Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

You're Never Too Old For A Rock Concert (except when you still call them rock concerts).

As some of you may know, I have always had a predilection for rock. I played rock to the Baby Angel when she was in the womb and she grew up to the strains of Blur, Oasis and The Dandy Warhols in the UK of the 90s. For a brief moment she was distracted by the horrors of Kylie Minogue and Delta Goodrem but by age 12 she fancied herself as something of an 'indie' music lover and at 13 she asked me to take her to her first gig: 'The Vines' (a personal favourite of mine). Since then we've also seen 3Oh!3 (another experience altogether) and I've chaperoned her, with her buddies, on a number of outings all of which have been 'all age events' (mind you, listening to that 3Oh!3 track again I wonder who decides the ratings on these things!?).

For some time we've been trying to get to see British India, a Melbourne based rock outfit we both enjoy on the radio. For some reason, they always appear at 18+ events so we've been out of luck, but then we noticed that they were playing at the Thursday night 'free' concert at the Clipsal 5000. Of course 'free' means you've already paid to get into the race track but hey, at $38.00 a head it's good value; considering her next outing is Vampire Weekend in May at $70.00+ a ticket!

Given the testosterone driven nature of the Clipsal event, we thought it a good opportunity for a 'family outing', something which has become a rarity nowadays given the diverging interests of the BA and Small Boy. Consequently, Himself and Small Boy went along in the afternoon to look at the cars and soak up some of the octane soaked atmosphere *cough hack hack*.

It was a good opportunity for father son bonding since the abortive disaster which was the sailing season.

We joined them just before sunset as the band was taking the stage.
I followed my excited progeny and her giggling and shrieking mate as they made their way down to the front near the stage. My policy in these situations is to stay far enough away to be unobtrusive and yet keep the kids with in eye sight. The BA is dismissive of my concerns.

"For goodness sake mum! What do you think is going to happen to us???"
"Listen mate, I know what could happen, which is precisely why I will NOT let you go on your own!!!!"

She's been angling to attend the Big Day Out for some time, foiled by the fact that it has a 15+
label and she was mortified to discover that I had NO intention of letting her attend anything like that on her own until she was at least 16!

The band was great. The sound was good, the additional large screens enabled you to see the action even when it was hidden behind hooded heads, and all our favourites were played.

Oh and the lead was cute!As I was snapping away and 'gettin' down with it' (oh hush your snickering you lot), I noticed a young hooded man in his late teens groovin' along next to me in a suspicious manner. I raised my hand to test my theory. He raised his hand. I shifted my weight to my other leg, he shifted his weight. The slimy little toerag was copying me!!!!!!! A little further over his two teenage beeyatches were giggling their silly bleached blonde, mineral make-upped heads off!!!!


I mean, I was not even at WORK! It was my night off!!!!!!!! Suddenly I realised the freedom this offered. I leaned in to the leering, young dimwit as he performed for his admiring onlookers.

(WARNING: inappropriate language following)

"Listen asshole, I have to put up with SHIT like this ALL DAY and I do not NEED this on my own time so, give me a break and F&*@ OFF!!!!!!!!...."

Geez that felt good.

And if that didn't make enough of an impression, I called Himself over to stand next to me and exude his pseudo-bikie aura ( well, what they don't know won't hurt them). I am pleased to report that the toerag took the hint and moved off with harem in tow.

Unwilling to let this cloud my enjoyment of the occasion, I switched my attention back to the BA in time to see a large unknown man approach and put his arm around her!!!! In two steps I was there and physically prised him off whilst fixing him with that incredibly sweet 'do not touch my baby if you value your cahunas' smile that only a mother can produce. A quick glance from her to me and he understood all. At least he had the good grace to back off laughing.

The BA recovered herself, although she was pretty glad her 'mummy' was there! Here she is laughing at something entirely different, that other ubiquitous character at the rock concert, the drunk dancer.

Note the large, clear space around him?
Oh, and does this not look like the Snoopy dance to you?
Here, check it out!

Well, the BA and her friend thought it was all VERY amusing

although quietly she said to me later, "I see why you don't want me to go on my own yet mum."

Hmmm. Indeed.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Team Up Thursday: Yellow

Lately, I am inclined to wonder whether I would get around to blogging at all if it were not for the commitment of 'Team Up Thursday'!

This week, JoLyn and I played with the theme ' Yellow'. That's her beautiful Idaho forsythia on the left and my sad, single grapefruit off our sad little tree, on the right. We haven't fiddled with the colour at all. The yellows are just that yellow!

Our grapefruit tree was left behind by the former owners of our house who decided at the last moment that they couldn't be bothered trying to load the half wine barrel tub it is growing in, onto the removalist's truck. It has struggled with our lack of attention ever since. It rarely flowers and has only fruited once. That time, Small Boy and his mate knocked the nearly ripe fruit off with a cricket bat. I must admit I was inclined to do the same thing to portions of their anatomy; however this year I put a whole lot of peel around it and decided to combat drought by using a rudimentary drip watering device. I was rewarded in spring with a mass of blossom and, eventually, a whole little tree full of miniature green fruit!

Unfortunately, I came out one day to find the entire crop had been decimated by white fly or aphids or something. And I couldn't even blame the children! Imagine my excitement on finding one, lone survivor a few weeks later. I was sure it would suffer the same fate as its predecessor so whenever a cricket bat or basketball made an appearance in the backyard I would erupt from the depths of the house and fling myself in front of the precious swelling orb, ready to take the proverbial cricket ball 'bullet' on its behalf.

Somehow it survived and I captured it in all its radiant, yellow glory, moments before picking it and reducing it to a glass full of exquisite juice. 'Such is life' my poor little grapefruit buddy.

For more double delights, click over to Melody, Megan or the flickr photopool and bask in the combined creativity.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Back To Back, Goodbye, and A Journey

2010 Summer Premiers!
The Baby Angel and her team pulled it off! back to back Premierships, Winter and Summer!!!!!
It was a very nervous Grandma and Mum that accompanied the 'pumped' Baby Angel....
(Grandma: How are you feeling sweetheart?
BA: Pumped Grandma! Really pumped!!!
Grandma: ??????)

......to Central Courts for last night's Grand Final.We were not sure they would 'get up'. The last time they met this team they had one bad quarter which dropped them down 10 goals and they never made it up. Tonight was a different story however. Both teams came out 'fighting', and a solid, evenly matched contest was had by all. In the end our BA's team won 37-34 although, to be honest, on a number of occasions it could have gone either way!The BA played a stellar game in her favoured position as Goal Defence and made many brilliant intercepts as well as keeping the opposition Goal Attack under a great deal of pressure. She copped a lot of flack from the umpire (who is another story altogether); but at one point she was called for 'obstruction' when she was behind her opponent!!! There is nothing more frustrating for a player I suspect (having never been one) than being the target of an umpire's watchful eye, and I have to say that the way the BA dealt with it made me proud. She rose to the challenge and, at the end of the day, I think the main difference between the teams was the defense.
Of course, you are wondering why I haven't posted a picture of the radiantly glowing winning team? Ahem. Yes, well, sorry about that. It's been a tough week and I left the camera in the car. :-( I do have promises of emailed photos from other mothers however!&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
This has been the week from heaven and hell all in one. Of course my lovely Sis arrived last Sunday which was stellar, except that I had reports due on Wednesday. Reports this term had been brought forward because many people were persistently late and as a result everyone was running around like chooks with their heads cut off trying to collect up work and mark it so that we had enough to 'report' on! As if that wasn't enough, I got a call from the business manger on Monday to tell me that the auditors would be here on, you guessed it.... Wednesday! I don't think I could have picked a worse week for my Sis to visit.
Nevertheless, we had a great time together. There were lots of photo opportunities.Oh. Had I not mentioned my hair cut? Ugh. Well, the less said about that the better.
WHAT was I thinking?After dinner the other night, my sister decided it wasn't a visit to Australia unless she had been to the beach....But yesterday we had to say goodbye and on top of everything else we had to say goodbye to these guys....who have gone off to good homes (I will believe that) even though we miss them almost as much as we miss Middle Sis.

And now for the journey. We're off to Port Vincent for some sailing mayhem even though I could actually do with a weekend cleaning my house.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Team Up Thursday: Sand

JoLyn and I have been at it again. It's Team Up Thursday and we've had a lot of fun putting together this diptych despite both of our protests of 'too much to do'!

Our process this week was a little more leisurely than last week's: 'aaauuugh...this is all I've got JoLyn can you do anything with it?' We tried a few ideas and the family vote was the eventual decider. My shot, on the left, is sea lion tracks in the sand on Kangaroo Island. JoLyn's......well, you''ll have to click over to her site to hear that story.

For more Team Up projects, check out Melody or Megan (or both) and feel free to join in!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Feral Peril

So here they are down between the fence and the neighbours' shed.....

This is my favourite. We haven't caught him/her yet.

And this is Boo, the first boy.

And this is Jem. He was going to be Mayella until we realised he was a boy.

The fluffy grey one is Scout and the other grey and white one is Atticus. Yes, the BA has been reading 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

And no, we're not keeping them all. We just felt like giving them names.....

Airport Joy

Look who arrived this morning! We are so excited to see you Middle Sis!!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Team Up Thursday: Water

Welcome to Team Up Thursday (even though it's Friday) which is a blog carnival held weekly and hosted by Megan over at Mental Inventory and the Hippest Momma around, Melody. The idea is that pairs of bloggers collaborate on a theme and produce a combination of photos, which somehow work together. It's a great idea; a slightly different take on Theme Thursday; a photography challenge and a great way to get to 'meet' new bloggers and their blogs.

I have been watching Team Up Thursday with interest but until this week had not had the time or a partner with which to 'team up'. I sadly mentioned to Melody how much I would like to join in, all the time bemoaning my lack of 'time', and blow me down she called my bluff! I found an email in my in-box directing me to 'A Year of Happy' and the incredibly patient (and talented) JoLyn. Of course, being The Week from Hell I failed to get my photo to her in time and so we are a day late posting and she had to do all the processing; but I am resolved to be a better partner next week.

So, what do you think? Have we shown you 'water'? Have we made you think, feel, experience 'water'? How clever is her shot with the light behind the glass and the movement of the water as it is poured? It makes me think of 'macro/micro' as you see the motion and power of water in two distinct sizes.

If you are intrigued by the idea, click over and check out a few more diptychs. In particular I have to give this series a shout out. What a brilliant concept.

Thanks for being a sport JoLyn and look forward to working with you in the future!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Chronologically Challenged Angel Checks In

As you can see I totally missed Carrie's Crafty Tuesday. For my pathetic attempt at craftiness in between craftily catching cats, I have added lightning flashes to our house banner. The Sports Carnival was Wednesday. I did get the banner finished on time but I was late getting my photo to my new partner for Team Up Thursday! JoLyn and I will be posting a diptych of photos each Thursday (theoretically) on a theme of our choosing. If she is still speaking to me after this weeks poor performance!

But being late means I can post this other photo of the banner at Sports Day which, we STILL don't know if we won!!!!!

We were leading for a good portion of the day but near the end the lead kept flipping back and forwards between East and West (funnily enough). We ran out of time to run the 800m which will now happen on Monday, and the PE staff are giving nothing away until then so, fingers crossed and GO all you amazing East House 800m runners!!!!!!!!!
The last time our house won a Sports Carnival was 2003.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Back Yard Genocide

I feel awful.

Remember those feral kittens/cats that were camping out in our laundry? Well, predicatably the female has had kittens in between our fence and the neighbour's shed. (This is not her but the look in her eye is identical)

A week or so ago, Himself spotted them playing in our garden; four beautiful balls of fluff gamboling under the watchful eye of their very young mother. Of course if we tried to approach them they disappeared back between the shed and fence as quick as a wink and there was no way we could reach in there and grab them.

So here was the dilemma: lovely cats but becoming wilder by the day. Any hope of finding homes for them soon to be lost if they couldn't be handled and 'domesticated' quickly. The prospect of more breeding: inevitable. They were unable to be grabbed by human hand and I had no time to sit around waiting for them to come to a lure, like a tin of cat food in a box . What to do?

On Monday, Mum and I went down to the RSPCA and hired a cat trap. By 5pm Monday afternoon we had the mother in the trap. She thrashed about like a wild thing until we put a blanket over the cage. The RSPCA didn't open until 10am Tuesday morning. The condemned prisoner was left, covered up, outside on our back porch. At about 10pm she started crying. It was awful.

Now I know in my heart that she can't be just left to breed; she is way too wild to try and domesticate; but the sound of that crying broke all our hearts. We shut the window and turned up the TV.

I feel like a resident of Germany in 1944.

I was only following orders.......


Post Script: Tonight we have bagged the father and he is much wilder and more aggressive.

It is now his turn to sit on Death Row (aka our back porch). I still feel awful.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Never Work With Dogs or Kids

The scene is church last Sunday morning. I am doing my twice monthly 'Kidspot' in the service. The reading for the week was about the Hebrews worshipping a golden calf and forgetting about God. I had decided to run my little interactive segment as a mock 'game show'.

Me: Good morning everyone! Welcome to 'Decisions, Decisions' the exciting game show where you get to win great prizes depending on the decision you make! Now firstly I need a contestant.....Ah yes, young man, and what is you name?

James: James

Me: Alright James, are you ready to play? Well then, here is your dilemma:
You are trapped an airtight bank vault.

With you in this vault, you may have one of two objects: Object A is a mobile phone; a very expensive mobile phone with internet connectivity and a qwerty keyboard, or you could have Object B which is a Mystery Box! Now here is Object B; you can hold the box if you like and get a feel for what might be in there....

(James 'hefts' the obviously empty box)

Me: Alright James. What's it going to be, the mobile phone or the mystery box to help you
escape from the locked bank vault????? I'll give you five seconds thinking time....

Well, James didn't need any thinking time. He practically ate the microphone as he replied without hesitation:

James: The mobile phone!
Me: Ah hah! And WHY would you choose the mobile phone?
James: Because I could log onto the internet, create a web page and let people know I needed rescuing!

....was NOT the answer I was expecting! What ever happened to phoning the police?????????


For those of you who are interested in the 'point' of my little scenario, the mobile phone was of course the wrong choice........because it was broken! Expensive, impressive to look at but useless. The empty box on the other hand held fresh air which you would need to sustain you for those last 30 secs as the fire brigade were cutting through the door with their oxy torches :-D. Can't be seen but meets your needs.
And if you can't see the connection to the golden calf in that you're going to have to come to Kidszone to find out!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Tiny Blogaholic Fix

It's 2.58pm. In about 20 minutes I have to pick the BA up from school and then go to the gym. I must do this second part because my clothes do not fit me any more. At 5.20pm or so, I will be retrieving my parents from the airport after their trip to Tassie. After that we'll go back to my place and one of us (perhaps Himself) will make dinner and we will talk about their trip. I will take them home later. I will help the BA with homework and see her off to bed. Then, somewhere between then and tomorrow morning, I will prepare work for my 4 classes tomorrow, mark homework, make a spreadsheet for Sports Carnival next Wednesday and hopefully sleep. Whatever, I will not have time for blogging. Which is why I'm getting my fix now........

A small note on the BA's Swimming Carnival last night. My alma mater is not a swimming school it appears. We had one first place the whole evening and many lasts :-) Oh well. The BA was only in one race, the 4x50m freestyle relay, and she held her own. As I said to her, imagine what you could have done if you had been training!!!!! I'm trying to think of a way to get her into a training pattern. Maybe early morning swims at a local pool on the train line and a train trip to school afterwards? It would get me up earlier too. It would not get me into the pool however.

Adios Amigos!!

The Hollow Sound of Bankers' Laughter

Have you ever tried to redeem points on a credit card loyalty scheme? I have a theory about this. I suspect there are 4 dusty reward items, nailed to the floor in some window display. They are photographed, occasionally updated and never leave the building. There are no other items waiting for redemption! There is no happy rack of sparkling cordless phones; no cupboards full of steak knives and plasma TVs, NO! the whole thing is an elaborate front to encourage you to keep using your credit card to pay for everything!!!!!!

I know this because in the last two years we have tried unsuccessfully to redeem points, on a relatively low point item I might add, via a website. In the first instance we couldn't even log into the blasted thing. Then, after Himself rang and shouted obscenities at the recorded prompts, he spoke to an operator who assured him the site was about to be updated and gave us a temporary password. We duly logged in and went to 'look' at the items available for redemption (as per the mailed out catalogue). We selected the one we wanted and clicked. Nothing. And again. Nothing.
Another phone call assured us that it was a glitch that was being sorted. We didn't bother for a while.

Tonight we tried again. The website is brand new and shiny! I had to create a totally new username etc but we got in and navigated to the 'redeem points' page. There were three overpriced items on the homepage, all with clickable links. That was all there was; no button directing you to the catalogue; no neatly arranged photos of the other items in question. But wait! On the side bar there is an animated marquee with alternating pics of all other redeemable items. There is a button exhorting you to 'redeem now'.

Firstly you wonder if you have to wait til your desired item flashes up before you click 'redeem now'. Wait, wait, wait....there it is! Click now! Go on, go on.......CLICK!!!!!!!!!!!
Drat. Missed it.
Then you figure it can't be that hard and just click on any picture. And click. And CLICK. The download bar lights up, the page reads 'done'. It is unchanged.

Someone, somewhere in their little programmers' hole is having a HUGE laugh!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Sssshhhhhh. I Am Meant To Be......(pick something)

Augh. This blog posting gig is suffering badly this year. I am trying a little thing called 'time management', an experiment which is mostly failing due to facebook, but that is the main reason for my absence.

This year at school I am teaching Year 7 Maths, a newy, as well as Year 9 and 10 Maths and Year 11 Numeracy for Work and the Community. Year 8 Maths is also lurking in the wings but should be a swap for Year 11 in Semester 2 so I won't worry about it yet.

As always, something new lands on my plate every year and nothing is a simple case of 'trotting out last year's course'. I've never taught Year 7 Maths; in NSW where I trained as a primary teacher, we only went to Year 6. The Year 9s are not too bad although they are significantly worse than last year's bunch so everything is having to be slowed down and repeated; the Year 10s are an Applied class rather than a General (like last year) and Year 11 is a completely new course which we are running in order to get some of our worst babies through the new SACE (SA Certificate of Education) requirements of 'at least a C in maths'.

Don't start me on the SACE. It is basically an attendance certificate. A method of keeping kids out of the dole queue :-(.

The week away at Year 10 camp, 3 weeks ago, set me behind the 8 ball I'm afraid and I am still catching up with myself. Add to that; the BA's new school and new focus on schoolwork; Kidszone at church and an invitation from a network leader to join a new State Kid's Ministry vision group; sailing; my mum and dad trying to sell their holiday house here in Aus and the rest of regular, lifely things and you will see why my Time Management needs work.

But news! The Baby Angel has a JOB!!!!!! She has become the latest slave in the McDonald's chain-gang and spent an hour on her laptop last night, undertaking an online training package. With quizzes. Who knew?

Other BA news. School is going well. She is in the musical (Oliver), has joined the volleyball team (woeful but fun) and has been selected to swim for the school in the local interschool carnivals. The first one is tonight although I don't think she's going to do too well as she is full of cold and I can hear her coughing from the bathroom as I type. She played drums at church again last Sunday and is still enjoying her lessons although doesn't get enough opportunities for practice. (I still won't have a kit in the house.) Oh and her netball team are in the semi-finals this weekend. Hmm.....do you think she is taking after me in doing too much?

Himself is excited by the prospect of a new crew and frantically busy with work. After our wonderfully bonding sailing experiences I am resigned to once more passing him in the corridor as I wake and he goes to bed. I am trying a new regime which includes going to bed at 10pm and getting up at 5am to do school work. Unfortunately blogging got in the way this morning.

No 2 Son continues to vague his way through life. Conversation at the dinner table last night
Me: So, you did some washing I notice. Didn't you have to go to TAFE today?
Him: mumble mumble mumble, that lecture in the city.
Me: errr.....so did you go to the lecture in the city or not?
Him: I tried.
He did not elaborate and frankly, I was too confused to pursue the matter any further.
On the weekend he came upstairs from his pit and asked if I had any books on 'The Northern Renaissance'. Errr, surprisingly, no! Why did he need it?
"Well, I've done a visual critique on an artwork and I've just realised I have to include references to two books as well as the internet, so I just need a couple of titles."

Why doesn't he just google the titles? Might as well.

Must go and do WORK. It's 6.30am but it's my late start morning so I don't have to leave until 7.45am!!! Tonight at the swimming I am 'timing'. Will try to take pix of my girl........