Being a grown-up is also great because...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

You can have cake and wine for dinner and no one tells you off.

Being a grown-up is great because...

You can eat cake for dinner and no one tells you off.

Not-So-Nameless Newbie

So I did a bit of sneaky detective work and it turns out that the new guy's name is (spelt phonetically) Lay-oof.

Anyone care to take a punt on the spelling? It's probably not something that I should just try to guess, I suppose.

Nameless Newbie

Monday, November 29, 2010

A new guy started out in the factory this morning to give us a hand in the lead up to Christmas.

The boss came in after lunch and asked me to print out an invitation to our staff Christmas party for him. The only trouble is, the new guy has a very unusual, very foreign name. In order to print an invitation for him, I need to know how to spell that very unusual name. Given that it’s such an unusual name, there’s no problem with simply asking him how to spell it, right?

Except that his name is so incredibly foreign and unusual, that I can’t even remember what it is. I can’t very well say ‘hey you! How do you spell your name, er... mate?’

I’m sure that it starts with ‘L’ and that it has a weird noise at the end, like ‘oomp’ or ‘oof’, but that’s no help to me. How exactly do you go about finding out someone’s name without letting them know that you don’t know it?

A Different Kind of Cake

Friday, November 26, 2010

Today I ate a mint that tasted like what I imagine an un-used urinal cake would taste like if someone was stupid enough to eat it.

Not that I spend a lot of time imagining those sorts of things, but the texture and the medical flavour just had a certain kind of quality about them that said ‘when I grow up, I want to be a urinal cake’.

Afterwards, I felt as sick as I imagine you would feel if you really had eaten a urinal cake.

To summarise:
Very bad mint.
Don't eat urinal cakes.

Random Childhood Memory #4

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My grandma used to have this liquor cabinet that was chock full of liqueurs, spirits and things with foreign labels that I still don’t even know the names of. I was always curious about them, because my parents drank pretty much every night, and at family functions the booze cabinet got a pretty good work out.
As a little kid at those family functions, I would hop from lap to lap, having my cheeks pinched, giving the old ladies the attention that they loved, and in return receiving sips from their glasses. Port, Ouzo, Brandy, Scotch, Wine, Beer – every glass was a new experience, a new taste.

My grandma, being a big softie, knew that I was intrigued by the endless bottles of mysterious alcohols in the cabinet, and so when I stayed there she would often let me taste tiny little bits from one or two of the bottles.

Then one day when I was about 11, I decided I wanted to see what it was like to have more than just a little sip. I snuck in and filled half a drinking glass with port, and the other half with coke. Turns out 11 year olds aren't that great at estimating a standard drink.

Needless to say, the results of that little experiment kind of diminished my enthusiasm for the mysteries of the liquor cabinet. And now, at 28 years old I have only recently been able to drink port without getting a little pang in my stomach at the smell.

Slutty Old Me

Monday, November 22, 2010

Apparently, I'm slutty. In some stupid survey, my name made the top ten in a list of girls names that men think are most up for sex.

Since I don't use my real name on here, I'm not going to say exactly where my name came in the top ten, but given the thousands and thousands of female names in the world, it probably doesn't really matter which name it is. Even coming 10th would be pretty much almost as bad as coming first. Maybe I should change my name. I wonder which name came 2000th...

My Natural Selection

On the weekend, while channel surfing, I came across a documentary with one of those boring, garden-gnome-bearded scientists pontificating about natural selection. One of the points he was discussing was whether modern medicine constitutes an interference to natural selection, or whether it should be considered as part of the natural selection process.

It got me thinking about the times that I’ve relied on medicine, and how my life would be different without it. And I realised that if it weren’t for modern medicine, I’d already be dead. If natural selection is really being hindered by modern medicine, then I have already been picked off by nature. Which is disappointing, because I always thought I was stronger than that. And to add insult to injury, not only have I been sick enough before to have died without medical intervention, I’ve been that sick twice. Does that mean the universe is trying to tell me something?

When I was about 18, I got glandular fever. While that’s pretty common for people around that age, and not lethal, it sent something out of whack in my inner ear, and I got so dizzy that I couldn’t even blink without throwing up. I was so dehydrated and malnourished that they had to cart me off to hospital. I was stuck there for a week until I was well enough to be able to go home, where it took me a good 3 or 4 months to get better. Natural selection averted.

Then earlier this year, I got really sick. What I initially thought was the flu turned out to be a virus that attacked my thyroid, and it made me so freaking sick that I felt like I was on my way to a slow and excruciating death. When it was finally diagnosed (after 3 separate visits to the doctor), I had to take a total of 12 pills a day for over a month to get better. In the middle of my illness, I had a resting heart rate of around 120-130bpm. A heart attack in the making, I’m sure. But modern medicine managed to avert a bit of natural selection there too.

Courtesy of that shitty illness, every day of my life I now use modern medicine to keep me alive, because the virus damaged my thyroid quite badly and now I have to take a pill every day to stop me from getting sick again. Fun times.

So I think I’m going to side with the people who say that modern medicine is a part of natural selection, just helping the weaker links to become stronger. And I’ll always be grateful that I live in the 21st century where I didn’t have to croak just because of some stupid random virus. Or from something that is commonly referred to as the ‘Kissing Disease’. That would just be embarrassing.

Home Alone

Thursday, November 18, 2010

KJ is interstate again tonight, as he quite often is. Usually being alone in the house doesn't bother me at all - in fact I usually enjoy having the time to myself. And I've never been one to get scared just by being alone.

But tonight, for some stupid reason, I decided it would be a perfect night to get a start on watching season one of Dexter. And I have to admit that I've managed to freak myself out a little bit. Home alone at night is not the best time to watch a TV show about a serial killer that breaks into peoples houses and chops them into little pieces.

It's just that little bit creepy, and while horror stuff doesn't freak me out, creepy stuff does a bit.

Probably should have watched something else instead.

If I don't ever blog again, look for me in a garbage bag (or two) at the bottom of the ocean somewhere.

When Good Games Go Bad

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We’ve finally been having some nice weather, and while I was sitting in the sun today I was reminded of something that happened to me about 7 or 8 years ago.

It was the middle of summer and the weather had been that kind of disgustingly humid sort for about a week or so. It was late in the evening, and there were four of us just sort of laying around, talking and moving as little as possible. We were bored and looking for something to do.

We had confiscated a laser tag game from my boyfriend’s 8 year old nephew earlier in the day, and someone had the bright idea that we should play.

Since it beat sitting on our arses doing nothing, we chucked on the head gear, picked up the guns and headed out into the street to play.

After ten minutes of franticly pelting around the street it became apparent that there just wasn’t enough cover there to make the game worthwhile.
Then one of the guys had the genius idea of heading down to the local primary school to play. It was the middle of the school holidays, it was dark, and the school was a big space with lots of hiding places. It was only a five minute walk, so we headed down there. We split into two teams, and headed off into the darkness.

The next half an hour was hilarious as I jumped out of bushes to surprise the others; creepy as the others jumped out of bushes at me; and exhausting from all the running.

After about 40 minutes or so, Evan and I found ourselves only needing one more shot to win the game, so we hid together behind a clump of trees near the basketball courts to wait for the others to show themselves.

After five minutes or so, a movement on the other side of the basketball courts caught my eye. Without a hesitation I leapt from our hiding place and pelted at full tilt into the darkness, waving my little yellow plastic laser gun like a crazy person.

Out of the darkness, two figures emerged, and in the fraction of a second before I could see them clearly, I felt a fleeting moment of triumph, certain that I would win the game for us.

Then they appeared out of the darkness, and I found myself pointing my toy gun into the faces of two adrenaline charged Policemen. Hands on holsters, ready to draw their weapons, they shouted

‘Stop right there!’

I dropped my gun.

‘What’s going on here!’ they demanded. I was speechless and more than a little embarrassed.

Evan appeared behind me and spoke up.

‘Um, we’re just playing laser tag’

‘Jesus Christ, you’re a bit old for that. My 6 year old son plays that!’

‘Er, yeah. We were bored...’

Their faces registered that strange look of adrenaline forced excitement realising it has nowhere to unleash itself.

‘You can’t be in here,' They told us grumpily. 'It’s private property. You’ll have to go play somewhere else.’

They escorted us off the school grounds. That was the end of laser tag for us.

The Possums

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On Saturday night, Kate and I walked through Flagstaff Gardens on our way to a bar. It was about 1am. As we passed the big old trees that line the pathway, she pointed out a pair of possums sitting at the base of one of the tree trunks. Then she pointed at another beneath the next tree. And another. And another. And another.

Everywhere I turned possums were climbing trees, sitting in branches or by the path. As we walked by they just watched us, no fear; not scurrying away like possums usually do.

Their beady little eyes glittered in the street light in an eerie kind of way and as a group of them approached the path, I was suddenly struck by a horrible feeling that maybe I was stuck in some horrifying Australiana version of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ – only with possums instead of birds.

I think it was the way they were staring at me. We get a lot of possums around our place, but they’re proper feral possums that make that horrible hacking, hissing noise – and they never look at you, they just run away. These ones were so fearless that even one of the possums which had a baby wasn’t afraid as we walked within a metre or so of it.

I wanted to get my phone out and try to take a photo of them, but I was a bit worried that if I did it might anger them, and then the crazy Hitchcock style attack would begin. So instead I just walked a little faster, trying to keep an eye out on all sides.

I always thought the creepiest thing in a city park at 1am was the perverts. Silly me.

Saturday with The New Pornographers

Monday, November 15, 2010

I had the most amazing weekend. Saturday night’s gig was truly awesome – one of the best nights I’ve had in a really long time.

It started at my best friend’s place, where, after the obligatory hour or so of changing into different outfits and finally ending up back in the first thing I put on, we headed outside only to find that it was pouring with rain. We sprinted to the street, trying futilely to cover our hair to prevent the sudden and unwelcome sprouting of a moisture-induced afro. My friend (who we’ll call Kate for the purposes of this story) waved her arm into the road like a crazy woman, and although the rain was much too heavy to see anything, somehow, only seconds later we were seated in the warmth of a taxi, wiping frantically at our hair to stop the explosion of frizz.

The taxi ride was short, but as we neared the venue my excitement grew to a point where I was literally bouncing up and down in the seat like a little kid who knows her birthday presents are about to be handed to her. I guess I’m dorky like that.

As the taxi pulled up outside I was ready to bounce right out of the door, and my insane excitement levels had me tipping the driver way more than a 5 minute car ride deserves – although to be fair it was partially so that I wouldn’t have to carry a bunch of stupid coins around in my jeans pocket.

We headed for the door, but found two burly bouncers blocking the way.

‘Can we see some ID please girls?’ The one that looked a little like Tony Danza on steroids asked.

Slow smiles crept across both our faces. This was a very pleasant start to the night. I can’t even remember the last time someone checked my ID! It was probably about 9 years ago.

‘Thanks’ said buff Tony Danza as he handed me back my license. He gave me what I can only assume he thought was a winning smile.

‘No,’ I told him. ‘Thank you!’

We wandered downstairs, grabbed a couple of beers at the bar and headed towards the stage. Two steps led down into a lowered section right in front of the stage, which was about 5 ½ feet above the floor level. We took up our place on the very top step so that Kate would be able to see over everyone. She’s pretty short and usually finds herself spending an entire gig staring at the back of someone’s head – or in this case it would have been the wall in front of the stage.

It was a fantastic spot, only about 6 metres or so from the stage with a completely unobstructed view. I would have like to be a bit closer, but I can’t complain since Kate agreed to come along not knowing any of the band’s songs.

It was about 9pm, and we had arrived just in time to see the support band, Little Scout. They played for about 45 mins, but although they were really good and the lead singer was adorable, I was eager for them to finish so that The New Pornographers would come on. After Little Scout finished we had to wait an excruciating 30 minutes before they took the stage.

As they all wandered on you could feel the excitement levels of the crowd rising. Everyone pushed forward and I found myself looking down into the massive, crazy hair of what I thought was a guy – until the man next to him grabbed him on the bum and I realised that the he was actually a very strange looking she.

Neko Case took her place on stage looking like she had just gotten out of bed; hair tousled and fluffy, wearing jeans and a hoodie. It made me love her just a little bit. She’s so normal, and her wild hair made me feel a lot better about my own crazy rain-ruined locks. Aussies generally make fun of rangas, but Neko would be the exception to that rule.

And Carl Newman was a lot bigger than I thought he would be. I don’t mean that he was fat; far from it. He was just taller and less weedy than I had imagined him.

They jumped straight into it, and the next 2 hours were filled with the most amazing live music I think I’ve ever heard. Maybe it was just that I like their stuff so much, or maybe it was all the wine and beer I had drunk, but it was just phenomenal. They mostly played their newer songs, but included the more well known tracks off their older albums too. There wasn’t a single song that didn’t have my foot tapping or my body moving.

Part way through the show, an audience member yelled out for them to play ‘Myriad Harbour’. They said they couldn’t, because they didn’t have Dan Bejar there to sing it. Later, when they came out for their first encore, they offered to play it if someone from the crowd would get up on stage and sing it with them. After a couple of moments of waiting, and it looking like no one would do it, a voice yelled out from somewhere behind me

‘Ah fuck it, I’ll do it!’

A cheer went up in the vicinity of the anonymous voice and spread slowly around the room. A guy pushed through the crowd, too short to be seen until he jumped up on stage. After a quick request that someone film it, he sang the entire song with the band – and pretty well, too. The crowd went wild, and cheered so loud and so long that the band came back out and played a second encore.

After the gig, we went to a bar where Kate’s roommate works and had a couple of drinks. Some random Canadian guy bought me a drink because I managed to guess where he was from and because I’d just come from seeing a Canadian band. A drunken Mexican hugged me repeatedly, and a guy who has been trying to hook up with Kate tried continually (and very obviously) to make a good impression on me. Which was wise, after all - because if the best friend likes you, it goes a very, very long way. Especially when it comes to Kate.

At about 2am the bar closed, and I was absolutely exhausted (you know, like I’ve said before - because I’m old and boring). Kate, on the other hand, pretty much never sleeps (because it gets in the way of all the drinking), so she stayed out while I staggered off home, to fall asleep and relive my awesome night over again in my head.


Friday, November 12, 2010

On Saturday I’m going to a gig at the Hi-Fi and I’m pretty damn excited about it! I don’t go to a lot of shows – mostly because I’m trying to save my money to get rid of the hideous 70’s brown shag carpet in my house, but also, you know, coz I’m old and boring.

I’m going to see The New Pornographers, a band that I discovered while reading The Neon Lounge.

Despite the fact that I couldn’t find anyone who knew any of their songs all that well, my best friend agreed to come with me, because she’s almost as desperate as I am for something interesting to do.

The beauty of convincing her to come with me is the wonderful convenience of her apartment being within staggering distance of the venue. So it promises to be a good weekend. If only I didn’t have to spend Saturday cleaning out the garage, it would be perfect!

This is one of my favourites off The New Pornographers’ latest album ‘Together’.

Why kids are bad for the ego

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yesterday I was out on site seeing a customer with KJ. The customer’s son, a 3 year old who in typical toddler fashion talked without stopping, turned to talk to KJ.

Kid: (pointing at me) Is that your brother?
KJ: Er, no, that’s not my brother.
Kid: Yeah, I think that’s your brother.

His dad apologised, telling us that he understands what a brother is because he has one, but isn’t quite clear on the whole concept of a sister.

We left the appointment, and headed to a friend’s place to pick him up for dinner. He wasn’t home yet, so we went inside and chatted with his wife who had to stay home and look after their 3 and 1 year old sons. The 3 year old was running around telling us all that his balloon wouldn’t blow up because it had a hole in it. Eventually, his mum went to the cupboard and got him a new one in order to shut him up for a bit.

Kid: I need two Mum!
Mum: No, you only need one
Kid: (pointing at me) but I want to give one to him!

She laughed and told me that he always gets his ‘he’s’ and ‘she’s’ mixed up.

Not a good day for the old self-confidence.


Sunday, November 07, 2010

I am so worn out this year. I need a holiday.

Is 28 too young to retire?


Friday, November 05, 2010

This month KJ is taking part in the Movember challenge. For all of November he will be cultivating some kind of creepy pornstar-inspired moustache to raise money in support of men’s health.

Having a Moustache isn’t a big deal for him because for as long as I can remember he’s had a full moustache/goatee kind of thing. What was a big deal was shaving that off. Well, it was a big deal for me anyway.

He looks so different that he keeps startling me whenever I see him. Every time I round a corner at home and see him there, I freak out for a second because I think a strange man is creeping through my house.

KJ is getting a bit sick of this as well, because every time I see him, I go from happy wife to trauma victim in a matter of milliseconds. It’s bad for his ego.

He’s been interstate since yesterday, so my heart has gotten a little rest from all the sudden jumping out of my chest through my mouth, and I’m hoping that when he gets back his moustache will have grown enough that he looks somewhat like his old self. In fact I’ve donated $50 to support the cause - oh, and also partly to support the whole men’s health thing too.

Photo5 Finals

Thursday, November 04, 2010

So today the finalists were announced for the Canon Photo5 competition and....

I didn’t make it. I must admit that I’m a little disappointed. I felt certain that this little beauty was going to make the cut:

It's a fish! Swimming in a droplet!

But then I’m sure everyone else felt certain that their photos would make it too. There are quite a few good entries, so I’m not too disappointed, although I do think that the finalists for the incense brief are really average, especially considering some of the entries that were passed over for the finalists.

I’m pretty happy with the photos I took though, and it gave me an opportunity to take some photos that I otherwise would never have attempted. There should be more photography competitions like this one.I guess I'll just have to have another go at it next year!

The Phantom of the Couch

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

This past four day weekend should have been a great opportunity to get out and do a few things that I’ve been meaning to for a while; a chance to have a few drinks with friends and maybe have one of the first barbeques of the year. Instead it turned into what I’m now calling my ‘Phantom of the Opera’ weekend.
It’s less of a musical weekend and more of a ‘being too hideously deformed to go out in public’ kind of thing.

I had a bad reaction to some medication, and ended up swollen and rashy (lovely, I know). Of course as luck would have it, the reaction was limited to my face and neck. So not only did I have to live with the irritation of side-effects, but they left me looking like an obese, pimply 16 year old.

I sulked at home on the couch all weekend, refusing to leave the house and making KJ go out without me whenever we needed something. I have watched so much television that I’m finding real life kind of strange – I can’t understand why there isn’t canned laughter whenever I make a joke, or why bizarre and amusing things aren’t happening to me in mundane situations.

Now the weekend is over and instead of sulking on the couch at home, I’m sulking in my office, trying to avoid talking to anyone or drawing attention to myself until I’m totally back to normal.

At least I have virtual me – my online presence that is much more well spoken, swears less, is about 3 inches shorter and most importantly, looks less like the Phantom and more like the chick that the Phantom fancies.