Sunday, December 26, 2010
It's true; I do. If pressed to describe why, I'd say it's a cross between the mathematical odds of finding something you a) like, b) can afford, and c) look good in, and the fact that you have to deal with Other People in the form of traffic, parking, aisle-blocking, indirect wandering, noisy conversations, buskers, and on and on and on it goes. Have you ever watched C.S.I. and marvelled at the fact that, had someone not turned their head at exactly the right moment to see the bullet hole on the corner of the car fender as it disappeared into the baker's neighbour's secret underground car-park that they had previously thought was merely a shed used by local children for vegetable-growing experiments except for that time that little Sarah disappeared in there for eight days before being re-discovered by a passing Jesuit priest and only then because he was taking his sick mother's Pomeranian for a walk and it heard the dog whistle that little Sarah found under one of the ammunition benches but whose function has never really been explained, the crime would not have been solved? Well, that's the way I feel about shopping*.
So my challenge is to survive today's Boxing Day sales. As I type this, I am aware that this could be my final blog post. My arms may be torn off and used as battering tools by women in the GHD hair straightener section. It's possible I will wander between several dozen tweens and a Justin Bieber CD rack. Most likely, I will merely be crushed into a freezer in an unfortunate whitegoods-related incident.
For those about to shop, I salute you. It's been an honour.
* i.e. The odds of it working out successfully are both minuscule and not without unnecessarily convoluted circumstances.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
So last night I went to Hellas Kitchen to have Greek.
"Table for...?" The waiter was looking down the street, as if my posse was about to roll up for koupepia and fish.
With that single word, I could see the panic in his eyes. But I ignored it. Like I ignored the people at the next table eyeing me like I was some kind of social retard, forced to dine alone after an unfortunate Exorcist-like episode. And like I ignored the pitying stares of the women having a girls' night a few tables away. At one point they raised their glasses to me; I still don't know quite how they meant it. "Suck on that!", I'm thinking.
On the plus side, Paris the waiter seemed to be having a personal challenge of his own; he clearly thought I'd been stood up, and tried to make it up to me. He took great care to point out the specials of the day, recommended what turned out to be a superb bottle of Riesling, and kept solicitously asking if there was anything else he could get me. Despite his (rather attractive) attentions, I got so bored I ended up dissecting my handbag and purging all of the expired gift cards and old video store memberships for something to do. I also found a tiny notebook and started making my own challenge revenge list, shortly to be inflicted upon other people.
By the end of the bottle (and after creating a list that includes my father having to sit through a Kate Hudson movie marathon -- enough to break any man's spirit), I was feeling considerably more chipper. And then came the best part: Paris comped me dinner.
Consider this challenge dusted.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Why do people go running? Do they have a deep-seated self-hatred? Do they enjoy the sensation of their quadriceps detaching from their femur? And, while I'm asking rhetorical questions, have you ever seen a runner who looks happy? They don't. Because they know IT SUCKS.
I had been promised an endorphin rush. The only rush I got was when I tried to stand up (and then, later, a smaller rush when I inhaled two almond Magnums). I spent Sunday crawling on the floor. The Doctor thought I was usurping his territory. Then he tried to go for a ride on my back. (Side note: he's going on a diet.)
My mother said it would be useful to "experience the journey" of running. Well, here's my journey, Mum:
10 metres - Hey, this is OK.
20 metres - Hey, this might not be OK.
50 metres - What's happening? What's happening to my legs?
100 metres - Oh, my God. Oh, my God. You've got to be kidding me.
250 metres - What do you MEAN I've only done a quarter of this?
500 metres - Lungs. Lungs. Death. Air.
600 metres - [Intense swearing, deleted for the delicate.]
750 metres - Brain... shutting off... blood flow... diverted. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying.
1000 metres - *sobbing, sudden urge for chips*
So there's my journey, Ma. I look forward to your thoughts as to exactly how it will be useful.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Challenge Two = running. 1 kilometre. Longest K ever. Cursed life, legs, relatives, people watching, street lights, anything in view. No vomit, though - hurray.
Off to lie in tub. May add water. Found box of bath salts. May eat, see if can kill self to avoid more running.
p.s. Will murder relevant parties when full movement returns.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Anise says that successful cooking means being able to multitask, remain calm under pressure, think on your feet, and stay focused. I said that, technically, successful cooking means you can actually eat the end product. Anise said I was missing the point.
Me: "You know cleavage is more of an advantage in a job interview than knowing how to make a risotto, right?"
Anise: "When you can actually make a risotto, we'll have this conversation again."
So she showed me the easiest recipe she knew: penne alla vodka. And then she poured out exactly the amount of alcohol the recipe needed (arrrrgh! Jesus. No-one told me I had to do this sober.), and then took the bottle into the lounge room.
Challenge Report: Things I Have Learnt About Cooking
* Read the whole recipe before starting to cook, or, more specifically, before you turn the gas on.
* Onion, once burnt, stays burnt. And tastes burnt.
* Use a sieve or something when draining pasta.
* Stirring is useful. Vaguely shaking the pan is not.
* Cream and butter make most things better.
* Except burnt onion.
Was it edible? Well, Anise ate it. Granted, she really needed some starch because she'd worked her way through about half the bottle just listening to me use her knife and saucepan. (Don't tell her I dropped the knife about nine times, pointy bit down.)
The good news: stuff was cooked. Stuff was eaten. Challenge One = dusted. Take that, Mum and Dad!
The bad news: on to Challenge Two. I think it involves fitness. I'm going to die.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Suffer the what? What consequences? Why didn't anyone tell me about these?
"We thought it best you didn't know," said Mum.
"Am I in a reality TV show? Do you take my blood at night time?" I said.
"We were hoping we wouldn't need to do this, sweetheart, but you only lasted a week on Stage One," said Mum. "We needed a back-up plan."
"Why are you doing this to me?"
Dad rubbed his face and said, "We'd like to help you become employable again, Rabbit."
Great. I'm some kind of lab rat for my parents' freakish control issues.
So what are the consequences? Oh, you guys will love this. I've got Challenges.
"How many of these things are there?"
"We think it's best you don't know," said Mum. Again.
"What, like, five? Or twelve, like Hercules?"
She wouldn't look at me.
"More? More than twelve? How many?"
"Is that the time? Charles, we've got to scoot or your physio will never talk to you again."
"HOW MANY CHALLENGES??"
I still don't know. But I do know the first one: Cook An Edible Dinner From Scratch. Conditions: no packets, no sauces, no take-away, no help. And no hope, let's not forget that one.
I have, however, found a small outlet for revenge: Anise may be making me cook but I'm going to make her watch me do it.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Don't get too excited; it's part of an experiment. Anise -- aided and abetted by my parents* -- has begun a pet project called Ruby II: The Improvening. (Originally it was called The Bettening, but then she said it sounded like she was going to set me up to fail at a bunch of stuff. Personally, I haven't decided which name is going to be more appropriate. And I think The Improvening makes me sound like some kind of bread.)
One part of Ruby II: The Breadening involves me going to bed before midnight and getting up before midday, as I have been told that my sleeping arrangements of the past ten weeks are unhealthy. The same kind of unhealthy as eating pretzels for dinner or having a three-course breakfast where all three courses are ice cream. So here I am. Up. In the morning.
How this is supposed to improve my character, I don't know.
Anise says I'll feel much better about myself soon, and I'll end up being more productive and blah bliddy blah. This would be useful if I had, oh, I don't know, A JOB. But as I'm post-Empire (and still in recovery), all that getting up early has done so far is mean I have even more hours to reflect on all the things that shouldn't have happened to me over the past few months.
I shouldn't worry so much. I'll try to be more positive. Besides, I think Being Positive is also on The Improvening List that Anise is wielding. (She won't let me see the rest of it, but I got a glimpse. It's long. We're talking looooong. Plus I'm fairly sure I saw the word 'jog' on it. Kill me now.)
* I have not yet decided what the punishment will be for my parents' involvement in this. I am open to suggestions.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Unfortunately, it was a bad date.
Well, no, that's a bit harsh. It was good at first. It was good through the pre-dinner drink. It was good through the entree*. And then the good ended when Anise realised that her date had a crush on her sister. Her sister. Her blood-sucking soul-leaching humour-killing thermal-wearing sister.
At one point, Bad Date excused himself (possibly to check his Siobhan web cam; who knows) and Anise sent me a frazzled text which was, unusually for her, 90% swear words. (The other words were mainly "AAAAAAARGH!!") I suggested doing the old 'going to the bathroom and never returning' trick but Anise has better manners than I do and ended up sitting awkwardly through a main** and a coffee before she could make a run for it.
The best part? When she politely refused a second outing, Bad Date asked her to put in a good word with Siobhan. Then -- and this is probably the point where I would have started stabbing him with a corkscrew -- he divided up the bill and pointed out that she had drunk more wine than he had so she should pay for two-thirds of the bottle. Mmm. Form an orderly queue, ladies!
Anise had post-date cocktails here. (I invented a new one called Misery Loves Company. It involves chocolate.) We sat on the balcony and listened to the teenagers upstairs work their way through a playlist of horrors. (Honestly, whoever's released that song with the 'Everybody's Talkin' sample should be shot.) By the end of the night, Anise was consoled by the inescapable fact that if someone thinks Siobhan is their dream woman, there's clearly something very, very, very, very wrong with them.
* Anise would like me to add at this point that lemongrass, while tasty, does not work as a puree, thank you, fancy restaurant.
** Neither does chicken.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
We stayed about four hours longer than we should have (e.g. four hours and two minutes). You know how sometimes you think that as you survived the wait, the entrance fee, the initial drink price shock, and several clumsy come-ons, you may as well get your money's worth by watching other people dance? Yeah. For our entertainment, there were three types of people on the floor:
1. I've Seen All Of Snoop Dogg's Clips: Watch Me Audition!
2. Man Doing Own Thing (To Own Tempo)
3. When In Doubt, Wave Your Arms and Scream At Your Friends
It was the first time Anise and I had been out in a while, after all the stuff that's happened. Perhaps we were determined to Enjoy Ourselves, regardless of how shit the drinks were. (Did we dance? Of course. Did we point a lot and wear slightly pained expressions? Of course. Standards must be maintained.) Anyway, I was stressing it'd be awkward, and it kind of was, initially. After the fifth glass of Faint-Maker, or whatever that drink was called, we did that thing. That thing where you suddenly decide it's a really great time to have completely honest conversations with people because they really have to know right now exactly what you think of them and then you tell them how much you love them and then you both cry and then you look up to see dudes in hipster t-shirts looking at you like you're a zoo exhibition.
Hysterical Woman (feminus irrationalus).
Usually found in: social situations regarding alcohol.
General description: skilled in the art of camouflage. Many are unaware that they are in the presence of such a creature until certain conditions (weddings, Ikea furniture, family Christmas dinners, one overdue report too many) prompt them to reveal their true nature.
Identifiers: non-waterproof mascara, glazed eyes, crumpled tissues, possibly clutching disembodied head of victim or adjustable spanner.
Anyway, I think things are on the mend. Except for my cracker of a hangover, which twelve hours of sleep hasn't made a friggin' dent in. Off to bed. Again.
* And I should know.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
I'm back, by the way. This is no longer Dad. (Thank you, father, for alarming my guests with your presence.) Where was I? For those of you who saw something about the Empire in the paper, no further explanation will be necessary. For those of you who did not, let's just say work became all-consuming for a while. But it's over now.
Well, it's not entirely over. I don't know how to explain it. I'm trying to put the pieces together but some things still don't want to fit. Anise said I look different. I checked in the mirror: not really. The difference to me is all internal. But I think I'm getting better. I feel better.
I feel better.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Firstly, two notes to my daughter:
1. If you don't want your parents to find your blog, don't use your real name to set it up.
2. Also don't set your password to 'password'. (Don't worry, I've changed it now.)
Secondly, to the rest of you: apologies for temporarily co-opting this page. Ruby can't come to the compter right now. (Ruby also doesn't seem to be able to come to the phone, or to her senses for that matter.) She's been away on some work-related camp whatsit. From what I saw at the Expo, she's possibly learning how to whistle to trees or stick beads onto coloured pieces of paper.
So I'm throwing my search out to those of you reading this page: has anyone heard anything about the Jaasmyn Empire? I'm particularly looking for information regarding dubious practices, dodgy taxes, brain-washing, employee coercion, etc., though at this point I'll probably take whatever I can get. Hated a candle box? Got a paper cut from a pamphlet? Let me know.
By the way, I'd just like to clear up two scurrilous mentions of me in earlier posts by my erratic offspring:
* I did send a girl a photo of my arse once (which may or may not have had a message written on it), but it was completely justified.
* When women wear puffy-sleeved tops, they look like they're either compensating for having scrawny arms or trying to recreate their slave-hood status from the Victorian era. You don't look wistful or interesting, you look deranged. I stand by this opinion, regardless of how often my wife tells me puffy tops are "in". I'm assuming they'll be "out" again shortly.
More lecturing to come, Ruby predicts. We'll see.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
It's not that the extra work isn't rewarding. I'm seeing parts of the Empire I never knew existed. Yesterday I got to sit in on a new class for people who are afraid of round shapes. A surprising number of people seem to be affected. It would totally suck if they worked in a kindergarten.
The Empire's also been giving me new teas to test at home so I can give them in-house feedback. My kitchen bench is covered in growing numbers of packets. Every time Mum sees them, she makes a little "Huh!" noise and rubs her ear. (She may have some kind of rash; I'll ask her about it later.) Anyway, I tried a new tea last night - Sienna Siesta - but I don't think I can tell the Empire anything useful because I lost consciousness half-way through the first cup. Perhaps I wasn't concentrating hard enough; I'll try again tonight.
On the down side, there's someone I'm trying to avoid at work. I don't like having to do it, but I don't have a choice; every time she sees me, she starts asking questions. And I'm not supposed to answer questions to lower-level staff. (Did I tell you about the staff levels? There are five. I'm Three. She's One. You can see the predicament.) Actually, I think she's kind of jealous of how quickly I've progressed. The head of the Empire (I'll call her 'J') and I were in the Intra-Conscious Reading Room the other day -- well, J was behind a screen and I was behind my supervisor who was behind four Level Fives but you know what I mean -- and she said that jealousy was one of the most corrosive emotions the human mind could create, and we should always take care to avoid it. I'm sure J has spent her whole life ignoring people who thought she was too beautiful. She does seem to be very good at tuning negativity out.
Right. Off to have a second go at Sienna Siesta. Fingers crossed I get better results this time.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I forgot to mention that the Doctor has returned, in disgrace. I promised him I wouldn't mention what he smelt like when we were reunited. But even Josh would have slightly wrinkled his nose in response.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
On a happier note, I think the weekend's Expo managed to convince my parents that the Empire isn't as weird as they thought. Who could fail to look normal next to:
- the people who believe that if you sit under a pyramid, it changes your DNA;
- the guys claiming that we're all part of an inter-galactic experiment and are actually human-alien hybrids;
- the institution selling a Vitamin C supplement that can apparently cure schizophrenia;
- the woman who says rocks feel pain and don't like being trodden on; or
- the pamphlet I got which swears that you only get cancer if you're a cranky-pants?
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
The Empire deals in new age-y stuff. They sell candles and oils, hold classes for people who suffer things (don't ask; I'm still not sure), and the most beautiful woman I have ever, ever seen runs it. Seriously. She has no pores. I bet she bathes in... what's the most luxurious thing you can bathe in? Truffles. She bathes in a mix of truffles, caviar, lobster, wagyu beef, and angels' tears. Then she's rinsed with a fire hose to get the stink off.
Anyway. The Empire staff are really nice, albeit kind of spacey. Well, almost everyone; the assistant to the Most Beautiful Woman Ever is a freak. Hopefully I'll never have to work with her. Another girl started on the same day as me (we did the aptitude tests together and, boy, do I wish I could post about those because they'd make your hair curl, but hello confidentiality clause) but she doesn't seem to be doing very well. At least I don't think so. It's kind of hard to tell. On the plus side, the Empire seems to think I have a talent for their ...whatchamacallit. On the down side, I've got a sneaking suspicion that I've just been lucky and any moment now they'll realise that employing me was a mistake.
Having a talent would be pretty good, though. I don't think I have any. (None that I'll admit to in public, anyway.) Can't cook. Can't sing. Can't play an instrument, because I don't think the recorder counts. Can't knit. Can't perform complicated mathematical equations. It's a litany of failure. However, I can read people fairly well. It may come in handy.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Less cranky now. Bad dates tend to do that to me. Particularly bad dates that looked as if they were going to be good dates and then... stuff happened. I'm not going to dwell on it. However, it's made me wonder - what isn't a good enough reason to break up with someone?
Bernard is my ideal partner, except for his:
* collection of Two and a Half Men DVDs.
* slight tendency to spit on the footpath.
* frequent use of the word "panties".
* Nazi sympathies.
But what do you do if it's not so obvious? Last year I turned down a dinner with a guy who had a really high-pitched giggle. I couldn't help it; every time he laughed, I imagined his testicles to be the size of Tic-Tacs.
Anise, from the corner chair, would like me to add that she once ended a relationship because the guy refused to try Malaysian food. I shall quote directly: "It denoted a degree of pointless inflexibility, which would probably end up extending to other areas in his life." I assume she's referring to The Sex. Yes, says Anise. "Duh," she adds.
However. If your paramour (who is a sweetie in every other way and super cute and has really nice hands and a sense of humour that makes you snort-laugh) basically implies that you're working for scammers and are possibly too dim to realise it, what then? My current method of coping is avoiding his calls. Call me a coward. I don't mind.
OK, I do mind. But it's either this or One of Those Conversations. And I'm really bad at Those Conversations.
TV, in particular, is useless. SBS is showing yet another documentary on Hitler. Do they have ANY OTHER DOCUMENTARIES? Because every time I switch over it's either Hitler or Obscure Sex Movie. Hitler! Sex! Hitler! Sex! Tour de France! Hitler! CHRIST ALMIGHTY, DO YOU PEOPLE HAVE ANYTHING ELSE IN THE ARCHIVES?
See? Don't blog when you're cross.
And I've just realised I've been using 'blog' as a verb. Kill me now.
I will try again tomorrow. My mood will be better. Off to have a soothing cup of tea, nicked from New Job.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Anyway, rather than relive how I ruined an intimate part of the evening by being momentarily overcome by Bad Previous Relationship Memories (great timing, as usual), I'll move to a related topic: What's the worst way you can dump someone? By SMS is pretty bad, though I think it's so common now that it's become part of life. E.g.:
Five years ago
"He dumped me in a text message."
"What? He what? In a text? On your phone, right? How dare he? How could he? What kind of evil person does this? Let's burn his house down!"
"He dumped me in a text message."
"What a bastard. You're better off without him. Hey, have you met my friend Sergio?"
Anise was once dumped by a guy who left a note for her at the cafe. With Jonathan, of all people. You can imagine how that went down. (At least it wasn't with Bessie; she may never have received the message. Awkward phone calls would have resulted.) I don't think anyone has dumped Siobhan; they're usually lifeless husks after a few hours in her company. No one would have the strength to thumb the keypad. Dad said once that he sent a girl a photo of his bare arse with a message scribbled across the cheeks, but that's just Dad. He probably actually did it in person. And me? Well, once I tried to cushion the blow for a guy by listing all of his great qualities. Boy, did that backfire; when I finally got to the point and dumped him, he was completely shocked because I'd spent about half an hour puffing him up. Nice work, Ruby.
And then there was that other nameless person who dumped me at my own birthday party without actually being there but let's not visit that unhappy moment. The scars haven't healed; I still cringe at the sight of birthday cake candles.
In better news, I have a new job! It may or may not have something to do with the class I went to. Keep it under your hat for now, though; I'm not sure how it's going to work out because it seems really, really, really weird.
More later, I promise.
Monday, April 26, 2010
- quit my job;
- have my fortune (sorry, "fortune") told at Ani's birthday party;
- meet someone, although I can barely remember what he looks like;
- attend my first meditation class;
- get kicked out of my first meditation class; and
- be diagnosed with a disorder I've never heard of.
This afternoon I'm supposed to be going to a class for people with said disorder. Apparently we're sensitive to noise, which is interesting as someone who spent most of her uni degree drowning out the world via her iPod. I'm still debating whether or not to turn up.
Re: the job thing, I was hoping to break the news to my parents gently -- preferably by ringing them in several months' time to tell them I had a different work number -- but by the time I saw them on Saturday, they already knew about it. (Thank you, Siobhan. Remind me to poison your coffee.)
To cheer myself up about the money that's not in my bank account, I'm making a list of all the reasons why I'm happy not to be working for K#nobbe (take that, Google search!) & Sons any more, which will either by posted later or ceremoniously burnt.
Off to class. (Or not.) Wish me luck.
p.s. Siobhan is even scarier when dressed like a clown.
p.p.s. Fortune tellers are a crock.
p.p.p.s. Possibly so is meditation.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
[It would probably be worth noting at this point that anyone hoping to see an entry written under the guise of said pet will be disappointed. People who write to others while pretending to be their cat/dog/wombat ("Dear Grandma - today I caught my first mouse! I ated the whole thing, and then threw up. Mummy was ever so cross, but that's OK, because I pooped in her shoes to give her something else to worry about. Kisses!") are WEIRD. Besides, if the Doctor could type, we all know what he'd write:
Feed me. Feed me. Feed me. Feed me. Have you fed me yet? Yes? How about a bit more? Are you sure? What if I lie on my back and wave at you? Come on! You know it takes me a good minute or so to roll over. Feed me. FEED ME, YOU EVIL WOMAN.]
I wonder if I can squeeze in another sick day. What are they going to do, fire me?
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I am banking on the fact that my parents will never find this website. Dad would insist on guest blogging. Things I Will Be Lecturing You On In The Near Future, by Charles White, covering such scintillating topics as:
- Why Tea Is A Drink, Not A Meal;
- Why Do Women Insist On Wearing Those Puffy Sleeved Tops At The Moment (You All Look Ridiculous); and
- Why Engineering Students Should Not Be Left Unsupervised At Any Time.
Fascinating. I can hear the reader numbers dropping from here. Anise, in fact, is the only person who knows about this blog, and she has promised to keep it a secret from her staff (especially Jonathan), as well as her scary sister Siobhan, upon pain of death*. Anise also doesn't have a computer, so there goes her chance to post sarcastic comments. "I prefer my sarcasm to be made in person," she is now saying from the corner chair. Touché. So there we have it: as long as nobody we know finds this page, we'll be good to go.
Must run and buy Ani a birthday cocktail, although her actual birthday isn't for a week or so. Rumour has it that the abandoned butcher's shop next to the florist on Hurt Street turns into a club after sun-down on Sundays. Will let you know how we get on.
*Read: being made to watch You've Got Mail again.