01 November 2009

Dear Mars,

Shall I great you with a hug or a warm handshake?

Luv Dot

22 October 2009

My Life as a Jerk (Phase 47.8.8): Voluntary Unemployment
Day three

Last Friday, i got to do something all of us dream of, but very few of us are ever actually in a position to go through with; i walked out on my job. I took umbrage to something someone said to me, i carefully considered my options and decided with a certain level of glee that the job was more hassle than it was worth.

I'd handed my notice in and had two weeks left to work - no problem i thought, i'll change my flights and just leave Manchester a little earlier. But, as most would recognise by now, my life is nothing if not an absolute comedy of errors, and after i left work for the last time on Friday a smile so large across my stupid gob, i thought i was unstoppable. Till i got to Flight Centre and was duely informed that there was no availability to change my flights to any sooner than the date i had booked.


So now i'm left in this stinking city, with absolutely nothing to do, no inclination to be here, killing time and wasting money for another two whole weeks. Good one, asshole.

So today is Day Three of official unemployment, and i notice things are on the rapid decline. Monday started off pretty well, i went out for the whole day and met a friend for lunch, went on a massive walk and then went for pints in the evening. Yesterday, i went and met a friend in town for a coffee in the afternoon and picked up some supermarket shopping. Today, however, ambitious plans of climbing Snowdon were dashed early on, it's now 9.16pm and i've not even made it out of bed.

In an hour it's acceptable to go to sleep again.

Desperate for something to do (before i began this blog post), i googled the time in NYC to see if it was an appropriate time to harass Dot (god knows, my correspondence with everyone else on the internet today has been... thorough) - it wasn't an appropriate time, however i notice a link to a live webcam in Times Square.

As i realised i'd just lost 20 minutes of my life, eyes glazed over, watching the traffic in Time Square subconsciously wishing for a car crash with a couple of taxis, or better yet, a plane to fly in that building just as i was watching it - i realised that it had gone too far. Already, after only three days.

Tomorrow i must leave the house. At the very least, i must leave the bed.

The bed's not even that good any more, in fact. Never have i felt more like a squatter than i did after coming home on monday evening to find the stilts of my make shift bed; vanished. The stilts, giant vat-like barrels which used to contain Kashmir's best Mango Chutney. I'm not even joking. So I now appear to be left with a mattress on the floor, and after watching the BBC's three part documentary this week on the life of Gandhi, i feel more akin to him than ever before. A mattress on the ground; i am either a squatter, or a martyr for the cause of the impoverished.

15 October 2009

My neighbour is a weird guy called Guy*

When Blane and I moved into our new apartment we noticed that the guy who lives in the apartment with a his front door opposite our front door had a sign up saying, "Under Surveillance".

I asked our landlord what this was about and he said, "That's Guy. He's a little bit odd. Don't worry about him. He won't give you any trouble. He doesn't have any surveillance equipment. He is not spying. Although, make sure you get some curtains up. Do you have curtains? I can lend you some sheets. Get curtains. But don't worry about him."

Our kitchen window is directly opposite Guy's kitchen window (it's looking into one of those narrow lightless air shafts you find in New York and Hong Kong and other busted cities). We took our landlord's advice and put curtains up very quickly.

We've been living here a month now and I DO get the feeling whenever I go out the front door that I'm being surveillanced.

On Monday there was a new sign in the hallway. Not on Guy's door, but on the wall between both our doors. It read:

Hot water turned off on Friday at 6.15pm without 24 hours notice.

I knew instantly it was a Guy sign and, because it wasn't on his front door but in a communal area, I tore it down. It was a stupid sign and it annoyed me. If he has a problem with the hot water then he should see the landlord (who has his office downstairs) and not leave anonymous signs posted on the top floor where the landlord will never see.

Creepy Guy was probably peeping out his peep hole and saw it was me who took the sign down.

On Tuesday Guy had a new sign on his door, this one written in big red capital letters, "RENT STRIKE!"

Oh dear.

This morning when I went to work there was NO sign on Guy's door. Good sign...

But when I came home from work tonight I noticed something strange above my own front door...

What is that?!?!?!

So, now WHACK Guy is mad about the heat not being turned on** and he's putting signs on the ceiling above my front door... WHY WHY WHY?

I instantly took photos of the sign and then knocked it down with a broom. I'm sure that Guy watched the whole thing stationed behind his front door watching through the peep hole. I don't care. I hope that seeing me take photos makes HIM paranoid.

Just like he is making ME paranoid.

Damn, it's a paranoid off!

May the most delusional person win...

*Name not changed
** It was 14C today! What kind of idiot wants the heat on when it's sunny and 14C?

08 October 2009

Mars: Reigned in by the long arm of the law (at last)

I had an encounter with law enforcement official today. I'd had my lunch, had my sit in the sun, sent a few texts and chain smoked for a bit then heard the clock at the town hall strike two... so proceeded to make my way back to the office. Across the road.

'Er, 'scuse me' i hear this authoritarian say, as i turn around a sour look (my current permanent disposition) on my face. I give him the look of 'WOT?', not needing real words...
'You shouldn't be crossing the road here'... he begins... 'you should be crossing at the lights'.
Too stupid to get immediately indignant, i casually spat 'sorry' and continued on my way.

It's only now that i'm annoyed. Not annoyed at him having a go at me really, more annoyed at myself for apologising. To him. It's like i said sorry to him, personally. As though i may have offended him.

Cant believe i let that one slip, to be honest...

12 September 2009

Sometimes, good stuff happens. And this week, i got back a roll of film with a photo i had taken weeks earlier, and i'm thoroughly impressed with one picture, especially.

Last year i did a few posts mentioning Manchester Town Hall and how i love it. Every lunch time, i sit in Albert Square and watch the world go by, listening to the clock gong on the quarter to and quarter past hours. One day i'll get around to actually going in there... but for the time being, i'll just continue to enjoy the outside.

You just dont get stuff like that in Melbourne, and every day i am reminded of why i love Manchester and England.

25 August 2009

What this receptionist reads online inbetween greeting clients and screening calls...

Weird: The kilogram is in danger
No, this doesn't mean we are converting back to the imperial system. It means that original metal cylinder that was used to determine an exact kilogram has changed weight:
...the official kilogram is kept locked inside a secured vault at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris. Scientists are so paranoid that they've only taken it out on three occasions: in 1889, 1946 and 1989. Each time, they've compared it to a set of copies. In 1889, the copies and the kilogram weighed the same, but by 1989, they had drifted apart. Based on the data, the kilogram appears to weigh slightly less than the copies.
What this means is the kilogram must be "redefined". How weird?

Wrong: Murder victim is identified by the serial number in her breast implants

Reality teevee slime, Ryan Jenkins, murdered his bikini model wife, Jasmine Fiore (I'm not even going to bother with the 'allegedly' here). Jenkins then escaped to Canada via a black SUV and a speedboat called 'Night Ride Her'. Royal Canadian Mounted Police tracked him to the 'Thunder Bird Motel' in a town called 'Hope' where they found his dead body hanging from a clothing rack on Sunday.

Pretty sensational stuff. However, the really disturbing part is:
Authorities say Jenkins killed Fiore, 28, and removed her fingers and teeth, evidently to conceal her identity. Police allege that he then stuffed the swimsuit model's body in a suitcase and dumped it in a Buena Park trash bin. It was found by a man combing the trash for recyclables.

Authorities were able to identify Fiore, who sometimes used the last name Kinkade, based only on a serial number found on a breast implant, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.
Murder and mutilation. It seems fair to say Fiore's body is what attracted Jenkin's to her (they got married after knowing each other for two days). Jenkin's then took Fiore's body and destroyed it.

At the end of her life, this poor woman's identity is located in her breast implant. So sad and dehumanizing.

19 August 2009

Mission to Mars - Part One

In an attempt to occupy some of my time, and try to make myself feel a bit better after Bust Up 2009 - i did the most predictable thing ever and started doing what can only be described as exercise.

Previously unchartered territory for little Mars... i never really knew what this exercise thing actually entailed, but was accutely aware that i didnt like it one little bit. Initially i started going for really long walks to try and clear my head... mostly at night. I'm not sure why, but surprisingly, i started to enjoy it. Maybe it was a sense of recklessness, wandering around the dodgey area i live in, late at night and on my own... maybe it was the fresh air or maybe it was the fact that i'd managed to haul myself out of bed that day and considered it Achievement 101. I dont know - but after a couple of weeks, i cant say i started to look or feel like Jane Fonda, but i did start to feel slightly fitter (i think - cant be sure as i'd never know 'fit' before).

With this new found confidence and highly unexpected motivation, i decided to take this latest 5-minutes-on-the-brain crack pot idea (yes, fitness) to the next level... though rather than join a gym like a normal person, start walking to and from work or go swimming once a week in the local pool - i decided to join British Military Fitness.

I know, i am a moron...
List of things I hope to achieve by next year*

Get job
Get job I like
Get job I like that lasts more than six months
To be honest, lose five kilos off bum and hips
Write more about art
Write novel about a vampire
Get something published about anything
Be more confrontational with people who are horrible (racist, sexist, etc)
Go swimming regularly
Get haircut
Buy a computer (and give Blane back his ruined one!)
Buy an Ipod (and start listening to music again!)
Buy decent camera (and document this cool period of life... I live in New York!)
Read more brain books (and less trash!)
Communicate more with Dad and Brother (The women in my family are easy! The men not so much...)
Take drawing classes
Visit the Kluge Ruhe museum
Go camping
See more opera
See Shakespeare in the Park
Travel with Mars somewhere in the world...


* Dear Mars, maybe you should make a 'what I'd like list' and forget the 'what I ain't got list'?

15 August 2009

List of things i wish i'd done by now

had baby
lost 25kg
had v romantic and torrid love affair first marriage
been to africa
seen more of my grandparents
never fallen out with my brother for 18 months
finished uni
forged a career
come up with a plan and stuck to it
found the love of my life

I wrote that list on 15th October 2008.

Good to see some things never change...

13 August 2009

Potty Talk


On the weekend my neighbour, Enin, got himself drunk and locked out of his apartment. This has happened before. I came home around 10pm and found Enin lurking in the corridor. He asked sheepishly/slurrishly if he could climb through my kitchen window (and into his courtyard and into his backdoor). I said fine.

Enin got through the window reasonable gracefully considering he had to climb over a stove having drunk two thirds of a bottle of French potato vodka.

From his backyard he yelled "Thank-you!" to me. He then added, "Come over for a drink! I've got French potato vodka and will invite the girls from upstairs!"

How could I refuse?

I went next door to meet Melissa and Rorie, 'the girls from upstairs'. Apparently they had helped Enin by buzzing him into the building. We were all a little excited to be having an impromptu party and instantly got to gossiping about the building and neighourhood. Enin made us vodka and coconut water cocktails, which helped us getting to know each other even more.

Eventually the gossip turned personal with Enin proposing the question to the group, "What do you want out of life? What does it all boil down to? What is most meaningful to you?"

Melissa answered with drunken poetry, "To love and be loved."

Rorie agreed and added, "To laugh as much as possible."

I agreed.

Enin was not happy with our answers, "No, I mean what experience is most meaningful. Not something general. Something specific, something that sums up your purpose in life..."

"Well, what is your answer then?" I asked. It was obvious he wanted to tell us.

"All I want," He said, "The one thing I want... is to cum really hard."


Enin mistook our silence for not understanding. So he repeated, "Cum. Really. Hard. That is all I want from life. I mean, isn't it the greatest? When I'm fucking a girl my mind is so focused-"

"Gotta go!" Melissa suddenly remembered she had to get up early the next day. Rorie and I suddenly remember this too. We thanked Enin for the drinks, wished him goodnight and hurried back to our apartments.


Today, just as I was leaving the office, Brad from upstairs buzzed reception asking me if I'd seen Bradina.

I said, "I'll take a quick look around the office on my way out."

I found Bradina easily, sitting at a table in the kitchen chatting to two other staff members. I said to Bradina, "Sorry to interrupt, but Brad is looking for you upstairs."

Before Bradina could reply, the staff member sitting at the table with his back to me turned around. It was Mr. Poobar!

Mr. Poobar said, "Tell Brad to suck cock. Bradina will call him when I'm finished with her."

Everyone sitting at the table laughed. I laughed also, but it was a nervous laugh.

I went back to reception and called Brad, "Bradina is talking to Mr. Poobar. Mr. Poobar said something I won't repeat. Bradina will call you when they're finished."


Neither Enin or Mr. Poobar's comments were massively offensive. However, the context was so completely wrong that I felt confronted by them.

It is not appropriate to talk about 'cumming really hard' with three girls you've met for the first time in your house.
It is not appropriate to talk about 'sucking cock' with junior member of your staff you are meeting for the first time. And, BONUS, it is demeaning to them to ask them to repeat your comments.

I'm not the appropriate police. Actually, I am the appropriate police. That's exactly what I am. And I am on patrol. These are not comments that fail because I don't have a sense of humour. They are comments that are simply offensive... and their perpetrators need to be brought to justice!

I have more to discuss on this topic (Is it sexual harassment? Why do I often feel like I'm being shamed for refusing to use porn type language, 'cum' 'cock' 'fuck' etc.? Isn't there something wrong with an Apatowian 'so wrong it's right' sense of humour that is legitizmising crude sexual language?). However, I'll stop now because I already feel like I'm going to be labeled as some prude spinster who is too fragile for this harsh world...

And golly gosh, maybe I am.

10 August 2009

An blanket apology to all the good-looking people of the world...

New temp assignment is working the reception desk at Kitten Advertising. It's a very slick company that does heaps of fashion and luxury product (chocolates, jewelery, hotels, etc.) ads. I sit in a large white room behind a little gray desk that has a massive orchid perched on top of it. My job is the usual answering phones, ordering messengers ('couriers' in Australian talk), and greeting clients. What is unique to this job is the amount of baby-sitting 'high-profile' clients I do.

Obviously the ad industry is all about appearances. Clients are always 'high-profile'. They always need ice water, coffee, cupcakes, cheek-kisses, and spotless conference rooms. High-profile clients are also babies that aren't allowed to think for themselves, and when they are made to they go, 'WAHHHHHH!'

Yesterday Mr. High Profile client came to reception for a meeting with Mr. Poobar upstairs. Mr. Poobar was on the phone at the time so I asked Mr. High Profile to wait a minute. Mr. High Profile didn't want to wait, he wanted Mr. Poobar now! I was in the middle of trying to calm Mr. High Profile down ("Coffee? Water? We have yummy cupcakes in the kitchen if you'd like one!") when the reception phone rang. I then got tangled up in some issue with another high-profile client on the phone and while I was distracted Mr. High Profile sneaked out of reception and got himself into the stairwell. He thought he'd find Mr. Poobar for himself!

I instantly messaged upstairs to warn them Mr. High Profile was on his way up. This sent the upstairs staff into a complete panic, "Why did you make him take the stairs!?!"
"I didn't make him, he snuck away when I wasn't watching!"
"Well, where is he!!!"
"I don't know, going up the stairs I suppose..."
"Oh my god!"

Two interns were quickly dispatched into the stair well to search for Mr. High Profile. One went up, the other went down. Both came back two minutes later to report they couldn't find Mr. High Profile. They were dispatched again with the directive, "Find him!"

Five minutes later it was noticed Mr. High Profile was already in Mr. Poobar's office, chatting happily with him.

The funny thing is, high-profile clients are just regular people. They are the man on the street with pants that are too short and the woman on the train who has a run in her stockings. They come into reception sweaty and red, making obvious comments about the humidity outside. Superficially, they are not impressive people.

A lot of models also come into Kitten Advertising for castings. It interests me how badly, compared to the high-profiles, they are treated. These beautiful perfect people are kept waiting in reception for ages. Then eventually the art buyer's assistant's assistant will come out and say in a rush, "Let me see your book! What's your jean size? How tall are you? Is your hair naturally straight? Okay, take these jeans into the bathroom and put them on. Then meet me in the conference room and I'll take your photo."

The new face of something
(the model is too young to have her identity revealed in such a low-brow forum as this blog)

As I type this two other-worldly models are sitting in front of me. They are 17 year old twins with red hair. They are from that place in Eastern Europe where 5 foot 10 inches tall with size 26 jeans is normal. They've been waiting 15 minutes for their casting.

If I saw these models on the street I'd think, 'Wow, you look amazing!' But when I see these models trot off to the toilet to try on jeans that twenty girls before them have tried on, then the word 'amazing' does not come to mind.

Models are an easy target. I've made plenty of dumb-model comments that were born from a mix of jealously and the fact models really are immature kids. However, sitting at reception all week I've really began to understand the reality of how unglamorous modeling is. These people are treated so badly. They have no (little) control over their success/failure. They just bounce around the city from one cold judgment to the next.

To witness the behind-the-scenes life of modeling makes me really sympathize for the real babies of the ad industry.

And I just want to offer these poor good-looking freaks a cupcake.

05 August 2009

Trudging all over the city this weekend = two minor celebrity sightings!

On Saturday, Blane and I took a turn about the Financial District with a charming realty broker called Jesse.

Our apartment lease ends in four weeks so, under much pressure to find a new home, we were testing out down downtown for some down deals on studios with WATERFRONT VIEWS!!!!!!!!!!!! (That’s the way realty brokers talk.) Apparently the mammoth residential buildings in the Financial District are currently having trouble finding residents to fill their super-slick apartments (after all the super-slick finance dudes were fired late last year). Prices on apartments are PRICE TO MOVED, which just about brings a tiny little closet-size (COSY!) studio into our price range.

While wandering down Wall Street we had one of the most boring celebrity sightings possible, walking past this man:

I had no idea who he was. Blane, however, was mildly mildly interested to recognize James Altucher, the television talking-head who specializes in bringing the technical strategies used by hedge fund managers to the general public…. sdjhfouwiedivfu

Sorry, I fell asleep and my giant breasts just hit the keyboard.

Anyway, after Jesse showed us about twelve different apartments (which, after seeing only one, all started to look the same) we decided the Financial District was not for us. It’s too impersonal, too concrete, too suits. Basically, it’s too James Altucher.

On Sunday, Blane and I adjusted our apartment hunt to focus on the East Village. After the exhausting Financial District marathon of LUXERY STUDIO!!!!! after LUXERY STUDIO!!!!!, we decided we needed to more selective.

After looking at every single listing on Craigslist we found one apartment that actually seemed like a good deal. There was an Open House for it at 2pm, so we headed over to 10th Street and First Avenue to meet Cory the Sleazy Broker; blonde tips in his hair, sunglasses indoors (and at night obviously). We arrived at 2.15pm to find one girl already waiting out the front of the building. Cory arrived five minutes later and took us all up to the fifth floor.

The apartment was lovely! I spent about one minute looking at it before whispering to Blane, “We need to apply for this one before that girl does!” After getting a brief nod of affirmation from Blane, I walked over to Cory the Sleazy Broker.

“What do you think?” Cory asked me.
“Uh, actually we’d like to apply for it.” I said.
“Great! Let’s go downstairs to talk.”
I turned to the girl and cajoled, “You didn’t want to apply for it did you?”
“Well, I only started looking today,” She replied.
“Yeah, you can’t choose the first one you see.”

The girl nodded, and I felt a bit low for taking advantage of her ignorance. The apartment seems like a steal: one bedroom, top floor, facing the street, beautiful old building, two big windows, two (now ornamental) fireplaces.

After a quick conversation with Cory, Blane and I walked back through the East Village to meet Cory at his office and put a deposit on the apartment. On our way we passed a group of girls sitting on their front stoop looking extra trendy and BAM! Second celebrity sighting. Sort of.

I see a lot of girls in New York who make me think, “You must be a model.” But this is the first instance where I’ve recognized one. Agyness Deyn. Ms. Uncompromising Hair.

A recent New York Times article describes her as, “genuinely sweet, sunny and slightly dim, her punkette look the thinnest candy coating over an interior filled primarily with airy, whipped pink goo and nuvo-hippie, gestalt-y wow-ness.”

This also describes how I think of the East Village. It’s stylish but in a candy-coated obvious way. I think once Blane and I move in we’ll learn to recognize the difference between the hipster icing and the old East Village; the one that was depicted in the flashy Broadway musical, ‘Rent’.

Okay, obviously I don’t know anything about the East Village.

But, Ms. Deyn,
I am moving in.

31 July 2009

What I said in a job interview today:

Office manager: What salary do you expect to work for?

Me: Well, $xxxx would be my minimum.

Office manager: Yes, that's fair.

Me: However. Obviously, the higher the pay the higher my commitment to the company would be.

Office manager: *silence as my non-altruistic ambition rings greedily in her ears*


PS: Apart from that rotten clanger the interview went pretty well. I remain hopeful.

26 July 2009

The return from Mars


It's been a while, eh. Not really sure where to pick up with this blog (which is probably why i've been avoiding it so long), so i will give a brief summation of where i'm at right now... both meta physically and mortally.

My mortal self is in Manchester. I returned back to Oz with a great song and dance back in April, only to decide within 24 hours of being back on home soil that it wasn't where i wanted to be. So after a three week 'holiday', i returned to Manchester on a wing and a prayer.

Reasons at the time of making this decision were probably quite sound, and after all that's happened recently, i don't regret it... I left Melbourne 18 months earlier, unhappy with my life, yet motivated to rebuild else-where. When time came to leave Manchester, i wasn't unhappy... i had a group of friends, one in particular i was very close to, a job i didn't hate and enough distance between my family and i to keep me in sound mind. It seemed obvious.

And now, here we are two months after my return, and i have slipped back into life as usual, yet so many things have turned upside down in the last six months, two months, two weeks... things i expected would remain have changed, the life i had this time 12 months ago, even one month ago is nothing but a distant memory and i feel like i've lost myself somewhere in the mix.

I left my heart in San Fransisco.
I left my head in 2008.

It's always difficult to lose a friend when it's a one sided falling out, and that's what has happened to me. Someone i considered a good friend, my best friend even, has dropped me like i'm hawt. Truth is, i think he's a bit lost himself, and i - through the sheer fact that i have been so close, available, willingly indulgent - seem to have become a bit of collateral loss. A friendship that went too far, got too intense and essentially, imploded. It's possible i wore him out. It's also possible he is just being a bit of a dick.

So what does every good woman do when they've been dropped (romantically or otherwise)? She turns on herself. And that's what i've done, oh boy... the last two weeks in my head have been a real party! I don't know if it's a party i've had to have - if fact, i'd probably have preferred to sit this one out, but it was a cracker, though i'm hoping the party's over now... all that remains is the red wine stains on the carpet, the cigarette ash on my coffee table and the half eaten kebab by my pillow (though secretly admit there's probably a lot more partying to be done).

Naturally, my instant reaction was to try and 'fix' things that had gone wrong. Blame myself, let others blame me, accept being yelled at, make excuses for those who don't deserve them, allow myself to be ignored and not only treated like rubbish once - but actually keep coming back for more! All in what is now obvious, a vein attempt to diffuse a situation. Calm things down, i thought, i'll stick up for myself later.

I never thought i could have stood for such treatment, to be honest... i've said it before - no middle, no half, no change of heart, people don't get many chances with me, however, a punishment must fit a crime and i kind of think with really good friends, i'm willing to give them a chance, time, whatever they need, if i've really annoyed them. And there's no doubt, in this situation, i really annoyed him. Whether he was justified in his reaction - well, it's subjective, but i don't think so. So i'm at the point now where i'm digging my heels in... how long am i supposed to persist for, in this situation?

After my return to Manchester, i faced a lot of questions from people at home, family and friends wanted to know what my plan was. Well, truth of the matter - there was no plan. I didn't know where i was going to live, if i was going to be able to get a job or how long i'd be staying for. These 'concerns' were aired in a ruthless manner - and not one to be told what to do by anyone, i completely withdrew to the point where i hadn't spoken to anyone from home, including my parents, until about a week or so ago.

These people are my friends. These people i ignored, the people who persisted in contacting me, the people who never stopped caring or worrying. These are my people, and van damn when it all turned to shit, if they weren't there for me. I guess what's most disappointing is that i thought he was one of those friends, not someone who was going to cause the anguish. Maybe i gave the friendship more credit than it deserved? Maybe he meant more to me than i ever meant to him?

So where am i left... i appear to be down one bezzie mate and suddenly have loads of time on my hands. Time to think (which is probably the last thing i should be doing) and i've forgotten what i used to do before my life became absorbed with this person. I used to read, i know that. And i believe i used to keep a blog. The blog i ignored, the blog that persisted in being the elephant in the room and the blog that never stopped caring or worrying!

I hope my friendship can be restored - i am hurt and i am angry, but i know i can get past those things at this stage. Above all, i miss my friend and want him back... but make no promises on this state of mind staying the way it is - i've not got much patience for being ignored and before too soon he may well end up with a brick through his front window.

It's nice to be back, bloggy.

07 July 2009

Tattoo Test

I'm very interested in tattoos. But I would never get one. I can't get one because I'm afflicted with a condition called 'change-mind-a-lot'. This condition seriously impairs my ability to make permanent decisions. I just don't like to commit (the only reason I got married was because my mum reassured me, "You can always get divorced if things don't work out." She knows.).

Anyway, I've been watching heaps of Miami Ink, LA Ink, and London Ink this weekend.

And now I really want a tattoo.

However, it's risky. I'm too fussy about lines and artwork and symmetrical positioning... I know if I got a tattoo it would be a disaster. The only way it would ever happen is if I could overcome the following issues:

1. I find an original design/drawing I really like and would be suitable for a tattoo. The test is if I decide I like it and then in six months decide I still like it (it has to be this long so I can work out if my tattoo choice is just a fashion-trend or not).

2. I can get some serious scientific proof that my tattoo will age well. I have freckly skin that burns and blotches easily. Not the best for long life tattoo clarity?

3. I find a great tattoo artist, or I learn to tattoo and do it myself. As someone who likes to draw a little bit, I don't really like the idea of someone else drawing on me. It would have to be an artist I really really really admire. Like maybe Manet. Or William Kentridge.

So, my tattoo is obviously not going to happen.

For example.

I saw this really cool tattoo on London Ink last night. A girl got her pet chickens tattooed on her arm. Which sounded weird at first, but the artist did a brilliant job. I was so surprised... he used this psychedelic coloring on a really stylized three-chicken design. I loved it.

But now, only twenty-four hours later my love is fading. It has no meaning (to me). It looks very nice, but not in a forever nice way.

My tattoo test for myself is to see if I still like this in six months time.

06 July 2009

The America In Me

It seems appropriate this 4th of July weekend to think about America from an egotistical point of view. How is this country is getting to me? How is this country getting into me? I’ve been living here almost a year now and, while my Aussie accent remains strong (Mum says so!), there are definitely a few areas I’ve compromised on.

So, to the list!

I am American because…
I say ‘cell’ phone.
I write the date backwards: 7/4/09 = 4th of July 2009
I’ve switched spelling (I did this one quick smart!)... ‘s’ to ‘z’, the archaic spelling for ‘color’ etc.
I’ve recently started adding the extra comma to separate list items (I don’t like doing this one, it just looks stupid… eg. Dot, Mars, Emo, and Sally had a big fight. However, this is the way they do it in America and I don’t want it to look like I cant grammar right.)
I wear ‘sweatpants’ and runners in public (I would never do this in Melbourne).
I like filter coffee better than espresso-based coffee.
I use expressions like “let’s make this happen” and “we need to motivate” (although I am being a little bit ironic when I do this).
I love bagels and cream cheese.
I read the New York Times and never even bother to check The Age online any more.

I am not American because…
I always convert the temperature to Celsius.
Measuring in inches and feet drives me nut (same with miles per hour).
I refuse to refer to anyone’s mother as ‘mom’.
I can’t write or speak about ‘our nation’. I’ll always say ‘in America’.
I will never go to the gym (I know people do this in Australia, but it’s a lot more popular in America).
I have no idea about all those M places (Minnesota, Missouri, Minneapolis). Where are they? Are they states or cities? Do people like living there?
I’m not afraid of the word ‘socialism’.
I still freak a little any time someone says to me 'God bless you' (and not because I just sneezed).

26 June 2009

Celebrity RIPs

Wow, I was just reading an article about Farrah Fawcett's fame. The journalist was really scrapping around trying to find 'highlights' in Fawcett's career. In the end the best she could say was, "Not all of her performances will stand the test of time, but what is worth remembering is how hard Farrah Fawcett tried."

Then my husband came home from work and asked me if I'd heard the big news.

"Farrah Fawcett died?" I guessed, half joking.

"No! Michael Jackson died," He replied.


What is this feeling you have when someone really famous dies? It's like morbid excitement, and it's completely guilt free. Poor Michael, he was such weirdo, it's impossible to empathize with his life.

Although, Latoya will be sad. That makes me sad.

Anyway, there are a million things that can be said about Michael Jackson. I'm working reception at a law firm tomorrow, and I know what I'm going to be reading about all day...

Where does one begin to sum up his life?

25 June 2009

Are you there Brooklyn Museum? It's me, Dot.

The Brooklyn Museum's website is like water to my oil.

I've been trying for a year to access this website (not all the time, but once every couple of months) and my server just won't let me in. Very frustrating!

Can anyone else access it: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/

I called up the museum to comment - because that's what I do these days - and the nice lady at the information desk told me no one had ever called up to complain about the website before. She thought I was some Luddite who didn't know how to use the internet and made me read out to her the exact web address I was typing in. w w w dot b r o o k etc.

What is going on? Is it just me, or does this website not work?

17 June 2009

No! Oh, no! It's not what you think! Noooo!

There must be a word of this feeling: when you have a delayed realization that somebody thinks you were doing something gross, which you weren't actually doing, but they've walked away from you thinking you were, and you suddenly realize what they must think, and you want to call them back and say, 'I wasn't just doing what you think I was doing!'

There must be a word for that.

For example.

I went to the laundromat today. I did a nice little half-load of laundry (it's good to be on top of these things and have your favorite underwear on stand-by for that last-minute job interview you get called in for...). Once everything was done I stuffed the clean clothes into my laundry bag. I never sort and fold at the laundromat because the lady who works at there doesn't like me, so I don't dilly-dally. These days I like to wash, dry, smash, grab, stuff laundry into mesh bag and run out.

On my way home I passed my favorite little wine store. It's one of those places run by a real New Yorker, who has been in the neighborhood forever. If a Wine Megamart ever tried to open next door, and put her out of business, the whole neighborhood would boycott Megamart, and then Hollywood would make a movie out of the boycott staring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

I decided to go to Kathleen's Wine and buy a little something to go with dinner. I entered the store, which is really small, and put my laundry bag on the counter while I browsed. After selecting my wine I returned to the counter to pay.

Kathleen gave me a really icky look. I didn't understand why. She is normally super friendly, but today she was cold cold cold. I tried to engage her by making bland comment about the rain. But she ignored it!

In the end I just paid for the wine, grabbed my laundry and left.

It was only once I was out of the store that I realized that Kathleen thought I'd left my dirty laundry - in its see-through mesh bag, exposing a whole heap of colored cotton underwear - on her counter. No wonder she was dark at me.

I didn't just do what you think I just did! It was clean laundry!

Now the lady at the laundromat and Kathleen of Kathleen's Wines don't like me.

(See below for another example of that feeling you get when you realize somebody thinks you were doing something gross, which you weren't actually doing, but they've walked away from you thinking you were, and you suddenly realize what they must think, and you want to call them back and say, 'I wasn't just doing what you think I was doing!')

I am not an animal either!

13 June 2009

Blogging Fox News Style

Breaking News
I just realised the job application I sent out today began with the sentence, "I am wish to apply for the position of Administrator" Idiot! I don't deserve employment!

Latest News
My lovely neighbours - Enin and the French girl - have brought a massive new sound system for their teevee. Tonight they watching something that sounds like Jurassic Park. Every time a dinosaur takes a step my bedroom rumbles like I live next door to an elevated train line. Just like Elwood in the Blues Brothers, only his apartment was bigger.

Current News
I'm temping again as receptionist at the property management company. When I left the office today my supervisor said to me, "Good-luck kid!"

Not My News
Mars is back in Manchester. She returned briefly to Australia last month and decided it wasn't for her. After completing, what she describes as, 'the world's biggest u-turn', she is currently back in the UK working a (sort-of-legal) position on the phones. She'll probably yell at me for blogging this. However, I suspect she no longer even reads this blog... testing... testing... are you there Mars?

05 June 2009

I always knew those PETA people were stupid...

But it turns out they are also opportunistic, fundamentalist, heartless... blahs! I have no words.

Here's why:

PETA's latest ad campaign in Wichita seeks to capitalize on the shooting death of abortion doctor George Tiller in order to promote animal rights.

The bully brains of PETA's Wichita chapter are seeking to display billboards that urge both pro-choice and pro-life proponents to, simply, go vegetarian.

Here are the two ads:

Lindsay Rajt, the campaign manager for PETA, openly admits these ads were inspired by Tiller's death.

Rajt says, "While our hearts go out to the family and friends of George Tiller, we are hoping that these billboards will make those who are rightly shocked by his murder sit up and realize that behind closed doors, millions of animals are suffering every day, and that we as individuals can help to reduce the amount of violence and suffering in the world."

This group will do anything for attention.

We've all seen the ads of pretty celebrities posing nude for a cause, but other acts of ridiculousness PETA has stooped to included campaigning the town of Hamburg, New York to change its name to Veggieburg, and creating a 'Got Beer?' ad that encouraged college students to replace their milk mustaches with foam ones.

These campaigns are fluffy. They convey the idea that going vegetarian (or vegan, preferably) is a lifestyle choice. It is fun, and sometimes funny, and will make you feel good.

Yet, PETA have also constantly produced shock-material; the kind of ads that punch you in the face and scream, 'Murderer!'

In 2003, PETA held an exhibition 'Holocaust on a Plate' that juxtaposed images of people in concentration camps with pictures of animals on farms. In 2005, the 'Are Animals the New Slaves?' campaign compared images of slaves with chained animals.

How can an organization reconcile the meanings behind such overarching eclectic imagery? It's a mess. A moral mess of a message that comes out loud, shrill and stupefying:
  • Take your clothes off if you're sexy, don't wear fur and be sexy.
  • Fight for the rights of those who have been oppressed - the victims of war, slavery, labor abuse, discrimination - as embodied today by the little chickies.
  • Your fisherman Daddy is a murderer.
  • Your nostalgia for visiting the circus as a child is cruel.
  • Your abuse of alcohol is fine, just don't drink milk.
And now,
  • Your decision to have an abortion has nothing to do with the ethical treatment of animals. However, if you're feeling unsure you can ease your heart a little by choosing to be vegetarian.
Shut-up, PETA!!!!! Shut-up! Shut-up! Shut-up!

Shut-up and listen to me... I will neither 'choose' nor 'go' vegetarian. I have thought about it in the past (on grounds of the environmental damage caused by those farting cows) but now I won't. You've bullied me into stubborn irrationality.

PETA, you've yelled at people for too long. You've pranced around naked, making meat-eaters feel ugly and overweight. You hate us, yet you are obsessed with us. And now, you are daring to pull the memory of George Tillers into your self-righteous world.

GO AWAY PETA! Go and play with your baby kittens and your plastic sandals. Don't you dare turn the issue of abortion into a 'facade' for shock-tactic techniques that service your own agenda.

That's really... ah! Again, I have no words.

30 May 2009

I'm not doing it!

So, re: stupid interview for fake-job I didn't even want...

On Tuesday morning I sent a typically insipid email to Ms Manager saying, "I'm sorry I missed you again on Sunday. I'm still happy to meet you at the office. What time would suit you?"

Ms Manager replied immediately saying, "I have an appointment at 2pm on Friday. But I can meet you after at 4pm at the office."

Danger! Danger! It's Tuesday morning and she wants to set-up an interview for Friday afternoon? An interview directly after another appointment? All the signs suggested FLAKE-OUT potential was extremely high.

However, I replied, "Blah blah blah... great, see you then."

Then, today, Friday, at 1pm, Ms Manager called me. She said, "I am not going to office today. But you can meet me down stairs."

I said, "You mean downtown?"

She said, "Yes. At my apartment."

I said, "You know... I don't think I'm interested any more. This is becoming a little bit silly. Thanks for your time."

She said, sounding a little bit surprised, "Oh... okay."

I said, "Yeah. Thanks. Bye!"


I don't care. I had just finished getting dressed and doing hair, make-up etc, and then to find out she didn't even BOTHER to open the office today. Well, I can't be BOTHERED going downtown.

My only regret is I didn't use stronger language when withdrawing my interest. "This is a little bit silly..."

Come on, Dot! Grow some George Costanzas.

28 May 2009

Latoya doesn't live here any more...

I got a new cell/mobile number about a year ago. It's about the fifth number I've had over the past eight years. I'm not precious about keeping old numbers and am quite happy to let them expire and die along with junky phones they inhabit.

However, a problem with having had so many phone numbers is they become quite difficult to remember. So, now, whenever I get a new one I like to ask for an "easy number". This means something with a sequence of repeating or patterning numbers. Obviously.

My latest number is great. It's all 6's and 4's and 3's and 0's. And that's all.

However, when I got my little Sim mate home and plugged him in I realized pretty quickly that T-Mobile had given me a recycled number. The phone immediately started ringing with people requesting to speak to Latoya.


At first I thought that setting up my voicemail and telling all unknown numbers that 'This is Dot' would get the message across. However, a year later, people are still ringing for Latoya.

It's sometimes annoying when Latoya's friends ring late at night. Which they do a lot. It's also frustrating when I see 'unknown number' and get excited thinking it's a potential employer, so I answer the phone in my most chirpy upbeat voice, only to hear a dial tone.

However. In general I am becoming more and more interested in the mysterious Latoya, and have collected clues trying to work out who she is. Let me paint a Latoya picture.

Firstly, you can guess what she looks like.

Peak Latoya

Next, I know that Latoya is very social because she gets calls all the time.

I know that it was Latoya's birthday last week. She got a text message from a cousin saying, "Happy 30 Birthday Cuz!"

I know that a lot of Latoya's friends don't speak English because sometimes when I try to explain - this is not Latoya's number! - they say something in Spanish and then hang up and then ring back and then hang up.

I know that one of Latoya's friends isn't very nice because he once left a message on my voicemail saying, "Latoya, ah wan' chew to get me some cigerettes." He's also not very smart because my voicemail clearly says, "Hi, you've called Dot..."

I know that Latoya may be involved with gangs because on Halloween last year I got a text message saying, "Warning. Don't go out tonight. Blood and Crips are having initiation."

So, that's the evidence.

And I am afraid I have come to the conclusion that Latoya was a prostitute and she is dead.

She gets so many calls from different people, at all times, that I'm guessing her number is listed somewhere for 'exotic services'. Also, I reckon that the bastard who wanted her to "get me some cigerettes" was her pimp. Who else would assume ownership of someone's services like that? Also, the Bloods and the Crips text implies she was close to/involed with very very scary crowds.

As for the 'happy birthday' message: that was from a mourning family member who shoots a text message into the void each year on Latoya's birthday. One for the homegirl...

Rest in Peace Latoya. You had an easy number, and now it's mine.

27 May 2009

Isn't is stupid that, at 28 years old, I am applying for internships?

If I had never left the wonderful country of Oz I would not be in this predicament. My career would, most likely, have started two years ago and continued on a straight and narrow path of increasing responsibilities, salary and fancy job titles.

However, I met an American man who tempted me to New York where I thought my good career could be made, like all American things, bigger, better and with more branding power.

Unfortunately there is 280 million extra people in America, and a Recession, and a way of doing things that I just can't get used to. Lots of people are giving me advice on how to get a job in These Competitive Times with ideas of 'find a mentor', 'exploit old contacts', 'use the side-door entrance', and always 'hustle hustle hustle'.

Brantley Foster shows us how to hustle and become a Carlton Whitfield

But, what if I don't have the charm and smirk to pull of a hustle? I'm more the stoic stuffy type; I can't 'sell myself', so instead I have this (deluded) idea that by writing a good application letter and backing it up with a solid resume, I should at least land myself a few interviews.

But it's never quite that straight-forward.

I had a job interview last Wednesday. The position was 'unpaid intern', which I normal don't apply for. However, the job description also mentioned, 'with potential for paid employment after two months in the position of Executive Assistant to the Director'. Haha. Such. A. Joke. What a tease! What a nasty sly mean low-down son of a... Slave labour! (BTW: This is the direction Australia was headed with Work Choices... your rights at work ARE worth fighting for!)

Anyway, it was my first interview since getting back from Australia (not including temp work) so I thought I should just go and at least try out a new 'job interview' outfit.

Except that when I got to the office for midday appointment it was closed.

I called and left a nice message on the answering machine, "Sorry to miss you... I assume there's been a misunderstanding... I hope I get the chance to meet you soon..."

Later that evening I got an email from the office manager apologizing for 'missing me'. She said she had to run out for an urgent appointment. Fine. Manager then suggested I could come for an interview 'Sunday at the office' or 'Monday at my apartment'. Both options seemed really weird. I opted for the 'Sunday at the office' rather than having to mess with a split-personility of being a friendly well-mannered guest and an enthusiatic proffessional applicant in her apartment.

So I went to interview on Sunday and found the office closed again.

I left another message on the office answering machine (with only a slight slight expression of my annoyance), "Sorry to miss you... I assume there's been a misunderstanding again... I hope I get the chance to meet you soon...".

When I got home I found an email waiting for me from the manager. She said she had been feeling ill and closed up the office early. She would be at home all Sunday evening and Monday and I was welcome to drop around if I had the time.

This is where I am now, and I'm not sure how to proceed.

There's so many things that are odd about this situation, yet who am I to criticise a potential employer? Although, it doesn't feel like I'm setting up a job interview any more, it feels like trying to arrange a time for a tea party with a flakey friend.

This company is obviously a joke. I recognize the sloppy style. Someone with a little bit of money is dabbling with their 'own business'. They've got the website and the office space set-up... but can't quite seem to get production moving (as this is when the real work is required). They are lazy and are doomed to fail.

However this doesn't necessarily mean they won't be good (short-term) employers. I have worked for dying companies before, and the dumb perseverance of some people to keep operations running, despite all lack of ability and network, can create great places for a 'young gun' to take on oodles of responsibly. Of course, I prefer to work for smart people, however the experiences of working in a stupid office can be very enlightening in a trial-by-fire kind of way.

Do I bother to reschedule interview? Do I want this ridiculous unpaid job? Can I afford to be fussy?

Can my self-esteem afford to sit interview and then not get job?

What would Carlton Whitfield do?
Job list revised...

1. Apply for jobs (ongoing)
2. Find new apartment (for same or lesser rent yet with more space and natural light)
3. Laundry
4. Write great work of fiction
5. Email temp agency, "Hi, thanks for placing me at the blah blah assignment last week. I really enjoyed it and look forward to being placed at blah blah blah again."
6. Go for a run!
7. Email all those friends you barely have anymore because you hardly ever email them
8. Blog about something (other than this)
9. Re-order 'to do' list and with more realistic sense of priorities

Achieved over last four days...

1. Applied for internship (got a fab reference from ex-employer, now I'm just worried my essays on 'why I'd be a great intern for blah blah' weren't good enough...)
2. True Blood is available on Netflix... next in queue and I can't wait!
3. Chased up paychecks... $321 is all mine!

20 May 2009

The guilt list...

Dear Dot,
Stop wasting time roving all over the internet reading Wikipedia discussion pages and GET A MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE!
Love Dot
PS - I'm going to be checking up on your regularly, so you'd better achieve something.

1. Apply for jobs (ongoing)
2. Find new apartment (for same or lesser rent yet with more space and natural light)
3. Apply for the internship (the holy grail of all internships... it's a 12-month PAID one... application deadline 26th May... needs to be in post 25th May AT THE LATEST)
a.) Write three stupid essays
b.) Fill in application form and copy academic transcripts
c.) Get reference from old boss (most important!)
4. Write great work of fiction; semi-autobiographical, horror, comedy (mimic the character observations of Alison Lurie, the wit of Janet Evanovich, the imagination of Ursula Le Guin, the prose of Margaret Atwood and the commercial success of Stephanie Meyer)
5. Chase up paychecks... you are not working temp jobs solely for anthropological observations on the modern work place. NEED $$$.
6. Loose 2 kilos: 1 from stomach and 1 from bum
7. Email all those friends you barely have anymore because you hardly ever email them
8. Find way to watch first series of True Blood for free (library? Netflix?)
9. Re-order 'to do' list and with more realistic sense of priorities

16 May 2009

Friday afternoon drama (overheard from the reception desk...)

Harry: office slub, thirty-something, hapless...
Deb: office manager, late-twenties, not afraid to yell at someone, single
Tom: office goomba, late-twenties, single


: She sent me a text message saying, "Let's go to Blue Water Grill tonight." But I had just eaten a turkey burger for lunch and didn't feel like a big meal, so I wrote back to her and said, "Nah, I just had a big meal. Maybe we could do something 'lighter' and keep it low-key."

Tom: Wrong! Now she'll think you're cheap.

Harry: I'm not cheap, I just didn't want a big meal.

Tom: You didn't want to pay for another two big meals.

Harry: I'm not cheap! Anyway, so she texted me back and suggested another blow-out kind of restaurant. So I texted her and said, "I'm really not hungry. How about we meet at _____ [pizza place] in the East Village. If you don't like it we can go for a walk and find something else."

Deb: Uh oh. How did she reply?

Harry: She wrote to me and said, "The second date is all about ambiance. Simple is later in dating. Maybe another time. Bye."

Tom: She thinks you're cheap!

Deb: This is what girls want, Harry.

Harry: But she told me she ate Indian for lunch. What is she, a horse? She wants wine and steak after Indian for lunch? That's like 4000 calories a day!

Deb: But Harold, it's not about what you want. You're taking the girl out. It's not a mutual date.

Tom: Harry, you're becoming a weamb, know what that is? A woman inside a man's body.
Don't text her again. She's already pissed. Call her next week.

Harry: 4000 calories a day! I can't get over it. And really, 'simple is later in dating'? Who says?

Deb: The girl says. And she has a point.


Blah, blah... 5pm and I went home.


I giggled so much overhearing the above exchange. Harry did seem like a bit of a cheapskate, it was obvious he didn't want to pay for his date's meal at an expensive restaurant. And Deb and Tom's theatrical reactions matched Harry's indignation.

However, as I wrote down the conversation (to email it to myself for blog fodder = nerd), I got to musing on the world of Tom, Deb and Harry and I think this conversation really showcases a uniquely American (New-York?), and also quite nasty, side of dating.

1. The guy will pay

It's nice if the guy pays. It's nice if the girl pays. But surely, particularly on the second date when you don't know the other person very well, you would just split the bill? Or, if things go well, one person pays and the other person says, "Thank-you, I'll buy next time."

2. "the second date is about ambiance"

Blegh! That could be a line out of Seinfeld. Or even Sex in the City. It's just so cheesy, and Harry's girl's idea of 'ambiance' seems so cliched; steak, wine and jazz. Why not just skip straight to the marriage proposal up the Eiffel Tower?

3. "it's not a mutual date"
And a girl said this! There really are girls out there who's definition of an ideal partner is "treats me like a princess". Who cares about the guy's personality? As long as he brings you flowers, compliments the colour of your lip gloss and agrees with everything you say then he's perfect.

4. a man trapped in a woman's body = a pathetic man
Poor men! Poor women! Of course, the foremost implication is women are inferior. However, how is a man supposed to respond? It's a trap, for a man to either agree or disagree with this analogy he is confirming it as valid, ie, 'Oh no, I'm a manly man, and I'll prove it but doing the exact opposite of what you think I'll do!" or 'Oh yes, I count calories and expect to go dutch on the bill, so I guess that means I'm effeminte and therefore quite effete and therefore a horrible being with no use on this planet by your implication...'

Dating? I don't think people in Australia 'date' as much as they do in America. It's more about an informal 'hook-up' between friends, rather than a staged outing with rules and regulations.*

Anyway, I might be completely naive, but I think I'll stick with one night stands and marriage.

*Actually, this could be why Australia has never really produced any meaty scripted teevee shows (eg. sitcoms or dramas) about 20 & 30 somethings just finding their way through relationships. There's just not enough dating convention for writers to explore? 'Secret Life of Us' is the best example I can think of... Or, maybe it is just an issue of money, and population size, and people prefering shows about hospitals and police stations and court houses.

15 May 2009

This is sort of funny if you've been sitting in a windowless room all day...
Someone just called the reception wanting the "complaints department". Before I even had a chance to transfer their call to 'viewer services' they were off on their rant:
Loyal viewer: Do you do the cooking show? And those home shows? Well, first I just want to say the candles along the wall were ridiculous. That's so dangerous! I can not believe you did that! Also, about the cooking show. When the hosts have the long hair and the cleavage... it's disgusting. It's dangerous and disgusting. You shouldn't be showing cleavage on a cooking show. It's not healthy. Also, I tried to find a phone number on your website and I couldn't. It's very difficult to understand.
Dot: Thank-you for your feedback.
Loyal viewer: So, can you tell someone what I just said?
Dot: You can tell someone yourself. I can transfer you to our-
Loyal viewer: Oh no, that's fine. Just so long as you tell someone. Thank-you, good-bye.
Dot: Okay, bye.
So, now I'm telling someone. I'm telling the blog-o-sphere, and the blog-o-sphere is going to take this information was say... WUUUAAAHHHHH. (That's my interpretation of hot air blowing around a desert.)
Hello from the reception desk of a cable teevee network!

I was up for the challenge when I got the urgent call this morning for a last-minute job. My temp Counselor was quite dramatic, "This is your mission, if you choose to accept it..." And I was all, "I'm on the job! You can count on me!"

Dress code: "It's a very relaxed office, so you can dress casual. In fact, they'll look at you funny if you show up with a blazer or suit jacket. Of course, no jeans."

No jeans, no blazer, no suit jacket... didn't leave me many options. Blazer with jeans is my definition of 'office casual'. So, I ended up having to flip the outfit and wear suit pants with a cardi. Boring!

However, when I arrived at the office I found I fit right in. Everyone here is dressed in the black pants and cardi look. Many of them have slobbed it down even further with white sneakers (I'm sure they have their work shoes sitting under their desks, they just don't bother swapping over). It's quite disappointing. I was really expecting the world of cable teevee to be more glamorous... Unfortunately, it's more Wayne's World.

And then...

The fashion police rang: Marc Jacobs!

It was very exciting.

Here's what happened:

Marc: Hi, this is Marc Jacobs. Can I please speak to blah blah?
Dot: I'm sorry, who?
Marc: Blah Brown.
Dot: I'm sorry, did you say Mar... Brown?
Marc: No, Mar-gar-et Brown.
Dot: Oh! Sure, one moment I'll transfer you...
[I put Marc Jacobs on hold and searched frantically through staff lists. I couldn't find Margaret Brown anywhere. I returned to Marc.]
Dot: Hello, are you still there?
Marc: Yes.
Dot: I can't find Margaret Brown on my staff list. Which office does she work in?
Marc: She works in the interactive division.
Dot: Okay, one moment...
[I put Marc on hold again and called the office manager.]
Dot: Deni, I've got Marc Jacobs on hold and he wants to speak to Margaret Brown and I can't find her extension anywhere!
Deni: He wants Margaret Braun.
Dot: Ohhhhh, thanks.
[I returned to the man of patience]
Dot: Hello? Sorry for the wait, I'll transfer you now.
Marc: Wait!
Dot: Yes?
[I got all excited thinking Marc Jacobs wanted something from me...]
Marc: Can you please give me Margaret's direct line?
[I was sad to realise Marc wanted to bypass reception (and me) forever with Margaret's direct line.]
Dot: Sure. It's XXX-XXX-XXXX. I'll transfer you now.
Marc: Thank-you.

Goodbye Marc! I wanted to tell you that I brought a little Marc Jacobs knit sweater from ebay one time. It's blue with a patchwork design in pastel pink and yellow. My husband hates when I wear it with high-waisted jeans and pink cowboy boots, but I know that you'd appreciate it. I love you, Marc.

I was actually gmail chatting with Mars with Marc rang. Her response was typical, "Ask him if it's Marc for Marc Jacobs." Har-dee-har. Mars didn't even believe it was the Marc Jacobs. But surely it was. If you had the same name as someone famous you wouldn't just go around announcing yourself without explanation, would you? "Hi, this is George Bush, can I please speak to someone in advertising?"

Anyway, I type this at 1.30pm. Four hours to go. I think my day has peaked and it's all downhill from here...

Mr Patience and his most favourite receptionist at the "The Model as Muse" gala at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

14 May 2009

NYC Temping Minefield

Back in New York. Unemployed and without funds. Once again, I've turned to temp employment to get me through this rough patch. And by 'rough patch' I mean 'nothing new in the career department'.

I've never been the temp in New York before. Generally my temp periods have come while in Australia trying to raise money for overseas trips. So temping has been a means to a $2000 plane ticket. This time, however, I'm the temp without a goal beyond the short-term feeding and clothing myself, which adds (subtracts?) a whole new level of shit-kicker to (from?) this practice.

Anyway, first assignment - hello from the reception desk of one of New York's largest property management companies! It's one of those reception desks that is downstairs in a lonely lobby, while all the real staff have offices upstairs. It's a plush place; leather couches, textured wallpaper and a curved staircase. Only, because this is the scumbag property scene of New York City, everything is done in miniature to save space. The lobby is about as big as a small single bedroom, there is no window and the ceiling is only 7 foot high, so I kind of feel like I'm sitting at a reception desk in the bowels of a luxury cruise liner.

Ahoy there, desperate renters of New York! Are ye looking for a land-lubbing bargain... argh, ye won't be findin' it here with prices starting at $2000 a month.

(The pirate talk is because pirates sometimes take holidays on the Superstar Gemini, you know, to have a break from the the looting and raping and visit some of the most enchanting destinations in the Asia-Pacific.)

Reception is one of my favourite temp jobs because:
a) I get to work autonomously, and
b) I generally get to play on the internet between phone calls.

Reception is also the temp job I'm worst at because:
a) I suffer from mild phone anxiety which means I panic slightly every time the phone rings
b) I'm useless at phone switchboards (I get "You just hung up on me!" as least few times a day), and
c) I have this strange Australian accent that some American's find incomprehensible

That's my job in a nutshell. It's only for a few days, then next week I'm going to be a 'line monitor' at a stationery trade show.

Hopefully I'll get to meet Michael Scott!


NB: Mars is currently on long-service leave from the blog. She should be back in a few weeks after major life re-arrangement. Or, she may 'choose life' and jump ship altogether... and sail off to enchanting destinations in the Asia-Pacific.

14 April 2009

Dear Mars,

Are we still bloggers? Just wondering.

I'm going to be in Melbourne until the 2nd of May. When do you get back? This is not long enough to see you, is it? Well, like I said before I'm leaving TWO presents for you at my sister's house. One is something you can sit on and the other is something you can put things in. I hope these presents will be enough to maintain our fragile relationship.

I hope I'm not being insensitive again.

Luff Dot xx

PS - Bloggers roam the world! I just got back from a weekend in Sydney where I ran into Audrey Apple on a ferry (who normally lives in Adelaide) then at Melbourne airport I ran into Kiki (who normally lives in Perth). AND I think I may have been sitting next to Perez Hilton on the bus to Southland today.

13 March 2009

= ME

Can't blog.
Too busy looking at view.
Most beautiful country on earth.
Arnhem Land in wet season.
How did I end up here?
Little-bit long-story.

08 March 2009

Jade Goody.

England is obsessed with this individual at the moment... and so am i. Apparently she's going to die at any moment, which while tragic because of her age, actually doesn't afford me any particular sympathy toward the woman. In fact, i am having an extreme reaction towards her... while Sun readers 'leave Jade their special words of support', i sit back and vomit in my mouth.

The first problem i have with Jade Goody is that she shouldn't be famous in the first place. She is in my opinion, a vulgar human, and just because she's now terminally ill, doesn't really change that. If anything, it's actually accentuating her thorough vulgarity.

The fact that i even know what she's doing in these, 'her last weeks', is absolutely horrible. I can't understand why she doesn't have a bit of dignity and keep to herself about the matter. I dunno what she thinks, maybe that she's doing the world a favour 'raising awareness' about cervical cancer, and perhaps she is... but i doubt she's raising awareness so much as she's raising her bank balance. I mean, she admits she's selling her story to who ever will buy it in order to provide for her sons, but honestly... you really can't put a price on dignity, can you? What kid wants to grow up knowing that their mother basically sold herself while she was dying?

Fair enough, sell your wedding photos... if some one's dumb enough to buy them, fair dues. But honestly, baptising seven and five year old children is pretty weird... but have yourself baptised as well? Talk about covering all bases. And why, for the love of god, when it's still really quite cold in England, she's traipsing around Essex with no hat on that bald head of hers, is beyond me.

Vulgar in life, as well as near death... i don't know what more you'd expect i suppose. So i don't really have much sympathy for her, it is sad for those two kids, but honestly... what memory of herself is she leaving for them?

04 March 2009

There's a show on over here called Supersize vs Superskinny. Basically, they get a fatty and a skinny together, have them mincing around in some beige, baggy underwear and we all sit back and think how disgusting the fatty is. The premise of the show is that the fatty and skinny swap the meals they would normally eat for five days... the skinny moans about never being able eat all that food and the fatty waddles around talking about lap-band surgery.

Anyway, the point of this post wasn't necessarily to rant about the show and its 'point, laugh and pity the fatso' mentality...it's something even more disturbing, to be honest.

The opening credits of the show have all these bodies, fat and skinny, divided into three sections, spinning around making odd looking torsos. You never see the head of the body, and you never see any cock and/or balls, just some boobs (man or woman), some guts and a blurred out vadge.


Please, a real vadge, or no vadge.

Let's face it, we're lead to believe a vadge is ugly, so best keep these things behind a fuzzy blurred pen and continue to make out (as we have been doing for at least the last 50 years) that we all look like Barbie dolls.

Not cool.
I went to see a game show filmed. It was the greatest waste of three hours of my life.

But at least i got on teevee.

24 February 2009

Okay, less emo, more lists...

This is the list of things i want to see and do before i leave England...

See my cousin's new baby in London
Caverns in the Peak District
Go to Wales... maybe Llandudno or maybe Snowdon
Yorkshire Dales
Visit my friend in Durham
Visit the walled cities of York and Chester
See a football match
Lyme Hall
Stockport air raid shelters
Undergroud tunnels of Manchester
Manchester cathederal
Whitby Abbey
Lakes District... maybe Windemere

I think that's pretty much it. What can i say, i am a nrrrrd and England still has a lot to offer me. Am sure i've missed a castle or two off the list... And only eight more weekends left to go...!

23 February 2009

Shades of grey
Do not exist
You're in my life
Or on my list
There is an on
There is an off
But what there's not
Is moderation
What there's not
Is selfish behaviour
What there's not
Is room for error
What there's not
Is anything other than
Or white

It's up
It's down
It's side to side
No middle
No half
No change of heart
I'll tell you once
You're in
Or you're out
You're for or against
No room for movement
No compromise
It's clear as day
There are no...
Shades of grey

17 February 2009

Hello Melbourne!

PS - Mars, I hate the new template. Can we please have black writing on white background at least?

12 February 2009

Goodbye New York...

05 February 2009

Why can't I be someone's protege?

What I really feel like right now is a good mentor. Or a role model. Or even just the privilege of being in the same room as someone who is really really smart.

Anyway, fake job (my so-called "internship") isn't going too well. It didn't get off to a great start with me deciding on the first day that everyone who worked at YYY Gallery was fairly not-smart. I know, this negative, judgmental, snot of an attitude will get me nowhere. But seriously, friendly but dumb.

The second thing I don't like about this fake job is that I'm not really needed. I keep running out of things do.

So the not-smart and the free-time combined has lead me to start snooping around the office. My favourite form of entertainment so far is reading through the sent email box. See below for an example of the kind of genius thinking that goes on in YYY Gallery.

. . . . I was looking at the website for the XXX Company and noticed that you have some artifacts and works from China. YYY Gallery has an exhibition up presently of two Chinese artists, Liu Jing and Li Qian. These two artist come from the Xinjiang province where they learned tribal dances, oral stories and carving. Liu Jing and Li Qian took these stories and dances and created pictorial documentation of their culture. These monumental linocuts are unrivaled in any culture of the world. Liu Jing created a 20 foot long linocut and Li Qian has created a number of large works including a 16 foot long work. Unfortunately I will not be able to send you images of the long works because email limits the amount of mega bites and reducing the images does not do them justice but I am sending some other works for you to get an idea. We have a catalog if you would be interested in seeing them all. The catalog has each image with its tribal story as well as background on each of the artists and their land. I am attaching a few images as well as the stories that go with them and the press release from the show here at the gallery.

Firstly no, I do not work in a Nigerian advance-fee fraud office. This email may sound like it was written by Mrs Mariam Abache, widow of the late Nigerian Head of State, General San Abacha, but it was not.

How many things are wrong with this email? Let me list the ways...

* The 'space, space, space, space, space' for a line-indent.
* The artists are described like singing, dancing monkeys, "Sing tribal songs, dance savage dances..."
* Mega bites? I took a mega bite of my sandwich and it was yum!
* Short sentences that still manage to sound awkward, "I am attaching a few images as well as the stories that go with them and the press release from the show here at the gallery."
* Long sentences that sound like rambling excuses, "Unfortunately I will not be able to send you images of the long works because email limits the amount of mega bites and reducing the images does not do them justice but I am sending some other works for you to get an idea."
* Even the double-space after each period annoys me!

The person who wrote this email is my superior. They earn money and have a job title that does not contain the word 'assistant'.

I'm thinking of going back to Australia for a little bit. Unemployment is taking the fun out of New York, and Melbourne's record-breaking heat wave is sounding quite nice from this grey slushie perspective.

PS - Mars, can you please start blogging again?

29 January 2009

The blog must go on... (despite a TERRIBLE template that has ruined everything!)

Job hunt continues. I applied for 7 real and 4 fake jobs last week. 'Real' means it's working for a company that pays you money. 'Fake' means it's working for a company that used to pay someone money but, when the economy died, fired this person and is now trying to hire an unpaid intern to do their job.

I only apply for intern positions for the sake of applying for something. It keeps me off the streets.

Yesterday, surprise, 3 of the intern companies contacted me to schedule interviews. Sigh... I'm too old to be the intern! It's embarrassing! However, I've done internships in the past that have led to employment, and being the intern is better than being the girl who watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer all day on teevee.

I went to one of these interviews today. And, surprise, I got the (fake) job.

I'm going do it. I've even a little bit excited to do it. It's just a shame my amateur career (real ladies don't make money from their hobbies) is not sustainable beyond a few months.

Meanwhile, just a minute ago, I got an email from one of the companies I applied for a 'real' job at. They want to know what my salary requirements are. I know this game. It goes:

1. 200 people apply for a job.
2. 20 people are asked what their salary requirements are.
3. 2 people are asked in for an interview (the 2 people with the most 'competitive' requirements).
4. 1 person is given a job (the better dressed person and/or the person with the least offensive Facebook profile pic).

I've actually made it to level two. Yippee. But progressing to level three is really hard. I need to think up the most realistically horrible salary. Not too high. But it can't be too low, or they will think I'm pathetic; Dear Mr Man, I'm willing to work for you for $2 an hour because my passion to work in the arts it what drives my ambition to strive for the best and contribute to a company that improves humanity's lot on this wretched planet and if I can be part of that then, well, that's a way of achieving immortality and that's enough reward for me, Sincerely Ms Suck.

I know, I know... how is this different from interning for free? Because interning is honest. And you don't pay tax on honesty.

$25,000 a year?