Category Archives: Shenanigans

For my biographer

Guy’s… I tried the Menstrual Cup

The Tesla of Feminine Hygiene Products

I’m sure, like me, you have read a lot on the Menstrual Cup. It’s the first major, revolutionary product in Feminine hygiene products in about 100 years.

Men – I assume a lot of you are reading this and definitely didn’t scream girlishly when you saw the word ‘MENSTRUAL’ and throw away your internet device just in case it came through the screen like the girl off the ring. This will be a period chat. Do what you will with that.

Men, or those of you that are new to the female web – the Menstrual Cup is a little cup made of medical grade silicone, BPA free (whatever the fuck BPA is), that sits inside a vagina and essentially catches all the blood that is attempting to be menstruated.


I won’t go into the whole religious and cultural beliefs about periods – but take my word that it has been, and still is, an uphill battle – with very little progress being made on the design front.

Tampons really only hit consumer shelves in the 20’s. By the 40’s, only 25% of the population used them. In the 60’s they thought of putting a string on them. In the 80’s they realised they were giving women TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome), with 800 reported cases, and 38 of which that were fatal. In the 2000’s, 80% of women use them. The average woman will use about 16,000 in her lifetime.

I don’t know if that little scope of data has clarified the flaws, but essentially – they are slow to evolve, not great on the environment and that small risk of actual death.

Mostly, having a period is fucking annoying.

Then along came the Menstrual cup. And boy did it sounds like a dream come true.

You can re-use a cup for several years

Yay for the planet, yay for not spending money on such luxury goods, yay for not having to worry about stocking up tampons in the place of canned goods in a zombie apocalypse

No connection to TSS

Not dying is also great.

It holds a lot and it doesn’t leak.period

You can leave it in all day, you can leave it in when you sleep. You don’t have to do the ‘Pant Check’ when you brunch with the girls. YES WE ALL DO IT. Sister solidarity.

So many of my friends have been wanting to try it, so I took the plunge (pun intended) and did it for us.

DAY 1:

I read the little instructions that came with the cup. Read it three times out of fear that I would misunderstand. Read it in a Scottish accent for fun. BF catches me and says

“What are you doing.” I respond by putting on my most noble of faces and raising my fist in the air. (Still in Scottish accent that started to turn Irish at the end.)

“Taking one giant step forth for women-kind. For I, will sacrifice my bod-“

“Yep – period stuff, got it.”

So I go into the bathroom to try out this bad boy. I squat down on the floor, fold the little cup and insert. The directions say you can pretty much fold it anyway, but I fold it in half. It magically sorts itself into position inside me. Like one of those pop-up tents.

I read a lot of people say that it’s uncomfortable and takes a while to get used to – but I actually think it’s more comfortable than a tampon. I can’t feel anything. I do some practice lunges, star jumps and coughs to make sure nothing is moving. Can you imagine that falling out?


It’s all good. I do a victory lap around the bedroom. BF is definitely impressed but trying not to show it.

“You know what,” I say, “I should probably make sure I can get it out before I do another victory dance.”

I go back into the bathroom. Assume squat position (deep squat, all the way on the floor) and I can’t get the fucker out.

The instructions say to pinch the bottom with your forefinger and thumb to break the seal at the base (it sort of works like a suction cup) but this does sweet FA. I try wriggling it, I try pulling on the tiny little toggle at the end, I try getting my finger all the way up to scoop it out. But suddenly my fingers are short and stumpy – and also sharp AF because I just had my nails done.

I was panicking, but saying out loud – “just don’t panic.” I panicked some more.

I walked out of the bathroom to survey BF who is watching a movie.

“How did you go sweetie”, he asks.

“Not excellent, I might just give it another hour and try again. Or you know… Outsource.”

He stares at me blankly. 


I stare at him until he realises I mean him. Then we laugh and laugh.

I lock the door.

No-no, I’m kidding, we aren’t there yet. That’s like a 6-month relationship step. But I tried another three times that night. The last time I try he actually says;

“Okay, what do I need to do.” He looks a little pale.

The thing is, breaking the seal just didn’t work for me, it was too far up to hook my finger around, and there is just no gripping. The more I tried to pinch the end, the more it would slide further in. Then I’d have to calm down and push it to closer to the exit again. You know what I mean push it out? Pelvic floor. I read so many things on the internet of how the others did it and none of it would work!

I decided it was more of a future-Amy problem and I should just sleep on it. Which I could totally do because you can sleep with it in – no leaking. I really wanted to love this product.

Day 2:

I get up an extra half an hour early for work for this expedition. I jump in the shower. Squat. Take a deep fucking breath and try to be Zen. I’ve actually managed to strain one of my fingers the day before trying to get the mofo out so I decided to use my left hand.

neorealismIt took about ten minutes. I scooped it out sideways, sliding it along the left-hand side of the walls. Jackson-Pollocking the shower walls as I did so. It holds a lot of blood.


I was ridiculously proud and had the grandest sense of achievement I’ve ever felt in my life. Still riding on this high, I washed it out and put it straight back in. I was determined to master this process.

I didn’t take it out once that day, which for me is just….so great. I work in an all-male office, so I can be a bit self-conscious that I spend double the amount of time in the bathroom as them.  But damn this cup, it was amazing. I left it in there all day, I didn’t check on it, I let it be. And it was fine. I have actually never felt so care-free about it in my life.

Then I get home and do the struggle again. It takes another three 15 minute expeditions. Again, the only thing that works for me, hot shower, deep squat, left hand, slide it out sideways, paint the roses red. And by roses I mean, paint, wall-to-wall, the most horrific mural seen outside of a horror movie.

The rest of the week:

I did it for seven days. I couldn’t seem to change my success method, but I did stop painting the walls. It was a menace to get out every time. I kept thinking I was getting to accidentally come across an easier way to get it out. Alas, not this month.

Though for all the panic, the annoyance, the strained fingers, the sheer artistry and new flexibility – it was totally worth it. Put it like this, I had to struggle twice a day. In the safety of my own shower. It saved me so much hassle during the day and while I slept. I figure I’ll get better next month.

TLTR Version: Hard to get out. Don’t panic. Sassy comments. Totally worth it.

Here is the one I used – well not the actual one, that would be weird. But here’s the brand


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.


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…