Clue-by-Four: Ramblings of a Jock Dork

The Dog Days of Summer (Baseball Week at ClueXFour): Shenanigans All-Star Break

Posted in Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on July 19, 2010

I still think Mickey looks better in Yankees pinstripes

The second-half of the baseball season is upon us and, for the next few posts, there will be a baseball reltated theme, including:

All-Star Weekend Proves to Be Just Another Cheeseburger

Things I Could/May Have Learned fron George Steinbrenner

and a few other things.

Not to mention @turnjacsons post: http://turnjacson.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/swinging-for-the-fences%e2%80%a6/ . He really brings the chedder in this post [A devastating fastball for the lingo deficient among you).

In the meantime, inspired by the many posts of http://www.missdisgrace.com/ , I have decided to include some photo highlights of All-Star Shenanigans with the girls. (more…)

Another Tribute: Capt. Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie (9 P.M. on Discovery Channel)

Posted in Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on July 13, 2010

If you are not on the West Coast and plan to watch the All Star game, please TiVo or DVR tonights episode of Deadliest Catch at 9 p.m. on the Discovery Channel. This is the final episode for Cornelia Marie captain Phil Harris, who died earlier this year from a stroke.

He was a tough man at times, but was an amazing captain and a loving father. I have watched every episode since the series began and it will be hard to watch the final hours of a man I’ve grown to admire. I am grateful to Phil for opening his boat and family to the rest of us.

From what little I’ve seen, the final moments between father and son are very touching and demonstrate how much those boys looked up to their old man. Check out these links and watch the two hour special. Even if you have never seen the show, you will be better for the experience.

Sincerely,

ClueXFour

“Tonight We Lose Captain Phil” (Entertainment Weekly, w/Jay Leno interview)

“This Has Not Been Easy” (Hollywood Insider, featuring Phil’s son Josh. I got choked up reading some of this interview)

“The Boss” Will Be Missed (with more links)

Posted in Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on July 13, 2010

(All-Star Week festivities delayed on account of rain)

“The Boss” will be missed by Yankees fans and Major League Baseball. His contributions to the game over the past 30+ years have reshaped the scope and reach of the game.  And all of this just days after losing Bob Shepphard, voice of the Yankees for so many, many years.

I cannot articulate what has already been said, so I will share some links with you of some people who have shared their thoughts:

Sean Napfel, Baltimore Radio Host

iYankees

William Nack, ESPN writer

Wallace Matthews, ESPN New York

Buster Olney, ESPN Baseball Analyst discusses Steinbrenner as greatest owner of all-time in baseball (Video)

John Kruk and Karl Ravach, ESPN Baseball Analysts (video)

Jerry Jones, Cowboys Owner (video)

Dick Vitale about Steinbrenner’s gererosity

Paul O’Neill, one of the key components to the dynasty of the late 90’s

Even an entry from Dickipedia

In Closing: For a man who said he would stick to ship building and stay out of day-to-day operations of the New York Yankees, you proved to be an asshole and a liar. Thank you.

Sincerely,

ClueXFour

Coming Soon: All-Star Weekend Proves to Be Just Another Cheeseburger

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity by Wingnut on July 12, 2010

For those of you wondering where I’ve been, you haven’t been following the links in the last post. I actually posted 5 times last week people? What more do you want from me???? 😉

OK, just as an FYI, I am currently drafitng a post to cover the festivities and adventures of All-Star Weekend in Anaheim, complete with Home Run Derbys [which I’m attending tonight] and more fun with Guido and Cindy.

Stay tuned. The post will be up on Tuesday.

Cheating: A Different Kind of Shark Week

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity by Wingnut on July 6, 2010

To my regular readers who don’t follow me on Twittter, I am currently collaborating with  Zoe Blue from WinkWinkWink, Mr. GuyDudeBro from ilovehernot, Just a  Jenn from Life @ Twenty-Something in a five-post exploration of questions and issues surrounding cheating at The Fantastical Ramblings of a Chronic Overthinker by TurnJacson.

Day #1: What qualifies as cheating? [Clearly, things like Warcraft dancing and Twighlight fandom right? In my opinion, they are no different than a strip club]

Day #2: Can a Cheater Change? [Yes, Tiger Woods has become a craptastic golfer! Oh, not the change you were looking for? Then, I think…]

Day #3 Would You Date A Cheater? [“Sorry Bro” and other reasons some people are too stupid to be dating]

Day #4 Do You “Out” the Cheater? [Jesse James sharing hookers with Al Gore? Say it ain’t so (OK, it actually isn’t)]

Day #5 How Much Responsibility Does the Victim of Cheating Have? [Partner’s Needs Amnesia and other fun microbes you bring to the relationship]

Oratory: Hitting the School Board with a ClueXFour

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity by Wingnut on July 1, 2010

Yeah. It was kinda like that.

The following is a speech I gave at the school board over the cuts in the programs at my district:

Over the past four years as an educator at BHS, the economic crisis has provided a number of teachable moments. I have helped students cope with loss as they’ve watched respected, even beloved teachers ride into the sunset or be ridden out of town on the rails of recession. I have helped students see that life is full of difficult decisions which are sometimes necessary. I have done everything possible to help them weather the storm that has threatened their future.

But what do I tell them when they ask me, “Why don’t we have a yearbook anymore Mr. H?”; “What is happening to my AP classes?”; “Why is there a waiting list for AVID?”; “Why does no one care about our future?”

For the first time in my career at BHS, I am unsure how to turn these hard lessons into a teachable moments because our students have been asked to sacrifice far too much.

This will be the first year without a publications class, without a yearbook. While I understand that it has been proposed as an “afterschool” program, the students would be most likely make such a program successful are already heavily involved academically and/or athletically.

 Is it fair to ask them to bear this new burden on their shoulders, already sagging under overloaded schedules? Is it fair to ask these same students to also run the school newspaper, another program that has sent into oblivion?

These programs provide students an opportunity to learn to work on deadline, run a business, develop a good professional work ethic, and create something that they can be proud of. Each year, there are students who begin to make more positive choices because of these programs. Yearbook alone had over 100 students, many of them seniors, who wanted to be a part of the program. That’s about 8% of the student population who wanted to create something through this flourishing program.

How about incoming 9th graders who cannot get into the AVID program because there aren’t enough sections to accommodate them? Last I heard, over 40 students that registered for AVID could not be placed in the 9/10 combination class. What happened to “students first”?

The new board members and their supporters have talked about increasing the graduation rates at BHS.. How does decreasing the availability of AVID positively impact graduation rates? How is this “students first?”

How does cutting AP classes improve number of students who attend four-year universities? Department chairs had to fight the district tooth-and-nail to keep some of the other AP classes open. Yet, with the way things are going, there is no guarantee that they won’t be cut in the future. Many enrolled in the Mt. SAC program this summer so that they could participate in programs that they just recently found out were cut. One student who is sitting in the audience tonight said to me, “So, everything we are doing in this class is for nothing? “

And what of the students who need the most help, those in the Read 180/Double Block program. These students are far below grade level in their reading skills. How are we serving them? We’ve transferred their teacher to the middle school and dropped the program. That’s right, dropped the program. In the past, if you couldn’t read and you came to Bassett, it used to be, “No problem. We will teach you. You can learn!” Now it’s simply, “Too bad. Teaching you to read is not fiscally responsible.”

I guess this is the lesson of this moment in our district’s history. The efforts we put forth to climb the ladder toward a successful future are, in the end, potentially futile because others will steal all the rungs from  the ladder.

Never fear. Students are already talking about leaving the district, or, since CIF and other activities bind them to this campus, convincing their siblings and relatives to seek their education elsewhere. If we keep cutting programs, our students will begin to flee the impending tsunami that threatens their ability to get a quality education.

There is one last lesson to be learned from this moment. I have been assured by many of them that they will, very soon, be of voting age and that, in their opinion, none of the five people sitting before me has lived up to any of the promises that they have made. It will be at that point where the students will teach you the harsh realities of the decisions you make right now.

Huh, I guess this was a teachable moment after all.

Commentary: My colleagues and students in attendence were very appreciative of the words I spoke on their behalf. One student even referred to me in her own scathing speech to the board. She said that she was angry the school had laid me off because I was a man she looked up to.

I am so proud of these kids.

Moral: Lay me off…but don’t MESS WITH MY STUDENTS!

UPDATE: So, the board decided to replace almost all the classes and programs that they eliminated. Funny how that works!

You Job Opportunity is Not That Into You: “Good luck with your layoffs, all right? I hope your firings go really well.”

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity by Wingnut on June 25, 2010

[Interactive blog-reading: Due to time constraints (otherwise known as the upcoming Yankees v. Dodgers game I’m attending), I will not have time to edit or add footnotes in my usual, sardonic, comedic style. Thus, I invite you to post typos, grammatical mistakes, and possible footnotes in my comments section. In fact, I DEMAND IT! I will the add the edits/footnotes into the blog and give you credit for doing so. Now, have fun!]

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta!

By now, we’ve all heard the expression “He’s Just Not That Into You” applied to all forms of relationships from dating to marriage. But there are other places that these principles can be applied. For example: “Your cat/dog’s not that into you”; “Your friends just aren’t that into you”; and, of course, “Your tweeps are just not that into you.” What about professionally?

This afternoon, I turned down a job interview because “That job opportunity is not that into me.”

Some of you may be pulling your hair out. Others are screaming at your monitors/smartphones/iPads, “What the hell? CB4, you need employment for September!” [It just occurred to me was CB4 also stands for and I’m singing “Straight Outta Lo Cash”].

Technically, I’m not at the point of desperation yet and have a plan for survival in the event I am stuck on unemployment for a period of time. I don’t have to jump at just any old opportunity. I can be selective. [I figure this part appeals to “Rules” people like @askmsalpha. The connection gets even better, just wait].

For the past two weeks, I’ve been applying for jobs online at almost every place within a 100-mile radius. This may require relocation. But, if it comes to it, I will commute Fri-Sun to spend every weekend with my daughters. It was close to the setup this year and can be done for 10 months again if need be. I’m hoping it won’t come to that.

This afternoon, I got my first call for an interview. I was pretty excited to return the voicemail. This was a charter school located in an area where I could move to within 10 miles of my girls. The excitement lasted until I called the woman back. She explained that the she was trying to squeeze me in at 8:30 Monday morning.

Thought process: Crap. I teach summer school. The office is closed for the day and I know I can’t get a sub in such a short period of time. I suppose I could try early Monday morning. I already had to miss one day already and will have to miss another, can I miss three when we drop our students after three absences?

I informed her that I taught summer school and would be unable to make that interview time. I asked if she had anything after 1 p.m. next week and she explained she was booked.

“I’ll be sure to call you if we are still looking for someone,” she said.

“Well, let me see if I can do something. I will call you back if I can arrange for a sub,” I replied.

More thinking: I am only a few miles from my school, maybe I could round up someone who had an administrators home phone number. Maybe I can cancel on the person I’m supposed to help in two weeks? Can I afford to give up $135? Wait stupid, this is a possible job.

My brain was bombarded with choices and scenarios.

In the end, I opted to make $135 on Monday instead.

Yes, $135.

I want this interview as much as I want this fax machine

Am I crazy? Perhaps. However, if you can’t see it, I’ll spell it out. “This job is not that into me and I’m not going to sacrifice my students, my friend or $135 for a job that doesn’t want me” [I wonder if the aforementioned Alpha female knows already where I am going with this].

Consider the facts:

  • Applications for the job closed early this week. Ample time to properly schedule an interview.
  • She called at 1 p.m. on a Friday to schedule an interview for 8:30 a.m. on Monday. That does not give me any time or flexibility to make arrangements if I need to.
  • She said she was trying to squeeze me in to her interview schedule. [This suggests that I was not initially selected for an interview and was an afterthought].
  • When I indicated that I had a very good reason for not being available, she made no attempt to alter her schedule to meet mine.

Let us alter the players with the same facts:

  • He’s had your phone number for a couple weeks and he’s calling you this afternoon to see if you want to go out tonight.
  • You need advanced notice because you need a babysitter or someone to play with your cats (because we know @turnjacson won’t take care of them).
  • He said he was trying to squeeze me in to his busy schedule for the weekend and this was the only time he had open.
  • When you said you would be able to get together, he said he would call you at a later date if he was still single.

So, if someone offered you $135 not to go on a date with this guy, you would be making a down payment on a new coach purse the next morning. Why, because it is clear that this guy isn’t really interested in you and, for whatever reason, feels the need to come up with a “token” date for you to go on. You would be an idiot to go on the date [Sadly, some women would not only go on this date, but would do so repeatedly chasing the elusive male in question].

It stands to reason, then, when you apply the same principles, this HR person just isn’t that interested in interviewing me. Otherwise, she would me more than happy to accommodate my needs and priorities right?

My last job loved Kung Fu, hated flair, and looked like Jennifer "F'N" Aniston!

Is it wrong for me to want a job that thinks I’m a commodity to be aggressively fought for, not an afterthought. I want a job to be like my most recent ex-Jobfriend. That job and I were like star-crossed lovers. I gave everything to it and, when feuding families got in the way [My district has far more drama that the Montagues and Capulets ever could] and the budget got tight, my job did everything possible to keep me from finding another job. Even know it calls out to me, saddened by fact that warring factions have depleted the coffers.

Wow, I do like extended metaphor don’t I. I also sound like I’m talking about the kind of guy every woman hopes they fall in love with.

Funny thing, I’m not allowing myself to feel desperate for a job, which allows me to make better choices.

See, I must be on to something. Dating principles can be applied to job hunting, and vice versa [Some of you may find this blog more useful for your dating lives than for your professional ones]. Consider what desperation might have cost me besides $135? What does it cost you in dating?

Monday morning, they will be hiring someone who is desperate for a job and won’t be interested in staying around long. Monday morning, they will fall in love with someone who will break their heart when he/she finds the job he/she really wants. Monday morning, they could have met with someone who was open to falling in love with a new job, loyalty you can’t find in those who are just desperate in this economy. Monday morning, I will look at my watch at 8:30 and think of what might have been…for them, not me because I know I will love again.

Monday morning, I’ll be making $135.

UPDATE: Within seconds of posting this blog, I got another call for an interview from a job I REALLY WANT! See, the universe must really like this blog! You should too.

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For All Your Dating Needs: Ask an Asshole if You Want Useful Advice!

People don’t hide who they are. It is we who choose the glasses through which we filter their image.
 
 
 
 

–ClueXPhilosopher

 

In the my earlier incarnation as a “concrete cowboy” [My term for “Urban Cowboy” is way better], there were certain services that I provided to my female friends that merited the printing of business cards. No, not THOSE services [I was a douche, but that would have made me a King Kong Mega douche1]. At the time, one of the things I was known for was being a good listener and providing sound ClueXFour-style advice.2  These cards said, “Resident Cowboy Psychologist.”

Make no mistake, I was not the “nice guy” who didn’t get laid. Most of those women who came to me were those I had plans to sleep with in the near future or had already slept with and planned to again at some point in time if I needed a booty call.3

Whatever my intentions were, women came to me because I hit them upside with the brutal truth [In my old age, I have learned a little tact. I prepare them…then I brain them with the truth]. Women didn’t come to me for sympathy. They came to me when they needed someone to shoot straight with them.

They came to me when they needed an asshole. (more…)

Black Ops: The Motives and Protocols of Covert Shouting (Shout, part 3)

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity, Misadventures in Dating by Wingnut on June 14, 2010

Sheila: But what of all those sweet words you spoke in private?
Ash: Oh that’s just what we call pillow talk, baby, that’s all.

Army of Darkness 

By now I think we can all agree that most people, including ourselves, have been guilty of ‘shouting’ self-lies like “I LOVE MY LIFE AND EVERYONE IN IT!” For this behavior, the only person he/she is hurting is him/herself [For the rest of us, it provides great comic relief]1. Not all wounds caused by shouting are self-inflicted, however.  Sometimes, the other person is shouting at us.

We call this behavior “Covert Shouting” because it is almost always part of “black-ops” by the other person to misdirect or mislead us. It is shouting by design because, if he/she says it and you believe it, the mission can continue to its termination without further threat. Regardless of the nature of the mission [rapid infiltration or prolonged insurgency]2 or the context, the shouting “operative” does not have altruistic intentions.3

(more…)

Steven Strasburg: Holy Fastball Batman, You Got Struck the ‘F’ Out!

Posted in Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on June 9, 2010

Every so often an athlete comes along that this Jock Dork can get excited about. Last night was one of those nights.

Now being an elitist sports fan, I can appreciate the intricacies of two teams/players locked in combat, each trying to outduel the other, with each mistake a potential disaster. It is a chess with a baseball, football, or golf club. It is almost sports at its finest. Almost…

More than a great game, I love, even lust after, absolute dominance. There is just something awe-inspiring about someone who is just that much better than his peers, demonstrating it with a masterful display of “I OWN the other guy!”

Last night, a 21-year old kid, called by some the most-hyped draft pick in baseball history, took the mound for the first time in “The Show.” Everyone knew this kid had all the tools to be a great player someday, but many wondered if, at 21, he had the poise to handle the pressure of being in front of 40,000 people and a national television audience. [At 21, I didn’t know my head from my own ass and could barely balance drinking with college. 21 = Hot Mess (FYI, I probably still don’t)]

So, as the umpire yelled, “Play Ball”. Eyes were glued to see what this kid would do. After the first pitch, we all knew. Yes, this kid is special.

Stephen Strasburg began mowing down major league players with his 100-MPH fastball, 91-MPH change up and 80-MPH breaking ball. These guys, being paid millions of dollars because they are that good, looked like a bunch of paralyzed little leaguers.

The true test of character came after one of the Pirates hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning. [No matter good a pitcher is, these are professional hitters and they can HIT] Would this rattle him, as it should the typical 21-year old [remember = hot mess]? No. Instead, he did what all great players do after making a mistake…he got focused.

After that, each successive batter was stepping into a batter’s box made of quicksand, waiting for their inevitable fate. The final seven batters Strasburg faced didn’t even sniff a hit, didn’t even sniff contact. All seven went down on strikes.

Seven innings later, this 21-year old phenom had struck out 14 batters, one shy of the major league record for a pitching debut [Shared by Karl Spooner and J.R. Richard. Both of them, it took nine innings to do what this kid had almost done in seven].

This kid is the real deal. My dad got the game on DVR and I may sit and watch it again with him. That is how impressive it was…rewatching a baseball game.

And, the Washington Nationals may have more phenomenal talent on the way, as they drafted Bryce Harper [Funny ESPN column], a 17-year old catcher from Las Vegas who may hit the ball farther than any other person on the planet.

I never thought I’d say this…I may be looking forward to catching a Nats game or two. [Strasburg’s probable next starts]

Thanks you Stephen Strasburg. I can’t wait to watch your next redonkulous performance.