Why Some People Should Never Be Teachers.

Something worrying happened today that has left me fuming all afternoon.

I mentioned previously that I've started taking a batch of about sixty kidlets from all different ages of the school to their local pool to participate in a learn to swim scheme over the next two weeks. I supervised last year too and thoroughly enjoy watching kids become more comfortable in the water, learn new things, and to have fun in the pool; which is sadly something alot of these children miss out on.

Just as it was twelve months ago, the pool is quite busy at this time of year. Not only are there members of the public swimming there, there are also several primary and high schools using the facilities too, each in their own designated area of the pool. For the most part, everything runs fairly smoothly.

After today's lessons in the water had ended, the kidlets picked up all of their things and headed to the changerooms to get out of their costumes and back into their school uniforms. They had only been in there for all of five minutes, when everything went pear-shaped.

My fellow supervising teacher and I were approached by a teacher from a private primary school, who quite rudely informed us that they had "booked" the change rooms solely for themselves at this time, and that our school should not have been using them. She then said that her children were now waiting, and could we please escort our kids out of their changing area immediately.

If that wasn't bad enough, one of her staff members walked into the boys changerooms, and ordered them all out. Before they could do the same to the girls, I went ahead and looked after them, helping them move out of the changeroom. We had barely stepped out the door, when the private school teachers had their kids marching over the top of our schoolbag area, and into the changerooms.

I don't know if I was more shocked by the random request in general, or at the little respect she showed for the school, us as teachers, and most importantly - our kids! Some of these kids were shuffled out of the change rooms half dressed and all were completely and utterly confused. And that's not even beginning to mention the child protection issues in all of this; students walking around a public place in states of undress, the embarrassment of the situation, and the security issues. It's completely disgusting. The silly part is that if the teachers had allowed us five minutes of time to finish up, all of our kidlets could have been appropriately dressed and out of the area with no hassles what-so-ever.

We later found out that the swimming centre staff were not informed of the changerooms being booked at all; and we have already reported the behaviours to heads of the school. If there weren't already countless other reasons to send my child to a public school, this one seals the deal. Heck, at least we try to teach our students manners. It's more than I can say for this particular batch of school teachers after today's antics.

So what are your thoughts on it all, as a teacher, parent or random bystander?

Some Blog McLovin'

The lovely Katie deemed me worthy of a blog award a few days ago, and seeing as though the most exciting thing that happened to me today was washing my car? It sounds like a pretty darned good day to whack it up on the blog.

Of course (and as always) I'm standing by the fact that everyone on my Stalkerific Blogroll is worthy of the blog lovin' award, but I'll suck it up and drop some names.

loveblog.jpg(It's a very cute award, even if the spelling of love irritates me. But you've got to love the giant cheesy goodness of it all, right? I know I do!)

Elise: Every single time I see her blog light up in my feed reader, I'm there quick as a flash. The girl can write, and is also lovely to boot.
Michelle:
She's wonderful, and am sure she could do with some cheering up.
Katie:
I have no idea how I found her, but I swear she is like a kindred spirit.
Jamie:
She loves Pacey! I love Pacey! We can love Pacey together!
Kirby
: Possibly the best person ever to chat with over coffee. And since I don't actually drink coffee, that's saying something.

The Fastest Weekend in the World.

It only just feels like I got home after working last week. Instead, it's already Sunday night - and it's light at 8pm, which means that daylight savings is already messing with my brain, and that the easy wake up calls will abruptly stop as of tomorrow morning. (Which ironically, is the beginning of two weeks of swim school every morning, which I am strangely enough looking forward to.)

This weekend, I've consumed far too many calories to count. I've drank four more coffees than I would normally drink. But I've also had some lovely company, and the opportunity to cross some more items off "The List", which is always wonderful.

Yesterday we drove up the coast from Sydney to Gosford to visit my favourite relatives. Good food, good company, good weather; there's no better way to spend a weekend. After chatting & Thai food, we woke up to a beautiful day and had breakfast on Avoca Beach followed by a game of bowling.. and no, I haven't magically gotten any better at it either. Funny that.

I almost forgot to mention our means of transportation for the weekend!

The venture up the coast was in Ajay's MX5 (Miata) convertible. Check out his snazzy website, and you can see how awesome it is. Nothing like a cruisy and inconspicuous drive up the freeway, when you're sitting in a bright yellow car with music pounding in your ears. He recently installed a windblocker shield, so when the top was down, my hair was hardly moving. Very awesome.

The venture back down the coast was in my parent's beloved Mustang convertible. You can see that on Ajay's website too, under 'family cars'. That one wasn't quite as pleasant, as there really isn't that much leg room when you're crammed in the backseat. Despite being a trifle uncomfortable, I must say this; there is really nothing like relaxing in a convertible while basking in the sunshine with the wind blowing in your face and listening to your favourite tunes on your Ipod.

Next time though, could someone please remind me to wear a freakin' hat?

aly convertible

And one last note: please make sure you head over and visit the lovely Hotfessional's website; this month over there is all about the boobies. I realise it's the end of October, but it's better late than never -- and it's definitely a cause worth making a fuss for. Go on. The boobies need you.

Oh, and don't forget to skip back and ask me a question, if you haven't already.

Question Time!

Considering it will be November in a few short days, I've already started wondering what to write about for NaBloPoMo. Honestly, I don't know why I am planning ahead - I manage to get along fine with daily posting without worrying now, so why would next month be different? Am strange. Anyhoo, I'm going to follow some other bloggers' lead, and get as many of you involved as I can. Care to help a blogger out?

A long time ago, I put out the request for questions.. and recieved a not so wonderful response. This time though, I figured I would put on my most endearing voice, flutter my pale eyelashes, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

So if you have a little time, please ask away - Are there any burning questions you have for me? Anything you have always wanted to question me about? Any topics I should cover to keep you interested and coming back for more? I'm all yours!

It's Not Like This is That Dangerous or Anything.

Well.. not unless you grab the pipe. [Bang, Slide, Squeal.]

I am tired. So movie quotes will have to do. I wonder if anyone will figure out which movie the above line is from?

It's 11.50pm on a Friday night and I'm utterly knackered. I've always said that I'm secretly a granny hiding in a twenty-something body. Let's keep it short 'n sweet;


  • Good day. Fridays are always good days.

  • Was a thunderstorm at school, which was nifty. I love watching storms.

  • Bought tickets for Dreamworld and Movie World. Rides! Next weekend!

  • Caramel Macchiatos at Starbucks make me hyper. Really.

  • I have a mysterious lump on the side of my head that pains me whenever I touch it. So of course I keep touching it, and of course it keeps hurting.

  • Using dental products from my new goodie bag makes teeth brushing fun.

  • Mandy Moore really does have great hair. I think I hate her.


Bed-time! Night Night!

Worry Wart.

If there was a talent I was well and truly born with, it would be worrying.

I worry an awful lot, even if I do keep it to myself most of the time. Whenever I'm in a new situation, or a situation I'm not entirely comfortable with, I experience the familiar twinges in my stomach and the faint feeling of panic rising in my chest. It's not to the point where I can't function, but it's certainly noticeable; I'm beginning to understand how people simply cannot cope whilst suffering anxiety.

Most times the worrying will cease after I force myself to dive in headfirst and deal with whatever the situation is. If it's driving somewhere unfamiliar, I'm fine once I have found my bearings. If it's talking to a stranger, or having to sound knowledgeable for a phone interview, I tend to ramble away my worries. The longer I leave it though, the longer the worries get the better of me.

Today, I've been worrying. Alot. All day, in fact. It started from when I woke up this morning, most likely due to the dream I can't quite remember properly. Having a dental appointment that I'm terrified about, in a new surgery in a different suburb, directly after school? Also doesn't help.

Unfortunately, I can't do much about easing this worry. I've been paranoid of dentists for years (and have even blogged about it) but the fact that I've been thinking about it all day today, is telling me that I'm blowing this fear way out of proportion. I think it's the fact that I know I have at least two cavities that will need filling, added to the fact that I'll be meeting a new dentist, and not to mention the dreaded costs involved in visiting one, but still. Am worried.

All I can do is grit my teeth and be a big girl. Do you think it would be too much to ask for my momma to come hold my hand in the dentist chair?

Edit: I braved it, by myself. Despite my worst fears that I would need every tooth extracted involving copious amounts of pain (and money), I didn't even need a filling! I know, pick me up off the floor with that one. Insane. They cleaned my teeth, berated me for not flossing, and gave me a goodie bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash. I'm sold.

On Being Alone.

I can't believe that it's been almost three months since Jason flew to London.

For the most part, I think I've coped pretty well. We weren't living together before he left, being both at home with our parents while saving for this adventure. We weren't together every second of every day. Heck, we didn't even see each other every day. The weekends were different though, and almost always for 'us'.

That's what I miss the most. I miss our weekends together, even if that just involved snuggling on the lounge and watching television. The first few weekends were painfully lonely, but I grew accustomed to being without him. Don't get me wrong, I still missed him like crazy, but I got by. I've kept busy. I'm alright.

Now though, the loneliness is starting to get to me. Every morning when I write the date on the blackboard at school, I realise that it's just another day where I'm by myself. If the kidlets do something funny, if something comes up that I want to whinge about, if I just need to talk, the realisation that he's not here for me when I need him; argh, it's becoming rather frustrating. And there are still months to go.

I get to talk to him practically every day - we have msn, we have skype, we have emails. But of course it's not the same as seeing him. And honestly? I feel like I don't want to offload on him, too. He's the brave one, working and living in a strange country and doing an awesome job of it. He's the one moving in to his first place alone in the next week or so. Me and my whinging are hardly important.. but it doesn't stop me from missing him, or wishing he was here. Or just for a hug.

I'm doing alright. I'm going to be fine. I am fine. But I'm allowed to indulge in my loneliness for a while every so often, right? And I hope that in the midst of Jason's life in London right now, he is missing me as much as I am missing him.

A Lifetime of Secrets.

I've just spent the afternoon reading the newest PostSecret book, and finding myself completely in awe at the number of secrets in there. I've never submitted any, but I know there would be a few I could whip up, should I ever feel the need.

We all have secrets. Sometimes we choose to share them with the people we love, other times we feel the need to hide them from those very same people. I like to think of myself as a fairly open person to the people I trust, but there are still a good few things I keep to myself. There are some secrets very few people know of, and I have a feeling they'll be the ones that stick around for a lifetime.



But to honour all of those amazing people who pour their heart and soul into their secrets, here's one of mine, displayed for the world to see. (Including my horrid paint skills.)

For the purpose of disclosure, it's completely anonymous, of course.

So tell me, have you got an anonymous secret you feel like sharing today?

The Kidlets go to Sydney.

It's been a while since I mentioned the kidlets on the blog. School is back, we're in Term 4 and we're counting down the days until Christmas.. or is that just me?

We're doing a unit of work on Transport this term, so an excursion into the city was planned. (I even wore my "I'm a Noun!" t-shirt for the special occasion.) The weather couldn't have been more gorgeous. It was another stinking hot day, but a good one. For those who aren't aware, the school I teach at is around an hour or so from the city of Sydney, so a lot of kidlets had never been there before.

After a relatively calm bus ride into Sydney, our first stop was walking across the Harbour Bridge. We strapped the kids into their harnesses, had them leave their bags behind, and soon they were ready to begin the bridge climb.**

Sunny Bridge



When they were done, we had lunch on the grass under the bridge, walked around the boardwalk near Luna Park for a while, and lined up to catch a ferry around Sydney Harbour. It was much cooler by the water, and it's true what they say: Sydney really is the most beautiful city.

bridge



The kidlets had a ball on the ferry ride, and when we got off they were already exhausted. We trekked up to the Monorail station, did the loop around the city, and headed for the park in Darling Harbour. The kidlets had their lunch, I had my frozen coke slushie from McDonalds (bliss!) and they got to play on the equipment.

Back on the bus we got, hot and sweaty, but all in fairly good spirits. Apart from one little girl whose nose started bleeding like a tap on the way home, it was a fairly uneventful excursion; and as any teacher would say, those are the best kind!

As for me, I'm certainly going to miss Sydney when I'm away. I don't get in there much, but always appreciate it when I'm there. It's a heck of a lot different to the London skyline, that's for sure.

(Two months and three days to go, in case you were wondering.)

**Did I have you going for a minute there? We did the flat pedestrian walk across the bridge, not the bridge climb! And here's a certain crazy teacher posing on the Harbour Bridge in front of the Opera House, just because she could.

me sydney

Sunday Google-age Round 12.

sunday1.jpg


Another week, another batch of searches that have steered people towards my humble blog. Settle in for some of this week's somewhat strange phrases, captioned for your enjoyment!

Aly + Salt-n-Pepa
Well, I'm Aly. Salt n Pepa were a band from the 90's. Add them together, and you get one rockin' dance party.

Squished Boobs/Hot Skirts/Hot Arse
I grouped all of these together, because I was getting a rather familiar vibe coming from them.. none of which have anything to do with me. Except the squished boobs part, because I get those everytime I squeeze into my Threadless tees.

Pole Dancer Heels
I'm sure these go hand in hand with all of the above search terms.

Spanking Equipment
Uh-oh, I'm being bitten on the hot? arse with this one. In last week's Google-age, I bravely stated that if I kept getting searched about this, I would research it to find out more. I'm not one to break an oath, so here goes; you could use a monkey.

Evil Woman
I hope they're not referring to me? Am not evil! Just strange!

Christmas Boots
I'm putting these boots on my wishlist for Santa this year.

Dag Jase
I think my Jase is definitely a dag, and a loveable one at that. Don't know what a dag is? Enlighten yourself!

Pillow Donut
The perfect pillow on which to rest your tush should you have haemorrhoids.

What Ages Can Use ProActive
What am I, a ProActive spokesperson? I think I should be requesting some sort of compensation for all of these questions ...

Mosquito Lamp Australia
I may not like bugs, but I also don't particularly like the zapping noises that bugs make when they're electrocuted on a mozzie lamp. Blech.

How to get rid of Bogong Moths
Perhaps make use of the mosquito lamp mentioned above?

Blog Action Day
For my two cents on environmental issues, you can click here to read.

Panadol Slogan
Check out the Sunday Google-age archives for Panadol's new slogan..

Contiki Sex
No sex stories for you this week, but good news: Kirby is coming along on the Great American Tour of '08 as well! Whee!

CAMEL TOE IN THE GYM
Apparently this is so disturbing, that it required capital letters. FUGLY!

Funniest Advertisements
I couldn't find the one I was looking for, but this Herbal Essences commercial is definitely giggle-worthy.

Australian, slang, pah!
Hmm. Confusing. Sounds like they want to know what "pah" means, and they think it's Australian slang? Pah! I do not know!

Who left Australian Idol monday 15th Oct
That would be Ben. (If only it could've been Matt ..)

You're Catty
And you smell.

I Cheated Myself
That can't be good. What did you cheat yourself from?

Chook Fuckers
I have absolutely no comment on this one. I call people chooks, I sometimes indulge in a swear word or two, but I've never joined the two together like that.

Long with a fridge cool hair cuts/ styles
I have long hair with a fringe. And I'm totally cool. Edit: Mum just pointed out that it says FRIDGE and not fringe, which I didn't spot at all. I don't quite know what fridge reference to put in here though, any ideas?

Girly Puppy Names
I have two boy names picked out for my future puppies (I am such a dork) but haven't a clue when it comes to girly names.

Pink Mashed Potatoes
Bugger using food colouring to dye your children's mashed potatoes. I've got a better idea! Simply open a shaken up bottle of creaming soda while sitting at the dinner table, and point it in the direction of your mother & her mashed potatoes.

Shoes is the first thing they notice
It's definitely one of the first things I notice, that's for sure.

Secrets
My baby's got a secret..

Report Idiot Drivers
I'd love to report the ones I see. They should not be allowed on the roads.

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?
I'd like to think so. But not at long division. Never did quite get that concept. (And yes, I'm a teacher! Go figure.)

Guys with Dimples
I adore dimples. Dimples are lovely. I wish I had dimples. I always remember reading about Jessica & Elizabeth Wakefield's matching dimples in the SVH series.They weren't only a size 6, but had dimples too? Bitches.

I hate hairdressers
Did they mutilate your hair, too? Perhaps we should form a support group.

The Classroom
It's my current place of work. Except for tomorrow, where we're going into Sydney for a transport excursion. I hope it isn't 35o again.

Fickle as a ...
I say cucumber. What do you say?

You Know You Watch Too Much TV When ...
You spend as much time worrying about which boxsets to pack for England, as you do regarding your clothing. Yipes.

That's it from me for this week. How did your stats look this week?

P.S. I Like Starbucks.

Ever had those days where you thoroughly enjoy every minute of them?

I was lucky enough to have one today. I tagged along with Kirby, in her mobile dog washing pooch-mobile of lurrrrrrrrve, and got to enjoy the sunshine and watch her doing all the work. Plus, I had the perks of making friends with a whole batch of puppies; reminding me that as soon as I'm home from England and in my own place? Am getting a big dog. Or two. Or three. Or hell, a whole family.

Anyhoo, back to the dog washing. Kirby told me today would be full of friendly dogs, and she was right. They were lovely! I also talked to random strangers all day, which is always a good thing, right? We saw The Nanny Diaries at the world's cheapest movie theatre. Seriously, how can you go wrong with $6 movie tickets?

In no particular order, here are some things witnessed on my tag-a-long dog washing & movie-going day;


  • A successful three point turn in a narrow street with a trailer attached, aka my friend is officially the best driver in the world.

  • A 24 hour walkathon down the street, complete with live music; who doesn't want to belt out Love is in the Air while walking around in circles for charity?

  • A delightful girl wresting with a rather heavy dog, who wasn't planning on making it easy for her to get him back in the tub. Kirby 1, Hooch 0.

  • A line of cricketers peeing on an oval. Okay, so they weren't really peeing. It just looked like they were peeing. (Or I may just be insane.)

  • A singing German Shepherd.

  • A pissed off looking cat, who'd had it's body shaved but it's legs left fluffy, that looked like a cross between a lion and a poodle.

  • A car accident taking place right outside the window of the McDonalds where we had lunch. One that I conviently missed, probably because I was too engrossed in my frozen coke. A nasty but silent little fender bender.

  • A movie advertisement featuring a slightly really disturbing talking cow.

  • A Leg Magic workout machine of DOOM.


walaly.jpgAnd best of all? Kirby's Labrador Wally, who I've been a wee bit frightened of for the past few months, didn't eat me... for the second visit in a row. Sure, I may have been growled at for a few seconds, but I also had my toes licked which I think balances it out. Am mighty chuffed, in fact.

(Photo taken from my last visit with him. Camera caught him running away.)

The Time Capsule Saga; Part Two.

As promised, welcome to the continuation of my trip down memory lane. Thanks to the inspiration of fellow bloggers, as well as the stack of 90's music currently shuffling through my Ipod, I've been writing a Time Capsule saga; documenting random memories from across the years.

If you've just arrived, head over to Part One; the Primary School Years first.

Welcome to Part Two, the High School Years.

Ah, the high school years. I loved and hated this time in my life, though looking back on it now I have mostly good memories. Things seemed so hard at the time, yet seem so much easier looking backwards. It's strange, isn't it? I wonder what it would be like to go back and experience a day in the life of the fifteen year old you. Since that's impossible (at least for the time being) the old thoughts will have to suffice. Here are some snippets from my high school years, ready to lock away in that imaginary time capsule.

-Watermelon Chupa Chups; our school canteen started selling these for a while, and we would buy them in bulk, take them to the oval and sunbake during lunchtime.

-A DVD of "Titanic"; did you know that I had my first real kiss during a session of this movie? Ah, how romantic.

-My first formal dress, worn when I was in year 10. I still have it, actually.

-Pictures of Dug & Sitty, my two dogs who passed away in 2000.

-The steps to the Macarena. Because everybody needs to know the Macarena.

-The "Tomb Raider II" computer game, before Angelina Jolie skankified it. I could kick arse at that game.

-A screenshot of the www.teenadviceonline.com website, where I volunteered as a peer counsellor about eight years ago.

-The frigging tie that I had to wear as part of the student representative council.

-Tickets to the local bowling alley, where we used to go for school sport every week. They sold the best hot chips ever.

-The twisty candleabra that I made, the first and last time I ever took Metalwork.

-A copy of Memoirs of a Geisha, I remember sitting in the library reading this book in my free periods, like the bookworm that I am. Adore the story.

-My discman. No car trip was the same without it.

-The ring that my first 'real' boyfriend gave to me, as we were together a good three years of my high school life.

-My year 12 jersey, complete with "Ali" on the back. I wasn't Aly then. Don't ask me why.. perhaps it was just easier that way?

-A pair of yellow gold studs, that I was forced to wear for about two months after getting my ears pierced with their second holes. The sterling silver studs that came with the piercing kept getting infected, and I had to resort to proper gold until they healed. (I hate gold, unless it's white gold and in the form of well, bling.)

-A McDonalds staff discount card, for remembering my first job.

-The "Backstreet's Back" CD by the Backstreet Boys. I can sing along to every single song on that album, and still have half on my Ipod. Good times. Actually, scratch that. Try every Backstreet Boy album.

-Oh, and the Spice Girls "Spice" CD. I remember taping myself and another certain someone singing along, thinking I was wonderful.

-An assortment of cow printed stuff; at one point, my whole bedroom was cow-themed. Seriously! The bedspread, the pillows, the decorations.

-Blue light disco passes, as everybody went to those. Even me.

-My DUX certificate. Because once upon a time, I was smart. S-M-R-T!

And the music? Well, I don't think I could list all of the songs from those days which I loved and adored. How about a teeny tiny selection instead?


  • It's My Life - Bon Jovi*

  • Torn - Natalie Imbruglia*

  • Five - When the Lights Go Out*

  • Everybody - Backstreet Boys*

  • Bye Bye Bye - N'Sync*

  • No Diggity - Blackstreet*

  • Mouth - Merril Bainbridge

  • Turn Off the Light - Nelly Furtado

  • Fast Love - George Michael*

  • Beautiful Day -U2*

  • Missing - Everything but the Girl

  • Tubthumping - Chumbawamba

  • Gettin' Jiggy With It - Will Smith

  • Graduation - Vitamin C

  • Honey - Mariah Carey*

  • Drops of Jupiter - Train*

  • Bent - Matchbox 20*

  • Rock DJ - Robbie Williams

  • Don't Let Go - En Vogue*

  • Carnival - Natalie Merchant*

  • Mambo No 5 - Lou Bega*

  • That Thing - Lauryn Hill

  • Truly Madly Deeply - Savage Garden*

  • Livin La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin

  • It Wasn't Me - Shaggy

  • Coco Jamboo - Mr President

  • Your Woman - White Town*

  • California Love - Tupac*

  • Baby One More Time - Britney Spears*

  • Twisted - Keith Sweat*

  • Here With Me - Dido*

  • Trouble - Coldplay*

  • Never Ever - All Saints*

  • My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion

  • Come on Over - Christina Aguilera

  • Man! I Feel like a Woman - Shania Twain

  • Smooth - Santana & Rob Thomas

  • Crush - Jennifer Paige*

  • You Get What You Give - New Radicals

  • Pony - Ginuwine

  • Hanging By a Moment - Lifehouse*


(*It's incredible how many of these I actually have on my Ipod. I'm such a nerd.)

Stay tuned for yet another tantalisingly terrific post in the Time Capsule Saga in the coming days. In the meantime, what do you remember from your own High School days? Get reminiscing, people!

A Little Yawn-Worthy.

You know your day hasn't been particularly eventful, when seeing a lone cloud floating in the sky that resembles the alien spaceship in the X-Files title credits, is the highlight of your Thursday.

Yep, I'm a nerd. I know. But seriously ... it looked just like it!

[Cue spooky music.]

Love & Hate, the "Can't Think of Anything Else to Blog About" Edition.

If you've never visited Janet's blog before, I suggest you head on over. Not only is she sweet and lovely with cute hair, she also started the brilliant Love & Hate posts. (Why yes, I'm totally jumping on the bandwagon today, thankyou for asking.)

Love: Jase has practically been approved for a rental place of our own in London.
Hate: I haven't seen any pictures of it yet, so can only imagine what it looks like.

Love: Getting things in order, searching for a teaching job in London in January.
Hate: Paperwork. And talking to people on the phone. I sound like an arse.

Love: Finding pretty blog themes over the past week, as you may have noticed.
Hate: Being a fussy, fussy chook who went back to option one.

Love: Supernatural Season 1 - those boys are hot.
Hate: Not being able to sleep after watching it, because I'm a giant wimp.

Love: Random blog searches that literally make me laugh out loud.
Hate: Hearing sad news from blog friends that breaks my heart.

Love: It's just about Thursday! First week of term is almost over.
Hate: Tired. Already. After three days. What's up with that?

Love: I'm flying out to see Jason in about 10 weeks time. Wahoo!
Hate: I'm flying out to see Jason in about 10 weeks time. Too long!

How are your Loves & Hates looking today?

Burnin' Up!

The Good: The fact that air conditioning units were installed in every classroom last month, ready for the upcoming warmer months.

The Bad: Being informed we can't use said air conditioners yet, because the school isn't permitted to draw the extra energy needed yet.

The Ironic: Experiencing a 33.5 degree day ... in October! (92.F)

This summer is going to be insane.

Blog Action Day: A Teacher's Perspective.


action_125×125.jpg



It's October 15th, at least here in Sydney. Along with thousands of other bloggers world-wide, I decided to take part in Blog Action Day, a day dedicated to the environment.

I've had my fair share of worries when it comes to the environment, including a rather long rant about a certain 'Inconvenient Truth'. But I thought long and hard about what it was that I felt I needed to say today. What about it is most important to me?

I think I figured it out. To me, it's all about the children.

When I was growing up in Sydney's western suburbs, the summers were scorching. It wasn't uncommon for us to whip out the sprinkler and spend an entire afternoon simply cooling off under the water. That part of my childhood is something I remember, something that I enjoyed. And it's already something that my future children will not get to experience, due to the current water restrictions that have been put into place, due to the current crisis.

The students that I teach at school are young, mostly seven and eight years old. Most don't come from well off families, or well educated ones. And subsequently, most just don't know how important the environment is to us, other than from what they are taught at school.

It's my responsibility to show them that. A big job yes, but oh so important. In twenty years, these kidlets will be making the decisions for themselves. These kidlets are the ones who will be raising their own families. And these kidlets may be responsible for the way our environment is changing, particularly here in Australia. It's my responsibility to open their eyes.

So today on Blog Action Day, and on any day, my one request is that you talk to your children. Chances are, they will have some sort of understanding as it is. But if they do not, if they aren't discussing the environment in their classroom, it will fall onto your shoulders to tell them the facts, and to tell them what is going on around them. Let's get informed.

Sunday Google-age Round 11.

Some people like routines. Some people like change. Me? I'm a little bit of both, though I'm quite happy to admit that change freaks me out. But I have always been, and most likely will always be, a fan of sticking to a routine. Now that I've finally got my stats under control, I'm hoping the Sunday Google-age will return to it's usual scheduled programming.

sunday1.jpg

(If you are itching for more Sunday Google-age, click here to read back through the archives.)


Aly
Alright, I'm putting on my cranky teacher face now; which one of you hasn't added me to your links and/or feed reader, and still comes looking for my blog through a search engine?

Wearing Mary Janes
Usually when you wear Mary Janes, you just slide your foot into the shoe and do up the ankle strap. Fairly simple. I suppose if you were feeling creative, you could toss them over your shoulder or wear them on your head, but really, I'd stick to your feet if I were you.

Gloria Estefan
Turn the beat around ... love to hear percussion! [launches into a Dean Geyer backflip.]

No Makeup Pretty
Thank goodness for that, since the most makeup I own is a tube of tinted moisuriser (in skin tone "ghostly white pallor", or something along those lines), brown mascara and a bunch of lipgloss.

Pretty Hair
You think my hair is pretty too? Aw, you're too kind, thanks!

Ugly Hair
... Or perhaps not? Excuse me, while I go cry myself to sleep. [On my huge pillow.]

Blog Dentist Drilled Fillings
Last year I blogged all about my first visit to the dentist in ages, in three parts: One, Two & Three. I ended the series saying that I would be happy to go back to that dentist the following year, or when the need arises. Yeah, er, no. When I started having phantom tooth pains a couple of weeks ago, I decided I didn't want to go back to that practice. I'm following the recommendations of a friend, and am booked in for a visit next week. Cross your fingers for me!

Panadol Slogan 2007
Ooh, let's see what I can come up with for this one ... although it won't be a super catchy jingle because let's face it, nothing rhymes well with Panadol. You saw it here first, folks.

Use it when you're sick and use it when you're ill,
Panadol is the pain killing pill.
You can store it on your sink or on your window sill,
But don't use it while operating a working windmill.


Cute Kiwis
The New Zealand Kiwi's really are cute, even if they are secretly all robots. You decide.

Stomping Stanley
I do enjoy a good stomp every once and a while, it's good for venting frustration. But I've never been called a Stomping Stanley before ... but there's a first time for everything!

Thong Scandal
I'm curious, what sorts of scandals do thongs get into? I suppose having a smelly thong could be considered scandalous, whether referring to the shoe or the underwear.

Short Skirts
Short skirts are skirts that are short. Quite a clever creation, wouldn't you agree?

Christmas Beetles What They Don't Like
I'm not sure what they don't like, but I can tell you what they do like: they like dive bombing innocent swimmers at night and causing them to be paranoid in the future.

Thunder Thighs
Alright, I'll admit it, I didn't exercise at all this weekend. I haven't since Friday. But that's no reason to start calling me names, alright? I'll be back on the bandwagon on Monday.

Straddling
Is quite a naughty sounding word when it's sitting there all by itself like that, isn't it?

Brandon Boyd Pirate Hat
In last week's Google-age, I complained about not being able to find a photograph of Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd, where he is donning a pirate hat and not much else. The gods were smiling today on me today though; I found it! Behold, a rather sassy pirate .. phwoar.

Brandon Boyd Shirtless & Brandon Boyd Topless
Uh-huh. I get what you're looking for. You guys just can't get enough, can you?

Strangle
Hey now, let's not resort to strangling. Why don't you try stomping instead?

How to Get Rid of Bogong Moths in Clothes
Shake your clothes (while outside, unless you are someone who enjoys having moths of doom take up residence in your curtains) like a polaroid picture, with your arms as far outstretched from your body as they go. Think Inspector Gadget arms, people. And should any moths dart out from the clothes and try to attack; Shriek like a girl, throw the clothes across the lawn and run inside while flailing your arms. That'll do it.

Arse
Short and to the point. Am referring to the search term of course, not my arse.

Self Spanking & Spanking Equipment
If I keep getting these searches, I think I'll need to start researching the topic for future reference, because I've officially got nothing to offer on this one. Help?

Photo of Ricki Lake's Legs
I bet when they followed this search link, all they ended up with were pictures of Ricky the rabbit. Poor things, I don't quite think that was what they were looking for.

Red Eyed Rabbit
Aside from their eyes being a wee bit creepy at first, you don't notice it after a while. Really.

Rabbit Genitalia
Am sorry, but since last week's request for help regarding bunny genitals, I am still completely clueless on how to tell the two apart. Tricky wee things, they are.

Camel Penis
All this talk about nether regions reminds me of one of my favourite quotes from Grey's Anatomy.

Izzie: You're my penis fish.
George: You don't even have a penis, why am I the fish?


Contiki Grand Southern Review
Look, I really do have to go on the tour first before I can give you a decent review. You should probably bookmark this page and come back in about a year or so.

How to Treat Contiki Cough
I didn't even know this condition existed until I came back from Europe, when I realised that I'd had the dreaded thing. (I remember snuffling my way through Monaco, coughing my lungs up in Lyon & buying nasal spray in Rome. Good times!) But really, what can you do about being couped up in a tour bus breathing in other people's germs? All part of the experience.

Going on Contiki Sex & Sex on Contiki
How I ended up being the expert on sex on Contiki tours is beyond me. From the reviews I've been reading lately, there seem to be more girls and less guys on tours, I wonder what impact that has on the sex that happens. Wouldn't this be an interesting thesis topic?

Sweaty Girls at the Gym
Looks like I've been sprung: I sweat like crazy when I work out. It isn't pretty. And anyone who doesn't sweat at the gym is automatically on my hate-list. Haaaaate.

Brushing Teeth at 6:00am and at 10pm
Well done, I'm sure your dentist loves you. I'm usually snoring at both of those times, though.

John Mayer is Sexy
Word.

Acrostic Poem for Keira
Aha, another opportunity for me to get my creative juices flowing.

Keira, this poem was written from me to you.
Even though I don't know who you are.
I like your name though. It's pretty.
Really hope you like my poem.
Although I apparently suck at writing acrostic poetry.


Badgergirl
Ah, you've come across my term of endearment for a fabulous blogger: Velocibadgergirl.

Tacky Wedding Outfit
Oh, let's see what good ol' Google can find for us. You want tacky? I can get you tacky! How about this revealing little number, I wonder if she has a smelly thong? Or perhaps this sassy bridal ensemble is more to your taste? And nothing screams tacky like Hello Kitty.

Blotchy Skin & Broken Out Skin Age 33
Considering my face resembles a piece of sandpaper with paint splodges on it at the moment, my hearty recommendation is to keep googling until you find someone who knows what they are talking about. And then come back and give me all the answers.

Can I use Proactive and Different Cream?
Well sure you can, if you enjoy having your face burned into a crisp. (Despite what Jessica Simpson said, ProActiv wasn't good for my skin at all. It burned. BURNED!)

Picture of a Sneeze & Bless You
Even more disturbing than someone searching for a picture of a sneeze, is the fact that I just googled it myself ... and found an image. Completely gross. You can see it here, if you're so inclined. Ah well, at least they used their manners appropriately.

Distract
This person got distracted before they could finish typing what they were searching for, ha.

Breathe-Gently.blogspot.com: Home of the Ever Changing Blog Theme.

Hi there! Great to see you, care for a slice of banana bread? No, you haven't gotten lost, this is still Aly's rambling old blog. Yes, it's another new theme ... again. I think I'm a trifle obsessive-compulsive when it comes to blog styles, because as much as I adored the stylish dotted theme, it just wasn't ME.

Fast forward to today; I had some time to kill and the services of a poor innocent blogger who happened to be online at the perfect time. The search for the perfect theme was on ... again. The temporary result; well, you're looking at it. (Ahem, feed readers, you may have to venture out and come visit me.)

The Good:

  • I adore the colours. The blue, white & black are very pretty.
  • It's easy to read.
  • It's simple and plain and more 'me'.
  • The commenting field is simple to use and nice and clear.
  • It focuses on the most recent post, which is perfect since I blog daily.
  • The links are easy to use; if you know where to look, that is.

The Bad:
  • It's very white. Some people don't like white. I kind of like white.
  • I can't modify much. In fact, what you see now is basically my limit.
  • There is no cheesy photograph. Or sidebars. Or pages. It's very post-focused.
  • It works best on Firefox, and has a tendency to get laggy in Internet Explorer.

The Interesting:
  • Click on the images on the top righthand corner, and see what happens! You see, the pages, categories & archives are there, just concealed. There is also a handy search bar.
  • To get rid of the above info, you just click the image again.
  • You can see my recent posts at the bottom of the page, including comments.
  • If you click on one of my individual posts, you are able to skim one post forward & one post backward, one at a time.

So, what are your thoughts? I really love it, but I'm biased of course. Feel free to let me know what you think; just don't be too mean. ;)

The Time Capsule Saga; Part One.

Thanks to some early morning inspiration courtesy of Maya, I decided that I would jump on the bandwagon and head on a trip down memory lane.

After I thought about it for a while, I figured that if I really did have to throw the assortment of bits & pieces from across the years into an imaginary box, it would turn out to be one giant haphazard mess. Plus, I'd probably need a large storage unit rather than a box, but that's beside the point. I've decided to split up my Time Capsule Saga into installments; the Primary School Years, the High School Years, and the 20-Something Years.

Welcome to Part One, the Primary School Years. (Or should I say the Elementary School Years?)

I actually wish I remember more about my early years of school. Being the teacher now, I look at some of the things that the kidlets say and do, and I wish I could go back in time and actually watch myself at their age. That being said, I have a lot of mementos that belong in this capsule, each for their own reason. Let's get started with the random items, shall we?

-A random school workbook, possibly one from each grade. I loved school and I loved to write. Oh, and also a school photo from each year.

-A pile of the books that I used to adore; the Trixie Beldon series, the BabySitter's Club, Goosebumps, Sweet Valley High in the later years ... Am a nerd.

-Rollerblades; you could often find me skating around my street after school.

-A plaster cast, because I broke alot of bones in primary school. Really. (Some thanks to the aforementioned rollerblades. And basketball. And sport at school. I used to be a rather talented bone-breaking freak.)

-The first few CDs that were purchased just for me: "Spin Doctors", "Ace of Base" and "2 Unlimited". (I still love "Two Princes" to this day. Classic nineties goodness.)

-Some random trolls; I used to collect them, was a trifle obsessed.

-A Wonderpass to the now defunct Australia's Wonderland theme park; I spent many a weekend going on the rides and spending the day with my friends.

-A poster of Jonathan Brandis and Jonathan Taylor Thomas (JTT) who I thought were just gorgeous. Oh but they were ... back in the day. I know you thought so too.

-A pair of jelly shoes, which I wore to my year 6 farewell. Everyone had jelly shoes then.

-A casette tape with Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" on it, the first present I ever gave to a boy. (Gasp!) Ahem, I'll have you know I only ever had one boyfriend in primary school, and the most risque it ever got was a kiss on the cheek. He was the cutest thing.

-Speaking of the er, boyfriend, if you can call it that, I'd keep the "I Love You" painting that he gave me. Be jealous! (Swoon!)

-A pair of Moccasin sandals, because they were so darned cool.

-A plain pencilcase, covered in random texta writing with things like "Dean Cain is HOT", "2 Unlimited", "I heart PB", "Boys II Men Rulz", "David Duchovny is hot" & "I Luv No-One Important".

-An electric keyboard, I used to play the piano once upon a time.

-The video my parents captured of me when I entered the Year 3 Talent Quest, singing along with two other girls to Mr Big's "To Be With You". It shows yours truly straddling a chair wearing a flared green and black polka dot skirt. Classy!

And then of course there are the songs, the important soundtrack of my life back then. Of course, you would be buying these on cassette or CD single, because that was how it was done. I remember dancing away at many a disco in those years. Here are some favourites I can remember;


  • Dreamlover & Fantasy - Mariah Carey

  • All That She Wants - Ace of Base

  • Jump - Kriss Kross

  • Gimme a Little Sign - Peter Andre

  • Boom, Shake the Room - Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince

  • Another Night - Real McCoy

  • Waterfalls - TLC

  • Kiss From a Rose - Seal

  • This Is How We Do It - Montel Jordan

  • Boombastic - Shaggy

  • Stay - Lisa Loeb

  • What is Love - Haddaway

  • Sweat - Inner Circle

  • I'll Be There For You - Rembrandts

  • I Swear & I Can Love You Like That - All 4 One

  • Back For Good - Take That

  • Runaway - Janet Jackson

  • Wonderwall - Oasis

  • Shoop - Salt n Pepa


Stay tuned for more tantalisingly terrific posts in the Time Capsule Saga over the next few days. In the meantime, what do you remember from your own Primary School days? Get reminiscing!

She stole my Heart and my Cat.

If there is one thing I love most about my family, it would be their sense of humour. My dad has a typical 'dad' sense of humour, with fantastically terrible jokes that most people usually groan at. My mum has a similar attitude to me, she loves snark and finds most things amusing. My brother is hilariously annoying, and usually has a quick answer for everything.

Sadly, I'm probably the least humourous out of everyone, but that doesn't stop me from jumping in with lame one-liners when I can. I try.

We're especially fond of quoting movies. Terribly lame movies. Movies that most people have never even heard of, or think are just woeful. And one of our long-time favourites, would have to be So I Married An Axe Murderer.

I mean honestly, what could be better than stupid poetry, bad Scottish accents and hilarious dialogue. It didn't win any Academy Awards, but it has carved out it's own special niche in our DVD cabinet, that's for sure. And as I'm thoroughly recommending you check it out, it's only fair that I leave you with some random quotes to make you curious ...

Alcatraz Guide: My name is John Johnson but everyone here calls me Vicki.

Stuart Mackenzie: Alright, we have a piper who's down. It's alright, he's just pissed. We have a piper down, I repeat, a piper is down!

Stuart Mackenzie: I'm not kidding, that boy's head is like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts! He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow.

Charlie Mackenzie: Dad, how can you hate "The Colonel"?
Stuart Mackenzie: Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass!

Charlie Mackenzie: I'm smitten. I'm in deep smit.

Angry with Murphy.

I'm sure there is a reason why Murphy's Law is called Murphy's Law, but I really can't be arsed figuring out the history of it. All I know is that whoever Murphy is, he needs a swift kick in the rear end.

I don't particularly like Murphy much.

I spent today with my grandma, who I love to bits and think is absolutely gorgeous. I'm only off work for a few more days, so when she asked if I could spend some time with her, I agreed. I drove the thirty minute distance to her place to pick her up, then drove us another forty minutes to our location for lunch; a cute hotel near the Nepean River, towards the Blue Mountains.

(See the second gazebo at the back of the picture near the trees? That was our spot. Now can someone please explain how I got sunburnt arms whilst sitting in the shade with sunscreen on?)

Anyhoo, we began the drive back to nan's place after lunch, and had cruisy traffic all the way there. I even made sure I left early, so that I wouldn't get stuck in the after-work peak hour freeway traffic; do you see where this story is headed? The first five minutes were smooth sailing cruising, I was singing along to my Ipod and enjoying the ride home with virtually no traffic.

Along comes Murphy, bringing all traffic to a halt just around the bend. Turns out there had been a car accident, so the three freeway lanes ended up being one. I settled in for a long haul of crawling along at a snail's pace, grumbling but feeling generally okay; let's face it, I hardly had anywhere else exciting to be. I figured I'd just put the Ipod on shuffle, and bop away the minutes.

Turns out Murphy had other plans for me, because my Ipod? It froze. It's done that exactly once in the almost two years I've had it, and I knew there was a way to remedy it ... but do you think I could remember what to do? Instead I resorted to cursing at it, pulling it in and out of the car-kit, holding down random buttons, waiting for it to magically fix itself, banging it repeatedly against my steering wheel and shooting it filthy looks.

(None of those worked, in case you were wondering.)

After being forced to listen to the radio all the way home, I pulled into the driveway an hour later, yanked it out of my car-kit and guess what happened? It unfroze. Of course it would right itself when I didn't need it anymore.

You anger me, Murphy. You, me, carpark, bring it oooooon.

NB: I suppose I should remind all that this post was written with my tongue completely in cheek, if it wasn't otherwise apparent..

Be Afraid... Be Very Afraid.

When the weather gets warmer here in Australia, it generally brings some form of environmental phenomenon with it. And sadly for the paranoid freaks among us, there are inevitably bugs that come along for the ride as well.

In Summer, out come the flies. Sticky, annoying, dirty flies. And even worse, are the baby flies, the ones that land on you and are practically impossible to shake off. The little buggers have the ability to get inside your house, even if your back door was only open for a split second. Also in Summer, come the Christmas Beetles. They are completely harmless beetles, but I've had a thing with them for years now, ever since we had our first pool. I remember swimming at night, and seeing them hightail it for the lights around the pool; subsequently getting stuck in my wet hair and making horrible buzzing noises.

Now I'm not a girly girl by any means, but I'm also not a fan of bugs. I don't make a sport of it or anything, but if an average sized cockroach ran out in front of me and I happened to have a shoe handy, I would be able to dispose of it. (Letting out a few girly shrieks along the way, of course.) Same with tiny spiders, I know I can stomp on them if the need arises.

But what I cannot stand, are bugs that are unpredictable. Like crickets or grasshoppers, who jump in any random direction; they freak me out. Like bees, who are able to aim their stingers at you should you get in their way. Same thing goes for those dratted Christmas Beetles, who always end up landing on you somehow. Keep 'em away, because I don't cope.

(Just ask Kirby, who just the other day was left in my kitchen when a bee had somehow gotten inside the house. Where was I, you ask? I'd ran outside flailing my arms & refused to come back in until she'd disposed of it for me.)

It isn't Summer yet, so I can hide out from those critters a little while longer. Things aren't all fine and dandy though, as Eastern Australia gets to experience another seasonal activity with bugs involved; the dreaded Bogong Moths. They can't hurt you. They don't bite. But they too, like the lights and have the bizarre habit of somehow ending up inside your house when every door and window is tightly closed.

Usually the moths don't bother me, they're just a bit of a pain when you're outside at night. But this year, they seem to have gone mental. I was bringing in washing from out on the clothesline, and no less than eight of them appeared out of the clothes as I was folding them. (Yes, feel free to imagine more girly shrieks here.)

They seem to be everywhere, and what's worse? They've gotten mean.

Instead of crazily bouncing around the walls staying near the lights, the moths have taken up dive bombing and purposely attacking humans. In the past few nights, I've had to close the bedroom door the minute that I see one is inside, for fear of being dive bombed. By a moth. I know, it's crazy. But I've heard stories, and it seems like this year the moths are going nuts. Something about their furry bodies and the gross noise that their wings make, is enough to have me scouring my room before I go to bed. Blech.

So tell me, does your region have any strange bug populations? Feel free to share your stories, if you aren't too squicked out already.

Sunday Google-age Round 10

Ladies & Gentlemen, after a rather long hiatus, I'm proud to have finally gotten around to gathering some Sunday Google-age for you! (And I know, I know, it's Monday. But surely it's still Sunday in some part of the world, no?)

sunday1.jpg


Feel free to cheer. Just let it all out. Go on. You know you want to.

What is Google-age?
I suppose I had better explain myself before I begin, lest new readers think I'm insane. Well, this is Google-age. You’re reading it, pal! Since my visitors usually end up here through searches, Google-age is a fun little wordplay that I do every so often. It rolls off the tongue well, what can I say?

Sweet Lovely Words for Birthday
Oh, Oh! I know this one! How about.. happy birthday? Or you could spice it up a bit, and turn it into a happy birthday lovely! Very sweet.

Brandon Boyd Touching
Wouldn't you want to touch him too, seeing this photo? (I was looking for the sassy picture of dear Brandon wearing a pirate hat and not much else, but sadly couldn't find it. What is this world coming to?)

School Assembly Items
Sadly I'm not much help with this one, because I can't even figure out what to do with my kidlets for their end of year performance. It doesn't help when you have a class of 16, and most of them won't even turn up on the night .. gah. How about we just do the Macarena?

I'm a Noun Tshirt
I love this shirt. Although it caused much confusion in my household.

Loch Ness Tshirt
I love this shirt too. Has a cute squid thing. Threadless is awesome.

Awesome Scrabble Shirt
I also love (and own) this shirt. I'm a wee bit addicted to slogan tees.

One Size Shirts
I have a thing with one size fits all ... because that usually guarantees that it won't fit me. Or it fits, but leaves you with icky back fat. Or gut fat. Or squished boobs. And squished boobs are good for no-one involved.

Colorblind Shirt Humor
Wouldn't you know it? I have just the shirt for you. Woo!

Aly
That's my name, don't wear it out. If you say it three times while looking in a mirror, absolutely nothing will happen to you. Go on, give it a try.

Foot Lick
I suppose when you have an entire month dedicated to your shoes, you're bound to get some crazies who want to lick your feet, right?

Feet Women
Yes, most women have feet. Be a little hard to walk without them.

Office Feet
Am guessing office feet are the same as, er, non-office feet, just with prettier and more fancy shoes?

Sucking the Teachers Toes
I don't have office feet. I have classroom feet. And I have to admit that all this talk of feet is starting to gross me out.

Smelly Thong
I'm putting this in with the feet searches, because for the last time, thongs are footwear! Not undies that disappear up your butt! Although when you think about it, either of them being smelly is sort of disgusting.

Contemplate the Consequences of my Actions
Very deep thinking there. I should do that more often; I could start with contemplating the consequences that polishing off a block of lemon cheesecake chocolate will have on my stomach.

If I was Tempted I Would Run
Yes, yes, I should've run away from the chocolate. I know. I know.

Reshape Lose Bum Gain Boobs
Wouldn't this be grand? We'd all look like Barbies. I'd like to reshape too, but mine would be something like Lose Gut, Gain Muscles. I'm quite happy with my boobs just the way they are.

I Fantasize Snuggling with a Girl
That's a very sweet fantasy, if you ask me. Some people prefer fantasizing about slightly dirtier things, though ...

Self-spanking Equipment
... Like self-spanking equipment! [wolf whistles] Naughty!

Blog Review
I had my blog reviewed a few months ago with not so wonderful results. In fact, it blew me away to read what she thought of me & my writing. Not so positive. Am still slightly scarred, actually. Rather depressing. Blargh.

Cut My Hair Short
I have issues with hair dressers, especially after the haircut of death. I didn't want my hair cut short, but that's what I got.

Mandy Moore's Hairstyles
She looks pretty hot with short hair though, even if it does look like she is sort of straddling a pole in the last picture.

Point the Finger
Speaking of fingers, someone needs to point theirs in the general direction of my treadmill downstairs, as that's where I should be right now instead of sitting on my arse writing this blog post. I am interested in who they're pointing their finger at though ...

Idiots Merging Lanes
If there's one thing I can't stand, it's drivers who shouldn't be out on the road. And sadly, merging lanes usually bring out the morons in packs. Put your indicator on early, stop edging in so close to my damn car and please, please just give me a thankyou wave. How hard is it to wave?

So Sexy
Now that's the kind of compliment a girl wants in the morning, thanks!

Pants Down
Perhaps you ought to invest in a nice, sturdy belt?

Red Padlock dvd Case
Oh no! The dreaded magnetically locked case! If you've got a red padlock showing on your dvd, it means the store hasn't de-magnetified (ha) it, and it won't open. You have two options here; take it back and have them open it for you, or get a kitchen knife and hack at the case until it opens. (It works, but it left my Gilmore Girls Season 3 set looking a little mangled.)

Bermuda Triangle History
Hmm, let's see. Big chunk of ocean, mysterious disappearances, spooky spooky. You can read about it here. Also a ride at Sea World.

Skirt Hike Moan Classroom
I may wear skirts from time to time, but I definitely don't hike in my classroom. And I can assure you that the only moaning comes from the kidlets when I make them write. And write. And write some more.

Met Lifehouse
Geez, way to rub it in. I'd settle to even get to see the band live, and you're meeting them? Bah humbug, you are mean.

Contiki Grand Southern
Squeeeeee, I'm so glad you brought this up. I don't think anyone realises just how freaking excited I am about getting to do my great American tour of '08. I'm excited! Super excited! Want to go now! NOW.

Contiki Cheating
Oh, I can assure you there will be no cheating on Contiki. Well, no doubt there will be some flings (there always are..) but I will not be involved. The only flings I will be having will be with my stalkerees.

Exotic Wedding Cakes
I don't know about exotic wedding cakes, but how about ...

Doughnut Wedding Cakes
... A doughnut wedding cake! Very sweet, and only slightly creepy.

Ding Dong Dang
It's a karaoke bar! I've taken pictures of it, but never been game enough to go there. My singing doesn't go further than my living room, or my car.

Pale Skin
My skin is not just pale, it's reflective. Whiter than a ghost.

Rabbit Dude
Instead of calling myself the Rabbit Whisperer, I think I'll stick with the Rabbit Dude. Let's see if this Rabbit Dude can answer the onslought of bunny questions that have been piling up over this past week.

Crazy Rabbit
Ricky would have to be the most crazed bunny I've had out of all my girls. Ever since he was a baby, he would nip you to get attention ... have you noticed I still call him a boy? I can't get into the habit of him being a her. Gah.

Cuddly Rabbit
I miss Bella and Lucy, my two cuddly rabbits. I hope they're snuggling together in bunny heaven right now.

Rabbit has Broken her Leg
Oh no! Poor wee thing, I do hope she's feeling okay.

My Rabbits Jaw Looks Swollen
Yikes - take it to the vet now. It could be a tooth abscess, or some sort of infection. Neither are very good, and it's better safe than sorry.

Panadeine for Rabbits
Er, I wouldn't be giving your rabbit panadeine. In fact, I wouldn't be giving your rabbit anything to do with medicine without seeing a vet first.

Female Rabbit Genitalia
Ha! You're asking the person who thought Ricky was a boy for months and was ready to have his bunny balls chopped off, only to discover that he was a girl the whole time anyway. And who still calls him a boy. Yeah. Apparently I'm not good at figuring out the sex of rabbits.

Cheap Skin Regime
Perhaps I should be asking you for your thoughts on a cheap skin regime. In fact, I did ask the masses for help just a few days ago. My current one involves soap and water. And judging by the fact that I'm still sort of dry and bumpy, I still need to find some sort of regime for my face. Good luck.

How Blotches Look Like
The grammar of that sentence makes my brain hurt, but luckily it's still the school holidays so I can just pretend it makes sense. Blotches look like, er, blotches. Big red splodges of colour, possibly dry, probably gross looking. They can be on your face. Or if you're a novice (finger) painter like I am, you could make a blotch on paper with any colour paint. Paint blotches are fun.

Numb Cheek
Uh oh. If your cheeks are numb, it could be the dreaded ...

Slap Cheek Syndrome
... Slap Cheek disease! Yargh! Also not-so-fondly known as parvovirus. Yes, that pet disease. No, you're not contagious to animals. But the novelty of telling people you've had parvo? Priceless.

Is it important for guys to have nice shoes?
Possibly the most important question of the day, and the answer? A strong, resounding YES. Had Jason been wearing icky shoes, I don't know what I would have done. You can read all about the importance of shoes here.

Fickle As A Cucumber.

If you're someone who stops by via a feed burner, you probably won't notice anything particularly different about today's blog. Except for the strange title which was an inside joke of mine a few years ago, to which I can't remember the punchline for anymore. But if you still view blogs via their original links, you might notice that I've been changing themes like crazy.

Normal grey theme; nope. Stripes; argh. Floral; gorgeous, but just won't work. Basic; gah, boring. Random spotty blue & white design; that'll do for now.

Back before I had the ability to choose any random themes for myself, I complained about not having enough of a selection to choose from. Now that I am able to decide what I want? I'm having the hardest time finding a blog design that is me. There are countless sites out there with free wordpress themes, definitely; but I've only found the occasional one that fits what I'm looking for. Sadly though, all of the designs that I fell in love with, are ones that won't let you fiddle around with the widgets.

(Does that last sentence sound naughty or what?)

I'm sure there is a way around this, but considering that I have the technological skills of a toddler, I'm pretty much stuck.

I'd love to find a new theme ready for NaBloPoMo, but so far, no luck. This one will do for now, because I fear that if I keep searching this morning, my head may just explode. Instead, I'm putting it out there and leaving my blog in your capable hands; have you got any magnificent websites to share with sassy themes? I'm partial to free ones, because I am cheap. And hopeless. But am cheerful! And endearing! You know you want to help . . .

A Quiet (Ha!) Victory.

Consdering I'm blathering about it here on the blog, it really isn't a quiet victory at all. In fact, I think I will scream it from the rooftops;

I RAN MY FIRST 5km WITHOUT STOPPING TODAY!

My legs hate me, an hour later I'm still blotchy and don't ask me how long it took, but pah! Those things are beside the point - I did it! Without stopping! Or dying! And with only the occasional shin pain! Excuse me as I do a victory dance of joy. (I'd do a victory lap, but I may drop dead from exhaustion, so dancing will suffice.)

Break it down, now. [shimmies] Happy! Weekend.

Life in Bullet Form.

Because not for lack of trying, I've lost the ability to string coherent paragraphs together today. Just ask Kristabella. I tried, I really did.

  • As wonderful as the 'Great Delurking' was, I have a feeling that I'm forever going to be disappointed with comment numbers from now on; how am I meant to top those latest figures? Eh? Am completely and utterly spoiled.
  • Speaking of blogs, I almost managed to make this one disappear this morning without even having to try. Turns out my old domain had expired, and I had forgotten to transfer it over to my newer one, causing the whole www.breathe-gently.blogspot.com link to explode into nothingness. It's fixed now. I think.
  • Okay, this makes me sound like a real nerd, but we're still talking about blogs here, so go with it. You might have noticed my Sunday Google-age has been on hiatus lately, because I have been stubborn and not happy with the stat program I was using. Thanks to the lovely NPW I've got a new one, so everyone's favourite day of the week will be back up and running in no time.
  • Are you completely overwhelmed with links yet? Phew.
  • Thanks to the October exercise challenge, I am the cranky owner of a nasty looking blister on my foot. It's not on my heel, it's on the side of my foot and hurts like a mofo. (Sorry, couldn't resist throwing that in there.) It means not only am I hobbling around like an idiot, I'm also not able to wear my cute new Colorado wedge sandals because of the friction.
  • Oh, and did you see my tally so far? Fear me, I am an exercise machine! (I did eat a hamburger last night, though. And it was marvellous.)
  • My friend is away on a pacific cruise these holidays, and asked me to do one favour for her; tape Prison Break. -small voice- I forgot. I'm on a mission, does anyone have a copy of Episode 2 of the current season, so I can redeem myself?
  • I cleaned out Ricky's rabbit hutch this morning, so put him in his enclosure so he could frolic about in the grass in the meantime. Imagine my surprise when I see my pure white bunny sitting on his towel fifteen minutes later, looking puzzled and swiping at his face with his paws. Er, the dog had peed on him. Through the bars. Pee. Yellow pee. White rabbit. You get the picture?
Feel free to keep the comment lovin' happening. Because every time you lurk and stay quiet, an innocent bunny gets peed on. Or something.

Anything to get rid of 'Mofo' from the top of my Blog.

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007



Er ... or maybe not? Since it's technically still the day earlier, I'm leaving the badge up. It's black, it's shiny, it has pretty script writing on it, and it encourages new visitors to say hello. Magic in a square box, if you ask me.

I didn't get too many new lurkers coming out of the woodwork, but I did get a lot of lovin' from the bloggers I adore the most; you*, who never fail to leave your words of wisdom when I need it the most. And that makes me happy, because you* are the bloggers who I know and adore and can't wait to continue** stalking. Group hug!

Anywho, NPW reminded me yesterday that it's that time of year again - NaBloPoMo! I succesfully completed this last year, and I intend on completing this with flying colours again next month. Heck, I might even win me a prize this year, should they be on offer! Click if you're interested in signing up for a month of blog-blabbing.

Be prepared for your blog feeds to light up with my posts next month, which might be a bit of a surprise to you. [long pause, tumbleweeds flying by] Ha, I jest; I secretly find this month of blog posting a bit of a breeze, since I'm a freak who posts every day anyway. NaBloPoMo is also on "The List", ready to tick off.

*Substitute your name in for the 'you', of course! I love you!
** I totally just typed 'contiki' instead of 'continue' back there. Nerd.

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007.

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007



If there's one thing I used to be guilty of when it came to blogging, it would have been lurking. Not so much now, since my comfort zone has expanded and I generally don't shut up around here, but most definitely in the past.

It's intimidating leaving a comment where you're one of the masses. You know the blogs I'm talking about, the ones we read and adore ... but sometimes from afar. I know I used to leave comments anyway, but then as I began to learn more about blogging, I wondered if they were actually noticed in the long run at all. When I get a comment, it's directed straight to a blog folder in my email, and I can read every one of them there. Some days I'll respond to comments, some days I do not. But every single one of them is read, and is appreciated. Even the ones about my feet.

Personally, I'm easily pleased around here. There are some posts which I wrote in my early days that never really saw the light of day. (And really, I'm grateful for that. They were rather terrible.) There are some posts which I write with my tongue in my cheek, which aren't raking up the comments. (But who's counting?)

But then there are times when the amount of comments I get on a post simply blow me away, like the love and support you guys gave me in regards to losing Lucy a few days ago. People who don't blog, really just don't realise that taking the tiniest amount of time to leave a comment, no matter how small, can make a writer/rambler/whinger feel like the most important person on the planet. And that's what it's all about. Feeling good, and meeting new faces.

So on that chirpy note, I'm proudly taking part in The Great Mofo Delurk 2007. Any blogs I visit today will see a comment from me, just to get in the spirit of things. And as for your turn; if you're up to it, jump in and say hello - whether you're a regular or someone who has just stopped by. Pull up a chair, and get commenting.

Running Away From It All.

I have to be honest about something; there is nothing in this world that is quite as boring as being on a diet. There, I said it. Even the dreaded 'd' word.

When you're trying to lose weight, the first few weeks are exhilerating. You monitor what is being shoved carefully placed in your mouth, you make the time to work out and you are generally pretty thrilled to see the numbers on the scale grudgingly go backwards. It's the perfect motivation, and you keep at it. You're in the zone, baby. But then . . . the novelty gradually wears off.

It's a few months later and you're a few kilograms lighter, even if your evil clothes refuse to budge sizes. You still don't enjoy exercising, even though people constantly tell you that you will eventually warm to it, and after trying all sorts of different activities. You stick with the same pattern of eating, you get paranoid about eating out and you have the tendency to blow tiny/accidental splurges into mammoth snacking sessions. It's just not fun anymore.

Oh, and the scales? They are your mortal enemy.

Hell yes, I'm talking about myself in this entry. [Results not typical.]

I've come to the point where at 11am, I just want to eat a fucking hamburger or three. I find myself glaring at people sitting in cafes who are innocently enjoying their meal without having to think about it. I think about food all of the bloody time. I put off exercising until I absolutely have to, instead of getting it over with quickly and enjoying how I feel afterwards.

And worst of all I am so, so critical of myself. I gave myself the goal of knocking Jason's socks off when I stepped off the plane on Christmas Day, but I'm nowhere near that goal. The problem with having set a standard for myself, is that I feel like crap because I haven't achieved it yet. I feel like I will be a disappointment. Since we're being honest, I'll even share my stats with you. (OhshitwhatamIdoing?)

In January, I was 95kgs. (209lbs) In September, I was 82kgs. (180lbs)

Don't get me wrong, I'm damn proud of myself for getting this far. And even if my belly roll hasn't subsided any, I do feel a lot different. It's just that here I am, months later with a long way to go. And my motivation? It has run off kicking and screaming for the hills. I'm not enjoying any part of this process anymore, and what should be some of the finer things of life are being replaced by over-thinking and over-analysing. And scarily, I'm setting myself up to fail; my subconscious is well and truly kicking my arse right now.

So, what can I do about it?

Option 1: I can whinge about it (always a great option, if you ask me) and keep things going the same way.
Option 2: I can give up (and spoil all these months of hard work, would rather not though. Obviously.)
Option 3: I can try to fix things. (Easier said than done.)

I want to get back on track, whinging along the way of course. But instead of being a food nazi, I'm going to focus more on how I move my arse.

It is with great long-winded pleasure that I introduce my October challenge; to see how many kms I can walk and run this month. And you know what? If I'm exercising, I'm totally allowed to have that damn hamburger. You just try and stop me!

It Never Gets Easier.

At 11:55am on the 1st October, 2007, my darling Lucy-bun died in my arms.

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The tiny wee floppy eared bun was the first one that came up to me in the pet store, I knew she was mine. I had no idea what to call her; the shoebox she was stored in was for a pair of Nike shoes, called "Lucy". That was it. Since we had driven to the store in two separate cars, so mum took Bella home in her shoebox, and I drove Lucy. I talked to her the entire way home, and haven't stopped since.

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I worried about her all the time; Bella was so much bigger, and I was sure that my little Lucy was going to squeeze through the bars of her hutch! Lucy was tiny! I couldn't get over how small she was, or how delicate. But my two bunny girls adored each other, and would constantly snuggle and groom and flop.

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She was always the snugglier of the two buns, and would love to just lie on your lap. She is the only bunny I've ever known that gave out bunny kisses. She was always so gentle, still adored snuggling and exploring, and was prone to headbutt you if you got in her way. (Which sort of hurt, actually.)

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After discovering that she had been picked on and while looking after her horrible sores, we had kept her inside for the past two weeks. Lucy was adorable! She'd run to the bars to greet you, follow you around her cage and grunt at you when you picked her up.

Her sores had mostly healed, and she was doing fantastic; but I suppose it's really hard to know what goes on inside those tiny little bodies. Bunnies are resilient little creatures, so I had no idea that anything was wrong with her this morning.

She gave me her usual little squeak (a happy one!) as I put her out on the grass enclosure so she could run around, which she did as always. But a short time later, she had flopped to her side, and wasn't responding to anything. She couldn't stand, she couldn't hold her head up, and she looked terrible.

I gave her a little water, wrapped her in a towel and stayed with her - and she stopped breathing a while later. I have to say, this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, sitting with her, bawling and talking to her, not knowing what to say or do. But now my beautiful girl is gone, leaving me with another ache.

Rest in peace, my darling Lucy-bun. I'll remember you, always. And I'm so, so sorry.

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I'm Getting Leid.

. . . Well, I will be in about a year's time, anyway.

Here's the breaking news: The Great US tour of '08 is beginning in Hawaii!

Hawaii -> San Francisco -> Los Angeles -> Anaheim -> Las Vegas -> Cortez -> Alberquerque -> Amarillo -> Dallas -> Memphis -> New Orleans -> Pensacola -> Orlando -> St. Augustine -> Savannah -> Raleigh -> Washington DC -> New York.

Can someone tell me how I'll be able to wait an entire year for this?





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