Need to Stop Wrecking the Nets

sports netting onlineI stopped playing sport a while ago, but I still feel the urge to get back into it sometimes. Something about exercise really just calms the mind- all the endorphins, I guess- and then playing in a team promotes social skills. So yeah, I need…all of that. All of it is definitely useful.

Too bad I don’t get out all that much. The tennis club didn’t want me back ever since I sort of ruined the game for a lot of people. I always thought tennis nets were the most sturdy sports netting of them all, what with how they have to withstand people whacking the ball right into them all the time. I’ve seen tennis at the various opens; those balls move at some powerful speeds. So I took my cue from that, played a few games…turns out I was hitting the thing too hard, since I ended up putting holes in the net. The umpire said he’d never seen anything like it, and I was told of for hitting the ball so hard.

But you know what it’s like when you see an opportunity for a swift overhead smash. You just have to jump on those opportunities, and sometimes they don’t quite clear the net…and clearly I don’t know my own strength. I mean, obviously. I kept breaking the nets. First person to ever get kicked out of the tennis league. Hurrah for me.

Then there was that brief period playing soccer, which was alright even if I tend to get kind of aggressive around people in a competitive environment. It’s okay with tennis where your opponent is over the net; soccer is right up in people’s faces. I didn’t meant to, but…injuries happened. I just feel the need to defend myself sometimes, because…well, anyway. The soccer nets were suffering with the power of my shots, so I had to quit that as well. So what’s left? Lawn bowls? No, those things are heavy…maybe badminton.

-Mack

We All Need a Bit of Motivation

Melbourne keynote speakerI could learn Swedish. I mean, I could’ve learned Swedish, if I’d had a bit more time. How hard is Swedish, really? Finding a teacher would’ve been difficult, especially here in Melbourne, but maybe I could’ve done it by distance. Might’ve been fun. Anyway, got a job to do…

Oh, and speaking of which, had an interesting week at the other job. I haven’t been talking to people quite as much as I usually do, but I thought I’d give it a go. Can’t spend my whole life being antisocial. Then it turned out that we were getting in an inspirational business speaker for a day of office cooperation, so…pretty much sorted. I’d still be at work, but maybe the office people will get to know each other a little bit better. Not sure if we’re in for trust falls or anything…I get the feeling that nobody takes that stuff seriously any more. Yeah, it’s kind of a meme at this point.

I’ve seen with my own eyes what a really good motivational speech can do for a bunch of people, and the best part is that it doesn’t matter what type of people they are. Slackers, neat-freaks, team-players, go-getters, uptight folk, grouches, whatever and whoever you are, words sway people. Like I said, I’ve seen it. Get in a good inspirational speaker and you can’t really resist going along with what they say. The best make lasting change, of course.

Should be interesting to see what we come up with. Actually, maybe a bit of motivation is what I need at the moment. I’ve been lacking for a while…you know how it can get, when something drags out for a really long time and you just get tired. Life in general can be like that, I guess. That’s when you look for inspiration. Sometimes it’s in the small things, the unexpected places. And then your workplace hires an actual Melbourne keynote speaker to pep everyone up and give us ways to be better employees. I guess that’s the purpose. I’ll see what I get out of it.

-Mack

Seriously, Just Call the Professionals

Mornington Pest ControlPest control: a do-it-yourself guide.

Yeah, those words really shouldn’t exist. I thought I’d give it a go, however. Just a bit of experience in clearing out nature from when it invades, since…well, doesn’t matter. I had a bit of a bee problem on the wall next to the back door, and that’s not really the type of thing you want in your face whenever you go into the back garden. Bees are great and all, and honey goes great on toast, but…well, humans and insects just don’t understand each other in that way. You can’t serve a beehive and eviction notice, unfortunately.

I dabbled with the idea of calling in professionals, honest! Darlene at work recommended some Frankston pest control people when James had his ant problem. They were all in the walls, and maybe there was also something to do with termites. All sorts of nasties, basically. He’d let the winter damp creep in and it has brought in a bunch of insects from the cold, I guess, and he wanted help removing them. I think the folks got it done pretty quickly, so…good for him, I guess. Still, I’ve been looking up ways to do this sort of thing and I’ve discovered a few bits and pieces about chemicals. Like, the good kind. I’m not much of a chemist, but I reckon I could make a bit of a brew at home.

Alright, this is starting to sound really bad. I don’t want to burn the place down, or leave myself with a skeleton for a hand, so maybe I should consider keeping the pest control people on speed-dial. Or…whatever they call speed-dial nowadays. I guess just ‘looking it up on the internet’. I’ll be sensible really…just give the local Mornington pest control fellows a buzz, all of that.  But I do really like the idea of trying to deal with a pest control problem myself, even if I don’t expect much. Maybe I’m just that bored…

-Mack

Boring Mysteries Inside the Wall

emergency plumbers based in MelbourneYou know you’re bored when you start digging into the walls of your home to see what you can find. I don’t know what I expected, really, but it’s all been pretty predictable so far. Pipes, bricks, a dead rat…sometimes I just get curious. The is a definite sign that I’m going stir crazy, which I really should’ve asked my handler about. I was sure the signal would’ve been delivered by now, so now I’ve sunk into a dreary cycle of ‘go to work, come straight home, occupy self until repeating step 1’. It’s no way to live.

I’ve made use of the situation a bit at least. I noticed some of the pipes in the wall were getting a bit old and rusted, which isn’t really what you want. While revealing as little as possible about how I even knew this, I mentioned the problem to Kyle at work. He said he knows a few really good emergency plumbers in Melbourne who could replace them easily, and that if I left it then rust could very easily build up inside and block the pipe. I hadn’t heard of this, but it was the obvious conclusion. Water is flowing through them constantly, so I guess even the least corrosive of pipes has to have a bit of build-up.

See, this is where most people would go and do just that: find a plumber, get them to replace the pipes and that’d be that. Naturally, I thought that sounded boring and I wanted to do it all myself, and also I’m so starved for stuff to do. The folks at work joke all the time about finding something I’m not good at. Well, here’s your answer, because I’m pretty sure I’ve just wrecked the plumbing. The laundry floor is covered in dirty, rusty water because I thought yanking out a rusty pipe was a good idea and my replacement pipe turned out to be too big, so right now I’m sitting on top of the washing machine, forlornly waiting for the real Melbourne plumbing services to come and sort out my mess. And on that day, Mack learned a valuable lesson about meddling in serious things about which he does not have a clue. Floods, floods everywhere.

-Mack

Documentary On The Beauty Industry

Brisbane Makeup CoursesEvery once in awhile I take a filming gig to earn some extra money between bigger jobs. I was approached via my website by a local aspiring makeup artist. She was actually on a work placement while completing a diploma of specialist makeup services in Brisbane and wanted some help filming her final project.

As she was local and was willing to actually pay me I decided to help her out. I figured the project could be interesting as I didn’t know much about beauty and makeup.  She was particularly focusing her project on the inner city model industry and wanted to film some makeup specialists talking about their experiences.

I met with Sandra about the project and she said she would take care of arranging all the interviews and writing up some questions, she mainly just wanted help with filming and editing. Sandra and I agreed we would needed at least three weekends to have enough time to get all the interviews from the makeup artists and models. We also wanted to talk with some photographers about what they look for when they decide on where to send their models for makeup.

I never thought I would get a client from a makeup course based in Brisbane, but the project is actually shaping up to be really interesting! Once we started filming and outlining a storyboard it became clear that we would need more time. Luckily Sandra’s final submission date for the project is not for a while so she had some flexibility in terms of the deadline.

We ended up making more of a documentary about inner city models than a small school project, it was really worth the effort! With Sandra’s permission I am entering this film into local film festivals. It provides some interesting insight into the dilemmas models and photographers face when dealing with beauty in all it’s forms.

Getting through to my daughter

makeup courses based in MelbourneMy youngest daughter is just about to finish secondary school and I was a little worried about her. She has never had much direction but is incredibly smart. She picks things up quickly and has a lot of emotional intelligence but just never found her passion. I was worried she was going to finish school and not get up to much, but the other day I was having a little look around her room and noticed some literature on makeup courses in Melbourne. I was thrilled! She has always liked make up and luckily she uses it tastefully. I hate those girls who slather their faces in orange paste and have black mascara dripping from their eyes. My daughter uses it very subtly, I often get her to do my makeup before a big event. So I am pleased she has found a way to use her skills. I don’t want to approach her about the makeup course because she’ll know I was snooping around her room but I want to know that we fully support her. She has never outwardly expressed interest in studying towards a diploma of makeup so I wander if she maybe thinks we will want her to go straight into working instead of studying. But as long as she is pursuing her passion I am happy for her to continue studying. Being a parent is hard because you don’t want to push too much but sometimes not pushing enough means they don’t tell you anything. I want to just shake her and get her to confess she wants do a makeup course! I can’t imagine what she thinks I am going to say other than, ‘wonderful, do it!’. I might take her into Melbourne this weekend and walk past the campus that she wants to do the course on and see if I can get it out of her. A little subtle hinting never hurt nobody.

Doing the adult thang

tile and grout cleaningI feel like there comes a point in everyone’s life where they decide they are no longer going to clean their bathroom. I think I have – finally – reached that point.

I have lived on this earth for 28 long years, that’s a grand total of 13,870 days – 332,880 hours – 19,972,800 minutes – 1,198,368,000 seconds – and for half of that lifetime I have been forced to clean the bathroom. Not that I’ve literally spent half of my life cleaning bathrooms (that would be amazingly depressing) but during that time, once a week, I have faced the bathroom head on, armed only with antibacterial spray and a can-do attitude. For an hour. And most of that time has been spent cleaning the shower. My arch nemesis.

Well you know what? I’m done. I have a disposable income, no mortgage, no children, no pets, and so you betcha bottom dollar I am going to do this. For my sanity. So, in my spare time (I’m such a nerd) I’ve been gleefully looking at different tile and grout cleaning companies in Melbourne. Because, far out, if I’m going to clean this bad boy, you bet I’m going to go all out. I want to have to shield my eyes from the glare of that blindingly white grout, and if there’s even a scrap of mould left anywhere, I swear, I’ll shoot someone.

Well maybe I won’t murder someone, but I’ll be bloody tempted.

I’m also seriously considering getting someone to do some high pressure water cleaning. I mean, I’ve seen it all over the internet and, I’ll confess, I gave up on cleaning the shower when I decided to hire a guy. That was weeks ago now. It’s foul in there. What can I say? I’m lazy. So it actually does really need someone to go in there with some high powered gear and blitz it.

Bored, Trimming Some Hedges

stump grinding MelbourneSpending time around the house doesn’t feel right. Even though it’s something I know I’m supposed to do, I get bored quickly. You should see the garden; even though it’s winter, I’ve turned been doing a lot of work. It’s pretty neat, I suppose. People keep stopping in clusters to take a look at it from the street, and this morning I even noticed some people pulling up in a minibus and all piling out. They were taking pictures as well, and now I’m paranoid. Was the formation of seraphim clustered around an exploding star too much of an elaborate hedge formation? Yeah, I probably went a bit far. I’ll have to go out and make it rougher.

That much aside, I do have a new appreciation for contractors around Melbourne, stump grinding is not an easy thing. I found one yesterday, and it was one of my first experiences getting them out of the ground. The last time this happened I was landscaping my workplace and it seemed too easy. Maybe that stump was just a baby, or…I don’t know, a weaker tree. This one was an absolute beast. It became a war of attrition between the stump, with its ally of ground and roots, versus me, with my low-quality pickaxe and eventually my bare hands. I’m seriously going to completely ruin my spine one of these days. Well, I know I don’t, but…

Doesn’t matter, never mind. I now see why extra-special tools are recommended when digging a stump out of the ground. Pro tip for all budding gardeners/tree removal specialists: getting down into the small ditch you’ve dug for yourself. And trying to heave the thing out of the ground with nothing but muscle and willpower is going to give you a new appreciation for the power of nature. I should just stick to tree pruning. Melbourne has people who do that too, so…yeah, I need a new, less dangerous hobby.

-Mack

Idle Hands, DIY

bathroom renovatorsSometimes I do DIY when I get bored, and I don’t even notice. I mean, you remember my little episode of landscaping outside the office. Wasn’t even sure what I was doing, and sure, people seemed to like it, but…I got a bit carried away. Same goes for me when I’m just around wherever I’m living. I get lost in thought for a few moments and then suddenly I’ve got a new set of patio furniture and the plumbing has been newly outfitted with leak-proof piping. That was one particularly dull Saturday afternoon. And I know what I should be doing. Suppose this is just my way of procrastinating.

So I have a new bathroom. I was just idly studying when I noticed that the whole room was sort of drab, whenever I walked past it. Not something that should’ve bothered me, but then suddenly it did. So I just thought I’d completely subvert Melbourne’s entire bathroom renovation industry and do up the place myself. Not that I did it any better than an actual bathroom renovator who does this for a job would’ve done it. Probably worse, because I’m not the type to browse through the internet looking for cute bathroom ideas and giggling as I imagine making it into reality. I’m not even sure I got the colour scheme right, so I made it mostly white with silver. The handles of the cabinets are kind of a burnished bronze, which I hope isn’t intruding on the OKAY, see what this turns me into? I wasn’t thinking for a moment, and suddenly I’m some pro bathroom renovator with…ideas.

Look, it’s fine to renovate, engage in some DIY, but I use it as a form of procrastination and it’s no good. If I had any more time on my hands I’d probably be turning this place into a mansion. Heaven help me if I ever get fired, otherwise I’ll probably be living in a palace within a week. Except I’m not that skilled, don’t worry. All the Melbourne bathroom renovators can rest assured, your industry is safe from my idle hands.

-Mack

Replacing Interaction with Television

digital antennaI’m getting far too intimate with people. By my standards, that is…I’ve never really connected with anyone at a job before now, since I often just went home, smiled at everyone just enough and kept to myself at all other times. So yeah, not so much of the social interaction. Now I’m going away on company retreats and a feel fine with it. It’s no good. I have to start withdrawing…yeah, for those mysterious reasons again.

Maybe I should get a digital antenna. Companies in Melbourne that do that kind of thing are always around, and I can even see a few on the rooftops from where I live. I really should be learning about a whole lot of things, and that’s difficult when you come home and all that’s on are reruns of Week of Our Lives (don’t really see the appeal) and some old movies. I’ve already memories the entire bi-monthly schedule just from seeing it twice, and once you analyse things to the depths I have, you start to realise that all plots are the same. Even soap operas abide by the hero’s journey; it’s just that multiple storylines are happening at once, over a longer period of time. It’s harder to notice, but definitely still there.

Honestly, I don’t think digital TV will be all that different. A little antenna isn’t going to teach me everything there is to know about the human race, even if there are fifty channels. I’ll have the broadcast schedule down in a few hours, and then it all becomes so predictable. I just have to hope that somewhere, there’s a show that ends up being more than mildly distracting. I doubt it. But it’s not like I’ doing much else with what I get paid, so I’ll consider tv antennas. Companies in Melbourne are pretty good at installing them, digital antennas that is. So at least it’ll help to make people think I’m normal.

-Mack