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Entry date: 12/20/2022 - (now not) delayed til 7AM Phoenix Time- Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Yesterday's dinner was so good that I forgot to write, so I will be finishing this after our walk this morning.

See you soon.


(double) Dear Friends,

I can feel myself detaching from this blog. It’s kind of like that scene in So I Married An Axe Murderer where Mike Myers, as the dad, tells Mike Myers as the son to “Go ahead, you’ve stayed your hour.” I’m not sure how things are going to change in 2023, but I think they will to some extent. I have a few ideas I want to explore.

We had a nice walk this morning. It was in the upper 30s, for those of you in colder areas, and felt really nice outside here in the desert. I know I have expanded on this before, but I have come to really love the walks. Good conversation, exercise, friendships growing…what is not to love and the dogs like it, too. It’s also nice and dark right now so it feels like I’m getting a little bit of nightlife, but well rested at the same time.

Yesterday, one of my students got in trouble for fighting at lunch. It was surprising to me because he always has a huge smile on his face and just seems so happy. He’s one of my students who speaks very little English, but I see him trying really hard to learn and a couple of times last week when I tried to use my translator on the iPhone, he said, “No, Mr. R. English, please.”

He’s named after one of the first Presidents and, as mentioned, I was surprised that he was in the room used for in-school suspensions and discipline when I got back from lunch. Our principal sent all the 4th grade teachers out for an extra long lunch yesterday, which was a nice break. We had Peter Piper Pizza which has not changed at all in the last 30 years. Maybe longer. Maybe 40.

One of the admins came in to get some work for him to do and told me he would be held out for the rest of the day and all day today, so I got very curious about what happened. After school, I saw him and his best friend and got the scoop. Apparently, they had a run in with a kid who was looking to start a bunch of trouble on the soccer field and my student jumped in to help his friend (who is on my reading class and speaks better English) because this other kid was choking him.

After hearing what happened, I totally get it. I can’t imagine him not stepping in to help someone and when he saw his best friend in trouble, he jumped in. We talked a bit while we were walking out to dismissal about how you have to do whatever you can to avoid fights, but sometimes, you have no choice, and you just have to stand up for yourself. They seemed to understand this concept and that I was not coming down on them for not having a really good choice in the matter at the time.

They asked the inevitable question, “Did you ever get in fights when you were in school?”

Those are always tough for me when I get them because if I tell them the truth, it gets a little risky. I don’t want them fighting and I don’t want them getting the wrong impression and I don’t know if they will really listen to anything beyond, “Yes, I used to get into fights.”

I feel like I liked to fight when I was younger. I certainly got into enough of them in the elementary school years and I had a terrible and quick temper. I would fight at the drop of a hat, and I also dealt with some bullies over the years, too. Sometimes I wonder if I was a bully myself, although I don’t really remember targeting any one of my peers specifically or in a way that would constitute bullying. I could be an asshole, though, and I found a sense of power and control by fighting sometimes.

I struggle to explain this, at times, when students ask the inevitable question. Yesterday I just said, “Well, I did get in fights when I was in school, but I learned that nothing good ever comes from them” and left it at that. This seemed to be a reasonable answer to these two young friends who had just seen consequences from fighting, even though they didn’t start it.

This also got me thinking about the level of friendship that must be there for you to stick your nose into a fight for someone else. There are only a handful of people who I would do that for now, if I am being honest, but it’s also hard to imagine being in a fight anymore. I don’t even remember the last time I really felt like it was even a possibility. I’m glad of that, too.

Actually, there were a few times, related to Slope Records, where it seemed like people wanted to fight with me over stupid shit. Some people just can’t stand to be held accountable for things and don’t seem like it when you expect them to act like adults. Rather than get into a shit slinging war that could have ended up with fists flying, I just removed myself from those situations. Older and wiser is a good thing, right?

Luckily, I realized in high school that fights often hurt. I also realized that when you did fight or were even involved in a possible fight, it just seemed to make the people who liked to fight want to fight with you. It was much easier to be easy going and friendly than to be that “Fight” guy. I don’t miss being that person, that “Fight” guy.

I’ll still talk a little shit, though, but that’s about the extent of my interest in really pissing anyone off. Give me a couple of beers and a microphone and I might just talk about how a certain female Arizona political wannabe should get fisted by the Hulk. Truth is, though, I don’t really want to “Fight” anyone because of their political beliefs, however misguided.


See you tomorrow.

Suns won last night over the stupid Lakers. Yay!

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