I went to the periodontist today. It was my initial treatment to fix my gums and save my teeth.
He worked on my teeth for 30 minutes and it cost $800. By my reckoning, that is $1600 an hour. $1600 an hour? Now, I don't know what you think, but when I thought about it, that is outrageous. Oh yes, university training, blah blah blah. Sure, of course that is true. Hygiene, oh yes, of course. But, my cleaner is similarly involved in my hygiene and she earns nothing near that amount.
But, even if I paid him, let's say, $100, that would be $200 an hour, which, in my book, is still very well paid. $150 for 30 minutes, $300 an hour. That is also very well paid.
Outrageous, when you consider that it is always a drama when the lowest paid members of our society ask for a pay rise through the fair work commission and it is always a drama. The commissioners hum and ha over whether is should be increased by $2 or $2.50. How can the lowest paid people always get their cost of living rise cut or modified, or debated and become a part of the national interest when there are people earning $1600 an hour.
Where is the outrage when periodontists raise their hourly rate? I ask you?
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
My pumpkin is home. Yay! I picked him up from the airport at 10am. He's still just too gorgeous. I gave him a big hug and kiss. I think we shocked a woman standing near by as I ran up to him and grabbed him. Swung him around and around and around, as the music played. Crescendo’d. The strings soared. Okay, the spinning round and the violins were, quite possibly, only in my head, but they felt good none the less.
Kiss. Hug. Squeeze.
He sniffed out the car window, on the way home. "I so missed the fresh air."
I rested my hand on his leg, I didn’t realise how much I missed that.
He's slow, though, really slow, moving at a glacial pace. He keeps telling me he is exhausted. A six and half hour train ride, an hours aeroplane ride and then an eight hour aeroplane ride to Melbourne... with stop overs of varying time in between each. So he's been travelling for 48 hours on his journey home. So, I guess he has a case.
We ate Japanese in Carlton for lunch. The sun shone down and a cool breeze blew. We slept in the afternoon.
"We can't do this, we have to get you back onto Melbourne time."
Of course, I kissed him first. Licked him, pulled his clothes off. Big smile.
He's missing his maid from home... but he is glad to be back. He keeps clapping his hands to be waited on and then questions why it doesn't work. He's still funny. Of course, that is more a comment on how he expects to be treated here by his honey, who would be me, than anything that happened back home.
He's laying on my couch with his tongue hanging out. “I’m exhausted.” Clap, clap. "Where’s my drink?" Clap, clap. "Where’s my watermelon?" I'm running around getting him things... and I don't mind one little bit.
I cooked him a sausage pasta for dinner. It turned out rather well. I introduced him to Chinotto, which he hated. Too biter. "Oh the after taste is horrible." Cough cough. "Euw! Yuck!"
He feels nice in my arms, just where he is supposed to be. I can rub his hair again and smell him in long slow sniffs.
He's worried that he won't be able to write computer code. I kissed his handsome face. "Don't worry, babe. The salt mines aren't for three days. We still have the weekend."
I like it when he pats my hair and plays with my ear… nonchalantly.
“I’m exhausted,” he says. “Let’s go to bed. Oh… come on! NOW!”
So, you can see, he’s still bossy.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
I head to bed around midnight, when the nocturnal rummaging’s of off-his-face Shane start. He’s clearly “on the prowl” probably on grindr trying to entice someone over to play with him. Someone to be tied up, wrapped in cling film, or pissed on. Or all three.
The long slow night of drug intoxication trying to procure a playmate who will come around and bolster his sense of self worth.
I hear his footsteps on the stairs late into the night.
I sit up in bed and read blogs. The cool night air floats into my room, fresh and clean and cool.
I hear a voice from the street with some guy talking. I try to ignore it, but he doesn't stop.
Blah, blah, blah. Bah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah.
Oh really, I have to go and look.
I head over to my balcony doors and peer surreptitiously over the railing to see this guy standing in the middle of the street in his dressing gown on the phone. He's from the house over the road, as the front door is open. It is hot, TV's blaze through open French doors in upstairs bedrooms. I kneel down and push my face up against the tulip balustrades. Dressing gown boy is talking, giving instructions in a sexy tone, clearly he is interested in whoever it is he is talking to. That and his hand seems to keep disappearing inside his robe in search of something. I can't, actually, see the detail, but I can make out what he is doing in silhouette. He stands there gazing down the street. A short time later, a girl walks up the middle of the street to him, talking to him on her mobile phone. They sit on the footpath and talk awhile smoking cigarettes, she sits down on the edge of the footpath, he seems a little more toey than that, preferring to remain standing for the most part. Once they have finished smoking, they go inside.
Mark and Luke call at 3am from Ho Chi Minh City, from their some what sartorial, read tacky, hotel room. They laugh.
"Gorgeous isn't it."
They have not long checked in and are tired. They will catch a connecting flight tomorrow.
I’m awake around 9am, just before. My balcony doors are open, of course, and I pull on my black track pants so I can stand in the open double doorway to survey the morning, feel the temperature and not get arrested, before I close the doors.
I need a piss so I head into the bathroom. I sit down on the toilet, like a girl, because I am barely awake and it is nice taking it slow in the quiet of the morning.
As soon as I sit down, I hear movement in Shane’s room and clearly someone is getting out of bed and coming into the toilet. They are on their way. I finish quickly and get up and stand in front of the mirror, just in time to stop a sweaty, stocky guy in a dog collar from entering the room.
“Oh, sorry, sorry, sorry,” he says. I push the door closed.
Shane’s need for approval, a relationship, a boyfriend, need not to be alone, has always out weighed his judgement, somewhat. I mean, this guy could have been perfectly nice but, you know, I have seen first hand the, shall we say, low bench mark Shane is willing to accept and this guy, upon a fleeting glimpse, is right up to scratch, or should that be, down to the depths.
Anyway, I’m sure it wont be long before he parades this loser downstairs and I’ll have to be nice to him and make small talk knowing all the while that I will never see him again.
I head down to the lounge room where I make coffee and prepare muesli and switch on my laptop and read the entertainment news. Santo would roll his eyes.
"Do you think I care about, so called, celebrities?"
I read about the new film J Edgar. I note that the first session is at 10.50, over an hour away. Sweet. But, I also note that it is opening day and a public holiday and do I really need to mix it with the great unwashed when I can just as easily go to the delightful $6 Monday on Monday. Then I think about Santo and think that now that he is home, nearly, tomorrow, I should wait and see it with him.
Mark called from Ho Chi Minh City to ask for Jane’s phone number, so he can call Jay. He and Luke are good and looking forward to crusty bread and jam and coffee for breakfast Vietnamese style.
Don’t you love Skype? I know I love Skype? I talk to Mark and Luke, no matter where they are in the world and it costs me nothing? It is great!
It’s quiet at midday, just the wind blowing outside, under the blue sky and the golden sun.
Santo messages me good morning. He messages me instructions to start looking for a job. Come on! Chop chop! Apparently, we have to make investments and travel overseas and generally amass wealth and think about our future. Really?
I agree. I keep him talking, messaging, just because I miss him… not because I could care about the future.
He’s home tomorrow. 10am. Yay! He seems to have been away forever. Ages. Going on months.
Shane comes down with, who turns out to be, McKenzie who is really very nice and I should be eating all my previous nasty words. Well, I mean, my words aren’t really meant to be nasty, just a record of events, and they are not meant to be judgemental, just a statement of fact.
Reading back over this, it is hard to actually make that claim with any kind of credibility, I realise, but I am going to none the less. Just because McKenzie is nice it doesn’t make the previous any less true.
I don’t mean it is true of everyone Shane hooks up with, of course that is not true. It is just that it can be true when Shane is on drugs... and one just has to wait and see which way it is going to go.
Everything I have said is probably true of me when I am single and on drugs too.
I think I have met McKenzie before, although I can’t remember where?
They disappear upstairs again to do god knows whatever to each other and basically I am on my own for the day.
I wanted to take photos all day and I did wander up the Victoria Parade and take some earlier in the day. It is a gorgeous sunny day, perfect for taking photos. Late in the afternoon, I take myself off for a walk (exercise) around Carlton and I take my camera and take photos on my way.
Santo calls from KL airport and we chat on Skype. He looks so handsome. Not long now, a few hours and he will be getting on the plane.
He’s halfway home.
Travel safe. May the universe look after my precious cargo.
Shane heads off to McKenzie’s in South Yarra saying he can’t sleep in his bed because it is wet. I hope that is with perspiration and not anything else.
The house is quiet, still and serene. Nothing stirs, nothing at all. Over and out.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Missy is emaciated, compared to her old self. Mark thinks she looks fabulous. Thin is always better with Mark… even the cat, my god, Mark’s mother did a great job on him regarding “fatness.” It was his mother who spread the phobia, as she power walked in her pink tack suit with weights in each of her hands extolling the virtues of "slim is best, dear."
Missy now looks like a slim cat, where before she was a fat cat. It’s not that she looks bad now, but there has been a dramatic change, for no other reason than her more expensive food has been changed for cheap food.
This is one area where generic branding may have to be reviewed? Missy has lost a huge amount of weight since I have had her on cheap generic food. Maybe it is not nutritious enough for her. Tim says she is over 20 years old, so maybe she has moved into the geriatric cat phase. Or maybe she is sick? Sickness seems the least likely, a she seems happy enough. She still seems to be her old self. Her behaviour hasn’t changed in anyway. So I’m going with the need for more nutrition and I’m going to buy her a bag of her old food to see what affect that has on her.
We left the house by 9.30, to get Mark and Luke to the airport by 10am. It was much cooler this morning, much nicer than the sweltering heat of yesterday. I dropped them off at the door to the departures, waving them good bye.
I parked behind the shops in Smith Street, on the way home and went and got a haircut. For Santo for Friday. He hates long hair and not that mine was long, as such, but it was beginning to get volume and length beyond short, if you know what I mean. Smile. He’ll be back Friday. Bigger smile.
I sat in the chair with my eyes closed, for the most part, enjoying the touch of my fat-boy barber’s hands. Sometimes I think the artificial effort we put in with the hairdresser and conversation is just too much. Today I didn’t feel like "the talking", so I didn’t. There is something nice about closing your eyes and just letting the barber move your head as he sees fit. Side to side, like the lapping of the water on a boat's hull.
Then, I went to the bulk billing doctor and signed up to see him. Finally. Do it now! Don’t procrastinate! You don’t have to give it any more thought.
I got to the door when I realised I forgot my glasses, so I headed back to the car to get them. When I got back, there were two Sudanese chicks with kids and prams who’d got in just before me, who had just turned up as well and I had to wait for them and their children to have their turn, clearly, in a surgery which had been empty before the five of us arrived. I cursed my stupidity at forgetting my glasses, otherwise, I could have been in and out in practically five minutes. I laughed at myself thinking that I didn’t have a full day of appointments ahead of me and to just relax and stare at the wall blankly, as calm people do in waiting rooms. It did give me time to think about the implications of a doctor’s surgery that, obviously, wasn’t popular. I got a script for Nexium and had the wart frozen off my chin. No more witchy pooh!
The best bit was that it cost me nothing. My usual doctor charges something like $70 per consultation now, some of which I get back, of course. But is there any sense in doing that when it is only a script that I, so often, want? It is apart of my “going homebrand” for the sake of the budget... and unemployment.
I came home and pissed around for a short time, turning my PC on to check my blog sizing on that computer. The sizing seems different on a Mac to a PC, it seemed to be huge on a PC, I’m not sure why.
While sitting at that computer, I saw all the bills that I hadn’t paid, which were now over due. "Oh damn, the late fees."
"Slack", Santo would say… if I told him. (Not to self – he reads your blog. Grin. Hi Babe. Wave.)
So, I got them all together and headed to the post office and the Westpac bank, post haste, despite it being 12.30 and lunchtime. "Are you mad," as Anthony would say.
I should rent out my spare room again and get the cash in, or set up Internet banking, there is no in between.
Oh the lunch time crowds… why?... when you can do it at anytime during the day. I walked down to Smith Street with a sense of trepidation…
But YAY, people must still be on holidays and there weren’t any queues anywhere. You’ve got to love that, you've got to love it when the great unwashed are absent. It makes a change from when things are in the full swing of the business year and there is a queue out the door and onto the footpath even at the bakery.
Of course, I blame it on all the medium density housing that has been going on around here. The terrible traffic jams are all so to be blamed on the flats "they" are building everywhere.
I read today they is a major over supply of apartments in Melbourne. With the way they are building them EVERY WHERE that is no surprise to me.
I came home and re-wrote passages on my blog. Is it a case of needing to put in more effort, put in more time rewriting and perfecting, rather than thinking that I am wasting my time with my blog? Maybe the problem is that I am not taking my blog seriously enough?
I didn’t think about jobs.
The news is saying that job positions are drying up as we head for another GFC.
I don’t care.
I ate scrambled eggs and ham for lunch. It was lovely too.
My ex-girlfriend Leah was supposed to drop in for coffee around 16.30, but she didn’t turn up. I didn’t really pursue it, as I’m not at all sure that I want to see her anyway. She’s just been a fucking bitch the last few times I have seen her. She has turned into such a “Sydney” person (Read cunt) that I’m not sure I can be bothered with her. But, I guess, I should at least try, we’ve known each other since we were teenagers... lost out virginity together and all that.
However, I can’t really hide the fact that I am relieved when she doesn’t turn up. (Ed note - from who? You are home alone at the time) See, left in the hands of the “forces of human nature,” maybe the correct out come is arrived at?
I decided that I’d rather go for an hours walk in the warm afternoon sunshine, than chase her up. Maybe the problem here is that I am not self focused enough as the rest of them, as Leah is.
I need to be more self focused on me… maybe. It’s always been my problem, really and what I should learn from all of this. Too laid back = too lazy, in my case.
Actually, my problem has always been a lack of confidence in myself. Shrug.
I saw the cutest house open for inspection in X Street. #233 the white house behind Wollies. If Santo wants to buy another house and one in Fitzroy, at approx. 700K and gorgeous this one is perfect.
I decide to give Leah one last opportunity and text her sometime after 6pm regarding our meeting, when I get home.
I get in the shower.
Shane came home saying he has a four day weekend. He headed out later saying he “has things to do.”
I know that this translates into he’s heading out to buy drugs.
Leah called and said I didn’t confirm our coffee date so she didn’t think it was on. “What the F are you like,” she said. “I didn’t hear from you... blah blah blah.”
11th Jan texts
“I’ll be in town for 25th, do you want to have a catch up?
I said, “yes I’d be in town that would be lovely.”
“I’ve got a meeting at 4.30, I’ll come around after that.”
And because I didn’t confirm after that, she said she didn’t here from me.
I tired to be breezy, told how I’d seen this great house and how I should down size.
Then she started with her criticisms, about how awful my house is. Disgusting, I think is what she said. The Amityville horror house. She only understands modern chic stainless steal and glass, she doesn’t comprehend period style. She has that non-style of Sydney, you know, where style is whatever is in fashion for that particular millisecond.
Then it was why don’t you sell it?
Why aren’t you travelling?
Why don’t you do this?
Why don’t you do that?
You don’t have any goals?
You never have any plans?
And, not far into the conversation I just wanted to hang up. She is a judgemental bitch, she really is, and I’m over her. She can fuck off!
Fortunately, Rachel turned up wherever Leah was and Leah said she had to go and I took the opportunity to, practically, hang up in her ear. Not that she would have noticed though, her self focused attention had already moved on to Rachel and whatever it was that they were doing together.
Jill called about the invoice for the work I did for her. I told her about Leah and how I was through with that “vile bitch”. Jill wondered why she wasn’t invited out for dinner with Rachel, Fat-David Monsoon and poisonous Harry Whit.
“Because we are losers Jill, face it.”
Jill bristled at this description but, basically, I think it is true. Leah judges the two of us to be the least successful of all our old group of friends. (Ed note - read the least uptight, furiously networking, pretentious corporate wannabe tragics who think they are somebody important)
Even the obese, pretentious, kaftan wearing Fat-David gets a higher rating than the two of us, mainly because he can offer Leah something – a place to stay, in the city and in the country and a corporate pat on her back telling her how great she is.
Leah once told me that she inspires a whole corporation to do better. I wonder if the reality of that statement is that she inspires a whole corporation to hate her? Essentially, she is completely self-focused and judgemental with the self belief that she can say any thing she likes to anybody, in a completely tactless way, because she knows best, as she is the one to inspire and encourage something better out of “lesser folk.”
She once told me that you just have to let some friends go some times. Well, you know what Leah, this is me letting you go.
I ate spaghetti with tomato and lentil bean sauce. I cooked it after Shane had come home and had gone to his room, assuming, knowing full well that he wouldn’t be eating. I didn’t see him again, except for a brief glimpse, which only confirmed my earlier beliefs about him smoking crystal.
I wrote the beginnings of, We have Eggs, a story that had been going around in my head while I was walking.
I watch TV on my own in the dark. It was lovely.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Today’s the day I should be applying for jobs. No, it is. This is the day. Really. This is it, as Michael Jackson said. Does that mean I should take an overdose of sleepers? (Something smooth) Oh, kidding, it's a joke. It should, of course, be anaesthetic. (which I don’t understand at all... where is the journey?) Ha ha, no, no. Too soon?
I wrote my journal, as I drank coffee and ate my muesli. Mornings are lovely, they just slip away to quickly.
It is a bright, hot sunny day. I can almost feel the heat seeping into the house through every crack in the buildings airtightness. (Is there such a word?)
Oh? Find a job? Fuck it. Is another day really going to matter? (Am I going to regret this?) Of course, the very next moment they are talking about the GFC and the job market shrinking.
Instead, I decided to take myself off to the movies. I wanted to see Iron Lady, at the Nova. 12.10 was the next session. I didn’t look at the movie times for the day until 10.30, when the first session for the day was starting, right at the moment I was looking.
Why does that happen? (Santo would say this is because of the lack of a plan) Is that Murphy's Law? I guess that isn't something going wrong? Well, I guess it is, in a sense.
It was hot walking there. I tried to walk on the side of the road with the shadows, except that it was midday. Ha! It was nice walking under the elm trees in the Carlton Gardens, though. That was a little shady respite from the scorching sun. Just for a minute. I wanted to take my shoes off and walk barefoot in the grass... but I didn't. I should have? What was I scared of? What could there be to be scared of walking barefoot in the grass in a public park? I ask you?
I was surprised by the number of people waiting at the box office, but, apparently, it was $6 Monday. I must have been hanging out at Gold Class Cinemas too often, which is really not like me, and it must be a comment on the company I have been keeping. I’m so much your independent cinema kind of movie goer. But, if the box office boy had said $25 I probably would have paid it. But, $6 was lovely.
I was even more surprised at the queue to the cinema when I got upstairs, as it was already quite long. I said to the group of women standing in front of me, when they commented on the queue in front of us,
“I expect there to be only 3 or 4 people in the cinema when I come.”
“That’s what I expect too,” said the smiley member of the retired women’s appreciation society, in their trousers and hand knitted jumpers. We all laughed. I’ve always had middle aged women charm, they love me. Truthfully, they were just a bunch of “girls” as they would have referred to themselves, who now lunch.
The Iron Lady was sad, as it was predominantly about Alzheimer’s disease. It made me cry in places, as maybe it is too soon for me. It’s a cruel disease, really a sad, unkind disease. And, I guess, it is a subject close to my heart.
So, the Academy Award? As usually, Streep’s acting is fine. She has those almost perfect small mannerisms. That near perfect detail, physical details. The eyes – beautiful blue – the mouth, the inflection, the expression.
But, surely the stars of this movie, deserving of the Academy Award, are the makeup artists.
At varying stages, Streep was an old lady, an old lady played well, of course, but she could have been any old lady. Was that old lady Margaret Thatcher? I don’t know.
At certain other moments, it felt like caricature, and in just a few moments she reminded me of Faye Dunaway playing Joan Crawford and in a couple of other moments she reminded me of the Little Britain Boys, or Catherine Tate, or was it French and Saunders?
When I came out, it was very hot. I thought immediately about going to interviews in a shirt and tie in that heat and wondered how long I could put off looking for a job? I could hear Anthony’s voice as I crossed the road. “Are you mad?”
I bought some bananas at the Woollies downstairs, to eat on the walk home. As I was coming through the checkout, the man after me was buying large boxes of Nutri-Grain. As my items were scanned, the said man removed the outer boxes from the Nutri Grain packaging flattening them out carefully and precisely, like someone with OCD. He had seriously creepy, deliberate spider-like fingers and dead eyes. He then slid the boxes in behind an ice cream freezer at the front of the supermarket and got on his bike and rode away with the inner plastic bags in supermarket carry bags. He looked like a serial killer? Or maybe that was just me? So familiar with serial killers, as I am.
I thought that the walk to The Nova in Carlton would be enough exercise for the day, but at the last minute, or at least, late in the afternoon, I decided that I should go for a bike ride, because I should try to keep up the momentum of keeping fit, of trying to get back into good shape, trying to speed up my metabolism from, what I believe, is the disastrous effects of my stop start, quit, not quit, habit of smoking and my now re-slowing (is there such a word, it scares me not?) metabolism, now being starved of nicotine.
So, around 5pm I decided to go for a bike ride. It was hot in the afternoon, the sun blazed, the sky (seemingly) burned. The moisture was being fried out of the atmosphere.
When I got home I was hot to the point of burning up; my face was beetroot, my hair slicked with perspiration stuck to my forehead. I’m sure you could have fired eggs on my cheeks. Every part of my body felt the effects of the hot sun, my pulse pumped in my neck. I was still dripping sweat profusely as I stepped into the shower. Oh that cooling water was so gorgeous running over my head and down over my skin. Is it too cliched to say like silk. It is, but fuck it.
Shane cooked sausages and lentils and a green salad with tomatoes and nectarines.
We watched three episodes of the Big Bang Theory, my favourite TV show at the moment, one of them was the new season, after which was the gorgeous Joanna Lumley on Nile.
Anthony called. He said that I shouldn’t even entertain looking for a job at the height of summer, it is just madness. He said it was going to be hot tomorrow and if I dared go out in it I was just asking for trouble. I told him I had to go and pick Mark and Luke up at the airport at 4pm.
“You must take a parasol, then,” he responded. “I have one protecting my tomato plants.” He laughed. He's got that funny matter of a fact way of saying things, which makes me laugh too.
I came back into the lounge room. I knew Shane had heard me mention Mark and Luke’s names, there wasn’t a chance he would have missed that.
“So? What is this? Mark and Luke are coming down?” asked Shane.
“Yes, tomorrow at 4pm.”
“Oh… really… why are they coming?”
“They are going to Vietnam on Wednesday?”
“Oh… I see,” said Shane nervously. “So… um… are they staying some where?”
Are they staying somewhere?
Shane has this really weird denial of Mark and Luke fitting into my life, and there fore, more apparently into his life. He always discounts their existence, rights… oh I don’t know, how do I explain this? It is subtle, really. It is a continual and constant disassociation of them, always in the way he speaks about them. It is as though they are not his friends, members of his inner circle of friends, so he always questions their rights and presence when their orbits coming in contact with his.
It is bizarreo world, the way he reacts to them, so often, as though they are the enemy and I am on his side, totally discounting the fact that they are my best friends.
I’m not at all sure if he realises that they don’t like him. I honestly don't think he does.