THE ODYSSEY OF INVISIBILITY: Smoking in Virginia

I thought I was seeing a shot from the Past. I had 2 things to do before I left and headed to Chicago:
My worst Substitue assignment was long term  – ideally.  But I went nuts. I was passing kids who were failing and couldn’t fail and forced them to repay me by making-up a dish assignment – Greek Rice Pudding. 
Greek Rice Pudding uses a few simple ingredients – heavy cream, sugar, eggs, and the most divine spice of all – fresh vanilla – but it’s easy to mess it up. Not sure what the secret formula that is so essential to its success is, but it’s the best!
As soon as you pour it into cups or dishes, you sprinkle cinnamon on the top – that may be a “divine” ingredient – and it’s aroma and taste is irresistible. 
But I didn’t expect him to know that. 
I wanted him to demonstrate his commitment and integrity – as well as have a kinesthetic experience, which also required math, and a finished product in 45 minutes. 


I HATED teaching that class
It was a nightmare. 


Imagine now. 


You have between 28 and 32 (the max) in a class and you teach the identical lesson 5 times that day – well, how many pizzas is it?
(Answer here, please.)
The Chairman of the Department, clustered under ART, knew she had to get me out of there. 
I refused to go to the grocery store st 5:45 AM, so she had to do that. I would, however, get to school by then, to prepare for classes, which I did, all the time. 
Well, anyway.  
Despite my catastrophic performance, I have many students who befriended me after that on Facebook, and I’ve been friends with them ever since. 
Nick is a musician and was also one of my students then. Sweetest and most talented of them all. They all gave me a hard time, especially the guys. Not Nick. So he’s been in an ensemble (not sure what else to call it, since the one guy plays several instruments). LITZ is the name of the group. Simply outstanding. 
Nick is a keen observer too 
One day I was chastising the guy who sat next to him (they always sat together.)
And I said to him:
Do you realize your eyes are totally blood shocked?  Couldn’t you wait to smoke?




And they would laugh at me. 
After that I could head to Chicago. 

The Kiss of Armageddon …  Shopping for Lenses

(Just published this on YELP. But soon, I will be migrating my reviews to a site of my own. But it’s important people know what’s out there. This review is about an optical shop and my experiences with staff there.)

REVIEW

I always base my reviews on the quality of service rendered, since that’s all we’ve been for the past five decades, and thus it is essential to keep track of these Service Satisfaction Trends (SST). I don’t care if it’s a psychiatric hospital or an optical place – they will be evaluated by me, based on their delivery of services. 

So I’m just gonna give a taste of this experience, as I don’t have the time to dwell on them much longer. 

THE FRAMES

They were offended because the frames I ordered felt like razors digging into the skin behind my ear. They were beautiful frames, hand-crafted in Denmark, and even had my name soldered on the arm of the frame, which was one of the issues they had with customer satisfaction. 
“I can’t sell these now. They have your name on the frame.”
“Well, that is not essential – to have my name on the frame – nor did I know they put my name on the frame, nor do I care to have my name on the frame, so why are you telling me this?”

THE LOST ART OF ADJUSTMENT

On an earlier visit to the shop to resolve the problem I had with the frames, I was told it was a matter of the “Lost Art of Frame Adjustment.” A lost art, however, implies an ancient art of a prior or earlier civilization. Frames haven’t met the time requirement to be considered a “Lost Art.” 

But, go figure. 


THE RAMBLING EMAILS

One day the owner sent me a series of rambling emails about the challenges of being a small business owner. I didn’t even bother to open the last email. Maybe I should have, since the following message I received from them, from some woman, as I had decided to simply have new lenses cut to my current frames by Cutler and Gross of London, and have those lenses placed in my frames, who told me they were no longer interested in servicing me, and they would mail the new lenses to me, without clearly stating the procedure (that I would have to be there to sign for them [I was 300 miles away]since the lenses were costly – $600 – which were incidentally mailed in a small bubble envelope, with the lenses stuffed in a small pouch – no reinforcement, surely for such a valuable item, – and at some point told me (although I have no recollection of it) that they would mail me a check, refunding the frames that didn’t work. I wrote them about a week later, saying the credit hadn’t appeared in my card yet. When she reminded of “the check,” I wrote this woman back and said … “I paid with them with a credit card, so why are you sending me a check, since that’s not how I paid for them.” And her response was: “Because that’s what you asked for.” 

Hm. Okay. 

THE KISS OF ARMAGEDDON  

Who can argue that we have not reached the end? Just look at the news. There is no hope of redemption at this stage, is there?
So when did this twist of Armageddon begin? September of 2015. 

Perhaps it is better NOT to see? 

Than to see. 

DOLLARS AND CENTS

So how much did it cost me?

$948.28 

(I may be off by a couple of bucks, but it’s an accurate estimate. I mean, I could’ve said: “Close to $1000!” That sounds much more ominous.)

MY REFUND CHECK

$338 (Or something close to that.)

That, however, does not include the price I will have to pay to have the lenses inserted in my new frames, since I decided to simply order a fresh pair of the same frames I already had, and which Cutler and Gross, shipped in a box much larger and deeper than a shoebox and which were nowhere as fragile as the lenses shipped in the cheapest bubble-lined envelope, and had them in my possession within days. 

And just imagine … They had to make it safely across the Atlantic. 

THE FINAL AND UNFORGIVABLE INSULT 

However, the most offensive episode of this entire process was when I received an email from them this past Friday (Yes, it WAS Friday the 13th) wishing me a happy birthday. I wrote them back, telling them to remove me from their mailing list, as this last email was not only offensive, but it had totally creeped me out. 

CREDIT MUST BE GIVEN WHERE CREDIT IS DUE

However, credit must be given where credit is due. The examination produced the best lenses I’ve ever had. 

But was it worth it?  

Do the arithmetic.