Thursday, January 27, 2005


Got contract today, and am now permanent part timer!

Saved a cricket in the tea room from starvation. From the corner of my eye I thought it was a cocky and stamped at it. I missed. It dodged my foot then I saw it was a cricket. Caught it in the plastic box my lunch roll came in. At the end of my shift I went across to the garden beds in front of the State Library and released it.

Ladder Safety at Work

My best workmate had an accident at work :( :( :( He won't be able to work for a couple of weeks at least, and will be in hospital for a few days. At least he didn't break any bones.

I didn't see it happen since I was demoing at the door, when I heard a thump and boxes spilling about. Went in and there he was, sprawled out on top of these boxes. At first I laughed - he is a bit of a joker, it would not be unlike him to do something funny like throwing himself at the piles of boxes and mucking up a stack, though admitedly unlikely with our manager about. It turned out he had fallen from the ladder after something went awry in his upper back. He couldn't move, it was too painful. After making sure he could still wiggle his toes, we tidied up around him. He felt so embarassed to be sprawled on top of these toy boxes* while the occasional customer came through the door.

It took the paramedics about an hour to turn up! I guess that's because unless you sound like you are going to die soon you aren't a high priority. In the meantime he started feeling cold, so we got a blanket, and rubbed his hands. It's very important to keep someone conscious when they've had an accident. I kept him talking or squeaking our bird caller near his head because he was starting/wanting to drift off. Laughing was painful for him but I couldn't help but say something every now and then that made us chuckle - I'm a funny lass ;o) The paras gave him a green plastic thing for him to inhale from. When I asked what it was, they para said it was a bit like legal glue sniffing - I presume it was a painkiller.

The moral of this story is be really careful up ladders;
don't stretch up and twist at the same time,
always make sure you are in a stable standing position,
and ALWAYS have someone spot for you no matter how minor the job. They might not be able to catch you but at least they'll break your fall ;) Seriously, they can make it easier/safer because they enable the ladder climber to keep their hands free as much as possible, can pass up tools etc, can better notice if you can or can't reach something or look like you are in danger, and most importantly they are there for you immediately if anything does go wrong.

*Of all the places in the store to fall it was the 'best' one, because they would have helped to break his fall, absorbing impact by collasping under him and through containing a squishy toy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Pink Sandal Quest

As previously mentioned in commentary on Mellipop I have injected pink into my wardrobe. This was after years of avoiding it completely, thinking it was a colour for little girls, and that it would make me look even younger than I already look.* A couple of years ago, as part of the 80s revival, magenta became a fashion colour again. I resisted it but eventually succumbed to its bright allure and bought a top which I hardly wear now.

“What does this have to do with a pink sandal quest?” you may well ask.

I’ve always liked to coordinate my outfits to a some extent – this goes with that, blah blah. The current thing for me in Summer on hot days, is to mirror the colour of my top with my shoes. I’ve got 4 pink tops - the right shade of pink looks lovely with my olive complexion - but no pink sandals. I tried red sandals but they don’t cut the mustard in my opinion. So the other week I decided to seek out a nice pair of pink sandals.

I spent hours in my belated search. In terms of sale time, given that my size is really hard to find towards the end of the period, I should have started looking a month ago. I tried on sandals in many places locally and in the city, a sandal in hand, padding about with one barefoot. In Myer Highpoint shoe department, I plopped down pink sandal after pink sandal: too pink, too bright, too pale, too orange, too pointy, too square, looks too much like a granny sandal, no heel, heel too high, too flimsy,** too chunky, too casual, too ‘thongy’,*** too glam, too shiny, too expensive for non-leather. Around me was the gently thud of other women plopping that right shoe down to try it on, and their partners mooching about looking either bored (mostly) or excited by it all ;)

Finally I had a break through at Myer in the city. I HAD FOUND THE PERFECT PINK SANDAL. In a mid pink, slightly dusky hued, styled daintily enough for dressing up, but not so flashy that it can’t be worn casual, a little heel, cushy insole, well priced, on sale, leather upper, by Diana Ferrari which is known as a quality brand.

Tried the right shoe on and it felt good. Gave shoe to assistant to get the lefty and try on as a pair. Sat waiting for a few minutes hoping she wouldn’t be too much longer or I might be late for work. About 5 minutes later she came out and told me she could not find the other shoe!It was the last one in my size in that colour - and in that foot.

“Damn”, I said as she offered to take down my name and let me know if the other one turns up. I’m not holding my breath. At least I got a blog post out of it. My quest continues…

*I’m 29 but the oldest anyone has me pegged for is 25. It used to be really annoying but now I've reached an age where I'm happy to look younger than I am.
**With the way I sometimes catch my foot walking, I could see some sandals getting wrecked on the first couple of wears due to scuffing.
***Thong = flip flop for those of you overseas.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Save water, with Lady Meerkat

I do these regularly over Summer. Most water is consumed by our gardens but if you don’t have one there are still a few tips here you could use.

You will need:
1-2 litre jug for kitchen
plastic bowl that fits in your sink
30 litre or so (about size of laundry basket) plastic bowl
2-3 litre plastic jug / or sliced 2 litre plastic milk bottle, for bathroom
10 litre watering can
15 litre (standard size) bucket

~ When you boil the kettle and have excess water left over, pour it into the kitchen jug, let it cool and use it on the garden / in bird bath / on pot plants / dog/cat bowl. You could even drink it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this water so why throw it away?
~ When you run the tap for hot water, run it into the kitchen jug, and use as above, or to rinse dishes before putting into dishwasher
~ Rinse veggies into kitchen jug
~ When rinsing a bag of salad leaves (Mellipop :) !), add water to bag, twist shut, slosh about, then empty water into garden etc.
~ Always scrape off your dirty dishes into rubbish/compost before washing
~ When washing your hands, put bowl in sink to hold the water then reuse it on garden / pot plants
~ When using a shower recess, catch the water to reuse on the garden. Stand in big plastic tub, or use bucket if recess is not large enough. Use bathroom jug to scoop up water into your watering can.
OR if there has been enough rain on the garden, use shower water to flush toilet. Pour water into bowl not cistern (this may take some practice to get it right). There are people in the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water yet we use it to flush our loos!
~ Adopt the 2 pee system, commonly known as ‘If it’s yellow, let it mellow, If it’s brown, flush it down’. Probably not well suited to shared households or warmer weather.
~ When rinsing your mouth with mouth wash, instead of spitting into sink and flushing it away with water, spit into toilet bowl. Leave it there – don’t flush it, even if it’s the amber Listerine, or that pink plaque control stuff. What’s worse: dilute coloured water in your toilet bowl or wasting water?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Today's yucky food stories

Dialogue between myself and cook (dad)
"There's okra."
"I don't like okra."
"If you want any, it's there."
"I don't like okra."
"Well if you want some..."
"For the third time I don't like okra!"

Just finished a pot of Nestle Mango yoghurt which was delicious then I found a foreign object at the bottom of it. No, it wasn't human skin thank goodness. Not sure what it was. Seemed organic, with the texture of sodden nut, a sort of beige colour with a few dark lines running through it. Seemed to be of plant orgin when I broke it up a bit between my fingers. I think I might leave the other pot alone for someone else to eat...

Friday, January 14, 2005

Snails and Chooks

I’m a green thumb and I prefer to do so organically. The best time to collect snails is at night after it has rained. What to do with them afterwards? I used to squash them right away between two rocks and scrape them into the compost bin. Now I save them in an icecream tub or two and give them to a neighbour who has a chook and three ducks. We minded the birds while the owner was away. I collected and fed them snails.

That chook - I dubbed her Ginger from Chicken Run - is a smart one. She is always the first on the scene when you move the bins or bags around, rake back the straw, ready to peck up revealed bugs and worms. She knows my left foot from my right. I always give mature snails a slight squash to crack the shell and make it easier to eat using my right foot. When Ginger got impatient for the next snail or I hadn’t brought any she would peck my right foot, never my left :)

The birds don’t like too many snails at a time so I hang on to them for a few weeks before they all get eaten, feeding them and washing out their tubs. Very humane, especially compared to what we used to do to snails when we were kids*. In the meantime I have made these observations regarding snails:
- That racing snail in the Never Ending Story was well made in terms of capturing the character and general shape of a snail’s face (apart from the eyes being on the short stalks instead of the long stalks). I can’t help but think of it whenever I take a close look at these buggers.

- If you sit them on a see through surface, as they slide along you can see their ‘foot’ muscles rippling which is pretty cool.
- They love nasturtium flowers more than the leaves
- Their heads are sort of translucent and when they eat orange flowers you can see each mouthful passing through the head and into the neck.
- When they’ve eaten a full meal of these flowers their poo is orange, likewise for any other coloured meal it comes out that colour.
- I’ve always wondered how such a soft bodied, seemingly toothless critter could cause so much damage in the garden. Then I read they have HUNDREDS OF TEETH. So I observed them some more and have seen these teeny weeny teeth. If you’ve ever seen the inside of a squid’s mouth – it has a cartilage-like flexible beak thingy – it’s a lot like that. They seem to have only an upper jaw of mini teeth with which they saw through their food and push it into their gullet with their muscled mouths.

*At least three kinds of torture involving water, sticks and magnifying glasses. Also on the subject of invertebrate torture: Didn’t we all love the popping sound an ant makes right after you’ve sent it crazy in the heat, then concentrated the hot spot to a pin point? Or was that just us? I’d never do that now. I fish stranded bugs out of our bird bath, collect house hold critters with a cup and cardboard to release outside, and I felt badly for the moth that was trapped inside the train carriage on the way home the other day. It wasn’t near me whenever we got to a station so I couldn’t help it.

In Melbourne we don’t have the cockroach problem they seem to have in Sydney. If we did I’d probably engage in warfare with them. ie squash them on sight and hunt them down, with maybe a spray to keep them in check. (the cockies not the people of Sydney)

On the subject of Sydney versus Melbourne, a Sydney-sider was very happy with the level of service I provided her and her boys with at work today. She said something like “You’ve been so nice. You’re obviously not from Sydney.”

'Well chuffed with that I was. Well chuffed.'
Bunty from Chicken Run

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Creative Pirate

It is with artistic pride that I present to you homemade, pirate* compilation, CD covers. I declare them to be copyright free, unlike the CDs I ripped…

‘More’ collage pics from medical magazine, ‘The Face’ (?), a Volkswagon ad, title from a women’s mag (of course)
Compiled from about 11 CDs in my sister’s collection. She has just moved out.

‘Cheerful Whistling Permitted’ double sided background image from the 2004 Melbourne Design Festival program, title and floral images from ‘Ace’ magazine, can’t remember where the teletubby came from teehee!
Compiled from a borrowed 2CD retro album that didn’t have enough good material for one CD. Padded out with more stuff from my sister’s collection.

‘Retro Playtime’ things of my childhood from Christmas toy catalogues - everything old is new again - complete with a pink square of the glossy paper we used to chop up in Prep.
Compiled from a borrowed 2CD retro album that didn’t have enough good material for one CD (again). Padded out with more stuff from my brother’s collection and another borrowed CD.

‘DeMux – Mixup Frenzy’ sticker from chemist, ‘Blyth’ image from some Melbourne arts festival program of some sort (probably)
Was originally compiled by Disappearing Boy when we were still together. Right now he’s probably thinking ‘What was wrong with the cover I made, dammit?!’ It wasn’t funky enough for my taste in design, and it was pixellated. So I put this cover together instead. I retained the original play listings because it was too much bother and retouched the disc label since theprinter hadn’t lined up the label and the graphic properly.

All of the disc label graphics shown were created using Copic markers, available from some art supply stores. The play lists were generated in Illustrator (a LEGAL copy bytheway - I’m not much of a pirate apart from the time I dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow …).

If an album looks like it has more than 5 decent songs I’ll buy it because I like the complete package that is a legal CD, whether store bought or second hand. My price cap on new CDs is $20 and for 2nd hand CDs, $6. For recently released albums, I wait until it’s been out for a little while then get it cheap instead of the rip-off that is $25+!

Lady Meerkat encourages you to own legal copies of music because infringing on copyright is a crime that robs artists of their income and the music industry will implode if you don't pay for what you listen to, pop will eat itself blah, blah, blah. You know all of THAT stuff.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Profile Portrait

Lady Meerkat Posted by Hello

Back in November, when I had time to fart about in Photoshop I assembled this little 'self portrait'. It was for the very purpose of putting it on my blog, within my profile. Now that I've got time to fart around with 'hello' web hosting and this blog I can't figure out how to insert it so I'm going to bung it here instead. Can't say I didn't try!