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.

Blogging as therapy ...

Jellyhead has a thought provoking post about her daughters dance class, and it provoked me into thinking about the different groups of girls at my primary school.

I was horrendously shy at primary school. I wasn't really interested in running around all the time, rather I wanted to read. You name it and I wanted to read it. Still do come to think of it. We didn't really watch much TV, so I couldn't talk about the TV that other kids watched. Thank goodness for the ABC. Mum was pretty strict with what movies we were allowed to watch, so I didn't get to see most of the movies that other kids saw and talked about. In Grade 3, we were all weighed, and I was the heaviest in the grade at 35 kilos. Talk about being scarred for life because I can still remember it. The teasing from both boys and girls was insane.

What little confidence I had took a real battering all the way through primary school. I was unlucky enough to be in the same year, and frequently the same class as a bully. She delighted in the put down, and specialised in the you are my friend, now you aren't manoeuvre. I spent close to 7 years dreading this girl, and just hoping that she would ignore me. It didn't work so well. Interestingly enough, Mum said something the other day about this girl and her mother. Apparently when I was in Grade 4, both Mum and her mother were pregnant at the same time. I got a little sister. Mum said that she couldn't face this girls mother for over a year, as her baby was strangled by the umbilical cord during childbirth. Looking back now, I can't imagine how devastated the entire family must have been - I'm sure that contributed to her vileness in later primary. I must admit to a certain bitchy satisfaction in year 9 when I heard a rumour (never confirmed) that she had been expelled from her exclusive private school for cheating during her exams by writing the answers on her thigh.

I had friends at school - we were the odd ones, and definitely not the popular group. Suddenly in Grade 6, one of my friends was absorbed by the popular group, and the rest of us were tolerated on the fringe. I've never forgotten the day that the Queen Bee of Grade 6 looked over at me and said "you know, if you were like this all of the time, you could be popular". Ouch!

I've been thinking about all of this for the last couple of days since reading Jellyhead's post. It is definitely time that I processed all this and moved on, and think I finally have. Primary school doesn't define me 20 years after leaving. Thanks Jellyhead.

Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end

I've spent a really fun day today wandering around the TV50 exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in at Fed Square. I have to confess that this is the first time I've ever been to Fed Square - I'm sure that I can come up with heaps of excuses, but reality is that I just never got around to it.

I had an absolute ball - and I'm definitely going to head into ACMI for more exhibitions and events. I found myself getting all goosebumpy at some of the news footage of events that have happened 50 years ago. I really loved the way that they set the exhibition out. Along one wall they had floor to ceiling televisions - metres of them. They broke the exhibits up alphabetically. A for Advertisements, all the way through to Z for Zoned out. Each section had video showing on different televisions, all relevant to that topic. It was fantastic seeing some of the old ads, and Rita the Eta Eater. Got a bit of a shock watching Daphne dying on Neighbours again and again on the wall of televisions. Greg Fleet in his televisual nasty moment. They had a section for the future of television and the media. It was mainly computers - one set on YouTube that you could search for clips, one with an installation done using Flash - a vision of 2015. Another one was set up with BigPond to download TV or movies on demand. Now I know why I'm not using BigPond - slow, painful and heaps of buffering. Vile.

Just one thing marred the experience for me, and I know that I'm being super picky. Poor Bush Tucker Man, Les Hiddins had his name spelt Les Hindes, Les Hiddens. Channel 9 might want to up the PR for Jamie Durie, known to ACMI as Jamie Dury. Little things, but they make me question just how much attention to detail is being paid when the exhibition is being put together.

I'd love to go back and spend more time just wandering through. Just for my amusement, I'm going to count how many sections Kylie Minogue appears or gets mentioned in. She was everywhere.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

We're all going on a summer holiday

I wish - it is neither summer, nor do I have holidays booked.

I've been thinking a lot this week about holidays, and just how badly I seem to need one. This time 2 years ago I had just returned from 10 magical days in Fiji. We stayed at the Warwick resort, and used it as a base to explore parts of the main island, and spent one wonderful day visiting one of the islands, and travelling on the catamaran around the other islands. I always feel so truly happy when I am in and around water, so to me, that was a blissful day. Is it any wonder that I still have a photo from that trip as the wallpaper on my laptop.

This time last year, I was preparing to spend 10 days in the Cook Islands. I fell in love with the country and the people, and I cannot wait to return. Again, being surrounded by water just makes me so happy. I think my soul was really satisfied by having water all around me, and yet, being able to look at the centre of the island and see jungly mountains.

Am I going away again this year? I don't know, but I really hope so. I'm having dinner with my travel buddy tonight and we will see what we can work out. I can hear people saying that it doesn't matter if my travel buddy and I can go together or not, I should just go. Sounds good, but I do feel safer when there are the 2 of us, and we complement each other well. We talked about why it works so well for us a couple of weeks ago, and decided that it is because we both give each other space to go off and explore independently, and to do our own thing, but we do encourage each other to try things outside our comfort zone too. We also know that we each have things that are non negotiable - for me, it is essential to spend a couple of days unwinding and resting before doing anything, and for him, he needs to go and sightsee. I always make sure that I have at least three days off work before we leave, so that my unwinding has already started, and I've had time to get organised without being a headless chook. That way - 2 happy travellers, very few fights, or hurt feelings. All good.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to my stepfather. My lovely Trinistepdadian is turning 25 and a bit again.

He is a truly good man. I would like to thank him for making my mother so happy, and for giving all four of us unconditional love, support and friendship. I know that if I ever have a problem, I can go to him for help, and he will help me and support me as much as he can. He may disapprove of things we do, but he does not judge. Mum told me once that he believes he is on this earth to serve others. Not only does he believe it, he lives it.

Please don't think he is perfect - he isn't by a long shot. He is the poster boy for obduracy, and has some very peculiar blind spots.

Sometimes I feel sad for him, because he doesn't have the relationship with his 2 daughters that he has with me, and to a lesser extent my sister. I feel sad for them too, because they are really missing out.

I would love to see him as a grandfather. Maybe soon.

Happy birthday.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Kiss Off!

I hope I've ended it - no more obsessing about the disaster that was last Saturday and the after effects. It is a terrible thing to realise just how nasty a streak I have, and how much mirth I have got from someone's unfortunate habits, way of expressing themselves and slightly sad life.

I did take the cowards way out, just sending him an email letting him know that I wasn't really interested in seeing him again. I have to admit that I told him that I felt quite uncomfortable with some of the things he wrote and said to me, and suggested that maybe he might want to restrain himself in the future with what he says to women.

On the really positive side, I've done a heap of thinking, and I think I'm much more clear about what I do and don't want in a relationship, and what I'm prepared to compromise on, and what is less negotiable for me. I also know that I'm not prepared to settle for just anyone, even if they are falling for me. I don't have to be bored, or feel that I need to dumb things down. I'm not looking for a carbon copy of myself, and I don't want anyone who expects to be joined at the with me - independence is a good thing.

PS I have to admit, my ego loves that someone wants to fall for me so quickly - I just wish they weren't so creepy and odd!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A bum rap?

I know that I'm obsessing more than a little with the aftermath of Saturday's date, but the train crash just keeps going. I need to end it once and for all. Whatever "it" is, it needs to stop!

My productivity at work today plummeted after I received an email, that asked amongst other things;

"Is there anything you would object to me buying for you?"
"Would it be ok to call you pet names? For example muffin honeybun darling babe?"
and the absolute kicker
"If I wanted to give you a back rub would it bother you if I gave you a bum rub at the same time?"

I've been thinking alot today about relationships, and what I want out of one. I've learnt over the last few days that I need someone who challenges me and can make me think. Much I would love to have someone just worship the ground I walk on, and just dote on me, it isn't enough. I would be bored, and probably be a right bitch if that is what happened.

It has been interesting getting feedback from some of my friends and colleagues about me and who I should be with. They have all agreed that I would be bored, and need someone to challenge me. Interestingly enough, they have all referred to this situation as verging on the bunny boilerish.

I need to end things now, and try to be as kind as possible. He is getting too attached to me, and that is unfair to him, because it sure isn't mutual.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Can I boil your bunny with that?

Eeek. I know I said that Saturday's date was a bit obsessy - now I know it to be true. He popped up on my msn today, and started going on about my amazing eyes, my gorgeous smile and my kissable lips. Excuse me? Going just a little bit further than one should after a first date methinks. I was OK with the first compliment to my eyes and smile, and just thanked him, but he just kept going (and going, and going!). I'm not comfortable with excessive compliments. I start to doubt the sincerity of them, and wonder what is wanted/expected from me.

More and more, my gut is saying hell no, run for the hills, so I think that I will have to find a kind way to do just that. I know that rejection hurts, so I don't want to drag it out, but I don't want to give false hope either.