Saturday, December 18, 2010

Addicted to presents

That's right... Addicted!

I, like most of us, enjoy opening presents. Birthdays, Christmas, Thank You, Love You (the list goes on) gifts. Whether they be big or small, expensive or not, surprise or expected, there is something intrinsically wonderfull about opening it. But I'm not yet an addict...unlike my wife.

My wife is addicted to receiving gifts, presents, parcels, etc. This blog is not ment to belittle her in any way. It's more of an intervention to highlight the dependence on "receiving" she has created. Now this "need" may be a result of my male tendencies to 'forget the little things' (and sometimes the big things) and not truely cater to her romantic perception of the husband that surprises her with small adorable gifts occassionally.

She started few years ago, using eBay as her surragate "gift giver". She would buy things for her scrapbooking hobby (at least that was what she told me). Then the occassional purchase turned into the weekly purchase. But she was now buying bulk to "onsell" and therefore get her item free.

But she has now moved past this weekly purchase. She is now expecting parcels everyday. If fact I now believe that we created our online scrapbooking supply shop just so she could feed her habit. She phones home, the kids or me, everyday asking what parcels have arrived. Wo betide anyone who must break the news that nothing has arrived. The rant at the end of the phone is enough to scare even the strongest.

Ah, but it a parcel is there then all is good. Two or more parcels and you can feel the Earth spin just a little faster without the weight of expectancy on it.

Yes, she is an Addict!

(more to come)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I'm what?...Old?

How the hell did that happen?

I'm faced with this ever-quickening realisation that the "youthfull" years of my life are rapidly transforming into my "middle" years. Some of you may already state that I reached the middle years a while ago but denial gives me the right to challenge these realists. I still feel like I'm a twenty-something but my body apparently wants to show me, and everyone else, that I am "my age".

First, somewhere in my thirties, it was the "odd" gray hair which could be easily mistaken for the light bouncing off my jet black hair. However, these gray hairs quickly established themselves as the "salt and pepper" look which became increasingly difficult to hide with wet-look hair gel. Now, as mentioned in a previous posting, I must "maintain" my appearance with the use of permanent hair colourings. To make it worse, I must now move the "5 o'clock" shadow back to 3, as these gray hairs have chosen to invade my beard as well.

Then there's my skin, once tanned and flawless, mared only by the occasional scar left as a reminder of heroic feats, or stupid decisions, you know, the things we do when we're are young. Now I find old people things on my skin. Bloches and blemishes, lumps (eeewww) and strange liney, wrinkle type things around my eyes.

And of course failure. The body type. It is becoming harder and harder, nie on impossible, for me to doing the things I once did with ease. Sports, now takes me longer to recover than to actually compete. Food, well you can forget spicy, the carefree ingestion of exotic foods has been surpassed by the cautious ordering of "mild". And onions, let's just say close family and friends have banned my consuption of them.

All these indicators, my body has so "caringly" chosen to show me that I am firmly ensconced on the path of the middle aged, are, whilst devastating in their own rights, nothing compared to the constant reminders thrown heartlessly by my own family, you know, the people that "love" you.

My fate can be summed up in the, now too-frequently use, term of "Hurry up old man!"

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ahhh, the holi...

Hold the phone! Holidays? What holidays? I was convinced I was s'pose to have two glorious weeks of school holidays which, as my also-a-teacher wife glumly imformed me today, finish tomorrow.

Impossible. How can sixteen (16) days vanish faster than my daughter can inhale a Tim-Tam? (no savouring the flavour for that girl - just inject the chocolate I say) Sixteen glorious "non-contact" days in which I was to recouperate from the ravages that were term three. Sixteen bliss-filled days in which I could meander from one distraction to the next. Sixteen days where, should the mood take me (or my darling wife nag long enough), I might look at, and even attempt, one of the many jobs listed in the "Holiday jobs to be done because-you-do-nothing-during-the-damn-rugby-season encyclopedia" (the list was superceeded many years ago). What happened to my sixteen days?

Sure, I did have a few days where I slept in and the occassional night when I was heading to bed as my loved ones were waking up (no, I'm not addicted to MW2. I can stop any time I want too!). I did manage to look at, attempt, and even complete a few jobs listed in the "encyclopedia". The swimming pool is now full with clean sparkling water, the new pool pump is installed and doing it's job, the pool garden is looking weed free and uncluttered, and the pavers in the patio area are now waterblasted clean. But all that arduous manual labour only accounts for about four days of the sixteen.

So the breakdown looks something like this:
4 days - mindless video games, television,  DVD's, and internet
4 days - "encyclopedia" jobs ie manual labour
4 days - taxiing my children to/from jobs, parties, friends, movies, house sitting, shopping
4 days - unaccounted for

Four whole days, that's 96 hours, or 5760 minutes (I hear you ask "What about the seconds? Please tell us how many seconds." And so, for dramatic effect... the seconds), or 345600 seconds (see, it was worth the build up), of my life I've lost! Unable to recover (unless someone loans me a working time machine). Four days I may have been marking (but wasn't). Four days in which I could have been planning (but again, wasn't). Four days I should have devoted to the betterment of my teaching practice (but obviously didn't).

So the only obvious answer to account for the "lost" four days, the one which makes the most sense, is... I was abducted by those damn aliens (again, hopefully no probing happened).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Oh thank god (and I do) for the school holidays.

For the last few weeks I really thought I wasn't going to make it. This term just seemed to last for ever, which is strange, because, on one hand I was overly keen for it to be over but every hour seemed like a million years, and on the other hand it felt like I hadn't enough time to complete all the "urgent" bureaucratic bulls**t paper work for the VET audit and moderation. A paradox of time and space, obviously the aliens were just messin' with me (hope I wasn't probed).

And of course, with the end of the term comes the bliss that is "non-contact", and the inevitable cold. Why is it that when I'm ready to languish in the fluid relaxation of no classes, I get sick? I spend most of the first week struggling to breathe which then leaves me with just one week to complete the encyclopedia of tasks my wife leaves for me to complete during my "time off". When do I get to just relax and forget about teaching, marking and....hold on, marking!

Now this really bites my goat. Marking during the holidays, that's right, work away from work. I was ever so luck to have my poor BCT class scheduled to sit their exam on the very last session of block exams. The LAST session, the one that finished at 3:10pm on Friday (remember that the holidays start at 3:10:01pm). I literally had 3 spare days during block exams as all my senior business classes had either exams or work experience, so I had the time to mark the kids work. But "nooo", I had supervisions and nothing to mark because of this rediculous schedule which left me with 24 ninety minute exams to mark before first day back.

Ahh, the holidays.

PS. Sorry haven't muttered for a while but been just a little busy and our poor iMac got sick, but is all better now (or should be for the fortune they charged me)

Saturday, September 4, 2010 not grey?

Jealous...hell yeah!  My odd, but ever-so-deserving parents, are off on an overseas European holiday and, yes, I'm extremely jealous (who wouldn't be?).

Whilst this is the long awaited meander down memory lane for my father, who did the big OE (when the Ark was still a forest), it is the first really big OE for my mum.  Being the art/history/cultural buff that she is, I know she's going to love every tour-guided, trudging, step. With the highlight being pilgrimage to Haifa. I, of course, would love to revisit some of the cities they will be spending time in, as I was either working, being "guided" or just too young to appreciate the history/culture I was seeing/experiencing. I know my wife and daughter would also like to go for the same reasons. My son, well, history's not really his thing.

So green covers the whole jealousy thing but grey???

I had my regular hair cut the other day and couldn't help but notice, sitting caped in the chair, how much of my hair I could see against the black of the cape. Wasn't my hair black? Apparently not. Not even close. Remembering back to my senior art years in high school, I was pretty sure you need some black to make grey. Trouble is I seem to have only 'some' black.

So when the hairdresser (that's right, no barber for this metro) finished cutting/shaving and asked if I'd like anything else, I said "Can we loose the grey?". She took me to the counter and happily sold me some ebony (not just black - ebony!) hair dye (and of course all the paraphernalia that goes with it - including formulas for mixing that most bio-chemists would need to look twice at).

So off I wondered, slightly happier and ever-so-poorer, to home where I advised my daughter that she will be dying my hair that evening (she did Bio and Chem at school). As the evening rolled around I began mixing the concoction that to the untrained eye still looked white, even after several minutes of vigorous mixing. I then handed all the gear over to my daughter who proceeded to 'throw' most of the mixture in the right direction with some of it actually landing on my head, some even on the hair.

Once all the goo had been dispensed, I sat down to wait the 30 minutes for the resulting change. It was then discovered that the dye not only works on hair but skin as well. How my daughter managed to dye her hands "through" the gloves will, of course, remain one of the many mystories challeging the great minds of our time.

Washed and rinsed, my grey hair has now been restored, albeit artificially, to it's previous blackness. But I fear this is but the first ritual, of many, in the now new past-time of 'maintaining' my appearence.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Do Ghosts haunt the Aliens?

They have to!....don't they?

I mean obviously the Aliens, who pretty much created (slash) guided ancient civilizations to achieve all their wondrous buildings/rituals/inventions/carvings/pictures/writing/etc, must have been visited, while they were here on Earth in their whole guiding role, by ghosts.

Surely the ethereal plan must have been crossed in the presence of the Aliens. If ghosts are going to manifest themselves to everyday "Joe Blogs" then it stands to reason that someone as important as an Alien must have witnessed a ghost.

Aren't these paranormal entities suppose to increase their activity when great change is happening? I can only think of a few things of greater change than the changes brought about by the Aliens. So the building of the spaceship docks/re-chargers (the pyramids) must have been a regular haunt-a-thon. And aren't the pyramids suppose to possess supernatural powers, like giant conductors, harnessing the interstellar charges, like mystical power stations (well, according to Nat.Geo on Austar).

I think they should kick the archiologists out and let the Ghost Hunters in (but not Most Haunted - way too much screaming and unmanly-like behaviour, GHI - just Ghost Hunters wannabes or those two american pansies who call themselves paranormal investigators and then scream at the slightlest sound). But the GH crew would obviously need more gear and more digital voice recorders (because they rock). Don't get me wrong, the K2's have their place but in conjuction with the old DVR, these two things should make for some damn fine evidence.

More to come on this subject.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stress...and VET Audits

Sorry it's been so long between rants but have been busy with this VET Audit...that's where some random comes into the school and checks our program and questions us for two days, that's right, two days! Now I'm all for professionalism but can't they just rely on the professionalism of the actual teachers delivering the program to make the decisions on who is competent? Apparently not! This whole audit is to stress the school and staff to the max and then try to pick holes in the program. And we have to prove that the stuff we teach is 'industry' relevant...for godness sake, it's the course work that AQTF tell us to teach so how can it not be industry relevant? Stupid bureaucrats.

So another late night typing my staff profile (again) because apparently my profile from 2006, 2007 and 2008 isn't good enough. I mean, who doesn't pop out and earn an extra degree just for the hell of it, what with all that extra time between planning, teaching, marking, writing programs, student welfare, implementing state and federal education initiatives, and PD (you know sometimes I actually get to see my wife and kids, no really, I do!).

Stress brought on by bloody pointless audits that wont happen for another 5 years (so they must be really important) isn't worth it but try and convince the powers-that-be of that and they'll bite your head off.

Well back to my profile.