Monday, 17 November 2014

About Films, Deli Counters, and Bugs

About Films:
I've been thinking about films lately.  If I try to recall a list of the good ones I've seen in the recent past, between, 'Godzilla', 'Pacific Rim', and 'The Lego Movie', all I can reach for is 'Midnight in Paris' or 'A Good Year', both of which I've recently re-watched for about the 10th time.  We used to watch a lot of films, good ones, I don't know why we've stopped but I suspect it has something to do with our 11-year old now assuming the same bedtime hour as us on weekends.

Consequently, I am going to challenge myself to see 3 good films before the end of the year.  I'm hoping to see 'Two Days One Night".  If you've noticed that this is the 3rd time I've referenced a Marion Cotillard film, you're right and that would be because when I grow up, I want to be her.  I also want to see 'My Old Lady', and to humour C2, I'll go to 'Interstellar', but only because it was filmed outside of Calgary and because Christopher Nolan rented my nephew's friends' house.  Watch this space, I suspect, all I'll actually see will be 'Night at the Museum 2'.....for the 4th time.

Still, at the very least, I am assembling a list of those films worth my time so if you have any suggestions, throw them my way.  Maybe some of them can keep me company on our long flight back to Canada at Christmas.

About Deli Counters:
How many of you have been intimidated to approach the deli counter at your local grocery store?  At my local Woolies, the deli counter is frequently manned by a very grumpy deli guy.  So fierce is this fellow, that I have started referring to him as 'Grumpy Deli Guy' and my heart sinks if I see him as I approach the counter.  Here are a couple of typical exchanges:

Note for ease of translation, Grumpy Deli Guy will be referred to as GDG:

Exchange Example #1
GDG: Scowl
me:  "Um, can I have a medium container of pitted Kalamata olives please"
GDG: Heavy sigh....reaches for a small container and before I can say anything fills it.
me:  "Oh sorry, I guess I didn't make that clear, can I  have a medium container please?"
GDG: Eye roll, reaches for the medium container and dumps contents of small container into it.  "Is that good enough?"
me:  Thinking "if that was all I wanted I would have asked for the small container" but instead I meekly reply "Um no, can you fill it please?"
GDG: Heavy sigh, fills it part-way to the top, slaps a cover on it, hands it to me and turns away.
me:  I resist urge to apologize for ruining his day, and decide to leave the feta cheese for another time.

Exchange Example #2
GDG: Scowl
me: "Um can I have two thick slices of spicy pancetta, about this big"  I demonstrate far too cheerfully with my fingers the size of the thickness I want.
GDG: Heavy sigh, reaches for the mild pancetta and turns away
me: "Um excuse me, I think that is the mild pancetta"
GDG: "AND???"
me: "Er I'd like the spicy pancetta please"
GDG: "We don't have any!"
me: "Er um, yes you do right beside the mild pancetta"
GDG: Eye roll, scowl,  he cuts me two slices of pancetta half the size I wanted and then looks at me to see if I would dare comment.  I didn't.

Seriously!  Is it normal to experience heart palpatations when one enters their grocery store?  Do I have to give up my deli order, or save it for a different shop?  C2 has a somewhat different suggestion but I suspect that it may get me removed from my favorite Woolies, so won't pursue his strategy.

About Bugs:
We are approaching our first summer in Perth and have begun spending a lot of time indoor/outdoor living which has been great.  We love to sit outside in the evenings and listen to the cicadas.  However, indoor/outdoor living comes at a price.  We first recognized that we might have a problem a couple of weeks ago whilst eating dinner outdoors with all the doors flung open, and the lights inside left on...they cast such a nice ambient glow outside.  When we finally returned indoors, our ceiling looked like something out of Wild Kingdom.  Fortunately, most of them lay dead on our floor the next morning, so that was nice.

Then, of course, there are the cockroaches, which J loves to pick up and stalk me with, that's nice too.  There are moths the size of my hand, and huge spiders that have almost become pets (Norman and Warner so far that we were/are rather attached to).  We mourned Norman's passing when he was stung by his lunch (a bee).  There are crickets who you really don't want inside the house if you care to hear anything else besides their chirp, and there are stink bugs (don't ask).  Last night, I noticed a rather large black helicopter roaming around the ceiling.  When we finally trapped and released it (yes we still do that), it turned out to be a giant flying beetle, so that's nice too.

I guess, we'll have to forego that nice ambient glow until Fall.

Things I have Decided Not To Dwell On This Week:
In no particular order:
1.  ISIS, ISIL or whatever that band of sociopaths want to call themselves
2.  Vladimir Putin
3.  The empty corner in my living room where Murphy used to sleep
4.  That the Republicans now rule Congress
5.  That the pair of grey Converse's I would like is 100% more expensive in Australia than in the U.S.
6.  That I still don't understand the game of Cricket despite living in a Cricket-mad country
7.  That the new version of "Do They Know it's Christmas' is really bad
8.  That my Christmas shopping is going no-where fast
9.  That Benedict Cumberbatch is engaged....not that I would have left C2 for him....still...
10.  That my hamstring tendonitis is managed but not gone and I will probably never run a marathon....not that I was planning to....just saying.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Letting a Little Colour Back In

No bones about it, it has been a tough week since Murphy's sudden passing last Friday.  However, we are coming out the other side of the initial shock and grief.  I am now able to have a conversation about her without breaking down.  We still miss her and her familiarity enormously, and the house is eerie without her in it.  C2 has already decided we must get another now.  I put the kibosh on that desire, however, as I would really like to wait a year, tick a travel box or two without the worry of animal care for the first time in 20 years.   His head agrees, but the heart wants what the heart does J's.

Halloween was a good distraction and it is beginning to really catch on in Australia.  People either fully embrace it or mutter about the Americanization of Australia.  Some older kids probably inclined to mischief-making anyway use it as an excuse to cause problems.  Fortunately, we didn't see any of that.  Of course it is nearly summer here and all the kids were wandering the neighbourhood under bright sun and were done by 6:00 but that's just how we do it down under.  J's school had an awesome Halloween disco later in the evening where the boys boogied while I hung back at my girlfriend's house and sipped wine.

 Australians are still working out what to give as Halloween lollies and many are clearly baffled.  Too much is unwrapped candy (straight into the bin) but my personal favorite this year were three dried Apricots....ewww!  I think they beat the banana and packet of TimTams from two years ago.

Another great distraction was Perth's annual Swisse Color Run which J and I ran yesterday along with 19,000 other runners.  The Color Run is a unique concept whereby every kilometre or so, you are pelted with paint (coloured starch) in an effort to become as kaleidoscopic (is that a word?) as possible.  Frankly, it's the only 5k race where I pretty much laughed from start to finish, and then danced along with thousands of others at a great post-race party.  The run was around Langley Field in downtown Perth between the city and the Swan River.  It was picturesque and fun and EXACTLY what J and I needed though I didn't need the reminder that J continues to run a 5K faster than me.

We were nice and clean in our Color Run kit.  I couldn't convince J to lose the sweatband.  Didn't matter much once we got to the race site since everyone else was wearing one too.

Selfie immediately post-race.  I am such a cheeseball whilst J is waaaay too cool for school

The post-race dance party - yep that's J dancing!

Clouds of paint

Yes, we rode the train home looking like this!

We had fun, and we were happy and that was the goal of getting through this last week.