Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2014

Why I love my blog...

This week has been full on, man!

Our younger two boys had school musical performances in the ambition 'Seussical the Musical' on Monday and Tuesday nights. The Grumpy Old Man and I attended the Tuesday night encore performance and had front row seats to see our little cuties with all their school pals. I was really impressed. This was a proper musical with a story arch and speaking parts and the whole she-bang. The new performing arts teacher has excelled himself! It was very entertaining, our boys, though both had chorus roles, were awesome!



 On Wednesday night we attended an information session for the older boys' individualised learning plans for next year (and beyond). It was AMAZING. Our high school is AMAZING! It wouldn't be for everyone, but oh my it certainly is for us, and I will blog about everything we learned in the next couple of days.

Today I have been working on the finishing touches for tomorrow's AGM for the Mature Age Student Club. I spent all of …

The Age of Discussing Disease...

The Grumpy Old Man just had a long chat with a mate on the phone and then started telling me the news he had from various friends jotted around Australia. Basically, just about every piece of news was about disease. Triple bypass surgery, bowel cancer, stomach cancer...

Recently, I had mentioned to him that we seem to know a lot of people who are fighting diseases at the moment. Particularly cancer. I have four friends who are either actively fighting cancer, or have recently gone into remission; breast cancer, ovarian cancer, bowel cancer. Then there are the friends with diabetes, MS, blood pressure issues.

We've hit 'that age', the age where people no longer shoot the breeze about bands, or movies, or holidays, but rather about surgeries, and treatments, and remedies.

Mortality is a bitch, isn't it?

On the other hand, I also have friends who are big into taking supplements, running, and doing meditation - all to stave of the diseases they feel surrounded by. Just ma…

The difference between being a critic and being a critical thinker...

I have observed a practice in many people of criticising where they assume they are employing critical thinking skills, and so I want to discuss the difference between the two activities because it think a lot of people confuse being a critic with being a critical thinker...

Let's look at a couple of dictionary definitions, first up.

criticˈkrɪtɪk/
noun1.
a person who expresses an unfavourable opinion of something.
"critics of the new legislation say it is too broad"synonyms:detractor, censurer, attacker, fault-finder, carper, backbiter, caviller,reviler, vilifier, traducer, disparager, denigrator, deprecator, belittler;More 2.
a person who judges the merits of literary or artistic works, especially one who does so professionally.
"a film critic" synonyms:commentatorobservermonitorpunditexpertauthorityarbiter,interpreterexponent, expounder; More
As you can see, a critic is someone who criticises. Someone who looks for what is wrong in something and then …

Family, memoir, all the stories...

I went to a session at the Melbourne Writer's Festival yesterday; Family with Ben Watt and Rupert Thomson, hosted by Sian Prior, author of Shy.

I went because the creative piece I'm writing for my thesis is a family memoir of sorts - though not strictly because it is a fictionalisation of family stories and not so much my own memory of events (certainly not events from two hundred years ago).

It was fascinating because people are fascinating.

I have to admit I didn't realise Ben Watt as one half of 'Everything but the Girl', so, I can honestly say I went with no preconceptions of the authors.

I've decided I need to work on my words. I need better language. Listening to the readings of the two male author's books (Ben Watt's Romany and Tom, and Rupert Thomson's This Party's Got to Stop).

Ben's reading, in particular, made me want to be a better writer (yes, I know, I'm totally stealing a line from 'As Good as it Gets' and I'm…

I am Clara... And I'm not Clara, at all.

Okay, I'm not a cute 20-something running around saving the Doctor between making soufflés and otherwise being a bit of a smarty-pants, but today I can totally relate to 'I don't know where I am'.

I don't know where I am - that is the essence of me today.

I feel like I've been running and running all year and this morning I ran right out of road. The place I thought I was going doesn't seem to exist. Not now, anyway.

At the beginning of this year I felt such optimism for what I would achieve. I was going to get through my colloquium, get a job tutoring, get my novel published and attend a conference. I guess, at the moment, I'm scoring about 50% on those goals, in that I did get through my colloquium and I have been invited to present at a conference, but I'm still without work and I just found out that the company that was going to publish my novel has folded and the publisher is currently on the hunt for someone else to publish the book, but it w…

Time Slip...

I keep losing time.

One of my friends suggested I might be The Doctor - nice thought, but no.

I'm very, very busy, and yet I sometimes feel like I'm doing nothing at all. I am being very buddhist of late - very living in the moment. This is supposed to be a great thing, but I'm not so sure because every now and then I feel like I wake up and realise that while I was busy doing A and B, I was neglecting C and D - all of which are very important.

When I'm focused on the kids and stuff at home, I am neglecting my research and preparing for the conference, and vice versa.

Don't get me wrong, I love to be busy, I just don't feel that I'm keeping track of everything very well.

Today's plan, for example, was to come to work, do an hour, go to a workshop for an hour, do two more hours, then go to a seminar for an hour, do one more hour of work, then go pick the kids up from school, do Erik's therapy etc.

It just doesn't work like that though. By the tim…

Dedicating my laughter to the memory of Robin Williams...

A man died yesterday, well, technically, he died on the 11th, but here in Australia that was probably yesterday, and in any case we only heard about it yesterday.

It was an Elvis moment. I will never forget where I was when I heard that Robin Williams was no longer walking this planet. I was sitting in traffic on my way to a braille tutorial. I gasped and the Grumpy Old Man nearly crashed into the car in front of him. I cursed social media because it happens all too often these days that shocking news appears when you least expect it, when you've just been laughing at a dog begging for a sausage, or a satirical dig at the Government and suddenly you scroll down and your heart stops because someone else's heart stopped and you weren't expecting it.

I hate that about social media.

I cried, and cried, and apologised to the Grumpy Old Man for crying over a man I never met. Then I cried some more. Then I tried to sing along to Lionel Ritchie's 'Dancing on the Ceiling…

If you were a birth certificate, where would you hide?

I've searched the filling cabinet of 'all the things'...


Where I found all the birthday and Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day and Christmas cards from the past two years...


I looked amongst all the warranties, and assembly instructions, and user manuals...


I looked amongst all my Masters paperwork; where I found a matching game and a my resume, and lo and behold the bound copy of my Thesis which I thought I'd lost forever...


And I look amongst my braille stuff - and saw nothing...


I know I would have submitted a copy of my birth certificate with my Uni application the year before last, but we've moved house since then (and it wasn't with those papers either).

Where could it be?

I will have to apply for a replacement, which will cost $75 because it is from interstate (I forgot I wasn't born in Victoria), and because I need it asap to apply for my Australian passport... If you are reading this and have a psychic flash about where my birth certificate may …

Iceland is NOT an alien world...

Twice yesterday, I heard Iceland being described as 'an alien world' and 'a lunar landscape'. The people; one in a radio interview, and the other on an online forum, were both attempting to explain how excited they were by the landscape in Iceland, how different it was from anything they had experienced previously.

It was supposed to be a form of praise.

The problem I have with people describing Iceland in this way is that it creates an 'other' of Iceland. Iceland is an oft stereotyped country and its people are perceived in light of the stereotypes. Case in point, recently, with the Global Financial Crisis, when the people of Iceland ejected their Government and refused to pay back the debt of the scoundrels who bankrupted the country, it was explained away by suggesting something like that could only happen in Iceland (as if it has never, before, happened in the history of people on this globe).

There is a very strong focus on the landscape being 'other …

Sonic Boom...

The Grumpy Old Man and I narrowly avoided being caught up in a collision on the way to work this morning. Two (or three, not sure) cars collided right behind us slid towards us but fortunately for us, they came to a stop before crashing into us as well. The noise of the collision was like a sonic boom. I thought we'd actually been hit but realise it was the sound wave that hit us. I still feel quite shaken by it. Ambulances were called. We briefly considered hopping out of the car and offering out assistance, but realised that might cause more trouble because of the inclement weather and low visibility.

I'm feeling quite frustrated today, and this fright has not helped.

I can't seem to locate my birth certificate, which I need to get a passport. I know I have it somewhere, but I thought I was managing those important papers better than i obviously am. I have also managed to lose Ari's birth certificate - I put in an application for it several months ago now, paid the m…

Movement at the Station... But not in my head...

The Grumpy Old Man and I had a chat with his mum last week, and we've all pretty much decided that the bet course of action now is to try and sell her place and buy a place for all of us before the new owners want us out (projected to be February).

This will be quite a challenge, and already I can see we might not make it happen in just six months, but at least the decision has been made that this has to happen now to benefit everyone.

Meanwhile, my brain is on hiatus. I'm not at all sure what's going on but I know I have a lot to do and a brain which seems reluctant to cooperate.

I was called on to do jury duty a few weeks back, I had two weeks to return the requited forms and I completely forgot. I have rung the relevant office and they've said to get the form in asap, but that it's okay that I haven't gotten it in yet.

I also need to lodge an Australian passport application form, so I can go to NZ in November. Today I managed to get as far as filling in as …