Sunday, February 21, 2010

Next Thing You Know It'll Be House Keys In The Refrigerator

And walking the streets with a fried egg on my head, having just eaten my hat.

My entire house smells like burnt coffee, with a hint of rubber. I put the stove top coffee maker on a short while ago, somewhat distractedly, apparently without any actual water in it. I passed it a few times thinking huh, that's taking a while to gurgle.

Well, aside from the melted rubber washer the thing is okay. No house fire. No billowing smoke.

I guess it's time for a walk to the nearest cafe for a coffee. Safer too.

Craft Show Shenanigans

Those of you who warned me that Thursday was going to be a long day, no matter how much planning we put into it, were right! (See my previous post.) It wasn't helped by the fact that my boss arrived a half hour early. He was supposed to pick me up at 6.30am, but when my alarm went off at 6 I noticed there was a message flashing on my phone from 5.52am. Sorry I'm late, I'll be there in 5 minutes.

What. The. Fuh?

He had gotten himself all confused, half remembered a conversation where I suggested quarter to 7 was early enough and at quarter to 6 thought he was running late. A minute later he rang as he was a little lost, while I'm throwing on clothes unshowered and uncaffeinated and cursing like a truckstop hooker.

The rest of the day went pretty well, the 2 hour drive was uneventful and I didn't get us lost, and the stall set up was smooth but long. I was the only one with a real handle on how the thing went together, so even though I gave the others plans of how it was to be merchandised of course I ended up doing most of it while the other 2 chatted, futzed, stopped me with lots of questions or got distracted. I was so tired and over it by afternoon I even snapped at my boss that he might like to unfold his arms and put some of the emptied tubs back on the transport pallet.

Ooops. Note to self, watch that acid tongue.

Thankfully he is a cool guy and later apologised for not having done all that much, and thanked me for a great job. Okay then.

We finally left at 4 in the afternoon for a 2 hour drive home, making it a 6 to 6 day. He bought me a quick dinner near my place and by 8 I was falling asleep on the couch. The show stand looked good, we learnt a few lessons about how we could improve it for next time, and had a quick look at other stands to get more ideas. A tiring but productive day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Road Trip!

Ugh, I should have gone to bed already! Tomorrow morning I have to be up at sparrow's twit because my boss is picking me at 6.30 AM for a 2 hour road trip. We are Newcastle bound, to set up an exhibitor booth at a large craft fair. This time around the yarn store where I work decided to try something a little different, and we have created a whole new layout and merchandise for the company's stand.

At only 3m x 2m the booth is small, but we wanted to try and maximise its potential. My bosses gave me almost free reign to source fixtures, plan the layout and create packaging for a new set of kits we'll be trialling. The store has a collection of their own yarns that they have released in the past year, as well as exclusive patterns. So I've worked hard to create attractive kit packaging, and we now have a bunch of pretty cool kits of pattern + yarn in all sorts of price points. Most of which feature their own yarns, with a few that feature other popular yarns.

The fair doesn't start until Friday, but tomorrow is set-up day and we have a woman who subcontracts with us to run the booth who so far hasn't seen any of the radical revamp we've done on it. So in the morning my boss and I are heading to the location to work with her to set up the booth and lay out all the merchandise. I've packaged it, planned it to within an inch of its life, drawn planograms, packed the tubs with stock even... and now I'm pretty confident it should all come together.

Unless I navigate as badly as I did last week when my boss and I went to look at shop fixtures, and ended up about an hour out of our way and on the road to Canberra. Oops.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Steamy, With A Chance Of Thunderstorms

It has been so unbelieveably hot and humid in Sydney these past few weeks, with little respite. Even on the days when the temperature hasn't been that bad, the humidity has been so high that it feels like the tropics. In the past few weeks I've had poor wilted tourists visiting the yarn store where I work, not having realised just how tropical Sydney can be. We've also had lots of rain, heavy, drenching evening rains especially, that haven't done much to relieve the situation.


The aftermath. It was raining when I set out to pay a visit to my doctor this morning, and the footpath in front of the doctor's office was awash in Frangipani flowers that had come down in the heavy summer rain squalls.


My neighbours have a Mango tree in their backyard, and one heavily laden branch is growing over the fence and is drooping down just outside my back door. This rather small mango seems to be the first to start to ripen. It's just a shame I hate the taste of them...

Rain On Mangoes

The rain we had this morning left beautiful silvery droplets on the other, larger fruit hanging from the tree.


Yesterday I had headed into the Art Gallery of New South Wales for an hour or so, before being due to meet up with friends at Sunday arvo drinks. On the way I passed the steps of one of the older a buildings in the area (I think it's some sort of courthouse building) and spotted this Frangipani flower. I liked the contrast of the soft, crisp form against the dark stone of the column and the column's base.

I had a nice little wander around the gallery, visited a bunch of my favourites, but realised as I walked in that I was just catching the end of a free talk given by artists Gilbert & George. Bugger, I would have liked to have seen the whole thing. I capped the rest of the afternoon off with drinks with friends, before heading to another venue to keep on drinking and watch a few drag shows. I'm currently working Tuesday to Saturday, so Sunday and Monday are my weekend.

Which now brings me full circle to my Monday off, a day of rain showers in the morning (and steamy, bright sunshine in the afternoon), a slightly hungover doctor visit (me, not her), the rest of the day hanging out and shopping with my friend Judy, and an afternoon movie. ("It's Complicated", which while not actually being a terribly complicated movie was a real good laugh, and enriched by the performances of Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski.) Not a bad weekend indeed.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Falling In Love With Love

Happy Valentine's Day!


Meet one of my new obsessions, handsome vintage actor John Payne.

Born in 1912, Payne started life as a wrestler and Vaudeville singer before starting out in B-grade movies for Sam Goldwyn. His early career included quite a few musicals, before he moved into dramas and westerns. His best known film is "Miracle on 34th Street" with Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood. Payne's career ground to a halt after a serious car accident in 1959, and he passed away in 1989, aged 77.

1930s promo shot.

With Betty Furness in "Fair Warning", 1937.

Payne in "Kid Nightingale", 1939.

1930s beefcake shot, check out that swimsuit!

On the beach, 1930s.

I haven't seen many of his films, I'm not to proud to admit that my interest in Payne is largely physical. So handsome!

You can read more about Payne at Brian's Drive-in Theatre.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Allow Me To (Re)Introduce Myself

Hey. 'Ssup you guys?

Well, sorry about that unplanned hiatus. It was only supposed to last for a few days over Christmas and New Year, but one thing leads to another... and another. And here we are at another festive occasion (Valentine's Day) already. The middle of February, almost!

So, catching up time. The end of 2009 and the start of 2010 have been a bit of a rollercoaster so far, and I'm only just starting to feel like the ride has come to a complete stop (and some hunky, possibly even tattooed, carny has reached in and released the safety bar).

Christmas this year was a period of high stress mostly, juggling the search for more work (ahem, more on that later), poverty, the anxiety of not being able to buy anyone gifts this year, and the resultant mini-meltdown that ensued. Maybe meltdown is a little OVER DRAMATIC!!! but I basically hid under the covers as much as I could whilst still giving the outward impression of someone moderately functional. My sisters both came through with the gift of an airline ticket to visit them for Christmas, and so despite my cheeks burning with shame at not being able to afford to buy any gifts other than for my two nephews, I actually had a nice Christmas with them.

New Years sucked and was a very important lesson. If you are feeling confused by how into you someone you are seeing is, whether in fact a relationship might be on the cards or might not be, or it's just casual sex, the answer is... well, we all know the answer to that one. They've moved on and so now must you. Always trust your instincts.

So you don't think it's all negative, just one upside in the past month or so has been 3 of the best one-night-stands I've had in a long time! I'm not normally one for the one-night-stand as an oeuvre... but seriously, sex that could is not to be sniffed at.

Work has been problematic. Christmas and New Year saw temp work dry up completely, but in the meantime I have been able to pick up extra work at my other retail job in the yarn store. It just doesn't pay very well though, despite the fact that I really enjoy it! The promised ongoing position with the other mob I was temping for has not yet materialised, so I assume they are still negotiating their next big contract. We shall see.

So, a litany of stress and anxiety so far, with a few sparkling shags in between. Not quite an accurate picture, but not too far off the mark. Being strapped for cash most weeks has meant not doing as much as I would like to socially, but that's probably saving my liver as much as anything. I did see a couple of movies over the break, "Sherlock Holmes" (not bad, loved the costumes and Jude Law in equal measure), "Avatar" (I'm not too proud to admit I was totally blown away by it) and "Nine" (ugh, at one point I thought please kill me now). Now that things are settling down a bit my goal for the next few weeks is to get a bit of stability back in my life, spend a bit more time reconnecting with people I have been neglecting and perhaps bag another fantastic shag.