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Sunday, 30 December 2012

No Cynthia, it ain’t different…



So, I rarely read books purely because like everyone else on the planet I’m busy. The only time I do get to read is on the plane or if I take myself away from civilization for a couple of days and zone out. Then I read. Paperbacks. No, I don’t read e-books. I like paper. Weird considering I write e-books but then in a world of great weirdness ‘tis only one more thing to add to the weirdness pile.

Anyway, I bought some books by a particular author. It’s a series. I bought them at a second hand market about a year ago. I don’t have the whole series…probably why they were selling cheap. So, I mentioned to a writer friend that I’ll have to have a look around for the ones I am missing. She said to buy them second hand from the internet. I found that interesting as this particular writer, let’s call her Cynthia, continuously bitches and whines about e-book pirates who sell/trade e-books – hers - on line cheating the writer – her - of said e-books out of money.  Hmmm…double standard?  

Now let me just say that e-book pirates are pond scum in my eyes. Their only redeeming feature is…er….ah…well, I’m sure maybe their pet ferret loves them and undoubtedly they enjoy playing with themselves.  

I am always amused by authors who get all het up and emotional over e-book scum ripping off their work – “taking away our hard earned money” – but then these same writers would happily buy a paperback second hand - not from the author’s publisher - but a Joe Blow seller on the internet. The money doesn't go back to the writer. And no, I don’t go with the argument that the paperback author  is only expected  to get the money from the first virgin sale of said paperback. It’s a dumb argument and you could apply it to e-books so why use it?

So, is it that e-book writers are more emotional about things? More into double standards? Do they spend more time then they need googling their writer names to see how many times they are mentioned on the internet and that’s when they see the e-book rip-off sites?  Are paperback writers less angsty? And from what I gather unless you are a world famous writer adored by gazillions, paperbacks don’t get you as many royal as e-books.            

By all means have your double standards but keep ‘em to yourself.

And no Cynthia, it ain’t different…

Saturday, 29 December 2012

2012...


...has reinforced to me that one of the most enduring lessons in life is to let things go. 

 

Friday, 28 December 2012

Because I can...


Yeah...go on....tell me again and I'll show you again.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Of travel, innocence and horse semen....



So, I took the Flyer (a fast mini bus to Brisbane airport) from Toowoomba, a large country town, and I chatted to the country people on board. Country people are interesting. I learned more about the transport of horse semen than I ever anticipated I would….but that’s another blog. Anyway, there was this 18 year old girl on the bus who was travelling to Tasmania – a bloody long way from where she lived – to visit her sister. When we got off the bus at the airport she looked lost. She confessed she had never been to the airport by herself and she was scared. I said ‘Let me corrupt you'…no wait…that’s another blog that involves a man, a handcuffs and whipped cream…and I said 'follow me and I will teach the art Amarindarism.'  This is essentially looking like you are in complete control even when you’re not. I got her checked in for the flight.  She even got checked for explosives.  That was  a bonus. At the gate she worried about the size of her carry on bag. It was large. I said ‘pretend it’s not – that it’s average – smile, chat, be confusing and that in itself will mesmerize people into believing you are no threat in any way shape of form.I learnt that from the Matriarch of the Jones clan.  

The thing with this kid is that she made me smile when she openly admitted to me, a stranger, she needed help. I thought, as humans, we had lost the innocence. It’s nice to see we haven’t.      

And she was only a bit corrupted. I had limited time…   

Friday, 21 December 2012

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas...



Peace on Earth

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Suck it up princess...



I had this moment of intense disappointment today. You all know what it’s like. You want something so badly and you find out you can’t have it and in that moment your heart sinks and you want to descend into ‘but I want it’ and why 'can't I have it' whining. However, I stopped myself when it occurred to me that I’m 49 years of age and never in those 49 years has whining ever made me feel better. The thing is we - I - set myself up to want everything and 90% of the time I know I will get what I want because I make it happen. Wanting is not a bad thing. Ambition is great. Falling flat on your arse? Cellulite rebounds and you just aim for the next thing you desire. 

Never lose your cellulite. It's what keep us rebounding. 

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Cosmic push….



So, I walked into work and one of the zombies said ‘Customs wants to speak to you’. He looked excited like I was going to get in trouble. It’s the most emotion, unless food is involved, that I have ever seen from him. Anyway I rang the Customs dude and was informed to ring a Customs clearance dude and I had the most fascinating discussion with this man. Customs is, as we know, a very precise business and the people who are in it are no nonsense precise people who are, in essence, protecting the country. Weirdly enough, something I plan to personally indulge in next year, fell into the area of this man’s expertise and I picked his brains on regulations and requirements. He was most obliging and said I could contact him if I got into any trouble or needed help. I shall.

I am a great believer that people and things come to you when you are at a point in your life when you’re trying to decide which path to take. It’s like a cosmic push man… 

Monday, 17 December 2012

Tough day at work today...





.I watched The Goodies on You Tube, read a bunch of files I probably shouldn't have but knowledge is power and I wrote porn.

All in all a productive day.

Put down the fucking gun....



 “I believe everybody in the world should have guns. Citizens should have bazookas and rocket launchers too. I believe that all citizens should have their weapons of choice. However, I also believe that only I should have the ammunition. Because frankly, I wouldn't trust the rest of the goobers with anything more dangerous than string.” 

Scott Adams


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Take it to the shallow end please...


So, I’m absolutely not against public displays of affection. I think they’re cute, nice and romantic in a world where we often forget what romance is.

But – and there is always one, I was swimming after my run this morning and there was this couple kissing and in the way of everyone who was trying to swim in the lagoon. It’s lovely you love each other. It’s sweet that you’re kissing and it’s good to see the romance is alive, but for god sake, go snog in the shallow part so we can swim. There is no romance in exercise…       

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Love...huh? What?



I always love those moments when the heroine realizes she loves the hero and she can’t do a damn thing about it because he can’t possibly love her....

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Badness...I like it...a lot..


I learnt very young to always pay attention to what the controversial and supposed ‘bad’ people did and to ask them questions and to generally build a rapport with them because everyone, whether they acknowledge it or not, has a bad, shameless streak in them that they either use to their own advantage or hide from because it’s ‘not right’ or ‘correct’ and ‘what would people think?’ The controversial people aren’t like that. They do what they like and take matters into their own hands and refuse to be bowed down by what people think. I like that in people.

If it’s right for you and you know the consequences and you still want to do it? Do it I say. As for goodness? I reckon if you believe in heaven and you think you have a crack at getting in – be good. Me? I’m keeping my eyes and options open and if I end up in hell due to some badness then at least I’ll have people to talk to.    

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Always classy...



So, I attended an interview for another job during work time because I could. I was told to dress corporate. I ain’t the corporate type but I did unearth my black jacket and managed to match my socks and, as close as possible, my earrings before wandering off to be interviewed. I interview very well. Talking, along with being able to bend over and place the palms of my hands on the ground, is one of my superpowers. I’m never lost for something to say. I was however lost trying to find the end of a thread – or a fred if I’m not paying attention and my inability to pronounce ‘th’ without finking er…thinking…takes over. Anyway, back to the the thread. I sat down and waited for the interviewer people to come in. It was then that I noticed I had a thread attached from my sleeve down to the buckle of my Doc Marten Mary Janes…okay –yes - not corporate but no one gets between me and my Docs. So this thread…how the hell did it latch on from sleeve to buckle? I have no idea. I pulled the thread. It was taut and didn't move. I tried to break it. Nuh-uh, not happening. I thought ‘well this is lovely. I’ll have to stand up and I’ll look like a Quasimodo hunched over to one side.’ I thought ‘take the jacket off, dummy.’ But then I remembered, ‘no, that will show your splendid arm tatts and this job specifically requested no visible tatts.’ Bugger. So I took the offending Mary Jane off and put it on my lap. This gave the thread some slack and I managed to break it. Problem was I managed to cut my finger on the nylon at the same time. So there I am, bleeding finger in mouth and a Doc in my lap. I’d want to employ me on interest level alone. Anyway, there was a knock on the door. I took my finger out of my mouth, dropped the shoe shoving my foot into it as they walked in the door. I wiped my bleeding finger on my black pants leg and shook their hands.

Did I get the job? Yes, I think I have it. Will I take it? No, not enough money for what they want done. Let’s face it…I’m a bleeding-thread-breaking-one-shoe- wearing-multi-tasker. I deserve big bucks, baby.  

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Exactly...



"Being powerful is like being a lady... if you have to tell people you are, you aren't."

Margaret Thatcher   

Monday, 10 December 2012

Of work and toilets...



I had nothing – and I mean nothing  - to do at work today so I wasted time as expected by surfing the net looking for jobs, nail foils and other odd things when I saw this –


I find it fascinating that some public servant is in charge of listing public toilets. Bet that’s a fun job. Anyway, it’s not the first time I’ve seen it. I wrote about it in Thigh High – an exceptionally Aussie themed book that a publisher thought would be a good series to do. It wasn’t. Too much Aussie confuses people. But there you go…

Thigh High….0.99 cents – what do you have to lose? https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thighhigh-600244-340.html

Excerpt…

As for Amberwarra Falls—well, there were no “falls” to speak of. Years ago, before the crippling drought, there had been a trickling stream of water that ran over a rocky outcrop down into Possum Gully. It had never been spectacular but it had drawn the odd tourist to stop and take a photo before moving on. But not now. There was nothing to see but red, rough rock and dust. Even the possums  had left. There had been talk about changing the name of the town but that had been vetoed. As Beryl Adler, cultural guardian of all things local had said, “If we change the name we’d have to change the postcards and we got them as a job lot.” That was true. They had six hundred and thirty-two left out of six hundred and fifty purchased. No one was about to throw those out due to lack of water.
I still don’t know why he’s coming back to bung in a gym where Davo’s book emporium burnt down. Not like we need newfangled stuff like that.”
It hadn’t been so much an emporium as a dusty old shop that sold tattered old books, comics, newspapers and once a week the local poker game had been held in the back storeroom. It was on poker night that the store went up in flames. Many said it was the cigars the men liked to smoke. Others blamed a mosquito coil used to keep the insects at bay.
The real reason?  The  fire  brigade  found  evidence  a  scented  candle  had  been burning during the game. It was thought someone had knocked it over. Of course no man admitted to it mainly because being caught anywhere near anything scented and girlie was not something any of them wanted to claim.
Yeah, we don’t need new stuff in the Falls.” Dusty always agreed with anything Blue said. They were mates since kindergarten. “Besides we’re already on the map.” 
Maz rolled her eyes. She knew which map they were referring to. “That map is hardly prestigious.”
Yeah, but if you look us up on gaggle—”
Google,” Maz corrected Dusty.
Same bloody difference.” 
Merlene picked up and rattled the swear tin at him. 
Fair suck of the sav, Merle. Bloody’s not a swear word.” 
Cough up, sunshine.” Merlene waited for Dusty to pay up for his swearing. 
Jeez, you’re a mad cow. You and your bloody wombats.” Dusty threw a collection of coins into the tin. 
You used two ‘bloody’s.” 
Dusty rolled his eyes and added a ten dollar note. “Happy now? Anyway, as I was saying, anyone  can see the toilet block in Captain Cook Park got Amberwarra Falls fourth prize in the cleanest toilets in Queensland.”
Maz smiled and wondered how Captain Cook would feel about being a namesake of a park that held a toilet block that was the second biggest attraction to the now nonexistent falls. There was  even  a shiny brass plaque proclaiming they were fourth best.
Yeah, dunnies are important if you pass through Amberwarra as there’s nothing for miles until Krogan’s Crossing.” Blue slapped some more money on the counter for a refill.
Merlene pulled the beer, flicking the tap with an expert hand. “And your Auntie Beryl does a roaring trade with her crocheted doll toilet roll cover stand that she’s set up just outside those toilets.”
That’s right.” Blue thanked Merlene for the beer. “Beryl does big business for the Pioneer Women’s nag-fest group and no one gets past her without buying one.” 
That was true. Auntie Beryl could sell toilet roll covers to aliens from Mars. It wasn’t so  much  she was a great salesperson or that the dolls were attractive. They weren’t. It came down to  the fact that Beryl, at fifty-three, with her fake raven-black locks and large breasts and forceful voice, often stopped people in their tracks. She was like an aging kewpie doll, complete with Doris Day bow in her hair. Once stopped, they often walked away with at least one crocheted doll and a few less  dollars in their pockets. No one said no to Beryl.

Yeah...we're a weird mob. 

Exactly...


“When your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme.”       

Saturday, 8 December 2012

I am one with the ties...

Give me a bag of cable ties, some lumps of wood and a glimpse of a vision of greatness and I can create a masterpiece.

Love cable ties. If we used them more I'm sure there would be world peace.  

Friday, 7 December 2012

Things to know about zombies...


We should have learnt this at school and not frigging algebra...

Never underestimate the zombie

"Zombies are not mindless hunters. They are swifter and craftier than one might expect. A lone zombie can burst out of hiding and take a chunk out of you in the blink of an eye."

Never engage a zombie if you can avoid it


"Though zombies are surprisingly quick in confined spaces, they are not swift runners. Engage the zombie only when you are trapped, and escape is not an option."

Focus on the task; keep fear out of your head

"No one, no matter what their powers of description, can fully prepare you for your first encounter with a zombie. Their grotesque appearance and smell, along with the inhuman noises they emit, can induce a level of fear and terror that precludes rational response and causes one to freeze. You must not react to the zombie's appearance. Focus instead on delivering a combination of offensive and defensive strikes that will buy you enough time to escape. "

Do not allow the zombie to get a grip on you

"Once a zombie wraps you in its powerful grip, your prospects for survival are minimal. Therefore, your first priority must be deflecting away the zombie's hands. "

Seek medical attention after any encounter


"Always have trained medical personnel examine you as soon as possible after any encounter, even if no wounds are visible. The zombie virus can enter your body through the smallest opening in your skin, be it a scraped knuckle or a nicked elbow.
"

Thursday, 6 December 2012

So, I have sorted out the chook issue...



.... issue where the girls were flying up to land on the top of the 6 foot fence and then strutting their fluffy chook arses back and forward driving the next door neighbour’s dogs wild. The next door neighbor was quite alarmed at their teasing behavior because it was giving her dogs a complex and they’re sensitive souls…apparently. The chooks aren’t sensitive. They’re individuals who do what they like and if a couple of dogs lose their mind in the process? So be it. So I corralled the birds, grabbed each by the legs, hung them upside – they’re surprising comatose when you do that - and clipped one wing on each. They survived the ordeal remarkably well but they still taunt the dogs next door. Now they just run back and forward down along the bottom of the fence line driving the dogs mad on the other side because they run back and forward following their scent until they're dizzy and need to lie down due to an attack of wooziness. I have explained to the girls they’re very naughty doing this but they just smile and nod and pretend to take my words on board.

The issue I have now is they are annoying the hell out of me making a mess hanging out on the patio trash talking with the caged budgies. This has to stop. As advised by a chicken scaring guru, I bought a couple of rubber snakes to scare them – they kick them around – and I bought this reflective tape that’s colour and the sound it makes in the wind is supposed to frighten them. It doesn't  They chew on it. So, I’m going to dramatically increase the dimensions of the Chook Mahal, their home, and confine them inside their own, spacious pleasure dome to wander around and maybe they just may settle down and lay some eggs...but that’s another issue.  

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Nod and smile at her...



So, I’ve been toying with a business idea that I reckon is a goer. What is it? Not saying yet but it’s far left of writing. Those who are close to me know where my mind is on this venture and not one of them has told me it won’t work. In fact, they just assume it will because I want and plan to make it work. That or they think 'nod and smile at her and she'll go away'. I rarely do.

Moments like these are when you know who’s on your side regardless of what craziness you come up with. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Getting real...



I was trying on some new swim shorts in Target today and I happened to catch a glimpse of my undie covered arse in the three mirrors that were positioned in such a way to make you see everything. Oh the tragedy.

This is what I think, if you want women to spend money on clothes, don’t put arse reflecting mirrors in change rooms. We know it's big. You don't need to reinforce that. Let us worry about world affairs and man's inhumanity to man. That's waaay more important than freaking out at our arses. 

Loved this pic. Saw this display in the shop window of City Chic in Cairns Central. I shot passed the store and then had to double back to have another look. Fancy a mannequin with a stomach, thighs and hips? They looked like – gasp – shock- horror – real women and not some skinny underfed crossing dressing males. Well done City Chic.  

Monday, 3 December 2012

Do you really want to go there Cosmos?




Like Superman has issues with kryptonite, boredom and needy people drive me nuts. Weirdly enough, both of these things keep getting thrown into my path and I’m wondering if the cosmos is trying to teach me a lesson on patience and goodliness . If so, seriously piss off cosmos. It ain’t happening.    

Sunday, 2 December 2012

57 years ago...



57 years ago today, Rosa Parks chose not to give up her seat for a white man and chose not to go to the back of the bus because of the colour of her skin. 

What a courageous woman. I absolutely admire what she did. It took a tremendous amount of guts. 




Saturday, 1 December 2012

Pretty much the way it is...


Thursday, 29 November 2012

You know...the Aztecs...



So, I’m in week 2 of Michelle Bridges 12 week Body Transformation diet. It’s pretty damn good. I’ve lost more weight than I expected - though mind you when I set my mind to something I am invincible. The diet has all these different foods I would never think to eat. Anyway, after work I went with my shopping list of weird and wonderful food to buy. The one food that I took forever to find? Quinoa. Yeah, how many people have that on their staples list? I searched the whole damn supermarket. I knew it was a grain but I just couldn't see it on the shelves. I stopped an employee who had no idea what it was. I said, “It’s a grain and I think the Aztecs used to eat it”- I don’t know if they did. It just sounds like something they would have eaten. He said “I don’t know where the Aztec food is.”

I did find it sans Aztecs. Have you ever noticed how expensive it is to eat healthy food compared to crap? Thankfully I'm worth the expense.

In case you are wondering - http://www.food.com/library/quinoa-533

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wrong. Criminal. Unforgiveable.



"Nurbanu is one of thousands of women in Bangladesh who have had acid flung at them by a relative or partner due to domestic arguments, financial woes or even rejected marriage proposals."

http://www.news.com.au/world/wife-forced-to-remarry-hubbie-who-threw-acid-on-her/story-fndir2ev-1226525490341

I have said it before and I will say it again. What affects one woman, affects all. There will never be true equality until all women are allowed to live without fear or prejudice.    


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Out there...



So, I decided to take the initiative and put something out there as part of a wish list. It was kind of weird doing it as there are times I’m not that eloquent but I’m glad I did. Will I get my wish? You know, it’d be very nice if I do but if not? That’s okay too because just saying it made me feel stronger and in control for the next time I ask that question.


“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of potential -- for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints; possibility never.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard  

Monday, 26 November 2012

You know when you’re totally bored at work and you start having thoughts like…



- What would happen if Martians landed at the office looking for intelligent life? Would they be disappointed?
- Do beautiful people get bored shitless or are they in jobs as beautiful as themselves and everything is – well – beautiful?
- Are beautiful people shallow?
- Are non-beautiful people deep?
- River deep, mountain high – a profound emotional image or just stating the facts?
- If a zombie hunter came in and rounded up all the office zombies and took them away in chains would I notify corporate office first or have lunch and then mention it in an email the next day supposing I remembered to?
- Can you die from not having sex?
- Can you die from too much sex?
- Are vampires picky when it comes to blood type? Was that mentioned in Twilight?
- If mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy, what about cows? Why don’t they get mentioned? Is it discrimination? If so how do we combat that?
- Are boring people born boring or do that have boredom thrust upon them?
- Thrust or parry?

And the boredom beat goes on… 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

I hate running...


“Run like hell and get the agony over with." ~Clarence DeMar

Exactly...

Saturday, 24 November 2012

I see no triffids on the horizon...



So, last night I got this phone call from someone that sounded like they were from a call centre. I’ve been getting a lot of those calls. They want to sell, sell, sell and get you tied to a contract. Having, at one stage of my illustrious career, been thrust into a call centre in a effort to make me quit and not hang on for redundancy money – underestimate me much? – I know what call centres are like. There are always those operators who are hungry for any sales and praise and to have their name on an achievers board and will do anything to get it there.  Then there are ones like me who do personal stuff at their desk and create havoc by questioning authority and rules.

Anyway, I almost hung up on this dude because frankly, if you are ringing my phone after 8pm at night you’d want to know me personally or risk my wrath. It turned out this dude was indeed from a call centre – but – he was ringing to apologize because they did indeed get my bill wrong and they had removed the $120 extra on it that I pointed out to them was wrong. Wow. Gee. Never had a call centre do that. I thanked him, hung up and went outside to look at the night sky. No, worlds did not appear to be colliding nor could I see some cosmic display in the sky indicating the world as we know it was over and there were no triffids landing – Day of the Triffids - most boring high school book ever half read – and god no, don’t watch the 1970's movie version because that’s a dead set fail in an exam. Trust me.

So, to iinet I say wow – amazing – keep up the good work.   

Thursday, 22 November 2012

What freaks me out…



…is when you walk into a store and every staff member you pass by says ‘ hello’ in a psychotically happy way that makes you hold your handbag like a weapon just in case they attack. Frankly, I think it’s abnormal for a business to ask their employees to act like they're stoned and everything is groovy and wonderful. Or is that just me?

I was in a local hardware store this morning looking for something my usual hardware store didn't have, and after half a dozen perky/creepy/hippie freak/love child/is-it-a-lovely-day-to-day/drop-your-handbag-and-we’ll-be-friends-hellos, I stopped one of them and said ‘that’s really annoying.’ They just smiled insanely at me and I backed away wishing I had a crucifix on me. Will I go back there again? Not without a shotgun full of rock salt. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

GR…


So, I was sitting at my desk, eating lunch, after having gone out in my lunch hour because, let’s face it, your lunch hour is not to eat in, work time is, when the interim nerd...er, I mean leader-type-manager-arse-kisser-empire-builder-robot-person came up to me and started telling me something exceptionally boring on his way out of the office to grab a flight back to Sydney. GR –good riddance – I say. He was in the office for two days, grunted at me three times, which I pretended not to hear as I choose not to speak in grunt, and looked at me probably five times and it’s only when I’m eating lunch and in mid-dial to have a gossip with the local printer, who’s a mate, that he suddenly wants to talk to me. How rude. I nodded and chewed on my salad as I listened to his words that sounded like ‘Goo boo bah, shang-a-la, be-bop, wah, wah, nurple, indigo, spandex, pillock head, botulism, swizzle stick, wangle-doodle, creamed corn on crumpets, ningy, nangy, noo. Seriously, people are annoying aren’t they?            

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Weirdness…





So I was perusing the Cairns Post at work because I had nothing else to do and I was reading my horoscope – Scorpio - which was boring. No mention of money or sex or drugs or rock and roll. Anyway I scanned the horoscopes of other people I knew and Libra caught my eye –

“To this very day, if you live in the City of York, you are legally entitled to use a bow and arrow to shoot a Scotsman. You can do it with complete impunity, unless it happens to be on a Sunday, in which case the law will offer you no protection.”

*Page 18 Cairns Post November 2012

Who knew? What did this have to do with being a Libra? Not a damn thing I could see. So who makes up these horoscopes that we read so avidly? I reckon any bugger on the planet can.

BTW…FYI…

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/895155-scottish-archery-fans-can-relax-in-york-as-archaic-laws-face-axe

The things you read in the newspaper… 

I ask you…



What sort of world do we live in when you go to three toy stores and can’t buy rubber snakes? What’s wrong with the kids of today? Are they too cool to scare each other with snakes? 

Why am I looking for rubber snakes? It's a long story.  Hissssssssss….

Monday, 19 November 2012

Couples can't multiply…now it makes sense…



So, I’m starting this new 12 week program that’s all about exercise – which I do a lot anyway of—running the esplanade at 6am on a Sunday morning crazy—so my mindset on that is established—and an eating plan. That I have problem with as I tend to be a random eater. I need a pattern, a focus and a plan. I stop short of calling it a set of rules because philosophically I’m against rules and I enjoy breaking them on a regular basis because I can.      

Anyway, I looked over the nutrition plan for the 12 weeks and it all looks good but for the fact it’s all designed for people who are in couples. What the? I emailed the mob who wrote the plan. Their theory is there are a lot of people in couples and it’s easier to make each meal a two person meal. I pointed out that there are a lot of single, overweight people who will now have to divide all meals into two and be left with half a tomato, an apple etc. I was annoyed by their couple-dom message that came back and that couples support each other in their fairytale existence of married bliss-cue-the-bluebirds-to-sing-and yes, that would explain the divorce rate—and that most people are in couples.

I thought what a load of bullshit, prejudice and what drugs are these people on and then I had an epiphany – people in a couple can’t mathematically multiply because they’re so used to everything being already for two that it if was singular they’d be stuffed and not able to add one and one together. Oh....I get it now. It's an affliction.  

Couple-dom and numeracy skills. They never mention that in the fairytales.   

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The kiss...



I was running along the Cairns Escapade at about 6:30am, hot, sweaty and wondering why I kept putting myself through this torture when I saw this man pull a woman into his arms and kiss her so passionately that I almost stumbled at the sheer, hungry beauty of it. How do you write something so intense and raw with need like that? I've never read a writer that could. How does a kiss like that feel? Hot? Crazy?Like something you never want to stop? Are you so lost in the moment that you don't care what's going on around you because nothing else matters but that kiss? I was quite overcome just watching it. 

As I continued running along, still hot and sweaty, I was mesmerized by the moment but realistic enough to know that kisses like that are not for everyone – they should be but they’re not.   

Lucky woman…lucky man…sweaty Amarinda…

Friday, 16 November 2012

Sit and spin...



Okay, so we had a coup in the office and one despot got thrown out and another was shoved into his position pending, I believe, closure of the office altogether. Anyway, the new despot is far away in the big smoke of Sydney and to him Cairns is a humid outpost of annoying people who are paid far less than him. He, let’s call him Wayne, only ever answers emails to me with no more than one to three words. No. Yes. Thinking. Approved. Send it. Fax it. You know, stuff that requires no manners whatsoever because getting paid a shite load of money means you don’t have to be either business-like or polite. Anyway, I like to reply with longer, involved wording in my emails to do his head in. 

Hi Wayne

Thank you so much for your response. I now understand the streamlined direction we are to take and I thank you for assisting me in my ongoing endeavors to make our office a more efficient and precise place where concise methodologies are enacted to the betterment of all. Please advise if there is any way I can assist you in our efforts to increase productivity and workplace harmony which benefits us all.

Kind regards
Amarinda Jones

All the time I’m thinking why don’t you just sit on something sharp and spin, sunshine. 

Attitude Angel...




Two months ago, David Falconetti, pizzeria owner, was killed. Much to his surprise he ended up in Heaven. The angels have a job for him to do—he must make Andalusia Shea believe in life and Christmas. If he can do that then he can live again. The angels tell him his death was no accident. David wants to bring his killer to justice and have his life back. He’s no angel and Heaven’s not for him.

Lucy Shea doesn’t want some half-assed hot angel thrusting himself into her world and getting all Christmassy on her. She has too many other problems in her life, and a charming, sexy man making her lose control and fall in love is the last thing she needs. Besides, the angel’s only helping her to help himself. What sort of an angel is that?


 “Does he have to belch like that?”
“I believe he does it to annoy you,” Aballach murmured in amusement.
Loretto sighed in frustration. “Well, it’s working. I still have no idea how he got in to Heaven. He has an earring! This is an exclusive place after all.”
Aballach looked at the “he” in question. While it was true he was hardly angel material, there was a mischievous, bad-boy edge to David Falconetti reminding Aballach of himself in his mortal days. “There’s a reason he’s here.” Nothing in Heaven happened without careful planning. As for exclusivity, that was only in the minds of some. Heaven took all kinds, judging only on merit and heart.
“It would have to be compelling. He’s anything but angelic.” Loretto dusted an imaginary piece of fluff from his pristine white sleeve.
“Not everyone has to be.” Aballach was constantly amused at the “holier then thou” attitude of the white-suited Loretto. It wasn’t a requirement to wear white in Heaven yet Loretto made sure he did and that it was spotless. If wings were more than a fairy story, then Loretto would have them—bigger and better groomed than anyone else’s.
“But—”
“Are you questioning the man in charge?” Aballach knew Loretto was too rules oriented to voice his queries to the boss.
“Certainly not.” He looked indignant at the accusation. “I just wonder, why him of all people? He’s arrogant, rude and smug.”
“Hey! I can hear you.” David Falconetti was lying on the green grass, his hands behind his head and his ankles crossed. He looked completely relaxed as if he no longer had any worries.
“Eavesdroppers never hear well of themselves.” Loretto’s voice was so pious that Aballach had to stop himself from laughing.
“And a stitch in time saves nine—but who gives a rat’s ass?” David closed his eyes as he enjoyed the warm sunlight on his face.
Loretto stamped his foot in anger. “Well, really!”
“You invited me to this shindig, bossy britches. I sure wasn’t expecting to end up here.”
“There must be someone else we can use?” Loretto turned imploringly to Aballach. “We’ve a reputation to uphold. God knows what he’ll do.”
“Exactly.” And that was why God had looked at those in Heaven and picked out David Falconetti. He had a plan. Aballach rarely questioned the boss. “And he is the one.”
“But why him?”
“Oh, he’s a hell-raiser all right, but he’s going to be given another chance. We need him because he’s flawed and human.” Because he’s destined to change the world. But that was something only God and Aballach were aware of.
The man in question responded. “Actually I’m dead—that’s why I’m here—and as for ‘flawed’, I prefer to call it ‘possessing interesting character traits’.” David didn’t sound at all offended at Aballach’s words.
Aballach held onto Loretto arm to calm him. “Mr. Falconetti…”
“Yes, Mr. Aballach?”
His lip twitched. Aballach liked the dark-haired man immensely. He was a law unto himself and didn’t care what others thought. Since his arrival in Heaven his lazy charm had shocked some and endeared him to many. “Would you be so good as to join us please?” He watched as David got to his feet and sauntered lazily over to them. His sleepy green eyes were full of amusement and the brow ring above his left eyebrow accentuated the ‘bad boy’ look. Oh yes, I can see exactly why he was chosen. To save the world, but strength and charisma were needed.
“So what’s the deal, boys?”
Aballach smiled. He’d liked David from the first moment they’d met. “We need you to do something for us…”
* * * *
David had been dead two months. As death went it was okay. It required no effort on his part to lie around Heaven and relax. Though it was kind of boring it was doable. That he’d even made it to Heaven still made David laugh. He knew he was hardly the ideal candidate for angel. If he was honest, David had expected to go in the opposite direction, to warmer climes.
He looked at the two head angels before him. David had to admit he enjoyed riling the prissy Loretto and flouting his rules. The guy needed to lighten up. David wasn’t sure on all the laws in Heaven, so maybe being casual and going with the flow was forbidden. Maybe doing the right thing was the only way to get along. If so, he was in trouble, for David rarely followed the rules. Hence the reason I went and got myself killed. But who knew Mad Dog had actually loaded the gun?
Mad Dog McGurk had been a regular patron at Falconetti’s pizzeria for years. He was also somewhat of a crowd-puller for the restaurant, for on a regular basis, drunk or stoned, Mad Dog would stagger into the pizzeria with a shotgun and wave it wildly in the air, demanding money and pizza. Most times he was so drunk, he dropped the gun on the floor. They were never surprised to see him at Falconetti’s. Usually David or a staff member would politely ask him to repeat his request for all the cash in the register. This would confuse Mad Dog so much that he either staggered back outside or slumped at one of the tables and asked for a beer and a piece of pie. David had thought Mad Dog harmless. He had become more of a drawcard to the pizzeria than anything else. It still confused David how the man even got hold of the load for the gun. The gun belonged to his great-uncle Marv and everyone knew Marv would never have passed on ammunition to his nephew and Mad Dog only ever spent money on alcohol and drugs. His pizza was always free due to the extra patrons he brought to the restaurant with his antics.
But two months ago, Mad Dog had pulled the trigger and a blast of lead had exploded into David’s chest, killing him instantly. All he could remember was white-hot, intense pain and people screaming. Then there was nothing. No white light. No heavenly music. What a crock that all was. David did remember the funeral, mainly because his ex-wife Sheena-Maree was wailing so loud he wished someone would slap her to shut her up. It wasn’t until he landed with a thump on a hard marble floor in a very ornate room, that David realized he was no longer on earth.
“You are in Heaven, David.”
“No shit?” He stood up and looked around in amazement. “I thought I’d go the other way.” That was how he met Aballach and Loretto. They explained there were his guiding angels.
“We don’t swear in heaven,” Loretto pointed out in distaste.
“Well, I’m not a team player, so the whole ‘we’ thing doesn’t apply to me.” David touched his chest. There was no blood or gory wound. “You guys do nice work.” He was in the same jeans and navy t-shirt he’d been wearing when he died.
Aballach smiled at his words. “We try.”
“I have to tell you I wasn’t impressed when they dressed me up in that monkey suit to bury me. Who wears a suit anymore?” David surveyed Loretto’s carefully turned-out white suit. “I’m sure you’re a chick magnet though.”
“Are you sure he is supposed to be here?” Loretto asked in disgust. “I can make a call and get Juanita to organize transport down. They’re always looking for people down there.”
David wondered what the guy was talking about. He discovered later that Juanita was the liaison officer between Heaven and Hell. Yeah, David had known plenty of people like Loretto. They had a stick so far up their butts that they could only follow rigid, straight paths. He assessed the one called Aballach. He looked smart and confident, yet not beyond doing what he had to in order get the job done. His dress and stance were casual and his eyes amused. This one he could deal with. “Why am I here?” He’d been a sinner in life and given half a chance he would try it in death.
“All in good time, Mr. Falconetti…”
* * * *
“You want me to help some cranky-assed woman with an attitude to discover the joy of Christmas?” Oh please. David rolled his eyes at them. He adored women, no matter what shape or size. Their sweet scent, soft touch and teasing eyes hooked him in and he went gratefully. But cranky women? Nope. He’d divorced one of those drama queens and he didn’t want to start with another.
“Yes, we do.”
David liked Aballach. He had a sense of humor, whereas old prissy pants beside him didn’t. But liking didn’t mean doing everything someone asked, angel or not. David listened as Aballach explained the problems this woman had. Bloody hell. He was sorry she had problems, but David felt himself wanting to back off at a million miles an hour just hearing about them. Besides, needy people irritated him and everyone had problems. Helping was fine but hand-holding with some angry woman wasn’t. “I’m no angel nor am I the helpful type.” Why can’t she just get a grip and deal like everyone else?
“Because, she’s not like everyone else.” Aballach’s look was meaningful.
Whoa—mind reader. “Why me?” There had to be someone more compassionate who gave a rat’s ass.
Aballach wasn’t perturbed by his attitude. “She needs someone real.”
I used to be real. What am I now? The whole Heaven thing, while relaxing, had David wondering, What next? “What’s her problem?” Why do I care? But he knew the answer. I’m bored. He was used to doing twenty different things at once. In Heaven people just hung out and smiled sweetly and there was no pizza. That was hard for a former pizzeria owner.
“She’s lost and lonely.”
“Send her a Saint Bernard with a keg of brandy on its neck.” David knew that was a hard thing to say but he didn’t want to be placed into a position of helping some hormonal woman. His ex-wife had almost made him swear off women. Almost. Do they have sex in Heaven? That he’d not worked out yet and he hadn’t seen many women. That had been making him anxious. Was his part of Heaven male only? God, that’s not going to work for me.
“You are so tacky.” Loretto shook his head in disgust.
David stuck out his tongue at him.
Aballach held up his hands to separate them. “She needs more. Andalusia needs you.”
Andalusia? Who names a kid that? Isn’t that a horse’s name?” Ten to one there’s no man in this woman’s life, she doesn’t shave her legs and she subscribes to some radical feminist doctrine that’ll give me a headache.
“She’s also called Lucy—Lucy Shea,” Aballach explained patiently. “She has no family; she lost her job and at one stage was contemplating killing herself. It’s also Christmas time on earth.”
Cue the violins. “So you want me to go and kick her in the pants and tell her to stop whining and snap out of it?” David was sorry for the woman but it wasn’t up to him to save anyone. He’d not been able to save himself.
Aballach smiled. “Not quite. We need you to show her joy, make her laugh. Lucy needs to feel something other than empty inside.”
Oh man. The angel was getting to him and they both knew it. Outwardly David was a hardass but given the right stimulus and he turned to putty. He sighed deeply. “Again, why me? I understand that angels get some cosmic high out of helping people but—”
“You mean what’s in it for you?” Aballach understood David only too well. “Would you like to live again, Mr. Falconetti? Would you like to find out why you were murdered?”
Loretto rolled his eyes and snorted. “Why am I not surprised at that fact?” Aballach silenced his colleague with a look.
Murdered? David was stunned Aballach’s words. No, no, they’re so wrong! It was an accident—a stupid one, but not murder. “Mad Dog was pissed as a newt and—”
“Yes, he was drunk but he thought the gun was unloaded for he had no ammunition. Someone wanted you dead, David.”
Aballach’s words ricocheted around in his mind. Wanted me dead? “You’re kidding me.” Even as he said the words, David was aware angels didn’t joke. After two months in Heaven he knew there was a purpose and plan behind everything these beings did. “Who?” David knew he wasn’t the most loveable person, but no one had indicated they wanted him dead. Sure, Sheena-Maree came to mind, but the woman didn’t like to raise a sweat, let alone risk break a nail by loading a gun. Why did I marry her again? Oh yeah, the pregnancy scare. He shook his head to banish that ugly thought from his mind and concentrate on the other one now taking precedence. David was pretty sure angels didn’t lie. Someone had wanted him dead.
“I can’t tell you who.” Aballach crossed his arms over his chest as he watched David’s reaction.
“But you know.”
“Yes.”
“And this is some special mission to make me a worthwhile human being?” David ignored the look of contempt from the pudgy guy in the white suit. “Isn’t it a bit late? I’m dead.”
“We can change that. Do you want to live?”
It wasn’t an option David had expected to be offered. That had thrown him almost as much as the idea of murder. “Do I have a choice?” If so, what do I want? Earth had beer and pizza. Heaven didn’t. It was peaceful and serene and he knew he’d probably go mad before too long. David was used to noise and bright lights and good times. Hell would have suited him better. But that was life or death in this case. You didn’t get options. Until now.
Aballach nodded his head. “Everyone has choices, David. You need to think about what you want. You can go back to Earth, help Lucy and reclaim your life, or you can stay here and maybe become one of us.”
A guardian angel? Follow rules? Turn out like Loretto? Bloody hell. Great options. What do I want? Once it had been a cold beer and some hot pussy. Now? He wanted to find the son of a bitch who set Mad Dog up and had him killed. This wasn’t just about him. A man’s innocence was at stake. “So this horse woman—”
“Lucy—and she’s no horse. She’s quite beautiful.”
It all sounded too much like a blind date and he’d regretted some of those. While David considered all women beautiful, some had nails-on-chalkboard personalities “You’re an angel, of course you’d say something nice.” David thought about it. He was good with women. How hard can it be? Make her smile. Get her to put on one of those dumb Christmas party hats. Maybe get her drunk so she forgets her problems. “So I make her happy. I play some Christmas tunes, do the mistletoe thing and make her buy presents.” That was doable.
“No, you make Lucy believe, David.” Aballach’s eyes were knowing as he stared at David.

The trust he saw in the angel’s gaze made David want to believe he could help. Aballach was probably a salesman in his last life. “Believe in what?” He loved Christmas but not everyone did.
Aballach reached out and touched his arm. “In herself. In life. In magic. But you cannot tell her why you’re there, and you must use your powers wisely. We’ve made it so no one will recognize you.”
David held up his hand. “Wait a minute, back up. I have powers?”
“Yes.”
“How come I didn’t know?” He didn’t feel magical—but then how did magic feel?
“You didn’t ask, David.”
Typical. Never a straight answer in Heaven. David had learned that much in his two months. “What are these powers?” If he was going back to Earth at least the thought that no one would recognize him would avoid freaking out any of his friends if they saw him.
“Can’t you feel the magic?”
“Um, no.” David was thinking about pizza, though. He could almost smell the pepperoni.
“You will when you need it most.” Aballach stepped back from him and sized David up. “Do you accept the challenge?”
“And I get to live again?” The idea appealed to him. He was only thirty-seven and Heaven really wasn’t his scene.
“Yes, but you can’t tell Lucy why you’re there.”
“Of course, not.” David’s plan was to get back to Earth, visit the sad chick, tell her the facts, eat some pizza and then scope out which one of his ratfink acquaintances wanted him dead. Only they would have known what Mad was like and have had access to his weapon. “I promise I’ll be good.”

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Bugger off...



Chastise me in public for having an opinion? By all means. It’s your opinion and right to do so. Water off a duck's back. But then ask me in a private note for information on what I was giving my opinion on and what I think? Bugger off. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Post-eclipse...


So I eclipsed on the Cairns Esplanade with hundreds of other people. Yes, it was cloudy. But, just when we needed the clouds to part, they did. People cheered and clapped and with special eclipse goggles on we viewed the phenomena. When it when dark we all oohed and aahed at the stillness. Later I stood at the gym and watched as the moon finally passed over the sun.

The thing I got out of the eclipse? That as jaded, world weary and as commercially orientated/greedy as we are, nature still has the power to bring us to a standstill in wonder and mutual appreciation. We need to be reminded of that more often.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Pre-eclipse...



So, I went for my usual 2.5km run before boot camp this morning, along the Cairns Esplanade. The Solar Eclipse is on tomorrow and Cairns, Far North Queensland – FNQ – is one of the best places to see it as it will be the total eclipse. This morning, as I ran, I noticed something different. Sure there were the normal tourists wandering along the Esplanade looking at the beach and scoping out the ocean, no doubt hoping for the odd croc to wander out looking for breakfast – but there were other people – very pale skinned people dressed in khaki and beige and carrying whiz bang cameras and laptops and talking about the angle of the sun and the distance from here to there and multiplying that by their ages and dividing by their shoe sizes then subtracting their waist measurements. They were quite fascinating to watch and while I don’t agree with stereotyping people, they were scarily the archetypal nerds.

What will tomorrow bring? The end of the world? Nah. We need Mothra to turn up for that. Rain? Probably. It is the wet season. Bugger of a time for Mother Nature to shock and awe us but you get that.