Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday morning question time

First of all why does my blog keep telling me there is a comment to be moderated and then it immediately disappears?

Why do I still have the headache that I had yesterday? Am I going to have to take panadol before I even get to work?

Why was my electricity bill so huge? (I actually know the answer to that. It starts with "air" and ends with "conditioner")

Why am I still going to be photocopying the Eisteddfod program throughout today and tomorrow at work? ( I know the answer to that as well. The printer that was going to do it last week was gutted by fire. They think it was arson)

What am I going to wear today?

Why haven't I managed to find my ugly pink Easter bunny t shirt to wear to work? (Because I haven't looked for it yet that's why). I need something to wear on Thursday.

Why do I have to sit through a two hour explanation of the reorganisation of our Student Services this morning? (Because I "care" that's why)

Why is my division already planning its next restructure before they have even implemented the one on the table at the moment?

What is Tony Abbott overcompensating for by running that marathon? ( We may not want to know the answer to that actually)

Why can't I stay home today?

Why am I going to spend all of Easter marking assignments? (Because that's the kind of dedicated gal I am)

Why hasn't my Pixies CD from the concert arrived yet?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wendy's Week of TV 2.0: I think I'll sleep in Leonard's room

Firstly, how could Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart take a week's break in good conscience on the very week that Obama's Health Care Reform bill was passed. It was dreadful sitting through repeats all week knowing that a prime political satire moment was just floating away. (That's right...I watched the repeats. That's how desperate I was and how addicted I have quickly become to my daily dose of The Report and The Daily Show).

Other than that the TV week went a little something like this.
Monday: The Big Bang Theory
Hahahahahaha. Sheldon picked up a girl without even realising. "I'll just sleep in Leonard's room". You had to be there.

Tuesday: Big Love was finished so I had to make do with the Griff Rhys-Jones thingie about Rivers Luckily for me my dvd player seems to automatically play with subtitles unless I turn them off so I didn't have to lean in too far to the television to hear his half whispered narration. I've actually really started to enjoy watching TV with the subtitles, especially the ones that are done live.

Wednesday: Oh thank the lord for Beautiful People. It capped off the evening very nicely following my ignoring of Spicks and Specks and Hungry Beast by watching the sometimes heart-rending documentary about the young boy at Eton with cystic fibrosis who wanted to conduct the Bach Magnificat. He did. (N.B. If anyone can explain the appeal of that Hungry Beast to me I would be most grateful). Still, back to the camp musical comic satire that is Beautiful People. Meera Syal is fantastic as are the young boys who play Simon and Kylie. The Enya impersonator Enyata was suitably gross. Best moment. "Let's have a singalong....I'm a Firestarter. Twisted Firestarter". HA.

Here's a little bit from Series One that I adored.

And once again I forgot to record Burn Notice. Annoying much.

Thursday: Nothing much.

Friday: I gave Being Erica another go. Hmmm...good enough if you are home on a Friday with nothing better to do.

Saturday: I went to the movies to see Nowhere Boy. I enjoyed it quite a bit but you really have some knowledge of John Lennon's awkward family life to appreciate it I think. One for the fans. And then I caught the end of Rockwiz which was excellent because they sang a Bee Gees song. What a shame the Bee Gees have been defined by the connection to disco music. They are fabulous songwriters who don't get the credit they deserve. Give the link a little look see.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Is it a pianowriter?

And here was this week's Friday T-shirt. Is it a piano? Is it a typewriter? Is it a pianowriter? Is it a typo?

I don't know. But I do think that perhaps I overdid the quirk factor by wearing both this and my decorative cat shoes in the one ensemble.

But then, what else are Fridays for?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ailurophilic Footwear

Tomorrow is Friday once again. While being UkuleleFriday on twitter and Fun T-shirt Friday at work, it is also a special day because I going to wear these particularly amazing one-of-a-kind (couture?) shoes made for me by one of our lovely students.

Every week we set our students a challenge, sometimes a quote, sometimes a word, sometimes something maths or technology related. In Week 1 of term this week we gave them two words: ailurophile and ailurophobe. They had to find out what the words meant and then by a process of elimination decide which of their lecturers was which. Some of them interrogated us mercilessly as to our feelings about cats. We were asked to rate our feelings about cats on a scale of 1-10. We were asked whether we had a cat? Whether we had ever had a cat? And so on. One of our bright sparks decided to set us a quiz of her own with the prize being the pair of shoes. Of course I won, because 1.I have a cat AND 2.All the other staff range from indifference to outright hatred of cats.

So they missed out. I won the shoes. And I will be wearing them. To work. Tomorrow. And here is the lazy grey reason why....

He looks cranky because I disturbed his 20 hour nap.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Pixies grant my wish...

Once again Wendy's Week of TV 2.0 is suspended because I spent over half the week in Brisbane. In case you have been living under a rock, don't follow my twitter feed, aren't my friend on facebook or have just happened upon this blog, the reason for my trip to Brisbane was to see The Pixies. I was Very Excited. The only time I have been more excited was when I went to seminar with Brian Massumi. That might tell you that I am some kind of nerd. You could well be correct.

Anyway to return to the Pixies. Let's describe the show. Awesome, Amazing, Fantastic, Delightful, Fierce, Impressive, Dedicated, Kind, Tight. I could go on. Doolittle (the album they played their way through) sounds as fresh today as it did 20 years ago. My little brother and I stood near the mixing guys and the lighting man. This was handy as we could see when they were getting ready to come on for more encores. We could also see that they were making a freaking amazing sound. We had commented to each other before the show that we were both worried that the live sound wouldn't live up to the recording. If anything, it surpassed it. Tame was like an assault on all our sense and perhaps the highlight. (If you ignore all the other songs). And then they gave us...the dear "Brisbayne" crowd (Kim Deal pronunciation)... extra encores after Into the White. I must admit the lighting man went pretty heavy on the strobing and I had to close my eyes in that one. But then we were treated to all manner of favourites including Caribou, Planet of Sound and one of my absolute winners, Gigantic, which I never ever thought I would hear live. What an absolute treat. I had been wishing they would play it all the way down in the car...and look...my wish came true. I am extremely glad I ordered the live recording. I also bought a tshirt (which should come as no surprise to anyone who has read this blog before) and Granty bought a stubbie holder. Frank Black is an absolute songwriting legend with a stunning voice both in range and timbre (ooo...snobsville musical term there) , you won't hear better bass lines anywhere thanks to Ms Deal, Joey Santiago changed guitars like a guitar changing mad person all to wonderful effect and David Lovering's drumming in Crackity Jones was explosive to say the least. So you know, what I am trying to tell you here is that this was the best concert I have ever been to. In My Life. I was Very Tired the next day because I was up way past my bedtime and I am Old. That was okay though. Because I was on holidays I could have a little nap.

Friday, I went shopping with Anne M and bought some bargains. One of them (a black skirt) I am wearing now. Others of them may or may not have been 5 dollar t shirts. I shall leave that for you to decide. Friday evening I went to dinner with Grant and Kate to The Continental Cafe in New Farm. It was perhaps the Yummiest dinner I have had in some time. I ate far too much of the slow cooked lamb and regretted having an entree because it meant I couldn't fit in dessert. Will I never learn? I did manage to stuff down some cheese and crackers. Mmmmmm.

Saturday I did some more shopping and coffee and caked with my brother. We also drove through The Tunnel, a distinctly underwhelming experience. At least it was free. Saturday night Anne M and her family christened their new giant barbeque that they bought off ebay. We had kebabs, fatoush (not sure on that spelling) and it was scrumptious. And then on Sunday, Grant, Kate and I went to Portside where I ate a big vegetarian breakfast for lunch, we wandered around a bit and struck up quite a conversation with the man behind the counter at Tabitha's cupcakes.

Sadly, then after what now looks like a marathon of eating it was time for home.

That is where I am now. Drinking coffee. And blogging.

The end.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just rambling on basically...with some mention of the Pixies

My days of the week are all confused. Tomorrow is my last day of the working week because on Thursday I am going to Brisbane to see The Pixies and then stay in Brisbane until Sunday.

(Wait...did I mention I was going to see The Pixies? Just checking...)

Anyway, I am in a quandary about what to do with Ukulele Friday this week. I think I might give it a break for one week only. Fun T Shirt Friday may be shifted to Wednesday as a one off special performance. I am teaching all day (to make up for my usual Friday morning class) so the choice of T shirt would not be inconsequential. I still have my subliminal/awesome message to wear. Perhaps though by the end of the day I will only be capable of explaining things through interpretive dance...a better choice. I guess I could take a shirt to Brisbane and wear it on Friday. But that's what I hate about packing. How do you know what you're going to feel like wearing three or four days in advance? You can't! It's impossible I tells you. Impossible. So tomorrow morning and evening I will have some clothing decisions to make.

There's only one person to blame for all this kerfuffling about. Frank Black. You heard me. If he and his band hadn't written such catchy little tunes, pioneered the pre-grunge soft-loud-soft template of genius etc etc, all the days could remain in their rightful place.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wendy's Week of TV 2.0: So funny I watched it twice

Sunday: Bones
Yes good. I don't think I need to overanalyse this every week. Let's just take it as read that I watched it, enjoyed it. The end.

Monday: The Big Bang Theory
As above. Plus yesterday I bought the whole of season one and spent the afternoon and some of the evening watching it.

Tuesday: Big Love
Excellent. I was on the edge of my seat and CAN'T WAIT until Tuesday for the season finale. Barb was excommunicated from the church, while Bill decided he wanted to be unsealed from Nicki and the political struggle for power on the compound continued.

Wednesday: The IT Crowd
Friendface. Almost as perfect as last week's episode when Roy and Moss convinced Jen that a small black box was indeed the internet. This week I think everyone on facebook would have been laughing out loud. It was so good that I watched it again on Thursday night on ABC2 and recorded it as well. I think I might have fully converted to be a fan of The IT Crowd.

Thursday: The Gourmet Farmer
Farewell Mr Gourmet Farmer. I shall miss your half hour slice of idyllic Tasmanian farmin' and cookin' on Thursday evenings. How nice that you got some new pigs. How nice also that you spared us watching the old pigs at the abattoir. For that I thank you. Next time, please invite me to your end of season outdoor dinner. That is all.

Friday: Okay so with no Torchwood I have been at a slight loss on Friday evenings as far as TV watching goes. So I decided to try Being Erica. The jury is still out. I didn't manage to stick it through the rest of their Friday night line up sadly.

Saturday: Well the marathon Big Bang Theory which is to conclude this afternoon was my priority. It was a present to myself if you like as a reward for three or four slightly stinky weeks at work. And then I watched Rockwiz naturally where one of the guests was from Spandau Ballet. Never was a fan still the duet at the end was indeed GOLD.
Do yourself a favour!

All Week: ABC2 I adore you for managing to put The Daily Show before The Colbert Report. It's the highlight of my day. I don't think we have an equivalent of these programs in Australia and they're fabulous.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday shopping: It goes a little something like this

It's been a few weekends since I've been able to go Saturday shopping what with working, trips to Brisbane and other things. However, this morning saw a return to the usual Saturday morning routine.

It goes a little something like this.

Wake up at normal time (between 5 and 6).

Slowly remember that it's Saturday. Feel highly relieved that I don't have to go work.

Get up, shower and go out to breakfast.

Order poached eggs and toast and coffee. (Except for this morning I strayed slightly and order SCRAMBLED eggs. Yes, I know. Fascinating detail)

Eat food while reading local paper. Reading is perhaps too strong a word for my engagement with the local paper. Perhaps, skimming would be more appropriate.

Go to Woolworths. Buy boring and highly overpriced grocery items. Although this morning dry cat food was a dollar off so I bought two boxes.

Browse around shops. This is the most exciting part.

Today I impulse bought.
1. 2 tshirts (because the second item was 50% off and I can't resist a bargain offer)
2. The Big Bang Theory Season 1. It was 19.95. Season 2 is 34.95 so I won't be buying that until it comes down in price.
3. A cute cloth mini shoulder bag with some jangly coins on it.

I figured that was enough for someone who doesn't actually need anything and is supposed to be saving money this year.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Music Snob Friday Tee

Here is my t shirt for today.

Here is a unfocused webcam picture of me wearing said t shirt.

I have accessorised with this rather ugly big ring I bought on special at diva.

Happy Fun T Shirt Friday everyone.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tomorrow is Friday

Tomorrow is Friday which means three very important things.

1. T Shirts. My new t shirts finally arrived from the land of the brave and the home of the free (or is it the other way round I can't remember) so I am quite excited.

2. Ukuleles. As always I have been preparing for Ukulele Friday diligently doing some research on youtube. I guess when I say diligently I actually mean "when I remember to search for ukuleles while wasting time in other ways on the internet"

3. The weekend is one day closer. I am waiting somewhat impatiently for naps, sleep ins, TV in the day time and just generally lounging about. I am tired.

So get ready everyone for some Friday good times.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

No Junk Mail Please

Dear people who deliver junk mail in my street

In case you haven't noticed there is a polite little sign attached to my letterbox that reads "No Junk Mail Please". This includes all of you - the pizza vouchers, the free newspapers filled with ads, the autobarn catalogues, the monthly real estate guide, the annoying catalogues in plastic bags filled with mystifying household appliances, and anything from politicians.
I would appreciate it if you would stop stuffing your pamphlets into my letterbox because all I do is either:
1. pick them out and throw them in the bin
2. let them sit in there until they rot away which doesn't make for a pleasant letter gathering activity when there is actual mail in there

Yours sincerely


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Wendy's Week of TV 2.0: Leo Sayer. I need say no more

You know I am supposed to be summarising some notes from a teleconference on Friday but I must get my priorities in order. Wendy's Week of TV 2.0 is far more important.

There has been a little less sleeping in front of the telly this week and a little more actual watching.

Sunday: Bones
Yes I am now a fully fledged convert to Bones. Already this morning I woke up and thought "Hooray it's Sunday". Well perhaps that's a not a direct quote but you get the idea. Anyway, when are Bones and the guy from Angel going to get together? Never, hopefully, because that will ruin the whole show just like when Tony and Angela got together on Who's the Boss.

Monday: The Big Bang Theory
Now what was exciting about this was that I didn't go to choir so I managed to watch The Big Bang Theory in real time. Bazinga. Monday was a long time ago so I can't actually remember much about it, except for the fact that the final scene where Wolowitz apologised to his girlfriend in song was way way cute.

Tuesday: Big Love
Big Love is fulfilling all my soap opera needs. It's got the lot - love, deceit, semi-organised crime, death, etc etc. So far no-one has said "I've got to go and take care of some business" as a means of exiting a scene (a la Days of our Lives) but I wait in eager anticipation. This week Nikki's deceit during the trial of Roman the prophet was revealed to all and sundry including the cute guy at the District Attorney's Office. Oh dear. Now I come to think of it though Days had its own evil Roman, and so does Big Love. Cooincidence? I think not.

Wednesday: The IT Crowd
Numerous Laugh Out Louds this week, particularly when Roy and Moss convinced Jen that the small box they presented her with to use in her talk as Employee of the Month was in fact "The Internet".

Thursday: The Gourmet Farmer
This week Matthew went in search of flour and honey. Then he made some biscuits and a carrot cake. Okay, so it doesn't sound like the most riveting 30 minutes of television you've ever watched in your life, but really, it's pretty good.

Friday: Two episodes of Burn Notice
I'm growing to enjoy Burn Notice a lot. It's like all the retro action series from 1980s rolled into one. I did fall asleep during the first episode I had recorded so I had to watch it again last night, but the second one was a beauty. Michael had to do an Irish accent because suddenly Fiona is from Ireland? What the hell? I'm sure it's all been beautifully explained in the many episodes leading up to this point which I have missed. Whatever? Doesn't really matter anyway. A few explosions, some techno-babble fiddling with wires, making bombs and Sharon Gless and you've got an entertaining hour of telly.

Saturday: Rockwiz
Leo Sayer. I need say no more.

Every night at 7:30: The Colbert Report

Friday, March 5, 2010

Splattery Wonderfulness

I was already for the green TV t shirt. I'd even ironed it when I suddenly had a desire to wear my silver treble clef earrings.

I know, I thought to myself (because talking aloud when there is no-one else around is just plain odd) I shall rummage through my cupboard and find a matching musical tee. So I did. And here it is in all it's splattery wonderfulness.

Fun T Shirt Friday 2010 has now begun.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fun T Shirt Friday: The Return

Tomorrow I reinstate Fun Tshirt Friday.

As you may have gathered from my whiny posts of late, there has been a distinct lack of fun at work lately. With the teaching term starting again this week I think it's time to inject some fun into the week. I was hoping my new Threadless specials would have arrived by now but they haven't so I'm torn between the following:

1. The Rockwiz TShirt I won a couple of weeks ago on Twitter

2. @Rocketpilot's "I liked TV before it was popular"

3. Threadless's "Movies ruining the book since 1920"

4. Threadless's "Let me explain through interpretive dance"

They all have potential. I haven't managed to wear the Rockwiz yet because it's been too hot for a black T shirt so tomorrow with this continuing grey weather could be a good opportunity. However, the TV is green, which is a favourite colour, plus it's about TV. I like the Movies one too, and it's black as well so hasn't had an airing lately. And I do love the sentiment of the interpretive dance, however I am concerned that it might be just a little too early in the term to start with what could be seen as a patronising sarcasm. And of course whichever one I choose has to gel with UkuleleFriday, an important factor in my decision making.

I shall mull over it this evening and see how I feel in the morning. Suggestions are more than welcome.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

All Apologies

I have spent the last two days apologising to students. Why's that Wendy I hear you ask with great interest in your voice? (or not...your choice).

The story goes something like this.

Once upon a time there was a regional tertiary institution that ran a very successful bridging program. It ran for 20 years as an internal program on the tertiary institution's domestic campuses in Central Queensland. Then in 2006 it decided it would offer the very successful bridging program by distance education. It gave the job of Program Coordinator (a fancy schmancy title for one who answers the phone a lot) to a young woman with stars in her eyes and a song in her heart, passionate about giving adult learners a second chance at education. The first year of the distance education program all ran quite smoothly with just over 100 students. As the years went by the tertiary institution thought to itself "Hey, I know what would be a fab idea....distance education is easily staffed and resourced let's take more and more of them into our very successful bridging program". This continued until 2009 when the Program Coordinator was looking after a program of close to 300 students from all over Australia. She didn't mind too much, because the students were nice, the uni managed to have its IT systems working most of the time, and best of all (and I urge you to take careful notice here) it had its own print and despatch unit which printed and packed all the course resources, shrink wrapped them and sent them out to students in a fairly timely fashion. (By a timely fashion I mean before the term started)

In 2010 however, someone, we can't be exactly sure who, but they would have been in the upper echelons of senior management at aforementioned tertiary institution, said to themselves "I know! Here's a great idea..what if we disbanded our mostly reliable and efficient print unit and outsourced all this work to some firm in Brisbane who we've never ever had much to do with, but you know they're cheap and outsourcing is all the rage budgetary wise, so you know, what could possibly go wrong?". (It's great ideas like that that aid you in rising to the top of the tertiary education tree, take particular note).

The people involved in the very successful bridging program were a little bit skeptical about this but they soldiered on and from November through to today met all the required deadlines for delivery of material for printing, and continually checked on how things were going. For they realised, from their years of experience that students who are returning to tertiary study might get a little bit stressed if they didn't receive their books in time for the start date of the program. They also realised that something like this would be considered a major stuff up. However, they crossed their fingers and believed the outsourcing people when they told them with a week to go before the term was starting that everything was in hand and books were being despatched. The Program Coordinator even told some of the keen students who had rung her in the week before the term started to keep their eyes on the letterbox because any minute now their exciting study package would be arriving.

Now for those of you who don't like sad endings to stories perhaps you should stop reading. On Friday (the last working day before the Term began) the staff in the bridging program discovered that in fact no students had been sent anything. Neither were they sent anything on Monday the day the program began, and it is doubtful if anything was sent today. At times, they were unsure just what might have been printed, where it might be going, and indeed if there was anyone in the whole university who was able to shed any light on the situation at all. Meanwhile the Program Coordinator, her wonderful administration officer and the lecturers on the program have spent two days apologising (approximately every five minutes) as students ring panicking because they haven't received any books. Not only that they have had to apologise for the tertiary institution's wonderful new online course system Moodle being in "Unplanned Downtime" for most of Day 1 of the Term.

All apologies all the time.

That's going to be the new branding of our fine institution I think.