Sunday, 24 January 2016

A quick 'un.


My interview went really well, that was the feedback from the person who ran it. Also my hair and outfit was on fleek, as all of you who follow me on instagram can attest.

Unfortunately I didn't get the job, for reasons I won't go into on here. Logistically it's probably a good thing, however the initial disappointment was acute.

Other job plans are being put into action. They are not what I will want to be doing regularly in 3 or 5 years time but they will make me money and that that is better than a poke in the eye with a stick. It's hard out there. I've given some thought as to the kind of work I want to do in the future. It will take a while to come to fruition.

With one thing or another, my advanced adulting skills of humility, grace and patience are getting a good workout. The inner child wanting to throw a tanty is let out in private situations.

I went and saw "Carol" with some girlfriends today. Though visually beautiful, in no small part due to Queen Cate and Princess Rooney, it was a bit boring. Too many long meaningful gazes, and the music with the scenes was a bit twee. I know it was meant to be a "restrained" movie but I think it was a bit drawn out with the restraint. Still, worth seeing. In keeping with the LGBTQI movie theme, I want to go see "The Danish Girl".

I am having some friends over for the afternoon on Australia day. I will make sausage rolls and we will drink bubbly.

The first week of Feb, we are off to Byron Bay. I am super looking forward to it as I've never been there before. Apparently it's very pretty and very chill.

I am loving funny pics on instagram. My funny pic posting game is strong at the moment.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

My posts have been on the gloomier side, recently.

Well, am gonna continue a little along those lines...bear with me, or stop reading :D

I went and saw "The Big Short" at the pictures today (does anyone else still say "pictures" instead of cinema, I wonder?). Basically it is about the people who bet against the big banks by predicting their demise, detecting the sub-prime mortgage crisis before it occurred. It is the story of Mike Burry, a medical doctor turned hedge fund manager, outstandingly played by Christian Bale. In fact, it has a brilliant ensemble cast. It is a genre defying movie - part documentary, part comedy, part drama. It's one of the best movies I've seen in ages; as my mate FF would say, "run, don't walk".

It basically ended by emphasising that, despite criminality on a massive scale by the bankers, with catastrophic consequences, only one of these bankers went to jail, and the fraudulent money-juggling practices continue.

Pretty fuckin' gloomy. Gloomy-tainment?

I have been searching for some good reading material. I love the author Margaret Attwood, and she loves a good dystopian storyline. I enjoyed "The Handmaid's Tale" and the Maddaddam trilogy. I also liked "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley, but couldn't get into "1984".

Anyhow, I found another novel by Margaret Attwood "The Heart Goes Last". It is set in the US, in the post GFC era, where most people are poor and unemployed and living in their cars. Crime is rampant.

The protagonist couple partake in a social experiment where, for one month, they live in a nice house, and the next they go to jail. This alternates.

I will let you know what I think when I finish it.

The setting of the novel is not dystopian, it is here and now, in the US, where once wealthy people actually do live in cars. The comfortable middle class is shrinking. It is easier to get a gun than medicine. Bearing arms is a right, equitable health care is not. Nobody seems to have learned from the GFC. There is a reasonable chance that Donald Trump might become President.

Elsewhere in the world, IS are causing chaos in the Mid-East, Africa and now, South East Asia. My desire to avoid the big tourist areas in Istanbul last year proved correct - I did go through Taksim Square and Istiklal, but you better believe I moved through these areas quickly.

We like to think of ourselves as sheltered from the worst of things, here in Australia. However, we didn't completely escape the effects of the GFC. There are credible threats of terrorist attacks, such that much tighter security is in place now at the MCG and the Opera House. The grim spectre of climate change has a firm hold. Bushfires rage earlier in the season than before. It's definitely hotter. I've even noticed that the fruit and veg isn't as good as in previous years.

If one follows the news at all, or does anything other than hide under a rock, it's hard not to be scared by what's happening.

Fearing for our future is a very reasonable thing, particularly if such fear leads us to act in a manner which will make the world better. Like acting on climate change, or not pandering to anti-Muslim sentiment. Like voting for leaders who won't lead us down a path to hell, and who won't mandate carpet-bombing Iraq and Syria to "fight terrorism".

The world makes me sad, but this sadness for the world makes me grateful for the small things. It really does and I'm not just saying that. My partner. My family. My dog, who runs happy laps around our big backyard in a nice suburb. Crossfit. Friends. Sunshine. Meeting other dog owners and chatting with them.

We can only do the best we can.

What fears and hopes do you have for the world? (big question, one to ponder).

Friday, 15 January 2016

The Detox

Thankyou to everyone for their very supportive comments on the last post. I am feeling better. I have a great weekend coming up.

I checked in with my friend to see that she was feeling better and more rested. We are ok.

This end of the year always comes with a share of promises to oneself, to be healthier, leaner, better versions of ourselves. I think it's a good time of the year to think of goals. I have plenty of thinking time!

The theme of the post is detox. I am not into dietary detoxes, as we have livers and kidneys for this very purpose, but a little tidy does not go amiss.

Number one - my skin.

My skin, especially that on my chin, looks like that of a meth-head. I have had the unfortunate spectacle of a number of big red sore bombs about my chin.

The benzoyl peroxide treatments sting and make my skin flaky. I have bought some Paula's choice salicylic based agents.

The skin issues are temporally related to the dietary indiscretions of the Christmas- New Year period. There is a bit of evidence for a low glycaemic-load (ie lower carbohydrate) diet. I have been heading that way since late last year, and am getting used to having no spuds etc with dinner.

Number two- my Phone.

I am never far away from my phone. It is always on. I read my books on it. I am not on facebook, but always check instagram.

I am becoming aware that it has become a bit of a tic, to reach for my phone and scroll when I am feeling bored or stressed or whatever. It doesn't help.

I need to think of a way to wean it off. Maybe even (gasp) turn the bad-boy off occasionally. Move my reading material to another device.

Number three- my environment

I am becoming a little more vigilant about clutter. I pulled a few weeds from the garden. I make sure the dishwasher is emptied in a timely fashion. We perform regular vacuums of the living area.

Anything you need to detox?

Wednesday, 6 January 2016


And a happy new year to you all, and hello from "the other side". The stress leading up to Christmas is but a memory, mixed in with a few feelings of "that went ok, actually".

Chrissy was a very low key affair, with a few friends around for a nice lunch on a hot day. Unfortunately my sister didn't come with the baby for the day, as the baby was worn out by other gatherings and not feeding properly. My friend did come around with her two Labradoodle puppies, who played with my dog. Much tail-wagging, playful barking and hilarity ensued.

After hosting Christmas, we woke up early to prepare for my family and the Greek family (belonging to my brother's girlfriend) around. I had been stressing about this, as the Greeks like to throw grand events, and my events are modest at best. It was also pi55ing down with rain so we had to host all 12 adults and 3 kids in our small loungeroom.

I am happy to say that the food and company was enjoyed by all (or so they said, maybe they were just being nice). Greek Papa got into the chardy and therefore was quite happy, and that is 50% of the job done right there. My sis came with her bub and bub was enjoyed by all. The dog reluctantly allowed people a paw shake - she is very shy around hoomins but loves other dogs.

After these festivities, I was spent, and had a jolly good nap.

Soon after Xmas was my fella's birthday. I took him to see the Ai Weiwei/Andy Warhol exhibition, then to Entrecote in South RaRa. Entrecote is basically a steak frites place. I had high expectations as I went to a similar place, also called Entrecote, in Bordeaux. I was a little disappointed; the price was high, the meat was tough and the sauce (a salsa verde) wasn't as amazing as the one in Bordeaux. The views across the Tan were beautiful, and they do $2 oysters during happy hour.

The following day, we executed the second and main part of my pressie to my fella, that is, we went to his home town, Christchurch. As you will remember Chch suffered a massive earthquake in Feb of 2011, and has had scores of aftershocks. Much of the centre of town and suburbs along the coast were badly affected, with many of the buildings destroyed or subsequently condemned. The knock down and rebuild process has been slow. Having been back every year or so since 2012, we have seen the city evolve, and this is the first time we could actually traverse the centre of town; it had previously been cordoned off. Multi-storey buildings are starting to come up. There is a lot of empty space where multi-storey buildings had been, and it is quite confronting for people who have grown up in the city. We caught up with the fella's friends and family, ate and drank too much, "celebrated" NYE (by celebrate I mean drank some wine and fell asleep well before midnight and then woke up at 1 or 2 and couldn't get back to sleep). We visited the Banks peninsula, and saw where my fella camped with his family as a kiddie. Kiwis are keen campers and tolerate much fouler weather than we Aussies do. We stayed in a hotel, which was good as the weather was inclement.

Reluctantly I am thrust back into reality, into work, into exercise, into eating and drinking sensibly. The little break, and the turn of the year gave me some pause to reflect on the year gone by, and set the intentions for the new year. I don't really do new year's resolutions, I am past setting myself up to fail.

2015 had some hard times and had some excellent times too. My body demonstrated it could get pregnant. I finished my PhD. My relationship with my fella continues to flourish. I started the most excellent activity of crossfit. I have a lovely little niece. There is a lot to be thankful for, and, at least in the parts in my control, I am happy with how my life is going. I sometimes have the "things are going well something bad will happen" fear, but I let this go quickly when it comes.

I have a few goals for 2016. Some I am keeping to myself. Others I can share:
  • to only drink excellent coffee.
  • to be able to do a pull up unassisted by a band.
  • To make things rather than buy things.
  • To set aside a couple of hours each week to do art work
I am going for a job interview in a couple of weeks. I have plans B, C and D also in progress for if this doesn't come to pass. I have learned to be flexible and adaptable, and not to dwell in disappointment too much. Wish me luck for this one, though.