Dick Is A Dick

Surprise: Dick is still a dick.

I didn't include this anecdote in that article 'cause I have to pretend to be at least somewhat professional, but I was on a hike a few years ago when Lexi got a Google Alert on her cell phone that she misinterpreted.

"Guys, I think Dick Cheney is dead!" she said. I swear, you've never seen four grown adults so enthusiastic about someone dying in your life. The bad news came only after we learned that, no, Dick Cheney was not in fact dead. I don't know that I've ever felt more disappointed in my life than when I found out this man was still alive to spread evil around the world.


Paper Mashie

So my friend teaches at a charter school. She's certified to teach Science, but because of the way the school is structured, she winds up teaching some English, too. The district eventually learned that kids were receiving instruction from a non-certified English teacher, so they arranged for an "English specialist" to show up part-time at the school to supplement lessons. Though my friend studied English in college and has been teaching reading and writing for years now, she understands the law that forced the change; it just kind of sucks because the money to pay the supplemental instructor must be taken from the charter school's already limited budget.

Here's the kicker, though: the English specialist the district has provided is only questionably literate herself. Here is the honest-to-gosh assignment she gave to my friend's students to do in conjunction with the Holocaust memoir Night:

What kind of English teacher doesn't use punctuation? What kind of English teacher doesn't write out the word "you"? What kind of English teacher uses the wrong type of "there" incorrectly twice in one sentence?

As much as I am laughing at things like "arty project", "paper mashie", and her botched cut and paste job that repeats part of the assignment a second time, this is actually tragic. In what world is my friend not qualified to teach English while this woman (who has had her job for over 15 years, mind you) is considered a "specialist"? I like her claim that she will take "of" [sic] points for spelling and grammar errors, as if she has any idea what those are.

Granted, when I was a high school English teacher, the essay I assigned in conjunction with the book Night resulted in at least one epically awful student paper. That's still not a good excuse for someone brought in specifically to teach writing to arbitrarily assign an art project rather than an essay. The public education system is fucked. It is so so so so fucked.


Ridiculous Songs from Eurovision 2014

There's just ONE MONTH until Eurovision 2014 and I'm stoked. Per tradition at this blog, I've compiled my favorite ridiculous entries that will compete this year. They're total WTF videos, but who said awesome and awful were mutually exclusive?

Some additional commentary:
15. Sir-Shakes-A-Lot sure whistles better than he sings.
14. Poor man's Bruno Mars is "all about party time."
13. This is this woman's third consecutive attempt (San Marino's small, y'all) at Eurovision, and thus far she hasn't made it past the semifinals. I doubt that spoken word and nipples are going to be enough to do the trick.
12. I'm not following that lady anywhere.
11. She's (quite confidently) "pretty", but she's not naive or easy. Got it?! Also, hot dance moves, baldy.
10. I'd be more down with tolerance if it didn't look so gay.
9. I've just been screaming, "I'm not an animal in captivity!" at random lately.
8. Starting a song with a screech, sexy writhing, and the lyric "We belong to each other/Like a sister to a brother" -- gotta love that incest.
7. All right, stop shaving your upper-lip, then.
6. These out-there folks are way further than three minutes from earth. 
5. Hideous costumes, over-enthusiastic background dancers and singers… and then the giant flags come out. The more elements they add, the tackier it gets.
4. Tits! That's one way to try to get votes, I guess.
3. What's not to love about a bearded lady in a tub of rose petals singing a James Bond-esque anthem? 2. The Belorussian Robin Thicke is not as smooth as he hopes. Nice "Google Maps" reference, though.
1. They've got a cake to bake, what more do you need to know? The songwriter actually said he penned this song to encourage men to ask for directions, and I have to imagine that men are now getting that message loud and clear!


Foolish Wedding

I didn't fall for anything on April Fools' Day this year. It's kind of like how I can't get scared in a haunted house - I just have my guard up too much. I might have had my guard up too much, though.

I have a pair of friends who, for the past couple of April 1sts, have pretended to get married on Facebook to dupe their loved ones. Though it worked two years consecutively, this year, their friends were ready… so they did a double reverse and actually got married on April Fools' Day.

Hilariously, no one believed them. I didn't either initially. By the end of the day, however, I sensed the sincerity in their comments to each other and I realized, wow, they found out a way to announce on social media that they got married and instead of getting many "congratulations", they got a bunch of "liars!" and "you guys are dicks!" As the bride points out, normally a post like that gets 100 likes within an hour, but no one was biting this time.

Who cares about their lifelong commitment… I'm more impressed with their commitment to the joke!