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Avengers Assembled!

Holy sweet baby cheeses!!
How the hell could I forget this in my last post?!!! Clearly someone gave me a midnight lobotomy!


No spoilers!
Highlight of the last week was seeing The Avengers! We were lucky here in Australia because THE mother of all superhero action movies was released last Wednesday (savvy marketing because it was also a public holiday, Anzac Day). We saw the matinee performance with champagne and nibbly bits. JR wore his T-shirt with Iron Man's power source glowing, and I wore my Cap America hat...just to show the geeks how it's done ;)

I won't say anything other than Oh. Em. Fucking. Gee.
We were both grinning from ear to ear from the opening scene. The movie delivered on every level. Joss Whedon (and the script oozes Whedonesque cleverness and subtlety) has done it again.

Just go see it. Or I'll open a big can of 'Spank-Yo-Ass' on you.

And the usual after-credits-teaser...I practically sprogged in my pants there and then.

In honour of Marvel's marvellousnessnessness I bought the first season of the animated series at lunch today.

I know Kung Fu!

Now I have a confession to make. Despite my good intentions...and I can't emphasise the words 'good' and 'intentions' more...the whole exercise thing fell fowl of (pick an excuse, any excuse) of my lazinastination :( Like with anything that requires willpower I have literally been telling myself "I'll start tomorrow...right after this lovely, tasty glass of Sauv Blanc", every day for the last four weeks. And it's been gnawing at me - honestly, it has. In an effort to convince myself that I was doing something, two weeks ago we bought a Wii Fit Plus thingy after seeing it advertised for Mother's Day. We had great fun the first night, setting it up and going through the tests and personalising our respective training goals/regimes (although I must admit...second confession about to drop here people...we did the tests with a glass of wine in hand :S). But then the excuses kicked in again and the Wii Fit board sat underneath the television untouched. I swear it was silently looking at us with its little blue 'eye', judging us, berating us while we fell onto the sofa every evening...

Until yesterday. I pulled up my (Batman) britches and pulled my finger out of my arse and did 1.25 hour workout - testing the aerobic exercises, balance games and some light stretching - I even attempted a short yoga class...Crouching Tiger, Squatting Dog anyone? I clearly need to work on my balance and whilst I was careful not to overdo it by any stretch of the imagination, I made sure I worked up a light sweat and kept it going. It felt good - and some of the 'games' make it less like an onerous task and more of a giggle - like the Rhythm Kung Fu, which made me feel like a funky panda lol. I didn't think I'd enjoy the boxing but that was good fun too. By the end of it, apparently I'd burned the same amount of calories as a burger and a sausage roll. I'm fairly certain the trick is to not then eat 2 burgers and 2 sausage rolls but that's the next step... :-/

    

It was good. I felt good for having gotten off my fat arse and done something positive. Now the trick is to do it every day. Even if it's 30-45 minutes after JRs gone to bed, or as soon as I get up. But at least it's a start.

I'm very lucky to travel with work - it gives me a chance to explore Australia which I still find fascinating. This month I've spent a few days in South Australia. I used to think it was a little bit slower than some of the other states but I've realised it's just not as hectic/frantic as other places. I was in the Adelaide office for a training session and I was lucky to spend the last day being toured around our construction sites...always jump at the chance to wear my hard hat! :) I've decided I love construction sites - they've given me a whole new perspective on cities and infrastructure (and the people behind them).

      

And yay! New sofas purchased this weekend!

We've been looking around for a new sofa suite for a few weeks now... I'm not anti-browsing per se, but once we decide that we want/need something, I like the decision to be made fairly quickly...say within a week or two tops. This can clash with JR who is a good, nay an excellent browser - particularly when a bargain is to be had! And whilst I hate to admit it, it's a good thing that he makes me wait.

We wanted a bit more seating space for guests so we've gone for a 3.5 seater with chaise longe, a 2 seater, plus an ottoman. Choosing fabrics took almost as long as choosing the sofa lol - but we're both very excited about the arrival of our new sofas. We've decided to update our colour scheme entirely - how exciting is that! (I think I can smell middle-age suburbia creeping closer and closer) lol.

Ta ta for now :)

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The Hunger Games

Wow. I say again. In caps no less. WOW.

I have never read the books and to be honest had only a passing interest in maybe, possibly seeing the film if I got dragged to see it.
A friend of ours had free tickets to see The Hunger Games this past weekend and we hadn't been to the movies in a little while. It was also an excuse to see friends.

But from the opening sequence we were both mesmerised. Mainly by the lead, Jennifer Lawrence. OK so I loved her as the new Mystique but she surprised the hell outta me in the tsunami called The Hunger Games. Lawrence is a heart-tugger and has a quality which I suspect the public craves these days - namely authenticity.

In the movie she plays a classically modern heroine - attractive, intelligent, brave, altruistic and very physical. She hunts, is simultaneously beautiful and lethal (with a bow) and saves the life of the boy hero - not once but twice. Her character is required to kill to survive, but in Lawrence's hands, she is deadly, convincing and unerringly human. The Hunger Games is clearly a blockbuster, but without Lawrence it would have been ordinary.

I hope we're going to hear a LOT more about Lawrence because she is simply so charismatic on-screen - in a way that almost blurs the line between fiction and reality. Isn't she the second youngest person ever to be nominated for Best Actress Oscar??

I rarely become emotionally attached or engaged in a film - I'm usually objective - but every so often I get deeply affected by a story and to me this was an incredibly well-told story. The subject was very difficult to deal with and at one point I wasn't sure I could stay for the whole film. From the second the 'games' open, the whole movie turned on its head for me and dragged me at breakneck speed across the open field and through the forest with Lawrence's character. When she held her breath, I found myself holding mine. In times of desperation and grief, I found all my muscles were tense and I had to command my body to relax. One very poignant moment was handled so delicately by the director and the young cast that I felt tears roll down my face - very rare for me in a cinema. Yes the conclusion was inevitable but my god what a journey it was. The books may have been written for "young adults" but the themes tackled are far more adult than I realised. The film is very adept at tackling some horrifying situations and with a slight hand moves the story forward, lingering just long enough to understand the brutal message.

And I suspect I now have a girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence LOL

Not everyone will agree but for me - five paws out of five.

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FFYFF

Sheesh what a week. I've been as busy as a bee with an unusually busy schedule!

Fight For Your Friday Flashback
Every morning I listen to the same radio station on the way to work, WSFM, or as my former team used to say, Old Bugger FM. It's hardly for old people, just plays a good mix of 60's, 70s, 80;s and a little early 90s. My favourite segment plays out every Friday morning at 7am. The two co-presenters each pick a "classic" song based on a theme that is rarely heard on radio, in a segment called 'Fight for your Flashback'. Listeners have to call or SMS in to vote for either of the two songs to be played in full. The rivalry between the two presenters (Jonesy and Amanda) is wonderful and sabotage is commonplace. The best thing about the segment is some of the songs they dredge up (as well as the ensuing arguments/hissy fits).

Last week's theme was 'Money' so Donna Summer's 'She works hard for the money' (which by the way Donna wrote after meeting a woman who worked in a public toilet!) went up against the Steve Miller Band's 'Take the money and run'. But this morning's Fight for your Flashback theme was 'child bands' had me giggling and bopping away in the car...you can probably guess which one I voted for ;D

Musical Youth's 'Pass the Dutchie'



VS

Hanson's 'Mmmbop'




Which would you choose? Or is there another child band tune worth voting for?
I've never done this March "Ask me anything" meme...so why the hell not. If you want to ask something, go ahead and ask away :)
I'm not very interesting anyway, I'm practically Mayor McBoring of Boringville - see I'll show you by answering this Q&A meme that's doing the rounds. 

Name : Jon

Birthday : 29 September
Place of Birth : Kent, UK
Marital Status : Partnered and domesticated (like a pet lol)
Occupation : Corporate Marketing & Communications (it's what PR people do when they grow up sweetie darling) 
Star sign : Libra (and a typical one too or so I'm told)
Hair : Brown up top with alarmingly more grey than wanted on the sides, beard also has ginger and blonde with white creeping in (is that enough detail for ya?)
Eyes : Blue
Height : 5' 8" (taller than some people think)
Weight : Circa 196 pounds (I think)

Do you have a nickname?
How long have you got? Noj (very old and not very original), Clarkey, JC

How long have you kept a weblog?
A few short weeks after I moved to Australia so must be 2007.

Where do you live?
Sydney, Australia :)

Where did you grow up?
In London (more precisely, just outside London in the county of Kent, but close enough to be considered a Londoner)
See I told you! More boring info behind here...Collapse )

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Floods and buckets

Flooding
Some of you may have heard already about the freaky weather patterns we're having down here in the southern hemisphere - hells, it's happening all over, we're not the only country/continent experiencing extreme weather at the moment.

We've been much luckier here in the city than in the regions - we're just dealing with torrential rain, rather than flooding. Some images appearing in the news this morning from towns around the state (Gundagai, Lockhart and near Wagga Wagga)...

   

   

One small win for Clarkie, one giant grin for...well Clarkie
I abhor bad or inconsiderate drivers. When I learnt to drive, I was taught that courtesy and politeness on the roads would be met with the same. And to some extent in England it is; people do actually stop to let other drivers out onto the main road, people do actually make a point of saying thank you.

Sadly, good driving is not one of Australia's more obvious merits... I spent the first six months here taking twice as long getting from A to B because I was letting everyone pull in front of me. I quickly learnt this is unacceptable behaviour and I toughened up. Now I can be just as big a bastard on the roads as the next chick with a bad hairdo and bad attitude. Which is a good segway to my run in with a loathsome bitch yesterday driving home. There's one section of road which becomes two lanes to allow cars to turn right at a set of lights, but during the peak hour many drivers use the small stretch to overtake as much traffic as possible to avoid queuing like the rest of us. Yesterday one awful cow did just this, didn't use her indicators, ran the red light and came up to my side just at the point where the lanes merge back to one immediately after the lights. I'd seen her overtake 13-15 cars who were all unhappy about it, and saw her flick them the finger.

She attempted to muscle her way in front of me so I didn't give an inch. She tried to mount the median to go round me - n'huh honey, not going to work. Eventually she had no choice but to slide in behind me. I smiled at her in my mirror and waved. She flicked me the finger and tailgated me. So I tapped the brakes a couple of times when she least expected it. She responded by casting doubts on the size of my manhood using her pinkie finger.

Oh sweetie - is that all you can come up with? *roll eyes*

So when we came up to a long set of lights I pulled out a black marker pen and piece of paper from my briefcase and wrote a short message questioning the size of HER womanhood. I'll spare you the language...it was hardly gentleman-like but let's just say the general gist implied "sloppy bucket".

At the next lights she pulled up beside me and started gesticulating, so I held up the message. The open-mouthed look on her face as I pulled off and left her sitting in the queue looking very red and very angry made me giggle out loud for almost 10 minutes afterwards. It's the small wins that mean the most.


Which reminds me of another insult JR read out to me recently which also makes me LOL hard.

I wanna high five you.
In the face.
With a chair.

LOLOL

Sometimes shit just needs a good polish

Lazinastination = that subtle mix of laziness and procrastination which when mixed just right, helps you avoid anything if you put your mind to it.

In my case, I have lazinastinated over getting my eyes retested for just over four years. I'm a BAD FOUR EYES! (yes I went for a laser eye surgery test a couple of years back but that didn't include a proper sight test). I know, I know - you're supposed to visit the opticians every two years, to check eye health as well as eyesight, but I had stuff to do...people to see about dogs...more important things! If truth be told, almost every time I've had my eyes tested I've been told that my eyesight has gotten a little worse. I thought it was supposed to stabilise in your 20s but mine apparently missed that memo.

But over the last year or so I've noticed a marked deterioration in my vision. And still I lazinastinated.

What scared me most recently was noticing I was beginning to squint to read subtitles on the TV at home. So finally I couldn't put it off anymore and went to the opticians yesterday. [On a side note, pick up a copy of Space Battleship Yamoto! It's Battlestar Galactica meets War of the Worlds in Japanese in all its awesomeness!]


After being prodded, poked, blown and humiliated - at one point she let me play 'guess the letter' for five minutes whilst she projected numbers onto the screen...bitch LOL - it turns out that my eyesight has gotten a little better!! OK it's gotten stronger in my left eye, the right eye is the same. But overall my eyesight has improved, not a lot, by just one point, but I was over the moon!

"So why had my vision deteriorated?" I asked. She held my current specs up to the light and said "your current lenses are shit. Look at all those scratches!" How embarrassing...LOL Apparently I haven't been taking as good care of my bottle tops as I thought and should have been polishing them more stringently over the years.

Anyways, I enlisted JR's help selecting a couple of frames that wouldn't make me look like a 'cock in milk bottles'. Oddly his two favourite pairs are blue - I've never worn blue glasses...I'm slightly worried that wearing blue frames is the first step to Dame Edna Everidge-dom but JR insists that the blue arms are subtle and "brings out my eyes". So I'm trusting him - hell, he's the unlucky sod who has to look at me day in, day out so I figure if he thinks I look OK then that's good enough for me.

So which of the two following frames should I pick?

   

I decided to splash out a little and as well as new specs with various coatings, I'm having a second pair made up as prescription sunglasses for the car - which in Australia is almost as important as air conditioning - and I've ordered a supply of contact lenses which I haven't worn in years but I think I want the choice to go specs free again if the mood takes me.

I've neglected my appearance for a while I think - so along with the walking, some new face furniture will hopefully make me feel a little bit more proud of myself than I have been recently.

Over and out.

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Dumbasses

Just a few weeks ago, Aussie Year 12 schoolkids received their HSC results - y'know...those exams which teachers will tell you that determine whether you're going to change the world or off to the dumpster of life.

Judging by some of these exam answers, everyone going to the dumpster needs to squish up a bit to make room for these dumbasses LOL

More silliness behind the clicky clicky...Collapse )

Is champas alright with you Pats?

I had intended to pop this up yesterday but I ran around like a (cool, calm, collected) headless chicken for most of the day...

Normally the weekends seem to fly by in a blur of washing, housework and stuff, hunt'n 'n' gather'n, pandering to the cats' demands and laying about in front of the TV alternating between Nigella Lawson and Jean Luc Picard. We all have our routines I guess - mine seems to be a little lazier than most though lol.

So a weekend outing was certainly long overdue. Some friends of ours, Lisa and Rachel, visited Sydney for the weekend and to celebrate their 6th Anniversary (awww) so they invited us to spend Saturday afternoon with them at the annual Sydney Food and Wine Festival. It's a grand old affair with over 100 wineries and cellar doors congregating in Hyde Park in the middle of the city to show of their latest and greatest tipples. Add some wonderful food stalls from some of Sydney's better known restaurants and you have all the ingredients for a great day out. And that's exactly what we had. Thankfully Sydney's weather held out for the first time in a good while and we had a gloriously sunny day.

It was fantastic just to walk around in the sun, chatting, discussing the pros and cons of this grape or that grape...although in all honesty I completely lack the ability to 'nose' a wine. While everyone else seems to be able to smell lemons, or taste elderberry and sulphur, or sense heady ginger with earthy overtones, all I can muster is "Yeah I like it" or "Nah it's too sweet". What's more annoying is that I've been to many wine tastings and I still can't verbalise what's going on in my mouth!

It's lucky sommelier was never high on my list of careers. I'd be shit at it.

   


Anyway, a wonderful day was had by all and after many, many tastings we went our separate ways with a box of various wines tucked under our arms.

Of course we couldn't stop quoting a classic Ab Fab scene of Eddie and Pats wine tasting in France (this is the best copy of it I could find)!



Samson and I have developed a weekend habit. With JR's weekend shift work, the evenings are usually generally quiet and relaxed so I'm normally in bed 11-11.30pm. This means I'm normally up at stupid o'clock. It's actually a very peaceful time in the house so Samson and I wake up, we pad downstairs, make a cup of tea and head into the study to peruse the world wide web, catch up on emails before the world wakes up. Samson jumps up onto my computer desk, pushes my keyboard out of the way and plonks himself down, rests his paws on my tummy and falls asleep purring. I reckon he thinks it's the only time he has me all to himself (Delilah's usually still asleep with JR). As you can see it's a little 'intrusive' into my perusing... When he wants something he knows how to get it LOL :)

   

The rest of the weekend was a hazy lazy affair with brunch and window shopping on Sunday so nothing to report really.

By the way, did I ever share my main Christmas present from JR? I think I may have literally 'whooped' with joy when I unwrapped it! The Mark VI armour is my favourite so I'm over the moon with it.

Oh I do have two weeks worth of mundies but haven't gotten round to posting them I'm afraid. Bad bad Clarkie.

I'm a size queen

In our company there are generally three types (aka sizes) of office - managers, senior managers and General Managers (big fuck-off fancy schmancy spaces). In our 'wing' there are four senior manager offices down one wall, which get the large floor to ceiling windows, with green leafy views. The managers' offices are good sized, but still smaller and don't have windows. I currently have a manager's office - which I have to say I love - opposite my boss who whilst he's one of the General Managers chose a senior manager's office.

But yesterday my boss stuck his head round my door and asked if I like my office. Of course I said "yes, it's lovely thanks".
"Wouldn't you prefer that office instead?" he replied pointing at the office next to his.
....*blink blink*.... "Ummm....oh I guess so...I s'pose the extra light might be nice...no biggy..." I said, hoping he couldn't tell I was jumping up and down inside.
"Goodo - tell reception and they'll sort it for you," he added before walking away.

I've been secretly coveting that office for months.


It's worth it for the view alone - OK so it's leafy and green because it's a huge cemetery but it's actually incredibly peaceful LOL.I also gain additional shelving and storage cupboards instead of filing cabinets, space for an extra chair for visitors and room for a larger meeting table than I currently have (*squeeeee!*)

I tried to be as nonchalant as I could mentioning it to reception (suspect I failed miserably) and it's being cleared and I'm getting transferred while I'm out at meetings this afternoon.

I'm not as ambitious as I used to be in my twenties - but it's the small things that count. I take this as a pat on the back, a nod that I'm doing an 'alright job' :)

So apparently I'm a size queen.

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