Thursday, November 30, 2006

Micras is Coming

At least that's what my niece used to say when she was little and the Merry Foikn Micras phrase was born amid late night drinking bouts and games of Kings and Box Head on Christmas Eve. Trust me, it was funny at the time.

Our family Christmas comprises a select but noisy few with Babybro, Stressany, JimmyD and Hah-Nah, my two - ClareBear and DrummerBoy, Babysis, ThePlummer, Maddymoo and LittleNeph. And, over the years the odd boyfriend or girlfriend has graced our table providing they have reached the six month qualifying period to attend a Christmas meal. None will be in attendance this year sadly although DrummerBoy is making a little headway with the new chicky babe, she hasn't met the qualifying criteria.

The table looks gorgeous and we've gone from blue silver and white with helium balloons, through to bronze and sparkly, red and gold - all very themed and civilised.
The food, usually non traditional mezze plates and gourmet barbecue or little entrée delights and a selection of fabulous salads.

This year . . . it's Kitch . . probably going to end up more expensive once the Singing Turkey, LED lit table runner and various Santa Stop Here signs are erected, not to mention the chocolate fountain (probably dotted with Christmas beetles by the end of the night.) This year, it’s a glazed ham and cold turkey, sumptuous salads and fresh fruit and marshmallows to dip in chocolate. But we all know it'll go to hell at about 9.00 when Kings takes over and BoxHead makes his annual appearance.

So, I'm getting excited. I've bought my first pressie and the tree goes up this weekend. BabySis and I just love Christmas. I love spending the day in the kitchen with the girls while the boys play golf, work or mess around with remote control cars and motorbikes . . so stay tuned. Maybe this year, someone will download all the photos they take and I can post a few . . .


I have two, much younger, actually one incredibly, one so-so younger e-friends who (or with whom) I have never met. I guess as Christmas draws nearer, my desire to actually meet them is increasing. Could be good, could be a disaster . . I'm literally twice one of their age so who knows.

Arkenstone in Melbourne used to work on a helldesk that I frequently called to ask the usual inane questions and received the usual inane support - "Turn your PC off and on again", "Are you putting in the right password?", "Have you turned your PC on? His patience was admirable and we struck a chord with each other and have had long email conversations on subjects as diverse as the history of Metallica to home renovation. He's since left but we keep in touch sporadically with silly emails and links to each other's blogs and photos. Even a quick video of each other's abodes has been exchanged but lately things have been a little quiet. He's easily distracted and I'm high maintenance apparently.

During the slow periods, we've had a few chats on the ether and become quite pally. Arkenstone who has a number of pseudonym's including Crispy (I thought that's what happened to hard drives when they burned out?) has some interesting geeky obsessions which are very entertaining. He comes with, World of Warcraft, Star Wars Lego, light sabres, Kiss T-Shirts, Swamp Thing underwear, a huge Mercedes, an incredibly patient girlfriend and a plethora of gadgets that allow him to take macro pics of matcheads and ice cubes . . occasionally . . and very occasionally, there's a photo of note. Sorry Ark but I like human studies!

The other is Johnny Dodge in Christchurch who's NZPubcasts with his trusty companion Shifty Rob are sometimes boring as batshit, sometimes very entertaining. Lets' face it, get an Irishman and a Canadian in a bar with a PC and just listening to the accents is a cack. Don't know much about the dodgster other than he's a lefty with wide opinions and a hunger for general knowledge and a number of failed attempts to achieve his pilot's licence plus a vitriolic (that's my word this week) hatred of George Bush, aptly named il Diablo. Keep up the good work Johhny. I suspect he spends a lot of time reading the newspaper on line and digging out obscure stories about Pitcairn Islanders and Vicars trying to overcome the shortage of underwear in small English towns. C'mon, you've gotta love it!

Either way, I've come to enjoy the e-company of these two, even though I have no idea whether we'll ever get to share a beer or shake a hand. Keep it up boys you're my solace on Sunday mornings when I log in and check the podcast and photos.

And of course, when in Sydney . . gimme a call . . I'll show you mine if you show me yours. (City that is).

Monday, November 27, 2006

Love a Long Lunch

After a rather uneventful week the weekend managed to be eventful in both a bad and a good way. Let me set the scene, I live ina commune, a shared house. Well actually two houses with me and my brood in one and Babybro, Stressany and their brood in the other. Mine is joined to Babybro's by an entertainment area, poolroom and wet bar and BBQ area so this area is used by both families as is the garden and swimming pool. I have to walk past their house to reach the washing line and the sulo bins so without prying, it's quite easy to tell what's going on inside. Privacy isn't a big thing between us.

With the shared areas, the rule is leave things as you find them, rack up the pool table, put your cue in the rack, clear your rubbish, return any matresses and doonas to their respective homes, turn off the fridge if there's no alcohol in it. Around the pool, put the brolly down,remove towels and stuff from the pool enclosure etc. Not a big ask really. Simple one would think.

Since Babybro and Stressany have gone to watch the Ashes in Brisbane, their house has become a backpackers without rules. All week a selection of misfits has been yahooing, swearing and drinking copious amounts of alcohol while the cats are away so to speak. Even mum and dad's bed has been violated by drunken blokes dossing down for the night. How do I know? As I said, have to walk past their bedroom to hang out the washing and put out the rubbish and it's been a dishevelled mess for 4 days.

Anyway, JimmyD - naughty nephew, decided to have a bender on Saturday night and bring home a bevy of blokes and a couple of chicky babes at 5.00am on Sunday morning. More yahooing and swearing and copious amounts of JimBeam cans being tossed willy nilly onto the garden, tree branches bing snapped with much hilarity and the XBox cranked up to wake the dead I was awoken from my spurious slumber, got dressed and proceeded to chastise the bastards in no uncertain terms. Not many will be willing to return methinks.

Only the day before I'd filled 2 sulo bins full of beer and Bean refuse and cleared kilos of pistachio shells from the pool room floor, re-racked the balls and hung up the cues and whilst wheeling the bins back to their designated waiting spot could smell the inside of the house - did someone die in there or had they just overdoesed on anchovies?

Just wait until I get hold of that dickhead he will wreak the wrath of Baino and for anyone that knows me, this is not a pleasant experience. I did have my satisfaction later that day berated JimmyD in no uncertain terms until he apologised profusely for being so drunk that he'd neglected to realise he'd invited 15 people back to party at 5.00am and it would never happen again (yeah right, that angelic smile and big brown eyes don't work on me kiddo!). I did secure assurances that the area will be pristine by this afternoon and the incident will never be repeated - well until the next time!

And speaking of dicks - why do boys have to pee on your plants . . haven't they ever seen a toilet.

So, as you can imagine, furious, tired and thoroughly down on the younger generation it was nice to have a long lunch by the sea with Ros and the Engineer. Old schoolfriends who's romantic tryst has lasted since they were 18 have a beautifully renovated (well more rebuilt) home in Avalon. I see them maybe every 2 years but it's like no time has passed and we gasbag long into the evening. Had seafood and fetta pizza with a noice Cape Mentele Cab Sav and lovely nibbly bits left over from the Engineer's 50th. We were joined by Mos and Harry the dog in what was a fabulous and relaxing afternoon. Thanks kiddies I needed it.

Babybro . . come back!

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Week That Wasnt

Well the vitriole over GymJunkie has now turned from tears to justified anger. The prick has been eyeing off the receptionist at work and the GymJunkie haters have come out of the woodwork over the past week. There are quite a few of them! ClareBear is baring up well and I now curse him to a life of commission-based sales with just a $42,000 retainer and snotty kids born by a $23,000 a year bimbo receptionist in Supre clothing and . . . I haven't finished . . . may he become follically challenged and his precious teeth fall out! And . . . DrummerBoy and I are convinced that due to the sound of his interrupted urine flow - he's got a prostate problem!

DrummerBoy has had a better weekend starting his holiday landscaping job. The mornings are early but so are the finishes and he loves it. Lots of breaks and lots of variety but since most of the jobs are based on the harbour and inner suburbs, peak hour driving is taking its toll as is my bottle of cordial . . . the more he works, the more he eats and drinks . . . The pay is the nicest surprise so now I must increase his board unless he starts to tidy up his bedroom or else it will all get blown on remote control vehicles.

ThePrincess is recovering nicely, actually remarkably. The leg's fine but she's still got to be kept quite for another 3 weeks. Physio and swimming are the only exercise she's allowed. She hates not sleeping on my bed and is very cranky at being locked in the laundry. I quite frankly am getting very sick of the summer dog hair! Only 3 weeks to go and we can start some weight bearing exercise.

Well how exciting is this post . . . as exciting as watching grass grow, watching paint dry . . . being at work at 4:43 on a Friday arvo. Aha . . . that's it, I'm giving myself an early mark and going to buy something tacky for our Christmas celebrations.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Feelin Alright? . . not feelin' too good myself

OK this is definitely the last draft, maybe the sixth . . it gets . . . well, more even handed with each draft . . .I'm just so pissed that my lovely ClareBear is so upset.

Well uni has finished for ClareBear. After 16 years of education my first born now only has to participate in an exhibition of graduate’s work and it’s done. My baby is free to fulfil her destiny and this should be a happy time, gap year, choices, travel, love, whatever comes her way . . . the happiest of times – one of those milestones like leaving school or getting married - but it’s not – it’s veiled in tears.

This semester has been fraught with tension. Between soul destroying tutors, tight timelines, pretentious artists, an incredible workload and of course the ever demanding boyfriend, last week was hell on earth.

Sunday, there’s a heart-to-heart, a D & M because GymJunkie’s in a bit of a rut, feeling a bit neglected due to her uni priorities but it ends with hugs and kisses and “I’m glad we talked, it brings us closer together . .” Everyone’s happy, just the pressure of the final assignment. Uni is almost finished with just 4 days to go. Then they can spend lots of time together (That is when he’s not playing tag, going to the gym, working, watching footy and cricket, preening himself, shopping or feeling like an early night).

Tuesday he called her three times as usual and told her he’d bought tickets for Sara Blascoe for the following week – all is well, fine and dandy it seems the rut has been overcome.

Wednesday lunchtime, he hasn’t called, she wonders why and then, after some pressing due to the ‘tone’ of his voice - he announces that he loves her but is no longer ‘in love’ – just two days before her final presentation. Nice timing jerk.

She calls me in a tizz, no an hysterical moment, I race home from work and get the news that he doesn't love her any more and hasn't for a while - she is inconsolable and knows that it’s not a great sign but they’ve agreed to leave it until Sunday before making any decision on their future together. I resolve to take a couple of days off to keep her grounded.

Thursday – no news, she’s distraught and putting the final touches to this massive presentation. We’ve run out of tissues and the sleeves of her t-shirt are wet with tears. She has a feeling of foreboding but a glimmer of hope.

Friday – the big presentation goes well. The sense of relief for us both is enormous. I don’t know how she’d have actually got it together if I hadn’t resolved to drive. Her models were huge and heavy. So that’s it. . . we’re on the way home . . . she’s planning a celebration with some mates and a visiting friend from Queensland . . . once again, she’s put her problems with GymJunkie aside for now and resolved to have a big night and face the demons later.

Good job I was driving . . I hadn’t intended to it was only her fragile frame of mind and nerves that made me resolve to take her and bring her home.

Then, not more than 20 minutes after the presentation, he calls her, we’re driving on the freeway – He announces that it’s all over, he’s not prepared to try to rekindle the romance now that Uni’s finished and it’s a huge weight lifted from his shoulders we're so glad that he feels better. She can keep the John Butler ticket and try to get a refund for their Port Macquarie escape in December and maybe they’ll be friendly enough to sit next to each other at the Chilli Peppers concert next April. To add insult to injury (and we’re still driving on the freeway) he tells her that he’s consulted a number of people, including her best friend and decided that it’s the right thing to do – the ultimate humiliation, he’s not only breaking up, he’s doing it on the phone, on the road and after talking to every man and his dog about it. . Goodbye and good luck.

Well I'm really pleased that he feels better, lets face it, this has all been about his inability to understand the pressures of her final year at uni and when the going got tough, it seems the 'gloss' fell off the relationship and he became hell-bent on going . . better now than when she’s barefoot and pregnant I guess. These are my thoughts not hers, she's very forgiving.

I’m over the anger of it now (really, this is calm by comparison) and just consoling ClareBear who is absolutely gutted and was convinced this rather self-absorbed boy with a very silly haircut was ‘the one’.

What do you do when your child brings a boy home that you know isn’t quite right? He's chatty, funny - he embraces her, showers her with affection and whispers sweet nothings that make her feel like a Princess. He treats her well on this level but never buys her flowers, gifts or even pays for her concert tickets or dinner. In fact GymJunkie has never shouted her anything . . . she hasn’t a single memento from their 9 month relationship - ah but he's funny, and glib and charming and handsome (so some think). She’s besotted but I knew from the start that there’s little room for anyone in GymJunkie’s life other than himself. Even his father told me so when we first met.

He has difficulty walking past a reflective surface without checking himself out, has no interests other than sport and the body beautiful and music of course. Won't travel unless there's a gym, a shower and the opportunity to clean his teeth three times a day. Doesn't dance. Doesn't party late.

OK people fall out of love all the time, shit happens on both sides - no-one is at fault and I'm not lamenting the end of this relationship as much as Clare but frankly, this issue was about timing and it sucked.

Why couldn’t he have waited until today? She didn’t even have a chance to celebrate the one night she can say she’s truly free. She, on the other hand defends his many ‘layers’ and says that I don’t know the half of it. Bullshit, I didn’t come down with the last shower. Okay, he says he's felt this way for some weeks and was sparing her the agony during a time of stress - thanks heaps - breaking the news three days before after a three week silence - grand jesture of selflessness my boy - worked a treat.

Anyway, he’s feeling liberated so that’s OK. Here are some hot tips for you GymJunkie and I mean these as a way of improving yourself for the next relationship:

  • You will never find love when you love yourself more than the person you’re with
  • You will never have a successful relationship if you do a runner as soon as the pressure is on
  • You will never 'deal' with a relationship if you aren't prepared to put in a bit of effort when things get tough.
  • You are not the centre of the universe
  • Your table manners need improving
  • Show some respect for your parents
  • Girls don’t give a shit about how great you’re feeling about yourself
  • They also like a little selfless love . . and that goes for the bedroom
  • Stop talking everything up . . the best concert in the universe, the most fabulous workout, the biggest night . . shit man, life comprises highs and lows as do relationships so put it into perspective and learn to deal with them both. Your enthusiasm is simply you trying to convince yourself that things are better than they are . . .take a long hard look at yourself and the world around you, try it without those rose coloured glasses! Sometimes life's great, sometimes its boring and sometimes its just plain pig shit. Take it from someone who knows. Maybe I should put this down to limited life experiences and youth.

At least a relationship with my daughter may have taught you a little more about how to handle the next with more finesse. Your immaturity is evident in your need to consult others to confirm your feelings. You have no idea how to break bad news, your timing is unbelievably selfish for the sake of two days, she could have at least celebrated the end of 4 years of uni with a smile on her face. I also hope you feel so much better now that this burden has been lifted from your shoulders because Clare is still carrying hers . . . she will come to her senses but the hurt she feels at the moment is deep and infectious. You my friend are a high-maintenance self-obsessed sales pitch on legs and she fell for your dulcit tones hook line and sinker. Wow, to use your vernacular - smashed that one didn’t we!

GymJunkie, seriously just quit talking it up . . you showed her the best time of her life because she believed your glib talk and sales pitch which at the time might have been genuine, but down deep, I knew it wouldn't last. You have nothing in common . . . she cares about and respects her family, she has concern for others and the environment she is not self-obsessed and vain . . . she sleeps in and parties late, she loves to dance and hates the gym and some of the pretentious people it attracts - yet she fell in love with you, forgave you all your faults because she loves you whereas you found that the sparkle faded whilst she had other priorities and gave up on her. I guess sometimes the chemistry does just vapourise but in your case, it seemed to happen so quickly and you talked yourself into leaving rather than trying. Relationships are hard work and not always smooth sailing. Take a good long look at yourself and realise that whether at work or in your personal life you can't just spin the sales pitch . . . relationships are more than a few well placed words at the right time. You can be so much more than just salesman in a pink Ralph Lauren shirt.

I thought you were fun GymJunkie . . you were nice to have around, easy to feed, seriously flattering and ultimately presentable in mixed company and I thank you for a lovely birthday dinner, that meant a lot to me to see you actually at work in the kitchen rather than wolfing down large portions of meat without enjoying the flavour. I have to say however, that in my mind, you werre never a serious contender. Clare begs to differ - Ahh well, she'll live and learn.

Now . . who's game enough to face-off with the mother-in-law from Hell and treat my baby right? She is sweet, low maintenance, loving and takes people at face value . . she's hard working, ambitious and ultimately adorable so heads up fellas . . .who's game to run the mama Baino gauntlet and be the man of her dreams . . I know you're out there but sadly - probably don't read my blog.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Space Dog

I think the picture says it all. SpaceDog aka ThePrincess had her dressing removed yesterday and is picking at the staples in her knee . . .oh embarrassment . . .

In Praise of Praise

It doesn't seem to matter what I achieve, what good I do, how many staff I motivate or how many initiatives assist in the smooth running of the business in which I work, the principals of this business are for the most part incapable being complementary or even basically polite. Getting a hello or goodbye out of some of them is like pulling teeth, quite frankly, I'm sick of being patronised on all levels.

After a very public hauling over the coals this morning for intimating that one of the partners had neglected to inform me of something rather important, I was left feeling like a schoolgirl being chastised by the headmaster . . .

The point of this entry is how did men get to be such patronising assholes. I blame the women in their lives. Mother's who mollycoddle or were bullied by their fathers and wives who do 'everything'.

Even DrummerBoy, raised by a single female parent, brother to ClareBear who last time I looked was quite a girly girl, has turned out to be the most blokey, brusque, all farting, all boozing, all swearing boy I know who thinks that the cleaning fairy does his bidding. He's good to women but still harbours some intensely patronising and sexist views that shock me on a daily basis.

Anyway, as I was saying, what gives men their sense of total superiority, particularly I might add, men in the business world. I find men in laborious jobs or those where equality between the sexes can be more easily attained such as Teaching, IT, Web or Graphic Design, Retail or Hospitality . . .don't harbour the same patronising attitudes - "Yes Chef . . . three bags full Chef . . " However men in the medical and corporate world are a completely different kettle of fish. In many workplaces they:

  • Never change the water bottle when it's empty, that's left to a diminutive ButterflyGirl despite the fact that it weighs about 20k
  • Disappear whenever there's physical labour to be done such as moving furniture, trolleying archive boxes, assembling workstations
  • Wash their coffee mugs, lunch plates or dirty knives and forks - seems that's women's work
  • Patronise their workforce with comments such as 'great job on that . . . " when it was the most pathetic and insignificant thing such as organising a Melbourne Cup Lunch - and they never offer to help clean up afterwards.
  • Even worse . . "You sort it out . . I'm focussing on core business . . .". I'm getting angry just writing this. And my job is to? Fuck up your core business? Get in the way? I'm just a fly on the wall am I? . . Fine, I won't tell you about the power outage this afternoon . . .or the client you've just lost because you're too busy doing meaningless spreadsheets or ordering wine online or the fact that your PC has a virus that's going to eat through your cables and blow up your hard drive!

So how do we change it?. . I fear it might be too late for me but the Gen Y's who I am so quick to disparage on so many occasions, actually may have this bit right. Gen Y's don't focus heavily on work, they're intelligent, qualified and aren't interested in long service or corporate loyalty, so they don't get disappointed when they're not paid compliments or given accolades . . no . . they get even . . . they up and leave until they find a workplace that suits THEM. Work for them is just one lifestyle priority not the be-all and end-all.

Therein lies my mistake.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Loohooozer . . .

I figure the probability of me winning something substantial increases with every failed competition, bet or entry form. Yep, today's the day they race the Melbourne Cup. The race that stops a nation. Two miles of pumping horseflesh, grandios marquees, drunken soirees in the carpark and of course the office sweep.

Once upon a time when I was a yummy mummy it used to be a great excuse to glam up, a new dress, some new heels and a hat and usually involved some bloke driving a shipload of giggly women home after a long, long, long lunch.

These days, it's a break in the working day and the chance to win the company sweep! It's also the one day I actually bet on anything other than a $2 scratchie, that is if you can call a $5, $2, and $1 splurge a bet. Steady now . . not big maybe but I'm only 15 years off getting the pension . . .

So all went well. I came to work (yes we Sydneysiders have to work on this auspicious day unlike our Melbournian counterparts) armed with a barage of silly hats from rastafarian dreadlocks to kitten ears which looked very pretty on EarthMother I might add and my favourite Nepalese export. Not quite the 'fascinator' you're probably used to. SwansGirl did the sweep since I'm no longer trusted after cleaning up in 2003 (these people take a long time to forget). Bought horses for ClareBear and DrummerBoy and myself of course. Went shopping with Receptionist and put on a pretty sumptuous spread not to mention plenty of beer and champers. Even the TV reception was OK.

The result, nothin'. Not a cracker. $23 worse off and the girl that ran the sweep cleaned up. Poor DrummerBoy got dumped by his woosy mates, bought a pizza and had a beer on his lonesome. ClareBare braved the RSL club with the girly swats . . . not expecting her home any time soon . . . I was left with no profit and half a bottle of cheap champers to drown my sorrows. Oh lament . . I should be at the Cup, dressed in black and white with a big hat that flops over my right ear and sipping Lanson or Verve Cliquot. I was soooooo . . . born in the wrong family.

Ah well the Libran psyche always sees the other side of the story. I figure such a loss increases the probability of me winning next year or even something else. Then again, maybe I'm just a 'looo-hooo-zer'. At least I won't end up in the glue factory like the drop kick nag I drew . . .Torkeet . . . I hope you're a stallion for your sake or your days are seriously numbered.

Cracked Aktors

Well further to my musical rant last week, I finally have a new talent to promote. DrummerBoy's band is finally getting serious, writing a few songs and yep, actually contemplating a gig or two. The website's done, a few songs recorded and mixed so all they have to do now is get Ocky to remember the words and off they go. I'm very proud of what my little soldier boy can do on a set of $500 Billy Hyde's and a couple of Zildjians and I'll buy him a proper kit when I'm rich. Check them out . I think they're pretty good but boys . . .boys . . .boys . . the name is awful!

It's either Indonesian for you guessed it - actor, or an acrynym for the Applied Knowledge Technology and Operations Research, a South Australian Precision Engineering Company or even the brother of king Augeas and believed to be the father, by Molione, of Eurytus and Kteaus (Cteaus).

You should have Googled it first lads!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Screw Loose

Well Lily aka ThePrincess had her big op on Thursday afternoon and is now in the post operative six week recovery phase of a total knee reconstruction. That means nothing, zip, nada for six weeks other than absolute rest and maybe a bit of swimming and physio and glucosamine injections once the stitches have been removed in 2 weeks. Then 20 minutes short lead walks twice a day building up to a couple of hours a day before she can go 'free' from a lead in probably mid January . . . It's day three and the stress is killing me. She's being very good but very difficult to keep her still, especially when its time for a loo break which forms the most exciting parts of her day. I swear this dog's on springs. Her leg's bandaged to the top of her thigh but that doesn't stop her wanting to bolt off into the blue. So, with baby gates in place, she's confined to the Laundry and Family Room much to her chagrin. She thinks she's done something terribly wrong to reek my wrath and is no longer permitted to sleep on my bed. Just as well actually cos I bought nice new pink and white sheets.

One worrying thing is that SuperVet (who's recent trip to you guessed it PARIS, was financed by moi) told me a couple of the screws in the top of her stifle are a bit 'short'. And he's slightly worried they might need replacing with longer ones! For free of course because he should have measured them more precisely. Ahhhhhghgghghgh . . . I'll give him screws . . . he must be a screw loose! Anyway we'll know more next week when he does more radiographs (we used to call them x-rays) to make sure it's healing ok. So now, i'm a total of $2,610 out of pocket with a lame dog, a 12 week recovery phase and that doesn't count the x-rays at six weeks, new plush indoor doggy bed, 2 baby gates plus the Kong that she doesn't even like . . .sheeeeeeeet eyyyy!