Too Much Reality in TV

signsReality TV is all about the competition nowadays. That sounds like an obvious thing to say, but…hear me out. You get the odd one, like People Who Are Just Lovely About Each Other’s Baking where they’re quite nice and saying goodbye to someone in one of the weeks is genuinely tough because they’re such chums. Maybe that’s because it’s British and their concept of drama is a bit different.

Still, all the billboards for People Who Are Nasty About Each Other’s Cooking (PWNAEOC) are pretty focused on the competitive side. I know Melbourne signwriters have to work with what they’re given, so it’s not the signage company’s fault. The networks are the ones who really need to reign it in, because that’s a direct culture of negativity beaming into cars travelling along the freeway. I wonder what my daughter thinks when she sees a big billboard advertising PWNAEOC on weeknights, and it also has one of the nastier contestants featured. Her name is…Perona? Patricia? Pangea? Anyway, they all her the Financial Falcon, because she’s a financial planner but is also really quite vicious and swooping with her comments. And now she’s the designated villain, because even reality TV needs that kind of thing apparently. Maybe Pangea is really just a nice girl in real life, you know? It could be camera trickery.

To be fair, that’s not the only kind of outdoor signage on the market. There are other couples in the competition, and they’re pretty nice sometimes, some of them, maybe. Or at least, the signs call them by nicer names and imply that they’re in it for the fun. Can’t we all just be in it for the fun? You know, like in PWJLAEOB. Such a nice show, without any dramatic musical cues when someone’s chicken tenders turn out to be a bit stringy. I want to see some quality Melbourne outdoor signage that highlights the skills and contributions of the contestants, not playing up how they’re going to cause trouble. I should write to the network.


Call me crazy – A carport haunting

carportMy wife and I used to have an ancient farm shed at the back of our property which we kept around for rustic appeal. For a while we even kept our cars in there because we didn’t have enough saved for a garage yet. But it was only months later that I was saving like mad to get rid of that old shed and put my vehicles in brand new car accommodation. (Tamworth has some top notch builders by the way) Here’s what happened.

Back then I was coming back from work late in the evening, sometimes around 12am or later. I’d park the car in the shed and that’s when I heard strange noises. Maybe it was the wind through the rafters but I swear I heard a woman wailing as if in mourning and once a child’s laughter. It started getting so bad in the rusty steel shed that I thought I was losing my mind. My wife didn’t believe me until one Saturday after a girl’s night out she herself heard footsteps and ended up coating the barn walls in pepper spray! Then one night, these disturbing sounds culminated in a haunting that convinced me we had to look for new carports. Tamworth builders suddenly seemed like great value for the relief we’d be getting.

That night I parked the car, already tense and sweaty, ready to bolt from the shed to the front door just to avoid hearing those awful sounds. So I leapt out of the car and tried to run, but something snagged the back of my jacket. I shrieked and spun around and then I saw it: a woman dressed in white, her face covered in tears and a child in her arms. I ran to the safety of the house and I swore to knock down that haunted shed. We got our new awnings for the cars and I’ve never looked back since!

Dog walking

SDog walking Melbourneo I was out walking my dogs this morning since it was my day off work and I got talking to this really nice lady. She had a dog with her and it was playing with my dog, and as we got talking it turns out she was at work, right then and there. How? She’s one of what I can only assume is a community of dog walkers in Melbourne. That’s right, apparently Melbourne is a bit of a hub for dog walkers. I mean, I can see how. We have so many beautiful parks everywhere and everyone here always seems to be pressed for time. Anyhow, I expressed a bit of interest in dog walking and she ended up giving me a business card and asking me to call her if I decided I was interested in walking dogs to make a bit of money.

I left all smiles and it wasn’t until I was walking home that I had a real look at the business card and a hard think about what had just happened. I’m still at school, so any work would have to be part time, but I’ve actually been looking for a job for a really long time. I mean, I want to travel at the end of the year once I’ve finished school, and that means I have to have made some money. All my friends who want to make any money are stuck working at Maccas or something equally as terrible just to basically nothing. I have no idea how it would pay, but dog walking in Melbourne for a living sounds just amazing. Doing something a little bit active and different like this is absolutely perfect. I mean, I love dogs and I love walking. It kind of sounds like a match made in heaven.

Party ends in carpet stains

carpet steam cleaning MelbourneI’m a fairly social person and often have parties at my house. I live by myself so I was always coming up with excuses to invite people over. Sometimes the parties get a little out of hand and I have to hire professional carpet and upholstery cleaners in Melbourne to save my furniture. I like having a big group of friendly people around me, probably because I grew up as an only child and wanted siblings to take away my boredom. Now, I had every opportunity to have people over and a great group of friends who were always up for an adventure. Last night I had a few dozen friends over for dinner. I bought a new wood fired pizza stone so we had to test it out. The pizza stone was a roaring success and everyone was happy with the meal. After dinner, we decided to bust out the last two bottles of wine and started playing a game of charades. The night was going well, everyone seemed to be having a great time, when suddenly my friend, who was half way through her charades mime, smashed her full wine glass on the floor. Red wine splashed onto the carpet and everyone fell silent. The next morning I found a note on my kitchen counter with some money in an envelope. My friends must have left the note and cash after they put me to bed. The wine ended up getting to my head my friends had to let themselves out. The money was to cover the cost of the stain removal. Melbourne parties always seem to cost me a piece of crockery or furniture, I’m happy to pay the party gods. There was the phone number for a tile and grout cleaning company next to the note which I thought was a nice touch. As I looked back at my stained carpet, I really hoped the upholstery cleaning crew would be able to help me out.

Embracing the Treatments

facialIdiosyncratic. 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.


The Inherited Boast

marinaI’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…


Ovens and Forgetfulness Don’t Mix

ovensI 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.


The overlord of the call service

stress officeIt’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.

My beautiful house is infested with termites

Dandenong pest controlI 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.

Beauty and all that shines

anti wrinkle injection MelbourneHaving 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.

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