(or Corona Ain’t All That Bad – can we stop bitchin’ about it?)
My my – it has been a spell, no? You would reason that with all this newfound time that’s been thrust upon me since 13 March I would be blogging up a storm. Alas, my attentions have been focused elsewhere during this Longest Summer.
As you’re aware, my New Mexican comrades, the Governor sounded the death knell of proper schooling and forced the lot of us to once again return to the unreliable wasteland that is the online classroom. Despite my stance on the Angry Flu™ and how we’re blowing things out of proportion, I find myself near-hamstrung by her latest imperial edict. Render unto Caesar and all that jazz, but really, we’re going to stay at the bottom in education if we don’t have butts in seats. That’s simply the best way to learn: with an instructor pointing out your errors and praising your successes in person.
Na ja – it’s out of my hands. No use complaining at this point.
But as I have oft reminded my charges and my equally melancholic colleagues, we have a duty. And although that duty now takes us to the uncertainties of online learning (and all the mischief that entails), my personal feelings on the matter are moot. My duty remains the same: the kids.
In short, I do not look forward to online learning and yearn for the day we return to the classrooms – triumphant and filled with energy – but I will seize the proverbial hill because duty must come first.
Also: stop talking down to us, Governor Lukewarm Grizzlyham. You shit, same as everyone else, and you’re not special. Your war against public education in the name of safety is a farce.
Now then: enough political grandstanding and melancholic overtones. Let’s get into the meat and potatoes, eh?
The Longest Summer has been one filled with a defeatist attitude but one wherein I have attempted to focus my energies in different, positive directions. Though I dislike my calling is threatened with extinction from the Imperial City of Santa Fe, at the very least, this forced quarantine of ineptitude has allowed me to start and finish a good amount of projects and ideas, giving me ample time to focus on my studies and those around me. In a sense, the mask forced upon me by an uncompromising and out-of-touch elitist merely turned my thoughts inward. Sort of like a Camino without all the walking about.
Much has transpired since 13 March, but let me relate some of the more compelling. Some things worthy of remembrance during this Longest Summer:
- a new garden, fire pit, and yard maintenance schedule;
- dedicated Dungeons and Dragons groups with my former students at the new FLGS;
- started a new Warhammer 40k army just in time for 9th edition;
- tattoos (naturally);
- the loss of 20 pounds of fat body to be replaced by panty-moistening muscle;
- finished Meditations by the Emperor (among dozens of other books);
- homemade hand sanitizer with just a hint of apricot;
- shindigs and get-togethers on the weekly;
- finally created my famed Beer Coaster Table;
- bitchin’ tan (you really should see me naked, ladies);
- no corona (because, Catholic: don’t believe in germs!).
Enjoy, then, a few pictures (from my shitty flip-phone’s exquisite camera) with really fucking clever captions as I relate the tale of the Longest Summer. Tis but a snippet of the comings and goings of this year.
My father, brother, and a few of the lads helped me begin the quarantine by removing a rotten tree from the backyard. An apt symbolism afoot, methinks; interpret as you will. To celebrate the swift removal of the honored dead, we then built a fire pit in the backyard because, well, you gotta burn that shit somewhere. A few barbeques and cook-outs later (in absolute direct defiance of Imperator Loosejam Groxhum), I daresay the fire pit has become one of my favored pastimes: nothin’ like sitting around a fire with friends and family, talkin’ shit, drinkin’ and smokin’ up a storm. No amount of legislation can conquer the human spirit.
And what would be a fire pit without a source of fresh things to roast or fry above the roaring flames and the still-burning embers? To that end, and honoring my commitment to Forrest, I secured a number of llantas and filled them all manner of vegetable matter. Originally planted in March, I now find myself with a metric shit-ton of produce; my bounty makes an excellent gift. Having grown all these things from innocuous seedlings, it is quite the delight to share them as meals with friends and family. Again, in direct defiance of Regina Loose’um Grinharm. And it has been quite fun experimenting with recipes of all sorts; got a knack for growing pickling cucumbers!
But that warn’t the only home improvement project perfected during this perfidious time. No, far from it, for I finally got around to doing proper yard maintenance. Gone are a great number of weeds (conveniently burnt as offerings to Nature in the new fire pit) and order has been established in front and back. It looks clean; quite nice really. And since I’m renting this place from the Church, well, it seems my Christian duty to care for what was entrusted to me. Shame it took a global pandemic to get me off my fat ass to do something productive and beautifying, but at least I have accomplished something tangible. Now if I could only get those goddamned neighbor cats to stay out of my flower beds.
But the beautification of the outside is meaningless without the purification of the Self. To that end, comrades, rather than piss and moan about the latest from Obstfuhrer Louishan Gristlehem, I found it far more productive and beneficial to turn that negative energy into something worth pursuing: the Self. Certainly, I was robbed of a Camino adventure this summer, but I am not unique. The entire world has been plunged into madness: I am not special. At the very least, I took this Santa Fe-imposed exile to further my studies in philosophy and Self. Fuck me, I’ve been reading an awful lot. And it is rather nice having all the books on shelves, ready for a delightful day-beer, accompanied by the burning ember of a intoxicating cigarette, with Helios keeping beat in the sky.
You should read more.
And what would be the Longest Summer without some mention of school? Lo, my yearbook goombas produced and finalized this year’s book a week after dread 13 March: we sold every single copy. And, fuck me, it looks great. Little fuckers went full ham on it. It was a delight passing them out – even in this excruciating heat – and seeing my seniors as students for the last time. Ah, class of 2020; how I always dreamt of watching you walk the stage. And yet, this Longest Summer has been equally enjoyable for your graduation parade has no comparison. Kudos, goombas. And speaking of kudos, class of 2021:
Y’ALL. FUCKIN’. KILLED. THE. AP. EXAM.
Seriously, those little fuckers went and broke so many kneecaps CollegeBoard is officially considered a cripple. Best showing the school has seen in some time and all the credit belongs to my goombas. Good work; y’all made me exceptionally proud (in the off-chance you’re reading this, though you shouldn’t be dabbling with this nonsense).
Verily, the Longest Summer has also been the strangest. The uncertainty of school looms e’er closer, but at least I can take heart and look back upon this one as a successful foray into the Self and discipline. Far from a saint, certainly (still your loveable, drunken, womanizing, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed pseudo-philosopher). Though I dislike the damage wrought by Santa Fe and that irascible woman with the poor highlights and penchant for jewelry stores (rules for them; rules for us), I take heart in knowing that this summer, though uniquely strange, has prepared my Self for the road ahead.
As Herger from The 13th Warrior says: “Go and hide in a hole if you wish; you won’t live a second longer. Fear profits a man nothing.”
Take heart, comrades, and be without fear. This school year – indeed the future – remains undecided and uncertain. But at least we can secure succor from the Self. Here’s hoping your Longest Summer has been fulfilling. Enjoy the ensuing photos of every-day nonsense.