Sunday, December 31, 2006

The hot new reality tv show called..

"Oh my god I locked my keys in the car".

After a late night on Christmas Eve and getting up early to open presents, go to mass etc I was pretty tired. After leaving home to drive to Berrigan after Christmas lunch, I was pretty sad. After driving from Albury to Berrigan (well sitting while the man drove), I was both tired and sad.

So when the man's nephew Zeke was chasing me - armed with some kind of rubber ball firing gun toy I chose to hide in the car (and locked myself in it). There I was, safe from rubber ball attack with the added bonus of seeing Zeke's frustration while I kicked back and relaxed in the car.

30 seconds later...

I was bored but Zeke stubbornly remained sitting next to the passenger side door. I climbed over into the drivers side, grimaced as I sat on the car keys lying on the seat, quietly unlocked the door, opened it, quietly relocked the door, slammed it shut and then went:

"oh CRAP".

Yes, I had locked not only my car keys but also the spare in the car (it was in the man's wallet which was in my handbag, which was in the car). Keep in mind we are on a farm miles (kilometers??) from anywhere. I was too shocked to be upset because stupid am I! Within seconds I had five males standing around the car telling me how easy it will be to get them out. I have to say I was a little skeptical. Firstly the locks are those square push down jobs, not the ones that are easy to hook a coat hanger on. Secondly, well cars aren't supposed to be easy to break into. I'm pretty sure thats a key design specification.

15 minutes later...

Cars are easy to break into. It took a spatula, some tape and some banging of the car door but eventually the lock popped up.

The best thing was we got the final moments on the man's younger sister Breanna's video camera she got for Christmas! It was nail biting, on the edge of your seat kind of stuff. The suspense as the lock slowly, slowly slid up, the waiting for the 'click' as it popped up. There was also nature to battle as Australia's fly population descended on us.

Good stuff!

- Jen

Trouble disguised as cute

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
Looking after two kittens is a lot like having two tiny furry babies, minus the actual birth, the crying and the breastfeeding.

Although Schroddy does squeak but I'd take that over a baby crying anyday,

So far only two 'accidents' both by Schroddy. One on Cam's beanbag. Y'know - beanbags do feel an awful lot like kitty litter. Hence beanbag is now stored away from kitten reach. As is their...bed which is also apparently poop-worthy. As a result last night they slept on a towel, in their carrier.


- Jen

Friday, December 29, 2006

A long, long time ago...I can still remember when

...I used to update my blog.

But then I got really busy, with work and study and Christmas and

Then I thought about ALL the things that had happened and thought how am I possibly going to be able to blog about all THAT! So I put it off, and put it off

Today we got kittens. Thats right, kittens - plural. A most blog worthy event! A few pictures are up on flickr but they move so darn quick its hard to get a photo! The grey tabby is called Matilda and the tabby is Schrodinger (or Schroddy for short). Click here for an explanation of the name. They are hilarious and are bouncing all over the place save for the brief 40 minute nap they took just before.

I'll start updating about the rest in smaller posts.

- Jen

Slack Jack

I know, I know. I've been very slack.

Updates coming soon, I promise.

Right now we're off to collect some new ADDITIONS to the family.

- Jen

Saturday, December 09, 2006

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Wait. Is it?

Today I got out of bed early - and yes, for once it was a struggle because I went to be around 2am. Thankyou, Wii.

I got to Highpoint around 9:30am and got a park, actually there were oodles of parks. I had a list of what I needed to get, mostly it was for the man because we'd almost finished our family presents. I also had to finish getting best friends presents.

While I was in one particular store collecting the things on my list for the man the song 'all you need is love' by The Beatles was playing. I like the song, and it made me stop and think just how crazy all this Christmas stuff is. The man doesn't want anything for Christmas - and I actually think he is telling the truth. To be honest, I'm not that fussed either. Sure I like getting stuff but its getting a bit ridiculous.

Personally I tend to like buying people lots of smaller gifts because that way they have a better chance of liking something I give them.

But the science behind buying presents is mind boggling. I think the thing that bothers me is when you miscalculate the amount you spend on a person e.g. if I buy someone a present and then the present they give you is obviously more than what you spent on them or worse, they've put more thought into it. What I think is happening is that to avoid this happening people are just spending more money! 'Joe's probably going to spend $50 on me..ah HA well I'll spend $70 and cover myself'. It's pretty much just hedging, insurance if you will. Except it doesn't really work.

So how ridiculous is it getting? I had about three people to buy for and I got home at 2:30pm. Thats 5 hours of shopping. Five HOURS. Not including all the other shopping we've already done. That's also not including recovery time (oh god I need to sit down before I collapse), wrapping time (take a normal persons average present wrapping time and multiply by five) etc etc.

It's always a nice feeling giving presents though. Or when someone doesn't ask for anything in particular but you find a present that suits them perfectly and you know they will love. Not like the presents you're not quite sure about but you just hope the person is a good liar.

- Ah, Christmas.

p.s. Also another good thing about Christmas, leaving the shopping centre and giving someone frantically driving around the 'eye' - like "I'm a walking park, follow me to the jackpot". Or seeing two people fighting over your park when you leave..thats a little bit fun too.

Hazy Shade of Something

Smoke 2
Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
I'm not the first person to make a post about this, (see Tony and Daniel) but seriously - check out the smoke! Daniel has a great picture of the smoke around the city.

Took the photo this morning after I got up and opened the bathroom window only to be able to actually smell the smoke.

It's 37 degrees outside right now, inside we don't even have the air con on. Guess the one thing the apartment has got going for it is that its not heating up much.
- Jen

Vege Pizza

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
Not your typical 'vege pizza'.

This was concoted by the man last night. Make a normal pizza base; 1 1/2 cup p.flour, 1/4 tsp salt, pinch sugar, 1 tsp yeast, 2 tsp oil, 3/4 cup warm water. Knead into pizza base

Cook the base until it is firm (240 degrees).

Spread vegemite over base, top with shredded cheese. Cook until cheese melts.

Eat (or in my case, spit out).

- Jen

Saturday, December 02, 2006

It pays to be patient (well it should anyway)

Parliament Station
Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
Yesterday I needed to get home from the city by 1pm (we were expecting a delivery between 1pm and 6pm that we couldn't miss). So I left work at midday (giving me an HOUR to get home). Actually less than that because I'd planned to grab stuff for lunch at the supermarket because I'm hungry- but I digress.

Anyway so I get to parliament station and its a 20 minute wait for Broadmeadows train. Great. So I sit down and glare at the timetable screens for a bit..consider walking back up and getting on a tram instead..decide against it. Then I get sick of waiting and decide that with my new found melborientation* that I could easily jump on the next train (Upfield line) and get off at Flemington Bridge station, then jump on a tram up Mt Alexander Rd. It's bulletproof!

So I get off at Flemington Bridge and get to the tram stop only to see its a 15 minute wait for a tram. You have GOT to be joking. Its now 12:30. Then its starts pouring rain. There's no shelter at this tram stop. The tram arrives. People get on and off at EVERY stop up Mt Alex Rd.

Get off tram at 12:58, sprint home. Nice and wet and starving.

Package arrives - 3:30pm. If I had of been patient and waited for the Broadie train I would have been home earlier, drier and probably in a considerably better mood.

- Jen

* This too is totally a real word

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wii Wii's

Today while diligently completing our Christmas shopping the man and I found a Nintendo Wii display set up at Highpoint. For those who don't know, the Wii is Nintendo's next generation console and will be competing with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and when it's released, Sony's Playstation 3.

The man has had a Wii on preorder for awhile now and I can't say I've been too excited about it before but after playing the Wii. I'm just as excited or MORE excited than he is! We had a go of tennis and although the man shamelessly slaughtered me at it, it was amazing! It has been a long time since I've actually had real FUN playing a console. The Wii controller (or wiimote) has some kind of motion sensing doobalacky* in it so when we played tennis we used the wiimote as if it was a tennis racquet! I even managed to have a go at a lob!

Not long now as the Wii comes out December 7th (I know I should be ashamed at taking the day off work - but I'm NOT!)

- Jen

* Is TOO a real word

That kind of afternoon

It's been that kind of afternoon, where you have no plans (or nothing urgent) so you end up sleeping on the couch. If I had my eyes open I'd be watching cricket - and then I'd be bored.

Apparently its growing in popularity as the man is currently engaging in exactly the same activity, although sadly he tends to spend more of his time actually watching the cricket.

To be fair I am pretty tired. Yesterday I worked as an election official, ticking off names, guarding the ballot boxes (I do too have the right build to be a guard!), and keeping the crowd in line as queue controller. Except there was NO crowds. We had people lined up once all day. Apparently they have changed the location of the polling booth from last time so no one knew where to go. The Glenbervie booths were apparently inundated with thousands of people. So I had nothing to do all day. Even better, when polls closed it only took us 2 hours to count!
I was tired though. Started at 7:30 and got home a bit after 8:30pm. Then this morning we bit the bullet and started and got through a lot of our Christmas shopping which is really good.

Anyway, I'd best be off, as obviously I have nothing to post, and I should probably get outside for some fresh air.

- Jen

Friday, November 24, 2006

Once more with feeling

Don't let the silence get you down,
Though you've been sittin' here for hours,
Hoping a voice could soon be found
That speaks much louder that this music.

If you're a little off colour and,
Out for the count, Don't let it get you down.

Don't let the talking keep you up,
If they're your friends they share your vision,
And as the phone ring breaks the silence they figure out that you don't want to answer.

If you're a little off colour and
Tired of the sounds
Don't let it get you down.

Don't let the people make you think
That just because you're young you're useless
You know it's not naive to think that you can change the things around
And that no man is an island.

For I'd rather be a pebble than
An ocean vast and dry
Alone they make no sounds

- 'Get cape, wear cape, fly'.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hook turns, no, not THAT Hook

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
Tonight (or this morning technically) I dropped the man and a friend off in the city. This would be about the third time I've driven 'IN the city', not just on the outskirts (i.e. as far as the royal melbourne hospital where the man works). The other three times I've obviously never had to turn right. This happens after dropping off the man and I'm left to learn these new hook turn thingos. The way the man described it, I wait until the light turns orange, then I go. Sounds pretty easy? Things were good until the light had turned red and then I started questioning the vision of the car in front of me. The light is RED...RED!!! Not to mention the police right there.

When I got home from my adventure I hopped onto vicroads website which politely informed me that when executing a hook turn you wait until the light of the street you are turning into goes GREEN.

Makes SO much more sense now. So much SAFER too!!

Ah well, another thing learnt. I'm glad the man is out on the town!!

- Jen

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hot Chocolate Weather

Well in my case, a hot milo. I was craving one all day at work (and I could have had one...the tin is sitting right on my desk) but I thought, nope, I'm going to savour this milo - when I'm home in my trackies parked on the couch. So I am. Ahhhh.

All day at work I was watching the rain drizzle down, followed by the sun, followed by hail, sun, rain, sun, rain, hail - all in the space of a half hour mind you.

Well, two tests tomorrow so I'd better go finishing catching up on forums and blogs so I can study... (oh yeah I KNOW how much sense that made).

- Jen

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Numero Uno (at least according to Google)

Today I googled 'jentopia'. I was pleasantly surprised to see that 'jentopia' has hit number one, and number two in rank.

Woo for me!

Take that...jentopia cats!

Lethargic adj : deficient in alertness or activity

The definition of lethargic according to Google. I've been in a bit of a funk this past week and have struggled to come up with something to post about. Its not like nothing has been happening, we went back to Albury, went to the Berrigan Cup etc but nothing that motivated to get on here and tell the world about it. I also didn't run for more than a week and that didn't help matters! But I'm back on the running, back to work (no more call centre!) and am looking at the last month of study for a good while. If I go back and do more study (I'm thinking about doing a masters in taxation at some stage) it won't be next year. Next year should hopefully be study free. I need a break!!

Well not much to write about, better go get some study done so I feel like I've wasted the day away.

- Jen

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

He's flown the coop!

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
Pictured - is our housemate (or our now temporary housemate). I've known Cam a couple of weeks longer than I've known the man. I FIRST met Cam when he was in Albury visiting Gus and Laura, but it was only a brief hello as he was just a stranger having coffee with them.

Skip forward a couple of weeks when the same guy answers the door of a house in Melbourne. Imagine meeting someone so briefly and then having to figure out firstly HOW you could possibly know them when they CLEARLY live in Melbourne and how you can TELL that they know you know that you have no idea who they are.

It took him a good twenty minutes before he saved me. So in short Cam and the man have lived together for a few years now, me having been mostly visiting for the past two. All of us moving in together in the apartment has been...interesting to say the least.

The usual housemate issues I guess, and if you multiply that by the fact that Cam's been living with probably the TWO neatest people in the world, then he's probably been doing pretty well. Of course factor into the equation that the two neatest people in the world OWN the apartment he's moved into....then he's doing REALLY well.

But he's off now to be an officer in the airforce and will come out an air traffic controller (so he wouldn't want to fall asleep on the job).

Hopefully we'll see him weekends as he is still 'living' here and hopefully before the man and I have realised the full extent of our cleanliness. Everyone needs a 'Jase' to bring them back to earth.

- Jen

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ah the serenity

The View
Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
'The man' and I splashed out and bought ourselves a digital camera. Please do not remind me that we splashed out about 5 posts ago and bought a TV. We 'needed' the camera. Now people in far away places can see our apartment. Thats my reason and I'm sticking to it.

The 'view' you can see is from our balcony, taken during the day. In the afternoon when no cars are in the carpark you can see, its a bit like living next door to a desert. But I'm sure thats great for property prices...right? right? riiightttt!

The tall building in the background is the other apartments we were looking at, well I don't even know if you would call it looking at. The first thought that entered my mind when we walked in was 'no' closely followed by, 'way in hell'. Besides the fact they looked directly into the tax office (the short squat building you see pictured), they were tiny.

And of course the tax office that is pictured, is my work. So not a far walk at all. Sometimes though, it would be nice to be able to feel like you had escaped the call centre. Rather than getting home and turning around and seeing it leering at you.

So now we have this camera I will be getting my act organised and posting lots of pics up on flickr for those that are interested.

- Jen
p.s. Just in case you are reading this Marita - THIS is the view, not the ah one of the big tall pretty skyscrapers. Although you CAN see the top of eureka tower from our bathroom. Having said that you can probably see it in Albury too.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

While everyone's lost, the battle is won

This word hectic doesn't even come close to describing this week. Last night I was so exhausted the man had to give me a piggy back to bed. Besides starting a new rotation I have a massive assignment and (until this afternoon) also a test hanging over my head. The test I passed (uniform capital allowances anyone?). Of course I studied like mad for it, all last weekend and every night this week. This at the expense of any social life and spending any time with the man. Despite living with him I feel like I have barely seen him this week.

Luckily at the end of October it should start to die down (the assignment is due on the 30th), after that its just a couple more tests and then no more training fact no more grad days on Thursdays at all. As of mid-January in fact I will finish the grad program and start a 'real' job. It will be hard to get rid of the 'well if I don't like it, its only for 3 months'.

Next Wednesday is when I am deployed back into the call centre as peak period approaches. Please take note that the word 'deployment' was actually used when we were told. So, 'roger that' I guess.

This weekend I'm taking off...which I'm a little panicky about with the assignment due date looming. But I need it! Now why couldn't it be 30 degrees + on a saturday? Oh THAT's right, it's Melbourne.

- Jen

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The recruit

The recruit
Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
Yesterday I went out to the Simpson Barracks with a couple of friends from work, one of whom is in the army reserves for 'mates rates'. I have to admit I was more than a little apprehensive at the beginning (having never marched anywhere before) but as the day went on I actually had a lot of fun.

Before lunch we'd sampled some food from a rations pack (4 yr + old chocolate anyone?), had our weapons training and I'd decided there was no way I was joining the army. The video about Kapooka they showed right before lunch made my mind up for me. They want me to march HOW FAR with a pack HOW HEAVY on my back?

After lunch we went down to the indoor shooting range, where we put our training from the morning into practice. We had to shoot in the unsupported, prone position (lying down but supporting the gun) and shoot at targets. I had a bit of trouble with the sight to begin with so I didn't think I was doing very well, but when the results came back I actually passed. The reserves there were shooting to meet a certain level (which I met). So I was pretty excited!

It was really nice just to get outside for the day!! I got rid of that pale 'I work in an office' look for a day. So -definitely not joining but beware, if anyone gives me a hard time - I'm a good shot.

- Jen

A do-run-run-run a do run-run

This morning I pulled on my runners and was about to head outside for my weekly "sunday morning" run. The 'sunday morning' run is a bit different, I'm not in a rush and usually go a little harder and a little longer. According to a running website I was reading today this makes me a 'weekend warrior'. This mornings run came to an abrupt halt just as I was about to walk out the door. Although the sky was only slightly cloudy and still blue it was bucketing down rain.

Slightly annoyed at yet another Melbourne weather phenomenon I started studying (or rather I procrastinated about doing study). At about five when my brain was no longer functioning I went for the run. 8kms and I managed a nasty hill on the last bit!!

The best thing was after I got home all red in the face and sweaty, the man had a lamb roast on! What a reward!

- Jen

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Full of chocolatey cakey goodness

After coming home from attending the infamous Grand Final day BBQ at the Malloy's today, I remembered I was in charge of dinner. I'd planned on cooking some kind of chicken stirfry/pad thai number but I was so full that I wasn't upset when the man said he didn't really want dinner because he'd eaten FIVE homemade meat pies while watching the footy.

The BBQ today was a lot of fun. Initially I was bit apprehensive about meeting people I'd only 'met' on the internet but being new to Melbourne I figured that meeting new people is meeting new people. Potential psychopaths or not. For my family who are probably associating this bbq with some kind of "danger", I read their blogs all the time, know what they look like etc etc. The man refused point blank to go with me for protection because he thought that it would be really awkward and he wouldn't have anything in common with anyone. As it happens Tony is hanging out to play Lego Star Wars. A computer game that is the bane of my existence. Even hearing the star wars theme makes me start crying and shaking uncontrollably. Something in common right there. Not to mention computers, internet, tv shows like the office etc etc.

As I suspected I had a very nice time chatting to everyone and watching the grand final. I ate too much food and came home with a nice stomach ache which is just wearing off now. The cake (freshly made by yours truly this morning) was nice but slightly undercooked in the middle giving it a cake/pudding texture (still very nice but best eaten with a fork). I was trying to figure out a new name for this cake/pudding phenomenon but could only come up with, well..'puke'. Not really catchy or marketable.

I will be back next year (and will make sure I keep up with the footy tipping).

- Jen

Saturday, September 23, 2006

As grandpa would say 'what is that monstrosity'

New TV
Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
Every once in awhile you have to do something crazy.

It's very, very nice though.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

With everything in the past fading faster and faster until it was gone

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.

So having been in Melbourne for four (almost five) months now I am finally starting to settle down and relax. I don't suppose buying and moving into an apartment helped matters either but I finally feel like I'm having some semblance of a normal, routine life (I'm a big fan of all things normal and routine).

I've made new friends - actually I would probably describe them as comrades having worked with them on the front line in the call centre. I'm going to miss seeing them everyday when we start our new rotations.

Finally I am starting to find my way around this city. I'm picking up the lingo quite well. For instance I'd never get off the train at 'Broadie' (Broadmeadows) because I like having both money and a purse. I know 'packo' means pascoe vale. I know that it takes two minutes to run down the escalators as parliament station to get to the platform I need. I know train lines, tram numbers and times. I know stations, stops, shortcuts and suburbs.

The reason why I'm so happy at the moment also coincides with the reason why I'm writing this at 10:24am on a Wednesday. I'm not at work. Yay for flex days. Of course the reason I took a flex day is because I have some work to finish up for this rotation. I'd better go get that done.

- Jen

Monday, September 11, 2006

Your worries and fears become your friends, and they end up smiling at you

I am writing in a very relaxed (although drained) state as I passed all three of my exams. Or as the emails say, "I was found competent". I studied unbelievably hard for these exams because I wanted to pass so badly and now I just have my assignment to get on with and don't have to worry about re-sitting anything. In fact I only have about 4 exams left in the whole grad program!

I would write more but need to chill out (will be having a beer or two tonight!) and am off to play guitar for the first time in weeks.

- Jen

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A person should not believe in an "ism"......

To quote the illustrious Ferris Bueller,

"A person should not believe in an "-ism,"
he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon,
"I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."

At the moment I am exhausterered. Thats about 2 more vowels than just regular exhausted. Of course its Saturday, the day one should spending resting, practising for Sunday, the day of rest. But no, I struggled out of bed at 6am, went for a run (it was more like 20 minutes of jogging muttering 'you're an idiot, you're an idiot, you're an idiot') and then after eating brekkie...started studying.

The graduate program is starting to turn into survival of the fittest. Never before have I exhibited SUCH determination not to be eaten (or fail rather). I am determined not to be the antelope. Of course I'm not actually going to get eaten but will fall behind if I fail these exams and we already have a massive assignment that will start taking up a lot of my time soon.
So I spent a glorious day today, inside getting friendly with 'Taxation of Trusts'. The good thing is I did learn a tiny bit and I'm feeling slightly less panicky about the exam on Thursday. Slightly less panicky.

As usual, no-one else is stressed, no-one else is worried and I would bet our apartment no-one else studied today. I could have done that. I could have gone 'new towel rail shopping' and pizza eating with the man and fellow housemate Cam. But on Thursday when I failed the exam instead of being able to say to myself 'oh well, you did your best', I would have failed with the knowledge that I hadn't done my best. And as a very wise man always says, that's all you can do.

I could still fail. Trusts is a tricky topic and I have two other exams that day as well (Sunday will be spent meeting a new friend call The Imputation System). But at least I know I tried.

- Jen

p.s. Cue inspirational

Sunday, September 03, 2006

It's got no lemons but its sure got soul

This morning we finally went out for breakfast since moving into Foodville (aka Puckle St) and the first place we tried was "Lemon Soul'. So I thought in the spirit of The Breakfast Blog I would do a small review.

This place gave me the best breakfast I have had in..well probably ever! The menu said the breakfast was big but I mean, I'm a good eater and the man can put away a pretty decent amount of food as well. Neither of us could finish it. To put in in perspective there was half an avocado, half a hashbrown, a piece of toast and some baked beans and eggs still on my plate....and the meal only cost $13. In true Jen style I ordered the vegie breakfast of mushrooms, poached eggs, hashbrowns, tomato, spinach and avocado on wholemeal toast with an added serve of bacon. The man and her royal lateness ordered the big brekkie of sausages, bacon, eggs (fried for the man and poached for hrl), mushies, tomato, spinach and hashbrowns. When the next table's breakfast arrived I couldn't help gawking at the pancakes which were about 2cm thick and covered in icecream and berries. "I am so getting that next time" was bandied about quite a bit.

I would have liked to take a picture but I haven't got myself a digital camera. Words do not do this place justice. The service was not fantastic but it sure was fast. I think we had our meals in less than 10 minutes.

Having said all this there is still many brekkie places along Puckle St we have yet to try but for $13, thats pretty darn good value!

- Jen

1 wedding and a funeral

Weddings don't happen often in my family. I've attributed it to an age gap and that in around 5 years or so we'll be inundated with them. The wedding was my second cousin Matt and his now wife Rebecca's and it was a lot of fun. I didn't dance a lot but there was dancing. It helped I had a hot guy around to dance with (yes it was the man).

The wedding was in Lilydale (some 49 mins away from where we live according to whereis) and being my usual organised self I'd allowed an hour and half to get there. So when I told her royal lateness* that we were leaving at 10:30 at the absolute latest, that was the time I imagined we'd leave. I hadn't imagined leaving at 11:05 for a midday wedding. Of course this is the one bride who is on time as well. Kindly she let us into the church seconds before she walked down the aisle, disappointing my family who were standing, expecting to see a bride not 3 breathless people skidding into their seats. On the plus side I think I might enter my car in the grand prix next year.

After the wedding we got a bite to eat at Eastlands (certainly no Highpoint...although I will admit I thought the food court was better) because we had some time to kill before the reception. The rest of the night was fairly uneventful but fun. When I say fairly uneventful a taxi driver did manage to get on the bad side of Dad (never a good thing especially when you are sitting in a cab with him towering over you. We'd been waiting 40 minutes for a second cab and when one did show up it wasn't for us. Instead of checking with the base about where our cab was the driver told Dad 'you have a mobile phone, use that'. Not smart buddy. For some reason the driver declined to get out of the car and discuss the matter further (maybe he was just shy or something, or maybe he looked at Dad and looked at the man and did some quick sums in his head).

The not-so-fun part of this week was the funeral I went to. My great-uncle Frank died last week. He had been really sick with lung cancer and although it didn't come as a shock it didn't make it any less sad. I was really glad that I went and visited him before he did die. It had been bothering me for awhile now, the fact that I would go to his funeral if he died but I couldn't make the time to go and see him while he was still alive if that makes sense. So I went a few weeks ago and I'm glad that I did. The last place that he worked at before he died was the Allen's lolly factory in Broadford and they actually shut down the factory on the day of his funeral which was really nice.

We have had a big week this week and I am happy to announce I'm on the homeward stretch of my time in the call centre. If only the call centre would support 'Talk like a pirate day' we'd have another event to look forward to!

- Jen

* My sister - who worked later than she anticipated...and then got lost.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hair today, gone tomorrow.

I got my haircut this afternoon. Usually an enjoyable experience despite the cost. Except today (without me having to remember to ask about it) the hairdresser mentioned I was losing an unusual amount of hair. Which I am, I even have the ability to block drains on a regular basis.

Apparently, surprise surprise its stress. Or maybe diet related (which I doubt seeing how I eat more since I started in the call centre)...more chocolate anyway. But yeah, while the rest of me is not as thin (surely I'm not!) as I used to be, my hair sure is.


You will have to excuse any errors in this post because not only have I been drinking (more on that later), I'm also trying to...type quietly (shhh!).

I went out tonight with some of the other grads and I had an absolute blast. Seriously. I danced, and I had fun doing it. I'm 100% sure that is the whole, 'these people don't know I don't know how to dance thing but I'm going to have a go and have fun anyway' thing, but it was a lot of fun. I didn't drink much at all but considering its been awhile since I drank anyway I feel pretty blurry about now. I have a wedding to go to tomorrow night and I might even dance then too.

We went to the Hyde Bar on Russell St, my new favourite* place. Lots of couches, small dance floor and awesome atmosphere.

Phew, must go to bed now as I have a wedding to go to tomorrow (oops already mentioned),

- Jen

p.s. Craig, am writing back but haven't finished email yet.
p.p.s I have that horrible, gee I wish I was in bed and hadn't been drinking feeling right about now

* - first place that I have been to in city (drinking wise) since I moved here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Not happy Pinky

This afternoon I went to go for a jog/walk just to get outside for some sunshine and went to fire up pinky(the ipod) but pinky had nothing for me. No songs, no nothing. Pinky, is dead. I
've had to completely wipe it and start from scratch. Which you know, might not be so bad if I had all of the songs.

So what to do now? How can I possibly collect them all again? Where do I even start! Sure the man has some mp3s on his computer but most of them are his (aka I don't share the same taste in music).

Its a very sad state of affairs...AND two people hung up on me today at work.

Not happy Pinky!

- Jen

Monday, August 28, 2006

Attacking lakes with new friends

As much as I detest working in a call centre I cannot deny that I have made some great friends with the grads that I work with. So Sunday morning dawned and brought with it....LAKE ATTACK! Lake attack being a 5km run/walk around Albert Park lake. We had a bit of fun, and it was for a good cause. Although today I'm sore for some reason which is weird considering that I normally run 5km without any problems.

I probably need to start doing a bit MORE exercise because my crippling chocolate addiction is getting out of hand especially because two of the grads I work with also suffer the same condition and I find myself constantly surrounded with the stuff. Although I will admit it wasn't until 5 minutes ago that I snacked on some hot chocolate and chocolate coated almonds. I ALMOST made it through the day chocolate-less. Er no I didn't because I also had a hot chocolate at morning tea...

Oh dear, I really need to go for that run tomorrow!

- Jen

Friday, August 25, 2006

Hello, Hello - The world repeats itself somehow

It was fitting that when I turned on 'pinky' - (my ipod) yesterday that first lyrics I heard was "I'm so spaced out today, I could have slept for days". When you have been studying CGT (capital gains tax) for the past week straight you get very fuzzy headed and NOTHING makes sense. Add to the mix getting out of bed at 5am to catch a 5:59am train into the city and I was pretty spaced out. My exam was in Box Hill but even so I had plenty of time to study before the exam as well. I was so tired that I could have sworn I was right back in the middle of last year.

It was while I was sitting on the platform at Flinders St station, while the sky was still dark (although pouring rain of course) that I remembered that I actually like the stress. Of course I think I'm the only grad who actually does stress, but I still love it. Just like last year when I never thought that there actually was a light at the end of the tunnel, I have been completely swamped with study. Except now I get to throw full-time work into the mix just to make things that little bit harder. Of course I'm still thriving on it. Otherwise I might get bored, and we don't want that!

The exam went relatively well I thought although it was a lot harder than I thought it would be considering I gave up studying at about 8:00am because I just couldn't learn anymore. With a bit of luck I might scrape a pass (a pass being 70% at the ATO). The rest of Thursday passed in a blur, a blur I wish I had paid more attention to because I have an exam on it next week (anyone know anything about the imputation system?). After having emptied my mind of anything but capital gains tax I couldn't possibly have absorbed anything else that day...but thats the way it goes. Its a bit like standing waist deep in the ocean getting swamped by wave after wave and just hoping that the next one doesn't knock you over.

So far I'm still standing,

- Jen

Friday, August 18, 2006

Three is the magic number..

You know the ad, the ad with the most catchy annoying song EVER. Thankyou to the people at 3 who make me miss big brother purely for all the 3 ads with that song. Well a big Stewie HA! to the people at 3 because now I don't need your ads because I downloaded the song.

For all those other people out there suffering from the need to hear this song 50 times a night, suffer no more. The song is cleverly titled 'Three is the magic number' and its by the 'Blind Mellons'. Of course I DID download it so the title and band could be completely wrong.

- Jen

Sunday, August 13, 2006

It's good to learn new things

For a LONG time now I have been saying that 'ONE day I will play world of warcraft'. This so called day fell into the virtual myriad of things that I will ONE day do. For instance, ONE day I will clean out my car, ONE day I will go overseas, ONE day I will grow my fingernails. But today, today my friends I finally succumbed to undeniably geeky side of me that has been lying dormant for the past three years while I was surrounded by geeks. I will admit that I refused to fork out the money to actually buy the game, I spent $2 and bought a 2 week trial. I had a LOT of fun though. A nice relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I played with some guys from work and we had VOIP going which was pretty cool.

Whether I will actually buy it or not, I'm not sure yet. I did have an awful lot of fun but it was pretty easy to see its a game you have to invest a lot of time in, time that I probably can't justify spending on a game. If I had an hour to spare out of my day and I had to choose between running outside and getting some fresh air or playing world of warcraft then I'd take the run.

Also I was a hideously ugly orc rogue. I looked like 'the hulk' on weight watchers.

Very fun and clearly VERY addictive.

- Jen

Puckle Up

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
While I have yet to upload any ACTUAL photos of the apartment, google earth has helped me out somewhat
with some aerial shots. The blue line you can see is Puckle St, the red circle is our apartment and the
blue circle surrounds the deep dark depths of fiery hell that I spend 5 days a week in. As you can see, all very close.

I've been wondering for awhile what it is about Puckle St that everyone gets excited about. I mean its great that there is a sportsgirl,
portmans, cotton on, diana ferrari factory outlet, numerous different types of cuisine on offer, a digusting
amount of cafe's and places one could eat breakfast or enjoy a coffee at..and there is a sara lee
factory outlet but why all the hoo haa?

Google wasn't much help on my quest. Besides being able to tell me that Puckle St is in fact the rumored
birthplace of Dame Edna Everage there wasn't much else on the topic. I did learn that Puckle St was even called
Everage St for a short period of time and I noticed on my way home from my run this morning that there
is a street behind Puckle St called Everage St so I guess the rumours are true.

If anyone has any more ideas about why Puckle St is so famous I'd love to hear them!

- Jen

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hey, remember me?

So the whole 're-connecting the broadband' thing didn't really go as smoothly or as quickly as I thought it would. Basically moving to a telecommunciations provider appears to be way for them to rob you blind. Connections fees as far as the eye can see or the bank account can stretch.

Anyway so I'm back online and frantically trying to remember blogs and forums that I read. Some of them don't even EXIST anymore!!

The new apartment is fantastic but photo-less at the moment although I will try to have some up soon.

We are 'having fun' finding all the little teeny weeny things you wouldn't pick up in an inspection, things like the shower not being sealed quite right resulting in some 'rising damp' on one wall of the bathroom, the front door handle being a little loose, sink in the bathroom not draining very well, the lack of promised dryer in laundry, the lack of gas connection....the list goes on. Luckily for us we have had some (more) problems and haven't ACTUALLY settled yet because the title office has yet to put a stamp on a piece of paper meaning we haven't had final inspection meaning all these things will be fixed very shortly. It also means we aren't paying rent and we aren't paying a mortgage which is quite nice, but a little bit scary because I would really like to be paying one or the other. Nothing in life is free but I suppose the creative cooking we are having to do without a stove top is almost punishment enough. Porridge in the microwave is revolting!

So anyway, I'm back and when I have something interesting to post (oh how I wish I could write about work because there are some hilarious people that come through to me on the phones) I will update again!

- Jen

Thursday, July 20, 2006

There was movement at the station

Well we finally heard some news and it seems we will be able to move this weekend. Nothing like a bit of notice. So I don't know how things will go with re-connecting broadband etc and when I will have internet, it could be a week or more I don't really know.

We still haven't had final inspection yet so if there are still things 'not right' with the place then we won't be actually living there until everything is 100%. I'm really hoping that won't be the case!!

Until next time,

- Jen

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why walk when you can run?

So not long before I left Albury I stopped going to the gym. It was boring and I got sick of having to leave work earlier to just snaffle myself a treadmill. I started running outside. Before I went to the gym and worked up the small amount of fitness I now have, I couldn't run outside to save myself.

Er, thats a stupid expression, if I were being chased by an axe-wielding maniac I like to think I'd put in the effort and have a crack at running. ANYWAY being a little bit fitter helped with the running outside thing and now I love it. Since moving to Melbourne I' ve had a hard time finding the energy at the end of the day to go for a run, especially with it being dark and cold outside but this week I discovered a new can run in the MORNINGs! So Monday and Tuesday I got up at 5:30am and went for a run only for about 30 mins, very local just around the block. It was great, I felt a little bit worn out at the end of the day but it was great to go home and not have to nag myself to get outside and do some exercise! As soon as I'm out the door I'm fine, I walk outside and go 'aw this is fantastic'. In shorts and a t-shirt too!!

Its gotten to the point where I jog to work, run home (it IS mostly downhill). I start to walk and think....geez I could be home in half the time if I ran. The other day I missed the ascot vale train by seconds and then ran to kensington to hop on the next train along. I was pretty happy with that effort!

So since starting this blog I now have three hobbies: guitar, blogging and now running! I have yet to convince the man to join me in a run. I think Mr Cheezels and Chocolate for breakfast is against any form of exercise unless it is a sport played on a tv with a controller. In a couple of weeks I will be doing the lake attack run with some grads from work which should be fun. The most I have run so far in one session is 11kms usually its about 3 but I'm not sure which event we are in, the 5km walk or the 10km run. I'm looking forward to it anyway!

- Jen

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hi this is Jennifer...

How may I help you?

Sigh. I knew working in a call centre (sorry 'client contact centre') would be bad. But this bad? Never! It's mentally and emotionally draining. You don't know what call is coming next, what the question is going to be and what the person on the end of the line is going to be like.

Sometimes you get lucky and its a really simple question with a really nice person who is eternally grateful to you for being able to help. The next call you might get sworn at and hung up on. Which is always fun. The days don't fly by but you don't really clock watch while you are taking calls so the time does pass fairly easily.

Its getting easier as I learn more and more and my confidence builds. Even so these three months are going to be really really tough. Home life is great but when you have a crap day at work, its hard not to bring that feeling home with you. The freedom I had in my old job is also noticeably lacking. I enjoy the six minutes I get off every hour though, oh how I value that time.

Today was 'grad day' where we have a study day. I had two exams this morning which I have been studying REALLY hard for so I was stoked when I passed. They were pretty tough and I was glad I'd worked so hard. After the exams I left and came home early (yay a break!) and the man (who is home sick) and I went and registered my car in Victoria and got me a pretty Victorian license. So now YUC is no more and I'm stuck with UGT something something 29. I think its UGT. If you ask me its not much better than YUC but I guess I'm just unlucky when it comes to numberplates. I did get to pick the number part of it though so I feel extremely privileged. I also kept one of the YUC plates to remind me that my car is still a New South Welsh car at heart.

- Jen

Monday, July 10, 2006


I'd planned to get to bed early tonight. That was before I walked out of the bathroom and froze. Not because it's cold in Melbourne but because there was a rat in the oven.

No, I'm not making up things to blog about this stuff really DOES HAPPEN! It's pretty disgusting and I hope that it doesn't reflect on my housekeeping abilities but there was a rat IN the OVEN!!

So I froze and gestured wildly at the man who looked confused but did some really stealthy manoeuvres and managed to turn the gas on. We eventually decided that the gas idea wasn't working and the man frantically tore apart the bottom of the oven. Of course Mr Rat had by then made his escape from the Ascot Vale concentration camp oven and we were left peering into the neat little hole (aka his escape route) that leads to the back of all our cupboards.

Scarily enough this is not the first rat to be seen in this house. Just last week the man (quite brutally I'm told) 'took care of' this guys not so little friend. I didn't see the first rat but the one in the oven was HUGE. I've seen dogs smaller than this thing! When I first saw it I thought the man was cooking something! Something furry...and rat-like.

So anyway, I'm grateful to the rat in a small way for giving me something (even if it's something disgusting) to blog about. I will update later (hopefully tomorrow) on the rat situation. At the moment there are three traps in the oven eagerly awaiting Mr Rats arrival.

- Jen

Saturday, July 01, 2006

It's not so funny meow is it?

I often look back on my posts and laugh, usually because I'm such a dork but right now I'm laughing about the ending of my last post. "Am waiting for something exciting to happen so I can post something people will be interested to read".

WELL! Friday night and the man and I are both exhausted after working hard all week. Sorry I should rephrase that, the man went to work all week. Anyway we'd ordered in chinese had a beer (or a Johnny Walker in the man's case) and were just sitting and chatting on the couch whilst 'Big Brother' was on tv.

Then came a knock on the door. The man peered through the keyhole (being safety concious of course) and a mildly exasperated police officer said "its the police". They told us there was a 'small disturbance' in the street and to stay in the house. So of course we got settled in our bedroom at the front of the house and peered out the windows like the busy-bodies that we are. The street was blocked off at one end by about three police cars but nothing much else was happening. The man got bored and wandered off back up to the loungeroom and then I nearly had a heart attack.

About 15 SWAT guys were walking up one side of the street (complete with the black outfits with helmets, firepower and door busting in thingamajig), the man got back in position pretty quick after that. We probably watched for an hour or more, heard the bang of the door going in and then we're pretty sure we heard gunshots. An ambulance appeared out the front of our house and then they brought a guy out, got him on his knees (with SWAT guys on either side) and eventually put him in the back of a divvy van and the excitement was over.

Just another quiet night in Ascot Vale really!

- Jen
p.s. read this in the herald sun this morning but it doesn't mention Ascot Vale. It's such a quiet street too!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Your heart is an empty room

Casselden Place
Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
I'm feeling a bit more settled now and I am loving Melbourne. I love living in Ascot Vale (soon to be Moonee Ponds). I walk to work most days (unless I'm in the city) and I'm ENJOYING it. I love the chilly mornings...(I know, I'm a freak).

I'm enjoying working in the city, the building pictured is Casselden Place and from the 37th floor I have some fantastic views (I can see Moonee Ponds!).

Anyway the title of this post is a Death Cab for Cutie song that I highly recommend. It's a new personal favourite!

- Jen
p.s Am waiting for something exciting to happen so I can post something people will be interested to read!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

1 week gone, x to go

Well the first week of 'work' or training has come and gone as has my first week of living in the mighty fine city of Melbourne, and of course the huge milestone of surviving my first week living with the man.

I'm enjoying sprinting up the hill near our house to try and catch the train of a morning. Friday was the first day I missed it, and only by the time it took to validate my ticket too! Work is not that great. I know that working in a call centre (even if it is only for a few months) is going to suck, so it should have been no surprise that the training would also 'suck'. Its great meeting the new grads but the training is pretty, well dry to put it nicely.

I went for a run when I got home last night and explored some more and then went for a run this morning in the opposite direction...I am slowly but surely running out of directions!

Living with the man has so far been great and unlike me, he clearly anticipated my having to adjust and that I might be a bit sad. I have slowly come to notice however that if I enter the kitchen with even the slightest intention of cooking, all utensils are removed from my hands. At first this was nice because its nice to be cooked for...but now I'm starting to get suspicious that he might think I am some kind of threat to people's eating experiences. So this afternoon I baked* a slice, and for dinner I'm cooking tuna mornay which he probably won't like but I do and I know Cam (housemate) does. Otherwise things are great, I haven't felt weird or anything like I should be going home soon which I thought I would. Very much looking forward to moving into the apartment though, just for the extra room....I guess I will have more new areas to explore too!

Until next time,

- Jen

* and only slightly burnt

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Where to begin?

Well I'm officially a resident of Melbourne now and I'm cold. Right to the bone. Thankfully when I step out the door on the way to work I am very warm thanks to a nice thick coat and gloves. Plus the walk to the train or if I am in Moonee Ponds, the office keeps me warm. The man's (or the man and I's) bedroom is FREEZING though and thats where I'm typing!

Yesterday was my first day and I walked to Moonee Ponds which was a good walk but any longer and it might have been too long. When we move it will probably be too short a walk!

Speaking of moving our loan was approved and we hope to move in the next few weeks....very exciting!!

Today I had to go into the city which wasn't as scary as I imagined and it was really easy to get to work. Hopped on a train and then walked up an escalator and crossed a road to get to the office!

Not much else is going on at the moment. Still trying to settle in and feeling more comfortable all the time. I love schedules and plans so as long as I have something to follow I don't stress out too much. So far I've worked out its a good idea to get clothes for work organised the night before that way the man doesn't get woken up when I turn on the light at 6am hunting for that elusive matching sock! Also I love getting up (freezing as it is), turning on the heater, having a shower, switching on 'Sunrise' and cooking porridge and sitting down for half an hour!! I think its the quiet and the 'me' time that I like. I can potter around and do things at my own speed. Plus I always have been a morning person.

I got home today at 4 and managed to talk myself into going for a run. The best thing so far about Melbourne is being able to explore. I even got a bit lost which was great! When I got home the man and I went up and measured the new place and it looks pretty good. The oven and dishwasher are in now so it just needs to be cleaned up and it will all be done!

Well I'm a hungry hungry hippo and dinner is calling...calling out for me to cook it...

- Jen

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Unfreaking believable.

Like the organised person that I am I had my car booked in for a service before I leave today. Out I stroll after a fantastic sleep in to warm up my car (which I do EVERY morning)....and it won't start. It made that oh so lovely bururrurrr burururur you hear when the battery is going.

On the day I'm taking it to get SERVICED! So I call the NRMA, they fix it in about 30 seconds and off I drive to drop it off at the mechanic. One new battery later and she's as good as new.

But I mean COME ON! what are the chances!

- Jen

And disappeared, with everything that you held dear

Leaving Albury is proving much harder than I orginally thought. Just saying goodbye to my workmates especially the other grads was terrible. I put it off until the possible minute.

I've never ever considered myself popular or at least well-liked but its made it that much harder to say goodbye to people when it seems like they are genuinely going to miss me as well.

I started this year working with three other people as new to the tax office as me. I really hope it wasn't a fluke that we all get along so incredibly well because I dare say I will be lucky to find a work environment like the one I am leaving.

Particularly as I will be working in a call centre until October.

I'm sure that once I get to Melbourne things will be great...its just the actual leaving part that is hard.

Sad sigh,

- Jen

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Jen and the not-so-skippy bush kangaroo

As much as the things that happen to me on a daily basis make me laugh or make me cry or make me angry, I cannot deny the fact that they also provide material for me to blog about.

Take today for instance, driving to work, listening to death cab for cutie, and I come round a corner and there is a kangaroo on the side of the road. Just chillin' out.

Not really. It had been hit by a car (or else had broken it's leg hopping) and was trying to hop away. Pretty unsuccessfully too. Like my sister mentioned later on, a kangaroo's legs are a pretty integral part of its mobility. I kept driving but felt horrible. I mean, I didn't hit the roo but I hate seeing hurt animals. By the time I got to the bottom of the hill I was looking for a place to turn around to go back. So being the soft dork that I went back to see if I could do anything.

It was lying on its side trying feebly to get away but didn't seem too scared of me. Of course having lived with a cat that has to take valium to keep it sane, a hurt kangaroo wasn't too much of a step up. I looked at it, it looked at me and I made soothing 'sea noises'. Then I decided that this was a bit of a waste of time. I felt terrible (pretty close to tears), but what could I do? I called the police who said they were on their way so I'd done all I could do for the poor thing.

I got in my car and drove back up the hill to find a place to turn around, did so and then drove back down the hill avoiding looking at the roo.

Of course I looked at the roo, well looked for the roo. Except it wasn't on the side of the road anymore it was on the road. Under a truck.

Not a good start to my day really!! But bloggable material none-the-less.

- Jen
p.s. My sister later mentioned if it was a 'boy' or a 'girl' kangaroo and I'm so glad I didn't think to look. If there had of been a joey in there...well there would have been a lot more than a little sniffling I think!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Why'd they bite you?

Tonight I had to say goodbye to jase. One of the few people from Albury who I do actually have to say goodbye to. Jase is going to work at the presently snow-less falls creek over winter and I am off to Melbourne next weekend. It would be an understatement to say that it was an emotional goodbye. We've been friends for probably four years now. We met at uni in database management or object modelling...or something boring, it was the second time Jase was sitting the subject I remember that.

Despite living together and the one time jase had to deal with the 'wrath of jen' after I came home to a previously spotless house in ruins two days later (there were a few dirty dishes) we have never had a blue...even the disagreement over the dishes ended up with us laughing (after some shouting). We have a similar sense of humour and he is the only other person in this world besides the man that I can talk about absolutely anything with.

I said to myself I wouldn't cry tonight. After all I'm not sad to see jase go. I'm not! He is going to have a BLAST up at Falls and he needs to get out of Albury. But I'm sad that I won't get to see him anymore. So cry I did.

I half wonder if this feeling I have been having all week has been related to the thought of having to say goodbye. I even managed to prolong having to do it last night by arranging to see him today as well! Thats my fantastic procrastination skills at work again! Anyway...

Good luck Jase.

- Jen

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Goodbye to you too Tib.

Well I was cleaning out pretty much the last of my clothes/photos/belongings out of my room at my parents tonight and Tib my cat was sitting on my bed, watching me. I felt a bit sad because while she isn't too old (10) or sick or anything, I'm moving out of home(again) and it would be pretty much the last time I would see her for awhile. So I felt a bit sad and was giving her a bit of attention (for once she probably thought). Of course instead of being a snob like she usually is and ignoring me (or stalking out of the room) she purred and stretched out making me feel even worse about 'leaving her'. I've had her since she was a kitten and she was the one I picked out of all the kittens I could choose from because she looked the most playful, and she was cuddly when I picked her up. Then I grew up and she grew up and then I moved out on her and now I'm doing it again. She snuggled up to me tonight and I nearly lost it. My poor cat, how will you survive without me???

And then she bit me.

Then I was fine. Damn cat.

- Jen

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I'm coping very well!

Exciting news in the The man-Unsworth household. Exciting, because such a thing now exists! Thats right we (with a little help) have bought an apartment. Well, subject to finance. But the deposit is down!

Of course getting organised to obtain a life-time of debt can be quite stressful. As you readers know I love stress in fact as my profile says, I thrive on it (better than being bored). So this week has been interesting. Things like getting bank statements, payslips, paying off loans, changing bank accounts around and ordinary work pressures have had me on the run. Not to mention I've started house sitting / looking after best friends little brother sitting.

Monday night I was pretty flustered with a massive list of things to get done on Tuesday but as I had all day to do work-work and all day to do organisational stuff I just did things one-step-at-a-time and everything was great. Its very satisfying to have an a4 sheet of paper filled with things to do and put a line through every one of them by the end of the day.

Well...for me anyway.

Here's to being a happy home-owner.

- Jen

Saturday, May 27, 2006

It's very hard to yell at this

Pip the Photo Eater
Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
I had been sitting here reading blogs for 2 hours wishing I had something to blog about when Mum runs in holding lots of torn up pieces of paper and goes 'the dogs ate your grad photos'.

I know that if I was a postman (person) and I had a big envelope marked "photos do not bend" I might not balance them precariously on a round letter box where they can be exposed to the elements. Elements being not only wind and rain, but two labradors.

The photos cost me $100 and I was spewing after the ceremony (after I'd already had them taken) when my parents said that I didn't have to get them done and they were happy taking photos outside, but now not only do I not have $100 I also don't have any photos!

Mum says she is going to re-order them because the dogs only ate 3/4 of the re-order form.

You try yelling at a dog that looks like this. I'm sure it was her and not Tammy that ate them, even if it was Tam that put her up to it.

- Jen

Thursday, May 25, 2006

It's only natural that I should be leaving home.

After going for a run tonight I made myself dinner, ate it and then my night came to a screeching halt. I felt too tired to play the guitar, there is nothing on tv, all my dvd's are in Melbourne and I felt a-little-bit-sad.

After talking to jase (who as well as my friend often doubles as my online psychiatrist), he came out with a question that made everything click.

"are you stressin because moving is becoming so real and its going to take you out of your comfort zone?"

The answer I decided is a resounding yes. As much as I do love the man, I'm also a bit nervous and apprehensive about moving down there. Understandably I guess. Also for some completely unknown reason to me I'm a little bit sad about moving away from home. Realise of course that I have moved out of home before and both my parents are rarely home when I am anyway.

I'm trying to think of sides of me the man might not have seen yet. I can't actually come up with anything which is good. I guess its a bit like:

"you've seen me at my worst and it won't be the last time I'm down there"

So apart the wriggly worms of excitement and anxiousness in my stomach about moving in with the man there is also the butterflies of nervousness about having to start a new job flying about too. I'm still at the ATO but working a new office, in a new job, with new grads, new co-workers etc etc. Essentially I'm going to be the new kid at school. I love the grads here in Albury. We were all thrown in together, all in the same boat and we're all good friends. In Melbourne, who KNOWS what they are like!!

I think Jebediah says it perfectly with:

"Hope I like the life I find when I leave everything behind I hope I'm sure
I've made my mind, to go and leave home".

Having said that I do think that the wriggly worms of excitement have the upper hand against the anxious worms. They're wrigglier!

As usual blogging and a chat to jase has cheered me up no end and I think I could give the guitar a go, ph-ew!

- Jen

Monday, May 22, 2006

Only 5? Weird things about me

Well I saw this over at Tired Tunia's and I thought I'd give it a go. Here is 5 weird things about me.

1. I really hate loud noises like people yelling suddenly, vacumn cleaners, drills and the crashing of oven trays especially. They really upset me and put me on edge. I know, weird.

2. I prefer to drink hot or very warm water. I find I drink it a lot faster and that I can usually fit my 2L of water a day in a lot easier if it's warm.

3. As mentioned a couple of posts ago I really am getting to the point where I can't stand white bread. Even muffins are pretty much out (the toast ones not choc chip). I know its mostly psychological and best friend might have something here but I just hate the stuff. Even multigrain if I can see 'too much white' I don't like it. Cake is okay in any colour.

4. I eat things I shouldn't. I don't mean this in the sense that I eat junk food I mean like I eat things like whole apples. The core and all.

5. I cannot stand the smell of parmesan cheese. I really can't. Taste is fine but if I smell enough of it there is a good chance I will throw up.

Share your weird things!

- Jen

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The petrol heist that wasn't

Driving home from Melbourne today (last time!!) and I stopped at the Mobil just before Seymour for some petrol. After I had filled up my car I moved it to the front of the shop (it was pretty busy and I didn't want to hold up other people). The queue was a mile long so I had plenty of time to get out my EFTPOS card ready to pay.

Except it wasn't there.

I took out every single card in my purse, went right through them, emptied my handbag out, went right through that and then blind panic overtook me.

This isn't something that happens to me, I'm ORGANISED!! This is something that happens to Jason!! I'm going to get ARRESTED!! No-one will believe this with petrol prices the way they are!!! .

I had about $10 cash to pay for $45 of fuel. I also had an expired EFTPOS card so I stepped out of the massive queue and went over to the ATM to pray that I could withdraw the money and avoid being arrested.

Thankfully it worked. Why I don't know its been expired a month now but phew!!
Definitely got the heart rate up though. So I figured I didn't have to go the gym tonight.

- Jen

Saturday, May 20, 2006

To eat or not to eat, that is the question.

On Thursday night I went around to best friend's house for dinner. I'm actually house sitting there in a week so I had to get the low down on things such as when to lock James in his room, if I should feed him etc etc.

After the usual and not so upsetting comments about how I'm thin (I know I'm thin but apparently everyone thinks I don't have access to a mirror or something), Best Friend's mum decides to tell me that everyone especially best friend are very worried about me.

Worried about me because I don't eat properly. It has been frustrating me for years now this thing best friend has about me not eating properly. Common sense would tell you that just because someone is not fat doesn't mean they don't eat. All this frustration about trying to prove I eat properly finally caught up with me and I got very upset. After I finished getting very upset I started to build up feelings of quite intense anger and a little bit more frustration.

The list of people who will tell you that I eat is quite long. After all eating is something one does quite regularly. There are people at work who can tell you that I eat morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea every day. There is my family that I live with who see me eat meals such as dinner and breakfast (my favourite meal of the day). The other girls in the grad program can tell you I quite often eat naughty things like chocolate, cookies, lollies and did I mention chocolate.
Jason can tell you that often on a Tuesday night we will eat steak sometimes followed by ice cream. Just the other night we went out for Thai and ice cream.
The list goes on.

So having proven that I do eat and there is a large amount of people that can vouch for me on this point, there is something else. While I do enjoy a mocha and cookies as much as the next person, it is only something I do once or twice a week. I do this strange thing where I eat healthily and do exercise (its this new craze I'm trying out). Funnily enough I don't really put on weight.

A day of food I ate last week included:


Large bowl of porridge with low fat milk

Morning tea

3 biscuits with cup of instant coffee (yay for nescafe mild roast with milk and 1 sugar)


Tuna and salad sandwich on wholemeal bread with a pear

Afternoon Tea


Snack before gym



Chili con carne with brown rice


Tub of yogurt and apple.

Apart from my crippling apple addiction (yay for jonogolds!) I think that is a fair assessment of an average weekday's food for me. Throw in 2.5L of water and a 3-5 km run on the tready and thats me done. Thursdays are an entirely different matter where everything goes out the window because it's grad day which involves eating lollies for two hours, going to get mocha's and cookies then going back for an hour and a bit and then going out for lunch.

I think there is a healthy balance in there. The only thing that causes me concern about my diet is my love of apples and the fact that I detest white bread. Love bread but it's got to be brown. Even on that point I win because at least I eat bread. Unlike someone I know.

It upsets me that I have to write something as stupid as this (I'm in Melbourne in a room with no heater and my fingers are frozen), but hey if my friends don't think I eat properly then I think it was worth it.


- Jen

Sunday, May 14, 2006

You are the..

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
Tunes in my head, the fire in my ribs, you are the voice in my heart that whispers compassion.

Today is a big day on jentopia. Not only is it jentopia's one year
blog-irthday it's the man and I's two year anniversary.

I woke this morning to the rustle of flowers and chocolate (rustling chocolates??) which was very sweet.

As I drove back to Albury tonight it was with the knowledge that it will be one of the last times I will have to do it. Very nice.

To the man, I love you. These past two years have been fantastic. I never ever thought I could be this happy. Thankyou.

- Jen

Nintendo: Wii like to shoot ourselves in the foot.

As we all know (including the most avid nintendo fan), Nintendo aren't exactly at the peak of the video game/console industry. I'm not knocking the gamecube by any means but it wasn't exactly a roaring success for nintendo (at least not in Australia). The DS has done okay but hand held gaming isn't as big as consoles etc.

So the next generation of consoles is coming out with the Xbox 360 already out there, PS3 on its way and Nintendo annouces to the world it is bringing out the 'Wii' (pronounced, w-e-e).

From the Nintendo site:

'Wii sounds like 'we' which emphasizes this console is for everyone'.

Oh dear. I would love to hear how the marketing geniuses over at Nintendo thought up that one. It's a bit like when you think about baby names, you think about what kids in the playground are going to turn in into. But the 'Wii'. I mean really, they won't even have to try.

Having said that it does look like fun. I'm pretty sure that even on the tight budget we will be on, the wii will be part of our loungeroom when it comes out.

- Jen

Jentopia - One year on

Well today marks the one year anniversary of Jentopia! I can't believe I actually kept up with posting and I also can't believe how much I enjoy blogging. As I've said I whinge less to real people, and it appears that there are a few people out there who do want to hear what I have to whinge about.

To all those people that read Jentopia (especially those that comment on my posts) thankyou for reading!!!

- Jen

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This is how it's supposed to be

It's been awhile since I had a good laugh at myself. You know the kind of thing that happens because its funny in itself. Not something one of your friends says. Or something you quote from a tv show twenty times a day ("computer says no"). This had me giggling for awhile.

Now I'm not the kind of person who likes a fight or 'conflict' as it's called in the workplace. But if something happens and it really annoys me I will usually complain. So tonight when I walked into the toilet at the gym to get changed I saw something a little odd. There was someone in there, a lady (wearing a club uniform) who looked shocked to see me who then threw something in the bin and then stuck her head under the tap and had a drink (little odd). I went into a cubicle to get changed and then the smell hit me.

Cigarette smoke. At first it was just a bit smoky but because it was such a confined area I started coughing, a lot.

So I got annoyed and went out to reception to complain (I know, I'm terrible but hey I was just about to exercise on a lungful of smoke). The guy got upset when I told him ("really? because employees aren't allowed to smoke anywhere on the premises") and he called the head manager.

There I was standing there feeling like THE biggest idiot. Who complains?? I'm worried this person is going to ask me what the employee looked like and I can only remember sketchy details (Miss Plum in the lounge with the candlestick). Then the manager comes out.

It's the same lady.

In between my confused look and babbling she managed to get me outside (presumably so the guy on reception wouldn't catch on) where she apologised for smoking etc etc I wasn't really listening because I was still in a state of shock.

When she left I laughed and laughed for about 5 minutes and then kept having random giggles the whole time I was running. Definitely tickled my sense of humour.

Now what was I complaining about?

- Jen

Just wait a minute, just sitting waiting.

Thankyou National Bank. Thankyou for raising the interest rate on my loan to 10.10% from 9.10%. They are obviously maths genius' over there if they that think that a 0.25% interest rate rise actually means 1%. I know that once this loan is paid off I will be happy to say farewell to the National Bank.

I can't wait for July when it goes through the roof (its a deferred loan and thats when I have to start paying it back).

There is nothing like thinking about spending a lot of money to have something like this happen.

- Jen

Sunday, May 07, 2006

This is fantastic, I'm in heaven

After studying this morning I went to the gym, came home and had lunch, finished my study for the weekend and pondered what to do next.

As it was around afternoon tea time I made myself a nice cup of coffee and got stuck into my dark chocolate lindt bunny while sitting down and reading blogs.

This is fantastic.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Always look on the bright side of life

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
See this distance? 1.91kms. By insuring my car 1.91kms away in Moonee Ponds I can save $250 on insurance.

As Tony pointed out though these costs are worth it considering I'm getting to Melbourne.

I'll stop griping. After all when I register my car in VIC I might be able to rid myself of my number plate beginning YUC. Imagine the pride of going to pick up your first 'real' car all shiny and relatively new and they bring out something with a numberplate YUC.

Always look on the bright side of life (de do de do de do de do).

Visiting is pretty, visiting is good

It seems the gods of money are out to make my life miserable. Moving to melbourne was supposed to be fantastic and exciting but the financial aspect is just making me stressed out and unhappy. I'm trying to look past all that to how great it will be when the bills are out of the way but cost after cost keeps coming up to beat that out of me.

I thought Victorian rego was supposed to be cheaper? After all in Albury people pretend they live in Wodonga because of it. Yet while rego in nsw costs me $216 and full comprehensive insurance costs me $450, to register my car in VIC (with new numberplates etc) is $925 and $546 a year after that while insurance is a whopping $1100. How does that work? So what if I don't have to get a greenslip or get my car roadworthied. Even with all that its still cheaper in NSW, and I'm not driving an unsafe car.

It appears Melbourne might be a great place to visit but living there is a right pain.

- Jen

p.s. if anyone who is living in Melb can give me approx rego costs for their car so I can see if I've made a mistake that would be great. I drive a Ford Laser '99. I wonder if seeing it's an 'old persons car' I could try and get some kind of senior citizens discount.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

We're clever but we're clueless.

People (who have money and three houses) will tell you that paying rent is a waste of money. 'Why be paying money off a property you don't own when you can be paying it off a mortgage on your own house'. These people (who have money and three or even four houses) are wrong. There is no interest rate (particularly now) or house that isn't something on the edge of a swamp hundreds of miles from civilisation that would make this statement even remotely true.

Last night the man and I worked out a budget together. There was the sacrifices (like getting a cat or at least a cat that eats), the tears (we have how much left over after expenses??), there was the pessimism (me but I like to refer to it as being realistic), there was the boundless enthusiam that is unfortuantely infectious (the man).

The man has found a place. It's in Moonee Ponds and apparently it's perfect. I would love to buy an apartment. Unfortuantely I have a car loan and other expenses that come with a car. I also lived at Woodstock Crt for a year and have a feeling that I might not have the most blemish free credit report. There were a couple of phone bills that were paid late and I'm pretty sure that counts against me for 5 years or so. I mean I'm no Pixie Skase but it probably won't look good.

I have a feeling that a bank would laugh at me. The man is also looking at Aussie home loans so if anyone has any experience with them let me know. The big guy on the ad seems alright so I hope we get him.

It is very exciting times in my world at the moment. I just wish I knew an eentsy weensty little bit more about the property market, or even just property.

Stay tuned.

- Jen

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Graduation Day (there was..)

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.

Yesterday was the fruition of four years of well not exactly blood or sweat but occasionally tears.

I graduated from university and am now the proud owner of a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Information Technology. I majored in International Business and did an IT minor in Online Multimedia.

I constantly ask myself what exactly it is I learnt at university. Post exams I remember very little about absolute and comparative advantage, for loops and while loops, maslows hierarchy of needs, object modelling and the rest of the 'stuff' I learnt at uni. I did learn to think differently though. A lot of people write uni off as a waste of money and time or think that uni students are bludgers (there is a small amount of work done in the 2 weeks before exams you know). I know uni isn't the be all and end all but I'm really glad I went. I worked hard, too hard probably but now it's all paid off for me. I have a great job which I enjoy, I met so many people and had an awesome time. All the o-weeks and the theme nights I will definitely miss. The 'all-nighters' probably not so much but even those were something I'm glad I experienced. There were the eccentric lecturers, the awesome lecturers, the mean lecturers, the buying of fresh textbooks and the promises to yourself that this semester you were going to go to every class and there weren't going to be any 'all nighters'. There was the moving out of home, the freezing winters at woodstock crt, the parties at woodstock and campbell crts, flip cup with the Americans, the unsteady walks home through the 'blair witch' area, the Termo (and its tragic demise). Then there was the accounting exam which I forgot to take a calculator to (and subsequently failed although I did manage to secure a calculator). There was the project management subject where I failed the first assignment by one mark, passed the second assignment by one mark and then came out with a credit after the exam. Then there was the subjects where I got distinctions in both assignments and finished with a pass. I guess I won some and I lost some. I never did find that elusive HD though. I traded fun and a social life for 10 marks (which is a pretty good trade).

I'm sure going to miss it (as we speak my taste for beer is diminishing).

- Jen

p.s. See my flickr for more grad photos.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


This my readers has been a 'milestone' day. Unfortuantely I've been sick with the 'flu, in fact I even took my first real sick day on Monday. So coming back to work today I had emails and phone messages (okay A phone message) to check and catch up on. While my pc at work was booting up and before I'd even sat down I had dialled into the message bank on my phone to hear that I was getting transferred, to Melbourne, in June.

After a few oh my gods and curious looks from my co-workers (well I do have the 'flu so it sounded like "uh by gob" "uh by gob!") I got through the day and met up with the man after work who presented me with a huge bunch of flowers and a 'guitar tutor' book (he is very sweet that man).

Melbourne. Finally.

- Jen

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Me & The Man & Dylan Moran

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
Saturday night the man and I ventured out into the cold streets of Melbourne to go and see Dylan Moran at the Comedy Festival. It was different to what I expected. His humour is a lot cleverer than I'd realised and I didn't think I would see so much of Bernard Black in him. But sure enough he came out with a glass of wine and smoked something like four cigarettes in an hour.
It made for a really good night thats for sure. Home by 9:00 and straight back into season one of the Gilmore Girls which we got cheap on front of the heater. Fantastic

- Jen

Fish are Friends, not Food.

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.

This is my friend Liz holding the fish she supposedly caught.

Having seen Liz fish (it's very similar to Liz screaming and jumping around a lot). I'm not actually sure if the picture even counts as proof.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Eight is not enough!

The experts tell you that eight hours sleep is enough for an average human being. Not surprisingly as an 'above' average human being I am finding I require more. Lots more. Last night I was asleep at 9pm and woke up at 5:30 am to 'California' by Phantom Planet playing on my mobile phone. Thats eight and a HALF hours sleep! and I still struggled.

Work was pretty interesting today. I made my first phone call to a tax agent to find out some information about one of their clients...I was pretty nervous (understandably I guess), but I think I managed to come off as professional and not too dumb. I also passed an assessment I sat today and now just have to resit one I failed last week but I won't get around to that until after easter.

Speaking of easter, I don't think I will be catching up on much sleep then either. Good Friday I am having lunch with my mum and my nan then heading down to Melbourne. Saturday night the man and I are going to see Dylan Moran at the Comedy Festival, which will be awesome! Sunday we are driving to Berrigan to see the man's family for easter then Monday we are coming back to Albury, and Tuesday (which I've taken as a flex day) I'm not sure what we're doing. Phew. Sounds tiring!

Well I have to go and bring in the washing, feed the cats, unpack the dishwasher and make dinner...I think I will skip the gym tonight.

- Tired Jen

Friday, April 07, 2006


Tonight I was supposed to be having drinks with some people I went to high school with. A couple of them I literally haven't seen since high school so I was both excited and well a bit wary I suppose. I took a flex day today and drove down (to Melbourne) last night and surprised the man. I worked this morning (in front of the heater at home!) and then when I'd learnt all my brain would absorb about 'Deductions for Business' I went up to highpoint to find some jeans that don't make my arse look big.

After wandering around for about an hour having sales people give me jeans to try on which looked suspiciously like the jeans I was already wearing (I'm pretty sure one pair were the same) I decided that my arse was just going to have to stay how it was and that I was damn lucky the one pair that I did like the shop didn't have in my size (thats $160 that staying in my bank account thankyou very much). I also came to the conclusion catching sight of myself in a window on my way out that I looked fine and even a little bit damn fine just the way I was.

Of course when I got home I had a message from Alex on my phone telling me that tonight had been cancelled anyway. I guess the high school reunion will have to wait another 5 years.

So what to do? I know the man is having drinks with people from his work (he was supposed to meet me after that) so I could tag along to that, or I could get changed back into tracky daks and my hoodie, turn the heater on grab the new book I'm reading and .... ah stuff it I'm messaging the man and braving the elements...all in the name of beer.

- Jen

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A little bit of java rant

class Rant
public static void main (String[] argv)

System.out.println("Stop $&%*$#^* calling me!!! I have had ENOUGH
of telemarketers. You know when they're calling because
you get the long pause where you have enough time say "hello", "heLLO"
and then "HELLO!!!!" before the foreign voice cuts in and asks to speak to
my mother at least they don't badger me when I tell them she isn't home

I don't like being badgered!");

} // end main

}// end class

- Jen

p.s. How did I go? I wonder if it would compile! It's been that long. What I really wanted to do was make a method called my.mothersName() and then call that, do another print line, put in my mothers name...but its been a LONG time since I learnt Java. If anyone wants to fill me in on the vitally important lines I missed (there must be something!).

EDIT: Damn the formatting didn't come out like I'll get the gist of it.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Growing up, yeah

jen1 001
Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse.
Well Friday was my birthday and I have reached the ripe old age of twenty-two (it sounds older if I write it out in letters).

I had a pretty good day we went out to the pub for lunch at work (for 2 1/2 hours) and then I went and got a haircut, met up with the man and headed home.
I got a nice surprise from the man with a 'gift card' worth one snowboard which I will get when you can buy them again (i.e. in winter). Season Two of Little Britain from my sister (eh eh ehhhh) and the third season of scrubs from turtle-lips.

Had a really nice weekend all in all, went out to Zen X for teppanyaki last night followed by fishbowls from Taco Bills. Unfortuantely the food disagreed with both the man and I's stomachs and we alternated between bed and the toilet all night. I'd presumed I would be sick from the alcohol not the food!!! But there you go.

Well I am VERY tired, and have washing to do! Stupid me brought work home with me which I knew I shouldn't do. I'm not going to do any and will now just feel guilty for not opening it!! I would have been better leaving it at work and not thinking about it!! Gah!

- Jen