B is for…

•April 23, 2008 • 1 Comment

Books Love ’em! I sometimes wish I could be a lady of leisure and read books all day. I have a pile of books to read next to my bed that is, I kid you not, well above knee height and almost up to my hip… and I’m not a short-arse! I have put an embargo on any new book purchases until I get through some of the ones that are in this pile, because I am running out of room for them. I also have a bookshelf full of books which I have read, because I find it really difficult to get rid of books to the op shop or to give them away. I really should though, because soon enough I will have to “merge” households and there will just not be all that much room for my extensive collection. One funny thing about my bookshelf is that on at least two occassions that I can remember, guests at parties held at our share house have asked “Did the person who owns this bookshelf study literature at Monash?” They can tell based on the fact that some of the key first-year booklisted texts are still on the shelf (inc. Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, scattered Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter titles, and the more obvious, Australian Short Stories collection.) I’m currently taking far too long to read one of the short-listed books for last year’s Man Booker Prize, Animal’s People. With my return to study in January, alas I just don’t have the lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoons that used to allow for the reading of novels…
Bikes If you had’ve asked me ten years ago what my favourite outdoor passion was, I would have said “Sitting under a tree and reading a book”; however, I now have a huge love of bike riding! Not the bike riding of primary and high school days, which saw me mostly walking my Graycross ten speed up the Craig Street hill to the reserve and then riding the rest of the way (no more than a kilometre, I reckon) to school. Now I do certainly try to ride to work regularly (it fluctuates though), but I’m also very keen to complete bike riding challenges. Of highest note, is riding ~370kms around Mongolia in 2006. There was only 16 or so kms of asphalted road in that total, and there were lots. of. bloody. rocks. It was an amazing experience. More recently, we did the Melbourne Summer Cycle, also to fundraise and raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis, and I rode over the West Gate Bridge without stopping without any lead up training. I’m not fit by any means or measure, but I definitely love the freedom of the wind in my hair (under the helmet, of course!) and environmentally friendly transportation!

Boyfriend Yep, sorry, he is still just that… even though I did dangle the carrot or elude to future changes in the relationship with my last post. Sorry to [prematurely] excite you, my readers (…oops, will that phrase see me spammed more often?!) However, I will confirm that my man and I have definitely talked about “mergers and acquisitions” — code for marriage without actually saying the word and raising his blood pressure, of course! — and we are definitely heading there… It is just a case of timing, and the right timing at that… Part of me is of the “Why wait?” opinion (that’s the same part of me that vowed and declared five years ago to live every day to its fullest and make the most of my legs!) and part of me wants to enjoy every luxuriously relaxed moment of our “courting”. Essentially, he’s clear on where I stand. I know where he stands. And the ball is currently in his court with regard to the when of it all… because we are both traditionalists in that sense. He is to be the one to get down on one knee with ring in hand … and besides, February 29th passed me by this year! (He’s been told/threatened that I’m not hanging around waiting for the question, only to have to ask it myself on February 29th 2012!) So, when I say watch this space… I mean that it is coming. Just not quickly… Thanks for the excitement for it though! … I reckon that happily-ever-after with my P will be worth the wait!

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I’m currently enjoying…

•March 21, 2008 • 9 Comments

… the sounds of my love chatting with my folks during the ad break of the movie that he sat down to watch with my stepdad while I’ve been stuffing about on the internet…

…I also enjoyed the conversation that was had between my love and I on the way to the ‘bool, which centred around “mergers” and “acquistions” in our life together…

… watch this space…

Prompted…

•March 9, 2008 • 2 Comments

… by reading the blog of an old high school friend who has just recently started blogging, and by the call for an MS-bloggers’ Carnival of link love … and, well, just because it’s late and I’m one of those people who sometimes stays up late for no apparent reason…

So, in the interests of blogging and needing a prompt to write about something (because it is late and, while I have things on my mind that I could certainly post about, it is easier to run with this easy idea…) I thought I would take up said high school friend’s idea in progress and blog the alphabet. No, not all in one post; but as a letter at a time, posting a few topics that begin with that letter as they pop into my head… so…

-A- is for…

Accounting The thing that currently keeps me occupied with my head in the books on the weekends and some weeknights, to varying success… I’m doing a Graduate Diploma in Management by distance education with the University of New England in Armidale in NSW. My first unit is ‘Introductory Accounting’. I’m learning all about debits and credits, and current ratios and debt ratios, and how to draw up the various financial statements. If I pass (an assignment worth 35% and an exam worth 65%!!) my employer will reimburse me the course fees – “Noice!” – but, I am finding that it is a lot more time and work than I had expected… Still, if nothing else, I will persevere!

Apricots
I hate ’em! … with a passion! No, really… I pick them out of pre-made muesli and fruit & nut mixes and toss them in the bin. It is due to my immense dislike of apricots, both fresh and dried, that we make our own muesli mix in this house. The apricot lovers can add the vile taste to their muesli, while my muesli can be apricot free.

Ani Difranco I love her! She has been my favourite singer for as long as I’ve had one! (Which wasn’t really definitively until I was at uni and exposed to so much more than I had been in high school listening to radio 3YB.) I still remember the amazing journey of listening to Ani’s ‘Little Plastic Castle’ album, which had been loaned to me by a friend from uni, and deciding that I could definitely listen to it forever. I still love that whole CD because of the memories it brings back to me (and because I know all the words back to front!), but favourite songs are now ‘Freak Show’ and ‘Arrivals Gate’. I’ve seen her live twice, and I am slowly, slowly introducing her to my boyfriend by not always skipping her songs when the iPod is on shuffle on a drive back to my home town.

(Hmmmnm… that was quick and mildly fun! Stay tuned for -B- soon…)

The inconvenience of remote central locking

•January 7, 2008 • 3 Comments

… especially when combined with an engine immobiliser and a remote that needs a new battery!

A few days ago I looked at my aging car remote and thought, “This is surely going to die soon”, because the soft plastic covering the button had worn completely through and the actual (less comfortable or ergonomic to press or something) button shows through.

Well, this evening after walking from my office to the car carrying the mail drop off for delivery to the mail room tomorrow on the way to work (easing the process by planning to do the task by car because I’d been advised, during this January time of reduced mail services, that there were a few boxes at the mailroom to be collected for staff in my department), I discovered that “soon” = sometime today after I arrived at work. So, not to be initially beaten, I unlocked the car in the traditional way, ie. with the key. I placed my box of mail and other bits and pieces on the back seat, and jumped in to start the car. “Oh yeah… that’s right… I’ve got an engine immobiliser.” When the security is active, the car won’t start without the remote being pressed first. After about a dozen tries of the button hoping that it just had one more press or emission of it’s little remote signal, I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to take the bus home and bring back the spare remote tomorrow…

As I wandered from the car (carpark three, for those of you who know my workplace) to the bus stop (near the DMB), I realised that I was carrying about 55c in my purse (an excuse for Peter picking up the bill for the past few days!) and needed to go to the ATM, which would probably make me miss the next bus, thus rendering me stranded for at least half an hour and considering a taxi instead. However, as I started the path towards the ATM, I came upon a folded piece of blue on the ground. Nobody in sight to claim ownership meant that I now had my bus fare, plus $6.50 change, and wouldn’t miss the next bus by having to visit the ATM!
Now I’m just not sure whether to go up the campus tonight with the spare remote to ensure that it works, or risk that it does, ride my bike to work tomorrow morning and check the remote then. I kinda did need an incentive to ride this week, and tomorrow was my possibilty because of the increasing temperatures later in the week, and so… I’ll confer with the man and see what happens.

And I might just drop the $6.50 on the ground near the bus stop for any others in a predicament such as mine!

Look at me!

•October 1, 2007 • 3 Comments

I’m the winner!

Now just have to decide where it will live for the next year…
On the mantlepiece? on top of the wardrobe? in my office? beside the telly with a nice display of fake flowers…? or, as L so rudely suggested, in the roof…?
Ooh, maybe it can take centre stage in P’s house renovations?! Once it has a place of it’s own, I may be inclined to take a photo and post it, mostly for the benefit of those involved in the comp, but don’t hold your breath… we all know I promised a post over a month ago that still hasn’t appeared … (It is half written, but I’ve just been distracted by things like work and Facebook… oh dear…)

Promise of a post…

•August 26, 2007 • 1 Comment

FYI … I will update post-neurologist visit. And I will write about the fact that my Nan passed this week (as an exercise in grief-writing, but I’m not really grieving all that much… and because my family history is interesting) and I hope to do it tonight.

Immune system = broken..?

•July 27, 2007 • 2 Comments

So, the concern that keeps popping into my head as I lament the fact that I am sick, again, is to do with the workings of my immune system…
I have an auto-immune disease. That’s a disease which, according to and lifted from wikipedia, “…arise[s] from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body.” So, my body attacks its own cells; namely, the myelin sheath around the nerves, or neurons, in my brain, causing scars or lesions on the nerves called ‘sclerosis’. More than one of those (six actually, I think, to get a clear diagnosis) and you’ve got the plural being scleroses, aka multiple sclerosis (couldn’t they be more creative with the collective noun, like when you have a pod of whales, a school of fish, a business of ferrets or a crash of hippopotami…?)
(I have also just learned that, in addition to being commonly abbreviated to MS, Multiple Sclerosis is also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata. So, I could be really cryptic and say that I have DS or ED when I get bored with MS…)
So, the question to be pondered and researched this fortnight, in advance of my next visit to my neurologist on the 10th of August, is whether my immune system is *bleep* because:
a) my immune system is so busy attacking my myelin, it forgets to fight actual foreign cells like colds and gastro bugs.
b) it is a side-effect of my ongoing medication, the one that sounds like a frog sneezing (“Rebif!”), in addition to possible adverse effects on my liver function and that my white blood cell levels are also effected.
c) I don’t eat Lean Cuisine and, “No, Dad, I’m not looking after myself”. 
or,
d) rotten luck.