Wednesday, October 06, 2010

still jacked

according to my massage therapist, it's not my hip, it's my gluteus maximus, or as she so charmingly referred to it, "the most popular gluteus muscle" the loosening of your ligaments and the opening of your hips that happens in late pregnancy apparently puts a lot of strain on your (my) butt. she reefed on my butt like a mother which was deliciously hurty. i'm generally of the opinion that relaxing massages are for chumps - give me the deep tissue treatment! i want to feel the burn! (the burn is good - heat coming off your muscles post-massage means increased blood flow). i'm lucky that i'm not getting a lot of lower back pain - it's all in my butt and shoulders, which are being pulled forward as the basketball increases in girth.

so i envision a lot of heating pad and lying on tennis balls in my immediate future. a tennis ball is probably the best at-home self-massage tool you can buy. it seriously kills the cost-benefit analysis. so much return for so little investment! you basically just lie and use your body weight on the ball to target particularly tight muscles - it works a charm - especially if you can follow it up with some hot bath/heating pad action. then you're golden.

last night our planned dinner (cubano sandwiches with salad) was scrapped when the roomie came over (bearing food!) for an impromptu visit. it was so nice - she picked up takeout from bamiyan kabob - this afghani restaurant that i've heard a lot about - they've got 3 locations now. we used to go to this afghani restaurant on the danforth, chopan kabob house, but post 9/11 they started to not do so well and then they went out of business. afghani food is really delicious - think meaty kabobs, fluffy long grain rice, pistachio puddings, rose water ice cream and crisp, basic lettuce and tomato salads dressed in a thin, yoghurt based dressing. the roomie bought 1 chicken, 1 lamb, and 1 filet kabob dinner and we split the meat amongst our dishes. oh! and how could i forget afghani bread? a doughy, dense, crisp flatbread frequently sprinkled with garlic or nigella seeds, sturdy enough to provide a satisfying amount of chew but still pliable enough to wrap around hunks of cumin-flavoured meat:

we're definitely going to be going back there some more.

we're still trying to figure out our birth plan. i had previously avoided it - in the sense that i thought, "what will be, will be" but as the roomie and i hashed out whether she would want to be at our birth in a friend/labour support capacity, i realized that it might be worthwhile for the dotytron and i to figure out who we want there during labour (if anyone), who is going to be able to visit, when, and for how long. it's a lot to consider - especially given the fact that i'm probably going to be exhausted immediately post-labour. it's also a really intimate experience and i can definitely see the appeal of shutting everyone out for a few days while we learn how to become a family and get used to the new rhythm of our life. i can also understand the eagerness of both the outlaw family and my family and our closest friends to want to come and see the's going to be hard to know what we're going to want. the roomie also had a good insider tip that i didn't know about and that's the fact that immediately post birth and post first feed, the baby (who has also been through the wringer being squished out into the cold, hard world) tends to sleep for the longest continuous period you'll be seeing for the next 4 months - around 8-10 hours. she said it'd be nice for you and your partner to also catch some uninterrupted z's during that time, rather than having people trooping through your house and feeling like you have to entertain.

see? it's a lot to consider. and you have to be kind of flexible about it, too. you might think you want something but then decide at the last minute that you want everyone you know in the room right then and there to dote on the fatburger - who knows? right now, my general sense is that i'm going to want at least a few hours of privacy to rest up and not have to put on a game face when i'm sore and exhausted and stressed and emotionally vulnerable. i think that's pretty fair, right?

edit: leave it to my sis to come up with the best solution. as she so rightly put it - the dotytron and i have the rest of forever to be a family with the fatburger. lol! so i think what we'll end up doing is crap the kid out, then have nearest and dearest come by, take a peeksie at the new one and then let everyone give us a day before welcoming the whole world into the house. very sensible, sis! you rock!

so. "waiting for superman" was a bit of a let-down. the director's thesis wasn't strong and there was WAY too much going on to provide a coherent indictment of the messed up public school system in the united states. it's supposed to get people outraged, but because of the diffuseness of the focus, i don't think it's going to be entirely successful. one of the first things that could go, in my opinion, is the human interest element - that is, there's some time spent following 5-6 families of kids who are entering a lottery to get into special charter public schools - these are schools that receive public funding but that operate independently of the administrative reach of the public school system. by and large, they offer a better education than the so-called "drop out factories" of your standard-issue public schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

i know. you think i'm heartless wanting to cut out the part about kids whose entire futures are riding on getting into the charter schools. but here's the thing: because the scope of the film is SO broad, you never even really get in depth into the lives of the kids, so it's hard to really feel connected to them. as a framing device (are they going to get in? are they not?) it's ineffectual and ultimately takes time and attention away from a more critically grounded assessment of the problems with public schools (or even describing the foundations for success in the charter schools).

as a critique of the school system, i felt that documentary about the debating system, "resolved" that the dotytron and i saw a couple of years back and LOVED does a much better job. it focuses on one micro element (debating in the united states and how it's evolved into a system that privileges middle and upper class schools) and uses that to comment on the macro issues of class, race, and the failures of the education system to account for or support socio-economic discrepancies.

"waiting for superman" ends up putting a disproportionate amount of blame for the mismanagement of the school system on teacher's unions, which i think is a fair approach, but only encompasses one small portion of the overall problem. interviews with educational reformers are never really fleshed out - they identify the problems (with really broad strokes - ie. bureaucracy is an issue - quelle surprise!) but don't go into any detail about their platform or ideas on how to fix things - other than implementing actual teacher evaluations with bite (ie. being able to fire underperforming teachers).

i don't think this doc is worthy of all the praise it's getting.

tonight is class night (blurg) so i packed some leftover tomato soup, the last of the artichoke dip, and the last of the boiled beets with sour cream and dill. i'm cleaning out the fridge of leftovers. the dotytron is probably going to make a frittata as that's his new favorite thing and he's convinced he's some kind of frittata savant or something. i also made a chocolate chip coconut banana bread with whole wheat flour that i've been having a slice of every night with my obligatory glass o' milk.


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