luckycanuck: (Mr Lazy)
I've recently come across Thought Catalog, and last week I read two articles that really cut through and expressed a lot of how I feel at the moment.

There was this one about being single.

And there was this one about the pressure associated with growing up.

First, singleness.  Like the article mentions, I do have time.  I have more time than I ever would have imagined.  At all times I can pretty much do whatever the hell I want without having to account for myself to anyone.  It has gotten to the point where when things impose on my schedule, I find it grating.  I notice this more and more all the time.  As singleness has become my default setting, so to has doing things, socialising, eating, drinking, working, exercising, and doing everything according to my own schedule and preferences.

Of course, I can't say that I am filling all that "not in a relationship" time with anything "worthwhile."  But I have learned to be single, which has been an important lesson for me to learn.  Perhaps now I am working on being secure with myself.

And that brings me to growing up.  When I was in school, I often felt I had aged before my time, as I didn't seem to share the impulses common to so many in my generation.  Now, firmly in my mid 30s, I still don't.  People I knew growing up have mortgages and children and careers, and I have none of those things.  (You may wish to debate the career part of that, but I consider myself to be figuring that part of my life out rather than knowing or feeling settled in something.)

I wonder sometimes what my life would be like if I took on the trappings of adulthood.  What if I had a mortgage that needed paying every month, a wife and kids that needed me at home rather than flitting off to play at whatever odd thing is the flavour of the month for me, and a career that imposed itself on my schedule in a way that prevented me from doing what I want on my own terms.  I spent years thinking I wanted those things, and now I can scarely imagine taking any of them on.  To be honest, I do feel as though I am being selfish at times because of this.

There is pressure to settle into a neat life defined by these things.  I've got plenty of friends who have, and who are happy having done so.  I don't hold a grudge against them, but I am conscious of the fact that society is oriented towards these choices.  You don't have to make them, but there will always be those who look at you with judgement (or pity) if you don't.

After reading this, I realised that I am quite lucky.  The people who are important to me don't come down on me for being immature or any other disparaging characteristic that the busybodies of the world might like to level at me.  I'm sure such busybodies exist, but my knowledge of them is almost entirely academic.  I'm not sure I can think of any of them who matter one jot in my life.  The people who do, don't pressure me to settle into a life characterised by "adulthood."

Most notably, I thought of my parents, who did choose this life, but who have been very good about not pressing me into doing the same.  I know it happens, but it's never really happened to me.  There is no pressure to get married, there is no pressure to buy a home (they mentioned it might be a good idea to get into the property market some time ago, but haven't mentioned it for years) and I haven't once been hounded to provide grandchildren (my sister has already done that, but even if she hadn't I can't imagine being hounded like that.)

Perhaps I should send them these articles.

luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)
I came up to Sydney on Thursday, and had a couple of days with my parents before taking them to the airport on Saturday morning.  Mum and I went shopping and she suggested that for Christmas I bring the girls to the Sydney Koala Park when they come out to visit in July.  Done.  I was going to struggle to come up with anything.  We also had a chat about depression, which she got to see up close on Friday night as we had dinner with the guy who looks after the administrative aspect of the Collaroy Castle and his girlfriend.  Me at dinner with four people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s instead of at the gym where I had planned to be.  With all the frustration and alienation I was pretty shut down and fatigued all night, and almost struggled for breath like I did at work last winter at one point.  When we got home she asked if I was ok, and I said "this is what depression is like."  I don't think she understood until then, and I suspect she probably still doesn't.  She's trying though.

On Saturday I took Minou back to her place on my way to Canberra and stopped in to visit Dora in her post Mr Burns phase.  Back in Canberra at the party I was there to attend, Nerva Chu helped me shave my head.  I know I normally have very short hair, but on Saturday night I shaved it all off in solidarity with JAQ who has lost all her hair during chemotherapy.

Click for lots of pics )


Tomorrow I head back to Canberra so I can lead a training session at Parliament, and on the way I plan to stop to pick up a 20kg weight vest and to visit Minou again.

Improvement

Feb. 4th, 2012 11:29 pm
luckycanuck: (Default)
I was in Parliament this past week, and CoS mentioned that one of the departments that interviewed me for a job contacted him for a reference and that they were quite keen to hire me.  Unfortunately, they were hit with a hiring freeze.  That's good news, because it smashes the sense of pointlessness I had after being knocked back from other public service jobs for ridiculous reasons.  I had an interview on Friday and now I am registered with another agency who impressed me with the degree of interest they took in me.

I've also put the word out to a number of old work colleagues, and there is growing interest in the idea of me training people at my old office.  I've got new business cards for Molon Labe Fitness and I may be having my first session the week after next.

There is also another looming job prospect that I had never considered before.  It wouldn't be a full time job and it wouldn't be a career, but it would be right up my alley.  It would be hosting trivia.  I don't know why this never struck me before.  I could have been doing this for months.  There will be a tryout on Tuesday where I will be reading questions 11-15 at a local trivia night, and once I am approved, there will be opportunities to fill in here and there.

The market has had some good news recently.  It's been down this week overall, but for me it has been up.  VMG is finally back up to it's capital raising level and the options I picked up are up too with probably plenty more to go.  AUT finally stopped it's recent decline and buyers are coming back in.  SNL, which I have been quite happy with as it has been very steady, jumped enough for my sell order to be taken up.  It's a great stock and I have another order in to buy some of it back if it falls again, but it is a very thinly traded stock and I was uneasy having as much as I had locked up in a stock that sometimes goes a week or two without a single trade.

I'm getting closer to qualifying as a fire fighter.  This week we played with fire extinguishers and practiced emergency burnover procedures.

My parents came down to Canberra and a couple of dinners were had, but aside from that and a tour of Parliament I didn't see them.  I'll be going up to Sydney on Thursday before they leave on Saturday.  I have no idea what to get my nieces for (delayed) Christmas.  Apparently they are both in a girly phase.  There's virtually nothing I know about girly girls aged 8 and 6.

Overall, it's been a good week.  Still a bit numb though.

Reunion

Jan. 21st, 2012 11:14 am
luckycanuck: (Default)
I'm in Collaroy, with my parents for the first time since last April.  Mum's maid of honour and her husband are also around and I've not seen them for the better part of twenty years.

There is always a shock when this happens, because suddenly the Collaroy Castle which I am accustomed to having to myself is much MUCH smaller.  I'm also keenly aware of the fact that I understand my parents (particularly my mum) less and less.  I'm noticing how she seems incapable of doing something without announcing it, that the traditional maternal fussiness is still there, and that she has very little knowledge of what is going on with me.  None of this results in hostility or even awkwardness, but it is still there.  I've not lived in the same jurisdiction as my parents for eight and a half years and it shows.

We did have a chat about the gloom yesterday, which is an issue of some concern to her.  She wanted to make sure I'm not drifting in the direction of suicide (I'm not and she knows I'm not) and I suspect there will be more chats while they are here.  I was kind of hoping to be able to explain what's going on with me, but I can't seem to do it.  It's like it's back to the old drill of things being wrong when nothing is wrong.

In better news, I finished all my work for the Cert III and handed it in on Thursday.  The training manager at my gym signed off on a number of workout sessions that I was meant to observe.  In fact, I just entered workouts that I had done in the past and that was deemed to be good enough.  I did do a flexibility session with Helga (who is leaving Canberra to move in with her boyfriend) and an aerobic session with Coffee Snob to get used to designing programs for people and they were both happy with what I did.  Now I am going to start on my Cert IV.

There have been a number of good workouts recently, including a new concept that involves working out with a deck of cards.  Each suit represents an exercise, and the value on each card represents the number of reps.  Then you just "hit the deck" and go through either the whole deck or go for a set period of time.  Very random, a good challenge, and heaps of fun.

Also, on the Collaroy Castle front, I am getting a stronger feeling that much of the pressure for selling the place is coming from my aunt in Sweden who resents the place and the work required to maintain it.  It struck me yesterday that if she died, there would be far less pressure to sell.  Noticing this made me feel a bit macabre, but maybe that's what I'm like these days.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I don't do resolutions for the same reasons that a lot of you don't do resolutions.  But I accept that this is a time where many take stock of the year that has passed and look forward at the year to come.

Most years I have been able to look back and say that things were getting better.  I'm not sure if I can say this about 2011.  I wonder if this is the first year in as long as I can recall where I didn't feel like things were better.  The gloom began almost exactly one year ago and was the most notable feature of the year.  I accept that it's something that has to be dealt with so it may as well be out in the open rather than tucked away.  I suspect it had been there for a long time.  This was the year I realised it, which is technically a step forward.  It just doesn't really feel like it.

Things have been pretty good overall.  I put some my BOW profit into DTE which cllimbed about 15% the following day, there have been wonderful waves at the beach and I have been going two or three times per day, I spent New Year's Eve and New Year's Day at a party meeting some new people I think I will get along with and seeing some others I hadn't seen for a while, and I've been doing some solid workouts.

YW: Run to Dee Why, AMRAP 15 minuntes - 15 pullups, 10 burpees, 5 overhead squats - 7 rounds, run home with 10 pushups per minutes.

TW: Establishing my 1RM on a variety of lifts using the sub-maximal method I learned while studying for my training certification. Bench - 117kg, dead lift - 150kg, shoulder press - 75kg, squat - 142kg, lat pulldowns - 160kg, kettlebell swings - 52kg. I may try these again to see if I come up with similar results.  I'll also try them with others.

I'm hoping to get the first part of the two Certifications done by 20 January.  I have the formal exam, the practical training (which means getting someone to sign off on the fact that I can do the things in the manual), and a first aid certification to get.  It should be fine.

My parents arrive on the 18th.  It will be good to see them.  They're not coming alone (they never do it seems) but the people coming with them this time should be of the non stabulent variety.

Back to Canberra tomorrow.

P.S. My birthday is exactly nine months from today.  This means that according to The Great Sperm Race which I chanced across on SBS this evening, 35 years ago today, out of a quarter of a billion, I was the fastest in the most extreme race that exists.
luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)
I've been at the Collaroy Castle for the past few days with my cousin and cousin in law and their two kids.

Click fo Collaroy News )

In other news, Black Dog Pushups - Melbourne is going ahead.  On Friday I will have company as an AFL player who is renowned for his ability to do pushups comes along accompanied by a photographer from a local paper.  I am nearly at 100 Twitter followers, and have been retweeted and followed by athletes including Wallabies, politicians, journalists, actors, a famous Catholic priest, and plenty of ordinary people who share my concerns.

My Twitter account was suspended over the weekend on account of me sending unsolicited tweets, so I will have to be careful about doing that in the future.  Luckily there are now quite a few people following me who have a pretty strong list of followers themselves and they can help with the promotion.

I had a firefighting gear workout yesterday, and kept my goggles down this time.

YW: Row 400m, 15 kettlebell swings, 10 pullups, 15 30kg thrusters, 10 burpees - 5 rounds.  I got a bit dizzy just before the last round and took my helmet off but still managed to finish in 31 minutes.  I got some funny looks, but mostly encouraging looks (and one photograph from a trainer who was passing by.)

Back to Canberra shortly.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I went by my old job yesterday.  They were having a training day and my demographic work was mentioned, and I got the chance to tell everyone who asked what I was doing now that I was working for Luckycanuck Consulting.  (Not the real name.)  I designed and ordered some business cards too, and it looks like there will be some upcoming work over the next couple of months.  I also attended the Christmas party they staged with a UN theme.

My frustration at the two public service jobs I was knocked back from has grown.  I can't think about it without getting stewed up about how asinine their rationale was.  The second interview I had was for nine jobs, and they told me they were impressed by my experience and that I could handle the job.  Then they came back and said my experience was too political.  I aced the interview and there was nothing I could have done to get the job.  I think that new jobs in the public service are going to peter out soon on account of hitting the December/January quiet season, so I am going to speak to agencies tomorrow to suss out what is happening and what chance there is of work.

In the meantime, I am studying.  I got about halfway through my Cert III textbook since starting in on it today.  It looks good so far, and I hope to get my qualification early in the new year, depending on how the internship goes.  I'm not sure what that will be like.

I will also have the fire brigade to keep me busy.  I was approved back in September but they didn't notify me until just last week.  I have my first day of training tomorrow and should be coming home with gear.

We have found people to replace Esky and Ginger Harpist.  With two people leaving, we will have two friends who already get along moving in.  We narrowly preferred them over a couple who we thought might bring a different atmosphere, whereas we got the sense that the new arrivals would be more likely to recreate the atmosphere of Helga and Alleluia.

In the meantime Ginger Harpist is still here until this weekend along with her boyfriend.  I find I am more than a little annoyed that I went in to bat for her to get her in the house in the first place, convincing the others that she would be fine, and now she is leaving, in part because she doesn't have the house to herself with me at home.  Maybe it's best that she leaves, but I do kind of resent the fact that she seems to have turned so suddenly.  She didn't mind me being around the house when I picked her up from the airport.

Additionally, I've not warmed to her guy at all.  I feel like he is in my space.  This morning I put the kettle on, and five minutes later it was still cold because he had unplugged it to plug in his coffee grinder because he is a precious and unique snowflake who can't possibly face the day without a precisely ground coffee.  Also, he is about the most effeminate straight guy I've ever met.  This is all probably to do with my annoyance at having my space cut down and my routine infringed rather than any actual problem with the guy.  At any rate, it will be over soon.

My recovery from the pushups is pretty much done.  I'll hit the gym hard tomorrow now that a minor strain on my right side under the shoulder seems to be healing up.  I also plan to continue Black Dog Pushups with visits to other cities and greater media preparation.  I've now made business cards for this project which should arrive with my consulting cards.  I've also started telling prospective clients that I will be offering training on a freelance basis.

Update

Nov. 16th, 2011 02:50 pm
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)
It's been a few days and a lot has happened.

Chez Canuck

Is going to have more changes.  Esky was already leaving, but now Ginger Harpist is going too.  Apparently she isn't happy with the space she has for teaching and practicing, especially as I am at home more than she expected.  We will find new people and the advertising has already begun.  It is a bit of a drag though, and for a moment I probably took it a bit personally.

Family

My cousin arrived this morning from Sweden via Thailand on the way to New Zealand with her husband and two kids.  They are quite easy to get along with and I am enjoying having them here at the moment.

Training

My course materials arrived and I while haven't started working through them I do plan to get stuck in pretty quick and go about getting my qualification soon.  Minou was over on Monday and had a look through them (probably more than I did) and is supremely confident of my abilities to go through the material without being held back "by slow people."

Career

It is soon going to be the slow time for recruitment, and having been rejected for two jobs on a pretty bad premise, I am considering the prospect that I may struggle to find work through December and January.  Damn Department of Health!

Convicts

The strip show went very well, and everyone seemed pretty impressed.  We didn't start off with much on so there wasn't really much to take off.Cut for slightly NSFW pics )
Speaking of which, I'll put my Black Dog Pushup information in a separate post as it is pretty noteworthy in itself.

Afterwards I wound up staying at a friend's place near the city rather than trek back to Collaroy, and wound up staying there all of Sunday and for part of Monday before picking up Minou.  Very little was accomplished, and that was good.
luckycanuck: (Maccabi)

I drove up to Sydney on Friday and had two matches with the Convicts arranged for the following day.

The first was against Mosman, and it was a back and forth affair which we led 19-17 until they were awarded a penalty right in front of the posts and kicked it.  We wound up losing by a single point.

I felt fine for the whole match but a few minutes afterwards my neck stiffened up.  I put some ice on it and drove to the second match where I warmed up and was about to be sent in my a coach who didn't realise how stiff my neck was.  That match ended in a 19-19 draw.

I went back to Collaroy exhausted from what felt like 36 hours of activity with very little rest, and a sore neck which I treated with ibuprofen  and later with a gin and toinc.

Around 5am I woke up with the pain in my neck intensified.  It was hard to move at all in any way, but I did manage to get up after an effort that took about fifteen minutes.  Doing anything with my head aside from keeping it perfectly still and upright was a struggle.  I considered my options and thought about heading down to the car and going to hospital but given the effort and discomfort associated with just getting out of be that seemed like a bad idea.  I didn't feel I was in a bad enough way to call for an ambulance so I went back to bed and got back to a shallow level of sleep.

After the sun came up I took the advice of [livejournal.com profile] bakerypenguin  and went to a local doctor, who suggested I go to hospital where an x-ray might be in order to rule out a broken neck like her brother sustained playing rugby.  After a bit of a wait during which they put a neck brace on me as a standard precaution, they concluded without an x-ray that there was "no clinically significant fracture' and therefore no reason to subject me to a dose of radiation.  They did send me away with a medical certificate to get me out of work (which I didn't need) and a prescription for codeine and diazapam (which I did need, and which made me real tired.)

I am the fifth member of the Luckycanuck family to have been a patient of Mona Vale Hospital.  My dad left with a broken hip, my mum left with a broken nose and eye socket, and both my Australian grandparents died there.  So I left in better health than anyone in the history of the Luckycanuck family.

The plan of driving back to Canberra on Sunday afternoon was not on the cards, and I wound up sleeping until after noon on Monday.  I read a bit, researched a stock, and didn't set foot outside of the Collaroy Castle once.

By Tuesday I had recovered enough to be able to go off the drugs which enabled me to make the drive to Canberra while giving [livejournal.com profile] savesomesilence  a lift and playing with the dogs for a bit.  Dora was latching onto me for protection from a geriatric three legged cat.

Today was a quiet day at work.  There will be a lot of these coming up.  I rescheduled my appointment with the agency that I had to cancel on Monday, and came home to the weekly dinner.  There will be another dinner elsewhere tomorrow.  I hope to make it into the gym in the morning if I can find something that puts no strain on my neck.


luckycanuck: (Default)

I was up very early this morning and mum and dad took me to the airport.  It will be a while before I see them again.

My flight to Ottawa stopped in Winnipeg, a city that I changed planes in once in 1994 and the airport doesn't seem to have changed a bit in that time.  Naturally I did pushups there but they weren't really worth showing here.  On Facebook maybe.

Upon arriving in Ottawa I took a taxi straight to campaign HQ and in short order I found myself out doorknocking with the candidate.  It was good to get out and do something.  This is a guy I went to university with.  At the time I also wanted to go into politics myself but decided against it.  PP is really cut out for it though and was very diligent in his campaigning.  Much more so than most candidates I've worked with.  There was very little time wasting on his part.  The campaign was very focussed and disciplined and had plenty of volunteers.  It struck me as being a model campaign in a lot of ways.  No backbiting or pettiness (or at least none that I could see and none that got in the way of the whole point of the campaign.)

Cut for pics )

So between knocking on doors and putting up signs, it was a productive afternoon.  Dinner meant a brief break in the campaign and was follwed by more evening doorknocking until the sun went down.  Then PP gave me a lift to my night's accommodation.  I'm in a backpackers tonight and it looks perfectly nice.

Also, a potential visit to the national campaign HQ may be in the works while I'm here.  PP is going to contact them and see what can be done.

it's a good thing that I had a lot to do today to keep me occupied.  I was starting to get a bit stir crazy.  There is often a bit of a let down after a very good time filled with new experiences, and spending a few days playing it very safe with the family after my adventures with JAQ last weekend was very much a shock to the system.  Being with the family felt a bit like playing it safe mixed with being far from home.  Corresponding with friends like JAQ and others has kept the happiness levels up these past few days, and I think I will be up for some new adventures over the next few days.

Also, I am looking at getting involved in Skype to be able to keep in touch with far away friends better, but I'm not tech savvy enough to know my way around it.
luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)
I leave early tomorrow morning for my next port of call which means leaving the family.  I never seem to have any problem doing this.  In fact, I tend to get all stir crazy when I am around them.

This time I visited the family very early on in the trip.  The last time I was here this was the last place on the itinerary.  The previous time, I spent three weeks here and went nowhere else.  It seems that the amount of time I spend with my family goes down every time.  Now I have a whole bunch of places and people to look forward to without living in the house I grew up in and feeling less like a grown man.

The other day my mum asked me what I was going to do that day and I immediately bristled a bit because she was intruding on my space.  The same thing happens when they visit me.

While I've been having my career angst I have thought about the prospect of coming back to Canada for work purposes.  That's most of the reason I'm going to Ottawa tomorrow.  But at the moment the idea of coming back for family reasons is pretty distant.  My father did the same thing.  He left Australia in the early 70s and has never gone back.  If one of my parents became terminally ill over a long period of time, would I return to Canada?  Honestly, I don't think so.  A bit of me feels like an awful son when I think that.
luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)
The soundtrack to this post is "Boots or Hearts" by The Tragically Hip, a song I hadn't heard in years until I heard it on the radio during my drive to the mountains yesterday.


Cut for pics )
luckycanuck: (Maccabi)
I drove up to Sydney last night, stopping for dinner courtesy of Minou.  Playing with the dogs (one of whom greeted me with a leap across the room before I could get one foot in the door) and cat and Bunnn was done.  Also there was a chat about which True Blood charachters we are most like.  The verdict?  Minou=Pam.  Luckycanuck=Sam Merlotte.

My uncle didn't know I was coming, so when I came into a dark house at 15 minutes past midnight and woke him up, I was greeted with a gruff "who's there?" coming from the next room.  I think I may have startled him a bit.  Luckily we don't keep guns in the house!

Today was the first Convicts trial match of the year.  We had plenty of new players who were playing in their first game and the inexperience showed in the early stages though we improved a lot as the game went on.  For my part, I managed to steal the ball in my first tackle.  My advice to fly halves is don't turn your back on a flanker and then stop.  A few more tackles, a few rucks and the chance to run the ball into contact rounded out the day.  My back held up fine.  No problems with the twinge at all.  It's 100% today, but I'm not sure that will always be the case.  It can flare up with a single awkward twist.

We were playing Waverley, who are the only team who have ever made an anti-gay slur on the field during a game.  (To Gump and I, both of us straight.)  None of that this time, but there was a disappointing amount of acrimony.  There was plenty of shoving today.

Tonight my uncle and I had lamb chops and talked about what the Collaroy Castle and it's former inhabitants were like way before my time.
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)

I went down ot the city on Saturday, first for rugby training (a joint exercise with the Melbourne team) in which I aggravated the twinge in my back, though it went away.  I do worry, however, about what this will mean for my back in proper games this season.  We were playing half contact rugby and I must have twisted the wrong way when I went to ground and suddenly my twinge muscle locked up.

I had a bit of a workout and a sauna and some lunch before meeting up for the parade.  This was the first time the Mardi Gras parade didn't fall during Lent which meant it was the first time I ever  had a beer before the parade with the rest of the guys.

We were right at the back of the parade, and while waiting three or four hours in the marshalling area I ran across a number of friends whom I didn't realise were in the parade.  Mitzi was there and I hadn't seen her since New Year's Eve.

One of my teammates brought along five of his female friends, and it turns out one of them thought I was gay, but was quite pleased to find out I wasn't.  A bit of snogging was done along with an exchange of phone numbers.  I'm still very much inclined ot be single though.  It took me a long time to learn to be single and now I think I would have to relearn how to be involved again.  Singleness seems to permeate every aspect of how I live my life.  If there is going to be any casual involvement, I suspect it might be easier to be casually involved with someone who lives far away (like in Sydney or further afield) and to have the buffer zone that comes with distance.  Of course, I'm not really interested in casual sex either.  That phase of my life ended a long time ago and I have no interest in revisiting it.

Unwanted groping was at a much more tolerable level this year.  I did have to knock away a couple of hands, but nothing like last year.  I was home by just after 1:00am and managed not to wake the rest of the family.  (I hadn't mentioned what parade I was in until they asked if I was in the Mardi Gras parade.  Somehow it didn't seem relevant, though it's certainly not a problem.)

On Sunday I went with the Swedes to the beach, where the water was cool and the waves were just breaking well enough to bodysurf.  It's odd, but I felt less stressed with my cousin's family around than I did having my parents around recently, but then again, my parents always come with other people who don't interest me so that may explain it.

On the way down to Canberra I visited Minou and met the new addition to the family. Bunn seemed perfectly happy to rest on my chest, though not as much as he liked resting on Minou's chest.  I can't imagine why.

Oh yes, and I now have a Canadian passport.  (J'ai un passeport Canadien maintenant.)  In less than a month I will be off travelling again.  (En moins que une mois je voyagerai encore.)


Of course, Coffee Snob told me my passport photo makes me look menacing!  (Bien sur, "Café Snob" m'a dit que le photo de mon passeport me rend l'air menaçant!)
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)
I am now in the Collaroy Castle with six people with the same surname as me.  My Swedish cousin is visiting with her Swedish husband and her three Swedish kids, and my uncle just arrived from the airport to the house he grew up in.  Seven of us sleeping in the house means not a lot of space, but it doesn't really bother me.

The kids don't bother me either.  Some kids do, but these ones don't.  My three year old nephew (or cousin once removed if you prefer) was having a great time singing the tune of the Imperial March in the scariest voice he could manage when we were putting the Family Guy version of The Empire Strikes Back on.    I'm not sure how I feel about having kids.  I am terrified about having the kind of kids that I see carrying on hysterically sometimes, but other kids I have no problems with.

Tomorrow is the Mardi Gras parade.  Anyone in Sydney is welcome to come down and watch the Convicts and I.  There is pretty much always an elevated level of horniness.  Last year someone stuck his hand down my shorts, so it's not all positive.

YW: Farmer's walk for the first time ever.  25kg in each hand.  6 flights of stairs upand down, 50 SDHP, 50 situps, 4 flights, 30 SDHP, 30 situps, 2 flights, 10 SDHP, 10 situps.  The farmer's walk is goooooood.
luckycanuck: (Mr Lazy)
I've been up in Sydney a lot recently.  I like Sydney and I like staying at the Collaroy Castle, but it does mean a lot of time spent in the car.  Next weekend it will be good to have a whole weekend without having to make any long trips.

A lot of the recent Sydney visits have also involved family, which means much less space and independence for me.  My parents are now back in Canada, and tomorrow my cousin and her husband and three kids arrive from Sweden to visit for a while.  My uncle will join them later.

Last weekend, however, I had the place to myself to walk around naked in.  Hooray!  Saturday was a quiet day that involved eating the leftovers that mum left for me, and visiting the beach where there were some very sizable waves that tossed me around plenty.  Little else was done and that was fine by me.

On Sunday I had my first Convict event of the year.  Fair Day was good again.  We won the tug of war by beating the hockey team, the dykes on bikes, and the swim team to become Mardi Gras tug of war champions for the third year running.  It's much easier when I am the smallest guy of the six at 90kg.  Our team was entirely made up of forwards.  Tommy, Aki, Steve, Gump, Jumbo, and myself all know what a scrum looks like from the inside.  I am a bit sore in the legs today.  The 12 hour race is still affecting me I suspect.

I also did a shift on the dunk tank which was a relief on such a hot day.  All this and I only got a bit of sunburn.

Afterewards Minou had me over for dinner and to give the dogs a workout.

Parliament sits for the next two weeks which might make work easier/interesting.

Also, I have booked leave and tickets to go back to North America in April.  Much of it will involve going back to place I was at recently, but it will also mean going to Ottawa for the first time in a long time and getting acquainted with Canadian politics again.  I think this might be coming just in time.  It turns out I'm using about three weeks of the nearly eleven I have saved up.

I'm not sure what to do about Lent this year.  Last year I gave up alcohol, sweets, meat, and caffeine.  This year, however, I will be travelling for the second half of Lent.  If I'm in a bar in Montreal I may wish to sample the local beers so that means I may not be able to seriously give up the grog.  In fact, living a simpler life seems inherently incompatible with being on holiday, even when you generally have simple tastes as I do.  International travel seems inherently showy.  I'd like to give up something, but I can't seem to think of anything.  (Lent is part of the lead up to one of the most important part of the religious year for me and generally I enjoy it and the sacrifices that go along with it, but I don't seem to feel excited about it this year.)  Perhaps I could take something on.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I had a weekend in Sydney that involved:

The Warrior Dash.  A full write up with pics will be up soon.  I made it through and am a bit fatigued today but it looks like I'm all better from the 12 hour run.  Which means I'm back to doing weights.  HOO-RAH!

Some very good waves at the beach.  It's not so much the size of the waves, but the shape.  If they break the right way (like yesterday) they are so easy to catch.

A final visit to my parents before they leave.  Mum made crepes, which she always does when I'm around.  She knows I like them, but she thinks I like them more than I actually do.  It's one of the things she likes doing for me so I'm happy to leave it at that.

Lunch and a nice chat with [livejournal.com profile] minxyminou now that she's back.

The pleasant surprise that we now have season two of True Blood at home.

A wireless connection at home, though we haven't actually set it up properly yet.  I don't really know how to do these things.

This article which sums up one of my key frustration with politics, namely, that people have unreasonable expectations of politicians.  They are expected to know about everything, to have an opinion on everything, and to care about everything.  If they don't, or if they do something that a vocal minority finds offensive, they catch hell as people go ballistic.  The media has really aroused my ire this past week over their expectation that Tony Abbott had something to answer for in his "sh*t happens" remark (as if he was actually dismissing the death of a soldier while talking to survivors from that soldier's unit) and their criticism of Julia Gillard for expressing either too much or too little or too contrived levels of emotion over the recent natural disasters.  Both are non stories that underline the over inflated sense of entitlement that far too many people have regarding politicians.

As an aside, Mark Riley's wikipedia page has been vandalised and is currently closed.
luckycanuck: (half marathon)

That's how many steps I reckon I took in my 12 hour race, provided that I averaged 1 metre per step.

Cut for action photos )

The donations to beyondblue have picked up a lot recently.  So far they total $860 with more still pledged to come in.  I even managed to collect a few donations on the night from passers by or people on my support crew.

Now I just have to hope I recover from this in time to make a showing at the Warrior Dash on Saturday.  Why oh why do they have to be so close together?
luckycanuck: (Default)
My friend Lectio commented on my recent sense of detachment by mentioning the possibility that I am depressed.  I hadn't considered it at all, but I wonder if there might be something to it.

I've been feeling irritable and unmotivated for around a month and a half, not all the time but in more environments than I normally do.  In that time I have accomplished very little at work (without anyone noticing) and have loathed anyone coming into my space there, I have been disinterested in contact with anyone who doesn't already know and understand me, I haven't been out much, and I've frequently felt like everyday is just another day of nothing happening.  None of this necessarily translates into actual depression, but it's not going away and I can't think of any way to make it go away.  I'm not having problems sleeping, I've not been using drugs or alcohol to get through the days, I'm getting exercise like I normally do, I'm certainly not on the brink of self harm, and I haven't spent a whole day in bed during this period.  Still, there is this nagging sense that I may as well not be here.

On top of that, every option for my future seems to be cloaked in negatives.  Staying at my current job means more of the same.  Getting a new job means a whole slate of new people to piss me off.  Cutting myself off from new people means I can't expand my circle of friends, but being socially active means potentially exhausting mental work.  The sort of things that people my age generally get into, marriages, families, mortgages, are huge obligations that I feel as though I can't handle, especially when I am getting frustrated by a life that is objectively pretty soft.

And that leads to feelings of guilt.  Who am I to be depressed.  I've got a job that pays me more than I need, I have got friends who care about me, I'm healthy, I've really got very little to complain about and I can't rationalise why I am in such a bad mood all the time.  I haven't told my parents, mostly because I can't explain it.  (On another note, I feel more and more detached from my family.  I'll be happy to have them on my support crew for my run, but overall I have very little interest in them being here.  Again, there is a reason I have chosen to live on a different continent from them.)

I've got some friends who have experience with actual long term depression, and I don't think that is what is happening to me.  At the same time, I can't just say it's a passing phase, because it's not passing.

My parents flew in on Friday and I spent the weekend in Collaroy but to be honest, I think I would rather have been in Canberra on my own.  They are travelling this time with a guy who grew up with my mum.  He's 50, but has the mind of an 8 year old on accout of being deprived of oxygen at birth.  He's not doing anything bad, but I find him annoying to the point where all of my answers are monosyllabic and I can't make eye contact.  I suspect that my current state of mind might be making this worse.  I wonder if they will ever travel to Australia on their own without bringing someone who makes me want to avoid them.

There is a state election coming up in March, and I hope I will be staying in Canberra and periodically working on the campaign across the border in Queanbeyan.  If I get sent off to Tamworth or Dubbo or Port Macquarie I think I will be dangerously close to snapping and doing something stupid.

I am now resting in preparation of my run.  My support crew is taking shape but some people who have expressed interest in helping are not committing.  I know I can be alone for parts of the run, but it would be nice to have people for the tough hours.  Also, I'm hoping to get photos of every hour and someone will have to be on hand to take them.

Off to trivia now.  I'm not sure how this will turn out.
luckycanuck: (Default)

My rowing is continuing nicely.

YW: 1 minute, 2 minutes... 10 minutes then five minutes to cool down, for an hour in total rowing time.  Distance: 15.5km.

I'm now at nearly 119km after this morning's row.

I think I have decided to do a 12 hour run on the first Friday in February.  My parents will be in Australia and can act as part of my support crew.  I'm not sure how to train or what my goal distance should be.  I think it will be just to keep going for the full 12 hours.  Additionally, I think I will use the opportunity to raise funds for beyondblue, a depression and anxiety charity in Australia now that they seem happy with me doing this.

Also, Dad and I will both be in Australia for the Warrior Dash which is held at the same place as the recent Mud Run.  I think he would be interested in joining me.  He normally runs marathons but he does seem to be interested in unique sporting pursuits.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree I guess.

My friend from the Israeli Embassy came to Parliament for lunch and brought Coffee Snob and I Israeil wine.

I locked my keys in the car and didn't worry aobut it until about 4:00pm.

I spent the first two hours of the work day at my desk in my gym gear.  I had no meetings and nobody to impress, so it was rugby shorts and singlet (tank top for the Americans) until I felt like putting a suit on.

Is it possible to make Julian Assange any creepier?  Yes.  It.  Is.  Hey ladies, he's single!

Tonight we celebrate Christmas at Chez Canuck.  Pizza is on the menu and we are going ot exchange gifts.  I got a sudoku calendar for Helga who I have seen on many occasions doing sudokus from the newspaper, a set of ramekins for Alleluia who mentioned that she needed ramekins, and a bonsai tree for Roxy.  Also I got an enormous Toblerone for the house.  It comes up to my waist.

That is all.

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