Sunday, October 31, 2004
I started the night as an usher, greeting guests on arrival, and advising them where they were seated. That was the fun part, because I got to see some of the flashiest and trashiest fashions around. Actually, in some cases, I am using the word "fashion" quite loosely. And it always makes me laugh how older ladies think they can get away with newer fashions. But there were a few ladies there who looked elegant, and dressed their age. Phew.
And finally I've broken the no-cosmopolitan drought, having consumed 2 at the Hyatt afterwards (plus the margarita, which was not my fault - that was all Daz and J). Needless to say, I found it very difficult to stand up until about 3.30pm on Sunday, my head was absolutely splitting and I felt like I was going to throw up. But I kept it all in, and managed to drag myself to the supermarket to get a cold Coke and some decent headache pills from the blessed pharmacist (who I stopped short of embracing in gratitude).
And so here I am today, feeling quite nervous for tonight's Award Ceremony for the Environment Youth Art Prize. The paparazzi have been invited, so I may yet make the Adelaide social pages. I thought I would have to set myself on fire in order to make it there, but perhaps not...
Thursday, October 28, 2004
- People (except doctors) who leave their mobile phones on at the movies or a show;
- People who answer their mobile phones at the abovementioned functions, and then keep talking; and
- People who sniff incessantly when it becomes clear they have forgotten a tissue or hanky.
So imagine the fragile state I found my nerves in today at the launch of the Clipsal 500, commencing in Adelaide in March 2005 when I found myself in the midst of people who did all 3 of these taboo actions. Now given the size and girth of the people committing these social atrocities today, it goes without saying that I suffered in silence.
And quite often, I find there is always someone as socially conscious (though perhaps not as discrete....or chicken) as myself, who will "AHEM" loudly at the ringing of a mobile phone, leading to a "turn the phone off, ya jackass" when it turns out the person starts chatting. So I tend to leave mobile phone abusers alone. But it's the absence of a good Kleenex or clean hanky that really kills me.
So I ask you, is it polite at times like that to whip around and donate an unused Kleenex to the offending (nay, offensive) individual? Or are they likely to punch my lights out?
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
The fact that her office (and her residence to boot) is in spitting distance from the Champs-Elysees (my shopping mecca) is just a bonus that I can't bring myself to think about without shaking.
So I introduce you to Kate's travel blog, guaranteed to make even the most avid armchair-traveller consider making a bee line for the nearest Flight Centre!!
Put the sound up and settle back, all comfy-like...
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Particularly not since Joshua's pets, Chad (the stud) and Bonnie (his long-suffering and exhausted missus), had several litters of guinea piglets in recent months. I mean, I've held those piglets, and didn't want to put any of them on skewers once.
Okay perhaps I'm being silly. Maybe when I'm in Peru, I will be presented with a bowl of guinea pig stew, or stir fried guinea pig, and it will taste like chicken. After all, everything else does, right? "The Age" article suggests that they taste like rabbit, so a bit more gamey than the taste sensation I might be expecting.
But I think it's hard to expect Western audiences to embrace this new food movement eagerly. I mean, eating guinea pig when you're in Peru is one thing, but when your'e dining out in London it's not really what you'd expect, is it? Still, if I enjoy a shiskebab of guinea pig while I'm sunning it up in Cuzco next year, by the time I get to London it will be such old news, I'll be ready to move on to the next food fad.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Nothing has really worked for me since Saturday night. Let me preface this with the fact that I am a drama queen, and I know that. When I drop something on the floor, I blame it on the Parkinson's disease (that I don't have), rather than the simple clumsiness (that I do have).
But my tendency to overreact does not explain the string of balls-ups that peppered my weekend and oozed into yesterday. I'd hesistate to call it a "comedy of errors", but that would imply that some of it was funny. And it was not.
I've decided to get a new passport so I went on Saturday to have my pictures taken at K-Mart, where I learned that the obliging 15 year old behind the counter would take and re-take digital pictures until I was 100% happy with the result. But every single picture he took made me look like I'd been arrested at 3am for a range of unsavoury offences. They were positively horrible. So then I did the typical female "thing" (I'm so ugly, my hair is beyond help bla bla) and felt generally awful for a few hours. But I flipped out and then recovered sufficiently to realise that if I took some time doing my hair, slapped some mascara on, maybe I could have them done again. So I trotted off yesterday to the Polaroid place and had more taken. Hair was better, mascara was on, earrings were fab, but I still looked awful.
The poor girl at the photography place tried to tell me that "no one looks nice in passport pics because you can't smile" but I look positively ropable. And the only thing that calms me down is that the picture looks like I've been on a plane for 24 hours - so at least when the immigration people check my passport at the various airports, at least I'll look like my picture!
Friday, October 22, 2004
Reese’s character of Becky Sharp in last night’s movie was determined to rise up in society, because she believed she belonged there. So she approached this social climbing with determination, almost to the exclusion of human relationships. She had her eyes fixed on one goal, and did whatever she could to reach it. And I suppose the ultimate lesson of the movie was that such ruthless determination always costs dearly.
So on the back of that reflection, I am left wondering what it takes to get what you want in life. If you’re content with your situation, have you settled? Should you give up on a life goal, if what it takes to achieve it seems like a lot of hard work? I guess I’m pursuing my travel plans with the same determination that Becky showed in the film. I have that timeline set for myself, and can’t let any unexpected life events get in the way of that.
But then there is Gem’s easygoing nature that makes me wonder whether loosening the reins a bit and easing pressure on myself wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Gem lets life move her along, and doesn’t live her life by deadlines. I envy that free spiritedness, and I would like to think that once I’ve got the travel “thing” out of my system, maybe then I can be carefree to that extent. Okay, can you plan to be carefree? Isn’t that just a beautiful contradiction?! Oh man….
Last night I actually found a dress to wear to the Environment Youth Art Prize award ceremony on 1 November hurray. I bid a whole $8 for it on ebay, so I am clearly the last of the big spenders. It is made of "shot velvet", which i think is a synonym for crushed velvet (which I normally hate), but who cares? The dress code for this affair is "outrageous to glamorous" so I am going to do something serious with crushed velvet and a feather boa. Silly.
Chris had a haircut. It is spikey. He is eating a milk coffee biscuit. This is how exciting our life is. About as bland as the biscuit, I'm afraid.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
But I think some online sellers need to be reminded that just because something was manufactured in the 80s, is covered in sequins, or has the word "glomesh" in the title, does not make it "vintage". Nine times out of ten, though, it will make it "ugly". But I guess "ugly" doesn't sell as well...
And I was equally perplexed at the number of items badged as "very Carrie" or "tres Sex & the City". Give me a break. I've been devoted to the last 6 seasons of the Carrie show, as everyone knows. And I feel quite sure that Carrie would never slip inside some of those foul creations. She's worn some nutty outfits over time but these things were just misleading. I have an isssssue about this, as you can tell.
So I am without a vintage dress for the wedding, but I am not giving up. I will find a sparkly little number that won't cost me the earth, which will help me justify the Carrie-ism I have adopted as my own: "Wearing a $10 dress means I can buy $700 shoes". Makes sense to me.
Monday, October 18, 2004
But when Petrovsky read Carrie poetry last night, and then bought her the Oscar De La Renta number she had been salivating over in the pages of Vogue, I had to cringe. Why was she letting him do that? I don't think I could bear it if my new boyfriend (underline NEW) bought me haute couture just because I said I liked it. Particuarly if I also knew that him reading me poetry made me feel icky. Where are her scruples? Okay I'll slide the soap box back into the cupboard and get over it.
Our beloved Hellraiser commenced a brave new chapter in her life yesterday and tendered her resignation. Bravo to you, darl, for the exciting decision and willingness to get out there and take the next challenge by the proverbial stones! I wish you all the very best for this new stage of life - and I know that your courageous dismount will see you landing on your feet, and being given a perfect 10.0 even from the tough Romanian judges :)
3 months and 2 days till I finish in this place myself - commencing countdown. 13 weeks of work left to go. COME ON YOU GOOD THING!!
Sunday, October 17, 2004
It takes a bit for me to cry in movies. I did cry in the ABC's episode of "Australian Story" on Saturday, but I think that's because the walloping hangover made my eyelids hurt. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
In between attacks of the irrites here at work over the last few days, I have been browsing GREAT web journals maintained by other Aussies both here and abroad, and thinking about what they write and how they manage to sound so cool. Will I ever sound like anything other than a whinger, when my life really isn't that bad at all? So the "New Week Resolution" (can't wait for 31 December) is to write about thought-provoking things and engender in everyone the confidence that I am, in fact, cool.
But in the event that this resolution is never actually realised, let me give you some guidance as to why I might not (or might never) be cool. I have received an invitation to my 10 year school reunion. I don't think it's hit me just how long 10 years is. But yes dear friends, it has been 10 years since I donned the uniform and therapeutic footwear AND THE BERET (move on, nothing to see here) to patrol the Catholic school corridors and hand out pink detention cards like they were going out of fashion. And isn't it ironic, as Alannis would say, that it takes 10 years to forget your geeky school experience, and just when you thought you'd drunk enough beer to wipe out those brain cells that were holding on to evil school memories, the invitation arrives and WHAMMO, you're back there again.
I have nothing against the girls who are organising our reunion. They were always very pleasant and perfectly polite. Which is why they are organising the reunion. They clearly don't have the cultural intelligence to consider how much torture high school was for the vast majority of their school 'chums'. But faced with the remonstrations of at least one of my parents, I have to wonder whether 10 years is actually enough time to move on from those bad experiences. After all, I'm not the same person I was 10 years ago - so can I really assume that the girls are the same people they were? Do I really want to go there to find out?!
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
There isn't much more I can add in this post, except to wonder why the gods of Sunday TV are asking me to make the judgement call between Network 10 and Channel 9. After all, the CSI gang and my new favourite Cold Case will be taking up permanent (?) residence in Channel 9's Sunday line-up; while Channel 10 is still devoting itself to Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Now I ask you, how am I possibly supposed to decide when faced with such a dilemma. But just say I do decide, in this DVD age, do I even remember how to program my VCR?!
It's me versus the TV...
Monday, October 11, 2004
Actually that's not really true. I am going out for a rich Indian dinner this Thursday - yummm rogan josh bring it on! And then on Friday it's a friend's birthday so I'm going to the Hyatt to drink cocktails and see a band. One of my previous posts commented on the long time between cosmos, so I think I have a stellar opportunity to remedy that this Friday. Can't wait. They are $15 but they are pretty darn good.
Oh that reminds me, I missed the most recent exploits of Carrie Bradshaw & Co last night, instead subjecting myself to the final episode of "The 4400". That is 3 hours of my life I won't get back. I hate it when the second night is worse than the first night - and why is it that I just know it's going to be average TV and yet I still watch it? There is something perverted about that. But I can't wait until Season 6 of "Sex" is available on DVD so that I can reprise my role on the couch, wine in hand, living vicariously through the girls in the designer duds. Those will be the days...
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Okay so I say all of that only half in jest. There is a bit of me, deep down inside (past the usual layers of crap) that wonders just what this overseas jaunt will bring. Here is a fleeting overview of the itinerary so far. Hold on to your hats - the first few months are a whirlwind...(dates aren't confirmed yet so just roll with me here)
February 14 - leave behind the cuckoo lovers in Adelaide and jet out to LA, and do a Contiki tour of California for just over 10 days
Feburary 28 - LA to Lima, Peru with a transfer to Cuzco to commence 4 weeks' with Peru Challenge
April 12 - Lima to Madrid, spend a few days in sunny Spain, conversing with the locals in my brilliant Spanish skills garnered in Peru naturally (no terrorists need apply here)
April 15 - jet into Charles de Gaulle in Paris and stay with best friend for just over a week
April 22 - land in Istanbul to commence 14 day Turkey tour, which includes beautiful ANZAC Day dawn service (which I, ironically, won't drag my a$$ out of bed for here - go figure)
May 2 - go back to Paris and stay with Kate for 3 weekends, going out and meeting French men awww yay
??? - somehow finding gainful employment in Scotland? London? Can't quite decide....suggestions welcome
late January 06 - Singapore for 2 weeks
February 06 - return to Adelaide via Perth
Now that's a pretty loose idea of an itinerary, but the ideas are there. Now I need to do sums and see whether I can afford such extravagance. I spent the better part of yesterday diving behind the couch searching for spare change. Nuthin'.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
I was so pleased to hear from Meghan this morning (GO CANUCKS!), but was alarmed to read that her Aussie man's travelling buddy has picked up some hitch-hiker worms in her intestines. Now that is not a pleasant image, and I'm sure they're not a joy to have either.
But I am resolved to stay on course, and travel to Peru and live in Cuzco and climb Macchu Pichu (at least from the bus carpark). I think I will forgo some of the pleasures of life like make-up or (gulp) expensive perfume, and instead load my suitcase up with an elaborate array of over-the-counter pharmeceuticals designed to fend off nasty, wriggly pests. They will NOT inhabit my person. I will not eat anything from dodgy street vendors with big smiles and large vats full of unidentified muck. No matter how yummy it smells. I will not eat guinea pig either, national dish or not. Okay perhaps I might revise that last one - after all, when in Peru....
I think it's contentment. Foreign feeling for me, but nevertheless there you go.
Stressful occurrence in traffic this morning - nearly got run off the road by a bitchy double-bus along Main North Road and the stupid driver had no idea. A wrinkly gran on the bus seemed slightly alarmed when she saw my expression and Mum's attempt to swerve into the gutter to avoid a disaster. Or perhaps she could lip-read and discerned the stream of obscenities I hurled at Evil Kanevil of our public transportation system.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
I have been fascinated by ancient cultures for as long as I can remember, and the Egyptians, Romans, and Incans particularly have always been a real curiosity. So when I saw a spot on "The Great Outdoors" on TV about a fortnight ago, it was the clincher.
Called "The Serpent Challenge" (let's hope for a spiritual, not reptilian, reason), Perus Challenge is a great 4-week introduction to beautiful Cuzco. And let's face it, if you've seen "The Emperor's New Groove", you'll understand the appeal of that place. So the four weeks is a volunteering opportunity to work with the young kids of Cuzco, helping them build a school and basically the surrounding community too. I have asked to help the kids read and write English, because I'm not much of a gardener or artist or musician (some of the other vocations). The website also asks you to bring things for the kids with you - the sorts of supplies they'll need to be most effective in the activities you'll be doing with them. But the real coup for me is the chance to learn Spanish during the days, when I'm not with the kids. The price of the tour includes four weeks of Spanish lessons AND trips up to Macchu Pichu and other Incan sites - what fun!
Now I have done some readings and I'm well aware of the delightful array of innoculations I have to endure in the lead-up to this adventure, but I can do it. I can be brave and let them use my arm for target practice, right? I am not sure what japanese encephalitis does to you, but I'd rather not find out....
Friday, October 01, 2004
I actually achieved a lot this week, having personally catalogued 63 entries in our Environment Youth Art Prize. I was so pleased that we managed to get so many entries, and they are all so interesting and different. It's great that we can at least have a decent competition, in terms of near equal representation between the age categories, and people have explored different environmental themes. It's been great that not everyone focussed on marine issues (which is where things were headed for a while). And I think about it now, and we only had 6 entries this time last week. How did it get to 63?! And I catalogued them all. No wonder I'm tired.
There's not much else to say for this week, it really has just been about 'head down, bum up' stuff - working solidly on boring stuff that just needs to get done. I had some lovely lunches to break up the boring days though. And I finished the week successfully, with a delicious happy hour with an equally delicious drinking partner. Now THAT's the way to do things :)