Friday, 31 August 2007

Things that have made me smile this week

  • Hearing my boss (male) call kiwifruit “teddy bear eggs”. Is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever heard? I liked it.
  • Basil taking the plunge and coming to snooze up by my head (normally he’s almost falling off the end).
  • Seeing the buds on my trees (my! trees) come out
  • Watching JD and Turk discuss Marmaduke on Scrubs. I am already a fan of Marmaduke hater Joe Mathlete so it was nice to know that it has now gone global.
  • Hearing that my mother’s recent hospital visits turned out to be nothing too serious, but a complication of shingles damaging her nerves down deep. Apparently this is the most painful thing ever and listening to her crying on the phone is not something I wish to repeat often.
  • Cooking perfect blueberry muffins last night. Seriously, they were so good, I took a photo. Which I am not going to post, because it’s just a photo of muffins.
  • My car passed its Warrant of Fitness after failing its last one. The car is 17 years old so it’s amazing that it hasn’t fallen to bits!
  • Realising that I am often too hard on myself and the only person worried about me, is me, so really, I should stop.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

It's not The drinking, it's How we're drinking

Finally the brain fog has lifted enough for me to write something.
What an insane weekend – a few years ago it would have been nothing out of the ordinary but now that I am 28! and a Homeowner! I think it’s a little bit sad.

Friday night involved a group of workmates and me heading into town for a drink on the Strand. I got into that mood where I felt like everyone wanted to watch The Amy Show, and I must have talked for oooh, 90 percent of the time, and everyone had to listen to Me and Only Me.

I got home at about 10:00 – on no dinner – and listened to my new Peter Gabriel CD (I love the oldies) and sang along to Don’t Give Up about twenty times. The cat appreciated it, and gave me 10 out of 10.

On Saturday 2 friends, Richard and Katrina, arrived from Auckland to stay the night. We spent the day walking around the Mount and shopping, but by 5pm it was all about the champagne and Red Bull. Date Man arrived and having got through a bottle between us, we headed out to a cocktail party, where I made a huge jug of 42 below Feijoa vodka, apple juice and mint leaves, best drink ever, and proceeded to kill a few more brain cells and be the loudest person at the party.

Then we headed into town, to a bar, for a couple of hours, where I have a recollection of dancing with someone’s Dad, like full on rock and roll dancing, a recollection of meeting some famous rugby guy and trying to take his picture, a recollection of ranting to a friend about how happy I was for her (having just got engaged). This is about 10 minutes recollection so god knows what I was doing the other 2 hours.

Sunday was an hilarious day of being horizontal on the couch, trying to keep down a pie (I failed at 5pm), feeling guilty, pathetic and disappointed in myself.

I still kind of feel like that, even though I can guess that everyone has had weekends like these, but I guess this is the first time I’ve seen that it’s not the best way I could live my life, and that my drinking can easily get out of control. I really have this Jekyll and Hyde personality sometimes, I can have 2 glasses of wine and be fine, but another day I can have a whole bottle and then more. And I have no control over it.
I think I shall be doing some navel-gazing over the next few weeks to see what I can do about this. My Mum will be pleased!

Thursday, 23 August 2007

I am my Father's daughter

Last night Dad came round to my new house for dinner for the first time. He has just got back from a 5 week trip to South America, namely the Galapagos, Ecuador, and Peru. He is now slightly obsessed with blue footed boobies, and I now know more about them than I ever thought I would (namely, nothing at all). Hopefully a quiz night I am going to next week will have a whole category based on them.
Anyhoo it was nice to show him the house (he approved) and he helped me connect my new garden hose. Basil gave him lots of smooches (purely because it was dinner time, he’s such a food-whore) and we had a good chat about stuff.
My parents divorced when I was 14 and Dad moved up to Tauranga from Hawkes Bay pretty much straight away, so we haven’t been enormously close since then. But we get on well, sometimes, although Dad has some idiosyncracies that are completely unique, such as not allowing cell phones in his home, and always having to know which direction the winds are going. He is a general knowledge geek, and nothing pleases him more than a Reader's Digest book of facts.
Last night Dad displayed some vintage Dad behaviour as I was about to get dinner ready. “Do you want to watch the News?” I asked him. “No,” says he. “I know everything already.”

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Recurring Dreams

After reading a link from Dooce last week at McSweeneys called Mundane Dreams I gots to thinking. Firstly, that I love McSweeneys and it makes me feel joy that there are so many awesome writers out there with my exact sense of humour. Secondly, that recurring dreams are an odd phenomenon – why do we as a group of people all have the same themes when we dream? We all experience life so differently and in so many varied environments.

Here are my top recurring dreams – both scary and happy – I should note that I am an exceptionally vivid dreamer – whole plot lines and imagery, and I dream in colour, which is apparently quite rare.

1) I’m back at school – haven’t studied for that exam!
It is the last day of term at my old boarding school and I have plans to head off to Uni. Other girls are packing their things and there are suitcases everywhere. I am desperately trying to finish a set book before sitting an exam on it. It is beginning to dawn on me that I won’t pass the exam and therefore won’t get into Uni. Eventually I give up hope and decide to wing up. I always wake up before I actually have to sit the exam.

2) I’m having arguments with my mother or someone close to me
I’m usually back at high school, living in our old house, and Mum and I are having an enormous argument so fierce it ends up with me hitting her. These dreams affect me hugely because I wake up with a guilty conscience for something that never happened. I wish these ones would stop most of all.

3) I can fly!
I’m on my way somewhere and I realise that if I push off of the ground and sort of lie on my back and kind of doggie paddle, I can fly. I don’t go too high off the ground but I do know that I am impressing everyone hugely with my flying abilities.

4) I’m back in England
For some reason I have decided to stop whatever I’m doing and go back and do another gap year in England (see here for further information). It’s usually the day before I leave and I suddenly come to my senses and go what the hell am I doing but I am stuck and have to go. I recall in my last dream going “hey….normally I have dreams about this – am I dreaming this one too? Dammit I’m not!”

5) I lose the ability to do simple things
I’m usually in a hurry and I can’t do things, like dial a phone, put my shoes on, drive a car. I also really battle to walk or run, like there are concrete blocks on my shoes.

Do these all ring a bell to you? I do have other dreams – like last night where I was picked to be Eminem’s main groupie and to go on tour with him. I don’t even like Eminem! I once asked my therapist who was a Clinical Psychologist what these dreams would mean, and I said I was worried about them as they tended to shape my mood for the day. She was very hesitant to answer as she said there’s nothing proven and she didn’t want to go all witchcraft-y. I also am not into spiritual readings of dreams i.e. if you dream your teeth fall out you’ll be coming into money!!
Does anyone know of a logical scientific explanation to recurring dreams, or can direct me to some sites?
Thanks and happy sleeping – Aims

Friday, 17 August 2007

Rules of being a woman

Yesterday I arrived at work in the worst mood I've been in for some time, not because of anything that had happened in particular, but because the last few nights I've been waking up at 3 am and have been unable to get back to sleep. That, along with some cold windy weather, meant that you did not want to fuck with me yesterday.
When I am grumpy at work (which is actually not often) I tend to sit at my computer and not say a word. Normally I am quite chatty and happy so it's kinda obvious that I am in a grump and should not be disturbed.
So by 4pm it was Time For A Chocolate Bar to see if it would help me out of my mood, which it was, then it happened. This TEMP we have in, looked at me as I was munching away on a Moro Gold, and said "Do you really need that, Amy?"
Lady, if a woman wants to eat chocolate, you let her. I desperately wanted to reply, "Hey, Temp Lady, do you really NEED to be such a bitch? How's it working out for you?" But I didn't because a cat fight would have ensued and I would have been fired. So I gave her the Stare of Evil (copyright) and haven't talked to her since.
Oh yeah, and Basil pissed in the shower this morning, as I was brushing my teeth. It was so blatant I had to laugh. BUT, one thing put me in a super good mood, apart from it being Friday today and about 10 degrees warmer than yesterday - I got a bonus in my pay yesterday and I didn't even know about it. Yay!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

The great waste of time that is Facebook

So, lately I have been battling an addiction. Luckily it is not one that will cause physical harm to my body. It is the latest craze of making friends on the Net that apparently (so say the Bebo nerds) was thought up by the FBI.
That's right, Facebook has been my most favourite way to waste time lately. I probably log on about 10 times a day. I have about 140 friends. I read all their stuff and look at all their photos. I have set up a school group and joined another group, and have done my invite for my housewarming on there.
It has got so bad that I now THINK in Facebook. Last night Basil was having a bath on the bed, and while trying to get a hard to reach spot on his back, he fell off. I laughed, then IMMEDIATELY thought "Amy is laughing at Basil falling off the bed". Or, when I woke up yesterday morning to find he'd pooed in the bath, I thought "Amy is grossing out at having to clean up poo before 7:30am".
Yesterday I tried to face my demons and, after checking in first thing, I said right, no more Facebook until 11am. I tell you it was the longest 2 hours of my life. I was LITERALLY counting down. Of course when I did log on, nothing exciting had happened.
What I'm worried about is when I get broadband installed at home (finally) I will be on the stupid thing 24 hours a day.
Does anyone else have this problem?

Monday, 13 August 2007

A good weekend.

Once upon a time, in a land far far away from pretty much everywhere else, a girl was making her new house a home. The weather gods smiled and gave her sun and warmth. She was most grateful.
Firstly the girl decided to test out her oven and make muffins, using lemons from her own tree. They turned out most delicious, and caused her stomach and thighs to expand gratefully, not being big enough already.

Basil the cat liked them too, although he would have preferred it if gravy beef had been the primary ingredient.

The girl (it's me in case you're wondering) then pottered off to the garden centre where she felt very grown up, perusing the enormous selection of....plants n shit. A gardening addiction may well be in the wings people. Anyhoo she bought some herbs and a daphne bush, fertiliser (sheep poo - no it's not just on the road for anyone to pick up) and potting mix. On her arrival at home, she managed to spill half the potting mix on the lawn, and possibly damage the daphne bush's roots - but hopefully not. The veggie garden was given a good going over with a trowel, and sheep pellets were sprinkled liberally all over. This is what she found whilst energetically digging away:

The world's most enormous worm. This is it all scrunched up. The girl threw up in her mouth a little bit, but knows that worms are excellent for gardens, so put it back. Upon further digging, she found a whole colony of World's Fattest Worms, which gave her the heebie jeebies, but managed to get over it and plant a wee herb garden.

Later that day, the delivery men gods smiled on her and said Your new couch and armchairs shall be delivered not on time, but early! This made her skip for joy.
Her lounge no longer looks like a student flat, and instead is a stylish yet comfortable page out of the Freedom Furniture catalogue.

She loves her armchair so much she doesn't even let the cat sit in it. Oh alright. Just don't scratch it...oh alright. Isn't it awesome? Please ignore the purple curtains. They will be torched just as soon as she can afford new ones.

She very much enjoyed lying on this last night watching Top Gear.

After re-arranging the furniture ooh, about 10 times, she pootled off in her little car to babysit her nieces and nephew (6, 3 and 1). The child gods smiled at her and made the kids so tired that they Didn't Get Up Once after they had been put to bed. Maybe they felt sorry for her after having to read the 6 year old a Very Very Boring story about a stupid fairy ball with these lame-ass fairies that just went on and on and on and on. Give me Roald Dahl anyday.

She then pootled back to her wee home, was greeted by a purring cat, and fell asleep in her bed of clouds and didn't wake up until 10 am the next day.
The End.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

A surreal experience

Where to begin, oh faithful readers. I suppose you thought I was had it with blogging, and was in heaven playing with my new cats and decorating my new home.
But no. I have just spent 4 days in hospital. Yes, Hospital. The last time I was in hospital, I was born. I was hoping that the next time I'd be there, I'd be giving birth.
Hang on, I'll let you make a cup of tea before I go into details. All ready? Right.

So on Friday it was a normal busy day at work, and I went off to the doctors for my daily dose of IV antibiotics (see here if you don't know what I'm talking about). The doctor looked at it and said off to the hospital with you missy, it's not getting any better. I begged to differ. I was going to the rugby that night! I rang Mum who said, if the doctor says go to hospital, You Go To Hospital.
So I rang my step-sister Kathryn who is great in an emergency, she ditched the kids at the neighbours and helped me pack and check in. Oh sorry, that sentence didn't quite describe the actual length of time it took to be admitted. Which was Four Hours. While patience is a virtue, it's a virtue I don't have, especially when I am hungry and surrounded by mothers with Munchausen's By Proxy and healthy people who think they are dying and basically society's dung heap in general. But once I made it up into Ward 4, it was nice and quiet and I brought the average age down by about seventy years.
So by this stage I was quietly freaking out - I'm supposed to be at the rugby! But instead I was in a hospital bed, with a swollen hand, and a nice big needle in my arm. My sister Megan left Amelie with Ben, and came to visit me (and brought me McD's, mmm). We both giggled over how weird it was, until the lady next to me broke both our hearts. In the final stages of dementia, she repeated over and over again "Cassie? Where are you Cassie? You know I love you. Why don't you help me? Am I dying?" etc. It was AWFUL. She then nearly fell out of bed so the nurses moved her into the nursing station. I made a point of chatting to her every day which she loved, the poor thing, and I deduced that this Cassie person was her daughter who lived in Tauranga - but I never saw her there. Families huh- we've all got our little secrets!
Anyhoo to save this post from being thirty pages long - here are some bullet points and photos.

My view for 4 days. Not being outside for that long is weird. When I finally got out I was feeling dizzy and ill - purely from lying down for so long.
Bed goes up, bed goes down. I amused myself this way for many hours. Note nice red nail polish, to try and score myself a hot doctor, of which there were many, including one I had gone to Uni with, which was embarrassing, as I was in a gorgeous hospital gown with hair so greasy you could have fried an egg on it (forgot to pack shampoo) and was high as a kite on morphine and slurring like an alkie. But I digress.As you can see, I was looking hot. This is just before my operation. I was put under a general, and they stuck a needle in my wrist joint and sucked out the goo. Yuk I hear you say. Yeah it was. It took about an hour and then I went back to the ward, where I entertained everybody by asking the same question ninety times, then fell asleep, and this was the time my boss (bless his heart) showed up to visit me. I hate to think what I looked like. Drooling on the pillow no doubt.

Hand after the op. Note piddling little band aid. This hasn't elicited much sympathy from work mates, I would have preferred a neck to knee cast, but what can you do. Oh yeah, throughout the 4 days I was there, I was being woken every 8 hours to be shot full of antibiotics. There really is nothing like being poked with a sharp needle at 3am and then half an hour of stinging pain to make a good night's sleep. Luckily I was spoilt rotten with many visitors, and packets of lollies and delicious flowers. Mum made a 3 hour trip to look after me and tidied my house and made me a bucket of soup. Yum.

So anyway - I got out on Monday, and was back at work on Tuesday. This was purely so that I didn't go mad with boredom. The hand is still sore, but not swollen, and I am still on oral antibiotics. I don't think I have any natural antibodies left in my body.

But what about the cat you say? What about Gordon, who put you through all of this? Well Gordon solved a problem for all of us, and bunted a window open and has run away. Can you believe it! Everyone wanted me to put him down, which I vehemently disagreed with - then Mum went back to my house, and suddenly the cat was missing. Hmm I hear you say. Yes the thought did cross my mind, but Mum knows that if she did Accidentally leave the window open and allow the cat to run away I would be most unhappy with her. To be fair though, Basil is loving being a one-cat-per-house pet. He is running around, meowing at everything, playing in his kitty litter (got to knock that one on the head) and snuggling up and purring at night. I have done everything to try and find Gordon, but if he doesn't show and no-one finds him, c'est la vie.

So anyhoo that's my story - can hardly remember it anymore which shows how good the drugs were! Hopefully it doesn't happen again for a long long time, and the moral of the story is - if you get bitten by Anything - go to the doctor!!!!!

Thursday, 2 August 2007

My silly kitten hurt my mitten

Well finally. I am back. I guess you're all DYING to know what happened to my hand. Well I love going on about it so here goes.
On Saturday I picked up my new housemates, Basil and Gordon.

and Gordon.

They came from the SPCA. Before I took them away we put them in the same cage for half an hour or so to find out if they were going to be friends. They sniffed each other, then sat down, completely disinterested, which we took to be a good sign. Of course, what we know NOW, is that they said to each other, hey, if we act cool, we'll get out of here, and won't have to face Mr Spade.

Because when I got home, Gordon immediately leapt on Basil, going for the kill. I got in the way, and Gordon took a nice big chunk out of my hand. I could see things a human should never have to see without anaesthetic, and he delivered a nice big infection right down deep. Me, being slightly stupid, rinsed it under water and stuck a bandaid on it. I then tried to pat Gordon to let him know I wasn't cross at him. He bit me again. In exactly the same place. I was somewhat annoyed, and may have cursed, and my eyes developed a leak.

Anyhoo the next day it was bright purple and swollen, so I took myself off to the doctors, thinking maybe, allergic reaction or something. The doctors face made me seriously worried, and he may have mentioned "IV" and "hospital" but I wasn't really listening, because for once, I had UNDER-ESTIMATED how bad something was. Usually I'm like - runny nose = brain leak. So then I was put on a course of hard out antibiotics, which did nothing, and trussed up in a sling. "Hey, what did you do to your hand?" has been the topic of conversation at work. So now I am on daily IV doses of antibiotics, and the hand is slowly looking less like a raspberry, and more like what my hand would look like if I were obese. So there you go.

The lines are to trace where the infection is and to track if it spreads more. You can see the 2 puncture marks by my wrists.

As for the cats. On their own, they are delightful. Gordon is hilarious and into everything, leapt into the shower with me one morning, not realising that it was water, and then fell flat on his face, scrabbling everywhere trying to get out. That made it all better. He is semi-snuggly, when he wants to be, but has definitely got that psycho cat tendency to turn on you when you least expect it. Hopefully he'll settle down when he gets a bit older and more used to the house.

Basil. He's a piece of work. He has spent the last 4 days in my room, moving from under my bed, to on my bed, to the windowsill. As soon as he ventures anywhere else, Gordon body slams him. So he is now terrified. He snuggles up next to me at night though, so I don't mind. This weekend they are being introduced to the garden which I'm sure will be interesting. Am thinking Basil will end up under the house for the rest of his life.

So what else! Spent a few days last week in Auckland for a Gwen Stefani concert. It was so cool. I wasn't sure to what to expect but man, she rocked the house. She is now my all time idol. Her Harajuku dancers were so cool, it was like one long aerobics show.

Also caught up with the crew and old workmates, and after a slightly boozy lunch on Friday, I went to get my haircut, just a trim you know, because Every time I cut it off I regret it. But no! "Give me the Posh Spice" I said to Pam my hairdresser, and ended up with this cut:

It's quite short at the back. I really like it though and Pam did an amazing job. She's at Ryder Salon by Albert Park for those Auckland readers.

Now I was going to rant about boys, and how they get afeared of commitment, and can be somewhat insensitive to how a girl is feeling, and are often selfish, but you know what? I'm just going to let it go. Big ups to me!