Silent Movie

Friday, November 28, 2008

I’m watching the TV with the sound off and making up my own story. It’s a lot more interesting than the actual story. I have no way of backing up this claim, of course, because I can’t hear what’s going on, but the characters in the show tell me that my version is much better, so I can only assume that they’re right.

I’m not crazy and hearing voices or anything, I just put the TV on mute by accident and now I can’t see where I put the remote and I’m too tired to get up and look. It’s better this way, I think, because I get to have a happy ending whenever I want and if I don’t want a happy ending I can turn it into a heartbreaking melodrama in the blink of an eye.

The only real problem with this is that I’m watching one of the Law and Order shows, so it becomes hard to explain all the sudden deaths and violent crimes when you’re making up a love story. I guess it’s more of a tragic love story.

Swap a little small talk?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Today I spoke to one of the guys who installs the playgrounds at work. I’ve never met him (I think he’s based somewhere in Sydney) and today was the first time I’ve ever spoken to him. I rang him at the boss’s request and using the boss’s phone because work calls are free between mobiles. The conversation went something like this:

Him: 'Hi Boss-Man'

Me: ‘Actually it’s Torrygirl'

Him: ‘Oh, g’day Torrygirl, how’s your day going?’ as though we had been introduced and knew each other well.

I would love to be able to be that at ease with new people. I’ve thought about it a bit and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m no good at small talk. I seem to be missing the small talk gene. Maybe it’s something that skips a generation. I might end up having excessively chatty children and nothing to talk to them about.

It’s because of this hideous genetic deficiency that I always find myself at a loss when it comes to meeting new people. I think this is why my relationship with KJ has worked so well over the years, because my shortcomings are his strengths. He is a masterful small-talker. He can talk about anything, anytime and never seems to create the kind of awkward silences that I seem to be able to elicit from people.

A good example of this is a family function we went to. We don’t see KJ’s family very often, so it was a lot of new people, hence a lot of social small talk was required. I spotted a Great-Uncle sitting on his own and I gathered together some kind of flimsy small talk plan in order to give this ‘getting to know a new person’ thing a go. The plan mostly involved talking about the weather. And as that’s the strongest plan I could think of, you can probably see how pitiful my small talk skills truly are. Also, the fact that I have to plan my small talk is a big clue.

That conversation went a little like this.

Him: 'Hello dear.'

Me (Thinking that speaking as though we’d met before might help the conversation along): 'Hello, how have you been?'

Him: 'Oh, well I’ve been in to the eye hospital and my eye was playing up and blah blah blah pus, blah blah blah festering, blah blah blah seeping everywhere!'

Me: (trying not to gag openly) 'Oh um, er, well…'

Enter KJ to flex his incredible small talking skills to ask the small, conversation moving questions that even now when I’m thinking back on this elude me. See! I can’t even small talk on paper.

I need to take a small talk class. Or maybe there’s somewhere where I can change some big talk for a bunch of small talk. I wonder what the exchange rate is on big talk to small talk?

Does anyone have any pointers to help me learn how to master this skill? Or am I a sad, lost cause in the world of talking about weather, health and whatever else it is that people talk about when they don’t really have anything to say?

I have a window!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And that means i can see what a nice day it is for the first time in 6 years!

In need of a chat

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The thing about working with a building full of men is that it has cemented for me the fact that when Men congregate, they are only able to talk about two things – their cars and the cars that they would own if they were rich.

As one of a smaller number of women who have a genuine interest in cars, I never really had any problem with this until I came to work in my new job. But even a V8 adoring, muscle car driving woman can have too much of a good thing.

Please men! Learn to talk about something else!

I’m finding myself getting a bit desperate for regular conversation. Work was always a bit social for me because I worked with a group of people around my own age, so we had plenty to talk about and we would go out for a few drinks after work on a Friday night. Now that I’ve changed jobs, my daily conversations have been severely limited and I’m finding that I’m writing long and wordy emails to anyone who I think will write back between the hours of 8:30am and 5pm.

I think it also has something to do with the reduced workload that I have in the new job – more spare time and nothing to waste it on I guess!

3 Weeks In

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's the end of my third week in the new job and I think I’m finally getting into the swing of things. It's still a little weird working with so many men, but I think I’m getting used to it. It's a lot less social than working with women - unless, of course, you fancy talking about cars all day.

It's also a bit strange because they have very different policies on things than they did in my last job. At the last place, you pretty much had free reign to organise whatever you thought the company needed. Here, they had an entire meeting because I suggested that perhaps having a company letterhead might be a good idea and they had to discuss whether having a printed letterhead would change the way their customers viewed their business. Personally, I have to say that I wouldn't think twice about a letter on company letterhead, but I would think twice about spending $60K with a company whose quote looked like it had been printed by a primary school student. So it's a bit of an adjustment trying to get used to fighting to get basic things done.

More interestingly, we started organising some of the more formal parts of our wedding this week. We spoke to the minister that will be marrying us and signed some of the paperwork. It was a truly weird experience, speaking to someone other than KJ about why we care about each other so much and why we want to get married. It's the kind of stuff that comes easily when you speak to each other, but it's a bit embarrassing when you have to tell someone else. Normally, people just accept that if you're a couple, then you love each other - they don't ask you to explain it all. I guess it's all just part of the whole wedding thing - in a couple of months we'll be saying it all in front of 140 of our friends and family, so I need to get used to it!

A Strange Day

Monday, October 27, 2008

Today was my first day in the new job. It was a truly surreal experience. I drove to a strange place, walked into a strange office, met strange people and sat down to attempt to begin a job that I know nothing about.

For as long as I can remember, I've been the person at work who knew how to do everything and that everyone came to for the answers. Now I have no answers and no idea what I'm doing. It's nice to have such a reduced workload, but again, it's all kind of surreal.

The other thing that was a little strange was that today I was the only female in the entire building. There were about 10 or so other staff there today, and all of them were men. It's a nice change from the bitchiness that can come out when too many women work together, but it was odd not to have the general Monday morning gossip that comes from working with a bunch of other women.

All in all if was a very weird first day, but definitely not a bad one. It will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings and if the weirdness fades.

It's Finally Over!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

On Wednesday afternoon, 2 ½ days before I was due to finish up at work, I was unceremoniously booted out on my arse. Not so much as a 'thanks for the last 5 ½ years' or a 'good luck for the future'. Just a quick meeting to politely tell me that I’d handed over all I could and that they wanted me to leave. Wasn't that sweet of them?!

It made me laugh, because in addition to being paid to take a 2 day holiday and finally getting away from there, I also had the thrill of watching them pat themselves on the back for the grand point that they had made by booting me out - only to have the entire staff tell them that they are completely disgusted with the way I was treated and that it has made them all think twice about working there. If only I could have seen the looks on their faces when they heard that!

I've had a lot of really nice phone calls from co-workers that I didn't get to say goodbye to, and they're all completely disgusted with what has happened. And how can I feel bad about it all when everyone (aside from the 3 bosses) has been so nice to me?

So I’m officially free and I’m moving on. I got myself a new haircut and a new wardrobe in lieu of taking a break, to help with getting a fresh start.
Tomorrow is my first day in the new job and I’m really looking forward to it. It's going to be strange to walk into a different building and answer to different people. And it will be strange to be working with an entirely different sort of group. The last place was a very young company with a lot of people around my own age. The new place is primarily men and they are mostly a fair bit older than I am (about my dad's age, I think). It will be different, but I’m hoping it will be better.

I can't wait!

The Countdown Begins

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One week to go. Five more working days and I am done. It has gone a lot faster than I thought it would, and my frustration at being delayed in handing things over has turned to a kind of stress that I won't get it all done in time. Deep down, I don't really care though. I just want to get away and start fresh. I'm looking forward to leaving the stress behind and being the person who doesn't know all the answers and sometimes has to hunt out some work to do. That will be nice.

In other news, one of my friends has decided that she finally needs to break up with her boyfriend of two years. It's something she has put off doing for the last few months.

Unfortunately, they live together in a unit with only 2 bedrooms, and the other is occupied by a room mate - a friend of her boyfriends. This means that she needs somewhere to stay while she looks for a place of her own. This means she is staying with us for the next 3 weeks. I'm happy to have her stay, because she's a friend and I want to help her out - it's just unfortunate that she is a high maintenance kind of friend and there is a good chance that we'll end up hating each other within a week or two. Also, I'm kind of used to it just being KJ & I, so it will be strange to come home to having someone else in the house.

I've never had a room-mate before; I went straight from living at home with my parents to buying a house of my own. I chose to do that because I didn't think I was the kind of person who would deal well with having other people around all the time. With KJ it's different because we are happy to share anything and everything. With a room-mate, everyone has different boundaries and I don't have the kind of patience necessary to put up with the crossing of these imaginary boundaries.

I will be an interesting few weeks, but hopefully with the new job and trying to organise things for the wedding (which is sneaking up scarily quickly) it will go pretty quickly.

Quiet time

Friday, October 03, 2008

I haven't posted much lately because of everything that is going on at work.
After resigning last week, my completely unprofessional boss has been making life very unpleasant for me(her answer to everything seems to be to involve lawyers), so I don't really have a lot to say that won't end in a giant rant about what I think of her and her total and complete lack of professionalism.

I have 3 weeks of my notice period left and I can feel that they're going to drag. I can't wait to be away from this place and the seriously questionable morals within it.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

I resigned from my job on Friday. I have worked there for almost 6 years so this is a big deal for me. It was one of the hardest things i've ever had to do, because it's a very family-like business, so everyone there is a friend as well as a colleague.

I'm not really sure how I feel about it all yet. It's a bit hard to say. My boss chose not to announce it to everyone on Friday, which was odd, so I don't yet have the total sense of this being real that I would have if everyone knew.

I have another job to go to, so at least i'm not stressing about money, but i do feel incredibly sad about leaving. I hope this feeling doesn't hang around for the next four weeks, it's not a nice way to be feeling.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

I am so so so so so so glad to be home from Sydney.
Melbourne, I love you.

The Continuing Adventures of Ingrid & Boris

Saturday, September 13, 2008

At the end of last year, I attended the wedding of Ingrid and Boris. I've know Ingrid since high school (which I realised this weekend was a scarily long time ago), but we don't get to catch up as much as we used to. She's the kind of friend that I usually catch up with at parties and special events like weddings and birthdays, and occasionally I’ll send her an email to see what she's up to and how she and Boris are doing. I've sent her a few emails since her wedding, and she's responded briefly. I imagined that she was busy setting up her new life in the USA with her husband Boris (whose accent makes me giggle even when I’m just thinking about it.)
Her answers about what was going on with her were kind of vague, but then she's never really been the kind of person to elaborate on anything without a little bit of prodding.
It has been almost 10 months since her wedding, so naturally I was pretty shocked when I received an invitation for her going away party!! She hasn't even left the country yet!
That's right - her husband went back to the USA not long after their honeymoon, and she settled in here to wait for her visa to be approved so that she could go and live with him. Her HUSBAND. It has taken a little over 9 months for her Visa to be approved. All this time I thought she was living her happy little family life with Boris over in California, and instead she's sitting here as a newlywed without her husband.
Ingrid and Boris met online, so I guess this is familiar territory for them, but I can’t think of anything worse than marrying the love of your life and then living in different countries for 10 months. I imagine it would kind of put a dampener on married life, although it would stop the arguments about who should take the rubbish out and whose turn it is to wash the dishes.
I also have to wonder what it would be like to be married to someone that you had never lived with for any decent amount of time. The longest they’ve lived together is about 3 months, and everyone knows that it takes at least that long to stop pretending that you care about being tidy or replacing the toilet roll when you use the last of it. It will be interesting to see how they’re going when they finally do get together.
At least now they are finally going to be together again. Congratulations Ingrid & Boris!

Conferences & Shoes

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I'm going to Sydney next week. Work is holding a conference that has been about 6 months in the making. I have been eating, breathing, living this conference for the past two weeks and I honestly can't wait until it's over so I can relax.

On the plus side, my bosses' penchant for treating themselves to the insanely overpriced means that we're staying in a 5 star hotel while we're there, so I can't complain about that! On an even brighter note, there is a bridal shoe store about half a kilometre from the hotel that I really want to go to. I am beginning to get desperate to find a pair of white shoes that won't require a bank loan for me to buy. Have I mentioned before how insanely overpriced weddings are?

10 more days and this conference will be over and i can have my spare time back!!

Mr. Over-Explainer

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I've had the immense pleasure of working with a guy for the last 4 months who is an over-explainer. He is the kind of guy, who instead of asking for a tennis ball asks for a round, slightly hard but bouncy object manufactured from a rubber compound, covered in a felt surface in a bright yellow hue and with an approximate diameter of 2.5 inches.

Ok, so he has never asked me for a tennis ball (I missed our company tennis day - thank god) but you get the idea.

It is driving me CRAZY.

He also has a tendency to use words that leave you with the feeling that his mouth has a built in thesaurus. I actually have to ask him to translate what he is talking about sometimes so that I can understand what it is that he wants. Often he will walk into the room and ask a general question of us (there are three of us who sit in the same office) and as a response will receive only blank stares.

Will he ever come to the realisation that he is over-explaining things and that no-one is really sure what he's talking about 90% of the time? I have honestly never in my life come across someone who can make the simplest things seem so complicated, and I've had to deal with some pretty airy-fairy landscape architects in my line of work.

I've been thinking of ways to try to let him know that he is over-explaining, since the traditional "I can't understand what you're talking about because you over-explain" method has so far failed. I think the key to this may lie in talking to him in his own language.

I'm thinking of saying something like this:
"Mr Over-Explainer, It has been drawn to my attention that when conversing with my colleagues and I on matters that relate to the design and layout of playground equipment that your enquiries and propositions are often fraught with terminology and descriptors that are both obsolete and preposterously convoluted. When speaking with us, could you please try to minimise the amount of verbal refuse and cut to the chase."
I.e. – cut the crap and tell me what it is that you want.

I'm not sure if this will work, because so far I have put his total disregard of anything that I tell him down to the fact that we have a language barrier of sorts and things have been lost in translation. I haven't really considered that he may just not care that no one understands what he says.

If that's the case then I may be in for many more months of Over-Explanation.


Constructing a drink

Monday, August 25, 2008

On Saturday I donned a fluoro vest, hard hat and tool belt and went out for a night on the town!

The outfit was a costume that I was wearing as a 'construction worker' for a 'C' Themed birthday party for one of the sales guys at work. Sadly, construction worker was the fall-back costume and there were quite a few of them there. It's pretty hard to come up with something original that starts with the letter 'C' that you can make yourself without spending a fortune.

I was a bit disappointed that i didn't get to wear something a bit more original, but unlike the other construction workers there, my costume had a practical side. I discovered that even if you don't have any tools to put in a tool belt, the pouches at the front (which I assume are for nails or something) are the perfect size for holding beer bottles. And there's a kind of metal thing on the side that made a perfect cup holder. Now I'm thinking about taking it to every party I go to! It's the perfect party accessory! It even had a spot for a measuring tape at the front that was the perfect size for a pack of cigarettes (Have I mentioned how much I miss smoking?).

No wonder labourers have the stereotype of being big drinkers - they have a drinking belt as a uniform!

Passive Smoker

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I miss smoking - a LOT. You would think that after 2 years of smoke-free air, I would be disgusted by the smell of cigarette smoke, but instead it makes me long for one more beautiful cigarette.

I am convinced that I have mild super-hero powers. I have an amazing and massive amount of will power and it's not normal. I should have given in to the urge to smoke by now, especially given that I don't really have any particular reasons for wanting to quit. I tried to think of a superhero name for myself, but anything that I put the word 'will' into just ended up sounding pervy. Even now, while I’m thinking about driving down to the shops and buying a pack of smokes, my stupid will power is telling me that i shouldn't do it.

When I’ve had a few drinks and my will power slides a teensy bit, I like to indulge in a good passive smoke. This usually involves placing myself directly in front of a smoker and inhaling their second-hand smoke while they look at me like I'm maybe just a little crazy. This usually serves as an intervention to stop me from actually smoking a cigarette - I realise that I'm so sad and addicted that it is embarrassing, and I put the idea of smoking out of my head.

I think what really keeps me from smoking is knowing that if I have one cigarette, I won’t be able to stop myself from having another. And then another, and another…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – why are all the really enjoyable things the ones that are bad for you?

Monster Monitor

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I recently kind of tricked my boss into buying me an enormous computer monitor.

Last week, he bought himself a gigantic and very overpriced monitor and called me into his office to help him set it up. He is probably the last person in the office (or the state) who needs an enormous monitor, since his desk is set up in such a way that his face to monitor gap is only a few centimetres - but i guess he wanted an Imax-style computer experience. After setting it up for him, I suggested that he should move it back a little so as not to go completely blind and/or cross eyed, and after a few half-arsed attempts at pushing the monitor back a little, he ended up with it in the exact same position.
'I'd love to have a monitor like this,' I told him 'It would really help with the graphic design aspect of my work'
'Yeah, it's great' he enthused while bobbing his head from side to side like a confused turkey as he tried to take in the
entire picture on the screen.

I just shook my head and added the monitor to the list of pointless things that my boss thinks are cool to own, and went back to my desk. 5 minutes later, my phone rang - The boss.
'You can have it.'
'Excuse me?'
'You can have it, it's too big. I'm going to buy a smaller one, and you can have this one'.
'Wow, gee thanks' I said, as I weighed up whether or not to point out that he could probably return the freakishly large monitor and exchange it for the smaller one instead of having to spend another small fortune on a useless toy. I decided it was worth letting it go for a while, and hoping that no one else would point out the very obvious (and much cheaper) option. After all, no one wants to be the one to point out to the boss that he's not that smart.

And that is how i came to own a monitor that is so big that i had to remove half of the items on my desk to accommodate it.

There is, however, a downfall to owning such a large monitor that i hadn't thought of before i hooked it up. I sit with my back to the rest of the office, and there are two desks behind me. There is also a walkthrough next to my desk, and with such an enormous screen, my ability to successfully bludge without detection has been severely compromised. Everything on the screen appears so large when maximised that it can be seen clearly from the other side of the office.

My work around so far has been to minimise whatever i am doing to the smallest window possible and place it directly in line with my body so that the people behind me can only see the maximised work and not that i am actually browsing the web for music or chatting on MSN. I haven't yet managed to work out what to do about the people who are walking past my desk, but I'm thinking it might involve disguising my web browser as some kind of playground-related work program. I'll have to come up with something, because I have just typed this in a window that is so small I can only see one word at a time, and even that is so big that I feel like everyone in the building can see every last word.

Good Intentions & Laziness

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Saturdays are all about good intentions and laziness.
This Saturday we had the good intention to spend the day catching up on all the random stuff that we've been putting off because we're too lazy. Instead I'm sitting here catching up on 2 weeks worth of blog reading and KJ is still in bed watching an Elton John/Billy Joel concert on TV. This is pretty much how our Saturdays always go. We make a full day's worth of plans and then sleep til midday, stuff around for an hour or two and end up doing just one of the twenty things we had planned.

For the past 2 years i have wanted to go to the local Saturday morning market. Sadly, the market starts at 8 and closes at 12 - so by the time we expend our Saturday morning laziness, it's too late. I'm usually up in time to go - I get up at around 8 every Saturday, but KJ stays in bed and i get online and the morning disappears. Every so often i get motivated and say that we will start spending our weekends in a productive way. This is usually on a Monday, so by the time Saturday rolls around, the motivation is gone and it goes like any other Saturday.

I think I need new motivation. What I need to do is quit my 9-5 job, get a night job and then maybe i might be able to get stuff done on a Saturday. Or even better, I might move to another country, which will hopefully screw up my internal clock and will mean that I will get stuff done without realising it's Saturday morning. Although that might make it hard to go to the local Melbourne market. Even better, I might go back to bed and sleep all morning until I've forgotten all the things we have planned. That sounds like a plan.

Bucket o' Coma

Friday, July 25, 2008

I have a bucket of Maltesers. That's 1/2 a kilogram of crisp malt centres covered with smooth milk chocolate. If I don't hide them soon, I will have an empty bucket, and probably some kind of weird diabetic coma.

Pleb Sickness

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I am officially sick of having a pleb.

I can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but a month or two ago, my bosses hired me a sidekick to help me out with the boring day to day stuff that I'm too lazy busy to do. I get that this is probably an important and useful thing to have done, however after almost six years of working alone, I have to say that I'm not very receptive to having someone around all the time asking me questions and making lame joke. I'm also not a huge fan of people who don't pick something up after being told three times. I figure two or three times should be enough to have it sink in. Once so the idea is out there, a second time to remind him and a third time because there's a lot of stuff to learn and it makes sense that some things would slip through. After three times, there's no real excuse for not remembering, and after five or six, I'm just pissed off that I have to keep repeating myself.

Plus I think he escaped from a Revenge of the Nerds movie, so we don't even really have anything to talk about when he's not asking annoying questions.

If anyone wants to trade plebs, let me know.

Ceiling vs. Floor

Friday, July 04, 2008

Why would anyone in their right mind put a heater vent into a ceiling? It makes no sense at all - and I will tell you exactly why.
1) How can you sit on it to keep warm if it's in the ceiling?
2) How can you use it to dry your clothes that didn't dry on the line overnight when you're running late in the morning?
3) How can you put your underwear on it to warm up on a cold morning?
4) I could be wrong here, but I think basic science tells us that hot air rises - so you're denying the warm air the right to fulfil it's scientific purpose if it's already at the top of the room
5) How can you find that last 50 cents to pay the pizza guy on Friday night when the number one storage area for lost poo-change is upside down and hanging from the ceiling?

Craziness, I tell you.

Chief Suspect: Laziness

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Laziness broke my coffee table. I was trying to collect all of the junk (mostly coffee cups) from it without having to make two trips to the kitchen, and I dropped a mug on it, which bounced and shattered the glass tabletop. So really laziness and a mug broke my coffee table. I, on the other hand, am totally innocent.

I've been trying to buy some stuff from America and the annoying lady who runs the store told me that I wasn't ordering enough for it to be profitable for her to put the work into mailing it internationally. Since when is $700 cheap, and since when is it hard to stick some stuff in a box and take it to the post office? It's not like I was asking her to pay the postage - I have to pay nearly $100 for that too, so I don't really get how much work is involved in taking a box to a post office and handing over someone else's $100 to send it off.

Honestly, how lazy can one person be? I think she's just slack because when she ships within the USA, the company that makes the product ships direct to her customers, so she doesn't have to actually move at all. It's possible that she hasn't left the house in years, and has forgotten where the post office is and how to use her legs to walk there. I bet she has one of those electronic wheelchair things and she scoots around the house in that so she doesn't have to even put any effort into the day to day menial tasks.
Actually, that's not a bad idea - i might have to invest in one of those. If I had one, I could have filled up the little wire basket at the front with my coffee mug, and it wouldn't have broken the coffee table. Although that doesn't discount laziness from the equation, and who knows what could have happened as a result of laziness that severe...

The Birth of Bridezilla

Monday, June 30, 2008

Oh I have been so slack about posting. This planning a wedding thing has become mildly consuming and I'm probably only about 1 or 2 tantrums away from becoming a full blown, stereotypical 'bridezilla'.

I spent yesterday shopping with my two bridesmaids for dresses and it was a lot more traumatic than I had hoped. They're both very strong willed people when it comes to what they want, and sadly for me, what they want it to look supremely hot in their bm dresses - not an unreasonable request I guess, although I do keep telling them that they're not allowed to look too good - I think all brides secretly want their bridal party to look just a little bit scruffy so as to make themselves look so much better.

The trouble is that when one of them is a busty size 10 (size 6 US) and the other is a not so busty size 6 (I think that's like a size 2 US) then, you start to run into problems with finding a dress that suits them both. What looks cute on one looks almost pornographic on the other. It can't be too low cut or one of them is all boobs, but it can't be too high cut because the other looks too flat chested. As i'm now aware, dress shopping is apparently all about how it makes your boobs look compared to the other bridesmaids. My sister very kindly offered to have a boob job (at my expense, of course) so as to look the same as my other bridesmaid. I politely declined, since I hadn't budgeted silicone boobs into my wedding expense list.

I took a little bit of evil delight in making them try on some hideously ugly dresses and pretending that I thought they were great, just to see them try to fake enthusiasm. I know, I'm cruel, but it starts to get pretty boring watching other people try on dresses while you wander around aimlessly looking at things covered in frills and tassels and beads. It's especially funny since we all have very different tastes in dresses, so they're inclined to believe that it's entirely possible I might want something like this for them on my big day.

It's going to be an interesting few months trying to keep everyone happy without going crazy.

A Toe Tale

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I stubbed my toe on nothing and now it's a funny colour. By nothing I mean the floor and by funny colour I mean a strange kind of purpley/black. I thought it was broken, but now i think it's just angry with me for hurting it. It's not bruised, it has just turned purple with rage at me being so careless.

How do you stub your toe on the floor? With a clever kind of stumble-hop manoeuvre that is brought on by tripping over a laptop power cord and landing with pretty much all of your weight on your little toe while it's bent. I would be purple with rage too if someone did that to me.

The only good thing to come out of it is that I haven't been able to wear my shoes for a couple of days, so have been wearing some comfy thongs to work. That's flip-flops for all you sickos who think I'm talking about underwear. I'm not sure a g-string would be helpful in alleviating toe-pain, although to be fair, if you were wearing just a g-string you would probably be off your feet, which might be of some assistance.

Bald Mouse

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I think I'm about to end up with a bald spot on my index finger. Bald of fingerprints, that is.

I've been using my laptop computer non-stop for the past few days and the stupid mousepad is wearing away the tip of my finger. It's actually beginning to cause me some serious discomfort. And now that I've noticed it, it seems even worse.

Damn you, laptop!!!! Why is this inter-web thingy so addictive?!!!

Time to Book

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'm going to book my wedding today. That means that after a year and a half of procrastination and fretting about how to afford it, we are actually getting organised and setting a date.

I have avoided writing about this until now, because I fear that I may easily turn into that girl who can't talk about anything but her wedding, and that would be a sad sad day. But as this is pretty much the only thing going on for me this week, I guess its ok to be that sad for a couple of minutes, since it's better than admitting I have nothing else to write about.

I will be a married woman on the 14th of March 2009. God that makes me sound old. I think getting married is something that I've always equated with growing up and becoming an adult, and I'm not sure that I'm ready to be a grown up yet. It sounds like a lot of responsibility.

Instead I'm choosing to look at this big moment in life as more of an excuse to have a giant, over-priced party with all of my favourite people. I started out looking at all of the things that I really wanted and knowing what everything should look like, then once I found out what a total rip-off anything related to weddings is, I changed my mind. I think that was a large part of the procrastination - should we save for the things I want, or just have the things we can afford now? When I came to realise that a decent wedding cake was going to set me back about $700, I decided that the things we could afford now really aren't so bad. Seriously, $700 for a cake that no one will even look at and that will be sent home with them in little bags to go mouldy on the counter top or get thrown into the bin? I think not. You can buy a lot of really cool stuff for $700 and just don't think that I want to spend it on a cake.

This is part of the reason why we've chosen the place that we're having our reception - they include the wedding cake for you, so that when you cut your cake, you don't feel like you're cutting into what could have been your much needed bathroom renovation, or that new set of tyres that your car desperately need.

In truth, I'm a little nervous because at about 3pm I will officially be heading towards our wedding and there is a lot to organise and I, unfortunately, am a total control freak. I want to do everything myself, because I lack faith in others to do it the way that I want, however being my wedding, this becomes hard as I will be otherwise occupied on the day and unable to be the person to set things all up the way I want. It means that I have to find someone else to do it, and this is not something that a control freak is good at.

So for now I am going to just book, and once that is done, I know that I have 287 days to stress about it.

The Great ANZAC

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

ANZAC biscuits are the single greatest biscuit in the entire universe.

I kid you not.

I made a batch on the weekend and they were so good that if I had had the ingredients to make more, I would have eaten every single one of them and baked more so that I could eat all of them without telling anyone about the first batch.

I'm drooling just thinking about them. Ok, that's a bit of a lie - i'm actually dropping crumbs all over my keyboard while i try to devour one as I type this.

Russia in '09!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Woohoo! Go Russia!
Hmmm, not something you would expect anyone to yell out all that often, but I'm just excited about Russia winning Eurovision 2008. Not that I thought that their song was all that good, but because the guy that was singing (Dima Bilan) has a special meaning for us here at Sad Aussie Eurovision Central.

Every year, KJ chooses the cheesiest, daggiest love song in Eurovision and calls it his favourite. Two years ago, at Eurovision '06 in Greece, Dima Bilan had that song. It was a great song - we took a lot of delight in trying to decipher the 'English' lyrics (if you think you have them worked out, read the actual lyrics here and see if you were as far off the mark as I was).
KJ was especially taken by his enthusiastic, emotional dancing and by the white-painted ballerina that emerged from the middle of the piano, and I have to say that I was a little taken by the fact that he looked freakishly similar to my next door neighbour. Sadly, heartbreakingly - he didn't win. He came very very close, but he came second to the Finnish band Lordi - aka Metal music that your Nanna would approve of.

This year, while watching the semi-final, I heard a strangely recognisable voice - and couldn't believe it when it turned out the be good old Dima. This year's song had nothing on the one from 2006, but I was happy to see him win because we were so sad that he lost to Lordi in '06. I was a little worried for him that their stage presentation consisted of Dima wandering barefoot while a man with a freakishly large nose ice-skated around him. That routine didn't seem like it was very well thought out, but perhaps it was the slight element of risk to it that they were hoping would excite viewers.

Other than Dima winning, it was a reasonably uneventful Eurovision. There was a lot less piano accordion than I like in my music. The trouble is that each year, the contestants tend to parrot the previous year's top three, so this year saw a lot of emotional ballads performed entirely in the native language of the country, and a lot of dance music.

You can watch the recap here. I especially enjoyed the Latvian entry. It seemed to be the one that was most in the spirit of the Eurovision that I have come to know and love.

Eurovision Excitement

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's almost time for one of my favourite events of the year and I am excited. Only 8 days until Eurovision 2008 begins!

It was inevitable that Eurovision would become a part of my yearly routine, as it works in perfectly with my favourite hobby - singing bad music very loudly in my car on the way to work. And what is there not to love about hearing musicians from all over Europe trying to imitate popular non-European styles of music? You've never really heard rap music until you've heard it in Israeli, you've never heard swing music until you've heard it in German, and you've never heard punk music until you've heard it in Catalan.

And honestly, tell me -who doesn't like their music with a bit of piano accordion in it? Eurovision never fails to deliver on that front. It's amazing the variety of music styles that can have a piano accordion instrumental added to them. It makes everything 5% more fun. There aren't enough songs in the charts with piano accordion in them. In fact, oddly enough I don't think there are any...

I love it because even when you aren't laughing at the commentary by Terry Wogan, you can't help but laugh at some of the contestants. Every year we have a Eurovision party for the final. It's a good excuse to get together for a bit of a laugh, and this year will be a lot better, because I think they're broadcasting it in High Definition - that means i get to see singers like mini George Michael in life-like quality.

I'm running a pick-a-country-out-of-a-hat sort of betting thingy this year (does anyone know what the proper name for that is?) because I always feel a bit bad for all of the countries that don't have anyone cheering for them during the party. If anyone wants in, let me know. There are 42 countries and only 8 people coming to this year's party, so there are a few extra to go around.

I'll leave you with a video of the act that in my opinion should have been last year's winner, but shockingly only came 37th out of 42.

V8 Conversation

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The guy who works in the factory at my work is a V8 Supercar fan. I am an F1 fan (of the vague, watch it when it's on but not obsess over it like a boy kind of way). I also happen to drive a 30 year old V8. Somehow, factory man got it into his head that because i enjoy some form of car racing and because i drive a classic car, that i also follow the Supercars. Sadly, this couldn't be further from the truth. I have no interest in them at all and wouldn't even have the slightest clue who the drivers are.

He often comes to me and says things along the lines of 'did you see in the news about the V8's...?' and then follows this with some titbit of information about the V8 cars or drivers that has recently made headlines. I told him the first few time that I didn't really follow the V8's, but i think he must have gone selectively deaf when I mentioned it, because he keeps coming back to ask me if I've seen the latest news, and now I don't have the heart to tell him that I have no idea what he's on about.

Instead I've developed a kind of system of skirting around his 'news' so that it sounds as if I'm making knowledgeable conversation about it, when really I'm just rephrasing what he has just told me and adding some kind of comparison with the F1's. I'm not sure how long this is going to last. Surely at some point he's going to realise that I have no idea what he's talking about and I will have to confess that I've merely been humouring him for the past 6 months. And I don't think I could just come right out and tell him. Maybe I'll have to start watching the V8's just so that I know what he's talking about...

Toilet Humour

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

No matter what the rest of the world thinks, I am adamant in telling you that adorable little puppy dogs and cuddly teddy bears printed on toilet paper are not cute, sweet or funny in any way. It's just weird and wrong and whoever had the idea to put them on there in the first place clearly didn't think much of puppy dogs and teddy bears at all.

Also falling into this category are inspirational quotes by famous people and jokes. But only funny jokes. Non-funny jokes definitely have their place on the toilet rolls of the world.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm not sure but I think I've become that person who starts lots of home renovation projects and never finishes them. The kind of person you see on shows like 'Renovation Rescue' or 'DIY Disasters' who can't really seem to explain what it was that motivated them to start on a new project while the bathroom wall is still half missing and covered by a plastic tarp.

The problem for me is that I'm indecisive about colours. I started by painting our bedroom off-white with bright white trims - which in theory sounded good, but in practise was much more difficult. There are literally thoussnds of shades of white paint. How do you pick two shades that will go together well? More importantly, who would have thought that you could buy two shades of whites that didn't go well together!!!?? I spent three days repairing, prepping and painting the room, only to find at the end that my two shades of white didn't really match. The trims looked too dark which made the walls look too dark. So I picked another shade of white for the trims and started painting, only to find that the trim colour was great, but it made the walls look too yellow. So now I have to paint the walls again.

After the first coat of paint on the bedroom, I lost interest for a while and started on the bathroom - it's now trapped in a sort of half-primed, white-washed state, and I don't see it being finished any time soon.

Give it a few months and I'm sure you'll see me on Renovation Rescue - I'll be the paint covered woman screaming about all the white walls looking the same.

The Perfect Pets

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A little while back there was a cat kind of stalking my house. The previous owners of the house had warned us that there were two cats that always strolled around as though they owned the place. I thought that was unlikely, as I'm pretty sure strolling can only be done on two legs, not four - but it turns out that they were right - we do have two strolling cats. It's a bit like having a pet, only way less work because I don't have to feed them or clean up after them. Also, I don't have to worry about where they are at night or get cat hair on everything, which makes them the perfect pets for me. I have even given them names. 'Fatty' for the fat Calico one, and 'creepy' for the creepy sort-of-black one that always stares at me with crazy eyes. I did briefly think about calling him Crazy, but Creepy seemed a little nicer.

About a week ago I was looking out my front window trying to out-stare Creepy when I noticed that there was something else running through our garden. It took me a second to spot him because he was ducking in and out of the trees. It was a boy of about 6 or 7 years of age. He was running around, playing some sort of imaginary game that involved ducking and weaving and I think possibly shooting things. He was there for about a minute or so and then he ran off back to the neighbours yard.

I've seen him about 3 more times since then, playing his strange imaginary game in our front yard and I've decided that 3 visits is enough for me to add him to the pet roster along with Creepy and Fatty. He needs a name to join the roster, and I've thought of a few, but nothing that seems right so far.

Initially I though I could call him Ducky, because of all the ducking and weaving he does around the trees - but that reminded me of the guy from that TV show 'NCIS' and he's a bit too chatty for a boy that runs silently around the front yard.

I thought of Johnny, because generic little boys in books are always named Johnny - but that seemed a bit too generic for a pet name. That is also why I discounted 'boy' - because there are too many dogs called 'dog' and cats called 'cat'.

I'm at a bit of a loss for a new name, so until I can think of something more appropriate, I'm going to call him Dough, because it's a bit like calling him John Doe, but marginally more interesting.

All suggestions are welcome.

Freaky Baby Danger

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I have this theory that because of all the preservatives and chemicals and what-not in our food nowadays, it's having a weird effect on humans in the long term. A bit like evolution, but not in a good way. I figure that this is what is causing things such as women having babies that are too big to actually come out of their bodies without being cut out.

Ok, so my sister-in-law's baby fit out of her body, but surely a very small woman giving birth to a 10 pound, 6 ounce baby is not something that should happen in the normal order of things. I also think it's not normal to squeeze out a baby that big without the aid of drugs to kill the pain, but I don't think I can blame that on the additives in food so much as my sister-in-law being crazy. Although the craziness may be a result of the food.

So I'm an Aunty again - and today I actually held a new born baby for more than 20 seconds. Freaky. It's not that I'm not one of those people who are scared they're going to break the kid because they're so small - that's not something that has ever even really crossed my mind. It's more the fact that they freak me out, because they make all sorts of weird noises and they cry for things, but they can't tell you what it is that's wrong with them. It's just not normal. And the noises they make aren't reassuring noises. They're weird gurgling, wheezing, clicky noises that are the kind of sounds that can convince you that something is seriously wrong. Even if it's not.

When I left the hospital today, they hadn't filled out the name on the birth certificate, so I might still be in with a chance to give him Danger as a middle name. My Sister-in-law isn't so keen on it, but my brother thinks it's great, so it could still happen. He suggested tat they could give the baby 2 middle names -A normal name, like John, plus Danger. Then they could just not tell him that Danger is his middle name, so he wouldn't know until he went to get a passport or something - and surely that would be the best way to find out that Danger is your middle name.

Danger is (or will be) his middle name

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Sister-in-Law was supposed to make a baby on Wednesday, but sadly, she is still pregnant. I say sadly, because tomorrow is my birthday and as I love birthdays so much, it won't do to share my birthday with the new baby - We will be ripped off out of one party per year if that happens. Our birthday celebrations will forever be combined, when we could easily be having two separate parties and double the birthday fun.

I've asked her to try to hold the baby in for a bit longer so that it won't happen, but apparently things don't work that way. I have a feeling she's going to go into labour tomorrow. I told her that for my birthday present, I wanted to pick the baby's middle name. I've picked 'Danger'. That way, when he gets older he can tell everyone 'Danger is my middle name.' She wasn't very impressed. My brother thought it was great - and it's definitely way better than splodgy, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

Mini Me

Monday, April 07, 2008

On Saturday just gone, I went to our local BMW dealership to look at new cars. I got it into my head that I wanted a new car, and although I’m not really a BMW driving kind of girl (ok, I’m not even remotely close) the only car with any real personality that is under stupid-thousand dollars is the BMW Mini. The plan was that I would go there, sit in the car, hate it and then leave without ever looking back. Sadly, this is not the way things panned out.

The car fit me. That was very unexpected.

For this to make sense, you have to understand how I feel about my current car. I love it the way that people love their kids. It is like a part of my family. When my car turned 30, we had a 30th birthday party for it (ok, that was more of an excuse to get drunk than anything else). I have always been convinced that no other car could ever come close to being as great or suiting me so well. So I wasn’t expecting to want to own this new car quite so much.

The worst part about this whole experience is that now I have that feeling where you decide you really, really, really want something, but you know that it’s not really possible - because it turns out that the Mini isn’t quite as affordable as I’d hoped. I could stretch my budget and afford it, but sadly I’m supposed to be saving to pay for a wedding, which means that I can’t have the car that I want. Now I’m sad. And I feel like I’m cheating on my car, but without really getting anything out of it. I’ve spent the last few days trying to think of a way that I can stretch my budget in a creative way so that I can afford a wedding and a car. I figure if I just stop eating lunch and cut off my phone and possibly the electricity in my house, then I might be able to afford it.

That sounds like a silly thing to say, but the salesman who was trying very hard to sell me the car said at one point

‘If you really like the sunroof, then it’s worth spending the money – after all, it’s only the difference of one decent meal a fortnight’

Can you believe that?! I guess at a BMW dealership they’re used to selling cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars – so I guess they’re a little blasé about the money it costs to buy one of their cheap cars and how important regular meals are.

I actually laughed out loud when he was telling me about some of the features that come with the car. It has interior lights that can change to a whole range of different colours to ‘set the mood’. I had no idea mood lighting was so important in a car – especially a car that is too small for anyone to get up to no good in.

I guess the only bonus of me being so amused by all the silly options you can get is that the fewer options you want, the cheaper the car gets. Maybe one day I’ll be able to scrounge up the money to buy one. Until then I guess it’s just me and my 30 year old kid.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A very very sad thing is happening this Thursday. My long time lunch buddy (the company receptionist) is going on an extended holiday. This means that for 5 long weeks, I will have no-one to eat lunch with. I will be spending my lunch break hanging out in a big group of one.

Ok, that's a half truth. I do have some options, although at this stage, I'm not prepared to consider them. Give me a week or two and I might be so desperate for a lunchtime venting session that i might have to brave it and spend an hour hearing about chatty-lady's daughter's boyfriend's Aunt's Cat's bung leg. I'm just not ready for that quite yet.

In other news, I am about to become an Aunty for the second time. My sister-in-law is due in about a week, and she has spent the last few months trying to think up a suitable middle name for the baby (a boy). They decided that they wanted to let their daughter come up with the name, but it has all ended quite badly because she was genuinely devastated to find that they were unwilling to name their son 'Splodgy'. I tried to tell her that Splodgy is a girl's name and that she needed to pick a good, strong boy's name like Splatty - but it wasn't much help. She knows what she wants and is very vocal about it. I suspect the baby may be call Splodgy, even if his birth certificate says otherwise.

Seniors Menu

Monday, March 31, 2008

Last week I had dinner at the East Malvern RSL and it was oddly reminiscent of dinners at my Nanna's house when I was young. The bistro was small and cosy, everything smelt like roast vegetables and gravy and the room was about 2 degrees warmer than was really necessary - just like my Nanna's house always is. I couldn't shake the feeling that my Nanna was going to walk in with a roast leg of lamb on a large platter and start dishing up enormous plates of food.

The entire menu read a little like a Seniors menu would, with items like 'Lambs fry & bacon' and 'roast of the day' - although oddly enough, there was actually a seniors menu as well. I've never been anywhere before where Lambs Fry made it onto the regular menu instead of the seniors menu.

The meals were very good and they did actually turn out be like home cooking. To be honest the food was probably better than it ever was at Nanna's place. The reason for this is not because she is a bad cook - she's not at all. No, the reason is because as my grandfather got older, it became harder for him to taste things and in order to stem the flow of complaints from him, Nanna would add large quantities of miscellaneous seasoning to her recipes to 'bring out the flavour'. It never stopped the complaints, of course, but it did make for some interesting tasting food. It was never enough seasoning for my Grandad, and he used to put all sorts of extra stuff in his food to give it more flavour.

During one very memorable meal, he complained loudly that the Chicken soup had no flavour, so he added salt, then pepper - but still no flavour. He added Worcestershire sauce - still no flavour. He added tomato sauce - still no flavour. He then proceeded to add a large scoop of Vegemite. At this point the chicken soup was a strange brownish black colour, and he had run short of strange things to add in order to increase the flavour. He had to content himself with putting his toasted sandwich into his soap and eating it all in one big sloppy, black, soupy mess. I guess the theory was that if you put enough kinds of food into one mouthful, you'll eventually be able to taste it, no matter how dull your sense of taste has become. I think i'll give it a go with tomorrows dinner. It could be interesting...

I shall call it.....Brinner. Or maybe Dinnfast.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Breakfast foods for dinner. Totally under-rated.

I just had a big bowl of muesli and yoghurt and it was waaaaay better than it could ever be at breakfast time. I wouldn't normally eat muesli for breakfast, because I have to give my stomach its all important 3-cup-coffee-coating before it's ready to handle food, and by then it's usually lunchtime.

Bacon and eggs is another great breakfast for dinner food, although I have to admit that nothing tops a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast - not even a bacon and egg sandwich for dinner. But bacon and eggs are truly a great all-rounder.

I'm toying with the idea of dinner foods for breakfast, but I'm not so sure how that one will go. I'm easing into it; starting small. On the weekend I fried myself up some left over fries and then scrambled an egg in them, so that's a start. It was pretty damn good, too. Who would have thought that potatoes and eggs would make such a good team! If i can keep this up, soon it will be roasts for breakfast and fruit-loops for dinner.

It makes more sense this way, if you really think about it. In the morning I'm refreshed, I'm awake, I have the energy to roast a leg of lamb, prepare and steam 5 fresh vegetables and season and roast potatoes. At 6pm after driving an hour home from work on a 40 degree day in peak hour traffic in a car with no air conditioning - I think cereal is more my speed.

I'm not sure where this leaves me for lunch, however. I may have to leave lunch as it is. It's worked pretty well for me for the last 26 years, so I guess it must be doing something right.

In other, completely unrelated news, we've had another two Huntsman Spiders in our house. One in the bath (I think it fell there and got stuck, or else it wanted to wash its hairy legs) and one in the room with no name. The room with no name is thus named because it's just the weird bit of house that sticks off the side of the kitchen that I guess is there to eat meals in, but that we never use because we eat all of our meals at the dinner couch. Huh, having said all that, I guess the room does have a name.
Anyway, the point here is - I'm totally over the spiders. If anyone knows a good way to deter them, then let me know because I don't think I can stand much more of these freaky, hairy, uninvited guests.

If you concentrate really hard...

Friday, March 14, 2008

I have discovered that if you just type a lot of nonsense sentences into notepad and squint your eyes as though you’re concentrating really hard, it looks as though you’re working instead of bludging and playing scrabble against the receptionist.

Reality Soapie

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Today I had the strangest conversation with my boss. She called me into her office to tell me about some things that were going on in her personal life, because they had crossed over into her work life. She wanted to tell me about it before I heard about it as office gossip, because we’ve known each other a long time and she wanted me to know the truth about it all.

As she was telling me about what was going on, I got a little confused and thought maybe she was reading me the TV guide instead of telling me about her life, but no – she was definitely talking about herself. I felt like she was reading me a blurb about a TV soap opera.

I’m going to tell this story so that you can tell me if you think it sounds like real life or like a dodgy drama series.

Obviously I can’t use their real names, so instead I’ve named them all after characters from ‘The Young and the Restless’, ‘Days of our Lives’, and that great Australian soapie – ‘Neighbours’.


Female Boss – Charlene

Male Boss – Victor

Suave Salesman – Bo

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives….

Charlene has been very happily married for 6 years when she unexpectedly has an affair with the suave salesman, Bo. They are careless in covering it up, and are caught out. She splits with her husband.

Charlene’s husband works up a jealous rage and threatens to beat Bo to a pulp and dump him in the bottom of the bay, but ultimately ends up drinking himself almost comatose.

She is going to tell Victor that she is leaving her husband and that Bo is leaving his wife (who is 8 months pregnant) so that they can be together, but before she can, Victor receives an anonymous phone call outing their affair.

The anonymous phone call turns out to be from Charlene’s evil stepfather, Stefano, who somehow has a personal stake in the break up of Charlene’s marriage and has tracked down and called Victor without Charlene or Charlene’s mother knowing about it.

To be continued….

Is that day-time TV material or what? And I’m not making any of this up – this is the kind of melodrama that is happening while I’m off drawing playgrounds. All it needs is a nice rounded ending with someone in a coma and an evil plot by someone’s jealous wife. I think that Victor’s wife would be good at the jealous wife part, but I’m not too sure about the coma and the evil plot. Still, my boss told me all of this today and it’s only been two months since she split with her husband, so I guess there’s still plenty more time for B-grade drama to unfold.

My Secret Shame

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Look, I’m going to be honest and come right out and say it.

I don't like spiders.

My secret shame is revealed.

Yes, I know, it's not unusual for a female to hate spiders, but I’m not normally the sort of woman who gives in to stereotypical female behaviours, so this is a big deal for me. Having said that, let me tell you that of all the things to be scared of in Australia, being afraid of spiders is closer to the rational end of the fear list than it is to the irrational.

Recently we had a few trees cut down in our backyard, and unfortunately they were gum trees, which are often home to Australia's most lovable bug - the huntsman spider.

We've had FOUR of these suckers in our house over the last two weeks and they have been the biggest that I've ever seen. The largest one would have had a leg span of about 15cm (about 6 inches). It was the largest, creepiest bug that I have ever seen and I swear to you that it looked me in the eye and gave me the death stare. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. I could see its eyes and it was looking right at me. If a bug is so big that you can make eye contact, then I think I can safely say that it is not an irrational thing to be afraid of.

Because we've had a few of these spiders in the house, I am now constantly paranoid about more appearing. I've spent the last two weeks opening doors cautiously and checking the walls of every room I enter to make sure that there isn't any kind of giant bug lurking, ready to pounce. Everything takes longer because you’re scouring the room for bugs the size of your hand.

The first three times that one of these spiders appeared in our house, KJ was around and although he wasn't keen to get rid of them, he did the job anyway. I think it may have had something to do with me yelling at him to suck it up and do his duties as an Aussie male. I can’t be certain, because I left the room (hastily) and wouldn't return until all evidence had been removed.

The fourth time a huntsman appeared (tonight), I had a problem. KJ was away for two days and I was still so creeped out by the evil death stare that the last one gave me that I couldn't even go anywhere near the thing.

This presented a problem.

How was I going to get rid of it? I couldn't bring myself to get close enough to squish it or spray it in case it looked at me like the other one did, and KJ was two hours away. I couldn’t just leave it there, because if I looked away for too long, it wouldn’t be there anymore and the only thing worse than seeing a giant spider in your house is not seeing the giant spider that’s in your house.

I started cursing, wishing that I knew the neighbours a little better so that I could get one of them to help me. I rang friends who live nearby, but because it was Saturday night they were all out. I was expecting a friend over for drinks and I prayed that she would be the bug killing kind. No such luck. She was more scared of the thing than I was.

I exhausted every possible option before I had to resort to my innate childhood instincts – and called my dad to have him get rid of it. I felt like I was 5 and I had called him over because I needed him to hold my hand while I crossed the road. He came over and got rid of it while we watched from a safe distance. He scoffed at my mother, my friend and I for cowering in the kitchen, which leads me to believe that the fear of spiders must be an inborn female trait, something that men will never understand.

I will defend myself by saying that it was a very big, very hairy spider that may have been able to see that I had been given the evil spider death look by their ringleader, right before I had her killed. That if I had left it there, it would have come for me at night while I slept, and it might have brought its friends.

Sadly, despite my justifications, my true colours have shone through. I am a woman who had to call her dad to have him kill a spider.

Oh, the shame.

3, 127, 66, 5, 1/2 and 1

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Three websites, 127 playground drawings, 66 cups of coffee, 5 international product orders (resulting in one very irate company director), half a retaining wall and one funeral.

These are the things that i have been doing instead of blogging.

The websites were for friends and for work. If i didn't treasure my thin veil of anonymity so much, i would post links to them here, because they're pretty impressive (if i do say so myself). I'm not really a web designer, more of a professional nerd with an artistic flair, so i don't get to do a lot of web design, but I've enjoyed what I've done so far, and it's nice when you do these sorts of things for friends because they're always so grateful and thankful. Which is kind of the opposite of what i get for doing the work website...

The 127 playgrounds sort of go without saying. That's my job. 2D, 3D, 2D,3D....endless and also a little boring after 5 years. 127 playgrounds in three weeks means i've been very very busy.

The 66 cups of coffee is not an exaggeration, sadly. I fear that i have another addiction, and a little bit of nerdy maths has revealed to me that i'm averaging about 22 cups a week. That's a hell of a lot of coffee. I started to work out what i drank yearly, and just how much money Starbucks & Gloria Jeans have taken me for, but i got scared and had to stop.

International orders. Yet another excuse for crazy sales rep who takes issue with me leaving the building to crack the sads over nothing.

The retaining wall. Oh, my beautiful retaining wall. It was holding our backyard up, then it was not, and now it is again. It caused me to do excerise, and that means it must be something special. Eventually, one day, i will fix the other half of you.

The funeral. This is the number one reason why i haven't been blogging. For the past few weeks, my grandfather has been very ill, and on Saturday morning he passed away.

They told us about a week before he died that he only had a few days left and I've found it hard to think about much else. The funeral was on Tuesday.

I honestly can't think of anything else to say about it at this point. It's crap, death is always crap and to be honest, every time I've sat down to write in the last few weeks, I've drawn a blank because all i can think about is how crap this is, and there hasn't been anything else to say.

Now that the funeral has come and gone, i think i just needed a bit of a nudge to get back into the swing of writing and thinking about other things, and i got that today - thanks Tyge.

So i intend to sit down now and read the 92 blog entries on my Google Reader that I've put off for the past few weeks, and hopefully after that, I'll feel like writing some more. Although i may need a coffee or 22...

Music that Pops

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I just made microwave popcorn and i swear to god that it was popping in time with the music on the radio.


It didn't taste especially musical.

Empty Building

Friday, February 08, 2008

I'm blogging from work, because the building is empty, save for me and the receptionist. Or is it the receptionist and I? Whatever - we're here alone. Why are we alone, i hear you ask? Well it's because the rest of the slackers who work here are off getting drunk in order to celebrate the resignation of the marketing guy.

I know that sounds like they're celebrating because he's not very well liked - but they're not celebrating because they hate him, they're celebrating WITH him because they like him, but he's moving on to bigger and better things.

Celebrating seems like the wrong word to use, but i don't think there's another name for it that is more appropriate. Any excuse for a drink. I chose not to go, because someone had the great idea that having drinks on the other side of the city on Friday evening would be a good idea. I have plans already after work, and driving a 2 hour round trip to hang around for half an hour didn't especially appeal to me on a Friday evening. Sadly, i work for a bunch of alcoholics, so the idea of me not ditching work to go and get drunk didn't go over too well.

I want to be angry at my evil alcoholic boss lady, but i suspect she is getting a divorce (office gossip) and i can't help but feel a little sorry for her, so she is off the hook this time.

Sadly the highlight of my day has been a tub of yoghurt with raspberry sauce i had for lunch and a 2008 calendar that I bought at 75% of RRP. You would think the value of a calendar would decline in relation to the amount of months that could no longer be used, but i guess that's not the case. And since i only paid $3 for it, I'm not complaining.

5 o'clock can not come soon enough today...

The Hong Kong Debate

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I know that I’ve mentioned many times before that I am a hopeless case when it comes to geography and history, but today has proved this for me. It has also proved that I am not alone in my ignorance. In fact I think it might be contagious, and just by being near other people, I am sucking the geographical knowledge right out of them.

I had a conversation with some people at work today about the location of Hong Kong, and it went something like this:

Accounts Lady: Do you know where Hong Kong is?

Me: Ummm… Asia somewhere.

Her: It’s the capital of Japan isn’t it?

Me: Tokyo is the capital of Japan.

Her: What is it the capital of then?

Me: It’s not a capital, it’s a country!

Marketing Guy: Is it in Korea? Does anyone have an atlas?

Her: Oh wait, I know - it’s the capital of China!

Me: Yes, does anyone have an atlas?

Her: It must be a country, right?

Me: Actually on second thought - I thought Egypt was in Asia, so maybe you shouldn’t ask me.

Her: I’ll ask the boss.

She rings the boss.

Her: Where is Hong Kong?

Boss Man: I can’t believe you don’t know basic geography! Hong Kong is the capital of China. You people need to buy an atlas.

Her: OK, Boss Man says it’s the capital of China. So there you go.

Me: Cool, I learnt something today!

Marketing Guy: Yeah, me too.

So I thought i had learnt something, until wikipedia told me that I hadn't.

Tomorrow I’m going to go and buy an atlas.

Will Pay Cash for Time

Friday, February 01, 2008

I have no spare time. I want my spare time back.
Lend me some?

Guilty Sick Day

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Today I did something that I never do - I stayed home from work. I took a sick day.
I guess technically I was sick - I wasn't really in any sort of shape to be at work, but I’m not sure if it counts if it's self-inflicted.

I had a really big hang-over. Yes, I know how insanely irresponsible it is to take a sick day because you drank too much the night before. And I know that I shouldn't have been drinking that much on a weeknight in the first place. I just got a little carried away.

I’m not a drinking-during-the-week kind of person, but last night I had dinner with my best friend who I haven't spent time with in a very long time. We've both had other priorities, and have put off catching up for a while. Last night, what was supposed to be a relaxed dinner turned into a little bit of a piss-up.

It all started because we wanted a glass of wine with dinner, but it was almost the same price to buy a whole bottle. We gave in and bought the bottle, because we figured we were having a banquet - we'd be there for a while and there would be plenty of food to soak up all the alcohol. The trouble with this theory is that it doesn’t account for the fact that after drinking a whole bottle of wine, you're probably not in the best shape to be making rational decisions - which is what led us to getting a second bottle of wine.

Needless to say, we drank way too much for the food to counteract and ended up in a state that is totally in-appropriate for a weeknight. It doesn’t help that I am a total light-weight when it comes to consuming wine.

Now I’m feeling incredibly guilty, because I’m not the sort of person who takes a sick day for a hangover - I’m not even the kind of person who really takes sick days at all unless I’m on my death bed. I’m going to be up all night thinking about how wrong it is to take the day off for something this stupid.

I’m going to have to learn to save the drinking for the weekends...

A (heat)Wave of Visitors

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Days like today are always the busiest in our house, because when the temperature tops the 40°C mark (104°F), those of our friends who don't have air conditioning come to visit.

Today was particularly busy, because not only did we reach 41 degrees, but tonight the temperature won't be dropping any lower than 30°C (90°F) which means that those who are visiting just to take advantage of our cooling are more reluctant to leave.

More sadly it means that all of the things I had hoped to accomplish before work on Monday are probably not going to get done - a day this hot only lends itself to sitting on the couch in front of the air con, and little else. Tomorrow is going to be 41°C as well, so that only leaves me with Saturday to finish everything.

Sunday is second Christmas, which is going to be a nice way to end my holidays before i head back to the hollow bat cave of an office where I earn my living.

A Day Outdoors

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Today I broke with all of my beliefs and did the unthinkable. Gardening.
We've lived here for about a year and a half and in all of that time, the total extent of our gardening work has been mowing the pitiful excuse for a lawn that we're trying not to grow in our backyard. And the last time we did that was the week that we moved in.

We got up reasonably early to get the deed done, and I started off by trimming some of the bushes along the front of the house. But the more I trimmed them, the more I realised they were just going to grow back again - so instead I pulled them out. It was a lot of hard work, but it was satisfying to know that I won't have to do it ever again. That's my kind of gardening.

And my reward for all of this hard work? I got so sunburnt on my back that I can't lie down without it stinging. This is why I don't believe in gardening. I find it hard to believe that people actually enjoy doing it. I think their enjoyment can probably, in most cases, be attributed to hallucinations brought on by sun-stroke.

I think I'll head over to the nursery tomorrow and see if they can sell me a couple of non-growing, non-dying, non-water-requiring plants. Do they exist?

I wonder if anyone would notice if the plants in our garden were all artificial...

The tall and short of it

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I were shorter. I stand at around 5'10" - so I'm relatively tall. In a decent pair of heels I'm over 6 feet. Luckily for me, KJ is about 6'3", so I can wear heels and still be shorter than he is. It's good because as a woman it feels strange to be taller than your partner.

When I was younger, I used to date a guy who was about 5'5". I couldn't wear heels when we went out because I would tower above him, and in a loud room I would have to hunch over so that I could talk to him. It didn't last very long.

I wonder - If I were shorter, would I see different things? I'd be looking at everything from a lower angle, so people would look different because I'd be observing them from a different perspective. Would people be less attractive? Because you would spend a lot of time gazing up their nostrils while trying to make eye contact - that could be a little off-putting, especially if they had crazy nose hair. Although if you were shorter, you wouldn't be able to see bald patches on top of people's heads, which could work in their favour - especially if they invested in a good quality nose hair trimmer.

If a tall and a short people were to walk down the same street at the same time, and you asked them the things they noticed, would they answer differently because their eye-levels were at a different height?

It's an interesting thought, because no matter what I do, I can't ever be shorter than I am now, so there is no way for me to really know if it would be different. Weeks and weeks of holiday gives you time to ponder these deep and meaningful thoughts. Time to truly think on the important things, like shortness and it's effect in the sale of trimmers for excess nostril hair.

I think I need to get a hobby....

The $2 Tradition

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Reading about Badaunt's New Year tradition has reminded me of a New Years tradition that was part of my family for a very long time - I think because her descriptions of Okaasan trying to feed everyone up remind me a little of my grandmother.

On New Years Eve, my grandmother would bake a sweet-bread type cake with a $2 coin in it. On New Years Day, all of the family would go to her house and the cake would be cut into slices. One slice for the house, one slice for the whole family, and then one slice for each family member. If the coin was in your slice of cake, that meant that you would be blessed with good luck in the New Year. It also meant that you were $2 richer, which I guess is a nice way of starting your lucky year. Pity you can't bake a $100 note into a cake...

My grandmother passed away a couple of years ago and since then we haven't had a New Years cake. She was the traditional one in the family and the cook, so after she died, the tradition did too. As the cook, she was always trying to feed people up and she would never let you leave without having eaten an enormous meal and taking a parcel of food with you. She cooked a lot of traditional foods that everyone loved and that we miss now that she's gone and no one else knows her recipes. New Years always reminds me of her telling me to eat more, and of the big smile she would have after you had gorged yourself silly on her cooking.