changeling: (Default)
I keep forgetting I have this blog thing and not checking in for weeks at a time. I'd say sorry, but I don't think anyone's surprised enough to miss me anymore. Sigh.

I'm about to move house again (!!) in three weeks' time. I'm excited and slightly stressed. Partly because I also have a novel I said I'd finish writing my novel two days before I move. Jess and I have a gentlewoman's agreement, and all our writing friends know about it. I will be NAMED AND SHAMED if I do not complete it. Although I hopefully won't appear on A Current Affair. [/Aussie cultural in-joke]
changeling: (sick)
I'm suffering rather at the moment from what my folkie friends and I have been calling Typhoid Kevan. Kevan came to the National Folk Festival (over the Easter weekend) with some sort of nasty respiratory infection and spread it around with every affectionate bear hug he gave, and he gave a lot. So I missed the last night of the festival because I was in bed by eight (but Cherie and I watched the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who together, so that was something).

The next day I had to help pack up camp and drive home with Jus – he kindly did most of the eightish hours' drive, though. I did about an hour and a half. Let me tell you: when you're feeling sick and wobbly, the last thing you want to do is stand in the cold and pull up tent pegs.

So then I stayed at home for two days. It was nice apart from a serious attack of Guilt from my Guilt Gnome, who doesn't really believe that I'm allowed to take sick leave, and is afraid that I'm going to be fired for it. There are Reasons for this, unfortunately, but I wasn't really feeling up to having a monster conversation with him/her/it about it yesterday.

Today I'm back at work. I have lots of things on my plate at the moment, the most immediate of which is processing our Annual Reprints. I came in to a desk entirely covered in the sodding things. Piles of textbooks, all with print-outs of corrections in place.

The interesting thing about reprints is that all the pages I have to check pretty much look the same. Some of them are printed and some of them are emailed PDFs, but the corrections should just look like the printed book except fixed. So if someone leaves a pile of books on my desk with no note and pages inside, I'm going to check them against the marked up book and notate my spreadsheet.

Guess what! The piles were just the reprints guy leaving a bunch of books I'd already done two weeks ago on my desk! AWESOME. Just wasted my morning.

I would like to go back to bed now, please.
changeling: (Default)
So we're getting rid of the car, like the hippies we are.

It's for a variety of reasons: the primary one is that I can't afford to keep it. I'm only making around $10 thou per year, so I can't afford to spend more than ten per cent of that on registration and insurance alone. Add to that the fact that the last service cost me over $800 and it didn't fix all the problems, and the rising cost of petrol, and the car is dead weight we can't afford to support.

The other reason is the fact that we have both tram and train in easy walking distance. And I have a bike (albeit rusting in the backyard at the moment, because the local Big Road scares the crap out of me). And we have three supermarkets within a ten minute walk. And we can take public transport to a market quite easily to do our shopping.

So yesterday I called up the charity to which we're donating it to find out what the hell's going on. The nice lady on the phone said, "It says here that it's been picked up already." My housemates and I, who have to squeeze past said car to leave the house (poor driveway design) can vouchsafe that this is not the case.

She amends the paperwork, and arranges for the car to be picked up today (Tuesday). She tells me there is a sign I have to place on the dash, and another form I have to fill out, and she'll email them to me. I also have to remove the numberplates, she says, in order to deregister it properly.

I spent yesterday afternoon emptying the car of crap, and throwing in the recycling bin all our old litre bottles of water (we used to have to keep a lot around for some time, before we had the radiator fixed). One was nearly full, so I took it through the house to the tomato plants out the back. Tomatoes are thirsty, so I like to top up the reservoir below their pots whenever I can with "spare" water. (We're on water restrictions.) I came back through the house, and threw away more plastic bags and other detritus that I'd collected into a big cardboard box. I realised I'd left my keys inside. And automatically latched the front door behind me. I had no wallet and no phone.

I had $9.25 in five- and ten-cent pieces that I'd scrounged from the car. We also had our old Yellow Pages sitting on the front porch. Monday nights we have morris rehearsal, and I cook dinner and bring it in. I had no dinner with me. I hadn't even started cooking. I looked up Nat's number and scratched it into the back of my hand with my nail. I walked to the RSL and tried to call her to let her know what had happened – Steph works for the government, so doesn't have her number listed in the Yellow Pages. The phone ate my 50c and didn't put the call through.

My only choice was to head in to the city. Metcard prices had risen again recently, and I knew that they used to be about $6. For those playing along at home, I had $8.75 remaining. I cut my losses and walked to the newsagency to buy a ticket – ticket machines always chuck a tanty if you try to pay with too many coins.

It was humiliating. I had to stand there for five minutes, counting out $6.50 in five- and ten-cent pieces. It also set off my poverty complex. Still, it was a stroke of luck (?) that I'd just pulled all that silver out of the boot, and hadn't taken it inside yet. I came into the city, met up with Steph, and we bailed on morris, so we could still cook dinner at home. It was a little relieving, since I was going to have to ask Steph to cover me for dinner.

Today I went to take off the numberplates. All the screws are rusted in. I manage to snap two of the ridges on our Phillips head screwdriver by trying to force it. So far I've managed to mostly get out one screw. One. Of four. I have NO idea how I'm going to get these plates off in order to take them down to VicRoads. Which, can I add, have no pages on their website about de/unregistering your vehicle. If you search, the only pages it brings up are about arranging for a temporary permit to drive an unregistered vehicle, and pages about reregistering. This says more than a little something about our society, frankly. Clearly I am a REBEL.

I also checked my email. I have not been emailed the sign OR the paperwork. Guess I'm chasing that up come nine o'clock.

WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO BE SO HARD??
changeling: (Default)
Oh, yes. That's right. That's why job hunting always sends me into a paroxysm of despair. It's not just that I hate writing cover letters (though that doesn't help). It's that there is just no jobs out there most of the time, and when there is, they're concentrated into a week so there's no possibility I could apply for them all.

Fuck.

Misery.

Sep. 28th, 2007 08:25 am
changeling: (Default)
I'm not sleeping through at the moment because I wake up every few hours to cough up more phlegm. Steph woke me last night because apparently I was making noises while snuggling her, and made me turn over.

And now my womb is cramping because I've just got my almost-a-month-overdue period.

Oh, yeah. No wonder I've been such a ray of sunshine recently.

This cough makes me wonder if I've got pneumonia (I tend to think in worst-case scenarios. It's why I can't watch horror movies comfortably, or stand heights). If I do, it's rather funny that it's turned up after the pleurisy and costochondrosis, rather than being a cause for the pleurisy, which is usual. (Calm down, self. You can't have pneumonia, or the doctor would have heard it in your lungs on Wednesday. You've just got a bacterial infection of some sort. Go fill that antibiotic prescription.)

At least I know why my ears won't unpop. I probably have an inflammation of the Eustachian tubes, caused by my sore throat or stuffed sinuses or both. The Eustachian tubes are what equalises the pressure in your ears. So hooray for Google, and I can't wait until I can hear properly and not have that faint ringing in my right ear anymore. While we're asking, my normal voice back instead of the whispery or husky thing I've got right now would also be great.

Argh. Time to pack up my bag with all the little pharmaceutical boxes I need to get me through the day and go to work. Hopefully I won't forget to pack my lunch in the end, like I did yesterday.

Yep. Any minute now I'll actually get out of bed.
changeling: (Default)
So. I've been sick for the last seven weeks or so. Maybe eight; I don't remember. I had pleurisy, and then the pleural rub settled down but the pain stayed and got a bit worse, and I was told I had costochondritis, an inflammation of the rib cartilage.

On Sunday I woke up with a cold. It's a bastard one, with a bit of a cough and a sore throat that's like the aftermath of a broken-glass shot chased with barbed wire.

This is not freaking fair. All I want is a working immune system that doesn't behave like the stool pigeon in a Guy Ritchie film, always about to get the shit kicked out of it by someone new. OK, and muscles that didn't constantly seize up in a rictus of pain. But that has at least been a little better since last week.
changeling: (Default)
Everytime I think I have reached the depths of my hate and excruciating boredom with the maps for this bird book, I sink a little deeper. It's like an unpleasant sexual metaphor that I'm not even going to type out.

Steph just remarked on how crazy I am (due to a highly entertaining conversation that neither of us can remember, despite the fact that it only took place five minutes ago, but man, it was funny) and asked if I'm like this every day when I'm home by myself. The answer is, at least when working on this book, yes. Yes I am.

She looked over my shoulder at the book whose maps I'm scandalously ripping off.

"Which one are you doing?"

I pointed at a map, then glanced over at the bird accompanying it. Brown Falcon. Which is fine, and man, more power to the Brown-falconites. Except I'm meant to be working on the Nankeen Kestral, the entry below that one. And I've been working on the wrong map for three hours today. And, in fact, I worked on the wrong map for an hour yesterday.

I have no words for my anguish.

And now, Steph's contribution to this post: pants!

Aargh.

Sep. 10th, 2007 09:29 am
changeling: (Default)
My pleurisy has now gone on for a month, with no known cause, and just isn't getting better. I skipped out on the morning of our Morris Ale on Saturday to go to the doctor. He gave me two referrals (and more drugs): one for a chest CT scan, one for a respiratory physician. I had hopes for the specialist, since I'm not really keen to have more radiology.

Oh, how I should have known better. The last time I had a referral, when I had an ear infection that lasted three months, the appointment was so far in advance that by the time my appointment came around it was completely healed. And I had to pay for him to simply tell me not to stick cotton buds in my ear – no bulk-billing for specialists. This one can't get me in until the 15th of October – five weeks from now.

This is what makes specialists useful for chronic problems, but completely rubbish for acute. Missing a lung? Well, you'll still be missing it in two months' time; what's the rush? Severe pleurisy that may have other complications? Come back in December 2009. You say it'll be fixed by then? Why, then my job is done. It'll heal on its own; no need for me.

Bah. I'm wondering whether I should just take the appointment, as for all I know, my pleurisy could still be going on in five weeks' time. The receptionist suggested I go back to my GP and get a list of other specialists, to see if any have appointments earlier than the 15th. This sounds like a lot of work (even if my GP is currently on shift at the clinic) for dubious result. Suddenly the five hours waiting in the Royal Melbourne emergency department seems far less dire. At least I was in the same day, and only had my bladder and hunger to suppress.

Edit: I called the clinic, and they gave me a couple of other names. One is on holiday until the end of September, the other is going on holiday at the end of September, but can fit me in next Monday. Hurrah!

Rebellion

Aug. 31st, 2007 11:36 am
changeling: (Default)
You know, this is why I hadn't been taking drugs to manage the pain the pleurisy was causing. My anti-inflammation medicine causes terrible cramps in unmentionable parts of the anatomy, and my first painkiller of the day first caused me light-headedness (copable) then nausea.

I look forward to the day about a week from now when I can be miserable or cheerful at turns due to my own body chemistry, not that ported from outside.
changeling: (Default)
After spending a miserable morning where my innards rebelled against me, I went to the doctor's about the excruciating pain emanating from my ribs every time I try to do something so rash as breathe too deeply. We assumed it was a muscular injury of some sort, as I haven't done anything unusually strenuous recently, but it's slowly been getting worse.

So I went to the doctor, and he poked my ribs, and said I probably had pleurisy, but that I should get an x-ray to be sure. So I walked around the corner, and stood in a dim room with a dartboard in the corner, trying to count the number of times I'd had an x-ray in my life (several for my orthodontics, one session when I badly sprained my ankle in 2003, one in the last few months for dentistry), and wondering how many one could have in one's life before beginning to glow. (My MIL apparently is no longer allowed to have x-rays due to the high number she's had already.)

And I had to breathe deeply and hold it (OW), and breathe out and hold it (ow), and lean a little to this side (ow), and lie on my side (OW). And both in the doctor's surgery and on the x-ray table I had to helped because it hurt too much to sit up. That was a little humiliating, but I was mostly in too much pain to care.

The results won't be in until tomorrow, so I have another appointment at 12. Jeebus, but I'm sick of being in pain. Surely normal people have whole days at a time without feeling in physical discomfort of some kind.

In other news, my housemates moved all the furniture yesterday while I was at writer's group (not that I would have been able to help anyway). I think they would have moved the toilet if they'd had a few extra metres of pipe.

Also, we had tequila and awesome Mexican food on Saturday night. You are all jealous. No really, you are.
changeling: (Default)
So, Steph and I are going to a ball tonight, which is a story that I don't have all the words for right now, because I'm tired and with low blood sugar because there was NO MILK when I got up this morning, so I had no muesli ...

... anyway. It's organised by her work, and its a (HORRORS) buffet, which means heaps more options for "normals", but anyone with different dietary requirements (coeliacs, vegans etc) is completely buggered. There's no "special plate for table 5" with a buffet.

Here's the menu (Typos are theirs, not Steph's, who emailed it to me):
Tasmanian Oyster Tower - mounted on creushed ice, lemon wedges, five dressings
Platters of 'Nori' Hand Rolls - tuna, crispy chicken, pickled vegetable
Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast - curried water chestnut salad, cranberry jelly
'Sumac' spiced Calamari Salad - on smokey babaganosh, baby cress
Baby Gem & Tandoori Chicken Caesar Salad - coddled egges, shaved reggiano
Roasted Plum Tomatoes - marinated in aged balsamic dressing, buffalo mozzarella, vigin olive oil & basil
Soba Noodle Salad - Milawa three seed mustard mayo, spring onions, grilled pancetta
Wild Rocket - jinki blue cheese, toasted walnuts, pached 'nashi' pear salad
Mixed Salad Leaves - wild cresses, champagne vingerette
Blackened beef & Singapore Noodle Box - cripsy shallots & coriander
Smoked paprika scented salmon - dried tomato & olive crushed southern
gold's char-grilled spring onions lemon & basil dressing

Traditional self-saucing chocolate pudding - whipped navilla bean cream
cold set raspberry cheesecake - raspberry salas, Persian fairy floss
'Sharp' possets lemon & lime
Strawberries rubbed with toasted coconut, Yarra Valley clotted cream


For those of you paying attention, Steph and I can eat ... the mixed salad leaves. And probably pickled vegetable hand rolls. That's it. We'll probably be able to eat the roasted plum tomatoes, providing the mozzarella hasn't been melted over them. For dessert ... well, if the Persian fairy floss is a separate dish, and not part of the cheesecake (hard to tell – is it bad formatting, or culinary design?), we can have that.

I suppose those of you who aren't vegan would be saying triumphantly here, "I bet you just wish you'd eat like a NORMAL person, instead of expecting people to make a fuss over you!" and I'd say, "Not really," although I might add in my head that it might be nice if a few more people ate like us.

Steph and I try to be accommodating. If we're going over to someone's place for dinner, we'll usually offer to bring a salad or something, partly to help out, and partly because it's nice to know that you'll be able to eat more than white bread, tomato sauce and lettuce for lunch*. This doesn't really fly with balls, especially since we've paid $55 each for the privilege of watching the fish in a wall tank.

Plus I'm tired and cranky, and just in the mood for a big bitch, but there isn't another food-freak in the office at the moment. Well, there isn't anyone in the office at the moment, but that's just points on a technicality. I shaved my legs for this, dammit. They feel weird in my trousers.


* True story.
changeling: (Default)
Home from trip to mountains. Hab a horrible, horrible code. ON MY DAY OFF, I might point out, which is not remotely fair. Woke up at about five this morning with it after feeling a bit off-colour last night. My sinuses are filled with sulphur*, and my throat is coated in pitch. AND I'M ON MY LAST HANKIE. The world knows not my misery.

I did read Kipling's Song to Mithras, though. That helped cheer me.



* No matter what my chemistry teacher says, I still believe it's spelt sulphur. He never did break me of the habit, nor induce me to even feign the 'f' spelling in tests or assignments.

Fuck.

Jun. 22nd, 2007 10:44 am
changeling: (Default)
I've just gone to edit my resume (so I can apply for a better-paying job), and discovered that the file is not there. Nor is the next latest version of the file. Well, I think I accidentally overwrote it earlier in the week when updating it anyway. Still.

FUCK. Now I have to completely redo the bloody update I did on Monday. At least I should have the January version in my Gmail.
changeling: (Default)
The reason the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in the city on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes "Boots" theory of socioeconomic unfairness.
Men at Arms, Terry Pratchett.


I've been reminded of this quote again this morning, and it's not just because my first pair of Doc Martens – which illustrated this point so well through my final year of high school – really are giving out (the gaping hole in the side is your first clue). The LJ Permanent Account sale went on today.

I've been on LJ for six and a half years now. I've been a paid account holder for about five of those years. This means that, were a permanent account purchased at the beginning of that time, it would have very nearly paid for itself already.

I had been planning on buying a permanent account. I use LJ a fair bit. I'm probably likely to still be here in six years' time; it would certainly be useful not to have to renew my paid account in a year, and the exchange rate is pretty good at the moment. The thing is ...

The thing is, my last car service cost me over $800. We're thinking about getting rid of said car, but before we do, we're going to have to get the side panel beaten out, and the last few repairs made. I dread to think what that will cost. And the $800 was all of my savings of the time. If I had that money in reserve, I'd buy one without a second thought. But I have about half of that, now, carefully built up over the last while. And I owe the house about as much money as I have in savings. I am going to be working for my mum next Tuesday, which will help, as I get paid well there.

I only make $240 per week. I was supposed to be supplementing this with freelance editing, but Mark hasn't given me another editing job since I finished the puberty book. So: $240. With the exchange rate, a permanent account would cost me $180.

Dammit, I really, really want one. And if I had a better paying job, I'd snap one up. Oh, well, I have a few more days to twist myself up about this. But for the moment, no perm account for me. At least I have a roof over my head, food, a fridge to keep it in, and internet access. This still makes me one of the richest people in the world.

Gluey.

Apr. 28th, 2007 04:03 am
changeling: (Default)
I'm awake, and sick again. I haven't been this sick, nor has it gone on for this long, since I had glandular fever, two years ago. I've gone vegan in the interim. That helped.

So far tonight I've slept for about two hours. Then (after lying there) I got up, came into our lounge, made myself a cup of hot water, and finished reading Living the Good Life. Then I went back to bed. And lay there. And got up to go to the lav, and put a bucket under the tap to our worm farm and opened it (because it has rained an awful lot tonight), and switched on the internet, and made myself another cup of hot water, and also a teapot, and lit the tealights beneath it to keep it hot, and sat down at my laptop. I have now been awake for about three hours, and I'm feeling rather not-sleepy.

This probably has to do with the stupidly sore throat I have, which is made worse every time I sneeze - sometimes great fits that stop me breathing.

In any case, it's three-quarters of an hour later, and I'm finally feeling tired again. If I'm lucky, I just might sleep for a bit longer.

RAGE.

Apr. 25th, 2007 09:34 pm
changeling: (Default)
RACV just charged me $45 to change my address.

I'm assuming it's because my new suburb is higher risk, but still. RAGE.

Bastards.

I turned to Steph and said, "You're right. Let's chuck this. Let's get electric bikes."

F——ing car insurance.
changeling: (Default)
So, that worked right up to the point that I moved the PC back to its rightful place at the other end of the house. This is when I discovered that, oh, yes, I still had the modem directly connected from when I installed it. Oops.

Anyway, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] winikoff and non-LJ user=My_Dad for offering to help, but I fiddled around more this morning (another 2 hours gone), and talked to [livejournal.com profile] urbanfae who is AWESOME and made me remember to use some brainmeats. I looked answers up on my router's homepage (after I spent part of this morning reading the modem's PDFed manual, which was USELESS).

Long drama short:
  1. I had the modem set to USB instead of ethernet when I first installed it (I wondered if that was going to be a problem)

  2. The ethernet cable provided by Motorola DIDN'T ACTUALLY WORK (good thing I had ONE spare from the modem Nat's mum supplied that we couldn't use)

  3. Sometimes modems and routers just need to go to sleep for a bit and are a bit picky about the order in which they wake up. Sometimes they need several sleeps. Especially if you have been changing their settings


Our router is also now called Fred. This amuses me.

In other, more stupid news, I was having leftover pasta sauce for breakfast, so I boiled some water on the stove in our kettle. It has this handy-dandy feature that stove-top kettles generally have, which is a piercing whistle that can be heard from (as in my case) the other end of the house. Unfortunately, saucepans have no such useful accoutrements, so if you happen to be in another room, ooh, let's say updating your livejournal and fixing your wireless network, and you forget about your pan on the stove, that's it. Two-inch long spaghetti with unpleasant crunchy burnt ends for you. Sigh.
changeling: (Default)
Why is it that even though you've installed the wireless router exactly according to directions, that it now not only won't talk to either computer I have set up, but also won't talk to the internet? I have turned it off at the wall. If it won't work, it doesn't get any power. This is a punishment, and also a sensible energy saving whatsit.

I am finally connected to the internet at home! Admittedly by plugging directly into the modem (having moved my enormous heavy PC to the other end of the house in order to install the wireless router as my laptop didn't have an ethernet socket), but it's done. Only took me all morning.

God, I wanted to leave for work an hour and a half ago. :(( At least I got this done, and our contents insured. I can breathe slightly easier when leaving the house.

Off to work. I have to get a stupid manuscript off the the printer today, liek OMG it should have been ready a month ago!!. I don't care. It wasn't my project until last Friday. Hmph. Still, CD's burnt, and MS is printed, so I just have to arrange for a courier now. Then get back to the other new project I was given on Friday, and finish off putting in the changes to the Quark file. I hate Quark. Why can't we all switch to InDesign? InDesign makes SENSE. Stupid Quark and its complete lack of "insert symbol" menu item, or in fact anything useless. ARGH.

Or maybe I should do the other OTHER MS I'm working on, where I have to create image files of all the headings because we don't have the font the author wants in Postscript format.

I also want to read over the page of notes I took during yesterday's Production Meeting. It's a big long to-do list (except for the bit which is a list of all the new books I'm taking on), and I don't remember a single item on there.

I wonder if I can pick up some worms on the way to work? Hmm. (For our BRAND NEW WORM FARM, you see. It's very exciting, but the hardware shop was all out of composting worms, so it's mostly just collecting dew on its roof at the moment.)
changeling: (Default)
I am fricking tired. Once again I end up tireder at the end of the weekend than at the beginning, but I suspect that the end of Daylight Savings may have something to do with it.

I have been so tired lately, as I have been working two jobs (both part time). So today was my last day at The Nursing Home, and I manage to agree to work at Another Nursing Home for two days this week. I only agreed to Mum passing my mobile on because I thought I'd be a last resort. I guess I was. At least I can leave early. I have them at my mercy, mwaha.

This means that his week, I will be working three jobs: the first nursing home, that I've just finished, the second nursing home (Wednesday and Friday), and my Actual Job (Tuesday and Thursday). And let's not forget the freelance editing I have to do for my Actual Job (just worked a bit on it right now, as a matter of fact, but it's hard to concentrate with V upstairs having TV louder than humanly copable), and the edit of an academic paper for smooth use of English (author is Danish), which I said I'd do this week.

Argh.

I'm not allowed to worry about money. Whenever I do, I get myself woefully overcommitted. Whether the overcommittedness is my fault (through money worry) or the universe's (she's worried she doesn't work enough! Let's give her LOTS to do) seems a moot point.

I can't wait for next week, when all I'll have to do is ... pack and move house. Argh.
changeling: (Default)
So, you may ask, what are Steph and Dani, two bright young maidens who get cranky if kept out past 9.30, doing posting on Livejournal at half-one in the morning, even after two previous very late nights?

Listening to the fucking party next door (that rivals V for noise) that was due to wrap up twenty minutes ago*, that's what.

I'm still kinda glad we turned down Nat, though. If I'm going to be tired and cranky and go to bed late, I'd rather do it in my own bed. I'm more likely to sleep, and to sleep better. Plus Steph is photoshopping, and that makes her happy.


* As per their "warning" letterbox drop.

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