Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14, 2012

I decided to stay home today as I spent another sleepless night taking sips of fruit juice and sucking on lozenges to soothe my sore throat. I realize my body has taken a toll from the frenetic pace I have subjected it to, and it is now  paying me back by demanding that I slow down a bit. I had no medication whatsoever in the house and not even ginger or lemon to make myself some homemade remedy. Snow was still on the ground and had no desire to bundle up and get to the bazaar for what I needed.

Instead, I concentrated on getting the printer to work and was able to figure out where the ink cartridge was still covered by a strip and thus no releasing ink at all. I was able to scanned most of my receipts only to realize a few of them were in one of the folders I left at Mr. Wright’s house last Friday. I did one load of laundry and the laundry rack couldn’t hold anymore items, so I’ll do another one tomorrow. I was hungry by noon and could find nothing to cook, so I ate the potato chips Ryan had left in the fridge.

Zarina called me to ask me if I wanted to join the school staff for their New Year’s celebration on December 29 which consisted of a dinner and dance gathering costing over a thousand soms. I replied I wasn’t sure yet as I hadn’t made any plans, but she was insistent the deadline was yesterday and I needed to make a commitment right then and there. Why would they wait until the deadline to invite me? I said yes tentatively with the caveat that I’d be able to change my mind if something else came up.

Natalia emailed me asking that I drop my passport and $160.00 dollars for the Kazakh visa I’ll need for the mid-year conference in Almaty. The price for the visa had gone up from just 60.00 two weeks ago. What a rip-off! I had, in fact, jokingly asked my RELO if we, the fellows, were being punished for something by having us attend a conference in such an ugly city in the dead of winter instead of rewarding us with some tropical setting. She didn’t seem to appreciate my sense of humor and instead lectured me about the need to contribute to the development of Central Asia’s teachers.

Elvira asked me to look over a presentation she’ll be giving on assessing students through the use of portfolios and we agreed to meet on Friday prior to my workshop. Anna and I agreed to meet on Monday to discuss the selection criteria for attendees at the CATEC conference next year. I don’t seem to be able to get a break from additional commitments.

Late afternoon was a good time to watch some movies and I started out with “Basquiat”, a biographical movie about the young Haitian painter Jean-Michelle Basquiat who died of a drug overdose when he was only 28 and who was befriended by Andy Warhol. I thought the movie wasn’t gritty enough in portraying the world of drug abusers and signs of mental illness he bore throughout his young life.

The second movie was Almodovar’s “Atame” or “Tie me, Tie me down”, which I recall watching upon its release when I lived in Panama City in the early 90s, but whose plot I couldn’t recall. It was amazing to see Antonio Banderas, perhaps in his first film, looking so young and handsome next to Victoria Abriles, one of Almodovar’s earlier muses. As it is usual for this director, there was a lot of nudity and sex scenes.

After reading a few more pages of the book “The Perfect Man”, I went to sleep.

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