katiefoolery: (Running... as you do)
Things that vaguely freak me out that never used to before: getting dressed for work.

Let me take you back a bit, first.  Back to a time where I was blessedly unfreaked about the business of dressing for work.  Back to a time where I may not have been too fussed about what I looked like, provided all the necessary parts of me were covered and I was vaguely aware of the current fashions.  (Please note that "being vaguely aware" does not translate to "actually wore them".)

Back in that time, I looked like the person under the cut here: )

This is mostly because I was that person.  I was that person on the first day of 2007, spending some awesome time with awesome friends.  And then I saw this photo (and others like it) and decided I needed to change.

Suddenly, I had a whole bunch of less-awesome friends.  Hello, eating sensibly.  Hello, getting more exercise.  Hello, self-discipline.  We didn't get along so well at first, but gradually, we worked out our differences to the point where phrases like "well-oiled team" started to apply.

And now I look like the person under the cut here: )

(I honestly think it's best if no-one asks why people keep taking photos of me from behind.  I'm not sure I actually want to know the answer to that one.  Seriously, here's another one taken at a point roughly in between the two above.)

But to return to my original point: the freaked-outedness.  At one point, before I met my new friends, a staff member mistook me for a student on free-dress day.  Most people figured I should be flattered, attributing this mistake to an apparent youthfulness of appearance.  I, on the other hand, suddenly had to face the following fear: It was entirely possible I dressed like a student.

From that day on, I have made damn sure I do not dress like a student.  I guess it's made me more comfortable about clothes and having fun with them.  And getting fit has done a fair bit for my body confidence.  Strangely. :P

But still.

I've only been back at work for just over four weeks, and I can't count how many times people have complimented me on what I'm wearing.  Last Friday, I fielded a comment on my dress roughly every ten minutes (or so it seemed) from staff and students alike.

At the end of the first week, a teacher mentioned I had some nice clothes, and then said something that seriously made my blood run cold:
I've been watching what you're wearing all week.
Uh, ack?

And yesterday?  I was talking to a staff assistant who said:
Your clothes were the talk of [insert name for end-of-week drinks here] last Friday.
Uh, what?

Also last Friday:
We're all talking about you in the staffroom - about all the clothes you're wearing lately.
And please to be cuing a small, mid-level panic on my part.

You know when you think people aren't paying that much attention to what you're wearing?  YOU'RE WRONG.  They're watching your every move.  They're watching what you wear and THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT IT.

And that's why I'm now facing the wardrobe doors with trepidation every morning.

The comments haven't all been terrifying, though.  My favourite so far this year came yesterday morning, when a student came to the door of the workroom with a request to look at my shoes.

So my year is proceeding in a slightly different fashion from the one before it.  How about everyone else?  Have you been surprised?  Complimented out of the blue?  Share! :)
katiefoolery: (Renji + Heh)
It was a free-dress day at my work today, which doesn’t usually signify much beyond the fact that the students tend to get a little silly when they’re not in uniform.

Or so I thought.

Apparently, free-dress days increase the likelihood of my being mistaken for a student.  I hadn’t realised this previously, as free-dress days are usually held on Fridays when I’m safely at home, sleeping in and looking forward to my three-day weekend.

It happened thusly: I was on my way over to the staffroom when a teacher came out of another door and effectively blocked my ingress.

“Who are you after?” she asked me.

This resulted in what I'm sure was an amusingly baffled and bewildered expression on my behalf as I vainly searched for a plausible answer to such a bizarre question.  Meanwhile, I was wondering things along the lines of: We’re being interrogated before we’re allowed to enter the staffroom now?

The expression must have confused her a bit, for she went on to ask if I were a student.  Or a student teacher?

“Um, I work in the library.”  And have done for the last one and a half years...

At which point, she came over all embarrassed and finally allowed me to enter the staffroom.

Needless to say, it amused me greatly.  Nothing like a little unexpected flattery to make you feel better.

At least, I think it’s flattery...
katiefoolery: (Don't panic!)
There was some seriously weird stuff happening at Mitcham Station yesterday afternoon, as I innocently waited for a bus that turned up twenty minutes late. So weird, in fact, that I was expecting people with cameras and microphones to jump out of the bushes and shout: "Surprise! We've been filming you so we can see the stupid expressions on your faces!"

It all started with a girl in a skirt. For some reason, I noticed her as she walked past in a crowd of people who'd just disembarked from the train. She was wearing a skirt with a lovely gold trim that swirled around her feet and I was wondering how she managed to walk without tripping over every ten seconds. On top of this was a mustard coloured cardigan that should have looked disgusting, but somehow didn't.

She walked past, I thought these thoughts about her clothes and I assumed that would have been the end of it.

Except, the next thing I knew, she'd accosted a guy who'd got off a bus and was claiming to know him. (I should also explain that there's a place near Mitcham Station where people with intellectual disabilities work, so there are often quite a few of them at the station. This guy seemed to have come from that place.)

While this poor guy claimed no knowledge of the girl with the swirling skirt, she said:

"Didn't I score some cocaine off you once?"

I mean, seriously, who says that sort of thing in real life? More importantly, who says that sort of thing at an incredible volume in front of dozens of people at a train station? It was just so contrived.

Next, she started asking him questions about whether he was disabled or autistic and why did his eyes look like that? The poor guy was so confused. He had to catch a train, but he still felt he had to respond to the girl. I was on the verge of shouting out to him that he didn't have to speak to her when she finally let him go.

There was something about the entire situation that didn't seem at all real. The questions the girl was firing at him seemed contrived and practised. In short, something seemed Afoot.

The level of bizarreness increased when a man walked past with the most inept-looking guide dog I've ever seen. The man was saying: "Find the train! Find the train!" to the dog, which just looked clueless and kept on walking in a straight line. Now, I've seen plenty of blind people at stations and I've never yet heard them directing their guide dogs to "find the train". It made me imagine that particular training session, with all the guide dog puppies lined up in front of a train, a bus and a taxi as they're taught to identify each one.

I'm afraid it was just too strange to be real. Something was going on at Mitcham Station yesterday and I rather fear I'll never know what it was.
katiefoolery: (Ginger)
I used to love Cheese in a Biskit (despite the spelling) because the biscuits (or biskits, it you prefer) came in the shape of a little slice of Swiss cheese, complete with holes.  Imagine my surprise when I poured some into a bowl this afternoon, after not having eaten any for ages, only to discover they now come in the shape of a wavy rectangle, thus:

Click for a larger image

It seems a little silly to be as bitterly disappointed as I was, but there you are.  I stood there in the kitchen, looking into my bowl of boringly-shaped biscuits, and lamented this development in the world of biscuits.  Those little Swiss cheese shapes had been so much fun.  Why on earth would you switch such fun biscuits for such drab ones?  I guess the simple answer is that it's more economical to make boringly-shaped biscuits.

However, this wasn't the end of my afternoon of unfortunate discoveries.  As I was putting the remainder of the biscuits away in the box, I thought it seemed a little light.  I didn't think I'd poured that many into my bowl.  Glancing at the box, I noticed that it claimed to weigh 175 grams, but I could have sworn you used to get more.  A little research on the internet revealed I was right: you used to get 200 grams in a packet, as we can clearly see in this image here.

So why did I have a box in my kitchen, looking like this?

Click for a larger image

I feel incredibly ripped off.  This is just another example of companies increasing their profit margins: we pay the same price, but we get less.  I'm heartily sick of it.

Has anyone else noticed shifty things like ths happening to their beloved products?
katiefoolery: (Swimming hole)
So, I was sitting in my reading chair by the bedroom window just before, you'll be fascinated to know.  It was rather pleasant: just lolling about in my chair, reading my book while the sun warmed my back.  And as I read, the sound of water trickling pleasantly by could be heard outside the window.

This would be fine if we happened to live by a stream or a river.  It would make sense if there was an aqueduct nearby or even if it had been raining heavily.

However, none of these instances happen to apply here.  The reason for the sound of water tinkling by outside is a burst mains somewhere under our footpath that still isn't fixed, despite copious men digging about our yard and rather attractive plumbers turning the water off on me without warning.

Water is a precious commodity.  Here in Melbourne, we have permanent water restrictions in order to conserve as much of the precious substance as possible.  It's a dry country after all and water is rather handy for keeping people alive.  The basic rules of water conservation (according to Yarra Valley Water) involve not watering gardens during the day and not filling spas or pools without a permit.  Another of the rules also mentions paved areas as follows:

  • Paved areas must not be cleaned with water except in exceptional circumstances.
I guess Yarra Valley Water believes that a broken mains constitues an exceptional circumstance, because it's the only way I can explain why the following image has greeted us every day for the last two weeks.*

Click for a larger image

It's not that shallow, either.  In some parts, it's up to an inch deep.  When going to the supermarket or getting into the car, we have to hold up our pants so the cuffs don't get soaked and muddy.  Oh yes, I didn't mention the mud, did I?  That's a legacy of the attractive plumbers.  They had an absolute ball, digging up their holes and shovelling mud onto the driveway with wild abandon.  The motion of the water has ensured that the mud has now spread as far as it possibly can.

The following image is the cause of the lovely trickling sound outside the bedroom window.

Click for a larger image

The picture is a little deceptive - there's more water than you'd imagine there.  Luckily, the next photo gives you an idea of the way the water is simply flowing down our driveway...

Click for a larger image

You only need to glance at the ripples in the water to see how quickly things are moving.  This is the gutter in front of our garage at the end of the driveway... and it's almost full up.  I just can't wait to find out what will happen when the water has nowhere else to go.  It's already seeping into the garage where all our excess boxes of stuff are stored and where my Timothy escapes to practise his darts.  I can tell you from recent experience that rotting carpet does not produce a lovely smell.

Click for a larger image

This is our front yard, with a bonus shadow of my elbow.  Ironically, the real estate agent sent us a letter the other day, asking us to tidy up the front yard a bit.  Maybe I should ask them for a boat in which to do it.

It's all very frustrating and I just can't believe that a company that's supposed to be conserving water is letting so much of it flow down our driveway (not to mention next door's as well).  I'm thinking of sending these images to the council and the local newspaper, to see if we can't speed things up a little bit.

Luckily, Pickle still looks incredibly cute, so that makes things a little better.

Click for a larger image

* Obviously, it doesn't greet us from this angle (unless I'm trying to imply our bedroom is on the footpath) but you get the idea...

April 2011

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