Rum Holiday
Beyond The Stockade There Is Chaos And Nothingness

Tuesday, August 05, 2003  

Below: The guest column by Get Lucky With Andrea contest winner, Alan Berks, in its entirety.

Did you want me to edit this, Alan? 'Cause I didn't.

And I happen to like cribbage.

After this I am on vacation until August 13. Not that it has mattered a whole lot lately, but who knows...maybe I'll return freshly inspired. Maybe I'll even get crazy and post while pond-side, between bites of a lobster roll served in the appropriate flat-top-type hot dog bun.

Don't hold your breath, though. Just come back next week.

posted by [AOK] | 3:53 PM

Guest Column by Alan Berks
Monday, July 28, 2003

Good evening. I am sitting in the lounge of a small East Coast college dormitory on a small East Coast hill above a small East Coast town that barely exists anymore since the factory moved to Mexico. Four men are playing cribbage behind me. Cribbage? What is Cribbage? And if it were really a game for men, would it be called cribbage? (No offense. I feel like aiming for a cheap laugh is all.) Wouldn't it be called macho-age or something? Maybe not. Meanwhile, three other gentlemen are learning the chords and words to "Imagine" by John Lennon so that they can play it at the talent show for the tiny, little psuedo-geniuses we're all supposed to be teaching. The woman on the computer next to me just asked me who sings this song. I am in some odd universe, yes, I am.

I'm only writing this because I won Andrea's contest. The prize is that I write a guest column. "I've never won anything in my life," but I'm not so honored not to wonder what kind of prize it is where I have to do something for it? I thought she might send me a cd or something. . . At least give some money to charity in my name. (If anyone would like to fulfill that obligation for her, than you should know that my favorite charity is me. What? I never make any money. I'm a nonprofit institution.)

Do I sound cranky as I write this? (Do I edit this before I post it or is the point to just spew? Blog sounds like a word that was meant for spewing.) I am cranky because I'm having a tough time teaching this summer and that is an understatement. I'd go into more detail, but these kids are more technically savvy than I am and they might see this. Allow me to just say that I still think I'm a pretty good teacher. I have the proof, too. But some things can make you wonder. . .

I've found that exercise helps with this anxiety. Someone said this to me a few weeks ago and I thought it was appropriate: "Doesn't it suck when you realize that everything older people told you when you were younger is true." Smoking is bad. And, yes, you are addicted to it. Getting up early in the morning does make you feel healthier and more productive. Exercise is fun. If you get into a car accident on your bicycle, then your eyes will change colors. . . OK. Maybe that last one is just true for my brother. (My brother is also more technologically savvy, and i think more often bored, and so he may check this post. I thought I'd put a joke just for him on here.)

I've run out of steam. Can I stop now, Andrea, or must I write until I say something profound? Am I looking for a narrative arc? Do I need to reveal more personal details? Teach me the rules of the blog, Maestro.

P.S. How is Chicago holding up without me in it?

posted by [AOK] | 3:46 PM
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