Monthly Archives: June 2011

It’s not about the lamp

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I want a lamp. A perfect lamp that will fit with my furniture, my furniture I am yet to buy, furniture still on the sky high shelves of Ikea. I wander around shops that sell home wares, a collection of cushions with sequins and incense and entirely too much wicker on everything, I keep searching for this perfect lamp. I scour the Ikea website, maybe one of these will be it. A perfect, fitting lamp.

If I find this lamp, my life will be perfect.

But it won’t really. There will be the next “if I have X, my life will be perfect.”

A couple of months ago, if I got a leather jacket, my life would be perfect. Not long before the breakup. And then, I was suddenly, devastatingly single. I got the jacket. My life wasn’t perfect. I promised the universe I’d give the perfect jacket back to have the perfect of him in my life. I’m still waiting for things to sort out. He is an overarching, “if I have him, my life will be perfect”. But I know, deep down, that’s not true.

If I have him, my life won’t be perfect. If I have the lamp, my life won’t be perfect.

There is no perfect. The lamp is the outlet. Something achievable. I may not get him, but I can get the lamp. If I find this lamp, for a brief period of time, things will be okay.

It’s not about the lamp. It’s about having something, anything to hold on to, that will keep me going. The chase of what will make me happy.

The pursuit of lamp.

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Stuck

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I pole dance for fitness. I started last year in a casual class learning some basic tricks and began to work on getting upside down. I loved it. It made me feel strong and I could see my progress as my tricks began to get smoother and prettier. After Christmas and New years, that studio closed down, and I moved interstate and couldn’t afford to go to classes for a few months. After getting my money under control, I joined a new studio. The studio I go to is very fitness based – on their website, many of the pictures include the instructors wearing joggers. It’s not about being sexy for men, or being trashy. It’s about getting fit, feeling good about yourself and having a lot of fun.

I don’t like exercise that feels like work. With pole, your improvements are far more noticeable – finally getting that trick you’ve been stuck on, the first time you manage to get upside down, you can see yourself getting better in a more obvious way than lifting more on the weight machines, running for those few seconds longer on the treadmill. You use your whole body, your own weight builds your strength, and as an added bonus, there isn’t anything better fitness wise for preventing tuckshop lady arms, or bingo wings. I like the challenge it gives me for my whole body. Strength, flexibility, coordination, confidence and it’s just plain fun. Think of how much fun you had as a little kid playing on the monkey bars. It’s like that, but for grown ups.

Once you get your basic strength, a lot of pole is mental.

This week, I’ve been stuck on a trick. I went in to practice last night for half an hour or so, as long as I could manage before my hand started to feel like it was getting blisters. I felt like I made no progress with it. I can’t get the speed with it, I end up too close to the pole and I slide down too far, too fast. Pantera Blacksmith, a  famous pole dancer, came to my pole studio a few weeks ago and said to practice tricks on both arms, so you don’t end up with one very strong arm, or butt cheek, and one weak arm and one saggy butt cheek. This trick, I can do on my left. On my weaker arm. Not as perfectly or as fast as I’d like, but I can do it. But on my right, my strong side, as well as being the direction for the routine my class is doing, I’m sloppy and weak. It is so frustrating to hit a wall like this. I know I can do it. I can do it going the opposite direction. Which makes it all the more difficult to understand what I need to do to get it right. But I know I can do it. It will click and once I get it the first time, it will work every time after that.

I’ll be going back to practice again on Tuesday. Go over the routine a few times with the instructor, then keep working on that spin. Hopefully I manage to get past that mental block that is preventing me from being able to do the spin on the right. It’s not as though I can’t do it, my left is decent, I’m not lacking the strength or flexibility for it.

And when I get it, I’ll be overjoyed. Everything will fall into place and the mental block will be gone. I won’t be stuck on this trick anymore, and I can move on to the next challenge.

Experiment in fried rice

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Immediately after deciding to start a blog, within the next day or so, I got ridiculously sick. I’ve hardly eaten for a week. I’ve been on antibiotics twice this month, it’s somewhat ridiculous. Therefore, last night I decided to make myself some healthy fried rice. Emphasis on the healthy and a lot less of the fried in cooking it. A quick look on recipe sites for common ingredients, a chat to my brother about what his girlfriend puts in hers, and off I went to the shops for the extra vegetables. I came home with shallots, capsicum, soy sauce and a pack of mini meat pies in case it was a spectacular disaster.

I decided not to follow a recipe, just wing it and hope for the best. It turned out amazingly delicious, and very filling. I forgot to take a picture at dinner, so here it is in a container for lunch at work today.

Healthy fried rice

Two cups brown rice, uncooked
Two to three cloves garlic
Teaspoon-ish of ginger
One small onion
Four rashers short cut bacon
One small carrot
One fifth of a capsicum
Roughly ½ to 1 cup frozen peas and corn
One leaf stick thing of shallots
Soy sauce
Spray oil

1. Start cooking the brown rice in a rice cooker with the appropriate amount of water. While it cooks, you prepare/cook everything else. Brown rice takes ages.

2. Spray some cooking oil into a large frying pan, on a medium heat, be a little generous, it’s all the oil you’ll be using. This is healthy you know!

3. Peel the onion, carrot, garlic and ginger. Crush or dice the garlic and ginger, and start cooking it in the frypan. Dice the onion, and put this in to cook as well. In between chopping, stir your pan occassionally to make sure everything doesn’t burn and stays nice. Cut the carrot however you like, I just did ordinary slices of circle shapes.

4. Dice the bacon, I stacked mine up and cut them all at once. When the onion is reasonably soft, add the bacon and stir to get the flavours mixing together. Put the carrots on to start cooking in a small saucepan.

5. Dice your capsicum and chop up your shallots. They get to sit on the chopping board until the rice has cooked.Keep an eye on the carrots and when they’re just cooked, drain them. You don’t want them too soft because they’ll still cook a little more in the pan.

6. When the rice is cooked, scoop it all into the frying pan. Stir the bacon/garlic/ginger/onion through the rice. When this is done, add the frozen peas and corn and stir through as well. When they warm up, add the capsicum and carrot. Pour some soy sauce over the whole mixture, I didn’t use measurements so I’d guess a couple of tablespoons? Stir that through and add more for taste if you need it.

7. The shallot goes in right at the end, so keep mixing and stirring your rice. Eat a pea every now and then to test if it’s ready or not. When the peas are cooked, you’re good to go. Add the shallots, stir them through, and in the stirring process thats enough time for them to cook. Once it’s all stirred through, it’s ready to serve and eat!

This makes about 3-4 bowls worth of rice, and you can just eat the rice as a meal. I did last night! I’m thinking about adding some chicken next time for extra protein, perhaps a little sweet chili sauce or other sauces for flavour. Either way, it was delicious and I’ll definitely make this again.