This should probably come with a rant warning and no, I'm not hormonal, I'm just still having my shitty year and it's Xmas so it's extra sucky that things happen to make me so miserable.
Bad enough I'm in here today for another hard day's slog while the rest of the planet is on holidays, and don't they just rub it in: the buses and trains are all on holiday timetables, ie barely running, the newspapers and magazines all put out holiday editions, the tv and radio all go on about holiday weather, holiday traffic, holiday news. Holiday, holiday, holiday...arrrrgh! (that was a Nancy from Charlie Brown type scream).
Having an agnostic in the office with no kids must be a godsend, because I'm always working over Xmas, except last year, which was an aberation. This year, I actually volunteered because they're always complaining that I don't pull my weight, so I gave 'em Xmas off. Are they greateful? Do they say thankyou? Does it redress the balance? Does it what. I'm always doing this. I know I'm deficient in A and B (tact, applications development, whatever) so I say I'll do the rest of the alphabet three times over and we'll call it even, right? Wrong. It never works. It's never enough. Whatever I do, however much I flog and punish myself for these people until I'm lying on the floor bleeding, it's never enough. It will never be enough.
Yeah, sure, this is where my friend steps in and says take control of your life, stop trying to please those who cannot be pleased, which would be sensible only what American style psychobabble fails to take into account is that so long as I require food, shelter and money I will never be in control of my life. I will always be under the control of those people who control the food, money and shelter. And cars, let's not forget cars.
So anyways, when I last left you I was bolting out the door in spite of urgent piling up work to do my Xmas thing, deeply suspecting that Best Friend was only paying lip service to my plans for Saturday - good call. (Rule #1: non car people may never set the agenda, or the time and place).
Just had to do my Xmas thing, which involved seeing the DJ's windows, which totally sucked this year, seeing the DJ's Xmas decs (ditto) and food hall (ditto). Methinks whomever is organising DJ's Xmas this year has severely dropped the ball and should be sacked forthwith and as I was reading from the Holiday edtn of the paper on Sunday, it's not just me who takes their Xmas cue from DJ's, for whom DJ's is the embodiment of all that is "Xmas", so this is extremely poor form.
After that I trotted up to the AGNSW which did not disappoint. Whomever is running the art gallery these days is wholly on the ball and there was lots of new stuff to see and do. They even rotate the pics in the great halls now, so there was lots of new stuff as well as old favourites. I love that. I love that I don't feel quite so provincial as I did five years ago. I love that they're getting stuff out of the basement. Some were even new bequests - horrors! And I just love the hall of lush if twee pre-raphaelites and the hall of scary dead Dutch dudes (only a few, not nearly as stern and cranky and oppressive as Edinburgh's AG). I used to love the landscapes too but I realise from doing too much at work that Oz landscapes are off the menu for a good decade or two. It's just too much like work, seeing all those pics. I keeping thinking in terms of Region X. Oh well.
So I ducked into the Art of Islam exhibition, which is being conscientiously objected to or attended depending on which side of the fence you occupy. I was in there with boots on (literally) and it was so fantastic. The pieces were so breathtakingly beautiful...I've never seen better in my life. It just goes to show beauty and poetry can flourish, only under slightly less rigid regimes than we have today (America being the worst offender and the most oppressive fundamentalist Christian regime since Oliver's Army).
I loved the lustreware and the helmet and the daggers dripping with jewels and the astrolabes but my fave was a simple inscribed pen box from the 8thC or so (when the bulk of my ancestors were illiterate) that reminded its owner, by way of a beautiful inscription, not to use the pen to write anything he wouldn't want to see on judgement day, only it said it much more cleverly, and what wise words.
Too late for me, waaaay too late, but I should remember them for this blog because I'm only writing this for the amusement of about half a dozen people, mostly in the UK, and I forget that other people can read it too, though they really shouldn't. Caveat and all that. Not to mention the opinions I express today are not necessarily the opinions I'm going to hold tomorrow.
I particularly get into trouble when people who don't ever listen to me suddenly read what I've been trying to say, the written word always having greater authority over the spoken. For example, I'll say I didn't like a film much and they won't even hear me but they'll read me ripping the film to shreds and ring up and wail that I never told them I didn't like the film when I totally did, they just weren't listening as usual, but I digress...
After that I trotted into Picasso, whom I've never liked, but did so out of duty, to be well rounded, and I did kind of breeze through, though points for drawing lots of fat women having a really good time. Too bad I was born into a time when fat women are to have nothing but hate and misery stacked upon them until they die. But I digress. Hats off to Mr Picasso for much frumpy rumpy pumpy.
Minus points though to the gift shop which had postcards and postcards of all the nude ladies on the walls but none of the carefully drapped gents. No fair, call the Department of Anti-Discrimination. Equal time for equal pervs, I say. All in the name of art, of course.
Then to my eternal shame my feet gave out - I'm just not used to walking in the city any more and I only did a quarter of what used to be my bi-weekly rounds (no wonder I'm fatter, cause at least I used to be fitter, no I don't even have that any more) so I staggered home onto the bus and, joy of joys, it was full of the Leb boys, this time for two hours, not half an hour, and as if those animals (and they were animals, screaming, leaping about, smashing seats and windows) weren't enough the woman sprayed me with her evil and cheap spray on perfume while she doused herself. Is a public bus a place for that? I mean, really. Whatever happened to personal space, or manners? I reeked so bad I had to wash my hair twice when I got home (thank fek I was going home and not going out) and leave my bag outside my door. Fortunately it was so cheap it disappeared overnight.
So that was Friday.
Saturday starts as a bad hair day. Due to yesterday's frenzied scrubbing I now have Cordelia's worst nightmare hair and best friend can't stop cackling over it no matter how much she tries, nor will she allow me to by a hat. With friends like these...
Anyway, I get in there early (one always allows an extra hour or two on the buses) and the shops surprise me by being open at 9am so I dash into Katies to buy an especially loud printed shirt to wear for the traditional Santa photo on Sunday. I wander into Borders but alas no Biehn dvds or books on westerns or writing westerns. I do stand slack jawed in front of the history section though and the nice uni student shop girl asks me if I require directions, assistance, meds, etc but I just try to explain to her that out in Boonieville our history section is just three books (A Pictorial History of the War, vols 1,2 and 4), which doesn't exactly lend itself to browsing, and it's been a while since I've seen a history section so huge it needs to be subdivided into sub-subjects and entire bookcases. I'm stunned. I'm overwhelmed. I want to savour the spine reading. She backs away slowly, not making eye contact.
Upstairs - and there's an upstairs, praise be, 'cause the book shops out here are the size of my kitchen, ie, the size of a public lav cubicle, I browse the magazines, though not as feverishly as when I had a web site to put the pictures on, and I pick up a Cult Tv, sliding it under a copy of Who when I take it to the counter. Why do I even bother? The shop girl whisks it out and demands to know where I stand on the cancellation of Farscape. Against, I say. Most definitely against. Then she asks my opinion on the cancellation of Dark Angel. Outraged again, I say. We then loudly dis Firefly, which neither of us have seen but it replaced Dark Angel and only got half the ratings so it deserves our contempt and we nod over how unwise it might be for Fox to have pissed off James Cameron.
That was fun and I really don't know why I bothered to try and be incognito though I'm not wearing any SF t-shirt, my t-shirt is actually from... FRANCE! the girl at the Starbucks counter shrieks, having regretted not buying the very same t-shirt in Versailles. Ah yes, Baz tinged memories of my Paris trip happily float back to me like some dream I once had. We bond over travelling until other people show up (pushy Americans as it happens but I will insist on supping at the teat of my imperial overlords). I grab my holiday gingerbread latte and slink off to the seat in the corner, reading my holiday edition of Who (People for you Yanks) and listening to holiday music being played over the PA, though what the Charlie Brown theme has to do with anything I don't know because they never play it out here and it means as much to us as the Thunderbirds means to Americans.
Best Friend shows and we do three shops before she wilts, especially after the disappointment of there being no Lex dolls in the comic book shop - insert Monty Python cheese shop sketch here. I mean, really.
We retire to my fave lil off the main drag Spanish restaurant for tapas (my fave Chinese restaurant being another block or so too far). We have chicken wings, garlic pawns, sausage in cider and mushrooms, one or all of which will be with me the remainder of the weekend. We thoroughly enjoy ourselves, lounging over the table for two hours in good Spanish style, but ominous Hitchcock type close up on the empty plates before we pan away.
Quiet trip home on the bus for once, but it's so hot when I get home I start sweating garlic. Pretty soon that's not all I'm doing and the walk around the suburb for lights in cancelled and I spend the night sweating and groaning, and not in a good way, while watching From Russia with Love, desperately trying not to think of Austin Powers and failing somewhat as I used to MST3K FRWL quite a bit anyways.
I also caught most of Andromeda inbetween being mightily ick and it was the one where Becca goes spaz on Flash and I realise this is what I'm like on coffee and how come I can't have understanding buddies but never mind...
Sunday and I get up to watch some more Thunderbirds, because I was miserable to have to leave halfway through yesterday (yep, have to leave at 6 to get into the city by 10 on the weekends) then I dabbled in some drabble while some Daniel Craig movie played in the background then I wrapped the presents to my Frankie Xmas albumn. It puts me in the mood so I lash out with ribbons and bows even.
Then I catch up on a week's worth of tv that I slept through including the every tacky Lost World but I'm only minutes into Homicide (Munchkin!) when friends ring, cause it's Santa time.
Only it's not. First we go to a nursery, which I adored - it had all the old plants mother used to have in her garden including a mexican cigar bush, which is its real name and I want a written apology from everyone who mocked me as a child when I called it a cigarette plant. So I trot back with my prized mexican bush only its so hot and oppressive (over 40C and no breeze) and my tum tum is still going gurgle.
Everyone decides Santa photos are now passe and unkind so I have to go along (I have no choice, I am a non car person), and me in my special Santa shirt n'all, and it's decided we'll go to Vietnamese for lunch instead. Only part of the way there I have to ask them to pull over. Now. It's not my fault. Put me in the back seat of a car and go around lots of corners and I'll be carsick. It's that simple. Make it a hot airless day in a backseat that reeks of rotweilers and me still suffering a Spanish hangover and you'll wonder how I lasted as long as I did. It wasn't like I'd thrown up in the back seat of the car - which I hadn't.
The thing I hate most about being carsick is being blamed and punished for it. It's not like I can help it, and I find the punishment I get for it unfair, especially considering how much I have to tip toe around everybody elses' thing. So I get carsick, I get pms and I behave badly when I drink too much coffee whenever I have a lot of long, hard work to get through. Yet I am pilloried, punished, just because I don't have some fashionable ailment like diabetes or whatever. Grrr.
So my friends turn the car around, drive back all thin lipped and silent, barely slow down to turf me out, slam the door and drive off, leaving me standng on the side of the road, all wilted, unwell and miserable in my special Santa shirt. I wanted to cry. I still want to cry.
So I go lie down for a bit only a shriek gets me up. It's only Bro cowering from Rene Auberjonois' outfit in the roller disco episode of Charlie's Angels, and it was a screamer, I'll give him that. Okay, so I did end up watching telly instead of going out, but on couch being all car sicky, and it was the Charlie's Angels roller disco episode, apparently referred to in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle according to bro. I wouldn't know, I don't watch non 60s sitcoms. Had to watch, it was just too campy to turn away. Then it was Second Sight on UKTV (mmmm, Clive....) and finally Homicide, during which a storm blew in and drowned out half the dialogue, which was muddy anyway cause I'd taped it on my oldest vcr, so much rewinding to catch every precious drop that fell from my Munchkin's lips.
Then it was more revenge of the Spanish sausage, and again more - I really was ill (subsequent tv viewing notwithstanding) and crawling into my hot and steamy bed - and not in a good way. Fell asleep during Law & Order, hopefully the tape went off for Queen of Swords. so here I am, at work, and apparently I get to spend Xmas eve doing some major backend coding. Whee, lucky me, ie, shoot me now.