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Archive for February, 2011

Humour while driving

I headed into town this morning and turned on the radio, which is tuned to the Concert programme. I heard some talking but soon realised it was a comedy. A funny radio play? Such things still exist?

I listened with delight to the monologue of Cynthia Fortitude who was writing an opera. I didn’t know what the play was called or the actress but she was very good. She referred to her companion, Gertie, who, she said, likes sexual things “don’t you, Gertie”. She herself didn’t know about such things as she was a virgin… “well, I am now…”. “I’m the president of the virgin society…. it’s in Venezuela for some reason… it’s the Venezuelan United Living Virgins Association or V. U….” “.. only living virgins, to keep the numbers down”…

She was casting about for characters and wanted a eunuch but there weren’t any in the audience. “I suppose they must be at home as well [with the other men] “do men still listen to the radio?” She got the audience to sing a chorus, supposedly in a higher pitch, and picked out a man in the audience called Greg. “Are you sure you’re not a eunuch, Greg? Well, I suppose you’d know”. It was very funny but I missed hearing all of it as I’d reached my destination.

I came home to look up the actress and the name of the programme. She’s Helen Moulder, a kiwi, and the programme was called “The legend returns”. Radio NZ sell the play but at $30 I thought it was a bit steep. I did find the character on Youtube though.

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First migraine?

I was driving home yesterday after work and my vision seemed warped. I couldn’t see the right hand side of oncoming cars – there was a pulsing jagged circle seemingly in my right eye which distorted my vision. I got home and the jagged star-like circle just changed to shimmering. I realised that I’d lost peripheral vision in my right eye. I held up a few items to my right and couldn’t really see them. By now I was freaking out and thinking I was getting glaucoma or going blind, so I went online and googled it. Thankfully everyone said it was temporary and nothing to worry about while a few websites linked it to a migraine although some didn’t get a migraine afterwards. Sure enough, the ‘hallucination’ went away just after reading these. Later I had a pain in the upper part of my left eye and felt like going to bed. I did go to bed early with a headache although it wasn’t severe.

Today I found this website http://www.iguides.org/articles/articles/2614/1/Visual-Migraine-Shimmering-Field-of-Vision/Page1.html which outlined exactly what I’d experienced. Seems it was a visual migraine and nothing to do with eyesight (relief). It was very scary. I wonder what triggered it. I hope I don’t have another one.

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“Nothing much”

Little achieved in the weekend. I forgot to get petrol for the lawnmower so the lawn wasn’t done. It was too hot outside to do any gardening. I did the usual cleaning chores but that’s nothing to write about. I can’t really recall what I did on Saturday. I had intended to do some clothes shopping but I didn’t fancy the crowds. I put some of my brother’s home-kill lamb in the slow cooker as daughter from Wellington and boyfriend were coming up in the evening but didn’t know what time (hence the slow cooker instead of waiting to cook once there). There’s nothing quite like home-kill lamb – it’s so tender and tasty!

Daughter’s boyfriend brought a new graphics card I got them to buy while they were in Auckland. Boyfriend installed it and figured out why my Sims 2 game wasn’t working and got it working again!!! Yayyyyy. I hadn’t been able to play for six months. Sounds pathetic, I know, but I did miss my Sims 2 families. I had been playing them for 6 or 7 generations. I actually find it quite interesting from a genealogical viewpoint. You start off with a handful of families in a small village and over time the generations intermarry and basically everyone is related to everyone else. Fascinating (to me anyway).

Younger daughter was away for most of the weekend attending a farewell party (of a close friend moving to Australia) and another ‘gig’ – basically all her friends are in bands. Instead of playing guitar herself now, she has appointed herself band photographer and offering bands a few shots for free. She wants to get her name out there and eventually be offered money as she gets more experience. She showed me some shots last night and they were good! She’s got a good head on her, that girl. (Apple… tree… ;))

Back into the working week. I do wish we could have more 3-day weekends, particularly in summer. Alas, we have 2 fewer for another year thanks to “holidays” falling on the weekend. Phooey.

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Feeling left out

It doesn’t pay to skip classes when you’re learning something new. I went to belly dancing class last night for the first time this year. The classes had started the week before. We’re currently learning a long and complex choreography and each week we go through a little bit extra on top of what we’ve already learned.

Well, judging by what they danced last night, last week’s instalment was very complex! I was completely lost and felt like an outsider joining for the first time. Two others had also missed last week’s class but they seemed to get through it better, having practised the rest of the dance at some stage over the past month or so. Oh dear. I had forgotten that I actually have a video of the dance as danced by the choreographer. I will have to watch it before next week’s class – in slow motion! I vaguely remembered the first part of the dance so it won’t take me long to catch up, but that last bit – way too many turns and bumps here and there. I don’t like the choreography – it’s just too complex. I don’t actually like the style of belly dancing of the choreographer – it’s more like ballet than belly dancing – full of pirouettes. Not my cup of tea at all.  I also don’t think she’s particularly graceful.  Anyway, the aim is for us all to perform this dance at the annual hafla in July.

Below is an example of the dancing style of the choreographer.

The group will also be dancing at the annual Esplanade Open Day in a couple of weeks. I won’t be joining them this year. The trio will perform their dance again and the rest will perform yet another dance I don’t like and which I refuse(d) to learn properly.

I will just have to get round to creating my own choreography, somehow.

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Losing weight

Looking in the mirror these days is not a pretty sight. As I haven’t done any exercise for about 2 months and very little belly dancing, the weight has piled on. Even sucking in my stomach doesn’t do much. I’m cutting back on the alcohol but I really need to be more active, especially as my job involves sitting down all day.

I watched a very useful TV programme last night, called something like top 10 tips for losing weight. I knew a couple of them but it was surprising what I learned that I didn’t know.

1. Count your calories

2. Soup staves off hunger for longer. They showed a meal eaten as solids by one group of soldiers with a glass of water and the same meal pureed with the water. The soldiers on the soup stayed full for longer.

3. Protein staves off hunger for longer (so I had an egg this morning).

4. Eat on a smaller plate

5. When exercising, you burn off the carbohydrates first and you don’t burn off much fat at all BUT the fat keeps burning off after you finish exercising even while you’re sleeping. Knowing this will get me more motivated.

6. Try and be more active even without exercising. Use the stairs. Move around more. Move around even when standing still (raising knees, moving arms) and this extra activity can burn up to 200 calories more. I’m not sure how I can do that without looking an idiot. I always use the stairs anyway. I will definitely try and walk more each lunch hour even if the weather’s a bit iffy, like today.

7. Eat low fat dairy – it helps secrete more fat.

8. Always eat breakfast (and protein keeps you fuller – see no. 3)

I can’t remember the other two – I think they were part of the above 8 or they were already known to me (like eating more healthily).

I’m going to keep a notebook and note down what activity I did, etc. After each week I’ll weigh myself or note any change and hopefully I’ll shed a bit. I feel fat and I hate that feeling. It’s also very depressing when trying on clothes.

We’ll see how it goes… Unfortunately, just as I get more motivated someone at work has brought in some yummy looking chocolate slice. Damn!

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Booked

The trip to Aus, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is basically all booked.  6 am flights out of Wellington (aaaaggghhhh!).  Expensive hotels in 3 cities – Singapore being the most expensive.

We ended up booking the main flights ourselves – cheaper through Air Asia, saving ourselves $1000 each.  For the rest we went through Flight Centre but only because I’d been given a gift voucher.  We could’ve actually booked everything ourselves online, but it’s nice to leave a lot of the legwork to someone else.  Next time I think I will book everything myself.  Now I just have to book a bus to Wellington the night before (and back again) and a bus to KL from Singapore.  We’d initially decided to fly to Singapore and get the bus up to KL but Air Asia flies to KL before anywhere else and we would’ve found ourselves waiting 4 hours in KL for transit to Singapore.  Instead we’re flying to KL, flying to Singapore after a few days and getting the bus back for another couple of days, then flying back direct to Christchurch.  Another overnight stay needed there, unfortunately.  Flights always seem to leave very early in the morning and arrive back very late at night. 😐

No staying over with anyone.  There were no offers of accomodation either from Brisbane or Coolangatta (our departure point for KL) from cousins.  Probably best that way anyway.  I don’t want to feel obligated.  I have a friend in the south of Malaysia but I’ll meet him for a dinner in Singapore.  It’s been 23 years since I’ve been in that part of the world – a lot will have changed I imagine.

I’ve now got 4 months to save for spending money and food (after I’ve paid Flight Centre!).

So no more annual leave from work until June, saving it for the 2 week jaunt overseas.  Can I survive?

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I discovered my period had returned last night and I hadn’t had one for months so into town for supplies I didn’t think I needed again.  Thanks to daughter for emergency supply to tide me over.

Also on my list were cat biscuits for Jasmine, iron pills, a bedside light, a suitcase and a computer mouse.

I wanted a new suitcase for my trip in June.  The one I have currently is too big, and was even too big for my trip to Germany 5 1/2 years ago.  After the  quick dash to the supermarket I headed to the Plaza, mainly to visit KMart for a bedside light.  My cheap little light gave up the ghost a couple of nights ago.  I thought K-Mart’s selection of lights was rubbish so had a look at their suitcases.  Looked at one that was not only heavy but didn’t stand up straight and would’ve fallen over with any weight in it.  It also had a stupid little wire thing near the base that seemed to serve no useful purpose and would’ve ripped out.  Gave up on K-Mart and headed to Strands.  They had a sale and I ended up buying, almost immediately a small bag for $75, reduced from $105.  Seven year guarantee to boot.  Excellent.  I haven’t made such a quick purchase for some time.  I bet the assistant was quite surprised too.

Next stop Warehouse for lights, although I’ve usually found them useless in that department.  They were.  While I was there had a quick look at shoes but nothing of interest.  Had meant to go to Number one shoes, but forgot and went to Briscoes in the faint hope they had lights.  They didn’t and their suitcases are amazingly expensive (just had to check while there).  Onto Dick Smith electronics for a mouse and spotted “Lighting Plus” which also had a sale.  Headed in and almost immediately found exactly what I was looking for and only $25 with a guarantee.  Wonderful.  The only snag was the guy talked me into buying a bulb (fair enough) but I got home and discovered he’d sold me a bayonet type and it was screw-in.  Oh well.  I can still use the bulb at least.

Onto Dick Smith and I found a couple of small “mouses”.  I find that my wrists get sore at work, even with the cushioned wrist rest (which feels like it cuts off circulation).  When I had a workplace ergonomic assessment last year, I mentioned to the woman that my mouse was too big but she didn’t take me seriously, as it is a normal-sized mouse.  Rather than moan about it again (and get jibes from colleagues as well as wait months for a result) I figured I’d buy my own.  Ones at home are a bit big too but I’m not on them all day.  Anyway, bought one happily and headed home, much pleased with my quick and easy purchases at good prices.

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