Stuff and that.

Stuff. And yeah. That

Month: January, 2015

Revolutions and resolutions and um. I dunno really

Well, I’ve finally got around to having a think about my “resolutions” such as they were. Actually, that’s not strictly true. I had a jolly big think about how last year went toward the end of the year. While my 2014 wasn’t as sucky as that of some of my friends, and while it didn’t really fully suck, it won’t go down in history as one of my favourite years. Anyway, here goes – a re-cap of 2014.

  1. Keeping my feral leftie mouth shut whilst still leaving my feral leftie heart beating rather messily on my sleeve …
  2. Writing writing writing.
  3. Working smarter at work and at home
  4. Learning to say ‘no’ 
  5. Reading
  6. Exercise

So. How did I go?

Well, I’m still tilting at windmills. I can’t help myself, and hey, if I can plant even the smallest seed of doubt, maybe that’s all I need to do. Because I cannot help being a feral leftie socialist, and that’s not going to change. Writing? Yes, well, did alright until the wheels fell off – but more on that later. A lot more work writing and a fair bit of editing work, a conference paper and presentation, little bit of blogging and nothing on the fun writing stuff. Possibly because I’ve been using up all my words at work!

I did in fact say no. Quite regularly. And I got a thank you for it, which was also a surprise in light of my erm. Lack of success with #3. Reading. Yes thanks. Ok, I think I only managed 25 books, but it’s still one a fortnight which is reasonable. I have read five books this year already and it’s only three weeks old. I’ve blogged about one of them and the rest will come shortly.

Exercise? Nailed it. I ended up getting a fitbit after the app I was using upgraded and would only work when my phone was on and in my hand (I walk around 500 steps a day while talking on the phone!). I’ve been averaging between ten and eleven thousand steps a day – ranging between 7,000 and 14,000 most days. AND discovered that the walk is no longer about stopping the dog from eating the back yard and actually about the walk. We were away for a week, and I walked every single day we were away. It was good. I like to walk.

Which brings me to #3. This year was best described as chaotic, both at home and at work (mostly at home – I actually kept it together more than I thought at work. Interestingly, we had a psychological profile thingame done and I had to laugh a lot. Generally creative, but in times of crisis, straight into Captain Sensible mode. Suffice to say, ole mate Cap’n S was out and about a LOT in the last third of the year. When one has to write oneself a list that starts with “Don’t Panic”… The home front was insane. Normally, I manage to keep them separated, but man. Pfft. 2014 is over. THANK FUCK.

(Actually got in trouble from my mum for being a bit sweary. I blame Excel, personally.)

Now, I’ve basically rehashed the same old resolutions for the last few years. They’re all good things I’d like to work on, but I think it’s time for at least one thing new (and keep it down to five). I’m giving up on the idea of ever keeping my mouth shut. I will walk away and mutter a lot under my breath. I’m going to continue with the exercise, too. I’ve not missed two days in a row since I started. Even if it was just a brisk walk around the block or legging it from Southern Cross to the top of Collins Street instead of taking the wee doggie for a stroll, I have walked almost every day and I will continue.

This last week, we’ve been pulling the spare bedroom apart so Chaos can have his own room and I have come across many many things. My angsty poetry and diaries from when I was an angsty 15 and 16 year old. Many LOLs to be had there, I will say. And notebooks full of scribbles and snippets of words that go together quite well in some instances. I used to be an inveterate letter writer. I had letters and letters and letters from people that were obviously part of a longer conversation. I don’t write letters. I write the odd email missive, but I don’t write letters any more.

And before Candy Crush, I used to do embroidery. Not just those longstitch kit thingies, but proper Hardanger cutwork. I impressed myself (and took two of the finished ones off to be framed). I was Good. I had a crack at scrap booking. Wasn’t bad at that, either, but seriously? Cutting and pasting for grown ups. This does not mean that my scrap booking supplies went to the op shop. I’m pretty sure studying for a thousand years put paid to my more creative pastimes, but hey, someone invented Candy Crush and I’m lost.

So – Resolutions.

1. Force myself to write more. Letters count. Double points if they’re on paper and written by hand. I suppose a postcard isn’t out of the question.

2. Reading. Instead of Candy Crush for an hour before bed – CC for *half* an hour. Then read, and see if I can’t get to 30 books this year.

3. Use a paper diary and the calendar to good effect. While I like my gadgets, I need my organisation analogue. Daily list at work, paper diary to liaise between work and home, paper calendar at home. Reminders in my phone are ok, but for normal stuff I need to remember. Analogue all the way.

4. Do something fucking creative with my spare time instead of bloody Candy Crush.

5. Stop fucking swearing all the time. Fuck.

5. Now I’ve got exercise happening, lets see what we can do about food.

So there you go and there you have it and so on and so forth.

(1,000 words. Totally counts as writing!)

Resuming usual programming…

Yes, I am back! Much to write about but first, I have the need to get this off my chest. I’ve just read a book and I DID NOT LIKE IT.

Weirdly enough, I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t like it, but there – I said it. I did not like Big Little Lies by Liane Moriaty. I’m definitely in the minority – it gets rave review everywhere. And it’s not that I’m a literary purist or anything. I read Charlaine Harris un-ironically. I like mysteries. I don’t mind an amusing book. And I wasn’t even put off by the whole humorous domestic violence angle. It was well written – enough that I kept on reading it while it was irritating the hell out of me. I mainly wanted to find out who did it and confirm who it was who got killed. I figured out who was going to get his or her comeuppance pretty quickly – as soon as I worked out the other *twist*, it just made sense that that would be whom got killed. (Man, it’s hard to write without spoilers. Just because *I* hated it, 50,000+ people loved it totally sick, so I shall endeavour not to spoil it.)

Now, as I mentioned, the book was well written – there was nothing wrong with the characters. Ok, some of them were a little cardboard cut-out, but on the whole, there was nothing wrong with any of them. I recognised a few of the types, having lived the playground dramas for the last seven or so years. There’s definitely a playground totem pole, and at the school my kids are at, the working full time mothers are definitely the lowest of the low, and need to volunteer ALL of their spare time to get past the lowest rung. Pfft. Bugger that. I’ll just take the fundraising chocolates to work. And sell them all. Bwhahaha.

Digressing again.

Also, I didn’t really find the book to be funny. At all. I could tell when it was supposed to be amusing. Little bon mots, sly asides and all that. Very droll. Like reading a book with a laugh track. And it wasn’t just the juxtaposition of humour with a very serious topic. Sometimes humour can go a long way toward getting a serious message out to people that would not normally listen. But this wasn’t funny. This was like “Everybody Loves Raymond”. Not even a wry smile. (OK, I hate Seinfeld and I’m generally not amused by the Simpsons, so again – it could just be me. I do actually have a sense of humour. It just wasn’t THAT).

The two key themes were domestic violence and how it can happen to anyone, and bullying – and yes, one does go hand in hand with the other. Body image and blended families and well, you name it. With the (alleged) humour to make it not one of those Wall of Pain books. Hrrm. The bullying part was interesting to me in the way it was handled – been living that as well. From both sides. That was one section that did not have any ring of truth to it, although hey – again. Different to my experience, which doesn’t mean it’s less valid. And one of the bullies involved at my kids school is pretty hard core (won’t be starting school until a couple of weeks after everyone else) BUT all the kids know who’s doing what to whom, and the Playground Grapevine means someone will call someone else (even the working full time pariahs get a call if their kid is in the equation) and everyone knows which kid is beating on other kids. So, I suppose nobody knowing who’s kid was actually doing the whack struck me as strange. The kids *always* told. And the resolution of the bullying fitted in oh so well with everything else that was going on.

I still can’t put my finger on why I didn’t like this book. I honestly couldn’t give it one star though – I read it over a couple of days because I just wanted to confirm what I thought was going to happen. Which it did (except for who actually done it. That was surprising and still irritating). I’m still irritated by the damn book – so it’s stuck with me. But it’s more like poking a bruise to see if it still hurts.

Crikey, I was hoping to get to the bottom of why I didn’t like it and I still can’t really say.

  1. It was predictable (I probably read too much crime)
  2. If it really was a crime story, rather than a book where someone got killed, it would be a cosy.
  3. I don’t like cosies. I like my crime and death more um. Crime-y.
  4. It’s really chick lit.
  5. Chick lit with Issues.
  6. Also, I appear to have grown out of chick lit.

BUT…

  1. It was well written.
  2. The story was fast paced.
  3. You’ll probably at least like it, 97% of reviewers can’t be wrong.