Archive for February, 2010

Decluttering

February 26, 2010

I’ve been feeling inspired lately to declutter. Clear out the rooms full of mess, finish that renovation, and start using my whole house rather than live in the downstairs because I am renovating upstairs. People smirk at that comment, probably because I have been renovating upstairs for about 10 years now.

Perhaps I need to bite the bullet and just START already. Otherwise I think the decluttering buzz that is going around in my head will get louder and louder. At least, that is what I am sure is to blame for the fact that after lunch at work today I washed up my plate and cutlery and microwave container, dried them up and went to take them back to my office. However all that was on the bench was some paper towels. As I had dried the dishes? I’d chucked them all straight in the bin, and carefully stacked the paper towels on the bench. Excellent work.

In other news, I am sorry to say that I am very cranky with The Boyfriend today. He feels I am being unreasonable – that I can’t be cross for what he did in my dream last night. Hmph, whatever. If he would stop acting that way in my dream – fancy bringing an old friend’s cousin over and giving her special cuddles in the bed that I am also sleeping in – then I wouldn’t be cross. Or alternatively, I might lay off the smoked cheese just before bed.

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Culture

February 22, 2010

Late on Friday night, The Boyfriend and I decided to take off to Canberra, our nation’s capital, for the weekend. Canberra is truly the most boring place in the world. All Aussie schoolkids are sent there on a school excursion in around 6th grade, it seems, so the place is also full of squalling kids all through the week, high on sugar and bored of traipsing through the Mint or the War Memorial or the Art Gallery.

We were aiming for the Art Gallery deliberately – the Musee d’Orsay in Paris is currently under renovation, so they have loaned many of their works to the Aussie National Gallery. Fantastic exhibition and well worth the wait (the line up was over an hour – and that was in the quietest part of the day!). I have always loved Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and to see it in person was rather breathtaking. So many examples of stunning art – if you’re in the area it’s well worth the effort of getting in to see it.

Unfortunately, the popularity of the exhibition meant that every single hotel, motel, B&B, cabin, you name it, in the whole of Canberra was booked out on Saturday night. We were determined to make it into a proper weekend away so we found a gorgeous little pub called The Bushranger Hotel in nearby Collector. A brilliant example of country hospitality – we ended up getting rather sozzled with the owner, who then took us on a ghost tour of the supposedly haunted hotel. It was a real laugh – but I must admit my thoughts on streaks on the mirrors are not that they are ghost children’s fingerprints, but that they are dirty mirrors! Plus, dudes, the ghosts are supposed to be adults. Great pub though – I’d stay there again, and it was so much more fun than a boring hotel room with no personality.

Across the road from the pub was a very strange example of a different sort of culture. Apparently the man who used to live here made this in memory of his father, who died in the war. Which war, they weren’t sure. Looks like the alien vs human war to me.

Toasty

February 19, 2010

I wasn’t feeling too crash hot yesterday. There is only one thing for that – the old remedy that Mum used to feed me with when I was sick as a kid. Vegemite on toast and flat lemonade.

I am constantly amazed when I read comments from people in other countries who do not understand the appeal of vegemite on toast. How can you not like it? Most Aussie kids are brought up on this stuff. I had vegemite and cheese sandwiches for almost every day I was at school. I love vege on toast with sliced ripe tomatoes on top – the vegemite acts like the salt that you might normally like on tomato. Mmm, yum.

When trying it I think most who are new to the experience spread too thickly. This is the perfect way to serve it (in my humble opinion):

Take Note!

February 17, 2010

I find the site Passive Aggressive Notes rather amusing. Possibly because I could see myself writing the odd one. Like the time I left a note on the fridge at work saying “To the thief that stole my yoghurt, hope you choke on it and die”, only to later have to leave another one next to it saying “Erm, about that? Yep, never mind, I found it in the freezer, right where I left it while trying to make frozen yoghurt”. Hey, it made me laugh at least!

The last few weeks I’ve had 2 or 3 sets of headphones pinched from my spare desk (I have an office at the building I spend most time at, and a cell cubicle at head office, where I have to go around once a week). Today I decided it was time for another passive aggressive note.

PS My ears are clean, really. Oh, and they are not pus filled.

When Animals Attack

February 16, 2010

While on the train this morning, a lady grabbed her folder full of work papers she’d been browsing through, and hit me over the head with it. I thanked her.

There was a good reason, and it started when I noticed a bee buzzing around the window near the person behind me. I am not a huge fan of being stung by bees, so I had been keeping an eye on the bee’s path. I idly wondered if I should wake the lady behind me to let her know there was a bee a centimetre away from her nose. I wish I had – maybe she would have scared it away. As it happens, karma got me back for not warning her by sending the bee over to me.

I was sitting in one of the rather awkward seats at the end of the carriage where 3 people are facing each other, knees knocking all the way. The bee started to dive bomb the 6 of us, and was getting difficult to avoid since we were already squashed in like bugs. At this point, I may have gotten a little shrieky.

The carriage full of weary commuters perked up and started to look interestedly over at the commotion. The tiny, demure looking lady opposite me shouted, “AAAAHHHH, it’s in your HAIR!” and whacked the bee, which was sitting on my head, with her folder. The bee disappeared from view and the interest in the carriage subsided. My pulse still racing, I grinned at the other folks in the facing chairs and said “Well, I’m awake now!”

It was too late, the moment was gone, and the unspoken rule of not talking to or making eye contact with anyone else on the train had come back into effect without me noticing, and my cohorts all shifted uncomfortably and pretended not to have heard me. As we pulled into my stop, the bee, by now really angry, climbed back up from the brink of death and started buzzing around their faces. I neatly sidestepped the action, and farewelled them with a cheery, “Enjoy the rest of your trip, ladies, I’m getting off this train!”

As I glanced inside the window on my way towards the station exit, all I could see were handbags and folders waving frantically through the air. I chuckled to myself, happy with my lucky escape, and headed off to work.

Home Alone

February 15, 2010

I’ve had a somewhat unwanted housemate for the last 3 months. A friend, who at the time was desperate, promised it was only for a couple of weeks – you know the drill. 3 months later it was starting to wear a little thin – I’d only been back in my house for a week before Mr Onlyforafeweeks arrived. I hadn’t had time yet to wander around in the nude. As you do. Well, as I do anyway – why would you wear clothes to clean the house, for example, when you’re only going to get all sweaty by the time you’re done.

Mr Onlyforafeweeks got very cheesed off with me last weekend when I had sent him a very blunt message advising how selfish and rude I thought he was to not turn up to a BBQ lunch I had invited him to (an invitation that he had accepted, and that I had catered for when preparing food), preferring instead to go to the local pub for steak-in-a-glass.  It wasn’t the first time, so I called him out on it.

Seems like he’s gotten so enraged by my message that he has not spoken a word to me since. Or a word to The Boyfriend, even though they were supposed to be good mates. I did hear he was planning on moving out this past week – there is nothing kept a secret at The Local, after all. He hasn’t managed to let me know he’s moving, however his clothes were all gone by Thursday, and the house has been peaceful ever since.

Yesterday I was chatting to a friend at The Local about how lovely it was having the house back to ourselves again – and without thinking, I said “Yep, I’ve been wandering around all day in the nude, it’s been just lovely”. He raised his eyebrows and nodded as he replied, “Yep, I heard there’d been a  big car accident on your corner.” I was quick to retort “Oh, not from me wandering around in the nude, I had all the blinds closed. Although I suppose it might have been from when I forgot what I wasn’t wearing and went out to check the mailbox.”

ERK!

February 2, 2010

Work is erk and will continue to be so for some weeks, I fear. While I was away swanning around the Northern Territory, 4 of my team have moved on to other jobs. I was part of a team of 6 – now it is just me and the boss. With budgets for all our state’s various business divisions to get through in the next few weeks. And I just ordered almost half a million bucks worth of equipment that in my absence the geeks discovered was unexpectedly incompatible with everything in place at work. I took notes on the issues this morning. The last thing written in my long chain of notes about how we could do x but then y wouldn’t work, I wrote “= shit creek, no paddle”.

The boss asked me to send him something about what strategy I recommended. I did eventually send some info over but not before I sent a message saying “Dunno about you mate but my strategy is that I am going to buy a Lotto ticket at lunchtime and pray really hard it wins”. He quickly advised he wanted to go halves in the ticket. Otherwise it might be just him stuck in this creek.

With all this excitement (amongst a million other dramas) going on, boss man has been understandably a little busy and slow when replying to some messages of late. So when I sent him a message a while ago that I really wanted him to read and fast, I made the subject “Will you be a referee for an interview I have next week”. Then inside, of course, was written “HAHAHA, just kidding, I really wanted a quick yes/no to this question and wanted you to read it fast.”

Well, this may have backfired. He still hasn’t replied to that one. Heh.

Lions and Tigers and Bears

February 1, 2010

OK, I didn’t see any lions. Or tigers. Or bears. I did see a few crocodiles and dingoes though. I spent the last week up in the Northern Territory, staying with my sailing friends.

The weather was far too hot and humid for me to cope with, however it was worth it to get to places like Katherine Gorge. I’ve wanted to get there ever since I was about 8.  We saw some amazing rock art and went swimming in our clothes (we stopped in at a croc-free swimming pool and hadn’t expected to be able to swim so didn’t have anything to swim in but what we were wearing).

The swimming was amazing at Litchfield National Park, at least until I tried to be a little too gung ho and ended up caught in a whirlpool before tumbling down a waterfall. A small waterfall, enough to bruise me lots but not too seriously. I can laugh now, but there were a few minutes of terror before The Boyfriend rescued me by sticking his leg out for me to grab on to.

Lots more to say about the whole week but it will have to wait – work calls.

I wonder if the people in this cafe got my subtle message about their food?