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Showing posts from April, 2014

Giving Up...

Do you have days when it all seems too hard? Too much to handle. Days when you just don't feel strong enough to keep going?

Today is one of those days for me.

I have already cried twice today.

I really wasn't sure that coming into the office was a good idea. If anyone speaks to me I may just flying into a thousand shreds.

The stressors are building up and I'm not sure I have the resources to deal with them.

There's the colloquium, of course, I still haven't done any more work on that chapter because I feel a bit overwhelmed by the editing that needs doing. My supervisor seems to have confidence that I can knock it over in a day or two, but I just don't know where to begin.

The sale of the house is deeply affecting me. I know it shouldn't really, these things happen, but I'm getting old and I just want to feel settled and I'm afraid this is how my life will be - forever at the mercy of someone else's needs that I have not influence on.

Last night…

Right, where was I?

Saw my supervisor on Thursday. I have a plan for this next week to make the necessary changes for the colloquium - which feels so close now - the document has to be finished in the next four weeks! Doing a field trip to Iceland is definitely on the books! That's a lot of 'yay' right there! I don't have to present at a conference to do a field trip which means I can schedule it to suit my needs, rather than a specific conference time, though if the two overlap, that's fine as well!

I am also still planning on going to New Zealand in November - to this conference. It is far more nerve wracking for me to go to New Zealand than to Iceland. In Iceland I know a bunch of people who can meet me at the airport, offer me accommodation - and are family (yes, I'm talking to you guys). But I don't actually know anyone in New Zealand! Have never been there, don't know my way around. It's a whole other ball game!

In other news, we had the first 'Open for Inspe…

Aiming at a moving target: academic philosophy...

I didn't do a lot of work over the long weekend, but I did manage to get the chapter edited and sent of to my supervisor. She was very quick to read it and return it by the next morning with lots and lots of tracking comments…


So, now you know what I'll be doing at work today!
This got me thinking about the various stories - almost like urban legends - I've heard of authors submitting already published manuscripts to editors under a pseudonym and getting them back covered in editing marks. No matter how well you polish something, there will always be something you can improve on.
I had mum go through this essay with me. Mum is a very good essay writer, and still my supervisor had plenty to say on how I needed to change things. Once I've changed everything to her standard, there will be no guarantee that the panel who will be assessing my work will be impressed. It is all a matter of preferences and opinion. 
This is why I can't afford to take criticisms personally.…

How a haircut cost me a pair of shoes...

It's the end of the school holidays, and time for boys to get hair cuts. My boys hate having their hair cut; if left to their own devices they'd have long flowing locks down to the ground, I think. Unfortunately, they are not great at hair washing, and aren't terribly keen to tie their hair up for school - which the schools would require. So, about four times a year I battle with them to get their hair cut.

I'm trying to compromise on what constitutes 'a cut' and so Erik and Lukas have shaggy cuts with long fringes - I hate these cuts, I really do, but I guess I have to relinquish some of the control as they get older and seek to define themselves as individuals (like everyone else - actually, just. like. everyone. else)...



If it were up to me, they'd all have short cuts like Ari...

His hair is wet here, it's quite short, but he does actually have hair, it's not a buzz cut; just a smart short cut, that can be spiked if he wants, or parted...
Bryn ha…

Do We Really Need a Long Weekend At Easter?source

I'm all over the place today.

You see, my plan to spend five solid days at Uni this week writing up my chapter for colloquium (just the first draft, I'm trying to be a bit realistic) has been somewhat thwarted by the fact that tomorrow is Good Friday and therefore a public holiday, which means the Uni will be shut.

Because Monday is also a public holiday, the University, in it's grand wisdom has decided to shut down for four whole days. Now, I'm meeting my supervisor on Thursday next week which means that by Tuesday night I need to have this first draft chapter in her inbox. Tuesday is my regular braille lesson, so I won't get to Uni that day as driving to the other side of Melbourne, doing a lesson and coming back takes most of the day.

Therefore, today is my last day at Uni to get words on paper with relative peace. Dave asked me this morning if, since I was going to be home tomorrow anyway, he could drive down to Brighton to see a friend. I have to confess I bi…

Remember all the people you've been...

Many months on, I'm still grieving the end of the 11th Doctor's time. I know, I know, he's a fictional character. Anyone with a heart has connected with a fictional character at some point and I connected with the 11th Doctor. I adore the 10th Doctor, he is dashing, isn't he? But the 11th had elements of me in him. Restless energy, and the constant running away. In the end though he came to the realisation that while you can and will change throughout your life time, if you try to forget who you used to be, you'll only get yourself in trouble. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
The other day, in a discussion about a friendship, I found myself talking about friends I have on Facebook now who knew me when I was a teenager. We haven't been in the same room in 25-30 years but they know a me my friends today would not recognise.
In another conversation with my mum the other day, she was commenting on my chameleon nature, how whenever I …

Published...

Back in the office this morning, after what feels like an age away. Didn't feel like I managed to get much done last week, which means this week's effort has to be mammoth. Five thousand words, no less! My aim is to write one thousand word a day between today and Friday. I don't have braille this week, so that means I should be able to be at uni every day.
The book I need to from Melbourne Uni arrived on Saturday, which is fantastic because I felt quite hamstrung without it. I have an outline pretty much sorted, so it is really just a matter of breaking it down and writing it up. The hardest part is the referencing, but my supervisor has said to use whatever style I'm most comfortable with, which makes it a bit easier. 
Yesterday I had a visit from one of mum's old students from Tabor in Melbourne. She had been to the launch of Tabor Adelaide's anthology 'Tales from the Upper Room', and she had picked up my complimentary issue as well as two others for…

Understanding my own strengths and challenges...

Aside from my mum, I have known and socialised with more (sheer numbers) and a greater variety (ages, demographics, cultures, races, sexual orientation) than anyone I know - and as I said, I've known a LOT of people.

Since a very young age, I have travelled and lived overseas, and socialised with the very, very poor and the highest stratas of society and influence. All this exposure means I know people quite well. I know what motivates people. I can pick a personality type very quickly and I'm am almost never surprised by anything anyone says or does.

As a writer, I'm an observer. I observe and make mental notes about people and environments all day long. It is just the way I am. If you raise your brow, I'm watching, if you lower the pitch of your voice, I'm listening, if your body stiffens as you speak, I can feel it without even touching you. You may be standing right next to me, speaking directly with me, or you may be on the other side of the cafe reading a boo…

The Futuro™ Night Wrist Sleep Support for Carpal Tunnel

Do you suffer from numbness in your fingers or joint pain in your wrists? You may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and you may be suffering unnecessarily. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is actually quite common in Australia and impacts people's daily lives, reducing the number and variety of activities people feel comfortable doing.

For many, many years, I have suffered with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both arms. This means from time to time my pointer finger and my thumb go completely numb, seemingly for no reason at all. At first it was just annoying - no one likes pins and needles, right? But as the years have passed it has become quite a worry as the episodes increase in length and frequency.

I suffer more in my left hand than my right hand, for some reason, so for the purpose of this review, I tested the Futuro™ Night Wrist Sleep Support on my left hand.

It was recommended I try the wrist support for at least a week; I ended up trying it for two weeks because it took a little getting used …

The Sugar Jar is Nearly Empty...

And that is how it is going to stay.

I decided last weekend, when we came home with yet another 2kg bag of raw sugar, which I knew would not last the fortnight, that that would be the last bag of sugar we would be buying. Period.

Yes, our family is full of sugar addicts.

A while ago, now, I started having sugar in my coffee. I don't need sugar in my coffee. Most often when I'm out and buy coffee I get it sans any sweetener, but at home I have two sugars, and if at a friend's house and they ask, I'll say two sugars.

The Grumpy Old Man has always had sugar, and I think he probably won't give up sweetening his hot drinks, but he has in the past used stevia, and he can go back to do that now.

There have been two things that led to this move. First, the boys have started regularly drinking tea and coffee, and Erik and Lukas, who make their own, drink melted sugar with a bit of coffee on top, I suspect. It is BAD!

Secondly, at my grandmother's funeral (part b) last …

My 'Dirty Little Secret' in Parenting...

So, today I want to talk about something that is not at all PC.



It's my parental "dirty little secret", if you like. I'm sure I will be judged on this, but I was thinking about it and maybe I'm not alone…

In this day and age parents are expected to see the good in their child at all times. Along with not smacking and not yelling, we're also not supposed to project our expectations onto our children. We're supposed to celebrate them and focus on the stuff we really admire about them.

I do this. I really enjoy that I get along quite well with my kids, we have a very open and honest relationship and we actually 'hang out' a lot at home and talk about stuff. In many ways, my kids and their father and I have a lot in common in terms of interests, and while we may not have the same tastes exactly, there is openness to exploring the other person's taste on both sides. It really is great.

I admire my children's talent - they each have obvious tale…

Autism Awareness Day… Autism and the workforce.

It's today.

This time last year, we didn't have a diagnosis for Erik, so this is my first Autism Awareness Day with the knowledge that my child is one of the 1/100 Australian children on the spectrum.

Last night the Grumpy Old Man and I were watching Parenthood. One of the characters in the show is a teen boy named Max who has Aspergers. Even though I know the actor is only playing a part, I marvel at how much overlap there is between Max's interactions with his environment and Erik's. A whole conversation of 'I don't know' answers because he can't express how he is feeling about a difficult situation. The 'You said!' straight down the line, black and white interpretation of the 'rules'. So similar!

There is one major point of difference between the character of Max and our son Erik. Max struggles to make friends. Erik really does not struggle with this.

And that is ASD - as individual as the individual.  Not all people with ASD are lon…