OMG Santana!

Holy cats, can that man put on a show.

Many, many thanks to Fran for the early birthday present!

The Chair Story

So E’s parents had seen our house and they were excited to buy something for it, for E’s birthday, which is coming later this month. They had obviously discussed it at great length, by themselves, because when they came in almost two-and-a-half hours late, the conversation went like this:


E’s Mom: We’re going to buy you a chair. For right there. (Points at space beside fridge where a large, living-room-style chair would necessitate our sidling through a gap into the kitchen)


Me: But we have a chair for right there. It’s in the bedroom. It does double duty! (Goes out and returns with small, light armchair) See? Have a seat!


E’s Mom: But wouldn’t you like a chair there so that one didn’t have to do double duty?


Me: Our place is kind of small. We don’t have a lot of room, so lots of our stuff does double duty.


His parents are utterly derailed. In their minds, the Chair for There was a fait accompli.


E’s on the couch beside me, arms crossed, trying to figure out a way to make this work so his parents feel good and we don’t have unwanted stuff in our home. I know he is thinking fleetingly that we still need a coffee table, but also knows that his mother’s and my tastes only intersect in certain specific ways, so that’s way out.


E’s Dad: Well, what about…a mat for…the door here, or an area rug?


E: Baxter moves all the rugs we put in front of the door. We’re looking for one that has a good backing so we can put double-sided tape on it.


Me: Actually, I’ve already vetoed an area rug, because I’m the one who does the vacuuming. (I smile, but later E tells me I am shaking I am so vehemently anti-rug. Who knew!)


E’s Mom: Well, is there…something…? (She looks around, at a loss)


E: Well, if you wanted to do the chair thing, I would like a chair for my desk and computer area. The one that’s there right now is more of a dining room chair and I’d like an office style one.


E’s Mom: Well. If you’d like that….(She is obviously dubious.)


E’s Dad: I think we could find that.


So they all troop off and find a great chair for E’s room, and I’m spared a 12-square-foot La-Z-Boy! Hooray!


I really hope I didn’t come across as rude or ungrateful. It’s the difference in worldviews that trips us up every time. They wanted to give us something that would make our home more comfortable, in their eyes. A big, comfy chair would have fit the bill. Except that it would, in fact, have made our 800 square feet less habitable. That’s hard to fathom, though, if you don’t live in small quarters.

Friday Confessions.

Hello, fellow confessors. It’s been a very short week over here, what with Labour Day and new kids in classes and the catching up with old students, and the wait, how come there’s only 15 minutes left in class?! of everyone getting adjusted to the new year.


So I was tired. I had popcorn for dinner last night. Hey, it has fiber. And fiber is good. There’s just no nutritional value, is there? Meh. I’ll get my nutrition elsewhere.


Like in my quinoa! I think I’m going to reinstate Boring Salad Club, wherein I tell the kids I owe them five dollars if they see me eating something other than salad for dinner (and additives, of course. Like quinoa. I know I need my protein and whatnot).


Also, not a confession, but a kind of anti-confession: I didn’t kill E’s parents! Coming up soon, The Chair Story, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Control Over My Home Decor!

Ritual.

Labour Day evening. Everything’s done and ready for the beginning of school tomorrow. Even though I teach all summer, I have a lifetime’s worth of conditioning that means that The New Year starts tomorrow.

House clean? Check.
Fridge cleaned out? Check.
Groceries bought? Check.
New shoes? Check.
Clothes laid out? Check.
Conversation with Gen? Check.

Genevieve and I are both teachers, and we both feel the September Pull. Although I work in the private sector and she in the public, we both gear up the same way: Clean, plan, figure the angles, shop. And as long as we have both been teaching, we speak at some point on Labour Day. I think of us like two racehorses touching noses before we hit the starting gates, just to say, ‘Hey. I know what’s going on with you. Me too.’

So to Genevieve and all the rest of us who run at the starting bell tomorrow, good luck!

Renaissance Fair!

(Picture when Flickr lets me do it)


Ok. Here’s how to get your mind well and truly blown: Go to a Renaissance Fair! Or maybe it’s just me.


See, Rachel was all, “Come to the RenFair!” and I was all, “Yeah! Nerds!” because it sounded fun and I think I need to let my Inner Nerd out more. Not just Teacher Nerd, because she’s around all the time, harping on about the value of natural resources, or how the stirrup revolutionized mounted warfare. But I need to let my Inner Nerd come out and perform.


Before today, my only experience with historical re-enactment comes from the SCA. And those guys? They tend to be very hardcore about getting the details right. Also, they keep trying to tell you how history went, even if you know better. Because, say, you have a degree in history, with more than a few Medieval courses under your belt.


So I walked into the Fair and felt like I knew a thing or two about historical recreation more than these folks.


But they knew more about fun. And way more about being relaxed about history than the SCA folks, it seems. Because the costumes? Many were of the Renaissance period, but the pirates, for example, were more Cavalier-era, because there was better pirating then. And the hats! had! feathers! Also, there was one Ren Extra wandering around in what appeared to be 12th Century garb. Let alone all the random fairgoers in jeans and cloaks, or fairy wings, the women with coin belts on, and the guy with the fake parrot on his shoulder.


Over the course of the day I went from supercilious to envious. I totally think that our bellydance troupe should apply to perform next year. I’d be proud to be center stage on that one.

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