Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blogpress ate my post

Wrote an HILARIOUS post that has even zapped into the ether. Bother.

Went to the optometrist today to see if a new prescription will help ease my headaches. I hate getting my eyes tested because it scares me. I know I've had MRI scans and heart tests and given gallons of blood, all of which are way scarier than reading different sized letters off a screen. It's when they ask 'is this better? Or is this?' I seem to suffer some sort of existential angst because I simply can't tell and I just don't know. Though it's not as if I go around reading six point type so maybe it doesn't matter if i can't read the last line.

Dr opt seemed to lack a warm bedside manner. 'You're quite short sighted, aren't you?' was followed by 'your focussing isn't very good, is it?' All of which was topped off by 'Not much need for libraries these days, is there?' Yep, great big belly laughs all round.

Things got worse when I went to choose new frames. I really can't tell. They all look the same. I need help. I'd post photos and get your advice but the assistant managed to take them all blurry and the ones were I don't look dead I look like I've had a stroke. I left in despair.

Then I got home and a young thug came up the back path and smashed a wine bottle against the wall. I mean, really!

Despair continued with 1976 BBC series The secret army, about RAF escape routes in occupied Belgium. It's remarkable for being even handedly grim: the Nazis are terrible but so are the peasants, collaborators, RAF and Resistance. Despair all round.

Going to have a tipple of Baileys tonight. We got given a bottle for collecting our neighbour's mail. I come cheaper than that but who's to argue?

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Love that man

I forgot my beloved's birthday yesterday. I was so busy thinking about work that I didn't wish him a happy birthday until a good half hour after we got up. Whoops... Sadly, we both had to work but we've only really had one day together over the past three months so we're kinda used to it. I guess. Good thing we both love our jobs. Anyway, we both worked and both ended up staying late. Then it took AGES to get to Footscray where we were having dinner with Donna and Ray. Luckily dinner was super yum and I had my first tiramisu. Mmmmm.... It was a bit of a tired and grumpy day and it got worse when Alberto Contador beat Andy Schleck in the time trial. Grrrr.

So we both worked today as well and it looks like I'll end up watching the end of Masterchef on my own.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lost: one boyfriend

My young man has disappeared. He should be home from work but he's not. And he doesn't have his mobile phone on him. When I do this he's particularly withering and while I have neither withered nor scorned I am starting to realize that it is very frustrating when one's beloved is beyond reach. How will he know to buy cat biscuits at the supermarket?

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Not such hot mustard

I dined out with the ladies last week. We went to the Middle Park Hotel, a ravishingly refurbished building. I'd been feeling a bit antsy about going the evening, featuring as it did two potential trouble spots: a) people I didn't know and b) people I did know but hadn't seen for some time. Despite being a bit of an extrovert at work, I become stubbornly unwilling to be social in certain circumstances. The building really was lovely so I started to feel a bit more relaxed. And it was pretty much all downhill from there.

The menu was unrepentantly meaty. I'm not a huge meat eater but I didn't feel like taking ladylike refuge in the fish course. If I go out for dinner I always feel obliged to try something I wouldn't cook at home. So when I saw pig tongue and cheek on the menu I knew it was for me. My nan used to cook calf tongue frequently and I've always liked it (apparently the Jewish butchers down the road do the best tongue in Melbourne). Pig's tongue, for those who've never been there, is rather small and mild. So, top marks for the tongue. The cheek was meltingly tender but I do struggle a bit with the layer of fat that accompanies it. So I couldn't finish that at all. There was also a very rich cotechino sausage. All of this surrounded by a sea of du Puy lentils. Now I figure the lentils are pretty important in a dish like this, with all the fat and fullness of flavor that's going on. These lentils were cringingly, meal destroyingly sweet. In all, it was a very average dish - and an extremely expensive one given the quality. The place clearly thinks it's pretty hot mustard but I didn't really enjoy my meal at all. I'd also ordered some brussell sprouts with chestnuts and bacon. The chestnuts were rock hard and the bacon, well I skipped that because really, how much more pig did I need. So the brussells were good but not $10 worth of goodness. What a shame.

There were also a few conversational issues. Topics covered included: nannies, feeding times, jogging while pushing a pram, sleeping patterns and a newly announced pregnancy. I felt like a right gooseberry. I love my babied friends and they clearly got a great deal of pleasure and support from being able to discuss their concerns with other mums but four hours of motherhood was a bit testing. I am planning a baby shower though and that's quite fun. (I'll get the invos out tonight Donna - promise!)

Going to cook fennel and cannellini bean stew tonight. Actually it's a Sicilian soup but Mr C doesn't like soup so I'm going to persist in calling it a stew.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting my hands dirty

It's not that I don't like hard work. It's just I hate to get my hands dirty. (It's not as if I have to wash my hands 40 times every two minutes either, I just don't like dusty hands. I do have an absolute mania about dirt on my feet though. And it's not that I'm just icky about feet because I happen to find Keanu's bare feet devastatingly attractive. Er, anyway...)

The thing is that I recently ordered about 20 chairs for one of our smaller branches. Hurrah! Hurrah! they arrived. In pieces. Now I know it didn't say that in the catalogue but it turns out I have to construct the chairs myself. And they are absolutely filthy. Not the sitty down bit, but the legs. They're thick with grey dust and wrapped in dirty rags. Aargh....

So today I came over all Rosie the Riveter and had a go at putting one together. It took me about half an hour and I had to have two goes at it because I put the seat on backwards the first time and I kvetched and moaned the whole time because it was DIRTY!! I then adjured each of my colleagues to admire my handiwork (Look! I made a chair!) but only the brave few actually dared to sit on it.

This was going to be a post about women's war work and the munitions factories in Footscray and how I'm a moaning minnie compared to them but I'm too tired (and I have to wash my hands) and it's going to need me to do some actual research and really, I've got last night's Tour de France to catch up on. On rations tonight because it's the day before payday, so dinner is quick and sorted. I don't feel so bad about this because I cheffed up a storm the other night with maple and paprika glazed pork chops (odd combination I know, but it's a winter wonderland of flavour) served with sweet and vinegary pickled cabbage. I had to use the last of my Canadian maple syrup which was a bit sad because it came in a flat tin eerily reminiscent of a hip flask. Those crazy Canadians!

Tomorrow I'll be wearing my blue jeans and checked shirt and get back on the assembly line. Toodle pip!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Le Sigh

Bipolar 101 goes something like this:

Rule no. 1 - thou shalt get a routine and stick to it like glue

Rule no. 2 - thou shalt not stay up past your bedtime

In other words - bye bye Tour de France, hello headache, being quarrelsome, calling in sick for work, realizing that you have to go to work because you have new staff starting, going to work decidedly lacking in zip and sparkle, being cranky, coming home and falling asleep on the floor with the cats. Actually I quite liked that last bit.

Hanging out with Barbara Stanwyck.

Apparently Barbara never rode a bike. Here's Betty Grable!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Le Tour!

My Tour de France hasn't started so well. I just couldn't wake up at 2am. Too, too sleepy. Hurrah for Tivo! I came home from work today and got to watch it with the cats, cheering at the tv.
Rita Hayworth goes on a cycling picnic

I got struck down by another mystery migraine this week. Not having much fun. Feeling pretty grumpy. The finger is currently pointed at chocolate, of which I have rather freely indulged of late, but it might just be the result going out after work and getting over tired. Went to see Farewell - an espionage film about the Cold War. It's an absolute ripper! Haven't enjoyed a modern film for such a long time. I would thoroughly recommend it. Also saw the preview for Me and Orson Welles. Yes, it has teen idol Zach Ephron in it - meh, I know - but it's set in the 40s and looks pretty. Had a bit of a crotchety old woman moment because the theatre ticket cost $17.50!!!!! Isn't that a bit expensive? There was an audience of six for our film so perhaps they might want to rethink their prices! Admittedly, everyone else wore fur coats so presumably very happy to pay that much. I did have a nice choc top though. Como Cinema. Avoid.

Watching Miss Marple. Normally I would rather stick a red hot poker in my eye (I do have rather strong views about the unsuitability of this Miss M). But the costumes really are wonderful. Makes me feel a little depressed. I am so greedy for clothes.

Also grumpy because my headache prevented me from going to the gallery for afternoon tea, one of my favourite things to do.

Meanwhile, Jack has used me as a litter tray three times this week. He's also got fleas, for which I blame Lyle - he does keep rather low company (ie. dead things). I am so sick of having to wash things. I need a treat.

The only ray of sunshine is the ad for the mini series on Bob Hawke. Looks like pure comedy. Could any actors look less like the people they are supposed to portray?!
A silly picture hat to raise the spirits!

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