Posts Tagged ‘space’
I’ve decided that my room isn’t big enough for a bed.
At about 8 feet by 10 feet, I can just barely fit my two desks, a couch and some random computer chair, but I can’t comfortably squeeze in a mattress, box spring and bed frame. Therefore, I’ve decided to live without one.
Thanks, Japan, for making this decision possible. I figured that because your largest metropolitan area has an average of almost 5,800 residents crammed in every square kilometer, you know a little something about space management. For readers who need a more allegorical comparison, that’s like cramming the population of the city of Los Angeles into the city limits of San Francisco. Tight fit.
So instead of taking that extra-long twin my parents want out of their house and stashing it somewhere in my room, I pull out a cheap, blue, child-sized futon at night. I sleep on that, in the style of all those really crowded countries across the Pacific.
It’s mighty comfortable, even ignoring that it lays right on the floor and all. I like my mattresses firm. The floor is pretty firm.
I have no reason to switch back in the near future, especially considering the health benefits of a firm mattress for my sort of sleeper.
I’m thinking that this is a pretty smart move, at the very least because not having to worry about a permanent fixture in the middle of my room really opens up my place.
When I think about it, though, this isn’t a decision between mattress and futon. The last guy with this room had no problem with his bed the way it was, and he had a mighty fine bed. No, this was a decision between one mattress and two or three large, wooden bookcases.
Even after recognizing that this is the real reason I’m going without a West-style bed, I’d choose bookcases any day of the week. Nothing makes me feel more at home than multiple full bookshelves. I’d like to get back to that.
Of course, it’s a good thing I’m only sleeping Japanese and not living it. If I were living Japanese, I wouldn’t be able to afford an apartment large enough to fit either my mattress or the behemoth-sized oak shelving coming my way.
In other words, God bless America.
I like free music. Who doesn’t?
My unquenchable thirst for downloadable music — legal or questionably legal — took a strange turn when a friend turned me onto the archives of the United States military bands. The Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps bands all have their own websites and, because these bands are funded by the taxpayers, their recordings are free.
As far as I could find, our friends in the Coast Guard were left out. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve been looking for a copy of their theme song — nine times catchier than Anchors Aweigh — to no avail.
Seven years of marching band in high school and in college well-prepared me for the huge collection of marches and patriotic music. Three hours later, I finished importing the complete John Phillips Sousa into iTunes. I don’t know who Colonel Bogey is, but he makes me smile.
I imagined military sanctions for band members.
Twenty push-ups for each missed chord change. Play through a rest means half-rations for a week. Talk during rehearsal? Court-martial.
Then it got weird.
Google gave me a link to the old Air Force archives, filled with recordings of our fighting men and women playing and singing music of all genres. Dixieland. New Wave. R&B. There was even a rap song.
It’s hard not to crack a smile at the idea of stoic, serious-faced officers playing the blues in their full dress blues, chiseled jaw and all.
I found all of these songs for free online. Most of them are cheesy.
Featuring the thrift-store Enya knock-off.
Imagine government-funded rap about living your life drug-free. Imagine it worse.
You can steal something like eight consecutive melody notes before it’s legally plagiarism. Joseph Spaniola knew this, and wrote for us the Space Fanfare. It starts by almost quoting the Star Wars, Superman and Star Trek themes. It’s a downward spiral from there.
They Died for You, They Died for Me
Hey — did you hear? Vietnam was a fight for freedom, at least according to this Nashville-style Soft Rock. “They died for freedom, God and family/ They died for you/ They died for me,” attests the honkey-tonk crooner. Strangely enough, references to carpet bombing, conscription or the Gulf of Tonkin were cut from the final version.
‘Taint So, Honey ‘Taint So
A white man doing his best Louis Armstrong impression provides the lead vocals about halfway in — as you’d expect, it’s immediately singable. Everything in this album really isn’t that bad, though this is the only selection with such a gravely hoarseness to it.
Tax dollars well spent.
There are plenty of reasons to stop teaching. Joel posted ten, and though it the post was undoubtedly an April Fool’s joke, half of his over-the-top suggestions were credible on some level. Talk about irony.
Among them were:
Administrative hoops I have to jump through
TAKS testing. Lesson planning. 504 modifications. I like my principal (and all of them I’ve worked for so far), but the administrative web that has been set up from the top down really wears on me.
Budgeting. Fundraising. Travel requests. Purchase requisitions. Grades. Tardy admit slips. Report cards. Progress reports. Music stores coming to collect instruments from kids whose parents haven’t paid.
I am not valued enough
I don’t get paid nearly what I am worth. In fact, looking at some of the data on Jonathan’s blog, I don’t get paid even half of what I might get if I taught in New Jersey or California.
Setting aside his explanations, I’m told that plenty of teachers drop out for those basic reasons or some very similar. To quote the only teacher mentioned throughout the article linked in my sidebar:
The kids were wonderful to be with, but the stress of everything that went with it and the low pay did not make it hard to leave.
There’s the big debate about whether schools could, or should, be run like a business. I’ve certainly worked for some businesses that would drive a school into the ground.
On the other hand, I’ve experienced some business models that would make a school flourish.
He goes into greater detail, so I suggest you check it out.
Confidentially, my first reaction involved TPS Reports. As far as my dad and stepmom are concerned, former cubicle crawlers that they are, that Office Space movie is, or can be, the gospel-honest truth.