An Update on Snoopy

Snoopy has been living with us for six months now and I figured it was time for an update, both on him and what it’s been like having a rescue dog, and an older one at that.

Snoopy is well, which is excellent and vaguely unexpected news. He had been to the vet just before we adopted him and was given a clean bill of health, but he didn’t look well to me: his joints were stiff and his eyes cloudy, he’d been roughly clipped so his fur was hard to the touch and there’s no other way to describe his butt other than to say it was very exposed. I suspect maybe he’d been fly-bitten or had sores from concrete, because the groomer had really gone to town back there.

We took him to the vet recently, when Sydney had an influx of biting flies and he needed ointment for his ears. The vet said he’s actually in excellent health for a 12-year-old. His vision isn’t too bad, his joints just need a little fish oil and his weight was surprisingly healthy for a beagle.

After we were told that, I felt a great weight lifted and realised I’d subconsciously prepared myself for not having him around for long. Maybe six months or a year at most, and that had prevented me from really bonding with him.

Suddenly, I could see the absolute joy in Snoopy. He runs like a giddy foal when he’s happy to see you (or when he’s being fed), he loves sleeping near Barry on the lounge and unlike Delilah who is still squirmy and excited, he enjoys being hugged for long periods of time.

One of my favourite things we have been able to give him is trips to my parent’s farm. He comes alive out there. A typical visit involves them both jumping out of the car and going crazy when they realise where they are and almost immediately they disappear for a few hours and come back soaking wet. We’ve yet to figure out exactly where they go for a swim, whether it’s one of the dams or the river, but they come back, together, with smiles a mile wide.

I honestly can’t get over how sweet it is that they go off and enjoy something together.

Owning a rescue dog hasn’t been all fun and games. Games is literally one of the issues. Snoopy doesn’t know how to play, toys don’t seem to interest him at all, and this is totally me projecting, but it makes me sad that he seems to have never developed an interest in them.

He is also terrified of men. Initially it was all men and slowly it’s becoming some men, but his fear was at a level where we had my cousin over and we found Snoopy violently shaking in a corner, at just the sound of an unfamiliar voice. This behaviour and his lack of play skills makes me wonder about his previous home life. And judge it. Harshly.

He is getting better though, he’s fine with my dad and usually slowly warms to people once they’ve been in the house for a while and I think he’s getting pretty good at taking cues from Delilah. We also get visitors to feed him a treat, which usually works.

He was also not totally house-trained when he arrived. He peed inside a lot and we could never catch him in the act and direct him outside. He was like a pee ninja (thank god for wooden floors). However, whether it was watching Delilah, who is house-trained, or the fact that B thought to move Wuz’s water dish where Snoopy can’t reach it, he finally got the idea and now only pee ninjas, at most, once every six weeks or so and it’s usually when it’s super rainy outside, so we know to enforce outside time.

He’s really become part of the family in the last few months and we adore him.

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Happy New Year!

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We saw in the new year with wine and cheese and video games and smoke and firecrackers and the sound of traffic sliding by and fitful sleep.

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My resolutions this year are, somewhat cryptically:

Fitter Happier – Radiohead |These Boots Are Made For Walking – Nancy Sinatra There She Goes, My Beautiful World – Nick Cave | Dancing in the Dark – Bruce Springsteen | A Sorta Fairytale – Tori Amos Travelling Woman – Bat For Lashes | Carnival – Natalie Merchant | Rosebud – Ryan Adams Blue Jeans – Lana Del Ray Monsoons – Puscifer 

Year In Review: 2015

1.What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

I was proposed to on a dark and stormy night and I accepted!

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2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I probably did, but I don’t remember what they were. If I think about the most obvious resolutions I could’ve made, I definitely didn’t keep them. I was a total flake on a lot of things this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Anne and Gleb welcomed baby Aurora, who is gorgeous and who already has a selfie pout to die for!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

5. What countries did you visit?

None, I took a huge pay cut when I switched jobs and spent a lot of the year housebound as a result.

We did have an excellent holiday in Queensland and a lovely long weekend in the Blue Mountains.

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6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

Good deeds, not just good intentions.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 25th. B and I went up to a lookout after a heavy storm and he proposed and I refused to let him get down on one knee because the ground was sopping wet!

Afterwards we called all our loved ones and went home to his parents’ place and I got to see his dad in a sleeping cap, tehehe!

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July 21st. We went on an epic date night that culminated in a surprise Ryan Adams gig. The show was so good that I did something I’d never done before and scoured Gumtree until I found tickets for his gig the next night as well, which was just as amazing!

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October 5th. We spend the morning of my birthday watching the sun rise over Waverley Cemetary, one of my favourite places.

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8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

It wasn’t a really big year for achievements. I spent a lot of the year running at about 60% energy and feel like I probably spent more time stressing about what I wasn’t achieving than I did actually doing anything about it.

did pass my first psychology subject though. I’m kinda amazed I had the time and energy.

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9. What was your biggest failure?

Knowing there were lifestyle choices affecting my mood and productivity and not doing anything about them.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Uh, I have, count ’em, three chronic illnesses so…(interesting point my GP cheerfully told me: with that many chronic illnesses you can get all kinds of mental and diet plan rebates, so yay, I guess?)

I also fell in a hole this horse dug:

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11. What was the best thing you bought?

Hehe! Snoopy!

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12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

My bud, Stevie, who’s life changed incredibly this year on so many fronts and they handled all of it with such calm and dignity.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled?

We live in violent times. In homes, in acts of terror or war. It was hard to escape tragedy this year.

14. Where did most of your money go?

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It’s been a long time since I’ve owned a car and apparently I have a thing for small, blue second-hand cars.

It’s been excellent for my weird work shifts and catching up on podcasts.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The second night of Ryan Adams!

(I may have even dressed like him)

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16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Oh god. Ok, it’s Harley and Rose by the Black Sorrows, shut up.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

(a) Probably about the same. I’m stressed, but not anxious.

(b) Fatter.

(c) Richer! Thank you new role at work!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Celebrating the wins.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Social media. That’s probably a rant for another day, but nothing affected my mood more, negatively, than social media.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

We went to my parents’ farm with all my siblings and their husbands and kids!

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

I didn’t, because I already loved a man.

My ideas about love changed in 2015.

It’s not about overwhelming passion all the time, it’s about kindness and being a supportive partner and making a decision together that this is something we would like to turn into a marriage. It’s a considered decision to choose a person and work to make them comfortable and secure in your life.

22. What was your favourite TV program?

It definitely was not Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Yes, it definitely was.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No-one. I actually reestablished a relationship recently that I thought was irretrievable and it was quite a powerful thing to do and I actually look forward to having aspects of that relationship back in my life.

How can I not like a person who refers to me as Morticia Addams?

24. What was the best book you read?

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25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Jason Isbell, hands down.

I was driving home from work at about 2:00am a few weeks ago and I heard one of his songs and had to pull over, it was so emotional.

And this never happens to me, but it turns out he’s touring soon and I got us excellent tickets.

26. What did you want and get?

A car.

A second dog.

A new job!

27. What did you want and not get?

A house. I really, really wanted to buy a house this year and it didn’t happen.

Then I wanted to rent a new house and that didn’t happen either.

2016, maybe we will move!

28. What was your favourite film of this year?

Black Mass! It ticked all my movie boxes: mob, Boston accents, scary dudes.

29. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

B.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Epic Kollection of Klothes With Kim Kardashian’s Face on Them.

31. What kept you sane? 

All of my medication? No, it was B. He’s very good at being like, “Whoa. Nope, reel it in and see how small the problem really is”.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I don’t think I had any great celebrity crushes this year, which is very unusual for me.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

The plight of refugees.

34. Who did you miss? 

All my friends. I was really, really absent this year and I really regret not being able to spend more time with people I was super close to.     

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

Drop dead weights. And never skip your meds.

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year

“So cover me up and know you’re enough to use me for good…”

Cover Me Up – Jason Isbell.

Tap All Over This Big World.

Tonight I rang a woman called Megan. When she looked at her phone, perhaps when it was ringing or maybe later on, she would’ve seen a number she didn’t know.

When I reached her voicemail, I was slightly startled and hung up without leaving a message. I don’t know Megan, I thought the number I dialed was for someone else, a number I have called so many times I was shocked I had made a mistake.

I had to search through the depths of my email to find the number I needed, eventually uncovering an old resume I had proofed.

I didn’t know what reaction to anticipate, but I wasn’t nervous. So many years of history with someone inevitably means you’ve experienced them all at some point.

It was, more than anything, a relief. Intense, but a relief.

I spent seven years of my life with a person and it didn’t work out and neither of us were grown up enough to be able to make it work and when it ended, it did so with a bang, not a whimper.

There was an easy, familiar shorthand still there, a little patchy, some details fuzzy, but it was there.

He climbed a literal mountain and figured some stuff out, climbed back down and started to work on being happy. Being a better person, to himself and to others.

And I cried when he told me this, because when it went so wrong, it hurt because every time I looked at him, there was a small part there that was a confused, sweet kid, not a bad guy doing all of this on purpose and because I was so combative and determined to salvage whatever stakes I thought were at play and we fought more against each other than for the relationship.

Tonight we exchanged kind words and meant it and I realised I felt genuine happiness for him.

I didn’t set out today to close this chapter. I’d been thinking about his mother, who used to call me Gert and who’d seemed sincere about wanting to stay in touch, but I’d let it slide, it seemed too much and too invasive back then.

I wanted to send her a Christmas card this year and couldn’t find her address.

I didn’t mean to unpack this box of memories tonight, but I’m sincerely glad I did.

The Wedding: Part 3 – What’s All The Kerfuffle About?

Today I was writing important dates on our new 2016 calendar, including that of our wedding (!!!).

Our wedding planning has so far been remarkably calm, our biggest issue to date is that we agree on things quickly and then take months to actually act on our decisions.

I had to reassure our save the date designers that yes, we had paid in September and yes, we loved the proof and didn’t want any changes, but it was taking a million years for either of us to work out what bleed we needed before we could have them printed (full bleed, we discovered after about 30 seconds of Googling).

The venue was similar, we saw it, we loved it, we booked it and the venue owner continues to be puzzled about why we haven’t toured it with her yet.

I bought my shoes on Etsy a few weeks ago and they’re currently lying splayed under the TV, where I left them after stomping around in them scared the dogs.

I’ve walked down the aisle in a white dress once before (Catholic school year 12 graduation) and have no desire to wear white ever again, so picking an outfit has been a lot of fun, though my proclivity for Addams Family-esque dress means my search history has turned up a lot dresses specifically marked as funeral wear.

Really the only sticking point for me is the celebrant. I’ve been to weddings where the celebrant called the bride four or five different names, none of them correct. At another, the celebrant sounded like she was a Playschool presenter reading erotica.

I need someone who’s going to understand that I don’t do serious romantic and that my dogs will be there and that one of them is old and poops a lot and once he’s started, moving him is like pushing a boulder up a hill. The other one likes to hump him at a moment’s notice.

I need a celebrant who won’t look at the song we want played and ask how to pronounce the band’s name, because yes, doesn’t it sound quite a lot like the fluffy covering on a certain part of the female anatomy?

I want to make B laugh, but also have sincere vows that explain what marrying him means to me, now and in whatever our future might look like.

We have an idea, one I quite like, but it’s going to take more organising and effort than anything else so far, dress included, but I figure dresses come and go, but having the perfect person to make the only serious part of the day memorable is worth more to me than all the tulle on Etsy.

Can-berra-erra-erra!

We’re taking a road trip this weekend, our first in a while without the dogs and four whole days off before I start my new role.

love road trips, just thinking about it is enough to tug my heart strings.

I have a fairly standard road trip ritual:

+ Make a playlist, abiding by the following rules:

1 – The music should be communal, meaning both participants are known to enjoy any song selected and if you want to throw a little something new on there, it has to be fun with the high probability the other party will like it.

2 – If one person is doing all the driving, this rule can be bent. If you’re the sole driver, you get to pick whatever the hell you want, to make up for the fact you can’t be over there chilling out on your iPhone. Essentially, if you want to hear your music played in my car, you’d better have a licence.

3 – Nostalgia is always a great addition to any mix.

+ Check the weather at your destination. Hopefully it is going to be cold.

+ Pack the night before, using the patented Mathematical Underwear Minimum Packing Sum (MUMPS) where x = number of days on the trip and y = number of underpants packed and the equation is x+2 = y.

+ Make sure you go to MUJI and pick up their amazing travel-sized bottles of toner and moisturiser.

+ Pack your gym clothes, because you’ll be going to the gym while you’re away. No, really.

+ Pack cables and chargers for your Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Bluetooth speaker, camera and the dust buster you keep meaning to use to clean the car out of at least one (1) new corgi worth of fur.

+ Go to the petrol station and get Red Bull and petrol in that order of urgency. Probably also pick up a small hand sanitizer which you’ll forget is in the glove box until it splurts everywhere.

+ Get on the M5 and pick a lane. Overtake only when necessary, don’t be one of those dicks who’s watched too much Tokyo Drift and changes lanes more often then they change their underwear.

+ Don’t cry when Harley and Rose comes on the playlist, or if you really can’t help it, pop a pair of sunglasses on first.

+ Wait until your travel buddy is firmly ensconced in trawling Twitter and slightly dozy due to the warm sun and the rocking of the car, then start talking about the celebrity and maybe even personal gossip they normally wouldn’t tolerate. If they don’t appear to be reaching the relaxed state required, subtly turn the heater on low.

+ Take a detour through the tiny town, population 1,2011, you lived in when you were six. Point out the house the girl lived in who terriorised you that entire year, because almost 30 years later, you still remember exactly where it is (Hello, Kirsty).

+ Make one complete lap of the first large roundabout you come to in Canberra. Fuck it, make it two laps.

+ Discuss on a scale of one to ten which person needs to pee the most as you get lost on the way to the hotel. As a Red Bull drinker, you always get first dibs on the toilet.

+ Have that awkward experience when you check into any hotel, where you feel like the person at the desk is judging what kind of sex you plan to have in their hotel. Try and look very much like a person who doesn’t do that kind of thing. Also try and look like the kind of person who can afford to stay in the hotel. Your corgi fur covered luggage will not help this cause.

+ Get to the room and immediately assess how much complimentary toilet paper they’ve given you. Worry about whether that will last for the length of your stay. Continue to worry about this until you can casually duck into a convenience store and stock up without your travel companion noticing.

+ Hide the excess toilet paper in your luggage. Feel very satisfied and safe.

+ Hop on the bed to relax when your travel companion suggests having a nap. Instead lie very still and wonder about the hygiene logistics of using the glass they always put in the bathroom. Get thirstier and thirstier the more you think about it. Get up and drink from your cupped hands under bathroom tap. Lie back down on the bed, relieved. Wonder about the hygiene logistics of the tap you just had your mouth close to. Get up and do a worry wee.

+ Lie back down and remember you have this week’s Who magazine. Read it and get lost in the dreamy world of celebrity gossip. Slowly doze off and have your third dream in which you’re friends with Khloe Kardashian. Wake up completely relaxed and ready to have an amazing weekend.

 

 

I Can’t Wait To Find You One Day.

Yesterday we sat down and did something we’ve both be dreading: Our budget.

We’re trying to save for the wedding (362 days to go!) and a holiday (drive around New Zealand? Drive around … America?!) and a house deposit. So you know, not much (so much, so very, very much).

B got a promotion a month ago and I start a new role at work next week and it means money is going to be less of an issue than it is at the moment and it’s really time I stopped buying novelty tampon holders.

When we actually sat down, it didn’t look as bad as I expected! Sure, I’m going to have to get used to the idea of delayed gratification, which is a (non-tampon) novelty for me, but everything’s covered and I think we’ve actually over-budgeted for some things.

As I do every November, I kind of give up on the year and get excited about January and starting things anew, but I’m trying to force myself to use the next two months to sort through any baggage I don’t want to bring with me into 2016.

That includes:

  • Doing the C25K again, which I’ve left JUST enough time to fit in before the end of December;
  • Getting ready for a kickass summer semester at uni;
  • Fitting in a couple of little trips (Hello Canberra! Bonjour Millthorpe!)
  • Planning my 2016 reading list (First up: the entire Neopolitan Trilogy, of which there are actually four books, all in a row, then some Marie Colvin)
  • Getting all of my organisational stationery in order! (Calendar by PapioPress; notebook and 2016 diary by Mi Goals)

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I’m slowly learning that you don’t have to make changes smoothly and perfectly and never make a mistake or have a bad day and it’s kinda liberating and hard work feels good.

The Wandering Wolf

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I am not a huge podcast listener. I used to listen to a couple Kevin Smith did and then stopped being able to keep up with them all, and I was addicted to Serial, along with everyone else.

Lately I have been revisiting a podcast I got about 30 episodes into a few years ago, Wandering Wolf.

I used to listen to Wandering Wolf while gardening in my old house in Newtown and I’ve recently gone back to the beginning to start over, and I listen as I drive to and from work and they’re just as good the second time around.

I can’t tell whether or not you have to be a fan of Yoni Wolf‘s music to appreciate the podcast. Maybe? It certainly helps to have some idea about his background, just for a point of reference for some of the people he talks to/about, but beyond a bit of Wikipedia crib-noting, I think you could probably just wing it and enjoy.

My favourite episodes so far include:

+ Episode 4: Andy Bothwell (Astronautalis)

+ Episode 5: Amy Miller (Super funny Portland comedian and genius behind the Sorry About Your Dad podcast)

+ Episode 8: Will Weisenfeld (Baths)

+ Episode 12: Chris Adams (HOOD, Bracken)

+ Episode 16: Kathryn Beckwith (kitty (pryde))

+ Episode 20: (Open) Mike Eagle

+ Episode 22: Stephanie Mickus (comedian, can be found on the Tweets as @smickable)

I hope you enjoy, and if you do … keep wandering!

Rustic Herpes.

[Two women enter a kitchen. The first slides her hand along the bench, sweeping away non-existent crumbs. The second mimics her, but instead appreciates, not without a sense of jealousy, the quality and gloss of the timber benches].

“So the vibe we’ve really gone for, as you can see, is sort of a wholesome, rustic look.”

“Oh yes, it’s very nice, isn’t it?”

[Sound of two pairs of high-heels, slowly pacing the kitchen as though it’s a museum].

Wholesome

“It’s nice to be able to look out onto the garden while we eat breakfast, I must say.”

[The first woman stops and frowns at the rug, before crouching to straighten the fringe. While her back is turned, the second woman, though she is not quite sure why, has the sudden urge to see what her sister keeps in the fridge. She gently tugs the door open and finds a single plastic bottle of water, two thirds empty. Nothing else.]

“What did you do with Mum’s gramophone?”

“Hmm?”

“Mum’s gramophone. You said you wanted it because you had the perfect place to put it?”

“Oh! It’s in the formal dining room! It honestly ties the whole room together, and I think it’s just much nicer than it being stuffed in some cupboard somewhere … what are you mumbling? Come on, i’ll show you, follow me, please.”

[The women exit the room, hand-in-hand. Well … not exactly hand-in-hand, the first woman grabs the wrist of her younger sister and tugs her down the hallway like a toy on a string].

“See! Isn’t it glamorous!”

Disease

“Uh.”

“Hmm?”

“You know it’s May, right?”

“May? Yes?”

“It’s just …”

“Just what? Is there something you have a problem with?”

“Well, the room is lovely, but the Christmas decorations…”

“Which Christmas decorations? Where?”

“… the ones hanging from the ceiling?”

“I don’t see any Christmas decorations and I really don’t like your attitude.”

“The baubles! Up there! There must be fifty of them! It looks like the room caught a venereal disease!”

“There is honestly no accounting for your taste, Kate. It’s called frou-frou. It’s French. Perhaps if you owned your own home, you’d understand a little more about decorating.”

[Sound of one pair of high heels leaving the room].

The Wedding: Part 2 – Slowly Getting Better

When we got engaged, it was a whirlwind of amazing things.

A ring! A Queensland engagement party! Wedding ideas!

And then I decided I wanted a second dog and to buy a house and for the last couple of months we’ve been adjusting to having two dogs (Snoopy is a fraud. He does not act like any 12-year-old dog I’ve ever met. He is way more work than Delilah) and B has been trying to talk me out of buying every house I declare that week’s dream house.

Suddenly two months have gone by and all I have to show for it is a really long Etsy wish list of decorations.

Well, that and a date and a venue and, in my case, about half my body weight to lose.

It has been pointed out to me that I probably have more than enough things to occupy my time in the coming year without also buying a house.

(But honestly, I really did find our dream house the other day. Like, The One).

It’s not quite Mum and Dad’s farm, but it’s going to be just as beautiful.

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