Yearly Archives: 2015
All cakes are judged and an average score is given; i’m a bit nervous about this, but I know that one of the cakes was inedible (student forgot sugar and added too much baking powder) so it can’t go *that* wrong. I’m baking with gluten-free flour for the first time, and so I decided to make one regular and one GF cake. Regular was done and in the oven so I got going on the GF… and tipped the regular flour into the butter/sugar mix. It was just before midnight. Cakes take an hour to cook. FML.
Decided to keep going and make an additional cake, so much as it’s a ballache, and i’m really fucking tired, at least I will have my own cake to feast upon this weekend.
Brandi Chastain winning the World Cup
At long last I have finally found bras that actually fit!!!!!
It’s been quite a drawn-out process; the definite low-point was when I trawled through twenty-one in one hour without success, but this time it took just three. Good Lord.
This is after I was super happy – and super surprised – to find that the r/ABraThatFits calculator was dead on – accepting my new mind-boggling size really helped things. One admittedly long trip to Bravissimo later and I have four, yes FOUR bras that actually fit. Neutral/Black/Bright Red/Burgundy Polka Dots :)
The calculator said I needed to go down two back sizes and up three cup sizes; I scoffed at this: “An E CUP?!?! You’ve got to be fucking kidding…” but, following the advice from ABraThatFits about boob shape, fullness/shallowness and projection I was able to come up with a shortlist of brands/styles to look at. I had no fucking idea that breasts and bras were such a complex issue; I learnt a lot in the process, and now I can go on eBay and look for reductions :D
I’m now getting slightly drunk in celebration; as fireworks pop in the park outside I am warm and fuzzy and overdoing it on some high quality disco from Chic.
Or, to be precise, My Forbidden Lover.
I’ve had random palpitations for I don’t know how long (maybe you should do something about this), but this was very new and odd.
I thought it might be my usual issue of drinking too much coffee and not enough water, but after a couple of bottles-full of hydration I didn’t feel much difference. Felt almost winded even sat at my desk. Oh dear. Mortality.
The Internet tells me it could be low iron, so self-experimentation will begin tomorrow after a trawl of the vitamins aisle.
Or maybe i’m just tired.
…but I feel like I need a holiday :(
Half Term: Up North to visit family, two days at uni for my course and a full day of gaming. Didn’t do the work I should have but at the same time I feel like I didn’t get enough time to veg out, though, this is what I do most weekends so i’m not entirely sure why i’m complaining. I’m tired.
Stoke-on-Trent and the old Spode pottery factory for the British Ceramics Biennial:
Some great work yet-again, however I wasn’t as taken with the work selected… I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but the ideas weren’t as interesting, the pieces not as visually intriguing? Don’t get me wrong, there was some fabulous stuff, but, I dunno, it just didn’t excite me quite as much as last time.
I paid my first visit to the new Whitworth Gallery, which was interesting in that the building has a brand-new extension (pictured) that works very well with the old building, and the use of natural light was rather lovely.
Getting there meant taking a bus ride through the mind-boggling student ghetto and medical hub that is the Oxford Road – for about a mile it’s nothing but multiple universities and hospitals… a weird mix and super busy.
The Whitworth had a intriguing array of temporary exhibitions that played with ideas really well – for example on the colour green and also including one on art textiles – useful! What wasn’t so good was the kids running everywhere – they had an outreach thing going on for boys/young men and dance, which meant that the usual haven of gallery peace was absolutely nowhere to be found. I couldn’t see the artwork because there were bloody kids hanging off stairs, striking a pose or writhing around on the floor. FML.
I mentioned this to the woman serving in the gift shop and she said she agreed that she didn’t think it was the most appropriate, and told me that they’d had lots of complaints. Outreach is super important, as is getting young people into museums and galleries, but there’s a right and wrong place and time for everything, and quite what value the kids were going to get out of it I was very unsure.
I saw, loved, and absorbed through my pores the wonderful Sicario – best film i’ve seen in a long time – beautiful, brutal, and full of ambiguity and hideous tension that was well-amped up by a great score. I think it was better than Mad Max (my previous best) and I enjoyed it more – I connected with it a bit more perhaps? I know they’re horses-for-courses, and yes, I celebrate the feminist reading of Max, so maybe it was the stillness, aesthetics and general sadness I liked more. It was a deeply sad story.
I also Spectre, which was, okay.
Whilst trawing through what’s coming up in terms of US TV, I checked in on what’s going on with Hawaii Five-0 these days; I used to be proper into it, but I got a bit fed up with the crime-of-the-week stuff and fell off the surfboard many seasons back. Anyway, my favourite Danny/Scott Caan has apparently had a time of it recently, and had gotten stabbed by an abusive ex-boyfriend of his current partner.
Stabbed…? Hmmm. Given my particular interest in such things I went straight onto Google images, and after a bit of searching discovered WHUMPING. It appears that there are thousands of “sick fucks” just like me – women and men who have an appreciation of vulnerable or hurt fictional characters.
I mean, I know humanity is a fabulous broad and diverse thing when it comes to what turns us on, but I had no idea that there were communities out there – if you look up traumaphilia there’s not much, aside from definitions and me writing about it (haha), but type in whump, and lo and behold:
It appears that all this whumping directly originated from Stargate SG1, but was informed by the earlier Muldertorture (exactly what it sounds like) where bulletin boards started to fill with fanfic stories of Mulder not being in the best shape. Hurt/comfort is a very big thing online it would seem, which has been quite the revelation for someone who has thought for over a decade that my interest was very very niche indeed.
Whilst gleefully digging into the subject, and triggering off artwork ideas aplenty, I came across this amazing video that is a great summation of the what behind my particular kink: On The Prowl NSFW
[takes notes and scribbles furiously]
First pay packet from the new place and i’ve splurged on a takeaway and a new pair of work shoes. Decadent!
This weekend it’s university references for the kids in my form which means that, as befitting a grammar school, the majority are applying for medcine, PPE (SIGH), bioscience etc. at Oxbridge or other high flying institutions. I’ve got to combine together all their subject references and fit them all into 4000 characters; apparently each one should take around an hour. I have eight. Yay!
Also, I know I have a life-long commitment to Pitta bread, but I think I could cheat on it for Naan. Fuck me I could eat that ’til the cows come home (and obese me is rolled through the front gate).
Feeling really bummed out today, thanks to a Facebook friend request of all things.
Why would anyone think that, after dumping me, what i’d be *totally* up for is taking in the glorious digital vista that is him in a new relationship. WTF?
I remember having a conversation with Petrichor where he asked what would happen if I found someone else whilst we were apart; I guffawed and told him that i’d spent years doing the online dating thing and that I averaged out at two dates a year, so, given the lack of interest I think it would be rather unlikely that I would be tempted by anyone quite as awesome as he.
Oh the irony.
Perhaps he thought that as time has passed I would be up for being digital friends? Why is email not okay but Facebook somehow is? No real connection, but digital grazing and rubbernecking. I’ve worked hard at staying away from anything to do with him online, and so it was a *huge* surprise to see him in my friend request list today. He is the only ex I still care about, and I have an enormous soft spot for him, but he’s in a relationship, I am not, and I have zero desire to see what I cannot have.
The memory of him is still vivid even after all this time, as there has been no-one to be intimate with, share new experiences and make new positive memories with. I work on finding creative fulfilment, try to inspire and help kids, do my course, go to pottery, make piles of washing up, get sucked into gaming and, a couple of times a year, get to go on a date; there are no fireworks or particular high points but most of the time i’m happy, even as I carry around both my affection for him and my sense of loss at his decision to exit my life.
It’s a quiet life, and as much as I am in the present and I look to the future, he lives on in my memories, daydreams and fantasy-life. Thinking about him is comforting when I am feeling lonely and small.
I declined his request.
Oh, and he still looked terribly handsome :(
Brighton by me by moonlight.
Made it through one week at my new job. Yayyyyyy!
It’s glum city at the nopoke nest this weekend; tired from a long week of long days, then back to work Saturday morning to help invigilate exams. I have a sketchbook i’ve been putting off completing for over a fucking month which I know I need to get completed today, when I feel I need to sort out what the fuck i’m doing work-wise. Ugh.
Work: My new workplace has been totally shite at giving me what I need to do my job – most schools do an induction before you start, giving you all the log ons, data, door codes, ordering info etc. that you need to do the basics; i’m still finding out how to do everything, and it gets a bit tiring to keep being bouncy and positive meeting new people.
On the plus side, my colleagues have been incredibly helpful – other teachers, admin staff, my line manager; everyone seems very friendly, and it’s an adult workplace – plenty of swearing and colourful complaining about children and parents. Yes, of course, we had that at my last place, but straightforwardly and openly describing rude, annoying kids as “shits” would never, ever happen. It’s a refreshing change! Also, people seem to socialise – much as I usually turn such things down, I actually went to the pub after school on Friday. Didn’t do that once in eight years at my last workplace.
The department needs a huge amount of work in terms of sorting shit out – it’s full to bursting with boxes and jars of this-and-that with gadgets everywhere. It’s awesome that we have a 3D printer, but what I really want to know is where the fuck the paintbrushes live? Christ. Anyway, I feel like I have very little handle on what’s going on – I need to spend time thinking deeply about what changes I want to make, but it’s so full-on that I think surviving for the first year will be achievement enough, not to mention that the department is expected to get ridiculously high grades :/
Things have gotten slightly easier as the week has gone by, but there’s a parents evening this week, after-school meetings, and university statements to sort out. I also have to teach haha. I’m not used to such long days – get in at 7.45am, leave at 5.30pm when I get chucked out, then another couple of hours at home. I know it won’t be like this forever but boy, I will be glad when it’s half term.
Also, I need a fucking haircut.
Oh and my uni presentation went well – much as I thought I rushed it and found it very difficult to talk, I got really positive feedback and didn’t fail – quite the opposite in fact :)
And I went to Brighton for Leia Ewok Village’s birthday, got ill and came home early.
And went on a date with a guy where there were uncomfortable silences as I struggled to know what to talk about. Thanks but no thanks.
And me and OKCupid recently celebrated our five-year anniversary together. Seven dates in five years.
However things go, that will be me done for the year.
- Standing up for hours is hard work.
- Painting on a large scale is physically taxing.
- The right trouser choice is important – jeans are too constricting, jogging bottoms too loose, leggings are just right. Oh for my army surplus combats of yore.
- Hydrogen buses are exceptionally noisy (is this the aircon?) – the space is next to multiple bus stops.
- Some people are interested in what you’re doing and will take the time to stop and look.
- The “special” inhabitants of town – wearing the team hat, sunglasses on at 11pm, granny trolley in tow – will knock on the window and tell you “It’s a nice picture that.”
I say finally, in that I think what has happened over the last couple of days is me being in one place and the person I needed to meet being in another, both of us thinking the other should be there. We made it happen eventually.
Anyway, i’ve stuck a giant sheet of paper up and have put back into use my old toolbox from my Art Foundation days – 1999-2000 – hurrah. A vintage piece.
Now just to make some work…
Get your shit together monky.
Studios are open tomorrow so hopefully i’ll be able to get started then…
Here is the view from the desert island I am just about to die from thirst on.
Isn’t it pretty?
SO the new computer arrived and oh my goodness it is awesome. Everything arrived in one piece, files transferred over easily, Windows 10 is not hideous, gaming has commenced. It is fast, quiet, reliable (so far) – Chillblast have done a good job. At the moment I am thoroughly enjoying Stranded Deep, a game where you’re merrily drinking a Martini on your private jet that then stuffs it into an ocean.
I’ve managed to survive thirteen days so far, but unfortunately I am doubtful I will make it through the night as my health metre is totally fucked (couldn’t find a bucket to collect rainwater, lost my paddle for a bit, no more coconuts).
It’s a bit weird to just sort of mope about on my island waiting to die. The surroundings are absolutely gorgeous though, so I suppose it’s better than being hit by a bus. Maybe i’ll swim into a shark.
Update 23:32 – I died.
Android Beach Insurrection
Stoic Cookie Feud
Everyone Loves The Surgery Rocket
Flamboyant Conga Turbo
Big Badminton Deathmatch
Muppet Prison Girl
Ultraviolent Zamboni Simulator
Iron Shaving Factory
Favourite suggestions gleaned from the Video Game Name Generator as I ramp up for the delivery of my new computer eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I am super excited to have a computer that means I’ll be able to do a bit of adventure gaming, but the main novelty will be using a PC that doesn’t need fifteen pokes of the on button to boot up and doesn’t turn off at random midway through Photoshopping. Yeah!
Of course this is perfect timing given that my presentation deadline is in a couple of weeks, and i’m spending all of next week getting publicly stuck into artmaking. That i’ve spent many hours browsing Steam and GOG looking at games when I haven’t even got the computer yet is perhaps not the smartest move.
Anyway, I have sorted out a lot of crap in the flat and repainted and moved furniture about in preparation for the new electronic arrival; there’s still much to do but i’ve more space and my sewing stuff is easier to access. I’ve only lived here for two years and there are still things in boxes.
Long after i’d given up hope, today I finally got a reply… with the offer of the use of the space! I was gobsmacked when I read the email – excellent motivation to get me out of bed, and that takes a LOT during the Summer break…
When i’m going to do it still needs to be sorted out; it’ll be at some point during the next two weeks, just before my end-of-course presentation and assessment. It’s kind of a terrifying prospect but also a very exciting one; it’ll be like days of yore where I spend an entire week doing nothing but making, except in full view of the public arrrrgh.
I keep re-reading the acceptance email, concerned they might wise-up and change their minds…
Adding to the positivity, I appear to have fallen proper in love again with artmaking. I’ve eased off the relentless Lucha Underground and Funhaus/Inside Gaming/Achievement Hunter watching and have started to seriously research, think and make. Even went to an actual library.
A week after breaking up, I think I am more relaxed now – not stressed about work, leaving etc. I do have it in the back of my mind – I have a lot to plan for September – but the focus now is on my course assessment, experimenting and making connections. Good times.
This weekend i’m off to see the McQueen exhibition at the V&A before it closes; as it’s so busy, me and an (ex!) colleague are going at 2.15am on Sunday morning :D Looking forward to it!
Maybe I need a cup of tea.
And a cry.
…of the Summer break. Actually quite productive.
Made Greek yoghurt pancakes (NYT recipe by Melissa Clark) that turned out pleasingly thick and pillow-y; however, on a slightly less positive note they were a bit on the salty side :/ This might have been due to my what-the-fuck-Americans-why-do-you-use-cups conversions and downsizing for one, and I found that sugar and lemon helped the situation, so it wasn’t a total waste of two eggs.
Hmm looking again at the recipe, I think my error was using salted instead of unsalted butter. Oh well.
Must buy Maple syrup.
When I wasn’t making salty pancakes I spent the day writing and refining a proposal to use a new art space in town as a studio for a week, which, although a lengthy process with nearly no chance of resultant success, it was worthwhile in that it got me to think very carefully about what my work is about, and helped me clarify the why behind the work. Important shit.
Also did some washing up. Booked car in for service and MOT. And. Finally booked in a contact lens check-up (it’s only four months overdue). Just a smear test to go (about six months overdue) and I will be fully caught up on all the shit I have put off doing because life.
Oh to be on holiday.
Well, I did have a glass of wine with lunch today. Exotique.
I’ve learnt a hell of a lot thanks to the experience and generosity of my colleagues and I will miss them – or at least the majority of them – but i’m sure the kids will get on just fine without me. There’s loads of lovely kids that I will very much regret leaving behind, but also a shed load who I will be very, very glad to shout “Bye bye you loser fucks!!” – in my head – as I drive out the school gates. I won’t miss the grades and data-obsessed high-pressure culture of my school… oh, wait. My new school is maths and science über alles? Oh… Well, at least the rage will be expressed in a new environment :/
2007 seems like a lifetime ago. My classroom has been gutted, filing cabinets stripped, space in the office cleared. Still quite a few hours of tidying to do tomorrow but I am nearly home free. The flat is a fucking disaster zone (yes even more than normal) with piles of books, files etc. from work dumped in strategic piles here, there and everyfuckingwhere.
No more shitty commuting! Will be able to save a lot of cash thanks to me either walking (20mins), biking (mostly off-road bikepath to the new job) or (lazily) driving. Leia Ewok Village suggested that I should put the money towards taking up Pilates again; I am horribly unfit and getting more than a little soft in the midsection, so perhaps this can be something to do over the break.
When i’m not drinking wine, watching wrestling or people doing GTA heists on YouTube.
I am cultured.
Yesterday at uni went well – lovely to see people and catch up with them. We talk art, work, life and eat cake. We complain a lot. Pretty great :) The feedback I got on my work as it is at the moment was helpful and positive – at the end of August I will have to do a ten minute presentation to my tutors, presenting some work and explaining the connections between things and the reasoning behind my creative choices. All very interesting and exciting/scary!
Double rain, Summer approaching and a dose of the end-of-term fed-ups has led me to think about Petrichor. It’s been two years now, and, with no-one comparable (or better) to make an entrance in my life, there’s still a sadness that flares up from time-to-time. This hasn’t been helped by recent events…
ThatFuckingWriterGuy – tl;dr Led me on, stole one of my favourite shirts, ghosted on me. I’m pretty angry. It’s shit like this from supposed adults that just adds to my cynicism about dating and relationships. When did ghosting become acceptable? CHRIST.
I had a moment of clarity on Friday evening – drinking a glass of wine, sat in my underwear in front of my laptop – I was laughing at a comedy spot on Lucha Underground, and I thought, I am so very content and happy right now… Leading a quiet life, making art, learning, watching wrestling, seeing friends, travelling every now-and-then is where it’s at.
Not being disappointed. The fucking novelty.
So I watch wrestling and snuggle under my blanket. Maybe I need to get married to art, a la a bride of Christ? Non-virginal of course hahaha.
I need to draw a line in the sand and go, no, I can’t do that actually as I need to focus on readying my room for the person taking over, or tidying my space in the office as I will be fucking leaving soon. BUT. It’s academic mentoring, markingmarkingmarking, writing appraisal stuff, going to an exit interview…
Oh, and teaching.
Departmental exhibition private view tomorrow evening, then a visit to my new school after work on Thursday. Looking forward to leaving my current place, but problems at the new one, so I can’t say i’m particularly looking forward to my new post. OH YAY. Plan is not to spend any of the danger money i’m going to get for leading the department, at least not for the first few months; I am concerned that the new post might be the shortest promotion of all time.
The weekend brings a trip to Oxford and uni stuff; will be lovely to see everyone and catch up – haven’t done enough work as is usual. Sigh. Motivation.
Adding to my annoyances are my parents who keep asking what i’m doing over the Summer, despite me already explaining that i’m going to need to do uni work and prepare for my new classes, and how i’m concentrating on getting to the end of term as that is all I can deal with at the mo. I’m going to ask them to stop asking. I don’t have the money to go anywhere far away, yet holidays in the UK seem to be so fucking pricey.
I need a hot shower/holiday/hug/to curl up with someone/curl up in a hole
but first I must go to bed.
No further developments with regards dating.
My first sewing foray into setting sleeves and working with bias binding was also a fail – unfortunately the crêpe fabric i’d chosen was incredibly slide-y, and I found sewing in a straight line, keeping the grain of the fabric true very difficult. The one sleeve I put in was fucking awful! So that got chucked in the “maybe later one decade” box. I suppose the binding experience was useful.
During the week I met up with a former student from many years ago who was looking to get some private art tuition as she makes her way back into making; the meeting was interesting and productive, and if things move forward the extra money would certainly be appreciated, but also it’s a way to get something not-school-based in terms of experience which would be good.
Tomorrow I have to drop off a piece of artwork to go on display during the local Arts Week; i’ll have one textile-y piece from my course and a sculpture from my pottery classes – getting things out there ever so slowly.
Also, nopoke was TWELVE a couple of weeks’ back. Good grief.
It’s hard not to get attached. When I was in my default mode of EVERYONE’S SHIT I DON’T CARE I was much less angsty; now the possibility of success or failure has been dangled in front of me for the first time in years that comfortable neutral where relationships are not on my radar has evaporated, and i’m left feeling rather glum this evening. If things don’t work out I know i’m going to be crushed. Ugh.
Healthy coping mechanisms.
Had a great evening out last night in a nearby town with, hmm, codename to come if we continue things… we had a couple of pints and an excellent burger before meandering back to my train home under a full moon. Much more of a connection, he was much more relaxed and proactive, and I would really like to see him again.
There was some serious nerdgasming: we argued about why Kirk or Spock weren’t played by women in the Star Trek reboot – he thought they should’ve been, I passionately disagreed – the characters are too entwined with the original actors playing the roles, and you want to encourage past viewers with fond memories to watch. I also knocked a glass of wine into him, but fortunately/unfortunately his Apple watch (YES. I know.) escaped unharmed.
Unfortunately, come Wednesday he’s off on holiday for three weeks. Sigh. I guess we’ll see if things keep going after that.
On paper, he’s great – smart, academic, socially aware, a raging feminist, and a science nerd, and is also tall with a good head of hair. Knows how to deploy sarcasm effectively.
Not-so-great – quite awkward on the intimacy side of things – if a dude’s into me, vigorously rubbing my arm like he’s petting a horse is not the best way to go about expressing affection. He needs a lot of guidance, and needs to be much more assertive – do I have the patience to put the effort in?
When you get to your thirties I kind of assume that every man will be proficient in such things, particularly as i’m pretty straight forward about what I want, and what works for me, and feel i’d rather be on my own if things aren’t quite good enough. Oh the joys of pondering compromise.
Subtext: I’m not saying that unless he’s a clone of Petrichor he’s not good enough. However, the things that were so very appealing about him are things that I value highly, so if there’s not enough evidence of them, it gives me pause.
Maybe the problem is that we’re not really that good a match, however much i’d like it to be so? God, sometimes I really just can’t be arsed. Where are all the funny, proactive men hiding? In relationships, that’s where.
Anyway, HALF TERM WOOO!
SO. Today went WELL.
I’m Head of Department in September.
Looks like it’ll just be me, as they’ve not uploaded the advert to the TES yet, so in some ways much less stressful, but in other ways the most pressure ever, as I really want the job and the outgoing Head of Department really wants me to get the job. Plus, HOD is a position I don’t feel entirely comfortable with, but we shall see.
Post-Friday there is one school week before half term, so that means only two weeks ’til I have to resign. Tricky. Also, they might actually want to advertise, in which case i’m fucked, as there’s no way I want to fuck over my colleagues and the trust I have built with my current school. I have issues with the low status of Art and grade obsession at the school, but still, I agree with my mentor in that it’s worth applying.
For the first time in nearly a year, next week I have a date. With a man who is a professional nerd! He ITs for a living, and also data crunches and writes for the Guardian and (shouts) VICE of all fucking titles. I have already taken the piss, and apparently he enjoys a challenge. SO. We’ll see how that goes.