Posts Tagged ‘idiots’

Tower Time

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Today the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and Tom was in the mood to climb a tower. And so he took me on a hot date to the top of the Eiffel Tower. If that isn’t cheesey romance, I don’t know what is.

Eiffel Tower

The tower of love

We had put off going up the Eiffel Tower until the weather improved and today was glorious – clear blue skies and sunshine. Tom has a habit of making off-the-cuff decisions and so I was unprepared for the trip up the tower and chose to go for a run in the morning. I also chose to push myself on the run and came home to discover Tom ready to climb 600-plus stairs. My legs are a tad sore but I will sleep well tonight and wake tomorrow with buns of steel.


I live in this city.

At the top of the tower, Tom gave me the inspirational idea of writing a book on the theme of “Stupid Things American Tourists Say”. Joining the quote we heard at the Vatican on our last trip when an exasperated girl looked at the continuing stairs in front of her and said, “More stairs? You’ve got to be kidding me!”, today I overheard many American tourists gravely concerned that they had been separated from members of their group. Clearly they had buddies and were all supposed to stick together, but I really wanted to reassure them that the levels on the Eiffel Tower aren’t actually that big and the person they had ‘lost’ could only be within 100 metres of them. The problem with writing a book on this subject is that you lose the accent. Perhaps it could come with a tape.

In other great Parisian news, it is currently Printemps du Cinema – three days where all movies in all cinemas are just 3.50 Euros. Wonderful. You would think the cinemas would be impenetrable but we have just returned home from seeing True Grit and there were lots of seats left in the cinema. Tom went and saw some alien invasion movie yesterday and tomorrow night we’ll probably go and see something else. Have to make the most of a bargain!

Lettuce Ketchup

Monday, February 21st, 2011

It has been sometime since my last entry and I feel I have been disloyal to you all. But mostly I feel I have been too busy which is probably a good thing! Surely sitting in my apartment and writing on my website should be low on my priority list of “Things to do in Paris”. Items that need to be listed above it include:

  1. Climb the Eiffel Tower
  2. Eat a croissant
  3. Explore Paris and do Parisian things like spit in the street, smoke and walk slowly in the middle of footpaths.

What can I write about today? I have a few things I could mention although they’re mostly negatives. I think I shall have a slight rant about the French while mentioning that I ate delicious pastries today.

Please note, when I say “the French” I am speaking in a very general sense and it doesn’t include all of the nice, helpful and generally wonderful French people that I have met/know.

THE FRENCH ARE ANNOYING. They really don’t care about you in the slightest and unless they’re going to gain something for performing a task, they’re not going to help you. Even if you’re planning on paying them (eg. to serve you food) they still won’t help you. They might slam something down on the table in front of you, but they’ll sigh and whinge about doing it, roll their eyes and then go and ease their cares with a soothing cigarette. On a few occasions I have purposefully smiled big smiles in order to show friendliness and a carefree attitude and have been looked at with pure evil in return. My preferred tactic is to then continue being overly friendly until they realise they can’t be grumpy with me anymore and then eventually they calm down enough to wish you farewell as you leave. So thoughtful.

This unwillingness to help has resulted in our internet being completely useless. I feel like I have returned to 1997 when I used to wait patiently for images to load – tck…. tck…. tck…. During certain hours of the day (when most of the other residents have left) you can actually use the internet, but don’t bother trying around dinner time and at night. Everyone is sitting at their computers in their apartments trying to squeeze websites through tiny wires. I’m sure Steven Conroy could help. Anyway, basically all of the residents complain to the two women in charge of the apartments who then call the internet providers who send someone out to ‘have a look’. They ‘look’ and then go back to work and do absolutely nothing to fix the situation. Then we all complain again, the ladies ring, and then someone new comes out from the internet providers ‘to look’ and it just goes around and around and around. It doesn’t help that the French seem incapable of anything technical or mechanical or requiring any sort of manual labour.

My last complaint for now is that everyone smokes and it’s disgusting. Are they STUPID?? They might be annoying at times but the French are not a dumb race and yet they insist on continuing to smoke. There are cigarette butts everywhere and I keep forgetting about not sitting in the smoking areas (usually the nice outdoor spots). The worse part is walking down the street and being surrounded by people blowing smoke into your face. So gross. I don’t see any sort of end for it though. Young people aren’t discouraged in anyway and it’s so easy for them to get cigarettes. Such a shame.


Thursday, December 9th, 2010

I have to do deep breathing exercises every time I need to go to Officeworks. I don’t know what it is about that place but it seems to be some sort of hole of evil where all things that are bad are pulled into one big blue and white building where they interbreed and give birth to mutant evil beings.

You would think that a world of stationery and office supplies should be a joyous and overwhelmingly satisfying place to visit, and in my opinion it SHOULD. But Officeworks seems to take the t-a-s-t-y out of stationery  and all you’re left with is i-o-n-e-r (that took me a really long time to think of… it’s the best I could do.)

In case you hadn’t worked it out, I have just returned from a very brief visit to Officeworks in Subiaco where I went in search of some decent, relatively high GSM white card that I could turn into Christmas cards. A fairly simple request, I would have thought. But no. I had a few options to choose from but they were either too big, too much, too expensive or not white. I sighed a lot while I was there.

Allow me to list the problems I have with Officeworks:

  1. They never have exactly what you want. You need to be prepared to compromise every time you walk into the store. As long as you’re willing to accept that you’ll leave with something less than what you wanted, you’ll be fine.
  2. The staff appear to be goggle-eyed aliens. I’m not picking on anyone in particular but as a general statement they all seem to stare into space and not want to be there. I can’t blame them – they’re clearly exasperated that they are working in a less than awesome stationery shop. If I worked there I would be on a constant protest, refusing to work until they brought in some decent products.
  3. They employ millions (well, a lot) of staff but none of them seem to be capable of going on a cash register. Clearly at the start of each day, the manager assigns each staff member a job, most of those jobs being “stand around having conversations with each other in the aisles while your customers wander around lost, needing help or just wanting to pay and leave.” Today there were 6 people in the line in front of me, waiting to pay. There was one girl serving on one of the four checkouts available. There were then about four other staff members wandering around near the checkout either scanning items for no apparent reason or just doing absolutely nothing. Perhaps their jobs for the day was to make the store look busier and take up space. They were doing a good job.
  4. Officeworks sells a lot of things that have nothing to do with stationery or offices. Why do they stock up on giant bags of Minties and yet their selection of higher GSM paper is so minimal?

I have more complaints but you get the idea. The thing that amused me the most was that they had a special section set up with Christmas ideas and products to make the festive season more user friendly. They were selling “Card making sets” which contained 200gsm paper and envelopes. PERFECT! Except for the fact that I wanted white (surely a fairly common Christmas colour what with the associations with snow) and they only had green or red. While this didn’t worry me too much, what really made me laugh was the fact that in the pack you received 40 pieces of paper to fold into C6 sized cards, but only 25 envelopes. Sure, you might write long letters to some people and use up more paper, but if you’re buying a product that is titled “Card Making Kit” then surely the cards to envelopes ratio should be 1:1?

Well this rant has gone on for long enough. I should really get on with making these cards rather than just talking about it. Oh, and in case you’re interested, I ended up compromising and buying some A5 card that will fold easily into C6 cards, but they only have them in multi-coloured sets. So I’m reducing the number of cards I’m making. Or perhaps introducing bBlue as the new Christmas colour.

Advice for All

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Tonight I have discovered something that I wish I’d known about when I was a teenager. Books of wisdom and worldly advice written by Lorraine Peterson, an American history teacher.

Book of advice


I mostly love the fact that I can also read a book called “If God Loves Me, Why Can’t I Get My Locker Open?”. Other titles include “Lord, I Haven’t Talked to You Since the Last Crisis, but…” and “Why isn’t God Giving Cash Prizes?”. Buy them from Amazon.

And in Today’s News…

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Wow, what a day for the newspapers. All of those eager reporters will be jumping up and down in front of their editors, trying to score the role as ‘Official Reporter’ of the latest gossip from Federal Politics. Yes, it has been decided – So long, Mr Rudd. It’s amazing how a few hours can completely change a person’s life and I suspect Kev is feeling a bit shell shocked at the moment. Pity, I quite liked his wife.

I don’t have a strong opinion on who our Prime Minister should be because honestly I don’t like any of them, but I am particularly disappointed that one of the most momentous occasions in the history of women in politics has been decided by a popularity contest and a bunch of suits. While I would hate to go through the money-wasting debacle of electing a leader like they do in the USA, it somewhat annoys me that once elected, politicians who sit on back benches or who get promoted to cabinet positions think they have the right to revolt against their leader. A leader that THEY elected in the first place. This has been happening more and more frequently lately and I’m quite sick of it.

It just goes to show that really there is no one strong enough within politics to continue to be re-elected by both the people of Australia and their own political party. John Howard managed to do it for quite some time, and while I didn’t really like him either, at least he was consistent. Now Labor has to win an election with a new leader. A FEMALE leader, I might add. While I’m all for equality for women, Julia was in the right place at the right time. Whether or not she has ‘the balls’ to win the election and run the country, I’m not so sure. But I won’t be celebrating Australia’s first female Prime Minister until it officially occurs through a Federal election.

Julia Gillard

Her hands are a bit stumpy...

And in other news, a five metre long crocodile has beaten a three metre bull shark in a fight to the death in the Northern Territory.

In Florida (the real Florida, not the one near Mandurah), a man has been run over by his dog.

So much news and it is only 9am. Who knows what the day ahead will bring…

Another Troublesome Tale

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Following on from my sad story of being unable to use the word condone (I just realised my favourite word, conundrum, also starts with con and that is DEFINITELY a negative word. See? No wonder I’m confused!), this morning while sending an email I remembered something that really bugs me. I tend to use Helvetica as my font of choice as the default Times New Roman in Word just makes me want to throw things at my screen, yelling “WHY AREN’T YOU MORE BEAUTIFUL?!?!” Anyway, as a result (although I think this issue stems beyond Helvetica and into the world of most typefaces) I am often questioning whether I have typed words containing ‘m’s, ‘n’s or ‘r’s correctly. Because have you ever noticed that the letter ‘m’ can look deceptively like an ‘n’ and an ‘r’ joined together and vice versa? I shall demonstrate:


See? Ok well on my blog it doesn’t look that bad but I promise it has been an issue in my life. Ok, I better go and do some real work now. But here are some pictures to make you remember that there are people out there who are stranger than me.

Free firewood

Things just keep getting better!

Mundijong 8 Days

Mundijong – The only town in the world with an extra day

The Fate of the Internet

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Isn’t it terrifying when people like Stephen Conroy are in charge of our interwebs and yet they don’t even know what they’re talking about. I can forgive my 60+ year old ex-boss for calling webpages the “WWW pages” but if you’re employed to govern the World Wide Web then you should probably sit down and read a book about it first.

A comment on this YouTube video sums it up perfectly – “My portal! It’s infected by spams!”

The Un-Joys of Blogging

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Every morning I turn on my computer and check my email. Every time someone writes a comment on my blog, an email is sent to my Zaum account to notify me of the reader’s wonderful contribution. However, recently, I have logged on to discover I have 24 or 13 new messages, meaning I am either VERY popular, or there’s something not quite right. SPAM.


Spam, spam. Meat in a can.

If there’s anything I hate about the internet, it’s spam and I have discovered it infiltrates my blog just as much as my gmail account. Since starting this website, I have had 265 comments – 146 of them have been spam, compared to the 119 approved comments. For awhile there we were running on even but a recent gust of spammers has over taken all you good folk who have real things to say, rather than just sending me to random websites selling low cost medicines, viagra or breast enhancements. As much as these things may be helpful, I don’t wish to advertise them. Instead I prefer to link to wonderful websites like this New Zealand designer product website I found this morning – Endemic World.

Wikipedia is Great.

Friday, May 7th, 2010

I love Wikipedia for many reasons – mostly because it will quickly provide me with answers when I don’t know what something is and people expect me to and I don’t want to look stupid. But I recently found another reason to love it – excellent image selection. For some reason I ended up on the page for “Sweatpants” and discovered this image:


Three men wearing sweatpants.

It wasn’t the image so much that made me laugh, but the caption underneath just made this a very amusing insertion into a wikipedia page. Who are these three men and why are they drinking chardonnay? I encourage you all to view it in its full glory here.

Learn More Than Just Your A, B, Cs

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

I am taking French lessons with a young Parisian woman and she gives me one-on-one tuition once a week. It has been quite refreshing to learn French in this way – I have always meant to sign up for French classes with Alliance but the idea of learning it in a classroom with a workbook and homework just doesn’t appeal. This has been the perfect solution. Today in the midst of a discussion about verb conjugation, she stopped, threw down her pen and said in a lovely French accent, “I wont yoo too explain somefink too me.”

She continued on to explain her exasperation about adult Australians not understanding or being able to point out what the subjects and verbs in sentences are. “Why is dis??!!”

I had to apologise on behalf of the Australian education system and explain that this is no longer taught in schools. I do not recall ever being told about subjects and objects and it was only through my own investigation and through learning French that I have learnt these concepts. It is terrifying to think about how rapidly the English language is deteriorating within Australia. As each generation passes through school, teachers know less and less about how to teach these basic concepts. I am so often horrified to read texts written by people who are supposedly intelligent, well educated folk and they don’t know how to form simple sentences. If you’re reading this and don’t know what an adjective is, please go and find yourself a dictionary and look it up. Or click here.