Observant little ...

I don't understand the answer, but I may have some ideas on the question...

a question

A colleague of mine was very upset today after receiving some bad news.

She wouldn't go home because she wanted work to take her mind off it. So I gave her a hug instead. It just seemed the natural thing to do.

But now I'm wondering if it was inappropriate? She's older than me, not a friend outside of work, but we get along well together in the work environment.

Any thoughts?

I have to leave work at 4pm tomorrow to commence my weekend plans. So I'm back late at work tonight trying to get everything finshed off that needs finishing off so that I won't have anything left over tomorrow.

And then next week I'm on holidays - oh blessed holidays!

I'm thinking of just doing nothing but reading books and watching DVDs for the entire time. That would be nice. I'll probably get bored after a couple of days though, and then my plan is to head for Byron Bay and try to remember how to surf again. As long as the weather is nice.

So I may not post again for a while. Be good kiddies while I'm gone.

Listening to: nothing - I just want to go home

Hottest 100 Day

Well, it's Hottest 100 Day, otherwise known as Australia Day to the older generation. For the overseas readers of this blog, the Hottest 100 is a purely vote driven poll run every year by JJJ - apparently it's the biggest poll of the kind in the world with over 475,000 votes this year.

I've spent the day listening to the countdown (which goes from 10am to about 6:30pm) and cleaning my house in preparation for my party this weekend - since I have a tiny unit and 3 radios (one in each room), this is actually quite a pleasant way of doing the housework.

I'm a little disappointed that most of the songs I voted for didn't get in though. The top 100 were:-

1 franz ferdinand - take me out
2 missy higgins - scar
3 eskimo joe - from the sea
4 the killers - somebody told me
5 spiderbait - black betty
6 missy higgins - ten days
7 john butler trio - something's gotta give
8 little birdy - beautiful to me
9 powderfinger - bless my soul
10 the white stripes - jolene (live)
11 modest mouse - float on
12 the dresden dolls - coin-operated boy
13 the killers - mr brightside
14 evermore - it's too late
15 ben lee - gamble everything for love
16 grinspoon - hard act to follow
17 butterfingers - yo mama
18 the streets - fit but you know it
19 the streets - dry your eyes
20 spiderbait - f***kin awesome
21 william shatner - common people
22 green day - american idiot
23 scissor sisters - take your mama
24 jet - look what you've done
25 john butler trio - treat yo mama
26 grinspoon - better off alone
27 sarah blasko - don't u eva
28 beastie boys - ch-check it out
29 franz ferdinand - this fire
30 dresden dolls - girl anachronism
31 kings of leon - the bucket
32 eskimo joe - older than you
33 the bees - chicken payback
34 machine gun fellatio - what the fuck?
35 scribe - not many {remix}
36 jeff buckley - forget her
37 ben folds - adelaide
38 u2 - vertigo
39 the killers - smile like you mean it
40 little birdy - this is a love song
41 faithless - mass destruction
42 lior - this old love
43 dogs die in hot cars - godhopping
44 scissor sisters - take me out {cover franz ferdinand}
45 wolfmother - woman
46 rammstein - amerika
47 the living end - i can't give you what i haven't got
48 elliott smith - memory lane
49 missy higgins - casualty
50 franz ferdinand - the dark of the matinee
51 john butler trio - what you want
52 regurgitator - my friend robot
53 placebo - english summer rain
54 waifs, the - bridal train
55 hives, the - walk idiot walk
56 xavier rudd - shelter
57 evermore - for one day
58 scissor sisters - laura
59 xavier rudd - solace
60 your wedding night - lachlan
61 deep dish - flash dance
62 eskimo joe - smoke
63 n.e.r.d. - she wants to move
64 epicure - self destruct in 5
65 chemical brothers - galvanize
66 devendra banhart - little yellow spider
67 black keys, the - 10am automatic
68 powderfinger - process this
69 freestylers, the - push up
70 starsailor - four to the floor (remix)
71 the von bondies - c'mon c'mon
72 polyphonic spree - hold me now
73 panda band, the - sleepy little deathtoll town
74 interpol - slow hands
75 the spazzys - paco doesn't love me
76 interpol - evil
77 snow patrol - run
78 little birdy - tonights the night
79 dallas crane - dirty hearts
80 the dissociatives - young man old man
81 end of fashion - rough diamonds
82 mylo - drop the pressure
83 dallas crane - numb all over
84 dogs die in hot cars - i love you cause i have to
85 regurgitator - the drop
86 the unicorns - i was born (a unicorn)
87 sia - breathe me
88 a perfect circle - imagine
89 jet - get what you need
90 greenskeepers - lotion
91 decoder ring - somersault
92 scissor sisters - comfortably numb
93 john butler trio - hello
94 the vines - ride
95 placebo - twenty years
96 after the fall - mirror mirror
97 gyroscope - safe forever
98 gomez - catch me up
99 the butterfly effect - always
100 fabienne delsol - i'm gonna haunt you

I'm actually still listening to the top 10 countdown, but the full list has been announced because we are an hour behind Sydney, where the countdown took place.

As per usual, there is a Powderfinger song in the top 10 (would our radios all explode if there wasn't?), and I'm very happy with the 7 Aussie songs in the top 10. Very surprised Dave McCormack didn't get a showing. Stoked Ben Folds did. Missy Higgins got two songs in the Top 10, which was very impressive. I think she was very pleased that neither of them were No 1 though, since she agreed to do the nude run if it was.

A bit of Hottest 100 trivia - the poll started in it's current form (Hottest 100 of the previous year, not of all time) in 1993 and that was also the first year that I attended a Hottest 100 party, and subsequently bought the Hottest 100 CD. I didn't realise how long ago it was until they were telling us a bunch of trivia during the Hottest 100.... God, I feel old!

Listening to: the Hottest 100 broadcast

general observations

I've been a bit slack with the posting lately, so figured I'd better write something today, even if it is just a collection of thoughts.

- it's a fine line to run when going to a restaurant for dinner with the one person you know and all of their friends. You don't want to be too early and be waiting for everyone else, but you don't want to be late and stuck down one end of the table where you don't know anyone, but they all know each other. The later is what happened to me on Friday night. I had a good time regardless, but had a better time once we'd moved on to the Troubadour and I could talk to the people I actually know and liked.

- having lived in Ireland, there is nothing nicer than meeting an Irish person who can understand my love/hate relationship with Dublin.

- it's possible to like a person, but still find them incredibly annoying. I went out to dinner with Genie and a bunch of her friends on Saturday night and one of them has been a friend of mine even longer than she's known Genie. I used to like her a lot more. Now I wince every time she laughs and find her chatter inane - has she changed, or have I? Or is it just that she's always smashed when I see her lately?

- Stephanie Klein tells it how it is with a How To on dating.

Listening to: Incubus (I was going to give it away, but I think I'm changing my mind)

A better class of tourist?

Honestly! The gaul of the man! This story got me a bit narky, in particular, this quote:

"We've built a high-standard resort and we're bring a higher standard of tourists to the area and you'd think Byron council would be bending over backwards to assist us, but they're a very strange lot," Mr Harvey said.

A higher standard of tourist? And those listed in the story are two English aristocrats, rock historian Glenn A. Baker, Mr Harvey and his business partner John Singleton. Somehow, I can't see them mingling with the riff raff of Byron Bay township and bringing money to the town. They probably spent their entire holiday encased in the resort and didn't come out, so why the hell should the council be bending over backwards?

Exclusive resorts like this are what ruined Noosa and I think the Byron Bay council are right to be wary of them. They edge out those who go to Byron Bay for what it currently provides - a great town with a great culture that's a bit different from the norm.

Listening to: Custard - a little compliation I put together

Hopefully it will all be worth it

Further in the tales of woe as I do my boss's job, I spent today trying to reconcile and very small aspect of our budget (about 1%) against the paperwork filled in by all of the lawyers for this. Books were missing or not completed. Values were rounded off in the paperwork so that they didn't match what the charge we had paid was. And some lawyers were using books from the wrong teams so that one team thought they were underspent but were in fact massively overspent, while my team seemed to be overspent when in fact we're underspent.

A whole day gone, just so that we can move money around inside my budget. Well, some of it will be journalled out to other business groups, but the biggest errors were between teams.

So frustrating.

Listening to: the cleaner vacuuming the floors

the weekend

My weekend consisted of:

(a) doing bugger all; and
(b) looking at houses to buy.

I think I enjoyed (a) most of all.

I needed to get some work done over the weekend, but didn't do it. In fact, it's still not done because today has been frantic. Even more frantic than expected.

Just as I think it's all starting to fall into place, yet another crisis arises.

So to amuse myself and others, I'll type up another story from my youth. This was written for English class when I was 16yo (grade 11). We were supposed to describe a scene using all 5 senses. I remember being very disappointed at the time when I only got a C.

"The room is cold, a deep penetrating freeze that comes in from the open windown, leading to the white glittering snow outside. Lying on the bunk is a small, wiry man with dark hair retreating over his domed head, giving him the appearance of a placeid English gentleman. His skin is tanned and leathery from many days in the hot Eastern sun. His expensive white silk pajamas are stained by the deep red blood which has slowly spread through the soft material, making rusty splotches on the finely-woven fabric. Many deep slashes have severed the flimsy threads and parted his burnished skin to reveal the white bone and sinewy muscle beneath. His eyes are deep set and stare craftily and unmercifully at me in death, the hawk-like nose is jagged and out of place with the rest of his aged good looks. They portray an aura of evil that is impossible to ignore. The wind whistles in through the open window. The acrid stench of old blood fills the room, competing with the fresh smell of newly-fallen snaow and I imagine the sweet perfume of the dead man's cologne. The bitter taste of rising bile sickens me as I run from the room in horror."

I reckon that could compete with some of those lines in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest!

Listening to: Monsieur Camembert - Live on Stage

Childhood poetry

I really must have been a joy to be around as a child (/sarcasm).

I was looking back through my poems and stories folder and found this one that was published when I was in grade 6 (11yo), though I think I actually wrote it when I was 10yo:


Red is the flame
That leaps to the sky,
Red is the sunset
That burns like fire,
Red are the roses
When they bloom,
Red is the devil's cave
That sentences doom.

Other kids wrote about spring and and pets and happy things like that. I wrote about the devil's cave and doom...

I'll post some of the stuff from my teenage years a bit later - they get worse - lots of stuff about death and guilt.

Listening to: Martinez - New Timba

Brisbane Weblogger Meetup Group

So apparently this exists. And the group organiser, Mark Bahnisch (your hair is scary in that photo Mark) is looking for BrisVegan bloggers.

So verbs, Di, lushlife, OzBhoy, Mr Alphabet... check it out if you're interested.

And Mark if you're reading - check out this link - it's lists all of those listed on blogger as being in Brisbane. Bit of a shortcut for you.

Listening to: Monsieur Camembert - live on stage

Hottest 100

I think I may have a problem.

This is the list of songs that I want to vote for in the Hottest 100:

fading light - acre
along the run - art of fighting
sing song - art of fighting
your easy part - art of fighting
your cover's blown - belle & sebastian
i'm a cuckoo - belle & sebastian
adelaide - ben folds
get your hands off my woman - ben folds
on my way - ben kweller
rules, the - ben kweller
my apartment - ben kweller
tell someone who cares - boat people
when doves cry - damien rice
a town called sadness - dan kelly & the alpha males
bunk lovin' man - dan kelly & the alpha males
get high on yr own supply - dan kelly & the alpha males
checkout cutie - dan kelly & the alpha males
step forward - dan kelly & the alpha males
a to z - darren hanlon
unmade bed, the - darren hanlon
truth about love, the - david mccormack & the polaroids
i'm going to execute your ex-boyfriend - david mccormack & the polaroids
somersault - decoder ring
mass destruction - faithless
i want more - faithless
jaded - george
you don't see - gin club, the
whenever it rains - gorgeous
you make me wanna clean my room - halfday
forget her - jeff buckley
beautiful to me - little birdy
alright - little birdy
this is a love song - little birdy
tonights the night - little birdy
do it again - lovejoy
come to my senses - m craft
you've ruined all my favourite songs - machine gun fellatio
trouble maker - machine gun fellatio
what the fuck? - machine gun fellatio
venus traps fly - machine translations
flown - machine translations
ocean breathes salty - modest mouse
float on - modest mouse
bam thwok - pixies
you come through - pj harvey
i'm going home - shifter
butter - shifter
baby boomerang - shins, the
spitting games - snow patrol
run - snow patrol
whatever's left - snow patrol
something wicked - soma rasa
unbreakable - speedstar
bridal train - waifs, the
willow tree (live) - waifs, the
all kinds of trouble - wesley davidson
solace - xavier rudd
chances - xavier rudd
shelter - xavier rudd
g.b.a. - xavier rudd

And that's just from the browse list. But now I have to narrow that down to 10 songs as that's all you're allowed to vote for. This is not going to be easy...

On the basis of voting for songs that I both really like and that I think are likely to get heaps of other votes (so my vote will actually count), I've narrowed it down to:

1. i'm a cuckoo - belle & sebastian
2. adelaide - ben folds
3. when doves cry - damien rice
4. checkout cutie - dan kelly & the alpha males
5. unmade bed, the - darren hanlon
6. i'm going to execute your ex-boyfriend - david mccormack & the polaroids
7. mass destruction - faithless
8. venus traps fly - machine translations
9. butter - shifter
10. run - snow patrol
11. unbreakable - speedstar
12. willow tree (live) - waifs, the
13. all kinds of trouble - wesley davidson

So I still have to remove three. The only ones that are completely non-negotiable are Shifter, speedstar and Wes Davidson since they're all BrisBands and I really love those songs. So I really need 7 out of 10. *sigh*

Listening to: Rumberos - Fitzroy Sound

the reliability of email

As I'm sure everyone who works in a professional legal office will know, email is not completely reliable. Delivery is often delayed and is always dependant on the person being at their desk (or checking their email) anyway. Particularly in government, I know many older officers who only check their email once a day. Out of office messages tend to only be set up if the person was expecting to be away from their desk for a significant period of time, it doesn't cover the person who has called in sick, or is unexpectedly called away from their desk for another urgent matter, or is in a meeting etc.

So if something needs to be done urgently (ie that day) and I haven't got a reply to my email within about an hour, I always follow up with a phone call.

Apparently, this isn't what everyone does. Once upon a time, one of my offsiders called in sick for the day. We were already down a lawyer from my team and he didn't expect that there would be any matters that would need urgent attention. I said I'd keep an eye out for any faxes and deal with any phone calls that came in. He knew that there was a particular issue due that day (and so did I), but we didn't expect any problems to come out of it and the person handling it had previously mentioned that she didn't think that she'd get it to us that day in any event and we may require an extension.

She sent two emails to my offsider that morning. He obviously didn't reply. This would be unusual for him and I'm surprised it didn't send off alarms in her head about my offsider's availability at that stage. But she did eventually call and discovered that my offsider was away and that matters should be referred to me in his absence. So she sends me an email. Which doesn't hit my inbox until a couple of hours later - yep, it's obviously a technical problem, but these things do happen. This is why you follow up urgent stuff with a phone call.

Again, my lack of reply didn't send off alarm bells for her. And she didn't call me to check that her email had been received.

When I did receive it, I ran around getting the info she needed only to find out that she'd already responded on the issue because she hadn't received our instructions in the time frame she expected them. I wasn't happy. Particularly as the response she gave was wrong and will require a court application to fix.

And when I'm not happy, people generally know about it. Unfortunately, she compounded the unhappiness from my end by getting very defensive about her lack of telephone contact and laying the blame on my offsider for not letting her know in advance that he was going to be away sick that day. I felt this was a little unfair. The previous sentence is huge understatement.

Thankfully, her supervisor was a little more understanding of the message I had been trying to convey to her - which was don't fricking do it again!

The moral of the story? Don't rely on email when it's urgent. And if you stuff something up, admitt it gracefully and promise it won't happen again. Don't make pathetic excuses. You can't change the past, but you can calm down an unhappy client pretty easily by just being upfront (and not charging to rectify the mistake).

Listening to: Martinez - New Timba

stressed out

Since I was off work sick last week, today was my first day doing my manager's job. And, as expected, here I am doing a 12 hour day with no lunch break and taking work home with me. This is why I hate this job. Well, this (the hours) and the stress and the shitty little jobs that I have to do which mean that I can't get my teeth into some real legal issues.

*sigh* One day down, twenty-odd to go.

And The Vegetarian has left me. He got a job in Sydney and moved there over the weekend. And I couldn't go to his going away party because I was still sick.

No wonder I'm in a bad mood.

Listening to: Nothing. Haven't had time.

I'm back and yet not back

Well, I've got to say that the Woodford Folk Festival was brilliant.  I had an absolute ball.  There's far too much to say and I'm really sick and can't be bothered, so I'll just give the highlights.
No of people I met:  roughly 30 strangers + 10 people through friends of friends
New bands discovered:  Rumberos, Martinez, Sars, Flamenco-Indo-Jazz, Waiting for Guinness, Nadya and her 101 Candles Orkestra
Old favourites that I saw again:  Fourplay, Elixir, Doch, Palimpsest, Monsieur Camembert, Afro Dizzi Act, Spankinhide, Jaelos Flamenco, Kafka
Bands I thought I'd like but didn't:  Fruit, The Beautiful Girls, Stringmansassy, Coda, Dirty Lucy
Bands I didn't see because of the huge crowds:  The Cat Empire, Xavier Rudd, The Waifs
I spent most of my time with The Fairy - it was nice for the first couple of days, but I think by the end we were both getting on each others nerves.  She was certainly getting on mine anyway.  She was missing her boy (who was still in Sydney) and boy didn't I hear about it!  I also get a little annoyed by her habit of heading off to chat to people without thinking that maybe I'd like to meet them... I always introduce her to anyone I chat to and bring her over to my friends.  I think it's the mix-taper part of my personality coming through again - I think my friends are all great and want them to all meet each other.  But I think The Fairy likes to keep her different groups of friends seperate - like she's afraid we'll find out too much about her by chatting to each other or something.
Anyway, by the end of the week, I was actually preferring to be at gigs on my own than in her company, and that's never a good thing.  I was also a little ticked off that I was left on my own at midnight on New Years Eve - it's the first time in my life that I've been on my own for the countdown, and if I'd known that she and the boy wouldn't be at Fourplay by the countdown, I could have joined the Law Student and her mates down at the Amphitheatre for the countdown and then come back up to see Fourplay after that.  It's only a minor thing, but kind of indicative of the week.
I had a ball camping with the Law Student and her friends - we had some dramas early on, but they were sorted out as we all relaxed into the festival.
I had missed all of the news of the tsunami up at Woodford.  I knew that it had happened, and I knew that a huge number of people had been affected, but without access to news (other than rumour), I didn't know how many countries it had hit or which ones.  So I was pretty shocked by the coverage on Sunday night when I got home to my folks' place.
I have to say though, that I'm very proud of my fellow Aussies at the moment - a county of about 20 million have given 100 million in donations to assist the victims of the tsunami.  And that's not including any of the assistance given by the federal and state governments.  My family have chipped in to give nearly $1,000 between us.  I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy inside over that.
And that's my New Years resolution - to give more to charity.  There were others, but I'm not sure I should share.
Listening to:  a 2004 mix CD a mate sent me