Thursday, 29 December 2011

2011 - A Review

Fireworks over Sydney Harbour [via]
For some reason I always am surprised when it comes to the end of the year. It seems as though the year went by so fast, and yet it takes as long as it always does! In the past New Years Eve (NYE) has been a big deal, and unfortunately it is often a let down when it doesn't live up to the hype. This year our celebration will be a fairly quiet one (hanging out at my sister's), but should still be quite fun. 

Usually on NYE just before the countdown to midnight I quickly take stock of the past year, without much proper time to reflect. So I thought I would put a bit more effort in this time, and I'm glad I did because I remembered some cool things. 

For me, 2011 was a year of NEW...

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Just a short note to say that I hope you and your family have a joyful Christmas! 
Luke 2:10-12: But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Listen, a Savior has been born to you today who is Christ the Lord. Here is your sign: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” [pic from here]

Thursday, 22 December 2011

'Tis the Season for Cooking Mishaps

...well by me, anyway. I guess I shouldn't be overly surprised considering my burnt icecream and chocolate 'dog poo frisbees' of the past, but I thought maybe this time would be better. 

So this is what I'm attempting to make, stained-glass star cookies for Christmas presents for friends:

Excuse photo quality, it's a photo of the cooking magazine I'm using.

I was excited to get started because this is the first time I've needed to use my mixing machine thing (technical term). So I'm not entirely sure why this happened...

oops.
See that wonky bit of metal on the left? Yeh, that wasn't like that when I started. The machine has two holes for two beaters, so I put both in, and they clashed. One emerged the victor (clearly not the one pictured). Was I not supposed to use both? Is one a spare? I really have no idea. 

So anyway I started just using the machine with the non-broken one. Then I realised the metal bowl was getting scratched. See that plastic little cover thing on the top of the pictured beater (which I assume is used to protect things from being scratched)? Well the other one doesn't seem to have one... ANYMORE (? or I'm hoping it never did but I can't remember). So I had to search through all the cookie dough looking for a weird bit of plastic. I haven't found anything. 

Thank God this batch is the test bach. I'm going ahead with cooking them (just waiting for the dough to refrigerate for a bit) just to see how they turn out. Don't worry friends, you aren't going to be getting these ones with the potential bit of plastic.

Well stay tuned for an update, I'll let you know how the cookies turn out!  

**Updated after the jump**

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Advice #2

In a previous post, I mentioned that I am now willing to give unprofessional, potentially unhelpful advice. As promised (quite some time ago actually but let's pretend I didn't take so long) I have finally come up with some answers to some of your questions. You'll be happy to know these questions are not ones I made up myself this time (though don't rule that out for the future)!

Question #1: Dear Lozzz123, You offered advice. I want advice. I am not near as cool as you and though I know I never will be, I was hoping you might inform me as to how I might earn cool points with you and everyone else in the universe, including the plants and the aliens. Please and thank you, Truly yours, With Utmost Sincerity, Uncool Ursula.

Dear Uncool Ursula: Firstly, I'd like to congratulate you on your politeness and flattery. It's always a fine start to getting in my 'good books'. Secondly, after consulting with both the plants and the aliens (once I took off my foil hat, of course) we came up with some simple tips to be more awesome and earn those coveted cool points. These tips are... 
Hold on a sec. Why should I give these tips away for free when this is clearly a lucrative opportunity? Actually, you can get some of these tips following a down payment of $149.95, and you then have the option of signing up for my extra-special coolness classes for the additional fee of $678.84 (per class). Contact me and I'll give you my bank details for a direct-debit transfer.  

Question #2: Ixy asked (without the Dear Lozzz123 but I'll let it go this time hehe...): Why is the sky only blue on weekdays when I'm inside an office building? Where oh where has my metabolism gone? How many eggs does it take to make a decent omelette (thought I'd give you an easy one there)? 

Dear Ixy, I searched the internets for an answer to the blue sky question, and I believe this answer was the best: 

As for your second question on your missing metabolism, I think I actually saw it go past me at the shops on Sunday. It tried to hide with a fake moustache, but I'm not that easily fooled. With regards to the omelette, I use 3-4 eggs for a 2-serving one (true story). 

Question #3: Dear Lozzz123, I'm stuck in a comment factory. Please give me advice about how to escape. Thanks, Oompa Commenter.

Dear Oompa Commenter: Left, right at the second fountain, hide and wait 3 minutes for the guard to pass, then left, left, straight for 30 metres, right at the roundabout, go over the wooden bridge, knock not once, not twice, but thrice at the green door (woe to the person who knocks at the blue one). Once through it's two rights, and a left. You're welcome. 

I think you'll agree that we are all greatly enriched from all that advice. Feel free to ask for more advice in the comments, or go here and fill out the comment form if you'd like to retain your anonymity.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Challenge Accepted!

So for a while I've been wondering which thing to next cross off my 30 before 30 list, and then went and did something that I'd completely forgotten was on the list anyway!

It all started on Saturday, when Husband had the day off work for once. We went out for lunch, and on the way back to the car I spotted a tattoo shop that had a sign saying "we do piercings". I mentioned to husband that I still meant to get my lip pierced one day, to which he laughed and said something along the lines of "Sorry but I don't think you're ever going to be able bring yourself to do that"... challenge accepted!

#12 complete! Sorry for crappy quality iPhone pic!

Thankfully, it was nowhere near as painful as I thought it might be. It's still a tiny bit swollen, and eating, drinking and brushing my teeth are still a bit of an issue, but overall I really like it! I think the owner of the tattoo place thought I was a bit precious though asking if the piercing would permanently mark my face - especially since he had a spider web tattoo covering half of his!

In other 30 before 30 news, I'm a bit closer to also completing #7 - get my drivers licence. I've always argued that I don't want to learn to drive on husband's car as I'd feel terrible if I wrecked it, especially since he needs it for work. Although potentially a lame reason, yesterday I got my own car - hooray! 

Husband named it Kirby...
...Like this little guy! [via]





It was a very busy weekend!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Something about work.

Well in what is basically completely copying from Little Missy Me who answered the following questions that came from here, I too have decided to jump on the bandwagon and talk about work stuff.

1. What is the worst job you have ever had?
I would have to say it's a tie, between the job I had at a bakery (which I've actually already mentioned here), and a clothes store. While at the clothes store I really liked most of the staff I worked with, I am really not cut out for retail. I kind of hate people (sorry people) so although I was supposed to approach each person who entered the store to greet them in a bubbly manner and make them spend all their money, I much preferred to go in the opposite direction and avoid them entirely, and just fold shirts and stuff. Even worse was when I had to work at the outlet version of the store which was super messy and the people were so cheap (would try to get you to give them a discount on a $5 item because it was the last one and not in their size - so what!?) and rude. Seriously, people wouldn't even say words to get my attention, they'd just click (one person even kind of hissed at me)! I was extremely satisfied the day I got to quit. Ok gripe over haha. 

2. Have you ever been fired?
Yes. Though I like to think that none of those situations were actually my fault, but actually due to this guy who I think was a job curse, or a harbinger of firings, if you will.  

3. What would your dream job be?
Well I think it would be a psychology academic (which I'm currently on track to be if I ever finish my PhD!), but also to be able to be a clinical psychologist and see clients too (which does require more uni, but I'm ok with that!). However, after I went to the zoo on the weekend, I also would be pretty happy working with gorillas. They are awesome, and it's a good excuse to include another gorilla picture!  

More of my zoo pictures here and also on my facebook page.

4. What did you want to be when you "grew up"?
I was a pretty ambitious kid. I was under the impression that doctors and lawyers were the most prestigious and smart-people professions, so I was happy to be either of those. However, psychology started to stand out to me as a teenager (which I spoke about a bit here) as the profession I really wanted to be involved in when I grew up. Something about it just clicked when I was looking into it, that made me think 'this is what I'm meant to do'. Also I do realise psychology is kind of a 'helping people' profession, and I've just stated earlier that I hate people - this is obviously a bit contradictory! So to clarify, I think I'll say I hate people out in public, who often seem to be selfish, loud and annoying (and clip their nails on public transport. Seriously this happened on the train on Sunday on the way to the zoo). However the workings of people's brains, and how things can go wrong (and how to fix it) really really fascinates me.

5. How old were you when you got your first job?
I think 16 or 17? It was towards the end of high school. It was at a little cafe/deli and I didn't mind it, except for the cleaning. However, this was the start of the job curse and I eventually got fired because they ran out of money to pay me (though now I think of it, perhaps that was just their nice way of getting rid of me because they thought I was crappy?). 

Well on the topic of work, maybe I should now go do some, hey! 

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Zoo.

Even though we were supposed to go about a month ago, we finally made it to the zoo yesterday. It was a long day, as the zoo is huge and requires a lot of walking. As you can imagine I used my camera a lot, so be prepared for a very photo-heavy post! It was wonderful weather and husband and I caught the ferry out to the zoo from the city. Here are some snaps I took of some Sydney landmarks that we went past in the ferry:

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Opera House
And of course, I took a lot of photos of the awesome animals. Here are some of our favourites...

Friday, 18 November 2011

That's boring. You're boring everybody. Quit Boring Everyone!

Well now that I've prepared you for what may be a potentially boring post I will continue (though hopefully I haven't biased you towards viewing it as boring by saying that - am I over thinking this? Have I had too much caffeine? I'd say so). Anyway...

A while ago I read this article about nesting in the office. Some argue that having a clean and clutter-free work desk leads to more productivity, while others suggest that 'nesting' (having personal items, and work organised in a way that is however you want) can make you feel more comfortable and at 'home' and therefore that is more productive. I personally agree with the latter. I am so glad in the PhD office that we each get our own little cubicle that we can decorate however we want. Here's mine in case you're interested: 

Astute/regular readers will notice my 'motivational' Productive June Poster - Sleeping is for Unproductive Losers.
Much to my surprise, that plant (named Artemis Esq.) has been alive in my care since 2008!
This is Percy. He is my favourite solar-powered toy. His little head and feet move and everything!

As you can see, when it comes to decorating I am a seven year old child. I like lots of bright colours and toys. Some people may find it distracting to have all this stuff on their desk, but it just makes me feel like it is my place. Most of the time I forget it's there while I'm working, but it's a good quick mental break (and eye exercise people!) to look around at a variety of fun things.

What do you think? Is 'nesting' productive or unproductive? 

P.S. Thanks to those of you who submitted questions for my valuable 'advice'. I will work on answering some soon! There's still time to ask questions also - HERE!
P.P.S. I have a facebook methingy now! Take a look and be my friend please :)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Is your hand an alien?

No, not like ET. [via]
Is it weird that I have a favourite syndrome? I really don't wish to make light of what I'm sure is a difficult situation, but I truly find Alien Hand Syndrome (AHS) fascinating. It also probably doesn't help that there are documentaries about it that have terrible/amusing re-enactment scenes (I love dodgy re-enactments). So what is it and how does it happen?
 
I should note this is really quite rare; according to this BBC article in 2000 there were at that time approx 40 people with an Alien Hand. Basically, although it can occur due to brain damage (and possibly even a prion disease), it is most well known for occuring following a surgical procedure called a corpus callosotomy. Some people have seizures that are so severe that medication does not help. As a last resort (though to be honest I'm not sure how often this happens now), surgeons will sever the two brain hemispheres at the corpus callosum - the part of the brain that allows the two hemispheres to communicate with each other. Doing this means a seizure will only be localised to one hemisphere and the seizure can no longer spread to the entire brain. This means the effects of the seizure will be far less debilitating for the sufferer. However this often brings with it a curious side effect: sometimes parts of one side of the body will at times no longer seem to be under the person's control. As the left side of the brain generally contains most of the language functions, and the right side does not, when they are separated it is hard to consciously understand what occurs on that side - hence the behaviour of the left hand seems inexplicable and disobedient (yes I said left hand - this is because the hemispheres of the brain control the opposite side of the body). As such their hand appears 'alien' to them and does all sorts of bizarre behaviours. 

No, not like Thing either.
Anecdotes include a person with one hand trying to get dressed and doing up buttons, with the alien hand simultaneously trying to undress them; one hand trying to put a cigarette in their mouth and light it, while the alien hand slaps it away "I guess he doesn't want me to smoke!"; and enter the terrible re-enactment - the alien hand trying to drive the person off the road (at ~5 min of this youtube clip of an AHS documentary, though consider watching the whole thing, pretty interesting). 

What can be done about this 'wayward' hand? In case of brain injury, it is possible that with time and recovery it will gradually come back under the control of the person. However in other cases where the connection has been permanently severed, this may be less likely. There has also been a study that tried antipsychotic medication and botox injections to control 'limb leviation' frequency in the alien hand; however the antipsychotic was found to cause a psychotic episode (yes strangely that can happen), and I'm a bit unsure what I think of the botox idea - isn't it just paralysing the arm? As such management techniques may be better: for example, occupying the hand with other tasks such as grasping an object.

I remember seeing some of the abovementioned documentary when I was younger, and it further cemented my love for psychology and neuroscience. Also with AHS comes some intriguing philosophical questions: Does the less dominant right hemisphere actually have a different (potentially more primal) personality that is usually under the control of the more rational left hemisphere? Does AHS refute free will /are we really in control of our own actions? Do you love poorly-acted re-enactments as much as I do? Ok the last question isn't so philosophical but important nevertheless. 

P.S. If you're interested in more information please feel free to ask me, as I obviously love talking about it! This 'stuff you should know' clip on AHS is cool too. 

P.P.S. For no real reason I can think of except all the cool kids are doing it, I now also have a facebook page. So please 'like' it for updates and special extras*!

*content may not be special or extra.  

Friday, 4 November 2011

Advice?

I pride myself on giving un-asked for, un-wanted, un-professional advice. I have no real basis for a lot of my opinions; besides the fact that I'm doing a PhD in Psychology, I have no actual clinical training. Even still, I think I'm a fairly persuasive person, so at least some people go away thinking the advice I gave was useful (whether it was or not really is an entirely different story). Though now I think of it, there was this one time my advice was voted the top answer on yahoo! answers (true story). That's got to count for something, right? 

So with that caveat, I have decided that if you would like to ask me for random advice, I am happy to tell you what I think. There is a contact page you can go to, where you can ask anonymous questions. If enough people (i.e., more than one) have questions, I will go about answering them. If not, well please join me in pretending this whole venture never occurred.

Just so you can be astonished at my advice-giving powers, I have provided some example (read: pretend) questions, so you can see my extremely wise answers.

Question #1: Dear Lozzz123, I'm extremely sad of late, because I have begun to realise that there is no way I will ever be as awesome as you. Please give me some awesome tips, or some ways to deal with not being as awesome as you. Regards, Depressed.

Dear Depressed. I'm sorry you're so unhappy, but at least you came to this realisation sooner than later. There's no reason to live in denial. With that being said, you'll be happy to know your condition is not entirely without hope. While of course, you can never be as awesome as I am (NEVER), you can try to copy me in every way. People will then at least give you credit for not only recognising my brilliance, but choosing the right person to emulate. Otherwise, I hear there's a tribe in the Amazon or somewhere which has had no outside contact, ever. They've possibly never heard of me, so you could go live with them, without fearing the constant reminders of my awesomeness.

Question #2: Dear Lozzz123, do you think I should do a PhD? Thanks, Wondering.

Dear Wondering, Yes. On the other hand, probably not. One of those.

Question #3: to lazz123 ur hott. 

Dear Anonymous, spelling and grammar can be your friends. I suggest you introduce yourself to them. (See what I did there? They didn't actually ask for advice, but I gave it anyway - and see how much I will enrich their life if they take this on board?)

So there you have it. Ask away! 


P.S. I'm may answer serious questions also.
P.P.S. Disclaimer: advice may not be useful or helpful and could potentially make your life worse. Just sayin'.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Anniversary

Yesterday (Sunday) was my one year wedding anniversary with my husband. I can hardly believe it's been that long already! We didn't do too much, as we mostly celebrated a few weeks ago when we went to the Blue Mountains. We did however go out to dinner Saturday night - and got to see a lot of weird halloween costumes also. Unfortuantely Husband had a cold, so we kept the rest of the weekend fairly quiet, we've postponed our trip to the zoo 'til next week. As promised however I will now show you the present I gave him. It's nothing too big (as our present to each other was the trip), but he really seemed to like it anyway which is good. 



What is that? You ask. Well it's a picture frame with the speech I said to Husband at our wedding reception. It's not written in squibbly - it's actually Greek. For those of you who don't know, Husband is Greek and I spent the year leading up to our wedding secretly taking Greek lessons so I could surprise him and his family on the day.

I am usually not the sappy type, but I do think I'll share this. I forgot that just before my wedding I sent myself an email using the cool website FutureMe to be sent on our anniversary. So here it is (slightly edited):

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Where have you been young lady!?

scolding old lady from here
Well firstly, thank you for calling me 'young'. Sometimes I feel quite old at 26, so it's nice to be called that (don't scoff older people). Secondly, don't be concerned, the rumours aren't true: I did not actually turn into a zombie and I haven't been roaming the streets in search of brains ever since. The fairly boring truth is that our internet at home has had a lot of issues of late (still dodgy unfortunately), and I've been trying to be studious at uni and not write blog posts when I'm supposed to be PhD-ing.

So just a little bit of a recap on what I've been up to of late, based on three areas...

Science: Well, unfortunately still nobody has been signing up for my experiments. I suspect it's due to all the strict preparation requirements to give a saliva sample to test for cortisol; you must wake up between 6am and 8am, can't have had alcohol 12 hours prior to the experiment, can't have had caffeine a few hours before either, can't have eaten in the last hour, can't be on most types of medication, can't be a smoker... etc. The waking up between 6am and 8am would be my biggest problem along with the no caffeine, so even I wouldn't participate in my experiment! I'm hoping at the beginning of next semester when all the keen beans (i.e., nerds) are excited about experiments, I will get more participants. In the mean time I've just been trying to write papers and parts of my thesis.

Spouses: I only have one of those, but things are going good! It's actually our one year wedding anniversary on Sunday - woohoo! Our main celebration was actually when we went to the Blue Mountains a few weeks ago, but we're still going to have a small celebration this weekend by going out to dinner Saturday, and some sort of outing Sunday (we're thinking the zoo). Since the first year is traditionally supposed to be paper, I have made a present which I will show you after my Husband's seen it. 

Silliness: Not too much in the way of silliness lately. At least on a large scale. You'll be happy to know I still manage to fit in a small amount of silliness into each day. Or if I can't manage it, sometimes Husband contributes which is nice - not that long ago he decided to show me he could jump backwards down the stairs (our apartment is at the top of three flights of stairs). I, more concerned than impressed, yelled out "don't" and at that exact moment he went tumbling down. Thankfully no trips to the hospital were required, just a slightly bruised ego.

Well there you have it. 
 
What have I missed/what have YOU been up to lately? 

Friday, 14 October 2011

Strange things are afoot...

Just thought I'd share three odd/cool things I came across the other day.

The first: love a bit of alien conspiracy!

"there will be space ships by then"
The second: I'd just gotten off the bus at uni to see this - an elderly conga line! So cute, and yet entirely random.

sorry for crappy photo quality - had to covertly snap on my iphone!
The third: thanks to @cestaz for pointing this article out to me on twitter... apparently some zombies got injured on the set of a movie. Paramedics arriving at first thought some terrible catastrophe occurred and couldn't immediately tell all the blood was fake! It's funny to me especially, because the other night when I was dressed as a zombie I said to husband: "today would be a really bad day for a car accident - paramedics would have no idea which were my real injuries!"

That is all.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

BRAAAAAINS.

As promised, here are some photos of me as a zombie, from the costume party on Saturday. I had a lot of fun with the fake blood - though it's not so fun to try and clean off when you get home and want to sleep! The main place I had trouble removing the stains was from my nails, so I just put red nail polish over the top. Problem solved (well temporarily at least haha)!


Here is a picture of my shirt, and one of me trying to look super menacing.


And here is me trying to eat Husband's brains! He's dressed as Ron Burgundy, by the way.

Overall it was a very fun night. One highlight was on the way to the party hearing two random girls walking behind us:

Girl 1: Gasp! Look at all the blood!
Girl 2 (to me): Ummm, your hand is bleeding?
Me (turning around): I AM A ZOMBIEEEE!!
Girls: Aaargh! 

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Fun vs. Sensible

After the excitement of agreeing to go away next year to the US and thinking about all the places we'd go, we then had to think of the serious (boring) stuff - like will we actually be able to afford this? I do think if we're careful in our spending the next year it should be ok - but considering I'm planning to submit my thesis before we go (aargh!) I will not actually have a scholarship when we get back. So we need to plan for having money for when we return also.

I'm hoping that the 'saving for something fun' thing will be a bit more motivating than the 'saving to be sensible' plan of the past has been. Apologies if this is not super exciting, but here are some things I plan to do to make this dream a reality:


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Instead of marking...

...I'd much prefer to pretend I'm still away at the Blue Mountains. We had such a good time, that we didn't really want to come back yesterday. Even though it was cold, and rainy in parts we still managed to do a lot of looking around. Not to mention a lot of eating! There was also the small issue of me forgetting my bag. When we arrived at the B&B (which was lovely, and the owners were so nice), I realised that my bag of clothes, pyjamas etc. was still sitting at home. A big oops. So we did have to quickly find a clothes shop so I wouldn't be stuck in the same clothes for four days. 

We went to Echo Point, which is one of the best places to view the Three Sisters; Jenolan Caves, which was really cool; Scenic World (a bit of a lame name if you ask me but still interesting) where we got to ride the steepest incline railway in the world down to the valley and look around the rainforest of the mountains, and came back up via cable car; and we also looked around Leura, which is a nearby town which is very pretty and has lovely gardens called Everglade Gardens. It was a great early anniversary present, and Husband and I definitely want to go back ASAP - like tomorrow, please?

Click to enlarge
Here are some photos I took! Clockwise from top left: the gardens at our B&B; View of the Three Sisters from Echo Point; Inside Lucas Cave at the Jenolan Caves; Tulips from Everglades Gardens; Another shot of Lucas Cave; Outside Jenolan Caves.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Instead of packing...

...well here I am. I am very thankful that it is a long weekend this weekend, and as a semi-early 1st anniversary present (our actual anniversary is at the end of Oct) we are going away for the weekend to the Blue Mountains. Google maps tells me that it's less than 2 hours drive away from home, but as we suspect many people have similar plans in mind for the long weekend, traffic will be interesting to say the least. 

If you have never been to the Blue Mountains before, I highly suggest it. It looks like this:
Photo from here, because I'm pretty sure the photos I take this weekend won't be as good!

The only minor glitch is that when booking I thought "Hey, since Husband actually has Tuesday off from work too, we should stay Monday night too and come back Tuesday". So we went ahead and booked. Exactly five minutes after that I remembered: I tutor two two-hour classes on Tuesdays, and have for the whole semester. They start at 11am, so guess who's leaving early to get back in time. Oops. Anyhoo - hope you all have a good weekend :)


P.S. Well I just checked the weather forecast for tomorrow for the Blue Mountains. Top of 10°C (50°F) and rain. Hahah oh dear.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Exciting News!

Well, for me anyway. I'm not sure how exciting you'll find this information, but it's my blog and I'll say what I want to hehe. It's also not so news-y for people who also follow me on twitter since I've already mentioned it there. But oh well. By the way, before I go any further I'd like to state NO I'm not pregnant.

Since I got back from New York earlier this year, I've been thinking it would be cool to go on a longer trip to the US, as New York is the only place I've been there, and Husband hasn't been at all. However it didn't seem like it would happen any time soon. Then yesterday morning I had a dream I was organising going and talking about which places to visit. When I woke up (at 4am mind you) I was very sad to find out it wasn't real. As Husband was getting up for work at the time (poor him) I sleepily asked him if we could go next year and to my surprise he said yes! So of course this meant it was extremely difficult to get back to sleep because I started calculating in my head how much money we'd need and could save, and my list of places we could go. I finally got back to sleep a bit after 7am. When I got up again a bit later, of course I wasn't really able to get much work done. I did however make an excel spreadsheet of the order of places I wanted to go to, and how many days at each place (yes, I know how nerdy this sounds).

"I want to go to there". [map from here]

Poor Husband when he got home from work got bombarded with all my plans. When I'm really excited about something I do seem to go a bit overboard and start organising right away (if only that excitement would return about uni work!). I've very begrudgingly nicely conceded however that he is welcome to think this through for himself and change my plans accordingly, since it's his trip too!

As it stands however we'll probably be going mid September next year, for nearly two months, getting back in time for Husband's brother's wedding in November. There is one potential glitch in this plan however - which is when will I be submitting my PhD thesis? I'm hoping that having a definite deadline of when I'm leaving the country will help me to actually finish up by then. As the time gets closer, I'll have to re-evaluate how likely this is. 

For now though, I should probably stop imagining all the places we might go, and get back to uni work, or maybe I won't be finished in time! I will post later on where we plan to go once Husband agrees with me helps decide our itinerary :P

Saturday, 24 September 2011

I have a confession to make...

I like to consider myself an organised person. I write many to-do lists, and get great satisfaction in ticking items off (which I usually why I add things like 'eat lunch'). However I must confess that one area in which there is zero organisation, is at home. Although we generally do have a 'shopping night' on Mondays, this is mostly because by the end of the weekend all the food is so long gone that we have to go shopping or else decide to not eat any more. The main problem is the vast chasm between how our place looks most of the time, and how it looks when guests are expected. Basically, the couple of hours before people are due to arrive, I freak out. I try to make Husband join me in the freaking out, but he doesn't seem all that concerned. He does politely humour me though, and does help out considerably. However this huge gap in 'regular clean' and 'guest clean' might explain why invitations to have people over aren't all that forthcoming right now! 

Don't worry, it's nowhere near this bad! [source]

Someone once said to me "true friends invite people over regardless of the tidiness of their house". I assume it's because supposedly true friends won't really care about how it looks, they're there for the company. I still can't bring myself to subscribe to this though. I feel that it's respectful to put in the time and effort for your friends. However, the other reason is probably that if I can fool these friends into thinking I'm this clean and organised all the time, I can still fool myself that this is the case.

Something needs to change though. Besides the fact that the pre-guest freak out isn't all that fun, I don't actually like seeing the house so cluttered and disorganised. That's as far as I've gotten in the matter however - thinking something has to change. What I can do about it though, is still a mystery to me! 

Do you have a regular schedule to keep your house organised? Any suggestions (please!)? 

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Oh, she's talking about zombies AGAIN.

That's right people. I'm very excited to be going to dress up party soon - the theme is favourite movie (or similar). So I've decided to go as a zombie from Shaun of the Dead. I will put up pictures when the time comes. I tried to get husband to agree to be a zombie also, but he's instead opted to be Ron Burgundy from Anchorman - he's ordered the horrible suit and everything. I've been hearing quotes from that movie ever since. The only quote I can do in return (as a zombie) is: grrnrnnnnnnnnrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhh.

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If you had to dress up as a favourite movie character, who would you be?

Monday, 12 September 2011

It's that time again...

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Uni elections. Ugh. No offense to people who care about this stuff, but I am at best apathetic towards politics. Even if I did care however, I'm sure I'd still find it annoying, because it gives people reasons to get in my face and start talking at me whether I want them to or not. Unfortunately, I do seem to have a face that suggests I am a very non-threatening person, so I get approached by strangers A LOT (see post on being a loony beacon for proof). Also unfortunately, I have a lot still to learn about how to be assertive. One year I got cornered by this guy in a stairwell very passionately preaching his particular party's policies until I finally did a little shriek and ran away. 

Not only do we have these people trying to get votes, but there's always many people around uni trying to get people to sign up for charities and such. Perhaps it's because they think uni students care about causes. However what they don't seem to remember is that many uni students do not actually have any money. Now, I am all for charities. I think they're very important and I'm happy to donate to my favourite ones on a regular basis, and I'm glad there are other people who do too. However I do not appreciate the tactics some use to essentially force non-assertive types into giving their money. I myself not that long ago got talked into signing a contract to have money taken from my account monthly, when all I wanted to do was walk past this person to the train station! Adding to this the fact that I don't actually like talking to people on the phone, and was not happily anticipating the guilt trip I'd get for trying to get out of it, I ended up giving money for 6 months! 

The problem is, although they're doing something that annoys me greatly, they're still people. I can't bring myself to be flat out rude to them. I think about how difficult I'd find it to be in their position and approach strangers and try to talk them into something (which I think is why I was a terrible sales assistant). Usually this means I resort to pretending I'm involved in a really engrossing conversation on the phone.

Do other people have this problem? What do you say/do to nicely get them to leave you alone?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Meh - part 2.

Do you ever have one of those days where you have big plans to accomplish a lot, and then you suddenly realise you're halfway through the day already and you've done absolutely nothing? Clearly (since I'm writing this), this is me today. It's a bit of a shame really, because I've been quite productive as of late. 

If you do have days like this, how do you fix it? Do you just call the day a write-off and start afresh tomorrow? Do you have any motivational suggestions to get the day back on track?? 

Help me! Otherwise, I'm sure this will happen:

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