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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscars - a Party for One...

Usually I go to AM's for Oscars but since she is in Mexico doing her yoga I went to the basement with my Twizzlers and Cadbury mini-eggs and watched alone. I have only seen Juno of the 5 best picture nominees but I picked No Country For Old Men, due to the hype and what I had heard. It was a low-key year for movies. I still want to see No Country... and Atonement and I have heard Michael Clayton is really good. I imagine There will be Blood is good too. They shall all have to wait until DVD release. Such is my life. I will make a better effort next year and I also hope that some movies from the first half of the year get nominated so it will give me more time.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Behaving Myself

I avoided eye-contact and all other contact with the other Mom when picking Oliver up from drama class today. He reported a "good class" and all is well. I tried to arrive as close to pick-up time so as to minimize possible interaction.

My house is a mess. A real big mess. Despite my efforts yesterday, it is a big job. I can just imagine what it will look like when I return from Toronto next Sunday night. I plan to keep my eyes closed until Monday morning. I did tidy up the kitchen a bit and the front entryway was tidied up yesterday but every use serves to undo anything I do.

My teeth hurt. I need to get to the dentist. I need to take Oliver too. I shall have that on my list for a March activity.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Moving On... in more ways than one...

1. My New Theatre project now that Crimes is done - BABY - We had our first "real" rehearsal last night. We already had a read-thru about a month ago but 2 of the 6 leads were missing and at a read-thru you don't really do any concrete work. Last night we started working on the music. I was pleased with the "reassignment" of the singing parts in The Ladies Singing Their Song. I look around the room and know that I am the only one of the chorus who looks remotely old enough to have had 10 children (my bit in the song now). I was also pleased because Magnolia and Becky are in the song too (yay!). I think it will be cool. For the 2 songs we worked on I was on the bottom. I figure I will be for the most part because there are a lot of Sops in this show and being a Mezzo will make me a likely choice for the bottom. He said it will change song to song, but I imagine I will be there most of the time. The sound was good. For a small cast we have a lot of tone and big sound. I like the fact that it will stay small so that the ensemble gets used. A bigger cast doesn't make sense in this show.

2. We (myself and Paul's mother -see previous post) received an email from the theatre school. I was pleased with the email, although partially embarassed but I am shaking that off because I did try to walk away without an incident but was unsuccessful. There are only 5 weeks left and Oliver is away for one of them so hopefully the class can finish without incident. I am totally happy with how the school has dealt with the whole thing and I still think the other mother was out to lunch. I am satisfied that the behaivour of the two boys falls within the realm of "normal child behaviour" or else I would have heard something different from the school. I also liked the fact the e-mail clearly held both boys responsible for "annoying each other" as opposed to it only being Oliver at fault. They also stated that they felt the behaviour from both children was normal for the age group. So I am trying to move on. I have instructed Oliver to stay away from Paul and I wrote back to say that I would endeavour to stay away from Paul's Mother and that I thought it would be pretty easy for me to do this.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

You are not doing your kids any favours...

Still fuming and it was hours ago...

Today I took Oliver to Drama class. We have had some issues with Oliver in class because he has a "hugging" and "touching" problem. Oliver is a bit of an over-affectionate child and when he is excited he tends to hug and grab excessively. We are aware of this and about a month ago there was a report that he hit another child. Although we doubted the veracity of the hitting report, we totally bought the "he has trouble keeping his hands to himself" and we began working with him and supporting the teacher with strategies to help curb this behaviour The hitting report was un-verifiable. Neither of the 2 teachers (2 teachers - 13 kids) saw it and Oliver was adamant that he did not hit someone. As his mother, I have never known Oliver to "successfully" lie. He lacks guile so the few occasions he has tried to lie, it was very apparent. I believe him. Regardless we put a behaviour plan in motion, with weekly reports from the teacher to indicate how his day went. Since then, the last three weeks he has had "good" to "great" reports from the teacher with no reports of hitting and a marked improvement in the "hands to himself".

So today, as we were leaving going down the stairs, Oliver was talking to another boy in his class. I recognized his talk as a joking banter, not mean or even teasing. The other boy, however, reacted oddly, as though Oliver were saying mean things. I thought that was odd but I told Oliver to stop. The boy in question was Paul, who Oliver frequently talks about and often refers to as his 'best friend' in drama, so I thought nothing of it when, at the bottom of the stairs, he ran up to Paul to say good bye. Paul acted like he was under attack - which to me seemed off the scale. I went to get Oliver to leave Paul alone as I figured something was up when Paul's Mother lit into Oliver. I was taken aback and rushed him out, but looked back at her through the window. She was so rude I wanted to say something, but I figured with the kids being in class together I did not want to make a big deal about it and started to walk away. I figured this was her issue and maybe she was having a bad day. Besides Oliver didn't seem to be bothered by it. As I left though, she came out after me and confronted me saying "Yes? Is there something you wish to say to me?" I looked at her, thinking CRAZY LADY... And said, "No, it's alright". She insisted, "No. You were going to say something to me. What was it?" I can tell she's angry at me and I am thinking, Hey Crazy Lady - you were the rude one...

So I said I felt she was rude to Oliver and I didn't appreciate the tone. She lit into me. Was I aware that just 2 weeks ago Oliver was "bugging" Paul 10X and he wouldn't stop (waving his hands in his face?). And was I aware that last week Oliver was tickling Paul 5X and he wouldn't stop. I realized that in light of her bizarre off-the-scale rudeness to Oliver and this outrage over tickling and waving hands in her son's face that this was the parent who complained about Oliver hitting (not verifiable and certainly in doubt due to a lack of reliable witnesses). She had singled out Oliver as a little monster who was obviously deserving of being spoken rudely to. I indicated to her (angrily I must admit - I was under attack and so was Ollie) that I had received reports for the last 3 weeks that Oliver's behaviour had been "good to great" and that I preferred to trust the assessment of the adults in the room as opposed to a six year old. At this time, Katrina, the teacher happened to walk by and get trapped in the argument. I asked for back-up on the behavioral reports which she supplied. I felt bad for her. I didn't want to be talking to the woman, and I can imagine that she was feeling like she was in an awkward position between the two of us.

Do I think that Oliver is the perfect child - heck no! And am I supporting the teacher with the plan for helping Oliver behave better - heck yes! Do I agree with this woman? Heck no! She is definitely an over-protector who likely asks her child every day after class "Did Oliver do anything to you today?" to which the child responds "yes" because he is getting attention. He even backed off the tickling story when confronted by myself and the teacher in the company of his mother. This leads me to believe that perhaps he is getting something out of it. He is clearly one of those quiet, odd, children that doesn't like physical contact even when it is positive or accidental. But the behaviour described by both boys was well within the normal range of behaviour for children of this age. She wanted my child to modify his behaviour, however, she had no expectation for her child to modify his. She was definitely not a reliable witness. I was there on the steps. She said Oliver was "taunting" Paul and that Paul said "Please stop, Oliver, you are annoying me." I was there. I heard Paul mumble something, but if that's what he said it was in no way audible to myself or Oliver. Oliver was clearly NOT "taunting". She also said she wasn't rude when she spoke to Oliver. I heard her. When she recited again what she said is was so modified that it was laughable. I wouldn't have turned back or even noticed if that's how she spoke.

The sad thing is that I don't think there was really a problem between the kids. During the whole exchange they stood together talking looking in the windows at the Citadel. As the other mother once again referred to Oliver as the problem I gestured to the two boys and said "the PROBLEM is not with the kids - look at them. The sad thing is that Oliver thinks that Paul is the coolest kid in the class and you have managed to make Paul think that Oliver is harrassing him, when really he just likes him. The problem is here" - and I pointed to her. I don't think she got it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bad News - My Beloved...

I heard on the radio the other morning that Diet Soft Drinks are bad for your metabolism. Apparently the sweet taste triggers the body to expect a calorie surge, which should produce an increase in metabolism, however, when the calorie surge doesn't happen the body gets confused. Habitual consumption makes the body expect NO SURGE in calories so metabolism does not rise. This screws you up with other sweet foods that actually might have calories.

What will I do? My diet coke habit is pretty severe. Here is the plan --> After the current "in-house" supply is depleted I am not going to buy any more for the house. I may still drink it at restaurants, but the in-house amount I consume is huge so this shall be first step. I am going to be so cranky and I can anticipate the headaches. I guess it will be water for me and grouchy for everyone else.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Gibson Singing

A fun new feature on my new camera. I am posting it to make me smile through my current angst. Gibson is quite happy to entertain me, especially when there's a camera to record it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

So Very Angry....

I wrote about this on the Crimes page but I am so very angry I need to put it everywhere. Usually when something bugs me I stew about it and try and figure out a solution, but I can't seem to fix this because I have no clue what will make things better or worse. I am so worried about the show because I don't 100% trust the person in charge. It is one thing to hand it over when you are sure that person is going to care for the show like it is their own... quite another when they seem blase about mistakes (2 consecutive nights - the same mistake) and they leave unexpectedly when they are supposed to be the last to go.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Too Young...

I received notice via Facebook that a former student of mine took his own life this past week. He would have been mid to late 20s (I am never quite sure when I taught them. I usually just have a general idea). He is one that I clearly remember. He was not one of the smart kids or the athletic kids. He was one of the odd ones, but always smiling and full of life. He tried hard at what he did and especially hard at what interested him. He was often around the drama department, usually backstage, and full of enthusiasm. I don't know the details of how his life ended, and I can only say he was far too young.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Back to WW...

Yesterday Mom and I returned to WW after a hiatus of over 6 weeks. This meant we had to re-register, which was okay. I figured I'd join now and within 3 weeks I should have results because of the point I am at today and what is coming up with the show opening and all that. I was only up 3 lbs from when I left which is pretty good for maintaining over Christmas and the chaos of directing a show. Plus I wore heavy clothes and didn't pee before weigh in like I usually do so that's gotta be another pound!