Friday, 6 November 2015

Notorious hills

It's been a long time since I've posted, but today I drove from where I live, which is in Perth's northern suburbs, out to Mundaring, which is a township that sits within the area colloquially known as the Perth Hills. Perth Hills actually refers to the suburbs on and just east of the Darling Scarp, which is kind of the border between the region of Perth and rural Western Australia.

But geographic info aside, that's where I was going. I was going to visit a friend who is moving to the US in a couple of weeks, and I didn't realise how far away her house was until I actually got there.

Getting to her house in Mundaring involved getting on the Great Eastern Highway in Midland and following its ascent up the Darling Scarp. Now, a large portion, maybe about two thirds, of the journey between Midland and Mundaring involves driving up the notorious Greenmount Hill.

I had heard of Greenmount Hill and had read about its reputation for accidents, but let me tell you, I was not aware of just how notorious it was until I was driving back home.

The hill is a beautiful drive when you aren't worrying about the descent. It winds its way up through the hills, surrounded by trees, and you feel like you're in another world. The hill itself consists of about 6 kilometres of the drive between Midland and Mundaring.

Coming back down is a different story, however.

On New Year's Eve, 1993, a heavily laden truck lost control coming down the hill and was unable to brake. It screamed all the way down the hill, horn blaring to get cars out of the way, and eventually ploughed straight through the Roe Highway intersection, killing a 20 year old woman, putting another 11 in hospital, and destroying 20 cars.

It was that accident which put into place serious traffic changes for the entire descent down the hill. As soon as you leave Mundaring, there are flashing signs warning trucks to slow down and remain in the left lane. Cars can continue down the hill at 80km/h but trucks must descend at no faster than 40km/h. Shortly after the first sign is a truck bay, where large trucks must pull in and check consignments and ensure brakes are operational.

For the entire length down the hill, signs warn trucks to remain in low gear and stay under 40km/h. And as you reach the bottom of the hill, there is a massive truck arrester bay for trucks which lose control. It's about a kilometre long and runs off the bottom of the hill. It is literally a long bed filled with loose gravel that has an upwards ramp at the end. It was constructed after the 1993 crash and has since saved countless lives.

I learned on my way down today to always stay in the right hand lane. Trucks will always remain left on the hill descent, and if a truck loses his brakes, you don't want to be blocking that lane as he goes screaming down towards the bay.

It was an interesting day going into Mundaring and finally seeing all the signage and fuss about Greenmount Hill in person. It was also pouring with rain, so that was fun.

The view coming down that hill was incredible though, I can't fault that.

Oh well. That's my rambling for the night over. I'm sure I'll have more soon.


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Minor Catastrophes


I had a fun Monday night.

Long story short, I went to my regular adult gymnastics class and about half an hour into the class, dislocated my left shoulder doing a spotted back handspring.

Whether I had a funny action going on or my shoulder literally just gave out, I do not know. What I do know is that the second my hands touched the floor, I felt the whole joint just collapse.

Now, I've popped my shoulder before. When I was about 12, it popped out during a back pushover, BUT it went straight back in and the next day, other than feeling a little stiff, I was fine.

But yesterday when I felt my shoulder joint move, I was literally able to pinpoint the moment it went past the point of no return.

I folded over onto the floor and said to the coach, Jeff, "my shoulder just popped out". I didn't say it calmly. I was on the verge of tears and a little panicky. Jeff yelled for Pete, and then asked me if it had gone back in. When I shook my head, he yelled for Tony, who immediately went to call an ambulance.

I don't remember much from when I was sitting on the floor, because I was in shock, feeling lightheaded, and legitimately trying to get some tears flowing because everyone knows tears are a good pain release. I remember saying to Jeff and Pete over and over 'I need to call my mum'.

It took them ages because I kept crying out and saying no I can't move, but they eventually got me onto my feet so I could walk to the foyer. I don't know if you've ever dislocated a shoulder, but if you set aside the pain, it is actually THE most uncomfortable feeling ever. There is not one position you can put your body in that will relieve the pressure in the joint. And it may just be a shoulder, but once that goes, you have one weight bearing hand, and any movements you make feel awkward and painful.

I wanted that joint back in, but I was terrified of every move I made potentially popping it back in. I was on my feet and my next issue was, I couldn't move my elbow. My whole arm had locked up, and it kept twitching, which aggravated the shoulder joint. I had given up on crying, but I kept whimpering every time it twitched and I was still feeling lightheaded as Jeff walked me towards the foyer.

By the time they got me to the couch, I had calmed myself down. The ambulance was on the way, Pete had grabbed my phone to call my parents, and I realised that after a short while, the pain isn't so bad. It doesn't continually get worse. It hits a high straightaway and stays there. After 5 minutes, you're used to that pain, and it's just the discomfort that continues to bother you.

I called my mum while Pete filled out the injury report form and strapped my up to keep my arm still. Mum was adamant she wanted them to cancel the ambulance and take me in herself, but I insisted I wanted to go in the ambulance because A) I've never been in an ambulance before and B) there were 80 people waiting to be seen in the Joondalup Emergency Room, and I did not want to sit on a hard plastic chair for four hours with a dislocated shoulder.

The ambulance arrived and I went by myself with the paramedic, who was LOVELY. God bless paramedics. I was a little shaky, but he was so nice and friendly. He started an IV in the parking lot at the gym and dosed me up on Fentanyl and Ondansetron. I swear to god, Fentanyl hits you like a train. No sooner had he pushed it through and I was seeing stars.

The ride was quite comfortable and by the time we reached Joondalup, I had disassociated the pain in my shoulder and was actually feeling ready to go to bed. Drugs do weird things man.

I got taken in and the nurse waiting in the back hallway told me I was surprisingly tough; apparently they get a lot of football players who come in with milder dislocations than me, and they're screaming their heads off despite the pain meds, whereas I was sitting on the bed talking to my friend on Facebook with a grin on my face.

I was brought in and evaluated by 9:30pm. The accident happened shortly before 8:30. Two nurses had to get my shirt off, cracking jokes the whole time so I was giggling and making it difficult for them. I got some x-rays, which showed a clear dislocation with no bone damage, which is GOOD. I remember at that point, I was looking at Mum and mouthing that I just really wanted my shoulder back in place because I'd been lying still so long that I was getting really uncomfortable again. Nothing worse than being able to feel your out of place humerus sticking into the hospital bed.

A short while later they drugged me off to sleep so they could set it. I woke up 20 minutes later with my arm in a sling, a complete absence of pain, and the news that Tony Abbott was no longer Prime Minister.

They took me for more x-rays again to make sure it was back in the proper place, and this time, I was allowed to get out of bed and walk to the x-ray table. I was still groggy from being sedated but holy hell I was shivering like no-one's business. After that it was a short trip back to the curtain room to get my IV pulled out and my sling adjusted, and then I was discharged.

I got to walk out of that hospital in a sports bra, my dance shorts, arm in a sling with my jacket thrown around my shoulders, and no shoes on. I got so many funny looks from people in ED. One scathing look from this older woman. Like, I'm sorry I went in an ambulance and got priority.

Then I headed home and went to bed. Sleeping with a sling is hard. I am probably allowed to sleep without it, but considering big movements may dislocate my shoulder again, I'm happier to keep my arm restricted in the sling and body strap.

Today it's been sore. My elbow is already stiff from lack of use, and I have to fly to Bali with a sling. I'm going to keep wearing the sling in Bali, despite only having to wear it for two weeks, because if people see that I'm 'injured' they won't knock into me so much, and I want to protect my shoulder as long as possible.

After Bali, it's off to the orthopedic surgeon. I will post again when I know more about that.

It's been a crazy start to the week!



Monday, 17 August 2015

It's rant time

I'm warning you all up front; 98 percent of readers will probably disagree with every point I make here. Well, it's not up for discussion. They are my opinions and I am allowed to have them any way I like. I do not have to like something just because the rest of the world does.

First on the list *holds up long list of subjects*. Ah yes.


Words cannot describe how much the hype over this overpriced overrated hipster magnet of a coffee shop annoys me.

It's just a freaking coffee. People lose their shit over Starbucks every day, all over Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. I just sit there like...who cares? And the people who go "I can't start my day without going to Starbucks" you know how much money you are wasting on shit?

And there are the people who say 'Oh, you're just jealous because you don't have it where you live, trust me it's amazing'

Well trust me honey, it's not that. I had Starbucks when I went to Melbourne, and it tasted like every other overpriced shitty coffee I've ordered in my life.


My next rant is *squints at list*...

The Breakfast Club

What the hell is all the hype over this boring ass movie anyway? Everyone on Tumblr always GIFs it and says 'THE MOST AMAZING MOVIE EVER, SO MANY TRUE STATEMENTS'

A movie can raise many very valuable points and still be a pile of shit, just saying. The characters are six of the most cliche high schoolers ever. It has plot line. And it's slow and boring. Why do people like it?

If you want a truly amazing movie, watch The Impossible. Or Maidentrip. Now THAT is amazing.

Ok. Onto the next one...

OUAT, Teen Wolf, Vampire Diaries, etc

I may have never properly watched these shows but I loathe them. I've seen snippets and they feel incredibly juvenile. Especially OUAT. I saw one episode of that, and it was honestly so awkward ad badly written.

One Direction, 5SOS

I know a girl older than me (I'm almost 19) who FOLLOWED 5SOS AROUND AUSTRALIA and actively tried to find them in public to meet them. You FREAKING WONDER WHY THEY AVOID FANS SO MUCH! She was like in her blog 'We were respectful of their privacy', no you bloody weren't, the second you got wind of where they were, you ran off to try and intercept them. It's stalking! You're delusional!

Fans like that are why I hate One Direction and 5SOS. Don't get me wrong, that's not the only reason (I'm not a fan of boy bands, and there isn't really a clear reason why), but yeah, it's one of the big ones.

I'm going to stop there before I give everyone a reason to hate me. You can bitch at me all you like, but it won't change my opinions on these things. I hate them.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Rough Days

Just as a forewarning, this post is about something quite personal that happened to me recently, and I will not be going into details of that event. I would also appreciate not being asked to divulge what happened - the people I wanted to speak to about it, I have already spoken to, and it was a small number of very close friends.

Almost two weeks ago, I had a long discussion with someone very close to me. Now this discussion took place at three in the morning, and in hindsight, I should've known how that was going to end from the start. Nothing good ever comes from a 3am discussion about ANYTHING.

However, I wouldn't say it was all bad either.

Yes, I ended up heartbroken, and yes, that hurt like hell. But I'm alive. I'm ok.

It was a horribly confusing next few days. See, I am the worst kind of person. And by that, I mean I literally cannot decide on anything. I can't decide on food, I can't decide on how I feel, I can't decide what mind numbing task I want to do to prevent me being bored. I literally cannot decide a single thing in my life. But then, in terms of not being able to decide how I feel, once I decide how I feel, I usually repress that feeling and hope it will go away because as well as being indecisive, I also can't confront anything. At all.

So, this particular feeling that I had to confront and be honest about a couple of weeks one I have known about for almost two and a half years. I know I'm being vague, but I want to protect the details of what happened.

After the entire thing was over, I felt numb. Partly because I was freezing my ass off on my friend's bedroom floor, and partly because I didn't exactly know how to react. I fell asleep feeling rather troubled and woke up feeling even more confused. Only I had one more feeling to add to the mix that morning - hurt.

I drove home in a daze, and that freaking song from Fast 7 kept insisting on playing, which didn't make me feel any better.

I didn't realise it at the time because I felt so out of sorts, but I was pretty pissed off. I didn't want to be, and I couldn't feel it, so I assumed I wasn't. But after a couple of days passed, I went 'Ok, I'm pissed'. But now I actually feel ok.

I know some people may be thinking 'It's not REAL heartbreak if you're over it in two weeks'. Well, I'm not over it yet...but I have accepted it and I truly am doing just fine. It'll be some time before I actually start to move on, I think, but that's ok. I can manage. I'm truly fortunate that the person involved in the other half of this equation is one of my closest friends. They are one of the kindest most understanding people I've come to know, and I'm thankful it was them I went through all this crap with because it could've been seriously awkward had it been ANYONE else.

I held fast to the things I love to get me through those rough few days following. I wrote in my writer's journal like a crazy person. I sang along to my music, like fully belting it out as I drove down the freeway to and from uni. And most of all?

I clung to Divergent.

It sounds silly, I know. It's just a book series.

But to me, it's more than that. It's incredibly inspiring. I reminded myself to be brave like Tris. I prided myself on the level of honesty I had showed that night. I've never been so openly and brutally honest with people before, because it's hard for me to talk about such personal things like that. I told myself that I would have made Candor proud (anyone who has read Divergent will understand that).

I drew Tris' bird tattoo in the front of my writing journal as a reminder to myself to be brave, to be honest, and to be selfless.

Who knows, I might get it as a tattoo one day :)

Now it's getting so cold that my fingers can't exactly type, so I'm gonna end this here with one last note.

I'm doing fine. Thank you to everyone who listened to me rant over the past week. I love and trust you all immensely. You know who you are.

And to the person who knows every inch of what this is about...thank you for being who you are. You truly are an incredible person and I would trust you with my life.

I've been so vague and wishy washy, but that's ok. This whole blog is a mess, an accurate representation of my life. Lol. Ok, truly ending here.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Concert Shenanigans

After my last post, I realised I have an entire gold mine of stories from my 15 dance concerts that I hope are a guarantee to make anyone laugh. I'm a bit of a klutz, and that sometimes leads to hilarity on the TWO nights of my life where I need to pull it together.

I don't remember my earlier years, but a good one that I have a vivid memory of was the year I did a penguin tap dance. I was 4 years old, and had the cutest little penguin costume, and a little penguin beak hat, with my little black tap shoes....

As I was doing a shuffle about a minute in, my tap shoe flew off. No joke. Sailed right through the air like a gliding bird. Being 4, my natural instinct was to run forward, pick it up, sit down RIGHT THERE ON THE STAGE, and put my shoe back on.

Dear god.

After that, everything's mostly splotchy. Until the last few years. And I tell you...from the age of about 16, I've had at least one absolutely hilarious mishap per year.


In 2012, I had a grand total of three mishaps in one night. The first came in my jazz dance. I had two friends watching that night, and they were fairly close to the stage. So what happened when I came out on stage and inadvertently made eye contact?

I started laughing.

And then I couldn't stop.

And then they realised I was laughing uncontrollably and they started laughing.

It was bad.

Luckily I managed to pull myself together before Sharon realised what I was doing.

Later on, during the acro number, I actually hit my headstand (which I had fallen out of on both previous nights), and I exclaimed on stage 'I did it!'. The girls within hearing distance started laughing and we all nearly toppled over.

Then not 30 seconds later, I was coming out of a three person balance, stepped on the girl below me's ankle, lost my footing, and fell flat on my ass. I sat there for a second, slightly stunned, and laughed, because I wished it had been caught on video.


In 2013, I only did two items - hip-hop and acro.

In hip-hop, we had to use basketballs.

Yep. Basketballs. What a recipe for disaster.

Of all the times it could've gone wrong, it was the night of the concert when we filmed the video.

As we were all coming out on stage, someone dropped their basketball. It bounced off of someone else's, sending both of them ricocheting off in another direction. One girl cut across me when she was supposed to go behind me, and accidentally kicked mine away. I had to run after it. We had been told if we dropped them, to run after them.

We finally got into position, and then another girl's basketball went rolling down the middle of the stage. It was hilarious.

Then later in the dance, we did this trick where we threw the ball up in the air, did a full turn, and caught it again. I panicked a bit, threw it a bit wildly, and had to lunge for it to stop it bouncing into the audience.

Next was acro. A mammoth 12 minute long dance composed of five songs and three acrobatics classes. The only time me and both of my sisters have been in the same routine.

During the last song, us seniors had to lift up two of the smaller seniors above our heads and carry them out like you would carry those ancient style carriages for royal people. I was carrying Mel with two other people, and I was positioned under her left shoulder.

Now Mel is tiny. Like, she's 24 and about 5'2. For the first time since we started doing that trick, I was having trouble supporting her. My hand almost slipped from under her just seconds before we put her down. It was actually more scary than anything.


The year of the dunce.

Basically, at the dress rehearsal, I stood up during my first jazz routine and nearly stacked it, and then punched myself in the face, how I have no idea. Then in tap, I nearly rolled my ankle. Then in hip-hop, I had to walk backwards at one point, misjudged where the line ended, and walked into one of the other girls. In acro, I fell out of my handstand way too early (I'm the only person in the class who can do a nice stag handstand, and as there was an odd number, I got to be centre front to do my handstand while everyone else did a partner trick). Then in my last jazz number, my bracelet got stuck to my tights and ripped a massive hole in them! That literally makes one incident PER DANCE!

Luckily everything went well for the actual performance.

The concert this year is in December. I hope I don't have as many problems as last year! I'll be sure to post if I do!


A Way of Life


I groan and complain about having to go every week, but I really do love to dance. Sometimes it is incredibly hard. Injuries are abound (trust me, I know), and some days your body just feels so heavy that all you can do is keep glancing at the clock hoping it's time to go home and crawl into bed.

No matter what anyone says to me, I will hold fast to the fact that dance is a sport. Seriously. I'd love to see the people who insist it isn't do what we do every week. With the way I eat, if I didn't dance, I would weigh about 300 kilograms. But I don't, I'm built like a bean pole and at least three quarters of my build has to be attributed to the 16 years of my life I have spent dancing.

My parents put me in dance the year I turned 3. It wasn't for any special reason - like how most gymnasts were put into gymnastics because of their extraordinary energy. They just thought I would like it. And I did!

I'm now almost 19, and I have really come into my own with my dancing. I'm not the most coordinated, I don't have rock hard abs like some of the girls in my class (I'm working on it though), I'm actually rather lanky and look really awkward if I don't take special care with my technique (standing at almost 5'9, I'm telling you, it takes a LOT of work), but there is something totally liberating about dancing.

I currently learn the styles of jazz, tap, hip-hop, and acrobats. Out of the four, acrobats is definitely my favourite. I was gifted with a naturally elastic back, which means I can manage all sorts of fun little tricks that lots of the other girls can't.

Dance comes with a price though. I have sacrificed the ability to go a day without feeling an ache somewhere. I have this awesome ability to injure myself. It's actually become a bit of a running gag at dancing. Sharon (the teacher) is just used to it now. Over the years, I have accumulated many bruises, sore spots, and other weird little injuries. As I got older, however, I started becoming more aware of what I'd actually done. This is the running tally at the moment.

  • Subluxated my left shoulder doing a backflip. I have been told by my doctor that when I did that, I actually partially tore my rotator cuff (he can see the scar tissue on my x-ray), but because my shoulder was just achy and I still had full range of motion afterwards, I never got it checked out. To this day, I don't trust my shoulder doing certain things but I cope rather well.
  • Sprained my ankle doing an aerial cartwheel because I came down so short and low that I severely overflexed my ankle when I hit the floor and tore the ligament. Again, even though I was limping, I didn't get that checked. I iced it, and walked it off. I had had many short landings before that gave my ankle a bit of a jolt, and assumed I'd done it again. I do see an osteopath who has gradually reinjured the scarred ligament and helped me heal it correctly. No, I'm not reckless. I actually have a reasonably high pain tolerance. I have to when you read the next point.
  • Developed neuritis which radiates from underneath my left shoulder blade and down my back. This was caused by an invisible virus which did nothing but give me EXCRUCIATING back pain in January last year. I thought it was bad posture causing it because when the pain started, I literally couldn't straighten my back up all the way, but I still had to go to work. There is nothing they can do to actually get rid of this, but it's ok because it doesn't flare up too often. If I get stressed out, upset, or don't watch my posture properly, it starts to flare up. All I can do is manage my pain with painkillers when I have a flare.
  • Punched the floor (intentionally) during a contemporary dance and gave myself a blackened wrist for a week. That hurt.
  • About two weeks ago, during a tap routine, I misplaced a movement and hit myself in the bony part of my big toe joint with the metal plate of the tap shoe. Since then, my foot has had a bit of a stabbing pain during certain movements, but tonight when I landed a leap, there was this agonising shot of pain through my foot, so there may be a slight fracture in my foot that I will definitely get checked out if my foot gets any worse by tomorrow. is not all pretty costumes and well executed movements. It's a shit ton of sore muscles, sweat, hard work, and determination.

I never fully understood how emotion can fuel dance until the other day. I had a bit of a...I don't know. Let's just call it heartbreaking, moment on Sunday. I wasn't exactly angry, maybe a tiny bit pissed off, but I was mostly numb. 

Come Monday, I was feeling weird. Like...pissed off but in the most energising way ever. All I wanted to do was dance. So when I got home and my mum left to take my sisters to dancing, I turned on the cover of 'Chandelier' by PVRIS and absolutely danced my heart out.

I can safely say I have NEVER danced like that in my life. I improvised an entire contemporary/lyrical routine and it was the most emotional dance I have ever done. And I would gladly go for it again.

Dance can be a life saver. For me, it's a part of my life. Since I was 3 years old, I have danced. Even when I quit dance for good to move into the future, I will always call myself a dancer.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Energy Drinks

I'm not a 'health and lifestyle' blog. In fact, I'm not even sure WHAT my blog is yet since the original purpose is so uncertain at this point in time.

I may not be a health and nutrition expert, but I want to share this with you.

Energy drinks are such a bad idea.

I used to drink them. Not all the time. I didn't need one every day like some people I know. But if I was at work and I was tired of soft drink, I would have a can of Mother. These were the big 500ml cans too.

I don't remember exactly when it was that I drank my last can of energy drink EVER (I've gone off them for good because of what I'm about to share), but it was probably about two months ago, because it was the same night I watched Broadchurch season 1.

I was at work. I cracked the can of Mother at about half past 6 in the evening and I drank it slowly. I hate gulping them down because they taste a bit funny.

I still had a good half the can left when I got home at half 9 and I sipped it slowly while eating my dinner and watching Broadchurch. I think I drained the can by 11pm.

I finished up the first half of Broadchurch by 1am and I had a shower and went to bed.

Well...I got into bed.

My brain was going about 1000 miles per hour. Broadchurch was still fresh in my mind (great show, by the way) so all the prominent scenes of this sleepy little seaside town were playing back in my head at about 10x normal speed. Every time I shut my eyes, it was like people were screaming and talking at top volume in my room. Not that I could hear any noise, but that's the only thing I can liken the disruption in my brain to.

It was actually the second most horrendous night of my life. The first was the night I hallucinated in my hotel room in Thailand and woke up my entire family by screaming for the people to stop chasing me. Yeah. Not fun. By the way, I am not mentally disturbed - I was not well in Thailand, and I'm fairly certain my fever and upset stomach had a hand in the strange wonky visions from the middle of the night.

Anyway, this Mother induced night of tossing and turning and my brain screaming at me like the asshole it can be was enough to stave me away from energy drinks for good. And the reason I say it is the energy drink is because my nights often end in me going to bed at 1am after watching a movie and eating dinner. The energy drink was the only differing factor that night.

I fell asleep at 7am. 7am. The sun was up and so were my dad and my sister. They were well-rested while I was having an emotional breakdown behind my bedroom door due to my lack of decent sleep.

I woke up at 1pm after a rough and disturbed 6 hours sleep. I watched the second half of Broadchurch and got ready for work all the while feeling like I'd been run over by a semi trailer.

No, there was definitely no alcohol in that energy drink.

It truly was a horrible night.

Don't drink energy drinks, guys. They might just be a drink, but if you randomly throw one into a normal part of your routine, you WILL feel a difference. Not only that, but they are so bad for you.

The choice is yours.


Monday, 18 May 2015

Songs of 2015

That title is a little misleading, I apologise.

After creating my Top 20 Nostalgia playlist, I realised how much I wanted to share the songs I love today with you guys. I have quite a few that I absolutely LOVE and can play over and over without tiring of them. So without further ado, here is my Top 20 of 2015!

  1. Holes in the Sky (ft. HAIM) - M83 (oh my god, words cannot express how much I love this song)
  2. Love Me Like You Do - Ellie Goulding
  3. Beating Heart - Ellie Goulding
  4. Hooligan's Holiday - Albannach (if you're open to bagpipes, seriously, go listen to Albannach. It will change your life)
  5. Slam - Pendulum
  6. I Believe - Christina Perri
  7. Smoke - PVRIS
  8. Pictavia's Pride - Albannach
  9. Take Me To Church - Hozier
  10. Circle - Flyleaf (I still love Flyleaf)
  11. Ran Off in the Night - Echosmith
  12. We Didn't Start The Fire - Billy Joel (you will feel like an absolute legend when you master singing along to this)
  13. Radioaktivitat - Das Atom
  14. Lights (McKayla Maroney mix) - Ellie Goulding (this is not an official mix. It's a fanmade mix accompanying a video of American gymnast McKayla Maroney, so I have dubbed the McKayla Maroney mix)
  15. Underclocked - Eric Skiff (anyone who watches Dark5 on YouTube will have heard this song)
  16. One They Fear - Jeremy Soule
  17. Dragonborn - Jeremy Soule
  18. Forging A New Light - Position Music
  19. Warriors - Imagine Dragons
  20. Caliban's Dream - Underworld
As evident by this list, I have a HUGELY diverse taste in music. I will literally listen to anything that sounds catchy to my ear. I discovered a couple of years ago that I love foreign music. Indian, Iranian, and Persian music has such beautiful backing music and you feel like a legend if you can sing along to the foreign vocals. Instrumentals/techno/house/electropop are also things I frequently enjoy, as well as the amazing tribal Celtic sounds of Albannach.

I honestly can recommend every song on this list. Even if you think it's not something you'll enjoy, or it's not your taste/style/type...give it a listen. You might surprise yourself.



Now, I'm only 18, so this post is hardly relevant. I've been listening to my iTunes library of 921 songs on shuffle all night and I've been trying to resist the urge to skip the songs and see how I feel about them (I find this is also the fastest way to refine my library; if I absolutely have to skip a song, it clearly grinds my nerves and has to go).

Tonight, iTunes decided to play a heap of songs that I used to listen to constantly between the ages of 12 and 14. That's not that long ago, honestly, but it feels like so long ago because I wasn't even in senior high school back then. These songs evoked a serious feeling of nostalgia in me, and I wanted to share them with you.

Here's my top 20 '2010's nostalgia' pack (even though some of these came out before 2010, I listened to them mostly after 2010):

  1. We Run the Nite - Tonite Only
  2. Battleflag - Lo Fidelity Allstars
  3. Explosive - Bond
  4. Take It Off - Ke$ha
  5. Reel Around the Sun - Bill Whelan (a must for lovers of Irish/Scottish music!)  **
  6. Enemy - Flyleaf
  7. D.I.N.O.S.A.U.R. - Ke$ha
  8. Fully Alive - Flyleaf
  9. Victory of Life - Future World Music  **
  10. Arise [Ben Moody Mix] - Flyleaf
  11. Bad Boy - Cascada  **
  12. So Cold - Nikisha Reyes-Piles  **
  13. May I Have This Dance - Tommy Lucas  **
  14. Someday We'll Move to A Small Farm (And Sit and Watch the Snow Fall) - Linford Detweiler
  15. Backstabber - Ke$ha
  16. We Run the Night - Havana Brown
  17. Beautiful Bride - Flyleaf
  18. If Today Was Your Last Day - Nickelback
  19. She Got the Honey - Mat Kearney **
  20. Viktoria - Maria Mena**
Yes Ke$ha makes quite an appearance. I still enjoy her songs, they're catchy and easy to listen to.

And I will not justify my enjoyment of Nickelback. No-one is allowed to give me flak for that because I listen to whatever music I like, ok?

Enjoy this, and I hope some of you might find some new songs from this list to enjoy! I've put a star next to the less heard of songs, so go check them out! They can all be found on YouTube!

Peace out!


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Stupid people everywhere...

This post has been begging to be written for months, but I always put it off because I thought I didn't have enough material.

I came to the realisation tonight that I have never not had enough material for this post.

I work in a Video Ezy store, which is a dying business, but it does for now. I've worked there since October 2010 and in the last four and a half years, I have been constantly astounded by the sheer stupidity presented by some of our customers.

Like honestly.

Many of these gripes apply to general retail situations, so I'm sure many of you can sympathise with me.

First up, the stupid questions.

Q: Is a 3 day hire classed as weekly?

What I say: No, it's classed as a new release.

What I want to say: How many bloody days are in a week?

Q: *when signing up for a membership* Do I have to put my phone number on the account?

What I say: Yes, as it's under your name, we need to be able to contact you.

What I want to say: Are you f***ing kidding me?

Q: *brings up an Interstellar case from the wall, which is marked COMING SOON* Do you have any copies of this in store?

What I say: Unfortunately, no, we haven't received our delivery yet.

What I want to say: Read the case.

Q: *while reading poster which says TUESDAY, ALL MOVIES $2* So all movies are $2 on Tuesday?

What I say: Yes.

What I want to say: I don't even have any words.

Q: *after I have put through a transaction for the customer* So those Blu-rays will play on my PlayStation 2, won't they?

What I say: ...No. They only play on Blu-ray players, PlayStation 3 and on, and Xbox One.*proceeds to refund transaction and get the correct copies*

What I want to say: Are you actually as dense as you make yourself seem?

Q: Do you have any copies of Fast and Furious 7?

What I say: That just got released at the cinema, so it won't be on DVD for at least three months following its final showing.

What I want to say: OH MY FOR GOD'S SAKE THE STUPID.

Retail customers are the bane of any retail employee's existence. I get shouted at least twice a shift over someone's late fees. It's not my fault. If they brought the bloody movie back in time, we wouldn't have a problem. And someone asking me whether Interstellar is in store (it's not, our delivery hasn't been invoiced yet) is the DVD equivalent of someone asking if you have those shoes in a size 6.

I do like my job. Some days. Some days are just nightmares. Like the day when the other girl and I got the full set of annoying customers. Some customers just set out to make your life difficult. Some act like entitled little...pieces of work. Middle aged women are the worst for threatening to speak to the manager because I'm rude and a bitch for not deleting their late fees (jokes on them, the manager is my mother).

It's crazy town in there. Some days you just know that if one more customer asks for that movie which has just been released at the cinema (*cough cough* Fast 7), you're going to fly across the counter and strangle them. Or if one more person argues with you over late fees, you're going to commit a felony. Like the woman who insists she isn't paying her late fees because her son was in hospital. Lady, I'm not saying your son wasn't in hospital, but if we wiped late fees every time someone fed us that excuse or something of the like, no-one would pay their late fees.

That's got me knackered. I'm sure there'll be more gripes where that came from later.


Twitter - @godofbacon
Instagram - @raducanyoucan

Saturday, 11 April 2015

14 tips for first time Skyrim players

Anyone who follows me on Twitter or reads my latest fanfiction knows just how much I love The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, simply called Skyrim by many.

Skyrim is a medieval/fantasy RPG game that follows a line of successful RPG games produced by Bethesda. It is the fifth in the series, following The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Skyrim boasts one of the largest game worlds and never fails to provide something to do. It follows the story of the Last Dragonborn, a person born of dragonkind who is destined to save Tamriel from the Dragon Crisis.

However, even with it's 'tutorial' missions, which basically consists of the quests up until you kill Mulmunir, the first dragon, Skyrim has many quirks and it can be easily get you into some tricky spots. I have found myself in tight yet hilarious situations quite regularly while playing Skyrim, and would like to share some of the solutions I have come up with.

  1. When you level up, you get to choose an attribute to advance. I advise sinking a lot of these level ups into Stamina. It eases the burden when you really can't decide which valuable item you need to drop in the middle of nowhere.
  2. Always carry at least two different types of weapons - ranged and melee. Picking off enemies from a distance first makes the closeup fighting tons easier.
  3. If you're strolling through the landscape and the calming beautiful music stops and gives way to something fast paced and intense, run like hell because it means a dragon has just spotted you.
  4. If you get ambushed by a dragon called 'Blood Dragon' and you're less than level 25, I advise running because those things are NASTY.
  5. Don't go on a frenzy and attempt murder on everyone in town. Just don't do it. And if you absolutely beforehand.
  6. Whiterun will always feel like home and you will feel terrible attacking it if you join the Stormcloaks during the Civil War. It's a fact.
  7. Don't do the main quest where you have to travel to Alftand until you are sufficiently leveled. I recommend about Level 30, because some of the enemies you will encounter in Alftand and Blackreach are bloody difficult. Especially the Dwarven Centurions. Far out.
  8. Don't attempt to battle Alduin until you're leveled. If you follow my earlier advice, this won't be a problem.
  9. Don't kill the Riverwood chicken.
  10. Shouting in a village or town 'makes people nervous'.
  11. Get a house as early as you can. You can stash all your stuff until you're ready to use it.
  12. Save your dragon bones and scales. You can make some pretty sweet armor out of them if you level your Blacksmithing.
  13. Watch out for Slaughterfish when swimming in cold areas. They're pretty creepy.
  14. Go for your life on that eagle in Solitude. It's not an unkillable creature. You will nail it.

There is a collection of some of my tips. I'm sure I'll come up with more.



Thursday, 2 April 2015

Life gets in the way...

I've been a tad absent. And that is mainly because of life. That and I've had many ideas for a new blog post but haven't had the motivation to actually write them.

Not much has happened in my online world over the past couple of weeks, apart from me falling in love with Tyger Drew-Honey, tweeting him, and getting a reply. That was nice!

A fair amount has happened in my real world though. Again, my relationship with TransPerth has verged back on hilarity. The other day I had to go into the city for a university field trip. After that was over, my friend and I made our way to the Perth Underground entrance on Murray Street. Anyone who has been to the Perth Underground knows it's like...crazy town down there. Even I, a Perth born and raised girl who frequently uses the train system, always gets a bit confused in the Underground.

Anyway, I was taking the Joondalup line to Warwick, which is 4 stops from the city, and my friend was taking the same line to Currambine which is 9 stops from the city. As we were coming down the escalator to the platforms, my friend said 'There's a Whitfords train (6 stops from the city) about to leave, you can grab that one'. I looked up and saw that indeed, the board was flashing to say the Whitfords pattern was leaving 1 minute.

I started leaping down the escalator two steps at a time, shrieking 'SEE YOU AFTER THE BREAK' to my friend, took a flying leap off the last step, legged it across the platform and got onto the train about 2 seconds before the doors started to close.

It's probably one of my finest moments using the train.

As well as that, it's now Easter break, mid semester break, and school holidays, which means for the next week, I have no uni and no dancing. I actually have two weeks off of dancing. And so begins a week of me trying to decide what I'm going to do to keep myself occupied.

One of those things will be to plan my future trip to Scotland, i.e. the reason I created this blog. It's not even a definite thing yet and I'm already excited. Later in the year, however, I am going to Bali, and I will be flying there by myself, as my family are flying up a few days later. It will be my first time travelling solo, and it's an international flight, so I'm a little nervous and a lot excited. Nervous because I have no idea how to fill out immigration forms and excited because I'll feel like a proper adult. Haha.

Well, I've forgotten what the point of this post was. If I think of anything else to say, I will post again.



Monday, 16 March 2015

Crack out the party poppers!

I warned you when I started this blog that the chances of me staying on topic are about on par with my chances of becoming the Queen of England. So I hope you enjoy having something entirely different to read every time I post! I like to keep it fresh.

Anyway, this is a special post, for today, it's a special somebody's birthday!

Aoife! (

This amazing girl is somebody who I met through the ever psychotic hot mess that we call the Criminal Minds fandom on Twitter. Today she is 15, and I hope when she turns 16, we are still the amazing friends we are today!

I'm not 100 percent sure how Aoife and I started talking, but I'm pretty sure it was the day I nearly fell on the train tracks at Warwick train station (which she subsequently has not let me forget). The story behind that: Aoife, myself, and another girl called Kara were all joking about slipping aphrodisiacs in a certain couple's (anyone who knows me will know who they are) food to entice them to have another baby (low and behold, they announced they're expecting another baby just two weeks ago). Aoife tagged Nathan in one of the tweets just to be silly, and HE RESPONDED. And I promptly tripped over my shoes in surprise and nearly fell off the platform because I had my back to the tracks and my backpack was probably heavier than I am. By some stroke of luck, I caught my balance in time to step away and catch the train that pulled in about three seconds after I almost fell.

Ah, the memories.

We've been through a LOT. We had a HUGE blowout in like...October. It was really stupid and I'm glad we got over it. We trust each other a lot and we tell each other everything. We discovered we do a lot of the same weird things, which I will not list for the sake of both of our dignity. We love to share our story ideas with each other and we have our own repertoire of inside jokes (*cough cough* frog squats) which never fail to make me laugh. Although I think my near death experience with a train makes the top of that list.

Aoife never fails to make me laugh. She always brings a smile to my face if I'm having a bad day, even if it is in the middle of a lecture and I have to duck under a table when I start laughing.

We also have the stupid things that make us laugh. Like the time I emailed her a story outline and realised afterwards that I had sent her the longest run-on sentence EVER. That got a laugh. And the day AJ announced her pregnancy, Aoife was FREAKING out and I was sitting on a public bus grinning like an absolute idiot. What a contrast.

She's a beautiful, stunning, kind hearted girl (who looks just like Chloe Grace Moretz, I s*** you not) who I hope remains one of my friends for a long time to come.

One day, we will meet and it will be joyous, hilarious, and wonderful.

Have an awesome day beautiful! Love you!


Sunday, 15 March 2015


Emma Blackery answered these questions on her YouTube channel, and never specified who answers next, so I decided to do them myself. Enjoy!

1: What are you wearing? 
A green Bintang shirt and a pair of pyjama shorts that have donuts on them (I just had to check and make sure they were donuts).

2: Ever been in love? 
I don't think so...does being in love with your computer count?

3: Ever had a terrible breakup?
Never had a relationship, so no, I've never had a terrible breakup.

4: How tall are you?
About 5'8-5'9. I'm actually not 100 percent sure, I just know I'm tall.

5: How much do you weigh?
Again, I really don't know. Somewhere around the 65kg mark I would guess.

6: Any tattoos?

7: Any piercings?
I have my ears pierced once.

8: OTP?

9: Favourite show?
Criminal Minds. If you have to ask me that question, you obviously don't know me very well.

10: Favourite bands?
I have a lot of favourite singers rather than bands, so I'll throw them in the mix too. PVRIS, Ellie Goulding (love love LOVE!), Echosmith, Albannach, Ben Howard, anyone who composed the soundtracks to any of my favourite movies...

11: Something you miss?
I had a great big list of stuff I miss the other day, and now I can't remember a single thing off of it. Probably the days when I didn't have homework to worry about, and Chelsea and I would have a sleepover pretty much every weekend. The days when the original The Sims game was the absolute shit, the days when I had a functional trampoline (I'll have those days back shortly), the days when my life didn't revolve around actresses and TV shows.

12: Favourite song?
Right now, it's 'Love Me Like You Do' by Ellie Goulding, but it could change in a week or so.

13: How old are you?
I am 18, a legal adult in Australia and the United Kingdom.

14: Zodiac sign?

15: Quality you look for in a partner?
Kind, loving, not a cocky arrogant bastard, must be reasonably attractive to me, taller than me, apply within.

16: Favourite Quote? 
"Ssh, the adults are talking. When it's your turn to speak, I'll give you permission" - Jennifer Jareau, a.k.a most badass woman that the world ever did see.

17: Favourite actor?

18: Favourite color?
Any shade of blue that reminds me of places like the Maldives and Fji.

19: Loud music or soft?

20: Where do you go when you're sad?
To my room to write.

21: How long does it take you to shower?
Freaking ages. Dad has to bang on the door to get me out.

22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
I can get ready in 10 minutes if I'm really desperate for some extra sleep.

23: Ever been in a physical fight?
Only with my sisters.

24: Turn on?
If you like my shows.

25: Turn off?
BO, bad breath, hair that looks like it hasn't been washed (seriously guys, wash your hair).

26: The reason I joined Youtube?
So I could comment on videos I like.

27: Fears?
Terrified of cockroaches. Pretty much every one of my friends has witnessed me run in fear at the sight of a cockroach. And something happening to any one of my Internet friends that I don't know about.

28: Last thing that made you cry?
Chloe's 7 News piece.

29: Last time you said you loved someone?
Pretty sure I said I love William LaMontagne at work today and Sarah laughed at me.

30: Meaning behind your Youtube Name?
(kiss kiss) first name, surname of favourite character (kiss kiss)

31: Last book you read?
Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant

32: The book you're currently reading?
I am going to read 'And The Mountains Echoed' by Khaled Hossaini. Pretty sure I got that either this Christmas or last and I still haven't read it.

33: Last show you watched?
Modern Family

34: Last person you talked to?
My dad.

35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted?
Emily is a really close friend from high school, we were discussing what movie she should watch.

36: Favourite food?
I really, really love microwave popcorn.

37: Place you want to visit?
You should all know that; Scotland.

38: Last place you were?
Other than here in my bed, I was at work.

39: Do you have a crush?

40: Last time you kissed someone?
I have never been kissed.

41: Last time you were insulted?
Some arrogant customer at work told me I was a rude bitch because I wouldn't do them a deal on their $10 late fees, which I'm not allowed to do anyway, so I asked them politely to leave the store.

42: Favourite flavour of sweet?
Apple. Watermelon. Grape.

43: What instruments do you play?
I used to play the clarinet, and I still sometimes play the recorder super badly to annoy my mum.

44: Favourite piece of jewellery?
I don't really wear jewellery, but I have a Deathly Hallows necklace.

45: Last sport you played?
Gymnastics is a sport. I don't care what anyone says. Some guy I went to school said it's not a sport because athletes don't wear leotards and makeup. Gymnastics is a freaking sport, the amount of training and dedication you have to have more than qualifies it. Gymnasts probably train more than half of the other sports at the Olympics!

46: Last song you sang?
St Patrick by PVRIS.

47: Favourite chat up line?
Wouldn't know one, never used one.

48: Have you ever used it?
Read above.

49: Last time you hung out with anyone?
I had to seriously think about that. Probably with Kathryn on Wednesday.

50: Who should answer these questions next?

Everyone who wants to.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Tropical Cyclones and Home Invaders

Well, not quite either of those things. But nonetheless, it's been a very active few days in the Australian/South Pacific Basin. Four active tropical cyclones at once!

On March 6, a tropical disturbance was registered just northwest of Fiji. This tropical disturbance would later become Category 5 Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam, which has passed over Vanuatu and wreaked absolute havoc and destruction. This system is still currently active and headed in the general direction of New Caledonia and northern New Zealand.

At the same time that the trough that was eventually named Pam was identified, a twin trough formed in the area of the Phillipines. It was later upgraded to a tropical storm and given the name Bavi. I don't know a great deal about that storm.

Meanwhile, in homeland Australia, we have contended with two. One on either coast.

Firstly, on the 8th of March, a weak tropical low was being monitored off the coast of Western Australia (my state). It increased in strength and convection, and on the 11th of March, was upgraded to a Category 1 Tropical Cyclone and named Olwyn. Olwyn hit his peak intensity at a Category 3.

It was actually a little frightening for a while. Olwyn was slowly descending along the coast, battering coastal towns and in particular, bringing a bit of damage and flooding to Exmouth and Carnarvon. It was predicted that Olwyn could go one of two ways; continue to move down the coast and dissipate to a tropical low by the time it reached Perth, or swing out over the ocean and re-intensify, meaning it would still be classed as a tropical cyclone by the time it made landfall in Perth, which is exactly what Alby did in the late 70's. He swung out, came back, and absolutely flattened Busselton, ripping away the famous Busselton Jetty (which has been rebuilt).

I'm a crazy person, so I love wild weather. I don't think I could handle a Category 5 like Pam, no way, but I think a Category 1 would have brought a bit of variety to Perth's lifeless weather. To be honest, we really just needed a bit of rain.

We were told to expect severe weather on Saturday with winds up to 100km/h.

We got a drizzle of rain at best, and maybe a bit of an increase in the wind. It was actually quite sad. I'm hoping winter brings some spectacular storms, because we haven't had a decent thunderstorm since March 22, 2010. And yes, everyone in Perth remembers that date because the weather was more comparable to a cyclone than what we got yesterday.

As for Queensland, they are playing a game of chicken with Tropical Cyclone Nathan. Nathan was classified on March 9th, and is currently sitting off the Queensland coast as a Category 2. He made slight initial landfall, then backed away into the ocean and is currently sitting there just biding his time. I hope he doesn't stay out there too long because I don't think Queensland really needs another Category 5, they already had one last month. And let's not forget Yasi, some people never really recovered from him. He was a bugger.

But now the cyclone excitement has passed and the sky is blue again.

Last night, however, we had a different kind of excitement. I had just gotten out of the shower and was getting dressed when there was a slight click and all our power went out.

Assuming it was because of the lingering storms passing overhead from Olwyn, I went outside to look at the sky. As I stood out there, I heard a thump on our side fence, but thought nothing of it.

I did notice, however, that our power was the only one off. And that was weird.

Dad lifted the garage door manually and went outside to have a look. One of our neighbours came wandering up the alleyway and asked if we were alright as he had seen our flashlights in the dark. He said something to my dad about how people have been turning other people's power off and stealing from cars, or something like that. Dad said no-one had turned ours off, it was just out.

But upon checking the meter box again, Dad discovered that our neighbour was right. Someone had turned our power off at the mains. We noticed this morning that they had also switched off our gas.

Dad switched it back on, and then half an hour, the dropkick came back and did it again. Mum heard him at the meter box this time, and Dad was already out the front door by the time the idiot had started running up the street.

Our neighbour came out and started yelling at the guy, and then they started punching each other and swearing while we stood on our driveway in surprise.

He never came back for another go but all in all, the night was just WEIRD.

Anyways, peace out!


Monday, 9 March 2015

A Writer's Journal

I have to keep a writing journal for my writing class at university. So far, out of the 12 days I have had it, I've written in it four times. I'm supposed to be writing in it every day.

I've noticed I mostly write in it after midnight. And upon reading back over some of that stuff, half of it doesn't make sense. It may inspire a story someday, but it really doesn't make sense.

Since there's nothing extravagantly personal in it yet, I wanted to share some of these wonderfully thoughtful little anecdotes with you.

I really don't understand how my brain functions.


  • I love the sound of the train pulling into the station. The high pitched whistle on the electric line at Joondalup.
  • Tinnitus. Persistent ringing of the ears.
  • A man driven insane by tinnitus.
  • What does PTSD do to us? Is the war worth it if our soldiers are returning home broken?
  • "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope, and a future" - Jeremiah 29:11
  • What if one day, you asked someone for directions, they gave you the wrong directions, and it altered the whole course of your life?

I apparently now have an imaginary hairless cat named Emperor Zurg. Ok then.
How do you tell someone you like them? It seems so easy, but it's so not easy. It's the most nerve wracking thing ever. I don't understand why. It's just telling another person that you have potentially romantic feelings for them. I tend to break things down like that when they're stressing me out. It doesn't actually make it any better.
I'm trying to write. JJ is meant to be getting food poisoning. So far it's not happening.
An unfamiliar song is playing on my iTunes. But I can just tell it's from the London Olympic Dreams album.
I was right.
Playing 'Would you rather marry?' via text with Damian.
I should write a story about a dancer battling injuries. Neuritis, ankle sprains, bad shoulders and knees. 
A mother watching her sick child receive chemo.
What is wrong with the world today? 
Apparently everything.
This pen is hard to read. This is why I don't handwrite these days. So much effort.
Mittens' human.
I swear all my best material comes forth after midnight.

3.03.15 - (this is a drafting of ideas for my presentation for this unit)
  • An evil beast, winding its claw-like tentacles through my her daughter's brain.
  • Every day brought a new enemy.
  • The clear liquid winding through the tubing. Looks like water, yet it is so damaging toxic, it can burn skin.
  • Covered with a bag to protect it from the light. Yet to protect her daughter, it has to cause so much harm.
  • The room is so dark, da as dark as the cloud hanging over her family.
  • Her daughter, who was supposed to grow up, graduate high school, fall in love, and explore the world.
  • There is no God. There Since that fateful day, she had not once believed in a god.

All I can think about is AJ's baby. It was just SO unexpected! She hid it brilliantly. It's hard to explain, but it's almost alien to see her pregnant. It's been 7 years since she had Mekhai. It's like I forgot she is still capable of reproducing. I think she may actually have had trouble conceiving, judging by her Instagram [caption].
The shock has worn off. To think we always wanted her to have another baby and now she is.
We thought they had settled on one.
I'm so happy for her and Nathan. AJ looks beautiful, confident, happy and proud.
I can't wait for July!

On the other hand (literally), my wrist is very bruised and painful. I hope I haven't chipped a bone. I do love that contemporary dance though. I love contemporary. Can we do it in the concert?


Trying not to laugh in a lecture while writing about a character hopped up on oxycodone after surgery.

I'm sure there's more wonderful pieces of wisdom where those came from. Stay tuned!


Flying Anecdotes

Yesterday I wrote a lengthy post about how I was practically rediscovering gymnastics. And as soon as I published that, I realised I had a lot more to say. Not on gymnastics, but just...about me, I guess.

So today's Reader's Digest will cover some of my fondest memories:

The times I've had to use a plane as a form of transport (i.e. 14 times).

I'm not going to jab your eyes out with 14 stories about every time I stepped on board a plane. But each trip had its own unique anecdotes and I would love to share them.

I'm an aviation nut. I love planes. I can tell you what aircraft is flying over your head, down to the company, family, and series (i.e. if it's an Airbus A330-300, I'll be able to tell you). If I hear a plane flying over my house at around 5:30pm on weeknights, I know it's the incoming Emirates flight from Dubai.

I can watch twelve seasons of Air Crash Investigations and get on a plane without a care in the world.

I'm a nerd.

So let's kick this off with my first ever flight.

Flight #1: Perth - Singapore; 23rd September, 2007

So the first time I ever flew on a plane was at the tender age of 11. Very tender, as my birthday was just 15 days earlier. We were outbound for Singapore, where we would stopover, and then board a smaller flight to Phuket, Thailand.

I was equal parts crapping myself with excitement and crapping myself in utter terror. My grandma came to drop us off at the airport at 4am and she pulled me aside and said 'Don't worry. Landing is the fun part. It's like a rollercoaster, weee!' (Thanks Gran, I think you traumatised me slightly, but it's ok because I survived).

I had received a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for my birthday to read on the plane. Mum tried to keep it away from me, but I read it in the first day. Even so, I took it with me (you may wonder why I'm mentioning this, keep reading. It's important later).

We get to the check-in counter, and there's our friends, the Houwens, who were joining us in this extravagant journey to another land. We check-in, say goodbye to our bags, which we wouldn't see again until we arrived in Phuket around 10pm that evening, and headed upstairs for a drink.

It was now about 4:30am, and the four adults had five excited, terrified, hyperactive children to contend with. They ordered us all a hot chocolate to see if the warm milk would settle us down. I was so nervous about getting on a plane that I whammed the whole cup down in two minutes and gave myself a stomachache.

They kept us entertained by taking us to the observation deck, where we watched some early morning arrivals come in as the sun began to peak over the horizon. Then we headed to Departures.

I don't actually remember much of anything after we entered Departures. I remember Mum and our friend Matt having to remove shoes and belts for the security scanner, but I think I was so scared that I just shut down (I can't believe I'm actually talking about me).

I remember walking down the gangway with shaking legs, and Dad was talking to me about something but all I could think about was 'How is thing going to get off the ground?'

We got settled on board (we were flying in a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200). The seating configuration was 3x3x3. My sister, who was 7 at the time, was in the window seat, I was in the middle, Mum was in the aisle. Across the aisle were my other sister, then aged 4, my dad, and Mr Houwen. On the far side, the oldest of the Houwen boys (Matt), the youngest, and Mrs Houwen.

The Singapore service was excellent. One of the flight attendants took a liking to us kids and was very friendly and reassuring.

As the plane taxied out to the runway, I was pretty collected. The engines were fairly quiet, and I was thinking 'This isn't so bad. I'll be fine'.

Then we got to the runway and they went up to full power. I was clutching my book like my life depended on it, maybe hoping Harry Potter could show up and magically put a force field around the plane in case something happened.

But I lived. I watched some movies, had a wonderful breakfast, and was actually disappointed when we had to get off (I must be the only person in the world who enjoys flying economy).

Now onto number 2.

Flight #2: Singapore - Phuket; 23rd of September, 2007

All I can say about this one is; so much rain. SO much rain. It was pouring. We had downgraded from a B777 (pretty big for those who don't speak plane) to an A319 (pretty small). It was 6:30pm and as dark as Tivon Askari's heart outside (Criminal Minds reference). Rain was coming down in driving sheets, there were gale force wasn't pleasant.

But we also survived that one.

Flight #8 - Singapore - Perth; 14th of March, 2010


A flight I remember so fondly that the flight number has become my Internet namesake.

It was a night flight (my favourites, I'm not sure why), and as we left Singapore, I could see these clusters of storm clouds around the bay. It was a truly impressive sight to see.

We also hit a storm cell and dropped about 1000 feet during dinner. All that fear from 2007 came racing back...

And then the pilot must have been pretty eager to put the plane down when we got back to Perth, because we slammed into that runway so hard, they probably had to go out and repave it afterwards.

Flight #10 - Melbourne - Perth; 7th of March, 2011

The stewardess had a good laugh about how sunburnt I was, and I could hear my Krispy Kreme donuts bouncing around in the luggage compartment.

Flight #11 - Perth - Bali; 22nd of September, 2011

Airstairs. We disembarked on airstairs, and I made like a Japanese tourist and photographed every inch of the plane from as close as I could get.

Flight #13 - Perth - Melbourne; 27th of February, 2013

We dropped out of the cloud at 2,000 feet and it was absolutely bucketing down with rain. It was as dark as JJ's sense of humour (another Criminal Minds reference, sorry) and windy as....hell. I was sure we were going to hydroplane down that runway. But I lived.

And so there are some of my anecdotes. This was really long, sorry. I just wanted something to talk about.

Peace out!


Sunday, 8 March 2015

Gymnastics: The Seasonal Obsession

So it just occurred to me that the Summer Olympics in Rio are next year.

Holy cow! Where have the last four years gone? I swear it was just yesterday that I was fist pumping in class because the Fierce Five won the team final, and convincing my teacher to let me keep my phone on my desk so I could find out who won the floor final (because I so wanted it to be Lauren Mitchell) the second it finished.

I've always been drawn to gymnastics. But I was never truly interested in it until the London Olympics rolled around. Sometime around April of that year, a friend mentioned McKayla Maroney during our lunch break at school. She didn't say much, just that she was an American gymnast.

I went home and googled McKayla. I found myself watching her 2011 routines on YouTube, and fell in love with the girl's vaulting.

That night, Lauren Mitchell was interviewed on the news.

And so it began.

The leadup to the 2012 Olympics was an exciting time in my house. I was eagerly awaiting the gymnastics. I didn't understand the scoring system at the time, I couldn't tell Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman apart, and I had absolutely no clue who Catalina Ponor and Aliya Mustafina were. But I was ready to watch some amazing gymnastics. My sisters were eagerly awaiting the track and field. My dad was hanging out for the cycling, and Mum was itching to watch some diving.

On the day of the Opening Ceremony, my sisters and I rose at 3am to watch the live broadcast. I fell asleep at 4 because I was absolutely knackered, but I had recorded it, and proceeded to watch it about 7 times over.

Something about the music used in the opening ceremony in London stirs beautiful memories inside of me. I almost feel like I was there. I still have the Isles of Wonder soundtrack on my iTunes and I still listen to it everyday.

Then came the competition.

I missed most of the qualifications and all of the team final because Channel 9's coverage was ridiculous. But I checked every day to find out who I could expect in finals, and managed to find the team final on YouTube the day after (I knew the results, but wanted to watch the competition).

When the Fierce Five won, I excitedly relayed the news to my friends. Told anyone who listen that they were the first American team since 1996 to win the gold.

In the all-around, I was rooting for Komova. I had read about her struggles to grasp gold, and hoped upon hope that 2012 would be her year. When she fell short again, I wished she could go back and redo her vault.

And the finals were a blur. All I remember is being horrifically upset that Lauren Mitchell couldn't nab a bronze. Oh well. She got gold in 2010, and Australia will always commend her for that.

But then came 2013. In the lull after the Olympics, everything had...died. I took up adult recreational gymnastics and that gave me a whole new appreciation for the sport. Even so, the American Cup wasn't as exciting to watch, as there were so many young and inexperienced faces. Something about Olympic year makes everything far more exciting in gymnastics.

I watched the US Nationals about a week after they happened (that's another thing. I don't watch any other countries nationals. Weird, but I just don't like the presentation of the arena at Australia's Nationals. We don't use podiums and it is WEIRD). By the time Worlds came, I had dropped off the gymternet.

What happened?

Before I get into it, I'm not a four year fan. A four year fan is someone who only takes notice of gymnastics in the Olympic years and you can always identify them because 99% of the time, they will have no clue what they are talking about.

Of course, I would only call myself a gymfan since 2012. I took it upon myself to learn about gymnastics history, the scoring system, who were considered the 'greats' and became embarrassingly invested in Andreea Raducan's unfair medal stripping.

I think, without something as big as the Olympics to focus on, other things slowly took priority. Criminal Minds, fanfiction, university, driving, dancing...and now that 2016 is rolling around faster than I ever expected, it's time to brush the old chalk off my imaginary grips and jump back into the game.

I have to go back and properly watch the last two World Championships, U.S. Nationals, and American Cups before Glasgow rolls around. I need to brush up my knowledge of the scoring, and quiz myself on each skill (at the end of 2012, I could pretty much name every skill on beam and floor. Was hopeless with bars skills and the only vaults I can identify are Amanars and DTYs)

As soon as I thought about 2016, I started considering the US team. And a little bit of the Australian team.

For the USA, at the moment, it would be Simone Biles. If she isn't injured next year and doesn't make the team, I'll eat my computer. I remember in 2012, everyone was sure it would be Katelyn Ohashi. Oh how times have changed.

My other two that I would love to see go are the Mikaylas - McKayla Maroney and Mykayla Skinner. McKayla has so much to finish. People may hate her, but I love McKayla and I really hope she makes it to Rio so she can fight for that vault gold she tragically slipped up in London. If she doesn't make it, I'll be really sad.

Realistically though, only one Mikayla will make the team. They are both strong on the same events and Marta isn't going to send two event specialists for the same two events.

While I think if McKayla makes it to Worlds this year, does well, and is consistent through next year, it's hard to imagine her making the team, since no female American gymnast has made a repeat Olympic team since Amy Chow and Dominique Dawes did it in 2000.

I honestly don't want to see Gabby Douglas make the team again. It's harsh, yes, but I don't feel like she deserves it anymore as much as some of the other girls. If you had asked me in December 2012 whether I wanted Gabby to go back, I'd have said yes. But with the amount of time off she's had, and the gym hopping she's done, her making the team in 2016 would be taking a spot away from a girl who has trained consistently over the past four years.

If she makes the team, then good on her, but I'd be lying if I say I wouldn't be slightly pissed off.

As for Australia...I really have no idea what's going on with this country. We've got a couple of juniors, maybe one or two seniors that have a real shot. Half of our 2012 team retired. It's hard to keep up with gymnastics in this country because it doesn't get the exposure that the US does, hence why I just stay in the know about the US gymnasts.

If Lauren Mitchell is still training next year and isn't seriously injured, I'm hard pressed to find a reason why Peggy Liddick wouldn't put her on the team. She's our golden girl and she can pull out a solid routine when we need it.

Olivia Vivian however, is just having a hell of a year. I had coffee with Olivia in October last year and she seemed pretty determined to keep working and improving. I'd love to see Olivia go back to the Games. She's such an interesting girl to watch out there.

Mary Anne Monckton - I don't know a lot about her, but her name has popped up a lot in conjunction with Australian gymnastics recently, as has Emily Little, so those are the four contenders I'm thinking for next year.

Hell, we'll get to June and it'll be four names I've never heard before.

Here's to 2016 and the Rio Games!