The best Angus Wallpaper of the Month Ever
Unfortunately no wide-screen this month but range off options should be satisfying.
Warning, what you get might be NWS.
Unfortunately no wide-screen this month but range off options should be satisfying.
Warning, what you get might be NWS.
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The woman with the fake tan stepped into my office, sat across from my desk and lit a cigarette.
At least, she would, sometime in the next 20 minutes. Smelling the future has advantages, but precision isn’t one of them.
I photo of me with a giant penis.
Other highlights of Sexpo were the very Australian amateur strip where the crowd voted a jockey as the winner of the men's heat and the ugliest girl possible from the women.
Also watching not one but two of my friends from Tandy independently talk about the batteries that came with a vibrator to the same girl.
I woke up this morning and I shaved. This was against the norm for two reasons. I don't normally get much sleep during the week so I normally cash in on weekends, but I'd managed to have an early night on both Thursday and, relatively, on Friday as well.
The second reason is that I usually try and carry any facial hair I have through the weekend, shave on Sunday night and let the totally apathetic hair follicles on my face drift dreamily along for the first two days of the working week before I have to shave again on Wednesday. However I'm becoming more proactive again lately and I figured seeing as I was so motivated to get things done I could handle shaving today and then following that up with a shave on Monday morning, even if it meant I had to set my alarm the 4 minutes earlier that shaving required.
Following on from this inspiring tale of efficiency and self discipline the day continued in the same vein as I set about using my weekend for practical endeavours, namely digging out the basketball system from a garden bed, cleaning it and restoring it to its former glory.
This quest for improvement eventually required me to visit the shops for a few items, so I set off to enter the shrine of weekend manliness: the hardware store. There I purchased chains and talked about tools with other men in terms I could understand (length) before also purchasing an ice-coffee from a fridge at the front counter (excellent market segment analysis and cross-product promotion there) and heading back to my driveway for more hard yakka, which I felt justified the grams and grams of sugar in a Farmers Union Iced Coffee. Eventually it was done and it was time to clean the dirt from my hair and get ready to hit the town. As I stepped into the bathroom I noticed, to my surprise, the man in the mirror had already started sprouting stubble. Also there was a spider in my nose. Being a man is fun.
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'And the key to having a lot of email each morning is to sign up to all the professional looking mailing lists you can find.'
He nodded enthusiastically, watching me as I scrolled down line after line of my inbox.
'They don't even have to be IT related,' I continued. 'See this one? It's some law blog shit. Whacky cases, good for a laugh but when you're reading it the screen just looks dull and technical.'
'What is that one called?' my little protege asked.
'I'll forward it to you.' I said. There were a few clicks. 'The next thing we'll learn is coffee. Rule number one of coffee breaks: You never, never go out to get your coffee until you've checked all your emails!'
'In case there's a bug or something that needs urgent attention right?'
'No. God, no!' I laughed. 'It's because while you're out getting coffee there's a chance you'll come back to more emails.'
The sun beat down on my neck and forearms exposed beyond the rolled up sleeves of my business casual shirt. He matched my pace, falling short or long of my stride occasionally as he skipped to avoid stepping on cracks and lines in the footpath.
'Wait... why did we...' he started to conceive a question as we walked past the entrance of the Morning Aroma.
'If we get our coffees there we'll end up back at our desk in five minutes. Some break.'
'I didn't know we got paid coffee breaks...'
They approached a Starbucks.
'Here?' Dale asked me.
'Can't do that, it's Starbucks. Overpriced and people will see that logo on your coffee cup holder and know you've strolled so far.'
'Oh...' he continued to ponder the irony of this as the doorway of the Starbucks and its softly strummed indie rock passed into the background. He turned back for a moment, validating what he'd seen.
'So what we do,' I interrupted his thoughts, 'is we go to the Morning Aroma on Third Street. It takes ten minutes to get to, but once you're back with that emblazoned mug everyone just assumes you went across the street. One Smoothycino please.'
He withdrew his attention from me, taking in his new, now noticed surroundings of the cafe. The smell of ground beans and the sound of percolation decorated the place as well as the contemporary European paintings and rustic wooden furniture could. Although they did cover up the commercial franchise aspect of the outlet semi-succesfully.
'You too?' she asked him, probing him for a similar need for a Smoothycino.
'What is a... Smoothycino?' he asked, dumbstruck by both his ignorance and her beauty. She laughed.
'I can't tell you the recipe, but, I can tell you we take two shots of the finest ground coffee, dollops and Italian ice-cream, some secret ingredients and blend until we've concocted our patented, creamy, refreshing and most importantly caffeinated latte smoothie'.
If someone told her she was the national Smoothycino showgirl Dale would have believed it.
'That's brilliant!' he said, still perspiring slightly from the walk here.
'That'll be $8.50.'
'That's ridiculous' he said with less enthusiasm.
'It's worth it' I said. 'It will meet all your needs.'
We walked back to the office with our Smoothycinos. Little was said. As the lift ascended he sipped at it and smiled. Once we were back at our desks he checked his email. There were two new messages.
'I can't believe this' he said to me. I've been here, paid, for an hour but I haven't done a single bit of work!'
'Yes.' I grinned at his naivety. Now imagine that again if we also both got here 20 minutes late!'
Dale slurped his Smoothycino thoughtfully.
I was walking past a bus stop today, on my way to collecting Mum’s gift pack for tomorrow. Standing there was a man I have seen several times at the supermarket nearby. Usually he is propped up on a stool and making eye contact with people, hoping for donations to support people with vision impairment. In fact, I recognised him from exactly two days ago when I’d swung into Woolworths to buy some food before uni.
Normally you can walk silently past these loose change pocket personifications on your way out of the supermarket, but last Thursday he had engaged me.
‘How’s it going mate?’ he’d said.
‘Yeah not bad’ I’d replied, as an acknowledgement of the question more than an answer. I then kept pace and walked off. I didn’t have anything against supporting blind people - according to my inner monologue - I just show that support in other ways and I didn’t want to donate money to possibly non-approved charities that lacked tax-deductible donation forms.
This had seemed to satisfy me as I didn’t think about it for the rest of the day.
So despite him not being perched on his stool today, I still cringed slightly as I tried to pass the bus stop and heard a familiar ‘How’s it going buddy?’
However this time it was quickly followed by a follow up question: ‘Can you tell me when the next bus is coming?’
I was confused, as the man had been standing by the posted timetable for at least the 30 seconds I had been approaching him.
‘I’m vision impaired’ he concluded.
Oh, it all made sense now; he was passionate about collecting money for vision-impaired people because he too was vision impaired.
After a few moments of interpreting the timetable and relaying the results to him I was able to walk away confident that he knew how long to wait until the next bus.
I knew then that I had been right earlier in considering myself a person who supported the vision impaired in non-financial ways. Thus I felt good about myself.
I feel it necessary to share the lesson I learnt about giving today. You don’t need to be ashamed about ignoring the charity collectors out the front of the supermarket anymore, because he can’t even really see you. He’s just heard the sound of your footsteps.
They say in this world it's not what you know but who you know. That's been holding pretty true so far. When it comes to getting what I want I've usually been able to find the right network connection to get it.
This was applied today when I used my technical network knowledge to interpersonally crack the Splendour in the Grass online queue for tickets and stroll up to the ticket booth in the same way, albeit not physically, that I got Big Day Out tickets earlier this year from behind the museum. Except this time it was at the peak of demand instead of the trough...
Where am I going with this? I don't care! I got Splendour in the Grass tickets! It's awesome; I have been so pumped all day. A Twisted Delight has helped prolong the enjoyment long into the evening.
I'm going to Splendour! I'm 6ft 6 and I’m going to a two day music festival! Yeeha!
It was air-conditioned in the office but somehow being nine stories above the ground made Dale feel warmer. Through the windows he could see across the city streets and into the cloudless distance. He yawned. It was almost 10am on an armpit of a Tuesday morning and he was tired and thirsty. There were also a growing number of bug fixes from yesterday that needed their paperwork done today.
It was time for a Smoothycino. The law-blog's hilarious list of dual nationality mishaps was closed.
As he stood in a descending lift Dale pondered whether perhaps he was addicted to Smoothycinos. He was a very, very low-power executive and the Smoothycino was already the high point of his days. But was this really unhealthy? The more he thought about it the more he realised it probably was damaging his relationships with friends and family.
Dale walked through the sun until he once again reached climate control inside Morning Aroma's doors. His eyes scanned behind the counter until he saw her. She was the other reason for the Smoothycino obsession. Her blue eyes shone from below her bandanna. Curls of hair leaked out the back. She smiled as he approached the counter.
'Hey Hun' she greeted him, 'The usual?'
He confirmed. She moved to the back to prepare his treat. He strained his neck: to simultaneously watch her and to try and learn any hints on the Smoothycino construction process. It was useless.
'You know,' thought Dale to himself, 'I could marry a girl who could make a decent Smoothycino.'
This might have sounded like a good pickup line, but for Dale it wouldn't work. He hadn't even been with a woman since he started this job.
'Here' she said as she passed the Smoothycino, watching as he sipped.
'I put an extra scoop of ice-cream in, just for you!' she grinned.
Dale couldn't handle it. He had to do it. He was high again, high on Smoothycino.
'You know,' he blurted, but voice deep. 'I could marry a girl who could make a decent Smoothycino.'
'Really?' she and her eyebrows asked; the latter disappearing underneath the bandana.
What Dale didn't realise at the time was that Maria was actually only in Adelaide on a soon to expire Australian working visa.
Flustered, Dale persisted.
'I don't know what's the bigger highlight of my day...' he charmed '...Your warm smile or your cold treats... Or maybe getting my PsychologyOnline newsletter or the E-Legal webzine every Tuesday. Or...'
'Shhh...' she said, placing a single, coffee scented finger to his lips to stifle the rambling. Her eyes darted, counting customers.
'Do you have ten minutes?' she asked him. 'We can talk then.'
'I'm just going out for coffee' Dale's mind flashed back to earlier that morning.
'Of course I can wait' he said.
Fifteen minutes later Maria was standing close to him and finishing her proposal.
'It's just so nice here,' she concluded, 'and I really don't want to go back to New Zealand.'
Dales heart pounded. Dual citizenship immigration was what he'd read about just this morning. It was fate! He knew exactly what he needed to tell her.
'I love you.'
No, wait. That wasn't it. He knew it wasn't right as her face fell.
'No, I don't think you understand' she mumbled. 'It would just be a paper marriage. We'd work out some sort of deal; I could provide you with Smoothycino's. Or maybe tell you the secret ingredient...'
'Oh' realised Dale.
'I like Smoothycinos!' interrupted a handsome voice.
Both turned to look. He was tanned, athletic with sun-bleached hair. That cotton muscle-top did not look business casual at all. Dale doubted he could even get away with it on Informal Fridays.
Maria glanced at Dale, then back to the stranger.
'Well, thanks for listening!' she said, but to who and with what sincerity could not be gauged.
They walked off; Dale watched her go as the deep voicing explaining requirements for dual nationality faded into the distance.
Dale felt terrible. For the last few months the droll office life had been bearable with the flickering hope that somewhere, out there, something special had been waiting for him. Now he knew it actually was there all along, he just hadn't been able to accept it. Slowly he trudged back to the office, pausing once to buy a copy of The Big Issue from a hobo in a suit which was able only to compound his misery.
As he approached the security door to the back of the office Dale knew that he would be unsubscribing from e-Legal the moment he got back to his desk.
'How fitting it would be,' he thought, 'to lose not one but two of my reasons to live on the same day.'
Balancing the Big Issue and the Smoothycino in one hand Dale tried to lift his pocket to the scanner's level and begin his walk to the lifts. As the light clicked green he felt his fingers holding air instead of polystyrene and a moment later he watched his Smoothycino crash into the bitumen below his feet.
Dale paused for a second and considered shedding a clichéd single tear. But he recomposed himself. Things may be bad right now, but after all, it was almost lunch.
The only bad thing about Tai Chi is not really getting a chance to warm up before I start stretching my body into the shape of geese and flowers and dragons. As I drove towards uni, where my classes are held each Wednesday, I thought about how it would be good if I could get a parking spot at the end of the car park. Then I would have a brisk walk ahead of me to get to the class on time. So I prayed to Car Park God. Well, I actually just assumed this scenario would happen. Assumption is how you pray to Car Park God.
I pulled into the car park and received a flick of intuition to take the outer band of parks. I began following down the long, rounded lane. Early I figured I would just ignore any car parks that presented and accept with gratitude a spot at the end of the lane before I was spat back out onto the road again.
But as I progressed past lines of cars either side of me I grew worried. There had not been a single spot available. A test of faith. There, as I came back up to the road was my spot. It was bathed in a ray of sunlight, two spots from the end, the only one free. I parked, smiled and strode off.
All the other parks were bathed in sunlight too. I don't know why they cut down the trees there.
In Tai Chi they tell you to relax and forget about all the things you have to do today. I tried, but it was hard. I had a shitload of work to do due Friday that I had to try and complete by tonight. Following that I was supposed to finish (and by definition, start) my 2000 word research paper about entrepreneurship that I had due tomorrow for uni.
Twelve hours later I've realised how it is that my level of procrastination and my success in assignments both seem so high. I'm evolved! In my brain there is some facet, beyond consciousness, that does my assignments for me while I procrastinate. So long as I sit in front of my computer with my assignment sheet in front of me and look at it on occasion, my brain chews through what it knows and comes up with answers. Meanwhile I can just sit at my computer doing mundane things like watching YouTube videos or even mentally investing in today's tough Sudoku (which I beat, by the way). Then I just alt-tab back to my assignment word document and new information just falls from my fingers on to the page. After a little while I go back to StickCricket and like a microwave oven, there's a beep after a few minutes and more stuff comes out.
I can only assume I gained this power from the experience of doing so many assignments at the last minute over the courses of my education. I know that I've done that many battles with procrastination over the past four and a half years because my journal is half full with tales of them. I should know for sure, I reread most of it tonight while my hyper-brain came up with theories about cinnamon shops.
Tonight is my last, last minute assignment. No wonder I've drawn this one out so much. I'm going to miss this.
I walked towards my car in the uni car park, humming a little as I felt my muscles all begin contract and shudder as the gym cooldown began. A few hours earlier I'd been humming Mr. Brightside (or at least the Thin White Duke remix of it) and walking in the opposite direction. Sub-consciously I recalled this and by the time I'd turned my key in the ignition that random tune had come full circle and I was back into the chorus in almost perfect timing with my stereo, which started back up as I reversed from my spot.
Heading down the hill I looked up at my mirror and noticed I'd skewed it when I was getting in and I was now staring into my backseat. I reached up to adjust it.
'My life is a lot like adjusting a rear-view mirror...' came the voice in my head.
"No, goddamnit, it isn't just like that at all" I muttered aloud.
'I can see a lot of similarities between the way I drive fast-paced through dark, wet streets the way a rabbit would bolt through similar forests chased by a fox. The only difference is the technology. It's the music. I'm a lot like a rabbit..'
"BULLSHIT!" I reminded myself again as I was passing around the final leg of the course to my house.
'My life is a lot like my brain, always coming up with poetic metaphors that are unappreciated by others.'
"No!" I heard my voice again. "Your life is not like anything special. If it is like anything it's basically like According to Jim because really it's just self gratifying and inconsequential. It's completely devoid of interest and humour."
`Mum, Dad! Please don't fight!`
"Am I taking the piss?"
'Not me, I thought that one was a good one.'
"For once can I just drive home without my minding going off into literary masturbation? Can't I just think about sports and how much I need to pee and, you know, normal things?" The windscreen humidified subtlety from the force of my breath.
I was surprised I didn't get a response.
'I wonder if I will get pee shy when I get home if the painter is still working on the hall?'
'Has to happen now, I've thought about it.'
"FUCK! Shut Up! Just shut up and stop thinking stupid things about stupid things and metaphors about bullshit! Just think like a normal person! Jesus!"
'... I'm not Jesus, I'm only your internal monologue...'
`I am Jesus.`
`Just shittin' ya`
I hate you brain.
Tonight's schnitzel review pretty much epitomised the whole endeavour. It started out with a few people - Tim and Me went shopping for beanies - but by the end it was a thriving social event. I started out famished, but by the final review my thirst for schnitzel was long since satiated.
It has been five hours since I finished eating that schnitzel and only now do I feel like the constraints of my stomach are no longer being breached. I don't know if there is some schnitzel-like equivalent of a hangover but I will probably have one of those tomorrow.
Vow to self: Never eat schnitzel again.
Montage of schnitzel related memories
Update, 3:47am: Yes, this does seem like the kind of thing I would spend 3 schnitzel fuelled hours making.
I was talking to Mumsies this weekend and listening attentively as she detailed her wishes for her Living Will. Like the majority of people she did not wish to be kept kicking on life support and would prefer to die gracefully.
If it were me who had fallen into a comatose state - unable to communicate with the outside world and forced to live inside my head where I would probably be inventing sudokus for myself to solve - my wishes would be a little different. Thanks to soap operas I know that I will awake from my vegetation at the most inappropriate time for some of my friends or relatives. I also know, thanks to psychology, that my brain function will be extremely limited and I will literally be an instinct based animal primarily concerned with satisfying urges thanks to the shutting down of several key cortex's in my brain.
So it seems that my Living Will should follow that of everyone else's. That is, if I am a vegetable kept alive by machines, and there is little chance of cloning my brain and putting it into a cyborg, I should be put down. However with one exception. On the off chance I do become a vegetable I would like to be kept alive for 6 months. During this time I will not be shaved because I would really like to know if I can grow a beard just given enough time. Assuming a decent crop of facial hair can be grown in this time - and assuming that facial hair is not so awesome that it finds the cure for my disease - then please take photos and post them on my journal so the Internet knows what I could have been. Then, finally, I can be laid to rest. Please frame the best photo of me with a goatee and put it next to my urn.
God, it's Monday. I need to find a better alarm than 'Here Comes the Hotstepper' for the first morning of the week. It lacks the perk that, say, SexyBack has to kick me into the shower and get me out of the house in quick time.
I probably can't blame Ini Kamoze but I'm now crawling down the road towards the station stuck behind a good citizen who isn't running late for the train. Finally I park at the station and all I have to do is cross the tracks, get on the platform and I think I'll have seconds to spare. As I follow the fence towards the crossing at a decent pace I'm shocked to see a freight train speeding along the tracks, getting ready to block my crossing for the next few minutes.
Inwardly I am slightly relieved because I know the usual rule for the passenger trains is to wait for the goods trains to pass before they leave the station. However on the outside the adrenaline from the past ten minutes of rushing boils over and I stop walking so fast, roll my eyes and wave my hand, dismissive of the whole drama.
The freight train driver, who has probably been completely unstimulated since dawn, sees this. As the front locomotive crosses past me he blasts his loud horn with such startling force that even the first synth of SexyBack couldn't compare to how quickly I jumped.
Thanks, train driver, I think we both shared our most interesting thing of the day.
Everything's changing. Another season is over. Tuesday proved the best possible day to get my windscreen wipers fixed. Well, apart from the morning of. On a day of, and I quote the weather person the night before, 'Ridiculous weather' I managed to will my car through a storm to the auto-electrician to have parts of my car reconnected to other parts. Now I can activate my wipers and turn signals again. This indicates a good winter of driving ahead.
I have a new indicator stalk, or "stork" as it says on the mechanics receipt. I have a new appreciation for my education. Which is basically finished as well, though it will poke through the metaphorical snow of early winter.
It absolutely pissed down when I drove my car home from the industrial district of Blackwood Tuesday afternoon. It was rush hour and basically the entire rainfall of last year crashed down on and around my car. My CD player, the electronics in that still working fine, could not drown it out. As I aquaplaned around dark, windy corners and up hills towards my peak of a house I thanked the timing I'd chosen for myself. I pulled into my driveway and, to my pleasure, witnessed the basketball ring I'd fixed up and anchored a few weekends earlier was still standing. I cackled aloud at this point, content that while seasons can change I can still beat the weather. My neighbours could have overheard me swearing at storm clouds and taunting them.
Seven hours before the start of Winter, 2007 I had my appointment for this week with my physio. He has been coaching me through this whole ripped apart spine thing since last year. Today I walked out of his building without an appointment card for my next session. No, I didn't lose it. I don't have another appointment for my back. I have exercised six days in a row, three gyms, two pilates, two games of basketball since Saturday. Pain, like rain in many ways, can't fuck with me.
Yes, I have a lot of expectations for this new season. New positions at work, new positions at home, new homes, new cars, new not being in as much pain anymore. How can any season compete with a positive attitude? Not even cold weather can add an ache to these bones.
Also new this season, the next photos of the month. Don't miss your valuable opportunity to roll over. I never would.