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Roomba, Doctor Who, the new haus, Tassie friends, etc. - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
Roomba, Doctor Who, the new haus, Tassie friends, etc.
You know you're not updating enough when you have to make a list in your subject line so you don't forget anything.

Let's see. Life's good. Go on, breathe a sigh of relief. ;) I recently turned 28. I've never been 28 before! Quite liking it so far. Didn't much care for 26; 26 was rubbish. But 28... yeah, I could get used to this.

Joey got me my best friend for my birthday! He flew hammond down to Tassie as a surprise. Best partner ever? I think so! Hammy spend a few days here: days of AWESOME. High tea was consumed, as were a number of coffees, and we took a trip down to the Huon Valley to bounce around on a whole variety of suspension bridges. Hammond tossed musk lollies at children (they deserved it). It was so good to see him, and next time he stays we will actually have a proper spare bed setup, haha... this time the house was all cardboard boxes and shite everywhere from the move.

The move went well, very smoothly as far as moves go. We did everything in two van-loads. This is one of the many benefits that came after the difficult process of giving/throwing away most of what we owned before we moved down here. My mother is currently going through the same thing, as she's moving down to live with us. Her flight comes in this Sunday. So do her dogs. I think we're going to need to make some small repairs to the fence, or alternately, make the cat run I'm plotting a dog-and-cat run.

I have some concerns about mum being here, not because we have any problems with one another - we're very close - but because there are bound to be hiccups when adjusting to sharing your home life with ANYONE. Fortunately, mum feels the same way. Nobody is approaching this arrangement with blind optimism. We're aiming for honest and open communication. Mum is very upfront, thank god (I've had enough of passive-aggressive people to last me a lifetime.) If there's a problem, we'll discuss it straight-up. Years of living with Joe has inured me to blunt honesty. That's a good thing. ;)

Work is going well. I just love working with the guys at 3rd Sense, and hope to continue doing so long after this contract finishes in June. As for freelance as a whole, it's going great. I seem to have reached some sort of plateau where I pick up just the right amount of clients without really trying. All the business books promote growth; advertise, they say, even when business is going well. I'm hesitant to do that though. I don't think reckless growth is a good idea for a sole operator. I could probably pick up more clients now but do I want to be stretched that thin? A large part of what I enjoy about freelancing is that I can work the hours I want. If it's a terrible PMS day I can say, screw it, I'm taking today off and I'm going to work Friday instead. Whereas when I'm overloaded with clients I find myself working TOO much. Recently I finished a textbook job (it was a bum of a job but I'm really proud of the effort I put in to get it done) which had me working nights, weekends, you name it, just to hit deadline. Exhausting and stressful. I think streamlining my workflow so I'm never overwhelmed OR lacking jobs is going to be the major lesson I pick up from my experiences freelancing this year.

The major lesson I got from my previous time freelancing was how to spot Trouble Clients. Even now, it's not failsafe... I got screwed over recently; my bad for incautiousness - but it only wasted an afternoon of my time AND I learned some new techniques from it. Silver lining?

Likewise, this year I would like to improve streamlining my budget - not so much business budget (I practically have zero overheads) but living budget. Because of the nature of freelancing, I'll sometimes go a fortnight without a payday, and then other times (like this week) three paydays will come in at once and suddenly my bank account'll jump from zero to halfway to five figures. Having a healthy, if sporadic, income has allowed me to fit out the new house though... got a new dryer (which senses when the clothes are dry and stops itself to save electricity, how cool is that?), new microwave, new jug, new couch, new quilt cover set, new set top receiver / digital TV recorder, and a Roomba. Which is a robotic vaccuum cleaner. Which is AWESOME. Her name is Juanita, continuing a tradition started by Hammond, who named his Roomba Consuela. Possibly a little racist, but better than my original idea of naming our Roomba after my friend Susan, as both are short, round and made in China. (I love you Susie!)

The new house is nice; nicer than anything we were ever able to afford in Brissie. It's got a closed fireplace, which I'm still trying to master... lighting fires is quite an art form. Location-wise it's easily the nicest suburb I've lived in, beating out Kenmore by a near 360-degree view that encompasses everything from a city to a snowy mountain to rolling bushland to a gorgeous bay and the ocean. The neighbors are classy and quiet, but not snobby. The one out the back has an enviable cat run setup (wire passages running all over the outside of their house) and the one to the side has adorable fluffy bantam hens, which aside from being squeal-worthily cute, make a pretty good racket if they see Nami slip outside.

Our house is a 6km walk from the middle of Hobart... though walking back is a BITCH. The suburb is called Mt Nelson, and in Tassie when they say "Mt" they bloody well mean "Mt"; the walking track back up the mountain is basically at a 40 degree angle. Which doesn't sound so bad except it's a solid two kilometers of 40-degree-angle. Think of climbing a mile and a half worth of stairs nonstop and you have a good approximation. Once my office in the city is ready (it's been further delayed for renovation, but I'm not complaining because now I'll have polished timber floors with no increase in the rent) I intend to climb walk home up the mountain on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to complement the Krav Maga I do on Mon-Wed-Fri.

Krav is going well. Apparently my arms and legs are like rocks, underneath that persistent layer of pudge I really must shake (hence the mountain). I also plan to walk to the office every morning. Sure, it's mostly downhill, but it's 6km/day of cardio which, given my growing muscles, should eat away at the chub nicely. I've never approach weightloss from a muscle-gaining perspective before... like most women I was afraid of "bulking up"... but I kind of like the idea now, and it's an irrational fear anyway; it is VERY difficult for women to build bulging muscle. Certainly lifting weights three times a week is not going to give me the width of a Schwarzenegger. Besides, I really like this weights business. It releases endorphins, you get a lot more out of a shorter workout than you do spending hooouuurs jogging, and I like the fact that I can lift heavier weights all the time... there's obvious progress in this, which feeds into my self-competitive nature nicely.

I had a whacked month for hormones last month - two weeks of PMS, the second so bad it physically knocked me around. Urgh. I've talked about PMS before - how it changes me from someone who loves her life to someone who hates herself and everything around her - so I'm not going to go into it again. I'm just happy that after fifteen years of this crap I've learned to recognise the handiwork of those nasty little hormones, and carefully monitor my actions during that time regardless of how I'm feeling.

In happier news, Joe and I are loving the new season of Doctor Who. Ten will always be "my Doctor"... but good lord, Matt Smith does a good job. And Amy Pond is like a mixture of the best of Rose, Martha and Donna. That paired with Stephen Moffat's snappy writing, more modern direction, better lighting, better SFX (I don't even know how they've managed that one, wasn't their budget cut?) makes us both very happy indeed. And for the first time in years we're in a position where we can download new eps AS they're released. Oh god so good. Also, our new friend Cass and her partner are both really into Who so we're probably going to start having Doctor Who nights once per week... it will be like the LOST nights of old!

Speaking of new friends, now that we're settled in our new home, our social lives are starting to kick in - this Saturday alone we're meeting one girl for morning coffee at Salamanca, another for lunch same place, and then heaading over to Cass's place for a horror movie marathon. The next day, Mum arrives, along with her dogs. As we are currently using her room as a storage facility for empty cardboard boxes, we have a tip run to do this Friday.

So I guess life is kicking along awesomely, and I promise to update more often! I beg you all for mercy and leave you with this clip of John Barrowman dancing to Beyonce:

19 have fought ~ fight the power!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: April 27th, 2010 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I had to look up what a musky lolly was...and I can't even imagine what that would taste like!
leggz From: leggz Date: April 27th, 2010 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
They are HELL tasty. :D

Tan - so so glad to hear you and Joe are doing well! I know we didn't have a huge chance to get to know you two before you left, but we still consider you friends.

Re: your PMS iss-ews, have you looked at using a different type of contraception?
tania From: tania Date: April 27th, 2010 08:30 am (UTC) (Link)
We really like you guys too; it's a shame we didn't meet you earlier!

Re birth control, I've tried three kinds of the Pill, the Implant, the Injection, the Nuva Ring... if it exists, I've tried it. Everything besides the Pill gives me breakthrough bleeding (the Nuva Ring was... well, 'slaughterhouse' would be an appropriate term). Most types of stronger Pill regulate my cycle, but some of them make the PMS worse... the last one I tried, in 2008, turned me into such a crazy bitch Joe and I almost broke up, and I'm afraid to try again. I was only on it for a couple months before I couldn't bear it anymore, so maybe I didn't give it long enough, but I don't plan to put the people close to me through that again so I can find out. D:

So right now I use no hormonal birth control at all, and that seems to get me the best result. Of course, it means we have to use condoms. Sigh. Still, good to know my body seems to be ridiculously womanly and fertile. When we eventually decide to take a shot at having kids I'll probably fall pregnant within .5 seconds of our first unprotected sex. ;P
leggz From: leggz Date: April 27th, 2010 08:44 am (UTC) (Link)
D'aw.. I love mutual appreiciation sessions. ; ]

And as for your PMS - holy hot hell, that's horrible! I too get break-through bleeding with pretty much every contraception I use, and I've had period pain so bad it's landed me in hospital several times. Thankfully the pill I'm on right now is the best I've used yet (levelen is its name). It gave me one month of SCARY PMS like I've never experienced before, but since then (touch wood) it's been great.

And condoms aren't that bad. Hey, they help with the mess at least! And stop you from getting pregnant. That's two positives. ; ]
tania From: tania Date: April 27th, 2010 08:32 am (UTC) (Link)
It is hard to imagine! I'll have to send you some musk sticks someday; they're a real staple lolly (candy, haha) here in Australia. You're not the first American friend who's never heard of them! Apparently our rainbow ice creams differ too, I'm told the US type of rainbow ice cream is sherbert flavoured!

Hell, we should do a candy exchange. I definitely want to send you Tim Tams. :D
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: April 27th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wait...if your rainbow icecream doesn't taste like fruit sherbert...wtf does it taste like? D:

And a candy exchange would be fun! I'll be on board with that if you want to do one :3 I wonder what stuff we have here you can't get there..*hmmm*
tania From: tania Date: April 28th, 2010 01:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Note me your address on Twitter or any one of our many social media thingies and I shall put a package together for you! Don't start one for me yet, I know I'm more likely to do my end promptly if I have the lure of exotic candies to push me onward. ;D

Let's see... I have never had a 3 Musketeers bar... I HAVE had some of the peanut-butter-based stuff you guys have (some American candy filters into specialised chocolate shops over here) but I won't say no to more - we don't put peanut butter in our chocolate. I have never had Tootsie Rolls or Twinkies (and I only know the latter because of Ghostbusters, haha...) Man, I can't think of anything else. Apparently I have a severe black hole of knowledge when it comes to American candy.

For you I would probably send:

- Musk sticks
- Tim Tams
- Lifesavers
- Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate
- A Freddo Frog and a Caramello Koala
- Wizz Fizz
- Nerds

If you have any of those things in the US let me know and I'll cut them out - I know there is some overlap! Hey, do you guys have Mars Bars and Snickers Bars?
tania From: tania Date: April 28th, 2010 01:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Wait! I forgot important ones!

- Fantales
- Violet Crumble
- Minties

The Violet Crumble is a bar with a sort of crunchy processed honeycomb stuff inside (someone recently told me you guys don't use much honeycomb in your candy) and the other two are packets containing individually wrapped things... Minties are chewy mints, Fantales are chewy caramel coated with chocolate but the BEST part of them is that each wrapper has a "who am I?" famous person puzzle on it. :D
tania From: tania Date: April 28th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and I have no idea what Australian rainbow icecream tastes like. Nobody does. It's one of our great national mysteries. Hammond thinks it's simply vanilla and that our eyes are just confusing us.
(Deleted comment)
tania From: tania Date: April 28th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh yeah, nice one!
rahball From: rahball Date: April 27th, 2010 10:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Roooombaaaaa! :D

Have you seen the Roomba hijinks in Questionable Content? I am trying to find the links, but Jeph's idiosyncratic naming of the comics really doesn't help.
jesskat From: jesskat Date: April 27th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love John Barrowman, but OMG those pants. It cannot be unseen.

The new Doctor Who has me slightly in the middle so far. I know we've only had four episodes so far, so it's too early to decide whether I'm going to love it as much as the previous seasons. I love Eleven and Amy as characters, the episodes so far have been a bit hit-and-miss (Power Ranger Daleks?). I really want Stephen Moffat to get into scary mode again, he's at his best when writing creepy stuff.
jesskat From: jesskat Date: April 27th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
And that's way too many "so fars" in one comment. *facepalm*
tania From: tania Date: April 28th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Totally agreed - I didn't mind the Daleks so much because I was sitting with Joe, who is an OLD-SCHOOL-like-whoah Doctor Who fan, and he remembers the larger Daleks (I think they were part of Dalek command or something) of the old show. Some of them were different colours too. So he got a bit excited when he saw the new ones - I thought they went too far with the multicoloured stuff, they looked like Ikea Daleks, haha... but I'm willing to wait and see. Based on the old stuff those colours may be there for a reason.

Also, the deeper voices are so much more frightening than the usual petulant squeal we've come to know and giggle at.

And finally, they acted a lot more like 'true' Daleks. The halfbreeds were schemers, but original pure Daleks are a near-primal force of destruction. The way the Doctor confronted them (and with a jam biscuit no less!) was very classic-Who.

I'm a bit iffy on the new Angels episode. The scene with Amy in the trailer watching the videotape was creepy as HELL, but the rest of the episode felt a bit chaotic. Which is a shame because, as you say, Stephen Moffat writes scary so well. Feels like he's trying to be too epic here. Don't go down the Russell T Davies road!

Haha, John Barroman's pants - ohsogay!
alby_lion From: alby_lion Date: April 27th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think reckless growth is a good idea for a sole operator. That's been my experience, and Achilles hill. Too little is risky without another source of income (thought a nice culture of being your own boss), but too much growth is cancerous. Not all growth is good growth. Aside from being taken advantage of, you end up spending time, money, and energy you needed for other things, like housework or exercise; and those resources get burned much more quickly. It's like burning through all your wood supply, then throwing paper on to keep the flame going.

Best results are always cross-training muscles and cardio. If all you ever do is walking, your muscles get very good at it, and all you do is burn calories from your muscles, which you put right back next time you eat anything (especially if it's loaded with simple carbs).

Good to hear Tassie's working out well for you!
sigmoidal_suseq From: sigmoidal_suseq Date: April 28th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)
hey! I'm not THAT round.

Also watch out for bra straps and socks - our Jean Reno lurves to eat socks
tania From: tania Date: April 28th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, noted! Joe is amused that one of the good points of the Roomba is that it forces us to pick our stuff up off the floor. So is the robot working for us, or are we working for the robot...?
silverdark From: silverdark Date: April 28th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC) (Link)
What is your source of the new Who eps? Not on netflix or hulu that I know of...
tania From: tania Date: April 28th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I just download them through BitTorrent. They air for free (and ad-free) on the ABC network in Australia about a week later, but we don't like to wait.
19 have fought ~ fight the power!