Toorak is Very Nice

Day 3, after moving to Toorak.

It’s very nice. It’s not AS nice as I expected, what with it supposedly being the place with the highest average house prices in all of Melbourne and all the celebrities living here, but maybe it’s just a lot of hype. Maybe it’s actually a struggling area that recently hired a great PR person. That would explain why the likes of myself managed to get a room here on my budget. My room is still chaos, because I’ve been flat out with work, but at least my new housemates don’t have to deal with any of that. I’m usually so tidy…

Need to find a new place for car maintenance as well. It’s not like they don’t have car servicing near Toorak, because everyone needs to have their limousines, Rolls Royces, and Porsches sorted out. I tell a lie, I haven’t seen any of those. Not on this street, anyway. Everyone here seems to have normal enough cars, so I don’t have to feel like a pleb when I finally bring my car in for a service.

Such is the annoying thing about moving somewhere new, especially if it’s far away. You need a new everything, from your hairdresser to a car servicing place. And those two things in particular are something that require a bit of trial and error…with dire consequences if it turns out to be error. Every time I have to get my hair cut somewhere new, I’m gripped with mild panic at the thought of what’ll happen if they cut it wrong and I can’t just stick bits of it back on. Car servicing and repairs are a bit different in that cars have standard servicing, but still. You want to be able to trust your mechanic.

Just got to take the plunge, get some recommendations for a good mechanic in South Yarra maybe. That’s if it turns out that Toorak garages exclusively service million-dollar cars after all. To be determined.

-Harrison

Glass, Such a Curious Substance

glass repairsOne of the most confusing things about the mortal realm was glass. We have none of it where I’m from, so I was constantly arousing suspicion when I first came here and I was walking into glass surfaces all the time. I mistook it for a mystic force-field spell, and my Talisman of Inexorable Traversal grants me passage through all kinds of arcane barrier. Naturally, I just assumed that I could walk through it.

Not so. Glass is quite mundane, even if it’s still a fascinating creation. Mortal ingenuity at its finest!

Probably the best thing about it is how it lets you look through to the outside world, but also blocks access to your home. Breaking glass makes a great deal of noise and mess, so it’s a deterrent to intruders perhaps on the caliber of an actual forcefield. And there are enough people doing residential glazing in Melbourne that simply calling them in if there’s a problem isn’t…a problem.

That problem was mine this weekend, as I sat alone in my apartment meditating on the words of world renowned philosopher, Sigmund Jaldaboath. There were some strong winds, and one such gust caused a branch to scrape across my kitchen window, leaving the glass in a poor state. There were multiple ways I could have fixed it myself, of course- a temporal reversal enchantment, or a benevolent transfiguration spell- but I was curious about the ways of glaziers. As it turns out, they were far too efficient for me to observe them all that much.

It was a simple matter of taking out the pane and replacing it with a new one. I had hoped that they would perhaps bring the glass-making materials and make the pane right there in the kitchen for me to witness, but nay…they brought the appropriate pane with them and replaced it with little fuss.

Truly, commercial glazing remains an enigma. How do they make these transparent squares, and why are they so strong? Mortals, so many secrets!

Wallpaper, for Psychological Health

tropical wallpaperThere’s more than one way to curb toxicity in online gaming! At least, that’s the very beginning of my thesis. Most games nowadays have a system of reporting and banning to try to stop players from becoming abusive, and to punish players who take things too far. Over-Botch has something very similar, although it’s a well-known problem that people file false reports when they simply don’t like a person, or the career they’ve picked, or their managerial style.

But I’m hoping to stop all that with my new thesis, entitled ‘Wallpaper, and the Passive Benefits of Calming Surroundings’. Right now, many people play with wallpaper of a neutral colour. However, with the digital wallpaper revolution that allows people to customise their wallpaper choices, and even purchase wallpaper that is easy to remove. Thus, wallpaper with a calming quality can actually have a profound effect on a person’s mental state.

I haven’t been able to test this extensively as I’d like, but I was able to carry out several tests. My participants were placed in several different rooms and asked to play a stressful, competitive first-person shooter game. One control group was in a room with simply white walls, and they reported greatly-heightened aggression as a result of being scrubs. One participant even went so far as to break the console, which was…not really what I wanted, to be honest. However, control group two were placed in a room with decorative wallpaper displaying such things as peaceful mountain meditation scenes, stock photo families walking along the beach, and various pictures of ducklings and young squirrels gathering nuts.

The change was astounding. The wallpaper lowered aggression by as much as 80%, with one participant verbally noting at the end of a stressful game that “I would be angry, but I just look at this tropical wallpaper and I can think of only tropical things.”

Fascinating. We could eliminate toxicity altogether! Further testing required.

-Michael

Curse You and Your Perfect Hair

hairdresser St James PlaceTo all those people who were born with perfect hair that sits straight all the time: please, please never take that for granted. I see people coming and going from work every single day without so much as a stray lock out of place, and I just secretly want to coat their entire desk in glue so they can feel a slight hint of what I suffer through every single day.

Don’t know why glue is my first option…just think it’d be a huge pain to clear out. You might even have to just throw everything away, because it’s too hard to clean, which sounds like a appropriate punishment for having perfect hair and not respecting the fact that there are people less fortunate.

If I wanted to look like that, I’d probably have to schedule an appointment with a hairdresser close to St James place right outside the office, and try to stop work people from looking in the window and seeing that I didn’t do my hair at home. That’s right: I’d have to get salon treatments every single day. That would already be a bit of a drain on the old finances, but knowing my hair, it’d still find a way to thwart my plans. It’s resistant to hairspray, hair glue, hair cement, hair wax, hair extensions…and I mean that one. Last time I got hair extensions, my hair basically taught the artificial hair to be terrible too, and I had to bin them by the end of the day. It’s like spending time with a misery guts and ending up as miserable as them.

And then there’s Selene, flouncing into the office on a rainy, windy day with her flawless raven locks. A plague on your household, Selene. May you turn grey at thirty, like I am. Guess I’d better find an alternate hair salon in the Melbourne CBD that isn’t near work. Having the girls seeing my get treatments for grey hair would just be the last straw.

-Kayla

Moon Offices, Just Generally Superior

office space designI’m amazed at how unintelligent a lot of the population can be at time. Did you know that some people think we’re not going to need office fitouts on the moon? Those people are IDIOTS. Not just that, but they’re short-sighted idiots. I gave a presentation at the meeting tonight about the importance of admin, and also how efficient admin requires comfortable surroundings. I’ve worked in far too many offices that were too miserly to improve the physical space in any way, and they paid for it with decreased motivation of their workers. Obviously there’s going to be a load of admin when we get to the moon, working out the daily rations of oxygen, who gets to be fed on that particular cycle, and the assignment of duties is going to be immense.

There are whole degrees you can do on commercial office space design. Melbourne has a bunch of universities that now office this career path. So while I’m not an office designer, I do believe that is one of my latent talents. And hopefully, everyone else is now convinced. I made a bit of a mockup of what the main office space would look like, situated in the main dome of our colony. People had some cruel things to say about how it should be strictly utilitarian, and there was no room for any flourishes. I bit back with some rather biting (and dare I say, witty) comments about how rather homogenous surface of the moon can be, and how we’ll need extra stimulation until the terraforming process takes hold. It was something like that, but a lot wittier. And so, office design will be even more important than before, as we attempt to transform our budding kingdom into a wonderful space of transcendent design. And that design begins in the place where everything is organised: the office space. Design in Melbourne is some of the best in the world, so it falls to us to improve upon it for our lunar paradise. Just imagine the future of offices in that fair landscape, all…open, and moon-like.

Yes, indeed, beautiful.

-Sia    

The Talking Toolboxes of the Future

aluminium trays MelbourneAt this point, I live for our Futurist Club meetings. The baby is teething, and Sandra is so caught up with looking after the in-laws that I’m having to practically work two full-time jobs. Of course, said in-laws STILL criticise me for going to an hour-long meeting once a week, because apparently fathers are never supposed to go out, EVER. But I’m not giving up this club. It’s the one place I can get away and be myself for a bit.

Today’s topic of discussion was about utes, which really brought back the memories. I used to have a ute…and she was beautiful. Toolbox central locking, custom alloy wheels, the best aluminium ute trays in Melbourne and one of those little bibbing Hawaiian girls on the dashboard. Perfect in every way, but I had to get rid of her when the baby came because it wasn’t a family vehicle. And it’s true, I didn’t strictly need her for work, so there really wasn’t any contest. I think about her all the time…

Um, anyway, we were talking about the toolboxes of the FUTURE, and how they’ll have specialised traction systems that present you with the tool you need, smartly. We did some calculations on the super-future-calculator, and we found out that this will save approximately eighteen seconds per day. Now, factoring in the…fact that people in the future will each live to around the age of 280 due to advanced medical science, and you’ve got yourself quite the extra bit of time as it stacks up over the years. And that toolbox central locking will really come in handy when your toolboxes can centrally lock themselves!

Just a thought from your brain chip and the roof racks and bars slide out, the toolbox boosts itself up on little rocket jets and you tell it exactly what you need, which is then deposited into your hand. Of course, this is all for hobby purposes. All the manual stuff, like DIY and entertaining the in-laws, will be done by robots. And I can’t WAIT.

-Alistair

Ute Couture

aluminium ute toolboxesMy brother in law, Barry, dropped by this morning to show me his new work truck. Even I had to confess that it’s a sight to behold, despite not having much interest in these things (and being mildly irritated by Barry’s misguided conviction that I do). I was particularly impressed by the storage solutions that had been cooked up for storing Barry’s tiling equipment.

Honestly, this is probably the most thought I’ve ever given to ute trays. Melbourne offers so many other things to think about; I can hardly believe that anyone would spend more than the bare minimum of time on the subject. But then, each to his own. Sometimes I need to remind myself that Barry probably has limited interest in antique buttons and bias cuts. It’s all related, though, isn’t it?

The way that complex objects are put together is fascinating, and for Barry, the apex of that intrigue is custom canopies and aluminium ute tool boxes. Melbourne fashionistas, who are we to judge? To Barry, our enthusiasm for vintage Dior is just as perplexing. I can just see him falling asleep thinking about durable, corrosion resistant aluminium alloy, just as we drift off with new-season silk puffer jackets dancing in our heads.

I suppose I’m coming around to the notion of one day taking more than a passing interest in these custom ute canopies, or ‘service bodies’, as Barry calls them. I found myself getting particularly nosy about the nicely designed drawer system, which seemed to feature a place for every possible piece of tiling paraphernalia known to man. I was particularly taken with the lighting inside the drawers.

Well, anyway. I put on an extra show of indifference, because I don’t want Barry coming around here all the time to show me things like this. Perhaps if he’d taken more of an interest in the masterfully constructed invisible zip I was trying to show him the other day, I’d have been more openly appreciative.

Some Quieter Storylines, Perhaps

Bundoora kids party venueOkay…

Every episode of ‘Week of Our Lives’ this week has been…tame. Surprisingly tame. It’s not just me noticing it, either; the folks on the forums have said that they’ve been on the edge of their seats waiting for something to happen, except nothing actually happened.

It’s true! First it was Sally setting up her accountancy business. She got a call from the financial association saying that she needed to get her paperwork in by 5, and she got it in by 4:30. Then Lionel got a mysterious text from his wife that made him nervous, but it turned out to be a wrong number.

The most exciting thing that happened was when a couple of the mums went to hire a kids party venue in Melbourne, and I use ‘exciting’ rather sparingly. Natalie and Ming-Hua just thought it’d be really nice for their children to have a great party in a proper venue, with entertainers and nice food. So they went scouting, found some really nice indoor play centres and dranks some coffee.

But then…drama! Intrigue! One of Natalie’s exes was working as a parking attendant, and they bumped into each other outside the kids party venue! Except they broke up amicably, and it was actually just a moment of surprise before they caught up on the latest news and said goodbye. He didn’t even give Natalie a ticket or anything.

I mean, it’s great having a nice little bit of calm slice-of-life. To be honest, we have a couple of birthdays coming up and I haven’t looked up the kids party venues for hire in Bundoora. We may have to, what with the renovations in the lounge making it impossible to have a party in there.

But what exactly is going on in the writing room for Week of Our Lives? Is this permanent, or are they just taking a break from all the drama? I guess it has been a lot of drama, for…ooh, going on seventy years now!

-Leticia

Just Need to Lock Myself in a Small Glass Box

oxygen therapy MelbourneAt some point, I forgot how to relax. I’m not even a stressed person; I just don’t…NOT work. I should clarify: I just mean that I never really leave work mode, so I feel like I’m on duty all the time. And that’s bad.

My job isn’t stressful; I just never actually detach from it. I can’t actually remember the last time I had a Saturday to myself, or even an entire evening. I just can’t switch off, and I feel like I’m wearing thin. What do I have to do to break the cycle?? Lock myself in a box with no internet connection, maybe. Shove myself into a tank with some oxygen and play classical music until I’m basically forced to relax.

I mean, it’s not like appointments for Melbourne oxygen therapy are impossible. That stuff is everywhere nowadays, as opposed to a few years ago when people seemed to think it was some kind of recreational drug. Now its legitimate, medicinal, accepted…and to be honest, none of that is great for me. I like the idea of oxygen therapy, but they might just turn me away at the door for being too physically sound. I hear it’s meant to be for injury recovery and breathing problems, not idiots who can’t just turn off their phone to stop receiving emails. Maybe I should look into those isolation chamber things, where you float around for a bit and hallucinate. But then, I don’t really like the idea of saltwater…certainly not being in it for that long.

Suppose it doesn’t matter. One way or another, I’ll find a way to switch off, whether by technology or just sheer willpower forcing me into a healthier routine. And maybe people really do turn to oxygen therapy, Melbourne residents are all for alternative treatments. All this for a bit of rest in the healthy atmosphere. So long as I’m not robbing someone of their medicinal oxygen or anything.

-Renn

The Greatest Klein Family Dispute

business lawyers MelbourneI should clarify that my family usually enjoys arguments. I know you see all the memes about board games tearing apart families at Christmas or whatever, but for us, it’s all part of the fun. We get into blazing rows, boards are tipped, pieces are flung out the window, but it’s all actually in the spirit of good fun. Dinner table conversations quickly dissolve into what would seem to an outsider like a verbal bloodbath over political views, or whether Week of Our Lives is in a new golden age or trashy TV.

But it seems like property law has finally ended it all. The traditional Klein holiday home has, as is tradition, been owned by us all. Anyone can go on holiday there at any time, so long as you book it in the sacred calendar (which is now an online document to stop people from overlapping). Everything changed when Uncle Herb went and found himself one of Melbourne’s top property solicitors and called a clan meeting. Turns out that, after all this time, the property was actually in his name all along. Of course, that does make sense…legally, it HAD to be owned by one of us. Poppa left it to all of us when he died, but you can’t spread ownership over twenty or so people. We just always thought it was a Klein unspoken law to never speak of the true ownership, because it was owned by all of us as an inheritance.

Well…Uncle Herb wants to sell it and establish a new holiday home on the Sunshine Coast. That set off Aunt Val, because three of her ex-husbands are from there. While we were trying to calm her down, Uncle Dan tried to assert his authority from the year-and-a-half of law school he completed sixteen years ago and challenged the property lawyer, who I sort of feel sorry for, for getting caught up in this.

It was not to be. Uncle Herb has consulted with the best business lawyers in the Melbourne area, and it was done. The Kleins have officially had their first argument. For us, that’s basically the apocalypse.

-Kelly Klein