Monday, May 31, 2010

Will you still need me, when I'm 3!

Have you ever thought about retiring? I do every Monday morning however having done the calculations I will need to work a little bit longer, until I'm at least 112 then I can go part time. In Paris last week they were thinking about retiring. According to the Australian newspaper today France last week announced a plan to raise the legal retirement age from 60 to 63 and judging from the photograph of protesters they were not real keen on the idea. If someone said I had to wait another three years before I get to sit in the sun drink great wine and eat smelly cheese all day I'd be a bit grumpy too. So when the day of retirement comes what are your plans? Mine don't go beyond much more than sleep in. Followed by ... sleep in again the next day. I don't do camping, art and craft shows make me nauseous and the only thing I can think to do with a caravan involves a heavy crane and steep cliff. Volunteer work is, well work and unless it's so much fun it's not work, then leave it in the work category and pay up you tight arse scrooges and joining a painting or craftwork group is just an opportunity to eat biscuits until it's time to go home for 'Antiques Roadshow' made by and about, you guessed it. Maybe I will get up for work tomorrow. I'm not quite ready for the great road trip around the bend just yet.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Shhhhh you're disturbing the peas

I try to avoid the big supermarkets as much as I can. I just can't find anything to buy in them. My local one is so bad I might as well do my shopping at the service station where you can buy a warmed up again 'meat' pie or a pre(historic)packed sandwich. I like to go to the grocers where they have a choice of products not just their own brand and one other from Thailand, where the oranges are plentiful because they are in season and not from America where for some reason they are so bright you could use them as high viz traffic cones. However of late I have noticed a new kind of pest has permeated the food aisles, the mobile phone shopper. The I'm so popular I can't even buy sprouts without one of my five thousand hilARIOUS buddies calling me. They generally stand in front of the food item that you need to get to, staring at it with head cocked to the side and empty basket in arm, screaming into the freezer "you're fucking kidding me right". At the deli counter they leave bewildered assistants waiving leg ham in the air as the lesser ticket item holders suffer through a conversation about a four year old's teen model birthday party. I have nothing against mobile phones, I have two, one for work and one for personal use. In fact there is enough radiation coming out of my handbag to microwave a whole chicken. Perhaps if the supermarkets could provide a little outdoor area allocated specifically for mobile phone use to eliminate the risk of inhaling other people's crap conversations. Hmm. Might need to make that a bigger room.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Frozen Songstress Anyone?

Some pop star wants to be frozen. That's what they told me on the radio this morning. She learned that Walt Disney did it and now she wants it ie., kept frozen until the technological know how is invented to revive her, the medical knowledge is invented to cure her of whatever it was that killed her in the first place and most importantly...someone to remember where they put her. Why wait until you die? Do it now, save time. So with an horrific vision of a minor celebrity wedged in between my chicken stock and frozen peas I ate my breakfast and caught up on yesterday's newspaper. More food dilemmas. Beef prices are going up so we all have to eat chicken according to the word on the fast food street "Burger kings crying fowl over beef" The Australian May 25. "In addition to pushing its boneless chicken wings..." one fast food chain is reported. Wait one featherless sick chicken pickin' minute there my friend. Did you say BONELESS chicken wings? And do I think for a minute that Mr Meat Processing Man is going to pin bone a scrawny mass produced chicken wing every .5 of a second one rolls in front of him? No, let's just assume that they are now growing them without bones because nothing would surprise me in the industry where an animal is not an animal but a product to be dispatched. The movie Food Inc. is out now and if you are brave enough to take responsibility for what you eat, I dare you or pick up a copy of The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and read how it doesn't have to be this way. Bet you didn't even know that cows ate grass - not grains, mashed up fish offal or bits of other animals, corn, antibiotics, hormones, but grass. I don't want to get to the point where everything we eat is a slimy brown or orange colour and the only choice I have is in a box or a bucket. Just give me a bucket, blahhh.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Spending a bright sunny weekend in bed with the flu brings out the worst in anyone. For some it always seems a little worse than it is. When I take to my bed, I generally like to stay there until it's safe to come out (safe for anyone else that is). Visitors are strictly prohibited and any attempt to come over and 'cheer me up' would probably be met with a sawn off shotgun at the foot of the bed. Phones are not answered, email is left to fester in the never never and any advertisement suggesting I should soldier on is drowned out by a tirade of blocked nasal pitched abuse. With not much left but television and newspapers I find my tolerance levels for wall to wall AFL even lower than it's usual miniscule amount however one little gem this week couldn't go unpicked. Gays. And how AFL footballers are apparently scared of them. I laughed so hard that I needed to straighten myself up before I could consider that they really do believe in their own hero mythology. Here are some of the great AFL myths. That they are good at all sports, that they are world famous and that all women AND men find them desirable. Either my medication is working better than expected or I actually read that Eddie Maguire publicly disagreed with the comments made by this overpaid neanderthal. What next, he will be asking them to consider women as equals? I need to lie down.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What is that in your closet?

When you are in the process of job seeking, first impressions are everything. You need to demonstrate the ability to be positive (even though after the latest restructure you now report to the work experience kid), be flexible (ie., bend over backwards on a regular basis) and most importantly you need to present yourself in the best possible light (preferably fluorescent so as not to show the veins straining in your neck as you outline the details of an entirely fictitious resume that includes everything from a recently acquired MBA ie., Masters in Botox and Ageing to first job as an astronaut. When driving home last night my mobile phone rings and I know it's the pimp from the agency. I reach into the black leather abyss only to cut the call, nearly rear end the ute in front and scream "fuck" very loudly only to realise, she was still on the phone. Oops. Yes first impressions are everything and starting your candidate/consultant relationship with fuck is not the recommended approach. Whilst during the interview one should present oneself as friendly, liking all things business related and not slightly pissed off at all. Speak of achievements and KPI's, fondness for fitness, cooking and reading. No need to mention the dislike of small dogs, children and anything remotely linked to the AFL. Best they find this out after probation. And salary expectations? Back up the truck and throw in a few wire coat hangers for old times sake.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gosh, men are so much better at everything...

For a perfect night in what would you prefer, he cooked the meal or did the dishes? On Friday night I opted for the meal. I have a dishwasher honey. But not just any old meal. Have you ever wondered what you would answer in that quiz that asks 'what would be your final meal?' I believe this tells us a lot about ourselves. Some are keen to go to the next life free from saturated fat and flatulence whilst the rest of us think what if their ain't no afterlife and the birdseed bread sandwich was a wasted effort. On Friday night I ate cassoulet. For those not in the know it's a French winter bean stew with pork belly, duck confit, pork sausage and depending on who makes it, it's the food of the gods - with wine of course if the gods select a good red. This is the stuff that sends vegetarians into anaphylactic shock. For me, when a good looking Frenchman knocks on my door, leave the chocolates and flowers at the service station, bring me food and wine. And given the content of this dish, when I say this is nominated as my last meal, according to most doctors, it very well could be. What would be yours?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Managing Minors

I work for a company that bought another company. The two companies now work in the same building. They had someone who does my job. Now there are two of us. He thought he was my boss and I thought I was his. He is about 20 years my junior but wants to be my senior. Are you still with me? Should I be the adult and take the high moral ground or do I spend my day plotting to blow up his lunchbox? He's fresh out of the education system and full of newly acquired management speak so he requires an interpreter most of the time to assure us he's not setting fire to platforms and when he keeps referring to touchpoints he's not about to molest us. Should we put as much value on getting the right boss as we do getting the right job? When I think back through my resume of previous 'in commands' I come up with a frightful list of disoriented, disengaged and some all together scary human beings. From full time magazine readers to the ever present teflon manager with the non stick work coating, I think I've suffered under them all. What is it that makes a boss a real plonker? Is it the David Brent character of 'The Office' scenario where he thinks he's a good all round bloke and friend of everyone when the reality is most of the workforce want to snap him like a twig, or the psychotic power woman with the hair that doesn't move and who keeps saying we're moving forward when you know it's more like pushing you know what up you know where? What makes a good boss...nice feedback? No it's cash. Anyone who tells you that job recognition is as simple as a thank you and a pat on the back should be thrashed. I won't bother asking the new boss for any feedback because it probably would come via text message and ending with a :) or a smiley face.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You don't have to put on the red light

I'm officially on the job market. I'm actively seeking employment and therefore relying on the services of those who supposedly match candidate with client (you can see where I'm headed already). For the similarity between recruitment agency and pimp may seem an unlikely bedfellow but for me it couldn't be any more cosy than if they installed a stripper pole in the foyer and said "only those wearing 9 inch heels may apply". Basically they'll pimp your wears and hopefully hook you up with a paying customer. And there is plenty more on the street where you came from but it's the paying clients they've got to keep happy. The street walkers, job seekers, whatever, have got that addiction thing happening too, career progression. They all want it and can't get enough of it. It seems like they just get one off the street and then in a year or two they are back for more. Resumes describe all the tricks they pull, why they do it so much better, faster, more outcomes and achievement based to get their juices flowing. And then they wait in vein for the call and hope they'll be picked as the one that's fancied the most. No luck today. Maybe it's my ballet flats.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Don't give me any more of that pink ribbon shit

Since when did Mother's Day become Cancer Day? With a lineup of yesterday's celebrities tripping over each others walking frames to get into the limelight in the name of the big "C" makes me cringe just a bit. The real stories of extraordinary bravery and survival from cancer deserve their day in its own right. No more would we want Father's Day to become Prostate Day (and I'm sure there is a ribbon for that too) should the women we love and respect be only associated with serious illness. Womanhood or motherhood does not mean victimhood. We do not need rescuing and if we did we have a mobile phone with a list of contacts under W for white knight if needed. We do not need to wear pink to remind us we have ovaries. If you love your mother and want to show her your appreciation, cook her a meal or buy her a car, your choice. Happy mothers day to the strong, independent, funny, powerful, motivating, intelligent women out there who do it all every day. It takes a bit more than a ribbon to represent all that.

Monday, May 3, 2010

That time of the month in 1945

These photographs remind me of the photographs of my mother's era where all the girls would stand around for a photograph that you can probably imagine took about 15 minutes to take provided the 'box brownie' was working. There was often a girl sitting on a lawn, with a dog. Black dog called Nigger (OH MY GOD!) and a cat called Tiger (even that has a new meaning these days!!). I was thinking of these women on the weekend when I was reading something about a collection of stories by women who are relaying tales about their first period. Eeuuww, I hear, and yes, but when you delve a little further, these are some of the funniest stories around. In the days of God, King and Country 1940's women had no access to sex education other than a large leather bound 'Ladies Handbook' about a ladies' reproductive organs and being a good wife. I still have my mothers handbook that was handed down to her from her mother and handed down to her from Hippocrates himself I suspect. Having perused this tomb of pop up drawings of pink internal organs I'm surprised that I'm here at all. The Ladies' Handbook of Home Treatment 1939 provides illuminating drawings of the 'female figure' with an intestine that appears to have overgrown everything that could be even slightly sexual or reproductive. The chapter on 'Beginning of a New Life' provides a highly detailed drawing, FIG.1.-a Stigma b. Anther. c., Stamen d. Petal. No wonder they were confused, they thought their reproductive organs came from the garden. The chapter on making a marriage a success provides valuable insight into not very much but rest assured we learn that 'Good women are a nation's chief asset' however by the time we get to Chapter III 'Sex Physiology and Hygiene' (this is 1940's Cleo don't forget) we've learned that the function of reproduction is the noblest of all human powers. I'm not sure if I'm meant to be marching into battle or just getting laid. Getting back to my original point, I recall my auntie describing the first time she discovered herself menstruating. She, of a family of 5 brothers and sisters announced to everyone at the breakfast table that she was dying. My grandmother recognising immediately that perhaps the Ladies Handbook had not answered all of the questions, announced to the family over their porridge that there was nothing to be bothered about and she had just cut her arse! Come to think of it if she ever did get to the end of the Ladies Handbook she would be probably too old to worry about it anyway.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nothing Much

I've declared my Sundays a day of do nothing. Groans of 'alright for some' I hear from those who are washing, ironing, folding, wiping and windexing. I'm doing all those too but I declare that once that's done, I'll do nothing. Well not much more than reading a book anyway. But then why do I feel guilty? The fear of commitment goes beyond a mortgage and a marriage, it extends for me to team sports and group activities as well. The thought of getting up early on a Sunday to meet, do team things together is as appealing as watching someone else's child sing 'I Dream a Dream' in their school concert. As Monday slams into my next morning, without doubt there will be someone who goes to great length to describe their weekend activities starting from 5pm on Friday which usually goes along the lines of 'we had drinks with friends on Friday then a wedding on Saturday and friends over for dinner on Sunday no, nothing much...'. I'd need a week off after this, preferably in rehab. Does everything we do in this country involve booze? Whilst I come from a long line of alcohol appreciators and I've been known many years ago to give it a nudge or two in the attempt to prove my youthful uselessness, the open bottle of wine in my fridge these days will go off before I get to finish it. So when the question comes around on Monday I'll probably skim over the book reading bit and rely on the old 'quiet' weekend response as if my preferred option is a well fuelled joint social activity when in fact, I had a really lovely time. It's just a shame that do nothing needs to be say nothing as well.