Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I read an article in the Granny Herald today (sorry, couldn't find it online to link to) that talked about happiness being a choice.

Although I have been working like a fool and the weather has been crap (cold and rain are NOT my idea of fun!), I have found myself happier recently.

(Now that I've said it, I'm sure it will all crap out on me, says my cynical side.)

I attribute it to The Trouser being extra-sweet, the wonders of Bio-Oil (great skin always cheers me, and this is a big gain for very little effort), and lots and lots of peaceful knitting time.

In fact, I don't think I would feel as sane or centred as I do if I wasn't knitting. It may be weird, but it has really calmed me.

Wishing I had a digital camera to show y'all what lovely things I'm making. Especially the bootees and hat for Violet (well, her baby anyway). They are so tiny and so cottony-cute!

Did you ever read the Charlie Brown book, Happiness is? For me, happiness is a warm house with The Trouser and time to knit.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Advice for prospective carpet un-layers

Thinking of ripping up your carpet?

If I were you, I'd get movers to move all the furniture, and carpet ripper-uppers to remove the carpet.

It is heavy, dusty work and sometimes there are hidden "treasures" under the carpet and/ or underlay. Like bits of stanley knives, or nails, or both.

Carpet is heavy and even if you vacuum regularly, dusty. Underlay perishes and creates more dust.

It also hurts your hands if you aren't an original hard-arse like me. Wear gloves.

It's also a good idea to make sure that you're prepared to wash and/ or wipe down anything that you leave out. That dust gets everywhere!

The actual pulling-up is quite fun. Enjoy that part.

Carpet is quite heavy. Have strong friends and/ or a trolley to move it.

Don't take your carpet to the tip - you have to pay for that. Sell it on Trademe - you'll be pleasantly surprised as to the amount you'll make (we're not talking huge figures here, but it's free money anyway).

Oh, and above all, have a plan. If you don't, you are likely to have a few shouting matches. (I always win them but it is noisy and probably unnecessary nonetheless!)

Next time we do this, I think we probably will hire movers or bribe lots of strong people to help with the furniture. And to move the carpet out. And to move the furniture back around for the carpet layer, both as he's working and once he's done.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Someone I work with is either insubordinate, or stupid, or both.

Either way, there is no point ignoring my instructions when I give training. Being a wee bit control-freak-ish, I prefer to do my own work, even if it means I work late (like now, when I'm the last person in the building). That way you know it is done, and done well.

I've trained up other people and it's been dreamy - we do some initial training, they try it out, they ask questions, I answer, we modify a few processes, and hey, presto! Someone who does a great job. Sometimes there's even initiative - and sometimes I don't even have to fully explain what I want, because the people already know what I'm going to ask for! Genius!

Other people get arrogant and decide that they know best right from the get-go, even with no knowledge of the subject. They screw things up and look stupid.

Me, I like a bit of training from the experts. But I'm funny like that.

Meanwhile I'm trying to find the time to explain why I need an assistant - OK, a mini-me, really - and what they'd do. So far all I can think of is updating my blog a bit more, filing (in my dreams!), and beating on The Arrogant One.

Memo to self: must make time to make an actual list and/ or job description for mini-self.

Friday, June 24, 2005


I forgot to blog all about the carpet ripping-up process (dusty and involving yelling), how we got rid of it (and the crappy underlay), and how the carpet-laying was a revelation.

I have also been too cheery to have a well-deserved bitch about some relatives who have royally screwed with our planned holiday by reneging on the offer of accommodation, and are too busy to even pick us up from the airport.

Ah well, instead I'll leave it till Monday.

This weekend, I plan to visit the library and relax (i.e. knit). Speaking of relaxing, Violet, is this hat too crazy? (Your baby will be cuter of course!)


* New carpet.

* Hot chamomile tea.

* Progress on my knitting.

* Scarves, even when they detract from the aesthetic of the outfit.

* Cheesy chips (like Twisties or Burger Rings, except I have the Indonesian versions of them, whcih are perhaps even better).

* The Trouser being extra-sweet.

* Did I mention our lovely, stylish, clean, warm, plumpy new carpet?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The definition of dodgy

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Employee benefits

I once worked for a large NZ firm, in a "cool, hip" division. This was at the very tail end of the Internet boom.

We had Sky, couches, brightly-coloured meeting rooms, a lolly jar and an espresso machine.

The first 3 had minimal impact on me, though I did try to eat lunch on the couches, as opposed to at my desk.

The latter 2, however, were detrimental to my health. Combine ridiculous deadlines from a crazy boss (it was certified - well, kind of!) with loads of stress, 8 flat whites per day (highly sugared, of course), frequent forays into the lolly jar, and little time to make, find or eat a proper lunch, and I was a sick little girl.

Systemic candida. Nice.

I'm more sensible now, and wary of over-sugaring myself. I try to eat acidophilus yogurt or garlic at least once a day (though never in the same meal, since they kill each other off).

But Google's display of yummy treats still gets a longing look or three...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Food for thought

I read an interesting article on Stuff today. Briefly, it attributed the overall drop in abortion rates to the fact that fewer Asian students were coming here, and that the drop in numbers for this group pretty much accounted for the overall drop.

I don't know if the summary - by an anti-abortion group - is right or not. You can read the full article here.

Anyway, I'm blogging about it because it reminded me of someone I know.

What frightens me is that in this day and age, I know young women living in New Zealand who seriously didn't realise that having unprotected sex once meant they could get pregnant and/ or STDs.

Not silly fools: smart girls, both academically and socially. Some of them came from families and backgrounds where sex education was taboo, but they still got the basics at school, and it somehow failed to get through.

One of the hardest discussions I ever had was with a sibling's good friend.

Her boyfriend was hitting her, and she took some convincing to understand that this was not ok. Then she mentioned that he made her have sex with him when she didn't want to. She didn't seem to understand that he was raping her - because she figured you can't be raped by someone you know.

Then the penny dropped, and I asked if they'd been "safe". They hadn't, and I had to explain that she could be pregnant. Since she'd also said that her boyfriend had unprotected sex with other women, I also explained that she could have STDs.

It was really, really hard for me to understand how she could be so naive. It was even harder for me to understand why she was refusing to go to the doctor. I only got her there by threatening to report her boyfriend to the police and tell her parents the full story.

In the end, she was incredibly lucky. Furthermore, she ditched the boyfriend. I came with her to talk to her lecturers to ensure that they understood at least some of the situation so they could keep her safe.

Here's the irony though: she was studying to be a doctor.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Multicoloured fingers?

Some people would say I have green fingers, because our plants are happy, even when they are negelcted.

Some people would allege that I have no fingers, because they move so quickly over the keyboard (well, the 4 fingers and my thumbs move quickly - the rest are kind of surplus to typing requirements for me!).

The Trouser would say that recently I've had black fingers. This is because the wool I'm using to knit my cardigan (when I'm not attempting other things) is "bleeding" wool all over my fingers as I knit.

It does wash off... kind of... My fingernails had a faintly dirty tinge, despite loads of washing, so I cut them off.

Damn you, producers of inferiorly-dyed wool!

Monday, June 13, 2005

What we ended up doing on the weekend

What I'd planned for the weekend was, as always, quite ambitious. There is always lots to do, but as usual, we didn't manage it all. Ah well c'est la vie!

However, we did manage: brunch @ Byzantium; a trip to buy wool and stationery supplies (tho not the exciting trip I'd planned, it did the trick); dropping off books to be sold; some work for The Trouser and some knitting and a nap for me; about 4 loads of laundry; some good tv watching; 2 trips to the supermarket; making pizza dough and catching up with my family; and tidying one room up for the carpet.

The Trouser even managed a bath, the lucky sod.

All in all, not an entirely unsuccessful weekend, both work- and relaxation-wise. It is always a struggle to do all the chores in the weekend (since The Trouser seems to think my "do 15 minutes every night and there will be loads less to do in the weekend" approach is a good idea only in theory), and to balance that with the amount of relaxation we need, but I think we did ok this weekend.

We're well on track for the carpet-ripping-up session later this week: all I need to do is get some boxes to make moving our fiddly stuff around easier, and work on a plan to move it all. That, and figure how to get the dye from the black wool I've been knitting to stop staining my fingernails...

Another pizza-related question: lots of tomato paste, or very little? (I prefer it a couple centimetres thick.)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Weekend plans

Do you plan your weekend, or does it all just kind of happen?

I'm from the "make some plans, including time to chill out" camp myself - I like to make sure I'll get important things done, but I also need a heavy dose of relaxation at the weekends, particularly as work has been quite busy.

This weekend, for example, we've got to tidy up for our new carpet (AKA clearing out loads 'o' crap to give to the City Mission so we can manage our possessions), visit wool shop I heard about for my knitting (I only ever get around to visiting at weekends, thanks to work!), do the grocery shopping, do general laundry and cleaning stuff, sort out the plants that are going a bit crazy on the balcony, return my library books, relax, and visit my parents.

Actually, the last bit was my idea. Ever since my youngest brother left home and their supply of houseguests ran out, the parentals have seemed a bit lonely. My dad especially, I think because he is lucky enough not to work full-time, and because he is still adjusting to my grandmother (his mum) not being here.

Hot on the heels of our recent and very successful pizza-making dinner, I decided to introduce the parentals to the joys of *delicious* home-made pizza.

I emphasise "delicious" here, because for years my dad's idea of great "home-made" pizza has been to get a frozen pizza and add stuff on top (like pasta sauce and lots of cheese and some weird stuff that was left over) and cook it till the edges are waaaay too cooked and the centre is warmed through, but the cheese on the frozen pizza base is not yet melty.

They were the pizza horrors of my childhood, and in many ways it is a miracle that any of us still eat pizza. But I am willing to be brave and re-educate dad - plus, since I'm making the dough, we will all have several individual mini-pizzas to create/ desecrate as we wish.

My mother, incidentally, is a no-pineapple kind of person. Fool.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Today, happiness is looking at these cards.

I usually get this one, and sometimes even with presents, which are always lovely to receive. I have so many of this card that I brought one in to work, where it sits amongst my plants.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Work, work, work (and a spot of knitting)

All I seem to do at the moment is work. Occasionally, in my spare time (a shrinking commodity), I knit (stuff for other people).

Don't get me wrong - I usually love my job, and finally after nearly 2 years I am starting to get the credit for my good (and hard) work. But it all seems a bit much, really - I'm too old for 50-hour weeks.

In response to all this work, my immune system started to go bonkers late last week, and I took Friday afternoon off sick. And most of the weekend, since I felt like death. The sore throat had gone - but the energy was still missing.

After a weekend of doing not very much (except the requisite chores, which took a lot of time, and sending some free texts - cheers Vodafone!), I was beginning to feel okay again. Complete trepidation about coming in to work on Tuesday, but okay otherwise.

Now I feel enthused about work again, despite the promise of a week of very long days, but quite, quite tired.

On the knitting front, I'm working on a cardigan to give to a relative for our overseas odyssey this August. It is 1 of 2 cardigans required for the trip - plus a pair of socks. Oh, plus the cardigan I'd like to knit for myself because it is pretty and black and thus versatile and a good packing option.

Only one of my knitting fingers has begun to complain.

I think my fingers can either handle:
1. very little knitting, or
2. loads and loads of knitting

but nothing in between. Oh well, only half a front and 2 sleeves to go before I can make a start on my lovely new cardigan.