Leave the fossils in the rocks, or the diamonds in the rough

And yeah, I have had some ideas I think are cool, might be valuable to others – but it seems funny, pointless, to cull those out and hang their hides on pikes – as if to dry them out. I’ll leave the ideas in place – leave the fossils in the rocks, or the diamonds in the rough – I mean, that’s inefficient – but then, I’m NOT trying to sell them! I’m trying to point out the process – and there might be students and others who WANT to see a process, you know? Or who just want rough, unpolished diamonds – … eh. Enough with the Metaphor.

Money, huh? I don’t really want my blog (which is not interested in money – I mean, I am not, thru my blog, interested in making money) – it could be repository of unsellable work, like Brautigan’s library idea – but I don’t really want to host OTHERS’ unsellable work – I’ve got plenty of my own. but the point isn’t the unsellability – the point is the novelty, the point is the difference between my works and the tidyness and arrogance of other works – they’re safe because they’re dead, they merely mean some message – I’m not so interested in messages. They’re interchangeable. I like words themselves, you know? That’s what I like about poetry – but tho, also, I do like sharing ideas sometimes – I haven’t written a monthly recap of pocket page ideas since, well, nearly a year ago – and I could recap the whole last year but that seems too much – but I could go back and look at pocket pages and photos from those prior months whenever I want to – they’re all chronological and sh*t.

[From school journals of 2 Feb. 2023, Journal 374]

It’s a good day – because it’s not a bad day, really

So, it’s Tuesday, 14 Feb. 2023, and 1st hour, 8:05, and I’m in A106 and I will take attendance later – tho I suppose I should attend to it now. OK, 8:07, and I’ve attended. And, yeah, yeah: so, it’s a decent morning. I mean, weather’s mild (40 degrees F, car said) and I have no specific problems or pains today. … There was a belch from southwest corner of classroom – and no “excuse me” or apology – a little crass there – ah, well … 

“Sh,” I said to Ivon. I know, he answered. “So, then, you know, hush,” I thought to say but didn’t. He was talking (to Markus, I think). … 

And anyway, it’s an open day (another SW-corner belch), a good day – because it’s not a bad day, really.

[From school journal of Tues., 14 Feb. 2023, 1st hour. Journal 374]

Even were I a Nobel Lit Prize winner, freshmen kids wouldn’t know who I was

After school yesterday, I talked to [a fellow teacher] about the freshmen I had in in-school suspension and how they don’t get it – they don’t get that they need to shut up and do the time and not get obnoxious about it. (Drew Magary [writer at Defector.com] said age 14 was hard – I mean, when his daughter was 14, she was hard to parent.) … I thought this morning on walk (see, these ideas from, what, nearly three hours ago, come back as I write) and how [Drew] had “a take” on St. Andrews golf course bridge-patio. He’s aware, I’m sure, that he forms an opinion just to have an opinion to write about. He doesn’t deeply care. He’s a philosopher, or maybe a sophist, in this way. He also wrote novels. I also wrote a novel! I have no intention of publishing it. I have little sense that it coheres, that it’s anything but loose free writes – fiction free writes, which aren’t even historically valuable, as nonfiction freewrites are. 

9:13 clock time – I think I was gonna add that those freshmen I had in ISS might have behaved better had they known me, been my students … but, of course, you know, I gotta be humble – even were I a Nobel Lit. Prize winner, freshmen kids wouldn’t know who I was – or if they did, they might try to piss me off.

[From school journals of Weds., 8 Feb. 2023, 1st hour.]

Gotta get the kids these days ‘postmodernized,’ I said

9:56 AM. Well, it’s still about as bright as twilight out there. Not much of a day – it looks like we won’t get much of a day today. … I looked up this morning Richard Brautigan, one of my favorite authors – he didn’t make it to 50 – he died at about 49 and ⅔ – and so, yeah, I mean, his works are somewhat clevernesses – not entirely though. I saw him labeled (at Wikipedia, I think) a “postmodern” writer. My friend D. texted this morning that he’s taking his girls to Pittsburgh in coming days – the girls (who are, what, 11 and almost 10?) want a hotel with a pool, D. said, but he might take them to the Warhol Museum – gotta get the kids these days “postmodernized,” I said (and the phone keyboard tried to change that to “postmodernist” – blah). I thought recently that I don’t really care so much about what artistic approach an artist uses, whatever their philosophy is – except, well, I just would like art that, well, that feels – that feels – authentic, I think. I don’t want art where the creator was just trying to make himself or herself look merely clever or cool or hip or whatever. I just want art that – oh, I also am not interested in art made to sell, let’s make that statement, too – I want art that the maker did because it seemed worth doing – quality (Pirsig’s Quality) – I think how much better my art has become in my 40s – and how most of Brautigan’s seems lame from his 40s – the art of his I like came earlier – but maybe he couldn’t break out of those early success-patterns (those patterns that gave him early success).

[From school journal of 4 April 2023, 3rd hour.]

I now (finally) know myself well enough

Oh, let’s write about this: yesterday Drew Magary at Defector.com wrote … about how, in his late 40s, preparing to see his first child go to college, he said he’s starting to feel like a secondary character in his own life, and he’s OK with that. I don’t quite agree – and maybe I’d feel his way if I did have kids, but maybe not. I feel only in recent years (definitely after I turned 40) that …  I’ve really accepted myself and my life, and really started enjoying who I am and what I do. I’ve let some ambition (but not all of it) go. And maybe that’s what Magary means – maybe he’s let up on some ambition, and so he can enjoy his life, his daily living. He’s more satisfied with it. On other hand, I mean, I don’t really feel resigned or done at all – I feel like only recently have I earned the right to enjoy life, in a way – weird to say that, but, well, I mean, I now (finally) know myself well enough to know how I want to spend my time, my life, my remaining days. I mean, my life isn’t perfect – I’d like to see my friends more – but honestly, life feels a lot more perfect, a lot more good, more whole, than it ever has before. I don’t feel as frustrated – I’m more accepting of things that happen, and I also feel I understand the world and I’m better at managing my own frustrations and unhappiness, when those occur … Anyway, yeah, I do feel like my life is finally good (and just writing that seems like I need to knock on wood – I’m asking for it now!! No, not really) – but even as I’ve had some stressors in my life …, honestly, I feel OK, even with all that else going on.

[From school journal of 8 March 2023, 3rd hour.]

My Bibiologory

I’ve been thinking lately … that I’ve got a lot of texts. A lot of pics, too, and freewrites (I’m not sure where they all are, actually – I mean, I’d have to seek them out, esp. the older ones. Some are on paper, too, and some are files on my School’s Google Drive) … Maybe it’s because I’m nearing 50 and I’m feeling that I’ve accomplished some things and I want to make a pile of them. I started a file on my personal Google account yesterday to make an inventory of my inventions (idea from this morning  – etymology of invent?) – and yeah, I could also add my newspaper writings – I’m mostly just looking to make a compiled index, a bibiologory (ha! bibliography) – but including (hey, that smell–ha! – that spelling was an accident …  I like the term “bibiologory.” It was an accident but I need a name more than just “index.”

… Think about all the heavy blocks of art paper that I bring into the house and they get made into journals and never leave! A house as a museum of things I’ve made (of things an artist made) – like a bibiologory but, you know, more space-filling.

[From school journal of 17 Feb. 2023, 3rd hour.]

Today, I feel whole as I sit here

Saw sunny morning, a bright world, a pinkish glow on the snow in backyard near shrubs this morn, and sun on a side of trees at (north of) the railroad crossing on Beth El [Road]. …

and I’ve got the David Benoit smooth jazz on the CD player. And Sam J.’s just sitting there. He’s done [writing his assigned journal] in less than 12 minutes. And so, the jazz, the sun. I feel like it’s pretty great to be sitting here. And I now am aware that I don’t always feel like this. I felt like sh*t all February, didn’t wanna be here. Today, I feel whole as I sit here, and that’s cool. (The drama some people must want to introduce into their lives — I’m thinking about Laura Miller’s list of reasons people have sex … from a book review. People have sex to feel virile or feminine, to compete with others. So much drama — that makes them feel alive? But it’s cheap and artificial at some point, no? Why not settle down — to settle, to calm, to quit measuring the world by your expectations and — how to make this sound not like lowered standards? — but when I found someone who met nearly all my high expectations, and I loved spending time with her, am I gonna reject that? But, see, I didn’t ever see the point in sex-as-exploration.

Ah, well, let’s get class started — but after “Linus and Lucy” finishes. I did set the tracks — I started on track 3 so we’d hear this L&L song — I’d rather explore in other ways in my life, I guess.

[From school journal of Wens., 7 March 2018, 1st hour. Journal 270, page 175]

Damn, I nearly said something cliched

I didn’t get all that much sleep last night and I hope to tonight but also, well, I’m not tired yet. Or maybe I am and I would’ve said something better about the Entourage movie. But it’s so weird how much of life they leave out – how, say, E and Sloane get along after they have their baby – it’s a little like the show “Click” where the Adam S. character fast-forwards thru his whole life – and … yeah, it turns out life is boring when it’s just the big moments. And yeah, I’m not saying I can or want to make the low-conflict moments into big moments – but, yeah, I guess I do – I guess I like pointing out that, well, those moments are … damn, I nearly said something cliched like, “It’s the little moments that matter most” – because that seems merely contrarian and of course, our culture doesn’t act like that at all. Our culture acts like it’s only the top finishers, the Super Bowls, that matter – and of course, I gave up watching the Bengals and the other team, the Chiefs, after Bengals sacked Burrows twice in 4 downs, or, I guess, on consecutive downs (2nd and 3rd) and on that last one, the Chiefs dude just pretty much hugged Burrows and that was the sack – it’s …. fine. But, yes, Bengals lost.

[From school journal of 30 Jan. 2023]

Daily living is always more gritty than plans are

I have a mental model for how I want [a property sale I’m involved in] to go and yet, I may not have a reality that resembles my plan, but that’s OK. I mean, life – daily living – is always more gritty, detailed, multi-perspectived than plans are. …

There is no one perfect perspective from which to see [a former school building].  The architects of additions likely made several different perspective-pics to show school administrators and boards what the new construction would look like – but, of course, the clients couldn’t fully picture the new building.

[From school journals of 5 April 2023]

Wasting his consciousness by getting wrapped up in dumb signifiers

Shoot, it looks like some kind of still-life outside, with no shadows anywhere and it looks like the whole world (except for a dark car just headed west, and then a dark SUV the same) is, well, dead – when it’s not dead. I mean, or maybe it is temporarily dead – or the particular plants of the last growing season are dead – but the roots of the grass and the trees stay alive. I don’t know what “alive” means for glass (or grass) and trees – I don’t really know what “alive” means for me. … 

I feel bad for Elon Musk – and it’s probably not … pity from some midwestern dumba*s that he wants or cares about but his actions over the last year (and more) indicate someone who’s sorta socially awkward but also desperate for attention and maybe love and of course I have not a – I have essentially (rounds to) zero money compared to the money he owns (the assets – Tesla stock – he controls). But also, well, he seems like he’s just … wasting his consciousness by getting wrapped up in dumb signifiers, thinking it’s more important for him to be admired (by strangers, no less) than it is for him to be a person who is kind and helpful and generous – and that’s sad. … Anyway, Elon’s just an idea to me – I don’t have to talk to him. He’s just an abstraction and a weird dude – a part of the culture, someone whose name gets tossed around. I mean, sure, there’s a sense in which it’s powerful … I mean, in which he gains money and power from being widely known – but that also seems, well, a dumb, low-quality, kind of life. But some people, even some rich people, live dumb lives.

[From school journal of 13 Jan. 2023]