A Moose Is A Moose.

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I’ve been leaving for work before the sun comes up and arriving home well after it has set for the last few weeks.

I’ve found the early starts easier than I thought I would, I’ve been much more wide awake than I normally am on the train and have been getting quite a lot of reading done, most of it dystopian fiction which I don’t think is coincidental.

The nights are harder though, it takes a lot to keep up the energy to still be sitting at work at 7pm and to get home and need to go straight to bed to get enough sleep in to start all over again the next day. I miss hanging out with Anna and she moves out so soon and I want to make the most of the last few weeks we live together, but when I get home I’m barely awake.

I climb into bed at a reasonable hour and as soon as I turn off my lamp, I’m wide awake and stay so until well after midnight. So I’ve been getting quite a lot of reading done, most of it dystopian fiction which I don’t think is coincidental.

Roll on Easter, when even if people wanted to reach me, they couldn’t. I’ll be on a goat farm in the middle of Queensland, with no Internet and a fat book. It’ll probably be dystopian fiction.

Change is afoot …

Over Easter, B and I are heading to Queensland for a week or so, to feed carrots to goats and a very special donkey … and also to spend time with B’s family for Easter. I’m taking Donna Tartt’s opus, The Goldfinch and a bottle of Fireball cinnamon whisky and I am going to plant myself in the shade of a tree and not move for a week, life has been so frantic for the past couple of weeks that the idea of being in the middle of nowhere is particularly appealing right now.

Before that though, I have to farewell Anna, who has been the best housemate I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some awesome housemates. It’s been like living in a little family, just so chill and relaxed and we can spend hours lying around in the lounge room chatting and watching True Detective. I’m going to miss it a lot and making the decision to live with B has been bittersweet in that respect.

A little while ago, B and I discussed what our futures might look like and it overlapped on a lot of points: we both grew up in the country and miss the space, we both feel a little cramped in our current abodes, we both want a backyard and a dog.

I had to go out to Penrith for work a few months ago and on the way back into the city on the train, I found myself watching the Western suburbs pass by and rather than my usual reaction of claustrophobia at the idea of what life in suburbia must entail, I saw a lot of things I liked. Backyards, grass, freestanding houses.

The fledgling idea became only more appealing when I researched what the rent is like further out of the city and discovered that I could easily afford a place with all of the things I’d been appreciating from afar.

The plan at this stage is that B is moving into my current house in a few weeks after Anna moves out and we’ll stay there for some months, saving for a move to the suburbs and taking the time to find a place that ticks all our boxes: must have a new kitchen and bathroom, enough space for B to have a study, a secure backyard and above all else, it must be animal-friendly. I’m not moving Wuz on the sly again, it is too much stress.

All of this we’re planning to do before December, when we’re spending around 3 weeks in Japan over Christmas and New Years, which seems so far away now, but I’m sure will be here before we know it.   

 The next few weeks are going to be frantic and I’m just happy to tread water and let them pass.

Rock Out With Your Pineapple Out!

I haven’t written much about guitar, which is strange given it is something I do on almost a daily basis now.

I started taking lessons about six months ago, after I finished ice-skating lessons and was determined to keep learning new things.

I started learning on B’s steel string acoustic, refusing to try anything else because I figured if I learnt the hard way first, everything would get easier.

For Christmas B gave me a gorgeous cherry red Epiphone Dot Studio so I started taking that to my lessons instead and I play his Maton on the weekends.

In six months I’ve lost most of the feeling in the ends of the fingers on my left hand, have awesome callouses, can play most of the open chords without a problem, except for the Ds which still sound twangy every now and then and I’m starting learning the barre chords as of yesterday.

My marvellous teacher, Casey, gets me to pick songs and we work on them until I get sick of them and then we move onto something new. I can play some Springsteen, Ryan Adams, PJ Harvey and Sparklehorse, and much to Casey’s disgust, have requested a Melvins song that doesn’t seem to have any chord changes and is tuned in drop D.

I seem to be naturally talented for picking songs that use the chords I already know, don’t have vary in the strumming pattern between verses and choruses and are written in every timing imaginable except for 4/4. Pretty, pretty talented.

It’s also proven to be a wonderful distraction during my still regular bouts of insomnia.

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Ain’t nothing like rocking out in pink pineapple pants.

Memeing like it’s 1999.

Making :: headway in my inbox, one of the biggest stresses I have at work.
Cooking :: is something I still loathe but have accepted I need to start doing for the health of my body and, as an incentive, wallet.
Drinking :: more than I usually would during the week because parts of life have been a pretty rough for the last few weeks.
Reading :: a lot, probably more than I have since high school, even though I’ve been a pretty dedicated reader since then. I’m just hungry for the written word this year and I’ve noticed other things drop off, like listening to music or watching movies.
Wanting :: more than my wallet will allow right now.
Looking :: like death warmed up. I think the way I look reflects my stress levels generally, so I’ve been a not-so-hot mess.
Playing :: ‘Eyepennies’ by Sparklehorse and PJ Harvey, my favourite song and the first song I’ve been able to play through on guitar pretty much the first time after seeing it written out!
Deciding :: to get my health sorted out properly.
Wasting :: time. Always wasting time.
Wishing :: I had a view of sunsets and storms from my lounge room.
Enjoying :: Tumblr. I was really late to the game on that one, but now it’s my happy place.
Waiting :: for the next phase of living in Sydney to begin.
Liking :: my House of Cards marathons with Anna von Splat!
Wondering :: how the first season of True Detective will end.
Loving :: B.
Pondering :: how stupid it would be to get a loan to spend another month in America next year.
Considering :: moving to the ‘burbs.
Watching :: True Detective because I haven’t seen anything as brilliant on television for a long time.
Hoping :: to be able to give a dog a home by the end of the year.
Marvelling :: at where I am compared to where I’ve been before.
Needing :: several good nights of sleep.
Smelling :: like Juliette Has a Gun’s Lady Vengeance, my favourite perfume.
Wearing :: all black for tonight’s NIN/QOTSA gig with Steph!
Following :: the snarky commentary of fellow geeks waiting on their Pebble Steels.
Noticing :: the change in seasons.
Knowing :: that giraffes can only fight for a short amount of time or they faint.
Thinking :: about how excited I am about hanging out with Steph tonight because we’ve seen both NIN and QOTSA together and tonight we will see them play on the same bill!
Feeling :: pretty drained which could be thyroid or stress.
Admiring :: all the new members of my family in all their loveliness.
Sorting :: through things I no longer want to keep.
Buying :: my winter wardrobe.
Getting :: a new role at work in a month or so.
Disliking :: how much people get off on being angry.
Opening :: a savings account for Japan!
Feeling :: long overdue for a road trip.
Snacking :: and logging it all in my app for my dietician, boo!
Coveting :: houses with backyards and dogs needing adopting!
Hearing :: Bruce Springsteen’s Tunnel of Love album because it has ‘Tougher Than The Rest’ and ‘Brilliant Disguise’ on it and I love both songs so much, plus the cover is badass.

Batman on Catwoman

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I loved this t-shirt from the moment I saw it, hanging in the window of a shop on King Street, which along with this solitary pro-gay t-shirt, sells legal herbal highs and incense. Typically I have no time for such stores, my incense needs are catered for by Fiji Markets, but I needed some cheering up yesterday as I walked home in the pouring rain.

I wore it to work today, with some navy cotton pants and my favourite red lipstick, because goddamn it was an effort to get out of bed this morning. I’m trying to make an effort not to look how I feel because I feel like a ball of pyjamas that haven’t been washed in weeks.

Somehow that desire equated to this.

The City and The Country

On Saturday, B and I woke up super early and drove to Orange for the weekend, mostly because one of my friends was christening her daughter, but also because we haven’t been to Orange since Christmas and my younger sister was there with her daughter, Cordelia, so we thought it would be nice to catch up.

B and I spend a lot of time discussing city versus country, having both lived in small country towns and the urban planning horror of Sydney and while the city is where we’ll be for some time yet, when we drove up Mum and Dad’s driveway, we met this guy:

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It was amazing how close he let us get in the car and we hung out for a while, pondering one another. Turns out he’s a super old ‘roo and has been hopping around the paddocks for a few months now and Mum and Dad have decided to let him retire there and see out his old age like a funny old bachelor who just drops by for a meal now and then.

Besides the great expanse of land and the brilliant wildlife, another draw of Orange is the amazing local food and we went to a place called The Agrestic Grocer on the outskirts of town. It was jam packed with delicious produce, from local veggies and wine to blood orange cordial and herbs and spices. We had lunch, part of which was a delicious iced chocolate, served rustic-style!

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Sunday marked the first time in probably ten years that I have darkened the doorway of the Catholic church affiliated with three of the Catholic schools I went to, an event made even more strange by the fact that my friend teaches with a lot of the women who taught me in infants and primary school and for the whole christening, I sat behind my year three teacher, wondering how she still looked so young, and resisting the urge to tell her that I not only know how to spell ‘Sydney’ now, but that I also live there.

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The rest of our weekend was spent with family, most notably Cordelia, the only woman I won’t chastise for spewing on me, because she’s adorable and talks loudly to herself at 3am and has eyelashes so long they reach her eyebrows and perpetually looks like she thinks you’re an idiot. I love her times one million.

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When we left, we came upon our friend, sleeping in Mum’s garden. He slowly rose to his feet to farewell us as we made our way back to the city.

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On Migraines

I get ocular migraines all the time, maybe two or three times a month and have never been able to pinpoint why or what triggers them.

Once I went to an optometrist on Crown Street to see if there was a problem with my vision that might be causing them. The optometrist put drops in my eyes to expand the pupils and found nothing of interest, leaving me to stumble back to work down Cleveland Street, tears streaming from my poor dilated eyes, passers-by assuming I was one of the local meth-heads.

I spoke to my GP about them, earnestly explaining that when I felt one coming, I tended also to have an intense craving for Minties, which he put down to a crash in blood sugar levels that often precedes a migraine. For a long time I saw Minties as the solution to my migraines, except that two weeks ago I’m pretty sure eating Minties caused a migraine. Nothing is sacred.

The first time I had one, I was about 15 and working after school and on weekends at Best & Less in Orange. It was the beginning of my time there and I was still too young to relate to my manager as a peer, plus he’s recently called me a wench, which I knew from a recent English class on Shakespeare, just mean ‘woman’ but I wasn’t sure that he know that, and suspected he thought it was an insult. I’d also been recently accosted at the registers by a strange new workmate who wanted to know when I’d first seen a dead body. Also I’d caught a woman shoplifting and after eyeballing me while letting the plastic wrapped shirts she’d stuffed under her clothes slide to the floor, she’d followed me around the store singing Nine Inch Nail’s infamous ‘Closer’. Piece of advice right here: that is one hell of a way to ensure a scared 15-year-old will not call the police.

Anyway, when I started feeling car sick and the vision in my right eye started strobing, I didn’t feel like I could ask to go home, so instead I lay on the dusty blue carpet of the lingerie department, surrounded by cheap, synthetic bras, hung on thin plastic coat hangers which were forever getting tangled when women rifled through them to find their size.

I lay there and I thought I was dying and I thought to myself, ‘This is not how I thought it would end!’. Keeping in mind I was 15 and living in Orange, I had grand hopes of one day maybe dating one of the guys from a local band, Bongrot and finding the perfect mix of cheap vodka and lemon squash. I had all that to live for, I couldn’t die there on the floor. Plus I’d never seen the carpet vacuumed so it was maybe not the best place to lie.

In summary: I now know that my vision comes back after an hour or so, but I will feel car sick until I’ve has some sleep and I still don’t know what causes them or how they get triggered, but an ocular migraine will not kill me and ‘wench’ just means woman.