Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Today I had a schedule jam packed with meetings, lectures and presentations. The prospects of eating lunch was not looking good, so I decided to pop into the only bakery in town that actually sells bagels.

I never eat breakfast.

Although I love breakfast foods, I cannot abide eating said foodstuff before 11:00am, but today, a nice morning bagel and cream cheese would keep my energy up and soothe the afternoon hunger pangs.

I walked into the bakery, drooled over the bagels, went to pay and oops!! I left my debit card, credit card and cash at home (45 minutes away).

I race out to the car and check every possible nook and cranny for lost change. I managed to scrounge up $2.50… Still two dollars short of a pack of bagels.

No time to beg passers-by, I had to rush off to my first meeting of the day, where the woman set out fruit mince pies and shortbread biscuits between us on the table. I was doing most of the talking in this meeting which means there was not even a slight chance to stuff my mouth with the leftover Christmas baking that was sitting before me.

Sometime around 1:30 in the afternoon I finally had ten minutes at my desk, where I found an old bag of Jelly Bellies. At this point I was feeling like a starving subway rat that spotted a fallen french fry.

My eyes turned beady and bright red, I glared and anyone who dared to walk past.

I checked the key to see what two flavours were left. What luck! Strawberry jam and peanut butter! So I combined equal parts of both types and ate them. My secret hope was that the flavour combination would trick my stomach into believing there was a sandwich on its was down.

I think it worked, now only if Jelly Belly made the flavours Escargot and Garlic Butter… I'm in the mood for French tonight..

Thursday, December 25, 2008


A couple days ago, over on Grandma J the beautiful Grandma J showed off her favourite christmas decorations, then asked if we had any that had to put up every year.

I have a few special ornaments and decorations that go up every year, but the most special one to me is a little man that hangs on a door knob.

When you pull the string that is hanging from in between his legs, he does the Christmas splits.

I once, regretfully, lived in Milwaukee for a year and a half. While my time there was wrought with freezing cold weather and depression, I was fortunate enough to live a beautiful apartment building on the lake.

I could write a book about the people and happenings in this building. The 70% of the residents were retirees who sold their houses in the suburbs to live in the city. Noboby went to the mailboxes unless they impeccably dressed and in full hair and make-up.

Down the hall lived a wonderful elderly couple, John and Jean, whom I struck up a good friendship. Every Christmas she put this little man on her door knob. Once at a holiday cocktail party I was telling Jean how wonderful the little man is. The next morning as I was heading out the door for work, the little man was has hanging on my door knob.

Jean loved birdwatching and her son gave her a caged bird, which then caused her to develop Psittacosis. A few weeks after I was given the little man, Jean died.

Every year I when I see little man I think of Jean and wish her a Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I bought a 23 pound turkey for 2 adults and 2 kids. I am pretty sure that this means that, on average, we will be eating 4,000 pounds per person for Christmas dinner. What I really want to know is what this the average temperature and time per pound that one needs to cook a turkey???

UPDATE - Thank you Pumpkin!! You know it hadn't occurred to me to check the package... Go figure. I should point out that I have not made a turkey in ages (I think since leaving the US) as you have to special order them here and only at Christmas time. Are you guys sitting down?

This turkey, because of the turkey rareity down this way, a 23 pound (10.5 kg) turkey cost me a whopping $185. So you can see I am under added pressure, and please don't tell Stuart how much it cost. I told him it was only like $20 or $30.

Frangelico and Pineapple

I am getting a lot of searches to my blog for "Frangelico and Pineapple". I once made a pineapple panna cotta and drank Frangelico.

Let me give those searching a word of advice:


Christmas Cards

OK, so it is Christmas Eve here already. I realise that the only post I have done about Christmas was complaining about work holiday parties... this one is not any different, except I have one other observation I want to talk about.
I am "working from home" today. Which means I am slaving over my computer doing work, but also drink a very large pitcher of long island iced tea and making cookies. I will let you decide whether (weather, wether... what? Is that correct? whether?) that is worth still being paid without counting towards an annual leave day.
Anyhow, yesterday I was invited to yet another work cocktail function for those of us who are "working" on christmas eve. I kid you not, the e-mail read as such:
"The drinks will take place from 2:30 until approx. 3:15 {what? 45 minutes for drinks?} As a special christmas request, please wash and dry your own glass."
Again, needless to say, I will not be attending that one. Not because I am unwilling to help out, but it is the point that it is shameful to put that on an invitation. Should I bring my own glass too?
OK, my second observation. I have been recieving quite a few christmas cards from my friends who still live in America.
However the Christmas "card" is just a photo of their kids with some printed inscription like "Happy Holidays".
I live in Australia, most of my friends and family still live in the US, so when I get something like this from them, I get excited!
Yet when I flip over the "cards" there is nothing but "Kodak" printed on the back. No letter, or quick hello.
So if I can make a suggestion to all of you who send out these cards, please please please write something... anything... on them! Child's ages, or a "Hello" maybe???
I love seeing photos and I love every last one of my friends, but I feel cheated, and I can guarantee you, that if I feel that way, 85% of the people who you send these too feel that way.
Now that that is out of the way, I love Christmas. I don't celebrate the religious aspects of it... I am personally an atheist who wishes he was Jewish. However I am a homo and this is the time of year where it is acceptable to throw around glitter, re-decorate and play fabulous music!!!!!
I want to make a special shout-out to Pumpkin Delight (I am too drunk to link right now), I hope you are having a fantastic time in Hawaii, and I really hope that you get a good lai. ;)
I love you all and wish that I could teleport and give everyone a big hug or fur purse (Hello, JLo!) and see your stained glass plates (Big smooches Grandma J!) and have naked picnics (Hugs Mr Show & Giancarlo and Live. Love. Eat.) and pretend to be a prima ballerina doing the Snow Pas from Nutcracker (Kisses Mom#1) and split a pitcher of holiday spirit (aka long island iced tea) with Bossy, Someone in a Tree, ktk, Nikki, Bloom, Sabrina T, Mush and learn all about opera (Big Texas love to SarahB).
I think I may have successfully talked the kids in celebrating Channukamas or Christmaskah next year.
Cheers, big ears!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

DEAR ________

Dear Mr Show,

Is your second grade show complete with a music teacher wearing a bad holiday sweater who sings the loudest using an opera style whilst banging away at the piano and conducting the kids at the same time?

I'll bring the champagne.

Dear Sabrina T,

Any special holiday spirit recipes you can share? Or is just drank straight from the bottle?

Actually a martini does sound nice right about now! My lower back is killing me and I think it will do the trick!

PS - How was The Night Before Christmas??

Dear Mush,

I learnt evil from the best. ;) XXX

Dear Nikki,

I feel like it has been ages since I saw you last! Toby is awesome so far, except for a little annoying habit of waking me up on the dot at 5:15am every morning!

Dear ktk (aka anonymous),

I hope that there is some serious cute footage to come. He is so awesome I love to just look at him and think of how devastating gorgeous he is.

Then after I move away from the mirror...

Dear Grandma J,

The kids here go to school based on the yearly calendar. So They start in early February and finish in mid December. They get nothing like the super long summer vacations that we got!

Thanks for the info on the rawhides. That is horrible! I don't normally get them because they unroll and then you get slimey sheets of rawhide laying everywhere... which, you know, is sooo much worse than slimey bits of a gigantic brown pig's ear.

One of the funniest stories happened about a week after Toby came home. Stuart and I were in the spa and Toby could not stand to be at any distance from he, so he jumped right in and fell asleep on my chest.

Dear Mom #1

I am so happy to read that everything is alright with Baby Boy! Now you can really celebrate these holidays.

You would have to waiting to read my essay on why I hate Mary Ingalls! That one is taking the me the longest to write because I have to go back and watch all nine seasons of the show to get every last point as to why she drives me insane (but not as insane as Carrie Ingalls).

How was The Nutcracker?

Dear Pumpkin Delight,

Bad boys do it for you, eh? LOL

My mafia names (yes, I have four accounts to get the maximum addiction load) are highly unsexy. They are 1. Sophia Petrillo, 2. Dorothy Szbornak, 3. Tony Pianostrings and 4. Hot Lips Zucchini.

Not quite what you were hoping for?

Oh by the way, I have put your Sweet Potato and Apple recipe up on the site. I just haven't put up the site yet! Many thanks for letting me use it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


This has been the absolute longest week in history... ever...

It has been non stop holiday lunches and brunches. I have received 3 invites from my work alone. One was for a company-wide picnic in the botanical park. I didn't go. Picnics are not moments meant to be shared with co-workers whom you do not even wish to socialise at work. Picnics are for getting drunk and laying naked in the grass.

The other two work invites for a dinner and brunch, respectively. They both started out right, but ended with the same sentence:


I won't be RSVP'ing to either of those.

How many Secret Santa's can one do in a year before you realise a total of $300 has been spent buying presents for people whose names you pulled out of hat?

I was totally in the holiday spirit on Monday. I pranced around placing fabulous sparkling baubles on plants, lamps and puppies while singing "We Need a Little Christmas" from Mame. Now it is Thursday and the only holiday spirit I want is vodka with three green and red olives.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Yesterday for the first time, I tried to e-mail a blog post about Zimbabwe.

Because it was my first time, I was particularly excited and curious about the results. As you can see from yesterday's post, I had nothing to worry about!

The font and text colour came out perfect. FAIL!

The sizing was consistant and neither to large or too small. FAIL!

All of the pictures appeared without a hitch. FAIL!

Monday, December 15, 2008

FW: Daily inspiration.... "The power of poor leadership"

From an e-mail sent around the office this morning:

Today's daily inspiration is larger than usual but I felt it was an interesting look at how leadership can add value to or devalue the worth of their currency and thus the lives of the people.
We think that the current economic crisis is having a large impact on us all but the poor citizens of Zimbabwe have been coping with their own one since the collapse of the agriculture sector in 2000 when the inflation skyrocketed to 231 million percent a year! Just think about it – 231, 000, 000%. Unemployment went up to 80% and a third of country's population departed it.

Lets now have a look at the photos that you probably won't see anywhere else in the world.

Here is a boy getting change in 200 000 dollar notes!

One 200 000 dollar note equals less than 10 cents.

A new note of 500 000 dollars introduced to the market!

Next - 750 000 dollars.

Another new note of 10 million dollars.

This US $10 dollar note is worth 10 times more than the 10 million dollar Zimbabwe note.

Happy but hungry

A case worth 65 billion Zimbabwe dollars to pay for a meal.

This guy is going to a supermarket. The exchange rate was then 25 million Zimbabwe dollars for 1 US dollar.

This mountain of cash is worth $100.

50 Million note is then introduced!

Next is 250 million dollars note!

Sorry, how much is this t-shirt?
- It`s cheap, only about 2.76 billion dollars! Note the price is in 'millions' or 'billions'

Gee….hope it survives the wash.

May - a note of 500 million dollars is introduced!

June - note worth 25 and 50 billion are printed.

And finally - 100 billion dollars note!

What can you buy for it? Well, these 3 eggs for example.

This is how people go to restaurants!

And the bills:

In August, the government devalued Zimbabwe dollar by removing 10 zeros from notes.

However, inflation kept going up and in September for this amount of cash you could only buy 4 tomatoes.

And for this - some bread.

And then it started again: 20 000 dollars note in September. Remember, this is after removing 10 zeros!

50 000 a couple of weeks ago!

When will it end?
And equally importantly, How will it end?


Find your ideal job with SEEK Time for change?

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I have been teasing you for weeks with threats of photos of my new puppy.

Well finally I have some decent pics and would like to introduce you to Toby.

Toby is a pug x shih tzu, however he looks and acts just like a pug. The one great benefit from the shih tzu is that he has hair and not fur, which means no shedding! Hurray!

Toby was a bit older than the typical puppy one brings home. He was 4 months old when we got him, and the price had been reduced. Nobody wanted him and that broke my heart. I could not figure out who would not love his cuteness and sweet face.

It took me several days to work out a name for him. The kids kept hassling me every 20 minutes and asking if I decided on a name yet. I mean geez, when humans get pregnant they have 9 months to think of that perfect name, can't I at least have 24 hours?

After a long list, I finally settled on "Toby" after the boy character in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Mainly because in Sweeney Todd, Toby's big number is Not While I'm Around, and I felt that was the perfect song for a dog to sing, if a dog could sing.

Here are some more photos for your amusement. Note that in the first photo he is not only chewing on a rawhide but also a squeaky toy.

Friday, December 12, 2008


So last night was Blane's middle school awards and the Year 9's graduation into high school (Blane is only Year 7) night. I cannot convey to you how thrilling this is for Stuart and I to attend.

After 3 and half hours of awards, certificates, speeches, announcements and farewells, the entire middle school gave us a year end Christmas recital finale. I cannot convey to you how thrilling this finale was.

It started out with three Hip Hop Travellers on their way to Africa.

The Three Hip Hop Travellers wore white hoodies and white masks and they apparently do not travel the world by plane, boat or train, they get places by krumping or break dancing or having epileptic fits... I wasn't sure.

So they finally arrive in Africa and we are treated with an African Christmas carol and some very uninspired dancing by two students who are from Africa... and now we know why they left.

The Hip Hop Travellers then convulsed their way to the Bahamas, where the official Christmas carol is Jingle Bells with a metal drum banging in the background.

The HHTs are off again to Indonesia, this time they can get half way around the world by simply striking a pose. We are serenaded with a traditional Indonesian carol, Silent Night.

Yes, but wait! There was a long musical interlude during Silent Night, where the school's blind girl played the flute while the Year 9 girls did an interpretive dance... which was something like tai chi with a little Hawaiian hula thrown in.

I know what you are thinking. I am a horrible human being for making fun of a bunch of 12 year olds. You are right, but I may also remind you that you did not have to sit through the entire 30 minute finale.

I might also remind you of the logistical gaps present in this recital. First being, was that really a very efficient trip around the world? North Pole to Africa to The Bahamas to Indonesia? What were the Three Hip Hop Travellers searching for? Every good christmas recital needs to have someone searching for something, and then finding it on christmas morning, where they learn that the holidays are not about hype, they are about getting things.

The costuming was lousy. Obviously low budget.

This production has a long way to go before reaching Off-Off-Broadway.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


OK, so technically this is a performance at the Tony Awards, but it is not of a Tony nominated musical.

I vividly remember this opening and have been dying to see it ever since! Thank goodness for YouTube!

The above clip is from a Tony Awards opening and features Megan Mullaly doing a very abridged and very funny song from How To Succeed in Business...

You may know Megan Mullaly as Karen on Will & Grace.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

On the lam..

Well, I have not posted anything this week. Pathetic, I know.

I figured that everyone deserved a break from the World's Longest Slide Show, because believe me, there is a lot more to go! I have also been really swamped at work as I trying to prepare a whole new budget as the government has decided to cut it's funding to my department in half.

OK, I must admit to you now, that while those above reasons are true, the real reason I have not posted is because I am addicted to recently discovered application on Facebook called Mafia Wars.

In all of my spare time I have been robbing drug dealers, holding bank heists and buying Italian restaurants to pay for my new bullet-proof Escalade.

I do have some interesting posts coming up including the return of Tuesdays with Tony, Fabulous Friday, four new additions to my family and some essays I have been working on ("Why I Hate Mary Ingalls" & "Neuroplasticity and Quantum Mechanics: More Than Just Big Words").

I must close here because I need to go burgle an art museum.