See You Next Wednesday
Sunday, June 30
Give me a job, you bastards!

I am becoming jaded about writing job applications. I must remember I am trying to impress people with my complete and utter suitability for the positions they are offering. I am not trying to be ironic, funny or sarcastic. I am explaining why they will give me the job. Unfortunately nobody has noticed the writing on the wall. So now, after five months, I shall review my approach. I don't know what I'll do yet, probably put a concerted effort into my unsolicited requests for a transfer. That way I don't have to deal with stupid selection criteria like "demonstrated ability to perform all [tasks] in relation to [this job]" or my favourite "Good organisational and communication". Currently I have three unresolved job applications.

I think my previous World Cup Final guess was a bit generous. After seven goals in the last six games (not including the penalty shoot out) I was hoping for five in the final. So I'll revise my estimate to: Brazil 2:1 Germany.

It must be winter because Emily is sleeping on my pillow. She doesn't wait until I'm asleep and settle down across my mouth and nose they way she used to, which is nice. However she is still fond of drawing blood from my thighs with her claws before curling up on my lap until my legs go numb. She has the brain of a cat.

My mum is visiting again. I love my mum.

I would have wished you a Filipino birthday, Dave, but I couldn't update my log. (From the last 105 attempts I have successfully connected to my Bigpond account 42 times however only 21 of those connections have been able to download a web page before the connection timed out. That's one chance in five of getting a useful connection. Isn't modern technology wonderful? I can't wait until they sell the rest of Telstra.)
Sunday, June 23
Quick, the connection hasn't stalled for minutes, try updating the log.

Forty-six minutes later...

This week my connection speed has been consistently less than one kilobyte per second.

Hi-5 were at the blood bank when I was donating plasma on Thursday. Tim and Nathan had finished when I got there and they were being all supportive to Kellie, who fainted when she stood up after donating, and Charli, who lay there saying "It hurts. It hurts." and eventually didn't fill her bag. Kathleen, on the other hand, was strolling around mentioning how she had had no trouble and being told to go away by everyone else (or "Piss off. You freak me out." as Charli put it).

Dan brought boxes of Japanese food over to Dawn's place last night. We had sashimi and soba and green tea ice cream and yan-yan and happy pandas and white rabbits and green tea and barley tea and played Mah Jong with Japanese rules. (The alleged Japanese rules were based on my memory of reading it in a book and talking about it to Lucy once.) That was excellent.

World Cup Final guess: Brasil 3:2 Germany.
Wednesday, June 19
This is why I don't gamble.

World Cup Semifinalists: England, Germany, Senegal and Spain.

I figured out which job Sharon was interviewing for. Simon confirmed my hunch and also sent me 150 pages of recommended reading which did little to allay my suspicion that he had sneaked my name onto the short list in the first place as a rather amusing practical joke. Anyway I had the interview today and it was for real so thank you, Simon, there were many useful word in the Red Book's contents page and index. The interview turned into a conversation, same way the last one did. At the end I don't know whether I did well or they were just humouring the nice man.

Many happy returns for last Tuesday Anna Bananna.
Friday, June 14
That's okay, Neil. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

Sharon called today to arrange a telephone interview, however I don't know which job it was for. I must have sounded disconcerted because she asked if I had submitted an expression of interest for "the ASO5 positions at National Support". I said "yes" because I had, I just don't know which one of them she was talking about. I guess I'll find out on Wednesday. Meanwhile Theresa phoned to say they haven't been able to finalise the selection yet after my interview last Wednesday.

Football is good sport. The SBS blanket coverage at the moment is so entertaining I have mostly been forgetting to record the television I would usually be watching between 4:00pm and 1:30am. Let's see how far Brasil, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Senegal and Spain get this week...
Wednesday, June 12
Humble empanada.

I have just watched England draw nil-nil with Nigeria and Argentina draw one-one with Sweden and I must say: England can play dry football when they want to; and Argentina can play football extremely well when they need to. If Argentina had some respect for the spirit of the game they play so well I might care they didn't make the final sixteen.
Monday, June 10
Stick poking at Wulguru.

Alisa Camplin delivered our pizzas. She didn't have her medal with her because you're not allowed to wear them in food preparation areas due to Health Regulations and even when she's on deliveries she usually has to lend a hand when she's back at the shop. She used to wear it to work and leave it in the car when she was at the shop but she got into trouble because she took too long on deliveries when customers wanted to look at it. She was still the happiest person in the world, even when Trees was doing his viscous guard dog impression from the dark.
Saturday, June 8
Fun, fun, fun.

Spider-Man is an excellent movie. England beat Argentina. Phoenix beat Thunderbirds.

Despite the hype which threatened to jinx the experience I thought Spider-Man was a thoroughly entertaining movie. It was fantastic. There was nothing I did not like (or could not excuse, it is a superhero comic) and parts of it were excellent. Amongst these parts are such things as using computer special effects to do things that cannot be done with stunts or models. I even enjoyed the romance which was integral to the story, for a change.

I do not like the way Argentina play football. They shut down their opponents until one of their own players pulls off a piece of individual brilliance and maybe there is a shot at goal. It's like watching motor racing: mostly tedium. So, while I enjoyed watching Senegal, U.S.A. and Croatia win it was not because I wanted France, Portugal and Italy to lose. But when England beat Argentina it was the best of both worlds. The only improvement would be if Nigeria had also beaten them on Sunday, but you can't have everything. (Where would you put it?)

This morning I didn't turn the radio off before Bernadette Young gave the sports results. I thought she said Thunderbirds beat Phoenix. Nine of the Australian squad where on the court during the game and posession was continually being turned over, it was the lowest scoring game for both teams this season. As time elapsed the anticipated collapse became potentially more dramatic as Phoenix came from behind to lead by thirteen points at one stage. In the end possession was shared equally and it came down to shooting percentages (which is why I love to watch Sharelle McMahon play). I was pretty happy with about three minutes to go when I realised I must have heard the result incorrectly this morning. Phoenix remain undefeated, Thunderbirds don't.

The last twenty-four hours have been so much fun, I nearly forgot I have a job interview next week. Unfortunately their website is not responding and I want to do some research before tomorrow. Michael and Joanne get here tomorrow and we repair to Andrew's vacant house for beer, take-away food, videos, the World Cup and the rest of the long weekend. I think I will take a stick to see how much fun I can poke it at, there's sure to be more than that.
Saturday, June 1
The last mortal generation.

Emily has a gimpy leg. She may have two gimpy legs but one is worse than the other so it's hard to tell if the other appears gimpy only because it's covering for the one. They are her back legs and one is definitely gimpy because the veterinarian, Dr Felicity, said so (although she didn't use the word "gimpy"). Emily's vertebra is encroaching upon her spinal cord at the base of her tail and confounding the neural pathways to her leg, rendering it gimpy. This happens to old dogs and to a few old cats. (Emily is almost fifteen and people have said thinks she is a dog.) It may get worse or it may not, it is a dog thing not much observed in cats. If it gets worse her other back leg will become gimpy, which may or may not have happened already. After her legs go she will lose control of her tail, eventually she will not be able to lift it. And finally she will lose control of her bladder and maybe her bowel. Dr Felicity said "finally" because that is when the afflicted cat can no longer maintain their hygiene and dies from associated complications (such as their owner's wish that they not suffer such distress). Emily is aware of her condition, she was there when Dr Felicity told me about it and in fact she is sitting on my lap while I write this. She knows that if she urinates in the wrong place it's off the air conditioned comfort of Dr Felicity's free pet termination service.

This understanding is demonstrated by her behaviour when she chooses to go to the toilet inside the flat but not to use the litter tray. When I came home on Thursday I was met by the odor of cat pee due to the puddle neatly deposited on the linoleum beneath the chair next to the washing basket. After sanitation and reprimand action Emily protested her competence as a continuing pet based on her deliberate decision to minimise the impact of her indiscretion and the fact she can still use her tail. Either that or she was hungry.

However it was only the statute of limitations which saved her this morning when I pulled my washing out of the machine and found pellets of cat faeces which had been washed loose of my clothes. She knows if she had urinated on my clothes she would be certified decrepit and spared the associated complications, however defecation was not a criterion. So (to protest whatever it was she had developed an adverse opinion of this time, probably the availability of food) she took a dump in the clothes basket and masked the presence of her spoor beneath the overwhelming odor of cat pee (and later vanilla fridge cleaner, although that was by fortune rather than design) carefully situated to demonstrated the continued mastery of her key urinary tract.

She has the brain of a cat.
This may not sound like the snappiest line from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), but it evidently caught the imagination of John Landis, who has worked references to a mythical film of this name into most of his own movies - memorably as the grotty British skinflick watched by an assortment of lycanthropes and zombies in the climax of An American Werewolf in Paris [sic] (1981). Ghastly Beyond Belief, Neil Gaiman and Kim Newman

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Location: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

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