Building character

It’s that time again, and this month blork and Martine are asking the impossible…
May’s monkey is to write about a time when you were out of character. All I can think of are those times when I wish I could have been, but wasn’t able to. Times when I couldn’t keep the sarcastic remark in check. Or times when I wasn’t petrified to appear alone in front of a microphone – which happens more frequently than one would like, if one is in the entertainment and PR field. Oddly enough, standing alone in front of a classroom full of students rarely freaks me out.
Of course, there are those times when I was on stage, and by definition out of character (being “in” another character, that is). Especially when I played Mrs. Baker in ‘The American Dream’ – who strips down to a slip within a minute or two of walking onstage, and spends the balance of the play thus attired.
I think the only thing I’ve ever done that truly felt like I wasn’t me was metro busking. Accompanied by two guitar-playing friends, I belted out a few numbers at the Atwater metro station, about a gazillion years ago. ‘Dust in the Wind,’ ‘Wish You Were Here,’ ‘House of the Rising Sun’ – the standard fare. One guy gave me a $20. Despite my apparent critical success, it was a one-off, and while I’m glad I did it, I would never do it again.

Strange brood

So the kids are downstairs, singing to each other.
One is singing ‘O Canada.’
The other is singing the ‘Mother’s Lament’ from Disraeli Gears, complete with the Ginger Baker accent.
Well, my work here is done.

My four year old son is a cuddler. He loves to cuddle his mummy, his daddy, and just about any adult who sits still long enough. (We’re not talking complete strangers – just grownups he knows, friends and family and teachers.)
When do we get to that point where we can’t cuddle random people anymore?
We hug, we even, in my neck of the woods at least, do the one or two or three kisses to greet each other. We say tender things like “take care.” Some of us do arm touches. But somewhere along the line, we adults have decided that certain intimate gestures, such as cuddling or holding hands, are off-limits. Why?
What is it about hand-holding, for instance, that makes it so intimate that it can only be between couples? Is it simply a question of appearances? Or is there some underlying message that we’re not supposed to be sending to people with whom we’re not sexual? What is the fundamental difference between a hug and a snuggle? A kiss on the cheek and holding hands while walking through the park? Perhaps it’s the prolongation involved – a quick kiss is okay, but a lengthy cuddle is tabu.
Well, last night I wanted a cuddle, and I’m miles away from anyone it’s okay for me to cuddle. I demand a rule change!

Next time you need an ice-breaker…

Last night at supper, the following conversation took place:
Colin: Do other animals fart?
Me: Yes.
Colin: Do only animals fart?
Me: Yes.
Colin: What kind of things are not animals?
Me: Well, plants, rocks…
Colin: But are spiders animals?
Me: Yes…
Colin: So spiders fart, right?
spider.bmp Well?

Spring is in the air

Things are verdant and lovely out here in the middle of nowhere.
Apple trees and lilac bushes in glorious, odorific bloom…
Blue skies, warm sun…
Classes on the grass, under a magnificent oak…
Half-naked football players doing crunches on the field outside my office window…
I love my job.

Procrastinators will rule the world someday

Lately, this blog has come to resemble nothing more than a showcase for my quiz results – it seems I am a coffee-flavoured, spiralling, stormy super-heroine. My apologies.
My only excuse is procrastination. I can’t speak for all procrastinators (most of them haven’t filled in the survey yet) but for me, the nature of procrastination dictates that I cannot expend brain power on creating content, because that’s exactly the kind of brain power I should be devoting to course content. Lesson plans. Reading lists. For my summer course. Which begins in less than three hours.
Under normal circumstances, a new course wouldn’t be a big deal. But under normal circumstances, the 60 course hours are distributed over 15 weeks – so classes meet twice a week for two hours each session.
The summer session is three weeks long. Total.
So we meet five days a week, for four hours at a time. Eep.
Not only do I have to have enough material for each session, I have to present in such a way that no one falls asleep, including me.
On the other hand, the course is Detective Fiction, which (for me) is like teaching a course about Buffy or The Flintstones. Conan Doyle! Christie! Chesterton! James (P.D., that is)! Etc.!
Anyway, I know I’m going to have a blast teaching this course. But that first four hour block is looming rather ominously. How apropos.

Coffee break

You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe

But don’t think plain – instead think, uncomplicated
You’re a low maintenance kind of girl… who can hang with the guys
Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that’s you: the friend everyone invites.
And you’re dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.

What Kind Of Coffee Are You? Take This Quiz 🙂

Via Bill

In case you missed it

gas.jpgCraig Litten, AP
From today’s Gazette – the photo was taken in South Daytona, Florida. Prices in Montreal hit 99.9 cents per litre yesterday.
I’ve been trying to figure out the equation needed to give an accurate equivalent in US money and gallons, but hey, I’m an English prof. Gimme a break. Suffice it to say, gas ain’t cheap.