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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Hola!

So tonight is my second Spanish class, and already I am the worst student because I haven’t done my homework. I was supposed to learn the numbers, but I keep thinking of the Italian numbers so I am all confused. At this rate it will be a bloody miracle if I can talk to anyone on my Sth America trip and then they understand me and I actually get what I want.

My problem is compounded by Mr R, who is squeezing in a business trip to Japan before we go away, so he is trying to brush up on his basic Japanese. The other night he was in one room chanting Japanese words, whilst I was in the lounge trying to, and what I should say here is learn my Spanish numbers, but the reality is watch some crap TV show (and I’m sure it was crap cause that seems to be all that’s on these days). So now all I can do is mix up my Spanish numbers with Italian ones, with Japanese floating around my head. How do people that speak 5 languages do it?

From now on I have decided to only refer to numbers in Spanish, which may confuse my work colleagues, and people at the shops, but will possibly help me on my quest to speak more than one bloody language.

Adios! Dos cerveza per favour!




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Tuesday, April 27, 2004

You would never believe that my one year bloggerversary is approaching, and I am only now racking up enough entries that most people might produce in about a week. But yunno, its all about the quality.

So, I thought this was an opportune time to reveal a deep dark secret about myself. I have a big problem, yep, a big foot problem.

Phew, there, I have said it.

This genetic abnormality is the purely the fault of my father, who has like about a size 13 men’s foot. My younger brother is lucky enough to inherit this trait too, he has about a size 15 men’s foot. My younger sister takes after my Mum and has lovely size seven or eight feet. And then there is me with my size twelves. Ugh. This means that not only is it almost impossible to find shoes, but it is absolutely fucking impossible to find nice shoes. I have my one shoe shop in Melbourne that stocks half passable shoes, but you have to be lucky.

And then what can you do about big feet, short of chopping off your toes? I guess there is the ancient Chinese binding tradition, which I think they do from a young age and it completely cripples them, so that’s not really an option.

This was all brought home to me last night watching Sex and the city. Or is that Sex in the city? Anyway, whatever Carrie and her co-horts call it, they all have amazing shoes. I think one of her lines last night was something like “A girl has a right to her shoes” or something equally as ridiculous but it nearly made me cry. Cause although I’m sure I couldn’t actually walk in the Manalo’s Carrie runs around New York in, and I may also baulk at paying US$485 for shoes, and I didn’t actually like her shoes that much last night anyway, I’d at least like the option of buying some if I wanted to. Sniff.



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Monday, April 26, 2004

There is something not quite right about being at work on a day that everyone else in Australia, except us and the Taswegians have off work. I think the word it might be un-Australian, better ask little Johnny about that one.

Anyhoo, ‘twas very nice to get some rain over the weekend. It did interrupt my plans for a walk on the 1000 steps in the Dandenongs yesterday, because it’s just not right to have to walk in the rain. We would have been saturated in about 2 minutes, so instead we went and had scones, not a bad substitute really. I always forget how pretty the Dandenongs are until I go there again – have now made a mental note to try and remember for future exploration. Outsiders, whatever you do, don’t get the Dandenongs (mountain range) confused with Dandenong (the suburb). Lets just say that it isn’t quite as pretty.

I also watched ‘Whale Rider’ and that little Keisha-something-or-other whatever-her-name-is does an amazing job. You just want to give her a big hug. Unfortunately, as my second free DVD from my DVD shop, I stupidly chose ‘American Pie: the Wedding’. You see, I actually quite liked the first American Pie. Juvenile of course, but it did make me laugh. I hadn’t seen the second one, so when I spotted this one on the shelf and nothing else took my fancy, I thought that maybe it would be worth a giggle. Hmmm, I was wrong. Perhaps it could be me, but I just couldn’t laugh at someone eating dog shit. My stomach is churning just thinking about it.

The other very nice thing about this weekend was having plenty of time to cook. I am having a dinner party next weekend, so I have been trying to decide on a menu. I tested an entrée of baked pear, stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in prosciutto which is served on spinach leaves. It sounds strange, but was rather nice, although perhaps one for the more adventurous eater, so maybe no good for the dinner party. It was also too big for a starter, so back to the drawing board. Or the cooktop rather. My fall back plan is to get takeway like my last dinner party, but this time I might try and pass it off as my own…






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Friday, April 23, 2004

It was so wonderful to wake up this morning to the sound of heavy rain drumming on the roof. It was even more wonderful to realise it was only 5am so I could roll over and drift back to sleep thinking about all those happy plants outside.

It wasn’t so wonderful when I stepped in a puddle on my way to work, and now I make a squelchy sound when I walk.


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Thursday, April 22, 2004

Last night we had our first “Spanish for Travellers to Latin America class” at the CAE. I’m sure I’ve probably crapped on before about how generally bad I am at languages, but thankfully there were a few people in the class who seemed to be, well worse.

Not wanting to name names or anything, but perhaps my husband might fall into this category, as he couldn’t actually get past the spell-out-your-name-using-the-Spanish-alphabet bit. I think the purpose of this exercise was to prepare you for the airport officials and tour operators and random people that run up to you in the street and ask you to spell out your name, but also so that the charming and funny Maria-Luisa knew everyone’s name. So for the record his name does not end in an “i”, but an “e”, so let’s hope that goes better when we are away. Anyway, last night was surprisingly fun so we will see how that progresses.

In other news, my good friend Chloe is now a super star as you may remember that she is starring in ‘The Producers’. The show is in the middle of an absolute publicity deluge and is a big hit so far; she has had the most fantastic reviews. I am cutting photos of her out of the paper every day.

So we went along to the show on the weekend, and yes it is incredibly politically incorrect, but Mel Brooks can really make you laugh (watch for the Hitler hailing pigeons). I thought Chloe was brilliant as Ulla, but maybe I am biased, so if anyone else happens to see it then let me know what you think. One thing that was amazing was the general feeling of the crowd when the undisputed King of morning television appeared on stage, one Mr Bert Newton. The crowd actually cheered and clapped him before he had even spoken a line. It was kind of strange really, but you can’t deny his popularity.

I felt like a groupie as we waited to meet her after the show at stage door, and she only had literally one second before she had to go running off to the logies. I’m not sure that have really ‘made it’ when you get an invite to the logies, I’ll be really impressed when she makes it to the Academy Awards. If you sat through the excruciating telecast, she’s the one that did the Swedish accent on the red carpet.


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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

There is a rumour going around that yesterday was my birthday. Can’t confirm if that is true or false, particularly as the rumour also has my age as officially in the last year of my twenties. Gulp. That’s a horrible thought.

I remember when I was about 15 and reading “Cleo” in the school yard and they had one of those lists with a heading like: “30 things to do before you are 30”.

I read that list and thought that 30 was so far away and I had plenty of time to do all the things, even if there were some things that I would never do like skydiving (I am way too chicken to ever do that), and then ridiculous things like kissing your one true love in the rain in Paris dressed in designer clothes (I had my true love with me in Paris, so there was some kissing, but it wasn’t raining and there was nothing designer about my backpacking outfits). At the time I probably also thought that it was a good idea to live by lists published in Cleo, and funnily enough now I am not so sure about that, but I’m sure Mr R would like if I used the 50 ways to please your lover type lists. Or maybe something like 20 things to drive him wild.

So now I have only one year left to do the rest of the things on that list, and although I cant remember what the rest of the things were, I think it means I have one more year until I am officially old. Oh dear.



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Thursday, April 15, 2004

The weirdest thing just happened.

I was just munching on a couple of Easter eggs, as I am likely to be doing at this time of year. These particular eggs are made by Cadbury, and are those little mini eggs. I was working away, and then reached for little mini egg. I unwrapped the foil, and then went to put said egg into my mouth only to find that it was still wrapped. A double wrapper.

So I thought, that’s funny, but truly didn’t really think too much of it, I mean these things happen. A glitch in the Easter egg wrapping process. It’s kind of like a double yolker (which I must say I haven’t seen for years and years).

I unwrapped the second layer of Easter egg wrapper and again went to put the egg in my mouth. But alas it was not meant to be. There was a third wrapper on this egg.

Now that’s weird don’t you think? It’s not like all the wrappers were wrapped together in one lot, because they overlapped one another.

Now I am wondering how Cadbury actually wrap their eggs and perhaps this indicates a major problem with their wrapping techniques. Their machine might just randomly select an egg to do some extra wrapping on, in order to mess with my head. Or a maverick oompa-loompa may have stuck a couple more wrappers on for fun.

I’ll go with the second option, I like oompa-loompas.



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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Correct me if I am wrong here, but I am sure that last year the shops were open on Easter Sunday. This proved to be my downfall of the Easter weekend.

I remember that of course they are closed on Good Friday, so I had my good Friday all planned out.
Wake up for a minute at 6.30am when poor Mr R had to leave for work. Roll over and sleep til 10 or so. Catch up on my crap TV shows from during the week. Go for a walk to kid myself that I actually did something for the day. Watch a couple of DVDs. Have salmon on toast for lunch and cook a nice fish dinner. NO PROBLEM.

Easter Saturday the shops are of course all open. I wake up again for a minute at 6.30am when poor Mr R has to go to work. I sleep for a bit longer and then I get up and I go and buy a couple of birthday presents for family and friends. I debate over which perfume to get for my mother in law, and decide on Estee Lauder infinity, mostly because it is gift time at Myer and she gets lots of other stuff as well. I head over to sunny Williamstown with a friend to take my parents’ big boofy golden retriever for a walk as they are away over Easter. We have a lovely walk, the dog gets exhausted. Mr R and I go out for a relaxing dinner that night. All up a pretty good day.

Ah – then we get to Sunday. The plan was to wake up early, compose menu and then shopping list for 8 person dinner party planned for that evening. Then get in car and drive to shops, buy food for said dinner party. Go home and spend a bit of time on preparation so that I can head off to the footy in the afternoon.

Insert noise that they make on wheel of fortune when your letter isn’t there. “Buzzzzzzzzzzzz”

So yeah, the shops are shut on Easter Sunday. All of them. Everywhere. Except, in holiday areas, so in order to buy food I would have to drive to Torquay. I despair. I moan. I go to seven eleven and buy eggs and cream to make last minute pavlova – at least I have dessert covered. I go home and survey pantry and freezer. I can probably scrape together a risotto, or lasagne, but neither are inspiring me. I decide on Thai takeaway, and that leaves me all afternoon for attending footy.

Then I get a phone call for a last minute baby sitting emergency, which dashes all hope of football games.

So there went Easter Sunday. But maybe that was all a blessing in disguise. We lost the footy anyway, and it was by far the easiest dinner party I have ever had!

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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I was reading something somewhere about someone who did something exceedingly cute as a kid. They were telling the story as an adult, but after reading the story you were thinking about what a cool kid they were. Of course they could have made the story up, but man were they cute. My mother is terrible at remembering stories about us as kids. I envy lucky people like Oskar and Jasmine who will have this amazing record of their early years thanks to the dedication of their Mum and Dad . My Mum gets my sister and I confused as to who did what, and who said that funny thing and who was it that spread the contents of their nappy over the tent in 40 degree heat? (For the record – that was of course my sister). I have decided that when I have kids, whilst my record keeping might not be quite as good as the Hosken’s, I am going to make a reasonable effort to remember what funny things my kids did. Maybe follow them round with a notebook or something, waiting for them to do something funny.

When I was a teenager I started thinking that maybe the reason my Mum cant remember stories about me as a kid is that we never really did anything that remarkable. Maybe I was a boring little kid with no imagination, playing quietly with my dolls and lego just doing what you are supposed to do. So I asked my Mum again if she could think of anything I had done that was maybe a bit interesting or quirky.

Mum: “Well, there was the time that you cut the dining room curtains with scissors”

Me: “ But that’s just naughty, I want a story that shows my brilliant original thinking! That shows I was a passionate imaginative kid! The kind of kid you can tell stories about!”

Mum: “Hmm. Well of course you were like that, I just can’t think of anything right at the moment, let me think about it. Ah! I know!”

Me: “I knew there would have to be something, what is it?”

Mum: “You used to pretend to be a stop sign.”

Me: “A stop sign.”

Mum: “Yep, you’d just stand very still in the middle of the loungeroom, and if we walked past we had to stop, look both ways, and then we could keep going.”

Me: “That’s ridiculous”

Mum: “You were a brilliant child darling”

Not quite what I was after.



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Monday, April 05, 2004

The next step in our twenty-seven year renovation plan, is our garden. Talking about the garden may give the impression that the house renovation is finished and it’s time to move on. Ha! That is far from the truth, the reality is that we are just sick of the house. And of course I now am telling myself that our windows look good in the pink undercoat colour – who really needs painted windows anyway?

So, we have been discussing plants and garden type things for some time now, and in an effort to actually put names to plants, we went to the Garden and Flower show on the weekend. This is so we can actually talk about the garden without saying things like: “Under that tall funny looking tree, lets put in some of that stuff that has those flowers with leaves that look kinda light green and grows about so high, do you think that grows in shade?”

So there were many pretty flowers, and many more hundred million thousand people, and I snapped away with my spunky little digital camera and we now have hundreds of ideas about what we like and want to do. We still don’t know what anything is called, but now at least we might have a photo of a plant that may aid in it’s identification. And quite a few photos of old people that kept wandering into shot – not yet sure if we will integrate a few of them into our garden design as well. Could look good having an old lady in a rocking chair in the corner of the garden.

For our wedding anniversary we spent Saturday night at the Westin, which was great fun. We got to pretend we were rich and famous for just a moment. That moment was spoiled a little by the Bulldogs v Collingwood match – our two AFL teams. I was trying not to gloat at half time, as there was a foot massage* resting on the outcome of the match, and just as well because we went down in the end. And yeah – he might still be waiting for that massage after he couldn’t contain himself and did a little victory dance when his team won. Talk about rubbing it in.

I solved the dilemma of the leather wedding present for Mr R, as we went shopping yesterday and bought each other new shoes. Practical, and Mr R argues that it is also romantic, as he will think about me when he wears the shoes. I am not so sure about the romance bit; I think he will relish being able to stomp on me as he walks around.



* Ah, the feet/foot plural conundrum. When it comes to talking about a massage of the feet, “foot massage” sounds better than “feet massage” and yet it does imply that only one foot will be getting massaged. So if Mr R ever does get a massage out of this bet, you can bet that I’ll be exploiting this and there will only be one foot being massaged..


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Thursday, April 01, 2004

I could have started today’s entry with an outlandish lie, just because it’s April fools. But in all honesty, and I know its all supposed to be a joke, I find the whole April fool thing a bit mean. You are just trying to get people to look stupid and then laugh at them. I have enough instances when I look stupid and people laugh at me without dedicating a whole day to it.

Today’s media is full of examples; like the article in the city weekly about free goodies should you roll into Myer and David Jones completely naked. Or the ad in the Herald Sun for cherry flavoured vegemite.

Mr R fell for one this morning when the radio morning news announced that Athens was so unprepared for the Olympic swimming that it was going back to Sydney. This was one of those perfectly aimed tricks, as it’s the kind of thing people want to believe so don’t question the validity of the decision. It appealed to the sense of pride bursting out of a lot of Aussies when it comes to sport and how great we were at hosting the Olympics. From the day the Sydney games closed there has been rampant smug speculation in Australia, fuelled by the media, that Athens were not up to the job and it would all have to come back here. The news programmers can hardly keep the smirk off their faces when they announce something like the roof will not be ready on the swimming stadium, oh those disorganised Greeks! It never ceases to amaze me how smug people can be, even as a whole nation. It’s like saying that you are so special that you did something so brilliantly that nobody else in the world could possibly replicate it. Get down off your high horses and back to reality people.

I also feel for my poor brother in law who has his birthday today, and when he explains that, everyone thinks he is joking. Happy Birthday you poor April Fool.



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