24 October 2010

On Loss

Loss comes in different forms, and I, like everyone of course, have had my fair share of loss. There have been great-grandparents, my grandfather, and others whom I've lost to death, and friends whom I've lost to life. When I think of the greatest losses of my life, I have the aforementioned grandfather and, strangely enough, the loss of my mentor teacher from high school. She didn't die, but she lost my respect, and that's just as well. The point here being is this- no one is good at loss, and I think I'm particularly bad at it because I sometimes pretend it isn't there.

Since about five years ago three people (and, sadly, it may be more if I'm not remembering clearly) I went to elementary school with have died. Two of them have been, at one point or another, really close friends. Brian died in Afghanistan. I went to his funeral and the jerkoffs (is there a better name for them?) at Westboro "Baptist" Church (quotes added by me because, frankly, I was raised Baptist and am not cool with their association) protested. One shook a sign at my car that said "FAG ENABLER," which I found ridiculous and, embarrassingly enough, sort of funny. "FAG ENABLER?" It's true, I suppose. I allow homosexuals to be homosexuals. In any case, the funeral was beautiful and I wrote a poem about it that maybe I'll post sometime provided I locate it.

Last year Adam, who I wasn't really friends with, died. He committed suicide. It was a tragedy for sure, and it only highlighted one of the reasons I went into education- so people could feel like, even if no one cares for them at home, their English teacher does at school.

This weekend Austyn, a kid whose home I frequented for several years as a child, died. I am sketchy about the details, namely in that I don't really have any, but it is just one more to the list of people who I was once friends with who have since died. Does this not push us all to action? Does this not force us all to live our greatest possible lives? It is as easy to say as it is difficult to do. I'm not sure what living my greatest life looks like, but I know this provides motivation to figure out what the heck that is. Although Austyn and I hadn't been close in years, I grieve his loss. The visitation is tomorrow, and I will be stop by to pay my respects, but I wish I had more to say/do.

21 October 2010

I whip my hair in at least two different directions...

Ladies and gentleman, I've paid all of my bills for this month and have money left over to buy my Halloween costume supplies. I sort of showed money who was boss this month, and as it turns out it is totally me. A slight surprise, however, was found in that I had TWO payment of $90+ to one student loan company who, adorably, had told me I only had one. Why do I need to make two payments to one company? Why don't they just combine them into one? I asked those questions too, and have yet to receive a sufficient response.

But even with that fun shock, I'm still totally good. What!

I'd also like to take a moment and post a link to my friend Amanda's blog. 

Not only is her blog fun, informative, and insightful, but she's doing a pretty awesome giveaway right now for Noodles & Company... mmmmmmmm.

Also I'd like to remind everyone to vote in my poll on the previous post about things you'd like to see on B&B- right now random rants are clearly a favorite. I'm able to do that. :)

17 October 2010

I'm Burnin' Up!

I mentioned it briefly before, but about once a week I have a huge spike in traffic. I'm grateful for it. I am, however, a bit confused as to why.

It is always on this entry, with each of my others uniformly receiving a few views. The views are also almost exclusively from other countries. Over the past week, here are the numbers of readers I've had from different nations:

United States- 45
Brazil- 17
Japan- 15
Ukraine- 13
Canada- 11
South Korea- 7

And it goes on, but basically I'm a bit confused as to how they're finding my bloggity blog. Oh well, I will not look a gift horse in the mouth.

In terms of blog readership, I know I have a ton of loyal readers. And I love you guys. I am, however, interested in expanding my reader base, so I am taking a page out of the playbook once used by Michael Ian Black on his blog. I will look at google's most popular search items and mention them in this entry.


-Boy was I sure sad when I heard about the death of Minneapolis based singer/rapper Eyedea. I hadn't heard of him until today, but that totally blows anyway.

-I am sure nfl.com fantasy is an excellent place to place fantasy football. On that note of sports, I'm bitter in every way about the Chiefs game today. As much as I know it wasn't just one play, that ref who called pass interference on Brandon Flowers (this one not that one) can eat me.

-As a Mizzou fan, I was happy to see Jeremy Maclin did well today despite the DeSean Jackson injury.

-Eric LeGrand got a neck injury... a lot of these are clearly sports related.

-I keep seeing commercials for the Skyline movie on TV, and I have no interest whatsoever in seeing it. It's as if a movie produced said "let's combine District 9 and Transformers because those movies appeared to be profitable!"

-I am extremely concerned about Indiana unemployment as my friend Rachel lives there, and I want her to be employed.

-Many marathons were ran recently, like in Detroit. And Columbus. YEAH RUNNING.

Okay, that surely went really really well, guys.

Otherwise I was thinking of some ideas that I could do to spice things up around here. Let me know what you think of these ideas...

-Product reviews. See, we all value money, right? So I would review products and determine how valuable they are for the price we pay for them. Like the Magic Eraser (which really is pretty magical, but it doesn't last long enough).
-Vlogs or Podcasts. I'm not sure how to do a podcast, but I could probably figure it out. And I could probably figure out a vlog. Could be fun. And I would make it about money somehow, because this blog should be less about me and more about general topics.
-A completely random rant on occasion. Like an expanded "why the Chiefs got screwed" today moment. Or "why I love sweet tea." Or "why I wish I could directly communicate with the people who drive in front of me on 10th street in Joetown." That last one would be to remind them that the freaking speed limit is 30. Not 15. Not 6. It's 30.
-Photo of the day. I'd have to be super disciplined to remember to do this, but I'd listen to what my awesome readers wanted me to do. I'm pretty sure I'm going to participate in No Shave November, and that would provide ample opportunity for photos of the lower half of my face.
-Your ideas. Tell me. Teach me. GET OUT (your ideas that is. Get your ideas out of your brain)!

03 October 2010


As of this past Friday, I have lived in my apartment for one year.

If you didn't know, I live in what's called an "Interior Studio Apartment" at Mitchell Park Plaza. Most apartments in the world have windows in them- mine included. However, my windows face an interior atrium covered in faux grass, metal grates, and a faux marble fountain that doesn't have water in it (I don't think so at least). I'm on the third floor of a six story building, so the metal grates don't really let much natural light in at all. During the summer, when the sun was at its strongest, I recieved approximately 15 minutes of natural light each afternoon arond 5:15. Now that the sun is starting to weaken, I have no more natural light. This wouldn't be all that bad if I didn't teach in a windowless classroom. My classroom is indeed air conditioned, but during the winter that doesn't matter so much. And most of my school year is winter-tastic.

The bottom line is, after a year, I'm a little tired of living in a world where I can't see what's outside. Now I'm fully aware that I could move. My studio apartment is what most would call expensive (especially for Joetown standards), and I could easily move someplace with more room with cheaper rent. And I have those student loan things I was talking about. But, here's the thing, I love my building. I love supporting the renovation of an old, abandoned building and turning it into something great in a downtrodden part of town. I love that my building has a kickass roof where I can host friends and have the absolute best view available in all of Joetown. I love having a convenience store on the first floor for my before school Pepsi needs. I love having my car parked in a safe, secure underground parking garage. I love, considering my past experiences, that my apartment does not have an outside entrance. I love that the carrot they dangle in front of me for not having "real" windows (there are two panes of glass, true, but, as mentioned, they face the inside) is not paying ANY utilities. None. No electric, no heat, no cable, no internet, no water, no trash. There's just too much positive about it to leave. I'm willing to pay a little more. And, as I mentioned in my last entry, I can afford it right now. It's close, but I can do it.

All of that being said, I positively yearn for being able to open a window on a day like today with highs in the 60s. I yearn to watch thunderstorms roll in. I yearn to watch snowfall from my living room. I am prepared to endure another year of non-windowed pain, but I'm not sure yet if I could do any more.

So, readers, imagine the lust in my eyes when I saw this Craigslist ad. It's in my building, and it is TWO ENTIRE BEDROOMS OF SPACE. There are two bathrooms (completely unnecessary for me). But still. Above all, it has WINDOWS. I could open them. I could do that. But it's a full $200 more than I'm currently paying for rent. But with all that space! Dilemma.

Not really, though. There's no way I can afford it now or in the future. The only thing I could do would be to find a roommate, and, frankly, that's scary. I had roommates in college who, thankfully, I got along with quite well. I haven't had one in my adult life, and I think the client base for roommates in St. Joe is not as rich as was in Columbia. I will have to seriously consider this, though, in the coming year. If I had a roommate in that situation, I'd pay $350 a month plus 1/2 of an electric bill. That would save me something like $100-$150 a month ultimately. And I'd have real windows. However, that deal is ridiculous. Most two bedroom apartments at my place are closer to $1000 a month.

In my dream world, an EXTERIOR studio opens up (they allegedly exist), and I move on in. I pay the same rent plus electric, and I have windows. A small but important sacrifice to see a thunderstorm.

Anyway- just dreaming of the future.