Wednesday, May 31, 2006

tampax and other stories

I took the advice of the clay people and I have no bruises on my palms this week. Their way (slicing off pieces almost to width using a wire cutter and then only having to roll it out a bit) was much easier on my hands and really much quicker overall. Of course, I've done my back instead so I'm in agony anyway. I think I was bent over for too long (is 6 hours of pretty much continuously bending forward too long?). Then this morning the alarm scared the absolute shit out of me and I literally bolted up in bed and twisted like a maniac to turn it off. I must have twisted too far because now neck to middle of back is killing me. Bloody hell, I swear these things never happened to me until I hit 25. The late 20s are a killer - I figure if I make it to 30 without causing a near fatality to myself then I've done good.

The support teacher who works in the closet next to the art room (yes, it's the size of a walk in closet!) told me that I look like hell today. Actually, she didn't say that she said "oooooo you look sooooo tired. You look absolutely exhausted, just so....tired." Yep, as you can see, I'm wowing people everywhere I go. Furthermore one of the teachers brought a box of freddo frogs and caramello koalas into school to sell for charity.
...I already owe 6 bucks. How the hell did that happen?

Hens party weekend thingy dampened by the fact that aunt flow or the painters and decorators or whatever the fuck euphemism one wants to use, has come. I don't know why I sound so surprised by it; I've been counting down the yellow pills for three weeks now after all. Girls, I ask you - do you ever feel we get the short end of the stick when it comes to everyday living? I mean you spend one week err..cleaning the inner linen so to speak, one week crying at kleenex ads, and two weeks where you are a relatively normal functioning human being. I get to be normal for two weeks of the month! Technically, normal is relative in this case and for many women that actually is normal, but boy does it suck.

You know how tampons were supposed to liberate girls from that whole idea of staying in bed when you have your period? All these tampax ads in the 80s showed girls finally being able to play volley ball, go horse riding and partake in water fights. Finally girls, your period didn't stop you from being "normal" just like the boys. You know what? Fuck that. The last thing I want to do when I have my period is anything remotely active. Moving around a lot isn't that great an idea actually. You know what I want to do? I want to stay in bed and not move around. Thanks a lot Libra Fleur and Tampax! pft.

Boys, do you give chicks a break by being sweet and lovely when you know they've got PMS and are probably biting your head off? Do you run for cover? Do you take it like the man you are? Do you give it back x 50 billion? Or do you just never want to hear about this ever again? Just curious.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

go lightly

I'm finding myself slipping away from things. Increasingly all I want to do is stay in my pajamas and just watch bad tele or sleep. I always judge my mood by my lowest point ever - which was in Uni a couple of years after my father died. Various life changing moments such as finishing school and finding a new life meant that I hadn't let myself grieve until that point and then a bunch of stuff happened all in succession and I found myself feeling all the pain for that and then the pain for my father. Great year that. I don't remember too much of it, just little snippets here and there of things I'd rather forget.

Leading up until the lowest point was like walking in a constant fog for months. I was tired all the time, I mean exhausted so bad that I couldn't even drag my feet without feeling breathless. Thinking was hard. Following conversations was hard. Following conventions such as eating at the table and greeting people was hard. I stopped calling people - that was the main sign for the outside world. I had, up until that point been the type of person that would see someone all day at school and then get on the blower for 4 hours every night. I guess girls are crazy like that. But that just stopped dead. If someone wanted to talk to me, they'd have to call me - I didn't really care if they did or didn't. But even those conversations were crap. I stopped caring about anything, or everything. Basically, every single thing was a struggle. Everything was stressful.

I saw myself reflected in the books I chose to read during that time - the typical that girl done gone mad for no good reason type books, you know the ones I mean. The more I read the more I understood myself as someone who was deep in the rabbit hole with no way out. Always, lost. Always, even without clouds in my head.

I don't think anyone really talks about depression as more than a mental illness - you get depression then you go visit the doc and then you go on happy pills and then it's okay, it was all in your head. But actually it's more than that. Depression is an exhaustion and struggle that you feel physically too. It's just having had enough - you actually feel your body shutting down and taking your mind with it. I felt it that way. My body alerted me to the mean reds in my head. I didn't go mental - I just felt everything get slower and slower until inside went quiet and dead, like the eye of the tornado. The stress of everything was still whirling around me, but it was like that couldn't touch the inner core of nothingness. It had to be like that for a while - I couldn't deal with anything else.

I can't remember how I snapped out of it, but I somehow did. I just pulled myself back together. I felt the fog lift and one day I didn't struggle with each breath and I didn't struggle to see. No more clouds in my head, no more whirling storm - it was good. No, I didn't go back to being the same old mez but I was a lot better.

There are still some remains..I still find it hard to call people though (as a first move that is). It's really hard. If you don't call, then I assume you don't want me to call either, because you don't want to talk. Then you don't call because you think I'm a snob and don't need people. When really, I'm wondering why noone needs me so then I don't call. It's a vicious cycle I know! I'm really, too high maintenence to bother with. But while I know it's hard for my friends these days, it's not so easy for me either, I struggle with that everyday. It's weird. I wasn't like that before - that's all very hard to admit. I let go the depressed blanket but I gained this thing called 'self doubt'. I'm a lot better when others make the first move actually. I can be normal then - I don't go through the self doubt if someone takes it out of my hands entirely. I'm happy when they do.

I know that sounds like I have a lot of issues (have you stopped reading yet?) and I guess I do, but I'm a pretty normal girl apart from that. I have my funny conversations, give advice, buy you a drink, debate crap, look forward to the world cup soccer and go out just like anyone else. But I have my inner turmoils too - just not as bad as they used to be.

Right now though, I'm beginning to feel exhausted again. I could sleep all day and still feel tired. And so I'm sitting here wondering if I'm just over things in general, or there's something wrong with me physically or whether I better buy my croissants because I'm feeling those mean reds turn scarlet.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Goes to show what I great cook I am - today I added a bunch of cinnamon to the vegetable soup because I thought it was the pepper bottle. I'm sure I will be an excellent addition to any kitchen. pfe. (tasted alright though).

Made a fool out of myself at the clay shop again (went back for more raku gold - thought of you phil, haha), by once again asking every question under the sun with regards to tile making. The owners of the shop actually remembered me from last week and the guy made fun of me for being so retarded. Okay, I pretty much agree with him. I told the owners about my bruised palms and they gave me a new method of dealing with the clay slabs that hopefully won't hurt me again tomorrow!

Read the book: Where is the Green Sheep? to the preps and then did an activity with that book to do with patterns and printmaking. The book is very cute, about all these special little sheep (bath sheep, moon sheep, scared sheep, brave sheep etc) but ..duh, where is the green sheep? So when the question came up I'd ask them where they thought the green sheep might be? They were quite gorgeous with their answers:
hiding in the closet.
driving to macdonalds
on his skateboard.
at the top of the tree and can't get down.
at a party.
he went to the toilet.
in a hot air balloon.
on a holiday.
in the big brother house
I realised today how much I miss reading with kids - at the same time, if I was in the classroom I don't know if I would have realised their cuteness as much.

I am loving Michael's exit from the Big Brother house. Talk about hilarious. His last message to the housemates is a warning which names names of people to look out for and then he goes head to head with Gretel (of course she wins - since she has something that he doesn't...intelligence). It's about time people weren't so happy and nice when they've been booted by the general public.

Dinner last night with E and L and E's husband turned interesting when E said she was insulted by a comment made to her that she is a total flirt. Am I a flirt? I'm so not. Hubby and I both answered yes simultaneously (and without a breath in between - then started pissing ourselves laughing) while L deliberated and looked uncomfortable. E said that flirting is only flirting when there is an "end game" otherwise it's just being friendly. But I think that 'end game' is more complex than simply ending in sex - end game could also mean trying to make oneself feel like they've "still got it" or getting some validation from the opposite sex - and definitely has nothing to do with friendliness. I said as much. I've decided that things are better when I don't say what I think. oops.

ps: go here to see my pig personality (don't ask). I don't know how people come up with such good drawings using only a little red button on a lap top. It's bloody hard - I can hardly click on 'publish post' without losing my way. You should do one too :P

Sunday, May 28, 2006

she's out in deep water...

I did one of these about a year ago, but it was lost when dx went down. I liked doing it so I'm going to do it again.

I am a challenge. I give a shit and that seems to come back to bite me in the arse. I am never ready on time. I am harder to get to know the longer you know me. I don't respond well to threats. I will slap back, but that may depend on the situation. I am pretty scared of falling in love (I mean really): I know that person will get everything of me. I find that terrifying. I'm a pessimiste, I can't stand people who are always happy and positive; sorry, it's just not real. I like kids and I'm scared that when I try to I won't be able to have any. I don't trust easily. I love sleeping in - a lot. I never get up on time. I don't understand people who like getting up early and "making the most of their day". What does that even mean? The concept of "most" is relative in this context - I hate going to bed early, are people who go to bed at 9pm making the least of their day? I like going to movies that I've heard are really, really bad: I can't wait for "Snakes on a Plane". I think everywhere takes 20mins to get to: my friends don't agree. I pretend to care about getting parking tickets but actually I don't. If it's a 1 hour park and I know I'm going to be 3 hours, then I'll take my chances. I get a lot of parking tickets. I'm not a planner. People who plan excessively irritate me. I'm not driven professionally by ambition or money - I can't think of anything worse than being the principal of a school. I'd rather be the lowly art teacher thanks. I am driven more by praise, making people happy and being proud of things I accomplish. In that sense I guess I'm a puppy - love me! love me! I despise chauvinists but I can handle a joke...well, mostly. I am a feminist. I get sad when women say that they're either not feminists or use the phrase "I'm a feminist but". To me that says they don't want to be labelled as ball breakers by men. I can't respect that at all. I doodle a lot, I doodle in meetings, when I'm on PDs, when I'm on the phone, when I'm thinking. It helps center my thoughts, but sometimes it can come across as me not listening. Truth be told I'm probably listening less when I'm staring right at you. I find it intimidating to look people right in the eyes. I will always be the one to look away first - it's probably worth trying to catch my gaze though, even though you will have a hard time doing it. I love my ipod - I've had a walkman of some description or other since I was 10. I couldn't live without music. Most of my tears are tears of frustration rather than sadness - though sometimes there's that too. I never cry in front of others. I have a lot of self doubt and rarely think nice thoughts about myself. I'm always surprised if someone says something nice about me - even though I tend to be so positive about things that other people do. I had a few experiences in my childhood that have scarred me for life - I guess everyone does. I usually wake up half way through the night and can't get back to sleep until 4am - then I'm tired for the rest of the day. I think about sex a lot even though I don't disucss it much. People call me for the guy perspective on things all the time. This disturbs me because if I really have an insight then... oh boy. I tend to play devil's advocate and make outlandish statements just to see what people will say when actually I am pretty sensitive, maybe I just don't want people to attack me instead. I like discussing 'dicey issues' but if I feel myself getting too emotive about it then I'll just sit back and listen instead. I love lounging around, reading the paper, having a coffee (or 20) and doing nothing of consequence. I like cuddles. I feel like my days are so hectic and my weekends are precious. If you say something I don't agree with I'll challenge you on it but I will rarely hold anything you say against you even if I don't agree with it. I have been described as laissez-faire, quirky, arty, nice, friendly, insular, funny... I don't really think any of them fit me particularly well, but then who knows? I pretty much always see the other side of the story and can sympathise with both. I'm not a fan of men who travel in packs. People who dress their dogs in clothes bother me. People who let their dogs eat from dinner plates or at the table really bother me. I don't like g-strings and don't understand why people wear them, they're not sexy, they're trashy, they're not fun, they're just a bit of bum floss. I'm pretty idealistic. I need to get out of my comfort zone more often. I think there is a glass ceiling in the working/living world and a double standard too for men and women. I think a lot of things are funny. I see the funny even when things aren't supposed to be thus. I am not impressed by cockiness in anyone. I want to know who you vote for and why. I don't subscribe to the 'keep it to yourself policy, if you support a political party then I need you to articulate why you support them. I am tied down by responsibility and affected by a lot of guilt that shouldn't be mine. There are a few things I don't/won't talk about. I get frustrated by people who don't answer my questions though. ha, serves me right. I don't respond well to the 'ignore the girl tactic'. If someone ignores me then I'm G.O.N.E; gone. I believe in karma. I value honesty, though I can't say I always handle it well - give me a moment and I'll come good though. I feel out of place in pubs and clubs - I didn't always feel that way. If you say tomayto I'll probably say tomahto just to see what you'll say. If you told me to shut the hell up I probably would. I'm looking forward to the World Cup. I was a teacher pleaser but I was never the teacher's pet - except in year 12 biology where somehow Mrs L let me get away with a lot. I always loved school. I miss studying though I was never really good at it. I'm a 'cross my fingers and hope it will happen' girl. I believe some people are lucky and some people aren't - that's not to say I don't think actions have consequences because clearly they do - just that there is always a bit of luck as well. I love a good laugh and will pick that over almost anything on the list of things to do. There are some people I just don't like. I trust my own instincts enough to know that they actually aren't good people, even though they may present themselves to be. I just know. I would really like some peace in my life; that's what I want most of all - in and out. I was constantly told I was never good enough growing up, as a consequence I don't think I'm good enough at anything and feel bad about most things. I hope I can give my own kids something more than that. I'm done with putting myself in situations where I end up feeling bad about myself, so now I don't do that if I can help it - but sometimes that limits me. I know it. I'm ticklish, anyone can 'get me' by tickling me - it totally disables me. I have excellent intuition and am not surprised by very much. My mother has dreams that come true. I think dreams are important. They are as important as anything you say or do in your waking life because they are a product of what you think and feel. People forget that and think that just because you are asleep you cease being you. ha! I believe in ghosts and will totally be taken in by any ghost story. I refuse to do a ouija board seance with any of my friends because I know that E, for instance, would move the glass and that I would totally believe it had happened for real. I used to read tarot for my friends. I don't do it anymore. I love the Vertigo tarot set - Dave McKean is a wonderful artist (he also did The Sandman covers). I love watching people. I love listening to stories. I am not always what I say I am.

And even though it's too early for Monday...I love this song.

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Getting away with it (all messed up) - James.


poshy poshy la la

Bored on the internet* I decided to check out my old High School's website. Boy have they gone all flash. No more selling drugs behind the old canteen eh? Okay, sure I admit that although I went to a state high school we were probably more posh than half the local private schools. By "we" I mean the powers that be rather than the students themselves (who were mostly bogans). But when I was in year 9 we merged with another local high school. I guess I didn't realise just how far our poshy poshy la la attitude extended until then. What we called "the canteen" they called "the tuck shop" and what we called "environment duty" (this is where every student is required as a rotation to do a whole day of picking up rubbish instead of being in school. TRUE!!) they called "scum". What we refered to as a "bitch" they refered to as a "fucking moll" or "scrag". It was a bit like Neighbours meets Prisoner Cell Block H (and all of them were "Frankie, the overacting lesbian who threw down shelves and coerced Doreen into being her 'special friend'").

After that though, the school grew together and we turned into a super high school and that reflected in the prices of property in the school zone (yeah, people still lie about where they live to get a place in the school). Looking back, it was lucky I was in the zone to get in there. Academically it was an excellent school with a good rep - which proves that you don't have to go to a private school to get a good education. But I guess they followed alot of private the school ethos: I remember being in grade 6 and having to go and do a piano audition for them in order to qualify for the music program. puh-lease!

Anyway, the website had a newsletter on it and I came across this menu for the school canteen (tuck shop for all you molls out there!).

Week Ending 02/06/06 Monday
Potato and leek $3.00
Penne matriciana $3.10
Cheese and spinach filo triangles $3.10
Gourmet roll
Pastrami, semi dried tomato and lettuce $3.55

Pasta salad with tuna and pesto mayonaise $3.25
Thai red chicken curry with jasmine rice $3.10
Cheese and spinach canneloni $3.10
Gourmet roll
Virginian ham, swiss cheese and seeded mustard baguette $3.55

Canteen closed due to Report Writing Day

Rice salad with fresh basil, capsicum and balsamic vinigarette $3.25
Penne with fresh chilli, bacon and capsicum $3.10
Baked potato with sour cream, cheese and colesaw $3.10
Gourmet roll
Turkey, swiss cheese and pesto mayo $3.55

Carrot and coriander $3.00
Calamari n’chips with tartare and lemon $3.80
Hokkien noodles with Asian vegetables $3.10
Gourmet roll
Salami, roasted capsicum, spinach, onion and fetta cheese $3.55

ooooo la la, that's a bit high falootin' innit? Where the fuck are the sausage rolls and meat pies mate? What about the steamed dim sims with soy sauce and chiko rolls? WHERE ARE THE CHIKO ROLLS? No Redskins? (too politically incorrect I suppose). I am highly disturbed by this menu. Sure, who doesn't want a Rice salad with fresh basil, capsicum and balsamic vinigarette for lunch? But do teens really want that?

I am reminded of canteen lunch when I was in year 9 at high school and standing in the line at the canteen making up a song about chicken burgers.

..no more :(

* translantion: procrastinting writing my reports!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Embarrassing crushes of the past

I wasn't always this cool you know...what? oh right, well okay maybe I was always an embarrassment but I think it's time I really came clean about just how embarrassing.

Pretty much every young lass has a crush or two on a TV celeb or other. The 80s were ripe with good ones; Michael J Fox, Kirk Cameron, ..Rick Astley.. err, okay maybe not all were plum pickings and let me tell you I had a few secret little crushes that I look back on how and laugh hysterically about.

It's about time I came clean on my pick of the embarrassing crushes I never talked about in public.

Alex Papps I'm talking about his character in The Henderson Kids. Yes, that's right, the leather jacket wearing "bad boy" from the wrong side of the tracks. hahahahahaHAHAHA

Alice Cooper What's that you say? Alice Cooper is totally cool? Of course he is, but not if you're 10 years old! What the hell is so attractive to a 10 year old? Was it the eye makeup? The fact that he's an ...older man? The threat of being whipped by chains? The future career as a crack whore? Who knows!

Astro Boy Is it the girly eye lashes? The bullet proof undies? The fact that he has no hair, just spikes? Or maybe the fact that he was both a robot AND a cartoon (you decide which is geekier!) No, he wasn't real, but god I loved him so much. edit: I just remembered that when I was 7 I used a blunt instrument to scratch an image of astro boy into the bathroom wall (new paint job!). I got into so much trouble.

Cameron Daddo Two words: Perfect Match! From the moment Greg Evans left the show I could stop focusing on Dexter the match making robot and start up with the REAL MEN (err...Cameron Daddo, apparently!).

Scott Baio I want charles in charge of me!

Obviously I was completely obsessed with men in positions of domesticity. Hold me closer Tony Danza!

David Lee Roth Give me some of that shaggy, peroxided hair and crab infested leathers! okay, it was only for about 2 minutes when I was 10 but I saw him on some video clip and mistook myself for a backstage groupie. Don't worry got over it v.quickly.

craig mclachlan I am so ashamed.

The Fonz He could operate juke boxes AND GIRLS with one single click. God I was such a whore!

Inspector Gadget I had a little fetish for extending bits...

KITT I had the fucking hugest crush on the car from Knight Rider. No, not Hoff - the CAR. I loved the car. I was going to marry the CAR.


New kids on the Block When I was 11 I decided that I was going to move to Boston so that I could stalk New Kids on the Block. Yes I deserve a wedgie for that.

Starsky and Hutch Rather disturbing but this is not a crush of the past. I still have the horn for S&H. Yep.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

warts and all

A while ago treespotter pointed me in the direction of an article reviewing a book ("Millions of Women are Waiting to Meet You") by Sean Thomas which details one man's thoughts on dating women in 2006.

You can find the article here.

It's a warts and all reflection on his sex life, online dating and his general thoughts on the banality of women.

He is fairly brutal in his assessments of the women he meets: “Her life seems slightly tragic and she appears to be a little mixed-up, but she’s got a Pulitzer prize-winning bottom.” His opinions about women and sex generally verge on the outré: “To this day I find short skirts and gingham dresses very exciting. I also like girls with bare legs.” And he is alarmingly frank on the question of not having sex for a while: “Once, during my schlep across the Sinai of celibacy, I caught myself looking at a ‘naked’ mannequin in a shop window. With lust.”


Here, for instance, describing a date who is having difficulty understanding Queen, The Musical:

“The woman is a moron. She is a cretin. She is, I fear, emblematic; in other words, she is crystallising a question that has been locked in the attic of my mind for some time. Just why are so many women so thick?”

ROFL, how difficult is it to understand Queen the Musical for fucks sake? As brutal as it is, it still sounds pretty right to me. Not surprising at all, but also I wonder whether we all have these thoughts - both men and women, not just men - about eachother? God knows I've pondered the thickness of men a couple of (or 10,000) times.

Being new milleniumers (made that one up folks!) are we just all a little too cynical for our own good these days? What exactly are we looking for that is beyond 'normal human everyday person' anyway? What exactly are we holding out for? There is only one Cate Blanchett gents! ONLY ONE, and she's taken. And ladies, there is only ONE Brad Pitt and he's a complete freak anyway. I mean really, what do we want? Sometimes I just feel that we're getting a little too frigin high on our horses here. Just how great do we think we are that we (both male and female) just dismiss eachother at a glace (or do only males do that)? OR are we just so finely tuned that we all know what we want (someone better than us. hehehe) when we see it at first glance? Who knows, the whole world of sex confuses me to no end.

In the article, which was written by a woman, she says of the book

If I were a man, I’d be delighted that someone has finally had the courage to say, “This is how we are. You don’t have to like it, but it’s true and we’re okay with it.” As a woman, I am agog: reading Thomas’s book is like rootling around the brain of some random nice-seeming bloke: it’s fascinating, startling and not entirely comfortable. “I have often found that the most successful, affluent and dominant women (in terms of career) often turn out to be the most feminine and yielding when they get the chance.”

Putting aside what I said before for a moment. This paragraph distrubed me because I realised that this is the crux of what I have a big problem with:
Some (many? most? all?) men are fucktards (it's been in the vocab lately) dressed up in the guise of 'nice guy'.

You know what? I actually like nice guy - not to be confused with SNAG or crying jag. I just mean, everyday nice guy for fucks sake. By nice I mean a decent human being. Someone you can count on, have a laugh with and totally trust. I hate it when people assume that being nice means being a sap. Who likes saps? pfe. Anyway, the issue is that I have a problem when people pretend to be something they're not. If men are pretending to be nice just to get laid then I have a such a big problem with that - words can't even describe it! Then I thought about it some more. So, so many males I know act very nice to reel 'em in but really delight (and I mean in a "hey, guess what I did to some random chick the other day" kind of way) in acting like bastards when they got catch. You see, when you're privvy to some inside male gossip then you realise just how calculating the whole thing can be.

yes, yes, yes I realise I am generalising a tad, but it just keeps popping up - this insincerity. It's not just once or twice either. Women deceive too, but is it a whole movement like it seems to be with men? Do we do it as blatantly or is it more covert? I'm not talking about the kind of deception that is specific ie: I'm going to lie to this person because I want to have an affair with them. That is not the kind of deception I mean. I'm talking about the deception of a whole character...leading someone to believe your whole persona is something that it isn't.

Anyway, that is the part of gender relations that bothers me. The book sounds like an awesome read. I'm glad someone has finally come out and gone the 'warts and all' route on men's thoughts.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

they keep pulling me back in...

Due to the fact that our maternal DNA is full to the brim with the crazy gene, Bro and I are in the process of taking over the family business. Rather than go into the particulars of this, I'll just say that this involves dealing with fucktards and money. If there are two things in the world that I hate it's fucktards and money. Things have gotten to breaking point about the business and so I suggested that if we don't take over soon we're all going to die because I will kill us all. Yes, I am primed to KILL!

Ma, who is at the head of this whole extravaganza is ..how do I put this nicely?.. um the most paranoid woman in the world when it comes to business (okay, when it comes to anything). Sure, she is a hard arse and actually quite good with money, but she also has been known to ring lawyers, partners, clients, associates ANYONE and yell and accuse people of things they haven't done! This then starts a spiral of angry letters and the like that I end up having to deal with. This is the main problem - I don't want to deal with crap that other people have started. I deal with a whole bunch of shit that sends me crazy all day. I am stressed out everyday - and then I deal with extra shit outside of work hours as well. I'm sorry to be a petulant child about it, but I can't help wondering what I've done wrong here to keep getting the short end of the stick in this life of mine. Was I Stalin in my past life? Maybe that's the answer. Anyway, of course the business itself is an ongoing problem in that it is a living breathing organism, but I figure that if you extinguish the fuse (ma) the main bomb is rendered useless. In all seriousness I have been balancing on the edge of hysteria about the whole thing for quite a while. It's just been very, very hard :(

I however, as you may have realised, am generally bad with business and money. Bro is probably better, but both of us have this thing of really not giving a toss about worshipping the cash and coinage. We're not clueless but we're just not cut throat - not that you should be in this business...but then maybe every business requires getting your freakshow on. I figure though, the stress of dealing with the problems created by the maternal unit will be abated if the maternal unit is eliminated from the equation. Is this a dumb idea?

Do you ever have days where you feel like you're about to lose it? Really, truly lose it! I'm not dealing very well with things lately.


I'm on first aid this week. It's a job I loathe. Everyone loathes it. There is nothing nice about trying to eat your lunch and being interrupted every few mintues with yet another case of "I feel sick". I have no idea how parents go with telling the real from the fake. They all put on that pouty face and look about the same to me. Sure there are the severe cases where you can tell that the kid is about to die because they're pale and haven't even finished eating their sunny boy (best part of lunch eh?) but apart from that it's all a guessing game really. I guess nowadays kids have less chance of staying home especially if both parents work! Maybe kids don't want to put the work required in either. I know that Ferris Bueller had the fabulous guide to faking out the parents but who the hell is going to go to that kind of trouble anymore? I did it a few times, of course but I had hard arse parents who wouldn't put up with any of that shit.

Once, while trying to stay home from school (test) mum plugged a thermometer in my mouth and went to make a coffee. Having read some great advice about running the thermometer under some hot water until the mercury went higher I turned straight onto my side and dipped the thing in my cup of tea. Of course it burst in about two seconds and mercury went everywhere. When mum came in I had broken glass in my hand and a guilty look on my face gee, my temperature must be really high - look it broke. I think I actually said that.

The thing about the school fake out is that you never really know if they're lying or not. In the end you spend the whole of lunchtime on the blower to the 'rents discussing whether the kid is lying or not. If you don't call then you get the parent coming up to school in a rage blaming the teachers for neglect and if you do call them then you get the tut tut of disturbing their day. You can't win, I tell ya!

Anyway, the worst thing about being on first aid and walking in and out of the sick bay all day, smelling bad smells and coming into contact with germs is that by the end of lunch on a Wednesday arvo you feel like absolute shit..
..and then you realise you have a staff meeting after school. ugh.

*edit* this has nothing to do with the point of the entry (though the entry, like everything else I write actually has no point..) but last night I had a dream that my life was a British TV show (comedy) - they don't really have 'sitcoms' but it was sort of like that excellent show The IT Crowd (highly recommend) or Black Books. Folks, my dream had a laugh track! Is this what being on crack feels like? Does anyone else have fucked up dreams like mine? Noone else ever posts their dreams so I have no idea. But I feel like I'm on my own with this one.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

rolling pin and the damage done

we started on the tile making today. Let me tell you that Raku Gold may be a cool name to say but it's a bitch to roll out into slabs.
Picture girl standing with rolling pin,
pushing rolling pin,
pin stays imbedded in clay and legs slide under her instead.
Girl, again - rolling pin in hands
firm grip
pushing forward,
legs fly out backwards
girl laughs - takes off shoes
rolling pin in clay
pushing forward again
clay rolled slightly flatter - 2cm worth
feet slip.
picture girl
rolling pin in one hand
bashing clay with rolling pin repeatedly
kids walk past
"trying to work your frustration out Miss?"
"Well, I teach you two don't I?"
"oh hahaha"
girl using both hands to bash clay flatter.
Try doing that for almost 6 hours straight.
girl has bruises on her palms.

In other news I am now an accredited level 2 first aider. God help anyone when I'm on the job!

Monday, May 22, 2006

everybody's talking 'bout the stormy weather.

I can't believe I missed the eurovision song contest on tele last night. I don't think I've missed it since I was 8 and of course the one year I miss it the crappy faux Gwar-like tribute band win. Boy do I feel jipped! I blame Tracey Grimshaw and her bland interview with the miners (what the hell was going on with her lips?) for distracting me.

Did anyone else get the feeling that Todd Russell has had enough of underground buddy Brant Webb? After two weeks of listening to him going on and on and on, who wouldn't? I love that bit where Todd is telling Trace (old friends), how hard it was for him to write his son a goodbye letter and he starts crying. Trace is giving him a moment when.. Brant Webb interrupts the heartbreaking tale with the old "Hey, I've got a funny story!!". Onya mate, great imput there! Back into the mine with you.

Here's a little tidbit for ya: Today I wore the wrong knickers and by wrong I mean really wrong. I accidentally wore the pair that fall down. Guess where I was when that happened? BUNNINGS WAREHOUSE (of the infamous skirt falling down incident)! I'm going to start charging for the shows I put on there, honestly!

Sonic Youth - Teen Age Riot.

Is there a more perfect song? Okay, probably there is - but you cannot go past Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon for perfect indie pop royalty. I cannot say enough good things about this song. The guitar work is brilliant, the first min and a half is there to trick you and it does. It's just beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I've been listening to it all day.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

questions that have been bugging me*

Why do men get so defensive about the toilet seat thing? Is it a fair compromise to put the whole lid down instead?

Do men look at other men's penises at the urinal?

Are men completely visual when it comes to women?

Do men and women look for the same thing in a relationship - love, trust, honesty, sex? If so, then why is it so hard to get our shit together?

Do people jump into marriage too quickly?

Why do so many people get divorced these days?

which is better: pretty bitch or ugly nice girl?

Why do men talk trash about women?

Do women expect too much from their male partners these days?

Which is better: in love sex or dirty sex?

Why do so many married men (70%+ last I heard) have extra marital affairs?

Are women who want a career, a husband and a child asking for way too much?

*based on conversations I've had with guys and girls lately.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Oh look, here's something original; a meme! Mike over at I'm not Touching You appointed me the letter H, when I begged like a dog for one. 10 words beginning with H that mean something to me. If you trust me to appoint you a letter, let me know and I'll give you a good one. Well, I'll give you and English one anyway.

PS: sometimes Mike is NWS - both words and pics. Just letting you know in case..well you know!*


Holy water You want to know how fucked up catholics are? Here ya go: When I was little, mum used to steal it from the church in a little medicine bottle (yeah, you read right) and walk around the house saying the Our Father and blessing every room. Boy can you imagine the cold shoulder I got when I was sixteen and publically denounced God and the church? Woo, go me.

Hair It was blonde when I was a baby. Almost with a yellow tinge. I have a picture of myself in my christening gown sitting on my parent's leopard skin print bed spread crying my eyes out. The photo demonstrates the yellowy colour of my hair. Then it went dark in primary school, almost chocolate and then a light brown again by the end of grade 4. I remember my first hair cut at the salon - grade 2. My hair went from half way down my back to just below my ears. I cried so much when I saw the clumps of it on the salon floor. I still remember looking down at it and feeling so sad. When I was in year 10 I put "SunIn" - a bleach spray in my hair - It sort of went orange at first and then gradually lighter. Then in Uni I dyed it purple, during my Dr Martin boot phase. Bless Dr Martin 8 ups with pink laces! I used to spend a long time plaiting it or doing something interesting with it. I don't do that at all anymore, or really very rarely. It's been dark or red or natural or light. Right now, it's very light brown - which is not at all natural. I have no idea what colour it would go if I just let it grow now.

Hermit I like people. I like hanging out with people. But sometimes I just want to be alone - especially if I've been talking all day, all I want to do then is withdraw. If I'm left that way for a while though I turn into a little bit of a hermit. I just get caught up in my own thoughts and forget that there are other people around. It's easy to do when you've got an imagination like mine. When I'm in those kinds of moods I need to be tricked and teased out of my hiding places with a trail of biscuit crumbs until I'm normal and talkative again. Don't get me wrong, I can easily hold a whole conversation with myself. I can talk. I find it uncomfortable when people don't talk - in fact I don't handle that very well at all. But in my less gracious moments I think it would be nice to dissapear for a while and become a total hermit. There is peace in silence.

Hidden No, I'm not an open book - I don't really have any real secrets though. I'm just not very good at letting everyone inside to every thought I have about every little thing in my life. I don't mean to be evasive or anything - it just happens without me knowing. I guess I have trust issues. Okay, I know I have trust issues. I frustrate myself as much as I do other people. I know there are a couple of people who are reading this right now and just nodding. Yes, I know that you want to strangle me sometimes! At times though, I just don't know what else people want out of me.

Handbag I am known as the bag lady at school. I have one in the shape of a TV with a plastic sleeve at the front that you can slot in new pictures when you feel like it so they look like it's playing on the tele. I've been told it's very "me" - which says a lot about my trashy qualities. I had a myriad of handbags as a child. I used to put my pen and a notepad in there - also a lip gloss. How very apt, non? I don't have a whole heap of handbags but I have a few. I tend to carry my whole life in there, but I never intend to. Like all things in my life it just happens. One minute the thing is clean and minimalist, the next it's full of funny notes and other miscellany. At the moment I have 3 unbanked checks, digi cam, two necklaces, a bracelet, two pairs of earrings, a straw (?), a notepad and a whole bunch of other junk I don't actually need everyday. The other day I was looking for something for a grade 6 kid and he just looks at me all funny and says "..you know, Miss * you really should clean that thing out". Smartarse.

Hugs I love them. The good ones, I mean. None of those feather light touched by an angel hugs. I mean the heavy duty, rip the air out of your lungs type hugs. I've written a whole entry about this - you all know how I feel.

Hard head I was called that a lot as a child. It means I'm stubborn. As a kid I guess I was more stubborn than I am now. I mean, foot stomping - if you tell me to do it I'll do the opposite (and fuck you!) kind of stubborn. Maybe I'm just craftier and not so obvious about it now, who knows? It seems as thought I have to make my own mistakes or I'll never learn. Other times I just do things because I want to do them even though I've been warned a million times that it's the wrong path to take. If I have a notion in my head it's going to have to take a pretty sly and clever person to get me to change my mind about it. Otherwise I'll just tell you to go take a jump. Having said that, I really need people in my life who are also willing to clash with me on issues. I like a bit of spunk.

Head I guess this is where things are most sensitive. I probably think way too much and can be very insular at times. If I have an illness or a problem it goes straight to my head. I used to get excruciating migraines when I was a teenager and when I'm stressed out I still get headaches now. I build up tension around my neck and head and if I'm going to ask for a massage it's not going to be a foot, leg or back one. In fact they sort of creep me out to tell you the truth. A back massage won't do anything for me, but even a feather touch to the neck, nape or anywhere on my face will send tingles everywhere. God knows why.

Hypochondriac I'm not anymore, but I used to be. I remember how it all started. At home we had this medical dictionary from like the 1950s or something. It was my most favourite thing in the world. I read that book cover to cover. It had a section on curing as well - I liked that even more. when I was a teenager I found this lump on the side of my head (no, it wasn't a zit!) and it didn't go down for ages! Anyway, I finally got out the medical dictionary and after reading up on it I became convinced that my little lump was in fact a deadly tumour. At this stage I was also suffering debilitating headaches, so that didn't help confirm the symptoms either. I broke the news to my parents and presented such a firm case for having a tumour that they were also very worried. I went to the doctor and sat silently while he examined me. Finally, after sitting demurely and not saying a word for an eternity I suddenly blurted out (almost yelled, mind you) "tell me the truth do I have CANCER? I can handle the truth. It’s okay you can tell me!". He just looked at me and I don't think I've ever seen a more amused face and said "..it's a swollen lymph node. You'll live". I have to admit that before I go see the doctor I still do self-diagnose. Apart from that little tumour glitch, I've always been right about my illnesses.

Humble I almost never take credit for anything of value that I do. Part of it comes from thinking that everything I do isn't really that great and that if I can do it then anyone with half a brain can do it. Part of it also comes from not ever being given credit for things that I did achieve when I was younger. I was always told that I could do better. I probably could, actually. But sometimes you just want the cookie, you know? You just want to know that you're good enough and that everyone thinks you're okay. I remember winning a runner up prize in a drawing competition in Primary School. It was held by the local council I think, and there were many schools in the running. I drew a picture of an old Victorian house. It was okay. I was so rapt when I got runner up. I'm not the type of person that ever wins anything so this was pretty big in my little mind, even though it was nothing very special to anyone else. I won a book voucher (best present ever!). I brought it home and my parents congratulated me but wondered why I didn't come first. I pretty much kept all other victories to myself from that point on and don't ever make a big deal out of anything. It doesn't mean I don't have pride, becuase I do. I guess I just don't let anyone know anymore, there's a big part of me that thinks they might give me a big backhander about it all. The irony of it all is that I actually need people to praise me because I do such a good job of going the other way on myself. C'est la vie!

*ie: in case you want a perve or something (highly recommended).

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I'll get over it

...anyone got a job opening? sigh

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

favourite time of year..

Do you know what's happening at the school right this very second? Hands down, it's my favourite time of year.

mmm, yes.

There was scary talk at one stage of disbanding the whole process because of the negative health behaviours it promotes. I say, fuck that. Chocolate promotes loving, sweet, happy times, it's not bad. Why pick on chocolate? What did chocolate ever do to anyone? Chocolate loves everybody.

You see my school is one of those schools who are really into healthy lunches and last year we changed all our policy documents to include what we're doing to improve health at the school. Even staff training days at the school now have healthy food...like vegetables served. The last thing you want when you're dealing with kids is healthy stuff...like vegetables. What kind of comfort do vegies bring anyway? What you want is products which carry a lot of caffine, a lot of sugar and a lot of fat - is that too much to ask? They're all in the healthy diet pyramid aren't they? But since the chocolate drive brings in a shit load of money we kept it going this year (thank god).

It's been sort of hard to get at them though. Every time I walk past the office there's a throng of teachers pushing their hands into the box and promising to pay back later. It's nice to have a friend like chocolate waiting by to comfort you when the chips are down.

Today, for instance when I found out that yes I will be writing 421 reports and that yes I should have started my assessment weeks ago - and even having a term planner would have been a good way to go. Instead of crying, I found myself face first in a box of assorted chocolates.

Praise Cadburys!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink..

* 3 hours sleep on Sunday night. I can never sleep on Sunday.
* didn't set up art room properly and this put me off balance for rest of class.
* JB playing up by yelling and carrying on.
* exhausted, more than tired.
* forgot lunch ...not that I would have had time to eat it anyway.
* used time release to drive all over town, pulling down art displays in local shopping centre and then across the other side of melbourne buying clay.
* embarrassed myself at clay shop by staying for an hour asking mundane bimbo like questions.
* didn't get back to school until well after the bell, had to lug clay to artroom..it was heavy - stayed at school planning until late.
* realised didn't have all the proper materials to do what I needed to do the next day - not happy - had to rethink plan.
* went home grumpy and tired.

* 2 hour sleep intermittent with dreams about big brother (for fucks sake!)
* woke late and so didn't get to the store before school in order to buy what I needed for lesson (ugh)
* kept pressing snooze anyway until I slept so late I actually had to run to the shower.
* realised did not do homework for first aid, couldn't find book.
* ran around for an hour setting up clay while worrying about first aid and other things I needed to do.
* 5 minutes before first lesson starts teacher ran into AR begging me to do her lunchtime yard duty because she was going on an excursion and forgot to get a replacement. She looked so flustered I immediately agreed. I already do 1.5 hours extra yard duty every week on top of my normal quota - yet another lunchtime gone.
* all lessons with clay were extremely challenging. Every class was chaotic because -it's clay and they were excited. I was emotionally as well as physically exhausted by this stage with no sleep and feeling like I wasn't getting a break all day and so wasn't on my game. Kids went in for the kill.
* found book and tried to get first aid done in the minutes I had between classes or while kids were packing up.
* got to end of day and felt like crap, on verge of tears (becuase I'm a dumb girl). With clay there's always extra to pack up and clean. Just feeling generally bad about everything and tired.
* realised had first aid for 4 hours after school.

the rest of the week isn't looking that good either..

Monday, May 15, 2006

melancholy guitars and Australian narrative

The Australian edition.

I've been thinking of The Go-Between's Cattle and Cane all week long. I woke to the news of Grant McLennan dying last Monday morning, and this probably should have been my post then but I had already done one. I've been listening to Cattle and Cane all week long, at first inadvertantly through radio tributes and then coming across it through conversation or in print. By the afternoon it was already engrained in my head. It's one of those songs that I go back to every so often anyway. I don't really know whether it is quintessentially Australian. The phrase is something I tend to cringe at but I guess it is. It's funny, I've never been to Cairns - or walked through a "fields of cane", but I know what this song means to me. It really is one of those beautiful songs. Maybe you will find a little bit in there that means something to you as well..

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Now, let's move it down a few cities along the Eastern shoreline to Melbourne where Paul Kelly is a sensation and not just because he sang about the AFL in Leaps and Bounds (who hasn't looked to see whether it's 11 degrees while crossing that bridge, eh?). Paul Kelly is a teller of tales and this is a country of personal stories. We don't have those darn kings and queens beheading everyone. We've got the tale of him or her or them - that's it. That's us. I highly recommend to her door if you're a romantic, but I digress, the song that fits this particular moment is a world away from the Cattle and Cane of Northern Queensland. From St Kilda to King's Cross is an urban love story and I know this because before dx went down this blog was strictly meant for only an urban love stories...

I've done both of the things in this song - from "everything shines just like a postcard" to "where the palm trees have it hard" (for non-Australians Kings Cross is in Sydney and St Kilda is in Melbourne). For the record, I pick the same one that Paul does.

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I contemplated Nick Cave (Melbourne) but he didn't fit and really needs his own entry. Though as an interesting piece of trivia I read somewhere that McLennan wrote Cattle and Cane on Nick Cave's guitar. Kelly and Cave have also collaborated. There ya go.

And so with two songs I've covered the Eastern States (does Tasmania really count?). I hope you like them. They are two of my favourites.

ps: if you have trouble with castpost being crappy it means you need to let the song load first (play/pause...wait a while) - the reason for this is that it's free and that I'm cheap :P


Sunday, May 14, 2006

teacher stuff

I was talking to #1 the other day about teaching. She is musing about leaving the classroom and doing something else - or at the very least going part time. She's had enough of dealing with the constant negativity she gets from the parents. I know exactly where she's coming from. It's not like the parents are the only people you deal with all day - they are one of many and usually they're the ones that will push the knife in and twist. Not all, mind you - some parents are awesome and you know..normal! I would like to clarify that #1 is an amazing teacher. I know that she inspires the children in her classroom and that they adore her. I've seen it for myself. The negativity is the constant everyday pressure of dealing with bullshit problems that get blown out of proportion by the parents. As a teacher you get blamed for stuff that isn't even your own fault.

typical exchange

9am - children seated on floor, ready to start the lesson
..parent rushes in at the last minute
Parent: can I see you outside?
teacher: *about to call the roll, knowing that 2 minutes outside means chaos inside* can we make an appointment for after school please, we're about to start our lessons.
Parent: .....well..it's very important.
teacher: okay then sure.. *can see children already beginning to wiggle around on floor*
Parent: I just wanted to ask you about *** and why she didn't bring home her jumper yesterday.
teacher: ....*??*. No, I wasn't aware she had lost it. She never told me about it - but I'll make sure to talk to her about it today.
Parent: ...can you look for it?
teacher: well, I will certainly ask *** to check in the usual places today and ask other teachers to keep an eye out for it.
Parent: can you check each child's jumper to make sure that they are wearing the right one.
teacher: yes.. *there goes my maths lesson*. Have you checked lost property?
Parent: ...no.
teacher: *inward sigh*.. it's near the office, if something is ever left outside or unattended it usually gets sent straight there.
Parent: I'll go do that now.
teacher: let me know if it turns up.
Parent: *storming off, no goodbye, no sorry for interrupting your lesson, no thanks for checking it out even though it's the responsibility of my own child to look after her belongings*
teacher: *looking in the classroom, some child is biting another child's ear off and the rest are cheering him on* ...bye.

things that are wrong about this
* innapropriate time to have this conversation
* implication that teacher is somehow responsible for belongings of student when in fact student is responsible for own belongings.
* no niceties

okay, not exactly negative but when you have 15 of those kinds of exchanges every single day then it really gets on your nerves.

Here's another one: very popular in the younger years - challenging your professionalism. Love it when that happens!

9am students seated ready to work.
parent storms in

Parent: can I speak with you regarding ***'s reader.
teacher: (this is original, here we go) of course, are you free after school today?
Parent: no - can I see you now?
teacher: I'm about to begin a lesson can I make an appointment with you tomorrow instead or ring you at recess?
Parent: it'll just take a moment.
teacher: ...okay then.
Parent: I was wonder what is going on with ***'s reader. The books she is taking home are way too easy! She's been on the same level for a while now. I was speaking to ****'s mum and he's on a (much higher level!).
teacher: try not to compare ***'s progress with that of ****. They are two different children! I tested ***'s reading (insert date) and found the level she is on to be at an adequate take home level for her. The books she reads in class with me are a couple of levels above her comfort zone and that's okay because it's a more intesive working environment - at home the books should be a more easy pace. The level she is taking home at the moment is the right level for her.
parent: She reads perfectly at home and flys through her words. It's way too easy.
teacher: I'll show you her progress, let me just get my folder (children at this point climbing the walls).
parent: hm..
teacher: as you can see she has made steady progress on her reading throughout the year and at the moment she is reading at this level. Judging by this record sheet these are the words she missed when she was reading the text (outlines all the words she got wrong). Then according to the questions I asked afterwards her meaning comprehension was lacking a little. If I put her up a level she will continue to struggle with these aspects but it will be even more frustrating for her.
parent: but she knows those words AT HOME.
teacher: In a testing environment we don't prompt any words... But in a learning environment we teach reading cues.
parent: ...okay...
teacher: it's okay to do so at home. It's a good way for children to learn how to read. Perhaps guide her towards looking at the picture instead though, or to read ahead and then go back and get the word then, or perhaps to use sounding out etc etc etc....
parent: I never knew that? Why don't you tell parents about this kind of thing? How are we supposed to know?
teacher: I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that you didn't know. I gave an extensive talk about our reading groups and literacy block and how to help children read at home at the information night at the beginning of the year.
parent: oh, I didn't come to that!!
teacher: (of course you didn't even though it was recommended), There should be a copy of it at the front of ***'s reader. I always include a sheet of tips for parents at the beginning of the year. It can be hard to remember all the cues sometimes. Didn't you get the copy? :)
parent: ...ohhhh, I'll be sure to check there.
teacher: anyway with the testing procedure... then we work out from all the missed words the types of mistakes she is making. ***'s are meaning cues so perhaps getting her to look at pictures and discussing the book afterwards would be a good way to improve her comprehension. We work on it in class as well.
parent: I wasn't aware that you tested for comprehension..
teacher: oh? I'm glad we had this talk then. I always test for comprehension as well as word knowledge. Both are so important to reading. I don't want *** to simply be reading words when she is struggling to retain any kind of meaning. Not understanding what she's reading will put her off trying.
parent: I agree.
teacher: So, that's why she's still taking home that level. But please by all means do read a wide range of books at home. Encourage her to borrow from the local library and then sit with her while she reads them - or read to her. The reader is only a school guide - the other books she chooses will be more important for her enjoyment and that is paramount. Do you read the reader with *** every night?
Parent: we really don't have time to read with her every night...
teacher: that's okay if she reads by herself for pure enjoyment but the reader really should be done every single night with somebody who can help her when she gets stuck. Her progress will be much faster if she is reading for 10 minutes a night with you or your husband. I understand how hectic it can be though. I'll retest her as soon as I have a moment to do so. It's possible that she has made gains since her last testing. That would be great. She's working well in class.
parent: ...can I take home the next level up and have a go?
teacher: (sigh).

things that are wrong with this exchange:
* I am right and you are wrong attitude of parent. Outwardly rude!
* innapropriate timing and not compromising on time to have the conversation in a more private environment.
* I do not trust your professional judgement - on part of parent - and thus implication that teacher is not doing their job properly.
* teacher gets back up about parent being so rude and begins asking questions they already know the answer to (do you do the reader with your child every night..if you get asked this rest assured the teacher already knows the answer is 'no' because the student has actually already told the teacher that they don't do the reader every night) - never a good thing.
* parent assuming that teacher has withheld information about the child, and/or is holding them back purposely. Yeah, we really love keeping those 6 year olds down don't we?
* parents ignoring all information given to them by the teacher about their child's progress

If parents share their knowledge of their child with their child's teacher this is a good thing. Sometimes it's hard to know exactly every nuance about every child. If a parent comes in and says that they've noticed their child learns better in a certain environment or doing things a certain way - this is an excellent heads up. I wish more parents would share that kind of thing. It makes a big difference when teaching and learning to know that *** is visual and **** is auditory. The thing is that parent's don't really do this - parents come in with guns blazing and when you deal with that from 24 sets of parents it gets a real old real quick.

You go through that kind of exchange a few times a week as well.
So yeah, #1 - sick of the shit and I don't blame her really.

Yesterday I spend the whole day in a class about teaching clay to students. I was on the 'silly table' with the other teachers who make funny comments and end up in hysterics. Why do I always end up on the silly table? It was a lot of fun. I am crap at clay, but I pick that over the 'my kid lost her lunchbox what are you going to do about it? DO SOMETHING NOW' conversation anyday.

Friday, May 12, 2006


Yesterday during lunchtime someone in the office accidentally pressed the "inside evacuation" bell instead of the end of lunch bell. I was in the art room with a whole bunch of children doing art club and can I just say when I heard that alarm bell I almost pissed my pants in fear. The preps all looked at me asking what to do and I looked at them with a lovely vacant expression on my face fumbling with my answer. Just what *do* we do again? We have done numerous drills where the kids evacuate and where the kids are playing in the playground and then have to come inside. I'm right on top of that. But we've never done one where the kids are all over the place (ie: as is usual for kids) like the artroom and library etc and have to get back to their teacher. Why haven't we done this before? In any case it's nice to know that if we're ever invaded by a gun toting maniac and the bell goes off I'll probably piss my pants and suck my thumb like the other kids.

Actually, I was pretty impressed with how the preps behaved. Last year when we did our fire drill my grade started rolling around on the floor, blocking their ears and/or trying to copy the annoyingly high pitched fire drill with their own annoyingly high pitched voices. Preps this year are way cooler than last year.

Today we had our first real training session for the movie project. It was a fun day filled with hands on activities about storyboarding and other film making tips. The kids were angels during the whole thing and it's nice to get to know them as people rather than as just part of the class.

The little section on montage and Eisenstein gave me a flashback to uni days swealtering in a non air-conditioned crowded seminar room on the 2nd floor "H Building" while watching juxtaposing images by Eisenstein and thinking "what the fuck?". Good times. It's good that I'm a movie whore and did a bit on storyboarding and other film stuff (though no actual filming) in uni because otherwise I would be even more lost than what I am now.

This project is entirely child run from idea, writing to filming and editing, so the idea they came up with is one I'm really going to have to fine tune - though I'm not sure how.

Umbrella theme - Don't judge a book by it's cover.
genre - Spy film parody (comedy)
general idea: inept school nerd overcomes dorkiness, solves mystery, wins the respect of his peers, and saves the day. It's okay to be a dork.

Yeah it's pretty crap but they are so, so excited by it. So we need a really top notch mystery and/or script change still within genre but more meaty to make this work. Any ideas?

Kids totally poopooed - claymation idea, anything sad, no documentary etc. Ideas from last year were: A soccer ball that rolls away and everyone chases it, a student/teacher swap day, a skater who wins his tournament as a tribute to his sister fighiting cancer, a mockumentary on school bullies etc etc.

Our original idea was a melodrama, thank god they steered away from that one.

We didn't get to hear of any other ideas that any other schools had except our storyboarder heard one team discussing their script and mentioning aliens. uh oh.

shorts on the highway.

Tom Cruise
Yeah, we called the crazy police a while ago but it seems a tad too late to "Free Katie" now; she's spawned him a child. All we can do is back away slowly and never look back. I mean, the man is a Scientologist for fucks sake. ALIENS folks, we're not even talking humans here! The couch jumping was only really the icing on the cake in the realm of crazy.

The thing is, we can't back away. He's always *there*, lurking on every talk show, agreeing to interviews in every trashy magazine and attacking mothers and other normal people with his cheesy grinning rhetoric! It's become to big to hide from.

I guess, since that and the whole kidnapping Katie and turning his house into a delivery room thing I haven't really been able take him seriously though. Okay, I lie - I never took Tom Cruise seriously. But there was a time when it was like hey, it's a Tom Cruise film, I wonder if I'll go see that. NOW it's more like ooh, crazy has a new movie. Should I go make fun of it?

So, I enjoyed MI-3 to a certain extent but I really had to suspend reality to do it. Tom Cruise does not play characters in movies, he plays Tom Cruise - that's it. There are few movies he has done where he plays something other than himself. This is what makes someone a blockbuster, mega hollywood star as opposed to an 'actor'. He's a big gun - it's his job to be Tom Cruise. No one hires him because he's a stellar actor that can really pull off a role with dignity and superb craft. He's hired because he brings in the bucks - because he's TOM!

Anyway: MI-3. The whole ending was so ridiculous that I just started laughing. Actually, come to think of it - there were a few other people around me laughing as well.

Embrace the crazy, I say. Dare I suggest it, but has TC taken over from Michael Jackson as our resident 'crazy fucker that we can laugh at'?

Who makes your 'crazy' alarm go off more. Tom or Michael?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

break on through..

Work has been crazy-busy lately. I've been there no later than 9pm almost every night this week so far. Things are beginning to really catch up on me and I'm not quite sure how to handle the constant influx of extra stuff that seems to be building up. I have trouble "starting".

JB (ie: remember this) has been finally diagnosed with aspergers - yes, it has taken this long. Thank god the parents relented and agreed to the testing. Now he can qualify for assistance. I think there may be other things going on with him as well, but this is a good start.

Fucked up dream last night: Found Jim Morrison's grave by following the glow of tea lights. The cemetary was fashioned as an obstacle course, so had to go through ropes, up ladders and down slides to get there. When I got there it was empty but soon it filled up with people I knew - some family, friends and people I work with. We sat around discussing how we thought he *really* died. I can't remember any of the reasons we came up with. Then we were interrupted by a bunch of stoned, young tourists and had to leave.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

a high price ride

While in the art room this morning* doing my budget, I was treated by a visit from some prospective parents who were so impressed by my school artwork on display in the local community that they wanted to come in and see what else we had on show. woohoo, go me!

One of the grade 4s wet his pants in class today. He didn't come to art until half way through the lesson. Not knowing why he wasn't in class, I asked where he was and the whole class knew and let me know. No wonder the poor kid didn't want to come to class. Everyone knew! When Miss poo pants, did poos in the art room and I had to stop the whole class to have the 'poo talk' I didn't feel sorry for her. Firstly she stank up my art room, secondly she didn't own up, thirdly; she's five - it's to be expected. I felt sorry for this boy though, he's older and he knew that everyone knew! When he came back to class he was almost in tears, but he eventually pulled it together and got on with it. He can be a real shit of a kid at times but I really admire him for that. That's a real boy thing, you know - to suck it up and just get on with it. This is not necessarily all good though. Crying is a real release and if I hear of one more guy who "hasn't cried since kindergarten" then I'm going to scream. That's not really an accomplishment boys. I'm not saying you should cry when the kleenex ads come on or anything but hey if you get hit with a bullet and you're bleeding everywhere and you're about to die ..it's okay to cry!

I can understand now wanting to cry in public though. Despite many an hour spent blubbering over various miscellany I am not a public crier. I had a best friend in high school that would cry at the drop of a hat - I think she put me off the whole business. She cried at sad moments in history class (the rest of us were just bored), she cried at the year 12 formal because it was the last big get together (I was rapt)... she even cried when we did dissection in biology class (for fucks sake, all the other vegetarians just went to the library to bludge and admire their all leather shoes but S cried her eyes out first). I think there's a moment when crying excessively in public is done just to draw attention to oneself and/or manipulate men (if you're a woman). Hey it works, men are easily manipulated by tears for some reason.

Today saw the miners in Tasmania walk free from their underground 2 week prison. I don't know about the rest of Australia, but we in Melbourne have been living on the edge of our seats with every development concerning their rescue. It seemed like all we were hearing was "they'll be out in 48 hours" for the last 2 weeks with never an ending in sight. I'm glad they came out safe. It must be horrible for the family of Larry Knight, who died down there. I really feel for them. PS: what was up with Kotchie (Koshie?) from Sunrise storming the ambulance and ambushing the poor miner? Talk about kicking a man when he's down!

Today also saw numerous discussions about the new federal budget. Let me say that this budget was all about giving back to the public. Why on earth would the government be giving anything back? I hear you ask Well, the next federal election is just a hop away and if you want to pay someone for voting for you then giving back through taxes is a really good way of doing it. There's a bit to smile about this time round, for sure. I think everyone gets a bit of a tax break but come on, the big winners yet again are the people already having holidays in the south of France every year. Yeah, let's give the high rollers a tax break - they must really need it while paying off their South Yarra apartments and Italian imported bathroom tiles. How hard they've had it until now - nannies, maids, gardeners, BMWs... But now they can finally afford to live above the poverty line.

Philosophically speaking, I don't actually support tax cuts, especially those that will ultimately result in taxes being raised further down the track (ie: after the election). In a material sense it's nice to have a few more dollars in your purse, but with petrol prices the way they are and that affecting the price of goods and services Australian families and singles aren't really all that better off with the tax cuts. A whopping $20 a week extra in your pay packet is probably just going to cover the cost of milk and petrol, not the rate rise in mortgage repayments. But hey, all people see is the initial glory of the "tax cut". It's not a good thing IMO.

Basically I subscribe to the rather unpopular notion of rather paying more taxes in exchange for better public services, more affordable child care, free health cover for all (or at least where it counts), free/better education. This is why we have taxes in the first place! - to pay for necessities. Besides funding lavish overseas trips for politicians our taxes pay for funding health and education. Already our schools and hospitals don't get enough money to adequately cater for individual needs. Interestingly, without education we can just keep the down trodden wallowing in the endless cycle of shit jobs because they can't afford to get "learned". Not putting money into education means we are not preparing for our future - a smart, educated future. You think teachers are shit and get too many holidays? Well let's make teacher education a priority and pay teachers a decent salary instead eh? I found out today that the people that stand at the side of the road and flip the "stop" "go" "slow" signs make way more than I - private, of course. Not that I'm any better than them - it just interesting as a comparrison. It all comes down to priorities, I guess. Why would a top scientist want to teach high school science where they may indeed inspire the young to strive and learn in that area when they may be ridiculed by the media and paid a pittance? What's the attraction in that? I know teachers 5 years out who are burnt out and ready to quit, now because of conditions, lack of resources and stress. Meanwhile, every child must attend school - and teachers are burnt out and tired, working without resources and stressed. Priorities, folks.

Anyway, as soon as taxes are cut it's not the politician's holidays that stop, it's funding for state schools, it's funding for hospitals and medical research, it's funding for mental health and human services, it's keeping our roads safe...so many things like that. The initial afterglow is more money in the pocket and big budget spending. A few years down the track we're going to be kicking ourselves..

And you know, if there is extra money being pumped into roads etc - and taxes are being cut then I want to know where this extra money is coming from...not the evasive version from Parliment Q Time. A surplus in the budget can only go so far after all..what about 10 years down the track when the purse strings need to be tightened again? I want to know what the povos are going to have to pay more for and what other rates are doing to rise, just so that "extra money" can be realised. The budget isn't all bad, and I know it's all interconnected - cuts in one area mean that other areas can be replenished. I like the idea that lump sum super isn't taxed and more money for doctor training etc.

It's just the big picture stuff that gives me pause.

*I actually wrote this yesterday - so while I may refer to "today" etc. I mean Tuesday.

Monday, May 08, 2006

the busy market where the gems aren't for sale

This is archetypal Melbourne weather - 17 degrees with a chill to the wind, overcast but the sun shining directly behind the grey. Your drive leads you inadvertantly to The Vic Market which is always a flurry of activity. Bro is leading you through the crowds at high speed to find the hot jam donuts. He knows of a vendor that stocks the "good stuff". As always you halt proceedings by stopping to look at the animals. Bro is impatient while you stand by the cage and make strange noises at the dwarf bunny rabbits. The black one is huddled against the corner of the cage while the white one hops around and sniffs at a piece of apple. You push your fingers through the wire and gently pat it. Then it pounces upon the apple, nibbling and licking with gusto while watching you. In the corner of the store the Jack Russell puppies are sleepy and sweet looking and along the wall some of the fish have googly eyes. The place is full of children begging parents for pets. You did the same when you were a kid.

The line at the donut van is long. Everyone seems to be stocking up on hot jam donuts today - they are small, sweet and made on premises. They are the Melbourne secret everyone knows about. You and Bro eat one as you stand by the florist and watch the latin street band belt out Bamboleo. This part of Melbourne is so messy and interesting. A man in a suit grabs his son and they dance to the music while everyone else stands around them in a circle laughing and clapping. Both father and son move joyously, laughing at eachother and the crowd.
The cars beep as they go past.
Street vendors shout their specials to passing customers.
The weather may bite but the atmosphere is vibrant and warm.
It's been a good day.

And so I bring you two songs this week, mostly because I couldn't decide and also because they follow the theme of my entry.

First: Alacran Y Pistolero - Tito Larriva
It's just a beautiful song. A traditional sounding piece.

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Second: Right On - Ray Barretto
It's basically a polar opposite to the song before. I found it on a compilation CD The NuYorcian Funk Experience: Salsa Caliente de New York!, which I bought on a whim one day. I mention this because I absolutely recommend this album if you are into latino street funk - which is really an appropriation of many different kinds of music, actually. When you take one culture and drop it into another extraordinary things happen I think. It's I suppose what happens when you put a bunch of latin singers into a busy Melbourne market on a Saturday afternoon. This is funky but with a twist.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

cross posted to cbg

the words just weren't happening today.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

things going wrong

This morning I went to the wrong school for the thinking skills PD. I turn up at the normal school where we usually meet for things like this but noone was there. Gee, I think - I wonder where everyone is? Of course I hadn't brought my leaflet along with me so I thought I might try the local high school instead - no dice! Already I am 20 minutes late and counting and have no idea where I am supposed to be! Luckily someone with a clue walked past and told me where the PD was being held.

Yes, *my* school. Nope, don't need the address thanks..err. That would be, the place I go to work at everyday. The place, where if there was a PD held there, especially one I was attending I should know about it, right? Talk about feeling like a complete and utter idiot.

Then, of course since all parents drive their kids to school these days I couldn't even get a car park at my own school so I had to park illegally in a no parking zone and try to get past the prin who was on yard duty without appearing like I'm late. I don't think she saw me, but the illegal park probably gave it away dammit!

So I walk in and the guy in charge is laughing at me for turning up at the wrong place. I leave out the bit about going to the high school too, because I was just too mortified at my own bimbo-like behaviour to ever reveal that as well - and he's all like well, don't worry - someone actually turned up at [insert high school name here]! Can you believe it? Yeah har har what an IDIOT *that* person must be... great - good news travels fast, they must have called him. I hope he never finds out it was me.

So, I'm sitting there waiting for the learning to take me over but I just couldn't get into it. My mind was in the clouds, running up the walls, peeking over shoulders, engaging in naughty behaviour... There were a lot of thoughts distracting me. Sometimes I wish I could just turn my brain off. It was basically a big waste of a day for me. After the PD, I had another one immediately following - First Aid. That one was fun.

I am a bit strange about gross stuff. I love hearing about different illnesses and injuries but I can't take the heat. I love knowing how to solve these injuries and make them better but some of the descriptions of glass embedded in wounds and vomiting up blood had me unable to hold a pen to write things down afterwards. I felt very weak I guess and sort of funny in the knees. If I had been standing I'm sure I would have had to sit down or something. Does that make me a big wuss? Still, since it was the end of the day and half the class had crappily applied bandages to their heads, we were all in good spirits.

The teacher who was in my art room replacing me today left it an absolute pig sty. He is on my shit list - BIG time because he also touched the mural and now one of the tiles fell off! I was livid, especially since I explicitly wrote in the note that the mural area was out of bounds. Jesus christ, how hard can it be to follow instructions? I will have to go at the crack of dawn tomorrow to clean everything up before he does it all over again (he is in the art room again tomorrow).

Monday, May 01, 2006

rode the el nino

Today: a remix (gasp!). Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf Mix) by The Pixies . I'm not sure if it's a cardinal sin to love this version above the original but I just do. If you want to fight me in a dark alley way with a filed down toothbrush over it then you're on - It *is* just that much better.

I first heard the UK surf mix, in the movie Pump Up the Volume. Boy did I have it bad for Christian Slater (hello glasses!). After hearing Wave of Mutilation I remember just sitting there stunned for a minute and then rewinding the tape (god bless VHS), again and again and again just to listen to it.

It's probably one of those songs you either love or hate. Musically it's not one of their best but when it gets you it gets you: I just went straight to love and never turned back. And since I'm a mean reds phase at the moment, just bear with me while turn up the melancholy up a bit...

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Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf Mix) - The Pixies.