Tuesday, July 21, 2015

TANNER: Royally A Noid

Lots of inside jokes in that "Fun Under the Sun" piece
get the inside scoop right here
originally run 6/1/10
I don't care what string gets pulled or who pulls it
But I'm annoyed and I want my kids
and I'm gonna be yanking some rusty chains again
until I get my kids back
read this before 
watching "Unforgivable" and reading "Fun Under the Sun"
because they form a trifecta

She is a blueblood, and of perfect breeding
fixed on the position designed just for her
I am a spider, a mixed-breed species,
of uncertain lineage and variable disposition
she voted to close eight schools that served the downtrodden
including one across the lane from the house that I once loved
Stunned and much grief-stricken, made deaf and blind by fury
I vowed to force her cold exposure if it was the last thing I’d ever do
alone in steep ravines filled with jagged words and numbers
a cloying scent of falsehood led me across each hill and gully
by happenstance it came when I twice tripped on the same stone
the light and dark and shadow of a churning wheel called Cheezers
caused a pattern to be formed and take on life all of its own
lightning struck, my eyes reopened, my vision thus restored
the secret revealed to me unspoken, perceiving all without a word.

In Holland there’s a hobby; I’m not sure what it’s actually called, but it’s sorta like scrapbooking for the royalty-obsessed. People flip through magazines and such, and as they come across images or stories about the royal family, like nerds they cut them out and mount them to the pages of an album for posterity. 

American royalty consists of models, actors and musicians, and various sundry politicians, and I enjoy watching the wealthy.  Though I roam the ranks of literary aristocracy, I do have a taste for the tabloid tacky; and while I demand quality, hard-hitting journalism, my penchant for spice has been known to lead me in diverse directions.

I confess to love the weekly National Enquirer, and really don’t care what anyone might have to say about it.  The days when it ran articles about psychics and the like dried up after the Carol Burnett debacle, and since then, it’s really tightened up its product.  Certainly, it’s more reliable, accurate, fair and balanced than the weekly Colorado Springs Independent …

You can call me hokey, but I say it’s okeedokee – there simply ain’t no shame in Spydra’s game.  Men claim to read Playboy for its sharp, insightful articles, and I read the Enquirer for the same reasons. It’s not merely titillating -- though one of my favorite luxuries is to lock the bathroom door and fill up the tub with water, as hot as I can stand, and then submerge myself, reading that rag from cover to cover until the ride is over.  The Enquirer is always thoroughly damp by the time I finish…and if it’s an especially good one, I have to pause afterward to smoke a cigarette. 

The Enquirer provides an uncommonly intimate peek into the lives of the rich and famous – feeding the royalty-curious and royalty-envious both.  I’ve mentioned before that I used to be a little vain…before the great HUMBLING cut me into the dazzling diamond spider I am today…and it makes me laugh now to consider how important it is for some people to show us only what they want us to see.    Silver-spooned, spoiled and so-self-important, these are those for whom gratitude, generosity, contrition, and honesty are foreign concepts.  I both mock and mourn how out of touch they are with the plight of the little people, and wonder how I’d carry on if it were me.

During the school closures, I looked for someone to blame, and started with Glenn Gustafson and Tami Hasling. Glenn is behind so much of what’s wrong and what’s right at D11, and as anyone fiscally curious about District Eleven comes to find, Glenn is everywhere.  I pondered him…imagining him as a child, as a student, as a friend, as an enemy. Mistaking him for a bona fide Springs native, I puzzled -- how could he machinate to shut down his own junior high school; what kind of man was he, and how old was he when he sold his soul? 

The contents of this paragraph are fantasy…stories I made up about Glenn in my head: brainy – we’d have been in a lot of the same classes; tall (and presumably slimmer) and brainy – I’d likely have thought him to be hot; tall, brainy and already becoming aware of his place in the world – he’d have likely considered me hot and brainy too, playing with me in private and telling his friends all about it, before publicly dismissing, denying and rejecting me for my blackness.  I imagined he played baseball at Doherty, I imagined he was president of Student Council, I imagined he attended UCCS because his family’s means were modest, and to stay near his high-school sweetheart first wife.  I imagined extensive family ties and a knack for numbers assured him a successful career with the District.  When I asked people who actually know him what made him tick, stories of hussies and hushed-up harassment were inevitably raised, with Glenn allegedly required to attend some kind of re-education for it, ala Tiger Woods; and I imagined that this, in addition to the childlessness of his first marriage, helped lead to its demise.  I envied his ex-wife, and I envied his current wife, and I envied the women with whom he may have co-mingled; I envied his family’s vacation to Germany, and his Mexican honeymoon.  I looked at the empty school across the street, and then at his Facebook page, sneering at his terrible online addiction to Bejeweled -- which he plays about twenty-five times per day. It was only when his family suffered a tragedy last winter that I stopped envying him; I get the sense his present wife is a genuinely sweet person, and it’s my respect for her that causes me to control myself whilst picking on him.

Laugh if you want, but as Chief Financial Officer of Colorado Springs School District Eleven, Glenn manages a ¼ billion dollar budget annually, and is doubtless one of the smartest, wealthiest and most powerful men in city, if not the state – tell me, what’s not sexy about that?  When fuming and/or fantasizing could no longer fulfill me, I’d try to trap him with his own numbers, staring at him intently with pencil in hand as he started his Board Meeting dissertations, and waking up with a string of slobber on my face nine hours later.

Slobber from falling asleep with my mouth open, silly…where is your mind?

To me, he is an icon, and I still muse about him occasionally.  I figure dinner with Glenn would probably go something like this:

Me:  “Glenn, darling, please pass the salt.”
Glenn:  “7894, 665 1 9 56328?”
Me:  “Hmm…mmm, yes, the pork could use a dash of cash.”
Glenn:  “239 46632 7.”
Me:  Oooh, you flirt.

At the same time, I was loathing Board President Tami Hasling.  I’d watch her whisper and giggle with Jan Tanner, and it would piss me off  -- royal.  I tried out for cheerleading at Mann Middle School once, and a petite blonde with a broken leg who just stood there and clapped beat me out; that’s who Tami reminded me of, and when I learned she was once a competition body builder, I laughed and laughed and laughed – how weird and gross is that? I imagined her popular, jock-ular, and on student council, and I didn’t like it so much that her husband was a cop, and that the District shells out money for K-9 units and onsite police presence.  She was obviously a snob, and despite being a Springs native, cared more about herself, GLBT issues, and dogs more than she cared about educational opportunity – especially for low-income children.  Without a doubt, one of the phoniest people I’ve ever encountered.

After researching Tami’s campaign and collecting so little Tamibilia of interest, my boredom with her led me to research everyone else’s campaign, in hopes of finding and better recognizing the oh-so-faint connections.  

I resented the amount of time I spent thinking about them that summer, those frauds, perusing them and imagining their lives.

Watching Tami passing notes and knowing looks with Jan Tanner, I presumed them both to be silly smirking soccer moms, and clueless; both of them reminding me of the snotty, rich, athletic and popular high school girls I’d always loathed  -- especially Jan.  I’m not sure I ever actually saw her snap her gum or twirl her hair, but I imagined that she did.

Who considered Jan such a friend of fair and equal public education, considering her lawsuit against the Colorado Department of Education to fight the school voucher effort?  What of her involvement with the Gay and Straight Alliance lawsuit against Palmer High School, and her annual marches in the Pride Parade – I’m sorry, but why is that subject so near and dear to her heart – did she have a gay father, husband, son or brother? Or did she and Tami go and get gay together when Tami was still a man named Stretch Armstrong?  So Jan kept books for her family business – so what:  whadda cornball name for a restaurant anyway; what and where the hell is Cheezer’s?  It must not have been a very successful pizza joint – they weren’t even listed in the phonebook. 

As I studied Jan’s special appointment to the Board, however, specific questions began to take hold in my mind. I’d click this link and hear Jan yappering rapidly on KRCC about what school choice meant to her…and noticed there wasn’t any other such push by any of the other candidates.  I mean, yes, it was liberal public radio, and as such, presumably free; “free” being Jan’s favorite four-letter word.  To call Jan frugal is to mince words; she positively creaks when it comes to spending money…except when spending it on herself, that is – then she spends it like a runaway train, I’m sure.  And I came to learn that Jan is about as liberal as they come….and has liberal amounts of cash at hand to finance her liberal leanings.

Think about it:  Jan’s brother-in-law H. Mark Tanner got in on the Domino’s thing early when he established Inflated Dough in 1974 -- and I can only imagine he crowed about his successes to his family and friends.  Jan was only 24 when she and her husband Carl decided to get in on the action and established their own Domino’s franchise, Cheezer’s – incorporated by their long-time good friend Sanford E. “Pete” Lee, Esq.   

That was way back in 1976, around the same time that the B Street Dominos was (to use one of my favorite Janisms) “the hottest show in town.”  To be sure, students of business economics commonly study the success of the Domino’s model, and frequently cite the hand-over-fist rate at which the B Street store raked in money.  Look at Tony Mand; that little creep and show-off braggadocio is richer than the law allows, and he credits the B Street store as being a key component to his success.  It was the Tanners who gave him that opportunity.  Mand went on to own Domino’s in multiple states, including Colorado, Illinois and Oklahoma. 

Both Jan and Glenn have been pretty mum about their wealth; but while I want to believe Glenn earned the majority of his money, I believe Jan was born into wealth, and then married well into the Tanner family and all of their oodles of wealth.  While reading up on a couple of Jan’s big supporters, uber-rich GLBT activists Tim Gill and Jared Polis, I read that often, coming out about one’s wealth is even harder than coming out about one’s sexuality – and I can only imagine that in Jan’s case, it’s true. I’m unsure of where to go to find the details of Jan’s net worth and how many Domino’s she either owns or holds an interest in, but I know it includes nearly every Domino’s in the front range region, and locations across Texas, Oklahoma and Florida.  Jan also majored in French, which is pretty damn convenient, now that the Tanners are operating full-bore to hop the pond and establish their pizza monopoly in France.  I tell you with the utmost certainty that Jan Tanner is probably one of the richest women in the state of Colorado.

Reading up on the “Chaos Board” and the expensive recall election, I did come away feeling that Eric Christen did, at times, instigate for little more discernable reasons than quarrel and bluster.  But there was plenty that didn’t quite add up, such as Tami Hasling’s panicky claim that Christen hit her – ya know, white ladies used to do that all the time, back in the day…coming home late, and lying that they were raped by some black dude along the way…looking on with outraged indignation as the black man was strung up from a tree…tears of relief and vindication sparkling with the fire of an innocent man’s burning body.  Ugh, and I didn’t even know Annie Oatman-Gardner and Karen Teja, and yet could perceive their falseness. 

Looking up Jan’s home address led me to realize Jan had managed Karen Teja’s unsuccessful campaign bid for the Colorado House.  It was then that I started to see Jan differently.  Jan was hardly a caring soccer mom – her only-child son was already grown.  As things came into sharper focus, I realized that Jan is a shrewd politico.  I pondered the recall election, and the people who’d financed and supported it – rich elderly white women with seemingly little reason to care; the only thing separating those old bags from Tanner was a whole lotta wrinkles (don’t worry, Jan…you’ll catch up to them).  

I came across evidence of the District owning large, expensive empty plots of real estate, and was certain that the University Park property, and several holdings on Hathaway Drive, were proof positive that a crime had been committed when the District shut down schools for want of money.  Approaching Sue McMillin, I was  staggered to see her stifling back yawns of ho-hum boredom; various people offered alternate explanations for these vacant and valuable real estate holdings, and my suspicions were erased. 

The new Superintendent was selected – a candidate from Florida.  By now, I was sure I’d clicked every document on the D11 website; every policy, set of meeting minutes, every sub-committee membership roster and study.  I downloaded the large check register…and after my eyes adjusted to the sea of numbers, I began to peruse and sort….first in alphabetical order by vendor.  A, B, C…  

…123.  And there it was again:  Cheezer’s.

I’d seen the name before, on a campaign finance spreadsheet; Jan had listed herself as its Secretary/Treasurer.  Now, here it was again…this time on a check register indicating that the District had paid Jan’s pizza companies 160.000 cheezeroos, and that was just for the 2008-2009 school year.  I understood it all in a flash; and when Glenn informed us all that Jan’s no-bid contract with the District had been in place for more than a decade -- long before her special appointment to Volunteer Parent Board Treasurer, I became sick.  It certainly helped explain why Glenn and Jan “friended” each other on Facebook…not to mention the coziness between Tanner and John Elliott – former District head of Procurement and Contracting – and his weirdo Wiccan wife Linda Elliott – campaign manager of the leftist elite.

When Glenn and Jan tried to explain it all away with their claims that they’d made public disclosure of the arrangement when they’d executed a conflict of interest statement behind closed doors and then filed it away somewhere, they just weren’t sure where…I had to laugh…and wondered again at just how rich Jan must be:  only someone very rich could flaunt these overt violations of campaign finance law and School Board member by-laws, and make them vanish like nothing more than a water-color painting left out in the rain.

You know, at the last Board meeting, LuAnn Long started squawking, “What’s the harm?  What’s the big deal?”  -- and it’s easy to understand why:  LuAnn must get all-you-can-eat Domino’s pizza for free; it actually explains many things all at once.  Here’s news for you, LuLu – if you can’t see the potential for a conflict of interest here; if you can’t see how Jan’s failure to mention her pizza contract at the time of her appointment to the Board was a lie of omission and a violation of Board member conduct; if you aren’t able to see through the smoke screen and deception to detect how sneaky Jan and Glenn and John Elliott handled this, and how much money they and others stood to gain along the way, then WTF are you doing up there on the Board?  How much is Jan paying you??  Is it all in cash, or do you also accept cheesy bread? 

It’s so unfair:  I’ve already publicly offered to whore myself in exchange for a quiet gift of stock options from my Evil District 11 Boyfriend…offered to prostitute my pen in exchange for 16,000 of Jan’s chump change – and believe me when I tell you that the smart person would be sure to bring his/her HandyCam along to film the occasion, replay it again and again in the privacy of his/her bedroom, and resell it to the public ala “One Night in Paris” – yet I continue to be denied.  It’s unseemly for you to rub it in, LuAnn: do everyone a favor and STFU already, Jabba yourself off the dais, and go whore yourself for pizza in private – no one wants to watch.

Peering at Jan through my nearsighted eyes, I studied her transition from eyeglasses to either contact lenses or Lasik-perfect vision...studied the way her eyes changed from hazel to blue; I contemplated the butchy change in the cut of her coif, and her haphazard frosted highlights; I studied her awful fingerless gloves, and the ugly, ugly, ugly orange floral outfits she insists upon wearing as her everyday Halloween costume…in her loathsome attempts to pass for one of us.  I haven’t worn glasses for twenty-odd years – not because I don’t need them, but because I can’t afford them – but luckily for me, I don’t need glasses to clearly perceive her royal fakeness.

I told Null and Gledich about my findings, and then the County District Attorney’s office; all swore they’d get to the bottom of things.  After a look at the Secretary of State’s page, things began to snowball.  There was Pete Lee and his Restorative Justice thing, and Jan and Tom Strand on its Board of Directors.  Pete personally demonstrated himself to me to be a liar, jerk and phony when we worked together on the Irving Village proposal, and is a long-term and very happy Tanner camper.  Then came other names…Exline, Strand and Null – all of them in the Tanner camp.  I was led to 90 South Cascade, and 102 South Tejon, to a bunch of lawyers and lawfirms that also appear on the District check register…why, I don’t know.

The City stopped watering parks and then cancelled Independence Day fireworks at Memorial Park…and I found myself becoming more and more angry.  I dug a little deeper, and concluded it was all the fault of the City’s Sustainable Funding Committee – who were those people, I wondered? – and sure enough, there was Glenn, and a lawyer/developer named Randall Case, who is also a member of the Downtown Partnership.  The Board rejected the proposal I wrote to re-utilize the Irving building as a vocational school, community center, and athletic facility; and Bob Null, the supposed reformer who had been a member and advocate for the Irving Village concept, said with perfect deadpan that he’d never even considered the idea viable.   

Irksome it was, then, when the District then turned and adopted what I had written, and promoted it part and parcel as their own big idea.

A predetermined length of time passed without any follow up or word about anything from anyone,  so,following through with my promise to do so, I swallowed a vague and nameless fear, and began posting all that I’d come to know on my website; it was supremely chedderable to learn the Tanner’s had shut down their DPMD, LLC only three days later; finally, Jan’s cheese had begun to smell rancid. 

It was then that I discovered there was an identically-named entity, DPMD, LLC in Florida.  I recalled a photograph of Karen Teja, smiling with her little pig face, and frolicking on the beach.  Gledich came from Florida, and his district had just tried to close 12 elementary schools -- a decision that was delayed as racially and socio-economically discriminatory.  I learned that a Board retreat, and Malcolm Baldridge training took place in Florida. Diving.  I learned that Catherine Robinson, a liberal writer who wrote some positive things about Tanner, hailed from Florida.  I learned that the Spring Creek Detention Center website was designed by a Florida outfit – why?  My continued scrutiny of Inflated Dough pointed to Texas and Florida, and I traced a Cessna owned by Inflated Dough to Mark Tanner’s Florida address. I looked at Mark Tanner’s Florida home on Google Earth, and remembered that Jan’s Classmates page mentions her snorkeling and scuba diving hobbies; I began to tremble…

Bob Null shocked me when he dismissed any improprieties by Mrs. Tanner, calling the allegations I leveled in my blog as groundless accusations designed to smear a respected Board member’s good name through the mud, and I no longer knew who was friend and who was foe. I rolled my eyes as Mrs. Tanner, in her best let-them-eat-cake manner, defended the two-day CASB extravaganza at the Broadmoor  My research of CASB indicated they were less than truthful in their claims to have been around since the 1940’s; the Secretary of State’s page indicates they came about in the 1980’s; John Gudvangen’s name appeared in unpleasant connection with Jan and CASB, and it became clear that Tami Hasling and her “policy governance” repetitions also stemmed from CASB.

I looked up real estate owned by Jan Tanner and saw she has it all set up under living trusts.

As with every other thing, I watched Jan deflect my every question and suspicion like Wonder Woman and her bracelets; and now, though each pizza I’ve hit her with hasn’t so left so much as a stain, I am become only more convinced that I’m right, although about what I remain unsure.  But think about it:  only someone with enormous, untold wealth would be able to make my every allegation, insinuation, and accusation vanish; either that, or her name’s Samantha and she twitches her nose a lot.

But she's not nearly as lady-like as Wonder Woman...and though she might be Bewitched, it's her money, not her magic that's so powerful.  

So, what am I babbling on about…what is it that I’m I trying to say?

Well, I speak now as a watcher and a thinker prone to muse; I speak now thoughts uncertain and unproven; I preface all from this point forward with what if:

What if Jan Tanner is not a commoner, but rather a blueblood; not just the Yankee homegrown posin’ and politickin’ variety, but the classic, continental, Old World sort – pedigreed, nurtured, and groomed to fulfill predestined places and positions of power?  What if she and Glenn and others concocted a long-running get rich scheme off of the school district and the tax payers, complicated and camoflauged by a veil of numbers?  What if Jan manages to get free and reduced lunch monies some how?  What if the Production Print Department prints up phony pizza boxes, and together with the Tanners, sells their pizza in disguise?  What if some of the cheese that comes from Sintons is absconded to make Jan’s sneaky pizzas?  What if a group of Florida socialist elitists has infiltrated our City, fomenting revolution from within?  What if they’re waiting for just the right moment to mobilize their expensive, orchestrated chaos on all of us…with all of us in the dark, and none of us any the wiser until a cacophony of flash bangs go off all around us like fireworks?  What if they plan to use the census to find us and detain us,  and force us into indentured pizza slavery before killing us, while they sit and eat pate?  What if there is something more sinister about Jan's alma mater?

What are Pete Lee’s connections to Turkey?  Why does Jan have a boa constrictor wrapped over her shoulders?  Where did she come from, who are her siblings, how wealthy is her family?  Why has she changed her hair, and changed the color of her eyes, yet refuses to stop wearing her ugly orange hippie shirts?  Why is this the disguise she prefers to use?  Why is it so hard for Jan to come out of the closet and be honest regarding her vast pizza fortune?  WHY WON'T JAN GIVE ME MY 16,000 CHEEZEROOS?

Believe me when I tell you, wherever she and Glenn have so carefully stashed their money, there’s certainly a whole lot of it there...and Jan is abnormally immune to every kind of disorder.  The Prius sudden acceleration problems -- don’t affect her.  The Domino’s Pizza horrible, awful, vomitous changes to its pizza – don’t affect her.  The oil spill washing up at her brother-in-law’s Gulf of Mexico million-dollar mansion – eh.  

I used to think Jan was a lame hausfrau, who likes to drink and run up and down mountains; but now I believe that she and Pete Lee run so much because they’re both undercover ninjas and their haunted souls are chasing them.

Janet Jean Jorgensen Tanner, aka Triple J, aka J3  aka J Cube. Squish up the hook of the J, multiply by 3 and put it in front of a mirror – probably pure coincidence that it reflects as 666.

I just remembered what they call it in Dutch for those royalty scrapbooks; Orangjeboek – which means Orange Book.


Anyway, I admit to being royally annoyed by Jan Tanner, and fully fixated upon her; night before last, I dreamt about her -- not a dirty dream, but my dreaming about her is GAY nonetheless; I mean, why can't I have a Glenn dream...or a dream about my Adams boyfriend and I quietly working out a photocopier deal together ?  

My birthday is coming up, and I’d like an Oranjeboek, to keep all of my Tannerabilia orderly, along with a snazzy satchel so that I might tote it with me wherever I may go.  That way I could share my collection with others over apr├Ęs ski drinks and snow mobiling with the Lees, or over Long Island Teas on the yacht after an exhausting day of scuba diving…or over exotic mocha lattes on the private plane we’ll fly to Paris, Budapest and Astana…

...only I HATE ORANGE, so please make mine black, with little amethyst-colored doo-dads along the side, and a matching amethyst spider on the cover...

Pondering the Toyota Prius
When I first started to read this, I know I thought, “WTF.”  But if you read it all the way through, it is so totally Jannish.

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