Gobsmacked

gobsmacked  (ˈɡɒbˌsmækt)  
— adj
slang  ( Brit astounded; astonished

Gobsmacked. Some of the reactions to yesterday’s election among my neighbours to the south has left me gobsmacked. Like the folks decrying Obama as a F****** N*****. On an open Twitter feed. Using their real name. Yeah, like that’s not going to come back to haunt you. Idiot.

Or the former SNL member (who I will not link to as the silly cow doesn’t need any more traffic) who was “…crying because America has died”. What a stunningly narrow view she must have a wonderfully diverse country.

And the guy who thought that Red States should separate from Blue States. Really? Wow.

My personal favourites were the staunch Republicans vowing to move to Australia and Canada. Those poorly-informed deluded fools continue to bring a smile to my face. Hey guys, here’s a loonie….go buy a clue. Or better yet, do even a rudimentary Wikipedia search on our countries before you run off at the mouth.

Good grief.

And to the bozo who told me what happens in America is really none of my business – have you heard of NAFTA? Do you know who Canada’s biggest trading partner is? Do you know how much of your media we are inundated with up here, how much of what my students talk about originates in your country? It is my business, you insular ignoramus.

</rant>

To those celebrating Obama’s win, congratulations. A President who supports the rights of his countrymen regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, is a good thing IMHO.

I can’t believe the punk is saying this, but here’s to peace, love and understanding.

 

May 1

Before I get started, let me just say this is not about Australia (still miss it too much to write about it), being 50 (I don’t feel 50 which makes it hard to write about), the anniversary of breaking my knee (I’m pissed at the knee right now…it hurts and is getting in the way of my derby fun), or derby (bought new outdoor wheels, having a blast, except for when the knee acts like a whiney bitch and wants me to take it easy).

Not sure what this is actually. Mind dump, I guess. I’ll get to the other stuff eventually.

BTW I am writing this from my iPad that wants to keep correcting whiney into Whitney and FSM knows what else that I might not catch. My desire to backtrack and correct is waning with every sip of this delicious raspberry cosmo; you’re all smart folks, you can figure it out.

**********

Well my indecision about joining in the May photo-a-day challenge didn’t last long.

Day 1: Peace

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The noisiest thing in the apartment this afternoon was the purring of sleepy cat. It was very peaceful.

Right up to the point where someone (not me) decided it was time to trim her claws and clean her back feet. We need more kitty treats and alcohol before peace is reclaimed.

**********

Last night was the last big event at the school, the annual art show. I was there because I do a cross-curricular business project with the grade 9’s that culminates with them selling their craft-based products. The projects were incredible this year; I am stocked up with gifts for the nieces and some lovely jewelry for me.

I am constantly blown away by the skill and thoughtfulness in the work that the students display. Every year I see a piece or two that strikes me. This year, it is this painting of poppies by a 14-year-old. She agreed to sell it to me & it will be hanging my bedroom as soon as it’s been marked. I told her that if it gets less than 70% then I’ve missed something & I want a partial refund. She just laughed…we both know I’m getting a deal as it is.

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I found myself wishing (again) that I’d had teachers and a curriculum like this when I was growing up.

**********

I am loving my iPad a little too much. There are about 4 things I need it to do that it doesn’t in order for it to replace my trusty netbook, but I’ve found workarounds for 2. I’d like it if there was a better way to work with Google Docs, and I found a Python programming app which made me the nerd queen at a workshop last Saturday. I have more photography apps than is really required by any normal person, and I am delighted to find that I can reread my Sandman and Tankgirl comics by grabbing them off of Dropbox and opening them with Comic Flow.

FYI, comics look awesome on the iPad.

Speaking of Dropbox, I am seriously in <3 with it. With most cloud storage actually, and how it connects to this object of techno-geek desire. It appears I am a bit of a cloud storage whore; I have collected free offers from Box (50 gb), Skydrive (25 gb), Dropbox (10 gb) and Google Drive (3 accounts x 5 gb each). Organizing my data is one of my next fun projects, along with sorting family photos, editing the novel and cleaning the closet. ********** Excellent. The combination of writing and drinking have made me feel less like throat punching someone. Mission accomplished.

conversation

LV: so I hear you’re still thinking of joining roller derby.

Me: Not thinking about it anymore…

LV: Good. It’s not really for you, is it?

Me: Let me finish. I’m not thinking about it anymore because I’m doing it.

LV: Oh. Do you think that’s wise?

Me: What do you mean?

LV: Well, let’s face it, there are a number of factors which a sensible person would take into account.

ME: Oh? Do tell…what factors are you referring to (ignoring the “sensible person” jibe)

LV: Oh come on, don’t be any more dim than you need to be.

Me: No seriously, I’d like to know what factors I should have “taken into account”.

LV: Well, let’s face it, you are so far beyond being a spring chicken, you can’t even see spring in the rear view mirror any more. You’re a month and a half away from being 50; surely it’s time to start acting your age?

Me: No. Not yet, anyway.

LV: Well, you need to address it soon. You’re going to start looking ridiculous, if you’re not already. Another point is your fitness level; I’ve seen pudding with more muscle tone than you have.

Me: But I’ve…

LV: … been working out, yeah yeah, I heard. Do you really think that a month of treadmill and swimming is enough to counteract a decade of sloth? Really? And since when have you EVER stuck to anything that involved exercise? And no, you can’t count sex.

Me: But ….

LV: But nothing. You’re fat and lazy. Oh, and have you forgotten the year spent recovering from the broken knee? That you broke by walking? WALKING! Such a spaz. I can only imagine the injuries you’re going to sustain roller skating with women 20 years younger and infinitely fitter than you. You know can’t afford to be off work or to pay for physio. Knowing you, you’ll injure yourself in the first Fresh Meat session, and then where will you be? I’ll tell you, unable to go to Australia like you’ve planned for the last 18 months, that’s where. Yeah, yeah, I know you’re thinking that joining the refs will minimize the injury factor, but really, what are you doing even thinking of derby at your age? When are you going to realize that you can’t do what you want at your age, that you need to be careful and …

Me: Fuck careful.

LV: What?

Me: I said FUCK CAREFUL! And FUCK YOU!

LV: What? Me? What did I do?

Me: What did you do? You do what you always do!

LV: Do what?

ME: Undermine me. Every. Single. Day. You’re not a good teacher. You’re not a good person. You’re stupid.  You’re unimaginative. You’re a mediocre writer at best. You’re too old, too fat, too boring, too this, too that, too the other thing. Who do you think you are? You are not all that. You’re not good enough. It just never ends. And it never will, will it? Well, I am finally done with your negative shit. I have wasted too much of my life listening to you. When I listen to you, I begin to care what people think, even people I don’t much like. When I listen to you, I play it safe. When I listen to you, I am unhappy. And I think it’s time to lessen your influence in my life.

And with that, I started humming A Little Less Conversation by Elvis Presley, effectively drowning out that Little Voice in the back of my head as I opened the door to Cardinal Skate Shop where I proceeded to drop a largish amount on roller skates, helmet and pads.

So, fuck you, Little Voice. Life is too short.

 

drain

There’s nothing quite like watching two years of effort swirl down the drain. Yeah, yeah, I know, it was a half-assed effort at best, but if you put it on its side and let it all trickle together then it’s like one year of full-assed effort. Wait. That’s not right. Why do we say half-assed, yet never full-assed? Or even assed? Yet another quirk of the English language, like overwhelmed. There is no verb to whelm, to be whelmed, so how can you have an excess of something that doesn’t exist, in this case being whelmed? I did try saying underwhelmed once on a report card, thinking that since that Sloan song was so damn popular for so long that perhaps it had made it into the common lexicon, but the principal who proofread it informed me otherwise and also said that there were other more diplomatic ways to convey that particular feeling. Perhaps, I countered, but when did diplomacy ever really knock some sense into anyone? We use a few dozen hundred-dollar words to convey something that could have been said in four (ie suck it up buttercup or we all have deadlines or stop being so dramatic or STFU and its sister acronym, GTFU) and so make our meaning so vague you could drive a truck through it. She gave me that look that most people do while I’m ranting and waited until I wound down before telling me in a very diplomatic way that the report card comment was kind of half-assed and I’d need to start over; I rewrote the comment in a very diplomatic way to tell the student her work was kind of half-assed and she’d need to start over.

Which brings me back around to the fact that the universe is telling me (not very diplomatically at all) that the last two years’ efforts were kind of half-assed, and I need to start over.

Fuck.

This is not a trip report

This isn’t a trip report. I told myself I wouldn’t do one until after my report cards are done on Friday.

Maybe I should do one sooner though. I can feel the high of being with friends who understand me slipping away. I’m happy. I’m smiling. I feel more myself than I have in years.

Years.

Today I found myself thinking, maybe too much, that if this life that I have doesn’t make me feel like myself, then what the hell am I doing living it? I know how it happened. Small daily compromises have been made, for comfort, for contentment. Trouble is, I have never much liked the words compromise or contentment; I always used to prefer the words joy and passion.

What to do, what to do. How to slow, stop and reverse this creep of dullification? I don’t think that’s a word, do you? You know what I mean though.

I already know that at least three of you are ready to comment that I am not dull, that I am pretty kick-ass. It’s all smoke and mirrors. And bullshit. I’m in a rut. I’m beginning to feel like the frumpy middle -aged teacher I look like. And that ain’t good.

The truth is, I’m going to bed at 9, 9:30 not because I like being well rested for work (which is good, don’t get me wrong), but because my dreams are better than my waking reality. I am so bored that I can’t even be bothered to masturbate. What’s the point? Lately it only serves to make me feel more sad and lonely than before. The gods must be greatly amused by this, that one who was so sexually active in her youth can now count the number of times she has actually had sex in the last five years on the fingers of one hand and still have fingers left over.

Bet you thought it was more. Well, it’s not. Let’s just say it has not been good for my self-esteem. Nor for any sort of mental calm – my thoughts have an unpleasant bittern edge that is starting to affect the way I interact with people. Truly, I didn’t realize it until yesterday when a student said she was happy that I had a good time where ever I’d gone, and that I’d found my smile there. So am I. Now what I’d like to know is, how the hell did my smile get all the way to Las Vegas without me? Although it was nice of it to wait for me to catch up to it. I had some excellent help finding it; my friends are wonderful to me in ways I don’t quite feel I deserve.

I talked to my brother, who said that it’s just my perception of reality, and that I need to change my perception. He’s getting all zen and reading Buddha’s teachings so he doesn’t lose his mind while his marriage is dissolving. Being zen is not a bad thing. Reading the Dalai Lama’s book, the Art of Happiness, worked once before. Meditating worked before. Exercise, learning new things, indulging in small pleasures, these all worked before. They centered me, helped me find balance.

But you know what? I don’t want to be calm and centered, or at least not all the time. I want to go out and dance until they turn the lights on and kick everyone out. I want to drink and act silly and flirt and maybe even kiss someone(s). I want to blend what I was with what I am.

Mid-life crisis? Maybe. Maybe just bored? Perhaps. Definitely very tired of saying I used to be fun, I used to be sexy, I used to be desired, I used to be active, I used to be fiercely passionate, I used to be somehow just more.

And this is where the commenters say, you dolt, you are sexy, you are fun, you are desired. What the fuck are you talking about?

So maybe my brother’s right. I just need a shift in my perception. Or a smack upside the head. Or a night out dancing until they turn on  the lights and kick everyone out.

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And to think that all I meant to write is, I’m busy with report cards and will do a trip report when I’m done.