Cooking gets me stressed, perhaps more than anything in the world. I don’t understand how people do this for a living! And pretty much every family benefits from it every day, and some people go on game shows to prove that they’re the best at it. Really boggles the mind. I get takeout of some sort almost every night, and I can’t help but look at the poor cooks with pity. They have to cook for a job.
I mean, I’ve heard it gets better after you know what you’re doing and stop burning everything, but I don’t know how much better it can actually get. I guess if you did it for a job…but some jobs are easier picked up than others. There’s a job where you stick needles in people, for example. That’s whole different thing, especially for me since I have no hand-eye-coordination. They’re offering dry needling courses in New Zealand now, and it’s supposedly the big thing. You may remember back when personal training was ‘the big thing’. All the ads were telling you to quit your job, be a personal trainer! They must have been effective, because eventually they vanished and suddenly everyone has to quit their job and be a massage therapist. I guess that job filled up, and suddenly it’s all about dry needling. Become a dry needling person! Live a life of greatness!
Okay, they’re not that dramatic, but as I have rejected a life of making pizza, so I must say no to this one. Most of my cooking failure is because I have no attention span or coordination, so I don’t think dry needling is the career for me. Not even the greatest dry needling course in Australia is going to stop me from jabbing people. No hospitality, no health and fitness…guess my job hunt continues.
I reckon I could be a window repair person. I mean, for various reasons I’ve been way up close to windows all through my life. I used to have the ultimate record in my street for windows broken, which I held for eight years until Oscar Gable came along and broke eighteen of them by driving his Dad’s car into the local mirror shop. I still say that mirrors don’t count, but whatever…just sweep all my terrible football kicks under the rug and give the record to him.
Then me and my mate Darren used to go around to the Lawrence place and watch TV from the cover of the bushes underneath their lounge window. They always had the window open, even in winter, and it meant we got to watch season 1 of Bear-Revel without paying for a Neat-Flicks subscription.
Oh, and I’m also very familiar with Melbourne’s window replacement and repair people. My parents always made me call them when I kicked a ball through a window, but by the third call or so that wasn’t really a punishment. They recognised my voice, eventually we all got to know each other by our first names and it became like talking to an old friend. I’d call the window replacement people near where I lived, they’d know my voice, ask what I’d done this time, I’d tell them, we’d have a good laugh about it and rinse and repeat.
I like to think I’ve broken some of those habits now, instead of breaking more windows. I now have my own Neat-Flicks subscription, so I can watch Bear-Revel without crouching in a bush in the freezing cold and looking through a window gap. I play football on a field instead of in the neighbourhood surrounded by buildings. I still think the ranks of Melbourne window repairs could use someone with my on-the-ground experience, but…well, they might just laugh at that idea.
Three karate classes in, and I’ve come to realise something important: martial arts hurt. I mean, I’m basically taking one very solid part of my body and smacking it really hard against someone else. The human body is a tough object, as it turns out, specially when your fist is colliding with someone’s face. That’s bone on bone. And now, I’m walking around the place with my fist in a bowl of ice.
I really enjoy the lessons- they’re dynamic, and I feel like I’m getting fitter- but the recovery period is intense. I’d make it to classes monthly if I wasn’t so afraid that I’d forget everything. Weird thing was that I asked Sensei, and he recommended some oxygen therapy in Melbourne. Really didn’t see that coming, since he seems so…spiritual. I thought he’d recommend an hour of meditation a day along with some herbs, maybe a bit of incense. Or I could focus my chi or something. That’s the impression I’ve got during my lessons, but I’m starting to think that was all a bit of show. He just straight up told me that oxygen therapy was the bomb and that it really helped the recovery period. Not something to get hooked on, but good for those stubborn injuries, so I’m told.
I guess all that incense and meditation was for show, so…not sure how I feel about that. Still, I enjoy the lessons, and if a bit of hyperbaric therapy is going to make the aches and pains ease up a bit, I’m willing to give it a go. Sometimes I leave the lesson feeling like I got hit by a train, depending on who gets picked to be the practice dummy. If I’m going to make use of Melbourne’s hyperbaric medicine, oh so modern, it might as well be then.
None of my family do formal. I definitely don’t do formal. I grew up in the country, and even going to church there meant t-shirt and jeans. I mean, people might have given you a look if you showed up in flip flops, but they were mostly old, and we only did it on really hot days. So shoes were about as formal as we got, and only then. Mostly it was work boots for work, then wear whatever you want when you got home. Rinse and repeat.
It’s basically the same now that I’m in Melbourne, since I work for a plumbing firm and all, but now…we’re going to a work function. Yeah, awesome. Whatever. Some big event put on by the local council, the boss thinks we might get a few contracts from it, so we all have to dress up and go along and talk about under body boxes while wearing bow ties. Oh, there are gonna be bow ties. It’s fully posh and all that, so now I’m going to have to spend hours on Me-Straw looking up how to do those things up. I’m borrowing all the formal wear from my mate Dave, who laughed himself silly for a good few minutes when I told him what it was for. Probably gonna have to comb my hair as well.
Man, when I took on an apprenticeship at a plumbing firm, I didn’t know it would come to THIS. I guess everyone there will be a tradie as well, so it’s not like we have to get into weird conversations about taxes and land prices. So long as we’re talking toolboxes and utes, I’m fine. But scrubbing up just isn’t us, not at all. Our family just never learned how to do it. Maybe we just dodged a lot of weddings and funerals growing up, I don’t know…
Anyway, there are four of us going so we’ll all look stupid together. The best way of doing anything, to be honest, and we’ll have a laugh about it afterwards; maybe Shazza can give me some tips on how to do up a waistcoat. Or we could find a corner and talk about under tray draws for the entire evening.
So you’re telling me that those funny looking egg-balls are actually…footballs? I guess you can kick them. Like, there’s potential for kicking. But seriously, they don’t even bounce properly and I’ve seen the games on TV. People definitely do a lot of stuff with their hands as well. Can you really call that football?
So, newest discovery: Australians are almost as backwards as the Americans, except not quite as much. If you’ve seen gridiron, you’d know what I mean. There’s ONE person on that field who’s allowed to kick the ball, so calling it football makes about as much sense as calling English football ‘handball’ because the goalkeeper is allowed to use their hands.
I also think it’s weird how there are only three big sticks. I guess you could use AFL nets to stop people in the crowd getting smacked in the face, but come on…in real football, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as slamming the ball right into the nets. The ‘soccer’ nets, as they say here. It’s even fun when there’s no goalie and no game on. Just kick, pow, right into the net. And then it sort of throws the ball back to you, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
I only got here a month ago, so I haven’t sat down and watched a full game of Australian Rules Football, but I can only imagine that most of the game is spent intensely concentrating on trying to make the ball bounce properly, with it being that weird shape. And sometimes you kick it, but you know…better not kick it in the wrong place or it’s going straight to China. Or right back at your face.
Maybe I’ll understand why people play it before I go, but the whole game just seems kind of off. Why not just play Rugby? At least everything makes sense there. Or, OR…actual football/soccer, with real football/soccer nets that give you a fair idea of where to kick the properly shaped ball. Kicking that egg-shaped thing just can’t be all that satisfying.
What’s with all these action movies that have to have women as the main character? I’ve got nothing against women, I just think it’s time for them to step aside and make way for robots. They can complain about a lack of representation, but action girls have been around in cinema forever. When was the last time you saw a good old robotic being as a leading role. And not one of those stupid, realistic robots that look like people. Not an android. Those are the most idiotic concepts ever, because why would a self-respecting robot want to look and act like a person? No, I’m talking a real robot’s robot.
It doesn’t matter. It’s going to be, what…ten years before they’re running the place? Humans just do way too many dangerous jobs. Why be a window cleaner seventy floors up when you can hire a robot to climb up your mobile scaffolding, programme him to feel no fear and he’ll get the job done faster, and cheaper. And with the thriving robotics industry, it’s not like there’s going to be a lack of jobs. Or I guess if you really want to clean windows, stick to the jobs where falling off some platforms steps isn’t going to end with a severe bump on the head. Like…bottom floor windows?
And then they’ll pretty much be forced to give robots real roles in movies, because Hollywood is all about diversity, and what’s more diverse than a rising group of non-humans who maybe want to be represented in movies? And not with human actors, either. That’s a travesty, giving the role to one of them when there will be so many actual robotic actors who could do the job just fine. And then they won’t have to stupidly rewrite the plot to make it so the robot is actually an impossibly-realistic android, because *insert horrible explanation*.
I mean, you can’t argue it’s not practical. Ladder platforms are really high and scary, and acting is hard. Both problems, and many others, that can be solved with programming.
Verona Street shall be victorious, and this year, I plan to make that an absolute certainty.
Twenty years I’ve spent trying to get people to trim their lawns, grow some flowers, paint their fences and just generally tidy up a bit, but we’ve never once come close to winning the Best Kept Melbourne Street Award. Of course, if someone would maybe keep up with the weeding, then we might be in the running instead of presenting the judges with a garden that looks like a jungle. By someone, I mean, Doreen. I couldn’t care less if you’ve just had a new hip fitted, that’s no excuse to not look after your own property!
I keep telling people, go above and beyond. Don’t just plant a few petunias….look into cement rendering! Actually, you don’t even have to look into it; I had it done to my own house as an example of how wonderful it looks. Look at it, street! Your own homes could look this lovely, and I can hook you up with every concrete renderer in Melbourne who’d be willing to do the job!
Not that simply having your home look concrete and uniform is going to win us the grand prize, but mark my words, it’ll be a great start. A great start on our road…to victory. That victory we would’ve had, if someone had bothered to fix their picket fence, Doreen. Open heart surgery is not an excuse for tardiness, especially when it comes to winning great honour for our street. We were supposed to be renowned throughout Melbourne! And we will be. I have three months to get everyone whipped into shape, after which we’re inviting the judges over for tea, cake and some splendid houses ringed by exquisite gardens. Oh, just imagine if every single one of them decided to get concrete rendering. Melbourne will never have seen the like, all our uniform homes in a row…and the prize would be ours for sure!
Don’t mess this up for us, Doreen.
Last night I saw a movie about an icebreaker ship, conveniently titled Icebreaker Ship. You know the ones; big clunky numbers, chopping through arctic ice as people go on expeditions and hunt whales and such, except in this movie the people were investigating a crashed alien ship in the arctic. It wasn’t all that realistic- for one thing, the aliens were these big tentacle monsters who didn’t seem like they could tie a pair of shoes, let alone construct a blinky-lights ship for intergalactic travel- but the ship was rendered pretty well.
I had my phone, natural curiosity mingled with boredom (it was a pretty predictable movie) and eventually I was on the web, looking up outboard motor servicing in Melbourne and all kinds of nautical matters. Weird, because I’ve never been interested in boats before. Maybe this movie wasn’t as bad as I thought, since I was so fascinated by the big icebreaker that I wanted to know more.
You probably won’t be too surprised to learn that Melbourne dockyards currently have no plans for icebreaker construction. I guess ice in the waters around Australia isn’t a big concern, although I tried to see if any drifted over from the South Pole. You know, Tasmania is pretty close to the South Pole, much closer than you’d expect somewhere supposedly ‘hot’ to be. No dice, however…ships in the Tasmania harbours seem to have very little trouble with being frozen over by massive sheets of ice. Here, outboard motor servicing and anchor winches are the main industries, so I guess I’ll have to travel to the frozen north if I want to see one of them in action.
Do I even like the cold? Eh, it’s not too bad…but the people on board this massive ship seemed pretty miserable, and not just because of the aliens. Maybe I’ll stick to somewhat-sunny Melbourne, anchor winches and all. I guess those can be exciting.
I think my mum is having a midlife crisis. I mean, who can blame her? Honestly, and this is just the perspective of her teenage daughter, but damn her life seems as boring as hell. All she did was go to and from work every single day, and even when she got home, nine times out of ten she was working after dinner or fixing up some kind of presentation or whatever while she was watching tv. Frankly, the whole thing was just kind of sad and I honestly just felt really bad for her.
And then, one day, basically out of the blue, it was like she just kind of snapped. In like a week she quit her job and started taking me out shopping and going out to dinner and things. It was like she was a completely different person. She’s trying really hard to get out of the grueling industry she was in, which was only supposed to be a short-term thing when she had me since it paid pretty well.
Over dinner the other night, she told me she’s basically always hated it there, and that it was her dream to work for one of the best office fitout companies in Melbourne. Honestly, I was astounded when she said that, it was just so far removed from anything she’s done my whole life. But, I swallowed my surprise and told her the same things I tell everyone I’m close to: follow your dreams. So now she’s looking into applying at different commercial office design jobs in Melbourne and, thinking about it, she’s kind of like a completely different person and I’ve never seen her so happy. I just never want things to end and go back to the way they were. If this keeps up, it’ll be the best mid-life crisis ever.
It’s Chinese New Year, and everyone’s coming round. Don’t get me wrong- I love being part of a multicultural, diverse family that celebrates all kinds of traditions- but there are just…so many of them. For Christmas, which some members of our family don’t even celebrate, we hosted seventeen. Our home is not that big, so some were forced out into the garden.
For Chinese New Year? We’ve probably got about forty or so. Forty. I just don’t have the social energy to get around to everyone. Oh, and we just have the one bathroom. Imagine queuing for the bathroom in your own home, and you’ve got the idea.
It’s my job this year to have a Melbourne plumbing company on standby. I don’t want to name names, but…actually, I’m totally naming names. Uncle Jeng is a character, great at parties, makes everyone feel welcome and is basically the king of giving gifts. But he does tend to spend a long time in the bathroom, and sometimes the pipes just can’t take it. No more details required.
And then there’s the hot water situation. Mum had the boiling water tap installed after last year when our kettle died mid-celebration. Obviously tea is a big part of the festivities, and it becomes no fun when you’re trying to brew for two-score people with a saucepan on the stove. Except the plumber said those things are temperamental at the best of times, and I just know it’s going to be overworked. We really just need an extra house grafted onto the end of this one to properly accommodate. That’s what we get for being the most central relatives. At least there’s a park at the end of the road with a barbecue…most years, all the younger relatives filter down there while the older ones relax in the house and complain about the noise.
It’s a great celebration, really, it is! I’m just old enough now for it to be stressful. So, emergency Melbourne plumber on standby. Maybe an electrician, too. And the fire brigade, because there will be fireworks.