Friday, October 26, 2012

October Evaluation and Assessment

Just a quick post to firstly say am feeling extremely overwhelmed and stressed at the moment and haven't had a chance to blog. It's all my fault and again, I have not stuck to what I said I was going to. Damn lists. Who needs them! I don't even want to look back at that list I posted a few weeks ago as I'll bet I've achieved nothing on it.

I've been a tad greedy with work projects and said YES to absolutely everything and then I whinge about being up all hours working and having no life and no time. My reasoning, at the time, is to get ahead now so that I can afford to take some time off over summer to get that bikini bod down to the beach with the peeps. The bikini bod is not at all achievable, but I do intend to hit the beach.

I'm feeling left out of things at the moment and looking forward to nailing these last projects. Barnstormer told me the other day that I was not allowed to go with them to the pool because I "haven't finished my work or met my deadlines". She just turned 4. She talks like a performance manager. She told me I "need to re-organise my work things so that I have time to do fun stuff". She also said that "making excuses is not the way to go". Why am I not as intelligent as her? It's not fair.

Even though this year has another couple of months to it, I have learnt that:

  • I am crap at meeting deadlines when it comes to writing  my books.
  • I am most excellent and efficient at meeting deadlines when it comes to editing reports.
  • I spend too much time looking at life through a screen of some sort.
  • My medication makes me focus on myself, to the detriment of other family members, more than I should.
  • I lost my mind some years ago, but more recently, my medication has severely diminished my short-term memory.
  • I think my short-term memory has disappeared.
  • Did I mention that I don't seem to remember anything?
So, quite simply, these are my three goals for 2013:

1. Get off the meds. Or at least CHANGE the medication.
It's affecting my ability to work. I can't remember how I've styled things in documents and am continually backtracking. I feel like Guy Pearce in Memento. I have to keep writing notes to myself about things to remember. I've missed appointments, I've missed Barnstormer's ballet lessons, I've cooked meals three times. I've left taps running and left the house. I've forgotten where I've parked the car at shops. I've forgotten where I'm going when I've got in the car. I've forgotten if I've taken my medication that morning. I've forgotten that HM's aunty died four days ago and asked how she was.

2. Just say NO to book contracts.
Unless  there is nothing else going, the motivation just isn't there at the moment to meet deadlines.

3. Walk along the beach every morning.

This stuff is GOLD. Makes me feel good all day.

Right, I feel better already just for writing all of that down. How is everyone else travelling at this time of the year?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We live on Weird Street

I am tired of talking about me so this is, quite plainly, a post about other people. And why not start close to home ...

It occurred to me when I was driving down our street some years ago, that almost everyone that lives here is weird in some way (except, of course, the darling people at number 67). In a nutshell, I believe that most of the residents that have chosen to live on this hilly beach side street, have been afflicted with varying degrees of OCD or just general weirdness, with regard to their property and behaviour.

It all starts with Number One and that would be where my parents-in-law live. I shall spare them from this post but they clearly fit into the category of weirdness that our street is all about. In fact, they can probably tick more boxes than most when it comes to strangeness.

And obviously, our house has its own multiple dose of OCD that has been talked about on here before, however, I would like to highlight some other goings on just to make me feel normal. I shall start by saying that nothing below has been embellished or exaggerated in any way. And of course no names have been mentioned.

Case #1
Last year the next door neighbour, putting himself at the huge risk of falling off a very high ladder, awkwardly proceeded to paint his already [professionally] painted roof alcove a lighter shade of cream, becauseand I quote: "It wasn't the right shade of cream". Apparently there are Fifty Shades of Cream. However, it looks exactly as it did before. He almost dislocated a shoulder doing this.

Case #2
The man across the road took 15 years to build his carport. I even saw the start of it in 1996. We call it the Taj Mahal. If I was going to be slightly unkind, I might even suggest that it does not match the house at all, but who am I to comment on modern architecture. As if this wasn't enough weirdness in itself, he wrote down how much it all cost {OK, not very weird}, but he rounded everything to the nearest 5 cents {somewhat weird}. I know this for a fact because he told HM that the Taj Mahal carport cost somewhere in the vicinity of $19,875.45. He made a point of saying he rounded it off to the nearest 5 cents. Who does that? Then, after completing this mammoth 15 years of hard labour, he and his wife put the house on the market!! They weren't even planning on enjoying their Taj Mahal.

On hearing this, I looked the house up on the net to see what they were offering and the real estate agent had the AUDACITY to write on the ad: RENOVATE OR DETONATE! The Taj Mahal builder must have been horrified at the suggestion of demolishing his very hard-laboured carport. I suspect he took it off the market then and there as it would now appear that they no longer seem to be selling.

Case #3
The man next door to the Taj Mahal washes his 4WD every day. He was even seen washing it on Christmas Day. He also has labels on everything inside his house. Labels about the channels on the remotes, instruction labels for how to use the DVD player, kettle, microwave, oven, etc. I know this for a fact because we grabbed one of the tellies he put out on the bulk rubbish collection one year and he took me inside to hunt down the clearly labelled remote that was inside a clearly labelled cupboard. AND I mean, labelled as in providing a little mini-inventory of what was inside the cupboard.
Interestingly, this man has four sons and every single one of them is a commercial pilot.

Case #4
The lady across the road, on the other side of the Taj Mahal, once purchased an old typewriter from HM when he had a garage sale many years ago. It was a medieval early-electronic typewritera collector's item if you will. He sold it to her for the princely sum of $5. A mere two days later, she was on the doorstep, somewhat aggrieved and demanding her money back (as in a full refund of the $5) as one of the keys did not work. The thing was ANCIENT.

To this day she often gives HM the evil eye, like he is some kind of neighbourhood con-man cheating her out of her life savings, last seen jumping a fence on A Current Affair.

Case #5
On the corner there is a mad scientist type who is ALWAYS hammering and banging away in his caravan, even late at night. He has four grown up children who still live at home. They are all around 30 and each of them has a partner. At any one time, there are about six cars out the front and it looks like all of them are there for dinner. It's kind of like the Brady Bunch with randomsas in the kids bought in the other kids to create a blended family. It's one person short of a commune. When Hammerhead and Barnstormer hit 30 they are out of here, if not WELL BEFORE. I mean, HM will be 85 by then! We will want some peace and quiet in our old age.

Case #6
There is a man over the hill who never, EVER opens his roller shutters in the front rooms and has bricked in some of the other windows. He's been living there for at least 45 years (HM grew up on this street and has never seen the shutters open). His house has ocean views and is probably worth a fortune, but the living room carpet never sees the light of day. I'm thinking someone has got some serious drug lab stuff going on OR they have that weird anti-sunlight diseaselike the kids in The Others. I hope one day they don't find something horrible inside.

Case #7
Next door to the house-of-darkness lives a nice man who waters/mows his lawn ALL DAY. He used to have the best piece of lawn on the street until the people on the other side of him built a new house and installed AstroTurf. His world turned upside down that day.

Case #8
There is an elderly lady down the hill a bit, in a very large expensive house, who for some reason dresses like a homeless person. She is often seen walking home from the shops with grocery bags way after dark. A very safe time for an elderly lady to walk a kilometre to the shops and back. And she has a very nice car which I have seen her drive many times. And plenty of hours during the day to drive to the shop.

OK, I'm leaving it here. There is more but that's quite enough I feel. Do you have a strange street? Surely our street can't be alone.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

My five-year-long weekend

In the tradition of the great procrastinator that is me, I feel I need a break from the riveting national curriculum standards assessment tests I am currently writing to blab on here about how great it is to be a weekend. Even if it is raining.

Except for a while now I've realised that there is little distinction between my weekends and my weekdays. It will all be different next year I expect when BOTH kidlets are at school. As it stands now though, Hammerhead is only at Kindy two days a week and Barnstormer has pretty much decided to defer her course at her pre-kindy institution. Her self-imposed gap year, if you will.

Once upon a time I had a 9-5 publishing job. Friday was just the best day in the universe and always ended with Friday drinks at some cool bar like this one which ended up with dinner somewhere cool like here and then we'd head somewhere groovy like this to finish off. The weekend started slowly with breakfast somewhere like here followed by a drive to the gym if I was super good. If I was extra good I might have even gone inside! Then possibly a visit to see a relative or friend and then lunch somewhere like here which may have also turned into dinner there as well. After all, it was only a hop, skip and a jump from my apartment.

Then Sunday would be home-cooked hot brekky followed by reading the papers with good coffee, followed [unlikely] by the gym and then maybe a movie here. The afternoon would inevitably involve a drive to Freo to meet up with the gang somewhere like here or  here. Then it was back to work on Monday, heads down till Friday. There was a BIG distinction between the weekdays and the weekends.

In my life now, any day of the weekend could pan out exactly the same as a weekday. And "after work" drinks happen EVERY NIGHT. During the week HM is often hanging around pruning working from home instead of training it into the office, and the kids are home at least three of those days, except The Surfer. There will be the obligatory family outing to a cafe like this, followed by lunchtime shambles and then [usually] I will settle down to do some housework paid work in the afternoon before the dinner time madness sets in while everyone else absconds to here to play on the beach and watch this:
This is indeed The Surfer.

Sounds like fun and most days it is. And then it all happens again on the weekend. Which means I also spend a lot of time doing work and cleaning on the weekends and I never really get that fantastic feeling that one gets at the end of the working week, because it never really ends.

I never feel on the weekends that I deserve to kick up my heels and be glad I got through the week, because it is STILL GOING and then it rolls into the next week and the next week and suddenly five years have gone by for me, where I can't recall the weekends. We rarely go out. It's not like our weekends are full of social gatherings and nights on the tiles. We're too tired for that at the moment. If I meet up with friends it could happen on any day at all. If HM and I go out it happens on whatever day someone can babysit and random drop-ins happen 365 days of the year. And yes, did I mention already that every night has "after work" drinks???

So in fact, my life is now one giant, long [working] weekend. And when I think about it like that, I realise it's an excellent way to be and there is a mix of everything. But it is going to change soon.

Next year, EVERYONE is at school, even possibly HM if he's not at the office, and I will then have ample, peaceful time to do my full-time hours without having to do them at night when all the peeps have gone to bed.

And it will be precisely then, my friends, when I am alone with just ME, my laptop and crap D-grade Foxtel movies playing in the background, that I know I will grieve so badly for these timeswhen everyone was hanging around at home, demanding my attention, trying to comb my hair while I am emailing, pruning while I am hanging out the washing, eating the muffins while they are meant to be cooling on the rack, accidentally purchasing kittens on Gumtree while playing games on my iPhone, messing up the kitchen after my cleaning, commentating surfing movies in an OTT Californian accent while I am editing background papers for the State Planning Strategy, and leaving Lego EVERYWHERE that it is possible to leave Lego.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Listless no more

I've been swapping emails with a new friend and she's inspired me to think about making a list of things I want to achieve in the year ahead. My year of being thirty thirteen. I’m hopeless with lists. I make them all the time but I very rarely complete everything on them. My outlook calendar is constantly flashing up reminders of things I should have done, months ago.

Even when I write a simple shopping list I will take it to the shop with me and occasionally glance at it, but I will still buy 20 things that are not on it, and forget to buy at least ten things that are.
So I am going to write a sensible list below that everyone can see, even those 47 readers who log on here from Belarus each day [Прывiтанне! Маё судна на паветранай падушцы поўна вуграмі]. Who knew I could speak Belarusian? 

If you're curious, I just wrote: “Greetings, my hovercraft is full of eels”.

This list is my WELLNESS list. It’s about keeping sane, happy and healthy:
  • Remember to take all tablets EACH morning, including fish oil.
  • Follow a skin care regime EVERY night.
  • Go for a walk at least three times a week, rain, hail or even cane toads falling from the sky—like in that masterpiece of film making, Magnolia.
  • Go on date with HM at least once a month. On Date Night, kid conversation is to be off limits.
  • Eat less carbs and more protein. 
  • Try to see girlfriends more often.
  • Try to get negative thoughts out of head as soon as aware of them.
  • Spend less time cleaning and more time playing with kids.
  • Put at least 15% of all work contracts into my ING savings maximiser and LEAVE it there.
  • Stop whinging. (optional)
  • Stop procrastinating with work stuff. Get it over and done with.   
Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.
-Albert Schweitzer

If you haven't already please go and LIKE the INSANE JANE Facebook page. And ... even though I shouldn't, I've now got a Twitter account @MsInsaneJane oh dear...

Friday, October 5, 2012


Gosh, it's been so long... I don't know where to start?

It just goes to show if I'm happy and I know it I don't have time to blog as am too busy clapping my hands. If I'm sad and I know it then it's blog, blog, blog. Well, this is true for me anyway. I find I could churn out a book when I am depressed. Not so, when I am feeling groovy. In fact, it's times like these I can't even think of anything to post about.

So I'll just waffle from here on in I feel.

It's the annual birthday season at our house. HM is first, then it's me, then it's nephews x 2 and then it's Barnstormer's. And so it goes on until Hammerhead and Barnstormer start waking up asking "who's birthday is it today and will there be a Beyonce castle?"

Who would have thunk it? There really is a Beyonce Castle. 

Beyonce castle made me laugh a lot at the time. I just love these crazy phrases the kids come out with. The other day Barnstormer was going to her cousin's "First Holy Chameleon". And Hammerhead still loves his "havavocado". They're just too cute to even correct.

But I digress. Again.

Birthday season: I turned thirty thirteen as I am calling it (thanks GF). I never liked the idea of 43. It's a prime number; you can't do anything with it. It doesn't have any factors. I so can't wait for 44.

It was truly a less than glamorous start to this new odd age as well. First of all, I woke up ill ... all sinus-y and blah. Then I had to try and get psyched for a lunch out somewhere, mainly to please the kiddies. I've now realised that my birthday isn't about me at all. It's all about the kids. They need presents to wrap. They need a cake with candles to blow out. They need someone to sing Happy Burfday to. They need to see all their little cousins. They especially need to hear their beloved grandparents' increasingly famous rendition of Happy Birthday sung on speaker phone.

Anyway, no sooner are we seated at lunch venue of choice when we spy The Surfer's mum lurking outside on the beach and so we invite her up for lunch. Now if you had have told me only a few years ago that I would be sitting down for a wine on MY bday with HM's ex as the only other guest, I would have laughed my head off. But now, if the truth be known, I see her more than any of my friends. I see her more than my best friend. I probably even talk to her on the phone more than I do with any of my friends and of course, she adores the little people. I'm thinking it's only a matter of days before I can ask her to babysit them while HM and I go to the Greek Islands for three months.

Anyway, back to my birthday. I had arranged for the best-grandies-in-the-universe to look after the little people while HM and I enjoyed a rare night out at a venue that had to be no further than 500 metres from our abode. But of course after gas bagging at lunch and then at home all arvo, I suddenly had LARYNGITIS. I did not want to go ANYWHERE and so our rare night out became totally extinct. But all in all it was a pleasant day, and I got to see one of my besties who was over from the other side of the country.

So now it's school holidays. And the Royal Show is on. And once again, HM and I have decided that the little people are STILL too little to go to the Show. At least that's what we keep telling ourselves. We figure why put ourselves through a tiring day of expenditure and sugar overload when they have YEARS of the Show to look forward to. So next year will be the year that we finally do the Show ... or not. In fact, I'm now wondering how long we can keep putting off this family day at the Show. Maybe they will be 17 and 18 before we finally get there. They don't know what they're missing and besides, The Surfer has bought back showbags for everyone. Even one for me. It was all girly with pink and orange poppies on it, filled with lots of luxurious samples of anti-ageing face creams and scrubs. Apparently he had to carry it around for a while. It is believed that some of his mates distanced themselves from him at the time.

Which reminds me, I wonder what The Surfer thought when he watched Puberty Blues and saw the girls being told "You're dropped!" on the beach for not standing there with their boyfriend's chiko roll and choc milk after a surf? The Surfer is almost fifteen and I cannot imagine him or any of his friends EVER eating a chiko roll. And if he had a girlfriend who could surf that would just be the ULTIMATE. Times have changed.

Ok, enough waffle. So it's a new year for me and I should probably make some new year "resolutions" but I'm not going to. I'm not putting any pressure on. I'm just going to aim to get through the year without incident. Definitely without a backward slide into the madness.

Of course the leading lady in my life is Barnstormer.
Drum roll ... and now for the question which is supposed to prompt you into leaving me a comment: What is the best new year's resolution you ever made, that you actually stuck to?