Sunday, October 30, 2011

November, we meet again.

I know, I know it's not November yet, but this year, much to Magneto Bold Too!'s dismay, I'll be participating in NaBloPoMo, again.

To try and make this as painless (for both you and me) as possible, I am going to try and be a little bit more formal with posts this time around.  This will hopefully prevent any "Oh no! I've nearly forgot to post" posts. Because no one enjoys that.

So for the month of November I'm instituting:

Getting Married Tuesday's where I'll write about our 'Getting Married' ceremony, our wedding in 2012, or some honeymoon tidbits.

What I Wear Wednesdays where I will demonstrate the numerous ways to wear khaki pants and pajamas (probably not together...). 

I'll try to post some new recipes one day a week, too.

(I'm notoriously bad at actually posting weekly prompts on the days they're supposed to be posted - so you know these are rough estimates, I make no promises)

I'm sure, as is Decoybetty tradition, there will be some fantastic posts with just haikus.

Are there any weekly prompts you'd love me to join in on?

Are there any questions you'd love for me to answer (ask me anything)?

(No, seriously, I can promise to answer your questions though, pinkie swear!)

Are you participating in NaBloPoMo? Or are you annoyed by the amount of posts in your feed?

Friday, October 28, 2011

I need a bigger plate or a new set of ovaries. Your choice universe.

So, hi, let's commence with a slight rant shall we?  I'm very sorry it has to happen this way, the ranting that is. But I'm a bit scared, severely overwhelmed, and procrastinating on writing a cover letter.

In my last post, I mentioned that I had to go in to get a second internal ultrasound and a couple of you were like "um, why?"  So, let's recap shall we?

My ovaries seem to be a bit on the fucked up side. There I said it.  Since about mid August I've had severe episodes of pain in my ovary/uterus/reproductive organ area.   Well, I've had the pains for few months before that as well, but it was/is getting worse, and I went to the ER and they sent me home after doing nothing.  The last two times have been well, to quote Inspector Climate "you're writhing in pain, unable to move, your body is completely spasming, and this last time the blood rushed out of your extremities leaving you with no feeling in them and you're panicking - that's not normal."  In other words, it HURTS, yo.

(This is what I do, and possibly why doctors didn't take me quite as seriously previously to this last episode - I jest about the pain because if I don't, I cry. And I am not a huge fan of crying in front of strangers).

And so, yesterday I went to have a second ultrasound because in the first one the ultrasound guy said this "you have blood around your left ovary, it's probably nothing but I need you to come back in 7 weeks to make sure it's gone"... however, that is NOT what he said this time. This time he said, "Last time you were here we discussed that there was the possibility that you have endometriosis and we're seeing if our hunch was correct previously"... he said while I was splayed out on the table with my legs spread and not pants on and then proceeded to shake my hand which one of the more awkward moments in my life.

Well, apparently his hunch was correct because he is now nearly 100% certain that I have endometriosis.  Yay for a diagnosis.  Boo for endometriosis.  I have an appointment with my doctor for Monday which will hopefully give me a better idea of what we're going to do to help me (the technician seemed confident that key hole surgery was in my future).

Stop being on the fritz, ovaries. I don't have the time for this right now.

I feel extremely overwhelmed.  As you know, I am getting married in less than two weeks and while that in itself doesn't scare me at all, it is something that I have penned into my date book.  My booking for my fingerprints is the day after Inspector Climate and I get married (I know how to PARTY).  I've got jobs I'm applying for and interviewing for (and getting calls like this "we're keeping your application on hold because you're a strong candidate but we're waiting to hear back from our first choice candidate FIRST"  Nothing makes me feel more like Toby Ziegler than being told I'm the second choice). I'm working two days a week, I have two vacations planned for the next two months and I don't really feel I have time for doctor's appointments (which I have UP THE WAZOOO) and possibly surgeries or not being able to function for 36 hours because of a pain episode.

Plus you know, making time for the things that relax and refuel me like knitting, yoga, baking, and blogging.  I'm simply just overwhelmed.  I'm sorry about that, too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I believe this is what is referred to as phoning it in

I have to go to work in a few minutes but I feel compelled to blog.

Here's the thing, first of all by "I have to go to work soon" I basically mean I'll be leaving to get there about 20 minutes early. I don't know why I do this, I often feel guilty then for leaving early (which is totally feasible we have a flexible work day). So there's that.

I'm also preparing myself mentally for my second internal ultrasound tomorrow.  Why yes, I am squeezing my thighs together as we speak.  I am not looking forward to having it done again, that's $250 I could spend on smoothies.

In brighter and lighter news, Inspector Climate and I are getting married in T-13 days.  Last night as we cuddled in bed we talked about how two weeks from now we'll be married.  We talked about how unscary that seems and how lucky we are. We talked about how in past relationships we felt compelled to try to change ourselves or try to be someone we're not to make the other person like us...but together we don't need to try so hard. We don't need to change ourselves.  Because together our individual neurosis (and trust me, we both have them. Although his are more along the lines of the fact he panics when a lap top isn't plugged in and mind are more along the lines of being a bit of a nut) just work together.

Yesterday, I went to buy a good friend a birthday present and started talking to the cashier and partners and fiancées came up and I mentioned I was getting married in two weeks and she told me that I seemed calm and collected for a bride-to-be. What's to freak out about?  I'm marrying someone I love.  What's scary in that?

What's more scary is this internal ultrasound. I insist on wearing socks (and you know how I feel about socks (I hate socks. I never wear socks. Snowing: no socks)) because I feel like if I'm going to be naked from the waist down my feet better  be covered.  Look I cannot explain it, but socks must be worn.

So um, how are you?

Monday, October 24, 2011

When it comes to pesto, I am a purist...but this is an exception

I've been a bad blogger, I attended the ProBlogger event in Melbourne on Friday where I learned all kinds of new stuff that hopefully will lead to some short and long term goals for this blog that I'll probably update with you later. Including all the lovely people I met.  And trust me when I say, I meant to write about all that over the weekend, but on Sunday I suffered from another Cyst Episode Too Many: Except not a cyst because ultrasounds show I don't have any and Doctor's are perplexed (I don't expect this title to gain ground in the movie industry).  For the first time, Inspector Climate witnessed an episode from beginning to end and I'm embarrassed to admit the extreme pain only lasts like 20 minutes (IF THAT). It feels like hours and I seriously just don't know how people with chronic pain or "real" pain do it.  To make me not look like a total wimp To be fair, it was so bad that my body started pulling all the blood from my extremities so that they started to lose feeling - terrifying.

Anyway, I feel better now after a full night's sleep, I even sat up this morning using my own abs instead of Inspector Climate's muscles. True story.


No, today, I really wanted to discuss pesto with you. I love pesto and have grown up spoiled, eating it freshly picked (or freshly picked then frozen for winter use) from my mom's garden. In fact one of the main plans for my planter box is to grow basil by the .... um ... planter box so that I can start freezing some for our winter.

So when I found this recipe for Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto over at Oh she Glows I knew I had to give it a try.  Except that here's the thing, we didn't have any basil, the market didn't have any organic basil (and herbs are one of the things I insist on buying organic) and so, instead, I made...

Roasted Tomato and Cilantro Pesto

You'll need:

9 large roma tomatoes (I would use more like 15 I think in the future)
1/2 cup almonds lightly toasted
2 garlic cloves
1 cup tightly packed of basil or cilantro
1/4 cup of olive oil, plus some for drizzling
Salt and pepper
Pasta for two or three

First, cut your roma's in half lengthwise and preheat the oven to 400 F.  Then be ye not as stupid as I  and put down a piece of parchment paper over your cookie sheet before putting your tomatoes on said sheet.  Trust me, I learned this the hard way.  Then drizzle olive oil over your tomatoes and some salt and pepper.


Cook for about an hour and some minutes (I probably overcooked mine slightly). If you have neglected that integral step, as I did, of using baking paper carefully remove tomatoes from burnt areas of the pan don't worry, they'll be fine. Measure out about 1.5 cup of tomatoes.  I only had 1.5 cup of tomatoes, but if you have extra set them aside.



Toast your almonds in oven at 325 F for 8-10 minutes.  Use 1/3 of a cup and put them in your food processor to be pulsed a few times, I wanted them to be a bit crunchy so I left the chunks pretty big.



Remove from processor and set aside.  With food processor turned on, drop garlic in until it is well and truly chopped up.  Then add your cilantro or basil to the garlic and process until it is well chopped. Add in oil and tomatoes and process until smooth. Then add in the 1/3 cup of already chopped almonds and some salt and pepper to taste, pulse until smooth.


 Roughly chop the remaining almonds and if have any left over tomatoes chop those as well.


 Mix the pesto through your cooked pasta.  Sprinkle roughly chopped almonds on top and some of the leftover chopped roasted tomatoes if you have any.

Oh She Glows is a vegan blog, and I hope she won't think I've trashed her recipe by adding some grated parmesan on top (although to be fair, it TOTALLY didn't need it). 


I ended up having enough pesto left over to have it for lunch on pasta again the next day AND I spread it on crackers while I was at work. It is absolutely delicious.  Using cilantro instead of basil adds a bit of a Mexican salsa feel to the pesto that is altogether lovely. But I am still eager to try it with real basil!  Yum!

What are you cooking up this weekend?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Two years since he kissed me (I mean the first time...he's kissed me since. it would be weird if he hadn't).

Yesterday was Inspector Climate and my anniversary.  We have a traditionally anniversary celebration. I cook him the dinner I cooked him two years ago (quiche with a potato (ie gluten free) crust with broccoli and caramelised onion and capsicum) and we watch the movie we saw on our first date: 500 Days of Summer.

I tried to convince Inspector Climate that we teach the bridal party this dance for when we walk down the aisle after being pronounced husband and wife (with Ellen in tow...obviously):





But he is refusing. REFUSING to shimmy, ladies and gentlemen.  And this is the man I'm marrying?

Yes, yes it is.

He is also the man who while I was on my lady holiday feeling sick he made me dinner, baked me gluten free crackers (FROM SCRATCH) and withstood several crying episodes that, trust me, NO ONE enjoyed. And then when I was lying on the couch practising my moaning he ran down the street to get me some Ben and Jerry's Phish Food ice cream.  Y'all if that is not true love, I am not sure what is.

We're getting married now in mere weeks and I couldn't be more relaxed about it.  This is who we are:
And I quite adore us together.

So, here's to many more years of twists and shouts, kitchen dance parties, and Ben and Jerry's ice cream.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupying Melbourne

On Saturday, I stopped by Occupy Melbourne to show my support as one of 99%
 The signs that were up were absolutely amazing. This giant baby is some piece of artwork that's in City Square (I don't know why) and someone put "Monsanto Mutant Baby" underneath of it. LOVE it. What you can't really see in this photo is that this baby has a dinosaur-like tail!
 Here are some more signs. Above this wall was a microphone which Inspector Climate describes as "leftie karoke" - anyone who wanted to could get up there and have the stage to express their beliefs. And that was nice.  Not that I did it - I'm not much for public speaking. But it was nice to hear average people getting a place to talk. 

And so, while I spent the weekend doing what I normal do - Occupying Melbourne - this time I did it with awareness.

How was your weekend?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Be careful with that knife, you might have to kiss the nearest boy!

A couple of weekends ago, Inspector Climate and I attended his cousins second birthday party where I was reminded of a strange Australian tradition.

When Australian's cut a birthday cake if the knife touches the bottom of the cake you have to kiss the nearest person of the opposite sex.  Which basically means you always have to kiss someone of the opposite sex because how do you NOT touch the bottom of the cake? It's a knife and you're making a slice - what are you going to do only cut 3/4 of the way down?

Is this something your family does?  What birthday traditions do you have? And most of all, have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Well, that was a slap in the face...followed by a kick in the stomach

Remember when I was all, this blog created opportunities for me and yay two job interviews.  Well, neither of those panned out.  And, why yes, I am devastated.

And before you get all Inspector Climate on me, yes, I can see the silver lining.  I had two job interviews, they went really well. I was myself in both of them, was knowledgeable and both interviewers said I was a strong candidate.  And yes, this kind of emphasised that what I'd like to be doing with my life is combining social media with environmental not-for-profits. And that's pretty huge in itself.  I get it.

I also get that I am completely heartbroken.  See this is what happened.  The first job interview happened so fast, I read the description sent in a coverletter and was asked to come into an interview THE VERY NEXT DAY.  I went to the interview, I rocked it.  The interviewer told me he definitely wanted me to come in to meet the CEO and that basically they'd just be ironing out the details after that.  He even emailed me before the weekend to tell me not to panic because I hadn't heard from them, but he was going to be out of office early the next week and that he'd get in touch shortly.  Sounds promising doesn't it?  Almost dare I say it, like a job offer?

Meanwhile, I emailed my dream job to say, "hey look, I got offered a second interview somewhere else, but I'd much prefer to work with you, so what's the status of my application."  And they said, come in for an interview.  And I did.

Days went by, and I hadn't heard from interviewer #1 so I emailed to see how things were going...they decided to shift things around internally and not hire anyone at all.   But I was a "strong candidate" and they hope I'll apply again if they re-advertise in the future.  Um, ok. 

And more days went by, and I emailed the dream job to check in - I was not going to let this one slip by - but they too had passed.  "You interviewed really well, I can't really give you any feedback, some of the other candidates were just bet...more experienced." She said on the phone.

I was at work when she called and I had to hold it together for hours before I could head home.  By the time I was off the train and walking towards my apartment, I was biting my lip and coming to terms to the fact I was about to have a major sob fest on the streets of Melbourne. By the time, I had shut the door on my apartment the hacking sobs had arrived accompanied by tears and the occasionally blurted out swear word.

I'm devastated. Jobs like those don't come around all the time, those job descriptions, it was like they wrote them with me in mind.  And yet, here I sit knowing yet again that November is probably going to come and go and I'll unemployed for the third year in a row.  That's how I roll, I get a job in April and it all ends in November.  I wanted so badly to break the cycle. I wanted so badly to not have to worry on embarking on this new married life relying on only one income which isn't mine.  I wanted to finally start working at a job that I loved with people who are kind but also as passionate about this stuff as I am.

And instead, here I am facing unemployment again.  I know in a few days or maybe next week I'll be able to pick up the pieces and start applying for jobs again.  It may only be hours from now. But until then I just need to grieve for the opportunities lost and the dreams that have crumbled.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ellen Degeneres, Could you do me a favour?

Hi Ellen,

I've been a big fan of yours for a long time.  Once I tried one of your jokes from your Here and Now show on a guy I was dating.  It did NOT go as planned.

But that's neither here nor there now, because I've fallen love and am getting married at the end of September 2012 in New England. And I was hoping you'd officiate.  The best part is that you don't have to be a justice of the peace or get ordained because technically, my fiancé and I will already be married. But look, I think your resume could use the boost of having that one extra credential - so go and get ordained if you wish.

Here's the thing Ellen, we already have so much in common.

You married an Australian.

I'm about to marry an Australian.

Your Australian is from Victoria.

My Australian is from Victoria.

There will be a variety of vegetarian gluten free food at the ceremony - and if you're there, there will be dancing. Oh so much dancing.

So anyway, Ellen, would you do me the honour of officiating my 29 September 2012 wedding?

We'll even rent you a Winnebago to be parked on our property so you can be near the action - or a hotel room, look we can iron out the details later.

Much love and respect,

Decoybetty


Friday, October 07, 2011

Let me let you in on why this is a secret.

First of all, a few days ago I posted about how the hardest thing about using my blogging experience as resume building is talking about my blog with The Real World.  And lots of you were all "Your blog is a secret? What is UP with that?"

My blog isn't a secret because my parents or family wouldn't be supportive. And it isn't a secret because my friends think blogging is whack.  It isn't a secret so that I have the space to vent about family affairs (although there have been times when I've come close) or discuss friends' secrets. No, it isn't for any of those reasons.

The reason my family doesn't know is because I have a long long history of not telling them anything.  They don't know that I was so depressed at college that I often ignored their phone calls because I wasn't up to lying about how I felt that day.  Similarly, they don't know about the 9 months I was on the pill and the horrible depression that that sent me into.  They don't know about my trip to the Emergency Room, the story of my engagement part 1 or 2 (I mean, they know I am engaged, I have to share somethings), or how sometimes I get homesick.  And it's not because they wouldn't understand or because they wouldn't be loving and compassionate - it's because of me. I'm just not that good at sharing with my parents.  A bunch of strangers - sure! Hi!

No, no, no. None of this secrecy can be blamed on my parents (although, when I was 11 and had been getting my period for a few sporadic months but was embarrassed to tell my mother but finally told her because you know, it is some rite of passage or something.  She told my whole family and wanted to throw me a period party. A. Period. Party. You know where a bunch of her friends could tell me what it's like being a woman or something? I don't know, I emphatically said I couldn't think of anything WORSE and then proceeded to never trust her with a secret again...I mean she told everyone).

No, it's because of me.

See I use this space to think through decisions, vent about emotions I can't process using my verbal words, and to find humour in situations that are just down right getting me down.  Then once I've worked through all that shiznit, I can verbalise my decision, what I'm actually feeling, or the humour once I've found it.  But I don't want them to see the mess behind what I tell them, I don't want them to worry about their little girl around the world, and I don't want them to suggest solutions. So without this space to work through my problems and deal with change and emotion and anxiety and worry, I'd be...well, probably less communicative. (Inspector Climate just rolled his eyes saying "hah, that's not possible).

So is this just me? Did your mom want to throw you a period party? Why do you keep your blog a secret? Or not?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Garden pickings


First I wrote a guest post over at Her Packing List about one of my favourite books. If you like travel, adventure, and AMAZING writing skills I'd highly recommend going to check out this post.  Seriously, just go.

If you don't like travel, adventure, or amazing writing skills, then you can hang here with me and we'll talk about garden spinach.  Hey hey now, don't leave. Spinach is delicious.

On Tuesday night, I picked our first garden goodies from my planter box: spinach and coriander.  I picked it brought it inside and put it in the sink to give it a good wash and get all the bugs off of it - growing up on a farm has made me both paranoid about eating slugs and kind of blasé about bugs in my food.

Because fresh garden spinach isn't something I get to eat very often, I wanted to make sure I was eating it raw and right after it was picked to capitalise on its freshness. Now if I lived alone, I probably would have made a salad with some Gorgonzola cheese, apples and pears, spinach and some pine nuts. But I don't live alone. I live with Inspector Climate who thinks that lettuce and spinach (raw, he's fine with it cooked) is rabbit food (which so are carrots, and he eats those. His logic is full of holes).

So instead I made his favourite meal home made refried black beans (bean loaf, recipe from on my blog previously here) with home made corn tortillas, home made fresh salsa, some grated cheese and sliced spinach.
Holy Yum!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

You ask and you shall receive...No really.

A few posts ago I wrote about how this blog has landed me a job interview (or three) recently and I've received a few comments about how I've been leveraging my blog to get said interviews and some discounts for my upcoming travels.  You ask, and you shall receive my dears. Literally.

However, the answer isn't so much a magical and mythical one as it is common sense.  The travelling one is the easiest. I asked.  I emailed the hotel that we wanted to stay at and one of the activities we wanted to do that was a bit expensive and explained about my blog (some stats and how I would write about my experience), when we were going to be there, and what kind of offer I was looking for.  And they both said yes.  One gave me a discounted price on the activity we wanted to do (to be divulged when we embark on said trip) and the hotel upgraded us to a nicer room for majorly discounted price. 

Lesson: Asking doesn't hurt.

As for the jobs, recently there have been some business in Melbourne who have been advertising social media AND environment jobs (hello dream job, how are you?).   I've been able to use my nine years of blogging experience as well as my experience in fundraising and the environment sector to my advantage.  The hardest part about this for me is I've spent a lot of time  and effort keeping my blog a secret.  My family doesn't know it exists, a lot of real life friends don't know it exists, and most of all the places that I work do not know that it exists.  So for me to be open about this space has been a bit of a challenge and learning curve for me.  However, if the pay off is that I get paid to blog and use social media to help the environment - then YES PLEASE.

Lesson: When applying to jobs utilise ALL your skills and hobbies. 

Is there anything else you'd like to know?  Ask me, bitches.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Sleep and Meaningfuls

I've been looking forward to writing this post for the last twenty four hours, Inspector Climate's behaviour at night time is so completely different to his behaviour when he is awake, that I've even had to add a 'sleep and meaningfuls' category to my blog to document his out of character actions.

Inspector Climate is a notorious sleep talker (see here and here), as well as a sleep mover and a shaker. Most of his night time shenanigans arise because he thinks that there are bugs in the bed. 

Over the weekend we went to his parents house for a weekend out of the city. On Saturday night, Inspector Climate woke me up as he usually does by turning on the light and starting to get out of bed.  Before I could ask him what he was doing, he pulled down his undies - checked himself out, and pulled them back up again.

"What are you doing?" I asked, knowing the answer as he started to pull the sheet back and look for bugs in the bed.

"I thought there were bugs in the bed."

When he woke up the next morning, I asked if he remembered any of his nudist activities of the night before. Not a clue.

Y'all, I got a streaker on my hands!