Tag Archives: misplaced anger

Throwing Ethan Under the (School) Bus

So this isn’t a complaint about my school specifically, it is more about the “education as a business” model in Korea in general. Most of the time I can make peace about the practice, even if I don’t always love how it is implemented. It is, after all, how I make my money. But sometimes things happen that just absolutely enrage me.

We are currently doing “Open House” at our school. This means that the parents come into the school and watch their little darlings have a “class”. Of course, it is a total farce. For one of my classes I was told show my Reading and Comprehension class (usually 35 minutes), my Language Arts class (usually 35 minutes) and do our Speech Contest song. All in 15 minutes. Yah. It’s nothing but a show, and it’s annoying, but I get it. Show ’em the good bits. No warts.

That’s not what pissed me off. What pissed me off is how I was told to handle one of my little guys during the Open House. This little bundle of awesome is named Ethan, and although he’s not the brightest crayon in the box, he sure tries hard and he has been improving.

The issue is that Ethan took just about a month off to vacation in Guam. Lucky little turd. But in light of that, I was told to make sure that Ethan didn’t do as well as the other kids, so that parents could see how much children improve in a month.

What? You want me to intentionally embarrass this kid by making him look stupid in front of his friends and everyone’s mommy and daddy to try and show how awesome the school is? ARE YOU MENTAL? HE IS FIVE FUCKING YEARS OLD.

The thing is, little Ethan already was never going to do as well as the others; he’s behind in his reading. He *isn’t* as good as the others, he wasn’t even before the vacation. But he tries so hard and he deserved to be given the chance to do his best for his mommy.

So I gave him that chance. Because being a good teacher is trying to always do right by your little guys. And that little dude may have fucked up his reading a wee bit (as per usual), but he was good at answering questions and he rocked the hell out of the song. I was super proud of him.

The administration at my school, however, can do one at the moment.

What Makes You Angry?

I have no idea who thought this was a good speech of the week topic to give a group of 8 – 11 year olds. Almost all of them said the same thing: Their little brother or sister. I know those feels.

But enough about them. What makes me angry?

I’ve been thinking about it, and I don’t get angry all that often. I do get frustrated a lot though, and I think that comes across as anger. I get genuinely pissed off if people hurt little guys (figuratively or literally), but most of the time? It’s me blowing off steam because I’m frustrated.

So what frustrates me most these days?

First, I have a complete fucktard of a coworker, and it is amazingly frustrating. His ineptitude rarely directly impacts my work (thankfully, otherwise this would go from an intense frustration to a full-on rage-hate), but I’m frustrated that this idiot has a decent paying job that could go to someone who deserves it. It frustrates me that he gets nearly the same pay (I have two years experience on him, and I’m paid a marginal amount more that a n00b teacher) and does half the amount of work. I hate that he can fuck up over and over again and because my director is so cheap, he won’t get fired (it is more expensive to hire a new teacher).

How bad is he? Bad enough that we started a Tumblr with all his stupid quotes. There’s more than a hundred posts already, and we don’t even have them all written up yet. If you are curious about it, let me know and I’ll send you a link. Otherwise, I’m not making it public because, well… you saw what happened to Regina when the Burn Book went public. I don’t want to get hit by a bus.

bus

Second, I frustrate myself. I’ve been overweight pretty much my entire life. I know exactly what I need to do to rectify this. And I don’t do it. I just don’t do it! What’s up with that?  It’s not like I wanna be fat, you know? I just can’t ever stick to a plan of action (eating healthier, moving more, that kind of shit) that would bring me to normal. And that’s fucking frustrating.

I do it to myself

And so I have only myself to blame. But I bet I am not the only one that does this.

Ever put something “somewhere safe” so it a) wouldn’t get lost and b) you could “easily” find it again? And then you never, ever saw that item again?

Yah. I’m trying to find the charger-thing for my Jawbone Up bracelet (another post on that one day) and it is completely MIA.

raR! Just be somewhere obvious, you bastard!

Grumpy Old Machine

My computer is growing senile.

I’ve had the poor thing for awhile now – since 31 December 2007 to be absolutely specific. I remember the date because it is the last time I used that credit card, ever.

It’s served me well, my poor little Dell Inspiron 530S. Sure, it’s up and shit the bed for no reason on more than one occasion and required some tough love to get it going again, but overall? For a PC? For an OLD PC? It was doing fine.

Tonight though it decided to be extra dinky and weird for no good reason. Got four nasty beeps on post – the BIOS equivalent of the computer flipping me the bird. HOW RUDE. It’s a sure sign that the hardware has decided enough is enough. Most likely the RAM or where RAM meets motherboard.

So I pulled it all out and turned it on with no RAM in it at all. Two beeps on post, which is a good sign. Pulled it out again and put in two of the RAM sticks. It turned on fine. Another good sign.

Then I stuck in the other two… and the computer went batshit. Kept turning itself on and off, like it was having some sort of fit. What a drama queen. So I pulled the power and it settled down.

::SIDE NOTE::

Wouldn’t have been weird if it had kept turning itself on and off after I unplugged it? Just sayin’. Weird.

:: END SIDE NOTE::

Anyhoo… swapped the RAM around and now it is fine again. WTF, Computer? You are losing the plot.

I need it to hang on for a bit longer; I really cannot afford to buy a new machine right now. I just worry because it’s Senior Moments are growing more and more frequent and more and more extreme. It’s a good thing I keep everything on an external drive and on the webskipops. Seriously.

Wunderlist

People think I’m an OCD, type-A, highly organised person with bountiful energy for putting everything into it’s right place.

This isn’t entirely accurate.

I’m actually kinda lazy, which is why I’m so organised about my stuff. I can’t be arsed to look around for things: My keys, a t-shirt, lipgloss, my next highest priority task, whatever. So I put always put things exactly where I can find them.

At work, I always write down what I need to do and/or remember. I’ve just always found it easier to get those things out of your brain and somewhere else so you can use your brain for other things. Having the “Oh yes, I must remember to X” thought again and again (where X remains constant) is a waste of brain juice.  So I write it down and I don’t worry about it anymore. It’s the equivalent of putting my thoughts where I can find them again with less effort.

This habit means I am constantly searching for the best way to capture this list of things to do or remember.

I often go back to paper, but that’s not always the best way: It means your stuff is only in one place and losing the notebook or post-it means you’ve lost the list. Bad news.

So I’ve been trying multi-platform electronic capture systems.

At work, I’ve been using Evernote for awhile now. I use it on and off – it isn’t a perfect to-do list, but it is extremely flexible and has other uses.

I signed up for Orchestra, Asana and Strides recently – but I think that they will be better for project task capture – where multiple people are working on one larger goal. I haven’t played with Asana yet, but the quick play I had with Orchestra and Strides showed that Strides has the potential to be the better system.

I also use Epic Win – but until it goes multi-platform (I WANTS IT IN A BROWSER) and allows me to organise my tasks into lists, it isn’t going to be the best use for me. I refuse to let it go for my personal to-dos though, it is simply too fun to “level up” for getting chores and such done.

Today I decided I would try Wunderlist after hearing so many good things about it. Available across all platforms, free, beautifully designed and easy to use.

How I feel so far?

What a fucking ball-ache to get it working on my fucking iPhone.

They need to get this sorted.

I signed up using “Register with Facebook”. Now, I rarely do that, Zuckerberg already knows too much about me. But I’m starting to hate all these different logins so I thought “what the hell”. Two clicks later (had to authorise it, innit?) and I was in.

Had a play, loved the interface. Created a “get WL app” task and got right on doing that so I could check that off as done.

Not so fast, cowboy.

The app needed my username and password. Um, whut? I logged in with Facebook, you douche. I don’t know what the sweaty fuck my username and password is for Wunderlist.

So back to the website. Looked like my username was potentially my email address. So I tried that. But what about the password?

I had no idea, so I tapped “Forgot password” on my phone. The app immediately went into a never-ending “thinking about that” cycle. raR.

So I went on the interweb and googled “WTF, Wunderlist?” (or, more probably, something about the issue I was having). Turns out that if you retardedly register for the site with Facebook, you have to reset your password to get a password.

Sigh.

So I go to the website and do that. Which was simple, to be fair. The interface is rather intuitive. Got my new password via email, back to the site, changed it to something I could remember.

Back to the phone. Put in my email address and newly minted password.

Back into the abyss of a never-ending thinking cycle. Fuck you, app.

Turns out that there was a cross-over of “I forgot my passwords” (one from the phone, which I didn’t think worked because I had to kill the app to make it stop fucking around) and another from the website.

I finally got the password to work by repeating the steps above and then trying the app again.

Now that I’m in, it looks cool and we’ll see if I actually use it or not. But what a fucking ball-ache to use if you try logging in with Facebook.

The lesson in all this is: Facebook is evil.

I’ll let you know if I actually use the fucking site now that I’ve gone through 30 anger-filled minutes trying to get it to play nicely with my phone. Now to check off “Write blog post of how fucktarded FB registration on WL is” from my list.

UPDATE: And now the app is unavailable. THIS ISN’T HOW YOU WIN MY LOVE, WUNDERLIST.

Being grown up is hard work


You’d think I would be completely and utterly used to being broke by this point in the month; seeing as how by this point in the month I am usually completely and utterly broke.

But this month has been different. Sure, sure… I spent some cash on some new clothes yesterday – it has been a long time since I’ve had anything new and I was looking pretty shabtastic at work. But I knew I had the funds for it before I spent it.

That’s the thing: I knew I had the funds. I was actually pretty chuffed, it was looking like I was going to make it to payday with at least a tenner left in my account.

And that’s why I was so absolutely devastated when my card was declined at M&S on the way home tonight.

Turns out all is well. I’ve checked my account and there *is* still money in there (not a lot, but at least I’m not at a negative number yet). I called the bank and there isn’t a block on my card – they think it was the store’s machine. I’ll try getting some cash out tomorrow to check that it isn’t the card. I hope it isn’t the card. I hate waiting for another card.

All the way home and until I got online and checked the situation out, I was nearly sick because I thought that I had overdrawn my account and was officially out of money until payday. Again. Here I was, feeling all harfy bunger about being broker than broke and hanging out in my overdraft… even though this has happened to me (running out of money, not breaking my card) nearly every single month of my life. Why was it so different this time?

I think it hit me hard because I have been better behaved (financially) recently. I was finally feeling like I had a wee handle on my finances. I’ve got my debt to a point where it will be paid off within the next three years and the monthly payment (note the singular “payment” instead of “numerous paymentS”) isn’t killing me. I’m being far, far more cautious about my purchases (as in: other than my clothes buying yesterday, I haven’t been buying anything but food). (And beer). It is only eight days to payday and I still have a bit of cash. This would have been unheard of even three months ago. Or last month.

So to go from feeling all like a GROWN UP to feeling like a penniless turd again tonight really threw me. GAH. I’m happy all is well, but I really could have done without feeling – even if just for a second – like my attempts to get my shit together lately were all for not.

click the picture for the funniest blog entry ever on why being an adult is hard

I’m feeling better about the situation. Now I just have to get over being angry because I had to deal with not one but two stupid people at the bank over the phone. I should have bought beer instead of groceries…

>So many shite CVs… pain… loathing…

>I am really good at writing a CV. My CV is excellent. This may be due, in part, because I have changed jobs so much and have had a LOT of practice and opportunity to hone that bastard.

I have also helped a bunch of others with their CVs. And it is usually for the better. They all got jobs, at any rate. Eventually.

I have occasionally entertained the idea of doing this for money… sort of a second job. And I think there would be a demand for such a service. Because there are a lot of shit CVs out there. Trust me. I’ve been reading most of them today. It is hurting me. A lot.

But I wonder if helping a shit person get a great job with a good CV wouldn’t be like helping a guilty person go free if you were a defence attorney. How guilty would I feel if I landed horrible people into great jobs?

My growing agoraphobia and other stories

I’ve never been all that fond of groups of humans. I love individuals. That’s why although herds of people give me the willies, I’m happy to observe them. Just as long as I’m not thrown in the throng of the quivering masses, all is well. But as soon as I have to subject myself to being surrounded by them… not so good.

Which is why there was so much donkey-ball-sucking about this weekend.

First, Friday. 

Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day. Where the British celebrate thwarting the Gunpowder Treason by blowing shit up. How appropriate.

Tyran had the grand idea that we go watch the best display of fireworks from what was supposed to be the best vantage point in the city – Battersea Park. Idiotically, I agreed, never thinking that a bajillion other people in the city were planning the same thing.

The first part of the trip being balls was partially my fault. I assumed we were meeting at Clapham Junction. So I hop a busy train at London Bridge and cruise to Waterloo East. Bust through to Waterloo and… what a clusterfuck. So many trains are delayed, the station’s packed, and everyone is looking at the departure boards instead of where they are walking.

Fortunately there was one (already severely delayed) train going to Clapham Junction waiting at a platform. I haul ass to get myself on it as there was no way of knowing when it would depart. Well, it sat there for another 10 minutes while more and more people shoved their way on.  Finally, when the train was busting at the seams, it left.

As soon as it started moving, a light bulb went off: There are a handful of stations that begin with “Clapham”. Was I sure, positively and 100% SURE, that I needed to go to Clapham Junction?

Turns out I’m retarded. We were meeting at Clapham Common, which isn’t the same thing as Clapham Junction at all. So I get off the sweaty, packed train at Vauxhall, and take the Victoria Line to Stockwell where I could catch the Northern Line going south just two sweaty stops to Clapham Common. Not as easy as getting on that same damned line directly at London Bridge, but doable.

Until I tried to get on the Northern Line.

The platform was so packed that people were backed up all the to the escalators. Instead of joining the queue I left the station and caught me a bus. So far, so good –  the right bus came right away and I even got a seat. It was fabulous and I was feeling pretty smug about my decision.  Until the bus started rolling.

Turns out I’m retarded. There was so much traffic – vehicles and people – that the bus crawled. Crrraaaaawwwwllled. It was painful. And because I wasn’t familiar with the burough I was in, I was reluctant to get out of the bus and walk. So I stuck with it.

To cut a long, whiny story short: By the time I got off the bus at Clapham Common I was beginning to daydream about an apocalyptic future where I was the only survivor. People were swarming about and getting in my way. There was no mobile signal as every twat in London was on their phone in a two square mile radius, so I couldn’t even contact my people to try and find them.

And while I was standing at the station, the fireworks started. I could see the odd little spark above the tree line, and that was about it. So with an audible “fuck this shit” I turned from the station and, upstream from the human turds all floating down towards the river to watch the fireworks, I headed as far from the crowds as I could get, angry and miserable.

But all is well that ends well, and Friday ended well. It ended in a quiet pub with lovely ales on tap and a great dinner with two of my friends. I swore I would never toss myself into a crowd like that again. Sadly, that was an oath I couldn’t keep.

On Saturday…

I went with Tyran to Camden. The busiest tube line and station (or at least, it felt that way) to walk along the busiest street and into the busiest market. And it is full of tourists, which is even worse. But despite the crowds, we had a lot of fun (and I got a lampshade with pirates! WIN.)

Because I apparently can’t get enough of people (yarg) or the TFL (fuuuuu….) we headed back home for a brief reprise and then back out to go to a house party. This meant hauling ass across the entire city from southwest to northeast. Most of it was okay… except the bus. I never, ever want to ride a bus in northeast bloody London again. I swear I overheard the bus driver call another bus driver a “cunt”. Loudly. I wouldn’t have been surprised to find out that he was armed. Never again.

The party was fun though and got to have some nice chats. We may have missed our bus stop on the way home but the trip – relatively sans people – was quiet and nice even though we got home late.

I thought I would be safe on Sunday. 

Sure, I had a gig to go to… but gig-goers are more my kind of people. I mean: I am a gig-goer myself, and I’m (mostly) okay. So why wouldn’t they be?  Fuck me.

The bus was another shit-show in a weekend of TFL shit-shows. We sat perfectly still in traffic for a good 30 minutes. Fucking awesome, TFL. Do that. Do exactly that. Despite the best efforts of the traffic of Hammersmith trying to fuck us over, we made it to the gig nearly on time – we just missed part of the opening act.

The crowd was the worst I’ve had in a long, long time. So bad. In front of us were two guys: one with eye-wateringly foul body order and the other one with some lower-intestinal gastric issue. Look asshole; just because I can’t hear your farts doesn’t mean I can’t smell them. Idiot.

To my left was the douchiest douche that ever douched. Seriously. While waiting for Rodrigo y Gabriela to take the stage, he was busy sexting. It wasn’t the sexting that put me off so fucking badly. It was that he was sexting three girls simultaneously. Way to go, Romeo. But he wasn’t so bad. Douchey, but at least he wasn’t stinky like Team Offensive Odour in front of us. No, no. What was AWESOME was when a very loud, very obnoxious and very, very drunk girl tried to pick him up. She stood beside him and very loudly expressed her views about how much the music sucked. I feel punchy a lot (anger issues, eh?) but that was the closest I’ve come to actually punching someone in the face at a gig.

Behind me was a mouth breather. Who was breathing on my neck. Sick.

To my right (thank goodness!) was Eva. Who is normal. And smells nice. And is considerate enough to not scream about how shite the music is throughout the concert. And is actually quite lovely, as she is the one who took me to the concert.

Sadly, to HER right were more idiots. A hobbit, an ugly woman in cat-eye frames and their two unbelievably annoying friends pushed in beside Eva and then proceeded to push everyone else into us who tried to push their way past them. Bad karma, dudes.

Good thing the music was fucking awesome.

So that was my weekend of transport woes and hatred of my fellow mankind. By the end, I just wanted to punch everyone in the cock. And I thought commuting all week was bad….

>Rebunking the debunked myth of multitasking

>There’s been a trend lately where some people bloggers are saying that we are actually incapable of multitasking (at worst) or just absolute crap at multitasking (at best). They say the way to Doing Stuff nirvana is to focus on one task and only that one task.

Well, DUH. Of course you are going to be more effective and efficient if you focus on just one thing, instead of letting your attention scatter across 100 different tasks. That’s just common sense, yo.

Most of these blog posts speak of how to minimise distractions so that you are more effectively “unitasking” (Yarg! What a horrifying word!) What they don’t ever seem to touch upon is why we are freaking distracted in the first freaking place.

Frankly, I multitask because I’m bored, not because I think it is not cool to concentrate on one thing at a time. BORED.

There are times when multitasking makes infinitely more sense than (bleh) unitasking.

::SIDE NOTE::

I’m going to mental vomit a little every time I use that word, ‘mkay? 

::END SIDE NOTE::

At home, consider laundry. How useful would unitasking that shit be?  Would you just sit in front of the washing machine and wait for the load to finish?  Same with making dinner – you wouldn’t be able to start on making dessert until after the lasagne was finished baking. That’s not more efficient than multitasking, that’s retarded. There are just some things you do that cry out for you to multitask. No reason why I can’t read a book while doing laundry or drink a beer while my flatmate makes dinner.

No matter how much crapola I have on my to-do list, or how much the phone rings or how funny the Skype chat gets at work, if I am completely absorbed in a project/task/whatever I don’t even hear the siren call of gmail, Skype, lolcatz (whatever your poison might be) let alone answer the call. I become wholly absorbed in that one thing.

It is when the task at hand (like stamping invoices as paid) only takes up a portion of my brain that my brain goes for a wander. Or if I am putting off doing something because it isn’t as fun (analysing phone bills) as something else I would rather be doing (watching The Simpsons).

The secret to focusing has nothing to do with minimising distractions, willpower or ensuring that you are (bleh) unitasking. The secret is to find shit that is awesome that you want to think about, be involved in and absolutely love doing. Anything less doesn’t deserve 100% of your attention; fuck unitasking tasks that don’t make the cut.

>Lament of the Loner (or Lonely)

>Alternative title:  One is the Loneliest (or most expensive) number

I need a break.  Not a holiday, per se, but a break. In other words: It doesn’t have to be additional time off work. It could be something I do in a weekend. And it definitely can’t be expensive… I’m watching every pence in anticipation of Moms and Harv coming over.  It doesn’t have to even be all that bloody interesting… just somewhere away for London for a day (or two) and then I can pretend that I “got away from it all” without breaking the bank, as they say.

So last night I went online and thought I would find myself a cheap weekend city break type deal. Of which there seem to be bajillions. Some of them looked awesome. Some of them I could afford. Some of the ones I could afford looked half-way interesting.  Some of them checked all the boxes on my must-have list of something to do this weekend (note: “all my boxes” = cheap, bug-free, out of London).

But alas, there was an issue with all the “deals” that I was most interested in (read: could afford). Sigh.

Don’t single people travel in this fucking country or what?

It really burns my potato that I had no issue at all getting transport and accommodation for one all throughout Asia but try to book one night for one person in fucking BRIGHTON and that shit won’t happen. What the eff, Britain?

The most infuriating were the “spa breaks” – almost all of them are for two people only. I mean, what’s the benefit to me? I get how you benefit, Mr. Hotel. But if I’m having a relaxing day of massages and shit I don’t want to hear anything but the sweet nothingness of solitude, you bastard.  I don’t want any gossip or other chitchat and I don’t want to spend the day in a bathrobe with a friend. And I don’t know how I would feel about dating a guy who was into going to spas. The jury is still out on that one.

The worst were the deals that were flexible enough to allow singles to partake in them… by tacking on a bloody £50 surcharge. WHAT. THE. EFF. It should be cheaper for one, a-holes. CHEAPER.

So, anyway. I ended up not booking anything. First, I don’t really know what part of England to go to. I thought it would be nice to go somewhere near the ocean (which I miss) even if it is raining. But I don’t which seaside towns are good and which ones are, in fact, abandoned movie sets for horror films that went straight to DVD.  Then, additionally, I depressed myself because apparently no one but me wants to (or has to) travel on their own.

Somehow I ended up needing a break from planning a break.  Maybe I’ll just get a bottle or two of wine and go get trashed in a park instead this weekend. I’d still get to indulge in some (semi) fresh air and forget all about the week. Right?