I up ‘n gots me a new Johnny

Well, not quite yet.  The plumbers are installing it now.  I actually had no idea this was coming.  You see, earlier in the week, the toilet kept running on and the stopper wouldn’t seal in the reservoir.  I contacted, for lack of a better term, our property manager, and someone was sent the following day.  TheWife™ was out and about when he arrived, and I thought we communicated okay.  The problem appeared to be solved, except for a small, but constant flow of water into the bowl.  This has always been the case and thought it was intentional, as it was happening from the moment I moved in.  There were also a couple cracks in the ceramic, but I thought nothing of it.  This morning, the plumbing people show up with a new toilet.  Surprise!  The porcelain God decided that a new altar was be bestowed onto us, for delivery if its sacrificial sacrament.  There’s a downside to our shiny turd collector; it can’t collect golden showers or chocolate hostages for a couple of days.  If I need to go, I now have to run to the public toilet in my building– which is down a flight of stairs, and a half-way across the building.  I’d call this a first world problem, but for some reason, I don’t feel as though I can classify this as one of those.

Oh yeah, I also started teaching this week after a 12-year hiatus.
And yes, it went well.  I commented earlier this week that it was like riding a bike, and I still stand by that.  I fell back into the process with relative ease.  The only issues I’m having is timing vs content.  Each class is two periods of 45-minutes each.  Under and overfilling that time slot is a bit of challenge.  Class sizes vary from 12 to 22, which means that the length it takes to finish an activity can drastically change from one class to another.  I’ll get it figured out, I’m sure.
Something else I kind of forgot about was the charge to the ego that teaching can bring–which I think I’m far more aware of this time around.  I think I can thank time and experience, and over a decade of self-reflection for this.  I’ve noted before that there’s a fairly strong reverence towards teachers here, and it really demonstrated itself on Friday.
Before my classes started, a couple of classes got moved, with on being changed to 4:30 on Friday.  Fine.  Come Friday, I show up for my class thirty minutes early.  I was surprised to find one of my student’s waiting for me outside of the classroom.  We chit-chatted a little, and she told me that a lot of students might not show because of the change.  Not everyone got the message.  Apparently, they did get the message, but the messages were different by two hours.  The coordinator gave me the wrong schedule.  The interesting part about this is that not a single one of the students who eventually showed up (only eight of what should have been close to twenty), every said anything about.  Just assumed my time was right, and their time was wrong, or just didn’t want to speak up about it.  If this had been a class back in Canada, there’d at the very least be questions of what happened.  Not here.

Oh, and one last thing.  The new Foo Fighters dropped this week, and it is awesome.


I wish I was a little bit taller.

We’ve all had teachers that influenced us, helped us, encouraged us.  The same teachers that when we looked back on our lives, we would remember them fondly.  This isn’t one of those times.

Seeing photos of Dave Grohl rocking out from a throne suitable only for musical gods such as himself inspired me to re-familiarize myself with his legacy.  What I’ve come to appreciate most about Grohl is distinct usage of of drums.  Whether it be music back from his Nirvana days, his influence on Taylor Hawkins in Foo Fighters, or Queens of the Stone Age, I can’t help but pick up my invisible drum sticks and bash my elaborate setup of air drums.

When I listen to the radio, I just hear so much music that doesn’t even sound like people. The vocals are all tuned, and the drums are all fake.
-Dave Grohl

When I started grade year at William G. Davis, I had a goal.  With my braces tightly wrapped around my teeth, I wanted to graduate from playing the trumpet to playing the drums.  I had my sights set on that drum set in the corner since the seventh grade, when we were told that none of us would get to touch for another year.  So when our new music teacher, Ms. Brooks-Kirkland, opened the floor for drum tryouts, naturally I made my intentions known.  Those who wanted to play the drums participated in a beat test.  I nailed it.  I know I nailed it.  I felt it.  I was going to be the next class drummer, until I wasn’t.  The see-you-next-tuesday (was never found of this teacher) gave it another student in the class, who previously had been playing the flute.  Naturally, I was disheartened and defeated.  I gave up on my dream as apparently I wasn’t good enough.

With a month this girl was off the drums and back to the flute, and the drums were left empty for the rest of the year.

After a year of misery and pain playing the trumpet (my braces against the mouthpiece of the trumpet was far comfortable), I moved to the tuba in grade 9.  In my final year of highschool I took Grade 9 vocal music for shits and grins.  I also dabbled with guitar here and there, but never really took to it.

Fast forward to the doughnuts and Guitar Hero 4, where the complete set came with a drum kit.  I took to it.  I was nailing it.  Just like I know I nailed that beat test in grade 8.  With some proper education, I believe I would have been a damned good drummer.  Maybe not a Dave Grohl, but certainly good enough to be in a band.

In good conscience, I can’t completely blame Ms. Brooks-Kirkland for my failure to become a drummer.  I’m the one that gave up, after all.  However, it doesn’t mean that I can’t be pissed that she didn’t encourage me to try harder.  But you know what?  To hell with conscience.  Fuck you Ms. Brooks-Kirkland.  You may have well have robbed me of rock stardom.