Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Flip Side

I’ll see you on it, dear fiends. When is the flip side? Next month, on the 8th. At that point, my life will free up considerably for a while.

While getting ready for work this morning, I wondered why I’m having such a hard time with motivation to write lately. Lord knows I’ve been beyond busy in the past (school by day, rehearsing at night, teaching an online grad course, etc.) — why am I having such a rough go of it now? Writing is terribly important to me, and yet here it sits, on the back burner. It’s a mystery, but for only the third time in going on seven years of writing to you, I am going on a brief hiatus.

RtB is more than a passing interest or hobby for me. It’s a written record of my somewhat daily life; permanent, searchable, voluminous. It’s always been my hope that my grandchildren can use it someday in the distant future, after I’m long in the ground, to gain some insight on my love for them, my life at the time, and my general nuttiness. What I’m struggling with right now is a way to save it all to some sort of physical form. I’ve seen the “make your blog into a book” services, and they’re almost what I need, but on a self-hosted blog (that is, not hosted on Blogspot or Tumblr), it gets a little hairier.


I will say au revoir for now, but I shall return. I hope you will, too.

All the hugs.

Fink out, temporarily

Qu’est-ce que c’est?

(For those who care nothing about silly French, it’s pronounced kest kuh-SAY)

Mood: perturbed. I need some inner peace today.

WHAT IS IT? What IS it with people? Not that I’m 100% organic all the time, mind. Wagons are rickety and the ride is bumpy for a reason. Sometimes, folks fall off. I get that. But over the past two days, all of these things have happened:

  1. I’ve been cut off twice by drivers who neither look nor care to look anywhere except where they want to go.
  2. I’ve been spoken to like I’m nine.
  3. I’ve felt insulted by the behavior of a few of my students.
  4. I discovered that my school district paid $4,000 for a battery of standardized tests that indicate nothing, solve nothing and mean nothing.
  5. Despite the fact that the Cleveland Browns are showing some offense and competitiveness for the first time since 1999, “fans,” hiding behind the guarantee of anonymity, continue to dream up and write the most vile, mean-spirited and cruel comments on the web, wherever possible.
  6. I’ve been lied to, and I knew it, but the liar didn’t.

Now that’s a couple-a days, lemmetellya. Where can a rat get some tranquility around here? Still, as is my M.O., I will provide you with two wonderful things:

  1. I had a great rehearsal last night.
  2. It’s JAKE’S BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! (ya think I have enough !!!!s?) :-D Big boy is 7 today. Grammie loves him.

So I guess it’s not all bad, ja? Have a good whatever-it-is, fiends. Thanks for the listening eyes.


Une belle journée

The view from my front door on a cloudless, 49-degree fall morning. It smells fabulous outside.

And what could be better on this beautiful day than 1) the fact that it’s Friday, and 2) the imminent blast-off for my overnighter with most awesome fiend Suzanne.

Don’t you love autumn in the Midwest? Such a gorgeous day today. I’m almost packed and ready to go on my micro-mini solo Odyssey to spend some long overdue time with my favorite Dutch girl, who’s stateside only for a short while. I will enjoy the 4.5-hour drive north. Thanks to my fantastic and thoughtful children, I have a fully-loaded Starbucks gift card, so there’ll be no shortage of wakey-wakey en route (and as my family can tell you, I have been known to be unable to sleep in a moving car unless I’m driving). No worries, though. If I stay away from processed sugar and flour, I won’t get groggy from the post-garbage-in glucose crash.

I don’t often take a personal day from school. Most years, I don’t use them all, and there have been many years when I didn’t use a single one. Truth be told, I’m just not a great planner, and one has to plan ahead for personal days. Anyway, I’m glad to have this day off to get ready at my leisure, then make the run for the border around noon.

The Thriller and I laughed this morning about my not having to 1) bring my electric blanket for the hotel stay tonight, and 2) channel Nanook of the North in the car.

So have a great Friday, fiends — I’ll check in later.


It’s like anything else.

Writing for fun or profit — although I don’t know much at all about the latter — takes discipline. And lately, I’ve allowed too many other things to stand in the way of my time with you in the mornings. How to stop this hemorrhage of responsibility? One answer: having some things go “right” from time to time helps.

Of course, I’m not talking about the Cleveland Indians’ baffling inability to beat Detroit, or the ridiculous “reformers” ruining public education for good, or that upstanding citizen Ray Rice is appealing his NFL ban (and he’ll likely win, because, after all, no one died, and who do they think he is? Donte Stallworth? Ray Lewis? Sheesh, people), or that I lost my chocolate covered dried cherries to Pax last night when I left the room and absentmindedly forgot to put the lid on the box. Those things — not so right. But in spite of all this and more (refer to my last post, when I wanted to strangle things and people), wanna know what’s “right” in my world, besides my wonderful family?


And I hate to even say it because of the jinx factor, but regardless of the enormous morale problem teachers face today, and the asinine evaluations and testing based on nothing but profit at the expense of our children — there is joy in the choir room, and during musical rehearsals at night. Not every day and not of the highest caliber (yet), but there is decent music being made. Why wouldn’t I want to write about that? Refer to the last word in my opening sentence. Oy.

And looky: with every paragraph, I’m feeling more like my old self. How do you handle stuff like this? Prithee? Hmm? You know there’s a task that needs tasking, but you just put it off and put it off, allowing other things to insinuate their way into your routine. And the heck of it is that writing is something I adore. What fresh Hades is that? Please provide psychoanalysis below. I’ll wait here.

I’m still waiting.


Happy Monkday, all. Good to be back. The Bears, Packers and Browns all won yesterday; things are rosy in the Fink football family. For the moment, anyway.

Saving up

Fink, where have you been? I’m sure my 100 worldwide readers on the vast internet might wonder. Well fiends, I’ve been saving up. After what happened yesterday and last night, I have plenty to yammer on about. I just need the time in the morning to give it my best effort.

Suffice to say that this week has been a bit difficult in the time management area. When I get home at night, I’m pretty much worthless, and all I manage to do is maybe watch a little news, catch up with the Thriller, and get stuff ready to take to school the next morning. Not complaining, mind…it’s the way it is and has been for many years, so I’m good with it. Still, I know I’ve handled this better in years past; what’s going on here?

There are issues, however. I’m hoarding them at present, but I plan to give them away — to you — in the very near future. Just letting you know this morning that I haven’t completely dried up and blown away. I hope you’re well and enjoying this beautiful September weather, wherever you are.

In the meantime, I seethe. Updates forthcoming.

I’ll leave you with an exciting announcement to tide you over: Next Friday, I’m spending the evening and following morning with my favorite Dutch girl ever — RtB fiend Suzanne! She will be in the States (she makes it across the sea only once a year or so) visiting her mama in Michigan, so I’m making the drive to spend some quality time catching up and being generally silly. Can’t wait; it’s been far too long.

For now, though, I must fly to make my daily contribution to the music education of our youth, one wrong note at a time. Ta!