Saturday, August 16, 2008

Shopping for essentials

I've been sooooo good for soooo long that I think I deserve a treat....

During the past three months I've not splurged on any and I've worn down some of my older pairs, so buying one teensy little pair is a necessity not a luxury, isn't it?

While I am at it maybe I should get a sensible pair too....

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Is it wrong to be bored stupid by the 'Lympics?

Do I risk losing my citizenship because I don't care whether a bunch of over-subsidised fit people can undertake some specialised physical act better, faster or with less chance of failing a drug test than a bunch of other over-subsidised fit people?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sometimes being a woman just sucks

At various times and to varying degrees we have to put up with:

  • crappy PMT symptoms, back pain and tiredness not to mention the physiological effects which if internalised can range from feeling mildly irritated through to ego-swamping feelings of being insecure, unattractive and genuinely horrid;
  • the odd accompanying outward displays of emotion which can include wanting to cry or actually crying for little reason and/or the occasional wig out (which hardly endears one to one's loved ones);*
  • having to take medical responsibility to avoid unwanted contraception, even if that has unwanted side-effects;
  • all sorts of intrusive medical tests where one's breasts get handled and squashed or one has to deal with cold metal implements while being told to "just relax";
  • worrying about the process of and/or the results of above;
  • being told that ways to avoid risks of nasty cancers is to abstain from too much sex or alcohol and to have children before the age of 30. Lets face it that sounds to many of us like a crap lifestyle choice. At that age I would have dealt with some young un's mostly through the therapeutic use of gin;
  • the whole fertility use by date thing;
  • patronising car salesmen;
  • patronising car mechanics;
  • the risk of getting assaulted when trying to get home late at night because the public transport is not staffed and not well lit, and because taxi drivers just occasionally turn out to be rapists;
  • the odd bit of sexual harassment in the workplace; and almost as importantly
  • not being able to twist the bloody lid off bottles .

* I hate hate hate to admit this has been me sometimes and I'm embarrassed by it. For reasons related to the damn useful but pesky pill it got really bad a few years ago. I read some of my previous posts and see it in the subtext. Maybe a blog edit is in order.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Real Estate Language: Lesson 1

Charming equals dirty and yellow, green or brown.

Next week: Retro equals prints of Native Indians.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Addressing miserableness in a colleague

I work with an unhappy misanthrope.

He is smart, and would be good at his work if he could pull himself out of his state of perpetual ennui. However I think he may be depressed, and he doesn't seem to be getting any better. I am aware that various senior management types have been "working" with him and there have been some baby steps, but his general demeanour is still that of a man who would rather rip out his fingernails than spend more time than is necessary with his colleagues or deal with the parts of his role he doesn't like.

I have known this man for many years, and working with him closely from time to time. We are both in demanding jobs, where we are required to work long hours and must be able to attend to tasks with a high degree of precision. He has very good skills in some areas, but his unhappiness spills into his dealings with others, his reluctance to do the routine mundane parts of the job and his sense of professionalism. After a while others have started to avoid him, and a poisonous and pessimistic aura is now attached to his name. He lives by himself, and with no one to talk to at work I think he is really lonely.

Is it wrong of me not to want to get more involved and try to help him out? I quite like him and I feel like I should do something, but part of me holds back and for mostly selfish reasons: I don't have enough time (particularly as he likes to have very long conversations about how miserable life is), others are dealing with it, he won't improve, it is not really my business, I should focus on the young ambitious and overworked women in my team etc ....

So you see I feel terribly guilty about this and think I should do something, especially when I see him wandering around in an obvious state of despair looking for someone to talk to/at. On the other hand I'm at a loss as to what I can do to help, other than to refer him to the support that is supposedly already available to him.

This one needs more thought.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

You can take the girl out of the country...

My dear Mum was once a simple country lass, living far from Batville in a town not known for its progressive thinking, culture or the intellectual achievements of its folks. For a while there she was a National Party voter. I even recall when I was fairly young she expressed considerable dislike of Bob Hawke during his ACTU days. The word "ratbag" may even have been used to describe Hawkie. A strong word for a nice country girl like my Mum to use in the 70s.

Now don't get me wrong - Mrs B Snr is a smart cookie, she reads a lot, studies history and is a tolerant and civic minded citizen. She has become much much more politically progressive over time. She signed petitions for gay rights in the 80s, supported the "Sorry" movement in the 90's and considered marching against the Iraq war in the 00's (it was just a "bit too cold" that day).
She loathed Howard, laughed at the Nationals, joined with me over a gn't to discuss a mutual plan to do evil things to Tony Abbott, despaired at Hanson's racism, railed against wedge politics and had, or so I thought, abandoned her reactionary political roots.

Then we come to this guy:

My Mum has had an intense hate-like reaction to Barack Obama. She has described him as "smarmy", "pathetic", "insincere" and, out of nowhere, she recently even resorted to "w**nker". A very strong word for nice surburban retiree like my Mum to use in the 00's!!!

I just don't understand. She is no fan of McCain, and had mixed feelings about Hilary. Why the strong dislike of Obama?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Ms Batville at the movies: The Bank Job

Went to see this over the weekend. Not a bad little English crime caper - the sort of film that Guy Ritchie might have made if he hadn't lost his mojo starring at Madonna's oddly stretched face.

The plot is supposedly based on a true story. The British Secret Service, through the very gaunt and underfed Saffron Burrows, engage a bunch of petty crims to rob a bank vault in order to recover incriminating photographs of a British Royal. We are supposed to guess the royal is Princess Margaret. The crims manage to stumble upon some other secrets, and buy themselves a whole lot of trouble.

The acting is pretty good throughout, although one worried that Burrows might faint at a key moment through lack of food. Guest spots from a whole lot of those British actors with interesting faces that you see on great BBC dramas plus a small role from the guy who was in To the Manor Born. Sadly however there was no Penelope Keith. (Come to think of it, a gritty crime caper with Penelope Keith in a guest role might be something for Guy Ritchie to consider.)

The plot is interesting but the dialogue is a tad too reminiscent of an episode of Minder at times, possibly because of the number of women whimpering "It was always you Terry" at a balding petty car dealer whose supposed sex appeal is a complete mystery to me. The term "villains" is used a bit too often and suggests that the screenwriters were not taking the thing too seriously. There is a bit of violence and action to keep the boys interested. Impressively the film opens with a pumping loud Get it On from T-Rex, which can never be a bad thing.

Overall, the film is a good way to spend a few hours, but this one won't change your life. In five years you will stumble across this on TV, ponder the strange outdated period when women like Saffron Burrows had trout-pouts, watch it for a bit and then change the channel. After that you will forget it completely.

*** out of *****

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Is there anything better...

than cuddling up with the object of your affection in a warm bed on a cold winter weekend morning?

No..... I thought not.

Wishing you a wonderful rest of the weekend.