A little bit of resolve.

In the words of the worlds friendliest rocker, Dave Grohl, A little bit of resolve is what I need now. Yes, people, it is that time of the year once again. The end. Where we make a list of all of the things we intend to do next year that are positive but never seem to actually achieve. They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. If this is the case, that must be the most well maintained and wonderful driving road, well, ever!

Last year was a little different to all of the years before it. I actually managed to achieve a couple of my resolutions, much to my amazement. The giving up of the cancer sticks was the highlight of course.

So I figured that quitting was a pretty big achievement for the year so I have decided to set myself another goal for 2013 that is similar in difficulty and some not so daunting ones as well. Drum roll please………….

1: As a show of discipline ( something I have always seemed lack) I will not eat chocolate for the entire period of 2013. That’s right people. One whole year without even a single M&M. No chocolate bars, no chocolate cakes, no chocolate flavoured anything, not even a hot chocolate.

I have a massive sweet tooth, a whole mouth full of them actually. Recently I was reading an article about a group who were pushing to put health labels on chocolate. “Warning, this will go straight to your ass ? ” It made me think of the health warnings on cigarette packets and struck me as the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard of. Then I thought about how much chocolate I would eat in a one year period and imagined it all laid out on a table. I shuddered, it was a tad scary.

The scariest part was that I felt that quitting smoking may actually be easier than quitting chocolate for me. Whoah, I think we have a problem here! The effects of sugar and excess consumption of it on our bodies is no big secret so this is how I came to the conclusion that I would be giving chocolate the flick.

At first I felt a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. The sadness crept in. It felt a bit like I was abandoning an old friend. After all, chocolate and Greys anatomy have always gone hand in hand. M&M’s during a movie, a staple. Chocolate was there to pick up the slack when I quit smoking. What a warped logic, similar to using marijuana to give up heroin. Both are bad for you, just in different ways.

So just a quick note to any of my friends who may be reading this. If you choose to give a gift of chocolate at any time this coming year, please do not be offended when they end up directly in the rubbish bin. After this years chocolate Christmas fiasco, I will not be letting them pile up on my desk again as consequently, that huge chocolate stockpile did eventually make it to my ass cheeks.

What is that noise you say? Oh don’t worry about that, it is just my pants getting ready to burst at the seams. Nothing to worry about as long as you are standing at least 100 metres from the “splash zone” This is an expected yet unwanted side effect from eating a 1.3 kilo box of Whitmans Sampler.

2: The second resolution for 2013 is to not eat take away food. At all. Not once. Zilch, Nada. Now I will take a moment to define take away as this is a hotly debated issue in my house. My definition of take away for the purposes of this resolution is basically anything that is not a whole food or that I have not made myself.

For example: An apple is a whole food, a packet of Doritos is not. There i a few simple rules that I will use to help me make my food choices this coming year.

* If it did not have a mother or grow out of the ground, Don’t eat it.

* If it comes to me via a bag through my car window, Don’t eat it.

* If it has ingredients that I cannot pronounce or ingredients that are made up of only numbers, Don’t eat it.

* If my great grandmother would not recognize it or know what to do with it, Don’t eat it.

This decision comes as I find myself becoming intolerant to many things that I was once able to enjoy without worry. Whilst I always had a sensitivity to lactose, now i find some disturbing symptoms appearing when eating highly processed foods and foods that are primarily wheat based. While I am reluctant to jump on the gluten free band wagon, I have been reading some convincing argument about why we are becoming so intolerant to the grain in question.

3: Exercise at least 3 to 6 times a week. This is an easy one. Ideally yes, I would like to train 6 days a week but realistically setting my goal for 3 training sessions is going to at least keep me active for those weeks when life jumps in the way of that weight session.

There are other resolutions to do with the personal, study or business departments of my life but I won’t bore you with those.

It is now 10:30 am on the last day I can eat chocolate for the next year. I have a packet of M&M’s to my left. A cherry ripe to my right and a box of Cadbury’s favourites downstairs, a remnant from the chocolate gift bonanza of last week.

I am going off now to do my best impression of a human garbage disposal. If I am not in a diabetic coma by tomorrow I will be back soon with another update.

Until then, Happy New Year readers. Let’s make it a safe and prosperous 2013 !

Beach bongs anyone?

As the end of the year draws to a close I am left pondering many things. Sitting in my hotel room overlooking the sea, I should be relaxing and contemplating what 2013 will have in store for me. I should be listening to the sound of the waves breaking gently upon the shore. I should be using my quiet time to discuss the important business matters that my husband and I have been putting off for the last few months.

Instead I am listening to the sound of tires screeching up and down the main drag of Lorne and sitar music so loud that my brain feels like it is going to implode. My husband and I are discussing the benefits of an early checkout and whether or not one pillow over the head will block out the noise from outside our window or should we use two?

I am contemplating when it became socially and legally acceptable to smoke illegal substances through rather large and ornate bongs in plain daylight, in public places. Yes, I understand the cultural practice of smoking fragrant tobacco through a hukah bong but your not fooling me. I know the smell of weed when it wafts my way. I grew up in Adelaide you know!

There are literally hundreds of bongs lining the foreshore of this lovely, quiet little seaside town. All of them standing proud at about 3 feet tall and differing in embellishments. Ornate glass of many colours glitters in the sunlight as many, many, MANY people sit and toke from their many hoses. I am actually sure that the billowing smoke is visible from space at this very moment.

Granted, some of these smoke billows are as a result of the burning of a very odd smelling fragrant tobacco mix but there be weed here. I’d bet my life on it. I suppose that the real tokers here are content to smoke illegal substances in public because how in the world would anybody be able to narrow down which bong had the dope and which ones didn’t.

With all the second hand smoke going on around here, you would think that I would be a little bit calmer at this stage. Or at the very least a little bit hungrier? No luck. Like I said, Adelaide girl here. Takes more than a passing whiff of Marijuana to make me mellow.

This is a good thing too. I am already suffering from a little bit of festive over indulgence. I definitely do not need a case of the munchies to add insult to injury. I did not weigh in on Wednesday due to not having any scales so I am a wee bit nervous to get home and back on the old Tanitas.

There has been alot of walking and hiking and sun burning going on this past week and my quads are aching in a way that no amount of squats has ever achieved. I am pretty sure that this is from a mountain goat style jog down a very long, very steep walking track through the forest. I just keep telling myself that as long as I am walking, swimming, hiking, I am burning calories. At one point during my massive forest trek yesterday I actually thought I could smell the calories burning but then I realised that was just the skin on my entire upper body. My god, I hope that lobster red is a good colour on me because I will be rocking it for another week or so yet.

With one more day left on the beach before we get back to reality, I am going to make an effort to make the most out of it and also to find out where the locals go every year to avoid the idiots that have taken over this town. Wherever it is, I am sure they keep it a close guarded secret. Don’t get me wrong, I love this place and this whole year I have ridden on the memories of it to get me through until we could be here again. I guess that we risk great disappointment when we put such heavy expectations on something for such a long time.

But because I do not want to end the year on a negative note, I will reflect on some of the positive things that have happened this year.

I quit smoking. That is definitely the number one. Best thing I ever did and I am 100% percent positive that I would not have made it up the mountains yesterday if I had not have given it up. My non smoking lungs were thanking me all the way.

I lost some weight. Not much, but a little bit. Granted I may have put it all back this week but still, I lost it and made some pretty big inroads when it comes to my general health.

We converted our house to a majority chemical free, organic household. We learned a lot about food, nutrition and exercise and how to apply it effectively to our daily lives.

There were business highs as well as lows but this year I think the highs outweighed the lows for a change. Now if only the ATO would do a Mayan style disappearing act, never to be seen again. I tell ya, no-one suffers from taxes like a small business does.

I got to spend the year with my daughter before she goes off to kinder. It was invaluable time for us a mother and daughter as now I am fully in tune with all of her little tricks and nothing gets by me now. I am sure that she is devising new tricks as we speak but for the time being I feel like I have won a small victory.

I survived the apocalypse, well actually, not to brag or anything but I think this is like the fourth or fifth “end of the world” event that I have “survived” already within my lifetime. Bring it on I say. I laugh in the face of impending doom, hahahaha.

That just about does it for now. There has been a break in the “hooning” in the main street and I am pretty sure the smoke cloud is thinning. I better get out on my balcony for a few minutes to view the ocean before it starts up again. Any longer than that and I am certain that the sheer volume of second hand smoke is enough to give me lung cancer in five minutes flat so I gotta take the time when I can get it.

I hope all of my readers had a wonderful, bong free Christmas, here’s to a happy new year!

PS: it has come to my attention recently that there is a CD available to buy called “fifty shades of grey: The music” Yes, no shit, they have released a soundtrack to a book. If that isn’t marketing at it’s very lowest than I don’t know what is. I think I just felt my brain die a little bit.

Common Sense & Customer Service, Goodbye old friends, R.I.P

It seems that the two things in my title, common sense and customer service have been tragically taken from us, entering us into a new era of anti-service and stupidity. As a long time employee in the service industry, I find myself standing at their graveside, alone, weeping in the rain. Take too soon, my friends, taken too soon.

But seriously, there used to be a time when customer service ruled supreme and enjoyed its time in power, reigning hand in hand with its life partner, common sense. In these wonderful times we could go to a restaurant and know that our child’s meal would be served first or at least at the same time as the adults meals. Hospitality workers used common sense when deciding to not set a steak knife on the serviette of the toddler at the table or not passing a piping hot coffee over a baby in a pram instead of walking around to the other side of the table.

We enjoyed the simplicity of not having to ask for serviettes or cutlery with our meals. It went without question that we would be needing a bag to carry our groceries to the car. The customer was always right, even when they were quite clearly wrong and there was no limit to what a business owner might do to ensure that their customers left the premises happy.

Alas, that golden age has come to an end and brought with it the dawn of a new service era. These are times where it has become appropriate to tell customers to F**k off if they dare point out that you brought them fish when they clearly asked for chicken. It is now appropriate to give a three year old a steak knife to use on their chicken nuggets and chips and the child is expected to wait patiently and without complaint for their meal even if it arrives 10 minutes after their parents meals.

I am unsure whether it is cost cutting, lack of common sense or a combination of both that leads service staff to look at me blankly when I request serviettes with my meal or a bag to carry my goods but it needs to stop. Now.

Now it is acceptable for a sandwich bar that it open until 5pm to refuse to make you a sandwich after 2pm and the staff to get quite shirty if you ask them to do so. My husband had the gall to point out to a staff member of a local cafe once that she had brought him the wrong meal. She entered into a rant of epic proportions, told him that he was basically stupid and that he had upset her so much that she would prefer he “eff off” and not come back.

Another once popular establishment situated next to a children’s playground refused to serve anything even remotely suitable for a child except an iced coffee. Yeah, toddlers and caffeine, i’ll pass.

A local cafe that is seemingly always busy enticed us to their tables for a bite to eat the other day. We had eaten here before and remembered the food was quite good but were disappointed to find the menu condensed to about 5 things. The waitresses pranced around in various states of undress with some wearing more makeup than clothing. One waitress managed to somehow smudge her makeup on my white shirt which is now ruined. I can only assume this happened at the same time she leaned over the table to get an empty glass, firmly planting her mostly exposed breasts in my chicken.

As I looked around I saw long, cheap, hair extensions flowing freely around the cafe, sleeveless tops with exposed midriffs and enough cleavage to open a hooters franchise. Whatever happened to aprons, shirts with buttons and hair being tied back. Did I miss a meeting or has there been a major slackening of health and safety regulations in hospitality?

Apparently it is now the done thing to deliver entrees and mains at the exact same time. Why don’t we just go one step further and deliver dessert first. And the single most horrifying thing I have witnessed is the apparent ban on mirrors. I had not heard that mirrors were now outlawed but I can only assume this is the case based on the appearances of some of the service staff I have encountered recently.

The new “derelique” style of dress is quite an eye-opener. Nothing like exposed butt cracks, love-bite necklaces and an arm full of stamps from last nights clubs handing you the wine list.

Is this it? Have I finally entered into that stage of life where the younger generation need to get a haircut and a real job? I don’t know about that but what I do know is that the golden days are gone and I just wanna get back to the good old days, when I was young!

Ok, rant over.

The mythical mountain.

Apparently as we speak, there are hundreds if not thousands of slightly unhinged people gathering around a mountain somewhere in Serbia. I must have missed a meeting I reckon because supposedly, there is a magical pyramid encapsulated within this mythical mountain that was placed there a long time ago by Aliens.

OK, right now I know that you have one eyebrow raised in a ” what the F**K am I reading” position, bear with me though, it gets better.

The magical, extra-terrestrial pyramid has some kind of super electro-magnetic power that will be harnessed and protect those who gather around its alienesque peaks from the coming apocalypse. Yeah, OK, sure.

The mountain comes complete with hotels, which is a relief because I don’t know about you but if I don’t have those tiny little soaps and pillow mints when I travel, all hell breaks loose. Even if it is already breaking loose outside my window.

What do people ask for when booking a room on the mythical mountain? A 2 bedroom suite with fire and brimstone views please. ” oh, the fire and brimstone wing is fully booked but can we interest you in a refurbished room in the pestilence tower? Otherwise the death, famine and war wings are all close to the pool if you prefer.

Yeah sounds awesome, nothing like a dip in the lagoon style pool while everyone else on the planet perishes. And a swim up bar? You betcha. I’m having the Mayan mai-tai.

I don’t know about Mayan apocalypse, but I have definitely got a doomsday of my own happening around here and I am desperately searching for my own mythical mountain to save my ever expanding ass.

In five more sleeps I will be on the beach and operating in full vacation mode. Unfortunately for me, vacation mode means a veritable smorgasbord of restaurant meals, fish and chips on the beach, ice cream, oysters and champagne.

I can tell you right now that a 12wbt menu for Christmas day is soooo not happening. I can wrap my head around alot of things. Quitting smoking? Check. Avoiding pasta? Check. Daily exercise? Check. Eating a 300 calorie meal for Christmas dinner? You have GOT to be kidding me.

Nah. Not doing it. Sorry Ms. Bridges but I work my ass off ( literally) all year looking forward to this one day. It is going to be happening on my terms and my terms only.

So, now that we established that Christmas day will be a write off, I need to figure out how I will dodge the many beachfront temptations for the following week. I mean seriously. We can all sit here and talk about how we will prepare our own meals and use the hotel gym. Hahaha, I can’t even keep a straight face, sorry.

Oh well, wish me luck. How much weight can one person put on in a week anyway? A kilo? Two? More? Oh hell. Stay tuned, somehow I think the aftermath of this apocalypse is going to be much mose than what any Mayan could have predicted.

Apocalypse Now.

The end of days is approaching and as the boxes of Christmas chocolate pile up on my desk I find myself asking, Has everyone I know lost their damn minds?

I have been pretty vocal about this whole weight loss thing. Blogging, forums, public declarations and such have been made yet for some reason completely unbeknown-st to me, I am still amassing quite a collection of confectionery here at my work station.

Seriously every present I have been given this week has been chocolate. Not just like a small box either. I currently have my laptop sitting atop a 1.3 kilo box of Whitmans samplers.

Is this sabotage? Some weird variation of a biggest loser temptation challenge? Seriously…not to sound ungrateful or anything but….NOT COOL PEOPLE!!!!!

Apart from pasta, chocolate has got to be my only other vice. And I was doing quite well dealing with that until now. Now my brain has gone into super-ultra-justification mode, coming up with any reason to tear open the boxes an start inducing some kind of diabetic coma. I am literally at risk of an actual “death by chocolate” here.

So I am wondering if these chocolates may actually save my life? After all the end is nigh, apocalypse is on the horizon and all that jazz. I wonder if I should keep all of this chocolate as I may need the quick energy fix to out run all of the zombies that are apparently coming to eat our brains. It may not be such a problem in this neck of the woods though. Where I am currently situated, there seems to be a shortage of the zombies preferred food choice. They may choose to rise up and nibble nobby’s noggin elsewhere.

I also have a bone to pick with the mayans for the fact that the world is supposed to end exactley 1 day before I go on holidays. I just dont think it is too much to ask that after all the shit I have endured this year I could be on the beach when all hell literally broke loose.

Well, back to work and the sweet smell of sugar emanating from my desk. I swear if I see another person walk through this door with a large rectangular box covered in pretty paper and a ribbon, I am going to start this damn Apocalypse myself!

Goodbye cruel world

Junk mail day is somewhat of a tradition in our house and this week was the bumper Christmas edition. Literally, catalogues from every shop in town are strewn across my bed as we speak.

All was going swimmingly until I came across the pictured abomination. The fifty shades of grey board game. Excuse my French but ” what fresh hell is this?”

One can only imagine the retarded things that are asked of the Giggling, heaving bosomed housewives involved in such a fiasco. Actually, scrap that. I don’t want to know.

I think I actually vomited a little bit in my brain as I saw this. I am glad the end of days is approaching because this happened and we let it happen and for that we do not deserve to rule this planet any longer. Goodbye cruel world, I only hope that when this tormented soul reaches the promised land there is no such thing as christian grey, a red room of pain and we discover that hell was indeed surrounding us on earth disguised in the form of a hardcover trilogy written for the mentally challenged.

Rant over.

20121212-224704.jpg