Sunday, March 29, 2009

I want you to remember, I'm still on your side

This week the man and I started our 'pre-wedding preparation course'. The man wasn't keen on going and I made a joke (sort of) about how we were not going to have a fight about going to wedding counselling right before we went. But anyway, it wasn't bad at all and actually turned out to be a bit interesting.

I mean, you don't get engaged to someone without having at least a vague idea about what they want for the future in the way of kids etc but we hadn't really had a proper talk about all of that. 

The first part was just answering questions, a lot of them about 180! You had to answer only 'agree' 'disagree' or 'uncertain'. A few of them were funny, like if the man's homosexual tendencies were likely to impact our relationship (uncertain) or 'I sometimes feel this may not be the right person for me to marry' (disagree).

One question though made both of us laugh out loud. I call it 'number 84'. Now I can bring it up all the time in conversation, like "you're being a bit number 84" or *cough* number 84 *cough*.

'Does your partner always have to win'? 'Agree', 'disagree' or 'uncertain'.

I'm sorry the man but I had to go and borrow a permanent marker rather than a pencil to fill in the answer to that one. Of course this will pose no problem for the man when it comes to discussing the answer because it's quite simple. He doesn't always have to win, he just always does. Or if Jen was ever right then she'd win, but I'm always right so that would never happen.

Quite simple. Next week we go back and go through all the answers that were different. We are allowed to talk about the questions and our answers now so we can prepare for the onslaught next week.

Should be interesting. Did you do anything like this before you got married??

- Jen

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dwindling crowds at GP??

Oh no wait ...Formula still wins the fans.

Confusing no?

Maybe it's saying that only actual fans are going this year? I don't know...

- Jen

Friday, March 27, 2009

I've seen those English dramas too, they're cruel

Thanks everyone for letting me know about the atrocious spelling mistake in the title of my last blog post. Or does no-one read this blog anymore?

I've fixed it now but it did say 'it bears it's teeth like a light'. And no one said a thing. Also, no one commented on my awesome hot cross buns. 

The title of the post was supposed to be lyrics from Snow Patrol's song 'take back the city'. Except now when you google 'it bears its teeth like a light', the first hit..the very first Jentopia.

Aaargh! Not happy!! Actually, before I do lyrics title I always google the lyrics to make sure I got them right. I just checked and all the ones I looked at have 'bears'. Still.... I should have picked that up. I know I'm hopeless at maths, but spelling too!!

- Jen

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It bares its teeth like a light and spits me out after days

Forget I said this, housemate is awesome. Actually, this week we've had two housemates and they've both been great. I have really truly had a blast.

Talk about a work/life balance.

 Thursday night the girls and I got a bit loose, just at home with a few quiet ones. Then last night housemates parents took us all out for dinner and we got a little loose again.

Earlier in the day I bought that Melbourne drinking card pack which I've wanted for ages, which has maps of all the cool bars on the back. We had dinner at Dimattina's which was really nice and then predictably headed to The Croft Institute which I've been to a couple of times before.

It was pretty fun and I caught up with some other friends which was good. After that we weren't quite ready to go home and housemate bumped into someone she knew who said they'd just come from a cool bar called the Emerald Peacock. 

It was closing though but they let us in for a drink which was nice of them. We had grand plans for going home and partying on with tequila and guitar hero, and housemate even cajoled some lemons out of the bar staff. It seemed like a really cool place and I'd like to go back there again.

Seriously, I love this city.

We did a Macca's stop on the way home which provided housemate and the man ammunition for an impromptu thickshake/coke fight when they got out of the taxi. 

The drinks at home didn't really happen, we were way too exhausted so after some greasy food we all hit the hay. AND I didn't feel too bad this morning! 

When bartenders give you lemons....

- Jen

Trip down memory lanes

I've had a very enjoyable morning recovering from a mild hangover by checking out London on google street view. I don't think street view London has been up for very long, because I checked awhile ago and it wasn't. Amsterdam is up too. 

I think its really really cool. Especially when you can get stuff like this:

This is 'the falcon' our local when we stayed in London. It's near Clapham Junction for folks in the know. Debenhams is on the opposite side of the road. Pretty awesome hey!

- Jen

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The best thing to happen to Moonee Ponds...

I thought it was pretty good. Although my sister was confused because she didn't know Dame Edna was 'from' Moonee Ponds. Of course if you don't know who Dame Edna is then the ad would be just strange.

Anyway so Moonee Ponds has a new shopping centre linking Coles with Puckle St. In between there is a K-Mart, 1st Choice liquor, Dick Smiths and a ton of other shops. Some pretty nice clothes shops too. Oh and an Original Lolly Shop which we will definitely be frequenting.

It's nice having a K-mart so close and it will probably mean we don't go to Highpoint much except for the movies, and of course the man for his weekend work. If the cinema that was talked about ever goes ahead we'll be set! Apparently Hoyts at Highpoint keep blocking it though.. so we'll see. All within a five minute walk. If we'd stayed in the apartment I could have looked out the window and taken a photo for you! Of course, then we'd also be locked in a battle with a body corporate and VCAT. I'll enjoy that relaxing walk instead I think. 

It is a great spot we're in though. I do still appreciate it, stumbling out of bed and strolling down Puckle St for a coffee. Since my sister is staying with us, I'm talking Melbourne up big. She's a fan of Degraves St now too!


- Jen

Hot cross buns, hot cross buns..see how they run

I may not know how the song goes but we do know how to make hot cross buns. 
This recipe comes from the Women's Weekly Kitchen recipe book.
First step is to assemble your ingredients:

2 x 7g sachets of granulated yeast 
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups warm milk
4 cups plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
60g butter 
1 egg
3/4 cup sultanas

First up, combine yeast, sugar and milk in small bowl or jug and cover, stand in warm place for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is frothy:

Sift flour and spices into large bowl, rub in butter. Stir in yeast
 mixture, egg and sultanas: m
ix to form a soft sticky dough. 

Cover: stand in warm place about 45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. 

Now because we are chocolate fiends, alright well because I am a chocolate fiend, we split the recipe in half and replaced choc-chips and cocoa for raisins and spices.

Next Grease a pan (recipe says 23cm square pan), we used a rectangular pan and it worked fine! 
Turn dough onto floured surface (not too floured), and knead for about
5 minutes or until smooth. Divide dough into 16 pieces (we only managed 14 pieces, 7 regular and 7 choc), and knead into balls.   

Place balls into pan: cover, stand in warm place 10 minutes or until buns have risen to top of pan 

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 220oC/200oC fan-forced.

Flour Paste: 
Combine flour and sugar in bowl. Gradually blend in enough of the water to form a smooth paste, pipe crosses on buns we just used a freezer bag with a small hole in it. Don't make the hole too big, it can be disastrous.

Bake buns about 20
minutes or until well browned. Turn buns onto a wire rack, brush top of hot buns with hot glaze (sugar + gelatine dissolved over heat) . Cool on wire rack. 

Smother in butter, and eat!

These really were awesome. The regular ones tasted like...good hot cross buns, the chocolate ones probably needed more sugar or something. The housemate came up with a solution to that though. Slice open chocolate bun, insert chocolate bar, put in microwave, melt and eat.
A nice way to spend a day off!

 - Jen

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Learning to fly

Back to the sore back. I finally have a diagnosis and I pretty much figured it out by myself. Stop groaning and going 'oh Jen you googled it didn't you'? Well yes, I did. Shutup the man. I was googling how to strengthen back muscles because the physio said that's why it was sore. Anyway I saw pictures of all these people with backs like mine, it just hasn't looked 'right' for awhile. It's called a winging scapula. As opposed to a whinging scapula. 

Anyway so when I went to the doctor (a different one this time) he looked at my back and says to me 'have you ever heard of a winging scapula'?

Ah. HA!

I had a blood test and also have to have a nerve conduction test to make sure it is an actual 'mechanical' problem and not something caused by an auto-immune disease. Nice. 
Today I rang up and tried to book in for the nerve test but they couldn't see me until the 9th of April. When I asked if there was anything I had to do for the test the receptionist said 'oh..are you sensitive to PAIN'? Then she giggled and said 'oh I probably shouldn't laugh'. But hey thanks to Medicare I only have to pay $30 to be electrocuted. 

If those two tests check out, then I'm off to a shoulder specialist and possibly surgery to move the shoulder blade back where it should be (flat against my ribcage).

Hrrrm. Although I'm still in a little bit of pain, its nowhere near as bad as it was. I just can't lift weights anymore, although now I'm all good with my orthotics I can run. If its not one thing, its another! I kind of felt that way, like maybe I was making too big a deal out of this, or that I was a sook. I also felt incredibly guilty about having so much time off work. I realised later I hadn't really had that much time off, but because I've been taking a few hours here and there to get to appointments it felt like I had. My boss pointed out I need to make work #2 priority which I've been trying to do. I just felt really slack. 

Of course the man has been right on the ball with nicknames, because I just don't have enough of those to keep track of. So far he's got 'clippy' (as in my wings will be clipped) and 'tampon' (with wings).

I can still ride but will probably get a rack thing to put my backpack on soon just to be safe. Last night I freaked out a bit because I don't want to be a winged bride but the man says it doesn't look too bad. Despite the man's accident I am still riding, but a bit slower and seem to be shaking my fist at drivers more. Or giving them dirty looks, I'm not co-ordinated enough to shake my fist and ride.

Speaking of the man's accident his elbow ended up getting infected which he only noticed because it reeked. So he's on some super dooper antibiotics and next time will insist the ambulance actually takes him to hospital. 

Oh time??? I am such an optimist!

Thankfully I have Thursday and Friday off work which I took as annual leave. I will be able to hang out with my sister who is staying here which I'm really looking forward to. Tomorrow we are going to attempt making hot cross buns! I will be photographing and putting up the recipe here if they are a success.

Right now I am off to the movies with housemate and my sister. We're seeing 'Confessions of a shopaholic and its going to be awesome'. Leaving the man at home to his own devices. Literally. He has been parked in front of the wii since I got home!

- Jen

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Party time at the insane asylum

Last weekend we spent at Beechworth for the man's aunty's 60th. It was heaps of fun, as usual I forgot the camera but I'm hoping to get some photos from the man's brother soon.

Speaking of the man's brother (Chris), he tried to out-do my triple j nickname by drinking almost a whole bottle of Jim Beam and then sleepwalking around La Trobe at Beechworth in his jocks. He got picked up by security who had to drive him around looking for where he was supposed to be staying, he got dropped off at the right spot but walked into everyone's rooms looking for his bed. Unfortunately I don't get to relinquish my nickname, it just means Chris gets one too.

It was a pretty cool place to stay and it looks like we will be going there for Fankhauser Christmas this year.

- Jen

Thursday, March 12, 2009

He's the luckiest the man alive

Well most of my readers have either commented on Facebook or called us but anyway this has to be blogged about 'for the records'.

I was out to see a client today and didn't get back to the office until about 1pm and saw a message from the man on my phone asking me to ring him at home. My first thought was 'what a bludger at home already'. When I called he sounded sick and when I asked him what he was doing he said 'um I got hit by a car on my way to work'.

He sounded so awful but it was because he'd been asleep. My reaction 'oh my GOD'. Then I had to sit down.

Someone opened a car door on him, and he hit it, came off his bike and then fell into a car driving alongside him and then that car hit his head.

Sounds impressive doesn't it. He saved the part about the other car hitting his head until I got home. I was worried enough at work and afer I got off the phone said 'the man got hit by a car' and Stuart said 'just go'. So off I went. 

The ambulance and police came, and the police got everyone's details including the door openers. Of course because the man is such a tough nut he got the ambos to patch him up and then he got a lift into work with the cops. 

Thankfully, Dr Ben (the man's mate who is a surgeon who is doing his PhD as well) drove him home and then inspected his wounds and re-dressed them. It's nice to know plumbers and electricians - but actual doctors are pretty handy to have as friends. 

The man got off with a pretty nasty wound/hole in his elbow, swollen and scraped hand where he hit the car door, a scraped knee and a tiny scrape on his nose. If he hadn't of had a helmet on, I hate to think where he would be now. Seriously unbelievably lucky.

His bike wasn't so lucky...but very much the least of our worries.

So I've been unsuccessfully trying to help him. Imagine a cranky bear. Now imagine that cranky bear with one paw bandaged up trying to cut up chicken kiev without taking up offered help.

My poor boy.

- Jen

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Cause blinded I am blindsided - SOTM March 2009

This month's SOTM I actually heard on Still one of my favourite blogs, and probably the only blog I literally laugh out loud at. 

Anyway I heard the song 'Blindsided' by Bon Iver on Dooce's year in review. If you follow Dooce at all, then its a pretty awesome clip. So I will link you to that instead of a youtube clip of Mr Iver, or do I just call him or them Bon? Like Bon Jovi

I wish I had to photography skills to be able to do that sort of stuff. I can't work a camera to save myself. Cameras and video recorders. 

Another good Bon..or Iver song is 'Skinny Love' off the same album (for emma, forever ago)

In more music related news, the man and I have finally, finally agreed on songs for our bridal waltz. I'm not saying what they are but they are a compromise on both our tastes. 

- Jen

Watching the people get lairy, is not very pretty

I don't know if I mentioned we acquired a housemate. But we did, she moved in last week and its been a definite left eyebrow raising experience. The man and I have lived with a housemate before but not one this much younger than us.

I've known our housemate for a while, since I worked at EB way back when.

Although the man and I aren't old, we just aren't the going out kind. If I had to choose between drinking beers at a loud club or sitting on the couch watching tv on a Saturday night with the man the latter would win every time. Beers at a bbq yes, Beer at the elms yes, beers at revolver, no.

It's always been this way. I didn't get old overnight I'm just marrying someone who thinks exactly like me (on this topic anyway). Until now, I didn't really think this 'binge-drinking' thing was anything unusual for young people. After all, when I was at uni I I drank lots and went out too.

But I was still so far removed from this. Even when I was at uni I'd look at the girls in their short dresses and 'CFM' boots (you will have to google that one on your own) and wonder if I was doing it all wrong. Except now that I'm older I just know I'm not like that, will never be like that and I'm very happy about it.

Housemate falls somewhere between me and the 'other girls' I think. But her mate last night, who we almost took to emergency at 3:30am - if it wasn't for a helpful phone call to the man's fellow PhD'er, Dr Ben..well that's just out of control.

Mind you, housemate says this girl normally handles her drink well. Which had us more concerned her drink had been spiked or something. Both were going to Future Festival today and it was the man who had the brains to ask if she was on anything. I'm so naive I didn't even think of that.

I don't think, in cases like this the alco-pops excise hike works. These are girls with large amounts of disposable income, who aren't struggling uni students who were back drinking by midday today (or earlier).

I am definitely not having a go at people who drink, because I definitely partake in a wobbly climb down the steps of Parliament station on a fair few Friday nights but as long as I eat, its not so out of control I'm unconscious and falling face first out of taxi's.

Like housemate said though, this girl is usually fine, this might have just been that one time she missed dinner...

But its just different when it's in your house. When you rent, you don't care if your housemate spews in their room, you don't care if they spew anywhere as long as they clean it up (or in one case, put a towel over it for a few months). But when its your house, you worry about spew on your floorboards and marks on the walls. At least I do.

Apparently its not going to be a regular occurence, which would want to be the worlds biggest overstatement. I don't know if housemate reads this, I think I've been pretty fair anyway. Go out, get smashed, have fun, explore an awesome city - but don't wake us and the neighbours up at 3:30am and 6:30am and don't mess up our house.

Having said that, the man and I are the kind of people that will get up at 3:30am, 6:30am or any am and make sure you are okay. I just really wish we weren't like that.

- Jen

Degraves St Subway

Seriously, I love Melbourne. And I love coffee. And so I love its quirky dark laneways and hidey hole bars with cool coffee spots.

But I didn't know about the Degraves St subway! 

Not that I know many of the laneways and that but this was a serious shock! On my way to the doctors on Friday I relished the thought of cutting through Degraves St (or Diagon Alley as I like to call it). When I hopped off the train at Flinders I turned to the west and instead of going out the last exit on the platform went down the middle rabbit hole and found this subway.
It's not a bad thing, still being this new to Melbourne because I love discovering all this awesome stuff. It was so old! 

The other day while I was out for work I did the same thing with an exit of Flagstaff station.  But this was way cooler. So while I was excited about the subway, imagine just how excited I was when I popped up in Degraves St. 

- Jen

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Oh the weight, oh it aches

So what'd the doctor say? What did the doctor say.....

Ah, you guys are going to laugh. This little 24 almost 25 year old is stressed.

What a surprise! Apparently my spine is pretty good. But my muscles are so incredibly tight that its like having a permanent cramp in my back.

The doctor asked me what I do to relax. That's a difficult question for me, because I don't really. So I'm supposed to start making time to relax, and try yoga or something.

I'm not sure something like yoga that requires co-ordination would be the best thing for me to relax, but my gym has heaps of those classes so I guess I will give it a go. I will probably also start getting massages.

I guess more importantly its taking more time to breathe and conciously relax. Obviously coffee and the paper on a Sunday morning isn't cutting it.

What do you guys do to relax?

- Jen

Friday, March 06, 2009

There's nothing to do here except just whine and complain

The knee I can handle. I don't have to run. I can do other things. But my back is a whole other kettle of fish. I've wanted to blog lots in the past week, but sitting down and typing after doing it for eight hours already, is way too painful.

So I've done something to my back. I don't know what it is, but it hurts like hell. It's been sore for a couple of weeks, but I figured I'd done something in the gym and it would clear up. It was only when I sat down at work that it would play up. Until now it just felt like something in my back needed to crack and then it would be fine.

This week after being in unbearable pain, I took myself off to the physio. Who said this sort of thing is his bread and butter and he'd fix me. I quite like him, even if my back didn't feel better he made me feel it would be okay. I'm such a patient person as everyone knows so I expected to feel better that night after some stretches and some manipulation by him. If anything I felt worse, and yesterday someone from work had to drive me home because I was in agony. Not only was it when I sat down, but also when I walked around. The worst thing was that I've been to the chemist and got some voltaren but it made no difference at all.

I'm off today and have a doctors appointment this arvo who has spoken to the physio. Hopefully they can give me some good pain relief. I'm going to have to go and pick up 'the precious' and bring it home on the train because I had to leave it at work overnight. 

Of course I'm freaking out about this because I've never ever had a sore back before and I have a ton of work to do, and even if I bring it home, sitting down at home is the same as sitting down at work. 

But it seems most people get something like this sometime. A guy at work had a sore back not long ago, and it seemed a lot worse than me and he's getting better. It's just stopped me in my tracks, can't work, can't run, can't ride 'the precious'. With some pain relief hopefully I can't get to work, and its a long weekend so hopefully by next week I will be feeling better. 

The physio had some interesting thoughts though. Almost all the work I do using weight at the gym is for my front, ie bench presses are for the chest but very little to none specifically for my back. I do some lower back, but basically nothing for my upper back. I did start doing a new program two weeks ago where there are some lat pull-downs and rows (back). I don't think this is a coincidence. The physio thought it might be my back muscles trying to pull me back now, but my stronger front muscles pulling me forward causing pain. The man thinks this is frog poo but it sounds logical to me. 

Also, do you know how hard it is to rate pain? I rated mine an 8 when I went to the physio, then I said 7..because I don't know! He probably sees people with their spines snapped in two who rate the same! Right now its more than it was the other day, I would say an 8-9. What about people with broken legs! Its a stabby, burning, tingling pain. 

The health and safety guy at work showed me how bad my desk is, I like to write a lot, then I type, then I read and make notes so I'm all over the shop turning to my pc then back to notes etc. Shocking. The actual set up of my desk wasn't too bad, but now I've got a document holder. I don't particularly like it, but hopefully it helps. 

Sigh. I'm trying to think up song of the month, but this was hard enough to write so I'm going for a walk to get a coffee before I go to the doctors. 

- Jen