Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Really Random Meme

These are really random questions, Sunday Stealing!  Need to get this done quickly - I'm off to see the David Bowie Exhibition and spend some time with an old and good friend who is down from Brisbane.

So, here we go.

Do you believe that Walt Disney is really frozen? 

Do I care? No. And this is relevant how?

Do you believe its easy to forgive and forget? 

It's not easy to forgive or forget. I will forgive quickly, but I NEVER forget.

When you feel like running away from it all who do you call? 

My inner self or my bank manager and find enough money to go somewhere for a week.

Is there anyone who knows your entire life story? 

No. There are a few who know most, but there are patches they don't know about.

Have you had to have stitches at all in the last year? 

Thank goodness, no.

Which is coming next: Christmas or your birthday?


Have you ever been a clown for Halloween? 

Halloween is unAustralian. We don't do Halloween. So no.

What time did you go to bed last night? 

About 11 pm.

When did you get up this morning? 

7 am. I've been doing some study.

When was the last time it rained? 

Early last week we had a few showers.

Are your finger nails painted at the moment? 

No. Was thinking about doing them last night. Didn't happen.

Do you ever go hunting/fishing? 

I like fishing, but I haven't been for years.

Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? 

Yes. His name was Sparky. I was very good at losing him in supermarkets.

Which parent do you look most like?

I'm a funny mix of both parents. There is a lot of Dad and a lot of Mum. Depends on who's looking and my expression.

Do you have any friends who are famous? 

No, but I have a good friend who's a good mate of Eddie Izzard, so I have a direct link to a lot of Hollywood.

Do you use eBay to buy or sell? 

Yes, both.

Is music a daily part of your life? 

Yes and no. I like music, but it's a background thing. Listening to Simon and Garfunkel as I was stuck in traffic yesterday was brilliant. Calmed me down.

Is your self esteem high or low? 

After years in therapy, I can say that I've got pretty reasonable self-esteem. Sure it has dips, but on the whole I'm in a good spot.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Gag Me Meme

Some rather silly questions this week, but in all, they're not too bad. I've been told to Americanise the next blog that comes out with truly American questions. These are good. Thanks Sunday Stealing.

Do you have a sensitive gag reflex?  

Fairly. It comes out around vomit or when my hair gets stuck down my throat - a bit of a trap when your hair is as long as mine.

Where are you the most ticklish?  

The ribs. It's not pretty.

What was the last situation to upset you?  

Watching what's happening to the Syrian Refugees is very distressing. The Australian Federal Government is not upsetting me quite as much now that Tony Abbott is no longer Prime Minister. (Danced the conga for two days after that happened.)

Have you ever had an online argument?  

Of course.

Do you like to listen to music while filling out surveys?  

No. I tend to do the surveys really quickly.

How long do you spend on the phone each day, on average?  

Five minutes, max.

Is anything in your hair right now, like gel, hairspray, etc.?

A bit of straightening product. That's all.It will have a hairband in it soon as I'll be heading off to the gym.

When was the last time you were up before the sun? Do you like wearing sunglasses? Why or why not?  

Most mornings I'm awake at 6 am. The sun isn't quite up then.

Last show you watched?

I sat down yesterday and watched a repeat of Celebrity Apprentice - well that was on the telly. I went and saw the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" last night. It was really enjoyable.

Next vacation you’re going on?

No idea - too many factors to consider with that one.

Do you regret doing anything you’ve done this week?  

No. No time for regrets. Waste of time. Though I half regret not completing my Real Life Writing homework yesterday as it's a gorgeous day out there.

Last night you felt?

Buoyant. Had a great time last night

What are you wearing right now?  

My dressing gown.

Have you ever kissed underneath the stars?  

No. Not that I can remember.

What are you doing now?  

Writing this blogpost.

What plans do you have for tonight?  

Go round and see Blarney and Barney and probably do my Real Life Writing homework.

What’s the very first thing you do when you wake up, other than breathe?

Normally check the time on my phone (which acts as my alarm clock)
Do you like reading?  

It's one of my favourite things to do.

Do you ever think about stuff and start crying?  

Every so often. Thinking about a couple of people who've passed will bring up tears.

Have you ever kicked a vending machine?

Of course. They deserve it.

Do people consider you smart?  

I have no idea. You'll have to ask other people.

Have you ever stayed online for a very long time waiting for someone? 

No. But I've come back and checked if they're about. Joys of a long distance relationship.

Do you tend to be aware of what is going on around you?  

Yes. I'm pretty aware of that. At least I try to stay on top of things.

How much money did you spend yesterday?  

Hmm. Weekly groceries, $90. Breakfast $15. Meditation $30. Dinner with Alice. $45. To that comes to about $180. Then I go through the week spending $4 a day on coffee and my train ticket. Swings and roundabouts.

Is there anything in your past that you’d like to try again?

Maybe bellydancing lessons. Last time I tried it, I threw my back out.

Friday, September 18, 2015

RU Okay? Day 7-8 Mercury Retrograde

Am I okay? Yes.
Am I back to normal? No. Nearly there.
Am I being kind to myself? Very.

I'm pissed off. Woke this morning to a sore throat and the aches. I was supposed to be going to the football tonight - my first game in two years. Off to see the Crows play the Hawks. That's what was supposed to happen. Even bought a new cap and scarf so that I would stand out among the poo brown and wee yellow of the Hawthorn supporters. (Sorry Hawthorn supporters - is what it is. Your colours are wee and poo)

Not going. Not going to do that to myself.

The cap and scarf can be used next year. I have a feeling I'll be going along to the footy a little more next season. 

Okay, I will be honest, the though of facing a 90,000 person crowd was making me anxious. Sore throat aside, just thinking about being cold, jostled and covered in mid strength beer was bringing up feelings of being closed in and trapped. It's going to be loud and noisy and brash and cold.

I'm comfortable with the decision.

So, from this.

I acknowledge that I'm still not quite right and though I'm functioning at 100%, this spiral is still in place. At least I'm spiralling in the right direction.Upwards.

I'm fully aware of my limitations at this time. If this means giving my footy ticket away, so be it. There will be other games.

I'm really proud of myself for not doing me any more damage.

I'm accepting of the fact that this needs to be ridden out in its entirety. There are no quick fixes. It is what it is. Thankfully, the worst is over.

On the good side of things, I get to study this weekend. And go to the theatre. And do lots of exercise. And maybe see a film. And visit the Maow Maow (really miss that critter). All things I love doing.

Knowing that I have friends about means a lot. Knowing that I can ride this out with grace and dignity, even better.

Having Mercury in Retrograde - yeah, well that never help, but you have to deal with that too. For those not of an astrological mind, when Mercury appears to be going backwards communication in the world breaks down. This is a good time to plot and reflect. Not good for getting anything done such as contracts and paperwork. Good for planning, not for doing.

It's a matter of dealing with things the best you can under the constraints you have.

Oh, the other thing. Last night my trainer tried to kill me. Cleo is known around the gym as "The Smiling Assassin". She put Jay and I through a hellish 35 minute session where both of us nearly collapsed. Upped all the weights and the intensity, culminating in her making me push a 120 kg sled (Sled = 60 kg +  60kgs of weights) with her standing on top of it (Another 60 kgs). A third the way down the track I stopped and asked her to stop playing silly buggers. I felt like I was about to expire. Daft thing is, I probably could have got her to the end of the track if she hadn't killed us in the half hour before. Next time.

Proud of me at the moment. It's a good feeling.

Go the Mighty Crows!

Gym Haiku

Sixty kilograms,
The trainer stands on the sled,
Cracks whip, then yells "MUSH".


Grey days and play days
Possibilities abound
Once the feelings stop

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

RU OK? Day 6 - And the World Closes In

Am I okay? Yes.

Has there been a glitch or two on they way? Yes.

Last night was book group. I love my book group. I'd better love my book group - I've been the book group's administrator for nearly a decade. By administrator, I  mean it's my job to book the restaurant and remind everybody what book is up for the month and bag the lollies for the book choosing meeting in December.

Anyway, book group came. Full house for a change, so a table of ten. Jonella brought her mum, Josephine, with her. Josephine is over from South Africa for a few weeks and we always welcome her along. She even reads the book and contributes, which is fantastic.

It was a good book group. The book wasn't great, but the conversation about the book was very good. We were given a long table in a quiet part of the restaurant. I was in one of the middle seats. Two people on one side of me, two on the other, noise all around.

What people don't tell you about depression is that you can be hypersensitive to things. My biggest trigger is noise. So there are four noisy women on one side and five noisy women on the other.

After an hour, after dinner, I could feel myself closing in on myself. Being stuck in the middle there was little I could do. Part of me just wanted to go home, go to bed and be in silence for a while. The other part of me wanted to stay and listen the the conversation. Getting a word in edgewise can be hard at book group. Splinter conversations start. What starts as a mumble turns into a cacophony.

I also received a bit of news during the night. My niece and sister fly to Brisbane for my niece's stem cell transplant treatment on Sunday. As my sister hadn't put the news on her webpage, it was not for me to tell anybody. That was playing on my mind too. I've since had a good chat to my sister, got the heads up and she's let her group know.

By the end of the night, I was frazzled. I could feel the mood slipping as the minutes passed.

Thankfully, Teddy drove, Jonella, Josephine and myself home soon after.

Got home, talked to a friend in England for an hour and a half and went to bed. The television did not go on. No extraneous noise for me last night. It was a little bit flabbergasting trying to explain that happiness doesn't pull you out of a depression spiral. It helps, but there is more to it. He's thankfully never had to deal with this stuff (or consciously called it depression when he has) and being a bloke, he's got this think about either ignoring or trying to fix things. He does sit and listen and try to understand, This is a good thing.

It was just bizarre how the noise effected me. I was around people I love doing something I love. By 8.30 pm I was ready to either walk out or murder.

It's all good now. This morning I met up with Cleo for a training session - she let me kick her (well kick a padded bag that she's holding ). That felt good.

Lots of water. Good.

Lunch from the expensive, virtuous hippy joint across the road from work - macrobiotic, vegan, organic salad of zucchini spaghetti and brown rice base. Can't get more healthful than that. Or virtuous. It's enough to make you want to grow your armpit hair and take up yoga.

All's evened out. I'm back where I was before book group yesterday.

But I'm looking at the madness of going to the football on Friday night. The Crows play the Hawks. It will be noisy. But it has to be done. Just have to psych myself up for it. And learn the club song properly, just in case.

I'm picking up more quickly too. This is a good thing.


For what is silence?
The absence of vibrations
Smashing at your soul.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

RU Okay? Day Four and Five

Am I okay?

You bloody bet I am.

I will stop doing the conga soon. I've been doing it since 9.50 pm last night when the news that Tony Abbott has been ousted as Prime Minister. A conga line for one dancing around my kitchen to the tune of "Goodbye, Tony Abbott, hey, Goodbye, Tony Abbott, cha!" with a glass of single malt in my hand. (Glenmorangie Burgundy Finish - yum). I have to stop doing the conga. It looks a bit stupid on your way to the train.

Oh, just give me some maracas and let me get on with it.

Okay, as it really goes, it could be a case of same shit, different shovel, but for some reason, the country feels a little lighter today. I can go back to disliking the Liberal Party as opposed to outright despising them.

Hopefully, we have seen the last of Tony Abbott in the international arena. I'm sure he'll pop up from time to time. He is the member for Warringah after all (Poor Manly).

So this has cheered me up no end.

We have a Prime Minister who I wouldn't mind calling 'Sir', don't feel like he's going to embarrass the country every time he opens his mouth. I don't have the desire to bear arms against Malcolm Turnbull.

This is not a bad thing.

So other than a new Prime Minister, things are fine. Good even. My energy levels are returning. The head is clear. I had a good think about the differences between the musts, shoulds, wants and needs in my life - and I'm focusing on the wants and needs and removing the obligation filled bits of my life.

So, I need to lose weight for my health. I want to lose weight because I feel better.
I need to go to Target tonight to buy some new work trousers.
I want to find a new job soon, but I'm not rushing.

It feels better to be doing things that I want and need to do, rather than think I must or should do.

This mindfulness appears to be bearing fruit.

Goodbye, Tony Abbott, Goodbye, Tony Abbott....cha cha cha cha cah,booom.

Haiku for yesterday

So long, Tones, So long.
May the door hit your bum hard.
Me miss you? Never.

Haiku for today

Who was it that said
A conga-line of suckholes
Makes our parliament?

Image courtesy of

Sunday, September 13, 2015

RU Okay? Day Three

Yes, I'm okay.

It's amazing the effect of a bit of sunshine and your football team winning can do. It was an almost perfect spring day today.

On the good side, in the ten years I've been going to my gym, this is the first time that the Pump instructor didn't turn up at all. Once a year, they might be a minute or so late, but there was no Pump this morning. I went out to the gym, did my happy cat and chicken wing exercises and had a good long stretch. It was marvelous.

After the gym I had breakfast with Trisha. For the last few years, whoever of the back row pumpers (Jay, Mon and myself that is - you normally find us up the back row of the Sunday 9.15am Pump class - and yes, we are masochists), we go and have a coffee or breakfast with Trisha at the local cafe.

Trisha and I had a good chat, mainly about depression. Trisha has managed depression for a very long time. We talked about coping strategies, how we got around to changing our lives and what we do when we spiral. It was great to talk to somebody who understands. We're all different, but there are similarities. Just knowing you're not alone makes things a bit better.

Other good things about today? I spent a lovely afternoon with Bernie and her kids. We haven't seen each other for a while and we watched "The Princess Bride". Bernie, nor her children had seen it and it's still wonderful. They loved Inigo Montoya. What's not to love? It never gets old. (Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line.....)

Then I came home, collected the cat and his accoutrements and took him home. So there is no more Maow Maow. He's safely ensconced back in Spotswood with four very jet-lagged people.

The place feels empty without him, however a bed free from cat hair and being able to use the hoover without having the cat psychologist is lovely. I'm thinking of throwing out his snuggie. There is enough cat hair on it to make another one. I'll see Mr Fluffy Britches next weekend.

I've also got to work out whether I want to go to the football next Friday. Crows are playing the Hawks. My cousin invited me along this week and I declined the ticket. Barney said he'd be going, but do I want to sit with the Hawthorn crew? Or do I see if my cousins are going and sit with the Crows mob? Something to think about. I hate crowds. Is it responsible to put myself among a crowd at the moment?

But today was a good day, even if my Journalism homework is only half done. On the good side, the tutor gives us a lot of slack in the course, but I can't afford to get behind.


there is no heartbeat
to be heard within these walls
only silent thoughts

The Mac'n' Cheese Meme

I have a funny feeling this is going to be another one of those "Very American" blogs that I will end up rolling my eyes at.

Joys of being Australian. Thanks, Sunday Stealing.

Can you ever get enough of mac ‘n’ cheese?

I'm Australian. Mac 'n' cheese doesn't have the same draw. It is not a national food group. So no. I think the last time I had mac'n'cheese was like 20 years ago.

Are you allergic to nuts or diary products?

Thankfully, no.

Do you think age matters in relationships? 

No, not really. Though if I was in a relationship with a Gen Y I'd probably be up on murder charges.

Has anyone ever called the cops on you? 


Did you talk to someone until you fell asleep last night? 

Only the cat.

What’s the connection between the last person you texted? 

She's my study buddy from first term.

Are you in a good mood? 

At the moment, yes. That might change.

Excited for anything? 

Not really.

Do you have a hard time controlling your emotions? 

No. On the whole I'm pretty even tempered.

Do you like your height? 

I'd love to be a little taller, but at 5'6 (166 cms) I'm okay with that. Not too short, that's the main thing.

How long have you lived in your current home? 

I've been in this flat for ten years.

Could you go a week without brushing your teeth? 

Hell no.

Have you ever given any amount of money to the homeless? 

Occasionally I've put some coins in the hat. That's all. Around Melbourne, there are a number of professional beggers. I avoid them. Would rather buy The Big Issue.

Own anything from Bath & Body Works? 

NO. I'm a sheet snob and we don't have Bath and Body Works in Australia.

Have you ever had your nails so long that they curved down at the ends?

Ew. No. They get a little long, but not that long.

Have you ever swallowed a bunch of salt water by accident? 

I used to swim in the sea all the time, so of course I did.

Does it take you over an hour to go to sleep sometimes? 

No. Normally I'm off to sleep in ten minutes or so.

When you get home from school/work do you change into your pjs right away? 

No. More often than not I get into my gym gear and go off to the gym.

Have you ever stayed up all night and the whole next day without any sleep? 

Yes, and it really isn't fun. Now I'm in my forties I've seen the error of my ways.

Has anyone ever told you that you have pretty feet? 

Yes, just after a pedicure.

What is the temperature currently in the town you live in? 

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, it's 14.4 degrees centigrade. Lovely. Going to be a lovely 24 degrees today. Sorry Americans, I really don't do Fahrenheit. We've been metric for over forty years.

 Do you ever actually drink milk alone?

No. I try and keep my dairy to a minimum.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

RU OK? Day Two

Yes, I'm okay.

Good day really. Long lie in with the cat. The ironing is done. Had a massage with the wonderful Anke. Food shopping is done. Did a pump class. 20 kg squats, 10 kg chest, 10 kg back (shoulder still not right) 5 kg triceps and biceps. My upper body weights used to be 5 kgs heavier, but this shoulder is taking forever to come good. I've a ping in my rotator cuff comes out in my anterior deltoid. Anything that requires a push motion with weight tends to hurt. Thankfully the chicken wing and happy cat exercises Cleo gave me are sorting it out. It felt great to walk to the gym without a coat.

Just so you know I'm not bonkers, here you go:
Image result for rotator cuff exercises gym
Happy Cat shoulder exercise - just like the ones you see at Chinese restaurants:

Image result for happy cat chinese restaurant gif

The happy cat, I'm told by my colleague, means something like "Welcome to this brothel."

And there is this.
Image result for rotator cuff exercises gym
Chicken Wing shoulder exercises.

I'm becoming fond of the cable machine.

On the not so good side of things, Maow Maow goes home tomorrow. I've had him for a month and I reckon I'm going to miss him terribly. He's sound asleep, snoring, on the bed at the moment.

Maybe I can ransom him for a Crows v. Hawthorn ticket next weekend.

In all, not  a bad day. Just have to get on with my Journalism tute rather than phaffing around on Netflix.

Cat Haiku

Can I love you more
Even though your snores wake me
From the dead of sleep?

Friday, September 11, 2015

RU OK? Day One

Am I okay?

Well, yes and no.

I'm at the start of a spiral, which I've caught in time - which is a good thing.

A spiral, you ask? I manage low grade depression. It's very much contained, managed by drinking very little alcohol, exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep and talking about stuff when I need to. It works for me, but slips happen - and I've been slipping for a few weeks. Not badly, but I know that I'm not my normal self at the moment.

Why am I slipping? Just a lot on my plate mainly. There are some big changes that will be taking effect in my life in to not too distant future. That's okay. Getting my head around this will take time. They're really good changes, but still it's change.

Study is keeping me sane. I love that.Two subjects. I'm enjoying both of them.

Work has been a bit challenging too. Mainly, I'm not being challenged and I don't have much to do at present. There are a few other minor things involved, but not being happy at work sucks. I'm okay, it's certainly not awful, but things could be better.

So, how am I going to get out of this spiral and return to normality? I need to feel like really take stock of myself.

The other wake up call is that I had to fill my blood pressure medication script. I had three repeats left before I have to go back to the doctor, which means I really need to do something about my weight - to appease both myself and the doctor I need to get focused and moving.

So what is the plan?

Get mindful. Be aware of what I'm doing to myself.  Be mindful of what I'm thinking. Be mindful of what I'm doing to my body. Be mindful of why I'm not having a great time and how I feel about it. It's all about management - and being accountable.

So, what's the plan?

Okay, here are a few ideas.

1) No chips unless they come from somebody elses plate. I'm a chip monster. I don't need them. They're scratched unless they are seagulled off of somebody else. Bye bye added salt and unnecessary carbohydrates.

2) More walking. There was a time when I pretty much walked to work on a daily basis.. Then I got this job here, which is just out of walking reach - anything over an hour is just a bit much. But I've got a plan - especially as the weather is getting better. Walk to Spring Street then catch the free tram. Saves money and  I get about a 35 minute walk in. Can't argue with that.

3) Reduce sugar in my life. It's poison. We all know this. I've spent the week ridding the worst of the sugar out of my kitchen. I have to say that the lemon curd a friend gave me a few weeks ago was brilliant. Alas no more. I'm not saying I'm going paleo or Sarah Wilson, but I want to be far more mindful of what I'm putting in my mouth. I deserve it.

4) Write poetry. Even if it's a haiku. Write more. Daily. Today's haiku/senryu can be found below. Good for you to write things you like writing. Not that I'm not enjoying writing for uni, but this is a different space.

5)  More stretching. Something else I've been slack with. I'm still in the gym three or four times a week - I don't stretch anywhere near enough.

A lot of this is about accountability. I always do better when I have an accountability monitor - in this case, it's my blog.

There are 90 days to show a palpable change in my life. It will be interesting to see where this takes me.

As for today - walked to Spring Street this morning. Glorious day. Looking at where to get a salad for lunch. Haiku below.

Office Haiku: Waterbottle

the bottle is filled
a wordless pact for the good
warming in waiting

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Making a List Meme

A day of gyming, studying and trying to get the flat into a state of repair, I'm here writing my blog.

Questions, as always, courtesy of Sunday Stealing. The deal at the moment is five questions of this, 100 words of my Real Life Writing Assignment. Joy.

1. Do you like making lists?

  1) Yes
  2) Of course
  3) Doesn't everybody?

2. Do/did you play sports with your siblings?

Not really. I wasn't sporty as a child. My sister was.

3. Would you rather go to a University or a community college?

I'm Australian - we don't really have community college. I've been to three universities to date. I'm a frustrated academic anyway.

4. What’s your favorite kind of bread?

Fresh, warm, homemade rolls are wonderful. They have to be warm. Bagels are good too.

5. What toppings do you like on your pizza?

Hot salami, mozzarella, anchovies, onion.

6. What color or design does your shower curtain have?

I have a glass shower screen.

7. What kind of car does/did your mom drive?

Something large, grey and muimmish - I Hyundai Lantra I think.

8. What’s on your cell phone’s home screen?

A picture of the Great Ocean Road on a blustery winter's day at twilight.

9. Do you like to watch the National Geographic channel?

I don't have Foxtel (cable) so I only get to watch that when I'm in hotel rooms.

10. Are you the type of person to correct a survey maker’s grammar and/or spelling?

Hell, yeah. And send it back to the company with the corrections and a stroppy note.

11. What color is your microwave?

White. Do they come in other colours?

12. Do you have a fan in your bedroom?

In summer I do. I need it.

13. Mountain Dew or Sprite?

Sprite. Mountain Dew gives me palpitations with all the caffeine.

14. Does it rain a lot where you live?

Not really. It's raining now. But Melbourne is rather dry, not like sub-tropical Sydney or Queensland. It rained more in London.

15. Do you shop at Walmart regularly?

No. I live in Australia. We don't have Walmart.

16. Does it bother you when animals lick themselves?

17. Have you ever been to a Trader Joe’s?

Nope. I live in Australia. We don't have them either.

18. What’s the longest time you’ve ever been stuck in traffic?

Thankfully only about an hour at worst. I try to avoid peak hour as a rule.

19. Do you wear black a lot?

Of course I do. It's Melbourne uniform.

20. Are there stairs in your house?

No, but my flat is on the second floor and I have to go up two flights to get to the flat.

21. Have you ever held $500 in cash?

Yes, many times.

22. Do you like onions on your burger?

Do they come without? I didn't know that.

23. Could you ever give yourself a shot?

Probably. Stuff like that doesn't freak me out.

24. Do you wear shoes in the house?

Only when I first come in and when I'm leaving. Generally I walk around barefoot.

25. Have you ever worked as a cashier?

Yes. I worked in a department store while I was at university.