Monday, February 28, 2005

It's a boy!!

Things have just gotten exciting in family land.

My brother is now a Daddy to a beautiful boy!! Hooray!

These are the details:

Name: yet to be confirmed
Date of birth: 27/2/05 (two and a half weeks early!)
Time of birth: 6.15am
Time in labour for poor sister in law: 30 hours (ouch!)
Weight: 2.95kg (about 6 pound 8 I believe)
Length: 50cm (20 inches)

Friday, February 25, 2005


Hubby sent me a link today to a trailer for the Chronicles of Narnia.** Looks like it is going to be absolutely awesome!
I loved C.S Lewis' books growing up, read all the Chronicles. Finally got the lot in a boxed set a few years ago, still fun to read.

Looks like the Narnia movie folks have watched LOTR a few times from the little bits they show. It certainly appears a whole bunch of money has been poured into the project, we will definitely see it when it comes out.
Glad to see that British actors are playing the roles, hard to imagine American accents saying "You are such a brick, Eustace" hehehe
Hopefully they will make movies of all the books, although that would take a hell of a long time, there are about 8 books I think. Mostly I want to see how they do Puddleglum, he was a classic in the books. Also Reepicheep, I reckon he would be hard to do well.
And for those of you who don't know what I am talking about, go read the books... NOW!

** it takes a while to download, but it is worth it.


Lileks today had this story linked:

Corpse springs to life in hearse, terrifies populace.

** Not one to click on if you are drinking orange juice at the time, like I was. Nearly had to clean the keyboard!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes #28 - Siciliana Pasta Sauce

This one I learned to make in an Italian community college course that I did with a friend of mine. We are having a get together on the weekend with some other good friends, and it has been given an Italian theme.
This time 'round I'm leaving out the anchovies by popular request, it's up to you if you like 'em in or not.


1 medium brown onion, grated
2 smal long eggplants (sometimes called lebanese eggplants, or aubergines), chopped into small cubes, unpeeled
1 medium green capsicum (bell peppers for our American viewers), chopped fine
12-16 black olives, pitted and sliced
1 Tbsp green capers
1 tin (45g, 1.5oz) anchovy fillets, preferably in extra virgin olive oil
2 tins (420g, 15oz each) peeled chopped Roma tomatoes, drained but reserve the liquid
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil


1. Heat tomato liquid in small pan with basil and oregano until reduced and thickened.
2. Drain anchovies and chop fine, reserve the oil.
3. Heat oil mix (extra virgin and anchovy) in large pan and add onion, eggplant, garlic and capers. Cook over medium heat until the eggplant starts to soften.
4. Add pepper, capsicum, tomatoes and olives until capsicum softens.
5. Add parsley and anchovies and toss quickly.
6. Add tomato liquid and herbs, mix well together. The sauce should be fairly thick.
7. Mix with prepared pasta and serve hot.

This sauce is best served with either round or tube shaped pasta. Would go well with a garden salad, with garlic bread for starters.


Like the rest of the known world, I have 50 gmail accounts to give away. If you want one, let me know.

Survivor - Palau

So Episode 1 of the latest Survivor showed last night. Now, I must admit I am a bit of a sucker for some reality shows, although my interest is waning. I don't know if I'm up for another Big Brother season. As for Survivor I've watched one or two episodes here and there, but haven't watched one all the way through.

That said, I quite enjoyed watching the first episode. Geez, I couldn't stand that Jolanda chick from the get go, how overbearing was she!?! And at the end, she said that she had reigned her personality in a bit! Whoa, glad she did that.
I felt sorry for the tatoo chick (umm.. Angie maybe?) when she was the last to be picked. That pink shirt wearing hairstylist guy had been all buddy buddy with her earlier (We're outcasts together..) and then when it came time for them to pick people for their teams he just dumped her like a hot potato. Can see that coming back to bite him.
Will probably give Episode 2 a go, and see if it is any good.

I much prefer The Amazing Race at the moment, good entertainment, cool to watch the tasks they have to do. They seem to be degenerating into couples that can't stand each other, which can be amusing. Like the couple who aren't together anymore, but are doing this to see if they can get their relationship back on track....ummm.. good idea guys, no pressure or stress there!
And the Jonathan guy (who we refer to as the dickhead), who is always shouting at his wife. Now the other members in the race are starting to pay out on him, classic.

So guys, are there any must watch shows for you?

Rugby League scandal... again

Well, three weeks out before the start of the NRL season, and once again there is a scandal. Last year it was the Canterbury Bulldogs, this year the Newcastle Knights.

How stupid do you have to be? Last year there was such a furore over the Bulldogs, and the players were left in no doubt that they have to treat women respectfully and they should act like responsible adults.

12 of these guys, drunk after pre season match celebrations, went back to their hotel at 3am in time for curfew. Once management left, they decided to head out and have some more fun. They apparently "rampaged" through a campus dorm at Bathurst University, breaking bikes, using fire extinguishers, banging on doors. And one of them, allegedly, decided to break into a room, straddle a young woman and shove his hands down her pants.
I don't care how drunk you are, that can never be a reasonable action.
I repeat, how stupid are these guys!?

As a rugby league fan, this leaves me shaking my head.
For the rookie who got sacked, I'm sure he does feel sorry. One promising career, down the toilet.

Monday, February 21, 2005


Cool bleat from Lileks today, gotta love the piccys of Jasper and Gnat.

I quit

well, I haven't really, but sometimes I wish I could.

It's Mondayitis folks, careful it is going around.

I imagined walking up to my boss, and saying "That's it. It's over. I'm going now." They'd be like "what do you mean?"
Me: "I'm not going to do this anymore, I quit, seeya" and then just turn around and walk out.
Don't you wish sometimes, there was a world without mortgages, bills, food to buy?

GAaahh... I just attracted the attention of annoying git.
I was extolling the lack of spelling ability of one of our customers.... Me: the password is Welcome1... Client: is that Welcome1 with an e?...hmmm
Annoying git has to put his two cents worth in, .."what a wunch of bankers *shakes head*"
Wow, can you see what he did there, he like changed two of the letters, that's reaallly clever. His cynicism doth grow larger by the hour.

Busy times

This week, I have my final essay to write for the philosophy subject I've been doing. It is a hard slog really, but it has been worth doing, no regrets.
Next week, first off I have a guest spot blogging for Mellie Helen, wish me luck. Now, I have to have enough interesting stuff happen to write for two! hehe, it should be good fun I think.

Also next week, I hope to begin the book cataloging project. Over the years, hubby and I have accumulated enough books to accomodate a small library, so finding a particular book has become a lengthy process, especially if I am not sure we own it in the first place.
So I've decided to put them all in a database, which means lugging them one pile at a time upstairs to type title, author, category into said database. This also has another benefit. At the moment all our books are stacked in piles of the floor of the would be library, as we haven't had time to organise bookcases yet in the new house. As they are all stacked on the floor, it is hard to take measurements etc, let alone move bookcases into the room. So as the books are taken upstairs to catalog, I will pile them on the floor in stacks upstairs!
Then when we get the bookcases, I will move them back downstairs (who needs to go to the gym!), and then I have to decide how I am going to put them. I'm thinking by author, but then I might also do it by category. So fiction by author, then non fiction in sections such as philosophy, biography etc.
Does this mean I have too much time on my hands?..... possibly :)

- oh, and in other exciting furniture news (yes, I do need to get out more often), we get our new sofas delivered this week, hoorah! This means the old guys get moved upstairs (yes, more exercise and the upstairs getting crowded with all the books and old lounges).

Saturday, February 19, 2005

A poem for my husband

In the morning's clear light
I study the face I know so well
I am filled with a boundless love
as my gaze travels over familiar planes and angles
I see the peacefulness that deep sleep brings
when the essence of the person hides within
then he awakes and the face is transformed
a sleepy smile and a request for tea
the weekend has begun

- Amanda

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Free at last!

I'm FREEEEEeeeee, dance of joy, dance of joy!

What's with all this unbridled happiness, you ask?
Well, let me tell you.

Imagine a person whose every action irritated you. Right down to their laugh (little bullet laughter.. heh.heh.heh.). A person who when they double click, they lift the mouse off the mouse pad. A person who feels the need to be condescending and insulting.
Now imagine having to spend three days in a row with this person, and I mean (except for lunch). Imagine that this person was sitting at your desk, sharing your desk space which is small to begin with, and they are big to begin with.

This has been my life for the past three days.
We have a new person on the helpdesk, he started a week and a half ago. Up until three days ago, I had seen him with another trainer on the desk, and thought, wow, nerdy looking guy, but then didn't give it another thought. Until said trainer went on holidays, and I got lumped with him.
This guy has been on the helpdesk for such a short time, but already he thinks it is the height of hilarity to look down on the clients and make disparaging comments about them when they are off the phone (hey, normally it takes a couple of months to get to that level of cynicism!)
Two days into sitting with me, he starts putting the boot into the other trainer.
Him: "Don't tell anyone this.."
Me: mental note to self, this will be good to tell everyone else..
Him: "John* is a nice guy, but he is not much of a trainer"
Me: "Really, in what way?"
Him: "Well put it this way.." (at this point I can almost see the drips of condescension coming off him).."in the past two days I have learnt more with you than I did with him in an entire week"

*John is probably one of the best consultants on our team, is a great team member, and trainer

Now, if you were a new person on a team, do you really think it would be the best start to slam other team members??
By the end of the second day, I had hit the wall. By the third, I had lost most of my fingernails trying to climb over it.
But, blessed day today, John is back and annoying git has gone back of his own accord to him.

*blessed sigh of relief*

Friday, February 11, 2005

Bits and pieces about me

In response to Mellie Helen's challenge:

1. What time do you get up: During the week, it ranges between 4.30 and 6am depending what shift I'm on. On the weekend it's whenever I wake up, probably 9ish.

2. If you could eat lunch with one person, who would it be? My hubby

3. Gold or silver? Gold. Definitely. Love gold.. oh and diamonds too ;)

4. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Sky Captain and World of Tomorrow

5. What is/are your favorite TV show(s)? I'm a bit of a TV freak, like quite a few shows.M*A*S*H, Xena, plus at the moment I'm enjoying The Amazing Race.

6. What did you have for breakfast? OJ, weetbix with skim milk

7. Who would you hate to be stuck in a room with? Michael Jackson, that face just creeps me out.

8. What inspires you? Good writing, makes me get off my butt and have a go

9. What is your middle name? Louise

10. Beach, city or country? Beach, for sure

11. Favorite ice cream? Vanilla, and yes I know that is boring.

12. Butter, plain or salted popcorn? Butter and salt

13. What color is your bathroom? White and blue

14. Favorite color? Blue

15. What kind of car do you drive? Daihatsu Charade

16. Favorite sandwich? Avocado, chicken, shallots, cracked pepper. I have dubbed it "The Amanda Sandwich"

17. What characteristic do you despise? Arrogance

18. Favorite flower? Sunflower, always cheers me up

19. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation where would it be? My lounge! .. oh ok, if I have to pick a place, probably San Francisco.

20. Favorite brand of clothing? Colorado

21. Where would you like to retire to? The house we are living in, it took ages to build, and I love it to bits.

22. Favorite day of the week? Sunday, it has such a lazy feel to it, can completely relax.. zzzz

23. What did you do for your last birthday? I actually have no idea, I can't remember.

24. Where were you born? Sydney, Australia

25. Favorite sport to watch? Rugby League.. Go the Eels...please?.. this year?

26. What fabric detergent do you use? Umm.. I think it is called Radiant

Fun times

Last night we had our first mixed touch football game. Despite it being Summer, it was quite cold, but that's a good thing when you are going to be running around for an hour. Well, we lost 8-4, but we were quite happy with how we played. It was the first time we'd played together as a team, and we really started to come together in the second half. I'm certainly not one of the star performers on the team, but I try hard, and will get better.

Tonight, being Friday, means I don't have to get to bed early if I don't want to. Hooray! Hubby and I are going to see the movie Closer, and then on to Jiminez for a Mexican feast. Ole!
I'm a big fan of Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts, so will be interested to see what the movie is like. Has had average reviews, I think.

Tomorrow the Grower's Markets are on in Castle Hill (the suburb I live in), which sells lots of yummy fresh produce. It's on the 2nd Saturday of each month, and we always go. We start off with a bacon and egg roll, then wander about looking at everything. One thing we bought last time was goat's cheese, with a lemon pepper crust. YUM! Definitely on the must buy list.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes #26

I'm not much for baking cakes, never really find the time. However, if I do have to bake a cake, invariably it is this one. It is easy to make, and gets rave reviews every time. Have a piece with a cup of tea, and you have a heavenly afternoon tea time.

Banana Cake


1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking powder)
1 cup castor sugar (superfine)
3/4 cup chopped pecan nuts
1 cup mashed banana (requires 3 bananas)
450g (16oz) can crushed pineapple, well drained
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten


Grease a 20cm (8 inch) ring pan, line base with paper, and then grease the paper.
Combine sifted dry ingredients, sugar and pecans in a large bowl. Stir in banana, pineapple, oil and eggs. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees C, 350 degrees F) for 1 hour. Stand 10 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


I'm a grumbly woman today, so fair warning.

This week I have to get up and be at work at 5.30 in the morning. The reason.. the company I support is in New Zealand and they are two hours behind Sydney. This means, if I want to get 8 hours sleep a night, I have to be in bed by 8.30. This does not tend to happen. I seem to be incapable of getting to bed at that time, earliest I can manage is 9.00. The result.... one grumbly sleep deprived woman.
Also, it doesn't help that I am in a dead end help desk job. I do get to do back up team leading jobs from time to time, but none of the team leaders look like leaving any time in the near future, so most of the time I am on the phones. Yes, I do want to leave, have wanted to leave for a while. But.. I have no uni qualifications, and my past jobs have all been in customer service. So, if I left here, I would be pretty much getting the same sort of job, except I'd have even less chance of promotion, being the new person, so there seems no point to leave.

Monday, February 07, 2005

This is the brother from my Ten Things post, and yes, that is me on the left. Check out my bro's seventies "haircut"! We have changed a little since then, I hardly ever wear light coloured fluffy jumpsuits anymore :)

What's in a name?

I'm thinking of changing the name of my blog.
I've had quite a few comments from people I know that say Aussie Wife reminds them of people actively seeking an arranged marriage type thing, or something on the kinky side. I googled Aussie Wife and the top entry was a story about a guy looking to get an Aussie wife. Another entry was to do with WorldWideWives Voyeur & Swingers!

I've never been hugely happy with the title anyway, but it is difficult to know what to change it to.
It would be nice to keep an Australian theme going, but frankly, Amanda Down Under just sounds rude, and I can just imagine what results Google would come up with. Also, I'm figuring Xena, Warrior Princess would be taken (ok, technically, she is a kiwi, the actor Lucy Lawless that is, but hey, close enough).
And yes, I do like fantasy novels, but anything related to that is going a bit too close to the whole role playing arena, and I am definitely not into that!

So, it's poll time. Here are a few suggestions, let me know what you think

1. The Amanda Story
2. The Amanda Chronicles
3. Books, BBQs and blather
4. Suburban Sydney Stories

Geez, these all sound lame. It's going to take a bit more thinking....

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes #25

Hi guys, the Carnival is up. Dave from The Glittering Eye did a smashing job, with some pretty piccys!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Ten things

Now, I've noticed that quite a few bloggers have a list of 100 things about themselves, Beth being the latest I've seen. Gosh, I feel quite dull in comparison, I really don't think I could come up with 100 things about myself. So, what I will do, is post 10, and try to do that every now and then, when I can think of things.

1. I have been married for almost 4 years.
2. My husband is a wonderful, handsome, intelligent man, who could have had a much better wife than me, but is now stuck with me for life.. muwahahaha
3. I have a brother who is two years older than me.
4. When we were little he told me that he would always be more intelligent than me, because he would always be older than me!
5. I am left handed.
6. I am an atheist
7. I drive a Daihatsu Charade
8. The number of books and DVDs I own would be enough to entertain a small town
9. I am at work right now, but not working very hard :)
10. I play touch football. Last year I played on a men's team. This year I am playing on a mixed team, hooray.

Carnival of the Recipes #25 - Spiced Indian Kofta

This one I have cooked a lot over this summer, works great on both the BBQ and the stove. It is easy to make and yummy to eat.
Recipe is from Ainsley Harriott's Barbeque Bible (1997)

Serves 4


450g (1lb) lean minced beef
1 garlic clove, crushed
2.5cm (1 inch) fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 green chilli, seeded and very finely chopped
3 tbsp Greek natural yoghurt
a little sunflower oil for brushing
lemon wedges and extra Greek yoghurt to serve


Put everything except the oil for brushing into a bowl and mix it together well with your hands.
Divide the mixture into 8 and then shape each piece into a sausage. * The recipe says to shape around a skewer, but I've found it easier to cook and eat if you don't do this.
Brush the koftas with a little oil and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, turning now and then, until lightly browned and cooked through. Serve with the lemon wedges and the natural yoghurt.
I tend to serve this with either a salad or veges as well.

Substitute minced lamb for the minced beef and chopped mint for the chopped coriander (cilantro). Divide the mixture into 16 and shape into little egg-shaped balls around 1cm (1/2 inch) cubes of fetta cheese (you will need to buy about 100g (4 oz)). Thread the balls onto 4 soaked bamboo skewers before cooking and serve with Mellow Minty Yoghurt sauce (recipe below)

Mellow Minty Yoghurt Sauce


175g (6oz) Greek yoghurt
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tsp mint jelly
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Simply mix all the ingredients together and chill for at least 1 hour before serving (I've served it with almost no chilling time, still yummy, so don't stress about this part too much)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Helpdesk quotes

Yes, I work on a Helpdesk. No, I am not completely mad yet. I support a bank in NZ, and sometimes, just sometimes, I wish our phones came complete with an electric shock device that could travel over the phone lines and shock the bejesus out of the person on the other end.

Me: I've reset your password to the word password, and that is all in lower case
Client: really, so I just type that in? Is that with any spaces?
Me: yes, just type that in, no spaces (spaces? huh?)
Client: it's not working
Me: what did you type in?
Client: passwordandthatisallinlowercase
Me: *sigh*

Client: Whenever I type a 0 on my laptop, I get a flashback
Me: (to self.... what, too many drugs again?)... a flashback?
Client: yeah a flashback.
Me: ok (think..think.. what could they mean).. oh, do you mean a backslash?
Client: Oh..yeah, that's what it is called. I'm not very technical you know.
Me: (oh really?)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Brave dog

Ah geez, this is a new low for our dog Ben. Now, I'll be the first to admit he doesn't have much going on upstairs, but this is lame even for him.

I was sitting on the lounge reading, when I hear Ben growling in the room over near where a pile of junk is. Nervously I approach, fearing a rat may have made it's way into the house. Nope, no rat. What was he growling at, you ask? A clock. That's right, a clock. We have an old clock sitting on the ground on top of said pile of junk, and Ben was growling at the second hand as it went around.
*sigh* I guess we'll be ok if we ever get robbed by clocks!

Thunderstorm weather

I meant to mow the lawn when I got home from work today.. honest I did! Unfortunately a big storm came through, so now it is all sodden, can't mow. I'll bear up under the disappointment of course, I am a super trooper! ;)

Boy, the storm came in quick though. When I left work, the clouds had come in, and it was very still and hot. Uh oh, I thought, "There's a storm coming Ani!" (sorry, Star Wars quote, nerd alert!)

By the time I got in towards Castle Hill, I could see big thick clouds swirling around. As I drove into the shops a couple of fat drops started to fall. I was only in the shops for about ten minutes, but when I got back to my car, the guy who had just pulled up next to me warned me that there were sizable hailstones falling. I am nothing if not brave (or stupid), so I decided to drive home. Pah! Hailstones, nup! None to be seen. However it looked like quite a storm had been going on while I was shopping, the drains were overflowing water, and bits of trees were strewn across the road.

As I sit here now, the rain has eased off mostly, but I can hear rumblings of thunder in the distance, along with the sound of sirens, multiple sirens.

Update: it has just started pouring again, geez we've had some rain and storms lately.
Update 2: and now it is sunny again, all within half an hour this was!
Oh, and raining again, five minutes later, but still sunny, go figure. I'll stop with the updates now :)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A square or a globe?

Ok, it's meme time.

Last night hubby and I were watching The Great Outdoors, when one of the presenters had to utter a phrase that is guaranteed to raise my hackles and throw things at the TV.

"All four corners of the globe"

Think about that.... when you picture a globe, do you SEE any pointy bits, huh? Globes by their very nature don't HAVE corners, we are not living on a square here people!
Anyway, so if you can join the movement and remove this particular phrase from your usage, I'll feel a lot better.
I think I better sit down and have a cup of tea now.