Bad Behaviour.

Sometimes people do not live up to one’s expectations. Today, I saw that in a bunch of ways.

1) I am playing hooky even as I type. I was tired and it was raining, and I just thought, “Screw it, I can tutor both kids tomorrow and go home and sit on the couch tonight.” I wish I felt worse, but No Frills brand cheddar popcorn, wine, and crap TV are kind of fuzzing my guilt out.

2) I am watching Supernanny. I have never seen this show before. All I can say is, my friends are very good parents. Although I am always amused when they are surprised when their children inevitably learn the F-word. Think about it: It’s made up of easy, uncomplicated Anglo-Saxon sounds. ‘uck’ is one of the easiest phoneme combos to learn. Just add an easy fricative that feels cool, and you have toddlers wandering around with a whole new word, and parents cringing.

3) Bad bus behavior: Brontoschlong. When guys sit in a seat with their knees so far apart they are taking up half of each seat on either side. I’ve decided to combat this one. I am going to out-brontoschlong them. I’m going to stop sitting modestly cross-legged and press back with my own legs. I’m fighting the battle one seat at a time, people. I am going to make them uncomfortable. Because, dude, I paid for this seat with my bus pass. Back off with your mythical giant junk.

4) Boobquake: This isn’t really bad behaviour, unless you’re an Islamic fundamentalist, though. How long before we know if it has worked? I did not participate, because getting my norks out a) at the garage or b) teaching just isn’t the right move for me, but I certainly support the effort.

There was probably some other stuff, but I am here on the couch with my wine and popcorn. I’m fine.

4 20

Me, thumbing through a student’s assigned book: Oh, he goes to a party. There’s alcohol and…(skimming further) marijuana.

Student, a 14-year-old Korean boy: What’s marijuana?

Me: .... Wow. That surprised me. It’s, well. It’s a drug that some people smoke. It, um. It has different effects. It can make someone really giggly or creative. Or scared. Sometimes just hungry.

Student: Oh. I don’t really know about any drugs.

Me, upon reflection: I think that’s ok.

Nobody Died.

And we got to eat a lot of steak, so that turned out okay. When they lit it (I hid in the kitchen) the boys just stood around, watching the temperature go up.

“It’s at 400!”
“Still climbing!”
“OMG 450!”
“Look at it go!”

It was like they were watching some kind of racing event.

Here they are, about to dig in.

And now the deck guys have almost finished building Mel’s fire escape. The roofers came too.

The roofer boss has five chunky gold bracelets, a gold medallion as big as my palm, and silver teeth. (Why not gold? You know, for matchy-matchy.) And oil-slick-rainbow wraparound sunglasses.

Also, he has one of those hair things going on where he grows it long, but is bald as an egg on top. And he moves with purpose, so his hair flies out behind him like a little cape. For his Super Head, I guess.

After all this reno business is done, Mel is going to have the house painted. He’s leaning towards fuchsia.

I may have to learn Little Pink Houses on the guitar.

Taxes Are Eating My Weekend.

Yes. I had a busy week last week. Busier than normal, I mean, because I am covering someone else’s car jockey shifts which means I only didn’t work a 12-hour day on Wednesday. Next week will be the same. The Thursday guy is (I think) on safari in Africa. Maybe I made that up because he has cool aviator sunglasses and a bomber jacket and looks like a really accomplished nature photographer. I don’t know.

Anyway, I decided to have a really relaxing weekend because the week kicked my butt and I just wanted to be ready for next week, but I also needed to do my taxes. So, blithely, I thought, “Oh, I’ll just get them done quickly.” So I got one of those online programs that does the math for you, and I got all my papers and went to work.

FML. The government wants fourteen hundred dollars from me. Which seems really weird, because I am not exactly rolling in the bucks. I assumed I have screwed up. I tweaked the numbers. They still want over a grand. It’s been six hours of tweaking and it is just getting worse.

So I called my dad, and he will come help me, because my dad rules at math, and government stuff.

I hope he doesn’t come over when E and his friends are fixing our new barbecue. Which E got for free because he rules (and has a rich guitar buddy who is always giving people his it’s-not-first-rate-it’s-a-year-old stuff.)

Or maybe I do want my dad here when they are fixing it, because then I could be sure that no one would die in a fiery explosion. The barbecue needs to be fitted for propane. I get nervous around propane. E’s friend Russell said it wouldn’t blow up, but his flatulence is more powerful than his mind. E’s other friend Scott is coming over, and he has a giant brain, but it is full of computer guy stuff. Dad probably knows what to do for sure.

So instead of relaxing, I am worried that I am going to be a homeless person in order to also be a law abiding taxpayer, and that I will die when E explodes the barbecue. Or that he’ll set the house on fire before Mel has his fire escape and he’ll kill him, too. Which would make us homeless, again (unless already dead). Or that one of the pets will get hurt.

This is too stressful, this worrying. I am going to eat some chips.

Twenty Four for an Hour

I went into the co-op office to drop off some triplogs today and ended up being 24 and driving to North Van. Normally I don’t work on weekends, but I was sort of making up for being deeply useless yesterday.

“Hey, want to drop a car at a new location in North Van?” Karen asked. She was joking. Well, I didn’t have anything else to do, so I said okay. It was a sunny day.

Doug, who is kind of my boss, came with me. Doug is a giant young man who favours orange safety overalls and is still too shy, after knowing me for more than a year, to look me in the eye. But, man, can he drive!

Doug led in his car, because he had the Blackberry, and knew where Cap College is. By led, I mean he floored it, and deked and wove and was seldom driving under 60. Well, I had to keep up, didn’t I? I don’t mean we were aggressive or irresponsible. Just…efficient. We were doing highway ballet. With cars.

And then >>WHAM<< I was 24, and racing around on the highways in the sunshine, just like I used to, and then we were lost in some godforsaken mountain burg where we saw horses and where buses never go, just like I used to, and then I had to get us unlost from the dead end, because boys think they have spatial relationships, but they just don’t look at maps and see where things are, just like I used to!

It was good, being 24 for an hour. 37 is a little slower-paced, though, and I like that.

Community.

Interestingly, when I took this photo, I smiled at the woman who stopped so I could take the shot, and we talked for a moment about what an interesting piece of…art? Social engineering? Media hype? Whatever. it is, we talked about it.

I’ve been seeing this at the bus stop for about a week, now, and it’s been poking my brain about the concept of community. It’s a hard to define concept. There are a lot of issues about people and space in those posters, and I think those questions are important. But here’s what made me think:

‘Community’ used to mean the physicality of being together, but no longer does it denote sharing actual space. Online communities are very real and, I think, beneficial.

Oh, you see articles about how the internet isolates us, and how it keeps us from interacting with the people around us, but I don’t see that. For me, anyhow. Without email/blogs/Facebook, I would have no idea what my closest, oldest friends were doing. Time together is nice, but less and less possible. Phone calls are good, but work/children/stuff makes it hard to find times to chat. When I do get together with friends I’ve known for longer than it takes to have a child reach adulthood, it is precious to me, but having the internet is a good substitute.

Then there are the communities that are strictly online. Just because I have never physically met many of my photo-a-day Flickr contacts does not make them, or me, any less a part of our community. I know about Ulli’s soft spot for stray animals in Spain, and Beff’s new nail polish. I know Raynah got a gorgeous haircut in Birmingham. I cherish knowing those things.

Wikipedia tells me that ‘community’ is derived from the Latin: ‘communitas (cum, “with/together” + munus, “gift”)’

The gift that brings us together? Yes. I think so.

Easter Redux

Turkeys: 2
Liters of gravy: 3
Yorkshire puddings: 36
Pounds of scalloped potatoes: 10
Pounds of stuffing: 10
Bowls of salad: 1
Pounds of candied carrots: 2
Pounds of steamed green veg: 3
Hams we forgot to cook: 1
Pies we were too full to eat: 1
Diners: 10
Dogs: 3
Litres of wine on the counter: 5
Times we accidentally turned off the fancy oven: 2
Belly laughs in the kitchen: a million

I hope your Easter was as good as mine.

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