Saturday, December 31, 2011

Stop and Think It Over

Another year draws to a close and thus, I begin my routine of reflecting upon the past year. This is becoming rather traditional. I find it hard to believe it has been twelve months since I last did this as the year has simply flown by. However, the time is upon us and it is right for me to stop and think it over.

At the beginning of the year, I had managed to get through 24 months without a drop of alcohol. This sobriety continued for another five months until one night, whilst out with my friend Chris, prior to seeing Scream 4, we were in an Indian restaurant and I just had the desire to return to that delicious land of wine. It was the supposed night of "The Rapture 2011" (Take one) so I thought why the hell not.
Since then, I have once again realised exactly 'why the hell not'. I am less carfeul with my tongue when tipsy. The occasional witty barb can often be mistaken for genuine aggression despite the fact that I have a heart of gold (well, gold-plated, at least). A misplaced tone can be devastating.

Although I have spent the last few months still partaking in the odd bottle of vino, I am seriously considering giving up on it again, purely for the sake of my friendships. We shall see...
(This may be hindered by the fact I have a wine-tour planned later in January!)


Also this past year, I have had two holidays! Yes! Two! The first was when I saved up to attend my Mother's 60th birthday and I spent a fantastic time seeing friends and family around Britain. The second was due to a wonderful little windfall after I won the esteemed title of 'Penguin Sales Representative of the Year' - a prize, I might add, I never even dreamed I would win - and not only did I receive a delightful book-themed trophy, I also won $5,000 travel vouchers.
I 'ummed' and 'ahhed' for about a month trying to determine a destination for my holiday (I was able to get the time off due to my long-service leave). I debated returning to San Franciscio and staying in a much better hotel so I could enjoy my time better than I did back in 2008. I thought about New York City because; a) everyone tells me I should go and b) I could have used a few Kirsty MacColl song titles for my blog ('Fairytale of New York', 'Walking Down Madison', 'Manhattan Moon'...)
The latter reason was a ridiculous one and the first was... well, daft too. Everyone says one should go to New York, but frankly, I hate big cities and crowds and it simply didn't appeal.

In the end, I decided to be happy. I hadn't had a Christmas with my family since 2005, so I booked a flight to the UK and spent the remaining cash staying at the Churchill Hyatt in London for four nights (what "five star" means nowadays is beyond me, but less said of that the better).

This past month, I have been seeing friends around the country again, but I had to spend more time with my family and I had a grand time, despite having a stinking cold for the majority of the time. There are some people I have been unable to see this time around, but it has been due to unavoidable circumstances. I hope no one takes offence.


Now here comes the even more boring bit... my viewing pleasures this past year.

The first half of the year saw me finishing my Hitchcock project (as chronicled in my other blog) and I thoroughly enjoyed my chronological jaunt through his work. I had to choose a favourite at the end and I plumped for The Birds.

When I was in the UK in February, I picked up the Ronnie Barker boxset and so spent many hours enjoying the comedy genius at work. Although Porridge is very good, I am still a bigger fan of Open All Hours.
The BBC also finished releasing every episode of The Two Ronnies so I am delighted to have completed the set.

I rewatched all of Absolutely Fabulous for the umpteenth time. Sure, in later series it didn't quite capture the magic of the first few, but it still raises a number of smiles (series 4 is the lowpoint apart from Small Opening) and I was very happy to see that the return this Christmas was genuinely entertaining with some superb gags.

Another thing I tend to do is wait for friends to recommend TV shows and then I watch them all on DVD. This year, I watched all of Six Feet Under and Babylon Five.
The former was not the most "enjoyable" piece of drama as it was quite often very depressing, but it was marvellously constructed. I can't say I loved the final epiosde as so many others do, but I think it's because I didn't have a five year journey with the cast, merely a couple of months.
Babylon 5 is a different beast all together. Friends have pestered me for years to watch it, but I am a die-hard Star Trek fan and I had previously felt that B5 was a pale imitation (I had tried to watch the first season twice before, unsuccessfully!)
This year, I ploughed through and I am please to say that it was not what I epxected. Seasons 2-4 are actually very entertaining; it's just a shame they are bookended by much weaker seasons. Alas.

A guilty pleasure this year was picking up the boxset of all 12 seasons of Murder, She Wrote. I am utterly unashamed of this. I love the show and no one will stop me from saying so. You currently cannot get a boxset of the entire un in the U.S. or the U.K. but Australia has one in the shape of a typewriter! Genius!

To sum up the other nerdy stuff;
Torchwood: Miracle Day was good, but not great (but I still loved it!)
The Sarah Jane Adventures series five mainatined the high of series four but was devastatingly cut short due to the untimely passing of Elisabeth Sladen. I actually blubbed during the final moments of the last episode.
Doctor Who entertained millions, has been rating very highly and some say it has been the best season yet. I thought it was dribble-piss. The Christmas special was anything but 'special'. However, the series has been around since 1963 and has its highs and lows, most of which have polarised viewers. One day, it will climb back into my heart, but at the moment, I am horrendously depressed by it all.


In other events of the year, I got a housemate, spent many lovely days with my close friends, enjoyed Misfits, Downton Abbey, True Blood, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Desperate Housewives (YES, still!) and a variety of other entertaining programmes.

I tried my hand at dating again without much luck - as I have probably mentioned before, i suffer from D.B.S. The David Beckham Syndrome. I look OK, but then I open my mouth.

I tried in vain to lose more weight. I simply cannot stay below 78kg. I got to 76 for one weekend, but I was unable to maintain it. I love pizza too much.

At this point, I am struggling to remember much else, but it is mid-afternoon here in the U.K. and I haven't had lunch yet! I have probably forgotten something really important... Oh well, that is what the 'edit' button is for.

EDIT: 16/01/2012 - Ah yes! And The New Avengers! I knew there was something else!


Next year I must make some changes. I want to get a new job - an entirely new career to be frank. I have been in publishing for over a decade now but I want to get out and try something new. I also want to really enjoy reading again and not feel like I am doing it for work.

I am not that bothered about being eternally un-datable as I like my own company and enjoy single life. However, sometimes I do have a pang for someone to love me; but don't we all?

My New Year's resolutions are bascically to start a new life/job and be more careful with what I say and do.

Happy New Year to you all. Let's hope 2012 brings good for us all.

Friday, December 9, 2011

My State of Mind

I have a few things to cover in this post, but I shall make it brief as possible as I have plans today which include; lying on my bed, drinking tea, eating chocolate and watching Murder, She Wrote.

Yesterday was day 100 of my 100-day challenge. If you recall, my plan was to become thin and gorgeous by the tie I flew out to the UK (that's today - day 101!) and my goal was to be below 75kg.

Well, what a fucked up mess. I absolutely and utterly failed. For a brief weekend way back, I got to 76kg, but since then I have been 78kg all the way. Walking 20 kilometres on occasional days, drinking diet shakes and weight-watcher meals... none of these things seem to work. Sure, I've had my lapses into pizza and alcohol, that cannot be denied.
The truth of the matter is; I realised that I could either be thin, tired and miserable or an average weight with yummy goodness in my tum. It also seemed so folly to attempt before Christmas as I just know I am going to be eating copious amounts whilst in the good old British Isles. Bring on the Black Pudding!!

So, yes, I'm an abject failure. Maybe I'll try again upon my return to Australian shores in January.


In other news, I have been going through something peculiar. It is true that I have suffered from depression to varying degrees over the years, but the past few months, I have been experiencing a sort of off-shoot variety. It's hard to explain. I will get a tightness in my chest, dizzy spells and be overwhelmed by emotion over the simplest of things. I have often found myself sulking in my bedroom like a 14 year old.
Work has been getting me down recently. I have become weary of the same old chores, the future of my role and the extra-curricular jobs that are thrust upon me. I am also sickened to the stomach over moving to an open-plan building next year. (Whose fucking idea was 'open plan'? Seriously, it's a crock of shit. I blame the world of H.R. - The Devil makes work for idle hands... so he created H.R.
I won't go into the specifics of my job right here but let's just say that I will be annoying to others and my job will be hindered by others distracting me. So, who wins? No one. (Gosh, I could go on, but I will rant and rant and rant.)

So, with all this added "stress" (I say "stress" like that for heaven knows there are phenomenally higher degrees of stress going on in other people's lives, but all problems are relative, right?!) I had to see the doctor (not my favourite hottie Asian doctor nor the stunning lithe Aeryan-esque god (he's left the practice! *sulk*), but the regular, run-of-the-mill yet pleasant doctor) and he has put me on Diazepam.
Some people have said; "Noo! That's terrible! Don't do it!". Others have said; "Ooh, it makes you lose weight!" - so I am swayed by the latter.

So, I should be in a rather excitable mood today seeing as I am flying out to the U.K. this evening, but I am strangely not.
I am subdued and, dare I say it, a little depressed. I will miss my baby girl (Fizzgig) but she is in safe hands.
Let's think about the positives, shall we?

1. It's nearly Christmas and I won't shy away from saying it; Christmas is damn more festive in the Northern Hemisphere.
2. I will be seeing a number of old friends, both Aussie and British.
3. I will be staying in a number of delightful hotels (and I do love staying in hotels).
4. I will spend Christmas with my family for the first time in six years.
5. I get to see my brother's face when he sees what I have bought him for Christmas.
6. I will spend some time in Cardiff - the city that has joined York and Edinburgh in my top UK cities poll.
7. There will be proper bacon butties for sale.
8. I can spend time with Alison, one of the best people in the universe.
9. I can buy the Christmas issue of the Radio Times. (Only UK people will get the wonderment of such an occasion.


Next year, I must absolutely, definitely make some changes in my life. I need a new job. I want to be out of publishing (oh, to read for pleasure one more time without the obligation of work!) and I need to find out what it is I should be doing for my my true vocation?

I don't want to be a salesman - I don't want to work in hospitality - I don't want to work for any business which wallows in corporate bullshit and H.R. policies - I don't want to be surrounded with highly ambitious people who only think about top dollar.

I want a nice job. One with calm people. One with few colleagues, little stress and lots of kittens.

As Shirley Maclaine once sang; "There's gotta be something better than this!"


(so much for making this a brief post)

Today, I will make a Christmas cake for my house-mate as a thank you for having him look after Fizzgig whilst I am away and then I will spend the afternoon relaxing prior to catching my taxi. I packed last night, so I am all ready.

But picture me now as I dash out of the house as the taxi beeps from outside, channelling Edina Monsoon: