October 31, 2006

Mostly about movies

When I do get glum, I tend to start avoiding doing any of the things that I should really get on with. Like marking. And the very best way of avoiding doing what I should is to watch a movie. I can't leave - I might miss something. And there are so many movies that will not change your life - they are fluff and dross, and great escapism.

The great escape last week was Spiderman 2. Now some of you may wonder why I had never seen this - I confess to having children. Children mean that you have to double the cost of going out to movies. So as well as tickets, the essential ice-cream (is it even possible to watch movies without chocolate dipped ice-cream?) and parking, there is also the cost of the baby sitter to consider. And some of them are Very Expensive. Inertia is another major hurdle. And finally, I find that as I tend to be a working mother, I don't actually want to go out again, just after getting home.

So anyway, last week we had the disk of Spiderman 2 in the house. I really enjoyed that movie. I thought I must be wierd, but I checked the Tomato meter and it turned out I wasn't the only one thinking that this was a damn fine way to spend a couple of hours. Then I checked out the bonus disk on how to make a movie etc, then some websites, then I even went and got a Spiderman comic book out of the library. Just very slightly obsessed. But I think I am over it now!

In the weekend R was out doing something - some army thing - and I watched "Lost in Translation" and "The Hours". Lost in Translation was really good. Having been to Japan I thought they captured the tourist impression of the country really well. I was completely gobsmacked when I was there by how foreign Japan is. It was completely different from home, even the light switches were different. And going to England and Australia feels a whole lot more familiar. I decided it was a completely pointless movie - a bit like a short story, which captures a moment in time, but doesn't necessarily have a dot of plot or a message. It is a complete moment, with all the nuances and atmosphere, but there may be nothing to be gained from the familiarity expect a feeling of wonder in what can happen in a moment. this is not to say that it is easy to capture these moments, and Translation does a great job.

The Hours was excellent, though I admit I couldn't work out the link between the three women until the last scene. I sort of got it, but didn't understand the whole thing. The acting was brilliant, production wonderful, blah blah. Highly excellent.

And then on Sunday night a friend and I went to see the Devil wears Prada. I enjoyed it right up to the end when they spent 10 mins on tidying up all the loose ends in the plot without any interest in the loose ends. The whole plot idea was just abandoned. Like a balloon that was slowly inflated for an hour or two then popped because no-one cared any more. The clothes were stunning. Meryl Streep was fabulously icy and arrogant. The clothes actually deserved more credit space than most of the actors...

As for the depressive episode, it seems to be moving on quickly. Avoiding confronting the issues seems to have worked for me this time.

Posted by Toni at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2006

An attack of the glums

I feel unable to get cheerful at the moment. There are a few reasons why, laid out yesterday... R went to some counselling yesterday, and he certainly seems to be listening this time around. Last time he had counselling he didn't really take anything in - he had homework to do, which he didn't do, and then he didn't have the guts to turn up to the counsellor and say he had failed to do his homework. I'm thinking about getting some counselling myself - but I don't want to travel over to Palmy for it, I'd rather not spend two hours driving for a half hour or hour appointment.

And then I'm not sure how much of this 'glumness' is real and how much of this I have talked myself into. When I have a class going well I feel fine, as if there is nothing wrong. But when I am on my own I feel really down. I want to get out of my life - I dream of acquiring superhero powers or winning a lot of money - both are fantastic run away from problem scenarios. And yet, these may be the kind of problems that would follow me even if I could fly or if I could travel without ceasing.

Posted by Toni at 08:25 AM | Comments (5)

October 25, 2006

Big squares

I have finally got round to starting a quilt for baby Daniel, who was born quite a few month ago - but he was at least a couple of months early. So I am not too late if we take it from his due date.

Anyway, its made of Really Big Pieces, so there is not much patchwork involved. I am using an american pattern, and the fabric they used was 60 inches wide. NZ fabric is forty four inches wide, so we had to do strange calculations in the shop - which didn't work anyway as I had to go back and buy more fabric...

And then the instructions didn't take into account general stupidity and I cut in the wrong direction. So now the diamond in the square MUST be less than fourty four inches across if this thing is going to look any good. The challenge at the moment is working out how I am going to get the diamond in the square squared up properly when it is so very big. No templates go over this sucker so I am going to be going back to using a tape measure. You know, primitive technology. And more particularly, using my brain. An underused organ in this body.

I was going to get a fellow quilter from school to help, but she accidentally wore jeans today, so is rushing home to change.

Posted by Toni at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2006

I think the stress is catching up with me

Wimper whinge whine moan groan grumble complain...

(I'm just going to have a wee pity party - if you don't like reading other people's moans about their lives, quit this post now.)

I didn't sleep too well last night, and I think it is because of all the stuff that has been going on in my life. A major but somewhat underground stress is the suicide of my brother-in-law. He rang only a week before he killed himself to arrange to come down and visit us in Labour weekend, and of course he didn't come down. He used to ring me up and he would say "It's your favourite brother-in-law here." I'd always say something bright like Uh, and he would say "Well its your only brother-in-law, so I figure I must be in the running for favourite". He was a lovely kind and gentle guy who just wanted to have a wife and kids, but couldn't seem to find the right person. And I guess he died of loneliness in the end.

Then there is the staff reduction round here. I don't really want to lose my job, but I also feel there are others here who need their jobs more than I need mine. And with R taking the job in Palmy I wonder if I should take voluntary redundancy. If I went to Palmy I wouldn't look hard for work, I would probably stay home with the little one, and generally provide family glue and stability. The repeated moving is stressful for everyone, but if I am home and we don't have to rush so much to do things like cook and shop and clean I think that would help.

And to make sure I feel like an old dog turd I have my monthly which is giving me cramps and sore legs and backache and headache (its not a good month) and we went and played in a gym yesterday with some other families and my muscles ache as well.

No, I didn't sleep well. Yes, I'm sure I'll feel better soon.

Posted by Toni at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2006

Slacking badly

I should have been working all night on marking and on getting ready for the morning but instead I read a book. And it is SO hokey - its even based on quilting!

R went over to Palmy to scope out the new job, see a psychologist and write a report. Last year he spend months on a very similar report, this year he is cutting down to a few hours. Last year they ditched everything he wrote once, then changed half of the re-write, then re-jigged the whole exercise and he wrote a cut-down version in about one day. This time he is cutting to step 3 the first time! yay for learning!

So R is away for the night so I should be making the lunches tonight so I don't have to do them in the morning while I am yelling at C to put on his clothes. I really wish he could just put them on instead of waiting for the yelling every morning. Must just take him in PJ's once, that will convince him the threat is real.

So school is a-flutter with rumours as we have a significant capna round this year with at least 10% of the staff allowance cut. More like 25% actually... interesting to see how everyone believes it will not be them. And yet we are all expendable. With our potential move to Palmy it might work out quite well for me.

Posted by Toni at 08:49 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2006


I am so enjoying that thing of coming home and not having to immediately get into the lighting of fires and the cooking of dinner. With the sun being around and not leaving for a while it is possible to muck around outside with the little kiddies and they don't do the screaming thing for a long time. Today R took them on a bike ride and I did some cooking and it was all good.

It was a long day sort of. It started when I told the EOTC supervisor that I had taken kids on two field trips on two days, and NO ONE HAD DIED. He gave me a high five.

Then I saw my form class, then left for a root canal. But first I bought a lock for the bicycle, because I wasn't confident about leaving it outside for an hour and half unlocked.

After the root canal I returned to school and taught my biotechnology class for a couple of hours. I rode the bike to the junior child's childcare and we started the long walk home. It is about 300 metres - but with a two year old setting the pace that is a Very Long Way. Fortunately I was rescued by the husband.

Then we got home, had an argument about tools. He has many, but doesn't seem to care for them at all. So they get used as toys, are left lying around and there are no proper homes for them. Part of the problem is that he wants to create the Perfect Tool Home, and this takes a very long time. Long term projects are not for the boy, and so as they are never finished... well, the tools have no home. And they get bent broken and lost. And although if you want to do sewing or spinning or knitting I can get the gear for you in under 10 minutes including walking time, to attach a new locking bracket to a cycle with an allen key requires a visit to a neighbours to borrow a tool I know damn well we used to have in our garage. And possible do still have in there if only it could be found.

Its on there now, but I have got a hole on my hand from removing the cable from the bracket a couple of times - I must have the angle all wrong or something. Or it needs to be used a few times to wear the joint to allow it to move freely. Time will tell.

Posted by Toni at 07:50 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2006

another wierd decision

Well, R has decided to take the job and to commute to Palmy. I will stay where I am at present, and move later if something good comes up or if the commuting is too horrible.

Went on a field trip today to the beach and bush and tomorrow I am going to the zoo in Wellington. Then i have to get my tooth drilled on Wednesday. Busy busy.

I'm okay with the job thing, it just doesn't seem like a decision made with a lot of committment. We are not going to up-root the children, nor sell the house. And if it doesn't work out for him then he will quit the army... it seems like we haven't really gone all out in any direction. Never mind! It takes an hour to commute to Palmy from here and so it is not that far compared to some poor souls in Auckland who may drive for an hour but don't travel near as far as he will.

Posted by Toni at 07:11 PM | Comments (1)

October 11, 2006

Never a dull moment

Having talked about moving on in the next year or so, the army has offered us the chance to move on a lot sooner than that. We could be moving to Palmerston north if we wanted to. I dunno

I don't like Palmy as a town

I don't know anyone there

I really like this house and I don't want to move

I'm sick of moving anyway

I could have a science career over there as there is a science industry in Palmy and the uni

I'm not keen on disrupting the kids again

R is only going to do the posting if he is going to stay in army for longer. There is no point moving for only 18 months. No doubt you'll hear.

Posted by Toni at 08:03 PM | Comments (1933)

October 10, 2006


Its been a bit of a hard road getting everything back into some kind of routine after the funeral and all. I suspect I'm not there yet either - the sleeping patterns are all screwed up.

Back at the college of higher learning we are facing a staff reduction, and this is the honest end of the year. the seniors who have done so little for so long are about to face the consequences of their actions. They don't look so happy about it. Next year I have another tiny group of seniors, so will no doubt be teaching the double class where I do two levels at once... Other teachers are rejecting students as being unsuitable for the courses they are offering, but I don't have that luxery.

Friend rang last night - she had a baby a while ago, and now it is the only topic of conversation she has to offer. I know I used to be like that, so it is just a phase, but wow, I must have been really really boring. When a bout of constipation is the most interesting thing on offer in a twenty minute conversation... Not good.

I'm guessing I will stay here for another year or two and then move on. I need a bit more intellectual stimulation from the clients.

Posted by Toni at 07:17 AM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2006


I've been away for a bit because there has been a death in the family - a suicide. I'm in two minds about writing about it here. One mind feels it is a very private grief (even though 400 came to the funeral) and the other mind feels the need to talk.

He was 34, single, no children and the last two facts are why he killed himself. I suspect it is going to take a long time to recover from the shock and grief.

Posted by Toni at 08:23 PM | Comments (0)