Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Great Ocean Road Trip: Day One

We're off!

2008 In Review

I am currently away on the Great Ocean Road Trip. It is awesome, I am sure. However, lots of awesome things happened in 2008, despite it being pretty much universally known as the Year of Suck, and I thought I'd mention just some of them.

In January, I re-named all the childcare centres in Adelaide before starting work at one, and I told a story from my childhood mostly in pictures.

In February, I moved into my new house, and decided to do Honours in 08 and go to BlogHer in July.

In March, we had a ton of events, including the Adelaide Cup.

In April, I found out my boobs were perfect, and realised I was shit at Honours.

In May, I freaked out about BlogHer and then started planning what I wanted to do, made an Australia 101 kit, and witnessed Uni Hall winning Battle of the Bands - again!

In June, I continued planning for BlogHer, and wrote a Letter To My Body.

In July, I flew to San Francisco (via Auckland), and then met a bunch of awesome people at the conference, and then travelled, a lot, while good and bad things happened to my hair.

In August, I discovered Twilight, then arrived home, and lo, it was my birthday. I reflected on my BlogHer trip, continued being crap at uni, and also, the Olympics happened.

In September, I freaked out about my thesis, and distracted myself by sending you mail (which ... did that even get to you?).

In October, I joined the gym, went to the Living End concert, and managed to finish my thesis.

In November, I started planning for our road trip, pondered body image, celebrated the end of the school year, and watched Obama get elected.

In December, I graduated and performed selfishly selfless Christmas deeds.

Wow, this year went quick. And simultaneously it seems like this all happened a long time ago. I hope everyone has an awesome New Years, and an amazingly happy 2009.

What were your highlights of 2008? What are your big plans for 2009?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Very Full

So you may have noticed this little thing called Christmas. Yeah, that happened. I had bacon and eggs for breakfast, a little of The OC for lunch, and a lot of family, prawns, and lamingtons for dinner.

Boxing Day I did nothing, all day, repeatedly and at length. I was awesome at it. Even though I should have been getting things like beds and linen and groceries ready, because the next day...

... my boys arrived! And I got up at 5am to meet them at the airport. I am a kick-arse sister/daughter. Then the taxi driver got them lost, even though I told my dad the driver would get them lost and gave him directions to write down which he then didn't bring, and even though I gave the driver directions, which he apparently didn't feel the need to listen to. Here's a hint: the passengers should not be responsible for looking through the street directory.

Anyway, they made it here eventually and proceeded to sleep. All day. While I worked. All day. On the majorest shopping day of the year. (I love my family, I love my family. Ok, all good.) Then we had a barbeque, and talked and laughed into infinity.

Then my dad left us for his brother, skywalker and I went to the gym and woke up crazy sore tomorrow, and very soon we leave for the Great Ocean Road.

Basically: Christmas was lovely, and will be awesome again when we have ours on New Years Eve. My boys are here and we are having lots of fun. Summer is also kind of here, which rocks. Everyone else having fun? Awesome.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Thanks for reading. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmastime.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Tale of the Christmas Fairy and her Selfishly Selfless Good Deeds

And Ridiculously Long Post Titles

One day, the Christmas Fairy - a cheerful young retail worker with tinsel in her hair and Heelys on her feet - looked at the clock. While all her friends had to work until nine that night, and all the next day (Christmas Eve), her Christmas was going to start in just three minutes.

The Christmas Fairy was very happy about this, and decided to share some Christmas Cheer with her co-workers by bringing them yummy Boost Juice smoothies. On the way back with her presents, she stopped at a stand for World Vision and gave them all the rest of the cash she had in her wallet.

As she did so, the Christmas Fairy remembered The One Where Phoebe and Joey argue over truly selfless good deeds. The Christmas Fairy's friends were very happy with their drinks and that made her happy in return, and the World Vision Dude said that she would have a Very Merry Christmas. Therefore, the Christmas Fairy concluded that all good deeds are selfish, because they make you feel so good. She decided she could live with that.

So the next day,* the Christmas Fairy went in search of more good deeds, for although she is not overburdened with wealth (and in fact has a slight debt, due to her appearance - albeit with less tinsel - at BlogHer08), she is doing ok for herself, and also has finished her Christmas shopping and needs something to spend money on.

She went to the K-Mart Wishing Tree (or whatever tree is available at Marion - she is sure there will be one) and bought a present for a needy kid. (She wonders if any of Missy's readers might have ideas of what to get kids this Christmas. How much do you spend on a Wishing Tree kid?) Then she got some cash out and gave it to the Salvos person who is usually standing at the entrance, and she gave a larger-than-gold-coin donation to the gift wrapping people for wrapping her Wishing Tree present. Then she dropped off a bag of her old clothes at the op shop.

At the end of this, the Christmas Fairy was a little tired, but totally full of selfishly selfless good deeds, plus lots of Christmas Cheer that she shared with one and all at Christmas Mass and Carols that night.

*The rest of this is written predictively, because not only is the Christmas Fairy a huge fan of Christmas Cheer, but she has amazing powers of precognition.

*And also, when she got home on that first day, yet another selfishly selfless thing was waiting for her. A parcel has arrived for her, and we all know that the Christmas Fairy loves packages in the mail, but also, it wasn't even for her, but she got the package, and she'll get the happy feeling when she gives it to its future recipient. The Christmas Fairy is so confused but also very happy, because Christmas has officially started!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas

Christmas is coming, y'all! I'm getting excited. Guess how I know it's close?

Christmas shopping: Done. Wrapped and all.

Cyclone/heat wave: Not quite. But the day I was wrapping my presents it was pouring down with rain. Loved it. And today was the first decent beach day of the year. Yay summer!

Christmas tree up: I have the same one as last year (thank you, Carla!) and I bought tinsel for our lounge room and my room.

Breakfast planned: Bacon and eggs, mmm.

Christmas Eve mass and carols: I have a date with Gma and Alyn for December 24. Folding chairs, Christmas carols, and a Santa hat on the saint statue, then we're ready for bed.

Carols in the Domain: I'm watching them right now. It's not Christmas without the Wiggles singing Go Santa Go.

What are your Christmas traditions?

Also: A week til my boys get here! Whoo!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Graduation Pictures

As of yesterday morning, I am officially graduated. Any inclination I had to repeat the process to get my Honours certificate next April was beaten out of me around about the five bajillionth name they called out, which was probably one that wasn't even in the program, like, NOW YOU'RE JUST MAKING THINGS UP. Apart from that, it was lovely. I walked, shook, doffed, and accepted (then napped, as I was in the first group of twenty. Out of, like, twenty bajillion). The dress and shoes and cap and gown all did perfectly, as did Photographer Shelle.

Slideshow here plus some of my favourite pics below, depending on whether you like sliding or scrolling down.

Thank you to everyone I've relied on for distraction and support over the past several years. I love you. And now ... no more essays!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

You Fail Graduation

It turns out that - even if you got a straight High Distinction average (*cough-lowD-cough*) and handed in your last assignment over a year ago - the tests continue.

I had to work today from 10 til 6. The office where I had to pay for my gown hire was open from 9 to 5, so I could go before work - just. (Who needs breakfast or shaved legs anyhow?) The place where I had to pick up said gown did not open til 10, but it was open til 7 tonight, so all was well. (Also I had to get my shoes on my lunch break. Who needs lunch anyway?)



Yeah, no. Not so much. Or at all.

Until me and this other girl who showed up convinced this other random woman - who worked in a different office and who has now vowed never to stay back late at work ever again lest she be roped into Grand Theft Graduation: Gown and Hood Edition again - to let us in so we could pillage caps and gowns to our hearts content.

Graduation test? Passed. Thank god.

Also, my shoes? Gold. The colour on my hood thing? Gold. I totally rock at graduation.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Back In The Game

Patty [at work]: I don't want to play basketball tonight.
Me [totally kidding]: I'll play for you!
Patty [mostly kidding]: Ok, you go.
Me [totally sarcastic]: Oh, sure.
Patty [mostly serious]: Do you want to play?
Me [still with the kidding]: Totally!
Patty [totally serious]: No, really, do you want to play?
Me [terrified with a side of excited, and also in the habit of saying yes by this point in the conversation]: Okay.

And that was how I found myself playing my first game of basketball in years, and realising that no, I am not even in the same country as the state of fitness I hope to achieve. The treadmill is getting easier, but that does not mean I am ready to run a full game.

It was Social, however, so that was good; we had some fun. AND - Guess who got the first points for our team? And it was a three, too. (Guess who also got four fouls? Old habits die hard.)

I'm going to go lie down now. For about a year.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The End?

So it would appear I have become really crap at this whole bloggy thing. I have to confess it even crossed my mind that there would be a nice symmetry in starting and finishing something (say, a blog) at the start and finish of my time at Flinders. But no, there will always be topics which make me say "I wonder what the internet would think" and "OMG I MUST COMPLAIN ABOUT THIS TO THE INTERNET."

Today is not one of those times, unless you count the fact that I just had to tell you that I might not be posting so much anymore, but I thought an update would be nice, just to prove that I remember how to type things and hit publish with little regard for content. (Check, check, and hell check.)

I have been working at my sports store job four days a week. Which is nice. We're getting busier as everyone realises that their kids are demanding scooters and those wheely shoe things and whatnot, but we're all pretty much all friends now, and three of us went shopping and movieing yesterday even. (I saw Four Christmases twice in two days, what with having uni friends and work friends, not because it was that awesome. It was funny in parts.) I also got a job at a bookshop, the orientation for which is next week. That is also nice.

Graduation is also next week, and I still haven't found my imaginary shoes, but I think I've found some acceptable ones. Our work Christmas party is on this weekend, and I found a pretty purple dress for that so we're all set for the dress-uppy events.

Turns out I am invited to family Christmas, which means that I have to go Christmas shopping (dammit) for random relatives. What do you get for the boyfriend of a cousin you see once a year? Christmas shopping for the boys did not even necessitate a trip to Marion. I am that good (and lazy).

I'm still going to the gym on the days that I don't work. My treadmill routine isn't particularly hard anymore, and I've added some random balls and weights but I'm too scared to use any of the machines or go to classes because I will for sure look like an idiot.

Planning for our Great Ocean Road Trip is pretty much done, without contributions being made from all members of the travelling party, which is great. It will be awesome.

Summer had not kicked in for real yet, and I am not thrilled about this. Although it does seem to be putting in a little effort to overcome the clouds and rain, I would appreciate the sun's appearance more often and continuously.

I still read your blog, I promise, but I think I've left three comments in the last month. I am terrible, Muriel.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Free Feed, Stop Your Whinging

First of all, quite seriously, I have a question for you: Say you happen to be attending a lunch provided by the English department for its Honours students and staff. When you and your two friends arrive, there are two of your fellow students sitting in the middle seats of a long table. Do you:

(a) sit next to them,
(b) sit at one end of the table, or
(c) sit at the other end of the table?

If you answered b or c ... um, okay, then I will stop my ranting, because that's just what the people I want to complain about did. But seriously? Is that not rude? (Honestly, I'm asking.)

Anyway, other things I experienced at yesterday's lunch:

Professors really do discuss such pretentious things as the opera, the latest reviews they've submitted, and what journal articles they've read recently.

I'm not sure which is worse: me, being mistaken for an idiot kid, or my classmate, being mistaken for a lecturer that had been hiding all year.

The hilarity of a plan largely depends on the number of glasses of (free, so really, shut up, me) wine its beholder has enjoyed. (It's ok, they all stopped soon after ... and went back to marking essays.)

Everyone has Facebook, even the oldest of lecturers. No-one claims to actually use it, however.

I discovered why a university located in the south of Adelaide and populated with, you know, uni students has a fancy brunchy restaurant - so the now-postgrad students and their lecturers can pretend to be above everyone else all together.

Some people are just much better at being sociable. It's a gift and not everyone has it.

Well, I waited til today to write this, and apparently being back at uni makes me very bitter about things. Whoda thought?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Burn Baby Burn

Since I live in (a) Australia and (b) a house with boys who (b)(i) watch cartoons and sport and not much else, I've had to download all the shows that aren't on normal TV. Mostly One Tree Hill, and some random Heroes eps that I missed due to work. All this downloading basically caused my computer to become full to the point of bursting with all those mega-giga-bajiggerbites, so I decided to buy a DVD burner, which would get all those eps off my computer and on to pretty little discs.

Except that the burning software I got was only a trial version. And that I wasn't sure the real thing would even help with the file types that I have. And that the free version of the other thing I found puts a watermark on the video. And that even when I paid to make it work it's not a matter of burning a CD; it takes for freaking ever. And that in order to print onto the CD, you have to buy special ones. And that I don't have these special discs, even though the main feature me and the guy were talking about was the label burner thing, so you think he might have sold me those particular discs.

And most of all, the fact that in order for any of this to work, it was necessary to delete all but four episodes of the ones I'd downloaded, as well as deleting a bunch of programs, and cutting down my Uni Hall Photo Collection considerably.

After all that, I now have exactly one new DVD. And the promise of plenty more when I figure out how to exceed our download without the housemates or the internet company finding out.
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