Thursday, 27 November 2014

Why I really hate running (and how I try to do it anyway).

There are two things I really dislike in terms of exercise - walking and running.

Walking - unless you have amazing company and a purpose, I just hate it. No reason why, though part of this probably relates to walking being my only mode of transport as a teenager. Also, I have a car, who wants to walk when it's hot, cold, dark, bright, raining or too far to go?

Running - I hate running because I suck at it.

All the reasons I hate running:

1. I don't have a runner's body.
Being on the short side means I have short strides while walking and even shorter strides while running. For me, running seems to be an inefficient way of travelling. I also have wide hips. Yay for belly dancing, nay for running. One of my trainers has told me that no matter how much I practice, I'm just not built to be a runner. On the upside he did tell me that extra weight = extra strength in your legs. which is why my legs can lack the running, just the rest of me can't.

2. I can't get in the zone when I'm running.
People I know who like running seem to be able to get in the zone, or a dream like trance where their mind is free while they pound pavement. This is what I want to achieve in running, and I have done it once, four years ago, when I was running four times a week.

When I'm doing other cardio, I go find my trance state pretty easily, and it's a very happy place. So I can see the point of running clearing the mind, it just doesn't do it for me because I'm too busy trying to breathe and thinking about sore feet.

3. High impact + sore feet = cup of cement please.
I get really sore feet when I run, jump or do a Step class.

Much of this seemed to happen due to a terrible and stupid incident in 2007. I was at work and managed to drop a table tennis table on my foot. I iced it for half an hour, drove home in agony and did nothing to treat the pain, other than Panadol and occasional ice. Then, three days later I dropped a suitcase on the same foot. I couldn't walk very well for a few days, which was a great way to kick off my first massive roadtrip to the Gold Coast. The roastrip mean I had no access to ice, or the thought to get anything to treat it. I also had the biggest bruise in the world. This was the stupidest mistake I have ever made in terms of my health - yes, really. I have had x-rays and stuff, but as soon as I start running or jumping too often or for an extended period (say beyond five minutes), I will get pain. Scientifically this doesn't seem to hold up, but I know it's true.

4. I just don't like it AND I'm not good at it.
It's one thing to like something and not be good at it, it's another to hate it and suck at it. And for me, that's my relationship with running. It is totally hate/hate. I didn't like running as a child, I didn't even really like it when I've done City to Bay and other fun runs. For me, the thrill is always knowing that I've endured something I hate and have always struggled with. It's totally a mental game.

That aside, you must know this is going somewhere. How and why do I run anyway?

I mostly blame Bec and Julie who invited me aaaages ago to do their weekly beach runs. And I liked both of those ladies, so I said yes. If I hadn't, well I'd probably be sitting here bitching about why I hate walking. I'll leave that for another time. I also run because I like to be part of things. I loved doing City to Bay with Viva and I hope I make it next year too, though maybe with Guides, I don't know.

I run because it's good for me and it gets my heart rate soaring. The best way I can tackle the mental issues and physical pain is to do intervals.

Explain intervals!
For me, intervals mean running for anywhere from thirty seconds to two minutes, then having the same amount of time as rest, then running again. You can increase or decrease the intervals at your leisure. This seems to be the best way for me to start building up to run for longer amounts of time. I also really like shuttle runs - one end of the backyard to the other is good for me. I'll often do twenty runs, do some squats, do twenty more, do some lunges... and so on.

Getting over pain
Distraction - I crank my music or go to my happy place. It also really helps if you have a friend, and the best type of running friend to have is totally someone who understands how you think and feel about running and isn't trying to thrust their own agenda onto you. What do I hate while running? People who barely know you, or aren't trained in fitness telling you to push harder, run faster and so on. Seriously, give them a good 'fuck you' and find someone else. Or maybe don't do that if you actually like them. As one of those curvy girls I hear things like 'you can do better/move faster/run as fast as/higher knees/you can eat that cheesecake tonight' a lot and it is actually often untrue and hurtful... and more to the point, distracts me from running.

Buy awesome shoes - I wear the dorkest running shoes ever, They are Duomax and they are the only shoe which really support my feet. I highly recommend The Athlete's Foot (the West Lakes store especially) - those guys and gals really know what they're on about. Also, choose appropriate socks. I lose all concentration when my socks are uncomfortable and that means I need to choose better next time. Outside of running, which I don't do heaps of, but enough to write a blog about it, I kick around in Fit Flops most of the time. They are the best casual shoe I have ever owned and incredibly supportive.

Look after your tootsies - So obviously I have been in situations when I can't do intervals or shuttles. I trained for City to Bay for eight weeks with hour and a half long training sessions. It was hell. For the first few weeks I was soaking my feet in warm water, but then my right foot started swelling often so I was spending a few hours every Saturday with my foot up and iced. Sometimes I have strapped my right foot as well, but I had a very bad incident last year (it turns out mud + strapping tape is not ideal) and have been scared off doing so since then. I've rolled tennis balls under my feet and tried doing the walk in barefeet whenever possibly, followed by Always Wear Shoes... you get the idea. I have tried a lot of things do do with looking after my feet, and some work with limited success.

Choose where you run - I love love love the track between Henley and Grange because that's where I used to run with the Viva girls. What's awesome about this is that most of the track is paved with sand sprinkled in different parts. It also has very very small inclines in a few parts. For me, the sand breaks up the trip. I hate running on flat pavement, on concrete floors (unless they are sprung floors like at Viva) and on treadmills. Grass I like a little bit better.

Refusing pain
At the end of the day, you have to know your own body and what you are capable of, and capable of dealing with afterwards. This still means you need to be tough on yourself, but know your options too.

For high impact issues, here are some substitutes I like to use.

Running on treadmill: replacing this with walking on a treadmill on a very steep incline seems to keep me in line. Also, it gives you an awesome bum, and who doesn't want one of those?

Jump squats: using just the squats with better technique is a better option than jumping with poor technique. Jumping = increasing your heart rate etc... but it's squats. You want to have good technique, otherwise why bother with a jump squat?!

Jump jacks/star jumps: jacks are faster than jumps, but everyone knows what these are. The best option is a step tap while stretching out your arms as you would a star jump.

Step classes: There are so many loyal Steppers out there who would kill me for saying this, but Step isn't for everyone. I really like Step BUT it does my poor feet harm. The best option for this is to try to go to a class that uses the step within it for some things (like Body Pump) or a taste tester class. I have only ever walked out of one class before - a Body Step class. This was a month after injuring my foot and I struggled my way through half an hour when I realised I was aggravating my injury. Most classes you can take options to avoid this - say if you are struggling in Spin, you can turn down your resistance, but in Step you need to stay on the step most of the time.

Running in general: A different type of cardio. I love Body Attack which is aerobics. I'm not great at it, but it's a class which allows you lots of options.

Tellin' everybody
When you have someone like I do - achy foot syndrome (yes, I just made that up), it really pays to tell people who train or instruct you in any fitness activity. Not only do you avoid the 'come on, you should be running' lectures, you'll be shown different options or ways of doing things. This is an awesome thing to do, especially if you don't really know what you're doing. This also allows for people to make suggestions of how to best recover and treat your feet! Yay!

Despite all these things - I still really hate running. But, it's good for you. So, go do it.

If you got to the end of this post, well done. In case you're wondering, why yes, I do have Fitness quals, and no, I'm not in the right shape to come and work for your gym... yet.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Raw Meat Sesh 5 Test and little spin out moment.

Sunday will be a big day for me. Not only should I have almost everything signed off on my Girl Guides Leadership Passport, I'm also doing the Raw Meat Test.

On Wednesday we went through the test and I can do almost everything. So now I feel a whole heap better. I also know if I don't pass I have worked my arse off to get through in just five sessions. So, go me.

The test results mean that those who pass make it to Fresh Meat, those who don't will be invited to retest next year (in either 6 or 12 months) and might be asked to take on a non skating role in the league. Either way you get feedback which is awesome.

Just so I feel better about Sunday, here's what I can do in bold.

1. Stops
-Skater must come to a complete stop from a brisk pace within 4 seconds, using proper form and without losing balance. 
-T-Stops (so so so close!)
-Plow Stops
2. Balance and Agility
-Skater must demonstrate the ability to perform the following tasks without losing balance, stumbling or falling:
-Stepping and standing from a standstill, maintaining control of wheels (not rolling)
--forward and backward
--side to side in both directions
--shuffle (I still don't know what this is!)
--quick steps
--balance on one foot for 30 seconds

-Weaving through 10 cones in less than 6 seconds 
-Hopping over a fixed marker on the ground 
-Hopping from side to side from a brisk speed
3. Recovery
-Knee taps with both knees
-Double knee slides
4. Skating skills
-Posture (bent at knees with hips and shoulders back, centre of gravity low and down, skate with low, bent knees)
-Stride (steady, confident fluid strides, both feet pushing on straightaways, shifts weight from foot to foot without stumbling)
-Crossovers (derby directio
n and reverse direction)
-One foot glide
-Sticky skating
-Moves fluidly from one side of the track to the other
5. Pace lines
-Adjusts to speed in a pace line

6. Speed and Endurance
-13 seconds for one lap 
-20 laps in 5 minutes 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Being awesome at dreaming 101 (or How Do I Remember Dreams?)

I'm really awesome at dreaming - or at least, I'm really awesome at recalling my dreams. So, I decided to write a little 101 on Being Awesome at Dreams which has very little scientific merit but it works well for me.

How dreams work
Firstly, Google this.

Okay, now you're done that, you have probably read that dreaming occurs during REM sleep. There are plenty of theories about dreams, some suggest it's your mind rebooting for the day, others suggest it's your brain getting rid of junk. Like space junk, but for dreams.

Planning dreams
A little bit of reading about this goes a long way, but in my personal experience you can sometimes plan dreams. For example, concentrating on a good topic or goal you have before you fall asleep can help you visit this idea in your dream; while watching or thinking about something which scares you can also be played out in your dreams. This isn't any type of theory, but positive vibes are always a good idea.

Recalling a dream
This is all based on my own experience, but here's what I have found works.

Once you awaken from your dream, lie perfectly still and try to recapture the memory of your dream. Sometimes it helps to think about the easiest things to recall in your dream, other times it helps to go back to the start of your dream and recall it from beginning to end. In this moment, it is relatively easy to remember your dream because that's the only thing you have been doing! To help cement your dream, keep playing it over and over again. Then you can write it down or tell it to someone, or perhaps rehearse in your head how you would tell someone and then think 'okay, so that sounds kind of stupid, let's forget about it.' Dream journals are useful.

Revisiting dreams
It's often written in fiction that characters can go back to their dreams, but in my experience, you can't always go back to a dream where you have left off. Often in my dreams I will return to a similar dream situation and know I have been there before. I have also had reoccurring dreams or themes. For example, during periods of transition I have often dreamed that I am in the drivers seat of my car, but someone else is steering. The person changes, but the subject does not.

Dream symbolism
Many different cultures believe that dreams can symbolise or mean something in your every day life. There is some great and interesting research on this. One of my favourite dream symbols is all your teeth falling out, meaning that you are losing your money. I've only had this dream once and it wasn't accurate at the time!

My dreams are most often based in my previous workplaces, church and places in my home town. I have also had frequent dreams about West Terrace in Adelaide, though usually it starts there and ends up being a maze through a university that doesn't exist. I rarely have dreams in an unknown location. A lot of the time my dreams don't seem to mean anything, but then can stick with me regardless.

Spiritually, I have had a few dreams which I believe are from God and are confirmation of what I believe.

In terms of death, when I was younger I had dreams of death the night before the morning when Mum would tell me someone had passed away, which were mostly my great uncles who I didn't know very well. I haven't had any death prediction deaths since then, but they still scare me a lot.

My most vivid dreams
A reoccurring dream I have had is road tripping with one of my parents and finding a used book store which sells books I have always wanted to read but have never been able to find. I have this dream a lot (in fact, I had it last night). In these dreams either we don't have enough money or I wake up before we leave the book store.

A dream I had when I was nine was about my project I was doing on Spain. My project had gone missing in my mum's car and I couldn't find it in the dark. I go back inside, then come outside again. Mum is holding onto a walking frame and saying 'How do I use one of these old wive's things?'

In a series of scary dreams I have had, two stick out. One was an image of me eating a whole heap of small pins from a sequin kit I had. The other was pulling back the covers of my bed and finding a huge pile of matches. This still kind of freaks me out.

Every now and then I dream that I didn't pass Year 12, even though Dream Lisa knows I am actually a teacher. I have to go back to high school (note - my own high school, not some bogus dreamland one), where my friends are still enrolled and all the teachers know I'm a teacher but make me redo Year 12 anyway.

A reoccurring theme I have is totally unmanageable situations at work. These have included running several stand alone portable classrooms by myself in the middle of an electrical storm, doing yard duty while several children injure themselves (though, triage wise I did pretty well) or having to teach in my second and completely altered classroom, complete with a stage and a whole lot of mess.

Getting over scary dreams
I have never had night terrors, but I have had nightmares and dreams which leave me uneasy. There are three solutions which work well for me. The best one is to attempt to block out the dream memory and go straight back to sleep. The second one is talking about your dream and then trying to go back to sleep. The third is to get up, have a warm drink, do something to distract you (I like to read) and go back to bed when you're ready.

A few years ago I started measuring my sleepability on whether I was actually up to completing a task. You start off thinking something big such as 'could I drive to ____ (name somewhere at least two hours from you)?' 'Could I go to gym?' 'Could I read a chapter of a book?' 'Could I have a piece of toast?' Once you get a 'no' answer, work out if you have enough energy to do something small, and if not, go back to sleep.

Getting awesome at recall (or How to be an elephant) 
I have got an excellent memory for recalling event sequence, detail, quotes and experiences. This doesn't translate into being an organised person, I have to work on that. For a long time I thought everyone had great recall, it turns out, they don't.

Some ideas at creating an elephant's memory:
- Record things. Use a camera and a journal. Both are very helpful, but it is really the journal that helps you keep the memory in your head because you have had to process it it at least once to write it down, and can revisit it each time you reread it. This allows for further reflection.
-Talk about your experiences with at least one person. I'm so lucky that I have my husband, my mum and my gran to talk things through with every day. Talking with someone about your experiences also allows them to ask questions which is really good for further reflection.
- Revisit memories often in whatever form you choose.
-Allow your mind to drift and recall things. Make connections, comparisons and contrasts whenever you can. Obviously, I have been able to revisit some old dreams today because I have thought about them often enough to recall them.
-Don't be scared to block of memories you don't need to recall. I am often quite scared of nightmares after they have happened, but manage to block them out before going back to sleep. Doing this allows you to keep the memories you want and gives you permission to do away with the ones you don't.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

MC Roller Girls Raw Meat Intake Week 2

Updated my blog to reflect actual gains! Feeling sorry for myself today, but only in terms of life being crazy busy hectic and everybody I knew stressing me out majorly. I so want to curl up into a little ball and stay there. But, we beat on.

No stretching yesterday as a whole group, but did some myself and then went to Bounce with some amazing Olaves. Bounce was an incredible recovery session. Firstly, you only wear socks. Trampolines are good for keeping momentum and help contribute to the low impact of the exercise. Also, jumping, especially on a trampoline makes me wildly giddy and silly and who doesn't need that in their lives? 

This week my plan is to skate every day, have two weight sessions at gym and learn how to do t-stops and weaving a lot better. This is my last chance, and I have improved immensely. I'll do a proper update tomorrow to help soothe mt wounded ego.

Over and out,
Lissy, wonder woman and all around good girl. 

Please keep in mind that the track at Kilburn is smaller than Cambelltown :)

Week 1: Speed - 1 lap in 13 seconds
Kilburn 1 in 15 seconds
Campbelltown 1 in 16.5 seconds

Week 1: Endurance - 27 laps in 5 minutes
Kilburn: 18.5 laps
Campbelltown: 17 laps

Week 2: Speed 
Kilburn:  Speed: 13.5 secs
Campbelltown: 13.5 secs

Week 2: Endurance 
Kilburn: 20 laps. 
Cambelltown 17.5 laps

Raw Meat Test - Things I can do are in bold.
1. Stops
-Skater must come to a complete stop from a brisk pace within 4 seconds, using proper form and without losing balance. 
-Plow Stops
2. Balance and Agility
-Skater must demonstrate the ability to perform the following tasks without losing balance, stumbling or falling:
-Stepping and standing from a standstill, maintaining control of wheels (not rolling)
--forward and backward
--side to side in both directions
--quick steps
--balance on one foot for 30 seconds

-Weaving through 10 cones in less than 6 seconds
-Hopping over a fixed marker on the ground 
-Hopping from side to side from a brisk speed
3. Recovery
-Knee taps with both knees (ALMOST!
-Double knee slides
4. Skating skills
-Posture (bent at knees with hips and shoulders back, centre of gravity low and down, skate with low, bent knees)
-Stride (steady, confident fluid strides, both feet pushing on straightaways, shifts weight from foot to foot without stumbling)
-Crossovers (derby directio
n and reverse direction)
-One foot glide
-Sticky skating
-Moves fluidly from one side of the track to the other
5. Pace lines
-Adjusts to speed in a pace line
6. Speed and Endurance
-13 seconds for one lap (13.5 baby!)
-20 laps in 5 minutes (17.5)

Friday, 14 November 2014

Two to tango (And lots of footnotes.)

Last night sparked something for me last night. I watched the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey*, which was helpfully followed up by a suggestion from Google** for a movie called Old Fashioned. The trailer for this movie explained the plot - good Christian guy finds a lovely lady who is rather unconventional, and decides to court her and be super-spiritual to protect himself. I kind of like the sound of this movie. It sounds honest and real, even if no Charlie Tango is involved***.

I wondered by Christianity is always doing battle with the secular, and of yes, Fifty Shades is that. And, by rights, they probably should. But why do we Christian kids feel the need to take something of the world, and try to make it not of the world, but enough like the world we can fool people into thinking it's the same, but enhanced?

So. With all that in mind, I recalled a really weird time in my life, which, on reflection, has probably done more damage to me than any other relationship I've ever had.

No names. And no blame, not really. The people of concern in this are no longer, in any way, part of my life, and that's their choice.

Before I left for Bible College, I had some people speak into my life that I would meet the Man of My Dreams there (long story short - I didn't). And, more than anything at that time, I wanted to be in a relationship. And then I found myself in one. Yay!

The first week was great. And then I got kicked out of my flat, left my job, moved into a youth hostel for a few weeks, moved into my new house and started living by myself for the first time, started a new job and had pretty much no money. So, understandably, I turned into crazy hyper sensitive psycho princess bitch face. Deliriously happy one minute, cranky pants the next. Was I the most annoying person to deal with? Yes. Even I know that, and did at the time.

I used the term relationship loosely. We were together for maybe two months, and then had a two week break****, followed by a break up. If you're a big believer in fate, destiny, God stuff, whatever, you'll know this was totally for the best. At the time, well, let's just say I wasn't so sure. I knew that our relationship ending was completely my fault, and I hadn't even intentionally sabotaged it*****.

When it ended we had all these dumb deals like who could tell whom, and what we would say, and God was calling us not to be together. So, I just didn't talk about it, and he did, and suddenly I found myself on the outer with a few people until that year ended. Like all break ups, life is almost always better without the person (except when you need a plus one to go to a party or something, then it sucks). Except, for the first and last time, I really really really wanted him back. Mostly because I had this false belief that I had done all the damage, it was my fault, and I wanted to prove I could be awesome enough to go out with him.

But. That didn't happen. And if it had, what would it prove?

The tough thing about this relationship, and it was the last of it's kind in terms of this, was that a lot of it was based on the spiritual stuff. So, here are some whacked out things I have realised:

1. Just because you feel hurt and rejected, doesn't mean your identity is not based on the Image of God.
I could tell you until the cows come home that I know I am made in the image of God. My identity is, and always has firmly rooted in the fact that I'm a Child of God. But I take rejection badly, and to feel sad or ashamed that someone doesn't want you in their life doesn't mean you don't know who you are in Christ. Jesus himself felt rejected and shunned by his friends, and look how they treated Him!

2. Being in a relationship doesn't mean you have to be somebody's everything.
No one told me this at the time. But when you're part of something where people aren't dating, they're courting, and where marriage sooner rather than later is the norm, you rely on this all or nothing thing a lot. This was my biggest downfall in this relationship, and I have struggled again and again to get the right balance. Being married is totally different to playing house on the weekends together, even if it's really fun (except when you're really broke and you eat soup for seven meals straight).

3. People don't always have their hearts in the right place.
I had been seeing a counsellor before, during and after this so-called relationship, and during our last session (I made it our last because of this), all she wanted to do was talk about The Break Up. Totally not the reason I was there. People also tend to speak into your life at this point, which can be harmful to the process that comes with facing rejection. At this point, I didn't care about how many fish their were, I was in a glass bowl and all I wanted was the one other fish who had no interest in me whatsoever.

4. It's okay to be mad, but it's not your place to fix it.
After all of this, some pretty crappy things started happening. When you end a relationship, you really do end the friendship as well, at least for awhile. You don't really get a say in what the other person does with their life, unless it's to do with you, and only you. So, as pissed off as I was, I probably didn't have the right to go cuckoo-bananas on MSN Messenger, but what I should have done was say 'You need to stop leading me on by doing this, this and this.' This false hope giving started the on-again-off-again four year saga that was 'but what if we were meant to beeeeeeeeee?' (Yes, the word 'be' is written exactly like that in my journal, circa 2008.)

5. How you express your sweet lovin' is not up for Every Man's Battle to decide.
Oh, how I hate this book.
No, that's not true. I like the values and actual practical suggestions these books, and others like it. But, like all books, you need to decide for yourself what you want to take away from it. And then you need to express this to the person you're seeing. Boundaries are so so so important, and setting them is a really good thing. But you have to decide together, because boundaries set just by morals and what you should and shouldn't do 'as Christians' needs to be decided before you arrive at a point of no return.

To be really honest, I haven't had too many discussions since this time about what I should and shouldn't be doing, but it has really affected the way I have seen myself, and basically implies I'm a scarlet woman or something to that effect, even though I'm just an ordinary girl who has made decisions that aren't just based upon what I read in one book.

6. When you decide you don't like someone any more, don't tell everyone why.
Why did it end?
Because I was a princess bitchface. Because I couldn't adhere to poorly drawn boundaries. Because I was an unhappy person. Because I was jealous.

All these things are true. I am jealous, I can be horrible, I love boundaries, at that time I was really unhappy. No one really needed to know this. Why couldn't he have just said 'It just didn't work out. Hey, now let's change the subject?' Simply because at that time we were all accountable to one another, and it didn't seem right to just ignore such a question. My refusal to deal at the time was a good thing because it meant I didn't have to pull apart and analyse the relationship right there and then. Because, that's what I'm doing now, and now it doesn't hurt.

These last four years have been tough. I haven't been part of a church family for a long time, except for my home church. And I'm missing that, a lot. I've tried to find my identity in church, in work, in relationships and I have failed, miserably. Part of this comes from the idea that the Christian Church will be your home and family, when, really, most of what I have seen has been ego-driven, self serving, marketing mayhem, competitive spirits and holier-than-thou attitudes. And if that is church, and relationships, I don't want that. I just really like Jesus. I like his mission and purpose, and presence in my life.  

I said that this has had a huge impact on me. Yes. Because I thought I could change, that we just had bad timing, that I was totally at fault, that I... it goes on. But, really, I wasn't, and shouldn't and didn't. I just couldn't be what that person, as lovely as he is, wanted from a girlfriend. However, what I really failed to see for a long time is that I didn't really want him as a boyfriend. I just wanted to prove that I was worthy, to make up for the rejection I felt. This is not a clever move, and one that did not serve me well.

What does this have to do with those movies I referenced at the start of the blog? Basically, nothing, except some reassurance that I don't need to star in either of them. Except the chick in Old Fashioned has some pretty wicked clothes.

*As in, the movie for the first in the trilogy of the Fifty Shades books. Poorly written and possibly almost completely unseen by an editor, EL James could have condensed the plot line of girl meets guy/guy makes unreasonable demands of virgin/guy and girl fall in love/girl changes guy instead of having stupid subplots including a creepy bossy named Jack and a heap of easy to place twists with no actual surprises, hence, not a twist.

**Google is also known as Googs in my house. Of course, it doesn't respond to my 'Ok Googs' command, or realise when I have said thank you, but everyone in this house (myself, Stephen and the cat) all have eleventy nicknames, it's only fair to include Google in that. If we had a Siri, she would probably bee Seers, but, that sound stupid, and also, it's Apple.

***Charlie Tango is the name of Christian Grey's helicopter. Christian Grey is also known as 50 Shades, also known as Mr Grey and also known as Fifty Shades of Fucked Up. Which is depressing.

****I only know one person a 'break' has worked for, and a whole heap of people who tried breaks and got the old dumperoo.

*****If, like me, you hate being mean to anybody ever and can't face the thought of breaking up with them, bitchface tactics work really well, except they basically hate you.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Raw Meat Test: Those who can will!

Sizzla posted up the details of the Raw Meat Test, so I've decided to go through it with a fine tooth comb. Everything in bold I can do. Everything that isn't in bold I can do (with the exception of t-stops, pace lines and reverse crossovers), but not to the level I need to demonstrate.

1. Stops
-Skater must come to a complete stop from a brisk pace within 4 seconds, using proper form and without losing balance. 
-Plow Stops
2. Balance and Agility
-Skater must demonstrate the ability to perform the following tasks without losing balance, stumbling or falling:
-Stepping and standing from a standstill, maintaining control of wheels (not rolling)
--forward and backward
--side to side in both directions
--shuffle (I still don't know what this is!)
--quick steps
--balance on one foot for 30 seconds

-Weaving through 10 cones in less than 6 seconds (uuuuuh, close but not yet 6 seconds.)
-Hopping over a fixed marker on the ground 
-Hopping from side to side from a brisk speed
3. Recovery
-Knee taps with both knees
-Double knee slides
4. Skating skills
-Posture (bent at knees with hips and shoulders back, centre of gravity low and down, skate with low, bent knees)
-Stride (steady, confident fluid strides, both feet pushing on straightaways, shifts weight from foot to foot without stumbling)
-Crossovers (derby directio
n and reverse direction)
-One foot glide
-Sticky skating
-Moves fluidly from one side of the track to the other
5. Pace lines
-Adjusts to speed in a pace line

6. Speed and Endurance
-13 seconds for one lap (13.5 baby!)
-20 laps in 5 minutes (20 at Kilburn, woot!)

I feel so much better having got this out and organised in my head and on my blog. And breathe.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Raw Meat Update_halfway point

Today Sizzla posted a list of things we need to be able to do for the raw meat test. I can do about half of them ok and the other half I can so, but not to the required level. Yet. Last night I felt so crappy and cranky because there's stuff I'm just not getting as yet. Which will come, but it still made me cranky.

This morning I had a pedicure (too long toenails are not good while skating) followed by a remedial massage. I was cursing internally throughout the massage, and I'm still not feeling great but I certainly can move a lot better.

I am completely and utterly nuts.

Testing last night:
Speed: 13.5 secs
Endurance: 20 laps.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Saying no to hate posts clogging up social media.

I'm a pretty tolerant person.

Okay, I put up with a lot of rubbish. My calling isn't generally swaying the opinion of others, especially when their mind is made up. I don't enjoy debating contentious topics if there is not outcome because of it. And yet, I like activating for change and being part of a group who demands social justice.

What I'm struggling to tolerate is fear mongering, hatred and righteousness. This is a blog, and if you're reading this, it probably means you know what I'm talking about.

I'll be honest. I don't know what to do about it.

There is, of course, the delete or block or report option on Facebook. But, unnecessary. We are all entitled to our opinion, whether it is right or wrong. Also, I like these people. That's why we are connected on Facebook. 

I think my current option is to unfollow or hide their posts. I'll see how Fcebook reacts to that.

All the same, I wish I was better at this stuff. But fear mongering is the climate of the day, and I really can't change the minds of that many people through social media.

Monday, 10 November 2014

I wear my heart upon my sleeve like its a big deal.

Let's talk about being homesick for your country.

Oh, I have been homesick for my own corners of the world ever since I was nine and my parents decided that South Australia was an awesome place to live. I have moved on and forgiven them, though it may have taken a decade. Even now I still feel a bit annoyed, but in the long run, it's all worked out for all of us. And I get homesick for Mount Gambier and Adelaide, and I miss other places I have been in. But being homesick for your own culture is completely different to missing faces and sights and shops.

Last time I was away I was Aussie Prepared. I even packed Vegemite and rice cakes and all the fun stapley food I eat most days. And Cooks is similar to New Zealand as most of the stuff they sell gets imported from there, food wise at least. Despite having freedom to drive around tiny islands, sit on beaches and read a lot, I really felt homesick. 

And yet, India is so vastly different to our culture, but I only felt homesick on the last night when I knew I had to make a very crazy trip home. Two cities, two planes, two days, pretty much no sleep. And that's before I knew I probably shouldn't be flying with Mayalsian Airlines. I think part of it is that being somewhere so different is tiring and you don't get a lot of time to reflect on things you miss, more just time to make comparisons. Which is okay, until you just want to go home.

I have spent so many hours wishing I was somewhere other than where I am. This is frustrating for everybody who knows me, or is aware of this longing. But the longing to be in your own country is different to wanting to be with your family or the Pankcake Kitchen (or whatever).

Things I miss while I'm overseas:
-Aussie food. Now, I'm not a fussy eater, but I'm really distrusting of food brands I haven't eaten before and packaging I have never seen. Call me crazy, but I do struggle with this. I even miss diet Coke while I'm away (I have had the unpleasant experience of having Coke Light and it's not at all the same). It's not like I want someone to whip me up a pavlova, but give me Vegemite on toast any day over some weird western omelette that I'm supposed to apparently like.

-Free phone calls. I'm so lucky I am on prepaid, but there is a horrible thing that comes with it - always running out of credit. Even receiving calls is expensive (it was free for Mum to call me, but three dollars from my account came off for every minute we talked). Recharging with my MasterCard has only worked when I've been in Cooks, and usually someone has to bail me out of the No Credit Fiasco. 

-Highways and trees. When Stephen and I went on a cruise a few years ago, I was really craving some red dirt and gumtrees. I miss the wide open spaces I have been blessed to call my home for the last few years.

-The news. Stephen kept updating me with South Aussie news last trip, which wasn't very exciting but, most of the time I go away and have no idea that planes disappear from the sky and so on. I don't usually have access to the Internet, and usually I don't want to, so news is hard to come by.

-The lifestyle to which I am now accustomed. If you watch The Embassy, which I like to, it's a good reminder that their ways are not your ways. Laws are different overseas, safety is not always taken as seriously, toilets are never a given, hygiene can be questionable. I've only ever travelled for twelve days at a time, and this is the thing I struggle with the most.

Okay, I just got some good news, so I have to leave it there, but all the same, I love being an Aussie and travelling. Also, Tim Tams are an excellent form of currency.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

MC Roller Girls Raw Meat Intake Week 1 Update

What a mouthful that title was!

I'll break it down and then actually get to business.

I'm part of the Raw Meat intake for Murder City Roller Girls (MCRG/MC Roller Girls). Raw Meat is the very basics of skating - stopping, turns (or transitions), how to fall, etc. In two week's time I will be tested on my Raw Meat skills, and I have to say I'm incredibly anxious about passing the test.

After Raw Meat, Fresh Meat begins. In Fresh Meat you learn lots of derby drills and skills and develop on the skills you learn in Raw Meat. Fresh Meat's test is even more challenging to pass successfully. MCRG are in the process of becoming members of WFTDA members, which means we have to successfully pass their rulings AKA Minimum Skills to get through Fresh Meat. Two of the biggest tests as a skater is Speed (one lap in 13 seconds) and Endurance (27 laps in 5 minutes). Speed I am not so bad on, I only need to shave two seconds off my current PB. Also, the track at Kilburn is smaller (maybe 80% of a traditional track), so I'm keeping records of both just so I know how I have improved. Endurance is tough, but mostly because there are a lot of girls all on the track at once, and this leads to more thrills and spills when you don't actually want either.

There are a lot of people trying out at be in MCRG, and plenty of them have already been part of local leagues, such as Light City, or defunct leagues such as Gawler. This is good because they are encouraging and you can learn from them. MCRG wants to teach people their way to play, which is totally fine, but you have a HUGE range of abilities during the intake, and this also puts me off quite a bit as some of the ladies have been skating with leagues for a long time and that's intimating! I have been really lucky that Becca had already covered everything we have learnt during Raw Meat while I was training with CCRD. So, nothing is new information, I just have rubbishy form most of the time. I also feel like I came in thinking I was really speedy, but actually I'm middle of the range, if not slower, and I'll just have to deal with that.

In terms of commitment, well, the intakes are for six weeks with two training a week (one at Kilburn and the other at Campbelltown). This means I'm driving down until we have a house in Adelaide, which is fine except last night I really don't know how I got home in one piece, so I might need to start doing sleepovers with my parents-in-law again. The sessions themselves involve a pre-training fitness session (15 mins-half an hour, depending on the day), time to get skating gear on (for me this means knee gaskets, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, helmet and mouth guard) and then two hours on skates, followed by a long stretch. The trainings are run by a group of trainers - T1 is the head trainer for the session, T2s are the back-ups and give the T1 a heads up if they miss anything important out and T3s are extra support. All of the trainers demonstrate the moves and join in with us to give us tips and hints along the way as well as supervising drills.

My body feels pretty shattered this morning. Thursday I was pretty much fine, but last night everything hurt and I was in bed far too early and went straight to sleep. I haven't felt like this since I did back to back to back classes at Viva, and that was only after days with no rest days off!

All in all, I'm grateful for this crazy time. It's taking a lot out of me (I just cracked some bone in my leg and have no idea how that even happened), but it feels good too. I'm pretty happy with the way everything is going. I'm keen as beans for Wednesday night.

Of course, there is the thought of what happens if I don't get through? There are a lot of options and other leagues, but I really really want this, so I won't even consider the options until (or if) it comes to that.


Week 1: Speed - 1 lap in 13 seconds
Kilburn 1 in 15 seconds
Campbelltown 1 in 16.5 seconds

Week 1: Endurance - 27 laps in 5 minutes
Kilburn: 18.5 laps
Campbelltown: 17 laps

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The Way We Was: 1999

In 1999 I was so many things, but mostly just a painful thirteen year old who liked shopping, boys, Grease, rom coms and Sweet Dreams novels. Actually, things haven't changed too much except for my taste in books.

Here I am on the Spirit of Warrnambool, which is a little boat which goes up and down the Hopkins River. This is about as exciting as it sounds. (It isn't.)

Also, I wore this shirt everywhere, and when my Granny saw it she described them as spunks. Which, most of them are, except for Kevin.

We got shipped off to Warrnambool because Mum got really sick over summer for a few days. Gran and Pa took ups to see the Great Ocean Road and I fell totes in LUV with Port Campbell, mostly because they have cool markets and it feels kind of like Bryon Bay without the green stuff.

Also, this is probably the last time I wore short shorts.

Happy Birthday to... uhhh... someone. This could have been taken when I was 12, but it still makes the cut. Also, I miss doing my hair in tiny plaits, except I can't do cornrows and then I have to wear a hat so I can see and stuff.

Oh yah, this hat is a velvet poor boy turned backwards, because peaked caps don't suit me and I really like berets.

Things we said today.

Today I've had some time to think about my relationships with pretty much everyone in my life right now. For a long time I was a very closed person, and I only shared my thoughts with people who would appreciate them.

Now though, I'm pretty open and say what I think most of the time. This is good because it makes me honest and happy and all of those things, but it sometimes makes me wonder if I give too much of my heart. I still have my secret thoughts and dreams, who doesn't, but what's happening to my blurted thoughts after they have been said? That's what is really bothering me the most.

I'm very blessed to have friends who support me in different aspects of my life, and not just have one friend who is there for everything. I am that person sometimes and it's hard to be someone's everything. So, I think in the last few hours I've grown up, if only just a little. It's closure for the little stuff I don't need broadcast to the wider audience. And, more journalling, because journals make me happy.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Silver spoons, getting what you want and living the dream.

Titles don't mean a lot to me.

All the same, I've just had to turn down an amazing opportunity and it really really sucks.

What I am finding hard right now is that soon I'll be getting what I want. I'll be in Adelaide, I'll be Fresh Meat with MC Roller Girls (and will hopefully make the cut), I will be away from country life, I've applied for uni... I think I have my life on track, kind of.

And I have some really new and not so vague plans.

Things suck all the same right now. And it's probably just tonight and this week and the last. I haven't been sleeping, I'm teaching full time and I'm packing up an entire house. And the packing is almost done, hut my heart feels heavy with all the confusion. But not just that, all the questions. And all I really want to say is:


I seriously have nothing to answer for. I know this is supportive, but still it isn't helping.

What will you do if...

We have Plans A, B, C and D. Seriously, these plans have plans. But, all the same, I'm an adult and I don;t care how old you are, I won't justify myself to your social norms.


So you don't have a job yet?

Yes there is a job (that has been a bit pooh-poohed because it's OSHC and not teaching), but not collectively, and not for teaching salary.

Well why aren't you apply for things?

Nothing suitable has been offered in terms of teaching, and outside teaching, I have been applying my sweet ass off applying for any job that's going.

You should give teaching a better go.

What for? Has this four year exercise proved anything? There are so many teachers out there, lots of slack principals, some TRT and only a few schools hiring. And most of the schools who are hiring have either a high staff turn over or are advertising for The Perfect Teacher (which is not me).

And you should live here, here and here.

Just no. We will live somewhere we both like, near the things we are already involved in but not to the point where we will spend all our savings on rent.

Renting is for idiots!

You haven't had to rent before, have you? I'm not the magic money fairy and we don't have the type of positions which readily lend themselves to loan lenders.

But country life is sooooo fun.

You haven't lived in the country, have you?

This is why, despite all the really bad bad baddy bad bad things going on with most of my nearest and dearest, I don't want to talk about myself. Because all I do is go around in circles and try and prove myself.

And, honestly,
I have nothing to prove.

I just gave up that opportunity, and I know there will be lots of other, different ones I haven't even heard of before. My heart is just heavy and I just needed to vent. And I feel like I have written this post before, but, meh.

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Way We Was: 2009


It was the best of time; it was the worst of times.

The best: BTC (Now called PUSH (Body) Transformation Challenge), Viva Fitness, moving back to Lockleys for another 12 months, spending time with my dorky and non-hipster friends, doing really well in uni during Semester One, watching Twi-lame at midnight with Spring and Rhioons, meeting Stephen and Narelle (not that they should be last!).

The worst: Failing prac and most of life in general, including my job (it was divine intervention or desperation no one fired me), finding out I had to add another year onto my degree to re-sit my prac (2010 was the best year of my life all the same, and because of this), make ups and break ups and having no money and a weird fight with Marie because I didn't go in a hot air balloon (or something).

These photos were from about this time in 2009.

I love these Edwardses. And my other favourite Edwards family. Maybe I should name my first child after them? Maybe not.

Also, the best bumper sticker I saw that year said 'Beware: I drive like a Cullen'. Would have been pretty hot if it wasn't a girl driving it. Just sayin'.

My most epic unit of work yet: a film study on Napoleon Dynamite. The kids LUVed it.

Spring and I have a whole series of photos taken with Jon and most of them are poses in which he tried to show off his pecs, biceps or 'buffness' in general, and fails most of the time.

Matty Moo (Medwards) would have taken this photo. I don't know why Sy is trying to strangle us and also why Spring and I are holding hands with Jon. What the actual fuck?

What a spunk. Being Pebbles on Halloween with this bloke. Matt was some important character from some novel I hadn't read, maybe a vampire, but not committing to that statement.

My fridge! Details of pics from top LH corner: terri and Myles; Matt and Honey; Maries graduation, Spring and Sy, my family (and Steve), Mark and Matt, Schoolies 2006, Vivs at Tabor, my Anti-marriage party group photo, Marie and I at Clispal, Lockleys ladies at back to Bethlehem, Christmas Party 2007.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Way We Was: YITS 2005

2005, still the most amazing and challenging year of my life.

I'll post some NOR photos at some stage, but came across these.

Colour coordination baby!
Mid year camp. Which I HATED (PS). It would have been nice is they actually planned stuff for us to do. Because that's what camps are for, doin' stuff and not just watching certain people shake their booty. (PPS - not my booty, I was off sulking in a corner.)

I only included this for Jon's shorts.
Who wears short shorts?
Jon wears short shorts,

First day BBQ.
I'm looking my most socially awkward.
In fairness I was listening to someone - not Jon.
This is obviously where the girl boy divide started, and swiftly ended with the nice dinner the boy put on for us... six months later.

And an adventure it was.
Seriously, YITS has really inspired me to carry on the spirit of adventure in all parts of my life in a really non Lord of the Rings way (I think someone kept linking those two ideas together.)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Way We Was 2011


2011 = not a great year in the Lis's Lala Land, but in all fairness, I had some awesome supporters, friends, events to look forward to, and of course, Stephen Beans.

Apologies in advance for these photos, teehee.

Pretty sure Sy is touching someone's bum in this one.

Narelle embraces her new technology which I had to help her get (well, we had to drive to Big W). This was before Narelle could drive and when she lived in Renmark. Also, she didn't have a tv so I didn't hear Meat Loaf's appalling performance at the GF. Probably a good thing.

No one actually looks like this anymore, except for Mrs Rashy, Steve. Yay for dolphin cruises!

Steve embraces new technology, which would be iPhone 3 (I think). He's so cool.

It's all a bit bittersweet really. We're moving to Adelaide, and Narelle is moving to Kadina, the old switcheroo. Stephen's just applied for jobs, I've just applied for uni (after applying for a few more jobs this week), and we still haven't found a house. We did get approved for one (yay) and then we realised there would be nowhere for Heidi to live (sad face).

Bittersweetness aside, how blessed and seriously lucky are we to have such awesome friends? I can sometimes become a bit flippant and difficult and so on, but all the same, to have people who have your back despite everything (or despite nothing, as Stephen likes to say, because whatever everything is, it doesn't matter).

2011, you were one hell of a year. May 2015 not follow in your footsteps.

I kind of like doing these things. Maybe I'll do a series... but knowing me I'll forget about this and repost something similar in a few days time.

Why The One doesn't exist.

Some appalling advice has led me to write this post, and it wasn't even me giving or receiving the advice. Here is what the advice was, basically: The One is worth waiting for.

That isn't usually what we would call bad advice. Bad advice is usually self serving or contains moralistic overtones, or only has ulterior motives.

This one is based on fairy tales and idealism.

Every time this conversation has been dragged up in the past few years, I think about a blog I wrote in 2008. A bit after my broken engaged was finished up for serious good, Simon asked me if I still believed in The One, and I wrote about it:

One of my friends asked me if I believed in The One awhile ago. At the time I thought The One doesn't exist. Now I believe that there is no The One in a secular sense. I do reckon that God has pretty good ideas of who He wants us to be with though. This is reassuring. On the other hand, the knowing who we are meant to be with can be a bit tricky and not always easy to get. I've always said to God stuff like 'Come on, You're not gonna just leave it at that are You?' and actually... sometmes He does. But what is that? Is that God just saying 'Nope, you ain't getting anymore my little cupcake?' or isn't it really Him saying 'Well cupcake, I did give you free will...' (I wonder of God would actually call me cupcake. Probably. I can resemble one at times.) 

Seeing as that was ages ago, and I'm married and a little more realistic, I hope, I thought I'd write about it again because I think sometimes we all need some reminding of what The One and soul mates and destiny is all about.

Do I believe in The One?
It's definitely a new concept, repackaged.
I feel about it the same way I do about soul mates - they aren't some cosmic creation of the universe, but they are what you make them.

How did I get to this point?
I'm totally someone who hoards romance books, who loves fairy tales, who gets beyond excited with new and true love in other people's lives. And above all, I really like being in love.

But it isn't fair to someone to give them these labels. They have to fit into them first. And relationships change. People change. The One who was The One three months ago may not be the same person.

I think too often The One often meets The Criteria. And it's okay to have The Criteria, as long as you can accept that you'll probably fall in love with someone who either doesn't meet The Criteria, or who did and then became someone crazy, off the planet spaceball like a few months later (true story) who no longer meets it. So, when Person A, who wrote The Criteria meets Person B who fits it, Person B becomes The One, whether they even want to be or not.

And it is the 'or not' that becomes the problem.

Before I got married, a lot of people gave us some advice. One of the pieces of advice someone wrote on our wedding day was something like 'when you have a bad day in your relationship, think about the ones before, and how much more positive this one is in comparison'. What the? I know what they are saying. Sometimes The One becomes The One just because they weren't The Jerk Who Did Crappy Things Like Steal Your Doc Martens (true story). Comparing relationships is stupid, it never does anyone any favours. Most, if not all, relationships must have had something good about them, at least in the beginning.

The Honeymoon The One is also part of the problem. Because you get off to a great start, the person must be The One. But then The One changes and does things like ditches you for his friends (and his sister), has his parents spy on you and becomes a first class jerk (true story). But you always want to get back to the Honeymoon The One, because he was nice, sweet and had a lot of money to buy you unlimited hot chocolate (true story). That person doesn't exist anymore though, and as hard as it is to change someone (and you shouldn't), it's harder to change them back.

Now I have said all of these things, I just want to say something really important: love doesn't really need labels, unless you want it to.

Love has really poor timing.

Love rocks up whether you wanted it to or not.

Love is whatever the hell you want it to be most of the time.

Love is a lot of things but it isn't and shouldn't be one person you pin all your hopes, dreams, time, money, ability and love on. Because, that love is selfish. It doesn't matter if you have the greatest person in the world, they cannot and shouldn't give you everything you should ever need.

And, love takes time. And it changes. The best advice I was given from my Mum a while back is that marriage is hard, and you go through times of liking each other, and then not liking them so much, and so on. I wish she had told me this a long time ago, but I don't think I would have got it.

The thing is that sometimes we fall in love with the idea of a person, with their criteria, or who they are in that present moment, and not who they are all of the time. You can't go back in time, at least not in real life, and if that's what you're waiting for, well, you're in love with an illusion. And also they say in Sabrina 'He sounds like an illusion. Illusions are dangerous people; they have no flaws.' Of course, accepting flaws isn't usually enough (and trust me, I watched Don Jon last week, so I know all about why changing people is bad and why falling in love with someone a gazillion years older than you is good), accepting that maybe you deserve more than someone's left over at the end of the night when there's only the two of you waiting for a taxi is much better.

I say the taxi thing because I remember, years and years ago, a two mutual friends breaking up, and he turned to me a few weeks later and said 'Yeah, but you know what, it's nice to have someone to go home with at the end of the night.'

If that's what you want, someone to go home with or someone to text you ever single morning at 7am or someone to be your beck and call girl, and if you find that person, that's the one you want at that time. And it may not be forever. That's okay, you can't know unless you try it.

Being married though, it doesn't seem fair to say such things. Or, does it? I'm totally of the belief that a lot of the time, marriage is forever. But it doesn't seem fair to expect anyone to be someone's everything. Because that's an illusion.

I really hope it's okay that I wrote this post, but it's something I've had a few conversations about and I really needed to be like 'blurgh, have all my thoughts, oh blog', and then my blog can deal with it.

I still believe in fairy tales.

Non-flirting moves the boys make.

I wrote this post AGES ago, just after I started teaching, and after this afternoon's conversation, I'd like to say this is still relevant information when deciding that someone could not pull off any of the actual flirting moves. Also, it's pretty hilariously applicable to most people we know who's name rhymes with Don, even if he is over that stage, though he still likes Number 5.

PS- Spring, 1, 2, 4, 7, 8 and 10 relate to Kill Bill*

In light of the year that was, I wrote a list (not comprehensive, but still decent sized) about the wrong flirting moves boys (men?) make. I'd liked to dedicate this to the original NOR Boys, those hapless fools who try to attract women, and have, on occasion, used some of these moves.

1. Calling a girl 'mate'.
Look, I'm not a fan of sweet talk. It's not me. But you just shouldn't call a girl 'mate' if you like her. Wrong wrong wrong.

2. The "I'll meet you at..." dates.
Boys, this isn't a date, honestly. If you like a girl, meet her whenever she is and take her there. Maybe catch a train or bus if you don't have a car. But don't be the guy who leaves the girl looking like a goober while she's waiting for you.

3. Not getting changed after work, and being proud of your uniform which you've been wearing for 8 hours.
Yes Jon, even you can't pull that off. The line "See this shirt? I IRONED it" is so not hot.

4. Talking about ex girlfriends.
This also includes explaining why your last girfriend/love interest is crappy compared to New Girl. Sorry guys... laaaaame. I so don't knwo why guys do this. Is it because he doesn't want to date a girl like the last one? Most likely. But whinging about her isn't going to help.

5. Playing 'Grab the flab'.
Poking a girl in the ribs is acceptable, but grabbing her belly is not. Just sayin'.

6. Jokes about overweight people. And acne. And cross eyedness.
Let's be honest... most girls think they have some kind of flaw, but of course they're not going to tell you about it. Don't make jokes about it, or other people's issues. That's just not funny.

7. "I talked to my youth pastor about us...."
Really? That's greaaaaaat. *warning bells*

8. BYO Rent-a-crowd.
Here's the problem - there are group dates and there are on-on-one dates. No one likes a surprise welcome party on their first, second or third date. Just not hot.

9. Purple anything.
Need I say more?

10. Bad, bad music choices.
Music is everything when you're driving. Now, I'm a pop princess, a dance diva and a rock chick. There's just some things I won't listen to. Other girls singing (Mark's Delta obsession ring a bell?), songs about... well... sexy tiiiime and anything that Weird Al has done is just an epic fail.

 Like I said... a short list, but a worthy one

*aka Kill Phil 3 xx PPS - you and Steve had to be a liiiiittle bit tipsy to a) come up with that and b) find it funny.