Monthly Archives: July 2012

Against the wind…

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Against the wind…

I’m still runnin’ against the wind!

(Ok, I’ll try to refrain from starting my blog post with song lyrics next time, since that is more the realm of my father).

Seriously though, have you ever had a song stuck in your head for 40 minutes while you were doing the very thing the song was describing? And, when I say “song stuck in your head” I really do mean “the only 9 words of the song that you remember”…

We’ve been sticking to our running routine fairly solidly since our very first run on my birthday on 1 July. We had a little hiatus on our holiday to Cairns, but other than that I’ve been quite proud of our progress. I usually feel like rubbish during the run, but I’ve been recovering fairly quickly. Today, however, was a whole new world of pain!

Please bear in mind that the most cardio activity I’ve had in about a year is getting overly worked up about the happenings on Neighbours (the whole ‘Troy’/’Sonya potentially losing the baby’/’Toadie getting booted from Ramsay Street’ saga got my heart racing about as fast as it has since I last participated in regular exercise 2.5 years ago).

Today we smashed out 6.4 kms at an average speed of 10.1 km/hour, which I was extremely chuffed (and puffed) about! That’s well on track for my target average of 10.5 km/hr… although still well off the distance of 21 kms.

It helps that my boyfriend fiancé is some kind of machine, so he certainly pushes me along. Would you believe that, while I was stumbling along and wheezing with every step of those 6.4 kms, he was challenging himself to 100m sprints?!

Show off.

I have to be nothing but grateful though, because I’m sure, had I gone it alone, I would not have achieved that pace today. Sure, I nearly collapsed at the end, and sure, my face is “50 shades of purple” right now, but it was worth it when I did the calculations and discovered that we’d kept pace for the whole distance (and beaten our previous time on the same route with an extra 200m up our sleeves)!

It is not uncommon, on these runs, to hear me puffing out “I. don’t. know. how. I’m. ever. going. to. make. 21. k’s”… but I suppose I will (eventually).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go and die quietly in a corner somewhere.

What are your fitness goals? How do you stay motivated?

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Fleecing the competition

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Fleecing the competition

My younger brother and sister, and Andy and I, will all be hightailing it to Channel 7 studios on Tuesday to sit in the largely middle-aged audience of The Price is Right (list item number 19).

I have previously mentioned how I believe I will need to do something at least slightly drastic to ensure selection as a contestant. Silly me thought a t-shirt printed with “I heart Larry” would suffice. Oh no. These people have upped the bogan ante.

This is the kind of thing I will be competing with:

Ugh

These boots were made for huggin'”

I’m a Westie from way back and an Inner Westie even now. I need to channel my inner bogan if I am going to survive the fierce competition to make it on TV.

Over on ‘Deal or No Deal’, even a young woman’s partially shaved head with the word “$DEAL!$” stamped into the side did not ensure selection. I’m in over my (unshaven) head!

I still have a couple of days left before the big day. Quick! What do you think I need to do to get their attention on Tuesday?l

Ring-(wed)-ding-ding!

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Ring-(wed)-ding-ding!

I was sitting on my computer at home one night alongside my office buddy (Andy) when I started the whole list idea.

Andy moved in with me in February of this year and since then we’ve been living and working together every day. We both work from home so we see each other practically 24/7. When we tell people that we live and work together, they usually respond with a kind of mild shock as to how we could possibly stand to be together every moment of every day. Don’t we get sick of each other? Don’t we drive each other up the wall?

In fact, we both love working together. Indeed that’s how we first met – at work. It was well over 5 years ago now and it was at a “print and mail house” North of Sydney. Picture, if you will, the office from ‘The Office’. Or, better yet, the box factory from the Simpsons. It wasn’t exactly heaven on Earth, so I was certainly surprised when I met an angel there… (awwww stop!)

We were friends from the first and it was surprising (at least to me) how quickly we went from barely knowing each other to being best of friends. I suppose you could say we were “kindred spirits” or even “soul mates” because we were drawn together by a disturbingly similar sense of humour and general outlook on life. Eventually that transformed into love. He won me over with his selfless, hilarious, caring and otherwise winning personality. I won him over with my ridiculous cartoons.

We’ve been together for more than 4 years now, and I still wake up to find myself more in love with him each day.

As in those early workmate days, we still use online chat rather than face-to-face to communicate. It sounds ridiculous when he’s sitting right next to me, but it’s much easier than shaking him to get him to take off his headphones (which are, perhaps, the secret to our happy work/life balance?) Anyway, on that night as my 29th birthday approached, I messaged Andy to explain what I was doing and ask what challenge he would like to add to the list. In the shadow of the ticking biological clock that inspired the list, I was very plesantly surprised when  he replied “Get engaged to me”.

Challenge? Ha!

We had been talking about getting married for a while (I did most of the talking of course!) but I knew with our financial circumstances it would be a while before we’d be able to do it.

Some people might say that Andy took away the surprise by adding that item to the list, but let me tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth! When he dropped down on one knee on the balcony of our hotel in Cairns last Saturday night I was truly surprised! Moreso when he pulled out a beautiful ring! (His mother’s). I call him the “Proposal Ninja” because I never saw it coming in spite of what some would consider the very obvious clues!

Sadly, I have absolutely no recollection of what he said to me. All I remember is me crying and saying “Yes” about a hundred times (just in case he didn’t get the message). I assume he asked me to marry him somewhere in there?!

So, that is item number 1 ticked off the list, and I couldn’t possibly be happier. Bring on the wedding and the rest of my lucky, lucky life!

Cartoon

The online poll results closed as follows:

Do you think Andy’s “Top 30 List” item technically counts as a proposal?

  • Yes! Lock it in. 43.75%  (7 votes)
  • No! Make him work for it. 56.25%  (9 votes)

Please hit us with all your advice for a long and happy life and marriage! 

Guest Post: 2 months with no TV makes Amanda… something, something

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Guest Post: 2 months with no TV makes Amanda… something, something

By Tracey

Amanda recently asked me to write a guest post for her blog and by recently, I mean 3 weeks ago. Hi, my name is Tracey and I’m lazy.

I met Amanda when I was 14, so we have been friends for ‘a while’ now. Sure, I’m not as old as her but our age difference has never challenged our friendship. I clearly remember the first time I met Amanda, it was in year 8 Religion when she made a wildly inappropriate joke and then continued to argue with Miss Mushroom Haircut about the validity of the joke. I laughed so loud (‘lol’ for the young folks) and long that we both ended up in serious trouble. I knew immediately that this was the kind of influence I wanted to have through my important and formative high school years.

Read the rest of this entry

Guest Post: New Kid On The Blog

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Guest Post: New Kid On The Blog

By Juliette

OK, so I’m new to this whole “blog” writing thingy-ma-jiggy. Please forgive me if I make any mistakes, ignore blog etiquette, or if I offend you. After all, I am the new kid on the blog, so at least I have an excuse.

Anyway, the other week I was teasing Amanda about being “kind-of-a-big-deal” in the Blogosphere. I chuckled. She rolled her eyes. I chuckled some more. She rolled her eyes some more. You get the picture. You see, for Amanda, it seems that writing comes so very naturally. Her words flow on the page with the perfect amount of grace, humour and intellect. I, on the other hand, often struggle to find the right words when writing. It’s usually a classic case of “it sounded better in my head” or “you had to be there”.

Nonetheless, it’s great fun to be a guest blogger on Amanda’s blog – she is actually one of the best writers I know. This is the reason why I suggested that she start a blog for her “30 big goals” project.

After a reasonable amount of procrastination (and recovering from a week-long cold *sniff sniff*) I finally got around to starting my guest post. What to write about? Travel? Movies? Music? Something intellectual? No. No. No. And No! I thought it would be much more fun to take a “lowbrow” approach and create a Top 10 List – David Letterman style.

Read the rest of this entry

Great minds think.

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Great minds think.

Over my years as a working class stiff, I’ve come to notice the epidemic of work avoidance that plagues the corporate world. Many a time have I thought to myself, “How does anything every actually get done?!” Oftentimes I suspect very little does actually get done. When it does, it’s usually done by the least qualified person in the building due to some misguided notion that working hard is their ticket to success in the corporate world. I honestly believe there is a ‘Good Will Hunting’ lurking under every cleaner’s uniform. I have no other explanation for how the work could consistently be finished by deadline.

I’ve held a series of extremely boring jobs in my time, and have been absolutely “under-employed” for the majority of my life until turning my hand to the family business. In the past I’ve found myself begging for scraps of work just to keep the boredom at bay, and I have done many things on company time to stem the growing sense of despondency that came with having so much time and so little to do.

I have watched entire TV series, written limericks and poems for friends, started my own freelance writing business, designed, edited and published a recipe book, co-devised an ‘Amazing Race’ style game, shopped, worked out, gone to the beach, attended doctor’s and dentist’s appointments, read full classic novels and Shakespearian plays online, and enjoyed countless 3 hour lunches including the odd ‘DNR’ (‘Do Not Return’) on a Friday afternoon. Out of all the many, many things I’ve done on company time, my favourite would have to be falling in love with my co-worker, best friend and man of my dreams, Andy.

It’s quite a list!

You might think I was taking advantage of my employers and a tad lazy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. If I were lazy I certainly would never have bothered with most of the above list. My brain was crying out for something, anything to do. I regularly sought out additional work and helped colleagues with theirs. I just had this awful habit, sometimes known as “efficiency”, which prevented me from dragging out tasks that could be finished quickly and easily with minimal effort.

How many times have you been pleasantly surprised, even impressed, by a co-worker or client simply because they did their job? How many times have you been gobsmacked by a customer service rep when they went “over and above” by actually providing you with customer service as well as basic help?

While it may seem like I am being negative here, that is not my intention. In fact, the above life experience has taught me a very valuable lesson and I wanted to pass it on.

The lesson is as follows: Greatness is within your easy reach.

Greatness does not stem from some inborn talent or skill. Greatness is not about fulfilling ones potential or “being the very best you can be”. To me, greatness is simply daring to do more than the bare minimum in life – whether at work or play. Greatness is setting yourself a challenge and then having a red-hot go at it, regardless of the outcome.

Even by starting the list, I feel as though I am doing something a little bit great in my own life. For me, it’s not going to be a great year because I came first in a half marathon. It’s going to be great because I had a crack at one! My 30th year on the planet could have passed by, and I might even have done a few of the things of my own accord, but the list gave me something exciting to look forward to, challenges to meet, and countless (well, 30) awesome memories for when it’s all said and done.

With that in mind, I would like to propose another challenge, similar to the ‘Welcome to Rutsville’ challenge. Today, however, boredom is not our enemy. Our enemy today is mediocrity.

After reading this post, I challenge each of you to think of one simple way that you can escape mediocrity in your own life. True to form I will offer some practical suggestions that you might feel inspired to try. You don’t have to run a half marathon to be a little bit great today. Any of the following (or similar) would suffice! Here, then, are eight “great” things that will instantly switch your day from “mundane” to “the first day of the rest of your life”:

  1. Quit your crappy job. Now. Do it with flair. I will always remember my ex colleague, Geo, who managed to roast bosses past and present, absent and present, in his farewell speech. Stick it to the man!
  2. Instead of hooning past that broken-down car and toying with the idea of stopping to help, actually stop and help. Even if the tow truck is already on its way, you can still offer a kind word that could help lessen the stress.
  3. See if you can get the whole train carriage to break out into ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’. Don’t be embarrassed – if worse comes to worst and they don’t sing along, they’ll assume it’s a stunt for radio or TV. Trust me when I say you will be the talk of many dinner tables tonight if you try it!
  4. Pining after someone special? Write them a love letter! I did this once and it resulted in seemingly unending mortification that – as luck would have it – totally ended! Everyone deserves a heartfelt love letter at least once in their lifetime, and if it doesn’t win you the key to their heart, it will at the very least leave a lasting imprint in the general vicinity!
  5. Quit that bad habit once and for all, starting today. Like my cousin, Lee, who has just today decided to give smoking the flick (so proud!)
  6. Feeling generous? Shout the bar! Wouldn’t that just make you feel so badass?
  7. Go out of your way to help a stranger. Ever had a tourist approach you and timidly ask where the station is? Instead of pointing in the general direction, walk them there. Strike up a conversation on the way. I have had this done for me while travelling and I’ve never forgotten it.
  8. Last but not least, if you are so inclined, do what you need to do to get to that Hawaiian Iron Man! I know you won’t regret it (and the chicks will totally dig it ;))

Today could pass like any other day. Today could be one of the thousands in your life that pass with a whimper, from the drudgery of work to the blessed relief of a completely unmemorable sleep. On the other hand, it could be the day you smash your great grandmother’s fine china plate while washing up because you decided to use “the good china” on pizza night… It is in these small ways that we create lasting memories (and you’ll get one last hurrah with the plate before its untimely demise).

What do you do to inject a little bit of greatness into your everyday life?

Insert ominous “Jaws” music here…

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Insert ominous “Jaws” music here…

As previously mentioned, I managed to tick off another item while on holidays in Cairns!

I should apologise here for the lack of posts. Blogging from one’s iPhone is neither desirable nor advisable. Had I been set to any other mode than “Holiday” I might have attempted it, but it really was too much for my UV-addled brain.

Anyway, when I was about 10 years old, my parents took my three siblings and I to Disneyland. Now that I’m a bit older, I can appreciate what a financial sacrifice this must have been for them (although I can only imagine the payoff they must’ve felt from the looks on our then-cute faces). What an amazing life gift to give to your children!

I hope I’m fortunate enough to do the same for my children one day before they’re too old to appreciate Goofy’s blow-up house (although I suggest with 50% my genes they should enjoy it well into their fifties).

Apart from Disneyland itself, my parents also took us to Universal Studios. If you’ve watched ‘Back to the Future’, and enjoyed it as much as I did (I did vote it a 10 after all), then you’d be similarly impressed at being faced with an electrified clock tower as part of the “behind the scenes” tour. If you hated ‘Jaws’ as much as I did then you would be equally horrified at the ‘Amityville’ portion of the tour, which memorably includes Jaws jumping up into my grandmother’s face (thankfully, she was prepared for it and didn’t lose too many years off her life as a result).

I wouldn’t say I have a “phobia” of sharks (I save that privilege for the wax statues of the world), but I’m certainly not their number one fan. I would passionately dispute any call to “cull” a shark population simply because they mistook a human for a baby seal, but then I’ve also never lost a loved one to the horror of a shark attack.

The thing is… they all have such cold. dead. dark, black eyes.

Perhaps I’ve watched enough cartoons to convince my subconcious that black eyes equate to an evil spirit, or perhaps they’re just plain freaky. Either way, it’s the eyes (rather than the teeth) that frighten me when it comes to sharks.

At this point, it will probably come as little surprise to you that I unexpectedly ticked off item number 11 from my Top 30 list, that is – “Swim with sharks”. I had planned to turn up at Manly Ocean World and jump in the tank with the giant beasts… but that was before I encountered one in the wild!

On Saturday, Andy and I went snorkeling with ‘Tusa Dive’ on the Great Barrier Reef. Sadly, despite the fact that Andy has his diver’s licence, I am still without mine (refer list item number 3!) As a result, we were restricted to snorkeling.

Given that we went all the way out to the outer reef, it was a whole day adventure. We enjoyed two seperate snorkeling experiences, and I pretty much maxed out my lung capacity in the process (my singing teacher will tell you I have a beyond sub-par lung capacity!)

In any event, we had a great time. The reef looks nothing like what Disney would have you believe in ‘The Little Mermaid’. Unless, of course, the cartoonist got a little “blue ink happy” and stayed that way until the end of the film. It’s much more of a ‘Hamptons-style’ experience, with blue and white everywhere. We saw plenty of colourful fish of course but, at (almost) 30, I am pretty hard to impress these days. I’ve seen some pretty awesome animals in the wild! I’ve seen boxing kangaroos at the snow near Perisher. I’ve come across a koala on the side of the road and a shy echidna during a bushwalk. I’ve seen wild camels, whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. I was even once fortunate enough to see a beached Sea Lion! Fruit bats are also pretty cool to see (as long as they’re hanging from a tree and not your car’s windscreen wipers à la my mother on the way to basketball training).

Until Saturday, however, I had never seen a shark up close and personal.

Snorkel

After a full day of snorkeling, I was reluctant to admit it (given the expense of the adventure) but I was almost disappointed. Our hosts had talked of nothing but sea turtles since the boat disembraked, and I wanted to see one!

We didn’t see any turtles, but with about 2 minutes of our snorkel left to go, I felt Andy grab my arm and point under water. I turned to the deeper section only to be faced by a White Tip Reef Shark! It was bigger than I would have thought (1.5 – 2 metres long) and it was pretty close! In all honestly, I would have been frightened had it been facing (and swimming) in our direction. Thankfully, they are distinctively shy beasts, and it retreated to the depths before I had a chance to do much more than be impressed.

The beauty of Reef Sharks is that their eyes are slightly less “cold and dead” than their Great White counterparts. It helps that their bites are slightly less fatal as well, although the potential lethality of a bite has never stopped me freaking out over a tiny spider or mouse in the past.

The experience was more thrilling than frightening, and I feel so fortunate to have experienced a shark in it’s natural habitat and not some tank. I couldn’t have planned it any better if I had tried!

I’m looking forward to finishing my scuba course (list item number 3), and swimming with dolphins as well. I guess it’s not until you try something that you realise how amazing it can be. I don’t want to set my expectations too high though… All I’m saying is, if I go diving and I uncover the Titanic gem, the “Heart of the Ocean”, I’ll be satisfied.

What unique animals have you encountered in the wild? Would you be willing to get face-to-face with a shark?

Shark Bait

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Shark Bait

Today Andy and I are heading off on a snorkeling trip on the outskirts of the Great Barrier Reef.

I’m very excited because the GBR is one of the few specimens of natural Australian beauty that I haven’t yet seen.

I love international travel of course, but I’ve also been fortunate enough to do a great deal of travel on home soil. I think it’s a shame that we as Aussies don’t do it more, when there is such an impressive array of beautiful sights to see.

On my 17th birthday, I woke up to the freezing cold winter air and hopped on a tour bus to Central Australia with a bunch of girls from school.

We pitched our own tents, and pulled them down again in the wee hours of the morning with nothing to greet us but icicles and frigid desert air. We lived on a diet of Chicken Twisties and red creaming soda and caught some serious cabin fever in that bus. I’m continually reminded to this day of the time I ate Tracey’s Twisties while she was sick and forced to sit with the teachers (What? She was sick! She wasn’t going to eat them!)

Apart from making some new friends on the trip, we also witnessed the gaping maw of King’s Canyon and slept in an underground hotel in Coober Pedy (where the only thing above ground is one small patch of grass that passes for the – underground – school’s football oval). We used our “outdoor voices” at Kata Tjuta, learned how to castrate a sheep (let’s just say it involves a rubber band) and, of course, watched the sun set over Uluru.

I was one of the few who walked around Uluru instead of up it, and I’d have to recommend the same to any of you who are considering a visit. It’s not hard to see why Uluru is considered a sacred site by the local Aboriginal population, and that’s part of the reason I didn’t climb it, but I was also keeping my friend Gillian company. You see, she’d sprained her ankle running around the underground hotel (a few too many creaming sodas perhaps?) and thought she’d be better off on solid ground. Unfortunately, neither of us were aware of the sheer size of Uluru when we started, and the hike turned out to be much longer than we had anticipated. For some reason I’d always thought Uluru was oblong-shaped, but of course it’s actually a lot rounder than that, just like a rock should be. There are all manner of caves and tens of thousands of years old Aboriginal artworks, preserved more by luck than care. It’s a must-see, I guarantee it. And preferably before you’re part of the blue-rinse set and too shortsighted to enjoy it!

Speaking of the oldies, I’ve also managed to see more of Australia while accompanying my Grandma on a senior citz tour of the Never Never. On that trip I saw Cable Beach (stunning!), savage saltwater crocs, cute Freshies, the immense Lake Argyle, the Kimberley and, my all-time favourite and Aussie must, the Bungle Bungles. I somehow managed all of this while still making it to our hotel each night for the obligatory 5pm dinner and “early night”. If there’s one thing I learned that trip it’s this: Never get between a pensioner and a free meal. Yikes!

The other thing I learned was that the Bungle Bungles, these unusual striped beehive-shaped rock formations, were only “discovered” by us white fellas in 1983! By those terms they’re the same age as me. Of course the Aboriginees knew about them all along, but when you do eventually go out there and see them for yourselves you’ll be in a similar state of disbelief as I was as to how we didn’t catch on sooner. It just goes to show how great our southern land really is, that such a huge expanse of bizarre rock formations could lay unnoticed and untouched for so long.

So, I’ve been to every State and Territory of Australia and from Broome to Port Arthur. “I’ve been everywhere man”, I just haven’t been to the Great Barrier Reef!

Now, here I am, sitting on the tour bus on my way to the boat. For some strange reason I’m feeling really nervous about the whole thing. I can’t really put my finger on why, but perhaps it’s got something to do with the recent local news reports of a shark “feeding frenzy” in the area. I know I’m supposed to dive with sharks at some point this year… I was just hoping they’d be well fed before I got there!

Hey, big spender!

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Hey, big spender!

List item number 28 requires me to spend an entire week’s wage on a night out. Boo-yeah!

Unfortunately, it’s my own wage I have to spend…

My good friend Kayne came up with the idea, rationalising that we used to do it all the time in our early 20s, so why not now? Of course, in my early 20s I didn’t have a mortgage and multiple craft habits to support, so times were different then…

Kayne and I met while working for the retail chain ‘Best & Less’ (I will leave it to you to decide which of those two adjectives describes the chain more accurately).

I’ve always been a bit of a “firecracker”, so it will come as no surprise to many of you that I didn’t always see eye-to-eye with Best & Less management. I was also a “snappy” dresser back in the day (by “snappy” I do mean daggy and flourescent), so on one particular occasion I found myself in a confrontation with a somewhat “black & white” store manager…

His name was Mathew, and he brought with him all the rage of a gout-addled middle manager. I remember our first staff meeting with Mathew starting something like this:

“My name is Mathew. Not Matt. Not Matty” … Well, hello to you too!

Don’t get me wrong, I was employee of the month when there was no prize for being employee of the month. I was a supervisor at age 16 (probably because I was the least likely to announce something inapprorpriate on the store P.A. system). My till was never unbalanced and eventually they even let me count the cash in the cash office. I was the very model of a modern retail general. I just really didn’t like “Mathew”.

Under ‘Mathew’s’ reign there were more ‘Lip Smackers’ stolen than sold, and usually by staff. (Not me, I hasten to add, although I didn’t exactly dob in the offenders either). I guess it was just the staff’s way of saying “Thanks for being a royal jerk”.

On this particular day, ‘Mathew’ was sitting by the roller doors, checking the staff’s bags as we commando-rolled under the doors for our daily escape. I’d never had a manager check my bag before (at least not for anything more than for show), and it really got under my skin. To add insult to injury, ‘Mathew’ farewelled me with “I expect to see you wearing matching socks on your next shift”.

The very nerve!

In a sea of black and white my inner child cried out for an expressive outlet, and my mutli-coloured mismatched socks (under my long black pants) were the little luxury I afforded myself. How dare he strip away the last vestige of my personality?!

So, I did the only thing I could do in the situation. I trilled, as loudly and cheerfully as I could, “‘Bye Matty!” then made my Macgyver-style escape under the roller door.

We never did discuss it again, but I didn’t change my sock habit. Eventually, he left the store for more monochrome pastures.

You might think I learned some sort of valuable life lesson from this experience, but I really didn’t. It’s just one of those memories that has stayed with me because of the thrill I felt at the time for stickin’ it to the man.

These days I earn above-minimum wage, so I tend to enjoy above-minimum respect from my colleagues as well. As far as I know, my current boss doesn’t have a problem with mismatched socks, so I think I’m onto a winner. In fact, I distinctly recall buying him all sorts of cartoon socks over a series of Fathers Days, so I should be pretty safe.

Back then, spending an entire week’s wage was pretty simple: Dine out, shout a couple of rounds, splurge on a taxi, all gone! These days it’s slightly more complicated, so I’m looking for suggestions on how best to blow my hard-earned on a single night out?

If you had just one night to spend your entire week’s wage, what would you blow it on?

I’m just wild about Larry!

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I’m just wild about Larry!

… and he’s just wild about (cannot do without) he’s just wild about meeeee!

At least, I assume so, because my sister Claire and I have been invited to attend a taping of ‘The Price is Right’ on 31 July!

Then again, it might have more to do with my desperate online entry, which, if I recall correctly, included a rant about needing to hug Larry before I turned 30… Kinda creepy in hindsight… but then, this is television.

Either way, it means I’m one step closer to ticking off list item number 19, ‘Compete on a game show’.

Claire says “near enough is good enough”, so attending the taping will be sufficient to tick this off my “to do” list. But, I don’t know that I’m comfortable letting it slide that easily! I haven’t watched the show lately (although I plan to bone up on it now). History tells me, however, that the more enthusiastic I am, the more likely it is that I will be selected for the show.

I’m not quite middle-aged yet, which is a bit of a shame because that seems to be the demographic of most contestants. It’s the jiggle-factor – the more you jiggle, the more likely it is you’ll be selected.

Being more of the “sharp” variety (2:39), I’ll just have to come up with some other plan…

A printed t-shirt is an absolute must. Right now I’m tossing up between the classic “I ♥ Larry” and “Mrs Emdur”, but I’m also taking suggestions? I figure bright colours and a bit of lippy won’t go astray for the cameras. I’m also leaning towards flat shoes so that I don’t completely dwarf short-stack Larry. I might even head to Big W beforehand to get the latest goss on all the prices….

Ouch…. I just felt a wrinkle form! Maybe I’m more middle-aged than I thought? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

I have absolutely no aspirations to win anything. Claire tells me the prize values have come down a bit since the heady days of the 90s anyway. I’m fully prepared to completely embarass myself for nothing more than the joy of getting on that stage and ticking off list item number 19 in front of the whole of Australia.

I know some of you are ex game show contestants yourselves (U. Herb? U. Chewy? Juliette?) Is there any advice you can give me about how to guarantee myself a spot on Australian television? Talent is clearly out. Any other suggestions?

Have you been on TV, or just watched plenty of it? Do you have any advice for an aspiring gameshow contestant? Let me know in the comments below!