Twenty-Five Things

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While I unpack my very cluttered new home and truly settle into suburban life, here’s a fun wee post for you.  And the amusing part is that I wrote this, and then I saw all of the “random facts” Facebook posts going up (and have recently posted my own) but I still feel like posting it.  It’s a little bit more “in depth” than a FB list.

 

 

Twenty-Five Random Facts About Me

1.  Despite my small stature, everything on me grows super fast – nails, hair, eyelashes! If I had a specific hairstyle to maintain I’d probably need to cut it every 3 weeks, and at the moment, although my John Freida hairdye lasts until regrowth (rather than other brands that fade quicker than my hair can grow!) I probably need to dye it every 3 weeks as well. I stretch it til 4 for time/financial reasons.

2.  I have my mother’s green eyes and my father’s dark blonde hair (naturally, of course it doesn’t look like that nowadays!)

3.  I think my greatest pet peeve is hypocrisy. I know we’re all guilty of it at times, but it drives me crazy.  This also applies to when friends won’t do for you what you have done/will do for them.

4.  I’m pretty blind. I’m -9.75 or something in one eye, and similar in the other, with an astigmatism. I’m amazed my eyes haven’t dropped out of my face yet.

5.  My main fears are the dark, enclosed spaces and crowds. I often get panic attacks in crowds, or if I am in a small space and can only inhale warm/hot air, or if I am in a room where I cannot see/do not know how to locate an exit.  Oh and the dentist. Not a “it-makes-me-so-nervous-OMG” thing, but a genuine phobia – I had a few traumatic experiences as a child and haven’t been in several years.

 

 

6.  I love planning, spreadsheets, systems, schedules, countdowns, lists, daily challenges, etc.  I don’t always follow through with them all but I love the idea/planning aspect of it all.  Despite how messy my life gets, I crave order.

7.  Due to having many, many US-based friends when I was a teenager and my many visits to/living briefly in the States, I have quite a bit of American knowledge – geography, culture et al.  America just makes sense to me, as messed up as it is sometimes, and if I could have picked another country to naturally adopt as my own, I’d probably have picked it.  I know my way around NYC and San Francisco and a few small east coast towns, and I’d probably be a New Yorker if I had the chance. Though I’d probably prefer to live in one of the boroughs these days.

8.  Scotland has my heart, though. I never thought I’d love it so much and I feel such a connection to this place. I’m probably one of the only people I can think of with a great love for bagpipes. Sorry!

9.  Despite appearing outgoing and exuberant, I am quite introverted: I require a lot of alone time/quiet time to recharge, I hate people pushing themselves into my space, and especially at the office, love to just be left alone to get on with my work.  I’m also not great with new people – I never know what to say and take ages to let go of my natural social anxiety.  I’ve become more introverted as I’ve gotten older.

10.  I’ve never really got coffee. I enjoy a cup with milk/cream and sugar, but I can’t get enthused about black coffee, particular types of coffee, different ways of brewing coffee.  I was always quite happy with filter coffee in the US, and I drink instant most days. Shock, horror! I also can’t have caffeine after 3pm or I won’t sleep, and if I have too many a day, with my low blood pressure my heart will beat itself silly.  I do love a cup of decaf at night, though.

 

 

11.  I trained in classical/operatic voice for many years, and used to be a coloratura.  I could sing those squeaky-up-there notes like Mariah Carey. As you age your vocal cords aren’t as co-operative with the high notes, so I stick to a more standard soprano range these days.  I think with a great deal of rehearsal, I could do it again, and it’s cool to know I had a unique skill, but it’s no longer really necessary for my repertoire.  Fiona in Brigadoon has some high pieces, though!

12.  I could care less what I eat most of the time. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and love my diet coke, but I’m not hugely fussed on new recipes or finding things to cook. I eat to live… I definitely don’t live to eat!

13.  I need to know how things work. It’s all good telling me that the procedure is to do something a certain way, but I want to know why and how it affects everything else, and if I can improve it, I will.  I think I’d seriously go into IT if there wasn’t such a cost/time issue involved in studying for it.

14.  I also think I’d be a good teacher.  I love training/teaching, and never get the opportunity to use the skill – again, I’d need to train and live as a student for the required time, and at this stage in life, I’m sadly not up for it.  Maybe later, you never know.

15.  I love solving problems.  I think every problem has a solution and I’ll do my best to find it.  This is a flaw in my personal life, as I sometimes forget just to listen and try to fix the issue instead.  I always have the best of intentions, though!

 

 

16.  I care a bit much about people.  I worry far too much about the future.  I get hurt a lot by my own disappointment.

17.  I am kinda known for my obsessive love of turquoise. And squirrels. Now everyone gives me turquoise/squirrel-related presents. I’m fine with it.

18.  My middle name is Anne.

19.  I believe in God.  (I also don’t believe in censoring his name and typing G-d, which is an odd habit adopted by the Orthodox Jewry etc as a way of not writing down His name – if it’s not God’s “real” name, there’s no need to censor it…)

20.  I love driving. I love just going through the motions of it. I find taking a long drive fun and love having control of a car.  I also seem to have a strange knack for parallel parking.

 

 

21.  I’ve had… 7 or 8 boyfriends in my 16 years of dating.  My first oh my stars I might die teenage dramatic crush was on my dear friend Chris. Oh the crush I had. It was such cute teen confusion. Now that seems super weird – I love him in a totally different way.  My first true time being in actual love was with my highschool boyfriend, now friend, Tim.  My easiest, simplest, most natural love is Dave.  After nearly 6 years together I still see people in the supermarket that I think might be him and my heart skips a beat with excitement to see him. Seriously. So sickening.

22.  You know that saying, “It’s just like riding a bike”? – Yeah. I’m hopeless at riding a bike. And terrified of sharing the road with cars.  Car for me, thanks!

23.  I have followed a form of kosher eating for about 10 years now, and follow it mainly out of sentimentality/habit than anything now.  Even my Rabbi can’t bring himself to eat pork, but doesn’t feel there are any modern reasons to stick to it.  But when you do something for so long, or in this case, don’t do something for so long, it’s hard to break it. I have had the occasional mixed-meat sausage but the pork aversion is stubborn, though…

24.  I am very logical and find it very frustrating reconciling my logical/creative sides.  It also baffles me when others are illogical and my office appears to be full of them…

25.  I am totally fine with getting older. I do however dream of milestones yet to come.

 

 

Coming up:  New house, a tea review/giveaway and more…

 

 

…xxx

siggrey

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Misunderstood

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I’m a special kind of crazy…

There are a lot of misconceptions about OCD. Sufferers on television or in film are generally obsessed with cleanliness. They turn light switches on and off 17 times. They go in and out of doorways. They always come across as nervous, anxious or twitchy.

While these things do affect OCD sufferers, we’re not all like that. There are so many symptoms and so many degrees.

I do not fuss over cleanliness or order everywhere. Anyone who has been to my bedroom will agree with me there. However, therapists agree that my bedroom is my sanctuary, and that I see it as the one room where I can let go. Throughout the rest of the house there may be clutter, but the clutter is in piles in tidy lines. The food in the fridge is organised and not touching. My paperwork at work is filed and lined up perfectly.

I must eat my M&Ms/jellybeans individually, and in colour order. I either go from darkest to lightest, or alternate the colours, with the colours repeating equally (ie. if I have more brown than anything else, I will repeat that more).

I hate stepping on cracks. I do it, but I hate it. If they are small tiles then damn, I’ll just do it, but if I can avoid it..

I compulsively check that my car is locked, even 3 times in a row. I will go out at lunchtime and before bed and check. I will drive home to check my dryer isn’t on. I will check every window in the house at least twice.

If someone taps a rhythm, I feel compelled to tap it back myself. If I don’t, I hear it in my head for the afternoon.

I have to read a magazine or newspaper in order. Newspapers standard, magazines/TV guide backwards.

I’m a hoarder.

If at a fair, museum or amusement park, I must go through everything in order, so as not to miss anything, much to the frustration of whoever is with me.

My files at work are labelled with letter/number sheets. I have to pull the labels from the sheet in a certain pattern.

I prefer to take the majority of tasks at work myself, as the idea of someone doing it a different way is very unsettling.

I have to cross off the days from the calendar each day.

I am at my worst when I am nervous. My OCD brings with it Compulsive skin picking, which increases when I am tired or anxious about something. I often go into a slight trance-like state while I am doing it, and only really see the damage when I come back around. I often do it without thinking or realising I am doing it.

Hell, I was just doing it then.

But in general, I don’t come across as anxious or nervous most of the time. I’m quite calm and laid back. I don’t wash my hands 100 times a day. I don’t force my obsessiveness on others. I’m not at all punctual. I don’t fuss if someone breaks plans or messes up my kitchen.

I’m just a little off-kilter. A little nutty at times. Ah, I’m just me.

All over update

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..but the songs of my life will still be sung..

My life seems to be in a strange loop at the moment. I’m repeating situations and am back in places I was 18 months ago. The only thing that is steadily changing is my music career, my writing choices, my ideas of what happiness is and will be.

I try to stray away from making this blog seem too dramatic or contrived, but I find myself with a lot of deep thoughts lately. I’m at a turning point, I guess, and the only way I know how to express that is to write down all of these moments where I’m working things out.

I guess what I’m saying is: I’m working things out. I apologise for posts that come out sounding like a highschooler’s journal (that special one she keeps under her mattress).

Musically, I am doing well. The EP is very close to being available, and the launch party is being planned. I sort of let things slide for a while there, as I’d spent so many months working for it, I just really needed to step back. It really is great, and it spurs me on to record an album (which is a possibility for the end of the year, by the way). I’m worried if I take too much longer, people are going to lose interest..

Work is tolling, emotionally and physically. I feel like I’m being pulled in several directions at the moment, and my management and I seem to have very different priorities. I know that I don’t plan on being here forever, so I should just bite my tongue.. but some days it’s harder than others.

A few months ago, I started getting a little concerned about my ever-growing figure and not being able to fit into my favourite clothes. This lead me to SparkPeople, a really amazing site, and I am using it to keep track of everything. It’s harder to exercise in the winter, as I am a runner and most evenings are bitterly cold and dark, but I am looking at swimming more and using a jump rope, as well. It’s hard to bounce back to how I feel I should look, when I’m not dancing anymore or taking the time to walk places. I’d love it to be summer, and I’d run every day. I’ll keep you updated on my progress. My goal is to look the best I can by the time I head over to the US. Slow and steady wins the race.

My folks are in Nice, 3 weeks into their whirlwind tour of Europe+Egypt, and having a great time. Ma loves to call me from wonderful places and brag (it’s something I’m known to do as well), and her last call was from a cruise down the river Seine, on their way to Moulin Rouge for a show. I really hope they’re getting every experience they can out of this trip.

Daniel still hasn’t found a job, but is getting closer. He has a few good interviews lined up, so I am crossing my fingers for him. I want him to be happy, and he hasn’t seemed to be since the move. Renee is doing well, but still hasn’t secured anything permanent, either. So send them good thoughts.

Finn, my new best friend, is scared of the vacuum cleaner. He attacks it like he is protecting us from it, while not noticing that we’re the one holding the long metal tube that he is trying to maul. It’s a fun sight. He is very attention-hungry at the moment, and has taken a great liking to the empty plastic milk bottles that we leave out for recycling. I wouldn’t be surprised if they found plastic in his stomach one day.

Finny

Hi to my new readers. Thanks for popping in!

She will be loved

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I don’t know him really well. I’ve been wanting to, but it just hasn’t worked out. I’ve been chatting to him most of the year. I remember feeling slightly disappointed when I found out he was dating someone in another department at work. It’s not that I wanted to date him, but there is something intriguing about his character.

I walked arm in arm with him one night when we were both tipsy, and I’d bought him cigarettes. I told him in that alcohol-induced oversharing way, that I’d wanted to be friends with him, but was scared off by his girlfriend. He said it wasn’t an issue, and that I should come out again sometime. We haven’t really spoken since apart from our daily hi and bye, and I wonder if he thinks I’m a bit of a dork.


I haven’t seen him in nearly 3 years, but he emails me almost every day and if I slip up in contact, he always drops a note to say hi. He’s 11 years older, but often we seem the same age or he seems younger (I guess it’s that inner child). I’ve known him since I was 13 and I just can’t imagine life without him. Our next visit is nearly 6 months away, but we talk about it every week. It’s nice that someone is excited about seeing me, even when there’s still so long to wait (then again, I’ve waited longer for someone). There’s always that little indication that we could be more than friends someday, but we never take anything seriously. We don’t really take life seriously.


He drives me around, even to places out of his way. He picked me up and took me to the doctor one day after I collapsed at work. I trust him with all the big things, and more importantly, all the little things, that matter to me. He laughs when I’m dirty, groans when my jokes are too terrible for a response. He listens to my songs and sings along in his car. He’ll never really know how much he means to me, cause I’ll never get around to telling him well enough. He’s the one guy I know will never break my heart.


He knows who and what he wants to be, but not quite how to get there. But he works hard at everything he does, even the relationships. He despairs sometimes that he’ll always be on his own, but knows that with me he’ll never really be alone. We get involved in each others’ projects, and feel safe in each others’ company. He backs me up when I feel useless, and I hold him up when he isn’t himself.


He made a big impression on me 5 years ago, and we promised to stay in each others’ lives. He’s sometimes hard work, sometimes it’s effortless. Sometimes we don’t even need to talk to each other to just be around. Things get strained, and feelings have been put through the wringer, but he always tries to make it right, even if he’s very late in doing so, sometimes. He cares most about his family, and lives his life at full roar, with passion; he even drives with passion. He’s the energizer bunny. I try to keep us close, but sometimes I want to be very far, far away.


He’s out there somewhere, wondering where I am. He won’t care that I don’t make much of my life, that I’m all about music and flighty and a big dreamer. He doesn’t care that I’ll probably be broke for years while I work, he’ll support me. He likes coffee in the morning and spending Sundays in our pajamas. He wants 3 or 4 kids, but only when I’m ready. He’s down to earth and sometimes very silly, and strong enough to carry me around. He’s nomadic like me, and never wants to stay in one place for too long. He’ll follow me where I need to go, even if we need to fight over the destination first. He’ll love me. He’ll love my family. He’ll never tell me I’m not good or special enough. And he’ll think I’m beautiful.

Where I’m meant to be

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Every now and then I go into a complete panic about my career. Everyone seems to think I’ve done pretty well and that I’m going to be fine, but if you look at my resume, the last real work I had was August 2004. The last theatre I did was 2003, and that was as vocal coach, not involved. The last show I performed in was 2001.

I have no formal acting training. I have no degree of any kind, which drives my parents up the wall. From 2000 – 2003 I had some regular work in a few TV shows, but the studio making it packed up and moved to Australia, then moved back to Wellington and started making a show with no one over 16 involved at all.

My CV looks wordy, but none of it is really in the last 2, 3 years. Enter PANIC MODE. Failure mode. Nervous as hell mode.

My agent started getting concerned about a month back. She didn’t want to let me go, but she was concerned that in my age group, I am slipping down the pecking order, as I have the least training out of those she has available, and nothing recent on my CV.

I know I’m not putting myself out there enough. I’m not auditioning for Circa or Bats or Downstage or any of the other theatre companies. I didn’t send a tape to What Now!. I haven’t put myself forward for extra work for any of the Peter Jackson epics. Part of the problem is my full time job. Part of the problem is my desperation to clear my debt and save some money. Part of it is that I’m a wuss. A very fussy wuss.

I explained to her that I am in the process of recording my EP. I am singing for a hard house duo on their album, which is due for commercial release before winter, I believe.
I have been asked to model in a hair show in August. I am also involved in a short film for a friend this weekend (in a very small role), which is supposed to be shown at a high profile event.

Nothing else is really happening. And despite my occasional panic attack, I don’t really mind.

As an actor, I like to really become a character. I study a character and really get into what makes them work. But I hate most of the ponsy acting workshops I have attended. Stanislavski and other techniques that I studied in highschool make me roll my eyes. I don’t feel that I’m better than anyone else, or above learning these things, but I just feel that acting should be real. And that knowing myself, I know how to produce these emotions and reactions. I might completely suck. But I work hard.

I just wish some good work would come along to audition for. I definitely can’t sit around waiting for things to come to me. I may not have Toi Whakaari training or been on Shortland St yet, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t study. That I won’t still do well.

When I was much younger I thought I’d be in New York at 18, with a big recording contract or broadway part by 20. Now that I’m past both of those ages, I don’t really stress. I know that this is what I want to do and that music is my main focus at this point. I know that if I’m good enough and work hard enough, I should be able to go far.

I just need to be patient. And keep working. I feel like this is where I’m meant to be.

Milestones

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Billie turned 5 today.

Tonight I sat down with my family and watched the end of a documentary about Flight 93 – the plane in 9/11 that was supposed to crash into Washington but was forced down into a field by its passengers overpowering their captors.

I watched how at the end the faces of the passengers flashed up. I kept watching – I don’t know these people, but I wanted to see their pictures. See who they were.

4 years ago today I was in hospital. I was close to death. At this point I was probably less than 2 hours from it. Then I chose to have a lumbar puncture and got my correct treatment. I remember being placed in my bed thinking, “Why have they put me in bed with my jeans on?”

I had no idea at the time that I could have died. It was an upsetting few months for everyone with everything happening around the world and in our family. It made us realise how precious life is.

And what I thought would take a few weeks of recovery took at least a year. I still have so many issues.

4 years later there is so much weight; this is such an important day. Not only is my niece now 5 years old and September 11th something that can be talked about without high panic and emotion.. I’m alive. I’m 21. I made it here. I’m going to see the next 21.

It makes me smile and cry at the same time. I am so grateful.

Diary of an insomniac

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It took me over 3.5 hours to get to sleep last night. I’m not someone who goes to sleep that quickly anyway, but that long? It was after 2am when I must have finally dozed off. 5 hours sleep is no fun.

I tried everything. I tried watching a little more of the X Files. Lay there a while. Then I tried reading a bit. Lay there a while. Then I finally decided to get up and go to the bathroom. Then lay quietly thinking. My asthma was playing up (which is rare) and my mind was racing.

So I finally lay down with a big pillow and cuddled it to me. Would the warmth make me feel better? Nope, I felt crushed. I lay on my back and that wasn’t comfortable. I tried both sides. Then my stomach, which finally gave me some comfort, but felt weird on my ribcage.

I also felt a mix of hungry and nauseous. I hate that feeling. I usually get it when I have a flight or exam in the morning. But today I have nothing. Nothing but Wednesday.

And I’m literally falling asleep at my desk.