Ah, WEA, how I heart you.
I suspect that WEA stands for Workers' Education Association or something similar and that it was all very socialist and radical in the day. It was born shortly after my grandmothers and I really wish I knew what sort of courses were taught in the ninteen-teens, because I bet they were a collective cracker.
I have no beef with the WEA. After all, that's where I learned how to write HTML, lay tiles, take photographs and paint watercolours. I'm still pretty crap at watercolour (probably because I have very little artistic talent), but I'm vaguely competent at the other stuff.
But the current course guide is just gold, gold, gold, Jerry.
The cover is great all on its own. There's a balding man clutching his forehead in artistic agony while drawing licorice all-sorts with some lovely bright coloured pencils. Of all the lollies out there, I would have thought that licorice all-sorts would have been one of the easiest. Square. Layered. Black, white, pink, green, orange, yellow. Not brain surgery, you know? But then
you look closely and realise that he's using jelly beans as a model and you realise that this is one cool and funky cat! "God damn you and your capitalist jelly beans! You throw me curves, I see angles. I'm just that kind of guy..."
"So, what sort of courses do we have inside?" I thought you'd never ask, darlings!Public speaking in a day
Take it from me: this will not work. I did a public service course like this and the sole techniques were (a) recording your voice and making you realise how crap you sound on tape and (b) making you talk for four minutes in front of an audience about Something. Apart from the odd drunken tirade against a Random Sci-Fi Wanker who thinks that Australian writing isn't worth a pinch of poop, I can't talk about any one topic for four minutes. Fail. (But Random Sci-Fi Wanker, if you're reading this, you know who you are and the next time we meet it will be tumbleweeds at 40 paces. ~red gives a squinty look and strokes her six-shooter meancingly~)Languages for fun and travel
Italian, French, Spanish, German, Greek, Korean... I don't see Esperanzo on this list. I think that would be immensely useful. My language skills extend to, "Ooh, you are
a big hunk!" and "I would like a ham sandwich, please" in French and (my special party trick), "I don't speak Russian" in Russian. Oh and "with a bath, please" in Spanish, "very hungover" in Afrikaans and "welcome", "exit", "milk", "taxi rank" and "fat chicken" in Bahasa Malaysia. I'm comospolitan, me.Learn to burn a CD
Read CD burning software manual, then select, drag and drop. Hang about, you people want $69
?Internet safety and awareness for seniors
For people who watch so much damned Today Tonight
and A Current Affair
, you really wouldn't think that they wouldn't go off the rails just because they received an email that said, "You've won the gazillion pound lottery! No, you didn't need to buy a ticket! What were you thinking?" My mum keeps telling me about TT and ACA stories and I keep saying, "Mum. Mum? Mum!!! There's a reason why I don't watch "current affairs" TV. It's because it's bollocks and I don't want to know.
" TT and ACA are all about the four Fs: Fat, Fraud, Freaks and Failures. And you know what? I don't need any of that shit bringing me down.MySpace
"Heard about MySpace and want to know what it is?" I can help there: tits, bullying, bollocks, emos and being pathologically egocentric. If you have to ask what MySpaz is, you can live a full and meanintful life without it. In fact, go browse through your toilet paper cupboard. It will be a better use of your time.Importing for Small Business
Oh, I geddit. This is all about how to bring in drugs and endangered birds' eggs, yeah? Cheeky!Starting Up a Bed and Breakfast
There isn't actually a lot to this. Really. All you have to have is a house in a cool location, a granny flat and a talent for cooking a good breakfast. Bloke and I had a rather bad B&B experience when we were Courting. We decided to go to Aldinga for A Weekend. (For non-Oddelaideans, Aldinga is a rather pretty southern beach. Cliffs and dunes, stones rather than sand and seagrass, plus a bit of surf to look at - pretty.) But the owners. Oh, holy hell. For all potential B&B owners, here's what NOT to do:
- Do not start a B&B in your retirement "for company". If you are boring, no-one wants to talk to you, least of all paying guests.
- Do not address any couple of 20-ish as "Mr and Mrs". It's just embarrassing for all concerend.
- Do not pound on the bedroom door of said 20-something guests - and keep on banging even though they are clearly Ignoring You For A Reason - to say that you are "just popping into town". No-one cares.
- Do not appear in the common lounge room right outside your guests' bedroom and sit there for an entire rainy afternoon, watching TV.
- When said guests finally give up on indoor sports and emerge from said room, do not talk non-stop, as though you could keep going underwater with a mouthful of marbles.
- If your guests say they don't like grilled grapefruit, it is not your place to make them try it. Grilled grapefruit tastes like arse.
Selling Your Own Home
Oh Ford! Why would you do this? Selling your own home would make you a defacto real estate agent and no-one likes those twats. I was walking down a hall the other day behind a real estate agent and it made me think of a great name for a band: Harry Highpants and his Cuban Heels.
Introduction to Candlestick Charting
Apparently you can apply this ancient wisdom to buying shares. Hang about, why didn't you say so? Sign me up!
Defuse Conflict and Motivate
Meh, why waste your time? Buy a gun instead. An AK-47 is the ultimate conflict defusor and motivator, especially when loaded with hollow-points.
Call me a miserable old cynic, but I really belive that if you can't write already, no bloody course can help you. Did anyone teach Dickens or the Brontes or Mark Twain? I suspect that someone did try to teach James Joyce, and that's why he bites so badly.
Writing Your Life Story
Read my lips. No-one cares. Sorry. If it was really interesting, Harry M. Miller would already have been knocking on your door.
Being Your Best
See Writing Your Life Story. It's rather like that old addage, "McDonald's Employee of the Month - how to be a winner and a loser at the same time".
Attract Your Ideal Parner
Well, for a start, you sit down and write out 80 essential things that you're looking for in a partner. Take no notice of your own shortcomings as you do this. It doesn't mater if you're fat, ugly, braindead, enjoy collecting used soap or love listening to John Farnham. You can still get Clive Owen or Angelina Jolie if you just believe you can. Come on, now - let's all sit down and have a believefest!
"Have you ever wondered why it seems like you end up in a relationship with the same kind of partner over and over again? Or with a boss who treats you in a certain way no matter how many times you change jobs?" Obviously this means nothing is your fault, whether it's your shitty attitude to work or your passive aggressiveness. Screw everyone else - take no responsibility for your own rampant stupidity.
Self Defence for Women
Now that's more like. I read a story in The Aus or The Fin Review the other day about a NY Times food critic who was "nuts-kicker in chief". This course sounds like the way to get to that ideal job.
The Goddess Returns
The Goddess. Of course. Look, I've danced with pagans on the beach at the full moon and I've listened to spiritualists bang on about having conversations with their dead uncles. It was all in the name of continued employment, of course, but communing with Morgan La Faye about life rhythms or Shakta about energy doesn't seem like the best use of my evenings. I could be sitting in a corner drooling.
Do you know, I always thought I was Nefertiti in a past life and now's the chance to prove it, once and for all. One question, though: why is it that no-one was ever a scullery maid who was spat on by a leper and then run over by the nightman's cart at the age of 13?
Does that use Something About Mary gel? Or perhaps Technicolour Yawn spray? I'm not sure I want party hair...
Make-up Made Easy - For Women
They had to add that little rider because Boy George was banging on the door 24/7, wanting to take the course. What about I save you $59 and six hours of your life? Don't draw a skinny black line on your top lid. It WILL make you look like a brothel-owner. And lip-liner that's darker than your lipstick? Don't go there either unless you want to look like a shim.
Scandinavian Handcrafted Felt-making
Yes! At last! I have been wanting that totally unique BoHo handbag or piece of jewellery. And I had been dreaming about felt. That, and setting fire to my own hair.
Alliteration! Collage! Surrealism! Cubism! Oh my God, it's got it all!
Warming Winter Salads
That would be an oxymoron. Even if a salad has gravy on it, it's not going to be warming. It's just going to be sick-making.
Caring for Native Wildlife
What are you going to do if you find a poor, frightened little bogan lying on the side of the road? He's just out of the pouch and you can't just leave him there. You're going to have to take him home and put him in a beanbag in front of the footy. Do know exactly how much Farmers' Union Iced Coffee he needs a day? What about meat pies and West End Draught? And do you know how many wife-beaters and pairs of footy shorts he should be wearing to keep from getting builders'-crack rot? Remember, the bogan is an endangered species and you have to do your bit to keep the little guys from becoming extinct.
Blind-Making Made Easy
Step one: Make a pointy forky thing with your first and second fingers.
Step two: Poke someone in the eyes.
Beaded Flower Fairies
I couldn't tell you how many times I've woken up in the middle of the night, screaming, "Noooo! We don't have enough beaded flower fairies in the house!" Thank Ford, my needs can now be given a good seeing to.
Twelve Steps to Permanent Weight Loss
One: Eat less.
Three: Repeat four times.
Introduction to Massage
You know as well as I do that this course will have 12 students: 11 boho sort of chicks (five of whom have some idea of being professional "masseuses" down at Stormy's) and one Dirty Old Man in a sweat-stained bodyshirt. Euww. No-one wants to partner that DOM.
No bastard is touching my feet and I'm not touching any other bastard's feet. Full stop. Feet are revolting and they usually smell.
Natural Birth and Water Birth
No, no and bloody no! It doesn't mention any recipes for pasta with placenta and mushroom sauce, but it really wouldn't surprise me if there was a little cookbook included in the course cost.
Run the City-Bay
Oh, for fuck's sake. Only head-cases and actual athletes do the long-distance running thing. I used to work with a chick who was into triathlon and that was bad enough. Do you know that if triathletes are riding around on their bicycles and they feel The Need, they just, er, let it all go? Right there on the bicycle seat? Of course, the moral of this story is that you should never ask to borrow a triathlete's bicycle, even if you're wearing a space suit.
Simple Car Maintenance
Do you own an FJ Holden? No? Then there's no such thing as simple car maintenance anymore. Just get a little man to do it.
The Knights Templar
Isn't that just another word for Freemasons? No-one likes either of them and there's all those grotty associations with bones and aprons and secret handshakes.
Beyond the Wall: Discover West Terrace Cemetery
For non-Oddelaideans, West Terrace is a reasonably old cemetery. Not old in a European way, but old for a city that was only settled in 1836. There are all sorts of minor celebrities buried there, like the person who wrote Song of Australia. (Song of what?) I've only been to West Tce once; one of my uni lecturers was sort of Necroboy and kept dragging us around graveyards. The day he took us to West Tce, there was a thunder storm and we all ended up cowering under Moreton Bay fig trees, trying to keep dry and not get hit by fork lightening. Oh, and someone fell in a grave, but you expect that on history field trips.
Researching Your Scottish Ancestors
Don't have any. What about researching your pscyhotic ancestors? I'm fairly sure I've got some of those.
Spies, Spooks and Secret Service
Shh! Shh! There are people who've implanted microphones behind my kneecaps and they're listening right now! Ssshhh!!
Growing Garlic (online course)
You buy a head of garlic, you break it into cloves and you plant it. And then, after it's flowered, you dig it up and make pasta sauce. There. Just saved yourself $19 to download something from the internet that you may or may not have ever read.
Do you mean to say that there's more to nightclubbing than standing in a circle with your galpals and shuffle-dancing around a pile of handbags? What about when you've had enough glasses of champers and you become the sexiest goddess in the known universe by vogueing and striking Dance of the Seven Veils poses? Oh, surely not.
For pedophiles. Pedophiles who like to dress as clowns. (Clowns are scary.)
Living With Antiques - Furniture
Handy hint one: Don't wee on the couch.
Handy hint two: don't juggle with 18th century glass.
Handy hint three: Antique folding tables aren't ideal for extra seating.
Basic Blues Harmonica
Take this course or don't take it: I don't give a rat's arse. But if you do take it, just remember that playing a harmonica at 3am on my back verandah when I'm trying to sleep will get you smacked upside the head. I don't care how good you are. You could be Bob fucking Dylan and I'd still get up and bitch-slap you.
All in all, though, I must say that I'm disappointed that they've discontinued the haunted house course. That was one of my favourites. I've always wanted to have a ghost make me a toastie for morning tea.
Labels: catalogues, random rants