A Mets collage. A Mets Christmas hat and a Mets scarf. Mr. Met likes Christmas songs. This was given to me by a kid who previously gave me a Skittles Fan. On Friday, he gave me a gigantic chocolate covered apple with marshmallows.
When I was a kid, Howard Stern used to be on the radio in D.C. He was on DC 101 to be exact. My parents loved listening to him every morning. As a seven-year-old, I also was a big fan even if I didn't understand half of what he was talking about.
When Howard announced that he was leaving Washington for the greener pastures of New York, Stone Groove was devastated. What was he was going to do every morning without Howeird?
The summer before he left, he put out an LP titled 50 Ways to Rank Your Mother. Howard uncut! No more censored versions of Leave it to Beaver. On the LP, he could record The Unclean Beaver!
To promote the album, Howard and the gang had an album signing at a local Kemp Mill Records. Stone Groove, my mom, and I headed to the strip mall for the big event. Before the signing, we needed to eat lunch. There happened to be a Wendy's there so that's where we went. As an 8-year-old, I absolutely detested Wendy's. I hated it with a passion. I bitched and I moaned about how I wanted to go to McDonald's instead.
Anyway, a surprise guest walked in just as we were finishing our food. Yes - Howard and his entourage. Stone Groove was besides himself with glee. He watched as Howard ordered his food and then sat down. Stone Groove pounced. He introduced himself to Howard. I don't remember how it happened but we ended up sitting with them for a few minutes as they ate.
Stone Groove lamented how much he'd miss Howard. He commented about how he loved Howard but hated the music he played. Howard agreed and said that in New York, he wouldn't have to play music. I bitched how much I hated Wendy's.
A few minutes later, we all were in Kemp Mill. My dad bought the album and I got everyone to autograph it.
I still can't believe my parents let me take the record and listen to it before they did. Couldn't they figure out that tracks called Unclean Beaver might not be kosher for an impressionable soon to be third grader?
I brought the record up the street to an older friend's house. Freddy and I listened to the album. He explained some of the dirty things to me. He also thought the message on the back of the LP was hilarious. I didn't understand why.
I told Freddy, "That is so not true. I will never never like eating Wendy's!" He patiently explained to me what the message really meant. I was intrigued. He also taught me the word for the equivalent act performed on a man.
Armed with this new knowledge, I promptly went home and asked my mom if she ever gave Stone Groove a blowjob. Needless to say, the LP was taken away from me for quite a long time.
Pick and Climber Number One I was thinking of filming some of the proceedings like I did last year but it seemed like Jim and Paul had things covered quite nicely. A creepy Will Ferrell present. The Asian Alley was perplexed. The Host I did take a couple of movies though. This one features Chris Larry making fun of a game I like quite a bit.
Jim's journalism friend Nick recently came to visit me at school in order to write an article about me as part of a homework assignment. This is the article he wrote.
When fourth graders at a School in Brooklyn walk into Listmaker’s classroom, the first thing most of them will do is read the messages on a large flip chart and write a response.
When anyone else walks into the classroom, the first thing most of them will do is read the messages on the flip chart and laugh because they can’t tell the difference between Listmaker’s handwriting and his students’. He laughs about it himself.
Listmaker wrote in his stunted script Monday morning, “What are your thoughts on our morning meetings? Do you like them? Dislike them? Share your opinion here.” The students’ comments ranged from “It’s OK” to “They’re not awesome but they’re greatish.”
There’s a lot of laughter in Listmaker's classroom, and that’s how everyone seems to like it. “If a kid is happy with their teacher, then the parents are happy,” said Listmaker.
The typical pictures on the wall say a lot about the 35-year-old Brooklyn resident and the third and fourth graders he has taught for the past eight years. In each photo, Listmaker stands to the side of the class, his hair a little more salt than pepper with each passing year. The smiling students in the pictures seem a lot like the students sitting in this atypical classroom on a Monday morning, children who seem way too happy to be in school.
“I think the whole fourth grade class wanted him,” said Shaggy Hair, 9, one of Listmaker’s students. “He kind of has a reputation of being silly and fun.”
The day started pretty typically with a game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” between two representatives to determine which half of the class would go to science first and which half would stay with Mr. Listmaker for social studies. The winner chose to stay and the loser had to lead her group to the science room.
The remaining students settled down in the classroom with all the standard trimmings: plastic chairs at metal desks, a banner showing examples of capital and lowercase cursive letters, and a deluxe SMART Board™ interactive, projection/touch screen setup that puts most college classrooms to shame.
Listmaker laid out the day’s assignment. Pick from an event in American history, write a few sentences about it, and select an image to put up wrap-around timeline from 1492 to 2008. However, there were no crayons, Fiskars safety scissors or glue sticks out for this project. Instead, the students nonchalantly retrieved MacBook laptop computers to complete the task.
The day’s lesson came with an integrated technology seminar as Listmaker taught the class how to harvest Google images and put them into a Microsoft Word document. “What section should we look under?,” asked Listmaker. “News? Maps? Definitely shopping, right? You want to buy some Lewis and Clark wallpaper?”
The students didn’t get far in their projects before technophobic poltergeists attacked all things digital in the room. Between failing wireless internet signals, photo-resistant Word documents, and unresponsive computers, Listmaker spent most of the lesson trying to troubleshoot the failing technology and the increasingly restless children.
“My computer is crazy,” said a long-haired boy named Boy Who Likes Snowboarding. The technological problems worsened when the other half of the class came back and the American history projects were abandoned for the math lesson. Though Listmaker likes the school, he is frustrated by the lack of time for the basics in a curriculum that favors “specials” like dance, music and drama. “Later today they’re going swimming for an hour,” said Listmaker.
He has toyed with the idea of leaving the School to teach in the city’s public school system, which pays better than the private school, but could never bring himself to leave. However, with his wife SHR five months pregnant with twin boys, the decision might soon be made for him.
“The boys will probably bring the situation to a head,” said Listmaker. “The money and benefits would be nice.” He added that he would also like to have a different mix of kids in the classroom.
The current students have nothing to worry about because Listmaker will be there through the end of the year at least, but their younger brothers and sisters might miss out on the popular teacher with a penchant for Skittles and the Mets. “He uses them in examples all the time,” said Ideal Student, 10. “It’s always ‘if I have 100 skittles…’ or ‘if the Mets win 5 games…’ or something.” She added, “He acts like a kid. He has fun.”
With the chaos of the technology debacle behind him, Listmaker used the time after school to regroup and plan for a better next day. Leaving the novelty Skittles fan a student gave him earlier in the day on his desk, Listmaker started on a new page in the flip chart and went home to his wife and unborn boys who will soon start a new page in his life.
Entourage Really boring for most of the season, much better by the end. I liked the Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Turtle story line.
The Life and Times of Tim Not sure why I kept watching this. It had its moments but the first 15 minutes were all anyone really needed to watch of this show.
Summer Heights High I blew this show off at first. I lumped this in unfairly with Little Britain USA which I gave about 2 minutes of my time. But Mitch implored me to watch it and now I'm hooked. It is definitely a show that my late friend Terry Crummitt would have adored. I can picture him imitating all three of the main characters.
Countdown With Keith Olbermann The Rachel Maddow Show The Daily Show The Colbert Report
I've gotten to the point where I only watch the first three minutes of Olbermann. If I have time, I'll watch all of Maddow. I love her. Jon Stewart is hit or miss but I like checking in. Colbert is more poised to stay really funny during the Obama administration and am continually amazed at the brilliance of his character. The DVR is a magical device. I tend to watch all of these shows while doing other things.
Spectacle: Elvis Costello With ... The jury is still out but everything seems a bit awkward thus far. Maybe it is because in the first two episodes, Elton John sat really weird during the entire show and Lou Reed is such a prick.
The 3rd episode features Bill Clinton and I'm afraid that there will be a bit of ex prez sax blowing. I wonder if Arsenio will show up too.
On another note, I almost reconsidered how much I dislike the latest Jenny Lewis LP when I saw her good performance with Elvis on Letterman the other night. But SHR reminded me that that song is the only good one on the album.
South Park Not a very good season.
The Office This show is finally showing some wear and tear. Since Amy Ryan has left the show, it really doesn't know where it's heading. Bringing back Ryan as a temp was funny for a spell but kind of old now. I still love this show but it is a bit hit or miss thus far this season.
30 Rock Speaking of hit or miss.
The Sarah Silverman Program This show is played out. Give Steve and Brian their own show and be done with it.
Oh yeah, I gave Life on Mars and Fringe each about half an hour.