Monthly Archives: September 2008

A Full Dance Card!

Mood: Busy Busy Busy

It’s that time of the year, when everything starts piling up and my body is screaming for a break.

The next 10 or so days will be busy for a number of reasons. Having just completed a busy weekend – dinner with Suz and Matt to celebrate their engagement on Friday night (too many drinks!), Emily’s birthday party on Saturday night (fun night with good food and great mates) and a full day with J and Miss M yesterday, I am in dire need of a couple of days in bed already!

(As an aside, I had a lovely day with J and Miss M yesterday. For the second time in as many weeks, I spent a full day with Miss M, who was very cuddly throughout the day. As with every time I spend time with them, I became Miss M’s favourite for most of the day. She insisted on having me push her stroller, sitting in my lap through the movies, sharing noodles with me for lunch, and generally playing with me a bit more than Daddy. Poor Daddy – not only had J been sick for a few days – nasal passages so congested at night that he had not able to sleep for more than 2 hours a night since Thursday night – but Miss M was also acting up over the entire weekend. I knew he was exhausted, so anything I could do to help, like carrying Miss M and force feeding Miss M lunch was welcomed by J.)

It was hard getting out of bed this morning – even though J and I had elected to turn off the TV at 9.30pm last night and promptly fell asleep (and J finally slept too after getting some drugs that cleared his nasal passages). The morning was a disaster – we should have stayed in bed in the end – most of the lower north shore was blacked out after a huge power failure at around 1am, rendering all appliances in the apartment useless and half of the lifts in the building inoperative. The power failure was announced to all the residents in my building via the intercom at 6.15am. To make matters worse, the water pumps rely on electricity to pump water into the apartments, which meant there was initially no cold water to mix with the hot water in the shower, and then no water at all. Thankfully, both of us had had showers the night before, so we were relatively clean. There was just enough water for J to have a 30 second shower. I was left to have a sponge bath.

Thankfully, I wasn’t at work today – as it turned out, the power failure shorted out the servers and no one was able to retrieve emails or any work from the file servers until around 4pm today. A whole day wasted – I’m glad I had a more productive day.

I am currently on a five-day Business Analysis course. The first day was pretty action packed – there is so much information, and surprisingly, I understand most of it! I actually know more than I thought I did. It’s nice to formalise what I’ve learnt on my projects.

Tonight, I had dinner with my folks for the first time in two weeks, and saw Georgianna and Tim and their boys for the first time in about a month. Aunty Golly has missed her boys, and I made sure I got lots of cuddles and kisses tonight. Tommy was so pleased to see me – big smiles and cuddles and kisses. And Lucas even had a little nap in my arms – so cute!

Tomorrow night, J and I are resuming our movie viewing on date night. It’s been a while since we’ve been the flicks by ourselves – the last movie J saw was Wall-E – which he saw twice, both times with Miss M (the second time being yesterday, to which I tagged along). There are a few choices tomorrow night, so stay tuned for more movie reviews. (Note to self: the review for The Bank Job is long overdue!)

My good friend Adrian arrives on Wednesday for a flying visit on his brief holiday from London. Adrian will be staying with me for a couple of nights, and I’m looking forward to catching up with him over those days.

Because Adrian is in Sydney, a get-together is planned on Thursday night with a few friends. Coincidentally, another good mate Niel is in Sydney (from Singapore) as well on Thursday, so it will be awesome to see everyone in the one place for a few drinks and some good chats.

Adrian leaves on the Friday, but the fun will continue for me and J. Although we are pretty sure there are no plans to go out and meet up with people on Friday night at this stage, I’m sure something will pop up a bit later in the week. Miss M is staying overnight again on Saturday, so while J will be busy, I am hoping to catch up on some of the many (many) hours of TV programs carefully recorded.

Sunday at this stage will involve a trip to Darling Harbour to see the Darling Harbour Fiesta with J and Miss M and possibly JX and JX’s boyfriend P, with a possibility of being joined by P’s daughter C – how very Brady Bunch of us!!!

Monday is Labour Day in NSW, which means a public holiday for the hard workers like J and me. We are planning to head to Manly to have a look at the Manly Jazz Festival. Or head up the coast to Terrigal for a picnic. The weather will play a big part in what we end up doing.

Weeks ago, we had planned ahead for the long weekend with a view to taking a short break away from Sydney, so we had both locked in a day off for the Tuesday. At this stage, I’d like nothing better than to spend the day in bed with J, sleeping, reading, chilling out, and I have a feeling J would be more than happy to go with those plans.

I hope I survive the next few days!!!

Pop Princess

Mood: Happily Humming

There are few guilty pleasures in life. And one of mine happens to be cheesy pop music.

By cheesy pop music, I mean really cheesy stuff – catchy, bubblegum, saccharine, teenybopper, commercial, mainstream, Top 40s on high rotation, completely overplayed and annoyingly anchored within one’s psyche / can’t get it out of your head kind of cheesy pop music. Stuff that when hummed audibly makes those around you want to fly at you with their hands outstretched in a throat throttling hold. Yep – that’s the stuff I love.

My album of the moment is Miley Cyrus’s "Breakout". I love the whole album – every song is awesome, even if the lyrics are a bit on the "young" side. Bearing in mind that this lass is only 15, no one should expect Shakespeare, and, well, it’s cheesy and boppy and easy to remember, so I’m down with that.

So for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been happily playing "See You Again" in my head, and occasionally singing the few lyrics I know. It’s funny seeing the reaction on those around me whenever my brain decides to play the song out loud. My colleagues giggle and then beg for mercy, and it makes J laugh and groan.

Woah, woah, I-I can’t wait to see you again!

And then there’s that little ditty called "I’m Yours" by Jason Mraz.

To say this song has been overplayed is the understatement of the month. Channel 7 has been using this song to introduce / advertise their new drama series Packed To The Rafters, which premiered a week after the Beijing Olympics. In the lead up to the Games coverage, the song would accompany the ad for Packed To The Rafters, and Channel 7 was heavily advertising the show.

Even now, 5 episodes into the series (which, by the way, is really good), Channel 7 is still playing the song heavily, to the point of overlaying snippets of the series into the real music video and playing the collage at the end of each episode during the credits.

I really love the happy, chilled out feel of this song – all the elements of this song put together never fails to put a little smile on my face.

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you’re free
Look into your heart and you’ll find love love love love
Listen to the music of the moment people dance and sing
We’re just one big family
It’s your God-forsaken right to be loved love loved love love

So I won’t hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I’m sure
There’s no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I’m yours.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on Katy Perry’s "I Kissed A Girl". Once I start, I can’t stop!

It is such a silly song, and for the longest time, I didn’t even know what everyone was raving about. And then, I heard it. I was in HMV, browsing, when all of a sudden, the song infiltrated my psyche. Instantly, the lyrics latched on to my brain and I was hooked.

There is another reason for me liking this song. It reminds me of my misspent youth, when I was dared by my then boyfriend to kiss a girl. Fuelled by a large amount of tequila, I kissed a girl. And found I liked it.

My boyfriend certainly didn’t mind, and I remember she tasted like lemons. Well, we were drinking a lot of slammers that night!

So, now, the song makes me giggle at that memory. And blush a little too.

I kissed a girl and I liked it,
The taste of her cherry chapstick.
I kissed a girl just to try it,
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it.
It felt so wrong,
It felt so right.
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight.
I kissed a girl, I liked it.
(I liked it!)

Yes, I do – I like it!!!

My Name Is NOT Ngoc Ma!!!

Mood: Annoyed

For the past few months, I have been receiving phone calls on my work mobile for Mrs Ngoc Ma from various service providers, all seeking payment of outstanding invoices. I’ve had calls from electricity companies, and phone companies, and a few other people all calling from Accounts Departments. Today was the last straw.

Today, I received a second phone call from Telstra Bigpond in the space of 2 working days, from some knob wanting to speak to Mrs Ngoc Ma. I would have shrugged this nitwit off for doing his job, if only he would pay attention to what he was doing.

Luckily for him, both times he called, he ended up going through to my voicemail. Unfortunately for him, when he does call back again in the near future, I am going to give him a massive spray for leaving terse messages for a Mrs Ngoc Ma on the voicemail clearly belonging to me. Yes, I even double and triple checked to make sure that my voicemail message greeting states “you have contacted Gloria C”.

Goes to show that not only do all Asians look alike, their names all sound alike too. Eejits.

As for this twat of a lady, thanks for giving your service providers my mobile number as your point of contact. Skipping out on your bills is not cool, especially when I have to deal with all your debt collectors.

If anyone is looking for Ngoc Ma, and ends up calling me, expect to cop a spray. And if you want to leave Ngoc Ma a message on my voicemail, expect me to be anything but nice when you finally get through to me.

Grrr!

Momma G For Real?!

Mood: Giggling

This was sent to me today by one of my work colleagues – ironically fitting as I am getting very clucky and am seriously contemplating a new, permanent person in my life. If only the sheer mention of this won’t completely freak out someone else and/or send them into an unrecoverable tailspin!

It’s a funny read, nevertheless – enjoy!

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Preparation for Parenthood

Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading books and decorating the nursery. Here are 12 simple tests for expectant parents to take to prepare themselves for the real-life experience of being a mother or father.

1. Women: to prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front. Leave it there for 9 months. After 9 months, take out 10% of the beans. Men: to prepare for paternity, go to the local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to help himself. Then go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office. Go home. Pick up the paper. Read it for the last time.

2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have allowed their children to run riot. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behaviour. Enjoy it – it’ll be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

3. To discover how the nights will feel, walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 lbs. At 10pm put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, till 1am. Put the alarm on for 3am. As you can’t get back to sleep get up at 2am and make a drink. Go to bed at 2.45am. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4am. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

4. Can you stand the mess children make? To find out, smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish finger behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

5. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this – all morning.

6. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a pot of paint, turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet tube. Using only scotch tape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas cracker. Last, take a milk container, a ping pong ball, and an empty packet of Coco Pops and make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations. You have just qualified for a place on the playgroup committee.

7. Forget the Ferrari and buy a Tarago. And don’t think you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that. Buy a chocolate ice cream bar and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a quarter. Stick it in the cassette player. Take a family-size packet of chocolate cookies. Mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There. Perfect.

8. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the toilet for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette end, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you’ve had as much as you can stand, until the neighbours come out and stare at you. Give up and go back into the house. You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

9. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.

10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child – a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy. Until you can easily accomplish this do not even contemplate having children.

11. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Weet-Bix and attempt to spoon it into the swaying melon by pretending to be an aeroplane. Continue until half the Weet-Bix is gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor. You are now ready to feed a 12- month old baby.

12. Learn the names of every character from Play School, Sesame Street and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When you find yourself singing “There’s a bear in there…” at work, you finally qualify as a parent.

Tribute to Kurt Fearnley

Mood: Ecstatic

Congratulations, Kurt Fearnley!

You are an inspiration to one and all. Your efforts at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games are nothing short of amazing and sensational – and the best part of all is you have a full set of medals from these games! Gold for the marathon (the one you really wanted to win, as you were defending your Athens title), 2 silvers and a bronze. Truly awesome effort.

You are the epitome of sportsmanship. If only everyone can take a leaf out of your book, then there would be no need for sports tribunals and bad press. It seems nothing can keep that cheeky smile off your face for long. You carry yourself with so much grace and humility and I hope I will continue to learn from you for many years to come.

I remember the first time I met you at NSWIS – you were a little shy back then, but you were still cheeky and always with a ready smile. I always looked forward to bumping into you, because your smile always lit up a room and my day. Years after I left NSWIS, we would keep bumping into each other – at uni games, at sports awards dinners, and then, last year at the Day of Difference Foundation Acceptance Day Walk. And it is always a pleasure to see that smiling face of yours.

You are my hero, Kurt. Congrats on your achievements, and hope to see you again soon – the beers are on me!

Good News Week!

Mood: Party Time!

It has been a week of good news, much joy and happiness!

Some good news was finally heading to Thomas, aka my Billy Bob. Congratulations for the awesome win against his old football club!

Thomas has been fighting what felt like a losing battle against his old football club for outstanding player payments as stipulated in his professional football contract. Poor Thomas – he just wanted to play a bit of football at an elite level, and just after signing with this particular club (which will from this point forward be known as ThugsFC), Thomas injured himself playing a trial game for ThugsFC. Even though ThugsFC originally agreed to continue paying Thomas in accordance to the contract, they soon reneged on the deal, stopped paying Thomas, and had Thomas living on the poverty line with no income.

The battle took centre stage a fortnight ago in front of the Football NSW Grievance Tribunal. ThugsFC attended en masse, while I was the lonely only acting as Thomas’s representative. Very scary experience, and one I never wish to go through again.

On the night, ThugsFC claimed they were never kept informed of Thomas’s injury, surgery, and recovery. They claimed he never supplied them with a medical certificate. They claimed he acted violently towards ThugsFC executives. Lies. All lies.

What really happened:

* Thomas gave ThugsFC letter after letter after letter from his surgeons and specialists and physios to show what procedures were performed on his injury, and how Thomas was tracking in his recovery. Time and time again, Thomas presented documentation from his medical contacts, and then copies of the same letters, and more copies of the same letters, but ThugsFC kept refusing to pay Thomas. ThugFC executive, The Fly kept saying that he never personally received anything stating “medical certificate”, nor did he receive any of the letters. It was almost too funny when the chair of the tribunal almost swatted him with the “copious evidence as to his injury and treatment”!

* Thomas might not have given all the medical letters to The Fly, but he did give some of them to The Fly, and copies of those letters to ThugsFC president. On top of this, Thomas kept his coach fully informed of his progress, speaking to his coach on a regular basis. The Fly kept saying he didn’t personally receive the documentation, therefore ThugsFC didn’t receive notification, and the chair of the tribunal almost choked before asking The Fly if ThugsFC president and the coach would be classified as authorised representatives of ThugsFC. Almost begrudgingly, The Fly finally conceded that Thomas had in fact kept everyone informed.

* As for Thomas behaving violently towards The Fly and ThugsFC executives, this claim was almost laughed out of the room by the chair and the tribunal panel member. The theatrical re-enactment presented by The Fly regarding the alleged violent behaviour was worthy of an Oscar nomination.

How can I be so certain of the “real” events? Thomas documented everything, and with his documentation, I helped him write the letter to Football NSW which was used as evidence in the tribunal hearing.

The chair of the tribunal determined that ThugsFC was in the wrong. In her words, to not pay Thomas what he was due was “entirely inappropriate conduct on the part of the club”. ThugsFC has until this Friday to pay Thomas, or pay me as Thomas’s authorised representative. It’s Tuesday now and they still haven’t made contact with me nor Thomas, so it will be interesting to see what pans out by the end of this week.

In any case, Thomas can rest easy now with this win in his pocket. And I’m glad this thing is almost over. Woo hoo!

And also some good feedback about my work.

I was charged with the enormous task of pulling together information for a major award application. At first, it seemed like an easy enough task – I had the full support of a number of the company’s senior executives and managers acting as my champions, as well as the unparalleled support from the admin team acting as my little helpers to complete the task. Getting the information together was not going to be a small job, but one I was confident of being able to complete without too much of a headache.

WRONG!

As it turned out, a few of the senior people were not given a proper briefing on what I was doing, and consequently, the exercise grew from a manageable one to an angry fire-breathing dragon with a splinter in his foot and an appetite to entire swallow villages in a single gulp.

Let’s just say I copped a fair bit of flack from a whole host of people whose noses were a little bit put out of joint.

Thankfully, those who championed the task all recognised their own parts in the boots being stuck into me, and apologised for the body blows. They have all commended me on my hard work as well, which has taken the edge off the sting a bit.

I hope the good news just keep on coming!

A Gorgeous Spring Weekend

Mood: Hip Hip Hooray!

What a gorgeous weekend! And so busy!

A couple of weeks ago, Emily, Penny and Megan S decided to hold a combined birthday party to celebrate their birthdays on Saturday. There were 3 parts to the day of celebrations: Barefoot Bowls @ Waverton Bowling Club, followed by a BBQ at Club 605 (aka Emily and Penny’s apartment), followed by dancing and more drinking somewhere in the city.

The weather in Sydney has been unpredictable at best in recent times, so it was a very pleasant surprise when the weather gods turned on a perfect summer’s day for the barefoot bowlers.

The sun was shining, the air was warm (some might even say too warm after recent temperatures hovering just below the mid-teens) and there was not a cloud in the sky. The perfect conditions for bowling, banter and beers!

A large group of larrikins, ladettes and the usual suspects converged on Waverton Bowling Club for a 2.30pm kick off. We lathered ourselves with sunscreen and donned hats and sunnies before kitting ourselves with the bowling essentials – shoes off, beer in hand.

A couple of games later, and some of the troops decided they needed something more solid than beer to while away the time. Over an hour later, they returned with glorious hot chips and other snacks to refuel the bowlers.

The bowling was soon cast aside for conversation and catching up. It was good to see Jacko and Christian – I hadn’t seen either of them in a social setting for a while. Ian had the group in fits of laughter and tears with his disaster dating story (the latest date was the pick of the crop). Quite a few photos were taken at this point of the afternoon – a good time to take the photos as everyone was a bit more relaxed after a day on the beers!

Time flies when one’s having fun, and before long, it was time to head to Emily and Penny’s place for the BBQ. J and I had another dinner to go to on Saturday night, so we welcomed the chance to sit down for a little while in the apartment before our journey to Epping. The hordes of people started arriving soon after we got there – the apartment went from empty to almost capacity in the space of 15 minutes!

All too quickly, we had to bid farewell to everyone. J and I had slim hopes of making it back to Artarmon to join the others after our dinner at Epping, but that wasn’t to be the case.

For the first time in months, J and I caught up with my “other family” for dinner. My “other family” comprise of the Henrys (David and Kirsty) and the Hahms (Chuck, Kyung and Jimmy). Not everyone from my “other family” could make it – Christopher is in Canada somewhere living it up, and Mick and Cece were at home with their baby girl – the new parents don’t get out much these days!

The venue was carefully selected to ensure the boys and me were able to watch the Tri Nations and Bledisloe Cup decider, and the rest of the group were able to catch up and enjoy the evening. In the end, I saw about 5 minutes of the game and chatted with Kirsty and Kyung for most of the evening. As a non-supporter of any particular sport, J was glad that the girls were chatting so he could join in.

It was really great to see them all – we always leave it so long between meals and drinks. The boys were particularly unhappy by the end of the night – the Wallabies went down to the All Blacks by 4 points, meaning that the Bledisloe Cup will stay on the “wrong” side of the ditch for yet another year.

The evening came to a gentle conclusion just before 11pm – all of us were laughing about the fact that we were all yawning and ready for bed, and how different things were now compared to a decade ago when we would still be getting ready to go out at the time we were leaving the pub!

The early-ish night was a good call in the end, as J received an unexpected phone call at 6am. It was JX informing him that M was up and excited to see J and that J should haul ass to get over to Bankstown as M had been awake for ages. A 6am phone call is the height of rudeness as far as I’m concerned, and completely inconsiderate on JX’s part. Whilst I know it’s important that J spends as much time with M as he can, for JX to call at 6am (when the pre-arranged pick up time was 8am, which meant J could have had another hour’s sleep) was plain rude.

That was the only blip to an otherwise gorgeous weekend. I did my grocery shopping on Sunday without too much hassle, picked up my brand new jeans (I have dropped 1.5 sizes!!!), did my laundry (ran out of underwear so it was really a necessity), and even got around to the vacuuming. By 4pm, I’d completed all of my errands, so I was able to sit and enjoy my little carpet picnic to my heart’s content – a beautiful spread of dips, salami and Camembert with three different crackers choices. Mmm … heaven.

I’m hoping the weather stays great like it was on the weekend – I’m hoping to go for a long walk next Saturday with my camera to practice all the new features I’ve discovered for the first time since buying my toy over 12 months ago!