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Friday, April 29, 2016

W, X, Y and Z



I’m pretty sure that kid is drunk.

That’s what I sound like when I’m drunk, anyway, like a baby who can’t talk proper.

So guys, in typical Pinky Poinker fashion, I have failed to complete the April A-Z challenge of writing a post every day and have condensed W, X, Y and Z into one post because… well, what’s going to happen? It’s not like I’ll be arrested or sued or anything. *

Besides, it means instead of annoying you for four days in a row it’s only once.

So…

W stands for Weird.

I think it’s very weird that “The letter ‘I’ comes before ‘E’ except after C”, except in the fudging word ‘weird’. What the hell? It’s very cruel for immigrants and new English speakers that they can’t even know how to spell ‘weird’ properly because of the stupid rules they’ve learned.

X is for why don’t more words start with X? It’s bloody racism that’s what it is. It’s Xenephobia, actually.

Y is for Yuk.

I felt yuk today when I watched my German Shepherd spew in the garden then return to his recently regurgitated chunks of Meaty Bites minutes later and gobble them down. What the actual yuk? Who eats their own vomit? Sometimes I hate my dogs.

Z is for Zealots

I hate zealots. Those annoying people who tell you how to live your life.

I was teaching a drama lesson today and the kids had to mime out a scene in a particular nominated room in a house.

I told one group of ten year olds to act out a scene in a dining room.

“What’s a dining room?” asked one rough-haired individual.

“It’s where you eat dinner,” I replied.

“You mean the lounge room?” he asked, eyeing me in confusion.

I felt no Judgy McJudgement outrage when he said it, more relief really. My kids spent most of their family dinners hunched around a coffee table, slurping up their dinner watching Seinfeld, so I’m in no position to sit on my high horse.

Personally, I think family dinner table time is hugely overrated. My memories include being in trouble for slouching like a leper, being chastised for feeding the poodle my brussel sprouts and gagging on the cold choko when everyone else had left the table and I was being forced to finish my dinner.

There was never any “catching up on our day in a civilised and jovial fashion” happening.

It’s all bullshit. Family dinners at the table are a formidable experience.

What do you think?


· If I am to be sued this was written by Pinky Smith.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Vapid Learning


V is for Vapid Learning
April A-Z Challenge

So... I was teaching the preps (4 to 5 year olds) a new game today during their drama lesson.

It’s a challenge teaching preps anything, let alone drama, because they haven’t quite realised they’re alive yet. They just seem to float around the place in an external bubble of weird, amniotic fluid, seemingly oblivious to their true surroundings.

In the game, one student has to be the detective and suss out which child in the circle is hiding a ball on their person (in their knickers or under their shirt, preferably the latter).

“You all need to trick the detective by looking really guilty,” I laboriously explained. “Make the detective think it’s YOU that’s hiding the ball.”

“What’s a guilty?” asked one little blonde thing with fatty cheeks begging to be squeezed.

I groaned inwardly.

“Who here knows what guilty means?” I asked the class.

Not one of them knew, so I explained via an allegory about a dog that chewed up a shoe and was ashamed of what he’d done. I even acted like the dog with a mopey, guilty expression on my face and received a round of laughter from the room. 

They’re a tough crowd so I was chuffed.

“Or you could try to look innocent,” I added in a rash moment of over-confidence.

“What’s innocent?” Blondey lisped, cocking his head to the side in a fetching manner.

So then I enacted an entire scene where a dog is guilty of chewing up shoes and a cat (who was actually the culprit) acts all innocent and has an innocuous, but smug expression on its face, because it's secretly glad the dog is in trouble. 

There was more hysterical laughter from the peanut gallery.

I love preps but it’s almost as if they deliberately try to be dull-witted imbeciles just to annoy teachers. How can you NOT KNOW what innocent means? 

 Are they freakin, four years old or something?

I’ll teach the class of preps for a whole fricking hour and they see me, literally five minutes after the lesson, and come up to me when I’m on playground duty and say, “Do I know you?”

“Yep,” I sigh. “I saw you five minutes ago.”

Goldfish. That’s what they are.

I made the mistake of asking them today at the end of the lesson, “So, what have you learned in the last three weeks I’ve been teaching you drama?”

Five hands shot up.

“I learned how to swim to the side of the pool all by myself,” stammered the first respondent.

“No. I mean, what have you learned about in DRAMA?” I emphasised. “You know! All the stuff we’ve been doing here in this room!”


“I yearned dat dogs chew up shoes and they're very norty and cats are good,” whispered another one.



Yep. My work here is done.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Uncensored



U is for Uncensored




It’s my last week fulfilling a three week relief contract at the school and I’m starting to panic about getting more work. I was thinking about what else I could do to support myself and it occurred to me I could open a Fudge Shop. I can make fudge I think. I could give all my culinary inventions funny names.

I think I’d call the shop, It’s a Fudging Miracle.

I could include products such as the following on display,

Extra chewy fudge called, Harden the Fudge Up.

Fudge to take along to comedy movies, called, It’s Funny as Fudge.

Fudge to serve at funeral wakes, called, Fudge Me Dead.

Fudge to send to friends you haven’t seen for a while, called, How the Fudge Are You?

Fudge for weddings, called, Congratufudginglations!

Fudge for graduations, called, You’re a Fudging Genius, Son!

Fudge for people in hospital, called, Fudge, that Hurt!

Fudge for annoying kids called, Shut the Fudge Up.

Fudge to keep in your glove box on road trips, called, Where the Fudge Are We?

Fudge especially for telephone salesmen and the like, who knock on your door at 7:00am on Sunday morning, called, Why Don’t You Go Fudge Yourself?

Fudge for those times like when your phone drops out mid-sentence, called, What the Fudge Just Happened?

Mother’s day Fudge called, Motherfudger.

Fudge to eat when your laptop bluescreens, called, It’s Fudged.

Fudge to eat when after your laptop dies, then you lose your phone, called, Unbefudginglievable.

And yes, I had absofudginluterly NOTHING to write about tonight for the letter fudging “U”.

But I think there’s definitely a market for my concept.

Any other ideas?


Monday, April 25, 2016

Trail Walking and Witch Spotting



T is for Trail Walking

Lately, every time I look in the mirror, I see a spongy silhouette of cottage cheese staring back at me in bulgy-eyed confusion. “How did this happen?” the face in the mirror implores. “Why?”

I suggested to Scotto that we should attempt the infamous “Witches Falls” circuit trail walk on Sunday afternoon in order to burn off some excess calories.

The trail is only 3.2 kilometres long BUT, the final 1.7 kilometres are up hill and I thought it might sort out whether or not I have blocked arteries and angina or not.

(As it turned out, I wheezed and coughed on the way back up, but there was no chest/jaw pain and I recovered from my puffing after a minute or two so I must be in moderate health at least.
That’s my medical check for the year done anyway.)


After walking for a kilometre or so, stressing about what would happen if one of us was bitten by a snake or twisted our ankle and the logistics of seeking out critical assistance, it dawned on me that the bloody highway was a mere three metres above us and that if we needed urgent medical help, we pretty much just had to hop over a fence. The aroma of families cooking sausages in the parkland directly above should have alerted me earlier.



It was a walk of delicious spicy smells and cool breezes; majestic trees, a litter of leaves and juicy, green moss.

Can you spot any witches?


“How much further to go?” I whined to some returning, energetic kids as we picked our way down to the waterfall.

“Not much further!” they replied cheerily.

It struck me that I’d done the reverse of the, “Are we nearly there?” that kids are famous for.

They lied of course, just like we do to them. Bastards.

But shortly after that, the trail took us even deeper into the rainforest and I began to fear for my life.

It began to rain.

I remembered the sign at the top of the trail stating, “Do not attempt trail in wet weather”. There was something about potential, unstable landslides… I think.

I thought my main concern on the walk would be looking out for errant witches lurking behind trees, but no, it was a fear of slipping down a greasy slope and toppling over a 552 metre cliff that had me in its grasp.

This must be what the witch cooks for her dinner.


I probably would have been thrilled to see a witch at that stage, actually. We were very alone in the forest as no doubt other more canny walkers had finished the walk BEFORE the rain set in.

“Well, this is a bit crap,” I complained to Scotto when we finally reached the falls. “All that climbing for this pathetic puddle? What a bloody rip off! Plus, I haven't seen a single damn witch!”

Hmmmf! Witches Puddle more like it!


“Keep going, Pinky,” Scotto replied with a patient sigh. “That’s not the waterfall.”

We went around a bend and I spotted the real lookout.



Sorry about the slack photograph but I was too scared to walk out on the platform because… it was like looking down the Moon Door on Game of Thrones.

Which leads me to the true purpose of this post.


Who is excited that Game of Thrones Season Six starts tonight? Blearrrrrggghhhhh!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Singing on the Mountain



S is for Singing on the Mountain
Last night we went to a birthday party on the mountain, with real life mountain folk in attendance and it was an excellent opportunity for us to make some friends up here.

Scotto’s business colleague, Drew, invited us to celebrate his wife’s birthday at the local bowls club.

“It’s karaoke,” Scotto added cautiously when he told me about the invitation.

This immediately set off a piercing siren of panic in my head. Flashbacks of remorseful mornings after disastrous karaoke nights flickered across my field of vision.

“It sounds great,” I tentatively commented. “But under no circumstances allow me to get up and sing because you know that will ensure we never have any friends on the mountain and I will be so regretful and embarrassed after I sober up I won’t be able to leave the house for months.”

“Absolutely,” Scotto agreed.

There’s only one cab driver on the mountain and we met him last night. Walking into a party where you don’t know anyone at all necessitates the guzzling of fizzy-feel-good beverages for Dutch courage so we needed to be chauffeured.

We sneaked in and Scotto went straight to the bar whilst I loitered in a corner and scanned the room. We were the only people wearing coats. The locals were getting around in summer frocks and short sleeved shirts while Scotto and I looked like Roald Amundsen and his dodgy sidekick setting off for the South Pole.

I slithered out of my jacket unobtrusively. No need to look like a weirdo at the outset.

Scotto returned grasping two glasses and sporting a huge grin. “Ten dollars fifty a shout!” he beamed. “I bloody love the mountain!”

Before long we were mingling with the lovely birthday girl, Nic, and her guests.

Normally, back in Townsville, whenever we’d go to a karaoke night I’d end up with a headache from listening to drunken pisspots screaming out the lyrics to Jimmy Barnes songs. 

People would only sing in groups of five or ten because no one could actually sing a note in tune. In the same way that ducks fly in flocks and wildebeest travel in herds for safety reasons, I suppose if there are a lot of people singing off key you’re less likely to be singled out and booed off the stage.

When the first mountain person stood up to sing, I desperately hoped they’d be terrible just in case my steely resolve not to sing was smashed by fizzy-feel-good beverages.

“Don’t be intimidated by her,” Drew said to us as we looked on incredulously at a girl performing a gutsy, perfect rendition of a Pink song. “She used to sing professionally.”

But as each mountain person took to the stage, the standard seemed to get higher and higher until eventually even the girl serving drinks behind the bar slid up on stage and belted out a couple of numbers garnering herself a standing fudging ovation.

Clearly, mountain air is good for the lungs and vocal cords.

“Are you guys all punking us?” I asked Drew. “Do all of you belong to a bloody choral society or something?”
“What’s a choral society?” he frowned.

Suddenly, like a horrifying dream, our names flashed up on the screen and we were being shepherded on to the stage. Thank God for fizzy-feel-good beverages which dulled the humiliation to a bearable level. 

Neither of us can sing at all but I think we made up for it with Scotto’s air guitar and my interpretive dancing.

People cheered us. Well, one person did. And somebody wrote on Facebook that we really are part of the mountain now. Wooohhhooooo!

There is video evidence of our performance but it's best we don't watch it, eh.

What's your favourite song to sing at Karaoke?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Recycled Water can Cause Death!



R is for Recycled Water

Up here on the mountain we exist on rainwater tanks for our water.

That means our drinking water has to run across the Colourbond roof which is covered with gecko poo, flying fox urine (think Hendra virus), bird shit, asbestos, lead paint and fudge knows whatever else decides to excrete its bodily fluids inside our guttering. Not to mention whatever insidious creature chooses to reside in the water tanks.

There’s an advertisement in the local rag that states, “We clean water tanks! Dead rats at the bottom of your tank? Toads? Possums? Whatever! We can get rid of it for you!”

It’s mainly the ‘Whatever’, I worry about.

What the hell can be worse than a rotting possum decaying in the bottom of the reservoir you use to collect the water you clean your fudging teeth with?

Literally five seconds after we arrived on the mountain, it wasn’t a cup of tea my mother offered me, but a filtered water jug.

“Make sure you use this,” she whispered in hushed tones, pressing it into my hands with a sense of urgency. “The water must be filtered . Always filter your water or bad things will happen.”

Where the fudge are we? I thought. A third world fudging country?

I must say, the filtered water tastes lovely. It’s clean and pure rainwater. I used to love the glass of water I left beside my bed back in Townsville (which I’d grope around for at 2 in the morning suffering from the dry horrors) because it was ionised, but the filtered water tastes like that all the time. I’m drinking water like never before.

The only trouble is, if it doesn’t rain on the mountain, the water runs out.

We don’t have a problem at our place because we have three  water tanks (possibly housing dead, rancid marsupials), but other people seem to be running out lately and I keep running into water trucks driving down the mountain as I’m driving to work.

These humungous trucks, on their way back down from delivering town water to needy locals, drive in first gear all the way down the hill and if you get stuck behind one… well… say goodbye to your brake pads. 

That’s not good on an 18% gradient. Especially if you’re enjoying your life at the present time and don’t fancy the idea of dying an excruciating death via a fiery crash over a craggy mountain peak.

Sometimes the truck driver puts on their indicator to let you know you’re safe to overtake. That’s fun; speeding past a big truck on a steep slope in third gear trying not to get up to too high a speed because of the 90 degree turn on a cliff face coming up and all.

Plus, I’m always suspicious the truck driver is playing a stupid trick on me because he’s bored with carting water up and down the hill and just wants to liven up his day by initiating a blazing accident he can tell his wife about after work.

Anyway, I like to look at the bright side of things and I suppose it’s all good exercise for my blood pressure. A bit of stress at seven o’clock in the morning careening down a treacherously inclined death trap has to be good for the reflexes.



Do you have a dangerous commute to work or is it boring?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Quantifying my Attributes as a Teacher



Q is for Quantifying my Attributes as a Teacher…



For the first time (in the last ten years) I’ve had to write myself a resume in order to sell myself to schools on the Gold Coast.

The trouble is I haven’t really done anything notable… as far as joining committees and getting on the latest bandwagon “trendy crap in education” thing goes.

I’ve been a bit of a lone wolf during my teaching career, apart from teaming up with an excellent music teacher who I partnered up with to produce three musical productions for the school I worked at. 


Aside from that I’ve just done my own thing.

Mostly it’s stuff I can’t put on a curriculum vitae.

For example, these are the things I’m most proud of but can't put on my resume:

For every ten years I worked at the school, at LEAST one child would forget to bring five bucks for the Mother’s Day craft stall and in order to put a stop to the ear-piercing relentless sobbing, I would dig into my own pocket to buy someone’s Mum a mother’s day present.

Every year it happened.

I never received any acknowledgement for it, but what the hell. It was mother’s day and that’s special to kids until they become arsehole teenagers, isn't it?



I mothered and cuddled at least five children whose actual mothers were in prison, listened to their heart wrenching cries of abandonment and hid my tears as best I could.



Bought shoelaces for a child who’d come to school for two weeks with no laces because his Mum was going through a rough divorce and was too busy drinking herself into a stupor to go out and buy new shoelaces.



Petitioned (a very kind) school principal to fork out for uniform shirts for the boys from the family above because they were wearing shirts two sizes too small, their buttons were popping and they were getting teased and lashing out… then getting into trouble in the playground.



Visited students in hospital, taking up letters from the class and buying carefully selected presents in order to cheer the sick student up.



Gave multitudes of students my lunch because they’d come to school with nothing in their bag. Not that missing a meal or two hurt my waistline.



Visited a dying mother at home who was too sick to come to a parent/teacher interview, attempted to comfort her that her son would be fine and not to worry whilst all the time blubbering, snotty tears inside.



Held the devastated child of the mother above during the weeks after the funeral and tried to find the right words to say. Struggled a lot.



Grieved for the Mum and the whole family all the while thinking about my own five children and how they’d feel if it had happened to our family.


I won't carry on too much, you get the drift.


The thing is, I’m not alone. Every teacher does this sort of thing every day.

We just take it on as part of our job. Most of us do anyway.

But how do you write, “I really care” on a resume?


I don’t even know how a teacher can write a bloody resume really.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Peacocking Around

A Pea Hen, not to be confused with a peacock, apparently.


P is for Peacocking Around

To be honest I have nothing interesting to say about peacocks but I had a photo of a peahen and it starts with a P so it seems that the universe desperately wants me to base my daily drivel on peacocks.

Hmmm. What shall I say… what bullshit will spew forth from my two fingered, tentative typing on the keyboard? Apologies for this challenge but it has to be completed.
My first crush was on a peacock, I suppose.

I saw him on the bus when I was thirteen and after some cunning investigative research, I discovered his last name was Peacock. I watched him from the seat behind on that Saturday morning on the bus and savoured the whiteness of his neck. I hadn’t actually seen his face because I was far too shy, but I knew he was a spunkarama.

I can’t tell you his first name because one day he might Google himself and this post might pop up and that would be bloody embarrassing even though he’s possibly dead since we’re both so old now.

He lived around the corner from me and one day I spotted him again, riding a GoGo bike with his mates, Rooster and Bull, leaning on his very high handle bars, smoking a cigarette and flicking his lovely black fringe out of his eyes. I still didn't get a look at his face, but you just know these things, right?

“Who’s he?” I hissed to my friend (who incidentally is dead so I'm not joking about the old thing). 

She told me.

”Do you like him?” she giggled.

“No, I think he’s ugly,” I answered with my usual dishonestly.



I went home and looked his name up in the phone book to find out his exact street address. I’d walk home past his house after the bus dropped me off at the main road and hoped he’d come out of his house. He never did.

I might have even dialled his number and hung up when his Mum answered. It sounds like something I’d do. Ah, the days before caller ID huh?

Anyway, his much plainer mate, Bull, took a liking to me and asked me to the movies (via my friend) and I was horrified. Of course I didn’t go.

Just think, if I’d played my cards right and not been such a stalker, sooky wuss I could have ended up as Pinky Peacock.



That’s my crap for the letter P.


First crush? Spill!

Monday, April 18, 2016

On Watching Stephen King



O is for "On Watching: Stephen King" (see what I did there).

April A-Z Challenge


We started watching the telemovie of the Stephen King book, 11:22:63, last night.


A link to the trailer here!



We’d each read the book and were both in a high state of excited anticipation.

Naturally, Scotto and I began bickering two minutes in.

“That’s not how the story starts!” I sneered.

Scotto clicked pause on the remote control and turned to me.

“We aren’t going to do this again are we, Pinky?” he glared at me.

“NOOO…” I sighed. “I’ll shut my trap.”

“James Franco is far too young for that role,” I muttered, slurping into my wine glass, fifty-eight seconds later. “The main guy is supposed to be tall and James Franco is too small.”

Scotto coughed and scowled at me.

“Sorreeee,” I said quietly.

“What about the back story?” I squealed in outrage a mere forty seconds later. “They can’t just skip the back story, it doesn’t make any bloody sense!”

Scotto clicked the remote again with slightly more force than necessary.

“Look, Pinky,” his teeth were gritted. “It’s an eight episode mini-series so they can’t possibly fit everything that’s in the book into the screenplay. Are we going to watch this in peace or NOT?”

“I don’t like it when they do this,” I whined. “They leave all the good bits out. But okay, I promise I won’t say another word about all the good stuff they’ve deleted.”

He started the movie up again.


“Well THAT didn’t even happen in the bloody book!” I interjected after ten minutes. “Now they’re making stuff up. It’s sacrilegious. Stephen King must be rolling over in his grave.”

“Stephen King isn’t dead,” Scotto said. “Besides, it DID happen in the book.”
“No, it didn’t,” I argued. “No wonder Stephen King’s books are always flops as movies.”

“They aren’t all flops, what about Misery!” blurted Scotto.

“Pet Sematary!” I shot back.

“The Shining!” he snapped in return.

“The Mist,” I went one better. “Stupid mist monsters and ridiculous ending.”

“Carrie!” he shouted.

“Grave Yard Shift!” I slam dunked.

“The Green Mile!” he triumphed, fist pumping in the air.

“I didn’t like The Green Mile,” I sulked. "I hated all that magical black stuff that came out of John Coffey’s mouth. I hate magical stuff. It’s silly.”



“The Green Mile was a brilliant movie and you know it, Pinky. Besides, you’re currently watching a movie about a guy who time travels through the back of a hamburger stand. That’s magical isn’t it?”
“What about The Langoliers?” I sniffed. “Worst acting I’ve ever seen. And the monsters looked like PacMen!”

See what I mean!





“Do. You. Want. To. Watch. This Movie. Or. Not?” he asked, with a bit of a sharp tone which frankly I thought was unwarranted.

“Of course I do. Why do you keep stopping it? It’ll be midnight if you keep stopping it and I’ll be tired in the morning.”

We did make it to the end of the first episode. Well, Scotto did as I gently snored beside him so he’ll have to watch it all over again with me tonight.



What do you think? Do you prefer the watch the movie or read the book first?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I'm Noodled and Need Your Opinion!

Surf competition at Rainbow Bay yesterday.

N is for Noodled
April A-Z Challenge



I hope you didn’t expect to find a post about Asian cooking because you won’t find it here.

Noodled is a surfing term for being exhausted, and frankly, I’m a bit noodled after last week, my first entire week back teaching after four months long service leave.

Scotto felt sorry for me as I sat despondently staring at the telly yesterday morning, nursing my jaw (post-surgery) whilst swishing a mixture of salty warm water and neurotically googling ‘dry socket syndrome’, so he kindly offered to take me to the beach for lunch.

I almost had four panic attacks on the hour long drive to Coolangatta because of the adrenaline come down. It was a dreadfully stressful week. I know I sound like a sook but you have no idea what I put myself through. After four months of slothful self-indulgence I was forced to get up early every day and drive down the treacherous steep slope that is Henry Robert Drive, fearfully drive another twisting ten kilometres at 70 kilometres an hour (in a 90 zone) with twenty cars containing cranky, speed freaks piled up behind me, and then find that I’d still managed to arrive twenty minutes before the fudging school office even opened.

I need to work on my timing.

I was too shy to go to the staff room so I went with no coffee all day every day, and I had to smile ingratiatingly at everyone for the entire time and came home with a tired face and the jitters from caffeine withdrawal.

Dear God, Can you please let me win the Lotto so I can retire early?
But enough of my self-wallowing and on to a more serious topic.

What do you guys think about parents who sacrifice their driver’s licence points for their kid’s traffic misdemeanors?

If your kid asked you to do it, would you? 

I mean to say, what lesson will they learn from their fine and point deduction if you cave in to their request? 

What happens if they continue to speed, drive through red lights and stop signs and eventually wind up in the intensive care unit on life support? Imagine the guilt you’d feel, the agonising remorse.

And what lesson are you, in effect, teaching your kids? That Mummy and Daddy will cover for you when you BREAK THE FUDGING LAW? 

The laws are there to protect them from themselves and to protect the possible innocent victim they slam into when they hurtle through a red light whilst texting on their mobile.

It's not very good role modelling in my opinion.

You would also be breaking the law yourself by lying to the police.

If only kids could understand that it does them good to learn these lessons in life just like we did. No WAY my parents would have taken the rap for me and I would never have asked them. I would have been embarrassed to get the fine in the first place.

Not (some) kids these days. They seem to have an unwarranted sense of entitlement and think their parents should cut their own hearts out with a rusty razor blade and hand it to them in a bloody Macca's box.

What would you do? Am I an 'uncool' mother? Or are parents who do this bloody idiots?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Missing Molars

(L-R) Me, me and me.


M is for Missing Molars

April A-Z Challenge

Remember when I told you about my loose tooth and how I’ve been hanging on to it for dear life despite the dentist’s urgent and dire warnings. (I was doing coconut oil pulling and taking vitamin D and stuff.)

Well, today the offending tooth was wrenched sadistically from my upper jaw in a most unceremonious and violent fashion.

I’d had a pain in my upper jaw the other day, you see.

It wasn’t just a mere niggle this time. Oh no, it was a cry from the fiery depths of Hades. My tooth had suffered enough for my vanity and was screaming out for its release from the bowels of hell that is my infected mandible.

I exaggerate. My mandible is not infected. But the tooth had dislocated from the bone and the nerve was confused about was happening, “I have no fudging home!” it lamented piteously. “I’m going to make someone suffer for this dental travesty and make someone feel as if a nail gun is firing into one’s jawbone.”

So, I made a last minute appointment and had it cricked, jerked and twisted from its home of forty-eight years… and now I look like a pirate.

Actually, saying I look like a pirate is self-flattery. A bogan? No. Even bogans have dentists. A hillbilly? Nup.

Bikie? Nup.

What I look like is a fudging witch. Like a fudging witch from Macbeth.

Now I have to develop a lopsided smile which only reveals my right smile or I might be burned at the fudging stake by some angry villagers.

Some people look rakish with a missing tooth. For some people it adds character, a certain nuance. You know what I mean. As if they may hold some dark, interesting secret.

But for some people it just makes them look as though they’ve just come from a mid-autumn coven meeting where they sacrificed a virgin and pranced around a fire with carrots tied to their nose.



Fudge my life.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Labelling Kids

No idea what any of this is about...


L is for Labelling Children




Since I’ve been working as a relief teacher, working in random schools and teaching drama to a new class of twenty-five kids every hour, six times a day, I’ve been developing a labelling system to get a grip on how I should approach my behaviour management strategy.

In other words, I’ve developed a creative plan ensuring how I will get through the hour without ending it with, (a) children swinging from the ceiling fan (b) me stringing children up on the ceiling fan (c) me hanging from the ceiling fan by a piece of string, with a blue face, choking out the words, ‘I actually wanted to be a hairdresser when I left school, fudge my life.’

My first clever strategy is to get to know their names. I go around in a circle and get them to say their name and ‘what they love’. 

I can instantly tell who the little fudgers are by their answers. For example, if they say their name is, ‘Jeff’ and they love killing guinea pigs, I instantly know they are a fudging trouble-maker.

Apparently, saying your name is Jeff to the relief teacher, is supposed to be hilariously funny. What the fudge? Is there a reasonable explanation for this? Anyone?

So anyway, my first ploy is to identify the ‘Jeff’ in the class and make him (it’s usually a him) the leader of the first dramatic activity.

‘Jeff’ is usually so fudging SHOCKED to be given an actual job with responsibility, he falls into line for the rest of the lesson.

Once his shady amigos click on to the fact that Jeff seems to like the relief teacher, they all fall into line too. Booya!

Of course it doesn’t work if Jeff is super ADHD because then he forgets he likes me ten seconds after the first activity and then he and his mates all turn against me like wolves on a fudging stupidly blinking rabbit in the head lights of an oncoming semi-fudging-trailer.

There’s also always a Miss Bossy Boots (and it’s always a Miss) in the class who tells everyone to shoosh and tries to tell me her life story (all six years of it) when I’m desperately trying to explain to the other twenty-five rabid hyped up kids, how to sit in a circle. I never realised that five year olds don’t know what a fudging circle is???

Miss Bossy is always my BEST ally. Get in sweet with her and it’s almost as good as having a teacher aide in the room. As long as she doesn’t try to take over the lesson by chastising Jeff, who invariably takes extreme offence and starts cartwheeling around the classroom in a violent fashion and winds up kicking someone in the eye.


And we all know that it’s always fun and games until someone gets kicked in the eye.


Linking up with Grace from With Some Grace for #FYBF

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Kinky Feathered Friends

Zebra Patterned Tufted-Tit


K is for Kinky Feathered Friends


According to Wikipedia, "Jizz, is the indefinable quality of a particular species, the 'vibe' it gives off". It stems from the word, gist.

What did you think it meant? A type of improvised music played on saxophones and trombones and mispronounced by New Zealanders?

As in, "Let's go to the Jizz Club, Bro! It'll be fully sick, Bro!"

It’s a ‘birding’ term really which is most often used by bird watchers. I’ve become an amateur bird-watcher, you know, although I’m not sure if there are any actual professional bird watchers in the field. I’ve never met one anyway.

When we sit on the veranda in our new ornithological paradise, drinking wine and discussing world issues, I often suss out the ‘jizz’ of random birds who alight on our electricity wires.

“That’s a red-crested flommity jibbet,” I’ll say casually to Scotto. “I can tell by its unique call. Or perhaps it’s a Pygmy Nutsack… I’m not sure.”

He believes me every time. I can’t trick him on magpies though. He knows they aren’t really called Piebald Bushtits, Hoary Smews or Suited Dickcissels and he gets very angry at me because the magpie is one of the ONLY birds he can identify and he won’t have a bar of my rubbish.

We have a bird that whistles the tune of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It starts up about 5:00 am, just after the bloody Kookaburras. Sometimes the Close Encounter bird misses the very last note. Dee-da-doo-da…??? I’m left with an earworm for the rest of the day.

We also have the 'Microwave Bird' who sounds like our microwave beep and sends me racing into the kitchen every five seconds to see what I’ve burned.

There’s also the 'Telephone Bird' and the 'Bing Bong' bird, both fairly irritating after a few hours of them.

I must add I’m not really a bird expert yet. I’m still in the early learning phase.

“God, those black ducks quacking up in the tree were annoying me this morning!” I complained to Scotto yesterday.

"They were crows, Pinky,” he sighed. “Not ducks.”

If you know me well, you would be aware that I have a phobia of crows because I believe they are the messengers from Hell. I was horrified.


NB: For some reason, when I looked up ‘Jizz’ on the Internet, a considerable number of porn sites inexplicably came up on Google. Weird, huh?? I wonder if they’ve been making porn movies with birds in them? I wouldn't be surprised with the rude names some of them have. Tell you what, I’ll do some research on it and get back to you later.

What's your favourite bird? (I know, dumbest question ever.)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Jinxed Phones



J is for Jinxed Phones
Our phone reception up here on the mountain is pitiful. When I take or make a call I have to stand on the front lawn with the snakes, and even then the phone screeches out a really weird, extra-terrestrial type of sound before dropping out completely.

Not very good for a relief teacher who waits for phone calls, is it? There’s a 2 centimetre square area on my bedside table where the signal is good but if I pick up the phone it dies an instant death.

It’s not just my service provider either. If you look up and down our street after 5:00pm you can spot various neighbours shuffling on the footpath with their phone pressed up against their ear and an irate expression on their faces.

Of course we could get a home phone but I don’t remember how to use one. I’d probably garotte myself by attempting to walk around with the cord wrapped around my throat.

Scotto’s phone has been possessed by an evil entity. He was out on a computer job today and his phone took it upon itself to send his boss (who’d sent him out on the job) a text saying, “I’m at the cinema.”

His boss texted back, “That’s nice. What are you seeing?”

Funny, eh? It took Scotto a while to notice the text had gone through before he could scramble out an explanation to his boss.

If his phone had texted me that message instead, I would have instantly thought,

1. Since when do you call it a ‘cinema’, you peculiar person?

2. Who has kidnapped my husband and is using antiquated, bizarre words?

3. Should I call the police and report an abduction or should I let Scotto get himself out of this one because any kidnapper who uses the word ‘cinema’ must be a tiny bit refined or at least have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana skin?



Or I’d have thought Scotto was having an affair with an eighty-five year old and arranging a date at Morning Melodies.

We usually refer to it as the ‘movies’. And we say it with an Austen Powers’ inflection as in, “Do you fancy going to the mmmmooooooovies?”

I’m sorry if any of you do actually call it the cinema. The ‘pitchers’ is another acceptable term, but I’d never use the word, cinema.


Recently, my auto-correct sent a silly text to a Catholic school principal who I’d only just met and who’d kindly given me some work.

I texted, “Thanks very much, Barbera* :).”

Which auto correct promptly changed to, “Thanks very much, Beelzebub :).”
You know who Beelzebub is, right? He’s the bloody devil, the Dark Lord, the fallen angel, Lucifer.

It was bloody embarrassing because then I had to send another text apologising which made me look like a very unprofessional, over-anxious and dithering fool of a woman.

How and why did auto-correct think I was communicating with Satan? It’s not like he’s on my call register or anything.

No doubt they’ll be keeping a close eye on me tomorrow when I rock up for my first day at work. It’s the story of my life, really.

* Not really her real name because I never use anyone’s real name on my blog except for Scotto and even his name is heavily disguised. (It's Scott in case you were wondering.)



What’s the worst accidental text you’ve sent or heard about?

Insect Invasion



I is for Insect Invasion.
April A-Z Challenge
We went to the mountain markets yesterday and bought a large metallic insect, artistically engineered out of butter knives. It’s very nice and I love it. It was a bargain. Scotto had to precariously man-handle the behemoth of an iron grasshopper out of the showgrounds while I nagged him not to drop it because it cost a bit, being art and all.

We’re calling it Barry, because we sold our water feature called Barry in the garage sale back in Townsville and we missed having a Barry in the family.

Dave and friends


We have a ceramic turtle called ‘Dave’ on our lounge room coffee table. I even bought him some starfish to keep him company but I can’t be arsed naming the starfish because echinoderms are so lacking in personality they don’t warrant a name really, do they?

Dad comments wryly every time he comes over, “Oh, I see you have another animal, Pinky.”

I can’t go out shopping these days without coming home with the clay/ceramic/butter knife model of an animal or insect. Almost every corner and nook in our house is adorned with farmyard livestock.

I’ve bought a possum, a dog, two lizards, a turtle, some echinoderms, cows, a rooster and a pig so far.

Is it the mountain air infiltrating my brain enticing me to spend my money on earthenware novelty creatures? Whatever it is, it MUST stop. Soon I’ll be able to open my own crap model animal gift shop.

Nevertheless, Barry has been installed on top of a rock in the recently cleared, “snake pit’. We’re wondering what else we can do to landscape the area. We’ve tossed up the idea of an octagonal wooden seat bench around the rock and a few native trees to attract birds. Any ideas?



We also bought a barbeque on Saturday. It’s the second barbeque Scotto and I have bought together so I suppose that means we’re definitely married now.



Thanks for all your suggestions the other day but the barbie solved my problem about what to cook for my visitors yesterday even though it cost us almost $1000 so it was an expensive lunch to cater for.

Mum, Dad, Sister, Nephews and Niece.


Dad turned up with a homemade tiramisu for dessert.


He’s a very good cook. We turned up randomly to his house recently and the next minute he was pulling freshly made Madeleine biscuits from the oven to accompany our cups of tea. Delicious, buttery, melt in your mouth things they were.

I’d like to say I inherited his culinary talent, but no. I was the ineffectual apple who fell off the tree, rolled down the hill and was squished by a passing tractor.

My friend, Nettie was with us at the time he performed the Madeleine miracle. “I wish I could meet a man like your Dad,” Nettie sighed when we left. “I need someone to make me Madeleine biscuits on a whim.”

Later on, I told my mother what Nettie had said. “She can have him,” Mum sniffed indignantly. “He drives me nuts with his pots and pans and bloody mess.”

I remember, as a kid, doing the washing up after Dad had cooked an experimental but elaborate and sumptuous Sunday lunch and she has a point. Men in kitchens tend to use every implement not welded to the counter.

The other day, Dad gave me the recipe for the Madeleines but as it’s unlikely I will ever sully a spatula or wet a whisk, I thought some of you might like his quick recipe.

Stuff You Need

A stick of butter (120 grams) and a few extra tablespoons for later.

A cup of plain flour and an extra tablespoon for later

Two free-range eggs

A teaspoon of vanilla

150 grams of white sugar

A tablespoon of lemon zest and one of lemon juice

A little pinch of salt

Equipment

Six small saucepans

Six small bowls

Twelve medium sized mixing bowls

As many measuring cups and spoons you can find in the kitchen drawers

Six whisks

Six Spatulas

12 Madeleine pans

Six pastry brushes

Six small sieves for dusting extra sugar on the top

# If the amount of equipment seems daunting just divide the quantity by six, I’m just passing on Dad’s recipe.

Process

1. Melt butter in sauce pans until it starts to bubble and colour then pour it in to another container, or six. Allow it to cool slightly. Take three tablespoons and set aside in as many containers as you want.

2. Mix the flour and sugar together. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, vanilla, salt, lemon juice and zest until mixture is frothy. Make sure you spill an adequate amount of mixture on the counter so as to annoy your wife.

3. Combine the egg mixture with the flour and sugar, add the butter stirring with gusto but don’t over mix it. Spill with abandon.

4. Mix that extra bit of butter and flour together and use all your pastry brushes to prepare the Madeline pans. Fling brushes against wall when finished.


5. Preheat the oven to 175 C and fill the pans with the batter. Slosh around wildly on way to oven.
  

6. Bake for about thirteen minutes checking half way through. When they spring back to the touch they’re ready.

7. Cool slightly and powder with lots of messy icing sugar making sure it’s flicked well into the tile grouting on the floor.


I can assure you they're delicious!

Know any messy cooks? Or are you one?

Random Pig




Saturday, April 9, 2016

Horrible Fairy Tales



H is for my review of The Huntsman and Snow White.


I know it’s called Snow White and the Huntsman, but I’m doing the H thing and apart from hummus dip, hives and hot flushes with bonus strategies on how to pretend you aren’t having one in a job interview, I couldn’t think of anything else to write about that starts with an H.

I’ve always loved fairy tales. As a child, Bluebeard was my favourite. Wikipedia describes it as, “The story of a violent nobleman in the habit of murdering his wives and the attempts of one wife to avoid the fate of her predecessors.” A tad understated, I feel.

There’s quite a lot of blood and torture, the discovering of putrid corpses by a terrified young bride and the stuff you’d see on the telly after nine o’clock, but God, at seven years of age, I loved it.

Snow White, with its theme of malevolent matricide and attempted filicide, is much tamer.

But I have three problems with this movie version of Snow White.

Firstly, what was Greg Norman doing in the movie?

Secondly, does Kristen Stewart ever close her mouth to breathe?

Thirdly, why didn’t we get to see the dwarf’s’ house?

(Did you know you should never write “dwarves” because it’s not correct even though if a word ends in an “f” you should change the ‘f’ to a ‘v’ and add ‘es’. But even so, you still shouldn’t do it with the word ‘dwarf’ because it’s disrespectful to dwarves.)

In fact, I don’t think it’s even acceptable to say the word, ‘dwarf’ unless you’re referring to a planet, a tree or a rare breed of rabbit.

You can’t say bloody anything these days.

I kept expecting the wicked queen’s brother, Greg Norman, to whip out a golf club and bash Snow White in the head to prevent her from carrying on with her aggravating mouth breathing habit. Mouth breathing is a particular area of irritation to me.

I don’t know which Hemsworth brother it was in the movie because they look alike but he was okay except for having a weird hybrid accent and for being a bit ligneous (fancy word for wooden).

At the end of the movie, everyone turned to glass and was smashed to pieces, which is very unoriginal if you’ve ever seen the movie, Stardust, or any G-rated movie where they don’t want to show blood, actually.

I really wanted to see the dwarfs’ house with all their small doorways, tiny beds and miniature teacups, but no such luck. In fact I recognised quite a few of the ‘dwarfs’ and they were full statured actors who’d been shrunk with CGI and that’s surely got to be against the dwarfs’ union.

I’d give the movie a 5 out of 10… mainly because of the dwarf issues I suppose.



More movie reviews will be coming to you NEVER. I’m terrible at them aren’t I?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

I Get Around

Map of Gold Coast


G is for Getting Around

April A-Z Challenge

I drove all the way to the shopping mall today, all by myself.

Don’t laugh, it took me fifty-five fudging minutes.

I got there the 'old-school' way, via looking at a map and drawing on it with a Texta.

What’s a map? Well… it’s a really big piece of paper with a lot of squiggly lines and street names and was used in the olden days to find one’s way around.

There's a picture of one such artifact above.

When we first arrived on the Gold Coast, Scotto installed a GPS in my car but I swear the bitch in it is trying to kill me. 

Not only is she very terse and snooty sounding, but she keeps attempting to lure me on to the motorway where many threatening cars whiz along at death defying speeds and it’s a place I like to avoid at all costs.

One day, while Scotto was filling up his car at a petrol station, I sneaked in and accosted the old man behind the counter.

“Don’t suppose you have any maps of the Gold Coast?” I asked in a hushed voice. No need for the young bearded hipster standing behind me to hear what I was saying.

The old guy stared at me for a second then broke out in a grin. He reached under the counter, pulled out a single folded map, blew the dust off it and handed it over. “Last one,” he said. “Have it for free, love.”

I think he thought I’d just emerged from the jungle after been living with the dingoes for a decade, or maybe he suspected I’d just been released from a twenty year, high security jail sentence or perhaps he thought I’d been kidnapped by a cultist and been hidden in an all-woman, non-internet enclave for a few years. Something like that anyway.

Apart from the fact that despite having spent quite a few wasted hours trying to refold it in the correct way, the map has been serving its purpose.

Some people learn their way around a new place of abode by repetition. If they drive around following the GPS instructions they eventually get the hang of it. My brain doesn’t work like that. I go into a type of mental torpor when I’m listening to instructions or if someone is driving me to a particular location. Nothing sinks in. I could be driven to the same place fifty times and still not know how to get there.

I have to see it in my mind from a bird’s eye view. Maybe I was a bird in a previous life?

Who knows, it would explain my penchant for sunflower seeds, feather boas and scraping my beak on cuttlefish.

I’m also a kinaesthetic learner. I learn by doing things myself.

I remember a waiter bringing out a plate once in a Mexican restaurant and saying, “Don’t touch zee plate. Eet is VERY, VERY hot.”

You know what I did, right?

The blisters lasted for ages.

Scotto accuses me of not listening but it’s just that when he starts to explain things to me all I hear is, “Wa-wah-wah-wah-wa-wah… wawawa?”

If he sat there and had me update my Windows operating system to Windows 10 myself, and just supervised me instead of showing me how to do it and waffling on with technical jargon, I wouldn’t get so overwhelmed, lose my temper, flounce out and sulk with a wine on the veranda as much.

Anyhoo, the reason I drove to the shopping centre in the first place was to have coffee with these two Gold Coast bloggers.

Kathy from 50 Shades of Age , and Sue from Making the Mundane Merry . 



Me, Sue and Kathy.


Both are strong, resilient professional women who clicked with me instantly and who I’ve grown to love and care about through reading their blogs. New friends on the Gold Coast.

Who said blogging is a waste of time?



So are you a kinaesthetic learner, an auditory learner or a visual learner?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Fromage to all of You!



F is for Fromage

The only word Scotto knows how to say in French is, “Fromage”, which means cheese.

I can just imagine him if we ever go to France.

Concierge: Bonjour, Monsieur.

Scotto: Fromage!

Or

Stranger in the street: Quelle heure est-il ? (What time is it?)

Scotto: Er, Fromage.

I, on the other hand, can speak quite effluent French having studied it until Year Ten. (Polishes cheese-encrusted fingernails on lapels.)

I can count from one to ten, I can say thank you, hello, please and goodbye. I can say goodbye forever (adieu) if someone is about to die or if they’re going to war or on a journey to Mars or something, and goodbye (au revoir), if I’ll be seeing them again five seconds later in the pate aisle.

The reason I’m talking about cheese is that exactly one month ago, we went to lunch at my mother’s house with a couple of their lovely friends and in a drunken, magnanimous moment, I offered to have everyone to lunch at my place the following month. (I took a cheese platter to Mum’s hence the cheese connection. Cheese platters are my specialty since nobody actually expects you to make home-made cheese as that would be an excessive waste of time and I therefore avoid having to do any homestyle cooking of any variety.)

Somehow the month has crept up like a monk on a nun in a cheese making monastery and here I am suddenly having to make lunch for tasteful, discerning people as opposed to making lunch for Scotto. Gah!

When I promised to host the lunch a month ago, it seemed so long away I assumed I’d be dead by then but apparently that hasn’t happened.

Can anyone suggest anything tasty for an autumnal feast?

Please cut and paste recipes into the comments.

I’ll let you know which one I try and post the after photos.



Fromage xxx

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Employment Ennui




E is for Employment Ennui

Remember I told you about a (one term only) job interview I went to a couple of weeks ago?

Well, I didn’t get the job.

Whilst I sat fretfully and neurotically reliving the interview afterwards, it occurred to me that when the principal told me about how I’d have to write all the students’ report cards at the end of term, I probably shouldn’t have screwed up my face in horror.

I also shouldn’t have audibly moaned when the principal informed me I’d have to go on a school camp (out bush) with the class in the final week of term.

I also shouldn’t have chirpily added, “Oh well, at least the camp is only for three days, I’ll just hit the pub on the way home!”

I actually did say that... I’m not joking. Nerves, I suppose.

There were two people interviewing me. One of them hesitated, stared at me when I blurted it out, then chuckled cautiously, while the other interviewer just put his head in his hands and rolled his eyes.

It took me three days to confess to Scotto what I’d said in the interview. He was gunning for me to get the job and I knew in my heart I’d shot myself in the foot; hoist by my own petard, misapplied my questionable wit and turned it against myself.

This is me about to hoist myself on my own petard.


“You can’t say things like that in job interviews, Pinky!” he gasped. “You aren’t Bridget bloody Jones, you know. You’re supposed to be a professional teacher who is responsible for nurturing young minds.”


“People need to get a sense of humour,” I whined. “My old boss would have laughed.”

“Well you aren’t in Kansas anymore, Dorothy,” he scolded.

Hmmm. So it seems.

It didn’t matter because I received a phone call the same afternoon from another school offering me three weeks’ work anyway and that school is at least twenty minutes closer to where I live.

So now I have to plan three weeks of drama lessons for classes ranging from Prep to Year Six and I’m struggling to escape the shroud of ennui that has enveloped me during my four months of long service leave.

I love teaching drama but it is hard work what with all the dynamic leaping around like frogs, wrinkle inducing facial expressions and forced enthusiasm required.

I feel confident teaching the older kids but the preppies might pose more of a challenge. I had one day of teaching drama to the little preppies (4-5 year olds) last term at the school and it was lovely. Tiny, incoherent big-eyed creatures kept coming up and hugging me around my legs. I felt truly appreciated for a change.

They can barely even speak at that age so teaching them drama is no walk in the park. I’d never done it before and when twenty-five of them all wanted to go to the toilet at the same time; I was too scared not to let them go in case of accidents. 

Then one of the minuscule critters jammed her hand in the self-closing door and squealed over and over in a pitch I’ve never heard before except in movies about blood-sucking aliens and I panicked which set the others off and yeah… it wasn’t a good way to finish the lesson ...

But I’ll be better prepared next term. Nobody will be allowed to go to the toilet or go near vicious doors unsupervised.

And I won’t use silly phrases like “hoist my own petard” when I’m talking to anyone because they’ll think I’m strange.



Any tips or advice?