Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Work is Like Pimple Popping

It's all action at work today. Themostannoyingparaplannerontheplanet has finally managed to ruffle the feathers of our lovely highly technical, precision minded, good-humoured, Polish born Argentinian super ParaPlanner . . . . their relationship has been festering (as has her relationship with many other members of staff) over the past 3 months . . .Funny isn't it, some people come into the workforce and settle right in, others immediately try to change everything. They're little irritations beneath the skin that start out a little sore, then become downright irritating before the bubble bursts and the pressure is relieved.

It's been three years of persistent change at work and now we're ready to implement all our fab databases, CRM's, processes, procedures and policies and in comes this irritation . . . upsets the most placid and in my mind proficient ParaPlanner on the planet and just about all the administrative staff . . . so today was massaging egos day for me but I came out a winner . . . fisticuffs averted . . . and hairs on the backs of necks also smoothed . . .I think things have come to a head, naturally ruptured and now we just need time to heal . . .

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Don't Joop

Men . . I have an incredibly acute sense of smell and taste and I'm telling you . . .Joop is the worst male fragrance in the UNIVERSE . . . don't Joop, it smells like cheap female cologne with man sweat mixed in. Absolutely, abusive . . disgusting . . offputting . . . I can't stress this strongly enough . . . don't JOOP! (You can however, Jean Paul Gautier all you like . . .)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Geography Geek

I played with Google Earth for a while, much fun, especially when ClareBear was travelling I could even see the hostels she was staying in - especially in Italy but now I've got Google Maps. Brilliant and you can overlay the satellite image . . .I'm becoming a geography geek . . .

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tell Her She's Dreamin'

As you may or may not know, the QM2 and the QE2 will both be in Sydney today, passing literally as ships in the night and what a furor they've caused. A flotilla of yachts escorted them in, the public have lined the foreshore for a perve and some were even lucky enough to get on board to meet friends and crew.

I'm researching our Autumn Newsletter for work and inspired by these two big queens, thought I'd do something about journeys - literal, personal, financial . . so whilst I've been researching the nature of journeys I've also been envying the Balmoral Suite aboard the QE2 and indulging my travel fantasies - rich for someone who hasn't even got a current passport. Still . . . Maybe I'd be better cruising the second time round . . .the first time was when I emigrated to Australia as an 11 year old and spent four days spewing into the Bay of Biscay before we reached the relative calm of the Canary Islands . . .Ive never been game to cruise since.

I've also been checking the itineraries available through US agents R Crusoe and Son who arrange for bizarre private flights and off-the-beaten path luxury tours to the wonders of the world such as Machu Pichu, Easter Island, Cambodia, Luxor and more all aboard your private jet and staying at the world's most exclusive hotels.

Then there's the ultimate holiday, one where the journey is everything. Richard Branson's
Virgin Galactic flight in 2009! Seriously watch the movie it's surreal What a blast!

So, at what cost? 250,000 for the Balmoral Room and an 80 day all inclusive trip (plus I'd be a non-resident after that time and wouldn't have to pay any tax). About the same for a blast into space for 20 minutes on Mr Branson's rocket ship . . .and a little less to find out about the wonders of the world on a R Crusoe Private Journey, my own private jet and posh hotels . . . Oh I wish they'd take Monopoly money . . .

Monday, February 19, 2007

Feelin' Alright

I feel a lot better today, suicidal tendancies have gone and I'm feeling more 'balanced'. I think I was destined to work. It annoys me but it's the best distraction . . . gives me a sense of worth, pays pretty well and I don't mind the people I work with . . . DrummerBoy came home from motocross without a bruise that's always a good thing . . . ClareBear had a call from Horrie who is horribly confused about his feelings but hey . . . he's a good snog . . and I got over being bummed about not being invited to Tropfest by watching Australia You've Got Talent . . .how far the mighty have fallen . . .

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Buy me!

We sit in Sydney's northwest hills district. We've geen gazetted fror 21 700sqm blocks, it's desirable, close to the city, public transport, clean air, clean suburban living so why won't anyone buy us. We have a modest price on the house and it's been 19 years since I've lived alone i.e. without a relative in the house next door. I'm ready to move on but the only options are:
  1. Sell now at market value and lose the lovely relationship I have with my younger brother and his family who will lose out financially on their investment in the place if we sell at today's rates
  2. Hang on and live in stasis with no money for holidays, dinner out, theatre, concerts, 21st birthdays, shit even my 50th went without aplomb
  3. Suicide which will pay for my mortgage debt and leave some for the kids . . .I'm not afraid of dying just the way it happens . .

I'm sounding morose now but I'm clutching at straws, knowing that nobody of influence reads this shit. I need to move on but don't want to upset my family. I love my brother and sister-in-law and my sister and brother-in-law but maybe it's time to think about myself. BabySis is on the verge of selling their dream block because their mortgage is too high and cappucino and dinner out twice a week is too much - sacrifice isn't her strong point, nor should it be.

BabyBro who never reads this blog has invested in the property both financially and emotionally and is looking for a return but bless him, is covering our mortage repayments on a love agreement . . . I admire his trust and I won't let you down bro . . .believe me just pay your bit back and I'll cover the rest. . .I just want to cut and run . . .but with my family intact and all this exacerbated by not being invited to Tropfest. . . .sorry dear readers but I am at my pathetic worst. I'm off for a little cry now and I'll feel much better.

Blurred lines

Ok today was chill, quiet Sunday, couple of videos - there would have been swimming but we let the pool go green - big rain, high temps and the chlorine couldn't keep up. It's also Tropfest, free event in the Domain. Clare has packed her beer and cheese and disappeared. When you have small children, you include them in everything you do . . beach, holidays, free events, even put up with Play School Concerts. Hell, I've been the drummy mummy before DrumerBoy could drive, chauffering drums to various locations around Sydney for under 18 gigs. The netball noodle sitting all day at gala events celebrating possibly the most boring game on the planet. I really would have liked to gone to Tropfest but didn't think anyone would want to go with me - my friends do not share my love of film and music - too busy playing tennis, installing drip irrigation or admiring each other's golf handicap. I was actually, too lazy to canvass friends my own age but at 15:00 today, the call went out to Clare . . it's on, we're in the city, come for Tropfest . . .I really, really wanted to go but being the Parental Unit decided it would be wrong for me to suggest I tag along and the invitation was not forthcoming. We're not talking about a big night out, infringing on dating privacy, just a picnic in the Domain, a glass of champagne and a look at Australia's best short films . . I'm really sad. I hate being the responsible adult . . .I hate being the parental unit, the one left behind but I don't know why . . .cutting the apron strings is painful . . .

Team Cuisine

Last week's post re Richard Branson had me thinking I'd like to have a chat with him over a char grilled sausage . . .or maybe a steak, or fillet of chicken . . .perhaps a whole trout . . .ooops I digress. So it got me thinking, who would I invite to dinner if I had the option of 10 guests from anywhere in the world:

Richard Branson of course . . .(and he's prolly the only one that would actually come)
David Attenborough . . .love his docos but want to know about his wife and family - he must have them
Jamie Oliver . . well someone's gotta cook while I immerse myself in conversation
Keysar Trad . . .I want to know why he's the spin doctor for mad muftis
Al Gore . . .is An Inconvenient Truth true or the beginnings of an election lobby for the Presidential nomination (I thought he was unlucky the last time)
Johnny Dodge and Shifty Rob because I think the conversation would be lively and if I didn't like what they had to say, I could pretend I didn't understand their accents
John Howard . . . so I could vent my disatisfactioin at the red tape of government and his idiotic conception of global warming
David Suzuki . . definitely and environmental bent here but I want to know why farmed Atlantic Salmon is bad for the environment (it's always about the food)
Ken Kenichi . . . Iron chef Chinese so that he can learn how to prepare food from Jamie so that it doesn't suffer and perhaps let the Japanese know that Horse, Whale, Beche de Mer and Sea Urchin roe are not for human consumption (plus he'd be handy and entertaining if we wanted Teppanyaki - Japanese food fight over a BBQ plate)
Billy Connolly . . . we'll need some light relief after all the environmentalism and politics and he'd ensure it wouldn't be an early night . . .

Wow . . that's 10 already . . . might have to have another BBQ with the lads (interestingly no women in this collection, there must be some interesting females out there I just can't think of any . . . any suggestions?). Actually I'm rethinking John Howard . . .he's a downer!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Ah the best thing . . .

. . . about Iron Chef . . .the music - theme from Backdraft, it's really emotive and I think I want it to be played at my funeral . .

Vegetarian Wannabe

Because I'm a lonely and pathetic acoholic widow, I spend Saturday night entertaining myself with a bottle of bubbly and Iron Chef. A Japanese cooking show with crapply dubbed American accents and the wierdest of ingredients but tonight? Eeeeuuuuw factor kicked in. Large Octopus, live, slaughtered before us and crayfish boiled to the point where their limbs were twitching as the water's heat was elevated. Am I wrong in thinking that apart from the Vietnamese and Cambodian taste for puppies (so much more emotive than 'dogs') is usurped only by the Japanese appetite for the strange . . . now this is where the dichotomy (word of the week) kicks in. I love a a rare Black Angus steak, I'm a devotee of seafood but to watch it brutalised on a Japanese cooking show certainly brings me to the brink of vegitarianism until I think about the fabulous flavour of mung beans and lentils, the superlative taste of bhuga wheat and the fantastic texture of tofu . . . I so wannabe a vegetarian . . .every fibre tells me it's the right thing to do but . . . .the aroma of a BBQ, seafood risotto (which I had for dinner tonight) and the pervasive waft of a Sunday roast forbid it, I'm not even going to get into Bacon and Eggs Benedict as a hangover cure. I am you see a hypocrite. I love my meat as long as I don't have to slaughter it, scale it, pluck it, fillet it . . .oh my what a dilemma . . .now where's my Moosewood Cookery book . . . one good thing that came out of America.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Shrove Tuesday

So 20 February is Shrove Tuesday. Pancakes for the Brits is definitely on the menu. Originally, it was a Scottish tradition to use up the leavened flour, eggs and other incredients before the commencement of lent fasting. And now, the fine art of pancake making is now worldwide because they taste so damn nice . . .and if I can remember the recipe, I might just crank out a few pancakes next Tuesday. They are one of the few cuisine items to which ClareBear actually does justice.

Decisions, decisions . . . pikelet type Scottish pancakes with butter and syrup?
Large and fluffy McDonalds style buckwheat flapjacks with maple syrup and whipped butter? Flat French crepes with lemon and sugar or something altogether more exotic?
Savoury perhaps? Chocolate filled? Fruity . . .

Yep, its the crepe . . . ultimately versatile, foldable in a number of shapes, sweet or savoury, simple and saucy - pronounced "crap" if in France . . .(you sort of have to say it in the French gutteral tradition and make sure the 'r' forms in your throat) I don't give a crap about religious traditions but you have to admit, the humble pancake is an extremely versatile food . . . have a go you mugs (at the actual thing, not the pronunciation) and try to flip it without it sticking to the ceiling.

Tim Tams are EVIL!

. . . someone just brought some into work. I usually get my chocky fix from the MS Charity chocolates on reception - sweet enough to do the trick but small enough to soothe the conscience. However, this morning, I knew Tim Tams were evil because I could feel the muffin bulge just looking at them . . . these were especially evil . . .dark chocolate coated caramel and marshmallow centres . . . smores with a chocolate coating . . .OMG . . . better than sex! I have to have one, even if they were brought in by Themostannoyingparaplannerontheplanet

On the Scale of Things - I'm Somewhere Between the Dentist and a Hair Cut

I am not happy Jan . . . I have been relegated below haircuts, dentist appointments and workload and dogged for my regular Friday chardy lunch. I actually map out my day, allocate my time, work late if necessary to ensure that Thommo and I enjoy a leisurely lunch on Friday's, the only time we actually talk to each other without involving email. It's not a L-o-n-g lunch but we don't rush back when the hour's up unless we have to.

But no . . . Since January, we have had ONE lunch thanks to her skiing in Japan and last week, she attended a convention - junket I call it - and dogged me but that was OK cos I went out with Earth Mother, Butterfly Girl, Char and Themostannoyingparraplannerontheplannet, then this week . . . Thommo has to leave early to make herself beautiful for another junket dinner appointment. Next week it will be the hairdresser, the week after that the dentist . . . why do I bother . . . she's lucky I love her otherwise I'd be on the market for a new best friend who wants to have lunch and who can fit me into her schedule slightly above the next hair doo . . . am I bitter? mmm . . . I think so.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Bugger, another year goes by and I haven't got a Valentine not even a crush! I'm giving up hope on myself so all the best to the rest of you. I hope you get lots of chocolate, overpriced roses that only last 2 days and fine french champagne of course, my favourite either Verve Cliquot or Billiecart Salmon if your asking.

Ah well . . . ButterflyGirl's going to lunch, Char gets a romantic dinner and a bear hug from the Truckie, Arky probably gets a glass thrown at him for buying something inappropriate or not sourcing white tulips, Stan will no doubt get lots of kisses and hugs from the insta-family . . . even Stresssany and BabyBro will extend their 25th Anniversary and I'm damn sure Babysis will insist on Jewellery . . . she'll buy it herself! And, my romantic little DrummerBoy will be taking the Fringelet to dinner.

So, that leaves ClareBear and I . . . sadly single but together this Valentine's Day.

Perhaps we'll go pub crawling and ask single men to marry us . . . who knows, we might get lucky

Here are some thoughts for lovers young and old on this romantic day . . .

  • If love is blind, then why is lingerie so popular?
  • Falling in love is so hard on the knees (Stephen Tyler)
  • Love is a grave mental disease (Plato)
  • Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs (Shakespeare)
  • Never go to bed mad . . . stay up and fight! (Phyllis Diller)
  • Love is like war . . .easy to begin but hard to end!
  • Love has the power of making you believe what you would normally treat with the deepest suspicion
  • It is not uncommon for slight acquaintances to get married, but a couple really have to know each other to get divorced
  • I love being married, it's so nice to finally find someone special who you can annoy your whole life (Rita Rudner)
  • Women like me because I make them laugh and what is an orgasm other than laughter of the loins (Mickey Rooney)
  • Marriage is a fine institution - but I'm not ready for an institution (Mae West) . . . .

and finally, my few words of wisdom:

There is your first love, your great love and your last love . . . wherever the latter is, he'd better hurry up, I'm not gettin' any younger!

Silent Treatment

I already have one boss who refuses to speak to me unless spoken too, simply because he's rude and we've all come to accept that its just the way he is. He does all his communicating via email (and copies everyone especially when a mistake has been made). Unless I actually knock on his door and broach a subject, I doubt he would ever speak to me. I have another boss with whom I have always had an excellent relationship but lately . . . it's the silent treatment. Not because we've had a falling out . . . more that he trusts me to get on with things and he's also a one job at a time man so being absorbed with clients doesn't permit his brain to extend to any other task. I think men are like horses and spend 75% of their brain capacity on one task and the rest on normal body functioning (Horses spend 75% of their brain capacity on using their legs by the way)

As an experiment, I resolved at the beginning of the week not to speak directly to either these august leaders - just to see how long it would be before a conversation emerged . . . well it's Wednesday . . . nothing, nada, zip . . . not a good morning, not a goodbye, not a single spoken word. And the point of the exercise? Absolutely none other than to prove 'a' point. Care factor zero on both sides I guess.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Green with . . . skeptisim

Richard Branson has already committed profits from Virgin Airlines to combat global warming and has now offered an enormous reward of $32 million, along with the full endorsement of eminent Australian environmentalist Tim Flannery (Australian of the Year) and others for someone to invent a way of removing carbon dioxide from the earth's atmosphere. Whilst wild in its optimism, this is one way of flauting John Howard (Il Diablo's best mate) and his idiotic assumption that the jury is still out on global warming. OK . . selling resources to the world's developing nations - namely China and India (and if I get another call from India trying to sell me a better mobile phone deal I'm going to fly over there and burst into a call centre to garotte their manager) is why our stock market is soaring and the resources boom fattening the bank accounts of those who can afford to invest. (I'm sounding rather intelligent for someone who's just opened their second bottle). Anyway, what do you think of Richard Branson? This is the man who guards Virgin's brand as closely as MacDonalds guard their own. He turns up on Rove Live (Aussie variety show) in someone's back yard and gets tossed into their pool, like the guy next door - I guess proving he's a man of the people - he shows up at the graduation of every Virgin flight attendant ( Few bosses really give a shit about anyone's achievements, work or otherwise). Then he has a reality TV show where contestants face a Donald Trumpish humiliation in order to secure a job in the Virgin conglomerate - even to the point where he makes them walk a tightrope between two airborne hot air ballons! He's an anachronism. Is he serious? Seems to be . . . maybe he has the formula right for this generation - the common touch. He's conquered TV, airlines, Credit Cards - embraced commercialism, remained true to the cause and still portrays this grounded persona despite his wealth and accolades. His latest innovation, Virgin Galactic will have us flying into space and in Australia his sponsored Rock Festival "V Festival" takes off later this month which many promotors feel may threaten the lively rock festival season because he can afford to draw the big acts. So what to make of this self-made multi-billionaire . . . smart businessman, ecologist, entrepreneur, man of the masses, social commentator . . . for me, the jury's out . . . but anyone willing to put up that kind of dosh
for a CO2 eating solution? Well it's gotta be a win win . . . he is one of the 10 people I'd like to invite to dinner.

Sweet Young Things

There's nothing I like more than that 'gathering' moment when the kids friends drop in, have a starter beer and a shot and sit in my living room gasbagging for 20 minutes before the big night. Last night, four strapping young 20 somethings, all dressed to attract, gelled and dreadlocked, giggly and pumped . . .stayed just long enough for a chat and a joke then off . . .ah the serenity. I think I wasted a lot of my youth by being in serious relationships . . . these guys know how to have fun without being incumbered . . . (although DrummerBoy the ride home in a paddy wagon probably wasn't necessary!)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Porn Stars

One of my supervisory tasks is to make sure that boffin is checking the spam filter for legitimate emails . . . however, because he lets the inbox fill before checking, I occasionally run through it myself. This morning it struck me that if you wanted a porn name, you could abandon the usual formula - name of the first pet you owned and the first street you lived in (sadly mine is Buster Irwin - not very appropriate for a girl!) and just nick a few from the spammers: Ophellia Newton, Nathan Jason, Paige Billie, Edgar Merritt or Devon Anderson to name a few . . . so if you feel the need for a nom de plume, just put a comment in the box below and I'll oblige . . . warning to pet owners, buy a pet that's the same sex as you if you're up for a porn name!

Here's a few to get you going:
  • Lily Fairway
  • Brenna Faulkland
  • Buster Irwin
  • Nelson Eden
  • Toby Dural-Downs
  • Lawrence Pinus
  • Chippy Pinus (that's a cracker)
  • Slugger Casuarina

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Scentsitive Issue

One of my colleagues has just walked into the office and the trail of garlic breath is hanging heavily in the air, it's only 8:30 how can I subtly coax him to have a mint! It's oppressive

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Ok I've had a few champers this arvo and I've been grounded (no car) so I've had a bit of time to mull over some stuff. I'm very, very, pissed off at men who can't break up gracefully. OK Horrie is a 4 week 'interest' but choofs off to Tassie to play cricket - well actually to sit on the sideline because he wasn't selected on the team, got ill and has obviously quickly got over the short tryst with ClareBare. Fine . . shit happens . . and fortunately, she's not in too deep but beginning to question what she's doing wrong. So why doesn't he call her and just say "great while it happened, not for me, no chemistry . . .can't do it". No, the shit-kicker decides to just go incommunicado. Doesn't answer messages, doesn't return calls. Arrogant and rude . . .Mother's out there, think about how you would like your kids to be dumped . . msg, msn or just a phone call to say, nice while it lasted but I'm no longer interested. And men . . . get some backbone you lilly livered milk sops . . . face up to the decision and stop thinking that if you just cut off contact it will all go away . . .sadly - it will, but it makes you the spineless pricks you are . . .at least give the girl an opportunity to understand why. OK venom vented. I'm going to bed now and feeling very happy about being single and unincumbered. You're good for sex, taking out the rubbish and not much more . . .here's you're chance to prove me wrong! Anyone up for the challenge?

I will probably remove this when I calm down.

The Cruelest Awakening

BabyBro's 25th wedding anniversary lunch went on well into the night. They were still kicking on at 10:30 at which time I realised standing was not possible without shifting weight from one leg to another or leaning on a verandah post. I can't remember what shit I was talking but pretty sure sense had been thrown out the window. The problem was hardly any food, little nibbly bits from 2.00 onwards and loads of Trilogy sparkling so that, combined with a farkin hot day saw me macerated by 7.00. For the first time in a long time, I crashed fully clothed and didn't stir until the cruelest of awakenings . . .the dickhead's up early smashing cans and bottles into the recycle wheelie bin at 8:30 in the morning! Gawd, I wasn't the only one nursing a hangover, there were three bodies in my loungeroom and DrummerBoy trying to get a good night's kip . . . I'm really glad now that I didn't buy them a present . . .wait till next Saturday, the blower gets cranked up at 8 in the morning . . .two can play at that game!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

It's a Lonely Time

For some reason, I have an inability to sleep beyond 6.00am . . . five or six hours a night and I'm done. Whether it has something to do with ThePrincess shafting me from my side of the bed by squeezing into the spare 20cm of mattress available or whether I'm just a light sleeper and the morning chorus acts as an alarm I don't know but here I am, as always, 7.00 on a Saturday morning watching black women's bottom's wiggling on rage as an alternative to Barney or a bunch of kids anime style cartoons and Chinese news on SBS . . I've had my requisite 2 cups of tea and 2 cigarettes and am now bored shitless as the sun shimmers through the gum trees, the lorikeets do their best to wake the dead and the dogs come trotting back from their early morning adventures. The garden looks gorgeous in this early morning light and betrays how dry the ground really is, things are dewey and golden - gawd listen to me wax lyrical. But it's too early to get out the vacuum (Saturday morning is cleaning time), too quiet to bash the bottles into the recycle bin and crank up the washing machine so what do I do . . .sit alone, download some free gantt chart software, checkout whether there are any interesting podcasts, look at my photos and wait for the day to start . . .it's a lonely and reflective time . . .OK, I've had enough now, back to the Pussycat Dolls and Justin Timberlake on Rage . . .maybe Totally Wild will be on soon . .

Friday, February 02, 2007

Hug, Kiss or Shake?

Well finally, after quite a few years of chatting online, I get to meet Arky. He gets his act together and by 4.00pm on Thursday 1st February, we have a plan. A colleague will drop him at my house at 6:30 ish and we'll meet for the first time, have a few drinks and see if it's worth maintaining contact then whack him in a cab back to his hotel.

So why was I so nervous? Do I greet with a handshake, go the full hug or the polite European cheek kiss? The bastard was late and I was stewing for 40 minutes about the greeting . . . nothing else - just how would I react. I needn't have worried, he felt the same but he's lovely. Went the hug, took the wine (which I should have given back to you when you left by the way but forgot) and had a lovely evening. He's just as I expected, shortish, cute, quiet, arrogant, educated, knowledgeable, pedantic, honest, probing (in a questioning kind of way) but utterly comfortable to be with. We covered everything from colloquial names for glasses of beer to drug use, being at school, photography, relationships and the quality of the oysters. And I was worried there would be silent gaps - I needn't have. Nice one Arky, it was exceptional to meet you. And thanks ClareBear for cleaning up, you're a gem. Next time come for a little longer, bring the same weather with you (it's raining), bring the girlf and all the nerves will have gawn.

Now, do I have the courage to meet Oirsh?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Nerve Wracking

I'm very excited. My e-friend Arkenstone is in Sydney for a couple of days and has found time to get together tonight to meet me for the first time. This is very nerve wracking because he's very young and I'm an old hag and I don't want to be boring or disappointing. We have much fun on the ether and it would be very disappointing if he turns out to be a dull nerd and I'm nothing more than a fat housewife (well housewidow or something . . .). I've covered my bases by inviting ClareBear, DrummerBoy and the BenchWarmer for drinks later on . . . am I a pessimist or just good at contingency planning . . .more tomorrow . . . and yes, old people get butterflies .