Chinese New Year: Thank the Chinese Gods That’s Over.

gwyneth-paltrow-nude-jumpsuitSo I’m a Rat, okay? And do not make fun of me for that because Rats are super-great in Chinese astrology. Last year, it was predicted, would be TERRIBLE for Rats. I scoffed. And then…. it kinda was. In terms of surprising disappointments, I mean. Probably the biggest surprising disappointment was the news that my sister and her family were relocating across the country, and actually I can think of two other big ones off the top of my head– none of which I never saw coming. Now obviously we’re all still happy and healthy, and everything is Big Picture fine. But here’s a series of little unpleasant surprises we had last year, just to illustrate:

  • For the first time ever in almost ten years of teaching it, one of my classes was scheduled for a day and time that massively disrupted everything. I cannot overestimate how badly this screwed things up.
  • We had an ear infection situation while on vacation last year, in a kid who had never had one ever, and burned up two full days of vacation with medical visits.
  • A case of the flu led to hundreds of dollars in unanticipated medical costs and forced us all to postpone Christmas.
  • My colleagues and I worked very hard to update our curriculum to reflect a new textbook for the fall. We spent much of the summer on it. And then, when fall semester began: the students had a different edition of the text than the one we integrated.
  • ┬áMy dog was bitten by another dog while out for a walk. The other dog’s owners could not have been more Court TV-style “it’s not our fault, your dog probably started it, you can’t prove anything.” And also, the other dog wasn’t up on its shots. Of course.

And as I said, in addition to these smaller issues and to Jilly moving away, I had two other major disappointments. However, to put that into perspective: look at my best friend, the vagina-steaming Gwyneth Paltrow. She’s a Rat, too, and her marriage broke up last year. (Or consciously uncoupled, if you’re looking to make your divorce extra classy-sounding.) That’s, like, a thousand times worse than any of the things that happened to me last year. And then also, remember that the Chinese Year just ended, so she capped off her terrible year by wearing the jumpsuit pictured above. I’m sorry but that just doesn’t happen in a good year.

So this Chinese New Year will hopefully be better. Apparently, Rats are still in the trenches this year– but we won’t get hit with the shit quite so frequently. And while we will be very busy (so far, that’s shaping up to be totally true), we will actually see benefits come from our labors this year. Or so they say.

Meanwhile, Gwynnie and I will just keep plugging along.


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