Thursday, June 30, 2011

An Eternity of Seconds

 It is now the next day. I awoke with a familiar gnawing feeling in my gut.
I frantically scanned my thoughts in a desperate bid to discover which one of them was causing the gnawing.
And then I realised. Yes, it was The Blank Rectangle! Hurrah!
I hopped out of bed & without giving thought to my morning cup of 'Twinings Afternoon Tea flavour tea, I scampered to the computer, clicked on to Blogger's 'New Post' & then clicked 'Add Photos'.
I waited in breathless anticipation. An Eternity of Seconds ticked by. And then a  Blank Rectangle appeared. My heart sank. Who would look at my blog now if there were no photos? I lamely asked.
And then......and then, the photo above appeared.
I Am Saved. Hallelujah!
Here are the photos minus the Dark Brown Pudding one I asked you to imagine in my last post.
I hope I have done justice to your Imagination. I think that unlikely.
The first one was taken by my friend Dark Star Maud after a wonderful Holiday Lunch yesterday in Newtown which is suburb  chock-a-block full of graffiti.

I totally love Graffiti. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Lawbreaker although I did find myself secretly texting yesterday while I was stopped at the lights in my car. I couldn't help it. I was under the spell of the Texting Fairy. Or should I call her the SMS Fairy? I wonder what The Correct Term is?
As I said earlier, I'm wearing Guilt Black. From top to toe. All thrifted from 'BednobsEtc'. And, may I say, All Designer Brands but you'd never know it.
1. Agnes B lambswool turtleneck. I totally marvel at the word Turtleneck. It's fabulous & completely appropriate when referring to My Neck.
2. Zimmerman lacy skirt. Luckily I had  Black 'Jeggings' on underneath. At least that's what they were called on the label  at 'K-Mart'. Another great term.
3. Anne Klein Mules. Yet Another great term.
4. Toy Silver Heart which cozily protects my own Bleeding Heart.

 Here's the next photo I previously asked you to imagine. I bet it's nothing like what you thought because I omitted to tell you that the owner of the car had artfully placed a scary Halloween (or is it a Nasty Politician?) style mask on the headrest. The dog doesn't seem too frightened. Only probably a bit annoyed that he's yet again left in the car.

Lastly, here's me in not quite total black. I'm showing it to you because I bought the top on tuesday for eight bucks at 'K-Mart'. It's the first new item (besides leggings & undergarments) that I've bought in quite some time. I must say that it was a thrill to put something on that I absolutely knew that  no one had died in it before me. My only concern is that it has a Blouson waist which always has a tendency to make me look Blousy. Slightly Slutty, Yes, but Blousy, Never.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Tools for Enlightenment

Right, that's it, I've had it.
 I know that's not a v. friendly way to start, but I'm sure you'll understand, O Reader when I tell you that I've been trying for what seems like Hours & hours to upload loads of photos onto Nasty Blogger & it Won't Let Me. A Blank Rectangle just comes up. Is this perhaps a Metaphor for my Life, I wonder? What is Wrong?  What a shame because I had soo much to Show & Tell.
Like a photo I took today of a dog inside a parked car. And one of Me in front of some grafitti. And a photo of a Sticky Date Pudding I made.
You'll just have to Imagine them instead. Imagine your favourite dog inside a car. Imagine me in black again. Imagine a Dark Brown Pudding.

Look, above at all those beautiful bunches of Roses. Yes, you guessed it. I'm on Holidays.
Again? you may respond.
Yes, again. This time for three weeks. I'm already half way through my first week & I haven't spent any time at all Watching TV During Daylight Hours. You may think that this is a Big Plus, but for me it isn't. Certainly Not.
 My ambition is to be able to sit in front of the TV at any time of the day or nite without the slightest bit of Ennui or feelings of Hopelessness or Meaninglessness or Worst of the Worst, Guilt.
Imagine  an entire day of back-to-back episodes of 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians'  with a whole mess of Game Shows thrown in as well? I wonder if they still make 'Blankety Blanks' & 'Wheel of Fortune', which incidentally had an audience of  75 million people once upon a time.
Anyway, I'm sure if the Dalai Lama spent a day watching TV he'd feel great. And so will I.
Who would have ever thought that watching Daytime TV could be used as Tool for Enlightenment?

Here's my First Holiday Outfit. Note that it's Black. Why do I keep on feeling guilty about wearing Black? No one else does. Darla wears Guilt-Free Black. And so does Rebecca.
So how the hell  am I going to be Enlightened if I can't wear black without feeling guilty? And when am I going to stop asking all these silly rhetorical questions?
But perhaps you are answering them for me. I'd like it if you did. And then you could tell me what to think.

Important Points About #1 Holiday Outfit:
* Note I'm wearing thrifted 'Anne Klein' Mules. At least that's what I think they're called. High heels with no  backs on them. I do wonder why they're called Mules. Surely it can't be because Real Mules have feet or even hooves like that?  Anyway, they're super-convenient. All I do is yank myself  out of the Unsightly Ugg Boots & slide into the Mules & I'm ready for a latte. Or for anything really.
*Note I'm wearing loads of little dainty silver & gold necklaces which is not my usual style, but maybe it will be from now on. They were generously donated to me by a grateful student whose mother was throwing them out & then they thought of me.

Holiday Outfit #2:
More Black, but this time mixed with Grey.
Can you believe that the jacket is a real not Toy 'Valentino'? I bought it with a matching skirt which is about two sizes too small for me at 'BednobsEtc'. I can't tell you how gorgeous it is to wear & how I can totally understand why if you had loads of dough you'd only wear couture. But because I can't quite allow myself the Perfection of Wearing a Valentino, I have done a strange thing.  Here's what it is: Some time back, the middle button came off. Luckily, I saved it & placed it in a prominent position where I wouldn't lose sight of it. But then, I didn't bother sewing it back on. So, I wore it with a Big Gap where the button should be.
Holiday Treats:
1. Guiltlessly staying up  waaay past Official Bedtime.
2. Stumped.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Finally Growing Out of Cinderella

 Bonjour Mes Amis
As you can see, I'm back to greeting you in my favourite Toy Language, Franglais. This morning, as I was rushing to get ready for school, I knocked over one of my small collection of Le Tour Eiffels which perhaps has prompted this.  Or maybe it's the thought of The Looming Holidays which begin at the end of the week. Other, more glamorous Middleagedteachers  are about to head off to Exotic Locations. And I'm not.
 Luella, a fellow colleague, in so far as a Maths Teacher can be a colleague of an English Teacher,  is doing a 'Thelma & Louise' style road trip across America. I do hope that she doesn't end up like them. What would her Year 12 class do then? Quelle Horreur!

Even my students are off to places like Rome & Hawaii, making sure they stop off in Honolulu for a slice of Heaven at The Cheesecake Factory, that is, if they can get in. Apparently, it's always booked out. Who knew?
But I'm not really complaining although it certainly sounds like it. And I'm not being a victim either, although I'd love to be   because it's always been My Default Position. 
But not anymore.
How I Used to Be:
1. Poor Little Match Girl.
2. Abandoned Princess.
3. Disadvantaged Left-Hander.
4. Task Challenged Temptress.
5. All of the Above at The Same Time.

Of course, my favourite fairytale was Cinderella, the ultimate Victim Story With a Happy Ending. I totally empathised with Poor Cinders, revelling in the fact that I too, had dainty little feet, not like those Mean Oafish Stepsisters. I never had any stepsisters myself, but it always felt as if I had a whole truckload of them in my head.
My Mindless Love for Cinderella was so great that I read the story to Maeflower, my daughter, over & over again to her when she was little. Thankfully, one day I realised what I was doing & stopped reading it to her immediately. After that, I stuck to Roald Dahl. Much safer.

 Perhaps you are wondering what the pictures are. Perhaps you already know. But if you don't know, I'll tell you: They are Collages.
 A person asked me the other day what I meant by 'Collages'.
Cut Outs.
From Fashion & Decorating Magazines that I drag out of the Recycling Bin in my building or are 'given' to me by Peter from 'Zinc', my local cafe.
I love making them & make them as often as I can. I ponder about what to call them. And when I do come up with a title that works, I feel a sense of Inner Triumph.
But of course, I worry that I'll be accused of Image Theft.

Now it's time for Some Outfits. Goody Goody!!!
I do find Winter Dressing a challenge. Don't get me wrong, J'adore Winter. I love how it gets dark just after 5 which means that I can sit down &  start watching TV earlier than in summer because I have a slight rule that I shouldn't watch TV during Daylight Hours. I also like wearing my Toy Ugg Boots that my daughter bought at 'Aldi' for eight bucks. In fact, I'm wearing them now. I also don't like waking up in a lather of sweat which I often do in summer. And I like The Coziness that Only Winter Brings.
Anyway, I find Winter Dressing a challenge because I have to dress to keep warm. My classroom has a v. Nasty Heater that gets cranky when too many girls crowd around it & then  stops working for days on end. What a Sulky Withholder.
So, in all three Outfits I'm wearing almost against my will, a black scarf. I had to wear it as a measure against the cold. In the Outfit above, I'm wearing it as a Pussy Bow, just like a Young Marcel Proust who I compared myself to in my Last Post. BTW, I've never managed to read any of Proust, nor do I particularly like 'Madeleines', his favourite cake? biscuit? dainty cookie?

Meanwhile, back at The Outfit, I'm wearing a ruffled shirt. I'm always a sucker for a ruffle, which is perhaps not such a good thing as you could really look like you're wearing a Pirate Shirt, which was featured in a famous episode of  Seinfeld &  is never chic.

The next Outfit, a hardly- worn- almost- wool- suit,  by Australian Design Royalty, Lisa Ho, above, was
My Big Find last week at 'BednobsEtc'.  But looking at it just now, I'm not so sure. I'm beginning to see why the person donated it. I thought that she was just wanting to Share the Joy, but I think she was getting rid of it because it made her look a little like a Drum Majorette.

And then there's the Ruched Black Dress with the Enormous Black Flower that looks like it's growing out of my chest. OH, & that blue stripe that's down the side? An Effect of the Sun. I'm sure you'll be relieved to know that.
If I was going to The Races, which I'm not, I don't think that I'd wear any of these outfits. What a Perfect Segue to urge you to read the Wonderful Post-length Comment that Elegance Maison made in my last post. Thank you! I would love to go inside The Royal Enclosure at one of those Race Meetings, but I've got as much chance of doing that as I have of riding in the Queen's Glass Coach with her & the Duke. (Is it really called a Glass Coach, or am I thinking of 'Cinderella' again? Maybe it's called a 'Golden Coach')

I'm nearly at the end! And I'm back to more Collages. Or Cut outs if you prefer.
I'm desperate to get back to the TV & watch yet another episode of '30Rock'. I have just freshly discovered it even though its been going for years. What, Oh what, have I been doing all this time, I wonder? Clearly wasting it.
I'm sooo crazy about Liz Lemon/Tina Fey & have toyed with the idea of wanting to be her, although I believe that she's currently pregnant & I wouldn't want to go through childbirth again . In fact, I'm so crazy about Tina that I raced out & bought New at a NewBook Store a copy of her  Memoir, 'Bossypants'.  This totally goes against my 'Abundance Though Frugality' dictum of only buying books if they are in One Dollar basket at 'BednobsEtc'.
I'm also crazy about Alec Baldwin. This started a while ago after I watched the Perfect Middleagedteacher Film, It's Complicated, in which  he starred in with Meryl Streep, who I've almost convinced myself that I resemble. And not just because we share the same hair colour.
I just love the way that Alec talks in that breathy way, which I believe Tina mocks in a later episode that I'm not up to yet. In fact, I love just about everything about him. And..... MBFF's son in America is in his daughter's class at school. I'm desperate for them to become Besties. And then perhaps I could meet Alec. But then, what would I say to him? I mean, what do you say to a Celebrity? I'm your biggest fan. Lame. Perhaps Stalker.
I'll just have to be more like the Sassy Dame, below.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Not Promising Far More Than I Can Deliver

 OMG! It is at the v. tail end of The Queen's Birthday Long Weekend & I haven't done a Blog Entry.
And if I don't, I know I'll feel Slightly Empty. Perhaps I may slide onto The Wrong Side of Ennui.'s less than 45 minutes before my Official Designated Bedtime.
Quelle horreur, What can I do?
I'm just going to type like the wind & tell you the first thing that's in my head. No holds bar. Or is it, 'Holds Barred'? What a v. odd expression. It must be nautical.
Anyway, look above. Yes, its a cupcake. In fact, it was a cupcake that I eventually ate after I photographed it, of course.
Have you noticed that cupcakes are  one of those foods that Promise Far More Than They Deliver?
They look so Sweet & Adorable as they sit on a plate together. You can almost hear them all tweet 'Pick Me! Pick Me!' in unison, just like Donkey, my favourite character in Shrek.
And then  when you do pick one it's Not That Great. Perhaps a little dry. A bit like eating Sweet Sand.

Warning Warning! Garbled Recipe to Follow.
I would much rather eat my Bread & Butter Pudding that I've been making for my regular Sunday Nite Dinners for Tyler & Hunter & Carlotta.  I'm absolutely gagging to tell you the recipe that I now know off by heart because I've been making it so often lately. I make it with Raisin bread  Cut into Diamonds which is liberally buttered with butter mixed with cinnamon & nutmeg & brown sugar & then weirdly arranged in a deep dish with five eggs & one yolk & a carton of cream & a dash of milk & some vanilla essence & some more brown sugar poured all over it & then baked in the oven at 180c until golden brown.
I can't believe I just gave you the whole recipe then so quickly. It must be in influence of  The Food Channel.

I have just been watching what appears to be a new episode of 'Nigella Bites'.
As usual, I'm entranced with her beauty, specifically her Eyebrows. They deserve a Show of their Own.
It could be called 'Nigella's Eyebrows'.
But I'm also Slightly Disgusted. It's a Complete Festival of Gluttony, which I'm sure is still one of The Seven Deadly Sins, although I did hear that they've recently been considered  a Little Old Hat or lame.  I mean, who's heard of the word, 'Avarice' lately?
And can you actually rattle off all of them? Go on, I dare you.
Anyway,  Nigella loves nothing more than to make enormous vats of hugely cream laden dishes which she then proceeds to shovel  down as soon as she cooks them . And then at the end of the show, it's back to the fridge before Bedtime to grab another huge portion of 'Toad in the Hole'  washed down with 'Tiramisu.
It's like she's daring her Arteries to Harden.
But then again, how can I talk when I've got a whole Hennery's worth of eggs & a huge vat of cream in my 'Bread & Butter Pudding'?

Spinelli On Toast.
Here's some recent entries from My English Teacher's Wardrobe Diary. As usual, everything is from 'Bednobs & Broomsticks', my favourite Charity Shoppe.
Above, I'm wearing a new vintage 'Spinelli' 100% wool cardi/jacket.
'Spinelli' was a high- end brand of Italian knitwear that one of my school friends mother's (OMG, have I got enough apostrophes back there? Should I have put in another one after the 's' in 'friends'?) often paraded around in back in the Early Sixties. The mother, Mrs. L,  had shoulder length bleached blonde hair that kicked up at the ends like Patty Duke in The Patty Duke Show & drove an Enormous Pontiac Parisienne. Her tiny orthopaedic surgeon husband drove a compact 'Carmen Ghia' like he was Mr. Magoo. It was a terrifying experience driving with him. But I clearly survived.
I've Chanelled-Up the Cardi (have I created a New Verb here, I wonder? Hurrah! if I have!) by piling on a whole mess of Pearls from the 'Fruits de Mer' section of my Jewellry Wardrobe.

 Next, is another 'Spinelli' Cardi/Jacket.
But I must say that I had a Slightly Unnerving Experience wearing it this week.
I was standing in the staffroom at recess chatting when Edith, a gamin strawberry blonde  teacher sidled up to me & stared at the bottom button of the cardi. TAfter a short pause she informed me that in fact I was wearing her old cardi which she'd donated to 'BednobsEtc' some time back. She knew definitely that it was hers because she had replaced the left bottom button with a Rogue Button.
What can you say when someone tells you something like that?
My reaction is to always ask, What Would The Queen Mother Say if she was alive, that is?
BTW, I do like the Pussy Bow that I'm wearing. Recently, I was inspecting a photograph of Marcel Proust as a child & in the photo, he was also wearing a Pussy Bow. I was thrilled. But I'm certainly NOT going to take it too far by copying the rest of what Marcel was wearing. I would look silly in half-mast pants.

 Can you believe that I'm wearing yet another 'Spinelli' creation?
This time, it's another 100% pure wool dress that sadly has got a couple of small moth holes in it. But I'm determined to keep wearing it even though it does make me look a little like a canary.
The Car Coat (don't you love that expression? It's straight out of my Mother's Mouth in 1959) has wonderful red lining & it's 'Scanlan & Theodore' which is Australian Fashion Royalty.
 Speaking of Royalty, I topped it off with my favourite 'Toy Burberry' Scarf.
Speaking more of Royalty, I must confess that I'm spending a little too much time oggling at pictures of the Freshly Minted Duchess of Cambridge AKA, Kate Middleton.
This week, I've seen her in the carriage & in The Enclosure at Royal Ascot, at The Trooping of the Colour & at Prince Phillip's 90th Birthday. It's exhausting. I'm also looking at the sister wearing perhaps white pants at perhaps Wimbledon which I think is taking the whole Royal Watching Thing a bit too far.
It's Princess Diana & Fergie all over again for me, I'm afraid.
I do hope that no one would tell me to 'Get a Life'. What a Silly Saying anyway. We all have a Life whether we like it or not.

 Here's me above, on the lookout for More Photos of The Junior Members of the British Royal Family.

 It's now 10.45. I am so late for bed & now possibly soo wound up that I may not be able to get to sleep. So, I'll have to leave you guessing as to what the photo is above. If you look hard you may find: 1. Jane, my first doll, 2. My first shoes 3. A Royal Coach, 4. Pinochio 5. Coral from Magnetic Island 6. A Mexican Orchestra 7. My father's trophies from the 1930s. 8. birds from 'Top Dollar'. 9. Wooden heads from New Guinea 10. Toy Soldiers.
Thank you to Rebecca &amp ReaderRita &; Darla & Zizzi for your lovely comments from last time. They warmed the Cockles of My Heart. Perhaps another Nautical Term.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

When The Ugly Cry Brings Out The Best Self

Look above, Dear Reader.
That's how my life has been like over the past couple of weeks.
 Yes, A Blizzard. An Emotional Blizzard. And you may well ask which  one of  the three characters I am. I'm the one in the middle, cowering into the shoulder of the other girl.
 Oh, how I wish I could be more like Little Karl Lagerfeld who,when asked by an interviewer if he was nervous about an impending runway show said, 'I don't have any emotions. I have the mentality of a Professional Killer'.

Happy Penguins.
Or maybe I could take Jim Carrey's advice & get a couple of Pet Penguins. He should know, because he's just starred alongside Real, Not Computer-Generated Ones in his latest movie, which looks like a Nasty Stinker, BTW. Anyway, after he made the movie Jim said, 'It's impossible to be unhappy whilst in the company of penguins'.
Of course, I was intrigued & immediately wanted to rush out & get some. Sadly, I wouldn't be able to afford the Air Conditioning Costs necessary for keeping Penguins because they require Sub- Arctic conditions in order to survive.
I wonder it Karl could live in Sub-Arctic conditions? It seems that his Heart already does.

 Can you guess which character I am in the picture above? Of course, I'm the blond with the plaits. I always identify with Blondes, either Real or Fake. Except perhaps Marilyn.
Who in God's name would want to identify with all that misery & loneliness? Anna Nicole Smith did, & look what happened to her?
But for now, I'd rather say that Thank God I have Good friends that I can sit at the foot of their beds, or more accurately, sit across the table in the cafe, or in the staffroom or on the phone or on an email & whinge & whine to.. Marge & AJ & Trixie & Sue & The Ex-School Nurse & Maud. And not forgetting my precious Maeflower.
Oh God, I hope I'm not sounding too maudlin. Quelle Horreur! I certainly don't feel that way. It's saturday nite & I've got a fresh 'Fashion Police' to watch & another sumptuously steaming bowl of freshly made Chicken Soup to shovel in. I've already had one bowl, but it's Not Quite Enough.
(BTW, I am mildly shocked at the number of times I've referenced 'God' in this post. Clearly, I'm in need of some Divine Assistance)

Our Best Selves.
Last week & this week turned out to be  Big Weeks. Not only did I survive an Emotional Blizzard & attend The World's Biggest Morning Tea to aid Breast Cancer Research, but I also cried buckets over Oprah.
I just couldn't stop.
And I hardly ever watched her show. God knows what I would have been like if I was A Regular.
As soon as I turned the TV on, I started weeping.  By the time, Poor Sick Queen Aretha  came on to belt out 'Amazing Grace', I thought that I would have to blow  into a paper bag to prevent  Hyperventilating with Grief.
Apparently, Oprah coined the phrase, 'The Ugly Cry', which is the cry you have when you are Seriously Boo-Hooing.  I must say that I was shocked by my reaction, as I usually only   indulge  in a  Dainty Cry which  merely involves silent  tears mixed with a mild frown.  Perhaps some red blotches. A Slight down turned mouth in extreme circumstances.
Hopefully, an Ugly Cry  is Youth Regenerating. If it is, I'd certainly indulge in it more often. In fact, it could become part of my Beauty Regimen.

But my favourite part of the finale was a segment featuring a young female high school teacher  in her classroom. She told us that she'd used Oprah's shows countless times over the years with her students to teach such diverse topics as The Civil Rights Movement, Terrorism, How to Keep a Gratitude Journal,  High School Shootings & How to Ensure Your Poop is 'S 'Shaped (or is it 'L' shaped?) I have never taught any of those topics . But I did suddenly remember what I  use from Oprah.
It was the idea of Your Best Self.
Some years ago, I had an lack lustre Year Nine Class. They were surly, lazy & charmless. They resented picking up a pen. When I suggested that we read 'Romeo & Juliet', they would ask, 'Can't we just watch the movie?' I dreaded going to class.
Then one day I walked in & calmly said that I wanted everyone to be  'Your Best Selves, you know, like in 'Oprah'.
 A strange thing happened.  Just about everyone stopped lying all over their desks. They sat up,  spines straight as a ramrod. They opened their books.  I smiled & instructed them to turn to The Balcony Scene.
I've used 'Best Self' many many times since then & it's amazing. It works every time. Even on me. You know they say that We Teach Best What We Need to Learn Most.

The Inner Wolf.
Look look above. Unlike its author, this post has a mind of its own. It won't let me type under the drawing of a wolf. And I'm too fearful to delete that annoying 'T' that's next to the photo of me in a Real not Fake 'Calvin Klein' dress in case it deletes the photo as well.
Anyway, I wanted to show you the Wolf. I drew it on the whiteboard this week after faithfully reproducing it from a picture on Google Images. I made everyone copy it into their books because we're studying a novel called 'Wolf'.
What more of an excuse do you need to draw a Wolf than that?
After the girls had finished copying it, I walked around & looked at their work. To my mild surprise, No One Wolf was alike. Everyone had unwittingly drawn themselves as a Wolf.
I'm not sure what the point of this story is, or if in fact there needs to be A Point. Perhaps I could conclude that we all have an Inner Wolf inside that is just like us but Hairy.
OH, I just remembered that book from the Nineties -  Women Who Run With the Wolves I wonder if you remember it?
I think it re-interpreted fairy tales so that the Females in them could all come out looking kind of Brave & Warrior-Like. And possibly showing how much they were done over by Men. But I'm not too sure about it. All I know is that I rather liked the idea of running with Wolves as long as they didn't eat me.

It's Always Fun Until Someone Loses An Eye.
Thankfully, the Blog Post  is now allowing  me to type between the last two photos. Thank You Blogger. If I had a gratitude journal, I would definitely include this in it.
I'm desperate to finish & get back to the TV. I must must find out what Sharon Stone said about Joan Rivers. And what the panel thought about Snooki's neck brace & matching Hairy Mammoth Boots.
Click on the link & have a look yourself.
But before I go, have a look at my Jewels from last week. In the photo above, I'm wearing a mess of cream bangles with text all over them that says things like 'Find Your Passion'. You can hardly see them so I urge you to double click on the image for a better look. I promise you won't be disappointed.

I'm not so sure about the  jewels, below. They could be a little Too Violent & Unsettling. But I did enjoy wearing them & particularly loved entwining the glomesh snake around the spikes of the bangle. Oh, you'll be relieved to note that I didn't poke my eye out or injure myself in any way when wearing them.