Huh

My blog stats have fallen off a cliff, perhaps because I haven’t been writing. And my favorite part of the stats no longer shows up properly, due to interaction. Between google and wordpress. I used to be able to see what searches landed people on my blog ( and some of them were… Interesting). I can kind of tell when common searches are happening, because certain posts pop up. Apparently there is worldwide interest in animals made from veggies. And this interest is constant.

Life meanders along. Work is both tedious and tiring. Lots of document review of procedures. Boring and somewhat pointless. I have gotten better at weeding out the truly pointless though.

We bought an over locker on the weekend. A cheapie in Aldi inspired a visit to cash converters, which resulted in a new to me Elna coming home. Stay tuned for adventures in threading it.

So looking forward to easter 4 days off, followed by 3 days of work then another public holiday (ANZAC day). And these public holidays are the ones where everything truly shuts. More sacred than Christmas holidays in a way ( and from a religious point of view, Easter is more important than Christmas).

I am not talking much about infertility at the moment, mostly because we are in a holding pattern. The upcoming holiday means that not much energy or money to do another IVF round, and the possibility of going elsewhere for work means reluctance to plan ahead beyond June. It’s been over a year since my last IVF, not sure I want to go through all of that again. I am currently on CD 28 and not sure. Not feeling pregnant, but not feeling imminently NOT pregnant either.

What I did last weekend

This has been a busy and frustrating week, and the weekend has been quiet, but last weekend we did something!

We went to Supanova, on the gold coast and we dressed up. Supanova bills itself as a pop culture con, so it is a mixed bag. They pull in a number of b and c celebs ( big draws for the one in Melbourne this weekend were Verne Troyer and Lucy Lawless). But you have to pay for an autograph or picture. So we do go for that.

Last year we went because a favorite author was selling copies of her latest book about a month before its official release date. Also, there was a Nintendo stall, so I racked up the street pass hits on my 3ds. This year G was enthused about an author( Jim butcher) and I wanted art. So we went again, but we went steam punk

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I was meant to be a rally car driver- I am also wearing nice brown boots. Did i mention it was a very warm day?
G

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It was fun. G got a number of pictures of other cosplayers, but I was busy processing my street pass hits…

Simple pleasure

I love riding the train. I am on a train back from the gold coast as I write this. I got a lift down to a work conference this morning, but almost everyone else is staying down there for the second day, and I am not.

So I caught the train back.

I like seeing the world from a train- its different to the view presented to the road. The back gardens of row houses in London suburbs, rural rice fields in Japan, the backside of suburbs in Australia. I love looking at life from this view. I thinks it’s because mostly the presentation of buildings is aimed at the road, and at a lower level, so trains provide perspective on other elements of the city, or of the town.

Some cities and countries have better trains- I find Melbourne and Brisbane better than Sydney. I love Japan trains. I have fond memories of the old British rail, but suspect it is no more. We will be experiencing Amtrak in the US. Swiss trains were also fun.

Good days and bad days

I think that I have had a run of good days, and weeks where I haven’t had IF issues. And then I get hit with bad days.

A bad dream last night, a crappy Work day ( no real reason, but feeling under appreciated) and a lunch out ( which was to show appreciation!). Where there was extensively discussion of babies. Sigh.

Throw in the feeling that this month is going to be another negative and just. Not happy.

It doesn’t help that over the weekend I read two books that included a “surprise pregnancy even though condoms were used” plot twist. One I could cope with, but two just make me sad

Happiness part two

It’s taken a while, this is still percolating in the brain. I grew up mostly in the USA, but my parents are English, we spent a couple of years in England and I now live in Australia. Happiness, the perception of and acceptance of are cultural in my opinion.

One of the longest lasting things I learned in college, while in Geneva, was the idea that every country has a founding and existing myth, a story about who they are and what they are. It isn’t the pretty history book one, but the underlying story, they why people do things and make the decisions they do. America’s myth is very optimistic, very self focused and WASPy. The idea is that anyone can achieve great things ( success) no matter how poor or low their birth/life/situation. Hard work and dedication will take you there. The culture also self identifies as WASP, to the extent that us soldiers in Europe in WWII looked down on some of the country people they “rescued” even though they were the same ethnicity. ( that was one of the more interesting bits from that history class).

American culture is optimistic. The country was founded by people who moved looking for a better life. They believed at they could make a change for the better. This is why there are so many crackpot cults there too- they too believe that they can change things positively. It’s also why the culture doesn’t do black humor particularly well, it just doesn’t sit right.

Contrast this with Australia, where the myth is of the Aussie battler, the little guy doing it tough in his lower middle/working class job with a house in the burbs and a domestically made car in the garage. He is less optimistic, more pessimistic and both more defiant against and more accepting of authority than the US. Many Aussies are descended from unwilling travellers, and many others come from a culture where this was the least bad option ( ten pound poms). The white Australia policy shut out many of those more optimistic Asians, so they went elsewhere when emigrating ( the USA?).

I can’t quite work out the UK myth, but pessimism is also more prevalent.

So, this affects how we see happiness. In the US happiness is a right, and almost a responsibility. People are expected to be positive. It’s kind of hard to see from the inside though, but the cultural touchstones are happy, positive people. The cheerleaders, not the goths. And the pressure is to be the source of your own happiness. I grew up there, and I have internalized this.

So, I think that we do bear some responsibility for our own happiness. This is not to say that other people are not important to our happiness, not at all. Other people are probably the greatest sources for our happiest moments, and our least happy moments. What I mean is that we have to create some of the conditions for our own happy.

I was talking to a friend this weekend ( couple of weekends now) and she talked about a friend of hers, who is married, has two kids and a house but cannot settle on a career. He is always chasing the next moneymaking dream, spending a lot of time and money chasing this through different educational degrees. He wants to be successful with money, the next big score is always coming when he finishes whatever degree is doing. In the meantime his wife is working full time, juggling the kids and managing everything, and he is missing out on their childhood. He is not satisfied within himself, and no job will ever make him happy.

This is like a lot of life with infertility, we are always looking for the next thing ( treatment, diet, meds) that will give us the child(ren) we want. Ultimately, some of us have to accept that we cannot have that, and learn to be happy without. And some of us get that, and discover that it is not the magic key after all. I think I am starting to get to the point where I can see my life as happy without, that there will always be a sad bit, but that sad bit doesn’t overwhelm the rest. Most of the time at least.

At least the week is over

It’s been a busy week at work. Not in terms of anticipated projects, I thought I was getting on top of everything and would have to time to start working on long term goals, and then a flurry of need an answer now research things, including a very specific reporting numbers to ensure tax calculations are done issue, which swallowed my Friday

So comforting to know that after half an hour on the phone to the tax office, and the person at the other end consulting experts, I still had a better grasp of the issue than them, and I was calling for answers. But I rang back that afternoon on a much simpler connected issue and found the person who could answer the questions. Win, but why couldn’t he have answered the phone in the morning?

On the standing desk thing

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This is my set up. Not ideal, in terms of monitors, but for a lot of the time I am doing the stand thing, I am working with paper, so easier. Easy to break it down when I sit. The pooing issue seems to have been a one time only, which is good. My feet do start to hurt after while- flats are better than heels, and bare/socked feet seem even better ( but difficult in a office environment). I am not standing perfectly still, there is shifting, and since document review works well for this, a fair amount of walking to the printer and back. My back does feel better after doing this, but I think I need to work on my posture. If I still think its a workable thing after a week or two, I may talk to HR about ways to make it more permanent.

Going to supanova today, in some homemade steampunk costumes, there may be pictures later

Insights and minor achievements.

I was not fooled by any Internet April fools. I loathe practical jokes so this makes me happy. I did however manage to catch all 150 Pokemon in the google maps extravaganza. I didn’t find the secret 151st one, but that’s because I chose not to.

I also really liked the dear author one, which fooled G for a little while….

I managed to clear most of my document review inbox at work, only to have that accomplishment thwarted by the fact that the admin doc submitter decided to submit 10 procedures… It’s ok, because I suspect several will not require an actual review. I can skim over and say no review required.

I decided to try a standing desk experiment- in part because I saw a tv comment about how sitting is not good for our health and in part because I can feel myself slumping in the chair. So, I used a couple of archive boxes to create a higher surface for my keyboard and mouse. My screens can be set up so that I can see them and do work. This was how I reviewed most of the documents, and I stood for about 3 hours. Due to the not quite flat nature of the boxes, extended typing is best done sitting. Anyway, not sure about the other health benefits, but I slumped less. And I had a weird additional reaction- after about an hour I started pooing. Not actual standing at my desk, but the standing seems to have fired up the various bowel systems.

I’ve gotten to flex my research muscles a little this week- left field queries that require thought.

I am sure there are more achievements, I just don’t know what.

Weekend achievements

I got some things done this weekend, and others went unfinished. And here I am writing this on Monday night…

fitness
After a week of less activity, I wanted to be more active. I had planned on two gym classes, one each day, plus get 10,000 steps and maybe drag the exercise bike in and use it. So, I managed one class and 10,000 steps each day.

reading
I need to finish reading some novellas that I am reading for an award. Planned to read two, read one

Declutter
I wanted to clear up more of the back room. It’s a maze of boxes. So, I emptied a box that was 1/3 full, mostly by transferring the stuff to a box that also wasn’t full. But, I did find things I was looking for. Also dragged out some old paperwork, and sorted it ( most went in the bin)

craft
I wanted to work on my seaside sampler, that didn’t happen. But I did get a the little shelf thing partially made. And I nagged G into doing some work on the steampunk costumes.

I did relax this weekend, which was good. I met up with a friend for churros and milkshakes. We didnt spend all of our weekend budget.

What I have been reading

Rain and illness have contributed to quite a bit of reading. This is not necessarily the order in which they were read, rather the order and collection they were in as I put them in my book journal.

Doughnut by Tom Holt. I have been reading Tom holt since high school, he is kind of like a mash up of Doug Adams and terry pratchett. Writes in the fantasy space but waaaay more British than pratchett. This book was weird. Lots of physics concepts, alternate realities, bending causality. Engrossing, but strange. And the ending ( as with most of his books) is not completely conclusive.

the princess bride By William Goldman. The book that the movie is based on. A reread of an old favourite. The book is structured as him abridging a pre-existing book- the princess bride, so lots of asides. Just fun.

the belly of the wolf By R. A. MacAvoy. This is the third book in the lens of the world series. It’s fantasy I guess. Another reread. The protagonist is an aging scientist/philosopher/writer who must stop a potential civil war in his country. This is complicated due to his potential to be crowned as king and the fact that he wrote about the philosophy that the rebellious side believe in. These are interesting books on what it means to be human.

love a little sideways by Shannon Stacey. This is one of Kowalski series, and is the story of Liz Kowalski. I like this series, they are are happy contemporary romances in a small town, and have realistic people. But this book ( and several of the others ) can be tough- a lot of her heroines are my age of older and they easily fall pregnant/consider it, and there are babies in this book. The issue of kids is a bigger issue in this one because the hero and his first wife divorced ( a few books back) because she never wanted kids, and lied about it. Fun read, but some issues.

Christmas kismet Jemma grey. Novella. My notes say jilted woman accidentally spends winter weekend in remote cabin with widower, romance ensues. Widower has two daughters conveniently not present. Meh

A gentleman and a scoundrel by Norma Darcy. Dreadful. Regency romance that borrows plot lines from all over the place and smushes them together. Young woman is supposed to marry a duke, because her older sister, who was originally to do so married someone else. She isn’t sure she wants to. Duke is secretly in love with her. Random plots all over the place. She toys with finding him a new bride. Matchmaking for her other sister and a friend of the duke. Falls in love with a callow young neighbor. Dire

the diakos baby scandal Natalie rivers. A harlequin presents novel. Secret baby, rich Greek businessman, secret family problems.

The greek’s forced brideMichelle Reid. Another harlequin presents. Repressed young woman walks in on her fiancĂ© and sister getting it on. She flees and ends up marrying her fiances stepbrother. Drama

taken with you Shannon stacey. Another Kowalski book, but not actually about any of the kowalskis. Town librarian, not a wilderness girl, get a lost on a single woman’s weekend and is rescued by a holidaying ranger, who turns up in town as the new ranger in the area and her neighbor. Fun, interesting take on contrasting people and how it works. Only baby is her friend’s and not a major plot point.

smitten Janet evanovich. Prior to the Stephanie Plum novels she wrote romances. A tad slapstick, divorced mom begs for job from local construction company, boss falls for her, hijacks ensue. There’s a flasher, a crazy old lady and a hungry puppy

moosed up tiffinie helmer. Yes, that is how her name is spelled. A nurse, recently arrived in a remote Alaskan township falls for the local ranger ( ok, perhaps ranger in both this and the Kowalski book is not quite the right name- the parks and wildlife enforcer). He’s hot and he talks to animals. Kind of madcap, kind of thriller ( she gets held up by poachers) not great.

The Nekkid Truth
. Nicole Camden. Erotica. Photographer with face amnesia ( she cannot remember faces) works with police at crime scenes, in love with with one of the detectives, involved in a case. Pretty good

So I have read a bit in the last couple of weeks. Escapism reading