Monthly Archives: June 2008

Sleepy Mondays

Mood: A Little Bit Tired

Why can’t weekends be three days long?

My usual Monday gripe is that the weekend is never long enough. Not that I have had an exceptionally busy weekend or anything, but just that I wish I could stay in bed a little longer on Monday mornings.

I shouldn’t complain. I’ve had a really great weekend, filled with fun activities such as catching up with friends, good long sleep-ins and lie-ins and quality time with my family and J. I even got around to restocking the Asian part of my food cupboard and doing my laundry, and even indulged in my love of cooking by making a really yummy Indian dinner last night for J and me.

Friday night was my niece Renée’s birthday party with the family. Everyone gathered at Dad and Mum’s place for a family meal, resulting in 12 people sitting around the massive dinner table. All you could hear was children’s laughter and baby babble, almost drowning out all the adult conversation where topics would start and never quite finish. This of course was to be expected, as the centre of attention was a little one. But lately, I’ve noticed that whenever all the babies are together, the adults never ever quite finish any topics of conversation!

Poor Dad. He always looks so overwhelmed when the little ones are about, running around and chattering loudly. J noticed this too on Friday night – Dad looked completely lost and seemed to give up on having any kind of adult conversation, as everyone paid slightly more attention to what the kids were doing or saying and thus not finishing the adult conversations.

Renée had a terrific night – she was so spoilt by all the presents! Auntie G and Uncle J gave her 5 presents – a gorgeous pink tutu with big silver sequins, a fairy wand covered in white sparkly sequins, a flower headpiece, and a gorgeous pink outfit (hot pink top with a gorgeous patchwork skirt that everyone thought was adorable). The pièce de résistance was the pink scooter from Grace and Vinay – I want one too!

Lots of photos were taken on the night – with my camera for a change – so I will post those once I’ve had a chance to photoshop them.

J stayed at his place on Friday night to get a good night’s sleep, as Miss M was staying overnight on Saturday and J had an early start to collect Miss M by 8am. I on the other hand had a lovely lie-in on Saturday morning until 9am, so I was well rested by the time I got to Chatswood for my lunch date with my friends Clayton, Imby and Mollie.

Clay and I met through soccer years ago and he is one of the very few people from soccer with whom I have remained friends. A couple of years ago, Clay moved back to Scone after a stint in Sydney, and since buying his house recently, has become an infrequent visitor to Sydney. A couple of weeks ago, Clay rang and told me he would be in Sydney over the weekend and asked if we could catch up for our usual yum cha lunch at Chatswood. I accepted without hesitation.

Mollie is Clay’s sister who I met almost 12 months ago – she is such a barrel of laughs and I love seeing her when Clay is in town. Imby, Clay’s girlfriend is a new addition to the group – Imby was introduced to the fine art of yum cha when she came to Sydney with Clay in March this year and she is now an avid convert. To round off the motley crew, Penny also joined us for a few dumplings.

It was a fun yum cha – lots of conversations, laughter and good food. But I felt like I didn’t catch up with Clay as much this time than previous occasions – we were sitting across the table from each other and it was hard to have a conversation over the top of everyone else’s. Never mind – I’m sure Clay and Imby will be in town again soon and we will go to another yum cha – hopefully J will be available to join us too.

After yum cha, Penny and I wandered around Westfield for a bit. Neither of us needed to buy anything – it was more a wander to walk off the lunch than anything else. Penny ended up buying 2 pairs of shoes … I enjoyed living vicariously through her! And even though I did not set out to buy anything on Saturday, I went home with 5 DVDs. Bad bad girl …

Saturday night had been booked out by Suz for weeks, so that we could finally catch up after not seeing each other for weeks and also to see the Sex And The City movie. What should have been a straightforward, easy going night will now go down in history as the night Gee and Suz needed to travel back in time to see a movie!

You see, I got an email from the fine people at Greater Union advertising cheap, $8 tickets for the SATC movie for all Cinebuzz members if they were to book the tickets online. So I went to the website and selected our seats and booked the tickets, and subsequently received the confirmation email etc. Saturday night, we went to the box office and got our tickets, and then took ourselves off to dinner. We had just enough time to buy our popcorn, chocolates and frozen cokes before the movie started, but to our horror, there were already people seated in our allocated seats. A bit confused, we saw 2 other seats further back in the cinema and decided to go and sit in those instead. Unfortunately for us, those seats belonged to someone else who turned up and curtly told us to move.

We took our movie snacks and our tickets and went back to the box office, a bit miffed and disappointed that our seats were sold twice. The girls behind the counter were very good – they went in search of their manager to try and resolve the situation, and offered their apologies along with tickets to the next session. At this point, Suz noticed something a little bit odd on her ticket stub.

Only I could manage to get us cheap tickets online and select the tickets for Friday instead of Saturday, which meant the date on the first lot of tickets that were printed said "Friday 27 June".

In hindsight, we were damn lucky that the girls even let us in to see the movie at all!

So now I can finally say I’ve seen the Sex And The City movie. I’ll put up a review later. (And yes, I’m aware that I now owe 4 movie reviews!!!)

Because we got out of the movies so late (around 12.30am), I didn’t get to bed until well past 1am, which meant I spent all of Sunday morning asleep. I guess my body needed the sleep in. I finally climbed out of bed at around 1.30pm and took myself to Chatswood for my Asian groceries and the ingredients for dinner. The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up on my laundry.

My Butter Chicken and Rogan Josh were very yummy. J liked the dishes too. We will definitely have those again!

Even though I had my sleep in yesterday morning, I was exhausted by 8pm. I tried so hard to stay awake as J put on a few episodes of Bleach (Japanese anime that J got me completely hooked on) but alas, I fell asleep during a crucial episode.

It would have been lovely to have had more sleep this morning, considering the really bad night of sleep J had (apparently, my new mattress is too hard for him and he is still getting use to the firmness) – his tossing and turning woke me a few times during the night. But I can’t complain – I did all the work I had to do by 11.30am this morning and the rest of the day has been pretty cruisy. And I’m off to a wine club launch / wine tasting event tonight. Here’s hoping J will be able to sleep better tonight!

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The Busy Life I Lead

Mood: Busy

It’s been ages since I’ve blogged. I’ve been pretty busy with work, but more importantly, I’ve been busy with life.

Things are travelling well with work. Although I am still in the same job and feeling like I’m not adding any more value to the project, I am continuing to work hard and make good contributions. So far, my work has been applauded by the right people, which is awesome.

I have also just been through what was historically a very stressful time of the year – the weeks in which all of our performance appraisals must be completed.

This time last year, I was stressed to the max about my performance appraisal – I was fighting for a promotion and my gut feeling told me that it would be an uphill battle. Every time I thought about the appraisal process, my stomach would twist into horrible knots and I would feel the tears prickling behind my eyelids. I was so stressed about it I would make myself physically ill. The night before my review last year, I threw up until I had nothing left in my stomach. Needless to say, I did not sleep a wink that night, and the fatigue saw me bawling my eyes out in the shower for about 45 minutes before I could compose myself enough to get dressed and go to work.

By the scheduled time of my appraisal meeting, I was so tightly wound that the slightest motion would have snapped me in half. I sat in the meeting, recalling all of my achievements over the previous 12-month period, touting my hard work and tooting my own horn. I had hoped it would be enough for a promotion. At that point, all I wanted was the title and to be recognised for my above and beyond contribution to the company. I didn’t even care if they didn’t give me a pay rise – I just wanted the damn title.

To my horror, all of my achievements were deemed "not quite relevant to our line of work" and were therefore promptly discounted from the appraisal. Whilst I did a great job keeping the client happy (so much so that I had turned a 6-week assignment into an ongoing contract that had spanned 13 months by that point), I may as well have sat on my hands doing and learning nothing for that same period of time as far as my manager was concerned.

Needless to say, I didn’t get the promotion, and upon being told the above, the floodgates opened and I began to sob in that heaving, can’t-catch-my-breath way. It was all I could do to not howl to the moon.

Back to the present. This year’s appraisal went far better than I expected. I knew I had performed satisfactorily over the past 12 months, and whilst I wasn’t pushing for a promotion, I am still hoping for a decent pay rise. Regardless, the meeting went very well, with my new branch manager and my career manager both complimenting my efforts and encouraging me to continue the good work. We didn’t talk salary nor training prospects – there will be two follow up discussions to deal with these matters. If there is a whinge, then it is the fact that the whole process was broken down to 3 steps without consultation with the staff first. I would have preferred for the whole thing to be over and done with in the one sitting. But hey, it gives me more time to think about what kind of pay rise I want to ask for, which is always good.

My current project is still trucking along, with a new phase of work to hopefully begin shortly. In my appraisal, I noted that I felt stagnant as my role had become admin based; I wasn’t learning anything new and I wanted more challenges. Straight away, I was included in a couple of project proposals submitted to potential clients – I’m hoping one of these projects will come through, which may see me based on site in a CBD office.

I have been doing a little bit of work with a new project director to our division, which has been lovely. Such a nice man and so knowledgeable – I hope I can work more closely with him in the near future.

So, after all that’s been said, I’m giving this company another 12 months of my time. I have a new branch manager and a new project director, who have some really fantastic ideas to grow the NSW branch as well as the whole division nationally. I’m keen to see how things will progress under their leadership – here’s hoping the change is good – then again, it couldn’t be any worse than before, could it?

Life (away from work) has been dealing me a very fair hand. My family is wonderful and my man is gorgeous. My little ones are getting bigger by the day – it’s my niece Renée’s 4th birthday today. I can’t believe how quickly time has flown – it felt like only yesterday I was meeting the first Chan baby for the first time.

We are having a family birthday party tonight to celebrate the occasion. I am looking forward to seeing everyone together in the same room – it’s been weeks since we have all been together for a meal.

J and I are going from strength to strength. I am still surprised and amazed about how well things are going between us – mostly because I’m so used to dating assholes, bastards and jerks that I keep waiting for the jerky bits to float to the surface. Either he has no jerky bits, or he has had all the jerk kicked out of him – things between us are so far, so good.

We had a "moment" earlier today, when he wanted me to reassure him that I have a life away from him. For some reason, he was worried that some of his solitude characteristics were rubbing off on me and that I would stop seeing my friends and rely on him solely for social contact. He was worried that our relationship would not stand the test of time if I didn’t have a life outside of us, as one of the factors of his marriage breakdown was due to JX having no friends and no desire for social contact away from J.

I was a bit confused – considering how many friends I have and how much I enjoy being with my friends, there was never a doubt that I would ever turn into a hermit. So I reassured him that I do and will spend time with my wide circle of friends, and that made him feel a little bit more at ease.

J is talking long term with me. That makes me very happy. I ♥ my J.

In the meantime, I’ve been developing my relationship with Miss M. She is such a terrific little girl – so cute and so smart, and always so funny. On Sunday, when we all spent the day together, she was heard by Daddy to be singing "I love Gloria, I love Gloria". I am seriously falling in love with Miss M.

Wow – look at the time. I need to dash home to wrap my big girl’s birthday presents. Yay for birthday parties!

Photos Galore!

Mood: Happily Busy

I am finally up to date with all of my photos! Enjoy!