Monday, February 28, 2011

Making the best of a bad situation!

What do you do if you after an earthquake find yourself with added features to you home. If your in Christchurch, New Zealand, you may do this! <-- Click on "this"!

Good on ya Phil! I kind of wish I had the money so I could bid but I wouldn't know where to put the rock or how to get it from NZ to Oz!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Black Dog

Every so often the black dog comes to visit. He arrives quietly, I hardly ever hear him coming or can anticipate his arrival.

When he comes my world turns up side down and everything that I have built up that was beautiful and nice crumbles, my confidence and self esteem shatters into little pieces. Nothing fits anymore and everything seems hopeless.

I realized something very important today, in a way I can't believe I haven't realized this before, the black dog's arrival marks the arrival of migraines.

His arrival is the first indication I get that I will have a migraine attack.  It starts a few days before and stays with me for at least a day after the migraine is gone.

I've struggled to try to figure out where these dark moods come from and what their cause is. Funny thing is that Google turned up an avalanche of result but no doctor has ever mentioned it to me.
Anywhoos, I love dogs but this is one whose company I can do without.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Weigh In - It's been a long time coming

I finally dared to step on the scales to weigh myself today.

The decision to do was not taken lightly because for the past few months I've been particularly lazy about what I've been eating because of Christmas and my birthday. I've also not exercised nearly as much because yoga has been on hold (it's something I do through work) and being on holiday has meant that I haven't cycled nearly as much. But on the scales I stepped because it was high time to face the facts.

To my great surprise I have shed somewhere along the lines of 3kgs (6.5 pounds) since I last weighed myself. Now that's a few months ago but since I haven't really been trying and since I've had very little exercise I see it as a very good sign. I must be getting it right with what I choose to eat without being too fascist about it.

It seems to work better for me when I don't monitor myself too much. When I do, I start to suffer from something like performance angst and I self sabotage. Of course, not monitoring at all would be crazy but perhaps I should be working on sticking to somewhere in between.

I have a fair idea now how much and what I need to eat in a day to feel good and to lose weight. I sometimes fail when I get lazy and don't bring food with me to work and have to buy something for lunch. Bought meals are a killer! But I figure if I can get my act together and make sure I bring my lunch to work with me I should be pretty much OK.

It was a pleasant surprise. I know what a let down it would have been if I had gained weight again.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

In the Aftermath - Let's Assassinate the Premier for "over-warning"

I used to take an interest in politics but that was when I was still young,  idealistic and brought up to believe that I had a say in how my country was run. Sitting here now though I have to admit that even though I, as a Swedish citizen, have been allowed to have dual citizenship since 2000 I have chosen not to because becoming an Australian citizen would mean that I would actually have to vote. Yep, they actually fine you in this fine country if you don't turn up to vote and since I have come regard the politics as absolute bollocks I choose to remain a citizen of only one country namely the one that won't force me to vote.

Having no interest in politics means that I still haven't figured out what party Queensland Premier Anna Bligh actually belongs to. I just didn't get curious enough to check it out even though I spent a good portion of last night watching her on TV.

We are currently gifted with three women in political power positions in Australia.

One is our Prime Minister Julia Gillard. She wasn't voted in. She was part of some wheeling and dealing where her party got rid of Kevin Rudd who was the Prime Minister and she took over. It's nice to have a female Prime Minister at last but it would have been so much sweeter if her party had won power while touting her as the candidate for the top job.

Another is the New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally. She got her job in pretty much the same way Julia got hers, some sort of power struggle and overthrow. She's not doing too well in her job apparently. There's rumor of another overthrow being imminent there.

Then there is Anna Bligh. I hope she was elected but I've decided not to check because I don't want to be disappointed or do something that will make me suspect that powerful women are just scheming bitches.

Whoever and whatever Anna Bligh is is not really important. Last night she did a sterling job appearing on TV with updates together with the Queensland Police Commissioner, who was faithfully hovering in the background, and an host of other people.

She reassured. She offered sound advice. She warned. She seemed genuinely worried about people.

During all this she was calm and collected but engaged. She seemed to have all the facts when she was asked questions. It must have been a hell of a night for her and she must have been exhausted but she seemed determined to see it all through.

Not surprisingly though today she is copping it left, right and center for having "over-warned" people. So far we've not had any deaths reported as a result of cyclone Yasi but there's been plenty of damage. The eye of the cyclone landed in sparsely populated areas and didn't hit Cairns as was first thought. Yasi changed course slightly and Cairns didn't cop the brunt of it. Apparently she should have known and not had the good people of Cairns evacuated to the extent she did. God damned women and how they always worry too much, eh?

There's apparently no "better safe than sorry" for some people if you read the comments in some online papers and blogs. Apparently the end result of Yasi just wasn't bloody enough and one almost gets the feeling they're talking about a Hollywood movie rather than a catastrophic event!

We don't know if lives have been lost yet for sure but it's looking good so far. I don't think you can warn too much when an area is faced with being hit with a category 5 cyclone! It's about saving lives. Maybe Queenslanders learned a few things from past cyclones and maybe the people at state level took a few notes from hurricane Katrina.

To be fair there has also been plenty of people twittering and commenting online during and after the event that they appreciated all the good advice and all the updates they were getting while they were actually in it. Anna Bligh was most certainly a big part of that.

It was lucky that Yasi took the path it did. Things could have been a lot worse. Thank god they weren't. In the meantime credit should be given were credits due.

Anne Bligh was god damned superwoman last night and she showed great leadership (and as such she's a great role model for young women out there, just saying girls.....).

I don't give a shit about politics but I do give a shit about how people manage crisis and this was the mother crisis of them all! If people want to bitch about something bitch about something else and do it somewhere else. We have a state to rebuild what with the recent floods and now the cyclone. Let's do a bitching job at doing that, shall we?

We heard about this one on ABC news although they didn't exactly know who it was who made the decision but they did know that it had saved lives...

'Red Cross worker Noelene Byrne decided to move the evacuation centre from Tully's senior citizens hall on Wednesday night because she feared the 10 people there would not be safe.

"I'm now in front of the senior citizens and it's one mangled heap," she told ABC Radio on Thursday morning.

"Had I left people there, there would have been loss of life."

"The destruction there is just heartbreaking."

"It's just the front wall of the hall that's standing, the rest is just one big scrap heap."'

Daily Telegraph

This is the kind of stuff they went through up there...

Weight Loss and a New Strategy

I have to get back into it somehow. The weight loss thing. I need to take it seriously. I need to get going with this.

It can't be about eating less or rationing. Every time I try that shit I end up revolting against it with some kind of misguided rage that stems from hating being told what to do. It's kind of schizophrenic. Part of me wants to lose weight and part doesn't want to be told how to do it.

One of the things I know I have to achieve here, and it's the most important thing, is to set good habits that will last me for the rest of my life. I don't want to be overweight anymore.

I've got to the stage where I'm overweight but really fit. I do enough exercise, in fact I do more than what my doctor recommends for weight loss. Getting off my fat ass to exercise so I can burn calories isn't my problem.

My problem isn't that I love food.

My problem isn't that I eat the wrong things and that I can't put a good, healthy, low-cal meal together or count calories to set up a meal plan for the day.

My problem is self sabotage. It's like I have to eff up the whole thing by stuffing a bag of lollies or a whole packet or Oreo cookies (and I don't even like them but they're like friggin crack those things!) in my gob just to make sure that it's all fail again.

I've decided to tackle this the same way I tackled addiction to cigarettes. I, like most smokers, had tried to quit smoking many times with varying results but always with the same end result. It was always that same piss poor excuse that got me back on the cigarettes. Stress. I will just this cigarette and finish the packet because right now I need my cigarettes because I'm stressed. Meh! It's been almost 12 years since I quit smoking and I can't say I ever regretted quitting for good.

But how did I end up quitting? I decided, after many attempts using more "conventional" methods to not quit smoking. Yep. You read that right. I decided that I would keep smoking but I would add another element to that little favorite past time of mine, I would begin to really take notice of all the negative things I could possibly think of that was related to me smoking.

I would grumble about having to pay so much for cigarettes.

I would feel irritated about having to go out during work hours to have a cigarette because my addiction demanded it.

I would get angry about having to light a cigarette first thing when I got off a bus.

I would hate having to sit in the smoking section in a restaurant smelling other people's smoke while I was trying to enjoy a meal.

I would smell my own fingers and notice how awful they smelled, and I would do the same with my clothes. (Smell is actually how the idea was born. My boss at the time turned around to me one day and said "You're a lovely lady but you stink!". He was always honest to a fault and we were friends so I knew he was right.)

I would check my fingers for nicotine stains because it looks so off.

On and on the list went until I after about a month started to feel like I really didn't want to smoke anymore. All I had left to deal with then was the actual physical addiction to nicotine which is hard to deal with for sure but not so hard to deal with when you have begun to loathe everything else associated with having to get your fix. With the aid of Nicotine chewing gum I got through it and after about a month my sense of smell begun to really recover and I ended up with a serious fetish for sniffing apples (but that's a whole others story and although weird it was a hell of a lot healthier than smoking).

My thinking is that I will do something similar with food. I will not tell myself that I can't eat this or that. If I fall off the wagon I will take note of if I really like the taste of what I'm eating and how I feel afterward. For me that is a serious difference in how I feel after eating salad compared chocolate cake and the chocolate cake isn't winning in the field good stakes if you know what I mean.

I've already started playing this little psychological game with myself. O baked the chocolate cake from hell for my birthday. It was so bad  he called it "the Black Maria". I simply referred to it as "the Whore". With eight layers of chocolate and orange cake, held together with jelly and whipped chocolate cream, covered in a layer of dark chocolate and white chocolate drizzled on top it was stunning. Oh yeah, and strawberries. On top. It weighed a tonne!

Let's be honest here. I love cake and if I was prone to having wet dreams about cake this is the kind of cake those dreams would be made of. So I let myself eat it. I had a slice the first day. We had it for breakfast the next morning (which is the clever thing to do if you really want to turn yourself off cake). I had more pieces over the next couple of days (it's beginning to sound insane, isn't it?) but they got smaller and smaller, and then I wasn't even interested in finishing them. That's a big step for someone who's been brought up not to waste and to clean their plate, and from whom sugar is like crack.

I've not actually had the urge to eat anything sweet since. The opportunity has been there, believe me, but instead I find myself craving natural yogurt and muesli (but you've got to be careful with that muesli - I don't know what the hell they put in there but it carries a lot of calories). Perhaps I'm onto something. Perhaps I'm kidding myself. I'll keep you posted.

So Far So Good

I had ABC 24 hour news cover on all night on my computer but luckily I slept through most of it. Reports this morning say that so far there have been no reports of death (that's a stat we'd like to keep, thank you very much), bananas are a thing of the past (we will again pay $21/kg for them as we did after cyclone Larry a few years back) and the towns of Tully and Mission Beach are all but wiped out.

But there are no deaths reported so far and that's good news. The rest will be rebuilt. Donations will start pouring in so families can get basic needs met and the government is already sending people in there to start the cleanup and to make sure everyone's OK.

Bee asked me last night if she could donate money to help families. I asked her how much she was thinking of donating. She told me that she would like to donate $200 out of the $300 she got from my parents for Christmas and that she had decided to save to buy something great with. I asked her if she was sure about that and she told me that she could save money and get it back even if takes a while which is much easier than starting from scratch when your whole house is gone.  I love that kid!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Our cyclone's bigger than yours - this is one competition Australia doesn't need to win

It's going to get bad. It's going to get really bad.

It will apparently be worse than hurricane Katrina. Although it's about the same size as Katrina it's said that the winds will be stronger.

This is scary stuff. I just hope that the damage won't be too bad. It's making me nervous and edgy. The last thing I want to do is to go to sleep so I watch the ABC 24 hour coverage online, I'm watching cyclone porn because my brain doesn't know how to put this into perspective. I, for some reason, worry about people I don't even know. I feel like crying.

What else can I say? Not much.

Dear Weather, back off. Please.

While I whinge and whine about the heat here in Sydney the good people in Queensland are bracing themselves for more weather and it's weather of the more severe kind. They had the flooding. Now they're getting cyclone Yasi.

If you believe the news it's going to be hell on the lose and those who aren't hit with the cyclone can expect, yes you guessed it, more bloody rain.

It's awful stuff this.

Some of you may recall that I rehoused my dog just before Christmas. He went to Queensland, just north of Brisbane. It doesn't seem like where he is was hit with the worst of the flooding but it's certainly getting awful close to where the cyclone is predicted to hit. I've not heard from the wonderful Ms M who adopted my boy dog since Christmas Day.

So dog, if you have per chance learned to read since beginning of the December and have graduated to using the internet, in which case you're surely reading Spilling Ink, I hope that you and your new pack is OK. I hope the whole damned lot of you up there get through this in the best possible way. There's not much I can do for you all but hope and donate more money from my next pay packet to help you get it all back together again so you can go back to living your lives again.

I'd much rather think about how damned hot it is in Sydney. Thinking about what's happening up north makes me far too uneasy.

So Queensland, bless you all. Us Southerners are standing by to help out any way we can. Just know that.

And weather, just back off! You're going too far!

And here she comes folks...
Imagine, if you will, the size of it. That's Australia there in the picture. I don't like saying that I'm "thinking and praying" especially of people I don't even know but that's exactly what I'm doing right now. They're going to need all the help they can get!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Heat and a Bus Full of Awkward

This afternoon on a bus full of awkward in stifling heat I realized that the way preteens and teens smell haven't changed since I was one.

There I was crammed in on a school bus full to capacity of not yet fully formed human beings and memories came flooding back. The smell they emit reminded me of things some of which I would rather forget but some that made me smile while I watch their awkward attempts to act cool and fit in.

Bee's first day on public transport going to and from school. I found it rather daunting. Tomorrow I will only do half the trip with her and I will worry a lot more.

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