Thursday, 10 January 2013

10 x 10

Some more ten word reviews of books I read on my Great Adventure in 2011.

Queen of Babble, Meg Cabot
Fluffy, predictable but fun YA romances. Related to talkative heroine.

One for the Money, Janet Evanovich
Plum – unlikely but kickass bounty hunter from Jersey – always entertains.

Three to Get Deadly, Janet Evanovich
Hilarious, sassy, stubborn, spectacularly uncoordinated – great books for light reading.

Ape House, Sara Gruen
Interesting premise but didn’t enjoy – no character depth, no empathy.

Psmith in the City, P. G. Wodehouse
Psmith: wonderfully arrogant, verbose, hilarious and witty. Well-intentioned or cunning?

An Ideal Husband, Oscar Wilde
Witty commentary on love and society; like Lady Windermere’s Fan.

Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell
Over-the-top dramatic; hard to tolerate bitchy, flighty antagonist. Don’t recommend.

The Girl Who Married a Lion, Alexander McCall Smith
Vivid retelling of weird and wonderful African fables – lovely read.

Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Sheteyngart
Unsympathetic characters, but depressingly convincing technophilic future in economic turmoil.

Right Ho, Jeeves, P. G. Wodehouse
Amusing but rather repetitive story pitting Wooster’s wits against Jeeves’s. 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Fat Poem

This poem is trying to lose weight
cutting his punctuation,
slimming his lines,
however the poetry
may suffer,
vainly striving
not to look like
his poor cousin
the prose poem
and to live up to
the expectations of
his girlfriend

Friday, 14 September 2012




Because this song NEVER gets old - LIKE, EVERRRRRRRR!

Speaking of craaaaaaazy...I asked out a boy! A REAL LIFE BOY YOU GUYS!!! Admittedly, this is not really entirely new territory for me (some of you may know I've actually asked out 3 boys boy - in year 6, year 8 and year 12, the first two by note, the third one by email) but it IS the first time I've ever asked anyone out face to face which is quite scary, to put it mildly. It is absolutely terrifying to put yourself on the line like that, especially because he's a friend of mine and we've worked together for a few years at Oaktree. 

Let me give you the rundown: I liked this boy for more than a year - since before I left for Costa Rica (since before my 21st last year). I thought I'd gotten over him in Costa Rica (and blogged prematurely in my excitement about here) - or that I would, anyway, in the course of the time that I was away. No such luck - and let me tell you, that is the absolute longest I have ever liked anyone, ever. To be fair, it was extended by circumstance - once I got back, and we caught up, I realised I still had it for him, baaaaaad. Then, of course, he hired me back to Oaktree (as we'd discussed, and as I wanted) to work on Live Below the Line again - and he was more or less my manager. So I clearly wasn't going to ask him out while we were working together. 

Eventually, I realised (with some persuading from my friends) that this couldn't go on - I had to ask him out, or get over him. I got to the point where I just wanted closure - I wanted to know one way or the other if he liked me, or was willing to entertain the possibility. I wanted to take a chance, and to know for sure if this was something that could ever work - or at least give it a try. 

I guess I've been thinking about this for a while. Ever since I overheard a conversation between two friends I used to work with - two fabulous girls who I deeply admire were talking about how they met and ended up with the men in their lives. They were both saying how they'd had to be forward because the guys they liked were not, and one of the girls said "I'm a 'throw a guy over my shoulder' kind of girl." And I thought - that's the kind of girl I want to be. 

But more than that, I started wondering why I was just sitting around, waiting for - well, hoping for - someone to ask me out, and why I didn't take matters into my own hands. I realised that I couldn't expect someone to approach me if I wasn't willing to approach them - or anyone.

So I did it! I asked him. We met up for coffee, and at the end I asked if he'd like to go out for dinner, on a date - and he said no. He was very nice about it - said he thinks of me as a friend, more like a sister, and so on. And as I walked away, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry - I was so proud of myself for doing it, I felt elated, but I was pretty devastated that he'd said no (although I can't really say I was surprised). Thank god I was meeting up with A that night to celebrate my birthday, because it was a make or break kind of moment. And with A around, we were just super excited about my proactive awesomeness. 

And you know what? I am so, so happy I did it. Not only because I got the closure I so badly needed, but because it has empowered me. For the first time in a long time - since school, I guess - I actually feel content to be single. I'm in a really good place about it. Sure, I want to meet someone, have a relationship, but it doesn't bother me anymore. I'm not whining and pining; I don't sit around wondering what's wrong with me, why guys won't approach me, etc etc - instead, I feel like if I am attracted to or like someone, I could approach them. And I tell you, it is an utterly liberating feeling - the world is full of possibilities that I can take advantage of. 

What is starting to bother me, though, it that a lot of friends keep asking if there are "any boys in my life" - if I have my eye on anyone, etc. Admittedly, they're usually asking in polite reply to my inquiry about the significant other in their lives, which is fine - and right now, the response is no. The expectation that I'm crushing on someone is perhaps not so unreasonable, given my frequent admiring in the past, but what I'm beginning to resent is the reaction. And I guess people don't really know how to react when I say "oh no, nothing going on in my love life." It's OK - I'm far from from sad about it. You can be happy for me that I'm not into anyone at the moment, or vice versa. I feel like people's automatic response is pity, and that's ridiculous, because it seems to imply that I can't function or can't be happy without someone else in my life. Honestly, I've never been in a better place in terms of self-acceptance and desire - I feel like I'm finally open opportunities in a way I haven't been before. 

In telling my friends about it afterwards, I realised that a lot of my friends still uphold a massive double standard in the dating world: they expect guys to ask them out, but don't expect the same of themselves. A lot of reactions from my close girlfriends were "oh wow, I could never ask a guy out." At first, I wasn't sure if they were saying that they didn't think they could, so I pressed a little harder and found out that, actually, that was something they didn't expect of themselves. Which was interesting and surprising, because I consider these girls confident, my role models. 

So, things aren't awkward between The Boy and I - at least, I don't feel like they are, which I suppose is the important thing ;) I'm not working Oaktree any more, thanks to my ridiculously hectic uni timetable, more's the pity, so we don't see each other regularly, but when we's not weird.


In unrelated news, I've been checking out my nifty Blogger audience stats, and it turns out my number 1 audience is...RUSSIA!!! I have no idea why this is, but привет and здравствуйте to my Russian readers!! (And apparently 48% of you are using Firefox, and 51% Windows. I approve. Continue as you are!)


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Suing for lack of a silver spoon

This – this is just too infuriating for words.

So this girl, Rose Hyphenated-Something, is suing – yes, I repeat, suing – her (sort-of) old school, Geelong Grammar School, "after she failed to qualify for her preferred university course."

She’s “seeking damages” because she didn’t get the grades she wanted to get into the law course she wanted – which, let’s not fail to point out, is not just any law course. It’s a law course that requires a 99.7 ATAR. You really couldn't make this shit up:

Yesterday, Ms Ashton-Weir told the tribunal a teacher at Geelong Grammar has criticised her for using words that were too long, which had left her fonused and had made her doubt her ability to write essays. She become "quite distressed" when her English marks began to fall.

Her mother, Elizabeth Weir, is also suing the school for lost income and other expenses. She said she gave up her chocolate fortune cookie business - which she had expected to make $450,000 over three years - because her daughter moved from Geelong to live with her in New South Wales.

So obviously I’m a little biased because it’s my alma mater, and I’m possibly a wee bit defensive, but let’s consider some important facts to consider context:
- this girl didn’t even graduate from GGS, she graduated from some TAFE school in Sydney.
- she got glandular fever. I’m sure that had some impact on her marks.
- she was "disorganized, often absent from class and placed on "internal suspension" several times." SEVERAL TIMES. That shit's not like detention you guys, they don't just give it out willy-nilly for stuff like not doing your homework. 
- um, I don't know how to break this to her, but law @ USyd - not the only law course out there. As pointed out, she could have studied law somewhere else.
- perhaps most importantly: SHE’S A GODDAM STUDENT. Education, for goodness sake, is NOT a one-way street! Your school is not a factory! It cannot MAKE you a high-achieving student if you do not put in the effort – it can only HELP you to become one if you put in the hard yards. 

I'm a little confused about chronology, since this was in 2008/2009, before she transferred to a Sydney school. She is now 18, and in her first year of uni. Which, if we are assuming that she went straight to uni, means this was year 9/10 for her. Which makes this whole case even more preposterous, because if it was in year 11/12, I would allow that these are significant years in her education, particularly leading up to her ATAR (which seems to be the crux of the problem.) But no - she attended a different school for goodness sake! She had another opportunity to turn it all around, even if GGS did fuck her studies up!

Now I will concede that, if she felt did not receive "the support [she] need[ed] to excel," that's another matter entirely, and is problematic. Because that is one of the key responsibilities of any school, arguably moreso with a private school, given that they usually have greater opportunity to provide this (but not to make assumptions), and promote themselves as such. 

HOWEVER, the student also has to take some ownership for holding up their half of the deal. The implied agreement in any education system is: you try, we'll support you. You give, we'll give. You get out what you put in - if you're putting in more than you get out, there's where you have a problem (and I won't deny that can be a problem within the Aussie education system). But from the sounds of things, Rose wasn't putting in a whole lot...

OK so I might have given up on trying to be reasonable about this because there is so little that’s reasonable about it. Let’s summarise:


What really gets my goat is that this girl might be a fantastic student, and good for her, but she is clearly avoiding taking any responsibility or accountability for her own education. The school can only do so much for her - if she's getting internally suspended, clearly there are wider problems. And what makes it all the more frustrating is that this is clearly an exercise is mud-raking and buck-making - and it's working! (Because the media love any excuse to bring down an elitist institution like GGS, especially as one of the most expensive schools in Australia).

I’m honestly too angry to be articulate because this is just such bullshit, so I’ll let this brilliant Punch article sum it up:

It emerged in court that Ms Ashon-Weir was belittled by teachers too common to understand her sophisticated Chaucerian vocabulary. This caused her to miss classes, lose confidence and misplace her favourite polo pony, Jester.

In late breaking news, reports of this sage are said to have filtered through to the Palace, and Prince CHarles is said to be most pleased indeed. According to a source, the Prince said "right-ee-ho then. Now I know who I'll sue if I never become king."

My favourite headline is definitely “Rose’s bad grammar."

Does anyone else find this ludicrous, or am I being over-sensitive?


Monday, 14 May 2012

For my fellow word nerds

LMAO. Thanks to A for finding and sharing this ingenuity!


Sunday, 6 May 2012

More fun with words!

Thanks to this new Blogger platform (which is probably not that new, it just shows how long I've been away!) I can more easily see the key search terms that land on my blog. So again, for your entertainment, I present:

bitchy tumblr quotes

tumblr girl

an aussie sheila

macu pikcu

tan brunette country girl

aussie yobbo

brothers and new gumboots

globalisation and internet

i think therefore ib

my friends r my life
Those are in "order," by the way, of most frequent search terms that land here. My favourite is definitely that whacked up spelling of Machu Picchu (which you will only ever remember how to spell if you've been there or studied it), although a bit disconcerting that it redirects to this site...
I'd like to think people land here because I'm a tan, brunette country girl - but only 2/3 of those adjectives is correct. ;)


Cute Covers

I love how creative Live Below the Line participants are being this year! So awesome!

I can't decide which one is my favourite, they're both so awesome!


Monday, 23 April 2012

Small Pleasures

So, apparently even though I left my blog out in cyberspace, unwatered and unloved for quite some months now (I don't even want to think about how many), it has not wilted from neglect, carked it, thrown in the towel or withered away into nothingness, as my so-called "hardy" balcony pot-plant threatens to do. It has instead seemingly maintained some infrequent visitors, who probably did not quite find what they were looking for on Google (so far my favourite search words for landing here are "bitchy sex" and "bogan aussie sheila").

Anyhow, in sharing this blog with a dear friend (who has her own fabulous blog, go check it out! She's much funnier than I am) I rediscovered the joy of procrastiblogging and may yet continue to regale you with tales of my life. You may look forward to it, but I wouldn't depend on it, since I'm an extremely unreliable blogger at the best of times...see last year, case in point.  


One of the hardest things I've found about living alone this year has been managing my stress levels. I suspect it's because I've lived with other people at any other point in my life which has remotely compared to how crazy-hectic I am right now (and let me tell you, there is no other point in my life at compares to this!) - eg year 12 exams, college, etc - and so I've been able to channel my energy into being social and distracted, and not feed off my own anxiety. 

It's isolating, or can be. It's not that I'm lonely, but the being alone is harder. Sometimes, it would just be nice to have someone to come home to. Someone to be comforting and sympathetic and supportive. Of course my wonderful friends are all that way, but seeing them for one or two snatched hours a week hardly suffices. Self-reliance can be exhausting when you're the only person looking out for you. The result is that I don't really look after myself - although I try to take time out for myself to avoid burning out, I'm not sleeping nearly enough or eating well (LBL might actually be a step up in terms of my nutrition intake! Scary thought...), and uni just continues to pile on...

So I'm thinking that rediscovering my blog might actually be healthy for me; in light of which, tonight I'm celebrating 3BT. 

  1. Food, glorious food. Funny how your appreciation for food increases exponentially the closer you get to doing Live Below the Line. One of my favourite ways to cook is just to pull together a combination of whatever's in my fridge (since I'm horrifically bad at planning out my shopping, which is what makes LBL such a refreshing - if challenging! - change to my useful ad hoc lifestyle. Haha. I tend to hit up the supermarket when I run out something crucial, like toilet paper, milk or chocolate, and then think "oh yeah, some vegies would be good...rice, bread, meat, noodles, sauce, sure, probably wouldn't go astray" and then end up doing an unexpectedly large shop and struggle home, burdened. Yep. Just an Organised Girl, that's what they call me!) - the other night I made a pretty wicked pasta - just packet pasta of sour cream and chives, plus olives, capsicum, mushrooms, broccoli and capers! Yum. Tonight was 2 pork chops out of the freezer with garlic and mushrooms, potato and yes, some rather random capsicum - but it was delicious, and I am trying to finish it off :)
  2. Book club book! Just finished the fabulous Fifty Shades of Grey, which I'll probably discuss (can't promise it'll be soon!) here, and got started on my book club book. Actually love that I am in a book club, you have no idea how cool that makes me feel :) *breaks out the appropriately nerdy glasses* Thankfully, it's fantastic book so far - admittedly I'm only about 50 pages in, but it's a wonderfully easy read (esp for non-fiction!) and reminds me just how much and why I love Helen Garner.
  3. Teaching. Today I took my first "whole class" lesson with the preps, which basically meant I planned all their activities for a lesson on addition (which we started last week) for 1.5 hours. And let me tell you, lesson planning is no mean feat. That shit is tedious. At least in terms of the boring paperwork the uni expects us to do. Lame. BUT the actual lesson is worth it. Got very little sleep last night trying to think of activities for them (we break them into 4 groups according to their levels and differentiate the activities) but it all worked out pretty well (though I tell you it was proper stressful!) Was great to practice running the class though, because tomorrow my teaching fellow is coming in to observe me (ahhhhhh!). My mentor teacher is fabulous though and super supportive. I could go on about teaching all day. It really is its own reward, and proves this each and every day. Top 3 teaching moments so far:

  • 5 year old singing "Dynamite" - yes, by Taio Cruz. 
  • Extremely animated 5 year old impersonation of Ben 10. Classic.
  • Playing "musical statues" with the preps, rocking my cheesiest dance moves, and being told (repeatedly) "you look silly!" To which I say "so do you!" :)

Yep, I think this is definitely the right career path for me - shameless.


Live Below the Line in Memes

Because, you guys - they're funny!  

And also because Live Below the Line is awesome. Do it!