Monthly Archives: February 2009

Low Times

Mood: A Bit Low

It’s been 6 weeks since I started looking for work (13 since I was made redundant), and to date, I have yielded a big fat zero. To say the least, my self esteem is depleting and I find myself with little motivation to do anything. Increasingly worrying is the roller coaster of emotions that reduces me to a blithering mess of tears at the slightest criticism or a soppy TV commercial.

The feelings of resentment that I had when I was first made redundant have resurfaced. I don’t want to be mature and diplomatic any more and say nice things about the company I use to work for. Instead, I want to tell everyone who asks "so why are you looking for a job?" that I was shafted by a bunch of assholes who will get what’s coming to them.

The adult that is me knows that the global financial crisis is affecting everyone, and that no job is really safe from the axe. The adult that is me knows that jobs are really thin on the ground in the market at the moment and those who are hiring are looking for people with very very very specific skills. And the adult that is me knows I am capable and will land a job in the near future.

But with every knock back, my confidence gets eaten away just a little bit more. And every day that I spend looking for work and not receiving any good feedback (or any feedback at all) is another day spent chipping away at what confidence there is left.

I find myself on the brink of tears almost all the time. And the slightest hint of criticism is being taken very personally and blown out of proportion.

I’ve spent most of this afternoon in tears. All because every little thing I did was either deemed not good enough, or wrong. I thought I was trying to help, but no, apparently, I did the wrong thing. Even thinking about it now is making me cry.

I’ve developed this resentment towards everyone who has a job and moans about how bad their jobs are. I feel like screaming "at least you have a job, so shut the f@#k up!"

I’m also at a point where I don’t want anyone to ask about my job status any more. I have no news. If I had a new job, I would have told you. The fact that you’re asking means there’s been no news and I have not found a new job.

While we’re at it, I also don’t want anyone to ask about my hip any more. It’s still there. And it’s still sore. And I am frustrated with the pain. And I hate that it’s still sore.

My money is running low, and I am worried that I will run out of money before I find a job. There are things I want to do, but so many of those things involve money, which is running out. Which is why I now spend all day every day in my apartment, not going outside because every time I go outside, I end up spending money, which is running out.

I hate this. I really really hate this. I need a job now. And I’m willing to do just about anything for money now. I wonder if I’ll have more luck getting a job next week. I hear Woolworths is hiring. Maybe I’ll go back to being a checkout chick. From what I can remember, that wasn’t such a bad job.


Super Size Me? No Thanks!!!

Mood: Mind Boggled

I was hungry and looking forward to dinner before seeing these photos. Only in America would they serve atrocities like these. And there’s a whole website devoted to these atrocities as well. Now I just want to hit the gym.

The Jabaconageburger With Cheese
A cheeseburger patty topped with bacon and sausage between two Jamaican beef patties.

Corn Dog Pizza

The Double Bacon Hamburger Fatty Melt
Three bacon-stuffed grilled cheese sandwiches of buns, cheese, bacon and two four-ounce beefs patties.

French Fry-Encased Hot Dog On A Stick

A chicken inside a duck inside a turkey, all wrapped in bacon.

The Hamdog
A hot dog wrapped in a beef patty that’s deep fried, covered with chili, cheese, onions, served on a hoagie bun topped with two fistfuls of fries and a fried egg.

Tombstone Deep Dish Pizza Vending Machine

Bacon Shell Tacos

The Meat Ship
Made from bacon, sausages, pastry, franks and pork mince.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Gregory’s 120 Ounce Steak

In-N-Out 100 x 100 Burger

Bacon Donut

Tongue and Pastrami Sandwich

Waffle Couch
Waffle fries with gravy and mozzarella.

The Bacon Explosion
Two pounds of bacon woven through and around two pounds of sausage and slathered in barbecue sauce.

Bob Evans Sausage Gravy Machine

"Everything should taste like bacon."

I’m not sure if I want any dinner now. Or ever.

Victorian Bushfires 2009

Mood: Very Very Sad

As rural Victoria is gripped by the worst bushfires in history, I have tried to keep abreast of the latest news through all the media, all the while fighting back tears and failing miserably.

The media outlets had been covering the news of bushfires throughout last week. Australia has been through some bushfires before – some bad, some really bad, but bushfires are a way of life in Australia. From late November every year, people start preparing for bushfire season. I remember years ago – in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when there were 2 summers where the bushfires in Sydney came close enough to our home to warrant some concern. I well recall seeing embers and ash floating down from the skies and racing about stamping them out.

It was with some complacency that I didn’t follow the news of the bushfires over the weekend closely enough. After all, there are always bushfires raging somewhere during the Australian summer, and as we had been expecting heatwave conditions in Sydney, J and I were more worried about keeping cool and staying hydrated throughout the weekend than what was happening in the news.

For most of Saturday, the TV was off. We read and enjoyed the cool air from the fans while sipping Pimms and lemonade on the comfy couch. For most of Saturday, we were oblivious to what was going on in the southern state.

Imagine my horror when I read the paper on Sunday that 14 people were confirmed dead in the Victorian bushfires.

As J had M for a day visit, we had plenty on the agenda for the day. At some stage, I’d heard the death toll had hit 40. M commandeered the radio for much of the afternoon with her choice of music (Captain Bandanna’s Just Imagine was played over and over again), and by the time we arrived home, all we wanted was relative silence.

The TV was finally turned on at around 9.30pm. The cricket was just finishing and there was a special news bulletin on Ch 9 about the bushfires. I thought it was time I caught up on the news, as special bulletins usually did not bode well.

Imagine my horror when the newsreader announced the official death toll stood at 84.

My body went numb. My stomach turned a little. I had to swallow hard to not vomit. It was just horrendous.

For much of the next hour, I sat and watched the news, and cried. Having never seen me cry over news items, J did the only thing there was to do – he put down his book and put his arms around me. Holding me, he tried his best to comfort me through my racking sobs.

The pictures on the news showed huge areas devastated by fire – house after house burned to the ground, clusters of burnt out cars on the side of the road. These cars had loads of collision damage, most likely sustained whilst the drivers were all trying to get away from the fires. I prayed the occupants got out.

I watched a replay of a press conference held by the Victorian Premier John Brumby. When he broke down, I lost it too.

It was hard getting to sleep last night. I had some weird dreams, which I didn’t mention to J this morning – it was better this way. In my dream, I was trying to drive through thick fog/smoke, and I was using a concrete barrier to navigate. But the concrete barrier was too bendy and I was taken further and further into thicker fog/smoke. I slowed down in an attempt to not crash into other cars, and only narrowly missed some cars which were also using the concrete barrier to navigate their way out of the fog/smoke.

We woke this morning to more updates from Victoria. And the news could not have been worse. As at 8am, 108 men, women and children had perished in the fires. I could barely choke down my coffee this morning as I watched Mel lose her composure time and again on Sunrise – every time her voice wavered, I’d start crying.

After dropping J at work, I returned to watch more coverage from the Sunrise team. And I kept crying. Devastating is the only word that keeps rolling around in my head when I think about the horror faced by so many.

Then news came that some of the fires were deliberately lit. I was and remain completely disgusted and appalled by this fact. I am so angry and upset by the callousness of these idiots that I want to catch them and stab them and then set them on fire. For want of a better phrase, I want those who deliberately started those fires to burn in hell.

The Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called the arsonists "mass murderers". The Federal Attorney-General has supported Rudd’s view and told Parliament that "anyone who lights fires deliberately, with reckless disregard for the safety of their fellow Australians, in our view establishes the requisite criminal intent that would sustain a charge of murder".

Late this afternoon, the number of people confirmed to have perished in the fires reached 131.

The events have hit everyone hard. There is tangible sadness etched on the faces of everyone who has had to deliver news items about the fires, or hold press conferences to brief the public. From newsreaders to politicians, no one can hold back the flood of emotions and sadness caused by this awful atrocity. And I continue to cry with them as I helplessly watch the news unfold.

I’ve made a small donation to the Australian Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal. It isn’t a huge donation, but I sincerely hope my $200 will go some way towards helping the good people of Victoria.

Updated on 10/02/2009 @ 11.47am

The human toll continues to rise. As at 7.15am this morning, the official figure stands at 173. May their souls rest in peace.

Updated on 11/02/2009 @ 5.55pm

The figure has risen to 181 but authorities are expecting the final toll to exceed 300. On a brighter note, the generosity of Australian has been overwhelming, with over $40M raised since the start of the Bushfire Appeal. I’m so pleased.

On Monday next week, I’ll be heading to the Blood Donation Centre in Chatswood to give blood. I tried to get an appointment to donate blood this week, but it seems at lot of others have the same idea as me, and Monday morning was the first available appointment. The stats are amazing – Red Cross has fielded over 20,000 calls for appointments to donate blood in the last 3 days, where under normal circumstances they would have expected 120 in the same period. Go you good thing, Aussies.

Updated on 12/02/2009 @ 10.35am

I’m so proud to be an Aussie. The Australian Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal has exceeded $50M in donations. I hope the donations keep pouring in, as the victims will need every cent they can get to rebuild their lives.

Movie Review: Taken

Mood: A Bit Scared

The second movie we watched last Friday night was Liam Neeson’s action movie Taken. When the movie first came out in the cinemas, J and I had some desire to see the movie. However, when the movie was released in Australia way back in August last year, there were a lot of other movies that we also wanted to see, so Taken was relegated to the Rental / Download pile.

When Ian suggested we watch Taken on Friday night, the whole group eagerly accepted. The official movie synopsis is below.

Liam Neeson stars in this action packed international thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. When his estranged daughter is kidnapped in Paris, a former spy (Neeson) sets out to find her at any cost. Relying on his special skills, he tracks down the ruthless gang that abducted her and launches a one-man war to bring them to justice and rescue his daughter. –© 20th Century Fox

The movie was definitely suspenseful and thrilling. It was a bit slow and meandering to start with, but once the chase was on, I was hooked. Liam Neeson is not a young man, yet he rose to the occasion in terms of throwing his body into the movie. His brooding portrayal of Bryan Mills, a man desperate to find and save his daughter from a horrible fate was spot on – you could hear the frustration in his voice and see the desperation on his face. And the way Bryan treated the bad guys assured you that you did not want to mess with him or his – ever.

In all honesty, Liam Neeson was the movie. The supporting cast was pretty limp and didn’t really offer that much. Then again, there really was nothing substantial for the supporting cast to do other than stand around and occasionally break into tears or tantrums. Maggie Grace as the daughter Kim and Famke Janssen as Bryan’s ex-wife Lenore were not much more than eye candy. Even smaller a part was that of Lenore’s wealthy new husband Stuart (played by Xander Berkeley) – all he really did was offer a private jet.

What we didn’t expect was to see a familiar face in this movie. Holly Valance, aka Felicity "Flick" Scully from Neighbours, played pop diva Sheerah in this movie, who Bryan was tasked to escort to and from her concert. Holly’s air time amounted to about 5 minutes in total, and every time I saw her face pop up, I giggled a little while singing Kiss Kiss in my head.


And so the Kevin Bacon game continues.

Liam Neeson has a Bacon number of 2.
* Liam Neeson was in Rob Roy (1995) with John Hurt.
* John Hurt was in New York, I Love You (2008) with Kevin Bacon.

Famke Janssen has a Bacon number of 2.
* Famke Janssen was in Rounders (1998) with Goran Visnjic.
* Goran Visnjic was in New York, I Love You (2008) with Kevin Bacon.

Again, who in Hollywood wasn’t in this New York, I Love You movie???

Maggie Grace has a Bacon number of 2.
* Maggie Grace was in Suburban Girl (2007) with Sarah Michelle Gellar.
* Sarah Michelle Gellar was in Air I Breathe, The (2007) with Kevin Bacon.

Xander Berkeley has a Bacon number of 1.
* Xander Berkeley was in Apollo 13 (1995) with Kevin Bacon.

Holly Valance has a Bacon number of 2.
* Holly Valance was in Taken (2008/I) with Xander Berkeley.
* Xander Berkeley was in Apollo 13 (1995) with Kevin Bacon.

Next up: Choke.

Movie Review: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Mood: Pleased

Last Friday night, Anna and Ian hosted a Night In for a small group of friends. Emily, Penny, Lissy and I were invited, as were Paul and Ian’s friend (whose name escapes me) for a night of movies and cheap and cheerful Thai food.

The evening was a great idea for one and all – Anna and Emily were trying to save money for their impending trip to Vietnam and Thailand, Ian needed a quiet weekend after the Australia Day Long Weekend when he went from music festival to concert to way too much partying, and I wanted a night out but a night in, if you know what I mean.

Ian has an awesome collection of movies, so we knew we weren’t going to be short of entertainment at his and Anna’s place. Stuck for the first movie to watch, Ian suggested that we take a look at a little flick called Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Ian’s recommendations are usually pretty good, so we settled in for the movie.

Below is the official synopsis from Sony Pictures.

“Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” is a comedy about two people thrust together for one hilarious, sleepless night of adventure in a world of mix tapes, late-night living, and, live, loud music. Nick (Michael Cera) frequents New York’s indie rock scene nursing a broken heart and a vague ability to play the bass. Norah (Kat Dennings) is questioning pretty much all of her assumptions about the world. Though they have nothing in common except for their taste in music, their chance encounter leads to an all-night quest to find a legendary band’s secret show and ends up becoming the first date in a romance that could change both their lives. –© Sony Pictures

I thought it was a very cute movie. The leads worked well together and their chemistry was one that was easy and comfortable to watch. The jokes worked on all levels – even the visual one involving a piece of chewing gum. I would have paid good money to watch the movie just to see the treatment of that piece of gum.

Michael Cera is such a terrific actor – I have loved him since Arrested Development and he continues to shine in breakout roles in movies such as Juno and Superbad. He is just so believably gorky!

Kat Dennings was gorgeous on screen, although the costume designer should be shot for putting her in that awful dowdy outfit which she had to wear for the duration of the movie. The wise cracking ball of spitfire Norah provided a good balance for the mopey laidback introvert Nick.

The supporting cast provided a great laugh. Norah’s best friend Caroline (Ari Graynor) and Nick’s bandmates Thom and Dev (Aaron Yoo and Rafi Gavron) and random pickup Lethario (Jonathan B Wright) were hilarious, and Nick’s ex-girlfriend Tris (Alexis Dziena) was deliciously bitchy. Jay Baruchel as Norah’s oil slick egotist, on-again-off-again love interest Tal rounded out the great cast.


And now, the Bacon numbers for this fine young cast.

Michael Cera has a Bacon number of 2.
* Michael Cera was in Juno (2007) with Olivia Thirlby.
* Olivia Thirlby was in New York, I Love You (2008) with Kevin Bacon.

Kat Dennings has a Bacon number of 2.
* Kat Dennings was in Charlie Bartlett (2007) with Anton Yelchin.
* Anton Yelchin was in New York, I Love You (2008) with Kevin Bacon.

Ari Graynor has a Bacon number of 1.
* Ari Graynor was in Mystic River (2003) with Kevin Bacon.

Aaron Yoo has a Bacon number of 2.
* Aaron Yoo was in Disturbia (2007) with Shia LaBeouf.
* Shia LaBeouf was in New York, I Love You (2008) with Kevin Bacon.

Rafi Gavron has a Bacon number of 2.
* Rafi Gavron was in Breaking and Entering (2006) with Robin Wright Penn.
* Robin Wright Penn was in New York, I Love You (2008) with Kevin Bacon.

Jonathan B Wright has a Bacon number of 2.
* Jonathan B. Wright was in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008) with Adam S. Phillips.
* Adam S. Phillips was in New York, I Love You (2008) with Kevin Bacon.

Alexis Dziena has a Bacon number of 2.
* Alexis Dziena was in When in Rome (2009) with Loukas Papas.
* Loukas Papas was in New York, I Love You (2008) with Kevin Bacon.

Jay Baruchel has a Bacon number of 2.
* Jay Baruchel was in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008) with Adam S. Phillips.
* Adam S. Phillips was in New York, I Love You (2008) with Kevin Bacon.

Makes me wonder who in Hollywood did not work on New York, I Love You.

We watched two movies last Friday night, the second movie being Taken. Up next: my review for that movie. (PS – the review for Choke will follow after Taken.)

Paparazzi G!

Mood: Snap Happy

Loads and loads of photos were taken over the past couple of months. Click on the photos to see the full albums.

Christmas BBQ

Sydney Aquarium

Christmas Day

Long Reef Reserve with Belinda & Pete

New Years Eve with Guitar Hero

Australia Day @ The Rocks

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Tommy’s 3rd Birthday Party