windtear: Paper-doll style self-portrait (Default)
So, apparently I am not yet dead. According to the latest book I'm reading, Death From the Skies! by Philip Plant, PhD, the universe would like to fix that for me. However, it appears to have terrible aim.

I have just gotten back from finishing watching this year's Reel Anime, the annual Australian anime film festival. Four films this year: Children Who Chase Lost Voices, the latest from Makoto Shinkai (he's the guy who did Voices of a Distant Star, the first film created and produced in its entirety by only one person; and judging by the extremely short credits on Lost Voices, he still hasn't learned how to delegate); Wolf Children, the latest from Mamoru Hosoda, the director of Summer Wars; Berserk: The God King's Egg, which is a retelling of the first arc of the TV anime; and the latest from Ghibli (though not a Miyazaki film), From Up On Poppy Hill. Lost Voices is bittersweet and I wished for a different ending; Wolf Children is an overall happy film that has a very melancholic, downer ending; Berserk ends on a 'To Be Continued' card, and Poppy Hill is interesting in that it puts two sensible, intelligent sixteen-year-olds into a soap opera situation and sits back to watch as they deal with the situation (amazingly enough) sensibly. So many opportunities for meltdowns and tantrums that they just pulled themselves together and behaved rationally through, it practically made you giggle. As the leading man sums it up, "This is just like something out of a melodrama. How absurd!" And they get a happy ending. (Finally! One of these films has a happy ending!)

We are up to four styrofoam boxes headed for St Vinnies', which now include a fishing tackle box and a CD player. Go me! I'm still keeping the melamine drinks coasters, the seven bud vases and the screwdriver set, though. (And I don't care what the parents say, those fridge magnets are gone.)
windtear: (The Interpretive Dance of Extreme Stabbi)
So my grandmother just moved out of her villa in the retirement village and into a room in the residential section. This is not a surprise to anyone, and really we were expecting it much earlier. The women of my family, on both sides, are tougher than granite.

But what this means is that she had to clear out her villa of everything that was hers. The rest of the family cherry-picked what they wanted and then decided (in their wisdom) that as I had recently set up housekeeping for myself, that I needed all the housewares. (It seems to be a trend now. Some piece of kitchenware you don't want? Give it to Raye. I rarely entertain and I'll never have kids, what do I need a set of six wooden eggcups for anyway?)

And so, after finally doing my own clear-out, I now have to go through all this stuff from Grandma. Some of it's good (yay placemats! yay doormats!), some of it's interestingly okay (apparently I come by my fondness for teacups with lids honestly), and some of it's WTF (why on earth do the family, who know I only drink coffee when either I need caffeine or some insane heathen has drunk all the tea and failed to replenish the supply but I need something, think I should have gotten Grandma's coffeemaker, I do not know. At least they included her huge jar of ground coffee).

I've already filled two big garbage bags, washed up three lots of crockery (because I have no idea what it was like at Grandma's house, and whether it stays here or is known to leave here, it shall be clean while it does), filled two big styrofoam boxes with stuff that I don't want that still seems perfectly serviceable (such as the previously-cited coffeemaker) so it's going to Lifeline, and massively increased my supply of pens. (Seriously, what is with my family and pens? It's like there isn't a writing implement in existence that we don't glom onto. Even oldfashioned quills. Don't get me started on the Saga of the Sealing Wax.)

So now the question is... what the hell do I do with all this coffee?
windtear: (Flying free)
Everything has two sides.

When I was a kid, we saved... nearly everything. If a package could be reused, chances were high it would be. Clothes were handed round, not thrown out until they were worn past the woof. If you couldn't think of three different uses for an item, it wasn't worth getting. And you never threw away something you could use again.

This can be called 'prudent'. It can also be called 'incipient hoarding behaviour'.

I have just thrown out a full green bag of 30-150mL bottles, on the grounds that a) saving something you know you're never going to use is, at best, silly; and b) if I get rid of these things now, maybe I'll be able to start breaking the cycle.

Fingers crossed, at any rate.
windtear: (Looks like such a nice girl)
So some time ago, I did a meme. The rules: Pick your twenty favourite pairings, and write a short description of each. Then post the descriptions and see if your flist can guess the characters.

So I did. But of my twenty pairings, only nine were solved. And I did say I'd post the solutions. So here they are (after six months).

First, the nine solved pairings. )

And now the eleven conundrums. )

I actually enjoyed doing this meme, and I kind of wish it had been more popular. Oh well.
windtear: (Dark-haired beauty)
It is not a good thing to see one's bones through one's skin. Nevertheless...

Hello, collarbones. I am very pleased to make your acquaintance.
windtear: (Flying free)
I have MOVED! Into a very nice small house that's mine and only mine! And I have a brand-new washing machine! A TV with built-in multi-region DVD player! Internet download limit that is just for me! And CAST-IRON COOKWARE!

I am really excited about everything, but the cookware is a really pleasant surprise, because the rest pretty much followed moving out of my brother's place, but I was expecting to have to buy my own pots and pans. But when I told Mum about it, she promptly pulled out and gave to me the set of cast-iron cookware she had bought herself just before she and Dad got their glass-topped induction-heated cooktop, that she had never been able to use (the cookware, not the stovetop, the stovetop is doing its job nicely). It was all still in its original wrapping. So now I have to season it all (how do you season cast-iron cookware? According to the internet, I oil it and then put it upside-down in a hot oven to cook the oil with a tray underneath to catch the drips, except for the dutch oven which apparently I can do on the stovetop, but again has to be upside-down and they don't explain what happens to the drips there. Also, nobody agrees on what type of oil, with some saying it must be lard, others solid vegetable shortening and some saying olive oil is fine, or how long it goes in the oven for). And now I have to answer the real question - what the heck do you cook in a French pan? (It is round, has two handles like a dutch oven, is 26cm in diameter and is 4cm deep. It's almost but not quite a really big and deep frypan, and has a slightly domed lid that adds about 3 more centimetres to the depth.) It feels like it should have specialised dishes that are cooked in it, like a tangine, but I think I'll be using it to poach chicken or something like that.

Diet is going well - I weighed myself today and I'm now at eighty-five kilos. Eighty-five! That's thirty kilos gone in five months. Thirty kilos without surgery, medication or meal replacements of any kind. I didn't think it was really possible when I started. But now I'm here, and I'm starting on the downhill stretch of the last fifteen kilos, and I'm thinking of how I'm going to manage this for the rest of my life. Because I don't know if I can let myself eat anything near the 8700kJ daily average, but equally clearly, once I reach my goal weight, I probably should ease up on my current limit of 6000kJ a day. I'm just afraid of how badly I'll yo-yo while finding that happy medium.
windtear: (I have low esteem for everyone else)
On the weekend, my friends introduced me to The World God Only Knows, which is a very unusual story, in that it's a) a harem anime, without the harem; b) it's an otaku-meets-real-world story where the otaku... well, I won't say he doesn't change in response to his forced collision with reality, but it's all on his terms and his beloved hobby (dating sims) remains intact; and, most unusually of all, it's a romantic story where, if I'm reading the signs right, the hero is asexual.

Read more... )
windtear: (Looks like such a nice girl)
I have a house.

Specifically, I have been approved for a lease on a townhouse. I think a major reason I was approved is because it's been available for a while and I'm the first to apply that's passed all the checks. But yeah. Very nice new house, in the place I want, really close to everything I need. And I'm even able to afford it.

I'm excited and apprehensive and quite a bit freaked out right now, but I will be moving in ten days. Let the packing commence. MEEP!

~~~

Does anybody else pull out their winter gear, take one look and go, "... what the hell was I thinking buying THAT?" I'm not talking no-longer-fashionable, I'm talking completely not the right style for my body shape and completely the wrong colour for my complexion.

And in other news that may not be totally unrelated, Lifeline will getting a donation of winter clothing very shortly.
windtear: (Distant like the Moon)
I never post anymore. It all feels meaningless. I used to use this space to vent, and that was fine, except that it feels futile.

My family won't change and I have lost patience with trying to reason with them; it is so much easier on myself to say, "That is what they are, why should I change for them when they will not change for me?" and simply do what I want without consulting them. (I will say that this final straw has come about due to an incident where I requested my mother's and my paternal grandmother's presence, and when they agreed to come, expected them to behave like adults. They didn't. And then blamed me for their behaviour because I was the one who invited the other.)

I can't talk about work. All the best stories are confidential.

I can't talk on other blogs. I've tried. I seem to spend all my time earnestly demonstrating how much of my shin I can get past my teeth.

I'm just tired.
windtear: (Distant like the Moon)
I haven't posted in a while, so, yeah. Hello. I'm not dead yet.

Work continues. It's very stressful and so I have discovered the joys of monthly massages. It helps, but I'm still chewing my fingernails down to the quick.

Something about this job that I didn't realise when I applied was that RSL Care have really high standards in our field, and as a consequence, I'm finding that I'm paying Granny Weatherwax's Price (if you are the best, then you have to be the best, with all the extra work that that requires). But what nobody mentions when they talk about the Price is what you get at the end, when you look at what you've done and it's up to spec. It hurts to pay the Price but once paid the feeling of satisfaction is blissful.

I am not sure if I have mentioned here that I have been on a diet since the beginning of last December. Well, if not, you know now. It's a Lite'N'Easy type of diet, in that I get delivered all my meals, and I'm supposed to stick to eating what's on today's menu. It's an up and down thing; I still want things (like yesterday afternoon, I would have killed for a sausage roll) but with three full meals (and we're talking real food here, not any meal-replacement drinks or reconstituted cardboard fakes) and a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack, it's really hard to justify breaking it to myself (plus it helps that there are no fast food shops around my workplace). And in three months I have lost twenty-five kilos. My goal is to weigh 70 kilos so I've got twenty to go, and I'm sticking with this diet, because it's working.

Life with contact lenses is interesting. It turns out that for the past few years, my optometrists have been giving me glasses that are slightly stronger than what I need, so I've been functioning with the practical equivalent of 22/22 vision rather than 20/20. My contact lenses, however, are the correct strength. So it's a trade-off; I can put in my contact and get peripheral vision and the ability to wear mascara without painting black lines on my vision (I have long eyelashes) but I get dropped down to 'normal' vision (which feels like it's not quite good enough, thanks to the years of 22/22), or I can wear my glasses, forgo eye makeup and the edges of the world, but be able to clearly see to a greater range.

The current thing I'm looking forward to is The Hunger Games movie. I didn't think my mother would read these books. I read them, I loved them, I talked them up, and I tried to lend them to her but she was resistant and wouldn't touch them. Then, four weeks ago, I got a phonecall. She'd picked up The Hunger Games from her library, tore through it, raced back and picked up Catching Fire, tore through that, and then went back for Mockingjay... only to find all copies checked out. Was my offer of a loan still good? Of course I lent it to her, and showed her the trailer for the movie, and now she and my sister and I are planning to go opening weekend. It'll be good. (But I still want the books back.)
windtear: Paper-doll style self-portrait (Default)
So, I have been sitting on something for a little while that really isn't earthshattering but is really important to me.

I'm getting contact lenses.

I've had to wear glasses since I was eight years old and my eyesight without them is really bad (as in, my finger is blurry when held six inches in front of my nose). One of my recurring fantasies is being able to just open my eyes and see. Before anybody suggests Lasik, I get keloid scarring - that is, every cut/sore/wound I get heals into thick red scars, even the smallest scratch. (I once had a cyst in the middle of my forehead, and my parents found a plastic surgeon who specialised in leaving no scars to cut it out. There is now a pale but visible scar in the middle of my forehead.) I am very sure that if I got Lasik, it would scar, and while I have really bad myopia now, at least I don't have blind spots.

I have had contact lenses before - I got them in the last year of high school, when my optometrist said my eyesight had stabilised. In those days the only types available were 'hard', which were rigid polymer, stayed in the eye for up to a week at a time, and tended to be used for things like astigmatism, and 'soft', which were a bit more pliable and got put in of a morning and taken out each night, and were for things like my myopia. I stopped wearing contacts when I went to uni, because cleansing solutions and sterilization tablets cost fifty dollars for a month's supply, and these were the days when a weekly grocery bill for a single person was between twenty and thirty dollars (ten to fifteen if she was deliberately economising). A pair of glasses was no ongoing cost and covered by my parents' health insurance so it was a much more economical option.

But now I can afford contact lenses so I asked my optometrist about them. He didn't even offer me a permanent pair - the discussion went straight to disposable lenses. So strange! Twelve years ago, when I last had contacts, disposables were just coming on to the market and they were prohibitively expensive. Now, apparently, permanent contacts are being phased out and disposables are what's offered. I'm not unhappy, as it's no more cleansers and sterilizers and what-have-you, but it's really odd to realise that just ten years has seen this jump in technology and culture.

For the past week I've been trialling the lenses, and now I have a problem I never anticipated. The lenses go in like a dream but they really don't like coming out! It always takes me at least three goes to get them out. My new nightmare is presenting at the Emergency Room at 10:00pm one night, and shamefacedly explaining to the nurse there that I'm really sorry, but I just can't get my contacts out...
windtear: (Looks like such a nice girl)
So a week ago, after hearing for years about how I really should read them, they're really good and I'd love them, I picked up The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. And yeah, I'm in love, like everybody who recommended them knew I'd be.

Typically for me, my favourite character isn't the lead or the love interest - the character I really like and want to know more about is Haymitch. Oh, and I'm following my usual pattern of liking the canon couple best. What's interesting is that at first that seems really out of character for me (my tropes are The Childhood Friend, True Companions, and Broody and Quiet) but looking again they all fit. Of course, they all fit the romantic rival, too, but I think I was picking up on the conclusion Katniss comes to in the end: that two angsty, angry brooders in this relationship would lead to mutual emotional implosion and she needs the optimistic peacemaker to keep her on an even keel.

So looking forward to the movie!

+++++

I have decided that the worst thing about my job is that I have all these crazy stories that I can't share with anybody due to patient confidentiality. I swear, it's like once a person turns sixty-five, all restraint goes down the toilet. I get that a lot of older people develop mental issues, but still, there's this thing about aging gracefully. And with dignity. And without making your carer, your nurse or casual passers-by reach for the brain bleach.

+++++

And I have a new TV show I'm loving as well. You may laugh, but seriously, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is awesome. I was sold when, in the middle of the quest, one of the six-man (pony?) band breaks out into song, the lead says flatly, "Tell me she isn't," and another of the band replies, in a wonderfully resigned voice, "Yep, she is." So very musical-esque and yet realistic.
windtear: (Penguin on the Catwalk)
I've got a cold.

Of course, I know why; at work I sit directly under the air-conditioning vent, and because it's set for 24 degrees it comes out at about 18 and then when I go outside again the outside temp is between 28 and 32 degrees. A cold or the flu was probably inevitable. But it's still really irritating. I'm pretty sure I'm getting better - the sore throat is gone, my ears are unclogged and I'm sneezing and coughing much less than yesterday - but still. I really don't like being sick.

Life is quiet at the moment - I'm pretty much broke until payday, which has led to an interesting situation - I'm going to have to go a week without my proper Diet Factory (think Lite 'N' Easy, only local and a little bit cheaper) meals. I've already planned out most of my options and I think it'll be fine, but still. This will be interesting, to see how I go when I'm the one doing my calorie planning. (At this point, my opinion is: it's much cheaper when I do it but the food is much more varied and interesting when they are. I'll keep you posted.)
windtear: Paper-doll style self-portrait (Default)
So, for the first time, my parents did not host the family Christmas. I did. And I think it all went down very well. All involved have pronounced themselves quite satisfied, and the things that went wrong went wrong outside my purview. I got the proper live tree this year and I think it was worth it. The cats have been studiously ignoring it.

So the only issue is, I keep snacking on leftovers and breaking my diet. Bad windtear, stop eating that biscuit! I've decided I won't worry till Jan 2, but from that day forward, all leftvers (and temptation) are banished!
windtear: Paper-doll style self-portrait (Default)
To christen my new journal - Merry Christmas to everyone, and to all a good night!
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