joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
OK, so read this for information on this project.

[ profile] beeker121 suggests the title "The Wrong Monkey." Here are my proposals. Vote on the one you'd most like to read.

I. The Wrong Monkey - Detective Drama

Human detectives interrogate a monkey, who can't speak English (or at all really).

II. The Wrong Monkey - Journey to the West Pastiche

Sun Wukong and his companions run into trouble when an impostor monkey takes Sun Wukong's place.

III. The Wrong Monkey - Dating Story

Lina is looking for Mr. Right but keep falling for Mr. Wrong. Mr. Wrong Monkey.

[Poll #2028215]

Say, why not sign up for LJ Idol?
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
OK, so read this for information on this project.

This title comes courtesy of [ profile] muran.

Everyone, please suggest titles for the next writing thing in the comments.

Eel Pie Island

November 3, 2016

After some prodding, I finally managed to convince Waddlesworth that it would be fine idea to visit Eel Pie Island. I've been fascinated with the place since, through an almost impossible set of circumstances, I discovered I was the last surviving heir of the Earl of Twickenham. I'd grown up in Braintree, Massachusetts in the United States, so you can imagine what a shock that was. I've spent the last three years living in the stately Twickenham estate (above the Thirst Chariots of Fire Bar at 200 Whitton Rd, by the stadium) and attempting to effect a more London appropriate persona and vocabulary. Waddlesworth complains about this, but I don't know how I'm to fit in here in Twickenham unless I try to blend in with the peasantry.

Anyhow, I heard there was a rather fascinating hotel on Eel Pie Island where Black Sabbath once played, so I insisted on going. In fact, I've been insisting for almost three years now which, if you've been paying attention, is about the same amount of time I've spent as the Earl of Twickenham.

November 4, 2016

We set out from the Thirst Chariots of Fire Bar at 7:00 because I didn't want to waste a moment of the day. After a brisk walk down Whitton Rd, we turned onto the A310 and would have been at Eel Pie Island in a matter of moment if Waddlesworth hadn't kept trying to slather sun tan lotion all over me. I tried to explain to her that Eel Pie Island wasn't that kind of an island. I wouldn't be laying around tanning. No, Eel Pie Island was an ait, which is a word I can write, but when I try to pronounce it, it sounds like I'm saying "hate" and everyone laughs. Everyone, in this context, being Waddlesworth.

Anyhow, there was a footbridge that led to the island, which was apparently haphazardly plopped into the middle of the Thames with no regard to geographic aesthetics. I proposed this might be the island where Seurat painted "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," but Waddlesworth pointed several things out to me that lead me to suspect he painted that in Paris, not London at all.

As I said, there was a footbridge that led to the island. I was rather insistent that we consider taking a boat across or that maybe we wade or swim, since it seemed to only be about 20 feet from the shore to the island. Waddlesworth brought up something about laundry bills. So we crossed the footbridge and found ourselves on Eel Pie Island.

There were some little art gallery looking places and a pub, but nothing that might be a heavy metal music venue. I knocked on a few doors and soon learned that people lived there. I introduced myself as the Earl of Twickenham. Strangely, nobody seemed especially impressed.

I soon learned that the hotel had burned down years ago.

Anyhow, Waddlesworth and I decided we'd take a cab back to the estate. The driver took the A316, though I insisted that was a longer route. We were back at home and in bed again by 10.

November 5, 2016

Surely I missed something. Earlier tonight, alone and after several drinks, I walked down the A310 (in the road and cursing this time) and crossed the footbridge again onto Eel Pie Island. I was apparently standing outside the pub singing "Iron Man" when Waddlesworth finally came down and brought me home.

I was born too late.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
OK, so read this for information on this project.

Several title suggestions for this first entry. I rolled them around in my head and I have three distinct ideas from [ profile] muran's Eel Pie Island.

I. Eel Pie Island - Travel Diary

In this entry, I'd do the minimal amount of research I could on the actual Eel Pie Island and then try to write a fake travel diary - as convincingly as possible - about my time on the island.

II. Eel Pie Island - Just So Story

This would be a Kipling-esque attempt at explaining the origin of the name Eel Pie Island.

III. Eel Pie Island - Chef Adventure

A young person striving to become an especially good chef travels to the legendary Eel Pie Island to learn how to make the signature dish.

There you go. Vote for one, I'll write it tomorrow.

[Poll #2027945]

By the way! Why not sign up for the new season of LJ Idol?

Well Shit

Nov. 13th, 2015 10:24 am
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
I forgot I offered to start a new writing project if people were interested and, shit, people were interested. The same day I posted that, my good friend went into the hospital for what turned out to be a mini-stroke, so I've spent the last couple weeks not thinking about it even slightly. Fortunately, it dawned on me to check my email, which I do about once a quarter, and realized I should get on this shit.

OK, so, several years back, I did this thing called 100 Days (you have to be logged into LiveJournal and on my friends' list to see that). The concept there was that for 100 days, I'd write something every day based on a comment. It was an attempt to combine improv with writing and nothing was ever edited by me (a friend did a great edit of it, but I think Hotmail ate it).

Anyhow, I like a "force myself to write every day" thing and I like the idea of improvising off of suggestions. I did a Christmas Gift Story thing a couple of years back that took me for fricken ever and I question if I can actually manage to do daily update anymore. Part of the reason I've written less is that I have much less time. Part of the reason is World of Warcraft, but really its mostly just life.


Here's what I'm going to do. This is going to be a ten day daily writing exercise that will last 20 days (!!!). If you would be so kind as to suggest a title in the comments here, I will propose several different takes on that topic on "A" Day. You guys can vote on which one you want me to develop. On "B" Day, I will post a developed version of that proposal - mostly unedited.

This will force me to write, force me to check LJ and hopefully entertain you.

Make sense? Right now all you need to do is to suggest a single story title or topic in the comments. We'll start tomorrow. Thank you!
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
If like five people are interested, I will start a new writing project here to entertain those five people.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
Bunch of students get shot up in Oregon. I share the link. First comment is about me sharing anti-gun propaganda.

So real events that actually happen are propaganda now, so there's that.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
OK, here's the post I hoped I'd never have to write, but yer ever-lovin' uncle Joey is trying to look out for all of you out there. All of youse. All of youse guys.

Uncle Joe's Guide For What To Do When You're A Principal And You Fuck Up Royally

OK, so you're a high school principal. First of all, sorry about that. I know you dreamed of more. I know I did and I'm an administrator two steps below a principal. You can imagine my pain. But let's not get sidetracked.

Yeesh, though, you are the person in charge of hundreds - maybe even a couple of thousand - teenagers. How scary is that? They're all trying to figure out the boundaries and the rules and how to get through the week without being bullied or humiliated. Sounds like a powder keg for messed up behavior.

And sometimes the behavior will be genuinely messed up and you're going to have to deal with it. You're almost never going to be given a cut and dry discipline situation so let's just be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that eventually you're going to fuck up and fuck up bad. Like news people camping outside the school near your car waiting for you to come out. Like suddenly a hero to FOX news level fuck up. I'm just going to assume you think that's a bad thing, because if its not a bad thing to you, I can't help you.

Anyhow, let's assume the worst case scenario. A kid didn't really do anything wrong and you totally overreacted and threw the book at her or him and now you look like a complete moron.

Let me recommend a few steps.

1) Shut up. No. Just shut up. Don't release statements. Don't issue memos. Don't say a word to reporters. You're just going to make it worse. There's nothing you can say or do at this time to make the situation any better. IANAL, but I bet you every lawyer in the world except Kim Davis' would give you the same advice.

2) If you don't already know, find out if your district has a communication person. Refer everything to that person. They were hired to communicate with the press. They might be incompetent, though, so don't sign your name to anything they send out. Let them take the heat - its their job.

3) Sit down for like at least twenty minutes and try to review the situation objectively. This is going to be hard because you want to think you made the right decision. Work from the position that you did not. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. So ask yourself: did I follow all of the school policies? Would I follow the policies and make the same decision with a different student if everything else was the same? Did I react out of emotion or out of logic? Based on what I know now, what should I have done differently? Eventually, you are going to have to say something (just wait until the shit storm passes) and when you do, you're going to be seen as a stronger and wiser leader if you acknowledge how your contributed to this situation (with your awful decisions). If you've already issued memos and statements and news interviews, you're going to have a much harder time backing down.

4) Once you've reflected on what went down, write down some future "I can" or "I will" statement. "I can recognize when something isn't a real threat." "I will weigh my decisions regarding threats more completely in the future."

5) After the shit storm, meet with the student and the family. Start with an apology. Let them know what you did wrong and how you will avoid making the same mistake in the future (using your 'I can' and 'I will' statements). Listen to them and take notes, but don't respond until they're done or unless they want a response. Don't let yourself get angry or defensive.

I'll write more about this later.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
I find that I tend to use Livejournal most when I just want to vent about shit.

I think I realized one of the sources of my crippling depression last night. When I'm working on a show (I'm directing a play right now), I have to get so much adrenalin going that I almost get loopy. Then, when it flushes, I just want to sit down and cry forever.

joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
And also it should be isolated from the rest of humanity.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
Comment with "I wanna play!" and you will be assigned a number between 15-50 of facts for you to share. [ profile] beeker121 gave me the number 29.

1. Picking up where Beeker121 left off, I've had one root canal and it was a great experience. The pain stopped immediately. It was really awesome.

2. I have an air popcorn popper at work and I eat a lot of plain popcorn.

3. Green tea is my tea of choice right now.

4. I've been playing computer adventure/RPG games since the Adams adventures. I've played every Ultima game (except 7, which is allegedly the best one - damn!), every Wizardry game, was a regular City of Heroes player and am currently mad about World of Warcraft. I also loved the Lucasart games like Sam and Max Hit The Road and Grim Fandango

5. I don't collect comics anymore, but I try to occasionally catch up on my favorite titles via google searches.

6. Most of the fictional stories I write are based on dreams I've had.

7. For my birthday two years ago, my wife gave me a cat fountain. Its maybe my favorite gift ever.

8. Recently, I've been addicted to watching live kitten cams.

9. Watch a lot of porn? Cool! Participate in making porn? As long as everyone enters into the production consensually, awesome!

10. I spend a lot of time reminding myself that you can't know what goes on in another person's head.

11. So, like three years ago, I had a student interested in modeling professionally. I encouraged her to visit the model mayhem site for one of our alumni who was a professional model. I got a "hey, Mr. Michaels, look at this" call and there was the alumni, on her Model Mayhem page, bare ass naked. I don't judge her (in fact, good for her for being comfortable enough to go for it), but I also don't go to Model Mayhem for any reason ever anymore. Traumatized. I don't want to see my grown students naked ever.

12. I think part of the reason why I've had a hard time losing weight is because of job stress.

13. Recently, on Snapchat, I've been posting a series of photos (once a day) on My Story titled "Why can't Joey sleep tonight?"

14. Tobi the cat sleep between my feet. BB sleeps at my wife's feet. The Moose gets chased away by BB if he tries to get on the bed, but if she's asleep, he'll sneak in and sleep between my wife and I, making sure to touch us both.

15. My current World of Warcraft obsession is collecting pets.

16. There's an outstanding bill on my work desk for a lifeguard that I need to process like three weeks ago. I've never let something sit longer than a few hours but I just found it this morning. Sad.

17. I adopted the name Joey Michaels during a comedy bit called "fight on the call board."

18. I am troubled that I can't be myself online without a pseudonym (for fear of being fired). This is not to say I troll, but I worry that if I post about political issues that matter to me, I'm going to offend a parent and they're going to want me axed. I've seen it happen.

19. White male privilege exists and I've benefited from it like crazy.

20. While the confederate flag shouldn't be flown on public buildings, I worry that people are going to think that just because a symbol of racism is down that racism isn't a problem anymore, Systemic suppression and oppression of women, minorities and the LGBT community needs to still be addressed. We in the USA tend to lurch forward as a country and then stall for a few years then lurch forward again.

21. My wife and I have been trying to have a baby for several years, but no luck.

22. I know enough politicians socially to know that a surprising number of them are genuinely dumb people. Even ones I agree with 100% - like just dumb as a box of hammers. Obviously, not all politicians are dumb, but jeez many of these people have been to Ivy league schools and they're just morons. It makes me think of that line in the Wizard of Oz about how there are people just as dumb as Scarecrow who are viewed as smart because they have a diploma. No, man, diplomas don't make you smart.

23. I got a huge raise when I became an administrator but I often don't do any work at all for days and I hate it. I used to get paid less and work more as a teacher but I loved it. And I think the teaching work I did was ultimately infinitely more valuable.

24. I can sing jingju (aka Chinese opera) actually quite well for an amateur.

25. I only write to avoid work. If writing was my work, I'd have to find something else to do to avoid working.

26. When I was in high school, I ordered this catalog of those buttons with rock bands' logos and names on them. I took orders from everyone in my school and like 90% of them were correct. I hope I gave the money back to the other people.

27. I am reasonably sure in retrospect that I broke a couple of my girlfriends' hearts during my early 20's. At the time, I was totally unaware of this fact.

28. I have two dinosaurs on my desk - the same model Wash plays with on Firefly,

29. I still believe I'll win big in the lottery one day.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
I had some really good news but now I can't remember what it is. Maybe it was a dream.

I've been listening to a lot of Kanye West lately. I really liked 90's hip-hop (Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Arrested Development) and, while West has a more maximalist approach, I find his work to be very much in that vein. He really creates some amazing beats and has a gift for nailing his punchlines. Some of his lyrics hurt for the right reasons (and some hurt for the wrong reasons).

I understand not liking him as a person - he is arrogant (though he makes a case for arrogance as the thing that drives him on his first album) - and I get not liking rap/hip-hop as a musical genre, but he's actually one of the more vital artists working in popular music today.

This is all to say that my music blog is down temporarily so I'm coming over here to be all music-y.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
Down in my office, I've been the only person I've seen for like a week and a half now. Its like nobody even knows I'm here.

I'm thinking of looking into jobs related to social justice, which would be a major career change, but also seems to be the thing I'm really interested in right now.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
Highlight of the day: Chatting with [ profile] avecvu.

Lowlight of the day: Starting like nine things I need to get done and then losing interest in finishing them.

Tomorrow is going to be fascinating.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
I spent the last week of May and the first week of June visiting my family in Connecticut. My wife started looking at property listings in the area and we think we could afford a small house in the Fairfield County area. With like a small yard and everything.

Out here, we can afford to rent an apartment by the highway.

The one area of concern, of course, is finding work. I will spend the next year looking for work in the area.

We also need to look into reputable cat moving services.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
I was raised agnostic and somehow know that rape, murder and theft are all bad thing. I've recently been told that the only reason a person can know these things wrong is if they're Christian. According to this dude, the fact that I know these things are wrong without believing in God is impossible and I must secretly believe in God.

I don't know, I don't need to be rewarded for being a decent person. I think not killing, raping and stealing is just the way civilized people should behave. Does there really need to be a threat of punishment to keep people from acting like monsters? The threat of something awful happening in the afterlife doesn't seem to stop people from being jerks.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
Remember that dude my boss hired that I objected to? I wrote him a welcome email with some information about the position - very neutral information - and I've now had my first insane phone call with him. He felt part of the job description was different from what he expected and - not to mince words - he lost his shit.

Dude sent me an email that was also full of insane shit losing so I was able to forward that to my boss,

In other news, I jog with a former student of mine who happens to be female. She says people ask her if I'm running with because I'm trying to sleep with her. Yikes! I'm not, but I want to expound on this point for a moment.

When you teach somebody who is a kid, they sort of stay a kid in your mind forever. I think of all of my students - even the ones approaching 40 - as my students. They're not remotely attractive to me. I'm always surprised when I read about teachers having affairs with students because 1) ick and 2) how could you even want to do that and 3) ick no.

In conclusion, ick no.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
I think I've done a pretty good job establishing that I'm not especially happy at work lately. Today was a slightly better day because I took control of some things, but we'll get to that shortly.

I basically like everyone I work with - I mean, I don't understand why my principal hired the dude I referenced the other day, but I like my principal, for example. I can like people and not agree with them.

Anyhow, there is one dude I don't like here at the old institution and that's our fundraising bro. Fundraising dude-bro. Bro-dude. He's a snake oil salesman. He's a used car salesman. He's a con-man.

He's been here about a year and he's been bragging about how we've double the amount of money that we've raised in our major pledge drive since he started. Turns out, the reason the amount of money in our pledge drive doubled is because he started taking donations to other projects and coding them to the pledge drive.

So, the pledge drive is double and suddenly all of these program-specific donations are - poof - gone.

That's how he is.

Our program, which is pretty fricken high profile, is having a big event next year. To celebrate this, he proposed two things (well, more, but only two that are pertinent to this entry). First, he proposed we rent a banquet hall and throw a big party for alumni, parents, etc. Second, he proposed we have our top film students make a video about the event.

Cool, rock on. The party, we were told, would be run entirely from his office. I should form a support group.

I form the group, we have a meeting and then the next day I hear that the party was canceled. I stress that "I hear," because I hear it as a rumor (later confirmed but not by snake oil man). OK, too bad, so sad, but I moved on.

I get the film student working. Suddenly, I get a call from a different office. They've hired professionals to make the exact same video. They're going to interview me the next day.

OK, not complaining, but why not ask me about it? Why just schedule it and run with it? You'd think it would make sense to ask the head of the program about making a video about that program.

Once again, getting something I want and not being very happy about it.

Yesterday, I hear that the party is on again. I don't hear this from him, but through the grapevine. We've moved on to other things. I also hear that he's been making snotty remarks about my program in his meetings. His house is a mess and he's making fun of my carpet. Fuck that guy.


There was a big meeting scheduled today and this big event was on the agenda. I decided to be positive but also to be clear that (since I'd not officially heard that the party was back on) the party was canceled. I came in with an alternate proposals that achieved everything the party was supposed to do. I stressed 'Since the party was canceled." Almost everyone in the meeting seemed pretty impressed and excited about my proposal. The snake oil dude stared at the floor and never looked up.

Now, I'm not happy that he was unhappy - that wasn't my goal. But I need to be able to take action to take back some control of this situation. Not because I like control so much (quite the opposite) but because these dudes don't know what they're doing.

So, yeah, that was today.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
I know I've said this before, but I think I have one more year of this job in me and then I have to move on. Its kind of killing me and I see no hope that I might be teaching again here in the future. Time to go. I'm either going to leave now or its going to kill me.
joeymichaels: (Basic Joey)
Guess it's time to meet a new therapist. I spent 15 minutes in the cleaning product aisle pricing products by potential deadliness vis a vis cost per fluid ounce. I was also considering flavor and potential for burning in the esophagus. So yeah time for an appointment.
joeymichaels: (CoH)
My therapist is retiring.

We had a session last week. I've been having issues because my parents are thinking of selling the family house. They're doing it for a reason I support - they're both in their 70's and managing a huge house and big yard is becoming a serious burden for them, especially after a hard burden like this year.

Anyhow, I spent a couple of days periodically bursting into sobs over this and then thought I had it under control.

A few days later though, everything seemed fine and suddenly, as I was driving, I thought "say, why not drive into that wall right there and kill yourself?"

"Gosh, brain, that sounds like a good idea. Let's do that."

So I started speeding up.

This dude comes jogging around the corner with his dog and I think "DOG!" and slow down and then eventually stop and pull over and hyperventilate for a while.

Anyhow, next time I'm with my therapist, she points out that all of my incidents have been in response to losses or (in this case) future losses.

Then she apologizes and tells me she's retiring end of next month.

Well ain't that a how'd ya do?

The thing is, I didn't really want to kill myself, but at the moment it just seemed to make perfect sense. So, yeah, what is going on with you, brain?

I don't know who my new therapist will be, but I'd best start looking. Sigh.
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