Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

So, it's 9.30pm on New Year Eve, 2010, and I'm in bed, laptop on my, um, lap, getting ready to turn in. No wild parties for me - kids and middle age put an end to that.

I justifiy the lack of  night life by telling myself that I partied enough between the ages of 16 and 30 that I pretty much wore myself out. And, you know what, I don't even miss it that much.

I've had some interesting New Year's Eves in my time. I have memories of being a kid, at the Tuncurry Caravan Park and being allowed to stay up till midnight. My cousins and I used to tie tin cans to pieces of rope and run around the park, making such a racket, I'm surprised no-one throttled us.

Then there was New Years Eve, 1984, when some of my more erudite friends rented out room 101 at a Delhi Hotel and threw a fairly wild party. Boy did we think we were clever..Room 101, 1984...but just because a high schooler is well read, doesn't mean he or she is won't pass out drunk in the bathtub (I'm looking at you, Hugo!).

There are also some that are memorable for the wrong reasons. Like the millenium New Years. There I was, at work, waiting for the electricity system to fail. It didn't and I got to send out a "nothing happening" press release at 2am.

And there are those New Years' I'd rather forget . Years at street parties, house parties, on the beach, at pubs. Mostly trying really hard to have the Best. Time. Ever. And usually failing. There's such pressure on that one night!

I guess I should mention the best New Years (in case the Winemaker is reading). It was December 31, 1995, wth my two girlfriends, spying a couple of good lookers across a not-very-crowded bar. I believe my friend offered them a slow comfortable screw (the cocktail - get your minds out of the gutter!). We got chatting, we exchanged details, I whipped their arses in Daytona 500, and six years later, I married one of them.

A lot has happened in those 15 years, there have been ups and downs and some big challeges to overcome, but I wouldn't change a thing. Happy anniversary to my best friend.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Searching for the inner geek

There have not been many times in my life when I truly wish I was a geek. When I wish I had spent more time learning how these darn things work, rather than wasting time on the three R's (in my case, reading, writing and reading again).

Unfortunately, today was one of those rare days. I got infected. A damn spyware trojan landed on my computer courtesy of clicking a Google link to an online toy store (look out for Don't say you haven't been warned).

The spyware, Security Shield, was a bitch. All day long it has been popping up on my screen with warning about my computer not being protected yada yada. The problem is, it pops up about every 10 seconds, which makes productivity a tad impossible. I'm sure it was potentally harmful as well, but, if you don't mind me swearing, it was mainly just fucking annoying.

After a day of yelling at the computer, I am hoping Google solved my problem. I started in safe mode and downloaded something called Safe Returner, which seems to have worked so far. So if you see this....

you've been infected. Don't waste a day yelling at the screen.

See, if I had more geek genes my day wold have gone far more smoothly. And I might even have got some work done.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Single parenting - or what time is too early for wine?

As we hardened souls know, love wanes. As much as our life-partners are important to us, it may well be that love won't keep us together.

I'll tell you what will, though, the horrifying thought of single parenting.

The winemaker was very ill for a few days last week and was fundamentally bedridden, which meant I was, for all intents and purposes, a single parent for three days. And it just about killed me. I was desperate for the kids to be in bed  by 7.30pm so I could collapse on the couch, wine in hand, with trash TV and a Lean Cuisine for company.

I have always had the utmost respect for single parents who successfully -  on the surface at least - charter their family on the course of life without the assistance of another grown up. They have no-one to clean up the sick all over the bed sheets while they throw the toddler in the bath; no-one to hand them a glass of wine and takeover when the going gets tough; no-one to celebrate the small victories with. Having an extra pair of hands at times like this makes up for all the petty disagreements about discipline and the kids' diet and whose turn it is to cook dinner.

My single parent friends - every one of them an inspiration - tell me that they do it because they have to. Which is understandable, and I am sure I would do if it I had to as well. Thankfully, I don't.

When the winemaker improved, I mentioned that he was stuck with me as there was no way I was doing this alone. He seemed resigned to his fate.

So this goes someway towards explaining why I haven't blogged for a while - illness, work pressures, exhaustion. Damn that real life for intruding!