Apr. 9th, 2011 06:33 am
rhyll: (Default)
My alarm went off this morning at 5:15, and I managed to drag myself out of bed and wash my face and get ready for yoga, and then begin the long pep-talk that I need whenever I have an early morning ("you're doing this for a good reason! don't go back to sleep!" repeated over and over). Sent some emails, checked out Twitter.

Then I found out Dipti couldn't make it to yoga, meaning I was left to my own pitiful reserves of willpower. I ended up asking Twitter: more sleep? or yoga? Twitter, being a jerk, convinced me to go to yoga. So I got on my bike and went off, thinking, "yoga at 6:30, leaving at 6ish, should get there plenty of time". And then my brain warmed up, and suspicion began to dawn...

So I got to my yoga class late, walked two steps in (just far enough that everyone except the teacher could see me), saw that everyone had started and the room was pretty full, realised I would have to get people to move over to fit in, turned around and left.

I'm trying not to see this as a minor defeat. I'm going to see it as: morning bicycle ride! YAY!
rhyll: (Default)
You guys! I know that your friend feeds are pretty much entirely just me going: "ZOMG India is hard" "ZOMG India is great" every five minutes. Sorry! Given how things usually go, there's a reasonable chance that I will soon become too busy to deluge you with news.

But first!

I totally got some cash! All it took was about ten phonecalls, a heap of emails, three visits to a local bank, and quite a bit of being stern at people. I am never, ever, doing that again. If this wad of cash runs out, I'm going to sort out an alternative option. For now, though, I feel much more independent and less like I am needing my friends here to look after me with everything.

More importantly, though, on my final trip to the bank I went by bicycle. I didn't get lost, and I didn't get hit by traffic. And my bicycle is a "gentleman's" bicycle, so it is HUUUGE - I am as tall as standing on a chair! And I feel like I'm flying! I think I've worked out most of the Indian road rules, and I think I will mostly be okay riding around. (FAMILY! If you are reading this, don't worry! I will be careful and safe.) Plus also I have high visibility: everyone is too busy staring like crazy to accidentally crash into me. There are not a lot of women above school age cycling around, and there are especially not a lot of white women on Indian-style gentlemen's bikes cycling around grinning like lunatics. (A couple of guys shouted out at me, "Very nice! Very nice!", and I am choosing to interpret it as their whole-hearted approval of my enthusiasm for awesome Indian bicycles.)

Okay, now on with work. And eating delicious snacks. (I visited my friends' family last night, and they gave me a heap of delicious snacks to take home. Apparently, I am looking too thin. Also, they are lovely and always spoil me a heap.)
rhyll: (Default)
This morning I went to yoga with my friend D, which was great - doable, but hard enough that it took all of my thinking, and left me nothing for Fretting. After breakfast (she made uppma for breakfast! I am so spoiled!) I cycled home on the awesome Indian bike D has acquired for his house/commune/office/activist centre. It is huge, and single-gear, and very solid. I am as high up as if I was standing on a chair!

Yoga + cycling + feeling a little better at Getting Around is helping me feel better about the world. And I know such lovely people here! Hangouts with D and TBD (usually when I have vowed to get an early night or spend the evening working) have been keeping me sane through my Frets, and tonight I'm going to go visit my friends R and J, who I haven't managed to see since I came here. And there are still two or three other friends (at least!) who I really want to catch up with...juggling full-time work in Australia and trying to find my feet with research here and also handling all the hassles of being in a new country* is proving challenging, but I think I'll manage it.

Plus also:
* Interesting talks (for different reasons) last night and today!
* I have so many people and organisations I want to talk to here! It is time to start organising interviews!
* I have so much stuff I want to write about!
* Bicyclesbicyclesbicyclesbicycles!

* By this, I mostly mean: "being in a new country where your stupid bank has stopped your card, failed to communicate with you effectively about it, and then sent the new card to Australia without asking or telling you". It is turning into a hobby, in the realm of inevitably-fruitless pursuits like fly-fishing or golf or writing letters to local newspapers. The latest development is: I call Mastercard helpline to get an international emergency cash withdrawal. They say: yes! Of course! Right away! No return call. I call them back. They say: yes! Of course! Right away! Eventually they call me back with the name and address of the bank I need to go to. I go to the bank. The bank insists that not only have they not received any fax about this, but giving cash withdrawals without a card is not something they do. I call Mastercard and explain the situation, they ask to speak to the bank manager and then the line cuts out. Mastercard call me, but I can't hear them. I go home. Two hours later, Mastercard call me and say they have the name and address of the bank I need to go to. It is the same as the bank I have just gone to. I explain the situation. They say: we'll call right back.             Don't worry, though! D has said he can lend me money, and I'll transfer it to him from my account once I sort out this ridiculousness.


Dec. 16th, 2009 03:32 pm
rhyll: (Default)
Yesterday I went to visit my family, which is one of the last trips I make that usually involves a car. So after some negotiation with my grandparents, it was decided that:
a) I could cycle to the train station from my place, catch the train up to joondalup, then cycle from joondalup station to their place instead of getting picked up, and
b) I was mad.

Family visits were nice, and it was good to meet Visiting Greek Cousin, although my Greek is still not up to conversation. Happily my grandparents are speaking to me in Greek more and more often, so I'm getting better.

Cycling back, I got up to the turn-off for "cycle to Perth" and suddenly decided that I would give it a go.

* I remembered to put on sunscreen!
* Asking directions from some Aimless Youth, one of whom was trying to hide his can of spraypaint behind his back. When I said I was cycling to Perth he was horrified.
* There is a path that mostly goes along the highway, but it takes all these weird deviations through suburban streets. They have a strange, quiet feel to them. I would have started to worry that I was lost, except that people in lycra kept racing past on shiny bicycles. One of these deviations went past an area that still had a few market gardens scattered around, and I ate some figs from an abandoned block full of fruit trees.
* I helped some strangers catch their puppy.
* When I was close to H's house, the next stop on my itinerary, an old Greek woman stopped me to tell me to be careful in the area. I spoke Greek for a bit, which was fun, and she told me that I should come to her house for dinner. (I declined.)
* I saw Lisa!

All in all, I am very proud of myself. After fiddling around with whereis.com a bit I worked out that I cycled around 47.5km yesterday, which seems like a lot. And it was, I felt, unnecessarily windy. And I'm fine today! Now I want to cycle everywhere, even more than I did before.
rhyll: (Default)
My weekend has not-at-all gone to plan, for a variety of reasons. I seem to have spent most of the weekend feeling sore or sick or anxious or tired, or some combination of the above. But, oddly, I've had a very good weekend, considering.

I spent most of yesterday watching Justice League cartoons with J, and then had dinner with my father. It wasn't what I'd intended to do, but it was a pretty good way to spend a sick day.

Today, I meant to help buy a bicycle. Instead, I bought a sewing machine, a ridiculous gothy dress, and some impractical suspenders. I had Adventures, which I suspect were challenging at times for at least three of the four of us adventuring. I got a flat tyre and had to be picked up. I had biscuits and tea. I did my Greek homework, and did battle with punctures, spiders, and rust.

I didn't get the things I had planned to done, and I worried a lot. But I had a good time, and I felt like I learnt some new things. And I felt spoilt by the people in my life again.

In other news: I am still pretty terrible at the ukulele and accordion. I am branching out into being terrible at singing, as well. It is very satisfying.


Jun. 19th, 2009 03:22 pm
rhyll: (Default)
* I was awfully pleased with myself for managing to fix my gears, despite Things needing to be shifted and Crucial Screws looking rather ill. Then I cycled to South Perth one night, and halfway through the trip there was some unidentified squeaking. I looked down and the screws had fallen out entirely. *sigh* So now I will have to go get a new dérailleur mechanism and do it all again.
* I am starting to feel like the thesis of doom might finally be coming to an end. I have close-to-final drafts of three out of four chapters written, and the rest is written but needs edits. I am getting a lot of moments of panic as I realise that this means examination is approaching.
* I've been having a lot of very nice people time of late, including Cameron dropping in unexpectedly today. Weirdly, though, a lot of my people-time has simultaneously been lovely and rather nerve-wracking. I have felt edgy and paranoid a lot, and have come away from a lot of people-time feeling like I have somehow done the wrong thing. I am putting it down to being a bit stressed out by thesis etc.
* No word back from Possible Employer, which I think at this stage means I didn't get an interview. I am trying to be proactive about this whole needing-a-job thing and have been looking at government jobs and NGO jobs and academic jobs. I also emailed the unions today and asked what was up with their constantly-empty 'vacancies' site.
* Yesterday Jason prodded me into practising keyboard, and although I am quite terrible at it I enjoyed it a lot. I will have to remember to make more time for that, and for accordion-practise at sensible hours.
* We have the Internet at home! Finally! Except, now I can't remember what to do with it.
rhyll: (Default)
I've cut back on my usual voluminous output of Online Stuff over the last few weeks, what with the Greek exam and the marking and the no Internet at home. Hopefully services will be returning to normal soon, and you can go back to wondering if you really need to read all of these blogs to be my friend. (You don't. There is no quiz.)

Anyway, time for an update. Things I have enjoyed lately:
* Cycling! I am cycling a lot less now that I live to uni, but I had a couple of good long cycles in the last week, one to Maylands and one to Inglewood. I like to cycle along at my own slow pace and listen to podcasts and maybe get rained on just a little.
* Crafternoons! It is nice to sit with ladies and eat biscuits and gossip and make stuff. And, on a related note:
* Free wool! Jessica Monster gave me a whole heap of wool to make a skirt with. I'm crocheting it. Should I just make a tube, or try to flare it out a bit? I have no idea what I'm doing!
* People! Oh my! I have so many lovely people in my life. Lately I have been fretting a bit, and feeling like I am less than lovely. I worry about things, like maybe I talked too much that one time. But I am trying to fret less.
* Jobs! Well, the job I got offered is now no longer the go. A bit sad, but I've applied for another job, and even if I don't get it I appreciated being forced to write a few pages about how wonderful I am for the application. Turns out I Know Things, and also Have Experience. Hurrah!
* Books! I went to the library and got as many books as I could carry. I just read the first one, and it had lots of lists in it. I liked the lists of 'things I got excited about as a kid'.


Jan. 27th, 2009 09:31 am
rhyll: (Default)
I'm still feeling a little overwhelmed by this year, but I'm really enjoying being home and Getting Things [...] Done.

Some things:
* Seeing people! I still haven't caught up with family, or lots of the lovely people I would like to see, but I have at least seen N and K and a variety of other initials. Yesterday I saw the Think Tank, which involved a lot of hanging out with Tiny People on the beach. Tiny People are adorable, but also kind of gross - sand is not a food group.
* Getting places on my own steam: on Sunday I cycled home from J's, and also to Subi markets and back. Yesterday I cycled to Cottesloe beach and back. I love my bicycle, and how independent it makes me feel.
* Cooking: I missed vegetables a lot while I was away. It felt good to get a whole heap from the markets on Sunday, and since then I've been cooking for people as much as possible. I made a stir-fry on Sunday night, and yesterday morning I made a big hippy rice salad to take to the beach. Last night I made some vegetarian cottage pie. I am so very excited about all of these things.
* I have been reading about baobabs, and vikings.
* Pottering around the garden: weeding and watering and sweeping and tending to my compost.
* J gave me his old ipod, which had stopped following instructions. I put rockbox on it, and now it is a pleasant way to listen to my podcasts. I've also been fiddling around with my XO, and am rather pleased that I can now listen to lastfm on it.
rhyll: (Default)
Today, I worked hard. I blogged and blogged, and then I researched and wrote a whole big section of the chapter I'm working on now. I felt so productive, and it was the kind of work where you put your head down and don't stop until you realise that it's snack/coffee-time.

Then, I thought I would round things up by looking at my 'everything so far, current draft' file, which I thought would make me feel even more productive. About 31,000 words. Okay. I've written many, many, more words, but this is the word count for my current draft (minus bibliography). Sounds like a lot of words. It's 79 pages: that is a lot of pages! But then I accidentally started thinking...a PhD needs around 80,000 to 100,000 words. Will I end up with enough words? That is a lot of words still to write! What if I finish it all and it only comes to, like, 60,000 words? What will I do then? And then I got a sick feeling in my stomach and had to stop thinking about it for a while.

Luckily, I had some photos of pandas to look at, courtesy of liz.

In other news, some things I have done lately are:
* Fret about people,
* Tidy things, with satisfying results,
* Craft origami things, also with satisfying results,
* Sail in windy weather, which made me feel like Captain Adventure because we 'took water in over the gunnel' (apparently),

That is all. I will go bicycle in the sunshine now, and it will be nice.
rhyll: (Default)
* Apparently, if you pump up your tires, cycling is much, much easier. I didn't have to walk up hills! Delight!

* My brother and his housemate are newly enamoured with green tea, and with Green-Tea-Guy from the tea shop. I stopped by last night with J and they did a tea ceremony for us, and told us all of their newfound tea knowledge, and I started off a new beanie for Kyle, who is crocheting like crazy. Also, he showed us his garden, which made me happy. Growing things!

* I got an email from someone I met at APSA, which was nice. They're working in a different area from me (real-life pirates on the high seas!), so it'll be interesting hearing more about their work.

That is all for now! On with Chapter Two restructuring! Viva excessive use of exclamation marks! Viva morning coffees!

UPDATE: Oh my! I just may pop...even more excitement...I just got mail (which is quite thrilling in itself), quite unexpectedly, Agenda the magazine from South Africa that I wrote for a while ago, sent me two copies of the issue I was published in. I had kind of given up hope of ever getting a copy, because of the trouble sending money to them, but now I have an actual, real, printed, book-sized thing that my writing is in, with pictures, that actual, real, people have (presumably) read.

I think I may need to run up and down the corridor for a bit until my desire to make little squeeking noises and bounce up and down passes.
rhyll: (Default)
I have been busy. How unexpected! I am getting used to it, I think. I didn't get everything done this weekend that I wanted to. Here are some updates on my life:

My family continues mad, and I have been full to bursting with love for them. My mother has managed to find a way to see her astronomy club through the lens of politics, my father continues to play the accordion and probably wasn't joking about having started a secret livejournal, my grandfather is capable of deriving hours of amusement from a sweet potato sitting on a shelf, my brother has reached heights of hippydom that I can only aspire to, and my grandmother continues to declare in a loud voice that noone should ever get married.

I have been wanting to spend more time with all of them, but that seems to be the theme with me and people lately and time has not magically appeared.

I am wishing for a site like whereis, but for cyclists. It would give you routes that avoid too many hills, and maybe favour routes with nice views. It should also have safety options, that would let you pick routes that don't go along main roads, or that only go through well-lit areas for night-time rides. I have been wondering a bit how difficult a site like this would be to make up, and whether it could be based on community-fed data (you could give ratings to certain roads for nice views and lighting and so on, and it would have an algorithm that took these ratings into account when making up routes).

Nevertheless, I am enjoying cycling, especially cycling new places. Three longish (30 or 45 mins) seems like a nice amount of cycling to do in a day now, although I still get off and walk up hills sometimes.

It is going well, but still not as quickly as I would like. I wanted to have Ch 2 done by last Thursday, but it is still half-finished. I feel okay about it, though. I will feel better when I hand it in.

There aren't too many distractions this week, as I don't need to prepare for tutorials. A big pile of marking just came in, but I'm actually feeling rather enthusiastic about it - I'm looking forward to seeing which questions my students have developed, and I think there will be a few good ones there.

The flowers are so pretty! Oh! They are everywhere, and I just want to look at them and look at them until my eyes hurt. I am so amazed! I want more growing things in our garden. Hopefully there will be planting soon, when I have a weekend free.


There are so many lovely people! Some of them I haven't seen for forever and a day, but I am trying to remember that it's ok, because now I am one of those people who has friends that last for more than a year, and so I can always see people later, when we are all a little less busy. Still, I have been doing a bit of fretting for some of my people who are rather beset by the world, and have been doing a bit of Missing. The nice thing is, though, that now I am better at following up Missing with Seeing, rather than Abandoning All Hope.

That is all!
rhyll: (Default)
Should there be more "s"s in "pluses"?

I am all excited, because the transperth site now has bicycling options on their website! You can just click on the "advanced options" bit.

However. I do feel slightly ill, because apparently although Greek easter bread makes a lovely snack with tea, one should eat things from other food groups for a balanced diet (and for not feeling slightly ill, also).

Nevermind! Writers' Group tonight! Hip hip hurrah!

also bored

Feb. 9th, 2006 09:08 pm
rhyll: (balloon)
Thanks Phil.

Quiz, with reference to peas, behind the cut )

I am a bit ill today, and hence not doing anything exciting.

In other news: how nice that people are trying to make niftier bicycles! (but i am still in love with the sturdy and old-fashioned indian bikes here.)
rhyll: (Default)
I find this unbelievably cool. It has now become one of my aims to either have little enough stuff or enough friends who are very enthusiastic about bicycles to do all my moves this way. I also like it that one of these bicycles has a pirate flag on it.

I get so excited when I find extra ideas (feasible or less so) that fit into my idea of cool - the niftiness of doing things without waste, through cooperation, solutions that are beautiful and fun and imaginative.


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