Where the Grass is Greener

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    14 May 2009

    DNA is beautiful...

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      22 April 2009

      Auctions and Crockery

      Witness, the delightfully retro (or possibly just 'grandma') crockery set I got yesterday:

      On Saturday husband and I bid at an auction. The auction was good. Well, good experience anyway. Very much more stressful though because this time we could have afforded to bid more but didn't think the house was worth it so pulled out. We thought that $350k was a good price for the house but guessed that $360-70k was more likely at auction.

      Part way through the auction I was feeling a bit cheeky. I asked the auctioneer to give me five winks in a row to get another bid out of me, which he gave me somewhat embarrassedly.

      When we were inspecting the house I said that I thought the crockery in the kitchen would have to stay because it matched the daggy kitchen so much. I knew the little old lady had gone off to a home and jokingly said I'd ask for it at auction. So when I was on my cheeky streak I asked them to throw in the crockery, much to the amusement of the 40-odd people watching. 'The crockery is on the market!' was the response from the owners.

      All up there were four other bidders. We'd got rid of three and thought the house was ours but then a guy piped up at about $370k. Gah! I asked him (well, called out across the street) if he really wanted the crockery that badly. I like to put on a bit of a show! Unfortunately it is in the rules that you can't intimidate other bidders, so I thought masking it with friendliness would be the way to go!

      We pushed to $379k, he went $380k and we decided not to go more.

      A disappointment but at least we got the old lady a good price by driving it up!

      On Monday I had a call from the auctioneer - the vendors (old lady's sons) were disappointed that we didn't get the house because we seemed like such a nice young couple. They're pretty sure the guy who got it will just subdivide the land and develop (damn baby-boomers! they always out-bid us!). BUT they'd like us to have the crockery. So yesterday I went around and picked up my new brown floral crockery. God knows what I'll do with it! Apparently 'Johnstone' is a good brand and I could fetch a tidy sum for it but it has such nice story now!

      Ah well. Back to house hunting on Saturday...

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        26 March 2009

        When do you show your hand?

        Ah the trickery and game play that is house buying. We've found a little house. It is:
        1. Little.
        2. Semi-detached (shares a wall with the neighbours).
        3. Quite well maintained.
        4. New(ish) bathroom.
        5. Big yard (yay for doggies).
        6. We can afford it.
        7. Mum assures me she will still love me even if we do live in Reservoir.

        It is being auctioned in a few weeks but we're keen to make an offer. Problem is, I don't know how much one should offer. If I show too much interest they know I'm going to be willing to pay more. Clearly the price has been understated on their advertising but if I offer too much they know how high I'm willing to go and will push up the price at auction automatically. Basically, I feel like to buy a house you have to show complete indifference whilst still bargaining.

        I told the guy a price we'd be happy to start from (which is more than their advertised price) and he said it was probably too low. Which we thought it would be, but we felt on the whole it was good to start too low so that he doesn't have very high expectations, yet it shows we are still interested and want to be kept in the loop. But if we make a good offer it could be too high but enough to take it off the market - alternatively it could just make the vendor think there's lots of interest out there and wait till auction and drive the price up.

        So why to they always advertise such a low price range? Why does this all have to be such a bloody game? When you are bidding at auction everyone is straight faced. No one is bidding until they know it is on the market. It all just seems so fake. There are all these unwritten rules that you have to learn to play properly. Of course, if it was me selling I'd be wanting to get the most I could but it irritates me that the advertised price brackets never seem to encompass the sale price.

        Why can't I just meet the owners and charm them into selling to us? That would be much better. We are fabulous and lovely and really just the perfect people to leave their old mum's home to. We'll have lovely little babies that will grow up and enjoy the lovely little house and wouldn't it be nice if you could sell it to us? We just love the roses and we'd fit in so well! Can you see my puppy dog eyes? No? Let me introduce your to our dog Buster then...

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          06 March 2009

          Who Watches the Watchmen?

          Turns out I do!

          We went to the opening night for The Watchmen at IMAX as someone at work had organised a group booking. Being based on a comic I'd never read I had no idea what to expect. This probably was for the best as one is rarely impressed with transition from page to screen.

          It was a lot gorier than I expected (lots of hands covering my eyes moments) and there was an awful lot of penis on show (mutant human who is all blue and glowey so that makes it OK to show apparently...?) but all in all I quite enjoyed the story line. I liked that the superheroes weren't always very good in the sense of 'do the right thing' (yes, he's a kidnapper and murder, slice his head open with a cleaver, that seems reasonable) and did bad things in the name of justice. They were also very fucked up individuals.

          I'm starting to develop a theory that you need to be the product of bad parenting or be orphaned to become a superhero or villain (Harry Potter, Voldemort, Batman, Spiderman). Bad luck for me then. Turns out I'm not the first to notice - someone at WiseGeek had the same idea.

          The movie did prompt me to want someone (not me) to write a little paper on why alternate/futuristic realities always seem to have bloody zeppelins in the sky. So impractical! They don't strike me as being very responsive to steering, they are also slow and full of (one assumes) flammable gas. None of the characters actaully got around in one, they just kind of floated aorund the city. But what happens if it flies into a building? Do they have some sort of traffic control? Do you log your flight path? Are there air-roads? It came to mind during the movie because the Doctor Who episode this week was full of them (and they were in an alternate reality).

          On the topic of page to screen, I must say I am looking forward to the 2011 Tintin movie (apologies for the shite looking website, couldn't find a better one to link to) as Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are playing Thomson and Thompson.

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            27 February 2009

            Love love love

            heh heh - online shopping is so much fun! especially from the I Heart Shop.

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              twitchy, backward bending knees

              i have been feeling like i was finally getting into the exercise routine - water aerobic, boot camp, gym session and daily walks each week. my knees have always been a bit of trouble (hurrah for growing spurts in puberty!) but hadn't been sore since winter. coincidentally they stopped being sore when we stopped walking the dogs (waaaay too cold at 6am in Melbs). in an attempt to further the exerciseyness we started wlakign again in January - but the morning walks seem to have made my knees angry.

              i bit the bullet last night and went and had some physio for my knees. lots of massaging and pushing my kneecaps around (in my undies cos my pants didn't rollup high enough, v awkward). i had a weird electrical treatment in which i had two currents running through my leg and i had to turn up the electricity as i got used to it. lots of twitching muscles and very very strange feeling.

              now i have exercises to do and anti-inflam cream to rub in, another appointment on Monday night and hopefully i can go to boot camp on Tuesday. sigh.

              also apparently i have hyper extended knees - they go back too far. so as well as having lopsided knee caps and inflamed joints, i apprently have backwards knees like a bird. humph.

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                12 February 2009

                So distracted

                I've been completely distracted by Christmas, hot weather, attempts to get fit, lots of knitting, work and summer in general to be spend much time on the interwebs.

                I've managed to control myself and haven't become completely addicted to Ravelry. Much.

                Made this lovely tea cosie (thanks Grand Purl Baa) which I am very much pleased with. Apart from the grapes (which took forever) it was a pretty cruisy and enjoyable knit.

                In non-knitting news, little bro has started teaching (go team full-time job!) and I'm sure after a few weeks the kids will be totally besotted by him. Talented and clever little cookie that he is.

                Little sis is coming down from the 'Berra next week because her Scottish Boy is arriving in Melbs to start a PhD. Woo woo! (imagine me making kissy kissy faces) Look forward to meeting the boy who managed to capture the interest of my intriguing girl.

                Husband and I just passed the 9 year mark of being a couple. Hurrah for Bless this Chick adding boys as an accessory for Valentine's Day...

                I swear we will go back to house hunting this weekend. Once I realised the first home buyers boost ends in June I began to get nervous - why oh why are the pretty houses not the right price? Well, they probably are the right price for them, but not the right price for my bank account. We had meant to start last Saturday but, well, 46 degrees doesn't really go well with being outdoors so we spent the day inside with the air con on (joy of joys) drinking beers.

                By the afternoon I felt pretty guilty about our laziness, because of course the big thing that day was the fires (which makes me teary most morning over breakfast - why I continue to watch the news I don't know).

                The family up in Buxton (near Marysville where they think one in five people have died) are all safe (phew) and miraculously the CFA managed to save their house (I have always loved firemen, I now I can love them for more than their uniform). I can only imagine how much survivor guilt people are going to start feeling when they are all able to return to their properties (or what remains of them).

                It really is quite awful and I feel guilty thinking about getting my hair cut, or going shopping for food, or having the luxury of clean underwear when some many people not very far away form me have nothing.

                Not meaning to end on a downer... so here's a nice piccie in honour of Darwin's 200th birthday today and 150th anniversary of Origin of the Species:

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                  12 December 2008

                  Sometimes there is no room in my life for shame

                  Voila ici - me in my drag persona 'Dawn Service' at my work Austrliana themed party (we did Priscilla). In case you don't recognise me, I'm the one in the red (perhaps not surprisingly). We made two silver stilettos to go ont he side of 'Ophelia Bits' wheelchair, a la scene on top of the bus (which you can see better in the bottom pic).

                  Once can be so much ruder and cheekier (especially to excecutive staff) when one is a drag queen.

                  And then somehow I got the microphone from the band and the drag team performed 'I will survive'...

                  Unfortunately the video evidence of this performance is too large to load onto Blogger...