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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Day for Musing and Brooding

The weather is beautiful today, but I had to postpone my plans for working in the back yard, thanks to my neighbor who’s over watering flooded our yard this morning. I can get it done tomorrow.

So I am spending the day hanging out. I went into the neighbor’s back yard and turned off the water, ordered a new and better recorder, talked to a headhunter, practiced clarinet and recorder, and looked at my lawnmower. That’s all the achievement to record for today. I had a leisurely cup of coffee at a local joint this morning, enjoyed sitting on their patio along with several neighborhood idlers and their dogs. Although I enjoy days like today, on these days my mind wanders about what other things I might do with my time. When a headhunter from a major actuarial meat marketer called today, I agreed to send her my resume, after talking a bit about where I am and what I can do. If I am serious, I should simply write letters and call the few possible actuarial employers in the area. It seems like I never get that serious. The main allure of being involved in actuarial work is the pay level and the prestige, not to mention I think I’m pretty good at it. The downside is spending time dealing with members of that dreaded species, Homo Corperatus Jerkus. Really, I tell myself, just contacting people wouldn’t hurt. Besides, I might get a free lunch or two out of the deal.

Last night I dreamed about growing more tumors in the pancreas. That is not comforting. A few years before I came up with my tumor, I had similar dreams. I am even willing to think about actuarial work to get my mind out of that gutter.

I just finished “Standing in the Rainbow” by Fannie Flagg. Four Stars (****). Her telling of the history of several citizens of a small Missouri town is gripping and charming. The work was somewhat in the style of Garrison Keiller’s lake Woebegone stories, without Keiller’s moodiness or woman-hating. This was a book I couldn’t put down. It included life stories of characters such as the old veteran grumps that were everywhere in the 70’s and on, a politician with some similarities to George Wallace, Gospel Singers, and other typical small town eccentrics. The book focused on the 1940’s and 1950’s, but followed the characters through to the early 1990s.

My AARP membership card arrived yesterday. I can’t wait to flash it at restaurants and accuse anyone who charges me the standard price with blatant age discrimination. How much fun is that?

At work, some parents have complained that we aren’t assigning enough homework. My students have a different opinion, but he who pays the piper calls the tune. So, I doubled all homework assignments this week. The goal is about 100 minutes per week. I have mostly younger kids in summer school so we are working on exciting topics like adding and multiplying fractions and mixed numbers. In reality, the most important work is teaching the students how and when to focus on a task.

We had a great 4th of July. I invited the crazy neighbors over for BBQ chicken, Gazpacho, Kathleen’s old family recipe potato salad, and the obligatory apple pie. They brought over a lot of cool fireworks. The underlying theme of our conversation involved interjecting, “WHY DO YOU HATE FREEDOM?” whenever anyone said anything thoughtful. A good time and a lot of beer was had by all. Hey, ever notice how those two often go together. Hmmmmm.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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I must enjoy shouting into a vacuum, but I think about getting my act together one of these days. My mom says I am very handsome and intelligent.

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