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.