Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

Are you superstitious?

Do you believe in luckstones, rabbit's feet, four-leaf clovers, lucky numbers, and so on? Would you be worried if you walked under a ladder, broke a mirror, had your path bisected by a black cat, cut your toenails at night, received a gift that was of a certain numerical quantity, or had a strap on your sandal break?

What about Friday the 13th?

Let me tell you about mine...

Yesterday we finally got our new toilet put in. We were told we'd only have to wait three days, but it wound up being three weeks thanks to a plumber moonlighting as a farmer (helping plant other people's fields). It's a beaut of a toilet, too; my wife and I both decided to splurge a bit. We chose it from the catalogue because it had a heated seat, a bidet, and a built-in cabinet. It also looked really cool. We never dreamed that it would be a fully-automated, sensor-laden device that would automatically open the lid for you and start the fan when you enter the room, and then flush and close everything up without you having to do anything except your trousers. It also plays mp3 files from an SD card! Now THAT'S what I call a TOILET!

Guess what? This morning I discovered a nice puddle of water all over the floor behind the new toilet. The damned thing leaks. The plumber said he's coming again today. Let's hope it doesn't wind up turning into another week.

My first lessons with the 9th grade (disaster) class are giving me a very good indication of what's to come this year. For the most part they were kind of fun, but I'm already feeling worn out. These kids may be the death of me.

As for our new 7th graders, over the past five days we've had two violent assaults, three potentially serious bullying incidents, one serious theft, and nearly half a dozen boys with worrisome attitude problems (which may all be interconnected). Not even our most notorious problem classes to date have ever had so many issues during the first week. At least the grade staff is getting on it immediately and landing on it hard, thankfully avoiding the "Just keep smiling and talking nice, and they'll come around" approach used to such horrendous (ill) effect by our current 9th and 12th grade crews when they were grade 7. Most of the kids seem okay, though. I hope (optimistically) that this is all just teething troubles...or a Friday the 13th fluke.

At least I don't have any students named Jason...or Freddie, for that matter!

UPDATE: Well, as if to add insult to injury, not long after I wrote the above post I began feeling a little weak and dizzy. A little later I had to supervise my 7th grade cleaning crew (who did a very good job, by the way), and I began feeling progressively worse, to the point that I came very close to fainting a couple of times. I went to the dispensary as soon as the cleaning was done. By then I was pale, shaky, and feeling chills, but I had no temperature. A quick check showed my blood pressure was normal, but my heart was beating more than 90 bpm. The nurse told me to lie down for an hour, which I did, and I fell asleep immediately. After that I checked my temperature again, and I was more than a degree below normal, a symptom the nurse said was actually common before the onset of a high fever. The flu is going around at Ye Olde Academy right now, so I feared the worst as I immediately left the school and slowly drove home, focusing on the car in front of me. I made it home okay and took a two-hour nap. I never did develop a fever, but I'm still feeling languid and shaky...wondering what the heck's the matter.

Oh, and the plumber did fix the toilet, thank goodness.


  • The Slicer and the Dicer!!! NOOOOOO.........!!!

    Good luck on Friday 13th, I'll see how mine turns out to be. ^_^

    By Blogger YD, at 6:49 PM  

  • It's about dingity dang time for the toilet, especially if it's the only one you've got!

    The leaky toilet seems to be the perennial problem here too, have to always get a really good person to do it right the first time.

    That dang flu went around here too. It's pretty bad, usually a minimum of 2 weeks to recuperate. Hope it turns out shorter for you.

    By Blogger ladybug, at 11:42 PM  

  • I've done a few toilet installs in my day, most likely, it was the base seal that wasn't properly seated, easy fix, though. Make sure it is fixed, or your floor will rot out.

    Get well soon, and just in case, see a doctor, feinting like that may be a sign of other troubles besides the flu.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:22 AM  


    By Blogger Swinebread, at 12:26 PM  

  • No photo of the toilet?Hihiiii =D

    By Anonymous angele, at 11:06 PM  

  • YD
    That was my reaction when I went to my first new 9th grade class this week, but it admittedly wasn't as bad as I'd expected.

    Wouldn't you know it...the in-laws decided to get the same model of toilet that we did (because buying more than one incurred a discount). The plumber put theirs in immediately, and there was no problem.

    It doesn't seem to have been the flu. I slept a lot after that, but the dizziness and ringing ears continued partway into today. The shaking and chills did go away, though, and I never did develop a temperature of more than one degree above normal...and it quickly dropped again. Weird.

    The base seal was my first thought, too, but apparently the tube and valve connecting the tank to the little hand-washing faucet on top wasn't properly attached. It isn't leaking anymore, so I guess all is well.

    You may be right. It's not the first time I've had a sudden dizzy spell. (It happens an average of once every three to four years.) However, the chills, shakes, and weakness...but no fever...was bloody odd. I'm having trouble convincing myself to go to a doctor, though. They're all so hurried that they just tend to dismiss everything as a "cold", prescribe three different kinds of irrelevant drugs, and send you on your way without really checking anything. You practically have to be coughing up blood to get a serious examination...depending on where you go.


    I have a thing about waiting till something is finished before showing it to anyone. I'm getting all kinds of pressure to show pics of the home upgrade, but y'all will just have to wait! :-)

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 11:37 PM  

  • hahaha... until Swinebread said it, I have no idea what this tris-al-qaeda-phobia word means, at first glance it even seems like fear of Al-Qaeda...

    By Blogger YD, at 4:06 AM  

  • I happen to know that TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA is a fear of the number 13:
    Tri = 3
    Deka = 10
    Love those Greek words.

    Anyhoo. Get yourself checked out, Minstrel - specially if a flu didn't develop, you must find out what that was. We don't want you getting sick, and neither do your students.

    By Blogger Olivia, at 11:07 PM  

  • oops, forgot KAI = AND

    By Blogger Olivia, at 11:08 PM  

  • I am on the other extreme... our new toilet is just that plain old toilet... no heated seats, no bidet, etc... so far, no leaks yet... hope you are feeling better... ki wo tsukete kudasai...

    By Blogger Lrong, at 5:49 PM  

  • Oh yea, meant to say, I would love a loo like that one day :P

    By Blogger Olivia, at 9:48 PM  

  • 13th shmirteenth. Numbers and days are arbitrary inventions of humans not connected to the universe. That's my view.

    Something new, full of water, made with many parts = leak. Ask the Navy.

    Hope you avoid the flu. Disinfect all your students.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 4:56 PM  

  • Disinfect the toilet!! :)

    Hope you are feeling better, MM. If not, better have it checked. I had my flu shot two months back. I wonder if these things work? The nurse said if I ever get flu after the jab, the effects would me much subdued. Whatever..

    Friday the 13th? Mine just went by but I'll have to admit I'm a wee bit superstitious. Most taoists are, I think.

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 1:33 PM  

  • wow... now THAT'S a toilet! i can't imagine one like that. you will be terribly spoiled, i think. you'll never want to sit on a regular toilet seat again. ;)

    i especially like the fact that it has a heated seat. i think that's one of the worst things... when it's really cold outside and you go to sit on the toilet and it freezes you in a place that you'd rather be warm! :)

    i can't get over that it plays mp3... you are too spoiled!!! but i'd love to have one of these sweeties myself! :)


    hope you're feeling better.

    By Blogger tooners, at 12:32 AM  

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