OK, so first of all: Let me get my World Cup gloating out of the way early, before my team dies in the arse. MY TEAM IS TOTALLY BEATING YOUR TEAM. How great are the Kiwis going? Aside from the dubious distinction of sending a team called the All Whites to South Africa (I don’t know HOW many times I have had to explain the reasoning behind the name these past two weeks) (the rugby team is the All Blacks, hence the soccer team is the All Whites, the basketball team are the Tall Blacks &c &c to infinity) (and beyond) we are somehow SURVIVING. And Australia is filled with National Angst at the performance of the Socceroos (clearly I don’t come from a place of strength regarding team names, but SRSLY) and are openly supporting the Kiwis as their second team. I don’t need to tell you that the only time a Kiwi will support the Aussies as their second team would be if the Aussies were playing actual card-carrying terrorists who bite the heads off kittens, or maybe the French, so this sudden spirit of Oceania-love has come as quite a surprise to me. Anyway, we are riding the wave of World Cup love in the office. My boss, who is also a Kiwi, has found whatever extension you dial to turn all the desk phones in the office into loudspeakers (like a mini PA system). Today he turned it on and played the iPhone vuvuzela app down the line for a good minute. I don’t know if you’ve tried to work with a loud horn blaring through your phone speaker, so I’ll save you some time: you can’t. Just relax to the soothing sounds. How’s the serenity. (Movie quote to appease the Australians… please don’t kill me! We’re Oceania, remember!)

Speaking of killing me, our work day was also interrupted by a gunman. Yes! Melbourne had a gunman! Now we can truly hold our heads high when compared with other cities around the world. Our gunman absconded into the depths of Richmond, parts of which were duly shut down. Guess which suburb I work in? If it’s not the vuvuzelas, it’s the police helicopters circling maddeningly for a good three hours. Oh, and let’s not forget my boss added to the racket by turning the phone speakers back on and playing iPhone gunshots down the line. Please note the supportive and encouraging environment in which I work. Keeping us on our toes apparently.

cross now

What I think I’ll do is just post random pictures and tell you about them, rather than trying to do some huge uber-entry. Can I do umlauts in WordPress? I’m not sure. Your uber will have to be served without an umlaut this time round, sorry.

This is in Port Angeles, Washington state. You might know Port Angeles as the home of Twilight (although I guess that is Forks, and I went there too. I digress. You’re probably used to it.) Anyway, Port Angeles. We stopped here at the farmers market and ate a gigantic plate of steamed clams with butter. And directly afterwards we went to a diner-thing and I ate a dungeness crab sandwich for lunch. It was delicious. But my point: to get to the farmers market we had to cross the road. A normal road, with a pedestrian crossing and clear visibility, through a shopping strip. And tulips too, which was nice. But on the poles of this pedestrian crossing were these crosswalk flags, and instructions on how to use them. You were supposed to take a huge, fluoro-orange flag and walk across the road with it. Like a small child. In the middle of a shopping strip. I was amazed. Mr. T was less than impressed. Well, you can probably guess how this went down.

“My god! You’re supposed to cross the road with a flag.”
“I’m not carrying a flag.”
“You have to! Clearly it’s the rules here. Look. Read the sign. You have to take a flag.”
“I am NOT. Carrying a flag across the road.”
“Fuck your flag. YOU carry a flag.”
“It’s my BIRTHDAY. [It was, too.] I want you to carry a flag. It will be my present.”
“There is no way.”
“OK, I will carry a flag and you walk beside me.”
“Nobody is carrying a flag. I will stay on this side of the road forever before I touch one of those flags.”
“My birthday?”
“No flag.”
“I hate you.”

So ultimately we dared the traffic (the occasional car was going at about 10 miles per hour) and crossed the road without a flag. Daredevils! And unfortunately on our way back to the car, we were further down the road and crossed at traffic lights, an intersection sadly bereft of flags. Letdown.

We didn’t see anyone else cross the road, so I still have no idea if people were truly supposed to take a flag. I imagine there would have been more takers if they promised to ward against werewolves, but this wasn’t mentioned. Wasted opportunity, there.

Clams and oysters. I ate so much seafood on this trip. Mostly with butter.

La Push beach. Severe absence of werewolves. Still pretty though.


Look, it’s the internet! HIIII INTERNET. Here I am. Did you miss me? (Great silence) See, that’s what I thought. Fickle internet! Now you’re onto your new sporadic-posting, giant-dog-having blogger of the moment! And I even updated my template (again). For you. FOR YOU, INTERNET. Oh the humanity.

Anyway, my most recent absence has been to to my parents visiting Melbourne for my mum’s 60th birthday, which has been fun. It also means my house has been cleaned to the apex of its possible cleanliness. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that my mum, and my sister to an even greater extent, are compulsively tidy people.  By that I mean that yes, they clean, but more properly they Neaten. Neither will leave a room if there is a mug or a newspaper or a pair of shoes that should be whisked into their correct place. They will wipe down the bathroom sink before they leave the bathroom. They hang up clothes after they wear them. Me? I am not a Neatener. I am sort of its polar opposite: a Messener. Yes, I’m totally making up words here. You see where I’m going with this. Anyway, it’s not like my mum doesn’t know this, being my mum and all, but she is my houseguest and so if I don’t clean stuff up, she will get up and do it instead, negating the Guest part. So I have been strenuously houseproud for about two weeks now and damn, it does not come naturally. I wish it did, because my house is so much nicer to live in, but it is totally against my slovenly nature. And by that, I mean that I will leave a mug on the side table overnight. For a few days, even. Shoes will build up by the front door (mostly due to Mr. T, who is unfortunately a fellow Messener). The bathroom sink gets hair and toothpaste on it as well as the necklace I wore last week and the glass of water I drank the week before that. Clean washing builds up in a big pile instead of being folded and put away immediately. It’s not a Pit of Filth, but it’s far from the home of a Neatener, if you know what I mean. Anyway, if anyone knows some sort of shock therapy or something to make you enjoy Neatening, please let me know. Or just apply the electrodes directly to my scalp. I love surprises!

I have no more photos of the dog, surprisingly, but here is an update: he is either ripping things to bits (sheepskins, soft toys, bones) or fast asleep after having been to dog daycare. Have I told you the dog goes to daycare? It is HILARIOUS. We want to keep him well socialised around other dogs, so he goes to daycare a couple of days a week and romps around with tiny, tiny puppies. They still class him as a puppy so he’s in with dogs about the size of his head. He’s very gentle apparently, so he gets to stay with them rather than moving in with the big dogs. He comes home completely exhausted, staggers into the house, eats his dinner, and falls asleep immediately for about 14 hours. It’s brilliant. They also give you a little sheet telling you all about what he’s done during the day and who his best friend was. ADORABLE. Hey, I guess if you’re paying for daycare, you get the full daycare experience. No webcam unfortunately but possibly that’s for the best.

And although I can’t find photos of the dog, I have found more of the trip. This one is from one of the freeways, driving into Seattle. State freeways and highways are numbered, of course, and here in Victoria they’re usually in a shield or a circle or something. Nothing so boring for Washington state, however:

The road numbers were in a Big Head. The big head of, you’ll notice, Washington. Big Head! Of Washington! Awesome, I tell you. Hey, if you have a legitimate reason to include Washington in your signage, I am totally in favour of using his Big Head everywhere you can.

They hadn’t any feet.

“The Road”, Cormac McCarthy. Bleak.

Les Miserables soundtrack.

How does that large white cat fit into that tiny cubby in the cat tree? MAGIC, that’s how.

Peanut butter M&Ms. It’s probably for the best I can’t buy them here.

House plans. Not so good: putting them into action.

My complete lack of singing ability. I used to be in choir! Admittedly I was twelve, and a lot of things have gone south since then; but still.