Sunday, September 30, 2012

Should have been said years ago

When I first met you I didn't know what to think of you. You were tall and arrogant looking. You kept arguing with me, but you were very flirtatious. I found it confronting. You found it amusing to say terrible things to make me blush, which at the time wasn't really very difficult.

Then you just kept it up. Challenging me. We started to talk on MSN. First casually chatting about our assignments, then it was epic discussions about our lives and love and the future. Then all of a sudden you were beautiful and I loved you. I went to EVERY class because you were there. I tried harder. I learnt more. I didn't realise what a hunger I have to know more, and what an expectation I have for people to be like you, and take the time to explain things to me.

We got a bit drunk right before my presentation because I was so scared. You decided Dutch courage was the only way for me to get through it. You were right, because I forgot all about that tutor I liked and just stormed through it - all the while wondering what kind of fool I was to put my marks in your hands. From memory, I got a HD.

I think that one of the best nights of my life was when it was 2am or some similar stupid hour, and we were working on our theses. I still have a copy of your track changes somewhere. Out of all the things in our messed up friendship that I deleted, there were two things I kept. The marked up copy and the first time you said 'I love you'.

You gave me books and music to listen to. Right now I have The Unbearable Lightness of Being next to me, because I love it. And it's strange because I don't know if I would have loved it the same way if I had found it on my own. You know that feeling when you love a book so much you feel like it is reading you? I've decided to reread some of your books in the hope that I'll either recognise that feeling or discover that the books can be put aside because the initial love I felt was confused and artificial.

The music I kept.

I think Carry Me Ohio is still one of my favourite songs. You kept telling me to listen to it. I used to wonder if that was your way of telling me you didn't love me enough to stay. To be honest, I was ok with that, because you made me fundamentally dissatisfied with my life, and that meant I went off into the world and had adventures.

The past year or two we haven't really talked. I've missed you. And now you're doing the best thing in the world! I love getting post. I mean, I go mad for it. First time I got a letter from Mr C I almost died from happiness. And now I get something from you too.

I've really missed talking to you.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Brunswick, shit men, sexual assault, good men

I want to talk about something really upsetting. Everyone in Melbourne knows about the recent murder that happened.

It upsets me that some people are now talking about what women should and shouldn't do. As if murder and rape can be prevented by a woman if she does something differently. What these assholes don't realise is that most women spend their entire lives adjusting their behaviour to keep themselves safe.

It enrages me. I don't think I know any women who haven't been in some way physically assaulted or sexually harassed.

It's how it is and it is shit. If you're a guy and you go out with your guy friends, do you stare at pretty women? Do you shout things at them? Call out to them because you're just having a laugh?

Or do you just stare then make a few comments about them?  Even if that's all, you're still part of the problem. We do have eyes you know. We can tell when you're staring, and when you turn to your buddies and you all laugh, we know you've probably said something offensive, lewd or cruel about us. Since you don't know us, you're probably talking about our bodies, our face and how we look.

At night, women walk under street lights. We walk in the middle of the road so we can tell if someone approaches. We keep our hands free. A policeman once told me to make sure I never have my headphones in at night, because rapists look for that so they can have an element of surprise. That scared the shit out of me.

I used to be terrified of groups of men. Mainly because I didn't know many good ones. I knew men that would stand behind their buddies, uncomfortable about the leering, the catcalls and the outright sexual harassment, but they would never have the guts to say or doing anything against it.

Anyway, I left my horrid hometown, and moved into the real world. And I found that wonderful men are out there in greater numbers than the jerks. The feral and frightening men are vocal and loud and screaming for our attention. The good men are pulling their mates into line and making sure that they set good examples.

The murder has terrified my father. He keeps texting me and calling me to see if I'm alright. Fair enough, I'm the irresponsible baby of the family and my parents still think I'm five. But to be completely honest, I'm not scared. I'm distressed for the woman in question and her family and friends. I'm horrified that this can happen to someone (and that last year I used to walk those streets on my own after dark). I'm fucking angry about the victim blaming bullshit that always crops up. But I love Melbourne. This is my city and I love it. It has scum. It has drug addicts. It has rapists. It also has the nice (but scary looking) guy that sat with me and chatted at some godforsaken train station late at night so that I'd feel safe (pity I thought he was going to attack me). It has the guy who is so nervous he can barely talk to any women, but who stood up for me. It has the guys I know who can't pull their mates into line because their mates are all GOOD MEN.

I'm not scared of men. I'm scared of psychos.

This should have been on the list

I'm shaking like a leaf.

My very first academic paper has been published.

Friday, September 28, 2012

You can't possibly be shy

This is too beautiful. I don't know why you never post yourself singing. I'd have liked that.It's been an age and I've never heard you sing.

Secret list

I have a secret list. Full of secret goals that can’t go on the main list because they’re either too weird or unconventional or people might try to talk me out of it.

Mr N knows a few of them, and now an opportunity to cross one off has come up. Around my birthday no less!  So I emailed him for some encouragement and got back one line basically saying “I dare you.”

I dare me too. Game on.

I'm really enjoying living:-D

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Open letter to a friend


I usually don't notice because I'm a bit oblivious. But I noticed this.

And it's not cool. You're my friend. I told you what's been going on because we're close. Please don't make awkward passes at me, it's weird and I hate it.

Worst part is, you're awesome. I mean, if I was into casual flings, I'd be loving your attention. You're funny and smart and I love talking to you. But I want love and you want a quick lay.

If you hit on me again I'm going to call you out on it and I will make it as awkward as possible.

Friends forever,

From Miss A

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Friends again?

Mr N and I seem to be talking again. I know, I'm rolling my eyes too.

I've missed him. I told him how scared I am. He told me things to make me feel less alone.

He emailed me this:

“I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.” ― Simone de Beauvoir

"Beauvoir chose to never marry and did not set up a joint household with Sartre. She never had children.This gave her time to earn an advanced academic degree, to join political causes and to travel, write, teach, and to have (both male and female – the latter often shared) lovers." (Wikipedia)

Mr N has given me a torch and a rope to climb out of my misery cave and that will do. Perhaps there is some hope for creatures like me after all.

I think I have my friend back and that is such a lovely feeling.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

chemicals and babies

I had a bit of a cry on the train home today.

There was a really little girl that looked like a tiny version of me.  she was wearing a fairy costume and had an Abby Cadabby showbag.

I cried because I realised that right now my choices mean I will probably not have children.  And that is bullshit because I have wanted a little girl for so long it hurts.

Sounds dramatic? Of course it does. But I have fertility issues that mean things were always going to be a bit complicated. The longer I wait, the less chance I have.

I'm almost 29. It's really very young for most things. But not for this.

Even if I fall in love tomorrow, and embark on the perfect relationship, I'm on the back foot now. I spent four years building a life with Mr G so we could have babies. That's all changed now. I somewhat feel like I'm never going to have any and I need to just be OK with that.

So I cried and felt very alone.

Then I thought the same thing I always think. How do I stop caring about this?

Science. Science is always the answer. I found myself some poorly written and dubious articles about chemicals and hormones. I love that. Forget the studies, if fake science tells me what I need to hear, it'll do just fine.

Emotion can be stripped down and de-humanised. It makes acceptance of shitty things easier. Sure, it's hurting and it's horrible. But I am just a machine. A human machine that is programmed to feel like this. Humans are meant to breed. It's our function. Breed, then protect the young.

I get ONE day to feel upset about this. I am allowing myself one small day (a Sunday at work where I will get to see heaps of cute babies) to be mopey. That's all. Because chemicals don't deserve more.

Yeah, I know. It hasn't really worked. But I'm not crying anymore. So fuck you oxytocin and co. Take you away and I bet I didn't really want babies anyway.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Second novel

We are at 82677 words.
A fully fleshed out plot.

Today I realised that Mr N has been there since I started the novel, and he's still there as I finish it. It's been five years now.

I thought I could exorcise him through writing, but I was horribly wrong. I think I just made it worse.

Sometimes we send these angry/wistful 'what if' emails to each other, wishing that things had turned out differently.  How could they have? I wanted love, he wanted adventure. I wanted him to be mine and only mine, he wanted to sleep with other women. Which some women are alright with, but it's just not ok for me. I don't want someone who can't make me feel special. Sure, he made me feel sexy and wanted, but I never felt like I was what he wanted the most. I felt like I was one of many. I don't blame him at all - I still find it really difficult to understand how I feel about him, so how was I meant to articulate it to him? He made me so curious all the time, but eventually that wears off - you don't want to know any more because it'll only hurt.

Every year I start the second novel, then I realise I've put bits of reality in - he's there, staring at me again.

Last week I started a new one.  It's entirely fictional.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

All the best songs are about love

I love my iPod so much that I have taken to wearing it around my neck at work, just in case something boring happens and I can sneak the headphone in.

1. Stone Temple Pilots: Still Remains
I think this might be the best love song ever written.

2. Iron and Wine: The Trapeze Swinger, Upward Over the Mountain, Flightless Bird American Mouth
These all just break my heart. The Trapeze Swinger (favourite of the moment) and Such Great Heights make me want to run away and have adventures. Flightless Bird American Mouth is gorgeous. It makes me think of The Notebook (and no, I don't mean Twilight). I have a sneaking suspicion that Iron and Wine is probably responsible for people falling in love when they shouldn't.

3. Obvian: Mr Wineglass
This is embarrassing. I've known Nath for 13 years now. Hearing him play his version of The Good Gardener is pretty much the best thing in the world. I'm so cranky that I don't have a better version of this video. I've seen him play it 1000x and I never thought to video it. Next time. I'm not sure how he managed to write something that I love so much. It seems unreal - he's a massively talented artist as well. Not fair really. This recording of Mr. Wineglass is average. Luckily I have the real version to marvel at.

4. Radiohead:  Thinking About You
This is a bit of a brutal song. Not good for times of sadness.

5. The Smiths: I Know It's Over
I first heard the Jeff Buckley cover, which introduced me to The Smiths.

6. Plain White T's: Hey There Delilah
This is just the cutest song in the world. When this came out, there wasn't a girl alive who wasn't completely in love with it. "A thousand miles seems pretty far, but they've got planes and trains and cars, I'd walk to you if I had no other way" *tear*. It's adorable.

And in no particular order:
Tim Buckley: I Never Asked to be Your Mountain (because I didn't)
Sun Kil Moon: Lily and Parrots (a friend once told me this was the worst song she'd ever heard...)
Pearl Jam: Smile
Dave Matthews Band: Two Step (again, responsible for many a girl falling in love by accident)
Kid Dynamite: Wristrocket
Frank Turner: To Take You Home (apparently this relationship didn't work out)
Elliott Smith/Mary Lou Lord: I Figured You Out
Augie March: The Good Gardener 
The Mamas & The Papas: Twist and Shout (this is a fantastic cover)

This has been a fun post.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Claiming the right to be unhappy

My favourite moment in Brave New World is when John talks to Mustapha Mond about civilisation, God and life.
"But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin."

"In fact," said Mustapha Mond, "you're claiming the right to be unhappy."

"All right then," said the Savage defiantly, "I'm claiming the right to be unhappy."

Life would be terrible if everything went exactly as planned. If I didn't have a dangerous tendency to throw caution to the wind (and silence that little voice saying "Miss A, you know better"), then I wouldn't have gone through my any of my favourite experiences, which all required a bit of nerve and a fair amount of stupidity.

I might be wicked and selfish and difficult but that's OK. Because when it comes down to it: “I'd rather be myself," he said. "Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.”

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Prettier without your glasses"

Recently I dropped my glasses and scratched up my lenses. No big deal, I've had them for 6ish years now and I have plenty of contacts. Contacts can be sort of annoying when I'm in a hurry to leave the house, which is why I rarely wear them, even though I much prefer them.

I had no idea what a big deal it would be to abandon my glasses. First it was fine. Coffee guy commented in a very factual way, and asked if I like them better than my glasses. No problem there. Four or five people at work walked straight past me without noticing me at all. First I felt like Clark Kent, then I felt like maybe I'm a jerk and they're using this to avoid me. Sigh.

Then a guy who calls me 'lolly legs' when I wear coloured tights said 'HELLO GORGEOUS!' when he saw me. He just blurted it out and stared. Now, I must stress that he's not creepy. He's a non-creepy older dude. He never leers and he doesn't make me feel uncomfortable. So really, when a person you like calls you gorgeous, you take it as a compliment. Then the next day I got an email saying:

I would just like to apologise for my slip up in terms of political correctness yesterday. I hope you didn't take it to seriously because there was nothing meant by it .

I was horrified, and assured him that I was not in any way offended.

What did offend me was the idiot that told me "You look prettier without your glasses."

Mr G thinks he was just trying to compliment me. :-/ I think that I look my best when I'm happy, glasses or no glasses.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

500 workout

So that I don't forget, I'm going to start posting some of my sessions with Sam.

When he first said "we're doing the 500 today" I laughed to myself and thought "poor thing means the 300". But no, he meant exactly what he said.

Lunges x 50
Squats x 50
Pushups x 50
Hurdle jumps x 50
Bicep curls x 50
Rows x 50
Shuttle runs x 50
Bridges (one leg) x 25 each leg
Burpees x 50
Tricep dips x 50

There was NO way I could do this as it's written. Sam kindly gave me permission to mix it up a bit if I couldn't do a straight 50. Lunges and squats were easy. Pushups were tough. Got to 20 and fell down. Swapped between hurdle jumps, bicep curls and pushups for the next 130. Rows and shuttle runs were swapped (25, 25, 25, 25), then the bridges were done in one go. The burpees and tricep dips were swapped as well (25, 25, 25, 25).

Brutal but damn effective. I probably wouldn't be busting this out again in a hurry - the soreness today is pretty bad. Why the hell does my ribcage hurt???

Today is a rest day, and tomorrow I'm going to try one of the NF workouts.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

How to survive glandular fever

I'd like to publicly announce that I've officially flipped the bird to glandular. Life will go on exactly as before, but I'll cut things out in a very selective way. If I have less energy, then I need to make sure I'm not wasting it doing things I don't want to do.

Yesterday morning Sam came over and we did a 500 workout. That's 50 reps of 10 different exercises. It destroyed me, but in a normal kind of way.Yes, I'm tired all the time. Yes, I'd like to spend my weekend snoozing on the couch. Yes, it took a monumental amount of willpower to get up this morning. But I know the difference between not wanting to do something and not being able to. I'm perfectly able. When I'm not, THEN I'll stay in bed.

Sam peered at me yesterday, frowned and told me that I've lost weight. Not eating will do that to you. I am trying really hard to eat more, but I just don't feel like it. I need some structure to get through this properly.

So here's the plan:

I've started measuring out my food in cups so that I don't just pick at my meals. I have to make a real effort to finish the entire plate. It's not a huge amount of food, much less than usual, but it's enough that I wont become a stick figure. You can't possibly get better if you don't fuel your body, and you can't train if you don't have any energy. I've also started thinking about easy-eating food. Stuff you can eat with a spoon or spear with a fork rather than having to carve with a knife. Soups, roast vegetables, salads and fruit.

I'm not giving this up. I'll just have to be really careful.
Yesterday was far too much. I am wiped out. It's going to be a long slog of testing out what is and isn't reasonable. I don't want to slack off and use glandular as an excuse, but at the same time I want to ensure I get better. That means listening to my body when it says 'too tired'. The short 20 minute body weight workouts should be fine. I'd like to keep up with the interval training, and I am really determined to start boxing again. When I exercise it feels like I'm moving through mud. But getting healthy is pretty much my number one priority, and I know that sleep and mood and energy are all tied to how often I work out.

Thesis, short course, working out, food, family, house renovations, friends, hobbies, drama-makers and work. That's normal life for me. I figure that my energy is cut in half (at best), so I can either do things at half pace or I can cull. I'm not keen on doing a crap job on things, because how can I take pride in what I do if I don't do things well?
  • I've dropped out of the short course. It's a blow because I was enjoying it, but realistically, it was unnecessary. I'm going to keep pottering away at the thesis, but I'm going to do a very small word-target every night at home rather than at work.
  • Drama-makers were the next thing to go. I put up with a lot of people who are passive aggressive and/or refuse to take responsibility for their own lives (work is full of them). I quite like some of these people but I think I need to stop caring. So I'm going to flat out ignore the dreadful ones, and simply say 'no' to the others.
  • Friends are an easy one. They are like my thesis, non-negotiable. They crack me up and if I'm too tired to hang out I can say so. Besides, even if they tire you out, if you remove the nice things, you're left with glandular and a crap life.

Determined to be better in three months or less. Here's to December.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kissing disease

I had a follow-up appointment with the Dr today and I got some marvellously shit news.

Along with low vitamin D* levels and seriously low iron, I have glandular fever. No wonder I've been apathetic about everything.

Yes, I realise that this is something that 17 year olds get after all playing spin the bottle. My mum even asked me who I've been kissing before telling me I didn't kiss enough boys in high school. Wow. What do you say to that? I told her that I only kissed Mr C during school and he didn't have mono. I think that was an overshare because she changed the topic.

So, I'm supposed to rest. I have taken a tiny bit of annual leave from work but I haven't told my academic supervisor yet. I don't want to rest, I want to be back to normal so I can train and study and work. But I guess I have to do as I'm told on this one because I'm fairly sure that's how I'll stop feeling like crap. Funny that I just posted about my inability to relax.

It's not a good time to be tired. Work is crazy and home is crazy. Not to mention that this doesn't make sense. I mean, I went RUNNING the other day. How can I have mono? Everyone has been saying that I'll find I'm too exhausted to even move, yet I've obviously been sick for at least a few weeks and I've been doing alright. Tired yes, but newborn-kitten-weak? No.

I think I'll tackle this as follows.

1. Rest. Serious rest. 8-9 hours sleep kind of rest with some little cat naps when needed

2. Eat better. In fact, eat perfectly.

3. Work out. Because I love it and surely that must be a good thing.**

4. When people say 'aren't you tired? I had mono and I was exhausted' say 'yes, but I'm harder than you could ever even dream of being'. Because I am, and glandular fever can kiss my ass which will remain toned even if it kills me.

*Still. Despite drinking VitD oil and rolling around on my lawn in my underwear. Drops don't help, sun doesn't help. I am fairly sure I'm one of those people that wouldn't survive without modern medicine.

**Ok, so I'm not convinced that I'm right on this one, but it's more for my mental health than anything else. Weights=Happy A.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Stress less

I went to the doctor today because I was a bit worried that my generally glossy outlook on life was becoming a bit tarnished and grey.

She ran a bunch of tests and made me do a quiz. Apparently I'm not in any way depressed, but my stress levels are extreme. As in off the chart kind of extreme. When she told me this I said 'Yes, I'm not very surprised by that' and I blinked at her like a stressed out owl. Then I pulled out some feathers.

Sigh. Apparently I'm doing the right thing with the workouts. But that's it. She is very gung-ho about making sure I relax more. The question is, when do I relax? How do I relax? I think I may have forgotten how.

I always think, have a bath, that's relaxing. But it's not. First it's too hot and then it gets too cold and I run out of hot water and then I feel sad.

Read a book, that's relaxing. NO IT'S NOT. You'd think so. But only if I like the book I'm reading.

I'm left with movies. I can do movies. Movies transport me away from myself even if they are completely rubbish.  I work near a movie theater, I could go during lunch if I really wanted.

Perhaps that can be my thing this week. I'll go to a lunch time movie to relax.

When I think about stress, I think about Sage Francis singing Worry Not and I shake my head.