Thursday, September 25, 2008

Footy Fiesta!

The Geelong Cats have made the grand final!! The grand final is this Saturday, and Geelong is going crazy, there's blue and white up everywhere. I got an sms from my bosses last night saying that they would be at Kardinia Park (behind the footy field) the next day (Thursday morning) handing out free muffins and that if I had time I should come and help. Two of the news stations were there as well as K-Rock the radio station. It was from 6 AM-9AM, so I had to get up at 5:00, which wasn't fun, but I'm really glad I went, it was a blast. I walked around and handed out by one get one free coffee cards to people and even got to be on TV!

Even though I have been a bit tired all day, it was worth it. The day before I went into Melbourne to the Burwood campus for the Uni games uniform presentation night for swimming. We got the whole spill on the uni games, which over 6,000 students from around Australia are participating in! I didn't realize it was so big! The last time it was in Melbourne was in 1999! I would have been cool if it were somewhere else for travel, but it would have cost more, so I am glad that it was here this year. After we got our uniforms and such we were invited to go to Einstein's cafe and have a $5 meal (it was a special for the athletes). While waiting in line I met some of the ultimate frizbee players and sat with them (I was the only swimmer there, there's only 4 on our team and the rest of them had another swimming even during then so couldn't come). I am really glad I started talking with the ultimate frizbeeers cause they're really nice and we plan on getting together to watch each others sports next week. I compete on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I don't know too much about it yet. The opening ceremony is Sunday at Melbourne Town Hall, and that's when I am going to finally meet the other 3 swimmers. I hope that I do well cause I don't know how good I am comparatively, so I hope I don't let anyone down too bad. ;P I'm not too worried about it, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens. :) Oh, I also got to catch up a bit with my japanese friend Mina who goes to Burwood, we only talked briefly, but it was nice. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Rainbows, parties, and thoughts, Oh My!

The past few days it's been nice outside, but rainy, so it's been sunny with rain. I was on the bus one day and it was raining; in the sky was the most magnificent rainbow I think I have ever seen! It had like two rows of small green/blue/purple stripes underneath where the "typical" rainbow started, and then above that one there was a very faint even bigger one! It was so brilliant and it was the entire rainbow. It was just so neat, I wished I had my camera with me. Seeing that also got me thinking about how we often say that stories such as "a kangaroo got it's long tail because a hunter once threw a spear at one and it stuck in it's butt" are cute and fun but overall silly to actually believe in. Well, generally I think in the same way, it's fun to think about, but to actually believe is another thing. It's just interesting to think that's how I think about rainbows! When I was little I was told that rainbows showed up in the sky because when God made the great flood, he promised the world there would never be a flood as great as that one, and to seal his promise he made the rainbow. I always believed that was the reason they were there. That's not something I often think about, but when I saw that rainbow it got me thinking that even though I know how they're really made, and maybe it's a bit silly, I still do, in many ways, believe that story. :) Which I guess makes me a hypocrite when I say those other stories could not possibly be believed... but then again maybe not, cause we know that a physical occurrence to an animal doesn't change its genetics. ;P Hehe, there I go again.

In other news, it seems like everyone I know is having birthdays! We had Subhav's birthday party on Wednesday night, there was lots of drinking and dancing (with Indian music too!). Ambika (Subhav's girlfriend who also lives in the house and who put on the party) made Indian food, with the help of Aphas, who made the chicken. The food was absolutely amazing!! I was soooo full but wanted to keep eating it was so good! It was funny though cause Aphas told me the next day that everyone was telling him how good the chicken was, but that week was the start of an Indian religious time when they can eat no meat (as well as no rice, wheat... only potatoes... the point being to live/eat simply and potatoes are the simplest form of food) and so he couldn't taste his own yummy chicken! It was kind of funny actually. ;P There have been like three days that I've had to get up and go to class or work after a night of partying! That is a lot all in a row cause I usually don't party this much! :P Then on Friday night, after work, I met up with my German friend, Stefanie, cause it was her birthday! We walked to the Villamanta House (a student accommodation for internationals in the city of Geelong; I almost stayed there but it was too expensive) and had fun. We watched the end of the Footy game (Geelong Cats vs. the Western Bulldogs), the Cats won of course. :P My bosses are huge cats fans and were at the game that night, we closed the shop alone. :) The Muffin Break store has Cats blue and white decorations all over, we even have blue and white smarties in the cookies, and have changed the jelly slice from red to blue. :P The next day most of us (that support Geelong at work) wore Cats hats instead of our Muffin Break hats (supplied by Sue and Allie). Anyway, back to the party. I was still in my work uniform, which was funny, and I brought Stef a box of muffins. :) They were a big hit. We played a drinking game, Kings, which was interesting with a bunch of international students cause they often didn't understand the rules. One Chinese kid gave up cause he had no idea what he was supposed to do. ;P About 3/4 through the game people were getting distracted and kind of quite playing. I started talking with a Norwegian and the two Germans, we talked about languages and what we were all doing and stuff like that, it was good. :) Later on I talked to the Faroe Islanders in Norwegian as well as with the Danish girl! It was great! I met heaps of new people there and had a great time! I was very pleasantly drunk after that. :) I have noticed that recently I have started to become the type of person I've always wanted to be. By that I mean that when I have been around really fun people, I like it and have wished that I was as fun and outgoing as them, but for some reason just wasn't and couldn't be. It used to be that at parties I would feel out of place and somewhat lonely even, but now I engage in the activities and happenings and talk to people! And by engaging, that doesn't necessarily mean drinking, I even now feel like if I didn't want to or couldn't drink that would be fine and I could still have fun; before it felt more like if I didn't then I was a party pooper, but now it doesn't matter and either way I have fun and I think others enjoy my presence as well. :) I think maybe my self-confidence has been boosted or something. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Waltzing Matilda

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled
"Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me?"

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Down came a jumbuck to drink at the billabong,
Up got the swagman and grabbed him with glee,
And he sang as he stowed that jumbuck in his tucker bag,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he stowed that jumbuck in his tucker bag,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Down came the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred,
Up came the troopers, one, two, three,
"Who's that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?"
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
"Who's that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?",
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Up got the swagman and jumped into the billabong,
"You'll never catch me alive", said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
"Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me?"

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
"Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me?"

swagman- a man who travelled the country looking for work. The swagman's "swag" was a bed roll that bundled his belongings.

waltzing- derived from the German term auf der Walz, which means to travel while working as a craftsman and learn new techniques from other masters before returning home after three years and one day, a custom which is still in use today among carpenters.

Matilda- a romantic term for a swagman's bundle. See below, "Waltzing Matilda."

Waltzing Matilda- from the above terms, "to waltz Matilda" is to travel with a swag, that is, with all one's belongings on one's back wrapped in a blanket or cloth. The exact origins of the term "Matilda" are disputed; one fanciful derivation states that when swagmen met each other at their gatherings, there were rarely women to dance with. Nonetheless, they enjoyed a dance, and so they danced with their swags, which was given a woman's name. However, this appears to be influenced by the word "waltz", hence the introduction of dancing. It seems more likely that, as a swagman's only companion, the swag came to be personified as a woman.
Another explanation is that the term also derives from German immigrants. German soldiers commonly referred to their greatcoats as "Matilda", supposedly because the coat kept them as warm as a woman would. Early German immigrants who "went on the waltz" would wrap their belongings in their coat, and took to calling it by the same name their soldiers had used.

billabong- an oxbow lake (a cut-off river bend) found alongside a meandering river.

coolibah tree- a kind of eucalyptus tree which grows near billabongs.

jumbuck- a large difficult to shear sheep, not a tame sheep. Implies that the sheep was not 'owned' by the squatter or regularly shorn, thus not able to be stolen by the swagman.

billy- a can for boiling water in, usually 2-3 pints.

tucker bag- a bag for carrying food ("tucker").

troopers- policemen.

squatter- Australian squatters started as early farmers who raised livestock on land which they did not legally have the right to use; in many cases they later gained legal use of the land even though they did not have full possession, and became wealthy thanks to these large land holdings. (Wikipedia)

-This song was in the running for the Australian National Anthem and got 28% of the votes. Wouldn't it be funny if the national anthem was about a man who steals a jumbuck then drowns himself in a billabong?
-just thought you might enjoy. :)

Norwegian birthday party

The Norwegians (and one Swedish guy) live in a house just down the road from me, and I was invited to Preben and Christian's birthday party on Wednesday night (7:00 PM-4:00 AM). I thought that Prepen and the guy named Christian, who lives there too, were both having a birthday, but when I got there I found that Prepens identical twin had flown in for a few weeks and it was the two of them who were having the birthday! I had no idea Preben had a twin! It was funny cause when I walked in I saw Christian and said "gratulere med dagen Preben!" and someone told me that was his twin, but I didn't believe them. ;P I found out soon after. ;P Since he was down to visit just for a few weeks they were all going up to Cairns, QLD right after the party (like at 5:00 AM, their plane was at 7)! That must've been intense. The party was great and I got to speak heaps of Norwegian. :) They kept telling me how good I was especially after 4 years (can't believe it's been that long)! There have been so many birthday going on lately!! I am going to a surprise birthday shindig for Marla on Sunday (one of the American's here for Campus Crusade, or Real Life as it's called here). We're going to the Chocolate Room and getting the "full chocolate experience." That should be fun and interesting. Then next Wednesday another one of the housemates is having a birthday, Subov. His girlfriend, Ambika, who also lives here, was throwing him a surprise party that night, but one night they started fighting about that night (I think things were too vague for him) and Ambika just told him. ;P He felt bad after that. :P The weather has been getting really warm now, it was quite sudden! Just a few days ago it was quite chilly, and yesterday was actually hot! Sunday's supposed to be really nice, and I'm glad cause I actually have Sunday off! I worked late on Thursday cause Westfield (the mall) was having a fashion thing, not many people actually showed up for it though overall.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Attack of the magpies

I was riding my bike to gym a few days ago along the side of the road when I got hit by something on the back of my head, just below/ on the bottom of my helmet! It took me completely by surprise, when I turned there was a magpie chasing me, it was preparing for it's second attack! I put my head down and pedaled even harder, which was difficult seeing as how I was going uphill. It gave up luckily, but it was hilarious! I wondered when/ if I was going to be hit by one, I'm just glad I had my helmet on, even then it kind of hurt. The magpies here are nuts, they dive bomb you to protect their nests. I have to say though, I am glad it happened to me at least once while I was here cause it's a pretty unique thing. :) So, last night I was thinking to myself that I should really clean my room before I start attracting spiders (I had a lot of clothes on the floor... white tail spiders like to hide in clothes on the floor). This morning right before I was going to leave for the gym I saw a white tale crawling on my floor!!!! I am so glad I saw it, it made a b-line straight for a pair of pants I had laying on the floor, if I hadn't seen it I might have received a bite later on! (their bite can kill infants and unhealthy people, but in healthy people can just make them really sick). So, I immediately picked up the rest of my clothes (making sure to shake them out) and when I got home from work later on today I cleaned and vacuumed my room, so, HOPEFULLY that won't be a problem anymore. I have three assignments due soon, one I'm pretty much done with, but I hate how they always seem so far off and suddenly they aren't anymore! How does that happen?! ;P So, I bought my tickets to Perth a few days ago and have booked my spot in a hostel there. I am really excited to go, it should be good. One of the best parts is that the tickets were only $247 return, and the hostel is $20/night with free: brekkie (breakfast), travel to/from the airport, travel to/from the city amongst other things. :) So, it looks like I probably won't be spending much more than $400 for the whole trip!! I am really looking forward to looking at Murdoch Uni (for me) and UWA (for David) to see what they're like. I am especially excited to find out more about the program I want to get into and get more personal information about that. I'll make sure to write about that when the time comes. :) Oh, I forgot to mention when I'm going, October 16-21st (the week of the 20th is the last week of school). I had to buy the tickets during school cause after school gets out the prices went up dramatically. Anyway, should be good!

Monday, September 1, 2008

All bubbly inside :)

Today's the first day of spring!!! (Sept. 1st) Australian Father's day is next sunday. I had mid-semester tests the past week and have one more (online) this week. I did very poorly on my Genetics one, I didn't go about studying in the right way. I am hoping I might be able to do something to make up for it a bit, but we'll see. :( Oh well, I just need to get cracking and do well on the final and my assignments. Anyway, so, at work the past week or so we've been having the problem of Allie and Sue canceling milk deliveries but the delivery men have still been delivering it. This means that our milk fridge in the store room has been full up to the point that they've had to leave the milk outside of it. This has been a problem for a bit, but a few days ago at work Zoe mentioned that the milk she'd brought in had been sitting out for a bit but we didn't think much of it. A bit later a lady came up and said that she didn't want to make a scene, that's why she was whispering and such, but that the milk in their cappuccinos tasted funny and that they couldn't drink them cause they didn't want to vomit. She wondered if it were because when you keep refilling milk you can sometimes burn it, but we all knew what the problem was. So, we started smelling the milks and almost all the ones we had in the store were bad (not VERY bad, but bad at all isn't good to serve obviously). We hadn't really thought about that before, otherwise we would have smelled them first! Anyway, we poured all of those out and I went into the store room to get more, which I opened and smelled all of them before I brought them out. Anyway, we made the lady and her husband two new caps with good milk and I took their drinks out to them when they were ready. They thanked me and they said they understood cause they have a machine at home and that burning the milk could happen (I didn't tell them the real problem). I thanked them for letting us know about it and for being so kind about it. Later on, before they left the husband came up to me and said that they weren't from here and that he couldn't express how nice it was to come and be served by someone with such nice manners, and they were really appreciative and that the coffees were excellent. That made me feel so good! At that point even if I had a really crappy rest of the day, which I didn't, that would have made my whole day. :) I was quite proud. :) I am very glad that that happened with nice understanding people, cause there are some people who are very snotty, it's like they just complain to make a ruckus, that would've been very unpleasant if it had been someone like that. Anyway, we shouldn't have that problem anymore! I just hope they were the ONLY people that got coffees like that, we didn't have any other complains, so hopefully it was ok. :)