Sunday, 24 December 2006

In case anyone's watching.

This week has been quiet on the blog front. My uncle passed away last weekend and the funeral was mid week. He was an excellent man: generous; friendly; always enjoyed himself and encouraged other to do so too; has wonderful children; an iconic type to me.
Favourite phrases include,

  • "G'day sweetheart. (with hug)"
  • "Who's is that noble dog?!"
  • "Well, I've confirmed it: All these pieces belong to another jigsaw puzzle."

It was an excellent funeral - one that had clearly benefited from my uncle being able to contribute and plan at least a little.

Two of my cousins did beautiful speeches, esp from my uncle's eldest son.

I bawled, of course, and my complexion makes me look like I've been crying for a day after only 5 mins.

The wake was at a golf club and then family went back to the house for a fish-and-chips dinner. Except for his noticable absence, it was a celebratory day.  I suspect Boxing Day will be much the same.

Anyway, that's why it all been a bit low.

Monday, 4 December 2006

Haikus can be glum
but also quite upbeat. Still,
they're mostly quirky.

I found these on a Yahoo 360 site by Suzy:

Cat Haiku, a selection

You never feed me.
Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.
That will show you.

You must scratch me there!
Yes, above my tail! Behold,
elevator butt.

I need a new toy.
Tail of black dog keeps good time.
Pounce! good dog! good dog!

The rule for today.
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.

In deep sleep hear sound
Cat vomit hairball somewhere.
Will find in morning.

Grace personified
I leap into the window
I meant to do that

You're always typing
Well, let's see you ignore my
Sitting on your hands.

Wanna go outside.
Oh, no! Help! I got outside!
Let me back inside!

Oh no! Big One
has been trapped by newspaper.
Cat to the rescue!

Sunday, 3 December 2006


Cute, clever, beautiful and tragic. By Dony Permedi, found on Drawn!


An evolving whiteboard-stop-motion clip "created for the Swedish band Minilogue by Kristofer Strom from Ljudbilden & Piloten", found on Drawn!. Enjoy

Note to self

Visit Found more often

"FOUND by Adam Skinner in Ontario, Canada: I found this on the way home from school on the ground."

"Oh. Your dog died? Shame."

Rose, of
Make your own caption.

I also recommend EuropaOlive and The Flying Cat, so far.

An endless source of fun, are cats.

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

No, it's not just you...

I was reading Dan's post on [redacted] about his family's birthday antics (found c/CB) and I recently gathered a similar story.

I attended the wedding of two great friends on the weekend. I don't know two better people - they're both generous, kind, thoughtful, intelligent, achieving, friendly, (good-looking darn it), and after a decade of knowing them - with at least 4 years of close friendship - I still don't know what their faults are. Unless 'inciting an inferiority complex' is one. It kills me.

One of them has an elderly grandad who's on oxygen. The contraption and cylinder rolls around with him and emits a high beep if the user isn't sucking enough juice out of it. So every now and then you get this 'flatline' sound in the background and any surrounding relatives give him a reminder-prod to breathe through his nose.
He was pretty deaf too. For example, after the MC announces the Bride and Groom to the reception room (you know, that couple in the big fancy clothes that everyone applauds, the grankiddies getting married) I hear "HE SAID 'JENNY AND JOHN MICHAELS'. HAVEN'T YOU GOT YOUR HEARING AID ON?"

So of course the speeches were excellent. The best man did a great job: " I'm sure you've learned, Jenny, during your two years living in sin together...'
Both the Bride and Groom made speeches and thank-yous. During the Groom's speech I got all teary (again), because he's just so freakin sweet, and couldn't decided if I was crying from joy or absurdity:
"She's just so fantastic. Every day has gotten better since I met her-"
Beeeeeeeeep"Breathe Mitch! Breathe!"
And I just couldn't hold it after that.


It says:

Cheers for that.

Friday, 24 November 2006

Tattoo Make-up is for suckers.

I have a good friend's wedding this weekend and yesterday I was browsing for make-up in a near-by chemist. As you do (or in case you don't) I marked my hand with a few lipsticks to see how they look and ended up with a nice little pink-red rainbow within about 10 mins.

Most places that stock a make-up range will also provide tissues to wipe off your 'experiment patch' (ooh, that phrase is so gunna catch). But not here. When I got back to the office, and had a go at it I was left with one of the colours holding fast to my skin like axl grease. I can't remember the name of it but I like to call it 'Pro Pink'. I also can't remember the brand, but do recall it was a double-ended type, with colour at one end and cover-gloss at the other.
This is what I have today, after a night's sleep and a shower:

Now I'll have to go and buy the damn stuff, and the nail polish, so I can co-ordinate with my freakin hand.

It's $30 a stick, so we can forget that. A good scrub did the job, although I lost some hair. Seriously, if you use it you'll have to plan a matching wardrobe for the following week.

Thursday, 23 November 2006

What genre is that?

We have a state election coming up.  I don't know the rules for bio/policy statements, or how one should refer to oneself, or even one's candidate. But it can't be like this. Around 17 uses of the candidate's name - Judith - starts to read a bit awkwardly after a while.
Reader doesn't like this. Reader feels that a ratio of 'proper noun : pronoun' of 3:1 is a bit silly. Reader can see that this might've been done to cover any concerns about citations, but Reader feels that, as this is a primary reference for the candidate, readability should prevail.
For other unfortunate election literature, I refer you to The Nightwatchman's piece on another candidate. Enjoy.

Sunday, 19 November 2006

As good as a holiday...

And in the absence of any real holiday heading my way, I've changed my blog template. Wheeeh!
While reading the paper today, loathing protestor efforts and the representation of protestors at yesterdays (Fridays?) G20 in Melbourne, I noticed a L.t.t.Editor lamenting the demand on people's compassion these days...
Make Poverty History - the Melbourne concert and festival - Nov 17-18
World Organ Donation Day - 26 Oct 2006
Thank You Day - November - for good research
National Walk To Work Day - 6 Oct
Victorian Bluey Day - 26 Aug
Loud Shirt Day - Nov 19 (today!)
Daffodil Day - Aug 25
Movember (for men's health)
and many more

And for a moment I thought, yeah, there's a fine line for some between giving out of consciousness (or conscienciousness, or whatever) and giving out of guilt.

But I also thought that it might be a reflector of the live-to-work mentality. If we worked to live, then maybe giving might be a natural part of one's lifestyle. Mind you, for many it is. Its just something that you do because you can, and its exactly because you can that you do and should.
No one's asking people to cry for these things, just to do the effortless parts that make it easier for those who do cry.

(oh, you'll be dripping with guilt by now.)

Funny ha ha

Ah, haiku. When will you ever funny stop?

Saturday, 18 November 2006


Re my stoftness with students.
This has shifted. I still put up with students talking over me more than I should, but not as much as I did.
I did have a challenging person who wanted to be bored most of the time, lying on the floor, acting sleepy, feigning dumbness.
Here are my various reponses:
  • 'Try this first, then decide.' 
    Open and encouraging, but still allows the option of choosing boredom.
  • Say 'I want you to give it a go. I think you'll be good at this', place this in front of student and walk away.
    This worked a few times, but had to be done in the morning.
  • Work through task with student, usually after they'd said she didn't understand it.
    Worked in that the job got done, but didn't in that I was monopolised, and I soon learned that she did get it, but that she was either lying about it or hadn't listened the first time.
  • After three requests to get off the floor, or whatever avoidance strategy was being used, I'd say in a big stern voice "Sit up, get started and have a go! There no reason why you can't do this. I want to see (this much) by (when)."
    This, strangly, worked best. Usually this student would happily work really well and nicely for the rest of the day after this.  I still don't know that the go is there. Maybe she wanted to draw attention, get me 'upset', know that I cared enough to be upset for her, or know that I expected her to be on par with everyone else. She's a bright spark, nonethelesss.

Ready to Teach

With each teaching round you supervising teacher has to produce a report for your university. At the end of the report are two boxes, essentially saying Ok, or Not Ok. On your last round the 'Ok' option says 'Ready to teach'. And my teacher ticked that one. :D

The report has to be agreed on by both student-teacher and supervising teacher, and my ST seemed to have only one critical comment: Something to the effect of 'Should step back when more experienced teachers are present to take charge'. Which I think is code for 'bossy' and 'talks too much'*.

This has been a recurring problem in my life. I can cite being young for my year level (inferiority complex?), oooor being the youngest (by a long way) in my family (who chronically interrupt each other), or being bossy, or my previous post. But in the end I wasn't that worried about it... I've decided to put it down to reckless enthusiasm. I think that a few of the stepping-on-toes events might have been because of presumptions about student-teachers; how are they to know that I've worked with databases, or have a drama/dance background? Or that after 4 years of FT work I just can't be bothered acting recessive and/or submissive just to let people feel justified? I'm too old for that crap.
Ah, well,... its as good for them as it was for me, eh?

*I know that it may, mind you, also mean 'Overestimates her ability'. But I didn't take charge of anything in place of anyone else, or when uninvited, and I didn't get that message in her report either.

The End Part 1

Last Monday was my last day of teaching rounds for this year. It was my last day to officially practice teaching primary-school aged kids.  Once I get my results back on Dec 2 (God willing) I'll be done for the year.

Of course, as a regular IT user I've been feeling guilty for not posting more often during such interesting life events, but I've been afraid of unethically blurting our stories about children or other school antics. Interesting to me, not necessarily to others. Doesn't stop me from using the stories in general conversation though, with names removed/changed, of course. Case in point, the last words from the child who opened up and leaned on me the most were 'Can I go now?'

I also know that my 9yo neice reads this blog too, so I'm trying to keep it clean and appropriate, which is sort of pointless in blogging but I'm challenging myself to stay interesting without swearing. Which is going to be a pain in the ass in no time.
In other news...
  • I've already gotten temp work lined up for around Christmas, and its 3 days a week for about 6 weeks.  Note inherent up and down sides to that.
  • I've already gotten work during my 'week off'. See above.
  • I have a wedding of two best friends next weekend, that I'm really looking forward to, but have yet to find a gift we want to give them. (Up and down sides provided)
  • My youngest brother turned 40. Not really much more to add but I understand he had a really good time.
  • I've tried my best to understand the upcoming state election, but have become increasingly annoyed.
Other stuff as happened, of course...

Sunday, 24 September 2006

I have a mid-semester break now, for a week. For most its merely a patch without classes when we can get on with our work, and I'm one of those folk.
Since last posting I've completed a teaching round in a far away place and done another Amelia Earhart cap, one that actually fits me, and just in time to go away with the rest of the winter clothes till next year.
So, I've learned a few things...
  1. I'm bossy. I don't know where this comes from. As a kid I was generally unpopular and rent-a-crowd in style. But now, as a post grad I actually have a reputation for taking charge. Eeew! I end up in groups and poeple say 'You look like an organised person. I think you should manage the group.' 'Yeah me too' say the echoing members. I have a teeny bit of resentment until I realise I don't like group work unless I either really trust the group leader, or I hijack the group's mangment so I'm happy with the way its going. It's not that I'm inflexible, or don't like others' ideas (yeah right, you say) but I get nervous if we're without a leading focal point, so to speak. And in this society people are too polite to complain or stop me. I do this with group teaching too, unless the process has been decided upon earlier.
  2. I'm thorough, I think. I'm not entirely sure but I'm getting crap about it. People know me by name before they've met me, due do online work through uni. They say to my friends 'You know her? What's she like?' I mean, come on.
  3. I'm softer with students than I thought I'd be. When they sook, or don't feel like doing things, I try to talk them around to being motivated, or sympathise with their situation. In other cases I think 'What? forget that! get on with the job and get it done. Weak!!' Lord knows how effective indifference would be, but there has to be a middle ground I can work with. Something like 'You'll be assessed on it. And things could be worse. The sooner you start, the sooner its over.' etc etc.
  4. If someone in the group is a greater extrovert than me, I shut up. Because I, too, am a sook. At some stage I might shift the status struggle and win-over with 'superiority through maturity', but I've got to be bothered, and there are conditions attached.
So I've got my hand up for temp work in this week off but you can't plan for anything of course, in case something comes up. God willing, my industrious streak will keep up till the end of term...

Saturday, 29 July 2006

Wee knitting project - Amelia Earhart Aviator Cap

I did this in two evenings of telly with a blue crepe wool - mostlikely an 8ply Cleckheatons. Find the original pattern at - its a fantastic site.
In hindsight I suspect I should've used a greater ply, tho I did use the correct needle size I think (4mm?). Anyway, my result, shown below, fits me but looks too small, even with the two lines of crochet around the edges (the chin strap is dble ch). So it will go to my baby niece. :)

My Sister's jumper

I finished it - finally!!! I used this wool to make another junper for her - it was too roomy, had a shallowneck and made her look odd. So we took it apart and I made this one instead (Panda 'Jumper knitted in puffed rib, with crocheted neck edging', in pamphlet 767)

Saturday, 15 July 2006

Gorgeously Sinister

Check out these realPlayer animation clips:

'Small Pulse' about "an unsuspecting boy who stumbles upon a lucky coin. His curiosity gets the best of him, when he manages to set a toy robot free from a vending machine..."
and 'Wat a Wonderful Day', further down that page, where "A bunny makes a magical discovery and meets an unfortunate end in this quirky animation".

Art for me

and something for everyone else...

kawaii not

Wednesday, 5 July 2006

Better than okay

When I finished my last job I was given a gift voucher at a nearby shop - the sort that sells expensive skin and hair care products - including obscure-purpose ones - as well as services like facials, spas, etc. So I thought I'd add a little $ to the voucher and turn it into a 2hr massage. I was looking forward to a slow transformation from adult woman to puddle.

It was lovely. I could've had the back massage three times over. And I recall clearly thinking in my head 'Gee I hope she does that again' after the hot face towel press. I found it really hard to relax and had to focus on releasing a lot of hand, arm and knee muscles. But the facial part took me by surprise.
It was something like a dozen different applications - something cereal-like, things cold and avocado-y, hot presses, slippery oils, eye pads, gels, the who gamut. Mind you, 2hrs was the longest service they offered, so if a gamut was to be had now was the time.

It was reported to me that my face has combination skin and that it was 'okay' considering.
Considering what? Considering that no-one pegs me above 25? Considering I've had new graduates talk down to me because they think they're senior? Maybe she meant I've gotten too much sun. Who knows, but I was slightly miffed at 'okay'. I prefer 'in great shape',or 'really good', or some other euphemism for okay, frankly. Like 'Do nothing, it's perfect'

I'm in denial about it but I suspect this little miffiness got the better of me: I bought some product. :| I know. I'm so weak.
And its the cereal-type stuff, of all things, because if one must buy something one should always start with this. So I'll be trying desperately to keep my boyfriend from looking at it or seeing me in it lest he a) run from the flat screaming, or b) fall unconscious from an oxygen depriving fit of laughter. I've even been trying to think of things I can say to lighten the mood (read, gain some respect) if he does see me in this leprous oatmeal/almond stuff; at the moment I'm planning on a lazy-eyed 'braaaains'. I mean, I really can't defend this, other than to say my skin is simply 'okay', but not good. I'm so ashamed. (And the stuff stinks too.)

The whole day, begun with a sleep-in and largely filled with this indulgence, was continued with more indulgence at Borders where I tried to spend a voucher from my brother. After being cyclically miffed, appalled and disbelieving of the paltry selection of knitting mags (all of 3), and then unimpressed with the offerings on the bookshelf, I settled on The Nanny Diaries (which I now highly recommend for nice and smart brainfood) and Girls' Night Out 3.

And then it was home for an evening of telly and knitting. Almost perfect.

Monday, 3 July 2006

Who knew!!

Last Wednesday I interviewed for a temping agency.
Then on Friday I got a one-day job on a reception.
And I got another one today. Who knew it would be so fruitful!!
Its an oddly rewarding thing to have a 'job to do' but very little to do in it. The phone rings half as often here as at Friday's office, and that wasn't very often at all. But, where Friday's office was immaculate and sparse, today's desk has 15 piles of paper on it and three machines. (Granted, Friday's office had a water feature that mostly inspired a need-to-go-to-the-loo feeling, rather than any nice Feng Shui-ness.) (Friday's office also had signs on the back of each toilet door saying "To maintain good Feng Shui and success at Co. please place the toilet seat down after use." It was permanent.) Yet, in both I have no real task other than to answer the phone. Not that I'm complaining. And I'm trying not to jinx myself. But there you go. It's a tough life for some.

Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Animals That Look Like Something 1

(It's highly optimistic of me to imply that this will become a series of posts, but what am I if not optimistic. Nothing. That's what.)

CuteOverload were good enough to bring Hitler Cats to our attention. Now you may think "Yeah, alright, how far than this go." Well, there is a surprising amount of cats with well placed black patches, but its the Hitler-in-spirit types that will keep me giggling - I refer here to the postings up to 06/21/06 12:30.

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

What 'Stupid' is that?

Using a leaf blower on a windy day. Is it:
a) dopey?
b) moronic?
c) boneheaded?
d) fatheaded? or
e) Other _______________

Monday, 26 June 2006

Film Review: The Break Up

Better than I thought it would be. Had some funny bits. But Vince Vaughn has too many eyelids, and I just don't find him attractive or endearing. Sorry.

Sunday, 18 June 2006

Film Review: Stayin' Alive

Not very good.

Happy Couples

I recently asked some friends if it was really any different being married, for them at least. And it turns out it is. Her family had changed, his hadn't. Her family seemed to feel that it was now all as it should be. Granted, they had gone out a long time, and the proposal has a story, but it was never really as though anyone was being stuffed around.
I feel, in my long-term relationship, that where his family is looking forward to a wedding, my family is waiting for a wedding. It's taken a while to convince my family that they don't have to worry about the situation, and as civil as my family is, 'forthrightness' has never really been a stretch, so it often makes me uncomfortable.
But here's what I wonder: is it a sexism thing? Do people still think that because the guy usually does the asking, the girl is at the mercy of the relationship? Or does it just depend on how long a couple has been going out? or their age? What's the age/relationship length ratio before families start thinking 'What are you doing with our girl?' Do people assume that a lack of a marriage proposal means a lack of decisions in general?

The end of part 1 of 4

I've finished first semester. Well, really I finished it about two weeks ago. I now have the rich fortune of being able to repay every Nelson 'ha ha' my boyfriend gave me for those dozen or so 8am lectures: I'm so far unspoken for until sometime in July. What. A. Shame.

I've applied for a job, but I'm not that fussed about its outcome, no right now. Maybe in a few days I'll be up for it. Maybe its because I'm hung over. I'm not sure.

I can safely say, however, that I'm glad I started the course. I've enjoyed it. It's been challenging. I'm watching Stayin' Alive. John Travolta's doing 'angry dancing'. That hair makes his head look big.

Sunday, 26 February 2006

Things About Getting Older

It's O-Week in the campuses of Melbourne and, I presume, around the country. This marks the ten year anniversary of my big coming-of-age move to the city.

I have a circle of friends I made at uni and, like many social groups from uni, its a funny one. I caught up with this group at a party last night and, as is increadibly apt for a Tin/Aluminium Anniversary, I learned some amazing facts about what I remember.

I learned that someone who I thought had disliked me had actually sought out my approval. I thought this was the first person who disliked me, not becuase they were mean or mislead or becuase of something I'd done, but for who I was. I thought they disliked me for all the things I was acutally proud of: my nonconsumerism, my lack of dieting or calorie counting, my leftie leanings and my general lack of spending money on appearances. And it turns out, after all this time, that when *I heard* them judging my actions and choices with disapproval they may actually have, in a slightly misleading way, been showing they cared by offering advice. (Granted it was advice that was often way off the mark for me: We were Very different poeple.)

At the time, being young and (from what I recall) still trying to prove I was a formidable intellect, well, I remember being aloof and indifferent and 'confident' and I suspect that I may have been rude. In fact, I suspect that I may now cringe if I were told what I said back then. At last night's party I learned that, as clearly needy as that person could be, maybe I should've given a little more than I let on; maybe I should've been more responsible with my knowledge that this person craved validation. I think there were times I could have been a better person.

I know now that, since then and in a measurable time in the past, I have tried to remember to behave in a way that I would be happy with in hindsight, ideally integrity. And I know that this sort of revelation has happened to poeple in blogland time and time again. So there's my version of it.

We're back!

We've been back for almost a week now. We did around 6,500kms going up to Bateman's Bay, doing a loop around the Snowies, going along the Murray, over to Adelaide and along the coast back to Melbourne, all in a campervan. (Which I recommend - see a few photos of it here.) My old workmates are suitably envious of my tan, uneven as it is (becuase its natural. uh huh). And its all about to end.

I start a two-year teaching degree tomorrow at 8am.

Now, at this stage, I could discuss my keenness, apprehensions and fears for about 8Mb but I suspect that articulating all this will burst the bubble, so to speak. So, I'm going to leave it for a while and say that if you are particularly interested then, by all means, let me know: we'll chat.

Monday, 16 January 2006

I play Flickr. So what?

An interesting comment at Antenna on why Flickr has become so popular and, especially for those who post to it, intriguing and addictive.
... flickr is inherently, down-to-its-bones about play. If you look at a list of the elements of a successful game, they are all present in flickr: a sense of space to explore, a range of challenges, a range of abilities which can succeed, the need for preparation and skill, a variable feedback system... - read more

Question is: is blogging really much different...?

PARK(ing): a quiet riot

From rebar:
"The initial PARK(ing) intervention occurred on November 16, 2005 from noon until 2 p.m., without incident or interference from any level of institutional authority. Sort of makes you wonder what else you can do in a parking space . . ."

Friday, 13 January 2006

Excellent light lunchtime reading

SBS has an excellent show called Speaking in Tongues where John Saffran chats with Father Bob of South Melbourne's Catholic church and various guests, where they talk about religion and life in general. They have a segment called Father Bob's Billboard where poeple can send in ideas for the next week, visit the site for the full link. Here are my favourites for a taster.

"Deity deeds done dirt cheap" - Grant McDonald

"Wake up and smell the Moses" - Daryl Collins

"Get the flock inside" -Sharon McRay

"I can't believe it's not Buddha" - Christopher Miles

"Donate a church organ we need your heart" - Edward Raison

"The best vitamin for a Christian is B1" - Sarah Diamonds

Will I ever get round to making something like this...?

source and shots of other funky bags

Wednesday, 11 January 2006

My Superhero Alterego...

Your Superhero Profile
Your Superhero Name is The Flaming Phantom
Your Superpower is Supernatural
Your Weakness is Itching
Your Weapon is Your Wind Rod
Your Mode of Transportation is Pogo Stick

Suprisingly accurate.

What the...

A story from a work mate.

Her friend was putting 3yo girl to bed...

"Will you be in my bed in the morning Mummy?"
"No, probably not"
"Will you still be here when the Germans come?"

This Friday

This Friday is my last fulltime day at this job.
Then I go on holiday.
And then I go back to uni.
Quarterlife crisis ahoy.

Speaking of movies....

If you've recently visted The Nightwatchman (which I highly recommend), skip this....

will you watch Brokeback Mountain
a) becuase you think it looks promising?
b) to stick it up the U.S. ultra-conservative types who can't cope with a movie in their state?
c) becuase you're a leftie arts student and even if it looks like crap you won't be called a bigot dammit?
d) Not see it, even if you want to, becuase you won't be subject to reverse-reverse psychology? or
e) becuase you have a crush on the two male leads.

I, myself, will be voting with option b.
And a little from option a.
And some option e.