Observations from an otherwise dull weekend

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I don’t think you can really name something ‘The Manhattan Diner’ if it’s in a shopping centre food court and especially not if that food court happens to be in Australia.

If you happen to be lucky enough to have a loan of a convertible for the weekend, it will inevitably rain.

75 appears to be the age where you no longer care about what people will think about what comes out of your mouth. This is the age where you start to say it like it is. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it’s also roughly the age where your family begins to wonder about your senility.

2 days is not enough of a break from work, especially as you head towards the end of the year. I will continue to campaign for the 8 day week.

No Thanks

Friday, November 27, 2009

To the guy who sent me the very explicit email last night:

No, I am not the Torrygirl from ‘Horny matches dot com’.
No, I am not interested in meeting up with you.
No, I can’t do that – I’m not that flexible – I’m pretty sure no one is.

Long Days

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The nature of my job is that the work fluctuates. This means that some weeks I’ll be flat-out, working from 8am until after 6 with barely a break. Then, other days – like today – I’ll be sitting here twiddling my thumbs (however the hell you do that) and trying to think of things to do to keep myself amused.

So far I’ve exhausted all my usual avenues – facebook scrabble, blog surfing, daydreaming etc. – and now I’m just sitting here watching the hands of the clock tick over.

In fact, today is so dull that I don’t even really have anything to write about, but am writing purely for the sake of killing time. So any suggestions for ways to kill time would be much appreciated – otherwise I might have to resort to locking the door to my office and napping under my desk.

The Un-Funny Bone

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I’ve decided to campaign to have the humerus bone renamed the un-humerus. I don’t think there’s anything funny about hitting your elbow – it hurts like hell and the fact that some smart arse named it the funny bone just makes it all the more annoying.

This way, if it’s called the un-humerus, when people hit their elbows they won’t say things like “funny my arse, stupid bloody name.”
Instead they’ll feel a sense of satisfaction because they whacked their un-funny bone and it really genuinely was un-funny.

Making Jam

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Last night I made jam. I’ve been saying for ages that it would be cool to eat more stuff that we made ourselves – the only problem with this being that we would then have to make it ourselves. Obviously that doesn’t fit very well into my lifelong plan of supreme laziness, so it’s never happened.

That hasn’t stopped me from telling everyone for the past 6 months that I’m going to make jam, and as a result, people have been giving me empty jars to use. The pile of them sitting on top of my fridge has gotten so big that last night, after a near death-by-jar experience, I thought I’d better give the jam making a crack so that I could open the fridge again without getting a concussion from falling jars.

It turns out that making jam isn’t as hard as you would think. You basically just cut up some fruit and stuff and boil the crap out of it until it reaches a point where it will set when it cools. It all sounded so much more high-tech when I was reading my little book of instructions and it was talking about measuring the temperature and sterilising jars and stuff.

I made a recipe that wasn’t in that book because I wanted something a bit more basic to start with (apple and strawberry), but I think I’ll try the fig, tomato and red onion jam from that book next.

How 1950’s housewife-ish am i?!

Santa gets a Facelift

Monday, November 23, 2009

What is more disturbing to me in this story about Santa's facelift is not the freakishness of Santa's old face, but the fact that Santa is already up and it's still ONLY NOVEMBER. This whole commercial-Christmas starting early is starting to bug me. It sucks all the fun out of it if you try to drag it on for too long. I'd like to see a blanket ban on all Christmas items until December the 1st.

Bah Humbug.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Last night I went and picked up my glasses, so it’s official – I’m a good and proper nerd.

Everything is super sharp when I put them on. I’m a bit excited about that, so I’ve been walking around with the glasses on reading things that are far away, and then whipping them off to compare, while exclaiming to anyone that will listen for long enough how good it all is.
I’m probably going to strain my eyes and need new glasses before the novelty has worn off.

I can’t believe how many things I just thought I couldn’t read because it was a bit dark at the time, but then found that with the glasses I could see them as though someone had turned the lights on!

I’m pretty sure that being this excited about my glasses well and truly seals my dorkiness. Bring on the pocket protector and suspenders!!

Dodgy Dinner

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Last night I went to a friend’s place after work, and she made dinner. In the past she has always come to my place because she never had a place of her own, so I’ve always made dinner for her. She’s a vegetarian, and since my vegetarian cooking skills are fairly limited, I usually make risotto. So she decided that since that’s what I usually make for her, she would make it for me this time. I was happy with that – I always figure that as long as I don’t have to make it myself, anything is great. I may have to revise that belief after last night.

I make my risotto from a recipe I found in a Jamie Oliver book – it’s the most awesome, creamy, cheesy risotto I have ever had. I’ve made it so many times that I know the recipe by heart, which means when my friend watches me make it, she sees me throwing things into a pot as though I’m making it up along the way, when really I’m just working to the recipe from memory. I think that this might be to blame for what turned out to be the most shockingly abysmal meal I have ever had.

I can only assume that her risotto last night was made based on the principle of remembering what I’ve done before and trying to copy it. When I showed up, she had just started cooking, and as I watched her prepare the risotto, she got everything so far out of whack that I couldn’t watch any more.

She used a carton of supermarket stock (vile, nasty stuff that always smells like rotten vegetables), and she would pour big glugs of wine in at random intervals throughout. She had the heat up so high that everything she poured in just evaporated on impact. Quite bizarrely, she tested it about 5 minutes into the cooking process, when the rice would have still been hard enough to hurt your teeth and said “yep, nearly done”.
And then, in the last, most important stage, where you add butter and parmesan cheese to make it go all gooey and creamy, she put so much butter in that you could see it running through the incredibly undercooked grains of rice.

She then proceeded to dish up a gigantic bowlful for me, which I had to crunch my way through so as not to seem rude.

I felt bad, thinking that she had tried to make something on my account and failed – but I spoke to her boyfriend today, and he told me that it wasn’t just a case of her trying to make something that she didn’t know how to cook – apparently she’s just not very good at cooking in general. And in fact, she is completely unaware of this fact and thinks that her food is spectacular.

Now I feel sorry for her boyfriend, because I’m happy to pretend to enjoy her cooking every once in a while, but he has to do it every day of his life.

The Stupidest Thing I've Ever Done

Monday, November 16, 2009

Last week, I did the stupidest thing that I have possibly ever done while driving a car. I know that makes it sound like I did something dangerous, but no, it was just stupid, and in the embarrassing kind of way.

I have never, ever hit anything while driving. I don’t find it particularly difficult to drive in a straight line and not run into anything. You know, as long as your eyes are open it’s pretty easy not to hit stuff. Those people that take 950 turns to get their license completely baffle me. The whole concept of driving is pretty easy. You point the car in the direction you want it to go, you accelerate to the speed limit and you avoid solid objects. Simple, right?

But I guess that doesn’t take into account what happens when you forget to pay attention.

I was backing out of a friend’s driveway, which is a reasonably tricky one, but not too hard if you pay attention. One side has a large tree; one side has a low volcanic rock wall. A number of people have run into the tree by not paying attention, so I’m always careful to watch out for it as I drive out. This particular day, I was watching the tree in my side mirror to make sure I had plenty of room, but was also thinking about dinner and how I could feed myself at home on nothing but 2 minute noodles and potatoes, because I couldn’t be bothered stopping at the shops to get real food. I was driving slowly, barely even walking pace

All of a sudden, there was a massive hissing noise and I felt the back of the car suddenly drop. Having no idea what was going on I stopped, moved the car forward a little and got out. Somehow, while looking at the tree, I had managed to hit my tyre on the very edge of a rock jutting out of the low rock wall. Not the car, not the rim, just the tyre! How the hell that happened is inexplicable, but not only had I clipped it, it had ripped an enormous hole in my tyre! It was big enough to fit my thumb through.

I can only assume that since I was going pretty damn slowly and since I hit nothing else on the car, there must have just been a sharp bit of rock sticking out. How the hell else do you put a hole in the sidewall of your tyre but not damage anything else?

It’s honestly the most ridiculously, embarrassingly stupid thing I have ever done in a car. And not only that, but I now have to fork out $200 for a new tyre. I could accept this if I was doing something wrong and had learnt a lesson from it all, but no. I was just thinking about 2 minute noodles with a mashed potato topping.

Stupid or what?

Mid Ring

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Have you ever noticed that no one ever picks up a phone mid-ring? If the office phone is ringing, it always gets picked up between tones, never in the middle. Often, my hand will hover over the handset until a ring is completed before I grab it and pick it up. It's a very weird phenomenon.

Mobile phones have solved this problem somewhat by letting us have musical ringtones. It’s ok to interrupt a song mid-beat because it’s just like pausing your CD player.

I’m going to make a conscious effort to break this behaviour. So far I’m failing, because while typing this, I have answered the phone twice and each time I did it between rings. This could take a while.

Try it. I bet you have as much trouble breaking the behaviour as I do.

Photos and a Hot House

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Photo5 finalists were posted late yesterday and sadly, I didn’t make the cut. A couple of people I have met through my photography did though, which is great because if I can’t be in the finals, I’m glad that someone I know is.

I thought some of the judges choices were a bit odd, in particular in the close up brief, where they seem to have picked some of the less creative entries, which doesn’t really seem to match with the info from the judges about what their choices would be based on. I guess there’s no accounting for personal taste though.

We’re in the middle of some kind of random November heat wave here at the moment. Apparently this is the biggest streak of super hot weather since 1925 or something like that. It’s been 34 degrees for the last few days, and it will be a minimum of 30 degrees every day for the entire week. I don’t mind hot weather usually, but when it’s consistent for a week like this it sucks because the house bricks heat up and no matter how long the air-con is on, the second you turn it off, you’re in a sauna again.

Also, sadly, we only have one air conditioning unit in the house and it’s on the entire other side of the house to the bedroom. So when it’s boiling hot in the middle of the night, you’re in the hottest part of the house. I might have to take to sleeping on the dining table so that I can keep cool. I also briefly considered replacing my bed with a wading pool so that I could stay cool, but the risk of accidentally drowning in my sleep far outweighs the benefits of being cool all night. Although then again, a wading pool is a hell of a lot cheaper than another air conditioner...


Monday, November 09, 2009

This weekend just past was my 10 year high school reunion. I opted not to go, and instead spent the evening with a friend from high school who I actually kept in touch with. The whole idea of revisiting people that I’ve spent 10 years forgetting about just seemed so....well, stupid I guess. If I really cared what they were doing with their lives and them me, wouldn’t we still be in touch already?

I didn’t really get along with many people in my year level when I was at high school – all my friends were older, so there are very few people that I can even remember clearly. The only ones that stand out in my mind are the bullies, and I can’t say I had any particular desire to catch up with them. High school bullies have this odd notion that no matter how evil the things they did at school may be, time absolves them of all responsibility. I’m pretty sure the saying ‘time heals all wounds’ was made up by a bully who didn’t fancy apologising to 60 or 70 full grown adults with 10 year grudges against them.

I had a look at some of the photos that have appeared on Facebook since the weekend and I still don’t feel like I missed anything. We’re all just fatter and for the boys (and some girls!) hairier versions of our High School selves, so what is there to add? Husband and baby names that I will have forgotten by the 20 year reunion? Jobs and hobbies that you can only really nod and smile about? I’m crap at small talk at the best of times, so I can’t imagine what I would have to say to most of these people. Although judging by the photos, most of the night would have been spent saying “And who are you again?”

You’ll have to forgive me here; I’m having a very cynical day today. I might just leave it there for now and post again later tonight once the Photo5 finalists have been announced.

Corrupt File

Friday, November 06, 2009

I have just worked all day on the biggest project I've done in years, and moments ago managed to corrupt the file so I have to start from scratch.

This is not turning out to be a very good day.

Final Photos

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Photo5 comp ended this morning, and my entries are all uploaded and waiting to be judged. (Tyge, I emailed you the link. If anyone else wants to have a peek let me know).

In the end I never did get around to taking my last photo. I had it all arranged to shoot on Wednesday night, but my model(aka my sister) fell asleep instead and never showed up, so I missed out. It promised to be a good shot, with some levitation involved. Oh well, I might take it anyway just for the fun of it.

The finalists are announced on Monday, so I'm looking forward to seeing what makes the cut. All the entries are on the website so it's been fun looking through them and comparing to see if anyone else had the same ideas that I did.

I'm a bit sad that the photo taking part is over, because it's good fun trying to do something specific rather than just shooting whatever is around me. There's always next year's competition I suppose.

Love by Numbers

If, like me, you thought that there was such a thing as a soul mate or true love, then apparently you’re wrong.

Making your relationship work has nothing to do with soul mates or anything spiritual – apparently all you need is a handy little checklist of things to do/not do and you’re set!

Researchers have managed to come up with a bit of a checklist for what will make a relationship last. It’s a bit of a list of all the things you should share in life that will make for a successful relationship.

You can read the news article here, but I’ve condensed it all down into a simple 10 point checklist that means all you need to do is check a few boxes and you could be well on your way to marital bliss.

  1. The woman should be at least five years younger than the man.
    I assume this works because older men love showing off their ability to pull younger chicks and woman are partial to a man with a bit of experience.

  2. Share at least three cuddles and four kisses per day
    If you don’t touch each other, then it’s just weird that you’re married if you ask me. Just don’t become one of those people who thinks it’s cool to stick your tongue down someone’s throat in an everyday social situation. I’m happy if you love each other, but I don’t need to see it while I’m trying to have fun.

  3. Share two hobbies on a regular basis.
    I don’t think the items in point 2 count as hobbies, so it probably has to be something more like hiking, skiing or some other kind of physical activity that people weirdly seem to enjoy. Does sleeping count as a hobby?

  4. Have two romantic meals a month
    Do you think having a pizza delivered counts? I think I’m probably averaging two per year at the moment. May have to work on this one.

  5. Make at least three calls, texts or emails to each other per day.
    KJ and I work together, so if I were to call, text or email him 3 times a day, he might begin to think that I wasn’t doing my job properly. That maybe I had lots of spare time to do things like chat online to friends or write long-winded blog posts.... hmmmm....

  6. Say ‘I Love you’ at least once a day’
    You can do this in one of the many phone calls or text messages from point 5 if you like. Convenient.

  7. Organise at least one surprise weekend away per year
    Does saying ‘Surprise! I need you to go to Adelaide for work!’ count?

  8. Take one holiday per year
    I could quite happily live with that, as long as I don’t have to go camping. Because no matter how you try to spin it, there’s nothing relaxing about sleeping on the floor and squatting behind trees.

  9. 3 nights per week should be spent snuggling up watching TV or a movie.
    This one is easy, since I’ve decided this could be one of my hobbies. That way I can be sharing a hobby while also meeting the requirements of point number 9.

  10. This is the one that really gets me – You should spend two separate nights away from each other per month.
    What the?! If every month you need to fit in 90 cuddles, 120 kisses, 4 or 5 outings for hobbies, two romantic meals, 90 calls/emails, as well as holidays and surprise weekends away, all while living your regular everday life - how exactly are you supposed to find another two days to not see each other?!

Only Half Blind

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Because I had Monday and Tuesday off, I decided to (finally) get my eyes tested. I’ve been complaining about getting old and not being able to read anything that’s more than 2 metres away for quite a while now, but the prospect of having to try to find glasses that suit me is so horrible that I’ve put it off. Until now, that is. I was doing a bit of window shopping on Monday and as I wandered by the optometrist, I thought – since I’m here and it's free, I might as well!’

It turns out that my right eye is letting the team down. You know how when you have your eyes tested how you do a whole bunch of covering one eye and reading a chart? I covered my left eye and everything was blurry. I covered my right eye, and I could read the chart perfectly! Shame on you right eye. At least I only need to wear glasses for a few things, like driving at night or reading things that are far away.

If only it wasn’t for my embarrassing inability to wink, I could save myself a whole lot of money on glasses by just driving around with one eye closed.

Deadline Extended

Monday, November 02, 2009

I had resigned myself to not being able to get all 5 of the Photo5 briefs finished in time, but because of a site overload error on Canon's part, they have extended the deadline until Thursday! So I may be able to get that last one done after all. I'm on holiday today and tomorrow, so hopefully that will give me enough time to get the last shot finished off and my entries uploaded. Wish me luck!