Wednesday, April 30, 2008

109 special

I skipped Book Club today - partly because I was stuck at school in rehearsal a bit late, but mostly because I don't like talking to people.  Funny how happy I was when I was invited to join, and how tedious I actually find it to participate.  I even read the book this time too.  It's very strange to me that most of my careers, and most of my strengths, revolve around people stuff when most of me doesn't really want much to do with them.  But maybe it's just that I spend so much time with people at work that I can't tolerate them outside of work time.  Yeah, that's exactly what it is.  When I was working at home doing the writing, I wanted people in my life then.  Now that I spend a full work week in face to face interaction with people I get tired and need more privacy to balance it out.


There are two sisters at school who have been confiding in me about family problems they've been having at home.  In the end we had to involve a school counsellor in the discussion because I do not have the necessary training to help in a case where there is true abuse involved, and in this case there was.  It is a legal responsibility to involve social workers and we have done that.  Since then the girls have been in my office every day telling me about what's happening, step by step.  It's been a real education for me in learning about how Social Services addresses these kinds of concerns.  It's a frustrating thing not to be able to help in the ways I instinctively want to, like inviting them to live at my house or helping them to run away.  But that's why I asked for help from the counsellor.  Although she doesn't know these girls and have the relationship with them that I do, she does know the right steps to take.  So between us I truly hope we have done the right things to improve their lives.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

never a better time

Last night I watched a documentary called "Whole" which was about people who have a psychological disorder that results in the desire to become an amputee.  These people were serious enough about their convictions to have shot off limbs, frozen limbs in dry ice, and sought surgeons who would willingly amputate a healthy limb.  It was fascinating and surprising and weird.  I was wondering if this might make an interesting topic for my term paper, but it turns out that the disorder isn't yet recognized by the DSM.


Monday, April 28, 2008

come together right now

I've been feeling some real trepidation at the possibility of Shawn going to New Zealand.  It isn't that he's decided to go.  It's just that I've asked him to think about it and decide what's truly best for him - and this forces me to think about it as a possibility too.

We've always been like this, encouraging each other to follow our dreams even when the dream takes us apart from each other at times.  Sometimes other people have made comments about that as though we must not truly love each other as much as other couples because, "I could never live apart from X for any time.  We just love each other too much to do that."  I call bullshit.  

Love isn't about being afraid of being alone.  Love is about wanting what's truly best for someone else even when it's not what's best for you.  Better yet, even when it's the opposite of what's best for you.  I love him so much that I want him to pursue his dreams even when it hurts me.  That's a lot of love.  Kinda sucks.

I'm holding my breath a little.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

when did i ever say to you

This is one of the giants on Easter Island.  These are the inspiration for our little stone lawn man.  The difference (aside from size) is that our little lawn guy has a birdbath on his head.  

Easter Island is off the coast of Chile in the South Pacific.  One day I want to go to Easter Island to see the giants myself.  


Shawn received a job offer from a very major and successful company in New Zealand.  He turned it down right away before we even talked about it because he doesn't want to live apart again and moving there together is problematic.  (We have two houses = two mortgages, the pups would have to be quarantined for SIX MONTHS, he wanted to live near his father who is here, my career here has just started to happen, etc etc...)

And yet.  I asked him to take more time and think about it more carefully.  I don't want him to miss something that could be an amazing life experience simply because he thinks he can't.  I believe if he really wants this opportunity we will be able to find a way to make it happen.  I wonder if I shouldn't have said that because now he seems stressed out thinking about the variables, but I would just hate for him to miss something that could be the experience of a lifetime.  

I'm not sure what I want him to decide.  Because my own feelings about it are conflicting.  But I'm going to support whatever he wants to do.  Because I love him.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

in this way Mr. K will challenge the world

In a burst of guilt-induced enthusiasm, I finished Chapter 8 this afternoon and wrote the quiz.  I got 100% on the multiple choice questions!  There are still 3 short answer questions that need to be marked by the professor so I won't hear back about those until the regular work week begins, but I'm really pleased that the first part of the quiz went so well.  I hope the second part carries on similarly.


After our afternoon of wrestling our huge backyard back under our control, we are tired.  It's a lot of work mowing and trimming that much grass and we're accustomed to being lazy.  We're going to watch a cheesy romantic comedy and then go to bed early.  

I have a strange twitch in my left eye that has been pestering me all week.  It might be related to the cold I've been fighting, or maybe the arrival of hayfever season, irritating my eye.  Or maybe it's caused by grade ten boys.  In any case I hope if I get some sleep this weekend it will subside.


i think you're wrong

I've been spending today like I don't have homework even though I'm going to regret it later.  We went out for breakfast and then to the hardware store to get those special giant brown paper bags for lawn clippings so they can go directly to compost.  Then we went to the bird food place and got some new birdseed for the feeders and also a really neat weird lawn statue that's also a birdbath.  He's a tribal-looking man meant to look like he's carved out of lava rock and the bath is in his hat.  Pretty neat.

After that we came home and Shawn cut the grass while I did the edges and pulled weeds and filled the bird feeders and the birdbaths and other yard stuff.  The back yard looks good now and I'm finally out of things to do that can help me procrastinate, short of cleaning the house.  And when it comes to that, I'd actually rather study.  


Friday, April 25, 2008

Can't stop, addicted to the shindig

Last night I went for dinner and to see a play with a woman from work.  The show was a high school play directed by the Drama teacher at the high school nearest ours, and it was quite amazing.  By contrast, my slapdash productions seem really lame, and my suspicion that I suck is pretty much confirmed.  Of course this production was a team effort between Drama, Dance, Band, and Choir teachers -- and I am my own little battle station.  I used to try and convince the band guy at my old school to do shows like this with me and he never wanted to have his band stuck playing music that he didn't specifically like and select himself.  I don't really think, when I look at how much work is involved in putting something like that together, that I want that kind of responsibility.


Today was Soup Day and I was in charge of bringing the soup.  I made cheddar cheese and broccoli soup and it actually turned out pretty well.  When I tasted it right after it was made, I wasn't particularly pleased with it.  In fact if I'd had more time I would have poured it out and started over again with something else.  But I was pressed for time and decided to go ahead and serve it.  And for some strange reason it tasted a lot better reheated than it did when it was fresh.  Weird.  I'm relieved it was edible after all.


I still haven't cracked the spine on my instruction manual for the sailing course, and this weekend I need to do some serious studying for both Psychology courses.  I need to write another quiz before the weekend is out and if I could manage two I'd be in better shape yet.  I'm so glad it's the weekend...


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

i bet you're hard to get over

This afternoon Little Puppy scared me.  When I got home from work, I let all three pups into the yard for an afternoon romp.  I supervise these romps because the boys are rougher and bigger and I feel like I need to protect Little Puppy a bit.  Anyway, one of the boy-pups ran inside and I followed him to close the screen behind him to stop flies from getting in.  And when I looked back into the yard, Little Puppy was gone.  I looked all over the yard for her, calling her name, looking under the shrubs and all the way to the back fence where there is a part of the yard totally hidden by trees.  I looked everywhere.  It's a big yard, but she shouldn't have been able to disappear in it.

I ran back in and grabbed shoes and ran around the outside of the house calling her, feeling my heard starting pound.  I was picturing horrible things... cars... coyotes... how could she have disappeared like that?  I left the back door open so she (and the flies) could get in if she returned while I was outside.

When I couldn't find her outside, I ran around inside the house to make sure she hadn't slipped past me when I let the other pup inside.  I checked all the rooms and all her favourite napping spots.  She wasn't there.

I called Shawn at work, nearly in tears.  He said he was going to take a cab home immediately.  He phoned his father who said he would be over in two minutes to help me search.  (And lo, again, I experience what it's like to have family nearby who love and want to help us - amen!)  I sat on the front step tying my shoes and trying to stop myself from bursting into tears, when suddenly Little Puppy wandered up behind me and sniffed my elbow.  Hello.  Whatcha doin' Mum?

I still don't know where she was.  


Monday, April 21, 2008

share them with me

I think I am fighting off a cold, the same one that brought down Shawn last week and his Dad the week before.  But thanks to my years of working in public education where I am daily exposed to a disgusting melange of cooties, my immune system is pretty effective, and so the cold is not knocking me right out.  It's just making me feel a little sleepy and draggy.  Shawn and his Dad both took time off work with this, but unfortunately with play rehearsals every day after school, for me to take any time off would be extremely difficult.  Last night I went to bed early and still awoke this morning feeling like I'd give just about anything for another hour in bed.  I guess I'll have to do it again tonight.


The studying routine is tough.  I've been trying to get some done every day after school before Shawn gets home but it's not easy.  I know it will be worthwhile in the end... and next school year I will organize my time to allow the odd "sick" day for catching up on both studying and sleep.


I'd seen her in the neighbourhood before, noticed the long tangled hair and the gaunt face seeing her through the window of someone's truck.  Heroin probably.  When I handed her the money I tried not to stare at her hand, the fingers so swollen it almost looked like she was wearing gloves.  I was angry with myself for saying yes when no was the right answer.  I've never learned how to say no with any real conviction.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

an excuse to stick around

After the end I almost completely stopped thinking of him in any way that was at all empathetic.  He stopped being a real person to me and became a cartoon man, ridiculous and foolish and comical.  This was self-defense, of course, because the notion that a real person would say the things to me that he said was unacceptable for me to believe.  Too painful to tolerate.  And so I dismissed the sympathetic parts of him and focused, when I had to think of him, on the parts that were easy to laugh at.

It's the way I operate, the way I cope with a lot of things that are difficult and painful.  I like comedy and in most cases a sarcastic laugh heals me more me than crying or complaining.  It isn't that I don't do those things too but the comedy is the first - and best - defense.  Shawn, who happens to be the funniest person I know, encourages and complements this inclination of my own.

So we've made fun of him together.  Cruelly sometimes, to be completely honest, even though it has always been in the privacy of our own home.  It's still been mean-spirited and unkind.  And it's been therapeutic too, in spite of the nature of it, in that it's helped me distance myself from the hurt.

...  Last night Shawn and I watched "Sicko" on television, that Michael Moore documentary about the horrors of the American (lack of) health care system.  And as we were watching a story about a family who was half a million dollars in debt because of hospital bills, I turned to Shawn seriously and said, "It's just like what happened to him.  It's so wrong," and Shawn said, "Yeah, poor guy.  It's awful," and we continued watching.

This morning I woke up with the fuzzy memory of a dream in which I was planning to visit him.  The strange thing was that the dream was taking place in the present, at a time when I knew and remembered all the things he'd accused me of, and it didn't matter.  I was still going to visit him and the purpose was only good, only to give him a hug perhaps and to talk with him, like old friends.  Maybe even to forgive; I don't know exactly.  I think the fact that the visit was such a non-event in my mind was significant in and of itself.  

When I fully woke and sifted through my bleary memories of the dream it took a moment to uncover why it had happened and why it was important.  Last night we spoke of him without laughing, without any trace of resentment wrapped in a joke.  Only with empathy and sincerity.  I may be wrong but I think this was the first time since the end that we've done that.  
I'm surprised at myself when I see how slowly I'm turning these corners in light of having told myself defiantly all along that I'm fine, I'm better off, I'm strong.  It's taken far longer than I would have believed it could to reach this new place.  I've hung on tightly to my hurt feelings for a long long long time, so tightly I didn't even remember they were there.  I guess that was the point.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

conventional methods

Shawn did our taxes today and we were surprised to learn that we'd get a refund rather than owing money.  In truth I am still half-wondering if he made a mistake.  But it's hard to make a mistake with QuickTax.  I guess we'll see.  In any case it's good to have them done before the deadline.


I finished my chapter on stress disorders and am now reading about mood disorders and suicide.  It's not a cheerful chapter - but very interesting.  The next quiz comes at the end of this section.  

The sailing classes start in a few weeks and I am feeling a little unsure about how I will manage to keep up my psychology studying while also studying the sailing course information to prepare for the licensing test.  It's going to be a lot at once.


Last night I had a dream which was very warm and loving.


crack crack crack

Yesterday the principal gave me a copy of an email she had received from the guy whose job I am contracted for right now.  He had written out an itemized list of all his personal belongings which he'd left in the theatre and wanted returned to him.  She wanted to know if I knew the whereabouts of any of his stuff and if I could pack it up for him.  Fortunately I had already packed up most of it around Christmas when I found out I was staying until the end of the school year.  Mostly it was books but the office also had several pictures of himself in various plays and some memorabilia from The Beatles.  

The email, however, had all kinds of things on the list that I had never seen in the theatre, including some expensive microphone and camera equipment.  The strange thing is that this man has been out of the school for two years now and there have been several different teachers working in the theatre on short term contracts who have come and gone - and in spite of knowing this, he has left his belongings there the whole time.  It's unsurprising as it is sad that it seems that some of his things have disappeared.  

My sympathy for him faded, however, when I saw that his itemized list of things he wanted returned also included office supplies.... staplers, rolls of tape, and file folders.  From two years ago!  The principal laughed when she showed this to me and told me to go ahead and get him all the office supplies he wanted out of the storage room.

On the plus side, perhaps this means he won't be returning to the school and I could keep the job.  Here (as opposed to there) the unions are very powerful and seniority means more than competence, which means that because I am new to this district I am not qualified to apply for the "first round" of positions that are posted, nor the second, in spite of my excellent evaluation and administration's direct statement that they want to keep me.  Whether or not I am actually permitted to apply for this job will be based upon when (if) the teacher announces his plans to leave officially.  If he does so immediately I will be out of luck.  If he is spiteful and hangs on until the last minute I could be in good shape.  Fortunately I am starting to get the impression that he may be spiteful.


We're going to the inlaws' for breakfast.  I like it when someone else makes me breakfast.  :D


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

sometimes i miss mj so much it takes my breath away

the one who bit me

Today when I returned to teaching my class, the class the student teacher has been teaching for the last four weeks, I was excited to be there.  I wanted to make it a fun and exciting class and I had all kinds of great ideas.  But so did the office.  A sign-up sheet was sent out for Track and Field Day and we were required to get all the kids signed up for various events.  This killed off the first half the block in a chaotic flurry of confusion.  Then, we attempted one activity which was almost immediately interrupted by a "Code Red" drill, which is a disturbing new drill we now have in addition to fire drills in which we have to pretend there is an armed intruder in the school and close and lock all the doors, turn off the lights, and have the students hide under their desks (or in the theatre, hide in the corners).  

So it was pretty much a write off.  Tomorrow is our last class together before the term changes and a new crop of kids will arrive, just dying to learn how to keep their feet off the theatre seats and to be quiet during performances (such fun).  So I'm going to do the Great Egg Drop tomorrow.  They have to work in teams with various restrictions, like blindfolds and gags, to package up a raw egg in a capsule that is supposed to keep it safe... and then we catapult the eggs off the catwalk and see how many survive.  I'm betting none, and I'm also betting that they'll like it that way.   Brats.


This morning two of my grade ten boys asked if I would be in their scene with them.  My standard answer to this common request is NO because otherwise I'd spend all my time in rehearsal and on stage rather than doing the things I need to do like supervise, mark, and provide feedback.  So I said no... and then listened as they tried to convince me.  

We are studying Theatre of Cruelty, a style of theatre which is designed specifically with the hope of making the audience feel uncomfortable to some degree, or force them to change, stretch, and emerge altered in some way.  Their plan, the little maniacs, was to have me tell them they were performing first and then for them to tell me in front of the class that they were unprepared to present their project.  I was supposed to tell them off for wasting their time, and they would argue with me and say I hadn't given them enough time, I had given unclear directions and was an all-around horrible teacher.  I would tell them to perform immediately or accept a zero, and they would swear at me and slam out of the room.  At that point they wanted me to throw my markbook on the floor and chase after them into the hallway, leaving the stunned class staring after us in horror.  Then, having given them a split second to sit in shock we would all re-enter together and take a bow.

Wow.  Well who could resist that?  It was just too tempting.  And because the two boys proposing the plan actually ARE two little slackers who often need to be barked at to get any work done it was completely plausible that we would have an altercation like this.  So I agreed.  During the rehearsal time they pretended to fool around and I pretended to nag at them - which didn't require any rehearsal since this is what we usually do anyway.  And then their performance began, ending with the dramatic slamming out the door.  When we re-entered and the rest of the kids caught on to the fact that it had been a play, they were delighted.  The two guys were congratulated roundly for their performance and the best part, from my perspective, was that I think I managed to hook them into being creative and putting more effort into their work in the future - with the positive reinforcement coming from their peers which is always more effective than having it come from me.  Hooray for teachable moments.  Hooray for successes in education.


Speaking of education, it's now time for me to do some studying before Shawn gets home from work.

Monday, April 14, 2008

luxury to think about the quality of life in her country

I only have one more day in which my student teacher will be teaching my class, and then I will be largely free of him.  He has stated an interest in spending time observing after his teaching stint is over, which means continuing to share air with him - but I will no longer have to converse, offer feedback and try to help him when I don't know where to begin.  It's unkind of me, but I find him so increasingly irritating that I feel like throwing a party at the thought of not having to see him anymore.  I feel enormous empathy for the students who have been guinea pigs in this experiment.


I managed to do a little studying this evening, at least in part as penance for my misbehaviour on Saturday night which made studying on Sunday something of an impossibility.  On Sunday I spent the greater part of the day lying on the couch and feeling mildly ill.  My studying today was focused on social phobia and social anxiety disorder.  I find this an especially interesting subject because I truly relate to it.  Although my feelings of social anxiety are comparatively mild to those discussed in the psychology textbook, I really understand how some people experience this disorder.  Mine isn't exactly a fear - but more a general anxiety I experience at the thought of being forced to spend long periods of time in social situations.  It's better now, now that I'm working full time outside the house again and being forced to keep in practice.  It tends to get worse when I've had extended periods of time to luxuriate in isolation.  The point is that I feel real empathy for people who are so anxious about socialization that they don't want to leave their homes.  I understand to a lesser degree how they feel.

I'm thinking about K and E and sending out good thoughts for fast recovery.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Yellow Tail

Last night I drank way too much red wine.  Today I feel  kind of yukky.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

waste another minute

Sometimes I want the power to write everyone else's lines too, not just my own, so that they will say all the things I want them to, the things that create the right openings for me to have the opportunities to say all the things I want to say.  


Friday, April 11, 2008

take my hand

I think in the next couple of weeks some important decisions and life-altering choices will be made.  I hope so.


turn on the word

I have a headache.  I think I might have caught J's cooties.   So far my throat isn't hurting though, so maybe not.  Maybe it's just a Friday-afternoon-after-a-long-week headache.  J is on his way back to his sister's again for the weekend and I'm kind of glad because he's been hanging out here with a girlfriend the last two days and being the antisocial type that I am, I'm finding it tiring having to make conversation and be chatty when I'd rather lie down on the couch with a blanket and doze.  And just be alone until Shawn gets home.  I think I forgot, when I was forecasting that living with J would be easy, that we would also be living with whoever else he felt like bringing home.  (It isn't that there's anything wrong with the girlfriend at all.  Just that I'm a weirdo who likes being alone a LOT.)  Anyway, he's off to his sister's for the weekend and then to Europe for six weeks, so life will be pretty quiet again, at least for awhile.


Today was pretty crazy at school.  In addition to the usual Friday crazies, today was "Asia Day" in our multicultural week... and there was a big bhangra blowout on the stage.  Afterward, the student (and staff) organizers didn't bother to put anything away, leaving me and my afternoon classes the honour of putting away their stuff.  That kind of stuff is irritating when it's kids... but much more annoying when it's adults.  The performances, ignoring the aftermath, were amazing.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

This is the Northern Flicker.  He really likes to eat suet.  


don't think twice (it's alright)

My student teacher is one of the most literal-minded adults I've ever met.  He thinks and acts in absolutes and seems completely unaware of subtleties, nuances, hints, or anything that isn't stated explicitly.  When I ask him to do something he takes that to mean he should do that thing in all cases all the time forever and ever amen.  He can't figure out where it applies and where it doesn't.  

When I told him that the kids needed to have more fun and game-like activities in the Drama class and less time spent lecturing, he arrived with an arsenal of games to take up the entire class.  No learning to be had today!  Fun fun fun!  When I told him that classroom management was his responsibility and that he shouldn't be relying upon the grade twelve teacher assistant to make the kids behave for him, he took that to mean that he should prevent her from doing anything and basically isolated her in the corner of the room and told her to stay out of everything.

He can't modify a direction to fit his own personality or needs.  He simply takes everything I say as literal and absolute.  It's exhausting.  It's forcing me to think about what I mean to say a lot more carefully than I'm used to.  I'm trying to embrace this as an opportunity to become a better teacher... but I'm getting worn out.  So are the students.



Sunday, April 06, 2008

there will be an answer

Shawn's grandfather passed away this afternoon.  He'd recently undergone surgery for colon cancer and though he'd survived the operation and seemed to be out of the woods, his heart wasn't strong enough in the end for him to recover.  Though he had a long and happy life it is, of course, a painful loss and particularly for Shawn, of all the grandchildren, who lived with his grandparents through part of his childhood when his mother was in addiction recovery.  His grandfather was very much loved.


Friday, April 04, 2008

where nothing is real

The first couple of nights after T left, J stayed with his sister.  She lives in a 500 square foot bachelor apartment, so he can't stay with her permanently, but I think they enjoyed having time together after not seeing each other for awhile.  But now he's moved in here for real.  Today the moving truck came with all his belongings and he got himself properly set up with his own bed (everyone always like their own bed best) and his dressers and things in his bedroom.  We've also given him the second sitting room so he can have his own t.v., his own fireplace, in his own area to be alone or entertain or whatever he wants to do.  I hope he's feeling welcome and comfortable.

A good thing that comes from having him here is that we've actually been sitting down for dinner at the kitchen table, something we rarely do.  I often eat hovering like a bird over the kitchen sink (too lazy or too rushed to bother with such civilities as plates), and we also eat in front of the television like Roseanne Barr and her tv family.   (My mother, who doesn't believe food even exists outside the realm of the kitchen, would be horrified by this in particular.)  It's nice to sit down together like that.  Maybe Mum was on to something after all.  Tonight the boys are watching Battlestar Galactica together and I'm glad that Shawn finally has someone who can appreciate it with him, myself having failed to appreciate it, or even to fully understand it.


Shawn has decided not to buy his father's Civic SI in spite of his earlier plans.  Whether this is an attack of common sense, or just his fear that the damn house in Alberta will never sell and we will slowly be washed down the financial drain, I'm not certain.  But whichever it is, I feel rather glad.  I still feel a weird sentimental attachment to my old car and being able to keep it a little longer is comforting for some reason.  Besides, buying a new car when you already have one that still works just doesn't make sense to me.  (This is hypocritical of course, because it does make sense to buy new candles when I already have a shelf busting full of candles...)  

So tomorrow Shawn's dad is coming by to get the car back out of our garage and take it home with him.  He's pretty excited about having his car back in spite of having said he wanted to sell it.  The bad news is that we've agreed to let him put his old Buick in the garage until he can manage to find a buyer for it.  And that might even take longer than it's taking us to sell our house.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

visible minorities

Today when I was leaving work, I pushed my way through the crowd of Drama Rats who perpetually block the door and hallway outside the theatre.  I waved goodbye to them, blessed little weirdos, and put on my backpack and started to walk toward the great outdoors.  Just as I was almost gone, I heard the plaintive little voice of one of my grade ten boys rising above the din.  He was calling my name.  I stopped and turned to look at him.

"Yes?  What is it?"

"You have a backpack," he said.

"Yes."  I smiled at him.  "I do.  So what?"

"You're a teacher!  With a backpack."

I wasn't sure what he was getting at.  "Yes."

"Teachers don't have backpacks!" He was indignant.  "You're the anti-teacher!  You're ... well... you're .... "  Here he took a deep breath to gather his thoughts, and then bellowed, "YOU'RE THE PLATYPUS OF TEACHERS!"


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

no one's in the house, everyone is out

J and T spent last night at his sister's place and had planned to be back here tonight with us.  However, they stopped by shortly after I got home from work and said they were staying at his sister's place again tonight so that J could drive T to the airport more easily (she lives minutes from it) to catch his flight home.  So far, J is a pretty easy houseguest!  

Unfortunately I bought too much food for dinner tonight (fuss fuss) but this means I'll have lunches for the rest of the week, or that J will have something to eat when he gets back from his sister's tomorrow.  He said that he wants to spend the day here tomorrow so he can unpack his belongings a bit and get himself sorted out.


Our wonderful plumber came by this afternoon to install one of the three new toilets we bought.  He knew we were on a bit of a timeline because of having J here and was kind enough to fit us in to his busy schedule.  It's a wonderful thing knowing a great plumber.  


I used to write poetry sometimes.  Why am I now talking so much about toilets?