A miscellany

I am the slackest blogger. It’s me. I haven’t even been writing in my offline journal, I’m so slack.

I’m not going to start the next paragraph with “in my defence”. I can have written the beginning of fifty billion posts but it doesn’t matter because none of you can see them! So there is no defence, really.

I did get rather irritated by an article called something like “Things you shouldn’t have in your home after 30″ – to pick a few examples, pine furniture is lovely, mismatched crockery is a valid lifestyle decision, and if you did pry my Ikea goods from my cold dead apartment you would be left with very little – but on reflection it was obviously clickbait, and now I can’t find the article anyway. Probably for the best! The argument against mismatched crockery hinges on whether it will impress people at dinner parties. I am forty years old and have never held a dinner party, and if I did, my guests would be suitably impressed by my well-curated eclectic dinnerware collection, and if they weren’t, they could bring their own plates next time. Or I could dig out my grandmother’s Royal Grafton, but I wouldn’t waste that on the sort of people who’d scoff at my octagonal Arcoroc.

I was going to write about my no-makeup look, but my no-makeup look is, in fact, no makeup. My full-makeup look involves at most six products anyway (BB cream or light foundation; brow pencil; eyeshadow; eye liner; mascara; lippy of some description) so it’s not a radical departure. It’s not a political statement either. It’s just that when it’s 35 degrees inside and I’m closing up the caravan and getting ready for a five-hour drive I can’t be bothered putting makeup on. You’re lucky I bother with clothes half the time. And by “you” I mean “everyone between the lower mid north coast and the inner west of Sydney, and also Mr Wright for not having to fund a charge of indecent exposure”.

I was also going to write about my recent nasty cold and the effect it had on my life. It is very difficult to barrack properly when you have lost your voice! There is no hand signal that you can perform that will fully express the concept of “excuse me, umpire, but that player obviously had prior opportunity to dispose of the football before he was tackled, and in consequence you should penalise him for holding the ball and award a free kick to my favoured team immediately” and that is also performable in half of a double bed, and it wouldn’t be as viscerally satisfying as yelling “BAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL” anyway.

(Addendum: Go Hawks! I am Swans 4 lyf but I was also a paid-up Hawthorn member when we lived in Melbs (they’re Mr Wright’s team; we went to see them beat Geelong in the 2008 grand final), and besides, if Hawthorn keep winning premierships then we’ll keep being the previous reigning premiers, and that can’t be a bad thing.)

(Are the previous reigning premiers the dowager premiers? They are now.)

I would write about the nasty sunburn I picked up over the weekend. It was hot, we were fixing the gutter on the dairy, I wore a swimsuit top that was much more low-cut at the back than I thought, I completely forgot that sunscreen existed, thank you ADHD. But if I tell you about the nasty sunburn then I have to mention waking up in the middle of the night on Sunday morning with my shoulders a fused mass of agony from an exciting synergy of sunburn and overworked muscles, and I don’t want to relive that experience. It’s bad enough a day later.

(I’d attempt to justify the phrase “the middle of the night on Sunday morning”, but I think either you accept it or you don’t.)

I am looking forward to when the skin starts peeling, though, because I am a ghoul.

Right! Panadol, aloe vera and a nice cup of tea, methinks. And maybe an exciting synergy of a cool damp towel and a pedestal fan.

This applies to blog posts as well

How I expect normal people do the vaccing:

  • decide to do the vaccing
  • pick up everything on the floor
  • get out vac and plug it in
  • vac lounge, bedroom, kitchen (we live in a small flat)
  • unplug vac and put it away

The Shelby method:

  • decide to do the vaccing
  • two days later: decide to do the vaccing
  • one day later: decide I really must do the vaccing
  • next morning: stand in the kitchen vaguing out for ten minutes before realising I haven’t taken my tablets
  • make a pot of tea
  • take my tablets
  • have a game of Two Dots
  • have another game of Two Dots
  • run out of lives on Two Dots
  • notice shoes on the floor, remember I was going to vac
  • pick up slippers, take them into bedroom
  • go through pile of clothes in the corner of the bedroom; discover a jacket to wash, one cardigan to wear and two to take to Vinnies, and a surfeit of summer dresses
  • put dresses on the bed so I can go through them and decide which ones to keep
  • look for the take-to-Vinnies bag so I don’t have to start a new one
  • start a new one anyway
  • go through the boxes underneath the clothes, looking for the printer cable and the batteries
  • find the batteries!
  • have another game of Two Dots
  • find the take-to-Vinnies bag, which is full, so I’d have had to start a new one anyway
  • pick up the rest of the shoes, put them on the chair
  • get out vac
  • pick up the rest of the stuff on the floor, pile it on the couch
  • look up Australia’s population density
  • trip over vac
  • plug in vac
  • start another game of Two Dots; fling phone metaphorically away; get grip on myself
  • vac lounge room
  • vac bedroom
  • get briefly distracted by the dresses on the bed; talk to myself sternly
  • vac kitchen
  • vac kitchen again just to make sure
  • turn vac off
  • start tidying the kitchen table
  • wonder where the electricity bill went
  • look for electricity bill
  • trip over vac
  • unplug vac and put it away
  • go to pour a cup of tea, realise I never actually put any water in the teapot
  • remake tea, wash up, take the bin out, finish game of Two Dots, etc.
  • three hours later: move everything off the couch
  • twelve and a half hours later: move the dresses off the bed and back to the pile in the corner so I can go to bed
  • two days later: decide I probably ought to vac tomorrow

Triumphant return?

Shelby, Shelby, where have you been?
I’ve been to London to visit the Queen

…actually, “I’ve been in my bedroom listening to Queen” might be a bit more accurate on that front. And I haven’t even been doing anything useful like practising my Roger-Taylor-on-’39 impression! Shelby, you slacker.

So what have I been doing? Let’s see…

I got a job! (Yay!) Then I lost my job (Yay! …It wasn’t a very good fit and the pay was pants). Then Mr Wright got a job! (Yay!)

I moved to Bankstown for the job, then came back to Nerdhaven, then we both moved down to the inner west for Mr Wright’s job. We started off sharing a nice quiet apartment with a neat freak, then got kicked out (b00!) and had to move in with my parents (who are wonderful people but the commute was shocking), then found a nice house with a nice flatmate and a nice dog (yay! And awww, a dog) right on one of the busiest intersections in Sydney (um…), and are now renting a teensy flat with an outside loo and a separate laundry with no power. It’s a bit of a dive but it’s ours, and more importantly it’s quiet. (Yay!)

The goats are now living down the road with a larger herd and two guard alpacas. We see them when we drive past. Sherri (the big bossy one) seems to have installed herself as goatriarch; Terri (the little anti-social one) can now browse in peace.

I got re-diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression (yay?), had a medication adjustment (yay), and was formally diagnosed with ADHD, backdated to roughly 1980 (YAY). I’ll probably write more about this later, but: get yourself diagnosed if you need to. It has seriously changed my life.

Also, sleep apnoea. Mine is only moderate; I can’t quite afford a CPAP machine but I’ve got some exercises to do.

And I turned 40. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. Still, it means I’ve been here for 40 years, and that gets a yay. (Yay!) Also a cheesecake.

I’m sorry if you’ve left a comment and I haven’t published it, but I have so much spam, I am unable to even. I shall install Disqus! It’s on the list. A list from which I can finally, finally cross off “put up a blog post”.



Forgot I had a blog…

The bridge is back, incidentally. I didn’t get to go to Melbourne, and apart from the acute disappointment at the time, I spent the next few weeks thinking “why didn’t I get [ginger drink | more spices | Lush soap | a better lens | etc] while I was in Melbourne? Oh yes, because I didn’t go to Melbourne. Sad face”.

But I did get to go to Port Macquarie, so it wasn’t a complete loss. And the Car Park Deli(*) sells ginger drink, so I just have to remember to pick it up off the shelf next time I go in there, which is not as easy as you might think considering I haven’t managed to do it yet.

And I won a set of Red coasters because the bridge wasn’t there (it’s slightly more complicated than that), which makes it even less of a loss.

Hopefully I’m going to manage to update a bit more frequently now. Given that all the comments I receive are spam, I think the main victim will be myself, but still! We can only hope.

(*) This is a real thing. There is also a Car Park Doctor; I went there once because I forgot prescriptions expire after a year, had to wait for 90 minutes to see a surly doctor who knew more about my health than I did, and was bulk-billed to compensate for the wait. I have a different doctor now.

Presented without comment

Well, not much comment.

My travel clock showing a temperature of 42.5 degrees C at 6.30pm

42.5°C is 108.5°F. This clock is inside a caravan. Also inside the caravan: my bed.

The official maximum temperature yesterday was 42 degrees at Taree Airport (although I was in and around Taree all day and believe me it was over 42 degrees, and if you don’t believe me then ask the dog, who required emergency full-body dousing under a tap for afternoon tea, an hour after which he was totally dry).

It didn’t cool down in the van until well after midnight, but by then I’d had a four-pack of cider and a voddy ‘n’ orange or two, so I wasn’t as upset as I might otherwise have been.

I am so over summer and it’s barely halfway through it.

The biggest paralysis tick you will ever see

A very large paralysis tick on an index card.

Paralysis ticks: another in the long litany of Things In Australia That Will Kill You. Late last year the dog had two ticks on him, neither even remotely close to this size, and he spent two nights in the vet hospital. The Flatmate was laid up for two weeks after contracting rickettsia from a paralysis tick in 2011. I myself had to have a microscopic portion of mandible removed from my collarbone in September.

Fortunately this one was on a goat, and as we all know goats are badass, so she was perfectly fine and suffered no ill effects. The tick also survived removal, but was fed to some chickens shortly after the photo shoot.

Play counts

Every year I reset the play counts of my entire iTunes library, so that I can have a snapshot of what I’ve been listening to every year, and also because it’s not fair on songs that were added to my library in, say, 2011 to have to compete with songs that were there at the beginning in 2003 (I have a very strange relationship with fairness)

This process involves creating a new static Top 50 of 20xx playlist from my Top 50 Right Now smart playlist, and then saving it in 5 different formats to preserve the number of plays, because I can never remember which format actually includes the play counts.

A couple of years ago I had to add a condition to the smart playlist to include only songs that I’d played more than once, because otherwise it got too cluttered in early January. Which explains why my current Top 50 playlist is three songs long and comprises vaguely embarrassing 80s pop, death metal, and weird experimental drummy stuff.

Actually that’s not a bad summation of my iTunes library. Rock!