Thursday, 31 July 2014

100 Days of Awesome: Days 65 - 67 - Communication, In All Its Forms

Day 65

Still riding the wave of Sealgate, the cute little fella frolicked and fed his way onto the nightly news on three different channels. I haven't actually seen any of the footage they showed yet, but my personal footage DID show up on the internet, which can be found here. Not great quality because it was compressed to email it, but still pretty awesome.
Gotta say, I felt pretty famous on Monday!
Day 66
I realised overnight that my rather large-ish pile of baggage from my previous relationship was affecting the way I interact with The Kiwi, and also how I respond to various situations that really shouldn't rate a mention. Acknowledged it, addressed it, communicated it, and suddenly I feel like quite a mature adult (besides many, many other indications to the contrary). And it's awesome that I can openly discuss things like that with The Kiwi. Either he's completely blind and can't see how nutty I am, or just a really good guy. Mmmmaybe both...
I also ate a bowl of Coco-Pops. They're just as awesome as I remember them being... at least, they are in small quantities.
Day 67
Again, as with last week, I felt pretty uninspired considering it was a Wednesday. I realised it's because I have pretty much exhausted all the big topics I wish to or need to discuss during the weekly Toolbox meeting, so I'm just clutching at straws, which is hardly beneficial to either the workforce or the impact I make on them by standing up and saying something. So I have to rethink my strategy there... although it was pretty awesome that I was able to think on my feet and come up with something to say about twelve seconds before the meeting began. Not so awesome was that it took me until the last twelve seconds to gather my thoughts on it, even though I'd had at least a week to think about it (or, my entire career, if you want to get picky about it). But I got through!
Our admin lady had a bit of a breast cancer scare, and she got her results back yesterday, and it's not cancer. So that was awesome, particularly given my own recent experiences.
I had more Coco-Pops, which was also awesome... but now there are none left (it was one of those mini multi-packs). Sad face. I do, however, think it's pretty awesome that Kellogg's have acknowledged that Coco-Pops are like crack, and that siblings will fight over them tooth and nail, so they'd better put extras in the packet!
I met someone I'd never met before after work. My ex's sister contacted me a while ago because one of her juniors from work was coming down from Canberra for three or four weeks of medical treatment, and hoped I could give her some tips on things to do or see in Melbourne-town. I was more than happy to oblige, particularly given how much time I've spent in hospital myself this year. I know how disheartening and lonely medical incarceration can be, and how insane it can make you. So we've been texting a couple of times a week, and we finally met up last night.
I won't tell you about why she was in there, because it is none of anyone's business, but she was a really cool chick. I'd had no idea how old she was when I agreed to help her out, and even her text messages made it pretty hard to peg, but as it turns out she's only 18. Pretty mature for an 18 year old, because I thought she was about 22. Not that she looked older than 18, but it was mostly the way she conducted herself. She also thought I was about 25, so she's obvs my new BFF ;-)
It was really interesting talking to someone else who has had a medical challenge impact their life, and the way she deals with it. She's a lot like me in terms of wanting to live a normal life, and she is definitely not a victim. It looks like she's trying everything possible to manage it, which I think is great. I think she's more inclined to pretend "it" doesn't exist than I am, although I was a lot older than she was when things went pear-shaped, so it really is comparing apples and oranges.
Mmm, fruit.
Anyway,  I'm glad I met her, I hope I have helped her in some way, even if it was only in the form of an hour's entertainment, and I think it's awesome that two people with something in common and some form of understanding have been able to connect, who would otherwise never have met. Hopefully I can help her out in the future if she needs it, although she already seems like she's got her head screwed on straight anyway.
Also awesome is the fact that we went to a place called Massive Wieners on Chapel Street.
It's a very bare-bones establishment, and I suspect it's a really awesome alternative to the 3am Souvlaki mission you go on after a night on the tiles. It has grubby lino floors (probably not actually grubby, just old and scuffed); grubby, off-white walls covered in photos of customers who have triumphed over or been defeated by an entire yard-long hotdog (I'm guessing at the dimensions but I'm pretty sure I'm right); second-hand bar stools and a counter running around the outside; and the menu is an A4, framed affair, supplemented by notices that appear to be hand-written (could be a fancy, printed font??) tacked onto the front of the counter beside it.
We each had a pretty awesome strawberry milkshake - $5 buys you a regular, which was plenty big enough, and they keep their flavours to the simple chocolate, strawberry or vanilla - and shared a $5 basket of fries and ketchup. I didn't pay much attention but I'm pretty sure their menu was limited to shakes, fries and dogs... and I'm totally okay with that. Their website does not elucidate you to their opening hours, but next time I'm stumbling down Chapel Street late at night in need of a munch (nah, I'll never be too old for that!), I will definitely swing by and check them out.
Last but not least, I then met up with The Kiwi and had a pretty awesome evening re-enacting approximately the first half of our second date. Not, like, deliberately, but it was close by to where I'd met my new friend, and worth doing again for its own sake. Drinks at Bridie O'Reilly's (same table and all, including a near-repeat of me smashing my glass! I'm sooooo smooooooth...) and dinner at the Sweetwater Inn.
We shared the potato croquettes to start this time, and they were pretty awesome, especially with the wonderfully smoky hot sauce. And even though I really wanted the seriously awesome pulled lamb rolls like last time, the milkshake and fries I had just consumed put paid to that so I went for a lighter option - the calamari salad - instead.
I probably shouldn't have eaten it. I caught a wiff of something strange before I tucked in, and walking down the street afterwards I began to get stomach pains. I'm not sure if it was a little bit past its prime, or whether I'm developing an allergy to seafood, but over the course of the night I felt pretty ill. Ill enough to have a bucket next to the bed, and to actually sit up and tie my hair back in the night, because I was convinced I was about to spew.  I suppose it could have just been that I was really quite full, but the fact that I manged to eat half a slice of the ever-awesome white chocolate framboise cake from the Lindt Cafe and drink a cup of tea to accompany it and feel quite good, suggests otherwise.
Anyway, I'll never know, so there's no point in whining about it. It could just as easily have been the shake, or the fries, or the fact I licked the handrail on the tram (KIDDING!). But it was altogether a pretty awesome evening, and I hope all of you have had an awesome couple of days, too. Tell me what you've been up to!

Monday, 28 July 2014

100 Days of Awesome: Days 62 - 64: Sealing the Deal

Day 62

It was a Friday. So yeah, of course it was going to be awesome!
Well, mostly. Work was a bit meh, which it has been, on and off. But the most awesome part about Fridays is that it's the end of the working week, so that's always cause for celebration!
The Kiwi took me out for dinner to Chingon in Richmond, which is a Mexican restaurant that keeps things pretty simple. To that end, the menu is quite limited but I would still recommend you try it. We had the salsa, the corn, and shared a plate of four tacos, and I have to say, thank heavens we shared them because I damned near had to unbutton my pants as it was! Towards the end of the meal The Kiwi leaned across the table for a kiss, and I had trouble leaning past my full tummy. Haha, yep, I think I ate too much...
The flavours were pretty authentic, almost exactly as I remembered them from my trip to Mexico. The steak taco was wonderfully juicy and smoky, the pork one had some pineapple floating about which gave a really nice burst of sweetness, and the fish one was pretty much identical to the ones I ate on the beach in Playa del Carmen a couple of years ago. Yum. I will definitely be making a return visit! My only criticism is that the pork taco wasn't as awesome as pork I have had elsewhere... but I'm comparing it to the mouthwartering carnitas we ate in Mexio, and that is obviously totally unfair to all the pork elsewhere in the world ;-)
Next, it was to the video shop to pick out something to watch. Our original plan had been to go to the movies, but I was tired and keen for a quiet night, so we picked out Saving Mr Banks (uh, that was me... but I'd heard it was really good!), which we watched that night, and The Wolf of Wall Street, which waited until Day 64.
Sooo.... the Kiwi passed out on the couch half way through Saving Mr Banks. But in the first place, he has a habit of falling asleep during movies, and in the second place, as it turns out, he hasn't actually seen Mary Poppins (seriously! I didn't realise that was possible!!!), so I don't think that was really a true reflection on the movie's awesomeness. I personally found it to be quite interesting, and may have sung along and cried a little (hah, so it's a good thing The Kiwi was asleep). Plus of course it had the ever-awesome Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks in it.
Day 63
Saturday! Whoohoo! Mind you, it was a pretty miserable day. But it began with a nice sleep in, and an awesome cooked breakfast, and a trip to Ikea for a cushion for the stool I sit on at The Kiwi's house - I've been getting bruises on the backs of my legs from it. I"m such a special little snowflake.
After Ikea we headed to the Asian supermarket on Victoria Street to pick up some ingredients for the Tom Kha Gai I had decided to make for dinner. I'd actually been mulling over it since I had the same dish on Tuesday night, and - spoiler alert - mine was waaaaay better. I was also totally right about the flavours not being quite right - I used the pretty darned genuine recipe book from the cooking school I attended in Thailand, and, lo and behold, kaffir lime was in it. Just like I thought! As soon as my camera has been fixed I'll make it again and take some photos and post the recipe for you.
Yeah, cos I don't mean to brag, but I totally nailed it, and it's probably because it's a great recipe and one well worth sharing. Nessa came over to share in my awesomeness, and we polished off most of the batch between the three of us, plus a couple of bottles of wine. Which in hindsight, I probably drank a fair bit of myself, which explains why I was a little dry when I woke up on Day 64...
Oh! And I got a little teapot from the Asian supermarket, which of course means that I spend even more time drinking tea than I already did. I didn't know that was possible, but here we are. Perhaps next weekend I'll bake some kind of awesome cake to go with it... and actually post a recipe for the first time in a gazillion years. Sorry I've been so neglectful about that, y'all.
Day 64
Sunday! Whoohoo! Unfortunately I woke up quite suddenly, only 6 hours after I had gone to sleep, and was unable to get back to sleep. I spent two hours being annoyed about that before I got out of bed and realised what a beautiful day it was.
After brekkie I mucked around a bit and FINALLY cleaned out my laptop bag. I was a bit stunned at how much junk I threw away from it, actually. Including (but not limited to) a broken sachet of chicken noodle soup... which means that the long-lost set of earphones that have been kicking around the bottom of my bag actually smell like chicken noodle soup. Delicious, but really, really odd!
The Kiwi and I headed out with the intention of going for a run around the park. My heart started to let me down after the first 500m or so of walking, which was really disappointing for me. I'd already been silently freaking out at the prospect of running a) for the first time in ages and b) for the first time in front of The Kiwi, and that just made it worse. So we walked around the park instead... which is how we came to notice something a bit odd... (there is supposed to be a video embedded there, but it's not working, so I've taken some screen shots for you instead)
Heeeeeere, fishy fishy fishy...
 Om nom nom nom nom...

See you later, guys!

Yep, that's a seal, catching fish and frolicking. In the Yarra River. In Hawthorn!!! HOW FRIGGING AWESOME IS THAT??!!! I called Wildlife Victoria and they got the sealkeeper from Melbourne Zoo to call me, and he said that it's not unheard of for seals to be found that far upstream, but it is pretty rare. He said they'd go have a look for it on Monday. I'm a bit worried about the poor thing being so far from home, but he seemed happy enough. Hopefully he stays happy and goes home soon!
UPDATE: a friend just emailed me and it looks like the seal made the paper! I am the person it refers to who reported it and said the seal was heading up the river. I'm pretty much famous now... ;-)
UPDATE #2: Both Channel 7 and Channel 9 want my footage so they can show it on the news tonight. Yep, definitely famous now!
Aaaanyway, once the excitement of the seal spotting had died down, we kept walking, and I decided that it was time that I hardened up and tried a little jog. It was abysmal enough an effort to send The Kiwi on ahead, and for me to have only run a total of about 500m, but I guess you've got to start somewhere. I was, however, pleasantly suprised by how well my little sprint (hah, well, it was sprinting for me!) went at the end. So it wasn't all bad, and it was pretty awesome having company and knowing someone was there if I needed them. And now I have something to build on, which is always good.
The afternoon involved a trip to Kathmandu (or Kathman-don't, as I call them) to pick up some new shorts for my impending trip to India, seeing as I have prodigiously outgrown my old ones (well, I guess that really just means I've gained a bit of weight...). I ended up with a pair of shorts, a skirt and two shirts, so it was fairly successful. It was pretty awesome that I paid 1/4 price, but I couldn't wrap my head around the fact the people sometimes pay full price for this stuff. Seriously, what the hell are they thinking??
An evening spent watching The Wolf of Wall Street (The Kiwi stayed awake for that one!) and eating a pretty tasty Tandoori chicken salad for dinner was an awesome end to an awesome weekend that was very much too short.
So, what was awesome about YOUR weekend? Betcha bottom dollar you didn't see a seal in a river...

Friday, 25 July 2014

100 Days of Awesome: Day 61 - My Lovely Lady Lumps

Day 61 could have been much, much worse than it was... but it turned out pretty awesomely in the end.
The morning was kinda pedestrian, although I did discover that the Irish name that sounds like "tier-knee" is actually spelled "Tighernach"... and that was about the most awesome thing about my morning. Mostly because I saw it and thought "Tiger Natch? Tiger Natch? Who the hell is emailing me?? A Bengali? I don't know any Bengalis..." (the connection there in my very strange brain being Bengal tigers.)
I left work just after lunch for my boob sandwich. By which I mean, mammogram and breast scan to check out that possibly, maybe, potentially lump. I'd been pretty damned nervous about it, and had been having a lot of trouble focusing at work for the couple of days before it. Understandably so, or so I like to think. At least I didn't eat my feelings.
Turns out, not a lump at all. Well, not a lump-lump. I just happen to have lumpy breasts (thanks for sharing!), with areas of denser, fibrous tissue. And that's all it was. Whoohoo! Doesn't get much more awesome than that!
I admit the machine that did the scan was pretty awesome as well. As was the fact I got to read a few acts of Romeo and Juliet whilst I was waiting, which I have been trying to re-read for about a year and keep being distracted from. I'm actually really starting to get into it and be able to easily understand what is going on, without totally bending my brain over it.
And the yo-yo biscuit and hot chocolate I treated myself to beforehand, just to get me over the line and into the building, were also awesome. Actually, that's not true at all. The yo-yo was awesome, but the hot chocolate was meh. And I swear, I wasn't eating my feelings! Much...
Well anyway, it turns out that mammograms aren't anywhere near bad as people make them out to be. Sure, nobody much likes having their lovely lady lumps manhandled by a technician and then squooshed between two bits of perspex. But honestly, ladies, harden up. I'm only 32, so my breasts are less pliable than they are at 40+, which is when most women start getting scans. It was less comfortable for me than it would be for someone older, but it wasn't that bad.
Add to that the fact I have a pacemaker, which was also squooshed against my ribcage during the process whilst pinching muscle and scar tissue. And STILL it wasn't that bad. So if you've been putting off a breast scan - or a pap smear, for that matter - because you've heard how uncomfortable it can be, or because you're embarassed by the thought of a highly-trained, very professional human being touching or seeing those parts of you, don't be. Because I'll give you the tip - any surgery you may require as a result of missing a tumour in its early stages will be a damned site more uncomfortable than a mammogram, and will probably also require you flashing more of your body to strangers than you could possibly have dreamt of. Oh, plus you might die from it anyway. Just a thought!
Anyway, now that I've lost all my male readers, I'll climb off my Womens Health soap box... ;-)
On the way back to the car I heard my name called, and I turned around to see my high school boyfriend (I was 16 at the time), who I hadn't seen in about fifteen years. It was pretty awesome to see him after so long. Amusingly, he apparently recognised the company logo on my jumper (he knows who I work for) before he recognised me. I'm not entirely sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing... although to be fair, it took me a second to recognise him, too, and (and I'm hoping he's not reading this!) it was mostly because he resembles his father a lot more now than he did at 16, and that made it harder to register who it was.
After that I was pretty much free for the evening, and I had decided it was high time I reinstated my long-held Thursday night shenaningans (which I haven't done since I went into hospital in March), so I caught up with my friend Viv. We were also celebrating my lovely lady lumps being okay, so dinner was definitely in order (Happy? Let's eat! Sad? Let's eat! Disgruntled? Let's eat! Cold? Let's eat! Confused? Let's eat! Excited? Let's eat! Yeah, you know how I roll...). We headed Chocolate Buddha in Fed Square and had a drink and shared some tapas-style food. It was pretty awesome food, from the pork belly and chicken spare ribs, to the tempura bananas at the end of the meal. Nom. And it was awesome catching up with Viv for a bit of a gossip, too.
Stepped straight onto a train to The Kiwi's (awesome timing), and spent an awesome few hours just chatting about nothing in particular and drinking hot chocolate. Just my kind of evening.
Yep, Day 61 was DEFINITELY more awesome than Day 60.

What was awesome about YOUR day?