10 things I am grateful for

Image result for gratitude

To be grateful is to feel or show an appreciation for something done or received. Or according to Psychology Today it is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has, as opposed to what one wants (a job / financial stability/two border collie dogs).

I am having a rough time atm. I am feeling like the transition from University to ‘real adulthood’ is not going so smoothly. I feel like all the structure of University has been ripped underneath me, I used to panic about studying for exams (!!!) and now I am panicking because I have no exams to study for (???). I want to update this blog more, but I don’t want it to turn into a dull as hell ramble about how much the economy sucks, and how overqualified I feel for most of the jobs I have a chance of getting. So I am going to practice a little bit of gratitude, and hope that it inspires me to think of more positive blog topics.

  1. I am grateful that after six years of undergraduate study I have no looming examinations in the foreseeable future (even if I am feeling a little unfocused).
  2. I am grateful that when my laptop broke a few weeks ago, Apple fixed it for free (ty Australian Consumer Law!) because applying for jobs with no laptop was not ideal!
  3. I am grateful that I have a little more time to lie in the sun and read a good book
  4. I am grateful that I have a boyfriend that is not a fuckboy and is actually really cool and smart and I can have intellectual conversations with him
  5. I am grateful for my family, and that most of us got to celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday yesterday
  6. I am grateful that I am not lactose intolerant and can stuff my face with cheese (esp halloumi) and milk chocolate at any given opportunity
  7. I am grateful that I am over my awkward teenage years and no longer worry about people not liking me for me or gross pimples
  8. I am grateful that I never have to do a law exam again
  9. I am grateful that I have time to exercise and eat well
  10. I am grateful that I found nine other things to be grateful about!
image credit: Julie Jordan Scott 

Is a Zero Waste Lifestyle futile?

Zerowastegraphic_Pattern 3.png

For the last couple of years, I have been trying to live a more conscious lifestyle and transitioning towards a low waste way of life. I never use takeaway coffee cups, I frequently bring my own stainless steel straw to parties, I bring my own bags to the store. But sometimes, I feel like all these efforts are futile.

Like, in all honesty (please don’t hurt me) it is basically impossible to live a lifestyle that is 100% zero waste while remaining part of mainstream society.  Even if you buy all your food from bulk bins in your own jars or reusable bags, the products you are purchasing probably still were in packaging at some stage in the supply chain. Even if you have your coffee in a KeepCup the milk probably still came in a plastic bottle, and may not end up being properly recycled. Even if you bring your own bags to the shop, if you want to buy spinach your only option may be to purchase it in a non-recyclable soft plastic bag.

I guess these are the kind of neg comments you often read on Zero waste youtube channels. I am not one to encourage negativity or let it play a big role in my life or my subconscious. But sometimes it all just gets too much, and I just want to give up on all the little things I do to try and be a little more green.

I want to believe that my choices I make as a consumer have the power to change the world. I want to believe that by refusing a plastic straw and bringing my own shopping bag I am directly preventing a turtle from dying. But, sometimes I am overcome with a wave of existentialism where I am like what is the point, the planet is f***d anyway, sending another 5 takeaway cups to landfill is hardly the straw that broke the camels back in terms of turning the tides of climate change???

Sometimes I  even wonder whether I actually have some kind of disorder. Like is it really normal to picture the youtube video of someone pulling a plastic drinking straw out of a turtles nose every time I order a vodka lime soda and the bartender automatically puts a straw in it? Is it natural to be close to tears when I find that one of my housemates has gone against my strict household recycling regime? Why do I even bother anyway?

I think all these thoughts, but then I see many people opting for a KeepCup for their morning coffee, and a plastic-free July sticker at my local IGA, and someone sharing a new recipe for homemade beauty products on Youtube… and suddenly I get excited again about doing my bit to reduce my waste footprint. My faith in humans ability to change the world is restored. I think to myself, even if my individual actions are futile, at least they help me feel more positive about the masses one day waking up to environmentalism. One day realising that if we do not drastically change our lifestyle, and make more conscious choices as a collective whole, we will lose the beautiful wild places we love, we will use the quality of life we have built for ourselves, and once this threat becomes direr, we will need people to lead the way. We will need people who are open to the idea of a circular economy, who know how to grow veggies and reuse what they have.  Until that day, I think we need to accept the seeming futility of individual actions.

I think to myself, even if my individual ‘green’ actions are futile, at least they help me feel more positive about the masses one day waking up to environmentalism. One day realising that if we do not drastically change our lifestyle, and make more conscious choices as a collective whole, we will lose the beautiful wild places we love, we will lose the quality of life we have built for ourselves. Once this threat becomes direr, we will need people to lead the way. We will need people who are open to the idea of a circular economy, who know how to grow veggies and reuse what they have.  Until that day, I think we need to accept the seeming futility of individual actions.  Instead, viewing them as ways to open conversation with others. Instead, viewing our free will as a tool to shape the future of our planet.

Do you think there is any point to trying to live a ‘zero free’ lifestyle? or do we simply all need to try and become more conscious without labelling ourselves?

country clarity

When you take yourself out of your usual routine environment – out of the city grind and grime – you often find a sense of clarity.

Today S and I drove a little out of the city, towards the falls. When we arrived we discovered that they were closed. This was, of course, the first warm Sunday afternoon in October. We clearly weren’t alone in our desire to appreciate Western Australia’s natural beauty that lies somewhat dormant over winter until the sun begins to shine again. Disappointed but not disheartened we drove through the countryside towards the ocean, observing spindly newborn black-faced lambs, horse floats, a roadkill kanga,  and ‘pay what you feel’ plant shops by the side of the road.

We explored the train tracks towards the abandoned mine, holding hands so we could balance on either side of the tracks. S told me the mysterious tale of how a few miles of the track simply disappeared in the night, and no one knows who took it or why. We skipped rocks into a puddle in the valley below.

Clarity is clearness or lucidity as to perception and understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity. Recently, my mind has been a little bit foggy, I have been inflicted with a sense of indecision about which pathway to take with my life/career etc. I think sometimes hiking in the bush helps open your mind to the fact that there are many paths. Perhaps some are tougher than others, with more of an incline, but whichever path you take you can be sure that the scenery will still take your breath away. That is perhaps an over romanticised Robert Frost inspired metaphor to describe the crippling indecision you face as a recent University graduate… But out there in the bush, with the scent of Eucalyptus in the air, and the sun on my back, the things that kept me up until the early hours of the morning, running loops through my head, suddenly seemed altogether insignificant. I felt a sense of freedom from the ambiguity surrounding what exactly I should be doing with my career, and how I should be getting there.

Out there, I felt a sense of freedom from the ambiguity surrounding what exactly I should be doing with my career, and how I should be getting there. Today I feel a bit more at ease, while the job hunting process is still somewhat overwhelming, it no longer seems insurmountable.  I don’t feel like a dole bludging loser, more like someone who is doing some soul searching and will be able to go to the beach this summer and read a book whenever she feels like it. Now hopefully this change in mindset will help me get a damn job!

 

 

Hola after a hiatus 

WordPress it’s been a while. Crazy to think I started this blog nearly a year ago. I’ve shared some thoughts, and some cool things. It hasn’t developed its own niche yet. In my first year of blog parenthood I wasn’t an expemlary blog parent – too much going on, spending too much time being a good little law grad and doing my hours and grad diploma and reading case law. But hey it’s kind of neat to have a space where I can share things when I need. And now I’ve almost definitively decided laws cool and all but I don’t think I wanna be the next Elle woods you may find me here to pass the time in the coming months of near to mothness. 

In a stroke of bad luck #girlwithnojob the start of my job search stated with my laptop breaking. I’m starting my job search but it’s a big bad world of entry level jobs requiring 5 years experience, insane selection criteria and b*llsh*t strategic testing that research has literally proven does not predict job performance….. so right now I am embracing a life of ???????? 

Bc I don’t have a laptop or access to my adobe applications expect a sorta gonzo style of blog for a little while. No fancy graphics or high tech java plugins here just rants of an over educated under employed person. But hey, after a while every blog, and hopefully every person usually finds their niche. 

Having no money means it’s tricky when a friends bday comes up and you want to buy them something but you are poor. A few months ago I propagated the aloe Vera plant in my garden. I think I actually accidentally killed the mother aloe 😕 but the pup has now grown up on my windowsill in a disposable coffee cup (I despise disposable coffee cups and for me it’s keep cup or no cup, but a friend gave me coffee for freeeee and I felt too rude to refuse so found a way to reuse!🙏🌎) 


Please ignore the photo of my v basic white girl Acai bowl brekkie. But essentially I used the coffee cup as a little planter for my aloe pup. I pricked some holes in the bottom and used the lid to catch the gross leaking water 💦 now like a month later my pup had two pups of its own! So I picked up some cheap pots from target and wrapped a little piece of ribbon 🎀 around the pot and gave my friend a new plant friend as a gift. 💝 

I shall continue to update this blog with the misadventures and projects I take up in this period of unemployed and enforced laptop detox. Who knows maybe Blue Catcus Blog will finally find its niche? 

Can you birken-not?

I had suspected it for a while. I choose to ignore it, averting my eyes from the feet of others. For the last couple of years, I have observed teenage girls replacing their stan smiths for Birkenstocks to pair with their mom jeans… I had even been reported incidences of women breaking the cardinal rule. Yes, they were wearing socks and sandals… not just ANY sandal though. SOCKS AND BIRKENSTOCKS. In denial, I brushed off these sightings, writing them off as spooky coincidences of misguided fashion.  Or a weird AF fad like Topshop’s see-through Jeans. I told myself it was just kids trying to be ironic. However, I can confirm that now the count is in – Birkenstocks are in Vogue (literally, in Vogue). 242 years after the first Birkenstock was created, they appeared on the runway at Paris fashion week. I guess if something is around for long enough it eventually becomes cool?

Yesterday’s spring/summer ’18 collection presentation in Paris. #Birkenstock #PFW

A post shared by Birkenstock (@birkenstock) on

I suppose they are still cuter than crocs? 

Replica – The XX

25 and you are just like me…

Go do yourself a favour and listen to the song Replica from the XX‘s new album ‘I see you’. It will have you feeling all the feels. For me, the XX conjures up long ago times, with now forgotten friendships that did not last the trials of our later teenage years. I remember the song VCR that we played on repeat at a sweet sixteen sleepover. I think we had acquired a few beers from somewhere, they were warm, we passed them around the circle playing truth or dare and fessing up to who we had kissed the last time spin the bottle was played at a gathering.  The stars shined bright, and we were mainly just tipsy on youth as we frolicked in the moonlight at the local playground. We watched the sunrise at the river, the dewy early morning rays reflecting on this song was our anthem. I like to think that Replica and the other songs on ‘I see you’ have matured concurrently with the XX and their listeners. I am always amazed by music’s power to take you back to times all but forgotten. One song on an album may flow on to an other, and each album flows on from the next, in a natural progression of music style and time. But listening to a new song, from a band that you liked when you were growing up, can simultaneously make you feel nostalgic for the past, and in some ways repeat your experience of it and allows you to reimagine or reinterpret the past, looking forward to the future, and anticipating the band’s next release. Maybe it is human nature to be stuck on repeat.

I am too tired to work out how to embed the youtube video but click here to listen.

 

image via tumblr (lyrics from the replica by the XX)

Dear teenage girls – you do you!

image via lemondifficult
Dear teenage girls,
 
Don’t you go crying over that boy. He is not worth it. “But he is the love of my life” you protest, “I think he is the one”. Let me tell you something, “the one” (or in Sex and the City terms Mr Big) is a myth. It’s a lie perpetuated to you by generations of repressed women and the hegemony of shitty rom-com in our culture.
 
Times are a changing darling. According to the holy grail of the contemporary blogosphere a.k.a Man Repeller – if Sex and the City came out in 2017, Carrie would NOT be the protagonist. Miranda would be.
Read the piece de resistance here. Do you know why? Because she doesn’t mope around waiting for Mr Right. She balances a v successful legal career with motherhood. She is a straight shooter. She has it all. She is driven. she is honest. Most importantly, she does not accept things the way they are. Instead, she approaches the world with some degree of cynicism. I do not proffer the inclination to believe people are motivated purely by self-interest. But it is important to be wary and approach the world with some degree of scepticism. Failure to do so may result in self-delusion. 

(more…)

Gig Review: Vancouver Sleep Clinic

VSC-1.png

About a month ago, I saw Vancouver Sleep Clinic perform at Jack Rabbit Slims. It had me feeling all the feels, and making solemn vows to go to more gigs.

VSC-2.JPG

VSC’s sound is very dreamscape-esque, like the neither here nor there drifting cloud place you go to when you meditate, or that place between wakefulness and slumber after a long day. Songs like Someone to Stay are the kind of lullaby that pulls your heart strings to make you feel that inner sense of peace and hope that everything will be okay. The lyrics to Someone to Stay serve as an acknowledgment that we are all human, and have this shared need to be shown love, the shared need to have someone to hold, this share need to have “someone to stay”. I think that is a powerful and soul affirming sentiment.

(more…)

Stuck On My Spotify: Olympic Sneakers by Heaps Good Friends

I thought my blog needed a place where I could talk about what I am listening to and write about upcoming Aussie artists that the world outside of our large-small island nation deserves to know about! We no longer have CD players that get stuck, but songs still get stuck in our heads, or at least in our Spotify playlists. One song that has been in high rotation on my listening agenda is this jam from self-described ‘dance pop’ duo who have ‘txt msg lyrics’ –  Heaps Good Friends. The song is called Olympic Sneakers. Listen on Spotify here.

For some reason, the vocals strongly remind me of early San Cisco, but they are expressed in a little bit less happy-go-lucky manner. Like a slightly more grown up San Cisco? That has moved from naive ‘we-spend-too-much-time-together’ early teen puppy love to, ‘are-we-even-dating’ young adult romance. It also kind of reminds me of hey did I do you wrong but is a bit less apologetic…

I feel the song vocalises the confusion felt by many young people these days. You know when you are kind of seeing someone but not really and it starts to feel a bit shit and you sort of wanna break up with the person but you aren’t sure if you can because it’s a bit iffy about what you mean to that person, and even more iffy what they mean to you.

How do you break up with someone you were never really dating? I would suggest you run, run, run like you wear Olympic sneakers.

(more…)

Bamboozling beauty products

You know the girl. The beauty queen. She is the one with the perfectly winged eyeliner and the dewy skin and who knows what contouring is. It takes her three hours to get ready – but when she does she looks the same IRL as she does on her Instagram. You cannot confirm whether she wears fake eyelashes because you never see her without them… She always looks flawless and she always wins homecoming queen.

Am I that girl? NOPE. the complete opposite in fact. If you came to this blog looking for beauty recommendations, you are in the wrong place. Go back to Instagram. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $20.

Until I was a young adult – well okay realistically until I was 22 – my idea of a night time look was basically bulk body glitter and my daytime look was BB cream and filling in my eyebrows. (more…)