December 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm (funny, general life)

So, remember that moral dilemma I had about whether or not to tell an (alleged) blind man that he was routinely walking through the women’s changeroom?

He was a she.

In my defence, I only saw her from behind (until more recently, when I discovered the truth). She is elderly, very squarely built, and has very straight iron-grey hair cropped short. Also, she has an extremely deep voice. Definitely a female bathing suit, however.

Who’s blind now?


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I think I’ve heard this one

December 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm (funny)

Hi kids

I swim about twice a week at a pool that has changerooms as a corridor between the entrance and the pools (designed to encourage swimmers to shower before they swim – most people, like me, just wear swimmers under their clothes).

I was delayed a little at the front desk because someone was in front of me – a blind man. He had a cane, and although it was clear he was familiar with where solid objects were, when he reached out to the checkout girl he was a little bit off.

I noticed all this, and stayed behind him as he went inside (rather than walking around and in front of him, as I’d usually do when someone walked that slowly). That was why I saw him walk straight into the women’s changeroom.

So. Many. Questions.

“I should tell him” met “Does it matter?” in my mind, and I didn’t say a word.

In utterly unrelated news, I wrote a good (and brief) entry on basic Muslim stuff at In my opinion, every Westerner who doesn’t have a Muslim friend should read it.

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. . . Monday Morning

April 26, 2010 at 10:11 am (funny, general life, Mental illness)

I hate public holidays. No mail. (For a while this morning I felt quite good, because a new week had begun and publishers would be back at work. And then I remembered it’s a public holiday. Oh, foccacia.) Plus I generally lose income, because I work casually (or I have to work, like today, which is silly too). Those who read will know I crashed especially badly last Friday. It felt very chemical (rather than “I am legitimately sad”) even at the time, so it’s probably to do with switching contraceptives. I’ll keep an eye out at this time next month.

Today I weigh 80.7. The weight loss has slowed to an agonising crawl (which is also how I’m currently moving around, since I’m feeling hungry again) but at least it’s going SOMEWHERE. Each day I expect a nice surprise (because I’ve earned it) but it hasn’t happened yet. When I do get under 80, I’m going to the lollyshop in Gungahlin – the one near Cockington Green.

On the up side, yesterday I put my cat in a fish tank. For those too lazy to click over to, here’s all the pictures I took:

That may just have been the best two minutes I ever spent.

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Bad, naughty hobbit

April 4, 2010 at 1:26 pm (funny)

Sam is mean.

He’s a neon tetra, the tiniest thing in the tank (except for Frodo, the other neon tetra, who has at least learnt to hide now). Today I observed Sam biting Frodo, and was shocked. Shocked. It’s bad enough that Aragorn bit Frodo, but Aragorn’s a zebra danio, and those guys are nuts. But Sam? The faithful companion? Was Gollum right all along?!?!?!?!

Sam also bit Legolas today (Legolas is about ten times his size). He certainly has guts. Or is he possessed by Saruman, driven out of his mind by a giant flaming eye?

Frodo is at least living up to his name – he’s small, wide-eyed, perpetually terrified, and wins the “most likely to die” award hands down.

For those who don’t know/can’t tell, my mind is very much on the “Lord of the Rings” marathon happening at my house tomorrow (part of the Daily Awesomeness). Eleven hours of static fun!

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Every Dog has its Way

March 26, 2010 at 9:09 am (funny, Mental illness)

Today’s daily awesomeness ( ended well – but it started badly.

My friend Hannah is staying with her parents, who are Dog People. My SO and I picked her up from there to have lunch.

I developed a strong aversion to Dog People when I lived with a pregnant woman who wanted to have a home birth so that her dogs could be there. That was some years ago, but I haven’t recovered. I don’t like LOOKING at dogs. To me dogs are like desperately insecure people who make you feel wretched just by looking at you. (I like cats, because when cats look at you they don’t look needy – they look like they’re thinking about whether your belly or face will taste nicer when they eat you to death. Refreshingly honest, in my opinion.)

Hannah’s parents have two dog calendars in their kitchen, two life-size stone dogs in their yard, and two rather neurotic real dogs. The dogs are looked after VERY well. Each has their own armchair, which sits facing out the front window so they can harass passers-by in comfort.

One of these dogs, Rocket, hates me.

He likes Hannah. He loves my SO. He HATES me. And I hate him.

Dogs often dislike me because I wear long skirts, and when I walk the movement freaks them out. So as soon as my SO and I walked in he growled at me, and didn’t stop growling despite my best dog etiquette (crouch down so I seem smaller, don’t meet their eye or show my teeth, hold out my hand palm-down, speak quietly). No; I lie. He did stop growling sometimes – to bark outright. I speak enough dog to understand the tone of, “Get out! I hate you! You are not welcome here!” All this while simultaneously fawning at my SO’s knee (which I admit is a nice knee, but REALLY).

Did I mention I dislike dogs?

So eventually I was able to get past the foyer and sit at the kitchen bench. Rocket stayed on the other side of the bench, growling without pause as Hannah told him off, took chocolate slice from the fridge, cut it up and generally prepared for a picnic. I attempted to dominate Rocket by deliberately staring at him in hopes that I could be the alpha dog, but that didn’t work either.

The second dog doesn’t like me much, but it had gone over to its seat to stretch out in the sun. I came up with a cunning plan: I stood up (slowly and carefully) and moved over to the other dog.

“What a GOOD dog!” I exclaimed. “Aren’t you a good dog!?! Good good girl. Aren’t you just SO GOOD!”

Within two minutes Rocket was sitting at my side, silently pleading for a pat.

Because even bullies just want to be loved.

PS Does anyone have a fish tank (or a large salad bowl. . .)? S#78: “Adopt a Pet” is my planned awesomeness for 2 April, and since I have two cats, I plan to buy some fish.

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Fruit Fear

February 20, 2010 at 4:21 am (funny, general life, Mental illness)

I have fruit fear.

Fruit is a dangerous food. It might look good and smell good, then be incredibly sour. One grape might be heavenly, and the next rotten. This fear haunts me daily, as I attempt to eat a correct dietary amount. When I can’t handle fruit at all, I drink juice (dried fruit also tends to help, or any fruit that’s prepared by someone else).

Recently I’ve developed a fear of chicken (yes, hilarious, I know). I attempted to deal with it today by buying a pre-cooked supermarket chicken to have on a sandwich with avocado. (Based on the idea that anything cooked by someone else is bound to be fine.)

Just thinking about my long-since eaten lunch now makes me feel sick. Our living room and kitchen are filled with the smell of roast chicken, and it’s FREAKING ME OUT. As soon as I finish this I’ll be fleeing to the bedroom until further notice.

My fruit fear is going well, so I guess I’ll freeze the remaining chicken and let it lurk in my freezer until a saner day. (And, of course, subtley add it to everything my husband eats: “Like a cuppa, sweatheart? It’s extra nutritous today. . .”)

I weighed myself this morning. It didn’t go well. Still optimistic about tomorrow, though.

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Warning: Secure Your Chair Before Reading

January 22, 2010 at 3:01 am (funny)

Go and look at this blog. Just do it. But be advised a lot of it is somewhat inappropriate for children.

It’ll take you thirty seconds to realise how good it is. Just go.

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Christmas Letter 2009

December 24, 2009 at 1:02 am (funny, general life, Mental illness)

For those who want gratuitous cuteness at this time of year, go see

For the rest of you. . . here’s MY Christmas letter:


The year gasps for air. It shudders. It foams at the mouth. It bleeds from the ears.

It doesn’t have much time left.

January: Got married. It was nice. There were butterflies.

Developed severe phobia of weddings.

February: Sister got married. It was nice. I smashed a bouquet on a tree when she wasn’t looking. Evidently I am still mentally ill.

March: Had my sixtieth novel rejection. Concluded my novels are too literary, and began a book entitled, “Farting my ABCs”. The research was exciting (especially the experimental bit). Partner still shares my room. Clearly our marriage will last anything.

April: Car broke.

May: Other car broke. Twice.

June: Cold. Partner clearly thinks “Farting my ABCs” is my best book yet. Hm. Got first car serviced, and discovered it was broken.

July: Still cold. Wrote blog entry on experience of marriage after six months. (Left out the interesting bits, despite rule 34.) Husband clearly from the dollhouse ie he has been programmed to make me happy. Not sure who is paying for it. Second car broke again.

August: Winter is stupid. Started twitter stories at (Louise is my other, nicer personality). Tricked people into interviewing me on radio and for the Canberra Times.

September: Cold. Hot. Cold. Hot. Parents had their 25th wedding anniversary. It was nice. Bribed nephew with cheese so he’d behave. Bribed self with LOTS of chocolate. First car broke again.

October: Fifteen kilos heavier than I was. When did that happen?

November: Passed the 1000-followers mark (between twitter and facebook). My cult leader status is now upgraded to Upper Minion. Tricked a writing conference organiser into letting me be a guest author. Made up a “reading” since none of my books are published.

Brother married. It was nice. I developed an eye twitch and a brand new photo-specific phobia.

Wrote a full-length novel on a whim. Lots of action scenes. See? I’m not literary.

December: No immediate family members remaining to get married, thank goodness (now eyeing four-year old nephew with suspicion. . . you never know).

Both cars broke. Fixed first car. It broke again. Merry friggin Christmas.

Here’s me and the partner:

And, in lieu of children, here are our cats:

May you live in interesting times.


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A Senior Moment

November 24, 2009 at 2:52 am (funny, general life)

I’m handling my minimalised life pretty well, and I even wrote 4000 words of my NaNo novel last night (discovering that my writing rate is now around 2000 words per hour).

The supermarket nearest to me is also very close to a retirement community. I’m constantly running into little old ladies (sometimes literally) when I shop. Every so often, things get a little surreal. On one occasion a busload of seniors had evidently arrived, and the supermarket was fuller than usual. A security guard pulled aside a staff member near me and said (in a low voice), “Check their bags. All of them.”

They didn’t check my bag – but they did thoroughly check the bags of the elderly man in front of me. Old people these days!

Today (same supermarket) I observed a little old lady buying literally twenty packs of garbage bags – some medium, some large, and some extra large. She bought almost nothing else.

Now I know what Dexter’s groceries look like.

And speaking of seniors, in my efforts not to strain myself at all this week I’ve been watching daytime TV. Most fascinating of all is “The View” in which a group of women argue for an hour. I can only handle about 30 seconds before I turn it off. Then I realise there’s nothing else on, so I put it back on for another 30 seconds. And repeat.

One of their topics today was whether cosmetic surgery should be taxed. This led to the quote, “I think it should be, even though my face will be paying more tax than I am.”

Later on they were talking to Zac Efron and Clare Danes. The panelists were making it very clear that Zac Efron was deeply nervous about working with Clare Danes in whatever movie they’ve just done. His comment was, “She has such an amazing body. . . of work.” His pause, hilariously, was unintentional, and the women all around him (excluding Clare, who probably felt a teensy bit uncomfortable) hassled him about it.

Ah, daytime TV. Only an hour and twelve minutes until “Just Shoot Me” comes on.

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Mental Moments

October 15, 2009 at 12:47 am (funny, Mental illness)

Yesterday I went to our mechanic to arrange a time for my partner’s car to FINALLY get fixed (it’s been a saga going on for months – every time we take it in for one thing, they find another thing wrong). It’s a service station where I often get petrol, so people know me and both our cars very well – they’ll actually ask how one car or another is running when I buy petrol.

The main mechanic was serving someone when I arrived, so another one wrote down the appointment for me. “And what type of car is it?” he said.

And I froze. Just couldn’t remember. Was it a Mazda – or was that mine? What on earth was MY car (other than off-white. . .)?

“It’s a mazda wagon,” I said at last. “At least, I THINK it’s a mazda. Definitely a wagon. . . definitely. . .”

I wandered off with, as always, images of praire settler wagons in my head. Does anyone else think it’s wrong to call a car a wagon?

Anyway. . .

That wasn’t as bad as when I foolishly went shopping with my husband in an unfamiliar shopping centre. We only had a few things to buy – bread, milk, fruit, maybe a can of tuna or something. So we walked along the aisles together, looking at the signs so we knew where to go. I spotted a whole aisle for alcohol (unusual, since alcohol normally gets its own little section in a corner somewhere) and said, “Mmmm. . . . booooooze.”

My partner didn’t say anything, but what can one say to that? So I just kept walking, chatting away happily. He still didn’t reply, so I stopped and turned around to ask him a question.

Naturally, my husband had wandered off long ago and was nowhere to be seen. Instead, I faced a security guard wearing that, “Yes, I AM watching you” face.

At which point I stopped talking and went to find my straying husband.

Me? Crazy? My friend Bobby the Invisible Bear says I’m just fine.

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