Seriously Small Scrutiny Sunday

November 29, 2010

Been a little too busy for full posts at the moment, so here’s a short one. Not exactly ‘scrutinizing’, but it’s my site so I decide. And it’s still Sunday. Take that!

Small things that are awesome and/or amusing.

  • Before the plane took off and when it landed, they turned “California Girls -Katy Perry” on in the cabin. Funny, guys.
  • I saw my first squirrel today. Didn’t take my camera out but I think most of you don’t need/want photographic evidence. They are bigger than I thought though. We even had a moment where we locked eyes and… yea it wasn’t a movie moment. It looked at me, I looked at it. Then it ran up the tree. Will be keeping a look out now, I didn’t expect it at all. OHAITHARMRSQUIRREL.
  • Snow capped mountains look incredible! Having come from a place where this is NEVER seen, it’s constantly amusing/amazing me. Whee snow!
  • Freeways on top of freeways on top of freeways on top of freeways. Why put them separately when they can pile on top of each other?
  • This sale phenomena surrounding Thanksgiving. Perhaps I should have participated, but from what I’ve seen/heard… I definitely shouldn’t have. (see here for one hint, or ten rather.)

squirrel

Yes, I drew you a squirrel

That’s it for now, will be back on board with more posts soon! And a real Scrutiny Sunday. Perhaps even a Talking Tuesday. If you’re lucky that is. Or unlucky, I can’t decide.

Scrutiny Sundays are a creation of Reputation@Stake over at The Stupid Bet, share your link if you’re participating so I/he/we can all sing a song toget- or just so I can share it as well.

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Arriving on an Airplane to California Cold

November 27, 2010

Well, I made it. Belated post, but my brain still hasn’t caught up with the fact I am in California now (you’d think the weather, palm trees and numerous small Americanisms would help, but no.) Finally somewhat getting over the oh so fun jet lag, as sleeping on a plane is somewhat akin to being strapped to bench seat next to two strangers and being told to sleep. Wait… that’s exactly what it is, albeit a tad more comfortable.

I do have some photos of my journey, but not too many as waving around a camera taking photos of stuff in airports is probably asking for security to detain me. So instead I waved my camera around on the plane, across the passenger beside me getting uncomfortable close in the meantime, to snap these pics. (Click to enlarge)

Plane window photo over Australia

Fascinating yes? This is as soon after take off as I could manage. Not that it mattered, this is the view for most of the daylight hours of the trip. Pacific Ocean.

Plane window photo sunrise 1

This sunrise over the clouds was fantastic. Very surreal, my camera does not do it justice at all.

Plane window photo sunrise 2

Another shot, showing the sun this time. Was beautiful. The passenger I leaned over to take the pictures agreed, but might have been doing so just to get me to hurry up and get out of her space. As much as you can in economy anyway.

Moving along to a random list. Small things I notice when I arrive in USA (Note: These are mainly driving orientated at the moment):

  • The pedestrian crossing signal countdown. Ours is just green, red or flashing red. Not ’20 seconds till YOU GET RUN OVER. 19…18…’.
  • Signs saying ‘Yield’. Ours say ‘Give way’. You say tomato?
  • That you can turn right at a red light intersection. Even if the light is red.
  • The accents, of course. It is a bit odd to hear initially in the airport, especially your pronunciation of our cities. ‘Passengers from Mel-BORN, your luggage is…’ It might be spelled Melbourne, but it is pronounced ‘Melbuhn‘. And it’s not ‘brisBANE‘, it’s ‘Brisbuhn‘ (Brisbane). It’s hard to show you the differences, and spelled out it seems your way of saying it should be right but even though you are American hence ‘always right’, you aren’t. Ok? Ok.
  • That’s enough for now, but rest assured there are plenty more. Like fire hydrants (!), and mailbox flag-thingos, and of course, driving on the other side of the road. The colours of your police cars, the dodgy fast food places… the list goes on really.

I don’t believe it’s this cold and not even winter yet. Granted, it probably isn’t that cold right now, I’m just particularly sensitive to cold weather. But still. For me it is. For those Canadians (yea you!), maybe not so much. That’s because you are used to living in and around snow and being exposed to temperatures above 50 degrees would cause you to melt/burn to a crisp. Slight exaggeration perhaps, ok, large one. I’m giving myself permission to whine a lot about the cold because for me it is freezing. As I’m writing some of this I’m wearing 2 layers of clothes and a ski jacket. My laptop is a great source of warmth, I have discovered. I think I’m going to be in trouble when winter arrives. Lucky I have a scarf, right? (Ok, that joke is overused, I know, but too bad.) And don’t get my started on early morning toilet runs. Leaving the (relative) warmth of the bed for the freezing cold air, traipsing across the cold floor which radiates its coldness through even the thickest of socks, then the block of ice you precariously perch upon, practically levitating to avoid extended contact with the seat. It really is a mission.

Layers of clothes

I’m also underneath 2 blankets.

Other than the weather, there’s not much news to report as I’ve been extremely lazy (partially due to the weather, partially due to the jet lag/lack of sleep). I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I ate teriyaki beef instead of turkey. I was thankful for it though. Mm-mmm. Alright, that’s all you’re getting from me for now as I can’t feel my fingers anymore to type. Or so I’ll say. I may be being overly dramatic. Maybe. More to come.


Packing Predicaments and Procrastination

November 23, 2010

Right, I’ve convinced myself to post once more from Australian soil before I leave. Which is why I’m sitting in my backyard on a heap of dirt.  Not really. Alas, the packing process has nearly come to an end! I mentioned some of my packing dramas on Sunday in a captivating piece of writing (Not really) but I forgot to mention the closing stages involved in packing a suitcase.

After you reach the ‘everything is finally in or near the suitcase’ stage, it’s time for procrastination. You’re close enough to being fully packed that it’s ok to take some time off, but also not fully packed so you should really just finish. (That’s what she said. OhyeaIwentthere).

It was also sometime during this procrastination that all enthusiasm for packing, what little of it there was, disappeared entirely. I also had the following exchange with my mother after we discussed random events and happenings and she went to leave the room.

Me: “Haaaaaaaalp” -lies helplessly on the bed motionless- “Help me pack!”

Mum: “No. I’m going to get something to eat.”

Me: “But I can’t do it by myself anymore. There is no hope!” -dramatic flop-

Mum: “…Too bad.” -she leaves-

Me: “DON’T LEAVE ME!” -overly dramatic arm extending in her direction-

Mum: -walks back into the room to give me THE LOOK that says ‘Wtf are you on’. Laughs then leaves.-

I didn’t even bother pretending to sulk. I just went back to procrastinate more. And imagined this happening.

ITS ON FIRE

It’d save me having to pack?

But it didn’t. I finished packing eventually, weighed my bag, took a few things out, and should be set to go. Except now that last stage of packing has set in. Where every item you happen to see, you consider its worth and value as an item that has to be packed. This is good and bad.

Do I pack this? Item 1.

Yes.

Do I pack this? Item 2.

Hmmno.

Do I pack this? Item 3.

HELL YEA- I dont need it though. So no..aww.

This process goes on until I leave. And even then I do it in the car. “Do I need that half eaten breath min-” Just kidding. Maybe.

Random interruption that has nothing to do with any of this, except falls in the procrastination category maybe, I nearly provoked a fight with an old lady. I’m so tough. Context: Someone is annoyed as their grandma doesn’t want them to leave to see me.

Them: My grandma doesn’t want me to leave?

Me: Ah. I’ll fight her for you. Wait. Not that I’m suggesting violence against little old Chinese ladies.

Them: :C

Me: Maybe we’ll fight in some sort of game I’d win. A sprint across the lounge room. Or scrabble. How is she at blackjack?

Them: Better than you.

Me: Hmm. Not blackjack then. Maybe Halo. I think I’d win at Halo. Unless she has unexpected coordination with modern gaming systems. Maybe I should just fight her to see who can be under 30 years old. Yeaaabitch. I mean. Unlucky grandma. Grandkid is all mine. Sorry. See ya!

Yep. So, without further ado or grandma threatening, I’m off to CALIFORNIA BABY. Women with whipped cream cans on their boobs galore. See you on the other side. (Of the Pacific. Der. I hope.)


Scrutiny Sunday in a Suitcase

November 21, 2010

It’s that day of the week again, time for another Scrutiny Sunday. I actually ummed and aaahd about what on earth to write about this Sunday. The sheer amount of potential Scrutiny targets is overwhelming. That’s why I decided to be lame and scrutinize luggage packing techniques. (Sounds boring, I know, but we’ve all been there.)

Ahh, the point where you have to look at all the clothes/items you own and decide what comes with you on your holiday. It can be a ruthless decision process. (I haven’t worn them in 3 years I definitely won’t now!) Or a very compromising one. (I know I haven’t worn them for ages but what if the occasion for it arises?!) Do you pack everything you might need, or just the essentials? Do you pack 5 shirts for 2 days? I need choices damnit? It’s been said that men do the whole ‘pack barely enough clothes to last’ and women do the whole ‘entire wardrobe must fit in here somehow’ I fall somewhere in between.

It’s not that I don’t want to pack more than enough clothes. It’s that I don’t have that many clothes I actually wear. (Very unladylike of me, I know) And this time I am going to attempt to be ruthless about those extra clothes that you never end up wearing and leave them out. You know that sweater or shirt that you throw in ‘just in case’ and it remains clean and untouched until you arrive back home again? I am somewhat helped by the fact that I need to buy a lot of winter clothing over there (and I mean, a lot. Brr). This is for two reasons.

1. Considering it is summer here (technically not yet but it’s Australia ok? Spring doesn’t exist.), the selection of winter clothes available in shops is… dismal. And it’s not even proper winter wear, just flimsy jumpers.

2. This will save me a lot of packing space without bulky jumpers taking up all the room.

Anyhow, then there is the whole deal of getting everything to fit in the suitcase. At this point, you’ve packed everything you need and more. You reach for the zipper. A battle of wills begins. Usually you’ve packed your suitcase a fraction too full. If you’re stubborn, you’ll do like I do, and instead of taking things out/rearranging, you make it fit. Whatever it takes.
Battle of the suitcase

If you do choose to force it, make sure there are no breakables.

At this point, you may want to weigh your luggage to make sure you don’t exceed the limit for your flight. Be prepared for curse words if you realise your struggle with your suitcase is not yet over since it weighs too much. Pack again!

I’ve been informed there are many ways to pack a suitcase. My method goes something like this:

 

Suitcase packing stage 1

Throw everything I might need onto/near suitcase

Suitcase packing stage 2

Attempt to neatly fold clothes. Give up halfway through.

Suitcase

Arrange/shove clothes in suitcase. Tada!

Not the most efficient method, I know. Beginning to experiment with rolling up some of my clothes and segmenting my suitcase. But I know it’ll really just end up a mess of clothes regardless of what I try. I’ve read a few different methods (folding vs rolling) and it’ll probably end up a mixture of the two. Any tips are welcome, as usual.

Now if I can just figure out how to fit people in my suitcase like they keep suggesting, I’ll be set. Jet set.

 

Scrutiny Sundays are a creation of Reputation@Stake over at The Stupid Bet, share your link if you’re participating so I/he/we can all skip around in a circ- or just so I can share it as well.


That sickly feeling

November 19, 2010

I’ve been slacker than usual with my posting, but this time I have a legitimate excuse. I’ve been sick.

Now I’m one of those ‘psh, pain, what pain?’ kinda people, or at least pretend to be, but sometimes when you get sick all you can do is act as pathetic as possible to get those sympathy votes. At least this time the amount of real agony made it easier to pretend fake agony. My acting skills aren’t as honed as I’d like to think.

I tried to drag myself to my keyboard for you, I really did. All that managed to get transcribed was something along the lines of “i’msicjfhsj===” Which I will admit, is legendary post material in and of itself BUT unfortunately hitting the ‘Publish’ button proved too difficult. All I ended up doing was closing the window before I doubled over in agony once more. A shame really. Now, in the spirit of not whining about how bad it was and the troubles it caused me, on with a picture.

sick in bed

I tried. But not too hard.

I actually don’t have a lot to say in this post but be warned, more content is on the way now I’m on holidays. You’ll be thrilled by my tales of adventure next week as well when I journey for thirteen grueling hours across the Pacific Ocean in a cushioned seat on a plane. Google might tell me otherwise but air travel is the way to go for me. Better not forget to pack my scarf.


Scarfilicious Skills and Winter Chills

November 14, 2010

Yesterday I got given a scarf. This may not seem unusual to most, but  once you realise it is nearly the beginning of summer in Australia, it might.

Right,  by now I’ve aroused your curiosity, and I can almost feel your burning desire to ask the obvious question of ‘Why?’ ‘What possible use could she have for a scarf in summer?’ (No, the answer is NOT a kinky one. Behave.) Of course you could also  just  be waiting for me to get to the point and don’t really care. But I’m going to assume that by this point, your eyes are eagerly scanning ahead waiting for me to reveal THE REASON FOR THIS MADNESS.

No, the person who gave it to me isn’t season confused (in more ways than one, it’s not anywhere near Christmas yet. The stores would disagree BUT anyhow.) This is more than enough suspense for such a silly thing so I’ll just tell you. The reason, dear reader, is that in less than 2 weeks it’s holiday time for me.

Yes, I am giving up the wonderfully warm (often too much so) Australian climate for another Californian winter. Now I am aware I can do much worse in the way of winter seasons, but for someone who needs a friend to shield me from the freezer aisle in the supermarket for fear of frostbite, it is an extreme for me.

pretend snow

The closest I get to snow (Yes, that is the inside of my freezer)

So in the weeks leading up to my departure I am attempting to rapidly adapt to the cold before I land so I’m not stuck wearing the entire contents of my suitcase the instant I clear border security just to avoid hypothermia. This involves exercises such as not taking a jumper (Australian term for ‘jacket’) when I’m due to be stuck in an air conditioned room, opening the freezer to stand there for prolonged periods of time and positioning my laptop directly in the path of the aircon in my bedroom. These are all problematic as you can possibly see, given that if I don’t wear a jumper I spend the entire time contemplating the shades of white and blue my skin can go instead of focusing on the task at hand, the laws of heat transfer dictating that leaving the freezer door open will in fact defrost the entire contents quicker than you adapt to the cool, and air conditioned air flowing directly at me for extended periods of time is 1) FREEZING and 2) completely nullified the moment I walk out of my bedroom.

Anyhow, I’m a novice to scarf wearing and devised these possible ways to wear it and attempt to be a scarf wearing pro.

Low effort scarves

Low effort scarf options

Medium effort scarves

Medium effort scarf options

... scarves

…other scarf ‘options’.

Feel free to use my ideas, if you happen to desire be a scarf wearing pro such as I. Having never actually possessed a scarf before now, I’m still unsure if I’ll even wear it. Are scarves even ‘in’? And does the pattern matter? Should I have vetoed this scarf in favour of some lovely rainbow or skull pattern? Lucky I don’t really care, or will pretend not to. It’s likely to become suitcase fodder anyway. Unless it does help my slight aversion to the cold.

Scarf pattern

My scarf pattern. Boring or trendy?

So, all you cold weather veterans, do scarves help? Do you have any wearing suggestions so I don’t get beaten up for lack of scarf skills? (highly unlikely, but you never know.) Righteo then, back to conditioning in the air conditioning for me. Or not.


Crazy lady driving: Avoid at all costs (if she lets you)

November 11, 2010

I swear my car horn not working is going to be the death of me. My horn hasn’t been functional for about 6-12 months now, and I use the trusty ol’ middle finger salute in it’s place. Not randomly of course, just in place of the horn.

Driving down a side street, medium amount of traffic though (thankfully) no one was behind me or coming towards me. This lady decides to reverse out of her driveway IN THE PATH  OF MY CAR without looking. Sure, I had ample time to SLAM on the brakes as she blocked off me and the oncoming lane. Not. So I flipped her off as she ever so slowly accelerated. Deciding that going under the speed limit wasn’t her style after all after seeing my car up her ass, she proceeded to run a roundabout and a stop sign without slowing down.

As we approach a set of lights, it’s green. Now, this particular set is going from a side street to turn onto a main road. So it changes once every 5 minutes or so. And doesn’t stay green for long at all. There’s already a queue of cars and I groaned, surely this lady would cause me to have to wait for the next set. So we shuffle forward slowly, and the light turns yellow as I’m 1/4 of the way across the intersection. Aka not very far at all.

intersection1

Look at my colouring skills.

It’s at this point I do as I normally do. It’s one lane turning into a three lane road. Crazy driver lady turns the inside lane so I turn into the very outside lane accelerating as much as I can get away with to try and avoid this red light change. I always turn into that lane because I turn off the road less than 2 blocks later so it makes no sense to cross them in a hurry later. Due to the lack of owning a horn, I flip the lady off as I go past and start indicating to turn off. Now, here comes the crazy.

She swerved (with indicator on at least?) across 2 lanes of traffic BLARING her horn at me and nearly hit my car from behind as I turned off into the side street. Really? REALLY?

intersect2

Swerve much?

I may have a mild case of road rage, but… is that kind of thing necessary? Beep at me if you think I’m being ohsorude for flipping you off because I don’t have a horn to beep and tell you what an idiot you are/how you nearly caused an accident. Don’t create -more- traffic hazards and prove me right. Not that I need proof that you, lady, are an idiot. When you drive like someone playing GTA or racing games, it’s already evident. Why are the police never around to catch aggressive drivers like this?

I’m by no means a shining example of road safety and driver skills, but some people are shocking. This kind of behaviour just…makes me think I would have been right to install something like this:

decked out car

This picture speaks for itself.

Maybe I’m secretly an aggressive driver myself… How about you? And yes I am aware of the many engineering problems with that car. It’d just be cool against crazy drivers. And zombies. Ok?