Monday, October 26, 2009

Train and boats and cars

and buses! Today I got to ride all the way to work on two different buses with NO ONE sitting next to me. Suh-weet!

Last week was a pretty ordinary one I think. As ordinary as mine get.

Mid week, my Bestie sent me an email to say that a mutual workplace were having a 75 year anniversary and a reunion bbq was part of the celebration. Would I be interested?

I thought about it. I checked to see if MOTH would be interested. Oh yes, he said. I would like to catch up with Bestie and her hubby. The fact that it appeared to be free had absolutely nothing to do with it, I'm sure. I went to register but alas! Registrations had closed. I went back to Bestie and asked if she could investigate for me?

Friday dawned a bright sparkling day. One of those days that brings on a natural high for me. I was up early. I was ready for work early. I caught the early bus and was in the city to catch my second bus a little earlier than usual.

As I crossed the road, I noticed that my eyes were going funny. There was a moment of panic as I realised that everything was reflecting green. An odd eerie glowing green. What the heck is THAT all about? It took a small moment to realise that the archetectural monstrosity towering above me had a green wall. The sun was hitting it at just the right angle to bathe everything opposite in its glorious green reflection....

I was obviously not the only one affected by Friday. I walked around the corner in the office and two of the GTs were madly giggling, wrapped in a game that involved stealing things from each other's desk. Kind of like a Capture the Flag but with clips. *shakes head*

At the same time, one of the other GTs was busy uploading some of his digital photos. He likes to do macro shots. I asked about some of them and he happily showed me his albums. Those photos are amazing! I truly don't know how he can bring himself to get that close to a spider! *shudders* Some of the photos of the wolf spiders are so clear you can see individual hairs on the thing's legs!

Bestie let me know that she had managed to contact someone and my name was now on the list. Bewdy! There was even a registration pack for me.

And don't you know, it never rains but it pours. So they say. I'm still waiting for the lotto win....

Sunny sent me a text to ask if I wanted to go with him on the Zombie Walk. When? Sunday he said. Bummer! I had been thinking of asking Sunny if he wanted to hang on Sunday, but since I hadn't actually taken it beyond the thinking stage, I accepted the invite from Bestie instead.

So, Zombie Walk. A charity walk for the Brain Foundation. You dress up like a Zombie and shuffle, groaning, along a predetermined path and celebrate like there's no tomorrow at the after party.

And I missed out.

Saturday I didn't do much of anything except think about what we might want to take with us on Sunday. There would be a sausage sizzle and some icecream, but we were encouraged to pack a picnic.

Saturday afternoon I went to water the strawberry plant and noticed the temperature seemed to have dropped a bit. It came over dark and cloudy quite quickly and sometime after dark a loud knocking could be heard on the roof. What? Rain? You're kidding? Yep, it was raining. Soon the lightening and thunder followed. But not for long.

Sunday I was up early, baking quiches for our lunch. And potato salad. When Jawsome left, he donated a picnic set he was given but never used. It was just for two and still had the plastic on the cutlery! It fit the quiches, salt and pepper, potato salad and an apple and banana just perfectly.

The drive down to the dam was pleasant; MOTH even put on the airconditioning. The day held the promise of some heat so we made sure we had hats and sunscreen. I was expecting the shaded areas to be gone so I packed an umbrella as well.

And it was hot.

Once we parked in the designated area, they provided a shuttle bus so we didn't have to dodge traffic trying to cross the motorway. First stop was the rego desk and a pack. It contained a name tag each, a tube of sunscreen each. A glossy book, an attendee list, and something that looked like two mouse mats.

We found Bestie, hubby and kids. Actually, hubby was a little hard to miss; he was wearing a fluro orange tee. It stood out. A lot. Shade was at a bit of a premium, most everything was taken. Australian native trees don't seem to provide an awful lot of shade, do they?

The organisers had provided a sausage sizzle, a coffee stop, a soft serve van. Which, I believe was very VERY popular. She didn't stop all day. A jumping castle and other entertainment for the kids. And a couple of bands to entertain the adults.

Oh, and a historic display of old trucks.

Bestie's little boy couldn't wait to look at the trucks. He dragged his father and MOTH off for his turn. Then he dragged Bestie and I. On the way round he stopped at the yellow grader. This one, he informs us, is a worm. A worm? Yes, a worm. Dad told me.

It did seem to be very hot that day, but I didn't really break a sweat. The day was due to finish at 3pm. We packed up around 2.30, ready to take on the crowds for the return shuttle. Until the kids had to make a final pit stop. We waited as two shuttles went by. Turns out they'd detoured via the ice cream van.

It was good to head home though, much cooler. And boy was I tired. Whew.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Updates. Too good to wait for!

The Teen has had her learners permit for a couple of months now. Alright, so we've been somewhat slack and the timing never seems quite right. MOTH is too chikkin to take her out, I don't get home till almost dark and we've only just got around to purchasing the mandatory L plates.

She has done some time already. Apparently. A few minutes here and there, in a paddock, in someone's back yard, in a deserted shopping centre car park.

Yesterday I was home before dark o'clock. Time to bite the bullet.

I grabbed her from her room, telling her to put on shoes. But! My shoes are loose she says. Alright, this time. But you'll have to get used to wearing them.

You can reverse it out the driveway! she announces. Well, ok, fair enough.

And I did. Out of the garage and to the point where the back wheels were just on the road. Your turn I tell her. She freaks. And at the same time, she's excited. I think.

She dropped into the driver's seat and she tries to adjust the seat. We're on a slope so of course it slides backward. I get in trouble. *grin* She has a couple of goes, but gets it to where she wants it. Adjust the mirros. She doesn't know how.

The mirrors are adjusted, the seatbelt is on and she's ready to go. I'm telling her to lift her foot off the brake slowly and the car should start to roll a little. It doesn't move. Pfft! The handbrake is still on.

Lesson 1, take 2. She can't release the handbrake so I have to do it for her. Very slowly and gingerly, she lifts her foot and we're on our way! Brake again and change to Drive. Very good. She's not sure she can do this. She's getting worried as the car very slowly starts to crawl forward. I tell her that we're headed for the roundabout. She looks at me. What? How do I manage that? And what about the other cars??? If there are other cars, we stop then take our turn. If you're on the roundabout you have right of way so you can take as long as you like. She shoots me a sideways look. At 5 km an hour??

Just so you know, we live at the top end of a cul de sac. The road is windy and narrow. Heh.

She running a bit close to the gutters but I don't mind. They've very considerately built the ones that are slanted so you don't need to build a driveway entrance. People can see me! she's shouting at me. I'm smiling like a loon. It's ok, you'll be alright. There's a man going somewhere! she yells. She's getting into panic mode now. What do I do?! I tell her to brake if she's not certain. She does; the man gets into his vehicle and reverses it up his driveway. See, I say, nothing to worry about.

She calms a little and slowly takes her foot off the brake. We're travelling so slowly I think a snail passed us. She's worried again. What if a car comes? she asks several times. We'll deal with that when it happens.

A car comes down the road. I see it and let her know; I think she's too busy looking at the road where she's trying to steer the car.

She screams.

She's almost in full panic mode. The car passes and all is quiet again. A little further down the road and about 100m away are two more cars. She panics again. I tell her to pull over into the layby area if she wants. She does. She wants to quit and go home.

I'm mean. I tell her no. And that she'll have to get the car out of the spot she's parked in. She's not impressed with me.

The cars go by; one down our road past us, the other continues around the corner.

We make it the rest of the way to the roundabout. It's only just up the street, but it's been a bit of work. Brake here and check the road. She does. A lot. Then we move out into the roundabout. I thought she wasn't going to turn the wheel in time. And I grabbed the wheel to guide it a little quicker than she was doing. Don't panic Mum! she says. I laughed. So did she.

We managed the drive back at a faster speed than the drive out. And she stopped at the driveway and jumped out. You can put it in the garage she tells me.

So, first lesson all done and dusted. What a giggle. She laughs with me later when the euphoria kicks in.

Whew, I need a cigarette she smiles. And tomrrow, if I get home in time we'll do it again I tell her.

She wilts.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bad hair days!

I think I'm having one. I washed it yesterday, using the routine which has been working quite well. It seemed to dry a little wavier than usual. Hmmmm. And wasn't quite as soft. Man! This morning I brushed it. Mistake! I decided that the straightener was in order. Even that didn't fully tame it. And it still feels crispy. Grrrr!

It's been an odd kind of week.

I've been tired. Very tired. While riding home on my not-usual bus, I looked out the window on my right. It had fogged up. Completely. It was white. The day had been somewhat overcast with the possibility of rain. But the window on my side wasn't foggy. What gives? Then I decided we must have pulled up near a wall. I couldn't think what wall it might have been though. But yes, I could see some of the metal reinforcing strip along the bottom. No problem. And then we started moving....

We had been stopped next to a truck.... *feels somewhat sheepish*

The week, apart from the truck incident, has gone relatively quickly and quietly. Except for a building evacuation at work on Friday. It didn't last very long and after about 10 minutes in the sunshine we were herded back into the building. A workmate from another department was chatting with me, so I told her that they have to have these things occasionally so they can get the geeks out to catch some vitamin D.

Friday when I arrived home from work, MOTH informed me that the Teen would be away for the weekend again.

When I had the house full of people I really enjoyed it. I love having people about and I wasn't looking forward to the enforced solitude that would result when I became an empty nester. That day came somewhat sooner than I would have liked... wait, actually, I still have one at home; the other four have gone. But since she's away most weekends and nearly all weekend at that, MOTH and I are almost there.

And I'm finding I'm liking it. MOTH is usually busy playing games on the laptop, so I have all day to myself. To do what I want. Ok, sometimes I get bored, but on the whole no. MOTH seems more relaxed. We play stupid games and laugh a lot more. And I find I'm not necessarily looking forward to having anyone else move in.

Friday night we settled down to watch the Jessica Alba movie, The Eye. It's a rather atmospheric thriller. MOTH settled on the floor and I took over the couch. During the early part of the movie, the tension started to build. I could tell something was going to happen. Considering she was in hospital, that corridor was horribly deserted....

And MOTH let one rip. I nearly screamed....

Saturday I finally started the housework. I did some washing. I vacuumed the floor. That's right. I actually pulled the cleaner out of the lounge room and used it. I did my ensuite, my bedroom, part of the timber blind in my room, the sills as well, the study and part of the blind, the tiles in the hallway and half the loungeroom. By then I was feeling a tad pooped and had managed to talk MOTH into emptying the vacuum when it filled. And it was empty when I started. Then I mopped the tiles. By the time I finished, my knuckles and forearms were a tad sore, so I've left the rest for next weekend.

Course, I flat refuse to acknowledge that using the mouse and the laptop most of the weekend has absolutely anything to do with the soreness either ....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Life is just a costume party, really

My mind had wandered away this morning while I was on the bus; highly unusual I know. But I can remember thinking about a low centre of gravity .... oh wait! I remember what it was.

Don't you hate when you are more or less last in line to get on the bus and everyone in front of you dawdles up the aisle? I've GOT A LOW CENTRE OF GRAVITY, but even that doesn't help. *ha! remembered!* I can't sit down the front - on the new buses I seem to get travel sick - so I head for the back. And I don't like to be standing when the bus begins to move. So look out older bloke who has no business taking that long to get up toward the back of the bus and choose a seat, I'm comin' through!

Last week I missed an opportunity to wax lyrical about something not really spectacular that happened during the week. It wasn't till I was going through my phone photos that I remembered it. They've been working on the facade of the building opposite, and I looked out the window. Nothing. I looked again. Wha?

And when I looked again about half hour later, nothing. Talk about ghosts in the machinery! I never heard a sound.

As you know, I spend a lot of time on buses. Not much to do on buses. So I invent things. Check out the scenery. Make up stories. Wednesday, with not much to do, I was staring out the window and noticed it was rather breezy! Especially on the bridge. And there was a random ball of dust, blowing around like a tumbleweed in the silence following a bad joke. It dodged people's feet, ducking about on the whims of the breeze. The end result made it look quite sentient. If I was in any way imaginative, it could have given me nightmares about what may be growing underneath my bed, waiting to take over the world.

And all that.

I couldn't wait for Friday to dawn; a big day socially! For once. One of the GTs has moved on to greener pastures and we were having a lunch to celebrate. Not that he was moving on, but to get together and give him his gift. We had thai at one of the restaurants within walking distance to work. The buffet is usually pretty good for $15. A couple of curries, rice, a noodle dish, spring rolls, prawn chips, bbq chicken. Usually they have dessert. It's one of my favourite parts. Black sticky rice. Guess what we had to ask them for? Yep *nods* to bring out the dessert buffet. And what did they bring out? Lychees! U.G.H. !! *for emphasis* I can't stand those things. So bummed. I missed out on dessert.

Friday night we were to head out for a 21st party. It was to start at 6.30pm, but we couldn't really leave home before then. I don't get home from work till nearly 6.00pm. And we were giving Sunny a lift.

The event was at the Gap Tavern. We knew where that was! Been there before, we're sure of it. So we tootled off. Got there, turned down the street where we thought it was and .... nothing. It wasn't there. No one had checked the map, and no one had thought to plug in Karen *the GPS* Clever lot, aren't we. After a couple of snarky comments, we plugged it in and crossed the fingers. Because none of us knew the street name either. *shakes head* Thank heavens for mobile phones with internet and stuff. Sunny found out the name of the street, we keyed it in and off we went.

Found the street. Saw lights, but couldn't find a driveway. Dammit! We went up the road, threw a U turn and came back down again. How about this one? Turned in and there is the sign, unlit and hiding among the trees. D'oh!

I conned MOTH into getting dessert for me. The chap sitting next to him had ordered BBQ ribs in the kilo size. He couldn't finish, so offered to share the rest with MOTH. Who quickly obliged. *he pronounced them very good afterward* I tried a beer I've never had before - beez neez. It's pale and doesn't have that strong taste that most of them do. I liked it.

We had a great time, and everyone packed up around 10.30 or so. On the way home, I gained my own personal bagman. Evidence provided once we got home....

Saturday I didn't do much. I know I had plans but it didn't seem to work out. I got to fertilise a small portion of the lawn; did some washing. Not a lot else. The Teen was heading out to a costume party and was going as Pikachu. A pokemon monster for those not in the know. I realised after she left that I didn't get a picture! She looked GREAT! Wish I had. We dropped her off up the road at the party so she didn't have to walk the streets dressed as Pikachu and settled home for a quiet night.

Around 1am, my mobile went off. Mum! I'm at Sunny's place! Can you come pick me up? *how do i sense that the phone is going to ring, or is that what wakes me up? i always feel like it doesn't ring long before i hear it...* I sent MOTH. I'm clever like that...

Sunday morning when I got up, MOTH informed me that she hadn't been to bed at 6.00am when he got up. Whew. She came by and announced rather loudly My body's buzzin but my brain is sooooo tired!

Ah, funny child....

Sunday was quiet, overcast, rainy. Bathurst was on and I did my best to avoid most of it.

This morning dawned grey and overcast as well. Then I looked properly. It was fog! And at 6.50am while I was on the bus *i SAID i spend a lot of time on buses* I tried to take a photo:

Ah, a world muffled in grey wool like the homeless lady I see in the mall sometimes...

Monday, October 05, 2009

Argh! Skewl's back!

And I could tell! The bus was full again of the noisy minah birds squawking and chattering. Well, that will come later. Today was rather sobering I guess as first day back. Not an awful lot of noise at all considering.

I think I am going to have to go back to taking notes to remember what exciting things I did during the week. Because every time I sit in front of this monitor, my brain power is sucked away and I can't remember a darned thing.

Things have still been dry after the dust storm. I can still feel dust on things and smell it in the air. Indoors and out. We still have the water restrictions but I'm into ignoring those at the moment. I am trying to encourage my tiny herb patch to continue to grow and keep some of the dust from the ex-lawn at bay, so I water for about 5 to 10 minutes in total every day. We are only allowed half hour hose time a couple days a week.

Thursday I arrived home from work to be told that the Teen would be out of the house until Sunday. And that was the day THE BILL arrived. A phone bill. It is HUGE! I really don't know how I'm going to pay that one off, but we shall have to see. My phone carrier is 'understanding' but only to a point. I don't know what I can afford to pay each pay period, but when you 'negotiate' with them, you MUST provide a figure you will pay each week/fortnight. Yoiks. It doesn't help that this pay period has another big bill, a lot of prom stuff and two social events that have turned up on the same day. I NEVER get social events, let alone two on the same day! Well, alright. Maybe not never, but it's usually a very long time between drinks.

*wha? just been eating a nut bar and decided to floss. how does dental tape get TOO WIDE for the gaps between my teeth? ok, they're close together but this is ridiculous!*

By the end of the week, I couldn't stand it any longer. I planned to actually do what I have been planning for the last couple of weeks. *don't rush me* I was going to continue from that room I finished, washing walls, vacuuming and mopping. Just to clear the dust. And on Saturday, my headache was back with a vengence. Any idea of washing walls and bending over the cleaner went right out the window! I didn't move much that day.

Saturday night or maybe Sunday morning - it was 3am afterall - the phone rang. *lies in bed till MOTH gets up* The Teen wasn't feeling well and would be coming home. Now. Oh. Okay... As soon as she got in, she asked MOTH to take her blood pressure. Pressure was fine but pulse rate was up. She and Wogboy went off to bed. MOTH returned and said Well, she's not dead. *smiles*

Sunday morning I did some dusting. I could see where something had been shifted on MOTH's reception desk and thought it was about time. I grabbed the duster that all others claim to be unable to locate, and got to it. Even MOTH got a dusting. He sat still too long.

The Fairy Wrens were playing outside the laundry door. I stopped to watch - I love those things. I tried to get a photo or a video, but they are just too small and too fast. They have a beautiful song and the males are so vibrant! There is one little man and his two ladies turn up around the same time every day MOTH tells me.

Here's an example; I've pilfered the photo from

Last night I had to do a run out to Wogboy's place to pick up the Teen's gear that was left behind. First drive out there by myself for a very long time. Just before we left home, the Teen seemed to be in a very bad mood. She even snapped very badly at Wogboy while on the phone. *sighs*

Eventually I got out of her that someone suggested she was probably sick all the time because she takes too much medication. So she cut back. Yes *nods* she dropped the antidepressants. Ouch! I can tell the difference in her behaviour after ONE DAY of missed meds.

Gods help me for the long term....