Monday, March 31, 2008

Mr. McPike

I just found out that one of my favorite people in the whole world passed away on Saturday. My East High School Principal, Mr. McPike, was one of the most inspiring, amazing people I've ever met (and I don't use terms like that lightly). He had a profound impact on me and pretty much everyone that went to East. He knew us all by name, was so kind-hearted, but didn't take any crap from anyone (he was a San Francisco 49er before he became our Principal).

I was senior class president and editor of the newspaper and had a bunch of other over-achiever roles during high school and so I got to know him pretty intimately. I used to walk into his office all the time with all these crazy ideas or controversies--like my interview with a group of closeted gay students that I insisted on publishing in the school newspaper (a big deal for a Wisconsin high school in 1998), or my protest against Coca-Cola trying to infiltrate East through school sponsorship, or my crazy schemes on what to do with 98 christmas trees my class had stolen/cut down and put in the school on Christmas day. And even though I'm sure he thought I was nuts half the time and we'd argue over things, he was always so supportive and made me feel really good about taking initiative and being so involved in the school community.

A few months ago while I was home for Thanksgiving I saw him on the bus from Madison to Milwaukee. I actually got on to the wrong bus during a rest stop and there he was. I hadn't seen him in years. He looked the same except thinner and less towering. Even though I've been out of high school for almost 10 years, he acted like it was yesterday and that I had been his favorite student of his 20 some years at East. He said he thought about me a lot and had been following my career and was proud of me and he gave me a big hug. Even though he probably says that to a lot of former students it meant so much to me at the time and just underscored his absolute gift for making everyone around him feel special.

Mr. McPike will be greatly missed. But more than most, he has left legacy of touching thousands and thousands of us--as an educator, mentor, and as a friend.

Blowing on the Blokus Board

This is Ladra attempting to eat four saltine crackers at one time while Griff says something funny. He blew crumbs all over our Blokus game board.

In other related news, my undefeated Blokus record came to an end on Saturday night when I lost two straight games to Clarke Sugar.

Sure, his girlfriend's dad invented Apples to Apples and he spends an inordinate amount of time playing board games, but I lost fair and square.

If you haven't played Blokus yet you should run out and get it. It's a really fun game.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Schiavoni Tattoo

A couple of weeks ago, my little cousin, who recently joined the Navy, emailed this picture out to the whole Schiavoni family with the following message:
Check out the new tattoos I got... Pretty bad ass.
After a few days of getting no responses, I replied-all asking if we should get matching family tattoos. Still no response from the rest of the fam. They must be too proud.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Just Cold

My dad sent me this forward which I thought was classic. My family from Wisconsin but I now live in California, have lived in D.C., and have close relatives in Florida. I've experienced our nation's capital shutting down for a couple inches of snow, and the roads practically closing down in San Francisco freeway for a sprinkle of rain. Meanwhile, my dad will drive up north in his 2 wheel drive Buick twice a month in 20 below weather through white wash snow storms where you can't see the car that is 50 ft. ahead of you. And they are right about the school never closing. Us Madison kids were always jealous of the kids in tiny school districts in northern Wisconsin who would get a snow day for 4 ft. of snow (vs. our 2 ft.) because they didn't have enough plows to get out to the rural areas.


60 above zero:
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Wisconsin plant gardens.

50 above zero:
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Wisconsin sunbathe.

40 above zero:
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Wisconsin drive with the windows down.

32 above zero:
Distilled water freezes.
The water in Lake Michigan gets thicker.

20 above zero:
Floridians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats.
People in Wisconsin throw on a flannel shirt.

15 above zero:
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Wisconsin have the last cookout before it gets cold.

People in Miami all die.
Wisconsinites close the windows.

10 below zero:
Californians fly away to Mexico.
People in Wisconsin get out their winter coats.

25 below zero:
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Wisconsin are selling cookies door to door.

40 below zero:
Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in Wisconsin let the dogs sleep indoors.

100 below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Wisconsinites get upset because they can't start the Mini-Van.

460 (-459.67 F below zero):
ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero, on the Kelvin scale.)
People in Wisconsin start saying...'Cold enough fer ya?'

500 below zero:
Hell freezes over.
Wisconsin public schools will open 2 hours late.

Not Another One!

Can someone please explain to me why it seems like every big name politician has some type of extreme skeleton in their closet?

Our own pipeline of exciting future presidential candidates keep taking themselves out.

Today, of course, it was Spitzer.

Is there some personality trait that applies both to those who seek validation through public office and those who seek sex with prostitutes/pages/aides?