• Five on Friday (bits and pieces)

    • It’s my birthday on Tuesday. Where most people would be at work, it’s my day off, and as for BF, well, every day is a day off. I’m not sure how much to budget for the day – I’m probably going to spend at least $100, but quite possibly a bit more. I also really want a new camera; I believe I mentioned he managed to lose mine last time he took it on a road trip, and what better time to make the purchase?
    • I paid off the Visa. I don’t expect T to start paying me back for some time, but once he finds work, it’s on! Seriously, I can’t remember the last time there wasn’t a balance on the card. It feels GREAT. As I said last week, even if things somehow go pearshaped, I can afford to write this off. Otherwise, it brings me peace of mind, and it’s an investment in our future (okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s saving $20 in interest every month.)
    • I’m always a little bit late to the book party, but this week I finished the Vintner’s Luck! Look, I’m not into super literary novels full of hidden meaning and symbolism, but even on the surface, this was such a beautiful piece of writing. MPP, can this be my contribution to your book club? 🙂 I also read Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work – a really interesting read for anyone connected with the publishing business, actually, with empowering passages and bits of inspiration peppered throughout. And it also means finally, two more to cross off my list (see bottom of page)! At this rate, it could be years before I finish the entire lot.
    • During my webby travails this week, I stumbled across lifetuner.org, which recently won an award for innovative design. There are tools, calculators, Q&As, forums, real life stories and much, much more – it feels to me like the number of financial sites out there is getting a bit overpowering! Like most others, it’s very US-centric – think 401k, 15 and 30 year mortgages, etc.
    • One of my best friends is back from overseas. Yay! We caught up over pizza, where all he could talk about was Broadway, Manhattan and how I totally belong in NYC. I wouldn’t wanna live in the Big Apple, but I definitely want to visit, and him constantly saying how he kept imagining me there, in my element, is giving me the travel bug something fierce.
  • If I wasn’t in this job…

    I’d want to read books for a living.

    In The Other Side of the Story, Jojo is a book agent. She has “readers” who read the manuscripts that wannabe authors send in, hoping to score themselves representation. Jojo, in fact, used to be a reader, before clawing her way up the ladder.

    Imagine being paid to read! Presumably you’d make peanuts – there’s sweet f-all in publishing anyway – but this is a pie-in-the-sky post anyway.

    Other possibilities – graphic designer (if I was a little more creative and less technically challenged), photographer (ditto), working at a record label, rock star. Haha.

    What would you want to do, if you weren’t currently a (fill in the blank)?

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  • Meme Monday

    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.






  • Five on Friday

    (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.
  • Three random thoughts on a Tuesday

    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.
  • Lessons learned from living alone

    Okay, so the title is a little misleading, seeing as I’ve never lived alone. T’s been away for a few days, giving me a taste of what it would be like to live completely on my own. I can see how it would get a bit lonely, but at the same time, the peace and quiet is nice!

    – I’ve eaten the same thing for dinner two nights in a row, with the leftovers for lunch two days in a row. Clearly, having the other half around means going through food ridiculously fast, but it also means variety. Cooking for one…meh. I flatted for a year before moving in with T, and can’t count the number of times a packet of pasta, a can of sauce and some mince would last me three nights.

    – Coincidentally, the last few days at work have also been rather busy. I can see how I might become a total workaholic if I were single.

    – I’d probably sleep in my cuddly pink robe on cold nights, and wake up sprawled sideways across the bed.

    – I would probably also appreciate the noise from our LL’s family more – reassuring signs of life and all. They have young children who often sound like they’re jumping on the floor right above our heads.

    – Finally, the house would most definitely be tidier. I don’t leave my dirty socks lying all over the floor, and I make way less mess in the kitchen!

  • Braindump

    A hodgepodge of work related thoughts:

    Just how do you deal with higher-ups who don’t seem to like you or have faith in you? (Okay, I kind of already know the answer. Come up with brilliant ideas and push them, making you’re seen doing the work and get the credit in the end. Right?)

    What about writing business-related emails? Nobody ever really teaches you how. I don’t even know if I’m doing it right. I also hate hounding people, especially when they’ve promised to get back to you with something and don’t. Still, I understand that most people I deal with are far busier than I am.  Perfecting the art of the virtual ‘nudge’ to remind and prompt things along.

    And finally, owning our mistakes. I find it hard to take criticism or even have my mistakes pointed out to me, being somewhat of a perfectionist. My stomach just sinks. But I’ve come a long way from the old days, at least.

  • You can’t fight genetics

    Geek in Heels had a great blog post about ‘genetic gifts’ the other day, and whether your partner’s traits (that would presumably be passed on to your children) would be a factor in the relationship. Oh man, that brought up some memories, I tell you.

    See, my parents HATED my first serious boyfriend. I’m not really sure why. I mean, yes, he was often a bit of a douchebag to others, but never to me. He was never rude to my family, but they were very hostile to him, and he didn’t really know how to act around them (not only are they a little weird, but there was definitely culture clash going on as well). Not only was I threatened to be cut from the family will if I didn’t choose my partner wisely….along with a lecture on ‘leading boys on’ because I wanted to travel in the future, and had I disclosed that to all potential boyfriends? Ya, don’t ask me how their brains worked on this one…and of course, the infamous, unforgettable lecture I got at the age of 16.

    Apparently, I shouldn’t even THINK of marrying someone until we both had genetic tests. Just in case he happened to have bad genes, or tendencies for certain disabilities/diseases/syndromes…I don’t know, whatever. I was STUNNED. There I was standing awkwardly in their bedroom, shifting from foot to foot and wondering what on earth I’d done to deserve such wackjobs for parents. I actually could not believe what they were saying, and I asked them if they’d done this test themselves.

    “But of course,” they said.

    I should have known better than to ask, really.

    If my genes are anything to go by, my kids are screwed. I am nearly blind. I’m weak, clumsy, awkward (both physically and socially) and prone to skin conditions and allergies. On the other hand, I can eat as much as I want and not gain weight. And I did pretty well in school, although I’m not sure that counts as intelligence.

    On the other hand T is tall, muscly, sporty, smart and has perfect vision (we had a very random but fun discussion last night about how we would’ve fared in American high school, from what we know through pop culture 😛 I would’ve probably been bullied being a geek, and he would probably have been a quarterback and gone to university on a sports scholarship). I’m hoping most of his genes overpower mine when the time comes…

  • The one where I talk about baby poo

    Following on from yesterday’s post about family…I’m an auntie again!

    Well, I would be if I was married, anyway. But technicalities, schmecnicalities.

    He’s a little redfaced, wrinkly-handed boy with massive feet and a full head of hair. So cute!

    His oldest sister is super excited, because their other two siblings both have brown eyes. But no, this one belongs to her! I remember when things were that simple in my world.

    I also got to see a newborn poop. Not just the poo, but him actually doing it. It was one of the ickiest things I’ve ever seen.

    Which brings me to wonder: Babies don’t eat. They drink milk. So shouldn’t their number ones and twos come out virtually the same?

    And secondly: I was telling T that my genes would be overpowering his. No way will our kids have blue eyes. Blue eyes are recessive (I remember doing those gene punnet squares in Year 10 science…) – that’s right isn’t it?

  • Cirque du Soleil – Dralion

    Tsk. After being pleasantly surprised to find I got paid for the two weeks I interned back in July, my bank balance was looking a bit healthier (seeing as I had budgeted to NOT get paid, and saved accordingly). And after buying half a car with BF, I just wanted to keep beefing up the savings as much as I could.

    Don’t worry, I didn’t quite wipe out the progress I made. But….I got an email advising us of a special staff offer – discounted Cirque du Soleil tickets. I was really surprised, cause I thought Dralion had already left town. Seeing a Cirque show is one of my to-do-before-I-die things, so after a bit of agonising, I decided to take the plunge and just do it. Overtime plus birthday money covered it all. Might not have been frugal, but it will be an experience…an extravagant, splashy-outy one, but one I have been SET on and not just a random decision. Seats cost us $95 each (down from $119), plus booking fee which came to just under $200. There were also cheaper seats ($75 and $50), but they were so far back and off to the side, we nixed that idea. dralion

    Just ORDERING tickets was somewhat exhilarating. I’m a total noob to this stuff. I’ve never played Lotto – wouldn’t know where to start – and I’ve never bought tickets to anything online (I’ve tried, though, oh how I’ve tried. 2007 RHCP concert comes to mind). I was all worried, wondering how I would get the tickets – would they be sent out in time? What if we got crap seats? Ah, the wonders of technology. I get to PRINT my own tickets, and we got to CHOOSE our very specific seats using their awesome java-type programme which showed a seating plan of the entire place.

    * * *

    Anywho, Thursday was the night, and it was amazing.  (It was a spendy night.  We made an evening of it – I had classes, then work, and T had his class in the afternoon, so we met up, ate dinner at the Roundabout pub in Royal Oak ($33), popped across the road to get a drink and snack to take with us from Pak n Save ($4), parked – right up front with the VIPs and VWs, BMWs and Holdens, because a friend of T’s was the parking guy ($6) and one ridiculously overpriced hot dog for him ($5.50).

    What can I say? If you’ve seen it, you know how incredible the things they do are. If not, well, they were just unbelievable. The goofy Italian-looking clown/ringmasters did a great job of entertaining us at the start, end, and between acts, without ever speaking a word (of English, that is. They squawked, shrieked and laughed aplenty and had us rolling around at their slapstick antics. They recruited a man from the audience to play along on stage with them, who we later found out was actually part of the whole act.)  There were crazy contortionists, twisting themselves into positions I almost couldn’t bear to watch. There was balancing on poles, balls, hands, heads. Graceful dancers of all kinds, albeit in rather corny costumes. There were amazing aerial acts, swooping around on lengths of silk; dancing dragons; juggling to the power of ten; tiny dancers forming human tiers three and four tall; lizard like trampolinists soaring up, down and back onto the walls, seemingly sticking to them like real life spidermen. We both agreed they were our favourite act – they seemed to defy physics and gravity, never losing momentum, yet never stumbling as you might expect each time they sprung up and came to a crisp pause at the top of the walls.

    781px-Dralion-Vienna An honourable mention also goes to the last couple of acts – the rings and the skipping. The supporting performers got their chance to shine, instead of simply dancing and slithering around the main acts; they mounted rings of all sizes onto a mini trampoline and dived, vaulted and flipped through them – gave me bad flashbacks to gym class, actually. They fouled up a couple of times, which just endeared them in my eyes. They swiftly regrouped and repositioned their hoops and carried on, uber-professionally. They even almost managed to do so in time to the music. I wasn’t too keen on the second part, however – skipping and flipping through massive jump ropes of yellow material, which caused far too many mistakes. The pyramid jumps were the most nervewracking. The poor guys at the bottom were obviously shaking under the strain, and it was painful to watch. Too many slipups in that one.

    It’s almost better to watch some of them in slow motion, so you don’t miss anything. One, because sometimes they’re just that damn fast, and two because for the multitasking-challenged like me, it’s hard to focus on more than one thing, and there’s so much going on at once.

    It made me want to be part of a show again. I’m not a performer, but I get a buzz out of being involved with them. Every single year I was in the school talent quest doing something; I hated being on stage, but perversely, I got such a massive high off it and would be walking on air afterwards. And I have such great memories of intermediate – my school devoted second term, every year, to the schoolwide production. It was always a musical, and EVERY student was involved, if not acting, singing or dancing, then doing lights, sound or props. Our shows were always brilliant, because that was our job everyday for two months, not just fitting in rehearsals after and before school. They probably don’t do that anymore – it was pretty unorthodox, and the teachers behind it have probably gone by now – but I think it was a fantastic idea.