Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I cant breathe...

My whole back has cramped completely. Enough that I can't breathe much at all, and sitting/standing (anything other than lying on my back on a flat heatpack) is causing pain enough that I'm losing my vision during the spikes. It's encouraging the chest cartilage to flare with cramps as well (both are symptomatic of costochondritis). Argh....

Monday, October 25, 2004

Professor Gollum!

(I just noted the soundtrack - how appropriate) Robyn sent a link to this today, and boy did it give me the giggles - just what I needed while marking! (And about to start the grind of exam marking tomorrow!)


    Tricksy studentses. Hates them, precious, yesss, we hates them. Studentses, grubbing for gradeses, grubbing and ssscraping and ssneaking, and their heads sso empty-- ssssso empty, gollum, gollum. No brains. No scrumptiously crunchable brainses, no precious, jusst air and dussst. Dussst!

    Hates them. Ssstupid sstudentses, don't even read the textbook, no preciouss. They writes, and writes, and sscrawls and scribbles-- our eyes, precious, we must ruin our poor eyeses on their scratchings-- but they don't think, do they, precious? They never thinksss. Gollum. No, no thinking for them, sstupid studentses. Too good for thinking, gollum But we'll show them, preciouss, yess.

    Fail them. Fail them, precious. We can bleed bright red ink all over their nassssty homeworks, yesss, precious. We can fail the studentses. Make them cry. Make them weep and wail and sssob. Yesss.

    Ssstudentss. Filthy, sstinking, ssstupid studentsss. We hatess them, we hates them forever!

    Yess, precious. Gollum, gollum.

The original Post has received so many comments from stressed teachers, it is very reassuring that there are so many of us out there!

Friday, October 22, 2004


A large number of secondary (and probably tertiary) students are suffering from CFS. Apparently this number is rising each year (perhaps due to the increase in students?), and the secondary education board (VCAA) has cut back on promised of special provisions for sufferers.

I don't think I've read any hypothesis that has questioned the education system or the state of society in general as possible reasons for CFS. They typically blame 'competitive entry scores' and pressure from family. I think the major causes are inadequate preparation for final years throughout the education system and general health being degraded by multiple causes (stress about society, fear, mass medication through water supply, nutritional needs not being met - again due to a large number of reasons, pollution rising, increased allergies, family problems, advertising of standards to difficult to conform to, etc).

Entry scores into many degrees at uni have been dropping, year after year, to try to keep the student numbers up (and it's not working in computer science at Monash - from over 300 last year to 170 in this year's first year level).

I need to get back to marking... I have no motivation...

Stupid Unions

Monash staff in conjunction with the NTEU are going to block final results being released this year, yet again due to pay disputes. I'm so sick of unions screwing up education (more than it is already).

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

New spot for a hive

This time one came up just under my eye on my cheekbone. This is quite a disturbing development, indicating (clearly) they are getting worse (not that I couldn't already tell by the anti-histamines keeping them away for less and less, and the welts getting worse during a flare). I've nearly got two months of leave saved up (on a part time wage). If I skimp over summer I'll be able to take Dec (paid), Jan and Feb (non-paid) off to look after me, try to recover a little. Then I can tutor next year in first semester, save up a bunch (still skimping) and hopefully get a 'real job' (part time) mid-year. It's a better time to be looking for a job anyway (compared to Xmas). From a health point of view, this makes a lot of sense, and is probably the best option I could choose. From a money point of view - ouch.

Monday, October 18, 2004


Kira is in Dark Angel!! And she's evil!! *bounce bounce*

Sunday, October 17, 2004


Someone infected me with a lovely cold. A bog standard, quick to set in, very wet sounding cold, my first simple cold for this year. *grumble*

 Brian and Nadeen's wedding yesterday had an unusual number of young'uns present, seems like most people around my age are breeding. Shalana was extremely well behaved, getting a seat all to herself (at 7 weeks!), and giving cuddles all round. Unfortunately I think she detected when I got dizzy and started to grizzle, but Kate managed to settle her to sleep, while I headed off to crash for a bit.

The massage I received on Friday was lovely, very gentle with half being reflexology. It certainly got things moving - started break-through bleeding through two forms of continuous blocking medications yesterday (thus the onset of dizziness and cramping), coughing and spluttering away today, however, at least

I've been able to move my neck a little more than usual.

Now, I need to get this place a little cleaned, get dinner, put the washing away and somehow stop coughing!

Friday, October 8, 2004

Election guff....

Saw this on 's LJ, it's a party preference quiz. I'm not sure I'm as polarised as these results suggest though! One Nation: 38% National Party: 15% Liberal Party: 31% Labor Party: 56% Democrats: 88% Greens: 90%

Wednesday, October 6, 2004


From our recent trip to Phillip Island for a weekend. You can even see the current colour(s) of my hair - it's way overdue for re-dying. And for those of you who are used to me being dressed all in black, be warned - I'm wearing my nice warm, fuzzy, _white_ jacket. http://www.amithlon.net/galleries/phillip_island/ Oh... and we are allowed to have 2 cats! *bounce*

A nasty virus!

There were actually late assignments to mark, so I hadn't finished with marking. Shortly into the second one I felt like crap and went to bed.

 This morning I felt rotten, later developments indicate a nasty fluey virus. Joints and muscle edges hurt, twinged and cramped continuously, especially my feet and hands. I couldn't type, could hardly walk (thank goodness my house has a long corridor - support either side is fantastic in such a situation), couldn't see straight (triples of everything - yay!), had a very heavy solid headache, and couldn't move my neck.

I woke up, emailed the necessary people, and went back to sleep feeling bad about missing consultation, knowing there would be a bunch of students there :-\

The phone rang 10 times throughout the day, three of those simply hung up (I screen calls). One was Debbie, a little panicked because she hadn't read her email and didn't know that I was too ill to come in - there was a pile of students at my office door and it was 2:30 (consultation is normally at 2-5).

So, that was my first up and about session. After talking with Debbie, I noticed my chest was burbling at me... mmm... gotta love that drownded bronchial sound and feeling. This gave me a better idea what was happening.

Sometime during the phone rings I remembered I'd missed my anti-depressant which was causing loads of little jumps and ticks, my dreams were shifting like crazy! So took various tablets, vitamins, a couple of panadol, and a shot of bronchitis cough mixture, wrapped up various joints in compression bandages, and tried to read/doze.

The surrealness of my dreams spread into real life, my mother rang and offered me her car. I don't drive, and have no intention of learning until my health is a little more stable, and certainly don't have the finances to afford to run a car!

Once the pain killers and compression gear had started to help, I discovered I was getting hungry, so woke up, got food and settled down to emails, only to discover about 10 students asking for their assignments to be re-marked. I'm not going to look at these till Friday.

I've rescheduled consultation to Thursday, hoping I'll be ok by then - if not, I may need to get a tutor to fill in for me. My hands have given up again, so I'm crashing now.

Whatever you do, please avoid getting this virus - it's nasty!

Monday, October 4, 2004


Mirrormask, the darker 'Labyrinth', a combination of Neil Gaiman and the Henson muppets. Apparently there is a teaser trailer here, but it requires flash, and I can't be bothered to find a browser that works.

Marking done...

I just had to remark one batch of assignments, thanks to my computer being a royal pain in the **** and chewing up various files, including a whole config directory (which subsequently stops my computer from shutting down cleanly, and thus requires a stupid file system check when starting). I have a niggling feeling it's something to do with using an audio mixer - that's the only common program between the last time this happened and this time. Anyhow... marking done.. weight off shoulders... now to sweep, dust and wash the floors, finally.

Princess Mononoke

Fantastic anime movie with brilliant ambience. The storyline is a little murky, but much clearer in hindsight. The animation, scenery and sound all contributed wonderfully to the story. Having learnt quite a bit about various pantheons of spirits/gods, the similarity to the Irish legends struck me as very strange, but quietly amusing. Definately a fantastic 'must-see' movie, but certainly not a bouncy, happy one. It's taken me about 6 years to get around to seeing it, and I'm glad I waited. It's much more interesting with the knowledge I have gained over that time.

Sunday, October 3, 2004

Yay - music!!

Finally got my CD collection ripped. It's taken about 2 solid weeks, but now I can listen to my collection. I need to set up a few playlists... XMMS is being silly and loading in the directories (and the files) in alphabetical order, not album order.

Darned Hives!

I should have an updateable field: "Today's new hive flare position". This time, it's my elbows, and they are very easy to scratch. Thank goodness I have cut my fingernails, or I would not have any skin left by now. The anti-histamines are keeping the rash at bay for less than 24 hours now, down from their usual 1.5 days. Both the pharmacist and doctor can do nothing else other than anti-histamines, they have no idea what is causing it (both think it's stress related... well duh!) The hives are starting to leave red blotches even after retreating - I have red 'scar' dots on my hands, legs, knees and ankles. Probably after today, I can add elbows to that list. Calamine, oat baths, regular showers and washing of clothes/sheets is no longer making a difference.

I think I can put it down to stress increasing, immunofunction decreasing: bumps on fingers are worse, skin is shocking, costo & sciatic have flared, neck is hardly moveable, constant headache, exhaustion, confusion, lack of balance, sinusitis, difficulty focusing, inability to concentrate, nightmares, insomnia, difficulty breathing, cystic acne, regular cramps, constant muscle flutterings, adeno & IBS flare, overall pain level increasing drastically, all getting worse & worse. I just want to sleep for a month.

Saturday, October 2, 2004


A slashdotted review of kittens: http://www.dansdata.com/kitten.htm


An Anime children's film, Totoro is extremely cute, and had me laughing quite a lot, suprising considering how down I had been at the time of viewing. This film is rated C (or rather G in the Australian system) and doesn't have that much of a plot. The differences between how westerners view 'spirits' or 'ghosts', and how the film portrayed Japanese reverence and curiosity towards their spirits was quite striking. The characters are realistic (apart from the spirits, which lent a strong fantasy element), and the animation and scenery were beautifully done. The subtitles are quite hilarious at times, trying hard to be accessible to children who may not understand the meaning of various scenic pans and facial expressions. Fantastic movie! (I want the kitty!)