Memo-Narita is NOT Tokyo

LOCATION: Narita Airport JAPAN
Local Time 10.47 am
Weather is overcast but very warm and humid. Shorts and singlet weather!

So we’ve landed in Japan and we're about to head off again, currently sitting in the Free Yahoo cafe in Narita Airport, which is cool!
Note we're at Narita Airport, NOT Tokyo as we previously thought. Having told everyone we were stopping in Tokyo we feel like right idiots finding out that we're in Narita, which is most certainly NOT Tokyo. Its like landing at Newcastle, thinking you were in Sydney, might as well be worlds apart. We didn't find out until we asked how to get into Tokyo, and the hotel lobby guy told us it was too late (at 8pm) to go. We googled it and found it was a 2 hr train ride away. Gah!
So thats a little annoying, and as a result we didn't really get to see anything beyond the hotel and a convenience store across the road from the Hotel. Oh well!

I had an epiphany last night. And then felt like a twit when I told M, as he'd realised it ages ago. We fly out of Japan at noon local time. We're in the air for just over 12 hours, so even though we land at 4pm London time, it will feel like midnight. I'm going to be buggered!!!
M laughed at me and said he had known this all along. :(
oh well.

Had a coffee at the airport. My choices were Cappucino, Cafe latte, Cafe Mocha or Double Espresso. Espresso it is! After the worlds tiniest UHT milk was added, it actually looked just like I like it! Success! Unfortunately, as is common with my coffee drinking style the second half was cold before I remembered to drink it. Oh well.

Weird encounter with Japanese Police in the airport too. Having just decided to head down to Security to make our way to our gate, two Police officers stopped us asking what we were doing. I answered in a slihglty bewildered fashion and they askled for our passports. After jotting down all our information, including Birth place (St Leonards for me, Sydney for M) & asking for our occupations, we were on our way.
Odd!

We're almost away!



Whee! Busy packing, can't chat, looks like it will be warm tomorrow when we land in Tokyo though!!!

Jesus needs more Carrie Underwoods


For those of you unacquainted, and too lazy to watch the video (or too busy vomiting after watching it) Carrie Underwood is a country singer that is very pretty, very blonde, and this song is very catchy. Because I am a giant sucker for catchy Country and Western, I can't help but like it. I like it, even though I loathe the subject matter in its syrupy, saccharine vomitude-
Chorus
Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'ma let it go
So give me one more chance
To save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel
Oh the humanity.  
Christianity needs more of these "followers" though. Poster women for virtue and ***ability, singing about Faith (not the George Micheal kind either).
The (arguably?) biggest Pentecostal Church in Australia is Hillsong, which by all reports, is full of really attractive single women. A guy could do well going to Hillsong to pick up. Just don't expect sex on the first date, or the second. Or until you get married. And then it might be a let down.
(Click here for a really funny spoof of this song too) 

Richard Dawkins reads his email

Are you my type?

I most definitely have a type. Thankfully M sits squarely in the middle of it, so I feel I can discuss it freely.
As a Married White Female, I don't find myself "checking out" guys very often anymore. Not that I ever really wandered around as a single gal gawking at mens butts and letting out a low whistle everytime I saw something I appreciated. I just find that when it comes to looking at men aesthetically now, I just, sort of....don't....

So its a pleasant surprise when someone does catch my eye, and I can look, appreciate, and move on. As a single gal, I remember categorising men into groups of whether I not I wanted to "go there", friends, and not interested-please move right along.

In a pub, it might mean going over and flirting, perhaps sharing a drink. I still find it remarkable the number of guys that will buy a girl a drink. I barely had to spend any of my own money when I was single! Meaning I could fritter it all away on other ridiculous purchases.
At a party it might have simply been finding someone I was vaguely interested in, that would chat and be entertaining for (part of) the evening.

Celebrities that fit my "type"
(I will disclaimer this that there are other celebrities I find attractive, but aren't in this category)

ERIC BANA
Favourite film to date, Troy.

CLIVE OWEN
No particular favourite film, and he doesn't immediately leap to mind when I think of attractive celebrity men. Fits the type though.

GERARD BUTLER
Favourite film would have to be a toss up between Phantom of The Opera (he played Phantom!) and P.S. I Love You- so sad. Such a tear jerker.

EWAN McGREGOR
Favourite film to date is Moulin Rouge, hands down. I *heart* that movie SO much.

Now I'm going to be the first to say M is not wealthy, English, Irish or Scottish. I use these celebs only in the capacity to demonstrate my "type"

~Using these pictures, how would YOU categorise my type?

Mmm, might go and peruse some other male celeb galleries....for research purposes only of course....

Its a lovely day today

Had one of those bizarre, do I know you.... moments this morning at the Post Office of all places. I locked eyes with this guy, pleasant surfer looking fellow, and thought where do I know you from....hmmm before moving into the line. I kind of got the vibe he was thinking the same thing....I couldn't stop wondering, and am still wondering where I've seen him.
I didn't ask him where I knew him from as I'm fairly certain he works somewhere I frequent, and we don't "know" each other for me to feel confident in asking where I knew him from.

Aha! As I type, I have figured it out. And I'm REALLY glad I didn't ask him where I knew him from now, as I was right, and I DON'T Know him at all, he's the bartender at the pub near work, where I have lunch once a fortnight.

*sigh* so glad I figured that out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Been CRAZY busy at work this week. My boss has popped off for a quick holiday before I take me leave for Europe, and its just exploded here. And its all the regular stuff, not even "I want to get X, Y, & Z done before I leave" its just the normal everyday work. Eeesh.
Not that there aren't things I need to do before we go, there are, but if I don't get to them, it will only be me thats disappointed, no one else cares.

This morning, in addition to my work, I had to
- Go to the Post Office (for work)
- Ring our airline and lodge my frequent flier membership. Spoke to someone who acted like I was mad, when the website says to notify them!
- Get M to ring and lodge his membership, mad conversation redux.
- Organise to get a postal vote ballot sent to me, and M, for the Local Gorvernment Elections that will be on whilst we are away. And annoying, you can't vote overseas for Local Govt. Grr
- Ring and organise for two Australian Will Kits to be sent to me, hopefully in time for us to fill them in before we fly out.
----As property holders and married people, I thought it prudent to organise our wills before we leave, just in case anything should go amiss (touch wood it doesn't of course. I can't see you doing it,  I SAID TOUCH WOOD! Do you want something to befall us?)

So sorry if I've been a bit quiet : )

Ew

As a non-beer drinker I am completely upfront about the fact that I think beer tastes and smell like ass.
Ok so I really dislike the smell of beer. I can only imagine that beer smells much like it tastes, but I can really only guess as I've only ever had two sips: from a Corona, (as the "girly beer" apparently. I thought perhaps it would be slightly less than vile, and I was.....wrong), and a James Boag, since we were AT the factory doing a tour and it wasn't getting any fresher.
So I was driving along in the car munching on some Chicken Twisties, quenching my thirst with a Caffeine Free Diet Coke and somehow the flavour combination of the two, I realised I was getting a beer-like aftertaste. When I burped (it was the Coke!) there was a definite beer flavour!
So disgusting!

Oh, so Stupid!

From Runaway Bride To Ex-Wife

Video Rental Store | Texas, USA

(A few years ago I was working at a video store when there were still late fees, and this exchange occurred after I scanned a couple’s rentals:)

Me: “Okay, sir, with the late fee from your last rental, your total is $9.50.”

Husband: “What do you mean a late fee? I ALWAYS return my movies on time, so you need to remove that late fee right now!”

Me: “Well sir, you returned–”

Husband: “I said I ALWAYS return my movies on time and you need to remove that late fee right now! I’m not paying this!”

Me: “Then you won’t be renting these movies tonight. All late fees must be paid before renting again.”

Husband: “I’m NOT paying this, so you better take it off now!”

Wife: “What movie is this late fee for anyway? We ALWAYS return our movies on time!”

Me: “This is for Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts. You rented it on the 6th and it was due on the 11th, but you didn’t return it until the 15th. ”

Husband: “Oh yeah, that’s right, we never got around to watching it. I’ll pay for it.”

Wife: “We never rented Runaway Bride and I was out of town on the 6th.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, it’s showing that Jennifer rented the title.”

Wife: “Who is Jennifer?” *pauses and her face becomes red* “Oh, that b***h!”

(The wife proceeds to slap her husband, takes the keys and drives away, leaving her husband in the store.)

Husband: “Well, I guess I deserved that, huh?”

Me: “Sir, you put your mistress on your account?”

Husband: “Yeah, she likes movies…”

Me: “You are aware that she could have opened her own account for free, right?”

Husband: “Oh s***, really?”

Trying to mate with an epileptic cow

Your Money, Starting Out and Starting Over - Anita Bell ****

Hmm Kind of hard to rate this book, it was good and everything, but different people will find it useful in different ways. Having read the first book, Your Mortgage: How to pay it off in 5 years (by a woman who did it in three), it was mostly same-old-same-old: an awesome way to make a budget and stick to it. There is also a heap of easy investing at the back but we're not quite at that point. BUT I got out of it exactly what I was hoping. A refresher, and a kick in the financial pants. It just reinforced principles I already use, and re-inspired me to focus on our financial goals.

For example one of our major goals is to buy a second property (ideally a house). Right now I can't see how that's ever going to happen. Especially as we also have a short term goal of starting a family, if there's a choice to be made, which side will we fall down on? We already made a choice some time ago that we wouldn't sacrifice family for another path. In that instance, it was living and working overseas. We knew we didn't want to have babies away from our families, but we wanted to have babies within the first few years of marriage. So working overseas for a couple of years doesn't work with that plan and we weren't prepared to sacrifice our desire to have a young family for "the experience" . There's plenty of people who make the choice differently, a couple we know are similarly placed but her parents are in the UK. They're now considering having the babies overseas with her mum for the first few years. Of course everyones different and we don't begrudge anyone elses choices either.

We leave for Europe in a scant 2 weeks, and while I'm looking forward to it, I'm really hoping we don't come home with too much debt, as I can't see how we're going to make our (financial) dreams reality right now.

4 / 5

For an interesting insight into how Anita Bell "fell" into having a financial book published, have a quick squizz at her bio here

The blogs are out there, and they're waiting for you

In the last few months I've discovered a whole new bunch of blogs out there in the blogsphere that are all brilliant. Initially I meant to post a bit of a roundup of them all and how I got to them, but as the days progressed I got more and more into them and then I simply couldn't choose a post that spoke most to me, nor could I remember the post that had initially caught my eye, in order to share it.

One of the most fantastic things I've found is Australian blogs. Heaps of them! I have in fact found so many quality blogs (from all over) that I'm now kind of overwhelmed by them all. Where I used to check approx 5-8 blogs a day while at work, I'm finding everyday I'm bookmarking something new everyday almost, and I'm running out of time to read them all! But I want to! Which is leading to a small amount of anxiety on my part, I'm going to bed thinking about the blogs I didn't get to that day. But by the next day they've got new posts up! I swear I can't keep up, its doing my head in!
I'm just astounded by how much information is OUT there. And I want it all. In my head. Now.

So here's a quick scan of recent things I've found which I've bookmarked for regular reading, which may or may not interest you. I've left comments on them along the way (mostly) so you if you already read them, you may have seen me lurking already!  :)
In no particular order

Skepticlawyer
(Aussie) An interesting collaboration between two lawyers who blog primarily about the law but also, as the law touches lives in so many ways, other current events and their impact legally.

Club Troppo
(their own description) a leading Australian weblog covering politics, law, economics, art, life and current affairs. With multiple collaboraters, this blog accumulates posts very quickly.
A mix of everything, bit of a grab bag. They post so often among the collaborators that if you don't care much for one post, there's plenty of other new material to choose from. 

Larvatus Prodeo
is an Australian group blog which discusses politics, sociology, culture, life, religion and science from a left of centre perspective.
Expect to find current affairs and the same kind of issues you'd expect to find on the news websites, with a different perspective.

Work Coach Cafe
hosted by Ronnie Ann offers workplace coaching, interview tips, job search advice, real life stories, and plenty of comfort and support.

Ask a Manager
Alison Green is a manager in a Fortune 500 company in the US. She answered readers questions on any matter you wish you could ask your own manager. She also blogs as part of US News.  

What Would Dad Say
GL Hoffman started a business, Job Dig, and shares miscellaneous stories about the business world, starting a business and general corporate stories. He also blogs at US News.

[frockwriter]
The new blog from Patty Huntington. Patty has previously blogged on SMH and Fully Chic @ news.com.au, and has made the move to "real" blogging (as opposed to Mainstream Media blogging). I first had my attention caught by Patty when she was at Fashion Season at SMH, and was involved in a PR power trip at New York Fashion Week, which you can read here.
Her posts read like excerpts from Vogue or any other high fashion mag, and have a refreshingly cool tone. Regular posting always important to me and Patty delivers.

Evil HR Lady
. Similar in style to Ask a Manager in that each post is a response to a question, but with a purely HR bent.  I must say some of the laws in the US are crazy!!


So thats some of the sites out there. I continue to look, except sometimes I wish I could close my eyes and freeze all the blogs in the world so I can catch up on them all!

Kenji

Its times like this I think how ignorant I am of relatively modern history.
This is a video of a song by Fort Minor (the guy from Linkin Park) about the Japanese internment. Unlikley subject for him (until the end), but very interesting.



Thanks to SkepticLawyer

Who's ring is this?

Guess which WOMAN this engagement ring belongs to?
Yes, it really is a woman's hand, and I too was surprised. Her husbands ex-wife has just undertaken court proceedings to establish how much this couple were recently paid for their wedding photos on a remote island. One has to ask how can she possibly think she'll be awarded any money from AFTER their marriage?
To fin out who this is, just drag your mouse below and highlight the section

CHRIS EVERT,
Greg Norman's new wife.


Weird hey. Man Hands

Here are some other celebrity engagement rings, just highlight the text to find out the answer, but have a guess first :)

Looking vastly different in this photo, (healthy?!?) this queen of WAG's sports a beautiful marquise diamond, and her (so far) lasting marriage to THE biggest Soccer star puts the taboo of the cut down the toilet. (This particular cut of diamond reportedly has the highest divorce rate going around). Sadly its been recently reported she's been advised against trying for a little girl for a 4th child as her body would not sustain it.
VICTORIA BECKHAM
(David Beckham)


The craziest of Hollywood marriages, the penultimate in kooky behaviour, stacked shoes, and (suspected) fake pregnancies. This actress used to be her own person, now she's simply married to that weirdo. This couple close friends of above-

KATIE HOLMES/CRUISE

(Tom Cruise)


Come On!
This is the second giant rock her husband had to buy after a public break up of his first engagement to a fellow player. He's tennis royalty, and after recently critizing the press for not leaving them alone, then went and sold the exclusive story rights to the news they're expecting their second child. .....
REBECCA CARTWRIGHT

(Hubby Lleyton Hewitt)

One of the most high profile divorces all started with this ring. This Beatle got more than he bargained for when he handed this over.
She hasn't got a leg to stand on......

HEATHER MILLS

(Paul McCartney)
A 2-for-1, both with recent births, with first baby pics sold to People for Millions of dollars.
Our lady on the left can get a bit Dirrty when she's out on the town while our lady on the right is no longer welcome at the Hilton.

L - CHRISTINA AGUILERA

R- NICOLE RICHIE
She just recently had a baby girl, their first, and he's one of the richest men in the world after the death of his father. Their marriage was a spectacle that included the family yacht and the French Riviera
A former model, she's working this pose-

ERICA BAXTER

(James Packer)
I guess marrying one of Formula One's drivers has to have its perks, and this giant rock must be one of them. Pity they never actually got married, I wonder if she had to give it back, perhaps he gave it to one of the string of women he's been engaged to...
SIMONE ABDELNOUR

(David Coulthard)



A rock and roll legend on his third marriage now, he divorced Rachel Hunter to take up with this model, and sensationally while in the process of divorcing, this model was dumped in favour of Hunter for lingerie brand Ultimo.

PENNY LANCASTER-STWEART

(Rod Stewart)


I don't care how famous she is, she'll always be Gerard Depardieu's daughter in that movie where she wears a G-string (for me)

KATHERINE HEIGL

Well I don't know about you but I can't stop looking at her breasts! And neither could anyone else who watched the Superbowl Half Time show a few years ago....
JANET JACKSON





Personally, I've always thought she was THE most beautiful woman in the world, and obviously Estee Lauder and her fabulously wealthy Indian (?) hubby think so too.

ELIZABETH HURLEY

The royal we love to hate, I LOVE her ring and when I worked in the Jewelery shop I covted a ring just like this one madly. Will she be Queen one day? Who knows....

CAMILLA PARKER-BOWLES

(Prince Charles)


This female pop-group member had her marriage explode after her English football (soccer) star husband was found to be cheating on her. She must have been happy when she got this though, its huge!

CHERYL TWEEDY (COLE)

(Ashley Cole)

Ghost ships and other maritime mysteries

I love stuff like this.
This is a picture from the Kaz II, which was found floating, empty, off the coast of Northern Queensland in April 2007.
The three man crew have not been found, nor their bodies recovered. They simply...disappeared.
Today's article on news.com.au at the Coronial Inquest details the feeling of the first rescuer on board
"It was eerie," Benson yesterday told the inquest in Townsville investigating the baffling disappearance of the crew of the Kaz II....


"I didn't know what I was going to find," said the crewman who was winched to the water in rough seas and swam to the back of the boat. "My biggest fear was being attacked by somebody who did not want me on the boat. I was 160km out to sea with no back-up.


"I didn't know if someone was going to burst through a cupboard and go at me with a knife.
 Items found on board included
a half-empty coffee cup. Clothes and a towel were piled on a bench. The engine was running - in neutral. Knives were strewn on the floor: but no sign of blood
Its fascinating. Perhaps the men staged their own deaths. Jumped on a tinny and rowed away. But then someone would have seen them leave Airlie Beach, their last known whereabouts with a second boat. Again if they'd scuba'd away, they would have needed to get oxygen tanks from somewhere. Someone had to have seen that.
The greatest Maritime mystery of all, is of course The Mary Celeste : not to be confused with the fictional fantastical version penned by Dr Arthur Conan Doyle in 1884, Marie Celeste.
The 'Mary Celeste' had sailed from New York on November 7th bound for Genoa with a cargo of 1701 barrels of American Alcohol, value approximatly $35,000 the purpose of which was to fortify wine.
On the Afternoon of December 5th 1872 half way between the Azores and the Portuguese coast .... Captain Morehouse recognised as the 'Mary Celeste'. He was puzzled to see the ship yawing, coming into the wind and then falling off, she was out of control. He knew Captain Briggs to be a good seaman.
There were no distress signals, and after watching for two hours and hailing her and getting no reply they set off in a small boat and duly boarded her. 
The vessel was found to be in good seaworthy condition and the general impression was that the crew had left in a great hurry. They had left behind their oil skin boots and pipes. Captain Morehouse's explanation was that they had left in panic thinking the vessel to be sinking. The sextant and marine chronometer were missing. The last entry on the ships slate showed she had made the island of St Mary in the Azores on November 25th.
The only lifeboat appeared to have been intentionally launched rather than torn away, suggesting the ship had been deliberately abandoned...
The cargo of 1,701 barrels of alcohol was intact, although when it was eventually unloaded in Genoa, nine barrels were found to be empty. A six-month supply of food and water was aboard. All of the ship's papers, except the captain's logbook, were missing.
Source Wikipedia
 Theories as to the real story of course abound,
One theory, aired by Flood in the admiralty court proceedings, is that the Mary Celeste was the victim of an act of piracy by the crew of the founding ship, who murdered those on board and then fabricated the story of the ghost ship with the aim of securing the salvage rights.

Of the theories consistent with the account given by the crew of the Dei Gratia, the most plausible are based on the barrels of alcohol. Briggs had never hauled such a dangerous cargo before and did not trust it. Nine leaking barrels would have caused a buildup of vapor in the hold.
Historian Conrad Byers believed that Captain Briggs ordered the hold to be opened, resulting in a violent rush of fumes and then steam. Believing the ship was about to explode, Briggs ordered everyone into the lifeboat, failing, in his haste, to properly secure it to the ship with a strong towline. The wind picked up and blew the ship away from them. The occupants of the lifeboat either drowned or drifted out to sea to die of hunger, thirst and exposure.
First put forth by the ship's owner, James Winchester, this theory is perhaps the most widely accepted explanation for the disappearance.
 Source Wikipedia
 
There is also the mystery of The Waratah in 1909. Billed as Australia's Titanic, she disappeared with 211 people on board, with no trace of wreckage, survivors or corpses. Built in Scotland, she was meant to be a passanger and cargo liner between London and Australia. After several uneventful voyages, she set out from Melbourne bound for the South African ports of Durban and Cape Town. She landed fine in Durban, according to reports,
...left Durban on 26 July with 211 passengers and crew. On 27 July , it passed the Clan McIntyre. On the evening of the same day, the Union-Castle Liner Guelph passed a ship and exchanged signals by lamp, but was only able to identify the last three letters of her name as "T-A-H."

The Waratah was expected to reach Cape Town on 29 July 1909. It never reached its destination, and no trace of the ship was ever found.

Initially, it was believed that the Waratah was still adrift. The Royal Navy deployed the cruisers HMS Pandora and HMS Forte (and later the HMS Hermes) to search for the Waratah. On 10 August 1909, a cable from South Africa reached Australia, reading

"Blue Anchor vessel sighted a considerable distance out. Slowly making for Durban. Could be the Waratah."        
 The ship is still missing to this day.

A fancy function indeed

I recently worked a very exclusive function, as wait staff for a small sit down affair. The client was a major Global Banking Corporation (very well known), very serious money going on.
I was quite nervous before it started as we'd been briefed that it was going to be a very formal affair, selected wines for different courses, all fine dining, when all I've done previously is finger food (with virtually no waitressing experience). The wine was served from decanters, and thank god the other guy I was working it with had previously worked at Rockpool, a classy Sydney restaurant, where they serve all their wine decanted (apparently).
They were very heavy, and I would never have been able to pour with them.

O
ne of the difficulties is that the section of the specialised venue they were in, was quite narrow, once they were seated there was absolutely no room behind them, so it was all reaching across and dow the table. Fine for the other guy, but I've got short arms! I suspect the gentlemen were quite looking forward to all the leaning (over them) actually, but thankfully I did little of it.
As the evening progressed I needn't have worried too much, basically the other guy was running the show, being much more experienced than myself, and I was there to support him. I didn't have to serve wine at all except for some initial glasses, so I stuck mainly to carrying plates and pouring water.

I
t was quite a small group though, especially when I'm more accustomed to function sizes of 100+, it was a single table, long enough to be a hassle reaching, small enough that it didn't need splitting. One of the things that interested me about the group was there was only one woman.
It was a party of executives, celebrating promotions, and I couldn't help but feel the glass ceiling must be well and truly in place. I could be wrong of course, perhaps there aren't many women pursuing Finance and Investment Banking as a career, and this woman certainly didn't look like she'd slept her way to the top.
In contrast, the organisers of the function were two lovely women in their thirties, fun, bubbly, easy on the eye, who, while not to cast aspersions in any way, could very well have slept their way there.
At the end of the day however, people are simply people. And even well-to-do, overpaid executives get rowdy when they've had too much to drink, breaking glasses, swearing too much (dropping the C-bomb!). I think it was a successful night though, there was much laughter interspersed with the "shop-talk" and even a bit of gossip.

W
e farewelled them, thanked them for their tip (which was very nice Thank You)

Well there's the haves and the have nots, and the Haves (had)
Wines served included
Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 1980 This would have been close to $500 a bottle, and it was OFF!
Penfolds Grange 1995 - If you click through this link you'll see that the first Grange's can sell for $50K a bottle! When this was decanted the corks disintergrated, which is apparently quite common, but I'm glad the waiter was pouring it, I would have freaked out if that had been me!
2006 Noble One by De Bortoli (dessert wine) -Depending on the vintage, about $50 a bottle. I managed to snaffle a 3/4 full bottle to take home of this one...
We ran through approximately 110 wine glasses, for one function, with ONE TABLE! Thats how many wines were served, 2 wines for each of the three courses, plus Mo√ęt on arrival (with canapes). I was thoroughly sick of polishing the glasses by the end.

I'm certainly not built for full time hospitality, I was totally fagged at the end.

That asshole in your rearview mirror might just be me


I'm quite an aggressive driver. I know this, but don't try to tell me, its embarrassing enough knowing it myself without others pointing it out.

I
ts not that I'm road raging all the time, but I have a tendency to be impatient, especially when I'm running late, which is often. I have been known to beep my horn on occasion, but I draw the line at screaming at someone out my window. That kind of shit gets you arrested.
I have been known to be the person zooming down the lane that is about to run out, but only if I'm really pressed for time so I don't feel guilty about doing it. When I'm not late, I make the effort to sit in the other lanes (I always sit in the lane that won't have people merge into it at all), trying not to fume, and I tell myself "they might have a sick relative they're rushing to get to".

I
always wonder if other people on the road are aware of "the rest of us".
An example from this morning. The majority of my journey is on a four lane road (2 each way). There are technically kerbside lanes also but they're full of parked cars, so useless for driving on.
Today there were two cars driving almost parallel with each other, leaving no room to pass either of them, frustrating the hell out of literally every car behind them!
And I'm positive they didn't know each other, different ages, different nationalities, I think they were honestly oblivious to the rest of the traffic trying to co-exist with them.
It drives me nuts!

I
kind of hate it too, as I recognise I'm doing it. Almost every morning for the last three weeks I have thought about this post, starting it in my head. Think about that.
Almost every morning for the last three weeks, at some point in my journey to work, I have thought, "I am an aggressive driver". That's so depressing. All that wasted energy.

F
or a while I drove the back way to and from work, not because it was quicker, it isn't. But because its pretty, the view is nicer, and everyone is just ambling along. Its all one lane, so no passing, but that helps me chill out a bit more. And if I'm not hooning around, and someone is sitting on my tail, I think to myself, "this isn't the faster way, if you wanted to hoon you should have gone the main road" so I don't feel guilty about sitting on 55 km/h (still technically speeding in a 50 zone anyway!)

M
y most shameful driving incident to date, was a few weeks ago. I had just left work, didn't have a good day, so already on the wrong foot.
I've done a diagram to explain it better. I'm in the Pink car (of course)
So I was approaching the traffic lights, and just as they went green, the car in front of me (blue) stopped to allow a car from the side street (purple)to ease into the traffic. I was immediately pissed off as in my experience, whenever that happens, both the cars in front of me will make it through the lights, but I won't*.
And that's exactly what happened, I only just missed the green light.

S
o what did I do?
What every rational person does of course, I leaned on my horn, repeatedly, to express my frustration as the car drove through the lights and off into the sunset. I was that frustrated I could have cried (and nearly did). I may have kind of screamed at myself. (With all the windows up)
It was absolutely ridiculous!

I
felt like an utter twit after I'd calmed down, the light changed again and I drove away, the rest of the journey incident free. To exacerbate matters, M was away on business for the night so where I would normally come home, have a vent and a hug, and felt ten times better, there was just our empty house and my ridiculous temper tantrum to keep me company.

*(not without running a RED light, which for all my law breaking, I don't do, even when very annoyed)

Paris Hilton for President?!?!?

This is what happens when you try to use someone like Paris Hilton to slag off your opponent without asking her. Someone pays her bucketloads of money to make fun of you in response.


And ....Here's the original McCain ad...

World Youth Day, a guest post

M got the opportunity to see the Pontiff from a VIP seat when he arrived by "boatacade". He recounts his experience as a practicing Catholic and ponders why it didn't really hit the mark for him personally.


The green bags on each of the seats are branded with Xt3, "catholic Facebook"
Somewhere along the line, the chance of me getting anything out of World Youth Day 2008 went swiftly down the gurgler…

There’s two main factors which have contributed to this.

Pilgrimage!? - 75% of the World Youth Day appeal to me is the pilgrimage. While having WYD on our doorstep is so great for thousands of Sydneysiders, both Catholic and non-Catholics alike who would never otherwise get to experience WYD, and probably would never otherwise dream of being in the same country as the Pope, let alone laying eyes on him, but for me, having WYD and all of the associated events so close to home, and so accessible has really taken the pilgrimage aspect out of WYD for me.

Business – The last 2 projects I have been involved in at work have been fairly influenced by WYD. On my last project, we were building on land owned by the Archdiocese of Sydney. We had to ensure the project was complete in time so that settlements could be called, and profit recognised in the appropriate financial year that funding for WYD activities was ensured.My current project is in a public domain close to where some WYD activities are being held. As such, there was a big push to accelerate our programme so that our works would not effect the movement of pilgrims to the WYD activities.
The result of this is that WYD has become for me all about business.

Over the past 12 months I have kept my head low when the question gets asked about who’s doing what for WYD. When specifically asked – I always replied with “I’m not too sure what’s doing with work yet – I’ll sort something out later” which was not at all a lie – here we are in the middle of WYD (week) and I’m still not sure what we can / can’t be doing at work, but I am catching up on a lot of paperwork!

All week, well actually for the previous couple of weeks, I have been thinking that I should make the most of the opportunity while it’s here. So I checked out www.wyd2008.org and tried to work out what I could get along to – maybe checking out the boat-a-cade, on the harbour, hanging out in Randwick somewhere on Sunday? Although, this would clash with footy… Then all of sudden our General Manager walks into our office and asked if anyone wanted a ticket to the Papal Arrival at Barangaroo. Here it was – a sign perhaps? So I jumped at it – and it turned out to be a VIP ticket, with a seat and everything.

I found myself sitting there today, waiting for the boat-a-cade, sitting there on my own, wanting to be all of a sudden inspired, or touched by the moment – waiting for my very own miracle perhaps. I was questioning what I was doing in the VIP area. Without even thinking about it, I could think of two dozen people who belonged in a VIP area at WYD 2008 more than me, amazing people who put so much time and effort into the Church, and who are Extremely Important People in the Church, and their hard work is seldom recognized.

Then the boat arrived, people standing on the balconies waving, and then the doors opened and a smiling, waving Pope Benedict XVI. And it was here, in the VIP area, I realised that it wasn’t the people I considered VIP’s that were missing out, it was me. The WYD spirit wasn’t in among the plastic chairs of the VIP area, it was in the stalls, among the pilgrims – whether they hailed from Millers Point, Manly, Paupa New Guinea, or Germany, they all had the true pilgrim spirit. It was a really lonely, and empty feeling which made me regret my indecision in organising (or not organizing) to be a part of WYD 2008.

So Pope Benedict XVI gets off the boat, and I was standing up against the temporary fence where I thought there may have been a chance the Popemobile would drive on his way to centre stage. I was at a cross road, I really wanted the Popemobile to drive past me (where I would have been no more than a meter from him), but at the same time I knew that was not what WYD was all about. The opemobile took off, and to my excitement, I watched as it took off, in totally the opposite direction to where I was standing, and right through the centre of the pilgrims – and the people who really deserved it got a chance to get up close and personal with Pope Benedict XVI.

I got that lonely feeling again, and thought about some of the really great times I have had at Black Stump. I realised that it wasn’t so much being there, and having the experiences that I got such a kick out of, it was having the people around you to share them with.
I think had I been there with someone, anyone, who I could share the experience with I would have enjoyed it a lot more, but I ended up walking away from this afternoon a little flat – without the miracle I was looking for.

In saying that, I can now say that I have seen the Pope in person. I remember as a kid watching people like Pope John Paul II, and Princess Diana, driving through the streets and watching the hundreds of thousands people lining the streets, and thinking how amazing it would be to be that close to such inspirational people, and here I was, looking at Pope Benedict XVI in the flesh it was surreal!

I think my outlook to WYD also reflects to my attitude towards church in general at the moment. I still commit my 1 hour every week, but not a whole lot more than that. There is so much happening with work, football, and planning a big overseas holiday, that my faith has taken a bit of a back seat of late. I am a believer, and nothing will change that. My faith is a big part of what makes me who I am, but I am finding it a little hard at the moment to spend more than my hour a week developing my faith.

So for those of you who have read this far, if you are that way inclined, I ask that you keep me in your prayers, and help me not so much rekindle my faith, but help the faith in me burn brighter.

You hated it, but ate it anyway?

Now I'm not trying to make excuses, but M finally gave me his head cold after two weeks of staving it off. Take THAT immune system!
Sorry its been a bit quiet, I've got some stuff I'll put up tonight hopefully, in the meantime, a Not Always Right from our own sunny Aussie shores:

Don’t Mess With Mum

Restaurant | Sydney, Australia
(I’m working in a busy cafe that my mum owns. A man approaches the counter with his plate; it is empty.)
Customer: “Excuse me?”

Mum: “Yes?”

Customer: “This food had too much oil in it.”
(The plate is hidden from her view by the large counter, behind which, she is washing dishes.)

Mum: “Oh…? What, you want me to make you another one? You’d still have to pay for at least one.”

Customer: “No, I want a refund.”

Mum: “Can I see the plate?”
(Customer holds up plate; it is basically empty: some left over slices of lettuce, a little bit of bread.)

Customer: “There was too much oil. I didn’t like it.”

Mum: “But… you finished it off. How can you finish a whole meal you hate? Are you kidding me?”

Customer: “No.”

Mum: “Get the f*** out of my store!”

Customer: “What?”

Mum: “F*** off!”

And You'll be pleased to hear I've finally read the entire archive so I can concentrate on working again hehehehe (and submitting my own entry!)

On a scale of 1-5...



Where 1 is not-so-bad and 5 is back-away-from-the-internet

Which is worse?
  1. Trawling the Facebook profile of your ex-bf
  2. Trawling the Facebook profile of your husband's ex-GF
  3. Trawling Facebook profiles of people you barely know
  4. Trawling Facebook for acquaintances of old (which may or may not include old hook-ups)
(why do I always end up doing this on Friday afternoons?)

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