Tuesday, 26 August 2014

100 Days of Awesome: Days 73 -94 - Uh, oops.

So the main thing that happened that stopped me from documenting the everyday awesomeness of my life is that 1) I have been participating in VEDA, that is, Vlogging Every Day of August (you can check out my YouTube channel here), which has taken up all my spare time; and 2) life has been pretty flipping awesome every day and I have been too busy living it and enjoying it to spend much time here.
On top of that, work has been really busy, which is pretty motivating for me. I hate it when working days drag by, but if I'm honest it's those days that drag that I have time to blog at lunchtime. For the last three weeks I haven't really had a lunchtime, thus no blogging. But when things are fast-paced, I get a lot done and I feel valuable and capable and all of those other good things.
Plus, The Kiwi insists on hanging around... which works out pretty well for me, because I really like having him around :) Various adventures from the last few weeks include a little hike in the You Yangs, dinner with friends, and a weekend away in Tasmania. That was a pretty awesome weekend away, actually. I saw lots of friends, went to my friend Katie's engagement party and hit the town afterwards for one of my standard 4am Tassie Saturday nights, did a hike to Liffey Falls, showed The Kiwi my old job site, and just generally had an awesome weekend.
So anyway, if today is Day 94 then there's only 6 days to go here, and thank heavens for that. And when the 100 Days of Awesome is over, I'm trying to get back to my food focus of old. Which is a little contradictory for my current weight loss goals, but hey, you win some you lose some.
My macro lens is also off for repair, so I'll finally be able to take half-decent photos of my baking creations again!
Lastly, exciting news - my BFF Ness and I are off to India in 19 days for an adventure. We haven't travelled together since 2005/6 and I'm really looking forward to it.
Better leave it here - it's past my bed time.
Night all!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

100 Days of Awesome: Days 68 - 72 - VEDA Made Me Do It!

Up to my old tricks with having trouble cataloguing the awesomeness, largely because I've been doing so much. Part of what I've been doing is VEDA, which stands for Vlogging Every Day in August. If you're interested in seeing me make a tool of myself on the interwebs, I'm #71 on the participants list that can be found on the VEDA site - weblogwevlog.com. And when I'm back using Wifi that has no restrictions on it, I will directly post a couple of YouTube links (or you could just search for my channel - vanessalillian82).
Anyway, back to the awesome. In reverse order, because it's easier that way.
Day 72:
- Gorgeous day to be outdoors at work - cold, but sunny.
- Got a really good cuddle from my Housebaby.
- Yoga. Stretched my crunchy back out. Lovely.
- My lunch. A yummy salad The Kiwi had made for me.
- My dinner. Ready and waiting for me when I got to The Kiwi's place.
- VEDA. I don't think the quality of my videos is improving, but I'm starting to relax a bit and have fun. I'm nowhere near as creative as other participants, but it's great seeing what everyone comes up with.
Day 71:
- Woke up with my back feeling totally amazing for the first time in forever, thanks to the bed I was sleeping in at my friend's house. I had slept in it previously and uttered the phrase "it's like sleeping on a cloud", and my memory of it was spot on!
- Eggs and bacon for brekkie, cooked by someone else.
- Free lemons and oranges from my friend's extensive fruit tree collection.
- Beautiful day.
- Stopped by the rail viaduct in Malmsbury on the way back from Bendigo to show The Kiwi the awesome architecture in daylight. It's tucked a little out of the way, and I only knew it existed because I used to have to test water quality in the river beneath it when I was working on a project nearby.
- Climbed Hanging Rock, had a picnic up there, and did not, in fact, go missing (Aussies will probably know the story about the schoolgirls who went missing up there during a picnic in 1900; there was a book written and a movie made about it).

 See? It really was a picnic. For realsies.

Day 70:
- Slept in a little and had a generally relaxing morning.
- Got a cuddle from my Housebaby.
- Went to visit my dad in hospital. The fact he needs to be there isn't awesome. The facility he is in is definitely not awesome, in fact, it is kind of depressing. And he's still pretty nutty and having a lot of weird ideas. But it's good that he's getting help, and he does seem to be more settled in himself. Plus we had a bit of a moment where I was tabbing some chords out for him for the guitar (he has not, until recent times, had a musical bone in his body but is keen to learn, and hey, if I'm busy teaching him music then he can't be busy telling me about conspiracy theories, so it's a win-win!), and we sang a The Tennessee Waltz together, which is a song that he used to play the LP of a lot when I was growing up. I did have a "bad daughter" moment when we finished and he said that he'd always dreamed of singing a song with his daughter, and that he'd finally done that. It only took 32 years. Oops. But I'm glad that he was happy.
- Went and stayed with some friends who I met through work, and introduced The Kiwi to them. I'm pretty sure they approved, because he was given a company hat and jumper before the night was through. And that's pretty awesome, because these people are kind of like the parents I wish I had, so it matters to me what they think, especially because dad is sick and hasn't met him yet.
- Had an amaaaaazing roast lamb for dinner, and drank some very nice wine, before moving on to the tokay and then the scotch, all the while chatting away with my friends. Probably drank more Johnny Blue than was strictly necessary, partly because we were at it until 2am, but it certainly is a nice drop!
Day 69:
- Friday! Well I mean, come on, how can you go wrong with a Friday!!! Although it was a pretty horrible day, weather-wise... but I was safely inside for most of the day. Until...
- I went to see Les Miserables with one of my housemates in the city, and didn't just get rained on. Nope, I got sleeted on. An icy-cold slurry, falling from the sky, soaking my jeans and my jacket. Not impressed.
(I've also just realised how much I look like my dad, or at least how similar our "not impressed" faces are, which I wouldn't have known if he hadn't recently shaved his beard off for the first time in my life!) So I was pretty much cold and wet through the entire performance, but the show was incredible and I may even have cried a little at the end, so it was totally worth it.
 - We had Chinese for dinner beforehand, which I always love.
- We went for a drink at the Y&J afterwards, and the Kiwi met us there.
- Did a late-night Maccas run for cheeseburgers on the way home. Yum.
Day 68:
- Had my BFF Ness over for dinner, and I have to say that the spaghetti bolognese I made was pretty amazing. Plus I made apple crumble for dessert. It was a great night, all in all.
So how is everyone else's awesomeness coming along?

Thursday, 31 July 2014

100 Days of Awesome: Days 65 - 67 - Communication, In All Its Forms

Day 65

Still riding the wave of Sealgate, the cute little fella frolicked and fed his way onto the nightly news on three different channels. I haven't actually seen any of the footage they showed yet, but my personal footage DID show up on the internet, which can be found here. Not great quality because it was compressed to email it, but still pretty awesome.
Gotta say, I felt pretty famous on Monday!
Day 66
I realised overnight that my rather large-ish pile of baggage from my previous relationship was affecting the way I interact with The Kiwi, and also how I respond to various situations that really shouldn't rate a mention. Acknowledged it, addressed it, communicated it, and suddenly I feel like quite a mature adult (besides many, many other indications to the contrary). And it's awesome that I can openly discuss things like that with The Kiwi. Either he's completely blind and can't see how nutty I am, or just a really good guy. Mmmmaybe both...
I also ate a bowl of Coco-Pops. They're just as awesome as I remember them being... at least, they are in small quantities.
Day 67
Again, as with last week, I felt pretty uninspired considering it was a Wednesday. I realised it's because I have pretty much exhausted all the big topics I wish to or need to discuss during the weekly Toolbox meeting, so I'm just clutching at straws, which is hardly beneficial to either the workforce or the impact I make on them by standing up and saying something. So I have to rethink my strategy there... although it was pretty awesome that I was able to think on my feet and come up with something to say about twelve seconds before the meeting began. Not so awesome was that it took me until the last twelve seconds to gather my thoughts on it, even though I'd had at least a week to think about it (or, my entire career, if you want to get picky about it). But I got through!
Our admin lady had a bit of a breast cancer scare, and she got her results back yesterday, and it's not cancer. So that was awesome, particularly given my own recent experiences.
I had more Coco-Pops, which was also awesome... but now there are none left (it was one of those mini multi-packs). Sad face. I do, however, think it's pretty awesome that Kellogg's have acknowledged that Coco-Pops are like crack, and that siblings will fight over them tooth and nail, so they'd better put extras in the packet!
I met someone I'd never met before after work. My ex's sister contacted me a while ago because one of her juniors from work was coming down from Canberra for three or four weeks of medical treatment, and hoped I could give her some tips on things to do or see in Melbourne-town. I was more than happy to oblige, particularly given how much time I've spent in hospital myself this year. I know how disheartening and lonely medical incarceration can be, and how insane it can make you. So we've been texting a couple of times a week, and we finally met up last night.
I won't tell you about why she was in there, because it is none of anyone's business, but she was a really cool chick. I'd had no idea how old she was when I agreed to help her out, and even her text messages made it pretty hard to peg, but as it turns out she's only 18. Pretty mature for an 18 year old, because I thought she was about 22. Not that she looked older than 18, but it was mostly the way she conducted herself. She also thought I was about 25, so she's obvs my new BFF ;-)
It was really interesting talking to someone else who has had a medical challenge impact their life, and the way she deals with it. She's a lot like me in terms of wanting to live a normal life, and she is definitely not a victim. It looks like she's trying everything possible to manage it, which I think is great. I think she's more inclined to pretend "it" doesn't exist than I am, although I was a lot older than she was when things went pear-shaped, so it really is comparing apples and oranges.
Mmm, fruit.
Anyway,  I'm glad I met her, I hope I have helped her in some way, even if it was only in the form of an hour's entertainment, and I think it's awesome that two people with something in common and some form of understanding have been able to connect, who would otherwise never have met. Hopefully I can help her out in the future if she needs it, although she already seems like she's got her head screwed on straight anyway.
Also awesome is the fact that we went to a place called Massive Wieners on Chapel Street.
It's a very bare-bones establishment, and I suspect it's a really awesome alternative to the 3am Souvlaki mission you go on after a night on the tiles. It has grubby lino floors (probably not actually grubby, just old and scuffed); grubby, off-white walls covered in photos of customers who have triumphed over or been defeated by an entire yard-long hotdog (I'm guessing at the dimensions but I'm pretty sure I'm right); second-hand bar stools and a counter running around the outside; and the menu is an A4, framed affair, supplemented by notices that appear to be hand-written (could be a fancy, printed font??) tacked onto the front of the counter beside it.
We each had a pretty awesome strawberry milkshake - $5 buys you a regular, which was plenty big enough, and they keep their flavours to the simple chocolate, strawberry or vanilla - and shared a $5 basket of fries and ketchup. I didn't pay much attention but I'm pretty sure their menu was limited to shakes, fries and dogs... and I'm totally okay with that. Their website does not elucidate you to their opening hours, but next time I'm stumbling down Chapel Street late at night in need of a munch (nah, I'll never be too old for that!), I will definitely swing by and check them out.
Last but not least, I then met up with The Kiwi and had a pretty awesome evening re-enacting approximately the first half of our second date. Not, like, deliberately, but it was close by to where I'd met my new friend, and worth doing again for its own sake. Drinks at Bridie O'Reilly's (same table and all, including a near-repeat of me smashing my glass! I'm sooooo smooooooth...) and dinner at the Sweetwater Inn.
We shared the potato croquettes to start this time, and they were pretty awesome, especially with the wonderfully smoky hot sauce. And even though I really wanted the seriously awesome pulled lamb rolls like last time, the milkshake and fries I had just consumed put paid to that so I went for a lighter option - the calamari salad - instead.
I probably shouldn't have eaten it. I caught a wiff of something strange before I tucked in, and walking down the street afterwards I began to get stomach pains. I'm not sure if it was a little bit past its prime, or whether I'm developing an allergy to seafood, but over the course of the night I felt pretty ill. Ill enough to have a bucket next to the bed, and to actually sit up and tie my hair back in the night, because I was convinced I was about to spew.  I suppose it could have just been that I was really quite full, but the fact that I manged to eat half a slice of the ever-awesome white chocolate framboise cake from the Lindt Cafe and drink a cup of tea to accompany it and feel quite good, suggests otherwise.
Anyway, I'll never know, so there's no point in whining about it. It could just as easily have been the shake, or the fries, or the fact I licked the handrail on the tram (KIDDING!). But it was altogether a pretty awesome evening, and I hope all of you have had an awesome couple of days, too. Tell me what you've been up to!