So, a couple of weekends ago there was this massive storm, and I had the best post ever about it. I was going to draw pictures and everything, maybe even break out the watercolours. Except nothing I drew could quite encompass the dramatics involved in breaking down* in the worst storm in Wellington in the past 20 years, and nothing could encompass just how menacing power lines down across the road are.


I think I had issues with drawing and writing this up because the drama mostly happened in my head, and in the car, and I’m not really great at drawing cars. I tried a version where I drew the car as the gherkin, but that came out looking unintentionally pornographic, like I rode a giant lumpy green dildo through a massive storm, and had to limbo it under a fallen tree in order to get somewhere warmer than my house to avoid hypothermia.


Just to clear any confusion up: I do not own a dildo with wheels. I own a Gherkin, which is a metaphor for a car, which is old, and green, and well-preserved. Like a pickle. #NOTADILDO.

So basically, two weeks ago there was a storm which was excellent blog material, because it was windy enough that there was probably a woman on a bicycle spinning around cackling about getting me, and my little dog too. I promptly lost my blog mojo, and crumpled under the incredible weight of reporting on the fact I survived four days without power, and cooked on a BBQ in the middle of winter, and then wimped out in the face of FREEZING COLD WEATHER, and drove to my dads place where I took a three-hour long hot bath, and cooked a pot of chicken soup big enough to feed a rugby team because: I do not like being cold. AT ALL.

Also I brought a new hat, because I could see my breath inside. It’s kind of a fashion statement, in that I can never wear it in public. So, like a BAD statement. That you never tell anyone about, and hope that there’s no photographic proof.

Dork Hat

Other things I did during the crazy storm:

  • Lit candles and crossed all my fingers and toes I wouldn’t have to break the news about the hairdye on the carpet to my landlords along with an “Oh, and I accidentally burnt down the living room, because it’s dark in there when there’s no power.”
  • Avoided the mirror for three days because my shower needs a water pump to work so my hair was like WHOA, and I have this irrational fear of looking in the mirror in the dark, and seeing someone else looking back at me. And when I say irrational fear, I mean totally justified, because DUDES IT CAN TOTALLY HAPPEN. I’ve heard stories. And they end with words like “and then everyone died.”
  • Upgraded to a metal torch, which works as both a source of light, bright enough to illuminate a suspicious sheep on the next ridgeline, and a weapon in the case of a zombie apocalypse. And it was on sale! 20% off Bitches!
  • Spent multiple hours in the car charging my phone enough to post a quick “I’m alive” to facebook and text people who wanted to double-check I wasn’t trapped down a cliff, or under a fallen tree.

*When I say break down? I mean ran out of petrol, because I was playing chicken with my fuel light, and the fuel light won. Cocky know-it-all bastard.

** Don’t judge the spelling on my awesome post-it note drawings. I don’t do well without spell check. Also, you’re lucky I drew anything because I’ve been failing at the storm pictures for real.

This post is about… Running? I don’t know. I already have too many titled ‘Stream of Consciousness’ or ‘TANGENT’

So today I sound like someone’s Great Aunt Fantasia – with a 40 a day cigarillo habit, and an excellent turban collection. Unfortunately, I’ve tried them, and I just don’t suit turbans. It’s a pity, because I’d love to be an eccentric aunt one day, living in a house packed with curiosities gathered from my youth, drinking amaretto before noon, and wearing a turban paired with outrageous costume jewelry.

Anyway. I have a sore throat. Dr Google says I have a cold, OR throat cancer. Dr Google Is not so good at being reassuring.

Earlier this week the cool kids from work invited me running with them. Naturally, given how much I hate running, I said yes. (I know, it surprised me too.) I got exactly 1km before partially faking a limp and doing a slow jog-walk-jog back to work. The next day when they asked about my ankle I realised that actually it felt better than it had for months, so was forced to admit the truth – that actually probably the slow increase in exercise activities lately has been good for it.

So now I’m going running again with them next week. Did I mention that the cool kids are tall? With runners builds? It’s like a crocodile trying to kep up with a pair of giraffes.

In other news, I got home from the laundromat on Wednesday, to find my cat with a stick embedded in his back. he was (naturally) more concerned about food than the fact he had a branch sticking out of his flesh (I’m exaggerating. It was an inch-long stick.)

I discovered that actually I really am getting better with gore. I extracted the stick, and even dettoled and cleaned the wound without flinching. then I walked into my bathroom and nearly fainted at the bloody remains of a bird that the unhinged little bastard had splattered around the lino.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Cat ownership is glamorous.

As for me, and How I’m doing (running, and bird guts aside) I’m doing OK. I haven’t booked with my doctor yet for follow up because I’m still chewing through the reading material on PCOS.

I find the diet stuff really hard. Its like chemistry, and right now all of the choices seem like bad ones. It’s frustrating as all hell. And unfortunately everyone else thinks they have the answers, which seems to just make me determined not to listen to them. I prefer not to think of it as being pig-headed and stubborn, I think it’s more a case of me employing critical thinking skills. Basically if you’re not a qualified doctor with years of experience in a field that directly relates to PCOS related research? Then I call bullshit on your well-intentioned diet advice.

I’m gleefully looking forward to Christmas, because FINALLY I have a break from work coming my way. I have exactly seven (SEVEN!) working days until I’m on holiday. I have no big plans except baking my first ever pecan, and pumpkin pies (not diet approved) going for a couple of day-long tramps around Wellington and the Manawatu, and maybe trying out archery if the club near home has a beginners course in the new year.

I might even start salsa lessons just after the new year because there’s a club that’s thinking about kicking off their next beginners course then! AND I have a personal goal of watching the entire first season of the Secret Diary of a Call Girl before I have to go back to work.

(I too used to work on an hourly rate!)

(As a Contractor.)

(For an IT company. I’ll admit there were some differences.)

And I’ve just realised that my slightly feverish self (based on the utterly scientific palm-to-forehead reading from a colleague) has managed to cover an improbably large range of topics – somehow I’ve jumped from a sore throat to prostitution, and covered amature cat surgery, and PCOS in the meanwhile. Probably I should be doing a bit more editing here.  


PolyCystic OMG this sucks Syndrome

I found out something last week that’s kinda thrown me for a loop. Isn’t that a quaint saying. The more I think about it the less I understand it. What exactly is the loop referring to? does it mean you’re all of a sudden off track, and have to loop around to find it again?

I don’t think I’m quite off track.. I’ve just stopped for a bit to digest.

Last week I finally got in to do the scans that my Doctor had finally referred me for, and lo and behold, they found Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. We’d tested for it before by blood – twice, actually I think, but PCOS is notoriously difficult to pick up that way. After the call I kinda shrugged and thought ‘whatever’ to myself. It’s not some huge earth shattering revelation. I’ve suspected it for almost three years now. That’s why I’ve been pushing and pushing for tests. Now that it’s confirmed it should just be a moment of ‘I told you so’.


It’s not really the moment I thought it would be. For one, I don’t feel very casual about it at all. I’m angry, scared, vindicated, anxious and stressy. Also: dieting, which probably doesn’t help the mood shit-storm.

I have a friend who has been living with it for ten years or so now, and whenever anyone ever gets a diagnosis, they show up at her doorstep for advice.  She tells me you go through almost the 7 stages of grief when getting a diagnosis like this one. I kinda giggle a bit, because: really? It’s just PCOS. It’s not exactly life threatening. And besides I knew it was coming, it was just a matter of finding a way to prove it medically to my Dr.

I think I may have giggled too fast. I’ve been reading an amazing book called ‘The Patients Guide to PCOS’ by Dr Walter Futterwiet*, and some of the stuff I’m reading so far is scary. Scary like I have a higher chance of type 2 diabetes. Like cardiovascular disease is more of a risk. Like I’m predisposed to high blood pressure. Terrifying like my body actively fights against weight loss – and the more weight I gain, the more at risk I am of developing more crappy PCOS symptoms.

Less important is the fertility stuff. At 27 I think I’ve earned the right to say I don’t want to birth my own spawn, but should that ever change, pregnancy with PCOS is not impossible, but it will mean likely climbing a mountain of fertility treatments.

None of the symptoms are fun ones – like, Oh, if you have PCOS, then you get better vision than everyone else. Pretty much you’re the closest thing to a super hero with xray vision. Nope. Instead you get to be the closest thing to a super villain, with excess hair, wonky periods, insulin resistance, excess stomach fat, high rates of obesity, links to endometriosis, high rates of depression, feeling constantly tired, and with the fun potential for painful inner lady-parts malfunctions and maladies requiring surgery.

The book has been a revelation. I did wonder why the hell I’ve never in my adult life been skinny – I mean, between the ages of 21, and 24 I used to go to the gym for 6-8 hours a week. And I worked out HARD. I’ve been on a variation on one diet or another since the age of 23 (when I realised that the gym wasn’t doing a damn thing) and have done nothing but gain weight.

And the fact that depression knocked me into bed for three months or so last year (which is not to say I wouldn’t have experienced those same feelings without PCOS, bit I’ll bet their scale, and my response would have been different.) The fact that over the last two years I’ve felt tired down to my bones so often I’ve begun taking handfuls of multivitamins and iron supplements every morning. The fact that often I supplement my supplements with handfuls of carbs and easy sugar in the afternoons.

The period that never used to arrive and – now that I’ve had what the medical community refer to as a ‘significant weight gain’ – doesn’t go away. (Cue swearing.)

The adult acne that has been present around my mouth in Every. Fucking. Photo. I have taken since the age of 18. The wooly mammoth effect I get in winter.

Mostly right now I feel tired with a side of pissed off at my GPs past and present. The problem with PCOS is that you can manage the symptoms, but it requires weight loss, and maybe (likely!) medication. And that’s it. That’s as good as it gets – management. It doesn’t go away.

I guess that’s what has thrown me for a loop. the fact that in this case, the loop is going to be me, going over and over and over again through dieting and the wonderous plethora of fun symptoms that require management. Then again, perhaps management won’t be so hard – I have only just hit the first chapter of part two: Getting Well Again.

And,  if this is a loop, then it means I get to tell my GPs over and over again “I told you so.” “I was right.” “I told you so.” “Sucks to be you right now loser GP.” Surprisingly I’m ok with that.

*Futterwiet is a funny word. I couldn’t let a whole post go by without acknowledging that. Futterwiet.

Arachnophobes? This isn’t the post for you.

So this morning I wander into my bathroom and flick on the light, and see the shadow of something moving against the wall. I ignore it, because the window was open, and I figured it was just wind. Then I turn on the shower, and oh holy god. THIS is darting around in the corner of my bathroom:

Naturally I responded with a massive leap back to the safety of the lounge area – which later made me wonder why the heck I have so much trouble with flying kicks. I mean, it turns out I can quite comfortably jump backwards 2.5 metres, surely going forward and doing a kick at the same time would be simple, right?

Shannon: Oh god. Alright Batz time to earn your keep.


Shannon: Well go on. It’s moving around and being all skittery. You love hunting. You spend hours chasing moths, and slaters, and mosquitos.


Shannon: Well someone’s going to have to turn the shower off at least. I’m on tank water.


Yeah. So the cat wasn’t much help. It turns out living alone means taking care of your own spiders. It took me quarter of an hour but I managed to drum up the girl-balls to trap it. (I didn’t leave the shower running that whole time. I’m not stupid.)

Shannon: So I’ve decided to trap it under a glass.


Shannon: It’s not exactly a decisive course of action, but at this point I think we need to withdraw and strategize for a more permanent solution.


Shannon: this partnership isn’t really fulfilling my needs right now Batz, just so you know.

Batz: Meerow?

Yeah. So without the help of the cat, I managed to trap the thing. And now it’s sitting on my kitchen counter at home. I don’t know whether to hope it’s magically disappeared by the time I get home after TKD tonight, or to hope it’s still there.

In other news buying spider repellent has moved right up at the top of my list. Although for something this big, I’m not sure if spider repellent will do the job. Perhaps a security system to stop home invasion? I know one thing for damn sure: I’m going to stop sleeping with the windows open above my bed.


I shall call her Jane. She’s a Jane kind of car.

Sometimes it feels like I’ve got some of my wiring crossed over – like when I’m stressed, or excited? It becomes panic. And if I’m stressed or excited enough? Well the panic sort of fills me up, surrounds, and submerges me until I can’t tell which way is up, and whether I’m excited, stressed, or genuinely panicked.

I mention this because yesterday I brought a car. Approximately two seconds later I figured out that actually this is pretty stressful. I mean, I have a car. A car. Where do I park it? I couldn’t get online to buy insurance before late last night, and so I spent the whole day at work trying to figure out what to do with the car until it was insured, and had a spot in a parking garage secured (Because the council and resident’s parking forms are too much for me to deal with right now!)

So yeah, panic and crazy, and worry, and I was late on the bus, and I found a plan for parking and decided to just get out of Wellington till Monday night… and then I picked up the car, and everything just sort of… settled.

I’ve really missed having my own transportation. It used to make me feel trapped, being out in the suburbs with Taekwon Do, or the SPCA, and knowing that if a bus didn’t come… well I wasn’t going to be able to walk anywhere in a hurry. I hated having to taxi home from the supermarket. Put bluntly? It sucked. And it burnt cash faster than just plain old setting it alight would have.

And as for getting out to early morning tournaments, or going diving, or doing one-off trips out to the outer reaches? Getting to Napier and back? Visiting the parental units? Fuggeddaboudit. Which is my way of saying : VERY BIG DRAMA.

So now I have a car. An insured car. Housed in a parking building literally a hop-step-and-jump away from my house. It’s costing me an arm and leg, but car owners tell me that’s normal with a car. Everything costs an arm and a leg, unless it’s mechanical, and then we’re talking vital organs. Like kidneys. That’s fine though. I have two of those. I can afford a kidney every now and then!

In other news I did a site visit for the TKD thing, that I have to find all the people for? And… Well I’m stressing the numbers. But I’ll either get them, or I won’t and I’ll give them plenty of notice to find replacements. Simple. I think the key for surviving the stress is recognising what I cannot change, and letting it go. I can’t do everything for everyone, so instead I’ll just concentrate on doing an awesome job of what I can control!

Simple. Right?!

Any advice for a new car owner?