Story: 23/03/09-28/03/09

Sunday, 29 March, 2009

These days, the story of my life tends to get recorded on Twitter in 140 character bursts. But it's been a full week and I feel the need to debrief. So here goes ...

Monday 23/03/09

After a weekend of copious amounts of clothes shopping, eating Vietnamese and seeing a musical about Vietnam (the best amateur show I'd ever seen, even if it was Miss Saigon, which George loves and I loathe), going to a celebration picnic in honour of our nephew, church and dinner with my American cousin who showed us some of the antique Japanese swords and sword fittings he'd brought into the country for the Sydney Token Kai Japanese Sword Show Exhibition (from which we arrived home around midnight), after about six hours of sleep, I still got up, drove to work and got stuck into editing the May issue of The Briefing. I spent pretty much from 7:30 to 3:00 pm, hanging out for lunch but trying to get that final piece done. Then I ate my lunch, but thought, “It's practically home time. I think I'll go home”, and spent the second half of my lunch hour in the car.

At home, I tried to do some exercise. I wasn't too keen on going for a swim, but I also wasn't too keen on going for a walk. So I ran on the spot for about 20 minutes while watching an episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (noting, rather disrgruntedly, that the version I had purchased off eBay last year had subtitles which didn't quite sync with the Japanese dialogue).

Tuesday 24/03/09

Day off, but I had a busy day planned. To make up for six hours of sleep on Monday, I got around eight on Tuesday, and went to work in the lounge room as Ben was still asleep. I spent the entire day rebuilding The Faithful Writer website and putting it into Expression Engine. I had to do this because CASE changed servers late last year, and it was the perfect time to move everything to the domain I had bought (especially given that I no longer work for CASE and didn't have access to their new content management system). It took a while because my HTML, CSS and Expression Engine skills were rusty, plus I needed to tweak the design slightly and re-do the mailing list. I had cheese on toast for lunch, but accidentally burned one side of the toast in the grill because it's been about four years since I've actually made toast ... (Ben went off gluten and dairy in 2005, and I've never been a strong bread eater.)

Ben made dinner and we watched some TV. Then it was back to work—trying to build the front page of the domain according to the wonderful design Bec made last year. Needless to say, I didn't get too far with that. Plus, I had to the dishes plus this other thing for my mum before I could go to sleep (she wanted me to record myself singing 2 minutes of “Beatus Vir” by Monteverdi for an art thing she's doing). So I didn't end up going to bed until 1.

Wednesday 25/03/09

Nevertheless, I still got up at 6:40 and drove to work on five and a half hours' sleep. I ate breakfast at work (I think, apart from Tuesday, I didn't once have breakfast at home, but when I eat breakfast at work, I try to make sure I also read my Bible and pray). Then I got stuck into editing until it was time for my doctor's appointment. Another one of the awesome perks about having a Macbook is that I could take work with me, and I sat in the doctor's waiting room and edited while an elderly Greek woman occasionally glanced over my shoulder. (She was probably appalled at the subject matter because the article was about porn.)

Instead of the standard one-hour wait, I got to see the doctor after half an hour. Then, after getting my prescription filled, I headed back to work and edited almost a week's worth of Sola Panel. I had a cookies and cream KitKat for morning tea, and it must have filled me up, because I didn't feel hungry until 3 pm, which was when I finished the porn article. I figured I should probably just go home again, so I drove home, at my lunch while watching a bit of TV, then got distracted by TV and then didn't really get stuck into the second article I was supposed to edit that day. Part of the problem was I was stumped by the beginning, so I gave the author a call and sorted it out.

Then Ben and I went and caught the bus into town (we just missed one so we were sitting there for 15 minutes waiting for the next one). We walked to Badde Manors in Glebe and had dinner there (I had a very yummy risotto), then had churros for dessert at San Churro. Then we caught another bus up to Town Hall, and went to see Sia at The Metro. It was her only Sydney show, and it clashed with Bible study, but I was not about to miss it. The placed was packed—apparently it was sold out—and we found a space on the floor before the first steps and enjoyed the show from there (even though the heads of guys who were taller than me occasionally got in the way). And it was fantastic! She and her band came out with glow-in-the-dark costumes for the first number, then ditched them in favour of white apparel for the second (though she was an orange drapey dress). Bridezilla had been her support act, and in contrast to Bridezilla's rather breathy lead singer, Sia was just all power and emotion in her vocals. The crowd was so into it—I hadn't realised that so many people loved her music and knew all the words (they were singing along) but their energy and enthusiasm certainly affected Sia because she commented on it several times during the night. She did most of my favourites—“Breathe Me”, “Lentil”, “Little Black Sandals”, “You Have Been Loved”, “Playground”, “Electric Bird”—as well as a bunch I'd never heard before (and one which is going on her next album). I enjoyed every minute of it, dancing on the spot in my shuffly kind of way.

She and her band only did one encore. The crowd wanted more, but I guess that was a bit much, and it was getting late. Ben and I walked over to Castlereagh St and jumped on a bus, then walked home from the bus stop. I don't think I got to bed until about 1.

Thursday 26/03/09

Again, having had only five and a half hours of sleep, I got up, jumped in the car and drove to work (and ate breakfast there again). I had a lot to do, but I was running on very little sleep and wasn't sure if I'd make it. I dragged the bean bag into my office in case I hit the wall and needed to lie down. Green tea certainly helped, and I found I was able to focus and get the article I hadn't completed the day before off to the author by lunchtime.

This time I ate lunch at the proper time, then tried to edit a one-page review before staff meeting. During staff meeting, we read a bit of Proverbs 16 in small groups, then prayed together. After staff meeting, I finished the one-page review and then it was 4 pm and home time. I drove home, dragged Ben out for a walk for half an hour, then started the laundry while he cooked. I was getting stuck into the last feature article when dinner was ready. We watched some TV, then I had to get back to work. So I did the dishes and continued with the laundry, and finished editing the last feature article. It was about 9 pm and I still had the one-page Pastor's brief to go. It was mercifully short, so I finished that and emailed it off to the author, then called it a night and went to bed at around 10 pm.

Friday 27/03/09

I slept for around 10 hours, but I'm sure you'll agree I really needed it. I woke up at 6 to find Ben was up (not having slept well), so I persuaded him to go back to sleep because I didn't want him driving all sleep-deprived. (Surely I'm not the only one who is concerned about that!) I got up again several hours later to eat breakfast, read the Bible and pray (oh, so that's the other day when I did that at home), and then got stuck into the Resource talk article. Then Ben got up and got ready, and drove me to work because he needed the car.

I was only in the office for about an hour and a half. I finished the Resource talk and sent it off to the author. Then I did a few other bits and pieces for the May issue, gave Paul an update and went to meet Elsie at her office. We went to the Tea Inn to drink milk tea, chat and pray together. This made me a bit late for The Faithful Writer committee meeting at 1, but that was okay.

We were having it at the newly built New College Village, which is, I think, the only postgraduate residential college in the country. Trevor gave us a tour, and it's a really cool place. Bec and I agreed that it almost made us want to start PhDs so we could live there. After the tour, we had a lovely lunch provided by the college in the conference room, and got stuck into our meeting. It was over by 2:30 because Trevor had to leave, so we made our farewells.

Then Bec and I caught the 400 bus up to The Spot, and went to the really cool gift shop there (where I bought a better handbag holder; I used to have one that belonged to Ben's grandmother, but Lizz admired it and I thought she deserved to have it more than me, so I gave it to her and bought another when I was in Brisbane with Kathleen. Unfortunately that one wasn't too good with the weight of my handbag ...) We also had a poke around the secondhand bookshop, before going to Teascapes and settling into the lounges near the window. I had a big chai latte, and Bec and I talked for a while and started dreaming together about going to see Wicked in Melbourne. Then Guan showed up, we caught up since we all hadn't seen each other in a while (over a week—shock horror!) and then we got stuck into writing.

At around 5:30, Guan said he had to go. Bec went with him, but I stayed and kept writing. I manage to plot almost the rest of chapter 1 of my graphic novel, and then Amelia and her friend Jo showed up with their 15 mm knitting needles and Anny Blatt fine kid mohair, and I proceeded to talk them through how to knit the modified Lace Ribbon pattern so they could make the same shawl that I had made for Amelia last year.

The knitting clinic went for a lot longer than I expected (plus I gave them faulty instructions on the wrong side rows!), but afterwards Amelia dropped me at Guan and Mary's where everyone was gathered in the TV room. Ben had been rather frustrated because he had the Guitar Hero guitar, but I had the game, which meant none of them could play. So they played for a bit until the pizzas turned up, and then we started watching The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which almost everyone seemed to enjoy.

Then Ben and I dropped Bec home, then drove home and messed around on the computer for a bit. That was when I hit the wall, I think: I checked Facebook, and under a status update about how I'd manage to get 10 hours of sleep the night before, someone (who will not be named, but she is a new mother) commented “sleep—what's sleep?? *sigh*” which just made me see red—probably because she's the third young mother to do that in the space of six months, and (more likely) because the commenter was more concerned with herself and her experiences than me, even though it was my status update. If she had just said something about her baby fatigue on her own status update, that would have been fine; why she felt compelled to mention it on mine is beyond me. As it was, she came across as callous, and she clearly had no appreciation for how hard I'd been working this week (not that she had to; I don't expect everyone to read all my status updates, but if she had, she would have known that working a 30-hour week with extra work plus housework is no mean feat). I was trying to explain this to Ben but I don't think he got it; I guess he doesn't often get other guys inconsiderately complaining to him about their lack of sleep because of babies. But George was online, so I ranted to her for a while, and we had a long IM conversation about all sorts of things.

I finally said goodbye to her because it was really late (around 1:30 am) and she had to drive to Canberra the following day, and I went to bed, but two hours later, I was still awake. So I got up and started doing stuff on my computer. I actually did work work—I uploaded all the web ads that Jess had sent me for The Briefing and The Sola Panel, and put them all into Expression Engine, and I did it while listening to Scapie's version of Watchmen (where some guy's cat tries to explain the plot of Watchmen to this girl), and then, when that was done, I moved onto my Last FM recommendations. At 5 am, I felt tired again, so I went back to bed and slept for about seven or eight hours.

Saturday 28/03/09

I got up at around 1 and spent the day feeling rather sad and mopey. I mucked around listlessly on the computer, watched taped NCIS, went for a walk to the shops with my Frou Frou parasol to buy supplies for the evening, tidied up the flat, and then Seamus and Little Rachel came over for dinner. I gave them the grand tour while Ben cooked (it's so wonderful when Ben cooks!) and then gave Little a bag full of clothes I was giving away to try on (and they all looked fantastic on her, so I was very pleased they were going to a good home!) Seamus had a go at Guitar Hero, and then dinner was ready, so we ate vegetarian stir fry with hokkien noodles and sweet chili sauce, and then we played about five games of mahjong (I finally won one!)

After they left, I did the dishes (putting most of them in the dishwasher—yay dishwashers!) and cleaned up. Then I sat down to write this.

But now it's 2 am. Bedtime, methinks ...


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I hear you on the sleep comment.

Nathan lived in postgraduate accommodation at Griffith University during the first part of his PhD. Then we got married and lived off campus.

I think Griffith uses it now to house some aspiring young cricketers.

dishwashers are the best thing ever smile

They are indeed!


Kinds of Blue: Cover art



A way of funding writing in the future: pitch and idea and get people to support it.

Place where you can hire play equipment for parties, etc.

How to recalibrate the home button on your iPhone.

Unsolicited manuscripts accepted by Pan Macmillan with certain conditions.

Thought Balloon is a group blog in which the writers tackle a new theme every week? month? with one-page scripts. This URL is for their Phonogram ones.


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