I am a weapon of massive consumption

And it’s not my fault cos it’s how I’m programmed to function.

I heard this Lily Allen song while I was on holidays. So I went out and bought both her albums (and they only cost ten dollars each!). And while I was there the store person who told me where I could actually find them (in Popular not Alternative) also told me that he went on a cruise that she was on and at she was very lovely and that she might be releasing a new album even though she is retired from music.

Anyway, I just didn’t want you to think that because I am at work I have given up on shopping. This week I bought one thing on impulse and another online.

Last Friday I walked into my local optometrist with my Mum because she needed a new pair of glasses to watch TV. And I walked away with these.

20130131-183547.jpg
I was just going to put clear lenses in them, but I thought that would be a bit silly and a bit hipster so I got my prescription put in.

And then on Sunday Mum and I went to the city and discovered there is a new Melissa show store there. So exciting! I could have bought so many pairs but I was good and didn’t buy any.
But I couldn’t stop thinking about one pair.

20130131-184043.jpg
This pair.
So now they are mine.

Coming up on my next blog: I will be suffering from the after effects of the Swimming Carnival so it will probably be incoherent.

It’s a little bit grubby…like Penrith Plaza

I was supposed to be writing this an hour ago.
But I forgot to get the meat out of the freezer this morning and I needed limes anyway, so I went to the shops.
It was good because I have a birthday thing on Friday night that I now have some presents for and I thought I could finish my give someone a book/Valentine’s day shopping, but I forgot to get that part of it when I was out.
Then I got home to see that I had missed a package and needed to get it redelivered and then my husband rang to bring him his gym clothes at tutoring and then I took out the bins and watered the lawn.

But that is not what I wanted to talk about today.

Yesterday I started watching the ABC reality show Next Stop Hollywood and the title of today’s blog is something my favourite would-be actor said in episode two.
I am just loving this show.
It is completely fascinating.
The only problem is that I don’t actually remember any of their names, and if I described them by what they look like in order to identify them I think I would end up getting in a lot of trouble.
Suffice to say that my favourite ones are the older ones.

My absolute favourite is the man who wrote, starred in and directed Double the Fist.
He is very funny and self deprecating and he is the one that said the Penrith thing. It is funny because I know Penrith Plaza, and the way he said it sounds like he does too. But he wasn’t dissing it, it was more in a friendly

face it, we all know that’s what it’s like kind of way

Because if he had been bad mouthing it I wouldn’t have liked him.
Anyway he was going through a bit of a rough patch in episode two and he was repeating some advice his mum had given him.
She had said

Hollywood is not like you would expect, it’s not like it is in the movies. It’s grubby, a bit like Penrith Plaza

GOLD!

I read a review of the show somewhere, it might have been in the Spectrum part of The Sydney Morning Herald, that said even though it’s not a competition you still have your favorites and there are some you want ‘to win’. And I couldn’t agree more. I want my favourites to land big jobs and make money. But I am not sure they will.

I am going to catch up on episode three now.
I should probably start to try and learn their names.

Coming up on my next blog: Maybe I will write about other blogs I have just to make you jealous.

Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I Moved Your Chair

Today I went back to work.

Which means last night I couldn’t sleep.
It didn’t help that we had a black out so I couldn’t veg out in front if the TV to let my mind wander away from all the thoughts about work that I was having.
Sundays are like this too.
It is the anticipation of going to work that is actually worse than actually going.
I can’t remember if I talked about this already, but I think it is serious enough for me to talk about twice.

The beginning of the new work year is always interesting.
There are always new people because of staff movement.
And there are always fifty things to do but no time to do them in.
Most people are enthusiastic after a refreshing break. Lots of grand plans are made in light of this. But do they ever really get acted upon.

Like today I:
rearranged some furniture
Attended three meetings
Went to one training session
Ordered some resources
And set up a new blog (which isn’t quite ready yet but will be soon)

But what I also needed to do was:
Update the Moodle
Update the website
Prepare a presentation for Thursday
And update the in-house booking system

But I didn’t.

I have a plan for my grand plan this year.
I am making a detailed timetable.
I am going to make time for all the things I really want to and really think I need to do.
And I am going to hang it above my desk.
This isn’t to say that I am not going to be flexible, or that pressing matters are going to be overlooked because at 11am on Tuesday I need to update the website.
No, it just means I am going to account for my time.
I am going to refrain from procrastination (or at the very least schedule what I would normally do in my procrastination time into normal time so now it counts. On that point, must remember to add some reading time to my timetable, Thursday afternoon is probably best, maybe Friday too).

Coming up on my next blog: What affect will going back to work have on the quality of my blog? We’ll soon find out.

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree

20130128-130559.jpg

This is the kind of day it is today.
I went to do the groceries this morning, then I went to the plaza and finished off some present shopping.
But when I got home I got back into my pajamas and now I am just hanging out watching TV.

The title of the post references a famous Australian nursery rhyme, but also a comment one of my friends made last week.
Last Monday night I had two friends over for dinner.
I made risotto (which always tastes amazing and I should have taken a picture of it but didn’t. I make one that has come out of gourmet traveller, or it may be delicious, anyway it’s the Italian edition they do every year. But I’ve done a Mrs Croppley on it, a joke you will get if you are a member of my family or if you watch The Vicar of Dibley. I will explain in another blog).

Anyway, there are a lot of kookaburras near my house and they were singing during dinner and my friend made the comment that if you hear a kookaburra it means it is going to rain. Personally, I had always heard that black cockatoos herald wet weather. But I must be wrong. Every day for the rest of that week I have heard kookaburras. And this morning, on the wettest day we have had so far this year, I saw one just chilling on the electricity wire.

This kind of weather just makes me wish I did have an extra week of holidays.
I would like to spend it in bed.

Coming up on my next blog: Back to work 😦

“Modesty is not my best quality”

Last week, before she went to Bali, or actually it may have been after she came back, my Sister said that this should be the name of one of my posts.
So now it it.
We were in the car talking about my blog and she asked me if I proofread/edit/draft it.
And I said no, because I don’t.
I mean, if after I have posted it I see a glaring error before I put it on twitter, then yeah I will change it. Otherwise it’s pretty much exactly the same as I think it in my head.

Sometimes though I do write it out of order.
Like now, I’ve already written the stuff about the car and what is coming up on my next blog, but I still need to write about my great building skills.

Anyway, I said to her that I didn’t need to edit or anything because I am an awesome writer. Which I do think I am. I used to get in trouble at school because I wrote too colloquially in essays, but I think that really suits the blog style. And I am always having a lot of trouble with the iPad keyboard, especially the space bar, so if there are any mistakes you can usually put it down to my dyslexic typing.

Anyway, so my other awesome quality that I wanted to talk about today, besides writing, is building things.
There is a long history of builders in my family, and I like to think that I am one too.
This is what I built this week.

20130127-182222.jpg
And I only had to undo it once.

Then today I was talking to my Mum about how one of my friends yesterday said that I was

a pretty good driver

It was nice to hear that, especially as I consider myself a relatively new driver, but my Mum said I wasn’t allowed to let it give me a big head.

But I have decided that I don’t mind having a big head, I don’t much like hats anyway.

Coming up on my next blog: I am going to pretend that it is January 28 for the rest of the year so that I don’t have to go back to work and be responsible.

Advance Australia Fair

I think it is nice that Hottest 100 day coincides with Australia Day. It means everyone gets a day off to listen to some great music. Not that it is all Australian music all the time, but it does mean that you can have a BBQ and hang out with your friends.

At the Australia Day celebration that I attended today there were actually a few non Australians. So the Australian food spread that was put on was pretty awesome, a couple of attendees even made lamingtons from scratch! It was only slightly messy. But they smelt and looked good.

20130126-225553.jpg

I also learnt today that musk sticks are an Australian thing. The European guests had never heard or seen them before and after tasting them said they wish they had never been introduced to them. One even commented that they tasted like shoe polish. I don’t understand it. I love musk sticks. They are full of sugar, maybe too much really, and they give me a sugar headache when I eat too many, but I eat them anyway.

Then for dinner what is more Australian than lamb? Those Sam Kekovich ads are so funny and it doesn’t take a lot to get me to eat lamb.

20130126-225152.jpg
In keeping with the whole multicultural theme the lamb pizza was Morrocan inspired.

Seven of the songs I picked this year made it into the 100. This means that I either like very popular music, or I am psychic and a trendsetter. I like to think it is the latter. The song I thought would be number one was, but I didn’t vote for it. Two songs I voted for even made it into the top ten. One, Elephant by Tame Impala, makes me want to act like the presenters on Playschool do when they are pretending to be elephants. I did a little bit while it played but I think it was a one off.

Australia Day also seems to be the day that you watch sport.
So over dinner we watched the women’s final of the Australian open. I really like Australian tennis audiences, they have to be told repeatedly to be quiet because they are barracking too loudly for the underdog.
And as I write this the cricket is just finishing up.

Coming up on my next blog: You probably thought that I was a one trick pony, but I am hereto tell you that my awesomeness knows no bounds, I will show you what I built this week (and no, I’m sorry, it’s not Helm’s Deep yet).

Crime (fiction) Pays

This is a book review of sorts. I just finished reading the latest Richard Castle book, Frozen Heat.

20130125-074850.jpg

The only thing is Richard Castle is not a real person. He is the main character from the TV show Castle, a show which I love. He is a fiction author shadowing an NYPD cop Kate Beckett who he himself fictionalises as Nikki Heat. Each season he writes a book, and, lucky for us, someone decided to truly write these books for us to read.
I have them all.

20130125-075258.jpg

I like these books because they take all the good parts of the show and put them into the book. But it’s not exactly the same as the show so it’s like a whole new episode. There’s lots of action and witty ripostes, again just like the show.

I just love them.

However, this is the only crime fiction I read, and the only American crime fiction I watch. I much prefer British crime shows like New Tricks and Midsomer Murders. They are less procedural, more about the why than the how. And I think that is why I think I like Castle too.

What I find interesting though is that crime fiction doesn’t really translate to film. I mean, there are enough crime tv shows around that that is all I could watch for the rest of my life. But you don’t really see cop films. I wonder why that is.

Coming up on my next blog: It’s Hottest 100 day!

How many roads?

I am sensing a theme here.
I guess it it just too easy to make road analogies.

Again I want to write about something but don’t think I should.
The problem is two fold.
Firstly this is an open blog, which anyone can read, that also has my picture and name to it. So the whole self censor thing that I have written about before comes into play. And it also links back to my whole idea that if you can’t say it to somebody’s face then you shouldn’t say it at all. Which leads into the second part of my problem in that I want to take the high road. I want to avoid pettiness, I want to exercise self control. I have just been doing it badly lately. Old habits are hard to break.

Therefore the whole diary versus blog debate comes up again.
And anyway do you really want to be hearing all my grievances anyway? And shouldn’t I just be letting them go and not even worrying about them?

So,

Today on twitter I saw a link to another website/blog that I like, The Hoopla. Sometimes comedian Corinne Grant contributes and I really enjoy her rage index. I feel like she and I are often on the same wavelength, and she writes some very funny things.

What I particularly like is the idea of a rage index, kind of like a fire warning sign, the further into the red the angrier you can be. I feel that I sometimes need this. Because some things are just not worth getting worked up over.
This is the attitude I am taking into work this year. I am just going to go with the flow and do what needs to be done. It is hard in an organisation not to get caught up in all the little dumb things that go on in the day to day running of a place. I don’t mean not paying attention to detail, what I mean is getting caught out by a change, by someone else’s problem being foisted on you, by stress over deadlines.
This year I am going to practice just doing.

It was kind of a coincidence that I read that particular blog today too as I had planned on cooking quinoa for dinner. I think this is such a funny word. I want to, and used to, pronounce it like in is spelt, that is quin-oh-ah, but my friend whose blog I have linked to numerous times told me you actually say it keen-wah. So that’s how I say it now, however, whenever I see it written I still think of it in the other way.

Anyway these ingredients

20130124-182924.jpg
Turned into this dinner

20130124-182947.jpg
Normally I would make this with red quinoa, which I think has a better nuttier flavour, but Coles only stocks the white one. Still tasty, but not as good I think.

An odd day has led to an odd blog. I fear it is going to be like this for the rest of the long weekend as I try to delude myself that I am not going back to work.

Coming up on my next blog: I really don’t know. Will another book review suffice?

Sleepy Little Death Toll Town

Just a note before I begin this on:

I know this is not a dream blog, and I am not going to document every dream that I have, it’s just that these ones I can remember and they let me segway into something else I want to talk about.
Please don’t take this blog as a plea for you to start analysing me either. They’re just dreams. Is cool, I am not psychologically disturbed.

I have also heard (on a TV show, maybe It’s always sunny in Philadelphia or maybe it was How I Met Your Mother) that other people don’t want to hear about your dreams unless they are in them. So unless you are Dave O’Neil you may want to stop reading now.

So let us begin.

I dream a lot. And often I remember the dreams I have. Sometimes I apparently talk or mumble in my sleep too, so I feel I am a vivid dreamer. Unfortunately for me they are not always pleasant dreams.

There are only three things in the world that really scare me,sure I dislike other things, and some things give me the creeps, but I feel I only have three irrational fears, things that I am petrified by that I really have no easy or reasonable way to explain.

Anyway, one of my dreams last night was about one of these fears – I am afraid of steep hills.

Don’t laugh. They are scary.
I’m not talking about your gentle incline, or a lovely rolling vista. And I am not talking about looking at them from a distance. I am talking about being on them, walking or driving up or down them.

Take this one for example

20130123-075817.jpg
This is looking down from the top of Mount Vesuvius.
Let me just tell you that I did not enjoy climbing this mountain (and not just because I am unfit). I had to walk in the middle of the path, away from the edges, because not only was I on the side of a steep hill, the other side was the mouth of a volcano. It didn’t help that all the young German tourists were running around everywhere and I felt like they would push me in at any moment.

I think it’s about being vertical. The steeper the incline gets, the more scared I become.

Yesterday, as mentioned in pretty much every blog this week, I went to pick up my sister after her holiday. I also picked up one of her friends to drop home as well. This friend lives in a valley and it is an ok drive in, but feels like a really steep drive coming out. Bad news for me and my irrational fear of hills.
I don’t really remember what happened in this dream. I just remember the fear from being on that slope. Hence, the inspiration for this blog.

I guess it is pretty ironic then that I actually live on a mountain. Maybe I do need some psychoanalysis after all.

The Australian comedian Dave O’Neil was also in my dream last night. I follow him on twitter so I think that’s how he managed to infiltrate my subconscious. I think we were trying to sell something together, oh no, that’s right, he had a gym membership and was trying to make me work out with him. It was funny because I don’t really picture him as a gym person, especially as one of his books that I ow is called Everything Tastes Better Crumbed. He must be a pretty good comedian if he is even being funny in my dreams.

Coming up on my next blog: I slowly begin to dread going back to work.

Turf Wars

I really need to carry a notepad with me wherever I go, including bed.
Last night jam pretty sure I had an idea about what I would write today, but now it is gone.

Lucky for me a few things are happening today so I have been able to knock this little piece together.

For instance, today we are pretty much finishing off the front yard. And by we, I mean my husband and one of his friends. I did scatter all the mulch I picked up yesterday, but it hardly went any way at all.

This is what the yard looked like once it was cleared

20130122-100140.jpg

And this is what it looks like now

20130122-100249.jpg

These are not the best before and after shots, but you get the idea.

The grass just looks so good. It is so green and lovely. Now we just have to keep it alive. And with a three hundred dollar incentive to do that I don’t think it will be a problem.

The other thing that is happening today is that my sister is home, and in about an hour I have to go pick her up.

Coming up on my next blog: I will stop talking about the garden and my even build Helm’s Deep.