Timeless Thoughts – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Timeless Thoughts - Click to join the link up
Timeless Thoughts – Click to join the link up

I considered posting this earlier but decided it would be perfect for a Timeless Thoughts post and held off until now. Timeless Thoughts is a link-up run by Georgie and Tara each month, click on the image above to join!

Today (Mar 10) is the 20th anniversary of the beginning of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in tv form anyway. It started all the way back in March of 1997 and would continue to live on through the show, a spin-off and comics until today.

Living in Australia I didn’t get to see the show until the summer (that’s December over here) of 1997. This was the time of the year that networks put on shows they didn’t think would really go to well but need something while all their popular shows were on hiatus for the summer.

Unfortunately, back in the mid 90’s we didn’t have the luxuries of downloading or buying episodes at the time they were released that we do now (although for some TV shows we still don’t in Australia… not legally anyway. Thanks Foxtel) so we had to wait until the tv networks decided they wanted to air the shows.

I anticipated Buffy coming for a while – For much of my life I’ve always had an interest in all things vampires.. That sort of died with the coming of Twilight when they were ruined for me – Buffy had been advertised on TV for weeks in advance but I just had to wait it out while watching things like re-runs of MASH. Summer programming in Australia was always riveting.

Finally, it began. I remember watching it from my little 32cm TV in my bedroom (something I’d do for many seasons of the show) each week and wondering what the scooby gang were going to come up against this week.

This continued for many years, through the angst of Angel/Angelus and all the big bads through the years, the love/hate relationship with Spike (I was always firmly on the side of love when it came to Spike.. as well as a bit of a Spuffy shipper), as well as all the other love (and heartbreak, because Joss Whedon can’t let his characters be happy, apparently) including the first lesbian sex scene to be shown on network TV.

At my first job I’d find others who liked the show too and we went to a Buffy convention in Melbourne in 2003 (my first time there!) and I got to meet Emma Caulfield (Anya) who was ever so tiny in real life. I would later realise that most the cast were quite short.

It was the first show I remember watching and really enjoying. The first show I ever wanted to own and bought on dvd, even though the box sets at the time took up a huge amount of space. I would later sell them and re-buy them in the smaller cases which I still own today.

Even though there were many times I didn’t like Buffy, the character, I always enjoyed the show as a whole and am amazed to see that it still brings people together, even now, 20 years later.

Sarah

A Night at the Museum

On Friday night I went to my second Click + Connect event, held by Her Canberra. This time it was the Night at the Museum event held by the National Museum of Australia that was all about celebrating 50 years of Play School. The great thing about this event was that beforehand we got to mingle and meet new people around a table filled with lollies, champagne, fairy bread and party pies!

mmm lollies!
mmm lollies!

On arrival we were given glasses of champagne topped with fairy floss and completed with a straw! I’m not quite sure of the purpose of the straw but it was quite good for poking the fairy floss down into the champagne. It also a little volcano like with bubbles pouring up out of it after taking a sip.

I think I enjoyed this event better than the last one I went to as it felt a bit more casual. There was no sit down component and you weren’t stuck at the same table, you could wander around and meet everyone if you wanted. Plus there was a huge platter of fairy bread! I have to admit I had a few pieces of that. I don’t know who invented fairy bread but you can’t go past crunchy 100’s & 1000’s on some fresh buttered bread!

Champagne, extra full lolly bag and museum program
Champagne, extra full lolly bag and museum program

After a few glasses of champagne, some time to chat with the others and also to fill up our lolly bags we were given programs for the night and were whisked to the front of the line for entry to the museum. No queuing or tickets required! All very VIP.

Unfortunately as soon as we made it to the museum entrance everyone seemed to get separated and we didn’t enjoy the event as a group. It might have been that the 1 person who I wandered around with (I can’t even remember her name even though we had nametags on!) and I decided we needed to get on the jumping castle! It was a lot of fun but also quite tiring. My heart was racing after only 5 mins of bouncing fun!

People having fun hula hooping
People having fun hula hooping

There were little activities throughout the museum and we were free to wander around where ever we liked. I didn’t give hula hooping a go, I don’t think it would have been too successful.

Lower Landmarks - National Museum of Australia
Lower Landmarks – National Museum of Australia

It seemed like many people didn’t realise you could go further than the main hall as we basically had free rein over the other areas. It was nice to get to see the museum without having to move around other people and especially with no kids.

During one of the activities (that was held in a room that had twinkling stars on the ceiling) we met another girl, Vee, who had been separated from her friend group and asked if she wanted to walk around with us. She was really nice and I’m glad I made the offer, even if I only knew her for about 30 minutes.

The 3 of us then went and tried out kspaces which is an interactive exhibit where you become a time travelling robot that has to help in an event from the past.

They take your photo and for some reason my head/face ended up in a shark’s mouth. Maybe that is just how time travelling robots from the future are! I had a great time, even though it is targeted at kids. Part of the adventure involves a team of 4 having to control 1 mech which was difficult enough as adults, let alone as kids. Our team came 2nd (there were 3 teams of 4) and only lost by 5 points!

Quote on the wall
Quote on the wall

After kspaces my companions for the night had to leave which left me to walk around the museum solo. I didn’t actually get a chance to see the Play School exhibit (I’m not sure where it was as I did walk around quite a bit) and didn’t stay for the talks of the night as my feet really felt like they wanted to fall off.

I didn’t stay anywhere near as long as I expected to, I really wish I had another pair of shoes (and didn’t have to carry my coat around) and that the group had stayed together, at least a little, for the actual museum component of the night. It was fun though and I’m looking forward to finding out what the next Click + Connect event is.

Sarah

The Dreaded Pap Smear

Earlier in the year I realised it had been nearly 2 years since my last Pap Smear (which is apparently an out-dated term, Pap Test is the preferred now. What do you call it?) and I would need to book in to get it done shortly. Of course I put it off. I’ve never known a woman who has said “Oh I am due to get my pap smear done, better go do that right this second!” it’s usually “Oh, I need to get around to doing that” but the experience is so awkward we just keep pushing that date back.

One of the main reasons I’ve been postponing mine is that I don’t have a regular doctor that I visit and it seemed really strange to have my first meeting with a doctor be one where they inspect my cervix. I thought I might wait and see if I had to visit the doctor for any other reason first but that never happened so I sucked up my courage and made an appointment. A local medical centre has a female doctor who specialises in female and sexual health so I thought, although awkward (for me), she would probably be a good choice to see. I made an appointment online and tried to prepare myself for the whole thing.

I'm so glad these aren't metal anymore!
I’m so glad these aren’t metal anymore!

I arrived to my appointment, got to the front desk and was told that the doctor I had chosen doesn’t actually take new patients and I should never have been able to book her. Regardless of the fact that I had been able to book the appointment they weren’t going to let me see her. Although the receptionist did whisper “Is it for a Mirena implant?” and I wonder what the outcome would have been if I had said that it was for an IUD.

After being told I couldn’t see the doctor I had researched I was also told that there were no appointments with any of their female doctors for that day. My options were to see a male doctor or see no one. Given I’d finally made the appointment I figured I’d go with the male doctor, how bad could it be? It couldn’t be any worse than normal, right?

I took a seat and waited for the doctor to call me in. I tried to stay calm and relax as much as I could.

The doctor called me in and asked me what I assume are standard questions but kept pressing on when my last test was. I don’t know if he didn’t believe that it was 2 years ago or maybe didn’t think I needed it yet but he asked me multiple times and at that point I was still fully dressed.

Then it was time to remove all clothing from the waist down (I kept my socks on!), spread my legs and let a strange man inspect me. It was about as pleasant as you would expect what is basically a plastic set of tongs clamped open inside you can be and then he made it even less so by proclaiming that there was a lot of blood and how that wasn’t very good. He then asked me again how long it had been since my last test. TWO YEARS!

At this point I’m getting even more uptight and the relaxing of my muscles just isn’t working. I assume he can see how nervous I am but then, the phone rings. Given we were in the middle of a procedure and the speculum was ‘in place’ I never thought in a million years he would actually go and answer that phone but… he did. He went and answered the phone while I just lay there, legs wide, in shock.

Unfortunately, the appointment didn’t get much better and it ended with him shoving a bunch of tissues at me telling me that there was some ‘stuff going on there’ and pointed in the general direction of my crotch. Because this appointment hadn’t been humiliating enough.

Once I had gotten dressed he essentially dismissed me from the office without giving me any understanding about what the issues with the test may mean.

I walked out of the medical centre and raced over to the nearest toilets where I shut myself in a stall and cried and tried to process what had just happened. While I gave permission for him to complete the test I have never felt this way in one before and didn’t expect to feel violated when it was over.

Fortunately, they were able to process the sample he did get and the results came back normal. I don’t know if I would have been able to work myself up to getting it done again so soon if they hadn’t been. It makes me wonder if this is a common experience for women during pap tests and is one reason why women fail to get them done regularly even though they are important in detecting abnormal cells and cervical cancer.

Next time I think I’ll investigate a gynaecologist so I can then be confident that it is a common procedure they do all the time.

Sarah

Don’t be such a jerk – a rant

We were notified earlier in the week that there was a strike for garbage collectors and they wouldn’t be servicing our area on the normal day. There was a possibility that we would have to wait out the week for the pick up the following week. As such it was suggested that we minimise our waste as much as possible – you would think they would be trying to get everyone to do that all the time.

“By minimising the amount of waste created, people may be able to help their friends, family or neighbours by offering them any room they have in their bin to dispose of excess waste.”

image source: tams.act.gov.au

I know that some neighbours occasionally put a bag or two in our bin when we’ve put it out to the kerb for collection. We usually have space so I have no issue with that. I was pretty surprised however, to find that this week, when we may not have been getting our bins emptied at all, that a neighbour had filled our bin in it’s entirety before we had even had a chance to put anything in it. I can’t prove 100% who it was but given that our recycling bin was also half filled (on an off-week – our recycling is collected fortnightly) with a bunch of beer and other alcohol cans and bottles I have a pretty good idea. If you sit out in your garage every afternoon drinking and then put your empties into someone’s bin you become a fairly easy suspect.

I just don’t understand why someone would do that and think it is ok! I was pretty angry at the time while I tried to shove my rubbish bag into the bin and hoped that it would get collected this week. I would think twice before using someone else’s bin if it had been put out onto the kerb, let alone if it hadn’t and just wonder how much of a jerk you need to be to not give a shit about anyone else.

Fortunately, the bins were emptied a day later but, because of the material of the rubbish the neighbours had put in our bin (a bunch of plastic) and how much they (and probably partly me) had stuffed it into the bin it didn’t actually come out when the bin was emptied. So now we have to deal with their crap 2 weeks in a row, and hope it actually gets emptied properly next week. I will admit, I have considered dumping it into who I believe the culprits are bin and make them deal with their own rubbish.

My more rational self decided to move the bins into our backyard (previously they were sitting near the driveway) which is less convenient for us but it means they have to put in more effort if they use them. I highly doubt (but you never know) they would actually come into my back yard to dump some rubbish.

Have you ever had a situation where someone did something you considered incredibly inconsiderate, and what did you do about it?

Sarah

Goals Update – First Quarter 2016

The first quarter of 2016 has now come and gone. It’s been both a slow and fast year. I had booked leave from work at the beginning of February for the end of March and it felt like it took forever to get there but then it also feels like no time at all.

Now that we’re into April I thought I’d provide my first 2016 goals update for the year, both the good and the not so good. So here goes:

Lose 20kg by 31/12/2016

Currently not going so well.

I have lost weight since the beginning of the year but not as much as I was working on. I kept to my healthier snacks (mostly) and my 1 shake per work week mostly and I was also building up my strength. Plus my fitbit shows me averaging 10000 steps on most weekdays (lets not go into the weekends.. they’re a bit less active).

Easter is my major weakness and with that being in the same week as our delicious trip to Melbourne there was really never going to be any good news at this point. I did try and get my weight down enough to take into account those events but I had some stomach issues in February which made me feel sluggish and gross and not wanting to do anything.

I need to get right back on that horse (where did that saying even come from?) and try again. It’s just so sad that nothing healthy (in my mind) compares to easter chocolate and cafe eating in Melbourne.

Learn to crochet

This is going ok. Around the time of my first post I bought a bunch of yarn and a new crochet hook, I also started following along on this video series for left handers (I’m fairly certain they have the same thing for right handers too) and I got through the first project. I also got quite annoyed during that first project and took a break before learning how to crochet in the round – I’m still on that break.

Since that time I have started getting more interested in cross stitch so, potentially, I will change this goal to that instead. Potentially.

Cook at least one new meal a month

This is on track (ish). I have made 3 new things, 2 of which were dinners and 1 cake however, I didn’t make any of them in January and one of the dinners was a fluke because we mistakenly received Pork Fillets in our online shopping and I found a recipe for them on the fly. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t add the 2 dinners into my routine as they didn’t turn out excellent. I do have this Rogan Josh lined up for next week so maybe it will be the lucky one.

Visit at least 12 new food places by 31/12/2016

Definitely on track (was there any doubt?), we have potentially tried 12 new places this quarter (especially with Melbourne in the mix) let alone this year. Reviews to come, eventually.

Work on improving All The Me

I am slowly working on this however procrastinating on the menu options. I have been working on improving my photos.

I still use just a phone camera (I’m not ready to take a DSLR out into public and start shooting food photos) but I have updated my phone and I have been doing more editing to improve the quality of photos. Let me know if you’ve noticed a difference!

I also signed up for a Facebook Page which all my posts are listed on (and some random other things) so follow me there to keep up to date! Have I mentioned how much I dislike Facebook? I really have no idea how people don’t hate it however, for exposure for my blog, it feels like a requirement so I’d love you to like my page if you feel inclined to do so.

One of the goals for this was to post once a week. I have done this every week except for the week I was in Melbourne. I didn’t have anything scheduled and I had planned to write something while I was there but you know, lazy. Plus there were other things to do! Hopefully the weeks that I did multiple posts make up for this – they do in my mind.

Overall I’m doing ok, some goals are moving slower than I expected (I blame the purchase of one Stardew Valley) but they have been worked on. I’m quite disappointed in my lack of will power when it comes to food and was really anticipating a better result on the weight loss goal but all I can do is try and improve from here.

Hopefully I’ll have a more interesting update come the end of June!

Sarah