White

Once, I lived in a world of negatives

where I knew how to walk through darkness

and exhale light.

I thought that was all there was to beauty–

that transformation; the gentle birth of white

when I first noticed the cool, summer air kiss my skin

and I looked up and saw the entire palate of blues nested in your eyes,

your strawberry cheeks in my hands and the softness

of your yellow words so light.

Carelessly, I was thrown into the world of colors

where I have a new appreciation for all that is white

as it represents all that is you.

 

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Old Man in a White Suit

CAST: Old Man, ironically in his late forties.  Gray hair; ivory, 50s-style suit with matching hat; slight stubble; messy eyebrows.

SETTING: Stage is bare, completely black.  After house lights go down there is still no light onstage.

Scene 1

OLD MAN:

Y’know,

[strikes long match for cigarette already in his mouth.  Can’t quite get the match to light]

I didn’t know ’til today pigeons have these bright orange eyes–like those fuckin’ tictacs, y’know?

[Finally strikes match]

I should quit.

[Lights cigarette]

I mean I’ve fuckin’ grown up with pigeons.  My pa even adopted a couple–thought it’d be fun to train ’em.  Never could do it.  They’d all eventually manage to escape.  When I think of those pigeons though, all I can see is their slick, silvery… purple-orange feathers and the way they walk.  Never noticed their eyes before today.  Fucker almost ate out of my hand he was that close.  You don’t fuckin’ care, though.

Months after the March for Equality (via eating words)

Every once in a while, I come across a blog that I cannot help but reblog to get its message out. This is a pictographic view of some of the most poignant signs from the March for Equality in Washington, DC. They all bring some great discourse into the public sphere, so check it out. If only I were as creative as some of these sign makers… Sigh. I have no future prospects…

Months after the March for Equality Back in October, I went to the March for Equality in Washington, DC. One of my favorite things about the march was seeing all the different signs people made. Some were fierce. Some were funny. Some were just plain silly. Most spoke the truth, however they chose to angle it. I started writing this post months ago … Read More

via eating words

Your Goddamn Rights (part 2)

I know, I know, the U.S. Constitution is boring.  I know.  Wait, what the fuck are you talking about you year 1775 commie?  Pull yourself together and experience the awesomeness.  Let’s go over what’s sweet about amendments four through six.

4th amendment: Search and Seizure

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The 4th amendment guarantees my experimental, confused adults’ everyone’s secrets stay SECRET, like they should be, Mom…

5th amendment: Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The amendment is responsible for most of the reality shows we take for granted today!

6th amendment: Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Feel better then worse–quickly!

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Your Goddamn Rights (part 1)

Everyone knows the U.S. Constitution is bad-ass.  But what most people don’t know is how mind-blowing what they protect is.  I read the full constitution the other day and I wanted to show you just how sweet your world is with the Bill of Rights up all our hoo-haws.

1st amendment: Freedom of press, religion, and expression.

1st Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The first amendment is responsible for giving us the tea party total jerk-offs to laugh at!

2nd amendment: The right to bear arms

AKA Bear manA well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The second amendment is directly responsible for this BEAR-BABY and at least two X-men!

3rd amendment: Quartering of Soldiers

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

This guy’s in the wrong goddamn century.


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My Summer in Japan: Haiku

https://i1.wp.com/www.eurosis.org/cms/files/shiga.gifIbuki-yama–

Cicadas sing rippling songs

Did I lock my bike?

https://i0.wp.com/cache.gawker.com/assets/images/17/2009/10/500x_102009-sink.jpg

Kids come with questions

Dishes soak in soap water

When did I grow up?

http://culinarychronicles.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/top_ramen.jpgEating top ramen

Makes me remember rhubarb

Lining my garden.

https://i2.wp.com/www.summitviewlandscape-supply.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/pea-gravel.jpg

Small white flecks of rock

Fly under me as I ride

Too many to count.

“Moustache or Hat?” – Teaching ESL in Japan

Many of you may already know that I teach English at a junior high school in Japan.  The next week and a half is my last chance to go all the things I was too timid about doing before.  So, today, I had the brilliant idea for a ridiculous game called, “Moustache or Hat?”

Moustache or Hat? worksheet

As you can see, the worksheet is SUPER simple.  It’s just WordArt and a 3×3 table.  The more it looks like you have no creativity in your worksheet-making body, the better.  The students then feel responsible for making it more interesting.  Here’s how it worked with my special needs kids this morning:

1) Make sure they know what “moustache” and “hat” mean in Japanese.  (Act like Ron Burgandy with a finger over your lip and they’ll get the former immediately.)

2) Tell them you’ll speak English and whatever word you say, they have to draw that object and put either a moustache or a hat on it.  This is where things get awesome and the kids are giggling with appreciation for the strangeness of it all.

3) Draw some examples.  I used “baseball.”

Examples

4) Then play the game with vocab they are just learning or have always had trouble with!  After this game they will never forget it.  Here are some student examples of “basketball,” “school,” and “Mr. Kaston.”

While playing this game, the kids seemed to have no idea that they were learning, which was perfect.  The head-fake lesson is always more effective.  And the laughter this lesson enables will remind you of why you started teaching in the first place.  It will also remind you what percentage moustache or hat you are.

HELP ME: I want to do another lesson like this, but I want to try other topics.  I was thinking about “Super Saiya-jin or Jam” where they’d either have to make the object go super saiya-jin or work jam into the picture somehow.  But I want to hear your ideas, so leave a comment and if your idea makes me laugh out loud, I’ll do it and upload pictures.

Be well,

Kaston-sensei

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