No More Stairs

There’s only one word I can use to describe Melbourne’s recent weather: random. If we’re meant to be starting summer soon, why is every second day filled with rain? Why are we experiencing freak wind storms? I have no answers. It’s interesting to behold, nonetheless – except when it affects you. And it definitely affected me last night. I got distracted and stupidly left my window open. Overnight, the wind must have been so strong that it was able to pick up a slim tree branch and hurl it through my window, where it hit my stairs. This wouldn’t be an issue for most people, but my stair balustrade is made of glass, you see. As soon as that little branch hit my balustrade, the poor thing shattered. I was woken instantly and rushed from my bed to see what had happened. At first, I thought I was being robbed, but when drops of rain hit my face it became clear. It was all my fault! Please remind me not to watch television before bed ever again. I become much too distracted. 

Anyway, now I have to contend with the issue of the broken glass. I absolutely adored the look of my stair balustrade before this happened. The glass beautifully reflected the light coming in from the window, and because the glass was obviously transparent, it didn’t clash with the rest of my interior decorations. I’d like to recreate my previous stairs, if that will be at all possible. I’m hoping to contact one of the best glass repair companies Melbourne has and ask if they’re able to fashion some sort of balustrade that looks identical to my previous one. It might be difficult and expensive, but I’m willing to do it. The original was custom-made by an Italian glazier, and I haven’t been able to contact him since that weird global event happened. In the meantime, I’ve swept the pieces of broken glass and set up a barrier to ensure nobody steps on it before it’s been fixed.

The Punch Test

I have sustained an injury. That’s a nice way to put it. That makes it sound more pleasant than it probably is. Simply put, I got punched. My kid got into an argument with another kid while the parents were around, and when I stepped in to break it up the other dad got defensive and he punched me. No biggie, really. It just means that now I have a black eye, and my eyelid is swollen shut so tightly that I can’t actually see out of it. I wanted to make sure that my vision is okay, so I visited a Brighton eye doctor to get checked out. She literally gasped when she saw me, which made my stomach drop. Apparently, my injury looks a lot worse than I had initially thought. Guess my son’s friend’s dad packs a powerful right hook.

We did a couple of preliminary examinations, and the optometrist said everything was fine, but that I should rest for about a week. She also offered me a few different remedies to soothe the swelling. The cheapest was just plain ice, which I appreciated because it’s simple to make in big batches. The most expensive product she offered me was a purpose-built eye cream that I could get a prescription for and pick up from the pharmacy. This special cream had a promotion attached to it – if you purchased the cream you could book your next eye test, for Bentleigh customers only. Luckily, I lived in Bentleigh so this wasn’t an issue. I travelled to the pharmacy to pick up the cream and then went home to start freezing some water for ice. It’s going to be a few weeks before my eye returns to normal. I’m a bit embarrassed to go out in public looking like this, but my son just thinks it makes me look cooler. Small victories, I guess?

Caring Friend

I love my friend so much. I am going through the worst period of my life right now and my friend has been there for me the entire way. From the moment my dad went to the hospital to the moment I told her the date of his funeral, she has been there checking up on me and doing her best to make sure that I’m okay. It means the world to me, truly. 

You should have seen the beautiful unicorn wall art she had installed in my room. I was out at the time organising and packing up my dad’s apartment and when I came home and my bedroom was covered in beautiful unicorns. She wanted to make me feel happy and give me a distraction even just for a second and it worked. For a moment I completely forgot what it was like to be in immense pain because my dad died. It was only an extremely brief moment but that reprieve was incredible even if just for a second.

I want to do something to repay my friend. I don’t have much energy at the moment to do anything, but when I do I want to show her how grateful I am for everything she has done for me. I’m going to need her support for a very long time and I want her to know that I appreciate everything she has done for me. Maybe I’ll talk to the same person who did my unicorn wallpaper. In the Melbourne area, there are plenty of wallpaper designers around, but this person did such a good job that I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. 

Even though I’m in the very early stages of mourning and I can’t really comprehend what is happening or how the rest of my life will be now, I do still appreciate the people around me. Without my friend, I wouldn’t even be able to write this message today.

Building A Table

Today is probably going to be the longest day of my life. It’s just a waiting game. I feel sick waiting for my friend to let me know the news. Her life turned upside down within the space of forty-five minutes. I spoke to her at 3:45 pm yesterday and everything was normal, and by 4:30 pm she was at the hospital begging the hospital staff to let her in to see her dad. He suffered a major medical episode and is currently fighting for his life. I feel absolutely helpless and I know that nothing I can say or do is going to make this any better. The only thing that is going to make it better is for her dad to be okay. 

Whilst I wait, I think I’m going to try and keep myself busy. Often when I’m feeling anxious I try to keep my hands busy by building something. I think I have some leftover timber supplies from the Cheltenham hardware store that I can use. I might build a little coffee table or something. If it’s good enough, I’ll give it to my friend as a ‘thinking of you’ gift. If it isn’t good enough, I’ll dismantle it and use it to make something else the next time I’m feeling anxious. It’s so messed up because if I’m feeling this way, I can’t even imagine how my friend is feeling. It must be horrific. The whole situation makes me feel sick. 

I’m spiralling a bit. I need to refocus my thoughts. I’ll go get all my materials out and build something. Actually, now that I look at what I’ve got, I probably don’t have enough timber to make a good coffee table. I think I’ll make a trip to the hardware store. Cheltenham has plenty of hardware stores around but the one I’ll go to is my favourite. It just always has everything that I need. I’ll update you after my trip.

Glass For Two

‘How long are your parents out of town?’ James called up the stairs, anxiously looking around like they were going to come back at any moment.

‘Would you relax?’ Pete rolled his eyes, leisurely strolling down the stairs. ‘A week, at least.’

‘What do you mean “at least”?’ James asked, eyes wide. ‘You don’t know exactly?’

‘It was more of a “take me to Paris or I’ll divorce you” kinda trip than a neatly planned holiday,’ Pete shrugged. ‘But it’s not the first one, so there’s precedent for at least a week.’

He pulled a bottle of whiskey out from underneath his arm and James momentarily forgot how terrified he was of Pete’s father.

‘Woah, that’s…’

‘Yeah,’ Pete nodded, basking in his success. ‘Very expensive.’

‘Won’t he realise?’

Pete rolled his eyes again. He took a step back, onto the landing of the staircase. ‘You see those,’ he sighed.

‘The glass?’

‘Yeah, the glass. Last time my dad went on a business trip to Japan, mum had some place near Melbourne that specialises in glass balustrades come in and replace them. He never even noticed.’

‘Well, I mean, glass can be difficult to—’

‘They used to be wood, James.’

‘Okay, point taken.’

‘Relax!’ Pete laughed, clapping his friend on the back. ‘We’re supposed to be having a party!’

James grinned, despite himself, starting to loosen up. Pete shook the bottle celebratorily and marched towards the kitchen.

‘It’s amazing work by the way,’ James called out to him, not moving.

‘What’s that now?’ Pete asked, twisting back around.

‘The balustrade — you don’t see quality residential glazing work like that every day.’

‘James, what are you talking about?’

‘The glass! It’s so clear too…’

He stretched out a finger to touch it and Pete’s blood ran cold. The world slowed around him as he dropped the whiskey bottle, shattering on the ground as he flung himself down the hallway and tackled James into the tile.

‘What the hell?!’

‘If you get a smudge on that glass,’ Pete whispered, terrified, ‘my mum will hate me.

Recorded for Posterity

‘Tell me you caught that,’ Dan groaned from the bottom of the stairs. He could faintly hear his skateboard rolling away from him, but he needed the air to start cooperating with his lungs again before he could chase it down.

‘We got it man!’ Alex chuckled, skipping down the steps to show him the camcorder. ‘We got it all!’

Dan propped himself up on his shoulders to look up into the lens. ‘You’re still filming?!’ he groaned, shoving the camera out of his face.

‘Mate, after that fall I don’t think I’m ever gonna stop filming you again!’

Dan tried to fake-laugh, but his ribs protested — apparently unaware that the lungs had already refused.

‘I wonder what we could use this for?’ Alex mused out loud, playing back the footage.

‘Aren’t we just chucking it up online like we always do?’

‘Think bigger, Dan! This could go viral! And then what? We just go on with our lives? What if..’ Alex got a glint in his eye. ‘What if this is the start of something? What if we send it to a marketing video production company to really make the video shine?’

Dan was starting to get convinced. ‘Going viral would be awesome! Maybe one day that could turn us into an animation!’ ‘Exactly! I’m so surprised you’re on board!’

Dan looked hurt. ‘I thought we were friends Alex. I thought you knew it was my dream to go viral with the help of the best corporate video production company in Melbourne.’

Alex teared up. ‘I’m sorry man. I had no idea.’

‘It’s okay,’ Dan said, welling up too. ‘I should be more open with my feelings.’

The two boys embraced.

The projector flicked off, and the lights were turned back on. Daniel and Alexander, in slick suits from their newfound fame, strode to the front of the table.

‘And that,’ Daniel said, gesturing with his thumb, ‘is why you can trust us with your business.’

The boardroom burst into spontaneous applause, as the two men hugged.

He’s Moving In

This month, my uncle is going to be moving in with my family. He’s been in hospital for a little while after his accident and we haven’t been able to see him due to that crazy worldwide event that’s been happening recently. When the hospital called us to explain he was going to be discharged soon, my wife had the phone on loudspeaker. The whole family had been listening in and we all started whooping and cheering. Everybody loves my uncle, so when he needed a place to stay after being discharged, the thought of not letting him live with us didn’t even cross my mind.

Right now, I’m researching a number of bathroom design ideas Melbourne companies have put online for inspiration. They’ve got some brilliant photos and it’s made my wife really excited, but I’m not sure if we’ll be able to complete our bathroom renovation like the pictures – unless we hire a proper company for it. And I imagine that will cost a lot. See, the reason we’re renovating our bathroom right now is because my uncle is disabled. I naively didn’t realise we would need to update our home to make it accessible for him, but it seems quite obvious and important now. In particular, we have to create a disabled bathroom layout to make it easier for him to shower and go to the toilet.

Luckily, our house is only one storey so we won’t have to completely remodel our home. Based on my research, we’ll have to do things like put new railings on the walls and install different kinds of cabinets and benches that are easier for him to navigate. We also have to ensure the bathroom itself is actually big enough for his wheelchair. I don’t mind doing these things at all, and my wife and children are more than happy to suffer a little temporary inconvenience during renovations for the sake of my uncle. I just can’t wait for him to move in with us!

Warmest New Job

I absolutely LOVE MY NEW JOB. I made such a good decision changing companies. I can’t even begin to explain how happy I am. I’m not only in a much more senior position, I’m surrounded by people who support me and I am making a difference in the world. Every day I come to work and I am sure that I’m doing good things. It’s made my workplace morale so much better and every day I can’t wait to get started. 

I’m sure you all remember my anger and frustration at my boss for refusing to hire a technician specialising in ducted heater servicing. Canberra businesses should all get regular heating services if they want their employees to be happy. If they’re not doing that then they can’t really expect their employees to stay. We sell our time to businesses. I can (clearly) sell my time to anyone and obviously, I’m going to choose the business that makes my life the best – it would be silly not to.

But anyway, this isn’t about my old work anymore. This is about work that is fulfilling and how much I enjoy working where I work. It’s also about working for bosses that respect your needs and recognise that paying for regular heating services in Canberra is absolutely pivotal to employee satisfaction.  

I’m excited for my new life to really begin. It’s going to be fantastic. I’m making my way in the world and I can feel it. What started as a young woman fresh out of university just trying to land an internship has led to a senior position in just over two years. I’m so proud of myself.

Even though my old colleagues weren’t proud of me, I’m not going to let that get me down. I’m going to use that as motivation to get better every single day. I’ll show them just how good I am.


Lovely Traditional Tattoo

I just wanted to follow up on the blog that I wrote about skincare and tattoos. A lot of you wrote in and said that similar things happened to you. I found that so interesting! I thought it was just something that happened to me, but apparently, if you feel good about yourself and take more pride in your appearance then you’re more likely to consult a traditional tattooist than a regular person. How interesting!

Some of you wrote in saying that your experience was the same but not with skincare. There was a whole variety of things that made you feel confident enough to get a tattoo. Some examples of them, for those of you who are curious, were new relationships, new jobs, achieving milestones in your life, going travelling and more. From what I gathered, anything that made people feel good about themselves was enough to inspire them to get their first tattoo. For so many of you, skincare was the confidence boost you needed to learn to express yourself through tattoos. Psychologists should do some sort of study on this phenomenon. 

I’d love for you guys to submit pictures of your tattoos to my inbox. It would be awesome to also get some feedback on the tattoo shop local to Brisbane that you went to because I’m always on the lookout for another place where I can get a tattoo. My whole body is a canvas at this point and I’m not married to anyone particular tattoo parlour. 

I just want to look as good on the outside as I feel on the inside, thanks to my beautifully soft skin that glows when you look at it. Looking good and feeling good is one of the most important parts of being in your mid-twenties. I’m never going to be this young again and so I want to make the most of it whilst I can.

The Animation Messaging

I can’t believe I get access to all this top-secret information, all because I work near a video production company. I mean, what are the chances? It’s pretty cool, really, even if Melbourne (and now all of Australia) has been taken over by Mechanist Rising. It certainly helps that I can warn my family about incoming laws and restrictions put in place by the Mechanists – thanks to being in close proximity to the video production agency with all the inside knowledge.

I know I said that I was going to stay out of this and just put my head down, hoping to save myself. However, I can’t quite help but feel that I could be doing more. Things are really bad out there. The Conclave is gaining more power by the day. Their goals of world domination don’t even seem that unrealistic anymore. I just wish there was something I could be doing, but I don’t work at the video production company. Melbourne residents are terrified of Mechanist Rising. And honestly, they have no idea what is coming next. If they’re terrified now, I hate to think what the reaction will be to the video I’ve heard is currently in the works.

I’ve been posting these blogs (as well as a video transcript) to random websites on the internet, in the hopes that somebody will see them, but they don’t seem to be gaining traction. Maybe it’s for the best because honestly, I’m pretty scared too. I don’t think toeing the line is going to cut it anymore. These guys are really serious. I can’t keep hearing what the video production business near Melbourne is doing anymore. 

I think it’s time that the video production agency starts putting some hidden messages in these animations. Maybe they can rally people, encourage them to stand up to these new oppressors. And as long as they cover their tracks right, they won’t get caught. 

– Mr Chowski