Sunday, October 31, 2010


So my brother, C, and his girlfriend are visiting me at the moment. So I don't really have the time to write a proper post. Instead, I'll leave you with these photos from last night:

Yeah. We're all kinds of classy...

K xx

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Full moon weirdness

I was in the city (which, in my opinion, should be surrounded by sarcastic quotation marks...), and it was filled with some incredibly strange sights, which often resulted in fits of hysterics.

The first piece of weirdness was a man sat outside the Canberra Centre talking to his friend. This in itself contains nothing strange. The weirdness was this - the man was dressed in a ghillie suit. A GHILLIE SUIT! Yes, you can buy ghillie suits at Army Disposals shops. But a) WHY??, and b) why would you wear it to go to the shopping mall????? It seemed rather appropriate, given that I came across this during the week:

The second was about five minutes later. It was a woman in a shop that sold tea and teapots and stuff. She was riding a Segway. Of all the places that you could possibly ride something as stupid as a Segway, why in a shop filled with highly breakable things? Also, why would you spend $10,000 (yes, I Googled it) on a Segway when you could WALK?

The third was a girl who had painted her face white, and then done some kind of a skeleton thing over the top. And then she'd made the whole lot dribble down her face. She looked both ridiculous and incredibly self-conscious. I mean, if you're going to go all out with doing your make-up like that, surely you wouldn't be embarrassed by it?

And then today, the guy ahead of me in the check-out queue bought $110 worth of fillet steak, $2 worth of milk and $3 worth of bread. I don't even want to know what he has planned for the week ahead...

Gotta love a full moon - freak flags flying all over the place...

K xx

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pet peeve

There are a lot of things in this world that annoy me. But when it comes to Pump classes at the gym, there's one thing that pisses me off more than any other - people who can't keep time with the music. I can deal with the guys who lift much heavier weights than they should and who grunt non-stop through the class. I can deal with the people who wear totally inappropriate shorts. And I can deal with the insanely bad remixes. But people who CAN'T COUNT TO FOUR???? They can fuck off and die.

There was a guy at Pump last night who fitted this profile. He was lifting stupidly heavy weights, and I'm not sure if he can't ACTUALLY count to four, or if he's just trying to be hard core (and failing) by lifting really heavy weights, but then rushing all the moves. He'd have his triple row done before the rest of the class had done ONE of the three, and stand there waiting around for the next set to start.

I really wanted the instructor to tell him off (they often will), but it turned out last night's instructor couldn't keep time either! Awesome... :S But the worst part? I was so bloody distracted by this idiot who couldn't count to four that I totally wasn't paying attention to what the instructor was saying and kept losing track of what we were doing. I really hope that dude doesn't come back. Because I might actually scream at him if I have to put up with another hour of that shit...

K xx

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fluff season

There's a type of tree on the ANU campus that produces a crapload of fluff at this time of year. The saying at ANU goes that when the fluff starts to appear, you're screwed if you haven't started studying for exams. I was on campus this afternoon, and the fluff was out in full force. Walking through it, I got a bit of deja vu. Then I realised that it wasn't actually deja vu, I was just being reminded of this:

Sadly, Richard Armitage didn't happen to be wandering around the ANU campus this afternoon... *Sigh* ;)

K xx

Monday, October 18, 2010

Confession time...

Earlier tonight, I was talking to my housemate, D, about being fat as a teenager. She told me about how she chose baked beans and chips every day when she had school dinners. Then I pulled out a photo of me at my uni graduation in 2005. She looked at it, looked at me, and went "That's never you!!" (She's Scottish) was.

Following on from this, when I went to post Kat's brownies last week, the lady at the post office looked at me, looked at my passport photo - taken when I was 19 - and said "Gosh, you're much prettier in real life!"

Way back in 1995, I looked like this:
No, I wasn't 20 years behind the times. I was eleven, had just started high school, and was attending a friend's birthday party, which had a 70s theme. Can you believe my mother let me go out in public dressed like that at the age of 11? Yeah, me neither...

But then puberty hit, and it was all downhill from there. I played hockey twice a week and did tap and jazz ballet, which helped somewhat. Then I got to the point where I couldn't play mixed hockey any more. And the girls' team were total bitches. So I quit the year I turned 16. Then in year 12, my dancing school moved from having three concerts at the end of the year to having two concerts. And one of those coincided with school speech night. So my dance teacher told me that there was no point in me coming to classes, as she'd have to put me in a corner where it wouldn't matter if I was missing for one of the two shows. So I quit that too.

By the end of year 12, I was the upper end of a size 16. And then I started university. Limited contact hours (twelve hours a week - gotta love an Arts degree!), lots of greasy food with cheap prices, and no enforced PE classes = BADNESS. By my brother's 18th in 2003, I was a size 18 and looked like this:
And, rather frighteningly, I thought I looked good that night. Jeebus...

The following year was my Honours year. Honours meant 6 contact hours a week in semester 1, a six week trip to the US mid-year, and several months spent sitting on my arse in the library not wanting to leave one of the two good microfilm machines, and existing on Pringles and Strawberries & Cream candy and bottles of Mountain Dew. During my trip to the US, I looked like this:

Shortly thereafter, I had to stop wearing that necklace because it was strangling me...

By the following year, I was working full time. At a company with a subsidised cafeteria... So in addition to movie nights with Nessa (we calculated recently, and worked out that we were each eating about 4000 calories every time we had a movie night... :S), I was basically eating a bag of hot chips for lunch every day, because they were only $2. And I was drinking 600mL of Coke to keep me awake during the day because I was so bored... In May 2005, I graduated, and looked like this:
It was another nine months before I reached my absolute fattest, during which I hid from all cameras. It reached the point where I couldn't see my own feet, and where I couldn't walk the three blocks from the tram to home without stopping for a rest.

So what changed? Well, my job was made permanent (I was temping), but I was ineligible to apply for it, because they could only hire from within the company. So I was told that my job was being given to a man who was retiring six months later, and that I would no longer be needed. My parents were overseas, and my brother was out for the night, so my usual batshit crazy screaming session had no target. Filled with anger and frustration, I decided that the best thing to do would be to climb on the exercise bike in the back porch. Half an hour later, I was exhausted, but felt a little better. So when I came home the following night feeling much the same, I got back on the bike.

Gradually, the weight started to come off, and people began to comment on how much weight I'd lost. It took less than a year of me using that exercise bike three times a week for it to completely die - it had no teeth left on the cogs. So I went out and spent the most money I'd ever spent on a single thing in my life - $700 on a combination rowing machine/recumbent bike. Between using that three times a week and an hour and a half of ballet, I was slowly starting to reach the point where I didn't have to go to fat people shops.

As I said last week, in 2008 I (somehow...) completed the Inca Trail. And then I moved to Canberra where, for the first time, I was brave enough to join a gym. Gradually, I was able to brave classes, starting with Combat, then Pump, and finally Step (although I still hate it with a fiery passion). I started buying low-fat options, and cut out soft drink, cordial, and TimTams (sigh).

I'm still not entirely happy with myself. But looking back at the photos, I've come rather a long way...
2006. Sorry for including you in the horror, Nessa...

January 2010

Late February 2010. Oh, and incidentally? I'm wearing the necklace I had to stop wearing because it was choking me...
K xx

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Travel adventures - The Inca Trail

Today, I'm participating in the 20SB blogger carnival, which involves posting about your best travel adventure. I don't know quite know how they define adventure, so who knows if my story about trying to change a flat tyre on the side of the interstate in Tennessee and having to be helped out by a random and slightly scary trucker (my mum started singing Duelling Banjos when I told her...) counts as adventure or just the prelude to a horror movie...

So I'm going with the Inca Trail in 2008. It was the hardest three days of my entire life (well, apart from the whole traumatic saga of the next day with Nessa winding up in hospital, but that was a different kind of hard), but boy, was the destination worth the work.

In hindsight, I was pretty freaking unprepared. Sure, I'd been working out three days a week for a year, but I was pretty half-arsed about it (secretly, I was hoping that I could persuade Ness to take the train to Machu Picchu rather than doing the Inca Trail...). Riding an exercise bike for half an hour three times a week doesn't really help with the Inca Trail. And yes, I did a three day hike a couple of months before. But hiking in Australia was never going to be anything like hiking in Peru, even if we did do it with 20kg packs... I sucked pretty badly at the test hike near Mt Feathertop. And that was at around 2,000m closer to sea level.

Well, hello Mt. Feathertop. Compared to the Andes, you're a speck on the radar...
Day 1 started out well. It was reasonably flat, and we had some spectacular views. And I got to take photos of ruins - what more could an archaeology nerd want?! Then we reached the test hill. If you don't reach the top of it in 20 minutes, they deem you not fit enough and force you to turn back. I made it well within the 20 minutes (I think...), but it took me a disturbing amount of time to get my breath back. Which I covered up by taking photos of the ruins you could see from the top... After lunch, the trail started heading slightly uphill, and I started to fall further and further behind. By the end of the day, I was about half an hour behind the rest of our group. (With the exception of the couple we referred to as The Watermelons - Mrs. Watermelon remains the most annoying person I have ever met, and put herself and her husband at risk by refusing to turn back, despite being strongly suggested to do so throughout the afternoon. The Watermelons finally staggered into camp about an hour after I did)

The view from the top of the Test Hill

Day 2 started with me being completely terrified. Day 2 is the day where you literally climb mountains. The trail progressively got steeper and steeper. And Nessa and I (although to this day, I suspect she could have gone on without me) fell further and further behind. Our tour leader actually sent one of the guides back to make sure we didn't collapse/give up/die. He, bless his heart, claimed it was so he could practice his English. But it was pretty damned obvious that he was there to push the fat girl up the big hill. When I rounded a corner and saw that Dead Woman's Pass (the highest point on the Trail) was still at least half an hour's stagger up some of the steepest track to date, I sat down and cried. At which point Nessa came back and told me to pull myself together, because if I cried, she'd cry. And then we'd both be screwed.

I have to walk to WHERE?????????

I still don't know how, but I made it to the top. It took me a mere six hours.
Me and Nessa at Dead Woman's Pass - 2,000m above the highest point in Australia. Don't I look completely thrilled to learn that I have two hours to go until I can collapse in a heap?!

Most of our group made it in four. And then there was the hour and a half trek DOWN the other side to camp. During which I couldn't even stop to enjoy the view because my legs were shaking so badly. On the plus side, I did better than Mrs. Watermelon, who had to have porters sent back to her with food and water. She was finally carried into camp as we were all eating dinner several hours later...

Day 3? Less sucky. It featured another climb, but it was only a short one - the rest was downhill. And it features most of the actual Incan part of the trek, so it was pretty awesome from an archaeological perspective. AND we got to see Mrs. Watermelon, the bane of our collective existence, being carried on a stretcher by the porters (who thought the whole thing was hysterical) because she literally couldn't walk any more. Oh, plus? I saw a rock on Day 3 that looked like someone flipping the finger. It pretty much made my whole day.

The awesome 'screw you all' rock

The original Inca Trail
Night 3 featured saying goodbye to our porters, who were heading back to Aguas Callientes first thing in the morning rather than heading to Machu Picchu with us. Every time one of the girls in our group said we were unmarried, we got a huge cheer. Nothing quite like that for a confidence boost when you haven't showered in 3 days and nearly get stuck using a squat toilet because your quads seize up! :S

Day 4 started early. I mean EARLY... The plan is to make it to the Sun Gate in time for dawn to see the sun rise over Machu Picchu. Shame it started raining when we got there... After a very skiddy trip from the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu, the rain had settled in. But it cleared after an hour or so, and that made all the pain, all the tears, all the embarrassment of staggering into camp two hours after everyone else worth it. I even managed to climb one of the mountains overlooking Machu Picchu to get an aerial view over the whole city.

My favourite photo from my whole nine weeks away - WE MADE IT!

Worth every freaking second of pain...

The Inca Trail remains the most painful and torturous thing I've ever done. But it was worth every single second...

K xx

Monday, October 11, 2010

Travel bucket list

I'm not really one for future goals. If asked "Where do you see yourself in five years?", my answer is likely to be "Breathing?". Apparently this is a typical ISTJ trait, we very much like dealing in the present. When it comes to life, the whole house, career, babies (gross and NEVER!!) thing means nothing to me. I have serious trouble imagining my future. But when it comes to travel? It's a whooooooooooooooole different kettle of fish...

So, while I have absolutely no plans in relation to the rest of my life (other than "don't die" and "buy more shoes"), when it comes to travel, I most definitely have a bucket list. And here it is, in no particular order:
  • New Zealand. They have a kleptomaniac parrot, the most awesome quarantine video I've ever seen, and Kat lives there. Need I say more?
  • Egypt. I've been wanting to go since I saw the Temple of Dendur in the Metropolitan Museum of Art when I was six. And since I saw the Rosetta Stone when I was seven. It's no wonder I wanted to be an archaeologist and then a curator...
  • Jordan. Specifically, Petra. Another childhood entry, courtesy of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. And the whole archaeologist thing.
  • Ireland.
  • Italy. I've never been. It kills me that I haven't. It's history nerd paradise.. My fellow history nerd brother, C, went to Italy in 2002. What did he send me? A postcard picturing a statue of a man with a dick coming out of the middle of his forehead. Nice...
  • Switzerland. I went when I was six. I got drunk on fondue. I'd like to go again. Although I suspect getting drunk on fondue will be rather more difficult...
  • Easter Island.
  • Prince Edward Island. I begged my parents for MONTHS to take me to PEI after I read Anne of Green Gables when we were living in Toronto. But nooooooooo, winning tickets to see the musical (yes, there was an AoGG musical. I have the soundtrack on cassette somewhere at home!) was all I got. *Sigh*
  • Russia. Including, randomly, Vladivostok. Just so I can say I've been there.
  • Honduras. I didn't get to go there last time, and I'm still jealous that Sara got to go to Copan.
  • Go back to Mexico. I didn't get to see nearly as much of it as originally planned. This must be rectified.
  • Turkey. It's the archaeology nerd thing again, combined with the typical Australian pilgrimage to Gallipoli. I rather feel like I should go on my 30th birthday, considering Anzac Day is my birthday. But that's far too much forward planning for me.
  • Morocco.
  • Greece. The archaeology nerd thing...
  • Germany. Another one I've never been to and am cranky I haven't had the chance to see.
  • Alaska. No explanation. Another one that looks amazing.
  • Angkor Wat
  • Transylvania
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Victoria Falls
  • Patagonia
  • Canada. I don't remember much, despite living there for three and a half years. This needs to be rectified.
  • Iceland
  • Thailand. It seems wrong that all I've seen is Phuket...
  • Vietnam
  • France. Basically all I've seen is Paris and Orleans. Most of what I remember is being traumatised on the French Study Tour in year 10 when a frog jumped up the leg of my jeans...
  • Costa Rica. Although knowing me, I'd spend the whole time running away from butterflies...
  • The UK. Again. Yes, I've spent two and a half years living there, not including the six weeks we spent there on vacation from Canada. But there's just so much history. And so many museums... Not to mention touring all the Harry Potter filming locations...
  • The Kimberley
  • And finally, there's my grand and rather magnificent plan - flying to LA, travelling up the whole of the Pacific Coast to Vancouver, and then catching the train across Canada, stopping in a bunch of places along the way. Including Saskatchewan. I've always wanted to be able to say I've been there.
And no, I haven't got the foggiest idea of how I'm going to afford all of that on a curator's salary. Winning the lottery, perhaps? Oh, and the above doesn't include the ones I've already crossed off - Peru, Guatemala, Washington DC, the Galapagos, doing the Inca Trail, New York, studying overseas.

I'd do any of those again in a heartbeat. Except possibly the Inca Trail. I rather think I'll catch the train next time... ;)

What's on your travel bucket list?

K xx

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A milestone

One year ago today, I went to see 'Julie and Julia' with my friends from work, L and L. I came home, sat down on the sofa with my laptop, and started a blog. Yes, folks. It's my (as much as I hate the word) blogiversary today!

It's been quite a year. I've started working full time again. Been to Thailand with my BFFs Nessa and Kat. I've baked FAR too much for my own good, and fobbed as much of it as possible off on other people. I've convinced Sara to get a 12 month visa and hang out in Canberra for a year (mwahahaha!). I've been to Tasmania twice, the Lachlan Valley once, Sydney twice, and my beloved Melbourne ten times (although on two occasions I didn't leave the airport).

I've been asked to be a bridesmaid. I've moved house to somewhere much closer to the city, much more convenient, and with a much nicer housemate. I've learnt some rather disturbing facts courtesy of our weekly trivia night (did you know that the world record for the most number of children a woman has given birth to is 69? She was pregnant TWENTY SEVEN TIMES... In 18th century Russia. And died, not in childbirth, but at the age of 80. Insane...). I've discovered Ashes to Ashes, Gavin & Stacey, 30 Rock, and True Blood. I've conquered pastry crust, yeast-based baking, and cupcake decorating. I've bought an SLR and taken my rather crappy photography to the next level.

I've hit 'Publish Post' eighty five times, including this one. Oh, and I'm planning something special for my 100th post, when I eventually get there. So stick around. There's plenty more snark, sarcasm, and chocolate where the last 12 months came from....................... ;)

K xx

PS. Dear Guy at the Bus Stop Yesterday,
Really? When you left home in the morning you thought a navy suit and tie on the top half, complete with pocket handkerchief, and MAROON TROUSERS that were an inch too short on the bottom half was the way to go?? Dude... Everyone on the bus stop had "WTF??" expressions. It's time for a wardrobe review...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Melbourne shenanigans

Well, I started writing a post about all the things I did with my weekend in Melbourne about two hours ago. But it came out REALLY boring. And stupidly, even though I carted TWO cameras with me, I barely took any photos, so I can't rely on those to illustrate my point... *sigh* So I'm going with the bullet pointed version instead...
  • I navigated from the Hume to my parents' house without getting lost. Go me! A vast improvement on last time when I got us lost in the back blocks of Greensborough at 11pm. In the rain...
  • We saw Hairspray live on stage. It was awesome. I'm pretty sure I had a smile on my face for the whole two and a half hours. And that's damned rare for me...
  • The sets of Hairspray were intriguing - instead of the traditional wooden painted sets, they used big digital screens. It meant the pace of the show was much faster because you didn't have to wait for sets to change and props to be taken on and off the stage
  • Because Hairspray was a preview showing (the premiere was on Saturday night), the program was only $10. Bargain!
  • The Tim Burton exhibition is awesome. And features many many things touched/worn by Johnny Depp. Mmmmmm, Johnny Depp........... ;)
  • I do have to say though, Tim Burton is one epically weird dude. Throughout the whole exhibition, I was reminded of that Stephen King quote about having the heart of a small boy. In a jar on his desk...
  • I *may* have been to Salsa's twice *looks guilty* Mmmmmmm, burritos and Mexe-crinkle fries.......
  • I discovered that I still classify as a Melbournian - I can stand up on a tram in 10cm heels without holding onto anything and not fall over. WIN!
  • I went to a roof top bar that required walking up three thousand stairs (in 10cm heels - not fun) and featured a taxidermied ostrich wearing pearls. Weird...
  • The time at said roof top bar was spent consuming cider by the pint and catching up with old friends. Good times...
  • I got to see my BFF from kindergarten Char's new apartment, and cackle hysterically at the book she showed me - 101 Uses for a Bridesmaid's Dress. My personal favourite read "Wear it to jury duty. You'll be back at your desk in 10 minutes."
  • I had dinner at one of my all time favourite restaurants - Jazz Ria. And I ordered exactly the same thing I do every time I go there. And it was AWESOME...
  • I discovered that my dog now eats cat food (On the vet's advice, apparently). And that as a result, my dad has decided "The Dog Who Ate Cat Food" would be an excellent title for a childrens' book...
Basically, it was a great weekend. And I can't believe I don't get to do it all again until Christmas time. *sigh*

K xx

PS. A reality show's just started on TV following parking inspectors around. Who the hell would watch that crap??????????

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Well, I was planning on telling you all about my fieldwork trip last week or my long weekend in Melbourne. But then I got a very exciting package in the post. To be honest, I was a little embarrassed about it. Because it came by courier, I had to get it shipped to work - the courier company would give you a delivery window of "Any time between 8am and 6pm", and wouldn't deliver it without a signature, so obviously there wasn't going to be anyone home. So I figured I'd just get it shipped to work. Which would have been fine, except for the fact that it didn't arrive in a plain courier envelope. No, this package was from, so it said "THINKGEEK.COM" across the top in giant letters, and featured an enormous picture of a cartoon monkey. Clearly not work related, that's for sure.

But then I opened the package, and the awesomeness took over. Three incredibly nerdy t-shirts:
 Yes, it's a Firefly joke. And it's pure genius...

"Did the primary buffer panel just fall off my gorram ship??" Aaaaah, Serenity... How I love thee...

More Joss Whedon themed awesome.

That's right - it's the Evil League of Evil from Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog!

And finally, something that's not Joss Whedon related, but still quite epically nerdy.

Yup. It's even nerdy on the back. Pure win.

I can't wait for the weekend. The weather's meant to be good, and my nerd flag will definitely be flying!!

K xx
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