If I had a million dollars

Maybe a nice Chesterfield, or an ottoman …

(Chesterfields are generally insanely uncomfortable and I don’t know why anyone would want to sit in one.)

Anyway, the lotto’s up over half a billion bucks again and I’ve been letting my mind wander, because that’s actually what you’re doing when you buy two lotto tickets: you’re buying the ability to pretend for a couple of days that you’re about to be rich for that $10 or whatever you spent. I’m sure I’ve said this in this space before: I have known for years that if I were ever to come into a lot of money the first thing I would do with it is pay off the student loans of damn near every single person I’ve ever met. I’d have to figure out a way to do it without everyone taking on some sort of massive tax burden but that’s what lawyers are for.

Next step: large education-related donations. Hogwarts is gonna have to name something after me and so is the district I work for, although I’d have to come up with very strict conditions about how the gift to the district I work for would be used because I’ve seen how these people act with grants and I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them. That said, we’ve got some buildings that need some renovations. If I’ve got half a billion bucks I can afford to renovate a couple of them.

A new house and a new car are possibilities but not guaranteed. I’m pretty happy with our house, and millions of dollars would provide plenty of funding to fix the couple of things that aren’t perfect. We don’t need a bigger place and I like our neighborhood; that said, I might be willing to pony up for a place with a flood-proof basement with lots of wall space that I could turn into a huge library. There are bookshelves on every wall in this place as is; if we run out of room, that will be why. I’m not about to move into a mansion or anything but if I could find a house with room for all of my books until I die that’d be great.

If I were to upgrade my car it would be to buy a hybrid of some sort. I like my Kia Soul a lot and you could literally give me a billion dollars and I still wouldn’t end up buying a sports car. I’m just not interested.

Writing a single check to pay off the rest of my student loans would put me on Cloud Nine for weeks.

I would keep working, but I would probably not keep my current job. Honestly I’d probably end up setting up a family charitable foundation with a large portion of the money that was left; running that could become my job easily enough, and I’m sure I could find a way to keep busy giving a couple million a year in charitable donations.

I have spent a few minutes trying to think of some single outlandish purchase that I’d be almost guaranteed to make, and believe it or not I can’t come up with one. I am materialistic in certain ways– I have thousands of books and a huge music collection and thousands of comic books– but, like, our TV is mid-sized at best and we just don’t really do expensive stuff around here, and I pretty much buy whatever books and music I want without paying attention to the cost already. Becoming a multimillionaire wouldn’t really add much to how much I spend on those things. I’d probably end up with four times as much computer and four times as much laptop as I needed, but that’s all I can think of. Flying lessons, maybe. How expensive are those? I really have no idea.

What about you?

In which I alter my face and it is still terrible

Guys, I totally recommend being an old white man if you can find a way to do it. Because I have been walking around looking like this since October and no one has said shit to me about it the whole entire time:

I tend to grow a full beard between October and March or April every year, right? It’s cold outside, Goddammit, and I’m already losing enough heat through my bald-ass head. This year for some reason I decided to throw any caution about, like, basic grooming completely to the wind and just let that bastard grow out however it wanted to. I kept my upper lip somewhat trimmed because otherwise it gets in my mouth when I’m trying to eat, but other than that? You do you, beard. I’m not getting in the way.

(And, okay, I hadn’t showered or really done much of anything when I took that. I usually don’t look that bad. But still.)

(This is utterly male privilege, by the way. I know nothing about grooming at all, despite having had some sort of beard for all but maybe two weeks since I went to college. I just let the shit completely go. And no one said boo the entire time. Let a woman go two days without brushing her hair and try to show up at work, I dare you.)

There is also the variant I call the Full Pappy. This is the Full Pappy:

To achieve the proper Full Pappy, you take your bushy-ass unkempt-ass beard and brush it against the grain for a couple of minutes until it looks even more ridiculous. Now, I never went out of the house looking like this, but still.

Anyway. It’s mid-March and the beard is starting to get annoying when I’m trying to sleep (that’s a thing!) so it was time for it to go. So now, because, again: white dude, I look like this:

I was in the bathroom killing off my cheeks and trying to figure out how in the fuck I wanted to shape this raggedy monster and it suddenly occured to me that I really like the feeling of the extended length on my chin, as I am an inverterate, unapologetic beard-stroker, and so I just stopped shearing the sides of the damn thing at a 45 degree angle and left all the length. So now I maybe look a little younger and a touch more in control of my face but I also look like I should be wearing a jean vest covered in patches and carrying some sort of flag.

I dunno. We’ll give it a couple of days and see if I decide to trim it back to something civilized or if it’s gonna be halfway to my nipples by summertime.

In which I remain unkilled

Holy hell, but this was a long week. I don’t want to get too into the weeds on the details, mostly because they’re boring, but today was one of those days where literally every thing I did for the entire day absolutely needed to get done — like, there was nothing I could put off until later — and was under time pressure, where I had just barely enough time to get each individual task done but only if I 1) executed perfectly and 2) wasn’t interrupted by any other tasks or minor biological necessities like, for example, my morning coffee shit, which got put off by an hour, which meant that by the time it finally happened it was gonna happen whether I wanted it to or not.

… I appear to be teaching again, by the by.

This is a terrible decision, of course. It’s a terrible decision. It’s difficult to overstate how terrible it is. But as of right now one of our 7th grade math teachers has kinda gone away– don’t ask, I actually don’t know a lot of details and I wouldn’t share them if I did– and I’ve picked up the 7th grade honors Algebra class. Chances are when 4th quarter starts in a week I may inherit another section or two, but I put my foot down about it happening right away because I have another five days at least to finish the task I started today, and it’s kinda essential.

I know, I’m vaguebooking. It’s unavoidable, I apologize.

So, yeah. For some indeterminate amount of time– I am assuming for the rest of the year only because that way if it ends before that I can be pleasantly surprised– I am teaching at least one period and possibly as many as three periods a day of math, and stuffing the rest of my full-time job into the seven to five periods that remain.

I’m sure it’ll be fine. I don’t have a bad track record of trying to do more than one job at a time in an educational setting or anything like that.

Oh, and the overtime is $37/period. Times three, daily, times five, per week. Times, I dunno, 9-10 more weeks of school?

So, uh … I’ll find a way to make it work.

A brief note to drivers

If y’all don’t mind, I’d like this to become my most famous post ever. I want this getting 10,000 views a day for the rest of my life. I want it shared in drivers’ ed classes. Hell, I want it to be the only topic of entire days of drivers’ ed classes.

If you stop, unpredictably, in order to allow someone to pull from a side road or exit from a business and turn left in front of you, ESPECIALLY if you are already in the left lane of traffic when you do this, you should lose your license. On the spot. It should self-destruct inside your goddamn wallet and burn a painful hole in your ass. And once you have lost your license and bandaged your burnt ass, whoever is behind you and managed to avoid rear-ending your ignorant self should get to choose one of your body parts (possibly the other unburnt half of your ass) to cut off and wear around as a hat.  

The protection of the law should no longer apply to you if you make a decision like this.

Fucking stop it.

In conclusion, I hate you and hope you die. Which, given how you drive, will probably happen sooner rather than later.

The end.

In which white people make terrible decisions

I seriously thought Ralph Northam’s stupid lying racist ass was the dumbest thing I was going to encounter this week, I really did. He issued what I thought was a pretty decent apology the night that the blackface/Klan picture broke, and I almost– almost– thought that maybe he shouldn’t have to immediately resign.

Well, fuck me for giving a racist a second’s benefit of the doubt, because the very next morning this asshole is not only trying to take back his admission that it was him in the picture, he “defends himself” by saying he wasn’t in blackface that time but there was this other time that he did it and man, isn’t shoe polish hard to get off your face?

So fuck that guy. He can go. Ain’t nobody gonna miss him.

(I won’t be entertaining a lot of debate on this point, for the record. We can lose everybody who ever wore blackface, period. I don’t give a fuck who you are or when you did it. I can’t believe that not only am I still having this fucking conversation, but it’s like the third time in a few weeks.)

And then I log onto Twitter for a moment during my lunch break and I get to play the Dead or an Asshole? game, since Liam Neeson is trending for some fucking reason. A wise man once said that the Internet plays a game where every day a new person is chosen as the Main Character of the Internet, and you win the game if that person is never you.  So, Liam lost the game today.

And Liam’s story kinda had me fucked up for a minute, you know? Because– and stay with me, here, because I’m phrasing this carefully– I very much do get the feeling that something terrible has happened to someone you care about, and you weren’t able to do anything about it. I very much do get the idea that in response to that trauma he went a little crazy for a little while. That’s not the problem.

No, the problem for Neeson is that he phrases this whole thing in terms of revenge, which … uh, randomly walking around with a club in your pocket and hoping that somebody black starts shit with you isn’t actually revenge, Liam. That’s racism. It’s not revenge when somebody does something to you or someone you care about and you beat the hell out of somebody who maybe sorta looks like the person who did it. That’s not what that word means. And from what I’ve read, he didn’t seem to recognize that distinction at all during his deeply weird interview for a movie that I already wasn’t going to see because I can’t tell if it’s a revenge fantasy or some sort of weird, fucked-up Fargo-level black comedy shit. Nothing about Cold Pursuit was worth this shit. Nothing.

I mean, ultimately I think Neeson’s gonna skate on this, because the story basically just boils down to I had some terrible racist thoughts for a while that didn’t lead to any actual actions, and that’s not enough to have a serious effect on his career unless it turns out he’s got some stories in his past where he did do some shady shit. I’ll call it 50-50 that that happens, we’ll see. But … dude? Why the hell did you decide to tell this story in the first place? This is shit for your shrink, not a goddamned junket interview!

We also watched the first half of the Netflix Fyre Festival documentary last night, a process so horrifying that my wife legitimately looked over at me and asked if I was okay a couple of times. It’s not even Tuesday, y’all, and I have had enough stories of stupid white people to last me until next Black History Month, thanks. We can be done now.