Saturday, February 20, 2010


Of all the jobs I ever had, this one was the only one I was ever really good at, and the only one that seemed to give me any satisfaction as far as a job goes. If there is such a thing. They told me that if I found somethin' I loved doin' that it wouldn't seem like work at all and that I'd come in to work smilin' and I'd leave work smilin' and the days would just drift by into weeks then into the months and then into years, and before I'd know it, I'd be sippin' a beer on my back porch reminiscing about days gone by and would be travelin' the world and seein' all the things I'd read about in books. I'd find the right gal and we'd settle down and have a couple of kids and the job was such that I'd have plenty of time to raise 'em right and to take care of home matters while still bein effective at my job. Recession proof, they told me. You'd never find yourself on the street lookin' for another job and wouldn't have to worry about downsizing and you wouldn't make much but you were guaranteed a steady paycheck and small raises, but if you hung in there you made out pretty decent in the end and you wouldn't have to worry about losing much since you wouldn't have much in the first place.

I guess they were right, but time will tell, as they say. My folks went through somethin' similar in the 70's with Carter and they told me the same things were happenin' then that are happenin' now and that I just need to hang in there and it'll all settle out in the end and be alright, just like it was for them. Maybe so. Still, things are seemin' awfully bad right about now. We got furloughed three days last year and since my wife and I are both in education, we both lost enough money that would send us on one of the few vacations a year we could afford. Now we're gettin' three more before the school year ends in June and we're scheduled for 8 more next school year already. All in all that translates to around six thousand dollars we're losin' in one year, and I don't think I need to tell you that that's a few vacations and bills paid that ain't gonna happen and here we are on the cusp of plannin' a family and all. Good vacations, too. I'm talking a trip to Sandals for a week and maybe a Disney vacation, to boot. I guess that's a bad way of lookin' at things, I know. There's folks out there got it way worse right now. Losin' homes, jobs, families, all that.

People are hurtin', that I know. I know that in my great grandparents day, they went through somethin' like this that last nealry two decades. Took the Great War to get us out of it, too, but that's oversimplifyin' things. There's all sorts of folks who are pointin' to policy, both domestic and foreign, that can be manipulated and used to get us out of this mess and most of 'em are pointin' to the policies used by FDR and all the things that came out of the New Deal I and II, but, bein' a science and history teacher I can't help but notice that we've entered one of those social situations where we should be lookin' back and learnin' from mistakes, and it damn sure don't seem like we're doin' any of that right now. Big business folks who got us into this nightmare are gettin' bailed out and the government keeps spendin' our money in these "stimulus packages" that don't seem to be sitmulatin' nothin' except for people's anger. Then they wonder why they get voted out of office. And why one group is battlin' with another. Seems pretty cut and dry to me. You got put into office by the people, so why don't you spend a little extra time listenin' to what they want and get to work on that. Folks don't want to see some rich man gettin' richer at the taxpayer's expense. I know that wasn't their intentions, at least, I'd like to believe it wasn't their intentions when they bailed folks out, but that's what is seemin' to be happenin' at an increasingly bad rate. It's the preservation of people's status in our country. I seem to recall President Obama talkin' about the divide between the rich and the poor bein' so distant and how we needed to make sure it wasn't so big no more. At the time, I thought, well, hell, that sounds like socialism. In fact, that's pretty much what he was promotin'. Right about now it seems like what he created is on par not with the New Deal of FDR's days but more of what was happenin' in Russia in 1917. We were encouraged to start a revolution that would better the people and narrow the class divide when all we've ended up doin' was widening the gap further and guaranteein' that the elite remain extremely elite while the poor remain extremely poor.

It's funny, I'm the kinda guy that gets numbers and songs in my head that I can't get out. Been that way as long as I can remember. We'd go on family vacations and I'd see a phone number on a billboard and I'd add up those numbers in ever which a way and come up with sums then I'd subtract the numbers, then I'd multiply and so on. Some folks call it Obsessive Compulsive. Maybe they're right. Anyway, where I was goin' with this was, Lenin and Obama, when you look at the names, got some things in common. They both have five letter last names. They both have common letters in the third and fifth letters of their names. They both came into power when people in their countries were tired of fightin' what they saw a needlessly costly war fought for the benefit of an elite family. Again, I'm sayin' what people perceive, not what is actual. Both guys were sayin' they were gonna fight for the little guy, the workin' class, give us all what the rich have and all things would be equal pretty much. Lenin promised land, Obama promised healthcare. And so on.

Well, that's what I see as happenin', anyway. I'm probably wrong, or at least I'm hopin' to hell I'm wrong but I have an uncanny knack for predictin' accurately some things that are pretty bad. Lenin was replaced by a guy named Stalin, and things didn't get any better after that. The guy folks are thinkin' will take over after Obama is a guy named Romney. Both Stalin and Romney have six letters to their name. Don't think I haven't thought about that one for a minute, too. Of course, there was guy named Trotsky involved with Stalin, too. I guess if Romney's got a runnin' mate with a seven letter name, then we're in for a long, cold ride. Maybe a Polish guy'll run, someone with a name like Kowalski or an Isenberg or somethin'. Throw a little cog into my numbers theory. I think I might sleep better knowin' that.

I've had people tell me that I think too much. My wife tells me to quit thinkin' about things, but, like I said, when somethin' gets to stirrin' around in my head, it has a tendency to stick until somethin' better comes along to replace it and I get to obsessin' about somethin' else. Lately I've tried to learn how to play chess. Figured it would be a challenge that I'd try to master, cause I hate losin' and I lose a lot at it and I've been tryin' to get better but I just can't. And I'm not a dummy. I might talk like it and I might drink like it, but I've been told I've got a genius level IQ, whatever that is, and I usually can master most things so long as I can study it and think about it and learn it. Try as I might, though, I can't get any better at chess. You've gotta know moves and all that, but the biggest trick to chess is bein' able to look ahead a few moves into the future, plan your moves, predict your opponents moves, and then do what you gotta do to be successful. Problem is, lately, I can't look ahead no more. I can't predict nothin'. My heads filled full of uncertainties that I can't take my mind off of and I just can't help but think no matter what move I make, it's gonna be wrong.

Damn, I wish I could get better at chess.

No comments: