Category Archives: Shenanigans

For my biographer

The five stages of putting on a sports bra

Sometimes the hardest thing you will do all day is get dressed. If you are putting on a sports bra it is definitely the hardest thing you will do all day. I’m not talking about the soft little boob-hammocks you wear when you are long past impressing the boyfriend/girlfriend/neighbour kids. I’m talking about the ones that you wear when you have the intention of doing a far-out hardcore session of the big E. Ecstasy. Exercise

Stage 1: Denial

Yes it starts off the same way as the stages of grief. The blissful ignorance, or perhaps absolute subconscious refusal to accept the task that lies before you. The workout before the workout, the beginning of the end. 

A sports bra looks the same as any small top. Usually brightly coloured, seemingly flexible, and a noticeable lack of fangs. You, my friend, have reached stage one. Now slip that bad boy over your head.

Stage 2: Feeling trapped

By ‘slip’ did you mean wrestle my suddenly large head into what feels like an armband? Why did this look bigger from the outside? Where is the elastic stretch that was promised? You wriggle your giant head through the point of light at the end of a tunnel looking for an end to this limbo, but alas it is just the other side of the sports bra. 

Full of broken dreams you break through, arms windmilling madly. You wind up with a suffocating necklace. Your arms sticking awkwardly out the top like some humanoid pot plant. One boob at a time you detach your various body parts like snake would unhinge its jaw to swallow a warthog. Resist the urge to call for help or cry. You can do this. You summon up your last vestige of strength and pull it all down and wallah! It is on! You think this is the end but no. There are five stages. You’re not even halfway done.

Stage 3: Acclimatising 

The air feels thin in here, you are feeling slightly lightheaded, maybe you ought to sit down? You are panting and feeling tired. Imagine, if this is getting dressed, what will the real exercise be like? 

Everything I just described is actually a symptom of acute mountain sickness. Much like the mountain climbers in the Himalayas you are now attempting to live off a 30% (not an actual figure) oxygen intake. In fact if you google “how to train to climb a mountain” the first answer is just a link to Lorna Janes online shopping website.

Panting and clutching at the sink you wait to recover.

Stage 4: Examination

Once you have recovered your sight you will then start to study this new you. A you who likes to exercise and wear the equivalent of Chinese foot bindings on your boobs. Look how fit you are and how tanned that bright yellow top makes you look and – the fuck is that? Am I growing a second arm? Is my back pregnant? No. That is every ounce of fat you have squeezed out because this sports bra is at capacity. Sit back down caterpillar. You are not the beautiful butterfly you imagined. Wrap up and wait another six months. 

Stage 5: Acceptance

Because you know no matter how bad you feel now, what is coming is ten times worse. Priorities, am I right? Sigh and thank god there is another layer to this outfit.

How to pacify the ghost you live with

Let me just start by saying, this isn’t a metaphor.  The ghost I live with isn’t the regrets I have or the things I never accomplished or the fears I’ll never face. It is an angry, door slamming, tapping on the table and calling my name from the kitchen. WHAT IS IT GARY! WHAT DO YOU WANT! I named the ghost Gary.

Rule 1: Don’t name your ghost.

No one wants to be named Gary. Not even people who are actually named Gary want to be named Gary. It may have become easier to reference him in real time, but it wasn’t worth the doors slamming at two in the morning, or the airconditioner breaking in the midst of the hottest week of the summer.

Rule 2: Don’t smoke it out.

I tried a few things to smoke him out and on to the afterlife. Incense, Glen 20, burning chicken chippies so badly they reverted back to their original carbon based form. To be honest, most of those things were to get the smell of no-longer-chicken-chippies out of my house. You could live with the ghost of Jack the Ripper but it really wouldn’t be as bad as having your house smell like wet cigarettes.

Rule 3: Remember that it is human

I made him a Netflix account. Netflix came to Australia last week. It was extremely convenient because the next week the Australian government passed the data retention law. In an effort to ‘catch the terrorists’ they can now track all the things we do online faster than you can say “double plus good”. But obviously I have NOTHING TO FEAR BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE.

Side note: how super hard is it to be sarcastic in 2D?

But I digress.  I found myself with the OPPORTUNITY to download the Australian version (read: subpar) of Netflix. You come to this little section after they lure you in with the free for month trial where you can make four different accounts. “Who will be watching” they ask. And you are encouraged to make four accounts for the four people who live in your house.

“Drat” say I, out loud because no one was home and I was starting to hear the blood rushing in and out of my head in the immense silence.

“What can I call the third account! Guest? Other?”

Then came the breeze on the back of my neck. In a house that was the air version of a swamp. Seriously nothing in and nothing out. There may have only been three people living in the house, but there were four people in the house.

Shani (housemate/sister) didn’t approve. Her coping method for living with a malevolent spirit is to pretend it doesn’t exist. You can imagine how well it went down when she discovered that Gary had become so fully fledged as to have a Netflix account. She’s going to faaaareak when she discovers he has been watching David Attenborough, Clueless, and That 70’s Show for the last week.

Lesson of the week: Never underestimate procrastination

I’ve always been under the belief that I have spent a solid month in near constant procrastination. When I first started this blog I was in the process of job hunting. A few interviews a week, my only creative writing outlet were cover letters and my only human contact were those of prospective employers. So I started blogging. Nearly every day all day. Happily going about my day thinking that the only useful thing I was doing was making myself happier and letting the dust settle on my couch. Wrong.

Unbeknownst to me I was learning and improving skills to further my career. Eugh. Thank god I didn’t realise at the time or I may have never done it.

A bit of background about my work. I work for a small company and we recently changed over marketing companies. I liaise with the media, with marketing, advertising, customers. All that sort of stuff. The new marketing company said to me, “Hey Amy, we don’t really know a lot about your website program. It’s in a weird program that we may have to quickly learn. Something called WordPress.” No I didn’t click. I thought to myself – hmmm that sounds familiar, I think I’ll just say some non-committal sounds that makes it seem as though I know what he is talking about.

“Ah I see (no I don’t)”.

Enter a particularly stressful week of customers complaining about the company offering things on the website that were no longer on the tills. Offers that no longer existed. New Years Eve was still being advertised for goodness sakes. My boss is panicking due to the complaints, I’m panicking because I meant to be in charge of this being removed. The new marketing company are panicking because they can’t figure out how to change anything. Panic Panic Panic. Grey hairs for everyone.

Then I saw ‘Wordpress’ written down in an email. Now for everyone who isn’t a fellow blogger – well i want to dieWordPress is the online program a lot of bloggers use to run their blogs. In fact – I use it to run the very page you are reading right now. I spent a week or so when I first started blogging, mastering the very site my company uses for their webpage.  The one that no one could figure out how to change because the program was so very foreign. Oh except me. We are still advertising NYE and I knew all along how to change everything.

I don’t know if I should be proud that my month off wasn’t a complete waste of time – or embarrassed that it took me a week to realise where I had heard the word ‘Wordpress’ before. Maye I’m due for another month off. I am clearly losing my mind.

Moral of the story – maybe you aren’t procrastinating. Maybe you are learning a new skill that will be useful in the near future.

Idiot.

What happens in waiting rooms…

Today I decided I wanted to be Roxie Hart. This happens more often then I’d like to admit.  It’s not tumblr_n94aqmASig1tcc3imo1_500like I admire her at all. It just that I know all the Chicago songs, and I think her haircut is cute. But fact of the matter is, if I was to be a Renee Zellweger character, I’d probably be closer to Bridget Jones than Roxie Hart. I may not be able to sing – but I can drink and eat dessert for dinner. We all have our strengths guys.

What I really wanted to write about was hospital waiting rooms. In Brisbane the lines are particularly bad. You have to sit there with your broken bones and appendicitis, until you start to disturb the other patients with your pain noises. I sat in one on Sunday with my boyfriend, Peychaud (still a code name) and tried to guess all the diseases I could possibly be exposed to. Everytime I wander into a hospital I wonder if everyone in there is like, “I wonder what she’s here for. Maybe she picking up someone, maybe there is a small spider living under her skin somewhere”. I can’t be the only one trying to guess what people are in for based on their outward appearances. There isn’t a lot to do in waiting rooms. As I looked around this particular waiting room, no one was touching the enormous stack of trashy magazines, no one was watching the badly dubbed movie that was likely made in the 40’s. No one is even talking. They are just angrily staring at each other. It’s like the Hunger Games in here. I just know that man sitting next to me is hoping that I will die just so he can move up in the queue. That is what it gets like.

But the thing that makes me feel like this whole situation is being controlled by some unseen game maker is this crawling monstrosity sitting at my feet. It’s a small child with eyes that say “I’m nothing but innocent.” Then it head-butted my leg a few times then settled on my shoe for a quick nibble… Did you know children do that? I could feel its little teeth trying to bite into my shiny heels. They are practically made of steel, so it did nothing to my shoes. So that’s one problem down.

What does one do in a situation like that? The mother is probably in for some serious reason. Grandmother is distraught and confused, struggling to keep an eye on little Fang. Speaking of Fang, she is now crawling up my leg with her saliva covered hands and now I’m worried she is going to try and lift up my skirt.

I’ve had dogs bite the shoes on my feet before and it’s taking all of my brain power not to automatically shake it off. Or kick it. It’s not like I dislike them – it’s just a (literal) knee jerk reaction.  After another minute of toddler gnawing I was praying that Fang’s Mother would get called in before us. Peychaud had already been waiting for two hours and together we had waited another hour, and I was willing to let Fang senior skip the queue just so I could get out of this looming awkward situation where I accidentally kick this blue eyed ringletty cherub out of my future.

But that was my Sunday.

Krispy Kremes and Cocktails

My boyfriend is addicted to Original Glaze. But only when he’s drinking. I don’t mean to make him sound like an alcoholic or morbidly obese. He is neither of these, let me reiterate. So many of my bar tending friends become someone else when they drink: chain smokers, therapists, professors of tumblr_nc9ubpQiJv1tfyxr5o1_500modern history, and that one guy that actually becomes Beyoncé. I’ve got it pretty good, as Peychaud (code name) just likes misshapen pastries.

One of the problems with dating a bartender, especially one who is passionate about his job, is the concoctions and cocktails that must be consumed for research purposes. This doesn’t sound like much of a problem, I know. Oh no, poor baby has to have delicious cocktails all the time. Oh no, my boyfriend keeps bringing me drinks on a silver platter and keeping me cool with a palm frond. Fun fact though: you cannot eat healthily if you drink all the time, because nothing goes hand in hand quite like anything from 7-11 and being drunk.

I live in the fabulous West End (the Brisbane variety). It used to be the slums, but recently there has been a collective effort in the community to raise the real estate value.  So now it’s full of Italian vintage wines and fancy Greek restaurants. There are tiny cocktail bars, whisky bars, and places that serve assorted cheese and cured meats. The décor can only be ceiling lights with Barbie heads on spikes, bars made from books or giant ant farms. You want a schnitzel? Good fucking luck buddy tumblr_n6s8z8H21G1r8lutfo1_500(actual lie, you can get plenty of schnitzels, but I’m trying to make a point here). I can fetch you some beef shavings with cauliflower puree. Want a drink? You must have this new cocktail served in a cracked vintage mug: chipotle bitters with white peach liqueur and the blood of a virgin. I can find you some Glenfiddich old enough to be my father. Even the tap water has probably been blessed by monks and smoked with pinewood and basil.

Someone desperately wants to bring West End out of the ghetto and into the dimly lit lounge of hipsterdom. I appreciate those people. But all their willpower and good-doings isn’t enough to get rid of the junkies that litter the pubs. Or the Sunday boys in snapbacks and Saturday girls with mascara two inches lower than their eyes and heels three inches too high to walk in. They get their kebabs with a slice and a half of tomato and enough onion to kill a small rodent and sit around, loudly showing off their ignorance and arrogance.

The funniest thing living in this jumble is that you become a weird combination of both worlds. My boyfriend is the epitome of this with his addiction to Krispy Kremes and complex cocktails.

“You know what goes well with a revised Sidecar? Krispy Kremes.”

“Nothing sets off a $22 schooner of craft beer like original glaze.”

“Hold my non-digital polaroid camera… Want to know how many I can fit into a single box?”

I have eaten more Krispy Kremes in the last three months than the last 21 years. You may ask why I’m also eating them if Peychaud (still a code name) is the one who is addicted. Because eating tumblr_nbwrk9u9p51tfyxr5o1_500Krispy Kremes alone is like drinking alone. It’s depressing. Being an ex-bartender myself, I can vouch for the depressive state of the solo drinker. And not the quick-beverage-after-work or the waiting-for-a-plane drinker. But the 11am-on-spirits-already drinker, the tequila-shot-for-one drinker. The how-funny-is-it-when-you-lose-your-job-and-your-wife-leaves-you drinker. There is no better way to prove your dedication to another person, than to help them eat a box of Krispy Kremes. It will probably written on my tombstone: Amy Wallin, dearest sister, loving daughter, back-having with Krispy Kreme addictions. Died of diabetes at age 23.

Oh and If you’re wondering how many he can fit into a box, it’s eight.

A Modern Day Horror Story

I can’t decide if the ghost in my apartment is trying to look after me or trying to kill me.  Has anyone else had this issue? Gary (the ghost duh) moves things around my apartment that fast become trip hazards. But then he closes my door at night if I’ve forgotten to and can hear the drier tumbling loose change and buttons. (I have the cleanest money in all the land, I swear. You could give the change in my pocket to babies to suck on, that’s how clean it is. Best not to do that though). I write this as the blinds in my living room are slowly coming down. Gravity? Or Gary trying to comm scarekeep out the light? I figure this is the safest time to write about him, he’s preoccupied with the blinds. Also I figure if it turns out he isn’t a benign sortof ghost and does one day pitch me off the balcony, the internet will know what happened to me. But it’s stopped moving now so it’s time to change the subject. Gary the ghost is not even the scariest thing to happen to me today. This next tale of mine is everyone’s worst nightmare. If you are easily scared stop reading now. My little sister is ill at the moment. She and I live together, we breathe the same air, drink from the same cups, and have the same tea preference. She could give me this illness as easily as giving me a pat on the back.  Anyway today she’s been in a Kardashian mood. In one scene her second family (the Kardashians) were eating cake. This started a god-like hankering for a cupcake. Coles was open late tonight and after much bullying and butchering, she convinced me to go get her one. I walked into the shops in a right state – make-up-less, and looking like I’d been drinking tequila all night (I had). I made a beeline for the muffins. Then I hear my name. Had Gary followed me? Were we on a first name basis? No, no. It was much worse. tumblr_n7cjtcXk5v1s1vz2ko1_500It was my personal trainer. I almost jumped through the roof, or at least jumped so far back I landed in the (much healthier) brushed potato section.  As you can imagine, My PT spends his entire grocery shop in the fruit and veggie section. Which happens to also be the fresh cupcake section. I was trapped in Coles for the foreseeable future. It was the first time I have had any experience in surveillance. I stalked that man around Coles. Pretending I was there for hair ties and bananas and green tea.  There was this one moment he went missing. Turns out I’m terrible at this surveillance business. Unless of course you are from the CIA and I just had a job interview with you and your doing a background check – I am excellent. Anyway I stepped out in the muffin section and he came out of nowhere, extra sneaky from not having done legs this week (probably). I abruptly changed directions and headed for the green beans like I had a stir fry to cook immediately. My second attempt was much better. I snuck around to the cold foods. The door was open to thetumblr_mkvdq2Touk1s3oe2qo1_500 bakery that separated the two sections. I could just see the top of his head as he talked to the check-out lad – probably convincing him to curl all the tinned food as he swiped the bar codes. I looked away to update Shani (devil-Kardashian-watching-cupcake-wanting-sister) via text. I looked up and my heart stopped. He was gone. Where did he go?? Did he leave? Was he hiding in the chemist to jump out at me as I left with the muffins? Was he hiding in the BWS (Beer, Wine, and Spirits) trying to find an alcohol-less, carb-less, sugar-less wine to celebrate being the heathiest person in the world? I made it out. He didn’t see the cupcakes. Damn my sister. Damn the Kardashian. I didn’t even want a cupcake, but I was so stressed I had to eat one just to calm the fuck down. Reader, I cannot go through this again. I came out the other side a changed person. The sun is darker. There is less joy. The air isn’t quite as sweet. Thankfully cupcakes taste exactly the same…

Am I suddenly an idiot?

The last three days I have experienced an unsettling realisation that I’m actually an idiot.   Every now and then we (as individuals of the human race) do something stupid. We commit it, hide it, forget it. This time, my idiocy quota needed to be filled before the end of the month – in quick succession.

Epiphany

You know the song ‘Hey Ya’ by Outkast? I was listening to some acoustic version of this (not as tumblr_n741b5Mkn01swxih3o1_500good) and I realised something about the lyric: “shake it like a Polaroid picture”. It hit me like a third tequila shot. You shake Polaroid pictures to develop them. Oh my god. It only took a terrible choice of acoustic cover and 11 years to realise. What else have I been singing mindlessly! In my defence – I have never seen the film clip where they apparently shake Polaroid pictures.

Refrigeration Mishaps

I drank off milk in my coffee.  I drank the entire cup. Felt a little ill. THEN. Looked at the date of the milk. I’m ashamed to say I just put the milk back in the fridge because the rubbish bin was full. We’ve all been there. And I don’t live with my mum so I have no one to make sure I keep on top of that stuff. Sometimes I have ice cream for dinner and no one tells me off.

Scrabble

I pride myself on being pretty word savvy. I’m no Oxford dictionary but I can manipulate myself scrabblethrough a conversation well.  So please would someone explain to me why I have never won a game of Scrabble?  For the past week or so I have battled my boyfriend (one who never reads) through a game, at least once a night. There is only so many times I can claim a hand of vowels – or three ‘q’s and not a ‘u’ in sight. Simply put – he is just better than me. I am Castle so hard in this gif.

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