Monday, May 31, 2010

Getting back to normal!

So I'm recovering from conference week and catching up on terrible things like washing. And suddenly it's Saturday afternoon and Jawsome has rocked up for a visit.

Alright, we knew he was coming so it wasn't a total surprise. And he's very entertaining and always welcome.

The biggest problem I have when Jawsome visits is that he is a very fussy eater. Verry. Fussy. But as long as there are chips on his plate and absolutely NO hint of anything resembling any other vegetable, he's happy.

The rest of Saturday passed quietly as we finished off the washing. Steak and chips for dinner. I think.

Sunday I spent some time catching up on chores and I think I sent the boys out to the shops by themselves. Or maybe they made me come with them. Sometimes the experience of going to the local shopping centre is so traumatically boring I block the memory.

Monday it's back to work to try tidy up the conference leftovers. There is shipping to organise. That is the return of our goods from the conference organiser; the stuff left over that wasn't given out and other things from our stand. The conference organisers arrange couriers for vendors who have a stand at the trade show, but ours is couriered back with the organisers things, then couriered on to us at a later time.

And a box for me to unpack, business cards to sort out and evaluation papers to pass on. This keeps me busy for a day or sometimes, if I'm lucky, I can stretch it a bit longer.

Tuesday, Admin2 phones in sick. And for the rest of the week I'm on my own. Have I mentioned that I don't like doing any of her work?? It's boring stuff and interferes with my enjoyment of the day.

Wednesday is State of Origin. Whoo! I go for blue, MOTH goes for maroon. I do this just to make life interesting. For those overseas visitors who haven't a clue what I'm talking about, this could be as big as the Superbowl. But with footballers. Well, rugby league. It sparks a great rivalry between Queensland (Maroon) and New South Wales (Blues). It's based on where a player played their first club game of league. Team mates for regular matches can end up opponents for State of Origin. There are 3 games played over a period of around 6 weeks every year in June/July.

What can I say? It's big.

Jawsome also barracks for the blues. Wednesday night we all gathered in the rumpus room to watch the match. Some of us were in the spirit of the game, some less so. *memo to me: post that pic on facebook*

Sometime during the week, Jawsome adjusted the sale price on his car. He had two responses within a very short time. Strange, considering he's had the car listed on an online site for some considerable time and the only responses so far have been scammers. He gave MOTH and I a small donation for looking after the car for him. Sweet!

Thursday night the paperwork was complete and the car was gone. It feels strange to walk into the garage and there be space. And I can even use the clothes line!

Because yes, sometime during this week the dryer carked it. Again. The door hinge keeps breaking. So now I'm back to hanging everything out. How old fashioned!

Jawsome left on Friday to return to his place of abode. The house is once again silent.

MOTH bought dinner Friday night, and I contributed to the drinks and dvds. Sunny comes over for dvd night; this time Judah came too. We sat through an extravaganza of oversized food, laughing and feeling a little nauseated at times. So MUCH food! Followed by an alien invasion with a twist. Ok, we watched Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs and Planet 51.

Saturday I decided to spend some more of my donation. It took ages to decide what to spend it on, but oddly enough I've sent MOTH off to spend the last of it today and all I have to show for it is new underthings. Which turned out to be the wrong size. Ah, sometimes it's like that.

I watched a dvd; turned out this one also had an alien invasion with a twist. I cried; the hero sacrificed himself to save the natives. That doesn't happen very often! The movie is an animation called Battle for Terra. Soft, slow but oddly moving.

Sunday was chill out day. I'm catching up on my reading. Today's novel is a Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher mystery. Curled on the couch because it's raining today....

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Back home again. Mmmmm yes.

The week is over and I'm back home again. Ready to sort washing and restock the fridge and cupboards. Yeah....

Once Wednesday rolled around it wound up quickly. There are 3 full days of conference and Thursday and Friday are reserved for tutorials. There aren't as many people those days and the sponsors are all gone. It's amazingly quiet. Wednesday we celebrate with a staff and guests function where we watch a movie and pig out. This year there was fish and chips, salt & pepper squid, vegetable kebabs, caesar salad, mini maltesers, dessert things, ice creams, beer, wine, and softdrink with Avatar thrown in for good measure. I love the Wednesday night function the best.

Thursday I attended a meeting that took most of the morning. I use the term loosely. It's more like a group discussion. It's a part of the program but I've never attended before. It was very interesting. I had the afternoon free and MOTH and I decided it was time to actually get out of the venue for a while.

We decided to drive out. Somewhere. And ended up at Pacific Fair shopping centre. We wandered around there for a while window shopping. I like window shopping. I like people watching too. If you've never been to Pacific Fair, the centre is huge and has many many shops in the main areas, and more shops in a paved courtyard setting. Almost like streets. However, the day had become overcast and the temperature dropped a little, so we stuck mainly to the indoor areas.

Time to leave and the exit, of course, comes out on a different road. Recipe for disaster really....

Ummm which way are we going? Dunno? Let's just drive and see what happens. And ended up in a fit of giggles. MOTH points to a sign. Oh, well, we don't really want to go to Nerth Balley! (North Burleigh) And I wasn't much better. While waiting at the lights, I misread a sign and wondered what a Fully Whipped Guy had to do with anything (Fully Equipped Gym) Go figure.

We spotted a KFC across the road from a funeral home. Which was right next door to a storage facility. MOTH asks me, what does it mean when there is a vet right across from a pie shop? Ummm, the meat is fresh?

We drove past 2nd Avenue, 3rd Avenue and finally decided to turn at 4th Avenue. It seemed we were headed south when we should be heading north. Back onto the road near the beach and follow that. Oh. Only a left turn. We take it and end up right back on the road we first left ... heading south. Eventually we plugged in the GPS and headed back.

So Friday rolls around. I didn't attend anything but helped the Conference organisers *what? we don't do it ALL ourselves!* with the tutorial registrations and sat around talking. You never know when you might need to help with something. And after a free lunch *i scabbed some for MOTH* we left for home.

Back to the washing and restocking of the fridge and cupboards.....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Music to the max!

It's 11.30 pm on Tuesday. The Gala *galah* dinner has wound down and I'm mellow and ready for sleep.

Monday seemed uncommonly busy. Or maybe it was just first day set up. There seemed to be a lot of people around the booth area, the foot traffic ebbing and flowing with the timing of the talks.

We have a new booth position this year. I'm not sure if we will be able to use the same spot for 2011, depending on what others think. The booth ended up directly under the stairs. Admin2 and one of the managers hated it on sight. When I say directly under the stairs, that's exactly what I mean. It wasn't Harry Potter under the stairs, but it's a close run thing. It's also a major walkway, with plenty of foot traffic through the centre of the booth. This year we had been granted a full booth space, plus a small area on the other side of the walkway that had been used by a small vendor exhibit which was not in place for 2010.

By the end of today, Admin2 was rethinking her position, conceding that although there was foot traffic, more people seemed to be stopping to talk. I like the position because it's directly in front of the entrance way and there is lots of foot traffic. The manager hates it because of those exact same reasons. It's claustrophobic cause it's under the stairs. We are sharing space this year and she thought they were taking away the focus from us. There was too much foot traffic. *sigh* Can't please some people.

The gala dinner was tonight. It started with a gathering poolside. Outdoors. Brr! The temperature was relatively mild but were it any colder I wouldn't have gone out there. After about half hour, we were called in to get seated for dinner. I didn't know where we wanted to sit. I confess I did get a bit snappy with MOTH as I was trying to find someone I knew, talk to him and take a photo all at the same time. He got grumpy cause he couldn't hear what I was saying. I repeated myself, too loudly it seemed. Ah well, off to a good start. We ended up sitting with one of the managers, and discovered that two very high profile names were also at the table.

Entree was already awaiting at the table. Poached chicken or a lamb dish. I had the chicken. The meat was tender, with a salty feta. Excellent dish. Then entertainment. Whoo! Jimoein. An Irish comedian with a very Australian flavour. I think maybe some of the references were over the head of some of the overseas guests. I doubt they would have gotten the reference to kangaroos going to the side of the road to die.... Perhaps they were wondering why the Aussies were laughing like mad things. There were awards presented and then the main meals came out. MOTH had barramundi, I had beef. Again, the meat was tender. A thick fillet, topped with a field mushroom and some sort of glaze. Very, very good. One of the high profile guests bought a bottle of red wine and offered it around. No one spoke up so I timidly took him up on the offer. It was very good. I had almost finished my glass when the waitress began to pour some of the house red into the glass! I was offered a refil by the person who bought the bottle; he commented that sometimes the blend could be very good. After a small time he asked the waitress for some of the house red and experimented with the blend.

The second round of entertainment was a group called Yummy Opera. They sing some opera songs and get a member of the audience up to play the male lead of Carmen. It is quite funny although a lot rests on the shoulders of how well the male lead becomes involved. Our bunny tonight got right into the spirit of the thing and it was hard to tell that he wasn't actually a part of the act. He was brilliant.

Dessert eventually rolled out, and I had to sample a little of everything. Small things from the buffet. The white chocolate dome was to die for. A white chocolate shell with some very fluffy, creamy white stuff in the middle.

So now, with feet very very sore, I did the walk of shame to the lift. We're back in the room and I'm ready for sleep!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Wotta week!

The last week has been both stressful and fun. It flew by, as it always does when you are pressed for time.

The conference loomed close and I was fast running out of time to finish everything before the big event. But finish it I did and everything was packed and ready. Fingers crossed.

During the week, friends of MOTH stopped by for a visit for a couple of days before returning to home many hours north. MOTH hasn't seen his friend for some time and it's been over 2 years since I last saw either B or his wife L.

It was great to catch up with both of them; I was greeted with hugs and kisses when I got home from work. To see B and MOTH together was a revelation. Both of them teased each other mercilessly, pinching, hitting, throwing things and giggling like children tucked behind the bike sheds in the school ground. I've not seen MOTH that relaxed and happy for some time.

Thursday morning I glanced out the bus window and noticed a pedestrian with a death wish trying to cross the busway. BY NOT USING THE OVERPASS but trying to dash directly across from one platform to another. *shakes head* Some people obviously have difficulty thinking. And he wasn't some stupid teenager either.

Friday afternoon, two of the GTs who were taking the work wagon to the coast for the conference left before everything was packed. This left a rather large box full of monitors, boxes etc to be transported there. I volunteered to take it. When we tried to fit it in the car we found out it was a wee bit bigger than we expected. Yoiks. We tried the boot. Nup. One look ruled that out. We tried the back seat. Ummm nope, the door wouldn't open wide enough. After much pushing and pulling we fitted it into the front seat and lay the back of the seat right down to rest on the back seat. Whew.

Saturday we packed. I must be losing my touch. Here I was travelling to a conference and I hadn't finished packing on the morning of the day we are due to depart. All my previous travel has meant that I have sorted out my outfits the week before, put them aside to make sure they were clean and have the suitcase 3/4 packed about 3 days before departure. I must be getting slack.

Saturday lunch time we left for the coast. Traffic down was fairly clear. I sat in the back seat and ended up falling asleep. For most of the way down it seems.

Saturday night we thought to heck with the cost, we'd dine in. No one seemed to have made any plans and Saturday night is fend for yourself. We dined in the restaurant. Wagu beef fillet with greens and truffle flavoured mash. Wary of the mash, we decided we go with it anyway on recommendation from the waiter. It turned out to be absolutely fabulous. The greens were crisp and flavoursome - broccolini, asparagus and beans, lightly sauteed in butter with a side of aoili. Or something. The mash had a slightly peppery taste and went very well with the rest of the meal. The meat was tender and cooked to perfection. A cheese platter followed. Several different types of cheese, dried apples and pears and quince paste. My credit card groaned but we shall deal with the consequences later, right?

Sunday was an all day work affair for me, beginning at around 07:30 and going through until 17:30. This is an event I do most of the organising for, liaising for catering and venue etc. It's a part of the conference and yet a separate event in that it's held on the Sunday all day; conference proper doesn't commence until the welcome reception at around 18:00 that night.

So now it's Monday 21:35, I'm pooped. The first day is completed, the sponsor cocktails have finished and I've been trying to work. Unfortunately, the web site isn't playing the game and I shall have to try again tomorrow. If it doesn't do it for me tomorrow, I shall be forced to phone the help desk. *sigh* Fingers crossed, it's an important and somewhat urgent task I need to complete.

Photos to follow. If I find any that I think are good enough to post, that is!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Each week lately it's the same thing. I'm sure I've seen things and thought, oh might include that in my blog, but when I get to writing it I cannot remember a single one of them. Old Timers. I need a secretary to follow me around all week and take notes.

Which might be a good thing for my boss. I was a wee bit annoyed last week when an email popped up out of the blue. Approval for my holidays. And I was already back at work. No holiday pay for me. Yet. It certainly would have come in handy. Ah well. Maybe the next pay. *feels like qld health system*

This last week at work has been busy. It's coming up to conference time and I seem to be spending almost my entire day on conference stuff.

And averting the odd crisis of course. We've had a volunteer help us build the 'master' for duplicating multiple - many multiple - times. Deadlines were very close; I'd managed to negotiate a 5 working day window with the duplicator, as opposed to the requested 7 days. Then the day before it was supposed to be sent to the duplicator, the volunteer couldn't finish it! Oh MY! Nerves were taut as I didn't know who we could ask to take over the task and no one's suggestions seemed feasible. Eventually I asked one of the GT's if he could finish it for me. He said ok. And it turned out to be a MUCH bigger job than he thought. He finished it at 4pm that afternoon. And it STILL had to be at the duplicators that day. I wasn't able to get a courier as they had finished their run for the day. We thought about putting it in a taxi but it would have taken them ages to get here too. Eventually I asked MOTH, who was picking me up from work anyway, if he would mind taking me all the way into the city to drop it off. He was game and off we went. Traffic was horrendous, and I was delivering the CD twenty minutes after I said I would. But the duplicator had stayed open for me! Now I just have fingers crossed that they deliver in time as promised.

These days I don't do much on the weekends. Groceries are done Thursday night as a rule so there is really no reason to leave the house on the weekends. Gosh. I must be getting old! But I'm sure I'd do things if the moths in the wallet would leave something behind! Maybe....

Saturday morning, just for something different, we headed out to finish the groceries. MOTH normally does a partial shop during the day and we finish off that evening. This time he couldn't as we were using the credit card and he'd forgotten to keep back some cash. We thought we'd try a new butcher.

MOTH told me to amuse myself while he went to look for a Mother's Day present the Elder has asked him to find. Oh, and look! It's Smiggle and EB Games, right next to each other! *HEAVEN* I barely had enough time to look around Smiggle and he was back. The shop isn't there! It doesn't exist anymore and it's all just a blank wall. Oh, I say. And I make him tell me what he's looking for. *i know, i know. i ruined the surprise* Are you sure and it's definitely not relocated? Nope, he says. It's not here. *disappointment. perks up* We'll just have to try the other shopping centre. And as we wandered out to the carpark, we went past the newsagent - and there it was in the window. w00t!

But I had to wait till Sunday....

Sunday morning and I was up with the birds. Nothing new there. I sat myself in front of the computer and WoW'd my heart out till MOTH got up. And no, I didn't get breakfast in bed. I didn't get breakfast cooked for me. Which is all perfectly fine thank you. I got my Darrell Lea Mum's bag and all was right with the world.

And I went right back to WoW for the rest of the day, stuffing myself with licorice until it was time to cook dinner. MOTH said I was allowed to make curried sausages out of the left over sausages. *loves*

And I think I ate too much licorice.....

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Did I Just See My Holiday Whizzing By?

The week is over and I'm back to reality.

The concert was great! But I think I outlined that already on the last posting.

Wednesday rolled around and was spent doing washing and catching up for Sibling2 to go home.

I volunteered to monitor email from home while I was on holiday. It's something I usually avoid like the plague, but for a week and getting to conference crunch time, I didn't see the worth of showing someone else what was going on. Far easier just to do it myself. I spent some time doing that as well.

Wednesday afternoon, we headed out to the airport and decided we would also drop Raisin's belongings off at the freighters while we were out there. *now THERE is a saga I would much rather not have participated in!*

It was easier to 'push Sibling2 out of the car on the way past' then head off to the depot. I did, however, stay with her through check in while MOTH 'drove around the block'. She was worried about the weight of her bag but it turned out to be fine. It also worked out that there was no line and we walked straight up. If only it worked like that a bit more often!

Down to the Qantas depot where the lass we'd been emailing sent us. They didn't know what we wanted, and called her. Oh no, we should have gone to the agent. And the lady behind the desk gave us the building number and directions. We eventually found it, and headed into the office. Oh no, they should have sent you to the counter in the International terminal. But we're happy to handle it here for you. *big smiles all round* There was plenty of paperwork to fill out, amongst which was an estimate of how much the belongings were worth. We were told not to make it too high as taxes may have to be paid at the collection point. Fair enough. I estimated fairly low. *as it turns out, not low enough and there is complaint cause she has to pay heaps of tax* Unaccompanied baggage is so much cheaper! And the staff at the depot were really helpful.

But I'm somewhat disgruntled about the whole process and am determined not to be so helpful next time...

The rest of the week was spent just chillaxin and playing WoW. I've established an account and was determined to make the most of it before I had to go back to work.

The house is so empty now that MOTH spends his time in his study and I spend mine in the rumpus/family room. We can't see or hear each other. Occasionally I make and effort to wander his way, say hello and see if he wants anything. It's perfect. We don't live in each other's way, we both get to spend solitary time and yet we're there if the other person needs something.

And today, I get up early in the morning to go to work. *depressing* And it's still dark. I don't like winter much!