Wednesday, December 29, 2010

When the clock strikes 12...

So I have never been a New Year's Resolution type of gal; basically because they are rubbish, and I never stick to them, and I tend to argue that time is circular rather than linear so it will all come around and bite me on the arse again anyway (at least, I have been known to use the "circular time" argument when I am running late). I mean let's be honest here: who really thinks that a calendar day can miraculously wipe the slate clean and turn you into that non-smoking, non-drinking, hard-working nun you have always promised yourself you would be? A life-changing experience that makes you reassess things sure, but not a miserable little day which we cram importance into as a way of justifying exorbitant cover charges at our favourite dance venue.

So in light of all that, I am offering up a list of non-resolutions that I can live with, and encourage others to post theirs. In 2011, I will do the following:

  • I will still refuse point-blank to ever get married, and I will continue to avoid relationships
  • I will endeavour to get my assignments done on time, and put in some applications for scholarships to further my education
  • I aim to introduce at least three different hard-core colours to my hair. Front runners include magenta, green and turquoise
  • I will not become a mother (of the non fur-kid kind)
  • I will expand my CD collection by at least 20 CDs
  • I will have a fantastic time in Thailand, and will book another O/S trip
  • I will make all possible endeavours to avoid life-threatening situations
  • I will attempt to stick to vegetarianism, and will cook one meal per week
  • I will continue to avoid Christmas and start trying to get an Australian version of Kwanzaa up and happening, at least at Casa Liddle
So yeah, I can live with those I reckon. What about you?

P.S I hope everyone has a safe New Year's and enjoys themselves. A little mood music; this was a song I played a lot after the accident as it just seemed to fit:

Monday, December 13, 2010

How to overturn filing cabinets in less than 5 seconds

Well, I've done it! I've taken a gigantic leap of faith and after 8.5 years resigned from the University of Melbourne. It's a huge thing for me, and as I was announcing my intention to leave, I think I nearly broke into emotional weeping about three times, and went steely-faced for the rest of it. But I've done it, and despite all of the scenes that are sure to follow, I know I have made a good decision.

So what's next for me? Well, as the title suggests, I am moving on to a career of thuggery, so to speak anyway. In Feb, I will be taking up my new role as the National Indigenous Organiser for the NTEU, and I cannot believe my luck in being offered this opportunity. I just hope I do really really well at it, because I have just under two months before I start and already I'm nervous as hell! But to be paid to do something I am really passionate about (again) within a politically-driven organisation such as a union, and have an opportunity to help change things for the better is just amazing. I am looking forward to the new challenges, and working with a group of people I already like, and I am also looking forward to working so close to the South Melb markets and Max Brenner... :D. I will also be still living this jetset lifestyle of mine, and am really looking forward to meeting a whole heap of Indig colleagues in the Universities across the country. First stop: DARWIN!

I am really going to miss all the students though, and a great number of amazing colleagues. 8.5 years is a long time with any organisation (even if it started as one org, got swallowed by a bigger org, then I moved over to the bigger org a year after) and you make a lot of great connections in that time. But I will still be a student there, and therefore UniMelb will not be getting rid of me that easily. MWAHAHAHAHAHAH!

But first things first: there is a celebration to organise, and a holiday to book in. Catchyas on the flipside!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The curse of the career fringe-ist

So anyway, one of my brilliant ideas this semester was to take up some studies, and it was one of the best ideas I have ever had. Turns out that I seem to have a rather natural predilection for sociology and politics, who'd have thunk it... Problem is, fender-bender happened, brain turned to mush, and essays now on the grand poobah of extensions. I am nearly ready to actually start them (after 10 false starts), but the point of academic writing is for it to be a value-neutral piece, and I don't actually think I'm capable of writing an even remotely value-neutral essay!

Is it actually possible to ever write something without inadvertently shoving a great deal of your own interpretation and personality into it? Is it possible to approach a topic, particularly when you have very strong views about said topic, with a completely blank slate? I know that this is probably why we are supposed to read great big chunks of text books that we are not even remotely interested in, but really, what is the point of writing something which is just full of quotes from other people? How on earth does regurgitating the musings of others contribute to the world of academia, and didn't these people gain a profile in the first place for having original ideas?

8.5 years of working in the industry. 6 years of studying. Yet, still this vexes me. Perhaps there are more value-neutral areas where this concept can work a treat (can't really think of any, but that's probably because they don't feature in my thought-train because I am not even remotely interested in studying them!), but for Soc and Pols, I think it is impossible. And frankly, I wouldn't want it to be possible anyway, because I love the fact that I manage to have opinions on pretty much everything and I was always taught that it is a damn good thing to formulate an opinion because apathy is akin to neural laziness.

Except for white chocolate. I have no opinion on it whatsoever, and can take it or leave it...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Managing the impossible

Sometimes things happen that you know you will never, ever be able to make sense of. Yet for some strange reason, your brain tries to sift through it to see if it can, and, without fail, ends up getting itself in a nice loop whilst it's at it.

That's pretty much been me the past month. It seems it is rather hard to have a high-speed, head-on car crash and then just get back to normal. Work stutters, essays stumble, and you seem to crumble. It's a rather sorry state of affairs, and I suppose this may be my way of actually trying to normalise at least what I can, and see if it can have some sort of flow on effect. I have always been a writer of stuff, but writing anything has taken a back seat for a very long time with me due to a number of reasons, and this is probably also (granted, three ciders have proceeded it) a way to tap into that creative energy again so that it is not stagnating, and starts to pour into those blasted essays! Honestly, I'm an opinionated woman! They really should not be causing me grief!

Anyway, so rewind to the 30/10/10. I had gone out to a friend's birthday in country Victoria, and was on my way back to Prahran for a debaucherous night on the town with some other friends. It was an extremely rainy night in Melbs, which, before this year, I had not seen a good deal of for a long time. So cruising back, at a respectable speed because the roads were dark and slippery, I got stuck behind this clown doing 60km/h in a 100 zone. Muttering under my breath, My Chemical Romance went in the CD player because it just seemed to fit. Finally we turned off the small road onto the Tulla near Sunbury, and an extremely welcome overtaking lane presented itself to me. Finally in front of numbnuts, I drove on doing a much more respectable 85km/hr. Got through Bulla, then the roundabouts near the airport, and was a mere minute or two from the beginning of the Tulla Fwy when I saw the headlights coming towards me and knew there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn't swerve out of the way because there was no room for me to do so; she was in my lane and she was the only one who could fix it.

We hit both doing about 80-90km/h. My car was spun a full 180 degrees into a ditch on the other side of the road before coming to a stop. I think I sat there yelling and screaming at nothing in particular for an entire 2 minutes before I realised it was over, I was still here, and I needed to move. I turned off the engine, took a drag of my cigarette which, despite the crash, I had managed to keep ahold of, tried my door which was sealed shut, and then worked my way over to the back seat. The airbag had gone off and the smell was insanely strong. My face was throbbing, as was my wrist, knee and foot. I grabbed the crochet blanket I had worn to the party as a shawl, wrapped it around my shoulders, then opened the rear, driver's side door, and got out.

My knee felt like it was going to give away whilst I stood there looking at the car. I had some random people come up to me then, asking me if I was okay, and I blabbered on about how she was in my lane and I couldn't move. Some rumours and comments: "she was on her phone", "she has an international licence", "she's denying everything". It just made my head swim. This woman mentioned that the police and ambos were on their way and to hang tight. Coppers arrived first, questioned me, I spieled, they went again. The ambos then came, bundled me in their ambulence. Asked me the same questions again. Cop stuck their head in to breathalyse me. I passed. Ambos told me they were going to take me to the hospital. I insisted that they needed to let me go and grab my bag, but they wouldn't let me so I talked the older bloke ambo into getting it for me. Bag on lap, they strapped me in and carted me off to Royal Melbs ER.

What happened there was probably one of the more depressing nights I've had. I was strapped in a neck brace, and was not allowed to move because they were checking for spinal damage. I was in agony because my muscles had gone out due to shock, and I couldn't release them by moving. Panadeine Forte, an offer of Morphine, another offer of Panadeine Forte. After 10 hours the brace finally came off, and so I checked myself out and sat sobbing in the cafeteria (yep, classy stuff) waiting for a lift home.

Whiplash set in a 1.5 weeks after the accident and two days after I went back to work, and it was horrible. Valium, massage, and another week off was prescribed.

Essays due. Back at work again. Insomnia and anxiety attacks kicked in. Another week off prescribed as well as some good PTSD counselling.

That's the short of it, anyway. I'm getting there and trying to not worry about the essays. The car was absolutely stuffed, so it's bike and PT for me, and despite my insurance coming through I am not in a hurry to replace said car. Just trying to sort it all, slowly but surely...