Saturday, August 30, 2008

Uni Quandry

The assessment for my Post-War American Literature is pretty basic: a 1000 word tut paper, and a 2000 word "major" essay. Easy.

Except that we also have to present to the class on one of the books.

Given that
(a) class goes for two hours,
(b) the presentation is not graded, so essentially I'll be planning a two-hour presentation for no marks,
(c) there are only five people in the class, so it'll pretty obvious if I just happen to not show up the week it's my turn to present,
(d) the lecturer already thinks I'm an idiot, and I wouldn't put it past her to let this affect my essay grades
I should just suck it up and do the presentation, right? Or not?

Incidentally, if anyone has a two-hour prepared speech on On The Road and would like to email it to me, that would be awesome.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Arte Y Pico Award

Last weekend at work, we served these two gay guys. After seeing/talking to them several times that day, they sent us an email right before close. It was the sweetest email ever! They outlined every occasion they'd had to deal with us throughout the day, and pointed out how awesomely we'd treated them. Basically, we were only doing our jobs, but that was SO NICE of them to go to so much effort to let us know that we'd done them well.

And now, thanks to the lovely ladies at 3 Giraffes, I can pass that on to some of you. I am awarding the Arte Y Pico award to "5 blogs that I consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community."

In Holly's own words: "OMG! She's so talented she can run three blogs AND work a full time job AND take care of her family. Niiiice." I am very much in awe of her, because clearly she's fabulous. And did I mention three (awesome) blogs? For "interesting material," see any of her Freakin MM posts, and for "community," I give you the fact that I would feel bad if I won one of her contests when she has such an awesome group of readers on her book blog.

My second recipient is Suzanne Broughton, of Emphasis Mine. If all she posted was this video about driving on LA freeways, over and over again, I would probably still read her. And just as I was writing this, this post came up, which is another video, also awesome, but she does write words as well, so go over and check her out.

Marilyn has the prettiest blog I've ever seen, and she has interesting/funny/touching posts all the time, and she's educating everyone about Wordpress, so that covers all the criteria for receiving this award. Plus I got to meet her at BlogHer and she was completely lovely to me.

After I got the letter at work, I was thinking about sending out a few emails to people I read, just to let them know that they are awesome. Because they should know it. At the top of my list was Chris Cactus. He is an awesome dad (or so I've been led to believe) AND an amazing blogger. I have this theory that comment sections reflect the blogger, and his are always hilarious and thoughtful.

And finally, for a blog that definitely demonstrates creativity and design and all that good stuff, and also since it's Father's Day pretty soon, my final awardee is my dad, over at Zithers Lutes and Lyres. He is making some very cool wood things at the moment, so go over and check them out.

This is clearly not an exhaustive list of all the awesome blogs in the world. (For that, you need to click over to my blogroll. Love you all!) So help me out - which blogs are you loving at the moment?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cos I Really Need More Distractions

Last night I made a little to-do list for myself. It included a lot of "read ..." and "write ..." which is unsurprising. (It also said "Buy Vegemite," which is also unsurprising.) Turns out I have a little bit of work to do for uni this semester.

As an aside, my uni lecturer-and-supervisor thinks I am a total idiot. Yesterday, she wanted to make an appointment to discuss my thesis. Which, sure, go ahead, discuss away. It's not written yet, end of discussion. Anyway, she's all like, "How does Monday at 10 suit you?" And I was all, "Ten in the morning?" And THEN she was all, "The real world is going to be a bit of a shock to you, isn't it?" Which, WHATEVER, I have lived in the real world, and in fact live in it several days a week, at least.

At the end of class, she started talking about the book we're supposed to read for next week, which I only bought after class yesterday, so how in the hell was I supposed to answer a question about it. No, actually, take out that 'only.' A week is PLENTY of time to read a book, thank you very much, and you can stop judging now, mkay?

I am totally off-topic by now. My point was - or was going to be - that I totally need more things to distract me from all this reading and writing, because who wants to write a thesis anyway?

So. Holly is having a contest, which, at first, she was all, "Only if you live in the US or Canada, MISSY," like, nice try, but I can't move in with you right now, sorry. And then, she was like, well, I'll just have to move to Australia, and then I wouldn't be able to enter my own contest, so I better change the rules so I can. And since Holly-in-Australia can, then I can, so yay! I'm going to win me some books!

Which I will then totally give to you all, because hello? I have a thesis to write.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thanks a lot, Random Girl

Scene: I've had class, finished typing and printing my Sherlock Holmes and House notes, and bought the book to read for next week. I approach my scooter.

Random Girl Ready To Ride Away On Her Scooter, Which Is The Same As Mine, Except For Its Colour*: Hey.
Me: Hey.
[We exchange the super-secret scooter-riders' handshake.]
Random Girl: Have you ever had any trouble with yours?
Me: Well, I rode it to Noarlunga in 40 degree heat last summer.
Her: And it cut out?
Me: Yeah. I wouldn't recommend it. She's been good apart from that.
Her: Mine's been smoking. A lot. [Demonstrates.]
Me: Wow. Well, MINE'S never done ANYTHING like THAT. [She said, EVER SO SMUGLY.]

She: Rides away on her cute little scooter (in a cloud of smoke, but hey, she's riding).
Me: Tries to start my scooter. Fails. Repeatedly.

NOW what the hell am I supposed to do? The automatic non-starter button is in its startable position. She was not in the snow, hail, or even rain. She was in the sun for crying out loud, and she always starts better when it's warmer. She has petrol AND oil.

Actually, maybe it was the shock of her being warm, dry, and not being beyond empty that did it to her. Fuck.

*And the fact that it works. Oops! Spoiler!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You will need the things you learn in pre-school

Guess what we did at uni today (in Honours no less)? We cut out pieces of paper and stuck them on other pieces of paper. It's taken about twenty years, but those mad craft skillz from pre-school are finally proving their worth.

Oh, and then I assigned myself some 'homework' just so I wouldn't lose all that whole cutting and pasting technique we'd been practicing. My wall is no longer bare.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wine Tour Adventures

When I was little - I'm thinking maybe fourish? - we had a big family reunion. At this family reunion they had a whole heap of platters of food. As I was running around getting underfoot charmingly looking for some food, I saw a salad plate with grapes on it. Yum! I grabbed one and chomped it down. Except - EW! YUCK! BLEUGH! - it was an olive, not a grape.

Dude, that scarred me for life. But I'm totally starting in the middle. Let's back up.

Lately, I am totally in favour of going out. Until it's night time. Because I am scared of vampires it's fricking cold. Seriously, it's not you. I have to talk myself into going out to the kitchen, it's so cold. However, I did manage to go out and be all socialable (I almost deleted that, but I think I will leave it), and here is the evidence:

Two vans full of rowdy Uni Hall people (plus me) headed out on a wine tour to celebrate some birthdays. Or, if you were in a deceiving mood, an engagement. My favourite wine was a liqueured mead, which I'd never had before, but it was very nice.

My LEAST favourite thing, was when a Hallie tried to convince me that just because I didn't like olives when I was kid didn't mean I wouldn't like them now. Totally to my credit, I actually tried one. And nearly threw up. Olives, not for me. Not ever.

My OTHER favourite thing was when the guy at the olive place convinced the guy who'd convinced me to try olives that he should totally try some olives off the tree. In case you haven't had the pleasure, olives off the tree = even grosser than normal olives. Ha ha on him. Good work Olive Grove Man!

Shelle and I say cheers to that!

The FINAL favourite thing happened on the way home from the last vineyard. Our famous House Committee President got left behind, which was all the more funny because we didn't do it on purpose. Strangely enough, he didn't think it was funny.

For those who aren't familiar with South Australia and its wine: SA produces 50% of Australia's wine and 70% of its wine exports. McLaren Vale, where we went, is mostly known for its ripe, generously flavoured wines, and is arguably one of the best shiraz-growing regions of the world. John Reynell and Thomas Hardy planted grapes there in the early 1800s, and some vines more than 100 years old are still producing. Thank you, internet research, for today's lesson on SA's wineries.

So, you all: come to Adelaide, and I will supply you some great wine! Plus, I'd be interested to know if you guys get SA wines where you are.

And now, I'm going back to my room and ignoring the fact I need to cook dinner in my cold, cold kitchen:

PS: Thank you to everyone who voted on the header issue. You were all incredibly helpful. I'm already thinking of ways I could change it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Header: Opinions Needed

As you may (or may not, depending on how much time you spend in your feed reader, or possibly how keen your powers of observation have been) have noticed, I put up a new header a few days ago. It currently looks like this:

The idea was that I would change the swirly bit each like month or whatever, to reflect other people who should be keeping me informed about the goings-on back at the ranch. Or whatever. That metaphor never worked too well to begin with, but I still like it.

The only problem is, I don't really like it. It's too dark, and boring, and even though I am proud of my curve that I figured out how to make, the whole thing really can't stay. So! Options!

Which of these do you like better? (Yes, they are all basically the same. I know.) (I am sorry you're not in it, but are YOU going to create ANOTHER pattern if I have to add another photo?) (I am sorry you don't like the photo of yourself, but um ... TOO BAD.) Anway! Let me know which one you like best; new header will go up ... sometime. Very soon. After one single person comments. After enough people comment that the one I like has the most votes. You know. In the future. It will definitely go up in the future.

Hmm. They definitely looked better bigger. You should definitely click on one of them before telling me they look like shit. (I don't want to hear they look like shit. Thanks. Or that they look like I squished every Photoshop tool I know how to use into one ugly pink rectangle. The only way you can tell me either of those is if you also say, "And I'm a professional blog header designer who would love to make you the awesomest header ever totally for free and also this instant.")

Wow. That was a lot of talking for a post that essentially only needed pictures and one word: Vote, Bitches. Okay, it definitely needed two.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's cold on winter mornings, give me a break

(Basically, I only chose that title so I could show you this, which I have already complained about to anyone I spoke to, emailed, texted, sat across from in the computer room, happened to pass in the library, sat next to at the traffic lights ... well, you get the picture:

Hail. HAIL. Seriously, Australia, get your act together. Bring on summer!)

ANYWAY. On to the actual post.

I am pretty much a snob. I might as well admit that. Uni students' clothes? Oh my lord, I CANNOT STOP JUDGING. Casual, sporty, wintery would be one thing (well, three). But seriously. Those jeans. And those shoes. So not cool. And those jeans WITH those shoes? Ick. And PS, your grandma wants her cardi back. And your boyfriend wants his socks back. And ... no-one wants that jacket.

And then I'm like, would it kill you to put on some make-up. Moisturiser? Lip-gloss? You are (apparently) intelligent adults. You could try to look like it. Brush your hair even.

And then I'm all, half an hour extra sleep in? HELL YES THANK YOU. And all, co-ordinated outfit what? And then, beauty routine who? And then I'm all, never mind, uni people.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympics Drinking Game

So I can survive these few weeks, I have decided to create a new drinking game, based on the 2008 Bejing Olympic Games. (The first time to drink is if you hear it referred to as a year other than 2008. Shot! (Seriously. 2006.))

The one guaranteed to get you totally smashed: Drink for any mention of Libby Trickett when she's not actually racing. Double if they interview her and totally ignore the people who actually won medals. (I am not going to give you a Michael Phelps one, you won't last five minutes. THE TABLE TENNIS. They managed to work a mention of him into the TABLE TENNIS for crying out loud.)

The 'Grrr, Channel Seven' one: Drink for any time Channel Seven decides to run a ten-minute "highlights" package when, I don't know, we could be watching actual coverage? Double if it includes that guy lying on the ground pouring water over his face. (Who the hell is he, anyway?) Drink any time they decide to cover a sport no-one cares about, where no Australians are actually involved. Drink if they can't sort out their contracts ahead of time and cut to the FOOTBALL, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, which we can watch any old damn weekend, or on Foxtel right this second, but noooo, never mind this one-time-only Olympic thingy. Have another drink, on me.

The 'I Love Commentators' one: Drink any time a commentator says something stupid. Just kidding! That'd be wayy too much fun! Drink any time a commentator says something unnecessary, like "And in Lane Number One, next to the other one, who is [TOTALLY COINCIDENTALLY] in Lane Number Two..." Drink any time a female commentator is scathing about another female's chances. Drink any time a commentator reminds us that this is totally important. For reals this time. These points are the absolutely crucial ones. Drink any time a commentator says something laughable, such as, "She's learned how to run. And she's only 24."

Man, this game is going to be so. much. FUN! Who's got more?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Look What I Found!

Smiley Fries!

The SAME ones from BlogHer, the SAME ones I insisted on having at our Michigan Party! We get them here as well!

(Now to bring Ben&Jerry's, cherry-flavoured chapstick, and Olay Quench moisturiser to Australia.)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

So, How's Uni?

So, I'm back at uni.

My study habits have gone from 'tends to leave things to the last minute' to 'completely non-existent.'

That's not actually true; I totally read the book for last week's class. And I read it before class and everything. But I could not tell you a single thing about it. No themes, symbolism, character motivations. I just didn't get the point of anyone writing it down at all. Like The Great Gatsby. Sorry, everyone who loves it. I didn't get it in Year 12, and I don't think I'd get it now.

And when your class of five is held in the lecturer's office, it's kind of noticeable when you have nothing to say. But I was LISTENING. And THINKING (about, like, what would I Twitter right now if I had Twitter?). But listening and thinking don't count towards a participation grade.

You know what else doesn't count? A thesis which sounded so cool back in March or April when October seemed sooooo far away it was practically in next year. I might want to make a start on those 10000 words that (apparently, and not for lack of waiting for them) aren't going to write themselves.

And also, GENIUS, you don't get marks for learning how to MAKE A CURVE IN PHOTOSHOP.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Want My Number?

Because I could totally give it to you right now and it would not help you the tiniest bit.

I am typing this at uni because my home internet is down again. This time it's through no fault of our internet people. Somehow - and I really have no idea how this happens - our phone number is not our phone number at the moment.

Basically, we can call out, but the number that will show up is not ours.

Crap! Does this mean mean that someone else has our phone number and could be ringing up our phone bill as I type? That's not cool, other people.


If we have someone else's phone number, I could be ringing up their bill right now. I could call Asia, Europe ... oh wait. I could call YOU.

Wait by the phone, bitches.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blogging About Blogging - How Self-Indulgent

Obviously, BlogHer provided a lot of new and interesting ideas to consider regarding blogging, the why and how of it, the monetary aspect, and the mainstream-ness of it all. I don't think I actually have all my new ideas sorted yet, but we'll just start typing and see what happens.

Why do I blog? 'In the beginning, it was a way of keeping in touch with friends and family back home. Here's what's happening down here; how are things back at the ranch?' I said this a few times while I was away. I'm not sure that it's totally true, and I'm positive that's not why I blog now. The Ranch is a record, a memory, an outlet. My family and friends from home still read it, although I am less aware of them when I'm writing than I was; I certainly use more f-words than some of them would like. I include things which keep them up-to-date, but those same things are a memory for me.

Will I become rich? I do have BlogHer ads on my blog. I don't know how to log in and check how much my huge cheque will equal, but I can tell you it won't be much. Maybe enough for a milkshake once a month. Possibly. I don't know. I'm ok with whatever, really. I would love it if someone wanted to pay me to write, because then I would write so much better and more consistently. But since I'm not doing that to start with, it's unlikely anyone will offer me that. Y'know? Which is fine. As long as I'm happy with what I'm writing, I'm happy with whatever BlogHer ads gives me for it.

What do I want for ...

... the way I read blogs? I read blogs through Bloglines. I have been making an effort to Blog The Recession and click through. As far as I'm concerned, if I can't visualise the author/blog in my reader, why bother reading at all? I have a bajillion new blogs to read since BlogHer, and I'm trying to be okay with deleting some of them. It's nothing personal; not every blog is for me. Or you. Categorising my Bloglines has helped me to prioritise my blog-reading, as well. Basically, I most enjoy blogs when I feel like I recognise/know the blog/blogger.

... my blog?
Right now, I've been making some small changes to my blog. Older buttons are all in one place and not cluttering up my sidebar, I'm going to start work on my About Me page, I've started using spell-check, little things like that. I'm thinking of changing the colour scheme / design - nothing too drastic, but just to make it a little cleaner or something.

... my writing? I wish The Ranch was more consistent. I developed a huge wordiness during most of my BlogHer posts, and then suddenly posted three big pictures with hardly any words. I want my style to show clearly on everything I post. I want every post to say what I wanted it to say. I want to be proud of every post I write; I want to be proud to submit them to things like the Community Keynote (no, we're not too ambitious AT ALL). You know those posts where people point out the awesome posts they've read that week? I want mine to be among them. I don't imagine that these things happen without effort - who even knows if effort and planning are blogging aspects that will make me happy to publish things here, but it's worth finding out.

Where are you at with your blog at the moment?
What direction would you like to see The Ranch take?
What are the essential aspects required for an About Page?

Monday, August 11, 2008

When Does It Stop Being My Birthday?

When the last piece of birthday cake is gone? (I should point out that although I left it sitting around in the kitchen unprotected all this time, neither of boys stole so much as a bite.)

When I finish the series I bought with my birthday money?

When I finally get off my arse, unpack, and start sending presents to other people?

Or, how about never?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Good Decision / Bad Decision

First of all, here is the brief version I could have written many many posts ago:

I flew from Adelaide to Auckland to San Francisco, where I met SuperTiff and Fog City Mommy. Tiff and I stayed with FCM for two days while we did some sightseeing. We checked into our hotel for BlogHer08, which was freaking awesome. We were very brave and met many amazing people. Adrienne drove us to Fullerton, where we stayed with Tiff's BFF Jobi, and went to Downtown Disney. Tiff went home, and I went to Costa Mesa to get my hair done by Whoorl's stylist. I got a train to Palm Springs to hang out with Holly, and then I drove to Vegas. Then I flew to Michigan to hang out with Tiff some more, and held a party for the bloggers in the area. Then I flew to Phoenix, then San Francisco, then Auckland, then Adelaide. And then I slept for a hundred years. In my own bed.

And now, was all of that a good idea? (This format totally stolen and vandalised from Katelin. For the well-written and original version, go here.)

Good decision: To come to SF for BlogHer.
Good decision: To come a couple of days early.
Bad decision: To not be a millionaire so I can guarantee I'll be able to attend every year.

Good decision: To plan to be brave and say hi to everyone I read.
Bad decision: Accidentally missing some people. Getting distracted by $4 margaritas and forgetting about others.

Good decision: To ride in one of the GM cars from SF to LA.
Also good decision: To leave Monday, giving us extra time in SF.

Good decision: Bringing business cards.
Bad decision: To not have anything to say when presenting them apart from "Hi, I'm Missy from Australia!"
New decision: The cards will be prettier next time.

Good decision: Not bringing my red suitcase (wayy too heavy).
Bad decision: Letting the strap break on my duffel.
Good decision: Allowing Holly to force me to buy a wheely one.
Bad decision: Tempting fate with new luggage meaning the New Luggage Gods and US Airways could team up to destroy my new bag.

Bad decision: Bringing four pairs of shoes when I only ended up wearing two of them.
Good decision: Dumping one of the extra pairs on Holly.
Bad decision: Leaving my favouritest jacket there as well, by mistake.

A decision: To resist the Twitter Is Taking Over The World vibe.
Good decision: The world does not need to be burdened with all the crap I would post. I can do that to my friends, not to the whole internet.
Bad decision: A lot of things happened when it was inconvenient to whip out a blog post. Twitter would have been good as a record of this trip.

Good decision: To visit FCM, LA, Whoorl, Holly, Vegas, and Tiff.
Bad decision: To not meet up with Jennster in Vegas.
Bad decision: Booking non-refundable, non-changeable flights before plans were set.
Good decision: Changing plans anyway.
Good decision: Road-tripping it to Vegas.
New decision: I allocated time unevenly. Will plan better next time.

Is it just me, or does decision not even look like a real word any more?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Apparently, there is such thing as a stupid question

Me: Why is there so much Australia stuff around?
Everyone at work (at a SPORTS store, no less): ... Um, duh? A little thing you might have heard of called THE OLYMPICS?

And here I thought all the shops were just welcoming me back.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Michigan Blogger Party: Ice-cream and RockBand Award

Argh! So many things happened that I'm still trying to get written down!

Tiff and I decided to host a party for any Michigan bloggers who could make it. After couch-buying-related hijinks that afternoon, we headed off in a total rush to buy the necessities - chips and dip, Ben&Jerry's, strawberry mix, and vodka.

We made it home before any guests arrived, set out all the snacky-food things we'd promised people, and commenced stressing.

All that stressing was totally unwarranted, I have to say. We had an awesome time, and I hope our guests did too.

Highlights included:

~ Meeting everyone. Duh.

~ Perfecting our strawberry slushie drinks.

~ Deciding what to do with Andrea's hair.

~ Me and Andrea (ok, mostly me) cursing out Elizabeth (or the car I thought was Elizabeth's) for ditching us. You have to admit, that would've been pretty genius if she'd done it that way.

~ Finding the Smiley Fries from BlogHer at the shops that afternoon, cooking them in Tiff's brand-new kitchen, and eating them at 2am.

~ Playing RockBand til three in the morning.

~ Did I mention I got to hang out with all these awesome people (plus a few more)? AWESOME, I TELL YOU.

(That picture totally stolen from Elizabeth, because we are just so damn hot. Also, go read her post; it is much more coherent than mine.)

(I had to finish with that one, because it took us about twenty bajillion tries to get an even remotely sensible shot. It was late. Really late.)

In conclusion: You guys need to do that more often, even if you don't invite me. I won't be offended. (I will be pissed I can't gate-crash, but that's different.) You guys were so much fun - any success of the party was totally caused by you. Thank you so much!

When You're Travelling Alone, You Can't Blame Other People

At the buffet:

Exhibit A: One.
Exhibit B: Not one.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Guest Review: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

I'm like, a total professional book reviewer now, just like Holly.

If you're interested in my "I read this on the plane, when I was half asleep and in ten different time zones, and now it's 10:30 at night, but really it could be any time, so I don't really remember anything, but I HAVE LOTS OF OPINIONS" opinions on Stephanie Meyer's Twilight, you can head on over to Book Binge for my review.


Missy: When do I get my guest reviewer cheque?
Holly: "Thanks for the review." That's the best you can hope for in the form of payment. That and millions of adoring fans will read your review and hate you for it. YAY you.
Missy: Oh, AWESOME.

The Un!Comfortable! Moment (and Awesome Recovery) Award: Heather B

Again, this is all impression and seemed and felt, so read it with that in mind.

Tiff and I both read Heather B’s blog. We both got to it through Amalah, back when Heather was Noah’s babysitter (surely the best job in the world). We are both well aware of the fact that Heather is no longer his babysitter, and is in fact, a person and blogger in her own right.

One day (I’m guessing Saturday), Tiff walked close by Heather B and was brave enough to say hi. Good work, Tiff! Then the both of them, separately, walked close enough by me for Tiff to say, “Hey Missy, there’s Noah’s babysitter!” And then, I did my squealy excited thing, and called out, “Hi! I’m so jealous!” because I wasn't thinking, and also, if there had been more time, I would have said something like, “I love your blog,” but there wasn’t.

That night, at Macy’s, while Tiff and I were talking to Amalah about Trader Joe’s and Sephora and Noah, Heather B came up to rescue Amalah / take her to the Cheeseburger Party / whatever. Then she realised who I was and looked at Amalah and was all, “This is the girl I was telling you about. She thought I was Noah’s babysitter.” Um, hi, you were Noah’s babysitter, and if you’d give me a second, I could explain that I know you’re not any more. Then she recognised Tiff and said something about her as well, but I couldn’t hear because I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach.

Me and Tiff and Amalah had been having fun, hanging out, and then Amalah had been informed that I was nobody she would want to hang out with, ever, and straight away I was nothing to her. Obviously, not actually, because Amalah is not a horrible person (there’s an endorsement for you), but that was how I felt, because I am irrational like that.

Tiff took over Amalah duties and I tried to explain to Heather B that I actually did know who she was, that I liked her writing, and that I read her blog all the time, but I got the impression she didn’t care and wasn’t listening. Of course, that may have been because we were all about to be late for cheeseburgers, but still. I really don’t think it was anyone’s finest hour right there.


Also: Heather B sent Tiff an extremely awesome email apologising for the situation (unnecessary, but lovely of her), and it was indeed as I thought, that she would like to be recognised as someone other than Noah's babysitter. Like, maybe as Heather B of No Pasa Nada. I'm just guessing, and the second one is in fact the way I think of her, but it was just simpler for Tiff to point her out to me as the former at the time. So we're sorry, too.

And I got to meet Heather B! Woohoo!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How I Almost Got Locked In Macy's And Then Met A Bunch Of Awesome People

I had had a make-over from the Bare Minerals people at the conference, and - like a total sucker - bought a couple of their products, to be picked up from the Macy's party.

Naturally, I was way too busy prancing around the lingerie department, or demanding bottles of wine since they'd run out of glasses, to even think of searching for my purchases. Until like the very last second, when it occurred to me that I'd given these people my credit card number, it wouldn't be too good if I didn't track them down.

Which I tried to do and was sent to the cosmetics department, bottom floor. Except that the very bottom floor was closed and the dude wouldn't let me down the escalator. But then I was all "I need to pick up my crap!" and must have looked a little emotional, so he was like, "I'm going to get someone from security" which was different to the "Security!" call that he could have made, so that was good.

Security took me downstairs and found me a make-up person. Turned out my crazy foreign credit card hadn't even gone through, so I could have just left without my "crap." But I got it, and they made me walk out the employees entrance as it was so late. I had to have my bag searched (black, clutch, TINY, like, my phone barely fit - plus she totally ignored the huge Macy's bag I was carrying that would have fit all kind of stolen merchandise) by the door bitch, and then I was released.

As I stepped out the door I realised I was on the totally opposite side to where I'd come in and had no freaking idea where the hotel was. I ran back inside and demanded someone tell me where my room was. Shockingly, the door bitch was unhelpful, but there was no way I was going back outside without some directions, a map, preferably GPS (with a battery that worked). I would rather have slept there (and since this means I would've missed the festivities of the last night, being locked in Macy's was much less appealing than it normally would have been). I was all, SERIOUSLY, NOT LEAVING. WHERE IS MY CHEESEBURGER PARTY? at the guys in the security booth, who were wayy more helpful than the door bitch (shocker) and I made it home.

By the time I got there, a bunch of people were gathered in the lobby after the Cheeseburger Party had been broken up. I went up to a group of people which included someone I knew (maybe Jennster?) and maybe three or four that I didn’t.

After me and whoever had stopped chatting, one of the other girls was all, “Are you Missy, from Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch?” (Ok, first of all, SQUEE! This was the first and only time this happened to me.) I was like, “Yeeeees?” in the tone of voice like, you might be a psycho and I don’t want to give too much away, but I was really trying to figure out who this person was without reading her nametag or looking like I was trying. Thank god, she relieved me of the effort: “I’m Kristabella.” And I was like, “Really? Kristabella?” like, no, she just made it up. After I stole a glance at her nametag, I demanded a hug – and I’m sure there was a squeal in there as well; I was fucking excited – and babbled some more crap.

Then I realised I was making a scene and turned to introduce myself to the rest of the circle. “Hi, I’m Slynnro.” Shut up, you are not. OMG it’s Slynnro! “Hi, I’m Ali.” OMG it’s Ali Martell! And so on.

Seriously, that whole circle was people I wanted to meet, but hadn’t seen all weekend (or if I had, I’d rudely ignored them). I wish we had more time to spend together, but maybe next year.

In summary: it was freaking awesome.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Two Photos I Just Had To Show You

Welcome Home

After flying for 9,908,547,592,380,390,853,290 hours, I finally made it to Adelaide Airport. I went through duty free, where a bottle of alcohol cost me as much as it would have normally cost in the US.

I caught the slowest taxi EVER home (like, the reason you go Tapley's Hill instead of Marion Road is that it's 80 instead of 60 there. This is negated by the fact that you did 60 along there anyway) and worried that I wouldn't remember directions to my house. When I did get inside, my house had changed. Did they paint the walls? Was the hall always this wide? And oh my god, my walls are so bare.

After being in other people's gorgeous houses for three weeks, dude, my room is SO BORING. Maybe it was with this in mind that I stole four posters from the video shop when we went there last night, even though I haven't seen any of the movies featured. I don't think movie posters is the answer, but I am doing something with this wall:

Help me! Ideas!

Shelle and Jollan came over to help me celebrate. We made a birthday cake which, hmm, I would not eat the bottom of it if I were you - let's just say cranking up the heat to reduce cooking time might not be as effective as it sounds. But the rest of it was absolutely delicious and I love you guys for humouring my need for birthday cake.

Also, the chip packet told us to do this:

Today, I am trying to sort out categories in my Bloglines, which is essentially a pain in my arse, but when it is done the organisation-loving part of my heart will be so happy. I am uploading all my pics to Flickr, and tagging them all carefully is making up for all the current Bloglines chaos.

I am also making my way through this ...

... and I should have thought of a couple of things before I started. Namely:

1. There is never going to be enough room on the line for all those clothes.
1a. Also, what, is there a world peg shortage going on?
2. It is winter.
2a. Which means it is constantly raining and cold.
2b. Even though I don't care if my clothes get rained on, I still need to be able to hang them out so I can say I DID MY LAUNDRY.
Which all amounts to
3. How the hell do you think you are going to get all these clothes dry, ever?

I am also ignoring the fact that I am expected to be at uni tomorrow, ready to learn things, and the fact that I am, oh, a bajillion months behind on writing my thesis. "Work on it at BlogHer" my arse. But I still feel like it's my birthday - because I am insane like that, and because I had a bajillion Facebook messages to the tune of, "Facebook totally makes it easy for us to wish you Happy Birthday, even though we never would have remembered and don't know how old you are and really are not that concerned over any of this, but still, have a great day" - so I am happy.

And also because I got like the greatest birthday present ever this morning. (Equal greatest. I got this from Tiffany - like, the person, not the jewellry place - before I left. Pretty, right?) Here is Holly, in all her drivers licence glory that she denied the internet.

I love you guys!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Home Sweet Birthday

My champagne breakfast and birthday muffin. I love my birthday!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The End (updated from san francisco)

I'm leaving.

In like, not very many hours.

This does not actually seem real, possibly because I haven't packed and am busy watching Harry Potter, which is good because then I am not freaking out.

How is it possible that I leave Michigan, fly to Phoenix (which ... where is Arizona, anyway?), fly to San Francisco, fly to Auckland, then am home, which equals not anywhere that I can play RockBand or eat Ben&Jerry's or casually discuss Keynotes and Cheeseburger Parties. I think that is not actually possible.

What is even more impossible is that, essentially, 'tomorrow' is my birthday, so I get home, have a party, then have to go straight back to uni.

Like, what the fuck?

Update: Ok, I actually am leaving now. Well, very soon. Now I'm in SFO, at my gate, about to board my plane for New Zealand. (I almost wrote 'ready to board' but I don't think I am. It seems like ages since I was home, but no, three weeks was not long enough.) The flights to and from Phoenix were uneventful, except that when we got to SFO, we broke two luggage carousels when someone's bag got stuck and kinda ruined. Anybody want to guess whose?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Not To My Hair, You Don't

I have tried to keep my new haircut in it’s Tera-given pristine condition. I have failed.

I went on one of the water rides at the Circus Circus theme park, and yes, shocker, got wet. Specifically, got my hair wet. Bugger.

Now technically, and with the benefit of hindsight, it would have been fine until I got to Michigan. It was only a little splash, and only I would know that Tera’s handiwork had been defaced. But I wanted to do something all about me – because the rest of this trip totally hasn’t been – so I went in search of a hair salon.

The one in my hotel was undergoing renovations, so that was out. I decided on the closest hotel to mine, because it’s a wash and a blow dry, how bad could it be?

Pretty damn bad.

After wandering around the Riviera, and down many long and increasingly narrow corridors, I finally found the “beauty” “salon.” I walked in, and was greeted by a woman having her nails done. I said Hi back and scanned the price list to see if they even offered what I was after. They did. Then the woman was all, “Can I help you?” and I was all, “Wash and blow dry?” and she was all, “Now?” and I was all, “Yes, please,” and she was all, “THANK GOD.” And then I was all, “What the fuck?” and also a little, “Hmm, crap.”

So the one woman washed my hair – none too gently – while the other one watched from the counter.

Washer: I’m going to put some conditioner in it, ok?
Me: [Duh, doesn’t everybody?] Yep, that’s fine.
Washer: You usually use conditioner?
Me: [Duh, doesn’t everybody?] Yep.
Washer: Ok, I’ll put some in. *Puts conditioner in.* That will be an extra ten dollars, of course.
Watcher: *Says something I can’t hear, my head being under water, and also me being still slightly stunned.*
Washer: She says you need a pedicure, too.

Now, I am the first to admit the job I did on my nails before BlogHer was pretty sub-par, and walking up and down the Strip for two days in the dust and the dirt wasn’t helping matters, but seriously?

I laughed it off, told them I wasn’t need of one right at that second (Them: “Maybe tomorrow”), and got transferred to the Watcher who would straighten my hair.

First off, she pulled out a brush that looked like she bought it from Kmart. In the kids’ section. With the pink glitter hair clips and the neon shoelaces or whatever. And brushed out all my tangles (and there were a lot). Again, seriously? Now I’m not saying you can’t ever put a brush to wet hair, but straight up, no product, no drying at all, and you’re going to drag a brush though my hair?

Then she put some product in, clipped my hair up, and stuck me under one of those drying things. Guys, come on, you’re not even trying here. When Tera did my hair, she did all the blow-drying AND she’s pregnant AND it was uphill in the snow both ways. Don’t be so lazy.

Once she decided I was cooked enough, she bought me back to the chair, pointed the hair dryer at my hair, and waved it around a little. I think we all learned on Grad Night (well, you guys didn’t, cos The Ranch wasn’t around then, but the hairdresser at Rydges totally did) that you can’t do that with my hair. You need to be very specific with it, and do bits at a time. When she got sick of the waving around, she pulled out a chunk from the bottom and started blow-drying it straight using her Kmart brush (not even a round Kmart brush, either). She stopped and made it a smaller chunk, and when she decided that still wasn’t working, she pulled out a straightener.

This one came with a My Little Pony set, I think. It was pink, and plastic, and while I have no problem with either of these things in theory, I feel they have little place in a professional hair salon.

And then she applied the straightener to my dripping wet hair. Which sizzled.

It was about this time that I “remembered” I had to meet my friends for lunch or cocktails or something, anything, and I left. I paid for the wash, neglecting to leave a tip, because I’m Australian and we don’t do that here.

Or possibly because I thought they sucked.
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