The Land of the Free

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What, me worry?

I find this utterly fascinating:

WASHINGTON Sep 11, 2006 (AP)— Vice President Dick Cheney says the fact that there has not been another attack on U.S. soil shows “we’ve done a pretty good job” of protecting the country against terrorists.

“I don’t know how much better you can do than no, no attacks for the past five years,” said Cheney, dismissing Democratic charges that serious security gaps remain.

I guess we can all cheer that the US haven’t been attacked lately. Sooo.. I take it that the London bombings don’t matter? Neither does Bali, Jakarta, Bali again, or India?

Or are those just not as important?

I love America. I greatly respect the patriotism of its people, including the large numbers who protest against war and Bush’s policies. It’s a fantastic place. I lived and worked there 3 years ago, and I will do so again. I love New York City, and the east coast. I love the warmth of the people.

But why is this “War on Terrorism” all the government cares about?

The biggest superpower in the world has the highest illiteracy rates in the western world. High levels of arsenic in the drinking water. 37 million people below the poverty line. 10650 firearm deaths a year. 41 million people without any sort of healthcare. State laws that refuse people who love each other to marry. State laws that execute people. State laws that take away a woman’s choices about what’s right for her own body in regards to birth control and pregnancy.

When a government is imposing their own religious beliefs on its people and their basic right to make their own decisions for themselves, doesn’t that make them fundamentalist? Doesn’t it make them just as ‘bad’ as the people they are trying to destroy? Should we gather a big army and rush in to disarm them and put our own president in there?

I sometimes wonder if the government really cares about anything other than saving their hides while bullying the rest of the world.

It amazes me that they are so desperate to disarm other nations, but refuse to disarm themselves. They invade, remove leaders, put their own picks into power. They push smaller countries into backing them in a war with no evidence to support it. They even tried to get New Zealand to back down on its nuclear-free policy (any ships with nuclear materials cannot enter NZ waters) and lost, thankfully.

Bush is a puppet, obviously, as without his speechwriters, he seems very scattered. We all know this. And we now know what he does when someone takes away his chocolate milk, or might have one better than his on the playground.

No wonder conspiracy theorists are so fervent. There’s just so much about that government that incenses me. And while right now in the US, it’s September the 11th, and a day to respect them and mourn (which I did do yesterday, with a flag at half-mast), I can’t help but feel that today is a good day to speak my mind. Not about the wonderful people, but about the government and the truly terrible choices they have made and are continuing to make.

And if that sends you as a reader elsewhere, have a nice day. I do not intend to offend, only to paint a picture of a country that concerns me. A country that needs to look after its own people and stop worrying entirely about what everyone else might be plotting against them.

Only then will it really be the greatest country in the world.

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Work work work

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Laundry time.

I get a lot of satisfaction out of domestic chores. It’s just getting started that’s the problem.

I look at my house lately with all the piled up washing, living room clutter and kitchen smears and sigh. It frustrates me and I have a burning desire to clean. But I have no time or energy to do so.

Last night I had a wee soiree at home. And we made quite a mess. I spent today doing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, doing the washing, sorting out the mess Finn’s made on the lawn and vacuuming. I feel like quite the domestic woman. And of course, there’s the constant looking over my shoulder, making sure the dog isn’t destroying the rubbish or choking on plastic. That makes me feel rather maternal as well!

Life has been so eventful lately that time has been passing in a blur. I haven’t been able to write much at all, or even touch the piano. The EP launch party isn’t finalised, and I worry that people are going to lose interest if I don’t get that sorted soon.

My parents get back from their whirlwind trip of Europe+Egypt on Wednesday, and I’m looking forward to it. I have a strong bond with my family, and my mother and I are especially close. I feel empty when she’s not around, like something is missing. It’s strange not talking to her everyday.

Tomorrow is filled with more chores, like sorting my bedroom, putting away the clean laundry and moving some of my own things back into my bedroom. I’ve taken over the house and made it my own, and I’m trying to remember how everything was put when they were here. It’s easily remedied, but I don’t want Ma to have to stress about things like that when she’s back.

I better get some sleep. The days are flying by, and I need to start working to fit more into them. I need to put more of a focus on music, and start trying to make progress, rather than trying to fill in my time with relaxing and sleeping. It’s like a cup I can never fill – I’m always tired. I need to stop worrying about changing it so much and just work with it. It’s been nearly 5 years since I got sick and I’m still working through that.

I hope you’re all well and trying to make the most of your days. I’m looking forward to the sun returning for good. I’m sure it’ll help my energy.

Ice, ice baby

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I knew I’d sleep in this morning.

I started my bar course last night. It was fun, but the tutor was one of those guys that would be neat to hang out with, but working for him would bring a constant string of “OMG-what-did-I-fuck-up-now-he’ll-yell-at-me-oh-no” thoughts into my head.

We learned about Scotch, Whiskey, Whisky, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Bourbon, Tennessee Whisky and Vodka, among others. The tasting was fun (drinking in class is now the only way to really LEARN in my books!), except the dark Rum made me well, retch.

But! I can now make you a White Russian, Black Russian (two versions), Tequila Sunrise, Vodka Sundowner or a Seabreeze. Go me!

Getting home at 10.45 was not really much fun, though, as I felt compelled to claim back some of my evening by watching Mad About You, then channel surfing while giving my cat a snuggle, and eating tuna on crackers. Good plan. Or not.

And then this morning? Hello 1 degree temperatures. Hello frozen car (the auto windows took several goes to open, they were frozen shut at the bottom seals). And when my hands touched the steering wheel I gave a little moan of discomfort before getting the bright idea of putting my gloves on.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. The gloves that had been in my car all night.

I didn’t think my hands would ever hurt like that inside gloves. But I was wrong.

Has winter always been this cold? Or is this a reverse effect of global warming? While our northern hemisphere friends are getting a warmer than average June, are we going to get a below-freezing winter? Will it actually snow in Wellington?

I’m not adverse to the idea.. as long as work is cancelled.

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.

Zombie

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Daniel got there alive. He’s a bit shell-shocked, but I think he’ll do okay.

Life has been all over the place lately. I haven’t been whisked off by some gorgeous man, but there are a few men hanging around. I’ve mainly been concentrating on sleeping, catching up with friends, writing, sleeping. Well, when I can sleep.

Last night it was after 4.30am before I could get to sleep. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know. I was feeling a bit nauseated and just restless. My brain was running things, and wanted to think about work and money: two things you never focus on when trying to sleep.

I watched some Grey’s Anatomy. I listened to my iPod. I read. I emailed a friend. I went through days in my head. I went through my upcoming trip in my head. I made up a story. I ate a muesli bar at 4. I tried every sleeping position I could think of (and probably made up some new ones). Nothing.

BUT. Today I can function! I don’t know quite how that happened, but I seem to be with it on most points.

Can’t wait to go home to nap, though.

Birthday Week didn’t go quite to plan, but I had a good time all the same. Thanks for all the well wishes. I had a lovely dinner with the family and went out for Karaoke/cocktails/dancing on Saturday night. Photos from both evenings are in my Flickr.

I hope things are well for you. I plan to write more in the next few weeks, and I’ll share some with you. Check back soon for a music update, also, as things are moving forward there.

xx
–K

Round and round and round

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So, Birthday Week is not going quite to plan. My work drinks tonight didn’t happen as I’ve been in bed the past few days.

With exhaustion. I know, ha bloody ha.

However, Tuesday night was a success – I saw David Gray for the 2nd time and he was spectacular once again. It was great. Tomorrow I am going to see Dylan Moran of Black Books fame, and I am really looking forward to that. Then I have Tuesday off, as it’s a national holiday here, and Wednesday is the birthday, with lunch and dinner planned. I have no idea what I’m getting, and I like that.

Though I’m also wary that I’m not getting anything at all. Shit, I need to drop more hints. Or just go shopping.

Karaoke is my plan for the Friday or Saturday night after my birthday, though I’m not sure whether I’m hiring a machine or going to a Karaoke bar. I’d love to hire one, so I may look into that.

I was also hoping for my EP to be in my hands, in some form, but I think that’ll be coming to me in May.

This is a very scattered entry! I will post again soon when I feel like I can actually write, versus jotting down notes. I hope you’re all well.

Corporate conundrums

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Why, if I am typing furiously and looking stressed, do you stand and wait for me to finish so that you can request an order of more coffee beans? And if I say, “I can type and listen, feel free to speak”, why do you reply with, “Oh no, I can wait.”
I don’t want to stop for you.

Why do people always stand in-between the two automatic doors, making them open, close, open, close, open, close, and send all the papers flying from my desk in the wind? Make a decision, people. In or out.

Why is it that those with the highest salary and position appear to do the least amount of work? Is it because they fought their way to get there? Or because they have so many minions?

I’m sorry, why can’t you photocopy? You’re just standing there chatting about the weekend, drinking your coffee. Oh I’m sorry, do I have Konica stamped on my forehead?

No, giving me something half an hour before your deadline is just fine. I have all the time in the world. No really, I’ll drop everything. Just for you.

Why do new staff get greeted with a “welcome aboard”? Are we on the Love Boat now? Where’s Isaac? I need a drink.