Thursday, June 28, 2001

I have a new meme; it's just a funny way of doubling a scarf over and folding it through itself, but suddenly it was on everyone, male and female.
so I thought "I'll do that" and presto! I am part of a replicating technique or idea. fashion is a funny thing and sometimes it doesn't come from Vogue

Wednesday, June 27, 2001

oh, and the "unbeknown to us" below? young Gavin is about to find out that I do exactly what I say I'll do, and I'd told him that I was going to do that.
I expect I have some repressed anger issues and if I was an American I'd be in therapy. But I'm an Australian, and I'll just take it out on someone; in this case, the richly deserving Gavin.

did I mention he was so rude to me on the phone that he actually made me cry? and like any good feminist, I can be my own white knight: "I'll beat him to a bloody pulp for you, ma'am".

ps: that is a figure of speech, not a threat of violence, OK. although one sometimes wonders ...
aargh. the idjuts at the bin company ignored both my emails, so I got the nice Jim's man to take the rubbish away.
The VERY NEXT MORNING some fool turns up with a bin and thinks he's going to take a small pile of sticks away. My clever nephew, thank goodness, told him not to.
So now I'm heading for a tribunal hearing.
not that any of you care, but I'll just blog the emails since then - now that Gavin Eddy, bin master extraordinaire, has decided he can reply to emails after all.
let this be a warning to all you customer service people out there. which Gavin is clearly not.

don't bother reading this: it's just for my satisfaction and to get it out of my head so I can get back to work

Dear Gavin,

a few points:

The bin was not full to its potential; a large part of the contents was grass, which compresses easily, and it was not quite full to the edge. I have photographs of the remaining material and a witness (the person actually loading it) who can support that what was left was not a particularly large amount - it would definitely have fitted into the removed bin, but it was oo much to go into a domestic bin.

At no stage did I ask for an empty bin; the issue was not volume, but timing, and I suggest you speak to Mat about his definite assurances on that issue. He informed me that that the bin would be left for 48 hours, I checked with him again and relied on that and the written invoice. If that had not happened, we could easily have put the material in the bin on June 19.

You could have emailed me back, as I suggested, if you did not want to speak to me. I might point out that I was the person who stopped talking on Friday, and you were the one who said "I'm not going to listen to you." You seemed more concerned with getting your side across than with hearing mine, which is even more important to resolving disputes. The timing issue of getting the property cleared was crucial, which I tried to tell you and to express in my emails.

The rubbish was removed on Tuesday June 26, in line with the intentions I expressed earlier, so whether I took the calls on June 27 is not relevant.

I regret that you decided to ignore both my emails, but as I've said, I feel that I was first misled, then ignored. With no response to my two emails and with no real prospect of the rubbish being removed, and after being quite upset by the way you spoke to me on Friday, it seemed to me that All Over Bins had no further intention of assisting me or even communicating with me.

As a courtesy and in line with the VCAT guidelines, I will send you the invoice and my supporting material in the next few days; about a week after that, if I haven't received payment, I will have to institute proceedings and let the tribunal sort it out, which no doubt will be very time consuming and boring for both of us.


Jenny Sinclair

>From: "Gavin Eddy"
>Reply-To: "Gavin Eddy"
>To: "J Sinclair"
>Subject: Re: Gavin
>Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 15:09:21 +1000
>Dear Jenni,
>Thank you for your emails of Tuesday and Friday, I apologise for not calling
>you but as I experienced in previous calls it was difficult to put across a
>point of view, something crucial to resolving disputes.
> You were informed that we would get another partially filled bin to you
>as soon as one became available, this happened today but it was too late,
>(unbeknown to us)
> We left two unanswered phone calls on your phone this morning
> To provide you with an empty bin would have been overkill and more than
>we would have been obliged to do
> The driver who picked up the bin informed me that the bin was full and
>the chances of getting any more in it were unlikely. (thats why he took the
> As far as we are concerned, we provided a 2.5m3 bin and we picked up a
>2.5m3 bin that was used to its potential, and that we paid full tipping fees
>on. We have no problem with our conduct in this matter and receipt of your
>Jims Mowing invoice will not meet with payment.
> Your are welcome to take what ever action through what ever agency you
>see fit.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: J Sinclair
>Sent: Wednesday, 27 June 2001 0:24
>Subject: att: Gavin
> >
> > Dear Gavin,
> >
> > As I indicated in my email of Tuesday morning, after not hearing from you
> > response to either my email of Friday or Tuesday, I hired a contractor at
> > lunchtime yesterday to remove the hard rubbish which had been on the front
> > lawn of the property for six days.
> >
> > I understand that a person came past this morning with a bin.
> >
> > It's unfortunate that you didn't call or email me in the five days since
> > spoke. I did try to let you know that if I had a firm time within the
> > deadlines I was working to, that would fix the problem, but as there was
> > response from your end, I didn't have a choice.
> >
> > As it is, I paid Jim's Mowing $50 to remove the material yesterday
> > afternoon.
> >
> > I now have two choices; to send you a copy of that invoice and ask you to
> > reimburse me, or to go to VCAT for a full or partial refund of my payment
> > for the original bin, on the basis of all the events in my earlier emails.
> >
> > You can call or email me if you like; at the moment I plan to send you a
> > copy of the invoice and a request for payment, unless I hear from you.
> >
> > Jenny Sinclair
> >
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________________
> > Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at
> >

Monday, June 25, 2001

If I wasn't already married, and if he wasn't (I think) married, my back/neck would propose marriage immediately to my physiotherapist's hands.

it's like being a lump of dough getting put into shape.

oh, it still hurts. but not nearly as much.

Sunday, June 24, 2001

need ... more ... coffee ....

Dilbert says to his boss: "is it OK if I take naps during the day? Or would you prefer that I make important decisions while groggy and delusional?"

when I rule the world, the afternoon nap room will be a standard office fitting. strategically situated outside the nap room door will be a fridge filled with Coke, Mars Bars, Cadbury chocolate and possibly Tim Tams. maybe some sultanas and green tea for health nuts.
my quality of work is inversely proportional to the length of time since my last nap. or something.
ouch! all I want is to lie on a bench with my face on a paper hygiene protector and have my friend Michael twist my neck so hard and fast it emits a loud unnatural crack.
if you don't understand why, you've never had a dodgy neck, have you?
the pain, the pain...
yeah, OK Ev, I voted. and the superior numbers of Blogger are already showing.
RED ALERT! there are fewer than 100 Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombats left. they are all in one small national park, the dingoes keep eating them and they're not very bright. but they are cute and fuzzy.
unfortunately I can't find a way you can send them donations, but the researchers' site is here.
why don't you care?
if I haven't blogged over the weekend, it's possibly because there is nothing in my heart except anger about skip company people. Brian was only the beginning - Gavin, the owner, told me after two days of non-skipness, "I'm not going to listen to you". he also spoke to me rudely, loudly and at great length, which upset me more than it should have. I will probably end up going them in the consumer tribunal.
in the meantime, there is a big pile of rusting junk on my front lawn. I wonder if I can sell it on ebay?

Tuesday, June 19, 2001

the word that best describes my mood today: Feisty. Well, maybe angry. slept terribly, have a huge article to write today, and THE SKIP GOT TAKEN AWAY!!!
leaving us with a dead cat and lots of junk that was yet to get thrown in it.
apparently the driver's verbal assurance that I had it for 48 hours and the piece of paper which also said I had it for 48 hours did not override the original call-taker's failure to tell me that the minimum hire was 48 hours. when I called, I said "a day" assuming that that was the shortest (cheapest) hire. no one informed me otherwise. when it was dropped off I discussed the 48 hours TWICE with the driver and was v. pleased at the extra time. so we left some things to today. but they still took it away.
leading to a rather heated phone call to All Over Bins in which one Brian Wilkie said to me "Are you going to listen or do I just have to listen to your constant ramblings?" At which I asked for his name because "this conversation's not going very well and I want to take notes"
eventually Jim, the original booking person, got on the phone and agreed to provide - get this - a partly full bin for another day. they seem to suspect that it's all a scam on my part to get another 2.5 cubic metre's worth of rubbish, when all I have is a dead cat, some old tin and a few bits of Luigi's concreting equipment that is surplus to requirements.
you just can't get good service these days.
oh well, at least the argument about whether or not the driver should have said what he did, whether I had a contract and whether I cared what the driver should have said or not saved me a) cancelling my cheque and b) starting a long and boring fight in the Small Claims Tribunal.
one just doesn't take this kind of shit from people any more.

Monday, June 18, 2001

The most exciting thing to happen to me today: the arrival of The Skip, into which, I hope, my nephew will throw all the junk around the yard that's been bothering me. it sent me into a state of very mild anxiety about what to chuck and what to keep, and I'd rather be at home doing that than at work on this lovely day.
The second most exciting thing to happen to me today: I forgot to pack my stockings when I rode into work, and had to run about the place pretending to ignore my white, hairy legs for a few minutes before I got to the emergency tights.
don' t you wish you had my life?

Sunday, June 17, 2001

blogs I want to come back and read later, that appear to be written by intelligent people: one ,a piece about how the structure of the hand influences human history and Matthew who is on fire and falling still, but on a different server now.
maybe it's the crashing headache I had Saturday morning. Maybe it's the subtle whine of the fan and the way it reminds me of work.
but another non-computer weekend has passed, and I don't mind at all. the boys (Andrew and my nephew Marc, who is staying here until he works out what he'd rather be doing) are off getting a PS2 to occupy them, but apart from blogging, I'll be planning my garden and reading my book of gay Australian short fiction.
poor old garden. anything I plant would be run over by the backhoe when we finally renovate, so I've been "waiting" for a year and a half now. if I'd known it would take so long I could have raised several generations of chickens/tomatoes/sunflowers there. don't wait. it may never happen.
as it is, two beautiful 30-year-old grapevines will probably be destroyed before they can sprout leaves next summer (that's if we ever get a building permit).
But Marc got out there amongst it today, following up on what I did two weeks ago. Pathetically, I want to train the four remaining grapevines on each side (that's eight) over a series of arches and pretend it's like the grand allee in Monet's garden at Giverney. To that end, Marc dug up the nasturtiums that have run wild all over Luigi's beautiful brown soil, and planted them along the vines, where only two weeks ago there was knee-high grass. In summer, the nasturtiums will spill over the edge of the path in waves - or that's the idea.
now all I have to do is organise air that sparkles in summer, and a creek that I can turn into a picture-perfect water garden...

who's Luigi? It's a long story. for now, enough that he is responsible for the grapevines, the olive tree, the magnificently cared-for soil that will grow anything, the dodgy tiling and wiring and more concrete than you can poke a stick at.
As Marc's Italian boss on the farm he was working on said to me: "We Italians: we came, we saw, we concreted."

Wednesday, June 13, 2001

another search engine note: I have never written about and never will. so I don't know why my blog comes up when you search AOL for that URL. I can only assume their computers are slowly going mad. if you want that URL, why don't you just type it into your browser, huh?
just to get this out of my head; I saw an article the other day claiming that meaningless work rituals, like always using the same coffee cup, boost productivity. so far, so OK. but then it said that some huge number of people will insist on using the same toilet stall EVEN IF THEY HAVE TO WAIT!!!
now that, I can't believe. it's just a toilet. what did their parents do wrong when they were getting these people out of nappies?
the weather is normally considered not blog-worthy, but then again, most of you don't live in Melbourne, do you? sunshine, blue skies, driving hail, winds so strong they blow the smoke back down the chimney, bone-chilling cold, scudding fluffy clouds - it's all in a day's work here.
we have a saying in Melbourne : if you don't like the weather, wait a minute.

Monday, June 11, 2001

ok, I've shamelessly listed myself on the Blogger rent-a-quote page. the rave from which my quote is drawn is here
My husband is afraid if people keep coming to my site looking for information about netbroadcaster, I'll get sued. so this is to make it easy for the lawyers
you know that thing where you have so much to do you freeze like a rabbit in the headlights?
I've got that.
so there I was, for the first time in months and months properly riding a motorbike (bringing it home from the workshop doesn't count.)
this bike, a Suzuki GS(x?)500 is twice as big as my old Honda 250, lower but a lot heavier as well. there are subtle differences too, like the lack of a fairing and the way the mirrors move when you move the handlebars, where the old bike had mirrors on the frame.
I did a lap or two of the suburb, sticking to left turns (right turns are my weak point) and eventually got onto the freeway to take it up to 100 (k's, before you freak out).
and as I was toodling along at 105 with nothing between me and the bitumen but a 1/4 inch of leather and my ability to stay upright I realised I was terrified.
Then I remembered that terrified is how you're supposed to be on a motorcycle. anything else is suicidal.

In a funny way it's good that it's been so long. When I first got this bike, it scared me because it seemed so much heavier and to handle differently to the nippy but weak Honda. Now, all I know is that it's a bike and I have to learn to ride it. After 10 years on motorcycles, you'd think I'd be confident. No way. It's like going back to the start - take it easy, do lots of small rides and keep on talking to myself: "turn your head, check your mirrors, countersteer" and sometimes "TAKE YOUR HAND OFF THE CLUTCH AND GIVE IT SOME POWER YOU STUPID BITCH!!!"

Sunday, June 10, 2001

one more thought before I forget it; a line from a business article I read this morning; that people who don't change and learn risk becoming caricatures of themselves. which somehow fits with a line from Richard Sennet's excellent The Corrosion of Character, in which he said that change is valued for itself these days, with no clear reason why.
don't know how that feeds into my current work-related existential crisis, but I think it does. change; the whys and hows matter.
I'm pleased to report that this is my first moment at a computer since 5 pm Friday. It's a long weekend here (happy birthday to Her Majesty) and my body/mind have reacted to the very thought of sitting in front of a screen in an unusually negative way.
So we went to the market, shopped for a juicer and tech toys for Andrew, went to the movies (no, that doesn't count as a screen) (Best In Show, great characters, funny, btw), I went for a bike ride, spent many happy hours killing plants in the garden (the more you kill, the better the garden looks. Roses especially are the sado-masochists of the plant world - they'll try to spike you, but if you get past that and cut their arms off, they blush like willing virgins next summer), and we walked the dog a lot.
and now that I'm here on the PC, I've realised again how ANNOYING that whine of the hard drive's cooling fan is. Think I'll go and take my motorbike for a ride - it has spent months in the workshop and we have some getting-to-know-each-other to do.
my latest hot business idea: a weekend away/housecleaning service.
you'd need an apartment or holiday house all set up to deal with at least two kids - spa bath for the parents, lots of videos and toys, meals prepared in the freezer and so on.
then you offer a service where the harried parents can grab their kids on Friday night, go to this place, relax for the weekend and come home on Sunday morning to a clean house. even the most disgusting things - week-old cooking pots, piles of nappies, overflowing bins - would be cleaned up. the dog would be walked and the parents would have half a chance of dealing with their week come Monday.
this idea comes from my lunch with my friend on Friday when she looked at me and said "I just can't cope with it ... I need some time for me ... it's all too rushed" or words to that effect.
Two small kids, full-time work, an ill mother, deadlines... I can't imagine how anyone does cope with it, just with the basic work of getting the laundry done and food on the table, let alone spending enjoyable time with their children and getting some sleep.
And while not a lot of people have the money to pay for regular hired help, maybe from time to time they'd get desperate enough to be willing to pay to walk out of the house, leave the chaos behind and have it halfway-organised when they return.
of course you could only do this if you don't have kids of your own...but it would be a good weekend cash earner idea, especially if you're a clean type and have your own apartment the clients could stay in.

Tuesday, June 05, 2001

sometimes I just want to go up to her and yell "why don't you EAT something!"
you've seen her. she is thin, thin, thin. not sexy thin or naturally, Asian-style, thin.
her bones stick out from her flesh. if it's at the market, she's buying celery and apples. if it's in a cafe she's sipping herbal tea or plain hot water.
her hair is lank and floppy, her eyes are dead. she's not on drugs. she thinks this looks good. she probably even thinks she could stand to lose a few pounds.
it hurts to look at her.
a day of being pretty good at work has led to me having a blog-surf tonight. it's like floating around a crowd, mind-reading, especially when all the good blogs are updated at least within the last couple of days.
there's a blogger clone with a fairyfloss look at diaryland
searches that may bring you to this blog: On Google "pamela+anderson+theory+media".
on aol: ""
the former has something to do with Britney Spears and my joke about using Pammy's name to get traffic.
the second is due to netbroadcaster's shocking mousejacking tactics and a whinge I had a few weeks back about the fact they brushed off my complaint that their site sucked my browser into a mosaic of crappy popup windows
I'm sure neither search is satisfied by this blog.
such is the random wisdom of the Web. so sorry.

Monday, June 04, 2001

so much for not blogging when I'm at work. I nearly made it throught the day.
only two hours after coming back from my week off, I had a headache and sore eyes. this screen is just awful, and I spend far too much time looking at it.
between my essay and my job, both of which involve taking large amounts of not-quite-random data and turning it into a narrative often supported only by writers' tricks, sometimes I feel like a Babelfish.

Sunday, June 03, 2001

'lemon tree, very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet ..."
when we bought our beautiful house a year and a half ago, the big lemon tree in the backyard was covered in fruit - and bugs.
so we had to cut off just about every single leaf and twig and hope it survived.
now, on the fourth day of winter, a sunny warmish winter day at that, I've just noticed bunches of flower buds in amongst the new leaves.
"but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat ..."
tra la la. that makes me happy.

(I was trying to link to a pic of said beautiful house, but for some reason geocities didn't want me to put it up on my site there; and I can't be bothered with all that FTP stuff to get it onto my other site. one day I will rationalise all the bits of me that are spread around cyberspace.)

Friday, June 01, 2001

and because I haven't linked to many blogs lately: this guy is on fire and falling.
oh, nearly forgot to mention: after 15 years of having long, natural coloured hair (bar the odd blonde/red/black highlight or two) yesterday I got it cut to shoulder length and dyed red. I wanted light, Nicole Kidman-red, but I got a kind of dark glossy. well, Andrew has this thing about redheads... and it seemed a good way to farewell the guy who's been cutting my hair for the past 15 years. a 55-year career in the same job! even when it's your own salon, it's still beyond my imagining.