Tuesday, September 30, 2008

There's a war in my body and I think I'm losing it

I'm sick. Again. Or perhaps, still. The boy reckons it's been dubbed the 90-day flu because, just when you think you've got over it, it comes back and drills you on the back of the head with a jackhammer.

I'll try not to bore you with self pity about my current condition, only that it feels like there's a series of small explosions going off in my skull - like the enemy are trying to blow up the same strategic bridge over and over again. Oh, and the alternating hot sweats and cold shivers. And the gluey snots clogging up my nostrils and turning me into a drooly mouth-breather. You get the idea.

Talk to ya later when I'm better.


The day after my last post, I mistakenly thought it was going to be a similarly nice day (ha! Boy, was I fooled...) so I wore a summery green empire-line t-shirt to work. Just for some minimal cover, I added a long-sleeved teal cropped cardy - you know, the kind that ties just under the bust. So I was walking to the office, mentally congratulating myself for mixing my colours for a change, when I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the shop window. My first impression was - Cheryl West *. And my next one was - looking pregnant.

I guess reading all those fashion magazines hasn't helped me after all.

* She looks good for her age but dresses a bit slutty. She is a Westie, after all.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sometimes it's good to be S.A.D. *

Okay, so I'm grumpy when it's cold and windy, and I get depressed if the sun doesn't come out for a whole month.

But when I can bask in golden sunshine in my lunch break and don't have to hold onto a telephone pole if I'm caught in a wind-tunnel (i.e. trying to cross the street in the middle of the CBD), then life is good.

Today, the sun shone and it was lovely warm and there was only just enough breeze to air out last week's bucketful of pooey laundry. TLM has made a rapid recovery from the bug which still has the boy and I hacking like scared dogs each morning; I can see myself taking a week off at the end of my contract; the boy...well the boy is still sometimes fed up with work but he's planning on taking some leave too.

So I'm happy.

* Having Seasonal Affective Disorder means that crap weather makes you moody and depressive. But on the other hand, maybe it means that a nice sunny day can send you over the moon...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Don't let this question put you off having kids (if you don't already have some)

This is the kind of query you probably don't see in your average Woman's Weekly magazine...

Dear Domestic Goddess,

I just wanna know - what can I do to TLM's laundry to stop it from smelling like it's been soaking in a bucketload of poo for a week (because it kinda has)?

Yours faithfully,

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Preferred cuddle bunny

This is the third weekend in a row that someone in the household has been struck down with the horrible lurgy that's doing the Spring fling around here; this time it's TLM who coughing her guts out and going hot and cold.

With her temperature hitting 38 degrees (Celsius) today and no appetite except for chocolate milk, all she's wanted this weekend is constant cuddles. Mostly with me. So, the boy's been feeling a bit hurt because TLM keeps rejecting him (unless he's offering a session of Dora computer games) and I have a sore backside from sitting around for 2 days with a 3-year-old on my lap.

I've felt the occasional resentment at not getting much of a break. But I guess it's nicer to be needed, and it's not all bad having a warm little body to hold while I'm sitting on the couch watching The Little Princess (that's the animated DVD based on the Tony Ross books, not the movie with Shirley Temple singing "animal crackers in my soup").

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My latest ear worm

Lately I've been hooked by a new Nintendo DS game called Picross (so that's two computer-y games I've enjoyed so far since they were invented). And because I'd spent about 3 full days out of the last week, home sick with nothing else to do, probably about half of those waking hours were wasted on Picross.

Last night, the jazzy ditty that plays on a loop during the game, was spinning around and around in my head. Every time I woke up, dry-mouthed and coughing, it was that damned ditty I heard. I even had dreams of little crosses and blue squares running up and down a glowing grid.

But I like to think that it's one of those things that'll keep my brain cells from shrinking.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Impotence against the enemy bugs

I've had the sore throat from hell since Thursday evening, and promptly blamed it on the boy because he doesn't believe in keeping the hell away from other people when he's sick.

They say that being a contractor is the best cure for the common cold; if that's the case then what I have (and what the boy had a few days prior) is no ordinary cold. Because, while I've soldiered on in the face of the puny-er viral armies (with a little help from pseudoephedrine, my weapon of choice), this latest one is relatively nuclear-powered. I even took Friday off (shock!) - I even too today off (horror!).

The boy came home with reinforcements today - herbal cold 'n' flu tablets, echinacea and more pseudoephedrine (mass weapons of decongestion) - so I was thinking of going back to work tomorrow.

Only...now TLM is sick.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Keeping my hand in

I haven't managed more than about two sentences of fiction writing, since I started working back in the end of April. Either my creative energy has run out, or I need lots of time to write (just like some artists need lots of laudanum).

But I still borrow short story collections from the library, and I usually get through half a dozen stories before it's time to return them. On the one hand, it feels like I'm still keeping a tenuous connection with my writing. On the other hand, coming across an amazing story just hammers home to me the huge gap between what's possible (from a good writer) and what's likely (from me).

Well, at least there's always the blog.

Monday, September 08, 2008

at tether-end

I've tried not to go on about it, and I think mostly I've succeeded, but I'm just gonna post about it one more time. I am so frustrated with TLM's lack of progress on the toilet training front. She's three, dammit, and supposed to be a bright-spark. So if she still isn't trying to get her doo-dads in the toilet or potty by now, she must be doing it in her pants simply to piss me off. It's been almost a year since that hopeful day when she squirmed to get out of her high chair 'cos she wanted to do a big-girl (poo in the potty). I find it hard to believe she just hasn't "got it" yet.

There can only be one reason why she's not all sorted - we must be trying too hard.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A couple of old guys get their shit together

I was the lucky recipient of a free copy of The Bucket List recently, courtesy of The Film Guide. Now, this is where it's beneficial for movies to be cheap or free sometimes. Because when the film came out a while ago, there was no way I was interested in sitting through a story about 2 old guys getting their last hurrahs in before the died of cancer. It's not because I thought it would be depressing; I just thought that plot-line sounded a little old, and I've never been a fan of Jack Nicholson. So I thought we may as well watch it before I put it up for auction on TradeMe.

But actually, it was pretty enjoyable. Nicholson and Morgan Freeman managed to make their characters admirably un-boring. Quirky even, though not in a cute Hollywood sort of way. Not even in a Hollywood rascally kind of way. Probably the only negative comment I can make is that Freeman's character, a mechanic who's worked for the last 40 years to support his wife and 2 kids, can afford the massive house they live in - and that his wife looks like a more mature version of Mrs Huxtable than yer average middle-aged housewife. It's just a bit too middle-class-ideal.

But back to the positive. The characters were likeable, the ending poignant but not too sugary, and it wasn't too long. And the boy liked it too - really liked it, loved it even. Possibly even more that he liked Gladiator, and that's saying something.

So yeah, pretty good for a mainstream movie. I reckon we'll be keeping this one.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Too much mind candy is rotting my brain cells

Like a nicotine addict (I'd imagine) who has finally become disgusted with the sight of all those discarded cigarette butts littering her back yard, I've come to realise that I have to do something about my magazine addiction.

It was a luxury, after years of being a non-earner, to be able to buy whatever magazines I wanted. At first I was devouring magazines about writing, but since I went back to work my creative energy seems to have gurgled down the toilet and the only writing I do is on this blog. So naturally, I turned to fashion and "women's" magazines. They were fun; I was interested in the clothes, and the odd photographs of haggard, makeup-less celebrities were just harmless mind candy.

But rot is setting in. Last week I bought an Australian gossip magazine called Grazia. There was nothing in it other than glossy photos of celebrities copying each other's styles. My starving brain cells are revolting against their junk food diet. It's time to take action.

My name is Violet and I'm a self-infflicted dumb-dumb. Can anyone recommend a good book of modern philosophy?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Daring to get away for a weekend

It's been a very, very long time since the boy and I were away. In fact, the last time was the only time we've been away as a family - when we booked two weeks at a resort in Fiji and came back after the first, due to severe lack of sleep for all of us.

We're thinking of going away again, only this time just for a weekend (perhaps a long weekend, but that depends on where we go and whether our respective workplaces are okay with it). So we can't go far. And we definitely want to stay somewhere with separate bedrooms, to ensure TLM doesn't have to sleep in the same room that we're trying to eat in.

So, those of you who've been around the lower North Island, where would you recommend? I'm thinking of a couple of luxury nights at The Portage in the Marlborough Sounds. Or maybe somewhere that requires fewer transfers and less overall travel time.

Monday, September 01, 2008

It's not all daffodils and bunnies, y'know

I'm looking forward to summer almost as much as the next person (though I must declare that it's far easier to dress well in cold weather than in hot). But spring? I've got to do a big bah - humbug here.

Yeah, it's wonderful when we get a nice day or two, especially if it happens in the weekend. And it's great to be able to hang your washing outside on those days, and plan picnics and dress in fewer than three layers (and none of them have to be polar fleece or merino).

But let me say three things: 1) hayfever, 2) galeforce winds, and 3)the cold snaps that come just when you've put away all your cold-weather clothes.

Number 3 hasn't really hit yet, mostly because it's still too early to start packing away the woollies. Even the most naive, forgetful optimist would be waiting for at least another month.

Number 2 hasn't happened yet either, but just you wait. Until October. Then you'll be hanging onto lamp posts to avoid being blown into the next block like a badly pegged duvet cover.
On the other hand, there might well be some substance to the theory that my city is becoming less and less windy with global warming.

Number 1...ah, the one that turns my glee to misery every year. I haven't started sneezing yet (unless you count my last cold). But last night I developed the filthiest headache, and - despite faithful doses of paracetamol - it still has it's nasty grip on my head as I blog (it's been 24 hours and counting).

I guess it would be a good idea to think happy thoughts at this point - floral dresses, the promise of weekends away, summer fruit and...daffodils and bunnies.