Friday, November 30, 2001

Just realised that by the time I get home tonight it'll be December. I am so not ready for Christmas!
Yay! It's Friday at just before 11am, and for the first time in what seems like aeons I'm not at work and it's not Sunday and I'm not trashed somewhere!! Though of course the one day I get to sleep in, Stevie P chooses to ring at 8.15am, bless him. Was lovely to speak to him and can't wait to see him in 3 weeks time! So, Borders opens later today - 5pm to be precise. I'm working 2-11pm, though may go in a little bit earlier than that to lend a hand. Keen or what? It's a bit like that though - one big happy family. I've said how nice the people are, and it's true. And it's more like being back at uni than anything - lots of new people thrown together with one thing at least in common - well more really I suppose. We're all workmates, all enjoy music and books and it seems to me, I've landed with a group of the most non-bookstore stereotype bookstore employees you could wish to meet! Fun, social, mad... I think there are going to be some wild nights out ahead!

So, we were in training from day one - I've worked in retail for HMV (for 3 months, 7years ago) but not since. We went through the whole bookstore thing, how Borders operates, what it considers its competitive advantage etc. And then we got down to dusting. Really. That was the first day. The place was full of construction workers and so we cleaned. Then the books came. Boxes of books. Palettes of boxes. Trucks of palettes. We stock in the region of around 190,000 different titles - and there's a lot more than one of most titles. God alone knows much stuff we've shifted over the ensuing almost 3 weeks. A lot. We ached from shifting boxes. We had a laugh. We learned. We worked long, long hours. And suddenly it's opening day and it seems like I can't remember life before Borders! Also, at least until Christmas it seems, I'm not working on music. I've been given 'front of store' to look after - so all the displays of new books and promotions that we have on (Borders Best, 3 for 2 etc.). It's going to be fun but mad in the run up to Christmas. We'll see how it goes. Last weekend got incredibly trashed as it seems a couple of weeks of working 60+ hours and a couple of beers are a great way to get smashed! Think I was almost delirious! Fun though. Drunken pool table snogging Friday, beers and flirting with Rod Saturday (very nice, shame he's got a boyf!) and then trashy singing with Garry at the Shift on Sunday. More of the same this weekend I think. I've got every Sunday/Monday off until Christmas which is great. Looking forward to getting back into some kind of routine too. OK. Time to go get ready. Update on the opening later!
It gets worse. 14 hours today. Bed now. Update after I've slept as promised yesterday.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Another 12½ hour day. Third in a row. Great. Time for bed. Sleep again. Full update Friday morning Oz time as I don't have to go to work until 2pm that day. Yippee.

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

I. can't. go. on. like. this.

Need. Sleep.


Monday, November 26, 2001

Tired. So very tired. Sleep. Worked. Watched last episode of Secret Life of Us. What are you going to do now it's finished? Proper blog soon. Honest guv.
I'm minkered. It's madness. It's madness, I'm minkered. It's minker madness!! Ay cararmba. This working 60+ hours a week certainly makes one up for a night out...

Thursday, November 22, 2001

Tired again. Finished work at 9pm and so it was around 10pm when I got home. A vodka and tonic helped. Only 2 more days until a day off. Then working 8.30am-9pm Mon-Thu next week and then we open Friday so not sure what hours we'll do for that first weekend. Ay caramba. Pooped. Apologies for dull blogging. Normal service etc. Have you any idea what goes into setting up a huge bookstore? No, neither did I. I will tell you eventually...

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

I will update my blog. Honest. I'm just too tired. So far worked a 63 hour week last week and this week is going to be 66. Next week will probably be nearer 70. After that I'll be rostered to do 76 hours every fortnight... much more civilised! The people are lovely though and it's a great laugh. Now if only it paid a bit more...

Monday, November 19, 2001

I'm bushed. And haven't blogged for a few days. Hopefully tomorrow night will have me less tired and more able to think! Work still good but tiring. Weekend fun but no major stories...

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Full update on work tomorrow. I'm too knackered tonight, and have spent loads of time trying to sort out my October archive, to no avail :o(
What the...?

I found your email address on your website at;
Regarding the site, you might be interested in my invention "Ice boat and a car top storage combination".
The winter's first ice is already skimming lakes and ponds and with it comes ice tragedy season. I invented this boat to be used effectively for Ice rescue.

As you know a flat-bottomed boat, canoe or kayak also serves as excellent means to effect an ice rescue. These craft can easily be slid along the ice until contact is made with the victim. If the ice breaks under the boat or rescuers, they have a good rescue platform to continue the rescue or retreat to the safety of the shoreline.

However nobody carries the boat in his/her routine and also has many limit to be used.
Thus I have worked this out as below ;


It's a storage on a car top, a boat, a sled and also a wheeled stretcher, too.
Any small car, patrol car can carry the boat with lifesaving equipment in the storage all the time, in case to reach a victim in time.

If you need more info, please visit our website at or email us at .
Unless you request info, we will not send an email again.
Thank you and best regards.
Jason Kim/president
WildTop Manufacturing Ltd.

I'm really not sure I can live without one...

Monday, November 12, 2001

First day at work. Today, I've been mostly... dusting.

Sunday, November 11, 2001

I did indeed go for a run on Saturday morning, which is why my legs are aching today. Had lunch with Pete and Paul and their friend Doug and then met up with Garry after that. Back to Bondi where we messed around here for a while instead of hitting the beach. Ant rang and popped over and we did the Brontë walk again. Charlie and Tracy were here so I knocked up an impromptu pasta feast and we had some beers. Finally me and Garry went back to Woolloomooloo and then hit the town. Gregg and John joined us in the pub and Gregg did the quiz I'd done for him - 17 out of 25. Not too bad. That means he has to do a quiz for me now... On to Palms for some trashy dancing. Charlotte and Tracy joined us and we all went a bit mad. On to the Shift which is a little blurry and then I hit the Pheonix for more dancing. Caught up with Pete and Doug, Adrian and David Bassett. Finally got home at 8am Sunday. Oops. Was meant to go for brunch with Paul, but slept through until 12.45pm. Oops again. Felt bad about missing Paul and felt dreadful in general. Watched Jack the Giant Killer as it was about all the intellectual stimulation that I could muster. Vegged out all day. Beans on toast. Tidied a bit. Work tomorrow. Oh my god!!
Ohbejesus. So that was a quiet night was it? Lordy.

Saturday, November 10, 2001

No word from the Borders contingent. Maybe I've scared them off. Alternatively this could be the shortest employment in history! Saturday morning now and a glorious morning after a few overcast days. Thanks Michael Fish. Going for a run in a minute. No really. Charlotte's promised me bacon and eggs if I do. Think it's worth it. Thursday night did nowt really. Watched telly with Charlie and chatted to a couple of people on here. Bed around midnight.

Friday woke at 8am after a crap night's sleep, fell asleep again and woke at 9.30am. One of last night's chats was with Gregg (Welsh diddy daddy) and we were talking about 80s music which has been a theme of a few of our chats. Decided to put together a short 80s quiz for him to see if he's as good as he claims. That kept me busy for a while. Met Garry in town and had a wander and then it was coffees a go-go. Firstly with Garry and Anthony; secondly with Adrian and finally (after a brief bus journey to the Junction) with Paul. Paul is a nice guy - we're hopefully doing brunch on Sunday. Then it was home for a night in coz I'm stony broke. Ended up half watching a crap movie (The Saint), half cooking dinner, half chatting to people on here and half re-learning fractions. Bed.

Right, off for that run. More later...

Thursday, November 08, 2001

OK. Slightly scary stuff. On stats4all (my faithful stats package) you can find out the last 10 people that looked at your site. It gives the IP address of those machines last to view, as a number or sometimes (presumably depending on how certain organisations configure stuff) as an organisation name. Someone from Borders has now looked at Minkered... three times. Now, I'm kind of assuming it's Chris - the guy who first interviewed me for the job and who I know from meeting him via friends at Mardi Gras. I mentioned the blog at the end of the interview and I wrote it down on a Post-It which went onto my application. But what if it's not Chris? What if someone else from Borders is reading my blog? Well I guess they'll know all about me when I start on Monday. I am really looking forward to it - I think it's going to be a blast. Either way - does my Borders reader fancy making themselves known to me by either a quick mail or a comment after this little post? I thank you!
In the chat the other day to Jonathan I mentioned that a lot of the Aussie men were 'swarthy'. Not sure if that's just me noticing them as I like a bit of 'swart', or whether I should be drawing parallels between the fact that Oz is essentially populated by convicts, who are always portrayed as 'swarthy' in comics, cartoons, as film villains etc. Also I tend to associate 'swarthy' with hairy, though its definition according to the dictionary doesn't include that. That's probably the 5 o'clock shadow that's drawn in on all the cartoons influencing my decision.

Main Entry: swar·thy
Pronunciation: 'swor-[th]E, -thE
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): swar·thi·er; -est
Etymology: alteration of obsolete swarty, from swart
Date: 1587
: of a dark color, complexion, or cast
- swar·thi·ness noun

Either way, it makes for a lot of nice looking men to look at when walking round town :o)
Felt a little bit homesick this morning. Woke at 10am after finishing Harry Potter last night at 2am! Had to read the first one again with all the hype about the film - am really looking forward to it. Spoke to sister Sue online and caught Scally too - who then invited me and Michael into a little chat room together. Think that was what did it - they were talking about the possibility of Michael hitting London next month and I just wanted to be there. It's at times like this when Australia does indeed seem on the other side of the world... I also had nice chats to my niece and Jonathan recently, and Dave in Brighton and I see Danny on here all the time but it's just not the same. Particularly when my next planned visit home is 2003. Hey ho.

Done little else with the day. Brekky. Lunch. Laundry. Some life admin. More to come. Fancy trying to mess around with the website stuff though, so watch this space.

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

Well the pics came out OK - and I even did a little table in Dreamweaver to get them there! Little by little I will get the hang of this web site design malarky...

Yesterday was Melbourne Cup day here in Oz. Think Grand National. Everyone goes mad for it and for those lucky enough to live in the state of Victoria, they even give you the day off. Weird. It's a horse race for god's sake. Was at the doc's in the morning as I've agreed to participate in some asthma trial thing. Did that, posted a CD off to David K (yes, it's on the way!) and met Mat, Garry and Mikey for a quick lunch. In the interests of saving money, Garry and I bought the cheapest bottle of wine that we could find and then went back to Mat's to watch the race on the telly. No sooner had we arrived and cracked open the bottle than Ant rang to say he and a co-worker, Pam, were going to be in the pub opposite in 10 mins. Oh dear. We necked the wine and hit the pub and watched the race. It was over in about 2 minutes! Missus. Nowhere near as exciting as the Grand National. We chatted and Ant and Pam left and then suddenly we'd had 4 beers and put the world to rights. Back to Mat's and we decided to hit Oxford Street to meet Mat at the Shift. However we hadn't eaten so we needed sustenance. Now, Mat lives in Woolloomooloo - which also is the home of one of Australia's institutions... Harry's Café de Wheels. I kid you not. In a fit of drink-induced appetite we both shifted two pies and peas and lurched up to the Shift. Pool playing ensued, and then things get a bit hazy after that. Oscar (a guy Garry met at the weekend party after I left) turned up and joined us and I can remember Mat hanging off some big hairy daddy at some point but other than that...

I know I got the bus home. I know I bought and ate Milkybar. I know I collapsed in a heap on the bed. I know 8am seemed very early when I woke with sore head and throat. Spent the morning doing very little except drinking tea and suddenly I was rushing to hit North Sydney to meet Ian (ex-flatmate) for lunch. Did so - nice to see Ian, though he's having a bit of a bad time at the moment. Cancelled gym membership on the way home (it's just not convenient there anymore) and then met Adrian for coffee in Battuta. Nattered there then headed back here. Charlie couldn't be arsed to go to Coles (supermarket) and so we went out for dinner and had some nice Thai. Told Charlie I'll probably have to move out fairly soon in order to be able to eat regularly. Shame but needs must. Back here and vegged a bit. Spoke to Paul (from Friday) and meeting him for a coffee on Friday. He seems nice, and not mad - which is a blessing. Garry and I have decided that there is a higher percentage of mad people in Sydney, and most gay men are all barking. We fit in fantastically well...

No real plans for the rest of my time off before working again. Weather turned crap and been raining. Not happy about that! Might even do some exercise again soon...

Monday, November 05, 2001

OK, it's experimentation time. Davie's playing with images today children... I mentioned some of the digicam pics I took of the Sculpture by the Sea. The best ones are the flowers made of inverted rubber glove finger ends, and a rather mad pic of me and Garry reflected in a piece of sculpture that was half marble and half mirror. I'll try and get them to upload OK onto here - see what you think!

Mirror mirror, on the piece of sculpture on the cliffs above Bondi...
Who are the fairies big and small...? 

They look so real!

Marigolds or marigolds??

Lazy day today. Up around 10am, brekky and bit of a computer play. Green rice again (I made enough to feed a small thrid world country) for lunch and then I decided to attack the problem of my COM ports being knackered. I managed to fix them so that I could link up my Palm Pilot again, and the digicam pics are now saved for posterity. That done I've started to sort through all my paperwork and have at least made a start. Time for some food now I think. Back later...
And suddenly days have gone by and I've not blogged. The remainder of last week was a relatively quiet affair. Garry came up here Thursday and we did a bit of a Bondi thing - sunbathing by the sea on the rocks, followed by the walk to Brontë Beach. This was made even more fantastic than normal because of the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. I'm not sure how long the walk is between Bondi and Brontë, but normally you just look out to sea, take a peek at any cute joggers and avoid any dog poo. However Thursday it was transformed. Around 90 or so exhibits had been strategically placed throughout the walk turning it into a moving, living, breathing gallery. I took some digicam photos, the best of which might make it up here later, but follow the previous link to look at some fantastic stuff. As with all art stuff (in my humble opinion) some of it was a bit up its own art, but other stuff was clever, inventive and fun. The exhibition ends on November 11 and it looks as though they aren't updating the site with the new works until then. Favourites of mine? Difficult to convey one of them, but it was body parts secured under the sea so that all you saw on the surface was a face, two breasts, two hands and two feet - as though some great bronze god were floating on the water. Another really clever one was inverted snipped-off ends of Marigold rubber gloves pinned around rocks to resemble flowers growing in a rockery. Fantastic.

We arrived at Brontë needing food and so bought some chips. The next scene was like something from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds as about 40 or so seagulls decided they wanted to eat with us. Or eat us, it was a difficult call! We ended up in a beach hut just to escape them. Worringly scary! Finally back home and chilled out and then I cooked and we watched TV and messed about on the net. Fun, and more importantly cheap for us unemployed types!

Friday we did the walk again after tea and mangoes here. Ended up having brunch proper at Brontë this time and by the time we got back it was becoming overcast. Finally down to town and changed at Matt's before heading out to the Oxford. The we hit the Beresford for Bears and then the Barracks for their 5th birthday. Fun, but way too hot. Like the Tavern in the old days! Lots of people were there we knew. I chatted to Paul a while (I'd met him two weeks ago at the Pheonix) and we snogged a bit... nice! Garry disappeared, Adrian was occupied, Paul had left so I managed to entertain myself a while...

Back to Bondi at around 9am and straight to bed! Slept until 2.30pm and finally up and down to Matt's yet again. We were joined by Anthony and hit the Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel where Mat ended up roped into a Guinness promotion, playing scalextric until beaten in the final. He was happy with his hat and t-shirt though. Then it was time for Anthony's friends house party. It was fun if a little quiet. I headed back to Matt's around midnight and slept.

11.30am we were up and about and ready for tennis at 1pm. Garry bailed out having gone dancin', so me Mat and Gary Jones played. Fun. Quick change and met Adrian for coffee and eventually dinner and then Mat joined us and we tried out the Lord Porter's as the new 'Beauchamp'. It's a nice venue actually - chill area, pool tables, outside area and DJ area. The idea is to find a place like the Beauchamp used to be - a friendly social Sunday without attitude. This place might just be the place to take over...

Home relatively early - 9pm ish, net, bed. Sleep...

Saturday, November 03, 2001

Can man survive on a diet of green rice*, nutella on toast, tea and fresh mangoes? Well if there are no more Blog entries, you'll know that the answer is no. :o)

* Recipe details available from The Minkered Chef...
Grow goatee, grow!