May as well tell everyone

I came as close as I’ve come in my adult life to shitting myself in public today.

Yeah, buckle up, buttercup, it’s gonna be one of those kinds of posts.

Y’all have been here a while: what do you think is my least favorite thing about teaching? Is it paperwork? Lesson planning? Grading? Discipline? Dealing with students who don’t want to be there and don’t intend to allow anyone else to get an education but still manifestly refuse to stay the fuck home like they ought to?

Nah. It’s the fact that I can’t go take a shit when I need to.

Every so often someone will get pissy (no pun intended) with me about the idea that kids need permission from teachers to go to the bathroom. Without wading into that conversation too deeply, I write a lot of bathroom passes during the day, and basically my only rule about it is that it’s not happening if 1) I’m actively teaching, 2) You seem to be more interested in fucking around in the halls than taking a piss, or 3) I can’t actually think of a third reason but these things don’t work well in binaries. Even then, I’m likely to let you go anyway if you look like you really need to go.

But what about girls and their peeeeeeerioooooods, the nonsense-speakers shriek.

I can assure you that after eighteen years of teaching girls at or around the age of menarche I have encountered every period-related problem that it is possible for a male teacher to encounter and I’ve got the shit covered. Your kid still can’t get up and go to the bathroom whenever they want, because inevitably the exact same people who think their precious babies should be able to leave my room whenever the mood strikes them also would be excessively angry if they ever attempted to collect their child from school and the teacher’s response was “I have no idea where this kid is.”


The point is, as restrictive or liberal as any teacher might be about their personal bathroom policies, a simple fact remains: while at least in theory we can let a kid out to go use the bathroom whenever we want, unless we happen to have another adult in the room with us, which is much rarer than it should be, we can never go use the bathroom, because we can’t leave our students alone. And I’mma be blunt here: I don’t drink coffee in the morning any longer because coffee has certain specific effects on me that I don’t have time for in the morning, and if I don’t have an adult in the room with me during 5th and 6th hour, which are the two class periods after lunch, there is going to be a problem, because I can’t make it an hour and a Goddamn half after lunch without a bathroom break.

I normally have a paraprofessional in the room with me, but the science teacher was out today and he was covering her class. Her practice is generally to bring her whole class out for the last couple minutes of the period for– you guessed it– a bathroom break, and I was so close to a disaster that I walked out into the hallway and told him he was just going to have to find a way to watch that room (it’s next door) and mine for the next couple of minutes and bolted for the bathroom.

The boys’ bathroom is directly across the hall from my room. And I have proven today that I will not use the kids’ bathroom under any circumstances, because if I didn’t use it today, I’m never using it.

There are two adult bathrooms that I am legally able to use on my floor. Both have one toilet. If the one I’d gone to had been occupied, I’d have been fucked.

I will spare you the details. Let’s just say that the tolerances were milliseconds and centimeters, respectively, and that I didn’t have to clean anything up afterwards that I don’t normally have to clean up.

And that is my least favorite thing about teaching.

May as well tell the whole world

tmi.png.htmlI thought, for reasons that will quickly become quite obvious, that maybe I ought to not go ahead and fill the Internet in on certain recent developments in my life.  But I’ve been pretty open about being on anxiety medication since they put me on it, and this is related to that, so to hell with it.  A warning: if you know me personally, it’s possible that you might not want to read this.  Certain of you I’m giving license to never ever stop mocking me again, which… eh.  It’ll be okay.

So, to get straight to the point: I’ve taken myself off of Lexapro.  If I were a more intelligent human I would probably be weaning myself off Lexapro, but I’m not an especially intelligent human and I was on a pretty low dose to begin with so I’m cold-turkeying the shit.  I had several reasons for making this decision.  One of the big ones was that I’m not in the environment (teaching) that led me to need Lexapro in the first place, so the direct cause of my anxiety issues is gone.  The biggest one, though?  It turns out that one of the rarer side effects of drugs like Lexapro is…

…this is the part where you stop reading, if you ever want to not think of this when you see me or talk to me again…

…urinary incontinence.

I have had, perhaps once a month in the past six months, what I will describe as a “bloop” and assume that your imagination can fill in the details.  They have always happened when I was asleep, always when I was on my back, and have always instantly awakened me, at which time I’ve cleaned myself up, swearing profusely under my breath, and gone back to sleep.  Last week, it happened twice in two days, and what was previously merely an excessively irritating thing that I was attributing to getting older abruptly had me Googling things like “prostate cancer.”  There’s never been an issue when I was awake, although I feel like I’ve been having to race to the bathroom more urgently in the last year than I had previously.

Now, it’s a rare side effect.  But I was seriously considering calling a doctor and scheduling a prostate exam, and if I can just go off a drug I already don’t want to be on rather than enduring a prostate exam, I think maybe I’ll try that first.(*)

So I did a couple things:  I stopped taking my Lexapro and also stopped drinking pop, since caffeine and sugar have also been linked to urinary incontinence.  Not only have I had no nocturnal issues since then, but I’ve slept through the night most of the nights since then.  It has been months since I slept through the night five nights in a row; waking up at 3:30 in the morning needing to take a piss five or six times a week was also something that I had previously attributed to getting older that may have been caused by the drugs.  It’s only been a week, mind you, and until last week this was not a thing that happened frequently, but the absence of further bloops and being able to sleep through the night have me thinking I’m probably on to something.

Negative side effects of stopping Lexapro have been minimal; I was weirdly dizzy today and that’s been about it.  I haven’t noticed the anxiety coming back, really; I did let everyone at work know that I was off my brain meds and that if they thought I was behaving strangely they needed to let me know right away.  Predictably, this has led to every fucking interaction I have with anyone now involving someone accusing me of being overly emotional, because the people I work with are caring and serious grown-ups.

(*) The word first means “first,” not “only,” just to be clear.  I have since discovered that they’re recommending annual prostate exams start at 40 now instead of 50, so I actually will be talking to my doctor about that soon, and I’m not as het up about the idea as most men seem to be.  I’ll tell you about it if it’s a funny story, but I don’t expect it to be a big deal.  Just be aware that I’m not ignoring it.

In which TMI for serious


Do not read this post.

I repeat: do not read this post.  You don’t want to know anything I’m going to talk about in this post.

I’m not kidding.


You’re still reading.  You understand that I’m not kidding and you’ve been warned four fucking times now if I don’t count this warning which is technically the fifth if I’m allowed to count the word “seriously” as a warning which I can because this is my blog and I make the rules.  Plus, like, the title of the post.  And the picture.


Here, I’ll put a line so that you can have a place to stop:

So I was a vegetarian for a week, right?  One of the unexpected awesome things about being a vegetarian was the awesome bowel movements.


Seriously.  Pooing as a vegetarian is the absolute best kind of pooing.  I’ve never been this damn regular in my life, and some of the stuff that was coming out of me was the kind of bowel movement that you want to take a picture of so that you can reflect on how proud of it you were later.  (Shut up; you all know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.) And, like, high enough in quantity that you feel pleasantly emptied-out after each bowel movement, as opposed to pooing and then feeling like you still need to poo five minutes later, which I believe is known as the “Chinese food poo” across most of the Western world.

For a week, I was a poo king.  Like, Count Poo of Happyshit Mountain, the Grand Regent of Poo, the Magnate of Meconium (you clicked, didn’t you?), His Majesty the Lord Superior of the Seven Heavenly Principalities of Poo.  It was amazing.  This ought to be in the vegetarian brochure, people.

(Mental note: write the vegetarian brochure.  Make millions of both brochures and dollars.)

I had three meals today, and all three involved meat.  This was intentional, obviously; I usually don’t eat meat at every meal but I missed it.  Breakfast involved sausage, there were hot dogs and some beef soup at lunch, and dinner was a Triple Coronary with a side of clogged arteries at Culver’s.  Delicious.

And I’m gonna have to sleep on the fucking couch tonight because of the beef farts.  My nose hairs are singed. Jesus.  My wife’s gonna kill me if I hotbox the comforter tonight.

And by “if” I mean “when.”

If I never post again, you know why.

In which I am defeated


The weird thing is I’m not even sure I’ve had chicken paprikash before.

I’ve been sitting on this recipe for a while; a friend linked to it on Facebook and I went “Man, chicken paprikash, that sounds awesome,” and bookmarked it, and then went through a few weeks where we either weren’t cooking very much or were mostly cooking stuff we’ve made before, which I don’t tend to give any attention to.

Note that the recipe calls for, specifically, “sweet paprika.”  At the time I was unaware that paprika had varieties.  A bit of research (and reading the rest of the recipe) revealed that it also comes in Hot and Smoked flavors; the Hot and Sweet are specifically Hungarian in nature; if you’ve bought something just labeled “paprika” it was probably sweet paprika, as the hot variety tends to always be labeled as such.

For, as it turns out, a damn good reason.  

Witness this exercise in understatement, ladies and gentlemen:

If you enjoy spicy food, try replacing half of the sweet paprika with hot Hungarian paprika.

Oh, well, hell.  I’m not actually a huge fan of spicy, but I’ve been making a concerted effort to improve my palate in that area; I’ve gotten to the point where I can tolerate sriracha (and, more to the point, want sriracha) on, well, just about bloody everything.  I can handle, barely, the hottest wings at hot wings places, although I’m not at the point where I can finish an eating challenge or anything like that.(*)

Anyway, I found proper paprikas after looking around a bit; I was proud enough of it that I took a picture of the cans.  I sniffed them; the hot paprika honestly didn’t seem all that different from the sweet.  At the time.  So instead of two tablespoons of sweet paprika, as the recipe calls for, I used a tablespoon of sweet and a tablespoon of hot.  It’s a goddamn Martha Stewart recipe.  Isn’t she from goddamn Minnesota or something like that?  She don’t know from spicy.

I didn’t realize what I’d done until tasting a fingertip’s worth of the sauce before I dropped the chicken into it.  It’s got a nice delay on it; it takes a few seconds of man-that’s-not-hot-at-all and then you’re trying to find a cow.

Hot Hungarian paprika is no goddamn joke, people.  I’ve made food that I tried to make super hot that didn’t come close to this shit.  And there was only a tablespoon in there.  Considering the amounts of cayenne and red pepper flakes that I’ve blithely tossed into chilis and pulled pork and, hell, my tikka masala, you’d think that basic food preparations would have lost the ability to kill me.

Neither of us could finish it.  I ended up putting some sauce on the noodles along with a healthy dollop of additional sour cream and that made it pretty tasty and, well, edible, but I made four chicken breasts and right now two of them are in the fridge and I don’t think they’re going anywhere.  This isn’t a “Man, lookit how I screwed up dinner this time!” post, really; I did everything right and the chicken was cooked properly– I just didn’t have any idea what a sonofabitch that hot paprika was going to be.

cannot wait until the next time I make chili, though.

(*) Seriously TMI addendum:  We went to BW3’s for dinner the other night, and I had about five of whatever they call their hottest wings.  People joke about those hurting coming out.  This, as it turns out, isn’t true.  Eating super spicy hot wings does not sear as it comes out the next day.  What it does, folks, is paralyze your asshole, numbing it to such a degree that being able to tell if you’re shitting or not is not actually possible.  It is an incredibly odd feeling to go to the bathroom and then, ten minutes later, be standing in your living room and having to admit to yourself that it is entirely possible that you’re shitting yourself and you can’t tell.  It is deeply goddamn unpleasant; I’d rather have pain.