A year to remember, a year to forget

Navigating Life

It was only three years ago when I suffered my own “annus horribilis” and life seemed to get just a little too tough for this grasshopper. So I waived the metaphorical white flag and surrendered. Back then, there were three natural disasters in my personal sphere, as well as some other heavy shit going down, which meant I was glad when 2011 was done.

This year for me, in comparison, has been a mix of annus horribilis (a year of misfortune) and annus mirabilis (a year of wonder or miracles) yet I am kind of looking forward to it being over, too.

On a global scale, we’ve had to deal with three major airline crashes, resulting in hundreds of deaths, far too many far-fetched conspiracy theories and the subsequent media reporting on unsubstantiated waffle. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who is just a little more fearful each time I fly these days.

We’ve also unfortunately learned who ISIS is and come to understand what they’re prepared to do to get the attention they think they deserve. And as has happened so often in history, journalists sent to cover the story, became the story themselves and ultimately the victims.

Cracking jokes about someone having Ebola if they coughed became par for the course, even though thousands of people died of the disease this year, which of course is far from funny.

For those of us in Australia, terror came to our very door-step when a deranged coward held up a Sydney coffee shop for hours while the mainstream media gave him exactly what he wanted – non-stop coverage. Two lives were lost that day while our nation looked on in horrific live streaming. I have written about this many times and remain convinced, as a member of the Fourth Estate myself, that our unpalatable desire for instantaneous ‘news’ needs to be tempered with common sense and some serious adherence to journalistic ethics. When a madman holds 17 hostages, and a nation, to ransom in the quite accurate hope of gaining national or global attention, then surely it the media’s job not to fulfil his demands?

Yep, there certainly has been a plethora of bad news of late.

On the very big plus side, this year has been a time of quite awesome transformation for me. I started the New Year going to the movies by myself, working in a job that I should have left two years before, drinking myself ‘happy’ at the weekends, and having sworn off dating forever because all men were idiots (apart from you, dad).

Within three months of the start of 2014, I’d landed a cool media gig that I didn’t even apply for, quit drinking two weeks after that (I’ve just celebrated 10 months on the wagon) and a week after that I clapped my eyeballs on B across a crowed room (yep, just like in the movies) for the very first time and knew I was in big – but very sexy – trouble.

There’s been a lot of change, a soul renovation if you will, and with that has come a whole host of possibilities that I mostly thought were lost to me. I guess that’s the amazing thing about life. You really never know what’s going to happen. Sure, sometimes it’s crap and makes you cry for people you didn’t even know, but sometimes it’s so astoundingly beautiful that you wonder whether you really deserve it at all. Good old life. It sure does keep you on your toes, doesn’t it?

Here’s to 2015. Thanks for sticking with me.

The A to Z of cohabitation

The A to Z of Cohabitation image

After nearly five years of mostly happy singledom, it’s been one whole day since B and I started “officially” living together. It’s been quite good so far. He hasn’t farted in front of me once. It’s a pity I can’t say the same. We even managed to shift into our new abode without an argument – although I did say “I have no opinion on that” quite a few times during the course of our very long moving day. But as we head, eyes wide open, into the next phase of our relationship, there are many things I need to keep in mind to help me stay relatively sane.

A – Alcohol or lack of it. Unbeknownst to almost everyone bar a few, after 28 years on the piss I gave up the grog nine months ago. I feel awesome and this is the first relationship that I’ve ever had that didn’t start with one of us wearing beer googles. Winning!

– Blow-jobs. One must remember to give these from time-to-time when one is cohabitating.

C – Commitment. As a 42-year-old who has never married, I am perhaps a commitment-phobe. It might be time to change this. C also stands for clitoris, naturally.

D – Dementia. When your mum has dementia. It sucks. Every single day.

– Ego. One must keep this in check even when one gets to be on the telly.

F – Friends. Through the good times and the bad and especially during the heady days and months of new relationships when one may tend to go AWOL these are the peeps whove stuck by me, even when they didnt like me that much.

G – Grace Land. My screenplay which I had written the first 10 minutes of before some wanker broke into my (now former) apartment and nicked my laptop. That said, G is also for Grateful. This year I have learned to be this. Finally.

H – Handjobs – see entry above at B.

I – IVF…

J – John Butler Trio. Some 15 years after I first saw him play in Fremantle, I still love him. Not in a stalkery kind of way though. I just admire talent.

K – Kale. I really really like kale, raw or cooked, which makes me a knob I know but I just don’t care.

L – Loony. This year, I have stopped focusing on the things I can’t change and concentrated instead on the things that I can. It’s been rather good for my mental health so I’m slightly less loony than I was. Only slightly, mind you.

M – McJones. Potentially the name of our new cat, although Montague McPussyCat is also a frontrunner for this soon-to-be adopted moggy.

N – Never say never. At the start of this year if someone had told me I’d be shacked up with a smart and very sexy man by year’s end, I would’ve laughed heartily, called them a fantasist and then popped off to the pub to drown my sorrows.

O – OMV. This blog, which I must give more attention to. Oh and it stands for Oh My Vagina in case you were wondering.

P – Property porn. One must not indulge in so much property porn on for sale listing websites that one finds oneself talking about it constantly and boring almost everyone one knows apart from work colleagues who are paid to listen.

Q – Qi. Seemingly a word one can use in Scrabble to beat your girlfriend on her birthday while holidaying on a Pacific island.

R – Rabbit fur. Random.

S – Scrabble. My boyfriend beats me in Scrabble with questionable words and a sexy smile (see entry at Q). I love him for it.

T – Truth. It’s a pretty good way to start a relationship I have learned. Who knew?

U – Uranus. I once told B that I thought it was a cliché to say “I love you to the moon and back”, plus it didn’t seem quite far enough if you really did love someone. So I often tell him “I love you to Uranus and back”. I think he likes it.

V – Vulva, naturally.

W – The Wend. The only place to live. Full of hippies, hipsters, homeless and then there’s us.

X – X-Factor. If I was to write a list of all the attributes I was seeking in a man, B would have every single one, plus a few I didn’t even know I was looking for. He’s also cool that I wrote a blog that appeared to insinuate (completely incorrectly) that he had erection problems. What a chilled dude.

Y – YOLO. Just fucken do it I reckon.
 
Z – Zouk. A very sexy Latin dance that makes your whole body tingle. B learned this just for me. Z also stands for zzz’s. He’s an early riser. I am not. Since we met, I’ve begun to wake earlier and he’s started to sleep in a little later so nowadays we wake at the same time somewhere in the middle of these two former extremes. I think that’s kinda neat.

 

The problem erection

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No matter how hard we tried we just couldn’t get it erect. B was becoming increasingly frustrated while I, well, I thought it was quite funny. “Sometimes it just happens,” I said to him while trying to keep the mood light. Like so many men in history, my perspective was not what he wanted to hear.

There is no doubt that we had a severe case of a problem erection a few weeks ago and the timing couldn’t have been worse. We’d planned a romantic weekend for a number of months and had both been looking forward to some time away from civilisation to just be with each other – you know, romantically.

But alas the erection problem happened almost as soon as we arrived at our destination. We hadn’t been out of the car long at all when we decided that we might as well get the party under way. We both knew what we were doing so within a few minutes we’d unsheathed the necessary equipment and started going for it.

Everything seemed to be going quite well until it became apparent that while the desire was certainly there, the actual mechanics were somewhat, ah, lacking.

We tried different positions, and pulling and pushing in a variety of ways, but we just couldn’t get the damn thing up. We managed to get it to half-mast a few times but then it would just deflate on itself and we’d have to start all over again.

By this stage, B was very red in the face from a combination of anger, effort and frustration. I myself was also sweating profusely and was quite out of breath. Erections were never usually this much trouble.

B wanted to give up but I was too invested to let him cave so easily. “No” I said to his crest-fallen face. “Maybe we just need some assistance to get it up? I could pop down the shops and buy something perhaps?”

Well it’s no surprise that he didn’t like the sound of that. I think his masculinity was offended and his pride was hurt that it wasn’t working out the way it was supposed too – even though his erections in very similar circumstances had been successfully happening since he was a teenager.

It was at about that moment that I realised that only something serious could fix the problem – and quite possibly our relationship. B clearly was beyond caring about whether it was erect or not and the prospect of sleeping alone out in the wilderness didn’t excite me one little bit.

So I took the situation into my own hands and came up with a solution. “There’s still time to get to the shops before they close,” I said. “Let’s jump in the car and get what we need.”

So my friends that is how B and I found ourselves at a camping store a few minutes before it closed on the Sunshine Coast recently. We went there to buy some pegs and ropes so we could erect that pesky bloody borrowed tent that was being particularly bothersome. When we got there though, we came across a miraculous new invention – a self-erecting tent – and bought that instead. Now we need never worry about problem erections ever again.