Friday, December 30, 2011

No notes! What am I gonna write about now?

It's really really hard to keep to a routine if you aren't in the right place I've found. I'm not at work so I've missed updating my journal. Whoops....

And I've discovered I've not kept notes for the last week. Or two. Oh dear. I knew those holes in my memory were going to give me trouble one day.


We're basking in the warmth of the water. Yes, the system was finally fixed. It's amazing what you don't miss till you haven't got it anymore. MOTH talked the plumber into fixing the mixer tap in the kitchen while he was about.

HOT WATER! And quickly too! I'm wondering how we'll go in winter. I suspect cold showers will abound. We tend to get hot water in summer and cold water in winter. Yay for us!


I think I know why I have no notes. I didn't take my 'notepad' with me to work. But just realised I have notepad on my phone. *duh* But no, notes not there either.


Friday morning 23 December seemed to fly. Permission to take an early mark *noon* and of course that's when everything needs to be done that morning, right? A plea to MOTH for a lift and he obliges. Wonderful wonderful taxi man. I make it out around 12.30pm.


The oven gets a workout Christmas Eve. A roast duck and then roast pork. They are going to be served cold the next day. With salad. I'm so adventurous with my Christmas menu! There is no point really. The Teen, MOTH and I are lucky to make it through a packet of cheezels, a packet of twisties, the duck, some salad and the pork.

A quick nip out to the shops to pick up some last minute supplies and I decide I would spend the voucher that I had been told to open earlier. Yes, I was! Mother told me to open it. She did.

I come home with some new clothes and a little bit of change as well *is happy*.


I find a text from the Teen on Christmas day. Sent just past midnight. It's Christmas Day, can we open presents now?? Cheeky thing.


We have breakfast first. Bacon and eggs on the barbecue. I decide to give everyone the day off and load the dishes into the dishwasher for the day.

Usually Teen insists on MOTH donning the Santa hat and giving out the gifts one by one. A hangover tradition from my childhood. This year she throws herself on the floor at the tree and starts handing them out to everyone as she goes through looking for hers. I take my time, as usual. I think I've done well this year.

Although I don't have a photo of my WoW mouse mat or my vouchers ...


I've been busy planning what DVDs I shall get with my vouchers. I have a list; when I get to the store in question I'll know what I'm looking for. Usually when I get to those places the choice is overwhelming I can't remember what it was that I wanted.

I end up with Serenity, Sherlock Holmes, Constantine. Also Transporter 3 *yaaaay! jason!* Red Riding Hood, Prince of Persia. That should keep me out of trouble for a little while.

The rest of the day is spent at Besties with her family. Bring your leftovers she says. That's difficult, the only leftovers we have is a little pork. And some duck, but she's not getting that! It's also a chance to catch up with a couple of her friendly neighbours. And another set we haven't met before. We leave as it's getting dark; MOTH doesn't like driving in the dark and when we look at the clock in the dashboard, we've been there for 7 hours!


MOTH went for a sleep test last night. He's not sure what the results will be as he didn't get much sleep! I couldn't get comfortable, it was too noisy... Ah well, I guess we shall see.


Today I plan to see how well the mixer works. Letcha know how that goes. When I figure out what pan to use since I don't have the required size or shape.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Time drags on as we wait for The Fat Man

At the start of each Christmas I am full of Bah! Humbug! But as the tree goes up and I lay the presents round it, Scrooge fades into the background and I start to get a little excited.

Probably a little too excited as I've opened two of my presents already. Relax! One wasn't wrapped and the other ... well, the giver told me to open it. Now I'm busy planning how to spend it!


The house is full again for the next month. It's amazing how much difference one person can make. The espresso machine is getting a full workout. She needs the practice after all. I'm beginning to think I can't keep up with the milk quota.

But I don't mind.


The Teen introduces The Mexican. He's her new boy. Quiet but not overly so. We met briefly at the airport and again when she asks if he can stay over. Four of them land on my doorstep but I don't have to feed them so I'm not worried. The lass with them is one of Teen's best friends who has recently made the permanent move south. It's the first time we've met face to face. They crash on the couch and settle in to watch movies for the evening. Teen laughs that M feels at home already. M calls back that she does. Very much.

I leave them be and retreat to MOTH's end of the house.


I'm on the bus on the way to work. *whoo! something different* I spend my time staring out the window watching the traffic and noticing how the bus sways when you get a bit of a wind underneath it. We are travelling in the inside lane and a truck goes flying past us.

The driver is yapping on the phone. And it's not hands free.


A passenger in the bus is becoming annoying. Why can't the bus have a quiet zone like the train? Preferably the whole bus. The man seems to be listening to something and he must have his headphones up loud. It sounds like something from Bollywood at first, but it just goes on and on warbling up and down the scale in one continuous effort. It must be a prayer chant. Or something. I try to look his direction without being too obvious. I don't think he's using headphones at all.


We're all at the stop in the afternoon waiting for our bus to come in. Quite a crowd of us. Taxis pull into the stop all the time - I've seen bus passengers tell the taxis to rack off. A taxi pulls in. And sits there and sits there with the passenger door open. The bus has pulled in right behind him but he can't open the doors; he's too far down and close to the corner. The taxi sits there. The bus sits there. The people waiting tap their feet.

Eventually I'm second on the bus and the woman in front of me remarks to the driver that he was very patient. He grins at her. Yes, I was very patient. Did you see me being patient? We all laugh.


We're headed through one of the stations on the busway. *lot of bus stories this week* and I hear an alarm going off. Odd. I glance out the window and on the other platform is a bus; alarm going, hazards flashing. He seems to be on the two way to base.

The 'destination' screen at the top of the bus shouts HELP!!! CALL POLICE!

I decide not to....


I get in the shower and it doesn't seem to get warm. That's a bit odd. No one else is awake so I don't worry about it too much. I mention it to MOTH when he gets up.

Yep. Hot water system is on the fritz. Again. The realtor is notified and the plumber turns up for a look. Apparently that valve was only replaced in August. He doesn't have the right part. He should be back tomorrow with the right one.

Tomorrow has arrived but the plumber has not. No hot water again today.


The Teen has decided to stay over at Mexican's place. Or at least, where he's staying while visiting. At least there she can get a hot shower! She asks and we drive them over. The trip takes less time than expected.

As we do the u-turn to head up the street after dropping them off, I see the parents sitting on the verandah. Oops. Maybe they wanted to meet us? MOTH didn't see them at all until he'd driven off but he's not going back. Besides, Teen never said come in and meet them *her usual thing*. I've sent a text to Teen to apologise. Apparently they had wanted to meet us! Whoops!


Still no hot water. Modern tech has spoiled us. I have decided that I detest washing up when I have to boil the jug to get hot water. Aaahhhh who am I trying to kid? I hate it anyway!

Monday, December 12, 2011

An Affair To Remember

Secret Santa at work this week. For the ITS Christmas party. I have no idea who the person I've been allocated is, but some research via the organiser revealed to me that he likes the old Hollywood classics. Managed to find one within the allocated budget too!


I'm walking up the foot path and just about to enter my front yard when I spot a movement out of the corner of my eye. A brush turkey chick is in my front garden! Luckily it's only a chick - I'd hate to think of the damage an adult could do to my retaining wall. Here's one someone has prepared earlier....
I move slowly and follow it around the garden for a bit. I like to see what they are doing. Suddenly it takes off for the higher branches of the shrub. Oh yes, I'd forgotten they can fly. *these chicks are fully self sufficient from hatching and can fly within hours*


I'm heading for the bus stop just down the road. The day is a little grey but hasn't reached drop dead humidity yet. As I pass beneath the shrub/tree/whatever that hangs over the path, I hear the wrens beautiful song. I pause but I can't see them. *easy to miss a patch of bright blue in among dark green right?* Now I know that summer is definitely here.


I'm in the city and staring out the bus window at nothing in particular. I watch a tall, well shaped young man who seems to be talking to a youth walking at his side. They are dressed similarly, although the youth has sleeves on his white shirt and the man does not.

Suddenly they pause and the man lifts the youth to a standing position on his shoulders and they continue to walk down the street and cross the road!


For something different I take the train. A woman gets on and the first thing I see is her trainers. The most amazing trainers I have ever seen! Purple! Yellow! Pink! Green! All washed together like a very shiny oil slick.


There are bike lanes on some of the roads along the bus route. I think they should never have been put there. The road is narrow and the bus can barely fit by the parked cars. Usually the cyclists keep going while the bus slows to a crawl. There isn't any room to pass the cyclist as they continue their slow and sometimes wobbly way up the hill.

Today the cyclist pulls over and lets the bus past.


The work Christmas party is this week. I need to get a present to contribute to the Secret Santa. I RSVP'd in the affirmative and would decide on the day how much time I had and if I would go. But hey! Secret Santa and now I feel obliged to attend.

So. ITS is a big place with over 200 employees. I have no idea who the chappie I have drawn is. The organiser is helpful and tells me some information. I'm not certain though how I can get something he might like on a budget of $5. I know they say these things are supposed to be fun but I really can't stand the thought of giving someone something cheap and of no use at all. Or getting one in return either.

I am looking to do a couple of things while out and I look to see if I can find a Sanity music store that's close. There are a couple and we decide to head for one of the shopping centres we've not been to for ages as it is likely to be less busy than the bigger ones. Parking at some of them can be a hassle this time of year!

No parking problems and in we go. Oooh, look, at BWS. Let's see if they have the apple cider I'm looking for. Yes! They do! I don't have to head out of our way to find the nominated supplier after all. We find Sanity and look about.

An Affair to Remember. Is that one of the blockbusters? Too bad, it should be. It has Carey Grant and Deborah Kerr in it. Good enough. And bonus? It's $4.99.


The Teen is flying in tonight. It's been storming briefly but her plane is delayed. She's a bit worried, hoping it won't be grounded. They'll text when they board. And that works for me. MOTH has decided we'd leave at 7:15pm. I let him know the plane is delayed and they'll text when they board. Ok. And we leave at 7:15 anyway.

A forty minute or longer wait for us at the airport. I ask if he wants to go upstairs and get a drink. No. I'm a bit ansty but he's determined he doesn't want to go through security. Being a little familiar with the layout of the terminal, I know where I want to go but he wanders aimlessly *i detest aimless. unless it's me* around the Qantas end of the terminal. The only place we can wait is near the baggage carousels. We wait. The plane is still almost 15 minutes overdue. Luckily, Teen is paying for the parking. Again...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Another week.

I cried this morning. On the bus. On the way to work.

As the bus pulled into the tunnel toward terminus, I could see the ambulance and police working desperately, administering CPR to a man lying on the ground. I could see him. I could see them working hard to revive him. I had to walk past a few minutes later to get to my next stop. They were still working.

I don't know this man. I don't know his family and yet ... it was devastating. Totally.


Harvey Norman VIP night. I RSVP'd for MOTH and invited myself as well. The crowds were rolling in by 6pm for the opening. A crush through the door and we were in. I steeled myself for much pushing and shoving and people just throwing goods at themselves but the crowd is well behaved.

MOTH and I weren't sure what we would get but it was fun just wandering around looking at things. The kitchen showroom is working as they prepare hot nibblies for the customers. The line is very long and although we are up the front it becomes a free for all when the food is released from the oven. I manage to grab two small portions of a sausage roll and usher ourselves from the crush.

MOTH has been looking for an electric shaver as normal razors and blades are way too expensive these days. He can get one or two shaves from each blade and at something like $20.00 for the razor and the same again for four blades the shaver might be better value!

We eventually find one. Originally priced at $108 and reduced to $58. Half hour wait in line and we're out.


We start to think about the work Christmas lunch. I don't know where the tales of wild office parties come from but they certainly don't originate here. Not even for the whole department, let alone just our section.

No one has started coordinating it yet. Time is running out and venues will be thin on the ground at this time of year. No decision is made by the end of the week.

Possibly even the date is flexible. I'm not going to run it down; I'm quite happy to let it go this year. It means finding a way to get to the venue, chasing up stragglers, coordinating menus, fighting the whole split the bill thing. I really hate that whole idea. It seems to be becoming the norm and socially acceptable but I really really balk at subsidising someone else's lunch.


There is a possibility the office may be moving. The building is scheduled to be refurbished and all occupants will need to find alternative accommodation. Our lot seems to be pushed to another old, mostly defunct campus. It's not close to civilisation and certainly not close to food. We go out for an inspection of the site. Admin2 and I seem to be alright with where we are slated to go within the new office surrounds.

GM won't let us have the staging area we want though. He's very stubborn about this. We have permission to use the boardroom for such things. However, we didn't seem to be able to get the idea across that although we only do these things once or twice a year, it takes several days to complete the job. How can we leave things all over the boardroom table for a week or two if people want to use it for a meeting? He flat refuses to back down.


The Christmas function for the travel bookers is on this week. I've not been to any of their Christmas parties before. Admin2 isn't going and neither is my boss. I arrive in good time, get my name tag and my bright orange you're-allowed-in-here band. I'm greeted by one of the Campus Travel staff who settles me in with a glass of wine.

Eventually a face I know appears. She has a guest in tow. We sit down and begin with the glasses of wine and the chatting. It's raining tonight but the verandah is covered. Eventually some food comes out. It's become so busy that I am more or less trapped in my seat as everyone stands around me. I miss out on that tray of food. Eventually I have to go and track down a waitress to get something to eat. Great. Pad thai. A vegetarian meal. By the end of the evening I've managed about 5 glasses of wine but only two meals. Both pad thai.

There are prize draws, some smaller some larger. The guest wins a trip to New Zealand. Not bad for a tag along!

Too much wine and not enough food when you don't drink much isn't a great combination. I call MOTH to collect me. It's a long drive and I don't want to face an hour on the bus. He's totally wonderful and comes to my rescue. I have to stop off and get something to eat on the way home.

Straight home and tumble straight into bed.

MOTH tells me next day that he thought I did ok. I didn't look or act drunk. I'm sure I was. I was pretty impressed with myself for making it down the stairs to go find the car without falling over or staggering much.


Christmas gift shopping today. I have finally decided what to get some of them so I have to research which shopping centre is going to have all three stores I need. The closest one is further away than we normally go. It's been a while since our last trip there so I'm looking forward to the change of scenery.

Everything is done, now I just have to wrap and post. That's the annoying part now that we are scattered to the four winds. And finding something nice that is small enough to post!

The budget is much leaner this year *long gone are the days when a $50 present for the kids was done without thought!* but I've managed to come in under.

Ma keeps pressing me to do vouchers. Vouchers are fine but I'd much rather buy a cheap present that looks expensive than let people know just how cheap I really am. Heh.

Really I MUST start earlier next year. Too bad if I have to let a bill slide for a while...