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Monthly Archive: July 2004.

    Good Things & Visitors

      Saw Cyndi Lauper perform Time After Time accompanying herself on dulcimer last night on 110%. She sounded (and looked) amazing! Would love to see one of her shows. The weather this morning is sublime – M has been sent for supplies because there is so little left in the cupboard that roast catleg is looking like a viable option. We have M’s great friend PGR and his daughter arriving late this afternoon (I hope it’s late because the house looks like it was recently subject to bombing by enemy forces) – M is so happy he is dancing around and making a million plans on where to drag these poor people. I think he’s in denial that they will only have two nights and one full day here.

      I do endeavour not to be too much of a TV junkie, but Amanda Redman just does it for me. I loved her in At Home With The Braithwaites – and the pilot of New Tricks is screening tomorrow night. I will be a courteous hostly person and tape it. I am now going to do some work whilst simultaneously praying for some suicidal male mudcrabs to jump in the crabpots – purely to impress the guests.

      Slow Learner

        It’s the third time in about a month that I have moved from beer to red wine (and last night, back to beer). Maybe I’m not learning because I’m destroying the specific brain cells that deal with retaining important information? Whatever the case, I lay away last night cursing the full moon, the incessant roosters and the noise of a hovering UFO. Finally could not cope with not knowing whether we were all going to be beamed up at any moment and poked M.
        “Wake up, wake up.”
        “Huh? Wassamattah?”
        “Can you hear the UFO noise?”
        “Huh?What?
        “That low constant humming UFO noise. Can you hear it?”
        M grunts. “It’s the fridge.”
        I protest. “No, no. It’s coming from outside the house. It’s everywhere. It’s All Around Us. Can you hear it?”
        M is beaten. He gets out of bed. He puts on pants (which instantly reminds me that we have house guests and they may be beamed up also – something that their respective wives and mother would have trouble forgiving). I hear him pad out toward the fridge and turn it off at the wall. The UFO noise persists. Now he’s interested. I hear him go out the back door and for a while everything is quiet, apart from the UFO.
        Great. M is going to get anally probed by aliens and they’re going to send back a clone in his place. I hope that it can cook as well as he can. I hear the back door close. M comes back to bed. At least, I think it’s M – he’s colder than when he got up – but that’s to be expected. He’s not tinted green.
        “What happened?” I squeak.
        “I wish you hadn’t told me about it. I couldn’t hear it ’til you told me about it. And now, in the immortal words of Ms. Kylie Minogue, I just can’t get it out of my head.” [OK, so he didn't really make that pop-culture reference - but he did unintentionally say the song title. I have poetic license.]
        I sigh. “Well is there a big fat silver disc hovering over our house, or did you find something else that’s making the noise?”
        M is drowsy. “I don’t think it’s a UFO – I think it’s a trawler or something.”
        A rooster does it’s thing. It’s about 2am. My head hurts.

        Squash It All In

          Our good friends PGR & Al were a welcome addition to our household – but it was for such a Short Time! On the morning after the UFO noise everyone but me headed out (without breakfast) on a fishing expedition, which ended up including a bollocking from the facist at the end of the street, who in turn was bollocked on a royal scale by ShutUpAndStopIt and his mate from next door. Fifteen bream were caught, Al almost got friendly with a shark and filled her gumboots (my gumboots actually) …with water. They all came home beside themselves with excitement, and we had bream cooked over the fire for breakfast – except for Al who is anti-fish – she just likes to catch them.
          We headed out at about noon in a little boat borrowed from M’s brother-in-law. It was all v.exciting – we stopped on an island and I played photographer while everyone went for a swim.

          Please believe me - my thighs are truly not as big as they look here!

          Then we took off again with our little 20hp Chrysler and after cruising around for a while, we dropped anchor and began fishing. It was fish city out there! Al and I caught lots of undersize ones, M did not too badly, but PGR was crowned Fish Man for catching a mofo snapper. We came to the conclusion that we should have taken a ‘What Fish Is That?’ book with us, as we ended up returning a lot to the sea because we didn’t know what the hell they were.

          We hauled the boat out and headed home in time for M and the guests to go and check the crab pots. No joy. But mudcrabs on top of all the fish we had for dinner might have just pushed the excitement level that bit too far. I wrapped up all the fish in foil with garlic, rosemary, butter, onion and lemon and also some potato and sweet potato. We chucked them all on the fire and had a few drinks until deciding they were ready. After dinner (I can’t believe how much we squashed into this day) we decided more wine was in order, and that the absence of any marshmallows could no longer be borne. It was v.luxurious to be driven into town by PGR in the hire car – we haven’t been able to venture out after dark for months, as the van headlights are notoriously unreliable.

          Back around the fire we polished off the marshmallows and the wine; then M and I made the house guests watch the South Park episode we love, ‘Cat Orgy‘ and then forced them to watch our Super 8 film of the great flood of the garden that happened back in February. Then we finally let them go to bed. A grand day out!

          Window Pain

            Sometimes I think I am going to be trapped in Hervey Bay forever. More to the point, I feel like the guy who keeps pushing that stone but never gets to the top of the hill. This house is never going to be ready to sell – even getting it up to scratch to claim the money back that the bank owes us is taking ages. I got up this morning, stout of heart and spritely of step, to see how many windows I could get done i.e. remove the five panes of glass from each window, sand the frame, paint it outside and in, clean the glass of old paint smeared on by former occupants, put glass back in windows with new putty.

            How many did I get done? Not even a pair. Taking the glass out took me so long, that the furthest I got in the whole scheme of things was removing the glass from three separate windows (fifteen panes), sanding two window frames and painting the outsides. *Sigh* It seems never ending. My tail had very little wag left by the end of the day. However tomorrow I will work quicker, now that I’m a bit surer of what I’m doing.

            Death By Spam

              Oh my god. You might (or might not) have noticed that this site ceased to exist for a while today. I had been kicked off my server – as a letter to my very nice hosting people pointed out:
              “…this account cannot stay on the server, so either modify its scripts, or move the account to a different or dedicated server.”
              Apparently some kind of “blog script was executed several hundred times per second, causing the server to appear virtually down”. So when I logged on this morning, I got my host webpage – no miaow to be seen. It’s only now that NiceMartin has resurrected miaow by moving me elsewhere that I’ve finally figured out what happened. I was taken out by comment-spam. Yep. Killed off.

              Over 110 comments in a night – all of the spammy kind. This really sucks – I am going to attempt an upgrade to Movable Type 3 tonight and see if that helps. Kartar’s comment sounded like a good idea. After I finally get through deleting them all, that is. God – this all happens when I’m already feeling all tainted from the discovery that some private company has my DNA. Great.

              The Move

                Well I am going to have to say goodbye to Movable Type and hello to WordPress, my webhosting guy suggested I move to a blog that doesn’t use cgi. I am a bit scared that I am starting at the bottom of a steep php learning curve…but so many people use it. How hard can it be? There are also quite a few good arguments for moving to WordPress – here, here, here and here. So expect some freakish looking stuff instead of the sleek little cat you’re looking at now. You have been warned. Oh – and I just had a minor revelation. I couldn’t figure out why I was getting so much coment-spam – it’s not like I’m a famous blog or anything – and then I realised. I think I have a good googlerank i.e. when you type the word ‘miaow’ into google, I’m the first one that pops up. So maybe that expains it?

                …now if they’d just give me back my ftp access I could get started on my reinvention…

                Without a Clue

                  This is just hideous. I have absolutely minimal inklings as to how WordPress works. I am not really CSS savvy by any stretch of vitamin b complex for dogs
                  the imagination, and as for PHP... it may as well be ancient Egyptian engravings. But anyway, here I am. Not a cat in site/sight (sorry). The whole thing is completely someone elses design and I can't even figure how to tweak it. I want my WinAmp, Word of the Day, my IMood, On This Day and my RSSFeed plugin thingy back!! This is going to be an uphill bloody slog.

                  Bald Bits

                    I have sat up the last three nights tearing my hair out over my page design. One consolation is that the actual mechanics of the thing seem to work, it’s just the layout that I’m grappling with. Thank you bastardly people for telling me to get a move on – your words have been noted, and will be chiselled into your back next time we renew our acquaintance in person ;oP
                    (And anyway Tom – aren’t you supposed to be in Croatia somewhere, buying me duty free gin? There’s no way you should even have time to check my page, let alone attempt any humour about it.)

                    I Was Here First

                      I was planning to moan on about the horrors of sanding and scraping window frames. I was planning on a long descriptive piece about M making us a cooked lunch of pasta with a glass or two of red. However I will abandon these pursuits in the face of necessity. I liked Clive Owen first. Before anyone else. When he played the copper who was losing his sight through a rare eye disease in Second Sight, when he was the suave bloke in Croupier, the singlet-clad lust-bucket in Gosford Park – I have several friends who can prove my longterm lust for Mr Owen, and I am sure they will step forward if requested. If you ask M which film star he is most like he will parrot on command “I am like Clive Owen, I am like Clive Owen.” There. That proves it. Soon I’ll be saying airily, “Oh, Clive? Clive Owen? Oh yes…King Arthur and all that. I like his old stuff…. better than his new stuff.” ;o)

                      Freedom

                        A few days ago we began to let the cats out of their cat home for the first time. They have been in their cathome for a year, and during the past month or two it seems as if they have finally begun to get disenchanted with their incarceration. They applied to Amanda Vanstone for a visa on humanitarian grounds, which, startlingly enough, was immediately denied – so it was up to us. I bought them collars with bells (even though about fifty percent of the birdlife here is cat-size or greater) and, on a day where we were both working outside on the house, we set them free. They both were completely blissful, though they expressed their wonder in different ways. Saf walked with me around the perimeter of the acre, climbed some trees and responded to my instructions (‘Stop – dogs live there’, ‘Stop – stay behind the gate’), whereas Mow (who, it must be admitted, probably has more fur than brain) shot under the house, prowled through some undergrowth and finally found what he was seeking. As he’s only ever lived in the inner city with a courtyard garden, Mow was looking for… CONCRETE! He managed to get on top of the water tank and went into paroxysms of beatification.

                        Saf roams through the trees
                        Mow finds the top of the water tank greatly to his liking

                        Getting There

                          OK – how’s it looking? I cannot spend much more time on this page – it’s killing me. Other parts of my life are getting abandoned. It has taken over the past four nights trying to wheedle my way around CSS – in the end I just gave up and went back to using a combination of CSS and tables – which is why I’m wondering what it looks like in Mozilla and Safari. In Opera, the page looks extremely odd while loading, but then it ends up looking fine. If you can be bothered letting me know, I would be grateful!

                          Today I was M’s ‘bucket bitch’. The title is of my own invention – it applies to anyone who is the person that collects the yabbies and throws them in the bucket while the other person, the ‘pumper’ (…this is sounding more and more pornographic – my apologies, it’s late…) goes wild with the yabby pump. That said, we did swap roles (sorry) and I had my first ever go at yabbying – and this is years after I wrote the words to a song called Yabby Pie! Some of the yabbies got used for bait later in the day, but I let most of them go – chicken guts are better for bait anyway – they’re already dead, which means I don’t have to come over all girly and get M to bait my line.

                          Elevenses

                            Thank god for elevenses – it’s are the only thing that gets me from window to window. Only ten minutes ago I was up a ladder, adorned in headphones, safety glasses and respirator mask – and that’s just my head! Things are hotting up as the house is being inspected by the valuer on Wednesday or Thursday to make sure that it’s up to scratch. If it works out, we get back the money the bank originally witheld – which we will then use for the purpose of tarting up to sell (and knocking some utility bills on the head). So we’ve got a couple of days – and still have ten windows to go. It’s so unfair. The house is Vogue-bloody-Living compared to what it used to be, but the bank is only interested in windows, outside paintwork, reparation of rotten boards and the dilapidated vanity unit in the bathroom – plus a few wiring and plumbing issues. Gah. Back to it.

                            Reading List

                              Apparently I’m supposed to make bold all the books in this list that I’ve read and then add my own three book choices to the bottom. Then you steal it from me and use it on your site. From catsudon. I actually found it kind of interesting to scour the back of my mind for books that I remember reading when I was younger.

                              Feet

                                M is in denial about the size of his feet. Always has been as far as I’ve known him, but yesterday it reached greater proportions ;o) We went on one of our jaunts into town, having run out of sandpaper and realised, belatedly, that there must be better implements than a scourer to remove old paint from window glass. So we hit Bunnings ugh and got all that, and then headed to the supermarket. It wasn’t the one we usually go to – and I had quite a religious experience (for someone who wasn’t baptised and speaks in tongues after too much gin).

                                Everything I mentioned that we needed to buy miraculously turned up in the next aisle that we entered. Again and again. This was a wonderful thing, because the last few times I’ve been shopping (M has wisely stayed in the car) it has taken me 15 minutes to find the rice, and ten solid minutes to locate the tinfoil (with the intent of baking all the fish I haven’t been catching). So this beam of supermarket luck made M and I quite perky – we looked at towels, sheets, bathmats, and finally… thongs. M has had a pair of sandals that he has worn every day since February and about three weeks ago, they began to disintegrate around him. I spotted these thongs for $1.50 and suggested that we get him a pair. M looked undecided. I pulled out a pair of size 12-13′s. He looked horrified.
                                “I can’t wear them! No one wears thongs that big! They just look stupid.”
                                I sighed. “But you’ve got size 12 feet. These are your size.”
                                He shook his head mutely.
                                I tried again. “M, you are six foot two – the size of your feet is appropriate for your height. You would look ridiculous with tiny ballet feet. Hello? [waving the thongs frantically as the aisle clears around us] M? You need to face the reality of your shoe size? Hello? What about these ones? See? They’re blue.”
                                M looks stubborn. Reaches for a pair of green 10-11′s.
                                “I’ll get these ones.”
                                “They won’t fit you.”
                                “I’m not wearing those other ones. They’re just stupidly big. I don’t want to flap around in stupidly big thongs.”
                                “They won’t fit you.”
                                I mentally tap my foot. M puts the green thongs into the basket. I shake my head.
                                We get home, feed the cats, put the shopping away, do a bit more work on the windows, get bitten by swarms of mosquitos and call it a day.
                                I place the green thongs on the floor. A symbol of the hopefulness of Generation X (M makes it into Generation X by one year.)
                                “OK. Try them on.” I wait.
                                M rips off their plastic tie and wiggles his toes into the left one. It’s immediately clear that it is not going to just slip on. He wiggles his toes harder. I bite my tongue. He grabs the thong and wedges his foot between the two bits of rubber. His foot looks anguished. His heel is over the back of the thong and on the floor. I shake my head. M looks crestfallen. I take my moment (as it has, after all, been handed to me on a platter). I speak slowly and clearly.
                                “M. You. Have. Big. Feet. Big Feet Are Good. You must stop denying your foot size. We are going to go back to the supermarket another day and get you thongs that will actually fit you. Big Feet are Good. They are in proportion to the rest of you.”
                                M looks humbled. Then I can see a thought flitting across his face. I already know what it’s going to be.
                                “It must be because I have an unfeasibly large – ”
                                “Shut up.”

                                The Valuation

                                  Midnight last night found M outside up a ladder puttying windows by the beam of a floodlight, and me inside, right arm fused to the vacumn cleaner as it sucked down every little bug from the ceiling of nine rooms. Nine rooms. Then I had to do the floor and paint all the bits that needed it – which I had never noticed until I began looking at the house in the way I thought a valuer might look. Closely. At 1am I moved on to cleaning the bathroom and M came inside. By 1.30am we both admitted that we could no longer continue and carked it, in our unusually clean bedroom. Five hours later we were up and at it again. I painted five window frames, carefully avoiding the glass (some of them don’t have have glass, which made it easier). M tidied up all the crud outside the house, by pushing it all underneath the house and then fixed bits and pieces, whippersnipped and generally was a cleaning demon. Meanwhile my right arm became fused to the mop for two hours. Finally, after we had scrambled into some clothes that didn’t scream “Everything about this house is totally DIY”, the valuers turned up.

                                  M kept a fairly low profile, and I didn’t introduce him as then I would have had to say his name – which they then might have twigged as being the same name that was on the invoice that I’d faxed them – as the contractor who had done all the work. The valuers were an extremely nice couple – who had saved my arse a year ago when the bank threatened to kill the house deal over the small matter of my intent to pull down the carport. They wandered around the house. The woman said “I smell paint.” I shrugged bashfully, and explained that once I knew they were coming I’d run around an made some small repairs. I did not add that we’d actually been running around for twelve months. After peering at everything and discussing with me that they would have actually bought this house because it had so much potential – we walked them to the gate. They were happy. It was all fine. And if this doesn’t happen again for as long as I live, I will be happy too. I have had two cups of coffee this year – one today and one yesterday, and have become a strange mixture of flop and bursts of un-focused energy. Time for a nice lie down.

                                  Thank god they never asked if the cooktop actually does anything other than look good – we’re still using our camp stove, but we hid it.

                                  Tentative Triumph

                                    OK – so I may have been pigeon-holing the faceless man I faxed my receipts to (for the work on the house). I imagined him as a desk-bound, power broking despot with the power to make my life hell if he felt like it. I was wrong. He called me up today, and I actually began to wonder if I’d met him before; he was someone with a quirky sense of humour and a sympathy for my time in house-buying hell. He told me that by reading between the lines of my fax he felt that he could safely assume he was correct in thinking that I would like the money put straight into my bank account. I told him he had interpreted my thoughts exactly. He said the money should be in my account by Saturday, or Monday at the latest. I didn’t say anything, because it’s hard to speak when you’re gaping. He asked if that was OK with me. I almost burst his eardrums with my assurances. Unbelievable. I have nothing bad to say about this company. In fact, I will refer to them by name and say that everyone I have dealt with at Resi has been kickass. It’s their credit provider/lender Perpetual Trustees Victoria who tempt me toward homicide.

                                    M and I are separate puddles of intense relief. There is nothing hanging over us now. We have the money that we’ll need to tart up the garden, make the sunshades for the windows…etc etc. Not to mention a celebratory dinner on Fraser Island and some new shoes for M. Wah HOO! And it’s just about to rain for the first time in about a month. It’s all good ;-)

                                    Funds Deliver Relief

                                      I spent a small chunk of today gazing at my account balance online. I looked like Cartman, when he is especially joyful. The bank delivered! Huzzah! Thus M and I (with stern reminders to each other that the money must be spent on the house and some of it saved for moving south) drove into town and bought a slab (sorry…a carton in Queenslandese) of Coopers Sparkling Ale, a bottle of Jamiesons Run Chardonnay, a chocolate eclair and went on a big stonking $100 supermarket blitz. All very affirming for me – Taureans take great comfort in material objects, particularly if they can eat them too.

                                      Then we hit the op-shop, and as well as a shirt and a jumper, found a totally cool set of six matching chairs and a table – 1950′s laminex style. The kind that people flog off as ‘retro cool’ at Camberwell Market for $200 or so. Up here in Hervey Bay there is little call for ‘retro cool’, and we snapped it up for $80. M is now out the back tending the fire, and I have wrapped up the four fish he caught this morning (he was in a solitary, masculine, where-are-my-friends-with-penises-you-don’t-understand-me kind of mood) in foil with lemon, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil. Plus some potatos and corn. I allowed him ;-) free rein at the video shop and thus we’re going to take in a bit of Russell doing his swashbuckling thing tonight. I chose Monsoon Wedding, which I’ve been meaning to see for just about ever.

                                      Muu Muu Shoes

                                        Back on the subject of M’s feet – the dilapidated sandals were so past it that he had to cut off all the straps except the main ones that go from one side of the foot to the other, just below the toes. I’m not sure why – because I’ve googled it and I’m wrong – but they immediately made me think of what Homer would wear to match his mu-mu. And thus they have become mu-mu shoes. It only took two days of me calling them mu-mu shoes for M to develop a complex that was larger than the one about his feet and go out and buy some thongs. Ones that actually fit. Thank you Homer.

                                        Stress, Cats and Travel

                                          The thought of travelling down to Melbourne with M has been at the forefront of my brain since the whole valuation drama finished. However, as keen as M is to go to Dr Grass’s Phd Party, he’s not so keen on wandering the streets of Melbourne while I’m at work everyday – so I’ve been trying to keep a lid on myself. For my part, having to think about someone elses likes and dislikes, worry about who is going to feed the cats, be the one that has to plan the travel/accommodation and a certain other thing I can’t mention for fear of jinxing – I am close to going out of my head. On top of this my new favourite email program, Thunderbird, has carked it and is refusing to get my mail, so I have had to trudge my way through converting all my saved email into this format and that format until I settled on using Eudora (of course I could just used Outlook Express, but that would be too easy).

                                          M doesn’t want me to plan his life while we’re in Melbourne, so I am trying to keep everything open ended. Usually I am the queen of ‘going to dinner’ for the majority of nights – when you’re working every day, it seems like the best way to catch up with people. Anyway – with all of this stewing in my brain I have not been sleeping very well – however this has been exacerbated by M developing an intense morning hatred of Saffron the Orange Cat (StOC) . I must digress and say that I’m glad my brother is somewhere in Croatia, because he would give M 110% support in this matter.

                                          Unfortunately we built the cathome at the side of the house quite near our bedroom window. Some mornings – not every morning – StOC sits as near as he can get to our bedroom window and miaows loudly. He sounds like a pigeon in pain. He’s started to do it more and more, and whether it’s due to our recent spate of celebration or the coldness of the mornings, I have been roused about four days of the last five with M shrieking “FuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuCK! I HATE YOUR CAT” (he becomes my cat whenever he’s bad) and then running into the bathroom and flinging glasses of water at Saff through the window. The final straw was yesterday morning when M tore himself out of bed for the third time, spent some time at the sink and then I heard pounding feet running out the back door. I sneaked out of bed and peeked through the window. M, naked from the waist down, was standing at the cage throwing water in StOC‘s direction and making hissing noises. I snuck back to bed. M came back, breathing in a slightly psychopathic manner. I said nothing. For a few minutes there was silence, until StOC – damp, but unbowed – let a few more pigeon noises loose.

                                          M’s whole body went into spasm as he made (what I assume he thinks are) cat repelling hissing noises. I couldn’t take much more.
                                          “You know that if you’d just fed the cats a bit of dry food when you went out there they would be quiet by now?”
                                          The logic seemed to act on M like his hissing noises acted on StOC, i.e. they didn’t.
                                          “Shut up.”
                                          “Buy some earplugs.”
                                          M huffed his head under the pillow and I ruminated at the ceiling, again cursing my brother for pinching my sleeping pills.

                                          Private Investigator

                                            We left at about 6am on Wednesday, having decided (a long and drawn out process of diplomacy and counter-psychology) to drive the van to Brisbane and leave it in the capacious backyard of M’s niece. We were unsure how long it would take to get to the capital of Queensland, because we have driven there only twice before – once we took a Calais with cruise control, and the other time we took the Humber and had a 25km detour crawling at about 11kmph because of a bushfire. Our van sits on 90kmph – so we were a little edgy about the timeframe as I had to catch a plane at 10.45am. So M (who had not begun packing or finished burglar proofing until after midnight) needed a coffee just after we cleared the wondrous town that is Gympie. We stopped at an unusually cool cafe and the woman who was serving reassured us that we would make it in time – particularly as we wouldn’t have to go through the city to get to the airport. So, clutching our takeaway coffee (M) and tea (me) we jumped back in the van – it was my turn to drive, because M, for obvious reasons, was now sleepy.

                                            I drove and drove. It was a beautiful sunlit morning which got colder and colder as we drove further away from the coast. After another hour it seemed like we were making good time. This was when M decided that he really needed to wee. Of course we were on a particular stretch of the highway where there were no rest stops, or even places to pull over. Being male, M was unable to hold on very long and was becoming agitated. (My theory on men having no full bladder stamina hinges on the fact that they can usually whip it out and empty themselves without most people being the wiser. Vast amounts of people probably think that men just like standing near trees while looking meditative, but I digress.) Finally my time for revenge was nigh.

                                            Many, many, many…oh, I will just distill it and say COUNTLESS times when I have been rather desperate for the loo, M has tortured me; waxing lyrical about the sound of rain on a tin roof, mountain streams, leaky taps, and pretty much anything else that may, in some manner, bring the sound of running water to my already tortured mind. Now it was my turn – the difference was, I began with subtlety.
                                            “M, can you pass me the water bottle?”
                                            My eyes were on the road, both hands on the wheel. M, suspecting nothing, handed me the bottle of water.
                                            “Hmm,” I mused, checking that the top was on tightly. “Listen to this.” I shook it, and the contents slushed around delightfully.
                                            M looked extremely pained. “Stop it, stop it. I really Need to Wee.”
                                            I laughed evilly, while still looking at the road.
                                            “No, I think you should really listen to this. The sound of All That Liquid. I suppose if you think about it, this bottle is really like a bladder, isn’t it? Fully of sloshy water….”
                                            I shook it again. M moaned softly.
                                            “Don’t, don’t. I really have to go.”
                                            I was unsympathetic. “Do it out the window.”
                                            “Noooo. It might splash back on me.”
                                            “Yes, and you might get arrested for exposing yourself. Oooh! Look over there – isn’t that a beautiful lake!”
                                            His eyes began to cross.
                                            I continued. “I’ve been thinking about the plumbing at home. You know how our cistern keeps filling up to much and all that water is wasted as it drips through the overflow pipe…drip drip drip… We should really have a look at that when we get back. Turning the water off at the tap is just a pain.”
                                            M’s jaw was clenched.
                                            I kept pushing. “It was lovely walking on the beach yesterday. The waves, splashing down on to the shore – it was such a nice time. And that big boat we went and checked out – that was great!”
                                            M began to giggle, and flinched. “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me. I was feeling very bad about all those times I’ve done it to you, but I thought that you would be above this kind of behaviour.”
                                            I smirked. Shook the bottle.
                                            “OK,” said M undoing his seatbelt, “I. Have. To. Wee.”
                                            I shook my head. “We’re not stopping unless we see a rest stop. I’ll miss the plane!”
                                            M looked at the bottle. I looked at M.
                                            “You could wee in the bottle you know. That’s what private investigators have to do when they’re on surveillance.”
                                            M brightened. “Really?”
                                            I nodded.
                                            He wound down his window, and I got to watch him try not to listen to the water as he shook it out of the bottle on to the road. Then he and the bottle disappeared over the seat into the back of the van. I got the giggles. There was the brief noise of a zipper, and I risked a quick glance behind me. Unfortunately, all I could see was the bottle slowly filling and M’s shoulders shaking with mirth as he tried to aim straight.
                                            “Look at the road, eyes on the road!” he shrieked, as the van veered to the left.
                                            I drove on. A very relieved M clambered over into the front seat a few minutes later, leaving a tightly stoppered bottle to slosh around in the back.
                                            I made the plane on time.

                                            Login? A choice.

                                              I thought it was pretty weird when The Age started making me login to read the news that I’d been reading for the past five years without logging in. And I alwasy find it incredibly irritating when someone links to something interesting on the NYTimes site, and I can’t read it without becoming a (free – but so what?) member. So I found this interesting;

                                              Wired News: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Login
                                              “BugMeNot.com is a site that generates login names and passwords for registration sites. The site is a boon to those who want to keep online anonymity or stamp out spam. According to the site’s homepage, 14,000 websites have been “liberated” from registration bondage, and it’s clear many people are doing whatever they can to avoid really logging in.

                                              According to the site’s creator, an Australian who wants to remain anonymous for fear of lawsuits, the site is getting about 10,000 hits each day. In an e-mail interview, BugMeNot’s creator said he started the site in November 2003 after being annoyed for some time with forced registration on some sites.”

                                              The Lost Weekend

                                                Friday night: I was very disappointed not to make it to Anthony’s shin-dig with Deb Conway in his (and Raes!) loungeroom. It was J’s last day at work and everybody had to go for dinner – for some weird reason, everybody went along – no one had any other committments, and I felt too bad to leave after an hour. Bugger. Bugger. Saturday found M and I prancing down Brunswick Street. It’s very nice to have him along with me – h’e much less intimidated by fancy clothes shops than I am, so we swanned in and out of many! I hit Kleins Perfumery [swoon] and we had a glass of red each and pesto bread at The Fitz.

                                                That night was the party held in honor of the Doctor Of Grass’s Phd. The bits of it I can remember were fun :( and I have lots of photos that I took throughout the night of people dancing in the kitchen and eating the sublime fingerfood. Spent Sunday feeling extremely poorly – I returned to the house of Doctor Grass and was fed hot water, panadols, soda water and fizzy ginger drinks – to the point that by about 5pm I felt not too bad at all. But then we got the taxi from hell. I think by the time we got to Collingwood I was closer to a technicolour yawn than I’ve been for quite sometime. The taxi driver was a maniac, cut kerbs, took speedbumps like they weren’t there and the worst bit? The taxi reeked of a combination of sweat, cigarettes and body odour. M also felt very queasoid. I had to pass out again for two hours to recover, and nibbled at the best dinner I’ve had here so far – take away indian, plus Mungs marvellous banana/coconut salad and another salad of tomato and italian parsley. Now I’m almost back to feeling human – if you can disregard the coldsore that is threatening to take out my whole face.

                                                Max Brenner. I’m Waiting?

                                                  OK, so I’m a sucker for the new QVB Building. I think it’s sexy. Today I hooked up with M for lunch (a big novelty for me!) and we hit the sushi bar in the food court. Wandered the shops. Bought some presents for people. And then decided to top off the hour with a hot chocolate from Max Brenner – there are some photos of it here, if you can be bothered. I have been there once before – the hot chocolate was OK, but it didn’t blow my brain like the one I had in Spain did. So M ordered his special hot chocolate in his ‘hug mug’ and I went for the strawberry fondue (there was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity). So M got his hot chocolate, drank it, liked it, and we waited. Where was my fondue? The fondue that was going to make of break my day? The strawberrry of chocolate goodness? It was bloody nowhere. We never got it. And by then my lunch break was over, so I got my money back and slumped my way out of Max Bloody Brenner. Fondue-less. Gah. Teach your children – don’t take chocolate from a bald man.

                                                  BeNumbed

                                                    OK – I don’t think it’s weird to get numb needles to have my teeth cleaned. If I didn’t, the whole country would shut down as my screams rent the air asunder. But back at my mind-bogglingly exciting place of work, everyone thinks I am a freakazoid. I had eight needles – I needed them, because she still had to stop every now and then to check that I was still alive and hadn’t astral travelled on a one way excursion to a better place. Personally I think I am sensible. Needles don’t freak me out nearly as much as the possibility of feeling someone poke a long pointy bit of metal on to what may very well be my raw toothsome nerve ending. So there. I feel like I have a mouth that looks like Homer.
                                                    Now I’m just trying to think of how many points to demerit M for going into the dentist before me and then heading off to see a movie as I was lead to the Chair. He knows I am a dentaphobe, and yet he cares not. Actually – I’ve been getting so stressed out about fitting people into our visit (namely, my parents – if only they hadn’t divorced, it would have been just one easy visit – gah) that I don’t think I’ve been the best or funnest partner in crime. I say – minus 17 points. That will do nicely.

                                                    Flowers in the Winter

                                                      So I found The Tulips album in my favourite record shop – Second Spin in Balaclava – the shop that I can’t leave without spending chunks of money that would otherwise be spent on things like lunch, train fares and taxis. I had actually been looking for the release they put out themselves with the screen printed cover – but am happy to have found In The Honeycone just the same. My visit to Melbourne has been rather fraught, but is improving slowly. Have now officially caught up with both parents, my sister got ‘Player of the Match’ last night in netball and my brother…well he is in London, though for how much longer I’m not sure. His sad little text messages to me indicate that his time there might be almost up. Today I have my first free lunchtime with no committments and am trying to decide between Victoria Markets or heading to the mall and dousing myself with my latest favourite perfume that I can’t justify the purchase of. Thank god for tester bottles. Work is very full on – I am working now. Right now. Pretend this never happened.

                                                      Stealing Samosas

                                                        Last night we went out to Aussie Indian Trendy Cuisine. With a name like that, the night couldn’t fail. After an afternoon at work that threatened my sanity, leaving my camera and various necessities in the office when I left and then having my phone run out of juice, I was ready to kick in the head of anything that got between me and my dinner. We all ordered an entree and a main. The entrees came out fairly quickly and everyone seemed to tuck in, chatting about the day and asking Mung about his last two days at Baby Sleep School (it’s true!). In the pause between courses, Mung and Ellise seemed to be looking for something. I realised that neither of them had got their entree.
                                                        I looked at Mung. “Did you get your entree?”
                                                        Mung looked resignedly to the person on his right. “I think M ate it.”
                                                        What? What did you order?”
                                                        “A samosa.”
                                                        I turned to Ellise. “What did you order?”
                                                        “A samosa.”
                                                        Finally I fastened my gaze on M. Evil M. Can’t-take-anywhere M. “What did you order?”
                                                        M had the gall to not even blink. “Samosas.”
                                                        M’s faux pas began to dawn on us all. “How many?”
                                                        M burped fatly. “Three.”
                                                        There was a chorus of disapproval. Mung was still resigned, but Ellise wanted blood – and her samosa.
                                                        “You ate THREE? You ate Mungs, and Ellises – you had a bit of mine as well, and some of Daves!”
                                                        M had the grace to try to look humble while Ellise hunted for the waiter, who looked at M with a mixture of admiration and disgust.
                                                        “I began to feel a bit full by the time I got to the third one,” explained M, “but they were so nice. I thought they were All For Me.”
                                                        Dave looked at M and shook his head. “Are you embarrassed to be out with him?” he asked me.
                                                        I eyerolled. “I can’t even begin to tell you. You haven’t even heard about the wee in the bottle story or the mu-mu shoes.”



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