Here we are, back again

Things are starting to look a bit different around here.

Yes, I’m still forgetting to shower every day, my diet still sucks, and the only exercise I get is walking to the bus, BUT – there has been a dramatic improvements in my life. I haven’t wanted to post about it because I’m afraid of jinxing it, but I feel pretty confident that I’m out of the jinx zone now. Continue reading “Here we are, back again”

Learning to Unlearn

“Imagine if you had to re-learn how to sit in a chair every time you walked into a room. Or re-learn how to open a door every time you approached a door handle. You’d go mad.”

I nodded. Continue reading “Learning to Unlearn”

Lizard Brain

I got to work a little before 7:30 this morning so I could finish putting together a training manual. I thought it would be an easy day, since the day before was so hectic. But I was swarmed from the moment I stepped through the door. It was shaping up to be one of those maddeningly busy mornings at work, where every time I turn around someone was asking me to do something, or the phone was ringing, or there was another crisis to attend to.

It was one of those days where you blink and 3 hours pass.

I blinked again and 3 more hours had passed. And suddenly I was all “wow I’ve had 2 coffees and if I don’t pee right now I’ll probably die.” So I got up to go to the bathroom. I walked down the hall and through the atrium that separates the bathroom from the rest of the floor without noticing anything, totally on autopilot. It was when I was leaving the bathroom that I saw the little guy on the ground.

He was a little lizard, laid out on the tile between the two doors of the atrium. He was almost the same greenish brown colour as the tiles, so I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t see him on my way in. I was surprised that he wasn’t moving at all, in my experience lizards are either skittish, or dead. And this one wasn’t moving when I got near him, or when I opened or closed the doors. So I assumed he was dead. Poor guy.

I walked out of the bathroom and told some of my coworkers that I found a dead lizard in the bathroom. I’m not sure why, maybe they would want to see it? It was pretty weird thing to find in the bathroom, considering how far away our second level bathroom is from the outside world. And it was such a busy day, and I was on such autopilot that seeing a lizard in the bathroom basically stopped my brain in its tracks. They asked if he looked stomped on. Fortunately, he looked like he died of natural causes.

I went back to clean up the lizard and give him a burial. The idea of flushing him crossed my mind, but then I realised a) he might get clogged, and b) flushing an animal is pretty fucked up. I opened the door to the atrium, and he once again didn’t move. I decided to gather him in some paper towels and put him outside – circle of life and all. As I got closer to him, I decided to check for one more sign of life. I stomped my foot near him – and there! His head moved slightly to the right. LIFE, HE IS ALIVE!

I got so excited that I ran out of the atrium looking for something to corral him with. I found a little takeaway container with a lid in our staff kitchen and ran back to the bathroom. He was still lying there, but when I gently shoo’d him into the container, he made almost no objection. It’s like he knew I wanted to help. Or he was just too freaked out to put up a fight. He crawled into the tub and I put the lid on without sealing it so he wouldn’t be able to jump out. I showed him around, named him Blinky, and then took him outside.

I made sure to look him in the eye, and then I wished him well and let him go in the grassy/mulchy landscaped bits in front of our building. He quickly crawled under some mulch, and disappeared.

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I don’t know why, but finding and freeing that lizard was absolutely the high light of my day. It was exciting and awesome, and I felt like I had done something good for the world. And I couldn’t stop thinking – how the fuck did it get in here?

I imagined him crawling up all the steps and in a moment of perfect timing, making it through both sets of automatic doors. Or what if one of the kids found him on the way in and lost track of him when he saw the toys in the lobby? I thought of him slinking around unnoticed through all the rooms, narrowly avoiding being crushed under foot, hitching a ride on patient’s bags, living off crumbs, and trying with all this might to get back to his world as he became sick and dehydrated and cold. I thought of how something told him to go to the bathroom, like maybe something told him that’s where he would find water. But there, almost on the brink of death, he passed out in the atrium. And then I found him. And I put him back in the outside. And maybe it wasn’t his world? Maybe he still couldn’t find water. Maybe he was eaten by a huntsman.

It was a bit of perspective. Yeah, my day is so busy that I forget to eat lunch or go to the bathroom, but at least I’m not lost in some gigantic, terrifying and frozen world with no food and no water, where 900 ft tall creatures can’t see me and almost stomp me or chase me or otherwise try to kill me, where one of those giant creatures in a big yellow dress traps me in a plastic box and squeals to her coworkers that she “caught a lizard!” before releasing me into a world that’s just as scary and huge and different but equally as terrifying. Like seriously. That lizard has seen some shit. My day was cake compared to that.

But hey…

At least I didn’t step on him.

 

 

If this isn’t nice…

On Thursday night, the weather promised nothing but thunderstorms from Friday to Sunday. Halloween weekend + thunderstorms + desire to sit in and write? It’s like a perfect storm of Fuck Yeah. And as we walked home from dinner on Friday night in the rain, I was pumped for a weekend of making shit happen.

I don’t know why, but I like, need it to rain. As in, I feel like my emotional welfare depends on whether or not it storms all weekend. Probably because we haven’t had a really good rainy weekend in a long time, and I wanted to watch scary movies while curled up with hot chocolate. I miss the rain. As the deserts do. (and I miss you)

But, as it turned out, my perfect storm was short lived. It was blue sky t-shirt and shorts weather from the time we woke up on Saturday until just a few minutes ago. Blue skies and heat is basically my hibernating weather. So I spent Saturday making 1 sweaty trip to the post office, and then either napping, draining the battery on my phone from looking up memes, and writing a single paragraph before getting distracted by Googling whether or not Farrah Abraham has butt implants #important. I made us greasy hamburgers for dinner, ate too much dessert, and fell asleep around 1 AM, crossing my fingers for a stormy day.

Today, though, was one of those mornings that make you believe you’re a morning person. The sunlight was glorious, there was no humidity, and it was quiet and lovely and inspiring. I sprang out of bed early and made coffee, read in bed for an hour, made breakfast, Skyped with my family, reorganised the closet, did some shopping, made chicken and rice soup for Joel the Unwell, finished the laundry, put together some notes/plans for my stories, and I even vacuumed.  I’m telling you, I was inspired.

 

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This morning – so damn gorgeous
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I’m *this* close to having a fully functional wardrobe. More on that later.
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$5 phone cover!
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Christmas ornaments are out! I’m getting pumped for our tree this year, so yeah, I had to buy one. This guy’s legs dance when you pull the string #yes
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Just like ma used to make.
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This evening – blurry but still damn gorgeous. 

It’s slow and steady, but I’m crawling out of the hole I’ve dug myself in. And it feels good, man. I’m working my way out of bad, depressive habits, which is huge, and makes me feel really optimistic. There’s a lot to look forward coming up, like Friends-giving, getting my Australian driver’s license, beach weekends, good books, outings and adventures, and The Crown on Netflix and Teen Mom UK, which should satisfy all my trash TV needs (for the time being), and far off into the future, almost 2.5 weeks off for Christmas.

I stood in our bedroom this morning, and the same thought kept running through my head:

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.

I love our place. I love our life. And it feels like everything is getting better.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

 

 

Burfday 32

Let me tell you about my friend, 3 Day Birthday Weekend. She was pretty badass, and her surprise visit helped me jump into 32 with much awesomeness.

Here’s what happened: on Thursday night, we made chilli hotdogs and watched Goodfellas. We decided to go hard core with the chilli dogs and we replaced the buns with Turkish bread rolls. The result was CHILLI DOG MOUNTAIN, a gut busting pile of meat and bread and coleslaw that left us struggling to live after we cleared our plates and feeling ill afterward. I’m not sure why we felt compelled to have a whole pile each. This meal shall hence forth be known as “Chilli Dog Hubris”

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#heartattack

On Friday, we woke up to eggs and bacon, and made our way to my mothership – Ikea. I could go to Ikea every weekend, because Ikea is goddamn awesome. It’s a wonderland of Swedish modular design, $1 hotdogs, and words with Ü’s in them – much awesome. But really, I love walking around the show room and touching everything in the tiny apartments. Joel likes Ikea, too, but not on the slightly concerning level that I do. And he really hates crowds. But he came along because he loves me. Yes.

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calm down there, buddy.

Although, now that I live in a tiny apartment, I’m bummed out that Ikea’s definition of teeny tiny apartment living and reality’s definition of teeny tiny apartment living are drastically different. I would love to see a 500sqft Ikea apartment where the kitchen is in the lounge and the lounge is actually a small rectangle shaped room that’s a lounge/dining room/office/bedroom and where you can’t nail or drill into, or use command hooks on ANY the walls. Show me how you’d make this space the most efficient, Ikea. SHOW ME.

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Things we want but have no room for for $500, Alex.

After some fantasizing about a place big enough for a butcher block kitchen island and full size sofas and comfy arm chairs, we wandered to the market place to get what we came for – new dishes. No more stolen plates with scrape marks and no more stolen pint glasses. Come over for dinner, and you’ll be served on the finest stonewear that Sweden has to offer (totally). And your spoons and forks will be shiny and matching. We are officially adults.

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matchy matchy
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We also picked up some wooden salad bowls and turrets.
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adult living

I really wanted to get a shelving unit that would make better use out of the space we have for Joel’s camera gear, but we didn’t plan it very well and couldn’t agree on what would work best. So instead of buying something that might work, we just scrapped the plans altogether – like a real person would do. This was an Audrey first, as I am queen of “just buy it and hope for the best, or return it later.” I feel like I grew up a little.

We left Ikea with our big blue bags and spent the rest of the day napping and obsessively rearranging (ok maybe that was just me). That evening, we met up with some friends at the pub down the street for a few games of pool (I’m improving at a glacial pace, but it’s still fun), and then home for a late dinner and Casino (one of us has been on a crime flick kick. It’s Joel.) 

Saturday brought us MY BIRTHDAY! Joel woke me up with presents in bed, and we had coffee and sat around until it was time for brunch with Joel’s mum’s side of the family.

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presents!

We finally got to try the Italian place we’ve been curious about, Dulcis Domus. The food did not disappoint, and I was spoiled within an inch of my life because Joel’s family is ridiculously thoughtful when it comes to gifting.

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Truffled eggs, grilled halumi and avocado salad on a milk bun – yes plz. And Joel’s Belgian Waffle topped with Strawberry sorbet and served up with 2 fists full of bacon. /drool
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BURFDAY CHAMPERS
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Joel’s mum gave me a gorgeous beret, which was quickly absconded by my apparently beret loving boyfriend. And uh… yeah. I’ll allow it. #hot 

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Stuffed with lunch, I came home to play with my presents and make the ultimate birthday pie for us to eat that night – Honey Walnut Banana Cream Pie.

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And in true Audrey style, I didn’t re-read the basic recipe before I waited til Saturday to make the pie, and thus I forgot that it takes 4-6 hours to set, and is actually best when you let it set overnight. Shit. So I made the pie anyway, and later we had Birthday Ice Cream Pint while we watched Sherpa, a documentary about sherpas rebelling on Mt Everest

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eh, close enough.

Sunday I basically spent in planning mode – scouting and measuring and drawing up ideas for our office space:

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Followed by lots of reading and chill, an amazing salmon dinner by yours truely, and one glorious Banana Cream Pie photoshoot by Joel.

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Not even going to lie, new dishes make me want to eat at the table ALL THE TIME.
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An artist prepares
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Unghhh get inside me.
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Dat honey drizzle.
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The pie is good, but Joel’s photos make it look INCREDIBLE.
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and I wish I was eating it RIGHT NOW.

 

All in all, it was a great weekend, full of fat and naps and food and friends and a surprisingly large amount of Ray Liotta.

Last year, my birthday came about during a time when I was really unhappy with myself, my work, my health, and yeah, everything because I was really just in a shit place. I didn’t want anyone to know it was my birthday, I didn’t want presents, and I just wanted to hide. I had a busy day at work combined with a lunch outing that stressed me out because it meant talking to people when I just wanted to lie under my desk in fetal position, then Joel took me out to dinner after work, and not only could I not eat, but I threw up three times. It was awful. And I felt wretched about the entire fiasco, so I set myself up on a strict GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER plan that I of course, failed because giving yourself too many challenging goals too soon is exactly what you need when you have the emotional strength of wet paper. So for the next two month I stagnated, miserably obsessing over who I was and what I was doing and all the time I was wasting. I ended up going from a shit place to a real shit place.

Ah, 31 was a fuckin’ banner year.

I’m much happier to report that this year, I felt the exact opposite. I told everyone who’d listen that it was my birthday. I don’t know if it’s therapy, or the change in jobs, or what – but I feel more … optimistic. Like everything is going to be ok. And last night as we sat in Julian’s kitchen with friends and everyone eating the rest of the Banana Cream Pie on a night that I would have bailed on before, I thought to myself, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

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32 feels good, you guys. And I’m excited.

So What and Table Scraps

So what, it’s been a bad week. So what, I’ve been grumpy since 6 AM on Monday morning. So what, I got frustrating news about my background check. So what, I’m broke. So what, I was supposed to be paid today and it didn’t happen. So what, my Plan B for background check isn’t as convenient as I once thought. So what, that paycheck is spent before it hits my bank account. So what, I got out of work late and I’m sitting in bus traffic and I’ll be home so much later than I usually am. So what if almost everything I tried to do went wrong today.

So what. Shit happens. I’m so tired of feeding my sour over it mood by being in a shit frame of mind.

So, to emphasise the positive: in spite of being broke, Joel has managed to cobble together awesome dinners all week (I made dinner on Sunday and have been useless ever since). Despite of my grumpy/easily overwhelmed mood of unknown origins this week, I’ve been able to put my head down at work, and just grind shit out as people ask for it. And as a result, the time at work has zipped by quicker than usual. My background check is just a little more complicated and expensive — It’s not impossible. I had an appraisal at work and I got a rave review. I’m still sitting in bus traffic and I’ll be home super late, which sucks, but at least I’m not driving in it. And I get time to blog. So that’s nice. It takes me two buses to get home, I only had 1 ride on my bus pass, and my transport card is in the negative (see: supposed to be paid today), so I was worried about how I would get home. But the first bus had broken pass readers so I got a free ride, leaving my last ride on my bus pass for my second bus. Woo! Joel is awesome, and I’m very lucky. And it’s Thursday, which means tomorrow is Friday. And that means the weekend is nigh! Yes, sweet weekend. Come to me.

And now, I’m home. I’m in sweat pants. And I have a date with this lady:

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while I wait for this guy:

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Broke, grumpy, shit week or not, I have more blessings than burdens, and I have to remember that This too shall come to pass. And it always does.

But seriously, counting down the minutes til end of day Friday.