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Office politics: What to do about the milk?

July 6, 2011 8 comments

This may be a short, but very significant post.

What do YOU do to stop co-workers using up ALL of your milk within a day of purchase?

I’m convinced that someone on my floor is bathing in my milk like Cleopatra, because it disappears Just Like That. I wrote my name in permanent ink pen on it, following office protocol. I also tried writing the name of crankier, slightly scarier individuals on it. Today, I tried something new….

Will this deter the milk thief?

I don’t mind the occasional sharing. However, from my last bottle of milk, I only had 3 cups of coffee (which is enough for one day of average output. No coffee, no workee).

If this doesn’t work, I’m thinking of writing EXPRESSED BREAST MILK on the bottle. Although, that might be going too far. After all, I  don’t need to include the word “expressed”, because it’s self-evident. If it weren’t expressed, well, it’d be a breast in the fridge (and no-one wants that).

Does your workplace have this problem? What are your handy hints?

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Bridesmaids: movie review

July 3, 2011 4 comments

Funniest movie of the year?

Bridesmaids was a great movie; unexpectedly so. I was anticipating Hollywood same-same, but what I saw was a more mature (and simultaneously, immature) group of fantastic comedy actors blitz a script and win over a cinema full of women. I counted only seven men in the audience. The humour was face-splittingly good (although, I would issue a warning about course language and crunchy blankets… Don’t take your son with you to see it. Might be awkward.)

So, what do you do when your life is falling apart, romantic relationships seem hopeless and your best friend gets engaged and asks you to be maid of honour? What happens when you’re thrust onto a bridal party of people you don’t know, who seem alarmingly weird (the bride’s future sister-in-law), competitive in a sociopathic way (the bride’s other, newer bestie) and are otherwise wrongly-wired in a more harmless way? Well? Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper made for the funniest bridal party.

I, for one, have been on such a bridal party (although, they weren’t intentionally funny). I’d bonded to the best of my abilities with people I’d never otherwise come across in life, through strip shows and arguments over dresses, heels, hair and makeup. The movie allowed me to laugh about it, in retrospect. Call it therapy. Every girl should go through it. It’s character building.

Annie (Kirsten Wiig), is asked to be Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) maid of honour. Annie is stuck in a sex-with-no-strings-attached relationship and is privately devastated that her best friend is getting married. However, she does her best to be supportive. Unfortunately, everything she does goes horribly, horribly wrong. Some scenes are dry-wretchingly reminiscent of American Pie. Everything the new, other best friend does, trumps poor Annie’s thrifty and well-intentioned attempts.

Being Hollywood, there is a happy ending. Go see it with your best girls.

Categories: Life, Love, Movies, Review, Sex, Uncategorized

GCC: the terrible truth

May 29, 2011 5 comments

Today, I had good news and bad.

The good news was, that I found my watch which had gone missing months ago.

The bad news was that the watch was on the treadmill (the walking thing which one is supposed to exercise on).

The Global Corporate Challenge made me rediscover my treadmill today, if for no reason other than team-guilt – the other team at work is winning, so it’s time to get walking.

What was surprising (other than finding my watch in the very same place that I’d lost my spare car key only six months earlier), was how much effort it takes to walk off Tim Tams. Especially, the six dark chocolate Rum & Raisin ones I ate yesterday.

Global Corporate Challenge day 11 - a half an hour walk

As the picture shows, half an hour of walking (at an easy pace) only burns off one Tim Tam (90 calories or 400 kilojoules) and a bit. I’d never counted calories before, nor dieted, so this was quite a shock. Furthermore, the walk only clocked up three and a half thousand (ish) steps, when the other teams’ averages are around 11,000 per day. Hmmm.

All things considered, I’m thrilled that I’ve found my watch and a new way to watch what I put into my mouth. (Those who know me well probably wouldn’t call me a convert, just yet).

Happy walking, everyone.

Categories: Australia, Business, Health, Life

Global Corporate Challenge (and another day at the office)

May 22, 2011 4 comments

Teamwork is something that most offices aspire to. This week, teamwork has taken on a new spirit, with gazillions of suckers, like me, putting on a pedometer and logging into a teamsite to record daily steps taken as part of a 16 week challenge.

It’s a virtual walk-around-the-world gig, which raises money for Children’s Challenge, Footprint Initiative and the Foundation for  Chronic Disease Prevention. And, I suppose, it’s good for us. Let’s not mention the fun.

Some people take it very seriously. Others, have already been caught out shaking the pedometer under their desks, which can look like something much worse (there has been an increase in loud laughing at the office, of late).

I’m up against another team, whose members ride to work, have personal trainers and are otherwise intimidated (in the nicest possible way) by the super-fit former PE teacher on staff.

Being against gratuitous exercise, I was lucky enough to get my daily count up this weekend by jiggling away at a fabulous 40th birthday party which had an 80s band until midnight. For anyone out there, with my allergy to exercise, that’s my hot tip #1: dancing to 80s music counts. Who can resist bouncing up and down to the outlandishly positive sounds of the 80s?

So, for 16 weeks, watch this space, as I explore what it means to be a good office-mate and fit global citizen. I might even start to enjoy exercise that doesn’t involve being first at the mid-year David Jones shoe sale.

Parents and teachers, take a look at the Children’s Challenge site and see if it’s something your schools could benefit from (it’s free to a limited number of applicants).

Have a great week, and try not to lock yourself in the fire escape if you’re going with the stairs instead of the lifts. That would be my tip #2.

Cookery class: chocolate hot cross buns in 3 easy steps

April 13, 2011 6 comments

It’s almost Easter, so it’s time to share my latest seasonal treat.

How do you make chocolate hot cross buns in 3 steps (and 30 seconds)? I did this at the office, because someone donated the ingredients and someone else made a wise-crack about combining them. (I seem to have this face that says, ‘give me food – preferably with chocolate’.)

Start with a hot cross bun and some Easter eggs from the bottom drawer…

Fire up the office toaster…

Chocolate lava-centered hot cross bun… Tastes WOW.

Tip for young players:

Don’t try this first time just before an important meeting with your boss, lest some of that chocolatey goodness should squirt out of your bun and all down your skirt. My director happened to come past in time for me to give her a big, brown grin. And I’m not at all being naughty.

Thanks to CS for the bun and YD for the awesome suggestion.

Categories: Australia, Craft, Life, Review

Jacqueline Howett’s response to a “discusting” book review

April 3, 2011 4 comments

In case you hadn’t heard, Jacqueline Howett self-published the unfortunately named book “The Greek Seaman” and more unfortunately still, over-reacted to a reviewer, in what might be the longest tantrum online.

Here’s the original review by Big AL:

If you read The Greek Seaman from the start until you click next page for the last time I think you’ll find the story compelling and interesting. The culture shock felt by the newlywed bride, Katy, who finds herself far from her native England, living on a cargo ship with her seaman husband Don is a good story in itself. Katy adapting to this all male environment with a crew of mixed nationality, most non-English speaking, is compelling. Whether Katy and Don will survive the criminal conspiracies the ship owner and captain have planned is yet another conflict that should keep a reader in suspense to the end.

However, odds of making that final click are slim. One reason is the spelling and grammar errors, which come so quickly that, especially in the first several chapters, it’s difficult to get into the book without being jarred back to reality as you attempt unraveling what the author meant…

Her response:

This is not only discusting and unprofessional on your part, but you really don’t fool me AL.

Who are you any way? Really who are you?

What do we know about you?

You never downloaded another copy you liar!

You never ever returned to me an e-mail

Besides if you want to throw crap at authors you should first ask their permission if they want it stuck up on the internet via e-mail. That debate is high among authors.

Your the target not me!

A little taste of the novel in question:

She carried her stocky build carefully back down the stairs.

Don and Katy watched hypnotically Gino place more coffees out at another table with supreme balance.

I’m not sure I have enough time to read more about this stocky ballerina who marries a seaman. I’m not even sure how one goes about watching someone hypnotically – when I look at my cross-eyed cat for too long, my eyes get watery – does that come close?

Her angry, error-laden responses (see comments), including two F offs in full glory, make one wonder about:

* how a self-proclaimed writer could have such a limited command of language

* why people treat online communication so flippantly (and disregard manners)

* the danger of bias and self-delusion (the deep end of too much positivity, perhaps?).

Sadly for other self-published writers, Jacqueline makes a good case for traditional publishing, where very few writers make it through the hoops of fire.

Google her for more details on how to get her book. Or, you could find a big nest of green ants and roll in it.

Beware of parents

March 23, 2011 2 comments

Language is a wonderful thing; but it needs to be used sparingly and with caution.

This is especially so, with signage in high traffic areas.

“FOR THE SAFETY OF CHILDREN, PARENTS NOT PERMITTED”.

That’s a classic.