Weekend Updates

Really, SNL, are you going to use my superclever made-up word as the crux of your “aflockumentary” skit without giving me credit! How can you sleep at night? You ought to be ashamed of yourselves! I blame Lorne Michaels, who I once saw in New York. I had been drinking rather liberally, shall we say, and I walked right up to him and said, “Hey! Hey, Lorne Michaels, creator of the long-running and ground-breaking late-night tv sensation Saturday Night Live! Hey! I just gotta ask you – How ya doin’, Lorne Michaels?” He completely ignored me, as if I was just some drunk stranger, some slurring, swaying cray-cray, intent on starting a long, rambling conversation about absolutely nothing with him. As if he didn’t have time for that kind of thing! Rude, Lorne! He acted like he didn’t recognize me then, just like he is pretending not to recognize my work right now!
You will pay, Lorne Michaels and entire cast and crew of Saturday Night Live! Plagiarism is a crime! I will not be wronged by the corpocracy of the National Broadcasting Company or any of it’s powerful affiliates, like Halliburton and the makers of Peeps marshmallow animals (have you noticed how they are now ubiquitous at every holiday, instead of just Easter? They don’t know their place, and they’re taking over, I tell you!) I will have justice! Prepare for an epic lawsuit, you bastards!*
In real news, I spoke to McAdams. Her school re-opened on Friday, and while she was apprehensive about returning, she had some good things to report. In a show of support for the school and its administration, almost 100% of the student body showed up for classes. They arrived early, wearing their school spirit shirts, or dressed in red, their school color. The students waited outside until the bell rang, and then together, as one group, they crossed the threshold and entered the building. Other schools sent pictures and videos of their students wearing red, or holding signs that said “We are Millard South.” Local businesses donated food and flowers. Substitute teachers from the surrounding districts volunteered to cover classes so that teachers from Millard South could attend the funeral services of Vicki Kaspar, the assistant principal who was killed. People were kind and gentle with each other, and there was a spirit of healing and fellowship in the halls. I am so glad that on the heels of tragedy, McAdams and her colleagues and students were able to have a life-affirming experience. Of course, things are nowhere near normal, and the repercussions of this tragedy will be felt for years to come, but it’s nice to know that after one person acted in a way that was so selfish and unfeeling, hundreds of people are responding with empathy and communal goodwill.
My friend Smurp hipped me to this great interview from W. Earl Brown, who played Dan on Deadwood. Fans, you’ll love this: http://www.avclub.com/articles/w-earl-brown,49370/ . If you don’t want to read it all, here’s a bad news/good news summary of what’s going on Deadwood and beyond: BAD NEWS- The much anticipated and oft-dreamed of movie finale of Deadwood is nothin’ but a fond, fruitless fantasy. Since the show hasn’t been on the air since 2006, you probably figured that. I was still clinging to hope, because that’s how I am, but now it’s official – I have been DENIED!
GOOD NEWS- A new Milch series is coming up this year! It’s about horse racing and has an all star cast, led by…wait for it…Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte and Richard Kind, who you might now from Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s in post-production at HBO as we speak!
So, yay! I’ll drink to that, cocksucker!**

*Full disclosure – I stole the Aflocalypse thing from an article I saw in a newspaper story on the Internet. And, as far as I know, NBC is not in anyway affiliated with Halliburton or Peeps. Curse my unwavering honesty and commitment to journalistic integrity!

** I can’t help it! It’s like he has some Svengali-like hold on me! Swearingen makes me swear in general, even when it’s not appropriate, shit-sticks! Doh! I did it again! For fuck’s sake, make it stop!

Not again!

I got this email from McAdams, who teaches in Nebraska, this evening: “Survived my first shooting today. Both of my principals were shot in the main office. Both in critical condition. The shooter was a senior. He committed suicide.”

At this posting, one of the victims has died. McAdams described her as “..nice to everybody, a real grandmotherly type.”
McAdams is fine, and I am so grateful I want to cry.
My local news didn’t mention the incident, but instead led with the fact that a regional chain store was going to offer its merchandise online.
The student, the son of a police detective, was apparently angry because he was suspended earlier in the day for an infraction of school policy. I forgot what McAdams said it was, but I thought the suspension was reasonable. ABC news reported: In a rambling Facebook post filled with expletives, Butler warned Wednesday that people would hear about the “evil” things he did and said the school drove him to violence.

He wrote that the Omaha school was worse than his previous one, and that the new city had changed him. He apologized and said he wanted people to remember him for who he was before affecting “the lives of the families I ruined.” The post ended with “goodbye.”

Now is not the time for preaching…but I can’t help myself.
1. When you care about people, or when they make your load a bit lighter, or if they do you some small kindness, you should let them know. I heard about this man who decided to write a thank you card every day to someone he wanted to recognize and acknowledge. I thought it was a nice idea, but a little over the top and hokey. I think I am going to do it, too. I mean really, how many times do I have to learn and forget the same lesson? Life is unpredictable and short. Our greatest gifts are the relationships and connections we are lucky enough to enjoy, and we should cultivate and nurture them.
2. In order to save money, many school districts are cutting teachers and increasing class size, even in elementary school. Vote no and protest vigorously against any law that forces students to have less contact with competent, concerned adults. A kid is at school for the majority of every day. If that time is wasted, we may never get it back. Teachers cannot bond with 10 classes of up to 40 kids each, and this sort of action is harmful to everyone involved.
3. Please remember that even though there are some bad teachers and administrators, most people who devote their lives to education want to be good, and they try, even when they really don’t feel like it.
4. We must guard against becoming desensitized by bad news or the feeling that we are being overwhelmed and always strive to make things better. Do good, and don’t give up.
To my friends who read this blog:
Dear Friends,
This is my first post of the new year, and I think it is fitting that it concludes with this thank you note.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to get to know me better than you already do. Some of you have been my friends since I was a kid; some have known me all my life. For you to still be interested in my thoughts, feelings, and bullshit rantings is so touching; I can’t tell you how much it really means to me. You make me feel special and smart. It’s everything to know that you care.
Thank you for your comments. I read them all. Twice, at least.
Thank you to those of you who are new, or who I don’t see often, for keeping up with me, even though I am not on Facebook.
I love writing this blog; it makes me feel better, and I like having a record of my thoughts. Still, I think if it weren’t for those of you who I know read it, I don’t think I would keep it up, and that would be a shame, because I learn so much from it. So thanks again.
I wish you all happiness, health, hope, growth and opportunity in 2011 and beyond. I really love you, and you know who you are – and you know I know, too!
Take care of yourselves.