Idiosyncratic. That’s a funny word. Idiosyncratic…sometimes I wish I could be a little bit less idiosyncratic. There’s something to be said for following the crowd, just a little bit. After all, it’s how humans ever got together in the first place; bonding over shared interests of having come from the same family, or not wanting to be eaten by elephants.
A lot of girls my age are into cosmetics, which is just what happens when you reach your late teens and people start referring to you as grown up. I’m trying to shake up my thinking, which has previously been ‘who’d ever want to go to one of those Melbourne dermatologists!’
For one thing, that’s just mean and unfounded. Actually, people who do dermatology are probably MORE likely to be less gross, because they know how to take care of their skin and such. I bet they’re all beautiful people, inside and out. So if that’s the case, what’s so bad about what they do? It reminds me of the time when we had our very first formal event in year 7. I was newly a teenager and trying really hard to be the lone wolf, mysterious and without any true friends. All the girls my age were excited about looking pretty, and I decided I was going to show up with my hair as bedraggled as possible, all goth makeup and kooky imagery. So they all came with their lip fillers and gloss and perfectly done hair, and there I was…as monstrous as possible. It’s taken me years to realise why that was wrong. I was ruining THEIR event.
Now, if someone asked me to go to a day spa or something…well, that doesn’t sound too bad. And if I wanted to go to some guy who does dermal fillers in Melbourne, or whatever…well, maybe I shouldn’t hate myself for it. My face, my choice, I say.
There’s a slight chance I’m over my head here. I’ve only just taken up my career as an all-round handyman, which is a bad thing because I’m not an all-rounder. Yesterday I confused a gas bottle holder with an aluminium tray. Melbourne has no need of tradespeople who don’t know what they’re doing.
And it’s not that I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve been part of an apprenticeship for four years! But…it was as a roofing person. So I climbed around on the roof a lot, used a hammer, ripped uo some tiles, did all that. I was thinking I might have walked away with some all-round skills, hence why I’ve started my own general business. Now, on my first day, I’m sort of regretting it. Took less time than I thought.
The one thing giving me a bit of hope is this conference thing in Sydney. It’s for people like me, so we can go along and learn about how to be better at DIY and our jobs and stuff. I just heard that one of the electives was ‘the Absolute Basics’ and I was pretty much sold, because that’s what I’ll be needing. Just give me the beginning stuff, and preferably a room full of people who are just like me: learning for the first time. I mean, surely the place won’t be packed with older guys, because they already know their stuff. They walk around with their toolbox central locking, and super-souped-up utes and pretty much look like they have nothing more to learn. So yeah, I could be in good company. Or…I’m hoping that I will be.
Anyway, I’m just going to go with my head held high, or whatever. There’s no shame in being a beginner, because it’s where everyone has to start. That’s what my old boss used to say, and I think it’s true. I’m a beginner, and proud. And I might just find out what a gas bottle holder really looks like. That’d be cool, I guess.
I’m beginning to think that there’s really no place in Melbourne that has proper appreciation for the art of card games. I mean the actual artwork, but also the art of the playstyle. There’s something mesmerising about a true card player, the way they move, the way they make killer plays. Outside of my family and our network, I haven’t seen much of that. A little bit of video game appreciation, but that’s about it.
My new career isn’t card game-friendly either. There are plenty of tradespeople around Melbourne in need of aluminium trays for work and play. It’s now my job to sell them the idea of kitting out their ute with this magnificent technology. Obviously, the trays are perfectly rectangular and perfectly capable of holding rows of trading cards with ease. In fact, it transforms your ute into what might as well be a card game vehicle, handy for tournaments when you need to be transporting your cards around the place and don’t want to carry them in suitcases. And yet, when I tried to pitch this idea to my first crew, they didn’t seem impressed. Some asked about the weight capacity, and I told them that the trays could easily hold up to three-thousand cards, possibly more. Still, nothing.
Here I was expecting tradespeople to be properly into card games. They often have times when they cannot work, due to rain and other weather conditions. This leaves them sitting around, doing nothing. What better way to fill the time than with card games? They could surely stash some in their aluminium toolboxes, to be brought out on a literal rainy day. And then they under tray draws would just be golden for holding spare cards for deck reconstruction. Perhaps this career path also is a bust. Must I keep searching? I really do like the idea of aluminium trays.
I’ve never needed boat advice before. Guess there’s a first time for everything. In fact, I’ve never been a big fan of water, or the ocean, so this is a new world of aquatic mayhem and terms to remember…which side is starboard? Ahh, there’s that line from Marauders of the Pacific where Elisabeth Goose yells something about the starboard side…I’ll never remember, so I shouldn’t bother. But it was a really good line, and one that I SHOULD look up because I’m now the proud owner of a boat. Yep, a real one and everything.
And now I need real boat catches and anchor winches and all this stuff to make it work. Have ships always been this complicated? I’m pretty sure it used to be a sail and some oars, nice and simple, no fuss. I inherited this boat from my grandfather passing away, which would’ve been a sad experience if I even knew I had a grandfather on that side of the family. Randomly, he left all his boating equipment to me, a grandson he never knew. Or not to my knowledge, anyway. Maybe he knew something about me that I don’t, because as soon as the lawyer will reading person showed me, I had this urge to take it out sailing. But ah, of course it’s not as simple as just a bit of rowing and hoisting the mainsail. Nope, it’s an entire cluster of stuff to remember. What fun indeed. Hoist the mainsail, oil the anchor winch, get those trailer repairs done…and I want to do it, I really do, but I feel like it requires the swallowing of some nautical dictionary. Or you just grow up around boats. I’m fresh out of options on both counts.
Currently, my grand master plan involves mooching around the docks and hoping someone will give me some tips. Sailors are a friendly bunch, so they say in the songs. I’m pretty sure there’s a shanty about Melbourne anchor winch specialists, sailing the high seas…I heard it somewhere…
I just discovered something amazing, and terrifying. When you’re not HOLDING a spoon…you forget HOW to hold a spoon! What kind of scientific witchcraft is this? I don’t know how this works, but it does, and it’s chilling. What if one day I have to mime the use of a spoon, and I end up looking like I’m using a shovel? It’ll be a sad day, indeed.
I forget things often. Like how to operate an oven. I had to get the Smeg oven repair guy in from Sydney because I was convinced that there was something freaky weird going on with the whole process. As it turns out…it was me. As in, I hadn’t turned the oven on properly. I’ve done it a thousand times, and for some reason, this time I just forgot completely. I pressed a button, or some such thing, and it refused to heat up. My natural conclusion: broken. Broken, beyond repair! Of course, I called the repair person anyway. They came in a jiffy, and declared me to be the scatterbrained idiot that I was (with their actions, that is. They were far too polite to say something like that). It was all my fault, like the information just fell right out of my brain. Sounds like something a robot would do.
Of course, these are only two incidents in a lifetime of memory lapses. I was never too good in school, not because I didn’t understand what was happening, but because I didn’t retain it. None of my teachers thought I’d amount to anything. It wasn’t my fault, me forgetting basic things….the information just won’t stay in!
And worst of all, I’ll probably have the Sydney gas oven repair people here again. I’ll forget this ever happened, and do something silly again. Probably blow up the house. I’m terrible, really.
It’d be so great to own a kingdom. Or just be the ruler of a kingdom, whichever comes first. Being the Prime Minister is great and all, and being the president would probably be even better. But still, there’s nothing quite like being the king, and/or queen. They always have the most personal power, and anyone who thinks that they’re outdated needs to go and take a running jump.
What is my current rule? Well…I’ve got an office. I’m officially in charge of tea supplies and the call answering service. Sydney’s finest tea supplier, if I do say so myself, though my coffee skills are a little bit behind. Still, I’ve got the call answering thing going for me.
See, we’re short-handed where I am. Sometimes people go out, sometimes ALL the phones are busy and…well, we needed to do something about it. Thus we brought in a live answering service and…well, you know the rest by now. Things is, someone needs to touch base with these people on the other end, so they’re not left on their own trying to answer questions they couldn’t possibly know. I get a bit stressed on the phone to begin with, so I empathise there completely. And that’s where I come in, as the official office liaison. I’m pretty good at it, too!
So that’s my little area of influence, as I like to call it. It’s not quite the same as being the Queen and/or King of my own island nation, with all inhabitants bowing to my will and possibly thinking of me as some sort of deity, but we all have to make baby steps until we achieve our goals. Today I’m in charge of the telephone answering service…tomorrow, the world! Or at least, a very small part of it! Really, at this point I’d settle for an island that has at some point instituted a monarchy. And preferably one that doesn’t have a phone answering service, because Australia is okay to keep that tradition. It stresses me out.
I have like zero control over my life right now and it’s seriously affecting my mood. I sometimes feel like I am losing my grip on things and it hurts my soul and my mind. I have nowhere to turn because all my family are in another country. I have started losing all of my friends, they will not talk to me. I don’t even know if I can get through some days, it’s all too much. I have to keep breathing and focus on making it through another hour. The reason for my crisis all begins and ends with termites. I have to move out of my house for a little while because there are so many of them. I feel like it’s my fault that the house is in such a bad state because of the white ants. All I know is that the best termite inspectors Dandenong has to offer will be coming to the house the day after today.
They are coming to the house to conduct a thorough inspection and if needed, an extermination. They’ll go about getting rid of all of the termites that are living in the roof and I can start to think about fixing the damages. I don’t know for sure how many termites are up there but if I have to bet I would say a bunch of them. I really don’t want watch when the Dandenong pest control team does their thing. I hate bugs of all types, especially the ones that destroy my home. It is not that I have a problem with watching them get eradicated, it’s that I want to join in. I’ll leave it to the experts, I’m sure the professionals have got it covered. I love this house and I really don’t want to leave. It is worth more than a million dollars and in this economy that is a heck of a lot of money.
Having a world class beauty clinic within walking distance of your house can be looked upon as a positive, or a negative depending on what you value. A lot of people think that living so close to such a shop would be annoying and inconvenient. I have found it to be the complete opposite. Not only do I enjoy being part of a street that comes to life with the morning sun and continued long into the dark adventures throughout the night. I love where I live, but I do have a bit of a weakness when it comes to cosmetic therapy. That weakness knows me like an addiction knows an addict. How to keep me and trap me and to temp me until I have no choice but to give in. The place near my house is one of the most talked about beauty clinics in Melbourne, anti wrinkle injections being their specialty. I am lucky to be close enough to walk home after I get anything done.
I have been known to book laser hair removal, a rather inexpensive thing, and walk out with dermal fillers. I love the beauty industry, making people’s dreams come true. The beauty clinic has the best of me, and the worst at times. During those desperate days between payday I often find myself sitting on my balcony, looking down at the women coming and going from the clinic. I tell by how they walk out what they’ve had done. Dark glasses usually means they’re had cosmetic tattooing, Melbourne dermatologist are good at that sort of thing. It’s rather easy to escape reality and imagine living the life of beauty queen or a model. Waking up flawless and going about their day being a beautiful creature of leisure. I love seeing the change in how people walk when they know they look good. Seeing these lovely ladies strut out onto the streets of Melbourne fills me full of joy.
In two days I’m supposed to attend my ten year school reunion. I am very excited but also a little nervous to see everyone. I have spent the past few months planning the event in detail with my girlfriends. We have decided to hire a limousine to take us to the formal and pick us up after so we can get to the after party in style. I know that some people may think that it’s a little over the top to be hiring a limousine, Melbourne school reunions are a big deal. We have all picked out our dresses, making sure no one is wearing anything too similar. We are all going to have our makeup done professionally and I’m thinking about getting laser hair removal. Melbourne friends have convinced me that it’s the best option, I’m very excited. I’ve never had hair removal done before other than shaving, I have heard nothing but good things about laser hair treatments. We all booked in the same time to go in for our monthly anti aging injections in Melbourne. We had to book our appointments weeks ago just to get in, that’s how popular this place is! It’s going to be crazy fun getting ready together. It will definitely be a memorable day of pampering. We are all going to spend the day at a beauty spa getting facials and a spray tan. You can’t use tanning beds anymore, they’re just not worth the risk.
I’m hoping that my old high school crush Chad is going to be at the reunion. Nobody has seen him since we left high school and I can’t find him on any social media sites. He’s a total mystery and something of a legend among our graduating class. There are many theories as to what happened to Chad, some say he works on a king crab fishing boat in the Bering Sea. Others are convinced he gave up all his worldly possessions and lives in the wilderness. If you ask me he just doesn’t know how to use a computer. I have this dream where I arrive at the reunion in the stretch limousine, Melbourne is beautiful warm and sunny, he is waiting for me at the red carpet. He opens the limo door and lifts me down into his strong arms and we walk hand in hand together. A nice dream but one I’m sure will not happen, he’s probably married by now. In the off chance that he isn’t married I want to look my best for this event, I’m pulling out all the stops. My skin is usually pretty good and I don’t look my age at all but I’ve definitely added a few wrinkles and lines since high school. Nothing that can’t be fixed by a round of anti wrinkle injection followed by lip fillers. Melbourne town hall is where the event is being held, quite the fancy location if you ask me. I’m going to have a few glasses of champagne in the limo to relax before the party starts. I don’t want a repeat of the last day of school when I tried to give Chad my phone number and instead handed him a napkin.