mjj (flemmings) wrote,

A Turnip for the Books

Was home late last night because of deadly boring CPR refresher seminar, during which I had both a coffee and a Coke. So took an ativan to guard against wakefulness till 6 a.m. and slept blissfully till 10. Padded to the front bedroom to do exercises and retrieve cell phone, which promptly rang shrilly. Staff asking 'where are you?' as she'd also messaged me (twice) and left a voicemail. Seems I had an 8:30 shift that I'd totally failed to notice on the schedule, probably because if I see a name starting with J in the morning section I assume it's Jessica. 'Don't hurry in, we only have seven kids, there's only an hour left anyway and we have the student.' She was much more concerned that I wasn't lying unconscious on the road having slipped on the ice pellets that had accumulated overnight. 'You may not have to come in for the afternoon shift either, call before you start out...' 'Yes, but we still have the First Aid seminar, right?' 'Oh yeah. Right.'

So I shovelled white stuff off the sidewalk and salted it and walked down to the subway because the Christie bus can't be counted on in a storm. The Spadina streetcar also failed to materialize so I walked the three blocks to work. (And am resigned now that I can't cross Bloor on my own steam in the winter. I simply can't go fast enough for the light. This is the second time I've sought the aid of a sturdy young(er) man's arm to lean on, and still barely made it to the other side before the amber. Twenty-five seconds from curb to curb is just not long enough, guys.)

Turns out that the early co-ordinator also failed to appear, thinking she'd hired a replacement for today when it was for next week. I will say the toddler staff were very forebearing in the face of this double dereliction, since they had to take in the orphaned infants who arrived before nine. The orphaned infants of course were *delighted* to be taken in by the toddlers and didn't want to leave.

But meanwhile we had more freezing rain warnings for the rush hour period, so first our First Aid outfit called asking to cancel, and then- wonder of wonders- the St George campus decided to close early, at 3 p.m. So parents came to get their kids and I came home early. And, exerciseless all day and unmedicated for much of it, hurt like a mofo.

Tomorrow I'm off. But conscience suggests I come in anyway and help out on Horrible Thursday, when we have no students and the messiest snack of the week.

Last finished?
Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters
-- when I find myself in times of trouble, a good witches book goes down very well. The secret is not to read *all* the witches books once you've started.

Jansson, Moominpappa at Sea
-- aka Moominpappa's Midlife Crisis. Eventually ends well, but still.

Reading now?
A bit more of my perennial winter book, The Kalevala, which is lovely and shamanic and Far Off when it isn't telling husbands to beat their wives on the back and bum so that the neighbours won't see the bruises.

Murakami, Underground
-- in English, a collection of interviews with survivors of the 1995 sarin gas attack in Tokyo. I normally never used the affected lines, but I'd taken the train out to western Tokyo for an interview that day and remember passing the unmoving cars of the Hibiya line and wondering what was up. The voices of these people brings back the Tokyo of 20+ years ago and a bunch of forgotten details: pale sunlight on the concrete platforms, the hazy spring sky, tickets sliding in and out of the turnstile machines with a little ching.

Wossname, Brush Up Your Japanese
-- a series of newspaper columns written for foreigners in Japan between 1958 and 1963, when the Myth has it that gaijin in Japan didn't *need* to learn Japanese. In my book-purging fit I was going to throw this out (untouched for at least twenty years) but then I actually looked at it. What it has that no one else does is Japanese sentences written in romaji with pitch accents indicated. Pitch accents have always eluded my non-existent ear. It's amazing any Japanese can understand me at all (and those that do, assume I come from the Kansai, where the pitch accents are different from Tokyo.) Imagine English with the stresSES put ON all the wrong syllAbles: that's how I talk. So reading these sentences in my subvocalizing fashion is at least a corrective.

Shall read Waterweed immediately. Have Tales from Moominvalley on hold as an ebook. Really don't know: just getting around requires so much energy that the evenings seem to be spent in solitaire alone. Mind, I felt this way twenty years ago, so it's nothing new.
Tags: japan, japanese, meme, pratchett, reading_19, rivers, rl_19

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