A week zipped by, as we were held hostage by the fabulous cook guest, and the holy terror toddler. I had fun, but let me tell you, this past Friday was a Happy Day, being able to come in from work and have my house back. To once again enter my kitchen, to lay in blissful silence on the sofa, watching mindless television, to keep all bedroom doors open in the house, without fear of dogs destroying children's stuffy toys...my dogs and King David (the fiendish 3 year old) did not mix so well, though the exposure was good on both sides. Ella was predatory, slipping around, thieving toys, eating pasta right out of the child's mouth, and expressing her distress at the invader by employing her age-old trick of peeing on her bed. Cricket's roughhousing and rampaging through the house whipped the boy up into a fever pitch, causing Cricket himself to spend a few evenings enjoying the solitude of our bedroom, with a beef rib, while the child was doted on.
It's weird when your party animal friends have children. I'm sure they think it's weird when their party animal friends acquire more animals and pick up strange habits like knitting.
In King David's wake, I realize that my friend Dan and I have parted ways in the cooking department. He has become a better, more enthusiastic, inspired cook, and P and I have remained the same sort of ordinary, survival cooks we always were. We have a few staples, we can make a fair number of things from scratch, but we are not above a bit of Taco Bell and Top Ramen to get us through the week. Ah, well, I do have my standbys, and tonight I made Tandoori chicken on the grill, salad and some yummy pesto potato salad.
The Crown of Thorns plant is blooming: I've always liked its waxy looking leaves and the flowers look rather like lipstick to me. Of course since moving to Hawaii, I hardly know lipstick anymore, relying on a bit of sunburn to make me look colorful, rather than my old stash of Clinique, Cargo and Aveda cosmetics. Still, if I were a glamourous woman, working in the business world, this matte-finish pinky red flower is the color of lipstick I would wear.
Working...I've developed a complete case of dread that starts up around 5pm each Sunday evening, and every morning around 6am, regarding my job. I like the students. I am just sick of feeling like a fish out of water at this school.
Last week, we had a field trip, and kids were strongly urged to wear the school shirts (and buy them if they didn't own them already) and close-toed shoes to go to a play. I am not a kid, and in light of the 85 degree heat, chose to wear a skirt, tank top and some open toed sandals. I caught it from a co-teacher, both about the shoes and later in the day, about my lack of ownership of the school shirt. Baaaahhhhh! Not a real hassle, just a cool "no closed toe shoes?" immediately upon my arrival in the classroom, and later in the day, a t-shirt order form was given to me. As a teacher I would always urge my students to wear sneakers on field trips, too. But as a teacher, I generally wore what I pleased. I realize this may come off as hypocritical to some, but hey, I'm an adult, and generally choose to dress in a way that's practical and comfortable. I DID notice that another teacher opted to wear platform shoes, displaying a stunning pedicure, and so I felt vindicated.
At the theater, it was pointed out that if the place caught on fire, those who were wearing sneakers could make a hasty escape. I guess I'd stay to burn, along with the fashionable other teacher and the odd parent chaperones and nonconformist 3rd graders...
Now this high-schoolishness and chuffing about my job is due to quit any minute now, and I do need to qualify it with the unequivocal statement that there are people I've found at work whom I truly enjoy and respect. They are just not the people I spend most of my days with. I am not necessarily a thin-skinned person, and I assure you I defended my choice of footwear as well as that black tank top with my typical sharp wit, but the damage is done. It remains no lovefest for me in my employment life. I seek my joy in the students, now, and in plying my craft, but I fear the lack of joy here.
Luckily, there's Life After Contract Hour, and it remains enjoyable. I have been self-medicating with the beach, Lanikai, to be specific, and snorkeling, and with grilling and my patio, and the almost frantic anticipation of my visit to Virginia in 3 weeks. P is out of town again, gone off to the Pacific Northwest, and the dogs and I are holding down the fort for a few days.
Tomorrow, in lieu of my teaching day, I have a meeting in Waikiki, which is not as shiny as one might expect, given that it's all about testing and scores and protocols. I'm going to be there with people who have the power to evaluate me, so I can't even knit, even though it's a 7-hour meeting. Still, Purple Koigu is going in my bag, because I can't resist the chance to enjoy the temptation.
The day after tomorrow, I go to City Hall to pay our fencing fees and hopefully, with the Universe's blessing, put this Bad Neighbor issue to rest once and for all. I'm taking a personal day to take care of this, and so won't see actual school until Wednesday, which is a short day. So I really have little to complain about, in the greater scheme of things.