Saturday, July 31, 2021

Music to The Ears

Sam was in the supermarket and Buddy, Bruno and I were waiting outside.

There was a guy playing Rod Stewart's, You’re In My Heart, to which he was playing the spoons, completely off the beat.

Like fingernails down a blackboard.

Then he played Marianne Faithful's, Ballard of Lucy Jordan, to which he played the spoons, completely off the beat, again.

Shuddering, grating, ah! (Well, um… er… I have to add a little drama, you understand) I tried to match up the two beats in my head, but it couldn’t be done.

He did better with American Pie, it has a stronger beat, I guess, but he still wandered off the beat.

I tapped it out on my leg and wondered why it was so hard?

I sang it to myself and somehow blocked his spoons out. American Pie, it is the sort of song you can sing that against all odds.


Friday, July 30, 2021

Speechless

We walk up to the small park in the next street to ours, where a woman is throwing a ball to her dog. She turns to us and says, with a big smile, “He’s not friendly.” As her dog runs off after the ball she throws.
You know some times, I am just left speechless by some people, really I am.
I wanted to say to her, here’s an idea, if your dog isn’t friendly how about you keep him on his lead. But I didn’t say anything, as Sam had already headed across the Street with Bruno.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

It's A Lockdown

I was shocked, no, not shocked, people don't shock me, surprised, maybe, at how many people were out and about today when I took my dogs for exercise.

People seemed to have lost sight of the reasons why you can leave the house in a lockdown, this is not a good sign when we are trying to stem the most contagious variant of the virus.

I was combining exercise with shopping, one trip away from the house, two birds, one stone.

Stay home people, going out for coffee is not a reason to leave home, it is the only way to beat the latest outbreak.

We're really lucky in Australia with the covid pandemic. Victoria has had weeks of no community transmissions, and even now when we are having an out break the numbers of transmissions have been 12 per day. Stay home people and we can get back to zero transmissions.

And hopefully, our pathetic federal conservative government, which is more interested in legislating for its political donors than the people of this country, will finally get the vaccine rollout right. Hopefully.


It's Okay to Say No Religion


 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

 

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison is a disaster


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Lock Down Syndrome?

I think I must have locked-in lockdown syndrome. Is there such a thing? I have a leaking roof and I have a couple of contacts to call to get it fixed, but I just can't face it. 

Every time I think I really should do something about the leaks, I just get this overwhelming feeling of no, just no. Oh, I can't do it. 

It's weird.

Who knows if they are any good? Who wants to deal with that? You know, be disappointed with dud tradesmen, again. So many bad ones to get through to find a good one. Being disappointed by tradesmen, is to be disappointed by life, you know.

It just feels like too much to deal with. And the rain keeps falling.


Monday, July 19, 2021

Stick to the Plan, Jan

I picked up a wrecked bike in [name of street] Street some months ago. It had no wheels, nothing much of anything really, but it had a basket on the front, and I’d been toying with the idea of getting a basket for my go-and-do-errands bike, but couldn’t quite make up my mind about it. I always meant to remove the basket and return the bike immediately to where I found it, but I got lazy and life got in the way.

I had to do something, yesterday, I can’t be someone who never does anything, I thought, or be perceived to be so, so I finally took the basket off the wrecked bike. And like most things that one puts off and puts off and puts off, in the end it took no time at all.

I hesitated momentarily with what to do with the bike, but in the end, I decided to stick to the original plan.

There is a type of small grassy area next to a warehouse conversion where the bike was laying when I found it. So, I took it back and placed it back there. So, the owners of that warehouse will see the inexplicable return of the old mauve bike, gone for a few months and then back again. WTF?

And that, my friends, is how people think miracles occur. They can’t explain something, so therefore it is a miracle. But no, there is always an explanation, my friends, and just because you don’t know what that explanation is, a miracle hasn’t occurred, not by the nun who has been dead for 60 years, not by the most beloved pope, not by Wanda the palm reader.

 

Then I went on with the weeding around the pond.


Sunday, July 18, 2021

HR Bitches

I never really understand why HR women are such fucken bitches. I’ve worked with quite a few HR departments and I have found this to be true of them all, seriously. 100% I could count on one hand how many of them weren’t awful. And worse still, they seem to make no appology. What is it, the power? God given. God complex? Is it that they (the perception is) know everything? Is it the bully phenomena? (I often wonder if all HR women were bullied as children) Is it power with which they are dizzy?

And you know, if the senior HR women are bitches, guess who are always training the next generation. So, is it a self perpetuating thing?

Is it HR’s function to train staff, managers, I guess, in their roles? You know, as far as, handling staff? HR don’t do this, so HR issues are always being exacerbated, so these bitches are always frustrated? 

HR’s role is not to manage issues for the business, or the managers. HR’s role is to coach the managers to manage their own issues, HR need to provide them with the support, confidence and the tools to be able to navigate tricky people issues on a daily basis. The more they do it, the better they get and the better outcomes the company derives.

We have an online leave system, which was introduced by HR. Staff enter their leave which notifies a manager to go into the system to authorise it. If mangers don’t authorise the leave, the whole system breaks down. In our company, the managers don’t authorise the leave. After many unsuccessful attempts by my boss, the CFO, to get HR to train our managers in this very simple function, he gave the authorisation of leave to me, because he couldn’t spend any more time trying to get HR to do their job.

Is it because HR is really just a complaints department? Realistically, people are generally idiots, so I guess dealing with that every day is going to turn you into a misery.

I remember at one law firm that I worked, we had an HR manager, and one of the few who were genuinely lovely, who came from London where she worked for a company that had 10,000 staff and something like 5 HR people.

We had a staff of 2000 and we had 37 HR people.

She said, “They are not unique in this, but I really think they are building empires rather than good relations with anyone.”

Not that that really addresses the key question of why HR women are usually awful people.

Human Remains, I saw written more than once.

 

Quoting others online

I find them arrogant. It’s not the pressure – its built into their "role".

Because if you notice – when you have issues with company/colleagues – they will not side with you – protecting the company is their main/only goal.

In the company I work for, they aren't here to help the employees. They are hired by the partners, they are paid by the partners and they work for the partners. They certainly aren't employed to help the employees.

Also, HR doesn't work for you. They work for the boss. Not sure why people always think otherwise.

There are wonderful women that work within human resources, however in my experience there are also a lot that are just awful. More so than any other industry I've worked.

My conclusion is that they (HR women) are not able to handle pressure very well and take it out on others. This just isn't my observation, my friends have similar views. I'm wondering if anyone else is in the same boat?

Mostly because they often have the tentative ear of the management, and they think, by extension, that means they're management too.

HR women have an over inflated sense of ego, because they work closely with management, they think they are management.

HR departments have been abandoned, and not suffered any significant throw-back, because HR wasn't delivering any real value. Most of their time was taken up with bureaucratic and administrative tasks or legal issues. If HR doesn't deliver some unique benefits then outsourcing it makes a lot of business sense.

HR generally doesn't know the inner workings of the business outside of their own department. HR is too involved with policy and creates more roadblocks – instead of removing them. HR loves office politics. HR is too obsessed with policy and training instead of focusing on important things like culture, trust, and moral.

HR staff members are dishonest. They don’t tell the truth about how they handled an employee situation. They misrepresent the employee’s story to management. HR staff is untrustworthy because they lie to cover up their mishandling of situations.

HR staff members are not impartial or fair. Their desire to keep their jobs, and earn a bigger salary and their next promotion, keeps them from acknowledging the legitimate employee point of view.


And to those of you who think I am being mean to the girls, let's talk about the men of HR.

They all sort of have a nana quality about them. The types who would have to ask their wives, or girlfriends, Jenny, what opinion they should have.

They are the types of guys for which the expression ‘grow a pair’ was coined.

They tend to dress in pastel, or beige coloured ill fitting cloths. They wear far too much cologne. They have rings, and fussy sorts of jewellery. They tend to be really slack, and slapdash.

They generally lack any sexual attraction whatsoever.


Saturday, July 17, 2021

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Start At The Fingers

First thing this morning, I was feeding Bruno drumsticks. I was listening to his teeth crunch the chicken bones of the drumsticks I held out for him, my fist clenched against his cheek, which made me think if my finger was in his mouth how easily he’d be crunching my bones. 

That led me to think (quantum leap withstanding) that if my friend Jill died in her house and nobody knew, her corgis, which are the most food-centric dogs I have ever met, would eat her. (You know, Jill being… um… er… I’m not exactly sure what the best PC expression is for it? She’s fat) I imagined Bear and Bindi (he two corgis) with a hand each crunching the bones in her fingers. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Funny the things you think squatting on the back veranda feeding your dog chicken legs first thing in the morning. 

So, everything good in Oakleigh? (I text this to Jill)

She replied, Yes well if I died in bed they couldn’t reach me. (Legs too short) Wait – Bear would find a way once she got hungry enough, I’d think. (I’d take that bet) What morbid thoughts for the morning.

Then she sent me a photo entitled potential predator.



 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Possum Piss




I had a possum living in my ceiling once. I had a tradie who was fixing some guttering, which he fucked up leaving great gaps under the new guttering, which allowed a possum into my ceiling. I had to trap and catch the possum, which is not nearly as easy as it sounds, then I had to organised a new tradie really quickly to repair the botched job that the previous tradie did before another possum took up residence, which I managed to do. My head spun.

I have a wood panel ceiling and the damn possum lived up there for a time, while all the before mentioned took place, and it pissed up there and some of it seeped through and left stains like the roof had leaked. And I have high ceilings, so it is hard to get up there to attempt to clean it. And I am really terrible with heights. And I really thought I’d have to get painters in to fix it, and one thing and another, I hadn’t done that. And I have always hated it. Quietly, I hoped that no one noticed, but of course they probably did.

That all happened before I met Sam. And Sam and I have been together for 11 years.

Tonight, lying back on the couch looking up at the ceiling thinking to myself, I really wish that wasn’t there. And I casually mentioned to Sam that I hated it. And apparently, I told him what it was from for the first time. Never told him before.

In moments, Sam had the ladder on the coffee table and was on top of the ladder stretching up on his tiptoes, and he really couldn’t reach, until I got dizzy and told him not to be silly.

Then Sam got the extension handle from the hedge trimmer, and he tied a wet cloth to the end of it, and he’d wiped the piss stains away in literally minutes. Gone. Just like that.

After how many years?

I could have done that, I thought, years ago. It’s like I have a perfect new ceiling. What am I fucken like?


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Morning Thoughts

I remember something as a kid that the diagonally cut of children’s bread that some mothers did was very exotic, because my mother used to always cut my bread in half.

Funny the things you thing off when you are making vegemite toast and coffee in the morning.


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Photoless

I tried to change the picture in the header of my blog and it didn't work. Apparently, they have changed the header settings because of the phone application, and now the photos don't work on the computer application, yay blogger, and I am now photoless. Sad face.

I guess using a laptop is so yesterday.

I guess I'll work out how to fix it in due course. That process would go even faster if blogger's help was anything more than nonexistent? In the mean time, just enjoy... um... er... nothing, I guess.


Saturday, July 10, 2021

Friday, July 09, 2021

The Day Off of Kings

So, what did I do today? We took the bulldogs out to lunch, to eat Japanese. The sun shone. Two gay guys sat next to us, outside in the sun, talking about Grindr, and the like. Buddy charmed them, as only Buddy can, by walking under their table to say hello.

We walked lunch off in the sun. Window shopped, just a bit, everyone was sans mask. We did some grocery shopping in Aldi, meat for the dogs. I bought some more DVDs, on sale for $1 each. 

I came home and lit an open fire and watched YouTube, as I uploaded the DVDs to my movie hard drive. 

The day off of kings. Friday, the end of the week, despite my end of the week really being Wednesday.

It was lovely day, once it warmed up from the morning cold.


Thursday, July 08, 2021

Lazy

I am so lazy, it is true. My father said I was lazy, which is kind of a distant memory, when I think about it now. But, I am, he was right. Of course, he loved me none the less, I know that.

It was a nothing kind of day, the beginning of my weekend. Time to stop thinking about work.

I always have been. Lazy. I'm equally happy doing nothing, as I am doing anything more interesting. I'm happy to do nothing all day, and as I have always joked, to rest afterwards.

Today was a day to do nothing. I built a fire first thing, as it was zero degrees this morning. I sat in front of it with Buddy and Bruno. Sam had to go into his office. (It's like Patsy Stone going to her office around here now a days when either of us have to go to our)

“You’re going where?”

“The office.”

“What for?”

Shrug. “I have to get a new pass.”

“To the office you don’t go to?”

“That’s what I’m saying.”

So, I had most of the day to myself. I did some op-shop shopping. The sun was shining by the time I left the house, so it was really nice for a walk. I bought a DVD of short films, which I then watched for the rest of the day. I love a short film. Moments, in people’s lives. Windows. Being allowed in just enough. Interesting ideas. I came home with a handful of thoughts.

How lovely it is to do nothing all day. I kept the open fire burning all day despite the sun coming out. I hate over-heated houses, as people so often do in the winter, but open fires don't seem to do that. And the bulldogs love it, stretching out in front of it in their super dog poses. (stretched out, just missing the capes) Side by side. Like a couple of sausages.


Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Aby the Bulldog

There is an old man who lives near us who has an 8 month old bulldog puppy named Aby. He can barely control her. Sam, Buddy, Bruno and I literally stand and watch him as he careers by some days, almost like a kite flying behind her, just our four heads moving from left to right. 

I haven’t put Buddy on a lead for 5 years and he asks, “How do you do it?” As I watch him stumble by at speed, I want to ask him the same question.


Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Delve Into The Mind Of The Liberal (Conservative) Party, If You Dare

I wrote this 6 years ago and while the topic may be different and the players may have changed, it still sums up the workings of the conservative party in Australia quite eloquently, even if I do say so myself.

(for overseas readers, The Liberal Party is the governing conservative party in Australia, confusing, I know)

 

Gay Marriage Liberal Party Style

 “Sacred right of a man and a woman,” says One Term Tony. “Why doesn’t the world get it?” He looks perplexed.

“What are we going to do! What are we going to do! What are we going to do?” shrieks Mincing Poodle Pyne.

“Why can’t we just tell the truth…” says One Term Tony.

“I’m sorry?” says Angry Joe.

“What do you mean?” squeaks Poodle Pyne.

“You are not making any sense,” says Everyone-Is-Entitled-to-be-a-bigot Abetz.

“Say that again?” says Gerbil-of-a-Thing Joyce.

“Why do we have to say anything?” says I-Know-Nothing Morrison. “We should keep it secret.”

“That our Lord and saviour says no to it,” says One Term Tony. "It is an abomination according to god and the scriptures."

“No!” growls Angry Joe

“No!” yaps Poodle Pyne.

“No!” says Everyone-Is-Entitled-to-be-a-bigot Abetz.

“No!” says Gerbil-of-a-Thing Joyce.

“No!” says I-Know-Nothing Morrison.

“Then why can’t we tell them it will increase terrorism?” says One Term Tony.

“Nothing is working,” says Old Man Andrews.

“Cory’s bestiality reference didn’t fly,” says I-Know-Nothing-Morrison.

“The "fad thing" didn’t work either, no one is buying that,” says Angry Joe.

“I still think that children deserve the best start in life should work,” says Everyone-Is-Entitled-to-be-a-bigot Abetz.

"The security of knowing their biological parents and the diversity of male and female role models, no one is buying that now,” says Silver Fox Turnbull. “And please don’t trot out the polygamy thing aaagain.

“So what can we say now?” asks One Term Tony. “Now that America has gone and lets us down so badly.”

“The whole world is turning gay,” shrieks Poodle Pyne. “What are we to do?”

“It’s not looking good,” says One Term Tony. “The whole world is caving in.”

“Not in Asia,” says Everyone-Is-Entitled-to-be-a-bigot Abetz.

‘No, no, no, no, no, Asia hasn’t,” says Gerbil-of-a-Thing Joyce.

“Yes,” says One Term Tony. “Give that a go. Asia isn’t buying it, so how can we be expected to.”

“I like it,” says Everyone-Is-Entitled-to-be-a-bigot Abetz.

“It might work,” shrieks Poodle Pyne.

“It’s good,” says One Term Tony. “Asia, Asia, yes Asia, we’re going to go with that. Ar Ar Ar Ar Ar Ar.”

“They’ll see us as…” says Gerbil-of-a-Thing Joyce.

“A bigot,” says Everyone-Is-Entitled-to-be-a-bigot Abetz. “A bigot!”

“No, that will never fly,” says Gerbil-of-a-Thing Joyce.

“Can we link it to breast cancer,” says Everyone-Is-Entitled-to-be-a-bigot Abetz. “Gay marriage causes breast cancer!”

“We don’t want to look like bigots,” says One Term Tony.

“Fixers,” shrieks Poodle Pyne.

“Rich,” Angry Joe calls out.

“Decadent,” says Gerbil-of-a-Thing Joyce. “They’ll see us as Decadent.

“Decadent. Ar Ar Ar Ar Ar Ar, I like it,” says One Term Tony. “We can’t legalise poofs getting married because it will threaten our trading partners in Asia because they will see us as decadent. Yes!”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” says Silver Fox Turnbull.

“We’re going with that,” says One Term Tony. “We’re going with that. Asia is the problem.”


Monday, July 05, 2021

Businesses Continue to Cheat Workers

Last year during the covid 19 turn down, after a sob story from our CEO, “Oh yes, the employees are the most important thing to us,” the staff of my law firm agreed to a 10% wage reduction to help the company out, which lasted, I want to say 3 months, maybe as long as six months?

The law firm earns more than 1 billion dollars a year. And the down turn didn’t turn out to be so bad for them.

Now, this year, the company has refused to pass on the 0.5% increase in company paid superannuation, designed to be paid by the company, instead reducing everyone’s take home pay to increase the super to 10%. Yeah, right, the employees are really important to you, you lousy bastards.

Why are the public continually made to feel sorry for how business is coping, in this day and age, when typically, business just rips their workers off?


Saturday, July 03, 2021

Saturday Morning

It was cold this morning, you know cold cold. As opposed to just a slight winter chill in the air. I found myself wrapping a blanket around myself as I sat and ate my breakfast and tried desperately to find something interesting on Facebook. 

So, I lit a fire. Bruno and I are now sitting with our backs to it, feeling the warmth. It is crackling behind us. 

Buddy has left the house for his kennel, as the crackling fire scares him. He used to lie right in front of it for years, but, I think, one night a large cinder shot out and hit him, scaring him out of his bulldog suit. I think that’s what happened, but Bud is getting more scared of more things as he gets older.

See, it’s not just people. We get more scared as we get older, because we are aware that awful things do happen. Well, that’s my take on it. We learn that the world is an amazing place, but we also learn that there are terrible things that happen. Dogs are no different, and I think bulldogs are smart, but, of course, I may be a little biased.

Ah, the fire is nice, though. The warmth is radiating out against my back and warming me so beautifully.

Sam’s getting busy as he thinks that’s what Saturday mornings are for, time to do chores. I don’t share that belief.

Now, let’s make another coffee and open the Guardian and see what tale of misery it has to tell me today.


Then the voice in my head said, you should go and do an hour’s exercise. Shut up, was my first reaction…


Thursday, before I left for the vet, I had a piss. After I had taken a leak, I wondered if I’d put deodorant on, so I shuffled sideways to the mirror, without fastening my jeans again, not really sure why. So, in front of the mirror with my pants now down around my knees, I lifted my shirt and slid the deodorant up to my armpit. I gazed in the mirror and I looked like one of those plump, alabaster Botticelli women all round and fat, the kind for which Italians went mad however many hundred years ago. I was taken aback. Actually, froze in the mirror image momentarily.

And, the last thing I had read before I headed upstairs was about Martha Raye, (Oh, I was wasting time on Youtube, she was doing a Judy Garland impersonation, you know how it goes) who in her last years suffered from poor circulation and in her last year she had both her legs amputated. Admittedly she was much older than me at 73*, but I don’t want to get to her stage when I am her age… and maybe when I’m 73 we’ll have those “doo doo” medical tricorders from Star Trek that will cure us of whatever ails us, who knows… but just in case we don’t…


Hence the start of exercise yesterday.

The sun is out, said the voice in my head, go and exercise, it is still early, in an hour you will still have the rest of the day.


* at 73, I hope to be still travelling the world, seeing and learning things


Friday, July 02, 2021

A Ridiculous Amount

60 million in Thursday night’s lotto. Someone won it, because I see next Thursday’s lotto is back to 3 million.

I’d be just as happy with 3 million dollars, I think, as 60 million. In fact, I’d be happier with 3 million dollars, in reality.

3 million wouldn’t change my life, it would just complete it. Round it out, ice the cake, so to speak. 60 million would change my life irrevocably, which probably wouldn’t turn out well. It’s just greed, and greed can never be good.

3 million dollars would give me all the things I need in life. 

What would I do with 60 million dollars? I’d have to buy a whole lot of things that I really didn’t need. It would be bloating, if anything, your life would become fat and overweight. (I guess, I could put it all in the bank and just not touch it)

What could you do with it? You couldn’t give it to family. Have you seen how families bitch over who got a better Xmas present, or the better seat at the wedding.

My mother’s family had money, and they all lied and cheated each other out of it, cheated me out of money, and none of them were on speaking terms in the end. My father’s family had no money and they were a happy group of people.

You couldn’t give it to friends, because friends just don’t work that way. Friends don’t work on a monetary basis, not well, anyway.

60 million would give me a lot of stuff, but it would probably take away just as much, more. Who needs that? People who want too much are never normally happy, let’s face it.

I guess if you were willing to move away from everything you knew and loved, and start out with a clean slate, then, maybe. But what a price?

The reality is, though, that I didn't even win $1 last Thursday.


Thursday, July 01, 2021

I Stuffed Up

I made a stuff up at work. Not only did I stuff it up to start off with, I stuffed it up during the process, and even nearly managed to stuff it up again at the end.

My boss Boris gave me instructions, which I misread. Then Boris took control to wrestle it back from the brink, then he handed it back to me. And I stuffed it up from there. 

And then it rippled up the chain of command like a domino, where it came back to Boris. Who kicked me.

Then, in a deft move, (read desperate, Jesus fuck!) I snatched it back from the jaws of defeat at the last minute and it was fixed in the end.

It was my fault, I am not denying it. But, I'd also say that Boris' instructions are never that clear. The two lots of instructions that he gave me concerning this I got something completely different to what he intended. When I go back and re-read his instructions I can see what he meant, and, in a sense, wonder how I got the meaning wrong, but I did. But that is so often when I get things wrong, when I get instructions from Boris. (sometimes)

He used to always say to me good work. He doesn't say that any more. 

I hate stuffing things up, it makes me feel useless and stupid.

It makes me feel like a scolded child, not that I got scolded by anyone, but I know what they are probably thinking.

Grrr.

I've always been one upset away from feeling disappointed with life. I don't know why? Stupid really. I've got nothing about which to feel disappointed.

Oh, I wish I'd taken a different path at uni. I wish I'd studied arts, and literature, and theatre, and creative writing. I wish I'd learned the piano when I was 6, when my mother's friend the piano teacher told my mother that I was too old to start learning. I wish I'd kept up with singing that I did as a teenager. I wish I had the great uni experience you hear people speak of. I didn't, I struggled and was lonely. It was an isolating experience. (I didn't really make post-school friends until my mid to late twenties, when I accepted being gay, and I went out and found gay friends. You know, so fuck all the bigots who try to make being gay invisible) I wish I wasn't an accountant.  I wish, I wish, I wish... 

And when something goes wrong with my, perceived poor choices, I so easily end up feeling disappointed with life. Stupid, really. 

I don't seem to be able to shake it.

I don't know if that all even makes sense. And yes, I know, boo hoo poor me. I'm not trying to elicit sympathy, I'm just trying to work it out for myself.