B & E Fridays

Thursday, April 29, 2010

No, this is not a post about some secret weekly criminal habit of mine. It’s a post about eating, which is much safer, easier to do more often and I’m sure infinitely more satisfying than breaking & entering.

One of the things I miss the most about my old job is Bacon & Egg Fridays. The sandwich shop near my old work made the most fantastic two-egg and bacon toasted sandwiches. Slightly runny egg yolks, soft bacon, thick fresh bread and just the right amount of butter and salt. I think this approximates to about one metric heart-attack’s worth of butter per sandwich or some similar technical measurement. You could feel your arteries hardening with every bite, but you didn’t care because they were pure heaven.

*what the internet does not allow you to see at this point is me pausing to wipe the drool from my keyboard at the thought of these glorious sandwiches*

Bacon and Egg Fridays made what is already the best day of the working week even better. Sadly, after changing jobs, I am now without a sandwich shop. This means that Bacon & Egg Fridays are a thing of the past. My heart is saying thank you, but the rest of me is devastated.

Normally, I don’t eat breakfast at all. It’s not that I don’t like breakfast, it’s just that I can’t be bothered. I’m lazy, and I don’t usually get hungry until about midday anyway. Bacon & Egg Fridays were my one day a week of providing my body with the sustenance it needed to make it through to lunch. You need that extra push on Fridays, especially if you’ve had a week as busy as the one I’ve just had.

So I think that tomorrow, because it’s been a busy week and because the cold weather has started to properly set in, I might drag myself out of bed just that teensy bit earlier than usual and make a stop out of my way at a sandwich shop to resurrect Bacon & Egg Fridays just for one day.

Long Weekend

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Over the long weekend, we went down to KJ’s family beach house. It’s a fair way away from home – probably about a two and a half hour drive. I absolutely hate car travel with a passion. The second someone invents a teleport device I will be their first customer, no matter what the expense. If I could afford it, I would buy a helicopter and fly everywhere - I hate car travel that much.

Two and a half hours is pretty much my limit for being in a car non-stop. I used to be able to go a lot longer, but then we decided one year that driving to Queensland would be a good idea. By Dubbo I was so car sick that I still felt like I was still in the car even when I was out of it. I even felt car sick while I was driving, which is a pretty impressive feat. By the time we reached Redcliffe, I couldn’t go on. We stopped by the side of the road while I attempted to systematically throw up all of my internal organs in alphabetical order, and after that I didn’t really feel like going any further. I managed to make it back to Surfer’s Paradise eventually, where I lay in a pathetic heap for a week and then I flew home. Not exactly the holiday I had dreamt of.

That trip ruined me for car travel. So I don’t particularly relish the idea of travelling to the beach house for the weekend, although I do enjoy my time there once we arrive. The next hardest thing, after the car travel, is the fact that there is no internet access. If you have an iPhone or something similar you can get a very poor internet connection by holding the phone up to the highest point on the window while carefully balanced on one foot on the fireplace hearth, but that’s not exactly ideal.

Now, I have access to the internet pretty much 24/7. I’m online all day at work, then permanently at home. I’m a massive internet nerd. It’s my go-to place for everything. Don’t know the answer to a question? Google it. Don’t know where a town is? Look it up on an online map. Want to know what’s going on in the rest of the world? Read the news online.

So three days without any access to the internet was absolute torture. I had to let such questions as “Can dogs lose their sense of smell?” and “If your eyeball was hanging out of the socket, could you still see out of it?” go unanswered. (I have a Dr. Karl podcast to thank for that last one).

Life is hard for a nerd without the internet. So I’m happy to be home and back to my constant connection to the big, wonderful worldwide web.

Glenn Ford

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm watching an old old movie on late night tv - 'Gilda', with Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford and I've just realized that Glenn Ford is an absolute dead-ringer for a guy I used to date.
Now I can't look at him the same way anymore. Instead of a suave 1940's movie star, I can only see a sneaky Butcher.

An addendum to my previous post

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Funnily enough, my recent massive consumption of sugar-filled Anzac Biscuits has also coincided with a bout of insomnia.

ANZAC Day 2010

Aside from my Birthday, my favourite thing about this time of year is Anzac Day. That might sound kind of weird given that Anzac Day is in commemoration of Australia’s World War I efforts at Gallipoli, but aside from the serious elements to the day there are other things that make it an enjoyable time of year.

To start with, it’s a public holiday. And while a large portion of the population does something very unusual and drags themselves out of bed in the wee hours of the morning for the Dawn services, it still means no work, and that’s fine by me, whatever the reason. I especially enjoy the fact that when Anzac Day falls on a weekend, we still get our public holiday on the Monday. That somehow makes the day just that little bit more Australian.
It’s a day for patriotism and declaring your love of your country by getting up early and acknowledging the men and women who died for our country; then drinking copious amounts of beer and having a BBQ with friends. It’s serious and fun all at the same time.

I’m sure I must have blogged about this before (who cares, it's just that good), but my absolute favourite thing about this time of year is making (and eating) Anzac biscuits. These glorious little sugar vehicles would have to be the most addictive form of biscuit imaginable. They’re soft and chewy and full of sugary goodness that you can pretend is good for you because they’re also full of rolled oats. And what’s better is, their history is right in keeping with the spirit of the holiday.

I’ve made two batches this week already, and will probably make another. The photo below is of batch number 2, and I’ve included the recipe I used. They’re sure to be gone by Monday, and it just wouldn’t be a real Anzac Day without some Anzac Biscuits.

1 Cup Rolled Oats
1 Cup Plain Flour
1 Cup Caster Sugar
¾ Cup Coconut
115g (4oz) Butter
2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
1 Teaspoon Bicarb (baking) Soda
2 Tablespoons Boiling Water

  1. Preheat Oven to 330 degrees F.
  2. Combine Oats, Flour, Sugar & Coconut in a bowl.
  3. Place Butter and Golden Syrup in a pan and heat until melted.
  4. Combine Bicarb Soda with boiling water then add to butter mixture. Stir until frothy.
  5. Add butter mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Place tablespoon sized balls of mixture onto a baking sheet and flatten with a fork
  7. Bake for 15-20 mins or until golden brown.
  8. Cool before eating.

Some things take practise

Monday, April 19, 2010

I have a pretty big headache today. I think I need more sleep. Actually, to be honest I think my headache is more related to the fact that I now have a pitifully low tolerance for alcohol than anything to do with the amount of sleep I got. It turns out that drinking takes practise.

It used to be that I could catch up with my best friend (let’s call her Katy, because that’s what the random name generator said I should call her) and we could match each other drink for drink. That was a long time ago though. Over the years, she’s kept well practised at drinking while I have lost all of my drinking skill.
We used to go out and I would drink a half bottle of Jim beam (straight, of course, because mixers are for wimps) and she would drink half a bottle of Vodka. If I drank half a bottle of JB now, you wouldn’t find me asleep on my front door step because I couldn’t work out how to get my key in the lock like you used to – you’d probably find me in hospital having my stomach pumped. Nowadays I’m pretty sure that even after just a few drinks I would just skip the whole lack of co-ordination thing and go straight from silly to comatose, with none of the fun bits in between.

Katy, on the other hand, could now drink an entire bottle of vodka without too much trouble. It all comes down to practise, and I am well out of it.

It makes for a cheap night out usually, and I’m pretty good at knowing my limits, but when Katy is around my self-imposed limits tend to have a way of slipping my mind until we’re half a dozen cocktails and a bottle of wine into the night. After that I can’t even remember what a limit is.

So Saturday night passed in what I seem to remember is quite a fun blur of drinking, gossiping and eating. I woke up at midday on Sunday, and the process started all over again, with my sister in law showing up a few hours in with a couple more bottles of wine and some trashy dvds.

It was a great girls weekend, but it definitely reminds me that drinking needs practise, and trying to ignore your lack of practise is a little like trying to ease back into jogging by running a marathon.

Twenty Eight

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yesterday I turned 28. I’ve never had any problem with getting older, except of course for my increasingly old-ladyish behaviour. My sister-in-law freaked out when she hit 25 because at that age you’re officially closer to 30 than to 20 and that means life must inevitably get slightly more serious. I had no problem with 25. Or 26 or 27, for that matter. But yesterday, I woke up and realised that I am 28 years old. My life plans ran out at 27.

When I was little, I always imagined that 27 would be the age where my life would be sorted out. At 10 years old, it’s easy to imagine that by 27 you’ll be married, living in a big house and having kids. It would have been nice if I could have imagined myself up some more interesting life plans while I was at it, but what’s done is done. I was probably a pretty dull 10 year old.
In my childhood mind, 27 was baby-making age. It was suitably longer than my own parents waited to have kids, allowing me to have a bit more fun early on, but not so long that I would be old (30 seems seriously old when you’re only 10).

After age 10, I never really thought about it again until recently, when I realised that things don’t always work out in the idyllic way you imagine them when you’re younger.

Then yesterday, I woke up and I was 28 years old. I’m now at the end of my life. Well, my childhood life plan anyway. So what now? I should have thought a bit further ahead I guess. Or maybe this gives me license to go back to behaving like a 10 year old while I try to decide what to do next. I definitely need to put myself in a childish frame of mind; otherwise any future plans would be way too sensible. But 10 year old me couldn’t come up with anything better than getting married and having kids. Maybe I need to revert back to 6 year old me who had a little more imagination. Surely a six year old could come up with a better way of spending my remaining years. I mean, I’m 28 and I have no idea what to do with myself now, so obviously experience doesn’t count for anything.

My only concern with letting my 6 year old imagination decide on my future fate is that I’m pretty sure that when I was six I was the only kid who didn’t have a “when I grow up, I want to be a *insert occupation here*”. Which I’m pretty sure basically equates to “When I grow up I want to be a jobless bum”. My 28 years of experience might not have given me enough knowledge to decide what to do with myself for the rest of my life, but they have taught me enough to know that ‘jobless bum’ isn’t a very desirable occupation.

Or maybe I’ll just have to wing it from here on out. Planning 18 years in advance didn’t end up getting me to my goals, so maybe the best bet is to make it up as I go along.

Birthday Enthusiasm

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’ve said it before, and I fully admit that this makes me kind of (ok, completely) a loser but I really, really love birthdays. Seriously, what’s not to love? You get to spend time with the people who you love the most, you get to eat cake, you sometimes get gifts – and now that I’m old, I get to drink as much as I want mid-week without getting in too much trouble at work the next day for being hung-over.

I never outgrew my childhood love of birthdays, so I look forward to mine every single year. The problem that I’m faced with now that I’m heading toward my 30's isn’t that my excitement about my birthday is starting to fade, it’s that everyone I know has gotten older too and their enthusiasm for birthdays in general has pretty much disappeared. It’s hard to muster up the same level of excitement as usual when the people you want to celebrate with can’t be bothered.

This situation clearly needs fixing. I can’t let birthday fun end before 30. For me, the day I don’t care that it’s my birthday is the day that I'm officially an old lady. And despite recent old lady-ish tendencies, I’m not ready for old-lady-hood yet.

So. How to make people enthused about birthdays again? I considered just throwing a big party, but not telling people it was a birthday party until they arrived. You know, letting them have fun for a while and then just wandering up and saying “Having fun? Great! Because this is actually a Birthday celebration! See, they are fun after all!”
But that seemed sneaky. And no-one likes a sneaky birthday girl. Besides, I didn’t really want a party. I think that once you’re past 10 years old, birthday parties are reserved for milestone birthdays only.

I thought that maybe if I just wore a party hat around all day, people would be amused enough to get more involved in birthday fun. Then I thought about it some more and realised that if I did that, people wouldn’t think it was because I love birthdays, they’d think that I was having some kind of early mid-life crisis and that I was trying to recapture my youth.
Which I guess I am, to some extent. Birthdays were just so fun when I was little, I’d like to have that kind of birthday fun every year. I suppose this kind of age crisis is better than buying myself a sports car and getting a boob job. This kind has cake.

The Height of Romance

Monday, April 12, 2010

I caught up with some old friends on the weekend – they’re one of the couples that I know who met online. They don’t tell a lot of people how they met, because they’ve been together since before internet dating was the norm, so they still have that residual nerdy embarrassment about meeting on the internet that they find hard to let go of.

The first thing you notice about this couple when you meet them is that he is a hell of a lot taller than she is –about a foot and a half taller. Which is fine, of course – but it got me thinking. There seems to be some sort of unwritten rule that says that the man must be the same height or any amount taller than his wife/partner, and never the other way around. How often do you see a couple where the man is shorter than the woman?

It must be a throwback to all those old-fashioned traditions in which the man is the dominant partner. Maybe it’s because men are supposed to be the hunter-gatherer, and how can you be the provider and protector for the family if the ‘homemaker’ of the couple makes you look like a midget?

The reason I got thinking about this is that this couple didn’t meet through a dating site or anything; they just met randomly on a chat site. So when they first started to get to know each other, they had that magical internet blindness which means that he could just as easily have been a foot and a half shorter than her rather than a foot and a half taller. What then? Does that sort of thing come up in conversation? Or is everyone like me and imagines that everyone they talk to online is the exact same height as them and has an Australian accent? (I also imagine everyone as a brunette, but I’m not sure that that’s entirely relevant here. Or normal.)

Could you get all the way to the point of falling in love and flying across the country/world to meet up only to find that your future wife is so tall that you have to shield your eyes from sun glare when looking into her eyes? Or is there some deep inborn sixth sense that means that you can never fall in love if you’re taller than the man you’re getting to know?

I’ve actually had a bit of experience with this height issue thing. I once dated a guy who was a hell of a lot shorter than me – probably about an entire foot shorter. He was a pretty muscled up kinda guy who was training to be in the armed forces, so I never felt like I was the huge giant who could overpower him, but it was still kinda weird. And I could never wear heels when we went out, which I hated and which was possibly the downfall of our entire relationship. Wearing heels makes you feel hot and makes you want to dance more. But dancing is kind of weird when the person leading is shorter than you are.

I couldn’t have gone the rest of my life wearing flats everywhere and sitting by watching other people dancing. I mean, there are lots of songs with lyrics like ‘You make me feel like dancing’, but not a whole lot like ‘you make me feel like dancing but I can’t because you also make me self conscious about my height.’ Besides being overly wordy, if that were a song it wouldn’t be a peppy love song, it would be a tragic country song.

This brings up other questions too – like what about gay couples? Is it weird for one of the guys being shorter than his partner? And what about people with dwarfism? Does male versus female height matter when you’re both shorter than most other people already?

Is it really only possible to fall in love with a man that is taller than you are? And could an internet romance be ruined just by finding out that you were taller than he is? I have to wonder if my friends would still be together if the height difference was reversed. I‘d like to think that it wouldn’t matter, but to be honest, I would be miserable if KJ weren’t so much taller than me that I can wear heels and still be the shorter of the two of us.

First Heartbreak

Friday, April 09, 2010

Recently, through the magic of Facebook, I came across some wedding photos of the first guy that ever really broke my heart.

There are two things that I think I should point out at this point before I take this story any further. The first is that I wasn’t Facebook stalking him – he’s distantly related to one of my friends through a marriage and she was at the wedding, so photos just showed up in my news feed.

The second is that even though he was the first guy who ever really broke my heart and saying that makes this sound like a very old story, it really wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things – maybe 8 or 10 years. I was pretty late into the world of serious relationships, unlike a lot of people who will tell you about their first heartbreak at age 6. My first kiss might have been at age 6, but my first meaningful relationship (and heart break) happened at about age 18.

Yesterday I stumbled across these photos of him, and even though it’s been years since I saw him and I’ve well and truly moved on, I still felt a little of that old sadness.

The story of my heartbreak is reasonably dull, but was painful enough at the time. He was from a country town and was staying with my friend while he worked in Melbourne. We became close, but then after we’d been together for about 6 months or so, he had to move home and we both knew that a long distance thing wouldn’t work out. So he left, and I cried for about a week.

I think that first heartbreak is probably the hardest. I wasn’t prepared for it, so it sort of took me by surprise – hence the week of crying, which was quite unusual for me. It took me a long time to get over, and while other relationships I’ve had after that have sort of slipped into the foggy areas of my memory, I think I’ll always remember him clearly because he was the first.

So yesterday when I saw these photos I felt just a little sad thinking about the whole thing, but also a little weirded-out, because there was something odd about them.

His wife looks a lot like me. Not exactly like me, but similar in a way that made me realise that I must have been exactly his type. Same hair colour, same build, similar facial features. And while that’s kind of weird, because I hate to think that I could be classified as a specific ‘type’ it’s kind of nice to know that even though he broke my heart there’s always this kind of link there – no matter how weird that link might be.

Well, either that or it’s really offensive. I’m yet to decide.

Just a Note...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I’d like to make note of the fact that I’m having a lot of trouble with my writing at the moment. I’m finding it incredibly hard to find interesting things to write about, or interesting ways to write about un-interesting things. So I apologise to anyone who may read my blog regularly, because I’m just trying to power through it by writing about anything that pops into my head, and that doesn’t always make for the most interesting reading.

I would call it bloggers block, but that sounds like something that you need a plumber to fix.I'll get past it, but be prepared for a bit of pointless crap for a while. Hey, I guess in that case, maybe a plumber could help.


The weekend before the Easter long weekend, I went to see Cats the Musical. I’ve wanted to see it ever since the 80’s. I can remember seeing the ads on TV and hearing all this hype about how great it was and how everyone loved it. I had no idea what the show was about, of course – other than that it was about some Cats. Fair assumption, really. I think that’s probably the extent of most people’s knowledge of the show - that it’s about people prancing around pretending to be cats, and that it was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber. What else do you really need to know about it? It’s a musical after all; everything that you need to know they’ll sing about in the opening number.

One of the main reasons that I’ve wanted to see it for so long is that in the 80’s, you couldn’t go a week without hearing someone singing ‘Memory’ . You can’t hear something that regularly and not have it stick with you. It’s a pretty good song as far as musical numbers go, so I figured the rest of the show to be just like that – A lot of pretty good (if slightly 80’s-ish) musical numbers.

No such luck. It turns out Memory was the only song that was written from scratch for the musical. Everything else is just a bunch of TS Eliot poems set to music. What the hell! That’s just lazy! The poems themselves are reasonably amusing, but you can’t just string a bunch of poems together with some vague attempt at a plot so you can actually call it a story.

The costumes were phenomenal. The set was impressive. The choreography was great. The show, however, was terrible. There was no real plot. It was basically just a bunch of cats introducing themselves through long, drawn out songs that I couldn’t understand the words to.
I’m not sure if maybe I would have liked it more if I had of known what it was about before I saw it, but I didn’t, and because it was so hard to understand what they were singing about it was two of the most confusing hours I’ve spent in a long time.

At one point, the stage was full of people pretending to be cats pretending to be dogs and I couldn’t understand a single word of what they were banging on about – so it was really just a bunch of people in spandex with cardboard boxes on their heads chanting and occasionally barking like dogs. You don’t have to pay money to see that; you just have to find the right area of Melbourne and you’re bound to come across someone doing it for free.

So it was a total waste of time and money really. How sad. It did, however, confirm for me that my days of being amused by musicals are well and truly done.

The 8 Day Week

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Four day weekends are fantastic things. They’re like mini holidays. The best part is that you end up with this really fantastic two weeks where you work four days, rest four days, work four days. I think that this would make a much more pleasurable work routine than the old five days work, two days rest.

I’ve always advocated the idea of the 8 day week. I thought that working five then having three off would be good. But after being reminded how awesome four days on, four days off is, I’ve changed my mind and will be pushing for a different kind of 8 day week.

I’ll just add public holidays to the list of things I love about April. We have another long weekend coming up for ANZAC Day too. April is such a great month.

The only thing that has really thrown me off during this long weekend is daylight savings. On Sunday we shifted the clocks back an hour and ever since then I’ve been running an hour early on everything. I’ve been out of bed at 6am instead of 7, eaten lunch at 11:30 instead of 12:30, had dinner at 6 instead of 7. I hurried KJ out of his Sunday morning sleep in because I thought we only had an hour until we had to leave for our family Easter celebration, but we actually had two. Oops.

Even now, I ‘m still getting time mixed up. The office clock hasn’t been changed, so I keep thinking it’s an hour later than it really is. I’ve glanced at the clock 20 or 30 times today and every single time I do I get excited that there’s not long to go until work is done, then almost immediately am disappointed because I realise that the clock is out by an hour. I think the hardest hour will be when the clock says 5:00 (home time) but I have to stay until it says 6:00. Right now it says 4:45 and that’s already pretty hard. Maybe a four day weekend isn’t such a great thing – it just makes getting re-motivated for work that much harder.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Tomorrow is the beginning of the Easter long weekend. I absolutely love this time of year. Every year when the weather starts to slip into Autumn coolness, I wake up with a sense of quiet excitement that I can’t quite put my finger on.

Something about the air makes me feel good. I wake up with a smile on my face every day. I feel comfortable and happy and I just want the days to go for longer so I can enjoy them all the more.

I think the reason for this is that this time of year was always the highlight of my year when I was a kid. Easter meant chocolate and Easter Egg hunts and waking up to find that the Easter Bunny had been and hidden chocolate all around the place. My Mum’s side of the family is Greek, so that meant that most years I got to celebrate two separate Easters. As a little kid, the only thing better than an Easter full of sugary goodness was having two Easters full of sugary goodness.

On the night before Greek Easter, we would go to church and after the service all hundred-odd people in the church would light a candle and walk around the block. To this day I still have no real idea what it was all about, but when you’re little being part of a crowd that large and taking a candle-lit stroll is exciting.

On Greek Easter, we would head to my Aunty and Uncle’s house where all of the extended family would gather, and we would have a huge feast; the centrepiece of which was a full spit-roasted lamb.

Not long after all of the Easter goodness, it would be my birthday. I have so many happy memories attached to childhood birthdays that I couldn’t begin to recount them all. Our tradition on birthdays would be for the person whose birthday it was to wake up first and drag the other two siblings out of bed. We would all head to Mum & Dad’s room, where we would all pile onto the bed to open presents.

That’s a tradition that we held onto until we moved out of home. Even on my 21st birthday, we still all piled onto the bed and exchanged gifts. Birthdays may have lost a little of their tradition over the years but I still get this happy, excited feeling every year when we reach April.

Easter might not bring the chocolate and the Easter Bunny any more, but it does bring a four day weekend which is exciting in its own way.

I stopped going to church with my family a long time ago, but we still have our family Easter celebrations. We still head to my Aunty and Uncle’s place every year for the spit-roast and that’s where I will be this Sunday.

Like all religious celebrations, for me Easter is more about celebrating family than it is about biblical stories. And even though I’ve long stopped celebrating Easter for its traditional meaning, I believe that for the rest of my life, the traditions of my childhood will mean that I wake up one day in Autumn with that sense of quiet excitement that makes me smile for no real reason.