Monday, 28 November 2011

The end is nigh. . .

Two more teaching days, for me, until the end of the year. Yay! I know this is extremely slack but my passion for being at school, going to meetings (OK, so no need to point out I hardly go to meetings), planning and marking is at a low point. 

Maybe it's the whole "neediness" of school: this must be done, that must be done, the other must be done. At the moment another teacher is pursuing me to come in on a day off and take a class so I can mark the assessment.  We teach at the same year level, the actual a teacher of the class will be away, there is an oral all our classes have done at that year level.

For some reason it is important that another teacher of that very junior year level needs to be wrangled in to do the marking. I don't understand why. The school will cover the teacher's classes, why can't that replacement teacher mark the speeches?

Perhaps I'm not showing enough school spirit but I have no desire to come in for 70 minutes on my day off - I have other things planned. Churlish of me, I know. Even if they do pay me. I don't care really; it's Year 7, it's my day off. 

Then my lack of enthusiasm raises the question of whether or not I really want the job they're offering me Term 1 next year. Actually, there has been no formal "Here do you want this job" offer, I've just been told my load. On one hand that is, of course, good but on the other do I want to teach two Year 11 classes I haven't taught before?

What about my French course? I know if I go back to work it will be just about impossible to get to my uni classes. And that's it. If I don't go back next year I lose my place.

Hm. More thinking to do. Somehow I feel like I can't knock back the Term 1 position either. They are subjects I want to teach but. . . .

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Saved by the phone

“Can’t find it with or without a map,” she thought peering at the sleeping man by her side. “Conscience. Clearly he’s got none,” she continued muttering to herself as she slid slowly out of the bed, one leg at a time.

Bending down to locate the rest of her clothes scattered on the floor, she snagged her jeans, blouse and bra and hurriedly put them on, pausing as his snores fell silent for an instant. When the soft whistle of his breath continued she groped around for her heels and her hand touched his mobile. Unfortunately it hadn’t broken when she’d dropped it like a hot potato after reading the text.

“Stupid, stupid woman,” she berated herself, slipping the phone into her pocket.

With all their energetic make-up sex it’d obviously fallen out of his trousers as he discarded them, before slowly undressing her. Plying her with wine and contrition all the while, “Really honey, it was just lunch.” Kissing her neck slowly. “It was a mistake, a little kiss, that’s all,” unbuttoning her blouse. Crooning, “It’ll never happen again.” Fluttering kisses down towards her jeans as he unbuttoned them and slid them off.

And then she grabbed him and kissed him, if only to shut him up. Yeah she wanted to believe him, again. Yeah, she knew it wasn’t just lunch. Who texts a friend after midnight? If he hadn’t been so intent on making it up to her he would’ve remembered to turn his phone off.

But he didn’t. So she’d heard its not-quite-silent hum as it lay vibrating on the floor. “Sort of like me,” she smiled wryly, as she crossed to the bathroom and threw it in the toilet. Lid down, she flushed.

“Ha. Gone. Like this relationship,” she thought as she grabbed her bag and keys and stalked out the door.

You guessed it- another response to Bekindrewrite's Inspiration Monday. The prompt this week: Can't find it with a map. BTW, enjoyed writing the sex scene. . had to pull myself back. Maybe there's a novel in me after all. Wonder if Mills and Boons should be worried?

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Being Selfish

I returned from a friend’s place the other day grateful for my single, no kids status.

She’s a lovely friend and we have, or maybe had, lots in common but she now has a two year old running around and is firmly entrenched in domestic bliss.

When I was there she was busy making the cooked lunch and supervising the toddler, the husband wandered around not doing anything, and she was preparing for a birthday picnic tomorrow with all the relatives. I know I shouldn’t judge the dynamics of the family based on one instance but I have never seen the husband helping with the cooking; I guess he does other things like mowing the lawn. Plus she was reasoning with the two year old to get him into bed for a nap. 

Anyway, she was telling me about their respective in-laws who were all staying at various times in the coming week. That got me to thinking about the times we entertained the in-laws, or had them stay, or were obliged to go over to their place.

Look at my language: “obliged”. Yes, that’s how it felt to me an obligation. And I’m very happy I don’t have to do that now. I don’t have to prepare meals for anyone but myself, I don’t have the to deal with the negotiating required to divvy up the housework, I don’t have to see anyone I don’t want to see.

I can come home to the peace of my little house, turn the heater on if it’s cold- I don’t have to adjust my thermostat for anyone else - and cook, or not cook as I see fit. Nor do I have to spend all my patience on keeping a little one amused, clean, fed, and with enough sleep not to turn it grumpy.


Friday, 25 November 2011

Year 8 English- awesome

I went into work today as a CRT (Casual Relief Teacher) because they needed several, and me.

One of the classes I had was my Year 8 English class, but I had them for Humanities. They worked well all lesson. Then towards the end of the lesson they started to come up to show me their poems. Their anthology of poems is due on Monday. They're mainly done but still writing. 

They've been working on them at home. I believe some of them also started working on them during this class. I know it's bad, they're meant to have been doing Humanities, but how can I not be even a little bit gleeful that I have somehow - I know I'm not the greatest teacher around- inspired in them an enthusiasm (and I hope) a love for poetry. 

It's so great- they're showing me sonnets and quatrains and ballads. And they're good. Very good! I get quite a thrill when I read them.


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Big bums

Last night I was flicking through the TV channels, on my way to Hawaii 5-0 as it happens, when I stopped on some weird documentary type thing with a woman trying to explore her slight case of body dsymorphia.  I believe her major problem was that she weighed herself everyday and just wasn't happy about how she looked. For the record this was quite an attractive woman- slim, but apparently that's the problem, she obsesses about it, lovely skin, and a lovely face too. Reminded me a bit of Michelle Pfeiffer. 

Anyway, she met various people who were comfortable in their own skin: a naturalist (formerly known as nudists), a larger lady who was embracing her size, and a body builder type woman. They were all interesting, although being a naturalist in English with their shite weather doesn't appeal.

When I tuned in though she was accompanying a young lass who thought she suffered from a too small bum. Not enough oomph as it were. And this girl was visiting a plastic surgeon for some sort of bum lift.

I kid you not. 

To me her bum looked perfectly normal; in fact, she had a lovely figure. How did I know this? When at the doctor's surgery he needed to take a look at her bum. So she drops her jeans, in front of the camera, to reveal a lovely bum wearing a g-string. 

Now you may think all of this was weird but let me tell you it just got weirder.

Then the surgeon proceeded to put his hands on her bum, and explain how he was going to take "this fat packet" on her thigh (really, there was NO fat packet) and put it on her bum giving her a bigger and more uplifted bum.

It was just sort of distressing to see him touching her bum and explaining all this. I was, however, completely captivated and never did make over to Steve.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

How to be successful at on-line dating

Should you be in the unfortunate position of having to try on-line dating here are some guidelines for you. I have gleaned this information from close scrutiny of profiles, both male and female. First you need to write your profile. Try to include some, or all, of the following:
  1. It is imperative you mention The Shawshank Redemption. Everyone on-line likes it, if you don't include it in your profile you come across as some sort of weird person. (I don't have it in my profile- not sure if I've ever seen it, and besides I think it's more important to quote from The Princess Bride - this may be why I'm still single.)
  2. If you live in Victoria one of your interests must be AFL, otherwise known as the footy.  (Again, not included in my profile. Are you seeing a theme here?)
  3. You must enjoy dining out with friends. 
  4. Professing to enjoy a "good glass of red" is also widely held to be important. 
  5. DTE, GSOH, "genuine" and "bubbly" are important. (I am none of those things - my sarcastic bent takes up too much space in my personality.) 
  6. Curling up in front of an open fire is an obvious past time you must enjoy. 
  7. You should mention wanting to meet someone "genuine" or "nice" or simply just your "soul mate". 

So, now you are ready to write your profile. Women like to go for the glamour shot to include in their profiles; men like to hold the camera up to the bathroom mirror to take a self portrait. 

Next you send someone a Kiss, or they send you a Kiss. You can reply by selecting one of the following options.

To Demonstrate Interest: 
  • I’d like to get to know you, would you be interested?
  • Your profile caught my eye so I thought I’d be brave and say hi!
  • I feel we can really have fun and hit it off, do you want to explore things further?
  • I think you’re cute. Want to chat?

 Or the Not Interested options include:
  • Thanks for the kiss, but I don’t think it would work out between us.
  • Unfortunately, I’m only looking for someone local.
  • I think you should read my profile in more detail because it seems you may be looking for something I’m not.
  • I’m very flattered, but I’m not sure we have enough in common. I wish you all the best in your search.

 The Interested options are quite self explanatory. The Not Interested options I will "unpack" for you.

Thanks for the kiss, but I don’t think it would work out between us.
This actually means: Go away and leave me alone

Unfortunately, I’m only looking for someone local.
This actually means: If you work overseas then stay the hell away from me. (Yes, this is the option I should've selected with the MOS.)

I think you should read my profile in more detail because it seems you may be looking for something I’m not.
This actually means: It says I don't want to go out with a smoker! Are you blind? Or did you just not read my profile? Nor do I want to accompany you to the footy!

I’m very flattered, but I’m not sure we have enough in common. I wish you all the best in your search.
This actually means: Are you out of your freakin' mind? 

 Helpful, no? 

Stella x

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Topping the Stupid Things I Have Done List-

A visit to the clairvoyant. Before I begin let me just say I know that it really was a foolish thing to do.  But my friend had seen her, and she was spot on for her.  And, well, I needed to hear something positive; I needed some hope.

So off I trotted. To the middle of no where. This time I didn’t get lost.

She told me that I’m not putting in 100% at work, I am capable of so much more. Sounds very general, doesn’t it? Not a great start because I’m not working full-time, and I don’t want too.

Some connection with horses was seen. Horses? Nope, not me, not my family, not my friends. She tried harder, maybe way, way back in my family history? I really only know back to my great grandparents and since they were all from London I can’t really see it myself.

Then she saw a move, in 2-3 years time. A big one, not just interstate but possibly “across water.” It’s more authentic if they say it that way, isn’t it? “You will build up to it,” she said. Maybe this is my half formed plan to go and live in France for a while.

Right, so far nothing to elicit great anticipation so I had to ask. “Er, relationships? Can you tell me anything about relationships?” Again, I wasn’t putting in 100%, I was bit half hearted, something about being half hearted on the home front.

So I explained I wasn’t in a relationship but wanted to be in one. She saw nothing.

“Marriage?” I queried. Nope, nothing.

I refused to tell her about my late husband but it’s possible I did get a little teary. Then she comes back with the observation that I won’t be moving overseas by myself, someone will “tag along.” Great, that sounds like something solid. Not.

But until then, no relationship. At this point the thought of being by myself for the next 3 years made me feel very lonely.

“Really? Nothing?” I asked, not wanting to believe her and yet for some bizarre reason believing this woman knows my destiny.

“Maybe you’re not trying hard enough,” she commented.

“I try harder than anyone I know,” I countered. I join things, I go out, I do on-line dating, I’m willing to go on blind dates. . .

“Maybe you’re looking in the wrong places,” she said.

Really, I thought. So where would be the right places? I’d love to know. At this point I decided I needed to leave. Shouldn’t have gone in the first place.

What I don’t understand is why I am so willing to believe her? Is it because it was obvious what I wanted to hear- I wanted to hear that there was a relationship there for me- and she didn’t tell me that there was one there. Does her “inability” to see me in a relationship in the near future somehow make her seem more authentic?

Anyway, I was unaccountably sad after seeing her. I think I’m OK now, although if I knew where to go to have my head examined I’d go there. 

Monday, 21 November 2011

Falling into a 'Friends' reminisisence

As I was replying to a comment made yesterday all of a sudden I couldn't remember Monica's name from Friends. I figure it's an incipient middle age thing. . . or I've been dying my hair too long, anyway I had to go and google it. 

I found this site with all sorts of fun Friends trivia on it. And I found out that Joey has seven sisters, which I didn't know. And that their names are: Veronica, Mary Angela, Mary Theresa, Gina, Dina, Tina, and Cookie, which I also didn't know.

BTW, is it just me or should "seven" actually be spelt "severn"? Every time I type it comes out with that added "r".

It's a little bit addictive. Did you also know that the last episode was filmed in 2004? I mean, that's such a long time ago. Where did all the time go?

Also, they keep talking about Emily. Who was Emily? I can't remember. 

Anyway, sorry it's a rubbish post but,  hey, I'm not aiming for highbrow. I mean there's been: Hawaii 5-0's Steve (although I think I'm over him. There is a sort of edgy looking guy who reads the SBS sports news with grey hair who might be worth lusting over now), I've blogged about Breaking Dawn, plumbing issues and that perennial favourite, on-line dating. I managed to stay off on-line dating for approximately 4 days - when you're desperate, you're desperate - so no doubt there's more to come there. Oh, and there's still the clairvoyant reading to come. 

Stella x

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Plumbing failure . . .

Because I am a woman of the world - or at least of the Dandenong Ranges - I assume when things go wrong I can fix them. Damn right I can.

So when my en suite sink got clogged the other week I knew it'd be easy to fix. (My late husband's oft regretted words sing in my ear: Oh, that's a small job, won't take a minute.)

After putting up with a slowly draining sink for a week, I googled "clogged drain/sink" and found various remedies. The favoured solution from those who decided to write in to a previous questioner was Draino. I had no Draino so went with the bicarb and vinegar approach. . . after I'd been to the shop and bought the said items.

The end result? A sink that was completely blocked. Dang.

So the next step was to dismantle the sink. Which I did successfully and drained it. I even unscrewed the plug and cleaned out what appeared to be 10 years of nuclear waste around the sink hole. I have absolutely no idea how that got there as I don't even let my hair wash down the sink. The only things that go down that sink is end result of brushing my teeth, or washing my face. Very worrying. 

See photo? No clogging but you can see the remnants of black gunk there. And don't panic, that is not my toothbrush. That's a retired toothbrush I used to clear the nuclear waste from the sink hole. 

I also had to dismantle the pipes under the sink, put a bowl under there to catch the draining water, and junk, the tighten the pipes up again.

To the uninitiated this looks simple, however, one has to stick one's hands up behind/underneath the covering put and twist two pipes in opposite directions. Somehow. It also helps if you have very small hands because this sink is only marginally bigger than sinks in airplane bathrooms. 

I failed at this.

So I went to plan B. Use the main bathroom until I figure out how to do it, or call Dad for assistance. Having a 2nd bathroom is a bit of a bonus, as is having this entire 3 bedroom house that I only use half of, but it is no consolation for not having a husband who could fix this stuff for me. 

I've been "camped"out in the main bathroom for a week now. It's not looking good. I think I will have to call Dad. He might be reluctant to come over though as a while ago I lost an earring down the sink and had to do the dismantling thing then too. . . he said it was very tricky to get the pipe back together again. 

See my very glamorous toiletry/make up products? I suppose I shouldn't really just leave them all out there on the bench but it was meant to be a temporary solution. . . temporarily for a week now . . .

Saturday, 19 November 2011

US sends its men (and women I s'pose) here

A stupid poll from yahoo!7news:

Today's Poll

Q. Are you comfortable with an increased US military presence in Australia?

Before I answer I'd like some more info. Eg, are they still. . .oversexed, overpaid and over here? Just because I've given up on-line dating I can see no reason why I couldn't get very comfortable with an influx of US marines. . . or even just one. . .

Stella x

Friday, 18 November 2011

'Breaking Dawn'- self inflicted, I know

Why the attraction? Even the books weren’t that interesting, I didn’t exactly find them gripping. So I wonder why they became a big hit? I also wonder why Harry Potter became a big hit.

Wonder what the next big hit will be. We’ve had wizards and vampires . . . next? Witches? Zombies? A religious order perhaps since we’re becoming so pious. Think about it, HP was fairly pious too.

Speaking of piety . . . according to Stephanie Meyer: no sex before marriage - she sewed that one up neatly because it’d be “dangerous” what with Edward being a vampire and Bella being a human. So they get married; she's 18, he's centuries old.

All throughout the book Bella’s heroine harked back to some earlier time; she could barely do anything for herself. She was protected at all the times by Edward or Jacob- she constantly looked helpless (And sulky.) She rarely even drove her own truck- one of the boys did it. Very Victorian.

Although the novels of that era, and novelists, still managed to let their female characters do some thinking. The Bronte sisters, William Makepeace Thackeray- they all managed to stay within the constrains of their society but work within their boundaries to be women with spunk and independence.

Yay, Stephanie. Let’s kill of any kind of independent woman who can think for herself.

Begs the question why I read the books, actually speed read them, and then went to see the movies. Perhaps I was motivated by curiosity? I think it was really an anthropological expedition for me- seeing how popular culture lives. Almost like a  train wreck when you can’t look away- the make up for the vampires is truly awful. 

Just sayin'. . . y'all. . . . 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Stupid things I have done lately . . .

Thought it would do my self-esteem some good to make a list of dumb-ass things I have done. . . in the last week.

  • Got lost driving into town
  • Went to see a clairvoyant (this should really top the list)
  • Went to see Breaking Dawn (the acting has finally improved- infinitesimally.  BTW that's really hard to spell)
  • Attempted to unclog sink in en suite (Sink is now unblocked but can't put pipes back together)
  • Told kids to move when blocking the corridors (Sorry to be pedantic, if you’ve already read that scintillating post)
  • Decided to stop on-line dating (Maybe that’s not dumb, maybe it’s smart)
  • Made corn chowder (I have lots and lots left and it's really, really average)

Nope, funnily enough it is not helping my self-esteem. Maybe tomorrow when I laugh at all these stupid things . . .

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

So far and yet . . . so far

Sometimes I just shouldn’t be let out by myself. Yet another epic fail when it comes to navigating. Do you know the phrase: No freakin’ idea. Well that’s me.

This evening I was determined to go to a Tango class. I had discovered one not nearby but inner city as all good things appear to be these days. Nevertheless I had decided I needed to embrace my inner Dancing Queen again and do some tango. I might be in a little mini rut so needed to drag myself out of it. Dancing seemed just the thing.

I was ready. I was prepared.
  • I was quite excited and had told people at work I was going - hm, that’s going to be particularly embarrassing now.
  • I had gone to my Spin class this morning (and almost threw up) to make up for missing it tonight.
  • I had checked the map for the route - almost a straight line. Deceptively easy really.
  • I had applied new make-up. (There wasn’t much I could do about my hair but I am seeing the hair dresser on Friday. I just hoped the grey sort of blended with the blonde.)
  • I had talked myself out of wearing jeans (again) and put on a skirt.
  • I had rummaged through the cupboard and located my dance shoes.
  • I had got in the car early enough for any normal person to get to Richmond in plenty of time.
  • I had driven almost all there way there when disaster struck.

I realized I was on a road parallel to the one I wanted to be on. That’s OK I thought, as I quickly checked the map while waiting at the lights, I’ll just turn and get on the right road. I checked the time, still enough time for me to get there, so I turned to amend my route.

Then what with all the cars in the other lanes, the almost peak hour traffic, and the trams I turned again in what I thought was the right direction. I couldn’t pull over to check the map again, there was absolutely nowhere to go, so relying on instinct (cue hysterical laughter) I turned.

In the wrong direction. 

I discovered this when, although on the correct road, I came across a suburb I’d already driven through. Crap, I thought, looking at the time. I was going to be seriously late now, assuming I could actually turn around and point the car in the right direction. I couldn’t.

If I was a braver person I would’ve persevered and just gone late but I’m not. I was frazzled by this point and annoyed with myself. My late entrance would be noted and then I’d need to use the bathroom, and needed another 5 minutes to get my dance shoes on. So instead I’ve decided to call it a dry run for next time.

(Yes, I realize I didn’t actually get there but at least now I know which way not to go.)

One of the perks of being married was that I never got lost as I never had to drive into the city. My husband had a much better sense of direction than me; let’s face it, everyone has a much better sense of direction than me.

I shall be buying myself a GPS for Christmas. Damn, I was going to treat myself to some new yoga gear.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Self control

Ah yes, it's about skool again. . . and here you were thinking this post is all about the self control needed in not finishing an entire pack of TimTams in one sitting . . . or the self control required in not having a bloke . . .but that'd be too racy for my blog.

So, school . . . .well I was walking to my classroom this morning laden down with bag and laptop only to encounter several students (I mean lots and lots) sitting in the corridors blocking the way. Now we have around 1000 students so the corridors aren't really big enough, at least when the bell rings and they all try to go places. This was before the bell rang so everyone was just hanging out, I guess.

Knowing the kind of response I'd get - i.e. just being ignored - I took a deep breath and ignored the students myself. Until I got to an area where they were definitely blocking the corridor for other students. Thinking I should say something I pointed out that it was stupid place to sit as they were blocking the area.

Blank faces turned to look at me - although when I say "blank" I really mean teenage faces covered with far too much orange make-up, eye liner and nose piercings - turned to look at me. I kept moving as I could see no good was going to come of this. 

Then I thought better of it and told them to move, to go outside. They argued with me. It's OK for them to sit there because they sit there "every single day" and no one ever tells them to move. Gracious, I can't think what I was thinking. . .

Naturally this got my dander up. I disappeared into the library to get a piece of paper to write down their names but by the time I had returned they'd evaporated. Great.

So then I was just left feeling annoyed with myself for getting so annoyed by them. Why did this annoy me so?

I finally realized I don't like being ignored and/or students being so rude to me especially when I feel my request is reasonable and for the greater good.

What an idiot! Fancy becoming a teacher!

What I really need to figure out is how to:
a/ ignore misbehaving students
b/ pick my battles
c/ not to lose my temper

Will I ever learn?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Why I hate To Do lists. . .

This morning my To Do list looked like this:

  1. Get up
  2. Shower
  3. Dress
  4. Feed dog
  5. Feed self
  6. Go to work/school
  7. Go to gym after work
  8. Blog
  9. Read other people's blogs
  10. Eat dinner
  11. Finish marking

I did the first eight things but just can't bring myself to add anything more to my day. I want to sit on the couch and watch Big Bang Theory and eat the Corn Chowder I made yesterday- no matter how average it is. I don't want to do anymore marking and I don't want to add jobs I got given today to the list.

And having things unticked on my list only makes me anxious because I haven't managed to do everything on the list. (Have I mentioned I might be highly strung? If I was a racehorse they'd shoot me.)

My Long Term list includes:

  • Meet man
  • Go overseas
  • Fix back porch
  • Buy new tyres for the car
  • Fix that assessment rubric for school
  • Maintain a more positive attitude
  • Stop frowning (See previous)
  • Start dancing again
  • Revise all the French I learnt last year
  • Find a new place to go to yoga
  • Drive to all the cool places I want to go to, eg yoga, dancing etc but am completely put off because it'll take an hour or so.
So, in the attempt to do the very first thing on my Long Term list,  I have been doing on-line dating. . .as you know this is so completely demoralizing that doing 1-4 on the original list often becomes hard enough, let alone completing the list or attempting anything on the Long Term list. 


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Dear Jane

I will never send this letter but I’m writing it anyway. First to figure out how I feel, and . . . I don’t know, to try and figure out how you feel, I guess.

So . . . what happened?

And, how do I feel? I feel sad and lonely; you’re pushing me away. I don’t understand why.

I used to be your hero; I used to be the one you ran to when things went wrong. The one you rang, text, or emailed when you were having a bad day. When someone slighted you, or the presentation at work didn’t quite come off, when the job interview (before you got the job that I knew you would) didn’t go well and you knew you were never going to work again it was me you turned too.

You used to be pleased to see me at your door. Now you don’t want me to come around anymore. And when I ask if anything’s wrong, you shrug me off. We used to love exploring new restaurants, and now you’re ‘too tired.’

What happened to our plans to move in together? There are still half a dozen of your things hanging in my closet but you never spend the night now; there’s always brunch with the girls the next day.

I miss you; the cat misses you.

Yes, having committed it to paper it is obvious the writing is on the wall but why did you have to kill the hero?

 This was another inspiration/prompt writing response. This time courtesy of Inspiration Monday at  BekindReWrite. There's a selection of five prompts; the one I used was "kill the hero". I haven't abandoned Velvet Verbosity's writing challenge, I just have difficulty finding the latest prompt.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

People who know me better than I know myself. . .

The other day I had a fun time exploring new activities: first I went rowing in the morning, then in the afternoon I went sailing.

I enjoyed the rowing so much that I’m going to sign up for lessons. The sailing was also fun but I thought we’d learn to sail on little tiny boats- not so. We were guests on other people’s boats; the yacht club was having an Open Day and we were treated to boat rides.

View of Melbourne from the water
 The one thing that marred the day was the gentleman who decided I looked lonely and made a beeline towards me. He chatted and monopolized my attention when I really didn’t want it to be monopolized. I solved this problem by putting my hand up to go on one of the slower, smaller boats. This was less attractive to most of the men who wanted a larger, faster boat, and the smaller boat was then full. Despite the fact there was little wind it was still an enjoyable experience; our hosts were charming and easy going people. 

St Kilda Yacht Club moorings

Now I know I’ll come off sounding like a bit of a bitch complaining about this man’s unwanted attention but I’m not going to change now. At the end of the day the aforementioned man joined us again in the clubhouse for a drink. Finally I decided it was time for me to go home. It had been a long day: rowing, lunching, sailing, socializing, 8 hours later I had enough and needed to leave. I announced my intentions and tried to say ‘bye to everyone. The man who wanted to monopolise me tried to argue me out of my need to go.

I had to resort too: “I’m teaching tomorrow and need to do a bit of preparation, I’m not sure what I am teaching them.”

“Words.” he said, because that’s what English teachers do, apparently.

He continued to argue with me and try to convince me that wasn’t a good excuse to leave.

I ended up walking away a little irritated; why does he think he knows better than me what is right for me? Surely, I ponder, it’s up to me when I leave? Why do I have to come up with “valid” excuses for someone I have only just met? Yes, it is always flattering (I guess) when someone shows interest in you but I don’t need someone else to make up my mind for me. 

I know my mind- thank you very much.

Friday, 11 November 2011

the perfect man . . .

. . . for me

The last few months have seen me have dates with men who have been appealing via email but haven't lived up to their promise in the flesh.

This maybe due to my extraordinarily high standards and ideals, eg I want to be attracted to the person I am dating. Despite the fact that I am still single it has been useful in that it has helped me refine what I am looking for in a man. (Other than, of course, Steve from Hawaii 5-0. Ha, you thought I'd gotten over that obsession, didn't you?)

Anyway, more realistically the MOS was a keen contender. Why else would I let that drag on for four months, averaging exactly one date per month, except that I found him quite attractive, and he was lovely and fit too. (That means he had nice muscles.) It wasn't his non-availability that appealed either, even though I know some women like to go for men they can't get. His being away for six weeks at a time was a huge stumbling block for me. However, the text messages several times a day were nice. (Is there a better word for it than that? I can't think of it.) 

Then when he was in town he had this sort of veneer of sophistication. He knew the cool places to go, he was generally polite and well mannered, and he was interesting to talk too. Unfortunately, he also wasn't sure if he wanted a relationship; and if he did want one he wanted to go "slow." When he was back it went so slow that glaciers melted faster. I bided my time as much as I could to see if he would eventually want more contact, or even if the rate of text message contact would increase, but it never did. 

So, someone who's a little more keen than the MOS. 

Next there was the paramedic who works, not quite as far away as the MOS, but still 60km north of the city in a small country town. Anyway, we thought we might have a chance so after exchanging several long, and amusing, emails we met up. A nice person, genuine and down to earth but little in common and no "oomph" factor. I wasn't attracted. 

Then last night I met Muso guy. Again, we exchanged several fun emails. We had a lot of email banter going on, probably more so than the previous two men. He emitted an aura of coolness. He had published a novel (right up there on the totem pool of coolness for me), played in bands, and lived inner city, which was closer than the previous two. Trouble is he does a bit of free-lance writing as his only income, and lives in someone else's house. Not what I'd call financially secure, and it turns out that is important to me. (I don't necessarily want to share my hard-won financial security with someone else. Actually, I don't want to jeopardise my hard-won financial security. I hadn't previously realised this was important to me.)

Along with this writing-type coolness he had the muso grunge going on. They never have been my "type" in so far as I even have a type, but I prefer a man who is a little better groomed. Nevertheless, I thought we had enough in common to meet. And we did have a bit in common. It was fun to talk writing and publishing and the possibility that his novel was going to be turned into a tele-movie. But again, no attraction. 

So, I need a man with the MOS' sophistication who owns his own home, and is nice and fit. He will also live and work in Melbourne, not overseas, and be tall - all these men have been over 6 foot. He must have interests of his own and be financially secure. He could have the paramedic's down to earth and easy-going nature. He could be a little quirky like the Muso but will have washed his hair recently. He must actually want a relationship; with me and no one else. You know, an ability to commit himself to one person; something I suspect the MOS would have had trouble doing. 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

On-line dating, does it get better than this? Ever?

Have returned home from a date in the nick of time to squeeze in a posting for the 10th- it's  11.45pm. Phew. This is important if you are doing NaBloPoMo and have to blog everyday, for a month. 
Just had a date with a muso type guy; he still looks and dresses as if he is 26. Long hair, little dress sense: leather jacket, black jeans, t-shirt of indeterminate colour. Financially not in a position I'd hope to be in at 49 but still.  . . a certain attraction there because he had an aura of coolness.
Afterall, he is a published author, he is still in a band, spent the 90s in "Indie bands that lost money, rather than made it", is scornful and sarcastic of the dating process, and writes emails that are entertaining and addictive.
Must be the aura of coolness and the fun emails that kept me hanging in there. Unfortunately, in real life the attraction was just not physical.  At all.
It's such a shame because I had the most fun I've had on a date in a long time; for three hours. But there is absolutely no attraction there for me: zilch. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Spin instructor vs Ripley

While my inertia of late has been getting the better of me, my lack of enthusiasm does not deter me from admiring it in others: my Spin instructor, for example.

I haven’t been breaking any records getting to the gym lately, once a week has been the norm for at least two weeks.  However, an afternoon sitting on the couch reading with repeated trips to the kitchen to break off just one more piece of baguette, slather it with butter, and then cheese had me if not enthusiastic then at least determined to pay for my sins at the gym tonight.

I was pretty impressed with myself as I even did some weights before the Spin class. There was a new instructor; her enthusiasm was even more impressive. She would yell at us in time with the music, loudly.

“Out of the saddle! Run! This is what you came for!” she’d command. When she says “run” she actually means peddle as hard as you can, but that just wouldn’t have the same ring.

And it seemed to work, all that yelling, kind of like being in the army I imagine. (Note to self- never, ever join the army.) She was a like a Spin version of Ripley in my all time favourite movie Aliens   “Come on!” she bellowed. “Faster.”

We obeyed too.  

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Teaching- doncha just love it?

Or not.

Our school has a version of Study Hall where the senior students work silently. They also refrain from eating while using the computers.

In reality what happens is that they whisper to each other until the teacher comes along and asks them to be quiet. And they eat their food until the teacher comes along and asks them to put it away.

They do either of the above with varying amounts of grace, depending on - I believe - how many manners their parents have managed to instil in them, or how big a sense of entitlement they feel.

Today as I supervised Study Hall I had to ask several students to be quiet or find another place to go. Some were then quiet, others then spoke to me without actually looking at me and told me they were going anyway - all good. End result: they go.

Another lass was asked not to eat. So she put her food away- meaning she moved her box of snack biscuits away from herself. Later she opened it again and kept eating. I approached her and attempted to remove the food as she was incapable of following instructions.

She informed me: "I'm not bloody doing anything."

"Pardon?" I queried.

"I'm not bloody doing anything."

In the overall scheme of things this is quite a tame response. I've heard worse from students and witnessed worse. Nevertheless it does make my wonder:

a) Why people have children at all, and

b) Why people become teachers at all.

That's all. 

Monday, 7 November 2011

Erasing the frown lines between my eyes - or trying too

I think it began this morning when, though rushed for time, I made a huge effort and ironed the trousers I was going to wear; that turned out to be a wasted effort because when I put them on they were snug. Did I put on weight at some point that I didn't notice? Or maybe it's "muscle"- does anyone else tell themselves that?

Then I went to work, which wasn't all that fantastic. I wish they would stop saving our curriculum in new places. I cannot for the life of me find the assessment documentation for my Year 7s or 8s. Why is it necessary to change it every freakin' year? It's meant to be in something called "Atlas" which I opened but couldn't open the curriculum part, also meant to be in some shared drive somewhere. Once upon a time we saved it in the G drive, then under Learning Areas, then S drive, at some point in the W drive . . .  now I don't know. And because I was teaching all day, plus had a lunchtime Yard Duty I didn't get a chance to ask anyone else. Then noisy final year students hung around in the corridor outside the silent student area. They are meant to be studying for their final exams . . . just talking loudly instead. Probably not exclusively to annoy me but it felt like it.

Left mobile phone at home- annoying.

Student I'm meant to tutor after school didn't turn up, or turned up within 30 seconds of the bell ringing and didn't bother hanging around for me. And I've finished the book we're meant to be working on- wonder if she did?

Muso man who am trying to set up a date with has now "got something on" on the day we were tentatively  trying for; I think I'm suffering from some sort of rebound effect from the MOS and just cannot be arsed giving a man the benefit of the doubt now. But, of course, I am so we have another tentative date. If he changes it again I'm walking away though.

Oh, plus his email this morning was scornful of my suggested meeting place: not even halfway between our places, but much closer to his. He is another inner city bloke like the MOS; right now he isn't impressing me with his apparent suburb snobbery. 

Deep breath, deep breath.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

A well stocked fridge

Us single gals have fridges that look different to those of attached people. My fridge generally consists of:
2 tubs of yoghurt
Cheese slices
Cask of wine.

A well stocked fridge, on the other hand, is one that contains TWO packs of TimTams!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

On being a literary critic, oh, and TimTams

Reading To Kill a Mockingbird at the moment, have been for what seems quite a long time now. I never seem to get it finished, possibly because it’s 30 something chapters long. It may be the longest book I’ve ever read . . . oh no, that’d be Moby Dick. (And after I got through reading it, like wading through mud, I failed to go to the ONE tutorial we had on it.)

Anyway, I’m a fast reader and can generally knock over a book in a couple of days so I keep checking to see how far through it I’ve got but I never seem to make much progress. It’s sort of like swimming really fast but just treading water.

Or, like a never-ending pack of TimTams. (They had an ad once where a woman found an old lamp, rubbed it, a genie popped out and granted her three wishes. One was a never-ending pack of TimTams- all in all a good wish.)  

I am enjoying the book, maybe not as much as a pack of TimTams, and while I do enjoy it when I pick it up, really, I think it needs to be edited down a bit. Surely that amount of detail is not necessary. Afterall, how much insight can someone less than 10 really have? And I’m only reading it because a girl I tutor is studying it at school. (I think it’s a bit of an ask to assign it to Year 10’s though.) In a moment of weakness I agreed to read it so I could help her, but only if she actually read it too - like she’s meant too. I bet I’m the only one who keeps her side of the bargain.

Right, 6 chapters to go.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Houston, we have contact.

Contact, that is, with another man courtesy of the on-line dating thing. Mr Paramedic didn't work out for me, or him it turns out. He text and said he'd rather leave it, even though he thought "long and hard and then some" about it. He didn't quite specify why but he did say he suspected I felt the same. 

I replied and agreed. I didn't say there were no sparks for me just that I felt the same. But he was very nice and told me I was "lovely and witty too." That's nice, isn't it?

So, despite my profile being slightly sarcastic now, someone else has contacted me. Apparently he likes the slightly sarcastic tone of my profile. I can't quite figure out what he does but he is in a band part-time. That's kinda cool and groovy. Plus he meets my criteria of not looking old enough to pass for my father. And he admits that he is looking for someone "good looking" and follows this up with "shallow old me." The rest of his profile is all slightly scornful and self-deprecating about the whole on-line dating process which appeals to me immensely. 

We've exchanged a couple of emails which have been fun and display the proper amount of punctuation. (Not everyone involved in on-line dating understands the importance of having your profile proof-read and punctuated. This completely mystifies me. I'm also rarely attracted to the men who write their profile ALL IN UPPERCASE AND FORGET ABOUT FULL STOPS) 

We both agree that the inner city suburbs are the place to be, although only one of us lives there. (Guess who.) Right now that's where it stands, I will update when/if there is some progress. Fingers crossed, again.

Thursday, 3 November 2011


Today I am having my house valued. I have developed a hankering to move closer to town and so have been going to OFIs (Open for Inspections) and lusting after some apartments, while dismissing others.

What astounds me is the price of some of these small apartments. My house is 35 km away from town, and is lovely and spacious. I have 3 bedrooms (only one really gets used), two bathrooms, lounge, dining, kitchen etc and the most amazing views out to the city. For the price of my house approximately 35km from town (but in a popular tourist area due to the National Parks surrounding me) I can get a considerably smaller one bedroom - if I’m lucky two bedroom - apartment about 10 km from town. No guarantee of a parking space either.

This doesn’t seem like a fair trade really but then I am needing a change and the attraction of living in the hills has diminished somewhat since becoming single again. It is convenient for work, which is five minutes away, but I miss the plethora of pubs, restaurants, bars and other cultural aspects of inner city living. Plus I am limited to Beginners or General yoga classes out here. The inner city teems with a variety of exciting yoga classes I’d like to sample.

Yes, I realize I could drive there. In fact, that’s what I do to go to Bikram which is a half hour drive. Then with the 90 minute class, driving to and from, and showering it’s a 3 hour commitment- minimum.

I’m just ready for a change.

Of course I cannot move the Ridgeback X into an apartment so I will be exploring my options but not changing just yet. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A Cup Day Date

Cup Day- instead of doing the traditional thing and going to the Cup or attending a BBQ with friends I had a date. I was quite excited about this date as he sounded quite nice. And normal. (Plus he wasn’t the MOS, it looked like I was moving on.)

We’d exchanged a couple of long, detailed and amusing emails; and we’d chatted on the phone for an hour or so. He’s a paramedic in a country town north of Melbourne, but not too far away. (And at least it was in the country rather than out of the country.)

He was open and honest and easy to talk too; I’d seen photos and wasn’t repelled, on the other hand he wasn’t a Greek god either, just a normal bloke.

Perhaps a normal bloke with the patience of a Greek god as I had one of my “late arrivals” shall we say. Most of the time I display good punctuality arriving on time or a few minutes early; it annoys me when people are consistently late. Someone I dated for a few months last year would always arrive 30 minutes to an hour late - then blame the traffic. Very occasionally I fail spectacularly, sometimes because I have underestimated how long the journey will take but more often because I get lost.

Getting lost is one of my failings. Last time I saw the MOS we were going to have a drink at a bar, leaving from his place, being as he lives in that cool inner city suburb. So I launched myself off over there, got very close and then couldn’t quite remember which street he lived in - being that we’d had so many dates by then, this was number four. So I rang him and confessed my failings; he gave me his address, I was very close by. “I’ll be there in 2 minutes,” I said, optimistically. However, I got myself turned around after heading down one street and realizing I was going in the wrong direction, I turned then thought I was on a different street. It’s hard to fully explain so that I don’t sound like a complete idiot. Nevertheless, I ended up adding another 10 minutes to my trip. The MOS had come outside to wait for me and didn’t look impressed, “What happened?” he said. There really is no way to explain.

So on my date yesterday I underestimated how long it would take me thus delaying my arrival. I rang him and apologized and he was very understanding. It got worse as I got near our destination point and I couldn’t find it. I had to pull over, consult the map and chuck a few u-turns before I finally sorted myself out. I met the bloke- let’s call him Max- he was very gracious in the face of my tardiness.

We had a couple of drinks and chatted. He was easy to talk too, a nice guy, very pleasant in fact. But there was no visceral reaction from me, you know, when your stomach gets a few butterflies and you feel slightly nervous? Maybe I shouldn’t be looking for that but there was no attraction. Not that he was unattractive, he even smelt nice - I do like men who wear cologne - but I had no desire to prolong the date or see him again.

I am quite disappointed. Why can’t I be happy with a down to earth bloke? I suspect part of the trouble is that he wasn’t very urbane or sophisticated - and it feels wrong that that is what I’m wanting. Yet, I could see myself getting bored with him, despite his nice smell. So the on-line dating continues. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

And they're off. . .

Today I'm worrying about what everyone else is doing. It’s the long weekend this weekend because there’s a horse race on: the Melbourne Cup. Bizarre isn’t it that we have a holiday for a horse race? Actually, not everyone has the holiday but most get the first Tuesday in November off, which is always Cup day, and lots get the Monday off too, making it a long weekend.

The holiday is a state thing. If you’re covered by a Victorian workplace agreement, you tend to get the day off, if you’re covered by a federal award you don’t. When I was at university I usually sat an English Literature exam on Cup day.

Traditionally people either go to the Cup, well 100,000 people usually go, or go to a BBQ etc. This year I’m doing neither. I haven’t been to the Cup in decades, the crowds, the obligatory drinking all day (something I could never do) the standing around on grass all day in heels, and the extremes of weather (some years it’s scalding hot, others you get rained out) all combine to make me less than enthusiastic about going.

Previous years I’ve gone to a friend’s barbie- but this year they’ve moved back interstate and so didn’t have the BBQ. I had dinner with these friends on the Friday night, saw them off at the airport on Saturday, and had dinner with another friend on Saturday, then was content with this amount of socializing.

Until I remembered it was Cup Day on Tuesday and I had no invitation to party, anywhere. Inevitably this caused me to start pondering: don’t I have any friends? Well of course I do, just none who are throwing a Cup Day bash. Maybe I need more friends, I also pondered.

When does one stop worrying about how many friends one has? I feel so 15 again.