Tag Archives: Robo Schmobo

Love Me a Cashed-Up Bogan

  Welcome to The Lounge once again.

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  Link your posts below.

This week I discovered the new ultimate in the Aussie cashed-up bogan stakes.

#AngryDad.

AngryDad is a series of videos uploaded to Youtube by two naughty boy sons, Dylan and Mitchell.  They know just how to poke at their middle-aged Dad enough to get an explosive, expletive-laden rise.

AngryDad, frustrated by his kids bothersome antics, always calls for wife Sharon to step in and help and usually resorts to the good old-fashion clip ’round the ears to manage the bullying by his boys.

This is my favourite clip – I was almost rolling around on the floor.  Makes me proud to be Strayan.

 

Don’t view this one at work!

Found anything hilarious on the internet lately?

Love,

Robo X


Not forgetting

My mother in law is a collector.

Mismatched crockery, linen, crystal, small pieces of rope tied together to make a longer length…

 

Fifty percent annoying, fifty percent admirable.

 

 

She’s from that practical generation.

The generation that understands hard work and knows what it’s like to save and wait for every possession.

The generation with an innate sense of frugality and of worth.

 

 

A strange item that my mother in law keeps has morphed, over the years, into a rather odd collection.

 

Remembrance cards – the little memorial keepsakes that are handed out at funerals.

She has hundreds but displays just a handful – they’re taped to the inside walls of a glass-fronted cabinet, in her kitchen.

 

 

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Greek immigrants to Australia formed solid bonds in those early years and together they built strong communities.  Growing up, we have always known elderly Greeks – we’d call them θεία and θείο, Aunt and Uncle, an extension of the family.  As the years passed on, they did too – I’ve often accompanied my parents to funeral services. I have a distinct and early memory of hugging my mother’s leg at a burial, my child’s mind silently questioning why the coffin was going downwards, when heaven was clearly up.

 

 

More often than not, the local Greek newspapers have entire pages devoted to death and memorial notices – quarter page photographs with a biography detailing the village in which they were born, their work in Australia and the names of their partner and children. It’s a rite of passage in the Greek community, it is customary to attend the funeral of someone you knew.  Our religion is dutiful in its commemoration of the dead and so is our culture.

 

 

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Koliva is a symbolic wheat recipe that is blessed and served at memorial services.

 

 

My mother in law’s remembrance cards are an offbeat assortment of the dead.  The photographs on some of her little cards are of young people, others are middle-aged but most are elderly.  They are relatives, friends, acquaintances, neighbours and compatriots.

People she knew, lived with and loved.

 

She looks in this cabinet every morning as she takes her pills and countless times throughout the day, her gaze drift through the glass door.

 

A steadfast reminder of mortality, the brevity of our existence and the importance of all we are left with – our memories.

 

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I learnt from my mother in law to keep remembrance cards.  They’re in my wardrobe, in a little cardboard box.  With each passing I attend, I add to my collection.  To me, they are primary evidence I can one day show my children – each card reperesents a life and each life has a moral to its story.

 

There were people before us. 

People who led rich, abundant lives. 

Some were sick, others were killed and some just grew old.

Value the people in your community and you too, will be valued.

 

 

The other day, I jovially asked my mother in law why she keeps all those cards.

She hesitated, let out an uncomfortable laugh and then said that she just can’t throw them away.

 

Neither can I.

 

 

I have never lost someone exceptionally close to me but I wonder, if that time comes, will I tape their remembrance card to my kitchen cupboard?  Will someone tape mine to theirs?

 

Do you keep mementos?  How do you, not forget?

 

Love,

Robo X

 

Linking up with Miss Jess and #IBOT


Hips Don’t Lie

Welcome to The Lounge for another week!

This week’s theme is ‘things I suck at’.

Oh where should I begin?!

 

 

 

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My diet.

 

I cannot get it right.

 

I’ve started more get-fit quests than I can remember and along the way, I’ve parted with a hefty fortune I’d rather forget.

 

There has been no expense spared on health magazines, diet pills, magic teas, meal replacement shakes and fill-me-up juices.  I’ve invested in gym memberships and personal trainers, microwave dinners, group fitness and pricey lifestyle programs.

 

I’ve also tried my fair share of diets.  Paleo, low GI, low cal, low carb, no carb, soup – both cabbage and vegetable, the blood group diet and the pinnacle of all crash diets, the grapefruit diet…

 

Things work for a while, then, nothing.

 

The other week my sister called me at 9pm.

 

She had the ‘tone’ in her voice.  Matter-of-fact, to the point and curt.

 

When the ‘tone’ comes out, sister means business.

 

 

 

Her monologue lasted for exactly two minutes, I timed her on the oven clock in my kitchen.

 

 

Robo, (she used my real name).  I’m just calling to say that I‘ve was thinking about you and I think that your weight problem can be fixed.  For once and for all. It isn’t that you don’t exercise because you do.  Your problem is portion control.  You don’t know when to stop and you don’t know what to eat.  And you drink alcohol and you like dessert, so it’s doubly bad.  My friend Effie has just lost 6 kilograms using Lite n Easy and she looks great.  (At this point she went on about Effie’s diet highs and lows for a while.)  And you have such a pretty face! It’s krima* for you to be so overweight. 

 

 

And so it was said.

 

The brutal honesty that only a sister can deliver.

 

I was not upset with her.

 

 

 

The fact of the matter is that I did lose weight after my last baby.  Most of the pregnancy weight came off.  And it stayed off, until I stopped being careful with food.  After that, he weight didn’t just creep back on, it piled on with retribution, quickly and I ballooned to an epic 83 kilograms.

 

 

83 kilograms.

The biggest I’ve ever been.

It’s humiliating to type the figure.

 

 

My saving grace is that I’m tall.  So to the average person, I don’t look ‘fat’.  I look like I could lose a few kilos.  But in reality, I need to lose a minimum of 13 kilograms, to place in the healthy BMI range.

 

 

I exercise regularly so I am not unfit.  I’m just too heavy.

 

And my sister is right.  I eat all the wrong things.

 

 

 

 

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My runners at the gym

 

 

So Lite n Easy it is.  I’m at the start of my second week and I feel pretty good.  I have energy and the food is much better than I anticipated.  There is also a huge amount of food and it arrives in neat little organised parcels that strangely satisfy the methodical, organised side of my personality.

 

 

Finally, I feel as though I am doing myself a huge, long overdue favour.

 

Somehow, this feels like it could be it.

 

 

 

Hopefully, this is it.

Fingers crossed, I’ll learn my lesson.

 

 

How’s your diet?  Any tips?  Who is your critical friend?

 

 

Love,

 

Robo X

 

 

 

*a shame

 

 


Abercrombie Street Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for linking up with The Lounge!  This week, we’re talking ‘parks’. 

 

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In the 1980s, a trip to the Abercrombie Street park was a rare treat. It didn’t happen on a daily basis, but when we were allowed to go, we’d tear down that hill, as fast as our little JC sandals could carry us.

 

 

 

 

Back then, parks with decent play equipment, were few and far between.  If you had a good one nearby – you were definitely lucky.

 

 

 

 

The Abercrombie Street park consisted of a see-saw – steel and a plank of wood, a set of swings – steel and a couple of planks of wood with chain, and a big, metal slippery dip.

 

 

 

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Our monumental slippery dip had sky-scraper dimensions.  For the few short-lived seconds of being at the top, you were king or queen of the world – the tallest person for miles, with a tail of kids lined up, waiting on the ladder beneath you, at your mercy.

 

 

 

 

Upon negotiating the steep angle of the slide and working up the courage to finally let go, you were catapulted down the metal surface at death-defying speed.  The exhilaration of the slide was epic, but it was all too brief.  The unavoidable conundrum of a good landing was always an issue.  Alighting at a short distance from the slide was the goal, but landing in the dirty ditch at its base upon dismount, was often the reality.

 

 

And God help you in the summer!  Summer brought with it an added slippery dip problem – the elation of a good quick slip down the slide, versus a well-seared bottom and a few potential tears…

 

 

 

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The see-saw, like the slide, was no mean feat.  If you shared the see-saw with a similarly sized kid, you’d be in park heaven – but those times, when a bigger bully would turn up, smirk and sit on the other side…  Those times were filled with terror.  The minutes felt like hours as you would hold on, as long as you could, up high up in the air.  Before too long however, you would inevitably start to inch down, splinters from the weathered plank of wood would inject your thighs and hands and you’d smudge your face with dirt, when wiping away the hot tears.

 

 

As I got older I learnt the reckless skill of slowly walking up a see-saw, then racing down the other side as it slammed to the ground.  Such skill required great balance and a dexterity that could only be achieved upon becoming a veteran of the park.

 

 

 

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The swing set was always my last stop.  A push-off from an older sibling or neighbour and I was set, gliding through the air as high as I could go.  The freedom of swinging engaged my imagination, but by far, the best benefit was the chance to cool down and rest my hot face against the cold chain before the long, hot walk back up the hill.

 

 

 

The Abercrombie Street park was a proper park!

 

If you fell, it hurt.  If you didn’t get a turn, you didn’t get a turn.

 

 

 

 

No synthetic soft landings, no plastics, no colour, no canopies, no barriers, no fencing, no safety standards, no litigation.

 

Just grass, trees and a bit of wood and metal.

 

 

 

As far as we were concerned, it could’ve been Disneyland.

 

 

 

 

Parks have changed.  What was your park like when you were growing up?

 

 

 

 

 

Love,

 

Robo X

 

 


My Crazy  

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If my mind was a pub counter meal, my crazy would be the limp little salad, not the huge hunk of schnitzel…

 

 

When I was about 7 or 8, I remember a morning before school where something was going on at home.  I don’t recall the problem, or the words exchanged between my parents but I do remember the feeling of being marched to the front door and sent to school with a swift smack on the bum.

 

 

Perhaps my upset state activated my imagination, but this was also the morning I was followed to school.  In hindsight, the old man who was smiling at me, driving too close to the curb for too long, could’ve been searching for friend’s place but at that time, in my little burdened mind, he was chasing me and so I ran all the way to school arriving late, wet and completely exhausted.

 

 

Looking back, I isolate that experience as one that instigated my struggle with anxiety.  I’m not aware of the medical diagnoses for anxiety or paranoia but I do have my own definition and I know exactly what it feels like.

 

 

 

It is the belief that something bad will inevitably happen and trusting my gut, is not enough.

 

It is the idea that sharing my inner thoughts will leave me open to critique, ridicule. 

 

It is the notion that people don’t really want the best for me, they don’t really care.

 

It is the angst I feel, when in my heart of hearts, I love those close to me with everything I can muster, but I keep them at a comfortable distance, just in case.

 

A working example:

Today I sent my son to vacation care – a trip to the movies.  My mind raced ahead and I made Mr Robo take a photograph of him in his tracksuit, just in case.

 

And another:

I’m on the train right now and although the woman next to me is looking out the window to her left, I’m convinced she’s sneaking glances at my screen, to her right. I’ve contorted my body to the point of discomfort, just in case.

 

 

The negativity that plagues my mind at times, is excruciating.  It’s irrational, unjustified.

But with my kind of crazy, I have, thankfully, developed a heightened awareness.  I know my absurdities and I am aware that they are groundless. I just need some time, to remember that everything will be OK.

 

 

So this is why my blog remains anonymous.

My blog is my space.

I don’t blog often.  But if I feel like sharing, it is unmeasured, unrestrained.

 

But I wonder, is sharing nameless and faceless actually sharing?

 

 

Is your blog anonymous?  Were you apprehensive about revealing your identity?

Let me know of any cool anon blogs you might’ve come across.

 

 

Love,

Robo X


The Confluence

Welcome to The Lounge – link-up your special words below.

 

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Last Friday night, I settled in for some serious lesson planning – year 9 poetry.

 

I stressed over the perils of engaging twenty-five disinterested teens with Donne, Owen and Frost.  I pictured their bored little faces.  I visualised myself, jaded, cynical.

There was substance abuse.

 

When I was popping my own pimples, it was to the likes of Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins.  I read books as a kid.

I liked words.

 

 

 

Teens these days?  I don’t know…

 

It’s as though they’re on an intravenous drip, administered hourly doses of such watered-down, utter shit.

Non-specific, one-size-fits-all, shit.

Leave your brain at the door, don’t think, just follow, shit.

 

 

They don’t even know what it is they like because they are never left alone.

To just be.  To immerse themselves.  In words alone.

 

 

It’s concerning.

So I’m shaking up poetry.

To make more meaning.  To stay relevant.

 

 

 

 

On my quest, this is who I found last Friday night.

Luka Lesson.

If you can find two minutes and twenty seconds of alone time, I suggest you press play.

 

 

 

It’s satisfying when something stays with you long after it’s ended.

 

Love,

Robo X


Excuse me, does my clothing offend you?  

So this week, teachers who are employed by the NSW DEC, received a rather interesting email.

A new dress code comes into play at the start of term 2.

 

 

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 This is not me…  Source.

 

In short, we have an obligation to do the following:

 

  • maintain respect
  • establish credibility
  • uphold the reputation of the Department

 

I DO THIS EVERY SINGLE DAY.

 

 

The dress code goes on to say that we must be clean and tidy.  We must also wear professional attire at any formal engagements such as meetings with parents and at assemblies etc.

 

I KNOW THIS.  I DO THIS EVERY OTHER DAY…

 

 

 

This is the part that’s annoyed me…

 

“Employees must not wear revealing clothes such as those exposing bare midriffs, strapless tops or dresses, or clothes that may be construed as suggestive and/or offensive.

Employees must not wear inappropriate clothes such as singlets, t-shirts, tracksuits or rubber thongs (except for sport and organised physical activities), ripped or dirty clothes, or clothes with inappropriate slogans (e.g. advertising for tobacco and alcohol).”

 

Oh, and men must wear collared shirts.

 

 

Good people of the world, I haven’t exposed my midriff since the mid-nineties, believe me.  But I do wear singlet tops and t-shirts to work and I make no attempt to be revealing or inappropriate.

 

My general school style is a nice cotton t-shirt and a pair of pants.  Sometimes a skirt with a sleeveless tank top.  At times, a singlet top (never spaghetti straps), with a pair of jeans.  I shop at places like Sussan for work, just to further illustrate my point.

 

 

Am I missing something?  Since when is a singlet top ‘revealing’, or a t-shirt ‘inappropriate’?

Would you be offended if I wore something like what I’ve described to a parent/teacher meeting?

Do you think that this type of clothing would make your child think that I’m an unprofessional teacher when I stand up in front of their class?

 

 

Unreasonable?  Your thoughts as always, are welcome.

 

 

Love,

Robo X

 

P.S.  Us Teachers are, on the whole, a pretty jovial bunch.  I’m looking forward to seeing some of the takes on ‘appropriateness’ next term…