The Wonderful World of Mr. G #21

 

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Well, it’s been a while since I sent anything out, so here’s the latest from Mr. G! See that picture up above? That is a picture of the greatest donut shop in the history of the world, and it has been my go-to place for donuts ever since I was a little kid. They only open when they want to and they have a very limited amount of donuts, but as a whole, it really is the best donut shop in the history of the world. Did I repeat myself?

The place is called Morgan’s Bakery and as you can see from the picture, it has been in business since 1948. Everything is good, but I particularly like the chocolate twists, which are phenomenal, and something I would assume are dipped in crack and MSG before being served to the customers. I went in that day wanting one donut and ended up eating three. OH, THE SHAME!

It is currently a rainy afternoon in Canada and I am sitting on the floor of the living room at my father-in-law’s house. We have already been to Oklahoma for the summer and will be venturing to Montreal on the 1st of July to live a bit of the French lifestyle. It should be oh-so-fun.

While I was at my mother’s house in Oklahoma, I did what I’d been meaning to do for a while, which was to go through that old box of “stuff” at the bottom of the bathroom closet, which houses all kinds of Randall P. Girdner memorabilia that I’m sure will be worth massive amounts of money someday. Some of the first things I found were my report cards from my senior year. So embarrassing. For all my constant harassment of you yahoos and your cases of senioritis, you should all know that, when I was 18 years old, I had a grand case of it, too.


Yes, that was my grade in chemistry. I never got a “C” until my senior year. Pretty shameful as a whole. In the 4th quarter, I was doing okay, but after that, I must have been a bit off. My chemistry teacher’s name was Ms. Elliott, and though I’m sure she was a fine teacher, I don’t think she liked me much. (That’s a dirty little secret that us teachers have…sometimes, we just don’t like you…and by “you”, I’m not talking about YOU…I’m talking about the others that are not like “you”. Or maybe I didn’t like you…Who knows?). Anyway, that was pretty bad. Have a look at this:

Here’s my grade for PE my senior year. You may wonder why I had to take PE my senior year. Well, it was because I didn’t have enough PE credits after quitting football, so I had to have it. Notice that, during the 4th quarter, I had zero absences. That was not technically true. I managed to convince the college intern that I would go get him food if he let me drive his car to go get it. I ended up going to get food for him almost every day and very rarely attended class. Ah, could the Oklahoma education system be better than that?

Did I ever tell you that story about the Health teacher that let me skip class as long as I did well on the final exam? I may have embellished that a little bit, because I thought that I got an “A” on that final exam. It turns out that I only got an “85”, but that’s pretty good for a guy who never went to class, right? And notice my grade!

I had “Honors English” my senior year as well. That was for the smart kids. As you might be able to surmise, my grades did not reflect my intelligence. I had eight absences over the course of the semester. That was the maximum you were allowed without failing the course. AND I had six tardies. It was the FIRST CLASS OF THE DAY! What do you expect? Either way, look at that semester exam grade, baby! Still, this was somewhat shameful. I really went downhill my senior year. The good news is that, at the same time, I was taking classes at my university and got all “As”. Pretty good.

Even more shameful than all of this, I found my PSAT grades as well. Check this out…

Oof! That’s embarrassing. 87 out of 100 on the verbal portion and 46 (!) on the math. I knew I was bad at math, but really, I wasn’t THAT bad. I might not have really been “on the ball” that day. That’s why I don’t like tests. The funny part is that I still probably had a much higher score than most of my Tahlequah classmates. Yeesh!

I found some other fun stuff in there, too. Like this:

That’s me on the right in 9th grade at our big “coronation” dance. My friend, Roschan, and I were stylin’ in our tuxes and running shoes. Good times. Or how about this:

Here’s the Student Council page from my 9th grade yearbook. I was president. One might find me in several of the pictures on this page. I was so cool.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for now.

Here’s a few updates on what I’m doing:

1. Still writing my “The Fictional and Unsanctioned Travel Guide to Walt Disney World”. I’m almost done with The Magic Kingdom and will start on EPCOT next. This is taking WAY too long to do.
2. Currently reading: Spider-Verse (a collection of Spider-Man comics from the last year) and “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis, an account of how corrupt the stock market actually is.
3. Movies I’ve seen: WHIPLASH was the best film of last year. Hated Jurassic World. Cried almost through the whole of Inside/Out, which is the best movie of 2015, so far. I’m such a wimp. Mad Max was “Meh Max”. Not so great. I also enjoyed “The Kingsmen”.
4. TV? Silicon Valley is my current favorite show, followed by Veep.
5. Music? U2, U2, U2! Seeing them on the 6th in Toronto and then on the 18th and 19th in NYC. Here’s a video. They pulled a guy up from the audience to play with them. It’s quite funny…

Write me a letter to let me know what you’re up to, kiddos. And for those of you who wrote me in May and I haven’t written back, I WILL WRITE YOU BACK. I got very busy as school was letting out and didn’t have time to write proper mail.

Super-Heroes Are Your Friends!

Greetings lads and lasses!

Mr. G here with another missive from the land of Dhaka, where I find myself ensconced in my apartment after a day of teaching at the school. We only have six weeks left (!), so things are starting to wind down here in Bangladesh and I am very much looking forward to the summer. Summer, ladies and gentlemen, is like a giant sigh of relief for one’s brain. A lot of people look at teachers and say, “Oh, those lazy buttheads get the summer off! They’re so lazy!” But what those people don’t understand is that teaching is a very mentally taxing career. Putting up with a bunch of butthead students grinds a person down throughout the course of the year. What makes it worse is dealing with a bunch of butthead teachers on top of all that. By this point in the year, I have a tendency to just disappear into my room and have as little contact with anyone other than my students for as long as possible.

In other news, it’s that time of year again! Time for another Marvel movie, kiddos! On Saturday, I took the family to see Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. My spoiler-free review is this: There were too many compelling stories and too many compelling characters and not enough time to spend with those stories and characters. I guess we’re all just too used to television, where stories and characters are given time to breathe. I am reminded of my favorite show at the moment: The Flash. The storyline for The Flash this season could have been told in a single movie, but that doesn’t work for television. They have to build characters and have a storyline unfold throughout the course of 22 episodes, rather than tell the whole thing in two hours.

That was the problem with Avengers. They just had too much going on. I like all of those characters too much and would have been happy with a six-hour Avengers movie. Sadly, it was only 2.5 hours (although I have heard rumors that there will be a 3+ hour version of the movie when it is released on television, so let us keep our fingers crossed).

Still, overall, I liked the film, even with all of its flaws.

And you’ll all be happy to know that I am continuing the Mr. G tradition of taking students to see Marvel films. We are all headed to the theater on Wednesday (50 of us!) to see the movie and we are quite looking forward to it. Supposedly, we have a theater reserved just for us, but that’s a story that can’t be told here.

Hmm…what else? This summer, we will be in Toronto for a week, Tahlequah (Oklahoma) for a week, and then we will be spending a month in Montreal. I am very much looking forward to spending some time in a new Canadian city. In addition to that, I will be seeing U2 on tour not once, not twice, but THREE times. “That’s ridiculous, G!” you might say, and I would agree with you, but I am still looking forward to it. I am taking the whole family to see them in Toronto, then I will be flying by myself to New York City to see them at Madison Square Garden. It should be a hoot and I’m very excited.

Anyway, here’s my list of the month:

TV: Veep, Silicon Valley, Survivor, Amazing Race, Daredevil, Community

Movies: Last movie I saw was Imitation Game. It was good. Haven’t watched anything since.

Books: I am currently reading “Ready Player One” and am expecting an Amazon delivery of Christopher McDougal’s new book about endurance athletes (I can’t remember the name). And, of course, I am teaching “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the moment.

Music: Well, of course, I am listening to a LOT of U2 at the moment. Their new album (the one everyone was mad at them for putting on their phones) is called “Songs of Innocence” and it is truly spectacular. Someday, I will write a long essay about how awesome U2 actually is and you will all listen.

Okay, that’s it. As always, I would love to hear from each and every one of you, so write me an email to let me know you’re alive…

Mr. G

2014 (and a bit of 2015) – 52 Films

It’s done!

And it only took a year and two months!

Okay, so a lot of you spent this last year with me and you would be sitting beside me and hear my phone ding. Some of you may have thought, “That Mr. G is certainly rude! Answering text messages when he should be teaching!”

The truth of the matter was that that “ding” was a reminder for me to take my “Video of the Day” and I dutifully took that video every day, from February 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. Every day, I filmed something. Whether it was something exciting, something beautiful, and, sometimes most interestingly, something absolutely mundane.

My ultimate goal was to edit all of these together, which seemed like a daunting task. I have avoided it for the last few months. BUT, I sat down last week and said to myself, “Time to work…” I put together all 365+ videos into one, gigantic compilation, which you will find here.

It’s 40 minutes long. Some of you might find it absolutely boring. Some of you might find it absolutely fascinating. Some of you probably don’t even read these things.

The odds are very high that if you’re reading this, then you are IN this video in one way or another. If that’s the case, congratulations! Don’t sue me if you were ugly that day. I was going to list everyone that was in the video, but that would have taken FOREVER, and I had no interest in doing that.

Please feel free to share this with people. My hope is that youtube won’t take it down, because I’ve got a ton of copyrighted music in this video. We shall see. If they do, then I’ll just host it on my own site.

If you have any questions, let me know!

I’m Baack…

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I’m sure you missed me…

Hello everybody! Or as Dr. Nick Riviera would say, “HI, EVERYBODY!”

Mr. G here. I’m sure you’ve all been wondering to yourselves, “Gee, I wonder what G has been up to!” Well, I’ve been busy, people. Very, very busy.

Bangladesh is going well, as far as we can see, but in all honesty, we never really leave the diplomatic enclave in which we live. It’s not because we don’t want to explore, but more because there is lots of political turmoil in Bangladesh at the moment and there is the potential of danger if we were to travel anywhere outside the “safe” zone. Basically, that means that we live in an approximately two square mile zone and never leave. That can be bad at times (the political party out of power likes to throw firebombs), but can be good as well, because it means MR. G NEVER HAS TO LEAVE HIS HOUSE.

In my career as a teacher, I’ve had snow days and things like that, but last Wednesday, I had a political violence day, which meant that we, along with everyone else in the school, was confined to our houses from midnight to midnight. We were asked not to go outside for fear of escalating violence.

Of course, there was no violence. We sat around our house, had a picnic on the roof of the building, and enjoyed ourselves. They lifted the restriction by noon and all was well. It was a lot like that “typhoon day” in Shanghai, where everyone was prepared for the city to be hit by a massive typhoon and it turned out to be a sunny, beautiful day. Good times.

In other news, a few weeks ago, we had our “Discovery Trips”, which are the AISD equivalent of Shanghai’s “China Trips”. The entirety of the high school and middle school took off to various places around the area to explore. 3 HS teachers and I took a group to Bhutan, which is a difficult place to get into, because it’s not really big on the tourist scene. I made a couple of videos of the trip, which you can find here. Look under Week 7 and 8, respectively, to watch the videos.

That being said, I’m still producing my videos of the week. I’m behind, but up to Week 8. Some are good, some are bad. Some are experimental and some are the typical Mr. G videos. Quite a mix.

On the creative front, there’s not much happening. I am trying to get The Wizard of New York City ready for publication. I was working on a vampire novel before February, but I’ve stopped that at the moment, because I was kind of bored with it. I might go back and reread it later. I also wrote a horror script in January called “The Scottish Play”, but it wasn’t that hot. I will get started on something else soon, but I’m not sure what.

All right, that’s all I’ve got. I hope all is well with the lot of you. If you get bored, drop me a line and let me know what’s happening. For those of you in Shanghai, be prepared, because next year at this time, I’m headed back to go to Disneyland. I expect SOMEONE to get me some free tickets.

And a free place to stay.

Oh, and could you also buy my plane ticket for me?

Mr. G

And remember…

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52 Films – Week 8

52 Films – Week 7

52 Films – Week 6

52 Films – Week 5

52 Films – Week 4

52 Films – Week 3

100 Rickshaws by Moi!