April 2010 archive
A few weeks ago I got a call from my old landlord. Ugh, I thought. What now? The last time he called me was when the new tenant moved in – MONTHS after we left – and she couldn’t get her new phone line connected. There was no way this could be good, and I couldn’t think of a single reason why he might be calling me.
It turns out a package had arrived for me. A really big one, he said, and I should come pick it up. Except that every time we were in the area, he wasn’t home. BF is out that way all the time to see his family – usually at least once a week – and never managed to catch him, either.
Until this weekend. FINALLY. Ever the cheapskate, the LL (he lives in a little converted workshop out the back of the house we used to rent) still hasn’t fixed the broken pane in his glass front door. I SO don’t miss that place at all.
I honestly could not think of what might be inside the parcel. I wasn’t expecting anything. I hadn’t bought anything online. I figured I must have won something, although I didn’t know why it would have ended up there.
I thanked him and started edging toward the door, not wanting to stay a moment longer than I had to, especially since we were on our way elsewhere and the car was still running.
“I’m really curious…I don’t know what it could be,” said I. “Thanks! I can’t wait to get home and open it.”
“Yeah, me too. Let me know what it is,” sez he.
Underneath my name and address was the name of a random PR firm. So I ripped a little hole in the package and peeked inside. OH MY LORD. How embarrassing.
He’s all, “What is it?!”
I pulled out the envelope on top.
“Um, it looks like I’ve won a Durex prize pack. Kthxbai!”
Uh, awkward. I barely even remember entering the competition, but I scored myself quite the haul.
Lesson learned: Make sure your details are up to date before entering random competitions. And maybe stick to only the contests which you REALLY want to win.
(PS: A few days later he texted me asking what was in the pack. What a creep.)
Does anyone remember Donna from That 70s Show? (She now appears in some late night TV drama with the name Autumn Rd or something equally boring…okay, Google reveals that it is in fact October Rd). Anyway, she was on House last night as one half of a couple whose incessant blogging is testing their relationship. She was also really sick and had a heart condition, but I’m not interested in that for now.
The episode starts off with them fighting because, er, she blogged in detail about their last argument.
“I want what’s between us to stay between us!” he says.
Blogging, she says, helps her feel connected to others. People read about her life and leave comments, which to nonbloggers sounds downright insane, but to us is just par for the course. She blogs all. the. time. And right before she goes into surgery, she even tells him: “I wish you had a blog. I wish I knew what you were thinking.”
I think I can pretty confidently say I’ll never get to that stage.
I try not to blog about work. Something major happened last week that I really wanted to write a big post about, but that would have given away where I work, and I’m really not comfortable doing that. I certainly didn’t feel qualified to write about it on my real name blog, either (which has pretty much gone on hiatus. I’m not really interested in major political or media issues, nor informed enough to write about them. Then it was meant to be where I review movies, restaurants, etc, but until I wind up my voluntary gig – which, you guessed it, mainly consists of reviews, because they’re easy to knock out, and demonstrates my ability to write in different styles – that too is on pause).
I rarely blog about my relationship. We’re far from perfect. We have issues. I blog about one of the taboos – money – but I don’t write about sex or religion, and I don’t write about our fights…even when he irritates me to no end by, say, missing out on something he’s wanted for a long time because he couldn’t be bothered to do the groundwork beforehand.
The person you know as me is only a part of me. The only way you could get to know all facets of my personality is to know me in real life and spend a lot of time with me. Such is the nature of being a semi anonymous blogger. And even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t want to air out all of our dirty laundry. I respect his desire for privacy, and I want to focus on the positives, rather than dwell on the negatives, which are always so much easier to remember even without documentation.
As it is, I often find myself thinking about how I’m going to blog about something that’s happened to me. That’s totally reasonable. But I never want to find myself living like I’m on a reality show and living for a blog.
Tags: blogging, life
Go to Flickr–preferably the creative commons section. Type in your answers to the questions in the search box, then copy and paste the image only (copy and paste the HTML for the ‘direct link’) as your answer – no words allowed! Use from the first page of results.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO?
(lazy blogging at its best)
- So I got free tickets to a preview screening of Dear John. Much as I hate to admit it, I do have a bit of a weakness for Channing Tatum. I know, shoot me already, right? One word (or three) of advice – DON’T SEE IT. Complete and total waste of time. So dissatisfying…kind of like the first time I had meringue. I bit into it expecting light, creamy, fluffy heaven – and got sweet Styrofoam.
- It’s now been a month since we moved, and got Sky TV. I still think it’s a waste of money. But you gotta compromise in a relationship. He gets to watch stuff on Discovery/History/CI, and I get to watch Food Channel… but I digress. The LL was a little worried about the installation – what if they damaged the roof while putting on the aerial? T assured him they wouldn’t, and if they did, they would HAVE to fix it. All went fine – it now sits pretty atop their garage instead. BUT the man drilled too far into our bathroom wall, gouging out some of the plaster. And it’s taken a full month and far too many frustrating phone calls to get it fixed. At least I can now cross that off my list. (To their credit…Sky were excellent about following up once I filled out my “new customer” service survey and firmly requested a repairman.)
- I am waiting on some invoices to be paid. That money is earmarked for a) an eye test and new contacts and b) beefing my savings back up. *taps foot impatiently*
- Please, can someone invent an all-around pill that cures ezcema and hayfever? Thanks in advance. I think I can safely say I’ve gone through a rainforest’s worth of tissues this month. I’m not a fan of wiping my nose on my sleeve, but neither am I a fan of deforestation.
- I’m on a bit of a DVD kick. There was Gone with the Wind, Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Wrestler (just plain depressing) and now Inglourious Basterds, (oh how it pains me to type that out every single time), aka Tarantino at his best. It is so him, from the soundtrack to the douchebaggy shifting of the glass on the French guy’s table in the first part. And that is how you make a movie: not by adapting a Nicholas Sparks book, tossing in Hollywood’s latest beefcake, and hoping for a hit.
There’s been a lot of changes at work, staffwise, of late. One of the new employees – who works nights – is trying to get more of a social vibe going and have us do stuff together outside of the office. A suggestion that management have enthusiastically seized upon, but ultimately, won’t get any traction.
The thing is, we don’t work in a 9-5 industry. When you have staff starting at any time between 6.30am and 5pm, it’s pretty difficult to organise to get everyone together in one place to socialise. My hours fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum – I do get a lot of facetime with most of my coworkers – and yet, I often don’t feel part of the loop. (It doesn’t help that I’m not there for the daily morning meeting.)
How about you? Do you socialise with your colleagues outside of work?
I know you’re supposed to stick religiously to the measurements when it comes to baking. Err, I don’t. I do my best, honest, but if it’s between measuring out a teaspoon and guesstimating with a pinch between the fingers….fingers win every time.
Mmm - crumbly goodness. Pardon the crappy cellphone picture
This recipe turned out surprisingly well, though. I was silently cursing all the way throughout, positive it was going to turn out a complete disaster. I’m not sure what constitutes a stiff dough, and I’m pretty sure mine wasn’t anywhere near dry enough. Still, it turned out super tasty, and slightly softer (more cakey than chewy or slicey) than the kind you buy at the bakery. Let it sit overnight, though, and it hardens up a little more.
I bought raspberry essence especially for this ($2 for a tiny bottle??!!) and would you believe it had all the flavour but none of the colour. It was CLEAR. And raspberry slice is meant to have PINK icing! But the ever-crafty T suggested I use a tiny bit of jam to add colour to it, and voila.
(I also made a super delicious, no-bake chocolate slice [minus the coconut and raisins]…unfortunately, T has lost my camera and the photos of said slice. I’m hoping it’s just wound up in one of our friends’ cars.)
Quality versus quantity – it’s a constant balancing act in so many areas, and not least of all the supermarket. I’m curious: what do you scrimp on?
People generally say to buy budget rice, pasta and so on. I’m a fan of basmati/jasmine rice, though, and I usually manage to pick those up on special. We also tend to buy branded sauces, frozen foods, tuna, eggs, crackers and biscuits, usually on sale.
Where we do tend to go for price over name, though…
Bread: we usually buy the house brand for $1.44, or the next step up at $1.79 (which is SO much nicer).
Toilet paper: we tend to buy Earthcare recycled TP when it’s $1.99 for four, otherwise it’s Kiwisoft at 12 for $3.79. I draw the line at Budget TP, though.
Canned vegetables: Tomatoes, chickpeas, corn. Anywhere from $1-1.70 a can.
Cooking oil: T goes way overboard with the oil when cooking, IMO.
Milk: We go through it like water.
Dried pasta: It’s all the same to me. T likes to buy the expensive stuff, though, so I let him pick every once in a while.
When I saw Lord of the Rings 3 at the cinema, the audience (me included) went to get up several times towards the end, thinking it had finally ended. Upon realising there was more to come, we sat our numb asses back down, sighing at the sheer length of the movie, but not wanting to miss the final scenes. I thought that was an epic film, but jeez, Gone With The Wind is right up there alongside it.
My thoughts on the movie, in no particular order:
- It bugged me just how noble and prestigious the war was made out to be (“But don’t you believe in the cause?”) and how the death of the “old south” was mourned (Rhett: “You’re witnessing a moment in history.”) For crying out loud, you guys were fighting for slavery! To keep your black servants – no matter how well you might have treated them, how can you justify this as a cause? OTOH, often war ceases to be about ideology and ends up just being about, well, winning… and destruction. Something which I think also came across in the movie.
- Corsets and pantalettes aside, I almost wish I could swan around in ridiculous gowns and wear frilly hats and gloves all day. There’s something so sassy, so graceful, so elegant about the fashions of the time. (Can’t say the same for the old ladies and their smelling salts). I bet all those layers got mighty hot and heavy in the southern summer, though.
- I despise moustaches. But Clark Gable was actually kind of hot. Makes me want to run out and marry a rich Southern rogue. (Now I feel dirty for typing that.) Also, I want Vivien Leigh’s cheekbones.
- I simply could not believe Scarlett’s pining for the wimpy Ashley. I couldn’t believe that stayed in love with him for so many years and treated Rhett so badly – it was painful to watch sometimes.
- But I was so impressed by her grit and how she was prepared to do whatever it took to get what she wanted. It was sad that she had to marry not for love but to save her home, but women didn’t have much of a choice back then, did they? Normally, these kinds of stories bore me to death – but there was just something gripping about all these characters. Now I completely understand why it’s a classic.
Ah, how I love alliterative titles.
- I finally have internet at home and am making more of an appearance in the Twitter world again – although I’m not sure how long that’ll last. Using Tweetdeck again was seriously hard to get used to. The alert noises! The popups! But I’ve gotten used to switching between different accounts at work in order to check in on my personal account once a day or so…and not having to do that is AWESOME. Plus, the whole managing social media thing for work kind of makes me want to switch off from it on my own time. It’s still a tad crazy to think that I’m part of the team who’s responsible for the company Facebook and Twitter profiles. Meep.
- Cashflow the last few weeks has been unspeakable. The kind that causes me to stress out at the supermarket checkout and leads to a fight, resulting in us both staring stonily into the trolley on the way down the travelator. Just as a coworker is coming up the other way and sticks her head over the railing to say hello, of course.
- I want to go running ALL THE TIME. There are so many streets around here to explore! But at the same time, the weather is getting chillier and my last few runs have been shortlived, thanks to some heinous stitches. I need to warm up before I go.
Among the blogs I read regularly is Ask A Manager – it always has great advice on everything from interviewing to dealing with management and coworkers.
Sometimes though, you just have to feel sorry for the people who write in.
I started a job at $10 an hour. I took the job because I needed income, and wasn’t planning to stay for very long. I liked it, because it was a 10 minute drive to work, and steady pay. I was offered another job that would be $14 an hour, but it was a 30 minute drive. I offered the place I was working a chance to keep me on by meeting the offer, because I liked the office and the short drive….
I asked my boss about the raise and was told it might be two months now… and to ask again in a couple days. I asked again in a couple days and I’ve been told that the company can’t afford it right now. I’d just have to stay at $12 an hour.
One of my friends is currently in a similar situation. She doesn’t enjoy her job, and although she has a lot of work experience – some of it in this field – she’s only just become qualified in her current industry and is making a lot less than what she’s used to. The work environment isn’t the best, and although her boss has indicated good things ahead, he hasn’t come through and is starting to get a bit Jekyll and Hyde on her. What really hurts is that she put her faith in him and turned down a much-better paying opportunity (albeit in another city) that she would most likely have gotten.
It’s just a reminder that no one else has put your best interests at heart. YOU have to put yourself first, no ifs or buts.
Tags: career, work