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.


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.


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.


Really good at packaging

Dear faithful readers, I’m sure you’ve tolerated through my insufferable complaints about my superabundance of talents and the trouble they get me into. Well, I’m sorry to have to subject you to this yet again, but, if you’re still reading, i guess you’ve asked for it.

So I’m at the post office the other day buying courier satchels in order to post a gift to a friend. I needed to buy some good secure postage bags with bubble wrap cushioning on the inside so that the object wouldn’t break (it was a glass spider man figurine). I’m getting all these weird stares as I’m taking the postage bag off the shelf and I was even approached by someone asking if I worked there. I told her no I didn’t work there but pointed her to the service desk which was right in front of us.

Later that day, with my glass action hero man figurine all wrapped up and ready to post (I had blown it myself and was marketing it to the official franchise as merchandise) and strolled on over casually to date post box. Then right as I’m dropping the parcel into the red post box, I this guy rides past on a bike and shouts out, ‘Nice posting action, man.’ I didn’t think much of it because I get compliments all the time. But when I got home I found a letter in my mailbox saying that the Australia post want to offer me a job and their gold star delivery boy. Of course, I already have a much higher paying job and I don’t want to go postal, however, it did make me consider a change in career trajectory.

It occurred to me that I might like to work in food packaging supplies because well, I’m obviously naturally talented at making stuff and I reckon I could contribute some new inventions to the packaging industry. But that, dear friends, is a story for another day.

Retreating the Company to the Country

Company retreats make me nervous. Not afraid- I can handle a bit of socialization with work people- but I’m always a bit wary of people acting out and then having to be around them when we get back to a normal working environment with that hanging over us. Last year we went to Philip Island and mostly had a great time, except on the final night when Sharon had just a little bit too much to drink. One thing led to another, there was dancing and tables and…well, it got a lot worse from there. Then she came into work on Monday and didn’t speak to anyone for weeks. And she was usually so quiet…

So this year, we’re heading off to regional Victoria! There’s a conference venue that Dan managed to find, and it’s sort of focused on the process of detox. No heavy drinking, no smoking areas or slot machines. There are normal-looking conference rooms, but otherwise, everyone has the option to engage in relaxing activities in their spare time. So things like floatation tanks, isolation tanks, oxygen tanks…there are more things that aren’t tanks, hang on. Yep, got the brochure…there’s a squash court, a meditation room, a pool-sized hot tub, sauna, actual pool-pool, yoga classes and a whole bunch of other things that help people to really calm down. Of course, the juice bar is included. In terms of a corporate getaway, I think we’ve hit the nail on the head of something that’s safe, yet still enjoyable for everyone. We can spend our mornings learning about business strategy, and then nip off to the reiki room to…do whatever it is you do in a reiki room. I’m not big into that stuff, but there is morning tai-chi at 5:30am sharp, which I’m looking forward to.

For once, we’ve actually found a convention centre that minimises the risk of incidents. Hopefully. Though people can really get aggressive during squash games, so I’ve heard.


Now in a Tree Stump Conference…for Some Reason

So…Sandrine sent us on a conference. Seems a bit weird, since ‘Responsible Laying of Asphalt and Other Varieties of Bitumen’ doesn’t seem relevant to what we do as a company, but she said that there will be parts we’ll find very interesting and helpful, especially when they start to incorporate Brisbane’s methods of land clearing to lay the way for driveways and car parks. I don’t really like leaving the office when there’s so much work to be done, but…well, it’s a free trip to Brisbane, flying business class. Stepping inside a plane always puts me on edge- you’re in a metal box where a quick escape is a complicated matter of stitching together a makeshift parachute and flinging yourself out of the nearest open exit- but it’s not the longest of flights.

And now I get to see Brisbane again. Brisbane and its perfectly clean, clear streets because they’re mad on keeping the place clean, like it’s some kind of tyrannical dystopia. Trust me, I’ve seen dystopia…it looks nothing like this. Though the flawless asphalt jobs combined with tree removal and the lack of rubbish really do make the place look spick and span, as Sandrine would say. Not sure why she didn’t just book herself in for the conference, since she loves things being neat and tidy and learning about how trees are lopped perfectly to create a suburban paradise seems like the type of thing that would totally be into. Of course, I know exactly what she’s doing…I just don’t want to put it in writing. Maybe I’ll take some pictures of the streets and their perfect lack of pot holes and send them back to her. Sort of like holiday snaps, but ones she’ll appreciate.

Actually, this trip won’t be a bad time for some reconnaissance. I’m here, my fellow employees are involved in enjoying the sights of Brisbane and I don’t have the normal office obligations. Maybe I’ll have a look around, see if there’s anything relevant to the mission. Well, at least I can get some tips on how Brisbane gets its firewood, it seems like people just get them by government mandate. Makes tires last longer, I suppose. Among other things.


Asphalt, Trees, Oxygen, Same Thing

I don’t often get bored, because I’m pretty fond of learning new things. But when it came to that Asphalt conference…phew, too much even for me. We had to sit through twelve modules, each at least forty-five minutes long, and all of them focused on laying asphalt in a specific location. Car parks, play parks, driveways…and the person taking the course had a hypnotic voice. Not in the good way; the ‘sends you right to sleep’ way.

So I snuck out, to my shame. I’d learned everything I could, and I knew there were other courses going on at the venue. Didn’t take me long before I came across the course on how to operate a hyperbaric chamber. Melbourne has these, because a few of my co-workers have said that they kind of like being inside them. It helps with your health, relaxation and the general healing process. So they’re curious machines, but here was a class teaching how to use them. It was a far better option than sticking around to hear about module 11: laying asphalt over a dirt road, is I illegitimately joined the class. I have to say, I’m not really keen on using oxygen therapy myself. That’s partially due to the fact that I’m healthy and don’t really need it (I get all my oxygen from breathing), but also the climbing inside and being shut in. I’m not claustrophobic, just cautious. I suppose if something went wrong I could just break out- they’re not designed as prisons- but I don’t really feel like putting myself in there anyway. Not until I have a genuine injury that needs healing.

But now, because the alternative was going back to learn about more asphalt, I know how to handle and operate a chamber for hyperbaric therapy. Places in Melbourne could be hiring; maybe I’ll look for a job. Except no, I’m not leaving everyone with Sandrine…