Yolks on Me

There’s a controversial documentary that, among other contentious suggestions, remarks that an egg contains the nutrients to sustain a growing baby chicken for twenty-one days. And we “eat four of them for breakfast”.
It was at that point this documentary lost its credibility with me. If I want to eat 126 days worth of chicken-forming nutrients in a sitting then I goddamn will, and I won’t feel guilty or sick about it. I’m two metres tall, big brained, warm blooded, and at the top of the food chain. Also, the only thing more diminutive than my size in contrast to the expanse of the known universe is the minute fraction of its lifetime in which I will exist. I should be allowed to eat half a dozen toad in the holes.

I now feel slightly sick about it, but not guilty.

Not A Notable Noting

It feels crazy that it was only five years ago that I received the original Samsung Galaxy Note. Finally, a phone fit for my giant hands. Observations like that were so amazing. I could use my phone to avoid social interactions and like an abort switch it could actually stimulate small talk.

I kept that phone for years, and multiple s-pens, taking it to New York and Auckland. I wrote many journal entries on it. Eventually I came to hate it. It didn't get much support, became super slow. I cashed it in when I upgraded to Note 5. I wasn't sad to see it go. The above nostalgia is rose tinted.

Then the next day, ironically, I was given a “new” on call phone for work. It was a refurbished Note 1. This was 2015. I don't think it was the same one I handed in. It might have been… I didn't look too closely. I forwarded it to my personal phone, left it plugged into a charger, then forgot about it until last month. That's when I was told by work the contract was up. I asked where I should return the phone, they said I could recycle it or keep it.

So I sold it for $50 online. The point is, don't get attached to your phone.

Posted from my Note 5.

Welcome Home

Sadsack Whinging

I've been asked to keep a tendon diary. I need to record the pain and stiffness out of ten, every morning for four weeks. And also note what I did the day before. Could I manage that?
I said, I've kept a journal of far less important things for over a decade, I can handle twenty-eight days.

Tendon Journal, Day 1

I've suffered through chronic pain for so long now that I'm forgetting that the people around me aren't feeling the same way I do. I'm talking about pain that gnaws at you the longer the day goes on, that makes it so you can't find a comfortable position to hold your body in, has you hopping from side to side by 3pm to shift the pressure because you can't sit still. Pain that makes it hard to focus on the words on a screen. Pain that makes you speak short, curt answers to everything even though you don't want to be grumpy. Every single day. For years.

I know, I'm not the only one with lingering injuries, or past trauma. I know that others are dealing with terminal illnesses, or dying in floods, or all of the above.

But it's reached the point now where I'm actually scared of couches. I don't sit on them. If they're soft, or low, my lumbar freaks out. It can take less than a minute to happen, and the inflammation can last for weeks. I avoid chairs too, plastic, wooden, office chairs. Anything firm will compress my hamstring tendon. Everything I sit down on is an investment into future pain. Every walk I take has a future cost.

It's gotten really bad lately. Despite years of resting, stretching, strengthening, icing, medicating, standing, inebriation. Despite paying thousands for physiotherapy, radiology, anti-inflammatories, and ergonomic improvements the pain is so ubiquitous that I feel like I'm losing touch with reality. I’m trapped in its cycle. It’s reached a point where I feel like I have to write about my internal burdens so they don't consume me from within.

I just want to live a normal life as an IT professional who wants to be a writer/photographer/web designer. I need a way to be able to sit at a computer! I'm writing this on my back with my phone.

I'd rather be broke than inflamed, so I attended another specialist appointment today where I was told much of the previous specialist advice I'd been given by other expensive specialists was mis-advised. I was told exercises and stretches I'd been suffering through every day were probably making things worse. Then I was given new stretches and exercises. Was I optimistic then? Or did I want to punch something? (I would never punch something, I'd probably hurt myself.)

Another thing I was told about tendons is that it can take up to 12 weeks before seeing any improvements, and not to give up before then. I left my appointment, the sunset gleaming on the glass of the city. A certain, remembered warmness lingered in in the air. Winter was over. Twelve weeks. The first day of Hamspring.

5/10

Journal Entry

I do like my new toolbox, but I'm not sure there was anything wrong with my old toolbox.

I do like my new toolbox, but I'm not sure there was anything wrong with my old toolbox.

2017 Conversations

Today a particularly potent awkward silence made me say, “Hello acquaintance, how are you today?”
“I'm doing well, Brad. How are you?”
“I'm also not comfortable describing my true emotional state out loud.”
“A cloud passed in front of the sun today, and when I reflexively checked the weather on my phone I noticed that this weekend's forecast is considerably different to today's weather.”
“I also can't leave any buildings without checking the weather online first, and I can confirm your statement is accurate.”
“Thanks for not making this conversation weird.”
“No problems. Once we go our separate ways I might even feel good about the lack of awkward silence. But don't worry, I'll ignore the endorphins my brain generates after successfully socialising by distracting myself with the instant gratification of internet pictures.”

Hodging My Bets

I'm 33, does that mean I can retire now?
If I did, I wonder if I'd be chaired off on my last day. I think we could make it at least as far as the lifts.

Doggy Day Care

This morning I dropped Nash off for her first ever visit to doggy daycare. The moment we walked through the door even Nash was overwhelmed by the big eyes and excited sounds and blur of limbs. And that was just the staff.

Later that morning “Nash” sent me a “Pawesome” text message/essay… I think I should have made Vanessa the contact number...

Hi Dad, it's me Nash! My Pack Leader asked me to send you a text letting you know how my morning at daycare is going!

I have settled in nicely now that I've sniffed absolutely everything and everyone! I've made a new best friend, his name is Leo and he is a terrier mix, whatever that means, all I know is he is super fun!!

Well Leo is bugging me to get back to our game so I better get going, I can't wait to tell you all about the rest of my day when you pick me up later! Hope you have a PAWESOME day, I know I will!!
Lots of love, Nash

I wonder what kind of text she would send if I never came back to pick her up.

Dogs Like To Sniff Butts

Just In Case..

I went down to the river at lunchtime, there were no ducklings.

It's All Head

In the last days of autumn I read a guide to the optimal flavour temperatures for different types of beers. I didn't pay much attention, because at that time of year the optimal temperature for beer was coincidentally whatever temperature it was in my fridge.

It's been a long, cold winter since. Finally, on a visit to the Prancing Pony Brewery to sample their IPA, I realised that letting certain beers warm up a little can make a big difference to how good they taste. For the back half of winter I've been leaving my wheatier beer out for fifteen minutes before drinking. It's still cold, but the edge is gone and the flavours that had been missing during those gloomy months are brighter and punchier.

I walked to work this morning, noticing the buds on the trees. For the first time in a while I didn’t feel the need to stick my hands in my pockets. The wind was still cool, but it wasn’t freezing. The wind was the temperature of a beer left out of the fridge for fifteen minutes. And the breeze in my face was like the first mouthful of a whole summer of flavour.

Dear Cows

I’m sorry that your babies are stolen from you and the male ones slaughtered so that you will perpetually produce breast milk for humans to consume until you die a premature death.

But if you think that’s bad, you should try soy milk in your coffee.

I Are A Author

It's a scary thing to take leave and treat your hobby like a job. That's what I attempted over the past few days, spending hard earned IT industry money on flights and accommodation in Sydney to research and write the chapters of my sequel to Law & Odour, despite no publishers yet showing interest in the original.

Unperturbed by the voice of reason I packed my notebook, pen and phone and set about visiting locations, ordering coffees there and writing chapters. I'm not sure exactly how many words I scribbled, but my thumb, elbow, shoulder and neck are all exceedingly tender now so I believe it was a decent total.

I admit, upon landing I was a little nervous that I would struggle to run with the threads of my prepared plot, which actually could have been a blessing. I would have had concrete proof that I was a terrible artist and I should focus on preventing cloud hosted artificial intelligence from stealing my current job. Instead I have thousands of words needing editing so that they can be compiled into a manuscript, discovered after my death and turned into a mildly successful Netflix series created, edited and starring cloud hosted artificial intelligence.

While visiting, I also attended the NSW Writers Centre's annual Speculative Fiction Festival. There I learnt about the business side of writing, and how to network by standing and staring at successful authors until they felt awkward enough to invite you into their conversations.

And, perhaps the best thing I learnt over the course of my trip was that I shouldn't set my novel in Sydney. San Francisco here I come, either for my next writing blitz, or for my final showdown in Silicon Valley to try and take my job back from cloud hosted artificial intelligence servers.

Mundane Things I Do Poorly - Networking

Some tips/ideas for networking on your own at a conference:


  • Drink a coffee in the corner of a busy room. Avoid eye contact.
  • Read a novel on your phone
  • Go to the toilets and wash your hands with soap multiple times
  • Eavesdrop, then rule out talking to the people you've been listening to in case they accuse you of eavesdropping.
  • Take short walks away from people.
  • Memorize the festival program, the speaker’s bios, and the fire exits map.

Barangaroo

I landed just before lunchtime and caught the train to Barangaroo. The contrast between Adelaide's CBD and Sydney's latest redevelopment is astounding. I feel like there are more jobs in these new buildings than there are in the entire state of South Australia. All the fast food outlets have classy, monotone logos.

As I explored, a business-woman in a stylish running outfit and a full face of makeup jogged past me, sealing a consultancy deal via Bluetooth headset as she reached five kilometres. I remembered why I left.