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Planning for the End of the Rain

garden crushed rockThings have been rather dull around here as of late. I’m running out of socialite friends to invite around for high-quality tea and gossip, and it just gets rather tacky if you have them over too many times. I’d go horse riding, but the weather has been unforgivably inclement. I can’t even indulge in my favourite pastime of giving directions to our various gardeners to improve the grounds for my own amusement, because that would involve standing outside in the rain, and they haven’t yet invented an umbrella that both keeps you warm, repels 100% of all wind and holds a glass of chardonnay.

Still, there’s something to be said for laying plans, for when the weather improves. I could even combine it with a bit of retail therapy, if Percy consents to me ordering a few tonnes of crushed rock from Narre Warren. This might be irrational, but I feel like the best garden and landscaping supplies come from that particular area of Melbourne. I’m sure there’s no basis for it, but that’s often how shopping works: you gain affinity for places, and won’t hear of purchasing from anywhere else.

Now, the question becomes ‘what part of the grounds needs improvement, or a simple alteration?’

The driveway has become so very gauche. We had it layered with concrete last year due to the Taylor-Mentzkins having it done around the same time, and both James Taylor-Mentzkin and Percy were going for a large concreting contract. We got it, obviously, but now that the year has expired, it’s time for a change. I wonder if I can find the highest quality garden pebbles Berwick has ever seen? The surrounding areas will be a chatter with gossip of my newest home addition. A pebble driveway might look quite lovely in the Autumn. I’ll draft some budget plans…and most ignore them because I believe that I deserve the finer things in life. Anything to improve the image of Whitehall Chapel.

-Cecelia Clancey

Glass, Earth’s Greatest Export

frosted windowsIf there’s one thing the Earth is never going to run out of, it’s sand. There’s SO much sand in the world, and we’re actually not using much of it. So while the world might run out of water, causing us to have to make a trip to Mars every morning to fill up with Mars water to brush our teeth, I think glass is going to be the next big ‘thing’, as outlined in my keynote speech at the Futurist Club last night. I think it went well.

I mean…glass is something that I think most people like. It’s inoffensive, and commercial window tinting has improved the lives of many an office worker. Frosted window glass gives both privacy and a sense of style, and let’s not forget decorative window glass. Oh, no… in the future, no one will forget decorative window glass. As Earth’s resources dwindle and we have to pay a premium to bring in resources from the space colonies, people will realise that there’s all that sand just lying there, not really doing anything. Whole deserts of the stuff: just premium Earth sand. And so, Earth will become the glass exporter, restoring its reputation in the galactic community, as it becomes the main exporter of tinted glass, frosted glass, decorative glass…and who knows what’ll be possible with the glass techniques of the future? It’s possible that we can create starships made almost entirely of sturdy, space-age glass, making our travels through the cosmos both elegant and convenient for travelers.

Of course, Earth will be the main recipient. The office window tinting near Melbourne CBD will be legendary, in both the world and the galaxy. In fact, it’ll be mandatory as a matter of preserving culture. Yep…we’ll have a wonderful, great glass empire to enjoy. Give it about 600 years or so, and people will finally realise that glass is the way, because despite all the desert, they haven’t already.

-Jayce

Family Drama, with Dramatic Families

Sydney dry needling courseOH. MY. TRIGGER POINTS.

And speaking of which, oh…my trigger points sure could use a good triggering. I did something to my back while I was vacuuming this week, and now I keep having to disappoint Michael when he wants me to pick him up. It’s funny how little children just don’t understand injuries, but you know what’s even funnier?

It’s Vicky on Week of Our Lives, who is now living in her car because her ultra-fundamentalist family tossed her out on the street after she said that she’d like to do a dry needling course. Sydney is proving to be much more challenging for Vicky than she originally thought. Obviously, this was a great affront to their faith, because not only would Vicky be leaving the house before she was married, she would also be engaging in medical practices that haven’t been approved by the family head.

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, Vicky is set on becoming the greatest dry needling expert in the world. Turns out that when she was a little girl she watched her beloved brother die from an unfortunate incident while he was playing football. “If only someone here knew the fundamentals of dry needling, oh, woe upon this day!” cried the coach as he threw his hands to the heavens. Since that day, Vicky has vowed to learn all about dry needling and the like.

Of course, complicating matters is her secret half-twin-sister who is also one of a set of triplets, who has been whispering in her parents’ ears for years about how all slightly alternative medicine is bad, and also how Vicky has been prophesied to bring doom upon the family name upon the day she leaves the home. It’s a is a very specific prophecy but there you go.

Vicky is undeterred, however, even with her evil half-sister inserting a cardboard tube into her window one night and speaking into it, pretending to be the Spirit of Not Doing a Trigger Point Dry Needling Course, who promised great bounty if Vicky would give up her dream. But Vicky never gives up! She’s a great character.

-Leticia

The Worst/Best Kitchen Designs Ever!

kitchen installationI’ve finally found my calling. It’s in a video game where the objective is to fail, so I’m not exactly solving the world food crisis or putting astronauts on the surface of Venus, but let’s take one thing at a time. Before today the biggest win I ever had was when I flawlessly reverse parallel-parked in the perfect parking spot right outside uni, and a bunch of people saw me and a few of them applauded. No but seriously, I just slotted in like a foot into a sock. Smooth as silk.

But now, I might be able to add kitchen installation to my list of accomplishments! No, not in real life, because we’ve already established that. My brother and my sister-in-law are having their kitchen renovated right now, and I’m just glad they live in Latvia so they can’t ask me to help. Looks like total chaos, and I have no DIY skills. Melbourne has enough people in the world of the real who’ll renovate your kitchen, whereas on the leaderboards of Over-Botch, I currently have the top spot in that area. Which is to say, I’m the number one player in Australia when it comes to totally stacking at kitchen renovations and installations. Such is the point of the game, in case anyone somehow wasn’t aware of this mammoth of a game.

I think my skill is a combination of generally being awful at any sort of design, and also the fact that the kitchen I grew up in must’ve been designed by someone with a similar level of talent. When you opened the dishwasher, it blocked the plate cupboard from opening. There was one small (and inexplicably deep) sink in the opposite corner to the work surfaces, which were themselves a soft wood that burned if you so much as put a warm mug on top of them.

No wonder Mum and Dad sought to find some real, professional kitchen design people when they moved. Whereas thanks to my memories and utter lack of talent, I am now…the worst. And thus the best. Win #2!

-Barry

We All Need an Office Dog

conveyancing-Melbourne

If there’s one thing that would improve the efficiency of every single office across Melbourne, it’s dogs. Preferably puppies, but I’d be okay with starting at dogs and sort of…working our way up. Or down. Were I placed in charge of this revolution, I would in fact accept cats if there were issues of allergies. But everyone would have to get some sort of animal.

You know, some offices have dogs already. It’s not that weird for me t want to bring my one-month-old puppy into work, and for the record, no…I CAN do my usual amount of work when he is present, despite what my boss says.

Just think about the benefits, that’s all I ask. Picture, if you will, a conveyancing place. In Malvern…why not? They’re doing their daily tasks, conveyancing away, all normal office business, but it’s a Thursday afternoon and Gina hasn’t emptied the coffee filter and Brad doesn’t seem to think the rules regarding tuna in the breakroom really apply to him, Brad. Tensions are a little bit high, because there’s so much conveyancing work to be done. There’s just so much conveyancing, and they don’t know if they’re going to make it in between letting Brad know that his fish habits just aren’t on.

Okay, not picture the same scenario, but a two-month-old miniature poodle named Sausage is there the whole week. He releases stress, everyone adores him, and there’s a casual vibe in the office that cannot be matched anywhere else. Also, I guess if they need to sniff out any conveyancing, then Sausage can do it. Dogs are great at sniffing out stuff!

So yeah. All the conveyancing professionals in Mentone and beyond can thank me for that tip-off. And then they can get dogs, everyone will get dogs, dogs will be part of the office culture forever and I can finally stop paying for dog sitting because seriously.

-Carline

 

Old Lighting, for a Cutting-Edge Show?

designer lighting solutionsThe annual Contemporary Science-Fiction and Fantasy Fashion Show must go on, even if the old, worn-out lighting from yesteryear totally fails us. And I’ve SAID it in the past, but we need to move the venue. I know people think sci-fi and fantasy fashion isn’t as ‘important’ as regular fashion, but actually, it’s the way of the future and doesn’t belong in some old venue in the corner of the CBD. We’ll have our time, just you wait.

And hopefully, we’ll have some designer lighting solutions that actually work. I think the last time anyone did any lighting servicing in this building was during the war, which explains why it’s utilitarian and threadbare. We’ve done our best to doll it up for the fashion show, but it’s still not ideal. It was even less ideal this year when the lights finally gave out, after so any decades of service. Things only worked out here because the show was almost over, and the collection being displayed was of Volcanesca, Dragon Lady of the Forsaken South. The outfits were all dragon themed, which was a point of pride for this particular show. But just as the girl wearing the primary Volcanesca dress was about to come out…no more lights. Someone pulled a lighter out of their pocket and held it up to see, and then everyone started doing it, thinking it was part of the show. So the dragon collection was illuminated by fire…which turned out great. Must note that for next year, alongside ‘look into some serious commercial LED lighting for Melbourne‘, because seriously, what’s more important for a fashion show than light? People come there to see the outfits, represented in perfect clarity, so that they can buy loads of stock and the show can continue. I’d say some LED lights that really do work- and were made in this millenium- would be pretty helpful.

-Arteria

Boating, a Matter for the Earth

Melbourne outboard repairsThis business about outboard motors is foolish, and I must remember to reprimand our brother for bringing it up. No, we will not be travelling around in ships, much like the ships of Earth. Travelling between Moon Domes will be an affair for buggies and possibly short-range rockets, if the distance is far enough. Sometimes people let their imaginations run away from them, creating fantastical scenarios that have no bearing on real life. So foolish.

Now, we have to think about the potential Earth team while the rest of us travel to a new Lunar Kingdom where we’ll start a new society based on the words of our glorious-yet-unseen leader.

Yes. Anyway.

If this brother thinks outboard motor servicing in Melbourne is such a great boon, then perhaps they should be part of the Earth team instead of bringing their dangerous ideas to the Lunar Kingdom. Everyone seems to be floating around in boats nowadays…that’ll serve them nicely. And I’m not saying we’re NEVER going to apply real-world motor principles to our space travel, especially since we’ll be refining short-length travel in a vacuum to a far higher degree than ever before. Perhaps the principles of anchor winches and outboard motors will serve us well in the coming times of great bounty and wonder. Still, we have to work with what we have, and what we have are standard moon roamers. Well, we WILL have standard moon roamers, once the folks over in engineering manage to complete them. We gave them enough aluminium.

Melbourne’s best outboard motor repair is just fine for a planet covered in seas and oceans, but we will not need such things in the new world. The lunar ocean is just a phrase. Keep boating where it belongs on Earth. Honestly, people believe the silliest things.

-Cyrus

That Chic Look for Our Walls

designer custom wallpaperI was in another cafe this week, and I saw something truly awful. A cafe’s main draw should be from three things: quality of the produce, hospitality of the staff, and the atmosphere. The coffee was pretty nice, the people at the counter seemed friendly enough…but they had pictures on the walls with the picture continuing into the frame. If you’re struggling to picture why that’s so offensively grotesque, just look it up. It’s awful.

Alright, so 2/3. It’s made me think about what we can be doing to make the cafe more inviting. This new level thing is already taking over most of the future plans, but I’ve always been pushing for a feature wall. Features walls are about as chic as it gets. I have some connections in Melbourne’s cutting edge designer wallpaper industry- which is so cutting-edge that you probably hadn’t heard of it- and I’ve already thought up some designs to make the place look glam. Even more glam than it already does, of course. I’m thinking a dark blue for the back wall, and we can do that thing they do in fancy restaurants- or any restaurants, really- where they hang up pictures of famous people. We don’t get so many of those, unless you count the occasional ‘Week of Our Lives’ star, but we could think of something that compliments the wallpaper. Now that we’re hiring out the place in the evenings, maybe we could start posting really excellent shots of the various events. You know, only the REALLY good ones, to make it look like this is an ultra-happening place where everyone wants to have their events. To be honest, that’s mostly true right now. But it can always be better, and some designer wallpaper could be what tips us over the edge from ‘chic’ into ‘ultra-chic’. There’s got to be a dividing line somewhere. Wallpaper could make all the difference.

-Billie

Conflicts in Space Have Real Ramifications

indoor play centre BentleighIf you ask me, the latest ‘Space Conflicts’ movie is highly unsuitable for children. Not because of violence, or adult themes. No…I just don’t want my  child viewing something that’s such an insult to the Space Conflicts canon. They’re get the first three, MAYBE the prequels, and the first sequel if I’m feeling generous. And then when they turn eighteen, they can make their own decisions about what to see. Until then, I’m putting my foot down. No child of mine is going to see The Penultimate Space Wizard.

And to think, half the mum’s group DEFENDS that rubbish. I have to go along to the club at the indoor play centre in Bentleigh East, every single week. The kids love it, and that’s fine- I’d do anything for them- but if it means I have to share a play centre with people who are SO wrong…I don’t know if I can really do it. Maybe we can find another indoor play centre, with people who aren’t quite so wrong. The play equipment will be essentially the same, but otherwise it’ll be pretty great. You’ll all see, so you will.

I’ll need to transfer birthday party venues as well. I don’t really like the idea of my children having joyous celebrations with people who clearly have so little of the spirit of celebration in their hearts. I bet they’ve passed on their wrong, so terribly wrong ways to their children. You know what? I think I need a new Mum’s group, because half of these ladies are a lost cause. The loyal, correct few will break away, find another indoor play centre and start anew. We’ll have great discussions where we exclusively talk about things upon which we all agree. And when it comes to kids birthday party venues in Melbourne, I’m sure we could find another one. Little Kelly is just going to have to find some new friends. More wholesome ones, I hope.

-Diana

Hair Today, On Fire Tomorrow

hair stylistsSomeone did it. Some crazy person actually did it.

I’m not the most avid fan of Lizard’s Lair, but I will catch it on occasion if I’m doing some ironing, or maybe assembling some flat-pack furniture. I tell myself it’s because of the wacky inventions and the innovation, but really, it’s just good fun to see the judges tearing people to shreds. And this…was one of those times.

I had my tea, I had a table/chair combo that needed assembling, and THEY had a helmet that supposedly styled your hair for you.

Silly. Ridiculous. Foolish. It was all of these things. Worst thing was that one of the panellists is notorious for having a long and varied career, and she used to own her own hair salon.  In St James Place where all the best shopping is located!  Anyway, she plays the middle-ground role of the one who’s tough but fair, and she raised some important questions about the actual viability of the product when creating elaborate hairstyles. The mean one said it was preposterous (always so mean!) and the nice one said it was time to give them a chance to try it out.

So this poor, bespectacled fellow had to stick the helmet onto his own head, promising all the way that ‘it would do the job of a thousand hairdressers’. Long story short: the thing caught fire, his hair caught fire, he put it out with his own product blueprints and then tried to show the panel that his hair had been flawlessly transformed from stray curls to wavy curls. And on that day, some amusing television was created. I was pretty satisfied, although I have my hair salon located in South Melbourne, I don’t think I’ll be giving to this guy’s donation page any time soon. Good idea, just…some poor execution that only the finest, trashiest reality television could produce.

-N