Thursday, April 29, 2010

Woah...

So I have about five draft posts saved, but they all felt a bit content-less and trite.
But 5 x content-less and trite = worthwhile post!
...
Maybe. We'll see!

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Holy flippity crap, have you guys actually seen The Fly? Yes, the eighties movie, I got it for 25p at Oxfam the other day, and watched it the other night with Ross. Well, I watched it, Ross fell asleep after the first half an hour.

If you haven't seen it, I'm about to spoil the whole thing for you. It's for the best, I promise. I thought I'd seen enough parodies and pop culture references to know what happens. Guy becomes half fly monster thing, then terrorizes the city, right? Wrong!

Well, mostly right, I guess - he becomes a monster thing (but not until after he turns a baboon inside out). And instead of an instant transformation to a cartoony half-fly man, it's this whole gradual process of his fingernails and teeth and ears falling off and him vomiting on his food and all kinds of other yickness.

Then there's his girlfriend's possibly mutant maggot baby (won't forget that dream sequence for a while), and that bit where he vomits his digestive fluids onto that one guy's leg and arm? And don't even get me started on the gigantic eighties hair on both Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. Gross.

Anyway, it was not what I expected. Watch out for that.


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So Ross is still working like crazy - he did 89 hours last week. That's almost as many as I did for the whole of last month! He is getting pretty tired, I think, but the end is in sight - his temp contract finishes at the end of April(ish). And the good news is, they've offered him a proper job after that! Hopefully the hours will be more reasonable.

Anyway, while he's been working his butt off, I have been making stuff and watching TV on the internet!

Firstly, making stuff? 

 Please excuse the odd photo, I've been trying to get a good one for ages. I give up.

I made this weird cowl-scarf thing, although it was originally intended to be a hood-scarf-balaclava thing. I just forgot to read ahead in the pattern, and I realised part-way through that I was going to run out of wool. So I made it into this organic*, quirky** and unique*** neck warmer instead. I'm actually really happy with how it turned out - yay for my blundering ways!

I'm now crocheting a shawly thing (man, why can't I just say 'shawl'? I don't know either, but it's not going to happen). I bought some nice wool from a proper yarn shop last week, but I can't find a pattern I like - I've started over four or five times now. So, being me, I'm making it up as I go along! I learnt to do a bunch of different stitches from all the different patterns I started, so I'm mixing and matching them to make another 'unique' piece.

*oddly shaped
** full of errors that I couldn't be bothered fixing
*** I have no idea what I did, and will never be able to re-create it
Man, I should get into PR.

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And the awesome thing about crocheting is that you can watch many many episodes of Doctor Who and still pretend that you're being productive! 
It's a bit hard to follow a pattern sometimes, if, say, you're crying because that little robot dog died, or because Rose gets stuck in that parallel dimension and then the Doctor comes to say goodbye and he doesn't even get to say he loves her before he fades away... Sigh. So good.

I've also been watching United States of Tara, on Vicki's recommendation and because I saw an interview with Toni Collette and she seems like a neat person. The lady knows how to take a compliment - Graham Norton told her she was good at acting, and she instead of saying oh no, I'm just lucky, etc., she just agreed with him and said thanks. Anyway, the show is awesome and you should all watch it while knitting unique art pieces.

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I think that's about it. Work is fine. I just got trained to do the opening shift, which is pretty rad. 

I don't think I'm necessarily a morning person in everyday life, but I've always enjoyed working morning shifts. I like having those first couple of hours to myself, and the day seems to go much faster. And on top of that, you don't have to clean up and close!
Small pleasures.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good day...

I had a really nice customer today. He's a semi regular, I've definitely seen him once or twice before. Anyway, I was at the till and he congratulated me on having a name badge - I have been stuck with an 'in training' badge for a really long time. And we chatted, I was all pleasant customer service-y, and then he sat down to drink his coffee.

I then went over to clear a table near him, and he said
'So Olga, are you always this happy?'
To which I replied 'Um, kind of, I guess. And I have a pretty good customer service smile for when I'm not!'
And then he basically said that it looked like I was cheerful and enjoying myself and happy about being where I was, and that was a really lovely thing. And he said I 'radiated joy'. (Hmm, sounds a little creepy now that I'm typing it, but it wasn't at all.)

Anyway, I'm not sure if it's relevant, but he was Australian,  and he said that quite a lot of the people working in things like retail and hospitality over here can tend to be quite rude. I guess it goes both ways, sometimes hospitality workers can be rude and unpleasant, and sometimes customers can be even ruder and more unpleasant. And then one of these bunches of people makes life hell for the other bunch, until everyone is stupid and pointlessly mean.

So it is quite a lovely surprise when people are not awful - when customers not only realise that you're a human person, but also say nice things to you, and about you.

Also, it's nice to remember that although my job is not an especially important one, I am pretty good at it, and not everyone is.

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Then there was another customer who looked at my name badge and started speaking to me in Polish. As you do.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Awesome!

I found a whole blog devoted to awesome things. It's at http://1000awesomethings.com/

It's pretty amazing and you should read it. And here's my favourite (so far)!

So good!
xx

Eruption links!


This one I yoinked from Iceland Review. Angry angry craters.



Aha, I couldn't find where I got this photo from, but it turns out I followed a link that Sigga had, and it's by a gentleman called Sigurgeir Guðjónsson. Yay for not stealing credit!

I also got this one from Sigga:
The reason for the eruption has been found - Björgólfur (the owner of Landsbanki) gave his 'apology' and the island vomited.


From Iceland's Facebook page - aw, I still love you Iceland. 

Although I guess I would be cranky if I was trying to go, say, anywhere on an airplane.
All the flights into or out of London have been cancelled, and apparently it's the biggest grounding of flights since WWII. Or September 11, depending on where you read it... Crazy, hey?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sundries. And a story about a shark.

I just read an interesting essay about selling out. It was written by Dave Eggers (who writes stories that I tend to like) and it is pretty long, but here is a great quote:

"The thing is, I really like saying yes. I like new things, projects, plans, getting people together and doing something, trying something, even when it's corny or stupid. I am not good at saying no. And I do not get along with people who say no. When you die, and it really could be this afternoon, under the same bus wheels I'll stick my head if need be, you will not be happy about having said no. You will be kicking your ass about all the no's you've said. 

[...] 

No is for wimps. No is for pussies. No is to live small and embittered, cherishing the opportunities you missed because they might have sent the wrong message."

Good, hey? I think it might become my motto, except I guess a motto is supposed to be a catchy catchphrase, isn't it?
Manifesto, then? Somehow I don't feel like the kind of person who has a manifesto.
Oh well, we'll call it some pretty good advice and leave it at that.

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I told you about Joanna Newsom's album, right? It's incredible and has captivated most of our house. Joe and Maja are even going to see her in Berlin, because there were only super expensive tickets left for London. I think it'll actually be cheaper than going to the London show - including flights, trains, everything! I forget that the rest of Europe is so close!

Anyway, I love the lyrics on the album, and the harp, and the drums, and the piano, and her voice! She seems so lovely, both from her music and from what I've seen in interviews and live performances. Just one of those really amazing and inspiring people.

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Ross told me a funny story about a story he told at work, and I meant to share it with you, but then I forgot. So here it is:

Ross was talking about a time when he was younger, and his dad and Domenic were crabbing. They were out in the water, and his dad saw a fin and thought it was a shark. So he grabbed Dom and ran out of the water. 

Ross didn't actually say that last part out loud, he just made a gesture that was supposed to indicate 'grabbing your son and running back to the beach'.
His workmates interpreted the gesture as 'and then my brother got eaten by a shark'. And so they were all shocked and horrified, and said 'Really?' and 'That's pretty heavy.'

And Ross, whose brother didn't get eaten by a shark, thought 'Wow, these Englanders are pretty easily horrified by Australian wildlife. Nothing even happened!' 


He figured it out later, and cleared it all up with them. I think they had thought that he was a bit weird for being so blase about it. 

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Aw, I ended up going to apply for the Brick Lane job on Monday, but they had already filled the vacancy... Sucks a bit, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. I had a pretty good day at work today, just quite straightforward and sunny and nice. Plus I've gotten to the point where I know how to do most of the things that need doing, which makes me happy. 
I guess I'm going to keep this job, with some provisos: I'm going to look on the bright side, stand up for myself when necessary, and spend my free time on knitting and writing. Yeah!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In honour of my 159th post...

The best thing ever?

The link will take you to Boys Boys Boys' video clip for Ticky Ticky Boom, in which Jerico and the rest of the gang dance with some dude in his living room. I watched it and it made me so so happy, hope it works for you, too!

xx

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Debris

Hey so I was thinking maybe I should cut my hair short again! It's mostly a bit of a hassle, I have to tie it up completely for work... Then again, I just managed to put it up into a really pretty bun, so maybe I shouldn't be too hasty?

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I bought Joanna Newsom's new(ish) triple album, Have One on Me. It seems pretty awesome, although like the last album, I think I'll need to listen to it on headphones repeatedly - it's almost a shame that I'm not commuting at the moment... No, wait, it really isn't. I love walking to work.

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Speaking of work, I think I had (got? reached? what verb works here?) my final straw today. Full story? Okay, so Ross and I went to the nice coffee place in Brick Lane on Monday, and they had a sign saying staff wanted: must be able to make coffee and speak English - those are both in my top five of things I'm good at*!

So I was thinking of applying,  seriously enough that I printed out a resume before work today. I was still a little bit undecided, though. Then I went to work, and discovered that my annoying manager had been annoying again! Oops, I just looked for a backstory post, but it turns out I didn't whinge about it here when it happened. Basically: I like to write down my roster when it's put in the folder, and then I turn up to those shifts. He likes to change my roster after I write it down, then call me to see why I'm not at work...

Last time he did it, I told him that I was annoyed about it, and that from now on he had to tell me if/when he changed my roster... And yet? My day off, which was supposed to be tomorrow, has been taken away! ARG-H.
On the plus side, it made my decision pretty easy. I should quit that hellhole now. Or after I get this new job. Yay!

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Gah! Explaining all the work drivel is exhausting. 
Let's take a break and shake all our worries out, guys!
Let's look at these modifications I made to this octopus - suggested by K!


Totes. Awes.
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That feels better. Hey, you know what else is good? Someone at the AV club just wrote this awesome primer for watching Dr. Who. It's great, because I watched a little bit of the new series at Sigga's, and I'd like to watch more, but I felt like I should catch up on everything else that's ever happened before... Now I don't have to - and by the sounds of it, that's a good thing. I'll settle for watching Sigga's DVDs of Christopher Eccleston onwards! Yeah!

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In less fun news, Ross is working the crazy hours again. He's been working til ten-thirty-ish for the last three nights! Should be good for the monies, though. And hopefully he'll have the weekend off!

* Top five things I am good at doing
  1. speaking English
  2. making coffee
  3. crocheting octopi
  4. braiding my hair (not anyone else's, though)
  5. hugs

Monday, April 5, 2010

Oddments

Just some bits and pieces... I tried to upload a video of Easter jelly, but my blog does not want it... It's here on my Flickr, though!
Unfortunately, Ross took a bite before I took the video, but never mind. I think it adds a bit of interesting narrative tension to the video, don't you?


Ross shaved his head the other day - I think it looks pretty good. Apparently when he was little, his dad used to call this a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle haircut, so that they'd all be excited to have shaved heads. Awesome.


Hey, my mum and dad sent me a package and it is great! Thank you, guys!! I got a really cute cardigan, and a cookbook from 1926 with instructions on how to cure your own bacon, and some puzzle books! Ah, they know me so well. Hee hee, and I also got a book of patterns for crocheting booties in the shape of Converse sneakers, among other things. Awesome. Someone have a baby already, I'll knit you some awesome footwear!

And last in my assortment of stuff is a photo of Ross' handyman skills at making the record player work. He figured that the stylus arm was too light to read the record properly, so...


Heck yeah.




Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Haven't really done anything holiday related, although Ross and I both have the long weekend off! I had to work a little shift on Friday, but the rest of the weekend has been really relaxing.

Yesterday we went to Oxfam and bought a stack of videos, none of which require any brainpower to watch - there's some Disney, some Roald Dahl, and some dumb and quotable comedies ("...we've got no food, no jobs, our pets' HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!"). Then Daisy and Victoria had some friends over, so we got to eat some delicious cannelloni for dinner and hang out with cool people.

Today we did a bit of a tidy up/ organise/ throw some stuff away... Ross is better at the throwing things away part, but I did manage put some clothes and books aside for the op shop - baby steps! Maybe when I'm an old lady I'll figure out how to not hoard crap in the first place!

I'm going to make a pie of some sort for dinner tonight - it was supposed to be rabbit, but they didn't have any at the butcher's yesterday. Ross saw some there last week, maybe they sold out because lots of people eat bunnies at Easter? Maybe not. 

So yeah, not much exciting stuff going on here. Just some nice quiet good times at home!