Friday, June 30, 2006


How not to be hungover, miserable, and in pain at work: an instruction manual

1. Do not go out drinking the night before
2. Whilst out drinking the night before, do not order a second bottle of wine
3. After ordering a second bottle of wine, realise that this is your limit, has always been your limit, and will always be your limit. Do not, therefore, convince yourself that a third bottle of wine is a good idea.
4. Do not drink the third bottle of wine that has now been ordered.
5. No, really. Don’t drink the third bottle of wine.
6. When on the bus home, stay on the bus the entire way. Do not decide to get off a couple of stops early and walk.
7. When deciding to get off bus and walk, to clear head, factor in the uncomfortable shoes that are causing blisters
8. When off the bus, on a country road, in shoes that are causing blisters, do not decide to walk home anyway
9. When, limping, reach home, drink large amount of water, take Panadol, Vitamin B complex, etc. Shower. Brush teeth. Do not fall into bed and drop into unconsciousness.
10. When wake up in morning with headache, nausea, etc., get up and drink more water, another hot shower, etc. Jogging is good to increase metabolism, burn off alcohol faster. Do not lift head from pillow, determine are likely to be sick and walking will hurt, and therefore go back to sleep.
11. Do not go to work.

I’m pretty sure my mother will never read this. But if I’m wrong: hi, Mum. None of that happened. And hi to my boss, too: I totally have a stomach bug.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Shake, rattle and roll

I don’t have much for you guys today, I’m afraid, I’m too tired. There’s no funny anecdote attached to that. I just went to bed too late.

Also, I’m rattling. My shoes are old, and the right one has a hole in the bottom of the heel. Into which a small rock has insinuated itself. I cannot remove this from my heel. So it’s rattling around merrily. Every time I walk anywhere it rattles. Loudly. People are looking up from their desks in confusion as I pass. I’ve tried walking in a way that doesn’t rattle my heel, but I just end up looking like one of my legs is numb from the knee down. This is going to be an irritating day.

Talking of irritating, there’s a new guy working at the desk next to mine. Late fifties, dubious personal habits, really needs to introduce himself to the concept of salad, that sort of thing. So you know we’ve hit the ground running, here.

The fact that he works in an extremely dull and fairly useless part of the public service, and plays Solitaire all day, doesn’t stop him from trying to impress me. Not just me, of course, but I’m the nearest personable young woman around, so you know. Mostly me. So far he’s told me all about being a Crown prosecutor in Sydney, meeting various High Court judges and parliamentarians socially, and playing professional rugby in his youth.

I actually believe that last one. But only because rugby players tend to be gross and obnoxious.

(If you’re a rugby player, I apologise. But since I’m stringing together sentences of more than five words, I doubt you’ve got this far.)

And then yesterday he’s complaining about having to go to meetings, and that he keeps getting the run around, and, I don’t know, other stuff. It’s not like I was listening, obviously. Until he says, “It’s so hard getting a straight answer in this place. I thought the time I met the Ambassador for Korea was bad enough, but this…!”


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Your sympathies, please

I do hope this morning’s post conveyed clearly that I was the person at fault last night. My husband was incredibly patient about the whole thing. He is, basically, a paragon of patience, as well as being funny, charming, intimidatingly smart, and extremely sexy. I’m perfectly serious here: there are not words to describe how amazing this man is.

Which is why I was so distraught this afternoon to hear that he is going away overnight on business. Such is my sorrow, in fact, that I predict I won’t be able to muster the energy to cook a proper meal, instead listlessly eating Nutella out of a jar and maybe working up the energy to cut some cheese. I may need to distract myself from thoughts of how much I miss him by immersing myself in old Buffy episodes. In fact, so unbearable is the thought of so many hours out of his company, I am afraid I might have to drown my sorrows with the nearest bottle of Semillon.

Please, all of you, think of me during this trying time.

Tuesday Night

"Hi, honey. I bought you some chocolate frogs for being such a nice husband."

"How sweet. Thanks."

"Tanya? What have you done to the washing machine?"
"What? I haven't done anything to the washing machine! God."
"You've ripped one of the knobs completely off."
"Ohhh. Oh, yeah, one of the knobs fell off. I forgot to tell you."
"Fell off? It looks like you twisted it in the wrong direction. Like, really hard. Look, the screw's completely gone."
"...Umm. Dinner's...I just need to add some coconut milk."

"What? What? The hell?"
"It just made this...fzzzzt noise and went sort of...and now there's this horrible smell."
"I was just stirring! I didn't do anything!"

"I can't believe you blew up the stovetop. And broke the washing machine."
"Have a chocolate frog."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Start as you mean to go on

Let’s be honest here. Because honesty is integral to a good relationship, don’t you think? And I want us to have a relationship. A good relationship. A relationship in which I try and make you laugh, and you buy me drinks all night, and we both go away better people for it, or at least drunk, which as far as I’m concerned is a lot like being a better person, at least until the next morning when I remember exactly what it was I was trying to explain to the taxi driver and why he looked so alarmed.

I don’t have an interesting life. You should know that up front. I’m not a young hip successful glamorous New Yorker, or anything approaching it. Apart from the adulterous sex and the international tax scams, neither of which I can write about for fear of divorce and/or prosecution, my life can be characterised by - well, look, let me tell you about my weekend.

Wednesday last was a momentous day for me. I sat my last ever exam, and am now, pending marks, the holder of a Law degree. That’s a pretty big deal, don’t you think? Deserving of celebration and wildness? Here I am: twenty-something, employed, just finished a degree. The weekend was my oyster, and an enormous, succulent oyster it was too. With lemon. And rock salt.

I don’t know where I was going with that metaphor, but damn I want oysters now.

Anyway, so there I am, a dazzling array of options in front of me. I could have donned a wicked little frock and gone out to a cabaret show. Danced the night away at Boho. Snuck a bottle of champagne into the Botanic Gardens and shared it with a charming man. Hell, if I’d flown to Sydney and gone shopping all weekend, I’d have been justified. No study to do, remember?

This is what I actually did on the weekend:

1) Cleaned the house
2) Entertained (fed) a friend who, the better to get wild and crazy, brought her knitting along.
3) Went to three garden centres.
4) Went to the library armed with a list of books to borrow. And by list, I mean a spreadsheet printout, because I am currently trying to read all 1001 books listed in a book called 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, and so far I am 200 books down, and the only way to keep track is via a spreadsheet.

I know. I’ve lost you. I understand, and I’m sorry.

But I think we’ve both learnt something here, don’t you?