, bubble, bubble……….

Four to six weeks from my initial appointment date. Which was February 18. You do the math!

Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble…………….

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A Star is Born… Again

We recently had the pleasure and privilege to be interviewed by Donna Yeager for the On The Move cable television show.

The entire episode will air at a later date. Posted below is the edited youtube version.

The star is, of course, the fabulous Fehmeen.

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