Author Archives: phonakins

I am going to Japan

When, who with and how long it’ll take me to save are all a mystery, but I do declare, I will be going to Japan.

Screenshot form a bank app for an empty bank account

I am turning 40 in July, so I won’t declare I’ll be going for my fortieth. But sometime between 40 and 45. I have opened a separate saving account even though I don’t yet have money to put in it because I’m about to spend the last of my DSP backpay on car air-conditioning, after making the second last spend on get my hair re-purpled this week:

Purple hair

I got it done are Meraki Hair at Argenton – 02 49530800.

So, I’m not sure about a lot of things. I know I want to go. I know I want to get better at the language. I know I’m enjoying being back at face to face lessons even if they’re not where I’m doing most of my Japanese language learning and re-learning. Most of that is happening through Duolingo, and making a fool of myself streaming myself doing to lessons live on my Twitch channel, so I’m encouraged to read and reason out aloud, practice my pronunciation and celebrate my successes.

It was always the long term goal I pointed my efforts in therapy towards. This will mean I’ll have to look at getting some sort of income above my disability pension, again, I don’t know what or when or how. But it will be part of the journey. Maybe I’ll find a Twitch niche in Aussie girls pronouncing Japanese badly and get a following. Or I’ll pick up a few hours a week work doing something somewhere which will go to my fund but not stress me out too much, or maybe I’ll win one of those many competitions I enter and I’ll be there before I know it!

So, that’s where I’m at. Stumbling over my Japanese, dreaming of going. The borders aren’t even open to tourists in Japan since Covid, so I’m not missing out!

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out

This is the obligatory yay! we fucking got rid of Morrison and are looking towards a future where we’re sliding less rapidly into a fascist hellscape.

Now to hold Anthony Albanese to his commitments and to push him to do better than that because it’s sorely needed across climate change, welfare, disability, wages, housing policy, health and more.

Today we celebrate, tomorrow we keep up the fight!

The Herd – The King is Dead 

We danced like new years eve
We danced from sheer relief
Everything must change

The people that you projected as
We were nothing of the sort it sold us all short
Put down the champagne
No toast to the legacy(no way)
And all the propaganda of prosperity
That’s what a machine does and they don’t need therapy
You turned us into a nation of haters
Far right appeaser
Believer in whatever get you leader
Dog whistle through the speakers
See who bites it

I noticed a hell of a lot of people liked it
An ethical choice is simpler if you price it
Conquer by dividing
That’s why you admired him?
Unless pushed we would never have retired him
Fuckin pirate history will damn him
Once it seemed like nothing can damage him
Crook, you got your arse played in Mandarin

Finally the King is Dead,
We cried off with his head
Everything must change, Everything must change
We danced like new years eve
We danced from relief
Everything must change, nothing stays the same
Nothing stays the same oh, Nothing stays the same oh

Yeah Cats I know are feeling just like the rapture
I can tell who this mood is failing to capture
It’s like somebody finally did light that match up
And burn down the parliament, learned from the argument
Can’t be non-partisan, when you’re an artist
And you put your heart in it,
And that’s not even the half of it
Like my man said, we’re talking butter and bread
Better if his words were never uttered again
Mostly vindictive, who could have predicted
Just a few tax breaks to keep us all addicted
The dickhead dictator leader imitator
Made me feel immature when I said I hate ya
Did you read the paper the day after and hear the laughter?
I’ll read it to you, it starts with M McKew and ends with you
No broader view from the people on your ship that you used to call crew
Huh! That’s typical, now I guess it’s difficult
For the type of person who only thinks of individual
No residual, you’ll see our resilience
Take your bat and ball and head for the pavilion

Finally the King is Dead,
We cried off with his head
Everything must change, Everything must change
We danced like new years eve
We danced from relief
Everything must change, nothing stays the same
Nothing stays the same oh, Nothing stays the same oh

We danced like new years eve
We danced from sheer relief
Everything must change

Just promise me this,
No rose petal glasses,
Quickly confine him to part of the past

Just promise me this,
No rose petal glasses,
Quickly confine him to part of the past

Finally the King is Dead,
We cried off with his head
Everything must change, Everything must change
We danced like new years eve
We danced from relief
Everything must change, nothing stays the same

Finally the King is Dead,
We cried off with his head
Everything must change, Everything must change
We danced like new years eve
We danced from relief
Everything must change, nothing stays the same
Nothing stays the same oh, Nothing stays the same oh

No rose coloured glasses….

It’s been a week

Sometimes it’s not my story to tell, but I can share some of my feelpinions. I know my push for my sister to stay a couple of nights at the hospital may have caused different troubles, but I do believe that the time out and the more pressing need to make changes to how we all work with and around her to support her and her family are good things. It brings things to the surface, out in the open, to be discussed and people can do better.

I’ve learned to really like the assumptions of DBT

1. People are doing the best they can.
All people at any given point in time are doing the best they can.
2. People want to improve.
The common characteristic of all people is that they want to improve their lives and be happy.
3. People need to do better, try harder, and be more motivated to change.
The fact that people are doing the best they can, and want to do even better, does not mean
that these things are enough to solve the problem.
4. People may not have caused all of our own problems, but they have to solve them
People have to change their own behavioural responses and alter their environment for their life to change.
5. New behaviour has to be learned in all relevant contexts. New behavioural skills have to be practiced in the situations where the skills are needed, not just in the situation where the skills are first learned.
6. All behaviours (actions, thoughts, emotions) are caused. There is always a cause or set of causes for our actions, thoughts, and emotions, even if we do not know what the causes are.
7. Figuring out and changing the causes of behaviour work better than judging and blaming.
Judging and blaming are easier, but if we want to create change in the world, we have to
change the chains of events that cause unwanted behaviours and events.

To assume that people are doing the best they can, given their skills, their resources, their background, their experiences. That even if you are hurt or confused by their actions, they did the best they could.  That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try harder, to learn and grow, to be better at what they do. And I believe that for myself, I know I’ve done wrong by myself and by others in the past and will make mistakes in the future, but everything has a cause even the craziest of “Borderline” moments.

The framing of someone having done their best at any given time is useful when you apply it to, I don’t know, let’s say, your parents and how they parented you. The stuff they did well, the stuff they struggled with. Remembering they too were raised by parents who did things well and struggled with other things. But remembering that very few people are deliberately malicious, and even then we can apply the same framework to think about what skills, personality and resources they bring to the situation. True, they may lack empathy, and intend to hurt you, but there are reasons for that, even if it is that they are truly broken as a person and need to have changes to them or the things around them, or both, to have good outcomes for themselves and those who they might damage with their fucked-up-ness. Yes, there are true predators, and they should be away from those they seek to harm, but how that looks I don’t know. But that’s not most people. And most people are truly trying hard, even if they fall short of their own or our expectations and hopes of them.

I’ve wandered off with my thoughts. I’ve been trying to decide whether to attend my therapy appointment tomorrow. It’s a lot of travel, and I’m tired still from the week that’s been. But it may be good to have that hour to talk with someone external, someone without expectations of how I should have handled the week and the people around me in the week. I don’t know, I’ll decide in the morning. The train ride might be nice, even if I still have to pay full fare because they only resent my Opal card over the weekend.

Bruce made me laugh this morning. I asked him a question, and he replied “I’m just simping for my e-girl”.

less than three xx

What we ate last week

Mueslie, pills and coffee

It’s time, my frens, for me to start posting a weekly foodage overview, including anything that doesn’t feel worthy of its own post, such as regular dinners, breakfasts, snacks I’ve tried, that sort of things. We start with my breakfast of choice at the moment – muesli (usually aldi Almond and apricot) with a banana and milk, a coffee – Fox Coffee Dusk blend with light milk, and assorted morning meds.

For our EveryPlate meals this week we had jacket potatoes with  creamy bacon sauce, tex-mex chicken with corn salsa, rissoles with  onion chutney, South American chicken, Vietnamese style beef bowl and garlicky chicken with sweet potato wedges. Next week we’ll try for more in-focus photos. I really liked all the dishes this week! I made the top chicken recipe of Monday night before heading to my first Japanese class, as so packed it to take with me but ended up just eating it before I left. Super fast though, so no issues cooking it at 4.30pm.

One large disappointment this week with the Everyplate box – the rissoles were meant to be pork but they left out one of the portions of pork mince, so I had to substitue with some beef mince we had in the freezer. They gave a generous credit for it, but it’s highly disappointing and it made me feel guilty for giving it such hype last week. If you wanna share in my disappointment, I was live on Twitch when I was unboxing it, and have archived that video over here on YouTube. So I apologise for anyone who having one of the serves of meat left our will throw even more than me, I hope you persist. It was all there this week…

On Saturday, after the mega long day going down to Sydney for the Ausgrid panel, I was relived that Bruce had ordered pizza and returned to brain-deadidly eat a slice of each and half a garlic bread. Thank you Dominoes. There was a third pizza but I didn’t have any of it. How good is cheap and nasty garlic bread though?

bacon pizza anchovy and cheese pizza slice garlic bread

Tea and biscuits at each of my hospital appointments to get me through! These Gumnut bikkies are still a novelty.

tea and biscuits tea and biscuits

And also from Thursday, $5.50 well spent on out of sate and short dated snacks at the food bank at the local church along with free bread. Oh and mayo. Unfortunately they only take cash so I had to walk back up with my fist full of coins later in the morning cos I don’t carry cash.

snacks from food bank

Any food highlights for you this week?

Ausgrid Voices of Community Panel – First Face-to-Face Day at Rydges World Square

Gonzo and Rizzo saying I'm here to tell the story and Rozzo saying and I am here for the food

Over the last couple of months I’ve been participating in a panel for Ausgrid, the local energy distributor, working with 60 other customers across Sydney, Central Coast and the Hunter to feed into their next big plan. We had several evening sessions and one full day online before today, but Saturday was the first face to face session. As it was down in Sydney, Hunter participants received an extra $100 gift card thank you, on top of the $1000 payment we will get at the completion of the program in June.

Our task Ausgrid manages the poles and wires in your community. The energy industry is at a critical point, with a growing focus on a low carbon future and more extreme weather impacting the grid. Alongside that, customer needs and aspirations are rapidly changing. How we understand and respond to these issues has important implications for electricity bills and the reliability of electricity supply. How should Ausgrid look to the future while being fair to customers today?

Got up at 5am and caught an early train down the Central… been forever since I’ve done that long trip! Unfortunately, I lost my concession opal card a few weeks back and the replacement hasn’t arrived, so it was tapping on with my keycard for full fare. I still really don’t like three newer trains with the blue seats, and sadly didn’t get the old more comfortable purple seat train either way. One day the even newer trains will be in service and I’ll get to complain about the seats not being able to change direction.

An uneventful trip down, Sydney greeted me with what they’re know for best at the moment -rain! It was a dash up Pitt street without the umbrella I forgot to bring, and straight to the urn of coffee after registration. I’ve recently worked out that the reason I feel sick after two coffees is the milk and not the coffee or caffeine, so a low milk coffee link urn or instant with a splash of milk can be consumed repeatedly over the course of a conference or meeting day like this one.

sydney station outside on a rainy day

I swear I’m not just there for the food like Rizzo the rat, but a decent spread was put on and that’s what we’re at least making this post for! Gotta keep us fuelled up and thinking!

mini muffins

vege mud cakes

Morning tea was muffin time – blueberry, choc chip, and citrus and poppy seed muffins for the crown, and some vegan chocolate mud cakes for those with dietary restrictions. I tried them all – even the mud cake at the end of morning tea when they were going untouched. The mini-muffins were generic enough, and I stashed a couple to eat on the train home. The icing on the mud cake disappeared into my tongue somehow! It was VERY noisy in the lobby and the conference room, so I did some disappearing acts during the breaks to recharge.

buffet lunch

a plate of lunch and an apple juice

Lunch was a buffet – roast lam and vegetables, chicken curry and rice, salads, bread rolls, and desserts. There was a cheese option too, and apple juice, water, tea and coffee. I ate my lunch alone, then went to be social with some of the others with my petit fours and mug of tea. I nearly recruited someone to man a booth on election day, but she declined for her own sanity, and I don’t blame her!

The afternoon, while short was also long, and felt like it was dragging. I think it was because we’d been going over the same topics and points all day, trying to nut them out to be able to take them back to “the stakeholders” for feedback. There’s only so many times I can hear the same comments about an issue that’s really not that relevant but is super important to someone before rolling my eyes and wishing myself out of the room. They did have these plush cubes that had microphones to throw around so we could hear the speakers which was kinda cool, and super helpful especially with some people wearing masks.

The party pies were a surprise for afternoon tea, but strangely hit the spot with the grey old world outside looking like I didn’t want to go back into it.

I stared out over the lanterns at afternoon tea, regathering my self to face other humans for just one more session. Honestly, I didn’t contribute too much in the finally session, I was so done, and I somehow ended up on a table talking about fault reporting and tried to be useful and care. One strategy I did find myself using though the day was putting my hand up early to contribute so I knew I’d participated in a session and didn’t get lost in all the noise. It seemed to work for me.

We finished on time and scurried to the station for the 5.18 train. That was peaceful enough until Woy Woy when pre-loading teens got on to head into Newcastle for clubbing. They were so loud and reeking of cheap premixes, but good for them for, hey?

What do you like about conference type meals? I’m glad we got a sit-down lunch rather than stand up sandwiches and wraps, so that was a pleasant change!