Saturday, January 9, 2010

This is the way we chuck stuff out, chuck stuff out, chuck stuff out...

He ambles past the dining table for the third or fourth time, brandishing a handful of large books.
"Hey, you want a guide to a woman's body?"
"Ah, no thanks."
"Really? It has stuff... about women and bodies."

I look at the volume in hand. It's Woman's Body: A Manual for Life, by Dr. Miriam Stoppard. Awesome, I'm sure, but I have a woman's body of my own, thanks. One is plenty.
"Why do you even have that?"
"Um... I think my dad gave it to me. Maybe when we started going out, or something. Like here, get the hang of a woman's body!"
"Ah. Like a user's manual."
"Yeah, a how-to guide or something."

It's really all I can say. I don't even know when we will ever have occasion to unroll the Finding Nemo, Spiderman, and commemorative Mozilla: the launch posters that he carefully, carefully rolled up on the floor a few hours ago.

Attempting to get into the casting-off spirit, I have deposited the (soft toy) residue of many ex-boyfriends in a box for the op-shop. So much crap still to go.

New mantra: I am letting go of my crap to embrace the crap of my future children.

(Note to my relatives &co. reading this: there is no actual future child at this point in time and any future children mentioned herein are purely hypothetical and summoned forth for the express and sole purpose of facilitating the crap exodus from our house. Just so we're all clear. And if I catch ANY of you looking suspiciously at my abdomen tomorrow, there will be serious consequences. It's holidays and I'm eating too much. Deal with it. )

Further edited to add: after he threw out an armload (NO exaggeration) of holey socks, hubs sat down to read this post and (after giggling quite hard) queried "How do you know I was rolling them up to keep them?"
I raise an eyebrow.
"But I chucked some out!"
I raise an eyebrow.
"I did! They're in the box out there!"
"Oh, I believe you."
"And just so you know, I think the point was that it was a guide to women's MINDS and bodies. So I could, like, understand them. That's the key."

Did I mention that this book is in pristine condition?
I think he's rapidly deciding to keep it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Don't be bad on facebook.

Someone I know shaved her head.
Not because she's sick, or for a cause. Just because she could.
These are the little freedoms that we take for granted.
If I shaved my head (unlikely, but still) I would have to subterraneously (well, that's what hubs said, but I think he meant simultaneously) get a tattoo that explained
*I'm not sick
*I'm not gay
*I don't have alopecia
*I didn't do it for charity
*Yes, it's weird that I'm suddenly bald
*No, I probably won't do this again. (Unless I get addicted to the attention, so stop talking about this already.)
Given that I probably have a weird-shaped head with flat and bumpy bits and I work with children, I think (a) the shaving is a bad idea and (b) a tattoo is worse. Let's face it, the piercing is bad enough, and it's not conspicuous or well-advertised.

Rambling, I know, but bear with me.

One of my ballet students want me to friend her on facebook. I've denied the request, because she's ten. I don't want or need a ten-year-old who I teach every week seeing what I get up to. (Granted, I'm not living a particularly licentious lifestyle, but I vet photos carefully and keep my language nice KNOWING that I have a professional responsibility.) Is this just me? And where is the line? Is it ok to friend these kids when they're 14? 16? 18?

I don't really want to know that a fifteen-year-old is drinking till they pass out, or walking down highways at three in the morning... and this is not about what I did or did not do at that age, it's actually about what I wanted people to know about me. Would I be embarrassed if my teacher pulled up alongside me and said "What the HELL are you doing and do your parents know where you are?" Damn straight.
Why aren't these kids?

I think these things mattered less a couple years ago when I could laugh and say I was just pretending to be grown up. I think they matter more to me than they do to a lot of people. Maybe I'm an overthinker. Possibly we're all being swept along by this new interactivity and exposure and no-one is really thinking about the social and behavioural consequences for the next generation. Bring on the fire trucks.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This is...

Just a placeholder. Just to say: I love these crazy days. I really do. There's nothing quite so exemplary of the random that is my life as a day on holiday. Late breakfast, manic cleanup of teaching studio, sort through homeschooling detritus some twenty years old, all carefully dated by my mother. Chelsea, 3yrs 10 mths to 4 yrs 1 mth. I have BOXES of this stuff. I'm not sure just how securely to pack it away.

S. arrives. He and hubs sit and play cards for HOURS; they're playtesting different decks for a tournament in a couple weeks' time. I tell them to shut up at about one because I have students for an hour. I started teaching J. in his prep year. Now he's starting high school in a month and taller than me.

His little sister was getting the hang of walking when she started coming to his lessons; today we play Handel's Chorus from Judas Maccabaeus, listening for sympathetic resonance and making comparisons of whole bows to whole cookies (she wore a Cookie Monster tee-shirt to her lesson today).

I blog and stuff about on the interwebs, ordering the last three Chuck Palahniuk books to complete my collection (Snuff, Diary, something else I've forgotten) and then stick the basics for pizza dough in the breadmaker while we walk down to the supermarket for the other pizza-making stuff. We liberate the mouse that wandered into our kitchen and I walk the pug around the block while hubs navigates the unfamiliar territory of our local.

One pizza later (ok, I only ate HALF the pizza), I'm ranting about the need to keep our home phone number and address out of the hands of a certain contact; I have an uncomfortably vivid premonition of him materialising uninvited and being impervious to all social niceties... I work from home a lot and with children. NO. I don't care what social disorder you hang on me, he is not to have those bits of information. And if he goes so far as to acquire them from other sources (not me or hubs) I shall be VERY UNHAPPY.

Do I really need to say that no-one wants that?

Then there was email. If Suzukisinger can tease more than one coherent thought from the mishmash I just pounded out, she'll be doing well. Actually, if anyone can read more than a sentence of this post and form a sensible comment without impugning my dubious mental state, they will deserve a medal. I didn't say I'd award one, just that you deserve it.

Tomorrow: more teaching. I'm sure there'll be hilarity. Somewhere. Right now I have to go approve a really cool and awesome app for playing planeswalk cards via iphone (oh, Magic, you have much to answer for...).

P.S. My right ankle is determinedly clicky.
Or unclicky. Clunky. Damn sticky dance floor last night. And damn people hanging off the bar occupying untenable tracts of said dance floor. Inconsiderate bastards. (hubs has interjected that bastards is a strong word. I would like to agree. Yes, yes it is.) Bastards.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Because it's holidays.

It's been a little hectic lately. After whisking my husband down the peninsula for a couple nights to celebrate our second wedding anniversary (an elaborate subterfuge that enrolled my aunt as an unwitting conspirator) and generally gallivanting about, we've spent the last two days throwing stuff out.

Him, idly turning over one of the hundreds of books I've slated for expulsion: "Didn't you say I should read that book?"
Struggling up the stairs with another armful, I roll my eyes. "I DID say that, but there are another twenty books I think you should read that are way better books."
"But this is a good book, right?"
"Not so good I'm going to read it again. I'm only keeping books I actively WANT to read again."
He doesn't get it. But I go through books the way teenage boys go through cereal.

There are literally almost four hundred books stacked up on our sideboard awaiting the grand purge. I can't decide how to get rid of them. I could take them to a trash'n'treasure Sunday and sell them for a dollar each (which I think would actually work) or institute a new house rule: no-one leaves without a book.

Forget that. It's practically an unwritten rule here anyway. People come over, we talk about books, I enthuse over something and wind up pressing it into their hand as they leave. Mostly I never see these books again (which is FINE, as it saves me the guilt of disposing of them) which, come to think of it, is doubtless why I often want to buy multiple copies of my favorites. Show me a copy of Neil Gaiman's American Gods or Anansi Boys, or Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance or anything by Barbara Kingsolver and I want to buy it just so I can pass it on to someone else.

I know. Clearly I'm crazy. Lucky I never tried any career other than teaching.