crypticgirl: Kermit the frog smiling and waving a hand (woot!)
( Apr. 17th, 2009 01:35 am)
It's been a good birthday.

Thanks to everyone who sent me well wishes via various media. Thanks to the huggers-in-person. Thanks to those of you who quietly offer me love and support on a regular basis without asking for anything in return. Thanks to all of you really, for being your wonderful selves and being in my life. I feel like I learn so much from all of you on a daily basis.

No, I'm not drunk (...anymore). No, the impromptu ten pin bowling session with another half blind person (wherein the key questions in life became "Why do I keep getting so many gutterballs?" and "Is it my turn? I can't see the screen.") didn't cause any brain damage. I'm just feeling very loved at a time when I needed reminding of it. I may be alone in the sense that I'm not in a relationship right now, but I'm not alone in far more ways. I'll have to come back to this post when I need a kick up the bum.

After saying all that, talking about presents seems trivial. So I won't, except to say that I really appreciated Matt's gift because it was given with such generosity of spirit (he gave up his ticket to see Adam Hills so I could go), and I loved the card from my Mum. It just said lots of stuff about how she feels about me being her daughter. I'm glad we can express those things to each other.

I also bought myself a present this year, in the form of attendance at a workshop that I really enjoyed. I think getting myself a present should be a new tradition. :)

This year will be my last year in my twenties. I keep wondering where the time has gone, it feels like I've done so little with and there's so much left to do. In that sesne it would be great to be able to turn back the clock. On the other hand, I know I've had to go through a lot of stuff to get to where I am now, and where I am now is a pretty good place, relatively speaking. I look back on the person I was at nineteen and feel like I've come a long way.

I can only hope that when I'm thirty nine I can look back over the coming decade with the same sense. There are many things I want to do, yes, but a lot of it is fine detail. If I manage to grow as a person and work to make the world a better place in this lifetime then I will consider myself very lucky indeed.
crypticgirl: (home stuff)
( Apr. 9th, 2009 10:39 pm)
I spent five days in Sydney last week. It started out with two days at a major conference -- most of which was spent freaking out that I'd have to give my boss' speech, with all of two days to prepare. For me, preparation means memorising the whole speech. There's no way I can hope to read fluently and keep my place without having a sheet of paper up to my nose and that's not viable, as options go.

The speech seemed to go okay, which is a Good Thing given the prestige of the conference, which had keynotes from very prominent politicans, public servants and academics. The plenary sessions, where I spoke, were reserved for mere CEOs. I did not go into the foetal position. I did not swear. I did not resort to interpretive dance. GO ME.

About my time with my Mum. Cut for a serious case of tl;dr )
crypticgirl: Kermit the frog smiling and waving a hand (woot!)
( Jan. 25th, 2009 12:01 pm)
It says a lot about how much I love scarves when I'm delighted to recieve a thick, woolly scarf in the middle of summer. Of course, it helps that the scarf of scarfiness is purple and handknitted by a bona fide Nanna. I don't remember my own Nannas, so I always appreciate the power of having a good one.

Thanks again [livejournal.com profile] rickybuchanan. :)
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It occurs to me that I haven't really written about my post-Christmas time with Miss Maybe. She stayed here for four and a half days. The length of time worried me a bit beforehand - we haven't had a lot of contact over the last few years and I was a bit concerned that one of us would come out of the experience in a body bag. So I made sure I had things lined up for us to do, meaning we'd have lots of time outside the flat in which to not kill each other. Not to mention all the witnesses in public places...

As it turned out, things were fine. In fact, having her here helped me out of a rut as well as giving her some space. We did city touristing, Haigh's, snarking the city circle tram plus The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on the Tuesday. Complete aside: Am I the only woman on the face of the Earth who thinks Brad Pitt has all the charisma of wet cardboard? Give me Nicolas Cage any day. Wednesday we toddled off to Luna Park with [livejournal.com profile] sjtaylor for to be hanging upside down and going sideways... then some drinking in the night. Thank $deity it wasn't the other way around. Thursday was spent napping and snacking, also known as 'snickering at the fact that she gets hangovers and I don't' and Friday was a visit to Miss B's place for lunch and gossip.

It was good to spend time with her, and to see that some of the things about our lives have changed since we were teenagers (as you would hope), while others haven't. Good to see the people we've become as well as the ones we're trying to be.

The Big Things Of Note were:

1. Haigh's caramel fudge rocks. If you have the chance to buy it and the inclination for that kind of stuff, seriously, don't miss it.

2. When you have a white cane and you are guiding two other people with white canes, the reactions are priceless. Most people assume that a white cane means you can't see at all, which obviously isn't true for me. First you notice a lot of people stopping dead in their tracks right in front of you. Then you can practically hear the cogs turning as they absorb what must be a pretty unusual sight. Finally the penny drops, and they leap out of your way just in time.

My ability to track these things is limited, but I have the funny sense that small children stare less at you if you have a cane and you're in a group with other people who use them. Maybe it's because one person on their own with something different is a curious sight, a whole bunch of people using something you've never seen before might trigger a 'this is a social norm I don't know about yet' response rather than a 'that's a special thing, isn't it?' one.

3. Going on a ride which spins you in all different directions or hangs you upside down is made heaps more scary by not being able to hear. This visit to Luna Park was the first time I'd been to an amusement park since I got the implant, and I have to take off the external part on particularly violent rides. You know that ride where they leave you hanging completely upside down for a good thirty seconds or so before the ride moves again? Much worse if you can't hear that there's no announcement about a malfunction.
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( Oct. 26th, 2008 11:49 pm)
It's been a good weekend. Can thoroughly recommend both WALL-E and Mamma Mia! to anyone looking for a good but fairly lighthearted movie to watch. I'm glad I have both to praise, actually: WALL-E is incredibly visual but great for people who don't hear so well while Mamma Mia! is a pretty good pick if you're blind... unless you want some reason to forgive Pierce Brosnan for the bad singing, in which case having some vision does help. You might want to poke your eyes out if you stay through the credits, though, because Mr Darcy in an ABBA jumpsuit is not an image you're going to get rid of easily.

Other good points:

* successfully cooking brunch for Matt on Saturday and successfully not killing him
* spending time with the Girl Guide Extraordinaire talking commonly loved TV shows and eating Cold Rock (OMGOMGOMG I FOUND A COLD ROCK IN MELBOURNE!!1!!111!) ice cream
* getting home in daylight this evening, even though I didn't get back until 7:30PM.

No, you cannot ask me about the state of my flat. Or my mint plant.
Getting baguettes from the little French place near work and then spending the lunch break chatting with a friend in the sunshine by the banks of the Yarra? The best thing about Spring, by far.
crypticgirl: (Default)
( Sep. 18th, 2008 10:01 pm)
Last night my boss and I were in Canberra for an overnight stay. "In Canberra" actually wound up meaning "in a town forty minutes past the outer limits" because Parliament is sitting and Floriade - the annual flower display across the city which attracts lots of tourists - has just begun so there were no beds at the inn.

I had forgotten just how much I love being driven down country roads at night. There are no streetlights to get in the way, and the trees come right up to the edge of the road. The eucalypts get caught momentarily in the headlights, leaping out like pale ghosts only to fall back to the shadows just a second later and be replaced by another startled pose. Off in the distance you can see the dark hills lapping at the heels of the orange glow of the city. Out there you're alone and the trees are your guard of honour as you travel.

I've been noticing that I'm really enjoying living in an area with more greenery. It's especially nice because it means more birdsong, and not just the strutting pigeons (who are so self deluded you can't not love them, really). Someone finally identified the cooing noise as doves the other day; I've been getting sighted people to look for the birds outside my window but they seem to hide in the bushes every time. You can hear them all around this suburb and it makes walking around a lovely experience.

For some reason I can't quite define I have this desire for proper 'outside' experiences right now. I've always been very much an indoors person so this is strange. Maybe it's that my Dad dying has sparked something; he was quite outdoorsy and it's possible that I either want to be closer to him through doing the things he'd have done or that his death has given me some kind of permission to do the stuff that I might have wanted to previously but would have found threatening because it was too much like him. The latter seems a lot more likely. This desire was hanging around before he died, but I don't discount the idea that some part of me might have known this was coming.

So what to do about it? Walking around the streets is a good start. I think I'm going to have to think about access issues if I want to go into a park or a walking trail. Maybe the public gardens in Carlton and Fitzroy are a good place to go - I think they have actual well-maintained walking paths. At any rate, I think I can convince my old and dear friend Mr Crocodile (so named because he's spent some time in parts of Australia where they'd become familiar) to walk with me through Sydney Botanic Gardens when I meet up with him in a couple of weeks. Prior to that I won't have time to do anything anyway - I'll be chained to a desk or interstate at meetings.
crypticgirl: (Default)
( Sep. 12th, 2008 08:57 pm)
Yesterday my co-workers (from both jobs, natch) surprised me with a box of chocolates, a shiny new shawl and a big bunch of pink tulips. I was so touched to be so cared for in a place where, well, I hadn't quite expected that much. The gifts are all good choices: chocolate never goes astray, the tulips reminded me in a nice way of my Dad's Dutch heritage ("Oh, we totally planned that." "Uh huh."), and shawls are one of the few decorative things I love to wear. All of the shawls and scarves I own have been gifts, and at the risk of sounding extremely corny, wearing them feels like being hugged by people who care for me. In the case of the scarves it could be strangulation, though that's really not my cup of tea...

So it was a good day. The next couple of weeks are going to be nuts though. I have to complete vast chunks of our annual report over the weekend, a major submission by next Friday, another major submission by the end of the month and our report to our funding body by the end of the month as well. In the meantime I am spending a day next week in Hobart and there will also be an overnight stay in Canberra. The week after I fly back to Canberra with my boss for a day before tromping off to Sydney for other meetings and then a few days of leave with family and friends.

I was outlining all of this to $Boss who simply said, "Yeah, but you know you love it." And she's right, I do. Being under the pump work-wise is something that I thrive on, especially when the things I'm doing seem interesting and worthwhile. It's beginning to feel a little bit like I'm ready to jump back into the chaos.
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