Saturday, October 25, 2014

Stop the Gun Nuts!

Yesterday was the 87th school shooting incident since Newtown. It was the 75th time since Sandy Hook and the 39th shooting this year.   It's sad that we just recognize and thank our school teachers during "Teacher Appreciation Week" and when something like this happens.

          I propose we do these things instead of praying:

  • Spend more time creating art, writing and making music.
  • Get a pet and take care of it.
  • Read.
  • Go play outside.
  • Start charging $99.99 for each bullet. Guns are still allowed everywhere but you got to wear a ten-gallon cowboy hat whenever you carry a weapon. If you don't you go straight to jail.  It's the law!
  • Stop glorifying and obsessing over these death machines AKA guns.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Apology letter


Dear Mr. N,

Sorry that we were acting up in your Art class room. We are sorry we always got you mad.
We will not do that again. So sorry!


Daniel G.

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Ten Essential Books

  1. The Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger
  2. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk
  3. 1984- George Orwell
  4. Slaughterhouse-Five- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  5. Born To Run- Christopher McDougal
  6. Generation X- Douglas Coupland
  7. Brain Droppings- George Carlin
  8. Tenth of December- George Saunders
  9. Walden- Henry David Thoreau
  10. American Gods- Neil Gaiman                

Tuesday, September 09, 2014


These are my Ten Commandments of Teaching.

Thou shall...
1. First Do No Harm.
2. Be passionate & enthusiastic.
3. Enjoy your time with the kids.
4. Make it fun.
5. Lighten the eff up!
6. Be prepared.
7. Be flexible.
8. Get over yourself and not take it personally.
9. Embrace the suck.
10. Be Kind.

Be professional isn't even in my top 10 priorities.
Why are we so overly concerned and obsessed with professionalism? Our job is one of the roughest jobs anywhere. Every day many of us go do it to the best of your ability with a smile and a positive attitude. To me "professionalism" is a corporate code word for compliance and blind allegiance to a business model of operation. We direct, you follow. Must resist this mindless one size fits all stupid conformity.

In other news, tonight was RunStreak Day 291.
Ran under a beautiful big bright shiny full moon at 10 PM. Much cooler and less humid.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Vent

Teachers are responsible for all of their students' test scores. Even when we are on maternity leave.

In other news, I'm still streaking. It's Day 270. 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

MCA's 50th Birthday

Intergalactic, planetary, planetary Intergalactic (4x)

Another dimension, another dimension (6X)

Well, now, don't you tell me to smile
You stick around I'll make it worth your while
Like numbers beyond what you can dial
Maybe it's because were so versatile
Style, profile I said
It always brings me back when I hear Wu child
From the Hudson river out to the Nile
I run the Marathon to the very last mile
Well, if you battle me I feel revile
People always sayin' my style is wild
You've got gaul, you've got guile
If you step to me I'm going to rap full file
If you wanna battle you're in denial
Comin' from Uranus to check my style
Go ahead with my rhymes I'll trial
Cast you off into exile

Intergalactic, planetary, planetary Intergalactic
Intergalactic, planetary, planetary Intergalactic
Jazz and Awol, that's our team
Step inside the party, disrupt the whole scene
When it comes to beats, well, I'm a fiend
I'd like my sugar with coffee and cream
Well, I gotta keep it going keep it going full steam
Too sweet to be sour too nice to be mean
With the tough guy style I'm not too keen
Trying to change the world, I'm going to plot and scheme
Mario C likes to keep it clean
Goin' to shine like a sunbeam
Keep on rappin, 'coz that's my dream
Thank Mo D for sticking to the beats
Now when it comes to envy y'all is green
Jealous of the rhyme and the rhyme routine
Another dimension, new galaxy

Intergalactic planetary
Intergalactic, planetary, planetary Intergalactic (4X)

Were from the family tree of old school hip-hop
Kick off your shoes and relax your socks
Your rhymes are spread just like a pox
'Coz the music is loud like an electric shock
I am known to do the wop
Also known for the Flintstone Flop
Tammy D gets biz on the crops
Beastie Boys known to let the beat, mmm, drop
Now when I wrote graffiti my name was Slop
If I rap soup my beats is stock
Step from the table when I start to chop
I'm the lumberjack D.J Ad Rock
If you try to knock me you'll get mopped
I'll stir fry you in my wok
Your knees start shakin' and your fingers pop
Like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock
Intergalactic, planetary, planetary Intergalactic (4x)

Another dimension, another dimension (6X)

Do it

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Stuff White People Say to Asians

One time someone pronounced my last name: N...nig..ger..wen.  True story!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

12 Years a Teacher

12 Years a Teacher (2002-2014)

Soundtrack by Nina Simone: Sinnerman 

(Run, Sinner, Run)

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Lake Tahoe 2014

   Doanh,                    Phuong,           Thy,             (me) Dung,             Dien

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Go Dutch

          ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK.                   HUP HOLLAND HUP!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

OITNB-season 2

Hello, my name is Yung and I have a binging problem.

By the way my new nickname is Dandelion. Dandy Lion.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Monday, June 02, 2014

Top 10 Things you should not do after 50

  1. Kickball. My school Green Acres Gators just won the South Cobb Kickball Championship last Thursday. By the end of the game half of our team, or the 3 guys including me were injured with pulled muscles, various cramps, sprains, strains and automobiles. During the game one of our female players got hit in the face by the ball, tackled and knocked down by a 200 lb guy as she was rounding second base. Who knew that this little game played by elementary school children could be so brutally physical? Or that I was so over-the-hill out of shape even though I run every day. But it was all worth it because we won the whole thing.
  2. Parkour. Or try out for American Ninja Warrior. There is a reason why nobody over the age of 44 ever got to the Finals. Last year we watched the oldest contestant competed. I don't think Grandpa (age 51) even made it past round 2.
  3. Attempt the Split. Especially if you have not done one before. I thought I was pretty flexible.
  4. Skateboarding. Or Ripstikking. I got a RipStik and learned to ride it about 5 years ago after seeing my nieces and nephews in California. It was fun until you twist your ankles and bang your head against the sidewalk as the board goes flying out from under you.
  5. Join the Circus. Unless you're a clown. Come to think of it, I don't remember seeing any clowns younger than 50. But it's a great gig if you like lots of make-up and baggy costumes.
  6. Date people half your age. This is not appropriate for anyone any age actually.
  7. Wear clothing with the word "Juicy", "Foxy", "Frankie says Relax" or anything Ed Hardy.
  8. Tattoos. Like cosmetic surgery, I don't know about this one. I might change my mind, one day.
  9. Take yourself seriously. Never ever ever. Evah.
  10. Lose your sense of humor.  Much easier said than done. It's been a rough 8 months for us. First, we were robbed back in September, the same month that my father passed away. My running streak of 1000+ consecutive days ended with a foot injury. A second burglary happened in January. We moved to our current place in February. Then, my brother-in-law, Kathy's older brother whom I've known for the past 22 years lost his life last month. Kevin was 46. He had an odd sense of humor and could be funny at times. I'll miss his over-the-top geeky laugh at his own jokes or questions/statements about nothing and everything. See, if anything I remember that much about him. It was only 9 days since he was admitted to the ER, diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer, surgery, ICU and then the end. It reminds me again  how brief, fragile and precarious this existence on earth can be. Blink of an eye, gasp of breath, a slam of a door. A life short-lived. As I look back though, there was always some sort of comedy amidst all this tragedy.  We move on, we laugh it off because we're still here. I can't even begin to explain it. Maybe this whole post is my way of dealing with it.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


A new study indicates that Americans are safe from the threat of gun violence except in schools, malls, airports, workplaces, movie theaters, streets, and their own homes. 
Also: highways, turnpikes, libraries, places of worship, parks, universities, restaurants, post offices, and cars.
Plus: driveways, garages, gyms, stores, military bases—and a host of other buildings, structures, and sites. 

National Rifle Association C.E.O. Wayne LaPierre applauded the study, saying that it reinforced his organization’s long-held position that the United States does not need additional gun laws. “This study makes it abundantly clear that Americans are in no danger of gun violence except in these isolated four hundred and thirteen places,” he said.
He added that he hoped that the study would spark a conversation “about the root cause of mass shootings: people who recklessly show up at places where they could be shot at.” 

(Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, November 6, 2013)

Saturday, April 05, 2014



 Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with G*d, whatever you conceive him/her to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, 1927

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We Can Cook It

We've been binge-watching the show Breaking Bad over the past couple of weeks. I've never watched it before since it was popular for years on AMC.
Winter Storm Leon hit here at the end of January just as we were moving out of our old house. There were some ice and snow, only a couple of inches, but it basically shut down the whole city of Atlanta for 3 days. This is the South where it rarely snows in the Winter. Schools and stores were closed. Roads and highways were not passable for hours on end. Nothing to do and nowhere to go. We were stuck in, couldn't even get out of our driveway.
So besides running on the Silver Comet Trail behind the backyard of our newly rented place, we stayed in and watched NetFlix off  the Roku device. This show is so well written and acted. It strikes a chord with me. Somehow. I'm becoming a fan of the main character: Walter White AKA Heisenberg. I've often had to tell my students to "Apply Yourself" man. Yo, you can do it!  Yes, you can!  Must Tread Lightly... OK, must draw lightly (with your pencil.)

Some other uncanny similarities that I've noticed:

A) Heisenberg was 50 years old in the first season. I'm about to turn 50 (next year)  In lunar calendar, I'm actually currently fifty, according to my mother.
B) Mild-mannered public school teachers. Mr. White taught high school chemistry. I (Mister Win) teach art in elementary.
C) I have a brother who's a cop with San Diego PD SWAT  (Walter's brother-in-law Hank-DEA)
 D) I've been married for 16 years, just like Heisenberg.
E) We wear the same eye glasses. Even the new ones.
F) Before I got married, we used to own a house just a few blocks from the biggest meth lab in the state of Georgia. Found out about it 5 years later after we sold the house and moved away.
G) Finally, we both have the same exact annual salary of $43,000. It was mentioned in one episode. I did my income taxes last weekend. $43,000 plus a few pennies. No shit.

Is it possible that Vince Gilligan the creator of the show based Heisenberg on me? The mind boggles...

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Ain't nothing to it, but to do it!

New Year's Resolutions. It's that time again. I'm a simple man so I will make these clear, concise and achievable.
  1. Run/Exercise every day.
  2. Practice Art.
  3. Drink H2O.
  4. Read more fiction.
  5. Be Mindful
  6. Make many new mistakes.
"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something.

So that's my wish for you, for all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing. Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever."
Neil Gaiman, 2008

Monday, December 30, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Be Water, my friend

"Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.
Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless-like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; you put it in a teapot it becomes a teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. BE WATER, MY FRIEND."  Bruce Lee

Monday, December 09, 2013

Journey of One Thousand Miles

"Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, 'I've never seen anyone run like that before.' It's more than just a race, it's a style. It's being creative."  ~ Steve Prefontaine

Hit 1000 miles for the year today on my run at the Silver Comet Trail