Thursday, June 23, 2011

Robert Roman's Three Way

Thursday, that is...

So I'm here for Three Way Thursday.  As you all know, it's not as naughty as it sounds.  Of course, I'm the one writing it, so it might wind up that way.  Then again, it might wind up accidentally summoning a shoggoth.  The fun never stops!
At any rate, I'm going to start out with what I'm thankful for.  I've got plenty, really.  But the big thing I'm thankful for is Family. 
My kids think daddy being a writer is cool.  My older boy even made a little 'book'.  Of course, this was nearly a year ago, and he hadn't learned to write yet, so it's a collection of pages covered in scribble lines, but the idea is there. 
My parents and sister, who I never thought would enjoy the kinds of things I write (or read), have been nothing but supportive.  The best line I've heard so far was from my (notably homophobic) father; when my stepmother said "I think the pixies are… gay" he replied with, "Well, they are fairies".
Best of all is the Ur-Goth, my lovely wife.  She feeds me, she takes care of me when I'm sick, she even manages my schedule for me, all so I can get just a few more minutes writing each day.  Without her, there wouldn't be any new books written or edited or anything except during the holidays, and I don't write fast enough to get more than one or two a year done that way.

Moving on to things that make me Thoughtful, lately I've had to deal a lot with people who are concerned with appearances.  Whether it's about clothing, grades, or classroom walls, I hear a lot about how one person or group looks good and another looks bad.  I hear even more about how one person can make another look bad.
Now, in general I'm a pragmatist.  If it gets the job done, I'm for it.  Edison's quote, 'There are no rules, we're trying to accomplish something here' is dear to my heart.  However, lately I've been talking with a lot of people who focus exclusively on appearance, and I've been trying to see the world from their perspective.
When I first started teaching at Woodrow Wilson, I wore a suit.  Every.  Single.  Day.  As I only had the one, this ate into my budget something fierce.  However, even unruly students tended to back down when I focused on them.  Eventually, my poor suit pants bit the dust.  I am, apparently, hard on certain areas of pants.  Those areas invariably wear through before anything else.  As a ratty suit looks considerably worse than a nice set of business casual wear, and the holes were in places that are, shall we say, unsuitable for public viewing.  When I switched over to slacks, oxford, and tie, however, the students stopped listening as intently.
Layer something else onto this.  When someone in a suit steps into the room, the students quiet down.  When someone in any other type of clothing comes in the room, they keep up the disrespect.  There is an ingrained response, even in rowdy inner city kids, that suits mean authority.  With that in mind, and realizing my big challenge this year was managing unruly students, I have to give the 'appearance' thing another thought.
Of course, I'm still basing the final outcome on whether it helps the bottom line, but I'm no longer putting 'appearance is important' on the list of things that will make me write someone off as hopeless.

Finally we're at the last.  What am I thirsty for?  I could answer in the obvious way, I've had quite a few nice adult beverages over the past few weeks.  Gin Sours always go down a treat, and Bombay Sapphire is nice and reliable for the 'gin' part.  I recently had some nice bourbon with the most unusual (but not unpleasant) aftertaste.  Wild Turkey Rare Breed, in case you're wondering.  Finally, the other night when I was having trouble sleeping, I pulled out an old concoction made by a friend.  Previously, she and I referred to it as 'krimpka'.  It managed to horribly defile my fond childhood memories of Tastycake Butterscotch Krimpets, and every name I've come up with for it is as vile as it is.  It is also fantastically alcoholic, and despite the horror it visited on my tongue, I actually would try it again were I in the mood to get very drunk very fast.   It was 'so bad it's good' liquor, in butterscotch flavor.  If I can find someone to knock together some label art, I think I might see if Jules wants to get into the boutique liquor business.  The liquor stores can stock it next to "Arrogant Bastard Ale"

That's it, then, really.  I would take a drink of any of them at the drop of a hat, and thattells me what I'm really thirsty for.  Variety.  After ten months of the same thing day after day, I'm about ready for a change.
Good thing I'm about ready to close up the classroom for the summer and write, no?


Barbara Elsborg said...

That was fun to read!!! Krimpka sounds almost as vile as some medicinal tasting booze my husband brought back from Hungary. Even the smell of it make me heave. Enjoy your summer!

Maureen said...

Well, Bob-o...sounds like you need to find a good resale shop and get yourself a spiffy looking suit to keep the kids in line... With extra pants.

Thank God I don't need to dress to impress. Dress to surprise? Yup!

Butterscotch booze, mixed with Baileys could be wacked...toss in some Kraken Rum and I bet that would put one to sleep fast!

Robert C Roman said...

Hallo Barb! Hallo Maureen!

Krimpka isn't really medicinal tasting, and below freezing doesn't really smell. It hits your head like a brick though. Tastes sorta like a brick too.

I'm going to hit a store for a suit some time soon, but... 'Some time soon' might wind up being multiple years away. I've not got a large budget to work with.

kathleen said...

I always enjoy your posts, Robert!
I like the more relaxed look in a classroom. When I was in school, I respected a teacher who was kind and made me laugh. But, that was ages ago.

Robert C Roman said...

Hey there Kathleen!

I do connect pretty well with most of my students, and that is important, but a certain degree of decorum in a classroom is required as well, and that's what's missing most days.

Still, yesterday was the last day for students, and today is my last day this year!

TK Anthony + said...

Hey, Bob -

Congratulations on surviving another school year! If you're pouring, I think I'll pass on the 'krimpka,' thanks. Butterscotch liquor sounds like it's best used poured on top of a mudslide, maybe. In the meantime, I might try some of that gin sour.


+ TK