Wednesday, September 29, 2010

LET THE SUN SHINE IN.



I’m going to blaspheme.  

All you people in Victoria, can I suggest you walk away now, this might upset you.

Here goes:
 
AFL shits me. 

Admittedly, I don’t understand a god damned thing about it, but, bloody hell, I've have tried.  It could be because I am just dead set thick, but I simply DO. NOT. GET. IT.

Why are unseen men blowing the whistle for no apparent reason every 5 seconds?  Why are they passing the ball to the opponent so often?    Why is Eddie McGuire everywhere I fucking look?  Why are they kicking the ball any which way but loose?  Should we just call Clint Eastwood and his Orangutan Clyde and be done with it?

I did give the Grand Final a go on Saturday and lasted around 25 minutes.  It didn’t help that I was sicker than last Mondays dog food or that my children were running around my head occasionally flicking me with rubber bands.  But to be honest, the only way I would have been remotely interested would have been if Heineken rang and offered to sponsor myself and 20 of my friends in an all day
AFLathon. 

Now, before you footy fanatics put a hit out on me, I do intend to learn.

See, today, our team, my team now, The Gold Coast Suns snagged the very talented Gary Ablett Junior to play for us.  Again, from a total novices point of view, this means that we’ve just picked up  one of the top 3 players in the country for a bucketload of cash and in the process, have probably taken the mantle of most hated AFL team from Collingwood before we’ve even started.

C’mon don’t be haters.  Let me be the first one to say: Well done Gold Coast Suns.   At least today's news has taken the heat off the bikini models who are racing around our horse track and local resident, Warwick Capper being a deadbeat dad. 

So go Gold Coast, the nation is watching us.  Sure they are probably waiting for us to fall flat on our face and more than likely plotting to key all of our cars while we sleep, but bugger the naysayers, what do we have to lose?

Oh, and if someone could explain to me the rules of AFL in a comment, I would be eternally grateful.  Remember, I need you to dumb it down.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

EBONY AND IRONY


Is it natural to shit your pants when interviewing for a job?  Not literally of course, that would just be awkward, but is it normal to feel like you might very well vomit on your own feet just as they call your name?

 

I only ask because of late, my husband has been applying for jobs due to a little downturn in the old plumbing game.  And it appears he may well have to suit up and go in for an actual, sit down, have a conversation without saying the fuck word, interview.  What kind of madness is this?  What happened to the good old days when tradies just heard about some work, rocked up and, unless completely useless,  kept turning up each day?

It’s got him a little flustered, actually, as I mentioned in my introduction, shitting his pants anxious to be exact.  He’s most perplexed by the inclusion of the following in his CV:
 

His objectives in life – Um, get a job, get paid and repeat until around 65 years of age.
 

His listed activities/hobbies outside of work - fuck all if he doesn’t get a job.
 

And a summation of himself in one sentence – How about  “I turn up on time, I do a speedy yet neat job and I don’t smoke crack”  What more could a potential employer want?

I myself haven’t had an interview in over 11 years.  I really don’t know what goes on out there in the recruitment world today.

My very first interview was the week after I finished year 12.  Having had a very successful schoolies week in Byron Bay – successful in the way that I was continuously pissed, acted like a right little knob head and managed to spend every single cent that I had, reality set in.  Shit.  I need a proper job, and as much as I loved my Junior Burgers, flipping them for a living was only going to get me so far.

After scrounging through the wheelie bin and finding the Weekend paper, I handwrote a few applications, photocopied my very fresh Year 12 report and dropped them in the mailbox on my way to a hardcore day of tanning and trolling the shops.

One of those applications was for an Accounting Practice looking for a junior.  Surprisingly enough, even though I didn’t study accounting and only completed quite a mediocre Maths level, I got an interview.  Borza I thought.  Sure, I’ll turn up, Mum would go mental otherwise, but I wouldn’t be foregoing my day at the beach entirely.

So I rocked up with my beach bag, wearing my togs under my amateur attempt at a corporate uniform and gave my best impression of being mature.    The interview was forgettable.  I can’t tell you what happened.  All I remember thinking was “this is totally eating up my baking time”  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  Two days later, I got a call to say I had the job.  Apparently, Nik, the boss’s assistant told me my beach bag totally sealed the deal. 

Of course, my beach days were immediately over once I started workin 9-5 (Cue Dolly Parton).  It also coincided with the last time I wore a size 8 skirt.  

 
I’ve only had two more interviews since that day. 

About 3 years after starting at the Accounting Firm, a position for junior newsreader/general shitkicker came up at the local ABC radio station.   I was so excited.  I applied and made it to the top 3 through application and audio. DREAM. COME. TRUE.  


Then came the face to face interview.    I was doing so well too.  Right up until one of the funky looking panel members asked me to give them the definition of irony.  I just had no idea.  I mean I did, but I didn’t know how to articulate it.  If only it had been a couple of years later, I would have known it was like finding ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife or like meeting the man of your dreams, and then meeting his beautiful wife.  I joke, but I was gutted.  I responded with some useless answer that made me look like a halfwit and was properly rejected in kind.  I tell you what though; I can rattle off the definition of irony in my sleep now.  Perhaps I should give Alanis a heads up.

The only other interview I attended was all kinds of wrong.   An old boss of mine had been called for a reference for a bookkeeping job I had applied for.  She rang to warn me to “Be careful, I worked for this guy fresh out of Uni and his idea of doing journals was to put his hand down my blouse”.  That old guy?  Really?  Alarm bells should have rung when he was more interested in my boyfriend and plans for starting a family in the interview than my bookkeeping skillz.  He didn’t try anything on me, no; I have the unique ability to make myself very unappealing to the opposite sex, so that was never an issue.  Let’s just say it was the worst. Job. Ever.  Best thing about those ones though, they make you truly appreciate the good ones.

I was lucky enough to be offered my next job.    In fact, that worked out quite well.  Been there nearly ten years.   See Mum, look where that day at the beach got me after all.      


Love to hear your Interview stories and or tips. 







Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WAIT, IT'S AN EMERGENCY


Have you heard the QLD Premier has been "walking a day in our shoes"?  Apparently she’s been demonstrating how down with her peeps she is, by taking on everyday jobs she normally wouldn’t  touch with a ten foot barge pole have a chance to partake in.


One of those jobs was shadowing a hardworking Wardsperson at a large Brisbane Hospital.  Good for you Anna.    Unfortunately I doubt you learned anything from that experience other than, shit these shoes are killing me and Jesus, this hospital coffee is rubbish. 


To have a true hospital experience, you need to have a vested interest.  You need to feel the mothers heart somersaulting in her chest because her 2 year old baby is about to endure a lumbar puncture for suspected meningitis.  You need to be listening to the concerns of the surgeon who knows he cannot save the child he is operating on, because the window of opportunity to do so was missed due to red tape.  You need to sit with the nurses who are abused because the systems and staffing they are working under are inadequate.  Simply walking around the wards learns you nothing. 

I’ve had a fair bit to do with the Gold Coast Hospital.  You can read about my open letter to Anna Bligh, last year, HERE.
 

On Monday night, I got to unexpectedly revisit the place that at one stage, felt like my second home.  I was on the computer, doing some work when Maddison, ten, already feeling a little off, lay down next to me and started to shiver uncontrollably.  She was burning up, yet her hands and feet were freezing.  Then I checked her tummy.  Light purple rash.   Oh god oh god oh god. Hospital – Stat.

I pushed her into the passager seat and started to drive. There she was dozing in and out of consciousness, there I was freaking out, seemingly getting every single red light, whilst envisioning the worst case scenario. We’ve all heard the stories.  The ones where their child has gotten a cold, next thing they are on life support, fighting for their life against Meningococcal, all because Mum didn’t read the warning signs in time.  Over reacting?  Sure, I’m a parent.  If I didn't over react when my children get sick, I wouldn't be breathing.

So we walk into the Emergency Department.  It’s busy.  Apparently Monday nights always are.  We present at the window, I explain to the nurse behind the glass my concerns.  She appears non-plussed.  In fact the nurse behind her is making a joke about some donor eyeballs that a courier is signing in.  Presumably for a corneal transplant.  Some poor, yet giving soul has just donated these vital organs, and she is making jokes.  Nice, real nice.


Anyway, we were directed to sit down and wait for our name to be called.

Directly next to us was a young girl, perhaps a little older than Maddison, who threw up repeatedly.  Behind us was an older gentleman who more than likely was looking for a place to spend the night, equipped with his luggage.  Off to the side were two brand new babies.  In all the time we were there, I didn’t hear those babies cry once.  There is something very unnatural about that.  In between these babies, was a slightly older baby with some serious croup. 

A young man, obviously related to one of the babies seriously lost his shit at the nurses.  He was distressed it was taking so long for his baby to be seen to.  He simply could not control his basic, primal instinct, which was to protect and care for his little one.  Granted, he should not have sworn.  Sure, he should have settled down, but he was scared and perhaps not equipped to deal with his fear.   He was unceremoniously turfed out by security. 

There was a man who had stuck something in his eye, a guy with an obviously damaged leg and a seriously limp toddler.  And a line up at the admissions window three deep at any one time.

We were there for three hours.  At no stage were we seen.  Nor were the babies or the child with the cough. 

This to me, just doesn't sit right.  Would we all have been better off ringing an ambulance?  Would this be abusing a vital service?  Should we care when the alternative is this waiting room? After three hours, we were told it would be at least another 3 before we were seen.  I took her home. 


I guess I just can’t fathom how a child with all the signs outlined on health websites that indicate Meningococcal,  wasn’t seen to immediately.   I don’t understand why a system isn’t in place that sees all patients by medical staff at least within half and hour to determine the severity of each case.    Clearly this would require more staff and more room.  I really do hope that the Gold Coast’s new hospital currently being built, has factored this in. Somehow, I doubt it.

In fact, why wouldn’t QLD Health and/or the Federal Government make the current Gold Coast Hospital into a dedicated Childrens Hospital?  Surely we are now a large enough city to warrant this?    
 

Politicians,  why is common sense so elusive to you guys?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

KIDS LUNCHES - DISCUSS


So I received an email from Uncle Tobys asking me, if they sent me some free food, if I’d blog about it.

More so, that I’d blog about how I incorporate their food into healthy lunch boxes.

Now, I’ve watched A Current Affair enough times and seen enough blitzes on dodgy lunchbox fillings to know that what we “think” are healthy choices, often aren’t, (hang in there Uncle Toby’s, I will be getting to the good stuff about you soon) but truly, I think the key has always been balance. And I really believe UT can be part of that balance.

Plus, I’ve some cool Tupperware to give away if you tell me your best lunchbox tips. And no, I am not a Tupperware representative. Anyone who read this post about the last Tupperware Party I was forced to attend would know I didn’t win Miss Congeniality on the night.

Anyway, I’ve actually been asked by a few companies and this is the first one I’ve said yes to. Mainly because I’m a sellout, no mainly because, in all truth, we buy all the stuff they’ve sent me on a weekly basis anyway, so I’m comfortable showing you how I incorporate their snacks into my childrens daily lunches.

We chose not to eat the hat and towel although it was touch & go there for a while


Due to the fact that we have three children, we make three school lunches a day. Times by 5 school days, times by 44 school weeks, that means, we put together 660 lunches a year. That equates to 8,580 school lunches over their schooling lives. Can I be technical here? Thats a shitload of prepared school lunches. Scuse the French.

To be dead honest, I usually grab the snacks that are on sale. But I must say that we at least have one Uncle Tobys product in the trolley each week, ergo, they must be within my budget.

I detest making lunches. In fact, I will do Sam’s homework, I will wash up, I will put Jack to bed (akin to walking backwards through a tornado) rather than make school lunches. I honestly can’t tell you why they shit me so.

It might be because I am always paranoid that a school or kindy teacher is going to do an inspection and mark me on my lunchbox nutrition content. It might be because I put the pressure on myself to have the box full to overflowing so I know my children won’t be doing their best Oliver impression half way through the day. Whatever is, it scares me, but having lunchbox fillers such as Le Snacks or the new Fruit Fix’s (which have 1 serve in each sachet) makes my life so much easier.



So what goes into my kids lunchbox each day? Standard of course is the sandwich. Sad to say, my kids are vegemite and jam children. My salad sandwiches come home uneaten. So too, the ham or turkey ones. Next are the two pieces of fruit.  After that are at least two pre-packed "snack" type foods.   I have one child who would eat only crap if given the chance, one who eats nothing but sushi, salad and healthy stuff and the other who is fed a hot lunch and only requires snacks. So to say I am catering to the masses is an understatement. The one thing they all agree is on is a muesli bar. Usually one with a choc chip or two. Last but not least, bag of popcorn or pretzels.

You can watch how Eamon Sullivan packs a lunch box HERE

And hey, back in my day, I got the standard lunch, but always had a treat whether it be a packet of chips, a coffee roll or a cream bun merrily inserted into my lunchbox each day. The few kids who had multi-grain bread and fresh fruit were considered hippies. Times change, but the one thing we can all agree on is that we are trying to please and do the best for our kids. I reckon you can’t go too wrong popping a few Uncle Tobys snacks in each day.



Now, to win these insane Tupperware snack boxes, just leave me a comment telling me your best school lunch tip. I don’t care if you’re a parent or not, everyone’s had or made a school lunch at one time in their life.  I will be drawing the winner, Wednesday the 22nd of September, 6pm.   If you don't have an active blog account, please check back in case you're the winner :)  Plus, open to anyone, anywhere in the world. 


PS, I'd have better stuff but this shit is EXPENSIVE.



Skulls (two for the prize)




I apologise for crap picture - Pink ones


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

FASTEST PET LOSING SERVICE IN THE WEST



Did I mention we have a kitten?  I think I kind of kept it to myself a little because, well, let’s face it; the Morley’s and animal ownership go together like Ben Cousins and an open bar.  We start out with the best of intentions but half way through, just end up being irresponsible arsehats.


Poor Puss the 8yo pound cat, is our latest loss.  She just simply got on the one way train to Nowheresville one Sunny November day and we never saw her again.

 

But now we have Abbey the wonder cat who is about 5 months old. She is still in one piece and has quickly worked out the modus operandi at Chez Morley, attack or be attacked.    She’s a little bit mental so she fits in well and all three kids have sufficient scratch marks that evidence their close *ahem* bond.  Currently she’s sitting in her favourite spot, my lap having a little snooze.  She’s basically just recharging for her middle of the night activities, which include chasing bits of loose Lego around on the timber floors, ripping as many rolls of toilet paper she can get her paws on into teeny, tiny pieces and working herself into a frenzy on the leather couch.

She seems to have conquered the toileting situation and has only had a few indiscretions.  She has peed on a few towels just to let us know she can still fuck with us whenever the mood takes her, and there was the incident where she released her own kitty litter from a fresh bag and shat in the centre as a special welcome home surprise for Phil.  Sadly I was at work and could only look on fondly at the photo I received via text message.  I choose to believe these were accidents and not revenge attacks.

But prior to owning Abbey we tried a bit of “pet sitting”... 

 

The first attempt was Sidney.  Now Sidney is about 103. She is a King Charles Cavalier and is both deaf and blind.  And she is gorgeous.  Her owners went away for Christmas last year and we were entrusted to feed her each day and give her a little pat.  How hard could that be?  Surely we couldn’t screw that up right?  Wrong
 


Christmas Eve didn’t start out very well in 2009.  See, Sid gets scared when she’s left alone.  An unknown fact until she was.  At night, she barked. And barked. And barked.  So we started bringing her over to our house each night to sleep.  And she was great.  She would go straight to bed, sleep close by and play happily with the kids before returning her home. Christmas Eve morning however, she wandered outside before we got a chance to take her back.  No biggy I thought, we’re fully fenced.  After about 5 minutes though, things felt eerie.  That’s also about the time we noticed the hole that had been freshly dug out under the fence. 

 

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to hunt down a dog that is both deaf and blind but it is Nye on impossible.  Clearly screaming out her name is useless, so the best we could do was silently patrol the streets in our cars, praying to god we wouldn’t have to phone the owners on CHRISTMAS EVE to shatter their Christmas.  Guess where she was?  After 3 hours of searching high and low, numerous frantic calls to the pound and feeling like I would be physically sick every 3 minutes, we found her at her house. Yep, at her house.  Apparently someone found her, rang the owners mobile number on her collar tag and returned her to her yard.

 

Story Number 2.  Abbey is a farm cat, brought here from Charleville. She is the runt of the litter and her sister Smokey, lives directly across the road.  Oh, here’s a little bit of a heads up, sister cats separated at six weeks of age, will probably hate each other’s guts when reunited.  I have the panicked scratch marks on my forearm to prove this theory.  Anyway back to Smokey, the fucking Houdini of the feline world.  We were asked by our other neighbours if we could check on them each day, as they were taking off for the long weekend.  No problem.  Cat and dog.  We knew we wouldn’t be making the same mistake with Benny the dog no matter how much he barked.  Benny wasn’t the issue. Smokey was.  I swear to god this cat is like Cheech of Cheech and Chong.  She’s so relaxed she’s almost freaking dead. 

 

On the first day, I went into the massive shed, gave her a scratch, topped up her water and locked two doors behind me.  Next thing, I get a text from Mike, our other neighbour saying this: “AREN’T YOU LOOKING AFTER THE SMITHS CAT?  SHE’S ON OUR FRONT DRIVEWAY” Faaaaarkkk.   I went over, picked her up and took her back.  I made sure I looked her in the eyeball as I double locked those two doors behind me AGAIN.

 

Next morning I went over to check on them and there’s Smokey, lolling around on the front medium strip.  I swear to god there was no way she could get out of that garage.  None.  She’s either David Copperfield in disguise or she’s very handy with a band saw.  Good news, she was alive and well when they returned.  Bad news, she was sitting on their front porch waiting.   

 

Needless to say, Sids owners have made alternative arrangements for her whilst they take a massive trip overseas.  We are however in charge of their mail.  Thanks for the second chance Nick & Jen.  Surely we can’t balls-up a simple mail collection right?   



Friday, September 3, 2010

ROMEO'S TOO BUSY TAKING PHOTOS TO TAKE YOUR CALL RIGHT NOW





Image Source: http://www.thesweetunfolding.com/blog/?p=5


Today, my daughter was telling me how her best friend "had" to break up with her boyfriend.  She dumped him and apparently, he was shattered.  In fact, she attempted to break it to him a few times last week, but he kept breaking down and crying.  And, after speaking to Maddie this afternoon, the boy reckons that this girl “ruined his life”.  Furthermore, he said he would have married her given half a chance. Did I mention my daughter is ten?

Sadly it doesn’t appear to get any easier.

Take Miss C.  She is my workmate.  You can read about how she got royally screwed by her ex-fiance’ here.  She’s only just now, ready to put herself out there, on the market so to speak.   She’s the ripe old age of 22 and ready to find her “someone”.  And with a fair bit of clubbing experience under her overpriced belt, she knows more than likely, a nightclub will not be the place to find him. 

Here’s where I admit that Phil and I essentially met in a nightclub.  Well, we were “aware” of each other prior to that night but the copious amount of alcohol and pulsating music clearly helped us to get closer, so to speak.  In fact, we have rarely spent a night apart since and that was over 15 years ago.

Ahh, what a love story.  Pissed boy meets equally pissed girl.  They give it up after only one night, awkwardly meet each other properly the next day, still like what they see, repeat first night until married or pregnant or in our case, both.  

Now I don’t suggest this scenario to singles out there.  Clearly in this day and age, with all the "substances" available, you can't really tell if someone is really into you or if the potted plant in the corner would suffice.


Back to Miss C.  Recently she has succumbed to Internet dating.  I say succumbed, because she was adamant this would never be her chosen path.  Luckily for her, she has friends who don't listen to her and put her up as eye candy anyhoo.  And vicariously, I have been cyber dating right along with her.

Daily we sit and weed through the men that have offered to be her “friend”.   She will call me over to look at the latest guy requesting her friendship and asks me if I think he is “cute”.  Now I must say, her idea of good looking and mine are completely different.  For a start, head to toe tattoos and ridiculously large forearms aren't "my thing", so we often agree to disagree on the candidate.  Yet still, we go through the motions with each and every guy.

Here’s the thing though.  Regardless of who they are, every single guy seems to think it’s a given he will show off his bare stomach.  That and the gratuitous  nearly naked shot in the mirror with blinding flash seems to be the standard approach.  Heads up guys, your attempt at bedroom eyes just makes you look like a total weirdo.  Oh, and it’s pretty likely a 22 year old girl who’s requested applicants be no older than 30 does not translate to no older than 51.

In common, all the guys vying for her attention have a heap of shots of them in action, partying and living large with their top gun sunnies on.  Guys, less is more.  Oh, and if I am forced to read one more profile that states how he will treat his lovely lady like a princess and sprinkle her in fairy dust and golden farts, I will personally vomit.  Guys, just be you.  She’s going to find out soon enough, just cut the shit.




As such, she has denied access to 9 out of every 10 who approach.  She keeps the ones who seem normal, are half decent, have a job and who aren't displaying their penis'.  Yes, 9 out of ten don't make the cut based on these pre-requisites.

So far, Miss C has been on one actual date.   She met up with a guy who was a little bit older than her, once married, now divorced, tattooed, self employed, fairly stable, dog loving and of large arm.  She described him as nice.  Too nice.  Plus he made the cardinal sin of talking about his ex.  Non-stop.  Whilst I, and her friends and family tried to convince her "too nice" isn't such a bad thing, she will not have a bar of it.  

So the search continues.

The thing is, I don’t think any of us really mature much past the ten year old heart break stage.  Some will admit to being the ones that did the heartbreaking, some will always be, the heartbroken.  The thing we can all agree on, is that we all want to be part of love.

I suggest you put yourself out there Miss C.  Go out with that one guy you normally never would.  Either that or get shitfaced at Cocktails and Dreams.