Thursday, December 08, 2005

Please recommend some music...

My new toy...

After adding all the music I have on my computer I have many, MANY gigs left. So please recommend some music. I like all kinds of music, except country.

I heart Leif

How GREAT is Leif?
Let me count the ways...

He's dead sexy!

He can drink, even while sleeping.

He can sing...

...and perform...

...and play the piano, all at the same time!

He's tall.

He does a great impression of a spoiled brat.

He can continue dancing even while being assaulted.

Wine in a Pocari Sweat bottle = CLASS!

He's athletic.

He's great with kids.

He's not afraid of looking stupid.

He knows how to properly wear a Christmas crown.

He's obviously the life of the party.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Monday, November 28, 2005

That's right, hang your head in shame Pauly boy

Canadian politics isn't so boring! Well, for today anyway.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Maybe it's time to leave the country when... suddenly start driving on the wrong side of the road!!

After nearly 2 1/2 years of perfectly safe and sane driving I have suddenly lost my mind. Last night was the first time I have ever driven on the wrong side of the road. AND I didn't even notice I was on the wrong side of the road until I saw the lights of on-coming traffic!

It was only about 3 seconds , and a small road, but it was long enough!

I can't wait for Christmas!

If you are feeling Christmassy I recommend this station. No commercials, never cuts out, and great variety.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Value of an International Homestay

Scribbled across a page from a student's journal:

  • knacker
  • cherry
  • fucking
  • fat-witted
  • bitchy
  • bitch
  • playboy
  • retard
  • drugster
  • dood
  • fuckin hell
  • ass
  • manure
  • poop
  • buttock
  • shit
  • skater
  • CIA
  • pot
  • ass-hole
  • haircut
  • number two
  • crack
  • fuck up
  • jackass
  • mate
  • sphincter
  • weed
  • bastard
  • virgin
  • ball
  • whore
  • kinky
  • methamphetamine (jesus christ, did she also SPELL it correctly???)
  • fuck all
  • KKK
  • balls up

Needless to say, I'm the only one she shows her journal to.

So where did she learn these words????

Her 2 week homestay in Seattle.

And yes, she does understand them ALL.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I really miss my dog today

Isn't it strange how homesickness hits you at the strangest moments? I was just sitting here, eating my Lawson's tofu, and I thought about my dog, Hanna.

Living alone sucks.

For the Princess

Welcome Maya! We love you already and can't wait to meet you.

Obsess Much?

So Rebecca and I have tried to be really good about going to the boxing gym. Since we joined we have been about 10 times. Not bad eh?

One of my students, Y-chan (my personal secretary/translator/therapist) has listened to me go on and on about the gym. So of course she really wants to give it a try.

Today, during conversation class, she fell behind on the current assignment because we were chatting about boxing! Oops


Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Thursday, October 13, 2005

May the BC government rot in hell

I've spent the past few hours (no classes this afternoon) reading about the teachers strike back home in BC.

Long story short, a few years ago the government made it so that teachers were declared an "essential service". Essential services are things like police, doctors, ambulances etc. Teaching is NOT an essential service. No one dies if the teachers don't show up.

As a result of this legislation, teachers are no longer allowed to strike. As far as I know, BC is the ONLY place in Canada or the US where teachers are not allowed to strike. It is against the law, because teaching is an "essential service".

The reason the government did this is so that it could screw teachers up the ass and get away with it. In doing so, it also screws children. Now isn't that a pretty picture!

So fast forward to this year (or was it last year?) It's time to negotiate a contract between teachers and the government. The teachers are asking for input when it comes to important things like class size and composition (this means the number of special needs students in a class, or behavioral students etc). They are also asking for salary increases. BC salaries lag behind other provinces like Alberta and Ontario. Also, it takes over 10 years to reach the top of the salary scale for a teacher in BC. Have you ever heard of a plumber or a doctor having to take a 10 year apprenticeship? I had to go to university for 5 years and incur staggering debt to become a teacher, I should be compensated (like other PROFESSIONALS).

Anyway, I'm getting off topic.

So the teachers and the government have been at the bargaining table trying to come up with a contract. The government refuses to let the teachers have any input in class sizes and composition, and it proposed NO wage increases over the next three years. So the negotiating was not going well and it was taking a long time. What does the government do? They imposed a legislative "contract". This means that the bargaining will stop and teachers will just have to take it in the ass until next year, when the whole process will begin again. This is how the last "contract" was settled two years ago.

Needless to say, this did not sit well with teachers. The government would rather legislate a contract than actually work together to create one. It's easier for the government to do this. other professions this would cause people to strike. But wait, teaching is an essential service in BC. Striking is against the law. So what can teachers do?

They can break the law (that was created to break them) and go out on strike!!! I'm so proud of BC teachers for taking this step. It takes a lot of courage to knowingly break the law, even if it is an unjust law.

This explains it a lot better.

As of today they are 4 days into their illegal strike. The employers have already gone to court, and the teachers have been ordered by a judge to return to work (because they are so "essential"). But the teachers stand STRONG and are still striking!! Today I read that the court has seized the assets of the BC Teachers Federation (the union). So now teachers won't be getting their $50 a day strike pay. It also means that any money donated to the BCTF cannot be used. Very sneaky move by the court. The next step will be to enforce fines, and the final step will be to throw people in jail. Harsh! But it won't get to that, I hope.

AND the goverment currently has a surplus of money!! Millions of dollars, waiting to be spent. What will they spend it on? Certainly not our children, our future.

I am appalled by this government and I fully support the teachers.

Why do I give a shit? Because I have lots of friends teaching in BC and I was hoping to one day teach there as well. Right now Alberta is looking a lot better.

Why should you care? Well, if you're a teacher you should support your fellow teachers. One day it may be YOUR government trying to screw you up the ass.

Go to the BC Teachers Federation website to read all about it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Shoot me NOW

I've tried to be a nice person, I've tried to be compassionate, but I simply cannot stand B!

B is an English teacher who has had several nervous breakdowns over the years. The most recent one was about a year ago, while he was my supervisor. He stayed at home for about 10 months. 2 months ago he returned to school for "rehabilitation". He teaches no classes, he does NOTHING, he sits beside me.

My list of grievances:

**RIGHT NOW he is eating. When he eats he does it in supersonic speed. A bunwich is gone in less than 3 seconds. While chomping away he breathes really heavily. He takes a big bite, chews twice *his mouth is still full, he has not swallowed anything* and then he takes another huge ass bite. It makes me want to vomit. The worst part is that he always buys 2 bunwiches and he always eats them right after each other, in less than 10 seconds. And this is before 10am. Then I have to listen to him eat his lunch at noon!

**He is a chain smoker. Having NO classes and NOTHING to do means he can take 10 smoke breaks a day. I'm not even exaggerating. Lucky for me, the smoke room is way on the other side of the school, so it gets him out of my sight for 10 minutes at a time, 10 times a day. The nasty ass part is that when he returns he STINKS like the bottom of an ashtray. He always puts in a fresh piece of gum *thank god* but all that does is make the smoke smell slightly minty. He has ruined that gum for me. I can't buy it. I can't enjoy the minty goodness, it will always remind me of smoke.

**He is really short and the most stubby person I have ever seen. But that really isn't a complaint, it's just me being petty.

**Yesterday was a day of exams. So nobody had classes but most teachers were really busy with grading. He says to me,"Do you not have papers to grade?" Knowing full well that I did not give a test. I give oral tests you jackass. Remember? Back when you were an actual teacher? We taught OC together?? Anyway, back on topic...being the kind-hearted person that I am, I replied with, "No, how about you? Do you have papers to grade?" Of course, I know he has no papers to grade, that would require having classes to teach. Or it would require one of the other English teachers actually giving him work to do. (They don't, because he is too "fragile"). Anyway, so he laughs at me and says,"No". Yeah, that's right fucker, we both have nothing to do today so why bring it up?

**JESUS CHRIST there is a third bunwich thing. He just brought it it's gone. The smell is going to make me vomit. Corn and ketchup and some diseased piece of hot dog wannabe. Kill me.

**He bought an Ipod and listens to it sometimes at work. I want an Ipod, fucker.

**He reads the Daily Yomuri like his life depends on it. The other teachers are working their asses off and he sits there reading the paper for at least an hour everyday. I guess it's acceptable when you have NOTHING to do and teach NO CLASSES. At least make it look like you are working, that's what I do.

**He's fucking annoying when he's drunk at enkais. He insists on talking to me about Japanese politics. I don't give a shit about Koizumi or postal privatization and I really don't want to smell your beer/mintysmoke/wasabi combo breath.

**He leaves in the middle of the day sometimes. I guess doing NOTHING all day can be tiring and he needs to go home because he's "fragile".

**He was supposed to start teaching again this month. He's not ready, apparently. So now he is supposed to start teaching in December. He won't be ready. The shitty thing is, the teacher who they hired to replace him is excellent and she is working month to month not knowing if she will have a job next week. She has been offered better jobs but she stays here because the principal has "asked her to". She stays even though she could be let go at any time. The reality is that B most likely won't teach at all this year. Maybe he will start again when the new school year begins in April. But he will still come in everyday, for "rehabilitation".

**I would understand this "rehabilitation" bullshit if he were actually doing something. Perhaps he can go to some classes and observe. Or team-team with some teachers, to get the hang of it again. Maybe he could create lessons? Anything is better than sitting at your desk all day while everyone around you (including the ALT!) is working. I think it's soul-crushing.

**He leaves the sound up on his computer so everytime he pushes "enter" a little noise is made. Not the normal noise you would expect, he has it set to some cutesy little animal noise. NO ONE wants to hear that shit. Every chance I get, I reach over and turn the volume down. The next day he figures it out and turns it up again.

**The green felt and plastic sheet that covers the top of his desk (do you understand what I mean?) is always in disarray. Like it is never fully on his desk. I straighten it out when he is on his smoke breaks. But then he comes back, pushes on it, and it moves around again. If he had some books or other weight on it, it wouldn't move. But I guess that would require having classes that require textbooks, or students who hand in notebooks.

**He sweats. A LOT. It's October, I'm sitting here with a fleece jacket on and he is sweating profusely. I think it's the 2 minute walk to the smoke room that does it to him. So he has this giant orange sweat towel that he keeps on his desk. Most people keep a small, neatly folded towel in their pocket, or in their desk. Not B. He leaves it in a messy pile and when he wipes his face with it he looks like a stubby sumo wrestler, right before he is about to fight. Nasty. Worst part: he doesn't take it home and clean it. It's always the same sweat towel. Ewwwwwwwww!

**During an English camp a few years ago he was late. He was supposed to pick up another teacher (don't get me started on that tool. Buy a fucking car, you're 30 years old!) from the station but didn't show up. He eventually arrived and then felt the *need* to tell me the reason he was late was that he had diarrhea! JESUS MAN I don't want to know about that! I was so disgusted that I couldn't look him in the face for the rest of the camp.

Well I think that's enough for now.

*I may post photos so you can SEE what I'm bitching about.*

I feel much better.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I Want a Care Bear

Care Bears are cool again. I never had one, but I want one now. This is perfectly acceptable in Japan.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

My "Spirited Away" character

You are Lin! You seem level-headed and cool, but
you harbor a dream in your heart to get away.
You are steady and dependable, even if you are
a bit blunt.

Which Spirited Away character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I haven't actually seen the whole movie. But what I did see was pretty good, and very Japanese!

Monday, October 03, 2005

You don't know how much you like something till you move to a country that doesn't have anything even remotely like it.

Have a Twinkie for me...if you can.

I'm waiting...

I'm waiting for you to start your blog Sarah.
You know you want to....

The pupil surpasses the teacher??

I have a joint journal with one of my students who is very genki about english. Today she wrote:

I think natural phenomenons have an effect on global warming. I think we must take the situation seriously.

Holy crap! I don't even know what to write back.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Let's take a walk down memory lane...

For some strange reason The Littlest Hobo came up in conversation last night. Katy, Travis, and Craig had never heard of the classic TV show, but Rebecca knew almost the entire theme song. Now the song is stuck in my head.

There's a voice that keeps on calling me.
Down the road, that's where I'll always be.
Every stop I make, I make a new friend.
Can't stay for long, just turn around, and I'm gone again.
Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down.
Until tomorrow, I'll just keep movin' on.
So if you want to join me for a while,
Just grab your hat, we'll travel light.
That's hobo style.
Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down.
Until tomorrow, I'll just keep movin' on.
Until tomorrow, the whole world is my home.

Let's discuss:

I loved this show when I was 5. It was filmed near Vancouver, BC (which makes it seem even more cool now). A german shepherd named London (The Littlest Hobo) would travel from place to place having adventures and affecting people's lives. It really was great family entertainment. And that theme dam catchy!

A better description, copied from some website:

Filmed in Canada, THE LITTLEST HOBO TV series was originally broadcast in 1963
in black and white, aired for three seasons and then made a noteworthy comeback
to even heavier syndication in 1979, this time in color. The show was so popular
that it ran until 1985. THE LITTLEST HOBO was one of the few shows on TV to
feature something other than a human regular as the star. That unique star - a
profoundly intelligent stray German shepherd named Hobo (real name - London)
wanders around helping people resolve their crises, and leaving them forever
changed in the process. Boundless warmth, humor and suspense combine to make a remarkably touching and memorable experience for the entire family.

This is from some random episode. The boy on the right is Mike Myers.

It was aired in Japan from 1980-1981 under the very original title of:


I guess "Hobo" doesn't translate well!

Didn't you always wish the Littlest Hobo would would visit you?? I still do...


That's hobo style...