Monthly Archives: October 2011

learning

Thanks, “Carlie”
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Disappeared Wrath

What I took out from the performance management statement I wrote per the suggestion of my Boss (i.e. probably sensible!):
“Autonomy: ‘The freedom to make choices in the work place and be accountable for them.’

The [school] contains a great many dedicated, hard-working teachers. Just as you don’t stretch Gifted and Talented pupils by simply giving them more work, why at the [school] do we encourage expectations of a private school nature with none of the balance, recognition or rewards for staff?

Transparency and accountability are possible where people feel valued and trusted, without the distortion of work/life balance so commonly seen. Trust and the acceptance of professional judgement is further eroded as autonomy is reduced; additional stress results from a perception of reduced control.

Source: ‘Freedom’s just another word for employee satisfaction’ http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-01/cu-fja012411.php

Chirkov, Valery I.; Ryan, Richard M.; Sheldon, Kennon M. (Eds.) 2011 Human Autonomy in Cross-Cultural Context: Perspectives on the Psychology of Agency, Freedom, and Well-Being. Springer”
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Goodbye HeadFrack, hello Coppell…

HeadFrack to Coppell

HeadFrack is not really fracking with my head so much of late, so i’ve decided to rename him: He shall henceforth be known as Coppell, after his home town.

Please adjust your sets accordingly. You may talk amongst yourselves.
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Fuck me sideways with a bargepole…

EXCITE!

…i’m spending Christmas in the United States with HeadFrack.
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Elysian Fields

Fright Night
from Queen of the Meadow (2000)

First heard this track on Jones & X.Ray and it’s a Halloween favourite.

The singer’s voice (Jennifer Charles) is so smooth and – I hate to use the word but – ethereal. Seductive, dark and beautiful.



Black Acres
from Queen of the Meadow (2000)

Ms. Charles sings as if her characters are all wasting away in a tubercular, “romantic” manner.

The perfect soundtrack to accompany your Sunday spent lounging about in your jimjams :)





Drunk on Dark Sublime
from Dreams That Breathe Your Name (2003)












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Halloween Special

spamalicious

New favourite spam :) Thanks, “Henrietta”.
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Pool Pasta Soporific

Managed fifty lengths today in the pool without too much drama; following my exertions up with a giant bowl of macaroni cheese (meant to go to Sainsburys but couldn’t be arsed) has resulted in excellent warm and fuzzy feelings. Gah. They should prescribe swimming and pasta on the NHS.

Last weekend of freedom from the whiteboardface and after multiple trips to Lahndahn tahn I think i’m going to spend part of it washing and tidying. Woo.
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Avast!

…some semblance of progress. Huzzah.
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Tennis

Small-yet-important concerns about the transatlantic romance I can’t put aside continue to rumble along in my brain. A little bit of progress is what i’d like to see, and until that happens i’m unable to feel very secure. These concerns make me want to hold back, and it’s making me a little nervous with regards how much we’ve shared so far. Whenever I have a conversation with HeadFrack or email him these undercurrents always lurk at the back of my mind.

Hmmm.

It’s not that there’s been a complete lack of progress, it’s not that I don’t believe anything he says; when the person you care for lives across an ocean you simply have to go on trust otherwise you’d lose your mind, and that’s fine. Seriously. It’s the “too good to be true” aspect that makes me question, as i’ve got to be sensible about things, look out for myself.

Do I think he’s not being entirely honest with me? I’m not sure is all I can say. I’m waiting for him to follow through on a few things he’s said he’ll do, and although i’m fairly confident he’ll get them sorted, until he does so I feel it’s best to stay sharp.

There are a couple of things I would like to (need to) happen and when they do I will feel better. It’s *that* simple.

The ball is in his court.
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London Fittings and Flanges*

Tomorrow: Multi-hour lunch with my Mum in Lahndahn tahn followed by Asmaa at the Southbank with Bobby Convey:
“A powerful and inspiring real-life story about an Egyptian widow with HIV who battles to overcome society’s prejudices and receive proper treatment.”
So basically i’m going to be sobbing for two hours. Muy excellentay! As always it will be fabulous to see Bobby and as is usual we shall set the world to rights. Huzzah.

*the second result for LFF on Google. Obviously the BFI London Film Festival. I like the word flange.
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EIGHT

weeks.
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Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars AKA Sunday Evening























So i’ve been listening to some Sinatra lately, but not in a melancholy, “Ava’s thrown me out!” sort of way, more in an “ain’t the world grand” way; this album is very pretty indeed.

Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars
from Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim 1967














I Only have Eyes For You
The Flamingos 1959















The Stars
The Ocapellos 1966














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I ain’t no vision

Love You Inside Out
from Spirits Having Flown 1979

My ALL TIME favourite Bee Gees track. Oh God, it’s sooooo very goooood. What could be improved…?

At the moment i’m finding i’m finding particular pleasure in more romantically-inclined books, music and film. What is wrong with me???

UGH.
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Drama Lite

HOLD FAST

image from Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World

Today HeadFrack filled me in on a previously unmentioned aspect of his life prior to meeting me; it wasn’t children created or intriguingly exotic STIs gained but was still a little surprising to find out about: I have some questions i’d like to ask. I will say it’s an unusual thing to omit given some of the very intimate information thats been shared up to this point.

It’s okay though- I can understand why he chose to make the omission and I don’t think it affects things between us. I could be trying to justify his behaviour due to my feelings towards him but thinking carefully about it I don’t think that’s the case- I don’t feel deceived or hurt. It’s not a big deal.

In some ways it makes me feel closer. Which is fucking stupid. OCEAN.
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Reviewing mediocrity

Attempting to write a review of the previous academic year for my upcoming performance management. Trying to find positives and get just the right balance between cutting and realistic is proving difficult.

One of the positives is “Disruptive pupil transferred into form was eventually removed to an environment that was better suited to her needs.” Ha. Here are some negatives:
  • Continued poor behaviour of certain members of my form.
  • Professional and personal disparagement by members of my form resulting in no further action.
  • Member of my form leaving the school due to inter-personal problems.
  • Emphasis on where staff might be failing rather than focusing on the actions of pupils and students.
  • Poorly motivated, poorly behaved Sixth Form students displaying very little responsibility with intense pressure on staff to achieve.
  • New Year 10 group containing poorly motivated, low ability pupils who display challenging behaviour with regularity.
  • Intense pressure during reduced marking time for KS4 and KS5 alongside new specification for GCSE.
  • Further lowered sense of autonomy, appreciation and consultation from SMT with associated increase of workload.
  • Academy status and its implications for education.
  • Ebacc and coalition cutbacks and the threat to the Arts and how this impacts communities and institutions.
  • Continued lack of career development.
FUN!
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“Do you see the way she lights up/
When I walk in the room?”

I Trained Her To Love Me
Nick Lowe
from At My Age 2007

I’d forgotten this track was on the Nick Lowe on my Clip, and so when it began to play this morning on the way to work I was rather pleased. It’s a favourite of mine because it’s so fucking horrible, or at least the story is; the song itself is great- subversive, twisted pop. Of course, at the moment the lyrics take on an “interesting” new perspective.

In correspondence recently Bobby Convey urged caution with regards HeadFrack, Pittsburgh etcetera; I can understand this and agree with it because I am still mightily confused about everything. For example, what would happen if I got to North America and he didn’t materialise? The problem is, just how do I go about being cautious when we seem to have built up a pretty good bond already? It’s not like it’s been one-way traffic.

How to exercise caution when all I want to do is throw myself into his arms…? Maybe whilst sobbing, maybe whilst screaming with excitement. Definitely whilst smiling so much and so widely it hurts. Across an ocean that’s going to take quite a run up.

I believe what he tells me- I have *no* reason not to. I suppose i’m just missing his company a bit, the day-to-day, in-the-flesh and not via Skype sort. So that would be missing him.

Bleurgh.
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When I walk in the room?”

Ug

Unpleasant amount of lower back pain today courtesy of too much time Skype-ing with HeadFrack whilst lying flat on my stomach. Four hours will do that. Pilates was rather painful this afternoon but interestingly I found out (from my teacher poking around and pressing down on me curled up) that the left side of my back is much more muscular than the right. Weird. I’m right-handed so perhaps it’s bag carrying? Hot water bottle this evening in any case :/

Rock’n’roll!!!!
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parrot feather Parrot Feather
By Jörg Groß [cc] via

























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Perroquet

Perroquet

SHOWstudio – Sølve Sundsbø’s Perroquet
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Fingers Crossed

Just ordered a hilarious amount of sex toys to be delivered to work (my high-value shopping is due to be delivered during the day so it makes some sort of sense). I *sincerely* hope no-one opens the box. Jesus God I would never be able to look any of my colleagues in the face again.

Only four days exposed to children this week before an INSET day of performance management JOY on Friday. Then it’s a week away from the whiteboardface for half term. HUZZAH. Already have plans to meet my Mum and many friends on various days out into Lahndahn tahn. Am greatly looking forward to that.

How goes the trans-oceanic romance? Well, HeadFrack continues to astound; I shouldn’t be surprised but, er… I just am… he continues to demonstrate awesomeness pretty much daily. Still cannot believe what is going on between us.

We’re Skype-ing on set days now so that I don’t get so sleep deprived (lessens the chance of me crashing the car in the morning!); I am the one getting my “You’re adorable!” on when I watch his face light up when I look into my webcam. Gahhhh… :)

NINE weeks.
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Bingo

“Fisher and colleagues suggested that men are more attentive to their own needs than women are. This is consistent with objectification theory, which suggests that women’s focus on others’ perceptions reduces women’s attention to their own physical needs (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997) and with ample research demonstrating men’s socialization to be agentic and self-focused (Prentice & Carranza, 2002). Women are socialized to be both more attuned to others’ needs and are pressured to inhibit expression of their own desires (Helgeson & Fritz, 1999).”
from Women, Men, and the Bedroom Methodological and Conceptual Insights That Narrow, Reframe, and Eliminate Gender Differences in Sexuality (Conley et al, 2011)

Jezebel – Six Myths About Sex And Gender, Busted
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Master Teachers


Segment from
Master Teacher
Erykah Badu
from New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) 2008

Been listening to a fair bit of this album lately; it’s one of those that you forget about for months, maybe even years and then are reminded upon listening to it how beautiful it is. Recommended.
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Coming Attractions

“Do men take women’s inability to orgasm personally? Do women feel pressured to come to soothe a man’s anxiety? Judging from a heap of anecdata, the answers are a definitive ‘most of the time’ and ‘far too often.’ And that seems to be true regardless of the reasons why guys are so focused on a woman’s Big O.”
Thoughtful dissection of the interpersonal politics of coming (it’s complicated).

Jezebel – For Ladies’ Orgasms, It’s Showing Up That Counts by Hugo Schwyzer
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Also…

… the words “boyfriend” and “relationship” are sitting uneasily with me at the moment; I am reluctant to use either of them in conversation about, er “this”.

We’ve agreed not to see anyone else and so I suppose you could say we were committed; however, even writing that word gives me slight pause.

Hmmm.

Perhaps this is because I don’t feel like i’ve ever had a “proper” boyfriend or relationship before i.e. one that wasn’t focused on the needs of the other person? An *actual* partnership. Or maybe it’s because for all my giddy excitement and “adorable”-ness, we’ve known each other for a week and we’re not actually on the same continent. That’ll probably be it.
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Responsibility and Routine

Weird feeling over the last couple of days (yeah, just a little something extra in addition to falling head-over-heels for someone 3679 miles away): I feel like I have an additional responsibility to look after myself and have a good time.

It’s like I need to do so because someone is caring about my wellbeing and sort of counting on me, and I don’t want them to be concerned. When I was going around Sainsburys this afternoon a tiny voice in my head reminded me not to take the easy way out and buy crap but to eat well. This did not of course stop me from buying pie, but at least I made sure I had a wide variety of vegetables :D

Last night I was introduced to the delights of Skype and due to the five hour time difference I found myself seriously tired today at work. I’ve thought about how I can make LateNightHotSkypeAction work better for me on school nights and I think I should get myself showered and warm and toasty before I settle down to chat, as otherwise i’m going to run out of steam.

On the subject of fatigue, I do have some concerns as to how things can be kept going when we’re so far apart for such a long period. There is *no* way i’m going to run off with another oilman, but it’s certainly going to be hard going at times to be separated from someone you’d really, really like to spend a lot of time with.

I’m really hoping that we can see each other – beyond our webcams – before the New Year, and that thought is keeping me going. Thinking about it in terms of numbers of weekends it doesn’t seem as bad: Ten weekends until I break up from school for Christmas.

Also, HeadFrack (i’m reconsidering that nickname) keeps on proving his awesomeness. That helps. A lot :)
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!!!GONZALES!!!

Chilly! Chilly G standing on – and playing with his slippered feet – the grand piano Downstairs at the Soho Theatre. Photo by me :)


Chilly Gonzales at the Soho Theatre was one of THE best gigs I have ever attended.

I was sat three metres away from the musical genius who was dressed in slippers, pyjamas and a monogrammed silken dressing gown (see the photo to the left). A grand piano, a drum kit and rich red curtains set the scene for an evening of AWESOME.

I got a “Good Girl!” from the people at the table I was sat at (“Welcome to my party of one!”) when I explained that try as I might I could never convince any of my friends that Gonzales is indeed a musical genius and so was there solo.

He performed a mixture of piano pieces, rap and banter, compelling various audience members up onto the stage to act as backing musicians. I was so! fucking!! excited!!! to see him, especially at such close quarters. He got amusingly sweaty as the evening progressed, his lanky hair whipping about as he head-banged in time to the beat in his head.

It was more lounge act or cabaret than I expected, much more intimate. He threatened one woman who wouldn’t join him on stage by telling her he was going to masturbate to her image if she didn’t do so; she didn’t budge and Chilly waded through the audience to sit next to her and try to talk her round (it didn’t work).

I know he likes to use the “musical genius” tag for effect, but really, he was very fucking good indeed- fabulous piano skills and a brilliantly funny entertainer too. He is apparently coming back to Lahndahn tahn in January, and I will most definitely go to see him again. AWESOMENESS.
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WTF

This HORRIFYING statistic caught my eye when I was reading:

NYTimes – In This Rape Center, the Patient Was 3 (upsetting but worthwhile read)

Just think about how much money is directed towards those issues. For example over £1200 million on goes towards cancer research in one year (and let’s not talk about the cost of war). Now, *obviously* i’m not saying that we should stop spending money on researching cancer and stopping malaria, but if violence against women is killing that many people, WHY is it not taken as seriously?

Yes, ‘cos it’s all our fault for wearing clothes that were provocative, being nagging bitches… and the great catch all, “She was asking for it”

:/
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I Am Somebody

Jesse Jackson on Sesame Street.

I may not agree with everything he believes in, but being valued no matter who you are or what your background is – I can concur with that. Especially when small children are asked to think about it.








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There’s No Place Like Home

Post-Gonzales (more on him later), today i’m finding myself feeling a bit on the anxious side with regards HeadFrack.

I guess i’m worrying whether the last week was spent in some Oz-style alternate universe (think “We’re not in Kansas any more” rather than the Aryans vs. the Muslim Brotherhood), and now that he’s States-side HeadFrack will come to his senses and decide that he’d rather not move things forward with me.

Having been let down so frequently in the past (to the point where I found it was best not to hope for nice things) I carry with me apprehensions as to whether there’ll be any follow through on anything that was discussed and agreed upon. I’m worrying whether everything’s going to be snatched away, just as it appears so very tantalising. I don’t want to push or appear needy; I think once i’ve gotten through my first week things should settle down.

:/

Lunch with Flambé and then nail varnish. Hurrah.
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WTF?

Whirlwind Whirlwind – Tourbillon
by Alain Wibert [cc]

How do I write about the five days just passed in the company of HeadFrack? I’ve written about my surgery, self-harm, and depression amongst other things, but just how to describe – and most importantly explain – what’s happened in the last week is *completely* beyond me.

HeadFrack learned more about me in five days than either The Monster or MW#1 did in the entirety of our faux-lationships- Over ten years in total of both of them not giving quite-enough-of-a-fuck.

HOW does it happen that two people, who have never met before, can cover *so* much ground in *such* a short space of time? I HAVE NO CLUE.

In the past i’ve always been afraid of sharing my feelings with persons-of-interest. I’ve often felt (or been made to feel) that my feelings were wrong or inappropriate and that I shouldn’t do so, because, well, I just shouldn’t. HeadFrack on the other hand is *the* most open and communicative person i’ve been attracted to; this openness enabled me to share quite freely (it was a bit scary to begin with though!) without major angst or meltdowns. This is a HUGE contrast to how things were in the past; prior to this week if I tried to share I would find it terribly difficult and often very upsetting.

I could wax lyrical about what an amazing person he is, what I am attracted to in him and what I admire him for – honestly, he is actually admirable – but it’s only been FIVE MOTHERFUCKING DAYS and I really need to step off the whirlwind and go and get ready for Gonzales tonight. WOOOOOOO :D

Anyway, he’s now back in the States to be happily reunited with his dog. He’s due to return to the UK in April, which seems sooo very far away right now, but I am hopeful that I will see him at some point before then.

Hopeful- now there’s a word I am usually very wary of using, especially when it comes to relationships.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
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