"You remember the name of the town, don't you?"

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Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Friday, May 25, 2007


PZ and J-Nap apparently still check this site. Therefore they feel the need to periodically harass me about the fact that I no longer post on it. The truth of it is I don't particularly care for it. When I first started 49words told me that it needed to be more structured. More than a year later I have yet to take his advice and, predictably, the blog sucks. So I'm going to put it out of its misery. This will be the last post. I still see the value of writing daily so I may start anew after several years of teaching English with a tighter format, but for now, I'm done. So here is a quick bullet point list of things that have transpired since my last post.
  • My JV baseball team went 4-13 and everyone tells me that we did a great job with that team to win 4.
  • I lost 16 pounds because I don't sit in a cubicle all day.
  • I got called up to Varsity and we proceeded to run through the post season like a hot knife through warm butter beating the 4 time defending state champs and capping the season by winning the greatest high school baseball game ever played 9-8 in 10 innings to win the school's first State Championship in 22 years. (size 13) Rings baby!
  • Some random drunk girl molested me through my wranglers at a Kenny Chesney concert. incidentally, I was really impressed with Sugarland. They brought the house down for an opening act.
  • I got hired to teach three sections of freshman English and two sections of sophomore English as well as take over the head JV baseball coaching spot.
  • I have two more friends that are expecting their first children.
  • I contracted out my fantasy draft and then proceeded to neglect my lineup for over a month signaling my complete disinterest in fantasy baseball. Luckily, I also never paid my league fee.

My father once told me that when he was teaching he couldn't wait to get to work in the morning. For the first time in my professional life I feel that way. I love working with the kids and I love working with people who are passionate about working with the kids. Also somebody is actually going to pay me to spout off about baseball. And I don't have any apprehension about my ability to be great at it; also a professional first. So there you have it. The blog has outlived its usefulness. I have crawled the five hundred yards through shit smelling foulness (telesales/unemployment) that cannot be imagined and come out clean on the other side.

Peace out bitches!


Thursday, January 25, 2007


I'm not sure why I am posting today. I suppose it's largely that I couldn't help but notice that this blog has now lasted a full calender year. I don't know if that is something that I should be proud of or if it is horrifying. After my last real post, in November, I decided that posting my classroom experiences in a public blog that bears my likeness would be the most fundamentally stupid thing I could ever do so, no more. Currently, I am working as a substitute teacher in area high schools. I have also agreed to be the assistant baseball coach for the JV team at my old high school. I'm going back to school yet again in a post bacheloriate teacher preparation program. It's roughly 30 credit hours in education methods and pedagogy so that I can be certified to teach secondary ed. This is necessary because neither of my degrees are in education which means that I can be certified to substitute (which is babysitting) but not to be a full time teacher. That last sentence was for Filan.

I recently attended a coaches conference where most of the high school coaches in the state were in attendance. I worked the room a little bit. In order to get hired as a teacher for the 07'-08' school year I would need to be hired on a contingency basis. This means they hire you with the understanding that you will complete all certification classwork within one year. I think the best chance for this to happen is for some baseball coach to go to his principle and say, "look, there is an opening in the English department and I need to fill a vacancy on my coaching staff. I'd like you to talk to Pudge."

I'm having a blast being on the field again. I love talking baseball with the coaches. I love being able to pass on knowledge to the players. I love hitting fungos. I love being outside when it's 70 and sunny wearing wind pants and turf shoes and spitting sunflower seeds all over the place. I love that I am able to throw a very hittable fastball over the plate 99 times out of a hundred, which means I throw the best batting practice ever.

I have been overseeing pitchers bullpen work during our current preseason mini-camp. I spend most of the time watching pitchers throw and looking for flaws in their mechanics. Yesterday, I stopped a kid after he threw three straight pitches over his catcher's head. I told him that after he comes set he breaks his hands low and as a result his arm was still trailing his body when his stride foot landed. I demonstrated and told him, "after you break your hands make sure you get into your L position by the time your front foot lands. This will allow you to get over your front thigh and release the ball out in front of your body. Your fastball will come down into the zone and your curve ball will break down in the dirt." He made the adjustment and started pumping strikes. After his session was completed he smiled and said, "Thanks Coach." and I loved it.

PS. My hair is short. Pic was taken at "Christmas in June" Party.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Evolution of Pudge

1. Teeball
2. Little League
3. Junior High
4. High School
5. College
proceed to the next post to see what he's become...


Resolutions? Yeah, I've got a few.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I Sub

Yesterday I received my first substitute teaching assignment. It was my first time in a classroom as anything other than a student. I got the call from the automated system at 7:15am. The assignment: American History from 7:30am until 2:30am. Wouldn't you know it my first asignment was at the high school that I grew up three blocks away from. The high school that boasts such luminaries as Skins, Whatta, and my sister among it's graduates. The high school that, where it not for my enlightened decision to transfer to the mighty mighty Mac, I too would have attended.

I showered, dressed in my shirt and tie, and left my apartment in about twelve minutes. A respectable time, but one that would not allow me to travel the 10 miles to school in 2 minutes. I phoned the office and told them that I was on my way. I arrived at the office and collected my instructions and the key to the classroom. As I walked from the office to the classroom I got a little nervous. I didn't want to appear nervous so I stopped in the hall way and took a deep breath. Then I rounded the corner.

There was another teacher taking role. She was glad to see me. She showed me the absent teacher's lesson plan, a stack of hall passes, and the attendance sheets. Then she was gone and my learning experience began.

The first two periods are Sophmores. Idiocy is referred to as sophmoric for a reason. Luckily my orders are to put them in their study groups so that they can exchange notes for Friday's test. I am baby sitting.

I was curious to see how high school had changed since my time. Not much. It was like I was transported into a John Hughes film (I resisted the urge to do my Ben Stien, "Bueller?" impersonation).

Editor's Note: One difference: I had to start every period with, "I want all cell phones, ipods, or other personal digital devices turned off and put away."

I actually had a kid throw something across the room. I wanted to say, "Are you kidding me? Throwing something across the room when the sub turns his back? How cliche'. Get some imagination kid." but I resisted all urges to display a sense of humor. It wasn't easy. Three quick stories...

3rd period:
Kid: Can I go to the nurse?
Me: What's wrong?
Kid: I want to go home and change.
Me: confused, "Why?'
Kid: I got something on my shirt and I need to go home and change.
Me: That sounds like something that can wait until after class. What's wrong with your shirt?
Kid: I'm not going take off my sweater and show you.
Me: I can't give you a pass.
Kid: grabbing a pass off the desk, "I'm going to write myself a pass."

I tell the kid that I will inform the office that he left campus without permission and leave a note for the teacher that he did not attend class. he drops a "Whatever" on me and leaves.

4th period:
The first kid to arrive in class is a young girl with a chest that would have made Dolly Parton break out in song about her rocky mountains. When she sat down they were resting on her desk. She is seated front and center directly in front of the teacher's desk. I decided that Mr. T's seating chart was not haphazardly put together. This is a test. I sit in the back of the class for most of the period.

6th period:
One of the basketball players is chatting up all three girls around him. As I pass his desk I hear him complain as he stretches out, "My knee is sore from dunking last night."
I want to stop and question his dunking ability as he is not taller than 5'7" but all of my concentration is on not allowing my eyes to roll. I keep walking. I think to myself, "Does that weak shit actually work for you?" I can see by the looks on the girls faces that it does.

Oh. That's the bell. It's two o'clock. Time to go...

The Crew; Pimpin' in Purple

My Buddy Weeks (lower right with ginormous ears and shit-eating grin) has officially upgraded my forehead to a "six head". We have made plans to set up a projector and watch the wedding video on it later this month.

I told them that suspenders keep your belly from protruding below your vest, but did they listen? No.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Best Man Speech

I recently traveled to Baltimore to attend the wedding of my long time friend Skins. I gave the following speech. I went without notes causing me to accidently leave out the line about the 1.8. In retrospect it's probably for the best. The bride was in tears and many people told me it was the best they'd heard. You be the Judge...

I want to start by saying how great it is to see everybody here tonight.
I know it means a lot to Skins and Crystal that you are all here to share in their special day.

I want also to thank Mr. and Mrs. Gallileo for inviting everyone into their home last night for a wonderful barbeque and for putting together a beautiful ceremony and reception.

Its great to see how many of the Skins’ were able to make it. You know, Mr. and Mrs. Skins were my second set of parents growing up.

Finally, I want to thank Skins for the honor of being his best man. I am truly humbled and grateful. Thank you.

On the first day of summer vacation nearly 20 years ago I walked down the block and knocked on the Skins’ door. I asked Skins if he wanted to play basketball in his driveway; they had a hoop and we didn’t. (Look at Skins. Say, What? OK). Skins would like me to add here that, yes, he did beat me in 1 on 1 while he was wearing ankle weights. This happened more than once and the scores weren’t close. He has been my closest friend since that day. We’ve been through a lot; shared a lot of life experiences.

It is tradition here to share with you a few of the more embarrassing stories about Skins. I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to talk about the one point eight. Was that his grade point average at MCC or his blood alcohol level at William Woods? I’m not telling. Partly because I’m afraid of his mom and partly because in our circle of friends Skins has always been the tame one; the voice of reason if you will.

The truth is that Skins doesn’t often embarrass himself. I was recalling an instance in Vegas when Skins hit the Jackpot in Wheel of Fortune. He gave a chunk of his winnings to two complete strangers for no other reason than they were seated at the machines on either side of him. Then he paid for our entire group to take a stretch hummer ride roughly a hundred yards down the strip. I thought it was a good illustration of the kind of guy he is. For how many guys can you tell a story about Vegas at their wedding and not have it be wildly inappropriate.

That got me to thinking. I am blessed with a great group of friends; many are here tonight and most of whom I’ve known as long as I’ve known Skins. You may have noticed us having waaayy too good a time at the barbeque last night…and on the bus to the hotel…and at the bar later that night. They’ve all, at one time or another, been there for me in some capacity. They are all, in the words of the immortal Weeks, Great guys.

So why, have I never hesitated to single out Skins as my best friend?
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because as long as I’ve known him I’ve never had to excuse him for anything. I’ve never thought, “That’s messed up, but it’s Skins so I’ll let it slide.”

I’ve never had to say, “I disagree with what you’re doing but I’m gonna back you up because you’re my boy.”

Never found myself thinking, “aahhh, Skins, I love that guy but sometimes I just wanna (pantomime choking)…Not Once.

He’s quite simply the most solid human being I know. I think that’s an amazing thing.

What I find equally amazing is that he has found someone, in Crystal, that is his equal in this regard. In the few years that I’ve known Crystal she has not only managed to win Skins’ heart but she’s won over an exceedingly large group of family and friends with her strength, her warmth, and her wit.

These two wonderful people who compliment each other beautifully are obviously very much in love. They are committed to spending their lives making one another happy. That is to be celebrated.
So, I’d like to ask everyone to raise your drinks (J-Dub, you’ve got two. That’s’ fine. You can raise both) and join me in wishing the bride and groom a long and happy life.

Congratulations. I love you guys.

Friday, October 06, 2006

No Spoiler Contained Within

I just got back from a viewing of The Departed. Great film. Fantastic performances all around, great plot, spectacular dialogue, etc... I highly recommend it. I only have two negative comments. First, the whole semiconductor heist was a little lame. They should have come up with a better crime than that. Second, you can't shoot Leo from the waist down in any film where he's supposed to be a bad ass. Dude's got chicken legs. It makes it hard to believe his skinny ass is capable of roughing anyone up.

My favorite thing about the movie not involving the plot was the personal jabs at the actors written into the dialogue. I picked up three, but there may be more. I'll have to watch it again to see if they took a shot at Nicholson.

When Wahlberg jabbed Dicaprio with, "What's the matter? Don't you know any fucking Shakespeare!?" I was the only one laughing in the theatre. I thought it was a rather obvious reference to Leo's horrendous Romeo and Juliet movie.

Later Alec Baldwin reacts to Wahlberg telling him that he'll "turn in his papers" by shouting, "We need plenty of bar tenders in this town too!" another fairly obvious funny aimed at Marky Mark's turn as bartender turned Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale in Invincible.

Near the end of the movie Dicaprio calls Matt Damon a "two-faced faggot" which was either a clever reference to Matt's gay role in The Incredible Mr. Ripley or Scorsese is trying to tell us that Matt Damon is in fact a homosexual. I'm not sure.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mother Fuck!

First, As I type this the Nicks are having an extremely gay half naked pillow fight in our hotel room.
What a Day. I'm going to skip over the drive to San Diego by saying that the only thing worth mentioning is our discovery of "Islands in the Stream" on Spicoli's ipod. Many mean spirited texts ensued.
We met Boo at a club in the gas lamp district. I paid $25 for the cab ride from the hotel, $20 cover charge, and $20 for the first round of drinks. Nice!
The club was a trendy place called Belo. I was under dressed. The dueche bags in this place took it a step further and were rockin' pin striped blazers with their $300 jeans and striped shirts. I didn't care. I was just drinking my Red Bull and Vodkas and enjoying myself when an attractive blonde walked right up to me and said, "I know you're just waiting for three nice girls so you can buy them shots."
I chuckled to myself and, pointing to Boo (who was wearing a white sport coat with the sleeves rolled up and dress shoes with no socks) I replied, "Don't you think that guy looks a little more gullible?"
They walked away. A short time later I grabbed her as she walked by. I directed her attention to Boo who was standing in the middle of the bar with his fly open and a $1 bill sticking out of his pants.
Me: You're an attractive girl. You probably go to clubs like these fairly often. Do you think that is an effective tactic? You know, to lure women.
Her: (luaghing) Well, I don't really find him attractive, but it is funny.
Her: I tell you what. I'll buy you a shot now and if you're still here in 30 minutes you can buy me one. Fair?
We had two shots of Patron. I licked salt off her chest. she dragged me onto the dance floor and we did a little bump and grind. When we exited the dance floor she was all up on me and talking about how we would never see each other again after tonight.
I was IN, going for the kiss...
Then, out of nowhere, she looks over her right shoulder and says, "I gotta go." Spins on her heels and takes off.
Why is this becoming a pattern? I don't get it.

It put me in such a bad mood that later, when PZ sprinkled pepper in my orange juice while I was in the bathroom of the all night diner, I had to kill him.