Saturday, December 24, 2005

Two hundred degrees, that's why they call me Mr. Fahrenheit

For the last couple of weeks I've been spending all the time that I can quarantine away from work, sport and social commitments; marinating in a vat of wool and soapy water. All in the name of Christmas. And with that, I may have said too much.

Having all these projects and one big deadline is GREAT. It means that I can watch hour after hour of Gilmore Girls on DVD (I'm well into Season two now), and still be 'doing things' at the same time, thus maintaining a completely self-imposed level of virtue by multi-tasking. Whenever the snappy dialogue (not to mention Rory's new, usually oddly little girly, formal dress for EVERY Friday night dinner) gets to be a little too much I swap to Wonder Woman, and at one point I balanced out the overall fluffiness level with a screening of Citizen Kane. AND the accomanying documentary.

It's just been a little bit hard to explain to other people. 'This is a really nice party, and I've having a great time, but if I want to get any sleep at all in the next few days, I have to go home now to, er... make things.'

Sunday, December 18, 2005

You just get up to answer the phone, leaving a dog in the living room....

I found this outside, hence the grassy embellishments.

Take care of those you call your own and keep good company

J and I concocted this wreath two Christmases ago. It has been sitting on the end of the ironing board for two years, because I forgot to even hang it up last year. That's the Christmas spirit. Anyway it has pirates

and dragons and dogs and lego,

and, of course, the King and the Princess.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I don't believe in Peter Pan, Frankenstein or Superman

I went into a few clothes shops yesterday. In response to the standard Hi-how-are-you greeting, I have a usually failsafe combo of a quick, decisive 'fine thanks' and very brief eye contact, then rapidly getting back to searching the racks in a self-assured manner. Generally they get the message and leave me alone in my search.

Not this one. Once I had a couple of t-shirts in hand she approached with "You have two fantastic tops there". I replied factually, but already aware that I was straying from the proper script, "I don't know yet..." (ie, they will most likely look like crap but I'll try 'em) but I'm not sure she heard that. She went on to offer to take them to a change room. This is ok, I know this is often standard practice and also quite helpful.

I was now on my guard. Ooh, I hate being expected to rhapsodise about how wonderful the clothes are. As if I would happily snap up just about everything in the shop given the chance. Generally I go into a shop expecting almost everything to be unsuitable - colour, shape, requiring a little more in the bust region, just damn ugly - and look for the one or two items that might have potential. I'd have to be in a really good mood before I'd find myself going on about how lovely something is before I've even tried it on.

As I kept looking she continued to follow me around the shop.

"Don't you just love this season's colours?"

Now small bubbles of my blood were forming, and rising, in a way that suggested some boiling action was possibly on the cards. Pause. Breathe. "Actually, no, I don't like most of them". I felt a bit mean, but I really thought I had clearly signalled I didn't want to chat. "I'm kind of fussy". I regretted that as it came out of my mouth, it sounded completely pretentious. She looked surprised and quickly a bit miffed. "Oh? What colours do you like?" I only looked at her quickly, then continued searching. "Um....I know when I see it." As she was still following meI mumbled something back at her about ending up with a lot of black, as I fled to the back of the store.

I was so glad to see she was on the phone when I returned from the changeroom. I left the items on the counter, saying 'thanks, can I leave these here?' with a decent smile as I made my escape.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Cause she knows that it's demanding, to defeat those evil machines.

We had a large work christmas party at the Convention Centre the other day. Couldn't help noticing the centre is looking a bit run-down, especially the outside where the trees and bushes haven't been pruned, and grass is brown, in spite of most of Canberra being bright green at present. Some voiced suspicions that there are plans to demolish and replace it; apparently ten years is about the lifespan of a convention facility these days. Seems disgusting to me to build a large public building with such a short lifespan.

In any event, I did much better food-wise than last time, mostly because it was a buffet and I could load up on the things I liked - baked potatoes, potato salad, and some ravioli featuring heavily. My only regret was that although we sat this close to the buffet - and there was no table order specified (whenever there is, my table is always called last) - we still waited way too long to fill our plates the first time - joining a huge queue seemed way too undignified - and they cleared it up before we got to seconds. This may have been a blessing in disguise because I then managed to put away two desserts (christmas pudding with custard, black forest cake), and that's not counting the fruit mince pies with coffee.

Now I have a week off work. I am prepared. I have lots of this:

And a nice person let me borrow this:

I'm getting to the end of my first delicious day of wool-wrangling and DVD watching, and now I'm off to play soccer. This is when I discover that even though I never thought I was fit back in the winter, I must have been, because it is always so hard to come back. Even for slack-off summer soccer. Wish me luck.