Category Archives: shopping

Fresh

DSC_2002This is my life right now.

I used to hate going grocery shopping, and to be fair, I still do. But the Adelaide Markets have made this less of a chore and far more of a pleasure.

I’m the first to admit that I get a little anxious in crowds. I don’t care for it really. I’d rather not have to be in places where there are a lot of people. I’m impatient and I always have a plan. I go out with a purpose and when you go to the supermarket, you are always held up by people with their trolleys who don’t seem to understand that some of us have better things to do with our time, than wait while they spend an hour choosing which toilet paper they like best. For your information, I already know which toilet paper I like best, and I get very cranky if people come home with the wrong kind (it never happens anymore).

But the markets here are just such a pleasure. There’s so much to see and do, and try. I’ve eaten so many strange things here that are probably very commonplace for most people, but which were virtually impossible to get in Christchurch – especially after the quakes.

I decided last week, that I wouldn’t make a list of what I want to get, and that I’d just go and get whatever was on special. I came home with a giant bright yellow melon (of which I’d never seen before), rock melon, avocados, red peppers, pineapples, onions, kale (my new found favourite green vegetable), pumpkin, potatoes and mushrooms. I’m just making up a lot of things as I go. We’ve been eating a lot of soups which I’ve been madly creating buy just throwing things into the pressure cooker and hoping for the best.

I think my favourite so far has been curried pumpkin and potato with coconut cream. I’m making it again tonight with red peppers thrown in too.

I know. It’s all very exciting! Aside from food shopping and dance, there’s not a lot else going on in my life!

Except writing. Oooh ooh oooooh! I’m so excited about my writing!

 

I have become a shoe fetishist.

I’m not entirely sure when this started, a couple of years ago, when I found this amazing pair of heels on the interwebs, I suspect. Those of you who know me, know that I have always been a little bit of a horror movie lover. It goes way back to the first moment I read my first Stephen King novel. I think I was 12. He really changed my life in terms of writing. I can’t remember what the first book I read was, but I was definitely hooked. I had been writing horror for a couple of years by that stage, for the next ten or so years, Stephen’s books really played an important role in my life.

Anyway, eventually Ollie introduced me to the zombie film genre.  10 years ago, he literally forced me to watch 28 Days Later (which was to become one of my all time favourite films, and the beginning of my lifelong crush on Cillian Murphy *sigh*), and I really did not want to like them, but I did. I’m not sure exactly what it is about zombie films, and yes, I do know that 28 Days Later isn’t a ‘true’ zombie film, since the infected don’t die and reanimate…but still. I think it’s the fact that they are so horrifically gross, and so filled with perfect allusions to humanity and consumerism. The way that they protray the human race and how post apocalyptic they are. I love the zombie genre, the fear of having to turn on your loved ones, or have them turn on you. I dunno, there’s just so much subtext going on in these films and I am deeply drawn to it.

And then I found George A Romero and have been pretty  much hopelessly in love with the zombie film ever since. Enough so, that I taught it to my media studies class! Best class ever! Seriously, it was definitely the most fun I have ever had teaching. Right now, they’re in the process of making their own zombie films, and we will have an all out zombie movie festival later this year. Which finally brings me to the point I was originally going to make about shoes!

I found this pair of shoes online, and fell in love. I craved them. I dreamed about them, I yearned for them with such passion that it drove me insane. And then Aleeya FOUND the place that made them! OMG! It was the most exciting day ever! Except that none of the places who had them, would ship to New Zealand. Luckily for me, I have amazing friends, and the wonderful Mary Dawn shipped them to me on my behalf. With a matching wallet! Check it out!

Zombie heels!!!! They are so awesome! I love them to bits.

And therein started my long forgotten love affair for shoes. I haven’t worn or bought a pair of heels in a very long time, and now I own far too many pairs! No, that’s not true. You can never own too many pairs of shoes. Still, I haven’t had this many pairs in a long, long time. Pre-children.

Anyway, I also have this unhealthy love for all things leggings, and after we found this amazing pair of galaxy tights from Black Milk Clothing – on the internet, the girls and I have been crazy about them ever since! The company hooked up with a shoe company and produced a pair of shoes using a material that I had missed out on when they were making their leggings and dresses. It was SO disappointing, because I had just talked Ollie into believing how badly I needed this dress and went to buy it (they were out of leggings forever *cry*) and it SOLD before I got to the checkout! Devastating!!!!

So obviously, when they made them in shoe form, I was NOT going to miss out. They went on pre-sale three months ago, and I diligently sat on the computer waiting to get them. The amount of people ordering them broke the website, and I was late for work and had to go. You cannot begin to imagine the rage. You know how when you wait until the last minute to bid on things online? Yeah…that’s the amount of rage I was feeling!

I got to work and didn’t give up. Once I got into my class, I looked the site up again and it was working! I got the shoes! I squealed with excitement and had my students huddled around me to see what was so exciting! It was so awesome. Haha!

Three months later, they’re finally shipped out, and I get a letter from the Customs Office telling me I have to pay $108 before they’ll be released! That’s a ridiculous amount of money if you ask me. I was furious, and I really almost didn’t pay. Then the whole amazingness and excitement had disappeared in a cloud of annoyance and disgust that they could charge me such a ridiculous fee on a pair of SHOES!

Well, they arrived today internet, and I opened the box, and I looked at them and thought to myself; “yeah, they’re pretty cool..” but I wasn’t convinced. Then I put them on and….oh dear lord….

I AM IN LOVE! I am so in love with these shoes! They are ridiculously perfect in every way! Look at them!!!!

Argh! OMG! The perfection!!!!!! The cartoon is called ‘Sick of Men’ and I have been lusting it forever! Sick of Men shoes? How could I resist?!  I bloody well couldn’t!!! I wore them out today, even though it’s cold and raining and I was worried they might get wet and die. They’re so awesome. I love them to bits and pieces, and I am very, VERY glad I bought them.

Pardon Me..

Wow! I have all this stuff to say, and I know that’s really rare these days isn’t it? I’m going to have to keep focus, which isn’t easy, considering I’m on my second glass of wine, nope, make that third glass. Okay now I’m scared. It was my second, and then I was interrupted, with talk and food and all that good stuff. So now it’s my third. Did I mention that the last time I had three glasses of wine, I horfed profusely? I am taking much more time drinking my wine this time around, and I think, that’s possibly the good thing to do. Right?

Anyway, I really do have all these things to say, but tonight I’m just going to talk about the fact that – I HAVE A NEW PHONE!  I know! You’re as excited about it, as I am, right? It’s a super cool phone that is also an mp3 player, and this makes me extremely happy, because Oliver, has stolen my iPod. What is with family members and the stealing of the mother figures things? It’s just not fair! I get something awesome, and the next thing you know, it’s no longer mine! It has been snaffled! Taken! Removed from my possession! Is it something specific to mothers? Are we just expected to understand and move on when our prized possessions are spirited away by our husbands, and our children?  Well I won’t stand for it!

Or I wouldn’t…if I didn’t have the coolest phone in the world. It’s not an iPhone, but it’s mine. And I’ll tell you, about the ordeal I went through, to get it.  See, it had been almost two weeks, since my phone was stolen, and I really was starting to truly miss it.  Like, truly. And we spent ages at the insurance office getting everything sorted out.  Thursday rolled around, and Ollie emailed to let me know I could go pick up my voucher – after lunch. He said.  So I had coffee with my friend and her recalcitrant child of whom no school will take right now, since he was expelled over a month ago.  Honestly, a month?  That’s just…it’s just stupid. The Ministry of Education is totally messing them around and it makes me hugely angry, and even more sure of my choice not to teach in the public school system.  So, we had coffee and we talked for hours, like we do, and I wandered off to the insurance company and picked up my voucher.

Then, I kid you not…I spent half an hour searching for the stupid store the voucher was made out to. I don’t take notice of these kinds of store names.  These are Ollie’s domain. He’s the one who finds them interesting, not me.  I went to where I thought it was, and it wasn’t there at all.  It was a different store. And then I got confused…where then, was the store I was looking for?  The mall has recently built a second storey. It could have been anywhere! I remembered, ther was an electronics store outside the mall, so I went there.  And nooo, that wasn’t it either.  Turns out, after much angst and woe, that the store was pretty much right next door to the place I’d just had coffee.  Who knew?

I didn’t. That’s who didn’t anyway.  So I go in there, and I thrust my piece of paper on the desk and I say “I have this, from the insurance company, it’s for a cellphone.”  And the boy serving me looks at it and panics.  He does.  He panicked. “Oh uhm. I’ve never done this before..” and grabs the oldest man in customer service history to help me. “Sorry” he says…”I’ve never done one of these before, you see…” and he runs away.  This old guy, is really helpful, but apparently the paperwork for such claims is very heavy.  First he had to call the insurance company – after looking at my ID to make sure who I was…and then he had to call the head office who were surprised I was in there so soon…since they had other claims sitting there which were MONTHS old.  Hello? Months?  No. I want my phone, and I want my phone now.

“You’re very eager!” He says.  “Yes.” I admit.  “I’m tired of not having a phone.” Which I am. It hasn’t been fun at all. I mean, I almost lost my child and everything. So we wait for the fax to come through, and then we talk about the fact that the phone they’re offering to subsidise me for, isn’t in.  But it’s not just not in there store…it’s not in ANY store. “Too old already” He says.  “Have you looked at what we do have?” And I sort of look at him blankly. “Uhm. No.” I admit. “Oh.” He replies, and then we do some more things which I don’t quite understand, and then we go look at phones.  Now, internet, this is where I must stress to you, the importance of this thing.  I don’t get to look at phones. I don’t get to look at anything electronic, without having Ollie spend at the very least, two weeks researching.  We, me and this lovely old man, are standing in front of a bunch of cellphones, and I am immediately looking for the one closest to the price I’ve been given.  There is nothing.

There is, almost $200 less, or almost $200 more.  I’m totally torn.  Except that there are two phones that I quite like. One is reduced, and silver and okay.  The other is not reduced, black, and super cool.  I’m looking at it going…hmm. So off he goes, because there is apparently something else he needs to do and he comes back and I say “I quite like this one, and this one.  But this one more.” And I’m competely going by look alone internet, because the truth of the matter is, I have never bought an electronic device, on my own tastes before. And I’m thinking…”this is -my- phone, I’m gonna get what I like…and I’m gonna get it…today.”

I did. I bought it, and with it, because it cost less than the quote was for, I got a 3 year extended warranty and a CD – because that was the cheapest thing he could find and it only took a full hour. AN HOUR!!!! What’s with that? It was insane.  So I get home, and I’m thrilled and squeeing, and emailing Ollie who emails back to go “Hey that’s a really good phone according to..I dunno, Consumer?” And I’m all “Were you doubting me?!??!!” Feeling very proud of myself.  Of course, I let myself down entirely with the whole putting it together business. I plugged it in to charge, and it did nothing. “Why are you not doing anything?” I asked it.  And realised, you have to put the battery in first. So, I put in the battery, and then realise, I didn’t put in the sim card.  Then I can’t FIND the sim card, and by the time I have, I notice that you can’t put the sim card in, if the battery is already in there. So, I have to take the battery out.  Which takes me 40 minutes.  You heard me.  40 minutes.

After I finally triumph over this, I put in the sim card, then the battery, and charge my phone!  I did threaten to use a knife to get the battery out, and then to jump on it until it fell out…which maybe scared it into submission. Anyway, the moral of the story is, I have a brand new phone which works as a music player and it’s really damn cool. AND!!! And internet, I not only chose it myself, but I figured out how to put it together and charge it, and entered all the inital date and time stuff…by myself. Also, I read the instructions manual. I know…everyone who knows me has just fallen over and died.

Suddenly, I feel like a grown up, and I’m not sure I like it.

Joy Ride

Do you remember when shopping trolleys used to be fun? Were they ever fun for you? I have fond memories of them, drunken evenings when you were too tired from dancing all night to walk home, so the boys you were with would help you get into a shopping trolley and wheel you at breakneck speeds through the city parks.  Maybe that’s just what happened to me, since I have always been small enough to fit inside one. I don’t recall ever having a falling out incident either. Once I was taken half way around Rocks Road in one, there was lots of laughter and singing involved. Man, those really were fun days.

Now shopping trolleys hold a morbid sense of horror for me.  As soon as I pull into the supermarket, my heart drops and I feel like I’m walking towards impending doom.  I try very hard, internet, to avoid the pension days, because old people – don’t get me wrong, I love old people, they have great stories – but old people in supermarkets is something to be avoided at all costs.  Pension day, has always seemed to be Tuesday.  So I’m doing my groceries lately, on Wednesday’s, because even though I’m up and out of the house early on a Thursday, Thursday’s, from what I recall are dole day (unemployment benefit) and the unemployed are equally as frustrating to meet, in a supermarket.

I hate supermarket shopping with a vengence. I remember being a bright eyed new mother at the age of 20, and going shopping was so fun. We’d buckle Siobhan into the baby seat and we’d have all these choices. We could buy, whatever we wanted! On an extremely tight budget of course – so really we couldn’t at all, but it sure seemed like it, while we put all this stuff that we’d chosen ourselves into the trolley and felt grown up and awesome. I can’t tell you how many awful eating mistakes I made in those early days. Like the time we bought a green curry paste, and I cooked a beautiful chicken curry.  I am not an instruction reader, by the way. I get no pleasure out of instruction manuals. I tear things open and toss aside instructions, because I am awesome, and I know how everything works!  Actually, I hand them to Ollie who meticulously reads them and then tells me how to work it, while I huff impatiently at him and say “yesyesyes!” while pushing buttons and shrieking when it doesn’t work. You love me a little for it, I know you do.  Anyway, this green curry paste was the ultimate ingredient, and I dutifully added the entire contents of this little jar into our chicken.

Not even the dog we had at the time would go near it.  It wasn’t just eye watering, internet…it almost turned us blind. I read the instructions on the back of jars now. That is one thing I have conceded to do.  And so we blissfully went around the supermarket and it was so fun.  Then we had Aleeya, and having two children in the shopping trolley just wasn’t quite as fun.  It started to lose its novelty very quickly.  Particularly when they were both walking.  Supermarkets, do not please me. They always hold awful surprises, or tempting specials, or both. And I do not enjoy watching the price go up to $170 just because I really wanted that bar of chocolate and those biscuits (cookies) that were on special, and maybe I needed those really expensive razor blades too. It’s not nice!  I don’t like it! Food, should not cost as much as it does.

Anyway, shopping with children is always an experience.  I remember this one time, Siobhan was in kindergarten, and it was just Aleeya and I.  I’d gone out for coffee with Lou, and we stopped in the supermarket to buy, I don’t know, bread and milk probably. That’s almost an every day purchase in this house, and it certainly was in hers with six kids to feed. So we’re talking, like we always do, completely engrossed in each other. Aleeya’s there at my side, she would have been two at the time. She was always shy and clingy. I never had any reason to think she wouldn’t be at my side, and whenever she wasn’t, she roared. I’m not lying, she actually would roar.  I’m paying for my food and looking at Lou, and I turned around and my daughter is gone.

She’s two years old, and she’s gone. I have this strange panic reaction.  What happens is, time slows down and so does my heart. I become, almost zen like.  It’s really weird…it’s like, nothing is wrong, and all I have to do, is consider the situation carefully, and the answer will come.  So the world is slowing down, and the blood is running out of my face and I’m trying to rationalise this.  She’s two, how far could she have gone? – This supermarket by the way, is in the busiest mall in Christchurch and yes, my thoughts were most definitely “she’s been kidnapped!!!”  But really, I -have- to be rational, and interestingly I usually am when I’m terrified so I’m thinking, how far could she have gone? So I’m listening for the telltale sign of her roaring, and I hear…nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  This is when I start to get little spots behind my eyes which are telling me that if I don’t resolve this situation and soon, I’m going to pass out. I went all through the supermarket again, and then up to the information area, and I’m trying to remember what my two year old daughter was wearing this morning when she got dressed, and I just couldn’t. I drew an utter blank. And just as I’m about to cry, I turned around and I saw this tiny little girl, sprinting back to me. All amazingly large greenblue eyes and white faced terror.

I’m almost crying just remembering it!  She’d followed out a woman with a shopping trolley after having had a staring contest with a little girl in one just opposite us.  The woman in front of us in the checkout line moved off, and Aleeya followed blindly.  I dropped to my knees and was just about to ask her where she went, when she burst out in the most amazing lung explosive roar I’ve ever heard in my life. She flung herself into my arms and I just can’t explain the incredible sense of terror and relief I felt at hearing her scream like that.  It was…there are no words that can describe something like that.

So, my experience with supermarkets, is not a fun one. I no longer look at shopping trolleys and feel a little rush of adrenaline because maybe next week that one is the one I’m going to be screaming through the city in, now it’s more like I’m choosing the vessel in which a little part of me will die once I get past this 90 year old couple, who in other circumstances I would find completely adorable, sighing and wishing that they could just have a little bit of respect for those of us who don’t walk at the pace of a snail and LET ME PAST!!!! And yet, as much as I complain about doing it, I find having your groceries delivered even more annoying. There is just something about filling that trolley with food and bringing it into the house that makes the entire experience of being stuck behind daydreaming men who have their trolley’s sideways in the aisle and are now contemplating -very seriously- what flavour chips they want ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE AISLE!!!!  Hello? What are you thinking??? – Worthwhile. Actually, I’m lying. Maybe I’m just a sucker for punishment.

What, internet, is wrong with people in supermarkets? Do they instantly walk in there and their IQ’s just drop 20 points instantly? Do supermarkets make us stupid? I think they do. I think, people walk in there, and they switch off. Even those people like me, who are straight in and out shoppers.  We want to go around the supermarket as quickly as possible and get out again, and yet, I know my eyes glaze over and I go into this little place in my head..which saves me from the idiots and the old people who have to pick up every.single.packet of meat before the realise that maybe their lack of teeth can’t actually process that meat anyway, so they go back to the mince (ground beef) section and pick up every packet of meat there, with their trolleys stretched across the entire meat section while you lament the fact that all you want is a piece of stewing steak which you cannot reach even though you can see it right there…*sigh*

We’ve already discussed my pain when it comes to high shelves. I will say it again though, if you supermarket people put something out of my reach? I will climb your shelves. I am not above using those shelves as a ladder! Not all of us are amazons!!!  And it’s always shampoo.  What, are children likely to drink the shampoo so you must put it on the highest shelf IN THE WORLD? It’s not right. Not even when there are lovely University boys who I can go “uhm. Do you think you could just reach that for me?”  You just know they’re talking about the cute wee lady they had to fetch something down for. I’ve been climbing shelves all my life. Right Michelle?  I have to do it in my own house.  I do! Ollie is a cruel man.  He buys chips and then puts them in the top shelves so I can’t reach them. I KNOW!  What sort of husband does that, right?  I think he does it, just to watch me climb up on the bench like a four year old.

There needs to be a supermarket shopping ettiquette written up I feel. Something that says that all people over the age of 65 must shop on a certain day, all single men with a penchant for chips on another day, and all the fast shoppers get a day for themselves. No more of this two neighbours or old friends catching up rubbish and talking to each other while blocking the entire aisle business. No more taking 5 hours to choose which packet of meat is the best bargain when they’re ALL THE SAME! No more putting things in high places so short girls have to climb shelves or ask a stranger to fetch them something like they’re small children again. None of that! I don’t want any of it.  And please, please give me a trolley that does not have a mind of its own.  I’m not 18 anymore, and I do not find the ones that only go left and mean you spin around in wild circles fun.  I do not!  I want a trolley with a little self respect. One that goes in a straight line when I want it too, and turns the damn corner when it’s supposed to!

Is that really, too much to ask?  Is it?!?!

Good god!

You know, the worst thing happened to me the other day.  It was so awful, it’s taken me a full day to get to the point where I think I can write about it and not feel too heinous.  That’s not true, I still feel heinous, in that amused sort of “wtf?” kind of way, because really, it is strangely amusing.

I went shopping yesterday after work with a girl I used to work with in my photography job.  She contacts me when she leaves jobs asking me if she can use me as a reference you see.  She’s 19 years old, part Malaysian and good god is she beautiful.  Like stunningly ridiculously beautiful.  She’s tragically dim.  I said to her via txt message “Starbucks in the Square!”  I even plastered it all over her facebook.  “Yep, yep! C U thar lol” she’d reply, because..she is 19 and that’s how they write..always.

She went to the wrong Starbucks, like I knew she would.  So hilarious.  She goes “Oh my god Kelly!  I am like, SO blonde!”  And I reply “You are dear, you really are.  How did that happen when you have such dark hair?”  She is full of fun and sarcasm and I adore her. I can’t help myself.  She is just so ridiculous and amusing.  Anyway, we went to the mall, because I need new black pants that fit and don’t fall off my arse every time I move…yes, loosing weight is great, but then you have to get a new wardrobe which makes your husband go into dramatic fits of agony over the money that will be spent.  Nevermind the fact that there will be joy and eyeballing of the behind in pants that actually show I have a bum, and don’t make me look like Eminem.

Also, don’t 19 year olds with no children – I add that in for my own sake, considering I was 19 with child..although, to be fair, I still had rocking taste – know where all the good shops are?  Of course they do! She showed me shops I’d NEVER gone into before.  “Wait…this shop is way too expensive”  I’d gasp and she’d go “is it?  Let’s just look.”  So I’d go in with her and hover at the front of the shop looking at things and she would cross her arms over her chest and say “You see Kelly, THIS is why you think they’re expensive.  The sales racks are down.the.back?”  Use of inflection to remind me how old and crunchy I am, along with eye rolling and much head shaking.

She was right!  Of course, everything in my size was gone.  “It’s a really popular size” she’d sympathise with me, and I would search the sales racks finding only large sizes which all the larger ladies don’t realise exist in these shops because they are TOO AFRAID TO ENTER THEM!!!  Anyway, we went into this shop, and the lady serving me was probably my height, a little stockier, and hmm…40ish?  I say “Can I try these on?” And she goes “sure!”  then she looks at them and looks at me and says “are you looking for straight leg loose, or something that shapes your bum?”  And I am a little horrified by this, because normally these women in these sort of shops are too good to talk to me..so I say “I um…uh…well…something that shapes my bum?”  and she hands me a pair of pants in a size too large, because they don’t have my size..obviously..popular, you know..and do you know what internet?  I put them on, they were too big, but they shaped my bum and get this….they were only about 2 inches too long! OMG!

Okay, so lots of you won’t get my excitement about this..you see, I am 5’2 on a good day..and Oliver likes to inform me that I am shrinking.  I’d agree if I didn’t know that his posture is just 100% better now that he’s been doing karate for like his whole freaking life and finally walks straight!  And, pants NEVER fit me, I hate, hate, hate shopping for pants.  It is the one thing I truly struggle with.  But these, god were they glorious!  And instead of being 6 inches too long, only 2!  2 I tell you!

So, I’m marvelling at my bum, and lamenting the fact I can fit my hand sideways into the waist when the shop assistant comes back and says to my 19 year old friend who is patiently waiting for me to show her how the pants look on…she says…”How’s your mum doing?”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you hear that?  “How is your MUM doing?!”

Now..I’m standing there, thinking..”did I just hear that?”  And my friend is all “huh?” because, she lives in her own world, which is partly why I love her so much..she’s never quite -there- if you know what I mean..and I come out and explain they’re too big in the waist, but that the other pair are too small in the waist and she offers to order me some in, and when she walks away I say “Did she just call me your MOTHER?”  and Miss 19 goes “OMG! I thought I misheard her!!”

I mean, I know that 19 year olds don’t often hang out with 31 year olds…but really?  MOTHER?  Not even…sister, but MOTHER?!?!!!  I just had my hair done!  I’m not even sporting any greys!!!  Good god.  From a distance, you can’t even see my crinkly eyes or my smile lines..horrifying!  We laugh a bit, but you know, I am understandably horrified and she goes “Hey remember that time our other workmate asked if Ollie was your husband or your son?”  And I go “You see?  THIS is why I’ve missed you. NOT!”  And she laughs and informs me soon I will need a zimmer frame and that she will now always refer to me as “mum”.

Please, please, pleeeease boost my dying ego internet.  Do I really look old enough to have a 19 year old child? I mean really??  She does look young, as all Asians do, but I would say no younger than 17..which still would have made me 14.  Oh, I’m so woe!  Look at me and be honest – but only if your honesty is really nice and doesn’t agree that I look like a 40 year old freaking housewife!!!

That’s my straightened hair, not this last time, but the time before, and because I am vain, (hence my angst at that awful woman’s assumption, really internet?  Really?? That old?) I must show you it from the back, it’s so long and gorgeous! It’s longer now!  When I had it done last week it was so way longer. Also, it’s crinkled because I slept on it – as you do.

Music Gets The Best of Me

Internet, you must advise me, because I know you’re out there being clever and knowledgable and you will know more about these things than I do.

I have an mp3 player – obviously, I mean, don’t we all have mp3 players? I would never, ever survive the daily bus ride if I didn’t have my ears plugged into music.  Anyway, my mp3 player is a couple of years old now, and it seems to be very unhappy.  On Friday I loaded a whole bunch of new songs on it and on the way home, all it did was play the same songs over and over again.  Sometimes randomising will do this, but I flicked and flicked and STILL the same songs played.  It was getting really frustrating, I mean..there were hours worth of music on the damn thing, why was I hearing the same thing over and over again?

It turns out, it was only reading 17 songs.  So, I thought I must have deleted them without realising – as you do *eye roll*, but when I got home and checked it, all the songs I had put on were there!  Monday I went to work and I’d loaded another song, just one, to see if that would make a difference.  Oh sure, I heard that song, along with the 17 others my player has decided are “teh bomb!”  I complained bitterly to Ollie at work, and he looked stumped and confused.  That night – actually, it was Tuesday morning because procrastination before work is a must…we tried re-adding all the songs again.

This time, my player decides that it will allow me a further 6 songs, but only six and no more!  And then, THEN, as if that isn’t bad enough, I get to the bus exchange and it STOPS PLAYING!  Oh.my.god.  So I pull it out of my pocket, my fingers all blue with the cold, because you cannot do anything with pretty angora pink gloves on, and it says “voice recording.”  What??  Whose voice does it think it’s recording?  Mine?  I’m not talking!  The funny lady on the escalator in front of me?  As far as I can tell, she’s not talking either, and if she is, I am selectively not hearing.  It refused…refused I tell you, to let me change that function at all, and it would.not.turn.off!

I pulled the battery out of it in the end and that fixed it.  But now, and I’m sure you’ll feel my pain…I am SICK to death of the mp3 player from hell and decide it is time to get a new one.  I have always wanted an Ipod.  Everyone has an Ipod except me.  Ipods are so slim and magically musical, and they come in different colours! But Ollie is dubious.  He gives me that squinty look from the corner of his eye that tells me I am being childish and petulant and tells me he will fix my player.  To which I reply that he can have my stupid player with it’s voice recording, it’s hiding of my hundred songs and playing of 17-23 of it’s own choosing and that I want an Ipod!

Do I know how much an Ipod is?  He wants to know – actually, I didn’t.  But I will not be dissuaded.  Well…I might be.  What do -you- know about Ipods internet?  Advise me with your marvellous wisdom.  Do you have to have ITunes, and must you..you know, purchase music from there before it will play them, or can I load mp3’s from my PC (no Mac users here) without any real difficulty at all? Are they only compatible with Mac’s and will I be lumped with a cute piece of musical machinery that I’ll never be able to use because purchasing music from a website after spending over half my weekly wage on that little machine will make me froth in the absurdity of all that money wastage?  Will it?  Are there other options? What’s the deal? I really have looked them up, but you know what sites are like with the skirting around what is acceptable behaviour regarding using your own music on your own players..cryptic much?

Oh, yes, I realise there are different kinds of Ipods, I’m looking at the Nano, because it is small and cute and cheaper than any of the others.

Make my husband a believer.  I will die, DIE without music on the bus.  I am not a silent meditative type. I appreciate silence, when I’m sleeping.  But otherwise, music gets the best of me.

Hope & Validation

Do you know Bernard Fanning’s music? He’s good. You should take a listen. Anyway, I stole the title of his song for my title because I could not think of one myself.

It’s been a strange week here, full of nothing, as most of my weeks are, I did the ironing – I KNOW! You and Ollie are both choking over that one. It seems all I ever do is clean up and procrastinate. I really need to finish my story.

Ollie has had an even stranger few weeks than me however, his bike is falling apart on him. Seriously dangerous, It worries me a whole lot. Then he hurt his neck..he was wandering around stiff for days complaining, he’s working six day weeks a the moment, I barely feel like I see him! He has had about 50 punctures, and has decided it is all bad karma he generated because he didn’t stop to help some lady whose car had stalled. He could be right. You should always help ladies whose cars have stalled..unless your me. I’m not stopping to help anyone with a stalled car I’m sorry. I’d be more hindrance than help you see.

On Sunday we went shopping. It was really nice, we had all these plans, and then none of them eventuated except the one that I on the spur of the moment decided was going to be the one thing I most definitely wanted to walk away with. I love it when that happens! I had been going to go buy myself some new jeans, since all of mine are too big for me now, but what I really, really wanted..was an entertainment unit. Okay, so jeans and entertainment units have nothing in common, and I realised this..but the point is, we really needed one. Our DVD’s and videos were all strategically placed in corners and left there since we moved in. I hated it so bad. And we bought one!

We looked through three different stores, and on the way, there was a tiny little old lady with a zimmer frame walking across the road, she hadn’t got halfway across when the lights turned green, and the cars behind us, who couldn’t see her for all her tininess were tooting there horns and infuriating the other cars who could see the old dear..who, upon hearing the tooting of horns panicked and stopped right in front of one car and stood there like a wee deer in the headlights. She wouldn’t move at all and was terrified, so..Ollie went. And then he felt bad for going..but, she was nowhere near us and didn’t start moving again until we’d gone.

So, I will admit to you, internet, that I am one of those surly customers that no one likes. The ones that salespersons come up to and wish they hadn’t. I’m the one who stands there turning my back on them and refusing to acknowledge them, while folding my arms across my chest and saying for the zillionth time – not that they know this – “No thank you, we’re.just.looking.” No, today I was very polite. I made eye contact and was sweet and apparently, it paid off. You see, I don’t go out a whole lot anymore, so when I do, talking to people is more novel than it was before…we decided on the unit we wanted, went home to measure the wall and make sure it fitted, did some more shopping and came back to buy it. We got the same salesman, who turned out to be the father of one of the kids in Siobhan’s class.

He, whom I was nice to, lucky me right? So he asks if we want to take it now or have it delivered for $45. We’re sort of blanching at this, because we live a 5 minute drive from there you see. And So Ollie shows him our car, and explains where we live, and he informs us he lives just around the corner and has a trailer. You know what he did? He told his boss he was taking a break – she looked really shitty about this too – and he went home, got his trailer and brought it here for us. Free! How nice is that? I was really touched. It looks great too, the house looks like a house now, instead of a student flat, and it’s so much tidier! Also, it gives me a larger cabinet to store all my paperwork from teacher’s college, and will fit the phone etc on it much nicer than the small one we currently have.

I’d take a picture, but I just can’t be bothered!

Slack!

I’m getting awfully slack with my blogging. I know it, you know it..we all know it. The problem is, nothing interesting is really happening! I suppose I should use this time to put up some photos, but that requires opening photoshop, and when I do that, I get sidetracked into making completely different graphics instead. I know, I Am Hopeless!

Greebo turned up! 10 days after he went missing, we got a call from the landlords saying he was around at the old house. Sure enough, there he was. Sitting on the newly installed deck and staring longingly inside, wondering where we were and who the noisy yapping little white dog was. Ollie brought him home in the car, he’s thin now. Well, thin to us, but probably quite a good size for a cat. He has a waist! He was so glad to be home that he ate, and ate, and ate and purred and loved us and meowed, and three days later, he’s still afraid to leave the house. He sits underneath me when I’m on the computer, or wrapped in my arms on the couch while I watch television, and purrs all day long. But the outside world holds little interest to him now. He’ll go out, but he’d much rather stay in. Poor wee soul. I imagine this must be his last life, and he’s figured that out for himself too.

Ollie and I went out for dinner and a movie on Thursday night. It was so lovely, we went two hours early and wandered around together like all the other childless couples. Did I tell you that my parents have the kids? Well they do. They’re coming home via plane on Tuesday. We had delicious burgers, and large fries which I swear were small fries..the little Asian who served us would not be budged. She said “have you eaten any?” to which we laughed and said no..so she said “I’ll bring you a few more” and literally, that’s what she did. Maybe..3 more? It was so bizarre that it was hilarious. The burgers were huge and wonderful, but I don’t think we’ll be going back there. We watched I Am Legend. It was good, but I’m not sure it was worth it’s own paragraph. It wasn’t bad at all..a bit of entertainment anyway.

I bought myself some new bra’s. I know, for most people that’s not interesting, but it really is for me! I have SUCH trouble finding decent bra’s. They were having a sale in the store and I wandered around..tried one on..hated it…and finally one of the young late night workers asked if I needed help. “Yes!” I sobbed disconsolately. “I can’t ever find bra’s that fit me properly!” She was very sweet..sweeter than I was expecting for someone younger than me. “I have old ladies boobs!” I wailed, “I need something that lifts them up and keeps them there!” She eyed my chest critically and said “you do not have old lady boobs, I have seen old lady boobs and trust me, you don’t have them!” And then she found me the most perfect bra in the world! I looked slimmer as soon as I put it on. Then, then she proceeded to find me 3 others. I walked out with three. I couldn’t help it, every one of them looked great. I don’t get that feeling very often. I have a feeling they’re supportive old lady bras, but they’re lacy and pretty at the same time..except the one which is just monster support and perfection. She said, this brand was perfect for me, because the really extra super large sizes are all snapped up fast, but that the smaller sizes (as in, weight sizes) don’t go as fast. I think she was telling me I was small, but big boobed. Anyway, she fitted me perfectly and I am super pleased.

See? Once you start me writing, stopping me is the difficult part.

Speaking of writing, my roleplay has been amazing lately. I’m so impressed with myself! I tried to make a decision to write more outside of roleplay, but so far, it hasn’t happened. It will though, Ollie keeps telling me I need to write for a wider audience, and not just the few people in the room who share it with me. He’s right of course. I have ideas in my head now, and I am reading up a storm with the kids gone and the holidays here..I stay in bed and just read the mornings away. Not very good for getting stuff done, I concur. But, the reading is wonderful..I’m enjoying it a lot and it is helping me find the words again. It’s funny how when you start reading everything in sight again, your own creativity is sparked. I must get on to the outside writing. Ollie had great ideas, and I should do them. I will do them.

We’ve been doing a few little walks too, not nearly enough..the weather has been changable, but that’s been nice too. I think maybe I should get off here now that it’s lunchtime, tidy up a little..go for a walk, do the groceries and spend the evening relaxing. We watched Black Snake Moan last night, have you seen it? You should. It’s very, very good in a disturbing sort of way.

Home Alone

Get this internet!

It is 9am, I am showered, dressed and have just come home from walking the girls to school. I KNOW! I have two loads of washing to hang out and some work to do around the house of course..boxes to unpack, things to tidy up..last night I went through our huge box of photos and stored them all in the dining room cabinet. We have a dining room cabinet! The top drawer has all my glasses in it and the dinner plates, and the bottom drawer has memories. All our photo albums and saved special stories and pictures that the kids have done at kindergarten and school. Also, office supplies – envelopes, pens, drawing pins etc.

What really impresses me though, is that I am up and dressed and it’s only 9am! Unheard of! I’m so looking forward to having this entire day all to myself to just do whatever I like in my very own house. The cats are settling in really nicely, Swirl has taken to hiding under Siobhan’s bed, but the other two are perfectly happy here now, thank you very much. I don’t know what’s up with Swirl at all. She comes out and sleeps on top of Siobhan’s bed once the house has returned to quiet, but she’s not at all interested in looking around otherwise. I am hating having to have cat boxes inside. But they are using them and this pleases me. Even if Greebo sat in one and looked at me while having a big poo that almost killed me. Eye-wateringly bad I tell you! Ugh! They’re funny, we have two boxes, and they seem to pee in one and poo in the other! All very interesting, I know.

The girls are so proud of their rooms! You should see them. And you will I promise! Once everything is in place..which may take some time yet..still though, they look great, and they’re so pleased with themselves. Everything is neatly put away, and proudly displayed on their dressers and their bookcases and they’re very proud of themselves. I need to get some picture hooks so that we can put up pictures. I still have a full box load of old Pixiphotos (they’re a professional company who specialise in taking kids/baby photos and you get suckered into buying thousands of them which you then have to store), some of the frames will be re-used for more artistic photography, and photos of my grandparents which I am hoping to print out at work before I leave on good A3 sheets. Ahh the perks of being a professional photographer. hee!

I think I should get a few more photo albums..those big sticky ones so that I can put all the huge pixiphotos in it and not have them get all ruined. I’ve found such interesting things. It’s amazing, when you don’t have a digital camera, just what sort of photos you keep. We have some amazingly crap ones, and duplicates from here to eternity. I sorted through them all last night and have a pile to throw away. Ollie had a wee panic attack about it, but he’ll survive. I found photos of us from drunken nights out, and pin-up poses he made me get in, and do you know what? I used to be so gorgeous! I had legs to die for! I forgot my legs used to be that good. All that karate and gyming and running around the city for my work and walking to and from work up and down hills all day long certainly did my body good. I will have to scan some and show you! I had such bad afro 80’s hair though..and to think..it was the 90’s and still I had bad 80’s hair!

We spent all afternoon yesterday clearing out the garden shed and the garage of the old house. It was awful. We had totally underestimated how much stuff we had. We had to bring home two of the three trailer loads of rubbish because the stupid refuse station closed at 4.30pm! Although, we did find out that we can recycle almost anything there, which is good news. Everything at one place makes life so much simpler. I think Ollie has learned his lesson about hoarding though, I said “do you see why it’s not a good thing to keep everything now?” and he looked at me all annoyed and exhausted and said “yes!” let’s hope that he remembers that in a year’s time!

We went looking around furniture stores yesterday for..you guessed it! New dressers! There isn’t actually a whole lot that I really like. I’m tempted to just get another chest of drawers..we have good mirrors in the bathroom and a lovely almost full length one in the hall that has it’s own little light over it for those days when I need to make myself beautiful. Although, it’s always handy to have one in your room..you can buy little mirrors with drawers under them that sit on the top of tallboys though. We are thinking about buying a whole bedroom set, we could use a headboard..we could probably use an entire new bed..all our furniture is pretty rubbish in there aside from Ollie’s tallboy which we bought new a few years ago. We’ve been looking at swing seats and outdoor furniture, and television cabinets and all kinds of things. It’s fun. We drive past kitchen places getting excited by the amount of them all dedicated to revamping our kitchen.

So, what am I going to do today you might ask? Well, it is now almost 9.30am..I’m going to hang out my two loads of washing, go make the kids beds, clear some more boxes if I can..a lot of the stuff left now is Ollie’s, it’s all wires and computery things that I don’t really know what to do with, and then I’m going to set up the Christmas tree so that the girls can decorate it after school. We bought some Christmas lights yesterday too, which we’re going to set up over the sliding doors..it’ll be all twinkle twinkle and pretty.

I love having my own home. I love that I am home alone in it today and that I only have the next two days and Sunday to work, and then two shifts next week before I’m finished work for good. The sun is shining, the cats will be able to go outside and I can open those sliding doors and relax outside on my deck looking at my delicious garden and admiring how wonderful and warm this house is.

Acceptance.

We got the house! It was touch and go there for a moment. We offered low, and they declined and we thought that was it. But then, after some more discussion with my father, we decided that considering it was being offered to us for under current market valuation price, it could only make us more money, so..I rung her back and I told her we’d pay them what they wanted. She came around last night at 10pm, we countered our original offer, signed it, and she went off and had the vendors sign too. Our offer is accepted!!!!! We now own our own house.

This is it! This is our first house ever. I’m so excited and so pleased we finally managed to get it! We take possession on 30 November – all going to plan, and we can move in! This is the front view, the two front rooms there are the bedrooms. It’s still walking distance from the girls school and even closer walking distance to the high school they want to attend. It’s zoned perfectly for 3 high schools actually, 3 good high schools. Walking distance to the College of Ed and University and a popular shopping centre. Seriously, even though we did end up paying more than we were going to (hardly at all) I am very proud of our bargaining them down to under current valuation. This is some because they really wanted out, and some because the kitchen and bathroom still need to be done. Also, there are a few small jobs that need to be completed as well, but we got it for $15,000 less than what they’d had it listed for. That’s pretty good bargaining for a first house, don’t you think?

And this is the back yard view. There are french doors which open out on to that deck – perfect for bbq’s! And as you can see, a big double garage and a shed. So lots of storage. The yard looks a lot bigger than it really is. It’s not a small section at all, but it’s not that big either, which is great for us, as we really aren’t the biggest gardeners, although Ollie is already talking about vegetable patches and how he’s looking forward to getting out in it. Me, I’m more excited about setting up some outdoor furniture and sitting in the sun with my laptop! hee!

Of course, now it means we’re going to have to start cleaning up here, getting rid of things we don’t need, sorting out what we do need, packing, packing, packing and tossing, tossing, tossing! I’m really looking forward to it, but I’m completely daunted by the thought of it as well. We have so much stuff to get rid of. Yay for exciting house buying business and never having to deal with crazy ankle biting aggressive chihuahua realtor ever again!

On a more sentimental note, don’t ever underestimate how much your family love you. I often say I wish I’d had the chance to get to know my grandparents better, and it’s true. It’s different when you’re a child and you get thrust a telephone reciever and asked to talk to strangers down it..strangers with accents so thick it’s hard to understand them. I tried my best to keep in contact and write during my adult life, when I actually cared more about other people than I did myself, but there is always just so much you never realise about them. I’m learning that now, through my father and his great storytelling. I’m very glad that I get to know them through his eyes. Sometimes that’s more powerful than knowing them through your own. If I could change things and visit them when they were healthy enough to have treasured my visit, I’d do it in an instant. Seeing that I can’t though, I dedicate my first house to their memory. Their photos will make beautiful art for those walls.

Thank you my daddy, for making our dreams possible. I love you.
xx