These last coupla weeks.

It’s been a while since my last entry. You can stop shivering with anticipation. Here goes:

I received a large bonus in my last paycheck. I don’t know exactly why I got it. None of my coworkers can explain how the district awarded the bonuses, and those who have called the district to find out can’t get a straight answer. I think it might have to do with the fact that my students earned the highest pass rates on the AP US Government and AP Microeconomics exams last spring, but who knows? Maybe the district used their equivalent of the grading die.

My brother is getting married in about a year, and said I was his best man—but I didn’t hear the “his” and responded, “Ever? Probably.” Anyhow, the wedding’s going to be on a beach up in New Jersey, and the wedding party will be barefoot. Sounds nice, right? Well, think about those conditions:

New Jersey.



Any two of those conditions would be perfectly acceptable for a joyous wedding. But all three? There’ll be all sorts of ungodly medical waste washing ashore from New York. Hopefully they’ll rake the beach a day or two ahead of time, to get the hypodermics out of the sand.

The Bears’ offense has been atrocious, the special teams have been mediocre, and the defense has held on as long as it can—but there’s only so much you can do when the offense keeps going three-and-out or turning it over. The good news is that with the win against Green Bay, they’re halfway to a successful season.

…the Cubs’ season ended just a little bit later than usual.

My family dined at a new-ish restaurant called Tommy’s Pizza. It’s a New York-style Italian restaurant near Tinseltown. The pizza is good, though I’m not sure it’s sloppy enough to qualify as true New York-style. The caprese salad is very good (though I’ve never had any other to compare).

The lasagna was okay, but there was a very odd flavor in it that I couldn’t quite place. It was distracting enough that I couldn’t enjoy myself. It was like bland cinnamon—we thought it might be fennel from the sausage. We asked the chef what was in the lasagna. He responded, “If I told you… I’d have to kill you!”—which was hilarious! I’d never heard that one before, so to show him how funny he was, we cut off his thumbs and put his head in a vise. He still didn’t know what the flavor was.

Maybe it was anise.

I heard a gentleman on a political show suggest that a particular party should drop its stance on abortion in order to attract more people to that party—meaning the people who would vote for that party but for that one issue.

The problem with that logic is that if there are voters who refuse to vote for a party because of its stance on abortion, there are probably just as many voters who vote for that party only because of its stance on abortion. The same would go for the other party. I don’t think either party would gain much from changing its position on such a core issue.

The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, spoke at Columbia University a while back. Many were upset that Columbia gave him a forum, especially after one of Columbia’s deans “Godwinned” the situation by saying that they’d have allowed Hitler to speak. The little man marched into the heart of the Great Satan, New York City itself, gave a speech, denied the Holocaust, asked the usual nutjob questions about who was really behind 9/11… and then claimed that Iran did not have homosexuals.

Think about that, think about what you’d expect the political leader of Iran’s government to say: perhaps a denial of the fact that the Iranian government persecutes homosexuals, or perhaps a condemnation of homosexuality as an abomination before Allah. Nope. He flatly claimed that Iran simply did not have homosexuals: “In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you that we have it.”

The audience burst out in laughter, right in his face. Simple laughter made this Holocaust denier, this tool of the Supreme Leader, this man attempting to defeat the “Great Satan” in Iraq, this thug into a joke.

Sometimes history is made by accident as much as intention. That round of laughter may end up doing more to weaken the Iranian dictatorship than any armies, diplomats, or sanctions ever could. I hope that the video of Ahmadinejad being ridiculed is shown repeatedly in Iran, and that it emboldens the Iranians, that it gives them strength and courage to laugh at their dictators, and march and act against their dictators, and end the rule of the Ayatollahs.

Some Iranian students protested an Ahmadinejad speech this week in Tehran, chanting “Death to the Dictator.” We’ll see.

One Response to “These last coupla weeks.”

  1. Que si Says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 5:58 PMI don’t think I would go so far as to say the combination of New Jersey and Barefoot would qualify as “perfectly acceptable”. Actually, I’m not sure Beach and New Jersey would be an acceptable combination judging by your description of the lovely gifts drifting in from NYC. I’m even considering denousing New Jersey as “perfectly accpetable” but I’m sure you have some friends (and contributors to this blog) in NJ and I don’t want to risk offending them. Now, if YOU lived in New Jersey, well I wouldn’t know WHAT to do.