Sunday, March 29, 2009

Newswipe, How we see News Abuse.

Charlie Brooker is damned brilliant. I admit, I was the child who hated news, Teenager who could care less, College Student who had no time and then the bored housewife who thought "Gee, I need some conversation fodder...let's see what's in the news."

Really shouldn't have bothered. I've been depressed ever since.

It's Sunday, there's nothing else to watch, so enjoy this. It's only a half hour over two parts.

Part Three! Which I forgot to add. Sorry folks!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Easter eggs are tasty!

Yum yum.

Easter parody.

From the wicked sinners at Landover Baptist Church.

Also, I really like this advert:

Sore-Headed Bears Calmed with Anadin Liquifast

Finally, Cajun Squirrel potato chip anyone??

Wait, just saw this one and - it's a bit rude don't you think?

Friday, March 20, 2009

98% sure We're going to Melbourne.

I'm just not willing to invest my entire enthusiasm just yet. Not until the paperwork is signed. But we are as good as there. They've discussed benefits, salary car allowances, Australian business culture - which apparently is a bit more strict than American or the UK where full suits are the norm and image and seriousness are highly important. Husband went and bought a new suit. I think he needs two and will push him on to get another. He'll need a lightweight suit as it's still rather warm in San Diego and Melbourne. He chose a really nice charcoal grey suit from Cerruti that goes well with his blue eyes. He now needs black shoes. I told him brown shoes and a grey suit look very bad. Am I right?

He leaves on Sunday for four weeks; two in SD and two in Melbourne, getting training, getting to know his team and coming up with...plans. I was told about it, but it's gone now. I remember there was talk of Luster (Lustre?) training. He is thoroughly excited about the fact he will circumnavigate the globe.

I've been scrubbing down walls and grabbing stuff and throwing it away. "Do I want to haul this 10,000 miles across the ocean? No." in fact Husband said to me "Stop throwing stuff out." but I don't think I can. I've gone all Super Christian and seem to be shedding my worldly belongings. I'll arrive in Melbourne with a suitcase and high hopes. Then again, even Maria had a guitar.

Painter/decorator coming around today for a quote, ordering a skip to empty the garage/shed into and it's all systems go. I want my house ready for sale in four weeks. Husband will come back and not recognize his own home.

So that's all we got up to now.

On a more personal note, I'm perpetually hyper, stressed and have pooped once all week. But my house smells like spring. I'm going to try and clean the Roman blinds today. Could be tragic.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Still affected.

That Dispatches show I saw the other night is still with me. I keep thinking about it. It was such an important piece of journalism. I keep thinking how important it is for folks to know about this. Thankfully, someone has put the show up on Youtube. I keep wondering what can I do? I want to do something, but I don't know what I can do. Religion is useless and a scourge on the Earth.

And then there's this article in Slate informing us that there's a UN resolution up where Islamists want to make it illegal to criticize Islam. Stop giving us so much to criticize.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Let The Panic Begin!

If you hear a squelching sound, that'll be my adrenal gland going into spasms.

Firstly, TV shows. Last night i watched the second half of an amazing Dispatches episode called "Pakistan's Taliban". It was frightening, amazing and fucking scary! The Guardian does a good summary of the show for you if you're interested - and you should be (Americans) seeing as this is what Obama wants to go up against. After watching this, I'm convinced Obama has the right plan to deal with it. The way the Taliban target children to be suicide bombers is horrifying. Synopsis for the show:

Pakistan's Taliban Generation.
Award-winning Pakistani journalist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy investigates how the war on terror is creating a generation of child terrorists in her homeland: children prepared to kill both inside and outside Pakistan. With the recent attack in Lahore on the Sri Lankan cricket team, and last year's massive suicide bombing in Islamabad and assault on Mumbai, Pakistan's radical Islamists are bringing violence to the major cities of Pakistan and beyond.

It was hard to remember to catch the ads. Vauxhall, neurofen, Sensations Thai sweet chili crisps, The Duchess is out on DVD (what a laugh.), Fire safety, local furniture store, P&O cruises, Norwich Union insurance, Choclate bunnies and hot cross buns on sale at Morrisons, Vauxhall again, and then Channel Four promotions of thier own shows. That was one ad break. Fucking long, but there were only two for the hour long show, so it was understandable.

For the purpose of time, I'll only do the food and psychologically manipulative ads from now on.

9PM Living TV - I watched America's Next Top Model, which was full of ads for age-defying lotions from L'Oreal, Lighter Life diet club, online Bingo and L'Oreal hair dye. Because women who watch these shows must want to look younger and get thinner. Oh, and play online bingo.

9:35 - Dating services (That will be for the men who watch ANTM and think they'll bag a model via the dating service), a lot of Living TV promotions but all seem to be about ghost hunting and mediums.

9:46 More most haunted and mediums, Morrisons grocery store tells me what Mom's want for Mother's Day (Which is the last Sunday in March in the UK) is a pork roast dinner! Didn't know that! And I get a whole pork roast dinner for £9.00 - amazing. More online bingo - do women actually play online bingo? I can't imagine a more boring adventure. Hair spray, deep pore cleaner ( A must after the pork lunch) and perfume.

10:00 Samantha Who - We get a Kentucky Fried Chicken ad that tries to let me know it's healthy food, hand made, nice chicken...sure. then we get the Flora margarine ad that tells us if we buy lots and save tokens we can earn cooking supplies for our schools. Do I have to tell you about how horrible margarine is?! It's not even a real food! Finish up with Shreddies cereal.

10:16 - Ad where woman is getting into her fitness kit, ready for a run but when she opens the door - it's raining really heavily. So instead she has some Tetley's green tea, because a cup of green tea is just as good a jog in the park.

Then I watched some Japanese movie called Ping Pong for a bit then went to bed.

So, the adrenaline. Husband got a call yesterday morning informing him that there are two jobs in Oz; one in Melbourne, one in Canberra. Husband is applying for both. Canberra is not the most attractive locations, but it's a job Hubs could walk right into. The Melbourne job offers a lot more room for learning new skills and more advancements. We want that one. I want to live in Melbourne. Canberra is fine, but it's not got the excitement, coast, F1 Grand Prix etc. that Melbs has. They've now said they will pay for relocation this time. Which is a bonus over nine months ago when Hubs was interviewing and told it would be on his own back.

They're being a lot more aggressive about it all this time. Two phone interviews today, if they go well a face-to-face interview in San Diego next week and then straight to Melbourne for visa application starting and introductions. All over the next three weeks. They say they could have his visa sorted in five weeks. We could all be in Australia three months. That's if the house sale goes well, which we'd really want as our emigration fund will be halved and the house is our only nest egg.

And just in case any of those fellow employees read this, you need to know this is the wife's opinion, and the Husband has his own which aren't necessarily the same as mine. So there.

So what's really bugged me is I went and paid my annual gym membership yesterday. Would've held off if I'd known. then again, it could all come to naught and we'll be flying solo again. Either way, I think we're prepared.

I must clean.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I create projects when I'm bored...

if I didn't I'd go mad. I think it's the work ethic that's still ingrained even though I've been unemployed *happily* for five years. Sounds so ugly that. Unemployed. I left work to raise my kids because we were in a position where I could. And to be honest, I was a lot cheaper than paying for childcare. So there.

Anyways - aren't I defensive this morning! I'm going to start a small project to test a theory my head came up with. The Theory:

TV creates a subliminally suggestive environment that encourages us to overeat and to eat the wrong foods. I'm sure folks are out there going "Well yeah, Duh." but I want to see just how many of the ads I see are food related, are junk food related, and if certain shows - mainly "girl" shows - encourage eating and dieting. Does one encourage the other? Vicious circle? So for a week or know, until I get bored, I'll log all the adverts I see when I'm watching television. At the moment I think the most I see are insurance, new cars and accident lawyer ads, but to be honest, I'm not sure. Am I seeing a whole lot more? When food ads come on, do I get cravings for these foods or similar?

I thought starting with TV would be easier. The internet - Facebook in particular - is riddled with ad-turds for weight loss gimmicks, patches, diets and you name it weight loss lies and rubbish. All in the side panel. Every page we load. At least mine is. I don't know if it's the same for everyone. I assume it is.

Also I have increased my gymtime to two hours and I'm in there five days a week. Weights on 3 days, but as I love weights, I did four last week. This is to get me doing more cardio time. When I started running, I'd use my faster running as an excuse to not put in the times I needed to actually burn fat. One can find excuses to justify anything. Running fast for shorter distances doesn't do enough for endurance and stamina. Do endurance and stamina mean the same thing?

Anyways, today was hard. I wasn't hungry when I woke up, or more the point, I was physically hungry but still didn't want to eat. I had porridge and raisins, cup of tea. Downed a diet RedBull. Naughty, but it makes my workouts much more enjoyable. I drink that and then gargle with water to clear the acids away from my poor teeth. That stuff will melt teeth in seconds! Then after dropping the kids at school, I walked to the gym, fast paced. Renewed my membership for a year because it was cheaper than paying monthly. Decided to wind up the lady behind the counter (She's normally rather gruff and impersonal) and when she asked if I wanted to use the same picture I asked "I thought I would. Do you think I've aged considerably these past three years?" The poor thing's tongue turned into a tennis ball. She relaxed when she saw I was smiling at her. I went in and did weights for legs. Drop sets between 35-45kgs and squats at 20kgs and lunges which hurt enough without weights so I just had 5kg hand weights for balance. Next time I'll do 30kgs squats which I do on a Smith machine - did you know Jack Lalanne invented the Smith machine? Neat huh. Sadly, there's no spongy cover for the bar when it's on the shoulders and it really hurts. I may have to go buy a cheap length of pipe insulation. Finished with abs: 100 crunches, 50 knee-ups, 45 leg lifts, 3s/12r of weighted side bends at 15kgs.

I was rather tired by that point and HUNGRY! There's my appetite, coming along at the wrong time. I managed 10 minutes on the elliptical before grumbles annoyed me to where I sat and had a banana and played Klondike on my nano. I figured I'd wander over to the grocery store and get a couple rustic brown rolls to go with some leftover carrot, turnip and lentil soup for my lunch. Ended up buying a lot more - never shop when hungry!!

It was the best damn soup ever. By the time I carried two bags up the hill to the school I was exhausted and super hungry. Then carried bags home and was cantankerously starved. The soup was all I could think about, and I don't even like turnip. I only used turnip because I didn't have any parsnips. Husband hates parsnips so he thought the soup was far superior. Bah to you and your turnips! Parsnips fucking rule! I'll bury you with a bunch of parsnips! (Did I mention I was a bit cranky??)

If it wasn't for Pat Benatar urging me along, I think I'd have quit off earlier. I hit the back button four times to replay this fabulous song. It's a great Monday Motivator.

I've now returned to normal. Mercy.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Oh Really?

I'm not as excited this time. Currently living with heavy dose of "Sure, fine, yeah right, believe it when I see it."

Let me preface this with: These are the Opinions of The Wife. Not the Employee. Ok?

Remember six months ago when I wrote about how Husband's company had an opening in Australia and he went through two interviews for the position and I was so excited and confident that were going to be Melbourne by Christmas that I cleared the garage and began packing? Then the company canceled the position and the manager in charge of the interviews didn't even bother to email Husband to let him know the situation thereby leaving him to think he'd failed miserably and possibly offended the entire continent. Husband gets a bit worked up like that, he's since realized that the folks running this down there were inconsiderate whatsnames.

So now, the company, a few months later, seems to be losing its mind. It's canceling multimillion pound deals with big name companies (Like a certain car manufacturer in Germany where if the job had been done well, could've led to many good leads) and have decided to close manufacturing of the...stuff - you'd think I'd pay closer attention when Husband talks about what he builds and creates in this giant warehouse of his. So far as I know it's mainframe networks for large data storage. Anyways, Company has said they're closing manufacturing in Scotland and having it all based in Hillsboro Oregon. So Oregon will now supply all the large mainframe networks and customer support for Europe. Doesn't that sound like a fucking good idea?? Way to go.

This means Husband has been notified he's to be laid off in early Summer. With a very tasty severance package. This makes us over the moon joyful. The severance will fun our move to Australia, the house sale will support us until Husband finds a job, of which there are thousands in Melbourne. We're in a ver good position.

So Friday night Hubs gets an email from work - let's not go there just now about how he's checking his work email on a Friday night, shall we? It's from his former manger, but good friend who's looking into ways to help his guys move on after the termination. It appears the position in Melbourne is open again! Would Husband like to apply again?

Here's the pros and cons:

Pro: keeps himself in employment with no gaps where we lose saved income.
Con: Still employed to Senseless company with group that couldn't be bothered to communicate issues previously.

Pro: Fast-tracked visa.
Con: If they decide to cancel the position - again - and the visa is tied to this position and/or company, we may have to pack up and return to UK and then reapply for different visa.

Pro: He'd have a job, where he knows the inside-outs of the work and the contacts with in the company he'd need to rely on.
Con: He's still with the same company that currently drives him insane.

Pro:...same pro He Has A Job in Australia.
Con: We would lose the severance package! Very sorry, but 30K isn't to be sniffed at. they would have to offer a full moving package, resettlement package, nice raise - and I mean NICE as well as whatever choice tidbits they could offer that I can't think of. In summary - they have to make a better offer than the severance package.

I could come up with more but I'm bored now with the pro/con game.

I'm just going to step back and let him sort this out. I personally think he should strike out new and get into an Aussie company with happy, jolly Aussie folks. But we have no idea how Company AU is run, so we shouldn't make assumptions. Even if they provide us with a foot in the door. we could later move on.

So, in this holding pattern, again. I'm not going to get excited about any of it.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tim Minchin - Storm

I used to know a Hippie chick named Storm and I wonder - could it be? But alas I'm sure it's not.

What's this? It's a cry out against all the absolute crap and bollocks people buy into thinking it's NEW and BETTER and IMPROVED? When really they just sound like pompous twats.

Also a great introduction to Tim Minchin.

Even better...

Dare you not to get that tune stuck in your head.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Is It Spring Fever?

Very likely as Spring seems to be here early this year. I've put away the Winter coat, looking at the coming Spring/Summer fashions for a couple of light-weight tops and spent a silly amount of time going in and out of the house yesterday to take raindrops pictures on the crocus and narcissus, which of course means I was sitting in puddles to do this. I'm in the "Only Forward" mode of thought. Not really in the now as the now feels like its holding me back. I must be in motion, even if it's mental motion, and I'm thinking of an awful lot.

I've not spent a lot of time blogging or reading blogs for weeks now. Its funny, once I started using Bloglines I thought it was great, but now that it's there I kind of leave all the blog searching up to it and I've moved on to other things. So neglected now, I've noticed friends who've blogged extensively and there's no way I can catch up. Do you think they mind? These internet friends, folks I've never met in real life but feel close to nonetheless for all the sharing - do you think it matters if I'm behind on their posts? Do you think impacts them in any way?

No. Of course it doesn't! Ego check there, Lyv. Blogging is personal and more than anything, it's entertainment or cheap therapy for one. I'm not upset to find my hit numbers dropping. My blog is for me and I'm amazed folks read it at all. Here's me justifying myself by proclaiming everyone is just like me, did you notice that?

I'm looking into writing more, running more, being with the kids more. Sassy and I were watching Pride and Prejudice yesterday and she was interested as they had no electricity and often seemed bored. She put that down to the fact they had no TV or computer games. I explained that without TV or computers, she'd be amazed at how much more time she'd have in a day to get things done. How so many of these women were brilliant piano players, learned foreign languages, mastered any number of skills. Entertainment technology coupled with a house full of time saving appliances should equal an amazing amount of free time to get accomplished at any number of things.

What a challenge, huh? Can you give up all entertainment technology? For a week. Think you could go a week without computers, TV, or console/handheld games? I set the challenge out and expected a guffaw. Husband and Sassy almost seemed keen to try it. I was stunned and terrified a little - what will I do if I don't see my favourite shows - I mean I look forward to them. I'm the one with the biggest addiction to TV escapism, I've just managed to hide it. Didn't feel too good to have the challenge taken seriously. One week. I could miss my shows for one week. there aren't that many. I'll list:

Monday is America's Next Top Model followed by Samantha Who.
Tuesday there's nothing so Husband and I either play on the Wii or watch a movie. Since I just joined one of those internet movie rental places that posts movies out to us, this is now 2-3 times a week.
Wednesday is Project Runway.
Thursday is an hour of Nothing To Declare, the Australian Airport Customs show. I love this show.
Friday is more Nothing To Declare and Boston Legal.
Saturday is usually free TV so we either scan or just put on the iPod and let it shuffle all afternoon. Sports events often fall on a weekend so recently it's Six Nations Rugby.
Sunday Six Nations or F1 if nothing like this is on then we don't bother.

Now, often the TV is running a series of kids shows if it's not one of my shows, but lately the kids haven't been watching a lot of TV. I've banned TV in the mornings because they argue so much and give me a hard time about leaving for school. Afternoons, they seem more interested in winding down with a game. No crazy game either, they're loving Harvest Moon - the farming game. I play too, often they'll just watch me. We also take a lot of photos.

So I could miss a week. Couldn't I?

Writing more would be great. Fight those demons.