Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's getting to feel a lot like... New Years...

New year, new resolutions - right?

Well, I'm as much of a chump as the next guy gal -I've started planning myself a list in three parts.

Things that should come to fruition; Things that proddly won't come to fruition; Things that I know I can at least make a good start on.

In 2008 I/we should finally buy a house. And I/we should get engaged (based on discussions we've had - and apparantly in the rough month or so it's been discussed I've been noticeably happier, although I don't know if he's linked the two things together).

In 2008 I proddly won't get married and/or have a child. Or a dog. I proddly won't become an awesome cook and sway everyone with awesome vegan dishes. I proddly won't shift 10 kilos and be uber-hawt, nor will I dress like a pretty office girl. I proddly won't get some magical haircut that makes me love wearing my hair down and I proddly won't start rowing. I proddly won't get the star tattoo I want under my left little toe to remind me of the beauty of my friends and my life and the sadness of loss of suffering and I proddly won't get a short haircut that will make me as cute as Natalie Portman.

In 2008 I can at least make a good start shifting my tum-tum and chin-chin - Magf and I are gyming on Jan 2. If I can combine an enjoyable program with sensible eating, the world shall be my oyster. I can at least make a good start on riding to/from work - my friend up the street who works with me is keen once his knee is better. Also, I can at least make a good start on reading the top 100 books from Angus and Robertson - I know I won't read them all in a year, but if I make a start it can follow through for another year or seven.

Here's the list for those of you playing at home - I've indicated those that I've already read:

1. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown (read it a few times now - good fun, speshly illustrated)
2. The Lord Of The Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
3. Pride And Prejudice – Jane Austin
4. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee (read it in school - it counts!)
5. Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden (I've read this almost 10 times - I love it)
6. Angels And Demons – Dan Brown
7. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold (They're making it into a movie atm)
8. My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
9. Tomorrow, When The War Began – John Marsden (I never finished the whole series)
10. Magician – Raymond E. Feist
11. The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons
12. Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire – J.K. Rowling (Finally read the HP series this year!)
13. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien (I read this in primary school - will revisit if necessary)
14. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
15. Cloudstreet – Tim Winton (I didn't find it particularly fascinating)
16. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling (They all blend to me now)
17. The Power Of One – Bryce Courtenay
18. April Fools Day – Bryce Courtenay
19. Tully – Paullina Simons
20. Across The Nightingale Floor – Lian Hearn
21. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
22. The God Of Small Things – Arundhati Roy (This one disturbed me)
23. Ice Station – Matthew Reilly (I started but gave up - he uses exclamation marks...!)
24. The Pillars Of The Earth – Ken Follet
25. Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom
26. Perfume – Patrick Suskind
27. The Bible - I AM NOT READING THIS!
28. The Bride Stripped Bare – Anonymous
29. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix – J.K. Rowling (Been there, done that)
30. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling (Ditto)
31. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis (I read this this year too)
32. Cross Stitch – Diana Gabaldon
33. Looking For Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta
34. Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cunxin
35. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
36. Year Of Wonders – Geraldine Brooks
37. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
38. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Series – Douglas Adams (Don't remember much)
39. Jessica – Bryce Courtenay
40. The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
41. The Catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger
42. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
43. One For The Money – Janet Evanovich
44. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott (Read this in primary school too!)
45. The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
46. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
47. Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason – Helen Fielding
48. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
49. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
50. Life Of Pi – Yann Martel
51. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
52. The Poet – Michael Connelly
53. A Child Called It – David Pelzer
54. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
55. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
56. Tell No One – Harlan Coben
57. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
58. Almost French – Sarah Turnbull
59. An Equal Music – Vikram Seth
60. The Ancient Future – Tracey Harding
61. The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
62. The Day After Tomorrow – Allan Folsom
63. Desert Flower – Waris Dirie (Don't remember having an opinion either way)
64. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
65. The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde
66. Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
67. A Fortunate Life – A.B. Facey
68. Girl With A Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
69. The Godfather – Mario Puzo
70. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets – J.K. Rowling (Which one was this?!)
71. The Horse Whisperer – Nicholas Evans
72. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
73. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
74. The Pact – Jodi Picoult
75. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
76. Wild Swans: Three Daughters Of China – Jung Chang
77. Animal Farm – George Orwell
78. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
79. Atonement – Ian Mcewan
80. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
81. Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier
82. Crime And Punishment - F.M. Dostoevsky
83. Emma – Jane Austen
84. Enduring Love – Ian Mcewan
85. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
86. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
87. Interview With The Vampire – Anne Rice (My least favourite of hers!)
88. It – Stephen King (This scared me, read in College)
89. Like Water For Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
90. Not Without My Daughter – Betty Mahmoody
91. Plain Truth – Jodi Picoult
92. 1st To Die – James Patterson
93. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
94. Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
95. Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb
96. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
97. The Potato Factory – Bryce Courtenay
98. The Redemption Of Althalus – David Eddings
99. Retribution – Jilliane Hoffman
100. River God – Wilbur Smith

I'm unsure if the list changes often or if at all, so I'm basing it on the list above (without the bible!).

Now, it's your turn!

What would should happen, what proddly won't happen and what will you at least make a good start on?

Thanks for your company in 2007 - looking forward to our interaction in two-oh-oh-eight!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Wrapup in the format of pointed dots

  • Did you have a lovely Christmas? I bet you did - is pretty hard to have a bad one... though a friend of mine sent a Christmas message around with the disclaimer that words could not describe her past 48 hours, warranting a panicky phone call from me (she has an almost 3 year old and is 6 months pregnant) - turns out that her son had been sick since Saturday, she had to spend the whole time out bush with her husbands family, then got home to find her house had been flooded. They spend the day pulling up carpets and shifting all their belongings into the one room that was not carpeted, and was about to have to help host a Christmas party with her mum for like 30 people - she was pining for a drink, just to make it seem a bit less real, but I think she still had a great time.
  • I got spoilt - The Hun and I put in for a Wii together (more on that later) and then he insinuated he had gotten me something else. I worked out that I was getting replacement buds for my super hi tech headphones he bought me for my birthday (I'd got a pair too dirty, lost a pair and finally stretched my earholes out to fit one of the remaining pairs but then they started to stay deep in my ear canal after I pulled the headphones out (though it was handy to finally keep tweezers in my bag)) and then he told me there was something else coming... so I panicked and bought him a DS and a Zelda game. He did his little smug thing when he opened the game, but didn't realise it was a DS game until I handed him the next box - I got in trouble for going 'over the limit' that I knew was in place, but didn't know exactly how much it was (apprantly the limit was under what he spent). The other part of the gift he got me was the Kid Confucious CD which I am super happy about - I love their sexytime sounds, can't wait to have a proper listen!
  • The Wii has been awesome fun - I've started Guitar Hero and managed to get The Hun to play (which is a real shocker as he hates the game - though he hates it again now that he's played), I played some Mario Universe (the bro's bought it for him) and we've both played Wii Sports. Wii Sports has a fitness test in it where it tests your skills at Baseball, Bowling and Tennis and gives you a fitness age between 20 and like 100. On the first day, The Hun got a score of 22 (!) and I got 42. As Jey so elequently put it, I am Wii Fat. We tried again last night and The Hun dropped to 27 and I got 42. Again. Even though I totally did better at tennis by continually telling myself to "Relax.... just hit the ball... relax... just hit the ball...". I am going to have a super buff arm, because apparantly my "relax" involves tensing my whole arm and shoulder and wildly swinging my arms around in an attempt to cover as much space as possible in the hopes of hitting something.
  • I also got a DS from the youngest bro, middle bro, dadsy and mumsy; eldest bro and his gf got me a Women's Health Subscription (yay!), Santa bought me a breadmaker, flour and yeast (wahoo!), I got an overnight bag from a KK on mumsy's side of the family, a photo frame from dadsy's eldest sister, a Wiimote from The Hun's sister and her bf, tickets to the Chaser Show, the Spicks and Specks game and some chopstick bowls with holders from The Hun's parents and an address book, spaghetti set and giant fauxsilk undies from The Hun's grandparents. I also inherited a puzzle from The Hun that he was given by his aunt and uncle because he hates puzzles with a passion. Heh.
  • I'm going to the shops at lunch to pick up some Havianas (EVERYONE seems to have them and say they are the most comfortable things) some DS and Wii games, a Wii nunchuck, some new bra's (ooh, er) and some super power boards because we are running powerboards all over the place and still don't have enough inny holes to put things into (Edit: I bought two pairs of Haviana's (black and pink), two bras (funnily enough, also black and pink), 4 powerboards with 6 inny's each, Big Brain Academy, Wii Play and Wario Smooth Moves for the Wii and Animal Crossing and Theme park for the Wii. Phew!)
  • Christmas Day started at 7:30 after receiving a message from one of my students telling me to "Cease the Day" - I'm presuming he meant seize, and I loved the sentiment he put into it. We exchanged gifts, I got told off for spending too much and then we turned up at mumsy and dadsy's to find they'd only just got out of bed (as seems to happen every year, after they tell us to ensure we are on time as there is lots to do). Gifts were swapped, The Hun went to his parents for lunch and I went with dadsy to pick up my aunt (the one who used to care for my Pa that I don't see very often - I think I resent her and I'm not sure why) where she announced she had decided she had something to give me that was very expensive that I better look after that was worth over $8000 that was left in my will but that I should have now. She gave me the Omega watch her first husband had bought her. I don't know how I feel about it... The Hun picked me up at about 3 and we went back to his parents where I got spoilt again, then I napped a bit, then he slept for an hour and a half (grr) and then we left at about 10, after watching DanceSport. I've decided that when I stage my elopement I'd like a fancy back detail on my elopement dress.
  • Boxing Day The Hun and I were up before 9, getting ready for the 2 hour drive to the coast to visit his grandparents. It had best not become a tradition that the best shopping day of the year is spent driving for 4 hours, eating a roast lunch and napping on a itchy carpet while people watch the cricket. It's not that I have anything against his grandparents, jus that it's a long drive and they always nag that we should go up there and stay for a few days when a) I don't do staying at peoples houses, b) there is nothing to do there and c) I can think of other things I would like to do. Plus his Grandma is very huggy, touchy, baby talky and determined to make you eat non stop and I'm not built to handle that. Still, I had a pretty good day.
  • The Hun's grandparents have suddenly decided I am part of the family, calling me their Granddaughter, telling us they'd take us down the beach and get us to jump a broomstick so we'd be married (?!) and joining the call for us to procreate so they can have great grandkids (and so dadsy have grandkids). They must have discussed it earlier because they both started it at the same time - proddly because The Hun's grandma had been talking weddings with him last time she was down - him saying how hard it is to buy a house and afford kids, her about how it's not so hard because her parents and her did it tougher. She said more than once that we should get married now, that we should just elope. With family there. Ie, them.
  • There were a lot of idiots on the road yesterday, I can now totally see why the Christmas period is so dangerous. There was an idiot in front of us who could not stay in the middle of the lane - she was either with two wheels over the left line, or two wheels over the double line - I high beamed her a few times in case she was dozing or something. We actually drove past a crash on the way home - the news says that the driver of one of the vehicles died - The Hun's sister saw them doing the chest pumping as we drove past - wouldn't have been 10 minutes after the accident happened that we were there. Both cars were on the wrong side of the road, both were 4 wheel drivey trucky things packed full and the one where the man died was on it's side down a ditch. Absolutely terrible.
  • Dadsy and I almost bought a puppy the other day - The Hun got a terrible glimpse into his future as the two of us planned on how we would bribe mumsy into it. There was a purebread shihtzu in the petshop that had been there alone since before the day that Max died - we both saw him there on the weekend and it was so sad that we both wanted it. And I know it's terrible to buy dogs from the shop, but the poor thing had been alone for so long, he needed rescuing as well. By the time I'd called the shop on Monday morning they told me that another had come in on the Sunday, so I didn't feel so bad - plus dadsy's commitment to the task at hand had wavered and he caved. Mumsy just isn't ready for another dog - they've decided to wait until Elvis the soulstealer has had enough and will get some more pound puppies.
  • The only other news is that youngest bro and middle bro have headed off to Vegas today. They and two friends are spending almost three weeks in Vegas and LA. I cannot tell you how worried I am about this. I predict that they will run out of money and call home for some (because that is totally their style) but I am sure there is going to be a few stories of complete stupidity, considering they can't even go interstate without getting in trouble. Case in point: Last weekend. The three bro's and a bunch of friends went to Sydney for Daft Punk (super jealous in retrospect), got hammered and caught the train home. On the way home there was a guy standing near middle bro, talking loudly on his phone. For some godforaken reason, middle bro thought it would be hilarious to pull out his own mobile phone, exasperatingly immitating the guy talking on his own phone and then continuously point between himself and the talking guy. When the talking guy told him to "Come over here then", middle bro changed his mind and stopped. They also managed to get the 9 of themselves stuck in an elevator for 20 minutes (they were all dripping sweat) and then middle bro fell between a train and a platform. I'm not kidding. They got out at a stop, thought it was the wrong one, and headed back in, only to have both of middle bro's legs fall in the gap between the train and the station. He got stuck all the way to his thighs and the doors started closing, so one of youngest bro's friends held the doors open while he got back in. How someone manages to get BOTH legs stuck down there is totally beyond me - his thighs are bruised and skinned and he is walking funny. God knows how they will go in the US.
  • Extra Bjork tickets go on sale tomorrow - WAHOO!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Who's the sucker now? Ho Ho Ho!

So, I totally thought I was the smarts when I decided I wouldn't take any leave over Christmas.

It's air conditioned, you come in late and leave early, and it's empty.

Except Canberra weather is being stupid crazy so I don't need the air conditioning, if I come in late/leave early I lose the flex that I only just got back into the positives last week (since *cough*October*cough*) and my branch head just left and the CEO cancelled her leave, so I'm going to get f()ckloads of reports, I'm sure.

Ah well.

I left at lunch time today, I have Tues and Wed off (though Wed will be spent driving to and from Batemans day *sigh*) and then I have next Monday and Tuesday off... should not be so bad - I'm taking scattered clumps of leave over the next few months anyway.

Just wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a joyous and compassionate Christmas - I'm sure I'll babble again before NYE.

Ho Ho Ho!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Authentic Happiness

Hey you guys, I have my first weekend off since like October starting now.

I plan to do some last minute shopping, see all forms of family at a party on Sunday, and sit on my ass and do quizzes.

You totally should go here: Authentic Happiness.

Did you know I have Avoidance Motivation of 31 (putting in the most avoidant 10% of the population that score over 22.8) and Revenge Motivation of 18 (putting me in the most vengeful 10% of the population that score over 13.2).

Also - my top strengths are as follows:

Your Top Strength
Humor and playfulness
You like to laugh and tease. Bringing smiles to other people is important to you. You try to see the light side of all situations.

Your Second Strength
Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.

Your Third Strength
Fairness, equity, and justice
Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance.

Your Fourth Strength
Kindness and generosity
You are kind and generous to others, and you are never too busy to do a favor. You enjoy doing good deeds for others, even if you do not know them well.

Your Fifth Strength
Perspective (wisdom)
Although you may not think of yourself as wise, your friends hold this view of you. They value your perspective on matters and turn to you for advice. You have a way of looking at the world that makes sense to others and to yourself.

How could you possibly resist the urge to complete them all and tell me what you got?!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Cards and tokens - done!

The Christmas tokens went well - only one person asked if it were transferable for cash, and I know he was joking.

Highly recommended!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

JCM 23/04/82 - 13/13/07

Farewell you northern hills, you mountains all goodbye
Moorlands and stony ridges, crags and peaks goodbye
Glyder Fach farewell, cold big Scafell, cloud bearing Suilven
Sun warmed rocks and the cold of Bleaklow's frozen sea
The snow and the wind and the rain of hills and mountains
Days in the sun and the tempered wind and the air like wine
And you drink and you drink till you’re drunk on the joy of living

Farewell to you my love, my time is almost done
Lie in my arms once more until the darkness comes
You filled all my days, held the night at bay, dearest companion
Years pass by and they're gone with the speed of birds in flight
Our lives like the verse of a song heard in the mountains
Give me your hand and love and join your voice with mine
And we'll sing of the hurt and the pain and the joy of living

Farewell to you my chicks, soon you must fly alone
Flesh of my flesh, my future life, bone of my bone
May your wings be strong, may your days be long, safe be your journey
Each of you bears inside of you the gift of love
May it bring you light and warmth and the pleasure of giving
Eagerly savour each new day and the taste of its mouth
Never lose sight of the thrill and the joy of living

Take me to some high place of heather, rock and ling
Scatter my dust and ashes, feed me to the wind
So that I may be part of all you see, the air you are breathing
I'll be part of the curlew's cry and the soaring hawk
The blue milkwort and the sundew hung with diamonds
I'll be riding the gentle breeze as it blows through your hair
Reminding you how we shared in the joy of living

Friday, December 14, 2007

F*ck Summer

The weather had started to warm up, I had boot camp the next morning, Christmas was on it's way and youngest bro would be turning 20 soon. Then dadsy called me to tell me that Pa had died and that week I cried like I never had before. I really felt sadness, I felt loss, I was starting to realise I would not be able to pop in to see him, to stir him up, to do those small things to make him happy.

The weather was hot and I was out at the Mawson club, celebrating gf1's 24th birthday. We joked and laughed and gossiped and I headed home in good spirits. Dadsy called me the next morning to tell me that Tom had died and I cried by back door, cried by the fridge and cried while The Hun got out of bed to give me a hug.

The weather was balmy and we'd celebrated youngest bro's 21st and dadsys 50th. We sat out in the sun, drinking and relaxing, keeping an eye on Max who just wasn't acting right. I've detailed the problems, our attempts to save him, our last straws and hopes held - but I wept quietly after dadsy called me to tell me that Max had died. And I cried, choking and gasping, in the toilets of the bowling alley, in a way I hadn't since Pa had passed away.

Last night was cool when I got a call from a friend, telling me that our friend was not well, that no news was not, in fact, good news. Today was the warmest in a while, the kind of day where everyone comments on Summer finally arriving. Today I got a call to tell me that our friend had died.

He'd completed his two rounds of severe treatment and undergone an operation to remove what tumour was left. There was a complication, an infection, gangrene, pneumonia I think. A drug induced coma that he woke out of, to utter amazement, but swept back down under.

Twenty five.

Twenty f*cking five years old.

I've passed on the message, promised to keep people up to date, let my boss know I will need a day off. I've been asked how I am, I've been messaged, and emailed, and SMS'd, and called.

And I'm yet to shed a tear.

I do not think it is real, I do not think I have made the connection, I do not think I realise that this is what it is.

When I was in year seven I was teased for not crying at farewells.

When I was in uni I shed only a few tears at my Grandmothers funeral, only when I saw my mother stumbling back up the aisle, grasping at my brother for support. Every so often for a year or two after that I would feel the sorrow well up, realise I hadn't cried, I hadn't mourned, I hadn't missed her like I should.

The other night I thought to myself how far I had come, to finally be able to feel my sadness like a normal person, to realise a loss is a loss.

But have I?

It's like I can see it, but I can't feel it.

But I know I will. I'm sure I will. I hope to dear f*cking God that I will.

Monday, December 10, 2007

See Dots Point - Point, Dots, Point

If you're not a dot point reading person, could you at least skim the first one and reply if you can? That'd be great - thanks team.

  • So - my 500th (ARGH WHERE HAS ALL MY TIME GONE ETC) post is coming up soonish. Any ideas/requests/suggestions? If you're not into dotpoints then I understand if you stop reading now.
  • We celebrated our third Cuzmas weekend before last (backstory here), down at the 'family' coast house about an hour out of Batemans Bay. 9 people (the bro's, two cousins and three partners), only two doors and just one toilet/shower. Highlights included drinking and playing DS/PS3/SNES as that's about all we did due to the crappy weather. Lowlights included hearing someone hang a turd in the middle of the night in too much detail and spending a lot of time cleaning up after messy people. Extreme lowlight occured the Tuesday after we got back when I replied to an email that suggested a ban on game machines next time - I replied saying that I didn't mind them as long as people played together (The Hun and eldest bro's gf spent a fair amount of time reading by themselves) and that we should do a roster for the crappy jobs like cooking, cleaning, washing etc. I received a barage of emails from the bro's telling me I was passive aggressive, it was my own fault if I didn't have fun, if I'd asked them to do something they would have, they were looking forward to me not being there so they could have the room with a door on it and that I should cut down on the Haterade. No input from eldest bro's gf (who I thought was on the same page as me) and a really good reply from The Hun that he only sent to me and wouldn't send on. You may not realise what a delicate petal I am, but I basically shut down and spent the rest of the week avoiding talking to them. I dunno how I feel about it all, other than hurt - I was the odd one out having not been there the last time and it totally didn't help me at all. Moreso when middle bro only later replied that the roster was a good idea (if eldest bro wrote it) - why not jus say that in the first place rather than sh!t all over me? Who knows.
  • Things have gotten a little better re: Max. One of dadsy's rello's took a lovely photo of him on the day we celebrated dadsy's 50th, the day before he had his fit. He looks really happy and it's a pretty good shot of him (much better than the dirty faced soft copy I posted!) and I got some copies made for the family and have a framed pic in my room. It makes a big different to reinforce that image where he is happy and healthy, as he was for most of the time.
  • I made gf1 and gf2 some bracelets for their Lindeman Island holiday - each bracelet had their name on it and 'WWED' (What Would Enny Do) so that they could look at it and think of me (who's got tickets? Enny's got tickets!). Seems that gf1 took the bracelet to mean that I would be generally drunk and debaucherous, pimping them out at every chance I had, but behaved herself and played my role by WooOOOooohing at gf2 at every given opportunity. Gf2 took it to mean that I would instead dissaprove of everything and spoil the fun, but totally did NOT behave herself, giving gf1 plenty of opportunities to WooOOOoooh! I got a lovely surprise last night when I met up with them for coffee at 9pm and got given a WD(gf1)A(Gf2)D bracelet (What Did (Gf1) And (Gf2) Do). How awesome is that?! Sadly, I still don't know all the stories.
  • We drove up to Sydney on Friday for Homebake and got a call from Dadsy in the middle of the day to let us know Max's ashes were ready if we could pick them up. The vet closed at 7pm, we left our house at 2:30pm (stopping for petrol and to pick up the tickets from my parents house) and checked into the Hotel at 7:40pm. UGH. The traffic into Sydney was MENTAL. How are there so many cars at the start of the M5 such that you're forced to regularly stop, only occassionally being able to peak at 60kmph?! It didn't help that we must've missed an exit out of a tunnel, were directed to turn left at a road that just was not open at the time, and were sitting at a massive intersection near Nee-Sega World at 6:58 when we decided we could just pick Max up on Saturday morning. My blood sugar was low, I was p!ssy at not being let into the lanes I needed to be in, and I was admittedly a bit emotional about not being able to pick up my dog (as well as some resistance from The Hun about holding him - we compromised and he sat tightly at The Hun's feet whenever we were in the car). I was so angry I could feel my heart beating in my throat. Then there was the hotel...
  • Ugh again. The room itself was pretty good (though others in our group of 10 did not seem to think so, being stuck in a smoking room and all) at the Travelodge, HOWEVER they have NO idea about customer service. I pulled up in an alley and The Hun dashed in to ask about parking - the dude gave The Hun a carpark machine ticket and a map to show him where it was. We circled around the block three times before we made it in, then saw there was a boom gate - so we stuck our ticket in. It spat it out, let us through, we parked with no worries and then hauled our luggage around the block to check in. We then spent 20 MINUTES talking to the guy about checking in. The first issue was that middle bro had booked all the rooms (four on the first night, five on the second) under his name, causing a lot of apparent confusion. This was complicated moreso when I tried to organise trundle beds in two of the rooms - we aborted that about five minutes into the bedazzled stare. Then there was talk about parking - I told him we needed to duck out on the Saturday morning so that we could get Max, so could we please get another parking ticket so that we could get out in case our already inserted ticket didn't work. Somehow, he didn't seem to understand that we had inserted our parking ticket and managed to get it back out, even after I did a fairly accurate reenactment of the whole debacle. After 10 minutes of us seemingly agreeing but him still looking confused, we decided that I would just come down and get another 'prepaid' ticket on the Saturday morning - Just In Case. Come Saturday morning, I'm standing at the front desk reenacting the whole thing again for the girl at the desk who could not comprehend what was going on, but gave me printed instructions like I was some kind of idiot. Perhaps they should give you the instructions to take a ticket from the boomgate and put that same ticket into the pay machine FOLLOWED BY the hotel prepaid ticket when you ask about parking, rather than wordlessly handing a prepaid ticket over. This whole thing makes me angrier than necessary, but I should not have to spend 40 minutes of my life telling a story about parking (neither should you have to sit and read about it!). To top it off, I received a call from the desk manager on the Saturday night for some unknown reason, telling me that two people from our group had arrived to get into their room even though a) they'd stayed there the previous night, b) middle bro had checked in their rooms for them that morning (including moving their luggage) and c) WTF does it have to do with me?! It was like he was calling with questions, but there was no questions actually asked. Goddamnit.
  • On the bright side, they were shooting a scene for a move in the carpark as we were leaving. It has a guy shooting down another guy and it was VERY loud. Also VERY terrifying for the two tourists who were walking past unawares that it was a setup until they were chased down by some of crew. Heh/Aww.
  • Homebake was pretty good too. Highlights were obviously some of the bands, the turkish spinach things, the Hare Krishna food, the raindbow ice drinks, the funny cameramen perving on people on the mainstage and the recycling scheme where people got a $1 drink voucher (or $1 cash) for returning their bottles/cans. Lowlights were the drunken idiots, the toilets, people peeing everywhere and the sweaty people who danced into you repeatedly. Also - note for the gents - repeatedly blowing smoke onto a girl after she's moved away from you and glared at you is NOT funny.
  • We saw Foreign Heights (who only played two songs due to sound problems and the death metal group on the main stage playing WAY too lound, drowing out their mexican instrumentalists AND their rapping); Kid Confucius (who I had mixed up with Kid Kenobi so was very pleasantly surpised to be listening to sexytimes lounge music rather than a DJ with a record player); Art of Fighting (whose lead singer supported Holly Throsby accoustic and was awesome, but was pretty unsuited to a festival); Operater Please (of which I would marry any of, with the excpetion of the keyboard player who jumped too much, and with more of a lean to the totally underage but totally adorable drummer - it all sounds the same but they were pretty awesome), Blue King Brown (who started late and who I just could not enjoy as it was too hot and crowded and I was getting claustrophobic AND danced into, but they were The Huns higlight), Angus & Julia Stone (who also had sound problems but were fantastic AND Angus shaved his beard), Josh Pyke (who is cute and chatty and lovely and did really well), Gotye (who was awesome but had the most annoying crowd, very few of who I think were fans), Paul Dempsey (The Something For Kate guy that The Hun was superkeen to see but who I'm just not that into, though appreciate him moreso accoustic than blaring of The Hun's stereo), 15 minutes of Missy Higgins (I got to hear Scar, Slide and that other new one so I saw my favourites AND she was fantastic, even if she restarted that new one three times because she couldn't remember the first verse), 7 minutes of Architecture in Heksinki (who started an hour late and oh my god they were so annoyingly sh!t that I couldn't stomach it), six songs of Paul Kelly (including the From Little Things, Big Things Grow one as a duet with Missy Higgins, the I've done all the dumb things one and the They got married early, never had no money one) and then a teeny bit of The Divinyls who I just could not get into and just seemed to whinge a lot and look old. Though I read when I got back that she's recently been diagnosed as having MS. And I think I overheard her say into the mic that she'd come out just like Missy Higgins had. Right.
  • Has anyone ever had one of those Hungry Jacks hash browns? Oh my god - they are so oily they don't even hold together! Where were you when I needed you Maccas?!
  • We went bowling for a branch Christmas party last week and I bowled 150 on my first game - awesome! It was downhill from there, and moreso when some uni friends booked a lane that night and asked me along - I played four games in one day and my left leg was stuffed from the lunge when I bowled! Who knew it was such good exercise?!
  • I got some acrylics last week too and I heart them - I have deep purple tips instead of white and I don't care if you think they sound terrible coz they totally aren't. You'll just have to trust me on this.
  • I just finished the worst book in the world - Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell (quick googlage just revealed it's being made into a series - ugh). It was on the 2 for $20 table so I should have releasid, but let me summarise for you: The fashion one fails, then succeeds, then gets a rich boyfriend, then dumps him, then gets drunk and acts dumb, the loses the deal, then takes her boyfriend back; The movie one gets left by her husband, flips out, takes him back, loses him again, becomes a success, gets a boyfriend in the form of her former enemy; The other one starts an affair, ends the affair without being caught. Fin.
Feel all caught up now?!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Am back, will blog

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post - I will get back to you shortly.

Just got back from Homebake and I just feel exhausted, on many levels. It's like I'm being drained on many levels - physical, mental, emotional.

Not helping is that it's past 8pm and I still have to meet gf1 and gf2 for dessert at 9pm AND pick up some groceries for the week.

But, you know me, I'll proddly sleep it off and all will be restored to a somewhat level or normality.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Rest in Peace, Max

His blood was clear of infection, he hadn't detiorated any further and once they'd sedated him to finally be able to xray for tumours, there were none.

Things were looking up, the MRI was booked for 5pm today and after some medication to release the pressure in his brain, he brightened up a bit.

Dadsy received a call this morning to tell him he'd had a bad night and was acting more distressed. He asked the vet what he would do if Max were his dog and the vet told him it was a decision he needed to make with his family. He spoke to mumsy and called the vet back, only to be told that he'd taken another bad turn - whatever pressure was building in his brain was pushing onto his spinal cord - his legs were paralysed and stiff and his neck was twisted up and back. The vet couldn't anesthitise him for the MRI while he was in that state, nor could they give him the MRI without the anesthetic.

The decision was made.

They believe he may have picked up a disease that all dogs are meant to vaccinated for at 6 weeks, that takes 6 or 7 years to form tumors.

I wish I'd been able to say goodbye, to reassure him.
I wish they'd been able to do the MRI sooner.
I wish he'd been vaccinated when he should have.

I hope he's in peace, with only happy memories.

I hope he realises how much he was loved and how much he is missed.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Google Feeder

I've finally set up Google Reader, after having not had quite enough time to keep up to date with my reading.

So far I've only set up the first section - putting the actual blogs in there. However, I can't get it to work for Ampersand Duck, Culture Strain, DailyWTF, Dawei, Deb, Michelle, Sarah or The Food Whore. Any help/ideas?

Also - I,haven't put "The 'Other' Ones" in yet - would you recommend it for things like I Can Haz Cheezburger?, Perez or Go Fug Yourself?

Did you always know I was this much of a noob?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Update II

I'm sorry this is not awesome reading, folks.

I went round to my parents this morning to pick him up and he was just kinda laying around. Then he pepped up a bit and walked himself out to the car and was quite calm for most of the trip (apparently he's spent the majority of his car time panting and trying to escape).

We went through an initial interview with a final year student who was lovely and very understanding, did her best to keep him calm as his nails slid around on the polished metal bench and listened intently to dadsy's description of his background.

The specialist came in and did some more diagnosis and the two of them did a really good job of keeping him calm and then explaining what they were going to do and why.

The things that worried the vet were that his back leg has started to go the way of his front - he tested his legs by moving them from under him. On his good legs, he did what you'd expect a typical dog to do - shift around and try to put his foot down. On his front bad leg he would just sorta fall over, or keep standing on it when the vet bent it back the wrong way. His back leg was halfway between that and normal. Also, one of his eyes is infected - that is new. The legs and the infection and the turning the long way round has the vet pretty confident that it's largely a brain issue.

The way he explained it is like one of those charts where you come to a cross road and go one way or the other. The starting block is checking red and white blood cells (he's not eaten in almost two days and his white cell count is up).

Then they check for poisoning like lead poisoning (which is cumulative and could explain it).

If it's not that then they will check for an infection that could have lead to swelling - the infected eye could point to this if the eye is off the same vein that goes to the part of his brain that seems to have the issue.

If it's not this, they will xray his chest and stomach for primary tumors - if there are multiple tumors then there is not really much we can do for him.

If there are no tumors then they will get an anesthetist in and do an MRI. If there is a primary tumor and it is operable then they will get the only dog brain surgeon in Australia to operate. If it is not operable and not a primary tumor then there is not really much we can do for him.

Obviously I'm hoping it is just some sort of poisoning or an infection and it will all be fine. Or on the other extreme I'm hoping it's an operable thing and that he'll just be in pain for a little bit and then back to his old self again.

But there is always the talk about making the right decision - are we trying to make the dog feel better or ourselves feel better by not having him die.

I would just hate to hear that he had died there alone. Or that he wouldn't be well enough to come home. Or that he's gotten worse and will keep getting worse and there's nothing we can do. Or that he will stay at his current poor level -stumbling, depressed, confused. The vet will be calling at each step to let us know what happens.

They took him out the back while I was getting his blanket out of the car so I didn't get even a quick goodbye.

At least he's in good hands and at least they can get some food into his stomach one way or another, to give him some energy and some strength.

Thanks for the thoughts guys, here's hoping it's all just a blip on the radar.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Dadsy and I leave for Sydney Monday morning at 7am.
Max's appointment with the specialist is at 11:30, for blood tests and potentially an MRI.

He woke up last night crying in pain, his eyes glazed and his breath laboured.
He stopped crying but got lost under the decking.
Dad said had the vet not been 'on holiday', he probably would have put him down today.

Dadsy has warned me he might well die tonight or tomorrow morning or on the drive there.
Or we might get him there only to be told that he should be put down.
I guess whether or not we stay there will largely depend on whether or not he lives long enough to make all the tests.

Life is so unfair.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pop in, pop out

This is just a quickie because:
a) It's late and we just got home after dinner and Wii with The Hun's workmates which was lots of fun and makes the wait until Christmas all the harder;
b) I'm off to the coast tomorrow for two nights with the bro's, some cousins and various partners and I feel I should let you know before I go AWOL;
c) I have something I want to talk about but want to give it the time it deserves, but it's constantly in the back of my mind so I have to get it, shorter and sooner than preferred;
d) All of the above.

I mentioned in this dot point post that Max the dog was unwell with pancreas and bronchial issues, with potential meningitis. Since he started his medication he had pepped up again, cheery and friendly and our happy dog again. When I saw him on the weekend for youngest bro's 21st, he was acting odd again. Watching him in the hallway, his front left leg kept slipping out from under. He was panting and his tongue was hanging out on one side, which whilst may seem cute, is also not normal. He was walking side by side with Elvis the dog, in the exact same way Elvis and Tom used to do (always walking as one) and then he went berko at Elvis and had to be smacked a sent away - something that hasn't happened for quite some time. He came out onto the deck and peed on the mat twice, in front of everyone - he has never done that before.

He was taken back into the vet on Tuesday for further tests and came home with dadsy and youngest bro just before 8pm. Dadsy jumped in the other car with mumsy to pick up birthday dinner Indian, and I met up with youngest bro in the driveway. Youngest bro started to explain what the vet had said, but was intertuped by Max shaking himself, like all dogs do, but landing himself on his back, legs up in the air, unable to get up and unwilling to try. I asked if he'd been sedated and was told that no, he hadn't, just as youngest bro opened the gate for Max. Max turned anticlockwise in almost a full circle to turn right - "He's not turning right" I was told. And whilst typically this could also be amusing in a Zoolander kinda way, it just wasn't. Max was panting and keen to get inside for a drink of water, so took off up the back stairs as per usual but got it wrong again - jumping to the right and almost jamming his head in the corner of the deck under a bicycle tire.

I nearly burst into tears all three things happened within about ten seconds - all I could kinda do was stare at him with my mouth open and feel my stomach fall.

Youngest bro got him inside and told us that one eye was weaker than the other and one leg was weaker.

They told him he may have had a stroke - a blood clot through to his brain; he may have a tumor in his brain; he may have cancer in his brain.

Eldest bro summed it up the most articulately: So they're not sure what it is, but whatever it is, it's shit.

It could have happened before he slipped down the stairs, it could have happened during, it could have happened after. It goes to explain his personality change. It could happen again.

The vet put calls through to Sydney Uni - it's the only place where they can do an MRI. And whilst they said they may not need to take it that far, if they can piece together what's happened, dadsy told me this afternoon that the vet was waiting for the call back from the uni.

I've volunteered to take him up if he needs to go.

Because everyone had a hard enough watching Tom die, and I wasn't there.
Because I was the one so determined that what we needed was another dog.
Because I was the one who picked him out from the pound with mumsy.
Because when I picked him up from the pound I saw such love in his eyes it brought tears to my eyes - the crazy sobbing driver and the ecstatic lovely dog.
Because although he shows no sign of any attachment or loyalty to me, I can't help but feel so much a part of him.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm so tired my feet don't touch the ground*

I thought I was the witness of a descending rapture of the heavens this afternoon in the toilet at work, but it was just the Christmas Carol choir practicing in the meeting room next door.


At the moment I'm sick of feeling sick. I have the feeling I'm coughing through the night but have stopped waking myself up with it - my only clue to this is when I had a bit of a sleep-in on Saturday and The Hun told me I'd been coughing all morning. That and the way that what used to feel likea good old cough to clear the lungs while I had a runny nose and stuffy head now elicits only a half hearted bark, a cringe and a pout. I'm back to being headachey, blowing my nose in that embarassing way that usually requires more than one tissue and feeling like I've got a filter somewhere in my chest that needs a good poking with a pipecleaner to empty the vents. It doesn't help that I just finished a book about a hypochondriac having a breakdown that I actually quite enjoyed, but has me half believing that perhaps I have a chest infection that's going to devolve itself into pneumonia or bronchitis or lawd knows what. So not only am I sick of being sick and tired of being tired, but now you're probably bored, full stop.

I should proddly just stop this one right here, for the sake of all involved.

28 sleeps to go!

PS - After all of my whinging about uni I got my marks back on Friday - two distinctions, my best ever! Seems the ticket is a delicate balance between cramming at the very last minute and attending all the lectures and tutes, even if you don't absorb a whole lot. I should patent that sh!t right there.

*This is the song that The Hun and I seem to sing any time we feel even a little tired... know it?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Homebake Timetable - My Adventure

I don't know why these concert promoters make their timetables so damned hard to read!

I realise I could be alone on this one, but I've got the same problem with this years Homebake timetable as I did with this years Big Day Out timetable. Can you see what the issue is?

Perhaps you can't - in fact, if you're a guy, chances are you can't.

The thing that REALLY bothers me with this timetable is that it's upside down. Like I understand the need for having the 'big names' at the 'top' but it makes it near impossible for me to read - it's like it switches off some 'understanding' link in my brain. Even if I get a grasp on what show follows what show, I get befuddled with the gaps. The gaps that run in reverse.

I don't typically consider myself an anal type of person *snigger* but when these things are released I just HAVE to reverse them into Excel. And because they don't all start at quarter/half past/to I just have to break the times down in to five minutes blocks.

This isn't even getting onto the annoying manner in which they schedule the ones I want to see all around the same time. Like Missy Higgins & Architecture in Helsinki, and Gotye and Sarah Blasko.

Just as an aside, the lineup isn't all that awesome - I have got to do some serious internet stalking to find out who half these people are otherwise I won't be spending a whole lot of time in The Domain that day!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

(More) Exciting Times - this time in dot points!

  • Following on from this, mumsy is veggo too! I had my doubts, I do think she's more likely to try and mislead dadsy on this one - but I'd be more than happy to eat my words on that. Keep your fingers crossed on this one, people!
  • I'm mostly over my cold/flu - I spend a lot of time blowing my nose and trying to pick off the dead skin that looks like nasty dried snots while ignoring the comments from my boss about how my coughing sounds like that ad where the lady coughs but it sounds like a dog. I could also do without the waking up choking/coughing/sniffling.
  • The hot weather that was bothering me while I was sweating all over the couch has turned on me now that I want to sit outside and drink. What's the special occasion? My old boss is having a Tupperware party and she REALLY knows how to throw a good one! Basically I will sit outside, be showered with cruisers while eating hummus, french bread and kettles, get overexcited at storage and then spend money I don't have on things I don't have room for. Hooray for Tupperware!
  • In order to get a lift to/from Tupperware, I had to clean my room (you can guess whose idea THAT was). First time in months that my feral room was cleaned, and even I am relieved to see the carpet again.
  • To top that off, youngest bro is having his 21st party on Saturday night. It's a BBQ, but now that mumsy and dadsy are veg*ns and two of my veg*n martial arts students are coming, it's going to be good to have lotsa veg*n food there. I'm excited about it for the food and the drinking and the fact that youngest bro was hammered at the toga party we went to the other week and he invited half my friends as well. Hooray!
  • What is it with ho's ruining my favorite TV shows?! I'm finding it really hard to enjoy Dexter because of that feral ho Lila; and Nancy used to be my favorite in Weeds but she is just slutting herself EVERYWHERE at the moment.
  • Max the dog has come across a bad patch - he'd been mopey of late and not quite right, keeping his tail down and not getting excited over anything much. Mumsy and dadsy took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with a pancreas issue and a bronchial upset, so we figured that was the main cause of his mopeyness, but he's also taken to falling down the stairs a lot (and blaming us for it somehow). Even though mumsy put some anti-slip stripes on the stairs on the weekend it didn't help - he fell down on Monday and had some kind of fit. He was in with the vet all day on Monday and they believed it was either a shock from the fall or meningitis (which is not like pharyngitis like I initially believed, but rather an infection in his brain) - he's been on medication and mumsy installed a baby gate on the stairs and dadsy chaperone's him outside so that he doesn't go anywhere near stairs, and apparently he has really picked up again. I hope it was just shock or a one off - meningitis has about a 60% cure rate and to confirm it they need to extract spinal cord fluid from him, which would really upset it him. It would be so upsetting to see, particularly after poor Tom suffered from seizures as well.
  • Guess who's a spoilt girl? At this stage I'm still on track to get a Wii from The Hun for Christmas AND now the bro's have decided to get me a DS as well! This is mainly due to me hating feeling left out while they all play games together (all three of them have one) and so we're also getting one for eldest bro's gf and The Hun. What a bad example of an almost 26 year old I am.
  • Another bad example of what a bad 26 year old I am? One friend had her first son on Tuesday, one friend is due in March and one friend is due in the middle of June. OOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooollllllllllllllllllllllllllld.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sick Day Interview

This shoulda been up earlier, but I've been home sick today. And whilst I was perky for Facebook chat, I've started feeling worse. Why the flu and not The Hun's 4kg lighter making gastro bug from last week?!

Lulu did the interview I did a little while ago, and she was so keen to interview that I couldn't help myself - let the interviewing begin!

1. You and The Hun seem like you have been together forever!! Do you think you will get married? If so, when?
As of tomorrow, we will have been together for 3 years and 9 months. Had I managed to get myself knocked up on our 'start date', we would have a 3 year old - scary thought! It's actually funny you asked this question because gf2 went and saw a psychic the other week and she had some interesting things to say on the topic:
  • I will marry The Hun;
  • He is the type of guy every girl wants to marry;
  • There will only be a short engagement (as we're practically engaged now); and
  • There will be children (don't know how many) because "I was born to be a mother".
Anyone who has seen me near babies would understand while this is so hilarious - I am not a baby person. I'm ok with toddlers but only when the parents aren't around so I don't feel like I'm being judged, and then I'm just doing my darndest to make them think that I am cool.

But yes, I think that we will. I'm not sure when, but I would like to have kids sooner rather than later (ie, by 30) so it's easier to manage and I still have time to get a career on track. Perhaps we will hafta time it with dadsy's retirement because it seems that childcare is a joke these days. So within the next few years? It might help that I don't even joke about it any more because it was causing some friction for a bit there...

2. If you could live anywhere in the world where do you think it would be?
Now, this might surprise you, but in terms of OS I could see myself handling Japan! As much as I whinged, I could totally see working there doable (language etc aside). More locally, if we were to move anywhere, I imagine Melbourne. Or Sydney. My view is that wherever The Hun is able to find fulfilling work I am more than happy to follow, and hopefully transfer my job to work out of the nearest office of the organisation I work for.

3. What are your favourite vegan recipies?
Heh heh - quick and easy ones! I'm a bad vegan in that I don't do recipes as well as I should, but I should be more honest and say I'm a bad cook! The Hun likes to do gourmet type stuff - fresh herbs, complex recipes, research on the internet etc, whereas I'm more of a 'whatever' kinda cook. So for quick and easy vegan recipes I like my lazy pasta, burritos with refried beans, salsa and lettuce and Sanitarium mock roast with roast veggies (that The Hun is coooking for poor sick enny right now!). I also went mental at The Hub - a bastardised asian grocery in Tuggeranong that makes it easy for me to get all sorts of awesome asian things, so I'm stocked up on puffed tofu, dehydrated 'beef' and 'chicken' nuggets for stirfries, as well as red bean buns, chicken skewers and instant noodles/curries. Yum!

4. If given the chance would you travel to the moon?
No! I'm scared of heights, I'm scared of flying, I'd be scared of motion sickness, burning up, running out of oxygen, and just realising there is no ground underneath me.... not to mention the vastness of space! It's one place I have no interest to visit, but I don't mind looking at the pictures.

5. When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up? Is you life now anything like you thought it would be when you were younger?
Heh heh. When I was younger I wanted to be a teacher so that I could write on the blackboard and yell at the kids. Fact. That dropped off somewhere along the line and I decided I wanted to be a vet, but I wans't kidding myself and there was no chance my UAI would get me into that (besides, seeing blood and hurt animals would be pretty un-cope-able for me!). In year 12 I took up a double major in IT (I think it's because the nerdy boys I crushed on (particularly The Hun!) were doing it) and decided I would go on to do IT. Until I dropped out because I can't code.

So no - I don't think my career is what I expected. I remember saying to my old boss when I waitressed that I didn't see myself sitting behind a desk for the rest of my life (just before I told him I couldn't see myself waitressing for the rest of my life and he replaced me and I was unemployed until I got my public service job). But, the way I see it is that I'll stick it out as a public servant for a while - the conditions are really good and I do actually like what I do - I can see it moving more into the type of stuff that I would more like to do as well. But in all honesty I totally expect to have a midlife crisis type thing when my kids are teenagers and The Hun is super successful and become a teacher, or a vet, or a psychologist.

You know the drill:
Now it's your turn. If you want to be interviewed, leave me a comment including the words "Interview me." I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions. If you don't have a valid email address on your blog, please provide one. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Getting close to vote time

You can tell, can't you? The number of voiced over ads are on the rise, as is the amount of time spent thinking about why on earth these promises haven't already been, you know, done.

I posted a while back on not knowing how to vote and got some great advice from commenters, and I thought I would quickly touch back on the topic and let you know about a post of Ruth's that I really appreciate.

Please click on the link to her (November 12) post, read her advice and click on the links in her post to read the policies.

I guess it's so blindly obvious that we should all feel a little guilty for not doing it ourselves... so get those reading glasses, thinking hats and deciding fingers ready - 5 sleeps to go!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Muse - Sydney Entertainment Centre - November 17th


It. Was. Fantastic!

I don't know how many of you are into Muse, but it was an amazing show.

The Hun, middle bro, youngest bro and I drove up to Sydney on Saturday, checked into our hotel, went to the shops (a shirt for middle bro, shorts for youngest bro, thongs for The Hun, lunch snack for middle bro and I), went back to the hotel and then went to the the pub across from the entertainment centre. We settled in for a few (middle and youngest bro had had a few of their own before leaving the hotel) and once eldest bro and eldest bro's gf had joined us, we headed in (with a few drinks) so sit on the floor and wait for the support act.

The support act were called The Checks and aren't really all that describable - so here's their Wiki link. Our opinion was that the lead singer was feeling something that wasn't really there, and one of the bro's commented that someone needs to tell him he should be popular/succesful before dancing around like that. I mean, they were ok, but you couldn't really hear what was going on as it was so loud and his silly antics were kinda distracting.

Muse came on at 9:30 and they totally blew me away. I find it so amazing that three people (well, mostly one) can create something that can affect so many people! I have no idea how many people were in there (it was sold out) but to have that many people so excited to see you, and to be able to elicit such an extraordinary reaction from them is something very powerful.

It was the first time I've been in the standing section for anything (other than my one BDO) so I was a little nervous at the start, particularly once the crowd seemed to all move forward at once. Typically I would have bought a seated ticket because I am old and lame and lazy, but I don't think I would have enjoyed it half as much if I were seated. I felt a part of it - jumping and screaming and singing and pointing, but a good 20 metres away from the stage, I would say. We all stayed fairly close together, except for when youngest bro decided to go into the ACTUAL most pit - that is, I think I saw him on the big screen during one of the songs and when he returned to our group 10 minutes before the end he was absolutely soaked. He had sweated so much (and got himself covered in everyone elses sweat) to the point where he had to leave in the final (second) encore for water, so missed part of the show.

So yeah, where we was was pretty awesome - close enough to be in the thick of it, close enough to still have determined young things push past us to get closer and close enough to have sweaty wild-eyed things push past us to get out. And close enough to have two big sweaty guys hear me proclaim 'Oh F*CK no!' as they decided my line of sight was the best place for them to stand and flick sweat around with their lank hair. "It's a mosh pit, get over it" was the response I got, but whilst I was trying to get up the guts to point out that um no, actually it's not the mosh pit - the mosh pit is the bit where people are being lifted up over the fence and this is actually the bit where people stand when they want to totally rock but are too scared of getting crushed they must have realised for themselves because they moved over to where they belonged.

After that we headed back to the hotel (with a stop for some Gatorade and misery chips which I didn't really need but was hungry and why don't 7-11s have SALAD sandwhiches?!) and met up again this morning for the drive back.

(Note: I bought the tour singlet which is totally hawt from the ribcage up, but a little disturbing in the belly button region. It doesn't help that at dinner on fri night with gf1 and gf2 (before they departed for their tropical Lindeman island holiday which I totally should be on too!) gf1 told us how her brother had a friend that went to the doctor because she couldn't lose weight and the doctor told her to stop dieting because she was pregnant, even though she was on the pill and used contraception.)

The only other thing I'd say about the weekend (apart from the concert was awesome! Woot!) was that I don't think I'd recommend the Regent Hotel just off George street - we stayed in a twin share room as part of a mystery deal thing middle bro organised and it was tiny, there was no iron, the pillow hurt my neck, people were knocking on doors at 7am and there is no noise reduction between the hallway and the room, the room has a fake window with light in it and the lifts are jerky. However, for $88 for a room for a night, it was pretty frickin' awesome. Weigh it up, I guess!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Exciting Times!

There's something I'm super excited about :o)

Dadsy's party went well on the weekend (snide comments aside) and I was there for about 12 hours. There was not much drinking for me, largely due to a toga party 21st the night before that included an open bar, but there was the occassional cruiser or Moscato enjoyed by yours truly. There was substantially more drinking from others there including dadsy and one of dadsy's best friends (ever seen a 48 year old man roll out of his undies on a plastic lawn? No? Then you haven't lived).

Anyway, somewhere along the way it was picked up that dadsy was making the usual 'I won't drink much after this' 'I'm going to get fit and slim' 'I'm going to ride my bike to work' (now you know where I get it from!) and I decided to slip in the 'I'm going to be vegetarian'. On my way out the door I reminded him that he was going to stop eating meat and he started getting lyrical about how he hates the cruelty to these animals, how disgusting the live export trade is, how he could perhaps one day make a difference to that and how he remembers his great uncle having pigs that would just nuzzle up to you like a puppy. Before they ate them.

Monday night was dadsy's actual birthday, so the Monday night family tea was more of a special occassion - rather than going out to a restaraunt as planned, it was decided we would stay in and have leftovers and seafood. Because that's how special occassions are celebrated at the house. To say I was a little uncomfortable during the meal is an understatement - dadsy's best friend had returned with his wife for dinner, so there were 10 people around the table, 9 of which were peeling and ripping the heads off of prawns, slurping oyesters, and gouging at crabs with crab forks, spoons, fingers and lips. Whilst everyone kept proclaiming how fantastic it was, how good it tasted, and 'look at me make it move like it's still alive', dadsy was the only one who noticed the predicament for me and felt the need to apologise. Several times.

Don't get me wrong - it's not like I feel I should be owed an apology. I was THE biggest seafood eater, it was my FAVOURITE meal of all time. I'm not mad at them for eating animals, I see it all the time, I was the same way before. It's just that on this particular occassion there was nowhere else to look but down at my cold rice and pasta salad.

Yesterday at work I called dadsy at home - he'd taken some more leave around his birthday so he could relax - to check how Max the dog was doing. Poor thing has been extra mopey with nary a tailwag in sight for a little while now, plus he'd been diagnosed with a bronchial irritation AND he had fallen down the stairs twice in the last few days. I was glad to hear that Max had pepped up somewhat and I decided it would be a good time to stir dadsy about his vegetarianism - "Did you have meat for lunch?".

"No. I haven't had meat today or yesterday."

Stunned silence.
"Wow dad - that's awesome! You're vegetarian now!"

"No no, you know, just testing it out or whatever... not officially... we'll see..."
Cue change of topic on his behalf.

I sent him a message over Facebook last night (because that's how we roll) telling him that I was really proud of him. That it must have been hard for him but that I really respect his decision to do something about the suffering. He's already saved lives and he has already made a difference.
And then I went to bed.

I just think it is absolutely fantastic that someone like my dadsy - 50 years old, lover of expensive foods and animal flesh, born in rural Australia has decided to listen to his heart and make an active decision to make a difference.

I am so excited about this.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Does my me etc Pt 2

I really appreciate the kind words from the last post - thanks team.

I mentioned that I'd bought Skinny Bitch and I'm really glad I read it. There may be a slight bias to me because I'm already more than halfway there with what they propose, but it did give me a lot to think about - I do highly recommend it if you read it with an open mind. Even if you don't implement anything/everything from it, it puts thoughts in the right place!

So I think that part of what is frustrating me at the moment is that I have started to make changes to my attitude to food but I am not seeing much in the way of results as yet. And yes, I know it's not immediate, but I am totally a now, Now, NOW kinda girl!

I'm eating fruit for breakfast and another piece of fruit for my snack; I'm snacking on nuts, roasted chickpeas, rice crackers; lunch is salad, sushi or leftovers; bread is wholegrain or with grains and seeds; and dinners aren't deep-fried concoctions - they're full of veggies and proteins, typically with some rice or pasta. See that? I'm not counting out the carbs or sat fats, I'm not avoiding potato or carrot, I'm just eating healthy. If I'm eating well 80 - 90% of the time, then having a treat occasionally is nothing to beat myself up about.

I also finally went in The Hub - it's finally opened down south and I'm in love! If you haven't heard of it, it's pretty much a bastardized asian grocery - the aisles are slightly bigger, the lighting is brighter and all the products have english labels on so I can see what I can and can't have! I'm stocked up on mock meats and sauces so that we're more inclined to cook at home and so The Hun starts enjoying the vegan food a bit more - the products are so easy to cook!

My running and cardioboxing has become a bit lax, but I'm keeping an eye on it and getting ready to get back into it - I've gotten into the heavy end of the running so The Hun is more likely to want to come with me if middle bro is unavailble, and cardioboxing is on again tomorrow.

So I just wanted to say - thanks for the support; read the book; and stop making things more complicated than they need be!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Does my me look big in this?

Yesterday my aunty walked up to me at Dadsy's 50th and told me I was 'looking pregnant' as she patted my belly.

I think my reaction was to laugh it off and suddenly look like something important was happening in the kitchen that I need to attend to. Granted, this was probably not the best location to have to be, but at least she didn't follow and I could avoid her for the rest of the day whilst continuing my self conscious habit of pulling my tops down. A lot.

I've long had a bit of a thing going with body image. Nothing major, I don't think, but it's like my little raincloud.

When I was younger, I was the beanpole - no boobs, no real wobble all through college and high school. I'd always been tallish and I was 48kg in year 10, 58 in year 12. Come uni I managed to do something somehow that gifted me with boobs and wobble, courtesy of an extra 15kg or so. So at least I've been pretty consistent since then, typically within 5kg of that - the only variations on the theme being my almost-year of waitressing where I lived on an apple for breakfast before 8 hours on my feet, a nap, whatever dinner my parents cooked and then bed. I also did well in my manic weight-watcher-ing, down 66 kilo's at the lightest.

The thing with me and my weight is that I'm typically in a 'losing' or 'relaxing' frame of mind, with extremes of both. I class my waitressing and WW'ing as extreme losing times - there was nothing healthy about it. I was solely focussed on getting skinny, feeling for my hipbones and checking to see how much I could push down onto my love handles before I could feel only firmness. Conversely, periods of extreme relaxing occur before I start another binge/fad diet. Where I think "I won't be able to enjoy this soon, I better have it even though it's the last thing I feel like".

And always there is this time where I look back on the past - where I look back at pictures of me and think to myself "I thought I looked good there - I looked terrible" or "I thought I looked fat there, I was actually thinner".

It's a terrible, terrible thing!

It's not only weight, but image. I spend a fair amount of time on Facebook, looking through people's photos, as well as my own. More often than not, I do think they look terrible. I can easily look at photo's of other people that might not be flattering for them, but do not bat an eyelid - is it because I know them? That I know they don't look like that all the time? Because I know that I might see it only for a second and it won't cross my mind again - that it's not anything massive in the grand scheme of things?

I can look at someone who might be dangerously unhealthy and underweight, and be envious of their figure.

I can look at someone who might be heavier than me, but see only my stomach might protude more, or my face carry it less well.

I can look at the facts and see - I am 177cm tall, I am in the healthy BMI range, a large amount of my thigh is muscle from martial arts and I believe my back and shoulders followed a similar course for a similar reason.

But why must I spend so much time cringing at my photos, shifting my clothing and stance around, running my internal monologue?

What do people really see when they look at me? What image comes to mind when they think of me? Are they thinking and judging in the same manner I am?

You know, just another Sunday afternoon's ream of thinking.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Interview

I loved this post when I read it over at Two (three) Peas, No Pod so I'm super excited that I got to participate. In a nutshell: They ask me five questions, I answer them here, and if you want me to ask you five questions then leave a comment!

1. When did you first become a Vegan and why did you decide to make the change?
I've proddly posted all this before, but I'll give you the brief rundown -I went to martial arts camp in May 2006 and the subject of religion was brought up. The majority of seniors in the school are Buddhist, with the exception of Magf and I (both going through the same Catholic schools), although I've long had an interested in exploring it further (Magf does not). When I got home I started reading "Living Buddha, Living Christ" which got me thinking more about cruelty and compassion. I hadn't intentionally killed a bug for many years - our martial arts school has a pledge containing the line "I will not cause suffering or harm to other living beings" and I remember the day my instructor told me that it included bugs and insects too, it was like a light switch going off. Anyway, I thought to myself "Self, you are a hypocrite for feeling righteous about not killing bugs when you eat meat. So stop eating meat.". That was the middle of May 2006. I spent the rest of the month on the internet reading about vegetarianism and realised that not eating meat is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to compassionate living - there is just so much suffering going on in the dairy, egg and all animal industries (read more here), I decided that I was not going to participate in that any more. On the first of June 2006, I became vegan.

2. I notice that you are really into martial arts. What martial arts have you studied? When did you first start taking them and what is it about them that you like?
Ah - a tricky one! I don't really disclose on here which martial art it is because it is quite small and would likely come up on the first page if anyone googled it. So unfortunately, I won't be sharing that with you BUT I can tell you that it's a Korean/Chinese martial art. I started training in June 1999 - they did a pamphlet drop and my mum took eldest bro and middle bro along to a class, who then came back talking about much fun it was, so I joined a class later. I double graded on my first grading (because I was older, I think) so I was always a bit ahead of my brothers (youngest bro joined when he was old enough, middle bro stopped when he started playing MUDD online) which was good for me, maybe not so much for them ;o) I graded to 1st Dan in 1997, 2nd Dan in 2000, and 3rd Dan in 2005 - I have a projected grading date to 4th Dan in 2009 after which I'll be considered a Master. This point is somewhat hilarious to me because I know that I'm not the most technically proficient, I forget things easilly and I do more talking and correcting than actual training - HOWEVER what keeps me there is the people (I have a class of such lovely people, all of them really are genuine and I would consider them all friends) and the 'way of life' it has become for me. I can't imagine not doing it. Also - I tend to think of people who 'collect' black belts as sportspeople or hobbyists, so I'm happy to say I've only ever done the one.

3. You have tried to keep your blog a secret from your family. Why did you make that choice and do you think that your blog would be different if they did know about it?
Interesting... I made the choice when I first started because I wanted to get good first. It's taken a while to get to where I am and I wouldn't exactly say it's good. I was also a bit more open about my work and other peoples business when I first started so I wanted to remain anonymous and "honest". I told youngest bro about it after finding out he had blogged but he didn't much care for it, and I don't think he does to this day. There was then the fiasco with middle bro finding it somehow, then apparently telling eldest bro and his gf and the few fallouts that have happened since then. Mumsy and Dadsy now know there is a blog, but as yet I don't know if they've read it. That said - I do kinda wish it wasn't that way. I might just yet go back and remove the "offensive" things so I don't have anything to feel ashamed of, but something I can be kinda proud of. I'm getting better at realising that being "honest" doesn't mean being nasty and lashing my tongue at everyone and everything. In terms of where it would change, I did say to mumsy that if she became a reader and I found out it would change - I hate being judged (which kinda makes blogging a dumb idea, huh?!) and it would be harder to know I'm being judged by them too.

4. What have been the best and worse things about blogging in your experience?
The best thing would easilly be the people I have met that I do consider friends - Erica, D'jen, Adam, Deb and TokenWoman. I also really enjoy the interaction, the talking through an issue, the discussion, the shared interests and the entertainment. I also got to meet a goth (pretty safe to say this never would have happened otherwise) and the first blogger that I ever read!

The worst thing for me might well be the amount of time I spend with my lappy - reading, writing and browsing. Secondarily, I'm not that big a fan of some of the nastiness that seems to happen when ppl congregate for a while (less so on blogs, more on forums and contribution based sites).

5. What are you studying at University and what got you interested in that degree?
I'm studying Commerce. My reasoning is pretty selfish - I dropped out of my IT degree in the third year after (FINALLY) realising I didn't have a coding bone in my body (I'd get them all mixed up and couldn't work out what I wanted to do and how) and work offered to pay for me if I went back and did something work related. Commerce is basically a bit of everything, so I knew it would always be work related and that I wouldn't have to commit to any one thing, plus being able to choose a major that took into consideration the units I had already completed brought my anticipated end date forward from mid 2011 to the end of 2009. So I got interested in it because it was free and quick(ish).

Now it's your turn. If you want to be interviewed, leave me a comment including the words "Interview me." I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions. If you don't have a valid email address on your blog, please provide one. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.