Casual Friday Breakfast III - Plus Plus Plus

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It’s cold and suddenly I have way less options when it comes to breakfast. Too icy in the morning for smoothies, not enough time before work to make something hot, no particular preference for porridge. The pantry of winter is full of ghosts: memories of summer, strange fruits are in season. Winter is a time for cereal.

The first day of Winter was the day I decided I would create the ultimate bowl of Plus. It was Winter, or me saying to the Woolworth’s catalogue “Oh, Weet Bix Crunch is three dollars this week” and Vanessa overhearing and reminding me that there were seven boxes of Uncle Toby’s Plus in the cupboard which I’d convinced her to buy a few months ago and then never opened.

Whatever the reason, the time was right. It had been months since I first had the brilliant idea to apply advanced mathematics to breakfast and sum all the pluses. I like Plus, but it’s almost always been a garnish for me. Something to tip on the top of a banana or almonds or oats or all of the above. It didn’t make sense for there to be so many different options. Why did I have to choose between reducing my risk of cancer and improving my cholesterol? What happens if I spent all evening at the gym, but spent the rest of the day eating candy (the Lamar Odom diet)? What if I was going to play sports that day, but also wanted to wear my pink jumper to the shops? Why would I ever eat Muesli Plus and forsake all of the above?

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Casual Friday Breakfast presented my chance to combine seven cereal types in one bowl. Here they are all in a row. A series of cereals. Sports Plus is missing because I threw away the box, but there was some left in a packet which you’ll see in the bowl below.

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Then I added milk, which I documented in graphic detail, with HD, slow motion zoom if you roll over, because obviously I have been watching too much NBA on ESPN this past month.

Then I added milk, which I documented in graphic detail, with HD, slow motion zoom if you roll over, because obviously I have been watching too much NBA on ESPN this past month.

Seven cups of cereal and about half a litre of milk. I knew it would take me about an hour to eat. After that I was outfitted for anything the day could throw at me.

Seven cups of cereal and about half a litre of milk. I knew it would take me about an hour to eat. After that I was outfitted for anything the day could throw at me.

Cons: Negatives first, this was a lot of food and took all of sixty seconds before everything tasted the same. The only exception being the dried berries in the Essentials for Women Plus that brightened up every seventh spoonful. Maybe I’m not used to cereal when it doesn’t have Weet Bix beneath it to absorb most of the moisture. Even though I was incredibly full half way through eating it, I was still considering adding some Two Fruits and maybe some Weet Bix.

Pros: Where to start? My muscles felt good. I didn’t die from cancer. I only needed three squares. I had great focus. I didn’t even need coffee for some reason. Work today ended up being extremely frenetic and I was able to concentrate on several important tasks at once without having to worry if I had to take my fish oil.

Improvement in Productivity: I achieved a lot in the seven hours following breakfast because I didn’t have to worry about finding anything to eat again during that time.

Casual Friday Rating: Three working from home and having time to put a load of washing on so that you didn’t have to waste ten minutes of your weekend to do it out of five.

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The woman with the fake tan stepped into my office, sat across from my desk and lit a cigarette.
At least, she would, sometime in the next 20 minutes. Smelling the future has advantages, but precision isn’t one of them.


Today I realised that eight months have passed since I updated my journal with a single sentence.


I've been writing down my life's adventures and mishaps for a decade now. That proves I'm a fan of nostalgia. Obviously, I revel in it. If nostalgia was an unattended kiddy pool filled to the brim with freshly picked raspberries then I would be rose coloured head to toe and permanently immune to scurvy.

Nostalgia is a scary, powerful emotion capable of making any past experience in your life seem like it was great. Even if it was actually terrible. Sometimes you even feel bad that you no longer do things that you didn't really enjoy the first time. For example, sometimes I feel nostalgic about my time as a nightfiller. When I reflect on my evenings of shelf stocking everything seemed so fun. It was all joking around with bros, accidentally breaking packets of biscuits and then gorging on them, and pranking the day staff. When I'm reflecting do I dwell on the memories of stocking and then rotating all those fucking millions of tiny tins of fucking cat food? Every night? No, I don't. I mean seriously, how many freaking cats were there in Blackwood? Tins of tuna, actual tuna for humans was cheaper than that cat food. And don't get me started on baby food, equally tiny but also in glass jars that for some Goddamn reason they could never quite make the shelves the right height for.

This kind of nostalgia, where you have good feelings about something that was really only average is what I refer to as "hindsight nostalgia". I don't really miss trying to work out the differences between pickle jars while my boss stands a metre away from me telling me to hurry up. What I miss is immaterial things. Feelings, like independence, and making money regularly without any real bills to pay. I miss the new-found confidence I gained from learning to interact with society and occasionally guiding someone from society to the correct aisle where the thing they wanted was. I miss the endorphins that came from completing manual labour.

At the time I didn't consciously appreciate these concepts or how they applied to me until after I had matured beyond them. Subconsciously, however, reward centres in my brain must have been triggered, because things that make you grow as a person seem to make you associate the events of those times with good memories. Even if really, those events are something that you shouldn't try to repeat.

And that's why sometimes I smile when I look up at the capping in the local supermarket. Or when I find my old name tag in a box of knick knacks. Or when I smell fresh raspberries.

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It's 2012, and while power outages happen less frequently now than they did before, they still happen. Nothing makes you feel more like you're living in the 1800's than a blackout at night.

After our power went off at 8:30pm I suppose I could have been like the rest of Sydney, crying out in anguish as their flat screen TVs flickered to black, moaning in the streets, blaming the state government. Instead I realised the silver lining, and I settled in on the couch to read a book with my kindle app. And then I thought to myself "I could go a cup of tea." Too bad the power's off, oh wait no it's not, because we have gas and a saucepan! I am the smartest fucker alive.

As I poured the boiled water into my mug by torchlight I felt superior, because I know for sure that in a post-technological future (or, in event of time-rip, past) I will excel. I felt so good about this that I wrote this all out on my smartphone so I could post it on my web journal. Then my phone went flat. Then I was bored. Then the power came back on. Longest fifteen minutes ever.

The First Week of June

Winter came a different way that year. There was no gradual change, no overlap of seasons. Whatever heavenly council had ruled to keep the skies blue, the clouds whispy and the sun bright indefinitely. It had been a mild summer prior and life took on a certain, expected reliability. Complacency developed. The tiniest shower was news; a frosty morn cause for complaint. And then winter finally arrived.

When winter came it was not like a thief, unannounced. Winter arrived like a circus coming to town. The day began like all those before it, the chirp of birds as the sunrise shooed away the clouds. The shadows shortened, the air was still and dry. A crack of thunder was like a trumpet, breaking the silence, and then came the parade. A wind led the way, spreading the word. Behind the wind came the clouds. Gigantic, black blankets that hung over the rooftops like Thanksgiving day balloons. Then came the rain, faces appearing at all the windows that lined the streets to watch it swirl in sprays.

The darkness followed these, the sun sucked away in an instant like a conjurers illusion. In the darkness came the accessories. Acrobats carrying umbrellas, countless clusters of them balancing on narrow strips of dryness between huge expanses of water. They performed their choreographed dance, following the same steps, seeking the same shelters, sipping similar soups. Lights flashed green, then red, then green again and the performers danced as if in fast forward, dodging drips, disappearing into doorways and ducking downpours.

Then the night took control of the show, a hint of the coming finale: the last float, the end of the parade. Everyone held their breath as it rounded the corner. It was the cold. The children cried out. The cold came and it stayed. That’s when we knew that winter had arrived. In that first week of June, that’s when we realised what we had thought was winter had only been autumn.

Symbolic Symbolism

There's a technique in cinematography known as 'The Pullback Method'. What it entails, essentially, is that a scene starts with the point of view zoomed in on something small. Some dramatic music plays and really slowly the camera zooms out to reveal the scene.

The sweat pasted brow of Shannon 'The Cannon' Ford, glistening.

It's usually pretty hard to get a good nickname. Shannon "The Cannon" had one of the best I'd ever heard. When we were kids at school all he ever wanted was an awesome nickname. And he wanted one that rhymed. He had a fifteenth birthday party and invited all his friends and told us all we shouldn't buy him any gifts under any circumstance. At the party he sat us all down and explained that the only present he wanted was a nickname and we could all save our money if we just gave him one and stuck to it. We agreed. The only rhyme with Shannon we could think of was cannon.
For thirty years he's been The Cannon, and despite his lanky frame, glasses and slight social awkwardness, his nickname is still cause for reverence and mystery amongst everyone he meets who doesn't know the origin. In reality it's doubtful whether The Cannon is capable of shooting any heavy objects at high velocity, or for that matter any other acts of above-average strength. But that's the thing about The Cannon, when he wants something, he simply works out how he's going to get it, and then he gets it.
This explained how we got to where we are now.

The Cannon's face staring blankly back at me, eyes bulged, unfocussed.

There comes a point in life, for some, when you realise that you're lonely. For The Cannon this had come a few Sunday afternoons ago when he was using his tongue to hunt the last few drops of soup that lingered near the bottom of the bowl. It was a sunny afternoon outside, but inside that living room there was a cold air that even a well-worn dressing gown couldn't block. When you realise that you've already seen the same decade old, feel good, Sunday afternoon movie from the same seat in the same pyjamas, something happens to a person.

'I'm lonely,' said to us the man with house walls decorated by sixteen designer prints and one photo of his mother.
These two words had been preceded by a good deal of poignant silence, to seem prolific. Unfortunately a crowded, noisy bar isn't the best place for such important revelations to be made and the words were not heard. Instead, they capitulated downwards, splashing into The Cannon's glass and sinking gently into its pale depths.
'What?' I mouthed, loudly.
The Cannon looked forlorn, staring into the woodwork and willing himself to become stuck inside it. Ryan, a potential background character up to this point, glanced at me with a 'there's something wrong here and we should do something about it' look that I would swear he'd stolen from my wife. I was surprised he'd managed to find where she hid it. There wasn't time to ponder though, as something was quite clearly depressing The Cannon and it was the duty of Ryan and me to find a solution. The two of us began looking by quickly finishing our beers and then wordlessly took a guard of honour on either side of The Cannon and walked him from the pub and out onto the snowy streets.

In the background a drunken Asian man emerged from the dance floor, scavenged the last half of The Cannon's unfinished glass and swallowed down its contents. A second later, he choked.

We staggered along the slippery sidewalk, the three of us, trying to make sense of our foreboding dispositions. It certainly felt to me that something significant was in the process of occurring. We discovered a local park and lumbered up some narrow steps into a gazebo to shelter from the cold in the shadow of the city's clock tower. The night wasn't still young, but it wasn't old. It was middle aged; having gone past what it was originally trying to achieve without much success, yet with still enough time to try something new. In the background, to signify some dramatic effect, the clock struck one with such unnecessary force that the digit rocked visibly before tumbling to the ground and plonking into the snow.
The Cannon moaned sadly, quietly. The kind of moan a mother lion would make if its litter had been trampled by wildebeest during a stampede. He was suffering a pain that wasn't physical, but hurt like it was.
'I've wasted my whole life,' he told us, 'I've achieved nothing.'
Ryan and I looked at each other, confused. When you go into town for a night out you don't really bring with you the tools required to defuse a personal crisis. The situation was unreal.
'No man...' I consoled him.
'No' echoed Ryan.
'...I mean, not nothing, there's got to be at least one or two small things you can say you achieved.'
'No,' The Cannon stammered stubbornly, 'Nothing!'
The seconds passed with nothing left to say. Everybody looked at the floor.
'So...' started Ryan, the yellow canary of awkward silences. Nothing. More minutes passed.
'So what will you do about it?' I asked him.
'Don't know!' he pouted.
'Stop being so childish!' I scolded, rapping him across his knuckles with a ruler.
'I want to fix it. If I could have my time again, I would do everything differently.'
'Such as?'
'All those things that I didn't do, I would have done, and I wouldn't have done the things that I did. I would play with Lego more as a child and read more books as a teenager. I...' The Cannon's head began to rise with his imagination powered conviction. 'If only I could have my time again!'
'You can,' whispered a sultry female voice from behind. We all turned to look at the stairs to the gazebo where a dark woman in eastern-attire was gliding towards us. 'It is not too late.'
I stared at her and it dawned on me, messily. It trickled through my hair onto my shoulders and down my arms. I grabbed The Cannon by the elbow.
'You want to change your life?' I asked him. He nodded dumbly. 'Well think about it: what have you been doing wrong so far.'
'Wasting my time.'
'Right, and now you want to know where all that wasted time goes.'
'Well, I know.'
'You know what?' asked Ryan, fighting against the annihilation of becoming a background character.
'I know where all the time goes.'
'Where?' asked The Cannon.
'It's about a ninety minute drive down the highway. There's a huge storehouse there. That's where they keep time. I've seen it on the way home from some of my trips out south.'
'And if we go there I can get my time back?' The Cannon was optimistic now.
'Yes,' purred the lady, 'Your friend is correct.'
'Well, let's go!' cried The Cannon.
'Now hold on,' Ryan said, being the realist, 'we can't just drop everything and leave for a road trip. I mean, fuck, yeah, road trips are awesome, but we've got to be responsible. We don't even have a car here!'
'I'll drive,' she said, 'we can take my car. It's a Lexus.'
We all agreed.
'No shit,' I told her, 'You're the best guiding spirit ever.'

Two high-beams cut into the night. The resulting ribbons of darkness fluttered to the ground and settled before they were blown apart again by the speeding Lexus and back into the night.
In the back seat there was a clink as Ryan and I celebrated the beginning of the road trip with a drink. Outside the scenery flew by, always in the opposite direction to us. The rain fell intermittently, first light, then heavy, like our evening. The windscreen wipers swiped clumsily at drops of water before being overpowered by streams of rain. The resulting symphony played in harmony with the synthesiser and string. The balance remained as we drove further. Around us the houses began to thin out and started hiding behind hills and knolls. The trees started forming packs and growling at us. The road was becoming wider and darker, windier and colder. I shivered.

In the front seat, The Cannon had sobered up and become more serious. He sat up in his seat, determined. The dark rings beneath his eyes revealed how fatigued he was. The initial excitement of the trip was wearing off, and the weight on his shoulders was crushing him into the leather seats. He sighed.
'Are you worried?' she asked him.
'A little.'
'You seem tired.'
'I am tired.'
'Why don't you sleep more?' The question was an innocent one, with no hint of malice or a darker understanding of the true meaning of the word, just the literal interpretation.
'I sleep too much,' he responded. 'You can't take everything literally.'
He sunk further into the seat, the leather stretched and squealed. He could feel the metal of the car floor through the now thin lining. The circles under his eyes grew darker.
'What makes you so tired then?' she inquired.
'Wishing, mainly,' he chuckled dryly; a respite from the rain.
'What do you wish for?'
The Cannon tried to smile, enjoying the attentions of an attractive woman, but the subject matter at hand was too bleak.
'For a lot of things really: a better life, the undoing of mistakes, for companionship.'
'Is that all?' There was a small pause; a silence developed which was draped over the internal argument. Quietly, it was lifted again:
The Cannon said, 'I spend most of my days wishing I was never born.'
'Oh,' she stated, as if the answer had been expected but had still caught her off guard, 'no wonder you are so tired, if you spend all your day wishing I can hardly imagine how you have time to do anything else.'
'I find ways to deal with it. I don't sleep much. My bed is too cold,' his shoulders slumped as he talked, being crushed. The seat cracked and split and he slipped through it now, resting on the cold steel of the car's undercarriage. That too began to strain. She furrowed her brow in worry and placed her hand on his knee to comfort him. He sat up straighter, 'but there are ways to keep sane,' The Cannon said.
The seating returned to normal.
'Like what?' she asked. He didn't respond. She put her hand back on the steering wheel.
After a moment, he spoke. 'It's embarrassing...'
'It's ok, I won't laugh,' she smiled coyly, in a way that seemed familiar and warm, 'Tell me.'
'I try to find a better place. Somewhere I can feel happier, where harsh reality can't bring me down...'
She watched him talk, waiting for him to go on.
'... I don't really... I don't think you understand me.'
'No... I understand you.'
For the first time today, The Cannon smiled. They smiled together.

For the other senses: the aromas of bouquets, a low hum of excitement.
The Cannon's palms clasped together. A unique smile on his face. His head turned to watch.

The Cannon was not smiling. The driver's door opened and he watched longingly as she gracefully seated herself behind the wheel.
'That should give us enough fuel to get there easily,' she told us, starting the car cleanly at the same time. We drove off.
'Good, I'd hate it if we encountered some major problem just as it seemed our objective was in reach,' I said. Ryan looked over at me and I closed my mouth before I said anything else. We both were encouraging The Cannon to keep up the conversation with this woman, so we returned to our own world in the back seat.
'Is there anything else we need to worry about?' he asked, 'anything else that might prevent us from getting there?'
'Do not despair,' she said to him, unworried, 'the journey is never easy, but it is always achievable. We will make it to our objective'
'It seems all my journeys never go to plan,' he complained, 'they always start well enough but before long everything seems to go wrong and it becomes hopeless. I always give up after that.'
She smiled sympathetically at him.
'Life is tough.' She glanced over at him, keeping the car straight.
'Is it?' he asked, unconvinced. 'I don't find it hard, I find it repetitive. Every day is the same.'
'Doesn't that make it hard?'
'Why would it?'
'It just seems it would be challenging trying to do everything the exact same way every day. I know I wouldn't be able to do it, I'd want to break out of the cycle.'
'What!' His tone rose aggressively. 'No! I don't try to do everything the same way every day, that's just the way it happens!'
'How hard could it be to do something different?' She shot back.
'That's not what I mean.'

The windscreen wipers picked up their pace to match the torrential rain now falling. They gained on it and took the lead. We watched their celebratory dance on the windscreen. The downpour did exactly that. The whole car shrunk smaller as a cacophony of water spilled onto it. The roar drowned out the music; its last bubbles barely made it from the speakers to the surface.
We built up enough speed and drove into the night, hitting it head on and facing no resistance. It now surrounded us. We drove on.

A wide yawn broke the silence.
'We're almost there,' she said.
'I can't stay awake much longer,' muttered The Cannon, 'but my mind is racing.'
'What's in your thoughts, sweetie?'
'I can't stop thinking about all the things I'm going to do when I get my time back.'
'Like what? What do you regret most?'
'So many things... but mainly... there was this girl...'
'Ah,' she chuckled a little, 'who was she?'
'Her name was Susie-May.'
'Tell me about her.'
'I loved her,' said The Cannon.
'I should never have let her go. She said, "do you want me to stay?" and I said "It's up to you" and she said "I'll stay if you want me to" and I said "go".'
'You wish you'd said "stay"?'
'Every day I wish...' His lips curled. Wishes were a bitter subject.
On the horizon we could see it: the tip of our destination. As we drove closer it came into view. It was magnificent, though difficult to make out against the dark night sky. Lightning flashed around it helpfully, illuminating its enormity. It stood sixty stories tall; a giant, round silo sticking straight up from the ground. Other than a few sheds and small buildings around it there was nothing large nearby, making its size more obvious. There were warning lights embedded on the sides to keep planes from flying too close. We turned down an access road and headed towards it. She parked the car beneath its presence. We got out and looked up, craning our necks back to see to the top and gaining nothing but awe and vertigo.
Ryan and I started looking around to find the entry; the other two were behind. From the corner of my eye I saw The Cannon reach for her hand. In the rain they followed us hand-in-hand as we circumnavigated the huge, concrete mountain in search of a door.
It didn't take long before we were passing through two well maintained automatic doors. Inside the lobby was warm and well lit. Clean, rarely used couches sat against the wall next to pot plants all designed to match the interior decoration. At the desk sat an elderly man in a blue security uniform. He gave us all a welcoming smile. I put mine in my pocket. He looked like he'd been expecting us.
The Cannon glanced at his watch.
'Good morning,' he said to the guardian, 'how are you?'
'I'm well,' he nodded in response. The Cannon nodded back, and then he spilled the pleasantries.
'Look, I want it back,' he begged. 'Please, let me have it back. I'll pay you. I'll do anything if you give it all back to me.'
The guardian smiled sympathetically, his eyes showed mournful bemusement.
'I'm sorry... you can't. it just can't be done.'
The Cannon turned around to face us. He looked to his guiding spirit for assistance, but she was nowhere to be seen.
'No!' he cried, 'don't leave me!'
Her voice filled the air:
'I've brought you this far, now it's up to you.'
The Cannon looked around desperately, not moving.
'Jesus, Shannon, I'm not going to leave you. This isn't fucking Star Wars.' She was suddenly next to the guardian's desk, punching him in the stomach.
Using the distraction The Cannon ran into the lift and Ryan and I followed him. In a panic he stabbed at the close door buttons.
'Go!' she screamed as the doors closed. We watched as the guardian tackled her to the ground. An alarm started shrilling. The lift rose and The Cannon sniffled.

Each of the lift buttons had a corresponding letter next to it. We headed up to level nineteen, which was the second 'F' level. We piled out upon arrival and started running down the dark corridors. Doors lined the walls every few metres. Each solid looking door had a glass window top-centre. Next to each door was a sign. We ran until we found the right one, with the label that said 'Ford, J. – Fordham, W.'.
'This is it,' announced The Cannon, grabbing the handle, 'this is the restart of my life.'
The door handle didn't turn.
'It's locked!' he said, eyes watering in disbelief. We gazed in through the window and could see hundreds of boxes, all tagged with a name. We could see the one that said 'Shannon "The Cannon" Ford' on it. It was the biggest in the room. He banged on the door, willing it to open; half crying.
Footsteps in the distance quickly grew louder as three guards came at us. Ryan and I stepped back, hands in the air. One of them watched us, the other two approached The Cannon and each put a hand on his shoulder. The Cannon bawled.
'I want it, I need it! Please!'
'Come on, please, come with us,' urged a guard.
'No,' the cannon refused, 'I need my time back!'
'Time?' asked a guard, confused, 'what are you talking about?'
'My time is in there. You store time here,' The Cannon told him.
The guard chuckled, unsure of whether he was serious. 'We don't store time here.'
'That's absurd,' said the other, 'Time is not stored here or anywhere. You can't physically store time; that's crazy... it's impossible!'
'You... You don't store time here?' The Cannon moaned.
'No,' said the guard. 'We store dreams here.'
'Oh shit, yeah,' I said. 'They store dreams here, not time, sorry Cannon, I always get them mixed up.'
'Oh...' said The Cannon.

We let the guards walk us back to the lift and they escorted us outside. The woman was standing in front of her car smoking a cigarette. We walked up to her feeling sorry for ourselves.
'They store dreams here, not time,' The Cannon told her.
'Oh honey...'
'I'll never be able to have my time again. I'll never be able to redo all those mistakes. I'm still going to be lonely. I'll always be lonely!'
Susie May opened her arms and hugged him to her.
'Shhh,' she consoled him, 'you're wrong. I'm here for you. I did go, but now I'm back.' She gripped The Cannon tightly and they kissed.
'I told you you'd achieve your objective,' she beamed at him.
Next to me, Ryan shed a tear.
'Well,' I said to him, 'I guess The Cannon found what he was looking for after all.'
'It was worth a trip after all,' Ryan replied.
We stood and watched them embrace as the rain pattered out and the sun began to rise.

Church bells ringing. Everyone's gaze is watching Susie-May walk towards The Cannon. She looks so beautiful, and I'd never seen The Cannon look so happy. I'd never seen The Cannon... Everything flickered. The living room is filled by the sound of ringing bells. He looks out of place, sitting at the altar in an old dressing gown. The Cannon's gaze is faltering. I try to stand by him in support. The room shook and she was gone. They were all gone. The Cannon sat on his couch.
He echoed his own words:
'I try and find a better place,' he told me
The Cannon looked at me for advice; I looked back at him sadly. I told him, 'They store dreams.'
I flickered out.

The Pullback Method is a short story I wrote in the winter of 2004. I never finished it and so never uploaded it. Today I resolved to stop leaving writing unfinished. To reinforce this behaviour I published this old story on as a symbolic gesture. The effect of this, I believe, is that my first novel will be available to read online in Autumn 2020.

Storm Warning

I don’t want to seem like the kind of person who only talks about the weather and whines about the rain. But! In the eleven months I have lived in the Canterbury district the monthly rainfall record has been broken three times! And according to my calculations this month is already on par with the current record for June. All of this rain, along with a little bit of me being man-baby about a sore throat, has made this long weekend a lot more damp and indoorsy than I wanted. We did make an awesome pumpkin soup today though, so there’s that. I actually tried to go for a walk at around sunset this evening but I was poured on. At first I enjoyed the rain, but then I turned skittish about my new phone suffering moisture damage. I wasn’t afraid of the phone being ruined as much as I was afraid of me being too much of a tightarse to have it repaired and deciding instead to use my broken Galaxy S for another two years until my contract expired again.

While I was out walking in my rain jacket my thoughts turned to what life would be like if rain was as ubiquitous as non-rain. What if rain fell almost all of the time, all year long. An inverse-weather parallel world. It would be like that secret, always raining planet in Attack of the Clones, right? I mean, shit! Why do I remember the most useless things from terrible movies... What I meant to meditate on is, what would an always raining planet have meant for humanity as a whole. Would we even be humans at all? Would we be some sort of weird frog people? Was there going to be any point to climbing from the ocean and growing legs if it was going to rain most of the time, and would the sometimes scattered and sometimes torrential beams of sunshine be as discouraging and picnic ruining as rain is to this universe’s humans?

Bear with me as I imagine what life would be like for the frog people. Things like building houses, and electronics, and basketball I think would be completely revolutionised. I’m pretty sure that the frog people’s instinct to watch short, amusing videos on their computers would have driven them to invent their own kind of internet at some point. I can even imagine regular frog persons posting their thoughts on their own kind of frog blog... I was going to write “frog journal” there but the phrase “frog blog” popped out like it might justify this entire entry... Once you moved past the major differences between the two societies I think there would actually be a lot of similarities between us. I’m sure in some dimension right now there’s a frog person updating their frog journal, writing things like “I don’t want to sound like the kind of amphibian who always talks about the weather, but seriously, it was sunny this entire weekend! I didn’t attend any picnics. Worse, I think I’ve caught a cold but I might just need to stop being a man-tadpole about it. Because it was sunny we stayed in all weekend and watched TV. Attack of the Clones was playing on Saturday night, ugh, what a terrible movie.”

Plus Minus

I have eaten a lot of Uncle Toby’s Plus cereal in the the month of June, mainly motivated by fear of feeling guilty for opening food and then wasting it. However, with the weather as cruel as it has been, I have come to appreciate Plus even more than I did before June One’s Casual Friday Breakfast. It’s so cold in our house, and fruit ripens so slowly that buying a hand of green bananas almost feels like opening a term deposit.

I feel I was a bit harsh on the cereal in my original post. I complained that, on its own, Plus varieties seemed to lack a certain something. A platform. Really, this should have been obvious, it’s called Plus because it needs to be added to something. Fibre Plus Weet Bix and a Banana. Sports Plus Weet Bix and Oats. Essentials for Women Plus Weet Bix and LSA mix... Well, you know what I’m trying to say: That Weet Bix is amazing.

I’m now a bit of a Plus connoisseur. For example, I can tell you the difference in flakes between Museli Plus and Antioxidants Plus. I’ve also been thinking a lot about ideas for new Plus varieties. I believe there is a lot of potential for new options in this range based on my winter lifestyle. Imagine, if you would indulge me, Caffeine Plus (husks, dried fruit, muesli flakes and nuggets of dried coffee). Potassium Plus (dried banana and muesli). Glucosamine Plus. Antibiotic Plus (now with real lozenge pieces). Yogurt Plus. Bacon and Eggs Plus. I could go on forever. Wine Plus. Noun Plus. Moisturiser and Toothpaste Plus. Sleep Plus. Weet Bix Plus.

The Galaxy Note is a Very Large Phone

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As proof, witness this photo I took with the aforementioned phone.


There are lots of things you do with your spouse after you’re married, like holidays, work functions and dinner parties. Add to that list “being sick”. That’s what Vanessa and I have been doing over the past week. Who was sick first, and who was sick the most, are up for debate. We’ve both been equally afflicted since the weekend.

Being sick usually makes me miserable, and it makes me feel persecuted and singled out by a cold, horrid world. Being sick as a couple is a lot more tolerable. We can take turns to bring each other soup, compete to see who can land a sodden tissue in a bin on the other side of the room and snuggle under a blanket together. We also give each other advice on what to expect, as we both seem to have a cold or infection that bounces from place to place relentlessly, which I’m guessing is why it has maintained for so long. I’m not sure of exactly where this illness originated from, but I’m pretty sure I caught it on Sydney’s public transport.

Vanessa has been an excellent carer at times when I’ve needed looking after, and I do my best when she’s in need. I think this is the first time we both have been so run down at the same time. While it has mainly been a world of snot and headaches, in a special way, it’s also been a highlight of the marriage so far.

Themes and Repititions

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An enjoyable sunny morning playing Disney Princess Uno with the Nuclear Physicist wife.

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"I Win the series! Now I know how LeBron James must feel right now."


"You're lying," said Miriam.
"I'm not. I saw him {insert smoking gun/obvious reason/evidence things}."

Thanks a freaking lot, handwritten notes.