Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NaBloPoMo is over

As soon as I hit 'publish' on this post, I will have kicked NaBloPoMo's butt for the second year running. It wasn't hard (and bear in mind I'd been posting daily for about two weeks before the start of November). I'm a blogging machine!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Late starts

I had my first 'late' shift today - starting at 9.45am - and I was so busy that working until 6.00pm wasn't a drag.

I started reading Anne of Green Gables last night. It's bizarre considering my great affection for the story that I've never actually read the book. I've only read Anne of Avonleigh which a relative gave to me when I was a kid. Clearly they didn't know it was the second book of a series and I don't know why I've never gone back to read the set given how much I love the telemovie. I have the whole set on my to-read pile now though.

I'm picturing the characters from the telemovie in my head as I read.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weeny, walking, big bikes

Look at these weeny ducklings! They looked far too small to be braving the choppy waters of Victoria Harbour. I saw the mother duck first and the ducklings were so small  I thought they were flotsam. But no. So cute.

I walked from Harbour Town to Southbank this afternoon, with a detour to Victoria Harbour. I've never really explored that area before. I walked until I was almost under the Bolte Bridge.

On my way into the city this morning I passed a gaggle of cyclists dressed up steampunk style. There was one guy on a pennyfarthing and one man on a gigantic tricycle.  Yesterday there was a man in Myer playing a ukelele and a girl walking down the street in a tutu and ballet shoes.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tidy, blue, pale, pretty

Photo taken on my new phone with a vintagey look. Wish my eyes were really that green.
Oh, those are my new specs. Forgot to post a pic before.

I had my eyebrows professionally seen to this afternoon for the first time. They didn't need to be shaped because nature kindly did a fine job of shaping them for me, so the brow girl only tidied them up. It really makes a difference. I can't stop looking at them.

I also got my hair cut and coloured - not quite as short as usual and a little more blue in my blue/black (hey, hold those blue rinse jokes!)

The two women who work in the salon are both from Asian countries (one from Indonesia, not sure about the other). They love my pale skin. It's a pleasant change from being surrounded by women with fake tans who probably look at me and think I could do with a bit of colour.

I walked to a polling booth to vote in the State election this morning. My neighbourhood is staid and lacking cultural diversity, but  damn it's pretty.

(I stayed in this place for a couple of weeks when it was a grungy boarding house.
Now it seems to be a big posh residence.)

And I spotted an old sign. Anyone know what it says? It backs onto Park Street, South Yarra. There's also a P, so it's ....PLES. Do you think it could be Maples, like the old piano store on Swan Street, Richmond? Perhaps this was their factory?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sweet, busy, cheap

A wet sunset from near the Convention Centre

I arrived at work to find a ladybird chocolate and a little Christmas note from a woman in my department who's now on leave for the rest of the year (*goes green with envy*). Everyone got one. How sweet is that?

It was all work, work, work after that. It was crazy busy and I felt a little overwhelmed, which wasn't pleasant, but it was great to leave at the end of the day feeling like I did a good day's work (especially knowing I don't have to go back for two days!)

It rained again. I could just hear it spattering on the windows at work and then a minute later I looked up and it was fine again. Ah, Melbourne, you and your four seasons!

How ace is it when you buy something and it scans through at even less than the ticketed price? That happened to me tonight - a pair of shoes which were already cheap as scanned at $20!

Got the flat to myself for the weekend. Wooooh! I'm playing some loud music.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Surprisingly rich and spoilt

I got a nice surprise when I used the ATM this afternoon - I've got WAY more money in the bank than I expected. I was anticipating a large wad of cash to hit my account in the process of moving my money into a new investment, but I'm not sure why I have so much. No doubt there will be a logical explanation that isn't "the share price went through the ROOF and you're now much richer than before! Wooooh!".

Another perk of working for a large firm:  when you have a meeting in one of the rooms on reception level, you get offered hot beverages and snacks. The coffee and tea list would put many cafes to shame (the firm does have a professional in-house kitchen). Someone else ordered  hot chocolate before me this morning, so I asked for one too. It even came with marshmallows.

I got to leave work even earlier today because I had an appointment. I've been home since 4pm. Nice.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Early, cracking, sunrise

I have started working the 'early' shift on Wednesdays - an 8.00 am start and 4.15pm finish. Not so keen on the earlier start (yes, I know 8am isn't that early), but the early finish is ace.

I'm also doing late shifts (9.45am - 6.00 pm) on Mondays from now on. A later start on a Monday! Wooh!

It seems to be bark shedding season for eucaplytus trees. I'm a dead-leaf-cruncher from way back, but bark gives an even more satisfying crack! when you step on it.

I caught a glimpse of the sun peeking over the horizon this morning when I briefly got up to pull my blind down (er...so the sun wouldn't keep me awake. I was too tired to stay up and watch it rise or even take a photo).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bleeding, clinking, flowering

I donated blood again today, my sixth donation. It hurt more than any other (during and after), but I just tried to think about the good that my blood will do for others and about how I'm a "'good bleeder" with "great veins". Go, me!

Conveniently, the Blood Bank came to my office this time - yet another benefit of working for such a large firm.

I love the cracking, clinking, pinging sound ice makes when you drop it into a tall glass of water.

My spathiphyllum has four flowers on it now. *admires own green thumb*

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dog, cardy lady, super crunchy

I heard a new song featuring Lisa Mitchell on the radio when I was in the bath last night - she sings vocals on this Andy Bull track called Dog. I like it.

For the past three work days, I have been passed on the path to the city by a woman riding a bike and wearing a green cardigan (I think she really likes that cardy). Today I saw her on my lunch break as well.

You know what's better than crunchy peanut butter? Super crunchy peanut butter, that's what.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Outfit, leadlighting, signs

My outfit for my work Christmas party is almost complete. Today I bought a pouffy petticoat to go under my 50s style dress, and shoes. I tried it all on when I got home and I'm very happy with it, although I'm not used to looking so girly. (Sorry, no photos until party night!)

I visited Retrostar Clothing on the first floor of the fabulous Nicholas Building for the first time today in my search for a pouffy petticoat. Retrostar is chockful of vintage stuff, but the building itself is just as big an attraction. The arched leadlight shopfronts are lovely.

I was over Collingwood/Brunswick way again today. I found more old signs.

Vaccinations every morning. Teeth extracted. That's all I
can make out. Gertrude Street.

I think this is one sign over the top of the other - one looks like
 Winfield cigarettes.  Also Gertrude Street.

The other side of the building above. A sign for a
chemist spruiking something called Lactogen.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunshine, hugs and hot man with shirt off

I went to a real-world Twitter meet up last night in the city. I met some cool people. I got hugs. Ace.

Today was a perfect spring day. Sunshine, blue sky, light breezes. I went to the gym, walked home in the sun and then launched into a cleaning frenzy (a rare event). I even mopped the floors.  I feel pleasantly weary and pleased with my efforts.

I found $2 on a seat at the cinema. Wooh. I saw The American, which was long and rather dull, but at least we saw George Clooney with his shirt off.

I have discovered a new gluten-free breakfast cereal called Cookie Bitez. It's in the same category as Cocopops when it comes to nutrition, but it's yummy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A delivery

I got a courier delivery at work today. I love that. Getting a nice surprise at work is almost the best reason to shop online.

I ordered a 50s style dress for my work Christmas party in a few weeks (a black tie event at a posh hotel in the city). The dress only took a week to get here from the US, it fits and looks good. Phew. Now for shoes...

I'm so glad it's the weekend. I had an intense day of formal and on-the-job training almost from start to finish today and my brain needs some time out.

I forgot to buy a sandwich at the cafe with gluten free bread. Something for Monday.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rain, surprise chocolate, bread joy

The view from my office window turned completely to white during the rain this morning. I'm not sure if we were in the clouds or if the rain was heavy (or both), but we couldn't see anything. Eventually the city re-emerged as the rain eased.

I found a Freddo Frog in my pocket when I left work tonight. Yay! I'd forgotten it was there from lunch time. Ten minutes later I pulled my iPod out of my pocket and a Caramello Koala came out with it. I forgot that was there too. Double yay! (Absentmindedness again proves to be a source of joy...)

I was thrilled today to find a cafe near my office that offers gluten-free bread. I'm looking forward to having a sandwich for lunch tomorrow instead of sushi.

I've been listening to The White Stripes again lately. I love this old cover of Black Jack Davey.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Indiana Jayne, blue, new

My building has big revolving doors at the front and back entrance. I like to dash in at the last minute before the opening closes off. It makes me feel like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark when he just manages to escape under the stone door before it slams shut. (I think that was in Raiders. I saw it at the Hamilton Drive-in when I was a kid. I got a Raiders of the Lost Ark sticker.)

There wasn't a cloud in the sky when I left for work this morning.

I wore a new pair of pants to work. It's a nice feeling.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Big pony, sitting swans, helpful Jayne

This morning I shared the lift in my super corporate office building with a pony. A large, plush, pink and aqua pony. The woman carrying it decided her daughter had outgrown it and she'd brought it to work to give to someone else's daughter.

The two black swans who frequent the stretch of the Yarra between my house and the city were sitting on the grassy bank, engrossed in a vigorous grooming session, when I walked past on my way to work.

A woman stopped me to ask directions as I was walking home. I like giving people directions. Helpful directions, not rude ones.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Solo, dark, crunchy

Today was my first day of flying solo at work and I did fine.

The lights in the open plan area of my office weren't working until lunch time. I liked it. I wish it were like that all the time. What's wrong with mood lighting at work, that's what I want to know.

Peanut butter toast is the best. Warm, crunchy, melty goodness. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wisket wasket diffendoofer octopus

My photo blog has finally inched up to 50 followers. *blows party whistle*  I'm pretty happy about that. My follower list is displayed a little randomly, so I'm not entirely sure who the new addition is, but if you're reading this, thank you!

Now that I've discovered the stats feature on my Blogger dashboard, I'm checking it daily. Last night I found the bit where you can see how people came to visit your site. Two people found my Girl in Melbourne blog by  seaching for 'nips girl'. Haha. What?

Here are the search terms people used to find Gleeful: 
wasket (8)
hooray for diffendoofer day quotes (4)
simple glee blog (3)
dr suess wisket wasket (2)
i see a little silhoutte of a clam (2)
"do not taunt the octopus" (1)
courage glee (1)
diffendoofer quotes (1)
do not taunt the octopus (1)
dont taunt the octopus  (1)
This list makes me laugh. Love the strong presence of Dr Seuss and the cantankerous octopus.  I googled 'do not taunt the octopus' just then and my blog is the second non-image result. That pleases me very much.

It also pleases me to see that you can buy badges and T-shirts with 'Do not taunt the octopus' on them. I'll just update my Christmas wishlist....

Sad but gleeful

A friend shared this link on Twitter the other day - not surprisingly, it made me cry, but it's also sweet and funny and beautiful. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vintage find, the north side, statistical glee

I stumbled across a fantastic vintage store on Smith Street in Collingwood today called Vintage Garage. I don't know how I've missed it before, especially as the counter - visible from the doorway - is the front end of a bright red 50s American car.

The store is huge and full of racks and racks of clothes and shoes (mainly women's) from the 50s to the 80s, as well as some furniture, old records, jewellery, homewares and even a few old typewriters. And of course the music was cool - Beatles, Buddy Holly and Johnny O'Keefe, and Peggy Lee was singing Fever when I went in.

It's important to match your shirt
 to your furniture

I ate a toasted sesame seed bagel with cream cheese at Bean & Bagel on my way up to Brunswick Street. It was delicious - as good as any I ate in New York. *sigh* I miss New York.

Today on Smith Street I saw a man in red and black striped velvet pants and on the tram on Brunswick Street I sat near a woman wearing bright yellow clogs with red socks and a large pouffy tulle thing on her head.  God, I love that part of town. I almost hope I get evicted next year so I can move there - or better, that I could shift my current flat  over there (I love it too much to leave of my own free will). 

I love these old post boxes on Brunswick Street

I've been using the camera on my new phone a little in the last week. It. Is. Awesome. I probably don't even need to carry my Canon around with me anymore.

Last night while messing about on Blogger I discovered there's a link to my blogs' stats on my dashboard. It's probably been there for months, hasn't it? Never mind. I had a look and was pleasantly surprised. I don't get a lot of comments, so it's nice to know people are visiting, if not leaving comments. Thanks, guys.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Black Keys glee

Fluffy clouds over the city tonight

I'm going to see The Black Keys in February! Yay! I got the email notification about their Big Day Out sideshows at lunch time today and bought my ticket when I got home tonight. It will be my first time seeing them live. I can't wait.

Here's some live Black Keys action for you:

Now I can't think of anything else gleeful that happened today.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Surprise chef, Hector the Cat, more sleep

A training session this morning on online expense reconciliation turned into an impromptu Italian cooking class after one of the participants mentioned she had sore arms from making fettuccine by hand on the weekend. If anyone wants a recipe for never-fail gnocci with pumpkin and garlic sauce, let me know!

This week's That's Melbourne! email newsletter from the City of Melbourne came with the subject line "Hector the Cat would approve" (in reference to a road safety computer game). Do any of my Aussie readers remember Hector the Cat? I wonder if Google knows who he is...Yes, it does! The internet is ace.

I'm loving my shorter walk to work and being able to sleep a bit later. I've been working 'normal' shifts - not that 9.00am to 5.15pm seems normal to me - and I've been told they need people to work the 'late' shift, which means I could have mornings where I start at 9.45. I could get up at 8.30! God, I love the sound of that.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crunch, view, stapler joy

Last night I had a bowl of vanilla icecream sprinkled with Rice Bubbles and topped with generous layer of Ice Magic. It was delicious. Just like a Crunch bar.

I was the first person to a training session in my building this morning and I had time to snap a picture of the view before the others arrived. (My new phone has an 8 megapixel camera!)

I've worked a full week in my job. I still like it a lot. The people are SO friendly. Oh, and I have the same kind of stapler as the ace one in my last job. Yay.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fast, flat out, pram dance

Maybe it's because I like my new job, but my work day positively zipped by today. One minute it was 10.30am and then 20 minutes later it was 12.15pm and before I knew it, it was home time. Awesome! (As much as I like the job, I still like not being at work more.)

I ate my lunch in the Treasury Gardens. They're much nicer than the Flagstaff Gardens near my old office. There were lots of workers enjoying the sun, including one man in business attire lying flat on his back with his shoes and socks off. Teehee.

The Federation Bells were chiming when I walked past on my way home. It sounds like discordant clanging to me, but it moved a nearby toddler to a burst of pram dancing.

I read this story on The Age website on Friday night, but forgot to mention it. It's so lovely, it brings a tear to my eye.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The personal touch

Sometimes old fashioned things are far superior to their modern replacements - like buying your meat at the butcher shop instead of the supermarket.

Last year, for boring reasons related to my allergy elimination diet, I started buying my meat from the local butcher instead of the supermarket, and it's such a pleasure I've kept going. I haven't noticed a marked difference in price or quality, but it's so nice to be greeted pesonally, and to have a chat and a joke while you shop. 

OK, I admit I have a crush on one of the young butchers, which means I now look forward to purchasing meat like I never have before! (Save your meat double entendres. I'm sure I've heard them already.) I'm always a little let down if he doesn't serve me, but all the other butchers are so friendly and chatty that I soon get over it. And there's always next week...

Even without the crush-factor, I'd still shop there. There's nothing like old fashioned, personal customer service. When's the last time there was a butcher loitering in the meat section at the supermarket to tell you how to cook a particular cut of meat or chat about the football or ask how your weekend's going?

And to top it off, depending on what you buy, there's less packaging waste from shopping at the local butcher too (I detest those stupid non-recyclable plastic meat trays).

I  just wish there were still a greengrocer in my local shopping strip. Food shopping is one of the most inconvenient things about not owning a car. I'd love to avoid shopping at the evil Big Two supermarkets altogether, but it's time consuming without wheels.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Early adopter, solo flyer

A well manicured facade on Brighton Street, Richmond

I got a new toy today - an HTC Desire HD Android smartphone, which I think was only released in Australia yesterday. I'm not used to being such an early adopter. It's kind of exciting...but the phone is so advanced compared to my old one that it's a bit puzzling. Something else to get the hang of... at least I'm helping to stave off alzheimer's with all this learning.

I went to the movies on my own again today (to see Gainsbourg). I'm completely unfazed by it now. I've decided I'm going to push myself to cross my final flying solo frontier  - I'm going to go to a pub gig on my own...at some stage.

I saw my old osteopath today (to say hello, not for a treatment). He's been working one Saturday a month back at the same Melbourne clinic for the past few months, but today was the first time I've managed to cross paths with him. It was good to see him, albeit briefly.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Comfy, casual, competent

I've probably mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: changing out of your work shoes into sneakers is fantastic.  Changing from your work clothes into your pjs is pretty good too. (I'm also wearing a Fraggle Rock T-shirt I got at Dimmeys for $5).

I'm pleased my new firm also has casual Fridays, although casual seems to be less casual at this place (which isn't a bad thing).

Today was my first full day on the job and I had a lot to take in, but I still don't feel overwhelmed. I've got a good trainer, who keeps telling me how happy they are to have me (mostly because they needed an extra pair of hands, I think!) and that I'm doing well. The feedback is appreciated. I didn't get much feedback in my old temp assignment - I had to resign before I found out I was doing a good job!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

So far, so good

I finished my initial induction training today and I'm feeling calm and confident about getting down to work. It's a nice feeling. I still have a lot to learn though...

I met many of the people in my practice group this afternoon and they were all very nice and welcoming. I'm feeling really good about my decision to take this job,  although it still seems surreal. I can't believe I'm working at this place - one of the biggest and best law firms in the country! It's a big, bright new world and so far I like it.

Even though the firm is huge, my initial impression is that it's quite down to earth and not at all stuffy.

I'm working on the 47th floor. There are breathtaking views from every window (Melbourne, you so purdy!).  My desk is on the west side, so in winter I'll be able to see the sunset. Working past sunset in the winter might be a little easier to bear when I can look out and see the city lights twinkling too (but that's a way off yet - best not get ahead of myself.)

I have the firm's style guide in my bag...nerdvana ahoy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My first day

Off AC/DC Lane, which is right behind my new office

I started my new job today - or at least I fronted up for the first day of induction training. I wasn't anywhere near as nervous as when I started my last temp role, which was a relief and perhaps a sign I have greater confidence in my abilities after my stint at a mid-tier firm.

I was happy to discover the document management system is very similar to what I'd been using in my last temp role, which should alleviate the information overload and flatten the learning curve a little. It sounds bad to be pleased about that,  but I find learning new computer stuff stressful, and it's only three months since I went through that onslaught.

Of course, the feeling you get when you master the new systems makes the stress worthwhile. I was overwhelmed at the beginning of my last assignment - everything was new to me - but I surprised myself by getting the hang of it quickly. I might not like learning new computer stuff, but apparently I'm pretty good at it!

I was given a copy of the firm's hefty style guide (ie the rules for written communications, not office attire!),  but I was disappointed I didn't get to have a good look at it today. What a nerd I am! I love style guides - especially when the prescribed styles are broadly in line with my preferred way of doing things, as this firm's seems to be at first glance. (This probably comes from my journalistic background or maybe just because I'm a pedant.)

I'm working in the part of the city where I started my working life as a journalist *mumbles incoherently* years ago. It feels kind of nice to be back.

I got to finish early today. Yay.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sweet Virginia, steam and ice magic

From retro French pop to sweaty rock n roll... This is one of my favourite Rolling Stones songs, Sweet Virginia, which features in Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones movie I saw last night. The movie consists entirely of concert footage from the Stones' 1972 tour to support the release of Exile on Main Street, the album on which Sweet Virgina appeared.

It rained this morning, but when I went up the street around lunch time, the rain had cleared, the sun was out and there was steam rising from the warm, wet bitumen all around me.

I spent the afternoon on the couch watching DVDs, which is something I rarely do. I had icecream with chocolate ice magic.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I walked Melbourne

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

I saw this passage by TS Eliot on a banner at the State Library's Mirror of the World exhibition this afternoon after I finally finished my self-guided Walking Melbourne tour, and I thought it was apt. I have now visited and photographed every single one of the 235 significant buildings and landmarks in the National Trust guide, which also means I get to cross something else off my 101 Things To Do list.

The final section of the tour took me to the north-west corner of the CBD, the area I had been working in until last Friday, so I now know the history of some of the old buildings I had previously admired and photographed.

That part of the city has some of the city's oldest buildings, including St James Old Cathedral which is the oldest building in Melbourne (not imported from overseas). Construction began in 1839, although it was moved from its original location to a site opposite Flagstaff Gardens in 1913.

There's also this little house and shop on the corner of King and La Trobe Streets, which is one of only a few pre-gold rush buildings left in the city.

After I finished my walking tour I popped in to visit the State Library (if you've never been, this is truly one of Melbourne's best hidden gems. Go!). I admired the wonderful domed reading room and also visited the smallest book and the largest book on display in the Mirror of the World exhibition. I always look at them when I go there.  

The smallest book is the Midget Encyclopedia, a collection of tiny books smaller than matchboxes which are accompanied by a weeny magnifying glass. Today it was open to Q for quagga. The largest book is the awesome Birds of America by renowned naturalist John James Audubon. It's massive and open to a different page every time I go. (According to the State Library website, its copy is one of only 120 known copies in the world.)

The dome

I also visted the Cowen Gallery at the library. I'm not sure if they were there when I visited last, but the gallery has on display the last notes written by Burke and Wills before they died.

As well as looking at significant buildings, I also lurked about city laneways taking photos during which I saw three different renderings of the Rolling Stones tongue motif in two different alleys (probably all by the same person) - on the same day that I was to see Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (which was great, although Mick Jagger's er...pantal region was distracting). 

Walking into the city beside the river this morning I saw a bird pecking at something on the path. I thought it was a large beetle at first but when the bird took flight at my approach, I bent down to have a look and it was a tiny crab. It saw me looking at it and it adopted a fighting pose with its little claws thrust up at me. Feisty!

My Girl in Melbourne photo blog has 49 followers. Thanks guys! One more for the half century...

And that's it for day 1 of NaBloPoMo.