Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I'm shattered. Aussie rock legend Billy Thorpe, pictured above, passed away this morning. He was 60 years old, and he had a heart attack. It can't have been entirely unexpected, but it still comes as a shock to me.
I saw the great man in concert twice - once as the support for Deep Purple, once in his own show. Let me tell you, he was wonderful. He was an amazing showman, an extremely talented musician, had a great sense of humour... I would have liked to see him once more.
Being the young thing that I am, I do not remember the early days of Billy Thorpe's career - he started off well before I was born. They say he and his band The Aztecs kicked off the Melbourne pub band scene, which is a big claim to fame. Melbourne is very big on pub bands, and I'd be happy to think that legacy lives on after Billy Thorpe's sad demise.
Rest in peace, Mr Thorpe. I'm sure most people you knew thought you were crazy. I thought you were the personification of rock. May you sing with choirs of Hell's Angels now.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What would you do if you had no fear of the consequences?

I probably shouldn't write my own thoughts here... I'd probably get arrested just for thinking about it!

It's odd that we murder humans but slaughter animals. Humans are animals too, but if somebody speaks of "slaughtering people" it seems so much more vicious. Slaughter of other animals is a daily occurrence, hence the existence of slaughterhouses.

Sometimes my mind runs on tangents that disturb me.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Here I sit in silence. I am not alone, but I am lonely. The man beside me is so far removed as to be in another world. Yes, I speak of my New Boss. I have tried for three weeks to find something likeable, personable, something in common. But I have nothing to say to him. This corner of the office used to be a bubbling hot-pot of dirty jokes, innuendo, and light-hearted complaining. Now it's a silent corner. We sit almost with our backs to each other. I rarely even speak to him about a work-related matter. I prefer to email him. That's probably weird.

But all is not negative. It's a lovely day out there, and I'm starting to wake up with five cups of tea in me. I have my new cacti (whom I have christened Arnie & Danny - the Twins!) looking nice on my desk. I have a photo of Aidan smiling at me from the wall. I have lots more teabags. These are all good things!

Here I sit in silence. I am not alone, but I am lonely. The man beside me is so far removed as to be in another world. Yes, I speak of my New Boss. I have tried for three weeks to find something likeable, personable, something in common. But I have nothing to say to him. This corner of the office used to be a bubbling hot-pot of dirty jokes, innuendo, and light-hearted complaining. Now it's a silent corner. We sit almost with our backs to each other. I rarely even speak to him about a work-related matter. I prefer to email him. That's probably weird.
But all is not negative. It's a lovely day out there, and I'm starting to wake up with five cups of tea in me. I have my new cacti (whom I have christened Arnie & Danny - the Twins!) looking nice on my desk. I have a photo of Aidan smiling at me from the wall. I have lots more teabags. These are all good things!
What a weekend.

Saturday night was a party for a mate who's just become an Australian citizen. Really good bloke. Fun night. But we were so tired, we left pretty early. About 10pm or so. After the prizes for Aussie-themed costumes and the photos...

We saw "The Gurge" last night - Regurgitator, good Aussie band. Now I am a very very tired person. But it was worth it, it was a lot of fun. My first mosh pit, although it was a fairly tame one. I survived with minimal damage to my body and mind.

I got into work this morning to find that one of my colleagues has potted my newest cacti for me! Remember I blogged a little while ago that a colleague gave me a couple of new ones that needed to be potted? Well, it's those ones. They look all spiffy in their new terracotta pots:

Friday, February 23, 2007

I wonder what was happening at Parliament this morning...

Lots of people dressed in garbage bags dancing around... interesting.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I sometimes wonder if I'm the only person who thinks the way that I do. Living people frighten me with their apathy, but the dead don't scare me at all. There's a cemetary opposite my train station. I stare at it in the mornings and notice others avert their eyes. I photographed it between the fence rails this morning. Then I photograped the fence rails themselves. Cool shots. I don't have the USB cord for my camera-phone with me so I can't upload them. So here's a photo of St Patrick's instead:

Monday, February 19, 2007

There is something amiss when, upon the arrival of a new staff member, the old hands are placing bets on whether she will return tomorrow.
This company has a history of hiring people who last a week or less. I would blame the recruitment process, but there's obviously nothing wrong there because I got hired!
Since I've worked here (just over a year), we've had at least four people who have "not worked out" within a week, for one reason or another. This place isn't that bad, I swear! And I only put thumb-tacks on the seat of ONE of them, so don't start on me!
On a completely unrelated but much happier topic: The Phantom Of The Opera is coming back to Melbourne!!! Excited! We saw it in London and it was incredible, and I've LOVE to see it at home as well. Starring Anthony Warlow, no less. Tickets on sale from next Monday, I must remember. I hope it's not too expensive. Doesn't matter, anyway, I'm going no matter what!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I was watching traffic this morning. Each day, I take a train into the city and then walk half an hour out to work. That half hour is a time of contemplation, observation, and more than a little headbanging as I walk down the quieter streets with my MP3 player. However, I digress. This morning, I was watching traffic... a big pack of cars were stopped at a pedestrian crossing, and when the light turned green, they were off! I tell you, they reminded me of some pack of predatory animals... I confess my perception is somewhat biased: I am a pedestrian, I do not drive, and the thousands of road-crossings I have performed have taught me to regard cars as the enemy. Cars run red lights, cars disregard pedestrian crossings, cars are always in a rush, cars are big and scary and they kill people.
I have a theory about crossing roads. I believe that it is actually unsafe to wait for cars to stop. Because they won't. Which of these two options sounds safer:
a) Hoping that a small set of coloured lights will be sufficient to stop a vehicle moving at 80km/hr.
b) Crossing the road when there's no traffic in sight.
I go with "b" every time.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I think my colleagues think I'm a bit of a spoil-sport. I spent a few minutes this morning explaining the history of Valentines Day to them - except they regard it as "attacking" the day...

There were at least three St Valentines, and nobody knows exactly which one's martyrdom is being celebrated today. Whoever it was, he was, I believe, stoned to death by the Romans. However prior to this brutal execution, this date was a pagan celebration of love - it was believed that it was on this date that the birds would choose their nesting mate for the season.

My colleagues seem to think it's a bad thing that I know some of the history and significance of what we celebrate these days as Valentines Day. However it is my view that the general populace should be educated in these matters. Then they could choose whether or not to celebrate depending on whether the events of the past mean anything to them instead of just jumping on Hallmark's bandwagon! I'm sure all holidays and celebrations were made mainstream only by the greeting card industry!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It looks like my cactus-obsession is starting to get noticed around the office... look what one of my colleagues brought in for me this morning...

How cool are they? Apparently I can just shove them into a pot with some potting mix and pebbles, and they'll grow! She's such a nice lady, the woman who gave me these. Last year before the wedding, she saw an ad for a Wedding Expo on her day off, she phoned in to work to tell me about it. So sweet!

Anyway, I'm not 100% sure where I'm going to put these ones yet... in truth, I'm running out of space on my desk. But it's not worth having them at home, I wouldn't see them often enough to appreciate them! I'll think of something. Must go and buy a pot for them today if I get time...

Monday, February 12, 2007

How to tell when Stace is bored...

She has three or more posts on her blog in one day.
My New Boss is out on the road with a sales rep today, learning the ropes of the general business. I'm pretty much holding the fort. Nothing's happening. I don't need a New Boss, there's barely enough for one person to do! On a Monday, anyway. Wednesday and Thursday should be busier.
I've been doing cryptic crosswords. I've just given up on one (with just 2 clues left unsolved), and am about to start on another. A quick glance over the clues so far reveals very little. Normally there's one or two that I get immediately. This one is made of tougher stuff!
I slurp my tea when I drink it. And I'm always drinking tea. It must be annoying for the people sitting near me.
A Harry Potter essay well worth a read:
Thanks to Andrew for this one!

This is a photo Aidan's mother recently sent us. From left to right as follows:
Dad, Mum, myself, Aidan, Kim, Brad
Brad is my brother, Kim is his girlfriend - she's the wonderful one who came to the rescue when Aidan and I were ill in Singapore, because that's where she lives.
Everyone says I look like my mum. I'm not sure about that...

Friday, February 09, 2007

A little while back, a few people blogged about their offices. Here's mine.
I'm in a cubicle-thingy with a bit of privacy, but the office is essentially open plan. There's about 20 of us in the room. I'm right up the back in a funky corner, near the door to the carpark - I don't drive, but everybody walks past me on their way home.
I keep three cactii on my desk. There were only two until this afternoon. I bought the monster on the left during my lunch break today - isn't it awesome? The poor guy at the nursery had to re-pot it for me, and he pricked his fingers.
I also have a couple of photos of Aidan and I (one from the wedding) , a box of 100 teabags (which I will get through alarmingly quickly), and a lot of other junk. I keep a good supply of post-it notes at all times, because they're insanely useful. I have recently acquired a sticky-tape dispenser, and I'm very protective of that and my stapler. I keep them hidden as much as possible.
I have a diary on my desk, which is cool. One of our export customers made them from our own fabric and sent them to us from Taiwan.
That's about it for my desk, in a nutshell. I hope it was enlightening.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I had a fairly ordinary day yesterday. I felt slighly ill for most of the morning, it was busy, there were confusing problems to try to resolve...
So when I got home, it was absolute heaven to walk into a candlelit room with dinner already on the table, romantic music playing, and the prospect of a back massage afterwards...
I'm a lucky little chickadee! I get looked after good.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I've had a hazy morning. My head has been filled with cotton wool, I've been vague and wishy-washy and a little dizzy. But I'm feeling a little better now, knowing that lunch time is just around the corner!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

All radio stations should expand their playlists. I should not hear the same songs seven times every single weekday. It is driving me crazy. I arrive at work with, for instance, A Perfect Circle's "Judith", stuck in my head... and what do I have to put up with? Yes, that's right, they make me listen to pop music! Whiny-voiced young men singing unintelligable lyrics, and women droning on about boys and how they should have known better. Up with this I shall not put! Sadly the radio is on a colleague's desk, and therefore under his control. If it were mine, I would try to plug my MP3 player into it. That's probably why they won't let me near it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Do you ever find, upon meeting somebody, that there is something intangible about them that you do not like?
I am finding that with my new "boss". I'm sure he's a nice person. But something about him just rubs me the wrong way. I guess he's just not the kind of person I would usually associate with by choice. Perhaps it's something I just have to get used to. I will be working very closely with him, which could be difficult if I can't find something about him to like!
He says "Aushtralya". Always a bad sign!
On a brighter note... Aidan and I started learning Russian on Saturday! We are starting to get the hang of the Cyrillic alphabet, and can pronounce a few of the easier words - it looks like they've started us off on words that sound a lot like familiar English words - tennis, restaurant, coffee, etc. I was a little bit scared about Russian to start with, but I'm feeling a lot more confident since our first lesson.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Today is the 40th anniversary of the last judicial execution in Australia.
Ronald Ryan was hanged on 2nd February 1967 for the murder of a prison officer as he tried to escape from Pentridge Prison.
His execution sparked a social and political uproar resulting in the abolition of capital punishment in Australia. I see this as a supremely positive step in our history. I have always been anti-capital punishment. I see it as nothing more than a revenge killing, an eye for an eye. Whilst I have no problem with revenge in general, I think that death is a little too final and unforgiving, even for a murderer. I would rather know that my tax dollars are keeping Martin Bryant, for example, safely locked away and properly looked after, than thinking that they had funded his death purely because he was mentally unstable enough to shoot a lot of people.
When you get into the nuts and bolts of it, you have to wonder who is really guilty, anyway? Man A kills Man B - why? Was Man A broke and needing Man B's wallet? Perhaps Man A was acting in self-defence? Was Man A suffering a mental illness causing him to kill? Social conditions, health factors, third parties, all play their parts in causing a murder. If Man A was so poor that he had to kill Man B to obtain money, why don't we execute the government agency who should have been responsible for Man A's welfare? If Man A killed Man B because he was ill, we should execute the psychiatrist who never bothered with him, and then put Man A into an appropriate care facility.
Nobody kills somebody "just because". They may think that's what they've done (eg, Brenda Spencer, who shot up her school yard just because she didn't like Mondays), but there is always a reason. In Brenda's case, her social situation and her schoolmates just drove her until she snapped. We all have a breaking point, and that was hers. Should we execute her school principal for not seeing her needs?
In short, despite my frequent daydreams to the contrary, nobody deserves to be killed.
Trains are good places to observe humans. It becomes wonderfully apparent that human beings really are like animals. I don't mean that in a monstrous sense, I simply mean that we respond to stimulus. On a peak hour train, nothing happens. So nobody does anything. People sit, stand, stare, read, listen to music. Train people look like the living dead. Humans, like most animals, don't do anything until prompted somehow to do so. Eg - I'm hungry, so I eat. I am pushed, so I move. Human reactions might be a little more complex than most animal ones, because we have a wider range of stimuli. Ours include emotions and other intangible things, more than just hunger or being tired or having an urge to mate. My action of blogging is triggered by a few conditions: I am bored, I want to remember my current train (haha pun) of thought, I want to see what other people think of it, I want to make contact with people. On the other hand, if I get up to go to the toilet, it's only for one reason: I drank too much tea. As usual. Animals don't blog because animals don't have opposable thumbs and can't type. Also because an animal's thought process doesn't run to the analytical.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I'm thinking of becoming a baker. Not yet. After we get back from Russia. I should probably mention that Aidan and I have promised ourselves we'll get to Russia by July 2008. Either way, I do not want to be working in this company forever. I don't want to be the mum who says "Sorry kids, I can't afford to buy you treats because my pay is well below average", or "Sorry kids, I don't have time to be with you because I work such long hours". Working 3 till 10 in the morning or so sounds pretty sweet to me. I only keep "normal" hours out of necessity, I'd be a night person if I could! I couldn't take the kids to school, but I could pick them up and play with them in the evenings! Imagine that - having free time in the evenings. Did you know that I get home at 7.15pm every night? Aidan has dinner ready for me most nights, which is wonderful. By then, I'm generally too tired to do anything much. Imagine spare time! Wow.
This post sounds very negative. But it's not. It's positive! It's me seeing that I have a problem, and making plans to resolve it. I'm looking forward to having a family, and spending time with it! Of course, it's years away still... but an exciting prospect!!!