Picking at nits

BatmanSometimes I feel like an old man. When I wake up in the morning my legs are tight, which causes me to limp around until the first jolt of caffeine from my breakfast of coffee and a Clif Bar, as well as the sting from hot water from the shower limbers me up. My friend Mike says he was the same way until he started his strict daily yoga regiment, but I think there are other factors involved.

Mike is actually Batman. He sleeps upside down swinging from a pair of parallel bars. I hope I didn’t reveal too much.

Plus, my ankle has been really cranky lately. I don’t think yoga can fix a twisted ankle all banged up from running too much.

Anyway, here’s another reason why I feel like an old man: my big plans for Friday night are to load up the kids and my old lady (I was just listening to Muddy Waters… I think he’s having problems with his old lady) and head to a local high school football game. Weather permitting of course. It’s pretty rainy and damp right now – baking weather, my old lady calls it.

Back to the game…

Playing in the game are two schools that are both 7-1 and neither of which I am an alum. Oh, I have ties to each of the schools and even attended one for the ninth grade before quickly transferring to the far superior J.P. McCaskey High School where I received a real education.

I didn’t get much of an education at the school I briefly attended and will be rooting against this evening[1]. Actually, that’s not true. I learned a lot at that school, such as I was better off not going there any longer than I had to. As such, I’m rooting against them because of the way things went for me at that school, which is to say it was a rough year and I think I’m still holding a grudge for how things went more than two decades ago with people, places and things that really have no significance in my life at all. I suppose I’m funny that way. But now that I think about it, perhaps those perceived slights motivated me? Well, motivated might be the wrong word. Maybe I was just prompted to a certain action.

Whatever it was, the thing I remember so crystal clearly is my ninth grade English teacher scoffing at the notion that I would ever consider a future as someone who wrote sentences as part of a job. Seriously, she scoffed. I was scoffed at in such a manner that even as a ninth grader I thought to myself, “Wait… is she scoffing at me? Does she think it’s funny – as in a rude joke about midgets and donkeys told at the dinner table with grandmothers and long-lost chaste aunts present? Man, I guess I suck as a writer even though I’m just 14.”

Hey, I know I’m not the best writer in the world (maybe not even the best writer in my house), but what the hell? And where does a ninth-grade English teacher at a private school get off telling a student that he would probably be better off considering a career where he could dress shabbily and walk around someone’s house, scratch his ass and then proclaim, “Yeah, I think youse need a router…”?

I thought I wanted (want) to write. Was that so wrong? Fortunately I transferred to McCaskey where Dennis Schmid cultivated the skills I came with and taught me how to compose a sentence or two. There were other teachers at McCaskey, too, who were/are ridiculously good at their jobs. Folks like John Valori, Ken Barrett, Pete Horn, Ann Pinsker, Donna Couy to name just a few off the top of my head, should have received paychecks like the one “sources” are saying Aaron Rowand is after.

Then again, after digging deeper into the pages archived on this site I might be doing those folks an injustice. The fact is I came with my own ideas and they tried to set me straight. For that I am grateful.

And I hope Columbia High wins tonight.


[1] Let me clarify: I will not be rooting against the kids on the team, because they are just kids playing a game. In fact, I find it hard to root against any team of any kind. A team is just laundry, after all. However, if given a choice I’d like to see certain teams with certain players perform well. It’s personal, I suppose… and I am an idiot that way.

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