"When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around"

Brain for Hire

By Shanathalas
So I did it...I weighed up the pros and cons and listened to some very sage advice posted on my blog. I initially thought I would suck it up and hang on here until I found something else, but it wasn't working. I was becoming so demoralised and my blood pressure was high enough to make it sound like a all-drums death metal band had moved into my head. I usually do the pragmatic, careful thing; I am a Taurus after all. But I figure that I have developed a massive fear of making the wrong decision. And so it's time I take a chance. So this morning I gave my notice. I ran the gamut of feelings: fear, courage, nervous, failure, success, release and worry.

I think one of the biggest factors for leaving was that this job hindered my ability to look for others. And as Aoife pointed out, temping can open a lot of doors. I was offered more work by many of my temping assignments and I was doing a great job impressing IBM when I was temping with them, until I broke my foot.

And another factor that arrived last night: A note that our lease ends in two months and our rent is going up another 75$ a month. As our rent was already far too expensive, it now means we really have to move. Which is ironic, as I have had a few doubts about the place since we moved in, and had only just made my peace with its faults and decided I wanted to stay there. But moving out in a way is liberating. Much of the reason I felt pressure to stay in this job is due to our high rent. Now we may be able to get cheaper rent (hopefully staying the nice area we live in). So now is the time to be, as Dan comments, a True Warrior.

But yes Jen, finding a new job is one problem; finding a new career is another...and the subject of a soon-to-come post.


By Shanathalas
The Vancouver Aquarium's best feature in my mind is the sea otters. These guys are so cute, and very popular. So I guess that's why they've set up an ottercam. They already had the belugacam, and I guess they wanted to build on the success of the recent video on youtube of Nyac & Milo holding hands:

This is so cute. And its not just a rare event, I've been watching these guys hold hands for years. There's something decidedly human about holding hands.

Tiny Icelandic Woman Rocks Out

Category: By Shanathalas
Imagine if you will, a beautiful forest surrounding a placid lake. A gorgeous sunset, a brilliant half-moon and pink wispy clouds. Lush thick grass, a teletubby brass band, and tiny woman belting out the tunes like nothing else. Yes, last night Jaime, Rob, Rena and I took in the Björk concert at Deer Lake Park. It was a great evening for it. I've been a long-time Björk fan but never seen her live, and I gotta say that I was impressed. Her voice is even stronger live than it is recorded and she knows how to put on a great show. She played mostly from her latest album Volta, which sounds similar to her earlier material, particularly the use of brass instruments. I particularly like Earth Intruders and Innocence. She also played some old favourites of mine such as Army of Me and All is full of Love. Each song followed by a tiny "sink-yu" (like a cat sneezing; I firmly believe that Björk is in fact a selkie) to the audience. My only complaint is that she didn't play my favourites Human Behaviour (AKA The Teddy Bear Song), and Big Time Sensuality.

Good job on winning the tickets Jai :)

I'm about to quit my job

By Shanathalas
I'm not good at making decisions. Especially big ones. And lately it always seems I take the wrong path. So I am working out the pro and cons. Advice is clearly appreciated.

Should I Stay:
  • I need money.
  • Its not that hard a job.
  • It’s a 35 hour workweek.
  • Pay is slightly better than temping.
Should I Go:
  • This is clearly not the job I thought it was.
  • I will be leaving them further in the lurch if I quit down the line.
  • I will not be allowed time off to spend with my visiting friends.
  • My security clearance might be coming through after all, though I’m not sure exactly when.
  • There is no progression possible.
  • I am learning nothing.
  • I am not challenged.
  • Everything here is painfully paper-based.
  • I have to get up at 6:30am and catch three buses to get to work.
  • I can get temping work (closer to home).
  • I receive no guidance or supervision.
  • I’m bored.
  • Moneys not that good.
  • While the people I work with are nice enough, I do not fit in at all (All middle aged women from the suburbs).
  • Leaving this job gives me more time to interview/apply for others.
Actually, looking at that list I know see that there is far more "I should go"s than I should stays.


By Shanathalas

Just a quick note to all the kind folk who have been wishing me well. My angiogram did indeed go ahead this past Monday. There were some pretty serious complications, but to get to the good news first: the procedure did not give me a stroke (my biggest fear), and the angiogram seems to show that I do not have a Dural AV fistula.

The two major complications? The puncture in my Femoral artery did not want to stop bleeding when the catheter was removed after the operation. My blood pressure plummeted; I went into shock and was about thirty seconds away from a blood transfusion. Luckily, the doctor was able to stop the bleeding and my BP improved, negating a need for transfusion.

The second complication was an adverse reaction to the contrast dye they released in my blood vessels. The procedure involves the doctor running a small wire through the femoral artery in the leg, up the aorta and into the neck, and then he releases the contrast dye into different arteries and takes x-rays at the same time. As my body took considerable exception to the contrast dye, it felt like Drano going through the vessels. The burning pain was the most excruciating feeling I have ever endured. And they had to do it over and over in different veins. This essentially caused a migraine in every blood vessel in my head. Needless to say, I spent the next seven hours throwing up. Its four days later, my head is still ringing and my vision is still all fucked-up* . Ironically, the pulsatile tinnitus has gotten much worse, evidentially from the irritation to the blood vessels.

So the outcome? They found nothing they can treat. The radiologist, who was a really sweet guy from Melbourne, says there was some possibility of a dehiscent jugular bulb (say that 10 times fast!), but he would need to do another CT scan (without angio or dye) to confirm. Even if they confirm it, it doesn’t sound treatable and is unlikely to cause a bleed. My cow of a neurologist had never heard of it, or a few medical terms like “bedside manner”, so I don’t think I’ll be following up with her anymore. So the end result is: I’m not likely to have a major bleed in my brain anytime soon, but I might have to live with the sound of my “telltale heart” for the rest of my life.

But to end on a positive note; now starts a long-weekend, Jaime won us Björk tickets and I have a shiny new camera which I have named “Ookpik”.

*There is no real concrete way to explain what your vision is like after a massive migraine. Those who suffer them know exactly what I mean. Those who don't, consider yourself lucky.


My Visual DNA

By Shanathalas

Cause no one can own a string of numbers

By Shanathalas

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Category: By Shanathalas
Mum, Jaime, Ross and Margot gave me the most awesome birthday present ever: the Canon XTi Digital SLR camera!!! I'm still in shock. It was such a surprise to receive such an extravagant present. And not only did I get the camera, but my friends Beppie and Dave gave me an additional special lens as well: a good-quality Canon 50mm f/1.8. Thanks so much guys; I feel almost undeserving of such an amazing gift. But it's exactly the camera I've had my eye on and I've been longing for a digital slr for so long. And now I'll have no excuse not be to out there taking amazing photos. I'm going out this weekend to take my camera for a spin. Saturday is International Dawn Chorus Day so in theory I'm getting up before sunrise (the night after celebrating my birthday - yeah I know, it's not going to be easy), and on Saturday night I'm accompanying mum to the wedding of one of her friends. So I have two events that are perfect for practicing photography. So in a few days, keep watching this space.

I love Cute Overload

By Shanathalas

Sometimes you just need a couple of minutes of bunnies.

via Cute Overload