Friday, December 29, 2006


It is a funny time of year, the week between Christmas and New Year. The build up to Christmas is over, New Years has not yet happened. This week of limbo feels to me like I am waiting for the old year to die, before the new year is born.

I'm blah. I just want to sleep in and be lazy. Occasionally I'm happy to play the odd board game - someone say Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble - I'm so there, but otherwise leave me alone. I can feel myself going into my hermit mode. I've had enough of people right now, and my idea of hell is a packed NYE in the city, or a busy shopping centre.

Am I the only one feeling like this?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas to all

It is Christmas morning, there is snow on them there hills, and hail here. I do love a white Christmas in summer.

My boy has just left to go and spend the day with his family in the country where his grandmother lives, after spoiling me with my birthday present at midnight, and breakfast in bed and a Christmas present. Such a nice way to wake up, and starts the day so well.

It is nearly time for me to have a shower, grab all the food and drink I need to take, and go to spend the day with my family at my mothers.

I hope that you all have a merry Christmas, and enjoy the time with your family and friends.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Perhaps it is time for a restraining order

Mark Leslie's Silly Christmas Lyric meme

I've been tagged with this meme by the lovely Franny.

The Rules: Pick a Christmas lyric that you've always had a question about and discuss it. Then either tag one or more people or either tag nobody and invite your readers to tag themselves and enjoy discussing the subject on their own.

I've always worried about, and felt icky, whenever I heard "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"

The first couple of verses - no problem, I'm fine with them. Third verse though, I find out that this fat old man in a red suit is watching me sleep, and knows when I'm awake. I don't know about you, but I think that is pretty creepy. There are times that I want to be bad, and I neither need or want an audience for that. If I ever do, I'll put it on YouTube.

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

O! You better watch out!

The first line of the fourth and final verse is right - I had better watch out, and so had Santa - he will be slapped with a restraining order within the week.

Please share your questionable Christmas lyrics in the comments below.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Dear Blogger

Things have changed between us. It isn't me, I think it is you. You promised me that you were going to be better, cleverer, kinder. I love that you let me use labels now, and I do think that is kind of cool.

But you don't always let me show my photos, and putting links into my posts is becoming a nightmare. You are so moody - sometimes I can, and sometimes I can't. Sometimes I can just hit enter twice and know that my paragraphs will be recognised, and sometimes I have to use html.

My friends don't talk to me anymore - I have all these friends called anonymous now - they sign their names as my friends, but you just don't let them identify themselves up front. You don't let me talk to my friends either - I go to visit them at their place and you don't let me talk at all, or you make me say my name three times before I can. Would it help if I tapped my feet together at the same time?

When I come to visit you, you never remember who I am. Every time I come by, you ask me my name, and offer to remember me. I ask you to remember me, I even tick the box that leaves you a note, and you never do. I just don't feel special anymore.

I know that you can work through your issues, so that we can go back to the way we were, but better, cleverer, kinder. I just wonder when?

Yours hopefully,


Sunday, December 10, 2006

It's Christmas time, there's no need to be afraid ...

It will be humanly possible to fit everything in on time. Today I'm using the blog as a bit of a to do list - hopefully I'll be able to check back and mark stuff off as done.

There are 15 days until Christmas, 16 days until my brothers birthday, 13 days until my birthday party and 15 days until my birthday.

Between now and then I need to:

Put the BBQ together so that we can eat at my birthday party
Finish writing all of my Christmas cards and post them
Buy stamps to post the cards with
Start Christmas shopping (thank goodness for the internet)
Wrap Christmas presents
Get my car fixed so it doesn't overheat, and have the air conditioning regassed
Go to 2 Christmas BBQ's
Go to one Christmas carol service
Shop for my birthday party
Fly to Sydney for the day for work and a Christmas party
Go to the Kylie Minogue concert
Help Mum plan and prepare Christmas day and shopping for it
Work out what I want for my birthday lunch with the family
Clean the house
Finish reading the books for book club
Book Club Christmas break up
Work full time
Maintain a relationship
Take the cat to the vet for his vaccination

I know I was hoping to get a work/life balance back when I changed jobs, but I think I've gone to the other extreme and over balanced on the life side of things. It is still better than being over focussed on work, and hopefully I'll learn to balance better once I get through December.

I'm excited about Christmas, I just wish I had a few more weeks to fit it all in and prepare. I think I knew I was feeling a bit overwhelmed the other day when I started scheduling naps.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I am not a packhorse

Last night over dinner we were talking about handbags. One of the guys was teasing his girlfriend about her handbag and how she needs to carry so much more than him, but never seems to have what she needed. So one by one, we were challenged to turn out our bags and prove the use of the contents. I managed to explain all of mine, and think I disappointed him by not having anything particularly surprising in there.

Right now, I'm carrying around:
Mobile phone
Work security pass
Tube of 30 plus sunscreen
Lip balm
Aveda blue oil
Sock for my phone - not on it, but separately
A keyring torch - it has come off my keys, but I've still got it in my back - the light still works.
Ines of my soul by Isabel Allende
4 pens
2 lipsticks
Vanity Fair with George Clooney on the cover

What is in your bag?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Burning Up

While I write this, Melbourne's beautiful 24 degree summer day is covered by a foggy haze. There are horrendous bushfires all over the state, and the forecast tomorrow is for 37 degrees, Dry and Smokey. The fire authorities expect some of the fires to join up to create a 100 km fire front.

I've posted before about the drought, and the impact that I saw it having while we were away. Now all I can think about is the people that we met when we were away, and the effect that these fires are having on their lives, their communities and their livelihoods.

All I can do is hope that all of the firefighters, the volunteers and every one trying to protect their homes stays safe and is reunited with their family and community as soon as possible.

*Image sourced from

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Shuffly pod

Velvetgirl's ipod post (blogger won't let me link - visit it here - ) inspired me to put my ipod on shuffle and see what the first 40 tracks are - so here goes!

Please stay - Kylie Minogue *
Rebel Rebel - David Bowie
In a big country - Big Country
All or nothing at all - Frank Sinatra
Sparrow come back home - Mighty Sparrow *
War at 33 1/3 - Public Enemy
Groove is in the heart - Deelite
Bitter Tears - INXS *
You are my sunshine - Norman Blake
Boris the Spider - The Who
Simply Irrestible - Robert Palmer
Arima Bobolee - Lord Kitchener
Que Onda Guero - Beck
Ant Music - Adam and the Ants
Gypsy Woman - Crystal Waters
Fatal Beatings - Rowan Atkinson
I'm still standing - Elton John
Papa's got a brand new bag - James Brown
Boys - Sabrina
Six months in a leaky boat - Split Enz
Pedestal - Portishead
Someone to watch over me - Ella Fitzgerald
Vamos - The Gypsy Kings
The Power of Love - Huey Lewis and the News
Johnny B Good - Chuck Berry
One of Us - Joan Osborne (was I the only one who sang the lyric about stringbeans on the bus?)
Singing in the 80's - The Monitors
Music - Madonna
Another one bites the dust - Queen
I've got you under my skin - Frank Sinatra with Count Basie
The Girl is Mine - Paul McDermott *
New Sensation - INXS *
The Riddle - Nik Kershaw
Feel Good Inc - Gorillaz
Michael Row the Boat ashore - The Highwaymen
Be Prepared - Tom Lehrer
Too Young for Promises - Koo De Tah
Someone to watch over me - Judy Garland
Did it again - Kylie Minogue *
Sunny came home - Shawn Colvin

Anyone with an asterisk I've seen live. I'm a bit amused by the couple of duplicate artists, and the duplicate song by different artists. The 80's get a bit of a look in - although I don't know that I would normally have admitted to the Sabrina one. I never know what I'm going to get when I'm on shuffle - I've filled nearly 40 gb of my 60 gb ipod and it can be on shuffle for days before repeating

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Drinking fun. Hangover not fun.

Need more water

Skunk as a drunk

Yes I am. But I'm still bouncing off walls and it is 2.45 am.

I just met someone from my list and he was a sweetheart. Anthony Morgan just moved himself further up my list.

I had my first work Christmas party tonight and out of the 100 odd people there I knew 3. Yep count the masses. They all left early and I mingled for a couple of hours later, but then I started feeling really lonely and like I was pushing myself into groups of people who knew each other well, and found myself hitting more champagne than was good for me. Oh and the barman asked for my number. Smile, ego, smile.

I sent my babiest brother a message to see if he was at work - luckily he was - and walked the couple of kilometres to his bar. I walked in and just felt so instantly welcome - more of a community than the disjointed groups at my work party. There was a group playing poker, and another group there having a bucks night, as well as small groups just having a few drinks. Everyone was very chatty and welcoming, and I found myself floating between groups of people, and being introduced to everyone. Did I mention Anthony Morgan? Oh well, Anthony Morgan. I got a kiss and a hug goodbye from him too. One guy and I kept pinching the same lines from each other - that was way more fun than is good for me. I laughed, I teased and I had a ball. All that and my lovely brother drove me home too.

Final count - champagne - 8 or 9, bottles of water - 1, glasses of water - 5, vodka, lemon, lime & soda - 5 or 6, glasses of semillion blanc (very hard to type right now) - 1. Bottles of water I've drunk since getting home - 1. Bottles of water I still need to drink before bed - 1. Hours until my hair appointment - 7. I have a bad feeling that a bacon and egg mcmuffin could be breakfast.

Did I mention Anthony Morgan - phwoar!!!

Sobriety - overrated. Ability to identify Patience by Guns'n'Roses by whistle - something to be pretty proud of.

My head is going to hurt when I get out of bed later this morning.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I've been worrying about one of my best friends for the last couple of weeks. He lives in New Zealand and he has just moved house, and hasn't given me his new home number yet. He hasn't been answering my texts, and he has been very quiet on the email front.

Today I found out why. He has had a recurrence of bowel cancer. He has just had another tumour removed, and although they are optimistic that they got it all because it was encapsulated, he has been back having radiotherapy and "flashing his arse all over New Zealand". He doesn't know yet if he will have to go and have more chemo. This will be his third round of it in 4 years.

I feel so powerless and useless. I know that his coping mechanism is to shut himself away and deal with things by himself, but I want to be able to do something. He is always there for me, but he doesn't want anyone there for him at the moment. Right now, the only thing I can do is let him deal with things his own way, and be there when he is ready for people again. That and rely on other friends over there to keep an eye on him.

I guess I'm just scared that he is worried that things will go badly, and he is trying to isolate himself more to spare everyone.

Friday, November 24, 2006


We had an incredibly tense day while we were away (I know it wasn't that long ago, but my only reminder is my peeling shins - ewww). We both woke up grumpy, and it was one of those out of sorts days for both of us. Ironically, it was the day with the best weather we had the entire time, and I hold it completely responsible for my sunburnt shins. Of course my inability to correctly apply sunscreen had nothing to do with it.

It was one of those days where there were great parts, but the tension was still there, and things just didn't click. We decided to do some laundry and potter around in town and then have a quiet dinner back in our treehouse before going out for a couple of drinks. Didn't quite happen. Neither of us knew where the laundromat was in town so we drove around a bit and didn't find it. Rather than go to the information place he decided to park and then we would just walk around looking for it. We walked around for a couple of blocks without any success. I'm not sure about anyone else, but my idea of a good time does not include wandering around an unknown town with a bag of my dirty clothes in 30 degree weather.
It was one of those angry walks (mmm ... Jason Isaacs on the TV .... must focus...) where 2 people are walking together fast, not speaking, and obviously not happy. We ended up standing on a street corner "discussing" where the laundromat (be still my heart, Alan Rickman just appeared) was and what was going to happen. I've never had a public discussion like that before - my voice got raised and my hands were flying all over the place. I don't think I was making much sense - I seem to remember saying that he could go and do his laundry wherever he liked, but I was going to get a cab and go home, and I thought it would be a good idea if I slept on the balcony in the hammock. Straight into the martyr fight pose - not one I like, and not one I'm proud of.
The tension wasn't helped when we got back to the car, and discovered that the laundromat was across the road from where we parked, and we had completely missed it in our angry walk. We went and started the laundry and then he decided he was going to go for a walk. Much as I never wanted to see him again, I was even angrier being left alone with the laundry, and then having to get it all washed and dried. He used the magic trick of managing to reappear right as everything was washed and dried, having finished all of his family gift shopping. Not amused - me, as I didn't get to get mine finished.
Being the mature adults that we are, we both went the silent treatment at each other all the way back to the treehouse, except for me giving directions (boasty moment, I'm better at navigation!!), generally left here, next right, straight ahead. Silence continued once we got back to the treehouse, and I ran away downstairs to have a cry in peace. He decided that it was a good time to go out and fill the car up with petrol, and then I just lost it - had a bit of a yell, mainly about being left alone with laundry and selfishness. Back to silence, and not a happy one. Him, the angry brooding silence, which I really don't cope with well, even though I'm very good at it, me, the pouty, sulky silence, which generally means that I'm sitting there thinking "why aren't you asking me what is wrong", "can't you see that I'm upset", "why aren't you psychic, why can't you see that I'm pissed, and try to make it better". I've never been one for high expectations really.
Eventually, still in daylight hours, he decided to start telling me how he was really feeling, and had a bit of a yell. One thing I have learnt from experience is how much he hates to be interrupted, so I just let him go. We are both very good at bottling stuff up, and then I tend to yell, he tends to be angry and just cut everything off. After lots of talking, and more crying from me, we eventually managed to resolve it all. I sometimes think that me crying is unfair, because I know that he really hates it when I cry, especially when he can't do anything to fix it, but at the same time, I don't want to bottle up tears when I feel like crying. I did it for 20 years or so, and it doesn't help.
I'm proud that we worked through it all in the same day, and I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the reasons we were both so tense and the fighting actually happened is that we were both testing the boundaries of the relationship, seeing if the other wanted to use it as a get out of the relationship card. I think we both still have times that we are scared, and occasionally wondering if this will really work. One of the things that I'm really happy about is that we agreed way before we get around to getting married (his threat of December 29 is past - we don't have time to get the paperwork done! That and he still didn't get around to asking properly) we will go and have pre marital counselling. I really think it is essential - I'm scared of divorce, and the pain that it causes, and I've seen it rip mine, and too many other families apart. I think that if we can learn better ways to deal with issues and conflicts it is definitely worth doing. I don't want him out of my life - and the one thing that I was scared of when we were fighting was just that.
I first wrote this post nearly 3 weeks ago, when I was still very emotional, and way too close to it, so I have been editing it over the last week or so, so please forgive any disjointedness and epicness.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Where do you go my lovely?

Yes I have been remiss. I've been reading all of your blogs, and commenting, but my brain has just been mushy trying to learn a new job, dealing with Christmas already (hello world, it is still November!!!! Call back in December!), maintaining a relationship and spending time with my friends and family. The seasonal obligation whirl has already kicked in, and I find myself needing to maintain the calendar vigilantly, otherwise we are going to be all over the place.

Does anyone have any suggestions for good online invitations? I've just realised it is a month until I want to have my birthday party, and with most people being online I want to see what ideas I can find to use, borrow or plagiarise :) I haven't really celebrated my birthday with all of my friends a party since I turned 25, so I think it is well and truly time. I know that the date is a shocker, but feel free to raise that with my parents, and be thankful I'm not celebrating on the actual day

I've had a couple of emails asking why I haven't mentioned the boy lately - all will be revealed in my next post - I promise!

It rocked

The U2 concert was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It felt odd though because I think it was the first concert I had been to in my life where I didn't really dance. I love to listen to the music of U2, but I don't associate them with dancing. I found myself singing along most of the time, and swaying to a few things, but no hot sweaty, standing in the middle of a sports stadium with 80,000 people, getting carried away with the music and the people, not caring who you are dancing with or what you look like. Maybe somewhere in my brain I associate them with worthiness (sounds dull, doesn't it?) and message music, rather than dancing and fun. Odd.

Note to the Edge, yes we booed you. Melbourne is not Sydney, and we don't like being called that. Sorry, we love you, but that was an insult.

Note to Bono, getting a text from you after the concert is exciting. Thanks. I would love to have seen my face when I checked my phone for the beep and finding a message from Bono. Cool. Thanks

Thursday, November 16, 2006

New kid on the block

I'm shattered, so this will be a very short post.

I survived my first day at the new job and it was good. My head is spinning with all of the information that I've taken in so far today, and it will be interesting to see how much of it I've retained. So far the people seem nice, and the office is good and easy to get to.

I just wish that I'd slept better last night - I woke up every hour or so stressed that I had slept through my alarm, so that when I finally gave up and got up at 6 I was already tired. Don't think I'll have that problem tonight somehow.

To top it all off, I had tickets to see Al Gore do his presentation on global warming - blew me away. More about that when I don't have the hectic schedule I've got over the next few days.

3 more sleeps til U2

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Entertainment - NQR

This weekend, I finally went and spent my farewell gift from my last employer. I requested a barbecue and an outdoor setting (I know, I really don't ask for much!), and they gave me vouchers to a large hardware chain.

Yesterday I wandered around there with my brother and stepfather, who had competed to see who could help me spend the vouchers fastest, and put a table on hold. I went back today with my brother and his fiance, and was overjoyed to find that the barbecue I wanted had been reduced to $150 from $299 from $499, which meant that I could buy more benches to go with the table. Total digression, my barbecue has a rotisserie and a wok burner, and my brother was disappointed that I didn't buy the barbecue with the deep fryer!!! What the...?

Anyway, being me I decided that it was a good opportunity to invite my mum and stepfather for dinner, and my brother and his fiance, and any other family members who were available. My brother and his fiance said that they would come over early and help me to put the barbecue, table and chairs together.

Come 5.30 and I haven't seen them yet, so I think I should start. So I open up the box and find the instructions. So far so good. Then I start getting all of the pieces out (and there were at least 50!). Looking at the first steps, I can't find the screws and wing nuts that I need, so I start going through the box again. Mum and my stepfather arrive, and my stepfather starts going through everything to find the missing screws and nuts. Still nothing. Then the rain starts. Big, fat, splashy raindrops - god knows we need it, but couldn't you have held off for half an hour, or better yet, found a catchment area to rain in? Then my brother and his fiance arrive, and he starts going through the bits and pieces too. I go and turn on the oven, because I think that is the only way that I'll be getting dinner cooked tonight - oven and grill. Heading outside again, I find that they have started all of it again, in the rain, and now they are going through each page of the instructions to see what else is missing. Turns out I'm missing three bags of screws and nuts, and one knob. That will be a fun phone call at 7 tomorrow morning. Then I discover my new gas bottle is empty, so it would have been very difficult to cook with anyway. Eeek.

Meanwhile Mum found my stash of clean laundry, hidden behind the door where no one should have gone, and started folding it. I'm feeling like uber (anyone know how I can do umlauts?) hostess by now, and just want to run and hide.

Instead of running and hiding, we decide to move off in convoy to Mum's house, where they promise that they have a fully functional barbecue, with gas, and tables, chairs and cutlery. Civilised. I did have to run back home though - guess who forgot to turn off the oven? Food turned out good - I like the local supermarkets new effort - lamb drumsticks - they have them in souvlaki, red wine and herbs and other flavours. All the salads and drinks survived the trip, but I got to sit through dinner being teased about my barbecue invitation. I don't think I will live it down for a long time. On the plus side though, I didn't have to do the dishes - Mum has a dishwasher :)

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we are going to try and put the table and chairs together. I cannot wait.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lest we forget

Those who went.
Those who went and did not return.
Those who went and returned wounded.
Those who went and returned unwounded, yet damaged.
Those who waited.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Lock them up and throw away the key

There are some words and phrases that I never want to hear again.

"at the end of the day"
"I, personally"
"at this point in time"

I'm very sure there are more that I haven't thought of yet. I won't forget to share :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Back from the holiday

There is so much that I want to write, and I'll get it all done eventually, but the one thing that really stays with me from our holiday is just how bad the drought is here right now. Looking at some of the dry arid land that we drove through, and talking to people wherever we stopped (and yes, the boy was again stunned that he can't take me anywhere without me having conversations with completely random people - more about that one later).

There is supposed to be water in here!

It really hurt me, seeing just how dry so much of the land is, and seeing all the dry rivers and creeks that we drove over. Watching sheep and cows trying to feed where dams are supposed to be really distressed me, and one stretch of highway that we drove along distressed me so much that we changed our route home so that we didn't go through it again. Everything was so dry and dusty, there was so little green, and I really just felt that it was so bleak, and there was so little hope for rain, the animals or the future in some of the people.

2 conversations stayed in my mind. I was talking to the owner of a pizza shop on our way home (he made great coffee!) and he was saying that they have now been in drought for 5 years, and haven't had good rain since Christmas 2003. His house is so badly cracked that he doesn't know what will happen to it when they get some rain. To keep his business afloat, he is doing sub contracting work driving trucks and buses. The whole community is so drought affected that most of his usual customers can't afford to eat in his shop any more. I also talked to a truckie in the pub on one of our overnight stays - his wife and son are working the farm while he keeps things afloat by driving trucks - he hates doing it, but the family needs to survive. While we were talking, his mobile rang, and it was his wife telling him that another of their neighbours had committed suicide. He told me that it would be the 8th funeral this year as a result of suicide in his community. He was truly shaken, and just didn't know where to turn or what to say. The bloke stereotype of strong silent type was shot to pieces right there.

I've been really sheltered - I'd never been through that part of Australia before - and seeing and hearing the devastation that our climate causes really shook me. I wanted to do something to improve things, but I just felt so useless and completely powerless.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Free at last!

All done, all finished. I've survived my final day at work and come through reasonably unscathed. There were quite a few tears, and I haven't managed to read my farewell cards completely because every time I start, I read something from one of my friends and start crying. I think I'll deal with them when I get back.

I'm off to the beach today for about 10 days with my boy. Haven't even started packing yet, let alone been to the supermarket for supplies for my housesitting brother yet, so this post will be really short.

I'll see you all in November. I'll be the slightly tanned, relaxed one.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Borrowing trouble?

Tonight is the last night that I come home from work knowing that I will be going to the same job in the morning. I feel a little like I did when I finished school, not knowing what will be happening next.

I'm daunted because I will be the new kid again, and won't be what I have been for so long now, the font of all knowledge and experience. Will the people at my new job like me? Will they get my sense of humour? Will they think that I am good at my job, and hiring me was the wise decision, or will they see through everything, and think that I'm a fraud? Yes, I'm suffering from a major case of self confidence today.

I know that I should get through my last day of work first, but I'm already starting to dread my first day in the new job, and it isn't for another 3 weeks.

One more day, just one more day and work is over.

Then....the beach!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Indecent exposure, public drunkeness and a police visit...

I had my first farewell lunch today. Only 2 lunches, one breakfast and drinks to go. Today was my official lunch, the one that my boss said they were not paying for, but was then shamed into. Bitter, me?

All 40 odd of us headed down to a fairly new restaurant on the bay, and sat in front of the glass windows looking over the sand and the water. Because it was such a beautiful day, there were lots of people frolicking on the beach, and occasionally braving the still cold water.

We kept watching 2 men, who kept removing clothes until they were both naked. They were surrounded by empty beer bottles. One of them tried to get dressed again, but got a bit confused, and put his jeans on, and then his boardshorts. Interesting look. The other man decided it was all too hard, and just decided to stay wandering around naked. Not the look he should have aspired to. Someone said something to him, and then he tried to put his boardshorts on, but just couldn't do it, and ended up doing an impersonation of a starfish, with his shorts around his ankles. Shudder. My boss very kindly hoped that I appreciated the male strippers that she had arranged for me.

The local constabulary arrived, and helped them to get dressed properly and escorted them off the beach.

Priceless entertainment, but I really hope that the sunburn and the hangover don't both hit at once.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Final playlist

I finally finished my playlist for my final music trivia at work tomorrow.

In the order I'll be playing them...

She works hard for the money - Donna Summer
Summertime blues - Eddie Cochran
I Love Work - Butterfingers
Summertime - Ella Fitzgerald
Work - Uncanny X-Men
I want to break free - Queen
Summer Rain - Belinda Carlisle
Bang the Drum - Todd Rundgren
Dreadlock Holiday - 10cc
In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry
Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard
The Way - Fastball
Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Every day should be a holiday - Dandy Warhols
One Summer - Daryl Braithwaite (confession - I want to know how many people will admit to knowing this)
Holiday - Madonna
Summer Nights - John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
Boys of Summer - Don Henley
Missing - Everything but the Girl (for the people I really will miss)
Schools Out for Summer - Alice Cooper

Thank you all for your suggestions because they have definitely helped. I don't think anyone will get the full 40 points :)

4 more days...

Monday, October 16, 2006

If you're happy and you know it....

Jump up and down with excitement because you were offered 2 jobs in half an hour!!

I've taken the first one I was offered, which I really really wanted, so I'm really excited.

They are couriering the contract down to me tomorrow, and I'll start in a month.

Wooohoo!!! I've got the job I want, where I get less stress and pressure, more money, and get to learn stacks of new stuff.

Too hard...

Some mornings, it is just too hard to get out of bed. Just ask George.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Merchant prince?

Him: I put a new button on my black shirt today
Me: Well done. Did you find the missing button?
Him: Nope, I had to go to Spotlight to buy a new one. Next time can you come with me please because I was really intimidated?
Me: What was so intimidating?
Him: There was all of this stuff there, I just wanted to find buttons. You know how to deal with these shops.
Me: Did you ask for help?
Him: No, I'm a man, I can find my way around a shop. I just wish that they would open a branch for men called Spotlite. All it would stock is simple buttons and thread and that way I don't have to go through everything else.

Think the idea would take off? Contrary to his belief I'm not an expert at finding my way around fabric and craft megastores, so there are times I would love a cut down version to just get the basics and get out of there. I can see it taking off in the CBD for when we all have those wardrobe malfunctions that we need to fix now.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I need some suggestions

On my last day at work (10 to go!!) I will be running my final Music Triva. My theme will be summer, holidays, and a little bit of leaving work. I need to have 20 songs, so that I can play the first 30 seconds or so and everyone has to guess them. I'm looking for song suggestions of any genre that I can use to hopefully baffle a few people, as well as some that will be quite familiar. The theme can relate to either the title or the artist. My audience will range from the late teens until the late forties, so anything you can think of will help.

So far I have:
Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard
Boys of Summer - Don Henley
Work - Uncanny X-Men (just for the line 'everybody wants to work, oh no not me')
Freedom - Wham
In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry
Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

I'm trying to avoid Boys, Boys, Boys (Summertime Love) by Sabrina unless I get really desperate.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Before I moved into my current job, I thought I was OK at Customer Service. I built relationships with my clients, thought I was helpful most of the time, but was really happy to leave them, and all of their dramas.

This morning I was sitting at my desk, when the receptionist started walking towards me with a big box of flowers. I thought they were for the office behind me until she stopped at my desk. I thought that my boy had finally succumbed and sent me flowers (he has been teasing me about them and much prefers to bring me individual ones in person) until she handed me a 700 ml bottle of Absolut Vodka and a letter. Intensely curious, I opened it to find a long letter on letterhead from one of my former clients with the first line "WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITHOUT YOU". He wrote the most beautiful letter, said that I could use it as a reference and offered himself or anyone in his company to be an additional referee if the letter wasn't enough. Not in the least surprisingly, I burst into tears, again. It is more than 2 years since I looked after him and his account, and to be remembered like that was just beautiful.

I think sometimes that I forget that the impact of my words and actions can have an echo over the years. Today just served to remind me that anything I do can have an effect for years afterwards. I really hope that most of what I do have a positive effect, and that I'm not the cause of harm or negativity in others.

On a lighter note, my boy asked if that meant he didn't have to send me flowers now? Of course it doesn't :)

Morning Coffee

I've been sitting in my back garden drinking my coffee, just watching the colours of my garden and the morning visits from the birds. I had a visit from 2 kookaburras and moved very quickly yet quietly into the house for the camera. They flew away, but I thought I would share some of the colours with you.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Automatic pilot

I know that I'm running on automatic pilot when:
  • I get in the basement lift to get to work and press B and wonder why the lift doesn't move and the door doesn't shut
  • I wave my work security pass at my front door and wonder why it doesn't open
  • I put food in the cat's bowl and then put the empty tin on the floor and the bowl in the fridge
  • I pay for my coffee and then walk off without it
  • My mobile rings and I answer the home phone
Wake up Australia!!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Questions I would like answered

If an HR person is checking my references, just how close to this job am I?

Can I get through the next 2 weeks and 2 days at work without throwing a hissy fit like this morning?

Why are Chris and Lavina in the bottom three on Australian Idol?

Who was St Kilda?

It worked!

We survived the family day. Everyone had a good time. I've spoken to every parental figure I've got today and they all had a good time. We all managed to keep Dad off speeches, and that is an achievement. The weather calmed down, with the wind settling down, and the warmth of the sun coming through right as we were about to eat. We all grabbed the food, and headed to the back garden to eat.

I loved sitting outside in the sun with the people I love most in the world, just watching. Watching my younger brother and sister doing cartwheels, handstands and round offs, and then helping the 3 year princess to do them. Watching little miss 3 start at the top of the garden and try to somersault her way down to the back fence was hysterical. Catching the escaped males in the loungeroom; 2 of them sneaking looks at Bathhurst, and one engrossed in a Patricia Cornwell book. Throwing tennis balls around the garden, from me, to Dad, to my brothers, to my sisters, hiding the tennis ball from little miss 3. Shrieks of laughter from all of us when little miss 3 took her pink skirt off and Dad put it on his head. Frustration when he took it off when I pulled out the camera. Damn. Sitting in the sun, just holding hands with my boy listening to everyone.

No wonder Monday hurt at work today.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

What's your favourite album?

While I've been catching up on blogs this morning, and writing the last post, I've had Rage on in the background, and been drinking my coffee. (Oh these young people, they just can't stay focussed on one thing at a time)

The ABC are running another survey this year, this time on Australia's favourite album. Over the last couple of years they have also done books and movies. Books and movies were much easier for me to think of. When it comes to music, there are so many that I love, and I couldn't choose just one. So, in no particular order, here they are.

World Party, Private Revolution
The first few times I heard the first single from this album, Ship of Fools, I hated it. But it grew and grew on me, until I went out and bought the tape of the album. I have listened to it so many times, I'm terrified that I won't be able replace it before it self destructs.

Brassed Off soundtrack
I love a good brass band, always have, and probably always will. One of my favourite songs (and poems), Jerusalem is done particularly well. Ewan McGregor on the cover doesn't hurt either.

Neil Diamond, Hot August Night
This always reminds me of family road trips across the country when I was a kid. My dad played this, I suspect ad nauseum, ad infinitum, every summer when we went interstate to visit my grandparents. Oddly enough, Mum not so much a fan.

Spice Girls, Spiceworld
This is bouncy, cheerful, and the best album to do housework too. Guess what will be on high rotation at my house today.

Skyhooks, Living in the 70's
When I was a kid, I loved the song Horror Movie. When I was about 15, my cousin lent me the whole album and I just loved it. Apparently I'm not cool, and was told that a lot when I listened to it, but I don't care, I just loved it. They sang about places I knew, and I loved that.

Uncanny X-Men, 'Cos Life Hurts
Work, 50 years, Yoko, Best Looking Guy in the Factory. Soundtrack of my early teen years (see Brian Mannix). I only recently discovered that it was produced by Red Symons of Skyhooks, who is also my compulsory morning radio listening.

Tony O'Connor, Rainforest Magic
I listened to this every night when I was going to sleep in year 12. A 7 track cd, I would always find myself falling asleep just after the thunderstorm in track 6.

Triple J Hottest 100, volumes 6 and 7
The soundtrack to being 24 and 25, some of the best times of my life, and some of the best friendships formed.

Garbage, Beautifulgarbage
Singalong, shoutalong songs, and the beautiful Can't Cry These Tears

Beck, Midnite Vultures
Road trips with with a friend I'm not as close to anymore, singing along, and dancing around the office with my friends.

Shrek, Soundtrack
Fun, bouncy, singalong songs, memories of my hysterical laughter in the cinema when The Proclaimers I'm on my way started, and the heartstoppingly beautiful cover of Hallelujah by Rufus Wainwright.

Live songs, Good News week tapes, volume 2
Paul McDermott's voice, some of the most unexpected duets, and the gorgeous Gadflys. More happy memories.

The Edge, Ultimate Rock CD
A compilation from a radio station, Layla, Patti Smith, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix. Loved the mix for a long time, but will always associate it with helping a very good friend paint his house, varnish his new kitchen benches, and scooting around sanding back the skirting boards.

Mad about the Boy, songs known from the TV commercials
A 22nd birthday present from an old friend. Dinah Washington, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, Fontella Bass, Muddy Waters, and the unexpected amusement of the The New Seekers wanting to teach the world to sing. I love to listen to this when I'm being lazy with the Sunday papers.

Oops, this was going to be a short post, but I didn't register just how much music is part of my life. Just looking over the list, I don't have a favourite album from the 2 years that I ate, slept and breathed music volunteering at a radio station. I think that in those years the music that I spent my time with was more singles, the quick easy disposable stuff - Urban Cookie Collective, Dr Alban, Culture Beat, Snow, Ace of Bass.

And speaking of music, here is something I saw yesterday - the rider for Iggy Pop's tour.

Weekend planning

I had such a good time feeding the family 6 weeks or so ago, so I'll be doing it again this weekend. Again, another good reason, this time for a very belated celebration of my brothers engagement.

When my brother got engaged, he told Mum that they didn't want to have an engagement party. A couple of months ago, my stepmother suggested that we have surprise drinks or dinner for them. She then said that Mum and my stepfather were welcome at their place for it, and could my sister and I discuss it with her and see what she thought. I raised it with Mum, who said that she would not spring a surprise on them, and would only be involved if they knew about it beforehand. She is trying very hard not to be an interfering mother(in-law), as she and Dad ending up eloping when her aunt took over arranging their wedding, and doesn't want to inflict that on any of us. We are now having a lunch at my house tomorrow - neutral territory, and the most central. There have been a few precious moments; my brother suspects Mum was lukewarm about it because she didn't think of it first, my other brother (the difficult one) has so far this week told me that he is coming, told Mum he is coming and then told Dad 2 days later he knew nothing about it, and would see if he could make it. Aaargh. I just *love* family dynamics.

I think we finally got the people sorted and there will be 12 people here for lunch tomorrow. The engaged couple, me and the boy, Mum & my Trinistepdadian, Dad and my stepmother, my sister and her boyfriend, my brother, and the babiest sister of them all. I really hope the weather forecast is wrong, and the weather will be good - I want to put them all in the backyard, not the lounge and diningroom. The more space everyone has the happier we will all be. The food is sorted - this time I've delegated the provision of food through the females of the family, and I've arranged to borrow some of Mum's plates (I don't have enough for 12) as well as another table.

Today will be a manic housework day - I just hope that no one will look in the spare bedroom to find all of the clutter I've relocated, as well as a trip to the market for cheeses and salad ingredients. Tomorrow morning the bakery run, and then hopefully a fun day.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mantras for work

Or things I need to remember for the next 2 weeks and 3 days.

It is not OK to say "I'm really busy right now, so I'll get that done on the weekend or at home tonight"
I am not indispensable. The daily attempts by colleagues to make me feel guilty about leaving, and telling me that they don't know how to replace me are not helping. The company will not fall to pieces when I walk out the door on October 25.
It is not my problem that they have not started to interview a replacement.
It is my responsibility to leave the best handover document I can. If someone is hired to fill my role before I leave I will train them.

I will get another job. I know that when family members ask me if I have a job yet, it is because they love me and don't want me to decimate my savings. It is not because they think I won't get one. On that note, I had a second interview today with the person who would be my boss. I loved it. We spoke the same language, and just clicked perfectly. I walked out of the building with a big smile on my face, and nothing could take it away from me today, not even working back until 7. I was so excited during the interview that I found myself waving my arms around, and actually feeling the passion for my work again. I'm still bouncing off the walls. I really enjoyed the interview, and can see myself working for the company. Time to wait and see now.

Now, to enjoy the weekend.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The list

Over lunch today, we were talking about the list. Yes, that list, of people that we have always lusted after, and in some cases, people have free passes from their partners should the opportunity ever arise.

I was intrigued by some of the choices that were made, and started wondering about other peoples lists. So, in the interest of sharing, here is mine.

Jon Bon Jovi

Paul McDermott

Alan Rickman

Jason Isaacs

David Wenham

Brian Mannix

Martin Clunes


Alex Papps

Viggo Mortensen

Cary Elwes

Mandy Patinkin

Rhys Muldoon

Anthony Morgan

So, who is on your list?

I can't believe I forgot Dylan Moran!!!

And the ultimate Johnny Depp...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A nice day for a drive

Today's forecast - 19, clear and sunny.

The boy and I are off for a country drive, heading for the regional centre where his grandmother lives. We are going to have a birthday lunch with her, his great uncle and aunt, his aunt and his cousin. His grandmother has never made it a secret that she really likes me and approves of me, and I'm looking forward to seeing her. She is an interesting woman, well travelled, and still leads a full life into her nineties. The contrast between her and her daughter is staggering. The boys mum is in her 60's, very rarely leaves the house, and has no interest in life or living. A lot of this is related to her various illnesses, but it still makes me sad for her.

I feel guilty that I'm relieved his parents won't be there today, but I know that both he and I will have a better time. We would both find ourselves watching his parents, hoping that his mother won't have trouble eating her meal, and trying to find ways to help her without embarrassing her. Then we would have to try and deflect his fathers outbursts, and translate a lot of what he says to the others at the table. Even worse, when his cousin thinks that his father is trying to grasp something, she just talks to him more loudly, rather than trying to express herself more clearly, so then he just talks to her more and more loudly, and on it goes. I could write a whole post about his parents, and I probably will, but it won't be today.

Off to get pretty now, and enjoy a day out.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ego post.....

Since resigning on Monday, I've been inundated with emails, phone calls and visits from colleagues (although I have to admit that the daily visitors telling me I'm not leaving are getting more than a bit hard to take)

I've been really humbled by all of this, but I want to remember some of the lovely things that have been said to me and share them with you. I don't think I ever realised how much some people at work really appreciated some of the things I do.

"Sorry to hear that you are leaving us. We will miss "the knowledge and the source" of all good information! You have been excellent and we will miss you!"

"Mate, but you are an institution."

"No way?????"

"You are sooooo not allowed!"

"O.M.G!! It's going to be a significant loss"

"NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!! You do such an amazing job !!! You can't possibly be replaced.... !!!"


"WOAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is totally sad news. I can't believe it!!!!"

"Oh no!!! That is disappointing news to hear we are loosing you! You will be missed!"

"What am I going to do without you young lady? That is terrible news to receive on a Monday morning. You will be greatly missed."


"What the? :( Where are you going? :( What are you doing? :("

"Noooooo! Sad to hear! Such a long time, will be muchly missed."

"You were displaying a lot of warning signs. :-( Why do all the fun people always go first?"

"Leaving us?!?! Sorry to hear it!"

"Your part of the furniture, you're not allowed to go anywhere!! How dare you! Very sad news for us"

"haven't had a chance to talk to you yet, but I'm sorry to see you go. I've got to say, I've never seen anyone better at their job than you as a AM and then BC. speak soon :)"

"WTF??? You're leaving? I'm selling my shares. "

"ugh... cguptju!!! *cough**splutter*"

I've been pretty emotional all week - I haven't been able to go through more than about 2 emails at a time, otherwise the tears kick back in. If I get really desperate, time to hide behind the iPod and hit the mindless easy stuff in my job until I'm back under control. Coping by sticking my head in the sand. Not a novel strategy, and one I need to move on from.

Moving on, I've got a job interview tomorrow morning, and I've heard from a few recruiters already.

Monday, September 25, 2006

What was she thinking?

Just who do you think is going to pick those sparkly things off your back before you go to bed tonight?

If someone is going to help you by doing it, will you eat a sandwich while they do it? Please?

Update time

What a few days it has been.....

Most importantly, and the update that has the biggest impact on my life long term. I am not engaged. We do have an understanding and an agreement that we will be getting married at some point, but he wants to surprise me and go the whole down on one knee surprise proposal just to make it special. He thinks that he needs to plan something romantic and special because neither of us wants to do it more than once. It isn't my top priority to have the whole bells and whistles romantic proposal, but it is important to him to do things "properly". I can live with that, especially because we have had what I consider to be the most important conversations, and I know that we are on the same page. Besides, if he wants to do something big and special for me, I'm certainly not going to complain.

Today I resigned from my job. I feel like a massive weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I'm humbled by the reaction that I got from 7 different offices, and many of my colleagues. There have been lots of tears, but I know I'm doing the right thing. I'm going to take a few months off to really rest, and focus on me. I know I need to do this for the remnants of my sanity, and I'm really looking forward to it. Might have been a good idea to focus on me a while ago - especially after finishing last year with glandular fever and only taking a month off. Stupid. I can't change it now, but only 4 weeks and 2 days of work to go. I've already started to get job offers from competitors of my current company - wow! Talk about news travelling fast. I really don't want to start work until January/February next year. Mum thinks I'll be bored way before I run out of money.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ooops forgot......

hwiwtstromlw is all in favour of me resigning from work. Apparently it is no fun to plan a wedding (or the 4 different wedding scenarios he has raised this week) with someone who is miserable at work. I think we missed a step, no one asked anyone any questions, we both just seem to have assumed.

Bless him, this week would have been vile without him.

The times, they are a changin'

Not the greatest of weeks really. I've spent way more time than I want to in tears, but I just can't stop it at the moment. I need to make some changes in my life, one really big one, and a few smaller ones. I think that I need to be less passive about my life, and actually take control and some active steps.

There are some things that I won't be changing. These things will remain constant in my life:

  • hwiwtstromlw
  • My family
  • My friends
  • My hair
I don't want to be a workaholic anymore. I don't want to feel guilty about having sick leave or annual leave. I don't want to feel that I am essential for the running of the company I work for, and indispensable to the customer facing teams. I don't want to feel tired all the time because I leave for work at 7 in the morning, get home after 7 at night, and work when I get home. I don't want to find myself spouting jargon all of the time, and finding annoying workplace phrases sneaking into my unwork conversations. I don't want to leave work on a Friday at 6 knowing that I have work to do on the weekend. (Incidentally hwiwtstromlw has banned me from doing any work this weekend - my employer doesn't deserve it - bless him, and thank goodness for his perspective)

I have been worked for the same company for the last seven and a half years. When I started there I became staff member 14 or 15 - now there are well over 300. I worked hard, the hours were long, but there was a real sense of community, almost family, and working together to build this company. I've learnt so much working there, and I've made some amazing friends. The feeling of family is dying out, and so is my enthusiasm. I posted recently about losing my assistant, and before she left, my boss and her boss had a meeting with me and decided that she didn't need to be replaced, and that I could do it all, I just needed better time management. Ouch. Apparently I spend too much time talking with my colleagues and socialising. They thought it would be OK to have me backed up by another department if I was sick, or on annual leave. Today my request for 3 weeks (of the 6 I have outstanding) leave was declined, although previously approved, as it is too much to expect another team (of 40!!) to support my workload for that long. Okay. I was prepared to do the right thing by them, I even booked myself into a time management course today - I know I'm not perfect, and I can definitely learn new things, but that was the last straw.

So much of my "public" identity is bound up in my work. I'm scared. I'm about to make some big changes in my work life, so now I have to confront me. The one hiding behind super work woman. Once she is gone, who am I?

Flippantly, someone who needs to buy shares in Kleenex, and go to bed with Strong Poison. I won’t sleep with the wind gusts.

A little bit excited

I made it onto another bloggers list of links. Thanks Jelly - you just made my day :)

And I didn't even notice until after I just added you.

Spring Winds

It is 4.45 in the morning, and I can't sleep right now. I'm listening to strong blustery winds swirling around the house, and I feel restless. For as long as I can remember the blustery winds of spring have unsettled me, leaving me fidgety.

I love to lie in bed and listen to the rain on the roof, but I cannot do the same with the wind in the trees. I can hear every familiar creak of my house; the squeal of the tree against the gutter outside my loungeroom, the rattle of my back door as it fights the wind, my shower curtain rings hitting each other as the curtain blows in the wind through the louvre window, the ratatatat of my door knocker hitting the front door. All of these noises are familiar to me and are what I love about living here.

Before I turned on the lights and the laptop, I sat at the dining room window, looking over my back yard. As my eyes accustomed themselves to the half light, I could see my cat running around outside like a mad thing, pouncing at the wind, trying to catch nothing. I know how he feels.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Additions to my last post

The bit about pearls - courtesy yet another book from the Anne of Green Gables series. Who knew it would keep having an influence in my life, enough to get quoted multiple times in my blog.

Most importantly, hwiwtstromlw, makes me laugh. Makes me laugh myself silly, sometimes til I hurt. Works for me.

Because you asked...

In my last post I mentioned he whom I wish to spend the rest of my life with (to hereby be known as hwiwtstromlw otherwise I'll go batty). Oddly enough, I have mentioned him a couple of times before; here, and slightly misleadingly here. Of course, that assumes you have read every single word I've ever written on this blog. Ego, anyone?

But I digress. A little history, to clarify. In the depths of last century, I met hwiwtstromlw at a nightclub - one of his friends was chasing one of my friends, turned out we had a long history of being at the same place at the same time, and never quite meeting. We started what ended up being almost 3 years worth of relationship. We broke up, probably a year after we should have - mainly because I always wanted my own way, and so did he, and neither of us knew how to compromise, and honestly, we were both probably too selfish to even consider it. The other big sticking point was his insecurity around the difference in our sexual histories (him 1 partner - me, me 10 ish), and probably my lack of consideration of that. Considering some of the nasty things that came out of both our mouths in the last year, it is a real miracle that we ever spoke again. Probably the best example of our maturity came right at the very end, when I was waiting for him to pick me up to go the beach, he never showed, I called to see where he was, and he was wandering around his local shops, said that he didn't want to spend the day with me as I had been such a bitch the night before, I told him to fuck off and have a nice life. End of relationship.

Looking back now, I think that we were both more in love with being in love, and having a boyfriend/girlfriend, than actually being interested in each other as people. As for liking each other as people, and caring about opinions and thoughts - forget it!

In the 12 months or so after we split, we started to actually have real conversations and got to know each other much better as people, and caring about each other. I was the first person he called after his fathers stroke, and his mothers heart attack. He was the first person I called when I discovered I was going to be a big sister again, when I got a promotion at work, whenever anything big happened in my life. One of the best things that happened was that he suddenly discovered reading, which has been a passion of mine all my life, wasn't so bad, and raids my bookcase at least once a week. We seem to have finally mastered communication and compromise, and have successfully negotiated 2 overseas trips and quite a few within Australia without major fights or nastiness. Most importantly, we seem to have got past pretending everything is good all of the time, and work through differences together, and can compromise.

We have both dated other people, and I think have both suffered from comparing them to each other. In between, we have probably been what can best be described as best friends with fringe benefits (and the fringe benefits do keep getting better and better). hwiwtstromlw said last week that he has realised that he doesn't want to see me with anyone else, and is much happier when I am with him. I'm glad he finally caught up - I've been there for at least a year. Let me tell you, there have been many tears and much sadness over that.

His friends have accused him of being committment phobic, and I have too. Not in relation to myself either - all of his girlfriends over the past few years. On Saturday he asked me whether I would prefer an engagement ring or a deposit on a house. How much does he think engagement rings cost? Honestly, I don't really want a big flashy engagement ring, I think that if it came from him it could be from a vending machine at the supermarket. Okay, slight dramatic over exaggeration (is that tautology?), I would like something nice, but I'm not a fan of diamonds. I don't remember where I read it, but I have always liked the idea of pearls, even though they are supposed to be for tears, after all, I shed tears when I'm happy and sad.

I trust him with my life, and know that he knows me better than anyone, sometimes better than I know myself. If I have had a bad day spending time with him is like sinking into a warm, safe, comfortable bath, where I feel secure, protected, and part of a team. He isn't always the most "romantic", but tends to show his care and concern in more practical ways; not letting me change lightbulbs if I have to stand up on an unstable chair, washing my car for me, showing up with a home cooked meal when he knows I've been working too hard and can't be bothered facing the kitchen to cook for just one. Even just the little things like opening doors for me (and he never did that for our entire 3 year relationship). I love that I can still shock and outrage him with some of the things I say when least expected, I love that he gets angry and upset over insults to me, but still lets me fight my own battles.

I'm pretty proud that we are both so much nicer to each other now, and that we have come so far. We still have a stack of practical and logistical issues to deal with, especially around hwiwtstromlw's family situation (works part time, primary carer for his parents), and dealing with my lovely, yet infuriating family.

*apologies to cmhl for stealing her acronym style - it was just the easiest way to do it

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sweetie Darling

Jellyhead started me thinking today about pet names and terms of endearment. I've got pet names that I use for all of my family, and many of my close friends. My sister can be called Chooky, Ceiling, Strudel, Bruce, Smee or Rudy. I have brother known to many as Grub, and to some as Fleabag. My other brother is often called Rhodendendron, Warren or Rodey. I've heard my mother called Hilarious, my aunt called 3LO, my stepfather called Chucklepops and my dad called Red.

More than that though, I tend to use terms of endearment for some of the people I work with. At the moment I seem to be calling most people bloss, which has caused some raised eyebrows when I've called one of the boys that in the middle of the room. A couple of people are still getting hon, hun or honey, and there are a couple of babes in the mix too.

I'm trying to think just how many people I have called by their proper name this week, and I'm struggling to think of one. I abbreviate my boss's name, she abbreviates mine, people with short names are made longer, people who should be respected (ie the CEO's) are abbreviated to their initials, or a corruption of their surname. The boy I'm currently text flirting with (long story) is known by a corruption of the abbreviation of his surname. (sorry convoluted I know!) He whom I wish to spend the rest of my life with gets called, and calls me a variety of pet names, and starts worrying when I call him by either his full given name, or the commonly used abbreviation. I have to admit that I look around when he calls me by the commonly used abbreviation of my first name too.

Is it a typically Australian thing? I don't know. I know that my New Zealand and English friends struggle to get their heads around it the most, until they have been here for a while. I'm always relieved when simultaneous translation is no longer required.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Consumed by blogging...?

Apparently my blog owns 12.5% of me. I'm quite relieved, I was starting to think that it was consuming more than a bit of my time and life. Yes I know that this survey may not be the most scientific way of checking, but it will do for me right now... Now, if someone can do a survey on all the blogs I read each day, I might have a slightly different result.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I've worked out who will win the 2006 AFL Premiership

Yes, I'm going out on a limb here, but I think that Melbourne will be the 2006 Premiers. Yes, I know that only one game in the finals has been completed, but I think I've worked it out.

In 2004 Port Adelaide won the Premiership. To get there, they had to defeat St Kilda and knock St Kilda out of the finals.

In 2005 Sydney won the Premiership. To get there, they had to defeat St Kilda and knock them out of the finals.

Last night Melbourne defeated St Kilda and knocked us out of the finals. So following the theory that when it isn't all about me, it is all about my football team, Melbourne will be the 2006 Premiers.

Yes, I'm going to feel mighty silly if they get knocked out next week, but I'll deal with that should it happen!

Friday, September 08, 2006

When I grow up ....

I want to be Renee Geyer

She is awesome. I was at the Countdown Spectacular tonight and she just held the audience in her hands.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Have you looked down the back of the couch?

How very careless of me, I've lost my assistant at work.

Why do I feel so relieved? I was so excited when I was told that I was getting an assistant at work to alleviate my workload and let me focus on the fun stuff of my job and really grow and learn more in my job.

Honestly, I wasn't that impressed with the hire my manager made to be my assistant. I thought that she was over qualified to do the job, and was just using it as an escape hatch from her previous role within the company which I knew she hated. I much preferred the other candidate.

She started really well, and was bubbling over with enthusiasm, and really eager to learn. After 3 months though, my stress levels were going through the roof. We split the workload so that we each had clear lines and differences in responsibilities, so that there was no confusion. There were constant omissions, no interest in meeting deadlines, and no initiative or willingness to take responsibility for any decisions or actions. I spent a lot of time fixing mistakes, and apologising to frustrated internal and external clients. Not fun. After 5 months - migraines, lack of sleep, and a whole lot of tears.

When she resigned on Monday, I'm sure that my blood pressure dropped and I know that my stress levels did. I've slept better the last 2 nights than I have in weeks, and I'm so much happier.

At the same time, I'm thinking a lot. Am I such a control freak that things have to be my way or not at all? Am I so hypercritical that I always focus on the faults and never on the positive? Could I have done more to keep her motivated and engaged, or did she check out a while ago, and know that I wouldn't let anything go wrong because of my pride in the job being well done... Do I have problems trusting others to do the right thing by myself, themselves, our clients and the business? With the massive expectations I have for myself, do I expect everyone else to live up to them or instantly condemn them or write them off as not as committed as me?

This is really confronting stuff. I don't think that I'm perfect (okay, maybe....) but I'm dealing with issues I've been hiding from for years, even though some of it has been mentioned in previous performance reviews. I think I need to have a pretty long session, either with someone from HR, or my manager. The scary thing is that the more I think about this, the more I suspect it applies in my personal life as well. Ouch.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Happy belated birthday

On Tuesday, my right hip turned 6. I've been thinking about what has changed in my life since then, and what has remained the same.

My friendship group and socialising has changed a lot. I spent over a year on crutches, and I'm still surprised by the "friends" that only wanted to spend time with me in nightclubs, and didn't make the effort to return my calls or come to visit me. Not surprising, these people aren't part of my life anymore. The people I am closest to now are the ones that visited me in hospital regularly, and made the time to come and see me at home until I could get out a bit more. Real friends.

I am much more content on my own now. I can happily spend days by myself without needing human contact or validation. I have to be careful though, otherwise I can get to Monday morning without seeing anyone since Friday afternoon. Perhaps I could go off and become a hermit.

One of the best things about the time spent in hospital, and the time spent recuperating is that my relationship with my family really improved and is much stronger. I had had a pretty rocky year with my family before this happened, and this definitely made a difference. There is no way that I could have got through this without my family, especially my Mum. I had just moved home, and am very lucky that I had.

For those of you who are wondering, I had an aneurysmal bone cyst at the neck of my femur. The growth of the cyst meant that I had a broken leg (and had been walking on it for some weeks), and also a broken hip. The surgery involved a bone transplant, multiple screws and plates, and a scar caused by 60 odd staples putting my leg back together. Nice work by the surgeon though - it has faded so well that the scar is only obvious by touch. Lowlight - having the biopsy through my groin done twice cos the wrong needle was used. Although pethidine afterwards = good! Highlight - telling people I was going to rehab.

Friday, September 01, 2006


blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That is how I'm feeling today, and most of this week. I'm working on a post about why, and hopefully that will help to lift it.

Enough about my mood, how are you?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

It's such a perfect day, I'm so glad I spent it with you

Wow, I'm exhausted. Happy, but exhausted. I never want to eat again.

I had most of the family over for lunch today, Mum, my stepfather, both my brothers, my sister, and my brother's fiancee.

I was lazy with the food, I must admit. I bit off way more than I could chew with my weekend, and decided that realistically, I had a snowballs chance in hell of cooking a good meal, having a clean house and not being a massive ball of stress, bursting into tears at the first sighting of a family member. The house looks gorgeous (just don't look in any of the cupboards, under the bed or in the spare room!!). I was so relaxed and had such a good afternoon, I'm definitely catering like this again.

Yesterday morning I was at my local market at 7.30 and went slightly nuts at all of the deli counters - picking up semi sundried tomatoes, sundried roma tomatoes, a triple cream Brie, Camembert, Edam, (my favourite cheese of all time), King Island Surprise bay Cheddar, 4 different types of olives (split with chili - yum), some turkey, some chicken breast, rare roast beef, dolmades, grilled capsicum, grilled eggplant, some ham, hommus, avocado dip and spring onion dip. This morning I headed to my local gourmet supermarket and picked up some Turkish bread, some mild salami, and an assortment of their salads - sweet potato, Greek, coleslaw, and potato salad. Then to the bakery for a fresh baked hi fibre tiger loaf. I have to tell you, the car smells divine - like fresh bread. I'll be having really fancy lunches all week with deli leftovers.

Today I just put everything out in nice dishes on the table in my back garden, and let everyone help themselves to what they really wanted to eat - as much or as little as they like. Sunny day, warm, but not too hot. I took my shoes off and let my feet luxuriate in the freshly mown grass while we ate. I've just looked at the soles of my feet, and they have a distinctly green tinge.

I feel really satisfied now. My less happy brother was happy and was nice to everyone, no fights picked. My stepfather kept saying how different the meal was to what he normally has, but how much he enjoyed it. For the first time in so long I got to just enjoy my family, no undercurrents, no tension, just people who really love each other, enjoying time together.

I'm going to sleep well tonight.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Gloom and Doom....

I've been gloomy for the last few days. I love the word gloomy; to me it conjures up a dark black cloud just hovering, foretelling bad times, but never causing them. I'm sure that there is irony in loving the word gloomy, but hating the feeling.

No more. I've had enough. I need to focus on the positive more, and stop dwelling on the negatives, and dragging myself into the depths of gloom (for some reason I want to have a music file of the theme from Jaws before the word gloom, but that would just be excessive!).

I've taken steps. I've got my act together and finally booked my car in for a service. I've made a hair appointment. I've invited the family over for lunch on Sunday. I've started researching beach accommodation for October/November. No half measures here.

I'm really excited. I told my Mum that the real reason I've invited them all for lunch is to show off my new hair. I'm really looking forward to just spending some time with all of my family, sharing food, stories, and laughter.

And seriously, how can anyone stay gloomy after a conversation with the smallest sister, who was insistent that her middle name is grapes. Oh to be three again...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Just driving my car

Excluding traffic, I had a lovely drive to work this morning. I just popped my ipod on shuffle and enjoyed a completely random trip to work.

In order of appearance I had:

My Cello - Dan Hicks and his hotlicks
Sooliamon/Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show - Neil Diamond (live from Hot August Night)
Stand by your man - Tammy Wynette
Eat It - Weird Al Yankovic
Addio - Jose Carreras
Tobago Girl - Mighty Sparrow

I've got no idea what that says about me, but I had a darn fine trip to work. Started the work day with a mighty big smile on my face.
Today I discovered that someone I complained about was "let go" from their job.

I've been feeling horribly guilty about it ever since I heard this afternoon. I've spent a lot of time since then wondering if I could have done anything differently but I honestly don't think I could. I'll tell you what happened and I'll let you judge.

On Thursday, I had to ring one of my regular suppliers as I was experiencing a technical problem. When I got through to their customer support, the conversation started badly with the guy answering the phone telling me that I shouldn't be working, but rather should be out shopping like all women. Nice customer interaction.

On Friday he called me back and told me that he had done exhaustive testing and that there was no technical issue. I disagreed with him, telling him that I had numerous examples with exactly the same information or sources that was not experiencing the same problem. He got quite nasty and started talking to me as if I was an idiot, and ended the conversation by saying that as his exhaustive technical troubleshooting did not show a physical issue, and therefore I must have mental issues. When I asked to speak to his manager he said that he wasn't available and that there wasn't a problem. Then he hung up on me. Courteous.

I had a cry (combination frustration, anger and shock I think), and then called my account manager. I decided that I shouldn't have to put up with being spoken to like that so I gave her the details of the conversation. Later I got a very apologetic call from their Customer Support Manager. I said that I would be happy with a written apology and never having to deal with this guy again.

On Monday, I heard from another Customer Rep, who worked with me to solve the problem. Yes, the real problem.

Yesterday I got a delivery of a gorgeous bunch of flowers from their Customer Support Manager - apologising again and hoping that they brightened up my day - they did. I'm looking at them now and the gerbera's are making me smile. Gerbera's always do.

Today I was offered a job in their Support team, and also in their Quality team.

Then I heard that he was "let go". Apparently they have a tape of the conversation which reassures me that the decision was not made on my say so alone, but rather based on the facts. I'm relieved by this, but still feel guilty that I have contributed to someone losing their job. I cannot imagine how he is feeling, but I'm pretty sure that he is blaming me.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Memories are made of this

I've spent today in a flush of childhood.

First, I got to have an orgy of baby shopping, buying a gift for baby Emily, her older brother, and her hard working mum. I had way too much fun at my local Pumpkin Patch and ended up buying one of the blankets (hot pink, natch!), 2 pairs of socks, 2 brand new bibs, and some very cute penguin booties. Then I fell in love with a monkey - perfect for big brother who loves Madagascar. Nothing like a trip to the Body Shop to spoil Emily's Mum.

Then I headed to my Mum's - she has decided that with all four of her children out of the house it is time to clean out the garages, and work out whose childhood books and toys are there. Only one of my siblings showed up to help, the older of my 2 younger brothers (totally unrelated, any suggestions on the best way to keep my brothers anonymous, yet differentiated?) I've spent hours of fun going through all of those boxes, finding books that I loved and haven't seen in years. There is truth in the rumour that there were tears in my eyes when I found my much loved book, Dogger. As I write this, I have a load of washing of all my old dolls clothes running (delicate cycle!), with one knitted doll, Galilee, that I haven't seen for at least 15 years in there too. What does it say when you use a lingerie washbag to wash a treasured doll? I think I'll need to restuff her too.

Once my laundry is done, I'll be heading back to Mum's for dinner - my Trinistepdadian is enjoying retirement thoroughly and has completely taken over the kitchen - Beef Curry for dinner, and then off to see baby Emily.

Honestly, pretty close to a perfect Sunday.

Last but not least, bravo to my St Kilda boys! Back into the top 4 on the ladder!

Are you long enough?

I've just taken a break from reading The Sunday Age to share my giggles about the article on page 7. The title is "Give a man six inches and he'll want a ..." unfortunately the online version doesn't have the visual that the print version does. Above the title, there is a red line, with the text "the average man's erect penis is this long".

I've been giggling hopelessly, visualising men all over Victoria holding that line up to their penises, or cutting it out and putting it somewhere safe to measure their next erection. Perhaps some kind workplace might want to cut it out and laminate it, before sticking it up next to a urinal.

Women spend so long obsessing about their body image, that we forget that men are just as vulnerable. I have to admit that I cannot imagine a major broadsheet showing the size of the average women's breasts or vagina. I wonder if that is because they are so closely associated with porn, whereas the statue of David is considered art.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Girls, girls, girls

Two more gorgeous girls have been born this week. Welcome to Marlo and Emily, 9 pounds 1 and 8 pounds 11 respectively. I'm very excited that I get to be Auntie thisisme again, and feel privileged that my friends are generous enough to share their gorgeous (especially cos I do get to give them back) children.

I'm actually quite jealous of both girls - they each have an older brother. Being the oldest, I never had that, and always wanted one. Oops, sounding like Miss Cornelia in the Anne books again. I've just had a flash of her saying that she had always wanted a brother, and being disappointed at 15 when she finally got one, only to find that he was not 2 years older. Question, why do I remember this, and never where I put my car keys?

With the world the way it has been this week, I'm relieved to have some happy news.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

In which we lose, but still have a good time

I've spent the night with workmates at a trivia night. We built a dream team, we were spectacular, and we came either fourth or fifth out of six. Wooo.

Leading after 2 rounds - looking good, still good after the third round, fell completely to pieces in the fourth round, and never really recovered. We laughed, and laughed, and laughed though - in fact I still hurt. Who knew that the English invented table tennis. Equally worrying, who knew we would write it down, and cross it out. Damn.

Pretty proud of our team though - we argued for 10 minutes over whether food needed saliva or air to give it a taste. Luckily we were right with saliva.

Good night though, can't wait for the next one.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Stand up and be counted!

Months of advertising - first for the collectors and supervisors, and then promoting the census - are over. I've spent a scintillating 20 minutes filling it in, and took advantage of being able to do it online (kudos to the webmaster - no crashes!)

My favourite comment on talkback radio on the way home tonight was that "we should tell the government the same amount of truth that they tell us". I was actually surprised at the number of people who said that they were not prepared to complete the census because they asked for your name, address and employer details. Guess what people - if you have a mortgage, a bank account or a credit card, they already have all of this information about you. Done your tax? They've got your information that way too!

I love to read history, and my favourite parts of history are when I can get a real understanding of people, and what their lives were really like. It always makes things much more alive for me. I always loved reading the questions sent in to Ancestor magazine (published by The Genealogical Society of Victoria) asking about how to find people, and seeing the answers about past censuses (censii? who knows?) I've given permission for my personal details to be accessed in 99 years, and I hope that someone like me can see that information and be fascinated by how I live now.

I have to admit to being a little naughty though. I hope that whoever gets to process the forms gets a giggle from my response. No, I didn't claim to be a Jedi Knight. I've always been too scared to list my occupation as Trafficker on Immigration entrance and exit cards, so I've done it on my census form. I work for one of those newfangled new media companies, and have overall responsibility for the booking of banner advertising on our website (yep, those annoying things). That does, technically, make me a trafficker. So now, I've justified my mum describing my job to everyone she knows as a trafficker in one of Melbourne's less salubrious suburbs. I've told her. She was very proud.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Go on now go, walk out the door

I tried to get rid of the bunny boiler again today. I haven't had a reply, so I'm hoping that it finally worked. He called my mobile 4 times yesterday, and didn't leave a message. That is beyond creepy. I honestly think that more than anything though, he just has no social skills and doesn't realise what he is doing.

I sent an email today, telling him that I wasn't interested, wishing him the best and asking him to delete my contact details.

I really hope that it has worked this time, otherwise I'll have to call in some bigger guns. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Here is a tip for you boys

Your jeans need to sit on the bit of your body above your hips - it is your waist. Skinny jeans look specially stupid when they are belted below your butt cheeks. Just a tip.

Shiny Shiny

My new shower is nearly finished. I'm so excited about it (and not just cos I've been trekking to Mum's to shower every day for the last week and a half!). The shower was old, with brown tiles, that were getting harder and harder to clean.

I rent this house, and the bathroom arrangements are just a little odd. When you walk down the hall, the first bathroom has carpet (ugly, vile, mustard yellow), a bath, and a basin. The second room has lino, and a shower. Yep, a shower. The third room is as deep as the others, and has the Tirolean toilet, and carpet. Yep, more carpet. Mission brown this time. Noice.

About three weeks ago I came home to find that the mustard carpet was soggy underfoot. Pretty clever as no taps were on, and the door had been shut all day. Rang the real estate agent to arragne a plumber - and saga, to end all saga's, it took 4 days to get a plumber here. I was very excited when they told me that the whole membrane was cracked, and I would need a brand spanking new shower. Woohoo!! Added bonus, the vile mustard carpet is badly damaged, and will be replaced with something appropriate for wet surfaces.

I have learnt that living with bathroom renovations is not fun, and that tile dust goes everywhere - it doesn't matter if doors are open or shut. The funniest thing though, has to be the reaction of my cat to having tradesmen in and out of the house all day. 3 nights last week I got home from work to a very agitated cat, who would not settle down until I put the toilet seat down and shut the toilet door. Hilarious.