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Archive for the ‘Wednesday-itis rant’ Category

It took me years to say “I’m a writer”. Now that I finally do it, I find it’s more of a liability… especially when you put it down as your occupation on a form. 

And not just because bank managers don’t feel comfortable lending you large quantities of money (unless you’re in the Rich & Famous Writerly Category, in which case you wouldn’t be reading this – or asking your bank manager for money).

No, I’m talking about those medical forms where you have to remember every major operation and minor hiccup since you were a toddler. Which gets harder every year. I used to write ‘Business Communicator’ because that’s what I do. Now I’m too lazy and just put ‘writer’, because that’s also what I do.

Big mistake. Last week I went to a doctor for a particular examination. There I sat, on the examination table, half naked, and he waltzes in and says (as he’s examining me), “So, you’re a writer”.

Not, oh I see you had a caesarian, a knee reconstruction, and…hmmmm, yes, you sold one of your kidneys on e-bay (because the bank manager doesn’t lend money to writers).

No. “So, you’re a writer. What do you write?”

Okay, I admit I squeaked – because writers hate that question anyway, and because every time I say I write Women’s Fiction they think I mean chick-lit or…

“Write for Mills & Boon then?”

“No,” I say. I’ve only got one nerve left today, and you’re getting on it. “They rejected me when I was twenty – because my characters were too cliched.”

He didn’t hear me. His question had merely been an opening so he could regale me with his own literary successes (and I use the term loosely), all while performing a perfunctory examination on me. When I didn’t ask him to recite his apparently very (very) good haiku, the last skerrick of professionalism left the building.

His parting words, as he tossed a sheet of instructions at me, were “you should be able to understand that. I wrote it in monosyllables”.

Then there was the doctor who also wanted to know what I wrote – then spent half the consultation telling me her life story and the other half trying to sell me cosmetic procedures (do you want fries with that?).

When we finally got to the pap smear, she popped her head around my leg and said, “I even went on RSVP – what do you think of that?” There I am with a piece of chilled metal between my legs and the consult reaching triple digits – I’m not thinking, okay?

I guess I’ve been spoilt with the really amazing doctors I’ve had, so the freaky ones just do my head in.

Anyway, I’m changing my ‘occupation’ on forms now. I’m going to put “counsellor”. No, wait… that would be a red rag to a bull!

Maybe I’ll try MYOB. I wonder if they would?

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A friend took our advice and set a goal to rise a mere 10 minutes early and do some writing. (All good so far – she loves us – she thinks this is great.)

Then she proceeds to burn her hand (significantly) on an overheated cooking utensil. (Not so good now – she’s in pain – she hates us.)

Why? Well because it’s all our fault of course for making her set that goal of getting up early, so now her mean subconscious had to step in and sabotage all these useful plans that would actually get her (slowly) to her goal of writing and instead end up in agony, clutching bags of ice that she melts like a Marvel superhero due to the smouldering heat eminating from her smouldering palm.

Now as far as excuses go, this is a good one. I mean, the amount of painkiller she downed would probably stop an elephant from rising and painting art for charity. STILL, it got me thinking about excuses. About the fact that I’ve made a truckload of them in my lifetime. That if only I’d written them down I would actually have enough words for several novels – but none of them good. (Okay, third degree burns do constitute a good excuse. But that’s not one that I can truthfully use.)

At the moment I have several reasons for why I can’t possibly get on with writing this script that I’m being paid to write. Being. Paid. To. Write. Yes, you read that write, right. What the hell is wrong with me?

A lifetime of training in making excuses, and it’s gotta stop. Excuses might make amusing anecdotes for cafe conversation, but they can make the rest of your life a misery. This is what I want to be doing. Why am I not doing it? I’ll tell you why… [insert pathetic excuse]

So what’s your best excuse? Got any good ones? We could write a book you know!

 

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Blokes love to bag us women because, apparently, we love to shop. I don’t mind shopping, but I don’t do it very often – and I’m not particularly good at it. That’s because:

  • I can never find what I’m looking for (except when I’m NOT looking for it)
  • I’m always between sizes – and I always have been, even when I was 50kg (yes, yes, back in the day…)
  • The fashion at the moment is frump-city. I mean, my Great-aunt Dot could shop quite happily in even the hippest shops these days. I put this stuff on and I cringe. I do not aspire to look like Great-aunt Dot, and while I might wish to be as tall and thin as a runway supermodel (who looks vaguely sexy in this stuff), that ain’t going to happen in this lifetime!
  • I can’t work out what my style is anymore. Possibly because it’s sweltering out there and I’m a jeans, boots and jackets kinda girl. I’m also getting to that age where crossing the line to mutton-dressed-as-lamb is a distinct possibility…
  • I could opt for those arty designer styles, but I’m afraid I hyperventilate at the pricetags. And there’s something about crushed linen that makes me feel so… crushed.

There are some things I hate about shopping. I raced out today to look for some shorts and – surprise surprise – I found the perfect pair. I drive home feeling very proud of myself, take them out of the bag, and discover the big plastic, ink-filled security tag is still on them. Now I have to go back to the shop (almost an hour round trip) to get the girl to take it off – after ringing the shop to say I’m coming in and no, I didn’t steal the shorts!

And then there are those sales people who forget that being at the front counter might actually involve serving people – and that some level of customer service is part of the deal (and what they get paid for).

Unlike the Gen Y shop assistant in the cupcake shop at [beep]. Recently, I went in there with a friend to choose four cupcakes. But can Ms Gen Y smile? Or speak? No. She stands there, eyes rolled to the ceiling, while I take all of 30 seconds to make my choices. She dumps the box on the glass counter, takes my money, and gives me my change – all as though I am wasting her valuable time.

My friend and I are literally standing there like stunned mullets. Is this girl for real? I wonder what the shop owner would feel about this person, ‘the face’ of the business, acting like this? It was the first time I’d been in the shop – and it was also the last. And I now understand why there’s never anyone much in there. You can’t blame the cupcakes.

But maybe that’s a good thing. Otherwise I wouldn’t be between sizes for long.

Oh, and for the record, I don’t have a Great-aunt Dot.

cheers

Lou

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It’s Wednesday and you know the deal with Wednesday. It’s where we get to let off steam, and… okay, we’re just complaining.

So, I just made lunch and came to the startling realization that I can’t cook without a recipe and it’s all my parents’ fault. (Hence #genefail – now that we  like to twitter. Twitter does not require good genes.) And I don’t blame my parents in any sort of airy-fairy way. It’s a fact. My mother cannot cook. My father is Hungarian, and has decided everything he cooks should contain either lard or paprika, usually both. What hope did I have?

Anyway, I was thinking about a dish I’d eaten somewhere that had veges in some kind of sauce and was yum (the mental picture was far more detailed, but no more helpful). Do you think I could get anywhere near replicating that dish? No. #genefail. It started out okay – I cut the veges, even tossed them about a bit. But that’s about where the wheels fell off. In the process of tossing I managed to knock the top off the gas cooker and flick a large chunk of zuchini into my water at the same time. Then, when I got all that under control, I added my Asian sauces. Still edible if nothing else, but I decided to throw in some feta cheese. I like feta cheese. The Asian vege dish did not. Things got really weird, and I discovered that Asian and Greek really do not mix.

As I was spooning the gooey mix of melting feta and hoisin sauce onto a plate, I was thrown back to childhood and the memories of one too many similar dishes.

Now I don’t mind that I got the ‘you can’t dance’ gene. Or that I missed out on the ‘blue eyes’, ‘maths genius’, or ‘long eyelashes’ genes that were on offer. But seriously, food might be my only joy someday. How could you take this away from me?

Do you have a #genefail? Please – share – lighten my day.

S.

 

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You know all those trivial things that drive you nuts? Well, this Wednesday rant, Louise and Sandra want someone to:

  • pick up the dog pooh in the garden (the dog eating its own pooh does not count – it’s just a whole different world of problems)
  • clean the fridge, which is starting to look like ferals-ville (oh, and fill it up with lots of healthy food and bevs – and some not so healthy ones!)
  • clean the toilets every day – in fact, clean the whole friggin’ house
  • stop asking us where stuff is that I’ve never used (even though I always know the answers)
  • do the washing, hang it out, fold it, put it away… yadda yadda yadda
  • and do anything else that will make us STOP being distracted from the things we really want to do. Like write. Or exercise. Or drink coffee… and stuff.

So there.

L & S

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clonesYou know what we hate? Clonesville. Everything the same, thanks to the corporate copycat syndrome.

We’re a franchised culture where you can walk into a shopping centre here, on the other side of the city, or in another state, and the same shops are there. Aren’t we getting just a little bit too comfortable with the familiar?

Then there are those Fast Food outlets that are same same the world over. That’s comforting to some people, but it’s soooo Bland.

Then there’s those formulaic TV shows and movies – different actors, same plotlines, same one-liners. Why? Because the networks go with what works. Or worked. They want their money safe, so we get served up the reheated leftovers. Oh god!

Or those ‘beige-ist’ housing estates crammed with million-dollar, architect designed residences. Every house may be fabulous in its own right, but chuck ’em together in those tone on tone, elitist estates and they blend into a bland mass where all signs of human existence have been erased. Blah.

Even our language is, like, blaaaaand. And don’t get us started on corporate-speak. How many customer-focused, performance-driven teams delivering cutting-edge solutions can there be out there? Or open dialogue, synergy, relationships being leveraged, win-win, and anything ‘going forward’ (the latest meaningless buzz word…because, thank god, you’re not going backward).

We even heard a relationship expert the other day saying it was ‘important to maintain open dialogue, so you get the results you want going forward’. Oh please! Imagine being a fly on the wall in their bedroom…zzzzzzzzzzz

When are we going to welcome in a new age – and we don’t mean lighting candles and taking up the downward dog position. We’re talking about the Age of the Individual. Shedding the clone mentality. Having the guts to be different. Being real.

And talking in a language that doesn’t put people’s brains into neutral.

End of rant. Happy Wednesday.

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A University of Vermont study has shown that Wednesday – not Monday – is the worst day of the week.

Personally, it’s my most favourite day…except possibly Friday. But in the spirit of furthering (or skewing) research, we’ll be doing a “Wednesday-it is” blog every second week.

For our inaugural Wednesday-itis rant (which is late, we know, but we were having such a great day we forgot to complain), we really really really hate:

a) Stupid drivers who slow down for the warning signs. People, when the sign says ‘hazard 2km ahead’ there’s really no need for you to slam on the brakes!

b) Online bookstores selling the same book under a different name. (Okay, so I’m feeling a little bit stupid not knowing that Karen Joy Fowler’s Wit’s End is the same as Karen Joy Fowler’s The Case of the Imaginary Detective – but there should be a disclaimer!)

c) Microwave popcorn.                               You need a reason? ‘Cause it’s disgusting. That’s all.

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