Sunday, May 3, 2009

The wonders of an organised weekend...

Ah and so the weekend is here. Not that weekends mean anything these days cos they don't. It just seems to be the 2/7ths of the week that i get to see people. For my 'unemployed actor' (with added scarf worn outside for extra points) I was quite happy to have a weekend where everything had been relatively mapped out.

Friday night began with a bite to eat with my gf. I don't necessarily walk around looking for something to comment on but much in the way a comedian looks for material, i've become consumed with taking note of all the things that i would have dismissed before as quirks of the everyday idiot or simply suppressed them in the hope that not venting my frustration might earn me some karma points. I wasn't off to a good start though.....i stood at my gf's intercom at for what seemed like an age. Without going into the technical details of the schitzophrenic nature of my gf's intercom, its readout was showing 'Lines Busy Please Wait' - a situation remedied usually with pressing the 'X' symbol so as to end the previous call that the last person has no doubt walked away from. In what resembled a Madame Tussauds exhibit, i stood there dumbstruck looking at this bloke wondering what was going to snap first - my patience and thus his neck OR his patience. My question is this. If I as an upstanding member of society decide to reach over and press the forbidden X am i invading his personal space? I only ask this as this is exactly what i did. Noting the speed at which he punched in the numbers i assumed he was a frequent visitor to the building and would no doubt turn and thank me for the pearls of intercom innovation i had just imparted to him for future visits. Instead, i got a look from him like i'd just taken a shit in his wallet. Next time i'll just leave them be i think.

And thus onto Saturday. A day that every fortnight at around about 11am i am turned into what can only be described as a zoo exhibit. My current abode is up for sale and has been for quite a while. Namely because the owner has been seemingly living in a realm where the GFC hasn't bitten. I know next to nothing about property other than the word location and its repetition twice more. But what i do know is this. If something is too expensive in relation to what else is on the market, then it ain't gonna sell tiger. I can only assume that the owner is going by the tried and tested 'one born every minute' ratio in the hope that if he does enough open houses that someone who has just come into some money will pay through the arse. Nothing says personal intrusion like having to tidy the place from top to bottom whilst complete strangers walk on through commenting on how busy i look, and how they would have never thought to have put that there. I would like to give a special shout out to the man who thought that he didn't have the need to cover his mouth when he sneezed three times. Nothing says inadvertant swine flu that some cretin sneezing all over my gear. Cheers mate, appreciate it. Not only do i give up an hour of my weekend to make sure nothing goes missing on these walk throughs, but i also subject myself to biological warfare in the form of a sweating Chinese man.

Quick shout out: I do recall a point in time where Lauren commented on how sexy Ruby Rose was. I also recall viewing a photo of said woman and thinking she wasn't anything special. Apologies to Lauren aside, i just thought i'd like to say what a fairly stunning creature she is. Maybe its the new haircut, maybe its the pork pie hat. I dunno, but it works. That's all.

And now Sunday rolls around. Beautiful sunny day. Days that i'm sure Wilson Parking look upon as sweet sweet revenue from above........everyone wants a day in the City. Today was no different. In my getting ready to head into the City i had a bit of peripheral noise in the background. This morning's selection (and i must stress it was totally random as no self respecting person would look at a tv guide to know this program's exact time) was..........Gladiators. Now i as a kid LOVED Gladiators. I was at an age to appreciate the subtle violent opera unfolding before well as the not so subtle curves of Delta. Mike Hammond was about as plastic as a Tupperware convention whilst the vision of test cricketer in a stripey referree shirt trying with all his might to not yell 'WTF has my life become?!?' was hysterical. Fast forward to 2009. Wrestling in the US is going gangbusters. Has been for a long time. In trying to tap into that demographic, a Channel 7 exec has had a programming relapse sitting behind his mahogany desk by trying to exhume this once fun show. Sure, all the classic events remain. The over-the-top contestants are still over-the-top. The Gladiators are an eclectic mix of swimsuit models and triangular shaped ex-bodybuilders some with traps so big that if they were to shrug in not knowing say....the capital of Borneo....they would champagne cork their head clean off their shoulders. And whilst i did catch myself in front of the tv briefly, i couldn't help but laugh when Bill Harrigan went to the video ref not once but TWICE. Off all the aspects of the NRL to bring into Gladiators it had to be the video referee. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of the pitch when that was suggested. I'm picturing Harrigan suffering from some sort of rectal disfunction at the thought of having to rule on something like whether or not Trapezoid made excessive contact with Dweeb. And to think this allllllllllllll happened before the main event for my Sunday.

So out of the house i go. The Home Show at Darling Harbour beckons. Now i'm a bit of a closet Ikea fan. I love a good bit of Swedish furniture. Looking around my place i see 2 Flurbenjuns, a Snickabarj and a Ruutasheep......although i think i picked that one up in NZ when i was last there......but anyways. Now Darling Harbour at the best of times is what i would call a bit of a shitfight and given the current economic climate i would have thought that the Home Show would have been emptier than a hobo's address book. And of course, i was wrong. With strollers aligning in a pincer movement every 10 steps i found myself thinking like a Russian chess player so as to not get run over by am oncoming squadron of Hummer inspired baby carriages. Once i had that down pat i could then turn my attention to what turned out to be quite an enjoyable exhibit. Few products spring to mind like the ratchet latched Tree Lopper. Perfect for a person like Dexter, it makes short work of even the thickest limbs.....i mean branches. From the look of them flying out the door, they are either making a sequel to Lost somewhere in the dense NSW tablelands OR that Dexter made being a sociopath all that more an attractive career path.

But my 'LOL' of the show would have to be the metal blinds that go over your swimming pool thus making it less appealling for children to go near and thus increase infant safety. That would be all well and good if the photo didn't show a kid KICKING A SOCCER BALL ON IT!!! Paint a giant dentist's drill or creepy Uncle Johnny on it or something. Another shout out would have to go to the Snuggie. In hoping that the person who thought this up was not the Marketing Manager of Betamax, this person has essentially invented an oversize blanket with three holes in. Bravo. Bearing in mind that the only colour on display was Radioactive Orange, it probably wasn't a good idea to put a bald guy on a laptop demonstrating how better his life had become just by owning a blanket with holes in. Picture the Dalai picture him 30 years put him on a laptop.
BOOM! You now have the visual.

But thinking that my fun would end there would be premature for this ticket admission also granted us access to the Mind Body Spirit festival...........or as i will call it from now on The Gemstone, Oil and Lesbian Expo. Predicably the first stall i saw - and smelt - was aromatherapy but i was willing to let that slide. What i didn't let slide was a series of stalls that i imagine even Stephen King would have trouble thinking up. Ever heard of nose pot? Nope, me either. From the visuals alone it involved taking a teapot and inserting the spout in your choice of nasal orifice, left or right......not the gaping food hole beneath it. In my lifetime, i can probably count on one hand how many things have entered my nostrils. My index finger ages 0-9. A Cadbury chocolate finger that my brother then ate as a joke. A corkscrew corn cob holder for a laugh. A refreshing cup of Earl Gray doesn't spring to mind. Now obviously Earl Gray isn't what's used, but i wouldn't stick around to find out. Being a guinea pig and covering 20 people in reconstituted tea as it all goes horribly wrong would be unfortunate for all concerned.

But anyways, there you have weekend. I shall now relax and watch Borat.

Chin up everyone. It's only life.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Centrelink and the abyss that lies within....

Now, for the people that know me they know that a certain things brew a primal rage in me never seen since Bruce Banner. Castle Hill basketball referees and their claims of not seeing the elbow that has resulted in me bleeding. Promising my stomach something Hamish Blake style only to have it fall through. People spending so long at an ATM that it would be quicker to counterfiet my own tender. But thanks to the events of today, i can whole heartedly say that i've found something that will forever make me close to combustible in ways that will make Chernobyl look like a mild dutch oven. Centrelink.

Before you label me as something as a dole bludger I will offer you this tidbit of information. I do not own any flannelet. There is a time honoured tradition that i have never adhered to. It must be in the small print of the forms or something, but going back to my TAFE days (where there was one located next door), i had never seen anyone walk into a Centrelink that wasn't in posession of an item of flannelet clothing. I do not own flannelet. Even previous tries to pass it off as some sort of vain Ben Sherman number have failed. But i digress......

As my previous blog will indicate, i have been unemployed for some 3 months now. Entering into the foray of government assistance was something i didn't come to lightly. In the name of all things convenient, my nearest office was 10kms away. So i did what any normal person would do.........i walked there. First mistake. I entered their office to be greeted with a line that nearly hit me as i walked through the front door. Given that i'm a veteran of other govt establishments like the RTA and the Dept of Immigration, i expected nothing less than a quick and streamlined experience surrounded by people with perfect queue etiquette and impeccible personal hygiene. Thankfully i was not disappointed.

My trepidation was well justified. The queue in front of me was termed 'General Enquiries'. The much much shorter queue to my right was called Form Lodgement Looking for Work. There is no greater indicator of public laziness that this. The time is 1.05. I may be way off here but since Centrelink is driven by the almighty form, i would expect that this line would be just as long as the one that i am in. You will never see Centrelink be a candidate for the paperless office. I'm sure the culling of the Amazon rainforests was but a misdirection to you not finding out just how much paper they go through. The wait continues. I see a sign. All arrows point to the one queue i.e the queue that i'm in. Great sign usage there. I scan down the list of the categories at the valiant attempt to streamline my waiting experience and what do i see? An option called 'Waiting'. Yup, waiting. This option displayed a fork in the road with an arrow pointing in either direction (suspiciously like a person shrugging going 'I dunno' with their hands). You can wait left. You can wait right. Now this impressed me greatly. I got the distinct impression that just by walking into this establishment, i had to submit all control to these people. But in a blinding beacon of hope, i have been given the option of where to wait. Huzzah!

At this stage, the sheer speed at which they are dealing with people would make the RTA/DMV look like Japanese public transport. The time is 2pm. I am near the front. It was at this point in time that the couple behind me turn to critisism of the people who are being served like it's their fault. In a ten minute span i'd heard that two people were told incorrect information by the call centre, one person would need to fill out another form, and two people that there would be a 3 minute wait on their nuggets. I did however like the anger management angle that they tried to employ by having two 34cm tvs beaming channel 9 and 7. It may have just been timing but The View and Deal or No Deal just seemed to make people more angry. The View seemingly fixated on 5 rich women banging on about things that no person in 'normal' society would have to deal with and, in what i can only put down to sheer irony, watching someone get paid for doing virtually nothing on Deal of No Deal........a concept no doubt conjured up by the wizards of the Australian Govt and Milton Bradley.

Some would say that I am being unneedlessly harsh and perhaps that's true. I mean, in these dark economic times i'm surprised that Centrelink hasn't had a look down the queue and thought about how to sting us for a bit of money whilst we attempt to claim it from them. If their business plan was to inflict massive amounts of force to people's load bearing joints then mission accompished. Build a chiropractor next door to every office.
Or perhaps speed the whole process up with a lucky door prize so that when you get to the front of the queue you would at least win a meat tray or a complimentary assessment at the local mental institution for the anguish and frustration of having to deal with such cretins.

The time is 2.00. I'm up next.......or so i think. A woman is 40 seconds late for her 2pm appointment so she feels the need to jump the queue to announce her arrival. After unsuccessully looking round to see if there are any trumpets to announce such an arrival, I give her the evils since the couple behind me have resorted to not being bashful about voicing their displeasure at having to wait this long. They do the 'Oi, excuse me' on my behalf. I then walk up to the counter only to be cut of by a short, Ukrainian woman who was an interpreter. It was at this point that i had to check my skin for green patches as i was sure i was going to ruin a nice pair of jeans and shirt through busting out of them with Hulk like proportions. She waves me away like she's here on military business which leaves me in a state of severe WTF-ness. To quote the great Sid Widdel, i was about as happy as a penguin in a microwave.

I am supposedly not on 'the system', a term floated around for what can only mean that Sandeep in New Dehli didn't put me in the system when i rang TWO MONTHS AGO. I let this slide, i mean how hard can it be to put me in the system? I didn't see an Mensa emblems as i walked in (although maybe i missed them in my confusion with the arrows). So I'm not in the system - i apparently need to make 'first contact' with them over the phone which will then organise an interview at a later date. For my 'first contact' i will for shits and giggles ask for them to take me to their leader in exchange for schematics of superior weaponry and the secrets to anti-matter, hydrogen storage and how old Joan Rivers really is.

The time is 2.20 and i leave with a phone number, a piece of paper and an annoying pulsating sensation behind my left eye which i can only attribute to a plethora of burst blood vessels in my head.

So there you have it. When i come to power i will make my first order of business to systematically (and without a skeric of compassion for the contents or staff) carpet bomb every Centrelink.

Chin up everyone. It's only life.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today's anniversary........and the addition of the 'sh'

Ok so today is an anniversary of sorts. Not the type of anniversary where presents are handed out to mark the occasion, cakes presented to give the masses a 15 minute break to sing to you whilst you stand there and try to pick out who isn't actually singing. No today is the unfortunate anniversary of me being unemployed for 3 months. Whilst there are significantly shorter and 'fruitier' ways of describing the GFC (an adverse situation described perfectly in acronym form as it has an F in there) I would have to say that the last 3 months can only be described by myself as um....quite 'trying'. Whilst my own details would prove insignificant at this point as i am sure there are many many other people in my situation right now, the time off has never the less given me considerable opportunity to mull all of life's things over......hence the start of this blog. It's not Dickens.......far from it but it's life through my eyes..........possibly influended by Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld and other great men that have shaped my persona.

The humble book was the basest idea that i had whilst walking to my gf's house (love you boo) and over the course of the next few hours found myself - along with a couple of friends - mulling out the next big idea that i could latch myself onto in order to get back into the game. Some were bang on, some were way off, some required UN funding and one seemed to include participation from ALL of Chinatown. Now one would be somewhat foolish to dispense such ideas over such a global forum but it proved to be a nice timely kick in the backside to realise that things haven't reached crisis point with me just yet. Dinner turned into a very enjoyable collective thinktank.With every idea being preceded with a hearty laugh and me asking 'You've had another idea haven't you?', i would then sit back and listen to the details that would follow. Luke you're a genius son :)

And this in turn brings me to the mighty 'sh'. Should one find themselves in a situation worthy of proclaiming that it is 'sh*t', then simply add 'sh' to the beginning of the word needing to be described. And the best part about it is that no one will know what you're banging on about. Subtle swearing never felt so good. Try it some time.

So there you have it. The start of my blog. And whilst i can't promise to update the teachings of life and its randomness every day nor guarantee that it won't be filled with the experiences of horror taxi drivers, public transport or flatulent train patrons, i will approach this blog as a bookmark in my life and thus update as often as i can.

Chin up everyone.