luckycanuck: (Default)
My new job has been a bit of an adjustment.

Early on I found myself in a lot of meetings and being involved in a lot of discussions in which I was WAY out of my depth.  I didn't understand what people were talking about or the projects they were working on.  It took me a while to figure out what my job actually was.  Now, though there is still plenty of me being lost when hearing about things outside of my project, I am not bothered as much.  I know well enough what I am meant to be doing (coming up with reasons why the eCensus is a good idea).  When discussions go beyond that, I've decided that I can afford not to allocate mental bandwidth to trying to keep up.

At the same time, however, I am aware that my current work may potentially set me up for additional work in the new financial year, so I am getting a bit more involved in the workplace.

I am also doing very well on the flex time front.  I am actually able to leave early today rather than staying on to pack on the hours.  That's good, because I leave for England on Wednesday and could use some time to rest.

Tonight, however, I have trivia again.  I was a bit concerned and frustrated by the lack of crowds in the early days, but over the last two weeks there has been an explosion of interest.  On both nights there were over 30 people attending, and there are definite regulars now in attendance.  So it looks like I will continue to have my side gig through the winter and beyond.

My training side gig is also going ok.  I had one cancellation that kind of pissed me off (lame excuses, and turning up one week with promises to pay the next week, but then announcing a schedule change that will preclude further attendance.)  Last week I felt a bit like cancelling, but two regulars turned up and though I had to change the workout plan entirely, they both stuck to it and enjoyed it.  I also found out that both of them probably wouldn't get any exercise if it were not for my sessions, so I felt a lot better about that.
luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)
I am steadily building up large amount of flex time that will enable me to go to the Bingham Cup.  I usually get to work around 7am and leave when I feel it's time to go (or in time to make other appointments like trivia or training.)  To some degree I wonder if I am actually all that productive, but I don't dwell on that question too much.

Flights are booked.  I am going on frequent flyer points, and will have 12 hours in Shanghai on the way back which will allow me to add one more country to the list of places I have been (provided that I do pushups there.)  I've also arranged a place to stay when I arrive.  I'll be staying in the east end (far from Ealing where I lived while I was there) at a place I found on AirBnb.  It's a site where people advertise rooms in their homes.  I'll be staying with a local family with a room to myself in a fairly central location for a lot less than I would pay otherwise.

Also the vicar I worked for back in 2004 has offered to put me up for a couple nights which may be very suitable after the tournament when I do my pushups.  I'm still planning on doing it, though the charity I chose and e-mail nearly two weeks ago hasn't responded even though I contacted them again a few days ago through every e-mail I could find on their site.  So today I contacted another one, which looks even better, and might not give the the runaround.

I may have picked up a few more training clients at a party last night.  It's going pretty well with a few blips here and there, in part because I am not letting it be a big deal to me.

I did get an odd feeling when starting my Anzac Day workout.  It may have been because I had been up since 4am, but I got a couple minutes in and I realised that I just didn't feel like working out.  It was an odd feeling.  I was doing things that I normally like, but that day I just felt like quitting.  The next day I was back to doing intense workouts involving burpees and kettlebell swings, and today I did a workout named for a marine officer killed in action five years ago today.

Oh yes, and I am now a fully qualified bush firefighter.  I attended a hazard reduction burn yesterday and demonstrated I can handle drip torches, rake hoes, and I can put out fires.  I wish I had brought may camera, because at one point there was a bush with red berries that were such a brilliant red against the black ash beneath them.
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
Going to work every day is something I have adjusted to.  There is a lot to learn including a very frustrating operating system that I don't see the point of but that everyone else in my training session seemed to like, so I felt a little pang of "what's wrong with me that I keep thinking this system is silly and pointless."

I am getting to the office VERY early every day.  Yesterday I was there at 6:45, before my pass would even allow me into the building.  Parking is provided, but there are only 200 spaces and 1,500 staff.  I wonder if it is a ply to get people to turn up to work early.  I'm happy to do it and get a parking spot and have some space to myself for a while (I still don't like having to be social on demand) and build up flex time.  To be able to take my trip to England London I have worked out that I will need to build up 11 days of work out of 40 working days.  It can be done, but it will mean about two hours extra every day and maybe a couple of weekends.

Flights to England are booked.  I'll be visiting friends, playing in the gay rugby world cup, and doing pushups.  I'm flying on points so I'm only paying for the taxes, and I apparently get a 12 hour stopover in Shanghai on the way back so there will be another mini-visit added in.

Black Dog Pushups has a sign.

I reckon it will help with collecting cash donations and dispelling confusion.

Brisbane is probably going to go ahead too.  The council wants me to have $10 million in public liability insurance before I do a single pushup, but apparently my charity has that covered.  Otherwise, it would probably be too much hassle.

I've been doing more training sessions at  home, and I've discovered the fun of doing gymnastic strength work through some friends at the gym.  Just holding static positions is tougher than it looks.

It's 6:30am! I'm going to be late for work!

Away we go

Aug. 12th, 2011 05:09 pm
luckycanuck: (Default)
Five minutes ago I officially finished my last day on the job in Parliament.

A nice lunch was brought in.  It was going to be Crust pizza, but since they don't open until 4pm (really Crust?) we had pizza from elsewhere.  It was still good.

The whole office was there along with people from party HQ and Coffee Snob also came down from her attic.  I said a few words about how surprised was that I wound up working with the Nationals, and how I was sure I would see them again.  (All of it sincere.)  I also briefly mentioned what I was planning for the future.  There is the rural fire service, and a job that one of my agencies found in the public service on a four month contract.  It is one level below what they thought I was at, but the salary would be on par with my current salary.  (It might be very dull though.)  I'm not sure what I will do yet, and I am happy to have a couple of weeks at least to switch off.

There was a pretty good haul of gifts too.

It included a bottle of wine signed by all of the Nationals MPs and Senators, an couple of insulated bags in which to carry alcohol (politics seems to be closely associated with alcohol for some reason) and some Wallabies training gear from my officemates.  I've never owned any official Wallabies gear, and it's the sort of thing I'm not sure I would ever get for myself.  I was very glad to get it though.

Now it's just a matter of clearing off my desk.  I've accumulated a lot of things here over the last three and a half years and a lot of it has been chucked.  I did put aside some of the more asinine letters we had gotten over the years that were too ridiculous to throw away.

I managed to clear all of the correspondence too.  Now whoever replaces me will be able to start fresh.

Now off to Sydney for a few days.
luckycanuck: (madmen)

I realised late this afternoon that they were interviewing my replacement today.  A couple of candidates came by and W was in town as he is currently acting opposition leader.  I actually wrote some letters and got them signed today and have now cleared off most of the corro that is left (or found excuses not to respond to it.)  We are well and truly into my last week now.

I also sold a lot of stock today.  The market was down again and the panic isn't over, but my selling wasn't panic selling.  I took a look at my portfolio and decided I could get rid of IMF for a gain, and parts of JRL, PVE, and KKT for losses even though most of them were flat or up a bit today, but I've kept most of my holdings in them.  So I spread the selling around a bit amongst stocks that I thought were not likely to shoot through the roof tomorrow, that would reduce my exposure to lightly traded stocks, and that would give me the cash on hand to participate in the VMG capital raising in time.  I've never had problems buying, and I hope I'm getting better at selling.

I had been fatigued from the weekend, but I wasn't going to miss the chance for a solid workout.

TW: AMRAP 30 minutes: 20 walking lunges with 28kg, 10 burpees, farmers walk up and down the stairs with 40kg, run 400m. 8 rounds exactly.  I felt quite high and hungry when I got home.

By the time I got home Roxy had made dinner, the first Chez Canuck meal since Esky moved in last night.  It was lamb shanks with apricots and couscous. 

Afterwards there was the inaugural use of Roxy's chocolate fountain.

The entertainment for the evening was a screening of Boy, which was great.


luckycanuck: (Default)

I was right back into working out yesterday.  I sustained some pretty impressive bruises and scrapes from rugby over the weekend (Minxyminou can attest to that) and running on the pavement hurt a little bit but running on the treadmill was fine.

YW: Run 400m, 21 kettlebell swings, 12 pullups.  16 minutes to do 3 rounds (and rest the remainder), 12 minutes to do 2 rounds (and rest the remainder), then one final round.  My (approx) times: 10:10, 6:40, 2:57.

I also got the idea of making workout t-shirts for Helga and Coffee Snob who have both been coming to me for workout advice.  The slogan on a dark grey t-shirt in pink letters in a militaristic font is "Strong is the new skinny."  I did the design myself with a company that does customised t-shirts, and made one for myself too.  Mine is black, with the words MOLWN LABE in blood red letters.  A nice Spartan reference for me.

I went to the psychologist first thing this morning.  First I told her that I was leaving work, and we talked for a while before getting to the crux of the session.  Part of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is accepting that you will have negative feelings, and trying not to dwell on them when doing so can't change them.  I've noticed that even if I leave work, I still feel a sense of detachment from a lot of people and the kind of things that they do and worry about and value.  People, even people I have nothing to do with and no reason to take notice of, seem to set me off on a grumpy path.  When seeing perfectly ordinary people just minding their own business on the walk back to my car, I managed to feel annoyed by them for silly and petty reasons.  Additionally, I don't seem to fit anywhere.  (I reckon there is a post in this in itself, but that's for another day.)  The idea when I get these feelings of detachment and annoyance and alienation is not to internalise them, but to not let them take over and to see them as separate from me.

She also reminded me that my sense that other people fit into things (like my parents and sister fitting into their careers and their personal relationships) much better than I may not be as true as I think, on accout of me seeing my insides and others outsides.  I generally come off as pretty together from the outside, but most people who don't know me that deeply don't sense the frustration and pointlessness that I get at times.  It could be that many of the people I see as having everything sorted are not as together as I think, but they still manage to get along.

Finally, I got a letter yesterday from CoS stating that next Friday 12 August will be my last day on the job.
Click to read about Luckycanuck getting "fired" )
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
There is a bit of an IT related problem regarding my margin loan.  I have been granted it and they can see it, but it's not showing up on my account so I can't do anything.  For the second day in a row I rang them to tell them as much and they are working on it.  It should be good to go within 48 hours, but I am quite keen to get deeper into CCV and every day I don't have access is a lost opportunity.

I'm in the process of clearing everything work related so I will have a clean desk (so to speak) when I leave in August.  I'm getting there.

I've also made another appointment for next week with the psychologist.  I'm still not quite clear on how this whole thing is meant to work.  From what I've read they place a lot of emphasis on living according to your values, but I don't really know what my values are.  They also put emphasis on stepping outside of yourself to say things like "I'm having the feeling that my life is pointless" rather than saying "my life is pointless" but I'm not sure how I will take to that.

Last night I was at the gym with Coffee Snob and I had put together a Crossfit workout for her.  I showed her how to work with kettlebells (which she had literally never done, perhaps on account of feeling they were all foreign and scary) and then set her loose on the workout while timing her.

YW: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 4kg clean and press left and right, 6kg kettlebell swings, 8kg SDHP.  Her time: 12:06.  I was impressed.  She didn't complain once.  Then I gave her the finisher of tabata situps.  I held her feet down and she managed 80.  She said it was the best workout she had done in a long time and told me I should be a personal trainer.  I don't think that would suit me, certainly not in a gym context, but I could possibly do it on a freelance basis with people I know and can trust not to annoy me and get all whiny and slack.  It's something to consider.

I did the same workout with four times the weight (CS thought her weights looked very cute in comparison to mine) in 11:55 and promptly collapsed to the ground.  My lower back is all fatigued today.  I'm sure I will have other chances to demonstrate workouts in the future.  It was fun.
luckycanuck: (half marathon)
Things are quiet at work and are likely to remain so for the rest of my time.  There has been some talk with the party director about me doing some of my demographic work on a freelance basis which I would like.

I finally got back into doing proper workouts yesterday.  Naturally I am limiting myself to some degree as I don't want to aggravate my neck, but there are plenty of things I can do that don't cause me any problems.  Legs, core, running, these things don't bother me at all.

YW: Run 600m, 5 rounds (10 pushups, 10 situps, 10 squats), run 600m, 4 rounds, run 600m, 3 rounds.  Today it's good too feel sore muscles (sore in a good way) again.

I spent a whole lot of money this afternoon in the space of half an hour at the dentist.  I like my dentist.  If there are any dental imperfections, he doesn't assume them to be a personal insult to him, which is something my dentist in Canada used to do.  Anything less than perfect wasn't enough for him.  If I had a cavity, I had gotten a cavity out of spite.

The housewarming/farewell for Chez Canuck is on this weekend.  (We've been there since December so it's more of a farewell for Alleluia before she goes to Cambodia.)  Our theme is "it used to be cool."  I was going to be going as one of the members of ABBA but we may not be able to get a full four so I may have to think of something else.  Anyone who is going to be in Canberra is welcome to come by.
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)

I told most of the politicians I was leaving yesterday afternoon and over steak in the evening.  One fringe benefit of this job is that there is these kind of perks, in the case wagyu steaks donated by the Beef Council (or some similarly named group) on account of our side doing a lot to help them out during the recent live export controversy.  I am more aware of these fringe benefits now.  I even managed to write some letters today.

I managed a short workout last night.  It lasted just 10 minutes but it took on a dynamic I've not frequently experienced.

YW: 5 60kg cleans, 5 burpees, 5 60kg cleans, 5 burpees - every two minutes for ten minutes.

It wasn't a lot of reps, it wasn't a huge amount of weight, and it didn't take long, but the combination was tougher than I thought.

I also came across this article today as sent to me by Coffee Snob.  The cause of getting women to workout for real rather than float around on the elliptical machine without breaking a sweat and "toning" with low weights has been of interest to me recently.  Katie lifted.  Katie got strong.  Katie still looks like a woman.

This morning I played touch rugby.  NSW won State of Origin Touch Rugby 10-7 and I managed a couple of explosive runs that ended up in tries (and another where all I had to do was catch the ball and put it down.)  I am now expecting to be called up to play for the Blues next year as they lost to Queensland for the sixth straight time.  Sometimes they are switched on, but so often they just make lazy or embarassing mistakes.

My ankle was fine (untaped this time) and it should be fine this weekend with the Convicts.

No dinner this week.  But we will be back on next week I hope.  This is the first time we've missed a week.

luckycanuck: (Default)

I went into work yesterday to clear up a couple of things with the benefit of silence and solitude.  That was fine for about an hour until W came by.  He didn't know I was in and I wasn't keen to be noticed, so I finished up what I was doing and left, taking quiet steps and being careful not to cough.  Luckily, W doesn't hear all that well and I kept under the radar.  I just didn't want to talk to him.  Parliament is sitting today and I've still not said a word to him.

I am spreading the word that I am leaving though.  Almost our whole office now knows and by the end of the day I will have informed CoS.  This isn't me formally giving notice, but I am telling everyone that this is "almost certainly my last sitting week."  It still sounds a bit odd coming out of my mouth which is probably why I'm not going all the way to formally giving notice.  I'm still getting used to the idea.  It has to be done this week though, as there are a lot of people I won't get the chance to see again if I leave before Parliament comes back.  There is a reception this evening for our new Senator and it might be a good opportunity to spread the word there.

I did round out the weekend with a leg-centric workout.

YW: Leg press 200kg 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.  40-30-20-10 openers and closers.  Then 20 bench jumps, 10 heavy bag get ups, 20 heavy bag lunges, 40kg farmers walk up and down 2 flights of stairs, 10 burpees - 5 rounds.  My time: 20:47.

I also did a surprising amount of tidying aroud the house.  I hauled out the vacuum and did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, and today at work I tackled a sink full of other people's dishes.  This is odd because I normally don't care all that much about tidyness.

Most people who read this will be aware of my odd inclination to do pushups at iconic and unusual places.  Some people have suggested I do them to raise money for a cause that is important to me.  Well it turns that this guy has a similar idea.

I had a number of reactions to this.  Part of me thought "that bastard stole my idea.  Now I can't do that or I will be a copycat."  Part of me thought "100 pushups a day is just sad.  That's not a challenge."  And part of me said "what does 'raising awareness' mean anyway?"  Maybe I'm a cynic on these things.

Also, I came across this picture and sent it to some of my female friends who are reluctant to have a serious go at weights.

Strong girls are hot.
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)

I applied through another agency for a job with the Australian Airports Association today, and Cupcake Goddess put me in touch with yet another agency, so there are a lot of wheels being put in motion.

I'll go into work over the weekend when it is quiet and I can be undisturbed.  I want next week to go well.  I've even made a list of things I want to get done before work on Monday.

I also want to get a lot of working out done.  I'm feeling strong.

YW: Heavy deadlifts. 3-3-3-3-3, 100kg-120kg-130kg-140kg-150kg.  150kg is the most I've ever lifted, and I had a hard time keeping the bar from slipping out of my hands before I changed to an alternate grip.  Then it was tabata with kettlebell swings (91), rowing (70 calories), hand release pushups (103).  I felt like my chest was going to fall off after the pushups.

TW: 10 situps then 15kg dumbbell half clean and press for the rest of the minute, for ten minutes.  100 situps, 95 clean and press.  Then 10-1, 1-10 pullups and hand release pushups.  At one point when jumping for the bar I misjudged where the bar was and fell right back down. A couple of people asked if I was alright, and I was up quickly again.

I'm pretty sure I was being checked out on the way home.  There was some nice eye candy walking past the pubs on a wintery Friday night.

I've discovered a stock forum called Hot Copper which is actually quite good.  A lot of smart commentary and they have a ban on profanity and rudeness.  Impressive for an internet forum.  It's a new tax year and I might take more regular assessments of my investments.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I was having a bit of a work rant just now and wound up letting slip to our media guy that I am planning to leave.  Then I told the diary secretary.  I also mentioned to both that depression was part of the reason why.

So now more people know, and I think I will tell more tomorrow.  Next week is likely to be my last sitting week in this job, and I will have to tell a lot of people as I won't be around they next time they come back.

I still haven't told CoS in part because he's not here and in part because that would feel so final.  I will have to get used to the idea though.

Last night dinner went very well.  I made teriyaki kangaroo stirfry and everyone was duly impressed by my culinary talents (or my culinary ability to make a simple dish that's not easy to screw up.)  Tonight I will be having dinner with Cupcake Goddess.

Today is the last day of the tax year, and I sold some shares in Nexbis that I bought at 38.5 cents for 8.5 cents, a loss of nearly 80%.  I made some capital gains during the year and I wanted to have something to offset them.  I've still got some shares that I paid less than 8 cents for in the event that they rebound, but the tax benefits of the loss will be available to me.

I also managed to get deeper into Konekt as someone else was willing to sell at my buying price (perhaps to realise a loss just as I did.)  The stock is currently trading below its book value and I think it is unrealistically low.

I realised this morning that when it comes to the VDM fiasco, I was less concerned about the money I stand to lose than I expected.  I know that sometimes you lose money, and I was prepared for that.  The question that concerned me more was whether or not I had made a mistake.  I had thought about getting out earlier this year, and I could have made a profit rather than ending up worse off.  Being a failure (for lack of a better term) was of greater concern to me than the financial loss (though I'm not wild about that either.)

Off to the gym.  Deadlifts today I think.  Heavy ones.  Then tabata kettlebell swings, hand release pushups, sit ups, and pullups.
luckycanuck: (Default)
Little was done at work today.  I'm not sure if I even answered the phone.  The whisperer wasn't even whispering.

TW: AMRAP 20 minutes - 10 burpees, 10 heavy bag get ups, 10 heavy bag lunge walk, 40kg farmers walk up and down the stairs.  Total: 7 even.  DOMS is a good feeling.

By the time I got home dinner preparation was in full swing.  Today we improvised pizza with various things we had around the house.  It went very well.  While doing the dishes I wandered around the house a bit and felt all wistful about the Collaroy Castle.  I instinctively want to say I have mixed feelings, but I don't.  My feelings are uniformly negative.

Overall a much better day than last week, but no idea what the rest of the week will be like.  I've not told anyone that I'm leaving yet, at least not definitively.
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: (Default)
W must have been on the news late today talking about livestock exports because the phone suddenly started ringing with people complaining about what he said.  Two people contacted us after 5:30pm to take issue with what he said and wanting to know what he thinks about specific points.  My response is that he has been quite forthright about his views on the subject and that I was not prepared to give any further comment beyond what he has already put on the public record.  People kept ringing after the office was officially closed, and we came to a consensus that we were better off not answering the phone.  If someone wants to contact one of us directly they can do so using our mobile phones, but it is not reasonable to expect the office to be on hand at all hours to let people vent.

Well, the job search continues.

I spoke to the agency from last week today and they are going to talk to their Canberra office.  It might be easier on me to stay in Canberra if there is a decent public affairs job available.

I was also forwarded a prospect from CoS.  This job is in the public affairs department of Woolworths, one of the largest supermarket and retail chains in Australia and it would be a considerable step up in terms of pay and responsibility, but he wouldn't have sent it to me if he didn't think I could handle it.  As luck would have it, the guy who hired me into my first political job in Canberra is now working there.  I applied earlier this afternoon.

Of course, this job would also mean a move to Sydney, and a commute of about 50km every morning and every evening from the Collaroy Castle.  As luck would have it, however, our neighbour there works at the same place.  Perhaps I should work up some of these contacts now so I can end up carpooling in a few months time.

YW: Tabata Day.  Pullups, rowing, hand release pushups, situps, burpees. 86, 72, 137, 105, 56.

Tonight there will be more.
luckycanuck: (Default)

But our CoS did call me into his office this morning to talk about things.

He mentioned that if we had won the last election and W had become Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, I would have found myself as an advisor responsible for W's legislation.  The way things went that didn't happen, and I am in the same role as I've been in for the last three years.

I was told that it would probably be better if I didn't just hang aroud getting bored for the next two years.  At the moment I've reached the top of the possible career trajectory in this office for the time being.  There is no other positions they can slot me into until there is another election.  So given that I can't "just hang around as the lowest paid employee in Parliament (which isn't true) and the lowest guy on the totem pole in the office" I was advised to look for employment elsewhere.

I'm not yet sure how I feel about this.

One thing I think this means is that my dissatisfaction with work has probably been noticed.  I spoke to the director of the party before going overseas and perhaps word has spread.  Apparently more complaints have been received regarding my being rude, which does not surprise me.  Under current circumstances with my current mindset, I don't feel like being pleasant with people who contact us.

They have brought on a new advisor to do more partisan work, a job that I suspect pays more and which I am sure I could have done.  If they didn't want me to be the lowest guy on the totem pole they could have mentioned that this job was open before bringing someone in from outside to fill it.

It could be that this is a catalyst in getting me to move on to something better.  I kind of felt like it might be a similar situation to be being kicked out of a previous Chez Canuck.  I had time to find a new place to live then just like I have time to find a new job now, and perhaps things will work out for the better as before.

Looking for a job may also be easier now because there is absolutely no reason I can't be completely shameless about looking for work.  I will get a dynamite reference and need not be coy about my job search without facing awkward questions surrounding what I'm doing.

I think I will make an informal list of things I can do and start asking around.  I will most likely stay in Australia as the vast majority of my life is here, but the prospect of moving back to Canada (as I mentioned to an approving CoS this morning) is much more interesting now.

Oh yes, and I twisted my ankle playing touch rugby this morning and got a bit snippy when nobody else in the office would get up to greet a visitor at the front desk forcing me to get up and limp to the door.

There has been a lot of turnover recently after we've had a lot of stability since 2008.  So far I don't get along with the newbies nearly as well as I did the oldies.  Our political advisor smells of nicotine and snorts when he laughs.  Our portfolio advisor is several years younger than me.  Our new media guy is not our old media guy and he let me limp right past him on a gimpy ankle earlier today.  I'm mostly just not used to these people yet, but it could be that it's time to leave.  I bet they replace me with someone a decade younger than me who is straight out of university and isn't surly.

luckycanuck: (Mr Lazy)
But mostly in a good way.

I had solid workouts on Saturday and Sunday.

SatW: Farmer's walk stairs 20kg each hand, pullups, 24kg kettlebell swings, 32kg SDHP, burpees, situps, leg raises. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.  The farmer's walk was really tough and I can still feel the soreness now.

SunW: Run total 9km to and from the gym.  Bench jumps, pushups, situps - 20,19,18...1

My legs are still sore.  I've done harder workouts but this was the most consistent effort I'd come up with since coming back from overseas.  I had three tough workouts in as many days, which was good as I kind of wanted to smack myself around.  Virtually nobody spoke ot me the whole time, which was also good.

I also went into work on both days of the weekend.  I did some work preparing and printing off letters for W to sign and giving him the impression that I'm on top of things, but it was also a relief to be able to shut myself into a place with no people.  Dealing with people has been taxing since Friday.  Earlier today someone came into my office to introduce herself and I could barely look her in the eye.  Aspie stress has been close to the surface at all times.

But it hasn't been all bad.  As much as dealing with anyone new was likely to be tough, I finally got to visit Cupcake Goddess at her new pad and meet her new guy.  The following day I was there to take a photo of her at the beginning of a 5k run and another one of her powering through the finish line with her shoulders ahead of her hips.  Well done CG!

I had some happy drinks with Helga and Alleluia before they went off to girly drinks (which I was mercifully spared) and settled in for a quiet night.  I did hear Roxy come home and she settled into her room before I could get up.  It turned out that she had just arrived home in a taxi after spending six hours in hospital after being hit by a car and knocked off her bike.  She is ok with a black eye, one stitch in her chin, and some scrapes on her cheek, but nothing that won't heal.

Apparently she had been trying to contact one of us for a lift, and while I was home and would have been more than happy to pick her up, somehow she didn't have my number.  I really felt bad about that.  I hadn't done anything wrong, but the idea that one of the girls I live with spent six hours alone in hospital before having to take a taxi home bothered me.

That meant that a few minutes after midnight when Alleluia rang asking if my earlier offer to pick her up if excessive drinking had been done was still valid, my answer was a firm yes.  I drove a friend of hers home and swung through Macca's for so she could get some late night sustenance before getting her home without her having to resort to taking a taxi driven by a stranger.  She was very pleased.

So I found myself getting all stressed about having to deal with other people.  (I also went shopping for shoes to a discount warehouse that was closing forever and lasted about ten increasingly stressed minutes surrounded by legions of people scavenging for deals that frankly weren't all that good before leaving with a shellshocked look on my face.)  Dealing with my friends, however, was easy.
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)
I'm still waking up early and having a hard time getting back to sleep.  I hope I've got it sorted now because being back on Australian time would be a plus.  The cold is leaving me too, but it's not gone yet.

I left work mid afternoon yesterday to fly to Dubbo.  It's not quite as cosmopolitan as most of the places I've been recently, but it's where I am now.  I did pushups in front of the Old Dubbo Gaol and in front of the Village Bakery Cafe, the first bakery ever to win the Great Australian Meat Pie competition twice.  My cheese and bacon pie for breakfast was very satisfying.

Today I gave a presentation on my demographic work which everyone loved and the whole thing went very well.  I think I may send it to my American contact so he knows the kind of work I do.

I ran into a former Deputy Prime Minister in Sydney Airport yesterday.  I knew him from when I first came down to Canberra and he asked what I was doing now, we chatted about how Julia Gillard and her party are really struggling, and he also asked where I was worshipping now in Canberra.

This guy was know for be quite openly religious and I had discussed the prospect of the priesthood with him.  He is a lot more conservative and a lot more happy clappy than I am.  I never told him about the rugby team I play on or about being in the Mardi Gras parade because I feel it would be an odd conversation.

And I realised that through Lent I scarcely set foot in a church.  That's a record for me.  But I think I am needing some space away at the moment.

In the airport I also spoke to a high ranking officer in the NSW Fire Brigade.  He's been at it for 28 years and loves it, and says apparently there are firefighter exchanges to overseas countries which would be nice.  I'll be doing more looking into things next week.

Off to Sydney now!  Tomorrow I may be modelling for a Convicts poster.  We will see how it goes.


luckycanuck: (Default)

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