Monday, 28 July 2014

100 Days of Awesome: Days 62 - 64: Sealing the Deal

Day 62

It was a Friday. So yeah, of course it was going to be awesome!
Well, mostly. Work was a bit meh, which it has been, on and off. But the most awesome part about Fridays is that it's the end of the working week, so that's always cause for celebration!
The Kiwi took me out for dinner to Chingon in Richmond, which is a Mexican restaurant that keeps things pretty simple. To that end, the menu is quite limited but I would still recommend you try it. We had the salsa, the corn, and shared a plate of four tacos, and I have to say, thank heavens we shared them because I damned near had to unbutton my pants as it was! Towards the end of the meal The Kiwi leaned across the table for a kiss, and I had trouble leaning past my full tummy. Haha, yep, I think I ate too much...
The flavours were pretty authentic, almost exactly as I remembered them from my trip to Mexico. The steak taco was wonderfully juicy and smoky, the pork one had some pineapple floating about which gave a really nice burst of sweetness, and the fish one was pretty much identical to the ones I ate on the beach in Playa del Carmen a couple of years ago. Yum. I will definitely be making a return visit! My only criticism is that the pork taco wasn't as awesome as pork I have had elsewhere... but I'm comparing it to the mouthwartering carnitas we ate in Mexio, and that is obviously totally unfair to all the pork elsewhere in the world ;-)
Next, it was to the video shop to pick out something to watch. Our original plan had been to go to the movies, but I was tired and keen for a quiet night, so we picked out Saving Mr Banks (uh, that was me... but I'd heard it was really good!), which we watched that night, and The Wolf of Wall Street, which waited until Day 64.
Sooo.... the Kiwi passed out on the couch half way through Saving Mr Banks. But in the first place, he has a habit of falling asleep during movies, and in the second place, as it turns out, he hasn't actually seen Mary Poppins (seriously! I didn't realise that was possible!!!), so I don't think that was really a true reflection on the movie's awesomeness. I personally found it to be quite interesting, and may have sung along and cried a little (hah, so it's a good thing The Kiwi was asleep). Plus of course it had the ever-awesome Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks in it.
Day 63
Saturday! Whoohoo! Mind you, it was a pretty miserable day. But it began with a nice sleep in, and an awesome cooked breakfast, and a trip to Ikea for a cushion for the stool I sit on at The Kiwi's house - I've been getting bruises on the backs of my legs from it. I"m such a special little snowflake.
After Ikea we headed to the Asian supermarket on Victoria Street to pick up some ingredients for the Tom Kha Gai I had decided to make for dinner. I'd actually been mulling over it since I had the same dish on Tuesday night, and - spoiler alert - mine was waaaaay better. I was also totally right about the flavours not being quite right - I used the pretty darned genuine recipe book from the cooking school I attended in Thailand, and, lo and behold, kaffir lime was in it. Just like I thought! As soon as my camera has been fixed I'll make it again and take some photos and post the recipe for you.
Yeah, cos I don't mean to brag, but I totally nailed it, and it's probably because it's a great recipe and one well worth sharing. Nessa came over to share in my awesomeness, and we polished off most of the batch between the three of us, plus a couple of bottles of wine. Which in hindsight, I probably drank a fair bit of myself, which explains why I was a little dry when I woke up on Day 64...
Oh! And I got a little teapot from the Asian supermarket, which of course means that I spend even more time drinking tea than I already did. I didn't know that was possible, but here we are. Perhaps next weekend I'll bake some kind of awesome cake to go with it... and actually post a recipe for the first time in a gazillion years. Sorry I've been so neglectful about that, y'all.
Day 64
Sunday! Whoohoo! Unfortunately I woke up quite suddenly, only 6 hours after I had gone to sleep, and was unable to get back to sleep. I spent two hours being annoyed about that before I got out of bed and realised what a beautiful day it was.
After brekkie I mucked around a bit and FINALLY cleaned out my laptop bag. I was a bit stunned at how much junk I threw away from it, actually. Including (but not limited to) a broken sachet of chicken noodle soup... which means that the long-lost set of earphones that have been kicking around the bottom of my bag actually smell like chicken noodle soup. Delicious, but really, really odd!
The Kiwi and I headed out with the intention of going for a run around the park. My heart started to let me down after the first 500m or so of walking, which was really disappointing for me. I'd already been silently freaking out at the prospect of running a) for the first time in ages and b) for the first time in front of The Kiwi, and that just made it worse. So we walked around the park instead... which is how we came to notice something a bit odd... (there is supposed to be a video embedded there, but it's not working, so I've taken some screen shots for you instead)
Heeeeeere, fishy fishy fishy...
 Om nom nom nom nom...

See you later, guys!

Yep, that's a seal, catching fish and frolicking. In the Yarra River. In Hawthorn!!! HOW FRIGGING AWESOME IS THAT??!!! I called Wildlife Victoria and they got the sealkeeper from Melbourne Zoo to call me, and he said that it's not unheard of for seals to be found that far upstream, but it is pretty rare. He said they'd go have a look for it on Monday. I'm a bit worried about the poor thing being so far from home, but he seemed happy enough. Hopefully he stays happy and goes home soon!
UPDATE: a friend just emailed me and it looks like the seal made the paper! I am the person it refers to who reported it and said the seal was heading up the river. I'm pretty much famous now... ;-)
UPDATE #2: Both Channel 7 and Channel 9 want my footage so they can show it on the news tonight. Yep, definitely famous now!
Aaaanyway, once the excitement of the seal spotting had died down, we kept walking, and I decided that it was time that I hardened up and tried a little jog. It was abysmal enough an effort to send The Kiwi on ahead, and for me to have only run a total of about 500m, but I guess you've got to start somewhere. I was, however, pleasantly suprised by how well my little sprint (hah, well, it was sprinting for me!) went at the end. So it wasn't all bad, and it was pretty awesome having company and knowing someone was there if I needed them. And now I have something to build on, which is always good.
The afternoon involved a trip to Kathmandu (or Kathman-don't, as I call them) to pick up some new shorts for my impending trip to India, seeing as I have prodigiously outgrown my old ones (well, I guess that really just means I've gained a bit of weight...). I ended up with a pair of shorts, a skirt and two shirts, so it was fairly successful. It was pretty awesome that I paid 1/4 price, but I couldn't wrap my head around the fact the people sometimes pay full price for this stuff. Seriously, what the hell are they thinking??
An evening spent watching The Wolf of Wall Street (The Kiwi stayed awake for that one!) and eating a pretty tasty Tandoori chicken salad for dinner was an awesome end to an awesome weekend that was very much too short.
So, what was awesome about YOUR weekend? Betcha bottom dollar you didn't see a seal in a river...

Friday, 25 July 2014

100 Days of Awesome: Day 61 - My Lovely Lady Lumps

Day 61 could have been much, much worse than it was... but it turned out pretty awesomely in the end.
The morning was kinda pedestrian, although I did discover that the Irish name that sounds like "tier-knee" is actually spelled "Tighernach"... and that was about the most awesome thing about my morning. Mostly because I saw it and thought "Tiger Natch? Tiger Natch? Who the hell is emailing me?? A Bengali? I don't know any Bengalis..." (the connection there in my very strange brain being Bengal tigers.)
I left work just after lunch for my boob sandwich. By which I mean, mammogram and breast scan to check out that possibly, maybe, potentially lump. I'd been pretty damned nervous about it, and had been having a lot of trouble focusing at work for the couple of days before it. Understandably so, or so I like to think. At least I didn't eat my feelings.
Turns out, not a lump at all. Well, not a lump-lump. I just happen to have lumpy breasts (thanks for sharing!), with areas of denser, fibrous tissue. And that's all it was. Whoohoo! Doesn't get much more awesome than that!
I admit the machine that did the scan was pretty awesome as well. As was the fact I got to read a few acts of Romeo and Juliet whilst I was waiting, which I have been trying to re-read for about a year and keep being distracted from. I'm actually really starting to get into it and be able to easily understand what is going on, without totally bending my brain over it.
And the yo-yo biscuit and hot chocolate I treated myself to beforehand, just to get me over the line and into the building, were also awesome. Actually, that's not true at all. The yo-yo was awesome, but the hot chocolate was meh. And I swear, I wasn't eating my feelings! Much...
Well anyway, it turns out that mammograms aren't anywhere near bad as people make them out to be. Sure, nobody much likes having their lovely lady lumps manhandled by a technician and then squooshed between two bits of perspex. But honestly, ladies, harden up. I'm only 32, so my breasts are less pliable than they are at 40+, which is when most women start getting scans. It was less comfortable for me than it would be for someone older, but it wasn't that bad.
Add to that the fact I have a pacemaker, which was also squooshed against my ribcage during the process whilst pinching muscle and scar tissue. And STILL it wasn't that bad. So if you've been putting off a breast scan - or a pap smear, for that matter - because you've heard how uncomfortable it can be, or because you're embarassed by the thought of a highly-trained, very professional human being touching or seeing those parts of you, don't be. Because I'll give you the tip - any surgery you may require as a result of missing a tumour in its early stages will be a damned site more uncomfortable than a mammogram, and will probably also require you flashing more of your body to strangers than you could possibly have dreamt of. Oh, plus you might die from it anyway. Just a thought!
Anyway, now that I've lost all my male readers, I'll climb off my Womens Health soap box... ;-)
On the way back to the car I heard my name called, and I turned around to see my high school boyfriend (I was 16 at the time), who I hadn't seen in about fifteen years. It was pretty awesome to see him after so long. Amusingly, he apparently recognised the company logo on my jumper (he knows who I work for) before he recognised me. I'm not entirely sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing... although to be fair, it took me a second to recognise him, too, and (and I'm hoping he's not reading this!) it was mostly because he resembles his father a lot more now than he did at 16, and that made it harder to register who it was.
After that I was pretty much free for the evening, and I had decided it was high time I reinstated my long-held Thursday night shenaningans (which I haven't done since I went into hospital in March), so I caught up with my friend Viv. We were also celebrating my lovely lady lumps being okay, so dinner was definitely in order (Happy? Let's eat! Sad? Let's eat! Disgruntled? Let's eat! Cold? Let's eat! Confused? Let's eat! Excited? Let's eat! Yeah, you know how I roll...). We headed Chocolate Buddha in Fed Square and had a drink and shared some tapas-style food. It was pretty awesome food, from the pork belly and chicken spare ribs, to the tempura bananas at the end of the meal. Nom. And it was awesome catching up with Viv for a bit of a gossip, too.
Stepped straight onto a train to The Kiwi's (awesome timing), and spent an awesome few hours just chatting about nothing in particular and drinking hot chocolate. Just my kind of evening.
Yep, Day 61 was DEFINITELY more awesome than Day 60.

What was awesome about YOUR day?

Thursday, 24 July 2014

100 Days of Awesome: Day 60 - Hump Day

I normally enjoy Wednesdays. I like standing up at the weekly Toolbox meeting and talking to the guys. This time, not so exciting, and I don't know why.
I had a decent-ish sleep, but I was still exhausted. Exhaused to the point that I nodded off at my desk, very briefly, around midday. Concerning.
I didn't get much done at all at work, because I was feeling so far beyond unmotivated that it wasn't funny.
I think things have just been getting on top of me a bit the last few days, and even though I'm still making an effort to detect the awesome little things in my day, this time it was harder than usual.
I can't say that work was awesome, because I had a very uninspiring day. Totally self-inflicted, I admit, but that doesn't really change the end point.
I can't say that my family is awesome, because they are so far from awesome right now it's not funny. Dad's still in hospital, mum's within a bee's dick of checking herself in for a bit of a grease and oil change (but hey, at least she has the self-awareness to do that), and I'm generally worried about my brother.
I can't say that my friends are awesome (although they always are!), because a lot of them are going through their own personal challenges at the moment, and nobody's really feeling on top of the world.
I can't say that my health is awesome, because my heart has been feeling dodgy for about two weeks, and Day 61 will bring a breast scan to check out a potentially, maybe, possibly lump, which I am totally petrified about. Hah, well that's an awesome thing - my mum has lumpy boobs and has had several lumps that were benign, so that's going in my favour. Whoohoo, I found something! Yee-hah!
Yeah, that sounded a bit hollow, didn't it...
Wow, all of that totally defeated the purpose of this exercise, didn't it - to find the positives. I ended up listing the negatives instead. Geez. Okay. I'm going to have to try harder then.
Right. So it was a freezing cold day, the kind that sucks the heat out of you and gets into your bones, but it was nice when I got out on site in the sunshine (wearing a polar fleece and a woollen Bluey jacket, with my hands stuffed in my pockets to keep them warm). That was awesome.
I saved a tree, and not just any tree - a locally threatened tree. That was awesome.
I got to talk about landscaping with a subby. That was kind of awesome.
The Kiwi had dinner all ready to go when I got home from work (chicken salad wraps), so I got to sit there and pick at grated cheese and talk to him while he cooked the chicken. That was pretty awesome, as was the aioli I put on it.
I started reading the Zumbo cookbook that my awesome friend Rach gave me for my birthday (we bonded over a mutual love of food, so it was quite appropriate), and I realised that Adriano Zumbo is the twin of my friend Tollo, and not just because they're both Italian. Seriously. If Tollo shaved his head, it would be difficult to tell them apart. So that's pretty awesome.
I ended up with a wee dusting of glitter on me, because the cookbook had been inside a gift bag that was also covered in glitter, and glitter (in small, tasteful quantities) makes me pretty happy with its sparkliness, and that's awesome.
We had Mexican hot chocolate, and anyone that has visited the South/Central American continent will realise how awesome that is. We had the cinnamon one, which is my favourite.
The Kiwi cracked my back for me, which felt amaaaaaazing (and therefore awesome).
So that's about it. I had to dig a little bit deeper, but there was awesome stuff to be noticed.
Hopefully it was a bit easier to identify the awesome in your day today.