Friday, February 27, 2009

Trust me on the Sunscreen

So yes, i have been quite the past week but you'll just have to forgive me because i have been away on a little holiday. To the coast. With beaches and stuff. Jealous much ?

Ok, dont all hate on me at once. In truth it was just a very simple getaway for a few days. My uncle was getting married ( for the THIRD time... ) on a Sunday, and seeing as how i would have had to have taken the Monday off work i decided to take a whole week off. It's the first full weeks holiday i have had in over a year, so i figure i deserve it - even if two of the days would be taken up with driving to my destination. Yes, we drive places around here -thats one thing i never could get over when i lived in the US. People never to seem to drive far there ( like we went for a weekend away, to a place only an hour and halfs drive, and the boys needed a a DVD player in the back ).

But i digress. So my convoy and I ( that would be my parents in car#1, my sister and I in car#2 and my brother and his family in car#3 ) got up at 5am to be ready to leave for Wollongong at 6am. That sounds kind of early but when you have a 7hr trip in front of you, you might wanna leave a little early. We had to stop a few more times than would be usual because we had a 3 yr old and a 7 week old with us, but overall the drive down wasnt too bad. The wedding on Sunday afternoon was quite nice too but my apologies - i forgot to take my camera so until my rello's come through with some photos, i have no pics of me in my dress, my cute flowergirl neice or the idyllic beach location.

Monday we hit up the waterpark i mentioned in my previous post. I hadnt been to theme park or waterpark for a few years, so i have to admit i was kind of excited. It turned out to be good fun - except the sunburn part. Let me just explain something to you - apparently teh sun also hits the lower half of your body so you should probably apply sunscreen to your legs aswell. I was so diligent with my shoulders, back and arms - the places i usually cop the dreaded red burn - but i completely ignored my legs and feet, which resulted in a lobster red calves and feet that looked like they had been painted up some kind of chilli bbq sauce. I'm one of these girls who wear long, surfing style board shorts ( especially when their is the chance of getting a huge wedgy down a speed slide ), so i know have a distinct difference in colour between the top and bottom halves of my legs. ( Again, my apologies, no pictures for your amusement ). Oh well, live and learn i guess.

Aside from general exploring of the area, the only other activity we got up to was shopping and snoozing, two of my favourite things to do. Its nice to go hit the shops when you come from a smaller town - the bigger places have outlets that we dont and besides, i could shop anywhere, anytime if given the chance. Same applies to the napping really.

And thats about it. I suppose in a future post i could do a rundown of the great stuff i bought ( two pairs of shoes, silver and garnet ring to add to my collection, cute new handbag, a few long 'grandpa' cardigans for winter.... ) but without pictures, who would care ? Til then though, i have two more days off before i'm back to work. Poo to that.

P.S For those of you who find the title of this post familiar, click here. Or here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Shiny, Happy People...

Uh...person. Meaning me. Yes, this is a feel-good, everything-is-going-great, you-cant-get-the-smile-off-my-face kind of post. I have just had a really good day, and again i'm not exactly sure why. Just lately, say in the last 6 or 7 weeks or so, I have found myself smiling, whistling, humming all the time and i have really been enjoying my job. I've come to realise that i love talking to people and i especially love advising people on the fashion aspects of getting glasses. Sure, Yogi and The Bell still get to me, but not to the point where i want throw the towel in anymore. Its a relatively new feeling - this shiny happiness. I like it!

I'm starting to become one of those incredibly chirpy people that i used to loathe. Is this a good or a bad thing ? Is it good that I'm consistently happy, and enjoying the conisistent happiness? Is it a bad thing that i used to really dislike people like that ? Either way, it doesnt matter - what matters is things are on the up and up.

Lets see: I've bought property and have a million and one ideas buzzing through my brain about how to decorate it; I'm loving my job at the moment and, i think consequently, have really brought my store up in the business side of things; I have the next week off work, during which time i will be attending a wedding, going shopping and spending a day at a water park; and i have a casual lunch date next Saturday.

Seriously, i know this post is sickly sweet and your all sitting back going " Oh God, what is she so happy about ? Seriously, all this sap makes me want to throw up ! " - but smile people, and embrace the happy....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Missing You: Teenage Me Edition

So - my sister and i were chatting the other day and she started talking about stuff she missed about " being a teenager ". Ahem - what ? My sister is only 18 years old! Yes, she works almost full time and she has a car loan to pay off and is all done with school, but i had to gently remind her that at 18 years of age, she is still technically a teenager. But it got me to thinking - as depressing as most of my time as a teenager was, what do i miss about the teenage me ? You know, things i had, or did, that i DONT have, or do now......

1. " Rollingstone " magazine - I used to buy " Rollingstone " magazine every month and read it cover to cover. I devoured all the articles, reviews, critiques, everything i could and i discovered some great albums and artists because of what i read in " Rollingstone " - stuff like Nikka Costa, Pete Yorn and Rilo Kiley. I'm not exactly sure why i stopped buying it. I think i can blame America. When i moved to the US i didnt have the money to buy all mny regular magazines, and unfortunately " Rollingstone " was the one that fell by the wayside.
2. Lunch breaks during the last year of high school - ah, lunch breaks, my favourite part of the school day. They were even better than normal during my final year of high school because for a while we " seniors " had what was known as the Year 12 Rec Room - we had a fold out sofa that we could sit/lie on, a stereo, a microwave, kettle and sandwich toaster at our disposal. It kind of rocked not having to share all our stuff with the junior grades - we were big fish in our little ocean! Rock on man! Even when our school had to up and move sites and we'd lost our Rec Room we started bringing picnic blankets and had our own little Year 12 territory on the grassed area of the playground. We'd lost the sofa and the appliances, but we still had a stereo, so each lunch break was like a mini music-fest with your friends. I miss that feel good vibe...
3. Posters on my bedroom wall - i loooooooooooved having posters on my bedroom wall, from the time i was old enough to ask mum to buy me magazines. I used to get a music/film magazine called " Smash Hits " ( which, as you may have guessed, was eventually replaced by " Rollingstone " ) and tear out the posters of my favourite stars, and plaster them to my walls and cupboards. I'd change them monthly - coincidetally, when the new issue came out - but i still had my favourites. Early on, i believe i had a picture of Dean Cain in his " Lois and Clark " days that was kept up for quite a while - but then, thankfully my tastes matured. There was a particular poster of Gavin Rossdale from Bush ( or now better known as Mr Gwen Stefani ) that i had posted on the side of my wardrobe, closest to my head, so it was the first thing i saw when i woke up and the last before i fell asleep. Gavin Rossdale was ( IS ) totally hot!
4. Bonfire parties in winter - pool parties seem to be all the rage here in Australia during summer, but what did we teenage type party people do in winter ? Bundle ourselves up and still have our parties outdoors, with everyone sitting around a huge old oil drum that had been set up as bonfire. The highschool parties i went to didnt really match the parties we saw on tv - it was more set up the bonfire, set up some old logs and stuff as seats and get your drink on. Which would lead to much talking, shouting and occasional making out. Oh, and also random groups of people yelling out " Hey, lets go for a walk " and then you end up losing yourself down some dirt road with only the glow of your mobile phone to guide you back.... yep, that was me.
5. School holidays - or the Americans amongst you would call " summer vacation ". We dont get a whole season off - down here the school year is broken up into four terms/semesters and you have a two week break between three of them and five or six weeks between the end of the school year at Christmas time and when school goes back in January. Its not so much what i got up to during school holidays ( going away with my family, bike tag, three day sleep overs at friends houses ) that i miss - rather its all that free time off! As a working adult it would be som awesome if i could have a five week period off, with pay. Seriously. Awesome.

Friday, February 13, 2009

More Cosmic Weirdness

Oh Universe - what in the boojesus kind of game are you playing ?

Today is Friday the 13th of February ( ooh, Friday the 13th...spooky ), the day before Valentines Day, and i had a single red rose delivered to me at work. Guess who it was from ? Average Joe. What ?!? I went one one date with him, 3 months ago, and he send me a rose for Valentines Day. I also had an email from him earlier in the week, saying he would love nothing more than to take me out again. 3 months after our first date.
And did i mention he sent me a rose ?

Don't get me wrong - i thought it was sweet, and very flattering, and i sent him a message telling me so. But what am i supposed to do now ? I'm 90% sure i still dont want to go on a second date with him, but now that he's forked out for a rose, on the most expensive flower-sending day of the year, i feel kind of obliged to see him again. But so much has time has passed, and various unanswered emails have been exchanged between both of us ( meaning i have sent a few he didnt answer aswell ).... a date now would be majorly weird, wouldnt it ? There'd be crazy awkward pauses in conversation, and eventually he'd want an expanded explanation of what i really thought of our first date. I dont want to put myself through that do I ? But then again, the poor guy was apparently kind-of, sort-of crushing on me big-time. Maybe i owe him another chance ? Maybe he's seeing something i just cant.

But here is the second part of my dilemma: i have recently started communicating with another guy, still kind of tentatively, but he seems really sweet. Should i now put off meeting up with this guy for a casual coffee or something, just so i can give Average Joe a second chance ? And why is it this all becoming weirdly complicated on the eve of Valentines Day, when i was perfecly resigned to staying in by myself and watching a Clive Owen film ( mmm...Clive Owen... )?

So i guess it all comes down to a handful of questions :
1. What is the Universe playing at ?
2. What should i do about Average Joe ?
3. Is Average Joe a stalker ?

Help me people, this is so not within the realm of my experience!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In The Valley of the Shadow of Death

And now, if you're the praying kind, i want you to pray. If you aren't, i want you to send all the best energy, love and good thoughts you can muster to the people of south-eastern Victoria, here in Australia. For those of you in foreign countries who arent receiving the news, this past weekend has seen the worst natural disaster in Australian history. A wave of bushfires - a firestorm as they are calling it - hit an area in the state of Victoria. There are, so far, 173 people confirmed dead and that number is expected to rise to over 300. Over 5000 people have lost their homes and are now living in makeshift refugee camps. Not only have individual houses been lost, but there are whole townships and communities that have been razed to the ground - these towns no longer exist. Over 300,000 hectares of land have been burned through. The smoke from the fires is starting to drift into the town where i live - 659 kilometres, or just over 400 miles, away.

In the past two days, generous Australians ( including myself and my family ) have donated in excess of $20 million to bushfire appeals and, instead of waiting until i moved house, I'm now going to go through my wardrobe tonight and will donate all of my older clothes to a local charity who will be sending a truck down later this week.

The photo in the middle is the reaction of man who has just been told his mother is dead; the fourth a four car collision, people trying frantically to escape the fire zone ( all the people in those cars perished ); the fifth, a bulletin board at one of the camps, filled with messages from people desperately trying to find their loved ones ( much as they did after 9/11 ). I'm not delieberately trying to depress you, but it just seems to me, having lived in the Northern Hemisphere, that the worlds media is focused on the US and Europe, and the residents of countries up there dont necessarily know what is going on in the rest of the world.

I wanted someone to know. I also want you to care, even if you cant help from where you are. Thoughts and prayers and hopes and wishes - those will be appreciated too.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Great Cosmic Joke

Oh life - you never fail to amuse me.

You'll excuse my lack of posting, but its just been one of those weeks. Sure, its been kind of crazy-hectic at work, but its been good mostly - even kind of great. Wednesday in particular was a really good day. Nothing spectacularly exciting happened, it was just one of those days where for some seemingly inexplicable reason you just feel satsified and contented with whats happening in your life. I had to work on my own in the dispensary because J was sick, but i really enjoyed my day alone and felt like I got a lot done; all the customers i dealt with were really nice and one of them even told me i gave her the best customer service she'd had in a long time; I went to the gym and put in a good half hour of cardio on my quest to lose the inches; and i finished " Perfume: The Story of a Murderer ", and it was good. ( I may even hire the movie version, just to compare ). To be quite honest, i nestled down into my pillows at the end of Wednesday night with a smile on my face ( until i realised it was too and sticky to actually to get to sleep anytime soon).

And then Thursday ..... Thursday morning was a pile of crud. Seriously. Thursday morning was like the polar opposite of Wednesday - i had a guy come in for an ( admittedly ) difficult repair and i ended up wrecking more of his frame than what he needed repaired in the first place; I took a phone call from a really annoying customer, the kind who wants to complain about everything, because she felt she was owed a refund; and i kept making stupid little mistakes with my paperwork. Argh! It got to the point where i kind of lost it. I squatted down to pick up some loose paper of the floor to throw in the garbage and i all of a sudden just burst into laughter. You know that scene in the movies where the maniac is all done up in the straight jacket, bolted into their cell in the mental institution and they just start laughing ? That crazy, weird, maniacal laughter ? Oh yea - that was me. J looked at me like i'd finally cracked and all i could do is look at her, tears streaming down my face and say " Oh J.... this whole morning has been one big turd! ". Which only made her roar with laughter too.

And why was i laughing ? Because life is just so weird, so random. Its like the Universe had to even me out - if i'd had one really good day, i had to have something crappy the next day so i could stay on an even keel. Like the Universe was playing some odd kind of joke. And that amuses me. What else amused me was that after having this huge, crazy belly laugh - which, by the end, was the kind where you have tear stained cheeks and are kind of out of breath - i felt good again.

It was kind of one of those situations where you have to laugh to save from crying, you know ?