Saturday, September 30, 2006


I'm hyperventilating a bit about returning back to school on Monday. I can't tell you how much I enjoy my holidays. They're blissful. I don't really need to lay in the sun in Vanuatu to feel bliss, I don't. Bliss is purely a state of mind. Eating toast is blissful when you're happy and relaxed. I just truly enjoy getting up each morning and doing my own thing - not worrying about anybody except myself and wondering what adventures the day will bring. I'm a happier person for it. I'm a saner person too. The holidays are so spontaneous and lovely. One minute you're in your pajamas eating your lunch (yeah, okay I'm allowed) the next you're playing kick to kick with a 5 year old and not worrying about having to assess his progress on kicking. Work is never really boring, but it's predictable and stifling. I suppose that is the nature of any work really. You are woken by the alarm, wash, rinse, repeat, eat, leave, work, home, eat, play, sleep, start again. I like it when I can pick and choose exactly what I'm going to do and when I'm going to do it, but I'm not the leader of the world now am I?

Are you a workaholic? Do you think about work when you're not at work? Is work something you do for fulfillment or just to get money? Are we kidding ourselves with this career fulfillment thing anyway?

I'm also generally feeling a bit under the weather. I don't know if it's psychosomatic or whether I'm hungover, whether I have allergies (can they come on in your late 20s?) or whether I'm simply coming down with something. Perhaps all are to blame. I'm also a little down, because I've done my finances and that's NEVER good. I was trying to think of ways I could improve myself... but I can't short of "marrying a Fijian hotel mogul" (thanks Phil) as was the suggestion of #1 (very sound advice). Then, all I wanted to do was stand in front of the fish bowl making kissy faces at Squishy Face (which always makes me feel better) but of course Squishy is just not around anymore. I looked at the empty bowl with the blue pebbles sitting at the bottom and felt sad. It was all quite depressing.

Anyway, I do have a plan, it just involves being a little brave. I can be brave... I think. And if it doesn't happen, then onto plan B. Which also involves being rather brave. Worse luck.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

boys will be boys.

I went and saw my cousin MT and her three boys today. I thought I was going to have a nice tea and chat. Nup. 15 minutes after putting the handbag down I'm out in the back yard playing kick to kick with J (who is 5 and is better than me in that he can actually 1) kick 2) mark the ball). Yeah, I was great. Whenever I went to kick the ball I got the top of my foot (you know the bit that HURTS) instead of my toes and my shoe would fly off into the backyard and actually go further than the ball.

Okay, so I am a complete unco when it comes to ball sports (must be why I'm still a spinster. eh EH? haha err..). Anyway - there were so many things I was crap at during PE, namely catching and throwing, running, kicking, being on a team, dribbling, batting, fielding, making a goal and keeping that up while all while desperately trying not to scream and duck when a ball came near me. I'm more a point your toes step-ball-kick then lying on the oval picking out cloud animals kind of girl. We're talking Wing Defense B-Team baby. Well, we can't ALL be jocks. I had other talents like...err.. well...come back to me. In fact I was so un-jock like even I had to roll my eyes at myself. I distinctly remember, year 10 PE running for second base in softball (how the hell did I get to second base? geez, that's amazing) when someone on the opposing team was hit with a softball to the head. I started heading for second base but ended up running off course and going to see if the girl was okay and giving her a hug. Yeah, I was really hated by my team that day. Even the PE teacher was gave me the you should be in special ed look.

Anyway, the point is that my 5 year old cousin kicked my arse while playing kick to kick today. He gave me the you should be in special ed look. Ahh, memories. Apart from J there's his little brother who is not yet two and the world's biggest tearaway. His hair is white blond and he has one of those impish grins that actually means he's up to no good. He squished cheese into the foorboards. ummahhh. I have a feeling he might end up the first president of this country with this attitude. I secretly love boy children more than girls (though would rather whip self with a length of barbed wire than teach a classroom full of them). They're hilarious and sort of clueless, much like their grown up counterparts.

After that I went to look at a house I came across on a website - and I really like it. Really, really like it - even though the bathroom is crap and the kitchen is weirdo, it has no aircon or heating and the house is about 100 years old and maybe, just maybe druggies hang out around the corner. Yeah, I'm a lost cause - but at least I found something I like. I think I also fell in love with the real estate agent who, wait for it, KNEW his stuff. He was good! He had an answer for every question which made him a little too smooth, however I applaud him for being knowledgable without coming across as the world's biggest prick. Congrats Mr Blonde Highlights. You are my new favourite real estate agent in the whole of Melbourne. Go eat a cookie.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

boy bands and dish pan hands

* Today something rather horrific happened to me. I talked in baby talk. I FUCKING TALKED IN BABY TALK AND I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW I WAS DOING IT. I wrote an entry only a couple of weeks back where I publically slammed all forms of baby talk and yet there I was out there for everyone to see - speaking in baby talk. I guess we now know who's going to be one of "those" mothers.

* Giving up the coffee was only supposed to be a 2 week experiment. I love coffee. I grew up drinking REAL coffee instead of water for fucks sake. Do you know what I used to do as a kid? - And I swear this is true - I'd go sniff the coffee grinder when I was feeling low. I'd fish it out of the cupboard and I'd open the lid and just stand there with my nose stuffed read close to the blades and just inhale. Anyway, the point is; I live in Melbourne - and we really take our coffee seriously. Going out for coffee counts as a hobby over here. It's in my blood and culture to be a coffee drinker. So why am I on week 6 of this experiment instead of back on the black stuff? Sleep. For the first time in a really long time I fall asleep at a reasonable hour and I wake up without feeling *totally* groggy. That is a huge step for me.

Now, I never intended to give up coffee for good. Health benefits or not, I love my coffee so much that it hurts. Remember, I'm a 6-7 cup a day (recovering from 12 cups a day) girl - stimulants make me happy. Rest assured, I am not giving up coffee forever - but for now I love to sleep. There is a problem though. I fall asleep at innapropriate moments now. The last three movies I've seen at the cinema had me falling asleep half way through (for about 10 minutes or so). And the other day I was driving quite a long distance out of town and almost fell asleep at the wheel (it was mid afternoon and I'd had a full night sleep the night before). I also keep wanting to take a little seiesta every afternoon.

I stopped drinking coffee because I want to sleep - but I don't want to sleep quite this much! I want to take up the coffee again but don't want to go back to being a junkie, which I am afraid will happen. What do I do? Okay, the afternoon nap thing is a crock; even when I was on the coffee I STILL wanted an afternoon nap - it just didn't happen spontaneously like it does now.

* I cleaned out my car today - I found 45 cds (with covers) in there and a book about hollywood murders. No wonder things were getting squishy.

* Speaking of that, squishy face (my fish) died last week. It was sad. I don't really know what I did wrong by him - but after the numerous deaths (or murders..depending on how you look at it) in that fishbowl, I've come to the conclusion that I'm a dirty, dirty fish killer :(

* There's a new Australian movie on the cards called BoyTown. Every time I see the trailer I laugh. It's about an ultra successful boy band (think New kids on the block) who decide to reform about 20 years later when the guys are all middle aged. The problem is, their target audience is middle aged now too so in order to market to them they end up writing songs like "Picking up the Kids from School" and "Dish Pan Hands". The problem is, I think all the jokes might be in the trailer itself. This is a shame - because the phrase "Australian Comedy" has become a contradiction in terms in recent years.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Star light, Star bright.

Well, we all know just how accurate horoscopes are, don't we? I don't read mine everyday but I *do* read them sometimes (for the whole staff at morning tea - yeah, we're sad like that) and let me tell you, I take great joy (if not amusement) in reading them. I am a psych major and I fucking love personality assessments! LOVE THEM! I know horoscopes aren't exactly psychological assessments (more celestial ones..err, not quite sure how it all goes together) but they read like 'em eh? I don't always agree, of course - but bang on for trying. So, as you know I am on holidays and while some may say I did fuck all today others (clinically insane people) may argue that I was assessing my personality through thorough research and statistical analysis. In otherwords I googled "Aries" about 50 billion times and came up with a little bit o crap about me. Here it is - I even bolded the bits I REALLY agree with and added my own comments in a purpley colour. You should do the same (if you know what's good for you). Gowarrnnn it's fun!

The spring equinox, March 21, is the beginning of the new zodiacal year and Aries, the first sign, is therefore that of new beginnings. The young ram is adventurous, ambitious, impulsive, enthusiastic and full of energy that really depends on whether I'm 'up for it' or not - if not, you can forget it. The Arian is a pioneer both in thought and action, very open to new ideas and a lover of freedom. They welcome challenges and will not be diverted from their purpose except by their own impatience, which will surface if they don't get quick results.Tell me about it!

Aries subjects are courageous leaders with a genuine concern for those they command, being responsible people, it is rare that they will use their subordinates to obtain their own objectives as leaders, but occasionally it does happen. They do not make very good followers because they are too "take charge" it's not so much that, more that I don't really trust anyone else to do the job, sorry. They may be unwilling to obey or submit to directions for which they can see no reason, or with which they disagree lol, uh yeah. Am actually quite happy to submit in certain situations but only to a worthy party whom has proven that they are the king of the castle. They are much concerned with self, both positively and negatively - self-reliant but also self centered (sometimes) and concerned with their own personal advancement and physical satisfaction. Their immense energy makes them aggressive and restless Okay, caught. Sometimes I will poke and prod in order to pick physical fights with people - not seriously aggressive but I do like a bit of tussle. I tend to do it more if I'm bored or restless. Worse luck for you., argumentative occasionally I do tend to pick fights, just to see what will happen. I love people who will engage with me in this manner, headstrong, quick tempered, easily offended and capable of holding grudges if they feel themselves affronted. I actually do not hold grudges for much longer than a tea break - though I don't forget things too easily. Having said that I never let my judgement of certain actions stop me from being empathetic or 'liking' someone. I am seriously one of those people that you can tell *absolutely anything* to and I will understand where you're coming from - even if I don't totally agree with what you're saying.

As the first sign in the zodiac, you, as an Arian (as you are referred to), is to simply "get something started finishing up is a whooooooooole other issue though. Very bad at that part... and lead the way". The Sun in this zodiac position gives your will free rein to express itself. You could be doing this in the form of some leadership role, or by forcing others to look at themselves in a new way. You can accomplish this by knowingly carrying out a deliberate act in the name of some cause that moves you. A negative effect of this sun sign is that you could sometimes unknowingly make it hard for others to relate to you, as you really are.Sometimes am misunderstood - I do always mean well, I promise!

In your personal relationships Arians are frank, direct and candid, and make enthusiastic and generous friends. You are liable to have a high sex drive and make passionate but fastidious lovers. err..is it getting hot in here? There is, however, a negative side to your associations with other people. You can easily be irritated by slowness or moderation in your companions and, though yourselves sensitive, ride roughshod over the sensitivities of others. Okay, am guilty of all this. It's just that I hate those slow methodical people. You know that scene in "When Harry Met Sally" when Sally is looking at each letter before she puts it in the post box to make sure the address is on right? Well, in that scene I am Harry who grabs all the letters in frustration and just shoves them all in at once. T-t-t-today junior! The intensity of your sexual urges can drive you to promiscuity and a Don Juan-like counting of conquests of the opposite sex. No, I abhor seeing people as conquests actually. It can also trick you into early unwise marriage which may end disastrously. I hope not. I *am* pretty impulsive. Arians are highly devoted to their children, even to the point of laying down their own lives, so that they might live. You will not find a more defensive and loving parent in all the zodiac. I thought leo would be the most defensive parent, considering the whole protective lion thing? But anyway, I am not a parent but I know this to be true already. In fact I've already thought of the scenario (as ridiculous as that sounds). Would definitely offer own (rather pathetic) life in exchange for the lives of those I love - that's highly true.

It is preferable to be aware of your pioneering spirit and not disregard it. For in acknowledging it you not only enjoy life more, but you avoid being pushed around by others. Your nature is usually push or be pushed, with little middle ground. Absolutely true. If I'm not leading the way I'm waiting for someone to give me a kick up the arse. I welcome the people who do. I need strong people in my life who offer challenges. Having said that expect a fight on your hands before I relent. This can at times be objectionable to others, but you must have the freedom to act, rather then just thinking about it, getting pent-up in the process. At all costs you need to avoid negative emotions such as resentment, regret and self-pity, for they would deny you what is essential to your nature: straightforwardness.

Mentally Arians are intellectual and objective I'm actually very good at being objective - even though I do rant on a bit. Sometimes what I say and what I think come from different places., but can be in rare situations bigoted and extremist in religion and politics. Extremist is the wrong word, but I can be a bit fanatical when it comes to some forms of politics and if you don't agree with me I'll blow you up. err. They are good champions of lost causes and last-ditch resistance. They are quick-witted but sometimes foolhardy and over optimistic, lacking thoroughness and the ability to evaluate difficulties in the undertakings into which they often rush impulsively. The great need of Aries natives is to exercise an iron self-control, to discipline the qualities and tendencies of their character to the advantage, not the detriment, of the society in which they move. What the hell? Well, I haven't had a cup of coffee in over a month but I went straight back to chocolate like an alcoholic to scotch.

As an Arian, you like a challenge that will stir you to action. This challenge may just be frustration; or at a more controlled level, you may have clear direction and know what or whom you're fighting for. If your direction is not clear, then ask yourself and listen to your inner voice. You will come up with an answer. An Arian without a direction in which to go, or a without a cause to fight for, would be against your nature and make you more a "sheep" then a ram!

Arian, do not be afraid to be forceful, for this is the very core of your nature. If you feel fear in your heart, then look for a history of negative events in you personal history, such as violence or abuse from others. Being fearful may also indicate a household in childhood that negated independence and personal initiative in you. okay, this is getting quite scary now. This could have inhibited your natural urge to go forward into life as the leader and champion you were born to be. Conversely, such bad influences could also have led you to be overly forceful, or to be unsympathetic to your own need and sensitivity.

You make good athletes and climbers, doctors, explorers (of new ideas as well as uncharted territory, the latter in these days including adventuring into outer space), soldiers, sailors and airmen, and leaders, though awkward subordinates, in industry and politics. What? No teacher? I would be utterly crap at holding a gun - am scared shitless of them. Though would love to fire a cannon. Do they still use cannons in wars? I'll have to go fight for a 3rd world country that is still using cannons me thinks. Ones that have a wick I can light and then put my fingers in my ears while it goes *boom*

Much as you are the Ram, there is still the little lamb in you am all talk, which means that at times you would attain your goals more easily by gently giving in without resistance to the demands of a given social situation, rather than getting your horns entangled in something larger and more powerful than yourself. Now you tell me! This is a talent akin to knowing the difference between what you can change, and what you cannot. This of course takes patience, the acquiring of which is definitely your greatest achievement, along with your sense of your own inner softness.
Possible Health Concerns...

Aries governs the head and brain, and Arians are said to be prone to headaches, particularly migraines how often to I complain about headaches?! , sunstroke, neuralgia and depression. Indigestion and nervous disorders are also threats to you, and your rashness, impetuosity and wholesale physical commitment make you liable to accidents and physical injuries. Well, I'm a bit clutzy

You like extremes. Physical, emotional and mental, and benefit profoundly by experiencing them; but if your extremism goes too far beyond social acceptability, then expect to be extremely lonely. Should I put the paddle away? :(


* LIKES Action
* Coming in first sometimes!
* Challenges
* Championing Causes
* Spontaneity Without a doubt! I hate planning things too thoroughly - how boring.

* DISLIKES Waiting Around
* Admitting Failure no, I'll admit it. I'll just hate myself for failing though.
* No opposition I MUST have an evil nemisis at all times. Yep.
* Tyranny
* Other peoples advice ;) I am usually the giver of advice. I find it hard to switch places and take it. Love listening to it though.

Taken from here

Do you read your horoscope? Do you do it secretly when noone is watching? Do you believe in it? What star sign are you? Are we compatible (no, it doesn't have to be lurve) or are we going to kick eachother in the groin until one of us wins?

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the jilted lovers society

I was just wondering. What do you think of sites like rate a guy and don't date him - which are sites where ex girlfriends write profiles that detail what a psycho bastard their ex boyfriends are?

ooo, They say a woman jilted in love is a woman you don't want to mess with. True. They also say that men think they can get away with anything. Also, true. If you're a scum sucking slimeball from a planet not even discovered yet, you can bet there is a woman on earth who will date you, fall in love with you and have your babies. Does this say more about women than men? Yep. I don't know why women date freaks. Is it because we're essentially flawed humans? Are we a few short? Do we want to fix everybody? Are we just idiots?! And don't think I'm totally absolving women either. There are plenty of bitchy psycho femme nazis that will make any guy's life a living nightmare. Watch out boys!

I've been aware of the site for a while. Have I or would I ever participate? No, I never have and I doubt I ever would. If there is a guy equiv, then I'm pretty confident that I wouldn't be named either. I ain't perfect but I don't believe in hurting others for personal gain, not on purpose anyway. I know quite a few guys who do live their lives thinking that women are their pawns though. To those guys I say eat shit tough guy, you're going down. Yes, I really think that if a guy is an abusive freak/cheater/compulsive liar then I have no problem with their name, age and sometimes even pictures being out there for the world to see. I do believe in karma and I also believe that every action has their consequences. I do find it somewhat amusing that people who have done horrible things to others in the name of "love" find it insulting and unfair when they are named though. Suck it up, buddy.

I don't support this site for your everyday garden variety commitmentphobe guy, guys who get it wrong once in a while, or guy that things just don't work out with because ...meh, you just didn't have it going on together. Those guys make up most of the population anyway and it's just not fair to name them when they haven't done anything majorly wrong. When they find the right girl they'll settle down - that's okay. I'm really talking about those guys that you would urge your friends NOT to date because you're worried they will be completely fucked up afterwards. Most woman I know knows a guy that would fit into that category. Oh yep.

They were talking about this on the radio this morning. One comment was: women are so bitter. The retort was We weren't *born* that way, comeback? that's debatable. LOL, hilarious. My favourite was the guy who rang up and asked if there was an equivalent site for men to write about their psycho ex girlfriends. The retort? It's called life, buddy. Life.

I do realise that these kinds of sites might be a playground for women who are simply lying about certain guys they have a vendetta against. I really think that's shameful - but I doubt they're in the majority actually. I know that one of those sites does have a refute button where the targeted guy gets to have his say. If sites like these exist (and are thriving) then is it because women feel like they have no other avenue (of control) to "get back" at men who have hurt them? When the radio presenter said that men didn't need an equiv because they had "life" on their side already I laughed my head off, but is that true? And finally, boys, did you put your name into that search engine or were you confident enough to resist? Zat I find veeeeery iiiinteresting!

And girls, I'd watch out for this one if I was you.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Urban Afternoon.

This side of town;
fractured concrete pathways
with weeds growing out of the cracks.
Sprinkled with little cafes
running up one side of the street
interrupted by broken down
shop fronts
that say: "back in 5"
for days, months, years on end
on little grey handwritten signs.

I am absentmindedly straining my tea
in a relaxed cafe
surrounded by children
...and girls who wear black leggings under their flippy skirts.
The fresh minty scent wafts upwards
and the girls stop talking
just to sniff.
I take a slow sip, feeling it burn down my throat
and watch a couple walk past the window
hand in hand.

Conversation resumes along with the clink of cutlery
and a tinkle of laughter.
I offer an anecdote.
Afterwards, we all wonder why we don't do this more often.

that's just part of the deal

I don't know what to make of people sometimes. Everytime I turn on the news I feel like a little piece of my soul dies. Is it in our nature to cut eachother down, or do you think part of the deal was to help eachother up when we fall? It feels like there was a deal we backed out on doesn't it? Or if there wasn't perhaps there should be.. I'm much too old to be so idealistic, I know.

The tsunami in SE Asia in 2004 represented one of the biggest tragedies of my time and then consequently one of the best examples of human empathy I have ever seen. I was quietly surprised that so many people cared - it opened my eyes to the fact that humanity was capable of giving without necessarily wanting to be paid back. I wonder who we deem worthy of our help exactly? I compare that to something like 911, which was a result of hate and generated more hate, even though initially there was so much heart that went into helping eachother out after the attack. Should we love only our own? Or do we just smarten up and realise that we're getting nowhere with that attitude?

In a personal sense, do you follow the "love only our own" philosophy - or do you see all humans as an extension of yourself?

I don't even know all the answers to these questions - even for myself. I know I have a strong sense of empathy and that allows me to want to help people where I can even if I don't know them. And sometimes I will go out of my way to reach out and try to make a difference in some small way. Trouble is, sometimes I'm not sure about how to follow through properly and I am inconsistent in my acts of help. I'm not necessarily talking about the poverty stricken or the hungry - just everyday people you'd encounter in everyday situations, including blogging. What constitutes enough support anyway? Is it a kind word? A hug over the internet? Dishing food at a homeless shelter? Volunteer work? Donations? A smile?

Anyway, the whole mess made me think of the song Protection by Massive Attack. I doubt I even have to play this one. I'm guessing everyone knows it, and if you don't I'm wondering where you've been living for the last 10 years? It's one of those deliciously melancholy pieces that also happens to provoke thought. One of my favourites. Here are the lyrics - they're worth a read.

This girl I know needs some shelter
She don't believe anyone can help her
She's doing so much harm, doing so much damage
But you don't want to get involved
You tell her she can manage
And you can't change the way she feels
But you could put your arms around her

I know you want to live yourself
But could you forgive yourself
If you left her just the way
You found her

I stand in front of you
I'll take the force of the blow

I stand in front of you
I'll take the force of the blow

You're a boy and i'm a girl
But you know you can lean on me
And I don't have no fear
I'll take on any man here
Who says that's not the way it should be

I stand in front of you
I'll take the force of the blow

I stand in front of you
I'll take the force of the blow

She's a girl and you're a boy
Sometimes you look so small, look so small
You've got a baby of your own
When your baby's gone, she'll be the one
To catch you when you fall

I stand in front of you
I'll take the force of the blow

I stand in front of you
I'll take the force of the blow

You're a girl and i'm a boy [x4]

Sometimes you look so small, need some shelter
Just runnin' round and round, helter skelter
And I've leaned on me for years
Now you can lean on me
And that's more than love, that's the way it should be
Now I can't change the way you feel
But I can put my arms around you
That's just part of the deal
That's the way I feel
I'll put my arms around you

I stand in front of you
I'll take the force of the blow

I stand in front of you
I'll take the force of the blow

Protection - Massive Attack

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Dear Real Estate Agent,

Hi - I'm just a dumb girl here looking for a house. Tee hee hee I'm just so stupid and helpless I don't even notice the fact that there is rising damp and that the house needs restumping. I'll never notice if you're trying to sell me a dump if you casually try to block my view of the 50 year old fuse box that is making fizzing noises. Nope didn't notice that at all! It has flowers growing in the front garden therefore it must be nice. Teee heeeeee.

Yeah, I know watching girls walk into an open for inspection is sort of like when a girl walks into a car yard. The car salesman thinks CA CHING bitch! I know you think that because I'm smiley and friendly and I'm wearing red mary janes and I may just have a little bobby pin in my hair. It's a dead giveaway; dumb girl. But hey, I understand - your job is to get the best sale possible for the owner and if I was an owner that was looking to sell I would want you to lie, cheat, steal and kill in order to get the best deal for me too. Okay, perhaps kill would be going a tad far, considering that would defeat the purpose of paying. Perhaps you can kill them after they pay? Whatever floats your boat you sick fuck.

Anyway, I understand all this and I'm going to humour you on it because you have blonde highlights. So, don't be offended if I laugh when you tell me a straight out lie about the foundations being rock solid when THE FLOOR HAS A SLOPE TO THAT WOULD MAKE AN OLYMPIAN SKIER SHAKE WITH FEAR. The point is though, there are certain things I expect you to know, since you are representing the person whose house you are selling. In the last few weeks I am constantly up against people like YOU, yes YOU - who have no idea how to answer the world's most simple questions.

When was this house last restumped?
Is this house heritage listed?
Does it need rewiring?
Is there a car park on the title of this house?
What is the asking price?
(fo' real).
How old is this house?
Have the pipes ever been replaced?
Are the windows double glazed?
How many years has the owner had this house for?
Are there any developments planned within this or neighbouring streets in the near future?
How much are body corporate costs?
How much are rates in this area?

How can you not know the answers to these questions? Isn't it your business to know? You don't have to know them straight off the top of your head but shouldn't you have a pad with all these 'typical questions' answered on it? Do you have any idea how much trouble I would be in if a parent came into my classroom and I couldn't answer how I run my program? It's my business to know exactly how to run a classroom and it's your business to know things about the houses you are selling. Don't think I won't ask you these questions because I will.

Yours Sincerely,

Dumb Chick.

PS: Direct me to "section 32" again and I will beat you.
PPS: Okay, perhaps "beat" was a little overdramatic - but I may just shake my fist and say "ooooo youuu"

Friday, September 22, 2006

it's a quote, quote, quote, quote girl world.

RE Teacher: God chooses each and every one of us to do something special with our lives.
Kid: *whispering to another kid* My dad gets chosen to do the dishes a lot.
pissing myself laughing

Kid: My dad is losing all his hair
Other Kid: My dad isn't!
Kid: My dad said that when people lose their hair it means they're getting smarter
haha, I love dad logic!

Bro: Look, Coburg, you could live there..
me: ohh, you mean Ho-burg?
Bro: Footscray?
me: FootscraZy
Bro: You'd be near Highpoint Shopping Centre at least.
me: Yeah, I love Knifepoint shoppo
things are getting desperate

S: Can I have a bag for this cupcake? I won't eat it now but I'll take it home with me and eat it later.
#1: Sure.
Me: Yep, you don't want to be on the train with an exposed cupcake. The derros will be attracted to you. The idea is not to attract the derros.
S: haha.
F: M, oh my god - that's terrible, you can't say that! They're not derros!
Me: What are you talking about? sure they are.
F: I don't think you can say that.
Me: pfft! I love the derros on the train. I was just saying that S shouldn't have a cupcake exposed. They might attack her for it.
F: I'm telling #1 you called them that! You're implying this area is low class.
Me: hahahahaha, go on tell her. She'll agree with me. We talk about the derros a lot.
F: #1, M said "...". Can you believe that?
#1: yeah, of course they're derros!
Me: Personally, I love riling you up F.
F: you ALWAYS do it to me!
It's just that you make it so easy

Me: soo, for the next 5 years I'm not going to be able to have an adult convesation with you, am I?
With all that baby talk? Apparently not.

Me: so, tell us about the birth!
L: nooo, it was bad. It was SO BAD! HORRIBLE! I can't tell you. You'd be put off ever having one.
Me: Go on
R: no, I don't want to hear it.
Me: Tell it! Tell it!
L: Well, I ripped.
CHRIST - she went on to explain all the horrid details. It was like a Freddy Kruger story.

Person on street; *sneeze*
Companion: keep it to yourself.
Person: ....
Companion: I mean, bless you.
Person: ...

Me: BTM, he (baby) is just adorable. Look at those cheeks.
BlondeTeacherMum: I was a bit worried because hasn't started crawling yet
Me: I think people put too much emphasis on timeframes like that. Don't stress yet.
BlondeTeacherMum: Yeah, you're right. It's just that mother in law is always going on about how he should be crawling.
Me: Just how opinionated is she?
BlondeTeacherMum: You know when he (baby) had that dislocated shoulder and we couldn't figure out why he was crying all the time?
Me: yep.
BlondeTeacherMum: Mother in Law told me later that she thought he was Autistic but didn't want to WORRY me.
Me: Oh. My. God. Is she a child psychologist or doctor or something?
BlondeTeacherMum: No, she's just a bitch.
noice, huh?

BlondeTeacherMum: Hubby would kill me if he knew I told you but he's thinking of getting rid of all the hair down there.
BrunetteTeacher: They all should! They look feral!
Me: keep the chest hair though.
BrunetteTeacher: God no! Get RID of it!
Me: Really? I sort of like it, must be the Tom Selleck crush from childhood.
Hair or not for men? Whaddya reckon?


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thursday Three.

1) There has been an overload of babies this week. F sent a picture of baby J the other day that actually made my womb cry until my brain told it to shut the hell up. It's ridiculous, everytime I see a baby I want to give it cuddles but everytime it does poos I want to give it back to mummy. Do men EVER feel that *want* to have babies? I don't think they get it (anything) at all.

2) I caught up with a few friends for casual drinks the other night. One of our distant acquaintances only addresses the boys of the group. It sounds hard to believe but it's true. If one of us girls said anything the woman would ignore it, but if one of the boys said anything remotely human sounding she'd giggle and make a comment. Being a girly girl myself, women like this make my skin crawl a bit. They always cite the excuse for not getting along with other women as "they're jealous of me" but really we're not. We just think they're rude and unfriendly.

3) I read an article the other day about how "talented" teachers should be paid more - ie: performance pay. The reason why they wanted to do this was to keep teachers in the industry - apparently 1/4 of all teachers quit within their first 5 years. I'm in my 5th year. I've considered quitting. In fact every single teacher I know who is starting out has also strongly considered quitting. Hell #1 is excited about having a baby, and she's over the moon about not having to go back to teaching next year. It doesn't really have *that* much to do with the pay - it has more to do with the working conditions in relation to pay.

I don't have any kind of issue with being paid more (because we're one of the only industries where you're required to have a degree for and yet still get paid below average wage) - but I'm questioning the assessment of "talented" teachers. There was mention of teachers who raised the grades of their students or teachers who have exceptional planning should get more pay, but who decides? The article mentioned that principals would be given a certain amount of extra money that they could distribute as they saw fit. This worries me. It worries me because in my experience teacher's pet extends beyond the classroom. I've yet to hear of a school where the principal doesn't have her/his little minions who are rewarded with public recognition for doing the same thing we all do. If a prin has a say in who gets paid then surely if you're on the outer with prin then you're fucked for pay. Now with the new IR laws - workers don't even have the right to complain when they feel they've been wronged.

The most talented teachers I know (and I know a few) have been the ones who have had a tough time out there. They were the ones who weren't recognised for their hard for for many, many years. They were the ones who found it hard to get stable positions. They had to fight really hard in order for people to realise just how good they were. I've seen so, so many teachers be "recognised" for their hard work that really don't deserve to be. If you are heaped with recognition and praise for doing not very much then why would you bust a gut to do better? When teachers who have worked their arses off get no recognition, it makes me despair. When teachers who work their arses off and don't get PAID then that makes me really bloody angry. The whole thing makes me question whether I want to stay in an industry that is turning into the epitome of a private corporation.

The other thing that worries me is that I really believe that children need more than just good results in order to feel like successful learners. What the hell is a good teacher? Is it someone who inspires learning or is it someone who gets good results? Are they the same thing? I know some scary as hell teachers that get great results because they push their grades to breaking point. Of course the kids are crying that they don't want to go to school but hey, there are some great results there. I know a teacher in the early years who did nothing that special in terms of what prin sees but 5 years down the track the children from her classes are the ones thanking her for inspiring them to learn. Well, 5 years later does that teacher get back pay for giving those children an invaluable lesson in life and learning? I don't know many teachers who went into teaching just to lift grade results. We all want that of course, but that was never the point. The point is getting mighty hazy...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In which she watches from above

This is a contemplative moment while sitting on the balcony high above the world and listening to the wind blow deep hums through the gaps in the powerlines. Despite the movement in the air there is a feeling of deep calm that has settled over the town. Perhaps it's the warm weather, making everything drowsy.

I silently watch the deep suntan of the distant mountains peek through the buildings as the wind tosses my hair into my eyes so I have to stop writing and pull it back behind my ears. It smells like rain.

Overhead a helicopter circles and I glare at it with curiosity. The whole scene reminds me that something is always stirring beneath even the most serene moments. Nothing is ever really what it seems, is it?

The wind picks up and the gentle hum turns into a meanacing growl. The powerlines shake dangerously and clang against one another.

Suddenly there is an accident down on the street below. A bingle. A stocky man emerges from his white pick up truck and points a finger dangerously close to the shoulder of a younger, taller bloke. They begin a macho dance. One points, the other yells. The yeller points the pointer yells. Around they go again, in what is from this distant viewpoint, a silent pantomime.

I wonder about them, about the wind, the copter, the traffic and the faint smell of rain hanging in the air. I wonder how thoughts about everything and everybody else around me always seems more urgent than thoughts about myself. Sometimes I only think I exist in a capacity for others and rarely for just me. My life has never been entirely vapid and self absorbed but it has ...stilled to accommodate everything else that always seems to be going on instead - too many people needing me, sometimes badly, sometimes sprinkled with manipulation, always urgently. I put me on the backburner a long time ago. I watch from my balcony at all the things happening. Never the right time for me to climb down.

A bird lands on the powerline. Our gazes meet and she tweets before flying off. As for thoughts about him. Forget it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

He believes in beauty

Bjork is a little like the chocolate covered Turkish Delight candies in a Roses box of chocolates. With Turkish delight you either love them because you appreciate the contrast between the squishy rose scented TD and the chocolate or you leave them until the end and take a bite when desperate but end up spitting it out into the nearest bin instead. It took me a while to come round to the wonders of Turkish delight. I actually remember the moment it happened. I was having afternoon tea (proper afternoon tea with actual tea in tea pots and jazz music) with some girlfriends a few years ago and #2 brought out some Turkish delight. It was the real stuff, bought from some sort of middle eastern bakery on Sydney road and boy was it good. Sure, it's still not my favourite sweet and I don't usually seek them out, but when I come across a bit of Turkish delight I always savour it and wonder why I don't eat more of it. That's how I feel about Bjork. Every time I listen to her I wonder why I haven't been doing more listening to her.

Artist/Not-Nun Cousin had her album Debut first. The only other album she had before me was Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream (needs its own mm post). So, yes that's significant because usually I was the one that lead the way in..well everything. Not this time. Of course Bjork had been around forever with various bands and of course there's that exquisite song Birthday by her band The Sugar Cubes (look it up!) that is a favourite. But it wasn't really until Debut that the rest of the world took any notice of her.

Debut is probably my favourite of her albums and people challenge me on that all the time. Yes, okay she gained depth and complexity in her music as the years went on - but for me it's always been the relative simplicity (well, simple for bjork anyway) of Debut that I love. Maybe that makes me uncultured - so bite me. After I bought the album for myself I found something beautiful in every single song - and I think that's the thing about Bjork - she's chaotic and just a little different - sometimes her music can be jarring to the ear because it's not quite melodic enough, or you can't always sing along (almost impossible!) - but there's always something beautiful to find in between the layers of sound. I like beauty that isn't always always so obvious. I love finding beauty in amongst the chaos - it's part of the reason why I love Melbourne so much. Layers, Layers, Layers. I notice the unpolished silver bits.

Anyway, my favourite song on the album quickly became Venus as a Boy. It reminds me of like soft rain falling on the roof in the middle of the afternoon while you read a book on the sofa. That's probably a bit specific, but you're allowed your own interpretation :) There's been a bit of listing of attributes that girls want in the opposite sex in blogland recently. I've done it too. But I guess, bottom line - this song is the list, isn't it? It's pretty simple, really.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

house hunting #2

It's Saturday morning and it's already warm out - a good day to go house hunting. The sky is a continuation of perfect blue it's been all week and I am ready for the day. All the houses today look lovely from their photos and I'm wondering just how different they will be in reality. I cross my fingers and hope for the best.

The first house is a single fronted terrace with white pebbles in the front yard. Cemetary pebbles. Obviously they would have to go - I'm not quite sure why anyone would want them in their garden anyway. Inside, the house feels fresh and inviting. Needs restumping. New bathroom (one with a sink that isn't in the shower would be nice). Apart from that - beautiful. Oh, and way out of my price range but of course the emotions have already gotten involved. Damn.

Second house, on the other side of the Yarra. It's a unit, everything ready to go. Excellent back yard I certainly won't take care of but it won't need any major work. A paint job maybe. The price is right - but it doesn't feel like me. It's too...new. The man next door is in a wheelchair. Bro gleefully says that I will be guilt tripped into taking him for "walks" and maybe then taking him to the toilet. I try to give him a chinese burn but I am crap at them and bro just laughs.

Third place is a laugh riot. Getting out of the car I spy a man with spiky hair sitting on the curb and smoking. Looks like it must have been a tough night for him - hangover city. I'm not sure if I want to live near smoker guy. He looks completely dodgy. The estate agent is the father of a child I taught last year. Actually cbg readers it's the father of art material taster, J. The hellos and pleasantries are only slightly awkward as I imagine his child licking the newspaper in the art room. This is another unit. It's in an excellent location and has a view from the private balcony. On the downside the kitchen and bathroom need to be completely gutted and redone. The estate agent walks up and asks what I think. I say: It's hard to believe a man who reads GQ (I indicate the magazine on the coffee table) also has a pair of red used undies hanging off his staircase. The estate agent laughs. Yeah, he's a bachelor. You might have noticed him outside. Right. Surely bachelors aren't all complete pigs, are they? I feel sorry for his future spouse. I hope she kicks him in the arse and makes him clean up. There is a scarface poster on the wall and a spanner on the floor. The whole scene is amusing - but I like the house. I am completely head over heals with the balcony and view. So rare in a unit. As we leave, smoker guy is practising fake karate moves in the driveway. Noice. At least if I move in, he'll move out - right?

Fourth place is an apartment. Great location - waay too small, even for one. Nope.

Fifth place is a workers cottage in an industrial/urban area. It's darling and as far as I can see doesn't have any major structural issues. It's opposite a high school, which I count as a disadvantage. High school kids are dickheads mostly. But I love the house and I almost faint with glee over the fire place. There is no garden to speak of and the laundry smells like cat pee. When #1 bought her house she had a room that she lovingly called the 'piss room'. It had to be completely stripped - but the house is a winner. Maybe cat pee laundry is a good sign. There is no car space. This, is a bit of a deal breaker unfortunately.

Last place - apartment in an art deco building in the city. It feels like walking into one of the buildings at unimelb. Once a unimelb girl, always a unimelb girl. I am filled with an overwealming sense of nostalgia for the old uni days. I am not quite sure where one would hang the washing to dry. The place is overpriced for what it is (though I cannot find a fault). Everything is perfect but I wonder about that old conundrum. Should one buy land or not? What do you think?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

past, present, future

Something happened last week that made me feel closer to Dawson Leary (our editor) ..and Ed Wood (the camera man). I was organising tickets for our premiere screening (big screen and red carpet thank you - yes, I'm being serious) when I noticed that neither Dawson or Ed had asked for parent tickets. Since they were picked out of 100 other possible candidates to be part of the movie project it really was a pretty big honour. I couldn't understand why parents wouldn't want to come.

I had a private conference with both Dawson and Ed and inquired whether they had even asked their parents about the tickets - perhaps they had forgotten (they are boys, after all). But no, both had asked and both boys' parents did not want to be part of the night. Both said that it didn't matter and shrugged it off, but I wasn't fooled by that. I was immediately transported back to my own childhood and being in similar cirumstances of glory - school musicals, music recitals, dancing concerts, choir and the like and how rarely my parents came to watch. It just devistated me. I used to beg and beg them to come but they just didn't see it as important to be there. I always felt that everything I did was so devalued and unimportant. I know they loved me but they just didn't see 'being there' as a support for me. I did. I always thought the other children must have felt so special to have people really want to see what they were up to - a lot of children always had parents, grandparents, cousins and other notables at their concerts. I truly felt that I must be some kind of nothing to rarely have anyone there. After a while I simply stopped inviting them to things and organised my own lifts and pick ups and made dumb excuses for why they were never there. There is still a part of me that is really hurt by that and feels forgotten and undervalued. The fallout from that is now when friends and the like don't remind me that they "see" me then I simply think they've stopped caring. I know that's dumb, but I can't help it. I do try to depend only on myself like I did growing up but sometimes I'm a worse critic on myself than silence could ever be. I can't seem to win.

Anyway, I could see myself in Dawson and Ed - my heart really went out to them. I knew what they were feeling and though I can't force their parents to always be there in the future I can so something now. I went and saw Prin and Vice and explained the situation. They both agreed with me that it was a shame for the boys. Of course I was more than prepared to pick them up and drop them home, but a teacher is not the same as a parent. I can't give them all the validation they need and deserve. Parents need to do that. I asked Prin to ring their parents and gently inquire whether they were coming to the premiere and Prin agreed that was the best tactic to take. She rang them and now one parent from each of those boys is coming. I don't care if they felt intimidated into coming because it's important to the boys that they're there.

I saw Dawson after school yesterday sitting at the computer, no doubt onto his next grand project. I told him that his Dad was coming to the premiere and his face lit up like Christmas lights. I don't think I'd ever seen him so excited. Really? Are you kidding? he said, with a big grin on his face. It was validation enough for getting 'involved'.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

boring entry about teaching stuff.

With the teachers out planning all week we specialists have been in the classrooms picking up the slack. I thought it would be hard but it's been easy to slip back into "generalist" mode. I'd forgotten how much more laid back it was having your own grade all to yourself, carrying over work after lunch and lovely to be able to follow up punishment and rewards for once! I'd also forgotten how full on it was during a maths session when noone knows what to do. Or during writing when everyone wants you to correct their spelling at once.

On Monday I had the preps. I was given what has been commonly thought of as the "problem" grade. Of course, I have them every week for art so I already knew what to expect. They were adorable all day though. Much more settled when they weren't asked to get out the paintbrush and "create". I went home so depressed and sad that day. I really realised how much I missed teaching the youngies. How utterly fantastic it is when you can finally *get* something out of them. And how exhausting and exhilirating the highs and lows of the day are.

Tuesday I was with the grade 3s and 4s. I was basically a supervising a student teacher who was having a full day of control. The kids tested him good and proper.

Wednesday was a day with the 5s and 6s. Again, I had what is commonly known as the "problem grade". Look, bottom line - I don't even like them. They tested me good and proper so I kept a few of them in and did a lot of kicking in the preverbial shins. Today their regular teacher told me she had to do the same thing so I felt better that it wasn't all my fault, just that they're a ratty bunch in general. But overall, not a good day. I like all the depth the upper levels offer but let's face it, while I may adore them individually they don't interest me so much as a group. Maybe I'll change my mind in the future. I do want a go at having each level for at least a year.

Today I was in with the 1s and 2s. They're relatively trouble free. They don't need as much help as the preps but they don't have all the attitude of the older kids. At the end of the day we had little show/tell session. Now, some of you may remember the boy in my grade from last year who told the wonderous story of going fishing with his dad on the weekend and ending up catching a 6m shark who bit his arm off (after they wrestled). He said this smiling and with all four limbs intact. I asked him if his arm was okay now (you know, one day after being bitten clean off) and he just looked at me and said "yep".

Well, today he got up and showed his car racing posters. He pointed out his favourite car and said "it goes 100,000 kilograms fast!" and then told of how he knew someone that did car racing professionally. A child on the mat asked how long that particular person had been racing and J put his best concentration face on and thought for a little while (about 10 seconds of silence) and then said "ohh, I don't know ...about 200 years I think". He insisted her was right even after I pointed out that Australia had only been settled about that long (I remember the bicentenary celebrations!). Good to know he hasn't changed. :)

Tomorrow should have been a day to myself so that I can plan my curriculum but of course, in true form Prin has piled a whole heap of extra work on me to have done by the end of the day. siiigh.

This term another teacher is retiring. It's getting to that stage that they told us about when I was in uni In a few years a lot of teachers will start retiring and there is going to be a shortage of teachers. I always thought it was something they said as a scare tactic so we wouldn't leave the course (about a third of the course dropped out after the first teaching round - not as easy as it looks apparently). But it's true. Apart from a couple of old timers, our staff is young - and the older ones keep dropping off like flies (and then coming back to visit a month later looking about 10 years younger!). Almost everyone is under 40 (excepting Prin, Vice and a couple of others). I'm not sure that it is altogether a good thing to have a staff so young. I always found that I learnt so much more about teaching (and life) from people who had been through the knocks a million times prior to you. It puts things into perspective. Sure, it's good having teachers who can relate to where you're at but if you're all panicking at the same time the ship sinks, don't it? We need people who actually do know what they're doing, not just bluffing their way through it. If I'm going to ask for advice, I'm not going to someone who had just started teaching. This isn't a job where you just go in knowing what to do. Experience is king.

Anyway, the whole event made me wonder whether I'll still be teaching in 30 years. The thought of that one scares me a bit, to be honest. I might go insane first, I think.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Queenslanders fight back!

This was the cheery news that greeted me this morning.

Basically, in response to the death of Steve Irwin a bunch of Queenslanders (aka the locals) have begun killing stingrays at their local beaches:

Queensland state officials said up to 10 stingrays had since been found dead in coastal waters. Two were found dead with their tails hacked off yesterday at Deception Bay, north of Brisbane.

Sounds fair to me - an eye for an eye and all that. Incidentally I'd like to see the Queensland Mafia (zinc cream on nose and tight speedos) descend upon the waters of The Great Barrier Reef and start pounding on the blue ringed octopus and other notable MURDERERS that have had it too good for too long! That'd show them! Bloody blue ringed octopus think they can rule over the mighty sunbathing Queenslanders? NO WAY jose! Then when they're done wiping out all the murdering sea life the vigilante overtanning mafia can head out into central Australia and start attacking dingoes in the name of Azaria Chamberlain and then they can finish up near Perth, chopping down every tree they see along the way in order to avenge the death of Peter Brock who crashed his race car into a tree.

All I can say is, I hope nothing ever happens to the Big Pineapple because I reckon we'd all have to head for our bunkers to avoid the fallout from that one.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

you live, you learn

It's Tuesday afternoon and I'm standing outside sheltering my eyes from the sun while children play a game of soccer. It's one of those warm spring days that makes us Melbournians forget we ever had a winter. The air is dry and the sun is like a stifling blanket. I'm already hot and bothered in my black top, shifting my weight between my left and right legs and sneaking peeks at my watch. 40 minutes to go. Every so often a child will plonk down heavily on the ground and rest their heads on their knees, hoping that they won't be asked to get up and keep playing. It's a warm day and all they want to do is sit inside an air conditioned room and sleep. They've had it, these kids - they can smell the holidays on the horizon and for that matter, so can the teachers. I see their exhaustion and turn away. I'm not going to ask them to join in when they so obviously don't want to. I don't even want to. I squint upwards towards the sky and count the lack of clouds in the wide stretch of blue above me.

The student teacher is making his way through his paces and I am on the sidelines observing. This is a class he is teaching because he planned it, not because it's necessary - well not today anyway. He hasn't yet the experience to say fuck it let's do something else: An important tool for any teacher. Having the confidence to completely change one's mind and do something else comes after making mistakes like this one. I watch him deal with the frustration of teaching children who are losing interest - a common problem in this job. I take note of the things he isn't doing and cues he isn't noticing in the air around him. Things I never noticed myself, once upon a time. From this vantage point, I feel like I've seen it all before. I raise a hand to shelter my eyes like a visor and watch his face. There is a grimace of confusion and impatience around his eyes and mouth. I contemplate intervening but decide not to. This is his fight - and he needs to go through it before he can come out the other side. I look down and use the tip of my shoe to play with a small stone on the ground. The sun is relentless in its scorching shine. The air stills.

Suddenly a child runs crying from the court and into the bushes where he crouches under the low branches, pulls his knees towards his chin and sobs. I watch with curiosity as the student teacher struggles to maintain control while deciding whether to leave the grade or leave the child. I am silently willing the student teacher to send a friend instead. He approaches the child and has a few words - but it's too soon to make contact. The boy burries himself deeper into the bushes and the student teacher looks worried as he goes back to teaching the class. I wander over and sit myself near the boy, under the sheltering bush. He is one of mine from a few years ago - all grown up, but not. We have a little chat about how everything will be taken care of (it will). He smiles and creeps forward a bit. I assure him that the "issue" will be dealt with (it will). He wipes the tears away with a corner of his t-shirt and rejoins the class. That kind of thing can only be dealt with when you know what you're dealing with and student teacher doesn't. For all the idealism I've lost to this breeze or that over the years I wouldn't go back to those heady confusing days of not knowing what to do. I sit for a while and contemplate my own journey through darkness and light and into the grey area I'm in now. I guess it never really gets easier - your synapses just fire more quickly.

The clock ticks further into the afternoon and I watch the student teacher gather the grade into a line and instruct them to pack their bags ready for home. One of the boys decides to start acting up, talking back, being rowdy. He looks over with a sheepish grin; I don't think so, I think. I give him the look and he sulks back into line and is quiet. The sun shines brilliantly as we make our way into the classroom. Student teacher seems dejected and beaten and so I give him the talk we all got in our first days. Next time he'll be ready for it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Movie Musical Monday.

Movie soundtracks are such a rich source of random music. So often I've stayed until the end of the credits just so I can write down the name and artist of a song I particularly loved. Then I skip off to the music store to buy it immediately. I have many, many favourite film soundtracks. Some of them are film scores (The Virgin Suicides, Interview with the Vampire, The Fog of War) but the ones that I take with me everywhere are the ones that contain a combination of music that you wouldn't find as a colleciton anywhere else. Some of my favourites include Dazed and Confused, Pulp Fiction, The Virgin Suicides (not film score), Cherish, Strictly Ballroom, Garden State, Blow, Coffee and Cigarettes, Trainspotting, Suburbia .. and the list goes on and on. I like different soundtracks for different reasons but mostly when I listen to them I replay parts of the movie in my head. There are certain songs I cannot listen to without thinking of the movie.

One soundtrack which is never far from my side is The Royal Tenenbaums. I remember falling head over heels in love with the movie and buying the soundtrack straight afterwards. I heard that Elliot Smith song in the scene where Richie is going to attempt suicide and I was a goner.

The soundtrack itself is just beautiful from start to finish. It's melancholy, stitched through with threads of punk - and just like the movie, a little unpredictable and quirky. It has one of my favourite Ramones' songs (they need their own post) on it (Judy is a Punk) as well as Nico's mesmerising These Days (I defy anyone to hate this song). Plus it has the added bonus of Maurice Ravel's classical String Quartet - Second Movement and original music my Mark Mothersbaugh. God love Wes Anderson and Randall Poster for coming up with such a beautiful combination of songs. For months and months after seeing the movie I hardly spent a night without listening to it two, three times. That probably says a lot about my state of mind at the time but I assure you, it's more than that. I think you should all go out and buy the soundtrack. You won't regret it.

The song I picked today (and it could have been any of them, really) is Needle in the Hay by Elliot Smith, I picked it for that awesome contemplative moment in the movie where it comes from and also because after today - spending a day in the classroom for a change - I've realised how much I've really, really missed it - and now I feel well and truly lost and well..just sad. As for Elliot himself, of course he ended up committing suicide, which I think we all knew he was going down that path - so well worn by tortured artists. But the song, ah - well it's not one to play while you're getting ready to go out clubbing. It's probably not one to play much at all if you're into good moods - but it's lovely - just lovely.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

baby waybey

Auntie M and Auntie #1 have offcially wicially lost their good friendy wendy F to baby talkies. Ohhhh yesss they have! They might be a bit saddy waddy while they wait for F-ey wefey to come back to the land of the normal people. Let's do aeroplanes..yes let's! weeeeeee!

In case you needed the adult version, we have officially lost F to the land of the permanently preoccupied facial expression and general municipality of baby talk. #1 is already doing it with her dog (you know, the crotch sniffer) so when her waters finally give way she will be there in that strange land as well - and where will that leave the baby challenged people like moi eh? Hitting her head against a brick wall, that's where! With all this baby talk going on, I've never felt more like Bridget Jones in my life!

You'll be having a conversation, pouring your heart out in fact, and then suddenly you'll hear "ohhhh who's mummy's gooooood widdle boy?" and you know she's floated off somewhere nicer. I wonder if I'll be the same way should I ever spawn my own surprise child at 60 - but I have a feeling I'm more the, having strange conversations that make no sense type, rather than the goo goo ga ga type - but hey you never know! When I had ducks I did scare the shit out of them by running outside and trying to hug them everyday until they ran and sheltered under the cactus plant (where it was obvious I couldn't reach them) whenever they saw me. Perhaps I will be so utterly besotted by the cuteness of my own child (err, hope it's cute) that I will scare it silly with hugs until it runs and hides from me as well. One can only hope anyway.

I am finding myself being deliberately inflamatory more often than normal lately. If I know someone has an ideological weakness I will exploit it by saying something that will rile them up. I don't know why I do it - one day it's going to get me punched in the face. F, for instance, is a child psych and so I know if I make a comment about children it sets her off. Now, I'm a big hippy and when it comes to children's nurturing and god I can't think of anything worse than cruelty towards them in anyway. So when I said "ooh, I hate it when children throw temper tantrums in supermarkets because they don't get what they want. Is it okay to spank children in public? I'm all for public spanking. Line 'em up and spank 'em down" I totally didn't expect her to laugh. Damn, I'm wearing off on people. I will have to find another way to antagonise.

In other news I had a dream about one of you last night. Don't worry your chastity belts are all still firmly in place but I did wake up thinking "wtf?" a bit.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

a huntin' we will go.

So today I went to a few open inspections for houses. At the beginning of the day I got onto that domain site and earmarked a few places within my price range. They looked pretty snazzy from the photos so I was pretty excited about them.

Now let me ask you a question: can you airbrush pictures of houses? Because either those pictures were airbrushed like any recent picture of Brittany Spears (and I ain't talking about the 'stars without makeup' page - cause we all know those are real) or they did a house switcharoo on me.

Here's the lowdown:

First house in a leafy street I liked...except that it leaned so far to the right I actually lost my footing. Also the guy doing burnouts in his driveway down the road didn't impress (though it *did* amuse).

Second - the apartment opposite a lovely park in a great central location had a bathroom with original fittings, circa 1971 (not in a cool kinda retro way - more like an "I play the organ and have the sheet music for Hawaiian Wedding song on the stand out for the whole world to see" kind of way). Plus I could hardly fit into the kitchen.

I actually couldn't bring myself to go into the third flat - something to do with the fact that I feared for my life in the neighbourhood. I'm sure it was just lovely though.

The fourth house was magnificent! It was my favourite (I'm not kidding). A gorgeous courtyard, perfectly sized bedrooms, exquisite original fireplaces (I love fireplaces). It was just darling. Of course it would have helped If I couldn't see the footpath outside the house out of the gap between the floor and the wall in the front bedroom. Also the wall actually crumbling before my very eyes earned it another black mark. And well..outdoor loo usually means redback spider bites on your bottom. But apart from that I am so going to that auction.

Fifth house? okay didn't quite make it - I was depressed by that point.

I had dragged bro along with me for moral support and he laughed his head off the whole time. In fact in the fourth house even the real estate agent (seiously are blonde hair tips part of the job requirement? Why do they all have them?) was laughing at it.

So either I've got to get a high paying power job or I've got to lower my standards because so far, I'm just not feeling it in any of these places. The thing with me is that I like cosy olden style with all the mod cons, but not delapetated. Somehow this doesn't quite seem to work in the real estate market these days.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

counting flowers on the wall

I'm confused, pensive, pondering.

There is this guy at work I'm not attracted to. Huh? Yeah, not.

This is not really an issue except that he's extremely good looking, a good person, we have the same dorky sense of humour (best laugh of the day today...err, also only laugh of the day) and he's single. He's even thinking of becoming a Primary School Teacher - which means he loves kids! Men who love kids are really high on the list of things that attract me to them (it's got to do with that kindness thing. Men who love kids enough to actually want to spend most of their day with them simply must have a good heart). Men who make me laugh are to die for. I just adore them. Yet, this guy - I'm not attracted to him. Not in the least.

He was helping with the editing of the movie project today so we were working hand in a hand a lot. Actually, now that I think about it, over the years he has helped me out a lot with technical matters (ie: me fucking up the server whenever I come into 10 feet of a computer). Honestly, when I first started on the job I had a big crush on him. I could hardly look at him without blushing - but it sort of dissapeared. And today, Bless his soul - this shows how great he really is - he spent 6 hours straight with Dawson Leary and did not combust into flames.

After all was said and done and all the kids had gone home, we found ourselves in a comfortable moment together over the editing software waiting for the tape to finish recording. I stepped back from myself and examined the situation. Why don't you love him? I couldn't think of a reason why I wasn't attracted to this guy. Meanwhile any number of dumb reasons will set me off on a huge crush on...people I hardly know - but this guy; nada.

It unnerved me, this lack of feeling for someone so ..there. I have no idea what I want anymore. Maybe I think that 'certain guy' is just going to end up doing something really not nice, so it's not worth it from the beginning. Maybe I don't want anything at all. Maybe I just want a cat and a good book and a vibrator. But that can't be right..can it?

no good.

There is this great little children's story called Alexander, and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. It's about this kid, Alexander, who is having a bad day. The worst day in fact. It's so bad that the only cure is getting on a jet plane and going to Australia. No one has a bad day in Australia, do they?

"I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."

I love that book.

The only thing I want to know is; If I'm having a terrile, horrible, no good, very bad day and I'm already in Australia. What's my cure?


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Nonsense stuff

Dawson Leary is driving me batty. I swear he has driven me back into the arms of chocolate. I've had 5 Freddo Frogs in the past 4 days - I shove them into my face like the cookie monster. You may be asking well, if she's on a detox then why has she got chocolate around anyway? Well, inquiring minds, the reason why I have chocolate around is that I bought all these Freddo Frogs to give to the people who gave up time and energy to devote to this project (other teachers we used in the filming process). So yes techincally I've eaten someone elses present. yep.

Anyway, back to Dawson. The other day I walked into the editing room (ie: also known as the library, desk to three teachers, degrassi dvd burning centre, only place in the school where you go to steal the enforced sticky tape and CD-Rs and where you'll find Vice Prin most days) and there he was mucking around making the film go backwards and slowing down the talking etc. I almost ran over and slapped him in the back of the head. He had done a bit of editing (ie: one scene) and showed me the end result. I was unimpressed and immediately wanted to hire a professional to do it (wait, can I DO that???). He had missed half the lines and the scene had no continuity. I tried not to act hysterical and showed restraint and professionalism by grabbing the script and shoving it in his face (yes, literally) FOR THE NEXT WEEK THIS IS YOUR BIBLE!!! THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL EAT AND BREATHE! THIS IS THE FIRST PLACE YOU LOOK BEFORE DOING ANYTHING! He looked at me and said "well it's good that I don't read the "other" bible then isn't it?". But I was serious, oh yes. Vice Prin who was standing two feet away was very amused by the whole situation. I hope Dawson doesn't tell his parents about the bible comment.. oops.

In other news (and since I have decided to become a nun I have no news of my own) L has been tantalising us with her gossip about her new man. On the surface he seemed nice and everything but then wrote her this email where he told her that he liked it when "his women" dressed like "sluts" and that actually she should dress more like a slut for him. L immediately went into survival mode and wrote back well, I like my men to be 6 foot 2 and built but I'm not going to ask you to start walking on stilts and working out for 3 hours a day am I?

Best. Comeback. Ever.

Needless to say, the relationship didn't last.

Monday, September 04, 2006

don't you know what girls say sometimes?

Honest to God, I swear this is true.

I went out to lunch the other day with bro. It was at a nice little Vietnamese place (by nice I mean the waiting staff were looking over their shoulder in case the health inspector were to show up, but lack of hygiene is made up for by their EXCELLENT salt and pepper squid legs. delish!). Anyway we were sitting there enjoying our pre-meal green tea, when this group of about 8 men walk in with briefcases. No folks, this was not the Asian Mafia. It wasn't the Italian Mafia either (they'd never eat there anyway). Not a knife, or gun or shoes with zippers to be seen.

It was worse.
Corporate Bogan blokes travelling in a pack.

Nothing makes me want to cross the street to the other side more when I see a pack of them approaching. There should be a limit as to how many are allowed to be in the same room at the same time. I say two (one to pat the other on the back when they tell a tasteless joke). That's it.

They sat down at the table next to us and proceeded to do what bogans do best (call eachother mate and talk about chicks).

Bro and I smile at eachother and roll our eyes. He says "god I hate people". I agree. It's all going to plan so far.

Meanwhile the salt and pepper squid legs come out and they are crunchy and hot and we dig in. yummm. I am half listening to the bogan blokes congratulate eachother on how fuckin' brilliant they are when one of them starts retelling a story about the HOTTEST CHICK HE EVER SAW. He's going into minute detail about her tits and eyes and saying how fucking BEEEEAAAAUUUTIFUL she was and describing everything about her. You know, the standard anorexic magazine girl that all men seem to adore. They're all agreeing that she sounds perfect. This is all typical as to what you'd hear any bunch of blokes discussing. But then he goes onto say that when she opened her mouth she had the worlds worst voice and how "beautiful women just shouldn't talk at all"and then someone else says "women shouldn't talk at all" and they're all agreeing and clinking glasses and shit. Now, at first I thought it was a joke (and as jokes go it was a good one) but then I realised - when I dared to look up - that actually they were serious! This would be the stage where I almost throw up my lunch and give Lorena Bobbit a call. Bro sensed that I was going to go postal and we got the hell out of there before I said something to get us all in a stand off.

Anyway, it made me really sad because I'm realising that my standards of eventually wanting to be with a guy who isn't a complete dickhead and thinks of me as a human being is slowly washing out with the tide (like the acting talent in Return to the Blue Lagoon).

So with that in mind - I dedicate this week's musical monday to that particular breed of man who happens to be quite prevalent in the land down under.

Men Are Not Nice Guys - Grand Popo Football Club

I don't know much about these guys, but I got this little hilarious piece of info from a site (oops, really should have saved that link...)

Grand Popo Football Club is the merging of two personalities. It's the joining of an eccentric and an introvert; of a school supervisor (Ariel Wizman) and one of his students (Nicolas Errera). The former wears cowboy boots, dresses in pink & kills pitbulls with his bare hands! The latter is more reserved, a trained musician, and he dresses normally....

I love me a bit of eurotrash. Let me know if that radio blog thingy works for you.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

time wounds all heals.

There's always been something problematic for me in that notion of time heals all wounds. Time allows you to stop being so emotional - and that can be a godsend. But the distance created by time turns memories into nostalgia - and this can be bittersweet. Sometimes the distance created by time gives you a kind of perspective that allows you to see all the things that you missed initially in minute detail, slow motion...frame by frame. That's rarely good. And perhaps as you move further away from action and into memory you fill in the gaps with untruths that somehow become real across time. That's rarely good either. As the hard edge of emotion wears away you've got more thinking, rationalising, wondering to do. Time has given me a lot of time to think. Sometimes I feel like I'm living on 3am thoughts. Again, not so good.

I've had time do tricky things to my memories. I've had the jack in a box phenomenon - where memories resurface when you least expect them to. But perhaps that wasn't time at all - it was just me protecting myself. I don't know, there seems to be a lot I don't know. You can't blame time for everything...and you can't protect yourself forever either.

Just after my father died, before time allowed me any perspective I thought about the death all the time. I replayed those harrowing moments of finding out and of dealing with the fallout of a mother who was 'left alone' and a brother who was 'too young'. I felt a lot of guilt as well. Guilt of not being a better daughter, of things I'd said when I was mad - stupid teenage things, which of course is what I was back then. Things that I'd even thought to myself and never uttered came back to haunt me too. Rationally I realise that thoughts cannot harm a person, but I also don't fully believe that they won't either. That's one thing, time has still not allowed me grace of forgiving myself.

After a couple of years I was able to let go of the automatic rewind, replay button in my head. I categorised select moments instead - into genre even: Happy, Sad, Drama, Foreign, Black comedy, Cult classics, Documentary, Nostalgia. That was a whole lot better than automatic replay but it's not wholey self guided either. Yesterday I picked up an apple and was transported back to being 5 or 6 and watching my dad carefully slice up thin slivers of peeled granny smith apples, drop them into a glass and then pour red wine all over them. The wine soaks into the apple takes away their tartness - what you're left with is a crisp apple infused with wine. He hands me a fork and I am allowed to have one but bargain for more. It makes me feel sentimental and I immediately want to share it with him again, but can't. It's sad.

Perhaps time just gives you time to pick good and proper at your scabs. Maybe time wounds all heals. Or time wounds, all heals. But I don't know if we ever really heal back to new, do you?

So Happy fathers day, Dad. It's been a long time but I still think about you every single day.