Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.

The above is from the opening of Love Actually, which Biscotti and I watched on Saturday night after putting up our Christmas Tree. Yes, we're eager beavers for putting up the tree, but it was, coincidentally, the 25th, and we now have it done with - that's a good thing. Anyway, Love Actually is a great movie. We first saw it in a Seattle movie theatre; seeing Billy Bob Thornton as the U.S. president was funny - the audience's reaction was even funnier.

Do you remember, a month ago, me mentioning a wordbook that I was working on? Well I did, and I wrote that I had completed two words. Yesterday the entire wordbook was due; seven words in total. Well, until late last week, me being me, I hadn't done a thing since completing the first two words. Friday I went to the UBC library and dug my nose in many books, dictionary upon dictionary. Lost track of time and consequently was late for work. Oops. Over the weekend - snow! - I didn't do much wordbook work. Handing it in late wasn't an option, as it was made very clear on the outline that "in fairness to students who work very hard to meet deadlines a 5% per day penalty will be given to late assignments". So, Monday evening I ended my procrastination and began my obligation. At 3:30am I finished my fifth entry of the night, completing the project.

Since I only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I didn't know until arriving there yesterday morning that UBC didn't have power on Monday and classes had been canceled. Oh well. Sitting and waiting for class to start, I commiserated with neighboring students about working on the wordbook the night before and getting little or no sleep. The 8am class started late, as the prof waited for the many latecomers due to the snow. Near the end of class, a late student entered the room and, walking to the front of the class, made an entertaining scene describing his morning ordeal. He had caught a bus in Coquitlam at 6:15am and the bus had made it five blocks before breaking down. He then trudged back home and got a ride to the Skytrain station, which would take him to Broadway for the B-Line. After his engaging monologue he triumphantly slammed his wordbook onto the prof's desk and made his way to an empty seat amidst some light applause (initiated by yours truly).

At this point, a student asked if he could hand his wordbook in the next day (today). The prof did a floppy on-the-fence mini-dance, before grudgingly (or so it seemed) saying yes. Another student then asked if he could hand it in on Thursday. There was silence as the prof considered the question, and then he said that yes, because of the power outage and snow and what-have-you, he would accept wordbooks on Thursday, with no penalty.

There were audible gasps, and not just from me. What about the statement on the outline? What about all the students who, despite the power outage (which admittedly didn't affect me) and despite the snow, completed the assignment on time? What about monologue-boy? Fair? I think not. No one said anything in protest. I wanted to, but didn't know how many others had completed their wordbooks and feared the evil eye from the majority of the class. However, at the end of class, most of the students handed in workbooks. I considered for a half-second using the extra time to do revisions, but no, I had finished it, it was done, didn't want to think about it anymore.

Today I came close to emailing the prof to say that since there would be no penalty for lateness, how about a bonus mark or two or five for those who were punctual. I would have worded it politely, but the tone of an email can be misread, and I didn't want any ill-feelings coming my way. If I can bring myself to do it, I will talk to him after class tomorrow.

While I was at UBC, Biscotti got a call giving us a time-frame for delivery of mattress and the extras. Between two and five. Alright, I would stay home for work for the afternoon, no problemo. We've had problems in the past of staying home from work and deliveries or repairmen being no-shows, but the store was a ten minute drive away, and while they were no doubt doing other deliveries there shouldn't be, wouldn't be, couldn't be a problem right? Wrong.

Four o'clock got the call. Hi, we're uhh, bringing a mattress to you? Yes, I said hopefully.. they must be close, I thought. Well, uhh, we're not gonna be able to make it today. We're kind of, uhh, stuck in a ditch. Oh. Yeah, sorry about that. That's okay, I guess. So we need to reschedule? Yeah, just call your salesperson. Alright, thanks, bye.

Called our salesperson, who said that he would try and have it delivered that night; he was working until 10pm and would work on it. I fell asleep watching the Canucks - I blame their style of play in addition to the previous night's lack of sleep - and was woken by the ringing phone. It was a woman asking if the mattress had been delivered. I said no. She said okay, it will be on Thursday. She asked what time-frame was preferred, 12pm-2pm or 2pm-5pm. I chose the former and she wrote it down while saying it wasn't guaranteed. So now we'll get a call tomorrow morning and hopefully have our mattress and the extras (LCD HD flatscreen TV!) by 2pm. We'll even accept it after 2pm. Fingers crossed.

On November 11th I wrote Parked Car Crash - The Sequel. In that post, I wrote that we were told that it would be another 10-14 days minimum before we got our car back. Today is November 29th, 18 days post-post, and we have heard not a thing. Not a thing. It being 8:44pm at the time of this sentence being written, hearing anything today is unlikely, so let's bump the total to 19 days. Having our 4X4 Tracker sure would be nice during these days of snow.

Maybe now I'll start thinking about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. Maybe then I'll start feeling better.

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