Monday, December 31, 2007

The kittenats - one year on

I won't say that it seems like yesterday that we brought them home because it doesn't. We went out and got them from a shelter at Wallan. They had two brothers who had been adopted the day before and aftet them it was just the mother left. Obviously we took them both because how could you leave one behind, and as it was someone had a hard enough time taking them away from their mother at all. Thankfully the cat lady rang us the next day and said someone had adopted the mother as well.

To make matters worse one of them hadn't had the microchip put in when they were being desexed so the cat lady put the chip in, while one of us held the poor little thing, without any anaesthetic. Could be why Schroddy hates me! I never thought about that. Anyway they mewed all the way home, and Matilda freaked us out as she kept climbing the cage with her mouth open like she was silently screaming. The photo says it all.

Anyway despite the few accidents they've had (and the accidentlies on purpose)they've been a real bundle of fun. Both of them are keen to get out onto the balcony so they can go out on the roof again. So far we have thwarted any escape attempts.

We're having a bbq new years day for the stragglers staying here after our NYE in the city so I expect they'll have a blast on the roof again as they will be bound to get out.

- Jen
EDIT: the man tells me I am wrong (as usual) it was Matilda who got stabbed and HE was holding her. And that's why Matilda doesn't like being picked up...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Day trippers

Day before yesterday the man and I headed off to the beach. Decided to go to Torquay except I forgot about that little thing called traffic and just thought we'd head off whenever. Could have walked faster through Geelong but we got there in the end.

I've been there once but couldn't remember where the surf beaches were so we ended up at a beach that had more waves than Williamstown beach...just. I did actually get dumped which was exciting but I think it was because I tripped over, not because of the knee high wave. You just don't feel like you're having fun at the beach until you have salt water and/or sand in your nose.

Afterwards we stopped in at a friends house in Lara. Wait, stop. That sounds very grown up. 'Stopping off at a friends house'. They're a couple too and just moved in to the house that they built on a bit of land out there. Nicest house ever! Huge too. I was asking the man if we could have one and he pointed out the commute (which my friend makes everyday) is a long way. But such a nice area...

But thats right, we were supposed to win $30 million last night. We bought the ticket, just haven't checked yet. Oh well I'll go and cash that in later. I guess then I could buy a helicopter and fly to work. Yep, that sounds like a plan. Of course having $30 million dollars probably means we can just about afford a house in Moonee Ponds.

Anyway, was a very nice day out. Next time our friends are going to show us to good little kid pee free beaches.

- Jen

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

THE Christmas spirit

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse
Had my second Christmas day away from 'my' family, which I spent with my 'family', at the Fankhauser Christmas.

Torn between wanting to be with 'my' family and the fun I'd most likely have with my 'family' we headed off from Albury on Monday morning arriving at the resort (near Mansfield) just after lunch. Didn't do much, but tried to concentrate on remembering everyones names, of course everyone remembers mine. To be fair there is almost 40 of them, including 13 kids, two of whom are twins.

After a couple of beers the afternoon seemed to slip away fairly quickly. I did come to the conclusion that being ball girl for a very amateur tennis match was not all it was cracked up to be. I spent evening tormenting children and asking them if they were excited about tomorrow. Some looked confused, some were off their heads and when I asked one of the man's nephews why he was excited he said 'because the world is going to END'!!!

I headed to bed pretty early because I'd decided to get up with the kids. 13 kids, all of them under 12. The start time seemed to be 7am so at 6:50am I stumbled across to the 'barn', which although filled with presents was cold and deserted. But by the time I'd put the kettle on I'd heard some thumps and squeals and then it was on.

There were remote controlled cars, planes and robots. Slot car sets, wooden train sets, slinkies, tonka trucks so big you could ride on them, volcano making kits, water pistols the size of a fully grown labrador, transformers everything, dora everything and chocolate gold coins up the wazoo.

The kids weren't happy about the 10% chocolate tax I imposed on the coins but most of them got over it and coughed up.

It was while I was sitting there I was thinking how when we were kids our Christmases were never like this, I mean there is only my sister and I. Which is great when you're trying to bring up kids, or keep your hearing and/or sanity and its easy to count but not so great when you want to have a game of backyard cricket and you need fielders.

It was as I was sitting there (not getting clucky because the squeals took care of that) that it struck me. I was so stunned that it took me a second to recover. I don't know why I'd never thought about it. About how I'm not some guest here, I'm not someone just observing this. I'm a part of this, and probably one day, our kids will be sitting here on the floor with ants in their pants while Jumpy (the man's uncle) hands out all the presents under the tree, dressed up as Santa.

It blew me away. There's now 'my' family, and 'my family'. And its huge!

Christmas lunch was delicious with turkey, pork and ham and the usual vegies. Oh. and crackling. After I'd finished I wanted to eat it all over again but sadly couldn't fit in another bite. Dishes took about ten minutes (even with dishes for 40 people), but that happens when there are two sinks, five dryers and a putter awayer-er. After that I was tasked with heating plum pudding for 15 people in the microwave. Took awhile!

After Christmas lunch we instigated a cricket match that went on all afternoon with nary a tantrum (although I did jump and down a little bit). I somehow managed to get bitten on my forehead a few times by something so now I look like I've got chicken pox, really bad acne or as the man's dad put it this morning, as if I'm growing a second head.

Christmas night I was reminded about how I really need to learn how to play cards because I still don't know what a bower is. After two games I really didn't care what a bower was anymore and went to bed.

Was an awesome day though and I had so much fun but now, after battling through highpoint and picking up some very exciting presents to myself (like my dustbuster), its time for bed.

- Jen (more pics here)

The new reindeer?

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse
Took this picture at my parents Christmas (day before Christmas eve).

Will blog about my actual Christmas shortly.

- Jen

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dead cat, dead cat two times.

Went to pack my clothes this morning. Pulled open my brand new backpack (the one we got for overseas). The $250 backpack. That looked like it had orange cordial in it. My first thought (clearly the most logical) was that the man had spilt cordial in it. That only lasted for a second when I remembered the man drinks green cordial not orange, and then the smell hit me.

The cats (I presume only one of them) PEED IN MY BACKPACK.

Then I banged my elbow on the corner of the cupboard door.

Then I had to sit down and think about how on earth I was going to clean it.

I did my best and it still stinks. So I'm going to try some febreeze maybe. Apparently peeing in the man's backpack is out of the question for those mongrels.

I am kind of laughing about how my first thought was the man spilling cordial. NOT impressed with the cats at all.

- Jen

Friday, December 21, 2007

The sun shines on the black clouds, hanging over the domain

I can't remember the last time we had rain like this.

There I was running from the top of Lonsdale St down to Queen St getting absolutely drenched and then.. then when I got there (there being CQ bar), I was so wet and miserable... well I hate to say this but I went back. I did go back via the train at Flinders St where all those SMART people gave me that smug 'never heard of an umbrella' look. Seriously I was completely soaked through. I was stumbling along cursing Melbourne and its stupid stupid weather. Moved here last June and this was the first time I've been caught in the rain.

What was worse was that I had to go back to work to get my backpack, so I had to totter through the foyer dripping water everywhere and trying not to turn my high heels into waterskis.

So now apparently rivers are flooding. Insane!

Also The man sorted out City West Water - apparently they'd read the wrong meter for one quarter (so we would have had a slightly cheaper bill) then the next quarter read the right one (equalling more) + as Rae said, the parks charge. Except because City West had only just received the valuation for our property they kindly back dated the parks charge for us resulting in a jumbo bill. Ta guys.

Anyway, just in case I get busy tomorrow and don't get time to post..Merry Christmas!

I won't say Happy New Year because I should get time to blog before then.

- Jen

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Er, no wait. Riddle me THIS

The man and I are gobsmacked. In shock! Stunned mullets. In disbelief! Slightly bewildered. But mostly gobsmacked.

Riddle me THIS, CITY WEST WATER. HOW, when I now only shower at home about 3x a week and the man has extremely short showers does our water bill go up by $91!!!

I should explain, I shower everyday but the gym I go to is in the same building I work in so I mostly shower there. This is only since September/October mind you. Also, the man and I have also taken to the 'if its yellow let it mellow' rule to save water. We wash our clothes on the 'eco' cycle, in cold water. The dishwasher goes twice a week. Gobsmacked!

The man has tomorrow off so he is going to ring up Mr City West Water and ask him to explain this. His thought is that maybe they've done a meter reading for the first time since we moved in. But $91!! I knew water was going up but thats just insane. I wouldn't be so peeved if it weren't for the fact I KNOW we're using MUCH less water than last quarter due to my showering elsewhere! The little graph thing shows our water usage has DOUBLED.

Be very interesting to hear the answer. Seriously, I'm peeved.

What about everyone else? Notice any changes?

- Jen

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Riddle me this.

So reading the paper today I noticed that its only a $20 fine for not voting. $20!!! I thought it was a couple of hundred!

How is it fair that the fine for not attending jury duty is $1100 (in NSW) but not voting (in a federal election) is $20!! Not voting in a NSW state election is still only $25.

I don't get it! It's a hell of a lot more obvious that an election is on than getting (or not getting) one letter about jury duty. Although maybe not a by-election, possibly not a state election but surely a federal one!

What is the point of having compulsory voting if there is only a $20 fine? I wonder how often people actually even GET fined for not voting anyway!

The article was saying how its a $55 fine for not voting in a VIC state election but only $20 for federal.

Also, I don't know HOW the Northern Territory arrived at $37.50!

- Jen

Guitar Hero-ing

Jen and Dan
Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse
So guitar hero could be the most fun I've had with the wii yet. Granted the game is also on all the other consoles and its the same..but still.

Basically you match a coloured button on the guitar to one on the screen when it comes up. Sounds easy! But its not, hence the concentration required. The 'version' of guitar hero is 'legends of rock' and initially I didn't like playing any of the songs on there. Songs like 'slow ride' by Foghat, 'Hit me with your best shot' - Pat Benatar. You see where I'm going with this.

BUT, when you play co-operative career mode and you do a 'set' (of crappy rock songs), you get encore songs. Songs like 'Reptilia' by The Strokes and 'Suck my kiss' by the Chili Peppers. Much better!

To see some incredible guitar hero-ing click here. Seriously, its insane. Clearly these people don't have jobs.

- Jen

- YT Link is down, will fix later

Pretend like its the weekend now...

Its a beautiful day today and with nothing to do I decided to take a stroll down Puckle St, find some nice coffee and settle in and read the paper.

I left the man at home, fighting with Bowser who has decided (for a change) to try to kidnap the princess and take over the mushroom kingdom.

After purchasing the Sunday Age I headed to Fuel Espresso (I think thats what its called), its on Margaret St Moonee Ponds, across the road from the train station, almost on the corner of Puckle St. Very nice coffee, bit quiet in there though. Nice for me, not good for business. Saturday mornings they always look a bit busier though.

Service was so-so, one waitress was really nice and the other looked bored. Thankfully the nice one was making my coffee. I did note that they don't serve a 'big breakfast'. A couple that came in and sat near me clearly needed grease + caffeine. However the chef offered to make them whatever they wanted so they got their bacon, eggs, snags etc after all. Looked pretty good too.

I'd already had two bowls of those weetbix honey brick things, plus a bowl of cherries and some nerds for breakfast so coffee was all I was going to be able to manage. Yes, nerds (the mans breakfast).

After two coffees and managing to get up to the sport section of the paper I ambled over to safeway and got the necessities for home made burgers tonight. Yum!

A very nice, relaxing Sunday so far!

- Jen

Friday, December 07, 2007

But it's gonna take money, a whole lot of spending money

I know, its a whole 'lotta' spending money. I just couldn't do it. I mean I'm still adjusting to spelling vacUUM correctly. Baby steps before I start doing slang.

Yes, gonna is okay.

Sooo.. anyway. Now that we've basically paid off our overseas trip we've noticed that we might get hungry overseas. Well I will anyway. So we're trying to save up more spending money.

The man is up at highpoint right now at an interview for a weekend job, his phD scholarship means that he doesn't face the rather hefty tax rates that I do if I get a second job.

Even so, I have a feeling I might get a job at Coles. I did actually apply for one so it won't be a shock or anything. Should clarify that as supermarkets don't actually cold call people asking if they'd like a job. I got an email saying I have suitable skills and that they are trying to find me a position in Moonee Ponds or Essendon. Half of me went 'oh cool maybe I CAN eat pizza in Italy now' and the other part went 'good one, you just destroyed the tiny part of your soul that was still intact after you finished working for them last time'.

But even if I only net an extra $100 a week, that adds up to big bucks for our trip. THAT'S awesome. The way I figure it, we don't do anything on weekends anyway because we're saving money - why not earn MORE money!

Greedy aren't we? At least we'd be working like dogs to earn it anyway. I was going to suggest the man go missing and then I'd just claim the life insurance and meet up with him in London and be all 'oohh the man I totally thought you were dead and stuff, hey now lets go check out Paris'.

Except apparently its been done, and besides then we remembered the man doesn't even have life insurance. There goes THAT plan.

- Jen

'Till the day we come in doing cartwheels - SOTM December 2007

There was no question in my mind that this song would get song of the month for December. I am not kidding when I say that this is the ONLY song I have listened to on the train, for a MONTH. Seriously, the song finishes and then I just hit the back button. I can get on the train in a cruddy mood and put this on, and by the time the doors open at Parliament could almost bounce off the train.

I HIGHLY recommend it.

It is - 'Australia' by The Shins. Catchy catchy catchy.

Incidentally Grammy nominations are out today and 'Wincing the night away' the album that 'Australia' is from got nominated for best alternative music album.

Anyway, you guys be the judge. Hear/See it here. I love this song. I may go spend my last $16 of credit in itunes and buy the whole album.

Awesome lyrics too, could have a field day with them.

- Jen

Saturday, December 01, 2007

His looks better than mine..

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse
So we made Tony's BBQ chicken pizzas last night. I made one and the man made one.

You can click here to see his.

Realised I took my photo POST cooking, and while I did remember the bbq sauce mixed with tomato paste on the base, I forgot to cook the chicken in bbq sauce. It was still nice though.

The man murdered about a hundred animals for his pizza, but it actually looked better than mine. See the comments on the pic for his 'ingredients'.

- Jen