Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Ok, so I give up. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. As someone famous once said. Well, I guess they did. Someone got that expression from somewhere. The presents are wrapped and under the tree, which btw, is the first thing you see when you enter the house. Ok, so it would be if I could get MOTH and the Teen to use the front door. But, as I was saying, they are under the tree. Brightly coloured and hidden in plain sight. It's done this way to give the Teen one less reason to go riffling through my cupboards. It means though that we have to put up with the constant "are we there yet?" questions from both Teen and the Elder. The scarey part is it's beginning to rub off on me. Yes, I am losing my curmedgeon-like Bah Humbuginess and beginning to hear the lure of the wrapping and the gifts. Calling, whispering, beckoning, shifting, moving ....... "come on now, you know you want to. There's a good kiddie, quickly now, take a peek, no one is looking and I won't tell. Come on now .... just a little bit closer ...... that's right ...... ha! Gotcher!" I buckled. I succumbed. ..... I peeked ..... Well, just one. A voucher. I opened the envelope and looked. A mental 'naughty, naughty, naughty' at myself and returned it to the envelope. But like a junkie or something, I returned to the scene of the crime and completed the job. I looked at the amount. And put it back under the tree. Later in the week I had the opportunity to indulge in regret and guilt.... hmmm would you believe a tiny amount of regret? ... when I realised that this was the second gift mother bought me after she told me what the first was. After she thought she had given me something I wouldn't like. ... Sorry mum ...
Did I mention something in the title about manliness? Yes. Yes I did. Well apparently a "men's business club" here has voted against granting women full membership. That's right. We can join as associate members, but can't join in our own right. This, I read, is the fourth vote-down in the last 2 years. Seems to be an issue that splits the members themselves, and of course we have the requisite number of whining women who want to become members. Well, ever wondered why they call them members? You gotta have one to be one. But since women can still swan around the dining rooms and still be seen by all the right people - this place requires a $1100 joining fee - I really can't see what the problem is. So you can't sit on the committee. Whoop-de-doo. If you have the ear of one of the members, you can still brow beat him into submission. I really think this could just be a case of wanting something just because we can't have it...... And let's face it, if there is a place where you can shepherd him off for exclusive baby sitting to play with his manly men men friends while you go max his card, then long live the all male bastion I say!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
It's getting on to Christmas. I thought I might try curb the Bah! Humbug! gag reflex by composing my own CD of lovely little Christmas songs. To play at work. Just for myself. And anyone else unfortunate enough to be in the immediate vicinity. Wonderful things, like the above work, contributions by Elmo & Patsy and Weird Al.
But after about 3 or more days of Googling, Yahooing, Asking and begging, Christmas songs are thin on the ground. And try finding a download site that doesn't charge the earth, or a free one that doesn't file share. I thought I might have been on to a winner - Sony Music Store - but no! I live outside the US. The Teen had a favourite, but has been unable to renew her credit. Most unhappy and disgruntled has she been. Time to duck for cover.
So in an effort to find something, I have been forced to create myself a profile on myspace. Yup. Finally succumbed. Maybe there is something on music there. Yeah, right. Like when The Gods Must Be Crazy sees a rise in popularity and resurrects it's status from cult to mainstream....
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I have been on holidays and for a week at least of that, there has been no access to a computer. None. If it were possible, there may have been a trace of the DDT's for a while there.
Not that I'm a net-a-holic or such, but when you have no choice, things begin to get grim. I had to resort to rummaging through bookshelves for something to entertain myself with. It would have been nice to reacquaint myself with some of my favourites, but that would have involved waay too much effort. They are buried at the back of the shelves behind the romances and I was supposed to be on holiday after all.
The first week was spent doing as little as possible. Didn't want to make those days go too quickly. And it worked. The first week dragged. But then, the Elder requested that I 'help' her visit my folks. Who happen to live about an 8 hour drive away. Spending a week in that house always has appeal, but boy doesn't that wear off quick when you actually get there. Cats, bird and people rule what little space is to be had. And ... no computer.
Still, I managed to last the week, overdosed on the Teen's current obsession - My Chemical Romance, fought with the niece and nephew, ignored the siblings, got tasted by the birds, and bled by the cat. But best of all ... ... ... I managed to dutifully annoy my mother AND miss the Christmas rush when the rest of the relatives arrive ... ...
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I was keeping a journal at home as well. Just a small one. To chronicle my first brush with a broken bone. Assuming I live the expected age span, I have made it through about half my life without ever having done anything energetic enough to break anything. And eventually, there was nothing energetic about the event, just a fall after getting off a bus, but boy, did I make a public spectacle of myself. Dunno if that was a first though.... However, I digress, the Teen asked me to make another entry last night. First one since August.
But today is a momentous one. The Teen is about to have her first ....... job interview! Ah, so grown up. And I feel so old. But because I am working - wotta drag - I can't be there to hold her hand like my mother did for me (Mu-um!) Actually that could be a good thing - I don't recall answering many of the questions, mum did it all for me. Mind, a healthy dose of the 'who-you-knows' went into that one.
But good luck Teen. You'll be fine. Just remember that if this one doesn't work out, there is always something better around the corner.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Not that I'm cynical or anything. I mean, I just love standing around in the heat with the rest of the family, watching the tempers fray, listening to the nieces and nephews fight over possession of each other's gifts, and tuck into handfuls of wilted lettuce and melted chocolate. Not in the same bowl, of course. And since they are teetotallers, not even a decent beer to help wash it down.
Seems to me that once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away I did enjoy the Christmas spirit. But I was young and foolish then, and I didn't have to do much beyond trimming the tree and tearing the paper off the presents. Heck, I didn't even have to clean up the leftover wrapping. Dad used to put the Santa hat on, we'd all sit around and wait with baited breath while he - very slowly I might add - handed out each individual gift. Oddly enough, it's still a Family Tradition and the Teen and the Elder still enjoy it. Now I spend my time wrestling the tree out of the box and attempting to assemble it, worrying that we have enough food in the house, preparing food and clean up the paper leftovers. Put my gifts to one side so I can make the anticipation last, cause after they have laid themselves bare to my gaze, it's just another day. Oh, and after New Year, wrestle the tree back into the box and clean up the bits of tinsel that have fallen off the decorations.
But maybe this year will be different. Just the 3 of us. Hang on, maybe 4. I'll get my hands on Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas, and A Muppet Christmas Carol. Hang lights on the window and forget the tree. Let them eat chocolate for the day! And no opening presents until after lunch! Heck eat lunch all day! (See statement re chocolate) Stock in some alcohol. Run a repeat of the muppet movie and blast myself icy with the airconditioning - which I have this year.
Yes! Roll on Christmas......
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
She walks down the road, carefully lifting and placing one foot in front of the other. Long blonde hair, once luxurious now streaked with silver and tarnish. Her lipstick is a vivid red slash against the paleness of her face. Sunglasses, square and dark obscure her eyes. The corner of a brown jacket slaps against her thigh in the wind. She leans forward as she moves, pushing against an unseen foe.
I sit, safe from the bite of the wind, in the car and watch as she moves past. Where is she going? What marvels, sorrows and joys have passed through her life? What tales could she tell if I were to ask?
Perhaps she is alone, a once loved husband lost through the mists of time. A love so grand, that once lost, could never be replaced? Is this a slow, lonely journey to the supermarket to purchase those small portions that speak of a solitary life?
How fondly does she look back on the special moments of her life - her first dance, her first kiss, the blush of a bride on that magical day?
Children of her own, and grandchildren. A house filled with love and joyous laughter. Treats must be bought, a dinner planned.
Man’s modern marvels, to celebrate our inventiveness – radio, television, a man on the moon.
Ah, what tales could she tell if I were to ask?
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
Ever noticed how you think you're alone. The opportunity arises to indulge in a little bad behaviour, then suddenly you aren't as alone as you think. It happened to a friend of a friend of mine.... ok, so it was a work colleague. Went to ask him a question, but was warned off. Trouser cough. He'd just decided he was fine, and I walked around the corner. Whew. Mind, I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe, so didn't have the chance to succumb to the effects of the gas. Or maybe it was laughing gas......
Obfuscate: to confuse, bewilder, stupify. To make so unclear as to be difficult to understand.
Been having a running battle with an outside agency about exactly what paperwork she needs to process a reimbursement of travel expenses. She and one of the GT have been debating for a while. The GT candidate - hereby referred to as J - has been having a running arguement about tickets v boarding passes. Although they seem to be talking about the same thing. Who knows. They don't. In the World According to J, she would be told that the Uni is ISO(blah) certified and we need to store the original here for an x amount of time and so we need the orignals here and we can't send the originals over there because we need them for audit purposes too you know and haven't you asked for the originals of the things we sent you and now you want the tickets because the originals of what we sent you you decided weren't what you wanted and we sent them to you yesterday before we got the email and now we have to send them again and so we sent you an email to let you know that we are sending to you originals of what you were supposed to be asking for and confusing us about and .......... I think you get the idea .........
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Actually, it is a beautiful day and I am stuck inside, at my desk, while I wait for the troops to gather for a meeting. Ok, today the troops number the massive total of 4, but it's still enough to go ahead. Maybe if I grab the chocolate and dive under the desk they won't notice I'm missing? If surviving on a couple choc bars worked for that Scott fella, then I reckon I can last the whole year on the block I've got. Ha! Ha ha. Now there's a thought......
Went out briefly for a walk this morning. It breaks the monotony of the sit at desk stuff. Too many students though. Doesn't matter if my place of employment is situated on a University campus - it would still be a much better place without them. Saw a bride and groom being snapped against a building. Sandstone background and columns. Nice. Briefly distracted on the way back to the office by the sound of drums and sticks. Turned out to be an Islander dance troup so had to watch. Don't want to get back to work too early.
Nearly meeting time. Back to the chocolate methinks.......
Friday, October 20, 2006
In an effort to appear busy, I'm knee deep in the latest news items on the abc site. A robber who held up a service station while brandishing a sword was nicked when he went back to the place he'd just held up. He forgot to take his haul with him. You can tell it's Friday. Armed robbery, brain optional.
Of course, that's to discract myself from plots and schemes of world domination. In my world, it would all run smoothly. Because I want it to. Waiting for someone to deliver a promised thingo from another time zone is kinda wearing. Especially if it doesn't turn up. But during that distraction, MOTH phones buzzing with excitement. There is a bushfire across the road. A big one, they've brought in the choppers that carry water. Well, actually it's across the road, down the way, around the corner and across the highway. But that's all semantics when it's close. And the only thing you have to keep you occupied is Neighbourhood Watch. And watching those neighbours.....
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
- So I'm sitting here at my desk, looking out the window watching the beautiful sunny afternoon slip away. Reminds me of my public service days. Why don't public servants look out the window in the morning? Because then they would have nothing to do in the afternoon.
- Still going with the steps challenge thing. But I am beginning to wonder why I bother. One of the teams is waaayyy out in front. Uber-competitive. Last week they set themselves a target. Break the 1,000,000 step mark. They did it too. But I have a life. Couldn't possibly do something like that. Reeks of exercise. Oo, now there's a dirty word. Time to rinse my mouth out with chocolate.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Just a regular, normal day.
Once I leave the train and grab a passing bus, I can zone till it's time to pretend enthusiasm for the day and head to the office. No zoning today - I think our driver had the Indy on his mind. Racing down the straights, weaving through the traffic. Bouncing off the kerb. I sit in the back row and doesn't that knock your bones about. Pulling into a stop and banging the back corner of the bus against the power pole on takeoff. Kissing the back of the seat before me because a taxi in front had the hide to stop. A cyclist, head down bum up, racing for all his worth, like a hare with a fox on its tail while the bus did its level best to run him down. Or pass, whatever. By the time I got to work the adrenaline rush was over and I was ready to go home.
And on the subject of bicyles, lately I notice that I seem to be stalked by the things. Creeping about in my peripheral vision. Through the pedestrian walkway in front of my work building. In the subway tunnel at the station. I never know whether to go left or right and just feel like sticking a stick through their spokes. Blighters. I hate the things. Fell off one once and never felt the same way about them.
Course you know I was cheering for the bus...
Friday, October 06, 2006
Not that there is anything much to look forward to. Except a healthy dose of 'me' time. That is, time when I vege on the couch with my nose stuck in a book. Love those books. Doing nothing and ignoring the MOTH (Man of the House) and the Teen. Pretending they don't exist and there is no such thing as cooking dinner, housework or any of those things that modern civilization throws in to keep us in a constant state of misery. Like Reality TV.
Even the telly viewing sucks. But maybe I should withdraw that until I have actually checked the tv guide. Ok, so there is usually nothing to watch. Sometimes I torture myself and watch the Johanna Griggs Show. A homestyle wotsit DIY type things. What do they call them? Oh yes, lifestyle shows. It's really called something else, but this woman shows up on all the segments. Saturday is the day. I love Monk. I can do with a healthy dose of quirk. It does require that you suspend disbelief and pretend there really is a plot. But it means I don't have to think, just laugh. Occasionally. And I need that.....
Maybe I will start a new book. I only have 9 books on the shelf, on the lounge, on the floor that I have either not yet started or not yet completed. It's good for the brain to have more than one book on the go at once. Keeping track of the plots and characters without losing the thread is a heady exercise that is sure to keep dementia at bay. At least I am hoping so. The signs are not looking good.......
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
So, a judge on a no-account-who-the-heck-cares-it's-a-waste-of-air-time-reality-show makes a comment about something that the contestant is wearing. It would seem, from the bits that the Teen has inflicted on our household, that standard format is for a judge who deliberately sets out to cause controversy. Well, congrats Kyle, you have managed to do that with every ep. As they say, any press is good press and if it boosts the ratings all the better.
But, look out, we've offended a minority group - again. Gotta watch that. Ok, so I don't necessarily fit into that group myself, but I do have my blonde moments - careful! - and my mouth runs away without my brain sometimes, but what the heck. How boring would it be if everyone toed the line all the time. Think I'd like to check out of a world like that real pronto - I just wouldn't fit in....
Friday, September 29, 2006
Some of us, when we reach a particular age or stage - usually when we wake up to the fact that we can't please anyone most of the time and only what Number 1 thinks is important - quite freely express our opinions about people, objects, circumstances, the state of the world.....
Let her tell how she feels. Get it published in a book. Better still, get a blog. Long live the curmudgeon!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I have seen this one before, but I really do like it. It reminds me how stupidly paranoid and PC we are becoming. For me, PC is something that sits on my desk and has no other connotation. F'rinstance the mail makes a statement along the lines of mum defrosting the meat on the kitchen sink, taking sandwiches to school, wrapped in wax paper and put in a brown paper bag - you could always tell the rich kids, theirs was wrapped in rainbow coloured paper - not a coldpack, and no recollection of anyone getting ecoli. Yes! AND we used to swap lunches if you didn't like what your mum had packed that day. Did that many a time.
We said prayers and sung the National Anthem, were force fed free milk at morning tea - ugh, hated that bit cause sometimes the milk was warm - oh, and didn't like having to wash out the bottles in an aluminium garbage can - and getting detention was uber uncool. (There, Teen, I said it!)
We played in the vacant lot, doing stupid things on a pile of gravel left by a construction company and when we got hurt we went to mum for a bandaid, a hug and a 'get back out there'. Now, it's off to the dr, a course of antibiotics and mum phones the solicitor to sue the pants off the company for leaving the gravel there.
You were too scared to play up at your mate's place. You'd get your butt smacked there, and a double dose of trouble when you got home! If your mate hurt themselves doing something stupid, they'd get a swat from their mum for being a yobbo. These days she could own your house.
Ah, fond memories of growing up with a sense of freedom denied in today's world. They were the good old days. Blimmin' heck! I'm beginning to sound like my grandmother........ !
Monday, September 25, 2006
An operatic recital with vows thrown in for good measure. Poetry readings, an extract from a novel - Captain Corelli's Mandolin - an oboe soloist, baritone and soprano singers. All magic to the ears.
But the grand lady of the event was the pipe organ. Certainly a beautiful instrument, allowed to flex her chords both as an introduction to the ceremony and during a solo performance or two.
A wedding with a format not usually encountered, but knowing the groom I shouldn't have been surprised. Well done everyone. Loved every minute of it.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Nevertheless, our team name is based on Star Trek. What can you expect, we work in IT. A co-conspiritor from another team asked which one I was. "Enterprise."
"Really? Why on earth did you pick that one?"
"Umm, because I'm an enterprising person?"
He ignored that and complained Enterprise was the worst of the lot.
"When [E] came back from a Star Trek convention, he said he had been talking to [Deanna Troi] and asked if she minded that the Enterprise series was cancelled part way through."
We listened with interest.
"Not really was the reply. Why? Because it was crap..."
How can you argue with an assessment like that from one of the stars? (Actually I picked it because I liked the name...)
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I've come to the conclusion that my GM is not meant to travel this month. In spite of what he may think.
First port of call, Bangkok. Military coup put paid to those plans. Then, Hungary. Budapest to be precise. Whoa, riots.
You'd think he's listen to what the fates are trying to say wouldn't you?
Monday, September 18, 2006
"You know," she sighed "life was much easier when we were young and boys had germs."
Raised eyebrow from Mother. "Hmmm you still have to be careful, boys still give you germs. It's called pregnancy."
"Hey, are you saying I'm a germ?"
"You? Nope, you're just a parasite. Parasites live off you for the rest of your life."
"No, they don't! They only live off you till you die........."
Ah, that brings back fond memories of growing up. The most popular teenage show that featured live acts from Australian bands, gossip and vid clips. We all watched it. You were square if you didn't.
Last night I had the chance to attend the Countdown Spectacular, the second show staged in Brisbane, in what was basically a reunion of some of the most popular acts of the time. It was brilliant!! Acts like JPY, Leo Sayer (ok, a pom, but loved enough to be considered an honourary Aussie), James Reyne, Cheetah, Chantoozies. Wow. And a special reunion from Sherbet. By the end of the first set, I was hoarse from cheering and yelling right along with all the old favourites.
Rumour has it that maybe a second concert could be in the pipeline.
One drawback - catching the train! How stuipid is it that the last train leaves before the end of the concert??? Luckily, they held the train so people could catch it back to the city. From there, I had to catch a taxi back to the car which had been left at the local railway station on our way in. Kind of defeats the purpose, really.
Monday, September 11, 2006
I know little girls like to dress up, but really. Padded bras? G-strings? Well, hang on ... now that I recall the segment, I think they only showed a string bikini. In sizes as small as 6. Lace, sequins, ribbons. It's all there. Now that's scarey. Where do we draw the line here? Why would you want your 6 year old to be wearing this stuff?
For me, if a girl starts wearing the lace and the knicks at age 6, what's she got to look forward to as a rite of passage? Being given my first bra for high school was a sign of 'coming of age', much the same as the (really) old fashioned concept of a boy receiving his first pair of long trousers.
These days, kids already grow up too fast. Time to back off and let them be kids.
... Explorer Henry Hudson sailed into New York Harbour and discovered Manhattan Island and the Hudson River
... The seige of Sovastopol ended when French, British and Piedmontese troops captured the main naval base of the Russion Black fleet in the Crimean War
... The Carol Burnett Show premiered on CBS
... Little House on the Prairie made its debut on television (well, that could be great, depending on your point of view... ...)
... John Lee Hooker received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
... Last Israeli troops leave Gaza (well, that didn't exactly last long, did it?)
(info courtesy of On-This-Day.com)
Friday, September 08, 2006
One of the GT tells me that the Australian icons are dying off, so he is likely to be next. Yeah, right....
But have you noticed that these things seem to come in threes? I wonder who we will lose next?
Thursday, September 07, 2006
You know, I have to stand up and say YES! I am one of those Aussies who found his public persona extremely embarassing. I have also admitted this to more than one American I have come across who professed a huge 'love' of this man. For me, South Park summed it up beautifully one episode with Cartman's parody of an Aussie croc hunter.
However, that doesn't mean that Germaine's comments were timely or appropriate. C'mon Germaine, you can't say that Australia might not have found you embarrassing once upon a time.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
It's pride in our country. Pride in our flag (how come burning our flag is NOT a crime???). Mateship. Giving your fellow Aussie 'a fair go' (ok, we'll forget about the Rum Rebellion and the Eureka Stockade for a moment! :O) ).
I do agree, however, that yes you should learn to speak english. You can be at a definite disadvantage if you don't learn the local language, regardless of where you live. It's the minimum I would expect of myself.
Whatever strife is happening at 'home' - leave it there. If you come here for a new start, that's exactly what you should be doing.
I really believe that living with these 'values' is not too much to ask. Australia is a beautiful place, I love living here. It's a shame to feel that our politicians and influential leaders can't seem to get to grips that they are fighting on the same side. But then, free speech is supposed to be another of our great values......
Monday, September 04, 2006
Yes, breaking news is that Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin has died in a diving accident. What a shock! Although I didn't necessarily like his television work, his work with the Australia Zoo and other wildlife projects was worth while. Thinking of your wife and kids Steve.......
Once upon a time (long long ago) I used to like Mondays, Tuesdays were great, Wednesday was getting better and so on till Friday. Yahoo! Time to go out! Then I had the weekend to recover. These days, as I get older, it becomes more of a struggle to get the enthusiasm for just about anything going. Except Friday. But that's a whole different reason. Now, Mondays are crap, Tuesday I couldn't give a stuff, Wednesday is getting better, middle of the week and all that, and so on till Friday. Yahoo! Time to go home to spend the next 3 days on the couch.
Ah, I love getting older. All the priveleges that being a YA (young adult) never offered. Now I can take what I want without feeling guilty. Do it all in my own time. Wear what I like and not care what anyone else says.
As they say: Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Holy heck. The Teen is going out to youth group. She tells me the theme is "Spring Break". What 'emo' has to do with spring is well and truly beyond me, but hey, I am only one of those called 'Mother'. I'm not supposed to be able to figure that stuff out. As the Teen says "it's so strange, it just might work".......
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Yep, that's right. According to something I read today, a bronze cast has been made of the baby's first solid stool. Now there is a collector's item alright. And, apparently, it is even for sale on ebay. Man, has ebay got a lot to answer for.
And now for something completely different....
Windorah, Queensland, has hosted their International Yabby races recently. Can only imagine what that entails. I've seen mud crab racing so maybe it's the same thing? Actually, if it is anything like the mud crab racing, the contestants all get sold and eaten. Perhaps the only real winners on the day is the bloke who owns the pub?
Where do they find these stories???
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I decided to take my life into my own hands and ventured forth with a bunch of no hoper - but lots of fun - geeks I work with. I am beginning to suspect that a prereq for hire on the GT (Geek Team) is height. Yep, always include that on your resume. Now, some of the GT's are not only tall, but have a lot of presence. By the time they finished allocating space, there were 5 of us trying to get into a Lancer MR. Ever wondered how a clown feels at the circus squeezed into that tiny car? Well, so did I - I managed to get the front seat. All this was accomplished at moderately high speed while parked across the exit driveway to a carpark, alternating between jumping up and down shouting encouragement and delivering well timed kicks to backsides to get 'em loaded.
Mind, you can't lock the seat in place unless you run it all the way back, then adjust it forward. Only problem is, the bloke behind me is one with presence. Three quarters of the journey was spent with teeth fastened in the dash board, trying desperately to hang on while the seat slid forward and backward and the geek behind me commented on percieved damage to assorted body parts. Two other clowns in the back noted the fact that they were jammed in so tightly they seemed to be missing assorted limbs which, thankfully, reappeared when they were finally shoehorned from the car. Add to that a too close encounter with a car door and a too high kerb, and I think most of the fun was had on the way.
But I really did enjoy the movie.