to pray that the Leafs lose.

Hubby summed it up well. He said, “They’re grown men with bent sticks chasing after a piece of black rubber!”


Omigosh. Why oh why do we search for these vicarious victories?

Is it because real victories of a personal nature are so hard to come by?

So that we have to look outside ourselves for a feel good victory?

And yet don’t you need a release sometimes?

And haven’t I learned lessons of perseverence and tenacity from sports teams?

Yes, and yes.

Sometimes I feel as though God ensures that no Toronto teams get far in the playoffs as a favour to me.

I know, I know, that sounds incredibly egotistical! To think that He’d make them lose so that I could stop being distracted and get back to work!

I’ve been feeling pretty glum the last few days, and yes, part of it is because of the abysmal performance of both the Leafs and Jays (tonight).

I mean the Jays were in the tenth inning of a four -to-four tie and the pitcher WALKS in the winning run!!!!


And I thought Omigosh, these are just men trying to hit a rock covered with stitched up white leather!

And yet the glumness came before that.

It was when the Leafs lost AND I got a rejection for a novel, and I felt like, who am I kidding? Who the heck is ever going to read it?

Isn’t it TOO deep?

Look at what sells?

The Kardashians!!!


I feel old.

I feel too ‘wise’ for my own good!

Things people seem to be wrestling with, like the jealousy and materialism of The Great Gatsby is stuff I feel like I dealt with ages ago! When I read The Great Gatsby I thought, “Meh”

I’m eager to plumb other depths. That’s what I did with the Hajj novel, and darn it, I LOVE it!

But the rejection I received basically said that the writing didn’t match the complexity of the plot, and I thought, “HUH?” If they want to reject the book, fine, but goodness don’t make up stuff like that!

And I’m tired, and when I’m tired I tend not to put up with nonsense.

Today I was at a school where there were a LOT of troubled kids.

I actually think that the inclusion of disabled kids has sometimes caused a LOT of problems with discipline in classrooms.

At the risk of being terribly politically incorrect, I’m just going to say it like I see it. There are kids who have so many emotional problems and come from such troubled backgrounds that they ruin the learning opportunities in the classroom for everyone.

There’s like a constant state of muttering, and you look at the kids to try to see who is doing it so you can ask them to stop and they just look back at you with a “Why me?” look on their faces.

Normally I just ‘bulldoze’ right over these kinds of kids. Make it so I’m so fascinating they stop trying to sabotage the presentation.

I ramp up the energy till they simply HAVE to pay attention. But somehow I felt tired so instead I stopped.

I did my usual tactic of pointing out the kids who were sitting nicely, ‘criss-cross apple sauce with their hands in their laps’ and NOT talking, and that worked for a while, but there was one mutterer who just couldn’t seem to help himself, so I moved him to the side.

And then he continued for a bit.

It’s like they’re so used to the lessons being boring that they’ve developed strategies! Highly effective obfuscation strategies!

And what happens is that the normal kids seem to see them getting away with stuff and model their own behaviour on the emotional kids and you have chaos.

In the staff room I overheard teachers talking about property values and the joys of real estate agentship. (Sounded like they were moonlighting as real estate agents.)

Things in Toronto are getting pretty bad what with the teacher friction with the Ontario government. Work to rules and all that kind of stuff.

I try to stay neutral, but I’ve heard things.

Teachers have it pretty darn good!

Better than the rest of the population!

At one point I heard one teacher talking about how she could tap in to ‘personal’ days, days she can take off because of personal issues (like a death or illness).

She was trying to figure out how to work the system, like when people take off sick days when the weather is gorgeous.

And I just kept saying, “I’m not hearing this! I’m not hearing this!”

I mean if I don’t work, I don’t get paid, and it’s as simple as that!

And honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way!

And I’ve been to schools where the teachers do ABSOLUTELY NO preparation of the kids whatsoever, and worse yet, they model BAD listening behaviour to the kids.

Today there were two teachers talking at the back of the room, in the middle of my presentation.

I’ve heard MANY artists complain to no end about this! That, and seeing teachers mark.

Honestly though I don’t care that much if they mark. Yes, it’s rude. Yes it destroys the benefit the students will get from the presentation because then they can’t follow up with the kids afterwards if they didn’t know what was said during the presentation, but at least it’s not disruptive.

And my hubby has trained me well. When I’d come home and complain like the other artists I’d heard complain about teachers not listening, my hubby, ever the pragmatist would say, “What does it matter? You’re getting paid whether they listen or not? Do you really think that what you’re doing is such a gift that they MUST listen?” Or words to that effect.

And yeah, he’s right. The whole you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink kind of thing. Just because I have taken great pains to make sure my presentations are loaded with interesting things for the kids to learn, and just because the school is paying good money to bring me in, doesn’t mean I need to get in a snit if the teachers don’t appreciate my presence.

But today, when the teacher was not just talking with another teacher at the back, not just saying a few words and then turning back around, when she was HOLDING A CONVERSATION with the other teacher, yes, I stopped my presentation.

I stopped in the middle of telling BIG RED LOLLIPOP and I just stood there and stared at her till she finally caught my eye, and I asked, blandly, “Do you need to be having a conversation?” Fully prepared if she said yes, to ask her ever so politely to then take it outside.

And by this time all the children and the other adults had turned around and were staring at her.

She said, “Sorry.”

And I continued on.

It really really doesn’t help when teachers don’t set a good example. I mean why should the kids listen politely when the teachers aren’t?

All that said, even with the disruptions from the disruptive kids, by the time I was winding up my Roses in My Carpets presentation even the disruptive kids were putting up their hands to answer the questions like all the rest of them, and yes, I had them.

Every last one of them.

Even though I was tired.


It was indeed a victory of sorts. And there were no grown men chasing after pieces of rubber in sight!