Not all brown cardies are created equal

When it comes to clothes I am definitely not one of those I-don’t-give-a-shit kind of people. I very much do. I love clothes. We have a walk-in wardrobe at home and I use considerably more than my half of it. I also use several drawers in Shaun’s scotch chest and all the furniture in the spare room. I have occasional purges, but no way near as many as I should.

I very rarely make purchasing mistakes. If on occasion I do buy something and it’s all wrong, I throw out without a second thought (in one of those charity bins of course). I don’t believe in persevering with something that makes you look stupid, unless it’s a chicken suit.

So I had this brown cardy that I got about 10 years ago. While a brown cardy may not sound like something the average person should wear, I loved it. I believe in creating your own style. Let’s face it, some fashions are just wrong, so why the hell would you wear them? Fashion should be about individuality, and nothing screams Sarah Hawk Taylor more than a brown cardy. Anyway, I wore that brown cardy to death. Literally. I had to bin it when I wore through it’s elbows. I considered getting mum to patch it, but even I draw lines on occasion.

There are outfits that required that brown cardy to make them whole. Suddenly, there was a whole sector of my wardrobe that couldn’t be worn. Something had to be done. Strangely, there isn’t a huge market for brown cardies, so I couldn’t find one anywhere. Then one day I struck gold whilst doing my usual Friday afternoon online-shopping-at-work session. Abercrombie and Fitch had a cheeky little cable knit number in their winter collection. Perfect. I have a lot of A&F stuff and they had never let me down before. Of course there’s a first time for everything.  The cardy is all wrong. I was forced back to the drawing board.

Much to my relief I found a replacement. It was perfect! It was even better than the original specimen. I wore it once and fell in love, so you can understand my misery when I went to find it this morning and it was nowhere to be seen. I had been wondering what the spare cardy hanger was doing for the last couple of weeks. I scoured my wardrobe 4 times. I checked every drawer. I even looked in the suitcases in the attic. Gone. Annoyingly I was already dressed and when you’re the size of a house, getting changed is quite an undertaking.

So I’m wearing the cable knit job and I’m not happy about it.

Damn you cardy. If you’re reading this, please come home. I miss you.

A reflection on life and work

Well holy hell, it’s Friday already and I haven’t written since Monday. I like to think that you’ve all been frantic with worry about where I am, but I suspect I’d be letting myself in for a fall. I’ll tell you anyway.

Tuesday and Wednesday were interesting. I was in the office as usual, but I was working! I had a couple of those days that normal people have in the office where their work takes priority. I thought about blogging a couple of times but I just couldn’t fit it in. I felt quite righteous. The reason I was working so hard was that I was fighting a deadline (made unrealistic by the department that was requesting it because they hadn’t provided the required content). I could feel the ‘flu coming on and I wanted to get as much done as I could before my brain turned to mush.

While I was doing this novel ‘work’, I was simultaneously thinking (I should mark that day in my diary really) about some of my colleagues and how they handle their jobs. I watch people on a daily basis get so worked up about what they are doing that they lose all perspective. It’s a job people. Yes, you should do it to the best of your ability and yes, it is what you spend a fair whack of your time doing, but it should not define you. Stress (especially work related stress) only happens if you let it. At the end of the day, you can only do your best.

Anyway, enough about them. Yesterday I woke up at 4am with the ‘flu, as predicted. It wasn’t the ideal day to get it because I had a couple of appointments. The one that I’d been looking forward to with both excitement and trepidation was my 12 week nuchal translucency scan. That is the one where they check the babies for Down Syndrome and make sure they have all the obvious limbs and things. Most people wait until after that scan to tell people they’re pregnant. I’ve never fallen into the ‘most people’ category. I was slightly nervous that should something be wrong I’d have to ‘untell’ everyone, but that wasn’t the case. Both babies looked perfect and I have a great video of them both performing. One was cute and sleepy. That’s the one that takes after Shaun. The other one was just being an idiot.

So it’s pretty real for me now. I’m having two babies. 

Bring. it. on. 

A false start

I’m back from a magic week in the beautiful island paradise that is Samoa. There is a lot to be said for the tradition of winter holidaying. I think you’re crazy if you don’t. There is nothing quite like escaping the crappy weather and the dark evenings and the winter headcolds and jumping a plane to somewhere hot and filled with cocktails (or mocktails, as the case may be).

Things didn’t quite go as smoothly as I had hoped, however. I’d like to blame it on pregnancy hormones, but that wouldn’t be entirely fair (and as far as I know, my brother-in-law who is equally to blame for the screw-up isn’t pregnant). We booked the holiday several months ago. Flights from NZ to Samoa are about as antisocial as you can get. They all seem to leave in the middle of the night. When you’re heading away that’s not such a big deal, it even kinda adds to the fun, but on the way home it just plain sucks.

Last Saturday night we packed our bags and headed to the airport to catch our 12:30am flight. When we arrived (in the middle of a thunderstorm, congratulating ourselves on being so clever) we noticed that our flight wasn’t on the board. Bad omen. I pointed it out to the woman at the check-in counter who in turn pointed out that our flight had left 24 hours ago. She also pointed out that the ticket clearly said 12:30am. There wasn’t much to say in response really, other than ‘shit’. So that’s what I said. I have no idea how we screwed that one up so badly. It was the whole going to the airport the day before you fly out that got me.

I suddenly went from feeling self-righteously over my morning sickness to incredibly nauseated. Flights only go every few days so I knew things weren’t going to be good. Luckily, we found Steve. One of the unfortunate blights on society today are those people that work at public service counters that have power issues. Steve is not one of those people. Steve is an airport angel and he saved the day. After half an hour of diligent searching and wangling and rule bending, Steve managed to book us on the next flight out (2 days later) and organise a return to match. We effectively had the identical holiday shunted back 2 days.

As it turns out, that couldn’t have been better. We managed to avoid the 2 days a year that Samoa has thunder. I could have hugged Steve. I thought he was so wonderful that I actually got off my ass and emailed the airline to sing his praises.

So come Monday, we tried again and all was well. We arrived in Samoa to 30 degrees and a week of the most amazing weather I’ve seen in a while. I spent a fair amount of time each day just feeling grateful for being alive.

And that’s notwithstanding the fact that I don’t look that flash in a bikini right now…

A bad joke

Last night we got some culture into us. It was Shaun’s idea actually. On occasion he comes up with this idea from nowhere to go and see a show or a play. I encourage him. I know a lot of women who would dearly love to do those sorts of things but couldn’t get their husbands there for all the money in the world.

So he bought the tickets, organised 3 other couples to come along and booked dinner out first. It was set to be a good evening. The play has gotten rave reviews. The entire season is booked out and several people I know have seen it and said good things about it. Shaun found out about it from his hairdresser, who swore it was one of the most amazing performances he has seen. We even have a friend (who is a professional actress) in one of the main roles.

So we headed out. I had been warned that it was exceptionally long, which isn’t ideal at the moment considering bedtime for me is about 8:30pm. But like I said, I want to encourage Shaun. As soon as the show started I knew it was a mistake. It was a strange cross between a play and a musical. It looked like a school production. A narrator would walk across the stage announcing what was about to happen. A couple of actors in bad makeup and awful costumes would do a few things and then they would suddenly stop and a prop person would run out and hand them a microphone on a lead that stretched the length of the stage and they’d break into something only slightly resembling a song. And these are actors remember, not singers.

They would warble their way through the almost-songs which were several octaves too high for their voices and then the prop person would run back across and take the mics. At first I thought it was a joke. After 3 hours I realised that the joke was on us.

We considered sneaking out at intermission and just pretending we thought it was the end. We stayed because we figured that it must be about to get REALLY good. Either that or there was some theatrical thing that we were missing. But no, I spent the entire second half trying to look at my watch and stretch my legs without kicking the person in front.

By the time the final scene came on we were all in fits of hysterical giggles brought on by pure shock. When the guy in the policeman costume flew across the stage on a wire, warbling a song, it because apparent that no, there was nothing we were missing, except perhaps the LSD that is clearly a prerequesite to seeing the show.

We stood outside afterwards for several minutes, completely speechless. That’s quite a feat for a group of 8 people.

And we all agreed that Shaun can’t go back to that hairdresser ever again.

On an unrelated note: I’m swapping this pacific island for another and heading on holiday for a week. There will be no blogging…

A good lesson.

I had just spent 10 minutes smacking out an angry post on my keyboard. I was really pissed at a client that has communication ‘issues’. He replies to an email answering all the questions that aren’t important and misses the crucial ones. He is one of those people that says “That’ll be easy won’t it?” about something that just isn’t easy at all.

The more I wrote about the guy the more annoyed I got at him. The writing itself was cathartic in a way – it stopped me from putting it in an email straight to him. I worked enough frustration out that I was able to put together a carefully worded message asking him to stop and answer my questions before taking his next breath. I’m not one to mince words and my mouth occasionally gets me in trouble, so I was pretty careful about what I wrote.

I was getting ready to publish the bitch post when I got a response from him. It gave me all the answers I wanted and told me to add another couple of hundred to my bill. Holy hell! Does that EVER happen?

It made me realise that it’s very easy to get worked up over something and it’s very rarely the best approach.

So thanks blog for giving me the space to think. There’s a lot to be said for civility.

Inactive

I never thought this day would come, but I’ve joined the realm of the non-exercisers among you. And by that, I don’t mean that I’ve cut back my weekly workouts from 10 to 5. Or that I’ve swapped kickboxing for swimming. I mean that I do nothing. Nothing at all. And it sucks.

I have no idea why anyone would want to be inactive. I concede that daily training isn’t for everyone, but I know lots of people that do no exercise at all. Not only is it unhealthy, but you don’t get to ride that endorphin buzz. Your metabolism grinds to a slow halt as you spend your day sitting on your ass. Why would you? Endorphins people, endorphins! They’re legal!

I know people that go through phases. They see the light (either because they start getting guilty or because they find a sport that they like) and fit some exercise into their routine. They feel great! They wonder why the hell they didn’t do it before. Then slowly they go back to their old ways. They get a cold and take a week off. It turns into two. Then a month. Then one day they get the guilts and they start up again. They can’t believe how good they feel! They proclaim that they will never stop again! This is wonderful! Until summer comes and the lure of the beer is stronger than the lure of the gym.

When people figure out that I train every day they tell me I’m so ‘good’. I’m not good. I just care about my health. I’ve been doing this for so long that it’s a habit. Which is why I’m struggling so much now.

Today marks the end of my second exercise free week. It is fairly common for women with twin pregnancies to be told to stay on strict rest for the first and third trimesters, especially if they have experienced bleeding. But this is the first time in 15 years that I have had two weeks off. Even after surgery last year I was back after a week. I feel worse for doing nothing, and light exercise fixes more than it breaks. For now though, I’m not even allowed to walk.

But I’m doing what I’m told because you know what? It’s not about me any more.

I don’t like you

There is one kind of person that I particularly dislike. Well, there is definitely more than one type, but I’m stuck on the one at the moment. I’m talking about people that say no for the sake of it. Ask them if something is possible and their automatic response is no. Or some sort of negative noise. Then they think about it. Do the thinking first, for christ’s sake!

They are the same sort of people that are pedantic about things that are just not important. They start debates over semantics. They drag meetings out talking about things that no one else cares about.

I believe that there are some occasions when it’s more appropriate to let something ride even if you don’t agree, than it is to start a public debate. If no purpose is going to be served, or if offering your opinion is not going to do anything other than to make someone else look stupid, then let. it. ride.

I didn’t actually wake up this morning feeling angry, although it may sound like it. I woke up this morning feeling great. I still feel great actually. I slept right through the night for possibly the first time since I got knocked up. One thing they don’t warn you about being preggers is that the sleepless nights start way before the babies are born. Most nights I get up to go to the bathroom at about 2 am and then lie awake for the rest of the night. I have no idea why. No one does. They’ll say it’s hormones, but that’s just what they say about anything they don’t understand.

So I’m in a great mood. I just can’t be bothered with people that don’t make the small concessions necessary to make the world a better place. If you’re one of those people, try it sometime – people like me might actually start to like you.

Straight

On Friday night I had an unusual experience. I went to the movies. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been to the movies on a Friday night. Well, not since I was at school. The place was full of kids and weirdos. Basically, people that don’t drink. Why else would you not be at a bar?

We went to see Sex And The City. I wasn’t gagging to see it, it was more slight curiosity mixed with convenience (there was a spare ticket). In order to offset the girliness of it, we went to Lonestar for dinner and ate copious amounts of meat. While we were there I was reminiscing to the others about my worst ever movie experience.

It was several years ago when I was flatting with my best friend. 6 of us decided to go to a movie one night. It was during the time when we deemed it sinful to go to a movie if you weren’t stoned. My, how times have changed. So we got blasted and headed off. I had a slight mishap before we left and managed to superglue my finger to my handbag. It made us slightly late. By the time we got to the theatre the movie had started.

We filed into the cinema in the dark and realised that it was full. There was no way we were going to find 6 seats together. We filed out and changed tickets to another movie. By the time we had stumbled our way into the new cinema, that movie had also started. We found seats wherever we could (no one wanted to face the ticket guy again) and started watching. It just wasn’t the same when you had to sit by a stranger. So once again we filed out. This time it was a bit more of a debacle, involving ‘psssssts’ and giggling and angry movie goers.

We were escorted out of the complex by a security guard. She insisted on taking us down via the glass elevator. Let’s just say it was uncomfortable.

So… Friday night. We had prepaid tickets so we left it to the last minute to arrive. We walked into the cinema and to my horror the movie had started. It was pitch black and we couldn’t see any seat numbers. We opened the door in order to let some light in. That did nothing more than piss everyone off. We then decided to use my phone to light up each row. Again… pissed people off.

It was then that it occurred to me that we were in the wrong cinema. I felt like calling my mum and telling her that you can’t blame everything on the weed.

The shortest day feels like a long way away

I can judge how well a day is going to go by how easy it is to get my contacts in. This morning they both got stuck inside out on my fingers and then folded in half in my eyes, leaving my face looking like it had been poked by two red hot pokers when I finally got them in.

I can judge how quickly a day is going to go by how comfortable my contacts feel after half an hour. This morning I was driving to work and it felt like I had two discs of sandpaper in my eyes. I searched through my handbag for my eyedrops and for the first time in forever it would seem that I left them in my other bag. Things are not boding well for today.

I have found that over the last few weeks I’m done for by Thursday. This week, Monday was a public holiday so today is effectively Thursday. It’s no surprise then that I’m ready for home now after only an hour and a half in the office. Thank god it’s Friday.

I figure today could go one of two ways and it’ll be solely up to me to make that choice. I’ve always been a believer in life being what you make of it, but it’s hard to make much of anything when you can’t keep your eyes open.

Most of my team are away on a conference today. That makes sleeping under my desk feasible. It will also make staying at my desk more difficult than usual.

But listen to me. Moan moan moan. I’m tired.

Some people don’t have legs.

False alarm

I got in my car to head home after work last night when my mobile rang. It was our burglar alarm. When it gets triggered it rings me. I can never remember the code to press to re-arm it, so I drove home as fast as I could. I didn’t feel too worried – it would be a foolish burglar that would break into a house at 5pm on a weekday – that’s knock-off time for the average New Zealander. Still, it’s never a nice feeling, especially as we have been the victims of a really awful burglary in the past. It’s also slightly unusual as the alarm is pretty reliable, we’ve only ever had one false alarm.

I got home and everything looked ok from the outside. That was a good sign. Both cats were sitting out on the front porch, which wasn’t surprising considering how loud the siren is. I went inside and disarmed the alarm. The control panel showed that the sensor in our room had been triggered. Super weird.

I checked all the rooms and something weird had definitely been going on. Nothing appeared to be missing, but the beds were messed up, stuff was knocked off shelves, there was blood on the walls, a window was cracked… and there was an incredibly large minar bird playing dead on the window sill in my office. 

God knows how the hell Chico got that inside. It was the same size as him. The cats had clearly chased it around every room torturing it, before it flew into the alarm sensor. It was limping and one of it’s wings was bung – not to mention the fact that its ears probably have permanent damage. It would appear that it spent the entire time it was in our house producing waste, which it managed to drop in every room. It had clearly spent the morning eating radioactive material, judging by the flourescent green nature of it’s droppings.

Shaun and I caught it in the washing basket. Shaun didn’t appear to care much for it’s welfare. I figured that out when he got it’s little head caught between the basket and the wall and screamed at me to do something.

It could have been worse I suppose. Like when a possum fell down the chimney into my parents bedroom in the middle of the night. Dad threw a broom at mum and jumped on the bed to give her directions for herding it outside. How helpful of him.