Friday, 7 December 2007
The weird thing is that this guys' actions don't seem to match with the personality you see when you meet him in person. he comes across as a rather dull fellow, with a sombre nasally voice, pleasant enough but not terribly amusing, yet his last adventure prior to this little desert sojourn was 2 years in Antarctica. I'm afraid I didn't understand that either. While I would love to see Antarctica and in particular understand more about it scientifically, the idea of of spending 2 years in a giant shed with the same 10 people in the freezing cold sounds like a nightmare which no amount of Emperor penguin sightings could make up for.
The afghanistan thing could in theory be a whole different, more interesting kettle of fish, given that its only 6 months and he's based in an actual city with no doubt a fascinating culture. but then he tells me he's working 85+ hours a week (for the military although he's not in the military), he doesnt leave the compound so he doesnt see any of the city anyway, they have a waste water disposal problem so showers must be under 30 seconds (and I thought our drought driven 4 minute limit was hard), he's going to be there over Christmas and New years and its a 'dry' base. which brings me back to why? why? why? Presumably they're paying him very well.
Monday, 3 December 2007
Travelling on the bus in
Visiting Perth this week I encountered a strange feeling whereby despite being within my home country, in a place where people speak the same language as at home, look more or less the same (fashion aside, oh dear – but that’s a whole other rant), have the same culture - relatively speaking, buildings, food, shops, banks etc are the same, it all felt decidedly foreign. Perhaps the fact that it took a longer than five hour flight to get there had something to do with it, and staying in hotels always makes things seem foreign, the beer was different (but that was in label only, in taste it was that same generic Australian beer) and the fact that the river was so wide we weren’t sure whether it wasn’t the ocean was a bit disorientating. But all this doesn’t seem to add up to enough. Spending time in the outback earlier this year where things (except for the beer) are vastly more different didn’t seem foreign at all, but perhaps that was because the people were so friendly. In the end I guess it all comes down to expectation and perception, I was expecting the Outback to be different to home and therefore it didn’t seem so foreign I was expecting Perth to be…well, I’m not sure really, but not what it was, perhaps more similar to Brisbane, and it wasn’t therefore it all seems a tad weird.
Thursday, 8 November 2007
but how I wonder did I mange to burn myself without even noticing?
Friday, 2 November 2007
Thursday, 1 November 2007
On my way home I ride past a bridge under which lives an homeless wino, well I assume he lives there since he's always there whenever I go past. Anyway I never even considered him as part of my dangers and obstacles piece 'cos he didn't seem to present either one of those. He seems to ignore all who pass never even asks for money or says anything. As I was riding home on Tuesday he was standing next to the path apparently talking to himself, not uncommon for homeless alcoholics I would think. He seemed to be waving his arms a bit, I couldnt really tell since it was kinda dark, but also not uncommon. However, as I came up about to pass him a glass bottle came flying out of his hand, luckily smashing on the footpath just in front of me. One of the few times I've been glad I'm a slow bike-rider, since being in the semi darkness under a bridge with a broken bottle injury and a homeless alcoholic doesnt quite seem ideal.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
But when I lived in Europe for 6 years she didnt come to visit, yes it was largely financial, but she also said she was getting old and afraid to travel and I can't/couldn't understand it. Afterall its only Europe and I would have been there. She often tells my sister and myself how her funeral should be and whats to be done with her things once she dies.
I find myself getting very annoyed and short with her if I think she's talking as though she was old, for example yesterday she was complaining to me about people getting drunk at a party she went to. I guess I'm being unreasonable (dont we all do that when it comes to parents) and I shouldn't expect her to want to travel to the other side of the world by herself on a 20+ hour flight, or find the company of drunken 40 year-olds pleasant, but I'm afraid she's lost her sense of adventure. I feel like there's a certain extent to which we can control our 'age', my mother seems to be doing it in the wrong direction and I dont know how to encourage her to be her younger self again. I know that as soon as people start to think they're old they rapidly become older, less sturdy, less healthy and that just scares me, its way way too soon.
Monday, 29 October 2007
As an aside - what is it with that haircut, surely David Duchovny can afford a decent hairdresser?
And the show itself, well aside from a few well-scripted and usually well-delivered amusing one-liners, there's nothing to it. Although much seems to be going on (from dog-nappings to vomited-on priceless art, to car theft, to nipples torn off in ill-fated threesomes) nothing ever really happens, its plain boring. I'm always left unsatisfied and annoyed. Just another disappointing episode in over-hyped commercial broadcasting. Of course the real aggravation point comes from the knowledge that despite the fact its crap, I have watched it several times, in fact possibly every episode since it started, and I will no doubt watch it again.
Thursday, 25 October 2007
Friday, 19 October 2007
Once whilst staying on an outback property with little open water about, I opened the toilet lid to have one of these fellows jump out at me. Disturbing as that was, its still far preferable to the above I think.
Friday, 12 October 2007
Thursday, 11 October 2007
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
sigh. I admit I do love having my car, even if it might sound contradictory to being an Ecologist - but living in Australia you need one every now and then, especially if you ever want to go outside of the city, really you do. However, I do so hate all the little problems and costs that cars will give you. Such a little thing might require having to find a mechanic, make an appointment get the car there early then get to work, get back and get the car before they close, and worst of all having to deal with the bullshit, rip-offs and condescending spin the mechanics seemingly invariably dole out to women. So I was especially proud of myself (especially given I've got zero ideas about cars, beyond how to drive one) when I managed to open up the light casing figure out what the problem was and fix it all by myself. OK so it was only blown light globes, but still I got my hands dirty - it was amazing how much filth was inside those light casings, and felt a fair sense of accomplishment, as well as saving me some time and money. yay! once again, its the little things.
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
* the other parts were on my original blog whose host decided to give up
Monday, 8 October 2007
This morning has been a good example: I came into work kinda late as per usual and then I try to avoid the possibility of accusing looks from my co-workers, and particularly avoid my boss observing my tardiness, so I take the lift to avoid working past as many office doors as possible. When I get to my office I am very happy to notice the door to my boss's office is closed, meaning he's not in, so I relax and, instead of getting stuck into work that really needs to be done, waste some time on the internet. Later I have to go downstairs and as I exit my office I spy one of my students at the end of the corridor talking to someone. Don't get me wrong, this girl is lovely, very nice indeed, its just that she's too nice, she gushes a lot, agrees with everything you say and thanks you incessantly and its a little hard to take. So I try to avoid her by walking down there very quickly so she'll still be in conversation with the other person and I can sneak past. It doesn't work.
On the way back to my office from the canteen I notice up ahead a colleague who I don't know very well. I start to walk slower so I wont catch him up and then have to come up with something to talk him about all the way back to the office. but he seems to be going slower and slower and I'm impatient and no good at walking slowly, plus its really hot outside. Luckily he turns aside and I can quickly go past without him noticing.
Back in my building I keep my head down as I walk and take the back stairs to my office to avoid going past the office of another colleague who if he sees me will undoubtedly engage me in a long-winded conversation largely about the weather (yes it is very hot for this time of year).
and now I avoid work by writing this post.
Of course with exception of the last point (which is likely symptomatic of bigger problems which I will avoid thinking about) this is all largely trivial and of no real consequence isnt it? Or perhaps this behaviour is a mirror to one aspect of my flawed character.
Friday, 28 September 2007
After that rant I felt the need for a pick-me-up in the form of baked, sugary goodness. After reaching for a piece of the same old hedgehog slice I usually have (good but same as always) I noticed that the refectory was offering gorgeous little plates of mini-cakes today. Six cute little cakes ranging from carrot cake to cheesecake to tiramisu and other stuff I haven’t identified yet, And all for the bargain price of $1.50! Variety, aesthetic appeal, plenty of sugar and cheap, cheap, what more could you ask for? And with my love of a bargain, even if they tasted bad (and they don’t) that’s all I need to make my day.
Argh, why is it that some people just grate, even just the most minor little thing they do or stupid comment they make can wind you up so tight and put you in a bad mood for a week. The fact that you know you’re so irritated over such a little thing only makes you more annoyed. Just when I was finally over the last bout of petty, misguided, arrogant and ignorant behaviour he pops up again with some pompous comment directed at me which was both wrong and delivered to a mass audience. Worst of all, not even knowing that at least its Friday provides much relief, as I’m quite sure he’s going to feature at an event over the weekend. grrrrrr. If only there was a way to permanently remove him from my life without facing the possibility of legal action, or gaining the bitch reputation.
Thursday, 20 September 2007
No need to be so dramatic about words uttered as an 11 year old you might think, and indeed that's a convenient excuse I've used to try and forget the whole thing. But dont they say events in the lives of children can have long term and significant repercussions? Truth be told I've often felt quite guilty. Strangely more guilty than about other crap things I've done that may or may not be worse.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, through the magic of that massive timewaster facebook of all things, she got in touch. My golden opportunity to apologise and make amends. It still took me a while to do it mind you (an some internal debate over whether I should do it), not knowing what to say or how to say it. She forgave me (or so she said, although I think it would still be weird to see her in person) and we had some enjoyable reminisces about our childhood, but nevertheless I still feel bad about the whole thing. better that I apologised, but still. I guess no amount of words change actions.
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
just a bit of grass in the wind
no I don't think so, I'll have a look.
Indeed, it was not a bit of grass but rather a rabbit's ear flapping.
The ear was connected to a head and body that seemed OK but with legs that looked a bit worse for wear, in fact kinda deformed. (Australians don't like rabbits too much and tend to release nasty viruses into their population in an attempt at control - one of those viruses was the likely culprit we realised later). What to do, what to do? He didnt seem to be suffering but it was clear with no useful legs he wouldnt survive. Starvation and or exposure are surely cruel deaths and its not his fault he's a pest (and rabbits are still quite cute afterall) so the humane thing to do must be to put him out of his misery. But despite determinedly grabbing the shovel and raising it, I knew I just couldn't do it. My mother tried to pull together some conviction, but it wasnt in her either. The idea of his little head crushed at my hand was enough to make me imagine the nightmares I knew I wouldnt be able to take well. We moved him somewhere he seemed more comfortable and when I checked on him later he was happily munching away on some grass. but of course with winter nightfall it wasnt a happiness that could last long.
Its clear I wouldnt make much of a farm girl.
Monday, 27 August 2007
This time I think (hope) it will be better, since I know I'll be back again for Christmas which isn't too far away, and my parents are not making such a drama about it (although perversely, but naturally, thats rather disappointing, don't they appreciate me making the effort to come and see them?).
so, I'm quite looking forward to it, a few beers with Dad, hanging around in Mum's kitchen, dinner and gossip with old friends, cause to wear my winter coat and revelling in being present in the fantastic city of Melbourne.
Saturday, 25 August 2007
Not so recently a bat was killed by the powerlines in our street. It took a considerable amount of time before the poor thing came unhooked from the wires and fell down to the ground. This, according to learned colleagues of mine, is a very common occurrence because bats are very clever and as such their claws are clamped shut when the muscles are relaxed, to avoid them having to expend huge amounts of energy on tightening muscles when they sleep hanging from trees etc, as they do. Therefore once dead its very difficult to loosen their grip on something like a wire. Anyway, coming back to the point, once he’d eventually fallen from the wires he was left lying in the gutter. After some stormy days he is now outside our house in the gutter. I wonder, is it acceptable for me to sweep him up and put him in the bin? I mean bats are pretty cool creatures and binning him is somewhat insulting and kinda devalues his life, but surely its better than lying in the gutter? I guess the only alternative is digging a hole and burying him, but that seems like going too far for a long dead disintegrating bat. Besides I don’t have a shovel.