Saturday, December 20, 2008

Being green in a non convservational way

Well I knew it was coming… the last week of Xmas Bake Off's at work!

I wasn't able to participate in the first two bakeoff's, but the third and final bake off was for a christmas cake.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to bake. Unfortunately, passion does not equate to ability…
But even knowing that about myself, I put my hand up to bake the Christmas Cake. I had been thinking about it for a while, as is my way.

What type of cake would I bake? I wanted to do something different so I went with a white chocolate type cake. I really don't know what to call it apart from "check what's tasty in the fridge and chuck it into the mix" cake

I didn't make a traditional xmas cake, I made a xmas tree shape cake, decorating it with green icing and different candies for the tinsel and xmas tree balls.

It was a messy business! And I was a little embarrased because Sandy and her kids were over as I was icing it and there was just green green green everywhere!!! It was a mess!! The counter tops, the utensils I was using, my HANDS, everything was GREEN!

I'm not bad at "inventing" new cakes but I'm terrible at decorating!

So I was hoping that I would win this bake off for our team just for the originality of the idea and I'm very happy to say that WE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOO HOO!!
I'm not even sure what we won but just the fact that we did was enough!

Of course, the first thing I did was forward a copy of the email stating we'd won to Deno.
Would you believe, while we're lying in bed last night waiting to drift of into sleep in each others arms he says "Aren't you embarrassed to be taking that thing to work tomorrow?" (Talking about the cake)

Thanks honey! Always quick to tell you what he really thinks!

I was getting a little worried as no one was eating it until halfway through the day when I got a knife and cut the whole thing up into pieces!

So now I need a fresh idea for my next cake! Any thoughts?



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Working in a call centre...



A couple of customers...


Today I had a customer whose first language wasn't English. These are the type that often bring a certain degree of interestingness to their calls!
He asked me if we'd received his payment and I said yes, then he asked if I could send him a "Bill Enquiry".
I repeated that phrase a few times and he insisted, that's what he wanted, a bill enquiry.
I could have brought up my Virgin Mobile Bill, I have a few enquiries about that!! Or may be my electricity bill which is always horrendously large but I have a feeling that wasn't quite what he was wanting... I clarified and discovered he actually wanted a copy of his bill sent out.
"Well certainly sir, I can do that for you!"


I had another lady today who was quite frantic. "Do you have my fire?" she asked. "Fire?"
"Yes, My fire, is it with you?"

Well I'd like to think I can sizzle from time to time but…
"I'm not sure I understand you"
She was getting very annoyed now.
"Is my fire with you?"
"By fire, do you mean gas?"

"yes yes! Gas, that's what I meant. Is my gas with you?"
Actually I knew she meant gas right away but it's sometimes fun to drag it out just a little…


Friday, December 5, 2008

The moral of this story is....

I can really get quite obsessive about things at times (Deno I can hear your "oh really" from here!!!!)

There's a certain young lady in my team at work who's having a birthday this weekend. I offered to make her a cake as that's what I like to do. Now when I offered this to her, I already had something in mind! Lately I've been making cakes with a ton of fruit in them. Apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries... whatever I had in the fridge! Then I'd add things like yoghurt or cream.. whatever I had. I just like experimenting. That was the type of cake that I thought I'd make for this young lady's birthday.

However when she knew I was making a cake, she wasted no time telling me she wanted a chocolate cake. My excitement waned a little as that's my least favourite cake as you can't really put fruit with it and she specifically said 'no bananas" as she doesn't like them. She's also allergic to nuts and coconut... So I felt a bit limited!

Still the challenge was there. She's into labels... Guess, Louis Vitton, etc, so I thought I'd make a theme cake. I asked her what label she liked best and she said. "Playboy"

I'm finding out that the moral of this story is
DONT ASK!
LOL

This cake was all I could think about! What ingredients was I going to use? How would I decorate it? Which baking dish was I going to use to bake it in? Was it going to have the playboy picture on top or would I trace out the playboy shape for the cake?
I would go over this constantly! Deno and I would be watching a movie and he'd ask me something about the plot of the movie and I'd have to fudge my way through an answer because I hadn't really been watching... I'd been thinking about the cake!

This week the countdown was on... Four days till I make the cake, Three days till I make the cake, Two days till I make the cake... Tomorrow I make the cake!!

I told you I'm obsessive...

Needless to say, I accepted the challenge and last night made the chocolate Playboy cake!! I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

Now I just have to hope it survives the journey to work!!

And as I have bakers insecurity, I'll be wondering all day if people are eating my cake and what they're thinking of it.....
ARRGGHH!!




Friday, November 28, 2008

Love is having to say sorry sometimes...


They say that love is never having to say you're sorry.


I've recently learned that this quote comes from the movie "Love Story". It's a phrase that has always perplexed me. Sure actions speak louder than words but that doesn't mean that words don't play a part! You need both actions AND words!


Just because you love someone, doesn't mean you will always behave in a perfect way towards them. We are all human after all. So if I do something wrong to a loved one, why shouldn't I be expected to say sorry? Even if that person tells me "don’t worry about it" or "you didn't have to say anything" we both know that yeah, I really DID need to say sorry.


And if you really love someone, and you've hurt them by something you've said or done, wouldn't you want to clear the air by saying sorry? Sure, we don't NEED to, it's not like the other person is not going to love you back forever, but it sure does help if you can vocalise as well.

Words without actions are empty but actions without words are also lacking.
Bottom line, be good to each other!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Visiting the neighbours

Recently our very kind neighbours invited us to dinner at their place. They wanted to spend a bit of time with Deno's dad before he returns to Las Vegas. We'd never been to dinner there before so I wanted to make a nice impression. Deno bought a couple of bottles of wine and I made a cake. I'd bought a new, special cake tin and as usual, didn't follow a recipe, but just put in lots of nice tasting things like blackberries, melted white chocolate and bananas….

To go with the blackberry theme, I put some reddish colouring in the icing… it looked pretty I thought..

Anyhow, so we have a lovely dinner there and after the dinner plates are cleared, our neighbour brings out this magnificent looking pavlova topped with tons of strawberries, and blueberries! It looked stunning!

Sarah and Josh looked at the pavlova then looked back to my cake and said, "Mum that cake makes yours look like a finger bun"

Sigh.

But they were right so I couldn't say anything! Still, my cake was eaten too… and they were both ymmy cakes, just yummy in different ways!



Thursday, November 20, 2008

But which way is your brain facing?

He's not going to be happy about me mentioning this but…


A few nights ago, Deno and I were sitting on the couch contemplating our tv viewing schedule. We've recently bought a TiVo unit and we're still on a bit of a high with the different things that we can do with it. Is it worth the price? I'm not sure but that's not what I want to write about


Deno gets a bit frazzled over things like the "TiVo Suggestions" thing. The TiVo will record programs it thinks you might be interested in. I'm pretty sure that anything you schedule would take priority over a tivo suggestion but Deno is worried that there wouldn't be enough room on the hard drive and something we wanted to watch would get deleted…


So with that thought in mind, and being annoyed at just having seen the huge list of recorded tivo suggestions, we're sitting on the couch about to start watching something we did actually record.


For no reason at all, the tivo starts rewinding instead of forwarding through our show! We'd wanted to pass through the ads. Deno't couldn't understand it!
He looked down at the remote, yes he was pushing the right button to forward through the show.. But it was going BACKWARDS??? How could this be!
His mind, always ready to think he's been had, started thinking about what a crock this whole Tivo thing is and they better take the unit back if it's not going to work right when he discovers….



He was holding the remote backwards, pointing it to himself rather than at the tv. The buttons were all in reverse order so he was pressing rewind instead of forward.




Funny little Deno! You're so cute when you make those human mistakes!








Sunday, November 16, 2008

On both ends of the call centre line


Throughout the course of my working day, I take calls from Queensland, Victoria, NSW and South Australia. Usually we can see where the caller is calling from but sometimes if a customer has been transferred we can't see that information so we have to as
k;

"What sta
te are you calling from?"
And if I were the customer who'd just been transferred from department to department I think I'd answer
"A disheveled s
tate"





Don't you just hate those call centres that make you virtually jump through hoops to get to finally speak to an operator? Doesn't it drive you insane? And yet all the call centres use the same methods! As if pushing this button to get this section or that button to get that section isn't bad enough, some of them have started employing the voice activated commands.

"Simply state the reason for your call" the very optomistic recorded voice says.
No matter how simply I say the words, it's never interpreted right by the system.
One time I was having a bit of an argument with this recorded voice and Deno happened to come down as I was screaming "Operator; Operator; Operator" into the phone.

It wasn't a pretty sight and no, I didn't get to speak to the operator, the recorded voice said "I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that. Please repeat the reason for your call in a few words"

And I hung up. Defeated.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Physic Readings Available For A Fee

Ah yes, another day full of fun phone calls.


As you may know, my job involves taking customer enquiries about their bills. I had one very persistant lady this morning who kept asking me a series of questions over and over again. I was so tempted to say,
"No matter how many times you ask me, the answer will still be the same"
Then she asked me how much her next bill was going to be.
Really?

What I should have said was "$954.36"

No doubt, she would have freaked at the amount, probably saying something like "why so high???"

To which I would have had to reply "Because I've added my physic reading fee on top of that"

Seriously, the number of people who ask me how much their next bill is going to be is astounding.




The other most unfortunate news of the day is that our internet was down. We only have a limited amount of sites we can access anyway (no you tube, facebook or myspace) but it helps pass the time and keep sanity intact…

Unfortunately with the internet being down for most of the day, sanity was not always attainable. In fact, I didn't realise how much I relied on it until it was no longer available.

I couldn't check my hotmail! I may have had extremely important mail waiting for me (see entry about email addiction!!!) but I would not have known!
It was torturous.

Hopefully this situation with the internet being down will only be temporary and everything will be back to normal tomorrow.

Fingers Crossed.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where's the pause button?


The movie "Click" was one of those that I ended up falling asleep to but I think I got the gist of it.
Even though the moral of the story was important and definitely thought provoking, I often find myself wishing I had a remote control for my life.

How many times have I been sitting with someone who is going on and on and on about something I'm not even remotely interested in. For some reason, this person has no idea that they're boring me to tears so they continue... My mind will wander at some point of their babble and I'll find myself thinking
"Just endure it, in one hour you'll be somewhere else entirely" or something similar.



Before watching the movie "Click" I would have said it would be great to hit the "fast forward" button and relieve myself of the boring agony sooner, but now I'd say I'd rather a "pause" button so that I can pause my life, and bring it back to life when I'm very far away from the blabberer.

Seriously though, wouldn't it be cool to be able to rewind certain parts of your life? That great gig you went to, you and your partners first date, the moment after your kids were born? (But definitely not during the birthing process itself!)

I don't really want to wish my life away, always looking forward to the
next thing, but I do want to be smart enough not to be caught in a situation I don't want to be in!

I guess I'll have to be happy with that until someone really does come up with a Life Remote!




Saturday, November 8, 2008

Birds!!!

Our roof must be very comfy for birds because it's at about this time of year that we hear the tip tap of little bird feet, and the flutter of their wings up in the room. It's especially noticeable when we're trying to go to sleep...

So Deno decided today was the day to see what the hell was going on up there and to set those birds free (restoring our sanity in the process)



Unfortunately our roof is not the easiest to get around in and Deno is not the littlest guy around... and those birds had made their home in the furtherest corner...

In the end, Deno decided it was better to go in through the outside by taking a panel out..



We had a box ready and five little colourful parrots were safely snuck inside!

They were making the most strange sound!! You'll be able to hear it in the video footage I've got below.




The poor things were so frightened but they're so beautiful!!!


Deno got up close and personal!




Now watch our video clip! In the first bit, you can hear the strange sounds they make!



video



Friday, November 7, 2008

"I've just got to check my email"

Although we all have some degree of insecurity, I'm secure enough to admit freely that I'm addicted to email.


Why I feel the need to be in constant communication with so many people is a blog for another day (and one I'm not particularly interested in) but it gives me great pleasure to see that little envelope in my task bar.

I've got mail!

Someone is giving me news!

I've got another opportunity to write another email to someone!

That is particularly important when it's a slow day at work and I'm looking for something to do…

And there's nothing more disappointing in getting your hopes up when you see that envelope in the task bar, only to discover that it's actually junk mail that you've received!Grrr to junk mail!

I have my regular faithful friends who email me back and forth who I would assume are as addicted as I am and you know what, I'm not going to apologise for it! It's something I like doing! I like communicating through email. It's something I enjoy!

How many times have you heard someone say "I don't talk to people on the computer, if I have something to say I'll pick up the phone and call them" and there's nothing wrong with that either, but the tone these words are said in is often one of "I'm not as socially retarded as people who spend all their time communicating through the computer".
If I didn't have a social life, then yeah, it would be a problem but I do so, I'll continue to enjoy my little email addiction!


I must admit, my email addiction is stronger at work than at home and that probably has something to do with my looking for something to distract myself from doing actual work… but even at home I find myself wandering over the computer just to check….


Oh! A new email! Who could this one be from?




Thursday, November 6, 2008

Movember is just Ewww Month



Look I get the whole point of movember and think it's a cause that is in much need of continual support but I've been absolutely dreading it.

Why?

You don't really have to ask do you?

Moustaches are just disgusting.



And yeah I get the jokiness of it and if it were a once off thing, I could get behind it too but do I really have to see an abundance of these awful fuzzy growths this month?

There's a large group of men doing it at work and I commend them the effort and as I've already said, the promotion of the cause but ugh! I have to look at them!

Think about it, what do you think when you see a moustached man? I see some body who is so set in his ways that he refuses to acknowledge that moustaches should have been left in the seventies when they were somewhat acceptable (I was too young to be offended by them in the 70's!)

I would mention the porn star link but I think the type of man who enjoys his moustache, also enjoys that porn star link.
Ewww.



I walked into work today for the first time this month and noticed several guys with fuzz on their face. One of them looked like he'd glued a catepillar above his top lip. I can't believe they'd be happy to go through the month like that! I don't get it! Others who said they were participating barely had any visual evidence of it.





Now just to be clear, everything I've said about that fuzziness above the top lip in this blog does NOT apply to the sexy goatie. (Love you honey)


I love a goatie and a beard can be ok but nothing else is more gross or more old fashioned than a moustache!!



But I do hope they raise a lot of money.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Proving he is human after all...

Yesterday turned out to be quite an eventful day and it had nothing to do with reading and vampires!

Sarah & Josh were home from school due to a teachers strike so when I went on my first break of the day, I called to check everything was ok. They told me that Deno was out bike riding... Knowing that he would worry about them being home alone, I decided to text him to let him know I'd called and they were fine. Immediately he called back.

I didn't know if the phone was cutting out or if he was physically not able to talk. From the garbled mess that was our conversation I learned that he'd had an accident on his bike and was just lying there! Yes I yelled at him for not calling an ambulance. What was he thinking? He said he would have called for a cab to take him home... Yeah not to take him to the hospital or something!!! I heard "might have broken my leg" in there somewhere and he's thinking of taking a cab home??

So I rushed home from work. Unfortunately I was on a train that wasn't express and stopped at every stop. Deno and I were on the phone the whole time. The train ride seemed to be taking much too long. Did time slow down?
Eventually I arrived and took him straight to the doctors where after an excruciatingly long wait, we found out his leg most probably wasn't broken but he had a corked thigh.

The doctor who was assessing him didn't look competent I'm sorry to say. His first language wasn't English and I'm not sure he understood the whole gist of our conversation. I feel like I was being an interpreter between Deno and the doctor! When the x-rays came back, the doctor looked and looked and then said to come back tomorrow after a specialist has looked at them. He couldn't tell if there was a break or not? Hmmmm

Deno says he's not going back. At this point I'm just so relieved that it wasn't worse that I'm not too fussed if he goes back or not.

So last night we had a house full of visitors checking to see that the 6'7'' patient was ok. It was a fun night in the end as we sat around, chatted, laughed and drank a little. Any day I get to bake two batches of muffins, and have them ALL disappear within a matter of ten minutes is a good day!!!!

Now, let’s hope his leg heals enough so he can still cook the barbie on Sunday!!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Where are the vampires to stop my aging process??

Yes I'm still in reading hibernation….

But I take this quick break to comment on birthdays. It's been brought to my attention again today as two of my colleagues celebrated their birthday's this week. This inevitably leads to talking about aging and how horrible it is to get older etc etc.
While I like myself a lot more at this age, I'd love to be young again. I'd love to have that innocence and enthusiasm. The older you get, the more reality sets in. That's not necessarily a bad thing though.

The thing about aging though, is that it's just not going to get any better than this!!! We're aging constantly… a second older every second in fact! This is the best it's going to be right NOW. So we need to make the most of life right now.

Even though I feel crappy about my age right now, and even though I know I'll never be in my twenties again, I can console myself with the fact that everyone around me is aging too…

Unless we all turn into vampires that is…

Short break is now over! Gotta get back to reading the Twilight series!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Excuse me while I go into reading hibernation

It happened so quickly I barely knew I'd been engulfed until I most happily was.


This week, my daughter Sarah showed me a book she'd been lent by one of her school friends. It was "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer.

The last time I'd seen her this excited about a book was when she first started reading Harry Potter! She told me it was about vampires. I don't know exactly what it was about it that got me interested. I've read the odd vampire story or two but I think it was just the look and feel of this particular book and the way she was so enthused about it, that made me think to myself, "I want to read that too!"


So off I went to the library but wouldn't you know it, not only was every book in the series OUT, they all had at least four reserves on it....I wasn't going to wait at least four months for it...

So as I was walking around the city yesterday during my lunch break, I went into a bookstore that had all the books in the series on sale!!! How lucky was that!So I bought them.


Ok yeah I know it was impulsive but I do impulsive things from time to time. Luckily I tend to space the impulsivity out so I don't get myself into too much trouble....


I took the books back to work and called Sarah to tell her about it. As I mentioned "Stephanie Meyer" on the phone to her, a co worker looked up and said "The Twilight Series"!!!He couldn't believe he was hearing those words at work as his wife is obsessed with it all and he's sick of hearing about it!I felt a little better knowing it wasn't just teenage girls that were obsessed with this series.


So on the way home from work I started reading and wouldn't you know it didn't take long till I was hooked. It's a very easy read with a conversational style that isn't dumbed down, but also doesn't require a lot of intellect.


I'm now halfway through the first book and can't wait till lunch time when I can read some more!!!





Friday, October 17, 2008

Change rooms and feeling good

There's nothing like a bit of retail therapy to make a woman feel good. It's especially good if she's got a bit of extra money to spare due to a bit of saving...So while I was out at lunch time buying a white shirt for Sarah's school concert, I thought I'd have a little look for myself and found a gorgeous little black and red dress!It's sleevless and close fitting on top, then poofs out from the waist down and is just above knee level. I'm going to wear it tonight.

I did a silly thing in the change room. It's not the first time I've done this too! I tried to find a zip but couldn't see one so proceeded to squeeze the dress over my frame. I held my breath and had a slightly scary moment where the dress felt too tight over my ribs to allow my lungs to expand!! I'm terrified of suffocating....But I managed to pull the dress down and that's when I saw the hidden zip on the side... At least I know I'll be able to put the dress on again without having to go without oxygen....

I loved the dress so much that I even went out of the changeroom and had a walk up and down the store mirror. It's times like these that you really need a girlfriend with you to say

"Wow you look great! You should buy that!"

But I became my own bestfriend at that time and went ahead with the purchase!
I can't wait to wear it tonight!!



Thursday, October 16, 2008

Staying awake and being sexy

Work training courses can be both a blessing and a curse. Although any time off the phones is a thing to be happy about, it's usually quite a challenge to try to stay awake for however long your course goes for.
I was on one today and luckily the trainers were good enough to create a fun and almost lively atmosphere with a very dull topic.
One of the topics covered in the course was sexual harrassment and we were discussing a particular scenario. The trainer described exactly what had happened to this one woman and then said "She was treated as a sex object"Without hesitating a second, a colleague jumped in at that point and said "Oh God if only I'd be treated as a sex object!!"
It was quite funny... but maybe you had to be there! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I've done it again....

I just love making movies or rather, short movie clips...

Usually the idea that starts in my head is far more elaborate than what eventuates but we have fun doing it (Ok I have fun, Sarah and Josh are usually forced into it!) And each time we make a new film, I learn a little more.

This is one a short one... about two minutes so please indulge me and have a look.

By the way, you can leave a comment even if you're not a member of blogger. Just choose the "name" or anonymous option in the comments field but please leave your name even if you choose anonymous!
Thankyou..

Now watch!

video




Sunday, October 12, 2008

A miracle is happening...

Brace yourselves...

This is going to be hard to believe....

For those of you who doubted that miracles happen, I can assure you that one is happening at my place right now.
Yes you read right, we are experiencing some kind of divine intervention because Deno and I actually were inspired to do some work in the garden this week!!!!

(You have permission to cheer and exclaim in amazement)

I would have to say that the catalyst for this occurrence would be his father, who kindly worked on getting our fruit trees right and fertilized this week


Unfortunately I didn't take "before" shots, although these "during" shots are scary enough as it is...



This is what you will see as you step out our back door to go outside now...
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There are no more trees up there. I have no idea what we're going to do with that area but as it stands we now have no choice. We have to do something!

Some more shots of the disaster zone..
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Now you understand why I say I never go outside. It's just far too scary and very depressing.

Oh, we did see one of those praying mantis insect thingies while out there. These change colour right?? Cos I thought they were green?

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If we ever get to an "after" stage with this back yard, I'll be sure to post pictures. In the meantime, if anyone has connections to those garden restoration tv shows, please consider us!!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Video Clips

I wanted to see if this was going to work.

Last week, while we were in Sydney, Bill had the opportunity to sit, and have a go at a didgeridoo with a busker. He performed really well don't you think??


video


I also took a little video footage of Bill and Deno doing what they've done a LOT of lately.... playing Backgammon!!!
There's also a little message to loved ones back home..


video