Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The six day weekend that was

Welcome back!
Can I hear all about your minibreak?
Sure you can!

Thursday morning youngest bro picked me up, took me back to my parents house to pick up my martial arts jacket he forgot to bring, drove me to pick up my student that was also attending (here on known as 'Student Y'),drove us halfway to the airport then back to Student Y's to pick up hiswallet that he forgot, then drove us to the airport to catch a flight to Brisbane. On the way we got a call from the student who used to train but now lives in Melbourne and was also coming (here on known as 'Student J')to say that his flight had been cancelled and that he would be arriving at 8pm, so was settling in for an afternoon of drinking alone in the airport (which in turn gave him the courage to chat up one of the attendents and get his sweet self onto the flight landing at 6pm).

Brisbane was lovely and warm, we picked up the car which had been (luckily) upgraded from a Getz to an Accent, took multiple wrong turns to get to our apartment (Charlotte Towers which were just lovely and highly recomended) and hit the shops for some general time killing and to pick up some boxes that we each needed for the retreat part of the weekend. THEN I HAD DINNER.

Dinner was fantastic - Jen picked me up from the front of my hotel just after 6 (luckily, as I was running late!) and took me to the Himalayan cafe where Jey was already waiting out the front. Jac arrived not long after and Deb was a bit later than that, but unfortunately Tokenwoman fell sick and was unable to attend, and Kate just plain old forgot! The food was great, Jen's supply of Moscato and another white were just the bee's bonnet and the badges were trendy to boot! I had a lovely meal, talked and sweated and gesticulated a bit too much and mostly behaved myself. After a farewell to Deb and a near swooping by a bat (ICKY!) we dropped an unwell Jey back at the train station and hit the casino - it is like a maze of pokies and bad carpet, but had spiffy toiletries dispensers, good wedges and frozen daiquiri's and a waiter who didn't seem to like being told to buy some Bepantham for his newly aquired forearm piercing (um, it IS for nappy rash - I'm an idiot!!)

Friday Students Y, J and I drove into Maroochydore and met up with one of the students from Darwin (here on known as 'Student K') who was staying with us, and we hit the shops for groceries and more time killing. After we settled back into the apartment I realised we needed more stuff for lunches for the weekend so I headed back over the road (anyone here know Big Top shopping centre? Weird) and then I got a call from my senior instructor telling me he was coming to visit our room - turns out he also brought two more senior instructors, so you can imagine what my anxiety levels were like as I led them up the lift to our sixth floor apartment (Waves in Maroochydore - also very highly recommended!!) - turns out he just wanted to give us some Mala beads he had bought for us, individualised to what he thought we would like. Special stuff! We headed into the hall and trained for an hour (zomg I was SO freakin sweaty!!) and picked up some curry and cruisers for dinner.

Saturday we were headed into the hall at 9am when it was already 31 degrees! The local students told us that they had hardly broken 30 all summer, so the peack of 43 degrees was not just exhausting for the interstate visitors... although he were only mostly sitting, listening and
taking notes, it was a very sweaty day for all. Sunday followed in a similar vein, but was not as hot and the day was not as long - and ended up at a house in beautiful Maleny where the temperature was a lot cooler and it was 10:30pm dark by 7:30!

I don't know how much of what I learnt on the weekend is for sharing - it was basically a Lama Je-Tsongkapa initiation, which you can read some more about here. To say that it was intersting is a massive understatement -it's taken the internal aspect of the martial arts training I do and
magnified it and built on it and explained it. It interests me in a way that I never felt with my Catholocism and makes me want to learn more about every aspect of it - to me, that is just amazing. It removes the negatives I see within the church (the discrimination and the fear mongering), leaving only the positives (the basic belief in human kindness) and expanding it more on a spiritual side, which is damn near perfect in my eyes. It gives you ways to better yourself, to benefit others, to benefit all living things. Time to stop gushing.

Monday we went to Australia Zoo which I don't recomend - it's $50 for an adult to get in, it's poorly signposted, it doesn't have much variety and they have really high staff turnover. They do, however, have a patting zoo where you can pat piglets, baby sheep, baby cows and baby goats - but I'm sure you can find somewhere to do that for a bit cheaper! We also hit up
the big pineapple which was pretty big I guess, and sold pineapple on a stick for $1 which was super tasty. Monday night we headed in to do some training at 4:30, then Student Y taught from 6 - 7pm and I taught from 7 -8pm. The training session with my senior instructor was fantastic (and it stopped before I felt the need to stop for water to stave off the fainting spells) and gave me some more direction on how I should donig my training and what I should be getting out of it - a good few days of clarification is just what I needed.

Tuesday was the long haul home - a mish mash of sitting around and playing internets in shopping centres and airports, trying to keep my head cool and playing that new Mind Building DS game (which is awesome! I lost 20 years after my first round of tests!).

You're welcome, speak again soon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I think this calls for an intro, two big dot points and a closing statement.

I couldn't pick just one topic, or more topics, so it will just be two today.

  • I had my eye test today (I mentioned in this post that I was making an appointment) and it was a truly bizarre experience. I left work after a farewell lunch for a man who was going to give me a job in his team, but who left instead, and drove out to the Eye Hospital for a 2:45 appointment. I didn't get seen to until after 3pm, when a lovely lady asked me to read some letters off the chart and then put some drops in my eyes WITHOUT TELLING ME THEY WOULD STING. I went out and sat in the waiting room for another hour or so whilst my eyes started getting blurrier and blurrier and I could no longer read a magazine, focus on the pictures or play with my phone - I had no idea how much it must suck to need glasses because I just was not used to not being able to focus! The doctor (who was quite the Mr Attractive, if I don't say so myself) called me in, put my chin and forehead against the restraints and shined light into my eyes before announcing I had the healthiest eyes he'd seen all day, I had perfect 20/20 vision, and that the funny floaters in front of my eyes are actually migraines without headaches (as opposed to retinal tearing or similar). That was pretty good news (though I have no idea what kicked off the final 3 migraines I had in 5 weeks over Dec/Jan) though I felt queasy afterwards (and still do). Hooray for not having to have pointy things put into my eyes!

  • Tomorrow I fly up to Brisbane for a dinner with Jen, TokenWoman, Deb, Jac, Jey and Kate - hooray for Nerdfests! Friday I drive up (down?!) to the sunshine coast for a fairly relaxed day, martial arts training that night and two days meditation teaching courtesy of my martial arts school affiliated Rinpoche. This is very exciting for me - I cannot wait to learn more about Buddhism, as well as catch up with students from around Australia. Unfortunately, it is also very stressful for me - there is a lot of protocol for martial arts AS WELL as additional protocol for Rinpoche AND we'll be sitting cross legged on the floor for seven hours both days. Sunday night we'll be hitting the town (which I don't believe will be party central), Monday I plan to bum around, Monday night I'll be training and then teaching, Tuesday I plan to bum around some more and then arrive back home after 9pm that night. Again - how exciting/stressful.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend without me - speak to you soon!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

(s)he was merely stupid

Perhaps the album title was more apt than initially realised - here are four events in my life, all occurring before 12pm in the last two days.

The bike: I decided to 'do the right thing' and ride my bike to work on Monday - I'd ridden once with a friend, and then again last Friday and decided it was time to make a proper go of it. This was a pretty big deal for me - I realised my main issue with riding to/from work was not the physical exertion, not the time it takes, not the fact I have to shower at work - it's that I don't like people looking at me. Granted, I don't know for sure that they're looking at me panting and puffing and sweating with my mouth open, but they totally could be. With this in mind, what could be the worst thing to happen? How about my chain getting stuck in the big cog thing right next to the busiest road, leaving me sitting on the ground next to a laid down bike, calling The Hun to please come rescue whilst fobbing off people offering assistance. After about 10 minutes sitting time, a lady mechanic from the bike shop near my work stopped, yanked out the knot, and told me to bring it in for a service; then The Hun arrived, told me he wouldn't take me home (with what was meant to be an inspiring "Don't give up" but was greeted with only the stinkeye) and I arrived at work more than half an hour than I planned (including riding time!).

The shoes: After swearing my way through the work shower (SO! MUCH! STUFF! SO! LITTLE! ROOM! SUCH SH!TTY! WATER! PRESSURE!) I got to my desk, announced I'd arrived and headed across the road to pick up a redeye to calm myself down. On the way back from the shop to the office, the toe-bit on my shoe snapped, meaning I crossed the road, entered the foyer, passed through the atrium and stomped back to my desk with one bare foot. 'Luckily' I still had a pair of shoes under my desk that I had previousy abandoned for giving me too many blisters, so I didn't have to wear runners all day.

The car: Seeing as the bike was in for a service, I decided to drive in early today to make up some flex time. I'd been at my desk about half an hour and was halfway through answering a query for my boss when the martial arts phone rang - there was a man asking if someone from our martial arts school drove a black Swift. It seems that some idiot (me) had dropped their car keys in the very public carpark - one click of the car alarm key identified my car for him, ready for the stealing. As he wrote his mobile number and "You dropped your keys" on a piece of cardboard for my windscreen, he noticed the martial arts websites plastered all over my car (my messiness has an advantage!), took it down, went to work, looked up the website and found the Canberra contact and gave me a call. How. lucky. is that.

The other shoes: Lunch time called and, car keys intact, I headed across the road for my rice paper rolls (Gods gift to vegan lunchies!) in my blister causing shoes. It was then I realised that not only did these shoes blister all ten of my toes simultaneously (amazing!), but they have a thin sole - I performed a spectacular ankle-rolling-tripping-running-slide with swearing at a minimum and my iPod volume at a near maximum.

Whilst I have viewed these past two days as pretty fricking close to terrible, mumsy has instead proclaimed that bad luck comes only in threes (she doesn't know about the stumble) and that these near misses mean that someone is looking out for me.

Here's hoping it doesn't happen again - I'm off to Queensland on Thursday (more on that tomorrow!).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Personal Cover Art - Apology, question, meme

Apologies for the little bit of quiet - I spent a fair bit of time on my submission for You're not the only one... and so in my head it kinda feels like I gave you guys a good bit of what little skills that I have! It's quite interesting to see the list of submitters here, and according to this post there has been over 60 submissions already (and they still want more!). Chances are that if you are reading this then you are a blogger, meaning you like to write at least a little bit, so you should send something in .

I have a question for you, brought about by the idea above. I'm considering giving my blog a run through, removing references that might offend people I know, and then linking my blog through my Facebook. Thoughts? I guess the main worry would be any implication it may have on my job, being a public servant and all. That and people treating me differently... BUT I would think a large part of that would be removed if I ensured I had not offended people. It helps that I don't want to be that negative.... anyways, any thoughts would be very much appreciated.

And now, a meme that I saw and fell in love with instantly! Rachel of ThatNight did this a while ago and it's been sitting in my feeder stars for a while, so here it is:

The CD Cover Meme group has only three rules: (1) The first article title on this random wiki page is the name of your band, (2) the last four words of the very last quote on this random quote page is the title of your album, and (3) the third picture here, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Here is mine, slapped together in Microsoft Paint:

What do you think? I'd buy it!

(Awesome photo from here)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

You're not the only one...

A little project is underway, courtesy of Peach, Sarah, Ariel, Ms Robinson, and Vi - as described by Sarah as follows:

Peach has taken this thought a step further. She's recruited me, Ariel from From Fuck Up To Fab, Ms R from Woman of Experience and Vi from Village Secrets to put together a book for charity, written by bloggers. Here's where you come in: we would like you to submit (to a written piece about something you've been through from any aspect of your life that you want to share. It can literally be about anything: your relationships, your past, a road not taken, being a parent, an illness, or your regrets, etc. We've called it You're Not The Only One to reflect the camaraderie of blogging.

Proceeds will go to War Child, and blatantly following in the same fashion as Shaggy Blog Stories, we will be publishing it through This is a no upfront fee Internet publishing site that will take $9.15 per book sold if we make it no longer than 200 pages. We're pricing the book at $17.50 so $8.37 will go to straight to the charity. Because the cost takes increases according to how many pages we want published, we do have to stick to the 200 page limit so we can't guarantee you'll get your submission in for sure. The absolute maximum length for submission is 1500 words (but we’d rather not have too many at that length. In fact you may stand more chance if your piece is on the less wordy side).

We’re really excited about this and think, if we get the quality we know is out there, we stand a good chance of getting some great PR.

A small note, we'd prefer it if you submit stories you've not published outside the blogworld. A piece from your own site is great, but not from a previously published hard copy book—lulu or otherwise. That makes this exclusive.

To summarize:
  • You must be a blogger with a live blog
  • It must be about something you've been through, amusing or serious or any style you like.
  • You can submit in your blogname and remain anonymous, or not, up to you.
  • It can't be something previously published outside the blogworld, but anything from your blog, or something entirely new, is fine.
  • Try to keep below 1500 words.
  • You must pimp the book on your site and buy it if you make a submission to be in it!
  • Please LINK BACK TO THIS POST to spread the word!
  • DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 29th, 2008 for submissions.
  • Send your submissions to me at

If it's hugely submitted to, we'll do another one later in the year... so get writing!

I have submitted a piece (whether it gets in there is another matter!) and I do encourage you to do the same - I'll be buying it it if I'm there to show some people, and I'll be buying it if I'm not so I can b!tch out the ones I think mine were better than ;o)

Get McCrackin'!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pidgeoy pudgey little arms

I was walking back to the car on Sunday after doing the groceries, and saw a white pigeon with dirty brown spots on it's bottom half running across the road.

"Huh" I thought to myself, "where did his arms go?".

"Wait, what?" was my next thought, "pigeons don't have arms, stupid!"

"Oh yeah... but they look so funny without them." I had the mental image of his little arms pumping back and forth in contrast to his little legs.

"Um no they don't. They're birds."

And then I snapped out of it.

I have NO idea what caused that little mental episode but I did have an upset stomach about an hour later - that's gotta be related, right?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Guilty Naughty Pleasure

Monday nights are Family Tea night at mumsy and dadsy's house - a tradition started when the four 'children' had started working in hospitality and it was a rare occassion that all six of us were together for a meal. Monday was picked as it was a quiet work night meant that those of us still training in martial arts training could get home from classin time for dinner. When The Hun and I moved into our little townhouse he scored himself an invite - being my defecto defacto meant he was now 'part of the family' and had to be there - and eldest bro's gf scored an invite at around the same time.

I love Family Tea night - to say it often descends into poor taste is a gross understatement - gross being the keyword. It's almost like having a cluster of us there causes us to exaggerate those traits that makes us so similar and so different, a parody of ourselves. A competition to play up on our 'unusual' sense of humour, our tendency to hold multiple conversations at once and those in-jokes that have been changed and diluted over 20 something years.

Last week I mentioned to my family that I'd bought some ear cleaning drops - I've noticed more often of late that I have to physically turn my ear to someone or something when there is a lot of background noise in order to hear clearly. I told them I'd also 'read on the internet' (code for blogs and podcasts) some stories about people who'd had issue from cleaning their ears with those ear cleaners that are not meant to be used for ears, so thought I should try some other method - in case I have actually been pushing years of wax down into that canal.

Youngest bro was the first to pipe up with just how much he loves cleaning his ears, followed quickly by middle bro and eldest bro.

Youngest bro cleans his out a few times a week, whilst eldest bro only does it on Sundays - a day he looks forward to precisely because he can jam that thing in his ear and wiggle it around. Middle bro started reminiscing about the days when dadsy would clean out our ears - we'd have to line up and he'd dig around in there - though I don't remember it being any kind of pleasurable... in fact, the only thing I remember is that there is a spot in my left ear that would cause me to cough when it got knocked by the ear cleaner.

Suprisingly, mumsy and dadsy looked on in horror, wondering where on earth our combined love for this act came from. The Hun and eldest bro's gf also did not understand - neither of them do it often enough for our liking.

I will admit that I absolutely love the feeling of cleaning my ears - I do it roughly twice a week, and The Hun can attest to the fact that I will stand in the middle of the loungeroom with a goofy smile on my face as I go to town on it. I don't know what it is precisely, because it is very rare that there is actually anything on the bud, but it's something that I could do for hours, or wish could go on for hours.

So how about you?
Do you indulge in this guilty naughty pleasure?
Do you have a different guilty naughty pleasure?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ultimate Wedding Shoes

No, I'm not delusionally planning a wedding when I'm not even engaged (wait? what? me? never!) but I do feel that you must be compelled to agree that these shoes would be the most beautiful shoes to wear on your wedding day*:

And then every day for the rest of your life, to justify the $348.94 price tag.

Get your hopes up? Swap that dollar sign for the pound sign.

Yeah, 348.94 pounds.

But aren't they lovely?!

*I predict comments from boys disagreeing with this statement.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Diet Adventures of an Amazing Girl

Some of you may be aware that Shauna (she of what's new pussycat? and The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl! fame) has just released a book, a collection of excerpts from her Dietgirl blog, detailing her 'journey' as she lost half her body weight. A subset of you may also be aware that I have both bought and finished the book (ah! the joys of Facebook!).

I do highly recommend it - an entertaining and interesting read - but then I could be considered a bit of a stalker... I noticed a blurb on her book in my Women's Health magazine and emailed her to see if she knew about it. She didn't. And she responded in such a lovely manner that when I got my Dymocks weekly newsletter and saw it recommended in there too, I forwarded it on to her and got another lovely response. So perhaps my buying it as soon as I was aware it was out (thanks Lala!) and reading it in a day could be a part Pavlovian response from her loveliness though she still won't add me on Facebook.

Anyways, the book goes into some detail about her eating habits, her highs and her lows, her methods and her thoughts. All the way through I would read it and recognise glimpses of myself (and just about every other woman I know, I imagine) although there was one part that struck me the most (I've edited bits out from the blog post and I don't know how it works now that she's published so Shauna? Please don't sue me!)

About half an hour ago I was in Safeway and I spotted the 500ml tub of Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough icecream and I thought, wow, this is destiny baby, you were meant to be in my belly!

And now I sit here peering into a more-than-half empty tub and wonderingwhat possessed me..... Somehow I forgot today that I never really enjoyed it that much. And it took me half a tub to remember!? I've absolutely demolished it....

I feel quite ill...

I'm off to his place tonight and volunteered to cook coz he's in the recording studio today with his wee band. So that's how I ended up in Safeway oggling the ice cream. I got us some noodles and stir fry vegies,and fruit for dessert. But here's the Old Dietgirl that still lurks within me -- I actually thought to myself, "My sister is at work, I have a few hours alone. I could scoff that ice cream, noone will ever know, and The Boy will think I'm a legend for whipping up this healthy dinner!"

Oh how clever and crafty am I for concocting such a secret plan?! Not freaking clever at all, seeing now I feel like a whale and will no doubt be trying to surpress my gurgling stomach all night. How sexy.

I wish I could get over this whole, "Quick! Eat! While No One's Looking!" mentality. There is always going to be plenty of shitty food for me to eat, I don't need to scarf it down in secret. It's always going to be there, it's always going to be rubbish, so I am not going to miss out on wild pleasure and gratification if I leave it the f*ck alone. And people will find out soon enough, when my gut and arse come spilling over the barrier of my pants. Will I ever learn!?
This is me*.

The nutritionally hollow meals (ha! like they can be called that when they are just a copious amount of a snack in addition to my actual meals) that seem like destiny.

The realisation that really a bag of misery chips does not taste that fantastic, I did not really enjoy it, I can't believe I demolished it.

The illness, the feeling like your organs have swollen, pressing against the barriers of your skin, all, ALL, due to the copious amounts of calories that have been forced in, past the point of comfort.

The seeing time alone as 'opportunities' to gorge myself.

The misguided belief that somehow that crap is not going to be there.

And that is key.

If there is something in the house that is 'bad'('GOOD') then I will eat it. I will spend all day thinking about it, thinking about when I can eat it, wondering if I can finish it before The Hun gets home, bringing with him the potential to have to share and not 'get to' eat the equivalent of 2 or 5 or 10 or twenty serves on my own. In my lazy pants. On the couch.

Shauna mentioned throughout her book some of the history and reasoning that may have contributed to the weight gain in the first place. In some ways, I think my MUST EAT THAT NOW instinct comes due to an my relationship with junk food when I was younger - we just did not have it in the house, or at school, or when we went out. Four children in less than five years on a somewhat limited budget left little room for treaties and sweeties and candies. So when we went to a party where these things were, we would gorge ourselves. Go nuts. Almost make ourselves sick.

Somewhere along the line, eldest bro found a way to overcome it - always the only one to have easter egg chocolate past mid afternoon on Easter Sunday. The only one to not go through some sort of weight blowout between 18 - 22. The only one that you can look at and descibe as 'slim' or 'fit' or 'healthy'.

I need to realise that a bag of chips will still be there tomorrow. Even if it is not that exact one, there will always be chips, there will always be Jam Fancies, there will always be mock prawn toast.

I need to remember the gross feeling of over indulgence. Seperate it from the glee of 'sneaking a naughty'. Remember why it is bad for me.

I need to realise I'm not missing out on anything by not gorging myself sick - I'm missing out on more by doing it.

*Don't get me wrong - it's not me every day, or even every week, but it is still me.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Rather than whinging about my indigestion, complaining I'm too old to go out dancing, bemoaning the quesiness and headache I earnt myself after only six drinks (!) or detailing the manner in which I managed to put on 1.5 kg in 24 hours.

Check out the post below in the meantimes!

Friday, February 01, 2008


One of my favourite bloggers, Sarah, has tagged me - timely enough it's a Friday night and I need something to do to stop The Hun nagging for a head scratch, so here we go!

Archive Meme Instructions: Go back through your archives and post the links to your five favorite blog posts that you’ve written... but there is a catch:

Link 1 must be about family.
Link 2 must be about friends.
Link 3 must be about yourself, who you are, what you’re all about.
Link 4 must be about something you love.
Link 5 can be anything you choose.

I think this is a great way to circulate some of the great older posts everyone had written, return to a few great places in our memories and also learn a little something about ourselves and each other that we may not know. Post your five links and then tag five other people. At least TWO of the people you tag must be newer acquaintances so that you get to know each other better...and don’t forget to read the archive posts and leave comments!

Link one: Family
My Pa's car - one of my favourite posts and one that I composed in my head whilst following an old Kingswood on the way home after work one day. I remember visiting my Pa when I was younger, usually with all my brothers and both my parents, so it was always a family event - it wasn't until I was older and I started visiting my Pa to actually visit him that I understood that my Pa was family too.

Link two: Friends
Chemo Limo, F*ck Summer, JCM 23/04/82 - 13/13/07 - I don't have one best friend, but a group of good friends that circle out. Last year I lost a friend I went to Primary School, High School, College and Uni with - whilst we hadn't always been close, we had been friends and always had fun together. His passing has touched me in many ways...

Link three: Me
100 things about me - I don't think that it's cheating to reference a meme in a meme? But I do believe it's a pretty good summary of me and I love knowing what people think of me it.

Link four: Love
525,600 minutes - I tend to gush about The Hun fairly often, but skimming my archives has made me realise how much of my whinging about him has been published on this thing - I dread to think what people think of him! It's basically the back story of The Hun and I - our four year anniversary is the night I'm having dinner with the Queensland blogger team of awesome!

Link five: Choice
Holiday Wrapup is, surprising, a fairly comprehensive wrapup of mine and The Huns first (and only) overseas holiday. Trip down Mugga Lane tells the story of picking up Max from the pound, and but sadly the story ends in these two posts and update, update II and Rest in Peace, Max. Not sad enough? I've also lost Tom the dog whilst blogging. Some that I think are worth a read are my 500th post, why I am vegan and my flower day story... unless some readers have posts they'd like to recommend (I'd be curious to know what people would recommend!)

My turn to tag?
Non-blondie, Lulu, Lala, Amanda and (like Sarah) anyone else who wants to!