Monday, August 30, 2010

Back on the buses

Yep. Riding the buses again this week while Zman is away on business. And it started well this morning. The traffic on the road I had to cross all appeared at once. I KNEW I'd miss the bus. Well, I nearly did. I almost got there - I will NOT run for a bus/train/whatever. And the driver started to pull away. I stuck out my hand and he opened the door, I got on, swiped the card, it didn't read so I swiped it again and he took off as I did that. Inertia is a b*tch! I didn't fall but it's not fun trying to get up the aisle when the bus is moving....

Monday dawned this week all dull and grey. Well, that's the way I saw it in, headache and all. I stayed home from work. The fact that Elder was expected to arrive had nothing to do with it. Nothing I tell you. They arrived near lunch time as well as I can remember. The Elder, Subs and Freddy. During the course of the day, I ask How long are they staying? Anywhere from two weeks to a month. I console myself with a Frangelico and lemonade. *floats*

Tuesday is back to work. I discover there was a fire in one of the data centres on Sunday. Wow. Most services are down as everyone works frantically to bring them back up. There seems to be a lot of people disappointed with the fact that it didn't take the whole building.

It's Thursday and services are still out. I haven't been doing much of anything because there just hasn't been access to most of what I need. I do have email and there is internet. I've been reduced to trying to clean up my other (redundant) email box. Entertaining that.

Friday rolls around and finally our printing is back online. The unit Director is showing his appreciation of all the hard work staff have shown by putting on some nibblies and free wine/beer/softdrink. I pop upstairs briefly to show my support.

Then head across to the Staff Club to catch up with one of the blokes who has left work. We sit and chat for a while; Zman and a couple of the others as well. They are tasting a new beer, Stone and something. It's pale and golden and doesn't taste too bad. For beer.

Saturday the bed arrives! Whoo! But wait. I'm not sure that this is the bed we ordered.... Fair enough, I'm used to a bed with a frame and now we're moving to an ensemble. I'm certain the one in the shop, although a little higher than the frame I was used to, didn't make me feel like I needed a stepladder to get into it?

I measure the height. It's 700mm (approx 27.5 inches) from the floor to the top of the mattress. No wonder I can make this bed without bending. No wonder I cannot sit on the side of the bed and touch the floor. The floor to my hip joint is only 750mm! *yes, i know. shorty*

I usually don't care what sort of pattern/colour the linens are, as long as I can make the bed look comfy. I don't think I can do it with this one. I have a queen size bed that I'm covering with a king sized doona. It barely covers the mattress - if I didn't tuck the sheets in, they'd hang way below the bottom of the doona. So wholly exposed beneath the doona overhang sits ... the base. Luckily, it's not padded cream but a grey fabric finish. I thought about investing in one of those 80s bed accessories - a valance. But that would just look silly.

Ideas anyone??

Monday, August 23, 2010

it raining! Again

It raining again. The weekend weather was wonderful. And now it's raining again.

Not a hugely eventful week. Just the usual stuff I guess. And this week, I've not prepared a single dessert before work! *gasp*

Zman has been getting caught in traffic in the mornings so we've been getting work a bit later. Tuesday we missed the fire drill. He was not impressed. We arrived at the door just as everyone was coming back to the building. Dangit.

MOTH and I decided to dine out on Wednesday night. just because. And they had a buy one main meal get the second for half price deal going. Well, alright, it was an anniversary dinner about two weeks late. We settled in and ordered. The menu is rather extensive and we didn't know what we wanted! Except perhaps the cheesy fries. They haven't changed and were as delicious as I remember. MOTH ordered fillet mignon with baked sweet potato. I ordered fajitas. I didn't realise that usually means you make your own - so I've been told! So much food came out that I looked at it and lost my appetite. There was no way I could get through all of that. Four tortillas, little bowls of filling and heaps of meat. I managed to down two and the waitress who came later asked if we wanted a take away container. I said no, and she shook her head. There was an awful lot left she said! Well, there was.

MOTH's came with a little side salad with blue cheese dressing. I thought the colours were cute and had to take a photo of it.

Wednesday I took a trip to the dentist. What an expensive exercise that is! An exam and one filling set me back $230. Ouch!

Thursday and Friday were quiet. I was hoping to get home at a decent hour on Friday but it wasn't to be. I had to wait for Zman to finish something he was working on and that didn't happen until after 6pm.

Saturday MOTH discovered that he had finally received a small amount of money from his mother's inheritance. He gave it some thought about what he wanted to do with it. I didn't feel well and didn't really want to get out of bed on Saturday but it was a case of have to, alas. It was election day, and for those who are overseas, voting here is not an option. They say it's a right but if you don't vote you get fined. So go figure. At the booth, I spotted a young man wearing a grey t-shirt captioned "Let's just pretend I give a shit and leave it at that". I loved it and thought it pretty much summed up the day.

Sunday MOTH had decided what to do with his money. Let's go shopping! We bought a new bed. Our current one has seen it's best days. On thinking about it, the frame is something like 8 years old, a timber frame which sounds like it's going to collapse every time you roll over. That mattress. Ah yes, the mattress. We calculate it was bought before Teen was born. She's now 18. I think we deserve a new bed, yes? It will go nicely with the new sheets we bought last week. One set of sheets doesn't seem to last as long as it should! I mean, they shouldn't wear thin, should they?

Shame we have to wait till next week to take delivery.... MOTH can hardly wait.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reposted from Butterfly Garden. Without permission, of course.

Serves 10


250g choclate biscuits
125g butter

125ml (1/2 cup) boiling water
1 tablespoon gelatin
180g (6oz) sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
250g (8oz) cream cheese
300ml (1 1/2 cups) cream
180ml (3/4 cup) Frangelico
1 x 30g (1oz) flakey choclate bar
To make base:

Crush biscuits into very fine pieces. Melt butter and add to crushed biscuits, mix well and press into a springform cheesecake tin, packing mixture tightly to form a crust. Refrigerate to set.

To make filling:

Sprinkle the gelatin over the boiling water, stir until dissolved and leave to cool.

Place sugar and lemon juice in a blender and mix lightly. Add room temperature cream cheese and continue to blend. Add cooled gelatin mix, cream and Frangelico and blend until smooth and mixed well.

Crumble half the choclate bar into mixture and stir through lightly, pour over base. Crumble remaining choclate bar evenly over top of cheesecake. Refrigerate to set.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The week that was

A short week this week. Not short enough. Are work weeks EVER short enough? I don't think so.

Monday and Tuesday were quiet. Even work was a little slow. Tuesday night I discovered that ABC2 was screening my favourite western series, Deadwood. MOTH watched it with me. Geez it's rough, he says. Well, I like the way they don't pull the punches. the streets are muddy, full of horse and pig poo and rubbish; the lower classes look unwashed and most everyone has bad teeth. Realism I say.

I spent my time waiting for the public holiday to arrive on Wednesday. Slowly it rolled around, EKKA show holiday. Whoo!

Just lately we've been spending a lot of time at home, not going out. Today I thought, No! I'm getting out of the house. I talked MOTH into going over to Chermside shopping centre. I love that one. I love the drive over there. There is nothing special in the shops, but it's somewhere different. We spent the morning over there. The rest of the day was spent relaxing.

Thursday was back to work. C and I had a meeting with the conference organizers. I had expected The Manager to attend as well; C mentioned at the meeting that he wasn't coming, having told her that he would let her feel like she was in charge. *thank you for commiserations! this bloke has been with the company longer than i have, so no recent import. i think he's just inconsiderate and probably not used to a mere admin disagreeing with him. lol. dancing with the stars is on; it's a waltz. i'm typing in rhythm!*

Friday morning I made dessert to go with the sausages for dinner. Nothing fancy, but condensed milk tart is MOTH's second favorite. *sorry sparkling! I don't get picked up for work till after 8am and I get out of bed at 6.30am. plenty of time to make a simple dessert!*

It felt like I did a whole day's work before I even left home. I did some washing, transferred money around my accounts, paid some bills.

I love Friday evenings after work but not when Zman decides to finish work late. Today he sent a text around 7.30am to say he was sick and couldn't pick me up. I didn't think I would make the last morning bus. It turned out I would have, but MOTH offered to drive me.

Friday 13 rocked well and truly. We thought we'd stop for Maccas for breakfast. I'd been tonguing for hash browns *yum* for ages. Get them and find a seat. I'm trying to manage my handbag and put the food bag on the table. Get the food bag on the table and go to shift my handbag. Plop! Food bag and food on the floor. Sigh. Luckily they're still in the bag. We eat the food and I've got crumbs on myself and the table. I sweep them off ... right into my open handbag.

MOTH dropped me off at work, but down the other end of campus. Away from my office because they have the road there closed off. The wind is blowing a gale and it occurs to me, did I even brush my hair before I left home this morning? I guess in this weather no one is going to notice anyway. *sigh*

That afternoon, I left at around 4pm to catch the bus. I thought I would take the usual way into the city and then from there so I could relax a little. BAD decision! A half hour bus ride turned into an hour. Eventually I took out my book and started to read. I missed my usual ride home and had to take the long(er) bus home. I made it home around 7pm...

Waking The Dead was interesting, as usual and a great way to relax.

Saturday MOTH showed me the garden fork I had been bleating about. You know, the whole This would be so much easier if I had a fork.... so now we have one. I had to use it. I spent some time digging out some of the weeds that are trying to choke out the plants that I really want in the garden.

He thought he would do the rear brake pads of the car. It's a quick job he said, then it's over and done with. Several hours later, we determined that we couldn't get the piston back in and it would have to be reassembled with the old parts and wait for the mechanic. Brilliant way to waste 6 hours. Not!

Sunday I slept a little later. Yes, till about 7am. I swept the kitchen floor. Stripped and remade the bed. Scrubbed the toilet. Played WoW for a bit. *yes, i've reestablished my account, yay!* Cooked lunch. Made a cheesecake. I thought I'd have a go at the Frangelico cheesecake recipe that Butterfly provided earlier.

Dinner was roast lamb leg, done as part of a new recipe. It's coated with a mix of plain yoghurt, brown sugar, cumin, ground cloves and instant coffee. The whole thing is actually a totally new taste sensation. I didn't use as much of the mix as the recipe recommended. MOTH couldn't taste much, but I thought there was a very subtle taste sensation - the tang of the yoghurt, the sweetness of the sugar and a very faint coffee taste. I liked it, but I think MOTH wasn't necessarily impressed. I probably won't use it again.

I cracked the cheesecake for dessert. Results? It's set, but only just. The Frangelico taste was very strong. Next time I make it, less alcohol and more gelatin. Yes, that should work.

PS: I ate some of the cheesecake for breakfast today. No alcohol burn, so maybe the trick is to leave it overnight. Definitely needs more of the gelatin though. *drools thinking of the next time*

Monday, August 09, 2010

Backwards speaking shall I

I thought I'd written some notes for guidance. But you know what Thought thought. Seems I did not.

I'm still waiting for my tax notice. I lodged it three weeks ago now and still no word. Arrrrrgghhhhh! *deep breathes* Alright, I know I should be patient, but hey! I haven't got time for that. I had it done through an agent this year so goodness knows how long it will take.


Monday up bright and early. Made apple crumble before work. I catch a lift with Zman and although he doesn't pick me up till after 8am, I still get out of bed at 6.30am.

After making my decision to quit the committee on Friday, I thought I'd better let my new manager, C, know. She wasn't in today, but arrangements were made for a meeting tomorrow.

Yum! Apple crumble, custard - Paul's double thick French Vanilla - and cream for dessert. Wonderful!

Tuesday I met with C. I've worked with her on previous committees and known her from outside my current office. She's tells me she is a fun loving person and everyone else in the office seems so serious! I'm hoping we can work well together. We went for coffee and I discussed my current job, what I do, and how I felt about being so doubted. I'm sure I was much too honest, but it felt good to talk to her. And a little easier than I thought it might have been. It was decided that I would still do the background work, but not attend the meetings. That suits me fine. We are still to work our way around the issue of the Manager on the other committee. I'm happy to work that one through when the time comes.

Mmmmm. More apple crumble for dessert!

Wednesday and I'm up and making lemon sago for dessert. Today is our 26th wedding anniversary. We aren't going out anywhere and haven't bought gifts, so my gift is his favourite dessert. *drool* I let him taste test it to see if it is lemony enough. Yep, it passes muster.

Off to work, and I'm feeling much better after yesterday. The day looks promising.

The Teen sends me a text. She is now single. Oh! Oh dear. She's holding up okay, much better than I thought she would.

Since we haven't anything planned, MOTH and I snuggle up in front of the telly to watch Lie to Me and Law & Order Criminal Intent, eating beef stir fry, followed by lemon sago with custard and cream. An excellent way to spend an evening.

Thursday is pretty normal. As normal as it gets around here. Last day for one of the GTs and I'm sorry that I can't go to his farewell dinner.

I'm out the door around 4pm which is my usual time when I have to catch the bus home. This time I'm trying out a different timing. It's the 'fast' way home, but an earlier run. I'm wanting to see how the new bus service works out. It worked quite well. Of course, it would be MUCH better if there were no students! The queue would be a heck of a lot shorter. Fer shur.

My favourite day of the week. Sunny is over for dinner, bringing a friend with him. A new friend to introduce me to. We have garlic chicken, veg and salad for dinner. And since it's Friday, Waking the Dead is my priority. Sorry Sunny, we're watching that! He doesn't mind though because he thinks it a little spooky. *weird, i dunno* That's followed by the IT Crowd. Apparently the friend hasn't seen it before. I ask, Do you know anyone who works in IT? No, he doesn't. Ah well, I say, you probably won't get most of the jokes then..... *how could he not?! heavens, don't most of us know a geek or two??*

It's kinda a slow weekend. I still haven't renewed my WoW subscription and Sims3 is boring. Even Facebook has slowed down for me. *sigh* What to do, what to do.... I snooze a bit. I do some sudoku puzzles. I pace around for a bit.

.... I plug the iron in and do some ironing. Hankies, teatowels, shorts. I stop myself before I start on the big stuff like shirts.

And some more sitting on the couch to recover from THAT close call.

Sunday I'm still a little bored. I actually head out to the shops with MOTH. And get punished by being bombarded by complaints from another pensioner that MOTH is friends with. He's somewhat distracted - I didn't hear him say anything that wasn't a complaint this morning! I tuned out. Apparently he left, said goodbye twice and I was so tuned out I didn't notice. *um ahhhh*

I talk MOTH into buying a block of chocolate. A new Cadbury flavour. It's not too bad - berry and vanilla shortcake.

Still bored, I wander out to the garden and see what MOTH has been up to lately. He's been busy, pulling out all sorts of stuff. I water a bare patch on the grass.

I'm watching Bones, and my phone goes off. I take the call. The Elder has done something very silly - I won't go into detail here. I'm still a little gobsmacked and angry she's done it and now I'm somewhat at a loss as to where to go next. Perhaps I will just suggest she comes to visit for a while....

Sunday, August 01, 2010

A week I don't care to repeat

A very brief weekly round up...

I think the Elder has decided to quit the 'journey'. She's not updated her blog since her notice she was required to keep one. She's been staying out at Sub's family property and not attended Uni for at least a week. Just when I thought she was getting herself on track.


The Teen is living rough again. She had been sharing with the Elder but they have come to the conclusion that they cannot share together. Teen keeps asking MOTH and I to move back there. I don't seem to be able to convince her that it's just not logistically possible, as well as not being practical. It's her home town and she cannot be convinced to move back here. It's so stressful knowing that she can't afford housing, can't find anyone serious enough to share with and has to rely on the generosity of friends for a place to stay every few nights. She's 18 now, and for various reasons, cannot live at home. We can't support her. She gets Youth Allowance but last time I looked, she was only getting $377 a FORTNIGHT? How does a person get a house and pay rent/utilities/food on that? How is that any different from pensioners....


The hassles with the kids is having a very negative effect on MOTH. The black dog lurks in the background and he's working hard to keep it at bay.


The job I had hopes for at work is not .... working out the way I had hoped. The general vibe from the Manager, although not in so many words, was that he didn't think I could do it. So he awarded the task to my new immediate manager. We are to work closely together on this task. I was relatively happy because I would still have some input, although not the responsibility I had been working toward. I suppose I should say that the task is organising a conference. It goes for a week - 3 full days of program, 2 full days of tutorials. There are about 1000 delegates who attend. The new manager has been serving on the committee longer than I, but only been involved in part of it. I've been on the main committee for 5 years, the program committee 2. I know everything except the bit the new manager used to do (media liaison).

We had our first program committee meeting last Friday. There are new members, and 3 left of the old ones; a completely different dynamic. The Manager turned up and proceeded to take over the proceedings. I NEVER clash with anyone if I can help it - I can't deal with conflict. He and I clashed at least 3 times over the course of the hour and a half of the meeting. He tried to tell us how to run the committee. He tried to tell us that we needed a meeting next week to make a decision about some of the things we had discussed THIS meeting. Go figure. Usual procedure from previous meetings is chuck a couple of suggestions about then decide from those which are preferred. At the same sitting. But no, he decreed another meeting the next week. I disagreed, trying to pin them down to make a decision now. The decision has been made, he said. I just made it. I told him straight out it wasn't his decision to make; it belonged to the Chair. He also decided that main conference stuff should be discussed at the program committee meeting and when I objected because, frankly, it's a stupid idea, someone asked who was on the main conference committee. I said the new manager and I. He promptly declared he was on that committee as well. I simply cannot work with someone who makes it so plain that they don't trust my judgement. I have decided to withdraw from the program committee, and I dread having to work with him on the main committee.

When I returned to the office and announced that he was on the program committee, I was laughed at. With pity. When I mentioned to a different group that he was on the main committee, someone commented, Oh my god no!

I really do not want to be associated with the mess that man is going to create.... If it works he will bask in the glory, if it does not, the new manager and I will be at fault.


But on a lighter note, we had a flat battery sometime during the week. Zman and I pulled into the service station where I swap cars. As soon as we hit the driveway, I asked Zman if he had jumper leads. Yep, MOTH left the car headlights on. It doesn't take long but it sure results in a flat battery. One phone call to RACQ later and I'm advised it could take an hour for them to turn up. Luckily it didn't but Zman decided to wait for a while with us.

Today MOTH and I went to the movies with Sunny. The movie was Inception. The special effects are mind numbingly good and there were some vertigo inducing moments! It is a movie I think I would be happy to see more than once. In fact, I think it might be necessary to see it more than once - there are probably bits in the first viewing I'm sure to have missed. It also ends on a rather suspenseful note!

A care package from Mother arrived during the week. It contained a bag my father had borrowed when he was down last, marshmallows, minties, a couple blocks of chocolate, a pack of Dove peppermint chocolate, and a bag of fantales. I love those things.

It arrived before Friday, but brightened my week to that point. Thanks Mum, you always manage to hit the spot. xxx