Monthly Archives: January 2015

Busy times…

Weekend: Evening out in Lahndahn tahn with Caversham Princess, then several hours on Sunday writing reports. Ughhhhhh. Then, I have an interview on Wednesday! I have to stay overnight for it as it’s that little bit too far to reliably get to in the morning, so this means spending a hundred quid on a hotel thanks to mid-week prices. Am actually looking forward to my stay though, as it looks like a beautiful little hotel, and comes with free buffet breakfast wooooooo.

The school is private, and it would mean moving home if appointed, which is an intimidating prospect what with arranging somewhere new to live. The position does not advance my career in any way, but i’m giving it a go as I think that there are more creative and cultural opportunities than in my home town. I think the main thing will be if I am a good fit with what could potentially be a very conservative school – it might be that I have too many issues with how they do things. Anyway, it’ll be a day out of school at the very least.
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In Bed…

… and I’m watching Colt Cabana matches.

I know how to show myself a good time :D
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Post-The Essay TV Binge – Fantasy Men – Not Looking – Lonesomeness

Oh, the glory of not having The Essay hanging over me! Wonderful vegging-out weekend spent catching up on all the TV i’ve missed – Arrow, Flash, Elementary, Wolf Hall and Spiral (Christ what a twist ending).

Applied for another job – a new record in terms of speed of form filling and letter writing: under two hours. Wonders.

Also have a new crush on Rob Delaney (I realise i’m probably last to this) thanks to the highly enjoyable Catastrophe: hilarious, swears a lot, smart-as-a-whip and no-nonsense, with an excellent head of hair (and manfur!) and tall, dark and extroverted. Hello fantasy man!

On the subject of which.

Back to not-really-looking. My profile’s still active on OKCupid but i’m trying not to check it very often, as I know that a) years of experience has taught me that it’s highly unlikely there’ll be anyone of interest b) I find looking at what there isn’t makes me feel down so it’s probably best not to look.

It’s been quite eye-opening when i’ve logged in out-of-town – sixty visitors a day as opposed to the sixty visitors I usually get in three weeks. When you consider that the things I like to do are women-centric, I have an aversion to novel group social settings (i’m less nervous at a job interview than I am a Meetup event) and i’m ageing out of the most popular – read desirable – demographic on dating sites then my chances of success are minu-fucking-scule. Two dates in nearly a year-and-a-half. Whoop-di-fucking-doo.

Recently i’ve been feeling quite lonely for companionship, in terms of that beyond friends. I love my friends, know that they’re supportive, and know that I can discuss all sorts of shit with them. But there are some things that I feel I can’t talk to them about. Fears I have. Stuff I feel stupid sharing. Insecurities. I think I’m looking to be understood. Looking back at my relationships, only one partner has, I think, truly understood and accepted me; almost immediately I felt like, “Where’ve you been all my life???”

Sadsack monky: When I curl up for the night I often like to imagine getting a goodnight kiss on my nose, and when I fantasise it’s not only the usual wild sex in out-of-the-way places but also about being spooned, of a hand on the small of my back, of falling asleep squished together on the sofa. Small intimacies.

Which I miss terribly at times.

I think this all ties in with my dissatisfaction in my job, and frustrations at not being able to find anything new; I think my recent lonesomeness also has to do with my questioning “Is this all there is?” – get up, go to work, come home. Rinse and repeat. My course is helping me a bit, but how to find satisfaction in life with low familial warmth, no partner, low job satisfaction, and no chance of getting a pet to help me out…? Someone/something to love.

:(

CABANA
Colt Cabana. With hammer.

Perhaps some Colt Cabana will cheer me up. Tall, burly, kind-of-a-dork and funny? Yay for new wrestler crush!
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Essay Away Hoorayyyyyyy!

I HAVE SENT IT
IT IS DONE
GAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Three-thousand words exactly, thirty-five pages with appendices. Emailed to tutor, 11% similar on my first go at Turnitin. I think this okay? But then my essay is titled Epic Fail :D

Feel like I could sleep for a week (roll on the end of Friday)
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Oxford – Essay – Sensitive Ice Creams – WRESTLING!!!

Hooray!

So The Essay is fiiiinally nearing completion huzzah! I now have well over the 3000-word limit, and have sort-of not-really worked out what-the-fuck-the-point-is. So, some clarification required!

Trip to meet with my course-mates was productive and interesting – I find the discussion very stimulating (not in that way) and I always come up with new areas to explore in actual art I might actually make. Plus nearly everyone else was going through the same “OH FUUUUCK” mental gymnastics with the essay, so it was comforting to hear that I am far from alone. We got a guided tour of the small exhibition of Hiroshige prints by the curator and got to go into the print study room to look at some out-from-under glass and also the tools used to make the insanely detailed woodblocks. This was cool.

I must admit that i’ve not wandered thoroughly through the Ashmolean, but somewhere I always head for is the usually empty sanctuary of a small room filled with Dutch Golden-era still life paintings. There wasn’t anyone in there – perhaps people find the multitude of floral arrangements boring – so it was wonderful to have some quiet alone time surrounded by lovely art. Yes, I can like pretty. I am really into the lemons that the artists show in their seafood images – I like to hunt for them and compare how juicy they look. Simple pleasures. Willem Kalf is the undefeated champion to date.

Important news!

Whilst reading an end-of-2014 list of best podcasts for things to listen to on the drive to work, one that was recommended for the sheer enthusiasm of the hosts was the Attitude Era Podcast. I thought, oh, a wrestling-themed podcast? My old love of wrestling has decidedly been lost, but it might be worth a listen. Anyway, I’ve been loving it. So much so, that when one of the hosts recommended a current wrestling promotion I hadn’t heard of – Chikara – I looked it up on YouTube, and fell in love…

Look at these brilliant ring names:

Blaster McMassive
Missile Assault Ant
Max Smashmaster
Proletariat Boar of Moldova
Flex Rumblecrunch
Estonian Thunderfrog

They had Dragon Dragon – who wrestled in a dinosaur suit – but alas, he was decapitated mid-match (totally SFW) and a dude whose moves could be started and stopped by poking the giant NES button on his tights. Oh God. It’s all so wonderfully theatrical and bizarre.



Anyway, my undoubted favourites are the rudo Los Ice Creams. Just look at these creepy fuckers. They cry when they’re hit and jump in each others’ arms when scared. When they’re not being underhand, obviously.

Their killer move is pouring a bag of sugar sprinkles all over the ring and dropping opponents in it, whereupon said opponents act like they’ve been dropped in a pile of thumb-tacks. BRILLIANT.

Oh yes. I’ve just spent a fucking hour writing about this. The wrestle-love is BACK.
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Choose Your Own Adventure!

Monkey Island

You are sat in front of The Essay. It is overcast outside and runners in the park are wearing both gloves and hats.

On the table beside you sits a glass of wine and a hot cup of coffee.
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Sad Kids

One of the smartest, kindest and most personable kids I teach found out yesterday that, at the ripe old age of seventeen, she has thyroid cancer.

I’ve taught her for three years, and have answered many a late-night email full of angst, providing advice and a non-judgemental ear on relationship woes, orientation issues, and what-the-fuck-is-the-point conundrums. A lovely alternative kid too – so many girls I teach have the bouffant hair and fake tan, whereas she works the thick black eye liner, nineties indie t-shirts and chipped nail varnish. Hurrah.

Anyway, she’s going to lose her thyroid and the lumps around her neck and get zapped with radioactive iodine – apparently iodine only affects the thyroid so it’s safe to use (you learn something new every day). Statistics are good in terms of success and survival rates and she seemed pretty positive when she spoke to me today; understandably she is still grappling with her new reality of “Oh fuck. I have cancer…”

(╥_╥)

After this, whilst on my way to debate club, I saw one of The Vulnerables (the one with the social age of about six) sat on her own outside a classroom. She looked a bit sad, so I went over to have a chat – she was sad, she explained, because she was ashamed of what she’d written on the paper in front of her. I had a read.

In her large trying-my-bestest-to-join-my-letters scrawl, she wrote about how she felt sad because it was her fault she was a fat twelve-year-old who people didn’t want to talk to, that she was ugly and stupid, so it wasn’t others’ fault when they ignored her.

:(

I told her that she did not have to be ashamed about her feelings or what she had written – feelings are not bad. I told her how much I enjoy being her form tutor, how much she contributes to her friends – her reply “You’re the greatest form tutor Miss! You are fantastic. I love having you as my tutor” – and that I thought she was being very hard on herself – she should think carefully about whether what she had written was true, because I didn’t think it was. We need to love ourselves not criticise ourselves unnecessarily. She perked up a bit at this.

I asked her to go and have a chat with her SEN tutor and I saw her happily akimbo on her chair a few minutes later. All was re-right in her world. Sigh.

My heart aches for both these poor kids, the challenges they’re going through and what awaits. Gah.
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Break – New Year – Work

So Christmas was as expected. Days passed getting increasingly fed up of being asked if I was okay, would I like a cup of tea every hour, conversations with my Dad complaining about blah blah the gays, the foreigners. Very teenage feelings of “Leeeeave meee a-loooone!!” resulted. Oh, and just when I was going to escape, my car wouldn’t start, so had to wait around for a few extra hours on one of the busiest days of the breakdown call-out year until the dude in orange turned up. At least the car was fixed, it didn’t cost an arm-or-a-leg, and I was warm.

All milk creamers, all the time

Visited a great local history museum in Stoke-On-Trent and saw a shitload (that’s a technical term) of Anglo-Saxon gold; the pieces were incredibly intricate, and it was amazing that the garnets included in some of the sword hilts were traded all the way from India. The pieces were part of a hoard found in a farmers field by a detectorist; apparently, when a tribe was conquered, the (often named) swords were taken and broken into small pieces, with the bits of hilt and pommel kept by the victors, like they were forever owning and wiping out the family.

Bonkers collection of ceramics from all the potteries that used to fill the town (there are some still holding on/doing well); I always say that probably the only time I am filled with anything approaching national pride is when I see a piece of Staffordshire pottery when i’m in a museum abroad.

Towards Derbyshire

The highpoint was the afternoon I spent with my brother up on a hill above the town; it had snowed quite heavily on the hills running up from the edge of town over to Derbyshire, and it was great to slip-slide-crunch around a county park ten minutes from the parentals. A world away. Lots of people sledging at quite frankly alarming rates of speed down the hill at the top, dogs whizzing about all excite with the people and the powdery stuff fighting back at them. Beautiful clear day burning down to the haze of a Winter sunset.

Towards Derbyshire

What else.

New Year’s Eve was spent by delighting in stuffing my face with multiple batches of prawn dumplings i’d bought by the tray-full; I LOVE the little slimy savoury parcels of delicious gooey joy. Gahhh so good. Chocolate Fudge Brownie followed along with a liberal application of wine and Westerns. I didn’t feel too sad, though my mind definitely wandered to happier times… when I reflexively smiled through kisses and never felt more content than when someone held my hand… Ug :(

Binge-watched about a bajillion different series such as Outlander (OH GOOD LORD THE SEX) and Elementary (new crush on Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu), and read an actual whole book (Burial Rites by Hannah Kent). Took great enjoyment in using my new microwave steamer to cook rice – lots of stir fries – yes I have simple pleasures.

Met up with my old school mentor for coffee and complaining (I used to want to work at her place of work but i’m not sure at this point but maybe that’s just education entirely :/), Flambé and McCy and tried out a weird wine vending machine at a bar in town – top a card up, stick it in and select different measures of around twelve or so different wines. Enjoyed going out on the bike. Redid my teaching portfolio so it was better organised and has my CV more prominently displayed, along with some writing about my course.

Got rejected for that job I applied for :(

Oh, the course. The Essay. Well, I found that writing 1500 words for one subsection was a bit of a problem when I have a 3000-word limit and about twelve subsections! So, stripped everything back to an outline plan and emailed it to my tutor, who was really helpful in pointing out where I need to slim down and tighten things up. Now actually need to write it haha.

As i’ve been getting deeper into my reading I am more convinced than ever that education is fucked, or at least art teaching is in the department where I work. So, i’ve signed up with an interesting (slightly scary) sketchbook exchange thing where you make work and post it to a stranger who then works in your book and posts theirs to you. Repeat for a year, working into their work and responding to it: Something to do *for me* that’s not anything to do with work, and will hopefully improve my confidence at art making.

The next stage of my uni course involves practical work, so next weekend i’m off to the Ashmolean which i’m really looking forward to even if the idea of art making with a critical element is uggh a bit worrying.

Embrace The Fear and all that.
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