Tuesday, November 28, 2006

God damn, it's been a while.

It's been a few days since I've written anything. Now, while I could say that I've spent the past little while getting handjobs from Brazilian bikini models and doing enough coke to make Kate Moss's nose twitch with envy, it would be entirely incorrect. Mostly I've been... uh...

...hmm. What have I been doing? I can't even remember. Life these days just sorta keeps rolling forward, working five days a week and spending the next two trying to forget about the previous five. Not that work is bad, not at all — I still quite enjoy my job — but we're in that stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas which is stupidly long and repetitive. By my count, we have ten straight 5-day weeks; after Christmas I doubt if we have five in a row without some sort of holiday, exam period, long weekend, or week-long asbestos-induced absence.

So, while I'm on this seemingly-endless treadmill which they tell me is eventually headed towards a bunch of days off in honour of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, Second Leg of the Holy Trinity, Earthly Manifestation of the Lord, Saviour of Mankind and (as far as I can tell) also the father of one Mr. Kris Kringle of the North Pole, I'll ask if you'll kindly forgive me if I feel a little rat-in-a-wheel-like.

That's it for today. Next time, we'll look at the subject of telephones. Who is the little person inside the handset who speaks into your ear, and what should you feed him/her? Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Five things for a Saturday.

1. Get thee to The Bees' Myspace page and tune thine ears in to "Left Foot Stepdown." Judging from the three new tracks they have posted there, I think they've hit the nail on the head when they describe the new album as being a mix of the first two excellent full-lengthers, Sunshine Hit Me and Free the Bees; the former was recorded in their backyard shed, the latter in the same EMI studio that this other obscure British band used back in the '60s, I think their drummer was named "Ringo" or something. Anyway, the new record was made in a basement.

2. I napped on my couch last night from 7 until midnight, then promptly went to bed and slept another eight hours. That's gotta be some sort of personal-best.
3. Paul Mooney has a take on the whole Michael Richards fiasco; apparently Mooney has known Richards for thirty years. (If you'll kindly recall, he had a few skits on Chapelle's Show entitled "Ask A Black Dude," and one memorable episode of "Mooney On Movies.") I think the best line from Mooney's observations is, when asked if Richards can redeem himself, he opined, "He can take that same act and perform at the Apollo. Then he can come back and talk to me."

4. Pizza is way better reheated in the oven in comparison to the microwave. It gets all crispy and crunchy and delicious again.

5. I was asked by the secretary in the Graduate Studies Office at Queen's to write up a blurb, for later publication after I successfully defend my thesis, about what I'm up to these days. I'm hesitant to do that, to be honest — I feel like I'd be jinxing myself. Now, I'm certainly not one to believe in jinxes and superstition and curses and all that hooey, but... I dunno, I feel like my thesis defence is constantly in danger as it is, and I don't need any help from any spooky, unknown forces to knock it off its shaky precipice. (Not that I think it's a bad thesis, not by any means — I totally kick ass and take names — but so far it's been governed by Murphy's Law.)

That's all for now. Next time, we'll look at body piercing. Are 44 holes in your body enough? Tune in and see.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Let's defend this sumbitch.

It's been over a year in the making.

It's been a source of endless frustration, has caused me to generally distrust academia, and has cost me way more in tuition than I ever thought it possibly could. And on Monday, December 11, it may just be over.

That's right, bitches: I'm tentatively scheduled (again) to defend my thesis. Doing it on a Monday is handy, I suppose — I figure I'll go up to K-town sometime on the weekend, be an intruder in some unsuspecting friend's house for a day or two, perhaps leer lustily at some undergrads (ah, the good ol' days), and do some last-minute preparations for my hour-long grilling by five profs about how I've spent the past year-plus of my life. I envision it starting something like this:

Them: "We read this thesis, and it looks like it was written by a coked-up baboon with a taste for snuff films and underage Thai prostitutes."
Me: "Hey, c'mon now. I'm not a baboon."*

It'll be smoooooooth sailing for the next 60 minutes, I imagine. According to several profs I've talked to, if your thesis gets to a defence that basically means your supervisors feel you're ready for the exam. If you're there, you'll probably pass... assuming you don't constantly make references to your latest "vacation" to Bangkok while winking constantly at your examiners.

So, in conclusion, I might be coming down to Kingston as early as Saturday the 9th. If you'd like to house me for a day or more, let me know; I will return your kind gesture with meals in moderately fancy restaurants, alcoholic beverages, or my unique vocal rendition of the 1982 pop hit "It's Raining Men" by the Weather Girls.

* This is the stupidest, ugliest, smelliest ape of them all, according to Homer Simpson.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I expected a lot more smiting.

It all starts with my lousy memory.

I can't remember a god damn thing, unless it's connected to something else or I fully understand the reasons behind the given fact's existence. As such, I've tended to prune away things in my life for which the reasons supporting their purpose and derivation no longer make sense to me. Organized religion is one of them.

A lot of things pop into my mind when I'm (a.) in the shower, (b.) doing the dishes, or (c.) in mid-sentence in a Grade 10 Science class whilst explaining the idea of acid-base neutralization reactions. This evening, scenario (b.) occurred.

I was imagining a dialogue between me and person who believes in the existence of a Deity.

* * * * * * * * *

Them: "So, do you believe in God?"
Me: "Meh, I dunno. I guess it's possible, but humans like to assign meaning to a lot of things that don't have anything else going for them, like all those water-stains on walls in Mexico where people swear up, down and sideways that it looks like the Virgin Mary."
Them: "Seriously? You don't believe there's Something which created all this?"
Me: "I'm willing to chalk it up to random chance. This roll-of-the-dice has worked out pretty sweet for us, but in the end I think it might all be due to dumb luck."
Them: "Well, if you don't take Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, you'll spend an eternity in the fires of Hades."
Me: "About that. If there's an omniscient, omnipotent God looking down over everything we do, I'd have thought that, as soon as anyone did anything wrong, God would kick their ass. Someone breaks a Commandment? Someone gets turned into a pillar of salt or something. Why make people wait their entire lives to see how it all turns out, if you've done things right?"
Them: "God is just testing you. Life is a big test, to see if you're worthy of entry into Heaven."
Me: "Two things: one, if God made Heaven, He should've made it infinitely large; I'd have thought an all-powerful Being would've been able to pull that sort of thing off. Two, doesn't that seem a little petty? If God wants something to go a specific way, He should make it so that it always goes that way, and take the whole 'human element' out of it. In case you haven't noticed, we're not exactly perfection personified."
Them: "But you have to have faith."
Me: "Why should I, a thinking, sentient being, have to put my fate in the hands of something I can't even prove exists in the first place? No thanks, I think I'll just take care of what needs taking care of down here, thanks. I got 'er."
Them: "I'll pray for you tonight."
Me: "Thanks, I'll go read some horoscopes, and maybe do the Jumble."

* * * * * * * * *

Okay, so I constructed a bit of a straw-man to knock down here but, in the words of Terrance Maddox, "I think I've made my point." If I can't ground a given piece of dogma (e.g. eternal damnation) in something which makes sense to me, why bother taking the time to memorize it?

Take the mystery out of your life, folks. You'll sleep better at night.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Who's going down with the Captain?

This very interesting article from the Washington Post nicely encapsulates the sentiment around the Bush administration.

Here's the thing. You have people that, in the three-plus years that the US has been in Iraq, didn't want to speak out against the White House... for fear of what, exactly? That the truth might actually come out? That the international community would condemn (moreso) the Americans' business being there in the first place?

Nope. None of those are reasons why people would stay silent. This administration plays fast-and-loose with the truth, as we've all seen countless times. And I think you know about their attitude towards the international community: "Don't mess with Texas" pretty much sums it up nicely.

The only reason why people didn't want to speak out is because they didn't want to get fired, or heavily pressured to resign. I mean, look at just three of the casualties:

Colin Powell
Could anyone be more well-respected than this guy? I mean, sure, there's a clip of him at some Republican function taking part in a faux-Village People performance, but who hasn't? Anyway, the guy doesn't exactly toe the Party Line (remember how uncomfortable he looked at the UN with pictures of "mobile biological weapons labs?") and he gets squeezed out like orange juice.

Richard Clarke
If you haven't read Against All Enemies, get thee to a bookstore. This guy knew his stuff down cold, and worked with both Bush 41 and Clinton before getting tangled up in Bush 43. But eventually he got so fed up with the 43 cartel that he had to bail; they wouldn't listen to a guy who had decades of experience, because he was telling them stuff with which they disagreed.

Gen. Eric Shinseki
It's February 25, 2003, and the US is beating the drums of war. They want to go into Iraq and kick ass. Badly. The 4-star General is appearing in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and is being grilled by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI). Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, are watching the proceedings on C-SPAN back at the Pentagon.

Sen. Levin: "How about a range [of the size of the force needed to stabilize Iraq after Hussein is toppled]?"
Gen. Shinseki: "Something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers are probably, you know, a figure that would be required. We're talking about post-hostilities control over a piece of geography that's fairly significant, with the kinds of ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems. And so it takes a significant ground-force presence to maintain a safe and secure environment, to ensure that people are fed, that water is distributed, all the normal responsibilities that go along with administering a situation like this."*
Rumsfeld: "This guy's totally fucking crazy. No way we're gonna need that much against these camel-jockeys. We're gonna be greeted as liberators. Palm fronds and everything."
Wolfowitz: "Eric's completely bat-shit insane. We'll need a buck-fifty, tops... maybe a buck-eighty if things get really nasty. Remember, we gotta have enough to hit Tehran right between the eyes by Easter."

* Shinseki was totally spot-on with this prediction, as Gen. John Abizaid nicely reminded us a few days ago in front of the same committee, in response to a question asked by Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC): "General Shinseki was right that a greater international force contribution, U.S. force contribution, and Iraqi force contribution should have been available immediately after major combat operations." So there.

Gen. Shinseki retired as scheduled four months later, but in an odd twist, absolutely zero senior civilian Pentagon officials attended his retirement ceremony. Since Shinseki had been disagreeing with Pentagon brass for a few months previous to that, this was obviously an intentional display of disrespect.

...yet Don Rumsfeld gets to hang on for six years before golden-parachuting it out of there after the American people vigorously reject everything he's done, but only because of the midterm elections. He became too much of an albatross for the Republican Party, plain and simple.

The moral of the story is this, and it is no great surprise: the only reason people say what they publicly say in this administration is so they don't get fired. If you speak out, you'll get shitcanned. Ergo, it's more important to stay in a position of power than it is to tell the truth.


Aside: I'm really, really craving Kraft Dinner right now.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sadly, I can believe this.

Now and again, I turn on my TV. It's usually to watch Stewart or Colbert, but occasionally I'll flip aimlessly around the dial hoping to find something interesting, or at the very least the re-run of Cheers in which Woody can't stop buying useless crap from the Home Shopping channel. ("It's noooooooooon!")

We get CNN Headline News here in Toronto, thanks to the all-powerful Ted Rogers. There's a guy that has a show on that channel (didn't that used to be just "all headlines, all the time"? When did they get actual half-hour shows?) named Glenn Beck, and he always comes off as your typical knee-jerk, "what in the heck is the world coming to?", thinking-impaired right-wing "everyman." An example of this was him interviewing some student from some college in California where she's pissed off that some group at her school has wanted to ban the Pledge of Allegiance from meetings of campus clubs:

Glenn Beck: "So, tell me about these people who want to ban the Pledge."
Attractive female college student: "Well, Glenn, they're a group of socialists and communists —"
GB: (shaking head) "It's always those types, isn't it?"*
Afcs: "Yeah, it sure is. They wear berets around campus, and they've written a 'Manifesto on Student Government'."**
GB: "Jeepers... what the heck is going on out there in California?"
Afcs: "Yeah, well, they take offence to the 'under God' piece of the Pledge."***
GB: "That's unbelievable. Just unbelievable. I hope you can get your parents' money back!"

* Last time I checked, it was still perfectly legal to be a socialist or a communist in the US. Perhaps not fashionable, but quite within the bounds of the law.
** What this girl and the beret-clad folks will eventually realize is that student government doesn't mean dick-all.
*** Remember, "under God" was added in the '50s by the likes of McCarthy to fight those damn dirty Red Commies.

Anyway, the Daily Show on Thursday night (which I just got around to seeing on this laziest of Saturdays I've had in a while), there was a whopper of a clip from a recent Glenn Beck show, wherein he was interviewing the first Muslim member of Congress, one Keith Ellison (D-MN), who was elected on November 7th. Here's a verbatim transcript of a portion of the interview:

Glenn Beck: "Congratulations, sir."
Keith Ellison: "I'm glad to be here."
GB: "Thank you. May we have five minutes here where we're just politically-incorrect and I play the cards face-up on the table?"
KE: "Go ahead."
GB: "Alright. No offence... and I know Muslims, I like Muslims, I've been to mosques, I really don't believe that Islam is a religion of evil. You know, I think it's been hijacked, quite frankly. With that being said... you are a Democrat, you are saying, 'Let's cut-and-run,' and I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not, uh, working with our enemies.' And I know you're not, I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's how I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way."*
KE: (by now sporting a big grin because he now knows he's being interviewed by the stupidest person on the planet) "Well, let me tell you, the people of the 5th Congressional District know that I have a deep love and affection for my country. There's no one who's more patriotic than I am, and so I don't need to prove my patriotic stripes —"
GB: "I'm not asking you to.** I'm wondering if you see that... you come from a District that is heavily immigrant with Somalians, and I think it's wonderful, honestly, it is really a good sign that you are — you could be an icon to show Europe, this is the way you integrate into a country. I think the Somalians coming out and voting is a very good thing."
KE: "I agree with you."

* This is possibly the stupidest thing I have ever heard anyone say in my life, and I've met some pretty stupid people. First off, you don't say, "Now, I don't want to offend you," but then say something exceedingly offensive. Second, did Mr. Ellison actually say the words "cut-and-run"? If he did, Mr. Beck has a case. Third, the use of the word "hijack" was, at the same time, ironic and hilarious and ridiculous. Finally, he was elected fairly and squarely by the people, so... get off his back.
** Yes he is. That was the whole point of this interview.

Unfortunately, the clip cuts out at this point. But the point is... well, the point is that Glenn Beck is an idiot. Remember, this is the same man who called Cindy Sheehan a prostitute.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Extra! Extra!

Somewhere, Keynes and Galbraith are smiling.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tiiiiiiiime... is on my side.

This weekend,
  • My report cards are done.
  • I won't have too much to mark.
  • My thesis revisions are not in my hands at the moment.
  • I have no out-of-town commitments.
Ergo, I have an entire weekend (mostly) to do bascially what I want. This is a rarity, to be sure.

Please give me suggestions. What should I see/do/eat/drink/have pierced/have tattooed/get medically/non-medically inserted into/removed from my body?* I'm open to suggestions.

* No butt-stuff.**

** Well, maybe a little. It is the weekend, after all.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The November Blahs.

November is a crappy month, for many reasons:
  • The weather is always dreary. If it's not raining, which it is now, it's snowing. If it's not raining or snowing, it's probably cat-and-dogging, which is when cats and dogs fuck in the streets.
  • I get zero days off. In most calendar months there's at least one holiday, or exams, or something to break up the monotony. Not this one.
  • Baseball season is far away. This one is mitigated somewhat by the afterglow of my Tigers winning the American League... but "pitchers and catchers" is still three months away.
  • It gets dark early. And it just keeps getting darker earlier and earlier, until you start to wonder if the night will eventually swallow the entire day. I suggest praying to Ra.
  • It's the eleventh month. But its name suggests it should be the ninth. Whoa, that's wacky!
Also, if my own personal schedule is to be believed, November is the month assigned to endless meetings and special events. This is the only day this week I don't have something stupid to do over and above my teaching duties... and I still stayed late at work. How stupid is that?

Fortunately, naps on the couch are the great equalizer. I have absolutely no idea what time I zonked out earlier this evening, but I woke up at around 9:30 tonight and the TV was turned to CBC Newsworld. ('Cause that's how I roll.)

So, in conclusion, blaaarrrrrrrgggghhhhh. Is it Christmas yet?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Update and minutiae.

An update on my List Of Seven:
  • Nos. 1 through 4 have seen no progress as of yet.
  • No. 5 can be vigorously crossed off.
  • No. 6 is being completed at the moment (if you only buy one issue this year, buy this one for the Stewart/Colbert interview, and I'm not even joking about that).
  • No. 7 has proven largely skippable, as I feel pretty good.
I've been obsessed this weekend with the debut album by Dire Straits. (If you only know one of their songs, it's probably "Money For Nothing" off their 1985 album, Brothers in Arms. Incidentally, that was one of the first, if not the first, albums I ever purchased with my own money. But I digress.) At any rate, I bought their 1978 self-titled debut album somewhere in the US on a family vacation back when I was in high school, and couldn't stop listening to it; but, since it was on tape, and I don't really listen to tapes anymore, it's been years since I've heard it.

But, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I simply had to listen to this album. Maybe I'd read the word "waterline" in a book somewhere, or heard a chord that reminded me of the sultry, smoky "Lions" that finishes off the record... at any rate, I figured that since I legitimately owned a copy of the album (on tape), it would be perfectly legal to download it through Bittorrent.

And I haven't been able to listen to anything but that all day for the past two days.

Anyway, that's pretty much it. That's all I have to say. I'm basically just writing so I don't have to do any work. Even though this work has to eventually get done. I figure I'll probably tool around on guitar for a bit, reorganize my sock drawer, maybe watch some Aqua Teen Hunger Force cartoons that I haven't seen in a while. You know, important stuff that absolutely has to get done.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

An assortment of goodies.

Much like the "Seven Things To Do Today" guy on the Kids in the Hall, I have about seven things to do. In no particular order, they are:
  1. Mark physics labs
  2. Sort through report card comments and find the best ones to use
  3. Fill in report cards (n.b. this is exceedingly tedious)
  4. Work on my thesis
  5. Get drunk
  6. Read the latest Rolling Stone
  7. Consume a lot of orange juice in order to recover from this stupid cold
Numbers 5 through 7 should be a piece of cake, and I've already pounded back about a litre of OJ. The other things, though... meh, I'll probably just procrastinate all day today and most of tomorrow, and be up late Sunday night. It seems to have become a bit of a ritual these days.

A great way to procrastinate is to watch 30-second film summaries as done by cartoon rabbits.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Midterm erections.

Basically, it's what I got from the midterm elections south of the border.

Now, don't get me wrong — the Dems taking control of the House (and apparently now the Senate, now that Virginia appears to have been lost by George "Macaca" Allen) is a great thing. The big problem I see is that the Democrats didn't really win this election so much as they ran on the "We're Not Dubya Fans Either" platform.

Mind you, that's not such a bad platform on which to run these days, as it seems to have worked very effectively for them. But, by 2008, they'd better have a coherent vision for how they want the country to run... because it's far superior to vote for something than against something else.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Oh yeah, this too.

Q: How adorable are 18-month-olds dressed in pink frolicking in amongst a pile of leaves?

A: Very.

The Bees.

A couple of years ago, I became smitten with a band from the Isle of Wight called The Bees.

Well, they've been hard at work in their basement on their new album, and they have a few songs up on their Myspace page. I invite you to listen, especially to the track "Listening Man" (although you don't have to be a dude to listen to it, I swear).


Oh, it's reached "phenomenon" status, alright.

Last night I attended a screening with a friend of mine. We went to the 9:40 show, and the lineup to get into the theatre snaked all the way through the lobby. Acquiring two seats together in a place which didn't require massive neck-craning and seat-slouching proved to be an impossible task, even though we showed up to the theatre a good 20 minutes before showtime (we'd bought tickets beforehand; they had to have been sold out).

Now, about the film...

I am a fan of random humour, as evidenced by my liking of Kids in the Hall and Jackass. I am also a fan of films/novels that place seemingly-regular people into bizarre situations, which is a common device in many works by Kurt Vonnegut. So, when Borat gets around to interviewing 2-time Republican presidential hopeful (and certified crazy-person) Alan Keyes and describes his previous night spent in the company of two gentlemen from the Gay Pride parade, and Keyes having to break it to him that the guys who put a rubber fist in his anus the night before were, in fact, homosexuals... that's just good comedy.

I don't want to give too much else away. I will say this, however... there have been probably a half-dozen times in my life when I've laughed so hard I've been (a.) unable to control my arms and legs and (b.) rendered unable to make any noise, owing to the fact I can't inhale enough air so that, when I exhale, enough air passes over my vocal cords in order to make a sound. Last night's screening was one of these rare instances.

Then, when the movie ended at about 11:30, a guy from the theatre said that, because there was such a crush of people in the lobby (at 11:30 at night, for chrissakes!), we were to exit the theatre directly into the parking lot.

I usually plant myself firmly outside the mainstream on pretty much everything, but it's nice once in a while to be part of a bonafide, genuine phenomenon.


Saturday, November 04, 2006


Over an exceedingly strong rye-and-ginger in something ressembling a martini glass, my buddy Dave observed that I've grown increasingly tense since my return to the city.

I think he's right.

When I first came back in May, I supply-taught at the school at which I'd previously worked for four years most of the time. On more than a few occasions, people told me they thought I looked relaxed, refreshed, and overall pretty awesome. I always replied, "Nah, I don't think I'm any more relaxed than I used to be; I've always been this way."

This is because I'm an idiot with an awful memory.

My thesis just won't die (I'm going to spend some time on it this weekend; things are gradually getting done, but I still have some major stuff to change around). One of my classes is driving me crazy (as I've written about before). I'm on a lot of committees and such at work, and the meetings just keep on coming and will NOT STOP. I'm supposed to go on this training workshop for work at the end of November, but I don't know if I can; this may affect my ability to defend my thesis before Christmas. And, if you haven't already been able to surmise this, my love-life is a 70-car pile-up on the 401, complete with a gasoline tanker explosion and a tractor-trailer full of radioactive chimpanzees running amok, ripping antennas off of cars.

So, do I look stressed-out? Do I seem a bit edgy? Perhaps this is why.

Grad school was so much simpler.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

That one irritating kid.

We're trying to bring a new program into our school, and we had a long meeting afterschool today to work out some of the details. Because we knew it was going to be a long one, the principal sprung for a round of Swiss Chalet, delivered right to our staff room, which was good of him.

As the meal wound down, four of us were left around the table: me, two other teachers and a vice principal, and the topic of conversation was exactly one (1) student. We'll call her/him Pat; we'll keep things nice and anonymous and gender-neutral.

Pat got into a fight today in my class with another kid who'd had enough of Pat's carrying-on and insults about their mother and generalized running-on at the mouth. The thing is, that kid (the non-Pat one) is one of the nicest, easy-going kids in the class... but Pat enjoys the attention that acting like an idiot brings with it, and this is the second fight Pat's been in so far in my class.

Everyone in the room, me included, wants to kill Pat. The constant yapping, the complete lack of any semblance of attention span (I'll explain below), and apparently some exceedingly vulgar and disgusting comments outside my earshot — so much so that one of my other students refuses to be in the same room as Pat and will sit out in the hall — have poisoned the once-great classroom environment we had for the first few weeks of school.

About that attention span... I wish I was exaggerating here, but Pat has what I can only describe as the attention span of a hyena on massive quantities of amphetamines. The other day, I was describing something to the class about the lab they were about to do: "You'll want to take this chemical and mix it with that chemical, in order to get your result."

Pat, three seconds later, at an exceedingly loud volume, when I'm in the middle of another sentence: "Hey, what chemicals do we mix together?"

It's been this way for about the last five straight weeks, every day. When Pat comes into class and sits down, s/he will often shout from across the room, "Sir, are we doing a lab today?" Two seconds later, if I haven't answered because I'm busy talking with another student, Pat will yell again, "Sir, are we doing a lab today?" Because I still haven't answered, Pat will yell again, "Sir, are we doing a lab today?" Then, if I answer to the negative, Pat will shout back, "Sir, why aren't we doing a lab today?" Over. And over. And over.

The thing is, it's not just in my class in which Pat has completely lost control of her/himself. One of the other teachers involved in the conversation mentioned at the top of this post also teaches Pat, and she described an incident a few days ago in which Pat said, to her, a monologue so unbelievable that, when she called Pat's mom to tell her what Pat had said, was too embarassed to repeat what Pat had said in class. Now, I've known this teacher all my professional life, and she's one of the most forthright, no-nonsense colleagues I have; if she's too embarassed to say something to a kid's mom, it's gotta be awful. And it was.

So, there we were... the clock ticked ever onwards, the pitch-black sky reminding us that it was way after 3:15 — you know, the time every teacher leaves the building to go home carefree, skipping and tra-la-la-ing all the way to the bank to cash our fat paycheques — and by the end of it, the four of us had spent 45 minutes talking about exactly one kid, and what to do with him/her.

We still don't know, actually. Pat's gone tomorrow, suspended for fighting (I really hope the other participant doesn't get suspended, as it was very clearly Pat's fault). After that, I guess all I can do is pitch Pat down to the office as soon as s/he does any one little thing that irritates me or anyone else in the room.

I love/hate my job.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


My apartment has some now!

It did not have much before. The pressure on the radiators was low.

But I am seriously considering walking around here wearing nothing but an MP3 player and a big, stupid smile.

I've also started a bit of a comedy-writing blog over here. A couple of things are over there now; take a gander if you like a guffaw now and again. I'll try to post something new there fairly regularly, maybe once or twice a week. Enjoy!