Pizza, Free and Delicious

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I know bloggers are supposed to take photos before they eat….but it was too tempting.

We have a custom at work that basically works like this. If you have something you want to share (get rid of is also a kind of sharing) put it on the table in the kitchen area.  Over the years this has included books, magazines, VHS tapes, DVD’s, kids books, and even a curling iron.  Sometimes this is because people are generous and sometimes this is because ESL teachers are spreading their wings and flying off to some other teaching destination.  Many of us got into the profession for that ability to travel and work.

In addition to the items mentioned above, there is often food. Sometimes somebody baked a cake.  Sometimes a student gave them food that was either too much for them to eat, they felt like sharing, or didn’t like the food and hoped that somebody would eat it.  They are rarely disappointed.  Other times, there is just leftover food from some function (meetings, guests, orientation)

In today’s case, I walked into the kitchen area and spotted the pizza box. I think I have some psychic connection to pizza boxes.  At that time of day, finding pizza leftover is like striking it rich.  I swooped down upon it immediately.  There were two pieces left in the box.  Despite my diet, I really wanted to eat them both.  However, I showed great restraint and notified my colleague that there was a piece to be had.  In fact, I even let my colleague pick first.  It wasn’t a psychological ploy, but my colleague did, in fact, choose the smaller of the two pieces.

As far as pizza goes, it was delicious. It being free and available after 5:00 only made it doubly so. So, was Today’s Perfect moment:

  1. a) pizza
  2. b) free pizza
  3. c) delicious pizza

If you answered “all of the above” you score perfect marks.

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Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, delicious, ESL, free stuff, pizza, teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Driving At Dusk

img-20190114-wa0000I have seen many movies that featured either cowboys riding off into the sunset, or loner rebels riding off on motorcycles into the setting sun.  It is a powerful image and though I find it hard to explain the appeal, I certainly understand it.

Today, after a weekend out, I found myself in the car driving home as the sun was setting.  Thanks to an indirect route, I saw the stunning scene to my left, in front of me, and spectacularly in my rear view mirror.  It was beautiful and reminded me that I had also been up to see the sun rise.  While this is not particularly difficult in winter, it is rare to acknowledge it.

So I drove along, with those red and orange colours that are only fully described when using words like magenta, sienna, and mandarin, or phrases like fire red, blood red, burnt orange.  With the car rumbling on me and the opportunity to progress through the gearbox, I thought about the day and its ebbs and flows.

I turned on the radio and got my own personal soundtrack,  I heard David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, Time of Good Riddance by Green Day, Sweet Jane by the Velvet Underground.  I could only conclude that everything was good and well in the world (knowing full well that it wasn’t, but enjoying the illusion).

As Perfect Moments go, that one was a feast for the senses.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, cars, driving, music, sun, sunrise, sunset | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Twenty-One Sleeps

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Just a month ago, we (and by we I mean all people with an inner child that celebrates Christmas) were thinking how many sleeps until Christmas.  While that holiday season has come and passed–though with the number of people who still have Christmas lights up, you’d think it was still here–a new one is looming.

This morning I woke up to a realization.  Twenty-one sleeps until Costa Rica.

Am I bragging?  Am I trying to make you jealous?  Am I trying to point out that while some of you will be suffering in the truest and harshest onslaught of winter, I will be in a warm climate swimming, surfing, kayaking, cycling, hiking, and zip lining, drinking tropical fruit drinks, good coffee, and even the odd beer?

Yes to all of the above.

It might be shocking to the system, but that is what I am going to do.  Don’t worry, I will share my photos.

If you’re looking for more of my posts, I just recently sent this to someone who was writing about bookmarks.  Looking it over, I thought it would be nice to remind people of it.

https://todaysperfectmoment.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/ode-to-the-humble-bookmark/

Posted in anticipation, Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, Costa Rica, travel, travel writing, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Some Kind of Soup For The Soul

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today’s Perfect Moment is a simple act of kindness.  And through this act, their true nature has been shown.

If you read one of yesterday’s posts (here) you’ll know that I have been feeling under the weather since Wednesday afternoon.  While I am definitely on the mend, the effects of my cold have not left me completely.  I won’t go into detail–partly because everyone knows what a cold is like and partly because you don’t need a vivid description of my symptoms.  I have been doing everything I can, but I haven’t shaken it completely yet.

Today, in an effort to help me get over it, a friend brought me some homemade soup.  They also had to truck it with them on the bus and subway–no mean feat in itself.  I would have been fearful of spilling it.

I wonder where the idea of eating soup when you have a cold comes from.  It is advice I heard all through my childhood.  In fact, my mother suggested (rather strongly) that I have some chicken soup for dinner a couple of nights ago.  I brushed off the suggestion rather cavalierly.  This might be because it was canned soup with probably too much sodium, or I just wanted to be contrary.  Being honest, it was probably more of the latter than the former–a lot more.

Needless to say, I did not brush off the offer of homemade soup being brought to me.  And I have to admit that it did make me feel better for a while.  I did not take a picture of the soup (some blogger I am) but I ate every last drop of it.  I hope I thanked the person adequately enough.  I certainly appreciate the effort and I am amazed at their kindness.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, comfort food, ethnic food, flu, food, friends, friendship, illness, overcome, recover, thanks | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sometimes Nothing Is Okay

Seeing as I was sick, I put absolutely no demands on myself today.  There was nothing I absolutely had to get done and whatever I wanted to do was okay.  Normally, unproductive days seems stressful to me.  Getting absolutely nothing done, which happens more often than I would like to admit, stresses me out.  I sit and stew over the wasted day.

That day was not today.  To be honest, I was surprised that I did anything at all.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, illness, recover, sick | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Now?

Today’s Bummer of the Day (the Perfect Moment will come later) is something I have to write first. It is about catching a cold.  While this idiom makes for fun teaching to my students–they get confused between catching a cold and having a cold and the respective tenses required–it is a complete bummer for me.

It came upon me yesterday while I was teaching. My voice started to get raspy…well, raspier than usual.  My voice is already deep and scratch.  I wonder what my students though.  Needless to say, by the end of day, I was more congested and feeling less than 100 percent. A complete bummer

You see, I have been exercising regularly and watching what I am eating lately. This has been very positive as I have noticed a nice build up of muscles and stamina.  It has also resulted in a small, but significant, weight loss.  Today, however, I want nothing more to relax and eat comfort food.  Why now?  I was on a definite roll.

I wonder how this is going to play out.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, ESL, exercise, health, illness, recover, sick, students, teaching, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Some Snow Falls

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When asked about it later, I had to confess that, at the time, I wasn’t quite clear as to whether they were screams of joy or fear. It was obvious later, but not then, and not for at least a few seconds.

I was helping a student with a question they had about writing a particular sentence. I was trying to give them as much attention as they needed–without taking my attention away from anyone else in the class.  This is an important skill that every teacher must develop.

Back to the screams.

The students behind me started screaming and one of them said “look”. Instead of looking at them–which I think is the natural course of action, I looked in the direction they were pointing in.  It turned out to be the classroom window and what was beyond that.  It was snowing.

We’ve had a pretty mild start to winter. I remember snow in November, but for most of December and into this early January, there really hasn’t been a lot of snow. Perhaps that is why I didn’t understand the screams.  By the end of winter, I usually expect groans when it starts to snow.  Not having had a lot of snow, I wasn’t expecting a lot of negativity.

In this case, it turned out to be screams of joy because several of my students expressed interest in the snow. It turns out that several of my students had never experienced the joy of snowfall before.  They asked if I would let them take pictures.  Of course I obliged.  I even offered to let them go outside and experience it first hand.  Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, they all declined.  I found their joy at winter and snowfall quite positive and interesting.

Living around the Great Lakes, I expect a fair bit of snow to cross my path in life.  I love playing in it, I don’t mind driving in it, but I hate shovelling it and brushing it off my car.  To see my students embracing it and being happy about it reminded me that there are different perspectives to every situation and that I should take joy in all situations.  An obvious Perfect Moment for Today.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, ESL, photography, snow, students, teaching, weather, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Listening Gets You Free Stuff

img_20190108_203214111A co-worker was lamenting the state of Christmas. It was not the commercial aspect that everyone seems to always grumble about (and do nothing about)  but rather the state of her own family Christmas and gift giving traditions.

Unlike a lot of people, she is in favour of a gift card. While many say that it is impersonal, she thinks that it is very personal–as in she can get what she personally wants.  She also likes consumable gift ideas.  When one of her relatives asked her what they could get for her, she requested coffee pods.  When they rejected the suggestion as it didn’t seem like a “true Christmas gift”, she said they could get “special ones” or “deluxe flavour ones’ if that would make them feel better.  Instead, they bought her some clothing that she didn’t like and had to fake smile while she held it up.  The same thing happened to her husband.  He got an awesome shirt in a style and colour that he would never wear.

Now, if they were to follow TV advice from supposed experts, I suppose she could have just asked if they had a gift receipt or asked them to return it for something else–but even I know how uncomfortable that situation can be.

These days, I try and make a list of things that I plan to eventually buy myself and if anyone asks me, I just forward them a copy of the list.   A few of my family members have caught on and have even found my Amazon wish list.  In fact, my nephew chose something from the list rather sceptically, and was surprised when I was happy to receive a lamp for Christmas.  He repeatedly asked me if that was okay.  I was overjoyed because I didn’t have to spend my money on a lamp.  Now I have a cool lamp for my stamp desk.

Sorry to talk about all this Christmas stuff well into the New Year, but bear with me, this does have relevance.

So, let’s retrace our steps back to my co-worker’s husband. He received a shirt in a colour and style that he did not like.  The item was too large for him.  He had neither the gift receipt nor the name of the store to enable him to return it.  He couldn’t stomach the idea of approaching the giver and dealing with it.

I hope you can see where this is going…

 I know lots of bloggers get free stuff to review all the time, but that is not me.  This is also not a review, that is another story distracting us from Today’s Perfect Moment.

So now, thanks to my dimensions, and being there at the right time, (as well as perhaps for being the sounding board for these ideas) I am now the proud owner of an Adidas Climachill shirt.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, blog, blog posts, blogging, blogposts, Christmas, co-workers, coffee, commercialization, family, free stuff, gifts, listening, presents, review | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

I Couldn’t Resist

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I have been shopping at a Japanese market for years–though less frequently than in past. On Saturday, I took a friend to experience the place.  Despite trying to cut down on my sugar intake (and increase my exercise time) I decided to grab a bag of my favourite chocolates, and a couple of other treats.  I just couldn’t resist.

I’ve written about these before, so I won’t bore you. Suffice to say, they are delicious little chocolates with a variety of fillings or cookie backings.  My favourite is the one with the coffee nougat in the centre.  I hope the pack has at least five of them.  They are about 30 calories each.  I will do my best to limit myself to one a day……

 I had my usual tonkatsu lunch and enjoyed it.  Sadly, the bakery was closed for the new year holiday, so I didn’t have a chance to eat choux creme, or other flashy cakes.  Hopefully next time.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, chocolate, comfort food, cookies, ethnic food, exercise, fitness, food, food shopping, Japan, Japanese, tonkatsu, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Epiphany

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have been exercising for the past few days (hold all applause until this actually becomes a real habit) I have come to notice a thing or two.  Because of various commitments (if work and social life can be so easily lumped together) I have to squeeze in this activity at different times.  What I have noticed is that I seem to have more energy and stamina if I exercise before work.

Before you say “duh”–which is what I have already said to myself, let us consider it a bit more.  I don’t have a physically demanding job.  Yes, I walk around the classroom a lot.  I prefer to monitor rather than sit at a desk in front of the students like some of my colleagues do.  However, despite the number of steps it gives me on my fitbit (recently gone to gadget heaven) I don’t really consider it activity.  IT doesn’t get my heart pumping unless my students are suddenly able to use past modals or the third conditional correctly.

My job is mentally demanding and that does seem to leave me in a bit of a lump at the end of the day.  Is that normal?  It can’t just be an ESL teacher thing, can it?

Let me know what you think.  Also, please pass on any tips for maintaining an exercise plan past the early days of exuberance.

Posted in adapting, Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, epiphany, ESL, exercise, morning, teaching, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments