Monthly Archives: December 2011

To do, or not to do.

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(Surprise!)

I am so excited.  I actually have things on my to do list that have to be done.  Real world stuff, I’m telling you.  You know?  Work / chores / preparation for the next study session.  Stuff that could make some sort of difference to the world outside the web – or, well.  Well, it could make a difference to my outside world.

Gosh.  Um.  Count em up: There’s like, well, 7 things in total.

(Not entirely sure how they got there.  Could’ve been black magic.  Seriously).

And 7 is a good, robust, healthy number, isn’t it?  Deadly sins aside.

I got so excited by this new-found level of importance, I decided to procrastinate on taking action.  Leave the list freshly baked and untouched.  (Ok  – since we’re sitting in that confessional of truth you keep shoving me back into – mainly so I could blog about it).

I even wrote “Blog about the to do list” on the bottom of the to do list.

But rather than tell you about the ground-breaking material on the to do list, (don’t worry peeps: it’s sure to be best-seller material as soon as I gets-around to adding “Find a publisher” on it), I thought I would let you know I have done some things that are not on the to do list.

(This doesn’t mean that I didn’t do them –  those things not on the to do list.  I did do them.  Proving a point I can do things, whether they are to do, or not to do – lists be damned).

Let’s tick ’em off – shall we?

1. Marathoned Seasons 1 & 2 of The Office (US).

A few issues reared their ugly head when undertaking this not-listed do that my feelings wish to express;

* Reliving the angst of the (at-the-time) unresolved Jim/Pam ship.  Ugh.  Was she the biggest idiot, or not?  I mean… it’s ‘Jim’.  His adorability ranks second only to that of ‘Michael Scott’ himself (post season 1).

* Having my soul destroyed with remembering how much I miss seeing Steve Carell’s face on the tele-box every week.  (Settle down, I don’t have a crush on the 40-Year-Old-Virgin’s face.  Creeps.  I have a crush on his funny).  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not that Ed Helms is not funny.  He is uber-funny.  He’s just not Steve funny.

(“That’s what she said”).

* Marathoning with those guys made me want to marathon Parks & Rec.  (‘Cos, you know?  I love Amy Poehler as big as I love Steve Carell).  And that there, people, is heading into dangerous territory.  I cannot, not, not be marathoning with the tele-box all day every day.

(Fact is fact:  My feelings do not have the stamina).

2.  Made my way through the entire list of Triple J’s ‘Next Crop’ 2011 / 2012.

Probably no real cons to this one.  Good things happened to my ears and feelings.  This can’t even be accused of a counter-productive non-to-do to do.

(I can whistle while I work.  Special mentions to: Bleeding Knees Club and The Rubens).

Check the whole thing out, people.  I guarantee you will find some music to thrill your ears.

3.  Trawled some other people’s to do lists.  Incidentally, this has given inspiration to create another ‘to do’ list for my very own self.  Thankyou Write 2 be, I shall be spending the next few days in heavy research mode (read: catching big waves on the web world) to create my own 2012 Must Reads.

(Text books: be damned.  I’ll get to you when my feelings are up to it.  I am putting a keen focus on balance in 2012.  Balance on what gets put in front of my eyeballs –

I’m open to suggestions here too.  Please keep in mind though that I really can’t get oxygen to my brain when the fog of fantasy is crowding my personal space.  I huff a bit at sci-fi too).

Now.  Back to balance.  Where was I?  Oh yeah.  Hold on Eric Stonestreet/Modern Family… you guys up for 26 mile or so?

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Washing up at the wash up.

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At my wick's end.

(The one where I do not let go of the dinner party hosting – yet).

According to Angelfire, there are six signs of a “good host”.

“1.  Once seated at the table, no one should ever have to ask for a refill”. 

That.  That is a thing that is not an issue in this household.  Ever.

(Special guest stars – in order of appearance: Wynns Coonawarra Estate ’11 Riesling, Mâcon-Villages ’10 Chardonnay, Yarra Valley Sticks ’10 Pinot Noir, Macedon Ranges Zig Zag Rd ’06 Cabernet Sauvignon).

Didn’t consult buddy pal James Halliday on any of these, but they did the trick.  Enough said.
“2.  Avoid blinding your guests with candles or obstructing their views of each other with large flower arrangements or large centerpieces. Do not use scented candles- they can have an unappetizing effect”. 

Hm.  Possibly me and my feelings for candles have been guilty parties at other parties regarding this minor matter.

(Shut up).

Still.

My only duties pre-show revolved around all things floral and wax.

Whatever.

There are a lot of wicks to set on fire about this place.  A lot.  And I love lighting them quite frankly.  It’s not so much the lighting, per se – well.  Well, it’s when you have enough of them burning.  Together…

(It’s pretty, ok?  Geez!)

Anyway, anyway.  Appetites, spirit and reason remained in-da house.  (Plato still pops his head in the door of my life).

“3.  Help guests shine in conversation. Stop a bore from droning on. Steer away from topics that might cause arguments or offend someone”. 

Um.  Alright.  This is where we perhaps strayed into remotely Bret Easton Ellis territory.

But.  It is important to be topical.  (Isn’t it?)  Not our fault if politics and religion are waiting impatiently at Australia’s express check-out right now.  (Is it?)

(After all…)

We are talking the evening directly following the day the ALP National Conference went down.  The one with the airing of some interesting topics.  Marriage equality, offshore processing, lifting bans on uranium to India.  You know, little stuff.

(Stuff that’s interesting to talk about).

Also.

Not our fault if one of our (co-host and I) most entertaining stories to tell involves some great Jerry Springer moments.  (One headline reads: Family Performs Exorcism at Birthday Party).

There is that –

(Stuff that’s interesting to talk about to strangers).

Whatever, whatever.   I think the big things playing on your feelings and emotions should be discussed.  Out in the open and all.  More so to strangers than anyone…

Think: skewed-social-litmus-test here.  After all, at least you know where you all stand, sit, or fall flat on your face with one another.

Turns out: I think we’re all on the same page about many things.  T and L have not run for The Grampians… yet.

“4.  When serving, place food in distinct areas on each plate. If all the courses won’t fit on a single plate, make sure you provide an extra small one”. 

Say whaaa?

I don’t understand this point at all.  Probably got something to do with the fact that I can’t be bothered reading the whole sentence.

(Still, I guess I can be slow on the uptake).

Whatever:  the food did done real good, it did.

(No thanks to me.  I spent the entire time at the kitchen bar being useless.  Well, it’s just… Fine.  Fine.  I had my hands full, ok?  One hand on my iPhone, the other on a Bulmers, laptop on my lap.  Research).

Anyway, anyway.

Two different curries:  Vegetarian and a Chicken/Pistachio.  I’d give you the fab recipes.  Both from Crispen Pants.  But, you know, copyright infringements are my excuse today.  Amazing flat-bread to accompany (I’ll suss out the maker on that one).

Then…Dessert was this jaw-dropping stunner: Vanilla semifreddo with pistachio praline.  And…and… raspberry coulis.

(‘Like’)

(Despite my best intentions I didn’t get photographic evidence.  Too busy with my hands full.  This time with the wine.  You’ll have to amuse yourself looking at my candles).

“5.  Before dessert is served, the table should be completely cleared of all dishes from the previous courses. This includes wine glasses, salt and pepper shakers, and condiments dishes”.

May not have pulled this one off either.  It’s highly unlikely I’d ever move a wine glass unless it was toward my mouth.  The other stuff might have been moved though.  (I don’t like anything getting in the way of my dessert).

There are probably some other rules too –

“Make sure you cook the chicken” and “don’t glass the guests” immediately spring to mind.  We pulled those off better than well.

Oh.  Oh…

But this one –   this one we may have had some memory issues on:

Do not serve the dogs something different to their normal diet.  And if you do…. If you dare to… do not let them within 500 feet of your guests.

(Sorry guys, hope you’d finished eating by then).

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

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No.  Seriously. We might have to.

—-

Relish in newness of being a newbie.  Make a good impression.  Make friends.

(These are a few things we told ourselves we would do when moving to a new hometown.  Had the capacity for, even).

So, it’s important to get off to a good start, right?  Keep the ball in play early.  Not be penalised for silly mistakes.

We probably should have Googled “dinner party etiquette” before this particular adventure started then.

(Modern Manners and Etiquette tells me of the importance of the invitation in making “a happy host and a good time”.  It’s the voice of reason really: be clear about dates, times, venues – well, you know?  Some details that might be relevant to anyone expected to attend).

Including the hosts).

It’s just, well.  Well, it’s just unfortunate that we had forgotten that we had dished out invitations to our new best friends (read: only acquaintances we have had interactions with more than twice).

Yep.  We forgot that we asked some people to dinner.

(Scene of the crime:  The night before the 80 flies incident.  The crime that I refuse to evidence further at this point).

By some stroke of extraordinary fortune, fate, and destiny that we are clearly not deserving of…. Good Lady Luck swung our way again (albeit giggling madly).  The prospective ‘friendiners’ it would seem, are more up with dinner party etiquette than we are.

They called.  They called to check.  They called to check one full day in advance of the event.  The event planned by us.  The event we forgot that we had planned.  “Are we still on for dinner at your place tomorrow night?”

That’s the question they asked.  Thank the Greek Gods they did actually ask it I tell you.  If there was not a question such as this asked – well.  I guess we could have …..

(As it was, the question prompted a flurry of activity: frozen peas, canned beetroot and 6 month old cornflakes all tossed on to the kitchen bench in an effort to see if there was a chance in high hell that the event could, in fact, take place).

Still.  To my own credit –

It should be stated here that I have very strong coping mechanisms when it comes to being on the receiving end of shock waves.  (Don’t ask me to give you tips though.  As it is, I am in denial about my over-use of denial).

Anyway, anyway.

With our tails between our legs and remorse drifting gently in the breeze, we sat quietly in the confessionals of truth.  We told our friendiners that we had forgotten about those particular invitations.

(Way to make a good impression to people who will be potentially part of one’s future social life).

It gets worse.

We also had to ‘fess up that we had already run with the bulls and created another set of invitations for the following weekend… A set of invitations apparently that were relayed to other people when we were in possession of our mental faculties.  (“It’s not you, it’s us” – really the only excuse that we could offer up).

Of course, we (the arrogant duo that this household contains) still expected that they would show up the following weekend… even though they had not been in receipt of that invitation (mark two).  Confused?  Well, so am I quite frankly.  (Always and generally speaking).

No time for self-pity, though.  Because… despite the poor form, despite the social ineptitude, despite it all – This thang is going down.  Dinner party is in-da-house.

Tonight…

(And a sprinkle of irony from the measuring cup: the only ones actually able to make this date were the originals from the forgotten invite.  Karma really is my fate).

……

Oh, and in case I forgot to mention: You were invited.