Observant little ...

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

Things you see!

Despite all my plans to go home early yesterday, it didn't happen, so I was still at my desk at 5:30pm when The Nymph calls and asks me if I want to go to Sexpo with her and her flatmate since they'd scored free tickets. And do I do the sensible thing, turn her down and have my quiet night in? Of course not! I mean, it's not the sort of thing I'd pay to go to, but if you've got the opportunity to take up a free ticket, why not?

It was certainly an eye opener. The crowd was mostly couples and younger girls in groups. The stalls ran the gamut from information stalls handing out pamphlets, to sex stores, to legal brothels advertising their services, to girly magazines offering photos with their practically-naked models if you bared your chest (for girls) or dropped your pants (for guys). I saw more vibrators than I knew existed. I chatted to a madam (well, a brothel owner). I discovered that foot fetish actually means that the guy likes being, ummm... handled by the girl's feet (I just thought it meant they liked feet). I found out about eggs and bunnies. I particularly liked the remote-control egg offered by Pash parties - a girl could give the remote to her boy so he can give her a thrill from across the room - gives a whole new meaning to "Are you coming home?" ;o)

I discovered just how innocent I really am.

We were given a free vibrator as we walked in the door and I looked at it and said to The Nymph, "it's kind of small isn't it?" - only to be told that apparently the smaller size means that it's also good for guys to use for anal stimulation. :oO I never knew.

Though I was impressed that I knew what B&D was (and the difference between that and S&M) and The Nymph didn't. I think I watch way too much Law and Order.

I bought some chocolate body paint for TBF for her birthday - she should get a giggle out of that and I think she and TBFH could probably do with some spicing up their sex lives now that they have the bub. Though I'm guessing they could probably do with some sleep more! ;o)

And I bought myself a showbag. It was just like Ekka, only with condoms and sex toys instead of fluffy dice and lollies.

I think the look of wide-eyed incredulation still hasn't left my face!

Listening to: Machine Gun Fellatio - Paging Mr Strike

So tired...

I really should learn not to go out on school nights. Especially two in a row.

Tuesday night I went to The Woodenhearts Collective at the Troubadour - it's sort of an amateurs night for singer/songwriters. Apparently you send in your CD and they pick out 4 a night to play every Tuesday night. Anyway, I went because a friend of a friend was playing. I was pretty impressed with the first 3 acts, but had to go before the 4th came on.

Last night, I had a date. Went to see Million Dollar Baby. Oh my wordy lordy, I cried so much! It was thoroughly engrossing, very funny, very sad, very human. Not a real action film (don't go for the boxing, there really isn't that much - but I thought that was a good thing), but a film for anyone who is a student of human behaviour. It raises some big issues: euthanasia being one of them. I thought it was brilliant. I'd recommend it to anyone.

So probably not the best date movie though. I think he was trying to get a bit snuggly (kept on pressing his leg and arm against mine), but I tend to curl up and get as foetal as possible when I'm upset. Also, the cinema was freezing, so I was trying to tuck any exposed bits into clothed bits. And of course, I walked out if it with red eyes and a swollen nose - always an attractive look.

Today I feel like crap. I didn't sleep well last night, and was sick this morning just after I ate breakfast. I'd almost think it was morning sickness if I didn't know better. I don't feel so bad now, almost human again in fact. But I've already told my boss that I'm not sure if I'll last the day. Thankfully, we're pretty quiet here at the moment and he's cool with me taking off on time-off-in-lieu (which I accumulated heaps of when sitting in my bosses job) for the afternoon if I want to. Which could be a good thing - a decent rest, a quiet night, a leisurely dinner... before the madness of the weekend starts!

Listening to: Snow Patrol

How embarrassment!

A couple of days ago, I got my hair cut (no, that's not why I'm embarrassed). I only get my hair cut about once a year, so when I get it cut, I tend to go somewhere good - which usually means somewhere that costs (in this case $80). If I was to get it trimmed, I might go somewhere cheaper, but for a style cut, I'm prepared to pay the money to get a cut that sits right.

Anyway, the point of my tale is that my card wouldn't scan through their machine. I had been having some trouble with it, so I had ordered a new one, but it wasn't due to come in until the next day. So I just tell them, "you can just punch in the numbers if it isn't scanning properly", which they do, but it turns out that it wouldn't go through for this particular salon - there's a stop that's been put on manual entry.

This causes me a major problem. I don't get paid until tonight. Each fortnight most of my wage gets put straight into a savings account which I can't access instantly (for good reason - I have no willpower otherwise). I pay for everything on credit card and then pull the money from the savings account to pay for the credit card each month. So this means that I have less than $20 in my account and I have about $50 on me (ie less than the cost of the haircut).

And of course, this is a service industry. It's not like I can give the haircut back and buy it another time. I was so embarrassed. This is a first for me - I've never not been able to pay for something before.

We sort it out. They keep my driver's licence and I promise to go back the next day when my card has come in. All things considered, they were very nice about it. But then, I guess the problem was partially theirs since they didn't have a back-up mechanism for when cards wouldn't scan (which I know happens all the time).

So anyway, the next day I grab the card from the bank and go back to pay and get my licence back. And so the story has a happy ending.

But I'm chatting to the guy at the salon as he's putting through the sale, and apparently he was told that they can't do manual entry because it's fraud! Now this just doesn't make any sense - the machines have the capability for manual entry, the big stores like Woolies and Coles can do it, and anyway, how is this any different from internet purchases and payments? It's more secure than that actually, because they are still getting my signature. And they've seen my driver's licence. So it's not like there's any doubt that it's me. It just seems perfectly ridiculous to me. But there you go.

Oh, and I'm very happy with the cut.

Listening to: Tylea and the Imaginary Music Score - eponymous

Lets talk about sex baby

This post has been prompted by two things - Di's been gettin' some, and SwissToni directed me to Belle de Jour, which I have been reading with fascination. Start from the beginning if you're going to read it.

I keep on reading in magazines like Cosmo that sex is supposed to get better with a long-time partner. But it just hasn't been my experience. And from chatting to various friends, it isn't just me. With a one night stand, there is the excitement of something new, the exploration of someone different, but most importantly, there is usually three or four hours of foreplay (aka flirting).

Most of the guys I know stop flirting once they have the girl. And from those I've talked to, this is not because they're not trying or complacency, but because they just don't equate flirting with a long-term relationship.

And this is what a lot of guys don't seem to get. Foreplay, at least good foreplay, is not just physical - it's 90% flirting. And frequently, the physical bits are not what guys think they are. Going straight for the tits (used just to give you a giggle Ozbhoy) rarely works. One of my friends loves to have the bottoms of her feet tickled. For another, it's having someone play with her hair (on her head you dirty minded people!). I'm not going to tell you what mine is for the sanity of those who read this who actually know who I am. ;o)

But there is no way what any physical contact is going to get the girl amorous, if that mental element isn't there. But this is where many guys go wrong. It doesn't have to be you - a girl can be turned on by a dirty dream, flirting with some other guy all night, or a myriad of other things - but the mental element does have to be there. And generally, it's better if it's you. Which is where flirting comes in.

Guys frequently flirt without even seeming to think about it when it's a one night stand. But as soon as you're in a relationship, they want the bloody road map. We're not like you: there is no one single place to go with hands or lips which will guarantee an orgasm. It's different for every girl, and likely it's different each time. There is no road map.

And when it comes to general directions, I can offer guys only two pieces of advice:

1. Never stop flirting - a cheeky comment, a come hither glance, an "innocent" brush of the hand - these all continue to work even after you're living with the girl.

2. Don't even try if she's pissed off with you. No girl can concentrate on enjoying herself if part of her is still fuming.

As for the rest, try a little experimentation. That doesn't necessarily mean buying the Karma Sutra and trying out every position you can physically do. I mean try playing with her fingers, or brushing her hair, or giving her a massage. The sort of intimate stuff that is a step up from the physical flirting you did when you first met her. Don't work to a formula. Listen to what she says and read her body language. That will tell you if you're on the right track or not.

Girls - anything to correct/add? You can always comment anonymously. I won't mind.

Listening to: Damien Rice - O

a long and lazy weekend

I had the day off on Friday. No particular reason, just because I could. Work isn't particularly frantic at the moment and I knew I was going out on Thursday night, so a day off on Friday seemsed like a particularly good idea.

Thursday night, I went to The Necks with The Tall Guy and Genie. I'd not heard any of their stuff before, but they sounded interesting. Unfortunately, I think the idea is more interesting that the performance. They play these incredibly long (45 min to an hour each) seamless compositions where one member changes what he is playing ever so slightly every minute or so, so that the composition goes from being soft and simple, to louder and complicated and then back again. That's not a very good description, but it's the best I can do. As I said, interesting in theory. In practice, I found it very repetitive and sort of boring. Probably didn't help that I was tired and it was very cold in the Judith Wright Centre so I was going into hibernation mode.

Friday, I slept in and watched some of the stuff I'd taped during the week, but hadn't got around to watching. I also watched The Stepford Wives on DVD - I know a lot of people have bagged this movie, but I really enjoyed it. I wouldn't watch it again, but I found it funny and enjoyed the social commentary aspect to it. I guess having experienced the pressure of people trying to make me a "Stepford Wife", I enjoyed the backlash cynicism of the storyline.

Saturday, I went to look at another property with TBF. Hated the property, but really liked the real estate agent - he managed to promote the property without being pushy. And accepted that I didn't like it. Some real estate agents wanted to know what I would buy the property for and couldn't accept that I just wouldn't buy it because I didn't like it. After all, I'm planning to live in this place, I have to feel comfortable there. And it's a unit, I can't really change it, so it doesn't matter how cheap it is, I'm not going to buy it. Now if it was a house... ;o)

This brings me to the topic of another rant of mine. I email real estate agents. It's much faster for me than calling and I don't need the information straight away. Plus, I like to have details of the properties in writing because I keep a bit of a database of what I've found. Anyway, I'm the customer and surely the agents could email me answers. But no, many of them reply to my enquiries with a "please call my mobile" sort of response. I can never be bothered to call, so basically they've lost me already. I'll happily attend open houses or make appointments to see a place though. And I'm unlikely to get excited by a place enough to think about buying it unless I've been to look at it (nearly every place I've seen is a lot better in person than it was in the photos). So by them insisting on phone contact, they've lost a potential buyer. *sigh* Real estate agents!

Anyway, back to the tale of my weekend...

That afternoon, I got my new car stereo installed. It's very pretty. And sounds good too. One thing I hadn't realised when I bought it is that it comes with a remote control. This I don't get - I mean, it's in the car, why would you need a remote control?

While it was being installed, TBF and I (and her friend from Sydney) went to the local cinema because it would be nice and cool and the Sydney friend was practically expiring from the heat. We saw Bride and Prejudice, since TBF and I had seen a short for it and thought it looked great. I knew that it was a Bollywood style film and was expecting it to be cheesy and colourful with the actors breaking into song and dance routines. And that's exactly what it was. There's no sex scenes in Bollywood films (not even kissing), so I found some of the lovey-dovey scenes a bit jarring because they stare at each other adoringly, their faces get closer and closer, and then they hug. Anyway, I did enjoy it - laughed a lot and gazed adoringly at Martin Henderson. Gotta say though - he was outshone by Aishwarya Rai in the looks stakes - she is truly stunning.

Saturday night, I chatted with one of my dates-to-be. We've been emailing for a little while now and he makes me laugh, so I sent him a text message to see if he was around and he called me back and we talked for over an hour (I'd hate to see his mobile bill after that one!). He doesn't live in Brisbane, so I won't get to meet him in person until Sunday week, but I'm actually really interested in this one.

On the dating front, I've also got another date on Wednesday and one lined up for this coming weekend. It's been weird, the interesting ones seem to come in waves. I'm not sure how interested I am in either guy - one of them hasn't got a very clear photo and I'm such a face person that I just can't get excited by him without knowing what he looks like (yes I know this makes me shallow). The other one is interesting, but I think he might be a bit too intense for me. I don't take life too seriously and tend to be a bit irreverant, and I like people who are similar in that sense. Ah well, see what he's like in person I guess.

Sunday, I did the housework, went grocery shopping, washed my car, mowed the lawn and generally ran around getting sweaty. When all was done, I went for a swim, then spent the evening doing a "beauty intensive" on myself - I washed my hair and put one of those intensive treatments through it (it really needs a cut), soaked my feet and rubbed off the scaly bits, and then moisturised from top to toe. I then wrapped myself in a sarong, sat on the couch in front of the fan (very nice on newly moisturised skin), and browsed The Sunday Mail (a poor excuse for a newspaper, but contains a good TV guide and occasionally interesting entertainment articles). I seem to have become very addicted to the idiot box lately - I don't really watch that much stuff, but I like to have it in the background when I'm making/eating dinner, checking my email, talking to my Mum on the phone and so on. I think the fact that I'm not totally engrossed by my current book (A Short History of Nearly Everything - it's interesting, but not a story) is leading to this habit, and maybe I'll return to my usual minimal TV viewing when I finish it and move onto something more entertaining.

Listening to: Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress

File management (a rant)

In the last couple of weeks I've taken over files from a couple of other people. And I keep on coming across this thorny issue - no matter how good you are at getting to a successful result for your client, if someone else can't pick up your file and see exactly what happened, when and why, your reputation within your workplace will never be good.

I mean, think about it - you are never going to be in the office every time something comes up on one of your files. Especially in litigation, there are days when you will be in court or in negotiations or a meeting (not to mention when you're sick or on holidays) and someone else will have to pick up your file and work out the answer to a question being asked.

And then there's the question of a paper trail. We're lawyers mate! Paper trails are essential! Sure, you may have an A+ memory and can recall phone conversations you had 6 months ago or even longer, but how is that going to help the next person who is trying to work on that file.

One of the files I'm currently working on is a complete mess. The guy who was handling it before me didn't print emails for the file, didn't make a note of his phone conversations, and didn't have the stuff that he had put on the file in chronological order. So I've just spent the better part of the day pulling the file apart, chasing details of the emails/phone calls/conferences that I know exist, but aren't on the file, and then putting it all back together again. Very frustrating.

Especially for someone like me who has excellent file management skills. I'm one of those people who doesn't pick up the phone without having a pen in my hand and any letters/emails etc that come in go immediately onto the file. I think it comes from my potty-training when I was an article clerk. From day one, I was working on the more complicated files belonging to the managing partner (along with my own simpler files), so I always had to document what I'd done since I only met with him once a week and the rest of the time, he had to know what was going on by reviewing the file. So working from a file where nothing is documented (and no hand over can be so detailed that it covers every nitty gritty issue that will come up) is driving me up the wall!

And of course, it means that I'm on the phone to this guy every other day because of something else that he hasn't mentioned that there is no record of on the file. Maybe he does it this way so that he feels important and needed, but personally, I prefer to have uninterupted off time than to create chaos so they can't survive without me (I was once told "never be so unreplaceable that you can't be promoted" and I believe in that!).

And I must do it well - I've only ever been called at home during a break twice. I've changed job about 5 times and always managed to do a sufficiently accurate changeover that the person coming into the job didn't have to contact me at all. And I went overseas for 7 months without a single query having to come my way.

Sure, I still get people calling me or coming to see me about files I did years ago in the hopes that I might remember what they are after without them having to go through the file, but it's always on the file if they need it.

It's really not that difficult!

Listening to: Radiohead - Hail to the Thief


There are certain kinds of meetings that I hate. They're the kind where you have many people around the table who are all trying to achieve the same goal, but without actually doing any of the work themselves.

Considering I'm only there to give them legal advice, it gets very frustrating. They are all arguing about what they need to do from an administrative or policy perspective (and who will do it), and all I want is for them to give me clear instructions about what they need so I can advise on the legal implications.

And people who want a pro-forma letter done to save time, but want to include in it every little itty bitty detail so that there will be no queries. Unfortunately, that's the nature of pro-forma letters, they will never satisfy everyone and you will need to have a resource to answer the questions that will inevitably arise whenever you send one out.


Listening to: The Frames - For the birds

blogging from work

I've been reading some stuff lately about blogging from work.

(Started with QM who linked to Ivan, which reminded me about a post from sarni and so on)

Anyway, it's probably fairly obvious from the times and days of my posts that I blog from work. I have no real issues with it and I doubt my employer would either.

I work pretty long hours (and don't get paid overtime of course), don't drink tea or coffee at work, don't smoke, eat lunch at my desk, rarely make or take personal phone calls, and don't spend hours socialising with my colleagues. So in the overall scheme of things, I probably spend more time actively working than most, despite taking a bit of time out of my day to blog.

I also rarely write a post in one go. Usually, I write a little bit of it, and then save a draft and come back and write a bit more. So I'm only ever blogging for a couple of minutes at a time unless I'm writing the post after hours.

I have found that it's impossible to work 9 (or more) hours a day, 5 days a week, without taking regular breaks. You need a bit of time to let your brain relax and ponder the generalities of life, rather than the specifics of a file. And my method of choice is blogging.

As for the issue of "big brother", well, if the IT guys are that interested in my life, they can just read my email. I don't think there is anything I've written about on here that I haven't also discussed by email with friends. But with a couple of thousand people to check, I doubt that I'm fascinating enough for them to be interested.

And so I blog from work.

Listening to: The Frames - For the birds

just a quickie

I know, I know. I've been very slack lately. A week on holidays and then a week in a new job and I've been off-line the whole time. But I'll get back into it, I promise.

I didn't go anywhere for my holidays. I didn't really do anything. But I still seemed to have been flat out the whole time. Here's the run down:-

Friday 28th Jan - drove to Toowoomba to see The Waifs. Took my Mum. Both went well. The support (Mia Dyson) was pretty crap though.

Saturday 29th Jan - drove back to Brisbane with my parents. Took them to see a couple of units I'm interested in. Lunch with parents at Vue at New Farm. My party started at 3pm and first guests arrived on the dot. Last guests left at 1am. I had a great time and I think everyone else did too.

Sunday 30th Jan - helped The Fairy and her boy to move house from Paddington to Logan. Very big job and lots of furniture. I left home about 9am and didn't get home until after 4:30pm. I also got burnt, despite putting sunburn cream on. It was 36C and I think I sweated it all out.

Monday 31st Jan - drove to Toowoomba for birthday dinner with family.

Tuesday 1st Feb - drove back to Brisbane for movies with TBF (aka T of T&S - I've decided to change it so it wasn't so confusing when I talk about them seperately). Her bub is getting settled into childcare but she's not back at work until this week, so we decided to take advantage of the situation. We saw Finding Neverland (which I loved - Johnny Depp with an Irish accent - how could they go wrong?). Stayed with her and TBFH (aka S of T&S) for dinner.

Wednesday 2nd Feb - my day off. Watched DVDs, did the housework, worked on the garden, make some phone calls.

Thursday 3rd Feb - An old mate from college was in town so TBF and I spent most of the day (and night) with him at TBF's house. I haven't seen him in about 7 years or something (he lives in Korea), so it was great to catch up. And surprisingly unawkward - we chatted about all sorts of stuff over the 8 hours that we were all pottering around the house.

Friday 4th Feb - meetings with mortgage brokers, real estate agents and the like. Also did a bit of shopping.

Saturday 5th Feb - I can't remember what I did all day, but I went to the Candle Records gig at The Zoo that night with the Law Student, her boy and a couple of their friends. Good company, good music. Had a ball.

Sunday 6th Feb - I think I just slept all day. Can't really remember now.

Monday 7th Feb - movies with TBF again. We saw The Phantom of the Opera - I enjoyed it, but wouldn't go and see it again (which is a pretty big call from the girl whose seen the stage production 3 times). Didn't really like the way the part of the Phantom was sung - it didn't have the same depth of emotion as Anthony Warlow.

And then it was back to work. I'm sitting in a new team at the moment, mostly doing work of a very different nature to my usual area. So I'm on a steep learning curve and it's only going to get steeper as I get into the files.

In addition to which, I went to see Mama Mia! with TBF on Tuesday (8 Feb) night (brilliant show, very funny, and I don't even like ABBA music that much), and I had an asthma attack on Wednesday night and had to have the next two days off work.

The worst thing about an asthma attack is not so much the attack itself, it's the sore muscles which last for days afterwards - maybe not so much a problem for guys, but those sore muscles are exactly where my bra strap sits, so I can't wear a bra, and not wearing a bra to work is not really something I'm prepared to consider. In addition, I got put on prednisone for a few days and that stuff does nasty things to my body. I like to avoid it where possible, but couldn't this time.

So I had a very quiet weekend after all of that. I did a little housework, my brother and his family dropped by on Saturday and I gave my niece her birthday present. She wasn't impressed by it initially, but once she started playing with it, she was hooked. Along with me, her mum, and her brother. My brother just sat back and watched us with amusement.

On Saturday afternoon, I did a little shopping - bought a new sound system for my car and a new DVD player (the old one died). Then I went to Bunnings and bought a whipper snipper (a Ryobi ELT630) so I can mow my little patch of grass. Spent over $800 in the space of a couple of hours which is a little frightening.

And now I'm back at work. Still suffering from pretty intense headaches and mild nausea from the prednisone, but I've lasted the day. Off to court tomorrow (which should be interesting).

Listening to: Jeff Buckley - Grace