Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I do all my blogging at myspace, now, but if I do a really good one, I'll put it over here.
I'm getting ready to do a Philippines one that I'll put up here.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Japan Is Sinking

Unfortunately, there is a movie and book. or vice versa, out now called Japan Is Sinking, and why that's unfortunate is I'm trying to look up information on the net regarding the fact that Japan is actually sinking. I wanted to have a bit more to report to you than second hand hearsay from my old Korean students. All that's coming up in the search is pages upon pages of this book or movie. And "Japan apologizes to Taiwan for sinking ship." Always making friends, the Japanese.

So, Japan is sinking. It sinks more and more every year. As many of you know, my last job was teaching South Korean university level students here in the Philippines (don't message me about my time in Korea, because I was only in the airport, which I actually enjoyed very much), and you know that we talked for hours and hours and hours all day long. One of the elentybillion things that I learned was that Koreans, and I'd say most Asian countries have an adversarial relationship with Japan. Many of my students openly expressed disgust with Japan and everything Japanese. Many weren't as extreme and said that their qualms are with the government only. Some said, who cares? Pass the Kimchi.

Japan didn't make any friends over here during WWII. There are still debates that rage to this day about who should apologize for what. In addition, Japan has claimed a Korean island as its own. Japan also calls the East Sea, the Sea of Japan. My students were always disgusted with the maps made in the Philippines, or those that come from publishers connected with the west because that body of water is labeled as The Sea Of Japan, as if that were a fact.

"NO! Who published this!" were common cries about my atlas. Sorry guys.

So one day one of the students, while ranting about Japan, and their Imperialism, which some claim has not stopped, said they have to move other places "because Japan is sinking!" and I accidentally laughed. I think I chuckled because the student was so serious and then he said that, and I didn't expect him to say that... and I laughed.

"Yes! It's true!" During one class, one of the Engineer students drew something on the board that supposedly demonstrated the phenomenon.

I let them know that the islands of Hawaii have been largely bought up by the Japanese, or so I heard once.



I don't know. But I thought that whole thing was interesting.

The Reversal Of Babel: Award a Prize to Mr. Bean

It's hard for me to find a good picture of Mr. Bean, but you know who he is.

Here's what I want to say. I've been to China, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. I've taught South Koreans and interacted with them quite a bit... I've been in places where the cultural barriers are wide, deep and run long.

But everybody loves Mr. Bean.

It doesn't matter what their take is on George W. or what conversation you're able to have or not have due to a language barrier. If I was ever anywhere stumped, I just said..."Hey do you know Mr. Bean?"

"Mr. BEAN!" , yes, big smile, laugh, conversation, and connection.

He's big in Asia, so I'm assuming, everyhwhere. Mr Bean is also shown in North Korea, so I learned from a documentary. Sometimes in North Korea they have special movie festivals where imported films are shown. It's not like he's on their tv there, not that I'm aware of, but they love Mr. Bean reports say.

Here in the Philippines, he's very popular and there is lots of Mr. Bean merchandise everywhere, including kids backpacks, and t-shirts. There is a lot of merchandise from the animated series as well. The cartoon version of Bean is strange and Magooish. It's not nearly as interesting as the live acts.

These film shorts of Mr. Bean are sans spoken language. They are the human experience. So, there's no language barrier.

So...here's the other thing I wanted to bring up. My youngest son is Autistic which is classified as a language disorder. He doesn't communicate in the conventional sense. He uses words, but for his own enjoyment only.

He reminds me of Arnie from What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Although Arnie used language every once in awhile in a traditional sense. That movie really reminds me of my guy, especially when he climbs up that tower and Johnny Depp

(Sorry Rowan, I know this is your entry, but I had to...Who's better than this JD? message me if you know...)

-takes a megaphone and has to sing a song to get him to listen and come down.. Leonardo couldn't have done a better job in that movie, I was astonished.

Anyway, my son is obsessed with Mr. Bean. He's quite particular about what he pays attention to, and he focuses very closely on each episode and knows all the routines by heart. His favorite is "Mind the Baby, Mr. Bean" where Bean gets stuck taking care of a baby at a carnival. It is pretty great, that one.

So Mr. Bean communicates where there may be no communication. He reaches the seemingly unreachable and has helped me make meaningful connections in disconnected circumstances. It's babel in reverse and he should get some kind of Bean Award for making my life easier and more fun.

Thanks, Rowan.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Kama Anne Mottard
Kama Anne Mottard, 37, of 3201 14th Street, Menominee, Mich., passed away on Tuesday morning, May 27, 2008, after a long battle with ovarian cancer. Kama was born on February 12, 1971, to Donald and the late Elaine (Fiss) Mottard in Marinette, Wis.

Kama graduated from Menominee High School in 1989 and obtained an associate degree from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelors degree from Northern Michigan University graduating with honors. Kama was a past board member of the Menominee Animal Shelter and a member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Marinette. Kama was employed for many years as manager at Bayshore Veterinary Clinic in Menominee, and could not have loved her job more. A special thank you to Dr. Dennis and Patty Anderson for their generosity and support over the years. Kama always enjoyed the many wonderful people she met at the clinic, many of whom continued to keep in touch after she was no longer able to work. Her co-workers were also very special to her and it was truly a family atmosphere. Kama enjoyed being outdoors camping, hunting, and fishing. Kama also enjoyed taking trips with her friends to Belize, Alaska, Key West, Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and the best trip was to Yellowstone and South Dakota in an RV with Candy and Dick Zaharias. Kama was also an avid Green Bay Packers fan and attended many games. Kama enjoyed spending time with her friends and family above anything else.

Kama is survived by her loving father, Donald Mottard of Menominee; and sister, Michelle (Errikk) Decker of Negaunee, Mich. Their love and support was truly remarkable over the years. She is further survived by two nephews: Nolan Bergstrom and AJ Decker of Negaunee, Mich.; a special aunt, Mary Kay Mottard of Marinette, Wis.; a special aunt and uncle: Linda and Mike Casey of Chicago, Ill.; and many other aunts, uncles and cousins. Kama is survived by close friends: the Zaharias family, Dana and Todd Fernstrum, Becky and Rod Blom, Trudi and Chris Janquart and her best friend of over 20 years, Stacy (Dan) Braun. There were also two very special little girls in Kama's life that she loved dearly: Kerrigan and Kady Braun.

Kama received the best care possible from Dr. David Mertens and his wonderful staff that treated her with love. A very special thank you to Ruth Ann Kluetz who was always there for Kama. Thank you also to the nurses of BAMC 2E for all the wonderful care they provided over the years; especially Terri Barker, Terry Kelly and Patsy. A special thank you also to Northland Lutheran Home Health and especially to Sara and Tammy.

Kama was preceded in death by her mother, Elaine Mottard in 1994; her grandparents: Frank and Minnie Fiss and George and Irene Mottard; her uncle, Fabian Mottard; and many aunts and uncles.

Friends may call at the Anderson-Kell Funeral Home, 533 10th Avenue, Menominee, Mich., Thursday, May 29, 2008, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visitation will continue Friday, May 30, 2008, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Marinette. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. in the church with the Reverend Jon Tesch officiating.

Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Hope Memorial Relay, W5886 #14 Lane, Wallace, MI 49893, who works with the local 1887 VFW Auxiliary that helps local cancer patients.

A favorite quote of Kama's and the way she took on life was:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolates in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Monday, March 31, 2008

Dirty Third World

Wiping dirt off my face and thinking about the dirt covering another strange place, unreachable, here I am closed in, out in the open for the elements to devour, to grow older with each rotation of the sun, metabolizing at death’s door.

Unscrewing the cap off my juice that the dirty child I walk past can’t afford, I say "walang" to his open hand. ’Where are your parents?’, I’m thinking. There’s nothing I can do. At the end of every story is some kind of love to contemplate, I don’t want to learn anymore.

What good is someone’s story untold? There must be angels; there absolutely must be or most stories are for no benefit whatsoever. Everyone lives a metaphor, some kind of similie, a story for nobody, or a story for the third world of angels.

Wiping the dirt from my eyes and not from some place else out of sight, that’s for later- perhaps much later, I cross another third world "street",- it’s the concrete rubble where the motor vehicles speed along. Making room along my pathway for another wretched dog that likely wishes he was dead, I remember the screeching and thumps of suicidal animals that we hear on our "street" every week, more lucky corpses at rest, calling the more fortunate local vermin from their underground world to another meal. They eat well here.

Staring into the third world the glowing television screen offers, turning the channel away from the dirty, I try to clear the dirty from my mind. Another female body for sale, another murder, another scream, another attack, but don’t worry, the cops are on it. I find my clear channels of escape, and others wonder why I want to stare at a bird resting on a placid crisp body of water. It’s heaven somewhere today, in many places. There must be angels there, or are they busy collecting stories?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


(There are references to MySpace in this entry, because this is a copy and pasted blog entry from that page. If you wanna see my totally awesome myspace page, it's www.myspace.com/jedimasterbooboo)

(Every Filipino anywhere near myspace is going to be in my blog pronto with a title like that.)

So what does astig mean? Well, I might not know exactly, but I can provide some context.

My friends know awhile back I was vexed while correcting exams and on myspace here I put up an update with one of those distressed constipated looking faces, remember? Well I was correcting my sixth grade exams and one after another was just a train wreck. Horrifying. I kept looking at the names on top, 'who is this person, is this person even in my class, did they take the wrong test?'

Well, I discovered that all the crappy tests were on top, that's all. So before I started rethinking my entire teaching strategy, I came upon one that was beyond perfect, and I was elated. I wrote on the test in red pen, "You Rock!" and I don't typically say cheesy things like that, it's not really my style. I was just so happy.

Later, I got a card and a flower from my 6th graders and on the card, it said "You Rock!", ha ha. Then once when I was checking assignments, one student failed to do the essay question, but where the answer was supposed to be, in red pen was this fancy lettering that said "You Rock!", she had really worked on that a long time. I said, this doesn't help you, you still need to answer the question. They're just amazed with that saying.

Anyway, the students are always saying Astig! and then laughing. When we play review games in class and they have to pick team names, one side always picks Astig! and everyone laughs. When they say, Astig, they make that sign with their fingers that's like "love" or "the devil", or something, (I always get those two mixed up). So I asked them, what does Astig mean? The sixth graders didn't really answer to my satisfaction, so I asked my 4th year students...

They laughed at me and said, "It means You Rock!" I guess all the students talk about how I wrote that on Alicen's test (or whoever it was). Word spreads. I remember with the Koreans it was the exact same thing, but that school was so small and the students lived in a dorm together. This was a bit more surprising.

In my second year class I was standing by the whiteboard once and lost my balance and fell over into the room divider, so the whole thing almost broke and swayed back and forth, I said, "that's not a wall". That was a Friday, on Monday in my 4th year class one of the guys said, "Hey that's not a wall, ok?" and pointed to the room divider.


I found a photo to steal from flickr...this is nobody I know...That photo was called...Astig!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Yeah, the Hell's Angels Are Always Trying To Get Me, Too

Hell's Angels plotted to kill Mick Jagger in 1969, Yahoo story follows:

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger escaped an assassination plot hatched in 1969 by the Hells Angels, a new British Broadcasting Corp. documentary has claimed.

A program to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Monday says the rock star was the target of the plot following a purported dispute with the motorcycle gang over concert security.

Jagger had vowed not to use Hells Angel members as bouncers following the death in December 1969 of an 18-year-old fan at a notorious free performance at Altamont Speedway in Northern California.

In return, gang members hatched a plan to kill Jagger at his holiday home in Long Island, New York, the BBC claimed.

"The Hells Angels were so angered by Jagger's treatment of them that they decided to kill him," Tom Mangold, the presenter of the program, was quoted as telling Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

He said the plan was disclosed during an interview with Mark Young, a former FBI officer, for the BBC's "The FBI at 100" documentary.

Mangold said the men tried to reach Jagger by sea. "The boat was hit by a storm and all of the men were thrown overboard," he was quoted as saying. They all survived but made no other attempt on his life, Mangold said.

It was not clear whether Jagger was ever informed of the alleged plot against him.

LD Communications, Jagger's publicists in Britain, did not immediately return calls requesting comment.

The Hells Angels have always denied any connection with the Altamont Speedway killing.

They tried to get me once, but I borrowed a pair of platform shoes from the barkeep and did a dance on the bartop to the song Tequilla! And after that we were friends. They even gave me a motorcycle to drive away on, right into the sunset! But instead I hit a sign and wound up being rushed to the hospital. Actually that was good, because while confined, I saw some snot nosed kid on tv with my BIKE! So I went and got it and the rest is history.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

No Matter What, Watch This

Okay, this is sappy. But so worth it, watch the whole thing, and if you're in exactly the right mood, you'll be blown away.