Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Experiences with Dumb Employees

Sometimes, with the sheer stupidity of some people, you just don't know whether to laugh or cry ...

So I just went into VIP (it's an auto parts store ... I'm not sure if it's a national chain or not) to get a bulb for my mother's car. Now, you need to understand that my mother is rather odd about certain things, for lack of a better way of putting it. Her car, for example ... she takes it to the dealership for, like, having a blinker bulb changed, gets charged over fifty dollars, and doesn't realize how asinine that is. Andy said he'd change the bulb for her, that it'd take him, like, five minutes if that, and he wouldn't charge her anything. She thought that sounded like a good plan and, since she's in Florida with Belle, I told her I'd make sure it got done before she got back. Yeah, they're getting back tonight ...

So anyway, I went to the service desk at VIP and said, "I need to buy a left rear blinker light for a Ford 500." The guy looked at his computer for a few minutes and replied, "It's not listed." I kind of looked at him blankly for a minute ... I mean, this is an AUTO PARTS STORE! Then, as so often happens in my life, it perpetuated. He called over a couple of other employees and they looked in the computer and basically said that, since it wasn't listed, they couldn't help me out. One said, "If you have the car with you, we can take out the old one and try to match it." Well, I didn't have the car with me because driving my mom's car makes me nervous enough already because with my luck I'd total it, plus it's (no offense intended to anyone) kind of an old lady car, plus it doesn't have a left rear blinker at the moment.

Anyway, I called Andy and told him they "didn't have it listed", and he said, "I'm not sure off the top of my head, but I'll call a Ford dealership and get right back to you." Approximately two minutes later, Andy (who was at his own work, I might add, and certainly not getting paid for being an auto parts specialist) called me back and said, "Tell them you need a 3157." That simple. Two minutes. One phone call.

Obviously, I don't expect them to know the exact parts for every car in existence, but
a) We're talking about a Ford here, not a Maserati.
b) Three VIP employees stood around looking on the computer for the same thing.
c) It didn't occur to them to explore other options (Andy said there's some book that VIP should have that gives all that information).
d) It took Andy two minutes to get the information ... it certainly couldn't have taken them any longer than that.
e) After I left, I googled "blinker light Ford 500" and the information was RIGHT THERE. I don't know what the heck they were doing on the computer, but I could have figured it out on my CrackBerry in less time. Uh ... I could have figured it out on my CrackBerry PERIOD.

When I took the Praxis II exam to be certified as a high school English teacher, I was really nervous because the test covered the entire body of literature, from pre-Homeric writings to the relatively recent genre of "chick lit" and everything in between. I needed to have a working familiarity with Moby Dick, but I also needed to know about iambic pentameter and gerunds and so on. Trust me, I know better than anyone about having too much material to know, and you can't possibly be an expert at everything, but at the same time, it's okay to stop and look something up and, in this day and age, there are a vast number of ways to do that!

Okay, rant over. Am I overreacting here? (I have a tendency to do that sometimes ;)) What experiences have you had with incompetent employees?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Earth Day is Growing--Are you Growing with It?

I was a slow-comer to the concept of Earth Day. Even this year, I was more excited to see what Google did to their page than the concept itself (I'm pretty ashamed to admit that ...)

My friend and colleague Kristina, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. She has organized a "Green Team" at our school to get kids involved, and Friday (the day before vacation) involved an absolutely fantastic Green Day event.

First, there was a sorting of classroom recycling bins into bottles, cans, newspaper, mixed paper, and so on done by grade level. (I am Class Advisor for the sophomore class, and we naturally won our competition :-)) After everything was sorted, Kristina pointed out how much trash was still left over, even when you took the recycling we'd done into consideration. It was extremely powerful!

Next, each grade was given a bin full of stuff, some recyclable and some not. A scavenger hunt ensued, with requested items ranging from #6 bottles to yogurt containers to a chewed piece of gum (oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that gloves were provided ...) to a signed hall pass to ... well, you get the idea. The picture above is actually of my sophomores sorting through during the scavenger hunt (I cannot believe I managed to get a picture that doesn't show anyone's face :-)). And yes, we won the scavenger hunt, too :-)

Finally, each grade was asked to make a class pledge related to the environment. Kristina had provided some information for jump-off ideas on the backs of the pledge sheets, and some of the grade levels came up with some great ideas. (My sophomores, obviously cocky from their dual wins, pledged to "recycle properly" ... le sigh, but I guess you can't win them all). During this time, members of the Green Team shared "factoids" about recycling both fascinating and frightening.

So what do you think about Earth Day? Is there more buy-in as time progresses? Is it too little, too late? Or do you think that it's blown out of proportion?

Oh, and how cool is it that my little tiny rural school has such an amazing event? Kristina (and the Green Team students, of course) should get an award for all their hard work :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stuff (And Why I'll Be Posting Regularly This Week :-))

I am on vacation from school this week. Never has a vacation been more timely or more necessary (I think I say that the first day of every vacation, though ;-)). So just a quick update, since my posts have been sporadic at best lately ...

* Addie is in England right now. Actually, that's not entirely accurate ... she's just leaving Scotland at the moment. She is having a ball traveling through the British Isles with her school's music department, and I am so happy for her even though I miss her terribly :-( Their trip was postponed nearly a week by the volcanic eruption in Iceland, and as recently as the night before they left on Wednesday, it looked like they wouldn't be going. Clearly, she's having a great cultural experience ...

* Belle is in Florida right now. My mom took her down to visit my sister and do the Disney World thing. Addie is something of a world traveler, but Belle has never been away from me before. She is also in a very clingy phase at the moment, so I'm hoping that she doesn't have a bunch of "I want Mommy" meltdowns. My mother is not a big fan of scenes ... Anyway, she rode an airplane for the first time, had a two hour layover (in D.C., of all places ;)), and made it to Orlando safely. I just got off the phone with her, and she is very excited about going to meet Mickey Mouse today. Here she is coloring during her layover (thanks, Mom, for sending the pic):

* Andy's surrogate father, Ken, has spent the past week in the hospital. Ken is one of the best human beings in the world--he really epitomizes the phrase, "He would give the shirt off his back to a stranger." I will post more about Ken later, but let me just say that I have known him for fifteen years and, in a way, he is sort of my surrogate father figure too. He was released on Friday, the prognosis isn't good, and ... I'm starting to cry again and I'll be doing plenty of that when I go to see him later, so I'm going to change the subject now.

* You remember that "cosmetic surgery" I had done? Yeah, it was really effective ... I mean, if you're going to say you're giving me plastic surgery, stupid eye technician, maybe you should make sure it WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!

* I received The Sunshine Award from Tasha over at Tasha's Truth. Tasha describes herself as "a teacher at an alternative high school and a woman finding her way." She's an extremely astute lady with many great things to say. I strongly recommend you check out her blog. My job now is to pass this award on to five blogs that give me sunshine ... (this is tricky since I read and love so very many blogs)

1. The World According to J.J. in L.A. Jodi, who clearly states, "I was born with spina bifida, but that's the least interesting thing about me", is just hysterically funny, tremendously kind, and a pleasure to interact with. Her positive attitude is a true inspiration.

2. Mommytopia. Wendie is arguably one of the funniest writers I have the pleasure of experiencing. She has a true gift for making both the mundane and the tragic seem thrilling and comedic. It's almost Shakespearean, I swear ;) Anyway, if you don't read Wendie's blog, you should. That's all.

3. Flutey Words. Aubrie is a published writer (yes, I'm RIDICULOUSLY jealous ;-)) who actually lives close to me geographically (although I've never met her because I'm not a stalker). The gentle yet pointed advice given on her blog (and the fact that she comments on almost all of my posts ;)) just make my days sunnier. She's a gem :-)

4. 2Girls2Dogs2Cats. So I went to high school with this girl Carrie, didn't know her super well, we reconnected on Facebook and found out we were both teachers and had a shared hatred for the woeful abuse of the apostrophe. Yeah, she's great. Anyway, this blog has chronicled Carrie and her partner MJ's journey to bring a baby into their family. The journey has been one of the hardest and most heartbreaking I've ever seen, but Carrie recently shared with the blogging world that she is pregnant. I am so happy :-)

5. Children of the Nineties. This is one of my absolute favorite blogs. I know I mention it whenever I'm doing a blog appreciation post or giving out blog awards or whatever, but the fact is, there is sheer sunshine in reliving everything from Pogs to Memoorable Dance Scenes in Movies to '90s Witches. It's just a trip if you spent any time growing up in the '90s (and I'm squarely in that demographic).

Okay, guess that's all for right now. My day consists of playing with the dogs, going to see a soccer game some of my students are playing in this afternoon, going to visit Ken and Andy either before or after the game, and missing my girls :-(

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why 4/20 is a Great Day to Teach

And no, it's not the obvious reason ... I mean, I would totally pass a drug test at this moment in time. That being said, though, working in a high school makes the day ... interesting, to say the least.

Perhaps the highlight (haha...I said, "High") was when we were having a prom committee meeting in the student lounge. It's a very small room (ideal for the "hotbox" concept, if you're at all familiar with that), and my co-class advisor and I were sitting on the floor with ten or so students (really cream of the crop students, I might add) in a loose circle.

One of the kids looked up at the clock and said, "Hey, the clock stopped at 4:20 on 4/20. How weird is that?"

We just could not stop laughing ... it was too much!

What are some random acts of laughter you've recently experienced :-)?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A "Cosmetic" Procedure?

It's fairly common knowledge that I'm among the least appearance-obsessed people around. I mean, I'm hygienic, natch, and I can and do dress up (and do my hair and all that crap) if I have to, but I'm a lot more comfortable teaching in sneakers or clogs than in Jimmy Choos, you know?

So I got a stye in my left eye in late December. For those of you that don't know, a stye is defined as, "Inflammation of one or more sebaceous glands of an eyelid." If you're really interested in the inner workings of a stye, check out WebMD's take on the subject.

There isn't a great deal of photographic evidence of the horrible thing, but you can sort of see it here in this picture (it's the ugly red bump on the lower lid of my left eye):

Anyway, I've been going to the stye specialist (yes, they do in fact exist ... what a creepy job, though) for months now, and it was a pretty frustratrating experience. First he said, "Use warm compresses every four hours." I'd already been doing that. "I'll give you an antibiotic cream." My primary care doctor had already given me the one he was going to prescribe. "Okay, here's the most aggressive treatment: oral antiobiotics twice a day, antibiotic eye drop #1 four times a day, antibiotic eye drop #2 twice a day, and antibiotic eye drop #3 once a day. And warm compresses four times a day." I said that was fine, let's just get rid of this freaking thing so I can not look stupid and wear my contacts again and so on. Plus, styes hurt.

Anyway, I went back and saw him twice after that at two to three week intervals to point out that "the most aggressive treatment" wasn't doing jack. He said I needed to give it time. I don't know, maybe I'm impatient, but four months seems like a lot of time to me.

I reached the end of my rope yesterday, and I think the doctor realized it. He finally just removed the damn thing:

I share this story with you (and I'm leaving out the gory details, believe me ... let's just say that lidocaine doesn't work well for me ...) not because I got to look like a pirate or because I think that having a stye removed is exciting in the least. It's not even to prove that point that many doctors are really arrogant--I mean, I actually LIKED the doctor yesterday, mostly because he actually DID something about the problem but also because he was wearing a Red Sox tie, which made him seem more like a person than a robot.

No, what got me steaming mad was this stupid eye technician who said to me, "You do realize this is just a cosmetic procedure, right? It's like having plastic surgery?"

Oh! My! God! I was STEAMING!!!!!!!!!!! How is having a freaking BACTERIAL INFECTION that has been "treated aggressively" for FOUR MONTHS at all akin to, like, Heidi Montag?

At what point does something become a "cosmetic procedure"? Does stye removal fall under that category? Botox (which I've never done because, as previously stated, I am one of the least appearance-obsessed people in existence)? Where does "medically necessary" become "elective"?

Friday, April 9, 2010


"I think Henry VIII was better looking than he was portrayed in the classic portrait by Hans Holbein ... I've seen fat, ugly pictures of Brad Pitt because some paparazzi got him from a bad angle on a bad morning."

--Jonathan Rhys Meyers, no stranger to the infamous monarch (he plays Hank the Tank on Showtime's The Tudors) in Parade.

Also no stranger to the odd bad picture. Second verse, same as the first ...

Patrick Swayze Not Perfect, Lovable as Hell in Spite of It

The Time of My Life, a recently released memoir by Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa Niemi, underscores the fact that Swayze was one in a million even as it addresses his flaws.

Among Niemi's disclosures (from Popeater):

* Swayze was an alcoholic, a condition that peaked in 2006.
"I felt like I didn't have a husband. At the beginning of Al-Anon meetings [for families and loved ones of alcoholics] they say something about sharing the feeling of being unwanted, unloved and alone. That's how I felt. In the early days I encouraged him to seek help, but a big point of Al-Anon is you have to take care of your own life. Trying to change him was a losing battle."

* The couple separated briefly to deal with this issue.
"I hoped it wasn't over. But it was not going to work out if something didn't change. It was tough being with somebody in that much pain, distress and insanity, along with the massive quantities of alcohol that takes everything in its path, sucking it down this black hole. I'd gone through bad times before. But this time he was going completely down and I didn't want to go down with him."

* Swayze was sexually reserved.
"Now I bet someone will pop up and say, 'I slept with him.' I remember going to a movie set and someone saying, 'All he's been talking about is you.' Some rap singers told him how jealous they were of all the women he must have had, and he said, 'Sorry to disappoint you, that's not my thing.' He was quite a prude. I never saw him as sexy. I remember soon after we married I looked at him and was surprised how good-looking he was. He didn't want to be recognized for something as superficial as being a sex symbol."

* On the pancreatic cancer that killed him.
"Some feelings are extreme, some are a general malaise, sometimes it's like someone has poured gasoline on me and set me on fire. A lady who also lost her husband to pancreatic cancer says that it doesn't get better, just more bearable. I want to repaint some rooms in the house, but can't decide on the paint. It's that kind of lethargy. If I get one thing accomplished in a day, I'm happy."

This sort of gritty, real love story doesn't seem to happen too much in the celeb world. It's a tragedy that it had to end ... but a great message to those of us questioning whether romantic love does in fact exist.

Kind of Maverick-y: John McCain Does Not Freak Out Over Gay Site

There were two schools of folks that John McCain managed to score points with today. (He also scored points with me, I might add, for handling the situation with far more grace and humor than that vehemently anti-gay hypocrite from Alaska Sarah Palin would have).

Basically, Senator McCain became quite excited that he had stepped toward joining the modern world by sending a self-taken picture (with no mirror flash, I might add … he’s way ahead of where I was when I took my first iPic) via his Twitter account. I mean, that’s kind of cute, when you get right down to it. Unfortunately, his parents children never taught him about the consequences of sending pictures out into cyberspace.

From TMZ:
The “Maverick” was just tryin’ to show the world that he could take a pic of himself on his iPhone—when somebody ripped the image from his Twitter page and posted it on “Guys with iPhones”—a website featuring men clutching their phones … and often themselves.

So … becoming technologically savvy? Check. Not freaking out about his image appearing on a “notorious gay porn website”? Check.

You lone dissenter, as an intellectual, an artist, or a politician, who takes an independent stand apart from his or her associates maverick, you!

NBA's K-Mart Lives up to Name, Looks Corny

Denver Nuggets power forward Kenyon Martin apparently cannot take a joke, even on April Fool’s Day.

Former Nuggets ball boy Laquan Johnson took Martin’s keys from the locker room and proceeded to stuff the star’s Range Rover (which boasts a pristine formerly pristine white interior) with hot buttered popcorn.

According to ESPN Sports, what happened next went something like this:
Angered, he (Martin) went back to the locker room spewing profanities and threats at teammates and other members of the organization.

"That ain't no [expletive] joke," Martin said. "I'm going to find out who did it ... put my [expletive] hands on one of y'all. I'm going to put my hands on whoever did it. You better believe that. It's [expletive] personal. You better believe it."

Martin, who has missed 15 games with a torn patella tendon in his left knee, threatened to boycott the postseason if he did not find out who was responsible.

"How 'bout if I don't play in the playoffs until somebody tells me who did it," Martin said more than once.

The story ended with the ball boy apologizing to Martin and taking responsibility by agreeing to have the car cleaned and de-kerneled.

According to a source at the Nuggets organization, “It was just an April Fool’s joke that went horribly wrong. The kid thought it would be funny and it wasn't. Kenyon was back at practice today and everything was fine between him and his teammates."

Perhaps … until next April Fool’s Day, of course. Or until a date brings the dregs of a popcorn bag home from the movie theater. His Range Rover is tapped by a grocery cart at the market. You know, LIFE??

Oh, and did I forget to mention that there’s video footage?

The Long and Short of It

First Lady Michelle Obama, a Harvard-educated lawyer, a fashionista credited with bringing brands like J. Crew back from oblivion, and the mother of two seemingly well-adjusted children, is being lauded for her … height?

People is pointing out that the 5’11” Mrs. Obama is the tallest First Lady on record—tied for the title with Eleanor Roosevelt.

Compared to the other wives of presidents, Mrs. Obama is a towering figure. Dolly Madison was a mere 5' 4," Abigail Van Buren 5' 6," Jackie Kennedy (who was considered tall) 5' 7" and Bess Truman a "sturdy" 5' 9," says the article, which also offers Mrs. Obama's take on the 5' 5" Hillary Clinton – whose legacy, she says, "left a space for me to be who I am today. She left open a broader possibility of what a first lady could be."

So how does this translate to the land of celebrity? How do women famous in the biz (sorry in advance about the bad pun here) measure up? Here is a list of highs and lows (sorry, I’m in rare form today …)

Female celebs 5’10” and over include Geena Davis, Macy Gray, Taylor Swift, Brooke Shields, Anna Nicole Smith, volleyball’s Gabrielle Reece, Kim Cattrall, Mandy Moore, Elizabeth Berkley, Brigitte Nielson, Kelly Killoren-Bensimon, Courtney Love, Jordin Sparks, Nicole Kidman (especially when placed in close proximity to former husband Tom Cruise), Tyra Banks, Maria Sharapova, Rebecca Romijn, Kimora Lee Simmons, Blake Lively, Naomi Campbell, Julia Roberts, Jerry Hall, Venus Williams, Liv Tyler, Padma Lakshmi, Lucy Lawless (she’s a warrior princess—no surprise there), and Gisele Bundchen.

Under 5’2” are Erykah Badu (whose new album is amazing), America Ferrara, Fergie, Paula Abdul, Kellie Pickler, Christina Milian, Pat Benatar (Is there going to be a movie of her life as a singing waitress on the heels of The Runaways?), Kristen Bell, Ellen Page, Shakira, Christina Aguilera, Janeane Garofalo, Tila Tequila, Reese Witherspoon, Hillary Duff, Salma Hayek, Jada Pinkett Smith, Judy Garland, Nicole Richie, Lil’ Kim, Eva Longoria, and Nikki Blonsky.

Any surprises here? I, for example, would have sworn that Charlize Theron was at least 5’11” …

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yes, There's a Banana on My Windshield (or, "Friendship Rocks")

Friendship is an amazing thing. It's so odd how you can connect so strongly and completely with other people sometimes. Perhaps the best part, as far as I'm concerned, is when someone truly gets your sense of humor ... especially when the sense of humor in question is as ridiculous as mine is. What a treasure it is, as long as it is around, to feel completely understood for once.

So I had court today. No, I didn't do anything wrong (much to the chagrin of my students, who thought it was hysterical that I had to miss half a day of work to go to court); this was just the final chapter in the great divorce debacle. To say that I was upset and anxious would be a gross understatement and, despite my trip to Starbucks after dropping Addie off at school (I thought I could use the time to WRITE but--surprise, surprise--nothing was coming), I found myself almost to the courthouse nearly an hour early. I spent much of that time on the phone with Andy, who listened to me freak out as he is so good at doing.

Andy's current job involves bananas. And driving. A lot. I'll leave it at that. We have the kind of friendship where we laugh at everything; even things that are really serious somehow become funny, I swear. Anyway, Andy is referred to by some people he works with as "Banana Boy", and so there's this running joke that his alter ego, Banana Boy, is really a superhero with magic powers. It sounds very stupid when I write it and I'm sure it sounds very stupid as you read it, but it's just hysterical when it comes up in reality. Anyway, I had to explain that so you can fully appreciate what happened next, a lesson in friendship and being there for someone and, most importantly, making life a little more humorous.

I left my CrackBerry in my car when I went into the courtroom because I was scared it would ring in the middle of court or something (and I have a tendency to think it is on "vibrate" when it really isn't). When I got back to my car, I got in and turned my phone on. I noticed that I had a text from Andy, so I read it and could not stop laughing. It read:

"LOOK ... down in the alley ... it's a cat ... it's a dog ... no, it's BANANA BOY!!!! Here I come to peal away ... Banana Boy will save your day ..."

It just cracked me up like you cannot imagine. So I pull out of the parking lot and am on my way to work, and I call Andy to thank him for the text. I cannot stop laughing, and then he starts talking about "the banana", and I stop laughing because I'm very confused.

ANDY: "You mean you didn't see it?"

ME: "See what?"

ANDY: "The banana I left on your windshield."

ME: "There's no banana on my windshield."

ANDY: "I left a banana on your windshield."

ME: "There's no ... Oh, shit, there's a banana on my windshield."

And of course that was it for both of us. Hysteria ensued. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time, and trust me when I tell you that it was necessary.

I teach literary symbolism to my freshmen, and it occurred to me today while talking about shoes as a symbol in Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street that Andy's banana, dropped off while he was working in the area, was a symbol of sorts. "I'm here," that banana said. "I know you're upset and scared and hurt and all sorts of bad things, but someone is showing that they are here for you--metaphorically speaking--and thinking of what you're going through." Able to send a message that serious while causing me to laugh hard enough to pee my pants (not literally, of course) ... Andy is the best friend ever, and I will never forget both his support and his laughter today.

What are some memorable moments your best friend has given you?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Things that Creep you Out

Ah, fear. There are many things that I live in abject fear of, but those things are either too potentially frightening or too abstract to put into words. Therefore, I've compiled a list of things that creep me out, make me upset, cause the diarrhea-is-forthcoming-if-you-don't-solve-this-soon feeling in my stomach.

* Snakes.
My mom told me once that having an aversion to snakes is among the most common and that it's a Biblical thing (or maybe The Bible cashed in on a common aversion to snakes). All I know is, I hate snakes. Hate them. My family was climbing a mountain once and a snake slithered out in front of me. Yeah, totally passed out ...

* Thunderstorms
My hysteria over thunderstorms is actually tied directly to my fear (not aversion, not hysteria, FEAR) of losing control (can't take airplanes, struggle with riding in a car when someone else is driving, et cetera). They are noisy and shake the house. The lightning flashes incessantly. The dogs get scared. The Weather Channel goes crazy with beeping out the warnings and watches and advisories ... and I just quake. I hate thunderstorms. HATE.

* Toenails
All right, this is an odd one, I admit. In fact, I don't think I've heard of anyone else with the capacity to get worked up over toenails. One day when I was a kid, I was climbing up the cement front stairs and I caught a toenail on the cement and it just peeled off (quite painful). I have hated toenails ever since, even getting inexplicably upset when people rub their toenails on the backs of their heels (it makes a horrible sound to my ears) or on something else.

What are some things that creep you out? Where is the line that you draw between "creep out" and "frighten"? I can tell you, if you wanted to drive me insane, wrap a snake around my neck and pluck on my toenails in the middle of a thunderstorm. I assure you, you'd get results. I wouldn't be ... afraid ... exactly, though. It's the distinction between fear and dislike/annoyance that I'm trying to clarify here.

What do you think?

**Happy Easter, by the way. I wrote a fairly meaningful post last Easter ... it's right here, so check it out if you're interested. I just don't have it in me this year, know what I mean?**

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rats! Michael Jackson’s Doctor Turns to EBay

The fallout from Michael Jackson’s death continues nearly a year after the fact. The latest victim? A 2004 Chevy SSR truck owned by Jackson’s doctor/friend/sperm donor Arnold Klein. According to TMZ, Klein “can’t bare (sic) to ride in it since the singer’s death.”

In a creepy development from an already ridiculously creepy situation, Klein and Jackson evidently used to tool around Hancock Park where the movie Willard was filmed. From TMZ:
Dr. Klein tells TMZ Jackson loved driving over to the "Willard" house in Hancock Park. It's the house where the movie "Willard" was filmed -- it's kind of the monster version of MJ's song, "Ben."
Klein says Michael believed the house was populated by aliens and monsters.

And in a twist that could only come from the Jacksonian saga, Klein has put the truck up on EBay. Although its alleged value is over $30,000, the highest bid as of yesterday (April Fool’s Day, incidentally) was $9,100.

Does this mean we are finally sick of the whole Michael Jackson debacle? Can we let what remains of his legacy intact without more too-bizarre-to-be-real-yet-too-bizarre-to-be-made-up tidbits like this coming out of the woodwork? There are rats in the basement, all right …

Are Minorities Discouraged from Taking Upper-Level Classes?: The Elephant in the Room

As a public school teacher for sixteen years, I sometimes feel like I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen Standards come and go (and despite the brou...