Texas is finally closing down like other States where the virus is a little better under control. That means a little less worry about going out to buy groceries. Every positive step we take in this direction improves my chances of surviving, or, at least, being able to finish one more novel before I die. I’d have written a better and longer post if I felt better today. I don’t have Covid 19 yet, but I do have diabetes and five other incurable medical conditions, so feel-bad days like today are normal, and fee-good days are rare. Meanwhile, like George Appleby, I am stuck at home with the wife.
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Yesterday they canceled school at least until the 20th of March with an option to extend that for as long as needed. That protects me from infection, but puts my personal economics in jeopardy. No substitute teaching jobs in the coming week. Potentially they will cancel my two jobs lined up for the rest of March. Walmart sold out of bread, bottled water, and toilet paper in a couple of hours last night. I managed one loaf of bread in the check-out chaos. I wasn’t planning to buy bread last night, but if the week’s supplies are going to be gone…
So, here comes the potential pestilential apocalypse, full steam ahead and straight at us. Oh, well. It’s better than brain-eating zombies.
My hands shake at times. The muscles in my rib-cage constantly spasm and got me sent to the ER once for suspected heart-attack (Which ironically turned out to be a muscle spasm). And my father, in his 80’s, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
I have increasingly been seeing the ghost dog in the house. I know we have a living, breathing dog in the house. And when I see the ghost dog’s tail disappearing through the locked door to the garage, I go check on our dog and find her in another room, sleeping, stealing people food, or pooping on the carpet. The ghost dog never does any of those things. And I never see the whole dog. It is usually just the hindquarters and tail.
The concerning thing is, however, that seeing partial figures in the form of a hallucination is a symptom of Parkinson’s.
I am not generally happy about the prospects. My father, on medicare, is being treated for Parkinson’s. My doctor won’t diagnose such a thing himself, and all the specialists he refers me to are out of network. Aetna has the system pretty well rigged. I will not get any Parkinson’s treatment.
Oh,well. I will just have to learn to live with it (rather than dying from it). Ghost dogs don’t bark or bite. But they are heck on burglars, murderers, and home invaders (should it turn out to be real enough to be seen by them).
Here’s a maudlin old post to fill in for a day in which I will not have the time or energy to blog.
Last night I watched again Part I of Ken Burns’ Mark Twain. I think it reminds me of who I am as a writer. No, I am not being all big-head arrogant and full of myself. I devoured certain writers as a youth, consumed them whole. Charles Dickens was my first passion, followed by J.R.R. Tolkien, and then Mark Twain. Of all of them, Samuel Clemens is the most like me. He was from the Midwest, born and raised in Missouri along the Mississippi River. I am from the Midwest, born and raised in Iowa along the Iowa River. He endured hardship and tragedy as a youth, losing his little brother in a riverboat accident, and he dealt with it by humor. I endured a sexual assault from an older boy, and dealt with it by… well, you get the picture. We are alike, him and I. We both…
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As I have exhausted myself in substitute teaching for 7th graders yet again today, I thought I would share an old rant bout testing season, which is now here to visit once again.
I miss being a teacher. But even if I was suddenly healthy enough again to return to the classroom, I would have to think twice… or three times… or twelve times about it. I know excellent teachers who are being driven out of the education field by the demands of the job in the current educational whirlpool of death and depression. My own children are very bright and capable, but they face State of Texas mandated tests this next couple of weeks because that’s what we do in Texas, test kids and test kids and test them some more. If we don’t stress them out and make them fail on the first round of testing, there will be at least two more to get the job done. And believe me, the real reason for all the testing is to make kids fail. It sounds harsh, and like one of my…
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This old post is still as entirely true as it was when I wrote it, and I still love a bit of Tintin on Sundays.
I made a choice, long about 1980 or so. And I have not regretted that choice. I became a teacher instead of the writer/artist I thought I wanted to be. And the more I look back on it now, if I had gone the writer route back then, I could’ve eventually become an author like Terry Brooks who wrote the Shannarabooks. I might’ve even been as good as R.A. Salvatore whose fantasy adventure stories have reached the best seller list. Back then, in the 1980’s I could’ve eventually broke into the business and been successful. Even as late as when Frank McCourt broke onto the literary scene with his memoir, Angela’s Ashes in 1996, I might’ve been able to transition from teacher to writer the way he did. But I chose to keep going with a teaching career that enthralled me.
Publishing and the literary scene is changing now…
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It’s the right time for a timely re-blog of this timeless blog. Or, hopefully, if I have it all wrongly timed, poorly timed, ill-timed, that I still have time to make amends… time-wise.
It seems sometimes, in a Judaeo-Christian society, that we are a constantly being scrutinized by a rather harsh all-knowing God who rewards getting the faith-words accurately correct, to the letter, and the faith-based actions perfect, without a single mistake. And He punishes missteps of word or deed with pain and suffering and the potential of an eternity in Sheol or Hell. And that is a tough God to live with. He is like a teacher who uses his or her God-like powers to reward or punish to lead his students all down an exacting, narrow path to a destination that does not have room for everyone when they arrive.
It doesn’t take long in childhood for a highly intelligent person to realize before childhood is over that this cosmology is actually a load of horse pucky. It didn’t even take long for somebody as semi-stupid as me.
What I like…
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