Monday, June 28, 2010

Just a shimmy and a shake

Things that have happened since last blog:

> Hung out with Lizzie, acquired stationary.
> Caught up with Em and R, definite plus.
> Struggled to get out of bed
> Realised it will be -1 tomorrow morning and contemplated setting self on fire. Also, outdoor wedding on Saturday and the max temp is 11. Outdoor wedding. In the winter. I mean, really.
> Received car insurance which is significantly less than I anticipated. That's one good thing about getting older at least!
> Plodded along magnificently at work, still have 8 advertorials to write and another 17 to still come in. Woe.
> Doing said advertorials now, snuggled up in bed and feeling less than impressed

My cousin just bought a house with her fiancee. This is a pic of it:


My eyes immediately went to the safety bars and I just had one thought - man, I'm glad I don't live there anymore.

Such is life. Yadda yadda yadda. Back to work.

Music: On top - The Killers
Mood: Tiiiired

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gin and malicious intent

Let's start with some positives, shall we? Neil Gaiman is going to be in a few events at the Opera House in August, and I have secured tickets, huzzah. For the panel he's doing with Shaun Tan there were only three left, so I was really lucky getting those. Definitely something to look forward to. There's also Florence + The Machine, a Wil Anderson comedy show I'm taking Lizzie to as part of her birthday present (which actually still hasn't arrived, huh) and then Muse, way off in the future. But hey - stuff!

On the other hand, there's work. On this I have one thing to say - gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Sigh. So much of it. SO MUCH. I am just one measly human being. I've inadvertently become involved in some office politics as well since apparently they want to give me more work to do. Now I've always known I'd have to take on the website, and I don't mind cause I enjoy online work, but I don't actually know how I'm physically meant to fit it into my schedule. It might be possible when I only have the two deadlines, but when there's the three of them, I just don't see how there'd be time. I'm not going to work 12 hour days when I just get paid for 8 of them. Besides, when I go back to uni, I won't even be able to do that. And I'll have French on Saturdays, I need to have some down time too. The deputy editor and I were already in till 6 yesterday making corrections. Everyone tells me to just say no to more work (just say no kids!) but I'm not exactly in the position to do that, I was told I'd have to take on the website when I was first interviewed. Then again, I didn't realise how much work it already was back then, and I certainly didn't know about the stupid reception cover. So I'll see if I could maybe drop something else. Why can't we just get an intern in to do some of the annoying paperwork - unpaid work experience kids! That's what they're there for! Ah well, I will cross that bridge when I get to it. I figure I just have to roll with the punches and do what I can. I keep telling myself not to get too stressed or worked up, it's just for a year, it'll be fine. So that's the mantra - it's just for a year. It'll help to have an end date on things you know, when they start going a bit crazy. I'm fully committed to it for that time, the time it takes me to finish my degree, but beyond that, well, there are other plans in the works. This job will look good on my resume, it has tons of elements and I'm making a good impression, and that is all that matters in the end. Means to an end. I just have to survive - thus the mantra. I keep a little covert countdown on the calendar at work, I really think knowing there's an exit strategy will keep me sane in the end.

Other than that, it's the same old story. I have tons to do but I'm not getting it done. I've been really floored today - have just been sitting on the couch nursing a headache. I'm feeling a bit off but I don't know if it's because I'm getting sick (the guy next to me on the plane was coughing a lot) or whether it's still a jetlag response. I was completely over that on Thursday though. Huh. My neighbours' exceptionally loud dance music isn't helping things. Not to be a grumpy old lady, but SHUT UP. I don't mind a party, but this is practically every weekend! And it's not even good music! It's so loud in my room too cause it's right at the back of the house. I'm not even bothering trying to sleep, watching Numb3rs instead.

Did I ever mention the trip back home from Bangkok? Let me tell you something, downgrading from Business class to Economy is a terrible thing to do to your body. Economy isn't so bad when you start out there, but squashed between two guys for 14 hours where one woke me up for dinner (I refrained from biting his head off, I know he meant well, but it's too hard to fall asleep back there, I don't appreciate being woken up for dodgy food) and the other kept elbowing me in the ribs (I have bruises) and huffing when I shifted in my seat, like I was disturbing him by making full use of my seat, after you've had your own fully reclining space is just awful. Also, there is nowhere to put my legs. Nowhere. I know I sound like a total spoiled brat, but hell. I'd rather fly economy all the way than have to swap like that again.

But I digress. Next up, I must purge, cause you know what? I’m tired of walking on egg-shells. I know I’m a bit of a walking contradiction, I tell people this all the time. When you get to know me, I’m pretty nice at first and I hold my tongue, but usually after you’ve known me a few years I tend to just say exactly what I’m thinking. We might not always agree, I might not always get something, but I am perfectly fine with other people doing and being exactly who and what they want. And I’ll always support my friends, even when I don’t necessarily get it. I open up after a few years cause that’s how long it takes me to get comfortable with other people, and when I am, I assume they’d be comfortable with me too, for me to be completely open and honest. I’ll make fun of you, damn right I will, but you can make fun of me too – don’t take it personally, there’s nothing malicious in it. Scathing sarcasm just comes naturally to me, that’s all. Sometimes I’ll go too far, but sometimes other people will too – we’re all just human at the end of the day and some things are unavoidable. I want to be completely honest, and I ask for the same. I say what I think straight to your face, I want you to do the same. If you cant handle it, if you can’t handle me, then let me go. That’s how life works for me.

Cut straight the random pics/links, cause I have the attention span of a goldfish: -


So Torchwood. There's a whole series of these pinups by Aly Fell featured here at io9. It's totally my thing, glamorous and totally dangerous. I have issues.

Ugh, would it be wrong to set the cars outside my neighbours' house on fire to get them all to leave?

To end this disjointed blog on a completely disjointed note:
"You're just one man."
"So are you, pal."
You kick ass, Don Eppes. In fact, Eppes brothers FTW!

Music: Numb3rs
Mood: Indifferent

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Written after a stressed out first day back

I think it was Abbi who wrote that it wasn't worth going on holiday because it was just too much of a mess when you got home - I can't help but agree. Oh my god, the madness I walked into today *headdesk*

I'm mostly pissed off. They said a freelancer was going to cover my work while I wasn't there, and it didn't happen. Instead they just expected the deputy editor to cover everything and she obviously has enough of her own work to do, so nothing has happened with mine. The reps have also gone nuts in the meantime apparently, and I now have 35 advertorials to write for our "travel" section (for context, that's 20 pages, and they're actually supposed to have a limit of 15) The worst thing is that it's NZ, and I'm supposed to call up the stores to make sure I get the info by deadline but I can't cause I'm not allowed to make international phone calls. I mean really, wtf! So now it's just a wing and a prayer really, hoping everything gets in by next Friday. Before then I still have to write the smaller advertorials, do the diary, the stockist list and organise the pagination. AND I STILL HAVENT EVEN LOOKED AT WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE FOR THE OTHER MAGAZINE.

Aaaaah. Breathe. Sorry, I needed the caps.

Anyway, I guess I'm just going to have to put in a lot of extra hours until I cover this. Fuck. Oh actually, speaking of extra hours. For some odd reason they all thought I was meant to cover another chick's reception today, because she covered for me last week. I was getting really annoyed with all these emails assuming I was doing it - the only reason she covered for me while I was away was because I covered for her the week before when she had a uni conference! Bloody hell. I ended up having to sit there from 5 - 5.30 and I only technically work till 5! Bah.

So yes, we are not amused. Not at all. I'm going to watch a movie now in the hopes it'll soothe my annoyance.

Oh yes, and we have a new female PM, it was all very exciting but alas I'm already losing interest again. I really fail at this politics business.

Music: The Brothers Bloom
Mood: Annoyed

Monday, June 21, 2010

Written in a Bangkok Airport Waiting Area

Right, now that they've had me run halfway around the airport and back again, I will use this time productively to recap the last few days of my really excellent short adventure.


Ah forgive me, my brain is sluggish and overcome with humidity - if it's this hot inside this airport, I shudder to think what it's like inside. Whoa. I don't think I'll be visiting the tropics any time soon. Man. I've just had the fabulous experience of standing at the transfer desk for 30 minutes before being told that no, actually, I was right the first time and I have to go pick up my bag, clear customs and check back in before they can give me a Sydney Boarding pass. So off I trot hoping my bag is still on the belt (thankfully it was), dodging the crew who looked slightly perplexed by my haste, clearing customs except for some difficulty with the scary military lady asking why I didn't have an address in Thailand (I'm transferring. / You should go to the transfer desk. / No, I have to check in again. / *looks suspicious* etc etc) For those who've never been to the new Bangkok airport - it's such an odd building, it's all round and nest like and it has these travelators that incline in this hill like formation...oh I can't explain it, it's like big steps.

They're fine if you stand still, not so great when you have to be somewhere and you're trying to walk up them. I found it quite hard to drag my bag up them at any rate. I made it to the check-in desk just in time, and scored a ticket. Always a plus. Then I had to go back through customs. I know, it's crazy. But I have Thai stamps in my passport now, so yay?

It's a really unique airport though, all walkways and circular constructions and such. It has a garden too, but I didn't have time to check it out.




So then, to get back to things that were. Well, I packed some boxes and helped Abbi move? That's interesting, right? Actually I think I've redefined the boundaries of being a best friend - a friend will help you move, a good friend will help you move a body, a best friend will fly halfway around the world to help you do either. If this was twitter I'd tag that statement with 'delusions of grandeur' *chuckles to self* No, I had a fabulous time, and it's not like we had to move an entire house, so it's not bad. Plus I got to meet the infamous Paul and Frank, and they're both total sweethearts and brilliant. Brilliant, I say, in Ten's voice. Saturday night, Abbi and I set off to Waterloo to meet her friend Yvonne, before heading off to Wembley. Weeeembleeey! Sorry, I have to do it. It marked the third time I've seen Green Day, and once already on the 21st Century Breakdown tour, but the magic of it never dulls. I will go to my grave swearing there isn't a better live touring band out there at the moment. I've mentioned the gigs and what the band means to me many, many times so I'm not going to go on about it (also I don't have time, we should be boarding soon) but really - they're just so good. Billie Joe is so amazing, the way he has everyone doing exactly what he wants. He says stand up and 90,000 people are on their feet no questions asks. It is such a fantastic thing to witness. They did a lot of older songs, which is markedly different from the Aussie leg of this tour, but oh so fantastic. There simply isn't enough adjectives to describe it. The stage show is epic, with fireworks, massive screens, pyro and graffiti cannons; and of course the personalities are completely arresting. At the risk of sounding cliche, it's a rocking good time. I have to mention that Frank Turner and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts opened. There was some doubts regarding Joan Jett's performance, but I had absolute faith in the Queen of Rock n Roll. We have the entire back catalogue at home on records (whether they're my mum's or my dad's I don't know) so I've grown up on the stuff, and I was quite pleased to get the chance to see her live. She is so amazing. Scary, but amazing. So that was a definite win. The trek home, on the other hand, was not as much of a win - but I got to catch a night bus! Chalk up another experience, done and done.

Edit: You can catch Abbi's recount of the gig, plus photos, over here

Sunday was the moving business, followed by a late pub lunch that took a lot longer than anyone anticipated due to the bar being run by one lone girl who seemed to be completely perplexed and overwhelmed by the amount of people in. Blame the World Cup. Actually, go NZ, their enthusiasm was so infectious, it's a shame they couldn't make it through. It would have been the Cool Runnings of soccer.

After that, I stumbled along on an overfull tube to Heathrow where I proceeded to sit about for an hour feeling cider sleepy and acquiring a boarding pass to Bangkok, with the fun possibility of being kicked off here. Luckily that hasn't happened, but I have been sent to the back of the plane again (where I belong, ahem). I actually got to sit upstairs flying over here! I've never flown upstairs before! It's not particularly great, things shake a lot more up there. And it's awkward holding up the pilot when you're standing in the aisle rummaging through the overhead compartment. But there's so much more room up there, all these little compartments everywhere that you can stash things in. I was sitting next to a lovely woman, a professor, which is always nice. Even if I was sleeping 6 out of the 10 hours. I bought 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' at Heathrow, so I've started that. Another guy was reading it and so he struck up a conversation about it, though he's almost finished. I'm not overly impressed with it so far, but I've been told it's one of those that has a lot of set-up and once you get past that, it really rolls brilliantly. So here's hoping.

Actually, speaking of Heathrow, I did an epic amount of walking there, man that airport is big. The desk staff sent me to the wrong gate to get my full boarding pass (I didn't have a seat number or gate number on the one they gave me and yes I know the board tells you the gate number, but I made the mistake of trusting the staff) and I ended up at the BA flight to Sydney (via Singapore) instead of the Qantas flight (via Bangkok) - they freaked me out by telling me I wasn't listed, before we figured out I was given the wrong gate. The comforting words from the guy working at that desk? "You need to go to gate 18, it's about 16 miles that way, I'm not kidding." So with boarding starting in 10 minutes, and being told it's at least a 30 minute walk, I set off with an overfull bag and a nervous twitch. Made it in plenty of time though, good thing I'm a fast walker *shakes head*

Now I must digress and pack everything up - there appears to be movement at the gate. Onwards!

Music: "The moving sidewalk is coming to an end" - this post sums it up really.
Mood: Tired

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Written in a Heathrow Check-In Queue

I don't particularly want to go home today.

It's weird, in a way, because I love Sydney. I adore it, I truly do. But I think it might be part of the problem really. I get too comfortable. It breeds complacency, and apathy, and I get stuck in one gear where I just am, and things just are...and that's fine, but it isn't, not really. Shuffling in a queue doesn't particularly lend itself to eloquence, forgive me.

The thing is though that being overseas, being in Europe, makes me feel like a different person. I feel more confident, more certain of myself, stronger, keener, more daring and fun and adventurous. I like the person I am when I travel, and how my dreams seem possible. Not even that, they just seem so much more real and I feel this burning desire to work towards them, endlessly. None of the complacency and wishful thinking, only action and passion. It's probably just that being away from home already makes it feel like something is in motion, like progress is being made, and that leads to this proactive sense of motivation and determination. I worry that if I were to actually live overseas, I will just fall into the same comfortable apathy.. It won't be travel anymore and it will lose the magic, and I'll just have to pack up and find it again somewhere else.I don't know. I think I may have been destined to be a gypsy.

I know in the past I've said I want to move to London, but I don't think the city is right for me. I don't think I have the right mentality for it. If I'm going to forsake the sunshine and the city I love for the continent I feel I belong on, it has to be the right fit otherwise I'll just get depressed. There's only two places I've been where I thought "I can live here" (not "I want to live here" of which there is a greater selection: London, Paris, Lucerne, any part of Tuscany) and that's Dublin and (most recently) Cardiff. They just feel right, somehow. It clicks. But like I said before, I don't know how long it would last.

Of course I have no intention of packing up and moving right now, despite my reluctance to return home. I certainly have no thoughts of 'Right, I'm going to spend the rest of my life there.' I don't think I'm capable of that though in itself, but that is a blog for another time. Besides I barely survived moving to a place I didn't know at all the first time, I'm certainly never doing that to myself again. No, I'd have to ease myself into it. A stretch of time with a friend, and if I think I can hack it, then I can commit to something longer - a PhD length stay for example.

In the end though, I think I will always come home. And Sydney is home. Regardless of how little time I think I want to spend there, or how often I'm thinking of being somewhere else. It's beautiful, and not as big as it thinks it is (or anyone else does for that matter), but it is where I found my peace, that complacency and apathy I bemoan so much - that has it's time and it's place after all, and it's priceless.

I just...I don't know. I get so restless, so dissatisfied with myself. I want to be able to look back on my life one day and say, yes, I've done some amazing things, I've made it count. Perhaps not in conventional ways, but on my own terms - I've lived up to my own expectations. It just feels like something I have to do. I owe it to myself to not only take the opportunities that come my way, but to make my own.

I want things to be amazing. I want to be amazing. Maybe that's too much to ask, but I think I can at least try.

We can stay like this forever
And we'll never miss a party
Cause we'll keep them going constantly
And we'll never have to listen
To anyone about anything
Cause it's all been done and it's all been said
We're the coolest kids and we take what we can get

This offer stands forever

Music: Announcements and chatter
Mood: Shuffle shuffle *wait* shuffle shuffle *wait* bored now

Friday, June 18, 2010

A lesson in justifying your fandom academically

This morning, I nervously paced my hotel room reciting my paper and mentally thought to myself “For once in your life, just be the person people think you are. Just once.” I don't think I entirely pulled it off, but it was an adequate performance that didn't leave me feeling utterly humiliated or feeling out of my depth. I might even go as far as saying I enjoyed it. I certainly got a lot out of it, and it was very interesting. I met a lovely French girl that approach things from a very similar way as I do, and who is also a Masters student on her first international conference, so it was nice to have company. Don't feel so out of my depth! After an entire day dedicated to discussing the various elements of Torchwood, the two of us went down to the bay to have another look at the memorial and spent another three hours talking about it. We also came up with brilliant titles for a series of books on the subject, essay collections if you will. I'm not saying what they are, I might actually want to follow up on it one day, but they are nothing short of brilliant. Brilliant, I tells you!

I feel like a kid who had too much sugar now though, and am quite exhausted. Headache too. Must pack as bus is too stupidly early in the morning. I'm really quite sad to have to leave, I don't want to. Entirely unexpected, I must admit. But, hey, I finally get to see Abs! And Green Day! Woo!

Side note: Cardiff is an entirely different place on a Friday night. The city seems to be blocked off from traffic and the entire population is "out on the town" as it were. It's quite odd and I'm not quite sure what to make of it. Not that I'm really thinking about it, but it's worth a mention all the same. Now, on to the packing *sigh*

Music: A Welsh game show that I have no hope of deciphering
Mood: Tired

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sore feet and sunburn

One of the many things I love about Wales is how they pronounce my full name. Part of the reason I shortened it to Jen is simply because subconsciously I don’t like the way it sounds in the aussie accent. Here though it sounds the way it’s meant to, and it’s lovely! Yes. I’m odd, I know. I’ve also realised that Wales will be the first place zombies flock to when the apocalypse eventually comes – that’s what happens when you have billboards declaring “Brains” up all over the place.

Anyway, today I zombie shambled along on a tour round the Gower peninsula and got sunburnt. I know, I am surprised too. It was an absolutely beautiful day, quite warm even! Cardiff has really rolled out the gorgeous weather for me – I fear it may taint my opinion of the place and with the first rain, it will instantly lose its shine. I hope not though, cause I am seriously considering upping sticks and moving here for a bit. I know I say this virtually every time I go overseas, but this is actually an academic choice too. Cardiff has three (four technically) universities in the city itself, and it has a strong focus on media. There are so many research positions going. Also, for a PhD in media studies and fandom, I’m inclined to think it’s the place to be. Failing that, R and I are considering a year abroad with 6 months here and 6 months in Ireland. I would like to do the stereotypical sojourn writing in Paris as well at some point in my life. It’d be an experience if nothing else, and that is the key to life, surely.

Half-baked ideas aside, the tour was totally lovely. I befriended another Aussie on tour who appreciated my sci-fi rambling and a fun guide who enjoyed discussing the absurdities of the English language (after I expressed my inability to make sense of Welsh thanks to its apparent lack of vowels.) This somehow descended into a discussion about rugby, as all things do around here. (That’s one good thing about going home – I can avoid the soccer again!) If it wasn’t for this tour, I would have gone this entire time in Wales without seeing a single sheep, imagine! Now I have seen more than enough. Random fact: at any one time there is about 9 million sheep in the country.

But I digress. It’s an absolutely gorgeous stretch of coast out past Swansea, and we did some epic walking along it. We also drove past Catherine Zeta-Jones’ house...apparently we should care? Now if it was my fictional welsh boyfriend’s house, it’d be another story! It was an eight hour tour, but it went quite quickly. There were beaches, and salt flats, and a castle – there is a ridiculous amount of castles around here. Oh, and wild ponies. So yes, a bit of everything country. Customs are not going to be impressed with the state of my shoes though – guess I’ll have to clean them again *sigh*

Tomorrow I have to give my paper. DREAD. I am terrified. I am on second too, so I get to hang around for the rest of the day feeling like a tool after I screw up – like my positive thinking? Breathe, self, remember to breeeeathe.

Wish me luck!

Music: Soccer - what else?
Mood: Nervous

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In which fail = win

The best way to get to know a city, is to get lost. Fact. I did precisely that this morning on my way to the National Museum where I was supposed to meet the tour I was going on. The museum is located in this area of the city (behind the castle) known as Cathays Park, where everything looks the same - these big stately Edwardian buildings that are all some way or other important situated around gardens. Coming through a the tunnel from the city centre, I turned left instead of right and so promptly got lost amongst these buildings. After doing a loop of them all (and Alexandra Gardens, which has a gorgeous war memorial), I finally found the gallery - but alas I was by then twenty minutes late for my tour. So there went that idea!

To be fair, my lateness could have been avoided if I had actually gotten up at a reasonable time instead of merely thinking about it as I would then have had more than ten minutes to get there. But now I know precisely where it is and I will be able to get there, no problems, tomorrow morning for the other tour! Try again, as they say.

Anyway, regardless (or rather because) of that mishap, I have had a fantastic day. After realising the tour was now a dream, I wandered down to trusty Tesco (where I also found an ATM - I have since found another thousand, turns out I'm just blind) to get something for breakfast since the thought of something heavy was very off-putting. Only after acquiring my yogurt (and diet coke, which I would have been willing to kill for) did I realise I had no imagine me if you will sitting in the Gorsedd Gardens eating yogurt with one half of a twix bar. You'd be surprised, it worked quite well. Though I may now be responsible for a cultural perception that all crazy aussies do this. Aaaaanyway, I went back to the museum which is just brilliant (and free!) It has one of the biggest collections of impressionist art outside of Paris, and it's just a great space. A lot of the collection is on tour in the US at the moment, but there's still an impressive range there. I love impressionism and was quite thrilled to get the chance to gape at Monet's Twilight, Venice which I just adore. More impressively, it all came from a pair of sisters who bequeathed it to the museum in the sixties. Can you imagine owning all these masterpieces, just having them in your house? There are ginormous Rodin statues as well, it just blows my mind that someone could own these things. At the moment they've got a live video feed set up on the ground floor so you can see the peregrine falcon nest in the City Hall clock tower - so cute.

I wasted a lot of time here, then I hopped back on the tour bus I took yesterday (yay for 24-hour tickets!) and headed down to the Bay. I spent about two hours here, trying desperately not to run around gleeing like a tool. I settled for grinning like a fool at things nobody else would have found even remotely interesting. I had an ice cream at the exact same spot Gwen and Rhys did in 'Meat' and then had to resist the urge to run screaming towards the tower begging Torchwood to save me when a bee landed on my hand. I hate bees, they freak me out. The fact that I managed to remain calm in this situation is just testament to my strength of will. Also my incredibly good mood. And it looked like quite a friendly bee. It did put me off the rest of my ice cream though, and I quickly tossed it and moved far, far away. I wandered round the boardwalk, Starbucks in hand, and revelled in the lunch-time crowd. I stumbled down to the "tourist office" entrance and I must admit, I am surprised that the memorial is still there - and bigger. Some of them are quite new, it's all still in good condition. It's almost been a year you know, I'm supportive of my fellow fans' determination. The locals don't even seem to notice it anymore, though many a tourist stopped there looking a bit perplexed. I found it amusing. I crossed Roald Dahl plass, did not stand on the water fountain, and took ten bazillion photos of the Millennium Centre which I am just obsessed with.

Back on the tourist bus, I headed back into the city and checked out Cardiff Castle. I love castles, even though they are all essentially the same. The main house has the most brilliant ceilings and a gorgeous library. If anyone passed me as I was walking along the wall, they would have heard me muttering about "needing to find a box" I could barely see over it!

Having thoroughly entertained my inner tourist, I wandered about some of the many arcades and called in to Tescos again to stock on junk food as I now need to do some uni work. Which is why I'm here, blogging, clearly. Procrastination is the same overseas as it is at home! I want to finish it at a decent time so I can go down to the Bay again for dinner, but I don't think it's going to happen.

My overall impression from my wandering about the city is that it's virtually a combination of Sydney and Melbourne. It has all the lovely arcades, cafes and bars that Melbourne is so proud of, without the annoying artsy attitude and trams of doom, but it has that waterfront charm and laid-back sense that I adore so much of the Sydney harbour area. It's significantly smaller than both those cities, but I kind of like that.

Oh, I must commend everyone here in the Northern Hemisphere as you are all clearly made of stronger stuff than I am. I have seen girls in summer dresses today, people in shorts, guys have been wandering about without their shirts on - now it's a gorgeous sunny day, but I'll eat my converse if its warmer than 24. I've had my jacket on all day, and I even had to button it up down at the Bay cause it's so damn windy. One very summery thing though, hayfever. I'm having an epic attack as I type *head explodes from sneezing*

Anyway, conclusion, I love it here, I may just move.

Music: The weakest link...don't know where the soccer went
Mood: Sneezy

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

She returns, the sleepy explorer

Granted, that wasn't the longest trot out of one's hotel room ever, but I am a bit fragile still and I have managed to do an entire city tour in the measly two hours since I left, so I don't think it's too bad.

From this brief little bus trip, I feel I may be a little bit in love with Cardiff. It's so...odd. And seemingly entirely populated by students...which probably explains the vast number of pubs. I must look like a bit of a nutter wandering about in my boots and my jacket done up, shivering while I wait for a bus, and one guy clearly thought I was a lost emo kid since he took it upon himself to "cheer me up" and asked me when last I'd seen the sun. I just burst out laughing, I mean really. People are so lovely though. I had a lovely chat with a tour guide, and have been recommended a number of gay pubs to attend because apparently the decor is "really beautiful and unique, but don't worry, they won't mind, they're really nice." I just love it. The juxtapositioning is fantastic.

The bus went past the docks of course, and I'm not going to lie to you, I got such an insane fangirl thrill passing through there. Lame as it sounds, it's the kind of hair-raising, spine-tingling, thrill of awesomeness. That's why I love fandom, it's just silly things that gives you those moments. I'm completely fascinated by it - I think I'm really going to end up doing a PhD in it *shakes head at self* Anyway, I was going to wander back down there, but I just can't be bothered now. I don't think I'd make it back to the hotel again, I'm just too knackered - might try tomorrow night. It's not far really, city's quite small in general. One noticeable thing about it being summer of course is that it stays light - I mean it's six now and it doesn't look it at all. There's no consistency on this continent, last time was here darkness ruled by 4! Hopefully I can get some stuff done with the extra daylight. I'm really disappointed I won't get a chance to see the national gallery - I'm hoping to get a chance to squeeze it in somewhere, but I have my doubts.

My proudest acquisition of the day is the fantabulous arrow pens they sell in the castle gift shop - R bought one on her trip last year and I have expressed some interest in, um, liberating it should she relax her guard. Now thankfully petty larceny has been avoided, and she can rest easy.

I will say this though, I have heard many sirens screeching around here. And seagulls.

My red bull is wearing off and I'm feeling a bit bleurgh. I somehow haven't been able to find an ATM, or whatever they call them here, though I know there must be some somewhere - I've seen them on the teevee. Contemplating whether it would be incredibly wasteful (not quite the word I'm looking for by brain me not work so good) to order room service.

Meanwhile, one for the TMI files, I appear to be developing serious nosebleed issues during/after long haul flights these days :/

Music: Faint traffic noise
Mood: Sleepy

Welcome to Wales...are you lost?

I am currently subjecting myself to a terrible flaky baked twist thing of the chocolate variety. Blargh.

Anyway, hello from Cardiff! I have finally finally gotten here after defeating three Nazgul, forging a river, outsmarting Saruman's uruk hai army, and breaking down the doors of you can tell I'm extremely disappointed they don't show Lord of the Rings on the plane. If there is ever a better time for four hour movies, I don't know what it could be. I was seriously lamenting this oversight on this particular flight because there was nothing that even remotely held my interest. Except for How to train your dragon, that is just adorable. But even I can't watch that more than once in a 24-hour period, and it's only an hour and a half long! I somehow miraculously made it to Bangkok without falling asleep, and then promptly passed out on the second leg of the flight. Six hours uninterrupted, which isn't bad. Would've liked a bit more, but that's kept me functioning at least. From there it was the joyful struggle of getting my luggage on a peak hour tube to Victoria, and then onto a three hour bus here, for my arrival an hour ago. My legs may never forgive me for this.

I have met some fabulous people on this little sojourn though, which has made all the travelling much more interesting. While on layover in Bangkok a Scottish guy struck up a conversation and we accumulated an Irish girl and an older Aussie woman for spirited conversation that certainly brightened up a humid midnight waiting room. I befriended a woman on her first trip to London while waiting in line for the sole working bathroom in business class, and later ran into her and her friend at the tube station. On the bus over here, I somehow got into a really philosophical discussion with this random dude after he asked me to watch his baggage that soon roped in the lady sitting next to me - she then spent the three hour trip regaling me with stories and/or tips on what to do around here as she saw fit. I have been asked for directions, which makes me feel quite proud of myself (tourists don't think I'm a tourist, yay! lol), have been given a phone number, and Neil Gaiman's twin wanted me to tell him what zone Euston station was in as he had forgotten his glasses.

All this in thirty hours with six hours sleep, and no access to basic luxuries such as showers. Hmmm. Shoooower. Speaking of, best hop to it and get out there. Things to do!

Oh wait, before I forget, I have to point out for the record that it was ten degrees when I got off the plane this morning. I still saw people in t-shirts, but I mean really, ten! Where is this thing called summer? It's a bit warmer here, but certainly not worthy of leaving a jacket behind.

Music: Wind rattling my window
Mood: Chipper

Monday, June 14, 2010

Epic blog is epic

Well, the original plan was to write this blog 30,000 thousand feet in the air on Saturday. That didn’t quite go according to plan...and instead of doing it yesterday on this unexpected day that had absolutely nothing going for it, I actually did absolutely nothing. Time wastage, your name is Jen. I was far too lazy after a lovely little meeting with wine at a family friend’s birthday on Saturday night. (That’s what you do when you don’t make your flight, go to parties you previously said you wouldn’t be able to make.)

So now I blog to you from the comfort of the Sydney airport waiting lounge, with forty five minutes to o till boarding. At least I got this far this time, on Saturday I didn’t even make it past check in. Four hours stood waiting about the check-in desk until only three of us were left and told there was no room for us. Turns out it wouldn’t have mattered if I made it on that leg anyway, as everyone was chucked off in Bangkok and have to wait for the flight I’m now booked on to go on to London. See the joys of staff travel! I always feel a weird sense of vindication when something like this happens, if only because people always make such a fuss about how lucky you are when you have staff travel. Sure, I may pay only a sixth of a normal business class ticket, but this is the kind of nonsense I have to put up with. It’s plane roulette. Still, Bangkok is tons better than the Singapore flight, that’s completely booked and it’s an A380 – just imagine how many people that is. It astounds me that so many people travel to the UK every flight, and that so many staff travel as well. Don’t people work?

But I digress. I’ve got a ticket all the way through, even if it is economy (I know, I know, I’m snobbish and spoiled and should be ashamed of myself), so fingers crossed I actually make it. Of course I’ve lost all the time off I had scheduled to “recover” and I have to hop straight on a coach to Cardiff when I arrive where I will no doubt be stumbling about zombie-like for the rest of the day. Yay, time travel!

Anyway, here’s everything I’ve been meaning to blog about for the last...oh I don’t know, week or something.

First things first, popular music on the radio. There is absolutely no words to express my dislike for 3Oh!3, seriously. For some reason I also constantly think of them as the Vanilla Ice of this generation, though I don’t harbour any particular ill will towards Vanilla Ice (that I know of, or have really thought about). Then there’s that Usher song – when I first heard it my initial thought was “Send it back, it’s not done yet” but with repeated listening, and though I am quite ambivalent to it, I must recognise that is absolutely everything a commercial song should be. It is brilliant in that respect, ticking all the boxes. Plus it feels essentially like two songs with the Will.I.Am bit breaking in the middle. It’s got such a build and progresses so well...and then I promptly forget about it when it’s done, until the next time... It’s really quite something. Meanwhile, the new Katy Perry and Ke$ha songs just annoy me. It’s funny, because for a while Katy was part of the FBR family and now that it’s all fallen apart there, it’s a bit weird to see things go the way they have. Also, that Brian McFadden song is teeerrible and only shows that Kevin Rudolph is actually a better vocalist even though he is only featured in the song for like three seconds or something.

Oh oh oh, for those who haven’t heard, there’s been a development in the world of Torchwood and they’re actually going to do Season 4. It’s apparently going to have a “shocking and moving story with global stakes" – uh yeah, cause we haven’t had enough of that, have we? I will of course watch, although with trepidation. I’m disappointed Gwen’s back, to be honest. I’d much have preferred to just let all that go...I am not her biggest fan after all.

What else? Sydney is incapable of dealing with winter, water mains burst every which way you look and cause chaos on the roads. Stupid traffic, takes me an hour to get to work! Speaking of work, it’s going quite well. Busy though, which is good I guess. I have a lot of things happening at once, so I am perfecting my multitasking skills. I’m going to have so much to do when I get back, not particularly looking forward to that. Especially when combined with the jetlag. Hmm.

I’m having some guy woes because I still don’t have a sign above my head that says “Will be friend, not girlfriend” – I seriously need one of those. I’m frankly becoming annoyed – why can’t they ever just say what they mean. I mean really, I’ve heard that women supposedly never say what they mean, but these boys are driving me round the bend, they’re so obtuse. Also, what do you do with a guy you’ve known quite some time who randomly tells you he loves you. I mean really, wtf. I assumed he was joking. Bah.

I seem to be getting weird looks sitting here typing, not entirely sure why. Meanwhile I’ve eaten far too much junk today, including a krispy kreme donut and I don’t feel particularly well. Though I don’t even want to know what they’re going to serve for dinner on le plane. My plan is to stay awake for the leg to Bangkok (a meagre 9 hours) and get as much uni work done as possible (I have readings to do, an essay to write, and a presentation still to learn) then come the final leg (14 hours), I’ll take my sleeping pills and hopefully get some solid rest so I feel wide awake for the 7am landing time. One can hope anyway.

My plans are pretty much in tatters now though, and I’m going to be a lot more pressed for time than I would have liked. I still get to see Green Day with Abbi though, which is certainly something. I’ll see if I can get some quality time in Londres on Sunday as well, I only need to be at the airport around 6 to 7pm-ish.

Anyway, I ramble. Rambling is good, but you know, still. Felicia Day was on Lie To Me the other night, there’s a bit of random info for you.

To the flight depository! Actually to the window, dad’s working today and I can wave to him *is weird*

Posted two days later because Sydney airport wanted me to pay for wireless access - as if!

Music: The drone of repetitive announcements
Mood: Bored

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Get me through the morning

And do you ever feel like you're alone?
And do you ever wish you'd be unknown?
I can say that I have..
I can say that I have..
And do you ever feel things here aren't right?
And do you ever feel the time slip by?
And I can say that I have..
And I can say that I have..

So hear this please
And watch as your heart speeds up endlessly
And look for the stars as the sun goes down
Each breath that you take has a thunderous sound
Everything, everything's magic
Just sit back and hold on, but hold on tight
Prepare for the best and the fastest ride
And reach out your hand, and I'll make you mine
Everything, everything's magic

And do you ever lay awake at night?
And do you ever tell yourself don't try?
Don't try to let yourself down
Don't try to let yourself down
And do you ever see yourself in love?
And do you ever take a chance, my love?
Because you know that I will..
Because you know that I will..

So hear this please
And watch as your heart speeds up endlessly
And look for the stars as the sun goes down
Each breath that you take has a thunderous sound
Everything, everything's magic
Just sit back and hold on, but hold on tight
Prepare for the best and the fastest ride
And reach out your hand, and I'll make you mine
Everything, everything's magic

Everything, everything's magic

So hear this please
And watch as your heart speeds up endlessly
And look for the stars as the sun goes down
Each breath that you take has a thunderous sound
Everything, everything's magic
Just sit back and hold on, but hold on tight
Prepare for the best and the fastest ride
And reach out your hand, and I'll make you mine
Everything, everything's magic

Music: Everything's magic - Angels & Airwaves

Manic Arm Flail

I've got a ton of work to do but as is my usual Thursday standard, I don't particularly feel like it. I am, as per usual, in a relatively good mood though, mostly because my Wednesday Advance Narrative Writing class is just so fabulous. Was fabulous, I should say. Semester is officially over. Wooooo! Still have essay to do for Critical Writing but...woooo! A few of us were talking after class last night, and we're going to set up a writer's group - seeing as everyone gets on well and gives great advice, it makes sense to keep going.

I have so much random things to blog about, so much. I'll definitely get to it tonight, right after I finish the dread presentation. Yes, it's still half written, terrible I know. I'm ever so slightly freaking out about it. And it's Thursday already, holy crap. Does my head in. I'm flying out Saturday night, and I'm seeing R and Em tomorrow night (for the first time in aaaages), so tonight is pretty much the night for getting things done.

This deserves manic arm flailing, right? Right

Music: Buddy Holly - Biffy Clyro
Mood: Stressed