Monday, 29 February 2016

I Don't Understand...

This weeks prompt is: I don't understand... 

We could be here for a while. I don't understand SO many things. Like, for instance, people. What are they about? So weird.

Plus, I don't understand Twatter and I'm hopeless with technology, despite having a blog. It's pretty obvious, isn't it? Sigh.

One of the thing that I REALLY don't understand is why bad things always happen to good people while arseholes roam the Earth unscathed and blissfully unaware that they are, in fact, arseholes.

I also don't understand:

Small talk
My kids homework
Morning people. And basically just people, period, as I've already mentioned.
Almost anything that other people find entertaining and fun. Think sport, nightclubs, amusement park rides or taking drugs. Yep, I'm a real barrel of laughs!

But anyway, enough of the boring lists of things I don't understand. I didn't want to bang on about my cancer 'journey' all the time in this space, but last Friday I got THE BEST news!

The professor type lady from the Familial Cancer Service rang me to inform me that my test results came back clear! This means I don't have any mutant genes! There is no increased risk of it returning in the other breast, or of ovarian cancer and no need for any further surgery!!!!!! WOO HOO!! I'm slightly ecstatic right now!

This makes me realise that I really don't understand how or why life is such a random lottery.  I don't understand why one person has a cancer diagnosis, breast or otherwise, and they can be going strong decades later, while another person isn't. While I'm more positive that I'm going be the former, there is always that teensy bit of uncertainty.

I've never been good at embracing uncertainty or change, so this is going to be a big lesson at learning to live with something huge that I don't understand.

Which brings me to all the inspirational sayings and memes. This one popped up in my Facebook newsfeed yesterday.

But I'm starting to think it's more of a 50/50 proposition. Life is 50 percent what happens to you and 50 percent how you react. In fact, I wonder if we have less control than we think over both of these things. 

For instance, you may have a picture in your mind of you think you'd react to a specific situation, but you honestly have no idea how you'd really react unless it really happens. And if that reaction isn't always positive, it's not a sign of weakness. I may be straying off topic here a bit, but I thought this kind of ties in with how I don't understand the whole 'life is a random lottery' thing. 

Having said that, maybe I should buy a lottery ticket after my good news last week? Of course, that was actually a better feeling than winning the lottery! But then again, I've never won the lottery so how would I know? If some one could please arrange a lottery win for me, so I can test my theory? Thanks! 

What do you not understand? 

Linking up for I Must Confess, Open Slather and Mummy Mondays

Monday, 22 February 2016

Introverts Are Awesome!

Howdy folks! Here's something I dragged out of the vaults for today's burning question: 

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Quiet and reserved?

Or a bubbly, outgoing chatterbox?

The person sitting sedately in the corner at social occasions?

Or do you prefer dancing on the tables and being the centre of attention?

Maybe you're somewhere in between these extremes? I'd like to know! 

As for me,  clearly it's obvious. It's table-top dancing exhibitionism all the way, baby! And talking? I never stop! 

The fact that this is all a figment of my imagination is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT.

Oh alright, sometimes I like to pretend I'm the opposite of what I'm really like. I mean, it was okay to sing into a hair brush in my bedroom as a child and pretend to be a pop star. Can't I still play pretend as an adult? The problem is, I have difficulty translating my flights of fantasy into real life 'fake it until you make it' situations. Sigh. 

The truth is that I'm so introverted I make all other introverts seem like Alan Carr Chatty Man on Speed. In addition to my extreme introversion, I am also ridiculously shy. If that wasn't enough, I also have Asperger's Syndrome. Oh yes, I've scored the ultimate hat-trick of excruciating social awkwardness. Yay me! 

Just make sure you invite me to all your parties if you really want to them to just  GO  OFF!  I mean completely, OFF. Literally. I'll bore all the guests rigid in seconds. If my riveting personality isn't enough, all I need to do is whip out my Carpenters albums. DONE. 

Anyway, as you can see, all of the above traits have led to me disintegrating in self-deprecation quite frequently. However, since the publication of the book I mentioned, there has been a subtle shift. Us introverts are finally getting our fifteen minutes of fame. There is even a Facebook group called Introverts Are Awesome.
I absolutely agree. So I stole the title for this post. Ahem.

As mute as I can be in person, I have a feeling that I have plenty to say on this topic. So feel free to skim through to the end. 

Otherwise, strap yourself in, it's going to be a self-indulgent ride. You're welcome.  

Apparently it was some dude named Carl Jung who first coined the terms introvert and extrovert. Although there still appears to be some ongoing debate about the true definition of these terms, the simple lay person's guide is this:

An introvert is somebody who finds too much social interaction over-stimulating and needs to recharge with solitude. Extroverts, on the other hand, are energised and thrive off being around other people. 

This is a pretty basic, abridged definition. Obviously there has been reams of stuff written about the two different types and there can be variables. For instance, not all introverts consider themselves to be shy.  

Personally, I was so sensitive about being shy as a young person that I failed to realise that I was also introverted and that this is perfectly fine. Looking back I can see that I sabotaged myself in some ways. 

After I finished High School back in the olden days of the late 1980's, I studied at TAFE to become a Library Technician. My shyness caused me so much agony, especially in the form of job interviews, that even though I managed to secure temporary positions, I finally convinced myself that I was not cut out for the job.

Guess what? You don't have to be extroverted to work in a Library! Who knew? It never occurred to me to see being quiet and introverted as a positive instead of a negative.

There seems to be way too much emphasis on being extroverted in our culture. For so many years I always believed that being shy/introverted was this bad, hideous, awful thing about me that had to be changed at all costs.

The inference from other people was  always that if only I tried hard enough I could 'come of out my shell'. I have grown to hate that expression. Having people subtly put you down in this way constantly just reinforces all the above feelings. I felt that everything about me was intrinsically WRONG. 

After ditching the Library work, I started working in a call centre. Yep, I'm a genius. This is the introvert's version of Hell. Only worse. Anyway, I used to envy the fact that my co-workers seemed to have all this easy banter and rapport. I'd see groups of women trotting off to lunch together laughing, and wish I could be one of them. 

Then, the rare times that I was actually invited out to lunch with others, I'd find myself feeling....well, frankly....bored. Not shy. Not anxious. Just plain old bored. While they chattered on about how hammered they were on the weekend (perfectly normal for a bunch of twenty somethings), I had nothing to add to this conversation. This is when I realised that I do sometimes prefer my own company. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally anti-social. I just prefer small groups of close friends and family than over-whelming crowds of lots of people. And sometimes I just don't click or have anything in common with some people. I've decided that this is okay. After all, you don't have to like or be liked by everyone

Even when I socialise with close friends and family I suffer a 'social hangover' afterwards. I enjoy it, but I then I need time alone to re-charge. Instead of feeling refreshed and energised I feel  like I've done 50 rounds in the ring with The Rock, then been run over by truck and put through a blender. 

See, I knew that I would ramble on about this subject. Whatever the written equivalent of verbal diarrhoea is, I have it. Ahem.

I  ain't coming out of my shell for anyone! 

Even alcohol doesn't 'bring me out of my shell'. Instead, I just feel sleepy and mellow after one or two drinks. After a third I'll either feel light-headed and sick or slip into a coma. I'm SUCH a party animal!

Fortunately, I never attend many parties. Unless they are children's parties. Nobody appears to have 'at home' parties anymore. Or, if they are, we're not being invited. This means that I may have to sit in a McDonald's/Play Centre/Bowling Alley with a few other unfamiliar parents and make polite chit-chat. Not surprisingly, I suck at it. 

I'll either go with my favourite option: mutism. Or, alternatively, I'll completely put my foot in it and blurt out way too much information. 

Like the time one Mum was chatting away about a friend who had tragically lost a baby half way through her pregnancy, yet still had to give birth.

"I couldn't imagine having to go through that!" she said, almost in tears "It would be terrible!"

"Yes, it is," I replied, without thinking "the same thing happened to me." 

The poor woman looked thunderstruck. Of course there was no way she could ever have known that. I wouldn't say it was exactly helpful of me to bring it up. She apologised, clearly wishing the ground would swallow her. Good one, Ness.

Ditto the time when I used to attend Playgroup with Mr 5 before he started school. One of the Mums there expressed her worry about her Dad who was having a colonoscopy that day. I proceeded to inform her how Micky Blue Eyes has one every year after having had bowel cancer in 2004. Her worried expression turned to one of terror. Well played yet again, Ness.  Way to go with the social gaffes!

As Mr 11 would say in a faux American drawl:


No wonder I mostly stick to what I'm best at. Shutting right up.

Yes sir, selective mutism and I are besties. 

ALL VALE NESSKI: Bringing you awkward silences since 1971!

Another phenomenon that came into play during the Play Group era was my introverted tendency to suffer from a 'social hangover'. I briefly touched upon this before.

Playgroup only consisted of a measly two hours a week of social interaction.  That's nothing, right? So why did I go home every week and feel like sobbing from exhaustion? The next week would roll around and I'd feel barely recovered.

Meanwhile, the other Mums revealed how they schlepped their kidlets to various groups on multiple days of the week. I was STUNNED to learn this. Seriously. STUNNED. 

I couldn't have been more shocked if they'd revealed that they liked to snort cocaine off a hooker's arse while their kids watched. 

Okay, I may be exaggerating just a teeny bit. But it is quite amazing to me how you weirdo extroverted folk like this socialising caper so much. 

I guess I could force myself out of my comfort zone once in while. 

It is quite interesting being a shy, introverted Aspie and being a mother of three amazing but noisy boys! On the one hand, I often crave peace and solitude. On the other hand, my family are my coat of armour against the World.

An oldie but a goodie 

In all my many awkward moments I can remind myself that I don't have to worry about what others think of me. I have Micky Blue Eyes and the boys who love and accept me. We are a family of introverts. The only difference is, my boys are certainly NOT shy! 

Anyway, Susan Cain has a Manifesto for Introverts.

I'd like to make up my own manifesto, but I'll have to think about it further in order to come up with something poetic and wise.

In the mean time, you can always count on good old Grumpy Cat:

Linking up for  IMust ConfessOpen Slather and Mummy Mondays

Are you an introvert or an extrovert, or maybe a bit of both? 

Monday, 15 February 2016

What's In My Handbag plus Shopping SUCKS

My TITS are in my handbag. That got your attention, didn't it? Okay, not my tits exactly, but my pretty pink Ipod that my brilliant imaginary friends Posski and Randa gave me was christened TITS. Perfect.

This is all leading up to today's confession, which is, most surprisingly:

What is in your handbag right now?

Allow me to tell you:

TITS (aka pink Ipod)
A purse. Sadly one that doesn't contain much cold, hard cash. Sigh
A book.
A tattered Fill-In. They're sort of like a lazy person's crossword, because they give you the answers and you fill them in in the right spots corresponding with each other. 
My adult colouring-in book.
My pencil case with pencils, pens and textas. (See above).
My lip balm. 

Normally I might have a brush, but I don't need those right now. I'm baldy. HAWT.  I now have a small collection of large handbags and a large collection of lovely hats. Awesome. 

That's about it. These items are essential for my long, boring chemo treatments and copious waiting in doctor's waiting rooms for appointments. This is pretty much my life right now.

Nothing much to report there except I had Cycle 3 of chemo last Wednesday and so far it's treating me kindly. Furthermore, I am nearly finished!!! Hallelujah! One more Cycle on the 24th and I'm DONE! 

Of course, then I will get my genetic test results back and find out what the next step is.  I am only very slightly petrified about this. Gulps.

So in order to keep my mind occupied I've been doing some of the afore-mentioned things in my handbag, reading, fill-ins etc. Additionally I've written some very dodgy poems. I won't share all of them with you (you're welcome), but this one made me giggle. I hope you do, too. 

Here goes:

SHOPPING SUCKS: A touching poem 

By Yours Truly

Shopping and cooking are a mystery to me
Yet often I drool over a recipe I see
Optimistically I set off, finding myself here at the shop
Where I frantically search for the list I forgot

It's laying at home, mocking and derisive
For even IT knows I am never decisive
Then I ponder and think, what items did I jot?
Do you think I remember? No! I cannot! 

Do I need coffee? Do I need tea?
What is the difference between camenbert and brie?
I know I need milk, but don't know what kind
We all prefer different types, you will find

The boys prefer THEIR milk to be fully-leaded
But the way that my dodgy cholesterol is headed
I am resigned to the boring old skim
Mickey Blue Eyes? It's 'light' milk for him! 

Of course I'll buy bread, but definitely NO CAKE!
Why? Because we all know I'll eat it, for goodness sake!
Did I need plain or self-raising flour?
I become more annoyed and perplexed by the hour

 I heave my clunky trolley through the brightly lit aisles
Wondering if other folk suffer all these trials
Up aisle one, down aisle two, three and four
My head is aching and my feet are so sore
Coles FM is droning on, I can't take it anymore! 

If I have to endure 'easy listening' for so long
PLEASE at least play a Carpenters song!
Then suddenly, while overwhelmed by choice
I DO blissfully hear that unrecognisable voice

Unperturbed, along I start singing
Impervious to the peeved looks I am bringing
I'm the weird woman who croons as she lingers
For slightly too long near the Birds Eye Fish Fingers

Abruptly I snap out of my Karen reverie
Feeling foolish, all eyes are following me
I must hurry up, get straight back to my task
Finish the shopping , get out of here FAST! 

There are three ravenous boys, all of whom I must feed
Even if they refuse the five serves of veggies they need
It has to be done, so on I endeavour
This is fun! RIGHT. Said no one, EVER!

Then a family reunion is starting to thrive
Conveniently clogging up most of aisle five
How will ever get out of here alive?
But I must keep going, so onwards I strive

Alas, it seems that even this isn't enough
It's just not my day. I must have no luck!
I spot some one I know, there in full sight!
An introvert's awkward and most irksome plight

I stop in dismay, watching like a hawk
Petrified I'll be cornered into difficult small talk
But when I turn to make my escape
Again I have made the most ghastly mistake

What else can go wrong? Yes, I know, I know! 
But it's torture for me in the confectionery row!
Mars Bars seem to tease me before my very eyes
As if they too know they would head straight to my thighs

Then ALL the chocolates join in and chant their evil chorus
Buy us! Eat us! Buy us! Eat us, Ness! You know you just adore us!
I'm forced to flee from the lane of all things yummy
The last thing I need is a bigger, rounder tummy

Leaving the chocolate's taunting refrain
I then reach the aisle of my ultimate shame
Yes, for me cleaning products cause genuine pain
Gumption, Ajax, mops and Pledge-Grab-Its
Remind me of all of my slovenly habits

These items will transform me into a Domestic Goddess!
Just buy us! We're brilliant! They insincerely promise.
Besides I'm aware that all you need is bleach
But how do you stand the smell, I will beg and beseech? 

Weary and bewildered, I randomly fill my trolley
A very impractical and most unwitting folly
I have had quite enough, I just can't pretend
It's time to bring this shopping thing limping to it's end

I trudge to the front in order to pay
But why is there only one cashier open today?
Once in line, the cashier is quite chatty
The endless yakking instead of packing is driving me batty

Then of course comes the inevitable price check
Isn't this all just a big pain in the neck?
Eventually my load is all finally scanned through
Then comes the terrible thing I must do

I reach for my purse and feel my hand quiver
As I hand over copious cash, a kidney, a liver
Arriving home, I unpack my all my food
And briefly relax my jittery mood

I'm pleased and relieved I've completed my feat
Then the boys arrive home and with these words they greet:

MUM, THERE'S NOTHING HERE TO EAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you enjoy shopping?

What's in your handbag right now? 

Monday, 8 February 2016

I Have Never...

It's often quite disconcerting to realise that I've reached the mature age of 45 without doing a great deal things you might have expected a 45 year old woman to do. 

The list is long and comprehensive. I have never:

Had a career.
Been on a plane by myself (without my parents or Mick). 
Gotten a tattoo.
Taken illegal drugs.
Or even smoked a cigarette.
Stood naked in the rain.
Been thoroughly grown up and competent.

Had an affair (Mickey Blue Eyes will be not at all surprised shocked and relieved here). 
Broken someone's heart. 
Been a total bitch. 
Seen snow.
Been surfing.
Learnt to swim (shut up). 
Liked sport. This makes me somewhat of a freakish Australian. 
Bungee jumped.
Ridden a motor-cycle.
Played an instrument.
Been able to raise my voice much above a whisper.
I've never been to me, just like Charlene, (and I've never exactly understood what that song meant). 
Liked rides or amusement parks. 
Worn a bikini. 

The thing is, though, for the most part I have never really wanted to do these things. I've never had a sort of bucket list of adrenaline packed adventures that I've wanted to tick off in my life-time. 

I've pondered over why I'm such a drifter/daydreamer with a lack of ambition or wanderlust and the only possible explanation I can come up with is that if you're like me: shy, quiet, introverted, Aspie and anxious then you spend a lot of time just wishing to be 'normal' in inverted commas (because who decides what normal is) and mediocre. This probably doesn't make one little bit of sense to anyone but me, but when the simplest of things like talking or making eye-contact are a huge challenge, you pretty much take yourself out of the running for things like high-powered careers or sole travelling. 

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned people who like amusement park rides or bungee-jumping are the crazy ones. Good luck with that. I'm a two feet firmly on the ground kind of girl. 

I've never understood the attraction to smoking. I find the smell alone to be repulsive and skin-crawling. Again - this must be an ASD sensory thing. Therefore, I've never had any curiosity to try it, not even once. I can't really tolerate alcohol well. Any more than two drinks maximum and my head will be spinning. And I really detest that out of control, queasy, hungover feeling, so I've never been tempted to try any drugs. Not that I've ever been offered any. It's weirdly ironic to think I've grown up in good old Mt. Druitt and am utterly clueless about drugs. Food is my drug. 

As Dolly Parton said: I'll take a sandwich and a shake over a jug and a joint any day. You'll have to imagine the Dolly twang. 

When it comes to swimming and any other water related activities, I guess I have a water phobia. I dislike putting my head under water. Anyway, my 77 year old father still doesn't know how to swim, so I'm prepared to carry on that tradition. And I'll never need that bikini. I'm naturally fair-skinned, so it doesn't make sense to wear one, anyway. Instead I need 20 litres of 50 plus sunscreen and head to toe clothing and I'll still get burnt.  HMPH. 

As far as I know I've never broken anyone's heart. In reality, there could be dozens of men (and women who wish I'd turn) weeping and devastated that I'm not available. Yeah, RIGHT. Snorts. 

And yes, I'm too much of a goody goody Pollyanna type to be a bitch. It would be handy to be able to think of cutting remarks in reply to certain people. Sometimes I manage it, but only at 4am after the event. Sigh. 

Image credit:
I AM sick of bullshit! Why can't I be a bitch??!!

Speaking of 'I have never...' I have never quite known how to bring my rambling posts to a seamless conclusion, so why start now? 

The end. 

Yes, that was abrupt. 


How would you finish the phrase 'I have never...'?

Linking up for I Must Confess, Open Slather and 
Mummy Mondays

Monday, 1 February 2016

I Like To Watch

Since I've been on this little 'ol 'journey,' I've been spending an inordinate amount of time watching a bit of mindless television. This is just an attempt to take my mind of everything else. 

I've also balanced it with other things: reading, writing, listening to music, fill-ins, colouring-in (yes, I can't believe I've embraced the adult colouring-in phenomenon either). So far I haven't learnt how to crochet, but you never know. (Shut up, Posski and Randa). 

But anyway, back to the television-watching. I began watching the old re-runs of Friends on Gem, as well as Gilmore Girls. And I'm a little baffled. Although for some reason I keep watching. Go figure. 

Yes, I know I'm extremely late to the party with these shows. Like, at least 20 years. Details, people. Details. 

What I was going to say is that these shows open up so many questions about the implausibility of it all. 

Let's start with Friends. They're always hanging around the Central Perk cafe, drinking coffee and trading witty banter. And every single time they're at the shop, they are conveniently able to sit on the big couch at the centre of the shop. Surely, if this was a busy coffee place in New York, that seat would be taken sometimes? 

Image credit:

This seat is permanently reserved for Rachel. Ross, et al.
Seems realistic, right? 

Plus, they're six friends all living together and they still end up staying besties. I mean, seriously, I love all of my friends, but if six of us lived together for an extended period of time I'm sure there would be an attempted murder. And I'd probably be the victim. This could be because I'm the total opposite of Monica. I might be*a slob.

Another thing that strikes me is that Courtney Cox is equally as skinny as Karen Carpenter was in the mid 70s when she was anorexic. Yes, I know I shouldn't be judging women on their size or appearance; fat, thin, or otherwise. Generally I don't, but it's just one of those things that strikes me at times because I'm such a big Karen fan. A lot of actresses are really that thin and I can't work it out. Shrugs. 

Then there is the little issue that all of the Friends characters sleep with each other, which would seem to complicate things further. Rachel apparently sleeps with both Ross and Joey. I can't imagine that working out well in real life. Plus, what is the deal with the whole 'Ross and Rachel' thing?? Do they ever actually end up together? 

I know. I know. I'm just over-thinking a sit-com intended for light entertainment and laughs. But you know me. Always pondering the deep issues.

Which brings me to the Gilmore Girls. Do people really monologue at each other the way Lorelei and Rory do? I mean, I'm Aspie and even I don't monologue away in such in a fashion. And again, they always have the perfect witty banter. Plus Lauren Graham looks immaculate and gorgeous and she's supposed to be a single mother and now I'm just babbling and ranting and I suppose I'm jealous. HMPH. 

Image credit:


And they're always so mixed up and confused about relationships in these shows, but I suppose that's what keeps the conflict going. Thank God I never got into Ally McBeal. My head would be hurting right now. Too late, it already is. Doesn’t take much!

Another American sit-com that I've caught a few re-runs of is Frasier.  Could they have cast two more unappealing men? Ahem. Plus the whole 'Niles and Daphne unrequited love thing' is even more annoying than Ross and Rachel. Okay, it's probably just me. I should avoid American sit-coms. 

Speaking of American sit-coms starring unappealing men, I'm also partial to a bit of Seinfeld. But let's face it Jerry, George and Kramer are hardly heartthrobs. Good thing it was funny. 

I'll also admit that I was an Offspring fan. Even so, I'm not sure about the decision to bring it back. There's only so many hot boyfriends and styled outfits Nina can have. 

Probably my most guilty TV pleasure is a bit the old Dr. Phil. How's that working for you? It’s working okay, thanks Dr Phil.

Thanks to you I’ve learnt at least three important things:

  1. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.
  2. You wouldn’t worry about what others thought of you if you knew how seldom they did. 
  3. And that there are so many people out there who are so much more FUCKED UP than me.
So it hasn’t been a total waste of time watching your sometimes sensationalistic and often voyeuristic programme. Thanks dude.   

Over the years I've also been obsessed with Bewitched (oh my stars!), I Dream Of Jeannie and The Golden Girls. To the point where I'll occasionally watch the re-runs when they pop up. 

I’m also a Sex & The City fan. I hated the movies, but I still watch re-runs of the show. I'm struggling to think of any current shows that I watch. I never got into Game Of Thrones or any of the shows that people rave about. I suppose that's because I'm weird and also because we don't have Foxtel. 

My Mum gave me the entire series of Downtown Abbey, because I started to watch it and somehow dropped off and missed it. So again, I can catch up with a show when it's done and dusted. I'm funny like that. I prefer things when they're old news or celebrities when they're conveniently dead. Makes so much more sense, right? Okay, not really. I'm just always late to the party. But since the party doesn't start until I get there it's all good, right? I'm SUCH a party animal. Snorts. 

And watch daggy TV shows and listen to daggy music...

So that's me. Always watching the deep and meaningful, hard-hitting programmes. I rarely watch the news. Don't judge me. Okay, judge away...

The truth is, I'm anxious person, so I  take the approach to my anxiety that anyone would for any chronic condition. For instance, if you had epilepsy you wouldn't expose yourself to anything that provokes an episode. Therefore, I won't expose myself to anything I find too anxiety-provoking, if I can help it. Of course I'm also an airhead so there is that. But I'm a nice airhead, aren't I? 

Okay, so I'm off to watch a few re-runs. 

* There was no need to use the words 'might be' in that sentence. 

Linking up for I Must Confess, Open Slather and 
Mummy Mondays.
What are your guilty TV pleasures? 

Can anyone recommend some current TV shows for this airhead?