Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I am a list maker. I love to write a good list. And it has to be a good list – the shopping list I shun – not exciting enough. It has to be more of a “What I need to take on my super dooper trooper holiday” type of list. Or an “Extra Cool Christmas Presents for the Super People in my Life” list (all with capital letters in swirly writing with Christmas sprigs of holly), or just for fun a “How I will distribute my 10 million dollar tatslotto win” list. It all comes down to the old “be prepared” motto, and whilst I was not a girl scout, I should have been because I would have impressed any troop leader (what do they call them? Owls or sheep or Rangers or something?) with my list making skills. I would have been the best list writer ever and they would have had to invent a badge for list making if there were not one already.

As usual I am completely off the topic, I am now returning to my point.

So I sat down the other day to write a list of “What still is remaining to do to the house to complete it to a standard that is livable and not embarrassing to show visitors” list. I did just call this list “To do”, because the effort of writing a title as long as the first one would have exhausted me and I probably wouldn’t have started the list – just played around decorating the heading with little pictures of paint brushes, ladders, doors and flowers.

Maybe I would have got to item one an hour later and written

1. Write list

Anyhoo, as I did have the foresight to give this particular list a nice short name, I did manage to add items to this list. And when I say items – I came up with 112 items. 112! One Hundred and Twleve. Whichever way I write it, it still completely freaks me out. That means that there are so many things to complete on this renovation that I filled two A4 pages. That is the thing about writing lists – you then need to complete all the items on the list.

Why did I write this list? I am no better off had I not taken the time to write the list. In fact I am worse off because before I knew in the back of my mind how much work there was to do (and you all know that because I complain about it enough here) but there is something about assigning a number to those items – and knowing that I have probably forgotten some – that has me flipped out.

So I did what any good list write does in the face of a list that is almost impossible to complete in one lifetime, and tore it up. And I’ve sworn off lists. Except maybe for that tatslotto list, cause that’s pretty fun!


Monday, November 24, 2003

Apologies in advance for the “what I did on the weekend “ post. These are always a bit of a cop out – but I am time and motivation short!

Movie Friday night – Mystic River
I highly recommend this, and can’t believe how old Sean Penn is looking. Sean, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon are all excellent. It’s not a feel good movie, but it makes you think about things like circles of abuse, and trust. I have a silly problem with all Kevin Bacon movies, because of that “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon” thing, so I always get distracted thinking of how many more people have now joined that list after the new movie. This movie was good enough that it didn’t even cross my mind until the crowd scene at the end – so there is a measure of its worth. Something crap like Wild Things would have me thinking about this from the second Kevin entered the frame.

Saturday saw more house painting with my lovely sister-in-law to be helping out. What a champion she is volunteering to lend a hand, I think she didn’t really know what she was in for. We managed to get an undercoat on our hallway, which sounds like nothing at all , but we have these ridiculously intricate cornices (the bit that holds the ceiling and walls together for all you renovation novices) that take forever to paint, and we were painting a white undercoat on a white cornice so it was impossible to tell where we had been.

Saturday night was a BBQ with some friends to watch the rugby. I’m disappointed, of course, but it was a good game. One of my friends is very very pregnant and it was her rash promise to call the baby Elton if he kicked the goal that drew the game. She is due today actually – come on baby Elton!

Sunday was recovering from Saturday and then some more painting. Mr R tackled the severely neglected grass in the back and front yards, it was past his knees so it’s no wonder our neighbours aren’t talking to us. We have an obsessively neat old couple next door who are lovely, but disapproving of a lawn that is not perfectly manicured. You’d think they would be used to us by now after 6 months of renovations.

And that’s about it really. Hoping to miraculously get some more time and motivation to keep writing here…


Tuesday, November 18, 2003

My ridiculous addiction to bad television just has to stop. Last night was the season finale of Alias, and if that show got any more unbelievable it would be ‘24’. But what can I say, I’m a sucker for a good twist in the spy world, and Mr R is a sucker for the always revealing undercover outfits that Jennifer Garner wears. The big girl on girl fight didn’t degenerate into face slapping-hair pulling-nail gouging, but some super high flying kicks and run up the wall action aplenty. How good would it be to be able to fight like that!

So all this double Alias action meant that I missed the first hour of Survivor last night, so I have taped both hours to watch later. That’s my really favourite show, and I have spent all of today yelling at my work colleagues “ Don’t talk about Survivor, I haven’t watched it yet!”. No doubt all my fav’s will be gone soon, so I have to enjoy them while they last. I told Mr R that if I wasn’t married to him then I would quite like to be married to Ryan O with the sparkly eyes, or Andrew Savage. He said he’d quite like to be married to Jennifer Garner so I guess we are even.

My friends have a terribly bad record of giving away the endings to television shows that I have not yet had time to watch. The end of the Amazing race was given away by a girlfriend who sent me an email entitled “I’m so upset..”. I thought something terrible had happened, only to open it up to the sentence “that those stupid boys won after they were so mean to the taxi driver”. Well there went the suspense on that one.

I guess the solution is to stop watching, but then what would I have to complain about?


Monday, November 17, 2003

Is there a limit to how high a fly can fly? As I think I have mentioned before, I work in a high rise office building in the city. I am on the 12th floor, and right now am looking out of my window at a fly resting on the glass outside. But what I am wondering is how high will this fly go? What is there that attracts a fly this far off the ground? No rotting meat, no sheep, nobody having a BBQ. Do you think they just fly straight up for the view?

Another has just joined the first fly. My window actually seems to be quite popular with the flies of Melbourne, I suppose it does have a nice view of the bay, the Yarra, the Westgate bridge, some other buildings and Telstra dome, so perhaps it is a sought after resting place for flies.

I beg your pardon? Procrastinate? Me?

How ridiculously hot was it on the weekend? I lay on the couch on Saturday afternoon moaning that it had to be hotter than 31 degrees because I couldn’t move! Mr R insisted that it was just that it was the first really hot day of the season and that I wasn’t used to it yet, but man, I’m getting all hot now just thinking about it. So when I watched the 7pm news – there it was, 39.1 degrees which I think is about 300billion Fahrenheit. No wonder I didn’t get much done for the day. We did watch the rugby that night, cheered for the Aussies and we are now hoping that my poor little sister in NZ won’t get attacked on the street.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I came across a very strange thing in my city newsagent today – Melbourne suburb postcards.

The thing is that they were not for the more picturesque or popular suburbs that you might expect a tourist (who I assume is the market you produce postcards for) to visit. I couldn’t see for example a St Kilda postcard of the beach, but there was one for Croydon (of what looked like a bus shelter). No Fitzroy of Brunswick St, but one for Mitcham (an Autumn tree). No Williamstown Esplanade or city vista, but Mentone (a beach shot). No Brighton Beach bathing boxes. No Chapel St shopping precinct. No South Yarra botanic gardens. But there was Balwyn, and Reservoir.

It was like some postcard maker one day decided that it wasn’t fair that all the touristy areas got all the postcards and decided to promote the mid to outer suburbs of Melbourne.

So who buys these postcards? Can you imagine an English rugby fan staggering into this newsagency and thinking “Me old Ma back in the ol’ Dart would just love this postcard of Epping! Haven’t managed to visit there this holiday, but boy that telephone pole/truck shot sure looks good. She would much prefer this to a postcard of those bloody little fairy penguins, or that Great Ocean Road.”

Bloody weird world this one. And speaking of which don’t get me started on staggering NZ/English/Irish rugby fans. They are driving me CRAZY.

So this is the bit where you all tell me that I am crazy.

I am in the process of enrolling to study Masters in Applied Finance next year, and quite frankly wondering what the hell I am doing. I am at the point of my life where if I don’t start it soon – I never will, and I am also working in an industry where that level of knowledge is just about standard. Some of my work colleagues read books on differential calculus for fun. Or perhaps they might try some option pricing books for a bit of light reading.

So I know what I am getting myself in for and yet I can’t seem to stop. This course involves intensive weekends of study – where you attend Wednesday night, Thursday night, FRIDAY night and then ALL DAY Saturday and Sunday. You do this a couple of times a semester for each subject and then wonder where the hell your social life has gone, why your husband has forgotten your name and who your friends are.

You all have permission to remind me what an idiot I am for doing this when I inevitably complain bout how hard this course is in the future.


Monday, November 10, 2003

I have an unfortunate reputation when it comes to Christmas presents.

Ah, you are thinking, poor Sarah is one of those people who is terrible at buying presents. She’s the sort who would buy ice for an Eskimo. Steak knives for a vegetarian. Fur gloves for an environmentalist. Poor dear.

But actually the problem is exactly the opposite. I am amazingly good at buying presents. I always manage to find the right thing for each person, so that they appreciate the personal and practical nature of the gift, whilst agreeing that it is not something that they would generally buy for themselves.

My history in present giving is what has lead to my unfortunate problem, in that everyone who receives a present from me now expects the world, so the pressure now resting on my shoulders in unbelievable.

This brilliance does come at a price – my sanity for the next two months. I read every catalogue that crosses my doorstep, search a million internet sites, worry and plan and fret and buy buy buy. I buy a present, change my mind, take it back, worry about the colour, the size, the style, the shape, the feel, the quality, how much it cost, if they already have one, if they are going to like it. So I guess that is why I end up with great presents – but boy does it take a lot of effort to get there! The mere fact that I am even thinking about Christmas presents at the start of November indicates the amount of angst this process causes me. I do however enjoy the actual giving part – so I guess it is all worthwhile in the end.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the start – wipe the slate clean so there are no expectations. Then I could be a bad present giver and not care one little bit about who gets what, and no one would expect any different. My friend’ grandmother is great at this – she goes to the local op-shop to buy their gifts – one year his sister got (and I am not joking here) a pair of second hand underwear – complete with second hand, um, stains. Sorry – didn’t mean to put you off your coffee.

I guess I can look forward to the excuse of being old and senile – it would be quite fun to find the worst things possible in the op-shop for my grandkiddies. But in the meantime, if anyone has any great ideas for Christmas presents, my yearly search is on…. And if you need any ideas, I’m full of them!


Friday, November 07, 2003

Yee-gads! It’s been a long time between posts. Sorry ‘bout that. And I have made a promise to work our how to add comments but have not got round to that yet – all of my two readers stay tuned!

As an aside - I would love to be one of those people who can use ridiculous sayings like “Yee-gads” in real life. I have a friend who is always saying things like, “bless your cotton socks”, or “shiver me timbers” and manages to sound cool at the same time. I just sound like a complete wally.

It reminds me of that scene in Notting Hill when Hugh Grant is trying to climb the fence to the private garden and he falls down and cries “Whoops-a daisy”. And Julia says “what did you just say?” and he tries to deny it and then falls and then says it again. Such a dorky English saying - I love it.

Anyhoo. So I wish I could report about how fabulous our house is looking with everything finished. But of course nothing is finished and I am completely despairing that it will ever be done. I need that DIY rescue team to come – except I’d probably poke that cheery host’s eye out with a paint brush as she’d run about the house laughing at how much work there is to do. I can see how people get themselves into a renovating mess that they never get out of – you pull everything apart and then are so exhausted that it just stays that way. Thank god we don’t have kids cause they would have crawled through a hole in the floor by now, lost forever under the house, as I am too scared to go under there. Well maybe if I had to rescue a child I would – but lets hope I never have to make that decision ok!

But my new oven is going well – although I am completely terrified of it. The problem is that I know I should read the instruction book, but haven’t found the time. I should take it read on the train on the way to work – can you imagine what you would think if you sat next to someone on the train reading an oven instruction booklet? I’d think they had lost the plot! I have worked out how to set the clock, so we are off to a fine beginning. I’m still a bit scared to cook anything, well real, I tried my favourite chocolate slice recipe to take to the Derby, and I think I had it on the wrong setting as it was rather gooey, even after longer than the recommended cooking time.

The good news for this weekend is that my little sis is in town again, having wrangled a business trip to Melbourne from Auckland. That means a weekend of socialising and therefore no work done around the house. Does anyone know the number of DIY rescue?


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