Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Sunday, March 29, 2009

So, that blogging thing, right

I was up at Mum's this afternoon getting my budget plugged in to her budget program. I stayed for dinner, and as we were serving out, Mum said something about MD.

11yo Brother: Who is MD?
Mum: Christine's new boyfriend . . . is he a boyfriend, or someone you're just dating?
Me: Y-
13yo Sister: He's a boyfriend, they changed their statuses on Facebook.
Me: ...
Me: Totally busted by my sister. Thanks, sis!

Then everyone kind of fell about laughing :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Mum phoned me this morning in tears to say that the family cat, Mia, who has had cancer for a couple of years, finally needed to be put down. She'd become very weak and was shaking a lot, breathing strangely and not moving around much. They've waited because she wasn't in pain even though her left ear and eye had gone funny, but it was time.

I raced up the hill and gave Mia a cuddle before my stepdad took her to the vet. She was still aware and greeted me and purred when I stroked her, but she was also clearly very unwell. I stayed with Mum for an hour, chatting to her and 13yo sis and comforting each other. It wasn't until I left that I suddenly started bawling my eyes out, and on the way up to the highway I passed my stepfather returning from the vet where Mia was put down, which *really* set me off. Soon I found I was crying my heart out, not just for Mia, but for Phyllida too even though I thought I'd cried myself out over her before; and for my maternal grandfather, who is having regular mini-strokes and getting more fragile by the week, and probably won't see out the year. I had to go to a particular shop half an hour away and I cried nearly all the way there, and I'm still on the verge of tears now even though it's hours later and I've been racing around doing errands and things. I just feel hurt all through.

My housemate is away all weekend so I'm alone. I have friends who will drop everything to look after me or will include me in their plans, but I think maybe I do need to be alone. Grieving has to be done, it can't just be ignored. I obviously have some things about Phyllida and my grandfather that need to be processed and have been kick-started by losing Mia, and I need to address them. It's time to write some not-to-be-sent letters again.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ways you can tell you're autistic . . .

I'm about 90% able to cope with the neurotypical world these days, and only occasionally find myself being needing to take action to make sense of something.

Having to google a bit of slang to find out what someone means . . . is one of those times :D

Now I know *that* one!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sick :(

Everyone seems to be getting sick this week, me included. My co-teacher was off sick Tuesday and Wednesday, and when I got home Wednesday (yesterday) I felt really off and weird - earache and funny vision. When I spoke to Mum yesterday evening, she said the headache virus she's getting over started the same way; and when my housemate got home she said she'd been achey for 24 hours as well. Plus one child spent Tuesday in the corner of the room with a headache. So I realised yesterday that I was basically doomed. I wanted to phone in this morning but since my co-teacher had been away it would've been really hard for her to work out what was going in if I called in sick, so I went. I was okay until lunchtime (at which time another child went home sick!) but then it hit hard and I had to teach music sitting down and used a CD to teach them a song because I could barely stand and couldn't take a proper breath let alone sing! I told the principal & registrar this afternoon that there was a chance I'd be off tomorrow and they said "don't take the chance, take the day instead" lol. So I'm staying happily in bed tomorrow and getting over it!

My ears ache, my throat aches, my body aches, my eyes are weird and I keep saying things wrong or mis-typing and thinking feels all foggy. Not well!

PS: 13yo sis changed her Facebook relationship status to "in a relationship" last night. @*&#^%*!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Not Having a Wonderful Day

This morning a child tried to hurt me for the second time in two weeks. Last week he dug his fingers into my hand while shaking hands (the morning handshake is a normal Montessori thing), and that's my bad hand so I ended up having to ice it and not being able to lift anything heavy all day; and this was after I'd previously and clearly warned him that I had a sensitive hand and his handshakes had to be careful. Today he 'patted me on the shoulder' so hard that my shoulder was still aching two hours later. I immediately went and told the principal, nearly crying, and the principal had a LONG chat with him then a talk with both of us and the child accepted that he'd done the wrong thing and understood why it was a problem (he's a very defiant, confused and complicated child, behind academically and socially too) so that was somewhat okay, but it didn't make me feel great.

Then my co-teacher made a mistake in dealing with a child that allowed a child to make a false accusation against her - for the second time. She went home feeling sick (and partly because the principal was concerned that the child's parents would be violent towards her), so I was left all on my own with the kids all afternoon. We had an alright afternoon, it was okay, just exhausting because I was trying to be two people and deal with twice as many questions and queries all afternoon. And I'm upset with her for being so thoughtless, furious with the parents and the trouble-making kids for putting her in that position, and generally irritated at the whole Parent vs Teacher mentality that allows children to get away with monstrous disrespect and hide behind their parents' blindness.

So I get home eventually, knowing that we have a rent inspection tomorrow. We're going to hit the dusting and mopping when my housemate gets home, which is fine, but I spent my after school time doing two loads of washing, tidying various things, moving boxes, and generally getting the house ready for cleaning. In the process I managed to cut my thumb, and seconds later (while still looking at the thing I cut my thumb on), nearly shut Jemima in a door, and did hit her around the head with it by accident. At that point Jem went under the bed to sulk and I lay down on the floor and cried like I'd wanted to since the kid hit me this morning. I still feel like howling but I managed to pull myself together and go make dinner. I still need to wash the dishes, and my housemate still isn't home so there's still the wiping and dusting and sweeping and mopping to be done together when she gets here. I'm not tired exactly, just emotionally worn out and wanting to have a really good cry, preferably not while on a floor. What a day!

On the upside, I'm getting an even better laptop than originally planned - they can't do it in purple in the time frame, so I'm getting the black one but with enhancements as compensation. I'm going to buy one of those stick-on vinyl tops, probably using one of my own photos of UWA, to customise it. It'll probably be even cooler that way than with purple, and I can change it if I get bored :D This laptop is going to be all kinds of awesome.

Addendum: the house is clean, and I'm about to have a lovely shower then an even more lovely glass of Bailey's as I settle into bed with a book. I had a chat to Mum and a long extended whinge to my housemate and I'm feeling much better now. I rather suspect there's something hormonal going on, on top of everything else!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dark Heroes

I watched the movie version of "Phantom of the Opera" this evening for the first time since seeing it at the movies back in 2005. I liked it much better the second time around, and was quite riveted despite having seen the movie before, read the book and watched the stage version twice. I honestly couldn't remember how they got out of parts of it!

When I first saw Phantom, on stage when it came to Perth in 1998, I was utterly entranced. Like many teenaged girls, I had a fascination with "dark heroes" - male characters who are heroic in some way (usually, by being the love / lust / serious attraction interest of the heroine) yet also the villain, agitator or in some other way diametrically opposed to the heroine. Jareth in Labyrinth, Angel/Angelus in Buffy, and of course the Phantom, all have elements of this. I used to have a whole list of them, and frequently wrote them into my stories. Kidnappers, usurpers and enemies who became love interests abounded.

Sometime in my early 20s, when I had internet access on my own computer, I googled dark heroes to see if anyone else was as interested in them as I was. I promptly stumbled upon a wonderful article expressing the opinion that dark heroes encourage women to believe that abuse is an acceptable price to pay if you really love someone, or that true love comes with control, etc. I'd already been in several controlling relationships by that stage, and the article made me deeply uncomfortable. I knew it was true. The fact that I felt such an intense yearning towards these fictional relationships, and the fact that I fell for men who treated me like that? Not such a coincidence actually.

It's taken me a long time and several more bananaheads to REALLY learn the lesson, and start fighting back against those beliefs. Dark heroes are not fun. Dark heroes are not nice. Dark heroes are not heroes at all. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Bang head against wall if necessary.

For some reason, this evening, I felt like dipping my toe in the Dark Hero waters and seeing how I reacted. I was going to watch Labyrinth as well after Phantom, but it got too late. As I mentioned, I was riveted. I also sang along as much as possible, albeit sometimes an octave below Emmy Rossum :D And I found that the bits that triggered a strong emotional longing were the bits between Raoul and Christine, not the bits involving Phantom.

As a teenager, I was almost unbearably attracted to the words of "The Music of the Night" . . . 'floating, falling, sweet intoxication' indeed! This time I was drawn to the clean, honest affection of "All I Ask of You" instead, but with nowhere near the intensity of my teenage years. Part of that is no doubt just growing up and being less emotional about everything lol. But I suspect progress nonetheless.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Catching Up

It's been a long and foggy week somehow (for a week with only four working days!) and I'm just now catching up and figuring out where my head is.

First up, the video below is so beautiful it made me cry. It's an animated version of the picture book "Blueberry Girl" by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess. I desperately want to own this book if I ever have a daughter, and I shall attempt to give it to any friends that have daughters. It's just lovely.

Next, this is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It's the uniform jacket for the concert band I've just joined. The band is awesome, and they do high-profile events in Perth like the ANZAC Day marches and the Christmas Pageant. I joined last week and got this to take home. Squee! We also get caps :) And lookit the shiny buttons and the City of Perth badges!

Third in my show-and-tell is the ring I bought for myself a few weeks ago:

The fourth item is a bit of news. Last weekend I stripped my laptop and old PC of everything important to me and loaded it all onto Mum's mini-laptop, which I'm now using while attached to my PC monitor and keyboard. The reason for this is that the EdDept laptop needed to go back (and is now gone) and the PC had become hideously slow and noisy, to the point of being unusable. Mum is lending me her mini-laptop until I can get my own replacement laptop, which I'm buying with the $900 "economic stimulus" money that the government is paying out to anyone under a certain income in April.

I mentioned this state of affairs to my friend M, who promptly pulled some partner-of-his-accounting-firm-fu and is getting me a Dell laptop that is much more expensive than one I'd be able to buy retail, through their company Dell account. It'll be here in two or three weeks and then I can just pay them back when the money comes in. And I'll be on their corporate repairs account so they'll get it fixed for me if it has problems. I have no words for how awesome this friend and this arrangement are. And the laptop is going to be PURPLE. *SQUEE*

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I'm listening to the online lectures for my Intro to Creative Arts unit. The lectures are recorded during the actual delivery of the lecture, so as well as the lecturer's words you hear students' responses and comments etc.

It's a first-year unit, so the vast majority of the students are school leavers, 17-18 year olds; the remainder are almost exclusively mature age students who are new to university.

The comments are, for the most part, so darn cute. Young men and women taking their first stumbling steps into the world of critical independent thought, finding phrasing for this new level of understanding a step beyond high school. I remember that stage, and how wonderful it felt. It's nice to be able to revisit that.

But I also can't wait to get to some of the more difficult units! :)