Getting Shit Sorted Like A Motherf**king Adult! Apart From the Big, Main Thing…

Since moving, I have done so much self-improvement in the hopes that it would land me a job that it actually sort of scares me how freakishly enthusiastic I’ve been. I have been continuously brushed off by the retail industry – apparently five fucking years of customer service experience isn’t enough to get a retail job up here – so I have set about opening up the hospitality industry to myself in the hopes that I can find work there.

Over the past couple of months, I have:

  • Done an RSA. I am now a certified bar monkey, and I don’t even like booze.
  • Did courses in wine knowledge, cocktail knowledge and beer knowledge. Because I didn’t know shit about any of them.
  • Done three barista courses. I am now a certified coffee monkey and I don’t even like coffee (that much… the iced stuff is wonderful…)
  • Did some crap about safe food handling. Basically, it was a forty-slide PowerPoint presentation reiterating the one, all-powerful point: wash your goddamned hands!
  • I started to learn to drive again. Only took me eight fucking years to get that one sorted…

All these things were alright – I rather enjoyed the barista courses, even if milk is a bitch to steam right – but at the end of it all, I only have two volunteer positions to show for it. I don’t mind the volunteer stuff – any experience is great, after all. One is for a not-for-profit indie magazine in the city where I’ll be writing about theatre, culture and the arts (which won’t start until after New Years, but I’m really looking forward to it nonetheless), and the other is a volunteer bar-tender at an outdoor, rooftop movie theatre, which has been pretty fun! But I’d really like something that… you know, paid me to be there!

In other news, I’ve been accepted to university next year to study creative writing, and I’m toying with adding a second major. I never would have thought that the prospect of further education would make me so ridiculously happy, but it has – I’ve been waiting to go to uni for years. Now all I need is a paying job, my own place, a car and some friends. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? Right?

Moving House is a Bitch…

On September 9, I moved house. I understand such things are a necessary evil when life moves forward, but it is a hell I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It was a tedious, tiresome task that was made all the more difficult when the packing process was interrupted and halted by the sudden death of my uncle (when being there for my aunt and cousins and generally feeling like a dog for leaving so soon after was far more important), and also by the fact that the real estate agent was quite possibly the most condescending arsehole of a man I have ever had the displeasure of meeting who lied and mislead us through a good portion of the process, and had the gall to laugh when we called him on it (“Did I say that? Ha ha ha.”). And he let my dogs out (who will BOLT at the first opportunity), but that’s a different beef entirely.

Anyway, we ended up moving to a little house about half an hour out of Perth, Western Australia, in a densely packed little suburb where there is no mobile phone reception to speak of, and where it takes three weeks to get a land line phone and internet connection established. On the plus side, I got a ton of writing and a fair bit of sewing done, but I also missed four job interviews because I simply couldn’t receive calls or emails.

We’ve settled in well, on the plus side. There were a few little hiccups at the beginning, but I think they’re in the past now. We’re close to a train station to the city, my brother is close by, there are plenty more jobs for me to apply for, and I can go to uni next year. However, the moving process is the worst kind of chore: packing is the height of monotony, waking up at 6:30am to greet the movers is something I am in no kind of hurry to do again, spending a further three hours cleaning the house after the movers left was horrid, mostly due to the fact that the house that had been my home for so long was completely empty, and the long drive to where we are now was annoying too, but that was because there were some other smaller things in there, and two dogs and a bird in the car, too, and by that point I hadn’t eaten in over six hours.

Most of this might come off as whiny, but I’m alright with that. Some people thrive on change, but I’m not one of them. I like the idea of change – sounds wonderful in theory – but the actual changing gives me the cold shakes. As I say, I’m fine now, but I’m in no hurry to repeat the process. But I will, and soon; the lease runs out in a year…

My father is a ‘Game of Thrones’ Fan-boy…

I will preface this post with a big, fat spoiler warning, on the off chance that you have been living under a rock and have yet to watch season four of ‘Game of Thrones’ but still plan to. I might end up giving away secrets best maintained until you have watched.

You know what’s annoying? Watching ‘Games of Thrones’ with your mother. You know what’s even worse? When your father decides he wants in on the action. More annoying again? Your father is an even bigger and more obsessive fan of the show that you ever could have imagined he would be.

My father never really paid much attention when my mum and I sat down to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ before. He would typically disappear onto his laptop for an hour, then come back to reclaim the TV when my mum and I were usually too shocked by every episodes’ stupid climactic finishes to stop him. It changed this year when dad acquired an iPad, and didn’t have to leave the vicinity of the couch if he wanted to web-surf; he would do it right there, in front of the TV, and believe me, it was awkward for the first couple of episodes of season four where lots of sex scenes and general nudity abounded, not to mention the loud and gratuitous moaning. Difficult enough to stand when my mum is sitting on the other side of the couch, downright unbearable with my dad there.

Anyway, one episode, I think it was about the third or the fourth, dad must have looked up for a moment and was awed by what he saw. The first episode he watched in full was on the following Monday; it was the episode where Joffrey was murdered. Among other things, I hate that that was the first episode he watched; I really think you need the previous seasons (or even the books) as lead-in to properly appreciate that moment. From then on, it was insane.

Mum and dad watched our copies of the previous seasons on DVD to properly catch him up on what had been happening while still watching season four, and from then on it wouldn’t fucking stop.

It was all “who’s that?” “who are they affiliated with?” “what did they do?” “why does he hate that other guy so much?” “is ‘Littlefinger’ a name or a nickname?” “why did it take them so long to kill that bastard?” “who’s the blonde girl and why does she have the dragons?”

Pretty soon it was all “SHUT THE FUCK UP, DAD, I CAN’T HEAR *insert chatty low-talker here* MONOLOGUE!”

Then he had a map of characters and how they were intertwined and the Wikipedia page which listed all the characters in front of him. I can’t even begin to describe my irritation whenever a character would introduce themselves only for dad to duck back down to the iPad to verify their story himself. It took everything in me not to blurt out book spoilers. The second last episode of season four (where the Wall was attacked by the Wildlings), mum and I got a character by character rundown of every character who died, as the episode rolled on.

Now that the series has wrapped, he’s still not done; he still won’t shut up about it. The other day, we watched an episode of ‘Hoarders’ that had a little person in it; dad immediately called her ‘The Imp’ and laughed his arse off. I’m asked quite frequently when the next season will be on, when the season four DVD is going to come out. Sometimes I’m treated to facts about the actors’ who portray the characters; did you know the guy who played The Mountain in this season is a 6’9″ Strong Man from Iceland? Did you know that neither Lena Headey or Emilia Clarke are actually blonde? And, fuck, more information that I couldn’t care less about for the guy who plays Hordor. Not to mention he swans about actually calling it GoT.

Yeah, alright, the show is really good, but this level of attentiveness from a bloke who’s 54 this year and only started watching the show about 2 months ago is just plain annoying. Especially when you’re the one boring the brunt of it.

Mum wants him to watch ‘Breaking Bad’ next. I don’t know how that’s going to go…

Fancy Pants New Laptop

As my none-too-subtle title will indicate, I am writing this post from my new, super spiffy laptop! My old one was on it’s last legs, and my dog liked to walk over the keyboard, dislodging many keys as he went. I identify myself as a writer; how the bleeding hell am I meant to write without the full cooperation of my ‘A’ and ‘S’ keys? So, after trawling the internet (actually, it was on the first site I looked at, but I’m stingy and tried to find it even cheaper than its sale price…) I found a suitable new writing companion within my price range, and it is ever so nice! It’s last years’ model, but who gives a toss? It has the internet, Microsoft Word and a fully functional keyboard! All I need at this particular point in time. My only complaint is the lack of disc drive, but baby brother tells me such hardware is being phased out, and all I have to say is BOLLOCKS TO THAT! Ridiculous! Who cares if the rest of the world are pirates? I still use discs, Goddamnit!

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you my latest $200+ acquisition, since I don’t make many of those at the best of times. When I’ve finally moved house and pushed through my uni application, I might have something more substantial to share with you then, but until that time, I remain dull and uninteresting, unless my purchasing exploits excite you, in which case I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend you find something else to tickle your fancy, you weirdo.

What have I been up to lately?

On assessment, the short answer seems to be ‘sweet bugger all’, but upon looking at the wider scope of things, I appear to be quite busy.

  • We put our house on the market about two months ago; it sold last week.
  • I’m doing another business course, a Cert IV this time. I absolutely loathe it. But, if all goes well, I’ll be able to drop it when we move in favour of an actual job and a possible university course next year.
  • We’ve been packing our house in order to be ready to move by June (or July, still not 100% since no one here tells me anything!)
  • One of my favourite birds died. Admittedly, this wasn’t a hindrance, he had been sick for a while and we were expecting it, but I was a bit out of sorts for a while. This picture was taken about a week before he died. RIP Yoshi; your silly songs and dances will be missed.

ImageSo, insofar as those things go, the titular ‘things I do’ have been put on the back burner. I haven’t done any cross stitch or crocheting in ages, and it feels all kinds of wrong. I have, however, been writing my bony little fingers off writing Harry Potter fan fiction fest pieces. Yes, laugh if you will, but I love writing, and doing fan fiction has been one of the best ways I’ve found just to practice writing techniques, and I feel as though my writing has improved a thousand times over because of it. The story I’m writing now is a piece I’m exceptionally proud of, and I’m feeling very good about the other one I’ve got lined up, too.

I’ve been catching up on reading, too, as I have far too many books on my shelf that I’ve yet to crack, so I figured I’d finally give ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ a look in. I’m still only reading the first book, but I can understand the fuss is about. I can’t wait to be one of the pompous types who isn’t at all surprised by the goings-on in the show, smugly looking down upon my mum and brother and saying, “I knew that was going to happen.”

So, yes. If you’re one of my readership, I would first suggest you find something better to do, as I’m about as dull as dishwater. But if for some reason you actually somewhat enjoy my narcissist ramblings,  I thank you, I just wish I was a tad more interesting to appease you. If it helps, here’s a picture of my puppy, though he’s not much of a puppy anymore.

ImageDon’t let those eyes fool you; he was fed not an hour before that photo was taken.

Balls

School balls to be specific. I don’t know about other places in the world but in my neck of the woods all the way down here in a little town in Western Australia, school balls are typically held at the beginning of the year. The excuse for this is so girls aren’t acting like hummingbirds on Red Bull trying to find a dress at the same time as end-of-year exams, which is fair I suppose, though it did seem to just do away with the whole magic of your senior school ball.

My school ball happened all the way back in 2007. I didn’t really want to go. I wasn’t a particularly sociable person back then (though I don’t suppose I really am now, either…) and I think I went in the end mostly to appease my mother. I did the whole bit. I had a really pretty red dress (I looked high and low for a midnight blue dress but, alas, found none), I got my hair cut and coloured, got makeup done despite the fact that I had never worn anything more than concealer up until that point. I even went a bought jewellery from some silly little shop called Diva (mortifying…)

I’m not sure what I expected from this ball, and forgive any wrongful Cinderella-esque notions I have of such an event, but are balls supposed to be held in tiny, dark rooms that realistically can’t hold more than 50 people, let alone accommodate the 200 or so that actually showed up? Is the music normally loud and obnoxious? Are strobe lights obligatory? SINCE FRICKIN’ WHEN DOES A SENIOR SCHOOL FORMAL LOOK LIKE A GODDAMN RAVE???

This is likely me being nit-picky, I just wish the stupid thing was called what it is! To call something a ball does evoke a somewhat ‘Disney’ s0rt of response in me, you know, dancing in an actual ball room (Prince Charming optional) and for the evening to be… you know… pleasant!  Instead I had a headache from the explosion of perfumes and sweat in the room and the stupid *thump thump* music the DJ kept shoving down our throats! Most likely, this is my hermit attitude coming back to haunt me, but I don’t think you can throw 200 well dressed people into a loud, dark, smelly room and call it a ball. It’s a weird formal dress night club.

 

Christmas 2013 Gifts

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It struck me today that while I purport this blog to be a ‘journey through the stuff I do’, I’ve yet to share what I do! So, in case you were wondering, here is a selection of things I made as Christmas 2013 gifts. The Dr Who stitches went to my brothers’ girlfriend, the Pacman one went to my brother and the amigurumi snitch and Charmander were Secret Santa gifts.

As far as patterns go, I found the backstitched Dr Who one while trawling Google Images for free patterns and the K-9 one is a modification of a finished product I saw. The Pacman one I actually saw on some random guys shirt, but he disappeared before I could ask about it (if anyone could refer me to the original artist/brand I’d be much obliged). The amigurumi pattern for the Charmander came courtesy of Corlista on Etsy (she’s got some adorable chibi Pokemon patterns!), and the snitch pattern was free from http://www.innerchildcrochet.com