" /> Take a walk on the Flipside: January 2007 Archives

« December 2006 | Main | March 2007 »

January 25, 2007

Homeless

The day in store will smile on people endowed with curiosity and imagination. That's you, Flip! Since at the moment you are not exactly in tip-top emotional shape, you will be especially grateful for the gifts today brings. If you are eager to meet other types of people or explore new activities with your friends, go ahead and do so. The aspect at play is conducive to fun, so enjoy yourself!

Sometimes it is good
Just to be going to sleep
With a belly full of quiche
Cooked by RSL ladies
And topped up with cheap white wine
Washed down with tepid conversation
On a hot sweaty night in Broome

Especially when
You have just been evicted
For having two cats
No more, no less
That's that

January 24, 2007

Whew!

A sudden and exciting love affair might not last all that long but WOW, it could just knock your socks off. Enjoy what the Universe has on offer and be up front with each other so that no one is hurt in the process. Taking a gamble on love seems to be the way it might go now.

Ain't that the truth! Strike one for future-gazing and chalk one up for meaningless sex.

January 22, 2007

I should be making dinner, but ...

It's going to be a great day to get things done, Flip. Cosmic conditions will have you feeling energetic and raring to go, so if there's a list of "to-do's" waiting for you, grab it and get going. You might need to resist the temptation to spend more time socializing than you should. If you keep your focus on your priorities, you'll be finished before you know it and there'll be plenty of time left for play!

If I listened to my horoscope today, I would be dealing with the mountain of clothes on my bedroom floor instead of faffing around on the computer and wondering idly what I should eat for dinner (well actually I already know that - I am testing out these alarmingly weird looking not-meat vegie stirfry strips). But enough about that. The good news first - the dirty weekend was extended just moments after I wrote that last word in yesterday's entry when there was a knock at the door.

Today's sad news is that Little Dog died. Temporarily housed by my friends in Broome, Little Dog entered this world to discover the cruel, hard meaning of life when he was immediately set on by human beings and animals. We found him at several weeks old, shivering on the side of the road with a bloody ear and awash with ticks, so we took him in and gave him inordinate amounts of love and affection. Little Dog flourished and became a bit of a scamp at barbeques and the like and I fell in love. I tried valiantly to find little dog a home, sending photo text messages to family and friends to no avail. It was all right for him in the end, though, because my friends loved him too much to send him to the big needle in the sky.

But Little Dog's life ended as it began three days ago - unfairly and painfully. He was hit by a car on a busy road and survived for a patting and managed a few feeble licks before the vet turned up. My friends were crying as they recounted the tale and it brought a lump to my throat. Poor Little Dog. Is it better to have (been) loved and lost than to never have (been) loved at all?

Today's exercise: Body Combat - heeeeeee YA!
Food: Lowan bircher museli with soy milk
Powerful coffee
Multigrain roll with salad of tuna slices, lettuce, fetta, olives and tomato
Half a banana
Weird stiry fry strips with miscellaneous vegetables
A pinch of salt.

January 21, 2007

Tuning in, dropping out

Things should be going your way in general, Flip, and you may feel as if quite a bit is getting done without you having to lift a finger. At the same time, however, you may have this nagging voice in the back of your mind that is telling you to watch your flanks. Make sure you have all of your bases covered. While you may be tempted to simply go with the things that are most comfortable and familiar, this is actually a good time for you to consider other perspectives.

It's funny how things work. I have spent a lot of time writing about this self-imposed solitutude, feeling quite content to stay home and contemplate my navel instead of going out like a heat-seeking missile on the hunt for men. Really, the last year has been a bit of a dead loss on the male front - a couple of short-lived relationships and some drunken snogs but not much else to speak of, really.

Until this weekend. Self-imposed drought has now ended in spectacular style after what could only be deemed the most unadulterated, passionate, completely and utterly horn-tastic .... wait, where am I?

Therein lies the problem wih this bloody thing. I want to spill my guts and relieve every filthy moment from the last 72 hours of nocturnalism but really, I don't think I should. Perhaps I should go back to the old lock and key, paper style journal for those kind of ramblings. Anyway, the universe or Buddha or god or whoever intervened in my exile by sending me a house guest, the employee of one of my landlord's friends. A completely spunky, tanned, muscly, straight-talking New Zealander with beautiful eyes, a raging libido, a sense of humour and a new job in Broome no less. From the moment he grabbed me in the swimming pool on Thursday night until today, sunset Sunday, I have barely seen the light of day. Bliss!!!!

I found myself turning my eyes heavenward on occasion, wondering what on earth I had done to deserve it. It was as though the gods decided that after plenty of useful self-analysis and care, I deserved a prize. If this is where introspection leads then damn, send me to a Tibetan cave.

In any case, the following facts have emerged: Not once did I contemplate the "meaning" of it all, or where it possibly might lead (well, at least not until the goodbyes of an hour ago - and parting WAS such sweet sorrow). Who knows, who cares. All i know is that I have had the most exciting weekend I have had all year. And I am pretty damn sure I'll get to do it again ... hooray.

I can't help thinking, nay, knowing, that these sorts of opportunities only ever seem to come up for me when my mind is clear and unfettered. Some kind of angst has dropped away from me in recent weeks and the regular exercise and thought-processing has led to plenty of compliments about my "glow". The exercise each day has proved a remarkable cure for my tendency to cry foul over body issues and has also seen my mind sink into the level kind of state it hasn't known for years. It is kind of nice to be able to show off a toned figure too, it has to be said ... and a lack of self-consciousness leads to fun times ...

Damn, there I go again - mind in the gutter. I think I had better go and do some shorthand practice before things degenerate even further.

Food
Plenty of unmentionables
Lentil and vegetable burger pattie
1 small baked sweet potato
Green salad
One beer
Two slices of Burgen soy with vegemite
1 coffee

January 16, 2007

Spoke too soon ...

You may feel like a horse that is cramped in its pen at the start of a race, Flip. You are pent up in a small box stomping your feet and anxiously waiting for the signal to go. You may feel powerless over the fact that your eyes are blinded and you have no control over when the gate will open. Be patient. Don't waste all your energy jumping up and down in the small cage. The gate will spring open soon enough and you will be up and running.

You'd a thunk that I'd let my New Year resolutions slide into the ether without so much as a sideways glance, but it ain't so. I was rewarded for my rant against technology with a powerful electrical storm that raged through Broome and took my wireless network with it with a single powerful zap. About $200 dollars and a week later, I am lighter of pocket and back online to entertain myself with my own pointless ramblings. Luckily, I have kept up the grind (mostly) so have an archive of delightful mundanities just screaming to be sifted through! Bar, of course, the several days when the computer's power cord decided to pack it in. And the battery in my mouse died concurrently. I have been chastised by the robotic world good and proper.

To play catch up, read backwards. Or stay unawares - it's all the same to me.

Court today was the usual kind of scene. I found phrases such as "over-representation of Aboriginal people" and "mindless violence" drifting through my mind, as offender after offender climbed into the dock to have their lawyers valiantly try to find causes for their effects: broken jaws, splintered arms, noses gushing with blood. There were pyromaniacs setting alight their lovers' houses just to get a rise, another guy who broke open someone's head because another someone claimed he was stealing a wallet; a woman waiting patiently in the public gallery as her partner's bloody deeds were described in callow language. I have become numb to these things. I found myself staring at the walls for much of it, practicing shorthand doodles using sentences I constructed myself: "The man is clearly guilty", "he should be given a suspended sentence" and "is he likely to be a recidivist?". The last one was kind of hard.

Having said all that, I walked out of the courtroom after one case with an eerie sense of foreboding. As one indigenous man sat there awaiting his sentence for an attack involving a meat cleaver and a whole lotta alcoholfuelled violence, suddenly a baby magpie appeared outside the window and began throwing itself at the glass. Thunk. Thunk. Flutter. Thunk. Even the judge glanced up irritated as it launched itself over and over again, a little kamikaze messenger. Thing was, this was at the exact moment the man's dead brother was mentioned - the very man he said he was trying to avenge.

The world went all cold and crystal for me right then. I wonder if he felt it too?

January 15, 2007

Maintain the rage

As the week begins, your thoughts enter on your long-range plans. You could be a little stubborn. Passion with your lover could take place, along with tumultuous disagreements. But your ticket to a far-off, romantic destination may arrive later this week, courtesy of your partner. If you're not seeing anyone, Thursday's New Moon may bring you a sexy new lover, one you may have an age difference with. If it's someone at work, the usual caution applies. Professionally, a profit-sharing plan at work may look good midweek. This weekend, you might acquire a new pet or decide to go back to school.

I saw something on television tonight that made me really angry. On the 7.30 Report, some intrepid types went to Tamworth to find out just why the Shire councillors have decided that they don't have enough room for a handful of refugee families. The people they spoke to leaned up against their large trucks or tools or sat back like fat cats as they blustered on about how they had a lack of infrastructure, were worried about how "those people" would fit in, being so different an' all, and then the clincher: "we have to think about, do we really want our children to grow up in a society like that, all multicultural?"

Yes, you stupid fuckwit, you do.

In the next breath, these same people were talking about their excitement at the impending Tamworth music festival - an event that would see 50,000 people descend on their town for a week or so. Sweet irony.

And cheers to Amanda Vanstone for her usual chops in defending a middle Australia that smacks of ignorance and fear of the other. Asked directly whether the actions of the decision-makers could be racism, she bluffed her way through a number of sizeable discourses that did not - not once - answer the bloody question. Meanwhile, these proudly defiant Sudanese refugees were digging in their heels and asserting their right to stay in a town where half the people profess not to want them. I wanted to stand up and applaud.

I mean seriously - when did the phrase "there but for the grace of god go I" drop out of our vernacular, our consciousness? God help us in years to come if we need the same kind of assistance from "foreign" types. Our karmic imprint is looking pretty damn shabby right now.

In other news - what lover? My horoscope for the day seems a little too hopeful.

Gym - punch and kick the bejesus out of thin air. Imagine it's my colleagues.
Eat - skippy stiryfry, mexican bean salad, glass white wine, one banana, yoghurt with raspberries and apple puree, bowl of Lowan rolled outs with soy milk. A peach. Two phat coffees for that buzzzzzzzz.

January 14, 2007

(Fruit) salad days

Your tendency is to go headlong into a new project. Not everyone, however, is caught up in your enthusiasm. Be careful not to steamroller over those you care about most, Flip. Your partner, especially, might be feeling a bit miffed and left out at the moment. Do what you can to soothe his ruffled feathers. It might be time to set aside your project in favor of a romantic interlude.

Had brunch with a darling new friend today. J and I have only met a few times but sitting with him for a couple of hours is like sinking into a warm, comfortable chair and plucking conversation topics out of the thin air. So far we have discussed Buddhism, meditation, corruption, travel, uncertainty, work, ambitions, quirks in relationships, exercise, food, markets, garage sales, books, books, books, destination nowhere and more. All tectonic platonic of course, which is wonderful and makes it so easy to chat freely without any kind of awkwardness. He's a ex of a friend's friend, so there's that loose connection too.

I met him at exactly the right time in my life - a few years older and considerably wiser, quieter and more thoughtful (and self-deprecating to lessen the inevitable boredom factor that results from that kind of character) he's done a lot of the travelling and thinking that I am currently embarking on. It helps to have a kind of sounding board for ideas in this situation. I leave our meetings - we pick sloooowly over fruit and juices in the buzzing heat of the morning in cafes around town - feeling inspired and free and just like life is one big fat POSSIBILITY waiting to be explored!

After that, finishing off my story for Spice Magazine was a breeze. I left the office just before the heavens cracked open with yet another deluge and left my pink scooter shiny in the grey evening light. Then a friend cooked me dinner and we played cards and Articulate and all in all it is time to go to sleep with a big silly grin on my face.

Oh: Gym again (!!) and delicious fruit with soy coffee and fruit juice for breakfast. Two slices of museli bread for lunch. Handful of rice crackers, two glasses of white wine and lamb casserole for dinner. Yum.

January 13, 2007

Reality check

Some bizarre dreams or visions could come to you today, Flip. Don't put too much stock in them. If you think about it, you might find that these images are part scenes from your past, part information you've received lately, and part your own fears for the future. If you view them this way, you should be able to see what these visions are really telling you. They are NOT prophesies for the future.

Damn, there goes my trip to Africa with my friend from high school.

The only other thing of note? Yoga, Yoga, Yoga. Beautiful lunch with friends post yoga - must learn how to stuff those capsicums. Big huge nap from 5pm until 7pm. Sleeping the sleep of the peaceful.

January 12, 2007

Cracks in the system

As much as you enjoy being out and about with people, tonight will be a good evening for rest and relaxation, Flip. If you can, try taking the afternoon off: curl up in your favorite chair with a good book, take a slow walk through a garden or putter about in the kitchen cooking up something fabulous. You need some time to refuel your soul, Flip. You will be able to tackle your projects tomorrow, relaxed and rejuvenated.

So I got around to reading that essay of Chloe Hooper's: The Tall Man. I have been watching the Palm Island case with some interest and suddenly put the pieces together - that was the Walkley award winning essay that landed on my desk several months ago, but which I never read. Well, last night I fell into Hooper's island of repute and was entranced from the word go. Now it all makes sense. I knew there was something bad going on with the application of justice on the island but was shamefully unaware of the details. Now I know.

At 11.20am on November 19, 2004, 36-year-old Cameron (Mulrunji) Doomadgee, died in the police watch-house on Palm Island. An hour earlier he had been alive, singing out loud as we wandered down the street. A police officer took offence to what he saw as a slight. He beat Doomadgee so badly that he died. The cone of silence closed. According to Hooper, a witness account described Doomadgee rolling around on the floor in pain before he died, whimpering "Help me", but the same witness was so intoxicated that all he could do was pat Doomadgee feebly on the head as he slowly passed into the next world. His liver was hewn in two by the attacks. He had broken ribs and a ruptured spleen.

The policeman walked free. The policeman walked free!

According to the ABC, the former New South Wales chief justice Sir Laurence Street is on the island this week to review the Queensland DPP's decision not to charge the policeman. Will justice be served?

I can only dream of one day writing as well as Chloe Hooper. That Walkley was sorely deserved.

January 11, 2007

Where to, gumshoe?

Travel to distant lands is a distinct possibility, Flip. While you are ready for a change, don't jump at the first opportunity that comes along. Likely what you are being offered is a long-term commitment, if not a lifelong one. Think twice before you say "yes." Though if you do, you are unlikely to regret your decision.

India, here I come!
I mean Africa.
I mean Melbourne.
I mean Perth.
I mean London.

Sigh.

January 8, 2007

The biggest loser

Saturn continues in your communication zone, so you are very aware of your words. Issues that have been bubbling away beneath the surface in your partnerships may come to a head. The need to speak up may be too strong to resist. If you begin to hold that conversation on Monday, you may get a chance to come to an agreement before things really get too hot too handle on Saturday. On Monday the brakes will be on and you may be able to prevent things from getting worse and even be able to suggest a practical solution.

You just love to meet new people and to communicate with them. But you never get personally involved. You always keep a certain distance between yourself and the person you are talking to. Today, Flip, you will ask yourself if, by controlling your emotions so tightly, you are missing out on interesting experiences, or if your defenses are high for a good reason.

I had a fit of depression today when I realised that not one of my bloody well crafted stories besides a paltry "year in review" piece was going to make it into the paper. Sure, they'll be carried over into next week but I don't like the feeling that the paper is the DM times. I suffer from terrible insecurities about my writing ability at the best of times and feeling overlooked doesn't make me feel like I have a chance to overcome. It's quite stupid really - how many accolades do I need? But I feel like a touch of negativity can start the long, slow slide into panic, panic, panic ... whom am I trying to impress?

In another fit - of madness - I decided to stay back after my high-intensity Body Combat class to do a Pump Class. This quickly turned out to be a fatal choice, as my muscles shook and shuddered their way through a long, repetitive series of movements. There was a time, pumping weights towards the ceiling with my teeth gritted and sweat virtually pouring from behind my ears, that the tiniest whimper started up in my mind. "I want to go home," it pleaded. "Pleeeeeeease."

But I am learning to become oblivious to myself.

Consumption (not the painful kind)

2 slices of plain Burgen fruit and muesli toast
One white coffee, brewed strong enough to put hairs on the chest
Half cup of couscous, tiny can of mixed beans and can of sardines in tomato sauce
One small banana
Last night's leftovers
Five corn chips
No beer, even though I was offered

January 7, 2007

Risking the bends

Whatever difficulties may have arisen in your life over the past few days, Flip, you have the power to overcome them, gain new strength from the process and move on. Your physical energy is high, and therefore you won't wear out. You'll probably push on and take care of each chore as it presents itself. If you've been thinking of starting a new project, Flip, this is the day to do it, as obstacles aren't likely to stop you.

Today dawned with the intention of getting up and pumping some more iron but l an behold, when the alarm went off I just burrowed under the covers. When I finally got up two hours later I was in the same mood that had permeated my holidays - hermitude. I can't recall when, in living history, I have been so keen to bury myself away from the human race and speak to no-one for lengthy periods of time. In feels like a test of sorts, like holding my breath underwater and seeing how long I can hold out before the bubbles emerge. But I don't feel miserable - I simply feel suspended in space and unsure whether I should challenge this state of mind or simply let it drift along.

I think I would be less concerned if I were actually "doing" something during these periods besides reading the newspaper, watching endless films, cooking delicious meals to please only myself. Is it a healthy place to be? I always crave people's company but it feels as though my mind has reeled me in for a period of time and has left the solo me to its own devices to see what happens next. I wish I had some guidance.

I met an absolutely gorgeous boy the other night, but of course he belongs to someone else. A spark, a flicker, a dying flame, all in the course of one dinner. It is sort of alarming that in recent months I have absolutely not bothered with the opposite sex, even though a small - and it is small - part of me is curious about whose ear I may end up whispering in to on my pillow in future. But I ignore flirting, glance away instead of staring boldy back, dip my head down when walking around in crowds instead of catching people's eyes. I make no effort to flirt or spin webs around potential suitors and walk unnoticed through the world of pheromones. It is strange that this solitude does not feel as lonely as it might have done in the past - it feels more like a steadying period, a necessary quiescence that will eventually push me forward instead of backwards into a kind of despair. I am absolutely convinced that I cannot get involved with someone else until I have a stronger sense of who I am, what I want, where I'm going. Who knows when that will be?

(Does anyone even read this thing? I think my incessant and narcissistic ramblings could be starting to grate)

With the internet down today, I was forced to read the newspaper from cover to cover instead of browsing endlessly online. I am about to get stuck into Chloe Hooper's award-winning account of the injustice surrounding the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee on Palm Island in 2004, about which Sir Lawrence Street has just announced a review. I am really curious to know more: how on earth can a man who died in police custody under suspicious circumstances not be avenged in death, in lieu of life? The Feds have also finally started calling for David Hicks to get a fair trial. I am gobsmacked, frankly, at how long it had taken them to find a voice. I saw Michael Mori speak in Perth in November about all the reasons why Hicks was suffering from a grave injustice at the hands of the US government and it made me furious. I know Hicks is not an angel - indeed, some of his supporters might falter if they read accounts of exactly what he was up to in Al Quaida Summer Camp. Still, everyone deserves justice and no-one, read no-one, deserves to languish in isolation at Guantanamo Bay for five years without charge.

This week: eight bombs blew up in Thailand. Rocket-launchers were discovered to be sold to "terrorist" cells in Australia. Saddam Hussein was executed to the savage delightof mobile phone video and You-Tube fans worldwide. What a happy fucking world we live in, eh?

Exercise today: Eschewing the trolley and carrying two shopping baskets full of cat food and vegetables (30 calories). Dragging myself from my bed to the couch and back again (three calories). Typing this blog (one calorie or less).
Food: Two boiled eggs with dukkah, one chopped tomato with basil, 2 slices rye bread
Handful of Pringles with sundried tomato dip
Pumpkin filled ravioli with sauce of tomatoes, anchovies, olives, and capers.

January 6, 2007

Clean on the inside, too

A sense of optimism and excitement permeates any get-togethers that you may be involved with today, Flip. You, and those around you, tend to see only the positive trends in the future, and are caught up in the idea of a road to success with few obstacles. You need to hang on to that attitude, because there are always obstacles. However, you might forge a new support group with some of these upbeat individuals. Make the most of it!

Today started beautifully, despite a slight hangover, as I lay at right angles to a mirror, legs in the air, and surreptitiously studied the size of my arse while pretending to concentrate on my breathing in yoga. Our instructor simply radiated peace and gorgeousness, all soft tones and limber limbs that could bend any which way. I have to say that I was immediately hooked on the idea of doing this every Saturday morning, as I walked out of there feeling as though I was on some sort of euphoric drug. It was really hard work - after several pump classes during the week, parts of my body had unbeknownst to me locked in up in all manner of strange places. When the lights when down and we breathed rhythmically to a sombre soundtrack involving a monotonous hippy saying "ommmmm" at regular intervals, I think I left the planet for a while.

Then it was on to the kind of day that has an alarmingly positive impact on my soul, involving lots of Ajax, Mr Sheen and Gumption. Scrubbing in the heat ought to be an entirely unpleasant experience but somehow in the company of friends it became a positive one. T was moving out and with one grumpy and unwilling house mate and the other one away, it was time for the cavalry to step in and assist. To the sound of bad 80s pop music we attempted to scour away all signs of life from the place, with some corners filled with primordial slime and the pubic remnants of yesteryear refusing to budge. I managed to smile all through the unexpected encounters with long-legged spiders and furred tendrils I had to pull out of the mop on occasion, singing loudly to Belinda Carlisle and REM all the while. That, I said to T, is what friends are for.

Eats:

Frappe Latte from McDonalds (as hideous as you would expect)
Five snakes
Lots of sweet potato
2 vegie sausages
Scoop of pasta salad
Chunk of bread
Handful of corn chips and a handful of rice crackers
Two glasses of wine
1 cup plain yoghurt with ½ cup of boysenberries

January 5, 2007

I love my friends!

Your mind is likely to be in an extremely expansive mode at this time, Flip, and many things should be working for you as a result. Those tasks that require your flexible nature and ability to juggle many things at once should be a breeze. Unfortunately, however, they may not be helping out too well when it comes to issues of love and romance. For some reason you may not have the communication you desire with a close partner - you find it easier to communicate with strangers you meet in the bookstore!

A wonderful pair of days, with stilted moments. Of course as Friday drew to a close, the desire to sink my fangs into a bottle of wine grew too strong to resist. I pandered to my ego - come on Flip, you went to the gym FIVE times this week already - and caved in. Six days in is rather pathetic, even by my standards. But the imbibing was coupled with a delightful evening in the company of friends, with no more entertainment than the hum and rattle of our meandering conversation. I love those kind of nights - when the chatter is only punctuated by the occasional shriek of laughter or hushed tones as someone launches into a "I shouldn't really say anything, but ..." kind of story. The night only ended because my head was starting to drift towards the table - tiredness, not drunken abandon - and not because we had run out of things to say.

While we all swam around in the greenish pool, I outlined the plot for my impending Mills and Boon novel to general applause. L insisted that I use the sentence "he guided his purple-headed missile into the Savannah Way" and I promised I would try. Actually, I was a little envious that I didn't come up with that one myself - I think I have been a bit fixated on delicate, opening flowers and probing members. Still, I found renewed enthusiasm for the idea - it might not be a noble use of talent, but at least I have a chance of getting a novella published that way. When I look at the sorts of books that are making it on the critics' lists these days I get a little intimidated; they are usually sprawling, trans-continental tales that offer pithy critiques of feminism, the socio-economic state of the Bahgwan people of inner Mongolia, with a possible Marxist reading from the interaction of the Bengali street kid and multi-lingual heroine living in post-war Berlin ... or something like that. I can barely locate worthy countries on the world map, let alone come up with entertaining and meaningful tales about the people who live there!

Note to self: When pre-empting a poor outcome from an action, do not follow through. Salient examples: splashing corrosive fluid into a swimming pool at arm's length; touching a hot pot handle to see if it is hot.

Channelling Bridget:

2 slices plain fruit toast
1 flat white
Weird lunch concoction of Indian boil-in-the-bag spinach and pea concoction, Ian "Thorpedo" Thorpe tuna steak and half a cup of couscous.
1 bread roll dipped in olive oil and homemade dukkah
1 vegie sausage (inspired! Immediately hooked) and a delicious salad of baked sweet potato, red onion and herbs, green salad and a scoop of pasta salad
Handful of Ritz crackers
4 glasses of wine and one raspberry UDL (BAD! BAD! BAD!)
No cigarettes despite drunken state (hooray)

January 4, 2007

I hate modern technology

Catch a cab, organise a lift or, better still, walk! You really need to attend a function, and there's no telling what the repercussions will be if you don't front. It's also imperative you catch up with that backlog of work too (those extra dollars, remember?) and, as a bonus, love may just occur by the light of the computer.

I am starting to be left behind in this digital bloody revolution. Don't even get me started on MySpace. My friend looked sadly at me the other day and said "you should delete your site - it's a bit crap". And although I was smarting, I had to agree. It's just that I can't be bothered beautifying things, don't really know how and have little time to devote to learning. But having said that, I still want a glamorous site. It's just not fair. I feel triumphant when I manage to load a picture on, but then I visit someone else's site and collapse with envy at the virtual paradise they have managed to create.

But it really makes me laugh, how we've created these replica worlds on screen. It's akin to wearing a smugly cook pair of limited edition sneakers versus sensible brown sandals. A flashy site makes it owner seem that much cooler, when in reality it's just all a bunch of pixels (she says bitterly). I don't even know how to get those nifty little menus down the right hand side!! Sigh, sigh, double sigh.

In other news, i was rudely awoken by my dear colleague T at 6.35am, when I was deep into a dream about a coastal serial killer. Having succssfully shaken off the evil man by hiding in a caravan with sandy knees quivering at my lucky escape, my heart nearly stopped when I heard a loud pounding at the door. Luckily it was just T, looking grim and annoyed at my accidental sleep-in. By the time I made it to the exercise bike 10 minutes later, I was still bleary eyed and not quite sure what was going on. I soon remembered as the resistance inched up a notch or two and my poor beleaguered legs were forced into action again and shuddered under the pressure. This time I had the Ipod for company and was able to reflect onthe previous night's achievements. Shorthand? Tick! Read poetry book ahead of interview? Tick! Eat healthy food? Tick! And so it went.

There is enormous mental satisfaction in being able to scratch things off the list. Yes, it is only black marks on paper but it helps a lot. I was also proud for the following reasons today:

- I refused to pander to a colleagues bad mood and responded with chirpiness and pleasantness (although that was probably horribly annoying and spurred on the bad mood)
- I refused to eat the cake proferred for two colleagues' birthdays (start as you mean to go on, I say!)
- I made rock-solid plans to go to the gym again at 6am tomorrow (gulp)
- I did not procrastinate (until I got home and then I wasted an hour reading up on my old school friend who disappeared to the country but now seems to have become an enormously popular musician in Fremantle)

All in all, not bad. As long as I do my shorthand homework tonight and get back to that salty and fantastic poetry book I will sleep happy. It is sort of annoying how my attention capacity has turned into shifting sands as far as books are concerned: at the moment I have started or am in the middle of far too many. They are (why I am doing this list I'm not sure - perhaps to solidify it for striking them off one by one?):

The Art of Travel: Alain de Botton
In the Time of Madness: Richard Lloyd Parry
Writings on an Ethical Life: Peter Singer
Midnight All Day: Hanif Kurieshi
The Art of Happiness: His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Eats, Shoots and Leaves: Lynn Truss
The Best Australian Essays 2006 and The Best Australian Stories 2006: Various
Left Right Left: Political Essays: Robert Manne
Shantaram: Gregory David Roberts

Good grief. No wonder I am having trouble concentrating! Now, I have no idea who reads this blog - maybe noone! - but does anyone have any ideas on the order I should tackle these? I used to work really well with reading lists at uni; in life, my lists are one big shambolic mess.

January 3, 2007

Fingers at the ready

You are fired up at work and aim to accomplish a lot, but friction may arise with your co-workers if you are too impatient and pushy. You are not much of a team player right now and it would be better if you could work on your own.

I am a little concerned at having my daily ministrations played out among my terribly literate neighbours, but there you have it. Right now, I am what I am and I don't really care if anyone reads this sneeringly, in a bored fugue state or not at all.

Today I found myself back at work, staring blankly at the screen while the work piled relentlessly on my desk. This may sound as though I didn't enjoy it but nay, it is not so. It just takes a while to adjust after an absence of writing; it takes time to recapture the speedy flex of the wrist, the mindless and occasionally accurate touch of the fingertips to the keyboard (I curse the decision made in my mindless and occasionally accurate youth to abandon all ye hope of ever learning to type).

This is not to mention the necessity of thinking, of which I have done little in recent days. Unless navel gazing counts.

At the moment my mind is preoccupied with how I may tackle this diary of a budding fitness queen I have long intended to write - so prepare to be bored further. Let us think of motivation.

Much elusive, as it tends to be.

I rarely procrastinate, pontificate or ruminate on any subject as that involving my body, its movement, or lack thereof. The poor thing has been put through its paces over the years - it's been starved, stuffed, doused in endless amounts of alcohol, pumped full of drugs, suffused with hormones, poked, prodded and picked at any which way. At all times it has been regarded with mistrust and wariness, like a Bengal tiger lying supine but ready to pounce with an almighty roar when pushed a little too far. It is unreliable and awkward, never quite right and the source of much misery and anger. But it is not alone - in fact, I'm not even sure it's to blame.

Although I have been distracted over the years by alarming wobbling bits that appear and disappear on occasion, my fixation on this body has very cleverly concealed the real culprit, the snivelling rat that hides in corners and whispers defeat, defeat, defeat. Ah yes, the mind. Able to cover its tracks at every juncture, the mind turns inward and onward but always, always on itself. What has this got to do with motivation? Everything, it seems. Left to its own devices, the mind - which, by the way, is the puppet-master in this endless little play - the mind plants little ticking time bombs inside every well formulated plan. "I will exercise every day!" says the cheery, hopeful mind ("no, no you won't" it hisses). "I am not in the mood for chocolate!" the pious mind announces ("but you deserve it, oh you do ...")

And on and on and on goes the duality of mind. It's a trickster! A fraud! And I'm turning its tricks on itself.

Like today. I finished work in a gloomy state, still piled with work, hungry, dusty and dry. The whispering started. "Go home!" the mind hissed, in pleasant enough tones. "You can cook dinner, relax on the couch, get back to that book you've enjoyed reading so much..." But I turned to my mind with a blank, guileless stare. It started to panic. "Go HOME!" it hissed insistently. "Your legs are still sore from yesterday - do you really want to suffer through another set of lunges?"

I gathered my things. My mouth opened. "Ah-ha!" thought the mind, "now's my chance". "Trish," I wheedled, "My legs hurt ..." And she smiled. And we smiled at each other. "...but I'm not giving up yet. Come on, let's get going." And we went. And we went!

Now my legs really do hurt. And it feels damn good. There is hope yet.

Addendum: The Bridget Jones rip-off part. Today I consumed:

Breakfast: One flat white
Two slices of Burgen rye bread with small can of baked beans
Lunch: Two slices same bread with pkt tuna with herbs and sliced polskis.
Handful of fresh cherries
One cup Moroccan mint green tea
Dinner: Lamb stir-fry with peas, green beans, broccolini, zucchini, red onion and honey barbeque sauce. One cup of basmati rice.
Alcohol consumed: none.

January 2, 2007

The journey of ...

A rush of optimism and enthusiasm could propel you into a more positive frame of mind, Flip, and while in this state of mind you could accomplish wonders. Your circumstances in life could be totally turned upside down; a change in residence is possible, as is a change in your working circumstances. Don't cling to the banks, flow with the tide. Success and good fortune are on the way - as long as you let it happen!

It started on January 2nd, 2007, and with good reason. First, there was the last of the vintage cheese to hoover up on hot toast, a horrifying fat-laden snack but a handy hangover cure after January 1 dawned with heady temperatures and dry horrors in the mouth. Also, it was impossible to start an exercise regime when the taste of excessive champagne still lingered in my mouth and a thousand jackhammers reminded me why I kept pledging not to get drunk in the first place. It seemed fair enough to blame the excesses of the previous year for the whimpering and somewhat blobby creature who woke in my bed ahead of being banished for the last damn time, so instead of sweating and starving, I instead turned my mind to plotting: how I was going to conquer this lifetime of bad habits and reshape myself into a fitness queen ...

When I found myself at Pump today, buckling under the strain of lifting heavy weights in rhythm with the rest of the class it suddenly - as it always does! - seemed an insurmountable task. But I am condemned to try; the fabulous glossy sheen of my healthy, hydrated skin and the taut reflexive action of my forearms a not-too-distant memory. I got through it - that's the main thing. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step; a journey of a thousand kilojoules begins with one cake. The booze has been ditched altogether (again) and I have embarked on a serious cleansing routine: mind and body alike. I am really looking forward to it.

On another note, I met some fabulous new people tonight who I clicked with instantly. Funny that - as soon as I stopped berating myself and enjoyed a few days off in solitude, the very next people who come along are delightful and super keen to hang out again. This is not a coincidence, I am sure. These last few days of introspection have done wonders for my motivation and attitude.

Oh listen, the frogs have started croaking while the rain buckets on the roof, wetting down the last hours of my holidays into a damp squib. See you back in the rat race.

January 1, 2007

New Year's Way

Stay out of the fray. A battle avoided is a battle won about now, and those who hold themselves in reserve will be in a better position to move when the rest are played out. If there is another lesson here, it is to look at yourself and ask where your own anger lies that might push you into rash actions. When you understand that, you may find the one roiling the waves is you - and that's easily fixed.

The first day of this potentially stellar year was just the ticket. I did not speak to a soul - apart from a brief "hi" to one of my friends as I slunk out of his house first thing this morning - and set a new couch potato record by watching five movies, one after the other and only briefly interrupted by hydration and food breaks. It was bliss! I laughed, I cried, I was completely and utterly immersed in the celluloid world ... and better yet, all of the films proved excellent choices.

The day started with a great arthouse flick called Eating Out, which was packed with the most scrumptious looking gay boys I have seen for a while (cue lazy and hopeless fantasising) which was followed swiftly with Me, You and Everyone we Know - cute and quirky, if a little slow. Then it was onto Match Point, a sexy little drama starring the frustrating but delectable Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson (that woman would make any man go weak at the knees, I suspect). Next it was Hard Candy, my least favourite of the day's choices but still a fairly slick number with cute-but-psychotic teenager plotline and a bit of attempted castration to boot - a bit sick and twisted and slightly tedious in places, all up. And finally, the tears flowed during In America, a gorgeous tale about a gorgeous family of Irish migrants who end up in New York and charm the knickers off all their psychotic neighbours. Delightful.

The best part of all was that I did this all blessedly, quietly, peacefully alone, eating food I liked, taking up all the room on the sofa and being completely in charge of the remote control. I have enjoyed the past few days of hermitude far, far too much but have really found it the best way to re-group, reassess, and charge up for the crazy second half of the week that looms terribly close. In fact, I don't really care if I don't see anyone tomorrow either!