May 2009 archive
We squeaked in at just under $120 for groceries this week. Hurrah!
So it’s not going to be a particularly exciting or healthy week. Which is just as well, as it’s going to be a busy and stressful one, and the easier the dinners are to throw together, the better.
Sunday: Rolls with chicken and salad
Monday: Chicken kiev
Tuesday: Pork belly and fried cabbage
Wednesday: Nuggets and chips
Thursday: Shepherd’s pie
Friday: Nuggets and mashed potato
Saturday: Fried rice
Yes, I still love chicken nuggets and so does BF. Don’t judge…
Tags: food, groceries
Spending over three hours at the AA the other week was quite an eye opener.
We saw more than one learner turn up without L plates, a Telecom van reverse into a car (which had just come back from a test) and SO many cars randomly have front or back lights go out. One light gone, and you can’t sit your test. And you know Murphy’s Law means your light will stop working just on that day, or just in the time between you getting there and you going back out to the car with the instructor. It wasn’t just clunkers having this problem. A family wagon, a flash new Holden….no car is invincible.
Maybe the AA should provide test cars, or at least have backup cars. It’s a waste of instructors’ time, and it’s a waste of both time and money for those taking the test. You don’t get your money back! You lose about $45, I think, on a restricted and about $80 on a full. Rebooking isn’t just a matter of getting a time later that day either, usually. It’s more like days or weeks. In fact, maybe the AA should open more branches, but then that wouldn’t be very profitable would it?
My friend M pointed out that day that most people LIKE their own cars. They’re used to the controls, they’re comfortable in them. But a lot of people don’t have cars and don’t have much access to cars they can use for things like sitting their test. Just learning to drive is a mission to organise (I should know!) And they need their licences for work, uni, or whatever. I don’t think it would be such a bad idea for there to be a few dedicated AA test cars for the most dire circumstances, both manual and auto.
So I didn’t blog about this (I don’t think) but I did mention on Twitter. Last weekend the little shit from down the road who was involved in a)throwing bottles at us a few other weeks back and b) burgling us over the summer, came into our house. Yes, literally, came into the house, into an empty bedroom (I was in mine and everyone else was in the third bedroom) nicked off with the Xbox and gapped it. One of the flatties heard him and chased him out to the street, but I guess little nogoods like him have plenty of experience running from crime scenes and consequently have extremely overdeveloped little legs.
It was just absolutely unbelievable that he came INTO the house. While we were there. Incredibly ballsy, or stupid, I don’t know.
ANYWAY. Flattie recognised him from school. We got out the yearbooks and IDed him and once we knew his full name, the cops were able to get a search warrant and go around there. They found the Xbox in his room, and apparently he’s now in the cells (and will be till Tuesday, bless Queen’s birthday weekend!)
Cops said they couldn’t do anything about the laptop and cameras he took from us in the summer, but I just wanna see him go down.
Police finally got something right, and did something useful, for a change!
But seriously. It’s so frustrating for you to know that someone who lives around the corner has something of yours in their house, and you cannot legally do anything about it. We had all the details to the cops by Sunday (the day after it happened) and only yesterday (Friday) did they apparently arrest him for stealing and breaking and entering.
Tags: crime, theft
I wanted to be 18 so I could go to clubs and bars and pubs. I got over that pretty fast!
I’d like to be 21, I guess, because 21 sounds older. You’re really IN your twenties, and the older and more responsible you sound, well the better for finding places to live. (Yes, this is important to me. In four years I have lived more places than I did in my first 16 and I can’t tell you how much I hate moving and the process of looking for a new place!)
It’s nearly June and that will mean 2009 is halfway over! That’s really scary! What have I accomplished?
I’ve done nothing but work, fight my way through uni, and stress. But it’s my final year, and I really need to make grades my job. Doing well in these papers is way more important than ever before.
I’ve been waiting for some time or another for so long, financially speaking. End of summer – student loan. February – bed payment. May – BF’s fines. Always looking ahead, to something that can’t come soon enough.
Yet in real life, everything is whizzing past at the speed of light. What’s really telling is how quickly rubbish day comes along. Every Thursday I start in surprise that a week has passed and we need to wheel out the bins. My final portfolio is due next month. My mum’s birthday is next month, and I haven’t even begun to think about a present. BF will start his course in July. I graduate in December. AHHHHH!
I need to try to find a place in the here and now, and actually sit down to be in it. Even if I only savour the odd moment, like sitting in the Horse and Trap on Tuesday with my friends, fighting our way to the bottom of the pub quiz ranks.
Tags: life, reflections, time
Random pic that comes up if you search teeline shorthand!
One of those classes you gotta go to, because if you don’t, you’ll fall behind and never catch up. I think I’ve missed two classes so far – the first time I caught up from a friend’s notes, and the second I winged it from the guidelines.
And literally everyone loves our tutor! There’s a Facebook group created especially for us, called “i heart shorthand” along with a treasure trove of quotes from our all-knowing sensei. She comes up with some real gems. I’ve copied and pasted some here for your amusement.
- “Normally” looks like a wee animal you’d take for a walk or something.
- “I’m like a little team all on my own”
- “Don’t fluff around with vowels.”
- “Faulty….” as in towers
- “-ment and -tion all holding hands together and getting on marvellously.”
- “You’re gonna amaze yourself, horrify yourself, do whatever to yourself.”
- “You can go to bed listening to me. I can be in your ears 24/7.”
- “You should be chanting these special outlines every chance you get.”
- “I usually have a few tail-end-Charlies at the end of the course.” (Don’t know what this one was about….)
- “I know your head is a heavy thing but it can hold itself up.”
- “We’re getting the whole family group in here one by one.”
- “If you hear it as a negative when it’s coming at you, treat it as a negative.”
- “We really are old-fashioned, I even have a watch I have to wind up. We don’t even have the internet at home.”
- “There’s no hope for me. I have a cellphone… but it’s never switched on – it’s 7 years old.”
- “Has anyone heard of a pixel? There’s one in this thing here.” (points to computer)
I realise that out of “context” (one of her favourite words) she might come across as a bit ditzy or behind the times. But I assure you, she’s LOVELY! The sweetest, nicest, and one of the funniest people ever.
One more week of classes next week. And no more lectures! We’re going to be filling out those end of term evaluation forms for each class and my plan is to write mine in shorthand for her. Something basic, along the lines “sweet, patient, and so very funny. Don’t ever retire!” I’m sure she’ll appreciate my efforts.
Tags: shorthand, uni
I really hate answering the phone. I never call anyone, and nobody ever calls me. If anyone rings me in a professional capacity, it’s via cellphone.
So I ignored the phone when it went tonight, and BF came in the room looking for it as he’d last left it somewhere among the bedcovers. He answered it, then turned straight to me and handed it over.
It was…..a market researcher wanting to do a survey about Vector, our power company, based on the fact that I’d called them the other month about our lack of hot water.
I always try to participate in surveys if I have the time, because I’ve been on that side of the phone. I know how hard it is to get people to give up their time, and what it’s like to try and shortcut through the superfluous questions so as not to piss off the rare person who actually assents to taking part. The questions can get so anal and so repetitive, they’re almost pointless. And how we try to frame our spiel as to focus on the fact that we’re calling on So and So company’s behalf, “which you’ve had recent dealings with”, rather than a third party middleman.
It really sent me back in time as she read out each question, most of which were along the lines of “rate this on a scale of 1-7″, and I could almost see her clicking through the various screens on her computer as I used to do.
She had a really good telephone voice too – super clear, not too fast, good enunciation, and smooth and flowing rather than grating. I wonder how I ever lasted so long in that call centre?
Tags: telephone, work
I turn 21 in just over a month.
21 is a big deal here. I don’t know why, it’s a societal thing. It’s not something I grew up with; it’s something I picked up during high school and the mania has only increased over the years, with the hysteria building to a climax this year. (All the ’88ers celebrating).
I can’t believe that people go into DEBT for these things. An old flatmate of mine borrowed to finance a huge party in town for her 21st. And she didn’t even remember the occasion. Seriously??
A couple of our friends had a lovely joint do last year at the golf club which cost a few grand. Lots of other people are hiring out bars and stuff and opening tabs and will no doubt spend at least a thousand dollars on all that kinda stuff. Even if I had that kind of money to spare, I wouldn’t do it! I would much rather travel somewhere, somewhere SUNNY and warm. It seems so wasteful and counterintuitive to blow that kind of $ on one night. i may be jaded from the fact that I’ve never really had a memorable birthday. It’s hard to have a special, enjoyable day in the depths of winter, especially on a budget. And as much as I love my girlfriends, they are, shall we say, flakey.
I’m not sure what I’m doing on my birthday. It’s a Monday, and the day I start my two week internship. I wouldn’t mind going to a hotel (have been wanting to stay in a deluxe spa suite at the Duxton…something I love about hotel rooms, sheets and service) and having a nice dinner and a facial and massage. But jeepers, that alone would be well into the three digits! And I can’t justify that with BF out of work. I doubt my internship will be paid, given the economy…I think the interns last year received something, but I’ll be astounded if we get anything this time round. Seeing as I actually work there though, hopefully I can swing some paid leave so we don’t suffer too much then.
What do you like doing on your birthday? Obviously, ideally, I’d like to be sunning myself in Fiji/Raro/Bali, but that’s about as likely as me being offered the role of Nightline news anchor. I’ll make do with pretty photos like these…
(WHY do wordpress photos never line up properly when they publish?? And why isn’t my font the same?)
Tags: birthday, money
Okay, so the title really has nothing to do with the post. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite of how I’m feeling. But I’ve got the phrase stuck in my head after seeing the REM video in the pub today at lunch, and it’s as good a title as any!
Why was I in the pub at lunch? Weeeell….
BF texted me five minutes before the end of my first lecture. Mechanics FINALLY got round to looking at his car. Not the clutch after all, nooo…..but a crack in the gearbox. To the tune of $1300.
Stomach started turning tricks, as it does when I’m stressed. I called him back, confirmed the horrible truth, and went for a walk around campus. I waited FOREVER at the crossing for this one way street, and a girl breezed along past me and walked across. I decided to do the same, seeing as the traffic was stopped and was only going one way. Of course, the bus driver at the lights honked at me; obviously their light went green just as I started across. I ate the chocolate brownie I made last night. I generally wallowed for a bit, then went to the library and lost myself in a book till I was due to meet a friend for lunch.
“I need a stiff drink. Where to?” I texted.
“Sounds good,” I sent back.
London Bar was civilised enough to not open until 4pm, so we went to Father Ted’s next door (open from 10am, FYI). I nursed a whiskey on the rocks, he had a Guinness, and we had beer battered fish and chips. REM, Oasis, Justin Timberlake, Amy Winehouse and the Ting Tings played in the background. Then we debated over whether the Sugababes’ Freak Like Me was their first single.
He said: No, it was that one, you know, with the car, where they…um…and it has the word situation?
Me: *puzzled look*…… OH!!! *bangs head on bar top* Wasn’t it called Destination something!!
He knew what I meant. I knew what he was talking about.
“That was IMPRESSIVE! Just from the one word!”
(I just googled it. It was actually called Overload, although one of the search results did call it ‘Destination”)
We did a spot of shopping, where I failed to find a dress for my friend’s party. And we went into Smith and Caughey’s, and ooohed and ahhhhed over baby clothes and toys (since when does a posh place like SnC stock BONDS?? Since when did Bonds make baby gear??) In particular, a $79 music box amused us to no end, as did an antique telephone ($339) and a $55 baby comforter (I originally thought it was $5 and was almost tempted to buy it just because it was surely the cheapest item in the store….and what is a comforter anyway?? It looked like a piece of fuzzy fabric folded in half, topped off with a bear’s head, to me…).
And why on earth did I check the prices on everything! And remember them six hours later??
When I got home, me and BF popped over to see the LL. I had every intention of telling him we wanted a rent reduction if the water wasn’t sorted in a week. But he seemed so apologetic, I didn’t.
So now I’m settled in front of the fire, trying to put off typing up a huge bunch of notes for a project, and thinking, when life throws lemons at you, just make a sour face, head to the bar and order a nasty, nasty whiskey.
Tags: alcohol, drinking, life, one of those days
I read this blog entry at The Happiness Project the other day and thought “what the hell was that?” Most of them, I thought, were fairly straightforward. I couldn’t argue with them. Comment on general topics, shared interests, ask open questions, react in kind.
But a couple of things she mentioned were so ludicrous, seriously!
- 4. If you do ask a question that can be answered in a single word, instead of just supplying your own information in response, ask a follow-up question.
Fair call. Up till this point:
- For example, if you ask, “Where are you from?” an interesting follow-up question might be, “What would your life be like if you still lived there?” If you ask, “Do you have children?” you might ask, “How are you a different kind of parent from your own parents?” or “Have you decided to do anything very differently from the way you were raised?”
Oh really? Let’s see, if someone asked me how I parented differently from my parents, thirty seconds after meeting me, I’d have to try very hard not to turn and simply walk away from them, or barring that, try to resist shouting “WTF?” in their face. That’s super weird, super intrusive and super personal. Not an appropriate third “getting to know you” question, in my opinion. I would not take kindly to someone who did that and probably wouldn’t speak to them ever again if I could help it, and yes, I WOULD tell all my friends about that creepy person I met who asked about my parenting style or upbringing immediately after asking my name.
- 7. A friend argues that you should admit it! “We’re really working hard, aren’t we?” or “It’s frustrating—I’m sure we have interests in common, but we’re having a difficult time finding them.” Clearly this is a desperate measure, but my friend insists that it works. I’ve never had the gumption to try it, I have to admit.
Well, good on her. Even I, the queen of social awkwardness, wouldn’t bring up just what an awkward time I’m having with someone. There are some times it’s best to be straight up, but this really isn’t one of them. What do you expect to happen after putting it out there between you? “Wow, we really have nothing to say to each other!” “Yeah…so….lovely weather isn’t it?”.
I find that how well I make conversation really depends on my mood. Sometimes I just don’t feel like talking and will go out of my way to avoid crossing paths with people, even ones I know. Other times I just can’t be bothered making the effort, especially if after efforts to engage in dialogue, the other person doesn’t respond in kind. But if I’m feeling good about myself and what I’m wearing and how I look (shallow, yes) it makes a world of difference and I could almost pass for an extrovert-in-training. Not so much with people older than myself, or REALLY IMPORTANT PEOPLE – they make me nervous - but definitely with people around my age.
Tags: conversation, etiquette, social skills
Knocked off fairly early today, given that I didn’t have my 3pm lecture! I went to the Recycle Boutique to try on this dress I had my eye on for a friend’s party. Unfortunately, it was a gorgeous colour and everything, but size 14. I tried everything I could to make it fit but it was NOT gonna happen!
I also watched the hikoi on Queen St for a bit. People on foot, waving flags and banners, people with loudspeakers, in cars and trucks and vans and utes, little kids in yellow raincoats.
I think it’s amazing that people can come together for a cause like that, and be so committed as to walk for hours in the wet. Should have taken some photos, but I didn’t have my camera, and my phone camera is as shite as it gets. Yay democracy!
Tags: politics, social issues