I shake my head…

My radio was being silly and wouldn’t tune properly. So I got stuck momentarily listening to Kyle and Jackie O the other morning. I know, how did I survive! It was a close brush with death.

Quotes are a rough estimation of what was said (was driving, couldn’t whip out the notepad and take down shorthand).

K: “That Clover Moore, she’s a loony. An absolute fruitcake. She wants to take all the cars out of the city… how will people get here? In other places where they’ve done that, it’s made the city a total white elephant.”
J: “Well, it might be nice to have less cars in the city. The parking here is too expensive though. It needs free parking.”
K: “Yeah, that’s right. Cheaper parking. But if there’s no cars, it will be completely dead. It’s stupid.”
J: “Oh, it might be alright, there’s lots of people that work in the city, they might still be walking around.”
K: “No it won’t. And she wants to knock down a road as well doesn’t she? It’s ridiculous. What road was it?”
J: “I think it’s the one near Circular Quay.”
K: “That’s bloody stupid. Ask the people who have shops in the city, I bet they want the cars to stay.”
J: “I dunno, I don’t think everyone shops in the city very much. I don’t really go in to the city. But maybe if more people caught trains it would be better. I think that’s what she wants people to do.”
K: “Well, the trains are all dirty and you get bashed on the trains, why would you want to go on the train, they’re disgusting. That loony Clover has done nothing to fix the trains, she’s just always got crackpot ideas.”

Clover doesn’t control the trains Kyle. That’s the State Government. ARRRGGGGHHH head explosion!

Bits and pieces

Happy Easter, to those who care about it, and happy long weekend to the rest of us!

Here’s some bits and pieces of randomness.

- On Good Friday, it took me quite a few minutes puzzling over one of those flashing RTA signs near the Sydney Fish Markets that said “Fish Market: Friday delays expected”. Why would there be delays? Was there roadworks? On a public holiday? Had there been an accident? Had something fishy happened? Oh. That’s right. It’s the day where lots of people eat fish! Oooops.

- Handing out helium balloons on Saturday at a children’s event for work was kinda hilarious. Kids really do say the darndest things… like one who looked at me holding the balloons, and quizzically asked “how did you get here?”… with a tone and look like I had just shipped in from Planet Balloontron. It would take a lot of helium balloons to take me anywhere sweetheart!
We also had one little girl who was particularly balloon challenged. She lost and popped four balloons within a period of 10 minutes, despite us tying them to various limbs and items of clothing. Poor child, she will never know the joy of watching a helium balloon wither away in the corner of your room… I always loved when they reached the stage where they would just hover centimetres above the ground, and looked wrinkly like an old lady. Anyway, her parents got sick of it, and instead she just ended up toddling around with bits of balloon string trailing behind her.
Another funny thing was some nearby children’s entertainers. A fellow decked out as a pirate looked particularly uninspired by his job, and could be seen puffing away on a ciggie just metres away from the fairyland tent. When he saw me looking at him somewhat disdainfully, he looked at the ciggie, shrugged his shoulders and said “yeah, I guess it’s not that child friendly.” He then took another two steps backwards, and continued to smoke. Oh dear.

-Don’t read Sydney Eats/Cheap Eats Guide when you are poor. Even though the eats are cheap and sound amazing, it isn’t cheaper than supermarket shopping… driving to Surry Hills for some $5.90 dosai doesn’t add up when you factor in petrol and the bridge toll and parking… and when you factor this in, you just become all sad and craving dosai or pide or dim sum or something good and there’s only a floret of broccoli and some tinned chickpeas in the kitchen and it’s just not the same. And you realise you moved to a part of Sydney where cheap eats are nearly non existant (except for Noodle Star). Because for some reason the suburbs with the most cheap eats have the highest rents or a massive petrol/public transport bill associated with them. None of it adds up!!! Just like my bank balance!!! So unfair!!! Lamest long weekend ever!!!

- Some cool blogs… (at least they are free) Bent my Wookie, Reasons You Will Hate Me, G Photography Tips, Some Fancy Piece, The Department, Boudist.

How to start a fight with an old lady at the supermarket

… all it takes is offering for her to go in front of you.

It all started with a basketful of groceries that was tiptoeing the boundaries of being express-lane worthy or in need of the conveyor belt treatment. You know how it can be a difficult decision in these situations… we have all ummed and ahhed about whether our shopping load can truly be "expressed" by the pimply nosed schoolkid behind the till, or whether we will incur the wrath of all those people who just bought toilet paper.  Anyway.

Since I was in a foreign Woolies, in a suburb I was only just becoming acquainted with, I decided to toe the line of caution and jumped behind a couple of massive trolleys, hopefully filled to feed families of 5 or more.  Cos that skinny little lady sure didn’t look like she was going to eat all those Fruit Rollups and Coco Pops on her own.

But then, a Woolies man comes up to me and tells me I should go to the express line, because it’s not very busy.  So I followed his directions, pleased at validation that my basket was not excessively overburdened with junk I didn’t really need.

So while waiting in the express line, the queue behind me all of a sudden swelled.  And a woman, who would have been in her mid to late 60s, started griping extremely loudly to her middle aged son (who looked like his spirit had well and truly been broken by her nagging already).

"I can’t believe this!  All these people in the express line with full baskets.  I’ve only got two things!  It’s so unbelievably rude!  Do you know once I got told off for bringing a trolley in here but it’s not fair because I can’t carry a really full basket like these young things…"

At that point, I could feel my back being pointed at.  The son seemed to murmur in agreement like he had heard this spiel a million times before.  Like every time he had been to the supermarket in the last 10 years.

"I’m going to complain. It’s ridiculous.  I can’t believe how ridiculous it is!  How very rude…" and so on.

As I was nearly at the front of the line, and I really didn’t care for any more of a guilt trip with my groceries, I turned to her, switched on the saccharine, and asked if she would like to go in front of me.  I thought this would work a treat, it’s the ultimate old lady pleaser.

"Would you like to go in front of me since you only have two things *bat eyelashes*"

She looked at me with an evil death glare as if I just expressed my real thoughts, which went something along the lines of "shut up you miserable old cow".

"You shouldn’t be in this line.  There are more than 15 things in your basket.  How dare you be so rude?"

I didn’t let it show that I was completely taken aback by her bitchy response. 

"Well, I was lined up over there, but then one of the staff told me to come here, so I just did what I was asked to do.  Would you like to go in front? I don’t mind."

By now I could feel the whole express line tuning into our dialogue.  I felt that they were on my side.

"I’ve been waiting and waiting and you think this will solve anything?"

In my head, the answer to this question was "no, it won’t solve anything.  You will still be a sad bitch that can’t comprehend that going to supermarket on a Sunday afternoon means you will have to wait in line for a few minutes.  If you can’t hack it, shop at 7am in the morning. And it’s really bloody rude to bitch audibly about people standing next to you when you have made no attempt to properly assess their decency or understand their difficult shopping basket dilemma.  Bitch."

Instead, I said: "Well, most people don’t mind if you ask politely to go in front of them if you only have a couple of things and are in a real hurry. It’s always so busy on a Sunday, I understand it’s annoying to wait when you just need to grab something quickly. *insert kind smile* There’s a register free there."

"No.  Go." she said grumpily.  The son looked really embarrassed.

So I did, and then I fled the store quickly as possible.  The grumpy granny was demanding to speak to the manager.  And if that’s the kind of agro she dished out in the express lane, I didn’t want to run into her in the car park.

Yummy salads

 
   
   

I made this Beetroot and Chickpea salad today, following the recipe at Taste.com.au and it is really delicious!  I cheated though by using tinned beetroot wedges, but it tastes fantastic.  I highly recommend it!  Click here for the recipe.  The dressing is lovely, and the chickpeas make it quite hearty… plus it’s relatively good for you!  And so easy to make.  This is definitely one that will now be added to my mental list of quick salad recipes.

I was on a bit of a roll, and I am trying to take lunch to work everyday to save money (very broke at the moment), so I also made up a yummy pasta salad.  The recipe was here, but I didn’t add avocado and couldn’t get any parsley at the supermarket, so it’s a bit different from the recipe, but still good.  I think the parsley would have added to the flavour, but it’s still very yummy.

Pasta Salad

Bits and bobs

- Hot bods and (some) cool routines are barely keeping my attention on So You Think You Can Dance. Why did anyone give Natalie Bassingthwaighte a hosting gig? Why do the judges never fight or say anything funny? Why does it go for so long? Why do the dancers do something stupid every time they walk in to meet their choreographer? WHY?

- I really like the high saturation photography of Ninagawa Mika. Especially the flower shots. Found via galadarling.

- Interesting? I figured blogging must be good for something.

- I’m loving the beautiful photos and cool clothes snapped at The Sartorialist.

Self portraits… for the sistahood.

self portrait

I try and refrain from posting photos of myself on here.  I try and refrain from having many of myself on the internetz (people thwart that all the time on the book of face though… so many bad ones).  I try to refrain from being in too many photos really.  I prefer taking them.  But exception was made today.

So anyway, today I was feeling a bit shitty.  A bit like "why, despite having walked a massive amount in the past few weeks, nay month or so, having moved heavy furniture up and down stairs, having been sick and not eating for a period of time, having gone swimming reasonably regularly, having used public transport which means a 15 minute uphill walk every morning and inevitably a run through central station to avoid missing bus, not eating too much junk, cooking at home, booty dancing in my new oversized bedroom… WHY, OH WHY, DOES THIS NOT MAKE ONE IOTA OF DIFFERENCE TO MY LARD ASS/THIGHS/ARMS/TUM/CHINS?".  Ya know, one of those days.  They do come around fairly frequently, really.  It’s pretty much part and parcel with the whole female thing.

But today I decided I wasn’t allowed to be like this, because it’s International Womens’ Day.  And it’s supposed to be all "power to the sisterhood, screw you all, my lard ass is ok, I shouldn’t have to feel bad about the way I look AND THE REASON I DO IS BECAUSE OF EVIL MEN and that’s why WE ALL GET PAID LESS TOO YOU CHAUVINISTIC BASTARDS" day.  Maybe not how all people are interpreting it, but I was in a crappy mood.

So my method for turning the frown upside down was to take some self portrait shots (well they are all pretty pouty).  I couldn’t go out and drink copious amounts of cheap wine (another simple way to give the self esteem a boost) because I am pretty broke this week.  And just like alcohol, photography can go two ways… you can either end up jubilant if you get some good results, or you can end up crying into your viewfinder and blubbering "why me".

But I wanted to play some more with my tripod anyway, plus the Ikea bedside light I bought when I moved was also purchased because I thought it would work as a good fake studio light to bounce off my white walls for photos.

So yeah, took some shots to stick it to the haters.  (Shame the biggest hater is often me).

self portrait

self portrait

And one in colour in dodgy Lomo style (need photoshop!), just for good measure.

Self portrait

Some art…

So….. I’ve been having some fun with a couple of canvasses I had and some paint.  I am really awful at creating things that actually resemble something else (that’s what photography is for), so it’s all "abstract".  These are a couple I did a few weekends ago… I have a big canvas sitting in my room that I am trying to decide what to do with as well, these are on small ones.  They are nothing special, but they add a bit of colour to my room.

My art

My art

Nothing special, and the colours have shown up a bit funny on the red one.  I need photoshop so bad!  I’m living without it at the moment.

And here’s a random pic of this leadlight thing my housemate has… no reason, just thought it looked cool.  And it’s colourful.  And I love colourful stuff.

Stained glass

Taxing journeys

So, my car is in getting fixed, following the South Coast prang.  So to get around for work, I have been relying on cabcharges and have been sampling Sydney’s delightful array of taxi drivers.  I’ve had some colourful ones.

Not counting all the boring silent ones, here’s a quick rundown of some of my favourites this week alone.

-An absolute champion old guy who talked about politics with me for the whole trip.  He was totally stoked about Rudd’s apology, was totally down with the Wollongong Council scandal, and could make intelligent barbed attacks on most of the former Federal Lib frontbenchers, as well as most of the State ministers both in government and opposition.  Best cab ride in a long time.

-On the same day, I got a driver who was the polar opposite.  A rough transcript of our conversation;

Rude Taxi Man (RTM): What you do on weekend?  You didn’t go mardi gras did you?
Me: No, I just had a quiet one
RTM: We have too many diseases in this country already.  That’s what I think.
Me: Sorry?  What do you mean?
RTM: Too many diseases, we shouldn’t let those ones come.  I won’t work on the mardi gras night.  I’d rather starve than… ya know… *waving of hand in air dismissively*. Why would you go?  What you gonna see?
Me: *dumbfounded silence*   
RTM: Have you been? 
Me: Yes, I’ve been many times.
RTM: *angrily* Oh, why you go?  What will you see?  Why would you go to look at that?
Me: I’ve gone to support friends marching in the parade , and to see people in amazing costumes, celebrating their individuality and relationships… and really, it’s such a huge Sydney event.  As a  Sydneysider, you’ve just got to go at least once, it’s such a spectacle.

RTM: *snorts* It’s… it’s… terrible, that’s what it is.
Me: Sorry, but I completely disagree.  I think it’s great.
RTM: Well, I can see you think different to me then.

The rest of the ride was spent in stony silence, except for the occasional grunt from the driver as he tried to accidentally nearly clip my side of the car on poles and parked cars at every possible occasion.

-This afternoon I had a mental cabbie who was tearing up and down the tiny tiny backstreets of Birchgrove, where there is only room for one car to fit down a street, but they are two lane roads.  He almost hit 3 cars within my first 5 minutes in the cab.  One of the men in the cars actually wound down his window and said "hey mate, you need to bloody slow down on these streets". He asked for directions, I said straight, so he veered sharply right around a corner without looking.  I asked him to slow down… "the speed limit is 40 kms on the Balmain peninsula, you know that don’t you? I’m not in a hurry" "yes yes miss" he said, while narrowly missing a woman and her pram and slamming his foot on the accelerator.  I wanted to get his name and make a complaint, but I was too busy clawing my fingernails into the side door in fear and I couldn’t read his license because I was being jerked back and forward by his random and sequential slamming of the brake and accelerator… the cab rattled and shook like a car that had such a hard life it was barely staying in one piece… the only reason I didn’t get out and get another cab was because then I would have had to pay, because my cabcharge would be used. Scary.

Have you ever noticed…

  • That at Summer Bay High, the bell rings, they rustle in their lockers, the bell rings again, and they go back to the exact same classroom.  The closest they get to eating lunch is tossing a token apple in their hands… or taking one sip of a milkshake at the diner, then leaving after fighting with someone. And there is only ever one class, full of students of massively varying ages.
  • That guys on vacuum cleaner and household cleaning commercials always have freaky googly eyes.
  • That Anna Coren is actually a malfunctioning robot.
  • That Natalie Longsurname is always squinting to read the autocue on So You Think You Can Host?
  • how awesome the show Skins is.
  • that you don’t realise just how much crappy tv you can watch in a week without even realising it?