Woohoo, and advice to the Democrats

Today went exactly as I thought it would, as opposed to how I feared it would. Everybody, from the building principal to the security guards to the kids, seemed really nice, and there don’t seem to be any shouty people in my hallway yet, and other than some casual profanity in the hallway I didn’t even see any misbehavior. Learning the LMS system the new district uses is going to crack my skull open, and right now I kind of hate it, and I talked all day so my throat feels like somebody ran an electric mixer in it for a couple of minutes, but other than that? No complaints.

I had a whole bit here about the Speaker of the House but having written half of it, I’ve decided it’s dumb and I need to learn more before I put anything dumb where people can read it. So … yeah. My advice to the Democrats is to listen to people who are smarter than me.

Anxiety dump

My lovely little vacation is about to end— not the one that had me at my aunt’s house yesterday, where I somehow left during the summer and returned during the winter, because that happened— but my three weeks between jobs. Tomorrow afternoon we move my stuff into my classroom, and I officially start on Monday.

And if I’m being honest, I’ve not been this nervous about starting at a new school since I lived in Chicago. I don’t feel like I know nearly enough about the building to be starting on Monday, and while I don’t want to get into shit-talking before I even start, I feel unprepared in a way that is specifically alarming about the quality of leadership– admin and otherwise– in the building. To be specific, I’ve requested access to their teacher handbook at least half a dozen times and from multiple people, and not only have I not been given access to any such thing, no one has even acknowledged the request. In other words, I’ve asked three different people “Can you send me the teacher handbook?” and I haven’t gotten “not until you start here” or “we don’t have one” or “Yes, I’ll do that” from any of the three, it’s just been as if I haven’t asked the question at all. So right now I know not a single thing about how any procedures at all work in the building. I finally got access to attendance today, so I know my schedule, but I have never seen a bell schedule, so I don’t know when, say, fourth hour actually is. I don’t know if there’s any particular places I’m supposed to be in the morning or at dismissal.

It’s alarming. Like, this is information I need, and furthermore it’s information they want me to have. I’m supposed to see the principal tomorrow so I’ll be able to ask her in person, but I should’ve had this weeks ago.

The other thing? I’m letting my head get into this stupid place where maybe I’ve only allowed myself to think that I’m a good teacher for the last two decades because I’ve been teaching at mostly shitty schools for my entire career! Like, I don’t want to be the guy who spends the next three months saying “Oh, at my old district we said bleh, and now at this district you say blah,” but I have this weird and likely entirely inaccurate feeling that I have a whole lot of really bad habits— what are they? I dunno!– that I’m going to have to unlearn, and I’m worried that I’m going to have to start submitting 20 pages of lesson plans every week or some shit like that, which is … massively unlikely.

Oh, and I have to learn Canvas, which is vastly annoying, because right now I don’t know it at all.

It’ll be fine. It’ll all be fine. But I’m already stuck in a world where I left town for 24 hours and I feel like I was gone a month, and next week is going to be an enormously long week even in the best-case scenario. So maybe that nap I took this afternoon wasn’t a bad idea after all.


There’s a midterm election tomorrow; you may have heard about it. I voted a couple of weeks ago and other than maybe to get a Covid booster in advance of starting my new job next week and running the boy to and from school I don’t plan to leave the house. I make no predictions about anything at all other than strongly suspecting that virtually no one I, personally, voted for will win. Frankly, if anybody I voted for other than my School Board candidate (who is the incumbent and thus can be presumed to be the favorite) it will mean that the Democrats are having a spectacular night.

I would like a spectacular night, but … well, you know what my faith in America looks like right now.

I plan to spend as much of the day either away from the internet or recording Bloodborne episodes— I’m not going to be done airing them by the time God of War: Ragnarok comes out, but I’d like to have the recording finished by then. Once the polls close around here I will probably begin the process of slowly losing my mind, so go find me on Twitter, unless I manage to aggravate Elon Musk into banning me tonight.

Maybe ought to take a brain pill tonight, too, while I’m at it. In the meantime … I don’t have to tell you to make sure you vote tomorrow, right?

Fucking Christ, that’s enough

Damn near all of this is good news, one way or another, and you can imagine how jubilant I am that we might finally get a perp walk for that orange shitstain sometime in the near future. But all I can think about right now is Salman Rushdie. I don’t know why I haven’t seen the phrase “assassination attempt” used in any of the media accounts I’ve seen of the stabbing attack on him today, but the latest information I’ve seen (as of 8:23 PM) is that he may lose an eye, that the nerves in one arm were severed, and that he sustained damage to his liver as well. He is currently on a ventilator but I’m choosing to not read much into that given that he just came out of major surgery, and being on a vent after something like that is pretty much par for the course.

Initial reports (which may, of course, be wrong) suggest that his attacker is an Iranian sympathizer and he does not appear to have been provided with any security at the event where he was attacked. I don’t know how that happens. If he doesn’t make it through this it’s going to be the biggest loss to world culture since Lennon was killed.

I dunno, it’s got me fucked up. I hope he recovers. I can’t deal with Salman Rushdie being assassinated right now.

Out of town tomorrow for a birthday party in Indianapolis, and I’m back to work for real on Monday, so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me on either or both days. The classroom is in decent shape (I’ll have all of Tuesday to finish it off; Monday is all meetings) but I’ve got a lot of writing and presentations to create so if I behave like an adult for the next couple of days I’ll be busy as hell.

On that sleep study

I didn’t write about the sleep study on Sunday like I meant to, mostly because it kind of ended up fizzling as an entertaining story, but a couple of people have asked me about it from Real Lifetm so why not. The thing I was most prepared to be annoyed about was that I was expecting to be told to go immediately to bed upon returning home with the equipment. I believed this because 1) when my mother had a similar trial many years ago they wired her up and told her to go straight to sleep at, like, 7:30, and 2) my doctor told me that was what was going to happen. Sleep at 7:30 simply wasn’t going to be possible, so I was looking forward to many hours of laying with my eyes closed in a not-especially-dark room (we have, in 12 years of living in this house, somehow not managed to acquire curtains for all of the windows in our bedroom) and just … existing.

I made sure I was done with caffeine for the day before noon, which is not normally my move, and tried to be a bit more active than usual, hoping that Tired would set in, and indeed I did manage to elicit some yawns while I was driving to the hospital at, oh, 6:30 or so. I had three different shirts with me because I wasn’t clear about my instructions and didn’t quite know whether they were going to be putting any sensors directly onto my skin or, conversely, wanted to avoid putting sensors straight on my skin; instructions to wear a “button-up shirt or a pajama shirt” seemed slightly contradictory, especially for someone who sleeps in a pair of basketball shorts and nothing else on all but the coldest nights. Sleeping with a shirt on was going to make the whole process even more complicated.

Anyway, it ended up all not mattering; the most interesting parts of the actual wiring-up bit were 1) taking my picture, both from in front and profile; 2) measuring my neck for some reason; 3) having to sign a form stating that if I broke or lost any of the equipment I was on the hook for $5300, I hate you America; and 4) discovering that not only did the shirt not especially matter (I went ahead and wore it, because the nurse suggested the straps could get uncomfortable, which seemed reasonable) but that I should go to bed at my normal time. This was mostly good news, although it meant I had to sit around my house all evening with the equipment on.

I did not take any pictures with the equipment on, by the way. I thought about it and then looked at what the straps were doing to my man-tits in the mirror and … nah. I love y’all but not that much. Here, if you want to see me looking ridiculous, check out this post-LASIK picture.

The actual equipment: a nasal cannula with a little attachment that hung down over my upper lip, both designed to determine whether I was actually breathing; a pulse oximeter attached to my left pointer finger; two elastic straps, one around my stomach and one around my chest, both to measure how much they stretched and contracted as I breathed through the night, and a sort of control box that strapped to the center of my chest and I don’t think actually did anything on its own. I suspect the pulse oximeter was probably the single most important part of the system, as I feel like watching that for eight hours will provide sufficient evidence of whether I’m breathing properly in my sleep or not. Either way it’s going to be a couple of weeks before I hear any results, assuming that nothing disappeared after I put it into the drop box at the hospital the next morning.

Here’s the problem, and yes, I’m an idiot, you don’t need to tell me: I really don’t know if I can wear one of those fucking masks if they decide I actually do have sleep apnea.

I am, and again, I know this is stupid, deeply paranoid about people being able to see me when I’m asleep. I was always the last one to fall asleep and the first one to wake up at slumber parties, and even now with a wife and child, one of whom is in the bed with me every freaking night, I can occasionally be weirdly twitchy about it. And while being asleep around my actual family isn’t much of a thing except on my worst anxiety-melting-my-brain nights, the notion that I might have to be asleep around other people while wearing that ridiculous-looking getup on my face offends me at a deep and primal level. Like, this shit is pre-rational; pure lizard brain. I can’t manage it. I’d literally rather have surgery (and yes, there’s all sorts of paranoia about anesthesia, too, but at least that’s only once) than have to wear that damn mask every night. Surely there’s something they can cut open or cut out or put a stent into or something like that? C’mon. Plus, I’m a stomach sleeper, and granted the whole reason I started pushing for this test in the first place was that if I try to sleep on my back I stop breathing, but I’m pretty sure strapping a 2-1B mask to my face is going to make stomach-sleeping pretty Goddamned uncomfortable, and the idea is that I can sleep however I want, not that I trade one way I can’t sleep for another way I can’t sleep.


At any rate, I’ll let y’all know when I know something.