Sunday, May 26, 2013

Strange Urges

Sometimes, in my budding adult life, I have the desire to partake in an activity which traditionally would have only crossed my childhood mind to do.

Sometimes it's eating an entire bag of Doritos*...for lunch. And not regretting each of the crunchy, cheesy and highly addictive tortilla chips that I have greedily consumed.

Sometimes it's shelling out several Euros' worth on the whole** Doctor Who and Sherlock series when I should be saving up to buy a used car.

Sometimes it's going all the way to London and deciding, quite on the spur of the moment, to splurge out on a burger at the Friday's in Piccadilly Circus merely because I have been burger-deprived for far too long.***

Be it unwise food choices or exorbitant financial splurges, or both, my little kid self wouldn't have even thought twice about it. She would have dove head-first into whatever endeavor tickled her fancy. I, as an adult, have to worry about the bills and saving up for my forever uncertain future.

Yesterday was no different.

As a teacher, I am touted as being someone who is fortunate enough to be blessed with an endless abundance of free time. For those of you who believe this notion, you rightly deserved to be stabbed repeatedly in the jugular with a #2 pencil.

I spend my so-called free-time grading tests, quizzes, essays. I also plan lessons, create hundreds of documents involving more tests, quizzes, and essay topics which, as a cycle, means that they will be graded later.

So, for those of you who can't grasp the notion of what "free-time" is for teachers, here's a handy chart to illustrate it:

As I have figured out, relationships, with their encroaching ways of sucking you emotionally and psychologically dry, are often a waste of time, and time is something that I cannot afford to waste these days.

Yesterday, I did something that I wouldn't normally have done.

I painted.

I was struck by the urge to paint. I have not painted in over two years, for that matter.

Yesterday, as I was browsing a store for useful housewares, I came upon a wooden mug stand. With my trips to Ireland and the U.K., I have since amassed a collection of mugs that take up far too much space in my room. I didn't think twice and grabbed the stand.

However, something about this item nagged at me uncomfortably. With its light beige shade, I couldn't help but think that it was so generically bland. Yes, I know that such items are better sold as generically bland to appeal to all tastes, but I didn't want to sacrifice aesthetic need for practicality.

As I walked around the store, I came upon the aisle which sold arts and crafts supplies. I glanced as the various containers of acrylic paint and the bland, light beige wooden items begging to be colored. I didn't think about it twice.

My mug stand suddenly had several jars of acrylic paint, paintbrushes and a set of  coasters to keep it company.

I paid for the items, went home and, rather than using my time (on a Saturday, mind you) to grade papers and plan lessons, decided to use my allotted "Actual fun stuff" time to paint.

My inner child rejoiced.

The mug stand with coasters

Formerly drab, generic mug stand, now with squiggles.

Coaster #1, the first thing that I have painted in two years. I have lost practice.

Coaster #2

Coasters #3 and #4, respectively

And now that I have blogged, I have clearly used up all of my allotted "Actual fun stuff" free-time for this weekend. Time to go back to grading papers, planning lessons and shit.

Barb the French Bean

*French Dorito bags are considerably smaller than American ones. I also recently found Cheetos in France. No regrets there, either.

**Doctors Nine to Eleven. France 4 hasn't been generous enough to show the program all the way from the First Doctor on TV, nor did the DVD set for season 2 include the Christmas special. PURE SACRILEGE.

***France's version of American burgers is limited to McDonald's. For someone who knows better (à la Fuddruckers and even Denny's), that just doesn't cut it.


  1. I was aware of the small amount of time teachers have so I join you in your pencil crusades. I think you should be quite willing to spend time and money on things you actually want. Especially if its Doctor Who. The stand and the coasters look awesome. If that's what your painting is like two years out of practice, it makes me wonder what you were like before. I say practice and get back into it.

  2. Those coasters look wonderful!

    I think it's healthy to give in to your inner-self's voice from my time to time and do something you really enjoy even if there are more "pressing" matters.

  3. Those came out really well! It's good to keep your inner child entertained from time to time. After all, all work and no play makes Homer go something something...

  4. You should quit being a teacher and start selling your coater art work. Or at the very least, sell them on line between grading papers and shit :p

  5. There is never, and I repeat, never anything to regret when it comes to Sherlock (good God I love that show). And I'm sorry to see your pie chart, but know how true it must be. It's the same for a lot of JETs here in Japan but I definitely have more free time than most. :p


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