Too Many Shrimp

My poor grasp of mathematics is now known to the world, and I must flee to the Maldives. I’ve always known I must flee to the Maldives one day, so it might as well be now. This is my time. My time to make a new life…in the Maldives. I will live in a thatched hut, and that will be my Maldives life.

I just thought that a commercial wok burner could handle that many shrimp. 16,000 shrimp is a very large number, but still, it’s a piece of commercial equipment, very large and quite able to handle many, many ingredients, maybe even a few thousand shrimp at a time. I also didn’t really think about the menu we were preparing, but I did assume that it was something to do with seafood, hence why I ordered so very much. Maybe the restaurant was having a seafood night? I did not know; I just followed instructions…without my glasses. Couldn’t see the numbers, so I just looked at the wok burner, I factored in us getting a commercial oven installed last week (giving us a much greater capacity for cooking) and made the order. My glasses were still lost at this point, so even on the computer I couldn’t see what I was doing. 16,000 shrimp was just the tip of the iceberg, especially when I apparently added a few extra zeroes and ordered 400,000 calamari. Not calamari rings, mind you; actual calamari. We stepped out the back to find that all the parking spaces were taken up, some of them by shrimp, but mostly by hundreds of tanks of live calamari.

I’m on the plane now, so I’m hoping that they’ve found a home for all those calamari and are moving onto the 130,000 lobsters that arrived a few hours later. Honestly, I thought that the seafood company might have noticed. I wonder if I can find a nice restaurant in the Maldives, a professional place with a commercial stove where I can make soup, soup, and even more soup. Soup is hard to mess up, unlike complex online ordering.

-Jace

Learn About Car Servicing

Anyone else think that The Great Australian Trade-Off has lost some of the magic? I know it’s only season 2 and I’m probably expecting too much, but still, I just think…it seems lacklustre. Like, they didn’t cast the right people. The challenges are all very interesting, and I like seeing how they muddle through the various problems, but it’s all ‘argument, getting along, argument, getting along’. Just going through the motions.

I don’t know. It’s still one of those ‘have open in another tab’ shows, you know? Like this week, when they were split into teams of three and had to repair a classic car. It was great to see June taking on an organisational role while Brent used his car expertise, but Camilla didn’t know a single place that does car servicing in Elwood, where she supposedly lives and drives? Then Camilla had the gall to admit on television that she doesn’t really take care of her car and she’s just going to leave it up to the rest of her team. She helped out with the basic stuff, but she just didn’t seem willing to learn the basics of a car servicing procedure. She should’ve been eliminated, is what I’m saying. Instead, Grace was booted from the competition because she tried a bit of impromptu tire repair with good intentions and the thing ended up rolling down a hill into the river. Followed by the car…screeching down the hill with one wheel missing and getting sunk. Okay, that’s pretty bad, but Grace was trying at least. Camilla did nothing. Like, I can tell you a really good garage for car servicing here in Caulfield, like…immediately. Because I drive. And it’s good to know where you can take your car so that it won’t blow up while you’re driving it. SO now I have to watch the show knowing that Camilla is still on it, and she could break down at any time, and she wouldn’t have a CLUE how to fix it.

-Moe

Glass Alone Does Not a Home Make…

commercial glazingCall me crazy, but I don’t think a glass home was the best idea. The person who sold the idea to us was a very well-respected home designer, and he said that it was going to be his masterpiece. An entire home, made of glass! Unique in all of Melbourne, perhaps the world!

And we weren’t totally stupid. We DID make sure that parts of it would be frosted, so privacy could be preserved. Honestly, I don’t care if people look past the fence and see us watching TV or cooking pasta…I’m just not that concerned about privacy, funnily enough. Parts of the house are frosted, and that’s enough if I need to get away from prying eyes.

I just love glass, so almost everything in here IS glass. At least, everything that can be: the dining table, chairs, bathroom, doors…everything practical. The commercial glazing companies we consulted with all said that we should perhaps ease up, and we really should’ve listened. Fact of the day: when moving into a glass home, listen to all commercial and residential glaziers who give you even a sliver of advice. They’re the ones who are going to be fixing all your problems, after all. They said that ventilation and temperatures would be a problem, but we brushed it aside. Maybe it was…I don’t know, hubris? The intoxication of thinking about living in our miniature glass palace?

Anyway, it was all okay at first, particularly when the rain was lashing against the glass walls. But the other day it got to 18 degrees during the day without many clouds, and…wow. It felt like being in a microwave, and opening the windows did nothing. That’s what we chose, right? Basically a greenhouse, without the green? So…I guess people who do glass replacement near Melbourne for a living actually know what they’re talking about, so it would seem. Maybe we should’ve relegated the glass theme to just a few of the rooms.

Wonder if the Landlord Would Appreciate a Feature Wall…

floral wallpaperYou have quite a bit of power as a renter nowadays. I haven’t really looked into this, but I bet when renting first became a thing, it was absolutely terrible for anyone who wasn’t the landlord. You did all your own repairs, there was no renter insurance, and the landlord could kick you out whenever they wanted, because it was legally their place. I bet the laws just steadily crept inwards until eventually, they were covering all their tenants’ repairs down to the changing of the light-bulbs, they had to give advance notice if they even wanted to come CLOSE to the place and loads of places now can’t refuse pets if they’re small.

I kinda feel sorry for landlords…or I would, if I wasn’t a broke renter. Still, I think the self adhesive removable wallpaper I got for the place is a good compromise. I haven’t ripped anything off the wall, and I’ve been assured that this wallpaper is really easy to remove. Sort of like when I was younger and I was allowed to put up these adhesive cartoon stickers because they just peeled right off. They were supposed to be reusable, but…didn’t quite turn out that way.

Doesn’t matter. This wallpaper sounds pretty good, and I really was looking hard for ways to personalise the place even though I’m a mere, lowly renter and hammering nails into the wall is one of the worst things a person can do. Except my landlord probably wouldn’t care, because he takes a fairly relaxed approach to that kind of thing. Probably healthy; nobody needs the stress of combing over your investment properties with a magnifying glass.

He probably wouldn’t even care about the lovely removable floral wallpaper I’m applying in the lounge, but…I let him know anyway. Professional courtesy, and I don’t want him raising my rent to force me out.

-N.A.

The Most Planet-Friendly Hairdressing

Melbourne hairdressersMy name is Chelsea, and I’m on an ENVIRO-DRIVE. Yep, it’s Enviro-Drive month here in Melbourne, and I was totally sucked in by the Visage-Tome advertising campaign. It’s a super basic proposition as well; all you have to do is investigate how environmentally-friendly your local businesses are, and then call them out on it. I’ve been having a grand old time bursting into my local cafes, eateries and hairdressers and giving them a good talking to about the methods they’re using.

Case in point: Vera’s Hair Salon! Never visiting that place again. I said to her, I said “Vera, this isn’t good enough. Look at how many things you have plugged in that aren’t being used. Look at the TV, running when no one is looking at it. This isn’t good enough, Vera. All these years and here I am, taking my business to a better hair salon in Melbourne that isn’t throttling the environment with their lack of care. Shame, Vera. Shame upon you.”

And then of course, there were tears. Octogenarians can be so sensitive, but do you know what else is sensitive? The ozone layer. Uh-huh. All I had to do then was publicly shame her establishment online, and now I’m getting a free Enviro-Drive crusader badge! I’ve noticed that a lot of the hair salons in Melbourne’s centre are a lot better with their appliances. And they’re a bit busier, so I’m okay with the television being left on…so long as it’s at a low volume. Did you know that televisions being turned up too loud is not only damaging the hearing of the youth of today, but also draining an extra 2% of energy per year? Shameful!

Now that Vera’s isn’t an option, I guess I have to find a new and decent hairdresser near South Melbourne for my needs. And those needs might be a lot more exclusive now, but that’s the life of a Crusader. We’re not in it for the glory.

-Chelsea

An Office to Suit the Local Style

Melbourne office designersI love a lot of things about our new home, but in particular, there’s a large room that I’d like to convert into a study. Our family’s aversion to the sun means that traditional work becomes quite difficult for us, so while I would like to find a normal job and see how things are done in Australia, it’d be better to simply fix things up in here and do what we’ve always done.

I wonder what the office ‘style’ is here in Melbourne? Commercial office design is all well and good but I feel like we should be engaging with the local populace. Speaking as an immigrant, it simply won’t do to come in and not engage with the local culture, and that includes the style of office. Or maybe I’m just curious to see what that would look like…I do like a little bit of interior design. Call it a guilty pleasure.

I’ve peeked in a few windows on my nightly visits, and I can certainly say that it all looks rather modern. Nice open windows, nice open plans, and there was one particular office where they’d replaced the typical computer chairs with beanbags. Looks like I’ll be dispensing with certain features of my office back in Romania, such as the massive stuffed eagle descending over my high-backed, blood-red velvet chair. The various animal busts perhaps need to go…no one here seems to be fond of using them to decorate the office space. Instead, there are comfortable chairs and pieces of minimalist artwork with the least chance of offending anyone.

Maybe it’s silly of me to analyse office design in Melbourne and tailor my private space to suit, but I will be accepting contacts, and retiring to the study for port and serious talk is the way of many evenings. I’m sure they’ll be feeling right at home, before…the night’s end.

-Ivanov Maxim Payler-Alucard

Parties and Pirates and Booty, Oh My

bathroom renovationsOH. MY. ELEGANT DESIGNS.

Why is life so cruel, that television has to show us such visions of loveliness, and us not being able to fulfil them in real life? I’d kill for a nice bathroom, but we won’t even be able to think about that stuff until the kids are out of school.

Today’s intrigue came to you via a new character on Week of Our Lives, played by Kayley Curry-Conway. She’s been in many movies, so how they got someone so high profile I’ll never know. Anyway, she’s a billionaire genius playgirl philanthropist capybara-enthusiast, and she invited everyone in Realsville to her gigantic manor house for a manor house-warming. Naturally, her bathroom design and renovations alone floored most of the residents, but particularly Lena. Obviously this is a reference to Lena’s father’s dying wish, that she renovate her bathroom, because he was always coming to visit and she’d never replaced that one shower-head that didn’t have enough pressure. But ALSO, Lena’s dad used to be a Somalian pirate, and he went fifteen years without a single shower, only to come back to live with his daughter and find that her shower-head was terrible, and her bathroom wasn’t NEARLY big enough to hide all of the treasure he earned through all his years of ill-gotten gains. He died a few seasons ago of a severe case of whooping fictionalitis, but seeing this beautiful bathroom design brought it all back so violently that Leena blurted out to everyone that her Dad used to be a pirate, and Kayley revealed that she set the whole thing up so that she could find the daughter of the famous Somali buccaneer who retired to Australia, because her father was a rival pirate and he died trying to find the treasure of his greatest enemy. Ugh, the intrigue, I can’t even! The beautiful bathroom design as well! Why couldn’t I have lived in a mansion…?

-Leticia

The Worst-Best Mechanic Around

car service RingwoodI’m really glad I don’t do car repairs any more. That’s because I just got hooked on the video game ‘Over-Botch’.The aim is to do as badly as possible to become the very best at being bad. I haven’t heard of anyone taking up a career in Over-Botch and also doing the same thing in real life, but I seriously think you’d get burned out really quickly. The game is just that realistic that it’d be a serious brain drain coming home and then doing everything you’ve just been doing, but in reverse.

I’m not doing so badly with this whole virtual mechanic thing, either. Which is to say, uh…I AM doing badly. But I’m GOOD at being bad. Number 42 in all of Australia. I’ve set up a nice little place in virtual Ringwood. Good quality car servicing is my main deal, although I offer a wide range of services from brake replacement to log book servicing.

See, if this was real life Ringwood with real life car servicing, you’d get a name for yourself in the community, people would start recommending you to their friends…and all that stuff is important for a car mechanic. Most people are pretty clueless when it comes to cars, so they look for someone they can trust. Whereas in the magical bizarro world of Over-Botch, people are actually just looking for someone they CAN’T trust, so they can get the worst service possible, after which they go and tell all their friends that this guy can’t be trusted, he does terrible work and you should totally go and get car services from him.

As amusing as it all is, I’m glad things work the way they do in our world. So if I ever find myself looking for good log book servicing near Ringwood, or somewhere a little bit closer to home, I’ll be searching for someone trustworthy. As in, trustworthy to do a GOOD job. Probably don’t need to specify that IRL though.

-Dax

Car Mechanics OUTSIDE the Family

car service BentleighMa and Pa aren’t too keen on getting folks in to do things for them, so we’ve always been pretty independent up here on the farm. That’s what I’ve been taught since I was too young to toddle: the Jacoby family does things their way. Well, that, and ‘if family calls, you come running no matter what’. That’s why there was a great family emergency when we found out that Cousin Kerleen got a guy in to fix her washing machine. First off, the Jacoby family don’t use washing machines…Ma says that’s what the communal lake is for. And second, Carlene actually got a guy in. And paid him.

And now we have family crisis #2, since Cousin Merv let slip that he’d been and gone to a good quality car service mechanic in Bentleigh, because there was a problem with his Corolla motor that he couldn’t fix himself. Something about the crankshaft pulley…I don’t know. I like to garner knowledge, but cars have just never interested me in that way. So now Merv is in double trouble, because Pa LOVES fixing cars and that means both rules have been broken at once: Merv didn’t fix his own problem, and he didn’t call in the family.

I wouldn’t say it out loud at any of our family gatherings, but I’m on Mervin’s side. Pa likes his automotive repairs, but he’s not that good at them. Mostly he just crosses a few wires, hammers some things back into place, slams down the hood and then blames and problems on overseas factory workers when things go wrong. No, Pa, it couldn’t be the fact that you didn’t fix the problem at all, but instead probably made it worse because you think you know stuff about cars when you don’t.

Doesn’t matter anyway, because you can’t apply logic to the Jacoby family rules. Apparently there’s a total ban on all decent services, which is why I’m secretly funneling a good car air conditioning service in Moorabbin to Merv. It’s far enough away that Pa won’t get word of it, so now he gets to think he’s still the hero. Ah, family politics…

-Forrest Jacoby Jr. Jr.

Kitchen is Ready for You, Kyle…

custom kitchen designI’m fine at the moment, to be honest. I mean sure, the second sink has a serious dripping tap problem, and the stains are pretty much part of the architecture by now, and then there’s the truly stunning amount of mildew and mold in the walls. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t bother me that we still have electric cooking when everyone knows that gas is better. That is totally fine.

IT’S NOT FINE. We were supposed to have our dream kitchen by now! And every single night I have to settle down to an episode of Kyle’s Kitchen Crafts, where Kyle and the team show up at a random person’s kitchen right in the middle of dinner, and that lucky person has an entire kitchen renovation. And you get to design your own kitchen, by the way; Kyle works everything around your personal specifications. Sometimes there is drama, and sometimes Kyle has to get in the middle of it and stop the arguments, because he’s a wonderful fellow and has a way with words.

Nothing that good is ever going to happen to me, though. I’m trapped in this space that looks like it’s been in constant use since the 1970s, with the brown tiles and yellow diamond-print linoleum floor. You’d think an old lady lived here, which is exactly what I heard from several family members during our last get-together, thank you so much for that honesty. I think at this point the custom design kitchen idea is truly dead. No use crying over spilt milk, and all that…just have to accept that this is it. Unless, of course, Kyle shows up here. At, say…7:30? That’s when we usually have dinner. Would be really nice, is what I’m saying.

-Sandra