Another day, another tourist confused about what there is to do in Perth. Honestly, I’m running out of answers, because there isn’t that much. It’s a lovely place to live, but tourism? Well, you exhaust all the really exciting stuff in the space of one hectic day. Some places are just better to live than visit, I guess.
I do my best, sitting in my information booth and talking to all the British folks who probably wish they were at a theme park in Brisbane, with air conditioning services all around. Even had some lovely conversations, and I especially enjoy the ones where a person really delves into why people want to live in Perth. If it’s monuments and museums you’re after, I can help you to a degree. But why this is a really great city in which to live? That’s something I can go on about for hours. It’s in my blood, you see.
We have air con too, you know, as well as heating. Now THAT’S a good story, and probably our main tourist draw at the moment. The whole heating grid thing has blown over, several times now, but people still come to see what once was. And then they think they’re in for some sort of cooling grid on top of it all. Sorry, folks…we’ve just got regular air conditioning, usually mounted on the wall. See that white thing on the wall behind you? That’s what it looks like for most of Australia.
I guess a real appreciation of the place is essential for a good tourism advisor, even if there’s not that much to do. You want people who truly appreciate the soul of a place rather than just parroting facts, because immersing yourself in a culture is the only way to travel. Just looking at things? Only skimming the surface. Trust me, when I travel, I do it really well. So people often head to Brisbane, air conditioning in Perth not good enough for their tastes I suppose. I think it’s fine. And there’s lots to do if you want a really full day.
I believe everyone should find their niche. It brings great fulfilment in life. Forget about being bored and lonely, everyone should meet the people that they really truly get along with and share interests with. Life is all about having fun anyway
I found my niche in the most unlikely of places. I started dating this girl that I thought I had nothing in common with. I just met her at a bar one night and thought she was cute so I started talking to her. Then after a few minutes of mediocre conversation, I realised she was actually smoking hot. She also had a unique style and makeup mad skills. I asked her about that and she told me she had taken a few makeup courses in Brisbane in her twenties but had decided it wasn’t for her. We started seeing each other. Still, she wasn’t perfect for me as we had little in common but we did have chemistry in the bedroom so we had an extended fling. One day, we had a bit too much fun and she sprained her wrist on her right hand. I had to do pretty much everything for her, including apply her make up.
When i started, I was a bit shaking and she scolded me a lot for getting liquid eyeliner all over her face. But I started getting the hang of it. I wasn’t as good as her (it’s hard to apply makeup to someone else!) but I found myself enjoying it. I was also getting creative, and although my technique was clumsy, she liked my instinct for colour and style.
That’s when I started looking into beauty courses around Brisbane for myself. I know, it’s a little uncouth for a man to get into a traditionally female industry. But as soon as I started the course, I knew I’d found my place in the world. The girls and I hit it off immediately. We were chatting at like a hundred miles an hour and going out for drinks after every class. That’s why I recommend everyone find their niche
I don’t think people can really comprehend the process of selling a home unless they’ve been through it. I’ve done it six times in the last ten years, so trust me, I’m basically the wise home-selling guru. Throw in the fact that I’ve done it while raising three boisterous sons and a husband who works most of the time and you can just call me the grandmaster.
I don’t blame Ted, of course. He’s out there working to support the family and he works so incredibly hard, but it when we have to move for the umpteenth time it’s mostly up to me to make sure the place is spick and span. I know of services in Melbourne that offer home staging, and I will admit I’ve thought about it a few times. Just to have someone come in and do up the place to make it sell-worthy would be just lovely. I’ve never actually called them as yet, however. I don’t want to inflict my boys and their mess on an innocent interior designer. That’s my problem to deal with. Sometimes just getting them to pick up their toys or wind up their game console wires for an upcoming open house is a nightmare enough without having someone in telling me that the wallpaper is a bit drab. It probably IS drab, but more people in our home is stress I really don’t need at the moment.
Maybe it’s a career I need to look into. I’ll admit, I’ve got quite an eye for what people want, purely from all that lovely experience. Some weeks I talk to real estate agents more than I talk to Ted, so I know the industry pretty well. And if I ever had the time to start my own home staging based in Melbourne, I think it’d be quite satisfying to step into someone else’s home selling nightmare and direct them to profits and success. I won’t, though. I’ll leave the home staging to Melbourne people who actually have the time for it.
Strict curriculum may be ruining city schools, but I like to think we have it a bit better in the country. There aren’t as many people in suits and clipboards hovering over the place and marking teachers down for not teaching in exactly the way prescribed by the government, even though every child learns differently and that’s just a fact.
Mabel’s school just keeps proving again and again why it was a good decision to send her there. For their year 2 project, they have to come up with an ‘everyday superhero’, so someone with special powers who does an ordinary job. Great idea! Mabel’s always been so fascinated with Uncle Rob and his air con business, so that’s become the flavour of the month. She has to know everything about Brisbane’s air conditioning industry, how many people are in it, what they do, whether they do more repairs than services and how cooling really works. She’s only seven, so I doubt it’ll stick, but she’s keen so it’s lovely to watch her getting stuck in.
Naturally, her hero is based around air conditioning. Currently his name is ‘Air Con Man’- because it really gets to the point- and he can fix an air con unit by touching it, making it better than before. Mabel doesn’t like to show me anything without it being finished, so I’ve just gotten glimpses of her poster while walking past her room. It’s looking pretty nice, though! It includes a diagram of an air con unit with all the important bits labelled, which she got straight from Rob. Fortunately, parents are going to be invited to the final presentation, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what other kids come up with as well. And I also get to hear all about Air Con Man, and how he travels around Brisbane doing air conditioning repairs and helping people to be ‘cool’.
He wears sunglasses, of course.
This is the best game ever. And the weirdest part is that it was totally hidden within another game- and a really bad one, too. My mum had this major freak-out over all these ‘violent video games’ I was playing, even though she already banned me from playing the actual violent ones. She walked in on me playing Under-Botch, which doesn’t even have any blood or dismemberment, and decided that was enough. Bam, no more fun games. I could only play games that were educational, those that taught me to…I dunno, learn to be a tax person or whatever. One game had me sitting in the same spot, filling in tax return forms in real time. I was on the verge of giving up gaming forever.
But there was one…you took the role of a Sydney air conditioning specialist, roaming around and fixing people’s air con units and generally being a friendly person so people wanted to use your services again. Some of the dialogue trees were interesting enough. But still, it was work, and not nearly as fun as Under-Botch. That is, until I noticed that in every job I did, I got a certain amount of points. Like, I;’d fix the air con well and get 567 points, or whatever, I didn’t think much of it, but the same numbers began to show up again and again. Was there a reason? Eventually I realised they might be coordinates, because that’s how you get around the map to fix the air con. I went to that spot, which was a patch of grass in a park. No reason for the park to even be there, because there’s nothing to service. But as soon as I used my ‘fix air con’ tool on that spot, I was transported into a complete meta-game…and it’s awesome. It was a gateway to a game set in 2073, where air conditioning technicians must rush to use their advanced units to fight evil and cool people down from global warming. It’s a total sci-fi smash-hit, and completely hidden in the original game and I get to play online with previously bored kids all over the world. Now, THIS is the kind of air conditioning services that Sydney needs! Fighting lava spouts and saving citizens with awesome cooling tech.
So, I’m not much of a gamer. Like, I’ll dip into mobile gaming every now and then, but story and ‘fun’ gameplay don’t appeal to me. I just want something totally mundane that I can lose myself in, because it’s just that boring. And finally, that has been created. The perfect game, one that’s just so incredibly vast-yet-uninteresting, and I’m now on holidays for two weeks so I have all the time to play it!
Anyway, it’s called Fro, Man, Why?, and it follows the adventures of a man who becomes a pariah from his community after he grows his hair into an afro and people don’t like it. After that, you just start a new life doing whatever you want. So good!
I chose something practical, useful and not strictly exciting. I moved to Canberra, and ducted heating has never had a more dedicated employee. My fro fellow has taken to his new career with gusto! People sometimes compliment him on the fro, but most of the time, he’s so good at his job (which is to say, I’m so good at MY job) that he gets invited back. One time I fixed someone’s heating and they said I could come round that night for dinner. I mean…wow. They actually thought to include that. They can do anything with game design nowadays, seriously.
I’ve heard from other players (there’s multiplayer…you can always tell, because they also have afros) that when you’ve played for one in-game year, you can go back to your original community, having been requested by the people for your good work. You can choose to shave your fro and be accepted back into the community, and the game ends.
Inconceivable! The gas heating in Canberra needs me, and I am its greatest advocate! I can’t wait until the game offers me that choice…so I can proudly turn it down. Hmph.
I remember telling my parents I wanted to grow up to be a politician. They looked like I’d just walked in the room and slapped them both with a wet fish, which I can sort of understand. They were self-professed ‘free spirits’ who didn’t believe in eating animals and thought the government was a creation of ‘the man’ that was oppressing us and that we should all just, like, govern ourselves, man. Pretty sure my Mum’s finger was on the dial button to my school to complain, but then I explained myself: I just really liked the chairs politicians got to sit in. That big, fancy hall looked so nice, they probably got free lunch, there was a guy who made sure the discussion was fair and just imagine the gas heating. Canberra’s finest heating services, and where else would they be if not parliament house?
My parents relaxed a bit. Instead of getting pulled out of school, I just got a lecture over dinner about why all that stuff is given to them by ‘the man’, and that it’s not something I should want because grass is nature’s cushion and cool breezes are nature’s air con. That always bothered me, though. We had organic cushions in our home, made from wheat. And central heating? Well, technically it’s all organic, because everything is. The only things that aren’t from ‘this Earth’ are crashed meteor. So yeah, that’s pretty weird to me, but when I brought it up with the folks, they just told me that I was crazy, meteors were a government conspiracy and that gas heating was the source of all the world’s ills.
So yeah, it wouldn’t be until university that I met a bunch of normal people who taught me to think critically. I don’t really want to be a politician any more- too many work hours, not great for family life- but I still sort of envy their heating services. Canberra must be the hub of all that, right? Decisions to be made…
I can’t work out if I should get a car decal. It’s times like this I look to our lord. Dear god, give me a sign! Should I get a car decal? It could help me promote my business. Or it could damage my car’s paint job. I don’t know which option is better or worse. Anyway, that’s the least of my concerns right now, because my business is floundering and I need to think about my advertising campaign. I’ll think about the signwriters in Melbourne later.
I think I’m going to hire a digital agency to help with the marketing aspect of the business. Being a car wash business, the only promotion we get is people driving by. I doubt we get any word-of-mouth references because the car wash doesn’t particularly stand out or anything. It’s pretty generic. Perhaps I need a marketing strategy to make it stand out among the rest, make it unique you know. Like we could be an all-inclusive car wash for all people. Or we could have cafe there so people can recaffeinate and have a bite to eat while their car is being hand washed. Or I could dress the car wash guys in costumes and turn it into a kid friendly car wash, with a very happy upbeat kind of vibe. Hm, that could be good. If I did go with this idea, I’d have to get some safety signs. Near Melbourne, car washes can get quite slippery, so if people are distracted by the costumes, they are at risk of falling onto the cement. In the end, I’ll be praying to our Lord every time I go to church to keep our patrons safe and sound, no matter which way they swing. All I know is that I’m going to have to take a new direction with my signage.
My husband and I were having marriage troubles recently. It’s our lifestyle differences. He loves to sit at home and vegetate after work, either in front of the TV or the computer. He loves his own company and is also introverted. Me, on the other hand, I’m always having people over. Dinner parties, weekend barbecues. I love going out to bars and nightclubs too but the after-party always ends up at my place. Jason doesn’t like this. He’s usually in bed by about 10 pm even on weekends. We were slowly growing more and more impatient with each other, until I had a brilliant idea for a solution: custom sheds, Tamworth.
Basically, there’s not enough room for the two of us. I need space for my social needs, and he needs space for his solitary quiet time. We’re different people, doesn’t mean we don’t get along fantastically when we’re together. We just needed to find a way to accommodate both of our needs. I realised we could achieve this with a custom built shed. This would serve as my “play pen” where I could have parties and drinks, and it would be sound insulated and well away from the house. All we had to do was call about carports in Tamworth, because we realised my little party pad would serve as our garage to protect the car from the elements.
Ever since we got the party room on our property, things have improved at home. Jason has been sleeping well and I’ve been getting my social fill. You can tell that things are going well in a our marriage. As soon as you stop communicating for any significant amount of time that’s a sign there’s an issue that needs to be addressed. Now that everything’s sorted, I think I could do with a little more sleep.
Last Christmas in July, we had a party at work. It was pretty loose — there was plenty of Elaine-style dancing and even the boss got a few drinks in him. By the end of it, we were all having playful digs at each another.
I was accused of being “sedentary”, which of course is a euphemism for lazy, at which point I turned around and said, “I bet I could beat all of you in a race!” My drunken colleagues were foolishly up for a challenge that their sober minds would promptly cower from.
I may not be the fittest nor the fastest in the office, but I do have a secret weapon — a hyperbaric chamber. Melbourne workers are generally quite disinterested in exercise and do not keep in shape, but as I was putting forth this challenge, I thought back to my grandmother’s hyperbaric chamber which she uses to treat her diabetes injuries. I knew that with this secret I could beat any of my overfed and under-walked colleagues in a foot race.
The challenge was a 2km run on the athletic field. We were to make a day of it, and organised a month after the Christmas in July party. It was a Saturday. The non-participators stood by with the sausage sizzle, and the smell of slowly charring beef made my stomach rumble. While the others had been going for jogs every morning for the past four weeks, I had been “training” by spending 45 minutes every day in the hyperbaric chambers. Melbourne doesn’t have that many good jogging routes that are near me so I was quite content to be snug in my little chamber receiving my oxygen therapy. I was also feeling quite smug in the knowledge that they’d been working their butts off, pathetically, while I did nothing and won the race. I had my sausage afterwards and also won a “Least sedentary employee” medal. Woo.