Month: November 2003 (page 1 of 10)

Snookums at the poolSuddenly, blindingly, brilliantly… summer is here. It took me all of about thirty minutes to get my first sunburn of the season. (I didn’t mean to!) We finished our chores early – transplanting basil in the backyard, meeting with our tax agent, the Snook racking beer, me hitting the gym – and decided to reward ourselves with a trip to the pool at Vic Park (since it’s right around the corner from our new place). The Snook swam laps while I read in the shade. Now we’re heading into the city for birthday drinks with a friend. It’s like I can just see the summer spreading out before me in a lovely succession of sunny days and warm nights with friends… and everything is good.

Friday Five:

1. Do you like to shop? Why or why not?
Not really. I find it stressful. I like to buy things and get new stuff, but the act of going to stores and picking things out always puts me in a bad mood. It’s been getting better though, as the last few times I’ve tried things on I’ve been happy to discover that I can wear a smaller size than I thought.

2. What was the last thing you purchased?
A bottle of wine to take to a friend’s house last night. Prior to that it was a big bag of potting soil for transplanting our basil this weekend.

3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why?
If I know exactly what I want, I much prefer online. (I even had a dream the other night that was finally launching.) I wish it were practical to do our grocery shopping online. I hate the grocery store.

4. Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it?
I don’t remember it ever really being a set amount. If you did your chores and you wanted something, you could usually get it. Once I turned 14 I got a part-time job at the local grocery store so I pretty much paid my own way from then on.

5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing?
That box of Rice Krispies. Turns out we still had half a box from the Rice Krackles the Snook made for Halloween, so now we’ve got a whole extra box of cereal we’ll never eat. Which means I’ll make more Treats with it. And I’ll eat them. And the cycle of regret will begin again…

Remember that old commercial for Rice Krispies, where the Mom was making Rice Krispie Treats and faking how labor-intensive it was to her family? And at the end, she even threw flour on her face to get more sympathy? That’s totally how I was today. I had an evil craving for some peanut-butter treats last night so I made them and took them into the office today. Most of the Australians had never had them before. It was awesome. People were like, “Oh my gosh, these are so good! You’re so nice to go to all this trouble!” I got, like, ten million office karma points. It’s a nice way to end the week.

“Look at that screen clutter! Is that a desktop pattern, or just 70,000 icons?!” Mac Eye for the Windows Guy. I’m still giggling over this.

Dude, “Space station crew hear mystery noise” has to be the most compelling news headline of the year. Don’t you think? My imagination was going crazy when I clicked it. (Too bad the real story isn’t very exciting.)

Hoyts are worse than Ticketmaster, I swear. (For non-Aussies, Hoyts is the major movie theater chain in Sydney.) On Wednesday I saw in the newspaper that Return of the King tickets were going on sale the next day. I am a big nerd and I want to go to the first possible showing. Accordingly, yesterday I headed over to the Broadway to procure four tickets for the 9:30 am premiere on Boxing Day. First off, there weren’t any signs or posters about the ticket sale. I was confused. I figured they’d have something. So I waited in line and when I got up to the counter I asked the guy, “Are you selling Return of the King tickets today?” And he’s like, “Yeah, uh, I guess so.” Ooookay. So I pull out a fifty and wait for him to add it up. “That’ll be $61.20,” he says. I choke. I dig for more money. As I’m putting the tickets away, I hear the next couple behind me buying two tickets for a show about to start… and their total is less than $30. Something doesn’t jibe. I look down at the tickets in my hand and note that the $15.30 price includes sales tax and “public holiday surcharge”. What? They’re actually charging me extra to come in on what will probably be their biggest day of the year. What, do they think they’re doing us a big favor by being open that day? Snookums reckons it’s because they have to pay their employees extra to work over Christmas, but I think that’s bull. The cinema should suck up that cost since they’re easily going to make it up with all the extra refreshments they’ll sell that day. Money-grubbing bastards!

Happy Thanksgiving!Happy Thanksgiving!
After the food orgy of last year, the Snook and I decided to have a low-key Thanksgiving, just the two of us. We roasted a turkey breast and had pumpkin, mash*, asparagus, broccoli, and green beans. It was pretty darn good. I also baked a pumpkin cheesecake – substituting Splenda for the sugar – that turned out well. (I wasn’t thrilled with the low-carb pie crust though.) We washed it down with a lovely Australian chardonnay. It wasn’t Mom’s cooking but it’ll do. 🙂

Things I’m Thankful For This Year:

  • My brother came through his surgery fine. Thanks for your positive thoughts!
  • I’ve been employed for nearly a year now, and though I don’t love my job, I like the people I work with and at least it’s a paycheck.
  • The Snook and I are finally settled in a place that should suit us for awhile. Our apartment is in a great location and has all the amenities we were looking for. We have a home.
  • My family continue to amaze me. My mom is raising a toddler, my Dad is coping with two new stepsons, my brother is only a year from getting his college degree, and my sister has created a new life for herself in California. (She’s also impressing the hell out of me with her marathon training and fundraising.) On one hand it’s awesome that we’ve all got such great things going on in our lives… and on the other it’s weird that we all *have* such separate lives right now.
  • I’m healthier than I was this time last year. I feel better. I don’t think so negatively about myself. In fact, occasionally I catch a glimpse of myself in one of the mirrors at the gym… and I think I look pretty good.
  • Whenever I feel homesick or sad at being so far away from my old life, I have this wonderful community of online friends that cheer me up. Thanks for being there!
  • My Snookums. He’s the best.

[Note: We don’t eat mashed potatoes, of course. Way too many carbs. Instead we steam the heck out of cauliflower and then whizz it up with our hand blender. Add a dollop of sour cream, a dash of salt and pepper, and you’ve got a much healthier mash alternative. It’s gotten to the point now where I even prefer it to the old version!]

Test your digital IQ. I scored 125. I am a nerd. I actually missed a lot of them though… sadly I never learned to use PowerPoint. (Link courtesy of John.)

I’m a little homesick so I’m Googling for information on my hometown back in Indiana.

Okay, those last few aren’t so nice.

“An invitation to join the Blogosphere…”
This could well be the lamest promotional idea ever. This is a scan of a clipping that I found in our mailbox last week:

Invitation to Join the Blogosphere

That’s right. It’s a real piece of paper that someone put in our actual physical mailbox. I couldn’t believe it. I’m assuming that one of the three people listed – best Aussie bloggers??? – did it to drive up traffic. (I somehow doubt it’s Ev’s new viral marketing scheme for Blogger.) It’s even tackier than that guy who chalks his URL all over Newtown. What’s next, wearing an “I’m a ‘Blogger’ – Ask Me How?” button?

And who says “Blogosphere”? I mean, really.