Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thoughts In No Particular Order

Pet peeve of the week: my thigh bones. I have discovered through scientific methods (observing other bus passengers) that I have abnormally long thigh bones. Other people seem to be able to sit there straight and comfortably in their seats while I have to sit diagonally. Some people even have room to – can you believe it – cross their legs!!! I have suspected this for a while, especially since the KLM flight I took in January from Vancouver to Amsterdam. Even with my butt slammed back as far as it could go against the back of the seat, my knees were still pressed into the seat in front of me, so much so that I could not put my water bottle or my book in the seat pocket in front of me. I had divots in my knee caps by the end of the tortuous flight. At a soccer match in Liverpool years ago, same thing, yet when I stood up, some of my uncle’s friends were taller than me. What gives? So here’s the thing: standard seat pitch is 30 inches for an airplane seat in coach. Butt to knee cap, I measure 29. I will obviously need to fly first class from now on, and in fact I should get special consideration due to the fact that it is a genetic mutation and completely not my fault. Next on the agenda is to look back at family photos and see where this thigh bone issue comes from; then I can curse that ancestor for my current difficulties. I believe my sister suffers from the same affliction.

I also have issues (well you knew that already, but anyway) with bus travel in general. Some people seem to find it so easy to walk onto a bus, pay their fare or flash their pass, find a seat and stay there until their stop, whereupon they exit gracefully. Not so for me. As I walk onto the bus, sometimes I trip or stumble; then I invariably stick the transit card in the wrong way and have to reinsert it. Once I used cash and accidentally stuck my coins into the paper slot and jammed the machine. I was popular that day! I am always juggling my purse, briefcase, iPod and umbrella. Juggling your iPod, you say? Well yes; most people are able to stick the earphones in, put the unit in their pocket and Bob’s your uncle. Again, not so for me. Although my thigh bones are unnaturally large, conversely my ear holes are unnaturally small so my earphones often spontaneously eject, usually when I am trying to reinsert the transit pass and I get all tangled. I have perfected the sheepish grin and my standard line (AM) is “Sorry, I’m not quite awake yet” and (PM) is “Sorry, I’ve had a long day”. Unfortunately, week to week it’s the same driver and same passengers on my route, so I guess the jig is up. So as I walk up the aisle to find a seat, my main objective is to find one close to the front (the less distance I have to walk, the less chance I have to trip and fall). Now there are definite politics involved in choosing a seat. You scan quickly BUT do NOT make eye contact. If you make eye contact you are obligated to take the seat beside that person, otherwise it’s just rude to reject them. You choose your seat based on the size, smell, and overall cleanliness of the window seat passenger. If you are lucky enough to get a window seat of your own, you are not home free yet – oh no! In fact, you may be worse off because then you have NO say in who sits next to you. Sometimes it is better to choose a semi-decent second seat rather than risk the awesome (relatively speaking) window seat with potential crazy smelly seat partner-to-come. And in the case where I have a window seat but somebody chooses to sit by an undesirable instead of me, I am affronted. I want to ask them what made them choose that seat? I want to list my attributes: I’m relatively slim (although I do need to sit diagonally – see thigh bones above), I’m quiet (at least until the earphones eject), I usually don’t fall asleep on other people’s shoulders, I smell all right, and I don’t mutter. All of which is definitely an improvement over Left Window Seat 3! I’m usually ok once I am seated and arranged (briefcase on floor between my legs; umbrella underneath the seat; arm looped through purse and it on lap; iPod in and on; bus ticket tucked in pocket; cell phone in other pocket; lipstick applied) but I average two step-on-foots and one lurch-into-guy’s-shoulder per bus exit.

I must tell you about my most famous exit of all, though. Unfortunately, I also suffered the indignity of having two co-workers witness the event. I was in the back row of the bus, up two stairs from the exit. The seating back there is a big U-shape, i.e. three benches of seats. I stood up as we approached my stop and I thought I had everything under control, bags arranged and so on, and I was holding onto the strap as I took a step down. The bus lurched forward at that point (I think he waited until I was off balance; that’s something they teach them in bus-driver school) so when I tried to bring my lead foot back for support it hit against the stair and I was stuck. Still hanging onto the strap, I began to pivot on my back foot in slow motion, the weight of my briefcase dragging me down. I called out dramatically, “I am falling” and slowly collapsed across the laps of no less than four passengers on the right hand bench. I found myself fully prone, lying across them with Rajie looking down at me saying “Uh, Tamsin – what ARE you doing?” The ladies on the left hand bench opposite gave me scores of 5.5 and 6.0, so it must have looked pretty good. I was apologizing profusely as I scrambled up and composed myself. I’d like to say I had my head held high as I exited the bus, but in reality I slunk off, laughing a little but with a face as scarlet as you’ll ever see.
The Earth needs to thank me for going green on my commute to work since Lord knows nobody else enjoys my bus company.

Two weeks is a long time to spend in close proximity with your children. I am of course talking about spring break. One good thing about spring break is that it prompts parents to find lots of activities to fill their children’s schedules for summer vacation. It’s definitely more than a coincidence that all the flyers for summer camps are coming out right now. This year Ethan’s break was a full two weeks, due to Easter and some tacked-on non-instructional days, and Jack’s was almost as long. The first weekend of the break was Jack’s birthday party, the cousins’ visit, and the family brunch. We didn’t really leave the house at all that weekend, and the Monday was a collapse-on-the-couch day. Mike was working a ton, and so it was just the three of us for almost 12 hours a day. Every day. Easter weekend we went to Whistler after having a nice dinner at Susan’s on Good Friday. On Saturday, we all skied the Magic chair for a few hours. I took Jack over a small jump and he loved it so much we did it about 20 times. Ethan jumped it himself and did very well! Mike’s back was really sore, so after skiing Barry and I carried in and built the new dining room table and chairs. The next day, we had an Easter egg hunt early in the morning (the Bunny found us at Whistler – amazing!) and then Barry took Ethan skiing for the day, while we put Jack into Kids Camp. Mike and I decided not to ski, and went for brunch instead. Then he had work to do, so I read and relaxed. We came home on Monday, and stopped at my parents’ for dinner. We still had a week left of spring break!

Tuesday night the 25 Club girls got together for jewellery making at Kim’s. Now I can add one more “task I am not good at” to my list. Everyone’s creations were beautiful, and while I liked my stuff in the end, it took me FOREVER! And nobody else seemed to have the problem I had where beads kept flying off my string. I don’t understand why my fingers just don’t listen to my head sometimes. Poor Kim will be finding beads under her radiator for years to come. I lost a “few”.

One accomplishment I am proud of for this week is the mini triathlon I did on Saturday at the gym. Ethan was at a birthday party at the YMCA for two hours, so while he was there, I swam 700 m (20 min), biked 14 km (30 min), and ran 4 km (20 min) all in about 90 minutes, including long “transition times” where I showered and got changed in between. I am registered in the Delta Triathlon on Saturday, April 26th, which is a 700 m swim, 20 km bike, and 5 km run. I am feeling like I am actually capable of this. My last sprint triathlon was 5 years ago – 6 months after having Ethan – and it took me 2 hours then so I am hoping to do a little better although I know I will still be fairly slow for my age group. Race time is 8:30am at the Ladner Rec Centre so anyone who wants to come out and laugh at my red face is welcome to! Since I can’t use my iPod during the race, you can sing some of my favourite workout songs to help me keep my pace!
Eminem – Lose Yourself
Justin Timberlake – Sexyback
Kid Rock – Bawitaba
Limp Bizkit – Break Stuff
Queen – We Will Rock You
Madonna – Ray of Light
Young MC – Bust a Move
Beatles – Hard Day’s Night

I’m quite glad to be back in the routine of school although getting up early again sucks. The kids are pleased to be back with their friends and teachers, too – they were sick to death of me. Hopefully we can get along a little better now that we have a little time to ourselves here and there! Next on my agenda is booking a full-body, sports-recovery massage at Casbah (the best spa ever) for April 27th.

On a final note, I came across a cute thing this week – “Mommy Memoirs” – how to sum up life with your children in six words. Here’s mine (do mathematical operators count as words?)
Two boys = energy + love + crazy busy

1 comment:

Cathy said...

What? No "Baby Got Back"?!