speaker for the risen
nothing is hidden that will not be revealed
24th-Jan-2010 07:59 pm - forward all my mail [internet, mongolia]
Clearly I am not updating this blog (though I log in each and every day and read yours!).

I do have a new blog, chronicling my quest to eat five new foods a week: Here Comes The Aeroplane at www.jeltzz.com/hcta/. Why yes, it is hard to eat that many new foods but it is keeping me writing regularly and it is great to be getting in a disciplined pattern.

We are going to Mongolia for a month at the end of February in the interests of seeing if we want to move there permenantly. Seumas and I have a joint blog which I imagine we will update a lot more once we're over there. Macdonalds in Mongolia at www.macdonaldsinmongolia.blogspot.com/.

If you must must hear my inane thoughts then try twitter.com/cyberiagirl.

No goodbye as I am not leaving!

(Also my husband cooks the best satay tofu in the world. Just saying.)
You may be interested to read an article I wrote explaining why a Christian would consider vegetarianism, published in an online student blogazine.
Serving the Lord at Supper

In other news I am doing a development course at work to help work out what I want from my job and how to improve my personal life and so on. It sounded a bit dumb when I first started but it's actually really good! Today we learnt about emotional intelligence and negative thinking. I've got some bad mental habits I'm going to work on breaking. More specifically I want to be more positive and less pessimistic; time to stop assuming the worst before it happens! Let's see how I do. :)
11th-Sep-2009 05:53 pm - stopping to breathe [food, steph, work]
I haven't been taking my allocated RDOs as they've accrued for the last few months, which I swore I would do this year... and have been getting majorly stressed out at work. I was saving them to see my nephew a bit when he was born but it was becoming clear that there would never be a great time to go visit for two nights so I went overnight this week. I think I'm going to be in trouble come Monday but whatever.

Lachlan is totally a cute baby and there is scientific proof! His body is in the top 95 percentile for his age but his head is in the 25 percentile which means that unlike most babies he does not have an oversized-looking head! My sister and her husband have him on a pretty good schedule where they wake him up to feed so he sleeps better at night and learns to put himself to sleep. I know some people are not into these ideas but I think it's working really well for them because my sister is much less stressed than if she was only getting two or three hour lots of sleep (Lachy normally sleeps for 5 hours and sometimes 6 or 7 now) and surely a happy mother is a better mother! It was really good to go up and keep her company and learn a thing or two about newborns.

Everyone keeps asking me "So are you feeling clucky?" and the answer is nope. ;p In fact, I am even less inclined now than when she was pregnant because mothers of new babies seem basically housebound for a few months and I can't even handle one day at home let alone 60. :p

Today Seumas and I went to Bondi and for lunch I'd found out about this French crepe place. Normally I don't care for crepes but these are authentic ones (the cooks and staff all chatter in French to each other) and come on, blue cheese and pear? Nom nom! Seumas even had a bit and liked it, and I tasted his coffee and almond one and liked it too and I don't like coffee! They make it at the front so you can watch which is nice.

And still two days before Monday! Bit sad that my plans for Saturday fell through and Seumas is going to a concert Saturday night so I'll be by myself but as long as I occupy myself a bit it will be fine. Can't leave the house though because the landlord is coming to measure to put new carpet in. I guess that means we will be sent packing soon because who puts in new carpet for the benefit of tenants? Plus I think the owners have divorced so I guess the wife will live here. Oh well...
4th-Sep-2009 02:19 pm - 3 hours in all directions [adventure, language]
Last weeekend we went to Engage in Katoomba. Stayed in a house with some people from church and Becky, went to hear some great talks, saw some good views. They have heaters at KCC now! Also question time with free hot chocolate of awesome.

Got some important things to think about from Matt Chandler and William Taylor. Engage is for people at my lifestage - working, no kids - so I always appreciate the way they run things. Free SMH! No early starts! Lots of yummy snacks!

Seumas and I are about to drive to Canberra for Scottish Gaelic camp. No, I don't speak any Gaelic, can't even roll my rs, but hopefully by Sunday I will? We don't have the timetable so haven't been able to schedule some time with our friends and relations in Canberra; feel a bit guilty about that, it's like we're sneaking in and out!

Next week I am going to drive up to Maitland to stay with Steph and Ben and little bub Lachlan overnight. She sounds really tired. :(

So three hours, west, south and north... I could try for east the weekend after but I'm not sure our car floats. ;p

Also, I has iPhone! I entered a competition to give the best 5 minute presentation at a conference for local government webmasters and I won first prize; iPhone 3G 8 gig. But not all the coolness that comes with it... Turns out that getting an unlocked phone just means that no carrier really wants to have you (I was commited to 3 anyway due to being 7 months into a 24 month contract). After hours at the 3 Store and on the phone to support it has been determined that I will not get any internet without paying through the nose for it. Which kind of destroys the point really and is rather disappointing. I could get more stuff on my old phone I think! But I can do stuff when there's a wireless network around, and I will get some apps that don't need the net so I can entertain myself on the train.

But free iPhone! Now in theory Seumas will have my old phone which is much newer than his but he seems unlikely to actually bother.

Um... that is all? That is all.
16th-Aug-2009 10:34 pm - the next generation [outing, steph]
My sister's son decided to grace the world with his presence after a marathon labour on Tuesday. He is called Lachlan, he is quite sizeable, and he is lovely. I mean, most babies look very similar but Lachlan is streaks ahead because he didn't get too squashed. Seumas and I visited them on Thursday and I got a hold! Yay! He has two Aunt Rachels so I have dubbed myself Auntie Mac (apparently Auntie Little had too many implications on the other Rachel) and Seumas is Uncle Shimmy and I am in awe of how cool a mum my sister is already! She is laid-back but no-nonsense at the same time, a good combination. :)

A week of much driving and Being Out and not much sleep. For some reason I kept waking up every hour for six nights in a row. I got to catch up with Becky, and went to see Matisyahu at the Metro with Seumas and some friends from East Lindfield (I like Matisyahu himself; I don't like it when his back-up band riffs for 20 minutes). Very briefly saw some friends from my old workplace (not long enough as I had to leave at the too-early hour of 9.30) and drove to Katoomba yesterday to talk to some folk about getting the application process for Mongolia started.

Today I did chores and snacked. It was supposed to get hot but my scepticism on the matter was rewarded and it did not. Also Coles have stopped selling our soy milk so I tried shopping at Woolies. Always hard to find things in an unfamiliar supermarket layout. Not very happy with it but I do concede they had more exotic vegetables.

Doing much meal planning for Engage. It's hard to please everyone, some people in particular. I wish I could just say 'eat it or go hungry' but I just worry about people too much to do so. :p
2nd-Aug-2009 09:57 pm - cultural endeavours [food, outing, steph, writing]
Yesterday Seumas and Katherine and I went to the Opera House to see the Bell Shakespeare company perform Pericles. I had never heard of the play before, let alone knew it was Shakespeare, but it was really good! Not too long and it was very entertaining. The performers were fantastic, the costumes beautiful and it all worked together so well! I wish I could get my hands on one of the costumes, it was part-obi, part-English-summer-dress, very whimsical. For me to be talking about what they were wearing, it had to be good!

It finished its Sydney run last night but if you are in Melbourne go and see it! The three of us all agreed it was amazing. :)

My pregnant sister is due Tuesday... I am very keen to meet my nephew! Come on bub, you can do it! I've been saving all my RDOs in anticipation of his birth so I'm pretty tired. This is going to be a hard week. :p

I've been uncomfortable and in some pain pretty constantly for over a month. The doctor did heaps of tests than rang me up to give me the results and told me the tests said there was nothing wrong with me. Yay... but it still hurt. Anyway, after much prayer I finally thought of something to try and I have been pain-free since Monday! Thanks God! :)

Today I made a decent Japanese noodle salad. Food has been stressing me out lately; a lot of people around me are dieting and I get caught up in it very easily. I start freaking out about everything I put in my mouth. It's so dumb and it makes me miserable. Sigh. But it has been awhile since my last period of food stress so I need to remember that I am getting increasingly well!

Been mentally going over one of my story ideas while walking home each day. It's nice to work on creative things, even if it's only in my head. My problem is toning down my premise from the heights of overkill and simplifying it so it might actually be sustainable.
So can I even call myself a blogger anymore? Shesh.

I'm home from work sick today with a killer sore throat. I tried looking up symptoms on the internet to make sure it wasn't anything serious; all indications are that it's probably a cold. Meanwhile, I just tried the gargle warm saltwater trick for the first time and it was surprisingly effective! I don't know how long it will last but it really has dulled the pain!

The sun keeps coming and going... come on little sun, shine and dry my sheets!

I am hoping to be mildly productive today. I'd love to do my tax but I need to wait for Seumas to get his group certificate first. But the sheets were on the line by 9am and I am trying to psych myself up to vacuum our bedroom. Er... that's kind of all I have planned... but that's still something for a sick person! Honestly I am just really trying not to get bored and moody. I was home most of yesterday and being inside for extended periods of time depresses me. Also Seumas is at a conference all day so there's no-one to play Catan with (my favourite home-sick activity).

On Saturday Karen and I went to see the So You Think You Can Dance Australia show with this year's top ten. I hadn't been prepared for the fact that it was aimed at tweens (and I hate being told to 'make some noise') but the dancing was great. Really highlighted how fantastic Charlie is and Timomatic is a great showman. The winner, Talia, doesn't come across well on stage though. I think when you aren't really close up you miss a lot of her precision. Plus she's so tiny! But good times. Oh, also Karen introduced me to a great food court where I had grandma tofu and this sweet taro soup stuff. I want to go back there with Seumas; I reckon that one serving could easily do both of us!

After the show we caught the bus back to Karen's place for her Gaiman-themed birthday party. She went as Death; Seumas and I were 'Goths Who Wish They Were Gaiman Characters'. I was wearing the awesome arty dress that co-incidentally Karen had given me a couple of months ago so that was fun but sadly my dress attacked a cup of coke and made a mess on their lovely new carpet. Gomen! Also I think short story readings should be done at more parties.

Life in Macquarie Fields continues on as ever... there were some questions about funding for next year that still kind of remain but I'm not stressed about it. If God wants us here then here we will be. I've really enjoyed having prayer triplet with Corinne and Katherine so losing that would suck but there's not a lot I can do anyway so...

I bought iTunes credit on special, forgetting that iTunes never sells any of the artists I like. :p

Oh, and if you aren't a Christian you may like to tell my husband why.
7th-Jun-2009 03:25 pm - long weekend chillaxing [friends, holiday, meme]
It's the long weekend, yay! Yesterday we went to visit Bec and Suki, then had Aaron and Katherine over. I beat everyone at Catan, though Seumas would have won if the dice had rolled different on his last turn!

Today I bought some things that I couldn't get when I went to DFO with mum. Seumas and I did the samurai sudoku together and just consumed homemade choc-banana smoothie. Tonight is church and dinner after church. Tomorrow I am going to try and make homemade filled focaccia. Probably a doomed exercise; there is something about dough and me that just doesn't work. Then at night Karen and I are going to Wagamama before seeing an anime film as part of the Sydney Film Festival. :)

I love activity; being at home a lot makes me restless and moody. So I am having a good tiny holiday!

I Am A: Lawful Good Elf Cleric (3rd Level)Collapse )
30th-May-2009 07:41 pm - pink icing hair wouldn't suit me [rp]
Kerryn and Nathan came over for the afternoon and I made a maple and pecan cake but I used the wrong kind of pan and now there is maple syrup all over the bottom of the oven. So now I am spending Saturday evening googling solutions. So worth it though. :)

Very excited about seeing my sister next week!

This week at work the risk manager got worried that we were still using the term 'laptop' instead of 'notebook' in case someone puts it on their lap and burns themselves. At this very moment my laptop is on my lap where it is keeping me warm. Mmm... lappy...

We started playing Changeling. I love my character but no-one else really gets her which is a shame. I'm this curvy black British chick who wears Harajuku fashion and has chocolate skin and pink fondant icing hair. In Arcadia I was part kitchen hand, part living dessert (the fae would break off my fingers and eat them and they would grow back for the next night. Yes, it hurt). Now I plan on running a confectionery store and getting my glamour-fix off the excitement of children.

But the other players keep calling me marshmallow man which is getting to me. I don't like how the guys sometimes don't take me seriously.

I need a haircut but all the styles I like are not possible with my cowlick or actual maintenance. This is what always happens. This is why I never get my hair cut. :p
25th-May-2009 06:10 pm - ta da? [steph, writing]
My review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine is now online over at webSalt, for those of you interested in movie reviews from a Christian perspective. I found reviewing a movie at the cinema much harder than reviewing a book. It's the fact that I couldn't go back and watch it again to remember things. I've reviewed things on video before and that's fine, but forming a cohesive opinion on something you've only seen once and had no strong feelings over was hard! I have new respect for the pros.

It's dark now by the time I walk home after work, even if I nick off a tiny bit early to get the 4.33. Going to have to get picked up all the time soon which is why I put on weight at winter I think. ;p

My sister is moving back to NSW in a week and a little! I'm so excited to see her big fat baby belly. :D

My head is a bit achy so that's all you're getting from me...
11th-May-2009 08:33 am - quick spray of opinion [food]
Someone blogged five things they thought were over-rated and it got me wondering if there is anything I think is over-rated. It's an interesting question because it's not that you don't like something. You can not like something and still recognise that it's good for others. Something is only really over-rated if lots of people rate it but really it's just not all that.

I don't have five, probably because I empathise fairly easily so can always imagine myself liking something under different circumstances, but here's one.

Crunchy Peanut Butter

Crunchy peanut butter is over-rated because it tastes just like smooth peanut butter (which is good!) except with hard bits in it that rip up your bread/toast when you spread it. The bits of solid peanut don't add any extra peanut taste because they are too insignificant for that but they sure can put holes in baked products. Also they can stick in your molars. I can see some application in making a satay sauce but you'd be better off using smooth peanut butter and adding your own chopped peanuts because they will be much fresher and tastier.

Crunchy peanut butter FAIL.

Yes, okay, crunchy peanut butter made holes in my toast last night and I'm bitter. But I'm still right!

Also Krispy Kreme is kind of over-rated but I don't feel as strongly about that.
1st-May-2009 02:21 pm - so that's it then [triple j]
I've officially become an adult. When I stepped outside at lunch today and saw the first sunny day all week the first thought to pass through my head was "I wish I could wash the sheets and towels today."

26th-Apr-2009 02:07 pm - macdonalds to mongolia! [mongolia]
This was mentioned awhile ago but now we're actively working to make it official so it's public knowledge; Seumas and I are working towards becoming 'missionaries' in Mongolia.

I use quotation marks because although that's the shortest way to describe what we want to do it's not really accurate. We are not planning on living in a ger and trekking across the steppes following nomadic tribes. We aren't planning on starting a church (the Mongolians are doing that themselves). We are certainly not going to be offering health care!

What we will hopefully be doing is helping Mongolian Christians mature in their faith to lead their churches and teach the Bible well.

Seumas is currently mid-way through a research masters in theology that would allow him to be a university lecturer at Union Bible Theological College. He hopes to study for a PhD and help the Mongolian church become self-sustainable so they no longer need or want people like us.

As for myself, well, one suspects that we will start a family in a few years which will take up a fair chunk of my time! Ultimately my hope is that I would be able to translate English resources into Mongolian or perhaps even produce Mongolian literature. But I'm happy to take it as it comes and wait to find a niche when I get there.

What all this is leading to is that we have started a joint blog for all this stuff (yes, it is joint, even if he has written all the posts so far!). At this stage it will contain bits and pieces of our journey to get all this happening (much less formal than our prayer newsletters will be if you received one of those) and hopefully one day lots of stuff about our life in the northern hemisphere!

So go and check it out - Macdonalds in Mongolia - so I can keep this blog free for my inane thoughts rather than serious stuff. ;)
24th-Apr-2009 06:43 pm - ta da? [jeremy, marriage, port mac, work, writing]
We had a soccer comp at work this week. Soccer is the only team sport I will play so that was convenient. We bought t-shirts and put our names on them; I got my dad to teach me some moves. We were kind of serious but not really. All the other teams were a few people from a department with some ring-ins but we had every person in IT on the team! No-one else managed that. :)

There was Pool A and Pool B. We won our first match 1-0, lost the second 0-2 and tied the third 0-0. Because of the way other games went we ended up going into the semi-finals. At first I thought we'd have no chance but then we scored a goal and then I got hope! But then I got called off the field and while my sub was coming on they scored (I'd been playing defense). Then they scored another two times while I watched agonised on the side-lines without being allowed to go on. :(

So that was that, but then that team beat the other team in the grand final 5-1 so our score of 3-1 wasn't too shabby!

So that was that!

In other news, we had some good times over Easter. Lots of meals with people, went to visit Seumas' family for a lunch, had guests over and then we went off to college reunion camp! We got to have our own room which was nice even if it was bunks. :)

It was scary how many toddlers and babies there were... there was this sea of them... I got a bit freaked out! Just made me want to turn and run and never have children! I just feel like I don't want to spend my time having picnics in the park and wiping noses. I suppose that feeling will pass one day... ;p

Then we drove to Port to stay with my parents for a few days. Got to catch up with atura and then we got to see djneo get married! Who thought the day would come? ;)

Back to work this week... spent an hour this afternoon discussing marriage with my co-workers as I wanted to bring up something that tania blogged about; fixed-term marriages. I wanted to get the perspectives of some people who are very different to me; I was kind of surprised to find that even though their reasons were different to mine they didn't think the idea was workable. So yes, we did sit around talking on the clock... but I got told this week that local government workers don't even count as public servants so no-one can claim the sterotype!

Look, I know this is not a well-written entry but it seems I don't have any well-thought entries in me so this blog can just take what it gets. :p

emurphy42 alerted me to the fact that Geocities is closing its doors so I went and backed up my very first website with all of my very first stories that I wrote more than ten years ago. I ummed a bit about saving it because part of me would prefer that all those embarrassing words would go away. But is there a point to pretending that I wasn't 15 once? Besides I wrote more then than I ever do now. ;p So if you want to meet the me from 1998 you should quickly make your way to the Darkwing Duck Den. Mostly the graphics were by aibo so you can hold him partly responsible. ;p

IT Team in Soccer Comp
IT Team in Soccer Comp
The whole of IT plus Robbie in our lovely shirts (guess who is number one?).

23rd-Mar-2009 07:17 pm - tasers [meme, work]
A guy at my work got a taser disguised as a mobile phone (illegal, of course). I didn't know what it was and he encouraged me to lean in for a closer look, and then he set it off right in my face. :p Those things are really loud, my ears were ringing for thirty minutes after that! Plus he tried to trick everyone as they arrived (I'm always first) so I heard it a lot.

Good personality quiz, even if it told me I was stressed... which I guess I am...Collapse )
Directly opposite our house is an area of scrubby bushland. There are a few of paths through it; one of them goes down to the 'creek', one twists to go back to the houses, one goes up to the sewerage works which is just up the road. Seumas and I have had a little wander but there isn't much to see.

Occasionally there will be some odd items dumped on the track (like snow skiis). Lately we have watched lone guys (it could be just one or two different people but it's not the same person) come and park their car before disappearing into the bush for several hours. The ones I've seen normally have large empty bags, but today a guy who I've seen before came with a full bag. Not a bushwalking bag or backpack, more like a duffel bag. Haven't managed to be around to see anyone return yet. Only ever one person at a time.

All of which makes me curious! I want to follow along behind to investigate ala Harriet the Spy but Seumas says I'm not allowed. ;p

Poll #1365598
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 4

What are these people up to?

View Answers
Innocent bushwalking
1 (25.0%)
Drugs (growing or otherwise)
2 (50.0%)
Stolen items
1 (25.0%)
Sneaking into the sewerage works
0 (0.0%)
Fight Club
0 (0.0%)

Also last night I got seven hours of sleep. Very pleased. The only sad thing was that Seumas slept in another room to achieve this. Not a big fan of this as a long term solution; I've grown accustomed to having someone to get hugs from following nightmares. ;p

I was thinking the other day; marriage has definitely made me less resilient. I've gone a bit soft. For example, I used to smile at women who weren't able to stay in the house alone when their husbands went away because they were too scared/nervous because I lived alone for a year so it's no big deal... but in the last couple of months I certainly have gotten more nervous (though I reckon I could still handle it). I guess because instead of having to deal with everything on my own by sucking it up and being tough now I know that someone else will pick up the slack if I don't feel like being brave. I'm not really sure this is a good thing... but I think also that it's good to learn to rely on your partner and to share responsibilities and feelings. I don't have to save the day solo anymore. But I want to remain able to conquer my fears.
1st-Mar-2009 10:12 pm - pick-up australia day [food, macquarie fields, tv]
Our church organised to do Clean Up Australia Day this morning. 8am start, after very little sleep the night before... death. And after all the cat-calls about the young adults from the evening service being unable to get up early, we were all there and pretty much no-one from any other service ever rocked up! Lame. But we picked up lots of rubbish though heaps remains because it seems like a popular Macquarie Fields pastime is not using a bin. But I felt like we made a difference. :)

Yesterday Seumas and I went to be part of the Good News Week studio audience. Much time was spent standing waiting to go in. We got pretty decent seats (to the right facing the stage). We had to do a lot of cheering and laughing. If they told a good joke but didn't feel like we laughed enough they would tell it again and you'd have to try and laugh louder (but that didn't happen too much). But it does run pretty much exactly like on TV so that was cool.

Anyway, it seems like our episode will be on TV tomorrow! So if you watch Good News Week Monday 2 March you may spot us. I'm wearing a chocolate-brown t-shirt and Seumas is wearing a black one. :)

Also I found a place on Broadway that sells baozi like the one's sold by the side of the road in Xi'an. And I finally made pancakes with our home-grown, home-ground flour. They were buttermilk. They were fluffy to the max. To the max!
17th-Feb-2009 04:32 pm - "too much chocolate pudding..." [mongolia]
said Rachel's stomach to the rest of her. Apparently eating chocolate pudding on Saturday and having another bowl on Tuesday is too frequent. I wouldn't have thought so but there you go. To be honest I kind of knew I didn't want to eat any but a friend came over as I have the day off and I feel like I need to cook something when people arrive so chocolate pudding it was. And you can't really make a dessert and then watch other people eat while you refuse. I think that would make a guest a bit uncomfortable!

But gosh it's nice to have today off. I have two big pots of carrot and lentil soup bubbling in the background now in preparation for tomorrow night's Bible study (my fridge is too small!), pilates in an hour (um... yay?) and more rain falling from the sky!

I've heard some people wish the heatwave back as it has rained for a week and a half but I'm still loving it. And what kind of Australian wishes rain away? Water is a precious resource people! ;p I much prefer the temp to be 20 rather than 40. So much more comfortable!

Lately I have been feeling a bit sad about what I will miss out on when we live in Mongolia. Really I am sad about not being there to see my sister's children grow up or look after my parents when they get old. They will all know each other so well and Seumas and me and our kids will be on the other side of the world. We'll be outsiders in Mongolia and outsiders in Australia too. Also the thought that saying goodbye to our grandparents before we leave will probably be goodbye-goodbye makes me teary.

Of course this is all two years away but while I am looking forward to it I would be naive to not reckon on some hard things. Part of me feels like it is wrong to worry (Luke 10:61) but I don't think that part of me is right. It is right to understand the cost of Christian service; it is being unwilling that is problematic.
14th-Feb-2009 10:48 pm - keep it simple stupid [movie, seumas, weather]
Often weekends without plans outside the house depress me. I need activity. But today has been good!

I was desperate for the weekend to come; I was exhausted from Wednesday onwards. And I'm happy that it's rainy and cool; it's a pleasant kind of constant rain, not the depressive kind.

So this morning I stayed in bed til 8am, ate breakfast and played around on the internet for awhile. We walked to the shops to pick out a DVD and came home with Charlie Wilson's War. Drove to the nearby vegetarian cafe for lunch (they have delicious but very oily faux beefburgers) and had an altercation with The Hills on the TV there. Dropped Seumas off, did the grocery shopping, then returned home for his delicious chocolate pudding and movie-viewing. I liked Charlie Wilson's War, would recommend as a funny movie with substance. Sat around, cooked dinner, watched the episode of So You Think You Can Dance Australia and House from Wednesday. Did a test to see what kind of D&D character I would be (Lawful Good Elf Cleric Level 2... not very exciting) and now will go to bed soon!

Perhaps not a romantic Valentine's Day by most people's standards but we are very content! Also our rain-gauge has reached a new record of over 30mm (not sure how long a period it is measuring for).

In other news, there was a brushfire nearby this week so I packed up a bag of things of precious things in case of evacuation. Apparently the things I can't do without include my role-play dice.
26th-Jan-2009 09:50 pm - boy answers questions [movie]
We saw Slumdog Millionaire this afternoon. I loved it! The best film I've seen for many moons! I left the cinema very excited.

Also despite a miscommunication in order Urban Bites served me a delicious plate of stuffed mushrooms for my birthday dinner. Incredibly oily, garlicy, cheesy, vinegary... incredibly delicious! :D

Plus my husband is lovely. So I'm half-way to 50 and confused and sad about many things but ultimately things are going to work out wonderfully. :)
26th-Jan-2009 02:26 pm - birthday delight [birthday]
I was a little worried about this long weekend as I hadn't gotten around to making any party plans for my birthday. I always feel a bit depressed if I'm bored on my birthday so I was worried about moping. But I've had a really great time!

Saturday I grocery-shopped then hid inside most of the day to avid the heat and watched a Taiwanese 'drama' (apart from a brief period of locking myself out and having to knock on strangers doors to find someone willing to lend their phone so I could call Seumas... all while wearing miss-matching shoes...). In the early evening Becky came over and we drank muscato and ate the rest of the wedding cake. Cooked vegan nachos and watched our wedding video and played cards.

Sunday we went to church in the morning and chilled in the afternoon before driving to Ash and Jess' house. Got subway for dinner and went to church with them in Austinmer. Then we role-played and my dice ruled over all and I got two extra karma points for being most valuable player. Drive to Seumas' parents house in Wollongong.

This morning we hung out with my mother and father in law for a couple of hours before going to visit my grandmother-in-law for an hour. Drove back to Mac Fields. Cooked (didn't work out that well), spoke to my mother, unwrapped my presents. There was a little box from Seumas and I thought maybe it was jewellery but I wanted D&D dice but tried not to get my hopes up but then it was D&D dice! So now my D&D dice match my 10 sides and my 6 sides. :D

Seumas is napping now and when he wakes up we will drive to Newtown to see Slumdog Millionaire and get some dinner. And maybe some dessert to act as birthday cake. :)

Happy happy happy!

Also some of the Flight of the Conchords songs that I voted for have come up in the Triple J countdown, mwahaa!

It is also Australia Day today for anyone keeping track but my birthday always takes up more of my brainspace. So far have never had to work on my birthday ever. I guess it won't be a public holiday in Mongolia so I need to soak it up now!
22nd-Jan-2009 10:20 pm - so sydney so high school [internet, self]
When I am feeling happy or upset about something I always want to tell Seumas about it. Once he knows I don't have much drive left to tell anyone else (unless I don't think that he understands). It's so lovely having the person that you most want in the world close at hand. But it does make for less journal entries. So here is what I was pondering on the train home tonight despite the fact that I don't care as much as I did due to unloading onto Seumas already.

I have gone to a few Sydney web professionals events now. There is generally some alcoholic networking and some presentations. I'm fine with the presentations; learnt some interesting things. But the people who go to these things... it's like the popular clique in your school got replaced with smarter people who are still very trendy and cool. And they all know each other. No-one wants to talk to me. I did try and start a conversation with a stranger and got brushed off. So I just stand there in a sea of talking and laughing with everyone facing into their circle and feel so alone.

It just reminds me of high school. I was not well-liked there and I still don't really understand why. But it just makes you feel inferior to be excluded, doesn't it? It barely matters whether or not that's true.

Now I am not a fashionable person and since I have things in my life that I care about beyond work (God + husband + family + friends) I'm also quite ignorant about all the things that get spoken of. So I already feel a bit like I don't belong and then it just gets worse and worse. It's like being at a party where you don't even know the host. It's always who you know... Very sterotypically Sydney. I guess also I get used to being at Christian events where generally people go right up to those alone and talk that I forget that it's not like that everywhere. You'd think that geeks would be nice!

I'm an adult now; I can go where I please. I left half-way through tonight and got some ice cream and an early train home. You can argue that I shouldn't let myself feel like a loser but why should I stay somewhere that makes me feel bad about myself?

I'm much more confident and happy with myself than I used to be. I don't like being reminded of what it was like before.

So unless I can get the other web pros I know along to keep me company I don't plan on attending anymore of these.
20th-Jan-2009 08:46 am - productive illness [sick]
I went to work yesterday feeling yuck but I kind of had to as I'd been on holidays for a week. But today I am keeping my germs at home. I am feeling better than I was yesterday (possibly due to a sleep-in) but this is the third time I've tried to fight off this cold so maybe easy does it.

But I hate being home sick. Really I hate being home with nothing to do. Of course I can surf the net and read but if these are the only things I do all day I get grumpy. Littles are happiest when doing not lazing.

What I would really like to do is drive to Wollongong and visit a grieving friend but that isn't exactly going to help me get well and will probably just get her sick (I hear that sadness suppresses the immune system).

So here is a list of things I would like to do today. I'll come back and strike through things I actually did tonight. I know I won't do all of them but hopefully I won't get mopey.

  • wash spare bed sheets

  • go get blood test results

  • cook muffins for Seumas' Latin class

  • call various companies

  • clean bathroom

  • sweep floor

  • vacuum

  • ring CityRail about my refund

  • ring real estate about lease (again)

  • get started on long-standing paperwork

  • more wedding thank you cards (hahaha... sigh...)

  • drink lots of water

  • keep hunting for ringtones

  • watch recorded House and NCIS episodes

  • cough up phlegm

19th-Jan-2009 10:33 pm - music to act by [music]
So now I have a phone that can play different tones depending on who is calling, etc, and I am discovering that there is a reason why I haven't changed my ringtone in three years; it is hard to think of good ringtones!

They must be:

  • unique

  • unembarrassing

  • loud enough to be heard

  • quiet enough not to be overbearing

  • something I like

It is really hard! I think instrumental works better but I don't listen to much instrumental music.

Suggestions? I did find a very cool website with creative commons sounds (http://www.freesound.org/) so I'm good for sms alerts now but would still like a few different ringtones (one for Seumas, one for family members, etc).
17th-Jan-2009 10:00 am - so long tropical paradise [family, holiday, weather]
We got back yesterday from 4 days on Lord Howe Island with my parents, sister and brother-in-law (via the generosity of my parents). My family spent a week on Lord Howe every 18 months or so when I was growing up but I hadn't been back since leaving home so it was good to see the familiar scenes (with some changes). Cycling along with palm trees overhead, beautiful aqua lagoon waters, snorkelling amidst bright coral and fish three metres from the shore.... yup, that's been my days this past week! We did some bushwalking to get some great views and secluded beaches and saw some huge turtles! Seumas and I did a little kayaking together and he went for a solo adventure. Played cards with my family a bit (so much newbies luck!). Lots of fresh bread for lunch. It was lovely!

Sad to be back in reality; it was quite a juxtaposition catching the train home from the airport... after two hours of flying going from a world of people in thongs to factories and house after house!

This morning Seumas and I set up the weather station that my sister got us for Christmas so now I am happy to report that inside it is 22.2 C and outside it is 21.3 C with a windspeed of 1.1km/h. I think it will take some time to work out all it can do.

Going to go and purchase a new phone today. Hope they have the one I want!
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