Sunday, August 31, 2008

A wee story

She hurried into the pharmacy, hoping it would not take long to locate a packet of the incontinence pads. She was in a foul mood and the last thing she needed was to waste precious minutes rummaging around in the "Feminine Hygene" aisle. But a quick in-an-out was not to be; she easily spotted the haircare, the fragrances and the cosmetics, but not those damned Tena Ladys.
The man behind the prescriptions counter looked up, noticing her look of annoyed impatience.
"Have you got any of those Tena Lady things?" Perhaps she should have waited for a female assistant.
He gave no sign that he knew what she was talking about.
"You know, like period pads! But for wees!" As soon as she said that, she wished she had turned down the volume. The other customers were looking in her direction. Sniggering maybe, or embarrassed for her.
But the man wasn't clueless after all. He pointed to a small shelf just to the right of the counter. The shelf had no doubt been picked for discretion. That is, it would have been, if she hadn't barked it out like a crazy-mad peasant.

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's never too late for more Buffyness

Every now and then I go to the Slayage site and - voila! - there's a new issue of interesting though slightly-hard-to-understand articles about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They may require the use of a good dictionary, and sometimes even that can't help me decipher some of the academic-ese, but usually they are good reads and introduce me to something I'll wish I'd studied at university.

But for something a little less taxing on the brain, there's this taster of the once-hoped-for Buffy animated series (thanks to Film Guide for finding it on YouTube).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Two days on, one day off, two days on, two days off. My work/life balance is coming along very nicely, thank you very much.

The Little Madam may not agree, as she would still rather hang out with me every day despite all the attractions of her daycare - surrounded by like-minded little friends and patient teachers, offered all sorts of messy play equipment that I avoid having in our home, and pretty much allowed to do as she pleases all day.

But for me, it's nice to have 4 days per week in which I can't hover around checking whether she's got poos or wees, and in which I do grownup work and - in theory - spend lunch hours meeting my friends or shopping. On the days I don't work, I don't feel any desperate need to get out of the house. It's great just to hang out with the kid and not have to be anywhere.

Although, on Wednesdays, this wouldn't normally be the case. It's usually the day that my conscience forces us to spend hours with my mum wandering up and down supermarket aisles, looking for the freshest and best-value cuts of meat, or the bottle of rice bran oil at the very, very back of the shelf. I haven't had to suffer this for the last couple of weeks due to sickness and the fact that the boy has been taking my car to work (his own car's windscreen wipers have died and the replacements still haven't arrived from Japan).

Quiet Wednesdas are a blessing (if I'm allowed to used that word, since I don't worship any divinities).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

two outa three ain't good

I've had TLM's cold since about Wednesday, and - because I've had to take time off to look after TLM while she had her cold - I've been soldiering on and going to work anyway. It has really helped to take the right drugs though. My drug of choice for this particular lurgy, was Codral Day and Night. I've always liked the idea of having daytime pills to keep me from using up entire rainforests' worth of tissue paper on my nose, then taking a night time pill to make sure I get some sleep.

So for two days running, I took the 2 daytime doses during the day, and a dose of night time pills before going to bed. Then on the third day, I forgot to take the night time pill. And I got very, very little sleep. I already knew that these pills contain pseudoephidrine. But only now to I truly realise that taking them is like taking a baby-sized portion of speed. And that, if I take a couple of doses of something that suddenly makes me alert and productive, I really should not skip the night time pill that's going to allow my body to rest.

I guess it's never too late to learn about drugs.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Natural-born permie

I know I've only been at this contracting gig for 4 months, but already I'm having frequent introspective periods of wondering whether I'm a born permie.

The money's good, and - in theory, at least - I can take time off more easily because I'm not bound to the 8.30-5.00 office hours.

But in reality, I don't take time off unless I really have to - partly because of my Chinese work ethic and partly because time is money. Actually, that really means it's all down to Chinese work ethic.

I don't think workplaces cut new contractors as much slack as new permanent employees. And I doubt that sitting around gassing all day is as acceptable for contractors as it is for permies. (I could be utterly wrong, but that's my perception and perception is reality.) Not to mention the fact I've had quite short term assignments (the current one is for 4 months).

And that's what I miss, sitting around gassing with work buddies whom I've known for months or years.

I'll stick it out for a year if I can, to give it a chance to grow on me and to give me a decent amount of tech writing experience. Then...who knows? Maybe even go back to The Bank where I worked for a longer than most Bebo kids have been alive.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


There's this woman I work with - actually, with whom I'm job-sharing in my current work assignment - and I'm pretty sure she's got it in for me. I don't know why exactly, though it probably didn't help that I unintentionally stood her up twice (the first time was at our first meeting). Or it might be because I'm so pretty and she's so homely, but I rather think it's the former.

And how do I know? Well, she never smiles at me or says hi to me unless I've said hi to her first. Also, we share a desk and computer, and if she gets to work before I do (which is always), she hogs them both and acts like she is entitled to.

Perhaps I should stand up for myself more, but 1) she's a bit of a star and terribly experienced, whereas I'm a relative greenie who can't always work out how to turn on a mobile phone, and 2) I just want to be liked - it's in my nature and it'd probably take something life-threatening (or reputation-destroying) to get me out of my doormat act.

The boys says I should just laugh every time we cross paths, but I reckon that would just make things much, much worse. Besides, she's bigger than me.

Maybe I should go all Pollyanna on her and bake her some muffins. (Yeah, and put an ecstasy tablet in it).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The more the merrier

For some reason I had this idea that there'd only be about half a dozen kids at TLM's birthday party. But I was totally wrong - there were 13, a baker's dozen. Just as well we were holding the party at TLM's daycare premises, where there was plenty of room, loads of toys and enough outdoor play space to do whatever 1-7 year-olds do when out of sight of their chatting parents.

One of TLM's friends apparently told his mum that his favourite part of the party was playing with TLM and one other girl friend. TLM's favourite part, according to the birthday girl, was when everyone (TLM included) sang Happy Birthday.

The dairy-free, egg-free chocolate cake went down well, although I suspect that was due to the obscenely large dollops of icing that probably contained more calories than the cake itself. Or it might have been the multitude of edible Thomas pictures on top of the icing.

It was a far cry from TLM's second birthday, which was fun but far quieter because we'd followed the parenting mazagines' recommendations to keep the kiddy numbers low. I know next year I'll go for the full-house approach again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oh yeah - the wedding!

Because you, the reader, have suffered through my blog posts about finding an outfit to wear to the wedding, I offer a brief summary of the fabulous event...

That morning, it was pissing down with rain. I was glad that I'd recently bought myself a nice trenchcoat, because otherwise I'd have had to wear the blue oilskin that has accompanied me on every tramping (hiking) trip since I was about 25.

That day, I'd tried desperately to finish handing over my work to the new girl, who I'm sure is extremely competent - but because she is younger, taller and thinner than me, has yet to earn my respect. So when I left work early to get my hair done (by a completely untried hairdresser, because my usual one quit suddenly a week before), I was a little rushed.

My hair turned out surprisingly nicely. It's a shaggy bob sort of thing. I was impressed by how much care Danny boy took over ensuring my hair looked good, so he's a keeper.

By the time I got home, TLM's old nanny (the one before we had before the one who just left, if you follow) had already taken her over to visit some older kids on the other side of town (she had a fab time, apparently). Then the boy arrived. We checked the time. I put on my TradeMe dress, which still fit, along with a black lacy cardigan, black opaque tights and my brand new heels. And my sheepskin coat, because it was still raining but now it was also freezing cold. The boy put on his beautiful silk suit. We left to get the taxi, then he went back into the house and returned wearing a slightly mouldy oilskin over the beautiful silk suit. Oh well.

The wedding was lovely. Despite myself, my eyes started watering as soon as the bride appeared. They even started watering again when, during the signing of the register, Stevie Wonder's Sunshine played in the background. Then the bride and groom marched down the aisle and out of the church, before returning to get their photos taken. Because it was still pissing down and freezing cold outside.

The reception was at a Chinese restaurant, a traditional wedding banquet with whole steamed fishes and exotic-looking fungi. One of our fellow diners in particular, was funny in a Barry Crump sort of way, and after the first few courses (and a few wines) it no longer mattered that the heater was set to 16 degrees and the Chinese instructions could not be fathomed.

Unfortunately, my new shoes were killing my feet - even though I was sitting down. It got so distracting that, by 10.30, the combination of tiredness and sore-footedness drove us to go home before I'd had the chance to catch up with old friends.

So if you're an old friend (or a new-ish one) who was there that night and wondered why I was such a snob, could you please blame those cheap heels I got at the No. 1 Shoe Warehouse?

Monday, August 11, 2008

TLM hits the big Oh-three

Three years ago today, I blogged about how I squeezed The Little Madam out of my loins, in all her gory glory. Today was the day she'd been waiting for since about May, when her cousin had her 4th birthday. Although we aren't holding TLM's party until Saturday, there was plenty of celebration going on today.

First, there were the balloons that we hung up around the living room. Then, there were the presents - a Dora bathtoy, a Thomas train set (including Annie and Clarabel), a Sylvanian family (otters, all) and a Diesal 10 - and that was just from her daddy. Then, there was the excitement of going to creche with her daddy (because I started my new contract today and had to be there at 9am), a fattening, icing-coated chocolate cake for afternoon tea (I never realised that cake icing is just butter that's been lightly flavoured with icing sugar) and a visit from a much-loved prodigal neighbour.

She knows she's 3. The boy warned me early on that, at 3, TLM would be sleeping in a bed and sitting on the toilet (as opposed to sleeping in a cot and sitting on a potty). But I'll just wait and see; there's still a ways to go with her poo-removal training, and she still sleeps right up against her cot dropside. And I don't think TLM is quite ready to stop being the baby.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The second embarrassing thing in two days.

When I say "useless female", of course I dont mean that I think females are useless. What I mean is that there are times when one does something which fits the stereotype. Like not being able to differentiate between car models, or having no sense of direction. Although in these two examples, "useless" is a bit harsh.

I was a "useless female" this afternoon, when TLM and I went to collect our car from the panelbeaters'. I'd hoped like hell that the men who worked on it, would leave the child carseat exactly as they found it. Because I don't know how to properly install the darn thing.

So I was really annoyed to find they'd unfastened TLM's car seat. The guys were apparently very busy - too busy to give us a ride from the bus stop to their workshop - so I called the boy and asked him to finish work early and drive all the way across town to reinstall the car seat for us.

That's what I call useless.
While I waited, I fiddled around with the straps and almost got it right. Then two of the panelbeaters came over, voiced a disclaimer about not having kids and therefore not knowing how to install carseats, and fixed it in about 5 minutes.

So there you go - proof that intelligence exists in many forms.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I was probably a little dehydrated too

You know the one. A woman goes into the Ladies', and when she comes out she's got her skirt tucked into her pantihose. It's not a good look, and these days you just hope the image isn't up on the Internet later that day.

I guess I was just a little too distracted by my two weeks of stress-y busy-ness, to remember to check...check...and double-check, before I left the Ladies' yesterday. I don't think anyone noticed, or if they did they were too polite to take photos.

But whenever I think back on those 5 minutes of exposure, my face just goes all crinkly.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

A brief sociological thought about nightclubbing

We were dancing at Boogie Wonderland last night, my friend who's getting married and her friends, and I had a minor epiphany.

I reckon there are two broad categories of dancers in nightclubs - interactive dancers and trance dancers.

Interactive dancers are the ones who are quite unselfconscious, throw in the kind of flamboyant moves that are fun for everyone else to watch, and actively dance with people. They are the ones who start conga lines or get their friends to take turns moonwalking in the middle of the circle. If you're dancing in a group and the interactive dancer leaves to go to the Ladies', much of the loud, silly fun you're having suddenly evaporates until her return.

Trance dancers are selfconsciousness dancers; they'd prefer to have at least one cocktail down their gullets before stepping out on the dance floor. Once there, they tend to dance as though on their own. This is because they need to zone out a little before they are comfortable with moving to music in public. They are likely to stay on the dance floor until it's time to leave, because it's easier than having breaks and then deciding whether the next song is good enough to dance to.

I bet you can guess which one is me.