Metal Hair

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been nominated for a Smashy Award! I knew that being in glam metal band would pay off – take that, mum. Anyway, the big ceremony is next week, and it’s essential that I look spectacular. I’ve almost got the outfit nailed but, as my peers will no doubt be aware, it’s really all about the hair. This shapeless ‘do (or lack thereof) simply won’t do.

So, it’s off to the hairdressers for me. It’s been a while since I checked into one, so I’m going to go to a place my sister has recommended. I’m not sure if this salon is really quite right for the task, but sis insists that they’re the best cutting, colouring and styling salon in the Melbourne CBD – can’t argue with that, can I?

What I want from them isn’t all that wild, anyway. For starters, I want them to dye my hair black (obviously). As far as styling goes, I’d ideally like to have my strands piled atop my head in a mountain that’s half teased and half straightened to within an inch of its life. Not too much to ask, is it? I’ve certainly got enough volume of hair for it. Needless to say, the updo will have to be done on the day of the ceremony, but I have an appointment for tomorrow to get the colour done.

Perhaps I can finally gather some pro tips on how to keep my hair silky smooth. I generally just wash it with some cheap shampoo and then brush it, which seems to cause it to frizz up. Sis has been on at me for ages that I should use a wide-toothed comb instead, and to use Aveda products (salon calibre stuff, apparently) but I’m keen to hear the lowdown from a professional.

Even if I don’t win the Smashy, there’s no doubt that I will have upped my hair game, which could put me in the running next time around. This might just be the year that I graduate to using conditioner.

Whither Goes The Weather?

They say that if you don’t like the weather in Melbourne, wait fifteen minutes. That seems all too true at times. I mean, it’s still summer – arguably, midsummer – and I’m wearing a jumper and carrying an umbrella. Just a couple of days ago, it was serious bushfire weather, with a bit of crazy lightning thrown in the mix for extra fun. Which brings me to my point, which is that the building I work in could really do with tinted windows.

Look at it this way: seeing as it’s virtually impossible to dress for the weather here, the next best thing is to spend the day in an environment that’s as responsive to heat and cold as possible. For that reason, I predict that window tinting on commercial buildings in Melbourne is only going to become cheaper and easier to install and maintain. Can you tell I’ve been formulating an argument for getting it to present to my manager? Allow me to elaborate.

According to my hairdresser, there are these stick-on films on the market now, which block 99% of UV rays, heat and glare. I guess that feature is more applicable on hot days (not like today), but who knows? Perhaps they can limit heat loss from inside the office as well. If nothing else, being able to reduce the energetic costs of running the air con on hot days would go a way towards balancing out the heating costs come the inevitable cool changes.

While I’m at it, I might even put forward getting some decorative frosting for the glass office dividers that cut through the whole place – they’re not exactly conducive to privacy the way the are right now, so they feel kind of pointless. Glass decor for Melbourne offices: what’s the best way of obtaining this? Presumably, there’s some kind of film-based solution for that too.

Heck, maybe this stuff can go on the outside of the building; the joint could do with a bit of branding on the outside, if you ask me. I wonder if it’s weather-resistant?


Mirror, mirror on the wall…

It’s one of those days! You know the ones – the kind where a client’s labrador puppy barrels into your studio and knocks a speaker right into your floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Okay, so that specific scenario might not be the most relatable, but I’m sure you understand what I mean. And to think it was only a few months ago that I had that new mirror glass installed.

Well, the show must go on – we have a concert to rehearse for here! There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of shattered glass so it should be all good for the kids to use the floor, although I’m a little bit unsure about how safe it is to have a vertical mirror with a huge crack in it. It’d definitely be best to get it fixed as soon as possible. I need a recommendation for someone who can do glass repair and replacement in Melbourne, fast. Any suggestions?

In all honesty, even though this is the last thing I need at the moment, I’m secretly a bit relieved to have something to worry about other than run sheets and whether we have enough child-sized purple bowler hats. The task of recruiting a glazier is a welcome alternative. So much so that I’m almost tempted to chuck in the concert and focus on jazzing up the studio instead – now that I look around, I can see that there are quite a few jobs I’ve been putting off.

For example, we could do with a new glass stair balustrade. In Melbourne, we feel more pressure to be mindful of how we look from the street; back when we first set up in Geelong, we gave virtually no thought to things like whether we should have our logo etched or sandblasted into a balustrade.

Anyway, first things first: get that mirror situation fixed. If the glazier is good, maybe I’ll keep them in mind to do some more work after the concert is out of the way. The Easter break might be a good time to have the glass on the stairs replaced.


TV back in the Day

What is the problem with kids these days and their constant watching of television? Yes, I’m aware I just said ‘kids these days’, which does make me seem very old, but sometimes it’s necessary. If i can use another stereotypical phrase, back in my day people spend time playing outside. Sure, we had TV and it was fascinating for a while, but it never fully became a part of our lives.

The internet was a distant dream, and we spent a lot of time being active. People criticise us for having unhealthy lifestyles, and now that everything is kale and quinoa seeds, maybe they have something of a point. That doesn’t change the fact that as kids, we were much more active than those nowadays.

At this point, I’m surprised there are so many TV antennas installed in Melbourne. You’d think with the coming of the internet, they all would’ve been taken down as people get their entertainment fix from web streaming services.

In the last few years there has been a surge in providers of streaming platforms. Now people can watch their favourite programs anywhere. This only means that people are spending even less time away from their screens!

As much as I dislike people just staying in and watching movies instead of being active, I do appreciate the culture of television. After all, I’d be quite sad if my soaps moved online. There’s one, and it’s quite terrible called ‘Week of Our Life’ that I’m halfway addicted. It’s the reason we had the antenna repair person in last week, as TV barely had a signal. In the program Francis just discovered that her husband has filed for divorce because she has an androgynous name. She cooks up a scheme to bake him a pie with his favourite endangered animal inside, then it all goes wrong because…well, I missed that part on account of the bad signal. I’m not sure if the Melbourne based digital antenna repair lady was a fan of the program, but she was very professional while I complained about missing it because of the broken antenna.

Zoom to the animal hospital

Peanut butter! We definitely need more of it. Zoom came back from the hike today totally caked in mud, so that was pretty much the only way we could get him to stay still. Just paste a bit of peanut butter on the wall and he just wags his tail and licks it off while you can scrub the mud out of his fur with impunity. And if you ever saw him when you don’t have peanut butter to placate him, he’s a different dog. You’d think he was possessed by the vengeful ghost of an interpretive dancer, the way he thrashes around.

But peanut butter is our salvation. Got that neat little trick off someone on Visage-Tome, and it’s saved our lives. Of course, the greatest challenge was the vet. Just mention the vet and Zoom’s ears go back. You can say ‘old army vet’ and he starts to freak out. Every time we go near our animal hospital in Moorabin, he gets a suspicious look, as if we could veer into that road at any moment.

I know pets being apprehensive about the vet is common, but I don’t really understand this one. We’ve only ever taken him there for really basic stuff, like health check-ups and one to see why his de-worming tablet wasn’t working. Turned out that he’d been hiding them behind his tongue and spitting them out…somehow…but it’s not like he’s ever been traumatised. The staff there are great.

It must just be the smell, and the weirdness of it all for a dog who doesn’t know what’s up. But then you stick a plate with a bit of peanut butter in front of him, and Zoom is practically hypnotized. All else falls away, and he suddenly doesn’t mind being at the vet. Which is good, because I’m pretty sure the emergency vets in the Bayside area can now see him coming and have the peanut butter ready. I just dread the day when we have to take him to the vet and they say he has to lose weight. Is there…low-fat dog peanut butter available, by any chance…?


Honeymoon Delays Over Dry Needling

At times my lovely wife-to-be just gets things completely wrong. She always means well, but her command of the world at times lacks logic. The results are largely hilarious and insignificant but every once in awhile she just gets things very wrong and there is a mess to clean up.

In the lead up to our wedding we’ve been doing a lot of planning and for the most part working together. However, I left the honeymoon completely up to her as she was particularly keen to surprise me. I made sure to show her my full schedule and work appointments but of course she booked us flights on the day I was due to begin my dry needling courses in Auckland. Apart from it being my only prior commitment in the months after the wedding, I had also alerted her to the dates numerous times and highlighted it on the calendar.

Apparently this was not enough notice. After calling the airline and explaining, and really hammering the surprise honeymoon aspect, she was able to change the flights. Airlines are suckers for loved-up honeymooners in a pickle. We were able to rearrange our flights at no extra cost to accommodate my dry needling course. I still do not know the destination, although my wife has assured I don’t require any specialist equipment. If there was a way I could change to a later dry needling course then I would have done so. Unfortunately it’s been booked out for months as it’s very popular among physiotherapists.

Last time we went away she told me on the plane that we were off skiing but she hadn’t packed any thermals or ski wear for me. It was a cold week. At least with the knowledge that I’ll have completed my dry needling training I know I’ll be able to relax and enjoy whatever it is she has planned. I might just pack some spare accessories just in case we end up rock climbing, skydiving or camping. You never know.

Holiday Car Hassles

My old friend from primary school, Edmond, and I are in the midst of a two-month house swap. We came up with this as a solution to our mutual need for a holiday somewhere far from home – that’s Scotland for me, and here in Australia for him. So here I am in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, waiting to hear back from Edmond about getting his car to start.

It looks for all the world like he hasn’t bothered to have this pile of junk serviced for years. He told me he drove a good car, but all I’ve gotten out of it so far is one problem after another. Now the danged thing is refusing to start, and I want him to give me the okay on taking it to a car mechanic for repairs. Ringwood, fortunately, has car service centres and also decent public transport options, so I should be able to manage the whole thing with a minimum of fuss.

I just need Edmond to tell me if he’s an RACV member before I hook this up – if he is, I might be able to get a free towing service or something. I mean, ideally, I’d love it if Edmond could send me some cash the fund the whole business, but I’m a realist – judging by the state of the car, I won’t be too surprised if I’m left holding the bill for this one.

Maybe I should just do the guy a solid and cough up for his car service. Ringwood residents out there: any recommendations for the best mechanic in town? That can be his birthday present taken care of for the next three years or so. And it would be less stressful than waiting for him to respond to my email.

I do love Edmond, even though he drives me crazy. That’s another reason to book his car in for a service, I suppose – it’s not like he’s going to get the brake pad replacement he needs off his own dime.

Dad Wants A Boat

It was bound to happen at some point. We’ve always lived close to the ocean and dad’s been fishing for as long as I can remember, although mum insists that he took it up when I was seven (who knows – maybe he was doing it in secret before then). Anyway, now that he’s retired, he’s starting to get serious about cobbling some kind of custom water-faring vehicle together.

We all think he should just buy one, seeing as he has zero mechanical experience, but dad claims it’s in his Viking blood to create one from scratch. I really feel strongly that he should at least consult with a professional marine fabrication specialist in Melbourne next time he can tear himself away from his beloved shack on the coast. This thing needs to be seaworthy!

Honestly, I think the real reason dad is so keen to create this thing himself is that there’s a bunch of custom features he wants, and he’s concerned that he won’t get all of them if he buys a boat ‘off the rack’. I’m talking things like bait boards, snapper racks and bow rails – it’s all completely alien to me (I’ve never been interested in fishing), but he’s super pumped about it.

What dad doesn’t seem to realise is that a professional boat fabricator will obviously be capable of putting together a custom fishing rod holder. The other thing he doesn’t seem to be acknowledging is that he doesn’t know how to weld. Not to say that he couldn’t learn – I have no doubt he could pick it up in due course – but I’m just not sure that a seafaring boat should be his first DIY project.

Having said all that, it’s great that dad has such an ambitious hobby to get fired up about. I wasn’t sure how he’d go when he retired from finance three years ago, but he’s proven himself to be quite the fisherman. Maybe I should trust him on this. Still, I think some support from a pro wouldn’t go astray.

Work Stress? Not Right Now

I’m okay with work stress. We just had a seminar- pretty considerate for where I work, let me tell you- where a motivational speaker taught us to recognise the seven signs of stress. Not sure I needed it, but at the same time, I was in the room with people who were getting stressed at the thought of remembering all seven signs. And then the concept of forgetting even one of them set some folks on edge. I guess it was helpful for them.

I just think I’ve always been naturally chilled. Mum had a few mental health issues after my brother was born (and if you met my brother, you’d understand). She went on a sort of…’family-sponsored’ holiday to Mornington. I think she might’ve been hooked up with a Mornington professional psychiatrist, just to make sure she was working through everything. But still, I don’t know if I’d count that as mental health being in the family. Pregnancy can bring all sorts of strange problems, both physical and otherwise.

See, with how much I work and the stress I’m under, you’d think I’d be a wreck by now, and they’d be shipping ME off for some psychiatric treatment. Or at least I’d want to lie on a sofa and talk about my problems. But…I’m not, and I don’t.  I just take things as they come, I suppose. I don’t mean it as an insult to people who go and see psychologists or anything. Some people are just born to cope with the many and varied stresses of life, and some people need a bit of help.

And here’s me with sixteen reports due, meetings all of tomorrow and a conference call after work with Lawrence Corp. They always go for ages, so I’m not getting anything done in the evening…

Case in point. Maybe I feel fine, but actually, I need a visit to a well-known Mornington psychologist where I can iron out my trials and tribulations in therapy. Who knows? I’m not the professional.


Rocky Start to DIY Driveway

Did you know that the Vikings used to grind the bones of their enemies for use in creating lovely crushed-gravel driveways?

That’s not true. But did you know that 60% of internet facts are total made up? I totally made that up, but the important thing is that it COULD be true, and it does seem to be the case. Honestly, the things people will believe just because they read it online…it’s astounding. Like how fifteen gallons of water are used in the creation of one pint of beer. I thought that one had been debunked in the late nineties, but it still endures among the gullible.

Case in point: my next door neighbour, Ian. Ian is getting on a bit in years, bless his soul, but he had his grandson set up an internet connection, and now he’s paranoid beyond belief. I just had a driveway put in- one of those nice ones with crushed rock, from a place in Cranbourne no less- and I saw Ian outside collecting his post. He’s not too mobile so it takes him a while, but he’s also fiercely independent so he won’t accept help. I asked him what he thought of my new crushed driveway- he’s usually so keen on DIY projects and home affairs- and he said it made him sad to think of all the cows who gave their lives for the cause. Apparently, he read somewhere that crushed rock driveways are actually created with 60% rock and 40% animal bones. It’s how the charnel industry stays afloat, so he said: sneaky backroom deals with aggregate companies.

I would’ve thought the charnel industry stays afloat by providing us with meat- which is still in pretty high demand, so far as I know- but Ian was adamant that my driveway was a carpet of animal cruelty.

Actually, genuinely unbelievable. I mean, that wouldn’t even work. Bone would turn to powder as soon as it gets driven upon. And I know the people who do crushed rock driveways in Cranbourne; they’re reputable and not quite so underhanded. Then again, I did just get a lecture from Ian about postmen, and how 70% of them are culled from the ranks of former arson prisoners. I want to know which site he’s using for these statistics, because it sounds like a hoot.