Saturday, March 31, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Work work work

OMG! Apparently I have to go back there tomorrow too. Again? Really? For fucks sake, what is this a life sentence? You just have to keep giving and giving with this work bullshit, now don't you? Work work work! How many days is that? It seems like half my life already. I feel like I have worked every day of this year this week. I feel like, I feel like.... oh, my god work work work.

Remember, I worked three days a week before I took last year off, got sack, my time in purgatory was commuted.

Although, on the bright side, I found out it is over in two weeks. Lovely. Two weeks to go. I'm counting down the days. Easter Monday... ah the chocolate festival breaks it up, lovely. My boss is looking for another assignment, he says he will have one booked in by the time I finish this one, so that'll be good. Cross your fingers for me that it will be in the CBD. Collins Street  would be nice, but any where in the CBD would be just fine.

Of course, Santo works down the other end of Bourke Street, so the other end of the city would do just fine. But, the sun is nicer in the Paris end of Collins Street. I think it was my favourite place to work, in 101, it was just lovely, and preferable, if I could put in my request.

Please universe, send me to the top end of Collins Street, or Bourke Street, or Lonsdale, any of them are a fifteen minute walk from home.

Or first place in tattslotto.

An otherwise unknown billionaire aunt could die leaving me a fortune. Yes, that would be acceptable too.

The bank could put five million dollars in my account and not pick it up. I wouldn't tell.

Perhaps, I could do it with a 90 year old multi millionaire who is a minute off death?

What was it today?
"Let me show you my baby," said Smoking Brenda.
She pulled out her iPhone.
Oh Jesus, I am to be spared fucken nothing. I am soooooo not interested in your grand pigs lady.
But it was her poodle, which was a relief. Strangely. What was its name? Mitsy. Apparently, it is an apricot. It looks as old as Brenda. Maybe the poodle smokes too.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Den of Bitches

I left home at 7.55. Do you believe it? Me. The guy who used to get out of bed after that, some mornings. I was at work by 8.25. Ah the sunny deserted boondocks of Tullamarine. Ah the barren, semi deserted wastelands, on the fringe of the suburbs… not quite city, not quite country. It is that part of the city where it evolved with cars in mind, where the roads are wide and there are roundabouts rather than traffic lights. There are wide verges on either side of the road. It all looks purpose built. Read beige. If we only had cars at the genesis of the city, we would have roundabouts through out the city just like it. And no doubt one day, when the property developers get their way and have replaced all the old buildings with tilt-slab, we will.

I closed my car door in the non-descript car park, gazed across the non-descript cars to the non-descript building, sucked in a breath of fresh air, straightened my suit jacket, and headed to the front door.

I have to say, the air is kind of fresh and crispy... out there, way out where.

It’s like a library in the office, everybody in their corrals as though that is exactly how human beings should exist. It honestly makes me sad that this is what my working life is. Why wasn’t I an explorer, or an archeologist, or a rock star, or an emperor? Any occupation that doesn’t fit into an open plan office?

“Good morning.”

“Good morning.”

“How are you?”

“Oy’m tired today,” said Smoking Brenda. “I taped the funeral and after everything was done, I sat up and watched it and I didn’t gyet to byed until after 1am.”

Oh yes, the death of a footy star.

She doesn’t really know what she is doing and she is instructing from that point of view. So there is no overview, no run down of the company structure, just instructions on the hop, as she is nervously doing the processing, instructing me and earning her "higher duties" no doubt.

She asked me to deal with some paperwork for the monthly figures today. She is scared of Eve, who will be back on Tuesday week and will be gungho to get stuck into the monthly figures.

“Can you do those?” No explanation, no expansion of what needed to be done.

So, I sorted the paperwork. I thought she meant she wanted me to sort it for the month end journals.

She asked me when I was done.

I said that I was.

And it was only that she made some comment about a spreadsheet, which I followed up with her, that she gave me expanded instructions.

“The spreadsheet?”

“Haven’t you entered them on the spreadsheet?”

“Um?”

“This here, don’t you remember you’ve already done this?”

I didn’t really. I kind of did when she showed it to me. I think it was the first thing that I did when I got there on Monday. She opened the spreadsheet, or it was already open. I think she said do this, no explanation of what it was. Three days later she expects me to remember. Just like that, one half-arse explanation and I’m supposed to remember. Wow. That’s pretty tough.

“You are going to have to think on your feet, as when Eve is back she will just throw it at you and expect you to know it.”

Smoking Brenda makes Eve sound like a bitch from hell.

After that comment, I truly hoped that it is only a matter of weeks that I am there, not months. Please. Nothing they do makes sense, please let me head back to the city where the normal people are.

I wondered, if it was 2 months, if I could say to Jack I don’t want to go back.

"So why does she do all of this?"

Smoking Brenda just looked exasperated at me, as though she'f been over it all already.

"I told you. It's what she does. I'm changing things, but I can't do it all at once."

Smoking Brenda said to me today that she wanted to get as much done this week so she doesn’t turn into a bitch next week when she is completing end of month.

Yes, I thought, that is exactly what it is here. I get it now. You and Eve are both bitches. I have strayed into the viper’s den. You are a couple of cunts butting heads.

I think this is going to be tricky.

My first assignment out and I’ve been place with the evil bitches who want to out do each other. I could get really hurt in the wash of this.

Yay

Still, what is it that they say, about the things that don’t kill you?

Hands up who think I am a whiney little bitch? Because that is pretty much what Santo said when I told him the bitch story.

“Shut up and get to work like everybody else,” said Santo. “And I don’t want to hear your winey little make-my-ears-bleed complaints.”

“But why am I sent to places where the idiots are?”

“Because that is life and life is like that.”

“Why can’t I be sent to the CBD to play with the nice people?”

“And that went so well for you with your last job?”

“Boo hoo,” I say. “Boo hoo.”

“No boo hoos”

“Ha!”

“Suck it up princess.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Smoking Brenda

Smoking Brenda hasn’t said anything very nice about the absent manager Eve Channing. (She uses her full name whenever she refers to her, what does that say?) I’m sure she isn’t doing it on purpose and I’m sure she doesn’t realise she is doing it, but that doesn’t change the fact that she has run her down, pretty much, with every comment.

Just before I started there last week, Jack called to ask if I could stay there for two months rather than two weeks?

“Sure,” I said.

"I thought you'd be fine with it, but I thought I should check before I confirm the assignment."

Smoking Brenda has introduced me to everyone as the person who will be helping her for two weeks. "He's here for 2 weeks while Eve Channing is away."

It is kind of odd. I guess I should just ask.

Either, Jack has got it wrong about the two month extension, or Smoking Brenda doesn’t know?

Smoking Brenda has only been at the company since January and doesn’t have her head around it all herself. Yet. In fact, she is kind of inept in her instructions and I wonder if...

Oh, I'm sure there is a perfectly good explanation. Surely.

What do you think it could mean?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lovely

Where my 35th floor CBD office had sweeping views of Port Phillip Bay... my new office has a view of an empty paddock next to the airport.

Yay. Clunk! That's me coming in contact with reality.

Welcome back to the working world... me. (trying to be positive. {desperately} New leaf and all that)

Firm handshake. Glad you're back, son.

It is only temporary, of course, a couple of weeks, a couple of months at the most, so you can put the tissues away now, no use in crying. That is this role, not work in general. Don't feel tooooooo sorry for me, I am, as Santo would say, a drama queen. Not that I think that I am, far from it actually, however...

Eve, who I was told I would be meeting, morphed into Brenda, who met me in the foyer.

She’s kind of nervy and not terribly confident, is how I first summed her up. I later found out that she has only been there since January and has been permanent for a shorter time, maybe a month.

This is the first time she has been left in charge. Eve is the one who is on holidays.

“So do you smoke Christian?”

“Um, no, no I don’t.”

“Oh well, I do and I need to go out and smoke every few hours.”

“I did smoke, but I have given up.”

“Oh, I could never do that,” said Smoking Brenda.

Your face certainly tells the story, I thought. She has facial skin that bares a striking resemblance to chicken’s feet…
 crepe-like skin on her neck resembled scrunched brown paper.

We were getting coffee at the kitchen bench thing? There is an espresso machine.

“Oh, I can’t work that," said Smoking Brenda.

I pushed the button with the cup decal and my cup was filled.

“Are you into the footy, Christian?” asked Smoking Brenda.

“Um, no.”

“Oh. I love me footy,” said Smoking Brenda. You've got to have an interest, I thought.

She barracks for Collingwood. Of course.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Everything is trans, baby


Ah, Sunday morning.
Santo made pancakes, I was going to but he took over as he likes to do.
“You do it.”
“Okay.”
“You do it.”
“Okay.”
“Oh give it to me.
While I made coffee.
He put them in the fridge to settle for an hour, as you do with pancakes. Let them rest, gather their strength so they grow up to be as strong as they can be, so they fry up big and lovely. We’re going to have smoked salmon and cream cheese and chives. We were.
What time did you say it was? Really. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! They are going to have to wait, it is midday and we have to leave the house.

Santo’s good, he get’s me moving, he organises me out of the house. No mean feet, I can dither so easily. “Come on! Move! Faster, faster!”

Actually, I don't know why I say that. When I have to be somewhere, I have an uncanny knack of turning up right on time, at the precise hour. I'm never late. I'm only ever late when I want to be. You know. I’m never late by accident.

We headed to the dumpling shop in La Trobe Street. Yum, yum, dumplings. A quick bite and then it is only a short walk to ACMI to the Queer Film Festival.
I love that feeling of walking in twos with my boyfriend, side by side, through the quiet streets, where we can cross the road just as we like, together, forging ahead, together. Feet together.
Do you know what I mean? I can sneak sideways looks at him, give him orders, tell him how to cross the street… and he only smiles. Do you know what I mean?

Being Chaz is at 2.15 we are meeting David there.
Santo wasn’t so keen. “Why do I want to see a documentary about a fat lesbian having a penis stuck on, I ask you?”
He didn’t want to go, at first.
“Okay. We don’t have to go,” I said.
Then he acquiesced. “Okay, get the tickets.”
Maybe it was me who said Chaz was having a penis stuck on and Santo took me literally. That’s just what I heard. I’m sure I read it some where, in the deluge of celebrity news gossip.
Santo hates celebrities, he just glazes over at the mention of the latest marital musical chairs of Brad this or Jenifer that…

The dumpling shop was closed. Not open Sundays. Really? What kind of Asian business is this? It is certainly not run by Mama Chan that is for sure. It must be run by a younger generation of Asians.
“Oh fuck it!”
We ate noodles at Noodle Kingdom instead.

Being Chaz was good. It was all about him having his tits cut off. It was about him getting rid of that part of his body which he hated and which he didn’t want anyone to touch. He hated his breasts because they were not a part of his real self.
Some people think just being gay they have it bad? Imagine changing sex?
It was interesting that taking testosterone that Chaz felt a male sex drive for the first time and commented that women should feel it to know what it is like.
Testosterone made his clitoris bigger. It also changed the shape of his face, his features. I think that is amazing.

The cinema was pretty full, it was the busiest session I had been to. Are people than interested in transgenderism, or is it the celebrity factor?

“Everything is trans,” said David. “That is what the festival is all about this year. Trans.”
“Really?”
“Yes,” said David. “I want to be trans.”
“You want to be?”
“Yes.” David laughed. “I so want to be trans.”

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday Morning


We were a wake latish. Saturday morning. Awake in our cave. Protected. Snug. Santo reads his RS IT feed, I roll over and roll over and roll over again, luxuriating, not restless. Lying up against him is nice, it is a cold morning and he is nice and warm. It is comfortable, it is nourishing, it is soul pampering. I’m am naturally hot so I can only cuddle in the winter.
"You sure can sleep," says Santo.
"I know, isn't it lovely."
It is cold when slide my arms out from under the bedclothes, so I am in no hurry to leave my cocoon.

We were finally up at 10.15. It was still cold. I shivered by the side of the bed as I look for my track pants. I don’t mind really, it is bracing, awakening, we don’t always have to be cosseted in perfect warmth. A blast of cool makes us feel alive.
I made porridge. Comfort food, warm us up. Bubble, bubble in the saucepan. Gloop, gloop, gloop. Is this what countries lived on during the hard times? In poverty? Women with aprons and their hair in scarves? Her name would be Suzi and she'd slide her used tissues up her sleave. Santo stole sultanas from my muesli until I complained that I would only be eating rolled oats for my first week back at work. Oats and an ironed shirt heading out into peak hour traffic. Kill me now! So, I stole more sultanas from Shane's muesli. I added bananas and maple syrup. I brewed strong coffee.

We sat at the coffee table, on the floor, as the morning drifted. I read my blog. Santo watched China’s Got Talent, after he’d finished reading his RS feed of nerd news, on his iPad3 exclaiming all the time how lovely the screen is.
It is the usual slow Saturday, the usual relaxed weekend. I love it like that. I love that togetherness just naturally.
There is a chill in the air, my feet are cold.
Sometimes I wonder if I am too boring? I can be very homey. But that is life, now isn’t it, clinging together and finding love and happiness during the boring bits, as well as the other bits. Let’s face it, life is made up of boring bits, interspersed with excitement.

Suddenly, it was past midday. And our stomachs began to grumble. I was happy, though, going out to find food was the last thing I wanted to do. It was a slow Saturday and I was liking it that way. 

It's cold, suddenly the summer has finished. I wonder if it will make another return, like it seems to have a few times already this summer. But, I guess by March, it is only expected that it is going to get cold.

It must be time to order firewood. I turned on the central heating for the first time since last winter, that heating that has been running on a wing and a prayer for years. It didn’t come on. Shit!

We ate Korean in Lygon Street.

We went to the Queer Film Festival and watched Kinky Sex with David. A doco all about International Mr Leather. Santo said afterwards it was rubbish. 
"What the hell was that all about?" he asked, as we crossed in the busy traffic in Flinders Street. Hands in the air. "Rubbish!"

Friday, March 23, 2012

In bed all day


I stayed in bed all day. I didn’t really mean to, it wasn’t my intension to do so, but that’s what happened.
Santo go up and went to work, leaving the house at 7.33am. I rolled over and luxuriated in the warmness of my sheets and it dawned on me that this was my last morning of freedom. I felt sad, no I felt sick at the thought. This was it! As of Monday I would be up and showering and dressing and driving out into the burbs to please other people, to please some company for which I have no interest and no attachment to. So I rolled over and pulled the doona over me, but I was awake by this stage, wide awake, oh no!
So, I decided to get up and make coffee and write for a bit on my computer. Today was the day that Shane was moving rooms, he’d stayed home to do so. I can stay in bed in the warmth and comfort and then I can get up when Shane does and give him a hand. He’d be up soon, no doubt.
I wrote for a few hours, perhaps to 11am. I was feeling sleepy again by this stage so I lay my head back down and dozed off again. Shane got up around midday, when I woke again. He showered and left the house to get breakfast, as he always does on his days off.
I got up and made more coffee and some toast with vegemite and banana. I came back to bed and started to watch A Catered Affair. I've nearly watched all of the old videos that I recorded years ago, which I got back from Bolago in the cleanup and haven't seen for years. I kept the Bette Davis collection and threw the rest of my old videos away.
I was comfy and into the movie when Shane came back. By this stage I was happy tucked up I bed. I hadn’t planned to stay in bed, but, as it turned out, I had. And I was quite enjoying it by this stage.
When A Catered Affair finished, Shane seemed to have left the house again, so I picked another Bette Davis movie, Marked Woman, and watched that.
When he came back I was into the second movie and he seemed to have a carpet cleaner with which he was cleaning the carpet.
I guess, I should have felt guilty. After all, Shane has only been moving rooms since 2010, and then he decides to do it on the last day of my time off before I head back to work on Monday, so of course, I should have geared my whole day around him. Of course, I should have. I was just queuing up Front Page Woman, when Santo got home.
Lovely, he said when he saw me still tucked up in bed, just before he switched off the TV, video player and turned on the light.
As Santo said, I was mean and lazy to stay in bed all day when Shane was moving rooms. Oh yes, of course.
No one seems to care that I am feeling just the slightest bit traumatised about heading back to full time work on Monday.

Santo and I headed to the supermarket to get ingredients for fried noodles, with Shane as he returned the carpet cleaner.
It was cold, there had been a blast of winter and Smith Street was bumper to bumper with traffic.
Santo cooked fried noodles with prawns and Bok Choi. We watched Big Bang Theory.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


All I need is a little self confidence


I was up at 9.30am.
No milk.
I needed to go to the supermarket.
I feel guilty about not ringing the not for profit employment agent back. It is my appalling lack of self confidence, I know that. But, there are a number of things in that job description that I haven’t done and there are a number of things that I haven’t done for a while and I barely know (the new system) yet.
I applied because the salary was good and it was in the CBD. I’m not really sure why I applied now, as I have never worked in not for profit, I never thought I’d hear from them. And then the employment agent called yesterday.
So why did I apply?
I think I applied because I have just signed on to (name of company) to do temp work, which will not necessarily be full time and could be any where in Melbourne… and I have walked to work for the last ten years and it was easy and is easy and I want to walk to work again. I don’t want to drive with all the madmen in the chaos that are our roads it sounds frightening. And stupid. I can walk to the CBD in fifteen minutes.

There are plenty of people with more gumption than me who’d bluff their way into that position. There are plenty of people who have got a lot more with a lot less.
Let’s face it, I am driving to Tullamarine on Monday for ¾’s of the pay.
So I am feeling weak and useless and, in a certain sense, defeated.
So, this morning, it made me feel that I should, at least, get off my arse and close my bank account, you know, get something done that I have been putting off. I am going to be working full time from Monday, after all. It was still early. Take the money out of my savings account in one bank where I earn no interest, effectively, and put it into my mortgage at another bank where I pay interest on every cent of the out standing balance.
And there it was, my natural step back instead of stepping forward, there right then when I thought about closing my account. Maybe I should stop and think about this some more? Translation, maybe I should hesitate. Outcome, do nothing.
I’ve learnt over the years how to deal with this? It is more than laziness, it is a terrible lack of confidence? It is still difficult for me, but I have a mechanism. I’ve developed an override, a leap of faith feeling. I don’t know where it comes from, and I’m not really sure how it works, but it over rides my natural dilly dally, do nothing, lazy arse, procrastination.
I had to pay my mobile phone and my credit card. Get those bills, leave the house now. Go to the supermarket and get the milk. The two banks are opposite each other, just take you passport just in case you need more identification, as my account is actually held at the Richmond branch. Pay the bills and get milk, that’s all you have to think about. Just get going. Move.
I concentrate on the simple things that have to be done, phone bill and credit card have pay by dates and while I’m out there the banks are right there, I walk passed them, all I have to do it go in in between the other things.
I don’t know if that makes any sense? Just concentrate on the easy things and the other things take care of themselves, especially things I have put off and put off and put off, as they have been over thought and certainly don’t need any more thought wasted on them to get them done.

Oh, I don’t know what it is. I was told everyday of my grade six year that I was no good and I would never amount to anything, by my teacher Arthur Batson, who took a huge and irrational dislike to me. I have written about this before and I suspect the old closet case homo could see the poofter in me and it terrified him.
At the same time, I was sent away on school holidays to my auntie’s farm with my sister. My aunt also told me that I was no good at anything. But, at least she had insanity as an excuse.
“Oh Turtle (the miserable bitch used to call me turtle as she said I was slow) I do worry about you, I can’t imagine that there is anything in this world that you can possibly do.” Then she would give her shrill, mocking laugh, I can still hear it.
She had lost her precious 2nd son in an accident and I was smart and going to live on as my mothers’ son where hers wasn’t and I reminded her of him and she naturally wanted to destroy me… that would be my understanding of her behaviour if I had to say.
“Oh, but Christian you must remember that your aunt has had great tragedies in her life,” my mother would say.
My father, who was an all around good bloke, who was loved by everybody he met and who never had a bad word to say about anybody, quietly responded with, “She didn’t need tragedies in her life to make her a bitch.”
Many years later as an adult when I describe my treatment at the hands of my aunt, my mother was furious.

They were full mental assaults on a twelve year old boy. I often wonder if it is that which has had a detrimental effect on me. I wonder if I should be seeking out therapy for my lack of self confidence in the terms of what happened to me at the hands of those two cruel people.
It’s not in social settings, or with friends, in that sense I am considered quite confident and out spoken and quite a leader, in a certain sense. I’m also good with practical things. I can change a washer, repoint a brick wall, strip and paint a room, but they are all practical skills I learnt from my clever father. My father could do anything and he taught me lots.
No, it is more difficult to pin point than that. It varies as to how it manifests itself. It is not always logical. It is…
You know, it is funny, I’ve never thought about it in relation to my father before. My father was a tradesman when he left school and an academic once he had my mother to encourage him. He started out in one field and then went back to university when we were small children and changed to the other. Consequently, he had a very wide skill set, he could do just about anything. He was also handsome, out going and funny. I used to spend my time hanging out with him watching him and learning from him. Now that I think about it, anything my father taught me, or anything I watched my father for an example, I have no lack of self confidence, those things I am strong with, but anything where I don’t have my father as an example to draw from, I struggle.
Wow. I wonder if that is true?
It could be? I felt a shiver run up my spine.

It was a gorgeous day, sunny with blue skies, it was nice to be out in it. I love that smell of sunny freedom when I get to wander around the shops with just myself to please and nothing pressing to do, or to get to.
I went to the supermarket and got the milk. Everything was done, bills paid, bank accounts closed, I decided to reward myself with Danishes. Yum yum what the hell. So, of course, Woolies had a special on, any 4 pastries/small cakes for $6. Really? Oh why oh why universe have you come to tempt me so mercilessly? Instead of $2.40 each. It would seem crazy not to go for the cheaper deal. But, you know, if I buy four Danishes, I’ll eat four Danishes. I know that. I surveyed what was on offer. Licked my lips and thought of the extra jam and pineapple donuts I could scoff. Then I put an apricot Danish and an Escargot in a bag and I walked away.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Do you want cake every day?


Raining, wet, cold. The sky is grey, overcast, dark. The wind blows and I can hear the rain drops being blown from the trees onto the tin roof. The rain falls, sprinkling all over the world, a constant thrum. There is a chill in the air.

Our weather can't quite decide if it is summer of winter. It is hot and humid on day and then cold and wet the next. I couldn't sleep last weekend because of the heat, I had trouble crawling out from under my doona this morning because of the cold.

I had a school teacher who had lived all over the world. He said that Melbourne had the most changeable weather of any city that he'd been to bar one. I can't remember what city that was, but its weather was more changeable.

I feel a bit cold. Jesus, just a few days ago it felt unbearable hot. Oh well, at least it is interesting, at least we don't get bored. You wouldn't want cake every day, as an old dowager friend of my mother's once said when I enthused about what the weather must be like living in Hawaii.

I made a list of all the things I should do, as I tried to prise myself from the warmth this morning. I'm going back to full time work on Monday, so time is short. But, now I think I'll just stay in doors with my computer and my cat. I'm contemplating ordering fire wood for the open fire.

I guess it is autumn, or for our American readers Fall. You know, I kind of like the name fall, it's whimsical. Fall gently to the ground, leaving the tree branches bare for the winter. Brown and gnarled, black when wet with rain silhouetted against the grey, grey sky. Fairies in the garden, and all that, peering out from under the fallen leaves of the Golden Elm.

The only time I've every had fairies in the garden is poofs coming down off whatever it was they took the night before. Ha ha.

I cleaned the kitchen. I poured the last of the red wine from the bottle from last night into a glass, it is not even midday. Is that wrong?

I stacked the dishwasher. I laughed as I slid the knives into the cutlery container blade up. It's perverse, I know. David used to always complain, said that it was like dealing with Edward Scissorhands whenever he went to the dishwasher, he was scared he was going to be slashed to pieces at any moment. He said knives should be stacked blade down, everybody knew that. He was the only person who stacked them that way. Oh, Shane does too, so I lost ground. I think it must be an HIV thing, as David and Shane are the only two I know who stack them that way.

Missy kept stepping under my feet. What is it with cats?