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.


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

Monday, 12 September 2011

It's that time again...


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:


Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Just a quick note today, to say thanks very much to YOU - the regular readers of my blog. It's very affirming to see (according to google) that at least 50 people think I'm interesting enough to follow. I really do appreciate all the comments I get, and also always try to comment back.

What else...? Oh, um - look at this cat. 

You actually really should visit the nyan cat website. It has a song!

That is all.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Are you finished YET?

Seriously, how is it SEPTEMBER already! Where has the year gone?? Before I know it, it will be Christmas. It also means that it is nearly the end of the 3rd year of my PhD. Which is weird. In the last couple of weeks quite a few people have started to ask me the dreaded question: "So when do you think you will be finished?". I had actually hoped I could dodge that question for at least a few more months. I understand people are just asking out of interest (which is nice of course), but this is what I hear when I get asked that: "you SHOULD be finished soon - so hurry up!"

It's easy at this point to think about how much I haven't accomplished in this time - mostly due to some unexpected delays in running experiments (seriously, sign up 1st year psych students - I need participants!). The truth is however, in this time I still have actually learnt a lot. Just this week, I gave a lecture for the 3rd year Psych course, I submitted a paper to a journal (which is in a lot better shape that the last time I tried to submit it somewhere I think), and I also updated my C.V. and realised how much experience I've gained at teaching and presenting at conferences. The thing that surprised me the most, is actually how confident I have become that I am able to do these things, and that what I have to say is important. It definitely is also easy to just focus on the experiment/thesis side of things; but if you do that, you forget that a PhD is much more than that - it's an apprenticeship to becoming an academic. 

So although, no, I'm not ready to finish up very soon (probably another year I think), I can still be quite pleased with how much I've grown this past year. That makes it just that little bit easier to not freak out at the 'dreaded question', and look forward to what is to come.

Even still, I think I might purchase this shirt just in case.

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