Sunday, July 30, 2006

so where do you keep your sex toys?

Things I have found today while sorting out me underwear/stocking/sock drawers:

A wish doll made from strips of an old white pillowcase, fashioned into a man with a very large appendage

At least 50 unmatched socks and stocking

A curious poem about the precious gift inside us all, from an ex long after we broke up

The usual amount of old knickers with dubious elastic

A very old garter belt

A pregnancy test (1 of a packet of 2) expired Nov 2004

Purple pantyhose

A lavender eye mask

A silicone dolphin (with flat batteries)

A rabbit/pearl number in ivory

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Random acts of public transport kindness

My peak hour tram showed no sign of coming, running late for work and clocking a couple of dozen disgruntled people standing at the stop I decided to hoof it a block or 2 away to the next line.

As I approached the intersection I spied a tram and ran across the busy road just before the lights turned green. This can be a tricky situation, the doors were shut and there was a timetable to adhere to. I smiled at the driver. He shrugged and motioned to the full-to-the-brim load he was carrying. I smiled even more hopefully, he opened the doors and I squeezed in to a tiny spot between the steps and his sectioned off seat.

He lamented how they’d been putting on too small and too few trams this week and he was sorry he’d had to leave so many commuters gnashing their teeth on these chilly mornings.

I should mention that he was also deliciously accented and rather good looking and despite the signs admonishing us to not talk the driver – was happy to chat as we wended our way down Brunswick Street.

I got off in the city and he cheerily yelled “Have a good day”

“You too “

Moral of the story – passengers with the biggest smiles, take the smallest spaces.

Mosaic, Ceres, East Brunswick

Thursday, July 27, 2006

a bit of blah

The long winter continues.

I know those who hail from the Northern Hemisphere are melting in a heatwave, but down South, things are rather cool and grey. Very dull.

As if I am solar powered I am not far off grinding to a total halt. I have shoe horned myself out the door a few times this week to walk to work, instead of catching the tram. And yes, exercise does help. But on a non-work day I just want to hibernate.

The houseful of kitties is a good excuse to hang around the home. Stay still long enough and one will curl up on my lap or sneak up on the bed like some kind of heat seeking missile. All four of them are unhappy in their own way – the ungracious hostess, the tolerant guests. While there is no out and out cat war happening, they still don’t exactly love the new situation.

The not-boyfriend thought it would be a great idea to let them mingle last night. This is the person who has habitually locked his 3 up in the laundry every night for years. Against my better judgement I acquiesced, so instead of just my unhappy cat waking us up at some dark hour with a lamentable cry, there were 2 crying at different times and an assortment of bells and name tags jingling while each one in turn tried out for the feline sprint team up and down the corridor.

Broken sleep does not a happy human make.

So while there is a puddle of great ire towards the continued occupation of Iraq, the fact David Hicks is still illegally incarcerated 4.5 years after he was kidnapped by the Americans and Israel is not only bombing innocent neighbours out of existence – but now is starting in on UN peacekeepers…I’ve been finding it easier to remember first dates and write about other fishy things instead.

Looking forward to spring.

the visitors

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

this war is really pissing me off - and i don't even live there

US offers $30m aid for Lebanon the headline screams.

Well, that'll do a lot to bring back the dead.

Pull your head in you bunch of bully warmongers. Start abiding by the Geneva Convention.

How about a little humanity in the world, huh?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

and the winner is...

Pity he survived, otherwise he'd be a great candidate for the Darwin Awards.

Drunk wins bet, loses penis
July 21, 2006

A man who cut off his own penis in a drunken bet had it stitched back on by Latvian doctors, the first such operation in the country's history.

While heavily under the influence of alcohol, the 30-year-old made a bet with his friend for 1000 lats ($2360) that he would cut off his penis, according to a Latvian public television report.

He was brought to hospital bleeding severely yesterday.

"We have had a few cases with penis traumas, when it was half-cut or damaged, but this is the first time that it was totally cut off - and brought to hospital in a plastic bag," said microsurgeon Aivars Tihonovs from Gailezers hospital in the Latvian capital, Riga.

The operation lasted three and a half hours as doctors had to sew six nerves back together, according to media reports. "The first operation of this kind in the world was carried out in 1977, and it is still very rare," Tihonovs said, adding that such surgery was sometimes needed after bomb explosions.

The surgeon said that he was proud of his work but also "really angry that he (the patient) did it to himself".

Doctors said that it would take four or five days to assess if the operation was successful. It would take about half a year to be sure that the man's penis was functioning properly.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I've got a plan

I will:

Put on soothing music (something classical, with strings)

Have a long hot bath with my new bath pillow – yes in the middle of the afternoon

Pull everything out of my wardrobe and try to find something suitable to wear to a funeral

Lapse into mild despair over the clothing situation – but would have timed it so cunningly that there is no time to go out and spend all the money that I won’t earn this week on a new outfit

Finally decide on what will do

Go to Plan B when I discover some stain that I never got around to cleaning off the garment from last time I had to play dress ups

Over pack, throwing in at least 3 different but all slightly inadequate sartorial combinations

Toss in a couple of bottles of wine for trip, because I know I’m really going to need it

Hmm…how about some wine with the bath

Saturday, July 15, 2006

of butterfly wings and Richard Bach

The warp and weft of life is certainly an interesting one. And by interesting, I mean it in the Chinese proverbial way – “May you live in interesting times”.

There’s a point in the journey when you have to just sit back and observe. Understand the subtexts. But submit none the less.

The other week my house doubled as a geriatric day care centre (as well as a hive of very useful industry in the painting and decorating department). This week there is a high note of eau de feline in the air and I’m running a kitty motel. I thought this new study would be home to a spare bed and my not-boyfriend’s workstation side-by-side to my desk. But instead, for now, I have his cats.

Princess Prissy Paws is not happy. When she is not happy she can be very vocal. Especially at 3 am. Her home appears to have been divided into apartments. She is not happy with denied access, especially as her favourite sleeping spot (with her human) is now on the other side of the door. Her jealousy shows itself in hisses and claws.

A death in the family causes shock waves. Even when the tragedy isn’t your kith and kin. When you hear of an earthquake in a far off land, your first thought isn’t usually – will there be a tsunami? It’s empathy for those who have died, been injured, lost their home or been left in a state of limbo. As sad as you are, it’s not a direct hit on your life. Then, hours later the water rises, it’s your home, your happiness, your being on the line.

Will I sink or will I swim? Will my house survive? Will it be the happy home I envisaged?

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see where the high tide settles.

Stay tuned.

(..and of course, lack of sleep does tend to make one a touch melodramatic :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

only the hallway to go

Apologies again for how being a capitalist homeowner is rotting my brain. We are over the hump with Operation Paint Job, so soon I hope to be a little more conscious of things like international politics and human rights. There is more to life than choosing which colours to put on the walls.

Without further ado, here are some pics of a room that is not blue!

When Muse commented on the other fire place (which in reality is quite ugly and the mantle is held together with bits of wood) I realised she hadn't seen this one.

My desk is now set up in this lovely window. It's nice to ditch the computer station and go back to a flat top. I'm sitting at it now (it's dark at 7am, so no pic). Unfortunately being in the inner city the security grilles had to go back up, but it meant I got to clean the inside of the windows for the first time in years.

The sun actually shone for about half an hour yesterday (I just heard the word "hail" in this morning's weather forecast) and here's proof!

Monday, July 10, 2006

More on selfish 4x4 drivers

The stats are in from a London/Queensland study, that show those road hogs in four wheel drives are 16x more likely to cause an accident. They are also have a better chance of surviving one, over the other cars and pedestrian they hit.

I don’t need to spew another poisonous rant about the majority of 4x4, urban drivers. Especially, and I hate to come down against my own gender, the typical Power Mums who use it to pick up the kids at school. Even more so those who drive it for status or because they are not confident drivers and they feel ‘safer’ sitting up higher/driving a tank. It’s just plain dumb. You can’t see the kids, yours or someone else’s, that are around the roads as well from that position.

If you don’t take it off the road, stick to a sedan.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

don’t send in the clowns

Coulrophobia has stopped festival organizers in the UK from going ahead with their clown themed dance party. Personally, I’d be more afraid of the "nouveaux hippies".

Friday, July 07, 2006

blue room

First pics from the front! Operation Paint Job - phase I now complete.

Updates of phase II and III soon.

Monday, July 03, 2006

its about power

Finally, mindless reality television has made a bold statement about what constitutes sexual harassment.

BB06 has evicted 2 male housemates who had been fooling around with a female housemate, in bed in the early hours of the morning.

From what has been leaked regarding the incident that has not been broadcast – a person being held down by one man and having the penis of another rubbed in her face – is sexual harassment, even when it begins as a fun game.

It is a good lesson about when a woman says no and men keep on “playing”.

Listen up boys. Look and learn.

Now if only BB could extend this educational process to let young women know that you don’t need a breast enlargement to be beautiful/popular/a winner.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

a break in the storm

My appetite is returning. Over the last 3 weeks there has been a string of annoying internal and external events. I slipped getting into the bath, jarring my spine, which spiralled into a day of pain. The accident though relatively minor spawned 2 deep bruises, the second of which is still faintly visible. I think it caused some minor shock. I certainly was shaken and by the next day my immune system had plummeted heralding a triple phased weird virus. For someone who lives a very healthy life this has all been extremely annoying. Lethargy has been a constant companion through this whole journey, not aided by the type of insomnia that visits when you get over tired. The, hopefully, final phase has been almost a week of stomach upsets, pain and nausea. For someone who loves eating, being without desire for food has been novel, but rather boring.

In the meantime, phase 2 of the renovating kicked in. Being 1 room down (a quarter of my entire house) for the last fortnight. The day after the room number 1 to be painted was cleared out – squeezing my study and storage room into the remaining bedroom and lounge, my partner and chief painter got sick too. It has been a comedy of errors, escalating in his 3 elderly relatives visiting for that time, so that some days the house looked a little like a geriatric day care centre. What should have taken 5 days to prepare and paint rolled into 14, even with the assistance of a very able relative. Yesterday, room 1 was finally completed, it remains gutted, awaiting the carpet to be cleaned tomorrow. Later today, we have the challenge of clearing the second room, with the first not being unable to be set up til the flooring is clean and dry. It is going to be an interesting few days.

But first celebrations. For a belated birthday treat we headed to the country for a lunch at my favourite winter restaurant. I have blogged before about the delightful Healesville Hotel. Healesville is a small town, nestled in the hills, about 75 minutes drive from the city. The dinning room is warmed by a roaring fire, which makes it such an appealing spot on a chilly day.

The food is not country fare. This is the best of Melbourne dining transplanted to the rural fringe. I’d hazard a guess that every one of the avid guests came from out of town. However almost all the produce is local .

The lunch began with drinks. A robust dark beer and some aperitifs. Some had entrees. There was a creamy Jerusalem artichoke soup, Tasmanian oysters and Yarra Valley salmon, cured then slightly grilled. The salmon came up as a favourite on the table. It tasted of fennel and lemon.

The menu is quite small, a handful of dishes and a couple of specials. Always a vegetarian and a fish meal. The meat ranged through rabbit, duck, chicken and 2 beef dishes. Although the food is not simple, it seems to combine original ingredients without being too rich. Though the blue cheese polenta that accompanied the huge chunk of roasted rib eye was pronounced too over powering by those who tried it. I settled for kingfish, which was grilled, a little more cooked than I would have liked, but still very tasty. It was the most modestly sized of the mains, 2 small pieces of fish with a little pan fried silverbeet and some crispy chunks of potato. This serving size just right for someone facing a real meal for the first time in a week. The vegetarian risotto and carnivorous dishes were generous. The steaks looked a good 3 times larger than a recommended serve of protein.

Having eaten so conservatively, I found there was just enough room in my “dessert stomach” to contemplate sweets. I am not big on puddings, but have a weakness for fruit and pastry and as always, the Healesville Hotel didn’t let me down. I wish I had the recipe for the baked apples. Sadly I can’t remember what they were stuffed with, marinated dried fruits of some kind. A new twist on a classic home cooked dish. It was spectacular and perfect with a little calvados as the menu suggested. There was a crispy fried citron ravioli that I was disappointed no one tried, or the pear tart that sounded wonderful. The others munched Yarra cheeses, a fig linzertorte and a chocolate crème brulee.

There was nothing left on the plates.

A slow, 3 hour lunch with good company is a special thing. We live in such a busy world where too often eating is done hastily. Such a meal at night often begins too late, when my palate is jaded by a long day and a multi-coursed meal is too large to digest. I’m not a night creature, sadly. But it means I am someone who enjoys breakfast (how I pity those who skip one of the best meals of the day) but will fast in the morning to truly enjoy such a spectacular lunch.

So, here’s to what I dearly hope is the return of my appetite, a speedy completion of the last 2 spaces to be painted and to a long lunch with friends in my new kitchen at the end of it all.

Now, I am going to scurry off and search baked apple recipes, something I hadn’t eaten since childhood. I look forward to beginning a winter romance with baked, poached and other warm fruit dishes.
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