Saturday, 28 April 2012

Slumping. . .

. . . and embarrassed about it too.

The downside of living 5 minutes from work is that when you duck into the supermarket on a Saturday evening looking like something that's been working down on the farm, maybe even wrestling some steer, you’re guaranteed to be served by an ex-student.

I spent the day in a slump. It’s an official-honest-to-God-slump too. I managed to do exactly one thing all day: walk the dog. The rest of the day has been spent on the couch watching trash I’ve recorded: The Closer, Modern Family, and The Mentalist. Not even trash with cute men in it, that’s how bad the slump is.  I did almost go to a new yoga class. Then decided it was a lot of effort to drive 45 minutes, and besides it was cold and nasty outside. The slump is so bad I haven't even been blogging, or reading blogs, I mainly just surf internet dating sites for men I'd like to date. . . and stare at the TV.

Instead I spent a lot of time thinking about chocolate, but resisted the urge to buy any for at least 6 hours. I think that’s a very good effort. I was partly motivated by the fact that I haven’t done a lot of exercise of late - I’m still looking for a new yoga studio -and partly motivated by the fact that I was convinced the craving would past.

It didn’t.

So I bowed to the inevitable early this evening, besides I was bored, some trashy mags wouldn’t go astray either. I fed the dog, then hauled my much-less-than-glamourous self down to the local supermarket. There I was in all my make-up less glory, and my daggy dog-walking jeans when the girl who calls “Next, please” at the Express checkout is an ex-student.


I was slightly embarrassed as it was evident I was doing nothing with my life this evening.

I was slightly more embarrassed when I tried to leave with my purchases without paying.

“Would you like to pay?” she jokingly asked.

“Well, since you know where I work I probably should,” I rallied.

Then left really quickly.

Stella x

Saturday, 21 April 2012

The beautiful people. And me.

I have been kvetching to a friend about my life, which is pathetic because it’s actually a pretty good life. Being a good friend she’s gone: oy vey. . . and understood.

One of my kvetching is about yoga. Having done awesome Sivananda yoga in Bali I’ve come home and Bikram, sadly, is no longer going to cut it. So I stopped whining about not having a yoga studio to go to and dropped in on a new class this afternoon. (I had to drive 45 minutes to get there as most yoga studios are apparently in the inner city, not that I'm complaining about that at all.)

It was good, very good. Until we got to handstands.

I cannot do handstands. (I told you I wasn’t sporty.)

The gorgeous girl beside me could - perfect handstands. And her partner too. The beautiful people. It would have been much easier if they were all snotty and superior and easy to hate. But they weren’t. They were lovely.

I ended up working with them and they were gracious and friendly. And apparently just made for each other. (No, I am not even the tiniest bit envious . . . it’s not like I’m looking for anything that resembles their relationship, or anything like that. At all.)

This did not help my general level of kvetchiness (That’s probably not a word- even a Yiddish word.) as usually I count being good at yoga as one of my talents. Today that was shown not to be so true by the beautiful people - they were younger than me, attractive, thinner than me, and better at yoga than me.

Ah well. I came home and consoled myself with chocolate.

And realized I might actually have another talent.

Yesterday I saw my very pregnant friend- 41 weeks. I’m surprised she doesn’t fall over when she walks. She’d been doing everything she could to induce labour: drinking herbs, shiatsu, acupuncture etc. I had morning tea with her and as I left whispered to her tummy: It’s time to come out now.

She had the child, a boy, later that night.

Maybe I've discovered a new talent: baby whisperer.

Stella x

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Imperfect Instructions

Paint and stain tins do not come with comprehensive enough instructions.

Sure they say:

  • Do not use if there is the likelihood of rain within 24hours of application
  • Do not use in direct sunlight
  • Rinse paintbrushes in water

But they don't say:
If two people are staining the area don't stop halfway along the length of timber if you have a very heavy hand when the first person (who may or may not be your long-suffering father) takes a break and you pick up a paintbrush because, after all, it is your house.

No, they don't say that.

If they did they could also give consequences:

Or the final product may look a little lopsided. In fact, you may have a clear square area where someone who is heavy handed (like yourself perhaps) has painted . . . with their heavy hand.

Or include a diagram of the possible result -

In my defence I am a novice at staining decking- now I know what not to do.

And it would be helpful if they could gave more consequences:

Then you'll have to get your long-suffering dad (again) to even it all up with a second coat because you suck at painting decking, even if you were 100% successful at staining the house last summer.

Just sayin' . . . . they don't say that.

Stella x

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Of attitude and adolescents

Of all the things you are trained to do when learning how to be a teacher the one thing that's not covered is Parent Teacher nights. No one actually sits down and gives you guidelines on how to conduct it. Despite having taught for many years now I still wonder what all the other teachers say and why I am not made of sterner stuff.

The last few nights we've had Parent Teacher interviews, one of which has stuck in my head. This particular child does the work easily, is a quick study but is very chatty in class. This doesn't hinder her at all, as she frequently tells me, because she still gets the work done.

You may discern from that she has a bit of an attitude happening. This is a new thing- when I taught her in Year 7 we had a good relationship. This has unravelled a little recently. I have found it almost impossible to  get this child to work at a quieter level. She has been moved- she continued to argue with me publicly- and asked to be quiet on several occasions. Still it continued. She persisted with a low grade attitude towards me, yet not quite enough for me to take serious action, especially as the term was finishing and I would hand them back to their regular teacher.

Yet, at Parent Teacher night instead of sternly raising her attitude problem I was embarrassed that mine was the only class in which she was so chatty. When I raised it with her parents they were surprised, no other teacher had made the same comment.  The child, who was present as they are encouraged to be, didn't even look shame faced. 

Why am I not sterner? Why didn't I make a bigger deal about it?

The parents did tell her she was rude and disrespectful and that she should apologise to me. They said this as they departed, of course, she got up and didn't apologise. Why should I end up feeling embarrassed when the child is the one with the poor behaviour? Or her parents? Why weren't they more embarrassed?

Almost making up for that uncomfortable interview was the one where the parent was actually pleased with me. Apparently I had wrought some kind of miracle as her daughter was not only enjoying English, she was doing well, and had embraced Romeo and Juliet with enthusiasm too. (Yay me.)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

This Dating Life

After being rejected by Mr Wrong Stage of Life I went out with the Friday Night Drinks Group in town and caught up with some friends. (In comparison to men - or maybe just the men I go out with - friends are so much better.) I quickly had two drinks and was on my way to being tipsy - that would account for the fact that I posed for several group shot photos.

When not quite as inebriated I hate my photo being taken and I dislike the fact that the photos invariably end up on someone's Facebook page. In this case they ended up on the internet on a public page for the Friday Night Drinks Group- there's something about having my photo displayed for all to see that I really dislike. It's hard to say why except for something vague like, it's a privacy thing, but there you have it. I contacted the person who took the photo and she was happy to take it down, so that's fine. However, I think I will just have to avoid having my photo taken at these things.

I had a lovely time chatting to various people, avoiding my mate who has continued to appear at various social activities I go to (and even recently joined the damn Friday Night Drinks group) and monopolise my attention, and was pleased to see some new faces. OK, I'll 'fess up. When I say "new faces" I actually mean men, of course. There were some new women there and I did talk to them too but it's fun when the men come and chat to you. 

Like the guy waiting at the bar with me; he was interesting, but in the end he appeared to be quite taken with one of my girlfriends. Bummer. Still, I'm a big fan of my girlfriend and if she should end up with a new bloke I'd be quite pleased. So I left them alone and chatted to others. Then as I was casting around for someone else to speak to a nice looking guy smiled at me. I hadn't wanted to bust into the group in case the women with him were annoyed, but he smiled, so I figured it was all OK.

To cut a long story short - because apparently I am incapable of posting anything in a nice short to medium word range - we went for a coffee, and then had a lunch date a few days later. It was a pleasant date but I'm just not that 'into him,' as they say. I turned up in casual linen pants and a nice top, some wedges etc he was wearing board shorts and a shirt. (A strange combination.) I felt over dressed. 

A nice guy and interesting but he's into all these outdoor activities that I shy away from: camping? No thanks. Surfing? I might like to try. Snowboarding? Never been. And he loves the-thrill-of-things activities like bungy jumping, wants to try heliboarding etc. Apparently that's where a helicopter drops you off the beaten track somewhere and you get your snowboard and find your own way home. I'm not sure what that leaves for us to have in common. 

So, feeling a little disillusioned I later got back on-line and felt even more disillusioned. The men near my age, or a couple of years older have all of a sudden aged drastically. 

I'm feeling, again, that maybe I should lower my expectations, and yet when I do that I get bored after the 2nd date and don't want to see them again. The whole dating scene is tiring and frustrating; if it wasn't for the fact that I really enjoyed dating someone for a couple of months I'd just give up completely. Actually I hid my profile again while I tried to muster up some more enthusiasm for the whole thing. 

How disappointing that I'm still blogging about this stuff. Sigh. Hawaii 5-O is still on TV maybe I'll just go back to ogling Steve.

Stella x

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Wrong Stage of Life

Or - It’s Not You It’s Me

So recent events have had me dating someone.

I will pause a minute now and let you all get over the shock.

Oh, before you do that let me add that I met him on-line.

And now I’ll give you a bit more time.

Okey dokey, back to it.

It seemed quite promising: he appeared normal, he appeared to be a nice guy, he appeared to be into me. He was also tall.

This was excellent as it meant I could wear the ridiculously high shoes (11.5 cm/ 4 inches) I had foolishly bought in several bouts of excitement at the fact that someone stocks shoes that fit my clown feet. (That’d be a 10.5, or sometimes an 11, or a European 42. For the record I don’t think they make bigger shoes . . . for women.)

The ones pictured are when I really lost control. These are about 5.5 inches high. I mean, how does one walk in them? And do I really want to be almost 6 foot? I was tempted to buy them because the store was having a sale. They had reduced some other shoes by over $100 and for an extra $3 I could grab another pair. So I grabbed these. I’ve worn them once. Still, if I didn’t make foolish decisions when it came to footwear I wouldn’t be female.

But I digress- back to the bloke.

So, we dated for about two months. We had a serious discussion about what we were both looking for. I was looking for a relationship, and so was he. I think. He had 3 kids: twin six year olds and a four year old. I said I was OK with that - I knew from the beginning. And I was willing to throw my hat into the ring and take them all on. (See how badly I want to be in a relationship? Pathetic really.)

He was concerned I might be “really” old by the time his youngest grew up. What could I say? I was older than him. I just told him that I knew his kids would be a big part of his life - and mine if we got that far.  He worried that I wasn’t ‘at that stage of life.’ 

Anyway, it all seemed good. Then I went away for 8 days on a pre-planned trip to Bali with a girlfriend. (Bali is nice and the Balinese very easy going people but it is full of Aussie tourists.)

Whilst away I bought this very cool statue and thought it’d look good in the relationship corner of my bedroom. No harm tapping into some Feng Shui I figured.

Obviously I didn’t buy it soon enough. When I got back and text him to see when he wanted to catch up, he didn’t.

He said that he enjoyed my company but didn’t think we were at the same stage of life and that taking it to ‘the next level’ would be a mistake. Besides, he didn’t miss me as much as he thought he would when I was away.

Great. So, I have eaten the Easter egg I bought him - and very nice it was too. And given away the little gift I’d bought him, and the trinkets I’d bought his kids, to friends who are more deserving.

I’m not that cut up about it so I guess it was for the best anyway. Still, you’d think he could figure these things out before I started to invest in the relationship; if you need someone much younger than me, say that, don’t tell me my age doesn’t matter.

Anyway, far from being devastated I have jumped back on-line, must’ve mended my heart with copious amounts of chocolate.