Tuesday, August 08, 2017

I was recently at the hub of Brisbane current events!

I never know what is going on. I hear about things after the fact, if at all, but two weeks ago I was at the heart of major Brisbane news. Having had that experience, I am now prepared to spend the rest of my days behind the eight ball. Two weeks ago, Thursday, I arrived at work to find something sureal occuring at the house next door. Was that an ambulance? Why was there a tent/canopy between the trunk and the house - beyond the obvious - Cyclone Diane was dumping rain on our fair city. Oh, and crime scene tape. And, that "worker" is dressed in a blue disposable suit including hood and mask. I learned that this excitement had started Wednesday. I don't work Wednesdays but it had encouraged "coffee breaks" outside in the parking lot trying to piece together a story. The story wasn't too hard to find. Google search - police reports, Bald Hills, street name. OK. I didn't find the answer immediately but I did find it. Early in March a young Brisbane man, S, driving a fancy orange Mustang disappeared. The fancy orange Mustang was found in NSW but not the man. Seems our neighbor had been arrested for murder and the house next door was being searched. We know nothing - especially me. You cannot see the house. There are big shrubs and high fences between us. Our clinic has no windows. And, I come in to work from the other side now that I'm training full time - so I don't even walk past from parking up the road, anymore. There are some interesting things. Like our man has a new kitten for which he missed his vaccination appointment earlier in the month. Something came up, he told us. (The appointment was rescheduled so she's had her shot. Whew.) Our man went to the neighborhood hardware/home center store a few days after the day S disappeared....bought a tomahawk (really? there is something you buy in Australia called a tomahawk?!) and 20 liters of acid. Later - a day? two? - he returned and rented a floor sander. In addition to the crime of the year story...there's that cyclone that was used to set the scene in paragraph one. The rumor was that public transportation was going to shut down at noon, so I left work about 10. Kevin picks me up from the train station these days. It isn't far - about 2 km - but it is quicker than taking a bus or walking. Quicker unless you try to drive through a deep cyclone inspired puddle at the bottom of the hill on our street - in which case your car dies. Dies dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead.

Oh, yeah.  That was in March.  Nothing exciting since!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The week in which I cost my family increasingly less money

Wednesday - speeding ticket.  School Zone.  School hours.  I tried to navigate my pulled over car close enough to the police vehicle that the officer couldn't get between the cars to see our missing turn signal - and prayed he'd somehow be blinded by sun in his eyes and miss the big wound in the windshield - oh, and the hole in the passenger door.  "We don't give out tickets like this," as he mimes handing me a ticket.  "If you get an infraction notice in the mail next week, it will be from this event."


I stifled that question. 

Thursday - missed lunch to get my body scanned - up down and sideways - I stopped at the mall to buy emergency bananas and a couple of salads at the food court.  Then, I left my salads at the counter.  Only cost me $8.50.  Oh, and still no lunch and now no dinner.

Friday - Slow day and so I clocked out from work about 10 minutes early.

Saturday - tried (unsuccessfully) to use a Coles coupon at a Woolworth's gas station.  4 cents/ liter - 30 - some liters. 

Sunday - didn't leave the house!

I am a terrible mother

From April 2016

Zupe brought this delicacy home in his lunch box.  The day care kids have been playing "Sweet Shop" and selling cup cakes and milk shakes to each other.  (This is the follow up to veterinary clinic.  When will our clinic start pushing desserts?)  He has a great teacher.  She organized a bake-off. 

What do you think?  A muffin?  I have no real idea what has been dropped into that batter and baked.  I'm pretty sure the other kids scoffed their specimen rather than bringing it home to dear old mom.   But, dear Zupie does not eat dry foods - no cakes, no bread, no alien muffins.  So, it came home in his lunch box rolling in the damp gooey box between the emptied bowls of fruits and vegetables and pastas.

I did wait until he was out of the house before I threw it away. 

Yet another very poor decision

From April 2016
Possibly the worst decision in recent times.

Quite possibly.

Kevin left for his month of single nerdhood in America on Easter morning.  Kevin took the big suitcases, yes, the super-cool big suitcases, and got out of the car at the airport where everyone has super-cool bags and luggage carts and didn't take Zupe.  This was not going to make our little boy happy.  Not one bit.

So, good mother, Ann, decided she would plan fun things for Zupe.  First, we went to the secret road behind the airport - it probably isn't a secret, but it was a surprise to me - where you can park and watch planes take off and land.  It didn't take long before I realized that jet planes were more interesting to Mommy than Zupe.  He really only wants to watch bags being weighed, pulled and loaded onto luggage carts and conveyor belts.  So, plan B.

Plan B - The Boondall Wetlands.  A nice cool morning.  A boardwalk.  Trees.  And, millions upon millions of biting insects.  Maybe I should have more fully considered why there were no other cars in the lot.  But, it WAS Easter morning.  And, I had tropical strength insect repellent.

At least my give up time was not excessive.  I didn't have to watch the swarming mosquitoes, and worse, biting midges, too long before I turned the stroller around and said, "Let's go to McDonald's and buy pancakes!"

Those damn midges (aka, sand flies).  I woke up in the middle of the night tearing the skin from my legs and continued to scratch and rub and rub and scratch for almost a week.

From April 2016

Not the most attractive self portrait- but not as bad as my ugly toe shot.  Still, the point here.  I double applied the tropical strength repellent to behind my knees.  What would this have looked like without it??

Oh, and a bit of good news.  Mr. Zupe, for reasons I cannot explain, is not allergic to insect bites!  No itching on the raised red welts all over his arms and legs.  At least I am the only one to pay for my folly. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I am living in the future

From February 2016
I have been so busy! Yesterday, I had to pick Zupe up early from "kindy" to go to a feeding therapy session across town at 1:30 and then dash to his podiatrist at 3 PM. It is a 12 min drive. It was going to be tight and I sort of wondered while I was making the trip why I hadn't thought this through more carefully.

We made it only about 6 minutes late - which isn't bad considering we then waited for 40 minutes for our appointment. It was mostly an appointment to make an appointment - don't you love those?

 This morning my brother-in-law posted on Facebook that he was now engaged to his girlfriend. (Brother-in-laws can do that when your sister is deceased.) In my mind, at the time I thought, oh, Valentine's Day.

Later, this morning, sometime after mopping the kitchen floor and searching for the best of Robert Palmer, I thought, "CRAP! It is Renee's birthday! Why didn't FB remind me?" Then, "I didn't say anything to my mom this morning." Then, "Sam, you F****- announcing your upcoming marriage on Renee's birthday" - or one day off if you are in the US instead of Australia.

I went to FB and then to Renee's page and it does list her birthday on her page so it isn't that FB doesn't know it is her birthday.

Then, I note that the date today is the 16th.

Her birthday is the 23rd.

That might explain it.

 I went back to my FB home page where I once again forgot the date and thought, "Oh, crap! I still forgot to wish Renee a happy birthday." Went back to her page and saw the date (again).

 Then, I remembered. Our appointment with the podiatrist was for the 22nd.

I had to call "My Foot Doctor" and cancel......apologize and thank them for seeing us a week in advance.

Unfortunately, my two days living in next week did not reveal any winning lottery ticket numbers. All it did was free my Monday afternoon...next week.

I have discovered the limit of my horror

From February 2016
Zombies, monsters, serial killers, vampires.... Bring them on!

Stephen King has done it, pushed me to my limit!, in the last story of his short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. "Summer Thunder". A post-apocalyptic story about a man who has lost his family - they were unfortunately in Boston when the Eastern Seaboard was obliterated by nukes, his elderly neighbor, and a stray dog, Gandolf. This is all the life that is left in the corner of Maine in which the story is set. Everyone else has fled to Canada where it is rumored the radiation is less or has taken their own life. For reasons I'm not too clear on, maybe because they can't eat canned food and bottled water, all the wildlife save a loon or maybe two, is decaying in the forests. Radiation sickness is a powerfully bad thing - prolonged and painful. His friend has lost his intestine and 7 teeth but is now prepared with a gun with a bullet. And, he gives our protagonist a syringe of Demerol to use for Gandolf who can't get up to travel anymore. (Yesterday his hair started coming out and he developed lameness, weakness and pain. This morning he was having projectile bloody diarrhea.)

Just shove it deep into his neck. Hold onto the collar in case he flinches. Maybe he'll be gone when I get home. He was in pretty bad shape when I left...**** replies.

But, he's not. He lifts his head. He thumps his tail on the ground twice.

And..... I turn off the CD. I cannot go on.

My life is the limit of my horror.

From First love

"A little bit of grace. That is what a good dog is." Stephen King

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

From November & December
I sort of thought I'd get a holiday note written this year. Really. There were moments of composition in my mind. Now, as Chinese New Year is roaring past, I am starting to think that might not happen. Still, I do have our holiday greeting photo. You see in November the Jacaranda begin to bloom in Brisbane. Very pretty. And, there is one that lives at the corner of Beams Road and Carselgrove that I pass by multiple times daily above a nice little brick wall. I thought, "It will be so pretty with the red brick and the jacaranda and the scattering of purple petals everywhere." Then, I met with reality. My tripod which had been traveling around in the car since, yes, I hate to admit it, last year's Christmas photo ... well, a leg fell off. Still, we were dressed so I thought I could maybe find something else to prop up the camera. The stroller! Off we went. Kevin and James in their Hawaiian-esque shirts and me in my new - oh geeze - this top is a bit big - dress...into the gusting wind. That skirt. It really catches the wind. I had my arms wrapped around myself trying to keep whatever level of modesty I could maintain while Kevin pushed the stroller-cum-tripod to the corner. Did I mention this tree/wall/petal situation is at a busy street corner? I didn't think so. See, I wasn't thinking about that, either. So, you have the photo. Unless I parked the stroller IN the street there was no including the tree and the wall and the family. Oops. Anyway, I took 3 on self-timer (automatically). In each the level of the horizon became more and more steep as the stroller roof-cum-tripod sank a little bit more. It is not a great photo by any stretch of the imagination. But, I think you might see we were having fun, while trying not to flash any passing cars. Happy (post) holidays!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

It is still happening

I was driving down the Bruce highway the other week going to North Lakes to pick up Zupe. I needed to merge into the right lane. I turned on my windshield wipers.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Horror of Halloween in Australia

From Sept/Oct/Nov

I had been thinking that Australia's greatest crime against Halloween was in creating a bit of apathy on my part for pulling out the decorations and doing the holiday right.  Yep.  Until, yesterday.

On Thursday I took two orange Halloween pumpkins to day care for the kindergarten class to help carve.  Well, they didn't carve them, of course.  I did.  They fished out the ooey-gooey pumpkin guts out of the pumpkins - after I had raked them over well with a spoon.  Then, they sort of lost interest and I turned them upside down over the garbage bowl and started carving.  That brought some of the kids back.  They had taken basic shapes and designed the faces I was to carve.  I edited.  I was not going to carve flower eyes.  Too hard... went for triangle eyes.  I did my best at "love heart" eyes on the second one.  I suggested to their teacher that if she soaked them in a dilute bleach solution for an hour or so they wouldn't rot quite as quickly.  And, then I told our inclusion support aide that she could take home one of the pumpkins on Friday afternoon.  She's great and I want her to stay happy and helpful.

On Friday evening, after work, I stopped in the "kindy" room to pick up lunch box, extra clothes, communication books and our Jack o'Lantern.  One of the kindy boys who is quite chatty with me ("Do you have a pet?  Are you a doctor?  I guess doctors can't have pets.") told me that they had taken the other jack o'lantern and cut it up for pumpkin soup.   OH MY GOD.  What is wrong with these people?  Not only was it cleaned by half-a-dozen unclean hands, left out on the counter overnight and possibly soaked in bleach BUT IT HAD A FACE!!  It was smiling at them!!  Arghhhh.  I don't know that this story is actually true but if I were going to put money on one side or the other, I'd put my money on abomination.

(Then, they ate the soup.)

They also ate the pumpkin seeds that were similarly well handled and some of them purposefully dropped onto the ground by my own son before being put back into the bowl.  I guess a lot of vegetables get picked up off the ground and washed then eaten.

But, I'm still grossed out.

What has happened to Ann???

From Sept/Oct/Nov

I think that photo about says it all.

Sorry about the crushing disillusionment.    I know you were expecting more.  The red sequin thongs that I usually wear were found in the crisper tray and the light wasn't as good there for a photo.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Update on that last post

My mom told me a got a package at her house.  Hmmm.  I didn't order anything.

Where is it from?

"Kimberly Clark.  It says yoga pants."

"?? Go ahead and open it, please."

"It is a sample of Depends."

I'm so pleased that someone is reading my blog and having fun.  Thanks.

And, where are the yoga pants?