Thursday, December 18, 2008

Teachers are the Winners

As a kid, I didn’t think there was anything better than Christmas vacation (or summer vacation)—the thrill of knowing I wouldn’t have to do anything, knowing it was special, the presents, the snow, the fun. Well, I have found something even better—Christmas vacation (or summer vacation) as an adult. Freedom is ever more important to me, and although I truly like being a teacher and love my kids, I could barely fall asleep last night because I was so excited that today is the last day of school until January 5th! I love it more now than I did when I was a kid. I was off school on Tuesday as well. My furnace went out, so I had to stay home all day and wait for the repair man (fun and cheap). I did some school work, killed time on the computer, backed up thousands (literally) of pictures, and played Mario Kart on the Wii with other people from all over the world for hours. I couldn’t believe how relaxed I felt, and how content. I was also surprised how I live my life in a unknowing constant state of stress (and it is better than last year, these kids are much more pleasant). It was also amazing to me how my body reacted, as I played Nintendo, my mind started drifting to different plot lines in my book and picturing different options for my next drawing/watercolor. I drew it that night, and am going to paint it tomorrow on my first day off (writing will start again Monday). It is one more piece of evidence (at least in my way of thinking) that we were not designed to work like we do. Creativity and imagination are signs of health and mental well-being, and the fact that the first moment I had unencumbered I was consumed with such thoughts shows that life is not meant to be spent working, working, working. Of course, the opposite can be said that creativity and imagination are a product of anguish and heart-break as well (Lord knows that my most dramatic and moving work comes at such times), but I chose to look at that as a bonus we receive to help us persevere, not a statement of how we are supposed to live our lives. All this to say. . . Whoopeeeee!!!!! School’s out!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

all in a weekend

The day after the annual ‘gay boy’s Christmas dinner’ at my house this weekend, I was on my way back from picking Chad up from work (he had a few overtime hours this weekend). Chad was in the passenger seat, Dunkyn and Dolan were in the back seat—Dolan’s head sticking out the window, desperately taking in all the sights and smells around him while seeking his ever constant fix of human adoration. I saw a beat up red truck coming up behind us in the lane to our right. The back was piled high with furniture, and there were two large men in the cab. The driver looked to be around fifty; he was burly with a dirty white pony tail. Instantly, I thought, ‘Oh, brother, here we go.’ You begin to equate personalities with certain characteristics. Stereotyping, sure. But there is a reason people stereotype, yes, even most of the gay ones. As Dolan came up even with the truck’s driver side window, I hear this manly voice talking baby talk to Dolan. Dolan frolicked in the attention, and the man’s voice got ever more babyish as he cooed to my dog. A flash of pleasant surprise went through me; I needed to stop judging a book by its cover. The truck sped up and came even with the passenger window, which was open (it really was a perfect summer day—considering it was Dec. 7). As he zoomed past, he turned his head to us and yelled ‘Homos!’ As the truck took the lead, a tarnished icthus (Jesus fish) shown out in the sunlight against the oxidizing red paint.
Later that evening, we went to see the movie ‘Milk.’ Remarkable. It shames me to no small degree that I am so completely ignorant of my gay history or how many have sacrificed so much for my less than equal rights. Here I have been wondering who was going to be our Martin Luther King, and come to find out, we already had one. The amount that this fallible, far-from-perfect, un-trained man accomplished in so short amount of time was mind boggling. Depressing, of course, but also inspiring, and a reminder of how much I have to be thankful for and how much I still need to fight and to give. The movie was expertly crafted and acted and given so much love and respect, while not really sugar coating anything. Used to, it would have driven me crazy seeing the fallibility of ‘heroes.’ Now, it just reminds me that if the case calls for it, I will be in like company.
The following day, five blocks away from my home, a little after six in the evening, after working out, waiting patiently at a red light that seemed to be taking forever in the blizzarding snow storm (for those of you keeping track of the weather patters here in the Rockies it was December 8, the day after the summer day), a car or truck ( I couldn’t see) plowed into me from behind. This is the third time I have been hit in two years. Once in the side of my car, two from the back. Both of the other times, I haven’t made a big deal about it, never even turned them in to insurance. It’s the beauty of having a crappy car, plus I felt sorry for the people that hit me. However, the second my head flew forward at the impact and I heard the crunching of my car, I told myself that enough was enough, and tonight I was going to call the police and turn this into to insurance. Apparently, my thoughts are louder than I realized. As I pulled into the parking lot, to get out of the snow packed, crowded street, the car behind me zipped off into the darkness. All I could do was double over laughing. Then I got mad. Then I laughed again.