Random Crush Monday.

Today’s random crush is firemen. No, not a fireman. All of ‘em. I like the young, idealistic ones with freckles and sticky-outy ears. Of course, I like the calendar-worthy handsome ones. I like the hard-bitten older ones with silver hair. I like the captains who struggle between firehall gourmet food and their threatening-to-expand guts. I even have a crush on the female ones, so I guess I have a crush on fire fighters, but I’m going to keep on saying ‘firemen’. I like the married ones, the single ones, the engaged ones, the divorced ones. I like them all.

The thing about a fireman is that he’s not there to judge if what you’re doing is right or wrong. He’s there to make sure that you are safe. That your heart keeps beating. Incidentally, did you know firemen around here have just as much CPR training as paramedics? Fact. They also have a buttload of other first aid training. Firemen can keep you alive. It’s their priority.

Firemen believe in life. Now, I know we all know this, but let’s just examine this next sentence: A fireman will run into a burning building to save total strangers! How true is that of most people on the planet? Firemen are not going to examine the other person’s morality or legality or whatever. They are going to save them first and ask questions later. And they don’t arrest you.

Firemen are also very nice to the public. I know this because of my father’s habit of taking us to firehalls when we were children. I must have been in firehalls in about a dozen towns and cities in BC and Alberta. All the firemen, everywhere, were like, “Hi! Come on up on the truck! Here’s the pole we slide down. Try on our hats!”

I know it’s not just me who loves firemen. I can remember sitting in the staffroom at the school I taught at in Burnaby, and one of the other teachers slid in the door. “There are firemen in the caf! Teaching CPR! I may faint!” and she dashed off. Another colleague, a fiftysomething, hard-nosed, unsentimental type perked up. “I like firemen. Maybe I should go get a muffin.”

I love firemen. That’s why I wave at fire trucks. My aunt used to tell me that the firemen got a quarter every time someone waved at them. Now I just wave to see them wave back.

Weekend Roundup.

Spuds are on for Shepherd’s Pie. Floor’s clean. Laundry’s done. Woot.

Yesterday we saw Ninja Assassin. Go see this movie. It is very, very gory, but it is so, so much ninja fun. We were going to go eat steak afterward, but we were full of popcorn and, anyway, I don’t know if I could have faced any more precisely severed bleeding flesh. Drawback: My neck was sore from wincing. Other drawback: Recognizing Korean faces and accents amongst the ‘Japanese’ ninjas. I appreciate that this is probably not going to be an issue for other white viewers, but it bugged me.

Also, an eye-opener this morning from Rachel: If you haven’t lived in a place for your whole life, there are going to be places you don’t know the names of. I never even thought of that. I know the public names of stuff, but also have the personal history: Here’s the ravine where Bo fell off his bike and ripped his calf to shreds. There’s the block of condos that used to be a field of wildflowers. Rachel, I wasn’t laughing at you. I was just surprised.

Phone call from Morgan: We need to hang out and he and T have to go see Ninja Assassins. Yes. But not next Sunday, as I first thought, because that’s bellydance student night! How did THAT happen? Got something to dance to, got an idea of what to do even for the group piece. But what the hell am I going to wear?!

Stinky Bus People.

You know how there’s sometimes a theme to a certain day? Like you see a lot of cute children or handsome men? I like that usually. But today seems to be stinky people on the bus day. I’m not so happy about that.

Issues of homelessness and mental health aside, I mean. How do people who look like people I know, colleagues or friends even, get so smelly? Don’t they notice that they reek? The guy in the Gore-tex jacket and chinos didn’t look like he would be smelly, but boy was he ever. I mean, like, it clung inside my nose. Urgh.

The Day Nothing Got Done.

The cars were far-flung and it took a while to get them all to the garage. Plus there was construction and random congestion on usually smooth-sailing roads. The sun came out today, so people were driving sun-crazy instead of rain-crazy.

By the time I got the cars in, the mechanics were busy on other people’s cars. Hey, mechanics! I bring you cookies and talk about your children with you! Drop those cars and work on my cars! No, I didn’t do that. But I didn’t get through my list today. I hope my boss doesn’t think I was slacking, because I wasn’t.

I called him as I was on my way to teach. “It’s the day nothing got done!”
“I know,” he said. “I need to talk to them about that.” But it wasn’t the garage’s fault. It was that I didn’t get up at 6am to bring cars in. I hope my boss, indie rocker that he is, recognizes that 6am is not an option.

I only do that in the summertime.

10 Years Gone.

It’s the tenth anniversary of my first date with E today. Last week I looked at him and asked, “How did that happen?”
He grinned and said, “I don’t know, but you’re stuck with me now!” Of course, the upside of that is that he’s stuck with me, too.

Our lives are such that we’re postponing celebrating til Saturday, with dinner and a movie.

But where to eat? What to watch?

Shake That Thang.

So Rachel and I have a student light coming up with belly dancing class. I have a little bit of anxiety about soloing. I have a lot more anxiety about the crazy-ass group piece that doesn’t repeat any movement and I know I’m going to screw up. But the solo has me scared.

Which is why I should do it. I think we should always do the stuff that scares us, unless it is something like shark wrestling or eating live tarantulas. But the song I love, the song I want to dance to is so crazy fast and upbeat I am afraid I’ll look like some kind of wriggling fool. You know, no technique, all singing into my hairbrush, like I’m at home in my bedroom.

I guess the my recent thoughts about the Pussy Armada (or was it Flotilla?) make me worry that I am too old to be leaping about and shimmying like a loon.

Then again, I don’t have much dignity to begin with. And I love the song.

Electronic Dictionaries Bug Me.

They just don’t do context or nuance. Sometimes I wish my students would ask me rather than look at an electronic dictionary. Even a paper one would be better.

J is a bright, inquisitive boy who is also very shy. Yesterday as he was looking through a context clue exercise, he frowned at the page, mouthed something and went to his electronic dictionary. I watched him search the dictionary entry as though scrying for an omen. Frown. Look back at the page, then back at the dictionary. Finally he looked up at me.

“Logos is…universe?”
“Hmm, let me see.” I look down at the exercise. It says Logos, as in the plural of logo, meaning symbol. I look at him. “Universe?” I can’t make the connection.
“Yes. Universe. Big. Everything.” He looks down at the dictionary. “Um. God.”

Light bulb moment.

“Oh!” I say.”No. This is the plural of ‘logo’, meaning a sign or symbol for something else. Like a swoosh for Nike or red for stop.” I watch to make sure he’s following. “Logos in your dictionary is a whole other word: It’s from Ancient Greek.” I explain as much as I can remember about the concept of the word, and logic, and how Christianity translated it (which isn’t much) and J looks a lot less confused.

But, really, it was yet another instance of the electronic dictionary not having the common sense of a human being.

Random Crush Monday.

Sam and Dean Winchester from Supernatural. Either or both.

I can’t even be arsed to Google their real names, because I don’t care. I just like the characters they play. Demon hunters who travel the land in a 1967 Impala? C’mon, who wouldn’t love them?

As demon hunters, they both have high levels of angst. Angst is yummy in a crush, especially a fictional one. Real-life angst is often tedious and late for appointments, but TV character angst is A-ok in my books.

Also, Dean is a massive classic rock fan, and often introduces himself and his brother to people as FBI agents with famous rockstar names, like Agents Lennon and McCartney. Sam doesn’t like the classics as much, but I kind of don’t mind.

Yes, it’s their looks and the angst and the car, but the ass kicking and intense loyalty to one another are what really won me over. I luff them.


So today during the interminable chores, I noticed it was 3pm and if I was going to be outside at any time during daylight, I would have to get out soon, since I am living in November’s armpit and it’s dark by 4:30, even when it’s holding off the rain.

I went out to get an alarm clock. I didn’t want to do it. I have a long, loving history of slapping at my old alarm clock. It rings. I slap it, my arm rising almost before consciousness, like something in my reptilian brain’s got my arm moving before I begin to think about it. The clock shuts up. That’s our relationship.

But lately, gravity had been hijacking the alarm arm over the course of the night, and it would migrate to straight down, so that I was woken at 6am some days. Not so happy.

I decided I would use my cell phone as an alarm. Lots of people do that. But the problem with that is in the first, addled moments of waking, I would slap the cell phone. It didn’t turn off. It would keep squawking. If I slapped it again, it would shoot across the room, still squawking, and wake me, E and the cat. No one was happy.

So I got the new alarm clock. It is the updated model of the tiny, no-fuss travel alarm I bought some fifteen years ago. The edges are a little rounder, but that’s the only change. It’s the same size with the same style of numbers. It has the same insistent beep.

Best of all, it passes the slap test. I am certainly capable of changing my habits. Just not the ingrained ones I use 1/2 second after being dragged out of sleep.


I just got pulled over by the cops because my high beams were on.

Of course, I didn’t know my high beams were on, so I had no idea why the cop leaped out into the road to stop me. Here’s my internal monologue:

Hey, cops up ahead. Shitty job on a rainy day. My speed is ok, because I just slowed down to go through the flood back there. Oh. Oh my GOD! He’s pulling me over! Jeez! Is it a headlight? Brake light? Has there been a problem somewhere? Hey, they can’t pull me over, I work for the Co-Op. I’m driving a Co-Op car. Maybe they think I stole it? Oh God. What if they think I stole it? I can’t go to jail, I have to buy chips! Maybe they just want to know about the Co-Op. Do I have flyers? I have flyers. Ok. I can give him a flyer.

I pulled the car over.

Cop: Are you having trouble seeing? Because your high beams are on.
Me: Oh. I didn’t know. Thanks. (Turn them off)

The speed of thought is faster than the speed of light or sound, for sure.

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