Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Oink oink

So I applied for a two day a week job in state government. Report writing, research, ministerial liaison. All the stuff I've done for years, in every job bar my current one of freelancer.

Wasn't even worth an interview.

MyCareer, Seek, Careerone, Vic Gov and Public Service job websites are all scanned intently every day: nothing going unless I'm prepared to do telephone sales or 'be bubbly, hands-on and willing to go that extra mile in our fast-paced environment.' That and adult photography for large women with broader minds or office cleaners (but only applicants with experience please).

I sent in a story for the Queensland short story compilation hoping to be one of the hundred they selected.

A long list of three hundred were released, mine not among them.

Got into power walking while my achilles tendon takes over three months (this time) to heal. Boring, much-more time-consuming but important to stay active.

Lasted no longer than a week before it too started to adversely affect the injury.

Noticed this morning that Milly has a lump on her back leg. She doesn't want me to touch it and it wasn't there three days ago. A quick growing tumour isn't a good thing, the vet told me this afternoon. We need to have her in tomorrow at 7:30am, get whatever it is cut out immediately and sent off for testing.

"We'll let you know how much it'll all cost when our head vet returns tomorrow." I soon found out - two weeks of my work.

Today is the last day of Year of the Tiger. Year of Kath the Monkey disguised as a Pig so that my fortunes weren't soured or ruined. An annoying gold pig charm on a necklace that jingled and drove me nuts for twelve months. Fat lot of good it did me.

"Oh I don't know about that," Mum said on the phone. "You weren't flooded out and you didn't get cancer."

Fair point.

Early this morning I hobbled around the oval picking up beer bottles and brown burger bags as Sapphire went running - long legs carrying her further and faster than she's ever been before. She was enjoying it and was discovering just what her own body and determination could do. My own body and patience is being sorely tested but I'll make damned sure that my achilles is right enough so that I can run alongside her.

We walked back home - she, red-faced and puffing from the effort and me, unruffled. On the outside. She grabbed my hand. "Sorry I'm so sweaty Mum, but I've had a great time with you."

I smiled and hugged her; sweat and all, breathing it in as we embraced, loving every moment. Let's see what Year of the Rabbit brings for this old monkey.


Benjamin Solah said...

It's ok, I didn't make the longlist either... such is the lift of a writer

River said...

You know how rabbits breed faster than, well, rabbits?
I've decided to take two one dollar coins, name them each rabbit, and see what happens to my fortunes this year.
Sounds silly? Yup, but it can't do any harm either.
Had another whole paragraph here, but decided to make that tomorrow's blog post.
You'll find work, Kath, just don't be in too much hurry yet, look after that achilles. Have you got support strapping on it?

Anji said...

I know how it feels to be looking for work. The worst is the interview that goes really well and then they say, "You do realise that I've got XXX other people to see before I let you know"...

Lets hope the year of the rabbit is a better one for all of us.

deepkickgirl said...

Well, let's hope it brings good things Kath, because that's what you deserve. At least you're writing and doing good things for your community - much more than most people can say, employed or not. Don't let the turkeys get you down!

PS Your mum is right. Perspective is always important when things seem grim.

Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

So last year was year of the Tiger, eh? I, apparently, was born in the year of the Tiger - so last year must have been some kind of milestone. Not sure I like milestones at my time of life...

Good luck in the year of the rabbit. I'm sure it will be amazing for you.




Vanessa said...

I barely know my astrological starsign let alone the chinese years. Year of the rabbit, I was thinking of you as I chased down our neighbours rabbit on Monday. My girls had volunteered to babysit it for three days and it decided 6pm would be a good time to play chicken with the cars. Damn rabbits!
Poor Milly, I hope it is nothing to worry about.
Would you be thinking of surgery for your own achilles? Do they do surgery?
Persevere Kath, things will turn around x
Hey my WV is worzest - this is the worzest it will get! (it's a sign...)

Elisabeth said...

What a sad little list of woes, Kath.

At times like these I say to myself, 'something good is bound to happen soon'. It's just the law of averages - something good will happen soon, and you'll be the first to know.

Hannah said...

Kath, at least you had the courage to send something of yours in to the writing competition - I'm still too scared to do so myself. And well done you for being so happy for and supportive of Sapphire's running. I'm personally amazed at your dedication to running. After my toe issues put me out of commission for over 18 months, I seem to have lost the will to exercise. It's just too bloody hot to even try... but mostly, I'm just used to being idle.

Keep on keepin' on, dear Kath. Things will start to fall (more) into place soon. And fingers crossed for your dog!

Kath Lockett said...

You're right, Benjamin. 99.9% rejection, 0.1% the lucky exception.

River, I like your gold coin idea - can I be your Victorian equivalent? No strapping because it's above the ankle and the doc reckons it won't help. Just rest *sigh*

Thanks Anji. I hope it's a good year for you, too.

You're right, Deep Kick Girl. At the Chinese New Year dinner tonight we kept an eye on the TV re the Cyclone Yasi developments. Felt very concerned for the poor Queenslanders but also a tad uncomfortable with how excited the Channel 7 reporters were!

Thank you, PM. Apparently if it's the year you were born in, it can actually be quite challenging and isn't always the 'THE YEAR FOR ME' that you assume. Therefore, maybe this year will be an improvement - happier job situation and better quality toilets found in China?

Vanessa, I like 'Worzest'. If all I have to whinge about it is a stubbornly bung muscle (no op, but likely to need cortisone injections) I know that Worzest won't be too hard to bear.

Thanks Elisabeth. I've got a young lady and an old bloke to go and cuddle so life isn't too bad.

I guess I'm going to have to find something that replaces running as my exercise, Hannah, and by that it needs to make me as happy as running does as well as the associated fitness benefits. As for Milly I reckon the hardest thing for her will be trying to understand why I'm not giving her any breakfast tomorrow!

Pandora Behr said...

Prayers are out there for Milly. Hope all goes well tomorrow.

And the short story people in Queensland are the losers.

Love and hugs.


drb said...

Congratulations on surviving a very tough tiger year, monkey girl!

Forecast for monkeys in rabbit year: A better year than the previous year. Excellent marriage life and the focus will be home.

drb said...

Fingers crossed for Milly...
Maybe it is just an abscess.
Tumor is usually not painful to touch.

drb said...

Maybe they only picked Banana Benders.

Nuttynoton said...

hope Milly is ok I know what happened when my Dog Tim was ill and it is not nice. Keep in there fighting on all fronts,you will have a better year! Have a friend lives North of Cairns posted some stuff before power went off, hope they are Ok in their storm shelter.

As for exercise - sit ups or variation on a theme, lifts etc. just bear in mind that as a writer you have a lot of fans!

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Pand. We took her to the vet's this morning and she struggled to leave with us. It's eerie being at home without her!

Drb, I'd be happy with an excellent marriage and home life this year :)

Nutty I think you're right - it'll be weights and sit ups for me for a few more weeks.

franzy said...

Looks like the year is bringing less Google image search and more home Fumo!

Roll on!

Lidian said...

Thinking good thoughts for dear Milly - we have 2 aging kitties and when one got joint problems and started limping I cried for 2 days (she has loads of expensive supplements now and seems fairly perky now though)... And I love running but my joints (speaking of joints) do not so am walking when I can (only we just got masses of snow, so I run up and down the stairs when everyone is at school/work)

It's a huge win just submitting work when you're a writer, I think - so yay for you! I am still working up to that :)

Happy New Year!

Maxine said...

Chin up! Once again, I love that you are such an honest blogger, Kath. It's always refreshing to land here.

tc said...

You know that I feel your pain regarding the short story, I really do. And the whole job thing.

I could say all of the things about not taking it personally, persistence and so on, but you've heard them all. Even told them all to yourself. And while it's true it isn't cancer, it's also okay to take a day or so before you dust yourself off and begin again (isn't it? I hope it is, because I love a little wallow every now and then)

Helen said...

Oh, Milly. I have everything crossed for her. I too hope it's only an abscess!

Kath Lockett said...

Er Franzy, what is 'fumo'? However, the plasticene family portrait was indeed done by Sapphire.

Thanks for your support, Lidian. Melbourne seems to be a fairly small little 'club' of writers with the same names featuring everywhere over and over. Still, I have a few tiny wins every now and then in my own way.

Thanks Maxine. My chin (which is rather large) is most definitely up.

tc, 'a little wallow' is exactly right. Thanks for commenting.

Helen, the vet took out an enormous chunk of her leg and thinks it was cancerous. We'll now be keeping a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't come back.

cube said...

I'll be writing Year of the Tiger on my checks for weeks still...

Jackie K said...

Love Sapphire's plasticine family - she's a talented girl!
Your mum is right - but still OK to feel frustrated and a bit down at times like these. I like Elizabeth's comment about law of averages - no doubt good things are coming. Good luck on the job hunt.

Kath Lockett said...

Cube, you still write cheques?

Thanks JK. There are still a few more options, so fingers crossed......

Ann ODyne said...

You might get a comiseratory laugh out of That's So Pants description of the incompetent at her local employment centre.
and I am physically ill with worry for your dear doggie. bless her heart.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Ann - Milly's stitches were given the 'looks good, I'll take them out on Monday' response but the lump in her belly was firstly shaved (to add to her collection of three shaved patches) and then had three samples drawn out by a needle to send off for testing. $200 but it's not a spot she can just slice open like a leg and whip the lump out..... I should hear back by Friday.

Irene said...

Good luck in the year of the Rabbit. Hope it brings you lots of happiness