I honestly can’t remember the last time that I wrote in my blog.  I guess if I wasn’t lazy, I would just look at the time and date stamp on my last post but that would take too much time and effort … maybe that is yet another reason that I am in the current predicament that I am in.  I say this as I listen to Jim Gaffigan’s station on Pandora, because I need a laugh or two, right about now.  And this is what usually happens; I try to distract myself from the tough, life choices by listening to comedians talk about their shitty lives that make others laugh.  I sit here wondering what my next step is.

I currently am on “Summer Vacation” , which means that I am preparing lesson plans, power points and other classroom activities while trying to study for my certification exams and from time to time trying to be the “best husband” and the “best father” that I can be.  All these activities and I cannot stay focused to save my life.  I am also trying to work out without pain but more on that later.

As I said before, I have been doing a lot of things lately to distract myself from bettering myself and I wonder which definition I am really following sometimes.  I am (simply put) an overweight, school teacher, that is trying his best to get through each and every day with FEAR.  But there are 2 different definitions of the word FEAR.


I am afraid of many things right now:

  1. Life changes
  2. Family health issues
  3. Health issues of my own
  4. Job” fun”


In no particular order and promising not to cover all numbers due to some situations getting too real or far too personal:

  1. Family health issues – It has been a while and I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned that my wife is a cancer survivor but there you go. She has been fighting this horrible disease for years and that fucking word “terminal” is now attached to her cancer. I, like many of our friends and family, pray for her and our family almost every day.  I stand there in awe with the amount of treatments and pain that she goes through and feel useless because I can’t do anything to help take away the pain.  Her good days probably 10 – 100 times worse than your worst days but she is still able to produce a smile, laugh at my dumb jokes and even tear into the occasional dumbass that decides to make an off comment about her loss of hair.  My wife says that I am a “fixer” and I end up beating myself up more because I can’t do more for her.  I would love to have that creepy power that the inmate had in the Green Mile, so that I could absorb her cancer and spit it out into the darkness like little flies that burn into nothingness but this isn’t Hollywood and yet again … I have stepped out or the real world to try and entertain myself.
  2. My Own Health Issues – As I said before, I am an overweight teacher. I am also a new member of the 40 year old club and that my friends, according to the trainer at the gym, are another reason that my health issues will be harder to correct. I have a laundry list of health issues that range from high blood pressure to herniated disks in my lower back to cracked knee cap to my body NOT producing vitamin B or enough oxygen to keep itself upright.  So with all that going for me … aren’t I a catch (pause for the crickets and wait for my wife to read this and come punch me in the arm)? This summer I have been doing my best to swim, ride bikes with one wheel, walk on treadmills and lift an ass load of weights (not including my own) but have nothing but gain 10 pounds.

gym diet

That would be the opposite of success if you weren’t following along.

I even started taking testosterone shots to hopefully help with the muscle recovery and weight loss but all that it has done so far is make me about 100 times moodier (if that’s a word) and making me really emotional (crying at old movies and crap like that).  Not really sure what I was expecting from these shots but the last time I checked, testosterone is supposed to be a good thing for men not making me find my corner in the bedroom and contemplating why the universe exists.

I have been looking at everything that is going on with those awesome glasses that allow me to look into the past and be an awesome “Monday morning quarterback” and have come to the understanding that (wait for it) getting sick or needing medical healthcare is expensive as all get out.  I actually looked up the procedure for selling my nuts to pay for some of these medical bills but found out that they don’t pay for your nuts … they consider them a DONATION.


But bills are bills and medical bills are insane.  No joke.  I went to the doctor for our son to get a checkup and the lady at the counter actually said this, “If it is just a checkup, it will be $35 but if the doctor prescribes anything or says that he needs a shot, the visit will now be anywhere from $195 to $450…is that okay?”  Can you guess what I said?  I fucking walked out and will be patiently waiting for his yearly physical.

What’s the next step?

I don’t know but if any of you win the lottery … I can help prove that money can buy happiness just by accepting a generous donation that could possibly payoff either my student loans or our medical bills.

Check ya later!!!


Christmas Memories that don’t suck!

With Christmas creeping around the corner, I woke up with this memory that made me smile till I cried.  So here we go.

It was Christmas of 1993 or 1994 and my Mom and Dad had invited my aunt from the Valley up for Christmas with the family.  By doing that, this meant that my older brother Robert and I had to “willingly” give up our beds for the family and we took the floor in the living room.  Our house was full that Christmas break with four adults and four “kids” under the age of eighteen.  Mom and Tia had already planned out the assembly line for the Garcia pan de polvo that was part of the Christmas plates that Mom always made for the people that she didn’t know what to get a gift for.  This year I was at both the front and the back of the assembly line.  I had to cut the cookies, place them on the sheets and after they were cooked and powdered, I had to “neatly” organize them into those weird Tupperware bowls that almost every mom had back in the 70s and 80s.

Each plate had a piece of sweet bread, some pan de polvo, a tamale or two and that ribbon candy that mom would search most of Alice and Kingsville for in order to make the plates complete.  This year I had promised Mom and Dad that I would deliver those plates to one and all.  So armed with my trusty mix tape and my dollar store Santa hat, I loaded up the Bandit (our 1986 Nissan Truck) with all the plates and went on my way.  Little did I know that, my brother always requested to do the deliveries because everyone always gave him extra cookies, candies, or tamales…well this time it was my time to indulge.  I remember leaving the house at around 11am and didn’t get home until a little after 6pm.  My cousins had asked if we were going to midnight mass but our Tia Sara told the kids that we would go to church in the morning after we opened presents.

After my brother and I started to set up the “visitor bed”, also known as our thickest blanket on the floor, two pillows and a cover sheet, we laid down at the foot of the Garcia Christmas tree.  I remember looking up at the tree, covered in at least 3 strands of lights and somewhere near 300 ornaments (including every ornament ever made by me or my brothers and the special memory ornament that mom took the time to find for everyone in the family) and smelling of warmed up, fake plastic branches and lit up the entire living room and dining room with no problem at all and hearing footsteps.

My brother Robert pretends to wake up and says, “Santa? Is that you?”

Mind you, my brother is an 18 year old at this point and my Mom tells him to shut up as she begins to swat him with one of her leather sandals (the chankla).  Mom then walked to the bathroom and on her way back she stopped by and said, “Just remember the moment that you stop believing in Santa is the moment that you stop getting gifts.”

This is yet another rule in my house that I have borrowed from my Mom.

Sorry for not attaching pictures to this one but it has been a tough year and that is all.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Good Bye 2015-16 School Year

bad mood

To whom it may concern:


First off, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to teach fourth and fifth grade Mathematics this year at Nameless Charter School in Arlington.  Being my first year teaching, I knew that there was going to be many obstacles to either hurdle, find a way around or just barrel through, but when the biggest obstacle in front of me was my principal … I was stuck.

When Captain Jack Ass hired me, I was happy.  My first teaching job sounded awesome.  He sold me on how wonderful the campus was, how great the students’ behavior was, and how no matter what, he’d be there for his teachers.  I’ll admit it, I drank the Kool-Aid and accepted the position under his car salesman like speech.  I found it odd that during our new teacher orientation, we had 18 total new teachers and aides coming in for training, especially since our total staff was 22-24 people.  That big of a turn over should have set off red flags but again, I drank the Kool-Aid.

Then little thing after little thing began to happen.  No paper to make copies, more broken chairs than usable chairs, not enough desks, no books, taking inventory of used consumable books and lack of technology.  By the end of the first six weeks I was well aware of the “lemon” that I was sold but continued to do my best to make lemonade. This is when I was pulled aside for the first time by Captain Jack Ass for taking away recess from my class for their poor behavior in and outside the classroom.  Captain Jack Ass chose to handle this situation by lecturing me about this for 30 minutes, not in his office but out in the front area of the school while parents picked up their kids.  This was handled very unprofessionally and with little to no indiscretion.

Shortly after I this, I changed my recess removal based on our policies but then got called in because of a student that withdrew from the campus from my homeroom.  Captain Jack Ass sat me down, asked about this student then told me that the “I was recorded saying …” by the parent of the withdrawn student. According to Captain Jack Ass, I was recorded saying that I was assigned to the class because I was a former ISS substitute and was put there to handle the kids.  When I told him that I did not say any of the “quoted” material and asked if I could hear the “evidence”, Captain Jack Ass changed the subject, told me that the student claimed I was the reason that they were changing schools and gave me a verbal warning.  Oddly enough, the parent exit interview revealed nothing of the sort.  Simply, they just moved and there was a school right next to their new apartment.

After this, I had a walk-through of my classroom and again was asked to come in for a meeting.  This time the meeting took a more personal form.  Captain Jack Ass commented on my classroom teaching and the fact that I did a lot of work from behind my desk (location of our ELMOS and computer for “class technology”).  He also mentioned how “I needed to be more active in my classroom and be able to move around like a teacher half my size.”  Now I’m a big guy, can’t hide that but when students would yell out, “Bye Captain Jack Ass” then quickly correct themselves because I was walking out, that shows size comparison.  I never thought that I would be attacked on my size as a teacher but there is always a first for everything.

Just before the Thanksgiving break, I had received some emails from a very concerned parent. We scheduled multiple conferences with the mother then out of nowhere, she scheduled a meeting with Captain Jack Ass and myself.  This is when I realized that he really didn’t have his teachers’ backs.  The parent proceeded to make claims that we were showing favoritism and that I was a racist bully towards her son.  This was the only time that he ever looked up during the meeting.  At this time Captain Jack Ass had me turn over all copies of my lesson plans and made sure that the parent was happy but he did not have my back.  It took the entire year and many more conferences with this parent for her to understand that her child just wasn’t turning in his work.

bad student

I am aware that “kids will be kids” but I do remember being called into Captain Jack Ass’s office and being told that I was not investigating my classroom issues well enough.  A student of mine had been slapped in the back coming back from specials and since I didn’t see it but the student was complaining about pain, I sent him down to the nurse.  At this point the other students who claimed to have seen the entire event wanted to go talk to Captain Jack Ass.  I asked them to write out their stories and I would turn them in but some of the students still had a chance to speak to Captain Jack Ass on their own time.  They told stories of the “slap” that did not mirror the original so Captain Jack Ass got after me, stating that I hadn’t investigated the situation enough before sending the students down to him.  Forgive me if I’m wrong but I thought that I was supposed to be working with my class instead of working on an episode of COPS.  Captain Jack Ass then told me that he would visit my class the very next morning.  During this visit, he berated my entire class and called them “LIARS”, the entire class.  He also told them that he would call each and every one of them down to the office to hear their story the next morning (which never happened).  Penalizing the entire class (calling them all LIARS) for something only a few students did…something that he told me NOT to do with the recess situation seemed highly hypocritical.  Due to his “kind words” to my homeroom, I had to spend most of my SOAR time that day calming down students that were afraid of coming back to school the next day for fear of being paddled because they saw something in the hallway and reported it.

After the second set of Benchmarks, I was called in for yet another meeting but this time our Superintendent Clueless sat in with us.  Superintendent Clueless complimented me on my teaching but wondered if I was doing enough for the students and asked me to find some new formative assessments.  I researched and found a set of fifty new assessments and began using two or three new ones in class.  A week later Captain Jack Ass called me back into his office and was angry that I was not using 10 new formative assessments, then claimed that Superintendent Clueless had “told him to fire me if I hadn’t showed change in a week”.  I’m not really sure if Superintendent Clueless ever told him that because:

  1. I rarely see or speak to Superintendent Clueless,
  2. Captain Jack Ass has lied to me before.

Captain Jack Ass even felt comfortable enough to text me at 9 pm on a Saturday evening to assign me a formative assessment planning assignment.  According to his assignment, I was to go out, buy, watch and write a report about the movie Stand and Deliver.  I felt that this assignment could have been postponed due to STAAR preparation and everything else going on but he wanted it turned in by that next Tuesday.

After one of Superintendent Clueless’ visits, Superintendent Clueless had told Captain Jack Ass something about how our student’s dress code was not being followed properly, so after our morning assembly Captain Jack Ass told me and our Science teacher that if we see any boy with their shirt untucked or without a belt to send them directly to the office.  I don’t know why the press happened so late in the year but it did.  We sent down student after student to the office and the next morning I asked him if we were still doing the same procedure. He claimed that he never said it at all.  Again, I have come to a point of not being able to trust this man.

At this point, Captain Jack Ass placed me on a Growth Plan, which I was told that is usually reserved for second year teachers but because of my students’ scores on the benchmarks, I was now on one.  I was set to create my lesson plans and turn them into him every Friday, set up meetings with him about my lesson plans, set up observations of the other Math teachers in the school, and write a report on how I was supposed to use what I saw in their classrooms to help my students. According to Captain Jack Ass, I did not follow my part of the agreement because I did not set up a meeting with him (this is also the same man that canceled my mid-year meeting and rescheduled my summative meeting over and over again).

Shortly before the first STAAR test, Captain Jack Ass called me in for another meeting.  At this time he informed me that he wanted a 75% passing rate from all his 5th grade students.  He then followed this request with a very motivational, “if this does not happen, you will be looking for another job”.  I knew that this was not going to be easy but I did my best and did not make the required percentage.  I had some students go from 8% to 33% and others from 40% to 55% but Captain Jack Ass’s response to that was, “they had nowhere else to go but up”.  He requested a meeting with our reading teacher, myself, the AP and the SPED teacher to discuss our plans for the second attempt of STAAR.  He did not show up for the meeting and the rest of us set up a schedule that would best benefit the kids having to retake the test.  Four days later Captain Jack Ass requested our Reading teacher and myself in his office and completely changes what we had already set up in the other meeting.  This is where he picked out a few students that he said “wouldn’t pass but would have to show improvement”.  What angered me at this point was that he singled out one of our SPED kids who worked so hard that she had outscored a few of the other students.  Before the second STAAR administration, I became sick and was diagnosed with DVT (blood clot in right leg) and missed only one day because I knew that the kids needed the help and a substitute wouldn’t cut it.  So I came in and worked with them and did my best to prepare them for it.

bad math

During my summative meeting Captain Jack Ass told me that he could not offer me a position for next year (which I wouldn’t have accepted anyway) but then said that Superintendent Clueless would make the final call on that.  When Captain Jack Ass asked me if there was anything that the school as a whole could improve on, I told him that Nameless Charter School needed more resources.  He then told me that our school was filled with resources and that I just didn’t know how to use them.  I asked him what he meant by that and he proceeded to list off names of the teachers that he asked me to monitor during my Growth Plan.  When I told him that each one of those teachers had asked me for some type of help with their classes but couldn’t help me in my class.  I even mentioned that the sixth and seventh grade students were coming to my after school tutoring because during our merry-go-round of teachers (four teachers, including Captain Jack Ass), I was their only help.

I still wasn’t sure what was happening until the last day of school when I was handed a key chain and a framed paper that thanked me for my work.  It made me feel good that my fellow teachers cheered for me because they saw how I was treated, and it humored me to see Captain Jack Ass struggle to say anything kind when they handed me the gift.  Attitude reflects leadership, so when 15-20 parents filed into the auditorium on the seventeenth of May to watch their kid’s award ceremony and their principal is nowhere to be seen, that spoke volumes.

All in all, I learned a lot this year.  I learned that I cannot trust my principal, I will always have to deal with my weight issues, I will never work with Captain Jack Ass ever again and no matter how much work you put into something, someone will never be happy with your work.   So once again, thank you for the opportunity and the experience.  I hope that the future students of Nameless Charter School are able to follow the policies and procedures that will be placed in front of them to make this a better school because you had a really good group of teachers that worked here, most of whom have either left already or will be leaving as soon as the HR departments in the other ISDs are ready to hire.


Note to self…

As I sit here listening to my neighbors setting off illegal fireworks in the city limits and I watch the edited version of Hot Tub Time Machine (for like the 100th time)…I realized that I’ve had one messed up year so far.
I really have no idea what is gonna happen next but I hope that a job is in the really near future. I’m tired of being a substitute teacher and a tutor…I need an actual job and the feeling of purpose again.
I know that it has been a while since my last blog update but since my last entry I have finished another year as a substitute, lost my mother to complications of the horrible disease known as cancer and have gained back at least 40 pounds of the 150 pounds that I have already lost. Like I said…this year has been really messed up so far.
I really thought that things would be different by now. I wasn’t expecting a “rag to riches” story but at least a “get my head above water” story would have been nice.
What am I really afraid of now?
That list could go on for a while but I want to get things “finished up” now.
I’ve written a movie script that has been read by college professors but I don’t know where to go from here with it. Oddly enough, I’m afraid of getting sued or offending some of the people who I grew up with. Weird right? I post on Facebook about 3 times a day and most of my posts have the power to offend many people so why would I care about the script offending anyone? Maybe it’s because it involves my past or maybe it’s because I’m not really sure who I can still call a friend. Weird, I know. It’s been almost 20 years since my high school graduation and I can honestly say that I haven’t kept close with my friends…other than on Facebook. I know that it has been designed that way by my own choice because I’m not happy with my station in life but like I said earlier…I want to “finish things up” now.
As Frank Cross said at the end of Scrooged, “It’s not too late, is it?”
And before some of you begin to think; No I’m not drunk, No I’m not even drinking and No…I’m not dying (at least no more than we all are right now).
Tomorrow morning I will be going back to the gym to get back on the right track and hope that the rest of this year turns around and allows me to at least stick my nose above water.
Perfect timing…spoiler alert…it’s the Hero part of Hot Tub Time Machine…I can be your hero baby.
Let’s do this!

Let me let you in on a “little secret”.


 I’m a big, fat guy.


I know…you’re shocked.  I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself.


There, there…I know that was shocking to read but this might get a little worse to read in a minute.  So hold on to your panties and get ready because I’m gonna let you all in on a weird part of my life.

I’m addicted to food.


And yes… that might be a bad thing.


I wake up wanting to only drink my protein shake and pack my healthy lunch and snacks while whistling a happy tune walking out my front door but I’ll blink my eyes and before I know it…

I have 4 waffles smeared with either Nutella or peanut butter or 5 eggs mixed with ham, cheese and other goodies with a side of toast.


I’ll pack my lunch and eat it with no issues but might find myself stopping by the Wal-Mart deli for a $1 corn dog or burritos.  I’ve even driven out of my way to hit up Quick Trip or Race track for their 2 for 2 specials with my much-needed gas money.


So instead of using the extra 2-3 dollars on the fuel for my truck that gets me back and forth to work, my dumb ass is using it to buy food that I really don’t need.

I’m not gonna lie… I’m weak, my discipline is for shit and I really need help.

My wife and I have been talking about the needed changes that I NEED to make a lot lately and I know what needs to be done but I’m scared.

I’m scared that I’m going to mess up again and gain more of the weight back.

I’m scared that I’m going to injure myself again and get sidelined … again.

I’m afraid of not showing any signs of improvement.

And oddly enough,

I’m afraid of letting everyone down … again.

I know that weight loss is supposed to be done for you, but for some odd reason I just can’t get out of my own way right now.  I’ve lost 150 pounds in 3 years but this past year I have gained back 50 pounds.  My goal is to lose the 50 pounds that I gained back by the end of this school year.  I know that it can be done and I just have to get my mind out of the buffet and get my ass in gear.

Wish me luck!!!

This week I will be adding an extra 2 days of walking in the afternoon for my much-needed cardio.


I don’t know why but this event has been playing in my head for the last couple of days so I thought that I should share it.

I believe the year was 1990 or 1991; I had wanted to earn some cash to buy a video game for my Super NES.


So I asked my mother if there were any extra chores that I could do around the house for some extra money.

Well the 1st thing that popped into Mom’s head was inspired by what stabbed her in the bottom of her foot.  “Pull all the weeds in the front yard”, she said as she pulled a large thorn out from the bottom of her foot that was hiding in our classic 70s brown carpet.

Our front yard was small, about 10 feet by 15 feet with more rocks than grass, so I agreed and told her “Deal!!! It will be done before you get home tomorrow.”  That was probably the dumbest thing I have ever said in my entire life.  Mom then walked me outside and showed me how she wanted the weeds to be pulled and that’s when I wasn’t so sure about my time frame anymore.  “If you start after I leave to work in the morning, while it’s still cool outside, you should be done before lunch time,” my mom probably said but in my head I was thinking of playing Super Contra or Rygar.

So the next morning, Mom woke me up at 7:30am to get started.  I got up and “zombie walked” my tired ass into the bathroom and started to get dressed.  As soon as I hear d the bells on the back of the door chime behind my mom, I thought to myself,


“Let’s see if the BOZO show is still on.”  An hour later, “I wonder what that cool ass Bob Barker is giving away in the Showcase showdown” was running thru my head while I sat on the couch eating the ghetto sugar puffs in a big ass bowl.  Before I knew it, I had just finished watching the WGN cartoon block


(GI JOE, Transformers, MASK & Visionaries).  That meant that mom was going to be home in less than an hour and “Captain Procrastination” hadn’t done a damn thing yet!!!

I got my shoes on, ran sacked our storage closet for tools then ran into the front yard to hop for a yard work miracle.  I just started grabbing and yanking weeds.  The tops would break off in my hand as the sticker burrs snagged and grabbed and cut my hands because I had forgotten to use the gloves that my mom had told me to wear during my mental shopping trip.

By this time, my brother Robert and his friend Jeff had come to the house to play computer games & I was starting to get pissed off because the entire neighborhood was having fun and enjoying their summer afternoon while I was digging in my front yard.

Then I looked up & there it was… my mom’s Nissan Maxima was making the turn onto our block.  I was doomed, done for…FINISHED!!!  No job was finished, No money would be earned, No video game would be played…I literally gave up.  Mom had had a really rough day at work and saw that I was outside working so she KNEW that I had been goofing around ALL FUCKING DAY.  She took a breath then tore into me.

“Why aren’t you done yet? What did you do all day? You’re not even doing this right! Weren’t you listening when I showed you how to do this?” she yelled at me while I stood there in the yard.  I really don’t remember how long she yelled at me because my brain hamster must have went on break because the next thing I knew …I was about to say THE DUMBEST THING I HAD SAID IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.  Then my mouth opened and these words fell out:

“If you don’t like it…do it yourself!”

To this day, my brother Robert and his buddy Jeff claim that they “felt a disturbance in the force” so bad that Jeff told Robert that he had to go home.

I swear that time stopped, the neighborhood kids quit riding their bikes, the wind stopped blowing & even my brain hamster spit out his coffee, yelling “FUCK!! FUCK!! FUCK!! THIS KID IS ABOUT TO LOSE HIS SHIT!!!”  The street had got so quiet that it reminded me of an old Clint Eastwood movie.

clint eastwood

And as my head began to picture my mom dressed in a Pancho, wearing boots and about to say “make my day” … I got my well-deserved punishment.

slapped picture

She got me with one of those old-fashioned slap to the face for being disrespectful.  She may have continued to yell at me but all I could hear was the ringing in my ears.  The last thing that I could make out was, “GO TO YOUR ROOM!!!”

I don’t really remember how long I stayed in my room but I do remember doing both the Eddie Murphy kid complaint & the Spaceballs “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.”  This was one of the hardest but best lessons that I have ever learned … Respect.

Are you ready for this?


All over America, students walked into schools wearing their new kicks and sporting their new gadgets.  Some laughed, some cried while some parents did the same in the parking lot of their kid’s school.

As for me, school doesn’t “officially” start for us till next Monday but it honestly feels like I never left.  From the end of last year’s classes to the “fun times” working Summer School to my three weeks of certification classes I am feeling drained and extremely tired. 

And starting Monday, there is absolutely no rest for the wicked.  With my kid’s school schedules, their extracurricular activities, church, work, grading, other school related duties and family life…I wonder how I’m gonna feel at the end of the first month much less the first year?

simpsons grading

This will be my first year, from start to finish, working in a classroom and I’m actually a little nervous.  Years of OCS and tutoring should already have me prepared but I am far from it.  I have no lesson plans, no actual room (yet), no idea who is gonna be in my class but I do have a vision, a goal and a hell of a team that I will get to work with.

I may not be 100% ready for this upcoming year but I guarantee that I will give it my all to not let anyone down … especially my family.  I know that I haven’t had an installment of this blog in a while and this one might be my last under this name but I guess we will see what the future really has in store for us.

So to my teacher friends, parents of school aged kiddos and anyone else you is crazy enough to read my blog, Rodney Dangerfield said it best when he said,

“Look out for Number One, but don’t step in Number Two!”