Thursday, May 29, 2008

Not-so-subtle signs of widening thighs

I was going to blog about the fact that I've pulled a muscle in my back, and that the last thing I needed was to sit at a day-long meeting trying to look both awake and interested. But, at the end of the day, the most memorable thing about today (apart from the crick in my neck), was noticing that I seem to put eye-popping runs in my pantihose after just one wear.

Actually, I thought I'd never those things again. But those 10-denier bits of dark nylon go so well with my knee-length pleated skirt, so I've pulled out all my old pairs of pantihose from storage (that is, a small plastic shopping bag in the bottom of my blanket box).

At first, I just assumed that the old hose were falling apart because they were old and already worn once or twice. Now I'm wondering whether I've literally outgrown them. Maybe my thighs are just too damned big for those things, and thats why I hear that quiet ripping sound whenever I crouch or bend my legs. Maybe I should stick to thick tights.

Maybe I should secretly buy the "Tall" size pantihose.

Monday, May 26, 2008

She messes with my head

I'm loving being in the paid workforce again - being all grown-up around grown-up things, having the time and space to drink my coffee and eat my lunch, having a lunch hour when I want one - in fact, maybe I'm enjoying it just a little too much.

TLM often gives me a hard time in the morning; she'll see me in my work clothes and say "Mummy not go to work" with a little sob in her voice. When the babysitter arrives TLM will throw herself at me and determinedly ignore her. She'll even plead to accompany me to work. Then at the end of my day I'll rush home so we can be reunited as soon as possible, only to be ignored by this very same child who is now far too busy playing with her babysitter.

I think that when they get to this age, they learn the art of manipulation.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My life in my diary

It wasn't until around 6pm last night that I realised I must've left my diary behind, when we left the fundraising meeting that morning. And for about 2 hours, my worry-cells jumped and plumped up to bursting.

You see, my diary is my short-term memory. Without it, I don't know when or where my next appointment is, what hours I've worked (and therefore, what hours I'll get paid for), the phone numbers of various useful people or any of the information I jotted down last time I visited my accountant. Without it, I am a frazzled thing.

I was absolutely itching to call the woman whose house it was at, but I didn't wish to break the unwritten rule about never calling a parent during the jungle hour, nor during the time they'd normally put their kids to bed. So I waited until 7.30pm.

And the diary wasn't there.

Then I thought to have another look in the car, because I'd brought along so much stuff to the meeting (bits of paper with fundraising info on it, my diary, the nappy bag, TLM, TLM's snack box, TLM's potty, our respective jackets, my glasses, my sunglasses...) and it was fairly likely that I'd left something around by the front seat.

And there it was, snuck away under the front seat where I couldn't see it but could feel it if I stuck my arm right underneath. Oh, the relief! Oh the embarrassment! Oh the restlessness resulting from getting overly stressed over losing my "memory"!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The McDonalds influence

I reckon there must be half a dozen cans of shoe polish and suede protector in this house, and they would all have been side-purchases , along with shoes or boots. It's like, every time you buy shoes from a non-discount shop (or maybe even those ones too), the sales assistant says something along the lines of "and would you like some shoe polish/leather conditioner/suede protector with that?". And I always fall for it, even if it's 10 bucks a can and ends up filling a forgotten corner of an out-of-reach shelf in the spare room.

I wonder how much of that stuff would get sold if it wasn't always pushed as the only thing to keep your precious shoes from looking less-than brand new.

Personally, it would be healthier on my wallet if they just offered a small bag of fries.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A blog date

Until today I was just about the only blogger in the world (it seems) who hadn't had a face-to-face meeting with a fellow blogger whom I didn't already know pre-blog.

It wasn't for lack of the desire to - well, perhaps it was...I mean, I'm not actually averse to meeting someone whom I know only through their regular on-line brain dumps. I know that some bloggers make quite an effort to meet such people; in my case, it would help if most of you didn't actually live in a whole other continent.

And that's why my blog date today with Make Tea Not War and Satsumasalad is, to me, a bloggable topic. It was my first blog date. To be exact, I already knew the former, but the latter was a total blind date.

Once upon a time (and a long, looong time ago), there was a workmate I knew only via the phone. We had lots of witty conversations and I looked forward to meeting him in person at the work Christmas do. In the flesh, he fell so far short of my expectations that I had to force myself to keep talking to him (sadly, we never got witty together again - gawd, I'm shallow!).

Well, it wasn't like that at lunch today. Satsumasalad was, in person, kinda like how she sounds in her blog, but with extra bits...that is, there's more to her than her blog tells. Which is, I suppose, true for all of us. We're more than the sum of our blog posts.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Early toilet humour

The Little Madam currently finds poos and wees incredibly funny. It's not the poos and wees in themselves that make her laugh, more the words. Like, she'll use either word to describe just about anything and everything, and then giggle uncontrollably.

I found it amusing the first dozen times, but now I just roll my eyes and wish I hadn't inadvertantly encouraged TLM to use "poo" as a universal adjective. We adults may think it pretty tiresome, but she sure hasn't gotten tired of it yet.

I'm quite certain that this is just one of those things that all young children go through. But I never realised it would start so damned young.

Friday, May 16, 2008


My cold has gone on for a week now, and the boy has been suffering from his for even longer. TLM has already had her cold - she seems to only get bugs for just long enough to infect the parents, and then she's right as rain again. Typical.

The boy has been really looking after me - cooking most nights and doing the dinner dishes, encouraging me to put my feet up once TLM's in bed, bringing me fresh boxes of tissues, and refraining from playing his Farscape DVD's while I'm about. And all of this while he's still nursing his sniffles and coughs.

I reckon that echinachea he's been taking, must be turning him into a Stepford husband. But don't tell him I told you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So...I don't have to be young and beautiful to become famous...

Making it in the arts is hard, apparently. Whether it's writing, singing or slicing animals very thinly and putting them between glass panels - it's the kind of field in which looks and connections are at least as useful as talent.

So how the hell did Wing do it? Her singing is even worse than mine, she's certainly not as pretty as I am (which isn't saying much, I know), and as far as I know she isn't hooked up with a soccer superstar. Some say it's her passion that wins her fans. Others say her fans mistakenly believe she is intentionally satirising pop diva-dom.

Well, if all it takes is the willingness to be laughed at, would I be happy with all the fame and adulation?

Maybe, but only if there was money in it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Slow cooking

I reckon I'll get myself a slow cooker/crockpot. The idea of chucking a few ingredients into the pot in the morning and having a cooked meal by the time I return home, really appeals to me. There is the danger though, of ending up with a nightly stew that tastes the same regardless of what goes in, like the stew we used to make in the billy back in my tramping (hiking) days. But I'll arm myself with some recipes from the Internet and the library, and perhaps a truckload of Maggi Cook-in-the-pot sachets as well.

Because we are having way too many ready meals at the moment.

Mothers Day weekend - against all odds

When I saw that we were rostered on for weekend cleaning of TLM's daycare, I thought it was just typical of my luck. Then when the boy came down with a cold and TLM followed with a strain of her own, I wasn't surprised that I spent most of Friday afternoon blowing my nose on work toilet paper.

But this weekend has turned out okay after all, so far. The colds seem to be abating, and my sniffles have gone too. I'm starting to wonder whether I was merely the victim of my workmate's cats' fur, which has probably been clinging to his clothes all this time.

I shopped for a gift for my hard-to-please mother, and found a jaunty winter cap for myself. I did find a more conservatively styled hat for my mum too, but won't be too put out if she rejects it. The weekend cleaning didn't take all that long, which was a relief. And though we didn't go out for Mothers Day brunch as I'd hoped, he and TLM bought in some yummy gourmet soup with crusty sourdough bread for lunch at home.

This afternoon we'll go visit my mum and she'll have the chance to tell me how much she hates my present. And then I'll just give her a twenty dollar bill instead.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

...and that's why I feel ready to go to bed at 7pm tonight

I don't know why - it's something that's only started affecting me in the last couple of years - but when it's that time of the month I start feeling unwell. Most of the time I get these oppressive headaches that make me feel like a block of polystyrene in a woodworking vice, and most of the time I have terrible nights' sleep. This month, I've had sore, itchy eyes and hayfeverish sniffles (as well as the insomnia).

So I couldn't blame it on the boy, who has a cold and his nocturnal nose-blowing seems as high-decibel as a jet plane taking off behind the house.

Another thing that disturbed my sleep was this strange, deep buzzing noise that turned out to be my mobile phone mutedly telling me I had a call. By the time I realised it was my phone and not the boy's, it was nearly time to get out of bed anyway. It was our babysitter calling in sick.

To cut a longish story shortish, I stressed, worried and bit my nails. Then I called in my emergency person - my sister-out-law. She had to rearrange her day's plans, but was able to take TLM for the day. They even had to wonderful time together, from what I'd heard.

But I was a few fizzes short of effervescence by the time I got to work. And after almost two weeks of staring at computer moniters for hours on end, I've come to the conclusion that not only do I need to wear my spectacles all the time - I'm probably gonna need some thicker lenses.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Wondering about naughty canine costumes

Naughty Pagan vents about an advertised "Princess Leia slave costume" for dogs. He reckons it's a bit dodgy, and wonders whether the kind of people who'd buy such a thing are the dodgy types who'd turn a pet into some perverted sex object (ugh!). I've had a look at the picture, and can't imagine that getting anyone hot and sweaty. But then, I've had a fairly sheltered upbringing.

It did make me wonder whether a dodgy doggy person might be able to find other kinds of pervy dress-ups for dogs - naughty nurse and French maid costumes come to mind. So, I had a quick Google.

I didn't come across any Naughty Nurse dress-ups, but there is this Wonder Woman outfit, this harem dog outfit, a cheerleader outfit, and yes, a French maid outfit!
While I generally have a live-and-let-live philosophy, I really hope that anyone who dresses up their pet, only does it because they think it's cute. But not sexy (bad human! Bad!).

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Golden Compass - it ain't so bad

After hearing through the grapevine that The Golden Compass was a poor filmic rendering of Philip Pullman's wonderful fantasy trilogy, I'd assumed that we wouldn't bother watching it. But the boy has this habit of wanting to watch movie versions of certain novels even if they're supposed to be bad. So I wasn't terribly surprised when he brought home The Golden Compass on DVD. But I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did.

The books were criticised by many sensitive Christian folk for it's anti-Church theme. Fair enough, because it's true. But I don't see the point of taking away that emphasis in the film. Everyone who's read the books is likely to be disappointed that the film version is goes "lite". Anyone who hasn't read the books will probably still enjoy it, but probably most of the latter avoided the books because they'd heard it was anti-Christian - in which case, they wouldn't bother to see the movie either.

Apart from the removal of all references to the word "Church", the movie pretty much follows the first book (which in NZ is called "Northern Lights"), except for the end. The book ending would have been a real downer if they'd put it in the movie. But I do hope that the event in the book ending i.e. what happens to Lyra's friend Roger, is included in the next film. Because that bit is reveals so much about Lord Asriel's true nature.

The armoured bears are well realised, as are the land- and cityscapes of Lyra's world. The girl who plays Lyra, I found a believable and likeably rascally heroine. I triumphantly recognised the witch queen as played by Eva Green from Casino Royale, but the boy found it weird to hear Gandalf's voice coming out of the armoured bear's mouth. The role of Mrs Coulter though, seems tailor-made for the likes of ice-queen Nicole Kidman.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Without her mummy

It's been a whole week of spending hardly any time with TLM. While I'm at work, I don't miss her, exactly. But having said that, it's hard to have a casual conversation at work without some TLM-related topic coming up.

I think she's been missing me though. After the novelty of having someone new to play with wore off, TLM has voiced her disappointment at my absence. She has refused to spend time at the library with her babysitter, and clung to me a little when she shows up in the morning. But she's having to get used to it though, because I've been sick all weekend and she's had to hang out with her dad the whole time. And tomorrow I'm back at work again.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A wee ditty I wrote on Friday night

Grandma’s deaf
My grandma is so deaf, I can say naughty words and she won’t tell me off.
My grandma is so deaf that sometimes when we burn the toast and set off the smoke alarm, she asks what that buzzing noise is and whether the smelly toast is attracting flies.
My grandma is so deaf she doesn’t care if I play my favourite CD really, really loud.
My grandma is so deaf that if I fell off the trampoline and cried and cried, no-one would come to help me until mum got home from work.
My grandma is so deaf, I have to pretend I’m a lion and shout right into her ear in a deep voice, or she won’t know it’s time to turn on the telly and watch the news.
My grandma is so deaf that she thinks no-one will talk to her.
My grandma is so deaf that if I want to tell her I love her, it’s easier to just give her cuddles and smiles instead.

My grandson is so gullible that he doesn’t realize I’m only pretending to be deaf, so I’ll get lots of cuddles from him.

Friday, May 02, 2008

clueless newbie

The office administrator emailed me today, reminding me to send in my invoice. Argh! But I haven't registered for GST (goods and services tax) yet! I haven't got a tax agent/accountant yet! I don't know how to prepare an invoice yet! She took pity on me and explained what I needed to do in order to get for the 2 days I worked last month, and told me to get my arse into gear and get some financial advice.

I guess I'll do that this coming week, 'cos I don't want to be clueless for too long.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

the lonesome contractor

The thing I missed about having a job, apart from the money, was the social aspect - the banter, the coffee breaks, the Friday late-afternoon drinks. And now that I'm back in paid employment, I still miss those things.

Because I'm a contractor who charges by the hour, I can't take breaks unless I'm prepared to omit the time from my invoice. During the quiet times, the permies are standing around making idle conversation while I'm intent on doing something billable. Because I've got a young child to go home to (and possibly also because I'm just over Friday drinkies), I'm unlikely to attend my employer's monthly (and paid for) drinks.

I've no doubt that there will eventually be work buddies. But until then I feel a bit like a Nigel No-Mates, eating my lunch in the lounge with a book on my lap and no one to joke with. Thanks goodness I have a life.