Tuesday, July 26

One picture Tuesday

The baby edition. This Sunday we made a picture contest to determine which one of us was the cutest.

Behold the candidates!

Pissed baby. They say I still retain this glare.

Determined baby.

With the dodo egg baby.

Dodo vs chicken baby - witness the cuteness!

Gap tooth baby - witness the cuteness!

Now I do have photographic evidence of San in a dress but I will not post it here. I am writing this just in case she complains I put up a picture of her on the web. Ha.

Moral of the story? (Most) of us were cute babies. We're not anymore. Haha

Monday, July 25

A rainy Sunday

Sadly, I spend all my saturdays at work. This is because a) I have no personal life (ahem) and b) I spend all my saturdays at work (see reason a) ). Regardless, my Saturdays are at work but my Sundays are free!

However, I got tricked into joining a running club, pretty much the way i got trick into joining tango. So every fucking Sunday morning I have to wake up at 6:50 am such that I am at the running group meeting point by 7:30 am or so. And then we proceed to run about 1 - 1.5 - 2 hours regardless of the climate. I say this because two runs ago it was absolutely POURING and we still ran. Goddamnit.

On this Sunday however, i was determined to go walking in the Adelaide hills to air my head and find mother nature. Also, the Three Falls Grand Hike at Morialta Conservation Park boasted numerous wildlife sightings. And so, after running (14k,1:20), I went, regardless of the weather, thankyouverymuch.

And it POURED. And it got me drenched to the bone. The trek was not strenuous at all, despite the advertised "Steep, 4 hours". It was "Very mild, 1:30 min". I did not see any wildlife, most probably because the wildlife was huddled somewhere wondering why the hell would this brightly colored human (yellow gore-tex jacket, remember?) is out in the bloody* rain! Anyway, pictures of the pretty wet scenery follow.

Steep. pfft.

Olive trees!

First fall - not there because of the fog

Second fall (1)

Second fall (2)

Third fall

And a glimpse of the first fall

*everybody uses "bloody" here, with almost everything :)

Friday, July 22

The problem with bags

Is that you never have enough of them. "It's like fucking octopuses" Jensen commented out there when it came to his attention that most ladies would have more than 5 bags. And even the most clear-minded lady I know owns at least four bags that I know of, and about at least 7 watches. So there must be something in the chromosomes.

Another problem with bags is that at some point you want a bigger bag. I have gone through all shapes and sizes, but because I tend to carry a lot of stuff (extra clothes, shoes, lunch, fruits, papers, books, notebooks, pens, and one wallet) I find myself buying either large bags or small bags that eventually get stuffed to the maximum.

The problem with large bags is that no matter how large the bag is, at some point it will feel small for what you need to put in it. Most probably because you have not taken the other stuff out first.

This is because another problem with large bags is that they are the black holes of death, where things never come back from. Take for example my new blue bag, it has a Singaporean coin inside, although it (the bag) has never been to singapore!

The problem with a large bag is thus that you will fill it to the brim and then you won't be able to move it. Take for example Boris, the spoilt luggage we had to carry throughout Europe. It was big and sturdy, and so we filled it with practically almost everything. It also had two spoilt rollers, which meant that we had to DRAG it all around Europe. Boris is safely hidden behind Marian in this photo, but you can see how many luggages we had.

Another example would be Boris the Second (or Boris II for short), which is my big red bag. It is so big that I think can fit both sandra and doris at the same time. It is so big that it can fit all my books. And today, Boris the Second, as befit his name, lost a roller out of its four. This was a most inappropriate time for Boris the Second to loose a roller as the two of us where on our way to school from the parking lot. Now the parking lot is about 20 mins walk from the school And it was 7 am in the morning. And I was in a skirt. And it was 1 (ONE!@) degree outside. And Boris the Second was full of books. Books that I was bringing to school to put in my vast (wall-sized) bookcase. Once Boris the Second lost its roller I could no longer pull it so i was left with pushing it ahead while at the same time lifting it a bit to ensure that most weight was on its three healthy rollers. I did make a funny sighting and it was such an exhausting trek that I stopped many many times to curse (my new favorite curse is "Oh, what fresh hell is this?!" It seems that my vulgarities diminish as the shitty-ness increases) and ponder how this would have been much much easier had i not been alone. Or had I waited until marian got here. Or I had waited and done this not immediately after a hard climbing night on Thursday, which gave me a flapper and made my hans extremely raw. Here's Boris the Second very close to our destination.
We arrived after 40 minutes!

And proof that it was indeed fucking cold this morning.

Tuesday, July 19

One picture Tuesday

There is nothing like little morsels of food to remind one of back home. I found a jar of mustard with a romanian label in a foodshop in Adelaide, Australia. That jar of mustard had travelled 14241.27 km.

Monday, July 18

Rocks and more rocks - bouldering at Bachelor's Pad

Just when I was really getting depressed about the fact that here, as in Singapore, I am pulling plastic, one of the girls I now climb with suggested that Saturday we go to a place called "Bachelor's pad" and we boulder.

First of all, I was eternally grateful that she asked me to go. ROCKS! Real rocks again! The good thing about this place is that it is easily accesible. That is, if I remember where to park, and if I survive the steep ascent through a forest of olive trees. Yes a forest of olive trees. I wonder how people actually started to eat olives, because raw olives are absolutely dreadful.

If one does survive the ascent, here is what one finds: A cave! Very steep mind you, and with very few problems that yours truly can actually do, but still, a cave!!

The cave is completed with a couch - I do not know who and how dragged that couch up that hill, but god bless their sweet little hearts for doing it! - and several sponge mattresses, which, while not being a very good substitute for crashpads, and giving yours truly goosebumps, will do very well if one wants to go bouldering by oneself. There's even a guidebook with printed photos and drawings of the routes. Purely heaven.

These are my current bouldering companions, from left to right: STRONG! & bigspan, YOUNG & strong, and skinny & FLEXIBLE! I've climbed more (3 sessions, ahem) with STRONG! & bigspan, and skinny & FLEXIBLE! . The young un (19!) is a new addition to the pack. The more girls, the merrier.

The routes are slopey and pinchy. And most of them are on various iterations of roofs. Here's yours truly on one:

And that's where it ends (the routes are short so the possibility of injury on those mats is minimal. I hope)

Now, the other reason why I am consistently dragging my ass out of the house on weekends (rather than staying in and being very, very depressed), is that I am hoping that one of these days I will get to show these places to people that will come visit. So people, come visit!

Friday, July 15

First tango in Adelaide

Well, on Wednesday I did something totally not me. I cant remember if i mentioned It here or not, but i only dance when i am slightly drunk, and even then, i have the grace and rhythm of an elephant. On drugs. And i am insulting the pachyderms when I compare them with the way I dance, because there's nothing, but NOTHING worse in this life that somebody could do than watch me dance. And no, our wedding does not count because the dress was long so I could do anything underneath. So on Wednesday I decided to live a little and I went for my first ever tango lesson.

It was one of the worst and one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was horrible because the people in the beginner class were not beginners at all! Motherfuckers! They were the type A personality that does the beginner classes all over again until they are ready to waltz forward ocho into the intermediate class without a hitch. Pffft. And to top it off I had missed the first lesson because I was in Singapore.

I arrived there to find that I needed special shoes to dance such that my feet slide on the floor. I smirked at this but then a kind lady let me borrow a pair of hers. She had more than one with her. I laughed in my mind, but in the end I was glad I had them cause u really have to slide. I danced with two older gentlemen, who were both from the intermediate class but had come earlier to check out the freshies (I have seen this behavior in the climbing gym males so that's how I know). One of them was very kind and did not mind at all when I did imperfect stuff. The other was extremely anal and insisted we repeat stuff until i did it right (and he kept telling me with a stern face "you're doing it wrong." fucker. I hated him and his knitted vest.

It was a very interesting experience because as a female u're expected to FOLLOW THE MALE. And, as opposed to other dances, the male is IMPROVISING and only giving you subtle hints. And thus I know know why the lady in a tango dance is always SO ATTENTIVE of the male. I did not learn much in that first lesson, but there are six left, and hopefully when Marian comes here we can both join. I won't care then if he steps on my toes (apparently it's the lady's fault) and I will trust him enough to LEAN FORWARD, SLIDE BACK!!!

Thursday, July 14

13, I abhor thee!

Yesterday was a day of many many crappy things.

- firstly, I found out that Marian had sent all of our stuff (haha, like my books, my shoes, ALL the gear - down sleeping bag, boots, ice crampons, ahem) to Australia (that is, to me) without providing the movers with my phone number, although on the form it said that the telephone number was important. Then, to ensure that the $$$ we spent shipping stuff around, he did not complete the form with his address, only for us to see later that the invoice accompanying the receipt has no name at all on it, but the address. It will be a hell of a time giving this to Finance and ensuring that we get the $$$ back, which even if we did, it won't mean a thing since we won't have our things anyway. It is quite frustrating to be so far away and have him incapable of controlling his "form-fobia" just this once. What is it about white squares that turns people into wailing babies really!?!!?

- And while I was fuming about this, Claudia, the other Claudia we went to nepal with, calls me. And she asks how's it going and I start fuming again. And she listens and we talk about it, and when i finally ask why she was calling, she tells me she's had an accident!! Bumped from the rear while she was stopped waiting for a roundabout. And that she's ok but her neck hurts a bit(!?!?!) and her brand new car is bumped both from the rear and the back - there was somebody else stopped in front of her. Hopefully all will be well, she said she was feeling allright, had gone to the doctor to take x-rays, will go there today to have them looked at.

- and then, I went to a tango lesson. (more about this tomorrow) - like the suspense, right?

Tuesday, July 12

One picture Tuesday

I think one of the drawbacks of living alone is well ... feeling alone. Not lonely, mind you, at least not with the advance of interwebs technologies such as twitter, facebook, and, oh, this blog, but alone in the "this silence is killing me kind of way". Alone in the "if it's the weekend, chances are I will speak to nobody" kind of way, or in the "i will speak out loud in the house to kill the silence" kind of way. I found myself speaking out loud last night and asking what shall I have for dinner. That freaked me for a while but I guess you can't have them all - be pretty, smart, skinny, good climber, and SANE - now can you?! Anyway, here's dinner - polenta with bulgarian feta, home-made yoghurt, olives, zacuska, and broccoli. The latter just to save face from all that fat and carbs.

Friday, July 8

Goldcoast Marathon 2011

What I really did not expect of this marathon was for it to be totally flat. And mind you, it wasn't, but the teensy tiny uphill sections were really unnoticeable. I entered this marathon hoping and praying for divine intervention to get me to the finish line unharmed, unhurt, and with my dignity intact.

Divine intervention did more than that, and I got to the finish line in a decent time, i.e. 4:05. I am not rejoicing because I felt that i could have done a sub-four marathon, which is what I am sekretly hoping for every time. But I also do not want to sound ungrateful and as such I will not complain. Much.

The longest run i managed to put in for this marathon was 15km. This makes it the worse so far in terms of training and I swear here and now that i won't let this happen again, and I won't enter a marathon without at least a 30km run under my belt. They say that the longest distance you train will be quite easy peasy come race day, at it was like that. I finished 15 km in 1:20 minutes which is a good time considering. One hundred meteres after 15 km my knees bulked and I knew that I was feeling the lack of training beyond that distance.

However, i did not cramp and managed a more than decent 30 km in 2:51 minutes. A sub four marathon was still possible from here, and it was even possible at 35 km (3:20), but that is when my muscles decided to say good bye and cramp up. I did not have any heat rub or smth similar on me so i just had to run through it (stretching would have probably killed me). I spent the next 7 km wobbling to the finish line.

I probably would not have done it without my friends who were there to support me at the finish line, and at 30 and 32 km marks, because I really struggled to look good (and not a pathetic fat wuss) for them. They took some great pictures too! Here's me at 30 km, still looking fresh (before the hell cramps)

And a pro shot: