Thursday, April 30, 2009


Oh my gosh, today was weird... So I rushed in to university his morning, stressing out because my meeting with my supervisor had been postponed from yesterday to this morning, the traffic was terrible and I was lecturing honours students after lunch and I wanted to go over everything again.

When I got to the lab it was deserted (even the cricket was MIA) so I dumped my stuff and went in search of the elusive supervisor - it's his last day employed by the university and so it was kind of important. As it turns out I got to his office just after he sent me an email asking me to go and see him - he was about to leave, so it worked out pretty well! After that I went downstairs and started some coffee and settled down to work, which lasted for about two minutes before people started banging on the door asking for my lab mates. Five minutes after I got rid of one batch, the next would appear. Then one lab mate would appear and then leave just before the next person came to find them. It was most frustrating.

Then, once we were all settled in at the lab, drinking coffee and working (as you do), Candice arrived (not the usual Candice) to chat and visit. She used to sit at the desk I have claimed as mine now, and we don't get to see her much as she works at the zoo now and her office is really hidden away there. After she left, the other Candice arrived and went off with Luke for coffee and Megan and I ended up having a weird heart-to-heart about life and people and the universe and stuff. all this while I supposed to be stressing and doing last-minute prep for my lecture which was in about two hours at the point.

The lecture was OK, I wasn't stressed or panicky and i think that took a bit of the edge off my 'performance' I felt like the students were bored and not too interested until right at the end wen we got to the human behaviour examples, although Luke claims that it went well so I'm going to listen to him in order to maintain my sanity!

After that we ad a weird weird WEIRD conversation with Luke's supervisor who was giggling like a maniac because the cricket has moved into the office next-door to his and the post-doc in there is getting very irritated at the chirping! And Megan has to walk into the conversation when it got to discussing cup-sizes if you were to use a bra as a surgical mask. She missed the other part which I will not discuss other than to warn the innocent people out there to be VERY CAREFUL when google-searching obscure primate behaviour, such as punishment of juvenile vervet monkeys.

From there we got food as Luke was about to implode or pass out or something and we ended up talking about honours where Luke went through an Internet-game phase and played a game called Chuzzle incessantly, while I stood behind him yelling out instructions. We ended up playing it today and I'm not quite sure what the addicting factor was... from there we played Zuma and Bejewelled and Megan got very addicted to Bejewelled...

We also put in some YouTube-time watching bad performances in all the various forms of Idols/Pop Idols/American Idol which was funny and scary and just plain weird. And once I got a headache we stopped and played Bejewelled until it was time to go home.

It was a totally bizarre day!

Oh, and please can people out there help me. How do you (and I mean you personally, not convention) pronounce 'schnitzel'? It has been a topic for debate for quite some time!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

feel a little strange but it's all right

So last night I went to gym again, and although I was very careful as I'm still slightly sick, it felt fantastic! I missed the routine and the sore muscles and all that stuff... I've also stopped the cough-syrup after I googled the active ingredients and found out that I was on a lovely mixture of antihistamines and uppers (i had been wondering why the pharmacist wanted to know if I had an addictive personality...).
And I woke up this morning feeling stiff and sore and significantly less sorry-for myself than I've been for the last few days. which is fantastic! I've also been gigging nonstop all day as Luke's supervisor - just across the passage has had his office invaded by a cricket which is SO loud that all of his meetings have involved people yelling to be heard over the single, tiny, bellowing cricket! It particularly funny when the Russian maintenance guy was trying to explain something in his rather strong accent with the cricket almost out-competing him for volume!
And Jenny sent the coolest plant home for my birthday! It's called a kudu lily, and I hope it's tougher than the last few pot-plants I've ha, because it's so cool! According to my intensive research over the last five minutes, the scientific name is Pachypodium Saundersii and it grows on rocky outcrops, flowering in Autumn.
I will try and take a photo later to post on here. In the meantime Luke will be caring for it while I am in the field, and I hope it will be happy and healthy for many years to come.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What's really going on (aka how do you miss people missing you?)

So after many posts of trying to avoid talking about real issues I've decided to tackle it head-on. After all the right attitude + a hammer generally leads to results in some form or another...
On top of my oh-so-exciting flu saga I'm feeling a bit miserable lately an I don't know why. I think a large part of it is that my body has become pretty accustomed to a daily endorphin rush from when I go to the gym and I haven't been since almost a week ago because I'm afraid of the repercussions if I go while I'm sick...
I'm also due to go off on fieldwork in less than two weeks, and that really messes with my head. You know when you go away for a while and people send you news? And its supposed to make you happy, but it makes you sad because it shows you that people don't stop living when you're not there. It's childish and silly and I always want people to be happy, but it sucks that they don't stop living when I'm not there. I remember the first time I went on fieldwork and everyone ad a board games evening without me, and I was devastated without knowing why.
And now I've done the whole fieldwork thing a bunch of times, and I love it and I know I'll be happy when I'm there and it'll be hard to come home, but getting my head in the game to get out there is the hard part. Right now I'm wandering around in a bit of a cough-syrup induced haze, trying to get all my permits and paperwork and equipment in order so that I can leave on time. At the same time in the back of my mind there is  that little voice that keeps telling me that I must stop worrying, because nobody here will miss me anyway.
It's really silly of me, but I guess it all stems from the original issue - the first time you go away for a long time it feels like a betrayal that people kept living without you. Then you get home and go nuts seeing people all the time and going out and doing things and then generally collapsing - the end of last year I got home and mostly hid in the lab prepping for the conference and going diving, but once I was officially home, I went nuts and ended up going out every night for almost a month (I think it was 26 days or something) and then I almost had a breakdown because as much as I had missed everyone and as much as I was enjoying spending time with people, I had just spent three months completely isolated (except for my lizards) with my closest neighbours a good half-hour drive away (it's quicker to walk, the roads are bad) and suddenly I was totally inundated with people.
The weirdest thing is that when I'm in the city, I feel like fieldwork is just a dream or a story that someone else has told me. The other day I remembered something that someone had told me that was a pretty funny story, and after hours of trying to figure out who had told me the story I realised that it was something that had happened to me! And when I'm there I feel like living in the city is all a dream. I guess having spent more than two decades there helps solidify it slightly more, but after a few weeks I wouldn't be able to tell you what my house or my bedroom looks like. I miss my friends and stuff, but I forget to miss them, unless something amazing happens and they aren't there for me to tell them about it.
But the problem is that the more you go off on long trips, the less of a big deal it is. There are no more goodbye parties or welcome home dinners, people forget where I am and I get invitations to things like movies when I am more than half a day's drive away. My friends stop checking up on me, I stop sending messages to them.
And when you're away so often, when you're home it isn't a big deal. People do stuff without you, not because they don't want you there, but because they don't think about you when the invitations go out. They forget to tell you exciting news because you aren't normally there to hear it.
The point of it all is that I'm rather solidly in the self-pity stage at the moment. I'm going away and i don't want to go because I will miss everyone, but at the same time does it matter because nobody will miss me. I don't know where I belong, because I'm so split between two places that neither is home. And life is horrible and nobody cares and I'm going to go sit on the couch and suck my thumb and cry, like the 4-year old I seem to turn into whenever I'm due to go away again. and on top of all of it I'm having boy-issues. Why now? Of all the times for this sort of thing to happen!
Don't mind me, I'll grow up in a few weeks when I have to fall down my first cliff-face of the day and the sun is shining and all I have to worry about is the nasty little lizard hiding under a rock... And I'll be happy, for a moment at least!


So for the last few weeks everyone around me has been sick with the most horrible flu. I generally don't get sick too often (I replace illness with injury more often than not) and this time I fought hard against it with appropriate amounts of sleep, vitamin C, fruit and vegetables as well as regular exercise. it was a close call, but I was managing until I ended up standing outside in the freezing cold for hours waiting to vote.
On Thursday morning I woke up with a sore throat but I was otherwise fine, but lunchtime I was halfway through Leia's box of tissues (she was very kind to offer them regularly). for the record, she's just started her very own, very first blog, so please go check it out! She's putting tons of time and effort into it (and I think I might have given her the flu...). Anyway by Thursday night I was battling to breath and pretty much totally miserable.
Friday was pretty unpleasant, particularly because I had to teach fungi (according to the lecturer it's pronounced "fun_dje-eye") to my batch of first year kiddies. I could have persuaded someone to cover for me, but as I'm heading off on fieldwork before their next lab i wanted to say goodbye. It was very cute, when I finished giving them tons of advice for the rest of their labs (we do a little beginning-lab briefing session) i broke the news and they all said "awww" and seemed saddish. One of the nicer kids wasn't there which was sad, bit the one with a rapidly-developing attitude problem was absent, which made my life much easier!
They all worked merrily away and left after a few hours, most of them stopping to say goodbye and thank you to me, which was quite bizarre - this group has been the best first year lot I've had, but I have never pretended to care about them, and I'm pretty sure they're aware that I have no further influence on their marks! One girl ran over and hugged me and refused to let go, which was extremely awkward, as she's quite short and I'm rather tall, so I had a vice-like grip around my ribcage while she went on and on about her labs with me being the bright spot in her week. At the same time her friend, who was waiting for her, walked up to us and said "Can we leave now or are you two having 'a moment'?" I kept patting the kid on the back rather awkwardly until she went away.
I spent Saturday at the vet, trying to do my job but largely unable to talk. One of the regular clients came in, and i groaned inwardly - she's the one who loved to chat, and both vets hide from her. I was quite unfriendly, but I just couldn't handle making small-talk, when all I wanted was for her to go away so I could blow my nose. I was supposed to wait to be paid after my shift, but I just said goodbye to the vet on duty and went home, where I had some tomato soup and collapsed until the next morning. That was about 18 hours of sleep! I got up in the evening to get a hot-water bottle to put on my chest, and to take more flu-caps and med-lemon, but otherwise it was me, in bed, with a box of tissues on my pillow, a dustbin next to my bed for said tissues, and my trusty ipod which was pretty useless because my ears were blocked and I was almost totally deaf...
And by Sunday I was almost totally better, but with an awful cough and a voice somewhere between Macy Gray and Norah Jones... Fortunately Monday was a public holiday and I was able to watch a ton of movies at work, while getting some or other brand of cough syrup from the pharmacy next door - apparently it's highly addictive because something like 3 of the four ingredients are controlled substances, all I know is that it tastes bad enough to be something I will be more than happy to quit! Unfortunately it works so I have to live with it for a few more days!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I can't believe I did that!

So my Ipod is getting a bit on the full side, so I went through some of the backups I'd saved on there so I could get rid of some of it and save the space. I found all of my honours coursework assignments there which made for some nostalgia - particularly longing for, and missing, my old ability to write the biggest load of rubbish and make it sound good!
I went into one of my 3-day exam answers (basically for your exam you get given a topic and get three days to write an essay) and I opened one from a course that I did pretty well in. There, in the first line of the intro I found a typo:
"Tracking migration routes can be very time-consuming and expensive. Extrinsic markers suck as dye labels, tags or leg rings are time and energy intensive and depend on the recovery of marked individuals"
yes, instead of saying such as... I said that they suck! And of course spellcheck isn't the same as logic check...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In the spirit of not wanting to talk about what's actually going on

I was thinking this morning about how I should really be working on my lecture for next week, but I'm stuck at one point so I figured I'd do a search through my email and look for a memo I made a few years ago for one of the pracs which we're running tomorrow. I searched and Gmail came up with one result - a chat message from when I was in the field for the first time, two years ago. At the time my friend Ben was helping out and we were doing quite well, but a lot of bizarre things happened.
I thought you guys would enjoy seeing a little bit of what we might consider as normal...Here is an except of some of a conversation I had with Luke telling him about what was going on that week:
me: so did I tell you about this morning?
 Luke:   No...
me: for the first time in almost a week it wasn't raining, so we took all the traps we have and went off to the field
  proceeded to get pretty sunburned and caught 10 male lizards and 2 HUGE geckos
Luke: Cool!

 me: and then looked up to realise that the farm was on fire

 Luke: So what was the weird stuff that has happened?
me: this after the roof in the bathroom fell in and we got flooded yesterday
 Luke: Yes, I remember that... :D
  So, what happened?
 me: not the farmHOUSE, the grass and stuff
 Luke: Oh! LOL. OK then :)
me: but it was hot and windy and the fire was moving quickly and I was sitting working as fast as I could and then ben decided that the bakkie was going to get burned, so he hurtled down the hill and moved it
  and then got lost coming back so I thought he'd died
Luke: Sounds fun! Veld fires are scary! I remember that one in the Kalahari! That was unbelievable! It was so unreal!
me: I know! anyway I thought Ben had died, especially considering he was nearly attacked by a Mozambique spitting cobra last time we were in the field, and some kind of mamba today

Luke: Woah! You are NEVER coming on my field work! I'll get jinxed like him!
me: but he yelled until I answered and then followed my voice through all the trees, and we finished up and packed up and ran off to the car.  Which was not on fire...  and then I'd decided to take the ring road - it's bad and you need to use lowrange but at least the fire wouldn't be all OVER THE ROAD and Ben decided to drve us back through the fire  we nearly died!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Election day!

So today is the big scary D-day for the political gemors that's been building up over the last year or so. With half the bigwigs in court for various levels of currution, the biggest party having a major fight and splitting up into two groups...
When I've voted before I've been quite upset at the level of apathy that South Africans show to the whole democratic process. The queues are always bad, but generally more becauser the things in the front aren't all too organised, not because there's too much demand to join in. Last election day I was at university doing bservations on the lizards until 12, went to vote at 12:30, went home (all of 3 blocks from the voting station) had lunch and made it to work by 3pm. While I was there I noticed that hardly anyone had the black mark on their thumbs from voting, and if I asked, most people said that they didn't care.
This time, due to the fact that the university is over 6 weeks late to pay me and I need to put fuel in my car and feed myself when I go on fieldwork in 2 weeks, I accepted a fantastic double-pay shift at work, which starts at 4pm. So I figured I'd go through at 7am when the station opened, vote before anyone got there and then go home and work until I had to leave to go to the work that actually pays me.
At 7:30 I woke to find that my brother was calling me, and my alarm had been snoozing for an hour and a half. Bleh. Turns out as we registered at the same place we might as well keep each other company and so he picked me up and we joined the queue.
The line of people was 3 times as long as last time! It must have been over 200m of people standing around. Some enterprising people had set up a stall selling coffee and boerewors rolls (which smelled incredible but I'd just had breakfast and weetbix doesn't go well with meat) and we stood. And stood. And stood. andstoodandstoodandstoodandstoodandstood.
After over an hour, when conversation was drying up, our feet and backs were aching and we just wanted to go home, the little old lady behind us started trying to caht, while waving a climp of khakibos in our faces. It smelled horrible, and she apologised, explaining that every time she got sleepy she would sniff it and it woke her right back up. They should try that with long distance truck drivers, but I think they'd go on strike again.
Eventually after about two hours or so we got to within sight of the door, and a little bit sheltered from the freezing wind, a guy came and scanned our ID books to print out our voter registration number. I'm three thousand and something. The old lady started yelling at the poor guy with the scanner because the place was "obviously badly organised and what the hell is wrong with you people?" He sighed and carried on, it must have been his millionth lecture for the day and he's just doing his job.
The worst is the people cutting into the line. Old people (who are not just old but old and infirm, as the lady behind us explained) are allowed to the front along with whoever is helping them with the walker or the stick or the wheelchair or whatever. Apparently the lady behind us had been refused entry because although she was old enough, she seemed ok. She should have brandished the khakibos and gone with the insane argument - "you don't want me in the line, people won't make it out alive!"
Eventually we went through, had our thumbs drawn on - I wanted to request a smily-face, but when they refused to mark my right hand instead of my left I decided it wasn't worth it, scribbled my X where Iw anted it, stuffed it in the box and went home.
It took forever, my feet hurt and I think it'll take a few weeks to thaw from the freezing cold, but I'm glad that it was full of people. I'm really happy to see some South Africans caring about what happens to their country, and compared to before, it seems like a lot of people are voting when previously they'd stay at home and enjoy the day off. And after all, we got there at 8, and I'm home having tea and a cupcake by 12, it could have been a lot worse!
Here's hoping that it all turns out well in the end!
Happy election day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I feel I must mention...

I feel that I must explain, I have nothing against happy couples. I
think that it's great and I'm really happy to see my friends fine
someone who can make them happy and glowy and all that.

I DO however have a major problem with couples who cannot be in the
same room without being plastered together.

I don't have an issue with people having private conversations around
me, even if we're sitting in a group of three. I have no problem
sitting quietly and doing my own thing while they argue over who is
cuter, or better, or more fantastic, or just 'hello' 'hello' 'hello'
like a pair of demented budgies . It's awkward but I can deal.

What gets me is the persistant fondling. I think it's my inherent
English upbringing, but I get very uncomfortable around public
displays of affection. I just don't know where to look. Anything
beyond holding hands gets me a little uncomfortable, particularly when
it's just me and 'ze ghappy couple!' and I have no option of getting

It sucks as I used to spend almost every tuesday might sitting having
dinner with Jo, and then this guy started dropping by. She was still
married at the time and officially trying to save the marriage, so it
wasn't bad because they never even touched each other when I was
around. Then she needed a confidant, I happened to be around and next
thing you know they were all coupley around me, no holds barred,
complete with reflex-rebound from all the hiding it.

And so now that I'm working I've been stuck in a store with them for
the last 4 hours. They've been stroking each other for most of the
time, whenever they're not doing the grope-while-walking-past move, or
the staring lovingly into each other's eyes while giggling at the
amazing wit that they seem to have. Like ' it looks like a little D,
so instead of 'no disc' it looks like it says 'nod isc' isn't that

The thing is, they LIVE together, why do I have to watch them, when
they have hours and hours at home every evening?

I just don't get it.

It gets worse

And now they're calling each other pet names and feeding each other
Thai food. I feel kind of ill...


I'm liking this blogging from email thing! I'm at work and I've jacked a connection from the Italian Restaurant next door and I'm sitting typing away innocently while my boss and her new flossie cavort around the store. Peaunut butter curry has arrived!!! W00t!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The cutest thing EVER!

So I started watching this movie last night and it's the cutest thing EVER! I haven't finished it yet because my ribs are a bit bruised from falling and laughing really hurts, so I'm waiting until I feel better to finish it. I might finish it sooner though because apparently I look like hell today and a few people have hugged me and told me to go home and stuff and it makes me feel crap to think that I'm not hiding the headache as well as I'd thought.

So anyway, if you're looking for an adorable but very funny movie, I would totally recommend it! It makes me want to run off and film stuff!


So I was playing with my dog on Saturday and she doubled back for some reason and tripped me up. I was running pretty much full-tilt at the time which meant that when I went flying, I REALLY went flying! The dog somehow got out of the way and I did a graceful swan-dive, culminating in a face-first 1 metre slide along paving stones.
I snapped my head back (and avoided concussion) and escaped with losing the skin on my knees and elbows, the front of my thighs has bruised black, friction from my shirt ripped some of the skin off my chest and I bruised my ribs so ghat I am entirely unable to laugh 9and of course many hilarious things happened ever since).
Of course my dogs see my lying on the ground and go "Hey! That looks like fun!" and they both jumped o top of me, tails wagging away. I realised I had whiplash when I got a pounding headache an hour or so alter and lost the ability to turn my head. I took some painkillers and headed off to the zoo benefit at the theatre, where by interval the room was spinning alarmingly and so I snuck off early and went home to collapse.
So now I look like I'm being abused at home, I'm wearing long sleeves and scarves to hide the bruising and I still have a nasty headache. Al because I thought that my puppies would like to play!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Church people

So I went off to church on Easter Sunday as the good little priest's kid that I am. Admittedly I was exhausted, having sat up until late the night/morning before playing board games and watching DVDs before collapsing on a couch so I probably wasn't in the best mood.

Anyway i got there and the place was PACKED! We usually have 100 - 150 people in there and being Anglicans that avoid sitting anywhere near the front we manage to fit inside quite comfortably without having to make eye contact with any strangers.

So I found a spot at last and settled in, feeling a bit queasy from lack of air, but otherwise OK, and then I looked up to see that a really old couple with walking sticks had arrived and there was nowhere for them to sit. Everyone who noticed them either stared straight ahead, or focused on the pew leaflet or something, in the understanding that until you make eye contact it is not your problem and someone else would help them. I got up and gave them my place, much to the chagrin of the person next to me who had to (shock! horror!) move up a little bit and after much hunting I found another seat.

Ten minutes later the same thing happened and everyone ignored the new old people AGAIN! After about 15 minutes into the service I was feeling really sick from the church being super-stuffy and i found that I was far more comfortable sitting on the floor in the corner behind the bell tower and so I spent half the service there before the sides-man decided that it looked bad and was actually very kind and brought me a stool to sit on.

It really bothers me that people go to church and get all dressed up and the whole shebang, and they sit with their prayer books and hymnals and sing loudly about how awesome God is and how we must love everyone, and then they treat the people in their midst like that. It would have taken five seconds for a row of people to shift closer together and make a space for a newcomer, but heaven forbid we sit next to a stranger!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More monkeys and sunshine than I can handle in one weekend

So I decided to spend a few hours at the zoo on Friday and ended up spending most of my day there. It started when I went in to feed the monkeys and my friend the zookeeper gave me a bag and a broom and told me to change their straw. it was disgusting, and particularly difficult to do with monkeys hanging of me and launching themselves onto my back. It was particularly tricky when Thandi realised that she got quite the reaction from me if she started poking at my butt every time I bent over.

It was quite special because Oliver, the spider monkey has been very standoffish lately, to the point where he'll play with one or two people but he's pretty much avoiding contact. Anyway by the end of it I had Thandi jumping up and down on my shoulders and launching into my arms or onto the nice springy bag of straw, Oliver holding on to me and ignoring her, and the floor was all shiny and clean!

From there I helped with random things around the zoo, notably moving a few lizards to different tanks, which involved carrying extremely heavy tanks filled with sand between displays, catching lizards inside the tanks and then setting up new tanks with two lizards in each hand. It was awesome!

The next day I organised to go in early and help, in exchange for letting my uncle visit a few animals. He's blind, and so it's really fantastic for him to be able to touch different animals and learn about them, while 'seeing' their different characteristics. It's also a great excuse or me to be able to go and play with some of the animals I don't get to see very often. The best part (besides watching my aunt's face when the Mona monkey peed on her shoe) was going into one of the lemur enclosures and paying with a hand-reared lemur. He's adorable and fluffy and so so cute and we had the added bonus of the general public on the other side of the bars looking very jealous!

The bad part was that as I was helping with the new baby spider monkey and the Mona monkey, I ended up changing nappies and the little spider decided to pee all over my lap when I changed her. I hosed myself down and used some hand soap so it was all off, but I had a rather embarrassingly situated wet patch. I forgot about it until we came out of the lemur enclosure and were confronted with half my third-year students coming to say Hi!

and after all that I was completely exhausted, went to a games evening were Luke was house-sitting and was so tired I managed to end up on the wrong third avenue! Whoever decided to put two roads with the same name within 5 km of each other was a moron!

Life After Facebook

So I've been considering deleting my facebook account for a while now. It was fun for a bit, but right now its just annoying. For one thing it's blocked at university until 5pm, by which point I'm either busy working on something, or trying to get to work so that my day wasn't wasted. I also have absolutely no interest in half the stupid applications which I get invited to on a daily basis. I usually add them just to stop the notifications. And with the grand unveiling of the "new Facebook" I found myself losing interest completely.

So anyway my birthday in in a couple of days and usually I would set up an event on facebook and we'd go from there. This often lead to me invite people I never would have thought to invite if I hadn't seen their names on the list, and that usually led to very entertaining evenings with people I don't see often enough!

But this year I couldn't bring myself to log on, so instead I sent an email out to a bunch of people and sent sms messages to some others and the response has been underwhelming... I guess I left it a bit late, but it seems like people check facebook more often than their email!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Just quickly

So Bullet for my Valentine and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus pulled out of Cokefest. I'm a bit annoyed, particularly because apparently Red Jumpsuit Apparatus pulled out because they've got 'recording commitments' or something. I'm pretty sure recording studios need to be booked and so you'd know long before the people in South Africa had advertised (they released the lineup ridiculously late). Plane tickets and accommodation and everything are booked. Two years ago Guns and Roses did the same thing. Apparently Bullet for my Valentine were scared to perform without a manager holding their little bitty hands.

It really bothers me, not so much because I'm a major fan - to tell the truth I was planing on going to keep a friend company, but I was hoping that it would make the crowd a bit older - the joy of Snow Patrol being one of the main features is that the place will be packed with 15-year olds.

In the meantime as it's a public holiday tomorrow we've decided to have Donut Thursday instead of Donut Friday and then I have to run off and lecture the first-years and then tutor third-years.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

It looks like so much fun!

I was watching a music video that has a huge fight scene between two people (totally over-acting and so not as horrible as it could be) and I just though that it could be really hard to act it out. I mean how on earth do you keep a straight face while pretending to throttle someone?

The blinding blinding pain!

So I went off to the gym last night, to find that the bodybuilder and the creepy little guy - while still regular fixtures over the last few months - weren't there. instead I ran into a bunch of my students. It was very awkward. so I ran off to the bike that I always use and settled down to do some serious cycling, and I nearl did 30 km! i was so proud! And now I can't climb stairs without considerable pain. I've had worse though, so I guess all in all it's not that bad!

I've also decided to stop the banging-head-against wall reaction (no, not literally) that i've had towards several people lately. I guess it's harder to move on for some relationships than others, particularly when the people in question have been around for a long time. A long time ago when a friend of mine 'unfriended' me by sms I was terribly upset until I realised that while I was a bad friend to her, I also hated being around her because she made me feel incredibly guilty all the time. There are people in my life at the moment who berate and criticise and basically make me feel like I'm substandard, and its just not good.

So while I listened to some loud music (just because I listen to goth music when I exercise does NOT make me a goth!) and ignored the cramping in my legs, I decided that it has to be more than me deciding that it doesn't bother me. I have to make a more active decisiona nd stop getting myself into situations that make me feel like I'm not worthwhile.

Some people go to the gym to spend time with friends, others for the endorphin rush, or to remove the guit of eating that extra donut. I go there to figure out my life. Therapy? Give me a bike and an imaginary road stretching off into infinity!

So just when I thought I was making progress...

So after all the girly discussions we've been having in the lab, me painting my toenails a scary lumo-pink (which I love, but that's besides the point) and even choosing clothes that had been ironed a few times a week (rather than the usual rolling out of bed and checking to see wat's the least crumpled) it appears that the world still sees me as being male.

During lunch today I got my bag out to get money to give to someone so that they could bring me caffeine (why you can't buy a caffeine IV is still beyond me) I found my insanely bright orange nail poilish that I thought I'd lost. So I got all excited and painted my nails. A few minutes into it Luke walked past, did a double take, blinked a few times and said "Am I seeing things?"


Monday, April 06, 2009

All growed up

So Luke lectured for the first time today, it was very different for me to be on the observing side rather than last time when I had to jump in with both feet and teaach room full of second-years. He had a tough time, the class was packed - well over a hundred students, the acoustics in the room are awful so he had to really work at projecting, and the girls sitting behind me are already planning their stalking campaign.

Despite all of that he did a totally amazing job! I was so stunned to see him transforming from the quirky and enthusiastic student to an authority figure. The kids listened, the called him "Sir" and they wrote furiously. I think if you were to tell them that he was only a few years older than most of them they wouldn't believe you.

It was really amazing to watch!

So we're all growing up, and it's very very scary!

And I refuse to accept that I'm nearly 24 until it happens thank you very much!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Fridays are never predictable

So every Friday morning we have coffee and donuts together. This morning was no exception and we were joined by the IT guy, who is actually quite cool. He also cleaned out my laptop with a high-pressure air thingie and washed my screen (with soap!) and we had a chat which was quite enlightening and thought provoking.

I was also slapped on the butt by a cleaning lady/man (I'm not sure), had some awesome moments of people watching, was tickled and chased by said tickler into the men's room, listened to some strangely uplifting morbid music and had a good giggle about some people's reactions to the lyrics.

Luke has discovered failblog, so we lost a good while to giggling over the silly things that people do/say/wear/film. the nun who works next door dragged me aside under the pretenses of my being in trouble, when she just wanted gift-giving advice. The vet from the zoo hugged me, which freaked me out totally, and the new vet student is being pursued by almost all the girls who work at the zoo which is very entertaining to watch.

We also discussed chemical peels, cellulite massages, that mineral blasting thing, the pros and cons of sunblock... poor Luke! Although he starts it as often as not...

I had way too much coffee today, and nothing makes much sense, so I'm going to stop now.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Super-substitute! (Not really super but super enough)

So I woke up this morning feeling fantastic (possibly helped by a rather large mug of coffee). I just knew that it would be a great day. I got up, got ready and left to go to the lab, and proceeded to get stuck behind every slow moving car in the southern hemisphere. no problem, I'd found another old cassette tape that for some reason has the soundtrack to My Fair Lady, so I was quite happily driving along, enjoying the sunshine and singing along (windows closed of course, nothing like a funny look from a biker to throw off a perfectly good morning!).

Anyway I was a few blocks away when my phone rang, and on the ther end was one of the higher-ups at the zoo, in tears because the zoo staff decided to go on strike today and there was nobody to feed the animals. I went through immediately and was left alone pretty much taking care of all the lizards.

Despite a slightly close encounter with a cranky sungazer it all went well and I was moving from one area to another when I heard the strikers approaching, vuvuzelas blaring (WHY they must scare the animals is beyond me, why not just march around management's cars in the parking lot?) And I (very heroically of course) turned and ran back inside.

fortunately one of the institutions that works out of the zoo was running a tour and I'm quite well acquainted with the tourguide and so I gave them an impromptu lecture on the various lizards and lizards in general, and was able to keep them occupied until the danger ahd passed and I could go and climb the fences into the tortoise enclosures to feed them.

For the record, the tortoises were starving and rushed to the food, and it was the cutest thing ever! After that I joined the others and got covered in baboon poo while a friend of mine was nearly attacked by said baboonand I learned the skill of cleaning a water dish through the bars of a cage by skillfully manoevring a hose pipe (although that last orange peel will be in there for all eternity).

Once we'd finished there we went to start on the next section to find that the strike was over and the real zoo staff were back at work. So we went for lunch. And then I saw Thandi, the baby mandril and played witha meerkat and did all the usual stuff I do at the zoo, before going shopping! Where I discovered that, while MAC has some awesome stuff, the staff have no idea how to use it and I ended up feeling like I'd spent half an hour in a room full of... ladies of the night?

So I didn't actually make it to uiversity today, but I had a totally awesome day. And I'm so glad I wore sunblock! Although closed shoes would have been advisable!