Sunday, April 30, 2006

...already old, walking into sunday and I find..

These are the last moments before sunday comes - Saturday night already leaving behind a faint taste of melancholy on your tongue. A cool smooth 'hardly there' breeze drifts over the Yarra and you, on Princess Bridge, look out over Southbank with its many restaurant lights being extinguished a few at a time like candles being blown out. You lean your elbows against the cold thick concrete on the sides of the bridge and watch the dark river below you, extending further than your gaze allows. The scene is blurring at the edges in more ways than one. You don't have to look behind you to know that a more subdued version of the Yarra (less lighting, more trees) bends and curls behind you heading off somewhere deep into the Eastern suburbs.

But this is the view you pick, for it's twinkly lights over still waters: The one that looks out towards the arched pedestrian bridge with Flinders Street Station an orange glow to your right. You stand for a while thinking before moving on. There has been a lot of thinking going on lately and it hasn't all been good. As you walk, hands in pockets, a distinct 'sheltering of self' sign, the taxis come in beside you on the road, one after the other, a yellow conga line. They line up but don't have to wait long - there is never a lack of passengers on Saturday night - Sunday now. As you stand in the taxi rank, a small line on the periphery of the station, a fight breaks out near the turnstiles that go down to the trains. Two young men surrounded by a circle taunting women. Alcohol is ugly if you can't handle it. Suddenly a bottle is thrown and one of them is bleeding down his face. The police come and break up the fight. The bleeding man (boy, really) uses water from an evian bottle to rinse the blood from his face and mixed with the water it falls and makes a garish puddle on the floor below him. It's a sad confirmation of the whole night. A sign, always a sign.

You haven't mentioned E yet, who is leaning against you and commenting on the 'skanks hos and idiots', because essentially, tonight, you feel alone. L still left back at the pub. The whole night started off beautifully - but you don't know anymore. Noone has changed except you. The thought sobers you up even more.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

assorted sins

Bless me bloggers for I have sinned:

* I have been downloading episodes of Americas Next Top Model and watching them while eating chocolate.

* Been on the Big Brother Forums reading the updates.

* Blew off friends who wanted to go to a particular nightclub I despise and went out with someone else instead only a few streets away.

* Had improper thoughts about Mike Goldman while watching Big Brother Up Late on Tuesday night (this is so, so, so shameful!)

* Secretly wished bad karma on friend who did not want to leave tip at restaurant last night.

* Read NW magazine cover to cover while in the bath..
- took particular joy in reading about Britney Spears' slobbish behaviour and tell all book that ex-bodyguards are planning on writing.
- read Tom Cruise and Katie article and laughed cruelly about them mistaking their new child's name: Suri to mean "princess" when expert has come out claiming it means "pickpocket".
- read article about man with penis thickness lager than wrist TWICE (okay, I actually read the thickness bit FIVE TIMES!)

* thinking of buying this

* used crimper on hair because I was bored - then actually enjoyed the look and pretended I was Cindy Lauper in front of mirror for ...quite a long time actually.

* have read the Aries daily star sign on cainer.com every day this week.

* stayed in bed till 1pm today.

* engaged in behaviour that may send me blind...kept doing it anyway.

* ate scones for breakfast AND lunch.

* drank 3 cups of coffee between 8.30am - 9.15am on Friday morning.

* had conversation with another teacher that can only be given the title; Which dads at the school do you think are hotties?

* lied about being busy so that I didn't have to help at the school disco.

* used another teachers' photocopy code at the photocopier yesterday without asking.

* had a serious conversation with my privates.

gee wiz, how am I supposed to achieve redemption I ask you?

Friday, April 28, 2006


Despite the unravelling spool of 4 day weekends lately I am still chasing my tail. I get home at the end of the day and just collapse on the bed thinking about all those things I haven't yet done and then spending the rest of the night trying to forget them. Sleepy at 4pm, wide awake and terrified at 3am. That's me.

I've somehow managed to talk myself into losing yet another lunch block due to request at girls who want to run the Art Club. As it stands I have only 2 days of an actual lunch break. I wish I was better at saying no, but when students request things of you that are within your power to grant and it creates interest in a curriculum area, god how can I say no?

I've also done the dumb thing and signed up to get my level 2 first aid. I've been meaning on doing it for the last couple of years, but now the school wants teachers to attend to sick bay duty with more regularity than we've been doing in the past and I figure that I need to know what I'm doing - even if other teachers feel they can get buy without it. So, smart in that sense, but dumb because for the next month not only will I be spending an extra 4 hours every Tuesday night doing the training I will also have to "study" in order to pass the test. This should be real fun.

I somehow also need to get a school display happening in the local shopping centre before Tuesday! Also, fill the cabinet with 3D art made by the children (err..have not done any 3D art! Furthermore, get a display of all the art work for the mural happening.. Not to mention getting the mural done in TWO WEEKS (when we are only half way through!) I am going into convulsions thinking about this..

Then I also decided that it would be good for me to attend a two day seminar on literacy next week. To be fair I am one of only 3 people in the whole school who has done the whole training thus far and it would be idiotic to let it go. But it means missing a couple of days in the art room to train for something that is irrelevant to my subject area. Prin was happy to let me go. But now I've realised that I am training for first aid, this literacy thing and the movie project.

Ahh, the movie project. I've picked my 8 kids for the movie project. Hopefully they will come through with the goods. They are beside themselves with excitement. I'm really going to have to do something that I've never been able to pull off before and that is getting ORGANISED! It's worrying me quite a bit, because I am last minute girl and last minute girl doesn't work well with timelines or dates. We're having a meeting on Monday to talk about what we're going to do, and really, what is realistic to do. Picking only 8 kids has meant that there are a whole bunch of kids who were *desperate* to do the project that won't get to. One such girl is the school captain, who gave me the worst evil glances during art class after she had heard through the grapevine who was getting involved. DUDE you're the SCHOOL CAPTAIN, you are already the shining star - let someone else have a go! I hope it works out.

A teacher came up to me the other day while I was putting up my Footballer display (oh, they turned out so, so well - so many people stop and stare at them!) and complimented the artwork I was doing with the kids. She said that the standard I was producing was beyond that produced by the last art teacher. Now, when I mention to people outside the school who the last art teacher was they usually gasp in reverence. The last art teacher had a reputation for being awesome and I have struggled with the notion of filling her substantial shoes. She really was awesome. I know that the standard of art work I produce is not on par with last art teacher but it was nice of this other teacher to compliment me in that way. It made my day.

The art role is much more isolating than being a classroom teacher but at the same time you're always out there putting work up that everyone sees that you are told what a good job you're doing. Let me tell you, that 'apple for the teacher' thing doesn't come along everyday. It's not often that someone will come and compliment you for doing a great job. Teachers deal a lot of daily shit. Not only do parents have many demands, they also approach in a very negative and aggressive manner (not all of them!)..so many negative things to deal with on a daily basis - sure globally it's such a rewarding profession. There is a lot of joy in teaching! But still, the everyday drudge is exactly why people who go into teaching now are *not* planning on staying in teaching for more than 10 years. So when you get a compliment it's the pearl in your oyster shell, really. As the art teacher there is much less contact with everyone, but most of that contact is positive. I like knowing if the work I put up has made someones day. And so often it does! It's a very cool part of being the Art Teacher.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

love and marriage?

I was listening to the radio this morning, as I always do on the way to work in the car and Hughsey, Kate and Dave were talking about "why are men embarrassed by getting engaged". Not quite sure what brought on the topic. They outlined many a story about different men not wanting to talk about the engagement and even in one case not telling the parentals about it until 4 weeks later! Men were calling in from near and far to relate their embarrassment or just indifference to the whole concept of "ceremony". One said that "once you've made up your mind to get married that's just it - the rest is a bit of paper" and Hughsey and Dave agreed. Kate was bewildered by it all. Hughsey brought it down to the fact that each man is actually two personalities. There is the bloke you are with your mates and the romantic guy that loves his girfriend - and never the twain shall meet. So bloke will pretty much do anything to avoid letting mates know that romantic guy exists - because basically bloke is the antithesis of romantic guy. So when romantic guy gets engaged bloke will tell the mates that "oh yeah, btw got engaged..anyone got change for a fifty?" whereas girls have a whole different way of going about it that envolves analysing every single minute detail about fifty billion times until best friend mez wants to kill them..I mean..or someone totally unrelated to this entry might get a tad bored. That's because girls are ..well, girls are scary sometimes.

I find the whole thing interesting. The only girl I have known that hasn't been compeltely obsessed with her marriage and engagement was K - who ended up leaving her husband to be at the altar three weeks before nuptuals. I knew something was up - dur. So, as a general rule - do guys NOT care about any of the engagement/marriage plans or only not care when they are doubting whether they've made the right move? The whole thing is very perplexing.

Having said that, I feel that there is a bit of hammering the point home on the part of the girlfriends. As I have only ever known one girl who didn't get into the marriage preparations as was expected I have only known one girl who did not drive the poor bf crazy in the courting process before the ring was given (it was the same girl). I've had friends who upon hearing some nice news about a couple being recently engaged will lean over to their boyfriend and practically shout for everyone to hear - "gee that's nice - I wish I could get engaged!!!". I have known people who have left magazines open at the engagement ring page where they know bf will see them or make snide comments, pouty faces, embarrassing altermatums, and all of this publically shaming the guy until he has no choice but to relent. Or so it seems anyway. I'm amazed more don't walk away! So many times I have almost leaned over and suggested that I distract the girl and give the guy a sporting chance to get a 30 second head start on the run away. It's only fair after all - when you're being hunted...

All these girls, my lovely friends - who are all amazing catches and any guy should count themselves very lucky.. have done that strange "trying to convince the bf" dance like some sort of posessed zombies out for brains, and all of them, and I mean all of them have denied ever doing something so calculated after the ring is on the finger. It's a strange, strange thing. In fact, recently at a lunch - S (who was the WORST at publically shaming her bf until he proposed - so much so that he told her that he'd ask her in a month and everytime she mentioned the word engagement the month would start again, and again, and again) expressed displeasure at a friend of hers who would not shut up about getting her bf to marry her. Well, we all looked at eachother (funny how the 4 way glance can work) and started pissing ourselves "well you were pretty bad too S". And there sat S as we all outlined one particular story or another about her shameful acts in getting engaged and then she proceeded to deny them all! But all acts had already been witnessed. I'm not sure why that happens. Maybe that's why men are more embarrassed to admit they're engaged than anything else. Maybe it's the "being caught hook, line and sinker" thing.

I can't imagine ever, ever, ever being like that - who knows if that will ever change. I have never been so, anyway - couldn't think of anything worse, as a matter of fact. I mean, sure if you're together forever and there's been no mention of the big M then I figure there's something wrong and it's either time to have it out or call it quits. But if the guy can't ask by his own gumption then I know it could never work out for us anyway. I need someone a little more sure of themselves than having to be convinced or persuaded. One must have their own ideas after all - if not arrivederci baby. Then again, since I've never actually known any men who have had the marriage idea on their own or without any kind of exquisite twisting of the preverbial arm then maybe that kind of guy doesn't even exist?

Whaddaya reckon?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

the penis envy entry

Long and smooth, and just the right thickness - enough to get the job done properly, if you know what I mean. I run my fingers along the hard length and up to the tip and back down again. Then again and again. I could do this all day. I grap, touch and grip hard trying to get as much as I can in my hand - the volume swells, it's too much for me now and so I use two hands, splaying my fingers wide hoping to fit more in. Where the constant squeezing and gripping doesn't do total justice I lower my lips until they too are full. I gather and let go, back and forth, up and down I go - until some spills out onto the floor and I pause to collect it in my mouth, the only avaliable means. It is now a mission to see this to a satisfying conclusion, we are so close - nothing could be better at this point. And then after the effort of groping, and squeezing, of feeling and grabbing it comes to a head and my receptacle is full.

I love sorting out the new jumbo sized texta markers into containers.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

big bro

Thank you chanel 10 for your daily dose of legal drugs. Just when I thought I was over the withdrawal symptoms back it comes again to tempt me once more into the back alley ways of commercial television, aching with anticipation and want. Please, just one more hit!

Big Brother. Hallelujah. Amen.

I love me a bit of people watching. If it didn't result in getting me a restraining order then I would openly stare at people all day long, follow them around, laugh at their mishaps, commiserate with them ..make their skin into a lovely two piece suit... If there was a job where I could stare at people legitimately and get paid for it, I would gladly take it. BB gives people like me an avenue to just watch and wonder without being labelled a social deviant. ha.

I like watching how people act when they are alone. I know that I do a bunch of weird shit all the time - I like watching other people's weird shit too. I love listening to their conversations. I like it when they have a political point of view and can argue it (oh Tim from last year was so great!) - though that doesn't happen very often on BB. I know that they know the cameras are on them and so behaviour changes when you know someone is watching you - but still, it's so enjoyable.

It's also dangerous for girls like me. Here we have a show where suddenly girls are privvy to information previously only shared in the boys 'locker room'. I don't have a wide circle of male friends, so wow, the things they say! Oh my god. Do men really think that way about women? It sort of makes me sick and yet..I can't not watch. I know the male contestants on BB don't represent the whole male population but since a lot of the female conversations aren't that big a surprise then I can only conclude that neither are the male ones. The girls aren't that much better really. Men, women..where did humanity go so wrong? So yeah, it does disasterous things to my mind, but I can't keep away.

So, BB06 is upon us. And once again Gretel Killeen has made herself known as the only true alpha male in the house, without actually being in the house, or male for that matter. Bless her heart. I wish she would win the money. I love how Gaelen (contestant: thinks he's gods gift) walks out trying to give props to the ladiez and Gretel retorts (and I paraphrase) "oh Gaelen are you gay?" "oh, haha Gretel like I haven't heard that joke before (ie: the name thing). "oh..no, I was just wondering..something in your walk when you came out.. nevermind" and we are left to watch him cower and retreat into his shell and walk down the plank with his preverbial tail between his legs. Not that she doesn't give women the same treatment. If you're an idiot you'll get it from Gretel. Fair enough I say. When Jo (big bro 3?? the HOTHOTHOT XXX overly flirtateous prick tease) was voted out by the biggest majority ever seen (ie: because she was a prick tease, dur). Gretel was like a tiger, ripping at her behaviour in the house until Jo was visibly turning green - then she proceeded to bite into any of the boys who were duped by her. Good times.

This year they have picked a bunch of utter wankers. Only a couple of them seem like genuinely good people that you'd want to have sitting with you at the dinner table. The gay farmer from QLD is the front runner (how much do we love him?) - already the brokeback mountain jokes are emerging. Of course he hasn't actually told the housemates that he is gay yet, but can't wait for that bombshell. But apart from that and the mother/daughter boob job team the housemates are the usual mix, representing Australia stictly only for guilty pleasure television viewing whores such as I.

I should feel more shame, but I don't.
In honour of the event Vice Prin has taken to looking out the window while on the loud speaker and telling kids off for doing naughty things in the playground "Callum, stop playing with that tree branch - don't think I can't see you".

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Poo Incident

Kids are funny, you know. Today I overheard a conversation between two 5 year old boys in the art room that went something like this

#1: Do you love any girls? Would you ever kiss one?
#2: no way!
#1: hehehe, I know who you love (names some girl in the class).
#2: nooooooooooooooooooo! Well, maybe.
#1: are you going to marry her?
#2: NO WAY!
#2: well...I *do* love my mum. I kiss her!
#1: WHAT? you can't marry your MUM, that's dumb! ewww.
#2: I kiss her and I love her. She lets me kiss her and she cuddles me. She's nice.
#1: Yeah...but you can't MARRY her!
#2: ...... :(

err, yeah well sorry kid that would be called INCEST which is only a valid past time in porn. So.. speaking of Freud that is the first concrete instance I've ever witnessed of the Oedipus complex at work. I can't believe it's taken this long! Go Freud, you were obviously on to a winner. An entry about penis envy next week folks.

The conversation had me laughing to myself while pretending I wasn't listening. Kids are absolutely awesome. Everyday I find something new that fascinates and enraptures me. I hope I end up having some of my own one day.

Well, that's what I thought until my next class. Teaching children is not like any other job - there are many reasons for this but the main reason is that I work with kids and kids are NOT adults, they say and do weird things and they are not in control of things that adults are. They are wackos actually. Teachers deal with a lot of shit that most normal working folk don't have to deal with. In fact..sometimes when you teach the youngest ones you literally deal with SHIT. Today was one of those days. The class after oedipus boy stank. I mean Peeeeeee-U. Some kid had pooed his pants, or stepped in it. I was starting to feel sick as I sat there explaining the task. The stench was overwealming.

Then a kid puts up her hand..

Kid: umm....Miiiiiissssss?
Me: yes (trying to breathe through mouth).
Kid: something really smells!!
Me: tell me about it!
Kid: ...something really smells..like ...... bottom.
Me: *laughing*

yeah, I never said I acted professionally EVERYday! But yes, there is a degree of decorum one must have in these cirumstances. You can't just go around accusing children of having a load in their shorts willy nilly without some EVIDENCE. That kind of accusation could scar a child for life. Who wants to be known as poo pants for the rest of their schooling years? A teacher needs to be sensitive about things like this. I tried to do the sniff test but almost threw up and had to retreat to the next room where I cowered and tried to convince myself that everything would be okay.

Finally, when I couldn't stand it anymore I stopped the class and had them all clean up early (sprayed the room with glen 20 - almost a whole can) and gave them the POO talk. You know, 'when you need to go to the toilet you must go, you must not poo in your pants. It's stinky and it's uncomfortable'. This is my JOB, folks. Are you jealous? I looked carefully for the guilty looking child, but they all gave me the blank look. The thing about 5 year olds is that they often give the blank look for pretty much everything and so it's hard to know when they really don't understand, or whether they're just being 5 years old.

I brought them back to their teacher. She is a substitute who I recently bonded with in the photocopy room one day when we both realised that we both have the same dumb sense of humour that noone else gets.

me: Someone in this class is....
her: ohhhhhh yeah, I know! I've had to live with it for the last 3 hours. I can't figure out who it is!
me: me neither! It's got to be one of them! Who the hell is it? I think it might be (names kid).
her: I'll check it out.
me: ...I had to stop them early and give them the poo talk.
her: I gave them the poo talk too!
me: haha, I can't believe they've had the poo talk from both of us. They must feel like shit.
her: ...well they certainly smell like shit.
me: hahahahah!

yeah, well - sometimes you have to amuse yourself or you'll go insane.

Pooer was discovered.
I couldn't eat lunch. It was all too much.

The Shark Fin

I went and saw The Squid and the Whale the other night. I liked it a hell of a lot. I liked The Life Aquatic as well, so if you're a fan of viewing the kinds of quirks that leave you feeling a bit weird then this is the movie for you. Basically it's about the tearing apart and sorting out of a family that is going through divorce. Laura Linney as always is absolutely sublime - I fell in love with her when she played Mary-Anne Singleton in the serial adaptation of Tales of the City - a role she was perfect for. In fact, there aren't a lot of roles that she's done that she hasn't been perfect for. She knows how to pick what's right for her. Anyway, I digress..

There is a brand of psychoanalytic theory that the cinema screen is like a mirror - reflecting points of identification for us, the spectator. Philosophically (or psychoanalytically, as it may be) speaking one can compare this losely to when a baby first recognises itself in a mirror and sees itself as a whole entity. This is the first point of identification of self that is not completely fractured - it is not just a foot or a hand or whatever babies usually look down and see. Of course that image is a mis-representation of self as that image that we see in the mirror is always 'other'. It is not self at all. Anyway, it has been philosophised that film spectatorship recreates this search for identity of self through the other. The big celuloid mirror. I can't remember the how the whole thing goes, it's been 7 years... I took a class on it at uni. The whole subject was a fucking big mistake. In fact that whole honours year was a big fucking mistake. But that subject still gives me nightmares - I remember walking into my first seminar in my tracky dacks and sneakers, all ready to kick some freudian arse. Every single other person in that room was wearing a black turtleneck. I swear to God! Not even the death of one of the wiggles would have attracted so many black skivvies. I was agog. I had no idea what to do. I very seriously almost walked out, but unfortunately I didn't have the guts to just turn around and walk away. I made my way to a chair and just tried not to stare with my mouth open. I seriously thought I might have been on candid camera - surely this french cafe pseudo philosophic gathering was a big ironic joke! Surely a farce such as this wouldn't dare actually happen in real life - in the English department of all places. Just next door I'm sure they were debating the similarities between the fifth Beatle and the First Mrs Rochester. Someone was having a laff! Then I noticed that it wasn't just the black skvvies..it was black pants, black skirts, black shoes and horn rimmed glasses. The lecturer - the main offender - was a self important snob and the rest bore me to tears. I love a bit of black, but bloody hell - at least be funny about it. Nope, all deadly serious. All deadly serious about ...Freud. A fun class. I liked the weeks we spend on film psychoanalysis and Hitchcock though.

Anyway, I was sitting there in the cinema watching The Squid and the Whale and did that familiar little mind dance that I usually do when watching film, which is to find parts of myself in the otherness of the celuloid mirror. I can imagine what it would be like to go through a divorce and that's the horror of watching something like this. It helps you to remember the things you want to forget. Our little nuclear family never quite figured out the finer details of it all - and truly, my father died before we actually went down that road - but my parents got to that stage where they always fought, screaming all the time actually and the D word came out more than once like a shark fin circling the familial waters.

It was on the cards for a while. I remember one balmy night in my early teens doing some maths (gross!) homework in the kitchen when my father came in to make a cup of coffee and grab a cigarette (as he did, a lot). He turned from the stove and came to lean against the bench I was working at and asked me the question a parent should never ask their child. If your mother and I got a divorce who would you want to live with? Good god! What are you supposed to say? Which side is the right one to take? I mumbled something about not being able to choose and spent the rest of my teens until he died trying to be the peace keeper between them. I often wondered what it would be like to be part of a 'divorced family' actually. Sometimes I thought it would be preferable to the war zone we usually lived in. In fact, yes - it would have been. The whole business put me off marriage entirely. It's only in the past couple of years that I've seen normal people (ie: not my parents) attempt it that I figured that it's not an entirely evil concept.

I like the ideal of marriage but ...geez - how do you know it'll work out?

For those that have been through it, does one ever have a tiny little feeling at the back of one's head that it won't be forever? Are the cracks there to start with? Or does every marriage begin with the same chances, hopes and dreams as any other? I can handle the idea that sometimes people make bad choices. Get married too quickly, or too young or too..something. That's okay - bad choices can be avoided if you have the clarity of foresight, or insight.. But what if that has nothing to do with it? What if it just happens later ...and you look up suddenly and there it is... The shark fin circling in your waters.

And now:

I did have something a little more high brow lined up. But instead I thought I'd use this opportunity to make a public service announcement in keeping with the theme of today's post.

Girls, don't marry this guy

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Jimmy Fallon - Idiot Boyfriend <3 <3 <3

Saturday, April 22, 2006

the men

okay since I have already made a lesbian list- here are the men. I have left out the dead ones. I mean there is the saying that the only good men are dead men but hey..if they're dead who is going to be your partner to yet another wedding where you're one of the single losers on table 9 or whatever.*

And now for the list of guys

clive owen (always seems to have a five-o'clock shadow, it looks good on him)
alan rickman (hands down the best voice I've ever heard in my life. Totally does it for me).
hugh jackman (sings, dances, punches the lights out of random mutants - what's not to love? PLUS he married someone who is not a hollywood bimbo idiot which proves that he actually followed his heart and gives me hope for other men)
john cusack (funny in a neurotic way! Love the 'black' fetish. Has lots of quirky facial expressions, great voice.. plus we all know where he started "...*girls* underpants" love it! Also love his sister..actually I officially swap Scarlett J for Joan Cusack on my lesbian list! Phew, I feel much better about self now)
james spader (I tried not to like him, but he has a great voice, penetrating gaze, bastard thing going on....am only human. Plus there were three people who were awesome in Pretty in Pink - him, ducky and Iiona).
colin firth (Mr Darcy coming out of the lake in wet shirt. AM ONLY HUMAN!!!)
eddie izzard (absolutely hilarious! Has a lisp! A little strange..ie; okay he's a transvestite).
neil gaiman (intelligent, wears pretty much only black and makes no apologies about it, awesome voice).
Martin Donovan (If he's in the room you're not going to miss him).
George Clooney (He is the Cary Grant of modern times. Cute as hell, quick witted, totally charming, a little elusive, boyish and manly at the same time).

(hon mention: Jarvis Cocker from band Pulp. He is awesome).

*I'm kidding okay? sheesh.

Friday, April 21, 2006

my small enclosed world

The younger me used to play under the sheets. Creating a tent with my head under the bed linen and shining a torch underneath so the whole space lit up in a soft glow. I used to go tunneling too, from the top of the bed to the bottom, torch in hand and fingers leading the way. When I got to the end I'd lay there on my stomach with the book resting on the matress and torch in hand reading my story for hours.

When I was upset or angry I'd bury my face in the pillows of the couch and pretend I was someone else (usually someone magical) or hide in the wardrobe right in the back where mum's long dresses hung. I'd sit there quietly running my hands over the different fabrics - soft silk and smooth, worn cotton - something about the smell and the soft comfort of an enclosed space made the buzzing in my head slow down until I was calm again.

If I didn't want to face something I would go hide in the little triangular space between the wall and the back of the couch. Sometimes I'd stay there all day. I got good at taking a running leap over the top of the couch and into the space. I was quick. Childhood: probably the first and last time I ever was quick. I had hiding places at school too. Behind the big furry tree, behind the library, in the classroom (but away from the windows so that noone could see) and behind the multi-purpose hall. Behind, behind, behind.

Sometimes when children are upset or scared they will go and hide underneath the tables in the classroom. You can't exactly drag them out - you end up negotiating (teachers wear so many hats). I had a child last year that would run out of the room and when I went looking for her I'd find her in the hallway crouching under the small space under the puffy chair. I understood it. The world is big, and it's even bigger when you're a small child. When you're upset you feel even smaller than you are normally, you get smaller somehow.. and so all you want to do is make your world small enough to feel safe and normal again. You can't get bigger, so you make your world smaller. It's smart. I get it. It's still a bugger to get them out though.

I was not one of those children that physically ran away when upset. I never packed my bags and walked out the front door saying goodbye to everyone and thanks for nothing. Sure, I threatened it more than a few times - but was laughed at "yeah, okay go then". My parents didn't really humour that kind of stuff. Besides that whole act seemed so illogical to me - where could I go that they wouldn't send me back? And living on the streets was just impractical - how was I going to pay for stuff? Childhood: Probably the first and last time in my life I was ever practical. So, with that in mind, I escaped using my head. I do it now too. There is nothing more comforting to me than bringing the covers all the way up and over, burying my face in the pillow and just pretending.

...and sometimes when I have a particularly bad day I still stick my head in the wardrobe and breathe in the musky, calming smells that only a small enclosed space can harbor. Blogging can be a small enclosed space too.

I was never very good with dealing I guess.
Sometimes the world gets too big and I need to make it smaller.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

lesbian list

random random stuff.

- the other day I went out for mexican food with friend. Sitting behind us was a family whose kids belong on that show Supernanny. The spawns kept throwing their toys around the restaurant and then one of them got up and started screaming and carrying on in the middle of the restaurant before grabbing his crotch and shouting "my penis, my penis, MY PENIS!!!" at the top of his lungs.
Firstly) I know that I am a kind and caring teacher who wears a halo from 9am - 3.30pm but after that the shift is OVER, okay punks? I almost got up and bitch slapped the kid and roundhouse kicked his bloody parents.
Secondly) If your kids can't behave properly in public then why not leave 'em at home with grandma or you know...teach them some bloody manners? Why torture the rest of us who work with them all day? whyyyyyyy?
Thirdly) "My penis"? I've seen 27 year old men do the same thing. Boys, god love 'em for never growing up.

- With Easter behind us the talk in the staffroom has been on the subject of religious education in schools. I am opposed to the whole business since I feel that faith should be focused on at home, not school - especially not state school. But yes, I work in a state school and yes we have religious education. I wouldn't mind the teaching of religious education in schools if there was a different 'religion a week' focus coming from a historical perspective rather than a faith based one. Who knows, we may end up more tolerant of eachother? RE is taught not by teachers in a state school but by representatives of the local church (in our case, Christian). They have varied and bizarre methods of getting the point across. The whole concept of God can be a little too abstract for children who haven't been brought up in the bosom of the church and so when an RE rep says that "God speaks to each and every one of us" a child may answer "how does he make his voice loud enough? Does he have a megaphone?" with perfect sincerity. Kids are absolutely awesome. With regard to Easter one year an RE teacher recreated the whole crucifixion scene to a grade 1 class using a teddy bear as jesus wearing a crown of thorns and then proceeded to stab him in the side until tomato sauce came out. The kids were traumatised and crying. Poor teddy.

- Puncher is getting on quite well with me lately. He's been an absolute angel in Art for the past two weeks. Of course he had Prin chasing him around the school today because he refused to accept some sort of punishment. She was in the art room crouching down under the tables and trying to look for him through the windows. I had to try really hard not to laugh. Prins don't get paid enough, I swear!

- Now onto business. About a million years ago the always in demand by rather strange men at the gym and loving it Matt made a post about the top ten sexiest women list as voted by lesbians and then compared that to the list of sexiest women voted by men. I didn't like the guy list so much. It was just souless and typical. No surprises there - 'most sexiest men' lists are pretty souless too. I could understand the lesbian list a little more. The list here mostly had sexy women in the conventional sense but they were also quite strong, smart women (or where known to play strong/smart women on screen).

I pondered if there was a list of sexiest women that straight women would switch teams for ...but alas this was not to be found. I wonder if straight women have the same souless approach to "sexy lists of women" as men do. Anyway, Matt's little challenge to me was to name my list.

I've found this task a little difficult - the reason why is that I keep thinking of those darn tootin' women as real people even though I don't know them. This is annoying. I find people sexy for different reasons that don't necessarily all have to do with looks. For instance, I find slight lisps hot in men. Ususally someone who has a lisp either is shy about it (and this makes them more adorable to me), or they have had to come to terms with being teased over it and so they are incredibly strong people (which I admire and find sexy too). Now I'm not talking about the full blown freak-o-rama, can't understand what you're saying, speaka englisha, type of lisp but you know..a little one is cute. Also someone's voice will totally do it for me as well. A good voice will totally turn the sex-o-meter on for me. So will a funny little quirk like a funny facial expression. So yeah - little things like that that change a person totally in my eyes from 'normal to sexy' make a list like this hard when you're trying to be superficial.

Another thing is that I also tend to ask myself would I want to share a meal with this person. So yeah, not so good with the concept of meaningless switching from straight to lesbian if I'm not getting something other than sex out of it. Yes, that's right I'd want to be friends too. God, that is so lame - even as I'm writing this I keep thinking of how lame I am. Anyway, sorry for not being able to be totally superficial about this but here is my top ten list of cool chicks a straight girl like me would switch teams for.

Janeane Garofalo (funny, smart, sarcastic, great lips - the perfect combo)
Zooey Deschanel (totally quirky and I love that, beautiful eyes)
Maggie Gyllenhaal (does funny things with her lips and makes funny expressions with her face. She's also a little awkward which makes her all the more endearing).
Kate Langbroek(you either love her or hate her. I adore her. I've been listening to her on the radio since the Triple R: Breakfasters days. She's smart, funny and fearless - I find that a total turn on. John Laws called her ugly on his radio show and she rung up to tell him off. So. Much. Love).
Julia Zemiro (spontaneously hilarious - hello, theatre sports-, speaks French, great lips, knows her music - need I say more?)
Julie Delpy (it's actually mostly the voice, but she also looks rather angelic.)
Parker Posey (a little scary. funny. I like her).
Lily Taylor (awkward, seems a bit shy. you'd have to lean right in to hear her - I love that).
Scarlett Johansson (I loved her so much in Ghost World, but now she shits me to tears..and yet, I cannot resist).
Meg White (okay, it's the breasts).

(hon mention: Kat Bjelland (from band Babes in Toyland - she can totally wail)

It's weird, I already know this list (as a whole) would be totally poopooed by any living breathing straight male. I have nothing to compare it to, to see whether I'm normal or not..so straight girls, what is your list?

ohhhhh, you know what would be REALLY awesome to read? The list that straight men would turn gay for. PLEEEEAAAAAASE!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

ooo la la

Standing atop the flight of stairs waiting for the grade 3s and 4s turned into a rather interesting experience when a gust of wind blew up the stairs and up my skirt. Yes, I flashed the 3s and 4s. I wish I wasn't wearing my pink lacey knickers. They found the event extremely entertaining but I handled it like a true professional by covering my face and laughing. Yes, it was embarrassing, but still not a patch on when my skirt fell down in the carpark of Bunnings, much to the amusement of the group of work men standing near the doors.

Some days I wish I was more poised and dignified like Grace Kelly.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stress and Joy!

Praise Jesus for the four day weekend! I pretty much spent my weekend eating bad food and sleeping 'till noon everyday. Was it worth feeling like utter shit when being reminded YET AGAIN what a loser in love I am by my whole family? Hell, yes. It was a small price to pay for the privilege of showering at 2pm and eating chocolate for breakfast. Yes, Sir.

The other night at dinner E, L, S and I were talking about how everyone says that pregnant women glow and whether that was true or not. Even F (who is now pregnant) denies this is the case and that people just say it because it's just something one says to pregnant women. Now, F looks good, but she always did. Maybe you only glow if you're already a natural glower?! S, however insists they all glow. Who knows who is right? To me, they look the same as any other woman who has bothered to put on a coat of foundation and blush. I know I'm a cynic, but all the pregnant women I have ever known haven't been sleeping well, throw up a lot and have had very bad back/feet/breast/nerve issues while pregnant. Not really glowing material. Anyway, the point is that L turned to me and said that I always looked glowing during school holidays. Then everyone agreed. It's true. As soon as I get a break I relax and things are peachy - but give me a few days at school (literally only 2 or 3 days) and everything goes to shit again. They say that when people quit teaching they gain back 10 years of their life. I believe that.

Now that the 4 days are up and the first day back at work is over - my special little glow is well and truly gone.

Of course, today all the stress and insanity came rushing back because, well..work is a stress. Things have been building up for a while, but Easter has been this milestone that I've had in my head. A list of about 30 things needed to be done by Easter. Can you guess how many I've done? ..sigh, I've never been very good with setting myself goals and sticking to them. I always do better when there is someone threatening me with death. I'm too good at procrastination - way too good. I would be willing to bet that I am better at procrastination than anybody you can throw at me. Yay, for being #1 at something!

So, today when I woke up I tried to deny the fact that it was "Tuesday, after Easter" by squeezing my eyes shut and trying not to hyperventilate while I bit down on my pillow and screamed a little.
But by the time I got out of the shower I actually had heartburn because of it all! Who the hell gets heartburn? ugh. I wonder what an ulcer feels like? I hope I don't get one. I'd probably be a prime candidate because I tend to internalise everything. I should get back into yoga.

I got home today and I had a package from Amazon waiting. I'd forgotten I'd even ordered something. I love that! Finally Alan Moore's Watchmen and other assorted goodies! Joy.

Monday, April 17, 2006

an autumn musical monday

Except for the absense of blushing spring blossoms, Autumn is my favourite season. I wish there was a way to get the blossoms to bloom now, that would be wonderful. But I know that basically everything dies in this season and so this notion would be contrary. I am contrary I guess.

There is variety in Autumn. The weather is hot and cold, sometimes the sky is blue but the wind bites and sometimes the sky is a heavy grey but the air is warm and tingly. And the foilage, such bliss! The leaves are orange, yellow, red, green all on the same tree. Before they are blown down they are draped around the shoulders of the great oaks and elms like elaborate fur stalls. Then they brown and fall off the branches and float downwards where they turn dry and crunchy under your shoe. Some people avoid walking through the debris left on the sidewalk but I've always liked kicking my way through these fallen leaves, watching the sea part and leaes fly up in front of me like a fine spray of water at the beach. On the way to school Bro and I would have leaf fights and someone would always end up with a bunch of wet, cold leaves down their back.

I like the crisp, cool days of Autumn - not quite yet freezing, but with enough chill to send you running for your winter coat, or scarf or boots - but knowing the sun will peak through at half strenght at some point during the day.

That's what it was like today: A chill on the nose, colours in the trees and a bit of grey in the sky. Perfect.

I've been meaning to catch up with wdky's musical monday for a while, but never quite got round to it. I'm getting round to it today - and just so you can get inside my head a little more than usual I'm posting Noe Venable's Down Easy, mostly because I've been listening to this song on high rotation in the last week.

I first heard it when watching the movie Cherish. There is a scene where the main character, Zoe, is sitting on her couch like a calm eye in a raging tornado as her world and living room spins and changes around her. It's one of my favourite scenes in the movie and I suppose this week, if I could invite you somewhere in this head - it's here.

Don't listen if you're in a good mood. But if you're like me and have a stiff drink handy, are feeling a little melancholy and feel like your world is spinning around (and around) you then..enjoy.

[Noe Venable - Down Easy: removed]

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

memories, all alone in the ..

You know, I missed my 5th year blogiversay a couple of weeks ago. The 26th March 2001 was when I started at dd and in various places since. Some of you have been on this journey with me for a very, very long time - not sure if I've developed as a person at all. Boy am I a dork.

Here are a few morsels from that first entry

I've had a horrible time trying to set this up.
where are the simple idiot proof instructions?
where are the preview buttons?
oh well.
pink and black (if it worked)
how very..uh...me.

In 1988 Doogie Howser (child genuis doctor person) sat down at the end of every day and wrote a concise and simplistic summation of his life, while his much cooler best friend was busy pulling chicks.
(why the hell did Vinnie hang out with Doogie anyway?)
fast forward 13 years later
In 2001, I sit at my computer and write a simplistic (not so concise) summation of my life while my friends are busy having lives.
am I the only person who sees something wrong with this?

yep, dork.

I just got my first search engine query for painty shitting. Yes, you read right; painty. They might have meant panty shitting but somehow I like painty better. It's kinkier. In any case, I couldn't feel prouder than if my future firstborn (aka: sperm doner baby) had learnt to read his first word.

So, I'm sitting here eating chocolate and deciding what to do with my remnants of my Easter, and musing about my funny old day. What did you do? I spent Easter with my family. I remember the good old days (0-10 years old) when my uncle would swing in on Easter shouting "Merry Christmas" (god love him) and then we'd collect big on the chocolates and spend the rest of the day fighting over who was the detective in our millionth game of Murder in the Dark and then spending the rest of the night with tongue hanging out of mouth and licking the floor or something. Fast forward to 28 years old and the chocolate is gone and half way through dinner someone clears their throat and you know what's coming. Oh yes.

You find good boy, get married, and I make your dress!. Oh Lord - I thought you already died for my sins, so why am I still being punished? The floodgates open and soon everyone starts in. Don't wait too long or I won't be able to see the needle to sew your dress (my aunt is a talented dress maker). By this stage all the olds have joined in on the act and all I can do is just fire back lame answers "I might get married to my fish" "I'm thinking of tricking someone into it" "pass the bowl of please stop torturing me" etc. Am I the only one who has to go through this? These people are like vultures.

It's not like I come from a family of people who married and had babies young either. My mother had me at 36, and my bro 2 years later. My aunt had my cousin at 40 and her sister 3 years later. My other cousin MT is having a baby at 40 herself. So, really - I don't see the big deal in pressuring me about it when many people are having babies in their mid to late 30s these days, but I suppose they *do* need something to talk about at these get togethers. ugh.

Luckily we moved onto other topics; AuthorCousin has just brought out his first picture book and we were all pretty excited about that. FashionCousin is going Os for a while. ArtistCousin is not a nun (woo!). Then we got onto 'back in the day' type conversations. Now, a while ago I confronted my mother with some memories I had of being punished by being locked in my room with the curtains closed and the chord tied up so that I couldn't open them again. That was my time out. I remember trying to reach the chord by climbing on the desk, but still couldn't and then trying to hold the drapes open with my hands but getting tired and then finally finding a way to keep the curtains open by using bits of random furniture to hold the drapes back. I wasn't scared or disturbed by the situation but as is always the case with me: I may accept punishment dutifully on the surface but don't think I won't try to subvert the situation until it is neatly pointed to my advantage. I also planned by most devious revenge fantasies in this "time out".

I don't think it affected me adversely in any way - well, okay I am a total spaz, but that may have happened regardless of punishment. Anyway, when I confronted my mother with this story of being locked away she flatly denied it and told me that I was being silly and that I had an overactive imagination. Now, I have always had an overactive imagination - this I don't deny. Some of the things I remember I am still trying to decide if they are true or not. Some of those things in my head are really bad but don't necessarily have to do with my parents. I don't know whether to believe myself or not sometimes. But this punishment, I was sure happened.

My Aunt happened to bring this punishment up tonight. She confirmed it by saying that at one particular instance when ArtistCousin was 2 (I would have been 3) and AC was staying at our house. She went home a few days later totally freaked out by me being locked away for a period of time because she was afraid of the punishment happening to her (which, of course it didn't). ArtistCousin was already afraid of the dark, you see. Aunt saying this brought that memory back. I remember very well, ArtistCousin staying over and banging on the door when I was in time out, because she wanted me to come out. Then when we went to sleep ArtistCousin was afraid of the dark and had to go sleep with my Nonna. I was sad at the time because I thought I'd done something wrong to make her scared.

Anyway, the whole point is that one of my memories has been confirmed and now that puts everything else up for scrutiny too..

Friday, April 14, 2006

blood and wafer

When I was little I became enamoured with playing my fathers' LP records. I wasn't actually allowed to touch the record player so I used to wait for my father to go out before I made my move. It was up quite high, so I'd push the velour paisley armchair to the shelf and climb upon it and just play everything I could get my hands on. There was some Beatles, BeeGees, Elvis, Johnny Cash, 70s Soul hits, Herb Albert and Tijuana Brass (this was a favourite), a lot of Spanish music and foreign stuff. Mostly I'd stand there, on tip toes and feet sinking into the couch and watch the record go round and round. I liked the tinny sound coming from the tiny needle juxtaposed with the loud stereo from the speakers. If I wasn't doing that then I was spinning until I threw up or dancing with my brother (well I'd dance and he'd sort of ..jump). Anyway, I was 7 - what are you going to do? Another one of my favourite records to play was

Hi I was raised a Catholic. Yes, fucked up beyond all belief.

Being that I was from the land of delirium, I would play this record over and over again. I knew every single word to every single song. I especially liked turning up the speed until it sounded like the Chipmunks were singing Dominique. I got into so much trouble when I got caught though, but not sure it was because I was disrespecting God, Debbie Reynolds or the needle on the record player. Me thinks option c, there is no way in heaven that God didn't find the chipmunk thing funny. That was my attitude to everything religious. While I believed in everything on offer with my whole heart, I actually thought God had a sense of humour. I thought he was just like me. Why wouldn't I? I felt like I knew God in a special way even though I was only 7. If I was going to have a laugh I was positive that God would want to also. My parents weren't always impressed with my attitude towards religion though.

In church bro and I spent most of the time in hysterics about the singing, the words, the expressions on faces, the collection bag, the robes, the screaming children, anything! That's not to say that I wasn't pious, oh yes I was - disgustingly so - but just that I appreciated a good laugh also. I admit that usually I lead the chorus of laughs but it was always made worse by having to suppress the laughter while my parents gave us "you do that one more time and you're going to get it later" look. In the end Bro and I had to be separated like bookends encasing the rest of my family. It didn't stop the laughing though. Mum would hiss that the laughing in church meant that I was being tempted by the devil to move away from God and towards him. I had seen The Exorcist and let me tell you there was nothing I was afraid of more in the world than being possessed by the devil. In bed I would lay under my covers with my sheets right up to my nose and eyes squeezed shut praying that God would forgive me and not let the devil get me. While much of my upbringing was normal, I feel that the religious side was not. We didn't go to church every single weekend but there were many powerful sentiments that were repeated often at home. Soon, I simply saw myself as flawed in the eyes of God and completely unworthy of Him. Bottom line: I was a naughty little Catholic laugher who made The Singing Nun sound like a chipmunk!

But, despite this, I loved church. It was like going to see a stage play, and boy was I fascinated with those as well. Lines had to be learnt, there were costumes, props, music, sing-a-longs, audience participation (communion) and an aerobic workout to boot.

It's funny watching non-catholics try to keep up. When E married L they had a catholic ceremony though E is not a catholic. I was bridesmaid with her sister and had to give her quick whispered instructions on what to do so that she wouldn't look like a total idiot in front of the congregation. I however, forgot to tell S how to handle the whole communion wafer thing (I don't think you're actually allowed to take it if you haven't been approved but hey, who the fuck cares?) so when the priest said The body of christ and held out the wafer in foreboding fashion, S took it and with a loud voice said Thanks! instead of the usual, humble Amen. It was a laugh riot. See, church is funny! I don't think Father was impressed though.

I still like churches now, even though I'm not so down with everything (or anything) else that goes on within there or in Popeland for that matter. Well, I just like the space. It's peaceful, it's cosy and they put on a spread (..not quiet filling enough), plus I'm a teacher; I like story time. I like the passion story (not the Mel Gibson version, mind you).

Despite being "lapsed" these religious holidays always make me think of this stuff...

question: for anyone who has ever had a communion wafer - do you chew it or let it melt? Just curious


It was one of those nights where I couldn't seem to get my slumber act together. I fell asleep quickly but kept waking with every noise. I woke with the rain and willed the constant drumming of the raindrops to send me to sleep, but not even that would work. Finally I gave up and had my breakfast at 5.30am, and promptly fell asleep again soon after. When in doubt - try a hot cross bun.

I dream:

I am on a cliff in California looking over the edge at the sea beneath. It is a gentle sort of deep blue, not angry or grey and smashing against the rocks, but calm and magnificent in its quietness. I want to go swimming and contemplate diving straight over the edge when I see a small pathway leading down, down, down to the bottom. Then someone, or something pushes me over the edge anyway and I hang dangerously upsidedown, my shoelace caught on a rock - screaming. Somehow, and without much effort, as I recall, I make my way back to the top of the cliff and then down the safe way. My brother now joins me at my side, making funny observations as we travel - as he tends to do.

We only walk a few short minutes before we reach the bottom of the path. The sea is clear and inviting. There are no waves and that somehow unsettles me. Still water has no life, I think. I go in and splash around a bit before coming out again. Bro is waiting patiently. We talk a bit before discovering a small cave near the edge. Walking inside we discover it is a huge hollow affair. It's walls are smooth and grey and it goes steadily downwards like a huge grey waterslide, curling around the corner at the bottom and going on furtherdown. We have no idea how far it will go down but it seems safe enough. Even inside, the sea water laps at our feet and somehow we know that the further along we walk the deeper it will get.

I take off my shoes, roll up my pants and hoist the giant book I now have (it is filled with strange squiggles and pictures) up in my arms. I carry it all with me. Bro throws his unecessary shoes etc at the mouth of the cave knowing we'll come back through this way to get out.

We walk.

It is mostly dark and grey and there are small children splashing in the water. Somehow at every beachtown we pass (there are signs) there is a small opening in the wall of the cave and we have the option of walking out into the sun. This is at odds with the construction of this space, how can we be at ground level when we keep going down? We choose to walk on.

Soon the atmosphere changes. The frolicking children dissapear and we are greeted with a seedier more dangerous subculture of people. Greying women huddled over bonfires lit in small hollows off to the side of the main dark strip and tiny gypsy children with vacant expressions on their faces purposefully bumping into us. The water is up to our knees now and the windows dissapear, like final chances missed and taken away. We continue walking. My fear builds while bro nonchalantly tosses a ball in the air. Somehow I make the decision to hold his fear as well as my own within me so that he can keep playing happily. I, however feel dread.

Every now and again we come across others like ourselves who have chosen to take this journey and we stop and sit in one of the bonfire lit hollows and discuss the space. The stone tables have markings on them like the ones in my book and I soon piece together the messages. They are some weird and occult and hold some sort of secret about life in general. Real life, that is, when you strip away elements like buildings, bodies and culture. It isn't pleasant. I discover something, I can't for the life of me remember now but it terrified me then. I push Bro out of the hollow and we make our way back through the hordes of people and out of the first window we see. Everything is bright, sunny and warm and the cave seems like a cold dark dream. I sit on the hood of a rusting car and eat an ice-cream when a man sits next to me and engages me in conversation. I don't look at him, but when I do I realise his flesh is rotting off his bones: his grin half skeleton. I make my excuses to leave, not wanting to entice anger and get up and look around helplessly for Bro so we can get going. We need to make our way back to the start of this strange cave formation.

We step back into the greying hall of the cave, fleshy guy at our heels and somehow I know we won't make it back.

I wake up.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

they see your every move

It's been a funny sort of day. Somehow because of Good Friday and other assorted reasons I forgot that I had grade 5/6 today. I thought I had another grade entirely. The lessons were a rather unplanned scenario of events that involved me umming and ahing for a bit and running about with my head in my hands before deciding on comic strips. It's a good way for me to see which children will be able to make a sequential story board for the movie project.

The lessons ended up being awesome. I like comics and most kids do too. In fact, most of the boys who are usually rowdy were absorbed and quiet today. I put on my crappy 80s music and soon everyone was bopping along. It's amazing what a bit of Private Eyes and I Melt with You will do for making everything happy. For some reason I was really into the 5/6s today appreciating all individuals rather than as a "class" of students.

The last class however were just nuts. In the end I kept them back and basically told them how upset I was about their behaviour. They looked near tears by the end of my little speech about being more of a team etc. I was almost in tears too actually. It's been a bit like that lately...

My fish, Moo-Moo Head (named for cow like pattern on body), is swimming very slowly at the moment. He is also bloated and sad, a la Elvis' last days before dying on the loo. I think he needs a pep talk..or water change. hm.

I'm glad it's the long weekend. You can take or leave Jesus, but chocolate is forever. That's my motto, anyway.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Today I went to a PD about the movie making project. It was a PD that although was not actually about the project, was held by a school that had already gone through it and had an example of the DVD to show us. Their movie was good. I mean good (witty, well shot, fabulous script, good editing etc) and now I'm extremely intimidated.

I managed to get another teacher involved in the project which is lucky, but I hope that we will work together rather than her taking over. She's is described as a bulldozer by most. I hate politics like this, but I need to make sure that I'm not pushed out of my own project now. I can't seem to win whichever way I turn with this.

The PD was interesting. We learnt how to use Premiere Elements, but I already knew some of the stuff because I made a video with my grade a couple of years ago and edited it using PE - so I wasn't too intimidated by that. The rest of the PD was more about introducing multimedia within the classroom - and using it to integrate into the curriculum. The other teacher and I have a grander vision for the school that involves graduation DVDs and news reels produced by students so this was good.

As an aside, can I just mention that this school had an abundance of good looking men?! Why and how did they all end up there? My school has: a few married men, a few divorced women, a couple of pathetic spinsters and a bunch of almost pregnant women. This bites for the pathetic spinsters.

Today, I was sitting next to an extremely droolworthy guy (okay, he was a baby at 22 - which in guy years is actually 12 - but I can look). Then he put his glasses on and my jaw almost made a thud/splash as it dropped on the table into the drool pool I'd made earlier. Somehow glasses just do it for me. The presenter also was like some male model straight out of the country road catalogue (though was a completely stuck up and thus good looking points were completely and utterly eradicated by the end of the day) and the other teachers we saw in the film were stunning also. I guess all the cute boys are told to apply to the same school or something.

Anyway, good to know that eyes got a work out as well as brain.

Speaking to #1 earlier; she told me that at her school today the Easter Bunny came to visit (guy in plushie suit). He went out for a smoko in the middle of the "performance" and then came back and hugged all the female teachers and groped their arses.
<3 <3 <3

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


While I like feeling special, I'm not that big on being made a fuss over (and over and over)- so today my classes completely embarrassed me by singing many a rendition of happy birthday from the screaming version that could be heard all the way down the corridor to the sweetly tinkling choir of angels version. It was all very nice.

A few children gave me cards and little presents, but one particular family all came in to wish me a happy birthday. I don't actually mention my birthday to a lot of people so these guys remembered my birthday from a couple of years ago when I taught their daughter. I adored her and she was quite partial to me too. The family is closely related to a prominent white witch around these parts. I don't know if I wrote about this then but in one particular pagan ritual one night when they were dancing naked around the fire (her words) my little student's wish that she threw into the fire and repeated to the whole coven was to have me as a teacher again. I was a bit taken aback about being mentioned in a pagan ritual (LOVED the thought of my own very Catholic mother, horrified and trying to have me re-baptised) but also flattered. Lo and behold here I am manifested as her teacher again in Art Teacher form. Anyway, they came in especially with well wishes and presents. Teaching means that for some you are more than a teacher. I love that. Adore it actually.

In the staff room I was the most popular person because birthdays mean cake and cake means that we get something nice to eat at recess! Yay me! Staff at school find it quite funny that I'm woeing over the big TWO. EIGHT. when many of them have children that are the big TWO. EIGHT themselves, but I'm approaching 28 in a much calmer and happier fashion than I did 27. I think psychologically 27 seemed more daunting. 27 was the last train stop for many and that stuck in my head.

Am having another dinner tonight. Pray that it goes better than last night..

So, how's a girl in her late 20s supposed to behave anyway? Am I still allowed to sing crap songs into the hairdryer while pretending I'm Madonna? Is it okay to spend all of Sunday watching episodes of Dead Like Me on DVD? Can I still eat smarties for dinner every now and again? You tell me.

you say it's your..

"But she's an old lady! I mean, look at her, she's... OLD! You can't just take away her stuff, she's... too OLD!"

Dinner last night was a bit..weird. I came away feeling very uneasy about certain friendships.

Monday, April 10, 2006

ABC easy as !@#

Today I got laughed at because:

"hahaha you have paint in your hair. hahahahaHAHAHAHAH!!!!"

Yeah, I also have a green watery blob of paint on my suede shoes. Double points for me.

I'm supposed to be going out for a birthday dinner tonight. I'm going to look absolutely SMASHING!

Whose great idea was it to "paint like Monet" with 5 year olds? WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? oh yeah, that would be ME the ART TEACHER. Let me tell you, Monet would shoot himself in the face if he saw this shit. By the end of the day I didn't actually care what the "calm waters" looked like I was just trying to keep my head above (painty) water. The first session is always a breeze but in between you have to get the brushes clean, new water, new paints and dry newspaper on the tables, all the preps cleaned, smocks away and the pictures on the rack to dry. This is not so easy when you have 23 little bodies who all need you at once, whining for you. To top it all off Vice Prin was in taking digital footage of the whole fiasco! Can't wait to see that one. I actually had to nick off down to the shops to buy some Freddo Frogs and Caramello Koalas it's was just *that* bad.

I was just looking at the paintings now. Oh boy, what a laugh riot. They are absolutely terrible. The other art teacher used to "lose" some of the paintings, or whole lessons in the bin. I don't know if I could do that. As a parent would you care if a piece of shit painting came home from school? I think I would be delighted to get anything home from my kid. As a teacher, however my standards are a tad higher than scribbling with paintbrush. Oh well. I hope they look better when we put our sailboats on them.

I think I've mentioned about how Victorian schools are changing the curriculum document this year. We're also changing our reporting format to make it more "user friendly to parents". It's well known that parents want teachers to cut the crap. Basically we're being too politically correct. If their child is shit they want to know about it. They don't want to be told in a positively slanted way. I think this is the biggest load I've ever heard because 70% of parents will go into a rage if you say anything remotely negative about their child. I wish we'd work together more and they'd realise how hard we work because we *want* their children to succeed! Anyway, I'm all for user friendly - especially if it means that if parents understand the format then they won't start badgering teachers every two mintues about what it means.

The articles in the paper about the new report format is that it's "like what we used to have when we were in school". I don't know about you, but in primary school I had a card and down the bottom it said things like.

maths: good.
english: very good.
general studies: good.

comments: Marianne is a lovely girl who gets on with her work in class.

whereby all "scores" were written in with blue pen.

Things are rather different now with a whole booklet going home with detailed analysis of scores/and comments for every single aspect of the curriculum. This was apparently too overwhealming and clouded in teacher jargon. I don't doubt it.

When I got to high school the marks were a little more detailed.
A: 80% +
B: 75-80%
C: 60 - 75%

or something similar..

I guess most parents now would remember this kind of format.

We're going back to this format now. A report card with the A-E ranking. Okay, fine parents want to be able to relate their child's progress with what they used to do when they went to school.

The thing that the government is not telling parents is that the A-E ranking is not actually ranked by percentage scores like that anymore.

Back in the day if you got a C it meant that you only had about 60% knowledge of a certain subject area ie: you were a dud and had a fuck load of work to do. Now if you get a C it means that you have achieved 80-100% (ie: an A) subject knowledge for your grade ie: you are working at your level. You're not a dud - you are consistent with the average scores for your age group. If you get a B it means that you are working one year above your age group. If you get an A you are working 18months ahead of your age group. If you get a D you're a year behind etc etc.

Do you think that parents are going to understand that when their child comes home with a C (around 70-80% of all children in any given class) it means they are absolutely *fine* and that there is no need to work harder, no need to take remedial classes, no need to panic, because C means you're the best you can be at your age? I can tell you now, from what I know already that this ain't going to happen. Guess who is going to cop it?

A lot of teachers I know aren't too happy with the new reporting format that is coming in. Not because of parent reaction to a percieved "drop" in score but because if you are a child and you are working at one year behind your age group - it is very unlikely that you will catch up. So, Little Johnny in grade 2, who is working at a grade 1 level in some areas is going to make many gains in his year in grade 2. He will learn lots of new things, achieve many goals and become a better learner BUT this will not be reflected on the report card - because while he has made 1 year gain - so has the rest of his grade. So when Johnny goes up to grade 3, he might be working at a grade 2 level - he's made a big leap - but he's still a year behind. His mark is still a D.

Can you imagine how detrimental this will be to a child's development? Believe it or not, teachers want children to be happy and have high self esteem. I know that my heart breaks when a child says that s/he thinks he can't do it because s/he's too dumb. :( I hate that. Now, Mr D child is always going to be a D, because being a year behind actually means you will have to catch up TWO years worth of work in order to be labelled "average". This is extremely hard to do for anyone. Not saying it can't be done - if it happens it's because the child just "clicks" with something and flys ahead.

Now you may ask - well if a child is one year behind, why doesn't he repeat a year? Well, yes - why doesn't he? The reason why is that in Victoria parents have the final say over whether their child repeats a grade. So while a teacher may recommend a child to stay down, it doesn't mean they will. It goes to the parent and then the parent decides what is best. So, professionally - we don't even have any clout. I wonder why we are not treated as professionals then? hmmmm Also, being a year behind developmentally in Maths doesn't make you a year behind developmentally in English or whatever else is on offer. Why keep a child down because they're crap at maths? I'd probably still be in grade 3 myself if that was the case.

The other thing that teachers aren't too happy with is the general score we give.

Maths: c. That's it. Child is working at level.

Right now we have a system in place where
Maths is an umbrella term for a few subject areas.
Number, space, shape, measurement, reasoning and strategies.

All these subject areas are graded individually and then an overall score is given. Of course number is weighted more heavily than all the others. But I have seen some children who are below average in number but TWO YEARS AHEAD in space. As a parent and a child it's important to be able to see that while little JOhnny can't actually count properly at least he knows how to put shapes together to make new shapes or can use rulers properly (wow, he could be a top architect!). It's important to know that you are good at specific things. Now while we will still be testing for these things and judging them individually in the classroom, on the new report card this will not be shown. It will be one overall mark that won't really give any kind of indication that little Johnny is good at something specific.

I'm just worried that we're going for the "easy to understand report card" and sacrificing ...well, the children.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

raindrops on roses...

I like hanging out. There seems to be a lot of emphasis on going out or creating a big party atmosphere but I can't be bothered with any of that. My favourite part of the party is when most of the drunktards have passed out in the gutter and the main stayers have gathered around the heater with the last of the vodka and chips and the discussion is a merry-go-round of different topics. I'm pretty boring that way, I guess. I like hearing what people think about..stuff.

...After the topic about whether we'd recognise the signs of the victimisation apparent in nazi germany happening in Australia (perhaps against another race) today and be able to stop it (answer: probably not). Which, incidentally is interesting because the whole point of studying history is to learn from our mistakes, and yet the same old problems keep resurfacing. What exactly have we humans learnt?

Anyway, after that topic #2 brought up movie she had seen called Murderball. It's a documentary about wheelchair "rugby". Basically it's about these men who were once very able, active and adventurous people but through some kind of accident have become crippled in some way and are wheelchair bound. Their everyday lives are a struggle of learning how to reuse their limbs in new ways (if they even have limbs that is). But, despite the inability to be physically independent they play this violent, physical game that would scare the crap out of any able bodied athlete, for sure.

Apparently the documentary is very inspiring and I'll be looking it up soon but our discussion afterwards was about the women who are attracted to them. Apparently many of the men have hot girlfriends. This is all well and good except #2 brought up the quintessential comment and question so, girls will go for these guys - they have a huge following, but I can't imagine the same dedication from guys about courageous women in wheelchairs, can you?
and we all sat around in silence looking at eachother for a second.

nope, I can't. Are we really so different from eachother? I find this fascinating.

Then we went back to Nazi's but this time coupling with The Sound of Music because G had gone to the singalong at Her Majesty's Theatre (how did I miss this?). Now, The Sound of Music has held a special fascination for me since I was a little girl and pulled the curtains off the windows and paraded around in them singing "My Favourite Things" (it didn't go down too well with the parentals) and of course that my secret little teaching theme tune is "I Have Confidence". I have seen this movie so many times it's criminal, but I still don't understand why on earth did Captain Von Trapp even considered Baroness Elsa Schrader when Fräulein Maria quite obviously loves him, loves his children (even though they are bratty and answer to whistles), has an angelic singing voice and would go on to save them all from the Nazis with her convent connections? HELLO, Captain *ding, ding ding*! What took you so long? God knows how the man got so far in the navy without having a clue. The Baroness has a hot bod but was a dried up old prune with no heart. I really don't understand it at all.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

An open letter.

I realise I'm a work in progress. There are many possibilities and versions of me to come, I know this (I promise not to be any of the matrix sequels though - that would be horrific and sad). I know that I am constantly evolving - most of the time pulled into the light by people better and stronger than me, who see something in me that I never have (or won't). I need that, but I am hard work. I resist everything probably because there is still that part of me that thinks that I'm unworthy of the time and effort. What if you unwrap me and I suck? What if there's nothing at all. I coul be a vacume - the truth is I don't even know myself. I wish I did. But this is better than I used to be, believe it or not.

But regardless, I'm still trying to decide whether I'm the piece of art that has been covered up by another and needs to be teased off with tweasers and chemicals. Or perhaps I'm a sketch whose lines need to be rubbed out and redrawn - the basic shape is right but the rest needs an overhaul. Maybe I'm a complete forgery and the real me is in some museum somewhere. Or maybe I'm like the Bronte brother who rubbed himself out of the painting altogether and is waiting for someone to come along and repaint me back in.

Despite it all, I realise here are so many possibilities of me yet to come. Better than me-now, I know she's in there somewhere. I'm working on it. This is sort of a promise to you and me that I'm working on her...

In the meanwhile for those who really care and I know that there are some in the pile there somewhere, I don't know why you read me but I'm glad you do. It's a squishy hugs, lots of love, don't really know what I'd do without you there kind of glad.

Thank you.

one of those meme thingies.

taken from bozoette

When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?- next time take your mascara off before bed.

When is the next time you will have sex?- jesus christ probably never o'clock.

What's a word that rhymes with 'DOOR'?- whore (yeah, sorry).

Favorite planet?- Either Mars or saturn. Mars is my astrological planet and it has aliens, while saturn has the cool jewellery around it.

Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your mobile?- #1. Hm, I can't even remember what she wanted.

What is your favorite ring on your phone?
- I hate all mobile phone ring tones. Firstly they're annoyingly screechy and secondly they stay in your head forever.

What shirt are you wearing?- black singlet top (it's actually my pjs).

Name the brand of shoes you�re currently wearing?- I'm not wearing any shoes.

Bright or Dark Room?
- It depends on what I want to achieve. If I'm writing something or trying to get work done I want a bright room. Otherwise warm, dark.

What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?- she's courageous and intelligent.

What were you doing at midnight last night? Having a tea, I think. I lead a very exciting life.

What did your last text message you received on your mobile say?
- "Great, Mon it is then. [L] just confirmed she is in. Any prefs for where you want to go?"

Where is your letter box?- end of path.

What's a word that you say a lot?- "umm", "oh god" or "jesus christ". Basically given a chance to blaspheme, I will.

Who told you he/she loved you last?- FashionCousin.

Last furry thing you touched?- a kid brought a guinea pig to school. It was so cute!

How many drugs have you done in the last three days?- bcp x 3. Advil x 2.

How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?- none, isn't it all about digital now? I love polaroids though.

Favorite age you have been so far?- except for the almost nervous breakdown I had, I liked 19. Old enough and young enough at the same time. Though, if you asked me to name my worst year that would be it too..

Your worst enemy? myself.

What is your current desktop picture?- Well, it was a picture of Robin Tunney from the movie Cherish but somehow it dissapeared. I wish computers would communicate better and tell you why they do the things they do.

What was the last thing you said to someone?- "okay hon - take care bye".

If you had to choose between a million dollars or being able to fly, which would you choose?- ooo, I don't know. At this very moment, I'd actually love the money. I must be hormonal.

Do you like someone?
lol maybe.

The last song you listened to?
Reach Out, I'll be There - The Four Tops (it's still in my head).

If the last person you spoke to was getting shot at, would you jump in front of the bullet?
I'd try to push them out of the way while at the same time trying to get myself out of the way. But knowing my luck it would result in me getting shot anyway.

If you could punch 1 person in the face who's in your life right now, who would it be? a certain work colleague who always has to make it alll about her.

What is the closest object to your left foot?- the heater. I know - singlet top and a heater, weird.

personality test here are my results
this is pretty much spot on except for the trust thing.

Considerate Dreamer

Friday, April 07, 2006

turned on by paper.

I have a little fetish for office stationary. Quite frankly folks, reams of coloured paper wrapped in pastic gets me all hot and bothered. oooohh. I'm getting all err..happy even writing about it. In fact, I think it's mandatory that if you're a teacher your nether regions tingle when opening boxes filled with crisp, pre-sharpened pencils and new erasers. Being in the art room is sometimes like running to the lounge room on Christmas morning and looking at all the presents wondering which one to open first. Today I got my Ken Done posters, and they came wrapped in opaque white tissue paper, then stuffed at both ends with bubble wrap and then finished off in a large thick cylindrical container taped at both ends. I was pretty excited. My life is quite sad, as you've realised, but I got a lot of joy unwrapping the posters and smelling that scent that only new paper can have.

Despite this, I've not yet done my requisite order for the art room or myself yet. I love going through the book and choosing what I want to order but I haven't been able to bring myself to do it. I don't really know what I want and I don't want to order a bunch of shit that I'm not going to use. The problem is - I have no idea what I'm going to use or not. I simply don't work that way. I don't think: gee in term three we're going to make traditional aboriginal painted boomarangs - let's buy the materials. I'm more your garden variety "oh shit, what am I doing today?" kind of girl. Not really so condusive to making big orders.

I've been going through the order book this week though. I sit down after school and mull over the large or standard oil pastels and think hard about whether cool blue or warm blue paint will give a nicer effect - or whether I should just fuck it all and buy both. I like the idea of having the freedom to pick and choose exactly what I want but at the same time I have no idea whether I'm buying the right things or not. I tend to overthink things like this, but I can't help it - I overthink most things.

Do you ever get the feeling you should just stop thinking and start doing instead?

Thursday, April 06, 2006


The artist turned up, so I didn't have to 'make it up' at all. Thank god.

Thursdays are a drainer. It's the day when I have all the grade 5/6 classes. Although they are charming and fun they are also extremely loud and lazy. Many of them have voices louder than mine which is a pain in the AR, a room where the echoes bounce of the laminex and walls. On Thursdays I can feel my energy depleating with every class. By the time I get to the last grade I'm always in a bad mood and just feeling like the world's worst teacher. Since I only ever see them once a week for an hour it can be hard to follow up punishments and keep things always under strict control. To be honest..I hate it when things are too structured anyway, but I guess this is also my problem.

Today there was an incident where one particular child punched Cal. The child who did the punching has been doing it other classes and outside - and really is an ongoing issue in the school for many years. It seems he's getting worse every year. He's one of those children that is extremely defiant. Often when you have an altercation between children there is remorse or some feeling of guilt/tears/sadness/anger/etc on the part of one of the chidlren. Puncher is not like that. Even if you saw it happen (which I did) then he will flat out deny it happening to your face (which he did). His parents *always* back up his word, even when the situation has many different witnesses. Puncher knows that whatever he does wrong he will always have an out (his parents). I think parents in general need to let their kids know when something just isn't on. I know there *are* two sides to every story, but I've also known this child for 5 years and I know what I saw. If I had *ever* come home with a bad report from a teacher about my behaviour I would have been in so much trouble. I knew this, end of story - there was no way I was going to fuck up at school (or anywhere really). There's no use denying the bad stuff. Not all children are angels (some are).

Anyway, after this happened I sent Cal to the Prin and puncher back to his teacher (I knew that puncher wouldn't go to Prin because the exact same incident happened a couple of days ago and puncher refused to go to the Prin - so I didn't even bother). It was about 3 minutes before the end of class so there was no point in getting into punishments etc, but Puncher of course refused to go to his teacher. He, surprsingly waited outside the AR where I could still see him though and so I walked them all back to their classroom and let his teacher know what was going on.

This kid has every single one of his teachers running around in circles. Even prin, who is very strong is in a tiz about it. I've seen Prin handle children who would make your hair curl - and I've seen children who have faces of stone crumble in tears at being called to her office. Prin is no pushover and certainly not with the parents. This time it's different. How do you handle a child who never thinks he's doing anything wrong? Ever!

*edit* have just found one last stick of a kit kat in my handbag - I was so happy I almost cried - thats how good my day has been*

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

just wondering..

sometimes the kids will come and visit me in the art room and show me pictures they've drawn at home, or books about artists that they've come across. Sometimes they'll interrupt me in the hallways while I have a cup of dripping coffee in my hand(with me, the cups of coffee are always dripping or spilling everywhere - case in point: 10 mintues ago I spilt my coffee and then slipped on the spillage. Grade 6 teacher looking out her window pissed herself laughing at me. ugh) and let me know little tidbits of information they've learnt about a certain artist ("mum said Van Gogh died because he ate paint" - honestly parents!). Sometimes they'll just run up and smile at me sweetly or tell me I'm doing a good job (especially hilarious coming from 5 year olds).

It's kind of cool.

Of course, I keep thinking "why are they telling *me* this stuff?" then I remember I'm the art teacher.
..not really *owning it* yet am I?

Cross your fingers that it keeps raining so I won't have to do yard duty after school!

Also, I'm having the flu shot today. I've never done this before. I'm actually not a believer in the flu shot - it's a load of shite. Viruses change composition all the time! But somehow peer pressure has gotten the better of me and I've gone with the crowd here who is having it (all but 2 teachers). Who wants to bet I'll get sick within a week of having it? I'm pretty scared of needles. I know this will hurt...yeah, okay I'm shitting myself. I'm such an idiot!

The artist is driving me a bit bonkers by not turning up when she's supposed to. If she doesn't come tomorrow to work with the kids doing clay then I'll go insane! I have no idea how to paint these things! Should I just make it up?