Friday, January 30, 2009

Pretzelling with a purpose

So ever since my slightly over-enthusiastic Sunday morning at the gym I've been feeling very tired. I kept going but I found that while once I got into it I still enjoyed myself, I was tired and not doing very well and basically just not 'feeling' it. I had promised myself a while ago that while I may skip gym if I have something else planned (within reason) I am NOT allowed to skip just because I don't want to. I also end to feel really awful about myself if I skip gym and I battle to sleep. On Wednesday, after a particularly traumatising session on Tuesday (some guy TALKED to me! Did he not understand the universal signal of BACK OFF that I was sending out by wearing earphones?) I left university early so I figured I could go to gym before dinner rather than y usual of going before bed. I checked the little timetable I grabbed a few weeks ago and saw that there was a 6:30pm yoga class.

So I thought 'great! that's nice and while not gentle, not too strenuous and it's something different because I need a break from my usual routine!' so I went home, lay down for a bit, changed and headed off to yoga. Wow. I can't believe I said that!

I should have known it was going to end badly when the instructor was 20 minutes late. Actually I should have got out of there when ten minutes after the class was supposed to start, one of the people (all girls except one guy who was enjoying himself a little bit too much...) jumped up and very perkily announced that we should start warming up. Most of the rest of the people agreed and then proceeded to start doing all kinds of weird pseudo-dance moves, accompanied by some rather heavy breathing. I did yoga when I was in high-school so I was a little bit shocked to see some of what they were doing, as it was way beyond anything I'd ever done. Worried that I had stumbled into an advanced class I checked the timetable on the board, but it just said "Yoga" so I sat and tried to think calm thoughts.

The instructor (who I would have mistaken for just another soccer-mom if it wasn't for the way everyone else flocked around her, and the weird flowy scarves she was wearing) arrived after about 20 minutes and we got started. Firstly, it was TOTALLY an advanced class, in everything but name. secondly, having any kind of a sense of humour is very detrimental to having any kind of sense of balance! So I did my best, falling over periodically, particularly when the instructor tried to tell us stories of her training with "Swami Vanuatu" and how we should practice at home (yes, of course I want to twist my spine into unnatural positions with nobody around to help me!) as we become passionate about postures (and that's a quote).

When it got really insane I refused and sat and watched as I have fieldwork coming up, and chasing lizards with a broken wrist isn't a very good idea. At one stage they were doing the "little bird" or "crane" posture and I had to watch as one girl fell and landed beautifully on her collarbone with her knees still firmly wedged into her armpits. For some reason I was the only person doing any kind of sympathetic flinching!

There was also lots of twisting into weird positions and then somehow stretching your arms around to hold hands while your left arm is wrapped around your right knee which is somewhere around your left ear... i tried, I did not succeed and after two days i still ave trouble bending over or stretching to reach a high shelf or anything.

I am quite sad at the way it turned out. I did yoga in high school and absolutely loved it (although I used to go with friends who were just as giggly as me, so we spent most of the time falling over) and I think that a lot of the stuff they were doing was really cool, particularly in the impromptu warm-up session, where it was almost like watching dancers (with a lot of double-joints) practising. It's sad that I won't be returning to yoga classes there as I didn't feel safe or comfortable and I don't want to get hurt, and even if I try a different session it's with the same instructor and I really didn't like her. And Swami Vanuatu? Really?

At the same time I love going to gym, and I hated the fact that I left there feeling useless. and as long as I want to keep exercising I have to hold on to the fact that I actually do enjoy it and not that I don't feel good enough because I can't wrap my legs behind my head while holding myself up with one finger. Now it is Friday and I'm still sore though, so I guess the bits that I did manage were very effective!

Oh and it; feeing and pouring with rain here at the moment. What's up with that? It made for a very exciting walk through Braamfontein yesterday, but I'll write about that another time!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Faith in humanity temporarily restored

So I went to gym last night and overdid it. And now I am sore. I also went shopping this morning and now I am annoyed. I suck at being a girl - I really dislike shopping!

So anyway I have spent the last few days trying very hard to get in touch with a Russian physicist whose work I have been using to try and do my work. It's pretty nasty and super-complicated, and I got very very stuck. Finally, after I pestered all of his collaborators from the last few years for his cntact details, I got an email from him yesterday. I sent him an email explaining that I was confused and begging for help.

This morning I got a reply. He basically went on for a page about how interesting my work is and how lizards are totally neglected which is awful because they are really cool (his words, not mine!) and then proceeded to explain everything really clearly along with an offer for more help!

I am ashamed to say my first response was not blinding relief but rather 'awww!' because his English is not fantastic and physics explained in broken english is actually quite adorable! After that I had a moment of blinding relief, and now I'm off to play around with my data. Lets hope it works!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm typing this at the desk I've appropriated in Luke's lab. I started spending a few hours a day here, then full days once Luke had arrived... About a week ago Is tarted working late, staying in the lab after Luke had left. Today is the first time I've been here before him and let myself in with the spare key from someone n the lab across the passage... I feel kind of guilty, I hate people going anywhere near my stuff if I''m not around, but I just couldn't face the idea of a)stairs and b)my lab-mate upstairs...

All credit to Luke for actually being nice about the whole situation, and for letting me stay here. I would have kicked me out a LONG time ago!

So my weekend had a quiet start, I had computer trouble on Friday and so ended up staying at university until 8:30 or so - not late for a normal day, but pretty late fr me on a Friday. On Saturday after a horribly hectic morning (which extended about an hour further into the afternoon than it was supposed to) I dashed home and had lunch at super-speed before dashing off to meet Candice and a couple of her friends for an afternoon of geocaching. I haven't been geocaching since I left the field in November, and I haven't done a serious geocaching expedition in rather a lot longer, so I decided to put exhaustion aside and go for it! It was also a good opportunity to take my new camera out. As it was my first serious attempt at photography with the scary new SLR, the photos are pretty terrible, and I battled a lot at first (I realised once I'd got home that I'd set it on one thing while I thoughts I'd set it on something else... but for a first try it wasn't too bad, and at least I know that some of the skills I've learned from other cameras do carry across, so now it's just a matter of getting to know my way around the controls quickly and then a lot of practice!

Geocaching was interesting... I'm not usually a fan of geocaching in the city, besides having to hide from normal people while you're hunting, I have also learned the trick of poking around with a stick rather than your hands n order to avoid some of the more charming things you can find in the undergrowth around here. The caches Candice had picked out were actually pretty nice to find, although we only found two in the afternoon, we didn't end up covered in mysterious muck or having to explain ourselves to security guards (like last time). The sole unpleasant part physically was that I was COATED in blackjacks at the first site, but considering that I rock-hopped across a really disgusting waterfall and made a concerted effort to climb a tree in really unsuitable shoes, I think we did well!

After that I went home and had a nasty dilemma of having to choose between working for Lara on Sunday (and thus giving her an extra day on her holiday in the Drakensburg) or going to Chief Goth's house for a braai. I decided to be a good person and worked, which I regretted a lot as it turned out I was working with Laurin (of the spastic colon) who was acting as annoyingly as always, with the added bonus of being on energy pills or something. It was like working with an insanely hyperactive talking machine with the volume UP. Fortunately her boyfried came to visit and they went outside to chat, so I had a little bit of a respite, but as she keeps getting in trouble for spending half her shifts ouotside with said boyfriend, every time anyone came near the counter or the phone rang she came screeching back in, usually yelling about something she thought was funny or imitating dumb comedy shows she's been watching over and over and over... I never thought I'd be the type to share exasperated looks with customers, but after 5 hours, we were all sighing and rolling eyes at what she considered to be her charming antics.

After that I rushed across to Chief Goth's house to join in for the tail end of the braai. It turned out it had been rained out, but she, a friend I'd met before and her brother were there, so I neded up staying until almost midnight, playing guitar hero. It was a lot of fun, but of course monday arrived, and now I am completely exausted!

To make things worse, I went to the zoo this morning. Luke was showing the new honours student around and I tagged along and took the opportunity to go say hi to Thandi. She was really sweet and she remembered me and it was awesome, but she also crapped on my back and smeared it ito my hair, so I had to wash it all out in the bathroom and now my shirt has a huge wet patch over the shoulder. It was worth it to see the little fuzzy monster again!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Things that make me feel better when I've had a bad day

So I haven't been in a very good way lately. I don't want to talk about it. when I feel unhappy with life, I like to look through my old photos and remember the adventures behind each one. So I figured that today I would share some of my favourites. I'm not going to explain them, but rather let people use their imaginations!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hard to know where I stand

First things first: the kitten found a new home! So I can stop worrying about her which is great. I'm still a bit sad that I couldn't have her, but I guess two dogs and two birds are probably a pretty good reason to avoid having cats.

It was a hard weekend. After the excitement of getting blue hair along with my haircut on Thursday, I think my enthusiasm for life was a little bit tapped out. That and the fact that I'm not being a very good friend to most people at the moment, even though I have been trying to try has made me want to crawl into my bed and not emerge for a few days.

I watched a movie last night. I can't decide if I loved it or hated it. And that bothered me. I wish it was an easy-to-pigeonhole (love & will watch again/hate/apathetic and so on) movie. Instead I didn't enjoy it much but I can't stop thinking about it.

I really don't feel like saying anything profound today. Too much coffee... I think I'm going to take a walk...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Of memories and weird dreams

So lately I've been watching the x-files a lot... and it always results in me having weird dreams. Once I got to the end of season 7 I found that season 8 wasn't really grabbing my attention (although the weird dreams got weirder, particularly whenever I fell asleep in front of the tv during an episode, which happened quite often. Considering that the only other option was watching our cricket team skillfully grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory (and that's all I will say about that except that Duminy rocks!) it wasn't too bad.
Then I really got into spending my work-time playing with visual basic and my free time at the gym or doing photography and my dreams returned to normal. Then last night i had the weirdest dreams!

It was like I was a little kid again, and two memories that I had all but forgotten resurfaced: The first was about easter when I was about 8 years old. I found a white t-shirt in my room and started drawing on it with koki-pens. I drew all the Easter-related stuff I could think of: eggs, rabbits, brightly-coloured squiggles and so on. And when my mom caught me she didn't yell at me, as I would expect any parent to do upon catching their offspring drawing on clothes, but rather she gave me a bunch of other pens to use and I completely covered the t-shirt in drawings. On Easter day we went out to the East rand to my grandparents and I wore the t-shirt all day, despite the funny comments from various relatives. The sad part was that when it was washed the bright colours all washed out leaving a tie-dye effect with some of the other drawings staying, so the shirt was pretty much ruined, which i was very sad about. I had hoped it could replace my favourite shirt (which had a plastic face on it that played a song when you pressed the eye, actually my brother and I each had one but we ended up sharing when one of them went through the washing machine and the face came off...).

The other dream also revolved around me destroying clothes... my favourite game as a child was throwing my barbie dolls out my window and waiting for it to rain. Then I would bring them inside, cut my clothes into strips and bandage them up. This really upset my mom, although quite often she would wonder where a specific item of clothing was and then one day she'd go into my room, see brightly-coloured strips of cloth lying around, mentally connect the dots and go "Oh, Helen..." anyway the thing I remembered in my dream was not about any of this, but I felt I must explain the scenario. when I was about 6 I desperately wanted a porcelain doll. My grandmother obliged and for Christmas I got one and named her Lily (yes, really!). She was extra-cool because she wasn't one of those stiff ones that have to go up on stand and you can't play with then, but she was made out of a bean-bag type body, with china arms legs and head. I spend almost every waking minute with the doll, and even got a matching haircut once (it helped that it was identical to my usual haircut, but I took her along to the hairdresser to show him what I wanted. He seemed quite tickled to be taking orders from a 6-year old and even offered to take the hair he'd cut off me to make her a new wig. I refused.). So what the dream was (and this really happened) was one day when I was about 7 or 8 and there was a drought, so none of my barbies were getting 'injured' enough, I decided that Lily needed open-heart surgery and so i took a permanent marker and drew stitches across her stomach.

The weird thing is that I'd completely forgotten about all of these things until I dreamed them! and when I woke up I went into my cupboards, and the doll still has 'stitches'! I will have to got through the photo-albums at some stage and confirm the existence of the amazing Easter t-shirt, but I'm pretty sure that happened too...
I'm sorry to drag on about this, but it's the first time I've ever had a 'real' dream, and definitely the first time a dream has brought back memories that I'd forgotten!
On another note entirely, this is the kitten who is currently sitting at the vet and looking for a home. She's the sweetest cat ever, so if anyone knows anyone who wants a cat and could give her a good home, please let me know!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good Company

So while I was working the other day (with Lara) we had to watch all the DVDs that had been brought in with reports of damage. So we ended up watching Mamma Mia. The main point of that was that the alternative were 3 copies of the new Mummy movie, or 2 copies of Don't mess with the Zohan. We also took it as a bonus that we could annoy the poor guy who had to work with us as we sang along to songs that we didn't really know while making up works that kind of fitted.

And by then end of the movie we were giggling helplessly and thoroughly enjoying it. Then I took it home to watch the beginning (we'd only started it halfway through because the damaged section was reported as later on in the movie) and I hated it.

Then I started to think of other movies that I loved when i saw them with other people but would never watch when I was alone:

  • Kung Pow: watching Matt giggling helplessly made me laugh, and it became a Saturday afternoon standard. I think I've seen it at least 50 times and La and I laugh like crazy every time.
  • Step up/Stick it/Save the Last Dance/insert any other dance movie title here: Although we usually watched these to annoy Chris, there's something all warm and fuzzy about watching dancing-movies that have a happy ending. unfortunately watching them alone is kind of like eating ice-cream or drinking alone, you feel guilty and don't enjoy it.
  • Snow Dogs: I saw it back in high-school and loved it, only to find that none of my other friends enjoyed it. I think I was just in the right mood.
  • Centre Stage: This deserves a separate entry to the other movies because I have seen it many times with many different people, and enjoyed the experience of watching it with them without actually enjoying the movie at all. I watched it with Lara (and Chris, poor Chris) the other day and we were almost crying we laughed so hard, between the eyebrows and the socks... No, I can't explain it!
  • Joe's apartment: you know the kind of movie that's so bad it's actually boring,but when you watch it with the right people... josh and Niel were watching it the other day and I found myself enjoying it rather more than I'd admit.
  • The Notebook/insert other romantic dramas here: I mainly enjoy these when I watch them with people who don't mind me yelling sarcastic comments at the screen. Even better if they join in!
  • Bad horror movies: who am I kidding, I love them! But among the better memories have to be jumping on some random tough guy during the ring and then running away, yelling "He's going to die next!' at random characters during... pretty much anything, watching Fragile in the farmhouse with the American (a weird bonding experience) and the Descent at Sedgefield with Luke and Duncan, and the Cave (also at the farmhouse) where I couldn't differentiate between the characters ("Not Kyle!" "That isn't Kyle!" "It so is!" "No, Kyle is already dead!" "no way! not Kyle?"), or even that horrible werewolf movie where we spent half the time looking for the zip on the costume...

That's all I can think of right now, so does anyone else have an movie experiences that are totally memorable because of the experience of seeing the movie with someone else rather than the actual film (which could be complete rubbish, or really good, it doesn't matter!)

no pain no... sympathy?

So somehow, during 6 days of not going to gym because I was on antibiotics and feeling miserable, I declined to a point where I am less fit now than I was when I started going back to gym about 2 months ago. How on earth did that happen? I figure I am just 'blessed' with some kind of negative metabolism or something. It's really frustrating because I was really starting to enjoy gym and I could feel myself getting fitter and stuff before I was forced into taking a break. so I might as well keep going, no rain or sleet or... whatever!

So I went to gym last night, so this morning I woke up feeling a little bit sore... but i had decided last night (in a fit of serious thinking while trying to block out the Hallmark movie that my mom decided to watch) that I would go to the 8am class at the gym today. Last time I went to a class I couldn't walk for about a week, but I figured that I've been exercising regularly for a while so it might be ok.

So I got changed into my pyjama pants (I have black pyjama pants that make awesome gym clothes because they're comfy and loose-fitting and stuff) and t-shirt and shuffled off to the gm. The class was fun, it was basically using little weights and doing all kinds of weird things that hurt a bit at the time (and a lot more now), but at some stage about 10 minutes into the class one of my contact lenses decided to move around to the back of my eye. I couldn't find it to move it back, so I figured that I might as well carry on with no depth perception as the only alternative would be to drive home with only one useful eye, or phone my mother to come and fetch me, which wold have been simple considering that I realized I'd left my phone at home.

So I carried on, and it was mostly ok, except at one point when apparently my posture was wrong, but I couldn't see the instructor's hand signals to me, so she stopped the class, paused the awful ABBA-danceified soundtrack (honey honey!) and came over and corrected me. At this point I must point out that while we were all relatively young, we were all gross and panting and tired by then, the instructor was around 65 and hadn't broken a sweat yet. her hair (in a lovely coiffed drag-forward fake-blonde bob) was perfect and I got the feeling she could tow a cement truck with a rope round her forehead.

After the class (why do people clap at the end of a class?) I went and grabbed my stuff from the changeroom while avoiding making eye-contact with any of the people from the class who were now parading around naked. One of them said something to me and I explained that I live right down the road so it's easier for me to go home and shower there, particularly because I had to go and pick up my laptop anyway because I don't feel comfortable leaving it in my car or in a locker with a 20mm padlock... I also managed to sort out the evil contact lens and stop tripping over things

So I got home to find that for some reason we had no water! I managed to kind of get my hair wet with the trickle coming from the shower-head before it died completely. So I was stuck with a dilemma: do I stay home for the day (not an option considering that there was no water and therefore no functional toilets or taps- so besides not being able to go to the bathroom, coffee would be limited), or go and shower at the gym, bearing in mind that the naked people prancing around are the ones who just said goodbye to me!

So I did what any sensible person would do: I made coffee and toast and then went for a swim. Once I was certain that anyone who would recognise me would be gone from the gym I went back and showered on my way in to university. And on the way I poured coffee down my shirt. And then it started raining and I realized I'd forgotten a jacket. I also realized that I'd RSVPed yes to something last night and then forgotten to go.

Fortunately Luke was in his lab and he gave me a jacket and lots of sympathy and now I feel a lot better! Except that I can't lift my arms...

Friday, January 09, 2009

A quick note

So while I was at the vet yesterday I had a weird quasi-out-of-body experience. You know when you're talking and suddenly you hear yourself but as if you were another person listening? I was tling to someone about her cats. I can't repeat the conversation, but here are the notes I took to give to the vet:

Snookums* is fighting with Sweetie-pie.
Sweetie-pie pulled stitches out, but cleaning with saline, ok?
Snookums is scared of Sweetie-pie
neither is eating

*Names have been changed, not because I fear for the cats' privacy (with an owner like tht they have none anyway), but rather because their real names are worse than the ones I made up. True!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Things I forgot to mention

  1. Yesterday was totally the day of awful unintentional puns. The example that springs to mind: a guy has a pet schnauzer that is going deaf. Apparently it's a good candidate for some weird experimental treatment with training the dog to respond to a collar that vibrates when you say certain words or something. I didn't follow the explanation too well, but he and the vet were sitting discussing the hearing test results for about an hour. As he left he told me to tell the vet something about how a lot of schnauzers are going deaf, but Dalmatians go deaf really often. I replied with "I've heard that!" Once what I'd said sunk in I apologised for the pun and he waved and left. He got into is car, started the engine, turned off the car, came back inside and said "I just got it! That was a terrible pun!"
  2. I've always been fascinated by medication that can be given to dogs and humans. For example if my dogs' allergies get bad, I know I can just give them one of my antihistamines. Yesterday while I was alone at the vet, I went to make coffee and discovered that one of the dogs in the hospital was throwing up. A lot. so I panicked and phoned the vet who rushed over and tried to help the dog an it was all very exciting! Once that was sorted he called another vet for advice on how to treat the dog and the vet recommended the same medication as I take for seasickness! Awesome no?
  3. I want to go to Malawi! One of the guys who works here is from Malawi and he was telling me about it yesterday and it sounds so incredible!

That is all!

a day in the life of...

Last night, as I was finishing up after a lovely quiet day at work, I got a message from Luke inviting me to movies with him and a few friends. Immediately the internal battle began – since I’ve been on antibiotics I’ve been too tired to go to gym and as it was my first day off the drugs I was planning on going to the gym to battle it out and panic over how unfit I’ve become. Seriously, if I go to gym every day it takes weeks for me to notice any improvement, but if I miss even one day I go downhill ridiculously fast. It’s really frustrating, but I guess I’m stuck with the metabolism I was born with and I have to keep going and live with it.

At the same time I haven’t been to see a movie in ages, and I hadn’t seen the usual movie gang in a long time either. To top it all off, Alfred, one of the guys who works at the vet, heard me stressing about the decision and decided to encourage me to go to the movie. So I decided to go home and then decide from there. When I left work I found that every single robot in the area wasn’t working. So there was a lovely gridlock. I called a friend who lives nearby and she said that it was clearish around her, so I managed to use backroutes and get to her house. She told me in no uncertain terms that I WAS going to the movies, and as I’d left some clothes at her house I was able to change (there was a horrible dog-vomit incident at the vet yesterday, and although I was able to avoid being in the line of fire at any stage, I still felt dirty and disgusting. Then she sat me down and did my makeup. Oh my gosh. The makeup! She’s done it for me before, but typically before we go out clubbing or somewhere where the panda look is ok. I did not intend to arrive at the movies looking like I’d been punched in the eyes, but when I went through my bag for my trusty makeup-remover wipes I realised that I’d left them at another friend’s house (moral of the story, pack up before you leave!).

So I got to the shopping centre and was greeted by a round of double-takes and a few very shocked expressions. They tried to say it was all about the hair (which is relatively bright red at the moment) but I felt really awkward. Once the initial “It wasn’t me! My friend did it and I can’t get it off!” explanation was out of the way I tried to ignore it, but I must admit, I felt uncomfortable, even in my car on the way home, until I got home and scrubbed it all off!

We went and saw ‘Yes Man’ which was really funny, although I caught myself wondering if it was really that great – a lot of the humour that had me giggling helplessly was the type that usually makes me avoid movies entirely. Either way, I was obviously in the right mood for the movie and I enjoyed most of it thoroughly (there was one scene that will stay with me for a bit, and not in a good way)!

This morning started off relatively well, I chatted to a friend, saw my parents off (they’ve taken my grandparents on holiday until Monday), went to gym and nearly died (seriously, a week ago I was the fittest I’ve been in ages and now it’s back somewhere beyond square one), checked my email, too a swim and the went rushing off to work. And that is where it all went wrong…

I was happily driving along a particular stretch of road that connects up to William Nicol (one of the big main roads). This road has two lanes in each direction, no driveways or concealed entrances and enough robots scattered along it that you don’t really ever have to worry about pedestrians jaywalking or anything. And for some completely incomprehensible reason, the powers-that-be decided to make the speed-limit along there 60km/h – the same as in a built-up area on a single lane road with driveways and schoolchildren and so on. In the nearly 5 years that I’ve been driving the only cars I’ve ever seen sticking to the speed limit along there are the dodgy ones that are stuck together with chewing-gum and string that can’t make it over 40 unless they’re on a downhill and they don’t have any passengers.

So of course, today of all days, they decided to sit behind the bushes with their speed cameras. And every single car on the road was pulled over. I was the second-last of my batch and the cop was really nice and polite, we chatted about the weather and how hot it was and then he decided to tell me that as I had been driving at 72km/h he had to give me a fine. I freaked out and explained that I was late for work (which by then I was) and that the road is straight and I hadn’t noticed and so on. To tell the truth I don’t think they’d used the camera on me at all, as they only pulled me over when I drove past, saw the cops and braked with a terrified expression on my face. I apologised profusely and asked if I could call my boss because I was running very late by then (I was about 15 minutes away and I had 5 minutes before my shift started) to tell him that I was going to be late and to find out if the morning receptionist could cover for me for a few minutes until I got there.

I don’t know if the guy had just been trying to scare me, or if the fact that I had taken off my sunglasses, made eye contact and asked how he was today made any difference, but he let me call the vet and explain that I was stuck in a roadblock with police, and then he told me to wait while the lady before me got her ticket. Once she had left he explained that he didn’t want her getting upset that she got a ticket and I didn’t, and he let me off with a warning. And so I drove like a grandmother to work where I collapsed behind the front desk and told my whole long story to the other staff at the vet. Charlotte, the morning lady (who looks about 20 years older than me, but it turns out she is actually a grandmother already) was really sweet and told me to drive carefully and was off on her way.

And that was my day today! Lets hope it gets better!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

We LET you win!

I must apologise for this post, but I haven't really sat down and watched the cricket for ages, and I felt that I must report back the exciting events of this morning. Plus I'm totally sleep-pdeprived and figured at least this had a framework rather than the mildly incoherent ramblings of the last day or two... here goes:

So I had to be up at the crack of dawn this morning to take my mom to get her car serviced. More accurately, I had to go and fetch my mom after she dropped her car off and take her to work. She left at around 7:30 am leaving me sitting with my birds, clutching a huge mug of coffee 9for the record, Lara gave me a giant mug for Christmas, and I thank her in my head every morning...) watching the end of the latest SA/Australia test match with my dad.

When I left we were tailing by 150 runs with one wicket in hand, which basically meant that we were never going to hit the total (not with low order batsmen) and so if we lasted out the last 20-odd overs we could force a tie. In the meantime, the batsmen in question were: one of our best bowlers, who unfortunately thinks that hes a great slugger and tends to swing blindly, and a newish recruit who had a freshly broken finger. On top of all the the pitch looked like some kind of cracked and dried up mud-flat. And who says cricket can't be exciting?

It was kind of silly, we already won the series, but the idea of our team coming home undefeated was kind of exciting! Once I got home from depositing my mother at the church (not abandoning her, she works there) I saw that my Dad was finishing his breakfast in front of the TV (a total NO-NO in my house, watching the TV at all during daylight hours has always been forbidden) and the cricket was still going. It seemed that with 4 overs to go, we were trailing by around 130 runs and the guy with a broken finger was out and replaced by our captain. Our captain is a great batsman, but during the last match he broke his hand and injured his elbow pretty badly.

So we sat and watched. It was less watching and more taking turns to cover our eyes at every ball, particularly when Slugger was on strike. he was dropped twice while I was out, and rather than doing the sensible thing and blocking everything that came at him, he decided to show off and hit two boundaries, nearly getting caught on his three-for-three attempt. At the end of that over the captain was on strike and trying desperately to get a a single to get to the safe end. We kind of wanted him to stay on strike because he relies on luck a little bit less... anyway there were something like 17 balls left, or 7 minutes if they finished before the time cut-off... and the captain was bowled out.

We were SO close!!! But at this point, I feel that I must say:

  1. we won the series already
  2. we nearly tied with two different guys playing with broken fingers

On the flip side, the bowler did deserve credit for navigating the cracks on the pitch and getting it past him. If the other batsman had done something stupid he would have been lynched the second he got back home.

So yes, Australia, you won. But only because we let you!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I am being followed... pet microchips! Before yesterday I think I handled around 2 or 3 microchips a year. I can put the numbers in the computer, and scan a stray dog or cat, but that's as far as it goes. Then, after checking our entire database yesterday, SIX different animals had them put in today! And that comes with the admin, the filing in of forms, the explaining everything to the owners...

And if someone really nice comes to the vet, is it wrong to hope that their dog needs a lot of veterinary care? I feel like a bad person!

So anyway as I seem to have lost the ability to form a coherent sentence, I am going to shut up now. I'm visiting Joey and we're aving Thai food! WooHoo!!! And I'm making fudge tomorrow to send along with my parents and grandparents on holiday, so if anyone happens to invite me for guitar hero...

Monday, January 05, 2009

exciting stuff!

I totally just finished my data-entry! It’s so exciting! And the vet just received an order of rather scary stuff, like morphine and anaesthetic and they totally let me sign for it!

And I took my camera to show to Joey this morning and we had all kinds of fun rushing around the video-store posing and generally looking like morons. On a more serious note, now that we both have fancy cameras and I’m comfortable working with animals, we’re thinking of starting a business photographing people’s pets. I got the idea yesterday after I saw the cutest puppy ever! It’s basically a complete mongrel, who was abandoned at the vet with a broken leg. After the owners didn’t come and collect her she was adopted by a really nice lady and she’s SO cute! I’ve never seen all the staff at the vet melt at the sight of a puppy before! And the coolest part: the dodgy mongrel from the prison arrived for her check-up in a Porsche! Ideas for starting said business?

In other news, Lara and crew totally played guitar-hero without me last night, I’m so offended… and I’m getting more blue streaks put in on Friday! So exciting!

Relieving the tedium by writing something tedious...

It’s been too long, once again! I guess working 2 jobs, house-sitting, having a social life and trying to keep up to date with university work caught up to me! To tell the truth, I could probably have managed to blog, if I’d made an effort to, but I pretty much avoided computers in general, except at work, or to watch dvds, or to do the mind-numbing and cripplingly boring task of data entry.

I’m at the vet at the moment. The joy of working during the week is that it’s pretty quiet, and the first 3(of 6) hours of the shift are when the vet isn’t open for consultations. So basically if someone wants a prescription refilled or to buy a bag of dog food, I’m your girl, but other than that I plug in my trusty laptop and get paid to get my work done.

Not so today. I as afraid that there might be a few bits of admin for me, last week the computer system crashed and so the practise was running manually for a few days (not the playing solitaire manually, but also giving out meds, and consults and food and and and…) so I expected to have to enter some stuff.

Instead I arrived to find a rather gigantic stack of microchip forms waiting for me, with a note on it (the joy of the vets not being available for 3 hours is that if they’re not doing surgeries I don’t see them for the first few hours unless something explodes or something). It turns out that one of the people who works here isn’t very good about putting the ID numbers into the computer system. This creates problems as runaway dogs from the area are pretty likely to be brought in to this practise where in all likelihood they were microchipped in the first place. So we scan them, check the ID number against our records, find no match and then call the national database people for information, only to find out that the dog lives 2 blocks away from us and it’s all rather embarassing.

So I got to spend my afternoon with a pile of all the microchip forms since 2003, checking the numbers, entering the missing ones and cross referencing them with the dog or cat, and checking the phone numbers and addresses on the system. It was horrible! It took me two and a half hours! And then of course, when I finished, after a celebratory cup of coffee with one of Candice’s excellent Hannumas (I REFUSE to bow to the O.C) biscuits the floodgates opened and everyone in the world decided to get their animals checked out. That lasted for an hour and then it calmed down, but I’m so tired from the monotony of imputting 10-digit codes (letters and numbers) that I can’t bring myself to do any actual work.

The neighbourhood has a fair number of businesses, and so a lot of them have put adverts around a free calendar that I get to hand out. I just noticed that one of them is for “Dr Flush plumbing services” which is complete with a picture of a devil’s tail… I will have to get a photo tomorrow!

In other news, Christmas was the usual family overload, but fun. I got the cutest tripod EVER and bought my brother’s camera from him (bought in the sense that I have it, not that I’ve paid him yet). I haven’t really done too much playing, but it’s my first SLR camera and I’m really excited! Unfortunately in order to pay for it I have to work a ridiculous number of daylight hours and so the playing must wait.
New Years was awesome but exhausting, particularly since I was rushing backwards and forwards between where I was house-sitting, home, friends’ houses and work things re winding up for the start of the year now and I’m a bit nervous about all the work I have to do this year! I can’t believe last year went by so quickly, even if I was off on fieldwork for a third of it!

Not too exciting I’m afraid, I’ll try to think of some of the funny stuff that happened and post it later!