Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The worst word in the English Language

[Again I delve into profanity. See this for my last effort on this topic.]

There is no doubt what the foulest word in the English Language is. As a hint: it starts with the letter "C".

I must admit, I have occasion to use this word, usually when behind the wheel of my Honda Civic, when discussing the merits of Channel 9 TV personalities, or when discussing telephone companies. Never in front of the children of course (unlike my mother who used it in front of me). But it is strongly frowned upon when I use it in the home, for whatever reason. When I do let it slip out, I hear the "C-Word signature" cough from my Chick. She does not like hearing it.

It sounds a little like "hup-hrrm", but in a coughy way.

"Gee that Eddie Macguire is a bit of a c..."

You get the picture. I've worked out that the cough is not because of any liking she has for Eddie Macguire, either.

Today, I got the "C-word signature" cough for another reason. I was in the office/spare room, listening to Mozart whilst working, she's in the loungeroom listening to a Charlie Parker CD. I reckon Charlie is OK, but, waggishly, while returning the Mozart CD to it's rightful place in the bookshelf in the loungeroom, I attempted to get a small rise out of her:

"<big smile>What's this sh*t you're listening to?"

I think if you analyze it carefully, you will realise, as I did, that she has used the C-word on me!

Defeat of the Great Green Monster

WARNING: This post is going to get a bit icky.

This morning was the first since Friday I have not woken up and immediately coughed up or spewed up huge amounts of green glutinous matter.

Yes, I've had the flu.

Last Friday was the worst. I spent all day on the lounge watching crappy daytime telly, with a prime diet of panadol and sudafed, turning paper tissues into soggy green papier mache. To rub salt into the wound, I missed out on going to the Lord Nelson with a bunch of mates. And I love the Lord Nelson.

I guess it is my own fault. I had the sniffles early last week and suspected it was going to turn into a flu, but instead of cutting out the booze and diary products and taking it easy, I pissed up, ate lots of ice-cream, exercised and played a basketball semi-final. The basketball was on the Thursday night and that was just the nail in my (albeit temporary) coffin.

[Oh in case you're interested, we lost the semi-final. Drawn at the final buzzer we played an extra period of 5 minutes, were down by one-point up till less than 1 second before the final buzzer, when our guard threw it up from half-way. Straight through, nothing-but-net, for three points. HUGE cheers! The ONLY person on or off the court who thought that the ball left his hands after the buzzer was one of the referees, who somehow managed to convince the other referee that the points didn't count. The other team congratulated us on our win, and they will now go through to play the final. I guess the best way to lose is knowing that you really truly won.]

[On second thought, no it's a shitty way to lose.]

One thing I have noticed in recent years is the way that the flu knocks me around now, compared to when I was younger. At 20, I'd get the flu and feel a little crook for one day, but usually panadol and sudafed fixed me up. Rarely did I need to take time off school/Uni/work. At 40, I am out for almost a week, with one or two of those days incapable and in bed. No amount of drugs can turn my head from a nauseous constantly-moving spring to normality. Nothing stops the tap dripping at the back of my throat.

So: is it the drugs, the age or the flu? I'm quite willing to accept that it is the age thing. But I suspect that just as much, it is the inadequacy of the drugs and the ferocity of the flu virus. It is not solely the age thing.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Blog Confessions and a solution

Forgive me BlogGod for I have sinned. It's been 16 days since my last blog...

It is quite difficult to maintain a reasonably regular blog. I think the key must be short entries. Of course the quality would drop...

I have found a partial solution to one of my problems though. The Aust Direct Marketing Assoc. has an "Opt-out" form that you can fill-in on-line to stop receiving their harassing phone calls. I heard an interview/discussion topic on ABC radio last night with this bloke who was telling about how his company does surveys and how they are moving from telephone surveys to on-line surveys. Of course everyone rang up to tell their worst telemarketing experience. At first I felt sorry for the bloke as he was at pains to distance himself from the telemarketers, but then I thought, no, well, they're just as bad. One caller mentioned the ADMA and the opt-opt form. I can't wait the six weeks "take effect period" for the calls to stop.

Of course, the bloke also mentioned random-number dialling from overseas centres, there's nothing you can do about that.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Harassment or marketing?

So. When does phone marketing become harassment?

When you have received your third call for the evening, and the last one was well after 9:30pm, does that constitute harassment or is that valid marketing??


Not long to go now

Firstly : Hello Beefa!. It's not a US trip entry I know, but Part 8 is on it's way, trust me.

Last night, my girlfriend's boss and his wife had their first child - a little baby girl Charlotte Elizabeth Dries. I won't have a crack at them for stealing my own child's name although I'm itching to. In a totally nice, caring and supportive way of course. <cough cough /> Maybe they are just fans of Sex in the City (Mmmm Kristin Davis -- I don't care if she's lesbian). I believe she was late and induced (newborn, not Kristin), not that this makes any difference, Christine was late and induced with our Charlotte. Hmmm do you see a pattern for Charlottes here?

When I was at high school my favourite teacher, a physics teacher who also played the trombone, Derek White, and his wife Wendy had their first child, and they named it Michael. Derek and I were friends outside of school as we both played in Bankstown City Band. I felt a little bit uncomfortable about them naming the child, although I'm certain that they didn't name it after me. More like despite me. I think I was a disappointment to Mr White, as I didn't do as well in my HSC as I was meant to. I haven't seen them in many years. Ah never mind.

Many, many years indeed. It's occurred to me now that (and this is actually quite disturbing) Michael White should be about 23 by now! Wow, am I old.

When Christine and I were deciding on names, we went through a hell of a time. "No we can't call it Jennifer because I know a horrid, slutty girl called Jennifer." That sort of thing, spread over weeks and weeks as a kind of sporadic, drawn out conversation. You know what I mean, we'd be watching The Simpsons or something and I'd offer, "How about Jason for a boy?" She'd respond with something like,"No, wasn't that the killer in Friday the 13th?". And there the conversation would pause until three or four days later while we were in the car driving to the shops when she'd offer, "Well what about Jennifer for a girl?" You get the picture. We got there in the end, obviously.

Aside from the pain of deciding on a name that suits both of you, the worst thing about naming a child is that everyone's taste is just a little bit different, and when you offer up the name of your newborn for the first time, you get all those false smiles from the people who think Charlotte (or Josephine for that matter) is a crappy name. Usually from the same type of people who call their children Cool Modine or something like that. Or from your parents.

I've strayed somewhat from my original brief. Let's get back on track.

My brother and his wife are almost there. Maybe a month to go with their first one. I'm looking forward to it because Mum and Dad will have someone else to focus their grandparenthood onto, rather than just lumping it all onto my narrow shoulders. Hopefully anyway, despite the Sydney/San Francisco distance. I'm actually surprised that Mum hasn't booked a ticket already. Also I guess it is just exciting seeing my little brother become a Dad as well.

What I'm desperately trying not to do, despite my eagerness to hear the current state of play, is to bother Paul and Ros. There are few things more annoying when the baby is due than people continually hassling for information: "Is it born yet? Is it born yet? Is it born yet?" as if they are sitting in the back seat during a long trip. Yes, definitely, they are only asking because they are concerned and interested friends, but it can get very disturbing after a while. And particularly for the Dad-to-be, because he doesn't really do anything other than ensure his mobile phone is always fully charged, and to be ready to speed his car dangerously through traffic to the sounds of a screaming woman in the back seat at a moment's notice. In truth, it is an anxious enough time as it is, without others adding to it, well-meaning as they are.

And in my day, it was pager, not a mobile phone.

Anyway, Charlotte Elizabeth Dries, welcome to the world. Sorry about the state it's in at the moment. We were hoping to clean it up before you got here, but you know how things get put off and put off. We're actually hoping you can do something with it. Maybe paint it up a bit, new curtains possibly?