Best Wishes


Moments of Idiocy

See that? No, I didn't just decide to create a colorful towel path from the lounge out to the back door just for kicks (though that is a thought for another day). This is what happens when I have one of my, what I like to call, 'Moments of Idiocy'.

Our laundry is set up so we basically have a tube that empties the water out into the laundry sink. Simple. But last night I took that tube and hooked it up on the faucet knobs behind the washer so I could wash Asimov (what? he has fleas...) without it getting in the way.

Flash forward a bit over twelve hours and I decide that I should try to catch up on laundry while I'm working. I have enough energy for that.

But guess who forgot to put the tube back in the sink.

MOI. (See that there? MOI = Me = Moments of Idiocy. Cleeeever.)

The good news is that the laundry washing machine, freezer, doors, walls and floor as well as the hallway for and part of the lounge got a nice cleaning. The better news is that we have hardwood floors instead of carpet in the hall and lounge.

Still, that's really the last time I want to see the unit we're living in turning into a lake because of me. If it happens again, it should at least be because I've suddenly developed the awesome superpower of creating rain indoors.


Catching Up With Life

My body decided to throw my for a loop by making me think my appendix was going to blow up. As it turns out, it was my sneaky ovary making all the fuss.

So I’m home now, but I’m sore, exhausted and having a bit of a hard time catching up with things.

Slowly but surely…





30 Days of Truth - Day 30

Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Dear Me,

As I look at this prompt, I can't tell if this is going to be a long post or a short one...

Let's get to it, shall we?

I love your enthusiasm. It's an enthusiasm that sometimes gets you in trouble in one way or another, but is something no one has ever been able to take away from you. That love for life is what you'll take with you to the end.

I love that you are still discovering your passions. It is frustrating sometimes to not know who you are or where you are going, but the thrill of discovery is awesome and you still have so much of your life to shape.

Finally, I love your strength. I know you don't think you are strong and I know there have been some very tough times when you were weak, but overall... You don't believe it, but you have done some amazing things that took an amount of strength that some people never learn in their entire lives.

Be well. Do well.


[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 29

Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.

Physically, I want to lose weight. Not just for my health, not just to conceive but also to show myself that I am more than my past and that I can do it. *muscle pose*

Mentally, I want to get past my hangups so I can fully live life and do everything I want to do with it. I want to be brave and effervescent, smart and yet not cynical and just a plain lover of life.

Spiritually, if you want to call it that, I want to know myself as a person. I want to be at peace with myself.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 28

Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?

Well, if I got someone pregnant, I would have to laugh off my rear end and enlist myself as a miracle freak of nature. ;)

Seriously, if I were pregnant, I would celebrate. I would be a little freaked out because I'm not at all prepared in body or in mind, but I would still celebrate. I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) so I am a little nervous that, when the time comes, it will be difficult to conceive. But when I do conceive... Well, I know that I can't imagine it now and that I will be nervous, but it will be amazing.

Oh, and I'd tell The Bloke first, face to face.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 27

Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?

Hm. That's a hard one...

It's not that I don't have much going for me in the good category right now, it's that it's hard to pick the best. My life isn't sunshine and puppy dogs by any means, but I have a life where... Ah, got it.

The best thing I have going for me right now is the sheer amount of opportunities out there. I'm young. I'm reasonably intelligent. I'm enthusiastic. I'm nice. And I'm excited just to be living. The fact that I am in a place in my life where I feel safe, comfortable and able to achieve pretty much any dream I set my mind to is amazing - and so freeing.

It doesn't get much better than that.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 26

Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

I'm not very happy to say this, but yes, I have thought about giving up on life. In fact, I did give up on life.

I cam to a point in my life where I had burned the few good bridges I had in my life (my two best friends), had the few strings I had going (university loans being one) yanked away from me (they refused to grant the loan for my third year of university) and had what I though had been stable ground taken from me (won't get into that). I didn't see a way out or up. I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone who would understand and didn't trust anyone who said they could understand (aka pill pushing so-called 'psychiatrists'). I flirted with suicide and didn't see that my life could possibly go anywhere.

Then life gave me a little spank and told me it wasn't done with me yet. And here I am, Working on things and gazing in wonder at this amazing opportunity to live that I have been given.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 25

Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.

I find it appropriate that this prompt came on US Thanksgiving, a day when one is supposed to sit back and think about all the things in life to be grateful for. I don't really celebrate Thanksgiving anymore, but it's always good to think about the things you are grateful for.

I know that The Bloke, my husband, has been the person I have talked about the most this month. But he is a huge part of the new life I have built for myself.

Things in my life were heading downhill in a hurry before I met The Bloke. I had no feeling of self-worth, no belief that I could be much and I was on medication for depression because my relationship with my parents was quickly disintegrating but I couldn't afford my own place.

From the first time we talked, The Bloke engaged me in a way that no person ever had before. He 'held my hand' and supported me as I started taking the steps to becoming a woman with confidence and to seeing that I had a world of possibilities in front of me.

I believe that I am still alive because of him and the seeds of self-worth that he helped me plant in my heart.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 24

Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)

Just the Way You Are - Bruno Mars
Somewhere Only We Know - Keane
She Will Be Loved - Maroon 5
Thank You - Alanis Morissette
Hard Candy Christmas - Dolly Parton
You're Beautiful - James Blunt
Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
And So It Goes - Billy Joel

Dear Younger Self,

Many of these songs haven't come out at your age, but you will discover them. Each holds a special message just for you - some obvious and some that will be special just for you.

Enjoy them and listen to them. Don't let them fade away because, even years later, they will still be just as powerful to you.

[30 Days of Truth]


Aussie Gets Fit Day 23/Day 2

When I think about it being day 23 of dedicating myself to my health and well-being, I can't help but smile. The time has flown so fast, and I've already had ups and downs with the making of new friends and adding in social occasions. But I feel so good! I feel like I have started the habits of a lifetime rather than just another 'new diet'.

I have added on another component to my lifestyle. Even though it feels weird to say that on day two, I feel proud just to have started. Exercise and I haven't had the best of relationships in the past, but things are going well. Even if it is just day two.

That's me! I wanted to take a picture on day one, but I was waiting on a replacement camera after mine bit the fuzz. This isn't a great pic by any means, but it features me with my essentials: bandanna to keep my hair back, mp3 player currently set to The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry, my sunnies and a loose jumper over my t-shirt.

Today I definitely walked four kilometres, as The Bloke dropped me off a little further away. That started my walk with a hill, which set my ankle off a little. I'm thinking of wrapping it up to make it a little sturdier until the muscle builds up.

All in all, I feel like I'm on the right track and I like how things are going - slowly but surely. I'm not sure if I'll ever like getting up so early in the morning, but it really does work best for me to exercise first thing.

Things are looking up.

30 Days of Truth - Day 23

Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.

This question is a little hard to answer because while there are things I wish I had done, I still have plenty of time to do them. Then again...

The time before I moved to Australia was a stressful one on many different levels. But the one thing that I wish I would have done was think more about what I was bringing with me.

I sent one box ahead of me before I flew over and had only one luggage back and my laptop bag. The box held things that were important to me, but there were other things that were important to me that I didn't think about at the time because I packed in a hurry. My Dr. Seuss books. My vintage Barbie doll that my grandmother bought me the year I was born. Plenty of other knick-knacks that meant nothing to anyone but me.

I know they were only things, but they were my things. They had positive memories attached, and I wish I could hold them in my hands now.

[30 Days of Truth]


Walk It Off

Today I got up about two hours earlier than I am used to - which, in and of itself is pretty huge because I am not a morning person - so my husband could drop me off on his way to work. With my sunnies on, my hair pulled back and my audiobook of The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry in my mp3 player, I set off.

I didn't miss the irony of the universe when - completely unknown to me - Fry started his biography talking about his addiction to sugar and what it did to him. He swiftly went from an intelligent man I like to listen to, to a comrade in arms who has struggled as I do with this sweet-laden society.

Unlike music, which - after years of marching band - forces me to walk the tempo of whatever song is on, having an audiobook on engages my mind in a way that let's me walk at a truly beginner's pace while engaging my mind to the point I can mostly ignore breathlessness, soreness and sweat.

In one hour and two minutes I walked somewhere between 3.5 and 4 kilometres (somewhere between just over 2 and 2.5 miles) nonstop. I'm feeling quite chuffed about both the distance and the amount of time it took. An hour seems to perfectly... perfect and the distance challenges me without leaving me feeling like a worn out bicycle tire.

I know this is the first day of many, but taking that first step is so incredibly important that it is worth celebrating.

I already have my first goal, too. The Bloke has promised me that if I keep up with my walking routine with no exceptions for a month, I get to go in and have shoes fitted to me (something we've seen advertised on tele for athletes).

Overall, this is a very happy start. I hope to have my replacement camera with me soon so I can take pictures of the walk.

30 Days of Truth - Day 22

Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.

This one sort of goes along with the list of things I need to forgive myself for...

There was a time in my life - not too long ago - when I didn't believe I could be loved at a deep level. On a face level, on a flirting level... Sure. But deep, long lasting love? Nope. Wasn't going to happen to me.

As what often happens with these sort of ideas, I ended up going out with men who were very wrong for me. In one way or another, the relationships were never going to last. And I knew that, so I felt safe.

But then I met the Bloke, a man who matched me on levels I didn't even bother to think about with other guys. He was the list I had made of my ideal man: intelligent, taller than me (hey, I did say 'my ideal'), funny, loves animals, likes computers, loves travel, someone I could spend hours talking to...

But seeing him and knowing he was capable of that deep love - and I capable of that deep love for him - scared me. I was scared of love like that because it would hurt so much more when he left me, which I was convinced he would do at sometime. So I treated him badly. The assumption of him hurting me led to me hurting him first. The first year of our relationship was not at all easy - and not just because of the massive distance between us. I was rotten at times, I am so lucky that The Bloke is one of the most patient people I know.

That treatment of him is something I wish I hadn't done. He doesn't think on it anymore because he understands it was a defense mechanism. But I still think back sometimes and sigh, wanting to go back in time to smack myself upside the head.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 21

Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

I think I am in a bit of a snarky mood today because my first reaction to this question was: Well, duh. You go see if your friend is okay.

A fight of a moment doesn't take away a friendship of a lifetime.

But, for the sake of argument, let's say best friend has told me that she's been sleeping with my husband. Even then, I cannot imagine not going to the hospital to visit or whatever. I wouldn't bring flowers and I probably would hesitate before going, but in my mind there is no possibility of not going or whatever other options there are.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 20

Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.

I've lived in the States and in Australia, and while the laws are different, I still think we have very backwards views on things.

For example: Alcohol is toxic to every organ in your body, and it is legal. Marijuana (just pure marijuana without crap added) is perfectly fine and it is illegal.

Another example: Alcohol is addictive - an addiction that can get passed through families. You could sit and eat marijuana cookies all day long and all you would get is twenty pounds and a nice buzz.

Tell me why we sell alcohol and not marijuana.

I'm just using the examples of general alcohol and marijuana because those are easiest to talk about. There are wine coolers you could claim never hurt anyone and there are other drugs that are the scourge of the Earth. But lumping all alcohol and all drugs into firm categories is like saying that one diet works for all people.

It just doesn't work like that.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 19

Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

As far as I am concerned, both are subjects I have little to do with because too many people use both to do things that are wrong - and I can't do a damn thing about it.


30 Days of Truth - Day 18

Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.

This could get me in trouble because people get so heated up about this... But here we go.

The way I see it, marriage stopped being a religious convention when the state stepped in. The state/the government/etc. The moment that there were legal implications of becoming married, religion became an alternate in the marriage 'game'. Sometimes religion plays, sometimes it doesn't, depending on the couple.

The reason I bring religion into it is because that's the reason a lot of people site for being against gay marriage.

Okay. Now that's established.

Two people love each other, they kiss, they are pronounced married, they sign a license which is then filed with the government, not the local church. So why do religious views have to get into it? Atheists and agnostics have been getting married for a long, long time, and religion doesn't say "you shouldn't be wed because you don't believe in God/god/gods" etc. In many of those weddings, religions have nothing to do with it. They even get a celebrant instead of a religious figure to perform the ceremony. And it is still perfectly legitimate in the eyes of the government.

So why can't gay people do that too?

They are two people. They are in love. They want the joy of filing joint taxes, too. What does it matter what they do in the bedroom? Nobody cares what agnostics do in the bedroom.

If a preacher/priest/whatever isn't keen on officiating gay marriages, then that's his choice. If a church doesn't want those kind of weddings in their church, whatever. But to dictate government policy - that's why I mentioned government first - on religious views that not everyone holds is silly. What happened to separation of church and state? That little ol' thing in the constitution?

For me, you can't have both the government view of marriage and the religious restrictions on marriage. It makes the entire institution hypocritical.

Have religious weddings. Have non-religious weddings. Have whatever weddings you want. But until religion removes government policies based on and around 'the couple', religion shouldn't dictate who can be a couple.

'There is so much good in the worst of us and bad in the best of us that it behooves any one of us to find fault with the rest of us.' - Anonymous

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 17

Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

I don't think I could pick just one...

When I was a little girl, I learned the meaning of unconditional love from a book called The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

Also when I was young, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss had me looking at the environment in a whole new way and taught me to love my environment.

As a first year uni student suffering from severe depression, one of the counselors who worked with me recommended the book Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I didn't quite understand why she would recommend a writing book for a mood disorder, but I picked it up anyway. Writing Down the Bones changed my view of my writing from something I 'just did' that I liked and people said I did well to a deeper, almost spiritual, connection to what I wanted to express from my soul. I finally viewed my writing as an art and a passion rather than an act and happy hobby.

And, the book I'm reading now: Losing Your Pounds of Pain by Doreen Virtue. This book is teaching me that even the stuff I thought I was fully right blaming myself for isn't my fault. Now that is a beautiful weight to have lifted off my shoulders.

Books are beautiful.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 16

Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.

Road rage! Well, angry people in general. I won't even post a yelling person picture for this post because I don't want to look at it.

I hate to admit it, but I'm one of those sensitive/empathic/willnotcallmyselffragile people that bullies and mean people love to pick on. Thankfully I'm a nice enough person to have gotten by without people trying to get a rise out of me. But even angry people I don't know being angry in my general direction upsets me.

Especially road rage.

Anger has been made out to be such a 'bad' emotion these days that people suppress so much. So you end up with people like me who are frightened of anger and people who act out their anger inappropriately (like when they feel 'safe' in a car).

The Bloke and I once had an experience with a pair of teens who rode our bumper for miles and miles (country road, few turn offs, one lane for each direction, double lines, and a line of slow people in front of us), then we got into a town and they proceeded to harass us - cutting us off, slowing down in front of us, trying to drag, yelling, swearing, flipping us off...

Now that was traumatic enough for the Bloke, who was driving, but it sent me into a tailspin. I could not let it go for weeks. Horrible horrible. And all over not passing a line of traffic on a double line.

Anger is not a bad emotion - there are no 'bad' emotions - but what people do with it... I wish anger management was a mandatory class.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 15

My wedding garter.

Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

My husband.

Yeah, I know that is probably the 'easy' answer, but it's true! Back when I was in the US and he was in Australia, we did have a brief period of living without each other in the emotional as well as obviously physical aspect.

It was horrible. I was completely miserable. The world just felt 'off' with us not being together. I had this horrible void inside that I just couldn't shake. Logic said it was easier to be without each other because of the distance, the age difference, difficulties we'd already been through... But he was as miserable as me. And we knew that we were meant to be together.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 14

Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)

This is going to sound like such a cop out, but I've never had any 'heroes'. I can't think of anyone who has even been close to a hero (besides The Bloke - and he has never let me down), so I'm going to have to opt out of this one.

[30 Days of Truth]


Taking Ass and Kicking Names

I meant to post this sooner, but, you know, life happened.

My appointment and the paranoia-inducing spot on my thumb update:

I'm so ready to punch my GP right in the balls. Yeah, I said it. You see, when I sat down to get The Spot looked at, I told him that I had concerns about cancer. Breast cancer that morphed into liver, bone, etc cancers killed my grandmother. My mother has a freaking brain tumor. Weird little spot in the country where skin cancer is the big cancer?

I'll take 'how to freak JM out for $500, please'. Instead of reassuring me, my GP had me freaking out even worse. That's why I was so nervous! And why I wanted my appointment moved ahead. He told me how weird it was to get a spot on my thumb and how it looked odd, etc, etc.

Lo and behold...

I went to the dermatologist who didn't even think it was worth removing. 'Just a mole. Looks like any other, and it's not odd to have it on your thumb. If it keeps getting bigger and you're worried, come back to see me.'

Simple as that!

So on one hand, I am relieved that I don't have anything to worry about. At least for a long time yet. On the other hand, I don't want to see a doctor who is just going to play up my fears. I wonder if he got some sort of referral fee...

Life moves on and the typing is as fast as ever. Phew!

30 Days of Truth - Day 13

Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)

Dear Lifehouse,

Though you were around long before, I only discovered you during my university years - the toughest years of my life thus far. You were an instant hit with me, and when I listened to You and Me, which made me feel closer to my husband while we were separated by distance, I needed to find more music by you.

Once again, your music echoed my relationship when I first felt the amazing realisation of knowing that my husband meant everything to me and that life without him was something I didn't want to contemplate.

Even these days when I feel like I'm falling apart, you manage to make me feel like I'm not alone.

Even better, you somehow manage to pick up other songs that mean a lot to me.

Thank you for all the beautiful music.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 12

Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.

Hm. There are plenty of things I never get compliments on, but I'm assuming we're going for things that actually apply to me...

I never get compliments on my organization. Going by my desk, you wouldn't think I'm organized. But all you need to do is look at all the spreadsheets I keep for work and personal...

I never get compliments on being funny, though I've been known to crack people up every now and then.

Then there are the vanity ones like hair, eyes, shoes, clothing (probably because I'm plus sized with a budget - not good in Australia), etc.

I have gotten compliments on my smile and laugh, though, so I can't include those.

Yet, even thinking about what I don't get complimented on, I find I don't care. Cool for me.

Friday Funny: "The Talk" Boss Version


30 Days of Truth - Day 11

Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

Haha. Back in high school, I had people compliment me on how long my eyelashes are. Woo!

Let's see...

The compliment that I hear most often since I moved to Australia is that I am a great baker.

At first I didn't believe it. Yeah, I made great brownies, but that didn't make me a great baker. Since then I have realised that baking is like writing. Two people can write English words, but the true writer can write a novel. Two people can follow the same recipe, but sometimes it's that extra bit of love and soul that someone passionate about cooking/baking puts in that makes it a truly marvelous dish.

Being known for sinfully delicious brownies isn't too shabby. :) I like it.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 10

Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

I'm afraid I'm going to be boring with this one. I can't think of anyone I need to let go. I suppose there are people I wish I didn't know, but that's more in regards to the past, so it doesn't quite fit this prompt. I'm more keen on wishing I didn't have the memories rather than the person (who is no longer in my life).

[30 Days of Truth]


Happy Dance!

I called the skin clinic and asked them to notify me of any cancellations. My little sunspot is getting darker and growing, so waiting another few weeks was beginning to grind on me.

Lo and behold, someone cancelled! I'll be getting it removed on Thursday. Woot!

I'll be posting ahead with the 30 Days of Truth so I don't miss a beat. :)

30 Days of Truth - Day 09

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

Once upon a time, I had a best friend. We were pretty much known for our friendship with each other. Where one was, that one got asked where the other was. (That was my experience, anyway.) We traveled together, had a lot of the same interests, had plenty of laughs and shared our dreams with each other.

I used to think that our friendship ended when I moved to Australia and said friend didn't want to deal with that. But, years later, I see that we had been drifting apart for a while before then. Depression began to swallow me whole, and said friend was going through a hell of a lot that she didn't seem to know how to talk about or didn't want to.

I don't regret my actions; I did the best I could with an increasingly abusive environment that set of making my depression increasingly worse. I do wish we could have at least tried to talk more.

Me moving to Australia, something I had to do for me, must have simply been the last straw for said friend. Now we're different people and lead different lives, so...

There we are.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 08

Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

I don't want to sit here and call someone out, though my earlier posts may have indicated that I would. I see this prompt and I think about all the people I have treated badly in the past. I was downright horrible to some people. But then again, weren't we all at some point?

That said, a couple people do come to mind when I read that prompt, but they don't quite fit. Nobody made my life hell; certain people made moments of my life hell or treated me badly. That's just part of the game, though, isn't it?

Perhaps I won't be so introspective and zen on another day, but today, to conjure up all those bad memories of all the ways those particular people treated me badly would just serve to put me in a bad mood. At the moment, I'm in a good mood, so I don't want to spoil that.

So, yes, there are a few people in my life I feel treated me very badly. But that's done now and I'm going to take a hot bath.

[30 Days of Truth]


30 Days of Truth - Day 07

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

My husband, The Bloke, doesn't think he's an amazing man. In fact, he thinks he's just average. But really, especially in my eyes, he's the most incredible man I have ever met.

The first time we met, we talked all night. The only reason we stopped talking was because we'd talked all the way through the night and early morning up to my 8am psychology class. You couldn't tell that I hadn't slept at all, though, because I was walking on the moon.

We met during a difficult time in my life, and he was with me every step of the way. He helped me look after my health when I didn't want to, he listened when I needed to talk and he made me a priority in his life when he had plenty of things happening in his.

I didn't expect him to stick around, so I hurt him. More than once. But he was mature enough and forgiving enough to see what was really happening. He forgave me when he didn't need to and loved me when I thought myself unloveable.

Almost unbelievably, things got even worse in my home situation. And he saved me.

Through the good times and the bad, he'd been saving money. Week in and week out, he put a little bit into an account. That money bought me a flight from the US to Australia. Out of the nightmare and into the sunshine.

He saved my life in all but the most literal way, and I never forget that. And he continues to make my life worth living.


30 Days of Truth - Day 06

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.

Say goodbye to The Bloke. For any circumstance.

I can survive without him, but I don't want to have to.


Friday Funny: "The Talk" Girlfriend Version

I love this commercial...

30 Days of Truth - Day 05

Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.

I want to find out who I really am.

At this point in my life, I'm just drifting. I don't feel like a 'whole' person just yet with a firm, solid personality. I drift around from Holly Homemaker to Witty Writer Lately to Stripy Socks and back again. I've got images of who I want to be...

*The kind of person who can say 'awesomesauce' and get away with it.
*The kind of person who wears snarky but clever t-shirts and geeky accessories.
*The kind of person who wears stripy socks and does fun things with her hair... even at 30 or 40.
*The kind of person that weighs quite a few pounds less than I currently do.

...but that's only a start.

I will get there. I just need to keep pushing myself toward it.


Everything Melbourne in 30 Seconds


30 Days of Truth - Day 04

Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.

Eesh. These just keep getting better and better, don't they?

Might as well dig right in...

I need to forgive my mother. (I hate how familiar that must sound.) I need to forgive her for so many things, but at this point, I need to forgive her the most for never admitting to what she's done.

I accept that she'll never admit to it, much less talk about it, but acceptance is still a step or two away from forgiveness. I know she's a product of the abuses she suffered as a child as well, but there is a point where you either repeat those actions or consciously decide that the abuse will not continue. I made that choice. My daughter will never suffer at my hand or question my love for her.

I forgive my mother for not making that choice to stop; it's hard to get past memes. But to then not accept what you've done and work to get past it, thus denying yourself and your daughter from any sort of real relationship, is unforgiveable.

At least for now.


30 Days of Truth - Day 03

Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.

Ew. I don't like this one. May I skip to the next?

I suppose you could say I have a lot of 'hang ups' with my past. There is a lot of unfinished business and a lot of people who are angry with me. I feel justified, but also...

Anyway. I think the biggest, worst 'sin' of them all that I did that I need to forgive myself for is... binge eating since I was about four years old.

(Wow. I had something else typed in but realised that I wasn't being completely honest. I type that whopper in and the tears start gathering!)

I was abused as a child in different ways and that brought out many different habits in me. One was binge eating. Some people turn to anorexia, some to bullemia... I tried those when I was at university, but I started off with binge eating.

Food has forever been the one thing I could control. Not the food I ate, but how much I ate. Some of my earliest memories are of literally eating myself sick. Yeah. A lot of horrible memories, those.

I need to forgive myself for coping with my childhood by binge eating because, frankly, not forgiving myself for doing it is keeping me from losing the weight now that I'm in a safe place.


30 Days of Truth - Day 02

Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.

Why does this one have to be so much harder than the reasons you hate yourself one? That's just wrong...

Hm. What do I love about me...

I love my willingness to love.

That may seem like the easy answer, but bear with me. Ever since I was a little girl, I just wanted to love and be loved. I grew up in a religion, but the Golden Rule was my real religion. I believed in giving and loving and just wanting everyone to be happy. I failed. A lot. But I kept as true to that path as I could.

In the adult world, things are a lot harder. People get weirded out by 'just because' gifts. Some people become uncomfortable. That makes me sad, but it's a fact of adult life. People just don't trust as much, and I accept that.

But I keep giving when and where I can because it's what I love to do. It makes me feel fulfilled when I can give something. These days, the giving usually involves brownies, but I haven't heard any complaints yet.

So, in the end, I love my capacity to love. That is the one part of me that, if I lost it, I would no longer be me.


30 Days of Truth - Day 01

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.

Well, you see, I have this habit of starting things on Mondays...

Okay, so I don't find that habit a reason to hate myself. Perhaps think myself slightly peculiar...

So what do I hate about myself?

I hate that I am so scared. I have this amazing life with so many opportunities, and yet I am at home at the computer most of the time, overweight and knowing that I should be doing something more. Barring finances and all that crap, I can do anything that I want. My imagination is the limit.

And yet, my imagination isn't coming up with much.

There are things I want, but I keep putting them off. I need to stop doing that because all it's doing is annoying me, and me being annoyed with myself is just a big bowl of sadflakes.

30 Days of Truth


30 Days of Truth

As I was reading through my Google Reader buildup this morning and contemplating starting to drink coffee to my brain won't be so fuzzy in the morning, I came across this post from Miss Zoot.

While a post about why she hates herself may not seem like such a good thing, it's all part of a blog challenge called 30 Days of Truth that she found at Angel Believes.

Well, considering the fact that I think this place needs a little spicing up, I decided to join in. Why not? And November is thirty days long, starting on a Monday, so...

I've decided to give this a go with November 1st being day one. If anyone else wants to join in or already has, please let me know. I'll add you to my feed reader so I can check out your posts. :)

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself


So, Here's the Thing...

I'm fat, I want to get fit and I'm curious...

How many people out there are using walking (or speed walking or jogging or running) as your primary form of exercise?

When did you get start? How long/far/many steps did you start with? What about now?

What is your ‘must have’ piece of equipment? (Water bottle, mp3 player, the right shoes…)

Any advice for someone who is looking to start a walking routine?



Christmas is Coming

Ack! Hide the children!

Christmas is coming...

Unlike in the US, where you at least have the buffers of Halloween and Thanksgiving to help stem the flow of Christmas into the earlier months, Australia doesn't have those holidays. We have 'The Race That Stops The Nation', which is something - but it's nothing to most retail shops.

And Christmas is starting to seep in...

Now, I love Christmas. I still feel like it should happen in July when it's actually cold, but I've since fallen in love with the Chrissy barbie. Usually including a heap of prawns in our household.

But still, those are things I want to look forward to. To think 'oh, we'll be able to do that again soon' at odd moments when my mind is drifting. I don't want Christmas items to start smacking me in the face in the middle of bloody October! It's one thing in the middle of November, but this is just getting stupid.

You can be promised that I'm not even going to think about getting out the tree until mid-December, so why should I have the visual assault on my eyes more than a month before the actual holiday happens?

Am I just puffing smoke? Are there people out there who actually like all this early Christmas crap being whipped out at shops?



I Think We Can Safely Say... Spring is Here

Well, it may have taken a while beyond its official switchover for spring to finally arrive, but it has.

We've all been enjoying the increase in sunshine by opening up all the doors and windows when we can. It still gets too cold at night to keep them open, but at least we still get the benefits of fresh air.

Asimov has finally grown big and strong enough to get over the back fence. Sigh. He's grown so big! And given me a heart attack the first time he disappeared. He's still a guts at heart, though, and always comes back for food. And for cuddles with me.

Now if only he'd put a little more weight on before trying to take on full grown crows...


Friday Funny - Animal Edition

Not Want Bath

This Coffee Smells Like Crap


Say Hello to My Little Friend...

Say hello to my little friend, a brown spot toward the inside of my thumb. It looks tiny, but this little spot is what prompted my paranoia post earlier this week. You see, this spot turned up about March this year, comparable to the head of a pin. I only noticed it because that's the hand I write with - and because it's in a place that doesn't get a heck of a lot of sun.

Then it grew. With a vine-like brown lines, the teeny tiny spot began to grow, branching out not in an even circle but unevenly. Over the course of the year since March, the spot has been taking up more and more of my attention.

Call me paranoid if you like (I think I welcomed you too in the previous post, too), but cancer runs in my family. It killed my grandmother. It's killing my mother. And skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia. I think I'm okay to be a little paranoid about a spot.

So I finally went to the doctor (GP) to get it checked out today, and I have a referral to a skin specialist. The GP was perplexed at its location and wanted a specialist to check it out before they went cutting it out. I don't get in to see the specialist until next month, but I'm okay with that. So long as I have an appointment.

The picture doesn't seem to show it right. But maybe it just seems bigger to me.

Wordless Wednesday

I can haz glamor shot?


Sometimes It's Good to Be Paranoid

A couple days ago, I told my husband that I needed to go to the doctor. I have a small spot on my thumb that has been growing ever so slowly since the beginning of this year. It's now stopped growing and is getting darker.

Time to get it checked.

On Sunday night I got really sick after not feeling quite right for the whole day. That night I ended up with cramps, vomiting and a very unpleasant night. I told my husband that, while I might not like the decision when I'm feeling better, I'm going back to a raw diet (with the exception of sushi rice because handrolls are a staple in my diet when I'm on the go). I'm tired or reacting to foods and growing more and more sensitive to everything.

We went shopping and stocked up on fruit, vege, and raw fruit and dried nuts to make trail mix.

Exercise consists of going for walks about five minutes because my tailbone is so our of it.

Time to go to the chiro.

I've become paranoid all the sudden. I'm paranoid about my thumb. About cancer - breast cancer spreading to bone and liver cancer - the cancer that killed my grandmother. I'm paranoid about the tumors, though benign, that they found in my mother's breast. I'm paranoid about the tumor they found in her brain. I'm paranoid about the heart problems and diabetes that run rampant in my family.

Why it's taken me this long to get paranoid, I don't know, but I'm embracing the paranoia. Because it's the paranoia that's going to motivate me to save my life.



It looks like spring has finally sprung in Melbourne! We actually had humidity today due to a light ran after a weekend of sun. I'm never a fan on humidity, but I'd almost forgotten what it was!

I've been trying to get out and enjoy the sunshine while it's happening. It's gone a long way to helping my mood improve. But, at least I know that I do get SADD and will be prepared next winter with vitamin D tablets.

Unfortunately, other things in my life aren't going that great. The Bloke has been very supportive and friends have, too, but the situation is pretty sucktastic. Apparently I'm not supposed to give a damn. Who knew? I missed the memo.

All of it really has me contemplating - and I'm not the only one. In the end it'll all work out for the best, but it sucks to be in it at the moment.

Life goes on, I'm tired and cranberry vodka.

Anyone have a martini?



Same Old, Same Old

Melbourne is doing its usual rain, sun, rain, sun, hail, rain, rain in the sunshine, overcast stuff today. At least the brief periods of sunshine mean that spring is trying to, well, spring.

I think I'm getting a little boring here. Maybe because my fourth year anniversary of arriving in Australia is coming up. I'm so used to the darn place that I'm not sure what to write about anymore.

Eh, who am I kidding? There will always be weird things to discover in this country.

Like many people, I am thoroughly annoyed with the AFL draw rule for the Grand Final (rule: if it's a draw, both teams come back the next Saturday). It's such an obvious grab for money that it disgusts me AND the players. Well, they might be disgusted for other reasons, but there was much disgust to be... discussed.


I am actually in the process of narrowing down my massive amount of blogs so I can spend more time concentrating on the ones that are important to me. Sure, I love all my blogs (my babies!), but I'm to the point where I need to give some of them up and focus or give up my dream of being a published novelist.

No contest, really.

I know I'm keeping this one, at least, so it's a beginning point. It's hard to decide between the others, though.

Have you ever had to make hard decisions related to time management so you could make bigger dreams happen?


100 Best First Lines From Novels

Found at Well-Mannered Frivolity.

This list is courtesy of American Book Review.

1. Call me Ishmael. — Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)

2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. — Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

3. A screaming comes across the sky. —Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (1973)

4. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. —Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; trans. Gregory Rabassa)

5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. —Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)

6. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. —Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877; trans. Constance Garnett)

7. River run, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. — James Joyce, Finnegans Wake (1939)

8. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. — George Orwell, 1984 (1949)

9. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

10. I am an invisible man. — Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)

11. The Miss Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble?—Do-you-need-advice?—Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard. — Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts (1933)

12. You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. — Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)

13. Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested. — Franz Kafka, The Trial (1925; trans. Breon Mitchell)

14. You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler. — Italo Calvino, If on a winter's night a traveler (1979; trans. William Weaver)

15. The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. — Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938)

16. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. — J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

17. Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo. — James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)

18. This is the saddest story I have ever heard. — Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (1915)

19. I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;—that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;—and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost:—Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,—I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that, in which the reader is likely to see me. — Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (1759–1767)

20. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. — Charles Dickens, David Copperfield (1850)

21. Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. — James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)

22. It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. —Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

23. One summer afternoon Mrs. Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary. — Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)

24. It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not. —Paul Auster, City of Glass (1985)

25. Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. — William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1929)

26. 124 was spiteful. — Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)

27. Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing. — Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605; trans. Edith Grossman)

28. Mother died today. — Albert Camus, The Stranger (1942; trans. Stuart Gilbert)

29. Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu. — Ha Jin, Waiting (1999)

30. The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. —William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)

31. I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man. — Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground (1864; trans. Michael R. Katz)

32. Where now? Who now? When now? — Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable (1953; trans. Patrick Bowles)

33. Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard. "Stop!" cried the groaning old man at last, "Stop! I did not drag my father beyond this tree." — Gertrude Stein, The Making of Americans (1925)

34. In a sense, I am Jacob Horner. — John Barth, The End of the Road (1958)

35. It was like so, but wasn't. — Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2 (1995)

36. —Money . . . in a voice that rustled. — William Gaddis, J R (1975)

37. Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. — Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925)

38. All this happened, more or less. — Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)

39. They shoot the white girl first. — Toni Morrison, Paradise (1998)

40. For a long time, I went to bed early. — Marcel Proust, Swann's Way (1913; trans. Lydia Davis)

41. The moment one learns English, complications set in. — Felipe Alfau, Chromos (1990)

42. Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature. — Anita Brookner, The Debut (1981)

43. I was the shadow of the waxwing slain / By the false azure in the windowpane; — Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire (1962)

44. Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. — Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)

45. I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story. — Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome (1911)

46. Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex's admonition, against Allen's angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all argued, an awesome African army assembled and arduously advanced against an African anthill, assiduously annihilating ant after ant, and afterward, Alex astonishingly accuses Albert as also accepting Africa's antipodal ant annexation. — Walter Abish, Alphabetical Africa (1974)

47. There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. —C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

48. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. — Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952)

49. It was the day my grandmother exploded. — Iain M. Banks, The Crow Road (1992)

50. I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974. — Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (2002)

51. Elmer Gantry was drunk. — Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry (1927)

52. We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall. —Louise Erdrich, Tracks (1988)

53. It was a pleasure to burn. — Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

54. A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead. — Graham Greene, The End of the Affair (1951)

55. Having placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes' chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression. — Flann O'Brien, At Swim-Two-Birds (1939)

56. I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho' not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call'd me. — Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719)

57. In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street. — David Markson, Wittgenstein's Mistress (1988)

58. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress. — George Eliot, Middlemarch (1872)

59. It was love at first sight. — Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961)

60. What if this young woman, who writes such bad poems, in competition with her husband, whose poems are equally bad, should stretch her remarkably long and well-made legs out before you, so that her skirt slips up to the tops of her stockings? — Gilbert Sorrentino, Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things (1971)

61. I have never begun a novel with more misgiving. — W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge (1944)

62. Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person. — Anne Tyler, Back When We Were Grownups (2001)

63. The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. — G. K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904)

64. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. — F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)

65. You better not never tell nobody but God. — Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982)

66. "To be born again," sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, "first you have to die." — Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses (1988)

67. It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York. — Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (1963)

68. Most really pretty girls have pretty ugly feet, and so does Mindy Metalman, Lenore notices, all of a sudden. — David Foster Wallace, The Broom of the System (1987)

69. If I am out of my mind, it's all right with me, thought Moses Herzog. — Saul Bellow, Herzog (1964)

70. Francis Marion Tarwater's uncle had been dead for only half a day when the boy got too drunk to finish digging his grave and a Negro named Buford Munson, who had come to get a jug filled, had to finish it and drag the body from the breakfast table where it was still sitting and bury it in a decent and Christian way, with the sign of its Saviour at the head of the grave and enough dirt on top to keep the dogs from digging it up. — Flannery O'Connor, The Violent Bear it Away (1960)

71. Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there's a peephole in the door, and my keeper's eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me. —GŸnter Grass, The Tin Drum (1959; trans. Ralph Manheim)

72. When Dick Gibson was a little boy he was not Dick Gibson. — Stanley Elkin, The Dick Gibson Show (1971)

73. Hiram Clegg, together with his wife Emma and four friends of the faith from Randolph Junction, were summoned by the Spirit and Mrs. Clara Collins, widow of the beloved Nazarene preacher Ely Collins, to West Condon on the weekend of the eighteenth and nineteenth of April, there to await the End of the World. —Robert Coover, The Origin of the Brunists (1966)

74. She waited, Kate Croy, for her father to come in, but he kept her unconscionably, and there were moments at which she showed herself, in the glass over the mantel, a face positively pale with the irritation that had brought her to the point of going away without sight of him. — Henry James, The Wings of the Dove (1902)

75. In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains. — Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (1929)

76. "Take my camel, dear," said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass. — Rose Macaulay, The Towers of Trebizond (1956)

77. He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull. — Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim (1900)

78. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. — L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between (1953)

79. On my naming day when I come 12 I gone front spear and kilt a wyld boar he parbly ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs any how there hadnt ben none for a long time befor him nor I aint looking to see none agen. — Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker (1980)

80. Justice?—You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law. —William Gaddis, A Frolic of His Own (1994)

81. Vaughan died yesterday in his last car-crash. — J. G. Ballard, Crash (1973)

82. I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. — Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle (1948)

83. "When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets," Papa would say, "she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing." — Katherine Dunn, Geek Love (1983)

84. In the last years of the Seventeenth Century there was to be found among the fops and fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talented, and yet more talented than prudent, who, like his friends-in-folly, all of whom were supposed to be educating at Oxford or Cambridge, had found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her sense to labor over, and so rather than applying himself to the pains of scholarship, had learned the knack of versifying, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with Joves and Jupiters, aclang with jarring rhymes, and string-taut with similes stretched to the snapping-point. —John Barth, The Sot-Weed Factor (1960)

85. When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon. —James Crumley, The Last Good Kiss (1978)

86. It was just noon that Sunday morning when the sheriff reached the jail with Lucas Beauchamp though the whole town (the whole county too for that matter) had known since the night before that Lucas had killed a white man. — William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust (1948)

87. I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as "Claudius the Idiot," or "That Claudius," or "Claudius the Stammerer," or "Clau-Clau-Claudius" or at best as "Poor Uncle Claudius," am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the "golden predicament" from which I have never since become disentangled. — Robert Graves, I, Claudius (1934)

88. Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I've come to learn, is women. — Charles Johnson, Middle Passage (1990)

89. I am an American, Chicago born—Chicago, that somber city—and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent. —Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March (1953)

90. The towers of Zenith aspired above the morning mist; austere towers of steel and cement and limestone, sturdy as cliffs and delicate as silver rods. — Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt (1922)

91. I will tell you in a few words who I am: lover of the hummingbird that darts to the flower beyond the rotted sill where my feet are propped; lover of bright needlepoint and the bright stitching fingers of humorless old ladies bent to their sweet and infamous designs; lover of parasols made from the same puffy stuff as a young girl's underdrawers; still lover of that small naval boat which somehow survived the distressing years of my life between her decks or in her pilothouse; and also lover of poor dear black Sonny, my mess boy, fellow victim and confidant, and of my wife and child. But most of all, lover of my harmless and sanguine self. — John Hawkes, Second Skin (1964)

92. He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. —Raphael Sabatini, Scaramouche (1921)

93. Psychics can see the color of time it's blue. — Ronald Sukenick, Blown Away (1986)

94. In the town, there were two mutes and they were always together. — Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940)

95. Once upon a time two or three weeks ago, a rather stubborn and determined middle-aged man decided to record for posterity, exactly as it happened, word by word and step by step, the story of another man for indeed what is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal, a somewhat paranoiac fellow unmarried, unattached, and quite irresponsible, who had decided to lock himself in a room a furnished room with a private bath, cooking facilities, a bed, a table, and at least one chair, in New York City, for a year 365 days to be precise, to write the story of another person—a shy young man about of 19 years old—who, after the war the Second World War, had come to America the land of opportunities from France under the sponsorship of his uncle—a journalist, fluent in five languages—who himself had come to America from Europe Poland it seems, though this was not clearly established sometime during the war after a series of rather gruesome adventures, and who, at the end of the war, wrote to the father his cousin by marriage of the young man whom he considered as a nephew, curious to know if he the father and his family had survived the German occupation, and indeed was deeply saddened to learn, in a letter from the young man—a long and touching letter written in English, not by the young man, however, who did not know a damn word of English, but by a good friend of his who had studied English in school—that his parents both his father and mother and his two sisters one older and the other younger than he had been deported they were Jewish to a German concentration camp Auschwitz probably and never returned, no doubt having been exterminated deliberately X * X * X * X, and that, therefore, the young man who was now an orphan, a displaced person, who, during the war, had managed to escape deportation by working very hard on a farm in Southern France, would be happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to come to America that great country he had heard so much about and yet knew so little about to start a new life, possibly go to school, learn a trade, and become a good, loyal citizen. —Raymond Federman, Double or Nothing (1971)

96. Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. — Margaret Atwood, Cat's Eye (1988)

97. He—for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it—was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which swung from the rafters. — Virginia Woolf, Orlando (1928)

98. High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of 1969, two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour. — David Lodge, Changing Places (1975)

99. They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did. — Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)

100. The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. — Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage (1895)


The Things We Say Wrong



Food for Thought

There are times when I sit back and wonder how I managed to survive growing up in the States. I was addicted to processed food, the Easy Mac queen, and the microwave was my best friend. Crisps and cheese dip from a can were the regular additions to movie nights. I rarely drank water, instead opting for some power drink or soda.

I drank a lot of milk, though. At least there is that.

I loved my fish fingers and my microwave soup. Cheese from a spray can was always fun, loading up a single Ritz cracker with a mountain of the orange stuff. It’s hard to believe I had any standards, but I never could get used to scalloped potatoes from a box.

Last night as I cooked chicken souvlaki with fresh garlic, onion and chicken fillets from the butcher, I felt sad that I couldn’t have made something a little more elaborate for dinner. More flavours, perhaps, or a little more variety in the meal than just a souvlaki.

‘Just’ a souvlaki.

I caught myself mid-thought and gave myself a hearty mental slap. Just a souvlaki? When I lived in the US, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what a souvlaki was, much less actually make you one. It’s as if, in that moment, my standards for myself had flown through the roof and I’d forgotten how much I’ve grown over the past nearly four years.

Since moving to Australia and, without transition, converting my diet to fresh food and heaps of water (and experiencing what I call ‘The Great Australian Detox’ for it), my world has changed. Food has become my art and my passion. Creating a beautiful meal is like the thrill of creating a new world of fiction for a novel. For me, a meal is a combination of not just flavours but also of colour, arrangement, texture and the love I put into it.

A lot has changed since spray cheese in a can.

I work with a handicap as well. I have only one functional sinus and a very lacking sense of smell because of it. But I have never let that stop me from pursuing my passion.

Call it a higher power, fate or simply good luck, but I believe I was meant to come to Melbourne. The café culture and amazing assortment of international cuisines waiting to be tasted inspire me in a way nothing else can. I proudly bear the label of foodie and have even become a little bit of a food snob, to be honest. I have a rule to try everything once and have found it to be a good way to live life as well as experience food.

Food fascinates me and Melbourne is my new playground. Margaret Fulton is my main teacher through her encyclopaedia of cookery, but the city is filled with many mentors. I’ve done my native born Australian friends proud by making ANZAC bikkies like gram used to make, lovely lamingtons and even a mint slice or two. I think I’ll always be known for my brownies, though.

Recently a friend and I had a brief chat about how far I have come in the short time I have been here, and how I’ll have a great autobiography to write some decades down the road. Honestly, I think I will, too. For now, though, I will be enjoying being the equivalent of a four year old in the Melbourne food world with everything new, fresh and exciting.

And I’ll stop being so hard on myself about the souvlaki.


Friday Funny - Asimov's Box

Okay, so this isn't going to be all that funny, but he is cute! We had a box left over from shopping the other day and decided to let Asimov keep it as a toy. Needless to say, he loves it. He's playing with it as I type this.

I apologize for the quality of the video. I was on my side with my digital camera at the time.

Enjoy! (PS. He's six and a half months old for anyone who is curious.)


AussieCon4 Pics

I didn't get many pictures, unfortunately. And even some of the ones I did get, some picture participants requested no Facebook/blogs/etc. So here we are!

Opening ceremony speech...

Opening ceremony where fan fund winners, etc, are introduced.

Panel on foundlings and orphans and their popularity in fiction.

Panel on 'thinking in trilogies' and the role of trilogies in fantasy fiction.

View from the 16th floor of the Hilton, where I stayed with a friend for part of the conference.

Bookish love...