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: (convicts rugby)
1) The neighbours are doing some landscaping, and they are using some kind of fertiliser that smells, for some reason, like beef jerky.  You can't go outside without smelling it right away.

2) Channel Nine.  They have the free to air broadcasting rights for the Rugby World Cup.  Right now on their main channel they are showing the Rugby League finals, which is fair enough, but on their other two channels they are showing a rerun of CSI and a movie I've never heard of.  They will show the England-Argentina match, but not for a couple more hours, so I will have to cloister myself from Facebook and stay up late (or go out to a pub with pay tv) if I want to watch the first really key match of the tournament.  DAMN YOU CHANNEL NINE!!!  How many people rally want to watch a CSI rerun RIGHT NOW compared to the number of rugby fans and England supporters and detractors who want to see the freaking game?

I was at a party VERY late last night.  I packed everything up and left for Canberra from the party just before 7am.  I napped twice along the way and made it back fine.  I've dozed for a lot of today and I'm trying to stay up until a normal going to bed time.  It's like having jet lag.  Still, Friday night was good enough to justify this feeling.

Helga moved out yesterday and was gone before I got back.  Not to worry, I will see her tomorrow when she picks up some remaining stuff.  Also Ginger Harpist will arrive fully harped tomorrow morning.  One friend is leaving but I have a good feeling that another may be coming in.
luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)

There was a recovery on the market today, at least there was for me.  ARX jumped, and the sell sides of KKT and PVE are virtually non existant so the chance of a surge is there.  ALK is looking better every day, and BOW may be getting a better offer than the lowball one. CCV was going to be a worry today, now that Government legislation is threatening a major part of their business (payday loans) and a partial takeover has been abandoned because of the risk associated with the regulatory changes.  It did drop about 20% from an already low base, but went no further and recovered almost all that was lost by the end of the day.  There is also a very strong buy side and a lot of interest in the stock.  I am still down on it, but I was very pleased that it held up as well as it did.

I noticed something today.  I've noticed it before, but when it comes to the trading, making a profit is good, but the feeling I get from holding my nerve is better.  There has been no panic selling through the recent volatility, and today a lot of things went well because of that.  I also contacted VMG again to inquire further about their recent capital raising and got some swift and useful answers, and this afternoon spoke to a former colleague about the proposed changes to payday lending that may impact CCV and the approach the opposition would take towards them.  I felt like I was accomplishing something.

Tomorrow I will cut the lawn.  Hooray!  Also I badgered the internet people into sending someone tomorrow rather than next week.  Hooray again!

YW: I started with a deadlift centric circuit, but wound up getting a twinge in my upper back and didn't want to push it.  It hasn't come back.  The rest of the workout involved a lot of leg work including lots of leg presses up to 202.5kg and bench jump burpees (just what they sound like) and a 1km farmer's walk on the treadmill with 10kg in each hand.  I like doing that and will do it again.

I must remind myself to be careful of what I say to myself when working out.  The woman on the treadmill next to me wasn't offended when I said through heavy breaths in a gutteral tone "come on baby."  I mean I was saying it to myself and she understood that, but not everyone would.

TW: At home, using Esky's ski machine in the garage.  AMRAP 20 minutes - ski 10 calories, 10 burpees - 13 rounds + skiing + 4 burpees.

Everyone will be home tomorrow and we should have Helga's room filled by the end of the day.  I've spent a fair amount of time chatting with Helga this week.  We are the closest in the house and I will miss her when she's gone.  She said she was more worried about how I would take it than anyone else in the house.  We will be fine, and we will remain friends I'm sure.

luckycanuck: (Default)

I've not been posting at all for a week or more, so here is the news.


The internet has been very slow at our place and I've been relying on my portable wireless network that gets awful reception at Chez Canuck.  Two groups of tradies have been here on three days in the past week and now things are working much better.  Hooray!  You can do wonderful things when you don't have to be at work every day.  With one more visit tomorrow we should be up to normal speeds.

Chez Canuck

Helga is leaving.  It's sad.  I was closer to her than anyone else in the house.  She's just moving to a new suburb and we will see her again but this will have a greater impact on me than losing Alleluia.  We have managed to find someone to take her room though.  I put an ad up and within 15 minutes we had a response.  Miss Lara (named for Lara from Dr Zhivago) came by later that evening and we decided on her (after seeing a friend of Esky who woud up taking a place down the street from us.)

The Gym

I've had some pretty good workouts.  Today involved doing a total of 173 pullups.  Tuesday involved participating in a 500m rowing challenge being staged this week and having the second fastest time of the day by two seconds and being asked if I was a firefighter while playing with sandbags. Sunday involved a "heavy day" with heavy weights and low reps.  I managed to bench press more than I ever have and deadlift more than I ever have.  (120kg and 150kg respectively.)

The Fireys

I have officially applied to join the ACT Rural Fire Service.  If I am approved (and I will be) I will become a member within two or three weeks.


With my "getting fired" money in my account, I have been picking opportunities in the market.  I invested in EKA which is quite similar to AUT in pumping oil in Texas.  I also sank some money into Billabong which fell 25% in one day despite announcing a profit, an increase in sales, and a dividend.  It fell further but seems to have stabilised.  A hoped for quick rebound leading to a sell the next day didn't materialise, but I am standing by to sell if things look right now that the stock seems to be recovering.  I put more money into CCV after they announced a record profit but didn't surge.  They are going to be partially taken over at a premium shortly and I wanted more of that action.  But today it dropped through the floor half an hour before an announcement was made that new proposed government policies might impact their business.  There may have been insider trading at work.  At any rate, I put more in at a discount, but if I had known what others may have known I may have hesitate earlier in the week.  BOW also got a takeover offer which will mean I will almost certainly make a quick profit one way or another.  The share price may have been manipulated down to enable a cheaper offer to be made, but the lowball offer may bring out other buyers and bid the price up.  I will make a profit on this one, but the prospect of a larger profit is there.

General stuff

I'm getting used to this.  This has become my job for the moment and "working" from home has been good.  I made everyone dinner on Monday and have been standing in the front room in the sun feeling happy.

Still feeling detached though, and the gloom is still around.  Therapy hasn't provided answers yet and I'm not sure if I believe or understand the mindfulness techniques, though I do get along well with my psychologist.

luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)

"It used to be cool" night went very well.

I decided on Saturday morning that I would go as Officer John McClane from the Die Hard series.  There are very few characters that I could come as that have very short hair, but this one worked.  One theory that Die Hard was still cool and therefore my outfit was inappropriate was advanced, but I decided that it was still a valid idea because Die Hard was such a huge series that was so full of iconic action movie cliches that it can be mocked for its excesses even as it enjoys a mantle of retro coolness.  Plenty of things fall into similar categories.

I managed to get a workout in on Saturday afternoon.

YW: AMRAP 12 minutes - 5 80kg deadlifts, 15 hand release pushups (12 rounds +5 +3).  Finisher - 2 minutes for max situps (75), 2 minutes max 30kg tricep extentions (81), 2 minutes mac 30kg bicep curls (73).

I was really sore especially from all the pushups, but later on during the party I was called upon by MadAlex to do pushups as her way of explaining my inclination to spontaneously do pushups.  I did 50 in one set as they counted off, and later did some pushups on the sofa over the people who were sitting on it.  I don't know whose idea that was, but I was always going to take up that challenge.
Cut for pics )

People didn't stay as late as our last party, there weren't as many people (last time Roxy invited almost her whole program and this time she only invited about half of them.  By about 2:30am I was in bed.  I made it up the next morning with no hangover at all (Alleluia spent a lot of time over the toilet regretting the amount of alcohol she had consumed the night before.  I was absolutely exhausted though, and have not set foot off of the property all day.  I've also taken a couple of my prescription muscle relaxants and have been quite drowsy.  My neckstill has a stubborn crick and I've got a lot of soreness in the chest and core.

So today was spent mopping floors and loaning my car to Roxy as I was not going to be driving anywhere.  Chez Canuck is clean again.
luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)

It was my night to cook on Wednesday, and my Korean beef was a big hit.  Everyone loved it, and I rather enjoyed being able to cook for my friends and make the tea and bring in the chocolate and do the washing up.  I'm not very domesticated, but I like being able to do this.

Helga has been coming to me for a lot of advice recently.  She wants to put some of her savings to better use and thought given my background with investing might mean I had some ideas for her.  She doesn't have my risk tolerance or my willingness to research, so I advised her that some conservative managed funds would probably suit her best.  As for me, I'm trying to decide what if anything to sell to get some cash together to participate in the VMG capital raising.

She has also joined a local gym, and had some workout questions.  I gave her some ideas including AMRAP and tabata workouts.  I would kind of like to take an active role in helping her workout, like prescribing workouts and demonstrating exercises.

I'm pretty much back to normal with my own workouts after my neck problems.

YW: 50-40-30-20-10 bench jumps, run 400m before each round.  Very leg oriented.
TW: Run to the gym with 10 pushups every minute, 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 L pullups, kettlebell swings - time: 11:22.  This was hard, especially when starting each set of pullups.  Then run home with pushups.

Tomorrow we have our "used to be cool" party.  The ABBA idea is out.  So I'm considering other possibilities.  Chez Canuck will be a crowded but happy place this weekend.

luckycanuck: (Default)

Today has been the worst day yet of this current downward trajectory.

Yesterday was frustrating given the letters sent in to me.  I have now come to compare them to being shouted at by people on the street.  Nothing is accomplished in sending them, nothing is accomplished in responding to them, and most of them are badly thought out and badly put together.  In short, this part of my work (and there isn't much else) basically reduces to me responding to people's uninformed ad-hoc reckons.

I went home last night without going to the gym.  I didn't feel like it and State of Origin was on anyway.  I did do some core work at home and Helga and I had a chat over oranges.  She's been quite helpful through this period.

This morning I drive into work and sat in my car for a couple minutes in the car park before deciding to move.  I was all wistful and frustrated and struggling to make decisions, even as simple as getting out of the car.  This weekend I was thinking about going to Sydney, but I can't decide whether or not to do that either.  Every option seems negative.  If you were to ask me what I wanted for lunch, I probably couldn't tell you.  Even simple decisions are suddenly onerous.

Around mid morning I was called upon to go with W to a meeting he was attending.  That meant walking with him to and from the meeting which was profoundly uncomfortable, especially when he expressed his desire to respond to more of the correspondence sent to us rather than referring it to others.  To be honest, if you send him an e-mail or a letter and it comes across my desk, I will probably find some excuse not to respond.  I can't say the pressure of overwork is getting to me, because... what overwork?

The meeting itself was as pointless as my attending it.  After I got back to the office, I found myself sinking further into discomfort.  The division bells rang with alarming regularity.  The phone went off again and again.  The guy I share an office with during sitting weeks was talking on the phone in whispers which makes me think he was talking about me (he wasn't.)  I got up and walked outside with a vacant look on my face and rang Minou.

It was at that point that the simple act of breathing became difficult.  It's not as though I was choking to death, but I was sufficiently uncomfortable that breathing in and out was a hassle.

I'm considerably better now.  I had a coffee with one friend and a further chat with another, and I will make it through today.  (More than one person has suggested going home early given that I am now feeling physically strained and have nothing vital to do, but I don't think I am able to leave.  Such is the difficulty I have in making even obvious decisions.)  Tomorrow will be much easier with no Parliament sitting, and then there are two more weeks before the winter break.  I think I can do that.

After that, I think I need to speed up my departure, even if I don't have something else to land in.  This is not good.
luckycanuck: (half marathon)

I've got the weekend in a house full of couples.  Roxy and Alleluia both have their respective guys over and with Helga away I am surrounded by coupleness.  It's not a problem (or not yet) and I don't think it will be one.  To some extent it would still be nice to either have the whole place to myself or have some single support.  It has been nice having Helga single again.  Roxy's guy we rarely see because he lives in Melbourne, and Alleluia's guy seems to elicit mixed opinions.  Today I was fine, but on other days I've found myself feeling slightly aspie stressed when interacting with him.  Helga doesn't seem to like him at all.

I rearranged furniture this morning to better accomodate the new heater.  I'm not sure if others will like it or if they will make their own rearrangements.

There is a birthday tonight with a "fluffy" theme that I am considering going to.  Alleluia made plenty of suggestions, and at some point it was pointed out that because I have no shortage of hair on my arms and legs, I could just turn up in shorts and a t-shirt.  In Canberra in June.  Or may be not.

YW: 1 minute bench jumps, 1 minute 24kg SDHP, 1 minute 2*15kg shoulder press, 1 minute rest.  Continue until at least 100 of each has been done.  131 bench jumps, 113 SDHP, 100 shoulder press in 14:15.

TW: Run 1km, 10 burpees, 10 32kg kettlebell swings, 10 situps, 10 pullups, 10 hand release pushups - 10 rounds and drop 100m from the run each round.  Time: 56 minutes.  The kettlebell swings were the toughest.  That's a lot of weight when mixed in with so much other work.

Also, in celebration of "resilience in all it's forms" I am promoting ENDURE: Run. Woman. Show. featuring and being produced by MYC (a marathon runner and all around champion.)  It opens in July in New York before going on tour.
luckycanuck: (Mr Lazy)
It's a long weekend in Canberra and I was initially planning to go up to Sydney but now I think I won't.  There is no rugby on account of the long weekend and one of the functions I was going to be attending is now off my agenda, so I might decide to stay in The Berra.  I'm not really in a travelly mood right now anyway and it feels like a long way to go.

Some things aroud Chez Canuck are improving.  I was home first thing this morning to let someone in to fix our oven and our gas heater which will make things much warmer now that we are in winter.  Helga and I were talking yesterday and because our home internet is ridiculously slow (probably on account of a filter that has been installed at the house) and unlikely to speed up we may just discontinue the service and all use wireless internet instead.  My wireless internet has been very slow compared to everywhere else I've used it.  The Optus guy I spoke to last night did an excellent job (it really was exceptional) and suggested that it could be a combination of us being further from the nearest tower and our roof being different from others.  He helped me put together a temporary fix and said if I got an antenna they would credit the cost to my account.  The wireless internet I now have can be used by others too, so maybe my wireless internet will become the house internet.

Helga split up with the guy she was seeing this week and we had a bit of a chat that night and have been around each other a lot more now that she is home more often.  Alleluia is away a lot with her guy and Roxy tends to keep to herself so this week has been the Helga and Luckycanuck show at home.  I was even prevailed upon for fashion advice.  Yesterday she had a sick day and rented season 3 of True Blood and watched nine episodes.  I told her that if I knew, I would have contrived some reason to come home and spent the day with her and Sookie and Bill and everyone.  After she went to bed I wound up watching the first two episodes so I will have some catching up to do.

A GP (I can't really say my GP because I've been to this practice five times and I've seen five different doctors) has now given me a referral to a psychologist and I will be arranging an appointment.  Apparently she can change the name on the referral if I don't get along with the first one, so we will see how it goes.  I still find myself feeling like a failure in most aspects of my professional and personal life.

DBYW: 15 cleans, 15 shoulder press, row 400m - 5 rounds.

YW: Fast 50s.  Kettlebell swings, bicep curls, leg press, rowing, clean and press, L pullups

If I don't travel this weekend there will be a lot of working out done.
luckycanuck: (Default)

This could be a good explanation of what has happened in my office this week.

I've been feeling marginally better since Tuesday.  I've not been able to workout on account of the ankle but I may do so this evening before the budget reply speech.

I am spreading the word about work.  Coffee Snob already told me about a PR job in Sydney with a firm of political types which may or may not amount to anything.  Apparently one of her colleagues saw me on Tuesday night and when I didn't respond he thought he must have offended me somehow.  I think I am ready to start letting it become public knowledge.  If it was public knowledge maybe this wouldn't happen.  Still, I feel strange about being so open about this issue.  It could mean I end up with a new job very quickly.  Still, it may be better to take my time.

I found myself in the supermarket on the way home from work for nearly an hour for what should have been maybe five minutes worth of shopping.  I was just in a stunned state.

An MP rang our CoS today to say how wonderfully helpful I had been yesterday.  The thing is, I didn't do ANYTHING to help this guy.  He must have me confused with someone else.  Still, I was advised to take credit.

Helga advised me to maybe think of the public service, not because I would want to do that for a long time, but because I could do it for a little while before finding something better.  I'd rather stay away if I can because I think I'd be bored and frustrated with the culture, but it may be a stopgap option if I need something.  Helga has been quite helpful through this.  She came home late last night and we had another talk about this and about relationship stuff.  She's seeing a new guy who she likes and who likes her enough to cook her dinner.

I got a very strange message from an MP a few minutes ago that called me a faggot and advised me to kill myself because she hated me.  not surprisingly, it was a virus.  If I had clicked on "remove this application" it would have burrowed into my profile and sent itself on to my friends.  I'm sure the Convicts would have LOVED me calling them faggots and suggesting suicide!  It also purported to be from the Nicole Santos campaign.  Now I don't know who Nicole Santos is or what she is running for, but this is possibly the worst electoral strategy in all of human history.  Maybe I should apply for a job managing her campaign once the current people in charge are fired. ;)

Finally, I just found out from my friend JAQ that she may have to leave home on very short notice under unfortunate circumstances, and may have to give her tremendously sweet dachshund puppy away.

Do not click unless you want to see photos of a dachshund who needs a temporary home. )
luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)

Frustration seems to have caught up with me.

Yesterday there was a work lunch that involved us going down to the Canberra Yacht Club.  I don't especially like the yact club as I think the food is overpriced for what it is.  Looking around, I also foud myself annoyed by what looked like a bunch of smug grey haired people who dine in yacht clubs on Friday afternoons.  I was also annoyed by the fact that I was sat next to a co-worker who snorts when he laughs and who smelled like nicotine.  I was also annoyed by having to make conversation with a guy who used to work for W before my time and who I've seen before, but who means nothing at all to me.  I had nothing to add to conversations about home renovations or about taking the kids to see a show in Sydney on the weekend or about the footy tipping competition.  As soon as I sat down I decided I would rather have stayed at the office alone (but that would have been noticed by everyone else.)  I said very little, and I left as soon as I could.

At one point I looked out on the lake and two guys were on the lake in a canoe.  I would much rather have been doing what they were doing.  I had also read an article about the training of Navy SEALs.  I was awestruck by the Hell Week training, and sitting at lunch I would much rather have been in the early stages of hypothermia doing pushups on a beach in California than sitting in a warm dining room.  (And that's not hyperbole, that is literally true.)

Back at work, I waded through heaps of letters that had accumulated during my time away and they finally got to me.  I loathed the people who sent us timewasting letters expounding half baked ideas written by hand in difficult to decipher script and even those that were legitimate.  We even got a letter from an organisation concerned about the curriculum in schools.  This was an organisation with letterhead and with staff, and their letter began with the salutation "Dear Member of Parliament".  Attention groups trying to get the attention of politicians!  If you are going to send a letter to a politician, you might want to actually write down their name.  I am considering sending them a letter in return in an unmarked envelope and on ordinary non-letterhead paper saying "Dear Organisation, Thank you for your letter or e-mail or fax.  I value the contributions and insights of your organisation on the issues you raised, whatever they were.  I can assure you that I either agree entirely with your views, I agree with some of them, or I think you are a bunch crackpots who should be locked up until you are no longer a danger to society.  Sincerely, Random Member of Parliament to whom you wrote.  P.S. I would be happy to meet with representatives of your organisation if you can figure out which one of the 150 Members of Parliament I am."

I made it to the gym after work, with a sense of rage bubbling away beneath the surface.  On the walk to the gym I found myself having somewhat violent fantasies about taking on gangs of street thugs who dared to harass me, and sending them running before humiliating their leader by taking his shoes and shirt and pants and forcing him to walk home barefoot and clad only in his underpants.  Anyone who approached me was likely to get yelled at.

I managed the heaviest workout I've taken on since getting back from holiday.

YW: 30 80kg deadlifts, 30 pullups, run 800m - 3 rounds.

It took me just over half an hour.  I would have liked to have done it faster, but that is a lot to deadlift and pull and I found myself getting dizzy and gasping for breath more than once.  This workout really smacked me around, but luckily not a single person spoke to me the whole time.

The thing is, I didn't really feel less frustrated.  I got home and tried to set up the new modem I picked up to hopefully allow our house to get our wireless started again but could barely accomplish anything on accout of being so bent out of shape.  [ profile] bakerypenguin wound up coming over to help and diagnosed the problems we had (which are the problem of our provider rather than us) and I spent most of the time thinking "I'm not well.  Something is wrong."

Helga and Alleluia and Roxy came home and we all watched Paris Je T'aime and I felt a bit better knowing there was nothing I could do, but I still went to bed all frustrated.

Today I'm feeling a bit better despite waking up at 4am due to it being the coldest night I can recall so far this year.  There will be another major workout which will probably smack me aroud some more, some shopping, and I suspect a lot of barricading myself into solitude.  Maybe I will do something nice for dinner tonight.

I don't think I'm supposed to feel like this.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I'm almost all recovered now, which is good.  I've decided to continue going to the gym instead of going for total rest.  LUckily, my time in America away from working out seems to have given the twinge in my back time to heal fully, because it hasn't bothered me at all.

YW: 5 rounds - 20 prison pushups, 20 kettlebell swings, 20 situps
TW: 5 rounds - 20 clean and press, 10 bicep curls, 10 reverse curls. Then 5-4-3-2-1 100kg deadlifts with 10 pullups after every set.  Then 50 leg openers and 50 leg closers.

I'm trying to settle back in to regular workouts rather than going all out at any one thing.  Soon I hope to be back at full on crazy weird workout capacity.

Work has been relatively quiet and will remain so until next Tuesday when Parliament is back for the budget.  Aside from a trip to Wagga Wagga on Thursday, this week will be quiet.  I'm getting through a lot of the letters that came in while I was gone and so far there isn't a lot of stabulence (though there is a bit of frustration as I expected.)

Helga is now back from Fiji and we had a good chat tonight about what she has been up in my time away and also about my various shenanigans overseas.  She seemed entirely unfazed by my shenaniganing.

There's not much I can say about bin Laden, but I will have comments to make on the Canadian election that resulted in a Conservative majority for the first time since I was ten.  It's good news for me, but that's a story for tomorrow when I have the bandwidth to really consider it.
luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)
Today I fixed up as much as I could fix up (though I didn't end up sending my CV to Sydney and the new government so I may have to do that while on holiday or tomorrow from the airport.)  Work will have to manage without me for a while.

Helga came home in tears last night haveing broken up with her boyfriend.  I did my consoling bit.  Apparently she has already possibly picked up a waiter at a long lunch with her work friends today.  Good for the ego I guess.  She just got home and is in much better spirits now.  Apparently the guy wasn't emotionally open for her liking.  She speculated that perhaps having me arond has thrown off her expectations about what guys are like.

This evening I had dinner whilst on American soil.  Practice for the next few weeks I guess.  I was at the US Embassy with a few work friends and the staff of the embassy and a whole bunch on uni students, some of whom didn't look old enough to drink (certainly not on American soil.)  They encouraged us to tweet from the Snag Summit and though I'm on Twitter, most of the time I can't be bothered to do anything with it.

I also learned that one former resident of the embassy was none other than Jackie Chan.  Who would have thought?  Apparently his father was a cook there when he was young.

Now I've got to pack.  I know I'll be up late tonight but there will be plenty of time to sleep on the plane.  I am also sure that I will forget something.
luckycanuck: (Default)
My fancy dress night last night consisted of me wearing my "My Name Is Inigo Montoya..." t-shirt and a sword I picked up late yesterday afternoon.  It was a good night and plenty of the nerds there were delighted and squeeful about my shirt.  The low point of the evening was when someone tried to steal my sword.  A mini wrestle followed and my sword snapped in two.  Fine, it was a $2 sword from a discount shop and I didn't really need it, but it still pissed me off and I had to go off on my own to cool down and avoid an aspie snap.

Today I knocked on some doors for the campaign.  Plenty of people home and plenty of positive receptions.  I do like doorknocking, at least in little bits.  It was a day off for me (Canberra Day, which is about the lamest name for a holiday, but who's complaining) but it was ok spending part of it pounding the pavement.  I've done very little on this campaign and I feel as though this counts as me being a part of things.

I'm on my old laptop, but I picked up a new one yesterday that I've not yet set up.  I wanted to get one before the end of the tax year and was able to find one with a great deal.  Under $500 and it has 4 times the memory of my current one.  It was about time.  But I always feel odd about buying new things when I already have versions of the same.  What do I do with the old one, when I also tend to get sentimental about objects from time to time.

YW: 100 chest contractions and 100 pushups mixed together.  Also a bunch of other stuff.

TW: Appetiser: 15-1 up and down dumbell shoulder presses and bicep curls.  Main course: 30 situps, farmer's walk 3 flights of stairs - 5 rounds.  Dessert: Row 10 calories, 10 pullups - 5 rounds sprinted.  Coffee: 10 heavy bag get ups.

Helga came home today and showed me all her shopping (except for the bras.)  She also decided to strike back against my "manification" of our DVD collection by bringing home "Eat. Pray. Love." which we are watching now.  And yet my manliness is undiminished.  I guess I just don't mind given the right company.  And as a return, she has expressed an interest in watching The Godfather.
luckycanuck: (Default)

On my third attempt I managed to find someone who could take passport photos in the 50mm by 70mm size, and on my first attempt I managed to get Dr Mal Washer MP (who looks remarkably like Colonel Sanders) to act as a guarantor for my application, because apparently doctors are more reliable than anyone else.  I handed my application in in person (the Canadian High Commission is literally a stones throw from the grounds of Parliament) and should get it back in within 10 working days.  Hooray!  I hate filling out forms.

The gym was uncrowded by the time I got there, though I did run into Helga's (not sure exactly what the correct term is.)  He is a gym guy, but not an obnoxious gym guy which is a point in his favour as far as I'm concerned.  He told me about a cross country race in New Zealand that goes up and down a mountain and crosses three rivers.  I told him about another challenge I heard about.  The Burpee Mile.  This would be pretty full on.  It would mean doing hundreds or possibly over a thousand burpees in one session and I've never done that many.  It won't be easy to forget the idea though.  Maybe I can start with something smaller.

TW: 25 toes to bar, 25 ring dips, 50 shoulder press with increasing weight and decreasing sets, 50 bench press mixed with 50 pullups in sets of 10 each, 2 sets of arm smashers @ 10kg.  I also managed 50 pushups and 50 situps as an appetiser and again later on as dessert.  I think that opener and closer may be a part of more sessions.

luckycanuck: (Default)

My career malaise seems to have made friends with the career malaise of others.

Helga came home last night and immediately asked if I could make a cup of tea (with a laugh that this is one of my core duties in the house.)  She has been having frustrations with the culture at her workplace that I won't go into.  There was the sense that working where she is is running down her impression of the kind of work she is capable of doing.  I feel the same way.  Everyone I talk to seems to think I am more qualified than I think I am.  Over the last two months, I have more and more been feeling as though I will eventually be unmasked as a huge fraud who isn't good at anything and who is monumentally lazy.  This also dulls my inclination to look for other work, because lets be frank, what else can I possibly do.

This afternoon [ profile] bakerypenguin posted about her own career frustrations.  Again, there was a lot of overlap with the frustrations that Helga and I are experiencing.  Everyone seems to be consumed with the sense that we have no actual skills and are thus disinclined to reach any higher.

Today there was a lecture from W (not nasty, and I probably should have known it was coming) about the importance of responding to everyone who contacts us, even if we have responded on the same issue earlier.  Additionally, one of our other advisors is leaving and his position has been advertised.  I've already done a few parts of his job and I suspect that I could do it, but I'm not going to apply.  It would mean more money and probably more clarity in terms of my role, but I don't want his job.  I am not really interested in learning the intricacies of his portfolio and the frustrations (again with those bloody awful letters) that led to him walking aroud in a black mood for most of December.  Not even if it meant a 40-50% pay rise.  (Part of me also thinks there would be less space for me to hide from work, and I think I hav ebeen hiding given the amount of actual productive work I can point to over the last two months.

Of course, not all of my friends are in despair over their work situations.  A girl (MYC) whom I knew in high school and came across (I think on Facebook) has really been living the dream.  In fact, she has devoted a whole blog to the subject.  She's now living in New York and producing a play and both she and a number of people around her are doing what they love and pursuing their dreams.

The problem for me, is that I'm not sure if I have one.  I don't think I have dreams anymore.

I have in the past.  I've been fascinated by politics form a young age.  At 5 I told my mum that I wanted to be Prime Minister.  At 16 I was actively trying to make it happen.  I decided against that specific career path but stayed in the field, working in politics on three continents.  This used to be my dream, and given the fascination some of my friends still have for politics, it still is for them.  But I just can't be bothered.  I'm tired of the voters, of reading the papers, of managing relationships with legions of people I don't really like, of hearing people's opinions, of the media.

But I also have absolutely no idea what else I might like to do.  Some people remain in toxic careers that make them miserable because they are chasing what some marketing wanker is telling them they want. I'm not staying in this job because I am locked into an expensive life. I've got no debt, no obligations, no major expenses keeping me living in fear, but I've also got no idea what else I might like to do. At the moment, every option looks negative. That's not just career wise.  It has now spread into most aspects of my life. Staying in my current job, taking another one, changing careers entirely, starting a business, staying single, getting involved, buying a house, having kids, staying in Australia, moving back to Canada or America or anywhere else, all I see is negatives.  So I wind up staying put and collecting my pay every two weeks.

Unlike one of MYC's friends, I can't go off and become a photographer, because I suck at photography (also I don't epecially like it.)  I can, however, keep my head down and slog away at this job, which pays not a princely salary but more than I need to live on and allows me to keep throwing money on the pile.  At the moment I feel like I can be annoyed, or I can be annoyed and get paid.

Ok.  Now the good news.

I've contacted a counselling service contracted by work.  I have my first appointment on Tuesday afternoon.  I reckon because work played a large part in getting me all angsty, I can let them get me started on the turn around.
luckycanuck: (Default)

The week of quiet at work has continued, and the level of frustration at the work I've got to do has been improved somewhat by a small victory.  Someone wrote in to us with an eight page rant complaining that Australia lost the recent soccer world cup bid because there is not a soccer league devoted to inland Australia.  He also suggested that towns like Cloncurry, Walgett, and Bruce Rock (population 526) are locations that FIFA would insist that world cup matches should be held.

My response was some pleasant words about the importance of sport to Australians before pointing out that no inland towns have the population base to sustain a team in any of the football codes in Australia, and that a league devoted to soccer in inland Australia would not be feasible given that the A-League struggles to bring in crowds in major cities.  I also pointed out that the smallest stadium used in the most recent world cup had a seating capacity of 73 times the size of one of the towns he mentioned as a possible world cup venue.

I was of the opinion that the man had come up with an idea that was clearly absurd and that we should not respond, but W specifically wanted to.  (Apparently this guy is a member of the party.)  I felt that my response might have been a bit too sarcastic and that W would want some major changes.  He's very polite and would be very much disinclined to respond with my preferred words of "Dear Stupid Prick, You're a fucking idiot.  Sincerely, W"

Well it turns out that W has approved my response with only minor changes.  My research indicating what a shitty idea he is proposing has been kept in full.  Hooray!  A small victory against the forces of wanky timewasters!

Although I do rather like this as a means of responding too.

My workouts this week have been pretty good.  Very much Crossfit inspired, and my back hasn't given me too much grief.

YW: AMRAP 15 minutes.  Max pullups then run 400m.  Total of 121 pullups and running 2km.  Then max pushups in 2 minutes: A bit over 100.  Max flat situps in 2 minutes: 54.

DBYW: 10 pullups, 10 pushups, 5 rounds.  10 kettlebell swings, 10 standing shoulder press (I can do standing but not seated), 10 lateral over bench jumps, 5 rounds.

Tomorrow will mean a long run, though not as long as last weekend.  Maybe running to a couple of gyms up around Collaroy and maybe a run on the beach and a swim.  Maybe running and pushups on the beach.  Oh yes, I like the sound of that!

I was just finishing breakfast this morning when Helga came in from a walk and collapsed on the floor with a painful sprained ankle.  I got her some water and ibuprofen and made her breakfast and then drove her to work.  I'll take her home tonight as well.  We take care of each other in Chez Canuck!

Oh, one more thing, I saw this scene on Family Guy earlier in the week, and laughed for about five minutes straight.
luckycanuck: (Default)
The compassion fatigue at work (and on a variety of other issues in the news, like the floods) continues, but I am getting through the letters.  One of my colleagues is on his second day back from holiday and is on the verge of quitting over the issue as the prospect of a new job is looming.  I ownder if there will be a rebellion over this, or more likely, some changes in our procedures like allowing us to ring people rather than draft letters which takes far longer.  Apparently one of the other offices allows phone calls rather than written responses as it's quicker and has less of a paper trail, but W is old school.

YW: 50 kb swings, 50 pushups, run 400m, 35 kb swings, 35 pushups, run 400m, 25 kb swings, 25 pushups, run 400m.  I do get a bit of discomfort when breathing hevaily with my twinge in the back and around the ribs, but it's not too bad.  Certainly not enough to stop me from going.

Helga and I are really getting into True Blood.  Today I have had this song stuck in my head.

The market keeps going up.  About 10% so far this year for me.
luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)
I got back to Canberra last night and met Helga and Alleluia for the first time in a while.  Today we used our day off to clean the old house from top to bottom.

My jobs varied, but they tended to be the ones that nobody else wanted to do.  I went around the outside of the house with a broom sweeping away all the cobwebs that had built up.  In the process, I wound up dislodging countless spiders who wound up scuttling of or dropping off of walls and falling towards me.  Many lost their homes, and many others were killed.  Yes, in carrying out my program of genocide against the spiders who had moved into our old home, I made plenty of enemies in the spider community.  I wonder if the survivors are planning a counter attack.  (Apparently Helga felt the brunt of their counter offensive, as she got a spider bite under her eye.)

I also was tasked with washing the exterior windows and clearing out the gutters, which meant lots of climbing up and down ladders and creeping around on the roof.  It was actually kind of fun.  I had a job to do and nobody second guessed me in doing it.  I'm not all that tidy, and I think part of that goes back to my childhood when my mother insisted I do certain cleaning things, and also insisted that I do them in a specific way.  That always bothered me.  This went fine.

The job that nobody else seemed to want to do involved going into the garage (which is not all that well maintained and has had possums living in it from time to time) and clearing out several years worth of possum shit.  Using the same broom as I used on the cobwebs, I swept it out the garage door.  (It only occurred ot me afterwards that it might have been a good idea to wear a mask while sweeping possum droppings around.)

Ok, enough of that.  We were at it until about 8pm and for the last hour or so I felt I had very little to do and no knowledge of what there was left to do.  It was the only frustrating part of the day.
luckycanuck: (Default)

I've moved house.

The new place is really taking shape.  We finished up yesterday around 5pm after moving nearly everything from the old house and I discovered that the restaurants and shops of Dickson are just a ten miinute walk.  We went to bed in the unseasonable cold last night with boxes still strewn around the house and virtually nothing set up.  This morning we set up almost everything before noon, and planned on making a run to the old place to pick up the rest and to haul some things to the tip, but rain intervened and we decided it would be better to wait.  It rained on us periodically on moving day but we managed to avoid getting anything that was in the trailer that was attached to my car wet.

Overall, the move went pretty well.  I and everyone else were in a pretty good mood, even though with all the stress I had too little bandwidth to be nice and sociable with the guys that Helga and Alleluia have been dating.  The apsie stress dropped considerably once we had finished for the day and I was able to be friendly with the one who had stayed on for dinner.

I think the new place will work out fine.  Alleluia is taking a day off tomorrow to settle some moving things around the house and we still have some more things to move.

The three of us who stayed last night (Roxy has flown off on holiday) spent pretty much the whole day together, finding breakfast in Dickson, setting up the house, doing some Christmas shopping (though I stole away to do about 8km of rowing) and later watching a dvd of "The L Word".  And my work colleagues joke about me living in a lesbian collective.  HA!

My first guest was Cupcake Goddess this evening.  She came over in a subdued mood, but agreed that the new place is looking positive.


luckycanuck: (Default)

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