Sunday, January 24, 2010

all the walls in your house (a very boring entry)

The past few weeks have been utterly mad, in that way that isn't really mad, but feels so. And the list of things to do is still not done!!! It keeps getting longer!!! Yet again I'm reminded of my tendency to be a total sook and a complete quitter. Fortunately my mother is Iron Woman who threatens me with early mornings if I don't do what she says immediately. When I point out that I am twenty one and therefore not a child, she gently points out that I am twenty one, still living at home and once again unemployed. And then I do as she says, whilst scouting the job ads.

All this is vaguely humiliating and made worse that it all happened whilst I was wearing an unflattering pair of short shorts, an old shirt three sizes too big and several layers of paint.

We've repainted my room. I wish I had photos to share, but my camera is packed away in a box somewhere, as is my usual computer. It was a mammoth undertaking that began about six months ago, when my mother pointed out (as she does every time she enters my room) that it was a bit of a swamp, with manky walls. I responded that maybe we should paint it, she agreed and then we probably had an argument about my tendency to leave everything everywhere. I should perhaps note that this tendency spawned as a result of my wardrobe door breaking about 8 years ago when I hid in it, for reasons forgotten.

Then I decided (probably drunkenly) that 2010 would be "the year that I did all the things I say I'll do but never get around to doing" starting with revamping my room from its pink and green with white rose trim little girliness. My mother also must have been intoxicated, because we got the ball rolling quite quickly. We had an inspiration trip to Ikea, where I bought the LameLamp and lamented that I couldn't have a sled bed. We traipsed to our local hardware store to pick paint colours, and I decided I wanted barely there colours.

This was a mistake.

Barely there colours used to be the bane of my existence when I worked for Culla Change . North Shore dwellers with their expensive silk shirts would appear at my desk and say "I'm after a colour that's sort of eggshell, but y'know, lighter." or the woman who demanded "Latte" and told me "No, that's not Latte, that's Cappuccino." I thought I had sworn never to become one of those women, until I found myself looking at paint samples. All of the whites had too much yellow in them, the creams were just gross, the pinks looked like pigs innards, red "wouldn't fit with the house" (Nippan do an awesome red called Redcoat that I am going to use one day.) and I knew I didn't want purple. I am not a purple person.

That left me with blue and green. Green was vetoed, because when we moved in here (15 years ago) the walls were sickly green. So that left blue.

I picked Taubmans' Orchid Dew and City Lights. Last Monday Mum and I undercoated my room, which was a giant hassle because I am 147cm and my room is nearly 3500cm high. I sort of had to charge the walls with my paint roller. Then we put the samples on the wall. Orchid Dew looks like a faded purple bruise and City Lights is the colour of London sky when it can't decide if it wants to rain. But you wouldn't think that if you looked at the little cards you get at the paint shop.

Annoyed, we trudged back to the paint shop on Tuesday, where we spent nearly TWO HOURS trying to pick a colour. Most of my choices were made in frustration and shot down, as apparently our 170year old house has a tone that needs to be maintained or the people from the historical society will come beat us with spoons. Curse my parents. Finally I grabbed what looked like a nice pale blue called Chalkdust. As I was charging to the counter, I noticed something called Angora Blue. (I want to be one of the people who names paint colours) which looked like a sort of washed out sky blue. My mother bought me a Mars bar to stop me grizzling, and we went home.

The Chalkdust looked like the London sky does when its just decided to rain because it knows you didn't bring your umbrella. Gross. Angora blue however, would do. It's crisp and fresh and not sodding purple. Mum threw her hands up in relief and went back to the paint shop. I had a nap on the sofa, where I'd slept the past two nights.

I hate sleeping on sofas. People assume I don't mind sofas, because I'm little. But I am, as previously explained, a weird sleeper. I need a little bit of space. Our sofa is kind of narrow. And the back of it curves out slightly. I don't know, its fine for naps during the day, but a whole night is a bit much.

The other part about sleeping on the sofa is Lottie. Little Lottie is not that little anymore, at 18kgs. And every morning, when she's let in, she tears around the kitchen to the lounge room and jumps on the sofa. This is bad. It's also bloody painful when you're fast asleep and a canine cannonball jumps on you and tries to lick your face off. After two mornings like that, I was a bit tired. So naturally, I fell asleep on the sofa. And Lottie jumped on me. And licked my face.

Once we got painting though, it wasn't too bad. Idlewild turns out to be the best music to paint to, even if I had a bit of an embarrassing moment during The Space Between All Things because Roddy Woomble always sounds a bit sneery when he sings "all the walls in your house were painted in deep blue/you're at that indecisive age to choose colours that reflect you." but Mum dripped paint on my head and I got over it.

On Wednesday morning while Lottie was busy sleeping on my stomach, Mum painted my floorboards. Then we went to the theatre, which I've written a post about, but it needs rethinking as I'm probably being too rude about religion. I spent Wednesday night on the sofa again.

Thursday morning we went to Ikea. I'd done my research, and thought we could just pop in and pick up the new wardrobe, table, chair and underbedthingforshoes that I wanted. I reckoned without my mother, who is like a small puppy when presented with stores like Ikea. We left with the things I had wanted, but also a cutlery holder (that is now a pen holder), a wooden plate thing, two packets of napkins, a door mat, two new garbage bins, two storage boxes, a standing mirror and a stuffed toy mouse. I have no idea how that happened.

My silly thinking continued - I was under the impression Ikea furniture would be easy to put together. Mum and Jeremy made jokes about losing the Allen key whilst hauling the stuff upstairs. I tackled the chair, and got half way before cursing the Swedes. Turns out Ikea furniture is not made with Left handed people in mind. By the time we got to putting the table together, I was sent away and told I was useless. The Right Handed people continued without me.

It took until Saturday to get everything together. I'm back in my own bed now, and all that's left to do is paint my bookcases from pink to white and then reorganise my books. There was a lot of shouting, and my room smells a bit like paint. My mother claims I'm going to have to keep everything tidy, and I'm thinking that as good as mother-daughter bonding is, we've had enough to last us the rest of 2010.

And for all my siblings jokes about not losing the Allen key, I have to admit I've got no clue where it is now.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

light up

It's far too hot to do anything except watch the Australian cricket team drag our national identity (as well as good old fashioned manners) into the dirt. Except the cricket doesn't start for another few days, so I have to content myself with watching the dog chase her tail, or reading the new Walter Moers novel The Alchemaster's Apprentice (which is awesome).

Oh, and I'm cursing this stupid lamp I bought from Ikea. I shouldn't have bought it in the first place, but the lure of Swedish sensibility, combined with the deep desire to get out of a warehouse that is better organised than I will ever be, and full of people I never want to see again forced me into buying the dumbest lamp ever.

The lamp is solar powered.

On the surface, this is a very good idea. My new watch is solar powered - an hour of sunlight keeps it going for 6 months, and because it gets exposure to light every day it will never stop! I must have been thinking of that when I bought this wretched lamp.

I've forgotten what cutesy name the lamp has, but I've renamed it. LameLamp. To begin with, you have to remove the solar cell and place it in direct sunlight for at least 9 hours, preferrably 12. I decided I would leave it on my veranda for two days straight, thinking that would mean sunlight from about 5.30am to 7.30pm. Doubled, that's about 21 hours.

9 hours gets you 3 hours of lamp time, from the LameLamp. 3 nines are 21, so that should give you about 9 hours, right? (My maths skills are hazy) WRONG.

ONE HOUR. THIRTY MINUTES. The LameLamp begins to dim.
ONE HOUR. FIFTY MINTUES. The LameLamp dims further.
TWO HOURS. LameLamp goes out.

Poor little LameLamp.

Clearly I expected too much, as I so often do. I could take the LameLamp back, but I feel sorry for it. I don't really use my desk that much (preferring to do most of my work at the UNSW Library, where the lights are powered by the souls of the Engineering students, apparently), so as long as I remember to put the solar cell in the sunlight in the morning, we should be ok.


Give it a month, and I'll be posting about how my room has no lights because I keep forgetting to charge my LameLamp.


Remember my mention of continued employment? This turned out to be a phallacy, a falsehood, a misconception. I am unemployed as of next Sunday. While this is frustrating, I'm not worried. Not yet, anyway.

Mostly I'm looking forward to not hearing Susan Boyle ever again.

Friday, January 1, 2010

half awake

Greetings 2010. I hear you bring much goodness - an expedition or two, a decorating project, a new Doctor Who, an Editors tour, many good albums, a Marcel Proust project, 2nd year university courses, continued employment,the demise of hotpants. Despite making the last one up (someone has to start the trends), 2010 looks like it will be better than 2009. Mostly because we are now out of the dreaded"noughties" and into the "twenty-tens", which sounds more grow up, and should encourage maturity.

Maturity. That's a dastardly word that should only be applied to wine and cheese. It's certainly not a word applicable to most of the people I know (in a good way), or the people I've had the misfortune to meet since I began working (in a bad way). I think it's the sales. Especially Boxing Day. It's like the Battle of Hastings, except with make-up and dvds. People revert to their most primal, grunting and chucking their credit cards at the poor sod behind the register - because they know we have no souls. We are soulless spineless people, deserving only of abuse, scorn and disdain.

No, I'm serious. Boxing Day saw me having to show my work tag to the police barricading my workplace, having my bottom pinched in the crowd, numerous insults about my height from people I'd never met, idiotic questions galore:

Customer: Do you have the Fantastic Mr Fox?
Me: um, it only came out today
Customer: Yes, so can you tell me where it is?
Me: in the Cinemas.

It would be nice and twee to say that the small girls who come to the counter clutching Madagascar make up for all this, but they don't. I am not good with kids, and kids are not good with me.

Still, there are worse jobs.

So, Welcome 2010. I meant to give you a proper greeting, but I veered off. I hope this is a good year. I hope bad shit doesn't go down. I hope all the resolutions work. I hope we don't sink because of climate change. I hope BRMCs new album is good. I hope they stop Twilight.

I also hope this is a year where I can 'reclaim' the words impact, decimate and however.


We saw Avatar today. I got in trouble for my over-thinking of the films portrayals of Indigenous people AND Americans. I can't help it. I'm a critical thinker - someone has to be.
James Cameron shouldn't be allowed to write dialog.