Wednesday, 27 February 2008


I thought that I had escaped earthquakes by moving to the UK. Apparently not! At 1AM last night an Earthquake rolled through the English and Welsh countryside. Did I feel it? Nope. I slept right through it. Granted the epicenter was over a 100 miles from me and it was only a 4.3 (I've been in higher), but many of my colleagues, students and/or their parents felt it.

This the fifth earthquake that I've been in and the second that I've been in and not felt.

Back to work...

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Happy Birthday, Johnny!

Today is Johnny Cash's birthday. In honour of this I am playing Johnny Cash during all breaks between my classes and at the beginning of class. Some of my students are thrilled about this. Others are not so happy. They want me to play the 'Ice Cream' song. However, I told those students who are whining for 'Ice Cream' that just like the real ice cream too much of it will make you sick.

Now playing: Johnny Cash - Ring Of Fire
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Skiiiiiiiiiing part 2

I promised pics of the skiing trip, so here they are. Of course if you are one of the people who read my blog through imported facebook notes, then these photos are not going to show up. They are in a FB photo album, however.

These first three pictures were created by me 'stitching' pictures together to create a panoramic view. I love that feature of my camera. These were all taken at the top of Mont Fort. Here is the full piste map. You will notice Mont Fort is the highest point. No, I did not ski the black run down. It was incredibly scary looking and almost entirely moguls. I'm just an ok skier. I was classified at the 'Intermediate Advanced' level by one of the instructors working with our students. He also made certain to stress to me that I didn't have 'the skills' to ski down from Mont Fort. I don't really have a death wish, so I took his advice.

That lovely woman is me, of course. However, I pale in comparison to the natural beauty surrounding me.

That's the cable car I took up to the top. If you really look you can see where it starts. This cable car was HUGE in reality. It was at least the size of my living room. We were all crammed in like sardines, about 80 people I'm guessing.

This next picture is a picture of the preparation of Raclette. It's a native Swiss dish where the top layer of the cheese wheel is melted and then scraped off to go on the side, or on top of, various dried meats, potatoes, pickles and pickled onions. You begin with a small dish and then go back for more. It winds up being quite filling, but then again I had three servings. The cheese is a bit stinky, but delicious.

It was a great trip really. I'm hoping I'm chosen to chaperone next year.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

New Favourite Song

My friend, Richard, always makes a mix CD of various artists for his friends for Xmas. I got mine a few weeks ago. However, it wasn't until today being I'm home ill that I really had a chance to give it a complete listen. Thanks to this mix CD, I am now in love with this song I admit I'm in love with song primarily due to its chorus.

'Ice cream is gonna save the day.....again'

How brilliant is that? And, uncertainty about how to react is a conundrum I can relate to as well.

Some folk made a little video to this song on YouTube. It's a bit silly, but you can hear the song in its entirety here.

'Woah ah...'

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

We Live in Interesting Times

Amazing! Castro resigns and Musharraf has conceded defeat in Pakistan. Oh and let's not forget Kosovo, which declared it's independence on Sunday.

And here is little ol me sick in her flat, reading about all these changes and marvelling at it all. All of this happening simultaneously boggles me a bit.

We do indeed live in interesting times.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Roller Coaster

My friend Steph stopped by for a night on her way to Copenhagen. We had a lovely catch up. And, despite a comedy of errors she made it off this morning and arrived safely. She will be returning next Saturday. Yay!!!

M-'s band is playing tomorrow. I found out by the Facebook Newsfeed, not by him. We're meant to be friends, and he knows how much I want to see his band as they weren't gigging while we were together. He and I had been actually hanging out outside of work and getting on as friends quite well up until my mid-winter break, so I'm a bit bummed that he's neglected to mention this gig to me. He had plenty of opportunity to do so at work today as well, and I'll be dammed if I'm going to chase him down and bring it up. I'm convinced that this slight is girl induced, which is silly since I'd be happy if he was seeing someone. I am (well kinda-that's something I think best not to blog about) I kind of feel like smacking him upside his bald head, but it's not worth the energy it would take. Boo!!!

The ski trip was fantabulous and free! The discipline problems from students were relatively minor in comparison to the discipline problems from some adults (not associated with ACS I hasten to add) who were staying at the chalet. I will post another blog soon about parts of it complete with pictures. Yay!!!

I'm ill. It's amazing how much snot your head can hold. I am continuously blowing my nose, and it doesn't seem to make a dent. Yeah that was gross. Sorry, but it's true. Boo!!!

I do like roller coasters, but not like this.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008


I managed to get online for a bit while here in Nendaz, Switzerland. I am not going to say much, as I am not used to this keyboard (it's French and the keys are in different places). The weather is beautifully sunny, which makes for some scary icy conditions. I had a pretty painful fall today, so I left the slopes early with a tender leg. I am also blessed with a bit of a cold. However, life is good overall and my skiing is improving.

I will return to blogging regularly when I return. xxx

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

My Luck With Cars Pt. 2

Editor's note: This is the second in what will probably be several instalments. You may view part one here.

I was a teenage smoker. I began at the age of 15 and finally quit for good (Well ok, I will occasionally light them for people now, but I never smoke a whole one) when I was 28. All my friends smoked, and we were constantly finding excuses to sneak off to feed our addiction. Ironically, I was also a singer of sorts. I sang in choir, jazz choir, and madrigals at school in addition to church choir and was in a smattering of musicals as well. Thus, I took advantage of the autonomy rehearsals gave me away from my family to sneak the occasional ‘cancer stick’ as we called them. My parents were only too happy to lend me the car in lieu of driving me to rehearsals once I had my driver’s license. The combination of my adolescent addiction to nicotine and my car curse was a recipe for disaster.

My first mishap due to this combination was relatively minor. I lied to my parents and told them that I had offered to help set up before a concert so that they would lend me to the car. I had a solo in this concert, so my parents had every intention of attending but would come later. I was involved in so many groups at that time that my parents had to choose the more important concerts to attend so as not to neglect my brother’s sports. A concert where I had a solo, therefore, was a must see for them.

Instead of going to set up, I picked up my friend, Paul, and we went to a park to smoke. I figured that I had just enough time to have a quick cig with him and then make it just in time for the warm up. Now, Paul had this really bad habit of not locking the door when he got out of it. I was constantly nagging him about it every time he would forget. That mild Spring eve was the one time he didn’t forget. As I heard the passenger-side door of my parent’s 2-door orange Buick Skylark shut, I turned in horror and yelped, “Wait!” He looked at me confused. “Did you lock the door?” I asked dreading the answer.

“Of course, you’re always bugging me to do that, so this time I finally did.”

“Shit,” I whispered under my breath and pressed my forehead against the driver-side window. There were the keys still in the ignition and both doors of the car were now locked.

First, we flagged down a cop. He said there was nothing he could do and told us to go call a locksmith. So, we went up to the nearest house, which ended up being a group home for developmentally delayed adults. A locksmith was called and arrived forty-five very long minutes later. He was able to break into the car without doing any damage, aside from the fifty dollars Paul had to pay him. I sped off to the concert, which was well underway at this point.

I snuck in the side door and said a prayer for my parents to be sitting in the balcony as I practically crawled down the aisle to where our choir was seated. The group before ours was on and our director kept looking nervously around the audience. I caught his eye and mouthed, “I’m so sorry.” Our group went on, and I sang perfectly. After the concert ended, I explained to our director what I had done. Then turned to receive congratulation hugs from my parents, who had come down from the balcony where they had been seated (thank God). When both my parents and my director were finally out of earshot, a friend of mine told me I stank of cigarettes.

Since I had been able to escape disastrous consequences from my first fib about setting up before a concert, I figured there was no harm in trying it again. This time, however, my lie was that I was going to help take down the bleachers after the concert. I was not. I was off to meet my friends at Yesterdog, a unique hotdog establishment in Grand Rapids and a favourite hang out place for my teenage smoking friends and myself. Its hotdogs are famous. As a vegetarian I was a big fan of the Veggie Dog, which they still have. My parents, not being able to attend the concert and trusting me implicitly, had lent me their new car. It was a luxury sedan of some sort, but I’m ashamed to say that I’ve forgotten its make. I do, however, remember it being a sweet ride. At the time of my choral concert, we had owned it about 3 days.

So, I drove to Yesterdog. My friends Scott and Brenda had gone on ahead of me and were standing on the side of the road in front of the restaurant (smoking) as I approached. I indicated and slowed down to turn when—BAM. I was jolted forward suddenly by the car that had just rear-ended me. The entire back bumper of the car was dented and barely attached to the car. The driver got out and accused me of backing into him!!!???? My friends, as I mentioned earlier, were there and witnessed the entire thing. They watched as I followed the offending car into the car park…er I mean parking lot, so we could exchange details. Then as I parked my parents’ new and now and damaged automobile, they continued to watch in amazement as the car that had just hit me drove off.

In the end the fact that it was a hit and run worked in my favour. My father didn’t have to pay the deductible on getting the bumper replaced since it was classified as a hit-and-run. I, however, was not allowed to borrow either of my parents’ cars for a month and was told off for lying by my mother.

These incidents are minor in comparison of the other tales I have to tell. The curse only got worse as I grew older. Stay tuned for the next episode…

Monday, 4 February 2008


This day has been crap and it's only just lunch. I had one too many drinks last night and ate something I don't normally eat. The result was that I ended up uncomfortably waking up at 3AM. At 5:30AM I got out of bed since I had to get up in an hour anyway. Realising that I hadn't run my dishwasher as I intended, I ran it while simultaneously hoping that it didn't wake up my downstairs neighbour. I sat down to do some work and then, noticing the time, I went into the kitchen to put away my coffee mug and stepped into a puddle in my stocking feet. The drainage hose from my dishwasher had come out of the pipe it goes in and had spewed water all over the floor. I mopped it up quickly, reattached the hose and bolted out the door leaving my dishwasher to continue running. (Yes, I put my shoes on.) Who knows what mess awaits me when I come home. This isn't the first time I've flooded my kitchen floor. It's annoying really.

Oh and in addition to this, I feel like I'm getting a cold. I go skiing in a week for a week, so I better not get ill.

So, now I'm at work in a piss-poor mood, trying not to take it out on others. And the sun is shining down, mocking me with its cheery nature. Stupid Sun! I just want to go home and go to bed.