Weather 1, Family Plans 0

The joke was totally on me.

After an ongoing buildup of stress about a number of things I couldn’t control, including my father’s antisocial behavior, flaky relatives, and the sheer cost of getting eight people out on a boat to inter my grandparents’ ashes in the ocean, it was all for naught.

After 24 hours of stomach ache from nerves, a rant to John, and deep breathing through construction traffic to get to the marina on time,  it turned out that it was too choppy to go out on the water today. But the small talk with the dreaded relatives was way easier than I thought.

After conferring, we decided to do it next spring instead.

Thanks, weather! I hope I’ll remember this and be more comfortable with my relatives for the do-over in the  spring. They’re not so scary. Really.

It’s funny. After freaking out about the interactions between the relatives involved, it turns out that those stresses  were nothing important. Most important: Actually getting weather that allows us to do our thing.

Maybe next time will be easier.

All Around The World

It started with an anon thread on the website’s Off Topic forum. Lots of us post anon if something is wrong, particularly because many of us have become real life friends. It’s easier to give and get advice if you don’t know about extraneous facts.

She wanted to leave her husband, an emotionally abusive fucktard. He had locked her into their apartment while he went to work, had isolated her from all her friends and acquaintances, and had even taken over most of her communication with her family. Classic control issues.

She had finally reached the point where she could think about leaving. That’s such a big step, I can only applaud the woman’s bravery. But, as in many cases, he controlled the money. She had nothing to leave with.

People from all over the world helped out: Spain, Australia, Canada, Britain.  We sent money to a paypal account and hoped she was brave enough to go through with it.

She waited til her husband went to work, and got the landlord to come over and let her out. She got over the border. She got to the airport.

She is now in the air on the way home, safe away from her abusive husband.

Courtesy of the kindness of strangers on the internet.

CrankyPants

I am it.

There are a few reasons.

My academy boss circulated a really disheartening email to the teachers this weekend, reiterating his ‘no eating’ thing. But snacks are OK. Along with that, no personal stuff, like  reading. But model the right behaviour. Oh, and pay more attention to the kids, asking about their lives. But don’t let them do anything off-topic.

Pretty contradictory. And I know that if I ask for clarification I’ll just bloody my nose on the language barrier, because what the boss really wants to say is  ‘Act like I have you over a barrel at an academy in Korea.’ So that’s frustrating. Because the teachers, we do a great job. We work our asses off, and it’s really discouraging to get this kind of feedback.

Enrollment is down (I think it’s primarily economic in nature) and he is anxious. But making us feel bad isn;t going to help. I’m kind of thinking of going Ronin again, and just tutoring privately. That scares me.

In addition to the work, there’s my squirrelly family. We are interring my grandma and grandpa’s ashes next Saturday and Ghastly Aunt and Bigoted Uncle will be there, along with Used Car Salesman cousin and probably Never Got To Go To University Because She’s A Girl. I suspect there will be issues. I kind of wish I had access to valium.

Because I am doing the family jaunt, I won’t be able to go to Roberts Creek for a pig roast. I have never been to a pig roast and I badly wanted to go. (More on the shenanigans later as I need to write about JP’s place anyhow.) Anyway, it’s going to be a whole pig! (stamps foot)

Also, PMS is kicking my ass. I keep seeing that McDonad’s ad, the one with the olympian and the little girl asks for his autograph and it’s for her mom? And I cry. And crying at McDonalds ads is incredibly pathetic.

So, there’s my crank. Anyone else got a whinge?

Teacher Musings

one another

Tutoring my Monday night student is always a lot of fun. We work hard together, but it feels like play,  because I’m constantly switching it up to keep it interesting and she’s constantly remembering things she wants to ask and tell me. It’s not a linear lesson. It’s like being dragged around by a herd of butterflies.

The fact that she feels she can ask and tell me anything is valuable to me, and I always encourage the kids to ask away. So we go off topic for a few minutes while we talk about song lyrics or food or something that happened at school.  They’re still learning.

It’s the side conversations that create trust, and that makes them better learners and me a better teacher.

A Bird Pooped On My Head

There I was, innocently waiting for Gen to meet me, and just when I saw her, a bird pooped on my head! Luckily, Gen had baby wipes so got it out, but it was the weirdest thing to walk around very aware of my hair.

Also, every single person I told replied with, “That’s good luck!”

No, it’s not good luck. There was fecal matter on my head. Not lucky. Unhygienic.

I think it’s something someone designed to make the poop-headed person feel better, because there’s no logic to it.  In other soiling situations, no one says it’s good luck.

If I get mud splashed on me by a car, it’s not good luck.

When my mom was changing my little brother’s diaper, and he peed in her ear, it wasn’t good luck. Funny, yes. Good luck, no.

If I step in dog poo, it’s not good luck.

But just in case, I am buying a lottery ticket.

Back to Belly Dancing!

IMG_2241

Belly Dancing!

I missed it a lot over the summer.  Not just the movement (Ow, my lower back!) but the camaraderie. We are a small class now (I need to put more flyers up to attract more students) but the smiles as we work, the jokes, the “Hey, what if we try this” with the choreography.

Here’s to another year of us goofing around, sweating hard, and dancing what’s in our hearts with one another.

Thanks, Arwen!

The little pooping man is gone!

Also thanks for an awesome time last night with wine and chips and brownies and friends!

Check it Out!

WordPress finally got techno-moron-friendly enough that I figured out how to change my theme!

Also, is there any way to get rid of that featureless orange man over there on the right? It sort of looks as if he’s on the toilet in public on my blog.

District 9 (Probably spoilers)

We saw this last night. I was withholding expectations because people kept saying, “I’ve never seen an alien movie like it!”  It still blew my mind.

There are the obvious parallels to Apartheid in South Africa, pogroms and ghettos in Europe. There are themes of xenophobia and ignorance and intolerance. But the coolest thing about this movie is how it subverts and screws with the concept of  ‘other’.

First of all, the man introduced as the protagonist isn’t anything to admire. We’re used to heroes as our protags, or at least plucky outsiders who prove that they can be more than we ever though. In District 9, the main character is a waffling, cowardly paper pusher. We don’t cheer for him. We wouldn’t even want him for a friend.  I was torn between sympathy and disgust for him throughout the movie. Hard to get behind someone who evokes both of those at the same time.

But that’s the funny thing. He’s a real person. His reactions to circumstances are what probably ninety percent of people would do,  given his situation. He’s a normal guy. Loves his wife.  Copes as best he can with limited understanding of what’s going on around him. Still, we don’t want to be that guy, don’t want to think that our actions would be the same as his.

The antagonist is a multinational corporation, and the quasi-military force it throws around. Easy to hate. Pretty stock, there. Lots of heavy-handed stuff about power, secrecy, corruption, and thugs who love to kill. All of them human.

The character with the most admirable traits is in fact, an alien. He shows compassion, valor, intelligence, and even humour. He’s the one we want to be friends with. He’s the one we want to be like. And he has tentacles on his face!

Ultimately, this is a film about humanity, and the fact that our language and ideas about being human, and what that means, are very different from what being a homo sapien really entails.

Meh.

It’s been one of those days.

I went out to get a ceiling vent that actually attached to the ceiling (I meant to do it in the spring but then we never used the heating and it became moot) and I bought one that wouldn’t work. Again.

“I am going to have a stiff-bodied tantrum,” I informed E.  So he has decided he can make something that will allow us to get the vent up there and make it fit. I hope he does it soon because I am mightily sick of thinking about heating vents. This happens to us a lot. I decide I am going to do some kind of home repair, and he ends up doing it because I am, by and large, hopeless.

Then I wanted to make peach crisp,  so I did. It is too sweet and is underwhelming.

It’s like when I get a fever and my whole body is over-sensitized, except it’s only my brain. Fire trucks make me cringe and I want to knock kids off their rumbling skateboards. Colours give me an eye twitch and I can’t decide if I am too hot or too cold.

So then I decided I had some kind of deadly brain fever, which led me to wonder what people will say about me when I am dead. I think about this more than is healthy.

On the plus side, I got bills paid and swept the floor of the suicidal bugs that keep coming in my house.  I think that’s pretty good for someone with a deadly brain fever.

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