Walking Under Ladders

Monday, August 31, 2009

I know it's just superstition, but do you think I would have better luck in life if I didn't have to walk under a ladder every day to get into my office? And if walking under a ladder creates bad luck, does walking back under it the opposite way negate the bad luck?

My Quirky Nanna

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I think my Nanna is going a little senile. She’s about to turn 80, and although she is surprisingly healthy and sane for her age most of the time, sometimes her behaviour defies explanation.

Take for example this week’s greeting card incident. My niece is turning five next week, and this year she’ll be spending her birthday in England with my sister-in-law’s side of the family. Because she won’t be around on the day, my Nanna did the good and proper Nanna thing and sent over a birthday card for her. It was a nice little card with a picture of snow white and the seven dwarves. In bed. Together.

You’d think that would be the tip off for her that it wasn’t exactly a kids card, but no - somehow she missed the writing across the bottom of the card that said “snow white still hadn't worked out how to tell them she was looking for someone a little taller...”

Nanna is full of little gems like that one. Her favourite trick is to use her mobile phone to call you and then forgetting to hang up, so that after leaving you a message on your answering machine, you can hear her complaining about your machine message or the fact that you never answer your phone.

Once, she bought me a ‘romance novel’ for Christmas. Now I’m not much of a romance novel fan, but when I’m short of reading material I’ll read just about anything I can get my hands on, so I thought I would give it a go. It turns out that it wasn’t so much a romance novel as an erotic novel. There were things in there that would make a porn star blush! I can only hope to hell that she didn’t actually read the book before she gave it me!

That’s just a small taste of the wonderful weirdness that is my Nanna. She’s my last living grandparent, and I’m happy that she’s still around to share her quirkiness with us.

Wink Wink

Friday, August 28, 2009

I’m going to share something about myself that not many people know, and when they find out, they tend to stare in disbelief and then laugh. A lot.

I can’t wink.

I’ve never been able to. When I try, it looks like I have something in my eye. My face gets all scrunched up and I do a weird almost-Elvis thing with my mouth. It’s interesting, but definitely not winking. I can close my right eye and still see out of the left a little, but not enough that it looks like a wink. And my left eye? If it’s closed, then so is my right. Let’s not even get started on what happens if I try to raise one eyebrow. I guess I’m just facially disabled.

I often watch movies and the main character will give a discreet little wink to someone and I find myself wishing that I were able to do that. If I tried to wink discreetly, people would think I was having a fit. It most definitely would NOT go unnoticed.

Surely there are situations in life in which the inability to wink will put me at a disadvantage. Ever heard of Wink Murder? You’ll have to count me out for that game.
What if I’m feeling flirty? Scrunching up my face and squinting at someone isn’t exactly the sexiest look.
And what if I want to signal to someone to go along with what I’m saying!? I’m clearly at a disadvantage here. There must be some way to substitute a wink. Or to fake one even!

I’ve tried practising, but that didn’t help much at all either.
So much can be said with one little wink, but all mine says is ‘My facial muscles are out of control’.

It was a dark and stormy night....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I would like to recognise the efforts of a man who did a really great thing last night and will have received no acknowledgement. It was a little thing, but it made my life and the lives of about a hundred other people a hell of a lot easier on a cold, miserable, stormy night.

On the way home last night it was raining incredibly heavily – and also a little sideways. The run from my office to my car – about 10 or 15 metres – had me completely soaked through. Winds were up to about 100km/h and it was difficult to see the road ahead of you. Traffic crawled in the kind of way that would usually be annoying, but was completely fine given the terrible conditions.

Not far from work, there is a narrow section of road that is bordered all the way along by big gum trees. As I came up to this section of road, traffic came to a halt. A tree had fallen down across the road and was blocking traffic. Minor inconvenience normally, but it was raining so hard that the prospect of a bunch of people having to get out of their cars and move it wasn’t ideal and it was too muddy and dark to try to turn around and find another way home.

Enter fork-lift man.

He drove out of a nearby factory into the full rain and proceeded to push the tree out of everyone’s way. He would have been soaked to the bone in a matter of seconds. It would have been a wet, miserable job . He could have been hit by more falling tree branches, or by some impatient driver - but he did it anyway.

What a champ! He made my night. Well, at least until I got home and found that the power lines were down outside my house and the lounge room window had leaked water all over the carpet. But right up until then, he made my night! Thanks Fork-Lift man!

The Invisible (and irate) Woman

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I am so incredibly sick of working for a company staffed entirely with men. They are self consumed, self important, disgustingly messy and quite often inappropriate and rude in the most irritating ways imaginable.

Today one of the bosses told me that they would have to make sure someone else knew how to do my job too, because I would be making babies soon and that he'd broken his self imposed rule of never hiring women because then he has to deal with maternity leave. Like because I'm a woman I'm a freaking baby machine! Like having a womb makes me waaaay more unreliable than the men who work here!!

The new admin guy (who I've known for a number of years outside of work) keeps making jokes about me being paid too much money, which was mildly amusing the first 3 times, but not the 50 times after that. News flash dickhead - I've been doing this for nearly 10 years now - of COURSE I earn a stack more money than you - you've been doing it for 5 weeks!!!

Hmmm, can you tell I'm feeling a little irate today? A meeting where they talk about a subject for 3 hours only to come back to the point that I made in the first 5 minutes of the meeting will do that to me. I am the amazing invisible (and irate) woman.

Scar Tissue

Monday, August 24, 2009

When my sister was sixteen, she had spinal surgery to correct a curvature of her spine. It was pretty major surgery in which they cut her open from top to bottom and it left a gigantic zipper-style scar. Now that she’s in her mid 20’s, the scar is pretty much unnoticeable. That’s fairly impressive given the size of the incision and the enormous quantity of titanium that they put into her.

Which makes it all the more odd that in this day and age people still have belly buttons. How is it that something that is essentially just a scar hasn’t been messed with by doctors yet? You can’t tell me that they can reconstruct and even transplant entire faces, re-attach limbs and cut a person open from top to bottom, but they can’t come up with a better solution than to just leave a big gap in your stomach

After all, it’s just a hole which, after you’re born, really serves no purpose other than to collect lint, hang jewellery from or to provide an unnoticeable place in which to have keyhole surgery. It’s just weird that doctors have come up with ways to mess with every part of the body, but the belly button remains untouched.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m quite fond of my belly button. I wouldn’t want to be without it. I just find it odd that people spend so much time trying to get rid of scars, but the bellybutton is just accepted as a permanent fixture, despite the fact that it really doesn’t have all that much going for it.

Amuse yourself with some belly button facts here.

A Lazy Friday

Friday, August 21, 2009

It’s raining sideways. Ordinarily, the large glass window that is next to my desk gives a perfect view of the miserable weather, but today it’s like a water feature with a constant flow of rain water cascading down it. Considering that the usual view from my office is over an industrial estate, I would have to say that the water feature is somewhat of an improvement.

It’s Friday and I’m feeling a little sleepy and ever so slightly lazy. The cold weather means the heating is turned right up to the ‘super-cozy-comfy’ setting and it’s making me spend a lot of time stretching and yawning and checking the clock to see if it’s time to go home yet. Even my computer seems to be having a lazy day today. Regular tasks seem to be running slower, as if the computer knows that it’s the kind of day where slow and steady is the only pace available.

Since I already have the comfort food (down to 4Kg now), all I need now is a pair of slippers and some trashy daytime TV and I could almost pretend I wasn’t at work!

I wonder if anyone would notice if I took a nanna nap at my desk...


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Work has been really busy lately because we had a stand at an expo in Sydney this week, and I’ve been running around like crazy getting things sorted. One of the main things that I had to organise was a give-away for the show – something that would make people come over and talk to the guys.
This is what I ended up with:

That is one seriously big block of chocolate.
Naturally, because the block was such a huge novelty, the guys got excited about the chocolate and ended up giving away not just one, but five of these enormous hunks of chocolaty goodness. Once they got back to Melbourne, I discovered that the name on top of the winners list was mine – the boss had decided that since I came up with such a fantastic idea, I should get to have one.

It was all very nice of him, but while I may be addicted to many and varied things, chocolate just isn’t one of them. Now if it had been a 10kg box of jelly-belly jellybeans that might have been a different story...

So this morning, we called everyone into the office and I officially opened the enormous box and dished out large hunks of chocolate to everyone who works in the building. It seemed like a good way to reduce the vast quantity of chocolate, but in fact, after handing out large slabs to everyone, I still have most of the thing left. What am I going to do with 8kg of chocolate?!
As I see it, these are my options so far:

  • Melt it down and mould a small house, Hansel & Gretel witch style.
  • Bake a really, really, really, really big chocolate cake.
  • Eat until I lapse into a diabetic coma.
  • Melt it down and use one of the fountains in the Carlton Gardens that they’ve had to shut off due to drought to make the world’s biggest chocolate fountain.
  • Give it away.

What to do, what to do....
All ideas are welcome. It’s a lot of chocolate so chances are I can do more than one of these things with it.

Stil Alive

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The subway cookie didn't kill me, although my stomach was not entirely happy with me.

All those childhood years of eating sand must have given my stomach a protective scar-tissue coating.

How big is six inches?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Here is a helpful note for anyone who likes to eat at Subway:

When ordering, don't say “I would like a six foot chicken fillet sub” when you really mean six inch, because the not-so-sparky person behind the counter might just take you seriously and get out six foot-long rolls, at which point you will have a very confusing conversation about how big 6 inches is. Not exactly the usual situation in which you would expect to debate the real size of six inches...

Also, my cookie tastes kind of funny, but i'm going to eat it anyway because I love cookies and can't stop. So if I never blog again, you will know to blame my love of baked goods and someone can mention it in my Eulogy or something.

Something -in-law

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It’s funny how quickly the days can get away from you, isn’t it? I can’t believe it’s Sunday already, and that we’re in the middle of August.

This means it’s only 5 weeks until my mother-in-law’s wedding. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and have a family relationships question. I have both a mother-in law and a father-in-law. They are divorced and now my mother-in-law is marrying her boyfriend (the minister). Once they are married, does this mean that he then becomes my father-in-law or my step-father -in-law? Or maybe something different all together? If he becomes my second father-in-law, this leaves me with the possibility of having two mother-in-laws, and although I get along fine with my current mother-in-law, there is a certain negative connotation that goes with mothers-in-law that means that having two is probably not anyone’s preferred situation.

I can’t imagine anyone becoming a step-father when his wife’s kids are already adults, because there is little fathering left to do once they’re at that age. There must be some other title for him to go by when I need to explain his relationship to me. I know it won’t come up in conversation very often, but when it does, I need to have some way of describing our relationship.

Maybe mother-in-law’s-husband-in law?

Odd Graffiti

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Last night we took a trip to Ikea. It was to pick up some stuff for work, but since I’ll take any excuse I can get to feed my totally unnatural love of everything Ikea, I forced KJ to take me along, and once there, to look at every kitchen and every workspace in the place. I think he became frustrated by my need to open every single cupboard in every kitchen, but what can I say? I love it! I think it’s partly because I dream of having modern furniture and fittings in our house rather than brown shag carpet and brown painted woodwork; and maybe partly because it’s fun to look through cupboards and drawers that aren’t mine. I guess I’m nosey like that.

After a very average, but very cheap meal on our way past the Ikea cafeteria (how can you say no to $4.00 schnitzel and chips and $1 hot dogs?) I stopped into the bathrooms. It was there that I found the oddest bit of graffiti that I’ve ever come across.

It wasn’t clever at all, or even particularly noticeable as far as graffiti goes, but there, scrawled on the wall of the toilet in that childish sort of handwriting that only graffiti scribblers have, was:

“Bushfires 2009 – thanks to all the CFA, Police and Ambos”

What the?! When did graffiti become a means of communicating well wishes to police and other public servicemen & women!? I was always of the opinion that graffiti was either crass jokes, rude comments (often with accompanying phone number) or demands on various political forces to free whatever the graffiti-er thought needed freeing at the time. I had no idea that it was a way to thank the CFA, police and Ambos for all the work they did on Black Saturday. I guess I just assumed that there were slightly more appropriate (and legal) ways to do that.

I guess at least you could guarantee that a toilet cubicle in Ikea would probably have a reasonably high turnover of people, and possibly a lot of them would be people who were in need of furniture after the fires, and who felt the same way. So maybe it’s not as silly an idea as it first seemed. Still, not exactly the sort of thing I was expecting to come across on my regular trip to Ikea.

Wonderful Weekend

Monday, August 10, 2009

I had the most amazing time on the weekend. The Whitlams were phenomenal. Tim Freedman is such a fantastic live singer, I felt like I could have been listening to an album in my own home – I mean, aside from the fact that I was pressed up against a thong of half drunken strangers with barely enough room to sway to the music. That doesn’t usually happen at home.

So my concerns about keeping up with my best friend’s champion drinking ability were well founded - It turns out that I really am a cheap drunk, and that all it takes is 3 beers to get me to a very jolly stage of drunkenness. It might sound a bit sad, but it’s very budget friendly, so I don’t mind too much. It does make me wonder what has changed over the last decade to decrease my tolerance for alcohol, but I’m just going to put it down to the fact that I don’t drink as much as I used to.

The friend who I went to the Whitlams concert with has recently moved into a shared apartment in the city, which is where I spent the night after the show. It’s such a different world to where we live. She lives in a three bedroom apartment, with one very small shared living/dining/kitchen area. It really struck me what a different sort of lifestyle you lead when you live in the middle of the city. Three of them share this one small space – none of them have a car, they catch public transport everywhere. They very infrequently cook, instead eating out most nights. They go out drinking three or four nights a week, they all work odd hours.

Now this might be a weird thing to say, but the apartment sounded really strange. It had that sort of dull nothingness sound – the quiet hum of thick concrete walls and ventilated air. I’m not used to that, because we live in the very outer suburbs where there is a lot of fresh air and light and space - and also a lot of really irritating dogs barking all the time. I expected to ehar a lot of city noise, but there wasn’t really anything at all, just an odd absence of noise with the occasional distant cough coming through.

It was really interesting, because it’s so different from the way KJ and I live, and despite the fact that I don’t think I could ever do it long term, I did enjoy it for the short time that I was there. I liked the convenience of everything. For us it’s a good 30-40 minute drive to get to the city, so if we want to do something different, it’s a big deal rather than just a stroll down the road. It would be nice to be able to find a hundred things to do on a Saturday night all within walking distance.
I might have to go and visit her more often.

I thought I’d leave you with a Whitlams song so that you could get a glimpse of what my awesome weekend was like.

Crazy Confused Magpie

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Crazy confused Magpie is back. I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned him here before. He's a bird who is confused about what time of the day it is. He warbles the way magpies do in the morning – only he does it all night instead of in the morning like regular magpies. He graced us with his wonderful noisy presence all of last winter and has been un-noticeably and pleasantly absent until last night.

When I headed to bed at about 11:30 last night, he was warbling his merry morning song as if the sun were peeking over the horizon for a new day. It wasn’t. It was cold and dark and bleak outside. I was tired and he kept me awake until about 2am.

He is ruining me for spring mornings. Soon, when spring rolls around and I wake to one of those fantastic mornings where the warm sunshine filters through the curtains and you wake to the sound of bird song, I will become irate and get out of bed grumpy because I will have spent all winter being kept awake by a bird whose internal clock has a flat battery.

Do you think if i turned on all the lights outside it would trick him into thinking that it was the middle of the day and he would stop singing?

Can't wait for the weekend

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

It’s official - I’m going to see the Whitlams play on Saturday night! I have the tickets in my hot little hand. Ok, that’s a lie. We booked the tickets online, so we don’t have them yet, but I like to think that I have them in my hot little virtual e-hand. It’s an imaginary hand that I use specifically for the web, because when you try to use your real hand, you hurt your knuckles on the screen. Plus there’s a lot of stuff on the web that you just don’t want to touch with your real hand.

Now that I know that I’m officially going, there’s only one minor concern – my total and utter inability to hold my booze any more. I’m going with my best friend, and she is of that very odd species – the permanent uni student. She’ll be 30 next year, but she still pretty much spends her days at school and her nights drinking copious amounts of alcohol. That was all fine for me 8 or so years ago when that was what I did most of the time too, but the last time I tried to keep up with her it ended....well, badly. Let’s just leave it at that.

I’m a lightweight now. I must remember to pace myself so as to be able to remember the concert on Sunday when I wake up.

Not much going on...

Monday, August 03, 2009

Next weekend, if all goes to plan, I’ll be going with a friend to see the The Whitlams play at the Corner Hotel in Richmond. It’s been forever since I went to see a band play, and I’m a bit excited about seeing The Whitlams because Eternal Nightcap is one of those albums that just sort of lives in my CD stacker because it’s perfect for when you can’t decide what you’re in the mood to listen to.

Life is being suitably boring at the moment otherwise. My entire family has run off to various countries around the world for a holiday while I’m left here to keep on working through. My parents have headed to Malaysia, my Brother & his family are in England, my Cousins are in Europe, Aunties and Uncles in the Greek Islands. Even my grandmother has headed off for a holiday to Merimbula! And while Merimbula isn’t exactly an international destination, it’s still one more person who is on a holiday while I’m at home watching re-runs of MASH and trying to live off 2 minute noodles because I’m too lazy to cook a real meal.

At least I have the Whitlams to look forward to, although I shouldn’t get too excited yet because I don’t quite have my tickets yet and knowing my luck lately, they’ll be sold out already!