Monthly Archives: May 2013

running for the Emer Casey Foundation (in affiliation with Peter Mac)

The Emer Casey Foundation is devoted  to raising funds, awareness and support for ovarian and uterine cancer, and today marked the day of the Melbourne leg of their annual fun run. I participated in the 5km run to do my part to raise money for the cancer awareness, plus get myself in some Sunday morning exercise. The foundation itself is devoted to increasing research into this particular type of cancer, after the organisation’s namesake died of ovarian cancer shortly after her 28th birthday in her Irish homeland.  It was her death that inspired the foundation, and drew attention to one of the less notorious forms of cancer.

The run today was (luckily) very close by to me, and happened to fall on a convenient weekend, so this year I was actually able to participate. I wanted to do it last year, since it’s a good cause and I really wanted to get a decent run in, but unfortunately my work schedule was inflexible at the time. Things changed in 2013, and alas, I was able to do it. And not only that, the convenient location meant I could walk to and from the event, as well as actually seeing the parts of my uni campus I have never ventured to before. Who knew there was actually a nice reserve at the back of campus? Or that the ovals turned into a sort of sand pit on one side? Certainly not me; I tend to only occupy 4 buildings on campus, and all of them within 100m of each other.

Since I’m still recovering from a long period of inactivity in my life (more like my whole existence), I’m still new to the whole fitness thing, so my goal for this was just to finish it. I wasn’t focused on times. I just wanted to get over that finish line knowing that I had kept going the whole time.

I succeeded in that. And I even passed a few people along the way, which was certainly a boost to the self-esteem. Even better, I got an awesome new t-shirt that I can work out in!

Of course, I finished the morning off nicely with a well-earned bath full of essential oils, and surrounded by candles and calming music.

Now, bring on the next run (perhaps I’ll be up for a 10km in a few months)!


missing Saturday mornings

Video Hits (Australian TV series)

Video Hits (Australian TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was younger, during the earlier years of high school, Saturday mornings had a sort of comforting ritual to them. I could sleep in to around 9-9:30am, then get up, make some breakfast of my choice (usually toast) and watch Video Hits. I would lose myself in the land of music until noon, making lists of new songs to add to my collection and reminiscing with old favourites.

Then I got to the age where employment becomes a necessity, and suddenly I was working weekends, a slave to endless line of consumers craving salty hangover fixes. And my Saturday morning routine kind of disappeared.

Even cutting down my work shifts didn’t help, since that was when I hit the serious end of school and all of a sudden everything became about when I would study.

Then, finally, school ended, Saturdays returned – but now Video Hits was taken off the air, and even Rage wasn’t playing for long in the mornings.

I just miss the comfort of those days, where I could forget all about my life for a while and lose myself in music, blankets and feelings of contentment. Even during the tougher times of my teenage life, it was a small safe haven once a week.

I long for that. I crave that safety and contentment; the feeling that for a few hours, everything might be alright.

Saturday mornings meant hope and the freedom of a whole weekend to do as I pleased.

I want to reclaim that. But you can’t go back, so I guess I’ll have to find a new way to experience it.

a little bit absent, but you can find me at the Creek

My apologies for my absence over the last few days, the description does call this a daily blog. But unfortunately, my health hasn’t been great and so I’ve struggled to write some posts. I actually can’t remember the last time I posted (though that isn’t saying much, my memory is a little preoccupied these days).

There is, however, a small speck of light. I will be back soon, and hopefully better than ever. I just have a couple of hurdles to overcome first, but then I will be getting things back on track.

Its interesting, in a way, but had you asked me two years ago what my greatest fear was, I would have (and did) described my current situation. Now that it has snuck up on me, and the storm has returned, I find myself being pulled about by the tide; alternating between still being totally terrified and occasionally feeling like it’s just no big deal.

It naturally follows that I find myself seeking solace from adolescent TV dramas – because who else is as angsty and confused but teenagers? Especially those in the 90s. And so it goes that I have recently invested in the first 3 seasons of Dawson’s Creek, and I am contently ensconced in blankets on the couch, watch the whole Joey-Pacey-Dawson-Jen drama play out (Pacey and Joey forever!). I say content, but it’s a turbulent kind – it flits in and out, as I search for comfort from this dreary storm. At least the weather seems as confused as I do.

being warned and educated by children’s animations

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better – it’s not.”

Dr. Seuss Wooden Nickel

Dr. Seuss Wooden Nickel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently I found myself discussing the environmental messages in children’s movies that have started to crop up in the last decade, and found myself approving of this ‘good brainwashing’, as my friend termed it. One of my favourite Disney Pixar animations has to be Wall-E, not only because of the undeniable adorable factor, but also the messages it sends to children about how important it is to take care of the world we live in.

After all, Disney movies are the modern equivalent to Aesop’s Fables – they reach a wide audience of impressionable young minds and feed them tales with morals written in. They ranked at number 66 on Fortune 500’s 2012 list. That’s some hell of an influence in society.

Of course, being such a large company which caters to such vulnerable minds comes with many obstacles, and there have been many accusations of prejudice tossed at the corporation. The lack of diversity in their characters, the way women are always portrayed as waiting for their man, the sexual references (half of which are just misread nods to special effects, such as in The Lion King) – these all draw censure from many groups. This is probably why in the last decade movies such as Wall-E have come to light.

In the spirit of my discussion of environmental children’s movies, it came to my attention that I was missing out on a Dr Seuss wonder – The Lorax. So today I rectified that absence, and watched it. And, my gosh, it was worth it. The message is not subtle, in fact it’s the whole premise of the film and comes complete with songs about growing the seed, but even skeptics of global warming cannot turn away (and yes, they are out there). Before we were brought up in an era of Disney (or perhaps even Harry Potter counts now), children went to bed hearing tales of the Lorax, the Who’s and that wonderful feline with marvellous headwear, The Cat In The Hat. Dr Seuss is a revelation to children when they are introduced, full of wonderful, crazy rhymes which we somehow still quote regularly in our adult lives.

So it’s great to see that children are absorbing these messages of not abusing the finite resources available to them through a means so easily accessible to them from a young age. If we are to truly expect the survival of the human species, we need to make sure we keep our habitat perpetuating itself in the circle of life. Because Dr Seuss had it right when he wrote the quote I began this post with – unless we foster continual caring about this issue, nothing will ever change.

joining the national protest against university funding cuts

No ifs, no buts, no education cuts.

After Julia Gillard announced the intention of the Labor Government to cut over $2 billion of funding from Australian universities, who already struggle enough on their limited funding, to redirect it towards primary and secondary schools, there was a major uproar. Protests sprung up all over the country, and students were terrified that their already exorbitantly priced education would become even more unattainable. So they set a date for a national protest – May 14th.

The idea was to go on strike and not attend classes, and then to gather for a series of protests in the city to get the message across. I wasn’t particularly set on attending the protest in the city, and used the strike as more an excuse to skip class than as an actual protest, but even I cannot deny that their cause is valid. The government has put out publications and acknowledged other studies which have found that improvements are needed in this area, and yet they give us cuts.

So what does this mean for individual universities? Well, for starters the business model they already work on will have to focus even more on the bottom line – which affects staffing selections and thus the variety and number of courses and subjects available to students. Additionally, the funding cut takes away the up-front discounts in the HECs payment system and also converts the Student Start Up Scholarship to a mere loan – which essentially, just increases the debt a university student will face once they graduate and hit the workforce. Not really a great way to boost an economy in a climate where recession has been narrowly avoided and other countries are still battling (especially since the way out of/to avoid recession is generally through increased spending from consumers).

So thanks for that new budget, Julia Gillard. You’re really making life swell.

Here’s a small video I got off the NTEU website which was filmed at my university – and it clearly outlines how a single university will be affected by this new budget.

So while I hovered around the edges of the rally for a few minutes and observed some of the protesters in action during the miserable weather that Melbourne brought them, I still see this as an issue we all face. I’m just reserved about the effectiveness of national protesting, since it feels kind of feeble and pointless. Plus, asking students to skip class with only a few weeks to exams is kind of a big deal.

However, I hope the issue doesn’t just fade off after this.

(Most of my information comes from the STEU website.)

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stuck in a loop of late nights

Every night I spend at home I tell myself I’ll go to bed early. I’ll just finish this episode, or that movie. I’ll briefly browse tumblr and facebook, just to see if anything important is there, and then that’s it. I’m going to sleep.

Smiley from the sMirC-series. snoring


This never happens. I used to go to sleep at 9:30pm every night, without fail. But now my routine has become midnight at the earliest, and then sleeping until noon the next day. I don’t like this, and yet I find myself writing this post at 10pm, and I probably won’t publish it until 10:30. After that there are a still a few things left to do. Do you see my problem?

No wonder I’m so zonked during the day, and constantly craving sugary snacks. It’s terrible.

I really will change it. Even if I tuck myself in at 11pm tonight, I’ll have started to fix the situation.

I’m not a night owl, so why am I trying to become one? I’d much rather be fresh in the mornings and make use of the daylight than suddenly be able to get things done after 8pm.

I don’t want to turn this into a bad habit.

visiting my mum in honour of Mothers’ Day

Mothers’ Day is a pretty universal holiday, and rightly so, since no matter where you go, mother’s play such a huge role in the functioning of society that goes unrecognised. In fact, I’m pretty sure many parents would joke on their respective days that one day a year of being pampered by their kids isn’t enough. And then of course, as any child would reply, you’d mention that their is no Daughters’ or Sons’ Day (my mum’s response to that was always that everyday is Childrens’ Day).

Fair enough, I guess. Now that I’m closer to the age of the women being celebrated than the majority of the kids doing the spoiling (and a legal adult), I recognise how much of our lives gets lost to parenting. I’m just trying to appreciate the final decade remaining to me before I expect to gain the title of ‘mother’, since it seems most people start families in their 30s these days. That feels kind of scarily short.

Since I was expecting to work today, I took my mum out for lunch last Sunday in honour of Mothers’ Day, and so haven’t had too much by way of obligations or plans today. Just dinner, and as an added extra I’m bringing chocolate chip cookies with me (if they turn out ok  – they kind of spread a lot in the oven).

I’m pretty sure my sister bought my mum a meal at some point today anyway, though I won’t be seeing her at dinner tonight.

And I have to say, my mother certainly deserves this day. She used to try and get Fathers’ Day out of us as well, since we had no father to spend it with and she claimed she was both mother and father to us anyway. But I objected to that. Looking back, though, I suppose it wouldn’t have been too far a stretch to give it to her. As a single parent, she certainly had it tough providing for my sister and I. Especially since there’s a 10 year age gap between us, and so she spent a lot longer actually being a parent and having to fully provide for us.

So, this one goes out to my Mum, and all the other mothers out there. Despite the differences we’ve had and the distance I seem determined to put between us, I love my mum and she deserves to have a fabulous day and night. And as every parent tells me, parenting is the hardest job in the universe. So it’s good to step back and appreciate the work they do.

Happy Mothers’ Day!

cackling over lessons with luis

Last night I caught up with an old friend who has hooked me up to some great comedy in the past, and continued the tradition with the youtube channel of lessonswithluis.

Keeping in mind this comes from someone with the comedic taste in line with The Mighty Boosh and animals wearing hats, this comedy is not for those who enjoy snappy one liners. It’s more simple laughing at odd mannerisms and parodying things (like the news).

I was hooked from the moment I watched my first video, a New News one entitled ‘New Snowland’. I suppose, this is a pretty easy one to love – as an Australian I love anything that pokes fun at New Zealanders, thanks to our friendly rivalry. It certainly does seem to be one of his better videos.

One of my favourite recurring people in his videos is his dad, who kind of reminds me a little bit of Kel from Kath and Kim, but without the bogan reference. He’s just a little odd, and very serious.

And also, a bit obsessed with his cat, ‘Catty’.

His humour is very light hearted, though it does have some deeper issues at heart, such as global politics and sensitive news topics. So, it’s as any good comedy should be, pertinent and still enjoyable.

Not that you’d think it from someone who has a video about their cat doing everyday cat things as one of the more popular episodes.

revelling in whipped cream vodka


Last night, on an impulse, I made the decision to purchase and try Burnett’s Whipped Cream vodka. Possibly one of the best decisions I have made all week – it was fantastic.

At first I mixed it with lemonade, and it was startlingly similar in taste to creamy soda. It did not taste alcoholic at all. Which is kind of dangerous when you think about it. I also had some straight, and even then it barely tasted like vodka.

Then I mixed it with lemon squash, and suddenly I was drinking lemon meringue pie! Which is actually my favourite dessert ever, so needless to say, I was in heaven.

It truly tastes like whipped cream, which essentially means that it tastes like sugar. It doesn’t really get better than that. Plus, it’s vodka, which seems to be the spirit my body handles the best.

I seriously would recommend this to anyone who likes sugar and/or vodka. It’s just delicious!

ending the lapse in my baking sessions

Girl Scout Samoa Cookie PieI used to bake weekly, not through any planned schedule, I just felt like it often. But over the last few months I haven’t baked much at all. I think I made one thing since New Years, then decided it wasn’t worth it, since living alone means I end up eating it all myself, and usually in one sitting. And where’s the joy in that? The only result of that is a stomachache.

But today I got the urge again, and luckily for me I am seeing friends tonight who I can force my baked goods on. Though, it wasn’t really baked per se, more frozen, since it’s ChocolateCoveredKatie’s Samoa Girl Scout Cookie Pie. Which really translates to an extreme coconut chocolate pie. Let’s hope it turns out well.

I used to be completely obsessed with her blog, and that’s where most of my baking inspiration came from, since there’s a new post every couple of days and they always sound AMAZING. Plus, her recipes are vegan and healthy, so that kills any guilt factor you can have about consuming so many desserts.

I have a little routine for when I bake. Usually I’ll put on the Beatles (more often than not it’s the white album), have a little dance around the kitchen and taste test every second stir of the spoon. Today, I mixed it up a little with a cd that arrived in the mail today from Fishpond; The Frames’ debut album (the later remastered version), ‘Another Love Song’. Definitely a different vibe, but in a way that’s fitting, since it was a return to this little ritual of pleasure, and kind of marks a new era in baking antics for me.