Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Ides of December

I bought a calendar. Sounds like nothing, right? You don't understand: I have never bought a calendar prior to the end of the year before. Normally, I go, "Hmmm... $26? I know! I'll wait until January or February when they're on sale and buy one cheap." Every year I have done that. And every year I have ended up with a crap calendar. Cats on Toilets. Factories of Interest. The Wheat Industry of Iowa. And let's not forget last year's effort, Sexy Oily Librarians. "Three of your favourite things, now in the one place!" Great tag line, though clearly untrue; I do not think their target demographic involved people who read. Regardless, my calendars have been so crap that I've had to hide them in cupboard. Which generally defeats the point of having a calendar because then I neither write stuff on them nor remember to look at them. Yeah.

Anyway. The point is I have purchased a calendar in fit of rare organisation so I can mark off the days until Siobhan's wedding. Yes, I'm already counting down. To the day after it, so the whole goddamned debacle will be over. It has been a mere six weeks since it was announced - and the Blessed Event itself isn't even until, like, November, I think - but already I've been shoehorned into more potential bridesmaid dresses than the cast of Priscilla: Queen of The Desert. In addition, Siobhan has suggested (i.e. told me) that I need to grow my hair longer and invest in a straightener. And take up Pilates. And get a better job. (I'm working on the last one. And only the last one. More on that later)

But it's OK. Because I've found her the perfect engagement present. This. Up yours, Siobhan!

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm still not dead

...though this job is making me wish I were.

I also wish I had a better explanation for my silence lately, but, really what was I going to write about?  My typical day?  Well, why not?  This is what happened today.  Hold on to your frickin' hat.

7.00          Alarm goes off.  Hit Snooze.
7.07          Alarm goes off.  Hit Snooze again.
7.14          Alarm goes off.  Pray for death.
7.15-8      Death not forthcoming. Drag self around house, prolonging the inevitable.

8.01         Mad scramble for keys, bag, bus pass, gun, book.
8.15-8.50 Daydream about bus crashing on way to work.
8.55         Attempt to sneak past security guard, who has taken to calling me 'Red'.
9-12        Avoid Baz.  Stretch out transcribing board minutes by pretending the recorder isn't working.  Ransack stationery cupboard looking for paperclips/batteries/anything that can keep me in there for more than five minutes.  Return to desk under sufferance.  Watch clock surreptitiously.  Snack.    
12-12.30  Sprint to botanic gardens.  Hide under shrubbery.  Inhale lunch.  Devour another chapter of scandalous celebrity biography.
12.35      Drag self back to office. Along the way, ask passers-by if they have work going.
12.45-5   Avoid Baz.  Avoid Roger.  Ignore memos from Di regarding the ban on instant soup in the office kitchen.  ("SOMEBODY is still making Cup O Noodle, DESPITE strict instructions."  Blah bliddy blah.)  Make tiny sculptures out of erasers and push-pins.  Snack.  Practice typing for next/better/less suicide-tempting job.  Nod for solid ten minutes while smelly bike courier bangs on about his weekend.  Resist Googling murder techniques in case internet access is monitored.  (What do I mean 'in case'?  Ho ho!)  Snack.

5.01       Undignified sprint for elevator.
5.03       Return to desk to retrieve bag.
5.05       Second undignified sprint for elevator.
5.30       Unlock front door.  Move The Doctor aside with one foot while shedding clothes.

5.32       First wine of six.

And there you have it.  Fun, huh? 

And I've got even better news: Siobhan's getting married.  (Anise is still in shock.  As is most of the free world.) 

Guess who's going to be a bridesmaid? 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hello, vodka, my old friend.

I will say up front that I do not have a drinking problem - my mother's likely to see the title of this and start the pearl-clutching immediately. Calm down, Ma. 

However. Never have I wanted to have a drinking problem more than while working at this job. A haze of gin would make Roger's constant snorting easier to take. I would pretend I was working at a zoo next to the hippopotamus enclosure. "Ah," I'd say to myself, waving my glass, "They must have just thrown a pile of cabbages in. Enjoy your cruciferous snackage, hippo friends!" Tequila shooters would take the edge off Di's sneers. She's still narked because I've got the copier sussed now.  This would be pathetic if it wasn't so irritating. With a two-belter of whisky, I'd be able to not recoil at Baz's lethal coffee breath whenever he leeeeeeeeans over to point out something on my screen. (I've taken to wearing tops that go all the way up to my chin. I look like I'm auditioning for Mad Men, and not in a good way.)

There are three other people in the office but I can't remember their names because they never speak and they all dress in brown.  I told my dad this and he said something about Kraftwerk.  (Who?  Will Google later, after the cocktail hour.)

In addition, someone keeps tampering with my email settings. I come in, and they're all wonked about. Plus all the stuff in my drawers keeps being moved around.

A thought occurs: are they searching my stuff? ?    ??

Hell, no. Not again.

Will investigate and report back later. After I've had a drink, of course.

(Calm down, Ma.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

How many years do you get for assault, again?

Absence does not make the heart grow fonder. I have been back in the fresh hell that is admin work for only two weeks and already have developed that, "Oh, sweet baby Jesus, kill me now" feeling when the alarm goes off. On the walk to work, I have to stop myself from charging down a side street and running until the heels of my shoes disintegrate into powder and I'm found three weeks later living in an alleyway next to a string of restaurant dumpsters.

It's not just the work, though that's bad enough -- I have paper cuts upon paper cuts and have developed an expensive eye drop addiction because everything's written in tiny print. (Apparently 6 point font saves ink. How, I'm not sure. I would have thought it meant you can print more. But if I started arguing the point on everything that seems nonsensical at New Job, I'd never go home.) Anyway, it's not just the work; it's the workers as well.

There's Roger, who smells like sour milk and snorts whenever he hits the Escape key. (Which is a lot. Roger, what do you do all day?) 

There's Di, who wears so much eyeshadow that her lids crackle when she blinks. Di also refuses to show me how the reverse photocopier function works. Because I'm going to use it for evil, or something.

And then there's Baz. Oh, Baz. In the first two days, Baz came out with the following pearls of wisdom:

"My, you're a sparky one!"
"Is it true what they say about redheads?" (To which I did not reply, "We've got good aim?" and kick him squarely in the 'nads. Applaud my restraint, readers.)
"Chris Brown keeps getting a bad rap. What's done is done; leave the guy alone." (Yes, how wrong of us to keep bringing up the fact that he, oh, I don't know, BEAT UP HIS GIRLFRIEND.)
"Actually, I think Maroon 5 is a pretty sweet band."

I wish Baz were a co-worker I could simply ignore, but New Job wouldn't let me have this peace of mind. No, Baz is my new boss.

I have a feeling that things are going to get much, much worse.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's time.

I feel my regular drop-ins at my parents' place have ceased to be a novelty.  Perhaps I'm imagining things but in the past few weeks, I've noticed:

* Mum has stopped looking up when I enter the room.
* Job vacancy pages keep finding their way into my handbag.
* The chocolate is getting harder to find. (The last lot turned up at the bottom of the laundry hamper, stuffed into a newspaper and tucked into a patchwork pillow case.)
* Dad told me to check my LinkedIn account. Which I didn't realise I had. Because he opened it on my behalf without telling me.
* I keep being asked whether I've considered joining a gym.
* Or a book club.
* Or the circus.

To be fair, it's been at least six months since the Empire collapsed and took most of my life with it. Money isn't an issue, yet, but there have been parental mutterings about "life skills." I have life skills. I can open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew. I can predict people's taste in music purely by their shoes. I can recite The Highwayman from memory. I have managed to sustain a reasonably well-functioning relationship with my boyfriend despite being forced to go camping. (See previous picture entry for evidence.) I've taught my cat to play dead. I...


I'll get a job.

I'd write *sigh* here but I don't think it sums up my lack of enthusiasm well enough.  Can you say it out loud while summoning every ounce of ennui you have?  And groan a bit?  Thanks very much.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Nature is not your friend.

I understand that this is kind of an odd thing to say, considering my last job, but it's true. If you're in advertising, 'nature' is green fields and trees and streams and butterflies and doe-a-deer-a-female-deer and usually there's some tie-in with a brand of liquor. However. If you are an actual person living in the actual world, nature barely tolerates your presence and will not hesitate to crush you. Consider the evidence so far: floods and earthquakes (thank you, 2011); bushfires; lightning; the shark. I've spent the last few weeks trying to look on the bright side, but there is no other conclusion: Nature hates you.

Exhibit A: A good start. (At this point, I was beginning to reconsider my anti-Nature stance. Wine always helps.)

Exhibit B: Nature, being all nature-y. For a moment, I thought it was a positive sign that a butterfly landed on my glass. In hindsight, I realise it was trying to warn me. "Run!" it said, with a flap of its tiny antennae. "Run!!"
"More wine!" I said in response, because I am an idiot.

Exhibit C: Nature's revenge.
Yes, clearly admiring a butterfly was the cue for its ugly cousin, the bee, to puncture my hand. And thus the rest of my glorious trip was spent with my hand in an esky of ice.

Lesson learned: camping is for chumps.

Monday, February 28, 2011


I am typing this from a tiny cafe next to the longest, flattest, driest stretch of highway I have ever had the misfortune to be on. I'm so desperate for coffee I just sucked the grounds out of a filter. You guessed it: I'm on another Challenge. It involves a tent, food you have to eat out of a can, no internet access*, and my possibly-soon-to-be-ex boyfriend. We ran out of CDs over a week ago. My hair has decided to try and fuse itself into a single solid red dreadlock. I have sunburn in places that I didn't think could get sunburnt. And I only took three books with me and have resorted to reading maps with feverish intent. Said boyfriend thinks it means I'm taking an interest. It actually means I'm looking for escape routes.

From my rudimentary calculations, we're 34 30' S/144 50' E. If you are in the area, look for a dishevelled redhead with coffee grounds on her face.


* My recent blog silence has not been by choice; trust me.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I'm not dead.

Sorry, sorry, sorry. So sorry. Girl Abandons Blog (Disappoints Fourteen People).

The Xmas sales were not quite my undoing, though I did discover after I got back to my parents' house several hours later (and missing one shoe, but let's not dwell on the past) that I had failed part of the challenge, which was to actually buy something. Nobody told me that bit.

"You went to a sale," said my dad, looking nonplussed. "A sale! At which people purchase items!"

"Which are on sale," added my mother, helpfully.
"I thought the point of the challenge was actually to survive said sale," said I, ungrateful daughter, still picking glass out of the bottom of my remaining shoe.
"Yes, but..." said Mum.
"I survived 80% off selected Stella McCartney. I had to extract myself from an escalator when they announced a three-for-one Jimmy Choo mark-down. At one point, I found myself in a corridor of shrieking teenagers with nothing but a Robert Pattinson calendar with which to shield myself."

"Who's Jimmy?" said Dad.
"But..." Mum spread her hands and waved them a bit, like she was trying to air out her fingers. "Shopping!"
"Hate!" I said, easing out a splinter near the heel. "And don't give each other that look."
"We're not," said Mum, thereby confirming that they were.

I tossed the shoe in the bin. "I won this challenge. I went to the sale. I came home in one piece. That was the point."
"But what did you do if you weren't buying ...things?"
"Prayed, mostly. Hit people with my elbows." I headed for their fridge. "There was also a lot of breathing in and squeezing past, if I remember correctly."
"I don't get it." She looked genuinely upset, as if my failure to purchase was a genetic anomaly.

"I don't like crowds. Do you have any ice-cream?"
"Only lemon sorbet. Your father's avoiding dairy, for some reason."

"Milk cough," said Dad.
"It doesn't exist! I keep telling you that!" said Mum, finding a new target for her ire.
I took the carton and fished a spoon out of the dishwasher. "Going for a walk. Taking the dog. Borrowing your thongs."

So Brian and I took a leisurely stroll, leaving my parents to debate the validity of milk cough. For the record, Brian agrees with me. Surviving was the point. Isn't it always?