Sunday, January 30, 2011

Top 10 best things to do in really hot weather

Today it is 41 degrees celcius, tomorrow is forcast for 42 and yesterday, I think it was 39. I existed yesterday on a diet of coffee (despite the heat), cordial and an excessive number of welsh cakes that my mum had brought over with her.

Yesterday was Saturday and the day of the multi-layered clensing garage sale I have been planning for the last week. Despite my prior nervousness at potentially making a balls up of it I think it would definitely rate as ‘SUCCESS’. We had fun times and good friends and I managed to sell a whole bunch of my stuff that I am culling from my material universe.

Despite yesterday’s success, holding a garage sale is not a recommended activity for very hot weather! In lieu of this I have decided to make a list of 10 things I like doing in really hot weather to stay cool and generally avoid heat stroke, sunburn and other associated badness. With water awareness/restriction as it is in Adelaide, there is no longer the much loved method of running through the sprinkler in the front yard to cool off. I dare say the neighbours may also be slightly alarmed if they saw a 28 year old stripped down to just her undies to have a dash through the spray.

By 5pm yesterday we were finishing our garage sale pack up woozy with heat, tiredness and hunger. After much indecision from general fatigue and a few well earned ciders, we finally motioned to move to sushi train. Sushi is an excellent hot weather food, light, low commitment and good for sharing.  It’s made even better if you can follow it up with a sneaky spin past Gelatissimo! Yum.

This is when my decision was made to make a list of activities great for a hot day / night in Adelaide.

My top 10 suggestions are as follows;

1. Go to the movies – fail safe, tried and true. Probably best to go to one of the big complexes, preferably in a shopping centre with undercover parking. This option gives you maximum chill time with MEGA entertainment options and means you won’t roast in the car on the way home. The only flaw in this plan is that most everyone will probably have the same idea as you, so be prepared for crowds.

2. Go to a garage sale REALLY early in the morning (before it is officially wilting temperature) and buy up a bunch of old puzzles/ cassette tapes/ magazines / clothes / books / roller skates. Anything that will keep you entertained inside for the day. Put on the air conditioning and enjoy.

3. Go on an ice cream tour. Make sure you have not eaten lunch and take a tour of different ice cream places, trying something different from each one.

4. Pull out some of your own old photos / diaries & CDs and reminisce with (Insert embarrassing band name here) providing the very loud soundtrack. Put on the air conditioner.

5. Have a water fight with pistols and water balloons; this actually is still really fun as an adult! Quickly reapply sunscreen afterwards.

6. Make gourmet ice blocks at home with fresh fruit and fruit juices. Eat them all day.

7. Hold a board game party. Make everyone bring a different flavour of cordial and put on the air conditioner. (This one works with beer too)

8. Teach yourself something by researching it online. Mine is ‘how to build your own website’, but yours could be anything. ‘How to make friendship bracelets’... ‘How to write brail’... ‘How to trade on the stock market’... you get the picture.

9. Go night swimming, (this is one of my absolute favourite things to do) nothing beats the beach at night!

10. Go Ice skating. This one is easy for me, as I live practically on top of the ice arena @ Thebarton

If all else fails and you are in Adelaide city, stand just in the entrance of Target Rundle St... There is a certain spot which is perfect for both really hot and really cold days it seems to have its own microcosm.

One of the best things about this weather is that you can wear just about anything and nobody is gonna care. You could probably wear pasties and a denim g and attract no more than a cursory glance. When EVERYBODY is too hot to care the judgement metre gets dialled down a long way.


That way I’ll get to have a giggle to myself when I see you cruising down the street in a terry towelling bikini, footy shorts and a fruit bowl hat.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Horse with hands riding a bike

Jordan, (a friend of mine) pointed out a challenge issued by the guy behing the website "hero of Switzerland". This challenge was to draw a hosre riding a bicyle with hands. The theory behind this being that both horses and hands are some of the most difficult things to draw, so to combine them in completely unnatural positions / ways would make them even tougher.

As you can see, my horse is very nervous to be on a bike. She even looks paralized with the strangeness of it. How awkward for everyone! Good on her, she felt the fear and decided to give it a go anyway.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Declutter your life for fun times and ultimate happiness

I’ve just come inside from clearing out the shed in anticipation of this garage sale I plan on having next Saturday.

I’m amazed at how much STUFF there is that I really don’t need / use. It’s all art paraphernalia, general bric a brac, clothes (even vintage) and books. With my promise to start arting again, no doubt much of my ‘studio’ stuff will be set up when I find a space to work in (all offers considered) but I definitely need to cull.
Since I move and travel on a fairly frequent basis all of this extra ‘stuff’ is just bringing me down, some of it has not even been unpacked for the last 2 moves, SHAMEFUL. I am also in need of generating some pocket money, having temporarily renounced working ‘for the man’.

As some of you may know I’m a big fan of selling things on e-bay, but with selling on ebay, comes buying on e-bay. It is also very time consuming for the rate of return and there is also no point in selling clothes which are not designer, as new, or a special rare vintage find. This said, I am happy to help anyone who wants to start using e-bay as it is a very useful tool when used correctly! So, I have decided as a quick way to raise a bit of cash I’m going to be very suburban and have a garage sale. (I’m supposed to be drawing a flyer for it as I type this).

I intend for this streamlining of goods will assist me to be more time effective in other areas of my life. I am using the physical reduction to signal ridding myself of mental detritus. This may sound silly at first but if you really think about it, we all do it. For example, when you are making changes, or experiencing a psychological shift of perspective and you decide to get your hair cut? I’m guessing most of you have done that before. My intention is to work smarter and not necessarily harder from now on. If you read my first post you will know I’m not scared of hard work, I just see a lot of room for improvement.

Coming from a family who struggled financially when I was a child I have sometimes had problems with hanging onto stuff “just in case it will be useful”. However, as an adult I have definitely noticed that each time I rid myself of unnecessary ‘stuff’, I just open up space for newer, better, brighter, shinier things to take their places. This has proved itself time and time again, as I clear out my wardrobe... only to have more exciting things flow into it (oops,  I sound like a shopaholic!). This may be partially true but the theory is still highly effective.

Just google the phrases ‘de-clutter’ and ‘get organised’ and see how many sites discuss de-cluttering physical stuff as representative of working through emotional issues. Even if this term is too strong for you – we can all benefit from running smarter and faster. Who wouldn’t want to perform at their prime if given the choice? I certainly plan on aiming for optimum health, wealth and happiness this year.

Even if you can't be bothered organising a garage sale, you can still do the clear-out. Giving to your friends will mean they remember how much they love you. I love clothes swap parties, although I tend to go home looking like the michelin man. Giving to charity is fantastic and will give you the warm fuzzies. Opportunity shops are everywhere in Adelaide, they are always grateful for your donation. This has the added bonus that I will then be able to go and buy your no-doubt awesome stuff very cheaply and feel good about myself at the same time. Hooray! Pay it forward, schlocksters and cliche lovers everywhere!

Luckily for me my mother is the garage sale QUEEN! So I have been brought up in the mysterious ways of the garage sale, but just in case any of you are feeling similarly inclined and want some helpful advice, I found this site quite useful, they break it down into 7 steps so it's really easy to follow;

To add to the karmic correctness of my decision mum called me this morning to say she will be visiting from Sydney, arriving on Wednesday and staying for a week. Ahhh, just in time to help with the bartering!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Learn To Drive 101

I just had my very first driving lesson that actually counts for proper and for real.

I paid money to a driving instructor who does it for a living for an hour of white knuckling, nervous giggles, mints and cigarettes, (yes – he actually made me smoke one of his Marlboro reds when we finished). Through this harrowing ordeal I have achieved 1 x hour in my logbook, none of my assigned ‘tasks’ ticked off and a splitting headache.

Yes – I am 28 years old, don’t know how to drive a car and live in ADELAIDE. What’s this you say? How could I possibly find myself in this predicament? No one is really sure... other than excuses, excuses, excuses and just a touch of self-sabotaging. The list runs something like this;

  • Cars are bad mmm’kay - I’d rather ride my bike with all the other hippies. After all if I didn’t cycle people would forget to mistakenly believe I’m a vegetarian.

  •  I failed the test first time I sat it when I was 16 - As a woman of some modest talents I have always been one of those infuriating people who didn’t pursue activities I did not immediately show some promise at. So between ballet, drama, art, tennis, volleyball, gymnastics, ice skating, flute, trampolining, travelling, writing, friends and fashion I didn’t give that pesky driving thing a second thought.

  • No money/ no one to teach me - FAIL

  • My boyfriend will drive me around all the time anyway - FAIL what are you talking about you 'independant woman'. Your life is a LIE

  •  I actually like public transport - This is true! It’s the best for people watching and ‘me time’. It also ensures you plan your day better.

  • You can just sleep (with intermittent navigating) whenever you go on a road trip - SORRY KATH – yes, I love you.

Anyway, I’m sure you get the point. I could probably continue this way for days, so I will spare you the rest of my neurosis

Most of you no doubt are very cool with this whole driving caper, but I am so very uncool. I was actually so nervous, that when we came across a guy in the middle of the road taking his time I forgot my ‘inside voice’. As we swerved and announced loudly “HE’S FAT”! If this post does nothing else but make you realise how wonderfully together and skilled you are, then fantastic! If, on the other hand you too are like me, I say GET TO IT! I GET IT, it's terrifying and life threatening and you'll no doubt damage property and owe people millions of dollars, or mame your face, or other peoples faces, or break your big toe. That's probably just a little dramatic, but I am one of the vaguest, most spatially retarded people ever and if I didn’t crash, I’m guessing you probably won’t either.

I say stuff you to all those self righteous manual drivers who profess "there is no other way", "stick or bust". Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. Just learn how to propel your 1 tonne death machine correctly and safely without bumping into me before you worry about engine, performance, street cred, blah, blah, blah.

The sooner the better for everyone considering learning this apparently ‘essential life skill’ even though I rate it somewhere between knowing how to floss your teeth and tap dancing, it’s just embarrassing to be so behind the 8 ball. If there is nothing but ridding myself of the social stigma, it will be worth it.

At last, I’m going to be a real girl! Hooray!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Joy leap

How to quit a job you don't like and get creative!

Please excuse me while I employ my serious internet testimonial voice

“Hi, My name is Tegan and I have finally quit a job that didn’t make me happy.”

Please don't misunderstand; I enjoyed the afore mentioned job at times, especially when it was shiny and new and full of wonder and mystery. I especially loved the industry within which I was working, hospitality (Ha ha! You say). Shame, shame on me for not hating it, with all the other haters who are too busy staring at their iproduct(slash)own navels to smile and greet a customer like their job description dictates. Just to clarify this does not refer to anyone I know, any of my ex-staff, or anyone else I have an interest in not pissing off.

I like working really hard and am generally allergic to holidays because I seem to be rubbish at asking for things. If holidays ever do happen, I inevitably get sick for the entirety of said holiday because all of the eating good, nutritional food, smoking less ciggies, drinking less booze, relaxing in the sun and lack of stress really disagrees with me .

Sooo, in short, no one else seemed to be complaining, but I found myself in a conundrum of a pickle.
Typical of the social creature I am I had become attached to the people I worked with and couldn’t imagine not seeing them every day despite the fact they drove me nutbags. This means, and I’ve been guilty of this time and time again... I’m a chronic stayer. As an eternal optimist I always fall a little bit in love with places and people. I struggle to move on from all the great things we have built together and bonding experiences we have had, and hey, most of us have change issues to deal with!

It wasn’t until I hurt my back 2 months ago and my body decided to yell at me for a bit, in the attempt to issue a wakeup call that I began to properly understand that my daily routine was harming me in many ways. It took physical pain, however to make me confront several issues that had arisen in my life and needed dealing with.

I wasn’t eating well, I was drinking more that the average, smoking like a chimney, taking pain killers to cope with physical discomfort, couldn’t maintain an intimate relationship, couldn’t remember important dates in the lives of my friends and family... the list goes on.

If you are considering chucking in the towel yourself at this point - why not? I really think you know if it's right for you, or not. I suppose you should also consider the boring stuff too;
  • How easy is it to find work in your field?
  • How long can you go for without work? Please consider dependants and partners (if they are supportive). You don't want to replace work stress with financial stress if you can help it.
  • Will your state of mind and quality of life drastically improve if you liberate yourself from your current workplace?
  • How much notice are you required to give? Are you on a contract?
  • How long have you been in the job - are these just teething problems?
I read this after it had become obvious my decision was a no-brainer

However, you may find i-reseign invaluable in helping you with the decision making process. It's well considered and thorough!

So - Why was I choosing money over happiness and creative fulfilment?

What a nidiot.

At this stage, I suppose I’m obliged to mention my previous life. I have an honours degree in visual art and until 2 years ago was an avid painter, doodler, brain farter extraordinaire. However, I have lacked the self confidence and self possession to whole heartedly pursue this area as a money–making venture. Art, writing and crafting have been both an academic pursuit and a ‘serious hobby’, but I have never truly believed in my ability to wholly support myself doing activities I love. I mean really, truly love and therefore want to commit untold hours to, and because of my dedication become incredibly successful...pfft.

Just to define what I mean by ‘successful’ in this instance, but these points are also my general benchmark for success in Tegland–

  •  Earning enough money to live comfortably and travel a bit, perhaps even affording small luxuries like ice cream and massages and lacy underwear
  • To be healthy and happy with purpose and a feeling of fulfilment at least 85% of the time.

  •  To be able to see friends and family regularly, with enough time to foster mutually beneficial relationships and a reciprocated feeling of support and closeness. Also.... doing the basics, such as remembering birthdays and attending the requisite celebrations.

    I’m aware these desires may seem modest to some and to others, very ‘middle class’ I’m sure (that’s just my cynical side coming out). But they are MY definitions of success and you are welcome to come up with your very own set of qualifiers that are no doubt much cooler and more altruistic/hedonistic/ hip than mine.

    Maybe yours is even to own a fixie and a camera that still uses film, (my mum owns both of these things, why don’t you guys go on holiday together? She’ll teach you how to knit, darn, bake a woman’s weekly cake and generally crafternoon up a storm).

    Anyway – my ‘mission statement’ so to speak for this blog is to have a forum in which I am forced to share and be creative frequently. Both areas, I am assured that I excel at arhem... yes, definitely.

    If we happen to look at some art stuff, or poke around the neighbourhood, (after all – Adelaide is just a big ‘neighbourhood’) that would be dope too. Hooray, there we go. I’ve stated my intentions, in public, eek!

    And now all I have to do is stick to it...

    Did someone mention fat kids and smarties?