Friday, January 31, 2014

I drive around in my pajamas pretty often.  For the most part, it is J's fault.  She does not yet have her license to drive, but her out-of-the-house life is pretty active.  She rides horses three times a week.  She shops.  She visits friends.  She needs a ride somewhere all the time.  But my out-of-the-house life is pretty quiet, so much so that it makes sense to me, in general, to put on my pajamas at about 4:30pm most of the time.  So when J wants another ride somewhere, I just cannot see myself getting dressed again just to get in the car and drive.  So I drive her around in my pajamas.  I am the most unprofessional-looking chauffeur in the world.  Sometimes I worry that I will get in a car accident or get a ticket for something while dressed in my pajamas at 4:30 in the afternoon, but it does not stop me from taking my chances.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hello, Goodbye

Demicup Cheryl is done her little contract, and I cannot say I am going to miss her.  The only time she seemed briefly human was when she interrupted my game with RW to kick my ass at You Think You Know Canada?  I was already losing (badly) when Demicup Cheryl astounded everyone in the room by knowing every Canadian celebrity, monument, and invention since the dawn of time.  Then she went back to being a silent brooding lump with four boobs.

The principal posted the job and got two applicants: Dancer Chris (who we already know, but who has a background in Dance rather than Art/Drama) and StrangerDanger, who has credentials but not the history.  The principal, of course, elected to hire StrangerDanger because she wouldn't be the one sharing air with her, and she looked better on paper.

By a stroke of luck, StrangerDanger found a better gig before the principal could lock her down, and so Dancer Chris got the job by default.  It just so happens that I like Dancer Chris, who is the right mix of fun and pleasant and bubbly, with just enough uncertainty and maleability to be endearing both to me and to the kids.  And this is what I want, someone who will be pleasant to work with, bring more kids into the program, and not be over-confident in that way that makes me homicidal.

I guess I talk about work a lot.  That's because it eats up too much of my life.


B O'C's wife left him.  Left him as in he came home from work one day and was startled to realise that all her clothes and belongings had vanished from their home.  This, after several years of marriage.  Events like this blow my mind, the idea that things like this really happen to normal people who have normal stable lives, or think they do.  It makes me stop and question what it is that makes me so sure my life won't one day explode, what makes me any different.  And I am not sure there is anything that does.  Like B O'C, I think my marriage is in good shape, my relationships rock solid.  But only because my husband came home from work today.  He might not tomorrow.  And when that idea tumbles round inside my head it threatens to give me a concussion.


Monday, January 27, 2014

on happiness

1.  I think NJ is fucking with me.  I went to talk to him this morning about one thing and ended up talking about another.  He told me he has changed his mind (again) about potentially leaving, opening up the job I want.

2.  Shortly following this conversation, which I found uplifting, I went to visit the AP and told him not to schedule me to teach my production course next year.  It's too much of a headache and I no longer want it.   I think he is either too stupid, or too inexperienced, to realise that what I am saying is actually a big deal as far as it impacts his timetabling job.  He did not really give me much of a reaction whatsoever, just said fine, and they support me, and yakka yakka bullshit blah blah.  It's funny how much of an effort I went to in order to get this gig, and now that I have it, I want out.  I'm taking a risk here because if Crazy Sue returns she could end up teaching the classes I am counting on falling to me, leaving me to teach basket weaving and snake charming or whatever admin decides.  But hell with it, I have to do something to preserve my energy and sanity, what little remains.

Both these things made me feel happier today, and happiness is something I am wondering about somewhat.  Like how does one really achieve happiness, and more importantly, once achieved, how does one maintain it so it does not slip away?

Theodor Adorno suggests that happiness, true happiness, is a betrayal of itself because it must necessarily come with a memory of unhappiness in order to recognize it, and that memory brings with it a fear of slipping back into that state, which sullies the purity of happiness.   Sigh.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

tapeworms and Crazy Sue

I once saw a television show in which the topic of discussion was tapeworms.  According to the information this show delivered, there are some (insane) American women who intentionally infect themselves with tapeworms in order to lose weight, because parasites are a whole lot better than exercising or dieting, I suppose.

I would like to propose that these women allow me to send them a swab of my flu germ instead of choosing to contract tapeworms.  In the last five days I have been dropping weight at an alarming rate, and am now officially lighter than I was in high school, about 115 pounds.  This flu also comes with a wonderful ab workout -- interval barfing for the lower abs and incessant, unproductive coughing for the upper abs and obliques.  My abs ache.

Of course I am shaky, weak, my skin is dry, and my eyes are glassy and bloodshot.  But whatever, anything to be thin and beautiful, right?


C phoned me from work to tell me that Crazy Sue has applied for a longer leave.  Her return date is now marked as May 2nd.  It grows increasingly less likely that I will have to see her again.  Inshallah.


Poor Shawn.  He is so sick now.  I think he is skinnier than he was in high school now too, and a whole lot smarter.  I would like to have one more day to be his matching bookend lying lifeless on the couch, but I think I am going to attempt to rejoin the world tomorrow.  He should really stay home for at least one more day.  He looks like hell.  We have managed not to poison the kid, which is nothing short of miraculous.


Monday, January 20, 2014

more germs

Nope, still not going back to work.  I did manage to sit up today for a couple of hours, though, which is actually significant progress.  In other news, Shawn, who was so careful to avoid touching me, decided to use my toothbrush for some reason, and is now on his way down the spiral.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

leaving Las Vegas

So sick.  Friday morning I woke with chills and a cough and called in sick, which I never do when I am actually sick, and spent the day sleeping - waking only to medicate myself when the fever spiked, which it did every four hours.  Last night it turned into interval-barfing, which seems to have tapered off now and I am dying of thirst.  Shawn has gone out to get me some juice because he drank it all.

I have concluded that if I was terminally ill, Shawn would probably leave me in the care of someone else rather than take care of me himself.  He forgets I exist when I am sleeping, and is frightened of touching me in case he catches something.  Not that I blame him.  I am disgusting right now.

The puppies, who I always anthropomorphize as sensitive and loving, are horrible to be around when I am ill.  They have hot bodies, and they cram themselves into my hot spots and add to my fever.  They absolutely refuse to move when I push them.  And to an achy, sensitive body, they feel like sleeping with four big industrial staplers, all points and sharp edges and joints.  They poke and jab me with their elbows, and glare at me resentfully when I struggle out of bed to go and barf again.

I do not think I can make it to work tomorrow either unless I experience miraculous improvement.  This has been the most sick I can remember being, unrelated to wine.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Please prove you're not a robot.

When I type a comment into a friend's blog, the filter always asks me to prove I am not a robot by performing some sort of trick that is, apparently, something only a human can do.  Does the fact it allows me to post prove that I am not, actually, a robot?  Doubtful.  I am pretty sure I am a robot.

I see it in my own eyes; they betray my secret in the mirror when I brush my teeth.  Robot.  I go to work, I juggle and dance, I smile, I sigh.  I pretend I am filled with energy, I pretend I am engaged.  I pretend because it convinces me.  There is nothing to gain by convincing anyone else, and even if there was, no one else is watching.  Robotlike, I get dressed, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed.  I smile, I laugh.  It's artificial intelligence.  Robot

My productivity has dropped to about 50%.  I have called a hiatus for the rest of this month from congregating, rehearsing, from torturing one another with our obnoxious presence.  I vant to be alone.  It is dark at 4:30pm and my body tells me to go to bed.  No one notices I am not working.  I have begun to invest more energy in evasion than in doing.  (This year's October is brought to you by January.)


Sunday, January 12, 2014

You have to consider the possibility that god does not like you.

My Dad used to tell me I was copping out when I said I couldn't cook.  He said anyone who can read can cook.  Tonight I have made Chinese hot and sour soup in the slow cooker.  We shall see if he was correct.

I have developed more of an interest in cooking lately, for some reason.  Maybe I just want to know what I am putting inside my body.  Or maybe I am on the brink of becoming a domestic goddess with Martha Stewart cloth napkins and an appetite for cleaning.


Yesterday I took J shopping for her grad dress.  We brought my mother-in-law, who is exactly the sort of person everyone wants with them when shopping for a dress because her opinions are instant and definite.  Good lord, take that dress off, it's wearing you! she laughs.  Or, Oh my god (dabbing tears), you're beautiful!  I frustrate J when we shop together because I look for her opinion first before offering mine. And my opinions about clothes are always wishy-washy.  Hmm... yeah, that's okay.  Not bad.  She found a dress in the third place we went, and she loves it.  So does the mother-in-law.

While J tried on dresses, I noticed other girls in the store watching her.  She's really very beautiful, even in the most awful dresses.  Seeing her in a specific dress inspired another girl to try on the same one, who did not end up liking it on herself.  This happened several times with several different girls.  I am suddenly surprised by how strikingly lovely J has grown up to be.  The best part is that she does not know it.

(On the way home, my mother-in-law complimented my driving.  It's so smooth, she said, like you're not even driving a standard!  I have driven standard my whole life and never had anyone offer me this kind of feedback.  It seems like something you would say to a seventeen-year old who has just learned to drive.  My mother-in-law is the best.)


Friday, January 10, 2014

There are only about eight weeks until we go to Europe.  RW has been talking about it a lot; it makes me want to bite him.  Affectionately.


Thursday, January 09, 2014

again and again

Now I am reading The Rosie Project, which is a bit like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, in that it is written from the perspective of a person with (undiagnosed) Aspergers syndrome.  In this case, the protagonist is an adult, and blessed with great intelligence.

There are a surprisingly high number of adults walking around in the world who have Aspergers and do not know it.  I think I work with two of them.  One of them is a Social Studies teacher, and he demonstrates a lot of the classic signs of austistic spectrum disorders including social ineptitude and walking on his tiptoes.  Another, an English teacher, recognizes that both her husband and son have Aspergers but seems not to have considered the possibility that she has it too, in spite of the fact that her behaviours, attitudes, and mannerisms are the same as theirs.

People like me wonder how to broach the subject when they suspect Aspergers in an adult friend, colleague, or family member.  I suggest you handle the subject openly and without embarrassment.  For example, you could say, "You're kinda weird, don't you think?  Maybe it's Aspergers," or, "I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure any layman could diagnose you, Aspie".

At times I have convinced myself that I have Aspergers too, because I find human interactions so impossible.  But the symptoms do not align, not really.  I have some other syndrome, perhaps one that has yet to be discovered, and might be named after me if the doctor who diagnoses me doesn't steal all the credit.


I dreamed last night that Crazy Sue was back on the job.  She aggravated me by being extremely happy to be back, bragging about her recent trip to Japan and her newly found inner peace.  For some reason my inner Satan wanted her to come back destroyed and timid.  The fact that Non-Crazy Jennifer decided to leave for a better gig is certainly the reason my sleepy brain started imagining what it would be like if Crazy Sue returned.  But instead of Crazy Sue, we got DemiCup Cheryl whose bra is so much smaller than her breasts that she appears to have four of them.  I think DemiCup Cheryl will only be here for a week or so because once the semester changes over they will need to find someone who can teach both Art and Drama.  When DemiCup Cheryl arrived I asked her if she was okay or needed any help and she said, "I need a hook for my coat," which struck me as extremely strange because I thought it was abundantly clear that I was offering her help with teaching.  It is possible that DemiCup Cheryl also has Aspergers.


Monday, January 06, 2014

when anything was possible

On Saturday afternoon, J and I went to a spa to have our nails done.  This was like one of those corny movies where people are transplanted from their normal day-to-day lives into something completely foreign and bizarre.  We embarked upon this strange adventure because we were given gift certificates as a Christmas gift.  We looked on the spa's website and discovered that the least expensive thing on the menu was a manicure for sixty-five dollars.  The certificates were for fifty apiece, so we got our nails done for fifteen dollars each (plus tip, which was more than the thirty dollars).  And frankly, even with the gift certificates, this still strikes me as ridiculous money to spend on something so silly.  But when I try to imagine people paying 130$ for two manicures, I have trouble envisioning the people who do this.

I expected the spa to be filled with rich looking women with fake tans and fake boobs and collagen lips, but it wasn't.  Surprisingly, there were a lot of overweight and ordinary women hanging out in sweatpants and flip flops.  Apparently my mental picture of what money looks like is inaccurate.

Anyway, the experience wasn't worth $130, and it wasn't worth $30 either.  It was boring.  Even J, who is easily impressed, wasn't especially impressed.  If this is the life of the rich, I don't envy them.


I am reading Eleanor & Park, which is a painful read.  Evocative, I suppose, of falling in love when one is sixteen and helpless and at the mercy of unreasonable adults.  When one has no real say in what happens in one's life, when one is vulnerable to the whims of angry adults embroiled in their own painful dramas.  Things like that.  Things in some ways best forgotten.  But I appreciate the memories that help me keep J in perspective, and help me remember how it feels to be young like that, so ready in some ways for the adult world and adult decisions, and still so innocent and fragile.  I will do better for her.


Thursday, January 02, 2014

"Why don't you get a haircut? You look like a chrysanthemum." (P.G. Wodehouse)


I kind of love the lady who cuts my hair.  She's completely nuts, to start with, but in such a cute way that I want to agree with her ridiculous statements and musings.  Last time it was mostly wonderings about why her dog cannot talk even though he seems to understand everything she says.  Sometimes it is about celebrities, about whom she talks affectionately as if they were her close friends.  And she wears high heels, four inches I think, stilettos.  Stiletto heels are mystifying enough in their natural environment (bars), but inside one's own home they are incomprehensible.

Oh yeah, I get my hair cut at her house.  That part is where I am the strange one.  I seek people who can cut my hair in their own homes ~ but only because there are no professionals that I know of who will come and do it in mine.

I do not like haircutting places.  They give me the creeps.  Getting a haircut is a vulnerable experience.  (No wonder children scream... the cold wet hair, the stranger waving sharp scissors near their ears, the bright lights, the weird smells.)  And I feel traumatized by the intimacy of being up close and personal with someone I hardly know while trusting that person not to cut off my ear.  And the view.  I hate seeing other people all vulnerable and wet-headed, chicken necks exposed to the fluorescent lights, jars of barbicide everywhere.

I have always sought those weird people who cut hair in their living rooms, so the intimacy is heightened in that the experience becomes one-on-one but lessened in that I no longer share it with a dozen strangers flanking me on all three sides not protected by the mirror.

And somehow the things that would be intolerable at a salon are funny in this environment.  Like the talk about why dogs don't talk.  And she frequently breaks to give her dog a treat while she is cutting my hair.  It's delightful and strange.  Less important, but also pleasant, is the fact that this woman does a better job cutting my hair than anyone else does.  She knows how to cut in a way that I can be as neglectful as I want and it still seems fine.