The New Year's Eve Hermit

Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm pretty sure that my brain has switched off now that it knows that the end off the year is here. For the last few days, i've been thinking and acting like a person who may have dropped a few IQ points and forgotten to pick them up again.

I have never spilt so much stuff on myself, tripped over so many things or struggled to understand so many jokes in my life. It's a sign that I need my holiday.

Hopefully the trip to Tassie will be a kind of reboot for my brain, otherwise 2011 is going to be a very long (and messy) year.

Even though it's New Years Eve, and usually i'm keen to head out to a party or something, this year I just want to stay at home and pretend it's any other night. I usually relish the excuse to get out and have a few drinks with friends, but this year not so much. Maybe it's my slow brain, or maybe it's the fact that I have been making a valiant attempt over the last week to replace my body's entire fluid contents with alcohol and it's so full to the brim with booze it can't take any more. Either way, I'm just not feeling up for it.

And I know this makes me old and boring, but today, for once, I don't really care. For NYE 2010 I am an alcoholic, mentally challenged hermit and I don't mind!

Bring on 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 is drawing to a close, and to be honest, I'm glad to be done with it. It's been a pretty average year for me. I spent a very nice chunk of this year being very, very ill. Actually, to be fair, I spent about 3 weeks being very ill, and then about 4 months recovering. I've worked harder and longer this year than I can remember doing for a long time, and I am tired.

The year has redeemed itself a little as Christmas has rolled around, but I'm more than ready for 2010 to be over and done with, and for 2011 to bring better health and more importantly, my first real holiday!

I've been on trips before, of course, but this will be my first trip as an adult that wasn't my honeymoon. The only other trip I've been on was to Queensland a few years back, and I got so sick while we were there I had to fly back home and KJ had to drive the two day trip home alone.

It's sad, really, considering that I'm 28 years old.

We're heading overseas - to Tasmania. I like to call it an overseas trip, because to be fair, we do fly over the sea, and the mainlanders kind of deny that Tasmania is a part of Australia. Sorry Tassie.

We'll be spending 6 nights touring the south east region, staying in heritage accommodation and giving our cameras a serious workout - they've been locked away at home more often this year than I would really like.

I've booked all of our accommodation already, and for our first night in Hobart we'll be staying in the 'Presidential Suite' at Rydges. Now, while that may sound swanky, at the price we paid for it, I highly expect that 'Presidential' might refeer to the president of the local show committee, or maybe the President of the local fishing league. Either way, I can only imagine it will be memorable in its tackiness.

We'll be visiting the Cadbury Factory, Touring the Cascade Brewery, shopping Salamanca Market and visiting the Port Arthur Historical Site and I can not wait.

I've wanted to see Tasmania for quite a while now. The only downfall of a trip to Tassie is that even though we're heading over in the middle of Summer, the maximum temperature will be around 22 degrees celcius. Probably lower considering what a cold, miserable Summer it's been so far. Couple this with the fact that Tasmania is right underneath a gigantic hole in the ozone layer (thanks people of Earth!), it makes being outdoors a chilly, but high burn risk experience. I think you need to have experienced the sun in Australia to truly appreciate the effects of the high UV levels. A nice sunny day in Australia will have even a resident of the hottest desert turning fluorescent red.

But I guess if I was after a warm, pleasantly sunny holiday I wouldn't have picked Tasmania - After all, it's about as close to Antarctica as you can get.

I picked it because I wanted a sight-seeing holiday, but one that was low stress. For six nights we'll be staying in B&B's, driving around in our comfy Audi A4 hire car, and seeing the sights at whatever pace we choose. We have seven days to do a total of about six hours of driving, so it should be relaxed and pleasant.

And the absolute best part? Our airfares, accommodation and car hire are all being covered by our Boss as a thank you for busting our butts to make his business run better than ever this year. I can't think of a better start to the New Year than that!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

You know what one of the most awesome things about living in Australia is? (and there are many.)
We get Christmas before most of the rest of the world! In only 2 short hours it will be Christmas day here, and soon I will be eating a gigantic roast lunch while most of the rest of the world is just waking up to the very early beginnings of the day.

Don't feel bad that my celebration starts early though, because sadly, this also means that Christmas Day is over for me long before it is for everyone else.

So while this might be a little early for some of the visitors to my blog who live on the other side of the world, I just want to say that I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas full of good food, lots of laughs and happiness and that like me you're lucky enough to be able to spend it with those who mean the most to you.

Merry Christmas Internet!!!

We Wish You A Swingin' Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It’s the 21st of December, and while I’m still at work, I’ve spent my time trying to pretend it’s the Christmas holidays by listening non-stop to Christmas carols. Unfortunately, I only have one Christmas album on my iPod – so for the past week I’ve been listening to the same 14 tracks over and over and over again.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best Christmas album around. It’s a compilation that some friends made up and gave to me a couple of years ago, and every Christmas since it’s been played non-stop.

So given that I don’t have a lot of time for writing at the moment, I thought the least I could do would be to share this album with you so that you can enjoy the same swingin’ Christmas soundtrack that I do every year.

I have to admit, that the album is very 'snowy christmas' heavy - which isn't really relevant in Australia, however this year, for the first time, it seems appropriate because we are having the coldest, rainiest freaking summer in about 50 years.

So here it is - 'We Wish You A Swingin' Christmas!!'

Jingle Bells - Natalie Cole

Happy Holiday - Peggy Lee

Winter Wonderland - Ella Fitzgerald

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas - Johnny Mathis

Sleigh Ride - Ella Fitzgerald

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Dean Martin

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt

The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole

White Christmas - The Drifters

Jing-A-Ling, Jing-A-Ling - The Andrews Sisters

Jingle Bell Rock - Amy Grant

Jingle Bells - Diana Krall

You know you're too tired to go to your work Xmas party when...

Friday, December 17, 2010

You jump in the shower quickly to wash your face and shave your underarms and you get out after what you think is 5 minutes to find it's actually been 20 and you've shaved one armpit, one leg and washed your hair instead of your face.

A Note

Today is supposed to be my last day of work for the year and I have ZERO spare time for writing at the moment, despite the fact that I have a tonne of things to write about. I've stolen this moment while I really should be sorting out a supplier stuff-up to just pop in here and say that I'm still around, I have plenty to say, and hopefully I'll be back to saying it all in the next few days.

Sadly, I may have to come back to work next week, but at least that gives me a quiet opportunity to write.

Back to being yelled at by customers for someone else's mistake! Fun, fun, fun!

Three is my lucky number! (I Hope)

Monday, December 13, 2010

I woke up this morning, dragged myself out of bed and into the bathroom. I looked into the mirror to find my face covered in blood. After a momentary freak out, I realised it was just a bloody nose. Bad start to the day, especially since I haven’t had a blood nose since I was about 4.

Fun start to the day # 1 – Cleaning up blood.

After I cleaned myself up, I headed into the kitchen to make a coffee - and stood straight into a giant puddle of water. The bench- top water cooler had been dripping all night and emptied its entire 8 litre contents onto the kitchen bench and floor.

Fun start to the day # 2 – Cleaning up water.

I headed off to work, and first thing I started to prepare a package of info for some installers. It had details on flights and cars that I had booked for them for an upcoming trip to Perth. As I was putting the pages together, I noticed that the flights were booked for the 20th of December and the car for the 21st. No problem - it’s easy to change a car booking. Only it wasn’t the car booking that was wrong, it was the flight booking. Thanks to my typo, it cost $180 to change the flights to the right day.

Fun start to the day # 3 – Cleaning up work mess.

I’m hoping that bad things only come in threes, and that’s the end to the weird bad luck my day has started off with. I’m not sure it will work that way though because while typing this I reached across the desk and managed to accidentally stick my thumb into my piping hot cup of coffee. Maybe I’m better off hoping that the day just goes more quickly.

Post Office Conga

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Yesterday I headed down to the post office to buy some stamps to send out Christmas Cards to our customers. As usual, the line in the post office was just about out the door, so I joined the end of the queue and hoped it wouldn’t take too long.

My back was almost to the door, so I felt when it opened, and I turned to see a morbidly obese man waddle in behind me. He was a strange kind of obese, sort of large all over with a huge, almost pregnant-looking belly that his shirt didn’t quite completely cover. A pregnant with triplets kind of belly. Possibly even quadruplets.

Two things struck me immediately as he joined the queue (other than his enormous size). Firstly, he reeked of stale wee. Not stale urine, which is the medical and incontinent old person smell; but stale wee, which is the odour of ‘I wee my pants because I’ve not quite got the hang of using a toilet and I just let my pants air dry without washing afterwards.’
It’s a very specific kind of stench.

The second thing that struck me, and this was the most disturbing of them all, was that as he joined the line behind me, he stood so close to me that I could feel his giant, fat, faux-pregnant belly brushing against the loose folds of my shirt. He was so close that as the line moved forward a little and we stepped forward, I stood on his foot.

There is nothing worse than having to stand in a long queue of people in front of a person who has no sense of personal space - except, that is, when that person is obese and smells of stale wee.

Thus began 10 minutes of ‘queue dancing’, in which I would stand to one side of the queue until he moved behind me again; then I would shuffle my way to the other side for a few brief seconds of freedom. I could have grabbed onto the person in front of me and kicked my leg out to the side with each shuffle and the post office queue would have become a conga line.
Sadly, instead it was just 10 minutes of awkward shuffling in a small space while trying to see how long I could hold my breath without passing out.

Same Old Problem

Monday, December 06, 2010

At the start of January, KJ and I will be going to Flavio's other sister's wedding. It almost goes without saying that Flavio's evil sister will be a bridesmaid, which brings me back to the same old problem I keep finding myself with at party after party. To punch her or not to punch her?

Obviously given that it's her sister's wedding and she will be one of the main participants, I can't just go punching her in the face. Not only will I be surrounded by her entire family, many of whom are cops; but punching her in the face will ruin her sisters wedding photos, and I have no problem at all with her sister.
But the urge to hurt her physically is so great. And yet again I find myself feeling guilty about wanting to hurt someone, which is completely unfair.

What has been hardest for me at the moment is that in the back of my mind I'm very aware of this upcoming event and my total inability to be nasty to her without feeling guilty. As a result, it's making for many varied and disturbing dreams in which my mind tries to play out the scenario ahead of time and let me tell her how I really feel.
They're all sort of the same - either I hit her and suffer the consequences, or I find myself screaming at her at the top of my lungs calling her a whore and other such niceties, only to have everyone stare at me as if I'm mentally unhinged. In one of them I'm pretty sure I killed her and then fled to another country. I may or may not have been watching too much 'Dexter' lately.

I wake up from these dreams every morning feeling angry and disturbed, and holding a grudge against KJ for his dream behaviour. Which I guess isn't so silly since his dream behaviour is just an exaggerated version of his real life behaviour. But to be fair it was quite a while ago now, even if I was only dreaming about it last night.

Men are stupid. And cruel. They know exactly how to completely derail a woman's self-confidence using nothing but their stupidity and their dicks. If they weren't so handy to have around for stuff like killing spiders and taking out the rubbish and... er, 'stress relief', surely we wouldn't put up with their bullshit.

So is my life from now on just going to be randomly made excruciatingly uncomfortable by having to attend these events where she will be? Am I going to feel shit about this forever? I don't want to be reminded of this stuff all the time. I want to move on and forget about it, but every time I see her or even hear her name I get so damn angry! And the only way to avoid her completely is to cut all ties with Flavio and the club in which KJ and all of Flavio's family are heavily involved. Demanding that KJ do that isn't going to make anything better. I'll just feel guilty and he will be annoyed. Which is pretty much the same result I would get if I just hit her.

So it seems like the best solution might actually just be to punch her and live with the guilt in aid of getting some closure.

At the very least I'm going to tell her exactly what I think of her. I swear I'm really going to do it this time and I'm not going to feel guilty about it at all. Or at least, not much. But I'm definitely not going to be nice to her like the last time I saw her. I am a woman of steel this time. I can do this!

Yep, I'm pretty sure I can do this.

The Birthday Scrooge

Last week, KJ turned thirty. So being the wonderful, birthday-loving wife that I am, I threw him a gigantic, no-expense-spared, everyone-invited birthday party. Which was more effort than your standard party, because KJ doesn’t quite feel the same way as I do about birthdays. In fact, he would prefer to spend his birthday pretending that it’s just another day and hiding under the bed when anyone tries to give him a gift. He’s the birthday Scrooge.

But I know, deep down, that everyone has to love birthdays. It’s just not normal to pass up the chance for a celebration. So with that in mind, I organised a massive spit-roast lunch at our place. We had about 50 or so people come by over the course of the day.

I’m not going to go into in-depth detail about the party, because all parties are pretty much the same – food, drinks, laughs etc. But there were a few things that maybe rate a mention.

In the chaos of running around trying to get things done, I totally forgot to have breakfast, and the first thing I had for the day was a beer at about 11:30am. Probably not the best way to start a long day in 32 degree weather.

The place was overrun with kids. Kids freaking EVERYWHERE. There were kids from 4 weeks old right up to about 16. It was weird. And people with babies love to pass them round at parties. As soon as someone showed up with a baby, they would throw it into my arms without a thought as to whether or not I actually wanted to hold it.
Watching me holding a 4 week old baby is like something out of a slap-stick comedy skit. Trying to cope with their floppy, flailing heads and their super-humanly strong arms is beyond my capability. And every time someone would thrust one of these little bundles of chaos at me, people would run in from all sides with cameras, saying things like ‘Awww, Torrygirl is getting clucky!’ or ‘Oh, you’ll be next!’ and clicking away as if they were recording some huge historical landmark.

I ran around to a heap of different cake stores until I found one that still made the cherry ripe mud cake that KJ thought was no longer available so that I could surprise him with it. I am an awesome wife, if I do say so myself.

Because there were so many people, we couldn’t hold the party in our backyard. We have a big open area out the front of the house, and a double garage that opens onto it – so we used that space. Our house is on a pretty steep block, so the bulk of the house is upstairs with the garage downstairs. This meant that I ran up and down the stairs to the kitchen about 500 times an hour. For around about 8 hours.

Now, I’ve made my thoughts on exercise pretty clear over the years, so anyone who read regularly knows that this much running is not a normal event for me. And man did I pay the price for it.
I ache in places that I didn’t even know I had muscles! I did so much food preparation and lifting and carrying things that even the muscles in my hands ache. My legs ache, my arms ache, my shoulders and neck ache. Even my eyelids ache!

It was all worth it though. We got to spend the day with good people, eating good food in good weather. And even KJ enjoyed himself – which has to be a first.

Maybe it’s actually possible to trick someone into enjoying birthdays.

You too?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel that it requires another mention today – just because I’ve heard so much about it this week.

I think I am the only person in Australia - possibly even the world - who doesn’t really like U2. They’re playing in Melbourne at the moment and it’s all I have heard about all week.

So while I know no one is going to agree with this, I just want to put it out there that I think U2 is well over-rated. And Bono is really annoying.