I'm at wits, downloading articles on our freakishly fast new internet connection (seriously, I used to mess around and blog and stuff while things were downloading. This new efficiency is disconcerting!).
Anyway, I'm not sure if it's because I just saw Laura and she mentioned her Ipod or because it's just been stuck in my head lately, I decided to play the Ipod game.
Yes, it has one another victory!
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...
01. Opening Credits: 'Per Te', by Josh Groban. It's good credit's music, I can imagine the deserted street with bits of rubbish drifting around (black and white of course).
02. Waking Up: 'Strength and Honour' for the Gladiator soundtrack. I do wake up pretty slowly...
03. First Day at School: 'We're dancing' from Center Stage. Man, it's an annoying song. Why do I even have it? I hated school, so it's pretty apt... but the first day was fun!
04. Falling in Love: 'All Understood' by Jack Johnson
05. Fight Song: 'Run on' by Moby
06. Breaking Up: 'I just don't think I'll ever get over you' by Colin Hay (Garden State soundtrack)
07. Prom: 'When you were young' by the Killers
08. Life's Okay: 'You are the world' by Live
09. Mental Breakdown: 'Come Sail Away' from Southpark
10. Driving: 'Harvey the wonder hamster' from weird Al
11. Flashback: 'When you come' by Crowded House
12. Getting Back Together: 'Daffodil lament' by the Cranberries
13. Wedding: 'Never let go' by Deep Forest
14. Birth of a Child: 'Somebody Kill Me' by Adam Sandler
15. Death Scene: 'Fall' by Something Corporate
15. Funeral Song: 'When you say you love me' by Josh Groban
16. End Credits: "Clont Eastwood' by the Gorillaz
this is weird!
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I'm at wits, downloading articles on our freakishly fast new internet connection (seriously, I used to mess around and blog and stuff while things were downloading. This new efficiency is disconcerting!).
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Ok, my supervisor is totally messing with me.
After a long day of admin, registering, chasing the IT guy around with my laptop and then not going to the zoo, I was completely exhausted. Fortunately, because I was waiting for my laptop, I went to the lab and settled down to pretend to do some reading while collapsing over my keyboard and getting some much needed sleep. I say fortunately becuase, as I was settling down (but not yet sleeping) my supervisor walked in and acted all upset that he'd disturbed me working. He needed my help to fill in the forms that would give me a very nice bursary for the next 2-3 years which goes under 'living expenses.' After that he was all nice to me and said he'd get me a new flashdrive and told me all about his pets (minus 1 hedgehog; + 1 tortoise = a severely depleted succulent garden).
So now the urge to throttle has decreased moderately (it's still there, kind of like an itch behind my fingernails). I hate the way every time I get sufficiently angry to do something about it he goes all nice. I'm beginning to think I'm just an experiment too...
Anyway, the point of the title, I just got the report from the post-mortem on the iguana. Basically the people taking out her organs (and it WAS a her) forgot the kidneys and the parathyroid glands, so it's not as conclusive as it might be, but there were calcium crystals pretty much everywhere. Attached is an article on the importance of balancing calcium and phosphorus in iguana diets. I quote:
"Not only will Ca be lost to an iguana’s bones if it eats spinach frequently, but excessive calcium oxalate crystals can damage the kidneys sufficiently to cause uremia and death from renal failure."
I feel terrible... and even worse because a little bit of me is glad that I wasn't the one feeding her for the last few months of her life...
Monday, January 29, 2007
I may just be overreacting as usual, but I think I must just kill my supervisor by the end of the year.
For starters I got to wits this morning after a very busy time of trying to find my brother's fiance's sisters house (she told me left instead of right on the phone and I got really lost in a suburb I didn't even know existed until today). I'm also not feeling too good yet, although I was ok-ish until about 2 or so, but being sick always makes me a bit more emotional than usual.
It was fine until I went to go see him. I got to see Vanessa again, which was fantastic! We all thought she'd be moving to a different department, but it turned out she's staying! It's really awesome and she has her own room, which is really nice but a bit on the dusty side. A temporary situation of course.
Anyway, just to clarify, the last time I went to my supervisor, I outlined what I wanted to do and he said it was all fantastic, but too big for a masters, hence the Big PhD Decision. All fine. So today I went to find out what it is that I'm actually supposed to be doing (there's no structure, which is horrible!) and he pretty much said that I don't really have a project outline, gave me a bunch of ideas and then pretty much questioned whether what I wanted to do would actually fit in or not. So basically the last time he just said yes to everything to force me into a PhD.
I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that I know have to prove what I want to do to the person who has already okayed it twice, or the fact that I have to get through 4 years without throttling the guy.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
I slept for almost 10 hours last night and woke up feeling relatively human! It was fantastic!
Anyway when I got to work I found out that it was just me and Matt2, with about an hour of Joey sitting with us after opening. It was so nice to sit and chat to her again, I really missed her and Lara while I was away!
The bonus about working with Matt, besides the fact that he's a really nice person, is that he works pretty much every day and so he's seen pretty miuch everything. Despite this, he's more than happy to let me pick the movie and to watch something again. That is really rare in a staff member, trust me!
So today we watched 'Thank you for smoking' which was brilliant! I don't know what was better, his amazing ability to shift his arguments and keep the opponents completely off balance, or the wqay in which he'd very reasonably allow his opponents to blow holes in their own arguments. It was very impressive and I think the writers deserve an oscar, although, considering the subject matter it's pretty unlikely.
It also brings me back to a topic which I've been quite interested in over the last few years. why is it that the tobacco industry is practically banned from any advertising at all, while adverts for alcohol are everywhere? When I was small, every movie would start with about 5 advrts of very tough guys climbing mountains and skydiving and then smoking. Fair enough, it puts ideas into children's head and so on and so forth. But a little while ago i was at a movie and we counted over 10 adverts for alcohol before the movie started. And I'm not talking beer. I'm talking whiskey and vodka type stuff.
If I was a parent, I would far rather have a teenage kid who smoked than one who drank that stuff.
I'm not saying that smoking is good. I'm just saying that if it's not ok to show an advert for it in any movie (and I'm delighted in the shift in perceptions regarding smoking over the last 10 years), why can you find adverts for alcohol everywhere, even in kiddies animated movies? Surely they should be restricted to movies that are R18, when they're actually applicable to the audience?
Just a thought.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
I got back about 2 days ago, but for some reason could not bring myself to blog. I think it's because I'm really tired and a bit dejected about life at the moment (ignore the bad grammar, I'm exhausted!) and writing about it invariably ends up as a bitching session. I hate bitching on my blog because it always comes back to haunt you when it's written down!
The field-trip was fun. The student I was worried about was actually ok. I think she figured out pretty early on that I knew what I was talking about, so it was ok. She's also pretty insanely manipulative and the entire camp adored her pretty quickly so I got sucked into the 'we love her!' vibe. there were also others who were a lot more difficult. On the whole I pretty much spent the whole time running around like a maniac. I think the only time I went to bed beofre 1:30am was one night when I collapsed at about 11 or so. we were also up before 6, mainly to go swimming in the sea before breakfast which was AWESOME!
I also got into my first mud-flats mudfight, which was hilarious because there were 2 of us running around slinging mud at each other while all the students stood there looking confused while their 'authority figures' acted like kids. A few minutes later I fell into the mud (long story) which was even funnier!
On the downside I lost respect for a lot of the senior people there, some of whom I had already disliked but still respected and some that I had always liked and looked up to. That always sucks! I also spent a lot of time thinking which is very dangerous, so by the time I got home I was in a full blown panic about the whole PhD situation.
Fortunately, after much correspondence (about something entirely unrelated) with one of the PhD students that I really do like and respect, I mentioned it and got this as a reply:
'Think it is a good move...because although in general I don't agree with Hons going to Phd, you are getting so much experience with other projects that I don't think it will matter that you miss out on one more learning opportunity before you are let loose on the world with your phd. And, as we all know, you are more than clever and hard working enough to breeze through it! So, don't think it's insanity - just a well considered career plan. '
So now I'm feeling a lot better about life! Yay!
I also spent a lot of time at the zoo over the last 2 days, and I got to play with Josh, the baby chimp (he's ADORABLE! and he bit my shoes and stroked my face and held hands with me...) and help medicate some of the monkeys and then hold the baby lemur while Luke chopped up food for him. It was really cool!
Last night I went with Luke and Athena to see 'Blood Diamond" which was actually really good! I felt so sad at teh state of the world in general, which is what I love and hate about movies like that. I'm glad I decided to work on animals rather than people! It got me thinking, what is it about shiny stones that makes people want to kill each other for them? What are they actually good for? If you love somebody enough to marry them, why not get the engagement ring tattoed on? Or even a piece of string would be ok. It's the principle. I mean I understand oil in that we need it for transport, and gold can be used in circuit boards and so on. But what makes us care about stuff like diamonds? Is something that's pretty and shiny really all that important?
Right now I'm exhausted and not feeling too good. the little voice in my head is muttering about tick-bite fever which is extremely worrying. Some people got it after the field-trip last year and the blinding headaches and nausea are fitting just a little bit too well right now! I'm going to bed to pretend I'm ok!
Monday, January 15, 2007
I'm off to the coast tomorrow with about 30-40 second and third year students. It's quite scary, I haven't re-studied too much of the work, and I wasn't too fussed about it until today when I saw the class list. Firstly, there are a LOT of third-years, so they probably know the basics already. Secondly, one of the first years that I TA'd last years was a really difficult person and made my life extremely miserable on occasion. And she's going. Oh dear.
Generally I get along with all the people on the list that I know (which is about 2/3 of them). It should be fun. The downside is that it's now nearly 9pm, we leave at 6am tomorrow and I haven't started packing yet. Today I had to get to wits at 8 to see the registrar to finalise my move from masters to doctorate. She only got there at 9:30, so I waited around for a good 45 minutes (I was late) just to get my form, cross out MSc, write PhD next to it and put my initials there. I went to chat to my supervisor afterwards and he said that because it was an official document that I had to sign, I'm the only one allowed to make alterations. Any lawyers out there with a loophole for me?
After all that I met up with the girl doing the catering for the trip and we went shopping. I learned a lot. a) I now know the place where a lot of big restaurants and supermarkets buy their pasta and sauces (oh yes, cost price!) and b) 48 people eat a lot in 10 days. We literally spent 2 hours in Makro and came out with 3 PACKED trolleys. Actually it was 2, but while Jen was at the checkout I ran outside, got another trolley and filled it with 100 litres of milk (in boxes obviously). Then I ran back with the heavy and wonky trolley (it kept spinning in circles) aroun the line to the cashier and Jenny, while fending off angry housewives who thought I was queue-jumping.
After all that I amnaged to get back to wits and drive home just in time to let the gardener and the maid (is there a better word? I use 'helper' and nobody knows what I'm talking about and 'domestic engineer' is too euphemistic) out and collapse in front of the TV until the traffic died down. then I went to find sunblock (is it just me, or is it really hard to find in my part of Joburg?) and ended up discussing relationships with the girl working at the videostore there. I don't like her much.
After that I went to work to fetch a DVD for my brother and found that my friend LAra was working so I ended up sitting with her for nearly 3 hours. I haven't worked with her for a few weeks and I really missed her. She has a way of pulling me out of my comfort zone when I'm being lazy about it, but at the same time being totally supportive. and we laugh a lot. the main topic of amusement is the Italian restaurant next door which has a new menu which is printed over pictures of Italian stuff. the starters are on a Mona Lisa page, Pizza on the leaning tower of... Piza. Not Pizza! and so on. The dessert os on a picture of the statue of David. The problem is the words are almost grouped around cartain... region. And right next to the very charming crotch is the description of a dessert with 'icecream, toffee sauce and a few nuts'
So I just got home and decided to procrastinate by writing a post before I go. It's hard to leave in a way. the trip is awesome, but I'll miss everyone here as usual. And at wits everyone was all excited to see me and I realised how much I missed it. In particular I got a "You're back! how fantastic!' with a handshake from Marcus. A "Hi!" wave from Neville. A whole discussion with "it'll be fantastic' from AAA, a long chat with his new student, Ben and so on. Even the cleaners were all happy to see me. And a certain non-smiling Russian smiled and waved, but didn't talk to me. Bonus! It seems like everyone knows about my results and the impending PhD project. And they're all psyched about it!
I love wits, but I'm starting to worry that I'll be there forever. Is that bad?
Friday, January 12, 2007
After yesterdays post (and a very sympathetic and horrified sms from Luke), I figure it was time to explain the rather hectic events unfolding in my life over the past 2 days.
I went to wits to chat to my supervisor and somehow came across sounding like I'd done a lot more research than I actually have (some catching up is in order but I'm too lazy right now). He agreed on pretty much every issue, added a few components in and said it'll be a fantastic PhD project. PHD!! I mean woooooooah! It'll take roughly 4 years and then I'll be a DOCTOR. That'll be when I'm still 25 turning 26. It's just scary! I'm really excited though, and my supervisor has been treating me VERY differently. In a good way. It just feels like he wants me to be around and he's excited for my project too. He also spent a huge chunk of today doing admin for me (writing letters, getting things stamped, getting me approved to change my application from masters to doctorate and so on) and then actually called me to tell me all the news rather than just emailing me in a week's time which is what he usually does. He's also giving me a 3 year scholarship, which on top of my other scholarship (I don't know if I have it yet) will give me a pretty nice bunch of funding.
The iguana died. Rest in peace. I will look at my scars with a new fondness and explain to the people who think I tried to kill myself that they were the product of a somewhat tricky relationship with a temperamental reptile who I cared about rather a lot.
That's it for now!
It's weird, I finally sorted everything out, I have the next 4 or so years planned out and I'm really excited and a bit nervous. Everything today went surprisingly well (except getting the dog to the vet,which just didn't happen...) and I got home, following an exciting and fruitless iguana hunt and a smoothie, all bubbling with excitement and dying to tell the world.
So I called a few friends, and chatted things through with them and that was ok. and then I told my parents. Who shot it all down in flames. my mom's response was 'Well that's destroyed all our hopes of moving overseas!' and my dad said 'why do you want to do it?' and I said 'Well it's big and exciting, and it hasn't been done before so if I get it-" and he interrupted and said 'and when you DON'T?'
I'm hanging on to the excitement for all I'm worth right now.
It's harder than I expected.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
I was working at Sunninghill again today. It's really boring, and has the added advantage of nothing working. We have no scanner so we have to type in all the barcodes, which is tremendous fun, the keyboard occasionally stops entirely too. Today the backup didn't work (and this is vital as if we're robbed during the night we need to prove exactly what we lost in order for the insurance to pay up, and the only way for that is the backup disc). I managed to get around it by formatting a blank CD (that was read-only in spite of being a RW) and restarting the computer a few times. By then my shift was more than over, and a flood of customers arrived and sat for half an hour choosing movies (which are not backed up now because the thought of doing it again killed me).
Anyway, the point of this post is: movies. I've been watching a lot lately because I've been working alone. Weirdly enough, the ability to pick a movie quickly and stick to it only exists when I'm sitting for 2 or 3 people who disagree. Joey says it's an Aries thing: we don't back down. I don't believe in star signs, but that was just creepy! So I'm basically drifting around trying to find something. Unfortunately that branch I'm at is small and we only get a few copies of the blockbuster mainstream stuff, comapred to the other branch where we have a lot of series and independent movies.
So: lousy movies I've watched in the 3 days:
- Date movie. Don't ask me why, I was desperate!
- Just my Luck (the most boring thing I've ever watched the opening scene of).
- My super ex-girlfriend (such a different idea, so badly done. and Uma's too old for those boots, I'm sorry).
- Grease (I blame Lara. We laughed a lot though!)
Mediocre movies I've watched in the last 3 days:
- Groove. I'm sorry Luke, I'm sure if you've been to raves and stuff it's better, but I just felt really sorry for the guy who just wanted to go home.
- Confetti. It had some fantastic moments, but it was disappointing. I also got quite bored by two of the 3 couples.
- Cars. It's just plain boring.
Good movies I've watched in the last 3 days:
- October sky. But i knew it already, it's one of my favourite movies.
The ratio of 4:3:1 shows how desperate I am! Anyone who likes the same kind of movies as me (eg Garden State; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Don't Say a Word) PLEASE recommend something! i have 4 shifts to go before I go away next week!
Sunday, January 07, 2007
I do not HATE Grey's anatomy, I just wasn't exactly blown away by it. And I got this weird impulse to take MEredith by the shoulders and shake her! But now that the second season has been taken out and I won't have a chance to watch it until I get back at the end of January, I realsie that I have become rather attached.
That is all.
And by the way, I'm leaving next Tuesday, so if anyone is planning on organising anything, please make it for this week!
Friday, January 05, 2007
I'm sick. as in congested, dizzy, so hot that I'm freezing (why my poor hypothalamus puts up with me...) and unable to breathe. It's weird that I'm sick so often lately. I was sick for a lot of honours but I put that down to stress and eating too much junk food. Now that I'm on holiday, relaxing and actually eating salad a lot, I keep getting sick. Maybe I'm just cut out for the academic lifestyle after all?
I also found out that the scholarship forms for me to go overseas were actually due 3 weeks ago, either I wrote it down wrong when I phoned them or they made a mistake. I'm not too upset because I've been doing a lot of thinking and I had decided that I didn't really want to go for it for a bunch of reasons that I won't put here. I was going to anyway, but now it's decided for me. So now I'm just waiting for wits to get its act together and tell me if I got a scholarship or not (if I didn't I'll be SO annoyed!) so I can get started with thinking about this year. I planned out a project already that is very different to anything I've ever done and that my supervisor has ever done (he doesn't know about it yet...) and I'm trying to find some articles to back me up, but it seems that I got a bit too original because nobody has ever done anything like it before. I'm waiting for him to get back from holiday so I can go talk about it. I'm also supposed to be getting my project from last year ready for publication, but I only managed to read 3/4 of my abstract before I found the third typo, so I just couldn't look at it anymore. I hate looking at projects once they're in and finished.
I've been watching Grey's Anatomy a lot. I dislike it on principle: it's unoriginal (covering very little that E.R and Scrubs haven't done ages ago), the 'drama' is ridiculous, and it's written by someone who has no idea about anything, but 'likes medical shows' so decided to write one. It's fun though and I enjoy it occasionally, if just to marvel at how ridiculous the story is getting. Some of the actors are really good too. The thing is, I have nothing to watch at the moment because I'm waiting for Jo to get her act together and bring me the Lost and PrisonBreak that she has at home, and I just discovered how much fun it is to watch DVDs on my laptop in bed. So I decided to get started. and I guess it can't be so bad beasue I have 2 episodes to go until I'm done with Season 1.
I worked today with Nicky and Jo. Jo had stuff to do that she's been putting off for a bit because, as nice as Nicky is, it's pretty much a fulltime job working with her. She's pretty insecure and needs to check everything before she does it. we also organise everything by 5digit codes, and she's dyslexic, so we have to keep an eye on her. She's pretty amazing that she manages so well and so cheerfully, and she doesn't let it upset her at all. I'm pretty sure once she gets used to it she'll be fine, it'll just take a while for her to get to know everything. I just sat and had some corenza-C type stuff that's pineapple flavoured and made me really dizzy, but somewhat less congested. When I got home I passed out to the incessant screeching of my grandparents' budgies who I'm babysitting at the moment.
Now I'm going to try and give my bird to my dad (she's upset by the budgies and got a bit clingy) so that I can collapse on my bed with tomato soup and the last 2 episodes of Grey's anatomy.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Happy new year everyone!
On Sunday I went over to Joey's house with a bunch of people from work, as well as Jana and Corne (aka the toothless wonder) who are friends of Lara's. It's kind of a work tradititon that every year the 'adult' employees who are all pretty good friends get together for new years. Last year was also at Joey's but it included Drew and Justin who are now out of the circle completely and acting like complete tools. I miss the old them.
It was a lot of fun! Before we were a bit worried because Chris was there and he can't drink so I hoped he wouldn't feel left out. La and I were also exhausted, but we got over it pretty quickly. We started off with a braai (Afrikaans people are amazing at braais, and as the only first-language English speaker there I got to experience "troo-Kultuur" in a BIG way!). The thing is, Jo and Lara had been working together and had decided that we each had to have 3 different cocktails before the countdown. The problem was we decided to eat first, so we sat drinking all kinds of other things while the men got all manly and poked the fire a lot, until we realised that it was already 11:30. Lets just say I hope the video we took gets burned. When Jo makes cocktails she always triples the ingredients for some reason. After all that we still had 15 minutes, so Corne went and made other stuff (called 'liquid cocaine') and then Jo made other cocktails and we had shots and...
After the countdown I was treated to real Kultuur when Jo revealed that she owned the entire collection of "Stamp" which is kinf of like sokkie-treffers except that a lot of it is English songs remixed with the sokkie beat. We all sang along in various stages of tunefulness (in one song all I knew was 'bokkie-bokkie!' and I missed it by half a line every time) and just sat around talking complete crap and dancing around. Chris was entirely shocked, didn't say a word all evening and then sat outside once the singing started. I felt really sorry for him, but every time I tried to talk to him he didn't respond at all, so we just left him.
Eventually we went to bed at around 4am, but I was so hyper I couldn't sleep too well and we were up again at 8. I had to rush home, shower, change and go to work for a double shift. I worked with Jo in the morning and Lara in the evening. Jo was really feeling horrible (for a short girl she can drink!) and I was all cheerful but unable to do anything very quickly. By the time Lara arrived I was exhausted. All of our customers were either tired or hung over or both, often accompanied by overtired toddlers who cried and screamed... And it turns out one customer who I always thought was a man, is actually a woman. She has muscles and a deep voice and a BEARD! apparently she's jo and Lara's personal trainer and she trains in a bikini. Scary stuff.
The worst was at about 8pm when a guy came in with his teenage sons. He was wearing shorts that even an ecologist would be embarassed by. They probably belonged to some poor Ken-doll at some stage and they were all stretched at the bottom so they curled up, making them even tinier. Plus he'd tucked his shirt in. We both packed out giggling but managed to hide at the back until he came to get his movies and somehow we managed to talk to the guy. I don't know how. After he left we both collapsed into giggling fits and then the phone rang. I think we left it for about 2 minutes before Lara managed to regain composure enough to semi-talk to the person, who thought she was sick and needed help. I just sat there laughing so hard I think I actually cried a bit.
Today was a lot harder, I'm still tired and I had a lot of stuff to do. I also found out that there is some big stuff going on with my family and my parents might move overseas, so I'd have to move into a flat or something. That means I'll have to find a home for my birds and my dogs and I don't know if I could manage it. It was really upsetting and I yelled at my mom and then sat sulking and watching Scrubs all afternoon. And then I drove around Joburg for a good hour to calm down. When I got home I sat and carried on with Scrubs when my dad came in and told me to pause it. I figured I'd be getting the typical talking-to for fighting with my mom when he made me close my eyes, and when I opened them there were these boxes. you see for Christmas I got a card and some money from my dad and it said that Ebay couldn't deliver an iguana in time. This was the 'iguana.'
My Dad just gave me a laptop! It's beautiful! Far better than anything I would have bought for myself! It's a Dell with a big screen and bluetooth and a DVD writer and everything! I named it 'The iguana' already and tomorrow i'm going to go and get the software for Office and go talk to the IT guy at wits about all the other stuff like antivirus and that.
It's so beautiful! I love it already and I can't even do anything with it yet. The lousy thing is it's cheaper to order the software online, but then I have to wait up to 10 days for the money to clear and delivery and by them I'm away on the field trip. I'm tempted to go spent the extra money just to get started right away.
I'm so excited!
As soon as it's up and running I'll take a photo of it and post it. I'm going to bed now, I'm still so tired. And just for the record, Nagtmusiek is EVIL! At least I rain-checked the Jagermeister!