<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d10284079\x26blogName\x3d216+Tao\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://taotran.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://taotran.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d500753595053131317', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Shit Hitting the Fan

Wednesday, March 29
Some people would find it hard to believe that I’m any good at poker – my face says too much. I was walking back to my class and my vice principal asked, “Hey amigo, you all right?” Then another co-worker asked the same thing. They all could see the frustration on my face – by the end of the day I almost snapped at a student.

He made some ignorant comment that was supposed to sound like a white man’s interpretation of what Chinese was supposed to sound like. I took in a deep breath and explained to him that what was said was disrespectful to me, and then he said it wasn’t meant for me to hear. When I said I did hear him, he replied that it wasn’t his problem that I had heard it. I took in another deep breath and let him stand there. He’s what people call IEP – politically correct folk call him a child with special needs, I call him a fucking retard that still has problems figuring which end is his head and which is his ass.

All these things raced through my mind. I wanted to apologize for the fact that his mother was high on cocaine and decided to fuck her brother for a score, and that his dad [who’s also his uncle] didn’t pull out in time. I wanted to apologize for the fact that he’d lose a game of Scrabble to a tube of toothpaste. I want to apologize for the fact that society had to develop the “spork” because he was too stupid to distinguish the two. I wanted to apologize for the fact that he could only win at “Memory” if all the cards had the same picture on all of them. I wanted to apologize for the fact that he was the poster child for inbreeding and crack babies. And most importantly, I wanted to apologize for the fact that he couldn’t put a sentence together unless he had his flashcards in front of him.

I told my vice principal, “It’s not the fact that the shit hits the fan, the truth is that the shit from yesterday never came off.”

The Letter from Valerie

Tuesday, March 21
It is difficult for me to tell people why I like V for Vendetta. I would say dialogue, but I could not quote it to prove it. So here is an excerpt from the original comic book dialogue, one of the most powerful scenes in the movie:

I was born in Nottingham in 1957, and it rained a lot. I passed my eleven plus and went to girl’s grammar. I wanted to be an actress. I met my first girlfriend at school. Her name was Sara. She was fourteen and I was fifteen but we were both in Miss Watson’s class. Her wrists, her wrists were beautiful. I sat in Biology class, staring at the pickled rabbit fetus in its jar, listening while Mr. Hird said it was an adolescent phase that people outgrew…Sara did. I didn’t.

In 1976, I stopped pretending and took a girl called Christine home to meet my parents. A week later, I moved to London, enrolling at Drama College. My mother said I broke her heart… but it was my integrity that was important. Is that so selfish? It sells for so little, but it’s all we have left in this place. It is the very last inch of us… but within that inch, we are free.

London. I was happy in London. In 1981 I played Dandini in Cinderella – my first rep work. The world was strange and rustling and busy, with invisible crowds behind the hot lights and all that breathless glamour. It was exciting and it was lonely. At nights I’d go to Gateways or some of the other clubs, but I was stand-offish and didn’t mix easily. I saw a lot of the scene, but I never felt comfortable there. So many of them just wanted to be gay. It was their life, their ambition, all they talked about. And I wanted more than that.

Work improved. I got small film roles, then bigger ones. In 1986, I starred in ‘The Salt Flats’. It pulled the awards but not the crowds. I met Ruth while working on that. We loved each other. We lived together, and on Valentine’s Day, she sent me roses, and oh god, we had so much. Those were the best three years of my life. In 1988 there was the war, and after that there were no more roses. Not for anybody. In 1992, after the take-over, they started rounding up the gays. They took Ruth while she was out looking for food. Why are they so frightened of us? They burned her with cigarette ends and made her give my name. She signed a statement saying I’d seduced her. I didn’t blame her. God, I loved her. I didn’t blame her. But she did. She killed herself in her cell. She couldn’t live with betraying me, with giving up that last inch.

Oh Ruth. They came for me. They told me that all my films would be burned. They shaved off my hair. They held my head down a toilet bowl and told jokes about lesbians. They brought me here and gave me drugs. I can’t feel my tongue anymore. I can’t speak. The other gay woman here, Rita, died two weeks ago. I imagine I’ll die quite soon. It is strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years I had roses and apologized to nobody.

I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish, except one – an inch. It is small and it’s fragile and it’s the only thing in the world that’s worth having. We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us. I don’t know who you are, or whether you’re a man or woman. I may never see you. I will never hug you or cry with you or get drunk with you. But I love you. I hope you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and things get better, and that one day people have roses again. I wish I could kiss you.


And I Prefer It That Way

These rants always come at odd times – when I can’t sleep, when I should be sleeping, and when I do sleep it’s to the TV still on. I dreamt I was sitting in line for an indoor amusement park, and the woman that stood in front of me was frantically hiding the fact that she had hair plugs. I woke up to the infomercial.

I was listening to Johnny Cash’s rendition of “Hurt,” originally done by Trent Reznor [NIN] on the way home from KN’s house. They cooked chicken paprikash for dinner. I had this realization, “Don’t trust a man without a tragedy.”

But don’t mistake him for the weak man that wears his tragedy around his neck like a chain, a dog collar. He just wants you to pity him in order for you to give him a kinder, gentler life – the life we always want to give to our own children. Don’t trust him, but trust the man that uses his tragedy to connect to the men that lost their entire lives on a bad bet, a wrong turn, or on dumb luck.

Yesterday I realized I’m a better story teller than I am a teacher, and I prefer it that way.

Don't Take it Personal

Monday, March 20
There’s another siren screaming down the street. It’s just another posted note about how something else in this world is wrong. Last week consisted of memos and emails from by boss or my co-workers barking about what we’re all doing wrong. I was yelled at by a parent – she came in lecturing me as if I was her own child, and when asked who was to be blamed – I said the state mandates were, the one’s that changed just last week.

I was yelled at by students. Somehow I was to be blamed for their short comings. I’d go into it, but the arguments aren’t important – it was more so how they came in the multitudes. And when I’m at the brink of breaking, my co-workers just say, “Don’t take it personal.”

Is it that easy to wash away words, and I’m too ignorant to do it? The school says, “Know your students.” And I do – I know how fucking terrible their lives are, and they have more bad days than good. They’re not happy, and if I were them I wouldn’t be either. And I ask the school – do you know how bad their lives are, and if you did – I know you wouldn’t be able to stomach it.

Abuse, death, rapes, stabbings, gunfights, and evictions – each word by itself is strong, but each day they’re told to you, they stain you. Go home and sleep it off, but tomorrow will be the same battle this time you’ll just wreak of yesterday, the day before, and the day before that.

Go home and drink it away, but you’ll still remember. Go sleep it off, but you’ll only dream of today and when you wake up – you go back to it. And all you can feel is the stress of it all, the stress of yesterday grown fatter from the pending stress of today.

Where's Your Corona, Babe?

Tuesday, March 7
I don’t hate Harry Potter, but I hate Harry Potter fans. Does that make sense? That’s my same feeling about The Dave Matthew’s Band and Leonardo DiCaprio. I don’t mind them personally, but I mind the people that practically worship these things.

American Idol fans, Clay Aiken fans, Oprah Book Club members – all right, I hate them all completely, I can’t lie about that. And people that have an unhealthy relationship with John Lennon, Tupac, Cobain, and anything related to the Beatles. Their music is great, but save your hero worship for the church, people.

And in saying that, I hope those that are as sadistic as I am find joy in this link:
Where is your Hermione now?

Four Random Ideas

Monday, March 6
I talked to my friend and co-worker CC, a tall, big, black woman. She told me about her boyfriend, a big, black man. She said, “I’m a big woman, I need a big man.” She has known him for about 12 years, and I told her – dating is nice, but getting back out there and having to learn people is exhausting, constantly having to expose yourself to strangers – like an overworked flasher. CC said, “Women these days don’t keep it real. I fart in front of him, and when we have ‘relations’ and it’s bad – I turn to him and tell him, that was crap. And if I’m slacking, he turns to me and say – now you’re just getting lazy.”

I said to TT, “When I offered to fly out to California, she said – no, it’s all right. Then I was even pushy and said, no I really will fly out there. When is it good for you, and she said no – really it’s not important.” And TT said, “She might be playing coy. Women are like that.” I said, “I have a mortgage. I have students. I have police officers to talk to, and if I’m going to buy a ticket in a month I need to know if I’m going in a month. I need to take time off. I need to shop for prices. I’m pretty simple – if you want to see me, tell me, if you don’t, then say so. I really don’t have the fucking time to listen to your fucking sub-text. Just be frank with me. Is that so difficult to tell me what you actually want?”

KC said that one of our common students was having problems in school. His attendance is slacking and so is his behavior, and when I told him that it was about a girl – he said that I was probably right. I said, “It’s always been the woman. From the start it was a woman, all she had to fucking do was not eat the fucking apple. How difficult was that one?”

It’s difficult to ask anything of people, maybe because they believe that everyone has a motive. Maybe 'Said Person' couldn’t ask me to see her because she believed I had a motive behind it, and when I say no – it makes me out to sound like a liar. It reminds me of when I talked to KN and asked, “What are you doing this weekend?” And she asked why. I told her if she could pick me up to take me to Chicago this weekend, and she said she could be here in Ohio on Friday. I can ask those things of my friends, but when I ask those things of people that only call me their friend – I look a bit insane.

Kiss Me, I Was Irish In A Past Life

Wednesday, March 1
I’ll post something concrete after progress reports are done, but in the mean time, for St. Patrick’s Day, I’m thinking about making shirts that will read the following and I’m going to look into iron-on’s, if it’s economically possible. No fifty dollar bullshit.

I was thinking about something along the lines of:

1) Kiss Me, Because Eventually I’ll Look Irish.
2) Kiss Me, My Girlfriend Says It’s Not Cheating Because You’re Irish And Just A Big Fucking Drunk.
3) Kiss Me, I Was Irish In A Past Life

Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestive things that we can write about people’s mothers? What do you think? It won’t be a contest, but I’ll post pictures of the shirt with a saying better than mine on the website – if one exist. They’ll be pictures of me before I get drunk, during my drunkenness and groping, and somebody will probably take one of me while my ass is hanging out – it’s all for you people. That is the extent of my love and commitment to you all.