Tuesday, November 29

One picture Tuesday

Australia is beautiful!

Monday, November 28

Taking it back

The first part of the trip was hell. But then it was heaven. Australia is a truly beautiful country and life is good :)

Friday, November 25

For fuck's sake

I must definitely be paying for something this weekend. Me, a colleague and his friend were supposed to go to do the great ocean walk. Beautiful beautiful scenery to entice anybody to drive 7fucking hundred kms to walk for three days .

And here is where the problems start. Because you see, while I have known my colleague for let's say, 5 months?, I have just met his friend. And well, let's just say that when we went to an Indian restaurant and he started to make fun of the waiter's accent by imitating him, I suddenly got a feeling that we were not going to get along.

And when he chose to sit in the front of the car although he will not e driving and thus exiled me to the back, I KNEW we would not get along. So now I am exiled in the back of the car, not really hearing the music (front speakers only) and not really hearing the conversation either.

Oh and did I mention that my colleague's friend is Russian?! And a mathematician (therefore insane by my standards?) !? So far, the score for Russians is 2:1where 2 represents the number of Russians I confirmed do not like.

And when said colleague only brought along his gigantic collection of south American music, I KNEW I was paying for something. I guess I will spend the entire trip wondering what the hell I'm paying for.

Wednesday, November 23

A coffee mess

Being alone makes you do stupid things. Such as engulf yourself in work or working out (still has work in it!) because you want to ensure that when you get home you drop dead with tiredness. However, this new found working schedule needs stuff to propel it. Enter my new speed. It's called coffee.

When I reach the office I go and fetch my water of the day and make myself a large cup of coffee, which I keep on my desk in case students drop in. While all the other coffees I drink while they are nice and hot, this cup gets drunk throughout the day and gets fairly cold and yucky. For you see, whenever students come in to see me, I take a sip of that coffee. And that sip helps me get through most of the student questions (that are sometimes, let's face it, more than stupid).

Needless to say, people that have seen my previous office space will know that this one is also, yet another mess. Because, that's the way the world turns. Or the cookie crumbles. Or whatever.

Now. The coffee cup is always sitting right in front of my keyboard such that I can ALWAYS take a sip before turning to face my students. And while I am coding or working I tend to wear headphones and be really really focused on the task. (see where this is going?) And my office walls are fully transparent (we're all like goldfish in a bowl, really) and tend to slide easily. And most staff by now will just come in my office because knocking is useless if I have my headphones on.

And here we go. So far, three of them have managed to freak the hell out of me. Because I am very focused and listening to loud music, the moment they come in and I finally notice them, I tend to freak out, throw the headphones, or the keyboard, or whatever it is that I am doing. And this hits the coffee cup, that spills all over my clothes, my two monitors, my carpet. It has gotten so bad that the office secretary has given me a tea towel for these emergencies, and some of the colleagues approach my office making really loud noises to ensure I don't freak out.

Tuesday, November 22

One picture Tuesday

On Sunday I did my first EVER trail run. Like real trail run, not MacRitchie Reservoir trail run. It was also 16km, and a good candidate for my Friday morning runs! Proof that it was really a trail run can be found below:

Friday, November 18

Aussie talk

And here's what I have been able to collect in the past months:

  • chin wag [talking]
  • bag of fruit [suit]
  • keen as mustard [there's a mustard brand called keen]
  • arvo [afternoon]
  • sweet as [cool, great]
  • cheers [thanks, ok, see you, no problem, good bye, hello]
  • fast like a blue-assed fly [don't ask]
  • i'm so hungry i could eat the ass of a low flying duck
  • ugly as a hat full of assholes
  • face like a bucket of smashed crabs
  • ugly like a hat full of assholes
  • meat in the sandwich [when you're stuck between two things]
  • ugly like a fridge full of bastard assholes
  • ...

Wednesday, November 16


Today, Marian is turning 30. As obviously I can't be there, here's 30 reasons why I wish he would live until he's 120:

Reason #1: Smart.

Reason #2: Kind.

Reason #3: Has a sense of humor. Or at least, laughs at my jokes.

Reason #4: Delicious forearms (I have a small fetish with that)

Reason #5: Makes fantastic french fries. His trademark dish, but absolutely delicious.

Reason #6: Has green eyes.

Reason #7: Superpecs! (turns out that as I grow older, I learn to appreciate the benefits of pecs (as opposed to moobs) on a man).

Reason #8: Hyper extension! Cause I can show off his freakishness to other people. Who like this will be less focused on how freakish I am ahha

Reason #9: He no heart mushrooms. Which means there's more for me!

Reason #10: Eats my food for me. Which means that I can try different stuff while he eats the entire portion and prevents me from getting fat.

Reason #11: Only likes durian. As opposed to LOVING it like I do. Again, more for me!

Reason #12: Loves the mountains (should have been reason #1).

Reason #13: Knows how our pro camera works. Whereas I only know how to take pictures.

Reason #14: Is my Objective C genius.

Reason #15: Is good with a screwdriver. He is patient enough to take things apart and put them back together without having spare parts at the end or screaming in frustration.

Reason #16: Does proper, thorough research into what stuff we should buy.

Reason #17: Remembers how many turquoise blouses I have and prevents me from buying yet another one.

Reason #18: Cats love him. Which means I can also get some cat love while around him.

Reason #19: Has a scorpion sting whenever he wants to get mean. Good when turned on other people. NOT on me.

Reason #20: Eats whatever crappy food I cook and always says it's good.

Reason #21: Remembers all the characters in Dune. and Game of Thrones. and Wheel of Time.

Reason #22: Checks our b$nk $ccount and does not get depressed.

Reason #23: Does the dishes. Enuf said.

Reason #24: Has taught me the purge command.

Reason #25: Manages to have a decent conversation with me despite the fact that I change subject every minute.

Reason #26: Has a sekret way of making me laugh by ... Well, it's a sekret. But it always cracks me up.

Reason #27: Can waltz. At least as well as me.

Reason #28: Likes books just as much as me.

Reason #29: You can easily see that he has a bug in his code, because his hair stands up!

Reason #30: SHARES HIS FOOD!

Monday, November 14

Growing old

I fucking hate Mondays. Although theoretically Mondays do not mean anything to me since I work most Sundays anyway, there is a difference between the voluntary "holier than thou" coming to work on Sunday and must come to work on Monday. Or else. This results in a blearing of the body and soul every monday morning. This morning I had no excuse. I had slept early (9:30 pm) and did not need to wake up early (6:30 as opposed to 6:15) because I was not planning to have any breakfast.

And so. While at the first traffic light I realized I had forgotten the lunch. After parking at work and starting the work in, I realized I had forgotten my wallet. Hence, no lunch, unless I catch it in the torrens. A short while later, I realized I had no office key nor building card. The building "opens" at 7:30. Until then, you need a card to get to my floor, and you also need a card to get to the staff offices, i.e. my office. PFFT.

Approached the cleaner. She did not speak any English and I think at first she mistook me for a student and told me I can't get in the staff offices. Ten minutes later, she realized what I wanted I think and was kind enough to let me in my office and clean it (one of the first time I felt sorry i am such a slob). Now I'm stuck here without coffee until my co-workers come in (need the card to get into the tea room, PFFT).

Sunday, November 13

A new Grampians trip

This time around, drove up with a colleague that is recently becoming interested in climbing and bouldering, and who I am preparing to join Marian's gang when he gets here. The first stop of the 440 km drive in is at a Subway 70km from Adelaide.

I did not send anything during this weekend because I was very busy showing him around and trying to find the easy problems (V0, V1) for him to do. However, I did have fun, and for once I had photos of me on the rocks!

I find the red rocks in the grampians to be truly mesmerizing.

First day, we climbed in Andersens, where I tried to send "Riding Shotgun", V6. Turns out, climbing a route full of slopers in the fucking sun is not good. Good photo of me as Hulk's sister, though.

The next day we went up to Loopeys, where i wanted to try another route. Also for a bit of trekking.

Australia being flat as we know, you can see for miles and miles from even the smallest hill.

Trekked a bit IN Hollow Mountain (Australians are not very inventive with their names). I do hate to trek while on a climbing trip, but my colleague wanted, plus I thought it would be useful when other people (HINT! HINT!) come visit.

Turns out, there is a Buddhist colony near the Grampians, in Ballarat.

And off we were back to Adelaide, for another 440km. This and the previous trip with Uncle Pan confirmed me that I can drive non-stop for 340km. After that, I do need a little break.

Sheep really like the shade, and the Australian sun is truly unforgiving.

And my favorite picture of the weekend. I love the texture of the sandstone against the blue blue sky.

As usual, more pics are available for your viewing pleasure here.

Wednesday, November 9

One picture Tuesday

My apologies for taking such a long break from blogging, a LOT has been going on!

Two weeks after I landed in Australia I joined a voluntary program called Scientists in Schools, in which a Scientist (ha, that would be me), and a Teacher team up to make lessons interesting for kids. After a police check and stuff, and two months down the line, I am now partnered up with a good secondary school here in Adelaide.

Yesterday I had my first visit to the school, and I talked about cool examples of math in real life and computer science. In particular, I talked about roller coasters (ha!), GPS triangulation (cool!) and trajectory of a projectile in games (major cool!).

For the last one, I used a simple three little piggies game and a very complex equation (eventually simplified) to get them to apply some maths. Of course, I didn't implement the game, not fully at least, and had Marian deal with the shitty animation part (Objective C, I now heart you! XCode, I still hate you!) I got two of the school's iPads and two of my own and loaded them with the game. We also made a desktop application for them to play with. (Behold my office!)

I spend a lot of time on this (2 nights), especially since I worked only after hours. One time, I left the office at 12 midnight (and spent the next hour in the parking lot texting friends - but more about this later). The fact that I left so late allowed me to see who's living in the tree right opposite the university! A Brush-tailed Possum!

Witness the brush!

Wednesday, November 2

It's been six months

Well not really, five months actually, but I have just finished the 6-month PDR - personal development and review? - meeting.

How has it been so far? It has been fantastic, overwhelming, horrific, lonely, sad and exhilarating at the same time. I've made lots of friends in the process and I absolutely love the people I work with. They are smart and funny and knowledgeable about all sorts of stuff in this universe that I have no idea about. Also, they tolerate me, which I think is fantastic*. The students are not all bad and some of them are really quite worth it.

The climbing community is very close knit and caring. There are two other climbing girls as well as plenty of noobs for Marian to be king over for when he finally manages to join me.

My only current stress (other than that caused by yet another break up i hear about) is
a) how to get some good sleep - the worries have kept me up since friday
b) how to ensure i stay here for longer. Adelaide, I heart you!
c) how fantastic the grampians trip this weekend is going to be.

*Considering that I have not worked in a while (6 years?!) it has been a weird shift. I still can't censor myself though.