Moving further away

24 hour plumberFar out. How is that, even when you move interstate to escape your insane parents, they don’t get the message and just ring you for even the littlest thing? It seems completely unfair. It’s not like they don’t know how much I hate it, either. When I left home, it was because we’d had an enormous fight, but the second their air conditioning unit breaks down, they were on the phone to me, expecting me to drop everything and race over.

Sorry to break it to you, mum and dad, but that’s not really how things work anymore. Now I’m my own person, I left to get away from your tyranny, I don’t owe you any favours. Apparently, just moving out of home wasn’t enough to send a clear messages, so to push it a little further, I moved out of the state.

Okay, this decision wasn’t purely a result of overbearing parents, there were a lot of other factors at play, but their constant neediness definitely made moving that little bit more appealing. But as it happens, no.

No, moving away hasn’t meant that they stop trying to get me to solve their problems, it only means I have to do that remotely. Have you ever tried explaining to a Melbourne plumber that, although you live in Perth, your parents in Melbourne need their drain serviced? Because, apparently, neither one of them is capable of just picking up the phone themselves.

What’s even worse is that, because my parents have absolutely no boundaries and insist that I live at their beck and call, this whole conversation went on at three in the morning. To be honest, I feel sorry for the fantastic team of 24 hour plumbers in Melbourne that had to deal with me while I was that annoyed and sleep-deprived.

I love my parents, I do, but at this point, never speaking to them again would feel like a blessing.

Style tricks of the property trade

house styling companyA while ago my partner and I decided to sell up and move to Bali. We ended up getting major post holiday blues whenever we returned from trips there, so at the end of our last holiday we decided we had to make the move and turn our holiday destination into our home! The biggest thing for us to deal with was selling our house in Melbourne. As we would both be earning far less money in Bali we really wanted to maximize the value of our house before it went to auction. We actually decided to go with a property staging company as they send in interior stylists and totally transform the place to appeal to buyers. It’s crazy how having some trendy minimal furniture can add a few zeros to the selling price.

The best thing was we were able to put all our shabby second (aka seventh) hand furniture into storage while the interior designers brought in scandinavian inspired minimalist wares. We ultimately planned on selling everything, including all our furniture, our car, even most of our clothes. But we figured, we should sell our house first and to a different crowd that would be more interested in forking out for it than the crowd that would want to buy our second hand records. The house styling company in Melbourne was amazing. They worked with us to build on the space in our house and they even looked at the demographic of potential buyers in the area and modelled the house according to what they wanted to see. Our lounge room was transformed into a kid friendly entertainment space, and the spare bedroom we used to keep all our hiking gear became a perfect nursery for a baby! We managed to get nearly 10% over our asking price when it came to auction day!

Doing my homework

conveyancing lawyersI know this may sound a little weird, but to be honest, I’m actually really excited to be meeting with my conveyancing lawyers. Melbourne has a lot of different conveyancing companies that offer different kinds of things, and to be honest I’ve heard about some pretty horrific experiences. A friend of mine had to actually part ways with the group she was working with, they were so out of touch. So when I had to go through this whole process, I have to say, I was nervous.

Obviously, there are a lot of things that can go wrong when you buy a new house. I know, that’s a pretty mindset to have, and I know that good things come to you if you send out positive vibes into the universe, but I’m just trying to be realistic here. I’m a practical person, and so I wanted to approach every inch of this whole process thinking clearly and logically. So I did the sensible thing and I asked around. I Googled late into the late, waded my through endless forums and advice blogs until I had a solid idea of what was going to work best for me.

Since I’m moving into Brighton, it made sense to work with a conveyancing company in Brighton, but that didn’t mean I wanted to settle for quality. I wanted the best of the best to guide me through this minefield of a process, I wanted to work with a team that I knew I could trust. So I called around and actually talked to the people behind the websites, played hard-to-get until I talked to somebody I actually liked.

After all that, it’s finally time to meet with them and put faces to names. I’ve probably done my homework a little too thoroughly this time around, I realise that, but I really just want the best outcome possible. I want everything to go smoothly – is that really so crazy?

For the love of hippeastrums

dahliasIt’s here. It’s finally almost here. The coming of spring means that is finally time for the Annual Suburban Garden competition!

I know, I know, it probably isn’t too interesting to most people out there, but my goodness, I positively live for it. I’ve won in my area for, oh I don’t know now, the three out of the past five years, but I’ve never made it through to the next round. Well, this year is my year. I’ve already worked out what pattern I’m going to go with and the colour scheme I’m going to splash onto my blank canvas of a garden. This year, I really need to raise the stakes. I have to source the finest dahlias from around the state – nothing but the best will do for my garden.

I realise it’s all supposed to be entirely confidential, to preserve the integrity of the competition, but a friend of mine on the judging panel told me I lost out to Ms. Matilda Clark on Elm St. I went to have a look at her garden, after all, I wanted to see who I’d lost out to. While the pattern and composition of her garden was nothing spectacular, it was the quality of her sonatini hippeastrums that led to the most incredible hyacinths I have seen in a long time. It wasn’t the grooming of the hyacinths that was remarkable, but rather the quality of the flower itself, something determined almost entirely by its merits as a bulb. This is why it is absolutely paramount that, this year, my tulip bulbs are of a superior quality to Ms. Clark’s. Short of sabotage, the only thing I can do is find the best tulip bulbs for my garden. Which is precisely what I mean to do.

Accepted into a game design course

So I was at my book club on Wednesday, telling Sandrine all about my children (everyone loves hearing about my children!) and she said something that made me pause. I was just saying that my son Jimmy is now off on his own, since he was accepted into that prestigious Melbourne video game design course. So prestigious! He got a scholarship and everything! Anyway, I just casually mentioned that sometimes I called Jimmy up and asked for computer tips, because he’s into all that silly business.

Well, you’d think that I’d said that I don’t peel potatoes before mashing them, by the way that Sandrine reacted. She went on a diatribe about how I should never, ever ask my kids about computers. They have a sacred right to go through life without older people asking for advice, and when we do, we’re just dragging them down. Apparently it’s one of the great parental sins, although also one that’s often transgressed.

Well…I never even consider it. And Sandrine usually has such wonderful ideas, but this one just goes way over the line. All I want is to know how to change my screensaver so it’s a picture of Mittens, and not those awful race cars that Danny likes so much. Or there was that one time when I needed Jimmy to tell me to remember to plug the desktop in because that was the reason it turned off. Why can’t it just hold a bit of power? My phone holds about a day’s worth of charge…why not a computer?

So anyway, I’m going to do my own research into this, because I think it’s a parental right to ask questions of your super smart kids doing swanky IT courses. I raised that boy, you know! He owes me the occasional tech support call!

I can’t do this any more

hire a function room in MelbourneI’m sorry I had to write that in bold, but I’m letting me feelings pour of out me like a geyser at a hot spring, one that tourists crowd around and film on their phones even though all the interesting stuff happened underground and they’re never going to watch that video again. Why would you? Just watch the geyser erupting! Or watch a video online, because it’ll be SO much better than yours!

As you can see, I have quite a lot of anger all bottled up. It was such an emotional week of my life in Week of Our Lives, with some majorly shattering revelations. Dan and Andrea’s secret half-amphibian baby? Who saw it coming?? And then Rhea was charged with finding some corporate function room in the Melbourne CBD, because her boss is treating her like a secretary even though it’s not in her job description. To show him what a powerful, balanced, sane, reasonable and progressive woman she was, she let loose a cage full of angry swans into his office, set fire to his desk and locked the door. Oh, and there was also sealant on the windows. As a final insult, she slid a paper containing her top choices for function rooms underneath the door and walked away with a sassy gait.

Personally, I’m on Rhea’s side here, even though her actions may have been a little bit on the irrational side. Her stupid nameless boss treated her like a slave, always asking her to DO things, and get reports in, and stop taking calls at work. Did you ever consider that those calls might be important? No. He was just a bad boss. And now the latest episode has utterly ruined me. The boss emerged from his office, having braved the gauntlet of angry swans (who were also by this time on fire) and shoulder-tackled the door, and then…he called the police. Wow, the nerve! Now Rhea is on trial for animal cruelty and arson, as well as assault! She’s my fave, so I can’t see her going to jail. And you know what? No one’s managed to take a look around Melbourne for a party venue, so the office function is down the toilet. I cannot deal right now.

Finished garden renovations

gladioliIt’s finally ready. After literally years of having a backyard that looks like it was used for World War I recreations, the renovations are finally done. We finally have a garden that’s level, even if it’s not quite complete. Getting my husband to finally replace the mud and the trenches around all the piping into a livable space has been an uphill battle, but the end result is definitely worth it. The space looks three times bigger than I remember and is the perfect blank canvas for my creativity to take hold of. Honestly, it’s unbelievable, really, how long I put up with living in a bomb-site. I’m just so relieved that I’m finally going to be proud of my home. Well, I will be soon, but not yet. There’s still a lot of work to do, but now it’s my turn.

My husband has never been interested in the more aesthetic side of landscaping, even when our yard was an eyesore it never seemed to bother him, but I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the garden. With spring around the corner, I’ve been looking at hippeastrums as well as grasses and trees. I can’t wait to brighten up the place and add my own personal touch. Of course, I’m not just going to plant daffodils. No, I want the place to have a classic, timeless feel, so in my spare time I’ve been looking up the different kinds of gladioli, just to help get my eye in. There are so many different things to chose from, it’s all a little overwhelming. And of course, even if I wanted his help, Daryl won’t go near the gardening side of the garden with a ten foot pole. I can’t say I blame him, the yard was his nightmare from start to finish, I have a feeling he’s glad to be handing it all off to me.

Movie About Programming

IT course MelbourneLook, I’ve never been a huge Yaival DuMesque fan. His movies, to me, are blockbusters posing as deep, philosophical explorations of the human soul. The guy himself is a massive poser who intentionally wears weird stuff to make himself seem eccentric, and you might notice that his ‘kooky’ verbal tics change from one interview to another. He’s really up himself, basically…not my favourite type of person.

But wow, he’s made a good one this time! And I’m not just saying that because it’s my area of interest. Maybe I am, but whatever.

Cyberaia is the story of a simple Melbourne IT course student and his creation, an entire digital world that he eventually grows to love and nurture like a benevolent deity. He’s doing a game design course on the side, but eventually decided not to hand it in and cobbles together something else the night before, because he recognises his creation as being something truly special. In return, the residents of his virtual town treat him as a mythical figure.

Anyway, I won’t give away the whole plot, but it really does delve into the relationship between man and code. I’m a software developer, so most of my relationship with code is me yelling at it for not doing what I want with no explanation. But credit where credit is due, the director really seems to understand the positive aspects of programming. You can feel the passion of the main character as he tried his best to make that virtual town a utopia, even when it seems impossible to do so.

It’s rare to get a movie that deals with subject matter bordering on the realm of fantasy, but also relying sp heavily on real-world conflicts. And accurately portraying my profession! That never happens. I remember people in my initial web design course who thought it was all dark rooms and typing away while green code floats across the screen. A poser he may be, but DuMesque clearly did his research on this one.

Functions IRL are stressful

party venue MelbourneYeah, definitely too much of the same thing. My brain is melting.

Every year we have this stupid celebration, and I don’t even know why because it’s pointless. The Australian Hermit Gaming Conglomeration is, by definition, meant to be people who do not want to meet each other. That was just fine in the beginning, and in fact up until recently. Now we’ve got a new president, and he’s making us leave our basements on a yearly basis or we lose our membership. And this group is all we’ve got, so you’ve got to have a really good reason for not attending one of the meetings.

Yeah, so anyway…at least I’m not on the planning committee. I’ve heard they had a lot of trouble finding an actual party venue in Melbourne because none of them ever leave their houses and they don’t know what they look like. Like, they don’t know what actual function rooms look like, because they generally spend more time blowing up aliens and creating virtual worlds in Mine-Craft, the game where you make your very own spaceship, one about which you can say ‘this is mine, this craft’ and then you travel the universe terraforming planets to your personal specifications. The scope for creativity is just so vast, you wouldn’t believe. And we could be in there, all that time we’re crammed into a tiny room and being forced to interact IRL. IRL is so overrated, and we chat to each other with our headsets anyway, so why? Just…why?

We’ve only had one in Melbourne so far, and it was almost unbearable. I was so nervous at meeting everyone I nearly sweat through my fedora. Then I spent the whole time talking to DemonRed96, who was also at the party but we didn’t see each other face-to-face because we both brought our headsets. Still no idea what he looks like. Probably never will, especially if we follow through with next year’s plans and sign up for ice skating lessons. I might have to find a new society.