Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Is Junk Food

We are inundated with large malls and shopping centres . MacDonalds, KFC, Subway and El Turko but close to home is a little enclave of shops. The Comito Centre - a Korean Chemist. A South African butcher who sells rabbits (who eats rabbits these days?) and Biltong. A liquor store - we dont sell liquor in supermarkets - a gourmet cake shop and a little grubby Welcome Mart run by a grumpy Yorkshireman but I can get French green peppercorns there and Branston Pickle which makes a cheese sandwich complete.

One of the notable shops is a Greek Takeaway. They sell Battered Savs, a sausage in fish batter. Dim Sims which bare no resemblence to their Chinese cousins. Scallops - potato slivers in batter and Prawn Cutlets. Hamburgers with 'the lot' which are not complee without beetroot. Their piece de resistance - fish 'n chips. Real potato chips chiselled from real potatoes, BBQ chicken with the best Coleslaw and Gravy you' ve ever tasted and the best shark in batter.

I dropped into the grubby Welcome Mart today and bought peppercorns but the smell from that Takeaway Store . . . about 11 people were queued outside slowly walking toward their cars with newspaper wrapped packages of savoury smelling fish and chips. I resisted and now have to settle for vegemite on toast for Friday night nibbly bits, I'm mightily pissed. It took me back to day trips to eat at Harry Ramsden's. Now that's a memory from the vault. I wish we had a Doyles in Kellyville. I want fish cocktails and chips with BBQ and Tartare sauce, a butty, vinegar and a cuppa tea.! I have to go, my toast is burning and my champagne is getting flat. (as if!)

And you know you want it!

Emerging Grey is the New Blonde

I don’t know much about cars. That’s boy stuff. Today I was behind a rather sleek looking, black Jag at the traffic lights. I was very impressed that Jaguar had decided to name their model after Michael Stype from REM - a liberal and progressive decision. Then someone corrected my blonde moment and told me it was an S-TYPE!

A guy at work confessed (and yes he is Irish) that he once stood on a station platform and asked the conductor what time the 12:30 train was due. The words had left his mouth before he realised how stupid it sounded. (In his defense, it was 12:40 at the time but it just sounded so blonde!)

ClareBear came home extremely hungover on Thursday morning after a blokes night with Queen Bea, had a quick shower, changed for work then scrambled around trying to find her car keys. Again, the blonde moment “Where did you lose them?” sprouted from my idiotic mouth, long before I engaged my brain. Obviously if she knew where she’d lost them they would be found. They were recovered still sitting in the ignition.

I once phoned a friend on their landline and asked them “Where are you now?”. Automatic response from using my mobile too much.

It’s Friday . . . gimme a break! Does emerging grey count as blonde?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lockdown for a Lunatic

This is getting out of hand. Four more days and Il Diablo arrives on our fair, and until very recently anonymous, shores for the APEC meeting which begins on 7th September. The city has gone into lockdown with special event road closures, Friday being a public holiday to deter people from entering the city, FA18 Fighter Jets, armed Black Hawk Helicopers, vehicle inspections and the 10 foot wall enclosing half the city – Christ we even bought a water cannon so that the protesters can enjoy being swept of their feet by an unprecedented pressure hose. All for one idiotic man that just can’t keep his mouth shut. Not content now with fucking up Afghanistan and Iraq he’s launching into the Iranians.

All this fuss for the man who said

"I'm the commander — see, I don't need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president."

"I saw a poll that said the right track/wrong track in Iraq was better than here in America. It's pretty darn strong. I mean, the people see a better future."

"I'm also not very analytical. You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things."

"Iraq is a very important part of securing the homeland, and it's a very important part of helping change the Middle East into a part of the world that will not serve as a threat to the civilized world, to people like -- or to the developed world, to people like -- in the United States."

"The solution to Iraq -- an Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself -- is more than a military mission. Precisely the reason why I sent more troops into Baghdad."

Any luck he’ll catch Horse Flu while he’s here and drop dead!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Arky Rocks

This one's for Crispy, Arkenstone, Kahlerisms, . . . I met this kid through a helpdesk. He supported the industry software that we once used for our financial planning, VisiPlan. He was serious, helpful, followed-through . . .the sort of person you could rely on to resolve your problems which in my case were often banal . . three times and you're out with passwords or just not reading the latest release notes.

We started chatting along with problem solving. Then sending funny emails. Then every Friday I had to do a backup which rendered all software on my PC useless other than MSN. He was on the Helldesk and we began chatting. We share a love of Star Wars, Blues Brothers, Clerks and I had to set him straight on a couple of occasions on Metallica. We have a lot of differences. He's a geek. Totally. Has his own web server, chats with fellow ancient Mercedes owners, is or was a World of Warcraft gamer . . makes multi-layered jelly with pineapple chunks. But for some obscure reasons we became the first . . yes the very first . . online friends - from my side anyway! Long before blogging or Skype or Facebook.

Last year, he was working in Sydney training other geeks and made the brave move of coming over for dinner to meet. He's lovely. After the first uncomfortable hug and 'would you like a beer' we sat for hours, drinking, talking, eating prawns. He showed off his camera and expounded his love of KISS and Sci-Fi. He asked the hard emotional questions and by the time his taxi came, the night had seemed all too short.

He's going through some tough times with family illness but tonight, the night of a spectacular lunar eclipse, I spoke to him, and the girl that loves him and we had a really nice time negotiating through MSN, Skype and finally a call between quick sojourns outside to look at the tangerine coloured moon.

Yep it was ecliptical in more ways than one. I really, really like this kid. We've kept in touch over 3 years now that's longeivity for a 25 year old. He's somber, unemotional, technical, brave, sometimes dark, often jovial in a geeky kind of way but when there's a crisis of family, love, work, he talks to me. He's a good boy. Good morals, well educated, sweet and he has a lovely girlfriend who I also 'met' via licensing of industry software but spoke to for the first time tonight. Chris, you are special and I'm very lucky to have met you. I wish you well and you're in for some rough times ahead. I hope I can be the friend you have when you're not having a friend and that we can meet up again occasionally because you have something endearing about you and we share an affection for Star Wars, even in Lego form (although I can't claim to being the constructor of Darth Vader, that honour goes to Drummer Boy), Mac computers, cats and getting pissed! He's a talented photographer, she's a fabulous portraitist (althoug I suspect she doesn't really know how good she is) and thankfully, they live in Melbourne so occasional meetings are not off the cards. Good luck to you kiddos and keep in touch. It has been my pleasure to have 'met' you both. And you know, for a moment, it was really nice to know that you were looking at the same orange eclipse as me! Far away as we are, this weird event connected us. (Ok I'm going to collapse in a romantic pool of green cheese right now)

Orange moon, you saw me standing alone . . withought a love of my own .. .

In the Poo

I get on with BabyBro, he’s a decent enough chap and my next door neighbour. Bit moody - but I blame that on a bout of viral meningitis in his 20’s – screwed with his brain and now he sees everything in black and white. Decisions for him are easy . . . he’s right, I’m wrong, he’s good everyone else is rubbishl, he knows the truth . . .I know shit . . . And that’s sort of what this post is about.I had noticed that his septic tank has been leaking instead of pumping waste from his house into the main Envirocycle which both houses share.

I mentioned the poo situation to him (via email since it’s winter and due to sport there are no conversations between us beyond “G’day” as we pass each other in the carport).

Little wonder then that he doesn’t seem to notice a disaster about to happen. I on the other hand, notice everything due to my Saturday maintenance duties.

There is a pump in this tank that ensures its foul contents are pumped into a rather sophisticated environmentally-sound, treatment system. The ‘grey’ water it finally filters and produces is then sprinkled on the front lawn. It’s obvious his pump is not working.

So this morning, I get a panicked phone call . . it’s ‘urgent’ says our receptionist:

BB: “Where does this septic pump to?”

Me: “Into the Envirocyle”

BB: “No it doesn’t, I have Paul the Envirocycle man with me and he says there’s only one inlet”

Me: That’s because there’s a junction for the pipes underneath the driveway where your waste joins mine in a happy marriage and honeymoon towards bacterial cleansing and grey-water recycling.”

BB: *disbelieving tone* “Who did your plumbing when you built the house”

Me: “ThePlumber”

BB: “Well that explains it. He did a dodgy job and now there’s sewage pumping God knows where!”

Me: “Yes we do know where . . into the envirocycle . . .”

BB” Can’t be Paul says there’s only one inlet pipe. Where does the septic pump to? *we have come full circle without resolution*

See where I’m going with this . . . he took the word of Paul the EnviroMan (who I have known for many, many years). He checks aeration and chlorine. Paul is a nice man. He has a little kit of water testing thingamies and puts clean chlorine blocks in the appropriate cells. He checks water turbidity and the aerator then leaves me a nice little report and a bill for $75 – he is not a Poomaster or a Plumber, he doesn't even clean greastraps and septic tanks. I was there when the pipes were laid. I know exactly where his waste is going when there’s a normally functioning pump!

So, I hung up with the shits and went back to work and left the two of them cogitating and prognosticating on how so much poo could easily traverse a 100mm diameter pipe. I don’t know how thick his cables are but mine would certainly have no trouble reaching their destination!

What really gets me is how can you not ‘notice’ poo and wee and washing water trickling down your garden? How can you not notice that there is water seeping through the brickwork outside your kitchen until finally the hose on the dishwasher snaps and all hell breaks loose? How can you not notice that your dog is deaf until one day your niece backs over him because he can’t hear the oncoming car?

Is it a boy thing? Like not being able to find matching socks or your favourite jumper despite the fact that both are staring you in the face?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Little Drummer Boy

No peram-peram-pum for my lad! Busy busy day today so no time for a proper post so have resorted to blatant plug for Aktor - DrummerBoy's band. Recorded with a VCR at the Annandale Pub so it's not the best sound quality but aint they cute? Beat the crappoodle out of those tom toms baby boy!

Time at War

Far From Here

Bless their little rockin' socks.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This Little Piggy . . .

. . . went to market. Parklea Market actually. There's growing interest in 'growers markets' where you can buy fabulous home grown, home made, organic, fresh and pesticide free. They're trendy and the sort of events that are held locally once a month. If you're late, you miss out on the fresh home baked bread, home cured bacon and organic tomatoes which taste completely different to the commercial stuff. These markets attract the middle class, the alternative, the vegetarians and those who just love to tell you that the olive bread they bought is much better than that produced by Baker's Delight (actually it tastes exactly the same) but there's kudos in going to a growers market.

Then there are the 'craft' markets. These vary widely in the quality of their goods. You can buy everything from fantastic quality wooden toys (that children incidentally never like to play with) down to those awful floral handtowells with crocheted edges, or toilet roll and tissue box covers. I'm not a fan of these as much of their merchandise is either over priced because it's 'hand made' or simply so gauche that you wouldn't be seen dead sitting on a loo with a pale green knitted toilet seat cover and matching mat.

Then there's the carnival of carnies. The mother of them all. The copycat King . . .the large permanent rented-stall and undercover markets. In Sydney we have three. Paddies at Flemington which during the week is a genuine wholesale market and great for flowers and veg but during the weekend it turns into one of those copycat T shirt, mobile phone cover, tiger rugged, cheap perfume 'what the hell is that toy' and 'who the fuck would use one of those' markets. There's another Paddies in the city, same vein but has a direct factory outlet above it which is great value if you're a size 8 and don't mind last year's fashion. Then there's our closest. Parklea Market.

Just around the corner, on the site of an old drive-in movie theatre looms this enormous white colourbond building. Around the perimeter is carpark and within, the most amazing (not in a good way) conglomeration of rip offs and bric-a-brac. In this den of eniquity you can have a Chinese massage if you don't mind being a tad public (16 at a time). You can have your Tarot or fortune read . . . Eat the worst of junk food, fill the kids with fairy floss and barter with Chinese and Arabic store holders who smell as if their entire diet comprised garlic cloves.

It's frequented by the choicest of Sydney's West and here my snoberry kicks in. The working class, Tongans and Maori, Lebanese and the Caucasian poor. The thing is, these people aren't wealthy, far from it, but they spend so much money on frippery and lounge around the foul smelling place eating dagwood dogs and kebabs. Again, the fruit and veg is cheap, fresh and good quality but any place that has pets and cheese in the same aisle?

Happy children wonder out of the darkness with pink twirly things and glo-sticks or barking clockwork puppies on wheels when they could probably do with a few new books or a little tutoring in maths

So how did I find myself there? . . .I went with ClareBear because there's a guy who has a stall who does laser and vinyl prints on T shirts and she wants a one-off as a thank you to her soccer coach. It's close and cheap but man what an experience. Although I'm slamming it here, it is a good place to buy say, cane laundry baskets, essential oils and incense or pet supplies but I want to know who buys:
  • Large synthetic rugs with pictures of Elvis on them
  • Yoda bongs
  • Copycat perfume
  • Rubber breasts with silicone filling (I kid you not!)
  • Chinese lace tablecloths
  • Plastic clogs
  • Replica African artifacts (plaster Giraffe and Elephant legs and Tutenkhamun heads)
  • A plaster wall hanging of the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist
  • Bright pink and blue mother of pearl door streamers
  • Dream catchers (made in China of course)
Seriously, in 20 minutes I saw people buying this stuff.
The worst part . . . I have to go back today because the printing man couldn't read the artwork file we gave him . . . . I think I'll just drive around while Clare goes in . . . This little piggy won't be going to market any time soon.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What Lies Beneath

Now I want you to dim the lights, get comfortable, play a little 'mood' music cos today, we're detting down and dirty. Yep, we're talking about what lies beneath. Dirty linen, dark secrets . . .we're going into the saucy world of lingerie and underwear.

There seems to be a plethora of underwear ads on tv at the moment. Maybe 'cos the weather's getting steamier here and the gear is coming off. What hit me most besides the fabulously muscled young men posing in Holeproof underdaks is the 'science' behind knickers and bras.
There are men's boxers which are smell resistant, fitted trunks that move with you due to some new elastane technology. Of course we ladies have been aware of 'no knickers' seamless jobs and the push up bra for years. I just had this image of white coated lab rats discussing the next technological improvement to undewear. I know DrummerBoy would like a pair of boxers that keep his ganoolies in one place (judging by the amount of readjustment they seem to suffer). ClareBear would like a bra that gives her cleavage without the padding and I'd like one that keeps them off my knees.

There's now underwear that monitors your heart and edible underwear for cosmonauts so they can 'eat their shorts' in space, there's self-cleaning undies that can go a week without washing and sustainable underwear made from, wait for it, pine clippings!

Calvin Klein and other manufacturers have advanced the science of underwear technology with the use of microfibers for moisture management and cooling. We all know what happens when your bollocks overheat! And one enterprising Masters student has invented underwear with 'intimate controllers' so that she can play electronic games in her undies! Intimate Controllers is a set of sensors embedded in underwear that direct the action on a video game. Rather than sit separately on the couch and jam fingers against small plastic buttons, players touch each other to control the game

Now before you make assumptions that I'm totally perverted (I'm not, the thought just struck me while I was making my second cup of tea), despite the science behind what lies beneath the powers that be still can't invent a pair of knickers that fit so well, you don't have to tweak them every time you stand up! There, I think that's enough said on the subject.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Happy Birfdie Thommo!

Today is my best friend’s birthday. I usually forget it but thanks to the diary function in Outlook, I am now able to put a recurring meeting in so that I don’t. We met in year 10 at school. I’d been at Castle Hill High for 12 months, she had just arrived from Pommieland. Her uniform was uncoolly long whilst ours was all tucked up and short bearing more than our 4 inches above the knee. She was well groomed and had perfectly clean shoes and white socks whilst we rebelled against the uniform and insisted on wearing Jesus sandals with no socks. This was after all the government school system. Straight out of Watford Grammar, she was tall, pretty, elegant with long straight black hair. Slim, intelligent and soon became very popular.

We caught the same bus so I used to trail behind her even though we disembarked from the same stop. She wasn’t cool. (neither was I but I was a ‘try-hard’). Eventually, this pilgrimage up Buckingham Road just seemed too silly and so we started talking on the bus, then gasbagging up the hill. Within weeks we were friends and now 30 years later she’s been there through thick and thin. She has led a charmed life. Married her childhood sweetheart (now my boss), had two beautiful children after incident free pregnancies, bought her house at the right time, sold it again at the right time. Made a lot of money – simply good timing – an opportunity presented itself and TheBoss took advantage, not really knowing how successful his venture would be. They are blessed. And I would be lying if I didn’t feel a little envious.

We went to uni together, we married two friends, we lived within 500metres of each other, we had our children within 12 weeks of each other . . .we played together, travelled together, danced together . . .I was her bridesmaid, she was mine . . . we attended funerals together.

She is so different to me. Physically, she’s tall and thin, straight hair, straight teeth. I’m tall and tubby with masses of mad curls that refuse to be tamed. She’s conservative in her politics and taste. I’m a ratbag liberal and don’t care what I look like. She’s a diplomat and smiles through a crisis. I call a spade a fucking shovel can argue the leg off a chair. She likes Sting and Eric Clapton, George Benson and Van Morrison. I like Gautier and Bloc Party, Led Zeppelin and Frank Zappa. She drinks Red, I drink White. She’s frugal with her money, I’m a spendthrift. She is an avid reader and never writes, I’ll write my socks off but rarely read. She has an eye for figures and detail – I sweep my broad brushstrokes across everything I do and stuff the spelling mistakes. She keeps in touch, I’m incredible at not returning that phone call. I guess we’re proof that opposites attract either that or the things we agree upon are what bind us:

  • We both have a caring nature
  • We are both highly principled
  • We are both environmentalists
  • We share and value a good education
  • We had a loving upbringing that has imprinted on our psyche
  • We are insistent on courtesy and treating others as we like to be treated
  • We have a good sense of humour
  • We have felt and can give great love
  • We are always there for each other
  • We both have difficult brothers
  • We like Hawks Nest Thai Green Curry Pies and Chocolate Paddle Pops

She introduced me to Ray and many of my closest friends. She’s stuck by me through desperation and joy and all the places in between despite not really understanding where I’m coming from much of the time (it’s hard to empathise when your life is perfection) but she’s been my single best friend, my confidant, my rock, my whipping girl, my mentor, my sister, my consoler and my confessor. I love her very much and she forgives my lack of focus on the ‘ceremony’ of Birthdays. As usual I forgot to buy her a birthday card . . .she will not forget to by me one when my turn comes . . . I did buy her lunch!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Used to Think There Was No Such Thing as A Stupid Question

I have been tortured by a cantankerous internet today. A WAN Cable error on our Linksys router (like I have a clue what that means) has meant incoming emails were received but nothing was sent and all knowledge remained floating out there in the ether, ethereal as ever and unaware of our sudden ostracism from the world at large. It slipped in and out of consciousness throughout the day and I received the odd email from ClareBear and managed to get a virtual card out to birthday boy and a slightly failed “Go To Assist” with a software administrator that was quite entertaining.

What really struck me was the attitudinal dependency of the entire office upon this ubiquitous and fragile medium, without which all life as we know it ceases to exist apparently. To add insult to injury, this dodgy connection was somehow attributable to me as the IT Guru (their name not mine). Since the departure of our full time IT Administrator, who our powers that be did not see fit to replace, I have become the whipping girl for all things malfunctioning that relate remotely to Information Technology. And I work for people who think that fax machines and printer drums are also information technology. In fact one thinks that Excel is something only a Network Administrator can fathom – hence his adoration of our Excel specialist who is the biggest wanker on the face of the planet but that’s another story.

Ok a few of the banalities I’ve had to put up with:

“The internet doesn’t work . . .”
No kidding, I just sent you an internal email saying that you fucking rocket scientist
“I can’t save this document in COIN . . .”
Really, that’s because you don’t have editing permission you shit-kicker
“I can’t login to the boardroom computer . . . “
Locked ourself out again have we due to a forgotten password, then abused the receptionist and the IT misfit as if it’s their fault you forgetful fool
“My VPN doesn’t work” That’s because you’re on your work computer, not logging in remotely
“Will you email me when the server’s back up please” – umm . . . You’ll have logged out so that I can restart the server so you won’t be able to read my email.

We knew we’d be reconnected at some stage during the day but the response of “Oh can we get an early mark” or “well what are we supposed to do now?” And from the principals of the company “Just how long is this going to take . . .” like I can somehow 'will' the World Wide Web to perform on cue. One principal even questionned the suitability of our IT Outsourcer because he didn’t lob on-site the minute I called him about what is probably an external ISP issue.

Crispy, TheBenchwarmer, Brianf – I wouldn’t have your IT client liaison jobs for quids. Clients are thankless, stupid and have unrealistic expectations of the abilities of IT problem solvers . . . you are all saints in my book!

And another thing . . what is it about some person, and we all know who he is, taking the last clean spoon and not washing it!

Oh and on a completely different note, Brianf has a birthday today (23rd August). So go visit and wish him well. He doesn’t post much these days because being your typical male, multi-tasking isn’t his strong point and he's too busy eating veal and conning chefs out of their skilets. Plus his rather demanding job sees him travelling during the week and gives him the perfect excuse to be a lazy ass. Happy b’day Bri. Have a blast!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Dating Game

Today I had lunch with TheBenchwarmer. So named because sometimes he feels he meets women, gives them his best and then they move on to share their new found knowledge and experience with someone else . . . he’s back on the bench.

And I don’t know why because he’s a great guy and a good catch for the right girl. He’s socially active, well travelled, popular. He’s intense, impulsive, romantic a little smothering. Delightful, intelligent, chatty, well read, nice looking, well groomed, cuddly, spontaneous, generous, loyal, independent, financially viable . . . so where’s Mrs Right for my big warm teddy bear? His latest fling (although he’d call it obsessive love) has just come to a sad and sorry end.

It’s hard for single men no matter what their age. Making the first move and maintaining the momentum with women is no mean feat. Rejection is terrifying and a rude rebuttal absolutely soul-crushing and that’s before they meet the family and have their language and manners scrutinised by 'she who must be obeyed'. It’s no wonder so many singles are resorting to chat rooms or speed dating for initial introductions. They’re painless by comparison

Picking up isn’t easy but boys, here’s a hot tip. Just hang off a bar or in a coffee shop, make eye contact, pass a little smile and if she’s interested, let her come over and talk to you. When she does (and she will if you're patient) don’t use cheesey chat lines, show genuine interest and match her mood (don’t giggle when she’s telling you her dog died). This technique works for ClareBear and Queen Bea all the time – both agree their most successful dates are men they’ve actually approached after ‘reading the signs’. You don’t have to embarrass yourself, ask anyone to wiggle with you on the dance floor, buy them expensive drinks. Just sit, look nice, smell nice and smile. Easy peasy. Now let me know your results. Ok so you’ve got that nailed . . .

Keeping it going isn’t that easy either. You have to maintain all the flattery, lavish affection, attention, money and not necessarily asking for anything in return but hope it might come, then – Just when you thought it's all going really well – the best mate moves in or she decides that it’s not quite the relationship she wanted or she’s not ready to get serious or she’s still a little in love with her ex . . .

But once you’ve got a good one, just think about what women want. They want to be happy – just like you but have a different way of showing it. If you learn their language, listen when you’d rather speak, hug instead of just walking away, tell the truth till it hurts, be a man she can depend on and love her like you love yourself. You’ll no longer ask what women want, they’ll be asking you what you want and give it to you. So, you want to know what a woman wants? It’s not difficult all you have to do is to be:

A friend, a companion, a lover, a brother, a father, a sister, a master, a chef, an electrician, a carpenter, a plumber, a carpenter, a mechanic, a decorator, a stylist, a psychologist, a gynecologist, an exterminater, a good listener, an organiser, clean, sympathetic, athletic, warm, humerous, attentive, creative, tender, strong, understanding, tolerant, prudent, ambitious, capable, courageous, dependable, passionate, complementary, up for retail therapy, honest, rich, unstressed, faithful, attentive and remember birthdays and anniversaries.

Making men happier is even easier:

Give him a little ‘alone’ time, don’t nag, provide regular sex, feed him well and let him have the remote control. (Personally I prefer a dog, they don't drink your beer or generate any washing.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

James Blunt Must Die - Apparently

I am a very broad minded person and I have very diverse taste in music. I’m as comfortable with Barber and Carloff as I am with Who Killed the Prom Queen. At work, we usually listen to Nova or Mix 106FM which play new 'pop' releases and some 70s, 80’s and 90’s stuff – a bit of alternative. Not my stations of choice but respectible enough to play in the workplace without offending clients. Plus the rotations aren’t too frequent so you don’t get Kelly Clarkson screaming in your ear like a wounded banshee.

But at the moment I began to wonder what to post today, the airwaves were wafting with the soft sobs of Lasting Love Dedications or the Sing us a Sloppy Song sessions. The lurve oozing from our little boom box is sparking a finger down the throat gesture at the moment.

I actually had a quick browse on the internet during my lunch hour and found some worst songs of all time, not perhaps the worst but the most annoying or the ones that stay in your head. Sorry if I trigger an unforgettable moment!

MacArthur Park - Richard Harris
I've Never Been To Me - Charlene
Lovin' You - Minnie Riperton
Seasons In The Sun - Terry Jacks
Muskrat Love - Captain and Tenille
You Must Love Me - Madonna
Sometimes When We Touch - Dan Hill
I Am - Said - Neil Diamond
Ebony and Ivory - Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
Afternoon Delight - Starland Vocal Band (although it was rescued by Will Ferrell in that movie)
Feelings - Morris Albert
Honey - Bobby Goldsboro
Achy Breaky Heart - Billy Ray Cyrus
Disco Duck - Rick Dees
A Horse With No Name - America
My Humps - Black Eyed Peas
Morning Train (9 to 5) - Sheena Easton
You Light Up My Life - Debbie Boone (OSCAR WINNING SONG)
Boogie Oogie Oogie - A Taste of Honey
Shannon - Henry Gross
In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus) - Zager and Evans
I Can't Dance - Genesis
The Candy Man - Sammy Davis jr
Unfaithful - Rihanna
Grillz - Nelly, featuring Paul Wall, Ali & Gipp
Having My Baby - Paul Anka
Ma Belle Amie - The Tee Set
Do That To Me One More Time - Captain and Tenille
Brand New Key - Melanie
Catch My Disease - Ben Lee
Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast - Wayne Newton
I'm A Girl, Not Yet a Woman - Britney Spears
Yes! We Have No Bananas - Billy Jones
Ode To Billie Joe - Bobbi Gentry
Peaches - The Presidents of the United States
Alone Again (Naturally) - Gilbert O'Sullivan
These Boots Are Made For Walking - Jessica Simpson
Escape (The Pina Colada Song) - Rupert Holmes
Can I Touch You... There? - Michael Bolton
Midnight At The Oasis - Maria Muldaur
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams
Oh Babe, What Would You Say? - Hurricane Smith
Ring The Alarm - Beyonce
I Am Woman - Helen Reddy
The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You - Bryan Adams (Wow he's got two in the list)
I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
I Write The Songs - Barry Manilow
Lady In Red - Chris DeBurgh
Ring The Alarm - Beyonce

You got more?

And just for you, a parody of the song voted in a recent poll as THE MOST IRRITATING EVER - :

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mega Dick

One of my duties as IT Manager (don’t laugh, I have an outsourced expert to do the tricky stuff) is to go through our spam filter in-box each morning and ensure that it hasn’t trapped any legitimate emails and to relegate the nasty ones to the blacklist.

There are a plethora of “I’m lonely tonight, look at my sexy pictures” emails, Cialis and Viagra advertisements, University Degrees without studying, economic opportunities that are just too good to be true - but it’s the penis enlargement ones that really make me laugh. Not for their claims and most certainly not because I’m impressed by a big dick unless he's a tall, tanned, boofy bloke called Richard.

No, what really impresses me is the way they try to ‘target’ the nationality of their audience. The sincere attempt to corner the demographic in various international markets. I’m sure they’re using Babel or something to translate. We end up with this hilarious combination:

For the prim:
Womens always laughed at me and even gentlemans did in the urban WC! Well, now I laugh at them, because I took Megadik for 4 months and now my phallus is excessively best than civil market

For the Americans:
Dames always whizgiggled at me and even youths did in the not private toilet! Well, now I shriek at them, because I took Megadik for 4 months and now my putz is dreadfully longer than national go shopping

Now if I had to write one for the Aussies it would be:

Sheilas used to piss themselves when they saw my poor excuse for a love muscle, even the pooftas in the loos wet themselves laughing. Now I can stick it right up 'em cos I took Megadik for 5 months and me schlongs such a doozie, I have t' strap it t' me inside leg with me bulwhip.

I didn’t realise that so many women were in the habit giggling at their teensy weensy members. I think it would be quite a prank for a hens night bunch to go hanging around the 'gents' poking fun and laughing at at wee willies.

So if the mood takes you, and the opportunity presents itself . . . . have your giggle then remind the poor sods with the diminutive pricks that there is a way to make their phallus "excessively best than civil!"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Can I Piss In Your Pocket?

Hundreds of people posed naked on Switzerland's shrinking Aletsch glacier today for US photographer Spencer Tunick as part of a Greenpeace campaign to raise awareness of global warming. Cripple nipple city and shrinkage central I suppose.

Tunick, perched on a ladder and using a megaphone, ("get yer knickers off!") directed nearly 600 volunteers *ugly exhibitionists* from all over Europe and photographed them on the glacier, which is the largest in the Alps. Later he took pictures of them standing in groups on the mass of ice and lying down. (God forbid . . don't ask what they were doing whilst prone on the ice - making ice angels?) Camera crews were staged at five different points on the glacier to take photographs (perverts). Glaciers are sensitive to climate change and have been receding since the start of the industrial age but the pace of shrinkage has accelerated in recent years (that wasn't the only shrinkage in evidence).

Now pardon me but, the average human body temperature is 98.6 and probably half of these people are inflicted with the flu and probably running about 100 degrees. That to me adds up to roughly 6000 degrees of human buttocks and jugs warming the surface of an otherwise pristine glacier. Probably causing over 10 years worth of melt and leaving barefoot prints down to about six inches in the ice.

The environmental group Greenpeace, which organised the shoot, said the aim was to "establish a symbolic relationship between the vulnerability of the melting glacier and the human body". (Or to help promote the photographer who is renown for shooting nudes all over the world to promote a well known brand of sunglasses)

Greenpeace just quietly have lost the plot. I'm a member of the Australian Conservation Foundation which has a peacful activist and proactive way of dealing with environmental issues. We don't go ramming Japanese whalers or taking sensational photos or throwing animal blood at fur wearers - even though we don't endorse any of these practices. We plant trees, run school educational programs, we lobby government, assist in research, sponsor university grants, attend the whaling commission, and enhance awareness and encourage a sustainable lifestyle without these dramatic and stupid theatrics.

The Aletsch descends around the south side of the Jungfrau mountain in the Upper Rhone Valley. Alpine glaciers have lost about one-third of their length and half their volume over the past 150 years. Well this one has just lost a third of it's volume thanks to the basking of warm buttocks, none of which were particularly attractive to my mind. If you want to photograph 600 people in the bollocks, do it for a sunglasses promotion in Coles car park or for the sake of art but keep their butts of the pristine ice flows. Leave nothing but footprints - made with sustainable spikes - and take nothing but photographs - preferably with your kit on! Where do you think these 600 people pee'd during the 10 hour shoot? I don't even want to think about where they took a dump!
Certainly nobody peed in their pockets!

Nudists choose a variation on the snow angel!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What Value Friendship?

I'm not sure why I'm blogging this other than I need to vocalise my inadequacy. I have a school friend. We were very close from 16 - 25 when we sort of moved our separate ways. She did a year 12 exchange in New York State so started Uni a year later than us which meant we saw less of her after we graduated. We caught up occasionally as kids came along and ran into each other every few years at weddings and anniversaries. We always knew where each other was but didn't socialise too much.

The last time I saw her was at the Piazza in Castle Hill about 4 years ago. Thommo and I were having lunch and in strolled Max. Looking the same as she had in year 12, now a Vice Principal at a local selective high school and doing really well. She's now 50 with an 18 year old and a 13 year old . . . last week another distant school friend called me and told me that Max's partner had mysteriously died in Peru! This particular person was more on a fishing trip than acting out of concern, hoping I could solve the mystery of how he died. She's recently 'found God' and turned into an evangelical do gooder and inevitable busy body and serial gossip. I shan't call her with the truth.

He was a bit of an adventurer. Often took students into the wild and woolly parts of the universe. Alternative - he mowed the lawn in a Samoan skirt and cooked the best Sri Lankan Lamb I've ever tasted. I met him only twice over the past 18 years - a solitary partner who made himself scarce when the girls got going. Sadly, I haven't seen Max since that lunch despite promises to keep in touch. Today, I had to face the music and call her. I felt like a fairweather friend, calling her after all this time just because Olaf had passed. His body is still in Peru and she has the awful task of arranging for his return to Australia - dealing with immigration - the behemoth of beaurocracy that it is as well as dealing with a prolonged grief between his death and the kind of closure that is offered by a funeral. Apparently, there was a gas leak from his tent lamp and this otherwise healthy 55 year old, died in his sleep in the wilds of the Andes. What do you say? How do you soothe someone who has to cope with the death of a partner AND bring his body home. Grief is something I can helpwith but this!

I've experienced loss before and I know that the well-meaning wishes of friends and acquaintances are genuine but I just felt so awful contacting her after all this time . . . at this time. I wish I was just inviting her to lunch or having a friendly catch up. She was grateful I think and when the dust settles, the funeral's over, I'll contact her again. When tragedy strikes, there are many people around to bolster your spirits but 12 months down the track . . . it's a different story. Not that people don't care, they do, but life goes on and there's no time for maudlin over the past. I really appreciate those friends who have stuck by me even though I've been a widow for many, many years . . . but the fair-weather ones . . .the ones that bring loads of support and food to your house between the death and the funeral as if you're incapable of making beans on toast . . . the ones that offer to babysit so you can have some free time (Free time . . you need that like a hole in the head!). The ones who buy the most expensive flowers or pretend to be genuinely concerned, the ones that reminisce about the last 2 years they knew your dear departed. . . they seem to fade into the distance. It's too hard to have 7 people for dinner or a theatre booking for 13 . . that odd number really causes them angst. I'm not saying they don't care because I don't know. But I'm not going to be like that. 12 months down the track, Max will need friends and I'll be there for her but for now . . . she's got enough support. It was one of the most difficult phone calls I've made in ages but I think it was appreciated and it brought this old battle axe to tears but hopefully will lead to a rekindling of a friendship that goes way back to creature features on Saturday night, smoking a joint and eating left over KFC chicken wings. Trips to her family farm in the country and rounding cows up on motor bikes. Languid holidays at Crescent Head where the object of the game was to pash some handsome surfer. Trips to Canberra to visit a mutual friend and welcomes home after long holidays away . . . we have history and hopefully that will be enough to keep her going when the hullaballo dies down. Love you Max. I know you don't read this but I know where you are right now and I wouldn't want to be there again for all the tea in China.

Uneventful But Rewarding

I have nothing today. No angst, no banality, no humour. It was a normal Saturday. Chat with my new best friend on MSN cos Skype was being obstreperous. Had coffee in the sunshine with my sister and watched her feed my horses *got her well trained*. Took the dog for a run. Tested the electric collar since ThePrincess has started forming relationships with the builders up the back again (Chris is very nice . . well muscled, polite and tanned so had a little fantasy to boot!) Did more washing than a family of three should ever generate. Cleaned my house and the fridge - didn't mean to but the discovery of a wizened shallot led to Pandora's box so the bleach and a complete overhaul was called for. Apparently you can't keep Pesto for 3 years. Listened to the radio while I pottered about. Popped up to the shop to buy some smoked salmon and green prawns for a nice risotto for dinner. Hired The Shooter for 'ron and now . . .time to crack a bottle. It's been a sad week for three people close to me so sometimes amid this mess of illness, bad surprises, despair, anger, frustration and hardship . . . the most uneventful off days are the most rewarding.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Love Reigns

I just watched a movie called 'Reign on Me' with Adam Sandler. Unusually serious and rather resonating but the closing credits bought a real feeling of de ja vous. Love Reigns O'er Me. I'd forgotten this song from my high school years and it made realise how cool some of the 70's stuff was. Of course the original was in 1973 with Roger Daltry and The Who remade by Pearl Jam (gotta love that Eddie Vedder) but there's nothing like the original.

Excuse me while I get all JD:

Only love
Can make it rain
The way the beach is kissed by the sea
Only love
Can make it rain
Like the sweat of lovers
Laying in the fields.

Love, Reign o'er me
Love, Reign o'er me, rain on me

Only love
Can bring the rain
That makes you yearn to the sky
Only love
Can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high

Love Reign O'er me

On the dry and dusty road
The nights we spend apart alone
I need to get back home to cool cool rain
I can't sleep and I lay and I think
The night is hot and black as ink
Oh God, I need a drink of cool cool rain

I'm Getting Out My Lap Lap, Putting On My War Paint . . .

First a boring explanation: APEC is an inter-governmental forum facilitating economic growth and prosperity, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, and operates on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants regardless of the size of their economy. Well that’s what the publicity promotes . . .

It is also an opportunity for world leaders in the region to pop over for a nice little holiday in the first week of spring and stay in a five star hotel overlooking the harbour, gorge on our wonderful seafood and tropical fruits, slosh down a few of our best Hunter Valley and Margaret River wines and wear silly clothes given to them by the Australian Government such as Akubra hats and Drizabone’s . . .we all wear them didn’t you know? . . .That is when we’re not donning ochre dots on our chests and dancing around with a spear in hand weaing a red lap-lap and emulating the movement of a kangaroo!

The APEC Australia 2007 year culminates in the Sydney CBD on 8-9 September with the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM), bringing together the leaders of all major regional economies as well as thousands of delegates, support personnel and the international media, and is one of the most important annual meetings of world leaders. And guess who's decided to pop in a few days early . . .your favourite clown – and mine: George Dubya . . . So you say . . just another bunch of stuffed shirts. Maybe, but I’ve spoken before about Australia’s want, need, obsession with becoming a terrorist target or the location of some awesome national disaster . . .Boy are our lot prepared for trouble:

  • No Demonstration permits have been granted, which will allow police to arrest anyone looking remotely like a ‘crowd’ and detain them for as long as they want under anti-terror legislation

  • Traffic routes have been diverted away from the Opera House, Circular Quay and the Botanical Gardens. If you live in luxurious CBD apartments, you will have to carry photo ID to get into your own flat!

  • Barricades up to 10 feet on concrete bollards have been erected along Circular Quay, the Opera House Corso and half the Botanical Gardens

  • BlackHawk Helicopters, fully armed are on deployment all around the harbour

  • 4 Police Helicopters, normally unarmed have been armed and are at the ready

  • More than 4,000 troops, police, federal agents and private security guards will be deployed in the city centre to guard leaders including US President George W. Bush, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China's President Hu Jintao. (I think we pulled some back from Iraq cos we don’t have 4,000 troops in the whole defence force.)

  • All Police leave has been cancelled and a full complement of mounted police from Sydney and Victoria will be available for crowd control

  • Most 5 star hotels are within the ‘sealed’ area . . .so don’t go looking for a dirty weekend on the 8-9th

  • Demonstrators are very upset at the deployment of mobile detention centres

  • Town Hall, Wynyard and Central Station (three major stations) will be closed down from the 7th to the 10th! If you work in hospitality, you’ll have to thumb a ride!

  • We are being inconvenienced for a week from 3rd September to 10th September because George Dubya wants to arrive early and have a few days sightseeing

Interestingly, only a fortnight ago, all the Heads of Army in the universe gathered in Sydney and not a soul knew they were here. No pomp, no ceremony, no police dogs or barricades. They were able to plot and play unencumbered by demonstrators. They could have caught a city train or had a ride on a bus or taken the Manly Ferry to the seaside for all we know. So why are we attracting all this world attention to ourselves?

Ah well. One good thing comes of all this silliness - Friday September 7 is a public holiday for people living within 25kms of the CBD - suck eggs Canberra!

Yeay for me – we’ll have a barbie!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Help Me Rest In Peace

I promise I won't get in the habit of lecturing but this one's close to my heart.

It’s really important to get your affairs in order while you’re alive and kicking, sane and sanguine. My father was so drowsy and disorientated in the later stages of his cancer that he could barely stay awake and my close friend Pauly who’s brain tumour turned off all powers of communication could not be understood. Now another friend, who’s partner has passed whilst on holiday in South America, is trying to get his affairs in order. This is often made impossible by lack of communication or organisation. These three events have left a legacy comprising a mish mash of papers, total confusion, hurried bank withdrawals, surprise discoveries of companies and assets. It’s a heartbreaking shamozzle blundering through and trying to sort their affairs all whilst in a state of heightened emotion and stress.

After three family deaths and as the Executor of 2 wills, I now know what I’m doing . . . I don’t want my family to go through this. So, I have my affairs in order and feel comfort in the fact that should I be hit by a bus crossing that bloody zebra crossing outside work (for that is surely the way I will go, splattered all over some four wheel drive windscreen and decorating their bull bar with my innards), I want to know that my beneficiaries, don’t have to go to such extraordinary, upsetting lengths to settle my affairs.

Get a Will . . I am surrounded by clients who think they’re not ‘worth’ anything. Then you ask if they own their own home and what assets they might have . . .they’re worth about $800,000! Now that’s why you need to make a will. Otherwise most will go in tax and it’s upto the public trustee as to how much goes to your beneficiaries. Plus it’s out of contention for months while probate goes through. Even if you’re a youngling with a bit in the bank GET A WILL (now confess . . .who doesn’t have one!)

Add a Power of Enduring Guardianship/Power of Attorney – this enables your nominee to act in your place if you are incapacitated or to make decisions about your medical care. Rules are different in different states and countries so you need a solicitor to do this. You want someone you trust to turn off your life support, not some doctor who needs the bed for another patient.

Note down all your assets and liabilities including location of statements, share transfers, holdings, bank accounts, pin numbers . . . when you die, your assets are generally frozen. You can only access funds to pay for funerals/wakes. Obviously keep this in a very private place, telling only someone you trust with your life.

Centrally file all your necessary papers and let someone you trust know where they are - These might include:
  • Bank Statements
  • Credit Card Statements
  • Loan documents
  • Insurance Policies
  • Mortgage
  • Title Deeds/Birth Certificates/Citizenship Papers/Passports
  • Wills/POA/Testamentary Trust docs
  • Car Registration, Cheque books and tax return statements

Allocate any special treasures. My Grandmother had a darling bracelet that all the girls in the family wore as a wedding bracelet. It’s now in the possession of HippyBro who is childless and already married . . . what the? My mother’s gold charm bracelet which also had a few charms I’d bought on my travels was given to my sister in law! For fucks sake I bet she doesn’t even know where it is. My mother in a moment of madness or without consulting anyone, divvied up said possessions. I scored two wedding rings and her engagement ring which didn’t have any sentimental value to me . . .and buckleys of fitting my rather square Celtic mitts. if only she’d asked, I would have loved the “Love Knot” bracelet and the Swiss Chalet charm. Similary, I have made it clear to my mother-in-law that I do not want the chiming clock promised to my first born!

Make your wishes clear. Talk about cremation, burial, being scattered or plonked in a plot. Leave a list of people you would like to be notified of your departure. Although bad news travels fast, they’ll know soon enough. Me, I’m for the oven and recycling on the rose bed!

Now I’m serious folks. . . I see it ALL the time. Get your affairs in order and make life easy for those you leave behind . . . you’ll be feeling no pain but they’ll be shovelling shit from here to eternity!

And after I'm scattered, you can use it as a cookie jar . . .

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Face Off to Face Book

Owww . . .my head hurts. First there was MSN which I still use mainly at work. Then there was My Space which I only joined to enable me to comment on ClareBear and Aktor’s spaces. Then there was Blogger, which has turned into an unhealthy obsession. Then I dabbled in Wordpress but decided it was too techy for me for just now. There's Outlook which is my main email communication method. Then I was clued up to Skype which I really . . . really . . . really . . . love because it’s messaging and audio all rolled into one and it’s free. But now. . . friggin Facebook which I have to join if I want to follow my kid’s travels around the world has reared its ugly head.

I remember Grandad talking about 'poking' and confusion on Facebook but others have told me it's "My Space" for grown-ups - well I haven't seen ANY evidence of that. I’m really not sure about all this food fighting, hugging, working out how much alike you are and everyone poking each other, either! If I want a poke, I’ll ask for it. And if someone throws something at me I want the satisfaction of a splattery-splodgy sound. As for a virtual drink or a piece of virtual cake – what’s the point in that! It's as satisfying as a virtual hug! Gimme the real thing any time!

Plus, when am I going to have time to ‘live’. I can’t possibly indulge all these online obsessions working full time and managing a five acre property, spending time with my poppets, looking after animals, cleaning, washing, socialising . . . not to mention the need to face up to the camera and post a picture . . . OMG . . .that's going to take ages given the amount of spackfiller and vaseline required for a soft focus!

Within seconds, I’ve got three friends and am being encouraged to add more - which is very nice but now there’s pressure to decide upon which application to use when speaking to them. I already have quite a few virtual and real friends with whom I Blog, Skype and Email surely throwing cake at them and poking them on a daily basis is a bit of overkill . . . plus, their sites are far more sophisticated than mine so I'm under pressure to make it look pretty and I haven’t got a clue. ClareBear . . . Help!

Mission for tonight: Explore, expand and expunge if it turns out to be a crock.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Violence of the Lambs

I was going to write something poignant, political - make a statement about the upcoming APEC meeting or the fact that Army Leaders from 19 countries have just enjoyed a clandestine meeting in Sydney and nobody knew about it but . . . nup . . today has been a very silly day . . . my workload has slumped due to TheBoss being in Vietnam and I've had a barage of funny conversations with the Saturday party revellers and at long last, a NZ Pubcast to entertain me at lunch time with a two-pub ramble and a three man streetwalk.

I have two friends who live in New Zealand. One who I know really, really well but is all loved up with the insta family and hasn't called me for ages. The other who I have never met but spoken to often, has been off the radar for a few weeks until today's pubcast so it's welcome back Johnny Dodge. Sadly neither are actually of NZ birth but never let that get in the way of a good yarn. We enjoy a rare and strange relationship with our neighbours across the Tasman and jibes are par for the course. During the Pubcast, mention was made that only 5% of the population of NZ is human . . that’s because 95% of the population is sheep!

We Aussies, now that we are living no longer on the sheep’s back but on the resources boom and flogging the world substances such as yellowcake, tin, bauxite, iron, coal and gas, feel vindicated in transference and slagging the Kiwis big time about their sheepish bad habits.

You’ve heard the jokes:
  1. How do New Zealanders find sheep in the long grass . . . “Very enjoyable thank you eh?”.
  2. Why does New Zealand have some of the fastest race horses in the world? Because the horses have seen what they do with their sheep
  3. An Aussie journalist was in New Zealand doing stories where he saw a Kiwi farmer doing unnatural things with a sheep. He approached the Kiwi and firstly asked, "What sort of sheep is that?" He scribbled down the farmer's reply - "a Merino". The next question was, "Do you shear them?" The farmer replied hastily, "No! Go and find yer own!"
    (I think only Kiwi's and Yarpies will get that one!)

Well we know that the Kiwi’s get a bit pissed off with these jokes (many of which were first levelled at Australia before anyone realised that the land of the Long White Cloud had a sense of humour – or indeed sheep) In fact they’re probably just puzzled as to why some Aussie would put a jumbuck in his tucker bag, when with a raised eyebrow and some sweet talk it could be coaxed into a sleeping bag!

Sheep jokes aside, the New Zealanders have taken the joke to a new level with a slash, gore-fest of a little movie called Black Sheep that’s taking the antipodes by storm. Sheep have exacted their sweet revenge via celluloid. Sheep shaggers – sheep baggers beware! An experiment in genetic engineering turns harmless sheep into blood-thirsty killers that terrorize a rural town in New Zealand.

This is a fun-filled ridiculous out-of-control blood-soaked ride where bitten humans are transformed into Weresheep. There are no rules set in the film and there’s nothing to take seriously. The goal is to have you sit back, relax and have one hell of a good time.

I told you I had a silly day. This just tickled my fancy.

And in the event you’re reading this Stan . . . you really should give me a call!

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm Rooted!

My father never had a filling in his life, my mother had a partial ‘plate’. Babybro had his first filling at 46 years of age, BabySis just visits the dentist to get her teeth industrially cleaned. HippyBro should be buying shares in the Hills Dental Clinic his teeth are so soft. Drummerboy has never had a filling. Clearbear has just had nine. Me, well I've been quite lucky but the old filings fall out when I chew gum or something crunchy and I have a dead nerve in one of my teeth so time to face the music.
Yes I’m fine thank you with the rooting (hahaha) bit of my canal treatment begun today and without an anaesthetic, how friggin tough am I? Hey Brian! Tat schmatt! It didn’t hurt then but I can feel it twinging a bit now. I'll have to get Grandad to run down to the chemist.
The tooth is drilled, the nerve literally filed away with a range of teensy-weensy toothy files that are rubbed up and down the interior of the tooth to widen the cavity up to the root. (That word always makes me giggle). The scaley stuff (dead root hehehe *so mature*) is removed and something foul tasting and bleachey inserted then stuff is packed into it and a temporary filling to let the sanitised packing clean out the tooth cavity over the coming week.

Next week, it all gets taken out and a permanent filling inserted and a bit of bleach to whiten me and brighten me. Then a couple of nice porcelain veneers on three other teeth and I’ll look like an American! Then I won’t need (nor will I be able to afford) anything else for Christmas!

Sorry, this post is self-absorbed and all about me yet again but I’m feeling very brave about having my roots pulled. And, might I add deeply ripped off by our Dental health system. I pay a load for Medical, Hospital and Dental cover. Have never been in hospital other than to have babies, don’t need Chiro, Physio, Accupungture or a new pair of running shoes - I need good dental care!

Now children, look after your teeth, brush twice a day, floss after every meal and use a mouthwash in the evening (but don’t spit it down the sink if you have an Envirocycle or Septic Tank system because it kills the 'good' bacteria). See your dentist every 12 months for a checkup clean and scale and you might then be able to avoid spending thousands of dollars on root canal therapy and DaVinci veneers!
Then again, if it doesn't look any good, this ho can pimp her root with some grillz!

Did I say root enough in this post?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Party Animal

Sharing sandwiches with building apprentices $10.00
Being fined for vagrancy $75.00
Partying hard until 5.00am on bonfire night -


Flamus Interruptus

We finally farewelled the pyre that has been accumulating in our back paddock last night. It was touch and go, due in no small part to gusty breezes which made igniting such a big fire dangerous but as predicted, the breeze dropped, copious amounts of petrol soaked toilet paper led to a spectacular flare and the heavy drinking and revelry began. No problems, a reasonable sized crowd, a well mown surround to the embers and rakes and hose at the ready. All went well until about 12:30 when three men, dressed in large black jackets and baggy pants wearing funny hats and reflectors walked down from the road at the top of our paddock. Normally, I would have been concerned about gate-crashers but the flashing lights on their big red truck was a give-away. Some doogoody suburban scumbag had called the fire brigade!

Now by rights, I should have had a permit to burn 'flammable refuse' but this year I didn't bother. Apparently the rules have changed and any burn is now controlled by NSW fire brigade (Real firemen with bigger trucks and more flashy lights) not the Rural Fire Service. Such is the encroachment of the burbs on our little haven.

Unlike the firemen which appear in those calendars, two were young and handsome, the third, a big frosty fella who took the dim view. Obviously a quiet night at Kellyville Fire Station. So, I stood there for 20 minutes as the 'responsible' adult (Shit we were all adults, there wasn't a person under 20 in sight) and copped a hammering from Fireman Sam about putting house fires out and there being no signs of a fire hazard around the place. How he could see in the dark still amazes me as the fire was by now a steaming heap of blackness and there's no fire hazard material around the place because we just sent it to hell and back on the fucking bonfire! Patronising shite.

Anyway, it all ended well. The remaining embers were doused, the girls had their photos taken with the two handsome ones and I went to bed angry at my friggin neighbours.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Just Too Much Information

It all started innocently enough. Three girls, came for tea. Coogee Girl, Queen Bea and ClareBear. Pretzel Coated Chicken Schnitzel and salad was created by DrummerBoy and the Fringelet, followed by Chocolate Lava pudding and all I had to do was wash up. The idea, have a few bevvys before descending on The Mean Fiddler for a big night out. Three bottles of Champagne and half a bottle of vodka later between the three of them (they are all 23 after all) the giggling girties were picked up by the Clone and ferried off to eat men for dessert.

I settled into attempting to build a wordpress blog which I may or may not move to depending upon whether I can 'get it' over the weekend and retired at about 11:30. Such is the excitement of my Friday nights!

At 1:10 get a message from ClareBear - Coogee girl has gone missing with all their purses and ID. ClareBear of course has left her phone charging on the windowsill and is borrowing Clone's. Fair nuf. I call Coogee girl on Clare's phone at home and a man answers . . . she eventually gets on the phone and is decidedly messy. "Clare's trying to find you, go back into the Fiddler and connect with her." Coogee girl is far from home and has connected with someone after spewing on her new black boots. She's outside getting some fresh air. Fifteen minutes later, another message - Coogee Girl has still not made her presence known. I'm back on the phone bog eyed and getting a bit cranky at this stage . . . man answers . . .Coogee Girl is now in someone's car . . . still messy. "Get back into the Fiddler, you're an idiot getting into someone's car when you don't even know them. ClareBear's waiting by the front door." This went on for about 45 minutes, toing and froing with ClareBear and Coogee Girl using me as an intemediary to try to connect with each other when they're both at the same bloody venue. It's a pub not a small country! Clare messaging me,me messaging Coogee girl . . .By this morning it all became clear.

Coogee Girl had fast tracked her vodka, got sick, met a bloke, had a spew, got really messy and got in his car and was about to willingly go home not realising that Dad was the designated driver! Dad, naturally thinking she's a slurry, threw her out of the car and escorted her back to the Fiddler. Young man got a clip around the ear and was taken home by Dad. Young man calls next morning - it's on, they're connecting up next week. Fine first impression that must have made!

Queen Bea was having a lovely time, dancing with randoms and pashing a black man. Messy but in control

ClareBear's found a 30 year old martial arts expert who likes wakeboarding and has a tattoo of a dragon on his back and Japanese symbols on his arm. Turns out he speaks Japanese too and so the bonding begins with a little tongue bushido.

The Clone (designated driver) decides she's going to leave her car at the Fiddler and go home with her new best friend and leaves the remaining pisspots to fend for themselves.

Scenario: Three drunken party pashers falling down the front steps, men hanging off them and one with spew on her boots wondering how they're going to get home. A cab isn't an option because two of them are tight arses saving for the world trip of a lifetime. And after being woken up to be the go-between, there's no way I'm going to rescue their slurry asses. Enter TheAthlete, lovely friend of Adam's who is stone cold sober makes a special trip to pick them up, drops them home then goes back to bed! (He's secretely in love with Queen Bea).

This morning it's all hits and giggles. All three are blissfully unaware of the possible danger in their actions and whilst downing copious amounts of hangover cure (red cordial) and eating greasy Macdonalds breakfasts relive the night that was.

Coogee Girl is very apologetic for keeping me up in to the wee small hours but doesn't seem contrite about getting into strange man's car in a state of total inebriation. She's a sweet kid but boy, bound in cotton wool. Queen Bea has not only pashed the black man and given him her number (probably a Sudanese trolley boy) but also found another to tongue wrestle with before departing and now has a crush on the Athlete but couldn't do anything about it last night due to her dire need for a sausage roll at 2am - something about grease lining the stomach. Very good look NOT! So he dropped her without so much as a peck on the cheek! (He'll be here tonight so we'll see how she fares then)

ClareBear is rung by the 30 year old tatooed-kung-fu-wakeboarder at 11.00am on the dot as promised. He's going to help his granny in the garden but he'll call later. "Awwwwws" all round.

Sometimes, having your children and their friends confide their escapades to you is well . . . frankly too much information. I've been on sexual overload this week with fully fledged explanations of terms such as party pashers, bullets, turkey slapping and tea bagging . . and found out that my son no longer uses condoms since his relationship is 'serious'.

Just how much can a koala bear?

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Plot of Another Kind

As a child in England, we used to celebrate/commemorate Guy Fawkes night on 5th November. A rather macabre festival that recognised the foiled plot by said Fawkes and his fellow Catholics to blow up the houses of parliament. And you thought the IRA were the first English speaking terrorists! Guy Fawkes fate was to be tortured and executed for his troubles – yes, this delightful event has become a children’s celebration.

We used to make a faux ‘Guy’ out of old clothing and stockings, stuff him full of whatever we could, plonk on one of my Dad’s favourite hats and parade him around the neighbourhood in a wheelbarrow. He resembled a well dressed golfer (or is that an oxymoron) – this all happened about a week or so before the event in order to raise much needed funds for fireworks.

That same week, we’d build a bonfire and being lucky enough to live on half an acre of land adjacent to Romiley Golf Course as a child, we had plenty of room to build a pyre that would do a wicker man proud. By the end of the week, the guy was unceremoniously affixed to the pinnacle of the pyre and set alight to squeals and cheers from the adoring crowd.

There were other accoutrements associated with the night, fireworks of course – a big bag bought from the local corner shop was always better quality than the cheap Chinese alternatives available at supermarkets, although the Catherine Wheel’s rarely spun (or when they did, they catapulted off their nail and decapitated two year olds) and the rockets were unpredictable. The Dads took over “move away now or one of these will poke your eye out”, which invariably it almost did despite parental supervision.

One of the few times my health conscious mother would have something sweet and sticky in the house was before Bonfire Night. There was a sticky treacly cake called Parkin, I’ve always remembered making it although I haven’t tasted it since I was young. We were also allowed to make toffee apples and treacle toffee. The dental fraternity must have loved that tradition. I remember dancing dangerously around the fire, sparkler in hand with dribbly bits of home made toffee gluing my teeth together to the point where I couldn’t ‘schpleach, ploprerly” without a sticky drizzle escaping. Ah the joys of being a child, you simply don’t mind sharing your bodily fluids at 8 years of age.

Buster, our rather large labrador at the time thought less of the night and spent most of it digging its way underneath the carpet, visible only as a large grey swirly lump in the centre of the dining room.

Here in the antipodes the tradition lives on but for a different reason. June is the beginning of an 8 week winter (you heard me – by the end of August it’s all over bar the windy bits). The second weekend of June is traditionally a public holiday to celebrate the life and times of Queen Victoria. In the past, we’ve bought fireworks but these days you require a license, (unless I can cajole ThePlumber into having a clandestine meeting with ‘Thunder’, in the carpark behind the pub where he procures his illegal stash!).

We at number 25 build a huge bonfire throughout the year. It isn’t difficult with bits constantly falling off gum trees and five acres of scavenging grounds with which to compile the mighty heap. This year it was wet so we didn’t light the monster and thought nothing of it until . . .ClareBear asked if we could light the big fire before the fire bans kick in. Sure . . . why not, I like a toasty posterior and always up for a few friends sharing a glass of Mulled Wine and a sausage sizzle. Anyone who wants to stay can pitch a tent rather than trapseing charcoal through the house.

So, tomorrow, we light the demon in some innovative way yet to be devised by DrummerBoy. Probably involving something swinging from a tree and highly flammable or many rolls of toilet paper being utilised for a fiery fuse. I was a little concerned however when I asked for a final head count in order to appropriate the correct amount of snags and buns . . . “Awww not too many,” says he very casually . “ about 40 . . but only 30 for the BBQ!” Thank God sausages are cheap . . . I should have learned my lesson by now.

Back to Where It All Began

K8 is playing games again and at 6:53am I think I've got her drift. An excuse to regurgitate an old post long before anyone knew you/I existed. It's not my best effort but definitely my first. Here's the gist . . .

1. Go choose one post which you would like to use as an example of your under-appreciated genius, and link it.

2. Link to the person who last suggested the ‘best shot’ idea.

3. Suggest the idea to others, then make sure you read, and comment on their regurgitated posts.

C'mon you background lurkers, be brave and leave a comment.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Dull Day for a Drama Diva

I got nothing today. Work sucks, I am having loss of control issues in my new role and snapping the head off anyone who challenges me. Subservience doesn’t’ suit me . . . it’s 5 days prior to pay day so there’s no kish in the kitty and nothing exciting on the social agenda . . . it’s spaghetti bolognaise for dinner because I can’t be arsed making anything more adventurous. Most of my bloggypals are deep in slumber . . . my three best party pals are all overseas on holidays . . . and there’s shit all on the vidiot box. I feel like having a hissy fit just because I can.

Oh the drama . . it’s all too hard, the highs and lows, the ups and downs, I just want to have a big sulk, sweep the back of my satin gloved hand across my face and exit in a dramatic fashion . . . an scream and scream until I'm blue . . . so, are you a drama queen?

Are you a Drama Queen?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sexy Signs Seduce Sucker

I’m not a fan of shopping. Whether grocery or any other (with the exception of Bunnings and Spotlight) and particularly not for myself but when a bargain is to be had and my fave black jumper is so threadbare I can see my skin through it (not to mention the hole under the arm), the time was fast approaching where I’d have to fight with school children and stroller mummys and face the drama that is the shopping centre.

I didn’t ‘mean’ to shop, I literally have to walk through one of our nicest department stores across the road from where I work to get to the bank or food court to buy my lunch. Normally this is an event free exercise with me smiling at the security guard at the in and out doors and never stopping to 'smell the roses'.

It all started whilst walking through the cosmetic department and a brief thought that I might be able to replace a nice Estee Lauder transluscent lipstick that I received in my special vanity case for my birthday last year. Sadly it was a limited release and its equivalent was a mighty $44. (Sheeet yeah? That’s a lot for a bit of whale grease and food colouring.) Still, knowing I had a smidgen left from my tax rebate, I thought I’d spoil myself.

Shop Assistant: “If you purchase just $60 worth of Estee Lauder, we can offer you this fabulous presentation pack with a lipstick, some powdery stuff to make you look like Bette Davis in “Whatever Happened to Mary Jane”, some sticky black goo to give you eyelashes like Janet Jackson and magic crème for those wrinkly eyes PLUS a cleanser and moisturiser that will even out your broken capilliaries and make you look like Natalie Imbruglia in thirty seconds . . .”

*I resisted the temptation to thump the little dolly- I haven't got wrinkly eyes or red capilliaries!*

Me: “Ooooh . . well I could do with a new foundation because the eight, half-used ones I already have aren’t the right colour and make me look pasty so I use my $5.00 tinted Ponds moisturiser instead, maybe I could splash out a little.”

So I gets the girl to choose a nice light, moisturising foundation that will make me look like Liz Hurley at a red carpet event and qualify for the ‘special offer’. Yeay! Only spent $110 and got $65 worth of freebies and a new make-up purse which I didn’t need.

Not content with being sucked in at the cosmetic counter there was a big red sign screaming at me . . .it was quite insistant "Oi YOU, yes YOU, I'm talking to YOU - come over here . . . look what’s on special and it’s not in the ‘women’s’ section” (that of course is a euphemism for clothing for the more womanly figure where I refuse to shop because I just can’t wear purple psychodellic swirls) . . .”

The sign pointed firmly and decidedly at a rather nice brown sweater, fine knit, thigh length with pretty fluted sleeves and showing just enough cleavage to be a little alluring . . .” I squealed a little squeal of delight "Oooh, here I goes again - That’s noice.” Only $44.95 so I went for broke and bought two one in a pretty Donkey Brown and the other in a muted Sage Green. Both will go well with my new lippy. Damn that naughty sign tempting me to the dark side. It was hanging quietly now waiting for the next sucker to glance its way.

The last straw was the relocation of the jeans section to just near my departure point. I was so close to gettting a sandwich, to making a break for it, to smiling at the security guard as usual on my way through when another huge “Take it OFF, Take it All OFF” sign swayed, seductively and beckoned me with an up turned index finger. “C’mon sexy” it said, “you know you want to!"

"Ok, just a quickie" . . . says I mainly because I was absolutely positive there’d be nothing there to fit my womanly form. These departments are usually for the youngsters, mostly sizes that Kate Moss would have trouble getting into. Whell hush my mouth and be still my beating heart! It was meant to be, it was written in the stars . . . a pair of really nice dark blue/black straight leg jeans with my name and $20 written all over them (now that is an unheard of price for jeans here which usually retail around the $150 mark.)

So, yesterday, in the space of 15 minutes, I managed to spend: $222. Thank god I don’t like shopping, imagine the damage I could do in half an hour!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Accentuate the Positive and Never Mind the Sausage

A recent book published outlines all the things that really annoy us. You know men leaving the toilet seat up, burnt toast crumbs in the butter, dishes left in the sink, milk bottle left out on the bench, the bed unmade, grinding teeth, women using his razor to shave their legs. I’m sure we’ve all got our lists and we should revisit them another time.

But today, I’m feeling pretty happy and thought I’d focus on the positive. It’s not super news and it’s not sensational so probably will bore you to bits but I thought I’d post on things/attributes I really like in people and also things that I really like after all, this is all about me right?

Qualities that I really love in others include:

  • Demonstrabe and genuine interest
  • Consistency with just the odd surprise thrown in
  • Politeness
  • Diversity
  • An ability to follow through
  • Intelligence
  • Empathy
  • Respectfullness
  • Egalitarianism
  • Total honesty and most importantly . . .
  • Humour.

I’ve always subscribed to the ‘treat others as you would be treated’ dictum and think it’s a pretty fair way to approach the human race. If anything, it’s one of the creeds I live by the most. I’m hopeful that I treat others, both real and virtual with the same qualities listed above regardless of their sex, age, location or funny little quirks.

And on another note . . . because I have a number of youngling friends real and virtual, I want to set the record straight - my age does not define me darlings any more than youth is wasted on each of you . . .

The Benchwarmer (Age 22) “You’re a cranky ol mama with something interesting to say and stop looking at me with those disapproving eyes!”
(I am not cranky! I’m Grumpy there’s a very subtle difference)

Kahlerisms (Age 25) “You’re one of my favourite old people”.
Fwoooaaaarrrr, Heh, Meh, :P - at least I'm active on my blog!

Daz (Age 19): “I can’t believe I’m talking to someone who’s 50 . . . ”
Aww . . c’mon kid . . . close your eyes I sound like I'm 20

Ocky (Age 21) “Oooh Helen, you’d get on so well with my girlfriend’s mother, she’s a whacky old bird too”
Thank you Dan, I feel so much better knowing I'm part of a madwomen's circle.

DrummerBoy (Age 20) “You’re driving like a geriatric doing 40 in a 70 zone!” . .
I am not, I'm just on auto pilot, it's usually peakhour when I drive down this street . . .

So here goes, next time you think of us mature ladies as over-the-hill, think about what we have to offer

  • We won't wake you in the middle of the night and askwhat you're thinking?
  • We won't put pressure on you to marry us and start a family
  • If we don't want to watch the footy, we'll find something else to do that's more interesting
  • We don't yell anymore, we've worked out more sinister ways of getting our own back. Of course, if you deserve a repremand, we'll deny priviledges and shoot you if we can get away with it
  • We are more generous with praise often undeserved because we know what it's like to be unappreciated
  • We are psychic and know what you've been up to whether it's a quick one at the pub or a serious affair.
  • We have endless patience with the sad, the lonely, the lovelorn, the boring and the demented . . . especially those of us who have raised children!
  • Once you get past a wrinkle or two and the fact that everything is heading south, we're more sexy and far more experienced than our younger counterparts.
  • We're forthright and honest whether you like it or not, we'll tell you when you're being a jerk so you will always know where you stand.
  • We don't get embarrassed standing next to you if you look like a bucket of smashed crabs - we can see beyond the exterior

Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. The world is full of paunchy relics making fools of themselves with some 22-year old. They're the sort that say, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" But my sweet things, the worm is turning . . . these days we old battleaxes are realising that it's not worth buying the entire piggy just to get a little sausage!

Go the olds!
(I'm not quite that old yet mind you)