Monday, December 17, 2012

Hello, it's been a while

All of a sudden I'm feeling the size of the void left by nearly 10 years of blog posts that I erased off this blog a few years ago.  I backed them up before erasing them, but I have no idea where that backup could be anymore - possibly on my parents' network at their place, but very likely, on my old, dead fish of a Macbook which has gathered dust in the back of Dan's car for the last six months.  Most of the posts were moronic ("Oooomg school is soooo boooring"), but that was me back then and I would be fascinated to read it again.  I guess unconsciously I have known that I could never replace that history, so my motivation to write here has been lost.

Anyway.  Last time I posted was July.  That feels like a lifetime ago because so much has happened.  The firebirth that was busy season has passed, and the year is blessedly over.  I went to Bikram for the first time in a year this morning and I'm determined to get back in shape over the next few weeks that I have a break.  I haven't quite worked out how to balance work and regular life yet.  My busy season was pretty brutal in a lot of ways - long in hours and in weeks.  I had two listed clients and one immense private company that all came with their own set of challenges.  I wish (wish) I could talk about them because they - and particularly the private company - were so damn interesting.

Once busy season ended (which was really only about a month ago), I remembered again how awesome my job can be.  I've had days off, client lunches, christmas parties, lawn bowls and more free drinks than I could possibly imagine.  Ask me again in February and I'm sure I'll be back to hating it, but the last few weeks have been great.

Friday, July 27, 2012

In which I wonder how much of a fuck to give.

Danny went down/up/etc the coast last weekend for a boys' weekend before one of our good mates gets married in a couple of weeks (which, quick aside, oh my God I feel so unbelievably old as a result).  I found a cheapish one-way flight up to Orange and decided to take myself up there for the weekend to see my parents.  It was a great place to go, to remind oneself to give less of a fuck about whether or not a company has correctly booked the redetermination of the useful life of its Fixed Assets. 


The last few weeks have been pretty good, work-wise.  I worked on my nightmare client for a week which was far less of a nightmare this time around and now I'm on another publicly-listed bad boy, but much smaller and a bit more relaxed.  I've also been enforcing 6.30/7.00pm finishes all of this week, which has made me feel a lot better in general about my work-life balance.  I'm not sure if everyone in the office is lacking enthusiasm right now because it's the busy period, or whether it's just me - and if it's just me, whether it's incredibly obvious.  I still feel cheery during the day and 80% of the time I love what I do, but I do get sick of the relentless hours, as well as the relentless expectation that goes along with those hours.  I know that seems to be a thread weaving its way through most of these posts, but it's something that I've been thinking about quite a bit and I haven't decided whether it's worth it yet.

Dan is up in Queensland for the next two days for a family wedding, so a friend came over tonight for dinner, then I watched that One Born Every Minute show with the crazy women giving birth and an episode of Hoarders.  I'm going to try to hit up the library on Saturday morning before he gets back, to at least try to shoehorn in some study.  I'm taking Financial Accounting 2 and Management Accounting.  Disco times.

Monday, July 09, 2012

A Bad Afternoon

 Not really for any reason.  I'm working on a teeny, tiny pro-bono client this week pretty much on my own which is quite interesting and means I can do lots of things that would otherwise be done by someone far more senior.  

But for some reason this evening I found myself in a mutinous mood.  It hit 5.30pm and I couldn't bear to look at my computer any longer.  I think it was because the Senior I'm working with asked me to complete a bunch of things that I knew could wait until tomorrow, and I had to cancel dinner with a friend to stay back.  I ended up bailing at 6.30, but every second between 5.30 and 6.30 was excruciating.  

I think it also might have been a mistake to run home at lunchtime.  I forgot my lunch, so I decided to come back and eat it here, rather than waste money on eating out and it was incredibly hard to get back into work mode after a few minutes on the couch.

Anyway, I feel like I mostly enjoy this job and mostly feel like it's where I want to be (or at least, getting me where I want to be), but I'd be lying if I didn't sometimes wish for smaller things.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

We're in

We still haven't got a dining table, there's a whole load of bookshelves we need to put in, it's not perfect, but it's more than liveable and we're here.  The magical trip to Ikea (that I had been looking forward to for months) was actually a pretty shitty trip to Ikea.  Having just dropped ourselves into massive amounts of mortgage debt and being utterly exhausted from all the painting and moving, it was pretty draining to have to drag a mattress, a couch, a bed frame, and all the various bits of kitchenware and hobnobs that we'd collected, pay for it all (ouch), then schlep it back to the apartment and put it all together.

Ikea is a lot more fun when you're there on an exploratory mission, where you don't actually have to buy anything and the realities of your budget don't hinder your overactive imagination.

We thought we'd be able to do all the moving ourselves, with our baby hatchback and one of my parents' cars, but it pretty soon became apparent that this wasn't going to happen, so we rented a van from the world's dodgiest rental company for the world's cheapest price (about $50 for 24 hours) that pretty much looked like this:

I went to return it the following morning and it just straight-up wouldn't start.  I decided that since it was a manual, I could do a rolling start because we live at the top of the hill and Kippax Street is pretty straight, though maybe a little heavy with traffic but whatever.  Dan helped me roll it around the corner, then I let 'er rip, coasting at a terrific pace with no power steering through roundabouts and intersections towards Elizabeth Street, all the while trying to get the engine to tick over.  It finally did, about 100m from the end of the street, when I figured out that you actually have to put the thing into gear and mash the accelerator for a rolling start to work (I had never actually tried this before).  Anyway, thank christ the beast started.  When the guy at the yard asked me whether I had any issues with it, I shook my head and walked away, praying for the return of my security deposit.

Also, underneath my teacup in that picture of the living room above is the nasty-ass ottoman that I bought from Officeworks.  I haven't properly re-upholstered it yet (just wrapped the fabric around the lid and plonked it on), but it's functional!  It's probably a little too small for the living area, but I'll use it as a bedside table or something anyway.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


This week has been pretty hellish, with very little time to do fun things like pick paint colours or sand down the dining table.  I know that in the grand scheme of Hours-Late-That-People-Have-Worked, working from 7.30am until 9.45pm is not really that late, but it's the first time in this job that I've had to stay back to finish stuff until such hours, and Internet, it's hard.  This client should be an interesting, fascinating and a straight-up cool client to work for, but a combination of shitty factors have made it the client from hell, where nothing goes as it should and everything takes three days longer than bargained for (not the people though - the people are pretty awesome).

Plus, our busy period is just about to kick off as the financial year comes to an end, so it sucks knowing that there's only going to be more of this for the next couple of months.  

This weekend has been semi-relaxing though, which has been nice.  We had the final inspection for our place yesterday, ready for settlement tomorrow afternoon.  It's weird to see the place empty, after looking at the same pictures for the last eight weeks with the same furnishings in each picture - 

There were a few dings in the wall, but nothing that some spackle (holy hell do I love a good spackling..) and a coat of paint won't fix.  We dropped a cool $400 on paint and associated accoutrements at Bunnings yesterday which was a bit of a financial jab in the side, but the current colour is pretty drab (see above) and a fresh coat of white paint will make the whole place a lot brighter (and bring out the awesome polished concrete floors).  I'm sure we could have spent a lot less yesterday as well, but on advice from my father, paint was not the place to try to save money.

Just looking at that picture above makes me think that maybe we should paint those black window frames as well...

My plan for a fabulous grey bathroom has been somewhat derailed as well since I learned that there's only 40cm of wall between the top of the tiles and the start of the ceiling, so painting it grey will just make for a weird and slightly thick stripe around the wall.  I still want something kooky in the bathroom, but it's back to the drawing board on that one for now.

I attacked the dining table again this afternoon with the sander and it's looking almost ready to go.  The tabletop is pretty much done and I gave it a first coat of varnish - using Cabot's Cabothane Clear - this afternoon.

It's a pretty dinged up old table, but it should come good!  The little pot of varnish cost almost as much as the table itself ($30 / $50), but even taking that into account, the total cost of our dining table won't crack a hundred bucks.  I'm pretty stoked.

Well, this is it.  Settlement tomorrow at 2.00pm.  See you on the other side!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Oh my god y'all.  Every time I think about it I make little fists and squeeze my eyes shut and do that nngghghhhhyygghg noise because I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT MOVING.  

Let me count the ways.

1. The dishwasher.  Once upon a time, when I was an idiot who didn't know better, I used to complain about emptying the dishwasher.  Nevermore.  I love our dishwasher already and we haven't even been introduced properly.

2. The lovely little balcony with a nice aspect over the rooftops of inner-Eastern Sydney.  Our current apartment on the North Shore has a leafy view, but the balcony is filled with potted plants, kitty litter boxes and all sorts of other claptrap that belongs to Dan's mum and we can't get rid of it, which means we almost never sit out there.

3. The polished concrete floors.  So minimalist, so bauhaus, form und funktion, etc.  Mostly they'll just be easy as shit to keep clean.

4. The walls that I am going to paint.  Presently a dull kind of beige, which, with the chocolate brown kitchen cabinets (would not be my first choice but beh) makes the whole place a little beigey themed.  Walls are gonna be white.  Except for the bathroom which I am going to paint a dark gunmetal grey because I'm hopelessly on-trend.  The vision is kind of like this:

Except about 1/8th the size.

5. The new dining table that we just collected from a junk store in the greater Illawarra.  We bought a dining table for the princely sum of $50 while we were camping near Thirroul over last weekend.  We left it there for the week while we tried to figure out a way to get it back to Sydney, since it wasn't going to fit into our small hatchback.  Turns out it would just fit into the back of my parents' Volkswagen Golf (a surprisingly roomy vehicle), so we drove down this morning to pick it up.  It's not in altogether terrible condition - just needs a good wash and a full-body rub with some beeswax.  Will get some progress shots together!

I absolutely cannot wait.  Work is going to be rough until then as well, so it's excellent to have the apartment (and associated moving-related days off) to look forward to.  The client that I'm on has taken up all the time that I previously had free at work, spreading its little tendrils through my firm's booking system and chewing through hours like nothing else.  It's going to be a fascinating, fascinating week -  a household name client with a shitload of stuff happening in the media, so it's been great to be on the inside of some of it.  But my hours are going to be punishing, both now, and after June year-end.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Moving Treats

There is now a little corner of our present living room that looks like this:

The KitchenAid was my birthday gift, way back in February, from my parents.  It's stood more or less unopened since then, because I decided that it deserved a proper, ceremonial unveiling in a brand new apartment and I desperately didn't want it to get dirty in our current kitchen (which I dislike intensely and which is impossible to clean)

The TV is Dan's.  I say that, because were it up to me I wouldn't even have a television in the new place, let alone one that cost waaaaaay more than I would be willing to pay for a television.  Anyway, JB HiFi were doing 10% off televisions over the weekend and the man took another 5% off the advertised price anyway, so I suppose it could have been far worse.  So that's Dan's shiny box that's also waiting for its proper ceremonial unveiling.  I think we're both equally excited.