in_stead: (signpost)
This weekend has been brilliant. Why? Because I've done not much of anything.

Life over the past three weeks has been manic to say the least.

Three weeks ago today, I was in Poland. A day later, I was in Germany. I was chaperoning a school trip of year 10 and 11s, focusing on WWII sites. We saw the Jewish quarter of Krakow, Auschwitz, and the conference centre in Berlin where the "final solution to the Jewish question" was arrived at over an hour and a half by a bunch of Nazis glugging cognac who adjourned the meeting early for the lovely buffet lunch that was being put on. This was a decision that led to the death of millions, and it was settled by a load of half-cut assholes in little to no time. The whole trip was brilliant, but exhausting, both mentally and physically.

A week ago Friday, I was in Cameroon, Africa. I had an 18 hour turnaround from Berlin to Buea, Cameroon. I had been there for ten days with my father, who was there on business. I was there for a laugh. We had been in the airport for seven hours, when we were informed our flight had been cancelled and we wouldn't be flying out until Sunday late at night. It took a great deal of yelling and flapping my arms and looking distressed, with a dash of lying thrown in, to convince the Air France people (who I will never be flying with again if I can avoid it) to switch Dad and I to a flight that got us back to the UK late afternoon Sunday. Cameroon was amazing and exhausting in equal measure. As was the case with Kenya two and a half years ago, the culture clash made me feel as though my skin had been stripped off and I was wandering around stripped down to my bare bones. But the emphasis is on the amazing.

Over the last week, I taught ever damn day, even though I had had zero time to prepare and catch up. I was 24 hours from Cameroon to the classroom as of Monday morning.

And this weekend? Little enough work, lots of lounging on the couch, seeing friends, doing laundry, napping, and otherwise actually catching up with life. There's been sunshine and relaxation and, generally, life has been great over the last two days.

Mind you, I've marked all of 6 books of the 30 I brought home, did very little lesson planning, and am otherwise getting behind professionally. But, still. The mental break was desperately needed this weekend.
in_stead: (newspaper)
I went last night to see Tegan & Sara last night at KoKo in Camden. Great show, really enjoyed it. I did feel a little like a dead cat dragged backwards over broken glass today as I was trying to teach, but there you have it.

Despite that, today was excellent with good lessons and children that behave. All in all, a very nice day.

More exciting, however, is the fact that my sister is currently performing in a play.

What play? I hear some of you ask. As I did, when my mother mentioned it on the phone this evening.

Vagina Monologues.

(My sweet, baby, tiny, itty-bitty, BABY sister? Discussing such matters in front of large audiences??!!)

What part of Vagina Monologues? is the next logical question, of course.

Reclaiming the Word Cunt, my mother replies.


She is, I'm told, a smash hit. Very good. Everyone is very, very impressed with her and I am very, very impressed with how gutsy she is at the tender age of eighteen.
in_stead: (signpost)
I have gotten to the point where I haven't posted in long enough that now I'm not posting because I am overwhelmed at the thought of trying to update adequately.

I have therefore decided to do my best to collapse the last month or so into a point-form list.

the list )

On that note, dinner is on the table and I am off. Will certainly make an effort to update more frequently. And in better prose, more detail, and proper grammar.
in_stead: (maple leaf rag)
After a very long and very stressful two weeks (both professionally and personally), I utterly deserved Canada Day in London.

Yeah, bitch.

Of course, working all day, I missed the noon to six-ish festivities, including the road hockey tournament, but the music in the evening was really good, the beer was Canadian, and I picked up a bunch of swag.

Festivities continue today unofficially -- I am dragging the BF down to the Maple Leaf for further Canadian beer and poutine after we do a round of comic shops and other assorted geek venues.

In other news, down to two weeks and two days of school left. All my marks are in and all I have to do now is the fun bit -- planning and teaching the damn lessons! Not to mention we have a Year 6 day on Friday when all of next year's Year 7s come to the school and look tiny and terrified and confused. As well, on Thursday I am out of school to supervise a field trip of Year 9s up north. Woot!

In other other news, the sister graduated from high school on Thursday. I would have killed puppies to be there, but I did dash out between classes to call her and tell her I love her and am so very proud of her. She's done so well. She won the first ever Citizenship Award being granted annually to one graduate in the city! My parents filmed the whole thing and took tons of pictures so that I can see it when I go back in the summer.
in_stead: (simon says)
My sister leaving today to go back to Canada = WOE.

Too much to do and not enough time to do it in = WOE.

Getting up at 3:30am tomorrow morning to make it to Heathrow by 7:00am = WOE.

Meeting up with BFF in Paris tomorrow = YAY!
in_stead: (rain on the thames)

Even cooler than I remembered her being, which is a relatively epic statement, as I remembered her being the COOLEST PERSON ON EARTH.

And the news of Rome was met with appropriately high-pitched squealing and painful grabbing and jumping up and down. Score! Once again am declared winner of the Sister of the Year award.

Only tiny raincloud hovering over my parade is that I seem to have misplaced my phone. I am going to stick my head into school on Monday to see if it is there -- the building is open even though it's the holidays.
in_stead: (signpost)
My sister arrives in twenty-two hours and forty minutes!

Or, um, so.

in_stead: (fuck bees)
Oh, lord, just staple a "teacher cliché" sign to my back and call it a day.

I am sick and there is pain and grossness in my throat and lungs and things. I spent all day yesterday curled up in bed watching procedural shows -- I have overdosed on Criminal Minds and Bones, with just a little bit of House tossed in to keep me from being completely paranoid about psychotic killers and horrible deaths.

I am feeling a little better today, which is good, because I still have a ton of marking left to do and my Christmas break is slipping through my fingers at a terrifying speed. Only three more days before I fly back to England.

...*clings to family*
in_stead: (brolly)
So my mother comes into the kitchen this morning while I'm sitting and drinking coffee and says to me, "Do you consider yourself a lucky person?"

She didn't wait for a reply before dragging me upstairs to watch the news, which is reporting how all flights out of Heathrow yesterday, today, tomorrow, and possibly until Christmas have been delayed due to thick fog. I was actually originally scheduled to be flying out of Heathrow today, but switched my ticket to come home earlier once I realised that my school is the only one in the area that finished on Friday of last week rather than Tuesday of this week.

I tell you, I would have been SOME DEPRESSED had I found myself fogged in to London over Christmas!

I spent the day yesterday shamelessly lounging. I didn't do any work -- I barely got out of bed! Today I'm doing a bit more running around. I'm going to the gym, meeting people for lunch, doing some shopping, and watching my dad curl tonight. Fun!
in_stead: (coffee)
Do you know what I don't have in England that I really miss?

A mom who makes coffee for me in the morning.

in_stead: (whee!)

Well, in Toronto, at least. My mother conveniently has meetings here today and so was able to come pick me up from my plane, which landed at 12:30 last night. I didn't clear customs and get out with my luggage until 1:40 (the customs guy got pissy when he saw my work visa in my passport -- "Yes, fine, you're Canadian, whatever, but where do you spend the most time in an average year?" "Um. Canada. Because I've only been in England for four months. As you can see, both from what I very truthfully filled out on my customs card and by the stamps in my passport.") and then couldn't sleep for ages, because my body thought it was morning when we got back to the hotel. I am so very, very jetlagged.

And the Delta Chelsea has internets. The stores don't open for another hour or so, so I am trying to catch up on about three months worth of flist (good lord, you people are so verbose! cut it out! or at least point out the highlights in a sort of coles notes of lj.).

I love internets.

Much to say. Much, much, MUCH to say. Much has happened since the sort-of-some-times-hot spot in the kitchen went decidedly cold. But it will have to wait. Short form: I like teaching. Except when I don't. And I work with really fantastically awesome people at a really fantastically awesome school that I really seriously love.

And now, Christmas.


So, plan for today: TIM HORTONS. And a little bit of putting the final touches on Christmas shopping. And TIM HORTONS. And some TIM HORTONS. And some more TIM HORTONS. Then we drive back to North Bay this evening.

*pines for that brown paper cup of caffeinated goodness*

(eta: omg! it just occurred to me that 'tis the season for holiday icons again! *uploads a mess of santas*)
in_stead: (OH coffee)
Today = not as bad as last week's Monday. I can only hope the trend continues. If tomorrow is not as bad as last week's Tuesday and Thursday is NO WHERE NEAR as bad as last week's Thursday, I'll be in pretty good shape. My only concern is that my good days from last week (Wednesday and Friday) may turn ugly this week to make up for all this not-as-badness.

In other news, am tired enough for it to be Friday. What do you mean I have a whole week of teaching left before the weekend? I don't want to!

My mother is coming to visit. She arrives in 11 days and is spending her birthday. I am counting down the days.
in_stead: (OH coffee)
Welcome to the vaguely hot-spot that I have found it someone else's kitchen. I doubt it's going to last, so I'm writing this quickly.

cutting for a ridiculous degree of rambling. )
in_stead: (sandal weather)
My family is wandering around going, "It's so hot! It's so humid! 38°C with the humidity! We're going to die!"

And, really, I don't find it so bad. Sure, it's hot, but it's not anywhere near unbearable. I have yet to resort to shorts -- I'm holding the line at lightweight capris while my sister is wandering around in boxer shorts and her swimsuit top and my father is wearing his worn-thin Tilley shorts, which amount to nothing more than boxer shorts, really, and has given up on tops entirely. My mother got up at the crack of dawn to get everything done before the heat of the day and tried, unsuccessfully, I might add, to get me up so that I might do the same.

I was wondering what was wrong with me that I really don't find it so bad.

Then, I remembered.

Oh, yeah. Right!
in_stead: (teevee)
Trust me when I say that you all wish I was your big sister. Why? Because I'm weak, that's why.

I have somehow just agreed to drive my sister forty-five minutes out to the other end of town and our only movie theater in order to meet up with her friends for the late movie at 9:00pm.

Obviously, given the distance, going home then back to pick her up is out. So, the question becomes: do I go to Monster House at 9:40pm or Clerks II at 10:00pm?

The former looks cute, although I can't say I have any real desire to see it. The latter I wouldn't mind seeing, but it gets in (and therefore out) a full hour later than my sister's movie.

LJ, I look to you for guidance. Help!
in_stead: (fuck bees)
Forty minutes in to SYTYCD and waiting to find out )

Today I learned that I am oversensitive. My sixteen-year-old sister told me so. The conversation went like this:

her: What car are we taking?
me: Mine.
her: Really??!!
me: Um. Yes. Why?
her: You're so oversensitive.

I exagerate not. Word for word.

So now you know.

ETA: OMG. 9:54 )
ETA2: 9:59 )
in_stead: (homework)
Dear self,


No, for serious. You're playing chauffer to your sister at unfair o'clock tomorrow morning, not to mention the fact that you always wake up early for the Tour anyway. And your parents are coming home from the cabin, so you need to spend some time tomorrow morning bringing all your packing detritus, which has spilled into the hallway, back into your bedroom.

Be sensible, please. Go to bed now.

Yours with love,
[ profile] in_stead
in_stead: (sandal weather)
So, my parents headed over to the cabin for the weekend and my sister has gone to a sleep over thing that began yesterday afternoon and will last until tomorrow morning and I'm alone in the house for the first time since I threw my back out.

I really feel like I should be doing something, like running around in my underwear or raiding my parents' liquor cabinet or having a party. But, you know, being of legal drinking age and arguable maturity sort of takes the shine off of the liquor cabinet raiding, none of my friends live in town and we're not really party people anyway, and.

Well, okay, I did run around the house in shorts and a bikini top, but only because it was really hot last night.
in_stead: (coffee)
Nng omg. Two and a half hours of sleep before the dogs woke me up to be let out.

*face mashes the coffee*

Driving my sister to a job interview at the Gap, then a doctor's appointment to finally find out what is wrong with my back (gee, whiz, it's about time), then Pirates II.

Which, you know, I'll be lucky if I don't fall asleep during, swashbuckle or no.
in_stead: (joe)
You know that point when you're really, really tired and you can feel yourself nodding off, but rather than falling asleep you, for whatever reason,1 force yourself to stay awake?

And you know how, then, after you've forced yourself to push through that crucial point, you just can't get to sleep for love or money and you lie awake and think about all the things you are doing tomorrow that are going to be just so much less fun because you haven't slept and about how you really, really, really wish you could fall asleep and then you give up lying in the dark waiting to fall asleep, because it is so clearly not going to happen, and watch a bunch of Joe Flanigan movies and when they're all done, you're still not tired?

You know that, that whole thing there?

I hate that.

Just for the record.

1 For the sake of argument, let's say the reason is that your baby sister is out at a late movie and is being driven home by one of her punk-ass, way-too-young, omg-they,let-you-drive friends, who also happens to be a boy, and you remember teenage boys from when you where a teenager, and you just feel that the right thing to do is wait up until she gets in, because, really, you'd be too worried to fall asleep, anyway.


in_stead: (Default)

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