Gotta take the bad with the good.

It was a mixed bag this weekend. Chico moved in on Saturday morning! We had to make a 3 hour round trip to get him, so I was packed into the car with pillows so as to avoid having to use my abs for stabilisation. Codeine and I have reached a stand-off unfortunately. It certainly kills the pain, but the price is nausea.

So anyway… Chico. He is gorgeous. I think so, Shaun thinks so, Julio doesn’t.


Because Julio is usually the world’s most placid cat, it’s actually pretty funny to watch him hiss. Chico is completely unperturbed by it. In an awesome act of retaliation, Julio ate all of the kitten biscuits in one go while Chico stood by and watched. Then, in an equally awesome act of retribution, god made Julio puke the biscuits up all over the house, which meant that Chico could eat them.

Warning: Really, really gross –
On the down side this weekend, my infection raged like a burning inferno all through Friday and Saturday. Yesterday I woke up feeling significantly better, just really itchy. There was this strange hard red circle about the size of a tennis ball, but flat, surrounding my belly button. When I pressed it, a stream of pus flew out. I couldn’t decide whether to puke or faint. Apparently that is a good sign – I’m healing, but the people that say that clearly don’t have it leaking from their own belly buttons.

Needless to say, there will be no more pressing…

A setback

Well damn it. I would seem that I got a bit gung ho about my speedy recovery and I’ve learned a hard lesson. I had to go back to the hospital last night. I have contracted a post-op infection. Apparently it happens occasionally. The surgeon knicked a blood vessel which has been bleeding into my stomach wall and has now become secondarily infected.

It was the scariest thing. Yesterday morning I was fine. Within the space of 2 or 3 hours I went downhill rapidly. I re-swelled and started running a fever.

Easily fixed though. I’m on antibiotics which should start to kick in today. Until then I’m gonna be feeling like complete and utter crap, so for today, this is it I’m afraid.

Back to the couch.

I like it best on top

Nope. Not talking dirty. There are some things (although very few, I concede) that I don’t blog about.

I’m talking about being on top of things generally. For the first time in the last year or so, I feel in control of my workload. I’ve made my deadlines and I’ve done my invoicing. I actually spent an hour last night watching TV. It was quite the novelty. Yesterday Shaun and I had a couple of conversations as well. Crazy stuff!

I have new projects on the horizon which is good. The business is rolling nicely. The work is varied as well, which I’m enjoying. From branding to web design to wedding stationery. All good. And it’s not just work that I’m blitzing. I’ve been mentoring my ass off at Youthline, and I’ve been spring cleaning as well. It’s not true that you need to slow down after surgery. ūüėČ

It’s the perfect time to have things under control because the house goes on the market next weekend. We’ve been doing odd jobs around the place to make it look like the perfect home. Cutting the hedges and painting the window sills and things. I’ve even cleaned out cupboards in preparation for moving.

The biggest surprise (for Shaun, anyway) was yesterday when I decided to bake scones. I have baked perhaps twice in the time he has known me. I used to be ok at it. Things have changed. The scones came out looking like masonry. We threw them out without even trying them. It was a safety thing. Sure did make the house smell good though. Apparently you’re supposed to bake stuff just before an open home. Rest assured, that won’t be happening. I’m going to go with the brewing coffee option.

Actually, I’ll just be grinding it.

Brave ANZACs

Today is ANZAC Day here in NZ. It’s a public holiday. Sweeeeeet. Someone forgot to mention that to the Boot Camp nazis though. I was out crawling on my stomach through wet grass at 0600 hours. And I was hung over. It was made manageable by the knowledge that I could come back home afterwards and relax. So here I am.

ANZAC (Australian & NZ Army Corps) Day commemorates the anniversary of the day in 1915 when the ANZAC soldiers landed on the shores of the Gallipoli peninsula. Their aim was to capture the Dardanelles, the gateway to the Bosphorus and the Black Sea.  They failed and thousands lost their lives. I think approximately 1 in 4 of them were killed, so today is in rememberance of those dead.

Dawn services are held in each major town and city. I’ve never been to one, although I follow the tradition of holding a minute’s silence. That’s quite a feat for me.

So today the sun is shining and the birds are singing and I’m happy to be alive. I guess the same can’t be said for those brave ANZACs.

Tricky dealings

Ages ago I talked about this friend that flipped out on me and turned plain nasty. Nothing has changed there unfortunately – he is no longer part of my life (“he’s dead to me”). In fact, last weekend I deleted his number from my phone. But this isn’t about him. It’s about the girl over which all this trouble started. And about me.

When the shit hit the fan, so to speak, the nasty boy bailed out and left the girl out in the cold. Apparently. That’s the story she fed us, anyway. I kinda took her in and looked after her. I felt bad for her. She is younger and naive, or so it seemed – I guess in retrospect it was me that was niave. I took her out with me, introduced her to my friends, involved her in my ilfe. She clung on hard and fast. She infiltrated our lives.

She had a tragic story. A million terrible things had happened to her. Her life had been hard and she was one of those amazing, pull yourself up out of the mire and make something of yourself kind of people. She said. I was sucked in.

As the months passed, something started to feel bad. She was spotted with people that she told us she needed to be protected from. Her stories of tragedy started to seem shaky. My faith in her was fading.

As if she could sense this, she started doing things to hold on. She lent me a printer. She would store our stuff in her car while we were out, and then take off with it so that we would have to catch up with her again during the week to get it. She would borrow money and tell us she’d come around next weekend and give it to us.

We got sick of being lied too. We felt betrayed. We decided that we didn’t really need her in our lives. So we didn’t call her. We talked about what we would say if she called us. I thought we owed it to her to be honest, but I am sick and tired of always having to be the one that has to ‘deal’ with this kind of situation. I wanted the support of the others. After all, it was as much their problem as mine.

She texted us all once (a big group text) and we didn’t reply. Then she just disappeared. We figured that to be pretty strange. Who goes from being the world’s neediest person to just falling off the face of the earth? People saw her in passing, it wasn’t like she was in any kind of trouble. It kinda reeked of guilt to me. But I was pleased to be rid of her.

Then last week it occurred to me that I still have her printer. Shit. I don’t know where she is living now so I emailed her politely, thanking her for the loan and asking her where she wants it sent. She emailed back asking if she had done something to piss me off. WTF? We haven’t spoken for 6 months.

I explained that it was nothing specific, I just didn’t feel like she was always honest with me and as a result I felt betrayed. She didn’t reply. I was relieved again.

Then yesterday I got an email begging innocence and asking what it was that she was dishonest about.

Can’t some people just leave well enough alone?

Recruit Hawk Taylor

This morning at 0600 hours I was leading my platoon through rough terrain. It was cold. It was dark. It was wet.

OK. Truth be told, it was Boot Camp and we were down at the local reserve. There was dew on the grass and the sprinklers were on. I have no idea how I became platoon leader. I think it’s because I laughed when they told us that we had to tuck our tshirts in. I didn’t make a good first impression. We were doing drills and they were trying to make us march through the sprinklers. I was doing my best to avoid them. We got punished. I have some ground to make up if I want the platoon to like me.

The first day was Saturday. It was the fitness test. I was nervous due to the still unhealed holes in my abdomen. The test consisted of pressups, situps and a 2.4km run. I blitzed the first two, but the run was a different story. It became apparent after the first couple of metres that running is excrutiating. It feels like some lasered part of my gut is pulling loose. I discovered that it is survivable if I push really hard on the sore bit and hold it there. It makes for a pretty exhausted left arm. It was ok though – I made it in 11 minutes.

Today we were running again. I was holding my guts in when the sergeant screamed “Have you got something in your pocket Recruit Hawk Taylor?”
I screamed “No.”
Him “Then what are you holding onto?”
Me “My guts.”
Him “Why? Have you got a problem with them?”
Me “Yup.”
Him “What kind of problem?”
Me “I had surgery last week.”
Him “Holy shit. What the hell are you doing here?”

He left me alone after that.

So I think it’s going to be fun, but there is no doubt that I’m going to stuggle with the regimentation and the subordination of it all. Still, I guess that’s why I signed up.

On an unrelated note, something hilarious almost happened this morning. I have two insurance claims on the go. One for my surgery and one for Les’s life insurance. I sent the one off for my anaesthetic today and then I noticed a note on my desk explaining which claim it is part of. I thought that was strange since I was sure I remembered stapling that note to the claim. I retrieved it and opened it up. There was a note attatched saying “Please cancel this policy after this final claim for half the cost of a replacement for the insured.”

That would have confused the hell out of them.

Natural highs & animal biscuits

Whoa! All this clean post-operative living has its up side. Last night I had one beer and started behaving like a teenager. This morning I’ve had two coffees and I feel like I’ve been smoking crystal meth. I’m going to chase it with a Red Bull. No sense in looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Tomorrow I might see it all in a different light. It is the first day of Boot Camp. Yup – I can hear a collective sigh all around the world. I know I’m crazy. It is a 1.5 hour strength and fitness test. I’m theoretically going along to tell them that I’m in no position to do any kind of physical stuff so they’ll have to randomly allocate me a group. But I’ll wear my workout gear just in case. It’s not like I’m competitive or anything.

On the subject of energy, I have made an interesting discovery. As a general rule, I survive on 6 hours sleep per night. I can do less, but it catches up with me after a while. Over the last week, I’ve been getting around 3 hours per night and have been awake and alert all day. When you do nothing but lie on a couch, you don’t need much sleep it would seem. It’s crap that you need energy to recouperate. Well, perhaps you do – but not as much as you need for 3 rounds in the ring.

I have just supplemented my caffeine high with some animal biscuits. Somehow over the last few months I have gotten into the “What’s your favourite food?” conversation several times. It has become well known that mine is animal biscuits. As a result, they seem to be popping up all over the place.

Life doesn’t get much better.

Back at work. Yahoo!

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m back at work and I’m stoked! Not only am I sitting upright but I have human company! Don’t get me wrong, Julio and I had some great conversations, but I find it off putting when he starts cleaning his nether regions while I’m talking to him. So far, no one at work has done that.

I set my alarm super early so that I’d have time to go through my getting ready for work routine at my current much-slower-than-usual rate. It is also dressing change day. I had to allow an extra 15 minutes in case it made me feel faint. It didn’t. I’m quite proud of myself.

As it turns out, I was awake almost an hour before the alarm anyway. I’m still sleeping out on my couch because I only sleep for about half the night. There is something comforting about waking up to my good friend Jerry Springer. Last night I was educated by a family who have pimped their daughter out. Apparently she was a dirty whore anyway so they may as well make money out of her.

I am actually feeling quite sore already. It is probably partly to do with the fact that although it’s not 8am yet, I’ve already moved around more than I have in the last 7 days, and partly that kind of pain that you get when you know it’s really important that you don’t have it. It is pretty much isolated to just one of the wounds now. The one that goes through my oblique abdominal wall. Not surprising really – twisting keeps reaggravating it and although I’m aware of it, it’s almost impossible not to twist a little when you’re doing just about anything. It isn’t excrutiating. It feels like a severe and constant stitch.

Anyway, I’d better hop to it – I have 7 days catch up to do and only half a day in which to do it.

Strange day

Today is weird. For the first time since I started this blog (well over a year ago), I forgot to write this morning. I was just lying on the couch now and I thought about it for the first time today. I had a frustrating morning because my broadband was running really slowly. When you have nothing to do but lie on the couch and use the computer, that is very trying on the patience.

I am sick of this recovery thing. It is making me irritable. I haven’t exercised in a week and I’m fit to bust. I just had an argument with a friend. Well, not an argument exactly. He behaved badly and I got pissed off. It was justified, but perhaps under normal circumstances I would have just let it fly. Not today.

I got up and did some stuff around the house. I changed the water in the flowers, had a shower, wiped the bench. You know, small stuff, but now I’m exhausted. It’s laughable. Not that I’m laughing.

I have my first mentor shift at Youthline tonight. It’s not ideal timing, but now that other people there are relying on me I don’t feel right about pulling out. I have decided that I am going to go to work tomorrow. I can’t cope with this boring existence any more. I’ll do a short day I guess. I don’t want the couch to float away without me here holding it down.

As you can see, I’ve gone more than slightly loopy. I suppose it is a combo of painkillers and mind numbing boredom.

But listen to me moaning. Some people don’t have legs.

Growing up fast

Wow. Today is an exciting day – there are lots of things happening. I’m still on the couch, but I’m doing significantly more moving around. I just took the last of the hardcore painkillers, so I’m clearly approaching the end of the hard bit of recovery. I’m thinking I might move off the couch tonight and sleep in the bed.

So… exciting things. The America’s Cup starts today. As a New Zealander, that’s an exciting thing. We are a tiny nation without the sponsorship money that lots of other countries have, but we are strong contenders (although last year we had a shocker) so we get pretty excited when the cup is on.

Yesterday Dave bought his second bar! After some initial growing pains, Suite has really taken off and has a name for itself in Auckland as one of the best new bars in the city. That success has enabled him to buy into Crow Bar, an already established inner city club. Crow has been around for years and it’s a pretty exciting addition to his portfolio.

And the final exciting thing pertains to my blog. Yesterday I made it onto’s list of top 100 Growing Blogs. I come in at number 88. Considering the number of blogs that are hosted by WordPress, I’m feeling quite proud of the feat.

It’s such a good day so far that I might even attempt¬†something really daring like a¬†walk around the yard!