Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010: the year of h

this image has been sitting in a draft 'new year's resolution post' for almost two weeks. while it perfectly depicts how i feel about 2010 and what the year will mean for me, i haven't been able to find the right words to fall underneath.

my solution to writer's block is usually just to type. stop thinking and type. that's what i am doing right now. i hope it works.

i usually make new year's resolutions. i don't sit down and write a list but there's always a few things in my mind that i'd like to achieve and i use the turn of the year as inspiration. why not?

i am embarrassed to say, although i am sure i'm not alone, those resolutions are oft related to physical changes. lose 5kg. find abdominal muscles. etc. surprise, surprise - in 2010 i would like to lose 5kg. but the weight loss is a distant second this time around.

for me, 2010 will be about two things:

my head and my heart

so, you know, just minor challenges.

by now you know i am a little crazy, and there's a whole lot about my head i want to sort out, but ultimately i want to learn how to let go. let go of past hurt. let go of present insecurity.

my heart is a victim of my head. in committing to dealing with my head i imagine and hope my heart will benefit. i imagine and hope my heart will open.

i feel good about 2010. i am excited about the year's potential, my potential. and i have the greatest motivation. another 'h'.


happy new year, team camelshoes. i hope 2010 is one to remember.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

t(w)o three or not t(w)o three?

i'm still fiddling with my layout. you can probably tell. i am basically happy with it but it's not perfect and i am pedantic about this kind of stuff. you should have seen the uni notes i used to produce. talk about your time-waster.

anyway, there will no doubt be tweaks to come but i wanted your advice on one major thing: two columns or three?

right now, obviously, camelshoes is sporting three columns and i think i have the columns widths just about right. i think.

when it was two columns, the width of the entire blog was quite a bit smaller (ie: on a computer screen the size of mine, there was more white space either side of the 'stuff'), the main column was on the left and there was one sidebar on the right.

which did you prefer?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

drum roll please

firstly, apologies to camelshoes. 200 posts and i didn't bat an eyelid. i'm embarrassed to say, just days before posting entry 200, i noticed i was on 199 and vowed to celebrate accordingly when i clocked my double century.

then i forgot. and there's the story of my life.

anyway, i am here now ready to discuss my best of 2009 list. i've shamelessly pinched this idea from snob nicky and altered it to suit. without further ado....

{the year's best stuff, according to me}

best book: yes, i really am going to plug it again. the book thief. read it, read it, read it.

best movie: i'm not big on flicks. i would watch a season of flight of the conchords, scrubs, the office et al before i would commit to a movie. i am actually struggling to think of movies i watched in 2009. as for the best....ummmm, perhaps the reader.

best tv show: it wasn't new to 2009, but it was new to me. the inbetweeners. funny shit. on this topic, i really miss british television. apologies to my beloved australia, but we're really not up to scratch.

best song: london took me out of the music loop a little. seems silly given the plethora of live music at london's fingertips. but i traditionally discover music loves on the radio and i traditionally listen to the radio in the car. no car in london. since returning to oz, triple j has reunited me with fantastic music and right now i cannot get enough of home by edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros, little lion man from mumford and sons and dan sultan's letter. and it would be remiss of me not to give boom boom pow a commercial thumbs up. drop the beat now.

best album: i was introduced to this album in 2008 so i am totally cheating but i cannot go past girl talk's feed the animals. it was definitely my 2009 soundtrack.

best destination: paris. je t'aime. closely followed by salzburg.

best trend: shoulders. who would have thought?

best story: michael jackson. to clarify, i don't mean to imply the news of his death was the best, just the fascinating way it was covered. i couldn't stop reading about it.

best blog find: i can't really complain about this being too hard because i put it here. it just seems kind of relevant. there were lots of new blogs i took a liking to in 09. a huge kudos to seema for her drive and courage kick-starting side street, sydney. five stars to tavi the style rookie for displaying words and style exceeding her tender years. and eternal gratitude to matthew at fuck you, penguin for his sublime combination of hilarity and originality.

{what about you? any standouts in 2009?}

Monday, December 21, 2009

mandatory christmas photo

A big, fat Merry Christmas readers.
I hope you love it and I hope Santa rocks all of our worlds.

Friday, December 18, 2009

look what i made...

...and i'm giving it to rick.

there are these blog awards which float around the interwebbysphereson. they're just random little blog badges which one blogger passes on to another as a mark of recognition.

i don't know how they start. i don't really know how they work. so it's with an air of 'why not?' that i've created the 'love your words' award.

the 'love your words' award will work on a tag-you're-it basis. i'm tagging rick and i'll tell you why in a minute. once rick finds out he's 'won' (i guess i'll tell him by commenting on his blog - if you know a better way, do tell) he will be completely obligated to post an entry of his own informing his readers of one, the recognition, two, where it came from and three, where he is going to send it next.

yes, it's also a pretty good networking exercise.

because i am really good at googling stuff super technologically advanced, i have created a html code which means rick, and all future victors, can put the above badge on their blog - if they so desire. trophies are so 1990s.

have i covered everything?

it's important to note, i follow and enjoy a lot of blogs. sure, it's a great procrastination tool but i also get a lot out of it. i love good stories. i love amazing words. the combination of both completes me.

rick's blog is the first i ever followed. admission: i know rick and he is a friend. but biased i am not. his writing is utterly fantastic and many, many strangers think so too. he will write a book one day. it will be successful. and i will tell everyone it all started with the 'love your words' award (even though it didn't).

tag. you're it, rick. and i look forward to following the domino effect.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

i'm not crying. it's just been raining...on my face

it is with great sadness that i bring to your attention the retirement of flight of the conchords.

here's a little something to remember them by. it's a favourite scene of mine and mike's. we laugh almost daily at the five seconds of deadpan brilliance from 3 mins 38 secs.

"oh no, do you?"

"yes, we do."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

giving: it really is a gift

inspired by karls, i am going to tell you all a little christmas tale. a tale of love. a tale of generosity. a tale of what-the-fuck-kind-of-christmas-present-is-this?

disclaimer: i love, respect and very much miss my late grandparents.

moving on.

when i was young, and my sisters were younger, we were the envy of our friends come december. they would come over to play but instead be transfixed by the mountain of presents sitting under our tree.

i couldn't blame them. it was spectacular. the pile was as high as it was wide and it was pretty wide. so many presents.

but while our friends stood in awe, we remained apathetic for we knew what was in store for us come christmas day.

most of the presents were all from our grandparents. our loving, generous grandparents. no, i am serious. but if there was ever a case of quantity, not quality, this is it.

i once got, among other things (many other things), a top which still had the price tag on it. it had been reduced from $49.99 to $39.99. from $39.99 to $29.99. from $29.99 to $19.99. and lastly, from $19.99 to $9.99. talk about your bargain hunters.

but middle sister was the lucky recipient of the most memorable gift. or gifts. again among many other things, she had the thrill of unwrapping...wait for it...waaaaait for it...a packet of 1000 cotton buds.

yes. cotton buds.
even better: for her birthday the next year - which is in JANUARY - she was delighted to score five packets of 100 cotton buds. they were individually wrapped too which just added to the fun.

i can't say i remember her having particularly waxy ears. or a baby with lots of snot. and what the hell else to you do with cotton buds?

oh, now i see.

to be honest, at the time it annoyed us. we were young and we were brats. but as we got older, it got funnier and now i am glad i have such a memory. the bottom line: they cared enough to think of us every single time they spotted a mean deal. it's sweet. and it scored me heaps of electrical tape over the years.

Monday, December 14, 2009


i don't like when the entry proceeding a blogtography monday post is a blogtography monday post. alas, that is the case today. i guess it's been a busy week. december always kicks my arse. with my christmas shopping almost complete, i am going to try to do better this week.

meanwhile, this photo makes me smile. it also makes me want to travel. it also makes me envious of her clothes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

all i want for christmas is for no one within ear shot to play mariah carey

dear santa,

i've been heaps good this year. on to a completely non-related matter, i want these things:

{clue: it ain't from kmart}


so i can make lots and lots and lots of:

away from the kitchen, i'm thinking:

that's season two for those playing at home. plus:

because mine is crap.

Merry Christmas xx

ps: i'm out of liquid eyeliner. *ahhhstockingfillerchoo*

Thursday, December 3, 2009

now i'm in love with two rangas

this is nonja. she's 33. has red hair. loves photography and throwing her own poo.

nonja's camera dispenses raisins. bonus.

her photos of her mates and surroundings at a vienna zoo are the bomb dot com.

i particularly like this one.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

de ja vu

i've thought about disowning my sister. i mean, she's fun. when we're not fighting like passionate sisters do, we get along like a proverbial house on fire. but she didn't rate the book thief and that's just not on as far as i am concerned.

you might recall, although you more likely don't, that i billed this the best book in the history of the world a while back. this will jog your memory. nothing's changed. it still rocks my world. i talk about it often. i don't see that changing any time soon. **
the reason i am bringing this up again is not to bore you. promise. it's because i am testing the blog this waters to see if it's something which works for me. fyi, blog this is a network for australian bloggers and offers weekly inspiration by way of post topics, this week's topic, you might have guessed, is basically 'most memorable book of 2009'.

i like to mix things up.i've displayed that here with the cunning use of the 'upload-a-different-cover-to-last-time' method.

easy. no contest. the book thief by markus zusak. and i've read some pretty damn memorable books so far this year. in fact, the book i read immediately before the book thief, a thousand splendid suns, had replaced the lovely bones as my favourite only to topple weeks later.

and, realising favourite is not necessarily a synonym for memorable, night by elie wiesel - an utterly harrowing memoir of the holocaust - must also be among the unforgettable.

but the book thief...i just fell in love with those words.

i read only today, while looking for that picture up there, that the book thief was marketed towards the young adult demographic. i scoffed. unacceptable. you cannot pigeon hole this book. it is, without doubt, for anyone.

the book thief is narrated by a cheerful, affable, amiable character who the reader meets very early. that narrator is death. and there it is, page 4, the reason i love this book. zusak starts, progresses and concludes outside the square. his risks, and there are many, pay off making for not just an amazing read, but an inspiring one.

set in germany before and during world war II, you'd be forgiven for assuming the book thief would be graphic or heavy, especially considering the grim reaper is telling the tale. and while death and dying are major themes, zusak's words work in such a way that there is little to feel uneasy about. you will, in fact, likely empathise with death as a down-trodden employee working for the man.

literature itself is celebrated in the novel and forms the foundation of a number of key relationships. the friendship formed between protagonist liesel meminger (a young girl, endearing but feisty) and max vandenburg (a jew who liesel's foster parents are hiding in their basement), for mine, one of the most touching.

shall i go on? i could. i really could. i could talk about the book thief all day. but it's no good reading what i thought. just get your hands on a copy. sink your teeth in. and if you don't love it, don't tell me or i'll have to disown you too.

**enter. enter. enter enter ENTER. it won't work. i don't know why, but it's not doing my OCD any good at all.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

monday 23 nov: possibly the worst ever (in melodramatic land)

i woke up with the remnants of sunday's outrageously painful hangover. it was a delightful combo of throbbing headache and mild depression, having somehow been so drunk that i threw up for the first time in more than two years. shame. i truly detest crossing that line. but the 'episode' was at home and in the bathroom so kudos there. and, as i told myself while watching the day's champagne, beer and red wine intake (and there's your problem) flush away, it had to be good for the weight loss.

in the adding-insult-to-injury department, the UTI (google it) which popped by on saturday also lingered. i'm not sure why i feel it's okay to tell you that, but there you go.

so, ouch in the head. ouch in the *coughvjaycough*. awesome start to the week.

i left the house for work at 815am. i am staying with a friend for the next couple of weeks and this was the first time i had made the journey from her suburb to my place of employment. i was giving myself an extra 15 minutes for 'justin'.

i spent the next five to 10 minutes trying to find the car. the boy was the last one to park it. his detailed "it's-just-down-that-street there" directive was accompanied by a misguided finger point. well, that's my memory of the convo. his was different, and his brain was working a hell of a lot better than mine on sunday. still, i am probably right.

i tried to call him for specifics. my phone was dead. i wandered up and down wrong street for five minutes. changed tact. found correct street. found car.

not the best start to my journey but i still had enough time to be at work by nine - if i managed a flawless trip. i didn't.

my friend's directions were quite likely perfect but they were delivered to me the night before. my poor fried brain was, let's face it, not listening. i nodded along while telling myself i would call her in the morning when i had the map in my hand.

as you'll recall, dead phone.

so i tried to map the route myself. thought i'd done okay. proceeded.


at about 930am, i found the southern cross drive exit - southbound. wrong direction. at this point, i am still about five minutes' drive from my starting point and already half an hour late for work.

of course, i can't call work. dead phone. i can't call mr direction, whoever that may be. dead phone. and i can't use google maps. DEAD FUCKING FUCKED PHONE.

my anxiety was hitting the roof. my inexperience in sydney traffic was not helping. the inability to pull over, collect myself and reroute the trip only added to the stress. i mapped out another route in stop-start traffic. i cannot believe harry the yari survived. i opted for parramatta road via botany. i know parra road. i figured it may not be the most direct, but it would at least work.

driving in sydney. fun for the whole family.

anxiety needles were still burning my skin but i was travelling sweetly along botany all the same. but wait, what's this? a FORCED FUCKING EXIT OFF BOTANY ROAD. FUCKING FUCK SHIT FUCK.

calm the drama. the exit wasn't nearly as bad as expected. i found parra road and arrived at work a mere two hours after leaving the house. and just 75 minutes after i planned to arrive.

so, bad day, huh? read on.

my head was still ouch. 'she' was also still ouch, getting oucher. i needed coffee but was petrified of weeing.

lunch time arrived. dear god, please can this day go faster? i decided i had the time to spare to head to the RTA. i bought a car last week and have to register it within 14 days. i had not yet had the time to duck out during my lunch break so i thought i'd take advantage of the spare moment while i could. i got in car and then realised the boy still has my license in his wallet from the weekend's activities.

i just sat there for a while. i needed a breather. i decided i'd go for a drive anyway although i am not sure why i thought reuniting with sydney roads was a good idea. i found a chemist which was a bonus because i needed 'stuff'. during the five minute period i was out of my car, the sky had opened. it was absolutely pouring and i was umbrella-less. there was a crowd under the awning, waiting for a break in the downpour but i didn't have that kind of time to spare. i hot-footed and made it to my car. looking like a drowned rat. feeling like a drowned rat

so, back at office, still drowned-rattyish, i tore off a 'medicinal sachet' to help calm the ol' UTI. i have done this so many times before. but this time was different. this time it ripped open and spewed pink crystals everywhere. i am still sweeping them off my desk, out of my handbag.

i laughed at the same time as i cried. this day was not going to end without a tantrum. i had to go home.

anxiety was rife before i even saw harry. would there be a repeat of the morning's performance? the nerves didn't evaporate but i did seem to be doing well. mind you, i spent about 15 minutes marking every page required and writing the corresponding page number on the printed off whereis directions. about 30 minutes in, and just a few more from 'home', i was slammed in the face with a decision i had no time to make. i veered right. if you'd like a prize for guessing which way i should have turned you can FUCK RIGHT OFF.

oh look, sydney airport. great. just what i need to fly the FUCK OUT OF THIS FUCKING CITY.

luckily for me, i went in such circles that morning i stumbled upon a street i recognised. via an unbelievably roundabout route, i made it. i finally fucking made it to the front door.

and you know how it's not until you reach your front door and can't find your keys in the abyss that is your handbag, that you feel the overwhelming need to wee? i was running on the spot like a mad women which, in turn, made it even harder to find my keys. i am sure i pulled every single item out of my bag twice before i found those keys. and why did i put them back in my bag in the first place?

i made it up three flights of stairs just in time. but wouldn't pissing myself have been the perfect way to end the day?

of course, i didn't get to enjoy that peeing-when-you're-busting feeling because i was still peeing razorblades.

there was nothing better than waking up last tuesday. a brand new day, ladies and gentlemen. a brand new day.

i couldn't post this last week. computer probs. i think my peripheral ports were all out of whack. and sorry for the personal joke but, trust me, it's hilarious!

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