Funny stories, and an indefinitely sad one…

It has been a stressfull week at school, don’t know why. Had some great laughs tho over the week, along with tons of corrections and lots of work doing the books for our company.

With my two classes of fourth graders (16 year olds) I’m reading the history of the conspiracy of Catilina (63 BC) in Latin, and also this very famous speech by Cicero, in which he gets really furious and all worked up in the senate. I always try to make it as real as possible, with a booming voice, a face contorted in anger, and so on. Two of the guys were getting on my nerves, and I punished them by making them learn by heart the first 10 lines of the speech, to be delivered next day, with intonation and expression. They both did it, but… As one of them came up to the front, I made him stand behind my desk. One of the other students remarked: ‘Hey, Jef, with your red jacket, your skating trousers, your hat on, behind that desk, you look like an MC’. A sparkle appeared in the guy’s eye, and yes… It’s the first time ever that I heard that speech being delivered in a rap style, with human beatbox noises and lots of ‘yo’s and ‘man’s and all the appropriate moves. God I laughed myself to tears ! It was so silly and yet great.

Game on Thursday night was swell too. We didn’t do that much, but big fun was had by all. I think Lovecraft lies spinning in the grave :-p

Finally Faust has gone to the bank to see what he could afford as a loan. He’s planning on finally buying a small house of his own. He can’t afford much, but it should be feasible. Yesterday we started looking thru the papers and the sites for sth interesting, but they’re all a bit far off the station. Since he doesn’t have a car and works at impossible hours, it should be within walking distance. He’s a train chef, btw. Heh, we got bored after a few hours yesterday, and started a decent tickling fight ! Always good fun, hehe.

On Monday me and Faust had a date too: going into town, to the sales, to find a black overcoat for him and some stuff for me. In and out of every store, only to discover they had no coats, or not the right colour, or not the right size. With every store Faust grew a bit grumpier, was so funny ! I got myself some pyamas (was so cold the last couple of weeks when it was freezing outside that much) and we both bought a minimalistic glass wallclock. Bought a real nice pair of black pants too, don’t look too fat in them (heh, my weight you just can’t hide, but I can make it look less bad), and some books. When I came home, I found out they had forgotten one of those safety clips on the pijjies, and the clock had some major scratches on them. Grrr ! Headed back to those shops the next morning to turn in the clock and get another one and get the clip removed. Found two more pyamas, a very cool gray little sleevless vest (Bart sez I look hip :-p), a black pullover, a gray fleece for Bart. Alas, no black coat.

On a much sadder note: the Latin teacher whom I substituted for in September 2001, a 42-year old mom of three, of which the oldest one died at 15 from an aneurysm, is to be buried today. Her youngest son is one of my first-graders. It was brain cancer, and I’ve seen her deteriorate. God, it was awful, and so hard on her two boys: 14 and 12 (and her husband of course).
Jason took it pretty well, I think. It’s not like it was unexpected: she came to the Christmas breakfast in december, and she could hardly speak by then, was in a wheelchair, couldn’t eat by herself… And yet she had the courage to come.
When in September I saw Jason was in my class and I had him apart for a moment, I asked him how his mom was. He looked me in the eyes very openly, and said: ‘Terminal, miss’. My heart ached.
And later on, he once came to me after class and said, in a soft but very clear voice, very simply: ‘You know, miss, Frederik would have turned 16 today’, and he smiled this sad smile. It affected me more than he could ever imagine. He’s such a sweet smart kid, and yet he has to go thru all this. First his bro, now his mom.
Last week he came up to me and apologised for being a bit absent-minded in class: she had been admitted to hospital. And on Wednesday, he came to me: ‘Sorry miss, I didn’t study my vocabulary. Mom died on Monday’. Poor kid. As if I did expect him to study while he lost his mom. I so felt like hugging him, and it felt so out of place there and then, in that corridor, with the students passing by.

There is nothing much I can do. I’ll attend the funeral. And I’ll try to be there for him when he needs someone. I just hope he has better persons to turn to than his crazy Latin teacher, but in any case, I’ll be there.

Crap, the sprain in my ankle must be more severe than I thought: I assumed it would be over with a good night’s rest, but no. Had to apply a bandage, can’t find the ointment anymore, and god, it hurts… NOt blue or swollen though, but that’s normal, if you take into account the amount of times I have sprained that ankle. I even had surgery on it for that.

Grrr !

Off to work now

Puh, had a hell of a week, with a pretty good weekend 🙂

Monday was hurrying already: taught again, went to do grocery shopping, took the cat to the vet to be castrated, visited my mom, cooked and crashed.

Tuesday wasn’t that much better: schoolwork, teaching, correcting, hurriedly cooking, doc at 19.30 (arm is still not the way it should be, at all), visit to a dear friend who is in deep shit. Home by midnight, crashed in bed.

Wednesday: teaching, correcting, drove to my dad to fetch some old radio and transmission gear from the 1920’s, took me a hell of a long time, drove home, had pizza cos I didn’t have time for anything else, visited my mom in hospital, popped in at Faust’s to bring him his espresso coffee, had Tolkien meeting at 20.00, left at 23.00 to go to another friend to bring the radio gear, and since he was in need of a good talk apparently, got home by 2.00.

Thursday: got up by 7.00, taught till 16.00, corrected some, had parental night from 18.00 till 22.00. Good thing I did bring some sandwiches, I would have been starving without them. Actually I had Nephilim roleplay too, but by then I was so tired that I cancelled and crashed at home.

Friday: yay, seeing Harry Potter with 150 twelve-year-olds. Hmmm. That is so NOT fun ! Really tired me out, actually. Drove home at noon to have bread, and found out that Bart felt really bad and even had to vomit. Odd, it all took like 30 mins for him to get a fever, feel bad, turn white and vomit, and another hour to feel well again. Weird. Taught in the afternoon, did visit my mom again, crashed at Faust’s place, hehe. Went to pick up Bart, went out for dinner, and crashed in front of the telly round 10.

Saturday: pretty lazy day, but in the evening I had Angst: a Cthulhu-based one-evening live roleplay, situated in 1933 on Antarctica. Was really cool. Had good fun, was in bed by 5.00 this morning, so I slept long, played some Asheron’s Call, corrected more.
Had forgotten my purse at Angst, so needed to pick it up tonight. Left to get it, remembered it was rehearsal day for the band I might wanna join, so I checked them out. They suck, but it might be good fun. Sprained my ankle in walking to my car, so sat down for a bit to subdue the pain and the nausea, then drove off to get the purse. Everything was still in it, good thing.

Hmmm. Should be correcting some more, but it’s Sunday night 11.00, and I really don’t feel like it anymore. Guess they can wait another day for their tests, now can’t they ?

Goodnight !

Today my mom got some minor surgery. All went well, but she felt pretty woozy when I went to visit her. Took her some red roses, she likes those. Heh, was kinda funny, she kept dozing off while I was there, sometimes in the middle of a sentence. Was odd, since usually she’s got very sharp wits.

Also my poor cat, Purper, got ‘done’, i.e. he lost his manhood today. Usually he eats in the morning and then goes outside, but today he had to stay sober and I couldn’t risk to let him out and not getting him back in by four, so he couldn’t get out either. Poor thing, it was the first not-rainy day in weeks, on the contrary, it was one of those lovely bright-sunshiny freezing cold days. In the afternoon I put him in this large cat cage, and man, he was offended ! When I put him in the car, he became frightened as hell: he’s never been in a car before, except the one time when I fetched him from the animal shelter. Off we went, and then off he went, cos it was so cute, seeing him nodding off in spite of all his willpower and fright. And then off his balls went, poor kitten…
Also, yesterday I had noticed a big wound right above his right eye: he must have gotten into a fight once more, and got hurt. It was all swollen and nasty, even tho the wound itself had closed. I asked the vet to take a look at that too, and indeed, it was kinda filled with pus. Vet opened it up and cleaned it, and left it open for the cat to clean himself. Purper was too drowsy tho when we got home, so Catullus (our labrador retriever) did that job for him. It was so cute: this big dog asking my attention to look after the cat: it was as if he tried to say: ‘Hey, can’t you see ? There’s something wrong with my buddy. I try to lick him, but he won’t react, and he’s got a wound too that needs cleaning, so I’ll do it for him.’
Dog was indeed being very protective. I’m glad tho that Purper isn’t mad at me: Sander, my previous cat, wouldn’t look at me for days on end because I had dared to take him to the vet and do that to him.
Purper already purred in my arms a while ago, so I think he won’t hold a grudge against me 🙂

All in all, a pretty busy first working day again.

Just bought myself the most gorgeous orchid you can imagine ! Dark brown-red, same colour as my desk, with large sideflaps and a big chalice with green… I just couldn’t resist ! Hope I can make it flower again some day too…

Off to a big dinner party for my gran’s 91st birthday. It’s in a restaurant two streets away from her house, but I hope she won’t come by bike in this weather, it’s too damn cold. Hmm, need to get dressed up all fancy again. Yay. Don’t feel like the whole thing, not even hungry.

Past few days have been weird. I’m not the world’s greatest cleaner, to make the understatement of the year. But somehow I got into a cleaning frenzy that would even make my mother-in-law feel ashamed.
Maybe it is cos finally the second floor of our house starts to take shape. This means that I can put everything that was originally stocked on the attic and was brought down to the different rooms, back up. I have a separate room now for all the larp stuff I own, and yes, it fills up a small room. This means that the spare room got a little free space, so that I could move my sewing table and the machine and all pieces of fabric in there. This of course means that my bedroom finally emptied up again 🙂 so I started cleaning the whole thing. Finally some breathing space !!! I’ve got this huge bedroom with a giant cupboard and a double bed and a dressoir and everything, and a table with four chairs in it too. All got cleaned, and I even started sorting out the clothes. God, I’m awful ! I finally got myself to throw away a bunch of clothes from when I was 15 and like 30 kilos slimmer. What on earth was I thinking ? That they’d become fashionable again ? That I’d ever regain my figure from those days ? LOL !

Anyway, got two aching arms now and two cramping hands, but… A very nice sparkling clean bedroom 🙂 All I need to do now is start plastering and wallpapering and painting the 2nd floor, so Bart’s new office is all ready for use.

Oh, and maybe even get a New Year’s Eve over and done with. Sigh…

Argh, I have a new kitten, it’s a great little furball (black, of course) but he has one major flaw: he loves to play with my hair, and thinks it appropriate to jump on my shoulders from every possible direction with outstretched claws ! Grrr !! Not only bad for my bloodpressure (I nearly get a heart attack when he does that while I’m at the PC, or eating, or folding up laundry, or whatever) but also not exactly the best thing for the once smooth skin on my shoulders. How on earth can I teach him it’s simpy NOT done, even tho the strands move playfully ? Heh, I can divert him to my dog’s ears (he doesn’t seem to mind), but not very long. Oh, and my hand is completely scratched as well, but that’s my own fault, cos I love to play with him. Hmmm, cats…

Oh well, gonna do some shopping here, have my parents, bro and in-laws for dinner tonight. Yay…

Mmmm…. Now this is vacation ! I really didn’t write this down yesterday, cos I felt too lazy for that even. I had the most wonderful of days for ages. All I did was stay at home tho. But…
I slept long, and then I installed myself on the couch, still in pyamas, a cup of hot cocoa as well… Outside it was damn cold, bright sunshine, and all covered in snow. Beautiful ! And inside, well, there was the lights of the Xmas tree, the purring cat on top of me, the dog at my feet, the nice crackling fire, and a very good book. So all I did was read, have a small bite to eat, have some cocoa or coffee, read on, get up and give my hubby a kiss, read on, light the other lights and draw the curtains, read on… Mmmm… And not even a shred of urgent work here… So I felt as relaxed as could be, was quite a new experience… *hugs the world* Feeling happy, for a change !

Heh (insert sigh of relief here)

Finally got that correction over and done with. Cost me 50 hours, and lots and lots of them, mostly the fourth graders, have failed. 🙁 God they pissed me off ! Why on earth can’t they study ? It’s Latin, for crying out loud, they’re supposed to study! Made me feel so bad the last couple of days… Even thought about quitting the teaching thing, if these are the only results I get. Grrrrr !

On another note: I’m a redhead again 🙂 Really like it, me happy girl about that.

The office on the top floor is coming along nicely too, lots of work still, but hey, it looks great. Will be such a good change, when Bart has his own office up there, and I get my place down here. Much more logical, and lots more peace. Good thing indeed.

Another very positive thing: my hairdresser gave me a brilliant idea for a gift for my mom. Gonna get her a big cheque for nice lingerie, the kind that you wouldn’t buy for yourself cos it’s too expensive :-), then gonna get that cheque canned, so it looks like an ordinary can. Yep yep, happy girl here too.

Oh, Nihil: would you be so kind as to give us a hand this weekend to move some furniture ? I can’t take the weight 🙁 and I REALLY want my desk installed…

Got nearly suffocated in phonecalls, over the oddest subjects possible.
One made my heart yearn tho: the GM from one of the small one-day larps called me and asked me if I was going to be present on Saturday. I had to decline, cos I’m far from fit, methinks. It’s a small tribe of barbarians, 20 max, and I’m their leader, and biggest fighting machine. I really can’t be all that if I’m as weak as my bicycle ride this morning painfully showed me. Sigh…