Friday, November 30, 2012

I felt like destroying something beautiful

In many cases my solution to indecisiveness is simply waiting.  More often than not a decision will be made for me by someone more decisive than I am, someone who either will not wait, or by someone who Will. Not. Wait.  And I end up overemployed or unemployed, exhausted or bored, married or left, refusing responsibility for my outcomes and fully responsible for my paralysis and never certain what I would have chosen if I had ever gotten around to choosing.


The show is over (hallelujah).  My kids were really fantastic and worked hard, and the closing night show was really excellent.  I was proud of them, proud to have wrangled 35 kids into working together effectively and cooperatively, proud that I had something to do with them feeling so proud of themselves, proud to have helped facilitate one of those memorable high school experiences that becomes part of your core.  It was good.  But god, I'm glad it's over.

This is the first year that I have managed to get through my play with getting sick, or without, at the very least, feeling the need to take a mental health day off work to recover.  I have resorted to showing a movie during class to give me a breather -- but the movie is defensible and relevant, so I feel like I'm extraordinarily in control of my professional life at the moment.  What a strange feeling.

I think it's because I have had some help this year from the Parent Advisory Council.  Three PAC mothers have kids in my theatre program this year, and for the first time ever I have parents asking if they can help me find props and costumes, can they organize a pizza party for the kids, can they bring me a coffee?  I love this; it's a brand new phenomenon I've never experienced in my entire teaching career.  I am loving every minute of it, with the knowledge that their kids are going to graduate soon in the back of my mind so I don't get too accustomed to it.


Monday, November 26, 2012


When I see old friends I tend to worry that things will not go well.  I ask myself, what if they've changed?  Or worse, what if they have not changed?  What if they still expect us to drink ourselves into a stupor and then roam around looking for adventures?  What if they expect me to be the same as I was fifteen years ago?

I met R's plane in the late afternoon and then we drove to the ocean to walk in the mist.  (He took this photograph.)

We found a small Japanese restaurant on the Boardwalk and sat by the window drinking hot tea and eating hot soup and watching the ocean grow blacker and colder, the cold mist spreading across the street.  And talked some about back then.  And also about now.  Underlining the internal differences between then and now, and knowing each other newly and well, successfully I think.


Btw, I still count you as one of my best friends. I wish we could hang out and talk more often. Also, you are still a stunning woman, don't ever doubt that. Move back to *******, dammit!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

(sometimes you can't catch your breath)

Today is J's sixteenth birthday.  I want to write all those cliche things about how time has flown and I cannot believe she is growing up so fast, but those things are obvious and I have no way of knowing if I feel them or if my brain automatically jumps to these thoughts because I have read them and heard them so many times in so many situations for as long as I can remember.

Instead I will say that she is out tonight with Shawn's stepmum, who managed to wangle last minute tickets to Cirque du Soliel, and that she took off wearing my dress, my tights, my coat, and my scarf.  She looked beautiful and I sort of wished I was going with her instead, even though it would mean being in a crowded auditorium with thousands of other people.  (Being at home with Shawn, puppies, and a glass of wine is good too.)  But sometimes it seems sad that she will probably be out more and more as she gets older and eventually won't be able to find anything remotely interesting in my closet.  I wonder if my mother ever wished she had let me borrow her clothes when I was at the age where I wanted to.


Rob is flying in tomorrow for the Bruce Springsteen concert (yuck) and I am meeting him at the airport so we can go for lunch or dinner or whatever while he is in town.  I have a hard time convincing myself to go out on weekends so this is a big deal.  I do not really know if my attachment is to Rob or if it is to my past.  In either case, he is the access route.  


Thursday, November 22, 2012

magic shows

I kicked Smokey out of the play.  She bailed out on rehearsal again today.  This sort of thing doesn't happen a lot when you teach Theatre because kids are almost always taking the course because they want to be there.  I have become so cocksure of the awesomeness of my program that when someone doesn't seem to love it, I feel confused.  I don't know how to respond.  I gave Smokey way too many chances, and kept thinking that she just needed some love.  In fact what she needed was a kick in the ass, and I missed my window of opportunity to deliver it when it might have made a difference.  And now it's too late and I consider us both to have failed in this regard.  I'd still like to kick her mother though.  That would make me feel better.

The show goes up next week, which means a week of fourteen hour days.  The fourteen hour days make me tired, really really tired.  Not to jinx it, but I have not taken a sick day yet this school year.  I think that a sick day or two would fit nicely somewhere between the end of the show and the start of Christmas break.


Black Friday mystifies me.  No one in Canada used to know what Black Friday even meant.  Now we are inundated with American advertising, and especially here, encouraged to cross the border and spend our dollars in the States.  This, of course, has meant that Canadian companies need to compete, and now Black Friday is becoming part of Canadian culture too.  I just cannot imagine, no matter how hard I try, anything I would hate more than mall shopping all night long and into the next day.  (Oh yes, wait, there is something worse.  Boxing Day.)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I hate it when parents lie for their kids.  Yesterday a kid missed play rehearsal and told me that she had hurt herself at school and was going to see a doctor.  Then she proceeded, throughout the rehearsal, to post pictures of herself on Facebook smoking pot with her friends.  Idiot.  Of course the kids in the rehearsal saw the pictures right away and showed me.

I called her mother today and her mother lied for her.  Said it was impossible that she was smoking pot with her friends after school because she had taken her to the doctor for her injury.  The pictures had to be from another day and she just elected to post them while she was at the doctor's office.  For crying out loud.  Oh yeah, and she doesn't smoke pot.  There are some kind of mysterious vapour things that kids put in their mouths to pretend they're smoking.  Didn't I know that?  Oh yeah, vapours are all the rage.

This kind of stuff is so irritating.  I'm not the police, and I don't actually give a rat's ass who is smoking pot after school.  I just want them to show up for rehearsal and smoke afterward on their own time.  And not lie to me about it.  Or have their parents lie to me about it.  What kind of idiot parent does that, anyway?


Saturday, November 10, 2012

the sweeter the apple, the blacker the core

When J was very small and we all still lived in the same city, we met one night at my parents' house for dinner, after which J decided she needed a candy.  My mum took her to their pantry where the candies were kept.  Their voices floated back toward us.  Mum said, Here let me help you with that so you don't take too much.  And J's voice came back, No, it's okay, I want too much.  

I liked the way she said that, I want too much.  I always want too much.  It reminds me of Dad pouring my apple juice when I was the same age as J wanting too much candy.

He says, Do you want tall juice or short juice?  This means should he pour the juice from a normal sane height, or should he hold the juice carton way up high so it splashes juice not only in the glass but also, hopefully, a bit on the table?  Of course I always want a tall juice.  I am built to spill from the moment I can talk.

He says, Say when, and I think he must know by now that I am not going to say when because I want to see what will happen if I don't.  I am silently daring him to keep pouring and pouring and pouring the juice until the glass overflows and pours over the top of the table so it cascades onto the floor.  I want this to happen so much it hurts me when he stops pouring without my cue to stop.  It makes me desperately sad that when happens whether or not I say so; it still does.  And I have never liked apple juice enough to drink a full glass of it.


I am reading The Year of the Flood mostly because Atwood is Canadian, not mostly because I love her books.  Though I loved The Edible Woman, overall I have admired Atwood's poetry more than her fiction.  After I read her words,

You fit into me
like a hook into an eye
A fish hook
An open eye

I decided to read all her other words for the rest of her life, or mine.  Sometimes that has been a bit tedious, but mostly I like knowing what those literary types think is important.  I am not convinced The Year of the Flood is a good book but I like it well enough to finish it, all of it, unlike the apple juice.