Friday, November 30, 2007

an idea.

*child screaming somewhere in the background*
bro - ...I hate those fucking whiny kids. That is one annoying sound.
me - you think THAT'S annoying? Multiply the sound by about a zillion times and keep it going for 45 minutes straight and you have that tantrum boy I had to deal with today.
bro - God.
me - yeah, tell me about it.
bro - what you should do is hire an inside man to pretend to be a prep.
me - WTF? Like a 25 year old Billy Maddison guy?
bro - no, no hear me out this is a good plan. You get this midget to pretend to be one of them and he can influence them. He'd be in your pocket the whole time and every time you want the kids to do something you tell midget guy and he'll set it up for you from the inside. He can be their little ring leader but really he's working for you.
me - .....that is not a bad idea. Where do I get a midget from?

The situation with the grades next year has gotten very bad. My grade is loaded with tough cases to the point where I'm about to just walk and not look back. I truly wish I could, but in the end I'm a dreamer with my feet planted firmly in the practical. I can't afford to just quit my job. What is upsetting me about the situation is not so much the "hard grade" itself it's the fact that things could be swapped around so that everyone has even grades but it's not being done, it's that I've had two changes to my grade which have both brought in even more tough kids and seen leave nicer ones and my grade was ALREADY loaded beforehand, it's the fact that I'm not being listened to and supported now which means I will be left to fend for myself next year also.

I know what it looks like when you have an unruly grade and I'm already battling with the stigma of being the art teacher going in to teach a grade. This is a huge stigma to deal with despite the fact that I've been a prep teacher before and I pretty much specialise in the early years of schooling. It's where my expertise are. People have short memories though and I know this more than anyone. The last thing I want as a professional is for my grade to be loaded to the point where people will look at them and judge everything I do MORE harshly than usual. It will have impact on my future teaching career because parents are notorious and terrible gossips out in the yard. Of course we will judge their parenting skills too, so I understand this is not a one way street - it's just that they can keep on having kids even if they are shit parents (see Britney Spears) whereas if the parents complain too loudly about us we get a bad name and parents start protesting about being in our grade. It can have devastating consequences as the teaching industry is actually a small one in terms of gossip, things tend to stick. You can go to a whole new school and everyone will know about your past - good or bad - within a month. Having a grade loaded with "issues" is like someone giving you a portfolio to work on that has little chance of succeeding. I mean sure, you deal with the situation and maybe inspiration will strike and you can beat things down but at the same time, if your end of year bonus depends on making it work and you can't because well, it was always set up to fail then you're certainly not going to be given MORE of a chance the next year are you...you'll probably get dumped with the crappy cases again.

Anyway the whole thing has really just depressed me. I'll just add it to the list of shitty things that have been going on lately.. I can't think of anything genuinely nice that has happened to me in ...well a very long time. God knows I've tried to rectify my myriad of dicey situations but to no avail.. I need a stiff drink.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

chronicles of a serial love rat dater.

You know what Kylie Minogue? I just don't get it. I just don't get you. You've got money, you have a bazillion gay fans, you can wear hot pants without a hint of irony and still make it work and you beat the big C over the head with spiky stick but you are still a magnet for deadbeat men.

There have been many though these were the lucky, lucky, lucky few that lasted longer than a few weeks.

1) Jason Donovan. Okay, there was nothing wrong with him except that he had a mullet but then again YOU had a mullet TOO! You were MFEO, goddamn you I'm still waiting for you two to walk down the isle while Suddenly plays in the background in a quaint little church in the Dandenong Mountains...fer real this time. I fully blame you for his addiction to drugs and foray into reeeeeally bad sappy pop music and finally into ugly land. Lady before you fucked with him he was every nice Smash Hits magazine reading young lass' wet dream. That is all.

2) Michael Hutchence. I totally get it - he was completely fucked up but sexy as hell. Maybe even being fucked up made him sexy as hell. It's a hard thing for a girl in her early 20s to resist, I know. Then again, he was a serial womanizer who was totally seeing other women the whole time he was with you. Then after dumping you the next thing you know he's married to a wacko and then...bam! Dead. I'm not saying you were to blame however, Jase up at #1 didn't fare so well after dealing with you either. Did I mention the words "serial womanizer"?

3) James Gooding - dude used you for sex and then sold your story to the tabloids in a simultaneous dump/humiliation move. Yeah, he was a real keeper. Again - serial womanizer

4) Pauly Shore - well I don't think he hurt YOU at all but my god woman it's PAULY SHORE, even Brendan Fraser in that cracker of a moive Encino Man was more articulate and 'human' like than him - what the fuck were you thinking? I mean jeez, I don't understand.

5) Olivier Martinez. Two words: Love Rat. Here's another two words: serial womanizer. Lady, every single person who has ever picked up a copy of NW while waiting in the check out line at Safeway knew that he was cheating on you and we all groaned simultaneously when we found out that you took him back...again..and again..and again. Okay, Frenchy stayed by your side during your battle with cancer but I'm a cynical bitch and I'm going to say what we we've all been thinking but were too nice to say: The man didn't want to be publicly known as the bastard who dumped Kylie while she had cancer. So..he stayed with you through that and then waited until you were well again before he took up with some young thing..just like he always meant to (or always was). This doesn't make him a "good person for being by your side" but instead a "dickhead that needs his nuts kicked in good and proper".

(honorable mention: That married guy who took you out on hit yacht for a "friendly" trip. Yes, married. No, no one actually believed you were 'just friends').

Girlfriend do I really have to remind you that you are rich, famous, gorgeous and un-wrinkly? What more could a man want in a woman (well so they keep saying anyway)? And this is coming from someone who doesn't even like you. I think you're a vapid attention whore who sings shit songs that are only good for a bout of retro dancing and nostalgia - but even I; a member of the ever hurtful Kylie critics can see that you are automatically five thousand per cent better than any guy out there that has the privilege of being on your arm.

Honey, it's time to go lez.

What is it with fabulous girls who can manage mammoth careers and have it all but can't resist the charms of dead beat idiots? I know so, so many absolutely wonderful (and conventionally beautiful) women who are surrounded by deadbeats! What the hell is going on?

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

those halcyon days...

The sun begins by creeping over the horizon, birds awake piercing the morning with their cheery calls... The light sees the sky turn yellow and blue and the colours fade from grey to a gradual brilliant. Flowers open, dew collects, the morning arises with a casual yawn. She does this every day, mother nature, with elegance and ease. Everything in its own time ...and place. And joining the dance, us humans - the morning traffic begins to make its cautious way into the day, rubber on tar snaking a trail around and in and out through the city and streets. The garbage truck creeps around the roads, stopping at every house with a loud hiss and bang while the rest of the city prepares to shake off that blanket of sleep..

beeep! Eyes snap awake, roll over, snooze, peel eyes open from the inside, roll out of bed, toilet, yawn, taps, warm water, wash, scrub, fingers find their way through the tangle in my hair, rub, rub, rubbing at the suds and the scalp, lathering rinse, repeat, puff - lather, bubble, repeat, bend at waist and shave legs, scrape, scrape scrape, think about the day, scrape - bleeding - keep going. Step out of shower, towel, rub, dry, moisturise, brush teeth - stroke stroke stroke, spit, smile, stroke stroke stroke, spit smile - repeat ad nauseum, hair dry, flip, comb, comb comb, flip, toss, brush, style, make up - cover circles, marks, imperfections, examine self in the mirror - self in parts never whole. Dress, run.

Check phone, contemplate breakfast, decide agains, apple? Maybe later, late, fuck breakfast, lunch? Maybe I'll grab something from the store, shoes, run. Keys turn, door slam, walk to car, juggle lap top, juggle keys, juggle bag, chuck it all in, chuck self in, keys, ignition, radio, seat belt, glasses, go - go - go - go - go - stop - shit - go - go - go - go - radio funny, laugh, repeat, laugh - stop, go quick go - go - merge - go park stop. Juggle bags and self, coffee, where's the coffee? Where's the fucking coffee? Morning, good morning, yes - I'll get on top of that, I'll get that done, Will talk to you about it later, how are you going anyway? Can't stop, on the go. Speak soon. Juggle bags and coffee - spill coffee, once, twice, thrice, sigh.

Breathe for a minute.

Bell. Fuck, go, roll, tell kid off, explain, discuss, interact, demonstrate, model, inspire, implore, impact, go, do it now, do it! You haven't got all day. Answering questions on the fly - feelings of inadequacies spring to the surface, help out, encourage, smile, counsel, assure, show, scaffold, joke, admire, not really listening, look outside window, blue skies, wonder for a moment, quick hurry, pack up, talk, stop everyone, discipline, back to clean up, evaluation, grade line up - and out.

New grade - go, roll, tell kid off, explain, discuss, interact, demonstrate, model, inspire, implore, impact, go, do it now, do it! You haven't got all day. Answering questions on the fly - feelings of inadequacies spring to the surface, help out, encourage, smile, counsel, assure, show, scaffold, joke, admire, not really listening, look outside window, blue skies, wonder for a moment, quick hurry, pack up, talk, stop everyone, discipline, back to clean up, evaluation, grade line up - and out.

Recess - quick coffee, wait in line, tap. Yep, hard morning, what about you? Little devils, little rascals, little somethings. This one did good, I was impressed too - good to know it's the same for all of us. Say, what are you doing about reports? Oh yes, horrible time. Here's me, catch you later. Coffee, sip, no biscuits again, sigh, rush back - spill coffee. Damn forgot to go to the toilet.

New grade - go, roll, tell kid off, explain, discuss, interact, demonstrate, model, inspire, implore, impact, go, do it now, do it! You haven't got all day. Answering questions on the fly - feelings of inadequacies spring to the surface, help out, encourage, smile, counsel, assure, show, scaffold, joke, admire, not really listening, look outside window, blue skies, wonder for a moment, quick hurry, pack up, talk, stop everyone, discipline, back to clean up, evaluation, grade line up - and out.

New grade - go, roll, tell kid off, explain, discuss, interact, demonstrate, model, inspire, implore, impact, go, do it now, do it! You haven't got all day. Answering questions on the fly - feelings of inadequacies spring to the surface, help out, encourage, smile, counsel, assure, show, scaffold, joke, admire, not really listening, look outside window, blue skies, wonder for a moment, quick hurry, pack up, talk, stop everyone, discipline, back to clean up, evaluation, grade line up - and out.

Lunch, fuck forgot it. No time. No time. Coffee - where's the fucking coffee? Too much work to do, back to the hole, clean, wonder, clean, prepare, think, sit - write, plan, devise, predict, assess child #1 - wonder, tick, cross, skill met, not met. Child #2 - wonder, tick, cross, skill met, above, way above. Stop, tell a child off for running the hallway. Sit down, another runs through, get up, tell off again, lunchtime detention. Coffee glup - cold, yuk. Time for new cup. Bell, forgot to go to the toilet again.

New grade - go, roll, tell kid off, explain, discuss, interact, demonstrate, model, inspire, implore, impact, go, do it now, do it! You haven't got all day. Answering questions on the fly - feelings of inadequacies spring to the surface, help out, encourage, smile, counsel, assure, show, scaffold, joke, admire, not really listening, look outside window, blue skies, wonder for a moment, quick hurry, pack up, talk, stop everyone, discipline, back to clean up, evaluation, grade line up - and out.

Bell, kids run out. Quiet. Assessment, child #3 - repeat - child #20 repeat - child #50 repeat - yawn, coffee, yawn, cleaners come in. You still here? Feel loserish, slink out. Juggle lap top and bag and assessment, keys open door and chuck everything in, chuck self in. Key, ignition, radio, belt, glasses, go - stop - go - stop - go - stop afternoon traffic is a bitch. Pull sun shield down. The yellow hues of the day are beginning to settle behind the trees on the horizon. The sun is low in the sky and it has it's pajamas on, almost ready for bed. Park, turn off ignition, breathe for a second. Juggle things.

Computer on, coffee, food, toilet (finally), email, read, laugh, blogs read, comment, laugh, think, breathe, food ready. TV, news, newspapers, catch up with the world outside. Look at face in mirror - always in parts, peel away at the make up. Scrub self clean, brush teeth - stroke stroke stroke, spit, smile, stroke stroke stroke, spit smile - repeat ad nauseum. Read, talk to friend, yes we'll have to get together soon - crap time of year...speak to you next time, music, wonder a bit, peel off clothes and settle into bed, set alarm, think about writing, must write, must, must, should, need.... Breathe slowly, heavily, sleepy - eyelids flutter closed, roll over, cheek presses into pillow, breathing becomes steady, muscles relax, breath deepens, sleep comes and so does sweet relief.


And it begins...again.

Sometimes the days don't feel like their bleeding into the next, but if I'm honest I have to say that mostly they do. Even when they are unpredictable with goings out and parties to attend and people to see it's still the same old rushed feeling. Is it just me that is frantic, or is it all of us?

Sometimes my life feels like a favourite Orbital song of mine. A perfect soundtrack really.

Halcyon & On & On - Orbital

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

politics and sexual politics

Today I went to do my civic duty by voting I witnessed something so horrific that 4 hours later I'm still not sure I'm over it. There was NO sausage sizzle at the polling booth. Cake stall; yes. Sausage Sizzle; NO. How can they call themselves a polling booth if they don't offer a lovely burnt to perfection with a choice of tomato sauce with or without onions sausage sizzle? I don't understand how they sleep at night. I'm just disappointed and upset by the whole thing and feel it is all very unAustralian. Even if I personally am not partaking in the sausage fest then I like to know that others in my electorate have the option to chow down if they want. Cake stall: Who wants a flipping cake stall? There's no enjoyment in a fruitcake...not like a nice hot sausage between a slice of tip top bread dripping with sauce and creating a sense of community spirit when you all stand around and laugh at the cronies handing out the vote Liberal pamphlets.

I know that the school I work at is having a sausage sizzle because I had to paint the bloody sign informing the general public of the event, so it confuses me that my local isn't having one. Who are these barbarians?

So, yes - it's election day. We have a choice between an ear wax eater and a man who has never invited his own deputy over for tea in the last 10+ years of working together. Fuck all other policies - I mean the fact Howard is war mongering, semi-retired, cricket loving, upper middle class serving man who enjoys being sodomized by the US Prez has a lot to do with it too - but the dinner thing well, I think that's just disgraceful. Mrs Howard has come out and said that she and the hon. Johnny haven't invited Pete and wife over for tea because they don't ever have foursomes at their home for dinner parties. Yes, this was the official bullshit excuse. It's not like they have to be best friends or anything but I assumed that there would be some bond to speak of since they are running the country together. After all, if the Libs stay in power the reigns will be handed over to Pete in a minute. Good to know there's a lot of communication going on between them behind closed doors so a smooth transition happens. No thanks, I voted for ear wax guy instead. At least we know his ears are clean enough to listen...well, they are NOW.

EDIT - convo I had with my bro earlier.

bro - so hey, I think this girl thought I was stalking her.
me - um...whaaa?
bro - yeah, it was the other day when I was meeting you for dinner and I got off the bus at a different spot from where I usually do so I could walk to the restaurant.
me - okay...
bro - anyway, I think this girl thought I was following her.
me - *laughing* riiight, did she stare at you or something?
bro - yeah, she was looking over her shoulder at me while I was walking behind her. She was really freaked out.
me - no shit *laughing*.
bro - it's not funny! I don't want to be a stalker
me - *laughing even harder* whatever. So what happened?
bro - she ran.
me - RAN? Like....ran?
bro - yeah, the thing is I tried to walk slower so that it wouldn't freak her out and then I thought I'd cross the road so I was away from her but at the last second she crossed too - so it looked like I was following her across the road. She saw me do it and then she ran.
me - oh my god, that's tragic. You stalking bastard, you have fucked her shit up good.
bro - why does she have to be so paranoid?
me - are you fucking kidding me? You have no idea what it's like to be a girl walking down a deserted street alone? If I hear heavy footsteps behind me I always grab my keys and hold them between my fingers, ready to punch. I always walk faster. I can't believe you don't know this!
bro - yeah, but that's just you.
me - bullshit, you fuck.
bro - but I'm not a stalker! I'm not doing anything wrong.
me - duh, you're just there, that's enough. She doesn't know you. She doesn't care who you are. You're just some guy walking down a totally deserted street behind her. It's not like it was in the middle of Collins St or something. You're asking her to trust you to walk behind her when in the real world women walking alone down a deserted street might be rape victims. Especially around THAT area. Why would she trust YOU?
bro - I didn't ask her to trust me! I just don't want her to freak out.
me - yeah, well maybe in a society where men don't prey on women she could walk down the street without freaking out.
bro - yeah, I know that this is an issue but...
me - sure, you *know* it's an issue but it's not something you actually ever have to deal with. It's not part of your reality of walking alone. It's part of her reality. Okay, you will rarely see a woman actually RUN but they're probably thinking 'hm..this could be dodgy, or 'oh shit' somewhere in their heads. Just because women don't always show their fear doesn't mean they aren't scared. She might have had an experience with an attacker or maybe her friend did.
bro - yeah well, I'm just saying I'm not a stalker.
me - well stop stalking people then.
bro - you suck.
me - yeah, bring it up at the next meeting of the men's alliance when you're talking about ruling the world hahahaha.
bro - haha, you're an idiot. But seriously, now I have a problem
me - what's that?
bro - I take her bus everyday. So every day from now on I have to deal with her thinking that I'm stalking her.
me - hahaha, that rules. Are you going to be like "hey I noticed you thought I was stalking you the other day but I just wanted you to know that I'm really normal".
bro - haha, noooo
me - go on, it would be cool. See if she reports you.
bro - I can't believe I have to deal with this shit now. I did nothing wrong.
me - yeah yeah whatever, no sympathy for stalkers.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

You know you're a...

It's started: The bitching. This is the one part of classroom teaching I did not miss while being the art teacher. That is; formulating the grade lists and the bitching that inextricably follows. It happens IMO because things are not fairly done. My philosophy on life is that everything MUST be fair for all. I am not one of those people that handle unfairness or favouritism well. Since life isn't very fair then you can imagine how much trouble I have dealing with things in everyday life. I don't simply say 'oh well, that's a spot of bother and just deal' oh no. I stew. I muse, I think, I brood, I get angry and I almost explode if things are not balanced. If things can be made fair then I want them to be fair. To me, that's just the way things should be - even to the point of knowing that if I have it 'too good' that it's time for me to give up some of mine so that others around me can be balanced.

When it comes to formulating grade lists I'm extremely practical about it. I feel that where possible:
1) spread out the pains, painful parents, lovelies, smarties, nutters and weirdos so that everyone has some of each.
2) every child should get a friend - but not have any grades loaded with a group of about 7 girls who "just can't be separated" what bollocks!
3) balanced grades in terms of gender, academic strengths/weaknesses.
4) no child to be with anyone that they are scared of or who we've heard they don't get along with.

In my opinion, this makes the grades more or less balanced. It gives each grade a variety of children with enough like minds to make learning groups of differing abilities. Ie: a normal classroom. Meanwhile Prin's idea of formulating class groups is to think about which kinder they came from or daycare centre and lump them in together with who they spent their last year with. Not only does this undermine teacher judgment of who we think do and don't work well together but it also means that certain grades get loaded with kids from a wonderful thorough kinder and other grades get loaded with the kids from creche who sadly do nothing more than roll around on the floor.

Guess which grade I have my name against for next year? Yep, plus one notorious parent with a child who every teacher already knows (she doesn't even go to the school yet but yes, we all know to look out). This particular parent almost demolished one teachers rep a couple of years ago just because she didn't like him. There is also a child whose brother I taught in my second year of teaching and by golly these parents are ...not nice. There's also the sister of JB. Now, in case you don't remember JB I'm going to refer you back to this post. Apparently his sister exhibits the same tendencies as her brother. I have to say, these days I just adore JB and I was right, of course he dose have aspergers and is still rather strange (but calmed down a lot). In this proposed grade of mine there's TWO OTHER children who don't talk and two with suspected processing issues. Fab.

If all the grades looked like this I wouldn't have a problem, but it's only my grade that looks like a bomb hit it. It's not a case of Prin thinking that I can handle all these "issues". It's just that she didn't want to split children up from the kinder they went to in order to make the grades more fair.

Anyway, suffice to say. I'm really not happy about the situation and of course the team knows it and rather they also know there's nothing I can do about it because Prin doesn't want to hear it. Though I'm using this vehicle of blog to vent, I really don't want to ruin everyone else's nice grades by going to Prin either. I don't want to be the teacher that can't handle it. It's a shit situation and I don't know how to make it nicer for myself. Teaching a grade of prep children is probably the hardest teaching position in the school (I know, since I've been around a bit now) and that's with a normal grade. I hate to think about what's going to happen next year if this grade stays the way it's set out now.


Like Amanda, was looking at my recent search engine history and was pleasantly surprised to see that the smut that usually drives people here has been been somewhat curtailed for now. I gather then that I must finally be high brow! Yay! Well maybhe not, but it's interesting to see what bring people here. Even if it has nothing to do with drunk nuns. Once query I thought needed answering..

you know you Melbournian when you

* have at one stage or another whether you are drunk or not sung the words to a your footy team's theme song OR at least to Up There Cazaly.
* Wear layers of clothes that can be easily peeled off or put on depending on the weather. One never assumes..
* love John So even though you really know nothing about him except that he's mayor and has an accent.
* Know where the nearest umbrella is at all times (though really not relevant for the past three years).
* Either love or hate Federation Square but agree that the concrete wasteland full of skater bogans that was there before was waaaay worse.
* Would never swim in the Yarra River, not even for a thousand dollars but LOVE seeing others do it, especially if they are from the Northern states (teehee).
* Remember who Carmen Chan is, or know someone who knows someone who knows someone who lived near her when it all happened.
* you drink real coffee (or are trying to give up), and none of that Starbucks shit either. In fact you look down upon Starbucks. Come to think of it you laugh rather heartily when other people say they got good coffee in say Adelaide or BrisV that one time.
* Have feared the wrath of a Tram driver who dings you with is ferocious bell of doom. DOOOOM!
* Have met someone at Flinders Street Station (and were late - ...and made the joke about being on 'Hurstbridge time' or something).
* Have actively avoided that derro on Smith Street who talks to himself.
* Have seen the bearded large guy who wears dresses on Brunswick Street.
* Still think nostalgically of the silver space suit street busker that would dance weirdly to electronic space music on the corner of Burke and Swanston St.
* Know that eating out is pretty much a pleasure wherever you go. Awesome food, almost everywhere.
* You can find your way to Haighs Chocolates with your eyes closed.
* You've frozen your tits (or other) off at Docklands.
* You remember when it was fucking scary to go anywhere near Spencer Street Station. In fact you refused to go there alone and you still don't *quite* trust it not to be dodgy.
* You miss having a zillion public holidays like the rest of Oz.
* I say "Jeff Kennett yellow penis on the Tulla" and you probably know what I'm talking about.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

time is eternal

Does it want to get any hotter? Seriously, what is with the heat wave? We're only in Spring folks. SPRING. How shit is summer going to be if Spring has sprung 37 big ones on us already? If this is a taste of things to come then I'm going to start stockpiling water soon cause the reserves aren't going to make it past December. I predict widespread panic and desperation over the last bottle of Evian at Coles. Maybe we should start killing off the elderly in an effort to conserve water (for the rest of us)...Just thinking out loud.

The heat makes me grumpy.. obviously.

And what's with house prices lately? I know that I've been a broken record about house prices but the other day I found myself at a "renovators delight", which happened to be directly across the road from a rather large block of commission flats. Now I'm sure a lot of honest hard working people live in commission flats - however it was 10am and a guy holding an open stubby of VB beer was taking his woman for a stroll down the street to have Sunday brunch at a popular Southern fried chicken establishment (yes, I saw them go in). I love me some of those fries myself, only not at 10am, but then I realised that for fucks sake this renovators delight in this guy's neighbourhood was going for a MINT. Mint, that is, for what it actually was worth. The clincher was when I asked about parking spaces the real estate guy said there wasn't one on title but he was ....kind of sure that it'd be safe to leave my car parked on the street... it'd be sort of safe anyway. Great. Problem is, this is right in my price range and I'm so very desperate at the moment that I'm wondering whether I should just bite the bullet. Apart from that street the surrounding suburb is one of my favourites in Melb. Would you move opposite a commission flat? Yes it's a serious question.

In Musical Monday news. This is an oldie but a goodie. Way back in the dawn of the 90s, The KLF was taking over the world with their brand of trance and being a child of many dance lessons and obsessed with beats of any kind it was right up my alley. Those of us living the early 90s dream of fluro board shorts (or skirt) worn with a sheer black chiffon shirt and hi-top sneakers can remember that the early 90s dance, trance, rap scene was tragic (see last post) but in amongst the shit there were a few gems of which this was one. I only recently started reliving The KLF. They do not sound dated unlike much of the music that came out of that time. I'm a fan.

The KLF - 3 A.M. Eternal (Live at the S.S.L.)

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Word to your mother

It's nearly the end of the school year and everything seems to be piling up on me. I'm desperately trying to finish off my program, while keeping the kids happy, clean up the art room, put up new displays, assess the art work, write reports (hahahaha) and think about the orientation program I have to teach for the next 5 weeks. Meanwhile everyone seems to be having a birthday lately, or is holding a dinner I'm required to attend, or I'm dealing with urgent family business dramas while also house hunting. My plate is a little full, and since everything is piling up I feel like I'm rushing everything I do.

This is all important as today in between finishing late at work and going out for dinner with the girls I found myself in front of the mirror with only 5 minutes to tidy up my eyebrows. I was in so much of a rush (yes, okay I was already late) that I accidentally ripped off half the bloody hair on my right eyebrow! I just stared at my hideous reflection in the mirror with my mouth gaping open and no sound coming out. I look like fucking Vanilla Ice. I HAVE THE EYEBROWS OF VANILLA ICE! I always wondered what kind of people draw in their eyebrows. You know what kind of people they are? Unco Vanilla Ice kind of people who can't control a wax wand, that's who!


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Monday, November 12, 2007

Time is on the table and the dinner's cold

Earlier this year when #1 and I heard that Crowded House were reforming for a concert tour we decided that we'd risk the dreaded 'old band getting back together and they might not be as good' syndrome that seems to be taking over the world and go see them anyway. I'm glad we did - yes it was a throwback to better times but it was also sincerely a magical night. Back in 1996 when CH had their farewell concert in Sydney, #1 and I conspired to go but since I had no car (or license for that matter) and there was no way in hell her beat up car would make it up the Hume Hwy - we had to miss out. Flying up was a no go, with both of us struggling with weekend jobs and a poor uni lifestyle. I sat on my living room couch and cried while watching it televised on the tele instead.

Years later when drummer Paul Hester tragically took his own life I had the same reaction. He was my favourite member - purely for the quirky humour he carried with him, in a public sense if not anywhere else. I remember being very young (about 9 or 10) and just adoring him. It's always the funny guys that get me where it counts. It broke my heart when he died. It still breaks my heart. I suspect that there may be a few differing opinions on this - and maybe some stories to the contrary (I don't want to know if there are) but all the good ones seem to go early.

So last week, leaving the bub behind #1 and I made our way through a perfect spring evening, no clouds hanging over the domain; yes only one season to contend with - and had a few emotional heart strings tugged by an otherwise forgotten favourite band. Who knew they could still do that? We were also serenaded by a drunk guy sitting in front of us but that's another story (I love freaks).

I think Crowded House will always hit an emotional chord with me. I remember feeling so excited by the song Sister Madly, which caused me to bounce around joyously from lounge chair pillow to pillow as a little one. I thought they were singing about me; after all I was a sister and sometimes I did step on bro's head, just like the lyrics mentioned. Not long after, I remember watching the video clip for one of their better known songs Better be Home Soon one morning on Video Hits and feeling the tears fall down my face. I still don't know why that happened but I remember it clearly, as if it was yesterday. One second I was watching the television and feeling normal and the next I was ambushed by a state of desperate sadness - the song was so true of things I didn't even know about yet - which sounds weird I know, but I understood the song on an emotional level even though I hadn't experienced that kind of longing Finn sang about yet. I remember arguing over the correct lyrics to Don't Dream it's Over on the phone with #1 (obviously this was before the internet and thus all the information we could ever want at our fingertips was in every household) and laughing like a maniac at the song Chocolate Cake - which I can't stand now but loved the ridiculousness of back then.

Nowadays it's these two songs that do not fail to give me goosebumps.

Four Seasons in One Day, for its sublime Melbourne references that you only understand if you live here and now forever Paul Hester's tribute (the Melbourne boy). For the little lump that catches in my throat every time I hear it and the gorgeous imagery in my head.

Four Seasons in One Day - Crowded House

Private Universe, which always starts with a tingle at the back of my neck, floating down my shoulders and finally settling in the pit of my stomach. This one, is really my song. I just get it.

Private Universe - Crowded House

It's funny how that works - when songs mean something to one person only and no matter how hard you try to make someone else feel the significance as deeply as you do, they can't because they simply aren't you.

(don't worry, I haven't forgotten Split Enz)

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Friday, November 09, 2007


As you may know, next year I'm going back to the classroom and today was my first real taste of how life is going to be post art teaching. I've decided that life is going to be hard, real hard. I feel like I've been run over with a steam roller driven by a bunch of 5 year olds no less.

You see the kindergarten children come to school in the last few weeks of this year to meet the teachers and have a go at being at school just like the big kids - before 'real school' next year. So this afternoon found me nervously facing a bunch of the littlest children and trying to sing a song with them while their parents scrutinized my every move. Next week I've decided that no parents will be allowed in the room. I don't quite know how I am going to achieve that but it must be done somehow.

Those particular parents that just HAD to stay, all insisted that their child had adjustment issues. You know what I say? Your child has adjustment issues because you won't bloody leave them alone. They're 5 - if you let them be themselves for a second they'll adjust. Yeah it will be tears for a bit but for christssake kids cry, get over it (though I have to make a point and say that none of these kids were crying at all). Yes, sure there are children with "special needs" - this is different but there are some parents who just wouldn't go, they just stood in the corner glaring at their child, or worse yet - would prompt them for everything. They'd prompt them about writing. They'd prompt them about how to build with the blocks. They'd prompt them on how to sit. When I say "hey Thingo, here's a piece of paper can you write down all the words you know for me?" you telling your child what to write defeats the whole purpose of me observing their behaviour. If they don't know what words are then I want to know that they don't know what words are. There is no right or wrong here it's just establishing where the children are so that we can group them to their best needs next year. It's not going to count for their university entrance rank! Furthermore I'd like to see how your child interacts with other children. You are the centre of their lives, if you're in the room then they will not want to interact with others, they will just go straight to you. UGH.

Anyway, I drew a diagram to help you understand how the afternoon went. If it looks messy on paper, think about how my brain feels right about now (and multiply by three).

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The whole nation stops for this.

* #1 has shocked the hell out of me by proclaiming that she is going to start a dreaded parent blog. You know the ones I mean. She knows someone who makes double my salary from professional blogging. Firstly, he's a lucky bastard - I hate him already. Secondly, what the hell? I don't know if I'm too comfortable sharing the internets with people I know in rl. What do you think? Do your closest friends read your blog? Would you write differently if they didn't (or did, for that matter)?

* I never thought I'd be one those people who says this but ....my allergies are playing up. This morning I sneezed 8 times in a row. IN A ROW! EIGHT! Let me tell you something... it felt nuthin' like an orgasm. I don't care what anyone says. It was agony. By the end I was just slumped over begging for mercy. I have no idea what has sparked my allergies this morning. Hell, I don't even know if I HAVE allergies. How do you find out anyway? Is there some sort of home testing I can do to find out? God knows I'm not going to the doctor. Why? I already know what they'll say - "let's prick a million needles in you *test results in* okay I suggest you avoid pollen, grass and dust. That'd be 150 dollars" OR "let's prick a million needles in you *test results in* okay I suggest we do a desensitisation of those things you're allergic to. It's going to cost a shit load of money you don't have and might not work. Okie dokie? *two years later* I suggest you avoid pollen, grass and dust. That'll be $2000 thanks. buh bye". Yeah, thanks for nothing you old quack - give me a solution I can live with. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I wish I had my own prescription pad. It'd save me a hell of a lot of time and energy.

Is it wrong that I've played out this whole scenario in my head before it's actually happened?

* Meeting up with some long lost relatives on the weekend was mighty interesting. My cousins now have a little child who is turning 7. It's all great except that in my conversations with her I picked up something was wrong with her. I know that sometimes teachers can jump to the wrong conclusions - but I also know that I'm rarely wrong when it comes to picking up on children that might have special issues. This kid has issues. I can't follow a conversation with her at all. She's very manic and she makes no sense. I really mean no sense. The parents were very cagey about answering any questions about her but it turns out that although she's almost 7 she's never been to school. She's also not being home schooled. Her mother doesn't believe children should be sent to school before 7 because that's apparently how the euros do it.

I've read a good many studies that support sending children to school later and I don't have a problem with that happening. In fact I've worked with children that have been sent to school TOO early and you know, it's hell. It's hell for the teacher and it's certainly traumatic for the child. HOWEVER, for fucks sake, if you are living in a country where the kids start school between 5 and 6 then dammit, THAT'S when you send your child to school. Can you imagine starting a prep class being two years older than your peers? At that age, 2 years is a huge difference and you are asking for social problems. Furthermore, the school will initially decide that the child should be in an age appropriate class (fair enough) but then that child will have NO IDEA what is happening because she won't have the basics down.

I'm all in a tizz about this because
1) this girl should be in school
2) I have a feeling that when she goes to school there are going to be other special needs problems to deal with ON TOP of being academically behind.


* It's the Melbourne Cup today! For the uninitiated this means that Melbournians get a whole day off work to celebrate a horse race. I am not complaining. In fact let's celebrate! I wish we got the whole week. I've got money on so many horses that I'm sure to go broke even if I win. Awesome, all in the spirit of the holiday I say.

Do you gamble? Do you bet a lot or a little? Do you put all your money on one horse to win? One horse to win and place? Many horses? Or are you really serious about it?

*EDIT* I've become rather pathetically addicted to playing pacman lately. Unfortunately I am crap at it. I have no idea how that happened - especially since I thought I was hot shit at it but anyway... Click on this link to go play pacman online and then come back here and tell me if you're good at it or not. Is there a secret pacman strategy or am I doomed to FINALLY make it past level 1 with only one life left and then get done in the first 10 seconds by that bloody inkey forever?

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

my moon and me

Toward the end of the week..
Photography class - assignment in.
Dinner with the girls.
..no babies.
Had a financial discussion.
Had an imaginary discussion with the bottom of a glass of red.
They might have been related..
Watched city people wander the streets
Fashionable ladies tapping a merry tune in high heels
the bald man talking to himself
a crazy predicting doom around the corner
and a girl in comfy looking flats and long raven wavy hair that billowed out behind her like a superhero cape.
Ate a lovely dinner
...in a restaurant that looked like the pits - but wasn't.
Saw a house I liked. Saw another house I liked.
Both had major issues.
Maybe I have major issues.
made the perfect batch of scrambled eggs.
Sang along loudly with the radio.
The toast burnt during my crescendo
..it was worth singing the song properly though.
Saw a movie, the whole cinema clapped the ending.
That never happens in Melbourne!
Another dinner - the restaurant looked nicer.
..the food wasn't as good.
looks can be deceiving.
Met family members I hadn't seen in 11 years.
I made them laugh with my stories of woe.
My life isn't so funny when I'm in a room alone, I have to admit.
Met a strange little girl who told me she was going to be a ballerina
...or just magic.
she hadn't decided yet.
She reminded me of me when I was that age.
I felt a bit like I should warn her
...that fairy dreams are fun until they come crashing down
but I didn't.
Made the perfect pizza from scratch
ate some.
Heard a song.
Love at first listen.
Isn't it great when that happens?

My Moon, My Man - Feist

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thriller night

Maybe I'm too Australian (and too much of a dirty femmo) to really ever understand but there's something I just don't get about Halloween: What the fuck is up with all these girls dressing up like skanks? Slutty kitten, Slutty nun, slutty playboy bunny, Slutty zombie, Skanky McFishnets and a short slutty skirt, Slutty librarian, Slutty vampiress etc.

This is what I understand about Halloween as provided to me in info from American movies and blogs.
1) kids go trick or treating
2) men dressing up as something gross or funny
3) Normal women by day find the biggest cliche of a skank they can in pop culture or otherwise and then use the excuse of Halloween to 'go to town' on that cliche or worse turn something that has nothing to do with sexy into something completely sexy (sexy zombie)
4) Booze.

I am reminded of that scene in Mean Girls when Lohan turns up at her first Halloween party as ...a scary bride of Frankenstein - but quickly realises that girls don't dress up as something scary on Halloween even though one SHOULD (because that's what it's about, duh) - they go as sluts instead. Am I nuffy for finding this more than mildly disturbing? Girls can't even go the 'scary holiday' without being sexy.

Becuase we don't celebrate Halloween here I can't even look at people I know and evaluate whether they have self esteem issues in order to be doing this (though one could argue that most girls do have self esteem issues). Perhaps it's a cultural thing - girls do this because girls "should be" sexy and men are "allowed" to be funny and goofy instead.

Since I am more of a funny and goofy kind of girl, it confuses and irritates me to know that I'm breaking some kind of weird unspoken gender rule by being funny and quirky or a big dag instead of being Jessica Rabbit. Especially since I'm just being myself. News flash kids, I don't wake up sexy. News flash kids, most women don't.

I find it sort of weird that girls are always "supposed" to be sexy in order to be found attractive by men when really ask any girl how she feels when she's on her period or after a long day at work, or during her lunch break or while completing any kind of menial task, or cleaning up her child's vomit, or scrubbing the toilet, or cooking dinner not for a dinner party but for a family filled with cranky or crying kids - does she feel sexy? Um I'd bank on no. How often does one do those everyday things I ask? Well about 99% (made up stat) of one's day is taken up with shitty menial tasks so I'm guessing that most of any person's day is not dedicated to feeling sexy - it's just dedicated to bloody well not killing someone before lunchtime! How does the image of that everyday 'normal' woman compare with this weird sort of "always available" image of woman that permeates our subconscious and culture and indeed how does that fit with the skanky slut dress up on Halloween?

I understand it's sexy, it's fun, men like it - and women want to impress men. But seriously, why is it all I ever read and see about Halloween is the skanky outfit for women?

Girls please get some creativity.
Go as Jan Brady for once. Get some head gear on.
Or how about an ACTUAL Catholic school girl. Total goody goodie with pimples, a hairy upper lip (a la "Superstar")?

Are girls allowed to be funny, or is skanky our only choice?

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