Clue-by-Four: Ramblings of a Jock Dork

Social Media Era 1.0: The New Age of Wrestling

Posted in Now with Wrestling... by Wingnut on July 23, 2011

WWE Begins Metamorphosis Toward The Future and Strikes Death Blow to Impact Wrestling

(Yeah, regular readers, I mark out for wrestling. You should too!)

 

CM Punk Takes the WWE Championship....everywhere

For the first time in months, possibly years, the Internet Wrestling Community is abuzz with talk of mystery and intrigue. No longer is our anticipation for the next episode of Raw or the next PPV constrained by resigned expectations (Granted, they were expectations that were not unfounded until about a month ago). We can now look eagerly toward next week, next month, and beyond. We are witnessing a transformation of wrestling as we have known it. The reason: WWE finally found the formula to make fans relevant and truly a “part of the show.”

This is not an extension of the PG-era, nor a reboot of the attitude era (as some have speculated). Instead, we are seeing the genesis of the Social Media Era, a fresh direction that will give the fans input and access, blur the lines between heel/face and shoot/kayfabe, and define the landscape of next-generation superstars for years to come.

Input and Access: Future Superstars Will Create Their Own Fan Base

Has anyone else noticed what superstar is getting the biggest push on WWE television lately? His name is…Twitter.

In the past few months, I can’t keep track of the number of times WWE announcers pimp twitter. Announcers are reading tweets on television, superstars are mentioning their own accounts, and, at least twice per show, Michael Cole tells us what WWE hashtags are in the top 10 trending on Twitter. At this rate, Twitter will upend Zack Ryder for the internet championship by Thanksgiving.  That’s because the WWE has finally realized the potential of social media.

The "Must See" Champion is the prototype of the modern/future champion...superstars with a large social presence.

The rising stars in the WWE are those who have the biggest social presence. The Miz is the prototype of the future superstar. From the moment he appeared on MTV’s The Real World, he has been experimenting with how to connect with diverse audiences.  After he won the WWE Title last year, he didn’t rest on his laurels. He began campaigning as the WWE champion through all forms of media, in particular social media. His appearances as the “must see” champion not only created more Miz marks (I am proudly a Mizfit), but also made him possibly the most hated heel in the company (anyone who can put Alex Riley over that quickly has created serious emotional investment).

Following that example, more and more of the up-and-coming superstars are using Social Media to create new fans and communicate with their base. CM Punk has begun his own campaign as the WWE “unchampion.” Zack Ryder is using  Z! True Long Island Story to create a truly organic fan base. Dolph Ziggler is another who tweets frequently and is developing a following.  (Truthfully, I didn’t like or know much about Ziggler until, thanks to Zack Ryder, I startedfollowing him on Twitter. Now, I’m a total mark).

Future stars will be the ones who are most connected with their fans. Wrestlers who cannot connect or are simply awkward on the keyboard will fall by the wayside and be relegated to the mid card because they won’t generate the love/hate from fans in quite the same way.

Recent events show that current superstars finally get it. John Cena is evolving; CM Punk is evolving; The whole roster is evolving.

Legends are evolving as well, lending nearly complete credibility to the next generation of superstars. Tweets of Stone Cold, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Chris Jericho, HBK, and a host of others provide a valuable historical foundation to the to the ability and talent of the next generation. (The Rock is an exception. Someone needs to teach him how to use Twitter. His Tweets are all forced and, frankly, boring).

Social Media has become the place where past, present, and future connect and shape the direction of the WWE.

New Directions: The Presentation and Development of Future Feuds

This morning (I am writing on July 21), CM Punk “invaded” the WWE’s QandA at San Diego’s ComiCon. He cut a promo that may, or may not air on television during this Monday’s raw.  But, for many, it will be a moot point because they will have already watched it on YouTube, shared it with friends on Facebook and Google+, and retweeted any reference to it. It will have gone viral across WWE universe and may even seep into the mainstream media.

And what of Monday’s Raw? Of course they will share the footage as a way to say, “See what you miss when you are not following the WWE 7 days-a-week, 24 hours a day?” They want each and every one of us engaged, watching, talking about, and sharing wrestling. The more we are invested, the more we will spend money on merchandise and Pay Per Views (Heck, I’m ready to buy Colt Cabana merchandise and I didn’t even really know who he was until about two months ago. Hint hint WWE).

We will be talking wrestling because we will never quite be sure when the latest tweet will be shoot or kayfabe. We will have to pay attention.

Being a fan will not be limited to once- or twice-a-week (I am talking about the average WWE fan, not fellow Smarks). Being a fan will become a daily ritual for the vast majority of the WWE Universe. The Social Media Era fans will be more involved than any fans who has come before.

For example, it’s no secret that fans can turn a face-into-heel or heel-into-face in opposition to the best intentions of bookers. As the Social Media Era evolves, lines that define heel-face will be constantly in flux, drawn and redrawn by how well a superstar can connect with his fans off of television.  There will be some that will seemingly always be a face or heel. But, like with CM Punk, a loyal fan base will push bookers to consider non-traditional options and experiment with radically new angles.  And these fans will be fiercely loyal because they feel connected.

WWWYKI: He's gotta be on Raw this week, right?

The WWE has even begun to experiment with more and more direct fan involvement. Last Monday, John Cena’s apologetic tweet sent fans to their computers in droves to tweet their support for Cena in his “hour of need”. A couple of months ago, The Miz tweeted “Pray for Miz” after a bogus internet report. I was one of many who fell victim to his prank and tweeted well wishes.  I am even making an entry for “Broski of the Week” with my daughters, who adore Zack Ryder simply because his YouTube channel is hilarious. They feel connected and will mark out for him when we go to Summerslam (Are you listening WWE bookers?)

Fans are following daily conversations between superstars and it won’t be long before passive involvement in developing feuds becomes active. How long before loyal fans begin hashtag wars where they talk trash about their favorite superstar’s future opponents? It’s already happening, but on a smaller scale. Give it time. Pretty soon, passionate fan flame wars will amplify anticipation for future matches exponentially. By the time the PPV comes around, they will be so vested, they will have to watch and experience the match, then tweet their elation or disgust at the outcome.

The best part, from the WWE’s standpoint, is it has to do very little to help nudge fan involvement in that direction. As long as they periodically let the fans know that they are paying attention, we will do the rest of the work.  The WWE didn’t make Money In the Bank the best PPV in recent memory…we did. All the WWE or CM Punk did was recognize that we had a good idea and wanted to be heard.

WWE + Social Media Era = Death to Impact Wrestling

Like many, I had high hopes that Impact Wrestling would eventually become viable competition and that the WWE would have to evolve to stay on top. The latter occurred without Impact ever becoming much of a threat. Now that the WWE and its biggest stars have fully engaged the fan base, Impact’s opportunity is gone. Nothing they can come up with will ever match the kind of angle WWE is running now.

Is this an example of irony?

Impact’s executives and bookers did not understand what the modern fan wants. They began their “Wrestling Matters” campaign to try to lure disgruntled WWE fans. But the reality in this business is that “Fans Matter,” not wrestling (I imagine hundreds of Smarks just threw shoes at their monitors). Connect with your fans and they will overlook your shortcomings as a wrestler. Fail to connect with fans and no one but a select few will care that you have the most physical talent in the company (In fact you will probably be unemployed before long, and not in a CM Punk way).

If Impact had hired smart, creative people, they might have been able to use Social Media to hook fans and make a real run at the WWE. They could have captured and, possibly, dominated the generation that is addicted to their computers and smartphones. Instead, Impact executives banked their future on the same aging superstars and same tired angles that ran WCW into the ground. They focused on the wrestling, not the fans.

Professional wrestling has not been about actual “wrestling” in a long time and Impact bookers will ride their campaign right into the ground. Since the days of Hulk Hogan, wrestling has, and will always be, about characters.

The Social Media Era is the future of character development and fan interaction in wrestling. Now that the WWE is fully on the playing field it’s only a matter of time before we see “RT @WWEUniverse TNA folds. Don’t let the door hit you….”

Ode to Black Swan: From the Frontlines of Modern Education

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity by Wingnut on January 25, 2011

Q: You just don’t get it, do you, Jean-Luc? The trial never ends. We wanted to see if you had the ability to expand your mind and your horizons. And for one brief moment, you did.
Capt. Picard: When I realized the paradox.
Q: Exactly. For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you had never considered. *That* is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.

In the final episode of Star Trek the Next Generation “All Good Things…”, Q decides to spare humanity because, for a fleeting second, Captain Picard opened his mind to the possibilities of the universe. His synapses fired for a moment as he contemplated and realized the paradox, saving the universe from unraveling.

Q understood that to truly evolve as a species, beings must be open to and constantly searching for new paradigms and adapting the current one to meet the needs of this new information. [Yes, I said beings. Captain Picard doesn’t exist, as much as Sheldon1 would like him to]. For humans and cartoon characters [Remember folks, not dealing in reality just yet], this is also known as the light bulb, facepalm, fucking duh, “Eureka!” moment.

Stańczyk by Jan Matejko.

As a teacher, there is something profoundly amazing watching a teenager, hampered by hormones2, peer pressure3, and academic stress4, have that momentary shift into a new paradigm. It’s that exciting moment when you can actually see the opening of new areas of the brain as if in some quasi-House close up of “what is really wrong.5” Nowhere is this more common than the year of the “Wise Fool”, otherwise known as sophomore.

[Note: I am using the modernized etymology of the word from “Sophos” and “Moros”. It serves my purpose. For the truly pretentious, see the footnote for original origins. Oh and PLTTTTTT Mr. Smarty Pants]6.

No longer the deer-in-the-headlights freshmen and not yet mature enough to be upper classman, sophomores floats in a year of uncertainty, year of confusion, year of discovery, year of exploration, and year of direction7. It is the year they go from dumb kid to slightly less-dumb teen [trust me, it’s progress].

Let me give you an example from just a couple weeks ago.

We were discussing reality vs. perception and semantics [I can’t remember the exact conversation]. As an illustration of what we were talking about, the names of movies like The Matrix and Inception came up and we hotly debated what is real and what isn’t.

To my surprise, Black Swan entered the discussion. A few students had seen it and wanted to add their contributions to the discussion. Since I don’t teach in a socio-economic area where young men see movies about ballerinas [I am aware of what the movie is really about. To a teen boy however…], it came as a shock when one the boys shouted out, “Oh my God. I so want to see that movie.”

You know those moments when time seems to freeze after something is said? This was one of those moments.

I was truly stunned. This student, who has been suspended for inappropriate sweatshirts, tearing up referrals, and complaining in class constantly that he “doesn’t know” something, was actually admitting to wanting a little something more [Mind you his test scores are some of the best in the class, so he is obviously lying when he says “I don’t know”]. This student for whom knuckleheadery was almost a daily occurrence was finally ready.

It was happening. The light bulb had clicked on and he was finally ready to shuffle of the freshman coil and step out of the darkness.  I was speechless, both with the pride of a successful mentor and guilt over having so sharply underestimated him. I was…

And that’s when he said it:

“That’s that movie about lesbians right?”

Facepalm.

Did I mention this is a long process?

To be fair, we all know this is what got most men to go see this movie

Footnotes:

  1. Big Bang Theory
  2. Sex permeates every though and action of the average teen. It’s almost a disability because it hampers every other aspect of their life.
  3. To have sex [with drinking and drugs mixed in for good measure]
  4. Because it takes away from their thinking about sex
  5. Have you ever noticed that house is great for raising awareness of random illnesses by inventing deadly symptoms that are in no way, shape, or form related to the “real-life” illness.
  6. Since you must know, click on this. Oh and PLLLTTTTTTTTT
  7. And the aforementioned year of sex.

A Bizarre Love Triangle: The Man of Action is Back

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity, Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on January 17, 2011
 
 
 
 

Guess who’s back
Back again
Shady’s back
Tell a friend
Guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back
guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back..

 

                                                                                                                -Eminem

My comeback is way better!

I decided that my birthday gift to myself is finally giving myself permission to write again. [This is, of course, after giving myself the gifts of booze, comedy, booze, women, booze, massage, and booze]

Many wild rumors circulate as to the nature of my absence. Some speculate that I have been living the life of the Sultan of Brunai, relishing in nightly debauches with the many members of my harem.

This accusation is absolutely false [I am not in any way, shape, or form a sultan1]

Others speculate I have grown tired of passive-aggressive Twitter drama and weary of openly being an asshole. Also untrue. I can assure you, I’ll never be uncomfortable being a pretentious, pompous, preening prick [As evidences by my need to alliterate].

There have even been those that even speculate that I am in a re…re…re…relationship [Yeah, not sure I can say it again so don’t ask me to]. My reason for absence is, however, closely related to my reasons for not being available for relationship consideration:

I have dedicated the last five months to being the best teacher and colleague I can possibly be at my new school.

[Please note: This is only one of the reasons in the relationship department. I’ll save those for future writings2]

Being a Man of Action Requires Personal Sacrifice

One of my favorite motivational speakers, Eric Thomas, says you have to want success as much as you want to breathe. Hold your breath for a few moments and think about what that feels like the longer you hold it. Multiply that by the “don’t die” reflex and you have a better idea of what he’s talking about.

It isn’t enough for me to be a “pretty good” teacher. If you know anything about me, pretty good just isn’t enough. I play to win and love winners3. Besides, I’m working at a charter school now. I don’t have tenure; job security is based on personal growth and performance. I am also working with a new student population and have to rapidly adapt everything I do well to meet their specific needs and cultural nuances.

I am not the type of person who can phone it in. My days are long and my free time is dedicated to spending time with my kids, staying fit, and, every now and then, getting out or a little free time with friends4.

I Won’t Do You Halfway

Writing and relationships have a few things in common, the largest of which may be time requirement. When I was in a rhythm at my previous job, I had a lot of free time. My grading was streamlined, teaching a well-oiled machine, and thinking a factory of ideas [or fountain of bullshit, depending on your point of view].  But I wasn’t creating curriculum; I wasn’t reinventing teacher @ClueXFour [Though I did perfect #badteacher].

That was then. I am now in a constant state of reinvention. I demand success from myself. To reach a place where I can be happy with my pedagogy, I have to dedicate an inordinate amount of time to the pursuit of mastery. Outside of that, I have time to engage positive stress release at the gym, eat, and pass out…that is if I’m not behind on planning and grading [Which is almost always].

Care to tickle these keys?

My blog has become the neglected girlfriend. There was a time when it was easy to make time for her because it fit into the natural ebb and flow of daily life. There was a time when our relationship was relatively uncomplicated and I could meet her needs. But, as much as I want to sit down and stroke the keys softly with my fingertips, thoughtfully edit her body repeatedly, and gaze longingly at her in the spent aftermath, I just haven’t had the time.

I know what they say: “If you really want her, you will make the time.” In many cases, that is true. But, in some, including mine, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. I want to write; I ache to write; I need to write. It’s not a matter of want, but matter of priorities.5

Likewise, with relationships, I know what my time demands are and what I have available. It isn’t much. Being a textbook Capricorn [I reject the notion your “new” Zodiac], I have an innate drive to succeed. I play to win and, theoretically, I hope my next relationship will have the key ingredients to win.

However, one of those ingredients has to be the mental and physical availability to successfully navigate the natural ebb and flow of any relationship. With my job continuing to evolve, I don’t have either and I refuse to half-ass a relationship. If I can’t dedicate the time and energy required to participate in a relationship, I’m not going to pretend that I can. I would only be fooling someone else and myself.

Does this mean I don’t go out from time to time? No. It just means I am up front with this with any prospective evening companion. [This undoubtedly attracts the label “player”. So be it. Such labels are a semantics argument for another time].

Personal Fulfillment is All That Matters

I know this is not a choice some people can make, but it is the choice that I make. I do not judge those who need that other person to make them feel whole and complete. All I am saying is that I am OK on my own because there are other things that drive me:

  • Watching my girls develop and mature into fine young women fulfills me.
  • Thinking and planning to open the pathways to learning for my students fulfill me.
  • Being the kind of friend who people in need can truly rely on to be there in times of crisis fulfills me.

While I’m sure I would enjoy some aspects of a relationship, the extra burden and pressure of being a successful boyfriend would pull too much away from other areas and I would no longer find fulfillment in any facet of my life because I would be spread too thin. Sure, a relationship isn’t supposed to be a burden or pressure. But, let’s be honest. It requires time and if you have none, it is a constant battle to tread water. I’m not good at treading water6.

That Bizarre Love Triangle that is Blogging

This is not to say that it will be that way forever. Just for now. At least I’ve begun writing again, just not at the torrid pace that defined the beginning of Blog-Year  One.

Thus, I reinitiate the love triangle that is writer-blog-reader.

I’ve missed you.

Welcome back.

.

.

.

.

.

Footnotes:

  1. Though lately I’ve bore a striking resemblance to Charlie Sheen, minus the three-ton liver]
  2. Every now and again, it is me and not you.
  3. See https://cluexfour.wordpress.com/2010/07/23/winning-the-yankees-way-life-lessons-learned-from-george-steinbrenner/ for an example of what I think of winning.
  4. In the words of robot on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, “Is that code?”
  5. Like I said, sometimes it is me and not you.
  6. Apparently I’m good at the dog paddle.

Being Badass and Other Traits of a Man of Action

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity, Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on August 5, 2010

It seems like weekly I’m leaving at least one interview feeling really good about my presentation and, weekly, I’m being hit in the mouth by multiple rejections. Yesterday was the latest in this push/pull existence, with two great interviews and three rejections [only one of which called me for an interview].

This post is not about complaining and trying to garner sympathy [though I will never complain when I get it]. It is about being a man of action1.

Yesterday, I interviewed for a position that had over 220 applications for a location in the barrio. I received another e-mail letting me know my application was being reviewed as part of over 200 for a high school position. A friend of mine told me that over 400 people applied for one position at her school.

Yeah, I’m…

With all of these laid off teachers, it’s a shark tank out there and the water has been chummed by politicians and beauracrats. Each open position is a drop of blood in the water and, if you’ve seen Shark Week, you know how that ends.

Being a man of action, I have tried to find ways to rise about the fray. Currently, I pass around my iPhone [No, not because they are wielding a droid and am an Apple snob]. I have two PowerPoint portfolios of student work uploaded to my phone.

Yesterday’s interviews included specific questions about a project displayed. The same student project piqued their interest. Obviously, it is proving an effective technique for displaying the best of what I have to offer. 2 It also proves I’m badass.

Yeah, you heard me. I’m badass3. Don’t believe me? Consider this: I may be the only one doing this. During or after at least five interviews in the past few weeks, panel members have commented that my presentation is a great idea and I am the first candidate ever to use this method of presentation [One of the APs yesterday even said I win brownie points for it].

See how badass I am? It seems so obvious to use Smartphones for portfolios. I’m shocked to hear I’m the only one, but I love being an innovator. [I’m considering purchasing an iPad for this very reason. Next level people?]

Back to the Task at Hand

I’ve been at this a couple months and, as you can read here, I am thoroughly exhausted by the process and feel for those who have been unemployed for far longer than I have. I’m not here to talk about that because I am a man of action. I have already begun formulating a plan ‘B’.

In many places, school is two to four weeks away. I still have some time. But, I don’t believe in waiting until the last moment. Men of action anticipate the future and plan for it.

Plan B for ClueXFour the English teacher involves the following:

  • Keep looking everyday [There will be jobs that come up even after the school year starts. To win, I must be diligent and steadfast in my pursuit]
  • Look for substitute openings in a desired target area [Since I’m already a sub in my former district, I am free to target those districts that I might like to work for in the future. It is all about getting a foot in the door and face recognition].
  • Figure out which CSET I can pass in the next 6-10 months and work on passing it. Be it science, math, social science, PE. Adding more authorizations to my credential opens up which jobs I can apply for next year. I am a quick study and an amazing test taker [In other words, let me see what I can BS my way through].
  • MASTER’S DEGREE. I have yet to decide whether it will be in English or Education. Either way, it will suspend student loan payments for a while and will make me even more qualified for next summer’s job hunt. It will also show that I’m not just sitting around moping about losing my full-time position.
  • Look for professional development opportunities: If there are conferences and seminars I can sign up for on the cheap, I will be sure to attend so that I will be even more prepared to meet the education challenges of tomorrow, or at least BS about them. It will also demonstrate my serious to not just mope jobless.
  • Even if I do get a job, consider any of the previous three options anyway, just in case.4
  • Focus on getting rid of some monthly bills so that I have even more freedom, financially, during the next round of job interviews.

This plan is still in the beginning stages of implementation. I am hopeful that today works out…or tomorrow works out. There is the possibility that my old district may call me back once Congress gets this bill passed to rehire teachers, firefighters and police officers. However, my district has made many poor choices and there is no telling on how they will try to spend the money.

At the moment, that is the future. Today, I’ll take some advice a long-time friend always has for times like them:

Get piss drunk and get laid!56

SIDENOTES:

  • A friend informed me that the minimum GPA for community college transfer students who hope to go to Cal State Fullerton has been raised to 3.7. Yes, you read that right. So much for equal access to education. When a CSU is using such high GPA’s as a screening method, a lot of students will be left out.
  • With Congress set to try to pass the emergency jobs bill next week, it will be interesting to see how districts choose to spend that money on recalling staff. In my experience, politics often get in the way of doing the right thing.
  • I can predict the future. Don’t believe me. I’m about to make a prediction for August/September:
    • Assuming the jobs bill passes, I’m willing to bet a number of teachers who have been hired this summer will scramble back to the security of “tenure” at their old districts. I am predicting at least one district that interviewed me will lose their new hire the moment their previous district recalls them. I’m willing to bet, though there will be no way to prove it, that at least one administrator will think “Why didn’t we hire that guy with the iPhone.”

Footnotes:

  1. C’mon! You know you want to be one too!
  2. No, it doesn’t mean they will hire me. It just means I’m finding ways to display the best of what I have to offer.
  3. Just face it, I rock. You can rock like me too…action people!
  4. Yes, I’m insane. I know.
  5. Any volunteers to help? For the second part…I can handle getting piss drunk on my own thank you.
  6. What? Did you think being a man of action was always about being responsible?

ClueXMIA: The Job Hunt and Emotional Exhaustion

Posted in Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on August 3, 2010
[Disclaimer: This post is helping me release some frustration. It will not be edited and probably contains tons of errors because, when it comes to freewriting, I often don’t pay attention to exactly what I’m typing]

I don’t understand how some people have been at this whole unemployed thing for prolonged periods of time without losing their mind [Actually, as I understand it, many people have].

When I went through this last year, I had a reasonable belief that I was going to still have a job at my current school in September. This year, I know that there is no job available. The emotions are very different and it has clouded many of my decisions over the past couple months on issues such as dating.

I know the current economy has created this situation for a lot of people, but there is something about the whole thing that just feels emasculating. I know there is less of a stigma today, but it sure doesn’t feel like it when you are actually saying, “I’m unemployed right now.”

Funny thing, a number of years ago, I wouldn’t have cared much about uttering that phrase. I was perfectly insulated in my self-impossed joblessness [largely due to depression]. This is different. I have worked very hard to become a dedicated/talented educator. I have done much to become the man I want to be. [This process contributed to the downfall of Ex-Fiance #1]

Last year, I was on the verge of buying a house [completing the sense of manhood…I understand that it doesn’t necessarily define being a man…it’s how it feels to me people!]. Now, I’m sliding backwards.

I am normally a positive person, but the repeated rejection has been difficult to swallow. After going on about a dozen  interviews and filling a total of 40+ applications, I am feeling drained.

Even when I nail the interview, I’ve been edged out by a slightly more viable candidate.  I sent a “Thank You” note to one principal who wrote back. She explained that I couldn’t have done any better in the interview, but got beat out by a slightly better candidate. She even recommended me to another principal in the district [with which I interviewed Friday] and asked that I consider applying in the future because she would be happy to have me as a staff member.

I don’t know whether I should feel uplifted by that e-mail, or depressed that even best hasn’t been good enough. What I do know, it is a swirl of emotions that I have not experienced in many years and would appreciate going away very soon. It is hard for me to completely articulate everything I feel.

Dating:

  • For the moment, I have called a complete moratorium on dating. I suppose I can still have “fun”, but I have nothing to offer anyone emotionally right now.  I am focused on being the best dad I can be and a good friend, when I can be.
  • I have also had to pull away from viable opportunities because of geographic concerns. My geography is undetermined right now and I have been applying for almost every available position in a 150-mile radius. In my opinion, if I did not take this into account when dating someone, it would be dishonest [I don’t believe in the “worry about it later” approach because then people get hurt]. I’ve had to cut off opportunities before anyone got emotionally attached because it was the right thing to do and the fair thing. I cannot encourage someone to fall in love with me, only for me to move to a distance of 100 miles, especially when they are tethered to geography because of other responsibilities.

Blogging and Twitter:

  • With the exception of the current blog, I haven’t had a whole lot of emotional energy or focus for writing anything. I have a lot of ideas, things I want to talk about, series to finish. I just can’t get up the mental energy to sit down and write.
  • I am finding ways to keep my mind of my current situation, which includes playing a lot of golf, going to the gym, hanging out with my daughters, and playing some video games.
  • Mental time is dedicated to tweaking things about my job hunting process to further gain an edge. For example, I just dropped $50 on two e-books on education that were written about one of the districts I’ll be interviewing at this week. I’m going to read as much of the important parts as I can after my interview tomorrow. If I can figure out what my interviewers are looking for specifically, I can tailor my answers to meet their needs. Basically, I’m cramming [This is what it’s come to]

I am working on shaking this funk. For the moment readers, I ask for your patience with my blog and tweets. I will be periodically MIA for a bit longer while I try to shake this funk and get back to being me.

With any luck, I’ll be employed and back to writing on a regular basis.

But don’t worry, I’ll still be reading and will comment from time to time over the next couple weeks. I may post some poetry or may even go back and post some blogs from when I was a blogger-in-training.😉

[To those I’ve discussed the collaborative project with, I’m still piecing together my angle. I’ll be in touch tomorrow]

Fresh Face in Comedy

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity by Wingnut on July 30, 2010

I met this young comic a few months ago after a show at the Improv. She was just getting started. Check out this clip from her second live performance. Her unique take on life and women’s issues is sharp, cutting, and hilarious.

To all my local tweeps, I will be organizing a tweetup for her next performance.

Take a look and comment her or on YouTube and let her know what you think. Now introducing, Kate Todd:

(Please note, this was taken on an iPhone. Best listened to via headphones or in quiet room)

You Tube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0el9Tc3IXs&feature=youtube_gdata

Winning the Yankees Way: Life Lessons Learned from George Steinbrenner

(Any resemblance to persons real or fictional is entirely incidental, except those people who are actual Yankees. As for the stuff, if you think I’m talking about you…you might want to consider why you feel that way. If you think I’m talking about someone else…you might want to consider coming back from “Denial Island”)

Mason (Sean Connery): Are you sure you’re ready for this? [walks up staircase]

Goodspeed (Nicholas Cage): I’ll do my best.

Mason: [stops and motions back to Goodspeed] Your best? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen!

As a Yankees fan, I have a particular bias to all things pinstripes. I truly believe that my team exhibits the best in any and all things, which is why so many other teams try to be like us or are simply just jealous. [I hear your objections and I scoff! if your team spent the kind of money ours does to try and win, you would not be complaining]

Of course, over the years, I’ve been trained to think that by George Steinbrenner. But, considering my personality and behavior, is it really any shock that I’ve spent the last twenty-four years proudly wearing the NY in my daily life?1

My personality is naturally drawn to teams like the Yankees. They exhibit all the qualities that an alpha-Jock Dork like me strives to incorporate in my own life. I may be genetically disposed to root for the Bronx Bombers. But, I have also been shaped by lessons taught by George Steinbrenner and his ownership of the Yankees.

 Over the next few days, I will be sharing a few of those lessons that I may have learned from Steinbrenner [I acknowledge that I may have learned some of these elsewhere as well]. These lessons apply to business, friendships, relationships, and life in general.

Today’s lesson: Winning.

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Protected: The Flipside: How the ASG Became Just Another Cheeseburger

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Bad Parenting: Why the All Star Game is Not Chuck-E-Cheese

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity, Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on July 20, 2010

I don’t generally think of myself as a superior parent [Believing you are usually means you aren’t]. But in certain situations, like All-Star Weekend, it is hard not to look at some parents and their children with a quizzical, WTF look. Events like this can bring out the worst in some kids and their parents1 [Though they can also bring out some of the best of us as well2].

Remember moms and dads, kids are a reflection of you and how you raised them. Thus, the way they interact and treat others in public will give us a better indication of who you are and the lessons you have taught them. If your kids suck, you suck.

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Godwin’s law: Tim McCarver Needs A Cup of STFU

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity, Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on July 19, 2010

I know there are those of you out there who aren’t Yankees fans [Though I really don’t understand why]. I know some of you even go so far as to hate the Yankees [You do realize that you really love the things you hate, right?]. But I think it’s safe to say that no matter what you may think about the 27-time World Champion Bronx Bombers, that none of you would violate Godwin’s Law1 to do it right?

Apparently, Fox broadcaster and blatant Yankees hater Tim McCarver needs an education in inappropriate analogy. Anyone who has watched Fox when the NY is playing knows the announcers unprofessionally and openly root against the Yankees [Major network broadcasters are supposed to call games without bias]. But McCarver took his hatred to new asshat levels on Saturday during the game against the Tampa Bay Rays.2

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