Thursday, June 24, 2010

Never Say Die

Up at 3:25am this morning! Crazy I know, but not really if you're a Socceroos supporter.

So S & I had heard that Circle on Cavill (highrise and outdoor shopping mall in Surfers Paradise) was screening all Aussie World Cup games on a big suspended screen in their piazza and that the atmosphere there for last two games had been amazing. We decided we wanted to be part of that kind of atmosphere for what could be our last tournament game so we braved the dark rainy cold morning and headed in.

Got there and it was dismal! Maybe 6 people there all huddled close to the building for cover. S was very disappointed. I was a little, but mostly glad for the opportunity to find somewhere indoors and warm for the game. We now had 30 mins before kickoff to find a new venue. I suggested the Casino and S had no idea so Casino it was.

What an eye opener! The tables and pokies were actually busy at 4am on a Thursday morning - scary I know.

We found our spots in the J Bar and settled in to watch the big screen.

Our morning quickly went downhill. The bar was filled with drunks and lots of drunk English supporters - now I'm all for England (S is English) but they were obnoxious and mocking the Australian Anthem. S explained this was likely because they were cocky as their team just scraped in qualification around 1/2am this morning. We agreed we would head for home (5 mins away) at half time rather than suffer through this crowd).

Wow, what a game! Socceroos played with passion, vigour and desperation. Disappointingly, (and I know the Socceroos do it at times but not this much) it seemed that Serbia were going to use dirty tricks to help them along and took a dive or clutched a body part at every opportunity whether struck or not. I was absolutely thrilled when Cahill scored (he is a menace to other teams in the air, he is that good), especially with the red card issue and all. Happier still that Holman followed up with his second for the series. I had only just said to S before Holman's goal that I hoped he got another one in.

The game deflated a little for S and I when they announced Germany had scored but we held out hope for a miracle. As you all know, no miracle was forthcoming but I am still so proud of the Socceroos and Australia's efforts! Do you know that last World Cup, we also finished round 1 on a loss, a draw and a win but this time it just wasn't enough.

Feeling a little sorry for Verbeek now as we all know he is going to be labelled the Anti-Christ by Aussie media (I admit, I slammed him too) when in fact on reflection, he took a risk, played a different tactic in game one and it failed because our team didnt play that style well but imagine if the risk had of paid off? Verbeek would be a hero now. At least he gave it a go, changed things up and showed us we have a lot of work ahead of us if we want to be World class.

Me, I will now be cheering for ??? Still to be decided (but it wont be Germany).

Oroton Addiction

I decided to spoil myself yesterday (for a change) and traded in my Spencer & Rutherford travel wallet for a new Oroton purse.

My S & R travel wallet was purchased and used for a US trip some 2-3 years ago and I just never got around to changing everything back to a normal purse when I returned. Plus, the size was pretty convenient for all my accumulated junk.

Anyway, it finally become a bit too heavy and a bit too annoying in terms of trying to find cards and what so I decided to bite the bullet and get a new Oroton purse to match my new Oroton bag (got to love sales, taupe Ethereal tote down to $190 from $545).

I popped over to Oroton on my lunch break, couldnt decide between 4 different purses and after much umming, ahhhing and wandering around the shop, I decided on a gloss finshed textured biscuit colour that will match everything rather than the shiny red one or the pinky jam coloured one.

Of course I couldn't just leave with one item and as it was a rainy day and the umbrella stand was located so conveniently beside the register, it was only natural to buy the matching umbrella.

Had to hide the Oroton bag from S when I got home though, he was already complaining when I bought the new bag last week as he bought me a pink Oroton tote for Christmas (good for weekends I told him) then I picked up a cream hobo (not practical for everyday use) in the Christmas sales - oops, no more popping into Oroton for a while!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Birthday Presents & Toys R Us

Today was a day for presents ... for Baby S & me!

It is Baby S' birthday tomorrow so I planned to meet my S at Toys R Us in my lunch break so we could choose the perfect gift for her and to my pleasant surprise, C & L & Baby S were with my S, also shopping for birthday presents. It made shopping very easy as we got to see Baby S interact with the toys and watch what attracted or excited her. She was in Heaven surrounded by so many toys and S took her to sit on the rocking horse and play with a plush gorilla that was 3 times her size.

In the end, S & I bought her a Fisher & Price Bird Bath that is interactive with music, counting, sounds, colours and shapes along with a very favourite Tickle Me Elmo doll. She loved the Elmo and wanted to have it straight away. Side note, her absolute alltime favourite character though is Ollie from Nickelodeon. Does anyone know where you can buy Ollie merchandise - I have searched high and low.

S & I are excited to give Baby S her birthday presents tomorrow when we visit her after work for birthday cake.

Baby Hugs from Baby S

Getting home at 3am on Sunday morning meant we didn’t rise until 10:30am, right in time for the arrival of C, L and baby S. Baby S couldn’t be cuter and was all dressed up to attend her very first birthday party with pigtails and wearing her ‘my first stars’ (pink Converse bought for her by Uncle Dot Dot – my S).

Now, is there anything more special than baby hugs? I think not.
Baby S has just started walking and on her arrival, came running down our hallway squealing with delight to throw her arms around my neck and burrow in for a cuddle.

I could talk about baby S and her adorable personality for days on end, this child is pretty much the cutest little girl you will ever see with masses of silky dark hair, a huge animated smile and the most loving and cheeky personality I have ever witnessed. Not even one yet, she is already walking (& running), recognizing her 123 ABC’s, responding to sentences and chattering nonstop.

Lucky for S & I, C & L decided to stay for dinner so we got to spend almost a whole day playing with her – best Sunday.

Its baby S’ first birthday this week so C & L and S & I are taking baby S to Seaworld for the day … S & I can’t wait!

Proud to Be Aussie

S picked me up so I could get changed before we headed to the Prince Albert at Jupiters for the BIG GAME with M and her boy D.

On arrival, we secured one of the venue's best tables right in front of the big screen and we now had over 3 hours to guard it. The boys left us to table-mind while they popped into the casino for a flutter – considerate aren’t they?

Over an hour later, we were forced to send out SOS's for their return as we were being inundated by drunk males demanding seats. One out of four that returned was not impressed and sulked as boys tend to do.

Many thrifty daiquiris were consumed prior to the game (just $5 each – great value) and as good little supporters, we even sipped green and gold. M drank mango ones and I drank some sort of green concoction.

We were a little overwhelmed by the crowd and noise when the game began – the venue was so packed they closed down entry and the noise was sitting at a dull roar.

I actually got goosebumps when the national anthem was sung – our whole venue chorused it – and then it was on.

Now, I am not Kewell’s biggest fan and feel Verbeek let us down by not starting him in game one but honestly, having him on the field really makes a difference.

The game was one of the most exciting I have watched and when we scored in the first 12 or so minutes, wow, I think my eardrum popped from the screams.

Sadly, our initial lead went downhill and we lost Kewell after 20 minutes on a red card followed by several yellow cards to other key players and a goal by Ghana.

We just couldn’t seem to get back ahead and ended up drawing the game 1 all.

Now I may be a sore loser or just biased to our team but I honestly feel like we were robbed by the referee in this game.

That said, I am immensely proud to be an Aussie after watching the game and am so impressed by the team – they managed to hold off Ghana, one man down for more than three quarters of the game.

I am just so sad that for all their efforts in this game, it is pretty unlikely we will make it past round 1 – although S tells me that mathematically, it’s still possible.

Disappointingly, we went for food after the game (a little cafeteria in the Casino called Bite) and witnessed a young man throw his Socceroos scarf on the ground and tell his friends what a bad team they were – stronger language was used but not polite to repeat. This upset S to no end and he decided to have words with the young man. Point to S, by the time he was through, the young man had picked up his scarf and was a little more subdued.

In the meantime, hopefully the referee will give us a fair go in our final match against Serbia and that our boys will hang in there for a win.

Aussie Aussie Aussie – well done Socceroos.

Teppanyaki & Tupperware

Sleep in Saturday with S was followed by a big cleanup then out for a teppanyaki lunch in Broadbeach at my favourite, Murasaki: can’t wait for our honeymoon in Japan next year. Glasses of Sapporo with vegetable tempura, teriyaki steak and hot'n spicy prawns made a delicious lunch before S dropped me off at M's for a Tupperware party - she had to host one as I secretly booked it for her because she flaked on my last one that I had been set up for ha ha (revenge is a dish best served cold people).

M is very disorganized in her personal life (she's a bank manager in her professional life amazingly - I will dedicate a future post to her quirks) and had nothing ready when I arrived. Luckily she lives in the heart of Broadbeach so we popped over to Woolworths to pick up the essentials: cheeses, salami, turkish bread and other deli goodies.

We arrived back at her unit to find our crazy Tupperware lady N (we have a lot of parties within our circles so she is just about one of the group we see her so often) already waiting for us – N is hilarious and has a heavy European accent so can be difficult to understand making for lots of laughs at words lost in translation.

Time for a quick drink (loving the new LadyLuck Cruiser range, especially Pommetini) before everyone arrived. Party passed quickly with games played, timtam cake made and consumed and containers purchased - I picked up the microwave jug and a sifter. I know, can you believe I didn't already have a sifter?

FYI, I should make a declaration here that I am a Tupperware addict (as is my sister, it all stems from our mother) and these two items were the only Tupperware I didn't have from the catalogue. Scary I know, S has banned me from future parties.

I Love Friday Nights

Friday night, S & I hosted what seems to have become a popular monthly event in our parts. We had my besties M & C over along with S' bestie L (also C's husband), their daughter baby S and my little brother J and his girlfriend B for a pizza party - confused yet?

C kindly provided a Pinot Noir Chardonnay and our favourite Stoneleigh Sav Blanc to sip while catching up over the week's happenings including B's current tale of recovery from Bacterial Meningitis (long story for another post).

Once baby S had been put to bed and after getting caught up, we put on our aprons (figuratively speaking) and made pizzas - this involved all 7 of us in the kitchen passing around bowls of topping, assigning job titles and giving orders, lots of laughs to be had.

The boys, S J & L have to make their own pizzas as they compete to make the hottest spiciest
pizzas known to man and challenge each to survive the consumption. M C B & I stick to prosciutto, boccacini, cherry toms & fresh basil.

Our Friday night ended with much wine and laughter at 12:30am after M and I truly could not finish another Sav Blanc (and realized we had a late night ahead of us Saturday for the soccer).

Friday, June 18, 2010

At Least its Friday

Today is shaping up to be about on par with yesterday and even worse, it's raining.

The salespeople are steering clear (word got around that D copped it yesterday and none are game to front the firing line today) but of course, that just leaves the path open for another drama.

The office is flooded!

Yep, N (fellow worker) buzzed my office to advise there was water coming through the wall from next door's lounge bar.

This in itself is not surprising - it's about the third time in 12 months but hey who is counting - but the reason for it is... they left the postmix machine on overnight and it malfunctioned hence our swimming pool. This is actually a fairly sensible cause, the last flood came as a result of a dopey bartender leaving the tap in the kitchen running from 2am till 9am when we arrived for work - that was a bad one!

My morning spent tracking down staff for the lounge bar to come fix things was followed by arranging industrial blow dryers to come fix our carpets (hopefully they will find time to attend this afternoon) now on to tracking down an auditor who is available in the next 7 days - I know, impossible task considering the EOFY is upon us.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Work with Monkeys

Grrrr... It's one of those days!

I love my job but today I really dont like it or some of the people I work with very much.

Note to salesperson, D: 'you didn't know' is not an adequate excuse for signing a contract up incorrectly. It's your job dummy so if you cant do it properly then maybe its time to look for a new one.

Note to all salespeople: please do not choose payday to discuss or dispute the billing of your incurred expenses you have around 29 days in a month to attend to this, organise yourselves people!

Sometimes I think working with monkeys would be easier ... overseeing some 30 people (at least half of which are young females) is like running a preschool and highschool simultaneously.

Real estate is crazy at the best of times (too many egos) but worse in the slow periods when there is time for in-fighting, backstabbing and stealing each others clients.

I Quit: out with the old, in with the new

It was a night for upsets all over!

Can you believe the Blues lost? Yep, I can too. No surprise there.
Although I must say, entertainment wise, I quite enjoyed the game and at the risk of sounding Occa, that was quite the biff (Aussie word for fight).
The biff still wasn't enough to coax any further loyalty from me though and I announced to my family after Qld won their 5th series that I will no longer support the game of NRL and instead will replace it with Football (soccer for the Aussies reading) in my affections.
Thankfully I escaped excommunication although my younger brother wasn't in attendance last night so its still on the cards.

So moving on from my old game and onto my new, Spain lost last night and that really was an upset!
I think S is still in shock as Spain is now in the same position as Australia in their group.
Bizarre as they are widely tipped to win the Cup or at least make the final.
I think darkhorse Portugal are looking better and better if the upsets keep coming.

On a side note, have there ever been so many drawn games in round one of a World Cup series?
I would ask S but my questions are getting to him I think. It seems to me like three quarters of the games so far have been drawn.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm Bored

So what else to do but inundate this blog - obviously its still very much a novelty and I expect I will run out of things to say soon enough.
In the meantime, who will you be cheering for in tonight's State of Origin match?
Me, I'm a loyal Blues supporter (unfortunately) but will continue to be so despite many a fellow Blues supporter jumping ship, especially those that live in Queensland.
People, its called STATE OF ORIGIN!
Personally, I was born in NSW and moved to Qld when I was 5. That gives me 5 years as a New South Welshman and 23 years as a Queenslander but I remain true to the cockroaches due to the event's name.
My family have no such loyalty, well some of them anyway. All but my littlest brother were born in NSW so he is the only Cane Toad legitimately but that doesn't stop my father and sister from being traitors. I have my mother and other brother to back me up but its wearing thin when you've been on a losing streak for 5 years!
We are off to my parents' house tonight for their usual SoO party (any where up to 30 people can be in attendance) where it will be very loud and much wine will be drunk plus I will have to put up with the 'Sorry, what's the score R, I can't see it from here' when they know darn well its 10 nil to Qld. My sister is the worst offender for this.
Thinking of boycotting the NRL and giving my full allegiance to real football but this could lead to excommunication from my family as they are all crazy NRL fans cause apparently it runs in the family (dad, uncles, grandpa all played in the pros). I have explained to my sis, K, that my son will definitely be playing real football over NRL cause lets face it, there's more money and less brain damage to be had. This met with utter horror and a warning that her future frontrower son will probably beat mine up for being a pansy and playing a girl's game.
Thoughts on ditching the NRL for soccer?

Dearly Beloved

My beautiful little sister K will be getting married this Spring in mid September and is going to make the most stunning bride - see the pic of her wedding dress. I am lucky enough to be her Maid of Honour (my wedding is not till next March so she will be my Matron) which also means I am in charge of arranging her hens night.

Now K and I are very similar in our likes and dislikes and she would kill me if I arranged a stripper or anything tacky so that's fine, I can happily work around that but am getting stumped on ideas that will be special enough for her night.

I have the oceanfront apartment , bottle service and VIP treatment at a local nightclub and makeup booked for her but need something, an activity (that isn't too expensive) for between 5pm and 9:30pm that is under 18 friendly (one of the BM's is 16). Any suggestions? I was thinking a mexican fiesta in the apartment with a mexican buffet and lots of sangria. Pole dancing was suggested but the local venue has closed down so it would mean a 20 min trip and people having to drive.
The lovely girls on the Vogue forums were also full of great ideas and I am borrowing the goody bag idea. A gift bag for each attendee with a plastic ring, tiara or similar, chocolate, lolly bracelet, samples and other fun bits.
I also have to come up with a special surprise for us to share the morning of her hens day as it may be our last one on one time together before we are old married ladies. I have a few things floating around in my head but would welcome ideas.

Where Da Cheese At

Has anyone had a cheese cake? Not a cheesecake but a cheese cake made from wheels of cheese.

People look at me like I'm an alien when trying to explain this concept.

I am quite enamoured with the idea of my wedding cake made from wheels of cheese decorated by fresh figs etc that can be cut up and supplied as platters after the 'cake' cutting, especially as I dont like cake.

S is not impressed - although he loves cheese, he tells me this idea is much too weird and cant we have anything traditional in our wedding. Not sure where he was going with this train of thought as a 'cheese' cake would be our only non traditional element.

Anyway, its pretty well off the cards because although the inlaw's S & B love the idea (my parents, M & M aren't terribly impressed), I can't find anyone on the Gold Coast that can fulfill this request. Hours spent googling has yielded no results and emailing the only local cheese factory resulted in an 'I'm sorry but we dont do wedding cakes' (you could just tell the person who wrote the reply thought I was crazy for asking).

Oh well, back to the drawing board and my mother M now in my ear begging for a fruitcake layer which I will probably allow considering I wont eat any anyway. S doesn't want fruitcake but was smite by his own request for traditional!

Any recs for Gold Coast wedding cake designers?

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Seriously, who would have dreamed that wedding flowers could be so difficult?

Not me, that's for sure!

So I started out with my heart completely set on Peonies (is there a lovelier flower? not to me). I went on to find out very early that this was a pipe dream - my wedding is in March, Peonies are available for two weeks only around September and unfortunately S would not allow me to change our date.

Somehow I discovered David Austins as a viable replacement when it bcame clear I needed to change my sights (unsure but it could be from my stack of Bridal magazines - my BM's and I are keeping them in business).

My first florist again crushed my flower dream by explaining they were super expensive, only available from one place in the World, only a few suppliers who were choosy about who they sold to and the list goes on. After conditioning me, she then tells me she can give me DAs but the quote would be over $2,000 for 7 bouquets and 11 buttonholes. That's right, no centrepieces or church flowers, just bouquets and buttonholes!

S of course told me no way could I go ahead with this quote and then asked if we even had to have flowers for the wedding. Grrrrr.

7 quotes later (they suck me in by telling me they must meet with me in person to discuss my requirements then when I get there they tell me that they dont have a DA supplier and will I consider Virtue roses etc), I have discovered an amazing florist that I am excited to work with and can actually meet my requirements.

For $1,200, The Flower Garden in Ashmore will give me my DAs - yay! That means $800 saved for our honeymoon.

Anyone looking for a GC florist - I highly recommend The Flower Garden on Bundall Rd. Philippa is amazingly competent and detailed, she actually measured me to make sure I would have a suitable sized posy then went on to cut off samples of ribbons and pictures of similar posies to include with my file to ensure it was all exact.

Next on the list, wedding cake ... do we really need to have one?

World Cup Widow

Just last week, I was all excited about the World Cup kicking off because this time round, I actually know a little bit about football (see, I even call it by its real name). I may be exagerating with my knowledge but surely going to a World Cup qualifier (Aus vs Iraq) gives me some bragging rights?

Anyway, this World Cup surely has to be better for me than the last because S (my fiancee) is a dedicated football supporter (being born in England will apparently do that to you plus he was at the last World Cup in Germany) which means I have someone to answer my never ending questions thus making the game much more interesting for me.

Well, like any supportive partner, I watched the opening ceremony on Friday night followed by some of the opening game (South Africa & a team I cant think of right now) then onto England vs USA (very important to S) and of course our very own Socceroos vs Germany game at the ungodly hour of 4am. A 4am start is a huge effort by anyone's standards and snaps to S, he knew it would be a struggle so he prepared brekky before waking me (picked up McD's hotcakes & coffee). Like all good Aussies (apparently there weren't many at 4am), I dragged myself from bed, put my supporters' scarf & beanie on and settled in to watch history. Yep, history turned out to be Australia getting smashed and outclassed at every turn. Wasn't happy and when the score sat at 4 nil two thirds of the way into the game, I took my doona and headed back to bed. S merely stated he wasn't surprised and mentioned he was going to head to Rebel Sport on Monday to pick up a rule book for the Socceroos - apparently Tim Cahill needs to distinguish between what is and isn't allowed tacklewise and Lucas Neill needs clarification in rules relating to players offside.

Anyway, back to my point, last night I got home to find S on the lounge watching the SBS World Cup highlights, this was followed by some comedic relief by Santos & 2 other guys (cant think of their names) relating of course to the World Cup then onto the NZ vs Slovakia game which I watched 20 mins of and decided it was bed time. S explained that he would be watching the rest of this game then onto the Portugal vs Cote d'Ivoire game at midnight so I might as well head to bed.

Is this what the next 3 weeks is going to be like? Me off to bed every night alone after 4 hours on the lounge with S watching a game I can barely understand?

ps. My never ending questions are wearing thin but truely, I am interested to know who that player is and what club he plays for usually, if the ground is hard and how can you tell, if the game is at altitude (apparently Nz vs Slovakia wasn't as you could see the sea S pointed out), has that team played in or won a World Cup, how do I pronounce the striker's name and who does S think will be in the final (I ask him this question after every match but cant get a straight answer, he says Portugal is a darkhorse though so I am considering having a little flutter on this tip).

Wishing you a lovely day.