Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Weekend Vibes #2

Last week was one heck of a week -- a pretty decent mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly, but with just enough stress and anxiety to tip it into the classification of "difficult".

There are many challenges in being a teacher, but I think one of the biggest ones is when you have students who appear to either not realise or not care about all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. I can admit that the reason I work 80-hour weeks is that I work slowly -- I'm an anxiety-riddled perfectionist who likes everything to be thought through. I don't expect everything to be perfect, but I expect myself to have done as much as possible for my lessons to have gone as well as possible.

It's not about being the best, it's about being my best.

That's probably why I'm my own worst enemy.

Doing work on mood in class, and this kiddo got it right,
Even still, it well and truly sucks when you have students loudly and obnoxiously question why you've planned things a certain way, and then go on to add that they wished they'd been transferred to another class. All this after you've sought their personal feedback -- actually utilised their right to student agency -- to improve and change the type of work that they're doing.

It's like... glad I stayed up until 2am figuring this out for you, kid.

Like the Pacific Ocean.
Still, there's been plenty to feel good about.

I took a day off work to recharge my batteries. It was actually meant to be a day for me to catch up on all the marking that I still haven't done, but... I am the worst when it comes to marking turnaround times. Still, I did a short 3-minute meditation (usually meditation drives me mental), completed some much-needed house chores and ran some errands. It was a good day, all in all.

Never surprised by the quality of this kiddo's art skills.
I flew up to Sydney on Friday night with my best friend, too, for a Sephora one-day event. Just getting to Sydney was a nightmare an adventure. I found out in the morning that our flight for that night had been cancelled and we'd been booked onto another flight at 6am the next morning. Naturally, I was freaking out because both of us were teaching all day and didn't have time to sit around to try and fix the problem.

Qantas did end up pulling through -- after discovering a wait time of two and a half hours to talk on the phone, I ended up utilising their text message chat service, and ended up getting us what I think were the last two available flights to Sydney! We weren't able to sit next to each other buuuut we also didn't care -- we were on our way to Sydney and not about to lose out on a night's accommodation!

I always appreciate a window seat, especially when I know there's no danger of me needing to pee.
The Sephora event, called School of Sephora, was kinda hit and miss. I think I'd weight it positively overall -- we got a very generous goodie bag and there were plenty of other samples being given out -- but there were also loads of lines to different stalls and booths, and I don't really like waiting in lines when I haven't really anticipated it. My bestie and I decided to call it quits after a couple of hours and head to the farmers market across the road, which was far more easy-going.

Still gettin' all them goods.
Okey dokey, let's now head on to the regular round-up!

Eating recently

I ate some seriously delicious stuff while in Sydney and naturally took no photos of any of it. The Sephora Collection booth at School of Sephora had like a pick-n-mix lolly bar, so I 100% took advantage of that.

This sugar rush from this was insaaaaane!
I bought a delicious cheese at the Carriageworks Farmers Market called "curly red". I tried a sample and it was absolutely delicious, I simply couldn't not buy some. The lady at the stand was talking about how it was a "mixed milk" cheese to a girl who was next to us, but we kind of came in to the tail end of the conversation and I couldn't really pick up a lot of what she was saying. Looking at the packaging, the cheese was mixed milk in that it was part-sheep, part-cow and that it was gin-washed. I don't know what it means for a cheese to be gin-washed, but I have several friends who like gin so I felt excited on their behalf.

It was a tough choice between Bloomy and Curly Red.
My bestie and I also had an amazing fresh apple and raspberry juice -- if you know me, you know that I'm a bit of a picky eater and I'm not one for fruits and such (don't ask me how it is that I'm alive, I genuinely don't know), but it was perfectly refreshing and exactly what we needed.

Just so good on a hot day after a lot of walking around in terrible shoes.
For a late lunch, I think I found my dream restaurant in Merchants of Ultimo in the Broadway shopping centre. It looked so cool, with different stations for pastries, pizza, pasta, burgers... Ooh, I was loving every moment! I really wish that there was one back home because I'd be there every other weekend to try everything on that menu. I was particularly impressed by the "build your own pasta" menu, which offered a selection of pasta and sauce varieties to which you could add little extras. I did ask for a ravioli carbonara with mushrooms, and then was told by the waitress that it would be difficult "to mix the pasta and the sauce together", so I switched to squid-ink fettucini at the waitress' recommendation.

My dish did take a while to come out -- we made the usual-style joke about the chef going out to catch the squid for the ink -- but it was delicious. Do I think it would have worked with the ravioli? Yes, I do. I didn't think the sauce was so thick that it wouldn't mix, but then what do I know?

Menu @ Merchants. Photo credit: My bestie.

Reading recently

I've really put in extra effort to listening to Murder in a Nunnery and it's gotten quite good! It goes to show that it's only really worth listening to something if you're in the mood for it, otherwise you're unable to focus and you'll miss parts. I think I have perhaps 10 minutes left on the audiobook; I can't wait to return it, it'll be a true sense of accomplishment!

I brought along two books for the plane ride to Sydney, just to give myself a little choice, and I got about 60 pages or so in on Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood on the plane ride over. It's one of the Book Club books that my students are doing, and I borrowed it from my public library because there weren't enough copies for me. I was glad for it, in the end. I persisted in finishing the book on the plane ride back to Melbourne, and it wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I'm not quite sure that it's a book I would have been thrilled to have bought.

I'll just read this gorgeous coffee table book next time.
...After I get a coffee table.

Watching recently

There hasn't been a great deal of time to watch anything this week. It's been RuPaul's Drag Race UK, Season 6 of Below Deck while I've been planning at home and a little of Season 1 of Below Deck to introduce my bestie to it. I think I did attempt to watch a little of The Golden Girls, but I ended up napping.

Re-watching "Below Deck" has been interesting -- to me, there have been several unlikeable people on the show, and their sense of entitlement makes me feel like I'm back at work dealing with students who think they're owed respect that they have not earned at all. I don't know, perhaps it's always been a problem and I'm only really seeing it now.

This park is maybe as far from the high seas as you can get. Kinda.

Listening to recently

Podcasts have once again been the main source of audio input this week, though I've been moving more towards The Good Place: The Podcast, as well as a couple of other little bits and pieces from other shows that I've been getting through just so that I can delete them from my list.

I did also start listening to Office Ladies, the podcast by Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer on the TV show The Office, and I downloaded episode three for the plane ride. I also misplaced my headphones, so I got to listen to about 20 minutes of it on Saturday evening when I decided to go to Starbucks (!!!) and borrowed my bestie's. I really enjoy these kinds of podcasts; I love to learn all those extra behind-the-scenes tidbits that you used to only get with director commentary on a DVD.

Early evening walk to Starbuck + podcasts + photos of Old Sydney = lovely.
So that's a wrap on my week! I still have so many things that I have to do, and so, so quickly (ugh), but I'll pull through.

I suppose I'd like to know: what's something delicious that you've eaten this week? Let me know!

This post was brought to you by a woman who knows that's a Tuesday, thus, not the weekend, but whatever, she's tired.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Weekend Vibes #1

As the iconic Vanessa Vanjie Mateo once said...

Bitch, I'm back!
Same girl, new glasses.
Well, let's be real, who knows whether or not I'm back regularly? While I have tried to come back to blogging behind the scenes and have stopped and started many, many posts, it has been a really eventful, life-changing, difficult two and a half years.

Before I get started on that, however, I'd firstly like to give a shout-out to Charlotte of By Charlotte Ann, who gave me the A-OK to use her Sunday Share post structure. Her blog is leaps and bounds above mine, so it's incredibly kind of her to let me use it.

Okay. Let's keep shuffling on.

So I'm a teacher now! That interview I went to in my last blog post? Turns out I was successful! I landed my first full-time teaching gig aaaaaand my mental health took the biggest battering it has truly ever taken. I've learned some really difficult life lessons in a really difficult way, but ultimately I've grown a lot -- there's something to be said for that.

Where I am now, I'd say I'm generally a lot happier. The job isn't any easier and I've certainly had my fair share of frustrations, but I've made a lot of positive strides and I can feel myself improving all the time.
Sometimes teaching involves bright, beautiful exemplars and sometimes it's just sleep-deprived ramblings on sticky notes.

Eating recently

I recently bought a three-month subscription to Zenpop's Ramen Pack, so I've eaten a couple of the ramen packets in that. I think my favourite so far has been the very first one I tried, QTTA Tomato Cheese Cream Ramen. It was absolutely ~delicious~ and it's the kind of thing that I could eat again and again. I think the sign of a good instant cup noodle is whether or not you can finish the soup, and this soup was delicious.
So many delicious packets of noodles.

Reading recently

I have so many books on the go, it's actually ridiculous. I run a book club with my Year 7 class and I'm meant to keep up reading the books that they're reading, but to be honest... it's been challenging, and at the moment I haven't been able to do it.

I have been pacing myself with the student texts for this term, which are Holes by Louis Sachar and Trash by Andy Mulligan. Both are books that I've read before, so there's nothing new for me there. I have attempted to listen to an audiobook -- Murder in a Nunnery by Eric Shepherd -- while I'm in the car driving to and from work. I think I'm technically about 65% through it, but I know that there are times when I've zoned out and missed parts of the story. I don't mind audiobooks, but I do find it difficult to always give them my full attention.
Here's an irrelevant picture of a mug that I'm loving at the moment.

Watching recently

I really enjoy watching TV, though there are so many shows out there that it's hard to keep up with everything, especially when work becomes super hectic. That being said, I always make time for two shows: The Good Place and RuPaul's Drag Race UK. "The Good Place" is hilarious, and such the perfect little break on a Friday night -- I'm kinda sad that this is the last season! It is absolutely the type of show that I would buy on DVD.

"RuPaul's Drag Race UK" is the first season of the original flagship show from the US. I tend to enjoy a British sense of humour but I like to keep my humour clean -- sometimes what these queens have to say is filthier than the Thames was just before it caught fire. My favourite contestants so far have been Sum Ting Wong, Baga Chipz and Vivina de Campo. Sum Ting Wong was eliminated on this week's episode, however, so I'm a little bit sad about that.

Terrace House: Opening New Doors has also been something I've been watching a lot of during the last few weeks. If you haven't heard of Terrace House at all, then you need. to. get. on. it. It's essentially a show about nothing, but it's so entertaining. Six strangers -- three men, three women -- move into a house together, they're given a couple of cars so that they can get to where they need to get to, and the whole thing is filmed. There's also a host of panellists who kind of watch along the show with you, which is what makes the show so unique. The Opening New Doors season is the third on Netflix outside of Japan, the first being Boys and Girls in the City followed by Aloha State; you don't need to watch them in order by any means, but the panellists do sometimes refer to events that happen in the earlier seasons, and it's nice to have the context.

This weekend I've also binge-watched Season 5 of Below Deck, which is an incredibly entertaining reality TV show about the yachting industry. The types of experiences that the guests have is certainly something that I'll never be able to have, and the absolute drama between the crew is almost positively delicious. It's kinda like that Gia Gunn meme, y'know?

Source unknown.

Listening to recently

I've become a massive podcast fiend over the last few years, going from having maybe six or seven podcasts that I subscribed to... to having over 130. Yup. It's become a problem. I'm don't regularly listen to all of them -- I genuinely don't think there would be enough hours in the week -- so what I listen to kind of depends on what I'm in the mood for.

Unsurprisingly, I've been listening to several Terrace House podcasts lately -- though after I finished Opening New Doors, I went online and checked on some of my favourite people... and when I kind of saw what I hoped I wouldn't (it's truly not as dramatic as it sounds), my desire to listen to anything Terrace House-related was immediately extinguished. Perhaps I just need some space for a little bit before I go back to it...

Still, my favourite podcasts are No Script At All, Tourist House and Tadaima. I'm subscribed to several more besides these, but these are my favourite at the moment.

So thaaaaaaat's pretty much it for now! I guess I'd like to know: what podcasts are you listening to at the moment?

This post was brought to you by a woman who has truly reverted back to Padawan status.