Friday, December 30, 2011

My daughter got Mono for Christmas.

Well, the Christmas thing has been done for 2011 and may I say, been done extremely well in our household this year. I'm especially impressed with my 20 year old daughter, Zeeb. For weeks we were wondering what was going on with all the special delivery packages turning up with her name on them. It turns out that she did all her Christmas shopping online. Here's some of the cool stuff we got from her:
Zeeb knows that I'm a huge fan of Corrie. She also knows that I have an aversion to taking a dump anywhere except for the comfort of my own loo - for further details see: POTTY TALK 
So really, this is an exceptionally thoughtful gift (and I'm sure there is no connection between Corrie and Poos at all)

Here's what she got for her 7 year old sister:
How cool is it to give your baby sister a plush giant microbe for Christmas! Isn't it cute? For a look at the full range available, check out: I WANT THAT

And for her 15 year old brother, M (look up "geek" in the dictionary and you'll find his picture):

I am so jealous! Or at least I was until he challenged me to a game and slaughtered me with in a few moves. I don't want to play with him any more. I taught him how to play Chess when he was four years old and it transpires that I created a monster.  Although M's present was pretty cool, the most awesome thing about this gift was the accompanying note:
It does seem a bit harsh considering M is a Leap Day baby and will have waited four years for his next birthday. Nevertheless, I am going to laminate this piece of literary genius and put it on the Christmas tree EVERY year. It will become a family heirloom, just like my eldest daughter's angel that she made in 1989:

And on a non-Christmas related matter. Here's a picture of what happens when a baby is left in Zeeb's care for more than five minutes:
It seems she's developed a "thing" for facial hair.

Next year, I'm doing all my Christmas shopping online too. I can't wait to give away a dose of plush Herpes.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Oh, so YOU'RE the wife!

Teeth. I've nothing against them. Really, I like teeth. They're pretty attractive and very very useful when it comes to opening a packet of potato chips that just won't cooperate with being pulled apart by hands alone. But what I DON'T like about teeth is conversations about teeth. You know, when somebody starts off with their story about visiting the dentist and the next thing you know, everybody jumps in and starts talking about their own molar if I'm even remotely interested. Which I am not! So don't talk to me about your teeth. In fact, don't even mention that you went to the dentist. Unless you're me.

I went to the dentist last weekend. It wasn't planned. I'd procrastinated for about five years and a dental emergency popped into my mouth. Actually, it popped out of my mouth but as you know, I don't have conversations about teeth. My own dentist was closed and the next thing I knew, Beloved was escorting me to his own expert in Otahuhu. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the busy metropolis of Otahuhu but it's quite a cultural experience for a girl who was brought up on Auckland's North Shore.

Beloved's been going to this man for over 25 years and has become pretty friendly with him and his VERY attractive wife on reception. So when he escorted me in (not that I needed to be escorted in. It's not as if I was trying to get out of it or anything...much...*cough*...) it was natural for him to introduce me. The dentist looked surprised.
"Oh...hello...yes. I've met you already!'
"Yes, I met you at the Botany Downs shopping centre. You were dressed in a costume." Then he muttered something about a mustache.
Well, that was enough for me. Clearly the man HAD met me. So I lay back and stretched my gob to expose decades' worth of abused and blackened amalgam:
Hey, I never said it would be pretty!
 And as I lay there, desperately wanting to swallow and choke on my own tongue, I began to think. It's not unusual to see me wearing a costume at a shopping centre at all. Nothing weird about that is there? It must have been when we were on our way home from a pirate costume party and I looked like this:
For a pirate, I think I'm pretty cute.
Hang on. That was at Sylvia Park shopping centre and there was no mustache involved in that pirate get up. I was blonde and really really cute. It kept going round and round in my head: "Mustache...mustache...Oh CRAP! MUSTACHE!" It was five years ago and I need to make it clear that there was a very reasonable explanation as to why I was wandering around a busy shopping mall on a Friday night looking like THIS:
Come on girls. Admit I was hot. Heck, I even fancy myself!
 Finally it was time to rinse so I had the chance to confirm. It was a bit delicate but I asked the question:
"Ummm...when you met me at the shops a few years back, was I...ummm....dressed like a...a...."
"A man? Yes, you were. You had a mustache and chest hair and your husband introduced you as his wife. All this time I thought your husband was a bit...ummm...I thought he was in a relationship with a man. But now I actually see you here..."
Phew! I'm not sure which was the worst introduction, the man or the gaping mouth.

Oh, I'm going back on Monday. I won't tell you what for because conversations about teeth are just so boring. I'll tell you one thing though. I'm going to wear a dress!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Zombie Dolls and the Kiwi Road Trip

Here it is, the last day of the school holidays, and I can safely say that THIS time I haven't allowed myself to get caught up in a fad. In the past I have:

...developed a two week passion for Reborn Dolls which led me to procure (a much nicer word than "steal") all my daughters dolls, decapitate them, gauge out their eyes, paint them purple and hide them in the top of the linen cupboard. It's like a toy graveyard in there and one can only pray that vengeful zombie dolls are all a figment of the imagination. Mind you, with all the Facebook applications I've played with, I should be ready for any zombie attack heading my way - even if I am solely responsible for it.
Then there was the Green Phase. I was on a mission to save the planet and not buy any cleaning or personal hygiene products I didn't have to, while saving thousands of dollars and paying off my mortgage within five years. That's what the inspiring magazine article said anyway. So it was baking soda for toothpaste and gelatine in my hair. The toilet needed extra scrubbing, the kids missed their McCleans and I smelled like jelly. The zombie dolls couldn't care less, since I'd pulled out most of their hair with a crochet hook.
Just call me "Earth Mother"
Then there was the new-found passion for ironing...I think I've already mentioned the ironing. I'll just slip that into the "What Was I Thinking?" file.

So these holidays I've done STUFF instead. I did a painting.'s abstract but it's "art" because I say it is. I made myself a tunic dress. I had nothing to wear with it so I had to go out yesterday and buy myself some accessories to go with it. Having done that, it might have been cheaper to just go out and buy a dress.

One of the coolest things I've done these holidays is the great kiwi Road Trip - with NO husbands and NO KIDS!! Smiley and I headed off in the car to Wild Whangarei, a whole two hours drive away, to meet up with our long lost work buddy, Ant. We drove all the way there with the headlights on because that's what kiwis do on a Road Trip (at least, that's what I told Smiley). I packed healthy sandwiches to eat on the way, Smiley packed lollies and chocolate. We stopped off at a cafe in Wellsford and I parked more than 1 metre from the kerb because we were rebels on a road trip and that's just how we roll - it had absolutely nothing to do with it being a parallel park *cough*. We met up with Ant at a slightly seedy little motel in Whangarei where she had blinked her pretty eyelashes at the manager and promptly had us upgraded to a flasher room with a bed each, two hours free internet and extra milk. We even managed to get the use of the spa pool room after the manager's bed time (although he wasn't invited).
Cameras and steamy spa pools don't mix well. Luckily I didn't drop it in the water.
We ate at a pub and checked out the latest version of "Footloose" at the movies. We were so rebellious, we stayed up till 10:30pm and slept in till 8am! The first thing Smiley said to me on waking was "You talk in your sleep", to which I replied "You snore!" After checking out of the motel (did I detect a tear in the manager's eye?) we headed off to explore the sights of Whangarei. We were finished by lunch time.

Incidentally, if you're ever up North be sure to check out the coolest cafe I've ever been to: Eutopia, where the tea is served in bone china and the birds will eat out of your hand.
See how I cleverly disguise Smiley's true identity. The bird however, signed a release form.
This running-away-from-home-with-the-girlfriends thing has a lot going for it. We've vowed to do it all over again during the Summer holidays. I've also decided to talk my friend R into running away with me for a weekend sometime when the pressures of her job get to be more than she'd like to cope with. I reckon her pretty eyes could get us a free upgrade from a backpackers hostel to a Penthouse suite at Sky City. I just hope the zombie dolls don't follow us.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Boobs and Moobs and Bratwurst Sausage

Being one of those OCD type people who let's her brain run away at inconvenient times, I've been keeping myself awake at nights this week. Last night was one of "those" nights and I ended up sitting in front of the telly at 3:30am. That's where I saw it - the "Ahh Bra".  I was glued to the screen. It wasn't so much that I desperately wanted an Ahh Bra that I could just step into while wearing jeans, it was Rhonda Shearer's enthusiasm. Never had a bra provided such a thrill - and I've seen Trinny and Susannah get pretty excited over boobs and bras.
Despite looking like a product out of "People's Friend" (you know, the kind of thing that fits in with orthopedic shoes, stair lifts and crocheted toilet roll covers), the Ahh Bra will transform any woman's life with plenty of support and cleavage and NO UNDERWIRES. I'm not sure if I'm convinced personally. Being more of a Trinny than a Susannah, I want my bra to have plenty of padding and lift and I didn't see any of that going on with the fabulous Ahh Bra. Mind you, I don't think the niche market should be aimed at just women. We live in a world of equal opportunity and I don't think it would do any harm for a few moobs to be offered some support.
Anyway, I managed to restrain myself from whipping out my Visa card and dialing the 0800 number and flicked the channel to an old episode of "Allo Allo". Strangely enough, Renee and the Germans were running about chasing the famous painting of "The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies" that was hidden in a bratwurst sausage. I drifted off to sleep wondering her reputation might have been reprieved had she worn an Ahh Bra.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Never Trust a Wet Jellybean

I like to think I'm a good person. Growing up, I was a good teenager. And despite getting strapped twice, having three detentions and being a C grade average student, I was a "pleasure to teach" when I was a kid. Which is why it might disturb some of you to learn that I have done naughty things. So here's a brief rundown of the most shocking:

1. When I was 9 years old a house in our neighbourhood was being pulled down for a new building. I snuck onto the property with a couple of kids from my class for a nosy. Wandering over to a pile of rubble, I found myself picking up a brick - just to see how heavy it was. Then the devil and I had a conversation. I tried to resist him but I was 9 and the devil pulled a gun on me and literally FORCED me to do it. So I had no other option than to hurl the brick at a window, smashing it into a zillion pieces, before legging it home leaving the boys in my class to cop all the blame. It was their own fault really. Turns out they were there to steal the copper pipes so they had intentionally gone there with criminal activity in mind, whereas I was just innocently being held hostage by the Tempter.

2. I had an older sister who was 7 years older than me. She didn't like me very much but occasionally she found that I had my uses. Every now and then she would have me legging it to the corner shop (known in NZ as a "dairy) to buy her lollies and Crazy Joe Cola iceblocks. Incidentally, it took me ages to find a picture of a Crazy Joe. I was starting to think I'd imagined them, but I finally found proof that they did exist: I said, my sister didn't seem to like me very much and when I would return full of hope that she'd share the goodies, she'd simply snatch them from me and walk off munching, leaving me empty handed. I may have been 7 years younger than her but by the time I was about 6 years old, it eventually occurred to me that I was being taken advantage of. One day I was a little keener to run her errand than usual. On the way home I made a tiny little hole in the Crazy Joe wrapping and sucked that cola taste out of that pinprick hole with all my strength. It was stolen cola taste and it was fabulous. Next I moved on to the .20c bag of jellybeans. I carefully sampled each one, ensuring that my teeth made no contact with their sweet yumminess before spitting them back into the bag. It may have been puzzling for my big sister to find that Walls had now started manufacturing Crazy Joe Colas in white with no taste and I imagine that she would have been equally surprised to find that all her jellybeans were sticky, but she ate them all the same and never said anything about it. Not that I mean to be unkind but I don't really think she was firing on all spark plugs. I'm not suggesting that she forgot to pay her brain bill but being outsmarted by a 6 year old might imply that she'd been playing too much without a helmet...
Actually, there are a few dairy stories I could tell. The lady behind the counter was called Mrs Sands and she had tattoos all the way up her arms. The cool thing about Mrs Sands was that she used to give kids a free bag of lollies if it was their birthday. I say "used to" because it didn't take long for Mrs Sands to grow weary of us all having a birthday at least every week.

3. Then there was the offering money my mum gave me for Sunday School. Each week I had every good intention of putting that money into the collection plate. But the know...he planted a dairy en route know....he pulled a knife on me and made me buy lollies - against my will I tell you!

There are plenty more misdemeanors I really should confess but I'm a Baptist and we don't do Confession...or dancing...except at the Sunday School mid-winter disco...
I confess...I dance like a chicken

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A really crappy post

C once told me off for using the "C" word. Being told off by a 7 year old is quite a humbling experience but I think it was unwarranted in this case so we had a discussion about the word "Crap" (what did you think I said?)  My argument is that "Crap" is not a rude word since the modern toilet was invented by Mr Thomas Crapper and the word has been adapted from his name. So I defend the title of this post as completely decent.

It was Banana Split night at Dennys with R on Wednesday. The car park has been pretty full recently but on this occasion we were fortunate enough to get a space a little closer than that time a few weeks ago when I attempted to park in three different spaces, couldn't fit, got cross, parked on the road for a second before swooping in on an empty space under at the far corner of the car park with R getting out of the car to ensure I didn't scratch the Audi in the space next door. So on Wednesday, I was quite pleased with my maneuverability skills in getting Beloved's car (which I'd borrowed) into a nice position under a tree.

One-and-a-half banana splits later we returned to go home. When we got in the car we thought we heard rain on the roof and didn't really think much more about it and went home. Then the morning came. I was taking the rubbish bags out to the gate and saw something very similar to this:
Reinactment - not actually Beloved's actual car
Thomas Crapper's name came to mind (or something very similar). All right, so maybe parking under a tree at Denny's wasn't the best move after all, but right now I had an emergency to deal with. If Beloved saw his car in that condition, he would go ballistic!!!! Fortunately, Beloved was still in the shower, or on the loo or something, so I had about three minutes to hide the evidence.  I have no idea what to use to wash poop off a car so I just ran around in a flap for about 60 seconds, grabbed a bucket of water and a towel and proceeded to rub the stuff off. It's sticky stuff. I can't say it was perfectly done but I figured I'd removed enough evidence to cover my tracks.
Birds really are quite evil, aren't they?
It wasn't too long before I bumped into Beloved - what, with living in the same house and all.
He took one look at my face: "What have you done?"
HOW does he DO that? "What? Nothing? Why?"
"You look guilty!"
"You've done SOMEthing!"
He kissed me goodbye and headed out the door to work. I held my breath.
"Oh, you've washed all the bird sh&* off the car! When did you do that?"
He knew!!! He'd been out earlier in the day to pick up the daily paper.
There was only one way out of this situation. Blame him! "Well it's YOUR fault!"
"How is it MY fault?"
"Because YOU should have TOLD me that you KNEW so that I wouldn't have to wash YOUR car before YOU found it!"

I've given this some thought, and have decided that birds really should learn a few good manners. All I know is that after I go to bed, I manage to get through the night without continual crapping. But because the birds at Denny's are bird-brains, I think the local council should fit arrange for all of them to be fitted with these:
Bird Nappies!
Yup. If you google it, you will find it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

There are things you should never say to a woman. Ever!

Throughout my life I have been a bean stalk. I've endured years of mocking for being skinny. Now it seems that after four children and having lived for almost five decades, puberty is finally kicking in and I'm starting to get curvy bits. I can almost fill out an A cup, I have jubbly bits under my arms and there are dimple things forming on my butt that just don't look cute. I think they're known as "cellulite".

I was in Art class with a year 9 class yesterday - these are the same little hoods I followed into Woodwork class that time (I think I'm still traumatized after wrestling sharp instruments from their clutches) - and as I was standing near the desk, minding my own business, the following conversation took place:

BOY: Miss! Are you pregnant?
ME: What??!?
BOY: You're pregnant, aren't you Miss!
ME: I'm not pregnant, I'm just fat.
BOY: Nah Miss, you used to be skinny as. Now you look pregnant.
GIRL: What's that?
BOY: Mrs H is pregnant!
ME: Do you have any idea how old I am?
GIRL: Are you Miss? Oh my GOD! She's not denying it. She IS!"
ME: Wh.......?? Get back to shading your Still Life!
GIRL (yelling to class): Mrs H is pregnant!
ME: What?!
GIRL (opens classroom door and yells out for entire world to hear): Hey everybody, Mrs H is pregnant!
ME: *mortified*
I'm not the Art teacher either!
Thankfully the bell rang and the kids and I went our separate ways. I blame my friend R. She's been force feeding me banana splits for the past 14 months. I am powerless to resist.  I also believe that my own children have been brought up with much better manners than some of the kids at work. According to my daughter Zeeb the correct protocol for questioning a woman on her condition is: "Never ask a woman if she's pregnant unless you can actually SEE a baby coming out of her vagina".
This almost makes me wish I WAS pregnant

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Just got back from the Windy City...

...that's NZ's own windy city - Wellington. Some of you may have been wondering how I got on with being glamorous for a"thank you for asking!" (I have noted that there is not one comment on my previous blog!

Winning a flight to Wellington for the Red Carpet World Premier of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" with 20th Century Fox definitely rates up there as one of the coolest prizes I've ever won. I can certainly get used to this kind of lifestyle. I was born to it! Living in a hotel room with a giant bed suits me well. I took full advantage of the bathroom and made sure I wore the bathrobe (twice), brought the bath gel and lotion home and smuggled out numerous tea bags and jam samples.
No, it's not Weta animation. Beloved really is dwarfed by the bed.
There was just one thing I didn't understand about the hotel room:
What's with the mirror being dropped to eye level from the bed? DODGY!
Sadly there was no straightening iron in the hotel room and I'd forgotten to bring mine so for that reason I'll give the Amora Hotel in Wellington a mere 4 stars instead of the expected 5.

Being a girly-girl type of woman I couldn't decide what to wear and ended up putting photos of my frocks up on Facebook. It was put to the vote and the navy and black sequins won out.  It cost me all of ten bucks in the Red Dot Sale at Farmers but when Big Gino from Weta Workshop complimented me on my "beautiful dress" I knew that all my friends had made the right decision. Since it was a little short I'd opted for a pair of "cellulite buster" knickers to preserve my modesty and hold my tummy in. They cost more than the dress!
Once again, I have cleverly disguised my true identity
So naturally I was poised and sophisticated when I made my grand entrance onto the red carpet. On our approach, Beloved spotted photographers flashing their huge pieces of equipment at the powerful and glamorous and we were up next. I'm afraid to say that I panicked. I still had my glasses on and having spent the last two hours applying makeup I was determined that my blue eyeliner would be seen:
"I haven't taken my glasses off yet!"
Beloved didn't seem to think it was important.
"Leave it. You haven't got time."
I should have listened. Instead, I attempted to juggle my $20 clutch and glasses, dropped them both and ended up scrambling about trying to retrieve them with my cellulite busters in full view of the movers and shakers behind me. Thankfully the paparazzi are a lot kinder to mere mortals such as myself than they are to Brittany, and Beloved and I were able to regain some composure for the next shot.
I think Beloved scrubbed up rather well.
The food and drinks flowed at the pre-premier event and then we were escorted into the VIP Gold Class Seating area to watch the World Premier of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Gold Class Seating always seemed a bit decadent to me but having done it, I have to say that kicking back in a lazy boy with free munchies is the ONLY way to watch a really cool movie.

After the movie it was off to some flash bar where the lovely young man on the door ASKED ME FOR ID before I was allowed in!! I could have kissed him! Okay...admittedly I TOLD him to ask me and but it was very nice of him to humour me. It was just a shame that I'd forgotten to put my Drivers License in my clutch. Once again the drinks flowed and I indulged in some fancy non-alcoholic cocktails that I'd never heard of before. Beloved on the other hand, ensured that he used the open bar tab to the fullest advantage. I think he may have worried a bit when he looked at the walls and saw this: wasn't the drink

Yup, that was a fantastic night away. I think I could handle this overnight jet setting on a more regular basis. Any of my friends want to go on a weekend shopping trip to Welly sometime? I promise that next time I'll try not to leave a trail of blue sequins everywhere I go.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Schmoozing with the stars in Wellywood

Well it looks like I hit the jackpot this week. I've been entering daily giveaways and competitions online and thought I was pretty nifty when Vodafone topped up my prepay with $50 credit after my name was pulled out of the hat. But yesterday I had a very nice surprise in my inbox:
"Congratulations! You have won the draw for the trip to Wellington for the NZ premiere of Rise of the Planet of the Apes..."

Nice! I had some vague recollection about filling in an online form and figured that I had won movie tickets. The only trouble is, I live in Auckland, not Wellington.  Turns out that my big prize consists of more than just a couple of passes to the latest movie: this movie going to be scary??
"The prize is for ONE winner and their friend to attend the red carpet NZ Premiere of 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' at Reading Cinemas Courtenay Wellington on August 1st with VIP seats and tickets to the exclusive after-party at the Hooch bar.

The winner and friend will then be given a room at Amora Hotel Wellington for the night. You will be flown from Auckland to Wellington on August 1st and return on August 2nd with the fabulous crew from Grabaseat.

Errr...have I ever mentioned that I'm terrified of flying?

Beloved received a phone call confirming that all was kosher and was told that we'd be met at Auckland airport on Monday and that we're to "dress to impress". My boss has kindly let me have a couple of days off work to go swanning off with the "it" crowd and our friend in the school office is going to have 7 y/o C for the night so she can get her to school.
SO WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR??? At this stage, all I have is that fancy clutch I bought for the school ball and possibly a pair of shoes. I think I'm going to need a little more! Not wanting to break the budget, I've had a look in my own wardrobe and have come up with this:
Dog not included
And quite possibly this: 
Got this last year for 10 bucks in Farmers Red Dot Sale. Do you think anyone would notice?
Umm..borrowed this off Zeeb (who is a size 8). I'm a size 10(ish!)
And what does a Wellywood schmoozer wear over her posh frock to keep warm?? Meanwhile, Beloved isn't allowed to look scruffy so it looks like we're off to the shops tonight. Hmmm....somehow I have a feeling that this is going to turn out to be a slightly more expensive project than the school ball.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Never pay full price for anything!

That's my mantra. I might have a bit of a reputation for being a tight-ass (I much prefer the word "frugal") but I've finally managed to claw my way off that treadmill and tuck a little away into my savings account. I can probably stop re-using my dental floss and tea bags about now, but old habits die hard.

Anyway, I've been a bit of a party animal lately. Literally:
We had a kids' disco at church last week. The theme was Country & Western so I whipped this little number up on the old Bernina for under thirty bucks. Even if I do say so myself, my teats were udderly AMAZING! It was a bit of a nuisance being repeatedly milked throughout the evening but I have to say, it was worth it.

The school ball was going to be a bit more of a challenge and I'm afraid I did go a little over budget so I'll give the breakdown on what it cost. But first, here's a cleverly disguised picture of me and Smiley getting ready for our big night out with the Year 12 and 13s at the Ellerslie Convention Centre:
True identities cunningly concealed
Elegant, huh? Oh...and because the theme was "Frozen Enchantment", here I am with my...muff:
"Muff"...*snigger* much innuendo I'm considering giving it a Facebook page of its own.
So here's the lowdown on what it all cost:

Ticket to the ball:  Nothing (did Smiley's hair in exchange for the ticket)
Dress:  $15! Bought it in another town three years ago when I spotted a bargain. Thought it would look nice in my "collection"
Furry Muff (*snigger*!) and Cape: $10 + $5 postage from Trademe. Bought a couple of years ago for my "collection" (total: $15)
White Sandals:  $2.50 from the Charity Shop (had to scribble the price on the bottom out with vivid but nobody noticed)
Hair: Fake piece: $2.00, Blingy thing $3.90 - from the Asian shop in Southmall
Earrings: $2.00 from the Asian shop in Southmall - the man in there is getting quite friendly with me now.
Gloves: $4.00 (I know, I splurged to go with the theme) - from my Asian friend

And finally...I was going to use the muff to insert (*snigger* - oh, be mature will ya!?!) my important stuff into the lining but my extravagant friend R talked me into buying a flash little clutch. She is such a BAD influence on me!
I LOVE IT!!!! The thing cost me more than the dress but isn't it FABULOUS!??! Besides, I got it for 80% off: $25 (reduced from $60). I did have big plans to flick it off on Trademe (hopefully for a similar price to what I paid for it) but LOOK AT IT!!! It's FABULOUS!!!!

So the total cost for me to go to the ball: $69.40c. Did I really need that fabulous little clutch with the blingy bling? Why yes. Yes I did.

So Smiley and I went to the ball where we behaved with sophistication and decorum all night (until the coach turned into a pumpkin)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Oh, joy, rapture! I've got a brain! (almost)

 Well, I've been giving some thought to furthering my education. My halcyon days were many decades ago (even though I'm only "38"!) and I've enjoyed reliving my youth through the teenagers I work with as a Teacher Aide. But I reckon it's about time I got a few of those NZQA credits for myself. It's not the first time I've thought about it, but being the naive young thing that I am I'd always assumed that having babies and getting some learning didn't mix. I thought it was an all or nothing affair.  Then "Fabulous New Lady" started working in our department. Turns out that she's somewhat over-qualified for the job but she really is fabulous. Then I found out that FNL got her education one paper at a time!!!!  It is seriously possible to stretch a degree out for YEARS! WHY had nobody told me about this?!
 So I'm going in. I'm doing it! I am going to get me some SMARTS. If I ever finish it may take a while (even though I'm only "38) but I think I'll give it a go and start with one little paper

Smiley and I were having a "departmental meeting" with FNL during Form Check (aka gossip around the table instead of washing up the coffee cups) and I mentioned that I might consider studying Humanity and Arts. Naturally FNL, who seems to have done everything and anything that's worth doing, has dabbled in the classics and told us about her experience when she went to Italy and saw Michael Angelo's David for real. Is there anything this woman hasn't done? She was so overwhelmed with the wonder and beauty of it all that she burst into tears.  Smiley and I drank in the emotion as FNL's eyes misted over with the memory of this near-religious-epiphanic (I just made that word up) experience. Finally, Smiley - who I think has a higher education than myself - broke the silence.....

....." big is his willy?"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wouldn't trade my job for anything...YET!

A while back the NZ Police had an recruiting campaign, urging potential applicants to Get Better Work Stories . I have to say, I was tempted. As you all know, I have a penchant for dressing up and the idea of a police uniform in my closet is a huge draw card for me. But with cats, a dog, chickens, children and Beloved to consider I ended up getting a job at a high school instead. It's great. Every day is different. I work with a fabulous team and there's always something exciting going on.

I love my job. At least, that's what I kept telling myself in Technology class yesterday. We have a particularly "feisty" (for want of a word that I can't print here) class of Year 9 kids that just can't seem to leave all those lovely power tools alone. A request was made for Teacher Aide support so Smiley and I tossed a coin. When it wasn't going my way, I suggested the best of three. When Lady Luck smiled I felt guilty. So Smiley and I ended up going to the class together. When I had to stop a kid from shoving a large, pointy object up another kid's nether regions, I began to wonder if the Police Force might have been easier. Both Smiley and I needed a strong cup of tea and quite possibly a lie down after that little session.

So today I was blessed with another riotous group for Art class. Actually, it wasn't too bad today. Three of the boys had been stood down so it was just minor pandemonium as opposed to chaotic anarchy. Apart from a couple of boys (who suggested I should make a vocational change to Exotic Dancing - not sure whether they meant it as an insult or a compliment), things were going pretty well and some good work was beginning to happen. It even got quite peaceful when the boys who suggested the career change legged it out the fire exit.

The thing about an Art classroom is that there's a lot of interesting stuff about the room which to a bunch of hyped up kids, is overwhelmingly tantalizing. The teacher told them to leave the driftwood, the branches, the bone...they just wouldn't listen. Before long, two boys had shoved the bone over their heads. Just between you and me, it looked pretty good on them. Purpose-made. It even had eye holes and ear flaps. Just quietly, I was impressed. Even so, I spoke up:
"Boys! Put it down. Leave things alone!"
Naturally I was completely ignored. So it gave me extreme pleasure to give them a little anatomy lesson.
"Do you have any idea what you've been putting on your head?"
The teacher and I exchanged a knowing glance and tried (unsuccessfully) to stifle some giggles. After a few guesses, the kids were able to work out that the bone came from a big animal, most probably a cow. Clever kids.
"So...which PART of the cow do you think it is?"
I had to spell that bit out for them. but in case you're wondering, here's a clue:
Not sure if Carmen was meant for this either!
Heh heh...I LOOOOOOVE my job!

I would say it was just as well that the cow was dead at the time of head insertion. Otherwise, the poor bovine creature would have had the shock of its life.
Surprised (but disturbingly happy) cow
I told my friend R this story and she found it so "amoooosing" that she was "moooooooved" to tears. Come to think of it. It's probably not a good idea to surprise a cow at all (as illustrated in the following dramatization)...............

So, even on a bad day, I love my job. And if there's anybody out there who doesn't love their job, just remember that it could be worse. MUCH worse. Next time I have to rescue a kid from a chisel up the jaksy, I'll spare a thought for this guy: