Friday Confessions

Roll up, roll up! Confess your transgressions here!

I’ll start:

1) I miss the library! Oh, God, Oh, God! Even with my (I thought) inexhaustible supply of books to read, I am in harsh withdrawal. Five times a day, I say to myself, “Oh, I want to know about __. I’d better go to the…Oh.” Vancouver area readers (of this blog and in general), we may have to set up an informal lending system to get me (and you) through this troubled time of labour unrest.

2) I have been rereading Little House in the Big Woods because I will be teaching it on Monday to a student who is doing our summer ‘Interactive Reading’ course. It’s like a little book club. But I am reading with Beth’s comment in my mind, that it’s largely a book about not starving to death, about scraping by. These are people who, when Pa brought home a buttload of honey, had it for dinner. Honey. That’s it. In a related note, I really want to reread all the books now, and I may ask Arwen to put a couple of them in her bag on Saturday. That’s the confession part. I am still reading the Little House books.

3) There’s another teacher at work I am really beginning to dislike. It’s funny, because I respect her as a teacher. She has the patience and forbearance with the little ones I simply cannot muster. And she may be just shy. But she never makes eye contact with me, and never makes small talk when we find ourselves walking down the hall together. Of course, I think she must hate me because she doesn’t talk to me. So logical, I know! So, I think, I’ll just dislike her back!

4) I did it. I told work that I didn’t want to teach 6:30-7:30 on Thursdays. Even with Sanctuary getting bulldozed for condos, I will try to get to wherever Kim is dancing. I can’t believe how happy that makes me.

5) I am unconscionably smug that my September tutoring schedule is already full. To those that couldn’t get a spot, sorry, but my life is not tutoring and I will not wake up at eight o’clock on a weekend to come to your house to tutor. Do. Not. Want.

Over to you. What do you confess to this week?

Dad: Update

Well, my dad had an angiogram today and they found out that he’s going to have to have bypass surgery, but it’s not an emergency.

I am relieved that they found out what was up but scared about the idea of bypass surgery. Fat old dudes in offices get bypasses. Not my ultralight-flying, world-sailing, biked-to-work-for-30-years dad. Not my walked-around-Philly-last-spring-all-day dad.

When I talked to him he said jokingly that Carol was cooking up bacon and eggs with fried bread and lard. I jokingly told him he should probably follow it with an ounce of cocaine if he wanted to die quickly.

And when I hung up I sat on the bus and shuddered and cried a little, but not enough to make the bus strangers too uncomfortable.

The Boss Offensive: A New Plan.

Why are there so many bossy people who interrupt? I mean, I’m bossy, yes. But I don’t think I’m an interrupter. It’s so rude!

I do not mind advice. There are times when I will openly solicit it. But I am So. Very. Tired. of having to listen to people who have a bone-deep need to tell me what to do, and interrupt my response to tell me yet more of what to do!
For a long time, I weathered the bossy “You should”s in silence and then went and did my own thing. It was the easiest way. “You should go to Istanbul.” (Nice, but it’s not in my travel itinerary) “You should take some flax seed.” (Thanks, but it makes me gag) “You should make your bed this way.” (Thanks, but I am almost 35. I’ve found a way that suits by this late date.)
I blame myself for getting should-ed so often. For a lot of my life I have looked (to others) like a hothouse flower: Quiet, delicate, and easily bruised by the winds of fortune. Whether that was because of upbringing or nature, I don’t know. But I do know that I am not a hothouse flower, or anything of the like. I may, in fact, be a blackberry: resilient, tenacious and downright annoying. But far more useful than a hothouse flower.

Floral metaphors aside, it’s time to start shutting up the should-ers.

Tactics that work:

Talk over the bosser. They are used to me shutting up and listening. So now I just talk over them and continue what I was saying. It’s fantastic! They shut right up!
If they are one of those bossers that says, “Oh, you should do this, I did,” you just say, “Hey! This is MY experience! It’s ME who’s doing it. Why are you negating that?” It shuts them the fuck up.

In extreme cases, make the zipper motion a la Austin Powers. Respectfully say, “Just a moment, I’m not finished talking yet.” It works like magic.

There. I Broke.

This morning, I woke up with a purpose: I needed to clean.

This weekend, I have:

  • Spoken listened to far too many bossy people. Some of them are related to me. Some of them are just bossy. Christ, I loathe bossy people, particularly ones who think that they can somehow tell me what I am thinking. Stop invalidating my experience, you twits!
  • Discovered that a friend of mine is going back to her lying, cheating, sack-of-shit ex, because ‘she’s so complete around him’. Now he hangs around looking all smug because she took him back, and he is a waste-of-skin wankstain. I don’t even have words for what he is. This’ll take a different post.
  • Said goodbye to a student I have had for two years. She has come from monosyllables and staring at the floor to a rich and varied vocabulary, gestures, and a belly laugh. I will miss her terribly. It’s so hard to let them go sometimes, and all I can do is hope that she’s learned enough about who she is that a spark of that stays alive in the crucible that is the Korean education system.
  • Missed my father’s phone calls twice. He turns his phone off when he’s not using it (plus he is in a hospital so I think he can’t use it very much).

So I washed the sheets and aired the bed and swept and damp-swept and damp-dusted and sorted out all the food in the fridge and sorted the recycling and went to the Famer’s Market and did all my marking and bought toilet paper and toothpaste (not at the Market, at Safeway), and cleaned out the littler box, like with bleach, and put new litter in and went out to buy a new air filter thingie for the top of the litter box—
And then I sat down and started to cry. Because no matter how clean my house is, I can’t control what’s going on in my world.

I feel very small.

Friday Confessions

What a time it’s been here, chez Monkeypants. It was a boring week, and then, at the end, everything happened.

1) No gym. Ho Hum.

2) Sewed while at work. My job is not sewing, it is teaching kids to read. But I had a project, and sew, I did.

3) LOVED belly dancing class on Thursday. I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue, but I forgot how my soul opened up when I dance. Even fat. Even when I can’t see the muscles of my belly. Even sweating like a maniac. Of course, I sweated more than anyone else, but I always do.

4) My father had a heart attack Thursday afternoon. Or not. He was having symptoms (like indigestion) on Wednesday, and on Thursday, felt pain in his arm. He got my brother to drive him to the hospital. It was very mild and he is going to be just fine. However, I’m not supposed to know about it, but my sister-in-law told me. Dad “Didn’t want to worry me”. I am angry that I’m ‘not supposed to worry’ and will be lodging a gentle but insistent protest as soon as I ‘know’.

CSI: Overload.

How is it possible that some edition of this show is available pretty much 24 hours a day?

I have wondered briefly if CSI is making watchers more capable of critical thought. But the show does do a fair amount of leading, so I don’t think that’s the case.

So whence the fascination? And why can I watch it so often?

Random. Re: Readers.

I have just observed, in the book I am reading for work, so that I can discuss it in depth with a student, something I never thought I’d see: Toothmarks.

Sometimes, if my hands are both occupied, I will hold a book in my teeth while I juggle the coffee/bus pass/purse/whatever combination that renders me temporarily incapable of holding a book in my hands.

I didn’t think anyone else did, but there it is, a little pressed seal of readership: A smaller bite than mine, from smaller teeth in a smaller face. Clearly, I am not alone in the little dilemma of not having enough hands to read and still conduct my life.

I am obscurely comforted.


Jack Layton is currently in my back yard. I want to go ask him something, but am not certain what to ask!

Drama! On! Broadway!

“I love the rubberneckers in Vancouver.” Dave is from Derbyshire, and has a way of commenting on our Canadian foibles.

We are standing on Broadway, where a silver 2-door car has just jumped the curb and crashed into the pole outside the dollar store. Everyone asks everyone else, “Was anyone hurt? What happened? Did you see it?”

Those in the know answer, “Yeah, some guy just leaped out and ran down there (they point to Trutch Street) and the cops followed.”

Kathryn and I were walking home at that point, so we decided we’d walk down Trutch because a) We both live that way, and b) We are noseybonks.

We see the lights around the corner on Eighth, and surreptitiously walk past. There’s a guy sitting on a low wall, cuffed, with a bloody cheek. Cops are talking to him. There are a few people watching, so we decide we will watch from across the street. Not obviously, obviously. Just…quietly. We get snatches of the tweaked-out guy in handcuffs as he raises his voice.

We piece together that: His name is Justin, he’s had a record since 18, he’s got a problem with crack, the car is stolen, and he thinks he’s in the right somehow. We don’t think he’s drunk, because he’s not slurring. But he’s talking a mile a minute, and we guess he is on crack.

A cop wanders over. “Did you see anything?”

We shake our heads no, and he tells us the story. Our boy Justin was driving a stolen car. A dog car noticed him and started tailing him. Justin went around the block and then, all of a sudden, leaped out the sunroof! While the car was still moving! The cop following him bashed the empty car up onto the curb and other cops chased Justin. Meanwhile, our crackhead hero leaps up onto a fence and then onto the low roof of a house. he crashes in through a skylight, and terrorizes the older woman inside. The helicopter shines the light on him so he scrambles out again and starts looking for other windows to break, but slips off the steep roof and onto the pavement below, where the cops nab him.

An exciting night for us, but a sad one for this particular crackhead.

Friday Confessions.

It hasn’t been a good week, but I have noticed half of my confessions revolve around food and the gym.

1) I didn’t go to the gym again. Too nice to snuggle in bed. Until I am almost late.

2) I ate dessert twice on Thursday night. Well, who wouldn’t? A warm-from-the-oven cinnamon bun and then Korean treats? I was helpless.

3) I really want to see the ‘Hairspray’ movie.

4) I have only progressed to page 6 of Arwen’s novel. Not because it’s bad, because it really isn’t. I want to know what happens. But I seem to be going through a no-attention-span phase. In times like this I can only read things I have read before. That way I can dip in and out as needed. Maybe I have ADD and just mask it with my voracious appetite for easily-consumable beach fodder.

Confess. What have you transgressed this week?

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