Living in a teetotal paradise

Recently, I got an email from the Dry July Foundation — as I’d previously donated to them — inviting me to step up and take the Dry July challenge myself this year.

Dry July is a fundraiser in which participants give up alcohol for a month to raise money for services for people affected by cancer.

All well and good, except that… I don’t drink alcohol. And I suspect I’ll have trouble getting anyone to sponsor me to do exactly what I do every day of the year.

But in a country where drinking has traditionally been part of the culture, I’ve been asked plenty of questions about this over the years. So to summarise…

No, I’m not a recovering alcoholic.

No, it’s not against my religion.

Yes, I get “Asian flush” if I drink.

Yes, maybe I’d be less anxious if I drank. And maybe I’d be worse. Regardless, I’m not going to.

No, I don’t care if you drink in front of me. (Though if I get the sense you’re about to do something regrettable, I might just leave before I have to witness it.)

I did used to drink a bit. Like one or two drinks if I went out or something. Mostly to fit in, and mostly sweet things that didn’t really taste like alcohol.

A few years ago, I came to the conclusion that fitting in is overrated, and if anyone has an issue with me opting not to drink — there are some folks out there who take it really personally for some reason — then that’s their problem.

So yeah. You do you, and I’ll do me. 🙂

Now, if by chance anyone would actually donate money to see me live my normal life, let me know. 😉

My speaking voice and Henry Newbolt

Those who know me in person know I don’t really say much. Which means hearing my speaking voice is a genuine rarity. 😀

But I recently joined LibriVox, where volunteers from around the world record audio versions of public domain texts. For funsies, I decided to take part in LibriVox’s Weekly Poetry project, which on this occasion consisted of 25 readers recording a Henry Newbolt poem.

Listen to “Outward Bound” by Sir Henry Newbolt at LibriVox.

I’m number 16 😉 — but you should totally check out how everyone else interpreted the same poem.

Obviously I sound different in a conversation than I do when reciting a poem. Or do I? Who even knows? 😛

Anyway, this and any future recordings I might do for LibriVox can be found on my LibriVox page.

The mask giveth and the mask taketh away

I don’t know if you’ve ever attempted to do a HIIT workout while wearing a face mask, but I probably won’t be trying that again.

Technically I was doing vigorous outdoor exercise far away from everyone else in the park, so I would have been exempt from wearing a mask under current restrictions in Perth. But I wanted to show that I wasn’t a pussy who couldn’t hack it.

Turns out I am a pussy who can’t hack it. 😛

But I have managed a couple of (less intense) masked workouts in the gym since they reopened and I was okay. And the Premier has announced an easing of mask restrictions from this weekend so I won’t have to wear one at the gym anymore.

I don’t mind the mask too much when I’m not exercising though. I mean, I don’t love it. It can be uncomfortable and it’s annoying when my glasses fog up. But given a choice between wearing masks and going into lockdown, I’d take the former.

Besides, some people have had to wear a mask every day for over a year and counting, so I can imagine what they’d think of me whinging about my face being sweaty as I go on with my life almost as normal.

And if I’m having an acne breakout, the mask makes me look like a stylish ninja instead of a hormonal hot mess. 😉 Although some breakouts can be linked to mask wearing. The mask giveth and the mask taketh away. I’m sure that’s in the New International Corona-Version of the Bible or something…

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I feel lucky (in spite of my anxiety disorder and lack of stamina). Things could have gone very differently, but we’ve been fortunate in Australia. Which is not to say things don’t desperately suck for a lot people. But it’s not sucking because bodies are being piled up in the street for mass cremation while hospitals run out of oxygen.

I know I have a habit of catastrophising, but it’s not like I’m pulling that scenario out of thin air. 😦

Playthings review for Perth Walkabout

My review of Playthings — a play by Scott McArdle, presented by Black Swan State Theatre Company and the Blue Room Theatre — is now online.

Read my Playthings review at Perth Walkabout.

I first started writing for Perth Walkabout in 2010 and have done theatre reviews for them since 2014, but it’s actually been over a year since I last wrote one. (I think Tony Galati the Musical in February 2020 was the last review I did.)

All my systems are nervous

Today was a funny old day.

It started out like a pretty normal Friday in WA. I grabbed a coffee from my favourite cafe on my way into work. Recent talk of COVID-19 spreading through the ventilation in hotels was sort of in the back of my mind. But mostly I was thinking about what I needed to get done before the end of the week.

By lunchtime, the rumour mill about a possible snap lockdown was in overdrive and my colleagues and I were nervously waiting for Mark McGowan’s press conference. Just after 2.30pm, he came out and confirmed we’d had community transmission. Masks would be mandatory from 6pm and the Perth and Peel regions would go into a three-day lockdown from midnight.

It also means ANZAC Day dawn services are cancelled for the second year in a row, and anyone who planned to go away over the long weekend (Monday is a public holiday) had a decision to make quickly.

I’ve been on edge for a few hours now but I think I’m starting to calm down. I’ve done this before. I’m in a good position (mentally, financially, geographically, etc.) compared to so many other people.

And I’m about as far from an extrovert as you can get, so it’s not like I’m fuelled by going out and socialising.

It’s the uncertainty that messes with my head. 😦 And some of the exposure sites are places I go to, though I haven’t been there in the past couple of weeks so I should be okay.

Functioning within normal parameters, as Data might say on Star Trek. Those parameters happen to include anxiety, but medication and therapy helps with that. 😉

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