Friday Confessions

Impending November has me in a bit of a grump. Yesterday was an ‘I Hate Everything’ day. Seriously. Cute Chinese grandma and grandpa, the pharmacist at Shopper’s, the customers in the costume shot who bought all the green paint. I hated them all. But then I had some emergency pasta and butter and parmesan in a bowl as big as my head, and I felt better.


Speaking of food, I think I may have to speak to my boss. He is new, having only been at this academy for a few months, but yesterday he sent out an edict that teachers were no longer allowed to eat in class. Apparently, it makes some of the younger students want to eat. This gets my hackles up on a LOT of levels. First, I am an adult. I decide when I get to eat, thanks. Second, I am often there for four or five hours, without a break between classes. He’d prefer that I faint? Especially since, Tuesday and Wednesday, I have already put in a full shift at another job? Also, why would a mother pay forty dollars per lesson but send her child to class hungry and therefore unable to learn? Why not just lock the kid in his room with a manga comic? It’s cheaper and just as effective.


Excuse me. I seem to have some feelings about that one. Which also pisses me off. I work for a Korean company, and I feel like a racist when I chafe at the restrictions. But I am a Canadian. Yes, we do things differently here. We think for ourselves. We challenge our superiors sometimes. We come to our own conclusions, not those handed to us by our bosses. Also, parents choose to send their kids here, so we have to appeal to them. And your average Korean mother? Not well versed in educational principles. I love my job. I really do. But when management starts trying to cater to the whims of the parents as opposed to allowing me to see to the needs of the students, things get a little messy.


Oops, sorry for the rant. Anyone else got a confession (or rant, since that’s on the menu too?)

About Those Firsts…

Anybody got any special requests? I have a list that Sandii and Hannah and I made up, of all we could think of, but we might have missed something crucial.

November.

My British friends have a phrase for this time of year. They say, “The nights are drawing in”, which I think is lovely. It evokes thoughts of curling up under a soft blanket on the couch, safe and warm in a little pool of light that keeps the dark at bay.

It’s a comforting thought, because November is coming. I hate November. I like the name. I even had a friend who wrote a story with a character named November. But the month? Hate it.

November is a month-long house guest who leaves towels on the floor to mildew, puts spoiled milk back in the fridge, and tells you the twinge in your shoulder is probably cancer. November leaves a sponge full of maggots in the bathroom sink. November trails you around the house in a manky housecoat with suspicious stains on it, telling you monotone-voiced stories about its long-suffering battle with neuralgia. November is patently unpleasant.

In past years, I have countered November’s dank presence in my life by doing NaNoWriMo, and blithely writing a novel in a month. However, this year I know I am too busy, right off the bat. Tuesday and Wednesday, when I leave the house at 7AM and don’t get back til 9:30PM, I am certainly not going to want to work on a novel. So I have decided to do NaBloPoMo, and blog every day in November. Tuesday and Wednesday can be easy entries.

I know that blogging every day will be a challenge, as my life is not so interesting, my worldview is not so political, and my persuasive skills are often limited to thinking, “What a jackass”. So I have a theme. This November I will be blogging about my first times. You know, of doing stuff. Not just having sex. Although that is a pretty funny memory. First car, first job, first kiss. That kind of stuff.

Because the nights are drawing in, and my little pool of light works hard to keep out the dark. And firsts are shiny and new.

Friday Confessions.

The thing about Friday is that it’s not really the end of the week. There’s so much more in on a weekend that makes the end of it a fitting end of the week. The real end-of-week is Sunday night, and I’d probably have more to confess if I did this on Sunday. But I don’t. So.


Shirked vegetables. Ate pasta with butter and parmesan and called it a meal.


Let a kid get away with saying ‘shit’. It was an accident of time and place. I know he would not have, if he’d been thinking. I gave him a stern look, and got a scared/embarrassed one in return. We’re good.


Offended a guy on the bus by even having a cell phone. Sorry, dude. It rang and he let out a big WTF huff. So sorry for having a job wherein I need to be able to get calls where I am. Next time I’ll totally stand on the shore and watch for smoke signals.


Anyone else want to check in?

Forbearance.

My first Tuesday class is a bit of a farce. One of the drawbacks to working the classes the way my employer does is that kids get slotted into classes by what time is convenient, not by ability level. This means that Tuesday 3:30 (for now, anyhow) is two boisterous five-year-olds and a studious eleven-year-old.


The five-year-olds come directly from school. They have been good and quiet all day. And they haven’t had any time to let off steam before being asked to sit in my class for an hour. In addition, they are both vocal children. J was talking to me nonstop in Korean before she even knew any English. S is a giggler and a drummer.


The eleven-year-old, C, also comes directly from school, but has better control over himself. Mature for his age, he asks probing questions and is a naturally critical thinker. He deserves my answers, time and quiet in which to do his work.


I try to give those things to him. I try to answer his questions with the detail and description he craves. But I’m doing it between the other two reading aloud, or reminders for them to pipe down, which are largely futile, since what they need is a run around the block and a snack, not more silence and still.


Around thirty minutes into class, either I heave a big, unconscious sigh, and C gets the giggles, breaking out of his long-suffering shell, or he sighs and I can’t help but laugh. The younger ones giggle as well, and we have a little minute wherein we all laugh together. Then we can manage the end of the class.


I have tried to push the moment sooner, for more productive time, but it can’t be done. It needs to be the right moment. It needs to have C and me exasperated and the little ones having had enough loud time to go back to concentrating. There’s no way to fake it.


“I’m glad you’re here,” I said to C today. “I wish I could give you more quiet time.”


He shrugged. “I’m okay.”


He can handle it.

Guilty Sunday Pleasure

I have re-seeded part of the endless blackberry-and-buttercup battleground I long to call a lawn.


I have re-organized the under-the-stairs nightmare my landlord calls ‘garden storage’.


I have stored the picnic table and chairs for winter.


Now I am sitting on the couch, watching Take The Lead, the camp-tastic movie wherein Antonio Banderas teaches inner city kids ballroom dancing. I am eating gougeres, which are homemade cheese puffs.


Life is sweet.

Friday Confessions

What, wait, it’s Friday? Hell, it’s still very early Friday morning, but that was fast. I had a bunch of stuff I meant to do this week. It didn’t get done.

Not done:

Phone to get an appointment for a pap smear. (I am religious about this, believe me! I’m doing this as soon as I wake up. You can’t screw around with cervical health).

Make an appointment for more contact lenses. I am down to my last pair and although I love my glasses, I feel more confident in contacts. I wish I could change that, but I can’t seem to.

Phone my dad. I want to tell him about my week, but every time I think about people to phone, friends or family, it is later than they are awake. Like now.

Incidentally, I am awake because I have just been dancing around the living room to Youtube videos. I guess that’s a confession on its own.

Okay, make me feel better, please. Tell me you didn’t have it all together this week.

Stick It!

I have a new favourite adhesive. Before, I was totally a Five-Minute Epoxy kind of person, because of the mixing with the toothpick, and seeing the two clear gels kind of go viscous and opaque. It appealed to my Mad Chemist.

But I have just solved all my heat vent dilemmas with something called ‘No More Nails’. It is going into my personal toolbox o’ solutions, along with duct tape, WD-40, and Fast Orange degreaser.

Goodbye, 30-degrees-at-10PM! Goodbye whistling registers! Goodbye, stuffing a T-Shirt into the vent! Goodbye, cardboard-over-the-vent!

This is an exciting day.

Thankful.

Part of me wants to rebel against being thankful on Thanksgiving, but when it comes down to it, I’m pretty thankful all the time. There are people who have more than I do in this world, but there are so many who have fewer both tangible and intangible blessings. All in all, I have a huge number of reasons to be thankful.

There’s a turkey in the oven right now. There is stuffing and potatoes and broccoli for the green. When the bird comes out, E will pull out his Mad Gravy Skillz and go to town. Having enough to eat. There’s something I’m thankful for. Not just today, but even days when the fridge is ‘empty’ and all I eat is an egg sandwich. What looks ‘empty’ to me, still gets me fed.

I have a warm place to live. I may groan about the heat vents or the shower, but when it comes down to it, any extra that I could want is a luxury, really. What percent of the world’s households own dishwashers anyway?

My brain works. Granted, not always as efficiently as I’d like, and I still can’t speak Government. But I have the ability to understand situations, to empathize. I can analyze and synthesize. I have mad creative impulses. I have my Irony Meter, Inner Angry Pinko, and Inner Cynic. I have compassion in goopy buckets-full. I tend towards optimism. I am decidedly lucky with my brain.

I’ve got pretty amazing friends. They let me share their triumphs and challenges and creative onslaughts. I never really knew how important it was to be part of a community until I realized that I don’t have friends the same way other people have friends. I have friends who don’t care-who even cherish!- my nerdy side, my creative side, even my lose-the-plot Drama Queen side. I think that’s rare and wonderful.

I love my dad and my brother. Granted, we baffle and annoy one another. But we are working out the kinks one at a time. We are learning to communicate with each other. That’s something amazing.

Then there’s E. I have this kind, thoughtful, funny, creative guy. I know I confuse him sometimes, but he sticks with me. I get to share my life with someone who loves me in my failures as well as my successes. He’s there for me, no questions asked, all the time.

For all these reasons, I give thanks.

Me VS The Heat Vents

So I did what every thirty-six-year-old does on her birthday, and went shopping for heating vents. Because, well, I am determined to be better at heating vents than the cretin handymen my landlord keeps on dragging in. So out of two vents, I got one right. But I forgot the stuff to stick them to the ceiling, so what should have been effortless is turning into a kerfuffle. Plus the one has to go back because it’s about 1/16 of an inch too big. But the one I got right, I sanded and spackled and painted the hole around it, so it won’t be a big Frankenstein mess of mismatched screws, bare gyproc, and random washers poking out of the ceiling.


I’m flailing, but I’m not yet an imbecile, and it’s like my dad always says: Knowing how has nothing to do with it.


Oh, and Richer Than God is now in my blogroll. Because I couldn’t actually embed it like people who can use technology. I am, however, a demon with spackle. I like that word. Spackle spackle spackle. I think I’m going to watch the video again and then see if there’s anything else I can spackle.

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