As a Texan I feel like I need to weigh in on the recent open carry situation, despite my strict policy of not talking about politics on social media. To be clear, I’m a Liberal but I am not anti gun. I grew up around guns, gun shows, and gun safety. My grandfather was in law enforcement and he was a gun dealer, as is my uncle. I was shooting things before I reached puberty. There is nothing that frightens or upsets me about the idea of guns.
Having said that, I think several things are going to happen as a result of the recent open carry decision in Texas.
- Shit is gonna backfire, pun intended. Gangsters and other criminals are going to see this as a buffet of free guns. Many of you are going to die. Sorry.
- I’m glad that white people feel 200% safer walking into Subway now that they have an assault rifle, but there are millions of brown people asking, “The fuck just happened?” #ALLLIVESMATTER
- All you people posting selfies with your guns on day one of open carry are fucking amateurs. You don’t deserve a gun, or a phone, or a mirror. I know plenty of people, both criminal and not, who have been carrying all along. Shut it down.
- If one more of you fucktards posts another pic of you, your AK-47, and your BABY at Walmart, I’m gonna blow a gasket. Come over here and tell me about your 2nd Amendment. Imma smack the shit outa you.
- About the 2nd Amendment, YOU’RE WRONG.
- Remember when you were ten years old and got that brand new Members Only jacket? Remember how you felt like the shit at school the next day? Remember how, while you were feeling like the shit, the school bully pushed you down and wrenched that new jacket off you and spit in your face? Yeah see #1, only with bullets and a lot of blood.
- I’ve made my point here. Guns are not bad. People are bad. Some people are superbad. That is all.
As we’re diving back into the fray of school, I wanted to take a second and offer some advice, and dispel some myths, for those of you who are married, dating, roommates, brothers, sisters, friends, parents or children of a teacher. I speak as an education professional who was in the classroom for six years (that was all it took for me to choose a different path within the school community), and as the spouse of a 20+ year veteran of lesson plans and grade grubbing.
1. Watch this video.
Watch it again ten times without stopping.
Now put it on repeat for eight hours, and that is first period. My point is that your whole day is never as cute, or as exhausting as first period.
2. Teachers do not get off at 3:00 and we don’t get summers “off.” Classroom teachers work 80 hour weeks, and a “week” is 7 days. Most classroom teachers have 9 month contracts which means they have to get summer jobs tutoring, working at camp, or teaching somewhere else. At the end of the school year, teachers have about a week of down time before summer work begins. If they don’t have to get a second paying job, they do professional development. It’s required whether or not they are working a second job, that they seek out and attend conferences, workshops, and programs to enhance their teaching. It can seem like they have a ton of free time because they dictate their own schedules but trust me, they are working their asses off.
3. Mark your calendars for three weeks before school starts.
During week one, don’t expect your teacher friend to go shopping or to the beach or to lunch on any random day. They are already back in the classroom in their minds.
During week two it’s best to just not invite your teacher friend to play with you at all. They don’t have time for fun anymore, and they start getting snippy around this time.
The week before school starts, leave them alone. It’s not that they don’t want to talk to you, it’s that they want you to stop talking. Period. If you live with them, stop asking them to do things. Also it’s time to start doing your own laundry, cleaning, landscaping, shopping, pet care, child care, and DVR every show. If all adults in the household are teachers, children know how to do these things by second grade.
4. During the first month of school, you might want to get a hotel room if you live with a teacher. If you choose to stay at home, pay attention to their mood when they get home from school. If they’ve had a good day, listen to their stories, serve dinner, then leave them alone while they work their second shift. If they’ve had a bad day, fix them a cocktail and go away quietly until you are summoned to fix a second cocktail.
5. This is important. Do not, even a little bit, try to tell them about teaching or how messed up the education system is. No one knows better than they do A) how to do their jobs and B) how messed up the system is.
Lots of love and luck to my teachers.
Have a great 2015-2016!
I believe there is a spectrum of Home Depot shoppers. At one end, there are the people who might go there under duress, and only if there were no other option on the planet. We’ll call them “Heathers.” At the other end are the people who go there multiple times a day, they know everyone who works there, they have built houses from the ground up, they wouldn’t survive without Home Depot. We’ll call these people “Halls.” I fall somewhere toward the middle. I love it, I go there on weekends, I’m not the least bit intimidated as a woman or an amateur. I am both fascinated and overwhelmed by the fact that they have everything to build an entire house, under one roof. That said, I would like to dispel a few myths about Home Depot and the people who shop there.
The Manipulators – “I’m just going to get a couple of tomatoes and maybe a pepper plant.” This is a lie. I am guilty of this too so I know. You are going to walk out of there with four tomato plants, two peppers, six dozen flowers that “need you,” nine cubic feet of mulch, several hundred pounds of dirt, and enough lumber for three raised beds.
The Delusional – “I’m just gonna run in and grab something.” Bullshit. The only people that can legitimately say this are the Halls. They are the ones who are in there covered from head to toe in paint or drywall because they are in the middle of a project and A) they ran out of something or B) they broke something. They know exactly what they need and where it is. Stay out of their way. Everyone else is going to walk in the door and be in there at least 30 minutes.
The Wannabes – These are mostly men in their 40s who think they know what they are doing. They carry large pieces of lumber over their shoulders like they are the only ones in the store. They ignore the forklift drivers and walk around the closed aisle gates because they really need to get that box of carpet tacks. They will never ask for, or admit they need, help.
The 100 Footers – It’s not just about looks. Yes, they have the outward appearance of professional lesbians but they also walk the walk. They have every power tool and they know how to use them. If you can’t find an available store employee to help you with your project, just ask one of these ladies. They know where everything is, and they will have some good advice for whatever it is you’re doing. And don’t argue because you won’t win. Even if you disagree, just nod and say, “great idea, I’ll try that.”
I was paying bills, drinking coffee and taking care of some other pressing internet business and I decided to do a little ego-surfing. If this term is new to you, it simply means Googling yourself to see what pops up. Try it.
Anyway, here are my favorite results from an image search of myself.
The woman on the left, Robyn Mabry, looks freakishly like I did in the 80s. She overcame breast cancer by putting her faith entirely in God. Good for her. God made doctors, too.
This is Jodi Arias, not Robyn Mabry. Her story has been on every crime show so I won’t go into it but basically she killed her boyfriend in cold blood.
This is a waffle taco. Again, not Robyn Mabry. I’ve never eaten a waffle taco and you shouldn’t either.
This must be from that vacation I took in Transylvania. Why?! Why did this come up under my name?!
This is from when I was on that show that time.
This was after that surgery I had to become a small black man. It was a phase. We all go through them. Don’t judge.
Now go out there and Google yourself!
I recently enjoyed a trip to Las Vegas with a dear friend and on our way to drop me at the airport in ABQ, NM we stopped at Waffle House for an early breakfast. If you’re from the South, you know that Waffle House is far superior to IHOP in many ways. One of which is the new Waffle House work release program that provides women from the local prison or rehab facility with the opportunity to earn an honest living while serving up delicious waffles and hash browns. Most people don’t know about this program yet because it’s new and possibly made up. Anyway, here is the cast of characters on duty:
PJ “Cammo” McGuire
The scene: It’s 6:00am when we arrive and grab a booth. One-Shoe takes our order then begins mopping the floor. She’s only wearing one shoe for some reason.
PJ “Cammo” McGuire is wearing blue cammo long underwear under her uniform and a Waffle House trucker hat. She starts yelling at One-Shoe because the floors are dirty. She also begins sweeping behind the counter and complaining loudly about the mess. She does not care for One-Shoe or Momma.
Typhoid Mary is washing dishes by hand. Hands that likely carry plague or TB by the way she is coughing.
Enter Momma: Momma bursts through the kitchen door yelling, “What time is it?!” and looking at the broken clock on the wall. Her daughter, One-Shoe, laughs and tells Momma to get back in the kitchen. Perhaps Momma will find the missing shoe but first she has to put down the cash register drawer and cough into her hands (My friend didn’t see that and I didn’t tell her)
Hawkeye Jane sits at the other end of the counter eating and watching quietly as the entire scene unfolds. She doesn’t speak. She doesn’t have to.
Jane knows, as does my friend, that PJ “Cammo” McGuire is a ticking time bomb and as soon as we leave, One-Shoe and Momma are getting shanked in the ribs.
My friend paid with cash because she didn’t want anyone to touch her credit card and we left, casting nervous glances back at the door.
At the airport I said a warm goodbye to my friend and told her to stop by the hospital on her way home for a chest x-ray and maybe some Zepack.
Many of you know about my special relationship with wildlife. There was the raccoon that entered my home through a hole in the bathroom floor. There was the time I came downstairs at my parents’ house and found a trashcan upside down on the kitchen floor with a piece of paper on top that said “Snake.” There was the time a baby possum snuck into my roommate’s bedroom and went to sleep under the dresser.
I have a million animal stories and this is one of them. Bare with me if you’ve heard it. You will be rewarded with pictures.
When Rebecca and I lived in Austin our landlord’s sister lived behind us, with her deck facing our patio. One balmy summer evening she and her daughter and her daughter’s friend were sitting outside talking when all of a sudden they started screaming some mostly unintelligible words, but one word we did catch was “snake.” We ran over there, expecting to find a crime scene but what we found was far more terrifying. Okay that’s an exaggeration. It was actually really awesome. Apparently, someone’s pet python had escaped and was hungry so it caught a rat on the roof. It then proceeded to fall from said roof, still wrapped around the rat, onto the deck between the three screaming women. A snake. Wrapped around a rat. Fell from the sky. At my neighbor’s feet.
I’ll let you process that. Take as much time as you need.
Here is the incident, captured in full color. Warning: If you don’t like snakes or rats, don’t look. Because there are snakes and rats.
According to the Boston Globe, “Just after 7 Sunday evening, with 2.9 more inches of fresh snow blanketing Boston, the National Weather Service in Taunton announced that the city notched its snowiest winter since records started being kept in 1872.”
This brings us to a grand total of 108.6 inches!
Last month you could hear whispered, often fearful, comments in the hallway about how maybe we should just hope to break the record now that we’re so close. Boston has a long tradition of breaking records and Bostonians are a proud, boastful people when it comes to besting their fellow man. Personally, and I won’t lie, I started looking for jobs in Texas on or about February 15th. I came very close. It was terrible. So you might ask, “Was it worth it?” Let’s see what the man on the street had to say to the Globe when asked, “Now that Bostonians have bragging rights, was it worth it?”
“No, not at all.” “It was a miserable winter, especially here.”
“It’s time for it to stop snowing” “I’m done.”
“Alcohol has been my friend.”
“I listened to a lot of beachy music and pretended it wasn’t happening.”
“We were miserable, but at least now we’re miserable champions.”