Day 364


Before I broke my hand, I signed on to supervise tonight’s school dance.  This was before the broken hand, before the broken spirit (thank you kindly frosty workplace, as yesterday’s slips of the tongue revealed), before the broken heart, before the broken sleep last night (and many more before that night), before the broken pain threshold (fucking hurts in the bones).  I wanted to bail.  I thought all afternoon about an out, about sixty-two outs.

And then, I thought about a model.  I thought about WWGD = What Would Gibbs Do.  He would keep his word.  Ultimately, I want to keep my word.

As has been made clear throughout this chronicle, there is a code by which I live.  These rules are fundamental parts of the ME version of me.  The best models, I have taken pieces of them.  The best ideas, I have developed elements from them.  The me version of me is a mosaic of these all.  Specific to this character though, these are the Gibbs-ean pieces of me:

Rule 1: Never screw over your partner.

Be the best of you, not the worst of them.  Treat others as you wish to be treated.  The Golden Rule.

Rule 3: Never be unreachable.

The code of the Don.  It’s why I sleep with my phone beside my pillow.

Rule 4: The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person – if you must. There is no third best.

I know my one.  I love my wife, my best friend, my confidant.

Rule 5: You don’t waste good.

Give your all, give your best.  Do all the good you possible can do.  Bring the love and care as best you can.  Be 100% in.  You do risk getting hurt, but the other way, you will waste good, waste life.

Rule 8: Never take anything for granted.

Look up.

Rule 10: Never get personally involved in a case.

Rule 12: Never date a co-worker.

Ok, broke those two  – but I said it was a mosaic of Gibbs and more, not a carbon copy.  And hell, he breaks the first rule constantly and as for the second, the NCIS series isn’t done yet!

Rule 14: Bend the line, don’t break it.

Don’t go so far or yell so loud that you become the problem, your message gets lost.  It does you and the cause a disservice.

Rule 15: Always work as a team.

Teamwork in family, work, marriage, even when you have to be the best of you as opposed to the worst of them.

Rule 18: It’s better to seek forgiveness than ask permission.

When in doubt, act like you’re supposed to be there.  When that doesn’t work, barrel through (case in point, 2011 Medical Tent incident in Penticton = importance of losing a swimmer supersedes grumpy-ass nurse). 

Rule 23: Never mess with a Marine’s coffee… if you want to live.

Same goes for tea (I’m thinking of you Tim Hortons double-double instead of double milk – yes, two years later I still remember this).

Rule 42: Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker punched you.

“I’m sorry” needs to matter.

Rule 45: Clean up the mess that you make.

Take responsibility for your actions.

Rule 51: Sometimes you’re wrong.

A hard lesson for me to learn.  It took me dropping to 135lbs and spending two weeks in a Mental hospital to come to this, to grow to this.  But I wouldn’t be here, be in this now, be on this path had I not.

The Unspoken Rule (as revealed by Mike Franks): You do what you have to do for family.

‘Nuff said.

So I will be a man of (or victim to) my word, because that’s the me version of me, because that’s the person that I want to be, because that’s what Gibbs would do.


Day 342


Fuck you.

Fuck your lack of appreciation.

Fuck your lack of care.

Fuck your forgetfulness.

Fuck your lack of Tz’u.

Fuck your blindness of heart.

Fuck your perky, obligatory, false, cursory bullshit.

I didn’t do this for you.

I didn’t do it for you.

I did it for the smile on the retiree’s face.

I did it for a colleague’s peace of mind.

I never need your satisfaction.

I never need your appreciation.

I never need your heart (with all its glitter and sparkles and cupcake sprinkles).

I never need your care.

I never need your Tz’u.

But nevertheless, fuck you.

I am tired, but I am satisfied because I care, I am the Don beyond you.

Are you satisfied?  Is a life of glittery blindness worth it?

Day 326


As we sat down to breathe for a half hour yesterday, my wife comforted me, telling me that I get misunderstood, that I’m a complex person.  I would say that I’m complicated.  I would say that I am difficult.  I would say that I am not easy (but nothing beautiful ever is…).

However, I would argue that I’m not all that complex.  Maybe in the world we live in, maybe here, I am complicated.  But complex, difficult to understand?  I would argue no.

My philosophy is not complex.  It is quite simple actually: strive to be the best version of me possible – with strength and respect – by helping and caring for others, loving ferociously and doing the most good I possibly can do.

It is why I was relieved to find out that my Boss had to go official based on Friday.  She did not ignore my feelings purposefully and even though I have a wealth of evidence to the contrary, the best version of me possible right now is framing this ignorance as having to go the official route and not out of sheer ignorance or frosty workplace philosophy.  Wearing my heart on my sleeve makes this emotional relief complicated, but it is not complex – I love, I hurt; I tilt at the windmills others ignore, knowing there are giants hiding behind them.

As the drug store cashier put it yesterday when I bought a $0.75 box of fancy Kleenex for my girl, as a just cause for the woman I love, “Wow, you’re simple!”

Day 324


The yellowing of a book. It denotes distortion, age, imperfection. But without that yellowing,  without that age, it has experienced nothing. It has experienced no sun, no brightness, no beautiful sunrises or sunsets.

Today, having somewhat gained a day by not having to work for my butcher and choosing to postpone my schoolwork, I indulged in a forlorn love.  Today, having had a yesterday like too many others – prepping breakfast for students before the sun came up and donating blood with a smile on my face when the rain and sun came down, having my feelings be ignored by my workplace all the while in between (yesterday’s little piece of blackness-dodging referred to this ignorance of care) – I indulged in books. To best facilitate this, I picked up one of the Flemings, knowing it would require full engagement to keep my ass on the ground. When I picked up the next one, I realized that where I had placed my Bond books, there was a top and bottom yellowing. The middle was pristine. The middle though had never beared witness to the amazingness that the world has to offer.

I could live somewhere easier. I could marry someone easier. I could vocation somewhere easier. I could stay pristine that way. But I would never know sunrises or sunsets. I would never know life. I would never know love.

Day 323


Sometimes I want to write it down to get it out.  Not after what happened today.

Instead, I cannot write it down.  If I do, it will become blackified.  If I let it out now, it won’t get it out.  The blackness will see my attempt to purge this gross misuse of me, grab hold of it and strangle me with it.

My mind won’t be able to rest if I do, so I need to separate myself from it, dissociate myself from the memory, for now.  I’m having enough trouble staying sane as it is, my mind racing during the day and keeping me up at night.  Blackness would only add to those nightmares.

Day 322


I need help with the school newsletter.  Ok, so I don’t need help in the sense that it won’t get done otherwise.  I need help with the school newsletter to stay sane.  I put out a call for assistance; I wish I hadn’t.  If I’d stayed quiet, I wouldn’t have heard the deafening silence emanating from this place.

Show no fear and don’t flinch.

Don’t let them take your strength, and more importantly, your Tz’u, your desire to be Don, your will to love.

I’ll be the best of me, not the worst of them.  Otherwise, they will have more than one victim.

Day 319


I wrote about the power of context when it came to literary interpretation before on Days 289 and 290.  I noticed it again today.  The importance of context has impact with regards to what I am reading for my Masters: Leithwood, K. and Duke, D. (1999).  A Century’s Quest to Understand School Leadership.  In Murphy, J. and Seashore, K. (Eds.) Handbook of Research on Educational Administration (Second Edition), pp  45-72. San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass. – A DENSE ARTICLE, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!

I am sure that five years ago, reading this article would have spoken to my Undergraduate education.  This article would have spoken to my equity lens, spoken to the sociology-inclined parts of me.  I would have thought about cultural capital being valued, particularly in a school with large Korean and Jewish populations, neither of whom follow traditionally Western trends in some areas of their lives.  I still thought about those things now.  But now, there was a lot more.

Now, the parts of the article that spoke to me, spoke to me about the darkness.  The parts of this article on leadership made me connect it to the shit, to the frosty workplace, to the people who do what they WANT to do as opposed to what they NEED to do [AN ASIDE ON THAT NOTE (can that be?): I have been in two meetings this past week where the other person took the cause in their direction, made the agenda THEIR agenda; even after I suggested to use the research we collected to inform our next steps, to collect more research about our population to make our actions matter to the students, they wanted to ignore these; instead, they wanted to do THEIR “good,” claiming to benefit students (and while this is a good thing when it comes to WANTS, i.e. jazz club, NEEDS should be based on doing STUDENTS’ good, being who they need us to be as opposed to strictly being what we want to be, because we lose them – they claim to be fore the students, while neglecting the students themselves), and yes, to the place that makes me want to drink too much.

The parts of the article that spoke loudest to me, made me wonder about feeling like a chess piece, like a pawn that is used until it is no longer useful, sacrificed for the Queen.