Archive for May, 2011

25
May
11

change please!

Today, as the clouds have cleared (on behalf of that bastard wind (and I’m not even that close to Clayton)) and the sun is shining (clearly misleading me in terms of the temperature and therefore my layering skills), I have come to two realisations.

Firstly, I may possibly have been working at Coles for too long, and secondly, I must give off the illusion that I have lots of money and am either very generous and/or can be scared into giving people money/my time.

How so?

This afternoon, I am standing in a packed tram stop (it’s not even Flinders Street) because some tram has had some kind of breakdown. I stare blankly across the road, hands stuffed in pockets, the wind blowing my hair (and wrecking the fringe) about the place. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I notice an approaching figure. Turning slightly, I am faced with an apparently poor lady wearing a beanie (I don’t know why I am mentioning the beanie – it wasn’t even one of those cute animal ones people are wearing on their heads). She is in my face. Really. Personal space!

Pulling out a headphone, and taking a step back she shoves her hand up to my eye level and shows me a few ten and five cent coins. ‘Can I have some change?’ she enquires.

Normal person first thought: ‘oh this woman is clearly poor and begging for money so she can buy something to eat/drink/smoke, I shall consider whether I can and will donate to her small change fund. Oh, decisions!’

Amanda thought: ‘change for what? I don’t have a 50cent coin to change your money for. I’m not at work, I can’t open the register’.

‘Eh, what?’ I ask back, clearly still entertaining above thought.

‘Change, to eat’ she states back, even motioning an eating gesture. ‘Oh, I’m sorry no’, I tell her.

Turning around she approaches a second person, without luck. And then she wanders away.

She approached two people at said packed tram stop – me, and a man eating a sausage roll.

Now comes my question – why me? (I don’t care about why the man was approached). I am not entirely sure of her logic.

I am going home from uni, in a giant jacket. I know I look tired and considering I failed to do my hair this morning I possibly do not give off the ‘with-it’ or immaculately groomed impression. I thought this look would mean I actually look like a poor uni student. Ok, maybe not as poor as her, but still, a poor uni student.

Maybe if she thought if she got in my face (she was kinda scary-looking) she could intimidate me into giving her money? Maybe when she realised I didn’t even understand what she meant, the eating gesturing would result in me feeling sorry for her and therefore give her some change? Maybe if she had been wearing one of those animal beanies on her head she would have had more luck?

I’m not sure. I also attract those people who hang around waiting to accost you outside Gloria Jeans or train stations wanting to chat about Oxfam or Fitness First, (or if I am with a white person, those Asian night clubs/phone deal things – not racist, strangely accurate) and feel rude when I walk away/end up taking their leaflet thingo.

Hmmm. Thinking about it though, my first thought could be perfectly plausible… and it comes on the back of half-asleep middle-of-the-night Amanda fumbling around and reaching out to grab a receipt and freaking out about not being able to reach it.

…and on that note, tomorrow morning I am going to work to greet the old people on pension day!

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08
May
11

message error

Ah Mother’s Day. Another Hallmark special day in which one must shower a specific person with gifts and/or love and affection. And for those significantly more cynical, a day to turn everything pink and specifically label every-day normal items ‘special’ or ‘perfect for blank’ in the hope of generating more money. I guess it is a nice day to give the person who gave birth to you a present, or make them feel special.

Meeting a friend for coffee at Southland gave me a chance to attempt to achieve my shopping missives – buy myself a new crunchy (as in the sound it makes when you sit or squish it between your hands) duvet (for brilliantly comfortable IKEA bed mentioned in previous post) and/or quilt cover set and doubly, purchase a gift (most likely slippers and/or chocolates) so my sister and I could spoil the mother figure on Sunday.

After thoroughly enjoying my catch up and long black (with a little bit of skinny) at Gloria Jeans (why yes, I am a low-brow commercialised coffee drinker), I set off to go shopping.

Locating the quilt, and deciding i would look rather uncoordinated lugging it everywhere else, i decide it is probably wise to get it last. In Target though, I meet my match. The initial slippers I had been advised to get (something boot-ish) are nowhere to be seen.

Sending a picture to my sister with the only options (pink fluffy things or old-lady slippers) proves less than fruitful as my phone battery starts to die due to the fact that Target in Southland, Cheltenham, is actually the high country (thank you, 3mobile, now I know why this ‘Vodafail’ video is oh-so-accurate (and hilarious)).

I get no reply. Calling her she tells me she doesn’t know what we should get as the slippers are ‘weird looking’. Hanging up, she tells me she’ll have another look at my grainy photo.

I continue to stress out over what to do and decide to walk to the sheets section to contemplate the quilt cover sets. The prices shock me – they are significantly more expensive than what I initially thought they were going to be. Argh!

‘Eh, do you think I should get a quilt cover set for $100?’, I message my mother, as roaming finally kicks in. ‘That expensive!’ she replies, apparently just as amazed as I am. ‘I know eh, maybe I’ll have to come back tomorrow for a proper look’

My sister’s reply to another of my frantic message comes in ‘they’re a bit ugly! But maybe we can wrap some of those Darrell Lea caramel snow bars or something in them or something’. Ok decision made.

I stand in the long line at Target along with lots of men and their bratty little kids and purchase the ‘bit ugly’ soft pink fluffy (but ‘Mum will love these stay-in slippers!’) slippers and continue my journey. There is a rather decent crowd there too and, straining to see behind more men and their offspring (and actually a few other females), I am unable to spot any caramel snow bars. Spanner in the works. Normal chocolate or black liquorice (gross) doesn’t really suffice as my mother is having her own coffee in the city with friends and will undoubtedly buy her own stash. Argh!

I quickly get out my phone and type a message: ‘there are no caramel snow bars! Should I get fancier chocolates than Darrell Lea?’, intending on making a stop at that Planet Chocolate place two levels up.

My arms are getting sore – despite not buying a quilt cover set, I am in possession of my brilliant new crunchy duvet and despite being unbelievably crunchy, it is also rather heavy.

Continually checking my phone (now properly connected to the 3network) for an answer and nothing appearing I am fed up. Damn her for not replying! Executive decision – Planet Chocolate it is.

I select a few of the fancier chocolates in weird shapes and flavours, make my way uncoordinatedly carrying all my purchases up the escalator, and head towards the car park.

Stepping outside into the cold air I feel my phone vibrate.

‘Was this meant for me or your sister?’

What the hell, I think – why on earth would I be messaging my sister about quilt cover sets?

The realisation hits me like a giant crunchy duvet in the face. Checking my sent box only confirms my messaging disaster.

Fml.

Oh Amanda, you are SUCH an idiot. Who knew you could be so smart?

Happy Mother’s Day.

06
May
11

Let’s Play House!

I am one of those people who love IKEA. Since we moved into our house (almost 10 years ago now), our house has slowly, but steadily been accumulating IKEA furniture. Maybe it helps me entertain my (year9) aspirations about becoming a builder (mega fail due to enemy-status with maths and/or lack of buildery-characteristics), but now, since my latest purchase of a bed, I am sensing that there may be more hiding behind flowing blonde Swedish locks much like those from the Pure Blonde beer ad where everyone wears white/sparkles and of course goes home to their shiny IKEA-furnished houses next to that glistening lake.

The IKEA website tells me that ‘The name IKEA is formed from the founder’s initials (I.K.) plus the first letters of Elmtaryd (E) and Agunnaryd (A), the farm and village where he grew up’ (oh dear, research on a non-uni day).

However, smart Amanda thinks this possibly could be a lie.

Ingeniously Knocking Everyone Around? I’m Knowingly Entertaining Aristocrats? Innovative Kit; Evil Assembly? Interestingly Kitsch ‘Everyday’ Accessories?

Something is asunder!

They cleverly draw you in and then spit you out the other end, struggling to hold onto various items you definitely will find use for in the future. Definitely. I mean, that new gadget goes rather well in that new IKEA box that you specifically bought to hold ‘what’s-this-thing-do-again?/I’ll-use-this-at-least-once’ items.

What I have come to realise, is that they have turned what are traditionally negative things, into positive ones! Flicking through my (much-read) IKEA brochure, a key concept is ‘we have prepared the IKEA store for you to shop on your own’. YOU choose and compare items, YOU attempt to find helpful staff member, YOU find said item in warehouse, YOU pick it up and lug it to checkout, YOU attempt to get large products into small cars, YOU then assemble said product.

‘Customer service?!’ old Coles lady crows at me as I ask her to take her crap out of her basket. I bet she never shops at IKEA. (and I doubt my golf would love to have a flat-packed shelf/set of drawers perched precariously on top of her roof)

one way to get your package home

that's right, TOO EASY!

Anyway, recently I ventured into IKEA to purchase my lovely new bed. There is something magical about the prospects of shopping at IKEA for me. I love wandering through all (because it’s one long route you must take unless you find the sneaky shortcuts to exit (or for some, escape)) the display sections looking at everything and picking up random gadgets/kids toys/cool kitchenware on the way. There are also those people who, like in that movie ‘500 days of summer’, are pretending they live in beautiful IKEA-furnished house, turning on the taps and making comments like ‘I don’t know how to tell you this…but there’s a Chinese family in our bathroom’(har har!) etc

Upon reaching bed destination, I already had some idea about what I was looking for. Seeing all the beds made-up so neatly gave me hope as I sat, and then lay down on a few of them. Suddenly, I had turned into Goldilocks. ‘What about this mattress?’ my mother enquires, pointing to a much cheaper one than the one the website suggest I was suited to in their ‘mattress-test’. ‘Too hard’, I protest blatantly ignoring the significantly lower price. ‘This?’ ‘Too soft’.

And there it was. Pushing others out of the way, I made my way to lay down on the mattress the website suggested – the Sultan Herand! (Why would I ignore such sage-advice?). Win.

Noting down the location of all the separate pieces to make the bed as well as where to find the mattress, we tried our hardest to make it past all the other cool stuff we thought we could use to spruce up the house (including another blue glass orb (because who doesn’t need two of them?)), and made it to the ‘yes, (unfortunately) we need delivery’ desk.

The bed arrived promptly a little after 10am the following day. Realising that I had severely overestimated the size of the bed in relation to my bedroom (read: study), this required more re-organizing of my current IKEA furniture (and one drawer still can’t open the entire way, lol), to create the space to build the masterpiece.

Matching all the little screws and pieces to what was shown in the work, getting out the screwdrivers and laying down the pieces of wood, we got to work. A couple hours down (and trying to push the fact that I was bed-building instead of starting my essay), we reached step 9.

‘What’s this?’ my mother asks, pointing at a picture in the instructions. ‘The mid-bar thingo?’ I reply, sitting in the middle of an unfinished bedframe. ‘Where is it?’

Mega fail. Oh IKEA, you have misled us!

Frantically searching through obviously empty boxes we come to the realisation that it was an EXTRA piece we just didn’t pick up at the warehouse. When I had asked the packing guy if we needed the three bed frame pieces, plus the slats he said yes.

Clearly he meant to say: ‘Why yes, you need this bed-head thing here, and these are the sides, and this is the foot-end. Oh, you’ll need these slats here, plus this mid-bar thingo which is actually a little way over here, hiding amongst other furniture. Here! I’ll help you get it on your trolley, because, despite noting that you are in possession of a rather powerfully-built physique, chivalry is NOT DEAD (smiley face)’.

Anyway, to cut a long story somewhat shorter, a mad rush back to IKEA to attain said ‘mid-bar thingo’, a few more hours and some bruises later, the bed was finished.

Aaaaand, Amanda is one step closer to achieving an IKEA showcase room despite that issue of the drawer… The bed is rather lovely – only enhanced further by the two blue glass orbs and the blue dog toy.